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Sunday, August 6, 2006

Attention Smokers…

Posted by on August 6 at 17:31 PM

You have to step outside to light up… but things could be worse.

Employers in Europe are free to refuse smokers a job, confirming their status as the continent’s last pariahs. The European Commission, which has presided over a vast array of anti-discrimination legislation in the past six years, has confirmed that it does not cover tobacco users.

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That's not just Europe. Alaska Air self insures for health insurance, and so they refuse employment to any smokers and test for nicotine.

Given that their baggage handlers dented a plane so bad it needed to land soon after takeoff, I would worry about more than nicotine...

Uh, Dan, smokers aren't a protected class in the U.S. either.

(Nor should they be. Nor should women, blacks, gays, or jews. Have I pissed off enough people yet? The government should not be able to descriminate on the basis of irrelevent characteristics. But on what basis landlords and renters judge each other, or employers and employees, is no business of the government's.)



We should be able to discriminate against "descriminators" though!

The Washington State government doesn't discriminate on any ethnic, racial, sexual orientation, or gender basis - but it does protect the individual from discriminatory practices of businesses and other agencies.

With people like you, we need it.

It's a bad idea to hire smokers. Have you seen how many f'n breaks they take?

Alaska might test for fat too. It's an easy test. You look at the applicant and you ask yourself whether fatass seems like an accurate eptithet. If it is, you don't hire them.
The bubba bellied are more costly by far than those who smoke moderately (say a pack a week). With the high price of cigarettes, more smokers are of the moderate sort, while the super-sized crowd continues to pack away the triglycerides at the same disgusting rate they always have.
Whatever happened to good old moderation, the golden mean, a cigar that was just a cigar, and men who don't look like either a bleached kenyan marathoner or a beached beluga whale.

King County and plenty of private employers require those in poor physical condition to pay higher health care premiums and deductibles, Kinaidos. I'm happy with that. I think there should be plenty of financial disincentives to unhealthy habits before the inevitable health consequences kick in.

Der shmokers must be loaded into cattle cars and incinerated in smokless crematoria; odorlessly reducing them to bleached bones and stained teeth. Ja.

The governemnt prohibits discrimination (or tries to) because without the protection of the law minorities are victimized by the majority. Just look at what has happened in the University of California school system since the state repealed affirmative action... the number of african americans dropped from 12 percent which is correlary to the over-all population to between 2 and 7 percent.

Dewsterling: I wouldn't say not qualifying to go to college is being "victimized by the majority", but otherwise I agree.

Wright: you pretty much have your wish. According to the Supreme Court's recent gay marriage ruling, you only need a 'rational basis' (ie, any made-up reason) to discriminate against any group (even, for example, racial minorities, because they are no longer a 'suspect class' since they have political power (evidenced by minority politicians and laws protecting minorities)).

Hey, David Wright, didn't you just sign a 6 year, $55 million contract extension with the New York Mets?

Har har.

Why not get rid of the cigarette ads in The Stranger? They are killing people by making cigarettes seem sexy. And Dan please do an entire Stranger issue about the evils of cigarettes. Lots of people who drink also smoke, and they've got to stop smoking. It hurts all of us.

Him: I think you don't understand what I wrote. Or you don't understand the court ruling. Or perhaps you don't understand the distinction between government and the private sector.

In any case, the court ruled that the government could legally descriminate. I wrote that the government should not legally be allowed to descriminate. Actually, I don't think the private sector should descriminate either, but I don't think its the government's job to enforce that behavior.

Descrimination is like cussing, or gambling, or prostitution. It's not something I would do, or I would want the government doing, but it's not the government's business to stop those who choose to do it.

Yeah, well, cussing, gambling, and prostitution don't deny people the ability to get a job or find a decent place to live, discrimination does. I'm going to take a wild guess that David does not belong to a protected class.

I'm not sure it makes sense to equate repealing affirmative action with the victimization of the minority. If the UCs are deliberately discriminating against applicants based on their race, that would qualify as the tyranny of the majority.

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