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Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Morning News

posted by on October 12 at 8:23 AM

Posted by News Intern Aaron Pickus

100 More Days: The end times of President Bush.

Space Travel: US business success Richard Garriott flees crumbling financial institutions.

US and South America: Power play.

Needs of the Pentagon: Pentagon increases estimate of defense spending by $450 billion over next five years.

God Cares: Reverend warms up McCain crowd by praying that the Christian god beat all other gods.

French Intellectuals Defend Porn: “There’s a new culture of pornography emerging.”

Arctic Battle: Russia continues to expand in the far north.

Allowed to Fail: Seattle high-schoolers may fail for first time in seven years.

Guantanamo Prosecutor Quits: Has grave misgivings. No shit.

Smoking Ban is Real: Two Seattle bars in trouble.

RSS icon Comments


I love how Conrad basically threatens God with what will happen if Obama wins.

Posted by Bruce | October 12, 2008 8:32 AM

Holy crap. Sarah Vowell's new book is all about how Americans today are the result of Puritan exceptionalism minus Puritan humility. And there it all is, in that nutty, and basically blasphemous, invocation.

Posted by elenchos | October 12, 2008 8:48 AM


Posted by Midnight Everyday | October 12, 2008 8:58 AM

Those smoking ban lawsuits show the puritanical/ screwed up edge of the smoking ban. Why, after Zaina moved its hookah lounge to an outdoor patio in back, should it be forced to close? Who is being protected by this? Why should the George and Dragon, which restricts smoking to its outdoor patio, be hit? Because of angry neighbors and uptight patrons who might waft a breath of tobacco smoke before it dissipates in the open air?

This is really over the top. The 25 foot rule was never a good idea, and it's very selectively enforced much to our benefit. Now some uptight government folks, insecure in their authority and with too much time on their hands, want to make an example out of a few places who are harming no one. Screwed up.

Posted by Trevor | October 12, 2008 9:16 AM

I agree with Trevor, but if the ban was 15 feet instead of 25 it would be a lot better. Bar patrons wouldn't be pushed into the street and non-smokers coming and going wouldn't get torpedoed by a whiff, which really is so not pleasant.

Posted by raindrop | October 12, 2008 9:24 AM

The 25-foot rule is absolute nonsense, and many people realized this when the law passed. Just outside every restaurant/bar doorway one finds a cluster of nicotine addicts. I've never seen it enforced, and have rarely seen the Health dept. sticker. Thus it's ripe for this kind of selective enforcement. That said, I think these establishments should be persecuted to the full extent of the law. (thanks GWB)

Posted by Karlheinz Arschbomber | October 12, 2008 9:58 AM

Quit smoking. That'll solve it.

Posted by superyeadon | October 12, 2008 10:35 AM

I'm a non-smoker, and have always been one. But I'm also a realist. The rule should be easy: Inside - no, outside - yes. Or, to make it even easier, if there are four walls and a roof, no smoking. Anything less than that (covered patios, etc) go ahead and light up.

I wonder if this is more competitor driven than government driven. That is, competitor's using the bureaucracy to get at their rivals.

Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay | October 12, 2008 10:42 AM

I love the smoking ban. I don't care how fucked up it is and horrible it is to enforce. All I care about is that I can go to whatever bar/club I want to and not feel/smell shitty when I leave there because of the smoke. I go out more because of it.

Posted by drew | October 12, 2008 10:50 AM

I also have never smoked and love people not smoking inside, but as predicted, the assholes who wrote and are enforcing this law and it's ridiculous 25 foot rule are going to put people out of business. King County is broke, but continues to spend it's money on stupid shit like making sure people don't smoke herbs on a patio. What a bunch of jerk-offs.

Posted by Meinert | October 12, 2008 11:04 AM

can I comment on Bush's last 100 days? Let's start writing to our congresspeople to pass a law that says this year, the president-elect gets to start governing on Nov. 5.

Posted by idaho | October 12, 2008 11:20 AM

This isn't about the 25-foot ban. It's about the willingness of bar owners to obey the law, and make their customers obey the law. There are only two bars under discussion here, and that's because they don't give a shit about the law. I go to the George & Dragon occasionally, and the city is correct: they make absolutely zero effort to keep smoke from billowing in the window (I have never filed a complaint).

I don't particularly care; I hate whiffs of smoke, but it's so much better than it used to be, when you could smoke freely, that I can put up with it. But I can see why people would be upset about sitting anywhere near the window end of the pub and having a CONSTANT cloud of smoke blow across them. The owner doesn't care; more often than not, it's his smoke.

Posted by Fnarf | October 12, 2008 11:41 AM

Citizens worried about how the U.S. can possibly hope to pay off its spiraling debt, exacerbated of late by nearly a trillion dollars in financial sector bailouts, are instructed to pay no attention to the fact that the Pentagon budget accounts for half of all expenditures in a time where no nation on Earth poses a credible threat to our borders and we are outspending our nearest rival in military spending by a factor of nine. In spite of the fact that increases in defense spending are being used to fund high-tech systems such as missile defense which do not address our primary security threat of non-state actors engaged in small-scale terrorist attacks on soft targets, Americans are urged not to put two and two together and start asking where all the money's going.

Taxpayer attempts to recover some portion of the money that they yearly throw down the bottomless hole of military spending pose a grave threat to the security of certain extremely comfortable and well-off military contractors and their government counterparts, and as such should be considered sedition.

Posted by flamingbanjo | October 12, 2008 11:59 AM

the G.I.'s loved smoking and look what they accomplished

Posted by CM | October 12, 2008 12:12 PM

Huh. I figured everyone was in such a wild panic drafting a hysterical pit bull ban they had no time to reflect on their hysterical 25' smoking rule. Guess if you set the bar low enough, you can multitask.

Posted by elenchos | October 12, 2008 12:12 PM

I'm glad they cracked down on the smoking - seems people fail to realize the rule isn't "25 feet or closer if I feel like it", it's 25 feet.

At least the pit bulls stopped smoking.

Posted by Will in Seattle | October 12, 2008 2:10 PM

"Seattle Public Schools has changed its high-school grading policy to include E grades, a mark more commonly known as an F. In the past, students who did not pass a class earned an N, which did not affect their grade-point averages."

What? Can this be the end of the self-esteem movement? Teachers are actually telling Parents their idiot spawn are F-A-I-L-U-R-E-S!?

What next? Summer school? Repeating a grade? Dunce Caps? Where will it all end?

Posted by Y.F. | October 12, 2008 2:13 PM

Very hysterical about the smoking ban.

When smokers all start paying 25% more for their health care premiums then I'll care.

That's where they infringe on nonsmokers' rights the most -- I mean, who fo us CHOSE to pay more for health costs becuase other people systemactically choose to do something which ends in disease?

Our nation can't afford everything. We need national health care. It is sickening to think with our limited dollars nonsmokers will be deprived of some of those dollars because some other people smoke.

If you post a $250,000 bond against your lung cancer cost, then you can smoke outside. That would fair. Until then smokers are all externalizing their costs and the "freedom" or "freemarket" model doesn't work. It's a lie.

Or, we systematically deny treatment to smokers with lung cancer and let them painfully die in the gutter. And when they dop they should stay 25 feet awway from the rest of us, you betcha folks. That'd be the real free market in action.

Posted by PC | October 12, 2008 2:29 PM

I love the smoking ban, as a former smoker--it's easier to stay quit. I think it's also being enforced correctly in the sense that no one is going around with a measuring tape hassling people (at hip-hop events exclusively, like you might expect), but instead just responding selectively to the worst offenders that have customer complaints so the rest of the bars stay in line.

On the other hand I do think it's pretty insane that there's people out there who make it a crusade to shut down a place they patronize(d). Putting people out of work and such. I mean, just don't go if you don't like it. There's other bars.

Posted by threnody | October 12, 2008 3:19 PM

Shouldn't tobbacconists and cigar lounges be exempt from the ban?

Or are you fucking idiots who hate smoking so much, wanting to hang out in a cigar lounge or a cigar shop so bad that there needs to be no smoking there as well.

You nanny motherfuckers are retarded.

You infringe upon private property rights of business owners and patrons to accept the use of a LEGAL product all so you can go to places that no one wants you at anyway.

Fuck all of you.

Posted by ecce homo | October 12, 2008 3:24 PM

Zaina is delicious, and its closure would be a tragedy. I could give two shits that they broke the stupid smoking law - Save the Falafels!

Posted by Aislinn | October 12, 2008 6:10 PM

Susan, you're having a fit. See your doctor about upping your dosage.

Ten feet has a rational basis. Twenty five feet is totally hysterical, and based entirely on ignorance. At least nobody put a dunking stool on the ballot; it would have passed.

Posted by elenchos | October 12, 2008 7:13 PM

Is there no exception for hookah bars? Many cities have some sort of exemption for such -- is Seattle not one of them?

25 feet from all doors is essentially impossible.

Posted by Not a smoker, but still... | October 12, 2008 9:51 PM

This shit is absolutely ridiculous! I have been going to the george for years and let me just say, aside from Friday and Saturday nights, the majority of the people that are smoking on the patio, are regulars. Those who reported them to the state (Meg Dalton!) you should have just turned around when you were walking up to the george - it is obvious people were smoking. But instead, you decided to make it your mission to report them and possibly shut them down. I don't want to hear your crap about the law and how it is their own fault if they get shut down. Walk up and down 36th in Fremont and you will see that EVERY bar has smoking sections on their patios which are directly outside their doors. If you wanted to make a point about the law, you should have chosen a better way than shutting down a family owned business with many employees. They may not have jobs because of your petty shit.

Posted by george regular | October 13, 2008 1:13 PM

Afterthought on the smoking ban: the initiative was passed two years ago, meaning it can now be revisited. Ergo it's time for state legislators to do the right thing and amend the 25 foot rule, ideally dropping it entirely.

Posted by Trevor | October 15, 2008 8:19 AM

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