As regards the proposed smoking ban in Carbondale bars and restaurants, I am so very tired of having my personal choices and freedoms limited by either left-wing eggheads or right-wing blockheads. These paternalistic prohibitionists are going to put people out of work, not protect them from the choice they made to work in a place that allows smoking. In a business environment with rising interest rates, increased material costs caused by higher gasoline prices, higher labor costs due to increases in the minimum wage, and skyrocketing electric rates, this proposal is reckless in the extreme.
Unemployment is a greater danger to the health and safety of these workers (and their families) than second-hand smoke could ever be, since unemployment benefits in the state of Illinois are a laughably cruel joke for those on the lower end of the wage scale. And it is more than a little ironic that most of the oblivious eggheads agitating for this ban are sucking their salaries from the paychecks of the very same workers.
But this ban is only the first step. Next comes a city-wide ban on the sale of tobacco products, then a ban on all smoking within the city limits, followed by a push to make tobacco illegal nationwide. It’s all part of a trend that will eventually make everyone a criminal. If you happen to accidentally dial the wrong number overseas, you’re busted for terrorism. Go to the wrong Web site and you’re busted for child pornography. Overeat and you’re institutionalized for suicidal behavior. Yes, I believe it may eventually get that crazy. It’s a very slippery slope being greased up by these self-righteous little Hitlers for you, baby. Let’s stop it now.
James L. Desper Jr. Carbondale resident