Monday, November 07, 2005

Property rights and I-901

There's an election tomorrow, and in Washington state, there's an initiative on the ballot that would severly restrict property rights. It's not as blatant as the Kelo decision, but is much more insidious and just as outrageous. It's Initiative 901 - an indoor smoking ban for all private property.

This initiative, if it passes, would ban smoking on all private property if it's accessible to public - think restaurant, bar, MC repair shop. Any piece of property that you allow the public to access will be non-smoking, even if everyone on the property is a smoker.

The proponents of this initiative claim it's to protect non-smoking employees in smoking establishments - they parade a sad-faced working mom serving drinks in a smoke filled bar. However, the initiative would prohibit smoking even if you have no employees, or your employees already smoke.

This is nothing more than a CAO-like piece of legislation stripping your property rights, masquerading as a public health masterpiece. The juxtaposition of socialist agendas with libertarians ideals usually take the form of initiatives, and usually get settled in the courts. The problem is that the Washington Supreme Court (and the U.S. Supreme Court) have taken the side of the socialists in the recent past - gas taxes were reinstated, eminent domain was expanded, the Patriot Act still is being argued. I expect to see a court case on this, but not much news coverage and I'm not hopeful this will be overturned.

Remember folks - if you don't control what happens to your land, you don't own it anymore. A government that doesn't respect your rights to your property will soon stop respecting your other rights, like freedom of speech, bearing weapons, speedy impartial jury trials, keeping soldiers in your home.

Until then, smoke 'em if you got 'em, and read this guest article in the P.I. - I'm rather surprised the premier newspaper for Soviet Seattle let this one run. I guess they needed to run it to preserve some sense of "balanced reporting" (although how they, or any newspaper, can pretend to be impartial reporters of news is doubtful when they support key issues and initiatives - specifically, the P.I. has come out in support of I-901). You can also check out for more info (I'm not a balanced reporter - you want the proponents web site, find it your-damn-self).

No comments: