Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Editorial on freedom, Sunday, 17 April 2005

Not quite unique, but still unusual, the Chattanooga Times Free Press, which resulted from merging two papers, carries two different and differing editorial pages.
Titled "Freedom even to make bad choices," this particular Free Press editorial deserves special mention and attention:
"One of the few things worse than the horribly unhealthful decision to smoke is the effort by some to take away from businesses the freedom to decide whether to permit smoking.
"There should be no confusion about smoking itself. It has been shown repeatedly by both rigorous scientific studies and the daily experience of smokers to be devastatingly harmful to smokers' health -- not to mention expensive.
"But the fact is, tobacco is a legal product that some people, however unwisely, choose to use. So long as it remains legal, it is not the place of government to dictate to private businesses whether they may allow smoking on their premises.
"The Agriculture Committee of the Tennessee House of Representatives has appropriately beaten back, at least for now, a bill that would bar smoking in most enclosed public places.
"Supporters said it would protect public health. But it would try to achieve that proper aim by improperly trampling the liberty of restaurants and other facilities that chose to permit smoking.
"We wish all Americans would voluntarily decide not to smoke. But until that day comes, government should not assume the role of nanny."
The author deserves high praise for the use of the word "unhealthful," which most newspaper writers these days, including headline writers of the Times Free Press, don't seem to know and instead misuse "healthy."
But please remember these words. Please remember the objection to government's being a nanny.
There will be more on this later.

No comments:

Post a Comment