The hot button issue in Columbia continues to be the proposed ban on smoking in public places being debated by the city council even as I type this. I’m not a smoker, but it boils down to this for me: Proponents of this ordinance appear to be confusing “public place” with “private place open to the public”. The city of Columbia is considering whether to ban an otherwise legal activity in private establishments.
This is a bad precedent. Those who pooh-pooh the idea that government will take this smoking ban as the first step on the road to regulating other activities in private establishments ignore history at their peril. Once government assumes a power, it rarely gives it back to the public without a struggle.
We’ll see how the Columbia City Council votes later tonight.
The Daily Intelligence Briefing:
– Did North Korea detonate one device, two, or none at all?
– Israel prepares for an attack by Syria
– Russia deploys Muslim commandoes from Chechnya in south Lebanon
– Syria builds support in Sidon by supplying weapons to Hezbollah and Amal
– New video from Iraq shows captured Al-Mahdi fighter with Iranian hardware
– Kurds show signs of seceding from Iraq
– WHO arrives in India to investigate chikungunya outbreak; up to 1.3M infected
– Chinese hackers access Dept of Commerce computers
– 1959 nuclear meltdown near L.A. released 300x more radiation than Three Mile Island