NOLAmotion Blog

June 4, 2009

Cancer and Carnage Big Winners in Louisiana Legislature

SmokingDeath-1

Smoking will take you places you've never been before.

In what is turning out to be one of the ugliest legislative sessions in my adult lifetime, the Louisiana Legislature seems bent on further eroding both our reputation and our wellbeing. After passing a bill requiring rear seat passengers to wear seatbelts, the leges kowtowed to the will of former governor–and mentor/benefactor of current Gov. Jindal– Mike Foster’s wishes and passed a bill that allows motorcyclists to go helmet-less, guaranteeing an increase in death and carnage–and higher medical bills that will cost taxpayers. Additionally, the House soundly defeated an attempt to ban smoking in bars and casinos, ostensibly to ensure freedom of choice. But that freedom only extends to smokers–a minority–and ensures that any nonsmokers–the majority–who wish to work in bars and casinos, or merely hear live music, drink a beer or gamble must breathe the toxic outgassing of smoking addicts.

Thanks, Louisiana Legislature! I’m no longer worried that my “right” to kill or maim myself or to personally pollute the air around me while smoking in confined spaces with nonsmokers will be taken away. Who cares that taxpayers will pay my bills if I smash my head in a minor motorcycle accident? And who cares if  I make service workers sick or if nonsmokers don’t want to breathe my smoke? It’s freedom of choice–for me! I don’t want the government telling me what I can’t do to your lungs! That’s an invasion of my pursuit of happiness. So screw all you nonsmokers. How dare you use government to tell me what to do with your health!

motorcycle_no_helmet_1-300x300

Actual skull damage after no-helmet motorcycle accident

Louisiana is truly a leader. We have 2 cities in the Top 10 for murder. We are the Number 1 per capita state for carbon emissions. We incarcerate a larger percentage of our population than any other state. And now we “protect” the “rights” of smokers and soon-to-be-brain-injured motorcyclists. Maybe we’ll become one of the top organ donor states when the helmet law becomes effective.

Just don’t get caught in the back seat without your seatbelt on. We wouldn’t want you to hurt yourself. Because we care about your wellbeing.

NOTE: As of 3pm June4, all 3 of these bills await final passage if any of you care to get involved and contact your elected officials. See the Comments for this posting for specifics.

4 Comments »

  1. Wow, man. I can’t believe how shortsighted some in the lege are. Obviously, higher insurance rates for a state that already has some of the most out-of-sight car insurance rates in the nation can’t hurt, right? Why shouldn’t we all get together and help pay for the idiots who choose not to protect themselves from physical trauma?

    I think the biggest news missed this week is that the so-called economic development team missed a HUGE opportunity to seed Louisiana with a first-class data center.

    Instead, North Carolina picked up Apple’s $1B data center for a paltry $46m in tax concessions.

    What do data centers need? Not much – a lot of power, and a lot of water. And first-class telecom resources, which Louisiana is blessed to have. And a few technically savvy individuals – but essentially they are large physical plants, something Louisiana should have no problem attracting. The Lafayette area would have been PERFECT for a massive data center.

    So, where was the economic development “team” on this one?

    Probably having a cigarette behind a chicken slaughtering plant.

    Why come up with any new ideas when you can just whine and suck off the Federal tit, maintaining the status quo?

    Comment by Louisiana Expatriate — June 4, 2009 @ 1:30 pm | Reply

  2. Yes, I watched the story about Apple and NC unfold with nary a peep from anyone here. I’m not surprised. When I was fired from the La Music Commission, the first thing they did was throw away the entire office computer system because it was all Apple Macintosh. The state’s priorities are so off this year that it’s hard to grasp the depth and breadth of the insanity. But its all part of a trajectory that we’ve been on for a long time.

    Comment by nolamotion — June 4, 2009 @ 2:04 pm | Reply

  3. hb 639 the no-helmet bill is in senate committee.

    sb 186 a no smoking bill is in house committee.

    hb 499 one of the seat belt bills is up for final passage in the senate (there’s another one. sb 168 is scheduled to be heard monday in house committee).

    there is a full moon a’rising and anything can happen!

    i will agree with you on this being the most difficult session since desegregation.

    Comment by Glenn DeVillier — June 4, 2009 @ 2:14 pm | Reply

    • Thanks, Glenn. I’ve amended the post to reference your very helpful comment.

      Comment by nolamotion — June 4, 2009 @ 2:31 pm | Reply


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