The Seedlings:::The New Orleans Ban

It is nice to get back and find that the seedlings have settled in nicely. Here is a pic:

2015-04-20 21.52.13

Before I took that pic, there were seedlings springing up all over the place. Amazing when you think what trouble I had getting germination at the beginning. I thinned them out and moved a few around. As I understand it, what should happen now is that the seedlings will not show much growth for a week or two because they first develop their roots somewhat. When the individual leaves get to be about an inch long and there are four leaves showing, they can be potted on. You will notice that the stalks are quite long. When I pot them, I’ll bury the seedlings right up to the bottom of the leaves. The stalks have little hairs. When the stalks are buried, the hairs turn into roots.

Just one problem that I have yet to check, I am still not sure whether 2014 seeds are viable. The ones above are 2013 seeds.

Here is a pic of my reserves:

2015-04-20 22.07.50

You can see that the seedlings in the right hand tray are better developed. Since taking that pic, I have thinned out those seedlings as well. I have left the seedlings in the left tray alone. Actually, I doubt that I’ll need either of those trays of reserves, but just in case ……

Everything is running a bit late this year, but it shouldn’t matter. What is the use of having the plants ready to go out in mid-April if the ground is too cold?

Touch wood, all should be well.

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It seems that the smoking ban in NOLA bars, which comes into effect very soon, is far from cut-and-dried, although I am not aware of any steps which anyone is taking. At the moment, there just seems to be a lot of noise.

The good thing about the NOLA situation is that, as far as I can tell, there does not seem to be a type of PUBCO problem which we had in the UK. Most bars there seem to be privately owned as small businesses. Thus, there is far less contrivance. It is easy to see why pubcos in the UK went along with the ban, and, indeed, instructed their managers and staff to crack down hard on any contraventions of the ban. First, they had achieved ‘a level playing field’ by ensuring that there were no exceptions, which, in fact, was not ‘a level playing field’ at all. The pubcos had money, clout and time, whereas the privately owned pubs were at serious risk. Closure of many small pubs is advantageous to pubcos since their business transfers to the pubcos. But it has not worked out that way, has it? I have chronicled the gradual fading away of business at both my locals over the years since the smoking ban came in. These two pubs are quite good barometers, since, apart from the connie club, there is no other pub within a mile at least in any direction. It is an amazing fact that many non-smokers, who used to go the the pub regularly but not daily, no longer go at all. And I know that these people are still alive and well because I see them all the time around the shopping precinct and in their gardens, etc. Pubco share values are in the doldrums. Diversification into food is a double-edged weapon since there is massive competition, which keeps prices down. There may be profit, but not much.

In NOLA, contrivance should be minimal. I did read somewhere that the Zealots had managed to get a bar owner to welcome the ban. There will always be at least one. That one would be a person who does not smoke and hates smoking and smokers but tolerates them for business reasons. Such a person would be delighted by ‘a level playing field’, since he could enforce, gleefully, his personal prejudices without fear of losing business to other more tolerant venues. “It’s the lawr”, he might announce.

I wonder if NOLA bar owners are aware of the devastating effect of the smoking ban in Ireland and the UK? Probably not, although they should have told about it by their associations. If they are aware, then it should not be a case of whether to do anything, but what to do. What has become obvious in the UK, Ireland and Australia is that half-measures are worse than useless. There is no room for ‘wait and see’. Only direct, overwhelming ACTION has any chance.

So what could bar owners actually do?

Only if they see that the Zealots have declared war on them will they be motivated. They should also see that the number of Zealots who have declared war are no more than seven in number, being the members of the health committee. Those people have no interest whatsoever in the economic consequences of their decisions. They are blinkered and biased and have one-track minds.

So what could bar owners actually do?

1. They could declare ‘a strike’ on the first day, close all their bars and demonstrate inside and outside the town hall, along with their staff and regular customers. Remember that the public enquiry into the ban was fixed (see Jredheadgirl for how this was done).

2. Withhold payment of bills from the City (but, obviously, put the money on one side!). Justify this step on the grounds that the smoking ban will save the City money, or so they say, and that the bar owners should share in ‘the profit’ from the bans to compensate them for loss of trade.

3. Deliberately create a ‘high-profile’, individual test case. The reason for this lies in the EU ‘Instructions to Governments’, which has suggested that Governments should pursue ‘high-profile’ criminal proceedings against individuals and bodies who refuse to comply. Such actions are called ‘show trials’. They are intended to create fear. “Oh My God! Film Star X has been done for smoking in a nightclub, AND HE HAS PLEADED GUILTY! It could be me”

Why not turn the tables?

As in the UK (deliberately, no doubt, via the WHO etc), bar owners who do not force punters not to smoke will be hit with heavy fines and possible loss of licence. In the UK, a couple of publicans defied the law and were prosecuted and punished. But they went about defying the law in the silliest possible way. One of them, whose pub was near where I live, and which I visited, had a hand-written notice over the bar which said: “Smoking is not permitted by law. If you smoke, you do so at your own risk” (words to that effect). What he failed to understand is that there is no such thing in the smoking ban as “at your own risk”. Thus, he hung himself since, by saying: “At your own risk”, he permitted smoking “at your own risk”, which he is not permitted to do. What he should have done is plastered the pub with “NO SMOKING” posters, put decorative candle sticks (or similar) with wide, saucer-like bases on each table, lit the candles and replaced them as required. (The candlestick base would be the de facto ashtray) It has been an interesting fact that candles no longer appear on pub tables for effect when dining. Such practices used to be commonplace, but no longer exist. We still have candles on the table for Christmas and special events. I do not understand why that practice ceased.

So the NOLA bar owners should demand a trial. One courageous (but not very) bar owner stands as a test-case in that he did not force a punter to not smoke. He is fully supported in the public gallery by his peers. He has been prosecuted for NOT committing a crime since the only realistic way in which he can physically stop a person smoking is by violence, and his punishment will be ten times greater that the person who commits the crime in the first place.

Truly, medieval witchcraft has taken over as far as life-styles is concerned. There is no other explanation.

Create a test-case and appeal to the Salem witchcraft precedent.

4. Demand to know the ‘competing interests’ of the members of the health committee. What organisations are they members or affiliates of? What were their reasons for standing for election to the health committee? Who were they working for? Zealots hunt in packs. They do not hunt alone.

Enough for tonight.

 

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8 Responses to “The Seedlings:::The New Orleans Ban”

  1. michaeljmcfadden Says:

    “He has been prosecuted for NOT committing a crime since the only realistic way in which he can physically stop a person smoking is by violence, and his punishment will be ten times greater that the person who commits the crime in the first place.”

    Very very true. The bars that have lost in court have largely lost on the grounds that they were supposedly actually “permitting smoking with a wink and a nod at the law.”

    The bar owners have to be very clear and very careful in what they say and do. It is important that their customers know that in reality they’ll be quite happy if widespread rebellion results in overthrowing the ban, but that in practice they have to frown and verbally forbid smoking. Your point on the physical aspect is quite true. While the law tries to INTIMIDATE them into slavery as unpaid, untrained, uninsured, unarmed, and unempowered Citizen Vigilante Law Enforcers….. the law actually has no power to FORCE them to act as such.

    The owners and workers just have to be sure that they remember that America no longer allows for Freedom Of Speech in such situations: those who resist the law by resisting slavery have to forego their supposed Constitutional right to speak of their opinion of the law in public — they can only make that opinion known to their friends, those who they trust and know are not acting as agents of this sad, and modern, “Secret Police.”

    The primary push HAS to come from “the people” because the owners/workers can suffer too much under the law. Organized popular resistance will easily prevail IF smokers and their friends have the belly to engage in it at the bars where they privately know the owners will refuse to start shooting people as enforcement.

    – MJM

    • junican Says:

      Both pub owners and customers were well and truly stitched up by the way in which the smoking ban law was drawn up in the UK. As we saw in Ireland, then Scotland, and then in England and Wales, all avenues of protest were shut down – publicans could not support customers and customers could not support publicans. That is why only bar owners can actually do anything. The critical thing, as you said, is that they must on no account allow themselves to be used as unpaid enforcers. Further, they must dissuade any other customers from interfering should a customer light up. The reason for that is that the publican could be accused of ‘causing an affray’ if he permitted other customers to get involved in violence.
      Should a publican call the police if someone lights up? He would be reluctant to do so since a publican who calls out the police too often has ‘a black mark’ against him. The reason does not matter. What would magistrates expect him to do? The one thing that comes to mind (apart from violence) is for the publican to refuse to serve the customer any more drinks.
      It is because of the ‘stitch up’ that bar owners in NOLA must not let the smoking ban take hold without massive protests.

      • michaeljmcfadden Says:

        I developed a flyer that I believe works quite well for bars wanting to engage in passive resistance, although with more current insight, it may lean too much toward that “wink and a nod” problem. See the last page of my Stiletto at http://bit.ly/SmokingBanLies

        Re not serving: yep, that works fine. Although if the person agreeably waits to order until after they’ve put their smoke out and promised you they won’t light another one (gee… hope they keep their promise, eh?) then of course you can serve them.

        🙂
        MJM

      • junican Says:

        What I had in mind was a quiet agreement between a bar owner and some of his best customers. A customer comes in, gets his drink and retires to a quiet corner. After a few minutes, he lights a fag. The bar owner pretends not to notice until someone tells him. He says to the informant, “Leave this entirely to me. We do not want any violence”
        He approaches the smoker and reminds the smoker that smoking is not permitted by law. The smoker says that he is aware of that, which is why he has brought his own ashtray. The bar owner then ups the anti a bit (he is recording the conversation for his own protection) and says, “I am not allowed to permit smoking, and therefore I must stop you. I cannot actually use violence, so what I will do is not serve you with any more drinks. I must also ask you to leave” “Right”, says the smoker.
        The smoker drinks up and leaves, wending his way to another bar where he has a similar arrangement.
        The next day, the process is repeated.
        Needless to say, it will not happen!

      • michaeljmcfadden Says:

        “Asking to Leave” could indeed be a vital step beyond simply “not serving while smoking.” However, the smoker could leave, turn around, and come back in. The barowner has no right to act as judge of someone’s future behavior. The smoker could also ask someone else to act as drink purchaser, although in a noncrowded setting the Antis might be able to claim bartender knowledge of where the drink was going.

        The flyer at the end of the Stiletto booklet makes it unnecessary for the bartender to caution against violence though, since it clearly spells out that it’s not allowed (although the law may not be as explicit in other jurisdictions).

      • junican Says:

        I read your flyer. I remember reading it some time ago.

  2. richard john Says:

    very interesting we need to know more about the the benefits of smokeing and the way are ancesters used it

    • junican Says:

      Historical use of tobacco is well documented. There are plenty of sources on the internet.
      The benefits of nicotine, I believe, are greater mental acuity, concentration, calmness. There may be others. Certainly, I think that everyone with knowledge would recognise the stress relieving properties of nicotine.
      There don’t have to be physical ‘benefits’ involved in smoking. If an individual enjoys smoking, that is enough to justify it for that individual.

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