Baring Boobs for Butts?

They might have to clear a table in the VIP room for Joe Camel and the Marlboro Man. We reported about the new smoking ban in New Jersey, and now strippers are taking the battle to the Statehouse in Trenton. From WINS:

With curious officeworkers gawking and strip-bar standards playing in the background, several hundred people joined a handful of exotic dancers in front of the Statehouse on Thursday to rally against New Jersey’s new indoor smoking ban.

About 20 of the women — who, to the disappointment of some in the crowd, didn’t reveal anything more risque than their midriffs — said the ban will result in lost clients and lost money.

“It’s going to murder our business,” said Dominique Hernandez, 24, who dances at a lounge in Florence. “A lot of people want to get off of work, have a drink and a smoke and watch some pretty girls. There’s nothing wrong with that.”

Apparently not, judging by the looks Hernandez — in tight jeans and a revealing black T-shirt — received from onlookers.

While I applaud the girls, and would applaud even louder for a naked protest, they have their own self-interest at stake. In addition to lost revenue, their profession may be next on the chopping block. They wasted no time after banning cigarettes in Birmingham establishments to start going after the titty bars. If he was still around, I wonder if Pastor Martin Niemöller would write:

First they came for the potheads
and I did not speak out
because I was not a pothead.
Then they came for the smokers
and I did not speak out
because I was not a smoker.
Then they came for the strippers
and I did not speak out
because I was not a stripper.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left
to speak out for me.

Stephen Gordon

I like tasteful cigars, private property, American whiskey, fast cars, hot women, pre-bailout Jeeps, fine dining, worthwhile literature, low taxes, original music, personal privacy and self-defense rights -- but not necessarily in this order.

  1. This use of Niemoller’s reasoning is a bit alarmist, don’t you think? It is important to be aware of the ways in which our rights are being eroded – and I agree that this represents erosion of rights – but it is one thing to violate freedom of contract in certain cases by imposing fines for acts with which the government has no right to interfere, but quite another thing to round up all the members of an ethnic or religious group for torture and/or extermination. The latter violates not just freedom of contract but freedom of conscience. In the ethnic case, it is also effectively a massive bill of attainder (since ethnicitty is not a behavior). I don’t think any bar owner believes he has a moral or religious duty to permit smoking in his establishment, nor does anyone believe he has a moral duty to operate a strip club. There is plenty of room for rational persuasion about these issues without resorting to this kind of gross misrepresentation of the situation.

  2. Even used as humor,Mr. Gordon makes a great point. Many of my fellow Christians love it when government makes things we find immoral illegal, or indoctrinates children in public schools. What they fail to realize is that one day the tables will be turned. What will they say when a Muslim wants to post passages from the Qur’an on the courthouse wall?Or when they want Eucharist made illegal because it represents flesh and blood?What if someone said eating pork should be illegal?I think we should stand up for people’s rights, even if it is a right to do something harmful, because one day, they may try to take ours.