Fly on the Wall 

Kicking Butts

Why are citizens who are old enough to smoke losing their jobs in bars and restaurants? Because of the recent ban on public smoking, bars and restaurants that do allow smoking must now deny access to anyone under 21. That means bar backs, waiters, and hosts who are at least 18 (the legal smoking age in Tennessee) can fire up at home, in the car, on the sidewalk, or anywhere else smoking is permitted. They just aren't allowed to have their jobs anymore.

Earlier this week, WKRN news of Chattanooga quoted a 20-year-old former bar employee named Rena Doss who complained, "I don't smoke, and nobody was blowing smoke in my face. ... This was a good-paying job for me, and I have bills to pay." Experts have since suggested that Rena and others like her could relocate to Memphis, where the recently reelected Mayor Willie Herenton has stated that he can do nothing to stop crime, in order to pursue careers in professional thuggery.

The Dismal Life

In a recent column, The Commercial Appeal's managing editor Otis Sanford informed CA readers that there is ("sadly") a "dismal side of Memphis."

"It's thrust on us regularly," Sanford claims, "thanks to a large criminal element and some in the media who believe discord should lead the news. It also comes to us courtesy of a few self-serving politicians, their enablers, and charlatans posing as Internet bloggers." Although it's never surprising to hear a representative of mainstream media lumping bloggers into the same category of blight as criminals and cancer, it's particularly troubling in this case. After all, the CA has repeatedly front-paged negative political stories broken by charlatan bloggers days earlier. Perhaps Sanford, following another dismal trend, no longer subscribes to his own paper.

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