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A New Era of Prohibition

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The Mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, is expected to sign into law a new bill that will ban smoking in all public parks, beaches, boardwalks and plazas, like the newly implemented outdoor-seating areas in Times Square and Herald Square.

Banning smoking is nothing new to New York or the rest of the country, but the prohibition has generally stopped at the door of a bar, restaurant, office building, or stadium. However, the new extension of this ban has set an increasingly dangerous precedent for politicians who hold the power to make citizens’ decisions for them.

As a former smoker, I chose to quit a number of years ago because the absurd quantity of cigarettes I smoked made me feel rather disgusting; however, I am my own individual and have friends who continue to smoke as much — if not more — than I ever did without that same disgusting feeling. That said, what goes into our bodies is often quantified so that varying amounts can be seen as harmless, unhealthy, potentially dangerous or addictive.

It’s understandable that non-smokers may want to avoid inhaling someone else’s exhaust because of its unpleasant aroma or taste, but what prevents the non-smoker from moving ten feet away or avoiding the person smoking on the bench to begin with?

If perchance a smoker plops him or herself down next to an unassuming non-smoker who is reading a book and then lights up, the issue is not health so much as rudeness. However, the ostracism of smokers from public buildings — and at times from the front of doorways to those same public buildings — has trained many smokers to be very circumspect before lighting up lest they offend someone or face further prejudice.

If health really is the issue behind this ban, then perhaps fast food should also be banned. While New York City was one of the first to implement the required calorie count on all franchise-restaurant food menus, the city hasn’t prevented people from purchasing it, eating greasy overly wrapped imitation meat on the subway, or clogging their arteries in front of bystanders. Granted, second-hand smoke is suspected of afflicting others besides the smoker, but fast food also has an effect on those who choose not to consume it.

Given that obesity in this country is ever-growing (no pun intended), and fast food certainly contributes to this epidemic, then those who need treatment for greasy, fast-food related procedures are driving up the costs of insurance premiums, even for those who remain healthy and out of the Ronald McDonald playhouses.

In “What You Eat Is Your Business,” Radley Balko asserts, “states are preventing private health insurers from charging overweight and obese clients higher premiums, which effectively removes any financial incentive for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.” In other words, if people choose to live an unhealthy lifestyle and the healthy insured are responsible for footing the bill, then why shouldn’t New York City and other concerned cities also take the initiative to ban fast food consumption?

Fast food and tobacco are both huge industries and both are indicted in causing various diseases, ailments and, in the case of fast food, epidemics throughout the United States; therefore, are the golden arches destined to crumble and make way for a rogue wave of Starbucks?

Or will that franchise ultimately succumb to a rash of high-blood pressure and hypertension?

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About Dustin Freeley

  • What a poorly written debut! You must’ve missed the part on BC’s masthead where it boasts of being “a sinister cabal of superior writers.”

    politicians to [who] hold the power
    friends [who] continue to smoke
    that [than] I ever did
    others aside [from] the smoker
    fast food also has an affect [effect]
    fast food certainly attributes [contributes]
    clients igher [higher] premiums
    fitting [footing] the bill

  • I’ve always hated that tagline myself; there is nothing at all sinister about Blogcritics, nor is it a cabal and the writing is as varied as the people who participate.

    In this case, though, the fault must lie with the editor who missed these little errors. No idea who it was but I will go in and fix them. Thanks for your eagle eye, Alan.

  • Dustin Freeley

    Dear Mr. Kurtz, thanks for pointing those out. Really. I feel quite awful about letting them slip by me and it will not happen on any other posts. I’m an editor of two other websites and would have a fit if that article were submitted to me.

    Thanks again.


  • All fixed up, plus a few others that caught my eye. I also hopefully improved the tags and the teaser.

  • In that case, why not insert your name as co-author and be done with it?

  • Beg your pardon! No comprendo…

  • Glenn Contrarian

    But concerning the subject of the article, I think that we should approach all such unhealthy habits – smoking, drinking, fast food, and presently-illegal drugs – as smoking is now: tax the heck out of it for the cost it brings to people and society as a whole. If people want to do it, go ahead – but they have to pay the cost of the price of what they do.

  • Yeah tax the heck out of it! Who gives a shit about a free society!

    Who knew how profetic the Beatles were when they wrote the Taxman!

    if you drive a car, car I’ll tax the street;
    if you try to sit, sit I’ll tax your seat;
    if you get too cold, cold I’ll tax the heat;
    if you take a walk, I’ll tax your feet…

    …and you’re working for no one but me!

    Why is it that the only people that scream for more taxes are the ones that make too much money?

  • And as far as the tagline goes, I always liked, “You’re entitled to our opinion.”

  • Dustin Freeley

    @Glenn, to your point, I think people have the right to choose what habits they form even if there are a number of taxes involved. At the same time, it’s a bit scary that sources of enjoyment — healthy or unhealthy alike — are being regulated by the government. Why isn’t alcohol so heavily taxed? When will a six pack run $20 – $30? It contributes to a number of health problems, but remains relatively uncontrolled so long as you’re over 21 and not behind the wheel of a car.

  • harleyrider1978

    The new Tobacco Prohibition

    I would like to take the time to tell the entire community about a falsehood so big that everyone who believes in freedom should be appauled.

    This falsehood is so big it resonates from historical fact forward to this day. This falsehood is so big billions of dollars have been spent to make it believable to those of us who dont take the time to look up the facts.

    We all remember reading about alcohol prohibition, but did you know there was also tobacco prohibition going on before alcohol became such a target of the last nanny staters. Our great grandparents lived thru prohibition and the great depression,they also lived thru tobacco prohibition.

    Heres a time line starting in 1900,dont be surprised to see the same thing playing out today nearly 100 years later.

    1901: REGULATION: Strong anti-cigarette activity in 43 of the 45 states. “Only Wyoming and Louisiana had paid no attention to the cigarette controversy, while the other forty-three states either already had anti-cigarette laws on the books or were considering new or tougher anti-cigarette laws, or were the scenes of heavy anti- cigarette activity” (Dillow, 1981:10).

    1904: New York: A judge sends a woman is sent to jail for 30 days for smoking in front of her children.

    1904: New York City. A woman is arrested for smoking a cigarette in an automobile. “You can’t do that on Fifth Avenue,” the arresting officer says.

    1907: Business owners are refusing to hire smokers. On August 8, the New York Times writes: “Business… is doing what all the anti-cigarette specialists could not do.”

    1917: SMOKEFREE: Tobacco control laws have fallen, including smoking bans in numerous cities, and the states of Arkansas, Iowa, Idaho and Tennessee.

    1937: hitler institutes laws against smoking. This one you can google.

    Now onto the falsehood…

    We have been told for years by smoke free advocates that second hand smoke is the cause of everything from johnnys ear ache to cousin ED’S lung cancer. But wheres the proof!!!

    Remember they claim 50,000 deaths a year yet, there are no bodys not even mass graves of the dead to second hand smoke. We await the names of these victims.

    A simple stroll down historys road say 10 years or so and we start to get at the truth…

    A federal Judge by the name of osteen got a case dropped in his lap in North Carolina, the case was that of EPA’S study on second hand smoke/environmental tobacco smoke. The judge an anti-tobbaco judge by reputation spent 4 years going thru the study and interviewing scientists at EPA and came to the conclusion: JUNK SCIENCE

    ”EPA’s 1992 conclusions are not supported by reliable scientific evidence. The report has been largely discredited and, in 1998, was legally vacated by a federal judge. Before its 1992 report, EPA had always used epidemiology’s gold standard CI of 95 percent to measure statistical significance. But because the U.S. studies chosen [cherry picked] for the report were not statistically significant within a 95 percent CI, for the first time in its history EPA changed the rules and used a 90 percent CI, which doubled the chance of being wrong.

    This allowed it to report a statistically significant 19 percent increase [a 1.19rr] of lung cancer cases in the nonsmoking spouses of smokers over those cases found in nonsmoking spouses of nonsmokers. Even though the RR was only 1.19–an amount far short of what is normally required to demonstrate correlation or causality–the agency concluded this was proof SHS increased the risk of U.S. nonsmokers developing lung cancer by 19 percent.”

    The EPA fought to have Osteen’s decision overturned on technical grounds, ignoring the multitude of facts in the decision. They succeeded in 2002 on the narrowest of technicalities. The fourth circuit court of appeals ruled that because the report was not an official policy document Osteen’s court did not have jurisdiction. In their appeal the EPA did not answer a single criticism in the 92 page report, nor challenge a single fact put forth by Judge Osteen. Not one.

    Although the anti-smoker movement was already established, this report was used, and continues to be used, to bolster their claim that SHS is a killer. Second Hand Smoke.

    So here we find that second hand smoke was made a political scapegoat by EPA. Lets not forget how EPA has reworked the global warming studys just this last summer. Where its top scientists paper was rebuked because it didnt carry the EPA’S stand that global warming was real.

    The political shenanigans surrounding SHS/ETS go deep not only with the government and its health agencies but also to the big pharmaceutical companies and non-profit orginizations aka ACS, ALA, AHA and a meriad of others. All lobbying for smoking bans and their weapon of choise Propaganda paid for by big pharma and tax dollars. Studys made to order that second hand smoke is deadly. Take a memory note here too,over 250 studys on shs/ets have found it safe.

    Yet a simple look at the chemistry shows us that its: About 90% of secondary smoke is composed of water vapor and ordinary air with a minor amount of carbon dioxide. The volume of water vapor of second hand smoke becomes even larger as it qickly disperses into the air,depending upon the humidity factors within a set location indoors or outdoors. Exhaled smoke from a smoker will provide 20% more water vapor to the smoke as it exists the smokers mouth.

    4% is carbon monoxide. 6% is those supposed 4,000 chemicals to be found in tobacco smoke. Unfortunatley for the smoke free advocates these supposed chemicals are more theorized than actually found.What is found is so small to even call them threats to humans is beyond belief. Nanograms, picograms and femptograms… (1989 Report of the Surgeon General p. 80).

    Now, how odd that when we search the smoke free activists sites not one of them mentions that water vapor and air are the main components of second hand smoke. Is this just a fluke or an outright omission to further their political healthscare against the general public.

    The last informative tid bit I have for you is what does OSHA have to say about all this secondhand smoke stuff. Here is where it gets interesting, it seems John Banzhaf, founder and president of Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) decided to sue OSHA to make a rule on shs/ets not that OSHA didnt want to play ball with him, its just that the scientific facts didnt back up a rule to start with.

    Now for a rule to happen Osha has to send out for comments for a period of time and boy did the comments fly in, over 40,000 of them… Osha has whats called PEL’S and limits for an 8 hour period of exposure to chemicals in indoor environments… [epa is in charge of outdoor air] some smoke free groups have tried to use 30 minute air samples using epa monitoring to create a air borne healthscare.

    The actual standard to use is OSHA’S. The EPA standard is to be used for OUTSIDE ambient air quality and it is the average over a period of 3 years.

    The proper standard to compare to is the OSHA standard for indoor air quality for respirable particulate (not otherwise specified) for nuisance dusts and smoke. That standard is 5000 ug/m3 on a time-weighted average (8 hours a day, 5 days a week) and is intended to be protective of health over an average working life of 30 years!

    This is where second hand smoke really becomes a joke,remember its nearly 90% water vapor and air… now lets get to the facts of toxicology and dose makes the poison.

    According to independent Public and Health Policy Research group, Littlewood & Fennel of Austin, Tx, on the subject of secondhand smoke… They did the figures for what it takes to meet all of OSHA’S minimum PEL’S on shs/ets… Did it ever set the debate on fire.

    They concluded that: All this is in a small sealed room 9×20 and must occur in ONE HOUR.

    For Benzo[a]pyrene, 222,000 cigarettes

    “For Acetone, 118,000 cigarettes

    “Toluene would require 50,000 packs of simultaneously smoldering cigarettes.

    Acetaldehyde or Hydrazine, more than 14,000 smokers would need to light up.

    “For Hydroquinone, “only” 1250 cigarettes

    For arsenic 2 million 500,000 smokers at one time

    The same number of cigarettes required for the other so called chemicals in shs/ets will have the same outcomes.

    So, OSHA finally makes a statement on shs/ets: Field studies of environmental tobacco smoke indicate that under normal conditions, the components in tobacco smoke are diluted below existing Permissible Exposure Levels (PELS.) as referenced in the Air Contaminant Standard (29 CFR 1910.1000)… It would be very rare to find a workplace with so much smoking that any individual PEL would be exceeded.” -Letter From Greg Watchman, Acting Sec’y, OSHA, To Leroy J Pletten, PHD, July 8, 1997


    By the way ASH dropped their lawsuit because OSHA was going to make a rule and that rule would have been weak and been the law of the land, meaning no smoking bans would ever have been enacted anywhere, simply because an open window or a ventilation system would have covered the rule.

    Let me also tell you that the relative risk for shs/ets by the SG report of 2006 was a 1.19 ”EPA study is whats used to call it a carcinogen”… milks is a 2.43 and that glass of chlorinated water your about to drink is a 1.25 yet these things aren’t determined to be a carcinogen… The gold standard in epidemiology is a 3.0 Now had the SURGEON GENERAL included 2 other shs/ets studys the relative risk for disease from shs/ets would have been nearer .60-.70 meaning it would have a protective effect against ever getting disease.

    But, what each of us has is years and years of exposure and the knowledge that our kids all grew up around shs and generations of others, yet we are here alive not dead from a lousy 30 minute exposure to shs as stanton glantz tries to claim… thats another story and its just as crazy as all the rest of smokefree’s claim about shs/ets.

    Oh! have you heard the one about ”laugh” thirdhand smoke or third hand drinking.

    Like I said their claims border beyond that of any reasonable persons commomsence.

    The next time you see a healthscare claim consider the source. Especially if it comes from a government or non profit agency!

  • harleyrider1978
  • harleyrider1978

    “They have created a fear that is based on nothing”

    World-renowned pulmonologist, president of the prestigious Research Institute Necker for the last decade, Professor Philippe Even, now retired, tells us that he’s convinced of the absence of harm from passive smoking. A shocking interview.

    What do the studies on passive smoking tell us?

    PHILIPPE EVEN. There are about a hundred studies on the issue. First surprise: 40% of them claim a total absence of harmful effects of passive smoking on health. The remaining 60% estimate that the cancer risk is multiplied by 0.02 for the most optimistic and by 0.15 for the more pessimistic … compared to a risk multiplied by 10 or 20 for active smoking! It is therefore negligible. Clearly, the harm is either nonexistent, or it is extremely low.

    It is an indisputable scientific fact. Anti-tobacco associations report 3 000-6 000 deaths per year in France …

    I am curious to know their sources. No study has ever produced such a result.

    Many experts argue that passive smoking is also responsible for cardiovascular disease and other asthma attacks. Not you?

    They don’t base it on any solid scientific evidence. Take the case of cardiovascular diseases: the four main causes are obesity, high cholesterol, hypertension and diabetes. To determine whether passive smoking is an aggravating factor, there should be a study on people who have none of these four symptoms. But this was never done. Regarding chronic bronchitis, although the role of active smoking is undeniable, that of passive smoking is yet to be proven. For asthma, it is indeed a contributing factor … but not greater than pollen!

    The purpose of the ban on smoking in public places, however, was to protect non-smokers. It was thus based on nothing?

    Absolutely nothing! The psychosis began with the publication of a report by the IARC, International Agency for Research on Cancer, which depends on the WHO (Editor’s note: World Health Organization). The report released in 2002 says it is now proven that passive smoking carries serious health risks, but without showing the evidence. Where are the data? What was the methodology? It’s everything but a scientific approach. It was creating fear that is not based on anything.

    Why would anti-tobacco organizations wave a threat that does not exist?

    The anti-smoking campaigns and higher cigarette prices having failed, they had to find a new way to lower the number of smokers. By waving the threat of passive smoking, they found a tool that really works: social pressure. In good faith, non-smokers felt in danger and started to stand up against smokers. As a result, passive smoking has become a public health problem, paving the way for the Evin Law and the decree banning smoking in public places. The cause may be good, but I do not think it is good to legislate on a lie. And the worst part is that it does not work: since the entry into force of the decree, cigarette sales are rising again.

    Why not speak up earlier?

    As a civil servant, dean of the largest medical faculty in France, I was held to confidentiality. If I had deviated from official positions, I would have had to pay the consequences. Today, I am a free man.

    Le Parisien

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Dustin and Andy –

    Look – neither one of you likes paying taxes that pays for things that you don’t like, right? Well, both of you are also paying for these smokers who show up at the hospital who can’t pay for their medical care. Sure, there are lots of other examples of people who depend on the taxpayer to pay for their medical care, but I defy either of you to find any personal habit (including drinking (but not fast food) that costs so many American lives (and so many taxpayer dollars) every year.

    Maybe y’all could make a case about fast food, but fast food is not addictive. Cigarettes – unlike fast food – are NOT a habit of convenience.

    So that’s your choice – should smokers simply depend on the taxpayers? Or should smokers be made to help defray the cost they always, always, ALWAYS impose upon the taxpayers?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    And Mr. HarleyRider appears to have joined the ranks of those who think the moon landing never happened….

  • Dustin Freeley

    @ Glenn, a quick google search suggests that alcohol related deaths number near 25,000 a year. Less than cigarettes, sure, but it’s hard to deny the connection between the wave of fast food chains and the spike in Type 2 diabetes over the last thirty years.

    And, as a note: fast food, when given to children is rather addictive considering the immense quantity of sugar, which is one reason why energy drinks and the like have recently come under fire.

  • Clavos

    The real issue here is that the government acting as Nanny, whether “for our own good” or not, is repressive and not the proper role of government.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    For Dustin, Harley…and Clavos – who ALL apparently want us to keep spending our tax dollars to pay for the cost of smoking-related deaths and disease and the social problems that follow, read this from the Centers for Disease Control:

    During 1997–2001, smoking resulted in an ESTIMATED ANNUAL AVERAGE of 259,494 deaths among men and 178,408 deaths among women in the United States. Among adults, 158,529 (39.8%) of these deaths were attributed to cancer, 137,979 (34.7%) to cardiovascular diseases, and 101,454 (25.5%) to respiratory diseases. The three leading specific causes of smoking-attributable death were lung cancer (123,836), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)† (90,582), and ischemic heart disease (86,801). Smoking during pregnancy resulted in an estimated 910 infant deaths annually during 1997–2001. An estimated 38,112 lung cancer and heart disease deaths annually were attributable to exposure to secondhand smoke. The average annual SAM (smoking attributable mortality) estimates also included 918 deaths from smoking-attributable fires.

    During 1997–2001, on average, smoking accounted for an estimated 3.3 million YPLL (years potential life lost) for men and 2.2 million YPLL for women annually, excluding burn deaths and adult deaths from secondhand smoke. Estimates for average annual smoking-attributable productivity losses were approximately $61.9 billion for men and $30.5 billion for women during this period.

    But hey – it’s only our taxpayer dollars and business productivity that go down the drain, so no big deal, right? After all, since when did conservatives care about taxpayer dollars when Big Tobacco was funneling millions to Republican candidates over they years? (I do so wish that conservatives would apply their precious cynicism to their own talking points)

  • Dustin Freeley

    my overall point here is that people’s rights are being infringed upon in a manner that singles out specific sources of pleasure and ostracizes those individuals even though it’s a legal product.

    At the same time, I understand why it is being done. There seems to be a rather black and white conversation developing toward the end here. The issue is that there is a lot of gray area that — while pragmatically positive — opens up venues that lead to stricter, nanny-like laws.

    I’m not fighting against the ban, but if we’re going to tax and vilify one source of unhealthy pleasure, where does it stop?

    It seems an underlying issue here is that fact that “healthy” Americans are paying for egregious medical bills that the unhealthy ring up. In that case, the discussion is more about insurance policies and how providers should be allowed to charge higher premiums to those who choose to live an unhealthy lifestyle — something that is currently illegal.

  • harleyrider1978

    to glenn [Personal attack deleted by Comments Editor] who believes anything the government sales!

    Robert A. Levy and Rosalind Marimont have written a new blasting analysis on the lies about the statistical fraud represented by the 400,000 “deaths” caused by tobacco smoking. The analysis is published by the Cato Institute journal “REGULATION.”

    The 400,000-deaths figure is not a body count, but a COMPUTER-GENERATED estimate based on assumptions that are heavily biased by a political agenda of lies and loot. In different times, the people perpetrating this fraud, and their promoters, would have been arrested and charged on many counts. But not today, when these criminals are protected at the highest political level.

    More and more evidence emerges every day against the frauds of the anti-tobacco cartel. Read this powerful analysis. Download it. Distribute it to as many people as you can. People must know the truth. Consider it your duty as a citizen. People must know that there is a criminal endeavor designed to instigate persecution in society in order to extort billions of dollars from smokers, who are already carrying a greater fiscal burden than non-smokers are.

  • harleyrider1978

    7 October, the COT meeting on 26 October and the COC meeting on 18
    November 2004.

    “5. The Committees commented that tobacco smoke was a highly complex chemical mixture and that the causative agents for smoke induced diseases (such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, effects on reproduction and on offspring) was unknown. The mechanisms by which tobacco induced adverse effects were not established. The best information related to tobacco smoke – induced lung cancer, but even in this instance a detailed mechanism was not available. The Committees therefore agreed that on the basis of current knowledge it would be very difficult to identify a toxicological testing strategy or a biomonitoring approach for use in volunteer studies with smokers where the end-points determined or biomarkers measured were predictive of the overall burden of tobacco-induced adverse disease.”

    In other words … our first hand smoke theory is so lame we can’t even design a bogus lab experiment to prove it. In fact … we don’t even know how tobacco does all of the magical things we claim it does.

    The greatest threat to the second hand theory is the weakness of the first hand theory.

  • Boeke

    “Nanny” laws? This pejorative has been so overused as to lose all meaning. After all, any law can be accused of nannyism, if you try.

  • I’m guessing HarleyRider’s grandpa smoked 200 cigarettes a day, ran 5 marathons a week until his mid-90s and lived to 103…

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Ah – on believing what the government says…

    …so if the government says it, it must be a lie. And if Big Tobacco says it, it must be the truth, huh?

    Just to let you know – GRAVITY is also ‘only’ a theory…but you deal with it every day, don’t you? Does the fact that gravity’s only a theory make its effects any less real?

    What you and most of the rest of the conservatives don’t get is the level of scrutiny and proof to which the scientific community holds itself…which level is FAR higher than in any other profession. Of course you don’t get it…which is why only 6% of scientists are conservative. Why? Because scientists are required by the very nature of their profession to severely question every observation, every belief…

    …and conservatives generally refuse to question their own beliefs. You believe what you believe, and nothing – NOTHING – can change your mind otherwise.

  • It might be of interest that HarleyRider picked the same cherry on Huffington Post a few months ago – and was promptly called on it.

  • Clavos

    …and conservatives generally refuse to question their own beliefs. You believe what you believe, and nothing – NOTHING – can change your mind otherwise.

    I can be and am convinced to change my mind all the time — but only by solid arguments, Glenn, not your knee jerk endorsements of all things liberal and democratic.

    And yes, you’ll have to be VERY good to convince me the government is good for the citizens and and benevolent toward them. I don’t see benevolence or good — what I see are the government power grabs and its overall and ongoing contempt for the people, especially when the Dems are in charge.

  • harleyrider1978

    The scientific community where second hand smoke claims are authored are all the same folks… ie tobacco control Jonathan Sammet the leader of the FDA panel… who also directed much of the surgeon general shs reports over the last 30 years… you bet the dawgs in charge are all the same corrupt folks all along pushing prohibition and now they wear white coats instead of thumping from the bible like last time they pushed tobacco and alcohol prohibition!

  • The scientific community where second hand smoke claims are authored are all the same folks…

    Yeah, I know exactly the sort of thing you mean… When I order pizza it’s always, always delivered by a kid wearing a stupid hat driving a beat-up car – never by a rabbi or a pro lacrosse player! Yup, corruption sure is rife in the pizza delivery industry…

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    I can be and am convinced to change my mind all the time — but only by solid arguments, Glenn, not your knee jerk endorsements of all things liberal and democratic.

    No, you don’t. If you really paid attention to solid arguments and facts, then you wouldn’t reject the 98% of the world’s climatologists who are telling you that humans are causing global warming…and you wouldn’t use bogus and unverifiable petitions to argue against those climatologists.

  • Clavos

    If you really paid attention to solid arguments…

    I pay attention to ’em, Glenn, I’m just not convinced by ’em, based as they are on computer models.

  • zingzing

    computer models are fallible, clavos, but what would you rather have them based upon? you can’t test the future in other ways.

  • zingzing

    not that i guess you can accurately test the future on computer models either. but it’s the best bet we have. and they’ve been shown to have better accuracy than, say, blind hope.

  • K Dia

    I really enjoyed the article and the concepts it questions. To draw away from fast food and grammar slightly… I personally think that this ban not only takes away the individual’s right to make his or her own decisions but more importantly in the long run it is instigating taking away the feeling of responsibility for individuals. We need to teach our children down the line to think for themselves in a healthy way – not just allow the government to make those choices for them. Making these choices into laws gives youth an excuse to not need to think or ask why. If the government wants to stand behind the concept that it is trying to help the individuals than they need to encourage (not demand) choosing not to smoke. When a daily decision turns into something that can be referenced in a rule book we lose far more than just that days cigarette/french fries/scotch on the rocks.

  • Clavos

    Excellent point, K Dia, which should be part of the discussion; I think we already have the government regulating so much of what ought to be informed personal decisions that being responsible for oneself is no longer on many people’s radar.

  • Dustin Freeley

    Dia and Clavos, you both make great points here about the waning of personal responsibility, and how it’s taken the back burner to figuring out whom to point the finger at. Nicely said.