Tuesday, November 4, 2008

City Council Briefing-Smoking Ban-Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Mayor Leppert has scheduled a full briefing of the city council this coming Wednesday to try to rally support for his proposed new smoking ban. The meeting will be in the council chambers at City Hall, and is scheduled to begin around 1:15PM. A vote on the matter is scheduled for November 19. If you believe ,as I do, that the use of junk science in promoting smoking bans represents a serious attack on the free enterprise system and can spare the time, please attend the council briefing. It is unlikely that speakers will be allowed at this meeting, but your presence and opposition will be of importance. If you can not attend, please call, write or email members of the City Council. Telephone numbers and addresses can be found at http://www.dallascityhall.com/government. Thanks.

James P. Graham
Palo Petroleum
5944 Luther Lane
Suite 900
Dallas, Texas 75225
214 691-3676

1 comment:

snowbird said...

Government Power the real health hazard


The bandwagon of local smoking bans now steamrolling across the nation -
from sea to sea- has nothing to do with protecting people from the supposed
threat of "second-hand" smoke.

Indeed, the bans themselves are symptoms of a far more grievous threat; a
cancer that has been spreading for decades and has now metastasized
throughout the body politic, spreading even to the tiniest organs of local
government. This cancer is the only real hazard involved - the cancer of
unlimited government power.

The issue is not whether second-hand smoke is a real danger or a phantom
menace, as a study published recently in the British Medical Journal
indicates. The issue is: if it were harmful, what would be the proper
reaction? Should anti-tobacco activists satisfy themselves with educating
people about the potential danger and allowing them to make
their own decisions, or should they seize the power of government and force
people to make the "right" decision?

Supporters of local tobacco bans have made their choice. Rather than
attempting to protect people from an unwanted intrusion on their health, the
tobacco bans are the unwanted intrusion.

Loudly billed as measures that only affect "public places," they have
actually targeted private places: restaurants, bars, nightclubs, shops, and
offices - places whose owners are free to set anti-smoking rules or whose
customers are free to go elsewhere if they don't like the smoke. Some local
bans even harass smokers in places where their effect on others is obviously
negligible, such as outdoor public parks.

The decision to smoke, or to avoid "second-hand" smoke, is a question to be
answered by each individual based on his own values and his own assessment
of the risks. This is the same kind of decision free people make regarding
every aspect of their lives: how much to spend or invest, whom to befriend
or sleep with, whether to go to college or get a job, whether to get married
or divorced, and so on.

All of these decisions involve risks; some have demonstrably harmful
consequences; most are controversial and invite disapproval from the
neighbours. But the individual must be free to make these decisions. He must
be free, because his life belongs to him, not to his neighbours, and only
his own judgment can guide him through it.

Yet when it comes to smoking, this freedom is under attack. Cigarette
smokers are a numerical minority, practicing a habit considered annoying and
unpleasant to the majority. So the majority has simply commandeered the
power of government and used it to dictate their behaviour.

That is why these bans are far more threatening than the prospect of
inhaling a few stray whiffs of tobacco while waiting for a table at your
favourite restaurant. The anti-tobacco crusaders point in exaggerated alarm
at those wisps of smoke while they unleash the systematic and unlimited
intrusion of government into our lives.

We do not elect officials to control and manipulate our behaviour.


Thomas Laprade
480 Rupert St.
Thunder Bay, Ont.
Ph. 807 3457258