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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The 'do-gooders' strike again

Posted Wednesday, July 18, 2012, at 8:30 AM

City council appears to be the latest victim of the dictatorship of the do gooders.

I've often railed against this mindset, which essentially is a belief that government has a right to force you to be safe and healthy.

Don't get me wrong. I have no problems if people wear helmets when they ride bicycles and motorcycles. It's a very good idea. But should it be a law?

I have no problems if people want to eat healthy (although that seems to vary month to month based on the latest study -- remember the brief time when apples were bad for you?). But if I want to stuff myself with french fries cooked in transfats and then wash it down with a 24-ounce soda pop I ought to be allowed to do so. It shouldn't be against the law.

The city council just banned cigarette smoking in city parks. That"s outdoors!!!

Now, I'm barely living proof that smoking cigarettes is bad for you (I'm missing a lung because I smoked). It's not a behavior I recommend to anyone. It's dumb to smoke. But it seems to me it ought to be a matter of choice, not a law. There aren't many places left where a person can smoke these days and outdoors ought to be one of them. I'll guarantee that anybody who drove to the park put far more carcinogens into the air from their car getting there than any smoker could even imagine exhaling in an entire day of chainsmoking. There's a lack of science here when it comes to an actual threat. It's more a matter of "I don't like it, so let's ban it."

What it is, is social engineering and I am usually very reluctant to let government get involved in forcing people to live certain lifestyles. It's just a little too easy to get carried away and go after any lifestyle those in power don't like or aren't comfortable with. Personal freedoms tend to disappear in that kind of an environment.

The arguments no longer are simply about personal health, however, now they're about public economics. With universal health care just around the corner people are already touting the trillions of dollars it will (or is) costing the taxpayers from "unhealthy" choices by individuals.

Although they've been quickly rejected, it's significant that city councils, legislatures and even Congress have seen proposals brought forward that would add a tax to people who are overweight. The "fat tax" would be used to pay for all the extra health care costs that come with being overweight. Its day will come unless we get the dogooders in check.

Personally, I've never liked salads and I don't want to be required to eat them -- or required to exercise, which is the next step.

This is all part of the growing dictatorship of the do gooders. Individuals are being allowed fewer and few personal choices regarding their lifestyles, all in the name of saving them from themselves.

It is not, in my opinion, the role of government.


Comments
Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

You are spot on with your blog Mr. Everitt. We don't need the Government telling citizens that they can't perform a legal act. Now, I don't smoke, and don't like it, but I do like to eat and that includes Twinkies, and I wouldn't want anyone to tell me when, where, if, and how many I can consume.

Aren't our local Police busy enough without having to respond to "smoker in the park" calls. And how about the expense, drawing up rules and guidelines, making and posting No Smoking signs in all our parks and the untold manhours and fuel of the Police Dept. responding to these calls. Have we lost all of our common sense? I have always liked our current mayor, but now question his lack of common sense and his ability to govern for all the people, not just the special interest groups.

Excuse me while I go eat a Twinkie before it is against the law in Mountain Home.

-- Posted by victoria475 on Wed, Jul 18, 2012, at 12:43 PM

The only reason they are doing things like this is because we the people let them!

Don't like what they do, let them know!

If they don't listen, vote them out or recall them!

Freaking simple.

-- Posted by royincaldwell on Wed, Jul 18, 2012, at 12:58 PM

If it is good for Boise (the no fun city), it is good for Mountain Home. At least that is how our city council feels about it. The council is obviously made up of followers not leaders. Boise is already suffering the loss of numerous events to cities like Nampa and Meridian where the laws are not so restrictive.

I envision a crowd of smokers standing in the street during AFAD; exactly the image this town wants to portray.

I also agree with victoria475, the police department can't enforce all of the laws we have now. Why add more crazy laws for them not to enforce? One more dumb move, vote them out.

-- Posted by jtrotter on Wed, Jul 18, 2012, at 2:37 PM

Ask your city fathers to show you one death certificate listing "inhalation of second hand smoke" as a primary cause of death. Ask them to produce a single air test showing that the air in the parks exceeds widely established standards for any toxin or particulate matter, OSHA, EPA, DEQ, any of them!

The City of Boise also disallowed smoking in the streets in the downtown core area during public events. They did allow smoking in 3 parks, in areas that are about the size of a postage stamp and as close to primative as you can get. Last time I was near the one in Ann Morrison, I wouldn't have set foot there without having a sidearm.

For the public good my taileathers!

-- Posted by wh67 on Wed, Jul 18, 2012, at 3:28 PM

Maybe someone from the City Council could comment on this issue. Even Mayor Rist might want to speak up. What say you Jimmy, Russ, Alain and/or Rich.

-- Posted by bondyweb on Wed, Jul 18, 2012, at 7:36 PM

What is next??? Telling us what we can and can't do in the houses we pay for??? Smacks of Big Brother.

-- Posted by Old guy on Wed, Jul 18, 2012, at 9:10 PM

WHEN ON ACTIVE DUTY...PEOPLE were required to wear a helmet if you rode a motorcycle.IF on base it was mandatory.Once you left the base you could if you wanted and if you didnt want you didnt wear it...( local law).....here is the kicker, if you got into and accident and got hurt and you were not wearing your helmet you could be discharged or you could have to pay your own hospital bill, command decision.I personally dont smoke(i did at one time) ,I dont care if you do, that is your business.I do feel smoking bans in open air areas is a step to far, way to far.Believe me the ban inside in confined areas has merit and most people understand that.The places I entertain at saw a rise in business under the smoking ban in boise,so there is a positive for business.The places that saw a decline intially were those that catered to older people...50+.

I DIDNT KNOW WE HAD LIBERALS ON THE CITY COUNCIL......WHO???????? WHEN DID THEY CREEP IN ??????

IN SHORT I WOULD THINK THEY HAVE BETTER THINGS TO DO.....I DONT LIKE PAYING FOR GARBAGE AND THEY DO GET PAID.THEY DONT HAVE ANYTHING BETTER TO DO I AM SURE WE COULD FIND SOMETHING.

-- Posted by lamont on Thu, Jul 19, 2012, at 8:41 AM

This is totally unrelated so bear with me. What do you fine gentleman on here know about traveling north of Baker City, OR towards Elgin, OR? My brother-in-law and I are going to ride our bikes from Caldwell to Walla Walla and that is part of the path.

-- Posted by twilcox1978 on Thu, Jul 19, 2012, at 2:49 PM

SORRY TWILL HAVNT BEEN THAT WAY IN YEARS.....BUT IT WASNT A BAD DRIVE BACK THEN.WHAT EVER YOU DO DO IT SAFELY.I AM ON THE HIWAY A LOT AND THERE CRAZY OUT THERE.

-- Posted by lamont on Thu, Jul 19, 2012, at 4:04 PM

It is kind of like walking your dog in a public park and allowing him/her to take a dump and not clean it up.

Why should I have to go to a public park only to see the remains of cigarettes all over the park---they are all over the ground, floating in the ponds (with the wildlife), etc. If many of the smokers were not such little pigs...it probably would not be an issus BUT, someone has to clean up this mess and it is done on the backs of those of us who pay taxes.

-- Posted by OpinionMissy on Sat, Jul 21, 2012, at 4:48 AM

The Boise City Parks Department actually pays workers to ride ATVs along the foothills pathways and trails and place nifty little flags where ever they see a pile of doggie doo-doo. While they are there, they don't empty the trash cans that the responsible dog owners use along the trails and those cans wreak on hot summer afternoons.

BTW Marvin, what do you do with the residue from your precious doobies? Flush it down the toilet so the sewer plant can destroy the evidence and the fish can get a cheap high?

Littering and tossing lighted materials out of car windows have been aqgainst the law for over 50 years that I know of. And yet they are still problems.

But a smoking ban in the parks will solve all of that, I'm sure.

-- Posted by wh67 on Sat, Jul 21, 2012, at 9:33 AM

Just washed my keyboard and can't do a thing with it.

The word was supposed to be "against".

-- Posted by wh67 on Sat, Jul 21, 2012, at 9:36 AM

I DON'T KNOW WHAT WE'RE YELLING ABOUT.

-- Posted by shockwave on Sat, Jul 21, 2012, at 10:43 AM

Smoking in parks is a NO NO! Smoking inside a crowded bar room is a YES YES! I don't get it!

-- Posted by MsMarylin on Sat, Jul 21, 2012, at 10:48 AM

Glad it brightened your day a little, Marvin.

Some things you should know.

I saw my first roach clip in the summer of 1966, on a loading dock behind the airman's club at MHAFB. None of us in the band was old enough to drink, so we were escorted out to the loading dock between sets. During the first break, a couple of airmen who had just returned from Vietnam, had some "wacky tobaccy" and offered to share. The holder was a simple bobby pin.

In 1980 or there abouts, a fairly prominent Boise criminal defense attorney hired the band I was playing with at the time for his daughter's wedding reception. Before he would pay us, he insisted that we partake in some "stuff" from Colmumbia one of his clients had paid him with. It was was by all measure, good as gold. So we stepped outside into a dark stairwell, he took off his hundred year old, diamond studded tie clip and we passed her around.

I played masterful harmonies and lead licks for the next two sets to the total amazement of everybody in the band. They were licks I don't remember. That gig was in the basement of a lodge building up on Federal Way. The upstairs was a Boise City Traffic Court at the time. As luck had it, the gig was on a Saturday night and nobody was home upstairs!

To borrow a line from "Quigley Down Under", I never said I didn't know about roach clips or doobies or that I never used one.

And just so you know, the last movie I saw in a theatre was "On Golden Pond."

I submitted several published studies to the Boise City Council last year regarding indoor smoking health hazards. In each case, I got a polite, computer generated, return e-mail that my comments had been "entered into the public record."

It is such arrogance on the part of our elected officials, from the city to the federal level, that burns my residue.

-- Posted by wh67 on Sat, Jul 21, 2012, at 12:21 PM

Mr Marvin: The residue of doobies are present in a lot of foreign countries. Buying a pre-made pack with filters is common is some countries in Asia where the really potent suff is sold. Just thought you'd like to know.

-- Posted by skeeter on Sat, Jul 21, 2012, at 3:30 PM

OM, if the litter IS the core issue with banning smoking in parks, and the problem is so widespread at car washes and drive-up windows, maybe the City should have banned the outright use of cigarettes period?

And Marvin, that night in 1980 was the last time I ever smoked the stuff, so lightin one up is probably not gonna happen anytime soon. As you said, it was my choice not to involve myself with the drug.

As for the residue comment, I assume the stuff still leaves ashes when it burns? And there are still seeds and stems, right?

-- Posted by wh67 on Sat, Jul 21, 2012, at 7:00 PM


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