Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Special to the Three Wise Men: The Right to Personal Family Choices Under Attack

TWM is having its first ever guest blogger. FanBoy, a friend of ours, felt compelled to write on this subject. Fanboy says:

Bangor, Maine passed a law though city council without the approval of citizens. This is a precedent setting law that could boil over across the nation as backlash against smokers increasingly becomes more political.

The law is a primary law in which no smoking can be done by any persons eighteen or over while any minor under the age of eighteen is present in the vehicle. Principally who could argue the intent of the law? It is the merit of legal justification that is more disconcerting. The article link and response is listed below:


Smoke lifting, Fog Gathering:

I don’t find the actions in Bangor surprising. This is after all the city that supported the banning of all self selected media materials in city buildings in 2005. What was the reason for the ban? An article distributed in “Common Sense”, a newspaper written by Terrilyn Simpson whom was the winner of the 1998 PEN/Newman’s Own First Amendment Award.

The controversial article distributed was “Logan’s Truth” a story about a five-year olds (Logan Marr) death at the hands of the DHS in Maine. A previous DHS supervisor was now employed by the city of Bangor. The previous supervisor saw the article present by permission and removed them. The reason: Informing the public of systematic failures to protect the children under Maine DHS care isn’t good for public confidence.

The conclusion results of the American Association of Pediatricians support the assertions made in the article. Those conclusions can be found under the topic – second hand smoke. However I noticed that the article does not mention nor does the council any statistical facts to support their law. That may be because in the studies done by the AAP it was found that the risk factors where only as high as a 38% chance of increased occurrences of illnesses mentioned– not that astronomical as one would think after listening to the board.

Also a little odd is that the mover and shaker in this public law: Jonathan Shenkin a Pediatric Dentist used a publicist directly or indirectly to announce his arrival into Bangor in 2003. It also appears the only reason he moved into the Bangor area was an appointment to the Boston College School of dentistry as an associate professor. (Source: Wolf News Wire, Wolf Public Relations July 15, 2003).

The prior mentioned news release highlights his commitment to the public. He attended Iowa State, Columbia University, Johns Hopkins, served in fellowship at the National Institute of Health and lastly did a short stint with the Veteran’s Administration in New York.

As a common man I can not help looking into his past, his appointments to Boston College, grants etc that he has received and wonder if he is setting himself up for greater roles in the Public Health politics scene in the area. He appears to be a very good candidate and champions Public Health. I might even vote for him – If I lived there, and he would not attempt to dictate private property usage.

The police should be used for traffic violations. Smoking in your car while having a child present should not be a traffic violation. No studies have been done concerning smoking as a distraction in the car with children present as with cell phones.

Ironically, cell phone laws are usually secondary as compared to this primary law giving officers the right to stop, ticket, and even search your vehicle. Do you really want a police officer to have the right to search your vehicle because you were smoking or a friend was smoking in the car with children?

I am a conscientious parent, I however object to the government making or passing such a controversial law without the public voting on it. This whole thing would never been as news worthy if they would have just let the citizens go on record in support of the law.

I also find it laughable that the smoker on the council voted to increase the laws standing. I believe the fact that Patricia smoked probably came up – and it was decided that so it would not be a public issue that she make it the primary offense. No one reading this article can be stupid enough to believe that Patricia Blanchette has never smoked around a child or in a public area where a child is or could be thereafter.

My child is first and foremost a citizen of my family, and secondly a citizen of a country and in which I choose to live. I object to any governmental intrusion under the premise that my child is somehow possessive community property as this law and Mrs. / Ms. Blanchette does.

"Let's step up to the plate and lead; our children are worth the fight." - Patricia Blanchette

Could we instead spend time to legislate that eating a hamburger or going to any notable fast food chain and getting a children’s meal is illegal to do so with a child in the car? I mean we all know that eating poorly, effects children’s teeth and exposure to illness more than smoking. It causes more missed school time and eventual work time than smoking.

Maybe I should go to Bangor and run on a platform of making all fast food illegal. It is after all one of the briefly mentioned intents of this smoking ban to provide a healthy workforce to line the pockets of companies with higher productivity dollars. When Bangor, Maine attracts large scale companies, excluding the company coffers, what other coffers gets filled? Bangor’s city tax coffers.

A Non-Smoker

A Proud Parent

A Concerned Citizen

1 comment:

Nat-Wu said...

Well, I agree that it should have been up to a public vote. But I don't agree that you have a right to kill your child with unhealthy habits. You don't want your child to belong to the village, that's fine. But they're humans, not property, so that means you can't subject them to toxic chemicals just because you want to. Yes, I agree, no one should be able to smoke around anybody who doesn't want to be smoked around. That means no smoking around children in the house, no smoking in restaurants, etc. Does this violate a fundamental freedom? No. You don't have a right to drive, and you don't have a right to smoke around other people. Banning people from that which they have no right to do and which is stupid doesn't bother me.