Minnesota to expand nanny state to smoking drivers

posted at 12:48 pm on January 29, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Minnesota’s DFL legislators will introduce a bill banning smoking in private cars while children ride as passengers.  The bill’s advocates point to the risk from second-hand smoke and increased health costs for support, and claim a precedent with prior seat-belt and child-restraint regulations.  However, that mixes apples and oranges in an attempt to obscure the impulse to penalize adults for politically incorrect choices:

Minnesota has banned smoking in workplaces, bars and restaurants. Some suburban communities have banned smoking in parks, and university campuses are taking up the fight, too.

Now, under a bill expected to be introduced today at the state Capitol, lawmakers will consider extending that prohibition to your ride.

Backed by the same groups that helped enact the statewide ban on smoking in bars and restaurants, the new bill would prohibit smoking in cars when children are present.

The analogies to seat belts and child retraints are irrelevant.  Since the state “owns” the roads and highways, it has the right to set safety standards that relate directly to driving safety, not general health concerns.  Seat belts and child restraints prevent injuries in accidents, not arguable risks of cancer decades down the road, so to speak.  Restrictions on cell-phone usage also fall under the same immediate safety issue; states didn’t start banning the use of cell phones while driving because of rumors about brain cancer.

Nor do they pretend any different:

“I’m a mom. I’m a grandma. There’s no safe level of secondhand smoke for kids, especially in the closed environment of a car,” Pappas said.

Studies have shown that even with a window rolled down, it takes mere seconds of a lit cigarette for the air quality inside a vehicle to vastly exceed the levels deemed too hazardous to breathe by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Pappas may be a mom and a grandma, but she’s not my mom, and neither is the state of Minnesota.  I don’t smoke, and even when I did I rarely smoked in my car because I didn’t like the smell buildup cars get from smoking.  Even so, I grew up with plenty of second-hand smoke from family members — and so did generations of Americans.  Child mortality rates remained very low, and longevity increased significantly during this period.    Before the state imposes its choices over those of free citizens, it had better show a substantial state interest other than an overgrown nosebone.

Oh, wait … Pappas and her allies already have one:

The U.S. Surgeon General has determined there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke. In children, it has been linked to everything from ear infections to sudden infant death syndrome. …

“Ear infections and asthma — we see far too many cases of those,” Sloan said.

It’s the health-cost rationale.  Since the state pays medical bills, it has the right to dictate your choices, which is the danger than universal health care systems present to individual liberty.  And Pappas and the legislature won’t stop at the cars, either.  They’re also drafting legislation to bar foster parents from smoking around their wards regardless of where it occurs.  That would effectively bounce all of the smokers out of the program, even though Minnesota doesn’t have enough qualified foster homes for the demand we already have.  Now the legislature wants to create an artificial shortage on top of that, all because they don’t like smoking.

I don’t like smoking, either.  I think it’s a stupid habit, and I thought it was stupid enough to finally quit when I got married.  If no one can prove that second-hand smoke stunted the longevity of American life over the last several decades — and they can’t — I’m not about to argue that it’s good for anyone, children included.  But government doesn’t exist to determine our personal choices or protect us from our own stupidity, especially by making those choices criminal.

Update: I completely forgot to link back to my radio partner Mitch Berg on this post; be sure to read his take.  As for the hysteric in the comments who called smoking around children “child abuse”, a hell of a lot of us must be past victims of abuse, then.  What else is abuse?  Forcing children to grow up in Los Angeles?  R-rated movies?  Time outs?  Puh-leeeze.


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if you are 93 years old, and smoked, and you had heart failure, you are listed as dying of smoking…

right2bright on January 29, 2009 at 12:56 PM

And in the same vein, if you’re 50 pounds overweight, and you die in a car accident, your death is attributed to, “obesity.”

But I see a bit of a difference between banning something for someone’s own good, and banning something to protect a child who is dependent on them for their care.

This gets a bit sticky when we’re talking about something else. How about a woman who abuses alcohol during her pregnancy and has a baby born with fetal alcohol syndrome? Can we charge a mother with abuse when her behavior damages her unborn child?

I don’t agree with this law, because I believe it goes too far, but I can understand the principle of protecting children from being harmed by their parents’ behavior. A case in point is all these idiots that have gotten away with leaving their infants to die in hot cars in Phoenix. To my knowledge, not ONE of those morons has been prosecuted. But we won’t allow people to smoke in their cars with children? Something is skewed here.

JannyMae on January 29, 2009 at 4:42 PM


The only rights you have as a kid in my family is to sit at the Kid Table for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Oh yeah, you have the right to be silent, anything you say can and will be used against you in the court of parental doom.

The Race Card on January 29, 2009 at 2:39 PM

Makes me wonder which Italian mother sold her laser-guided shoe technology to the Defense Department.

qestout on January 29, 2009 at 4:42 PM

Oh, and I don’t think parents should smoke in closed cars around young children (even though my own mom did it)… but the hell if I think that it’s the government’s job/responsibility to regulate that behaviour.

Anna on January 29, 2009 at 4:48 PM

Oldnuke on January 29, 2009 at 3:51 PM

Awesome.

I’m livid.
I usually lurk; but this ticks me off.
Is there no such thing as personal responsibility anymore?!
It is like breed banning. Marking all dogs of a certain breed as guilty/dangerous for the actions of a few (usually the fault of bad owners)

It always starts with things that have been made unpopular. (many times by bad science, skewed statistics and/or media hype)

The nanny state vilifies something perfectly legal-then goes after it in the name of what? Public safety, the greater good?

Never mind property rights or due process.

People don’t seem to notice or care as they think, “Yeah, (those dogs are/smoking is) bad, it doesn’t bother me”
*that people can’t OWN a certain breed of dog or partake in legal activities like smoking on their own property*

Come to think of it, those guns you own are dangerous too.
That truck you drive harms the air the children breathe.
You shouldn’t be using that lawnmower/grill…you’re killing the planet.;
and for pete’s sake, put down that cheeseburger you fatty-only government approved, free range carrot sticks are allowed for anyone over the government standard of X amount pounds.

tehd on January 29, 2009 at 5:12 PM

And to think that rational people wonder how alFranken is their new senator.

jukin on January 29, 2009 at 5:19 PM

There is not one, not one, accurate study that says second hand smoke causes ANYTHING. Oh sure, you’re preexisting condition may not like it, but it was your PREEXISTING condition that is your issue. I’m going to buy an over sized doll and strap it in my passenger seat and light up a Partagas No.6 if this bill passes… but for the Percy Peabodys out there… I’m going to protest, be visibly angry and fight this into the ground.

MNDavenotPC on January 29, 2009 at 5:21 PM

And firearms present a danger to people so no one who owns a firearm should be allowed to drive a car./sarc

Loud noise can damage your hearing so car radios should have limits set on their volume/sarc

Obesity can lead to serious health consequences. Obese people should not be allowed to drive. If they have to walk to get food, they may lose weight/sarc

Republicans supporting the military and military service can get young people into dangerous situations. So, Republicans should not be allowed to drive./sarc off

Is there any limit to where this could go if left wing Obama judges get to reinterpret a living constitution?

KW64 on January 29, 2009 at 5:29 PM

There was a thread earlier today about how the latest boondoggle is being called a “recovery package” instead of a “stimulus package.” While we’re pushing for truth in labeling, here is my proposal:
Out: nanny-state policies
In: ever-more-totalitarian fascism

hicsuget on January 29, 2009 at 5:34 PM

Even so, I grew up with plenty of second-hand smoke from family members — and so did generations of Americans. Child mortality rates remained very low, and longevity increased significantly during this period

I like how you somehow compare your un-scientific anecdotal experience to hard evidence that directly links children, health problems, and second-hand smoke.

Way to go intrepid reporter.

A Axe on January 29, 2009 at 6:06 PM

I wasn’t always a smoker. In fact I used to get pretty disgusted with coming home from my workplace and smelling smoke on my clothing. At the time I merely complained to myself or others but tolerated it.

I’m a smoker now and don’t think you really should smoke around your children. Back when you could smoke in restaurants I would extinguish my cigaret if I saw a child nearby. I tried to limit my smoking at the time even in smoking sections.

Getting the state and law enforcement involved is another matter. It’s just another step in the ever expanding nanny state mentality that is sweeping across America. Have no doubt that the ultimate goal of these people is a complete ban on all tobacco sales. That is if they can find another way to generate tax revenue. They’ve been after the direct effects of second hand smoke and now are about to go as far as third hand smoke definitions with regards to residues left even when there is no smoking taking place. That will be the next step in this Orwellian road trip we’re on: third hand smoke.

Mayor Bloomberg of NY is apparently hot on the trail (war path) against salt or sodium. I wonder if there’s a way to measure second hand sodium. At first the plan is to have the restaurants employ voluntary measures and if that doesn’t work it will be codified into laws.

Mr Gus on January 29, 2009 at 6:26 PM

I don’t understand what motivates people to even think up this kind of nonsense legislation. Who benefits from the government having increased control over relatively meaningless elements of private citizens’ rights? It’s not even to the bureaucrats’ benefit, really. All this stuff is for them is more paperwork and hassle.

Sign of the Dollar on January 29, 2009 at 6:29 PM

Gee Whiz, we sure live in a great country when this is what people get bent out of shape over. I’ll try to remember to snuff out my cigar as I’m watching the Iranian mushroom cloud billowing over the horizon.

Codec717 on January 29, 2009 at 6:38 PM

Reason # 478,023 to barracade myself in a forest compound.
Nanny state is right. How did we all survive this long?

Geronimo on January 29, 2009 at 6:49 PM

tehd on January 29, 2009 at 5:12 PM

Well said … thanks.

ORrighty on January 29, 2009 at 6:58 PM

Since the state “owns” the roads and highways, it has the right to set safety standards that relate directly to driving safety, not general health concerns.

The truth is, the state doesn’t own a stinking thing! The people own it since the people paid for it! The people are the people who drive on it! They are the ones who paid for it and in most cases built it!!!
The so called “state” sat on it’s rear end doing nothing but writing some law that took money from one group of people and gave it to another group of people who in turn built the road!!
So,, if the “state” wants to own the road,, I say let the “state” get off their thrones, put on some real work clothes and buy the materials with their own pay, buy the land with their own money, and build the roads with their own hands and sweat!!! Then they can claim to “own” what they actually paid and worked for themselves!!! And then they can set up their own little kingdom on their on little road and all who use it may bow down and worship at their stinking feet!!
Forget so called second hand smoke!! The stench of corruption, socialism and elitism carries far more dangers to our children then the strongest tobacco ever could!!!!!!

JellyToast on January 29, 2009 at 7:02 PM

Krykee.

I’d settle for a ban on ugly punk drag queen smoking drivers.

locomotivebreath1901 on January 29, 2009 at 7:09 PM

Just curious, would you all be for or against a law preventing a pregnant mother from smoking?

In other words, where is the outrage for the poor kids sitting in the back seat?

mycowardice on January 29, 2009 at 7:20 PM

Here is what a nanny state ends up like

the brits are about to revolt..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTq2NEUlhDE

jcila on January 29, 2009 at 7:33 PM

the brits are about to revolt..

jcila on January 29, 2009 at 7:33 PM

Nah…they’d miss EastEnders.

LimeyGeek on January 29, 2009 at 7:48 PM

I’d settle for a ban on ugly punk drag queen smoking drivers.

locomotivebreath1901 on January 29, 2009 at 7:09 PM

Damn Crying Game.

LimeyGeek on January 29, 2009 at 7:50 PM

So….um….let’s say….just for fun…..I’m on the way to County General, untethered in the back seat of our ’68 CORVAIR in hard labor while my husband is tokin’ on Lord Obama’s Brand a Newport Menthol AND ON A WHIM I DECIDE TO JAM A HORSE NEEDLE INTO THE BASE OF MY CROWNING INFANT’S SKULL…..just curious……

………WHO’S ON FIRST?

seejanemom on January 29, 2009 at 8:02 PM

Drudge –

Bloomberg Declares War On Salt; Residents Say NYC Becoming Nanny State.

MB4 on January 29, 2009 at 8:05 PM

I don’t agree with this law, because I believe it goes too far, but I can understand the principle of protecting children from being harmed by their parents’ behavior.
JannyMae on January 29, 2009 at 4:42 PM

The road to hell is paved with good intentions…
Every law enacted, every unfair one enacted, has always good intentions.
Clean air, safer cars, better reading books, unions, every gov. program…all had their start as being “reasonable”.
One thing is certain…Government can’t govern themselves.

right2bright on January 29, 2009 at 8:19 PM

Bloomberg Declares War On Salt; Residents Say NYC Becoming Nanny State.

Wait until Bloomberg declares war on monosodium glutomate…that will make the people will rise up.

Bishop on January 29, 2009 at 8:32 PM

Meanwhile Amy Winehouse is a great singer.

DeathToMediaHacks on January 29, 2009 at 8:38 PM

The road to hell is paved with good intentions…
Every law enacted, every unfair one enacted, has always good intentions.
Clean air, safer cars, better reading books, unions, every gov. program…all had their start as being “reasonable”.
One thing is certain…Government can’t govern themselves.

right2bright on January 29, 2009 at 8:19 PM

Indeed. So we should legalize drug use, drug trafficking, prostitution, etc.

mycowardice on January 29, 2009 at 9:07 PM

That is not right what they are trying to do. We are now being forced to be zombies. But, I do smoke, not a lot but I have friends that don’t. If my friend and I go somewhere I spray my car and clean it. I don’t smoke. She doesn’t mind, but I do. I have never smoked with kids in my car either. I wouldn’t even let my grand kids in the office since we smoke in there. I also take my butts and put them in a baggie that I carry with me. I don’t like others to see my mess. But that law isn’t right. Our Freedom is being snatched away from us like crazy.

sheebe on January 29, 2009 at 9:20 PM

That girl is high.

The dems run and ad with the gop leader:

“NARRATOR: Listen to what Rush Limbaugh said about President Obama’s Agenda and his Jobs Package.

LIMBAUGH: I HOPE HE FAILS!

NARRATOR: The Obama Jobs bill overwhelmingly passed the House…. But not one Republican voted yes. Every Republican member of the House chose to take Rush Limbaugh’s advice. Every Republican voted with Limbaugh….and against creating 4 million new American jobs.

We can understand why a extreme partisan like Rush Limbaugh wants President Obama’s Jobs program to fail….but the Members of Congress elected to represent the citizens in their districts?… that’s another matter.”

getalife on January 29, 2009 at 9:25 PM

Studies have shown that even with a window rolled down, it takes mere seconds of a lit cigarette for the air quality inside a vehicle to vastly exceed the levels deemed too hazardous to breathe by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Take a look at that statement for a second. Mere seconds to become too hazardous to breathe by EPA standards. Yet, for decades, people have been driving (and being driven) in smoke-filled cars. Let’s forget the smoking thing here for a second. If people have been surviving in cars that in “mere seconds” have had their air quality too hazardous to breathe as defined by the EPA, does this not say that the current EPA regulations and definitions are not only bogus, but completely wrong?

AZfederalist on January 29, 2009 at 9:47 PM

Hysteria is not science.

The Nanny State is not compatible with “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness”.

Tyranny always uses a child to beat the suckers into submission.

Mind your own business, bureaucratic buffoons!

profitsbeard on January 29, 2009 at 9:48 PM

I’m for it. Nobody has the right to endanger the health of others. As a kid, I had no choice but to breathe my mom’s cigarette smoke, and I never liked it.

I’ve had a burning cigarette butt fly into my open car window while I was driving and burn a spot on my cheek and on my shirt. Can’t tell you whether it came from someone with a child strapped in, but I can tell you that it hurt.

The smokers think nothing of doing stuff like this — everyone’s seen one trashing up the landscape. Every year we have a fire season, and every year some smokers start a few, ignoring completely the signs telling them to use their ashtrays. For those of you who are thinking of barricading yourself in a forest compound, smoking is not something you want to do for several months out of the year.

I’m just waiting for the day when the law says nobody can smoke while either a driver or a passenger in/on a motor vehicle (my favorite smokers are the motorcycle guys — it just gives me that Darwin feeling).

unclesmrgol on January 29, 2009 at 10:03 PM

What is the most dangerous sentence in America?

“It’s for the children.”

Pelayo on January 29, 2009 at 10:14 PM

First they came for the smokers, and I did not speak up since I did not smoke. Then they came for the fast food eaters, and I did not speak up…..so on and so on.

coyoterex on January 29, 2009 at 10:18 PM

OK one more thing, if vaccines actually work, how does our choice endanger vaccinated children?

Penalty! 15 yards for pulling the “my kid died” trump card.

When your kid infects a pregnant woman with measles, what are you going to tell her?

The only reason you can get away with not vaccinating your kid is because you’re freeloading on everyone else who vaccinates.

Tell me, if vaccines don’t work, how come nobody gets smallpox anymore? How come you don’t see kids in iron lungs due to polio?

Even though I don’t accept most of the arrant nonsense that flows from anti-vaccine activists like yourself, for the sake of argument, let’s say that there’s a 1/100 chance of autism from a vaccine. Let’s also say there’s a 1/1000 chance of sudden death. I’ll take either of those risks to avoid a 1/4 chance of my kids or grandkids dying of common childhood diseases.

A major reason for the increase in life expectancy is that kids no longer die from mumps, chicken pox, measles, ear infections or any other of the common childhood diseases that used to routinely kill and disable children.

I don’t know if you’re a sociopath or not. I do know that, psychologically it’s easier to blame some faceless “pharma” folks or doctors instead of acknowledging that your own genes or actions may have led to your child’s death.

rokemronnie on January 29, 2009 at 10:27 PM

Back in the dark ages, cars had vent windows. My father would light up, open the vent, and us kiddies in the back seat without seat belts or helmets never smelled any smoke. Life was great in 1958, you should have been there.

Pelayo on January 29, 2009 at 10:29 PM

I am pretty sure that you do not have to identify yourself just because a police officer asks. Of course, this does not apply when you are driving. You have to produce your license.

So just refuse to identify yourself if you’re not driving. This solves about half the problem before it even starts.

platypus on January 29, 2009 at 10:30 PM

Vaccines? I was about seven years old when I got vaccinated against polio. You slugs who are against vaccines should be forced to travel back in time and live before the Salk vaccine. I once had a fever and aches and pains in my legs. My mother was scared spitless until the doctor said it was flu and not polio. Imagine, a mother is relieved that in 1953 her child has a bad case of flu.

Pelayo on January 29, 2009 at 10:39 PM

Studies have shown that even with a window rolled down, it takes mere seconds of a lit cigarette for the air quality inside a vehicle to vastly exceed the levels deemed too hazardous to breathe by the Environmental Protection Agency.

We are all going to die!!!
I remember this guy named George Burns. What did he live to?? A 101 or something,,, smoked cigars every single day!
How in the world did mankind ever ever survive? How in the world did people cross the oceans, fight wars, tame the west, climb mountains and do anything at all while smoking! Man has been smoking since the beginning of time!! If second hand smoke is so so bad,, how can anyone live past 30 years of age sucking down smoke every day straight from the end of a burning cig!?? This is pure insanity!!
I would rather live in a country where anyone and everyone was free to smoke,, than in a nation where the government told you what to eat and drink for my own good!! I do not want the government to do much of anything for me!! Just leave me alone!
God,,, give me freedom and liberty,, and protect me from those who want to save me from myself!!!
Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

— C. S. Lewis

JellyToast on January 29, 2009 at 10:41 PM

I have decided to eat what I want, smoke what I want, drink what I want, flush the toilet of my choice, illuminate the lightbulb of my choice, drive the car I want, own the gun I want, worship God where and when I want, and live the life that I want.

So there. Arrest me.

DrStock on January 29, 2009 at 11:01 PM

You see, according to Cocteau’s plan I’m the enemy, ’cause I like to think; I like to read. I’m into freedom of speech and freedom of choice. I’m the kind of guy likes to sit in a greasy spoon and wonder – “Gee, should I have the T-bone steak or the jumbo rack of barbecued ribs with the side order of gravy fries?” I WANT high cholesterol. I wanna eat bacon and butter and BUCKETS of cheese, okay? I want to smoke a Cuban cigar the size of Cincinnati in the non-smoking section. I want to run through the streets naked with green Jell-o all over my body reading Playboy magazine. Why? Because I suddenly might feel the need to, okay, pal? I’ve SEEN the future. Do you know what it is? It’s a 47-year-old virgin sitting around in his beige pajamas, drinking a banana-broccoli shake, singing “I’m an Oscar Meyer Wiener”.

- Denis Leary as “Edgar Friendly”, Demolition Man (1993)

I’m just sayin’…

Rusty Bill on January 29, 2009 at 11:43 PM

Krykee.

I’d settle for a ban on ugly punk drag queen smoking drivers.

locomotivebreath1901 on January 29, 2009 at 7:09 PM

Dude, I totally wondered if that mess in the car picture was a guy! Is it?

Jaibones on January 29, 2009 at 11:44 PM

Michigan, the state with such up and coming agendas. Must be why so many of the Islamists and illegals live there. What a diverse pit of losers.

hopefloats on January 30, 2009 at 12:56 AM

You know, I used to be a smoker also. I quit because of health reasons even though I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Now when I see someone smoking. I just wanna run up to them, give them a big open mouth kiss and suck all the smoke out of them.

Kini on January 30, 2009 at 1:02 AM

Didn’t Penn and Teller do a show on second hand smoke? As I recall there is no proof at all that it kills. Just a buncha BS.

Army Brat on January 30, 2009 at 1:20 AM

rokemronnie,

You do realize you didn’t answer the question. If vaccines work — which I didn’t dispute — how do those who refuse endanger the children who get the vaccines?

Freeloading? Quite the opposite in fact. My son died for your freedom to call me names. Maybe you haven’t read the CDC literature which admits vaccines cause adverse seizure reactions (they don’t like to say “kill”) in some cases up to a week after the shot — an admission which they will later deny in court because it was more than three days out. This is not a theoretical observation. The DHS simultaneously denies and admits a fact when it’s convenient.

And it continues…

Ah yes, “slugs” (Pelayo) against vaccines. Hardly. As I said, and I’ll repeat it one last time, there is a wall of silence from the EMS level up to the highest federal “court” (limited liability, no fault admitted in many cases) which hears cases on vaccine injuries. Whenever you tell any medical professional about your child dying days after the vaccine they get quiet and don’t write anything down.

Nobody. Ever. Writes. It. Down. So there are no accurate vaccine injury statistics. Even if you win in federal court it isn’t recorded. There is no actual research on the DTAP vaccine. Our expert had to rely on disease research.

Once again, I was as pro vaccine as anyone until it killed our child and the cover up was so obvious only a addle-brained crack head could have missed it.

I could regale you with stories of monkey parts, vaccine hot spots (groups of dead kids), and other things. But as the ‘debate’ has already degenerated to mud slinging at me I’ll just let you ponder why you couldn’t answer a simple question.

Well here’s one more, is it a good idea to use a fatal vaccine if the disease is almost never fatal?

As for Polio… Polio is a vaccine I really would like to get for my son, but for the fact the medical profession is not the least bit interested in figuring out if it might kill him. And again, this is not speculation.

Beagle on January 30, 2009 at 1:48 AM

For CDC and DHS make it CDC literature given out by HHS and HHS. This topic — and those who automatically toss out insults — make me very upset. Apparently that comes out in acronym errors. It’s the only area where someone can kill your child and you’re supposed to smile and move on, or face this sort of scorn.

HHS: Health and Human Services, and their US attys who litigate this stuff in court.

Beagle on January 30, 2009 at 1:57 AM

I like how you somehow compare your un-scientific anecdotal experience to hard evidence that directly links children, health problems, and second-hand smoke.

Way to go intrepid reporter.

A Axe on January 29, 2009 at 6:06 PM

Oh, where is your hard evidence?

N4646W on January 30, 2009 at 2:18 AM

I don’t agree with this law, because I believe it goes too far, but I can understand the principle of protecting children from being harmed by their parents’ behavior. A case in point is all these idiots that have gotten away with leaving their infants to die in hot cars in Phoenix. To my knowledge, not ONE of those morons has been prosecuted. But we won’t allow people to smoke in their cars with children? Something is skewed here.

JannyMae on January 29, 2009 at 4:42 PM

So, should abortion be illegal?

Johan Klaus on January 30, 2009 at 2:33 AM

I have decided to eat what I want, smoke what I want, drink what I want, flush the toilet of my choice, illuminate the lightbulb of my choice, drive the car I want, own the gun I want, worship God where and when I want, and live the life that I want.

So there. Arrest me.

DrStock on January 29, 2009 at 11:01 PM

That sounds strangely like freedom.

Johan Klaus on January 30, 2009 at 2:36 AM

I teach my kids to juggle bullets – rimfire, of course – to enhance their concentration.

LimeyGeek on January 29, 2009 at 2:21 PM

If you really wanna concentrate their minds, swap the rimfires with vials of nitro.

Under proper adult supervision of course.

soundingboard on January 30, 2009 at 4:11 AM

Radical enviro-wacks, leftists and far left bleeding heart Liberals are KILLING America… Jobs, Schools, Morals, Pride, Values… all are dying a slow, painfull death!

And Conservatives and Republicans sit back and watch it happen…

Mark Garnett on January 30, 2009 at 7:38 AM

Indeed. So we should legalize drug use, drug trafficking, prostitution, etc.

mycowardice on January 29, 2009 at 9:07 PM

I don’t understand your comment…what’s the weather like in London? What’s the price of wheat in Calcutta?

right2bright on January 30, 2009 at 7:45 AM

Now when I see someone smoking. I just wanna run up to them, give them a big open mouth kiss and suck all the smoke out of them.

Kini on January 30, 2009 at 1:02 AM

This doesn’t sound like a smoking habit…….

right2bright on January 30, 2009 at 7:46 AM

In Iowa, you can’t smoke in any public place – except in the state-owned casinos. You can’t smoke in bars, but you can in the casinos. They say they don’t believe the ban will affect profits, but they obviously don’t want to take any chances with their own profits.

This all makes me want to smoke two cigs at a time. And fwiw, my kids have never in their lives had an ear infection or asthma.

estee on January 30, 2009 at 7:51 AM

On FOX & Friends, they’re talking about how a town in California has made it illegal to smoke in one’s own home.

eaglescout1998 on January 30, 2009 at 8:02 AM

AND ON A WHIM I DECIDE TO JAM A HORSE NEEDLE INTO THE BASE OF MY CROWNING INFANT’S SKULL…..just curious……

………WHO’S ON FIRST?

seejanemom on January 29, 2009 at 8:02 PM

That’s different, you see. That’s a guaranteed constitutional liberty.

Suck your newborns brains out? Fight for that freedom!

Puffing on a Montecristo with the window rolled down on a warm spring day while junior is in the back with his hand-held Nintendo?

Not so much. That, we should ban.

It’s a fun old world, ain’t it?

Professor Blather on January 30, 2009 at 8:06 AM

What is the most dangerous sentence in America?

“It’s for the children.”

Pelayo on January 29, 2009 at 10:14 PM

It’s actually one of the more dangerous sentences in human history.

If you get bored, do a little research. It’s relatively easy to find a couple thousand years of abuses of liberty committed by governments based solely on that very sentence.

It was an explicit part of Goebbels propaganda efforts. After WWII, the question most people had when the horrors came to light was – how could the average citizen allow such things?

But the truth was – they didn’t think they were condoning evil. Most citizens truly thought they were doing GOOD. They thought their government was – wait for it – protecting the future of their children.

While we are obviously nowhere near that far gone, if you’ve noticed, the far left has begun to target ideas now. Where once the book burners were on the far right, now its the left that’s targeting books like “Huckleberry Finn.”

And its all to protect your children. From smoke. From the gun in your home. From dangerous ideas. From literature of the wrong political angle.

What? You disagree? What’s the matter – don’t you love your children?

It’s a very, very powerful political tool. In fact, I can’t think of an example when it has not worked.

Be careful, America. This path is an ancient one and its well traveled.

Professor Blather on January 30, 2009 at 8:13 AM

I don’t smoke. The only time I ever smoked was on long car trips. I found the cigarettes kept we awake and alert, which probably kept me out of the ditch more than once, as I used to drive long distances on very little sleep, back when I was young and foolish.

For my particular situation, those cigarettes were definitely the life-extending choice. When Poppa nods off at the wheel and runs his kids into a telephone pole because he couldn’t light up a cigarette, you think the State of Minnesota is going to care?

gridlock2 on January 30, 2009 at 8:14 AM

mycowardice on January 29, 2009 at 7:20 PM

You make a very good point. However, adults need to act responsibly, and personal responsibility has been indoctrinated out of many adults because of the “me” generation school of thought. Everybody has rights but nobody exercises responsibility. Therefore the government, the most irresponsible behemoth of all, assumes responsibility for you, forcing you to make decisions your common sense ought to be making for you.
Nanny government cannot control bad behavior with laws, only temporarily put restrictions on it.

abcurtis on January 30, 2009 at 9:19 AM

Nanny government cannot control bad behavior with laws, only temporarily put restrictions on it.

abcurtis on January 30, 2009 at 9:19 AM

I agree that if all adults wanted to act irresponsibly, there is little the government could do.

But this case is different because you are talking about minors that are under the control of an adult. Just because a parent can be abusive towards a child (ignore the laws), it doesn’t mean that society should sit back and watch while kids get abused.

Same here. Just because parents can act irresponsibly, I don’t think it means we should just close our eyes and let kids get destroyed in the process.

Now that is my baseline. After that, we need to look at each type of issue individually. I think in the smoking case it’s clear to me this goes above a certain threshold where the state needs to intervene. But say something not as clear: giving soft drinks to your kids… Should the state intervene there?

I just don’t like the knee-jerk reaction that as soon as we say the word “nanny state”, everyone starts thinking it’s a bad thing without looking a the details and the interests at stake.

mycowardice on January 30, 2009 at 10:23 AM

Second hand science — Does anyone care that this is another phony liberal stupid non-science teachable moment? There is no harm from second hand smoke, it’s a total joke. Unless you stand in a smoke trail from a blazing campfire and suffocate, second hand cigarette smoke does no damage to people.

tarpon on January 30, 2009 at 10:31 AM

Just curious, would you all be for or against a law preventing a pregnant mother from smoking?

In other words, where is the outrage for the poor kids sitting in the back seat?

mycowardice on January 29, 2009 at 7:20 PM

But where does that lead to.. when I was pregnant i got plenty of ‘advise’ from well meaning strangers. I shouldn’t be drinking that diet coke, don’t eat oysters, don’t drink coffee, no hot dogs, no aspirin, one friend even told me i needed to get rid of my cat. Should there be a law against pregnant women having cats? Amazingly, miraculously i white knuckle it and managed to have a healthy 7 lb 6 oz baby boy, but according to all the advice i got i was lucky not to have the 2 headed bat boy. Of course pregnant women shouldn’t smoke, but in answer to your question I would be completely against a law criminalizing them.
what’s interesting is how many liberals who would criminalize them for smoking also seem to support abortion. So its ok to kill a child but its not ok to expose them to smokers?

Keli on January 30, 2009 at 10:33 AM

what’s interesting is how many liberals who would criminalize them for smoking also seem to support abortion. So its ok to kill a child but its not ok to expose them to smokers?

Keli on January 30, 2009 at 10:33 AM

Actually I think it would be conservatives that would criminalize such behavior (if smoking isn’t bad enough, substitute that with taking drugs).

I think it’s a fascinating question, but my expectation from someone saying “protect the unborn and the defenseless” would be to see that message stretch beyond the delivery and into the actual child life. Somehow on this issue the message seems broken.

Also, no liberal says it’s OK to kill a child.

mycowardice on January 30, 2009 at 10:41 AM

But where does that lead to..

Keli on January 30, 2009 at 10:33 AM

Exactly. We are not arguing over what is good or bad behavior, we are merely telling do gooders to mind their own business.

Vashta.Nerada on January 30, 2009 at 10:43 AM

Exactly. We are not arguing over what is good or bad behavior, we are merely telling do gooders to mind their own business.

Vashta.Nerada on January 30, 2009 at 10:43 AM

So should parents let their kids smoke or drink? Can parents do anything they want to their kids simply because do gooders need to mind their own business?

mycowardice on January 30, 2009 at 10:56 AM

Actually I think it would be conservatives that would criminalize such behavior (if smoking isn’t bad enough, substitute that with taking drugs).

I think it’s a fascinating question, but my expectation from someone saying “protect the unborn and the defenseless” would be to see that message stretch beyond the delivery and into the actual child life. Somehow on this issue the message seems broken.

Also, no liberal says it’s OK to kill a child.

mycowardice on January 30, 2009 at 10:41 AM

Conservatism is about personal responsibility. Personal responsibility in parenting and personal responsibility in conceiving too. Is everyone perfect? hell no. but you can’t pass laws to force people to be perfect. All that does is reduce everyone’s liberty. first smoking and then what? criminalize caffeine, red meat, alcohol, fast food. do you do anything at all that you probably shouldn’t be doing? how about big brother pass a law to force you to quit?

as far as your comment that no liberal says it’s OK to kill a child….sheesh….fetus, embryo, whatever you want to call it, its not a medical inconvenience, its a child.

Keli on January 30, 2009 at 11:21 AM

Meanwhile Amy Winehouse is a great singer.
DeathToMediaHacks on January 29, 2009 at 8:38 PM

Well, that explains a lot. Yikes.

kingsjester on January 30, 2009 at 11:26 AM

Also, no liberal says it’s OK to kill a child.

mycowardice on January 30, 2009 at 10:41 AM

I suppose that the “unviable tissue mass” kicking its feet outside the birth canal with its “unviable” head being sucked clean of its brain is “OK to kill”.

GOT IT.

You are a coward. And a piece of HUMAN DEBRIS who couldn’t make an INTELECTUALLY HONEST argument if your “unviable” life depended on it.Piss off.

seejanemom on January 30, 2009 at 11:36 AM

“The bill’s advocates point to the risk from second-hand smoke”

The study that showed any risk from “second hand smoke” has been completely debunked but everyone still takes it as truth. There has to date not been any study that shows any significant risk from second hand smoke. And we didn’t exactly have front-end loaders scooping up all the dead people from second hand smoke in the 20th century. Look at the video of Mission Control during the moon landings. Everyone was smoking cigarettes during the mission and cigars after a landing.

Here is some info. In any case, the study everyone seems to remember (though nobody remembers any of the studies that came to a different conclusion) estimated that second hand smoke causes 3000 deaths a year (about 1/6 as many as caused by drunk drivers). Of the 30 studies looked at by EPA, 24 of them showed no increased risk of second hand smoke. Only 5 of them showed any increase in risk.

Fact: Even after excluding most of the studies, the EPA couldn’t come up with 3,000 deaths, but they had already announced the results. So they changed the CI to 90%, which, in effect, doubled their margin of error.

Fact Worth Repeating: Instead of using the 95% confidence interval, the statistical standard that has been used for decades, the EPA doubled their margin of error to achieve their pre-announced results.

Would any legitimate epidemiologist keep their job if they were caught doubling their margin of error to support a pre-announced conclusion?

Fact: After juggling the numbers, The EPA came up with an RR (Relative Risk) of ETS causing lung cancer 1.19. In layman’s terms that means:

• Exposure to the ETS from a spouse increases the risk of getting lung cancer by 19%.
• Where you’d usually see 100 cases of cancer you’d see 119.

Fact: A RR of less than 2.0 is usually written off as an unimportant result. An RR of 3.0 or higher is considered desirable. (See Statistics 101 for more details.)

So the EPA announced what the results were going to be before they even completed the study. Then they eliminated the vast majority of the studies that disagreed with their result. Then when they still couldn’t get the numbers to agree with them, they juggled the error bars so that their announced number fell within the “margin of error”.

And to this day there has still not been any conclusive evidence that second hand smoke is harmful. Sure, it stinks, and it can aggravate things like asthma in people, but it isn’t going to kill you.

crosspatch on January 30, 2009 at 11:51 AM

Conservatism is about personal responsibility. Personal responsibility in parenting and personal responsibility in conceiving too. Is everyone perfect? hell no. but you can’t pass laws to force people to be perfect. All that does is reduce everyone’s liberty. first smoking and then what? criminalize caffeine, red meat, alcohol, fast food. do you do anything at all that you probably shouldn’t be doing? how about big brother pass a law to force you to quit?

as far as your comment that no liberal says it’s OK to kill a child….sheesh….fetus, embryo, whatever you want to call it, its not a medical inconvenience, its a child.

Keli on January 30, 2009 at 11:21 AM

I don’t understand how far you want to go. Should I be allowed to give my child cigarettes? Should I be allowed to give alcohol to my kids? Should all drugs be legalized? Etc.

What kind of limits do you put over this concept we shouldn’t pass laws that ask anyone to be “perfect”?

mycowardice on January 30, 2009 at 1:47 PM

I think letting kids sit in front of TV’s or video games all waking hours of the day and feeding them to the point of obesity should be a bigger priority for child abuse. But these morons probably don’t see a problem with that as long as they kids aren’t infringing on their ability to do anything other than parent.

TrickyDick on January 30, 2009 at 1:55 PM

Just curious, would you all be for or against a law preventing a pregnant mother from smoking?

In other words, where is the outrage for the poor kids sitting in the back seat?

mycowardice on January 29, 2009

What is a greater risk to the life and safety of a child???
Second had smoke or a Marxist/police state?

JellyToast on January 30, 2009 at 6:08 PM

You are a coward. And a piece of HUMAN DEBRIS who couldn’t make an INTELECTUALLY HONEST argument if your “unviable” life depended on it.Piss off.

seejanemom on January 30, 2009 at 11:36 AM

Slam dunk.

Johan Klaus on January 31, 2009 at 3:05 AM

Minnesota to expand nanny state to smoking drivers? Good! Minnie-so-DUH! deserves nothing less.

No one loses their rights. They give them up in a manner reminiscent of sheep being led to the slaughter.

DannoJyd on January 31, 2009 at 10:55 AM

I smoke, and being that 90% of the cost of a pack of cigarettes is tax, you would think the nanny-state-government would get off my back. But no, there is one thing the nanny-state-government values even more than a revenue stream and that’s the ability to invade every aspect of your personal live on a whim.

Maxx on January 31, 2009 at 11:49 AM

The stench of corruption, socialism and elitism carries far more dangers to our children then the strongest tobacco ever could!!!!!!

JellyToast on January 29, 2009 at 7:02 PM

Amen.

Maxx on January 31, 2009 at 11:55 AM

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