Thursday, July 3, 2008

Butt out
First, I will tell you that I don’t smoke. No one in my family smokes. I don’t plan on taking it up. Next, I will tell you that trying to legislate the personal choice of whether to take the risks involved in smoking is futile and it is intrusive and it won’t curb smoking, it will only curb business and piss people off. Making laws that tell people what they can inhale and what they can’t, when or where they can inhale it and in whose presence they may inhale it is a window dressing law made to try and garner a few votes from the virulent non-smoking set. They forget it will lose as many or more votes from those who do smoke.

If questionable science attributing all kinds of terrible things to second hand smoke can be used to force otherwise law abiding citizens to not light up, then I wonder just what else is on the horizon. Will the crazed nanny government ban mayonnaise? Why not? That level of fat has been shown to be bad for your health. What about those french fries and the great burgers found here? They could be a contributor to diabetes, so will they be banned? What about the foods found at just about every local barbecue? Will parties and Rosaries be legislated out of existence because they are ‘bad’ for us according to the legislature?

What about other harmful practices? People die every day from drowning, so should they make laws forbidding you to enter the water? Why not? Driving kills plenty of people. Will they have us all walking so as to protect us from ourselves? People fall and hurt themselves and others, should our lawmakers draft legislation banning all ladders? Stairs? Elevators? Trees? You get the point. Attempting to legislate your complete safety is impossible and directly inhibits your constitutional right to pursue happiness as you see it.

So if you don’t like second hand smoke, vote with your feet. Vote with your wallet by not patronizing those places which allow people to smoke or not as they choose. If you prefer a place which forbids smoking, then by all means go there. If you prefer a place that let’s you choose, then give them your business. But do not expect the legislature to turn those business owners and other customers into slaves to your particular desires. This is a question that should be answered by business owners and by customers, not by bureaucrats, proselytizers and lawmakers.
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Washington Speaks
In an informal interview our Washington Representative, Pete A. Tenorio, said that the current attempt to designate a no-take monument in the CNMI’s northernmost three islands will die, as it requires the actual support of the local community and its government, which it does not have.

Relating what the White House Director of Ocean and Coastal Policy, Dr. Gerhard Kuska, told him, Pete A. claims neither the President nor his administrative folks have received the CNMI Legislative Resolution about not wanting the monument designated without prior locally approved negotiation. He claims further that no one in DC has received the letter penned by Governor Fitial flatly refusing the ‘offer’ proffered by PEW and it’s local champions. This is surprising news. The dog ate it?

Mr Kuska advises both the Legislature and the Governor to resubmit their responses to President Bush via fax, email or through his (Pete A.’s) office to make sure they are received this time. Once the ‘no thanks’ letter and the legislative resolution are received, the motion to designate a monument in the CNMI will ‘die immediately’ says Mr. Tenorio.

Pete A. goes on to say “To me, there is no doubt that the White House will not move on the matter unless and until our government requests for such exchange.” So it appears that a formal request would need to be given. Since that is not likely to happen, perhaps the PEW induced mini frenzy and the surrounding controversy will sink, for good or for ill, peacefully into the western sunset. Or not, depending on how much cash PEW is willing to throw at it.
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Sergeant CUC?
While chatting about a variety of topics with friends at lunch the other day an interesting idea came up. Why not ask the US Military to assist us in our hour of need, electrically speaking. The idea is not as far fetched as it sounds. If the US, so eager to take over immigration and labor to our economy's detriment, would help us as they help other places around the globe, we might have our answer to reliable electric power until a new power plant can be built.*

The military owns barges with complete “plug in” powerhouses capable of supplying all the electricity we need here on Saipan. They offer aid to other places with disasters and power outage emergencies, why not us? If our citizens can be cannon fodder for US wars, if aid can be sent to completely foreign countries in need then why would they not directly help a Commonwealth/colony that is politically aligned with them?

If we ask, they might just be willing to help out. Hey There! Mr. General Sir, Mr. Admiral Sir, send us a barge or two, please. We’ll have the hook up ready by the time you get here. We only need about 50 megawatts to get us by. For less than the cost of a single tank or plane you can gain the gratitude of over 50 thousand people. Besides, it would be a good place to open a recruiting office.

* For a discussion of IPPs and possible new power plants see Dr. Arkle’s excellent overview letter at in which he describes several alternatives.
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Quote of the week:
Of all tyrannies a tyranny exercised for the good of its victim may be the most oppressive. It may 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. (1898 – 1963)

1 comment:

KAP said...

Where's our trans-fat bill?