Sunday, February 14, 2010

My Only True Vice Was Smoking

If you know me well, you know these things about me...
  • I don't drink
  • I don't do drugs
  • I don't gamble
  • I don't swear
  • I don't sleep around
  • I don't even buy lottery tickets

My only true vice has been smoking cigarettes.
And now I don't do that.

I have been without a cigarette for a whole week.

You may think that isn't long enough for me to say that I have truly quit, but I think it's a fair statement considering the circumstances.

How did I quit?

Our wonderful government decided to add a flame retardant to the cigarette papers, and I am allergic to it.

How nice of them.

I'm betting that more than 99% of  smokers have NOT caused any forest fires because if they had, there would be fires constantly burning ALL of the time all over this land and we would not be able to keep them down.

So, let's insert an ingredient that is toxic and deadly to the smoker, so we can stop all of those non-existent fires. Some say the ingredient is a carpet glue. Others say it is sodium silicate, which can cause many reactions.

Whatever it is, it causes my lips to swell and tingle, and has taken all of the pleasure out of my 4 or 5 cigarettes a day.

I loved my cigarettes.
I loved smoking.
I miss it.

It has also burned a few holes in my coat. You see, I go outside to smoke and in the winter that means wearing your coat. This new fire safe cigarette just causes more ashes to burn off and float onto your clothing, leaving holes.

I can think of so many things that are so much more important than spending the research money and the time on fire proofing cigarettes... Let's see, we have the homeless, the hungry, the drug addicts, those dying of cancer (including those with lung cancer who never smoked), the paralyzed from spinal cord injuries,  those dying with Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer's and a plethora of other deadly diseases...

I don't ask for much, but honestly, I do not understand these attacks on smokers! I don't advocate allowing smokers to smoke just anywhere... I smoke(d) on my own property all by myself, not hurting another single soul.

I guess it will take another 20 to 30 years to realize that the true culprit of most forms of lung disease is in the air... put there by car fumes, industrial pollutants, etc.


Thank God our government decided to control all of those fires started by cigarette smokers.

Now I guess I'm almost perfect. 


Friday, February 05, 2010

Free Speech for People or Groups

Should free speech, as it applies to campaign advertising and funding, be for people, or for groups and associations of people, which would include organizations and corporations?

Apparently, 5 justices of our Supreme Court believe that it should include groups and not just individuals.

However, how can they justify the fact that many of "we the people" are without associations of any kind, and therefore are not justly included in this particular ruling?

This new ruling allows an individual to be represented by many different voices, via the groups, corporations and associations they belong to and contribute to. You can own part of a large corporation and make your preferences known by sponsoring full page expensive ads to promote your candidate, AND you could also be a member of a non-profit organization that is doing the same thing, AND, as an individual you could also contribute to the campaign itself.

That gives you THREE voices instead of one.

This is just plain wrong.

It is not shocking to learn that many politicians would argue that the money reaches the candidates and their campaigns whether we know of it or not, but let us at least take every precaution to make it as difficult as possible for big businesses to influence the lawmaking process.

Why should we make it easy for them?

The 5-4 ruling reverses century-old limitations on corporate money in federal elections by prominently allowing businesses and labor unions to spend — as much as they want — directly in favor of or against candidates on TV or in literature, so long as the action is independent of the candidate and campaign.

Justice John Paul Stevens said in his dissent, "The court's ruling threatens to undermine the integrity of elected institutions around the nation." Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor joined him.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Wakefield - Autism - Lancet

I've read many articles over the years which referred to Wakefield's research linking Autism to MMR Vaccinations. They alarmed me, as they did many parents.

I did have my child vaccinated in spite of the research, but I did not do it according to schedule. I waited much longer before I began the series of childhood/infant vaccinations, and then I waited longer between vaccinations. I don't know if it had any effect at all, except that it made me feel better as a parent.

What I did NOT know is that the Lancet published this research knowing that only a dozen or so kids were in the study. Why in the world would such a study be published and allowed to frighten so many parents, when it was obviously not widespread enough to matter, no matter what the results?

These are the types of questions we need to be addressing as a society.

Research conducted among such small groups should only lead to further research.

The media should report on it, but they should NOT neglect to inform us of such pertinent details as the number of subjects studied. This information is needed if we are to have an accurate portrayal of the findings.

God help us!

Andrew Wakefield / Autism Research

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