Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Nanny State Hits Oregon University... with a Bang!

"Our Smoking University" (OSU) has proposed an initiative to ban ALL smoking on Campus.

This is just one more example of the many ways the Blue State which is Oregon has edged toward Liberal Nanny-Statism.

OSU's Student Health Advisory Board has launched the Fresh Air Initiative to assess how students and faculty will react to a new smoking policy on campus.

The current procedure at OSU is a boundary policy, which entails non-smoking areas around certain buildings. The goal would be to make the entire campus a smoke-free environment.
This article appeared on the Front Page of the November 19, 2007 issue of the OSU Barometer directly adjacent to an article which condemned the use of Foam-Plastic containers (here, and earlier .. here) for take-out food.

Earlier editions of this student newspaper have railed against the use of cardboard containers for take-out food, and the campus in the 1960's was an early hot-bed of activism for OSPIRG ... Ralph Nader's honey-child Oregon State Public Interest Research Group ... which later evolved into a Green Party political activist group.

While we applaud student activism, we can't help but wonder how older members of the OSU community can be expected to match the energy of the student body. While our priorities are not Styrofoam-oriented, the proposed campus-wide ban on smoking doesn't address indoor smoking, which is already long-established.

The proposed all-campus 'no smoking' ban applies to going outside of your work-place or classroom to smoke, or smoking while walking across the campus. Participants who smoke Clove cigarettes are included in the ban, so it is not merely a punitive measure against the Demon Tobacco (which is already locally forbidden in enclosed public areas such as bars, taverns and restaurants ... and which already has caused the locally popular venue "The Peacock Bar and Grill" to discontinue employment for half of its wait-staff.)

This extremely local measure (a college campus within a community) is cause for consternation only because it may affect student enrollment:

The initiative, however, raises a concern that a smoke-free campus would affect the recruitment process and cause fewer students to attend OSU.
The measure is reminiscent of the (passed) 1998 smoking ban, in which Corvallis was the first community in the state to restrict smoking in restaurants.

On the other hand, it was indicative of the state-wide trend toward demonizing smokers by sponsoring (most recently) a failed state constitutional amendment which would have imposed an excessive tax burden on Oregon Smokers to the supposed benefit of "the children" ... Measure 50 of the 2007 Ballot would have changed the state constitution for the sole purpose of imposing additional taxes on tobacco sales.

This measure was defeated by Oregonians who took exception to the concept of changing the constitution for the sake of adding taxes on a specific product ... never mind that it would have imposed those taxes on only 20% of the population for the benefit of an unrelated minor portion of the population. ALL taxes on Tobacco, Liquor and other obvious "Sin Tax' products are punitive.

The State Legislature is uncharacteristically candid about "Sin Taxes", because they seem to believe that the Electorate is with them in their drive to convince "Sinners" to reconcile their souls by yielding to governmental pressure. It never seems to occur to legislators that "Sinners" are a contrary bunch, and unlikely to yield to legislative pressure.

The ban on smoking would affected only a limited percentage of the population, and since it (the bill) addressed smoking out of doors they (the unidentified sponsors of the bill) can't be justified by a claim that it was intended to 'limit second-hand smoke".

"You are out of doors smoking a cigarette, the wind is blowing and it's raining ... where the hell is
the smoke going?"

(Answer: nowhere!)

This is a purely punitive measure, intended to save smokers from themselves.

Does it serve any other purpose?

Why yes, it does ... but the defined purpose is insulting to the identified audience:

One major benefit of a smoke-free campus is an updated learning process for students - a reminder about the dangers associated with smoking.

"International students sometimes come from countries where it is encouraged to smoke," said Tina Withrow-Robinson, coordinator of special programs at OSU.

One of the goals of the smoke-free initiative is to educate international students about the dangers associated with smoking and second hand smoke.
"The Benighted WOGs seem to think that they have a right to smoke out-of-doors, because no matter what second-hand-smoke issues may apply indoors, their primitive mind-set doesn't seem to appreciate that 'smoking out-of-doors' is still 'wrong' where second-hand smoke isn't an issue ."

We're here to teach them that it doesn't matter whether or not smoking affects their friends and neighbors; smoking is just WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG!

(How many times, how many ways must we state this to get the message across? Never mind, we'll just make it illegal and can their ass if they choose to disagree with us! That'll show the uppity blackguards!)
I am so sick of living in a Nanny State. Won't someone please help me elect an Republican Governor?

There you have it, folks. The Nanny State in Action.

And I have to live with these idiots!

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