Second-hand smoke from cigarettes. Well, the handwriting is on the wall. The Surgeon General of the
U.S. Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona today issued a comprehensive scientific report which concludes that there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Nonsmokers exposed to secondhand smoke at home or work increase their risk of developing heart disease by 25 to 30 percent and lung cancer by 20 to 30 percent. The finding is of major public health concern due to the fact that nearly half of all nonsmoking Americans are still regularly exposed to secondhand smoke.
The report, The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke, finds that even brief secondhand smoke exposure can cause immediate harm. The report says the only way to protect nonsmokers from the dangerous chemicals in secondhand smoke is to eliminate smoking indoors.
“The health effects of secondhand smoke exposure are more pervasive than we previously thought,” said Surgeon General Carmona, vice admiral of the U.S. Public Health Service. “The scientific evidence is now indisputable: secondhand smoke is not a mere annoyance. It is a serious health hazard that can lead to disease and premature death in children and nonsmoking adults.”
I watched the entire interview with Admiral Carmona on The News Hour and watched the Q&A session after yesterday’s HHS presser. The admiral side-stepped direct questions in both venues as to whether federal anti-smoking laws should be enacted, claiming that isn’t his job. His job, according to the admiral, is to “keep the spotlight on the issue.” While I don’t believe the Feds will ban smoking outright in the immediate future, I do believe there will be a flurry of state and municipal laws banning smoking, not only in public places, but in private space as well.
State Rep. Gary Smith, D-Norco, author of the bill aimed at protecting children from concentrated secondhand smoke, said the surgeon general's report confirmed the data he and his staff presented to the Legislature supporting his bill.
"This will let the people who were a little bit unsure about what they were doing know they were right in supporting the bill," Smith said. "The primary goal was not to punish anyone but to raise awareness of the public."
Governor Blanco hasn’t signed the bill into law, as yet, but I’m betting she will. How could she not? The Surgeon General has given anti-smoking forces all the ammo they need to further their agenda of eliminating smoking completely. It’s only a matter of time before smoking is prohibited altogether. But, hey…it’s “for the children,” and that’s an argument where no dissent is allowed. Ever.
Score another victory for the Nanny-State. I hate it when this happens.
Second-hand smoke from burning flags. You may have to dodge that, too. The NYT:
WASHINGTON, June 27 — The Senate today fell one vote short of approving a constitutional amendment that would have enabled Congress to ban desecration of the American flag.
Desecrating the American flag is roughly equivalent to pedophilia in my book. It’s a deplorable, despicable, and reprehensible action, so far beneath contempt that I cannot find the words to adequately express my loathing of those who would “express” themselves by burning or otherwise desecrating the flag. Got it? In the final accounting, however, I agree with this man:
"This objectionable expression is obscene, it is painful, it is unpatriotic," said Senator Daniel Inouye, Democrat of Hawaii and winner of the Medal of Honor for his service in World War II. "But I believe Americans gave their lives in many wars to make certain all Americans have a right to express themselves, even those who harbor hateful thoughts."
Amending the constitution is serious, serious business, an act that should never be taken lightly, even for so serious a subject as flag desecration. The Senate acted correctly.
Second-hand smoke from burning convictions. The AP has been caught, again. A press release from the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works states:
The June 27, 2006 Associated Press (AP) article titled “Scientists OK Gore’s Movie for Accuracy” by Seth Borenstein raises some serious questions about AP’s bias and methodology.
AP chose to ignore the scores of scientists who have harshly criticized the science presented in former Vice President Al Gore’s movie “An Inconvenient Truth.”
In the interest of full disclosure, the AP should release the names of the “more than 100 top climate researchers” they attempted to contact to review “An Inconvenient Truth.” AP should also name all 19 scientists who gave Gore “five stars for accuracy.” AP claims 19 scientists viewed Gore’s movie, but it only quotes five of them in its article. AP should also release the names of the so-called scientific “skeptics” they claim to have contacted.
The AP article quotes Robert Correll, the chairman of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment group. It appears from the article that Correll has a personal relationship with Gore, having viewed the film at a private screening at the invitation of the former Vice President. In addition, Correll’s reported links as an “affiliate” of a Washington, D.C.-based consulting firm that provides “expert testimony” in trials and his reported sponsorship by the left-leaning Packard Foundation, were not disclosed by AP.
It ain’t the first time, nor will it be the last.
Second-hand smoke emanating from the ears, or, Lessons-Learned Dept.: I’m pleased to report that Edwards’ Chocolate Silk pie is every bit as good as their Key Lime pie. I’m not nearly as pleased to report the frickin’ pie plates they use are flimsy beyond belief and chocolate silk pie filling is pretty heavy. Yesterday afternoon I reached into the fridge to pull out that delicious pie for a little snack. Unfortunately, I grabbed the pie plate by its empty section (I’d only eaten two slices of the pie), and the pie plate immediately folded up as I withdrew it from the fridge, depositing three-quarters of a chocolate silk pie into my shoes (which are neatly aligned on the floor directly under the fridge). Cream-side down. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to clean out whipped cream, chocolate filling, and flecks of shaved chocolate out of your shoes? I thought not. Boy, was I p!ssed.