12 December 2006

Fort Wayne's latest "Crusade"...

Now I have to confess that I chase the occasional windmill...we ALL have at one time or another. Where ELSE though, but in Fort Wayne have the city leaders made it a "full-time" venue? I understand this "midwest" mentality...to a degree. Coming from the east coast, we too have our "causes" we champion. Most are noble, some are questionable, and a few are downright idiotic, yet we pursue them (all) nonetheless. Sometimes we win...and sometimes we fail, and many times, we break even, which as one of Murphy's Laws would have you believe: "Your doing about average"...!

The latest craze / fad / windmill to hit the Summit City is this smoking ban....and I mean they ARE out "ta getcha". Personally, I can understand the need to not have people puffing away in government buildings...I've never smoked in them myself, even when it was totally allowed. Call it a "respect" thing. The same goes for dining out. Many times, in respect for others I might be eating with, I would opt for the NON-smoking section...and it didn't kill me. I don't NEED to smoke while eating...I can WAIT an hour or two. But this latest "ban" would effectively disallow you from smoking in ANY public place (or specified distances from government buildings and such), and THAT, in this person's opinion infringes on my rights.

Yet it's all touted for the "public safety" factor.

Well, gee whiz (Wally)...isn't there a lot MORE to public safety than smoke from cigars, pipes and ciggies? What about smoke from vehicular exhaust? I don't see the city banning all these rat-trap machines that belch out tons of oil-infused, high carbon particular smoke...do you? And the INDUSTRIES that pump noxious fumes into the air...I don't see the city "banning" these places from operation. It must have something to do with the TAX MONEY being garnered from them staying OPEN...'ya think?

While we're on the Banning Bandwagon, what about all these BARBEQUE kiosks, trailers, and open pit cooking? Doesn't that release carcinogens into the air (and our lungs)? And that's only the "smoke" aspect of this so-called public safety agenda.

How about the NOISE in the damn city? The levels of boomcar stereos most certainly INJURE people (oh yes, friends, it's DOCUMENTED), and yet not one damn thing is done about BANNING THEM (it's not even talked about here).
What about illegal guns? The last time I checked, the injuries and deaths arising from these criminals brandishing them IS a public safety issue(not to mention the collateral damage incurred)...yet we STILL have them on our streets, all in the WRONG hands. Other public safety issues to take into account might be:
Crows - This pandemic we're hearing about (bird flu) is attributable to littering and the carrion nature of these avians. Not to mention they're noisy as hell!
Low-flying aircraft - Over our houses, one "device" in the wrong place at the wrong time will do a REAL number on the city's population under these planes which could come crashing down about us at any time. I'm no Chicken Little, but common sense would not say otherwise.
Alcohol consumption - This is not related to "social" drinking, but those with a DUI history, chronic problem related to booze, and the associated drunk-driving issues contained therein.
Stray animals - Dogs and cats that roam about our neighborhoods, that could be carrying rabies from a bite received with a scuffle with a racoon, possum or rat poses a health risk to children.
Lead paint - in so many older homes (on the south side) this issue keeps cropping up, and not much is being done by these landlords to bring their rentals up to code by getting rid of this decades long issue.

And the most insidious part of all this brouhaha, is the fact that most health risks (cancers) are attributable to GENETICS....Now how in the hell are you going to "safeguard" me from my parents passing on a defecftive gene, when my "clock is running", buttwipes? You have a panacea for THAT? No magic bullet yet? What the hell is taking so long, huh? I don't see anyone being BANNED for having "bad genes"...(yet). Oh wait, Hitler tried that in the 30s...didn't "quite" work out (as planned) as I recall.

The city (and their "fearless leaders" -shades of Rocky & Bullwinkle) spend SO much time (and our money) going after ONE thing THEY "feel" is a problem. They spout all this rhetoric over secondhand smoke, when they never address the root(S) of the problem. And this is only ONE problem. Like I have stated above, there are many more that are oft times ignored, or at the least, placed on the "back burner", until it becomes "convienient" once again.

MY feeling is that *if* you're going after a public safety "problem"...start by seeking out ALL the causes of the problem, and not just one...and then formulate a plan whereby you CAN systematically address each AND every aspect of the problem, working out VIABLE solutions that WILL work for everyone.

It's not rocket science, but they sure make it seem that way sometimes.

Makes me wonder if NASA's gonna be hanging out the old "vacancy" shingle again...!


Tim Zank said...

Bob your killin' me! m 'kay?

B.G. (Semper Paratus) said...

Glad I can be of service, my good man....!