so, here's what i'm noticing about washington so far. the liberals are becoming the puritanical fiends they claim to abhor on the other side of the fence. as of last thursday, smoking is not only not allowed in any public building but it is now the most repressive anti-smoking state in the country. a person may not smoke within 25 feet of a public building or air vent or any other conduit which may transmit residue to those inside said building or air vent.
now, before you non-smokers fling stones at me let me just say that i am and have been fine with not being allowed to smoke inside. i'm used to it since i come from california. and, in general, i approve of it. i don't smoke in my own house...unless required to. but the level of "god smite them down" rhetoric i've been hearing and reading since thursday is disturbing, to say the least. one person quoted on a local news show went so far as to compare me to a child molester. okay. i only have one thing to say about that. i'm willing to smoke in the middle of the street if that's what you want, but i will not sodomize juveniles while dodging traffic. that's just rude and inconsiderate.
as for the extremely high taxes on cigarettes i have to wonder who is making out here. the northwest is a designated smoking area. always has been. will smokers quit, because the cost is high? will children not start, because the cost is high? probably not. and when the out-of-pocket cost of quitting aids is just as ridicuously high and the addiction is so strong it seems sensible to presume that the state is in the business of lining its coffers at the expense of smokers and has no real interest in helping them to quit.
i'll tell you this: the medical community and pharmaceutical companies don't want me to quit. somewhere down the line i may become a cashcow for them. lung cancer puts me at the top of the money i.v. and repeated "attempts" to quit with no solid backing by the very people who make the quitting aids makes me a repeat customer for their very overpriced comestibles. have any of you read the instruction booklets? all of the steps, that if followed, ensure success, but it's still up to me to be strong. no talk about nicotine being one of the 3 or 4 most addictive substances known to humans. a couple of websites to go to (including phillip morris).
i'm not whining...much. i am responsible for my life. if i really want to, i can be strong. but all of this really is large companies' attempts to make money off of the weak.
also, the seattle city council will be voting on whether to outlaw sales of single beers and strong wine (fortified) at stores in certain parts of the city in order to "cut down on public drunkeness". as bad as this may sound, mostly it's only the poor, homeless and marginal segments of our society who purchase alcohol in this fashion. most of them aren't driving. they're walking or using public transportation. or sleeping in the alley. the serial drunks tend to buy a pint and park it in their back pockets.
and remember, it was the seattle city council (maybe not all of the same people as now) who swept ALL of the homeless out of the business district downtown when the WTO came in for a conference on the late 90's. they did so, as well, when clinto came through on a campaign stop before his second term. the funny thing about the WTO incident is that it just allowed protesters that much more room to shut everything down and, of course, massive riots and carnage ensued (i stayed at home with a twelve pack and watched it on tv, laughing my ass off).
so, i guess all that i'm saying is that it's funny and kind of sad when those who throw stones and epithats at those they abhor begin to resemble them. and it weren't for beer and cigarettes i would take over the world.