Posts Tagged ‘nanny state’

Smoking, Cars, Kids & The Failure of Common Sense

Today’s “Letter of the Day” in the Star Tribune is from Jason Crosby of Plymouth, former smoker, father and critic of the proposed state law to prohibit smoking in cars with kids. Crosby confesses to smoking in the car (presumably with children aboard) , reasoning that since he always rolled the windows “at least partially down , most of the smoke is sucked out the window while the car is moving.”

I agree that that statement is a “common sense” rationalision. Unfortunately, it is also wrong.  I have seen the testing being done in cars, and even with the windows down, the monitors used to track secondhand smoke quickly went above the EPA’s  “unsafe level” for air pollution.  Scientific studies back this up.

I don’t think Mr. Crosby is a bad man or a bad father for exposing his kid to secondhand smoke — he thought it was okay, if he just cracked the window a bit.  I may have thought the same thing, in his place.  However, we know things today about tobacco and secondhand smoke we didn’t know in the past, and this new bill is a good opportunity to spread the news. 

Hopefully, more people will become better informed, and no one will ever get a ticket for smoking in a car with kids on board.

Mommy Minnesota on GPS

WCCO has a story about how MN has outlawed mounting a GPS device on your windshield — even though it comes with suction cups just for the windshield and 49 other states allow it.

“We don’t want to have an obstructed view. Now in Minnesota, many times, our windows are frosted over and it’s difficult to see out of them, said Reinhardt.

His advice on how to safely mount your GPS: “If you have a spot that’s available that you can Velcro or attach it to your dash, that’s what I would do.”

I agree that mounting anything on your window in your line of vision is poor personal judgment, but what about suction-cup mounted cell phone holders, compasses or notepads? We better make laws for that too, Mommy Minnesota. (ps – there’s that slippery slope again).

Then it gets worse:

Reinhardt admits he has never ticketed a driver for breaking the GPS law…But his biggest concern isn’t that drivers can’t see out. It’s what thieves see when they look in.

“Once or twice a day I get a report that somebody broke into a car and the first thing they took was a GPS unit,” said Reinhardt. “With a GPS mounted on your windshield, it’s almost like throwing a $50 or $100 bill up on your dash.”

So the state is passing nanny state legislation to keep us from having expensive toys in the window that may entice a criminal to steal them?

Our politicians and police force must think Minnesotans lack any and all personal responsibility. Give me a break.

Prediction: Minnesota is going to ban fireplaces

A fire pit and piles of wood stacked in the back yard of the OLink family remind Jamie and Marty of a time when they romanticized the smell of wood smoke. (MPR Photo/Ambar Espinoza)

A fire pit and piles of wood stacked in the back yard of the O'Link family remind Jamie and Marty of a time when they romanticized the smell of wood smoke. (MPR Photo/Ambar Espinoza)

You didn’t believe me.

In multiple posts and comments, I told you the smoking ban, alley-walking ban and txting ban were part of a slippery slope of government interference in our lives. This is how we lose freedoms, I claim, one step at a time.

MPR has a story about a person who got emphysema because of exposure to wood smoke. I heard a different version of the story on KTLK-FM this morning. I really feel for the lady. She never smoked and has a smoker’s disease. I am sympathetic.

The story says her neighbors have agreed *not* to heat their homes with wood this year. That’s super nice of them. The local authorities didn’t require the entire neighborhood to go smoke free or anything. The neighbors did the right thing for this special case. Kudos!

However, the MPR story shows a picture of a fire ring with the caption, “A fire pit and piles of wood stacked in the back yard of the O’Link family remind Jamie and Marty of a time when they romanticized the smell of wood smoke.”

WAIT a minute…that’s a leap from one person’s exposure to wood-heated homes to a fire ring outside, right? Well, I guess it is all smoke…so that means….Alarm bells are going off here. This connection, coupled with the anti-wood smoke news report skew I heard this morning, suggests “particulate matter in the air” from burning materials of any sort is the next target of the nanny state.

I’m going to make a prediction that soon our state’s consumer protectionism nazis will be at it again. Pretty soon using an outdoor stove, fire ring or using an indoor fireplace will be under attack. Maybe even charcoal grills!?!

“We didn’t know that the wood smoke was bad to inhale,” the public will cry. State Attorney Generals will sue the big box stores who sell patio fire rings. Weber Grills have to fund thousands to research a smokeless smoker. Cracker Barrel, the restaurant chain known for it’s expansive wood-burning fireplaces, will go out of business. Local campgrounds will face class-action suits from the last 10 years of campers who unknowingly exposed themselves to wood smoke while cooking their S’mores.

It’s only a matter of time before your home fireplace will be regulated down to gas-only. I hope I’m wrong, but I predict that burning wood, both indoors and out, will become the next scarlet letter of the nanny state police.

Put *that* in your pipe and smoke it.

Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.