The Herd

By Norman E. Kjono, March 27, 2007

The Herd
From NBC Channel 4, March 27, 2007, "Burbank to Vote on Proposed Smoking Ban:"  

"BURBANK, Calif. -- Burbank could be the next local city to outlaw smoking in outdoor areas according to NBC4. Tuesday night the Burbank City Council will vote on a measure that would ban smoking in public places, according To NBC4's Jinah Kim, and officials are expecting to get plenty of public comment on the issue. Burbank's mayor Todd Campbell told NBC4 that he expects the commentary to last about four hours. . . . 'We want to make Burbank a friendlier place for people to get together and congregate,' Mayor Campbell said. When asked if he thought a complete ban would be an example of political correctness taken too far, the mayor disagreed. 'If you look at the health studies, this is one of the prevailing ways people have premature deaths and lung illness. The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment has the evidence that shows that actually smoking or passive smoking where people are involuntarily inhaling cigarette smoke actually are affected health-wise,' Campbell said." (Underline added.)  

Actually (pardon the redundancy . . .), the risks of Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) are not as represented by political tobacco control advocates such as Mayor Campbell.  Which places his assertion that "We want to make Burbank a friendlier place for people to get together and congregate" in a unique light: how can ostracizing, falsely demeaning, and shunning a political "Target Group," to garner political and economic advantage, possibly make any city a "friendlier place"?  In fact, we merely experience yet another group of opportunistic politicians advancing the same Big Drugs, Big Tobacco mercantile agenda in yet another city with as yet no critical thought whatsoever.  

Consider the above excerpt in light of page 22 from "Planning for a Tobacco Free Washington:

Strategy: . . . the most effective way to reduce smoking rates is to decrease public tolerance of tobacco use. 

Policy: Changing public acceptance of tobacco use will require policy change, a critical ingredient of societal change. 

            Increasing the price of tobacco products

            Increasing the number of smoke-free environments 

Social change requires that people receive persistent and consistent messages from sources they trust. To this end ASSIST resources will be used to generate a variety of media messages that will foster and strengthen public support for proposed policy changes. (Underline added.)  

Principal among the important issues that should be explored concerning tobacco control is that since its first public Action Plans in 1993 the entire program has been based on violating important premises set forth in tort law. My layman's view is that willfully setting about a planned course of action to intentionally decrease public tolerance of "Target" consumers who lawfully consume legal products is egregious.  To do so based on demonstrably false information is, by apparent definition, a tortuous act. Such conduct cannot be justified under any circumstances.  

Those who apparently lack the ability to develop truly beneficial and constructive public policy inevitably fall prey to special-interest script dogma. Being unable to create policy of substance or merit on their own they necessarily rely on pre-scripted "Action Plans." Nothing can be done for those so fixated on exploiting what they believe to be "risk free" intolerance-mongering that they lose sight of common sense and basic decency toward their neighbors and members of their own communities. Those afflicted with that opportunistic malady of spirit preen in spotlight-of-the-moment glory, while conspicuously displaying abject ignorance of sound public policy. The kindest thing one can do for them is to encourage escalation of their behavior.  In short order, reality will present itself. Sooner than later, the Agenda-Afflicted politically succumb to their self-induced illness of spirit.  

The once-mighty Joe McCarthy-now infamous for waving his list of 205 communists in government that did not exist as he represented-comes to mind. Wave away your list of alleged dangers for ETS, to "Save the Children" yet again, Mayor Campbell. Blindly rely on that list, members of the Burbank city Council. When your EST list is exposed to be as blank as Joe McCarthy's the mob you inspire today could become tomorrow night's worst political nightmare. Ask George W. about that.  

The City of Burbank's City Council inspires presenting a short story included on pages 171 - 172 of "Far Journeys," by Robert Monroe (Broadway Books 1985): 

"It is sunset. The Guernsey has walked many miles around the pasture in her forage for food. The grass had been more lush today here, though she did not bother to consider why. She had come through the gate calmly when He directed her to do so, instead of the gate across the road. He knew she would find better grass here, and that was why He moved her here, thought she did not realize it. She only did what He directed.

But now, at sunset, it is time again. She must go to His place. There is a goading pain in her underside that tells her this. At His place up on the hill, it is cool and there is more food. And He will take the pain away.

The Guernsey moves up the hill and waits beside His place. Soon, the gate will open and she will walk into her position in His place, and eat the grass He places before her. While she eats, He will relieve the pain until morning.

After that, Man will walk away with white water in a round container. The Guernsey does not know where he got the white water nor why He desires it.

Not Knowing, she doesn't care." 

Guernsey city council members seldom stop to consider what happens to those in the herd who no longer produce Mother's Milk for special-interests. Unfortunately, by engorging on His grass today, they predictably impose harm on others outside their council Animal Farm. 

Then again, energy always balances. There's hope in that.  

Norman E. Kjono


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