I can't take another ignorant defense of smoking in restaurants without responding. Secondhand and sidestream smoke are known to contain carcinogens and could certainly kill an asthmatic directly - this makes it a health hazard.
Despite all the disingenuous arguments to the contrary, that makes it fodder for regulation and therefore can and should be lawfully banned. It is not a matter of proprietors' choice any more than is deciding if they'll refrigerate their meat, clean their counters and utensils, or wash their hands after using the restroom; it's the law.
I shouldn't have to choose between a smoke-free or a smoke-filled restaurant any more than between a rat-infested or rat-free one. Smokers can choose to go butt-less for an hour or stay home.
One local restaurateur suggested that next we'd be banning fatty foods. What a demagogue! It's not about a smoker's health, it's about mine and the health of sub-minimum wage workers who have little choice of where they work. It's not legal for a nuclear power plant to send workers into the reactor without protective gear - why should restaurant owners be allowed to expose workers to hazardous chemicals?
While most smokers are very accommodating of those of us who aren't, it's often a different story inside a restaurant.
They don't seem to mind smoking while I'm eating nearby. It ruins a meal, and you get to smell it in your hair and your clothes for the rest of the evening, not to mention your coat for weeks. I wonder how long it would take for me to get kicked out of a restaurant for spraying a little air freshener around whenever smoke wafts over.
Is it right to condemn smoking in public places? Some may say yes, though living in larger industrial cities with the smog and pollution should really be more of an issue. Even commercials seem to care more about the smoking issue. I work at a bar and grill where it isn't looked down upon if you smoke or not. There's a section for each, as is with many other restaurants in Toledo. I truly do think that there would be quite a decline in guests if there were a smoking ban enforced, and I hope it will not come to that.
Look 50 years ago, when people were permitted to smoke in basically every establishment, and then look around now. Smoking has been eliminated in the appropriate places (government buildings, malls, movie theaters, etc.).
There should be quite a bit more on most people's minds right now such as the war, not the fact that sitting 20 feet away from a smoker at a restaurant may give you secondhand smoke and may hurt you in 40 years.
I commend The Blade for the wonderful job you do in your honest, unbiased reporting and for letting me express how I feel.
It's really a sad day in America. Since the big money interests that own Washington have bled the American workers dry, through lower wages and stealing from our 401(k)s, they now must declare war on a small Middle East country to kill its citizens and steal their oil.
Maybe they hope this free oil, lower taxes, and huge deficit defense spending will restart this drained economy, when all they really need to do is share a larger portion of their CEOs multimillion-dollar salaries with their workers.
Imagine, an economy full of people with real paper money to spend instead of plastic to charge.
Gov. Bob Taft would like us to believe he had no idea of the shortages Ohio faced this year in balancing the budget. That's bull! His proposal to hike sin taxes is awash, and now he is proposing to hike all auto registration, title, and license fees, plus with our already inflated gas prices at the pumps, he wants to raise the tax on gas.
Has this man not looked around Ohio lately? Jobs are being lost right along with health insurance, and what about the rising cost of health care and medications vital for those in need? And tell me what happens to those low-income taxpayers, or fixed-income taxpayers, who will have to make a choice between buying groceries, or medications, or paying their rent, or utilities when their car is due for new plates? It will be a struggle he knows nothing about or the hardships these increases will cause. He should not play us like dummies.
Government botched the job and must fix it, and not at the expense of Ohio taxpayers.
We think it is important to emphasize that those against President Bush's stance on the war with Iraq are not against the soldiers who will have to follow the orders of their commander in chief. We have a goddaughter who is a soldier stationed in Germany, soon to be deployed to the Middle East.
She writes: “I do not see the protesters in the states as against those of us in uniform. I see them testing and challenging the President to be sure he has used all options, clearly thought through his actions, before committing us to fight. I see the protesters having our best interests at heart and I assume they will support us in battle, though they may still disagree with the President.”
We think our goddaughter has it right.
MITCHELL and PHINEAS ANDERSON
Marilou Johanek started a recent column by stating “The sun came out today. Really I took it as a sign of hope amidst a time of often overbearing gloom and doom.”
Then this morning as I was driving home from the library, the sun was so bright I had to wear dark glasses (as recommended by my eye doctor). An announcer came on the radio saying that it was going to be a very cold and cloudy day. I looked up in the beautiful blue sky and the only thing I could see disturbing the blue were a few jet trails making X's.
Actually, I think this has been the sunniest winter I can remember. Each morning the sun shines brightly on my kitchen table and I sit there reading and writing, often getting overly warm. Who's right?
A points system
The practice of awarding points for college admission to members of certain races or certain ethnic populations is not analogous to the awarding of legacy points or for standardized test scores (performance). Races and ethnic populations members have immutable traits, as do whites and other minorities. Equal protection of the law? As George Orwell wrote: “some are more equal than others” under this policy.
When Thomas Jefferson wrote “that all men are created equal”:
1. The debate leading up to the writing and the context of Jefferson's writing was whether the common citizen could form a government and govern without having inherited nobility as the governors, as was the custom of European governments of the time.
2. Slavery was an instruction. It was not the exclusive franchise of white slave owners. There were black slave holders.
Where is the credible evidence that racial and ethnic diversity enhances the academics in the classroom?
The University of Michigan freshman who knows she belongs in the classroom and ponders whether she'll be tainted by the “affirmative action” controversy and/or the current euphemism, ethnic diversity, has her head screwed on right.
RICHARD F. BAILEY
I applaud the bold and decisive move by the U.S. House of Representatives to change the name of “french fries” to “freedom fries” in its cafeterias. With all that's going on right now, the world could certainly use a good laugh.