Tuesday, October 6, 2009

KS Libertarians Organize Against Nanny State

In recent years, Kansas has seen the debate over smoking in public places at the forefront in several cities. Topeka and Manhattan were two of the last cities in the state to ban smoking in public spaces. While there is certainly a public health issue to be raised, how far are we going to let the state play Nanny to us all?

So who is heading up the effort to repeal the smoking ban? The Libertarian Party of Kansas.
Topekan Gail Trembley, who announced last week she was starting the drive, said Libertarian Party members will seek support from business owners while she plans to work with other volunteers to focus on getting petition signatures from private citizens...

Local officials say the petition to force a vote must contain the signatures of at least 5,744 registered Topeka voters, which would be equal to 25 percent of the number who cast ballots at the last municipal general election on April 7. Anyone registered to vote in Topeka may sign a petition. (STORY)
If you live in Topeka and registered to vote, you can contact Gail Trembley at southerndrawlcountry@yahoo.com for more information. And check out this article from Reason magazine. It's from 2006, but rings true today. The title is "The Race to Ban What's Bad For Us". Bans may start with smoking, but in some places, the state has taken the liberty to ban trans fat acids in restaurants and smoking even outside of restaurants and other establishments. Believe us, the government can come up with any "reason" to do "what's best for us".

What do you think about all the smoking bans taking place in restaurants and bars? Does the public health issue trump the rights of property owners every time?


  1. Anonymous10/07/2009

    We've got to stay on top of far too much legislation just like this. For a great site covering all Kansas bills in Topeka, see http://www.kansasvotes.org. It has every recorded vote from every legislator. They ACTUALLY READ every bill and the site's a snap to use in finding exactly what you want.

  2. Anonymous10/07/2009

    Government power real health hazard

    The bandwagon of local smoking bans now steamrolling across the nation has nothing to do with protecting people from the supposed threat of "second-hand" smoke.

    Indeed, the bans are symptoms of a far more grievous threat, a cancer that has been spreading for decades and has now metastasized throughout the body politic, spreading even to the tiniest organs of local government. This cancer is the only real hazard involved – the cancer of unlimited government power.

    The issue is not whether second-hand smoke is a real danger or is in fact just a phantom menace, as a study published recently in the British Medical Journal indicates. The issue is: If it were harmful, what would be the proper reaction? Should anti-tobacco activists satisfy themselves with educating people about the potential danger and allowing them to make their own decisions, or should they seize the power of government and force people to make the "right" decision?

    Supporters of local tobacco bans have made their choice. Rather than trying to protect people from an unwanted intrusion on their health, the bans are the unwanted intrusion.

    Loudly billed as measures that only affect "public places," they have actually targeted private places: restaurants, bars, nightclubs, shops and offices – places whose owners are free to set anti-smoking rules or whose customers are free to go elsewhere if they don't like the smoke. Some local bans even harass smokers in places where their effect on others is negligible, such as outdoor public parks.

    The decision to smoke, or to avoid "second-hand" smoke, is a question to be answered by each individual based on his own values and his own assessment of the risks. This is the same kind of decision free people make regarding every aspect of their lives: how much to spend or invest, whom to befriend or sleep with, whether to go to college or get a job, whether to get married or divorced, and so on.

    All of these decisions involve risks; some have demonstrably harmful consequences; most are controversial and invite disapproval from the neighbours. But the individual must be free to make these decisions. He must be free because his life belongs to him, not to his neighbours, and only his own judgment can guide him through it.

    Yet when it comes to smoking, this freedom is under attack. Smokers are a numerical minority, practising a habit considered annoying and unpleasant to the majority. So the majority has simply commandeered the power of government and used it to dictate their behaviour.

    That is why these bans are far more threatening than the prospect of inhaling a few stray whiffs of tobacco while waiting for a table at your favourite restaurant. The anti-tobacco crusaders point in exaggerated alarm at those wisps of smoke while they unleash the unlimited intrusion of government into our lives. We do not elect officials to control and manipulate our behaviour.

  3. Ken Hill10/14/2009

    Government Will Make Smokers, Children, Families, Sick

    Government's that foster anti-smoking policies lead the real health epidemic, government interference. They are not using science as their competent guide into the future. Instead they use the deep festering envy of politicized environmentalists (those unable to compete on a level playing field) to revisit remnants of the dark ages. The profound statement of philosopher/novelist Ayn Rand echoes the truth that smothers us, "Today, we live in the age of envy."

    I am a life-long non-smoker, who has lost the four most precious people in my life. Cancer was the effect, a consequence, but not the cause. Yet, I will not help to propagandize health into dictatorial policy through anti-smoking. I do not wish to repeat the 1930's, 1940's. Do you?

    Exactly how can our government "create a healthier society for all" when they betray the smoker's sense of trust, demoralize their self-confidence, disrupt their employer-employee relationships, upheave their family life, and undermind their efficacy by alienating them from their own human nature?

    This destructive mind/body dichotomy will subject smoker's to long-term emotional and mental disorders, thus leading to serious physical ailments. In reality, our government is making them sick.

    A particularily foreboding feature of the mind/body dichotomy is the government's suffocating negative influence while aggressively restricting young people from making their own decisions. Government aggression will severely jeopardize each young person's struggle to form a necessary sense of self-confidence. This fragile process is usually a traumatic experience, especially when that negative influence is hidden under the misconception of government benevolence.

    In reality, our government lacks the knowledge of the trigger mechanism that sets off most cancers or most other major diseases to then become a critical danger for human beings. It is not smoking, nor second-hand smoke. Then why does government pathetically use smoker's as their scapegoat, perhaps they require an example in order to intimidate other industries?

    Chicken Littleism is no longer a silly joke. It is now a snarling threat. Stamp out politicized environmentalism, not smokers.

  4. Anonymous10/17/2009

    If we are subjected to a lie, no matter how ridiculous, 24/7 it won't be long before the general public will take that lie for the truth. Edwin Bernays used that fact back in the 40's to become the highest paid Advertising Agent in history. It is still being used today. As long as we have people willing to subjugate others for profit it will never end. All they need are groups of people who are easily fooled to do their dirty work for them.
    Grants (Money) have been used to buy so-called Experts to spread this Fraud of SHS to our Councils/Legislators who are ignorant of the facts. Many know the facts but the Grant money is too good to refuse. After over 10 years of research I have at least 250 studies and 600 in depth reports to attest to the fraud that SHS/ETS kills. If this is true, and it is, there is no reason for business killing Smoking Bans or targeted taxes against smokers.

  5. Anonymous10/17/2009

    Smoking in the US has dropped from 54% to less than 24%. Cancer has risen by more than smoking has dropped.
    The 1992 EPA Report was vacated by Anti- Tobacco Federal Judge Osteen and was backed up by independent Scientists working with him and two Congressional Committees. The ACS had to remove an Ad in the NY Times because they could not prove their 53,000 deaths due to SHS/ETS. Over 250 studies find no connection of SHS to Cancer or Heart Disease. Even the ACS and WHO, in their largest studies, found the same conclusion.
    This push for Smoking Bans and higher Taxes is The Marketing Plan by Big-Pharma to sell Smoking Cessation NRT'S.
    Tobacco is used to make Cancer and Heart Disease fighting drugs.
    So who is lying about Tobacco?
    Think Gas/Diesel, infection and virus you will find the real culprit along with Big-Pharma.

  6. Anonymous10/17/2009

    A U.S. Supreme court decision during the early 1970's
    ((Lloyd Corp v. Tanner, 407 U.S. 551 (1992)) said a place of business
    does not become public property because the public is invited in.

    By using that same reasoning. A restaurant or bar is not public property.
    We need to support small business and stop regulating them out of

    The air inside a building is, in essence, “owned” by the
    building owner. That means that the building owner, is in a
    Position to control the amount of smoking (if any) that is
    Permitted in the building.

    Just because you invite someone into your home (private property), does not give them the right to tell you how to run your home.

    Government has the right to collect Taxes and other fees. The Health Department is responsible for protecting the public from un-seen health threats such as cleanliness and infestation by rodents, roaches, etc, which are not seen by the general public.

    Smoking/SHS is not an un-seen threat. Everyone has the right to walk out if an establishment does not suit their preferences. They control if a business survives by their right to spend or refuse to support that business.

    Signage, at the entrance, is sufficient warning needed to make an informed decision. This supports free choice.

    If Smoke Free brings in more business, smoking businesses will be forced to go Smoke Free to survive.