Sunday, February 15, 2009

No Nanny State Here

The Oregon State Legislature has a bill, that if passed will make it illegal for people to smoke in a car if there is a child under 16 in the vehicle. The local paper had an interesting comment about it:
Now I think that people who smoke in a closed space with children present are idiots and the poor kids who had the misfortune to have to endure such adults should be pitied, but do the police need another excuse to pull you over? Also, it could be argued that a stressed out mother, craving nicotine, with a screaming toddler in the mandatory car seat, could be a greater menace to the kid's health than the second hand smoke.
Here most of the men smoke and almost none of the women. In fact, in the four months or so that I have spent here, I have counted seven women smoking! The men smoke everywhere. Restaurants, cars, airports, stores, even hospital rooms. It actually isn't as bad as you might think, you just run into some smoke every once in a while.
Cars have the right of way. If you want to cross a street, the act is a lot like the old video game "Frogger". Big streets have lights and cross walks, that are mostly safe. I have yet to see a car seat. Seat belt use? Maybe. You see more of stuff like the family on the motorcycle. Dad might have a helmet on. Or not. And yacking into his cell phone that's cradled on his shoulder. I saw a guy text messaging while on his motorcycle the other day.
The do gooders that try to control our daily sins should take a trip to less fortunate countries. There is fertile ground here for their meddling.

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