Friday, February 03, 2012

Friday Roundup: smoking in cars, child labor, and racists

* Democratic Sen. Charleta Tavares of Columbus has introduced a bill to ban smoking in cars where children younger than six are present. She believes the smoke in the cars is more harmful because it's concentrated in a small area. Of course, that only applies if the windows are closed.

Introduced on Feb. 1, S.B. 27:

The bill prohibits any person from smoking in any motor vehicle in which a child under six years of age is a passenger. For purposes of the bill, "smoke" means "to inhale, exhale, burn, or carry any lighted cigar, cigarette, pipe, or other lighted smoking device for burning tobacco or any other plant."

Whoever smokes in a motor vehicle when a child under six years of age is a passenger is subject to a $500 fine on a first offense; on each subsequent offense, the offender is subject to a fine of $500 plus $250 for each subsequent violation.

Law enforcement would have a hard time determining the age of child as a car with a smoker goes by, so how, exactly, they see enforcement of this is beyond me. Does Sen. Tavares think the police should just stop every car in order to find out how old a child might be?

And what about profiling? Will more women get tickets because they're more likely to be driving with a child in the car? What about minorities? I found this government report that shows Blacks and Asians smoke more than whites - will this bill target such ethnic groups because they are more likely to be smokers?

Remember when we were told that they were just going to ban smoking on planes? Then they started requiring smoking and non-smoking sections in restaurants, then they banned smoking in public buildings and areas, then they banned smoking in restaurants and now they want to ban smoking in cars with kids. Do you think they'll next ban smoking in homes with kids?

This is a slippery slope - and no matter how much you like or dislike smoking, or smoke-free areas, the goals can be accomplished without government mandates. But too often, people turn to government first to force their biases and preferences on others.

It is a slippery slope, with government creeping into your life in various ways until one day you wake up and your liberties are gone - all in the name of safety and 'you're own good.'

* The Department of Labor wants to ban children under the age of 16 from from operating tractors and other machinery and working with livestock. As CNSNews reports:

“This is what happens when big city bureaucrats try to craft policies for rural America,” Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.) said of the proposals.

Rehberg, who has become of the proposal’s most ardent opponents, criticized the Labor Department for drafting regulations that he says are unnecessary.

“(The) most effective way to become a safe and effective operator of farm implements is to learn at a young age under the guidance of a knowledgeable and careful instructor,” he said.

Farm groups like the South Dakota Farmers Union have also joined in the protest.

“Our children are our greatest resource for continuing family agricultural operations. Without being allowed to learn the day-to-day operation of the farm or ranch, the future of rural America would be in jeopardy.” said in official comments on Dec. 1.

See? It's for the children... And if it saves just one life... And it's for your own good... and if the government doesn't act, someone could get hurt...

Also from the article:

The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 gives the Labor Secretary power to determine both what is “suitable” and “hazardous or detrimental” labor for children.

So we put a bureaucrat in charge of determining what is "suitable" for our kids. No wonder we get laws like the proposed one from Tavares above.

* We're all racists, so get used to it. Duane Lester who writes at All American Blogger, has recently become one of my favorites for well-written sarcasm when it comes to the left. His recent column, Can We Just Resign Ourselves to the Fact That Until November, Everything is Racist?, was eye-opening as well as entertaining to read as he talks about 'code words' for racism.

When you can’t mention the Founding Fathers without it being a racist dog whistle, you know what I am saying is true. You need to accept that as fact. This isn’t going to be a campaign about the positives and negatives of a particular candidate’s economic philosophy, or their particular belief in the role of government. It is going to be a campaign designed to divide the nation by class and race.

And they have a head start. (That’s probably racist.)

I hope you'll read the entire column - and add Duane to your blogger list.

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