Letters to the Editor

From the week of February 13, 2003

I'll leave you with a quote from Mark Twain: "There are lies, damn lies, and statistics."

Chad Leake
via the Internet

War and peace: Perhaps an analogy might bring Jason Sheehan to an understanding of the other side of the smoking issue. He doesn't have to agree, but at least seeing the other side will help him argue his point more effectively.

Imagine yourself sitting in a small apartment, trying to sleep. You have to get up early the next morning. The guy above you decides to play his music loud enough that your walls are shaking. Suppose that music is the type you hate -- whether that be rap, heavy metal, country or elevator music. Imagine there are no laws protecting you against this intrusion. You talk to the guy, and he tells you that if you don't like it...leave. There are other apartments out there, and you can't infringe on his right to listen to his music. You feel as if his right is trampling all over your right to get some sleep.

I anticipate that Jason will argue that since you're in your home, it's different. Okay, so take the same scenario and now you are at the beach, hiking in the mountains, or doing some other activity where you would like to enjoy the surroundings.

I understand Jason's defensiveness. However, his personal insults and rash stereotypes do little to persuade me. I am pretty sure a ban on smoking in restaurants is a good thing. It really does ruin the taste of the meal, and I am concerned about exposing my daughter to smoke. I was undecided on the ban in bars. After reading Jason's articles, I'm thinking it might be a good idea.

I couldn't wade through all Jason's crap to find his true points. So I am under the impression that he just doesn't give a s--- about anybody else's rights but his own.

Stephanie Gee
via the Internet

Dangerous liaisons: I read Jason Sheehan's article on smoking and loved it. Too bad something cannot be done to stop these do-gooders! I, like Jason, smoke knowing full well the dangers. But driving in your own neighborhood can be dangerous, as is going out alone after dark. And then there are the foods or drugs that were great for you two years ago but are now bad for you. It really doesn't matter what you do; someone out there will find something "dangerous" about it. What are we to do?

As for restaurants and bars, if they go non-smoking, I will not patronize them. I feel that it should be left up to the owner. You can't tell me that employees are stupid and need "them" to make employees' lives safer. Can't people decide for themselves what is right for them? Do all of us need to be guided through life like we have lost our decision-making abilities? What is to stop "them" from going after alcohol for a total ban? Maybe down the road we will only have eateries!

If they feel this way about cigarettes, then maybe cigarettes should be an illegal substance. That is how they are treating them. No matter what "they" choose to go after, it won't matter, because there will always be something dangerous out there. Matter of fact, getting out of your shower is dangerous to your body.

Great job. I look forward to reading more of Jason's articles.

Sandra Hagaman

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