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Speak Out 3/8/11

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Cut salaries

WHILE the government's cutting the budget, why don't they cut their salaries in half and go on Social Security like everybody else? That would definitely put a big chunk of change back into the system. They don't need to be paid what they're getting.

Smoking, veterans

IN America, 450,000 people die from smoking each year. One eighth of them are non-smokers who die from breathing secondhand smoke. I applaud the VFW members who fought hard to protect our rights. Sadly, many VFW members cannot even attend events at the VFW building because they have respiratory problems and the secondhand smoke keeps them out. By regulating smoking to outdoors, they too can participate in events.

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Some quick math: 450 Representatives + 100 Senators + 1 President + 9 Justices = $98.7 million (roughly) or about %.0033 of the federal budget. This is equivalent to someone who earns $10,000 per year gross giving up $.03. This assumes of course that they work for free and the federal budget is $3 trillion. Hardly a "big chunk of change".


Ahhh, there is that magical number again, 1 in 8 people, just like appeared on the billboard at the corner of Kingshighway and Williams street courtesy of Cape Breathe Easy. So where does this value come from? No one knows for sure but it is generally equal to the estimated number of deaths in 2005 attributed to second hand smoke. Specifically 3000 for lung cancer, 46,000 from coronary disease, and 430 babies from SIDS. These numbers are estimated from statistical modeling based on survey questions doctors ask patients after diagnosis. Questions such as "Do you work in an environment that allows smoking?" or "Have you ever lived with a smoker?".

Strangely, questions regarding common exposure risks are missing from the surveys I have found. Questions such as "Have you ever been exposed to smoke from car exhaust?" or "Do you burn wood for heat?" or "Have you ever had multiple X-rays to identify a medical condition?" instead give way to "Have you ever worked at a nuclear power plant?" or "Were you ever exposed to nuclear materials?"

The reasoning for such deception is easy enough to understand. If you are an organization such as the American Lung Association, or even the Surgeon General, whose battle cry is to reduce the number of needless deaths you have to frighten the majority, ie. non-smokers, that there is a direct danger to them from the actions of the minority. That fear will then cause them to petition the government for protection involving ways that reduce the actions of said minority and thus reduce the number of deaths of that minority population.

No other product has been so demonized over such a minute amount of time as tobacco. Currently it is blamed for just about any chronic disease, from strokes and heart attacks to cataracts and hip fractures. Seriously, go to http://smoking.ygoy.com/2009/05/23/stati... to see for yourself.

As for the VFW and smoking, it a private organization and thus it should be up to it's members to decide on smoke free or not. If smoking was as big a problem as suggested, then it would have already been solved as the majority of VFW members are themselves non-smokers, assuming that the 1 in 4 population is a smoker representation is even remotely close.

-- Posted by non-biasedphilosopher on Tue, Mar 8, 2011, at 4:32 AM

Here we go again with a biased statement from the "non-biased" philosopher. Posters have shown you numbers, statistics, as have I, which you refuse to believe.

In my opinion, you are a smoker who doesn't want to be alarmed or feel guilty about what your smoking is doing to the loved ones around you.

For the record, I have taken the surveys which have asked about x-rays and exhaust (albeit several years past). One asked about environmental smoke from burning...I think you are in denial.

-- Posted by Theorist on Tue, Mar 8, 2011, at 6:00 AM

non-biasedphilosopher - It smells like crap

-- Posted by vf43WRX on Tue, Mar 8, 2011, at 8:15 AM

To non-biasedphilosopher, a hot news flash for you. Really! Smoking kills people in large numbers. Sadly, one of them was my father. He died at 77 years old, still towing an oxigen tank and puffing on a cool cigarette. My best friend is 65 and doing the same. Enough is enough!I am an X smoker, quit after 40 years. Imiss it, but miss my Dad more.

-- Posted by wrcactus on Tue, Mar 8, 2011, at 8:19 AM

Rick, are you saying that we shouldn't try to fix any problems because someone somewhere would have to find another source of income?

Let's apply your logic: if crack causes hallucinations that make the user become violent and kill other people, "there could be a problem"... if all crackheads out there stopped consuming the drug, the majority of homicides related to this drug use "would go away"... Universities, police departments and research centers would lose millions of $$$$ in grants to research a solution for the problem... hundreds of scientists would be out of work ....maybe it'd be simpler to legalize crack.

-- Posted by wgs2016 on Tue, Mar 8, 2011, at 8:25 AM

non-biased, you left out the $2mil. plus a year in office expenses for the 550 elected officials. and they should give up their health insurance. that's a big chunk of change.

-- Posted by obobo on Tue, Mar 8, 2011, at 8:44 AM


Everytime someone brings up a way to save money someone else will bring up the stats to indicate that the proposed savings is only a small part of the budget...true....however, my mother had another saying that I live by.."take care of the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves"...if we cut a large number of expenses the total will add up to a large savings

Go after the absentee fathers who father kids and leave their kids to live on welfare...Social security and medicare are not the only things that cost money but they are the first things mentioned...

-- Posted by walela on Tue, Mar 8, 2011, at 11:37 AM

Rather than cut salaries as a way to save money . . not a big savings in the grand scheme of things . . . cut salaries for failure to do their jobs. There may be an organization in the world that is less productive than the congress of the United States of America but I have yet to see it.

-- Posted by one4kids on Tue, Mar 8, 2011, at 12:19 PM

There may be an organization in the world that is less productive than the congress of the United States of America but I have yet to see it.

Posted by one4kids

The UN, US Dept of Energy, US Dept of Education, DEA, any Federal Bureaucrat, Imigration Dept., the list goes on.

Go after the absentee fathers who father kids and leave their kids to live on welfare

Posted by walela

Careful, left wing may construe that as racist. And besides, if Hillary taught us anything, it's that "it takes a village". Now stop complaining and buck up and pay your share.

-- Posted by FreedomFadingFast on Tue, Mar 8, 2011, at 12:50 PM


I have seen no posting of yours, regarding second hand smoke, that provides anything other than innuendo, opinion, and sarcasm. Likewise, I have seen no statistics from other postings that are verifiable, just like the ones I addressed from the caller.

You are very likely someone who doesn't like the smell of burning tobacco and therefore will blindly accept any information that supports reducing the burning of it. This also applies to any action by government or the citizenry designed to restrict the use of tobacco. For those individuals who enjoy the smell of burning tobacco, such actions serve to restrict their enjoyment in totality. This serves to provide you with what you desire at the expense of others and is therefore in no way a measure of equality.

While you are free to decide whether or not you allow smoking in your house, your car, or any other property you own, no one has the right to inflict their beliefs upon others. This issue is compounded by individuals who have misinterpreted the information from research. Worse, they dismiss research out of hand because it was funded by "big tobacco" and therefore must be erroneous.

Good science means you do not get to pick and choose what data you are going to accept based on what you believe is true. To their credit, the various Surgeon Generals have included research and surveys that identified no link between second hand smoke and cancer risks, but there is much more that was left out.

If addressing the meaning of freedom for all and providing verifiable data to correct the various misconceptions is being biased, then I welcome such. I have always believed that America is the land of the free, meaning freedom for all not just the majority. Sadly, many people are only too happy to rewrite that value to freedom for me and screw you.

-- Posted by non-biasedphilosopher on Tue, Mar 8, 2011, at 1:26 PM

@DT I would agree that many of the folks you name are in the running, I just don't think they rise to the level of ineptitude and uselessness that congress displays.

I would also suggest that some of the agencies you suggest take their lead from whoever sits in the oval office (for better or worse). . unfortunately, the congress has been pretty much useless my entire life.

-- Posted by one4kids on Tue, Mar 8, 2011, at 3:13 PM


You must be young. Congress did a fair job (not great mind you) of working together and getting things done (despite their idealogical differences) up until the 90's when one party took 40+ years of control from the other, whereupon said party began to act like spoiled children leading the other party to swoop down to the same spoiled child level.


As far as I can tell, the only job of the deadbeat mother is to refuse to put the name of the child's father on the birth certificate. This prevents state governments from being able to identify the father in order to collect support. Government pays more than fathers don't you see. It's what I call, "no strings attached gov't hand-outs". Refuse to name the father, we the gov't will pay you, no questions asked. Can't say I blame the mothers.

-- Posted by FreedomFadingFast on Tue, Mar 8, 2011, at 3:33 PM

@DT thanks . . haven't been called young in quite a while. . .I acknowledge part of the 90's being exceptional. Really is quite a statement tho . . .4 years where congress actually acted like the leaders they were sent to Washington to be. Tsk Tsk

-- Posted by one4kids on Tue, Mar 8, 2011, at 3:49 PM

Cut the salaries and perks of Congress so that the people who are there to enrich themselves find another line of work. Leave public service to people that want to serve the public.

-- Posted by bobby62914 on Tue, Mar 8, 2011, at 8:28 PM

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