Thursday, February 19, 2009

Now on Facebook: STOP the Sierra Madre Smoking Ban!

Just when you think you've seen all of the most ridiculous things that life has to offer, the great cosmic clown in the sky steps up and hurls another big fat cream filled pie in your face. Ah well, at least it teaches humility.

So let me get this straight, there is now a new campaign on the march in this town, and it involves getting kids together to fight for a great cause? Apparently so, and right on, man! So they're organizing to help stop the war in Iraq, right? Bring peace to the Middle East? Get the troops back home? No? Oh, OK. So they're attacking racism in the hopes that we can live in freedom and equality, right? Not that either? Hmm. Oh, I know. They're forming groups that will stop the clear-cutting of our last remaining old growth forests? Not that either? So what is this cause?!?

Well, I'm afraid for that one you're just going to have to go to the "Stop The Smoking Ban -Bad for Business - Bad for Sierra Madre" website on Facebook. Are you familiar with Facebook? It is a site for kids looking to find other like-minded kids to hang out with, and originally was only available to college students. Later it was open to a more general public, though it is still very much a youth oriented affair.

So here is what these Sierra Madre Smokers have to say on Facebook about the topic of their woe:

The Sierra Madre City Council is proposing an ordinance to prohibit smoking in outdoor dining areas. The Council is of the opinion that outdoor exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS, or second-hand smoke) is directly responsible for putting non-smokers at risk for respiratory problems and disease.

What the Council doesn't want to admit is that no reputable studies exist that demonstrate health risks associated with exposure to second-hand smoke. The prevailing study, published by the EPA over 15 years ago was lambasted by a Federal court, which concluded that the EPA "cherry picked" its data to reach a predetermined conclusion.

Umm, got any cites to back up that bucket of baloney, Marlboro Man? Because I have 3 cites here that would contest your claims, and all are far more recent than that "15 years ago" figure you're throwing around. And from world class medical organizations and not the "EPA." Click on any of them. And there are lots more where these came from.

The Marlboro Man continues:

Smokers don't like being defamed, being insulted, being called "addicts" or "junkies," being sent out in the cold and rain, or away from the building to smoke, having children taught to hate and fear us, being called "ignorant, selfish child abusers" or even worse, vilified as "murderers" with regards to second-hand smoke.

Good Lord, who writes this stuff? And did they take advanced diet medication shortly before doing so? I mean, are these people actually attempting to equate their tobacco smoking plight with what happened to oppressed minorities back in the bad old days? Are we actually talking victim culture here?

Let's see, now what else does this site reveal? There is a claim that the site has 92 members, which seems like a lot. Ah! But 70 haven't replied, which means that the vast majority of the names on here are from those folks who try and get their mugs on every site in the Facebook universe.

But there are some prominent local family names included here as well. Spigai-Perez, Brandley, and Lambdin? (To access the members list you will need to set up a Facebook account.)

Uh oh. Can it actually be that members of families prominent in the fight to defeat Measure V and open Sierra Madre up to the Great California Condo Invasion are now actively working to encourage kids in their nascent tobacco addictions? Or even more bizarre, are they actually attempting to organize youthful cigarette smokers to fight City Hall? And for what purpose? I mean, it can't be for the utterly stupid reasons that they're talking about here, can it? What is this, 1975?

It appears that there is also a website, which can be accessed here. Allow me to share a quote or two:

The Sierra Madre City council wants to take away your rights! We are building a grassroots coalition of smokers and non-smokers committed to stopping Sierra Madre's proposed outdoor dining area smoking ban. Nonsmokers have a safe haven indoors, yet many still want to restrict those who choose to smoke from doing so outdoors ... Stand with us in solidarity and let the city council know that we won't allow them to label us as criminals.

All the kiddy manipulation aside, what cause could be less popular in this or any other town than that of folks who stand around the fronts of restaurants and coffee shops smoking cigarettes? Outdoor brown bag wine enthusiasts? Litter bugs? People who use leaf blowers at 7 o'clock in the morning?

You just have to ask. What are these people drinking?


  1. They obviously are being put up to this by the dirts who want to make the city council look bad and/or make the downtown area look bad.....the dirts love to claim the downtown is withering up and drying away due to the passage of Measure V.
    I suppose had Measure V been defeated and we had abandoned projects, half built or torn down buildings.....those of us who supported the Measure would have been making the same complaint.

  2. Spigai-Perez, Brandley, and Lambdin?
    Add, Matt and Joe Mosca, Carol Canterbury, James Carlson,
    It's a real dirt fest that obvious plot against the council members who do NOT favor over development of the town, which would of course be Mayor Zimmerman, Mayor Pro-tem MacGillivray, and Councilman Don Watts.

  3. Astonishing. First Jim Snider and his porn site, and now
    a campaign that encourages kids to smoke? What's next?
    Free heroin day at Kersting Court?

  4. Lying to kids about smoking. Wow. Just when you
    think the Dirts couldn't get any lower, they pull a
    a shiny new one out of their bag of tricks.


  5. Disgusting is right.
    Wonder if they'll make the front page of that even more DISGUSTING Mountain views "observer" that Harriet puts out ever 10 or 12 know, the one you can't ever find on the news stands when you are looking for the legal notices we all pay for.
    You dirts have hit a low almost equal to their support and contributions to Jim Snider websites, Cumquat and Qunt and Beth Buck's
    I would like to thank Beth Buck, however, you hung a name on your supporters that will stick for decades. THE DIRTS.

  6. Maybe this entire thing is a diversion to distract everyone's attention from something else.

  7. Isn't Lisa Spigai-Perez an elementary school teacher in town? Wasn't Spigai-Perez also a significant thugger on behalf of No on V? I used to see her and her husband - who recently rooked the elderly ladies at the Woman's Cluib with his "opera" luncheon (15 bucks per person!) - sitting at Starbucks with Carol Canterbury and Jim Snider, Snider the attack porno blogger introduced to us by council member John Buchanan. These people are twisted sickos.

  8. I can't figure out what to do here. Be appalled
    or just laugh my head off. There really is no place like Sierra Madre.

  9. Don't forget Buchanan appointed Perez to the library committee to cleanse his image. Buchanan himself was rumored to have been baptized at Ascension church while the "attack porno blog" was in full swing.

  10. The library, eh? So now kids who read 10 books in a month will get a pack of Marlboros as a reward? And maybe a Sierra Madre Library lighter if they hand in a report?

  11. Arnold "Miquel" Perez actually charged the ladies at the Woman's Club to hear him sing?
    You've got to be kidding?
    Wonder if any of those nice ladies know he is the same Arnold "Miquel" Perez who threatened an elderly man on the sidewalk in Sierra Madre because the man had spoken up for Measure V at a City Council meeting?

  12. Wrapping oneself in the city flag, religion or with children is a classic scoundrel's defense. Remember Susan Henderson and the hapless boy scout troop she put on the front there a scout badge for getting fooled by a con there a special attack porn section in the library, underwritten by Buchanan and Perez? Will there be a tribute to Jim Snider by John Buchanan, self-proclaimed defender of free speech... speech that abuses and harrasses upstanding senior citizens which was Snider's specialty? Perhaps Perez will do a special evening of readings from Snider at $15 a pop.

  13. Hey I smoke and don't need to do it on the sidewalk or in front of a store.

  14. I doin;t know what;s worse, Perez
    charging $15 to hear him sing or
    the ladies actually paying it!

  15. I can't figure out what this movement against the smoking ban is really about. Does anybody care to weigh in? Doesn't it go against our police practice of using youth spies to "sting" store owners who sell young people cigarettes? By the way, what a strange life lesson that is for those youthful "spies." Anyway, I am confused.

  16. Dag - hopefully, nobody showed up.

  17. What the heck?
    Does this mean some of the people mentioned in the comments will actually come to a city council meeting? Buchanan and Mosca look lonely at the meetings now. Where are their supporters? Are the pro-smoking residents going to come, or are they just sending in the cigarette kids to enliven the place with all that angry young man moral indignation?
    Nicotine is one of the most addictive substances on Earth. You have to feel sorry for smokers.

  18. The "right" to smoke. Kind of alongside the right to commit suicide. These kids are so malleable and their masters so manipulative. I'm headed to facebook, which by the way, Sir Eric, has quite a mature constituency as well.

  19. Pasta, you could be on to something about distraction. What else is on the council agenda for the next meeting? If hours are taken up with this last gasp effort to deny the science on the effects of smoke, many people will leave the meeting or turn off the TV. It worked during the Joffe and Buchanan mayorships, when meetings went on past midnight - and who made presentations at 11:30 p.m.? The developers.

  20. Hey, there's a public notice about the Congregational Church requesting a General Plan Amendment and Zoning Change for the next meeting.

  21. I think ALL the council members were for restricting smoking in outside areas where people are eating. That's can still smoke in other outdoor areas.
    Several cities have this restriction, and it's very reasonable.
    It's a health issue.
    I don't like to sit outside at Beantown because there is ALWAYS people smoking out there, the tables are close and it's not pleasant for those of us who do not smoke.
    Again, smokers, you can still walk by on the sidewalk smoking. Just don't sit an chain smoke at a table next to non-smokers.
    I think the dirts are on board with this for a reason, they are using this to either cover another agenda or waste the time of the council. They are using these kids who smoke.
    These kids made fools of themselves at the last council meeting.
    Pasta is correct.
    What's your REAL AGENDA, dirts????? You can bet your "butts" that Sir Eric will "smoke" you out and we'll expose you all.

  22. Copy & paste & you can watch a debate on public health & smoking bans.;id=6857

  23. Perhaps it is a council meeting time delaying tactic after all.

  24. Yeah, especially after Buchanan weighs in with 30 minutes of his usual non sequiters.

  25. I sure hope the Mayor sticks to the 3 minute rule. I wish he could impose it on John and Joe.

  26. The Cong Curch is wanting to change some of the city's commercial and residential property to institutional. There goes housing and business opportunities. They knew how it was zoned when they acquired it. Just like Maranatha they want our city changed to meet their wants.

    Is that Brandley's daughter on the facebook site to support the smoking issue?

  27. The Brandley on the No Smoking Ban page is Lisa Bartolai Brandley. A groaned up person. All kinds of folks not only on there, but linked to the main players as well. And did you know that Miguel Perez has the same middle name as President Obama?

  28. My stance with this No Smoking Ban as a manager and server at Lucky Baldwin's Delirium is to keep what business we have in Sierra Madre in Sierra Madre. This outcome could and would directly affect my livelihood along with many others. I am by no means promoting or encouraging anyone to start smoking.

    Lisa Bartolai Brandley

  29. Isn't it possible that those who might wish to eat at Lucky Baldwins would do so if they didn't have to run the gauntlet of carcinogens that envelops the place? I know I walk on the far side of the street rather than having to breath the air in front of your restaurant.

  30. Heh. Gives a whole new meaning to the term
    "business is dying in Sierra Madre."

  31. I believe that it's possible, that many of the posters on this subject are either reading too much, or not enough, into it.

    Consider this:

    The Dirts have become (somewhat) irrelevant and are desperate to get back into power. With their usual stupidity, they have chosen to grandstand on an issue of NO real importance in order to create some sort of legitimacy for themselves.

    They need to remake their image(s) so that they can effectively "hawk' their chosen candidates for City Council next year.

    If those reading this comment don't think this scenario is valid then consider another possibility.

    The Dirts have a well-known penchant for perversity; as anyone that ever perused the pages of the Cumquat and Qunt may recall.

    Perhaps this is a twisted attempt on their part to attract young boys and girls by luring them with cigarettes and beer. Why else would they be using a website used predominantly by young people?

  32. Ben, that is one amazing observation. Thanks!

  33. Ben could be right on the money, here.
    The dirts have no integrity or morals.
    I would just about believe they are capable of anything.

  34. I'll bet that horrible Glenn Lambdin is behind this whole thing.
    He is known for dirty dealing, thuggery, and using developer money to sue his neighbors, and has the morals of an alley cat.
    Sierra Madre would sure be a better place if he just left!

  35., rather scumbags using children, here we go once again....and look who they are. Why are we surprised? It happens everyday in America and they grow up to be entitled like the DIRTS! We probably will have Rush to join them, WOW more drama in Sierra Madre...

  36. What a bizarre story.

  37. Lisa, allowing people to smoke in front of businesses doesn't make a business more thriving. Other customers routinely object to smokers and ask them to put out their cigarettes. It isn't really possible to sit in front of Lucky Baldwin's and smoke anyway, unless you are the only person there. As for Beantown, many customers defected to Starbucks to avoid the smoke. So allowing smoking isn't a business booster.

  38. 11:07 is right.
    If this little group of smoker's rights thinks they will come in and win their case at the March 10th city council meeting, they are mistaken.
    This issue is cut and dried. Second hand smoke can be proven. There was a well known local young woman who spoke at the last CC meeting, explaining why she doesn't care to sit at Beantown with her small children. She also told the council that she had a brother in law who died of lung cancer from second hand smoke. Also in that audience was a man who had lost his daughter to second hand smoke.
    Pretty hard to convince these people that blowing smoke at people isn't harmful to their health.
    You people pushing this issue of your "right" to smoke in an eating are not only losers because you will be losers on this issue. You're just wrong, if you can't give up your smoking, give up trying to convince others it's your is not.

  39. We need to call this one for what it is, just about the most hare-brained "dirt" scheme in years. Their mad obsession with the Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem has so devoured them that they actually believe cigarette smoking on our downtown sidewalks will somehow help their cause. The exact opposite is happening in that people now are not only being more aware of the smoking ban issue, but will also feel even greater gratitude for our City Council for making it happen.

  40. They aren't "banning" smoking....just RESTRICTING it from outdoor tables where people eat food and drink.

  41. So it's a restriction - then why protest? Ben may be right on his second theory. These young people should stay away from these older dirts. And who is paying for the protest flyers, who designed the web page, etcetera?

  42. 7:55
    That's a good question.
    Someone has organized this and paid for it.
    We'll soon find out why.

  43. The STOP THE SMOKING BAN website really shows the ignorance of these people.

    It is NOT a BAN, it is a RESTRICTION, against smoking in eating areas.

  44. Actually somking is bad for the businesses because if a smoker lights up after dinner he is continuing to use a table which could have been use by a new customer. Eat,leave and then light up.

  45. Many of the children supporting this are still in HIGH SCHOOL at la Salle and Flintridge Prep. I am surprise the dirts did not recruit from the local middle schools.

  46. So where do high school kids buy their cigs?

  47. Dirts are probably buying anyone a carton who will go create trouble at the council meeting.

  48. You people are hilarious. 'Who designed the webpage!?!?"
    You don't think anyone can design and host a webpage without help? You think it has to be backed by some conspiracy just because kids on a facebook group share a last name with your political enemies? I know this may blow your mind but kids don't usually get involved in their parent's arcane political battles. The Facebook group has 70 or so members because that is the number of people, apparently, who feel affected by the issue.
    Your secondhand smoke studies do not apply here because we are talking about smoke that is OUTSIDE-no one is demanding that anyone be allowed to smoke in a kindergarten. Those studies were talking about living in a house with a smoker. (If you really care about health, then why don't we ban smoking in the whole town?) If you don't want smoke near where you eat, then ask the shop owner to ban smoking and don't eat there until he does. See? Easy. What people used to do before they got used to the Nanny State doing everything for them. You attack the "kids" for being idiots for smoking, yet you are rhe real fools by begging the government to be involved in your lives.

  49. Alex. Is your third sentence a question or a statement? You should show your response to your English teacher. Your writing is as bad as your logic.

  50. Alex,

    More government intrusion into our personal lives is a non-issue for these people. It's the same mentality as the moralist bigots who used outright lies and deceit to push for the passage of Proposition 8 last year. It's the self-centered "I don't like this, so I want a law against it" mentality.

    First, cite some real, statistically significant studies that conclusively demonstrate serious health risks from exposure to OUTDOOR ETS that are not backed by organizations with an agenda. ACS and ALA have a stated goal to push for a tobacco-free country via legislation.

    And really. A master scheme orchestrated by people you hate? How convenient.

    Information on domain name/website owners is a matter of public record. These people would rather sit around and hatch conspiracy theories than simply do some easy research. A website costs as little as $15 per year. A P.O. box runs you $35 for six months. You really think that the "cigarette kids" aren't capable of leveraging technology and perhaps forgoing a few packs of cancer sticks to finance it?

    Apparently reason and logic are not sufficient for the Sierra Madre Tin Foil Hat Club, who would rather leverage their hate, vitriol and junk science to underhandedly pass a smoking "restriction." And I'd be willing to bet that if it came to a citywide smoking "restriction," they'd still spew false claims and invoke public health to pass a law against something they personally don't like. Everyone else be damned, the world revolves around them.

  51. 11:36,

    Are you just going to criticize the grammar of those who dare not share your opinions? You accused Alex of bad logic as well, but you did not explain yourself. And why haven't you corrected those who share your opinions for THEIR bad grammar?

    You're not a very effective armchair debate champion.


  53. Gotta love it. Junk science as in the findings of the American Cancer Society, National Institute of Health and the American Lung Association? As opposed to the conclusive findings cited by the the tobacky yackin' slackers? You know, that the Environmental Protection Agency cooked it all up and some undesignated Federal Judge stepped in to make it all better again? 15 years ago? What tobacco lobby comic book did you dig that nonsense from?

    And equating the banning of known carcinogens from public spaces is the equivalent of banning gay marriage? Ha ha ha!! What a jackass. Dude, I voted AGAINST Prop 8. Can you say the same for the freak show you claim to be speaking for? I highly doubt it.

    Thanks for bringing this issue to the attention of the people of Sierra Madre, boys. All that cheering you'll be hearing soon will be from the people of this town when your goofy gambit is given the big old City Hall flush it deserves.

  54. "Tobacky Slackin' Yackers!" LOL!!

  55. Civil libertarians with serious monkeys on your backs:
    You have the right to put yourselves at risk. You do not have the right to put anyone else at risk.

  56. Anon @12:16.

    You seem to be articulating your own position exactly here- note a few slight changes for the logic of the thing -

    "Apparently reason and logic are not sufficient for the Sierra Madre Tin Foil Hat" Smokers "Club, who would rather leverage their hate, vitriol and junk science to" rail against "a smoking "restriction." And I'd be willing to bet that if it came to" preventing "a citywide smoking "restriction," they'd still spew false claims and invoke" personal freedoms "to pass a law against something they personally don't like. Everyone else be damned, the world revolves around them."

    Anybody got a light?

  57. I can't wait to see the BUTTHEAD KIDS make fools of themselves again.

  58. Duuhhhh, secondhand smoke is good for you! It has vitamins and stuff! I saw it in a magazine. No, really!

  59. Listen, people. Secondhand smoke can elevate cancer risks over long periods in confined areas, like when you work in a bar for 30 years. There are no studies that show OUTDOOR second hand smoke is dangerous, period. Relative to the levels of particulates in the air from exhaust fumes, a cigarette here and there is a drop in the ocean. There is absolutely NO risk from smelling some as you walk into a restaurant. It's idiotic to sit here and pretend that all of a sudden, kids are gonna start dropping dead or you're going to get cancer from a whiff of smoke. It's nonsense. Are you really that weak and afraid of everything you encounter outdoors? What kind of world of pathetic whiny people are you creating by driving from sight everything that offends your sensibilities?

    I'm all for smokers being respectful and not allowing their smoke to bother other people. But if it isn't blowing at you, or you're just walking by, you are not at risk. If you feel you are at risk from it, ask a smoker to move away or stop, and he or she likely will. No: You don't have the temerity to ask them, do you? You'd rather pass a law and then grin behind your hand as they get ticketed. It's cowardice.

    That brings us to the comment made here by "Old kentucky," who said:

    "you are not only losers because you will be losers on this issue. You're just wrong, if you can't give up your smoking, give up trying to convince others it's your is not."

    That is the attitude of a teetotaling fascist who simply can't stand the idea that someone, somewhere, might be having a good time. Is that to be the prevailing attitude of Sierra Madre -- you have no right to have bad habits? We will tell you what you can and can't do?

    Sierra Madre will lose a lot of business if this ordinance passes. From what I can see, about half the people who go to the pub -- and certainly the ones who stay there the longest -- are smokers. Why should they go sit there if they aren't going to be comfortable too? Isn't the point of a pub to make people comfortable? Who would want to go there if they couldn't sit down? That's what smokers feel like when they have to leave the place to light up. It's OUTDOORS people. No one ever got cancer from outdoor second hand smoke. Have some respect for your fellow citizens who already are forced to sit outside everywhere to enjoy their habit. And quit trying to tell them that they're wrong to enjoy it: Everyone has bad habits, and nosy neighbors are bad neighbors.

    With regard to the belief on this blog there's some kind of plot behind organizing these kids to stand up for their basic rights, I can tell you that there isn't. I know there isn't, because I was there at the moment when the kids decided to do something about it. Some of the kids are obviously really upset, but it boils down to a lifestyle they have -- a youthful choice, stupid or otherwise -- that involves drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes and sitting and talking and working around town. They like it, the way you anti-smokers like -- whatever it is you get pleasure out of. The way you like preaching at people, I guess. (They probably get more pleasure out of a single cigarette than all the joy you've had in your bloodless veins for many years running, but that's another story).

    And this is essentially an attempt to drive them out of town, and they know that. But you won't just be driving them away, you'll be driving away a lot of good respectable people who flock from all the surrounding towns to Sierra Madre to have a drink and a meal after work and forget their worries. Do you really want to expend the energy to go out of your way to make them feel uncomfortable and make them want to go elsewhere?

  60. Josh this study was done by Standford University. Do they also have an agenda?

    Tens of thousands of Americans die each year from secondhand tobacco smoke, according to a 2006 report by the U.S. Surgeon General. While the health risks associated with indoor secondhand smoke are well documented, little research has been done on exposure to toxic tobacco fumes outdoors.

    Now, Stanford University researchers have conducted the first in-depth study on how smoking affects air quality at sidewalk cafés, park benches and other outdoor locations.

    Writing in the May issue of the Journal of the Air and Waste Management Association (JAWMA), the Stanford team concluded that a non-smoker sitting a few feet downwind from a smoldering cigarette is likely to be exposed to substantial levels of contaminated air for brief periods of time.

    "Some folks have expressed the opinion that exposure to outdoor tobacco smoke is insignificant, because it dissipates quickly into the air," said Neil Klepeis, assistant professor (consulting) of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford and lead author of the study.

    "But our findings show that a person sitting or standing next to a smoker outdoors can breathe in wisps of smoke that are many times more concentrated than normal background air pollution levels."

    Klepeis pointed to the 2006 Surgeon General's report, which found that even brief exposures to secondhand smoke may have adverse effects on the heart and respiratory systems and increase the severity of asthma attacks, especially in children.

    "We were surprised to discover that being within a few feet of a smoker outdoors may expose you to air pollution levels that are comparable, on average, to indoor levels that we measured in previous studies of homes and taverns," said Wayne Ott, professor (consulting) of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford and co-author of the JAWMA study.

    "For example, if you're at a sidewalk café, and you sit within 18 inches of a person who smokes two cigarettes over the course of an hour, your exposure to secondhand smoke could be the same as if you sat one hour inside a tavern with smokers. Based on our findings, a child in close proximity to adult smokers at a backyard party also could receive substantial exposure to secondhand smoke," he added.

    Unlike indoor tobacco smoke, which can persist for hours, the researchers found that outdoor smoke disappears rapidly when a cigarette is extinguished.

    "Our data also show that if you move about six feet away from an outdoor smoker, your exposure levels are much lower," Klepeis added.

    The public has become increasingly concerned about the effects of outdoor smoking, Ott noted. More than 700 state and local governments have passed laws restricting outdoor smoking at playgrounds, building entrances and other public areas, according to the American Nonsmokers' Rights Foundation.

    Some of the strictest ordinances are in California. The city of Santa Monica, for example, recently banned smoking at parks, beaches, ATM machines, theater lines, open-air restaurants and other outdoor locations.

    "Throughout the country, cities and counties are looking at various laws against outdoor smoking, and some of the proposals are pretty drastic," Ott said. "The problem is that until now, there have been virtually no scientific data to justify such restrictions. In fact, our paper is the first study on outdoor smoking to be published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal."

  61. There is a term that longtime bloggers are familiar with, and I'll be more than glad to share it here. It is called "Godwin's Law." It gets applied to any poster who uses terms like "Nazi" or "fascist" to describe the post of anyone that they don't like. Godwin's Law became quite popular a few years back as a way to counter the thousands of nitwits whose desperate lack of imagination drove them to use such language. Obviously Josh Dintzer, by applying the word "fascist" to somebody because they don't like cigarette smoking in public areas has violated Godwin's Law. And in the process has revealed himself to be a pathetic idiot.

  62. Hollywood, you're trying to make a point about my style of writing because you don't like what I have to say -- then you call me a "pathetic idiot." So what do they call blog posters who are reduced to making ad hominem attacks?

    Well, I could think of a few phrases, but I won't stoop to your level. I stand by my comment that this hysteria over wisps of outdoor smoke is being promoted by "teetotaling fascists". Yes, people who believe it's the government's role to regulate individual decisions down to the level of a gnats ass could be called fascist or collectivist or communist or any other kind of totalitarian you like -- so take your pick, if you find one that doesn't violate your geeky little "law".

    Now -- Pasta. I've read the Stanford report, too. There are two things that jump out at me.
    The core of that report is this statement -- that sitting within 18 inches, downwind, of a smoker who has 2 cigarettes in an hour, is the equivalent of sitting inside a smoking bar for the same period of time.

    The trouble with citing this as a reason to ban smoking in all outdoor areas is this:
    (1). Certainly, there is enough room at any outdoor dining area where people do not have to sit within 18 inches downwind of someone who's smoking. 18 inches is less than arm's length. The report found that beyond 4 feet, the smoke became statistically negligible. That is plenty of room for some tables outside beantown to be smoking, and some non-smoking.
    (2). Anti-smoking laws hinging on indoor second-hand smoke did not begin because one hour in a smoky bar would cause cancer. They began because there was an elevated risk of lung cancer from second-hand smoke among people who worked for years in smoke-filled environments, many hours a day, every day, for decades. Not as high a risk as the poor guys who were sent out to knock down asbestos ceilings without realizing it, and not as high a risk as the guys who get sent to Iraq (and are gonna come back real soon and be pretty mad they aren't allowed to smoke and have a drink at the same time). No, just high enough to ban indoor smoking.

    According to the study, you'd have to accidentally be sitting at arm's length from someone you don't want to sit next to for years on end to see any negative health effect.

    That's why no one in their right mind five years ago would have even considered an outdoor ban. The hysteria is misplaced. Cigarette smoke is not asbestos. Smokers aren't "idiots", they're adults who've made their own decisions in full knowledge of the possible consequences. In fact, they are people who don't like to be nannied the way many here do. That's probably what bothers you so much. Based on the infantile attitude of people like 'Hollywood' and all the "do gooders" who so quickly turn into mean, nasty old things the second you point to their real agenda -- just go to prove that underneath it all, there are people right here in Sierra Madre who really do mistake the world for a prison and themselves for the jailers.

  63. You're getting boring, dude.

  64. That's probably because I don't post anonymously and under five different pseudonyms. Or maybe you just have a short attention span. And this is the kind of country you want to live in; half-literate people with short attention spans, terrified of everything, snitching on their neighbors, venting their petty frustrations on each other, weakening themselves to the point of historical insignificance, making enemies and criminals of anybody who's a bit different, and weeding out free-thinkers to the point of relegating themselves to an inexorable social decline. Tyranny of the small-minded health-nut majority.

    This country's barely recognizable anymore. Well done.

  65. You're obviously out of your mind.

  66. Somebody is going to have to explain to me the connection between smoking ciarettes in Sierra Madre and "free thinking." Sending your money to reactionary tobacco companies so that you can consume a product that will kill you strikes me as being quite the opposite of any kind of thinking at all.

  67. Well put Curly! I smoked for 25+ years and golly jeepers it was so cool, to smell bad, shortness of breath, yellowing teeth, receding gums, it's just so awesome that I got to partake in that right for so long, lucky me. Wise up folks, grow a pair!! QUIT! I know what the hell I am talking about. Smoking, it'SOOOOO COOOOLL, my mother said that to me while emphysema sucked the last breath of life out of her in our living room, my dad told me the same thing, no wait I'm mistaken, he didn't get a chance to say ANY last words as lung cancer snuffed out his life while he was sleeping. So light up, smoke'em if ya got'em. You da' man!

    P.S.. if you post..own it..put your name to it..what and who are people hiding from when they post an idea or comment, again with the personal responsibility whackiness...

  68. Rod... Ever had for home vandalized, your mail box blown up, your child harrassed, you car damaged, or publicaly harrassed on the internet for your political views? If you have then you would understand why the anon posts.

  69. Nazi Germany was the first to SUCCESSFULLY impose a nation-wide smoking ban. Hitler saw it as a sign of WEAKNESS. In 1940 he convinced the other AXIS powers to impose the smoking bans as well, they were not 100% successful, only a good three-fourth majority of the AXIS powers' citizens were able to do it. But then again, the Nazi's were pretty efficient. Hitler was also the first to link smoking to illnesses such as cancer. He was a very moral man who understood that smoking IS for the weak. and smokers ARE immoral.
    We need to take a lesson from his dedication, and terminate this toxic affliction once and for all!

  70. I am starting to get the feeling that tobacco isn't the only thing these people smoke...

  71. From Allison Kirkham:

    Hello, all.

    I am posting this just to clarify some of the ludicrous speculation that is flying about.

    My name is Alli, and I know a lot of you know me from Beantown (Hi, Rod. Hi, Charlie.) If the name doesn't trigger your memory, I was the pink-haired barista with glasses who worked there from February 2007 until July 2008.

    And I am the one who started

    I did this with the cooperation of three of the night-time regulars from Beantown. The oldest of us is 25, the youngest is 18. We designed the website, which cost all of $10.00 to register. We printed out and designed the fliers and petitions for a total cost of less than $5.00. We are having some stickers made - I hope that we'll see some of you sporting them soon - and paying for the cost of them out of pocket.

    These three young men and I started the Stop the Smoking Ban movement by ourselves, with no outside help and paid for it ourselves.

    We started the facebook group, and all of those who signed up to the facebook group did so because we sent out announcements to our friends - no one was coerced or paid off.

    It is true that there are some high school students who joined the group, but it is also true that many high school seniors are 18 and can buy cigarettes on their own without anyone's help or permission. We know the high school students because we met and befriended them in Sierra Madre.

    Finally, it must be said that NO ONE from Stop the Smoking Ban has been in contact with any of your so-called "Dirts."

    I do peripherally know Glen Lambdin, none of us know him on a first-name basis or have ever spoken to him about the smoking ban - many people found the facebook group on their own or through friends-of-friends, which I assume is what happened in Mr. Lambdin's case.

    I would like to apologize to all of those people who have nothing to do with this and whose names have been dragged through the mud because the commentators on this site are so paranoid about a power conspiracy in this city that they don't think that a few "Cigarette Kids" with an internet connection and two hours' pay can speak or think for themselves.

  72. A few posts, probably from older, less computer aware seniors who are dedicated to their town, and that means that everyone who posts on the site is a conspiracy nut?
    I appreciate all that you wrote, Alli, but it's not a ban, it's a restriction, and all of you advocating for your rights to pollute shared air are really into black & white - if people are not for your polluting shared air, your colleagues call them Nazis. Who is truly paranoid?

  73. Which studies did you post that even suggested that shs in an outdoor setting was dangerous to anyone, including kids and little old ladies? I would like to see that study because there simply isn't one. I don't know about your town, but in the rest of the world, air dissipates cigarette smoke outside. You health freaks are idiots.

  74. Anon @2:59, I understand why you have to resort to name-calling. You are vigorously defending an indefensible position.

  75. Other people's addictions should never have to affect those smart enough to not be addicted to something so lame in the first place. It's not even just about the toxicity of the smoke - I just think it smells like horse crap lit on fire and then mixed with skunk ass covered with soggy french fry farts. Stinking up air in public is no more polite than farting in a car. Anyone who says "they have the right" is a dinglesaurus. I think my right to clean, odorless, air over-powers someone's right to polluting and stinking up the, otherwise fresh, air. You'd have to be a full-on tard to argue with that. Also, smokers tend to think throwing their cigarette butts on the ground or out their car window is not littering.

    Idea: if smokers insist on smoking around you and tell you to stop complaining, go to a gag-gift store and buy some canned fart spray (it exists). Stand up-wind from the smoker and grace him/her with the lovely scent of egg fart. If they complain, tell them it makes you feel good to do it and you have the right.


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