Daily Archives: December 14, 2011

Will Possession, Sales or Use of Tobacco in Washington Become a Class C Felony?

In a move sure to please city council critter Jeanne Harris, a group calling themselves ‘Tobacco-Free Washington’ has gotten approval for a new citizen’s initiative that would make the use of any tobacco product in Washington State a Class C felony!

Proposed by a Seattle based Dentist, Dr. Edward Dolan, a 1996 Western Washington University graduate, and director of the World Lung Association, in Medina, Wa., the measure is designed to “make the sale, manufacture, or possession of tobacco products a Class C felony and redefine tobacco products as including ‘any product containing tobacco or nicotine that is expected or intended for human consumption’.”

The initiative has received approval from the Secretary of State and assigned the number of “512.”

From page 3 of “Initiative 512”

NEW SECTION. Sec. 2. A new section is added to chapter 9.91 RCW to read as follows:

(1) It is unlawful to sell, manufacture, or possess any tobacco products including, but not limited to, cigarettes, cigars, and smokeless tobacco.

(2) A person who:

(a) Sells or manufactures any tobacco product is guilty of a class B felony punishable according to chapter 9A.20 RCW; or

(b) Possesses any tobacco product is guilty of a class C felony punishable according to chapter 9A.20 RCW.

(3) For the purposes of this section, “tobacco product” includes any product containing tobacco or nicotine that is expected or intended for human consumption.

Few people defend tobacco use any longer and anytime we defend our freedom of choice, we are automatically labeled as defending big tobacco, wanting to hurt children, having no compassion, you name it.

But, in all of these efforts to demonize tobacco users and pushing smokers further and further into the back allies is the disproportionate amount of taxes the state collects off of tobacco, at a time they are crying not having enough revenue from our taxes to maintain budgets.

Prohibition of alcohol failed miserably back in the 1920’s and total bans of tobacco have not yet received much favor. Partial bans, like we saw when smokers were ushered outside and more recently as they are told they must not use tobacco of any nature within Vancouver Parks have found favor with many.

Such a total ban that would have only made the use of tobacco a misdemeanor was tried by North Dakota in 2003. Their legislature defeated the Republican proposed measure with a vote of 88 to 4.

Their measure received heavy opposition from anti-tobacco groups that testified against the tobacco ban, such as “the North Dakota Medical Association, American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, American Lung Association, North Dakota Public Health Association and North Dakota Nurses Association.” They claimed, “There’s no evidence banning tobacco would prevent and reduce tobacco use because no such approach has been implemented.”

There was also the strong probability that such a ban would have taken away much of the funding for these groups for their tobacco control programs.

Legislators admitted also that the state was “hooked on tobacco,” even though many did not smoke. Republican Wes Belter admitted, “It is time for us to think about just how hooked we are on tobacco, whether we smoke or not,” recognizing then how states are dependent upon tobacco taxes.

At a rate of $3.025 tax per pack of 20 cigarettes, it is easy to see how profitable tobacco is for Washington State and should this initiative collect enough signatures to make it on the ballot and win voter approval that would be many millions of dollars in tax revenue the state will lose.

In what can only be labeled ironic, as signatures are being gathered to make smokers felons, signatures are also being gathered to legalize marijuana in Washington State. In spite of claims by potheads on how “safe” marijuana is, has been shown to carry many of the same harmful effects as claimed for tobacco.

Ultimately though, as we see more and more of these efforts coming down the pike, voters must begin thinking just how far are they willing to go in efforts to “change cultural behaviors,” as Harris put it.

Is it really beneficial to make smokers felons and lose their tax dollars as the state’s budget gap continues to grow?

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Portland Makes ObamaVilles Official

Portland Commissioner Nick Fish has formulated plans for homeless camps–ala Occupy– throughout the city. Fish’s proposal also allows City codes to be ignored. Sounds familiar, huh? Like the Occupy camp outs before them, taxpayers will get stuck with the water, garbage and other attendant tabs. That’s right, while the City sticks us with confiscatory water and garbage rates, taxpayers will also pay the tab for the camps. See below:

 

From the Smirkury:

The resolution, obtained by the Mercury, was crafted with input from Commissioner Dan Saltzman’s office, which runs the Bureau of Development Services (BDS). It would direct code inspectors “to not enforce code violations associated with these activities.” The pilot program would be managed by Fish’s housing bureau and be reviewed in a year.

 


 
Obamaville

words by the Victoria Taft Show and 
“5th Listeners” Bryan and Kim and 
Eric “The Great” Peterson

Nibbling on GREEN cake
We’re gettin’ so baked.
All of us in our hats of tin foil.
Could get a real job, if not for this fog
Hey, man, pass the patchouli oil.

Wastin’ away again in Obamaville
Got my dog and headin’ out to ‘spange
The GA says Wells Fargo’s to blame
Did my part, voted hope and change

I know the reason
I’ll stay here all season
Got no better place to go.
Here’s a new tattoo, on my left boob
A hammer and sickle drawn by the art crew

Wastin’ away again in Obamaville
Shoutin’ I’m the 99%!
Cuz I swear the ‘man’s’ to blame
But I know, it’s my college’s fault

I put up my tent
Beats paying real rent
The guy next door has an I-phone
But there’s pot in the pipe
And he’ll let me skype
To my three kids I left at home

Wastin’ away again in Obamaville
Got my dog and headin’ out to ‘spange
The GA says Wells Fargo’s to blame
Did my part, voted hope and change

We claim that corporations are to blame
And we know, it’s the one percent’s fault

Return to: Victoria Taft Blog

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Time Mag’s Person of the Year? The Protester

5th Listener Tom Suggested This Accurate Depiction

Interesting. More people gathered, marched, took action in the Tea Party movement than Occupy in the US but Tea Party members were excoriated by the Institutional Left: Government-Hollywood-Educator/Unions. I don’t recall a Time Magazine honor for Tea Partiers. Alas, since the Occupiers are part of the Institutional Left we find they are now the heroes of the moment.

Photo Credit: Time Magazine

Then consider the fact that the middle eastern protest movement has now been poached by the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamists. Like the New York Times was on Stalin so Time is on the wrong side of history. Not surprising, but this cheerleading is so unseemly.

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Will Possession, Sales or Use of Tobacco in Washington Become a Class C Felony?

In a move sure to please city council critter Jeanne Harris, a group calling themselves ‘Tobacco-Free Washington’ has gotten approval for a new citizen’s initiative that would make the use of any tobacco product in Washington State a Class C felony!

Proposed by a Seattle based Dentist, Dr. Edward Dolan, a 1996 Western Washington University graduate, and director of the World Lung Association, in Medina, Wa., the measure is designed to “make the sale, manufacture, or possession of tobacco products a Class C felony and redefine tobacco products as including ‘any product containing tobacco or nicotine that is expected or intended for human consumption’.”

The initiative has received approval from the Secretary of State and assigned the number of “512.”

From page 3 of “Initiative 512”

NEW SECTION. Sec. 2. A new section is added to chapter 9.91 RCW to read as follows:

(1) It is unlawful to sell, manufacture, or possess any tobacco products including, but not limited to, cigarettes, cigars, and smokeless tobacco.

(2) A person who:

(a) Sells or manufactures any tobacco product is guilty of a class B felony punishable according to chapter 9A.20 RCW; or

(b) Possesses any tobacco product is guilty of a class C felony punishable according to chapter 9A.20 RCW.

(3) For the purposes of this section, “tobacco product” includes any product containing tobacco or nicotine that is expected or intended for human consumption.

Few people defend tobacco use any longer and anytime we defend our freedom of choice, we are automatically labeled as defending big tobacco, wanting to hurt children, having no compassion, you name it.

But, in all of these efforts to demonize tobacco users and pushing smokers further and further into the back allies is the disproportionate amount of taxes the state collects off of tobacco, at a time they are crying not having enough revenue from our taxes to maintain budgets.

Prohibition of alcohol failed miserably back in the 1920’s and total bans of tobacco have not yet received much favor. Partial bans, like we saw when smokers were ushered outside and more recently as they are told they must not use tobacco of any nature within Vancouver Parks have found favor with many.

Such a total ban that would have only made the use of tobacco a misdemeanor was tried by North Dakota in 2003. Their legislature defeated the Republican proposed measure with a vote of 88 to 4.

Their measure received heavy opposition from anti-tobacco groups that testified against the tobacco ban, such as “the North Dakota Medical Association, American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, American Lung Association, North Dakota Public Health Association and North Dakota Nurses Association.” They claimed, “There’s no evidence banning tobacco would prevent and reduce tobacco use because no such approach has been implemented.”

There was also the strong probability that such a ban would have taken away much of the funding for these groups for their tobacco control programs.

Legislators admitted also that the state was “hooked on tobacco,” even though many did not smoke. Republican Wes Belter admitted, “It is time for us to think about just how hooked we are on tobacco, whether we smoke or not,” recognizing then how states are dependent upon tobacco taxes.

At a rate of $3.025 tax per pack of 20 cigarettes, it is easy to see how profitable tobacco is for Washington State and should this initiative collect enough signatures to make it on the ballot and win voter approval that would be many millions of dollars in tax revenue the state will lose.

In what can only be labeled ironic, as signatures are being gathered to make smokers felons, signatures are also being gathered to legalize marijuana in Washington State. In spite of claims by potheads on how “safe” marijuana is, has been shown to carry many of the same harmful effects as claimed for tobacco.

Ultimately though, as we see more and more of these efforts coming down the pike, voters must begin thinking just how far are they willing to go in efforts to “change cultural behaviors,” as Harris put it.

Is it really beneficial to make smokers felons and lose their tax dollars as the state’s budget gap continues to grow?

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Portland Makes ObamaVilles Official

Portland Commissioner Nick Fish has formulated plans for homeless camps–ala Occupy– throughout the city. Fish’s proposal also allows City codes to be ignored. Sounds familiar, huh? Like the Occupy camp outs before them, taxpayers will get stuck with the water, garbage and other attendant tabs. That’s right, while the City sticks us with confiscatory water and garbage rates, taxpayers will also pay the tab for the camps. See below:

 

From the Smirkury:

The resolution, obtained by the Mercury, was crafted with input from Commissioner Dan Saltzman’s office, which runs the Bureau of Development Services (BDS). It would direct code inspectors “to not enforce code violations associated with these activities.” The pilot program would be managed by Fish’s housing bureau and be reviewed in a year.

 


 
Obamaville

words by the Victoria Taft Show and 
“5th Listeners” Bryan and Kim and 
Eric “The Great” Peterson

Nibbling on GREEN cake
We’re gettin’ so baked.
All of us in our hats of tin foil.
Could get a real job, if not for this fog
Hey, man, pass the patchouli oil.

Wastin’ away again in Obamaville
Got my dog and headin’ out to ‘spange
The GA says Wells Fargo’s to blame
Did my part, voted hope and change

I know the reason
I’ll stay here all season
Got no better place to go.
Here’s a new tattoo, on my left boob
A hammer and sickle drawn by the art crew

Wastin’ away again in Obamaville
Shoutin’ I’m the 99%!
Cuz I swear the ‘man’s’ to blame
But I know, it’s my college’s fault

I put up my tent
Beats paying real rent
The guy next door has an I-phone
But there’s pot in the pipe
And he’ll let me skype
To my three kids I left at home

Wastin’ away again in Obamaville
Got my dog and headin’ out to ‘spange
The GA says Wells Fargo’s to blame
Did my part, voted hope and change

We claim that corporations are to blame
And we know, it’s the one percent’s fault

Return to: Victoria Taft Blog

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Is the Insider Trading Bill Being Sold Short By Washington Insiders?

 By Pete The Banker

A week or so ago, this blog carried a story here, about Senator Gillibrand of New York who was attempting to amend the Insider Trading Bill proposed by Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts to reinforce ability of your elected representatives to trade upon privileged information with impunity.

“The Democratic senator from New York has proposed a new version of a bill to outlaw insider trading by members of Congress that would, in effect, make it completely legal for members of Congress to engage in insider trading. In other words, it does the opposite of what it the bill intended to do,” stated CNBC

Now in the Republican controlled Congress, Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor is attempting to delay the Congressional version of this reform proposal here. “Cantor reportedly said he blocked the bill to give Congress more time to examine the issue.” Some suggest this is merely a delay due to back room politics since Bachus did not check with Cantor before modifying the original legislation. Others feel the delay will effectively kill the bill.

From Politico, “Cantor (R-Va.) ripped into Bachus, explaining in no uncertain terms that it was unacceptable for Bachus to mark up the bill without having run it by GOP leaders and other chairmen with jurisdiction over its provisions. …

Bachus, clearly anxious to create a good-government portfolio in the wake of a “60 Minutes” piece on his stock trades — some of which netted five-figure gains in a single day — put the STOCK Act on the fast track. … Cantor delivered the cease-and-desist order on behalf of GOP leaders, other chairmen and rank-and-file lawmakers on both sides of the aisle who were concerned that Bachus could help give the bill life by having the committee approve it. .. .”

This is latest delay of badly needed Washington DC reform. If Cantor’s delay is truly to make the legislation stronger and provide greater enforcement for violators, then a brief delay is acceptable. If this latest delay is simply another attempt to prevent passage of a bill with hopes that the electorate will forget, then the move is totally unacceptable.

The Wall Street Journal suggests, “Congress really wants is to keep making the big bucks that come from trading on inside information but to trick those outside of the Beltway into believing they are doing something about this corruption. The WSJ further suggested that any action out of Congress, “If enacted, the law of insider trading will remain one of many where one reality applies to Congress and an uncomfortable and insecure reality applies to everybody else. Just as Congress is protected from the vicissitudes of ObamaCare, Congress will remain safe from the vagaries of insider trading law. The rest of us will still be vulnerable.”

Those in the private sector who trade on such insider information are generally subject to prosecution with substantial penalties. Why should members of the Administration and Congress be treated any differently? Why should Washington insiders be held to a separate exclusive set of standards, being allowed to trade stocks and derivatives on privileged information without consequence? When are elected officials going to be held to the same standards and laws as other Americans? What Constitutional provision or statute explicitly promotes establishment of an elite class of citizens who are basically exempt from the rules established for all other citizens?

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Time Mag’s Person of the Year? The Protester

5th Listener Tom Suggested This Accurate Depiction

Interesting. More people gathered, marched, took action in the Tea Party movement than Occupy in the US but Tea Party members were excoriated by the Institutional Left: Government-Hollywood-Educator/Unions. I don’t recall a Time Magazine honor for Tea Partiers. Alas, since the Occupiers are part of the Institutional Left we find they are now the heroes of the moment.

Photo Credit: Time Magazine

Then consider the fact that the middle eastern protest movement has now been poached by the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamists. Like the New York Times was on Stalin so Time is on the wrong side of history. Not surprising, but this cheerleading is so unseemly.

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com