Saturday, March 29, 2008

Keep up the resistance, Southern IL!

see folks and businesses in the Southern IL region are the ones in this state showing the most resistance to the smoking ban. Keep it up down there! Hopefully, you guys will make good role models for the rest of the state showing resistance themselves.

I know some of those Southern IL cities (in terms of showing resistance) sound like a city version of a hood in my area,

Like instead of one area within a city being ignorant to a smoking ban, the whole city downstate is being ignorant to the ban instead. A whole city being resistant is a lot betta than certain individuals within a city being the only ones showing resistance to the ban at all.

Even though I'm still in Chicago when going to the North Side, a lot of people on that side of town actually accept the ban since they don't care about practically empty taverns. My side of town is a different story if someone likes seeing smokers ignoring the "law." That's an example of just one community within a city showing resistance, which is different from a whole city showing resistance.

I guess it's easier to get a whole city to show resistance if it's a small city. Since a big city has different groups of people that all think differently on several topics that go beyond just smoking. Like the way I talk is normal to bros/sis in my community but residents on the North Side might find my talk offensive. A North Side person might even try asking me to not smoke near the doorway.

In a small city, the residents practically know each otha and they get along well. And when you get along with everyone in town, it's easier to ignore the "smoking law."

Friday, March 28, 2008

If Chicago wants to host the Olympics, then IL has to be smoke-free


I'm VERY appalled if what I read in bold within this article copy is the truth. I don't give a crap about Daley trying to win the competition to host the 2016 Olympics! I want my darn right to smoke in Chicago back!

The fact CTA transportation is high might hurt his chances of winning the bid. I bet a CTA ride might be 4 bucks by 2016.

So IL is smoke-free partly because Daley wants the Olympics to be in Chicago. Ain't that somethin?
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http://www.salem-tc.com/news/2008/0328/Front_Page/006.html

Smokers' Rights group set to present petitions to legislators
Meeting held at Wamac City Hall
By BOB HANEY
Staff Writer

(Staff Photo by Bob Haney) Wamac Mayor Butch Mathus holds a stack of petitions containing approximately 10,000 signatures from people who are unhappy with the Smoke Free Illinois Act.

The Smoker's Rights Committee met Tuesday night at Wamac City Hall to let the public know where the group stands in regard to their challenging the Smoke Free Illinois Act, which has, according to Wamac Mayor Butch Mathus, cut a chunk out of the businesses involved in the hospitality industry in southern Illinois, as well as in the rest of the state.

The committee, originally started by Barb Pennypacker and Mathus, has been gaining support in their effort to get the bill amended to allow each individual bar, casino, or organization to decide their status on smoking in their respective establishments. Then the public, according to Mathus, can decide on their own whether they wish to frequent businesses based on their personal preference of smoking or non-smoking.

Mathus cited unofficial figures that show losses in revenue for the casinos, bars, veteran's clubs, restaurants, and other hospitality businesses. According to Mathus, who cited the Illinois Beverage Association as the source of his information, the city of Alton has had to lay off workers due to the loss of revenue from the Alton Belle Casino. Mathus claimed that the Casino Queen lost a half million dollars in January. Statewide, Mathus said that casinos stand to lose about 100 million dollars.

"In a state where we are billions of dollars in debt," added Mathus, "how can the state afford to lose the revenue they are losing from sales tax and from the casinos?"

Mathus said that the source of his information also said that the main reason that the state went smoke-free was because of the fact that Chicago Mayor Richard Daley is working hard at getting Chicago selected as the site of the 2012 Summer Olympics. A city that hosts an Olympics is required to be a smoke-free city and that the Chicago machine decided that the whole state might has well join them, according to Mathus.

"I don't feel that a personal pet project should affect the whole rest of the state," Mathus said.

Mathus held up a stack of about 10,000 signatures that have been turned in thus far in support of the repeal or amendment of the Illinois Smoke Free Act. Petitions have come in from all around the state, including Alton, Rockford, Granite City, Marshall, Altamont, Effingham, Mt. Vernon, and Edwardsville, to name a few. Mathus pointed out that several were circulated by non-smokers who felt the issue was about freedom.

The two main points that are the brunt of the issue include an establishment's right to choose whether or not they want to let smokers light up in their business, and the clarity of who exactly can be ticketed and who can do the ticketing. The law states that anyone may anonymously call and file a complaint with a county health department about someone in violation of the law and a business or individual can be cited based on that complaint.

Mathus said that the law is "unconstitutional," as it is a non-enforceable law which lacks clarity throughout. Mathus mentioned the fact that the law states that it would have no detrimental economic effect on businesses.

"That is not the case," said Mathus. "Also, one is supposed to have the right to know their accuser. All we are asking is for the right to choose. We used to have the right to determine smoking or non-smoking, but that was taken away."

The committee is still accepting petitions through today. They plan on taking those petitions to Springfield, where they desire to appeal their case before the legislators. Their long-term goal is to present petitions with enough signatures to put the issue on the ballot, allowing the voters in the state to decide the fate of the Smoke Free Illinois Act.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Attention Please! Did you know food has dangerous chemicals in them?

Breeding illness! This goes beyond additives! Read all and slowly.
Is this the key we’ve been missing with the pharma funded smoke bans and where increases in illness and more are REALLY coming from? We know oil is a culprit, but think on this one and WHY would they be doing this. This leads to a ‘Got Ya’ in all directions with what you do and do not ‘intake’.
Robert Wood Johnson and Genetically Modified Food
Robert Wood Johnson genetically modified food and illness
Syngenta Robert Wood Johnson
Dangers of genetically altered foods
Today, consumers are kept in the dark and are part of an uncontrolled, unregulated mass human experiment …. 80% of our foods …
One ADDITIVE INTO the Genetics:
Finally, there is also one indirect health risk that arises from herbicide
and pest resistant GE crops which must be taken into account but which has
not adequately been addressed by the regulators.
There is no data presented
as to the fate of the herbicide or pesticide within the plant.
Does it
remain stable within the plant tissues? If it is degraded, what are the
products that are produced and what health risks do they pose? Higher
levels of herbicide are clearly expected to be present since Monsanto
applied (and was granted both in the USA and Europe), that the permitted
residual levels of Roundup in their Roundup Ready range of GE crops (soya,
maize, sugar beet, oilseed rape) be increased from 6mg to 20mg per kilogram
dry weight.
During the last five years, several multinational chemical and drug companies – including Monsanto and Syngenta (formerly Novartis/Astra- Zeneca/Ciba- Geigy) – have quietly altered our food supply in an alarming way. Genes from bacteria, viruses, foreign plants and animals have been inserted into corn, soybeans, potatoes, tomatoes, squash, and papayas. These corporations plan to "genetically engineer" almost 100% of our food within a decade. Already about 40% of the soybeans, 20% of the corn, and a percentage of the potatoes grown in the U.S. and about 50% of the canola (rapeseed) plants in Canada have been genetically altered.
These companies have influenced US and Canadian regulatory agencies to allow these grains to be grown, mixed with non-altered grains, and sold without any labeling, even though they have been shown to be harmful to the environment and have not undergone even a single human health safety test. More than 60% of the packaged food items in US grocery stores contain genetically altered ingredients. We are now all experimental animals in a huge biological experiment involving the food we eat every day.
What Have They Done to Our Food?
Scientists at these companies have learned how to insert genes from plants, animals, bacteria, and viruses into any other plant or animal. For instance, Monsanto has inserted foreign genes into soybeans, corn, and canola (rapeseed) that allows farmers to spray the crops with Monsanto’s toxic Roundup weed killer without killing the plant. They have inserted a gene from an insect-killing bacterium called BT into corn so that every cell of the plant has activated BT toxin in it.
An Unprecedented Threat
In the rush to commercialize and profit from these "inventions, " these companies have exposed consumers and the environment to an unprecedented threat:
  • The genes inserted into these grains cause the plant to create new, foreign proteins, never before seen in nature. There has never been any long-term animal or human testing to determine whether the new proteins can cause allergies or other adverse effects. Instead, the companies got FDA officials to declare them to be "substantially equivalent" to non-altered grains, even though, behind the scenes, FDA scientists disagreed. Allergy research doctors in England have seen a dramatic rise in soybean allergy, and suspect a reaction to the new foreign protein. In the case of BT corn and potatoes, European researchers have recently found that activated BT toxin, now found in genetically altered corn and potatoes, can cause cell damage in mammals.
  • The pollen of these plants also contains the foreign genes. Pollen is carried far and wide by wind and bees. It can pollinate and transfer its altered genes to non-altered crops and similar wild plants – biologically contaminating them – thus creating new species (nicknamed Superweeds). BT toxin in corn and potatoes and their pollen kills non-target and beneficial insects such as ladybugs, lacewings, and butterflies. A Cornell University study published in Nature showed how the new corn pollen kills Monarch butterflies.
  • Both Monsanto and Syngenta have developed "Terminator" genes that will create plants that sterilize their own seeds, forcing farmers to buy seeds from the companies every year. This threatens subsistence farming in developing countries, where farmers have saved and traded seeds for thousands of years. It also threatens the world's ecosystems if the genes for sterility are transferred to wild plants.
Monsanto claims that the new crops have higher yields, and that genetic engineering is the only way to feed a hungry world. But university trials of these grains show that the crop yields are no better -- and in some cases are far worse -- than ordinary seeds. The only driving force behind this technology is profit for a few multinational companies who seem willing to compromise health, safety, and the environment.
How to Avoid Genetically Altered Food
Since significant percentages of soy, corn, potatoes, and canola oil contain altered genes, and they are mixed with unaltered food, right now there is only one way to safely avoid them: seek out products that use only certified organic ingredients. Avoid eating products that have unknown origins, such as corn cereals, corn chips, and tofu (soybean curd) in restaurants unless you know for sure that they use organic ingredients.
What Can You Do?
There are many safe food advocates all over the world who are trying to stop the farming, production, and use of genetically altered food. You can join with them:
  • Ask your local supermarket and restaurants to supply and serve products that do not have genetically "engineered" ingredients. Show the supermarket manager this flyer. (A 2-page MS-Word version of this document is available at http://www.cqs. com/gmohazard. doc.) Many supermarket chains in Great Britain now exclude all genetically altered products from their shelves.
  • If you live in a farming state, call or write to your state Director of Agriculture and your state Farm Bureau to tell them that you won’t buy products that have been "genetically engineered."
  • Tell your neighbors and fr iends about it. Show them this flyer. Copy and post the flyer in public places, or hand them out to supermarket customers. Join or form a community group to oppose this dangerous technology. Convince local environmental groups of its immediate danger to health and the environment.
  • Find out more about the dangers of this technology and the movement against it. The Internet website page http://www.cqs. com/gmorg. htm is a list of Internet Websites with a wealth of detailed information about the many problems with genetic alteration and the people around the world who are trying to stop it.
This flyer was prepared by Jonathan Campbell with the assistance of an international group of scientists and safe food advocates opposed to genetic alteration of our food. Many of us are affiliated with local groups in our communities. If you want to take part in this opposition, you may join us on the Internet by sending the message "subscribe" in the subject line to Ban-GEF@lists. greenbuilder. com. http://www.cqs. com/gmohazard. htm

Monday, March 24, 2008

Joliet residents protest smoking ban with O'Day's help

Here's a new article in relation to that 1914 ruling from the IL Supreme Court (which declared that smoking bans are illegal) . This smoking ban is not just about violating my right to smoke. This ban is also violating the civil rights I thought I had if I'm gonna be partially labeled as an American!

ARTICLE LINK

NEW: Residents protest smoking ban

March 24, 2008
By STEWART WARREN Staff Writer
JOLIET — The smoking ban isn’t just about cigarettes.

It’s a threat to personal liberty, fumed Larry Peet of Joliet Township.

“If you take away the right to smoke, who’s to say what other rights will be challenged?” he asked Monday while standing outside the Will County Courthouse. “This county is supposed to be about freedom.”

So he grabbed his copy of “The Federalist Papers” and joined a group of about 30 others to protest. Earlier this month, Joliet police walked into two local bars, Paulie’s Pub, 2104 W. Jefferson St., and Woody’s, 1008 E. Washington St., and ticketed people for lighting up.

They were violating the Smoke Free Illinois Act, a law that went into effect Jan. 1 and forbids smoking in public places, and told to appear Monday morning in Will County Judge Marzell Richardson’s courtroom.

“Private property rights are gone,” said Michelle Fese of Channahon, a longtime local bartender who organized the demonstration. Will County’s bar owners are worried, she said. If they allow patrons to smoke, they could be fined. But business isn’t exactly booming without the ashtrays.

As they stood outside waving signs and American flags, four people who had been ticketed sat together in Richardson’s courtroom. Paul Leoford, 63, of 802 Cottage St., Shorewood; Bruce Hockin, 63, of 1317 Frederick St., Joliet; and Jack Jackson, 65, of 900 Windsor Drive, Shorewood, had been at Paulie’s Pub.

Donald Poplawski, 56, of 1115 N. Center St., Joliet, was at Woody’s.

While waiting for the judge to call their names, they seemed a little nervous and whispered to each other about what to do. In the end, all of them except for Leoford decided to hire Dan O’Day, a Peoria lawyer. He recently represented bartender Karla Carrington after she was ticketed in Bureau County for allowing a patron to smoke.

While challenging the smoking ban, O’Day cites a 1914 Illinois Supreme Court ruling on a smoking ban in Zion, Ill.

“The court said it was unconstitutional,” O’Day said Monday. “That case has been cited favorably ever since then, even in 1978.”

After calling the Hockin, Jackson and Poplawski cases, the judge spoke to O’Day about a problem: The cases had been filed as misdemeanors, not petty offenses, the judge said. In the Smoke Free Illinois Act, the offense is not classified as any particular type of crime.

“This is a new situation for the court system,” Richardson said, telling most of them to come back at 11 a.m. May 12. Leoford will return at 9 a.m. April 28.

Charles B. Pelkie, a spokesman for the state’s attorney’s office, said later that the nature of the charges will be addressed before the defendants return to court.

“These citations carry a $100 to $250 fine if found guilty and are akin to speeding tickets. They are petty offenses that do no involve jail time,” Pelkie said.

He added that the bar owners have not been cited, but the police reports are under review by the state’s attorney’s office.

Outside the courtroom, O’Day explained everything to his clients, and they seemed reassured. None of them wanted a misdemeanor conviction on their record.

Jackson was the first one to leave the building.

“I’m going to light a cigarette out there,” he said, looking toward the door.

Recap of smokers rights rally in Iowa

ARTICLE LINK

COBRA hosts Rights Rally

By Danica Baker
Herald Staff Writer

— CLINTON — Dozens of concerned citizens, area food and beverage service business owners and employees gathered in Riverview Park on Saturday afternoon to talk about freedoms and rights.

The Clinton Organized Bar and Restaurant Association hosted the Rights Rally to give area citizens a chance to comment against the proposed statewide smoking ban and any other topic relating to citizen rights. Approximately 200 people attended the event at the Riverview Bandshell from 2 to 4 p.m. and many took the stage to speak their minds.
COBRA President Jon Van Roekel welcomed the crowd to the event and said the rally was being held to talk about citizens' rights and “how they're being infringed on.” He encouraged everyone in attendance to remember the event was a peaceful rally. Before the speeches began, the national anthem was sung by COBRA Membership Director and Grafitti Manager April Diss.

Mayor Rodger Holm took the stage first and Van Roekel commented that Holm always has been a big supporter of COBRA, both as a council person and as mayor. Holm said the rally exemplified why America is so great because people can come together and discuss important issues in an effort to enact change. He applauded Van Roekel for his initiative in organizing COBRA and remarked the organization has done a lot for Clinton businesses. Holm said that while his remarks were not an official response from the city in any way, personally he was impressed for the organization's commitment to getting involved in the political process. He congratulated all in attendance for peaceably assembling to speak up for what they believe in.

Steve Gendreau, owner of Illowa Music and Games and Mr. G’s Pizza, said he is concerned about the economic impact of a smoking ban. He said that the ban would not only affect business owners, but spread to impact all Iowa citizens. Gendreau said he does business in Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin and has seen firsthand how the smoking ban has affected businesses in Illinois. He said three Illinois bar owners have contacted him and reported they will be closing their doors due to decreased revenue and he commented it would be a reality that some establishments in Iowa would close if the ban is enacted.

Gendreau said he has spoken with many people regarding the proposed smoking ban and said numerous people are “tired of government interfering on their lives, imposing restrictions on what you can and what you can't do.” He said he is impressed with what COBRA has done and said the audience should be proud of themselves for standing up for their rights.

Before introducing the next speaker, Van Roekel said that COBRA “may be small but we are mighty." He said the organization’s members employ 1,250 employees, have $6.8 million in annual revenues and pay $2.1 million in local taxes annually. He remarked that local legislators have stated the state cannot afford to lose the revenue of the casinos which could be affected by the smoking ban, but Van Roekel said "$2.1 million in taxes is a lot too.” He noted that member establishments pay dues of $50 per year and food and beverage service employees pay only $5 to join the organization.

“It's a small price to pay to make sure your rights are guaranteed,” said Van Roekel.

He encouraged anyone in the audience who was not registered to vote to visit a voter registration table and reminded the crowd that they have the right to vote someone out of office if they do not like how that legislator is representing them. Van Roekel also noted that a computer had been set up for those in attendance to write their legislators an e-mail and let those representatives know what is important to them.

Brian Dalton, co-owner of Patrick’s Steakhouse, said his main concern is the loss of personal choice and legislators making those choices for the public. Dalton remarked that cigarettes are a legal substance and how legal substances are used should be the discretion of the individual. He encouraged the audience to write their legislators, saying it only takes five minutes and “they need to know where we stand.”

COBRA Vice President Gordon Carroll, owner of Club 110 and The Odeon, said State Rep. Polly Bukta reportedly stated that when one smoking bar closes, another non-smoking bar would open in its place. Carroll said he knows the smoking ban would greatly impact food and beverage service establishments in the state, as evidenced by the closing of several Illinois bars and a plummet in casino revenues.

“I want the right to choose if my bar is smoking or not,” Carroll said. “We really don’t need the legislature making the choice for us.”

He said Bukta has indicated her support for the smoking ban, saying that although her decision is contrary to the wishes of many of her constituents, there is a simple way to take care of the matter — voting Bukta out of office.

“Let’s show Polly the door, another will surely open for her,” he said.

Two COBRA members spoke about how the proposed ban and expected loss of revenue would affect them personally. Diss said that while her husband works, their large household including five children depends on two incomes. She said the ban could reduce her employer’s revenues so much, she could lose her job. Diss applauded COBRA for taking an active role in government and thanked those in attendance for supporting citizens’ rights.

Ashley Bousman, a bartender at Grafitti, said that she is concerned about losing customers and tips if the smoking ban is enacted. She noted the money she makes comes home to her children and Bousman expressed a concern about having to find a different job. She said most of her regular customers have indicated they will stay home “where they can smoke and have rights.”

“I don’t know what I’ll do if this will pass,” she said.

Several speakers took the podium to explain their concerns about the smoking ban and how it would impact them.

Van Roekel later said the event went extremely well and noted he was impressed with how the participation was diverse, including business owners, employees and concerned citizens, both smokers and non-smokers. He thanked the 16 people who spoke before the audience about citizens’ rights and said he felt people were pleased they could speak their minds in a friendly and peaceful environment. Van Roekel said the issue is not just being for or against smoking, but being in favor of the freedom of choice.

A lot of obese Americans are actually EX-smokers

You wanna know why more Americans are eating more (as the article asks at the beginning)? Because when you stop smoking, not smoking makes the ex-smoker chow down more.

If you want to read the editorial I'm referring to on obesity, CLICK THIS.
Me ain't playing. I used to be friends with a sis years ago who used to smoke Kools. She looked slim while being a smoker. But a few weeks afta she decided to go cold turkey, her body went from slim to a big body! And she indeed started eating more as an ex-smoker.

I'm sure there are more obese Americans since more people are eating more and they make poor decisions in their diets. But don't forget that several Americans who eat lots are ex-smokers. The same Americans who used t0 have slim bodies while they were smoking their cigs.

If you neva wanna become obese and you a smoker, you should NEVA quit. There is some truth to cigs being a nice weight loss tool...although I wouldn't smoke just with the intent of keeping my body looking good.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Is the economy forcing IL smokers to go outta state for gambling and drinking while smoking? In your dreams!

Me just read an article online from an LA-based newspaper (the city of LA), and this article briefly mentioned how the economy is to blame for smokers in IL not going to Chicago casinos anymore, along with the state ban being the otha reason for making smokers travel outta state.

Well, if that same article is gonna mention how smokers in IL are now going to smoker-friendly casinos in Indiana and St. Louis, you can't blame the economy for that. Afta all, those smokers don't seem to have problems in coming up with gasoline money and money for food/drinks in order to actually travel to St. Louis or Indiana just to smoke while gambling.

That anti in the Peoria articles wanted to blame the economy for the drops in IL tavern's revenues. I'm sure smokers are going outta state to have drinks and smokes too. And the last time I checked, you need a heck of a lot of money just for gasoline to travel outta state.

Since lots of smokers can afford to travel outside of IL in order to smoke and drink, or smoke while gambling away, then you can't blame the economy for the hospitality problems in IL. You can blame the state ban instead.

A workable link in regards to the FDA/Tobacco Regulation News

Here's a workable link I found, in relation to the news in relation to the FDA and Tobacco regulation topic.

CLICK THIS