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  1. #1

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    Default Only in Cali (John I blame you personally :wink:)

    WTH?!?!!?! Tax on Plastic Bags at a Grocery Store, as Johnny Mac says "You've GOT to be KIDDING ME!?!?!?!)


    Los Angeles became the largest city in the nation to approve a ban on plastic bags at supermarket checkout lines, handing a hard-fought victory to environmentalists and promising to change the way Angelenos do their grocery shopping.

    The City Council voted 13 to 1 to phase out plastic bags over the next 16 months at an estimated 7,500 stores, meaning shoppers will need to bring reusable bags or purchase paper bags for 10 cents each.

    The ban came after years of campaigning by clean-water advocates who said it would reduce the amount of trash in landfills, as well as the region?s waterways and the ocean. They estimate that Californians use 12 billion plastic bags a year and that less than 5% of the state?s plastic bags are recycled.

    Los Angeles become the latest in a string of California cities ? including San Jose, San Francisco and Long Beach ? to ban plastic bags.

    Plastic bag bans across California vary in scale, with some applying to all retailers and restaurants, and others covering only supermarkets. Some are silent on paper bags while others, like Los Angeles County?s, require markets to charge customers who want to use paper bags.

    Officials in some cities with bag bans hail the program as a success.

    Santa Monica?s plastic bag ban has been in place since September. ?There?ve been no citations necessary to give out,? said Josephine Miller, a city environmental analyst. ?No stores have gone out of business.?

    San Francisco approved the state?s first plastic bag ban in 2007, applying it only to supermarkets and pharmacies. Since then, officials have moved to expand the bag restrictions, which has drawn a legal challenge.

    Despite initial grumbling from customers and business owners, people have gotten used to bringing their own bags, said David Assmann, a manager in San Francisco?s environment department. ?I think it?s become part of the culture here,? he said.

    In Los Angeles County, the 10-cent paper bag fee has led to a 94% reduction in the use of those bags, said Jennie R. Romer, founder of www.plasticbaglaws.org, who has advised cities on the passage of bag laws.

    Things went less smoothly in Oakland, which was sued over its bag ban. That city dropped its measure but will be covered by Alameda County?s plastic bag ban starting next year.

    Council members in Los Angeles were egged on Wednesday by actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus and an array of environmental groups. As they prepared to approve the ban, city lawmakers called on their counterparts in Sacramento to follow suit.

    ?Let?s get the message to Sacramento that it?s time to go statewide,? said Councilman Ed Reyes, who is pushing an effort to revitalize the Los Angeles River.The council?s decision kicks off a four-month environmental review, followed by what is expected to be routine passage of an ordinance enacting the ban.

    As they celebrated their action, council members quietly backed away from a more controversial plan to also ban use of paper grocery bags, first proposed last year by appointees of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

    Once the plastic bag ban ordinance is enacted, larger stores will have six months to stop handing out plastic bags and smaller markets will have 12 months. After that, retailers would be required to charge 10 cents for each paper bag they provide customers.

    ?My hope is that so few paper bags will be used as a result of this measure that the formal ban ? on paper bags may not even be necessary,? said Councilman Paul Koretz, who initially had hoped to prohibit paper as well.

    Councilman Bernard C. Parks cast the lone opposing vote, saying the city lacked information on potential health hazards from reusable bags.

    Employees of plastic bag companies ? many in T-shirts with the message ?Don?t Kill My Job? ? pleaded unsuccessfully with council members to change course, saying they feared they would soon be unemployed.

    An industry group warned that the council?s decision will threaten the jobs of 2,000 workers statewide and said it is keeping open the option of filing a legal challenge. ?With this bag ban, the city chose to take a simplistic approach that takes away consumer choice instead of pursuing meaningful programs that encourage greater recycling of plastic bags and wraps, while preserving jobs,? said Mark Daniels, chairman of the nonprofit American Progressive Bag Alliance.
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    May seem a little crazy, BUT, I spend a lot of time on rivers, and on the banks of them. I can say without a doubt the single most piece of litter I see are plastic bags. They are everywhere on our rivers. Wether it's being washed down by our storm systems, transporting items, or being throwen out of vehicles, they are everywhere. I commend this effort. How hard is it to own a few cloth bags and keep them in your vehicle? Besides, I'd like to know how many billions of these bags we purchase from our friends to the west each year..

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    I think its a great idea... We have been using re-usable bags for years now and I think they are way better than the crappy ones at the store.

    You would think stores would be all over this as a way to cut costs with zero blame on them...
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    Quote Originally Posted by codyc1ark View Post
    May seem a little crazy, BUT, I spend a lot of time on rivers, and on the banks of them. I can say without a doubt the single most piece of litter I see are plastic bags. They are everywhere on our rivers. Wether it's being washed down by our storm systems, transporting items, or being throwen out of vehicles, they are everywhere. I commend this effort. How hard is it to own a few cloth bags and keep them in your vehicle? Besides, I'd like to know how many billions of these bags we purchase from our friends to the west each year..
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    We use reusable bags 70% of the time

    But we also seperate all our recyclables and only send barely a kitchen size bag of garbage a week with a household of 5 people

    Our town has a good program, but not to be green but to slow down the process of politics to find another dump site

    We all know Cali has to much garbage...they just don't throw away the right trash
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    I don't like it. If this happens here, I'd have to start buying trash bags...
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    Some stores charge you for bags (plastic) if you don't bring your own.

    I always forget to bring "green" bags or just any in general whenever I go shopping. I just read an article in the news the other day that talked about how unsanitary these reusable bags are.

    As DSkip said, there are always uses for plastic bags. I use them for garbage around the house.

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    1st-world problems...

    I reuse nearly all of my plastic bags. Most all of them have cat sh*t in them before they reach my garbage can. And what's wrong with recycling them? I fall on the green/liberal side of the fence myself (even have an environmental plates on my cars) but this just seems unnecessary. I wonder if anyone actually did a study to see how much this actually benefits the environment, if any, before deciding to enact the ban. Seems like "feel-good" legislation to me.

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    I wont disagree its more environmentally friendly. I personally re-use my plastic bags for taking lunches to work, cleaning up my dog doo, etc. But here's my thought, why not just reward the folks using their own bags at the register instead of penalizing everyone else? Oh yeah because that doesn't make anyone any more money..... because those cloth bags have to be purchased from somewhere, and if you don't purchase them then your going to get hit at the register.

    Here's a good question, where is the 10 cents for each paper bag going? Probably to fund the ridiculous budget overages due to giving massive tax breaks to "green" companies like Solyndra or Tesla... Ironic no?

    Hell at this rate Cali will start charging you extra for the cardboard packaging your fridge/tv/range came in, because somewhere it increase the carbon footprint. This to me is just another attempt to tax something to make some cash while attempting to "go" green. It looks good for politicians and makes them money at the same time.

    Regarding recycling, its great, but honestly its a PITA. Its not like they will let you put all the items together and they go through them and sort them...nope, on you. You want them to pick up the recycling at your house, open your wallet. And then after you pay them to take your already sorted plastic, they re-use it and sell it making more profit. If going green is such a good idea, why do you get charged at every possible point for doing it, and not reap any financial benefits?

    Give folks some incentive for doing it besides just "saving the environment" which while a great cause, isn't going to motivate the 99% much in this country.

    Go liberals!
    Last edited by EndersShadow; 06-12-2012 at 11:55 PM.
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    I noticed a lot of stuff that contains MDF can no longer be shipped to California...
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    If every single person in the state was going to starve to death, they would refuse to take produce from Florida because of fruit flies, rice from China for lead content, and beef from Texas because PETA would be pissed. Time to take California back gents, and trust me when I say I want to be on the tip of the spear for this fight. Stay tuned...
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    I'm all for stores doing this, but NOT the govt. Once again, they're overstepping their authority.
    I refuse to argue with idiots, because people can't tell the DIFFERENCE!

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    Toronto has done the same and banned plastic bags. We use reusable bags 99% of the time. As for them being unsanitary we put are in the wash, and really dont people wash their fruit and veggies before they eat anyway? They wanted to try this here in Ottawa but it got rejected by the rejects at city council. One comment was what will people use to pick up dog poop? Umm biodigradable poop bags like we buy! I do agree stores should charge you and not just 5Cents should be more like 50cents a bag
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    I save all mine because someday I'm going to melt them down and make a huge brown and black sculpture of a plastic bag.

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    When we lived in Beijing a couple of years ago almost everyone brought their own bags for shopping as there was a fee (not much at all and certainly much less than 10 cents) for plastic shopping bags. Most stores sold cloth bags (reusable) that you could buy for about 16-18 cents (American). We had a few of those we always stuffed into my wife's purse when we went out for groceries, etc.

    And China isn't exactly making headlines for their "environmental" policies! Now that I'm back in the U.S., I sorry to say, that I forget to bring my bags with me most of the time. Whereas in China I would "double" back to get my bags if I found I had left the house without them. How crazy is that?

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    I hated it when stores switched from paper bags to the plastic bags. In so far as cities banning plastic bags, it will eventually be statewide, and then nationwide. Aside from the usual whiners, who think they should be able to pollute as much as they want, anytime they want, and anywhere they want, it is a good thing. At the very most, it is a minor inconvenience. While I have reusable bags in my trunk, most times I pay the 10 cents for a paper bag. Wow, groceries just cost 50 cents more. Boo hoo.

    Bags have never been free. Their cost is an expense that is covered in the price of the purchased products.

    Anyway, the current trend on this planet is unsustainable. The Pacific has a vast zone of plastic pollution that is the direct result of litter getting into the environment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueFox View Post
    I hated it when stores switched from paper bags to the plastic bags. In so far as cities banning plastic bags, it will eventually be statewide, and then nationwide. Aside from the usual whiners, who think they should be able to pollute as much as they want, anytime they want, and anywhere they want, it is a good thing. At the very most, it is a minor inconvenience. While I have reusable bags in my trunk, most times I pay the 10 cents for a paper bag. Wow, groceries just cost 50 cents more. Boo hoo.

    Bags have never been free. Their cost is an expense that is covered in the price of the purchased products.

    Anyway, the current trend on this planet is unsustainable. The Pacific has a vast zone of plastic pollution that is the direct result of litter getting into the environment.
    I think what the city council did here was complete bs, does that make me one of your "whiners"? I can tell you now that I don't feel I should pollute as much as I want, anytime I want, and anywhere I want. If you want to do something about the "vast litter problem" in the West, then adopt a highway or something, or perhaps pick up that half eaten McDonald's lunch you see all the time in a parking lot and throw it away, properly of course.

    I am with you on taking proper and reasonable steps to keep things clean, and I will help pick up the mess. I would however submit to you that the nutjobs flipping their cigarettes out the window of their cars cause more damage to the environment than the plastic shopping bag does. I have a friend that lost everything, including his dog because of one of these pricks. Funny how many smokers are also "environmentalists".

    You also need to be careful when you say things like "unsustainable"... there are some extreme lunatics in that crowd that believe the planet can only support 300-500 million people, and that in order to save the earth, drastic measures must be taken SOON to reduce the earth's population to these levels or the planet will look like the surface of Mars within a hundred years.

    Common sense tends to solve a lot of problems. Unfortunately, within the L.A. City Council there is none. Instead they were pandering to the Hollywood left that keeps funding their election campaigns.
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    I either reuse or recycle all my plastic bags, but am all for a ban of them.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_P..._Garbage_Patch
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    Quote Originally Posted by nooshinjohn View Post
    I would however submit to you that the nutjobs flipping their cigarettes out the window of their cars cause more damage to the environment than the plastic shopping bag does.
    For the most part John I agree with your stance....But Explain that cigarette thing to the farmer friend of mine that has a large field across from our local Wal-Mart. That field looks like a giant plastic flag after harvest. Thousands of bags caught on the stubble which he must take the time to remove before planting time. Each year some of these bags cost him tall change for repairs to machinery after they get caught up in his combine(during harvest) or other machines during planting....At least paper breaks down rather quickly but plastic last for many many years.

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    Not saying at all that people don't need to be responsible, but the last thing we need is the government taking responsibilty for our choices. A great idea for handling trash would be to require low-level convicts and the unemployed to go out on trash details and clean roadways and medians, paint what needs to be painted, and generally fix crap that's broken rather than sit in a cell or the sofa collecting a check for two years. There are all kinds of ways to solve the problem. we are just to effin' lazy as a people to take them.

    As an aside, I remember the birth of the plastic bag. It was caused by environmentalists fearing global catastrophy due to overpopulation and the resulting de-forrestation it would cause. Paper went the way of the dinosaur, and was lamented at the time. fast forward and now they care about saving the planet by eliminating what they begged for to save the planet to begin with. Bottom line is that in general, environmentalists are a collective bunch of hypocrits.
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    Would those people get "paid" or would they be kinda like "Labor Camps", I wonder?

    I also suspect the "history" of the plastic bag and the players in that history is far more convoluted and complex. But, hey, it's only Wed., right? I bet there is someone at Stanford doing a Thesis on this and you can be SURE that he knows MORE than either of US! lol

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    Of course they get paid... it's called an unemployment check, and if you are able bodied, you should have to work at least part-time for it. Prisoners also get paid for work done while in custody in many states. I don't have any real problem with "labor camps" is they are repaying a debt to society and the taxpayer is footing the bill for them to be incarcerated. Let them work off some of the 40 grand a year it costs to keep them locked up IMHO. Don't do the crime if you can't do the time.
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    That's fine. What I was trying to understand is whether or not we were getting "free" labor. Crime and Punishment, wasn't that a famous novel?

    Have you ever read the Resurrection by Tolstoy? I doubt you'd like it, but it's interesting!

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    Quote Originally Posted by nooshinjohn View Post
    I would however submit to you that the nutjobs flipping their cigarettes out the window of their cars cause more damage to the environment than the plastic shopping bag does. I have a friend that lost everything, including his dog because of one of these pricks. Funny how many smokers are also "environmentalists".
    Just how did your friend lose everything, including his dog because someone flicked a butt out the window?
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    Quote Originally Posted by pitdogg2 View Post
    For the most part John I agree with your stance....But Explain that cigarette thing to the farmer friend of mine that has a large field across from our local Wal-Mart. That field looks like a giant plastic flag after harvest. Thousands of bags caught on the stubble which he must take the time to remove before planting time. Each year some of these bags cost him tall change for repairs to machinery after they get caught up in his combine(during harvest) or other machines during planting....At least paper breaks down rather quickly but plastic last for many many years.
    Hmmm....so let me see if I understand this. Peoples bad behavior causes the farmer time and money so the answer is to ban the product, not the behavior ? Wouldn't it make more sense to raise the ticket charge for littering to say 500 bucks ? Cops could write those all day instead of chasing you down for a hundie.


    Central to northern Cali has little to no garbage blowing in the wind. L.A. however looks like a ghetto in certain areas. Population differences ? Lack of enforcement ?

    It's not the bags fault it wound up where it did, is it ? Just my opinion, but you have to charge big bucks for littering to get people to stop. The wallet has a funny way of working wonders.

    BTW- John is the root cause for everything in Cali. In San Fran, they built an underground subway so they can be spared his Ronald Reagan garb. They are spending a trillion bucks for a 37 mile long track for a bullet train for people to get away from him as fast as possible. Think of John as that Red Headed step child that shows up at the reading of the will. Everyone out in Cali when they see John just mumble under their breath...."Oh sh$t ".
    Last edited by tonyb; 06-13-2012 at 10:02 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by F1nut View Post
    Just how did your friend lose everything, including his dog because someone flicked a butt out the window?
    A cigarette butt flipped from a car or truck ended up un the dry brush on the side of the road. With the dry heat and high winds that kick up quickly, it didn't take long for it to become a major brushfire.
    A sprawling wildfire that has destroyed homes and forced
    evacuations east of San Diego was apparently started by a cigarette tossed
    from a vehicle and into fierce Santa Ana winds, authorities said Thursday.

    Investigators believe a careless smoker on Interstate Highway 8 sparked the
    blaze early Wednesday, said Mike Conrad, a fire incident commander.

    By Thursday, the fire had burned 10,500 dry acres, at least four homes and
    chased about 650 people from the area. But there was good news for the
    2,000 firefighters and residents who were rousted from their beds before
    dawn Wednesday.

    Gusts up to 65 m.p.h. fanned the fire Wednesday, forcing the closure of two
    casinos and 12 miles of highway for 11 hours. Two people suffered minor
    injuries, including a firefighter with facial burns.

    "If you think about it, the concept of the cigarette being tossed out in wind
    blowing at 40-50 m.p.h.--somebody was not using their head during that
    time," said Jeff Fehlberg, a fire dispatcher.

    A smoky haze thick enough to show up on satellite images blanketed San
    Diego County, filtering the sun's light into a blood-orange color and raining
    ash on San Diego, 30 miles away.
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    No offense big guy, but I want to know just how investigators determined that. Really....acres and acres on fire, and if a butt did indeed start it, there would be nothing left of it. I'm going out on a limb here and calling bull**** for a big assumption on the investigators part. Not saying it didn't happen as described, but for gods sake have some proof.

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    These guys are pretty smart Tony. The flashpoint of a fire is not always consumed by the blaze that comes from it. The filter portion of a cigarette butt is fairly robust, and if such an object is found at the flashpoint, it is usually a good indicator. Wind will tend to blow the flames away from it's origination point, leaving the source intact. There are dozens of well documented fires where a careless cigarette was the cause. Smokey the Bear knows them all.

    I found this study for you to take a peak at...
    It's enough to make your blood boil - the sight of someone throwing a cigarette butt out of a car window. Every year the NSW Fire Brigades (NSWFB) is called to hundreds of roadside fires believed to be caused by discarded butts.

    NSWFB Station Officer Paul Scott, based at Parramatta Fire Station, has fought many fires on busy roads and even railway tracks where the most likely cause was a dropped cigarette butt. This led him and the Community Risk Management team to develop a proposal for an awareness campaign for smokers along the lines of the high profile NSW Government anti-littering initiative, “Don’t be a tosser”. It was a good idea in theory but the connection between cigarette butts and roadside fires was still only supported by circumstantial evidence.

    That was until a recent study by Jennifer Dainer, a student at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), with help from the NSWFB and CSIRO, provided solid proof. The study, which Ms Dainer undertook as her honours project for her degree in Forensic Science, was co-supervised by Dr Anne Lear from NSWFB Corporate Risk Management and Phil Maynard from UTS.

    The study

    As part of the study, called Can cigarettes butts start (Bush)fires, Ms Dainer conducted outdoor trials, supervised by Station Officer Scott and three firefighters with a fire engine from Parramatta Fire Station. She lit cigarettes and threw them into grass on the side of a road in the Sydney suburb of Prospect where there was no danger to surrounding property. At the time the prevailing conditions were recorded as wind speed of 40km/h, fuel (grass) moisture content approximately 12% of oven dry weight and humidity 14%.

    “On the day it was around 27?C with a north westerly wind, and it was pretty dry,” Station Officer Scott said. In three out of the 75 trials, or 4%, the grass caught alight and started to burn, requiring the firefighters to extinguish the flames.

    “The fires would have progressed quite quickly if we hadn’t been there,” says Station Officer Scott. “It’s no wonder we’re called to so many fires on busy roads and freeways and by railway lines when they can start so easily.”

    As well as the outdoor trials, the study also involved:
    •laboratory trials to show whether cigarette butts could ignite grassy fuel (hay) in a well-controlled environment and to identify the parameters which affect ignition potential; and
    • a survey of the number of cigarette butts on two median strips on a three lane road in Western Sydney.

    The laboratory trials found cigarette butts ignited the hay in 33% of cases. Ignitions increased when the wind speed increased, fuel moisture decreased (though wetter fuels could ignite with the application of wind) and the degree of the contact between the fuel bed and combustion area of the cigarette increased.

    During the survey, 426 cigarette butts were collected in a 60 square metre area of the median strip of Abbott Road, Seven Hills, over a three-week period. The wind draught created by a line of passing traffic was also recorded and found to be sufficient to increase the potential for a cigarette butt to start a fire on the roadside even if the prevailing conditions were calm.

    A campaign is born

    Station Officer Scott says the study finally gives the NSWFB the scientific proof that cigarette butts can cause roadside fires, including bushfires. “This confirms our view and gives us a firm basis for our new “Don’t be a firebug” campaign,” he said. “It also shows the benefits of partnerships between government agencies and universities on studies like this.”

    The “Don’t be a firebug” campaign, an adapted version of “Don’t be a tosser”, is being run by the NSWFB and the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) in conjunction with the Department of Environment and Conservation and the Roads and Traffic Authority. The Minister for Emergency Services, Tony Kelly, announced the campaign in January 2004. Over the next few months local firefighters will kick off local versions of “Don’t be a firebug” in suburbs and towns around NSW. They’ll attach the distinctive red stickers, which show a hand dropping a cigarette butt from a car, to their appliances and vehicles as a warning to motorists. The stickers will also be available to the public from fire stations.

    Station Officer Scott says it’s important to create greater public awareness around the issue.

    “As well as the environmental cost associated with littering, there is also the potential for fires from dropped cigarette butts, particularly during bushfire season,” he says. “A careless act by one person may have dire consequences for others, including the firefighters who risk their lives at fires.”

    If we are going to ban plastic bags because they damage the planet, why not ban cigarettes for doing damage to the planet, and our health? Cigarettes are far more damaging IMHO, but I guess if you follow the money trail the answer becomes clear. Politicians could give a rat's ass about your health, or the planet. they just like to appear that they do so they can manipulate the system, control populations and beg for more money so they can continue the illusion that they give a crap about anything but themselves.
    Last edited by nooshinjohn; 06-13-2012 at 10:24 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nooshinjohn View Post
    If we are going to ban plastic bags because they damage the planet, why not ban cigarettes for doing damage to the planet, and our health? Cigarettes are far more damaging IMHO
    Have you seen the price of cigarettes lately? It's the closest thing they can do to banning them.

    Besides, you're complaining about too much government involvement, but then suggesting that they should ban cigarettes...really John?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Face View Post
    Have you seen the price of cigarettes lately? It's the closest thing they can do to banning them.

    Besides, you're complaining about too much government involvement, but then suggesting that they should ban cigarettes...really John?
    LOL! touche' Face. The truth is I wish they would stop all this silly crap completely. Lookls like you guys will soon have to cross state lines to buy a Big Gulp in New York.

    This has been my point really all along. Once government has the slightest toe-hold on any aspect of your life, they then feel empowered to take it all from you. After all, the average (insert state of choice here) citizen is far too stupid to know that doing XYZ is bad for them so we should tax it/ban it/regulate it to death. At least that is what they think of us. And with the state of our education system, we have raised three generations of progressively bigger idiots. The sad part is we have been to stupid to see it coming, and now it's too late.
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