Crook County – "Bloomberged?"

Posted on April 13, 2013 by


Crook County Courthouse

Crook County Courthouse (Photo credit: J. Stephen Conn)

The nanny state begins at home and our Crook County Commissioners seem intent upon restricting legal activities and products in Crook County. In a county that carries a reputation for individualism and personal freedom associated with the western life style that seems contrary to all that we are.

For the past several weeks at the request of the Crook County Commissioners the health department anti-smoking director has been conducting an unscientific and unsupportable poll to determine the sense of the community on the matter of smoking and tobacco use in public places otherwise known as county properties or campus. The stated purpose is to determine if tobacco products and use should be banned. It seems proper and prudent to establish why use of a legal product would be prohibited prior to enacting a ban and to be fair they have not created an ordinance or order yet. But it looks like we’re headed that direction.

People in Crook County elect officials to deal with the business of government and that alone. They have not elected them to be Social Engineers, the lickspittles of special interests, nor the violators of our personal freedoms, private property rights, and Constitution of the United States of America. I have read that this ban on tobacco products is a matter of livability not an alignment for any specific grant. This could be viewed as sophomoric sophistry in its worst form and at best misguided thinking as a supposed protection of the people. For that to be even close to being true there would necessarily be a health issue in the open spaces of county properties. Where is it? Have they demonstrated a health problem? Let’s see it.

The commissioners should feel uncomfortable knowing their actions in supporting a tobacco ban have their genesis in a need to gain monies for particular programs in the county, driven by the very people that most benefit from the money. The conflict of interest in this regard are not lost on the citizens whose liberties will be taken. The very notion that a tobacco ban would be proposed for the potential grant is a grievous misuse of elected authority.

BANS ARE BAD! Read it again, BANS ARE BAD! Banning blacks from white facilities—BAD! Banning books—BAD! Banning Beer—Bad! Banning Guns—BAD! Banning soft drinks—BAD! If you agree that these bans are bad, then you must also agree that banning tobacco is also BAD! Particularly when there is no visible or demonstrated problem.

One would think it would be clear that any action, that would favor a tobacco ban of any type, will only create more distrust of elected officials and the taking of liberties of the people they serve. Various organizations testified it would not be enforceable or helpful to the economy. Of course the unprovable stats on second hand smoke were offered and always seem to have the imprimatur of the gospels because they sound compelling as the cause of misery and death. Still, they are not proven and fantasy driven numbers of deaths are unsubstantiated.

The fact remains, tobacco products are legal. Which legal item is next? What product will get “Bloomberged” in Crook County next go round?

Just a quick post-note… I don’t like cigarette smoke and don’t put myself in a position to endure it. I don’t patronize restaurants where I can smell smoke.

Ken Taylor

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Posted in: Big Government