My Personal Asylum

A million thoughts flitting around in my head over the course of a day. Which one will stop for a while and allow me to contemplate on it? Television? The War in Iraq? Culinary Arts? My dogs? Maybe just how I spent my day. This is my mental chalkboard.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

The Elusive Solution part 1

Webster's Dictionary defines elusive as: tending to evade grasp or pursuit.
It defines solution as: an answer to a problem.

So the Elusive Solution therefore deals with people's inability to grasp the answer to a problem.

So what's the problem? There are a shitload of them. So, let's pick one.

The smoking problem.

Now, before we go on, I think I need to clear something up. This isn't the solution to smoking. This is the solution to the problem with smoking.

The solution? The government needs to stay the hell out of it. You'll find my cut and dry answers half of the time include those words. So, let me expound.

First of all, let me say this: You do NOT have the right to breathe clean air. For those of you who don't think they heard me right, I'll say it again. You do NOT have the right to breathe clean air. You have a right to live. You have a right to be free. You have a right to pursue happiness. It is the government's job to protect those rights. Read the documents that were written when this country was founded. Clean air is not mentioned.

The first thing that is going through your mind is, "This is coming from a smoker." That assumption would be wrong. I stopped smoking on June 15, 2001 and I believe that smoking is bad for you. I also believe that cancer isn't something that is "caught". George Burns is my argument. The man smoked cigarettes for years, moved to cigars, and when he stopped smoking, continued to chew on the cigars until the day he died. NO lung cancer. NO mouth cancer. He died of old age complications. If smoking causes cancer, where was his cancer. Now, some of the components of cigarettes ARE carcinogens, and they CAN cause cancer. But, just because you smoke doesn't mean you'll get lung cancer, and just because you don't smoke doesn't mean you won't. People have lived tobacco-free lives and have died of lung cancer.

Let me stop you there, because I know where you're going, and the term you're thinking of is the biggest load of bullshit propaganda: Second-hand smoke. "But, it's how legislators protect the lives of their constituents." No. It's not. They claim to be protecting your lives from cancer, but they can't. Cancer picks who cancer picks, and I think if you look, you'll find that people who get cancer are genetically predisposed to getting cancer. It's all in the chromosomes. When it comes right down to it, isn't everything? Smoking bans and second-hand smoke legislation is about one thing and one thing only: MONEY. People aren't going to stop smoking just because you make it expensive, and the lawmakers know this. They also know they are never going to shut down Phillip Morris and all of the other tobacco companies. But they come out with laws that will "hurt the sale of tobacco and ultimately protect human life." No, not really. These laws justify a healthy tax on a product that they want to continue to sell, because tax revenue is tax revenue, and those revenues are used to fund whatever agenda they might have, good or bad.

Back to the second-hand smoke. Why can't people just say that the smoke bothers them? Because then they would be left to the task of correcting it (i.e. leaving the area the smoke is in). Why should they have to? Why shouldn't they have to? If John and Jane Public, who do not smoke, have some friends that smoke and those friends - let's call them Bill and Bonnie - would like them to come over to their house to play cards, John and Jane have three options. Number 1: Decline the invitation. Number 2: Decline the invitation, but explain that they can't take the smoke, for whatever reason, leaving it in Bill and Bonnie's hands to decide whether they can do without the smoking for the night to accommodate their friends. If they are really good friends or really want them to come over, they'll accommodate them. Number 3: Tolerate the smoke for the evening. Any one of these options would be a correct avenue. Where the problem comes in is when John and Jane force Bill and Bonnie to make the decision to not smoke. Would you let someone into your house and let them tell you how to live your life? Not likely. Most of the answers to that question are along the lines of , "Hell NO, I wouldn't!", but alot of the same people who said that would tell a restaurant owner that they couldn't allow smoking in their establishment. Where's the logic?? It's THEIR house. The restaurant owner has invited you over to dine. You have the same three options John and Jane had.

The end result of this incessant, unrelenting pursuit of the end of smoking is Tobacco Prohibition, and we saw how that worked with alcohol. Several people say that Prohibition was the birth of Organized Crime. If that was the case, do we REALLY want that to happen again.

It's about freedom. The restaurant owner should have the freedom to do with HIS/HER business and property as they choose, as long as they do not infringe upon another's rights to live, be free, and pursue happiness, and letting people smoke in their establishment infringes upon none of those 3 rights, because the person walking in the door has the freedom to choose NOT to walk in.

It really IS that simple.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Chaos Unlimited

That's how it feels right now. Just recently bought a house. We - my wife and I - take possession on May 15th. I start college (the second time around) on May 15th. Just recently got bumped to nights at work. Just today I found out that the place I work got sold.
Don't get me wrong! I'm not asking for pity. It's all good- except for that whole 3rd shift thing. It's just that it's all happening at once and it can all be overwhelming.
My first house. WOW! Things are finally working out. We get to make a controlled move, or that's what I call it, considering moves in the past. Makes me laugh just thinking about moves in the past. Of course, we look at the new house and immediately are saying, "What color for that room?" and "Let's knock out that wall and put in a bar" and "The kitchen needs to be bigger." Then we return to the planet and realize we HAVEN'T EVEN MOVED IN YET. Slow down already!
Going back to college. FINALLY!! Never thought it would happen. The first time around was...well, let's not talk about the first time around. Let's just say that everything happens for a reason and that my life would be very different if school had worked out then. And not necessarily good different. There are things I would change, but there are more things I wouldn't.
Like my marriage. My wife is AWESOME!! Of course to put up with me takes a special person. This August 24th is 10 years. TEN!! I've never stuck with anything for 10 years. Well, except for procrastination. That has been my life's work. But it's time to change that.
That's why it's back to school time. Culinary Arts. I'm gonna be a chef. Or, at least, that's the plan. I'd like to start out with a catering business. Ultimately, I want my own restaurant. A place where you kinda step back in time to medieval Europe and "feast upon" modernized versions of dishes of the time, whether from England, France, Germany or elsewhere.
I have several interests, and the diverse topics that will show up in this blog will be testament to them. Sometimes I'll share what I've learned. Sometimes what I like. Sometimes how I feel about topics in the news. Sometimes I'll just sit here and rant about things that get on my nerves. And sometimes I'll do what everybody else does from time to time: Get on my soapbox about anything and everything.
Welcome to all that pass by here and feel like sharing your thoughts on those things. I've got space for anyone wanting a room in MY PERSONAL ASYLUM.

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