People Ban: MI Berrien County


Michigan Berrien County update

New world order has come with smoking ban

March 9, 2007
We have ushered in a new smoke free era here in Berrien County. The new world order has arrived at our doorstep, and with it will come even more lost freedoms. Traditional values are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Many of those who supported the smoking ban did so with the belief that this was good for society. The constant media drumbeat, local health workers, and public officials aligned themselves. The peoples voices where silenced by the powers that be. I doubt very much thought was given to the forces that will soon come to silence even the county commissioners.
Do you remember when Christmas was not a controversy? Can you recall a time, when the children spoke of their faith … even in public places without fear? Each year I go to my kids Christmas program at our local public school and I still find vestiges of our soon to be forgotten past. I still hear a few traditional songs, but wait until the new world order finds out about horrors like “Silent Night.” They will arrive with their minions. The songs of Christmas are not acceptable to those who will soon enough persecute me for being a smoker. The ACLU does not like smokers, and they really hate Christians. The law says we must remove Christ from Christmas. Recently a kindergartner here in the US had his art project censored for drawing an image of Jesus. This young boy must be silenced as well. Let’s all welcome in the “progressives” and their new version of tolerance, which is really best stated as “we will not tolerate intolerance.” Think about that one for a minute.
Soon enough these forces will come looking for the commissioners as well. What offense did they perpetrate? Why they had the audacity to start the meeting for the smoking ban … with a Christian prayer! The commissioners must be silenced. I could silence them with a phone call to the right hate group. It would be so easy to bring their world down around them as well. Is this not the “progressive” thing to do? Not only is it progressive, why it’s the law of the land. Perhaps it is my duty to turn them in? Welcome to the brave new world that you, the commissioners of Berrien County have helped to create for your uninformed subjects. Perhaps it is time to rethink your position? Is this not a wake up call?
The vast majority of those I know see our rights as quickly becoming a lost part of our history. Will you go along with this trend, or stand with us and tell those who would oppress us they are not welcome in Berrien county? I am not a Christian, but I can tell you that I was not offended even in the least by the opening prayer ceremony. It is your right to voice your opinion in public. There are those whose skin is so thin, that they must silence those who hold an opposing view. Do you recall a time when Americans use to say, “I don’t like your opinion, but I would fight with my life to defend your right to express it.” This has now become, “I don’t like your ways, and I will pass laws and bring lawsuits to make certain you have no public right to this offensive position.” How have we come to this? I hold no malice to any man’s belief. How people become so petty is beyond me, but these days the law is on their side. This is the same mentality that will soon treat me as a criminal for being who I am. Only a few short days ago, I had freedoms that have now been taken away. One phone call to the ACLU and the commissioners could be silenced as well. Soon enough, you will be too. Will this wake the commissioners from their slumber?
Every Citizens right to freedom of association suffered a lethal blow with this recent legislation. Rights once private have been deemed public by decree. If they can do this to smokers who were not lawbreakers until this law passed, can they make your lawful behavior unlawful by decree? The answer is yes. What a dangerous precedent to set. This is now the law. Without property rights, freedom of association is dead as we know it. These principles go hand in hand and can not exist independently. By protecting my rights, you protect your own. It would appear that this concept has been lost in time. Wake up Berrien County. Both the smoker and the non smoker lost essential rights.
There is a new class of citizens who now fully understands what it is like to be oppressed. Those of you in the majority can now look down your neighbor’s nose, and alter his formerly legal lifestyle with just a politically correct word mentioned. It does not matter if you are on their property because the power of the state has given you authority over their personal choices, even in their own private businesses. Do you not think the smokers feel the oppression? We are humans, and have been deemed second class citizens. Trust me, we feel it.
We know eventually the officials will invade our homes. The smokers must not be allowed to poison their children, and this is the only way to protect the innocent from these dirty creatures …. shall be the battle cry. Perhaps some of you reading this actually agree. The US Surgeon General recently stated that Americans “should stay away from smokers.” I hope you understand the incredible social dangers that are created by statements like this. We now tell the old and sick in nursing homes to go outside and smoke in sub zero weather. They have lost the right to smoke in their own homes. Is this not the policy of an extremist? Many of you reading this already realize who the next group is that will be lined up for persecution. The war on the overweight surely will follow. Your insurance company and the law will become the master of what you consume. This is already happening in New York City. They have placed their carnal desires above the common good of all the insured. Here is a recent quote from our Surgeon General, “An overweight America is killing itself with excess, and all that can save it is a major cultural transformation.” Welcome to our brave new world. The powers that be have turned approximately 25 percent of our local population into second class citizens. The only real question that remains is … when will you be next?
James Jorgensen is a resident of Niles.

Berrien County passes smoking ban for public places
March 01. 2007
WSBT-TV Report
After months of debate and hours of heated arguments, Berrien County will soon go “smoke free.” A 10-3 vote for approval Thursday evening will soon mean an end to indoor smoking in MOST public places, but the vote didn’t come without a lot of debate.
The debate was nothing new, nor were the heated arguments.
“What does the health department have to do with private business!” one person asked.
Unlike last week’s lengthy public hearing before the Berrien County Board of Commissioners, this one was fairly one-sided. Of the 19 speakers, 14 were against a ban and most were non-smokers, but the words didn’t sway commissioners.
Starting June 1, smokers won’t be able to light up within 25 feet of any public place — including where they work.
There are some exceptions to the ban. Bars and restaurants won’t have to follow it. And people simply walking down the street can smoke within 25 feet of a building, but those who are caught breaking the new law will face consequences, ranging from a warning all the way up to a $1,000 fine.
Commissioner Richard Bartz says there won’t be any “smoke police” on the lookout for violators. He says the law is intended to be an outlet where someone can alert police and file a complaint.

Countywide smoking ban only symbolic in value


February 24, 2007
On Thursday, the Berrien County Board of Commissioners will decide whether to ban smoking in businesses and public places as an effort to combat the detrimental effects of secondhand smoke.


We believe new regulations of this nature will do little to further the goal of eliminating smoking.


While we share the belief that smoking is an unhealthy practice and also look to the day when it will only be a memory, we feel burdening businesses with regulatory requirements as well as creating an atmosphere where smokers are looking over their shoulders before lighting up will only breed resentment and non-compliance.


Furthermore, we believe this proposal has no teeth, since the businesses that see the lion’s share of smoking within their establishments – restaurants and bars – will be exempt from this policy, if enacted.


Many employers in the county, including Lakeland HealthCare and Whirlpool, have already banned smoking on their premises. We applaud them for taking this step and recognize their right to do so since they are private companies.


However, for a public entity such as the county to do so opens the doors for other nanny laws to be enacted once they become popular and politically expedient.


On a practical level, bans of this nature are ultimately unenforceable. There are too many businesses and not enough code enforcement officers to provide the oversight necessary to make the ban work. The fact that only three fines have been issued in the 17 counties that ban smoking shows an inability for effective enforcement. Also, we do not believe health department officials should take on an enforcement role.


We believe increased education, peer pressure and incentives – such as tax credits for businesses that ban smoking – are the best ways to bring about an end to smoking. While we realize these efforts are not as rapid as a smoking ban, we believe, in the long term, the results will be lasting.


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