San Juan Mountains

San Juan Mountains
San Juan Mountains: Grenadier Range

Friday, October 31, 2014

The Problem Of Income Inequality

I am constantly being told by financial gurus, media talking heads and career politicians that we have a crisis in this country called income inequality.  According to these alleged experts we are living in a land where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.  And, also according to these experts, the situation just described is not morally good.  We need to think about this for a while today.  I agree that there is plenty of immoral behavior associated with the topic of income inequality.  I just think the moralizers have got things a little bit backwards.
First, let's start with some statistical truth.  Proponents of income inequality, the immorality of income inequality and the need for action by the government to correct the problem of income inequality tell me that, despite the best efforts of our career politicians on our behalf, the average income of a citizen in the Socialist Democracy of Amerika is marching inexorably lower.   Is this true?  Check out this chart of the Real Disposable Personal Income per Capita (provided by the Federal Reserve here): 

1999-01-01  30350
2000-01-01  31524
2001-01-01  32075
2002-01-01  32754
2003-01-01  33342
2004-01-01  34221
2005-01-01  34424
2006-01-01  35458
2007-01-01  35866
2008-01-01  36078
2009-01-01  35616
2010-01-01  35688
2011-01-01  36314
2012-01-01  37156
2013-01-01  36815

Although there has been a slight decline in income of less than 1% from 2012 to 2013, the general trend has been clearly upward.  Over the past 15 years per capita personal income, after adjusting for inflation, has risen by 21.3%.  So I can reasonably conclude that real per capital income in the SDA is not declining, it is rising.  Furthermore, those who tell us that we are in an unprecedented period of time where our incomes are falling as they never have before apparently have very short memories.  Citizens of the SDA have experienced a real decline in personal income in 1930, 1931, 1932, 1933, 1938, 1945, 1946, 1947, 1949, 1954, 1958, 1974, 1980, 1991 and 2009.  To describe the less than 1% decline experienced in the last year as unprecedented seems to be motivated more by political concerns than economic ones.
Advocates of the need for governmental interference in the free market in order to correct the problem of income inequality will say that I have misstated the problem in the above analysis.  Using per capita income figures, they say, distorts the difference that has taken place between the upper and lower income cohorts.  And they have a point.  The income of the upper 10% has risen faster than the income of the lower 10% of the income population.  But, and this is a very big but, incomes for all income cohorts are rising.  The problem is not of one group rising while the other group is falling.  The problem is of one group rising faster than another.  For some reason that reality disturbs some people.  We need to figure out why.
There is a simple answer to the problem of income inequality, as defined above, but nobody wants to hear it.  Accepting the simple answer involves giving up cherished presuppositions about human nature that nobody is willing to give up.  So rather than attempt to see the world as it really is, pro-government factions in this sad land ignore the truth about man and clamor for more and more government involvement in our lives.  They truly, and religiously, believe that government can solve all of man's problems.  The simple fact is that government cannot solve this problem.  Why?  Because the problem is sin.
Except for a small handful of Christians nobody believes in sin anymore.  If it feels good, do it. Follow your heart.  How can it be wrong when it feels so right?  God loves me just the way I am so why should I change?  Most citizens of the SDA believe this garbage.  They have to.  If they believe the alternative they come face to face with the fact that they are sinful and God is very angry with them.  That is a reality everyone would rather pretend does not exist.  So sinful men create alternative realities.  That is what has happened with the income inequality issue.  The reason income inequality is a problem has nothing to do with the fact that rich people are witnessing their incomes rise more rapidly than less rich people.  That is a statistical fact.  The problem is that those who are less rich are experiencing the emotion of envy when they see the more rich rise more quickly than they are.  The problem is not about income, net worth or cash flow.  The problem is 100% about the sin of envy in the hearts and minds of sinful human beings.
Envy is a powerful emotion.  It is highly destructive.  When empowered by the coercive power of the state it is able to bring about massive changes in the income and capital structures of this disgusting land.  Envy is the desire to destroy the wealth of the person who has more than you.  Nobody is ever envious of the man who has less.  Almost everyone is always envious of the man who has more.  Furthermore, envy is much more destructive than simple covetousness.  When a person covets what another person has he has no desire to destroy what the other person has.  He just wants it as well.  Envy is not like that. Envy must see what the richer man has destroyed.  It is a powerful emotion and it is the primary underlying motivation for every political action that takes place in this immoral country.
All politicians pander to the envy of the electorate in order to get elected.  All politicians promise to take away the income and wealth of those who make more and give it to those who make less.  Some politicians use the IRS to accomplish this goal.  They have been quite successful as the top 49% of the income population now pays almost 100% of all federal income taxes.  The bottom 51% of envy-filled voters get a totally free ride.  Other politicians use other means to pander to envy.  Obamacare is a perfect example.  People often stupidly believe that Obamacare is about the delivery of health insurance and health care services.  It is not.  Obamacare simply utilizes the health insurance industry to enact and enforce a massive redistribution of wealth from the political minority who make more to those envy-filled masses who make less.  Indeed, all of politics is about nothing more than the institutionalizing of the human emotion of envy.  And that, of course, is what makes politics in the SDA completely and totally immoral.
Do we have a problem in this land with income inequality?  No, we do not.  However, the amoral fact that there is income inequality graphically exposes that we have a massive problem with envy.  Furthermore, the fact that we are constantly being informed that income inequality is a problem only further underscores the fact that envy has so filled the land in which we live men are no longer capable of rational thought about economic and political issues.  If you make the immoral decision to vote next week, please take a moment to consider what I have written and ask yourself if you really want to be a part of this process.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

What I Have Learned From Political Ads

I am sure all of you are sick and tired of the incessant litany of political advertisements that have been assaulting us for what seems like several years now.  When I sat down to watch Jeopardy last week I noticed that practically every commercial that ran during that half hour show was political in nature.  I later learned that politicians are willing to pay much higher advertising rates than commercial businesses are.  The net result is that, during political seasons, political ads drive out commercial ads.  That got me to thinking.....I wonder if any politician has ever conducted a cost-benefits analysis on his advertising budget?  The money that pours in from partisans during a political campaign is seemingly endless so maybe they have never thought they needed to see if it was being spent efficiently.  Still, if it was my money that was being spent, I would want a precise analysis of how many votes each particular type of advertisement was purchasing for me.  Those that were less effective would be discontinued.  All of this, however, is not the point of today's blog post.
I was pedaling away on the exercise bike at the gym the other day, trying not to stare with envy at all of the muscular Yuppies pumping iron immediately in front of the row of bicycles, by watching what flickered across the multiple television screens mounted above the weight room instead.  As noted earlier, all of the commercials were political in nature.  It was interesting to watch the commercials without audio.  The editorial crafting of the commercials to convey a particular point was much more obvious without sound.  As I neared 30 minutes on the bike I began to think about all of the things I have learned this election cycle as a result of watching political advertisements.  I would like to share some of those things with you today.
  • I have learned that all women believe in abortion.  I can't tell you how many times I have been told that such and such a candidate is too radical for Colorado because he hates women.  Why does he hate women?  Because he opposes abortion.  I had no idea that all women were either murderers or in support of murder.  I thought there had to be some women, a minority percentage no doubt, who believe that murdering an unborn baby is a sin and an offense against God.  But that is not what the ads told me.  According to them every single XX chromosome person in the state of Colorado favors abortion.  How odd.
  • I also learned that all women in Colorado really believe that there is a conspiratorial movement afoot to ban their right to murder their babies.  The belief in this conspiracy is based upon the fact that the Republicans will propose a bill each year to ban abortion in some fashion.  They propose the bill in order to appease the people back home who voted for them.  All Republicans know that the bill they propose will never get out of committee but they do it purely for show and to allow themselves to tell their constituents that they have tried to stop abortion.  Everybody knows about this game and it is played out every year.  Now the Republican strategy is backfiring on them since the Democratic candidates are using those sham proposals against them.  All of it, of course, is merely a game since we all know that abortion will never be criminalized.  We live in a democracy, where the majority rules, and the majority of women have had abortions.  That pretty much settles the matter.
  • I have learned that all profit-seeking corporations are evil.  Both Democrats and Republicans agree that profit-seeking corporations have no interest but their own and that, apart from government regulation, they will abuse, swindle and con everyone they can get their greedy hands on.  I have also learned that when people decided to pursue a career in politics they become morally pure.  Unlike their evil cousins in business, career politicians never do anything from self interest.  Career politicians are needed to regulate and control evil businessmen.  Only then will we all be safe.
  • I have learned that everybody hates Obamacare, even the Democrats.  Now that strikes me as rather odd.  I know many people who love Obamacare.  As we all know, Obamacare is nothing more than an income transfer scam that uses the health insurance industry as the means by which to redistribute income.  All of those folks I know who are on the receiving end of the scam think Obamacare is just dandy.  I have not heard a single person complain about Obamacare when his health insurance premium went down and when he received a tax refund at the end of the year because his income was below the magic threshold.  Regardless, the popular perception is that everyone hates Obamacare.  What I find interesting is that nobody has anything to put in its place.  I was taught that I do not have the right to criticize something unless I can propose something to put in its place that is superior.  If politicians followed that principle there would be no talk about Obamacare at all.  Do you know why?  Because every politician, Democrat and Republican, is committed to the principle of socialized medicine.  None of them want a free market in medical care.  What each of them wants is the power to control their own form of socialized medicine. 
  • I have learned that there is no difference between Democrats and Republicans anymore.  If the ad does not tell me which party the candidate is associated with I usually can't tell from the promises being delivered.  Cory Gardner, a Republican, is running ads telling me how much he wants to fight for federal energy subsidies for wind turbines in Colorado.  No self-respecting Republican would ever have made that promise a couple of decades ago.  But the Republicans have learned that elections are all about promising goodies to the envy-filled electorate in exchange for a vote.  The principle of limited government, once held dear by Republicans, is inconsistent with the principle of unlimited goodies.  Guess which principle was abandoned?
  • I have learned that the opposing candidate is usually satanically inspired and controlled.  The only thing missing in the photographic portrayals of the opposing candidate in practically all of the ads are the little horns drawn in on the top of his head.  When speaking about the horrible attributes of the opposition the music playing in the background is always ominous.  It sounds like a vote for that person is a vote for Armageddon.  On other hand, when the candidate being advertised comes on the screen the music turns light and cheerful.  Birds are chirping, the sun is shining bright and I can just imagine a chicken in every pot of the voters.
  • I have learned that all career politicians, whether they be Democrats or Republicans,  seeking office firmly believe in the deity of government.  They all believe government can fix all of society's woes.  They all believe government can create economic growth. They all believe government can clean the air, stop crime, make everyone wealthy and distribute happiness to all races, religions and creeds.  Furthermore, they all believe that we live in the most fearful time in our history.  They are committed to casting themselves in the light of our saviors who will deliver us from our many enemies at home and abroad.  I can't imagine that they really believe any of the stuff they say.  I suspect they are just rent-seekers looking for a secure job with a huge retirement pension.  But they know that we want to hear the things they tell us so they keep telling us those things.
  • I have learned that all political candidates believe we are idiots, saps and fools.  I have not seen an advertisement from any candidate this election season that was not rife with hypocrisy and misdirection.  Everything each candidate accuses the other candidate of doing is precisely what that candidate is doing.  Every single ad can be logically dissected to show how what is being said is not quite true.  There is a slant to everything and even an elementary school level of logic can figure it out.  Still, the candidates continue to assault us with this drivel.  Why?  Because they believe they are reaching us at our moral and intellectual level.  And I believe that is the one thing on which they are correct.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Comcast Customer Service Is Atrocious

I prefer to accentuate the positive.  It takes a lot to spoil my generally optimistic mood and turn me negative.  Everyone who knows me will agree that I always bring a smile and a can-do attitude to the table.  That is why it is so hard for me to write today's post to my blog.  I just don't like criticizing anything or anyone but, this time, Comcast has gone too far.
Comcast is my local cable provider.  I guess calling Comcast a cable provider betrays my age.  The company provides much more than my cable TV.  I also get my phone (yes, I still have a land line....I just can't stand the terrible connections associated with mobile phones) and internet from Comcast.  And I like the services Comcast provides.  For one monthly bill of a couple of hundred bucks I have unlimited telephone calls.  That does not mean much to today's younger generation but my generation is old enough to remember when making a long distance call meant running up a big phone bill.  I am still amazed that I can call anywhere in the world for one low monthly fee.  What a magnificent time we live in.
Comcast brings the world to my fingertips with the internet.  I know the internet is taken for granted by the younger folks who move among us but I recall having to go to the library and spending hours going through card catalogs in order to find information to satisfy my curious mind.  Before Al Gore invented the internet I would spend one day a month at the library just learning stuff.  Today I can gather more information in a one hour session on the internet than what I used to learn in an all day session at the library.  And I can do it from the comfort of my home, without being surrounded by peevish old maids who continually told me I was too loud and smelled funny.  Thank you Comcast.
I love my Comcast cable TV.  I have the option of having hundreds of channels right on my own television screen.  I don't subscribe to any of the premium channels but I still have hundreds of channels to choose from.  I love watching the news from the perspective of the Arabs, the French and the British.  I love switching back and forth from MSNBC, CNN and Fox News just to see how each channel distorts the news to support their own political agendas.  I chuckle every time they all tell me they are fair and balanced.  And I get hundreds of free movies through the "On Demand" feature.  There are a lot of classic movies available to me and my wife and I have enjoyed watching many of them over the years.  So, once again, thanks Comcast.
One service from Comcast that I cannot stand, however, is their customer service.  It is an atrocity.  How such a good company can have such rotten customer service is a mystery to me.  I have never had a pleasant experience with Comcast customer service.  I awoke yesterday to discover that all of my Comcast services were off line.  Yesterday was the first time in years that all of the services disappeared at once.  A couple of hours later everything came back on. I went around the house to check on my two televisions to make sure they both were operating correctly.  One of them was and one of them was not.  On the television that was not working, the digital converter box was blinking strangely and I suspected that was the source of the problem.  That is when my problems began.
I contacted Comcast customer service in the late afternoon yesterday to talk about my digital converter box problem.  It took three phone calls to get a human being.  The first two times I was cycled through the prompt menu, taking approximately four minutes each time, only to be disconnected at the end of the prompts.  Finally, on the third attempt, I just kept pressing "0" on the key pad in the hope that I would actually get a human being. After about three minutes of key pad punching I was successful and I had another human being on the line.
Or at least I thought it was a human being.  I don't remember the person's name.  All I can recall today is that his/her voice was such that I could not tell if it was a man or a woman.  Having missed the person's name I had to be careful not to offend by speaking to him as a her or her as a him.  To make matters worse the person had an accent that could best be described as a combination of Chinese and Indian (dot, not feather).  It was agonizing to try and explain what the problem was.  I had to repeat myself multiple times and even then I was not sure if the person on the other end of the line understood what I was trying to say.  After about fifteen minutes of back and forth he (I am settling on a man) informed me that he would "send a signal down the line" that should restart my cable box.  He promised to call me back in "thirty minutes" to make sure it had worked.
As you would expect the attempt to fix the box did not work.  As you also would expect I never heard from him again.  My wife and I settled down to watch a movie on the other television that was working properly.  After the movie I contacted Comcast once again.  This time, by continually punching "0" on my keypad,  I got a lady service rep on the line.  I told her what had happened and she said she would take care of it.  She sent multiple shots down the line and nothing worked.   Finally she agreed I needed a technician to come to the home.  We agreed that the technican would be here today, between ten and noon.  She told me it was very important for me to be here because the time of the technicians is very valuable and they should not be stood up.  I assured her I would be here.
As you have already guessed, the technician never showed up.  I dutifully cast aside my other responsibilities for the morning and waiting for him to show.  He never did.  At noon I called Comcast only to be informed, by the infamous digital voice since I could not get to a human being despite wearing out the "0" on my phone keypad, that my service appointment was actually scheduled for this coming Sunday afternoon.  You can imagine my surprise.  Nobody told me it had changed.  I hung up the phone and called back, wending my way through the prompts until I had a human being.  The human being, a lady, assured me that I never had an appointment for today but that she could move my Sunday afternoon appointment to tomorrow if I wished.  I politely declined her offer.
By this point I had determined that the problem was a faulty digital converter box and it could not be fixed by anything Comcast might send down the line.  Since it was also obvious Comcast was having a difficult time sending any human beings down the line to my house I decided to take matters into my own hands.  I asked for the address of the nearest Comcast store and informed her I was bringing the faulty box in for an exchange.  After obtaining the address I loaded up the box and headed out.
I drove the couple of miles to where the Comcast store was supposed to be located.  Of course, I couldn't find it.  It had a street address but there was no address on that street that corresponded to the number that I had.  I just wandered around for a while, exploring corners and various strip malls until I saw a small sign announcing a Comcast customer service center.  I parked and went in.  The lady, I am sure she was because I could see her, quickly exchanged my box and then asked me if I wanted to save money on my Comcast bill.  I knew I was being sold up but agreed to let her make her pitch. She proceeded to inform me that I could save $40/month if I agreed to sign up for Comcast home security.  It would involve installing several  devices in my home that would eventually connect to the local police department.
As a general rule I try to stay away from anyone who enforces the vast body of immoral laws that exist in this over regulated country.  That means I try to stay away from the local police.  The thought of having a direct electronic connection between my home and the police conjures up images of midnight raids, dog shootings and flash-bang grenades in my bedroom.  No thanks, I told the lady.  She couldn't understand why I would not do it since it would save me $40 a month.  I guess she has never had a flash-bang grenade detonated in her bedroom or her dog gunned down in cold blood by a police officer who felt "threatened" by it. I thanked her for her service and left the store.  So that was my most recent experience with Comcast customer service.  Like I said, I love Comcast services but I detest Comcast customer service.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Homosexuals Are Extremely Emotionally Insecure

Thirty one states in the Socialist Democracy of Amerika had banned state recognized homosexual unions by means of an amendment to each state's constitution prior to the start of 2014.  In three of those states the percentage of the popular vote that was in favor of the constitutional amendment was in excess of 80% of the voters.  In seventeen of those states the degree of support was greater than 70%.  In twenty five of the thirty one states the level of support exceeded 60% of the voters.  Based upon those figures alone it should be quite obvious that the majority of the citizens of the SDA oppose state recognized homosexual unions.
Since the Supreme Court refused to deal with the issue of state authorized homosexual unions this past summer twenty one states have legalized state approved homosexual unions by means of judicial activism that overturned the revealed will of the voters as seen in the previously ratified constitutional amendments that forbade such activities.  Based upon those figures alone it should be quite obvious that the majority of the people who actually wield political power in the SDA are in favor of state approved homosexual unions.
All of this raises an interesting question.  Do we really live in a democracy?  Remember, the Socialist Democracy of Amerika is allegedly a democracy.  By that we all understand that the will of the majority is to be the law of the land.  Yet when it comes to aberrant sexual behavior the will of the majority is overruled by those who rule over us.  We have to seriously question if we actually live in a democracy or if we merely operate under the appearance of a democracy in order to allow those who are in power to continue in power.  As interesting as that question might be, it is not the point of today's post to this blog.  It is obvious that the people who rule over us have a powerful vested interest in appeasing homosexuals, or heterophobes, as I like to call them.  The clear and overwhelming will of the people has been utterly ignored this year as state after state shot down the will of the people on the issue of heterophobic unions recognized, authorized and legitimized by the civil government.  The question that perplexes me is this, why is it so important for career politicians and civil bureaucrats to affirm, legitimize and empower this particular group of SDA citizens?  Let's think about that for a while.
I opened my Denver Post a couple of days ago to find an almost complete second page story on two lesbians from Highlands Ranch who were "making history" by being the first heterophobic couple to be married at the chapel in Red Rocks park.  The two lesbians have been living together for 20 years and the story went to great lengths to inform me that they had suffered mightily during those two decades.  I read that they had "hidden their love for so long."  I was informed that they "kept each other secret from friends, co-workers and some family members, and they felt consequences after their relationship was discovered, noting a housing offer they almost lost and an occasion when a woman whisked her child away in fear." 
So let me get this straight.  These two lesbians are heroic figures who have suffered hardship for twenty years because they "almost lost" an offer on a home and some woman whisked her kid away from them when she saw them?  First of all, I fail to see or understand how "almost" losing an offer on a home constitutes a hardship.  Secondly, these two lesbians should try being Welsh for a week or two.  Women routinely whisk their children away from the presence of odd looking Welshmen.  When they do so their eyes are filled with panic and fear.  Why?  I have no idea.  I don't know what goes on in the minds of panic-stricken women.  Nor do I consider it any of my business.  In fact, I have been tempted to flee screaming from the presence of women with children hundreds of times.  Who wants to be around a bunch of sniveling, screaming, crying kids?  Not me.  But I have never considered any of these social interactions to be heroic, empowering or any other word people like to use these days in regards to a class of people that is allegedly suffering persecution.
The article went on to inform me that when the two lesbians went down to the county clerk to obtain their marriage license, "the clerk declared her support for it, and the people at the DMV were clapping and saying congratulations.  You can't imagine how happy we were."  So let me get this straight.  A couple of militant female heterophobes who have fought in the heterophobic trenches for twenty years are seeking emotional support for their marriage from the dim-witted bureaucrats at the Department of Motor Vehicles?  What?  And why should the opinion of the country clerk have any impact upon their emotional security?  Why should they care what anybody thinks about them?  Real heroes don't worry about the opinions of bureaucrats as they go about performing their heroic deeds.
Today I opened the paper once again to read a second page story that amused me beyond belief.  The title of the short piece was "Man Dead In Plane Crash In Boulder."  Since I know a couple of pilots in the area, my eyes were drawn to the story.  I quickly read through it to see if the pilot was anyone I knew.  Then, I saw it.  Right there in the middle of the article it said, "Although officials have not released the identity of the pilot, the National Gay Pilots Association identified him...."  What?  The National Gay Pilots Association?  What in the world is that?  And why should that ridiculous association even exist?
I did some checking around the internet.  I was unable to find a National Heterosexual Pilots Association.  I can say with certainty that there is no National Welsh Pilot Association.  There is no National Millionaire Pilots Association nor is there even a National Female Pilots Association.  There is no National Black Pilots Association and no National Native American Pilots Association.  So why should there be a National Gay Pilots Association?  What does homosexual sex have to do with flying a plane?  And then it hit me.
The reason heterophobes desperately desire the approval of career politicians and bureaucrats, the reason militant lesbians get all teary-eyed when a county clerk informs them that she approves of their sinful behavior, and the reason homosexuals have a pilots association just for them is due to the fact that all heterophobes are extremely emotionally insecure.  Extreme emotional insecurity is the answer to every "why" question about heterophobes.  Everything they do is motivated by the need to be affirmed.  It is most important that they be affirmed by government workers and politicians since those people represent the high priests of SDA society.
The desire for affirmation is, of course, the exact opposite of heroic individualism.  The heroic individual plods on with absolutely no regard for the opinion of the public about his behavior.  Indeed, the heroic individual ignores all opinions but his own as he proceeds on his mighty quest for whatever it is he cares about.  So please, don't ever describe heterophobes as heroic.  They are, if anything, perfect anti-heroic individuals.
There is one opinion everyone needs concern himself with and that is God's opinion.  God has an opinion on a great number of things human beings do.  He just happens to have an opinion on homosexual marriage as well.  I am not going to tell you what it is because I believe you already know.  The article about the happy lesbian couple concluded with this statement from one of them, "To get to marry my best friend in front of God with the same respect as everybody else is all I've asked for."  Pitiful, isn't it?

Monday, October 27, 2014

Persecution Of Smokers Intensifies: Third-Hand Smoke

Just when I thought it was no longer possible for the intensity of the persecution being experienced by smokers in the Socialist Democracy of Amerika to intensify, I receive a link from a reader to an article in the Scientific American that proves me wrong.  Smokers are already social pariahs.  Smokers have already lost all of their civil rights.  Smokers are already regular recipients of hate speech and oppression.  Smokers have their property confiscated, their incomes reduced and their reputations sullied.  There is little you can do to a smoker, short of killing him, that will get you in trouble with the government.  In fact, the government is leading the charge against these evil people who are held responsible for every bad thing that ever happens in this disgusting country.  Now, on top all of that immoral activity perpetrated against smokers, "scientists" have discovered something they call "third-hand smoke" and smokers are being held responsible for this horrible new toxin.
Here is the link, if you want to check out the story.  A pediatrician from Boston by the name of Jonathan Winickoff conducted a survey that found, to nobody's surprise, that most people believe the propaganda about second-hand smoke being practically as dangerous as first-hand smoke.  In other words, most people believe that simply sitting in a room next to a smoker is as dangerous as smoking a cigarette yourself.  The idea is preposterous, of course.  Go here for the truth.  But it is a popular idea so it continues to be believed despite all hard evidence to the contrary.  When an incorrect idea can be used to persecute an entire class of people, don't ever expect that idea to be disbelieved until that class of people has either been eradicated or those who love to meddle in the business of others have moved on to another group of people to harass.  I remember when the argument was first being advanced that second-hand smoke is as harmful to your health as first-hand smoke.  Reputable writers and scientists were making the claim that it was more dangerous to sit in a crowded room filled with smokers than it was to inhale what was coming out of the tailpipe of an automobile.  Whenever someone informs me of that alleged fact I always issue the same challenge to them.   If you are really so stupid as to believe that second-hand smoke is more dangerous than the exhaust from an internal combustion engine then let's do this.....I will sit in a garage with a couple of people who are smoking and you sit in a garage next door with a car running.  Let's each sit in our enclosed spaces for an hour and see who is better off at the end of that period.  Strangely, despite believing that tobacco smoke is more dangerous than car exhaust, nobody has ever taken me up on that challenge.
Dr. Winickoff wanted to push the smokey envelope even further.  He is not satisfied with merely banning all smoking in all public places, even the outdoors, in order to protect people from second-hand smoke.  No, he has discovered a third type of smoke, which he calls third-hand smoke, and he already has a legion of true believers rallying to his cause.  In the survey he conducted he discovered that 65% of nonsmokers and 43% of smokers agreed with the statement that "third-hand smoke can harm the health of infants and children."  What is third-hand smoke, you ask?  It is the tiny amount of residue that deposits on surfaces anytime tobacco smoke is present.  So, in the anti-smoking universe, it necessarily follows that anything that has been previously exposed to second-hand smoke now is contaminated with third-hand smoke and that third-hand smoke is dangerous to your health.
The good doctor joyously points out that, "smokers themselves are also contaminated…smokers actually emit toxins from clothing and hair."  So there you have it.  Finally the anti-smoking lobby has a reason to execute all smokers.  Smokers themselves are examples of third-hand smoke.  Smokers in their very persons are dangerous to your health and need to be eradicated.  Even when a smoker isn't smoking he is a danger to your health and you are justified in taking any action necessary to eliminate the risk he presents to your health.
The article goes on to cite the hugely biased and scientifically flawed report from the Surgeon General of the SDA which declared that "there are no risk-free levels of tobacco exposure."  The article concludes that public policy needs to change in this sad land.  Smokers are not being persecuted enough, according to the good doctor.  He wants a ban on all tobacco use in all public spaces.  Public spaces is defined as anything that is not privately owned.  In other words, if you are a smoker you will eventually only be permitted to smoke on your own property, and nowhere else.
It does not take an economic genius to see the financial repercussions of this third-hand smoke lunacy.  Any smoker who so much as lights up a single cigarette in his home and then decides to put his home up for sale is going to be forced to remediate the third-hand smoke present in the house prior to sale.  The entire house will have to be cleansed of the third-hand smoke before it can be sold.  I fully expect that career politicians will jump on the bandwagon and create a new bureau of public health specifically designated to the discovery and remediation of third-hand smoke.  Before any property can be sold it must be government certified to be third-hand smoke free.  Thousands of new jobs in the government bureaucracy will be created.  Millions of dollars of capital will vanish into thin air as smokers are forced to comply with boatloads of new regulations in regard to third-hand smoke remediation.  Trial lawyers will have a heyday as they sue smokers who sold their cars to people with children who will now claim that every illness they suffer is a result of third-hand smoke.  If things go well for the anti-smokers, those poor souls who continue to smoke can all be forced into bankruptcy as they witness the dissolution of their wealth as they attempt to comply with the new rules.
I don't know about you but I am thinking about taking up smoking.  I am too old to die from anything first-hand smoke might do to me.  I am disgusted at the way smokers are being persecuted and I want to do something to help them.  I think the first thing to do is to become one of them.  Got a light?

Update:  November 1, 2014

The Denver Post front page headline story this morning was about a call for the Denver City Council to ban all smoking on the 16th Street Mall.  The mall is a popular outdoor mall that runs the length of downtown Denver.  Public health experts said the ban was necessary to protect people who work there and tourists from the harmful effects of second-hand smoke.  There was no mention of the harmful effects of third-hand smoke.  How the tiny percentage of people still smoking these days could put enough second-hand smoke into the open air surrounding over a dozen city blocks so that the health of tourists could be threatened was not described.   Meanwhile, the story went on to say that the City of Boulder is considering an ordinance to ban smoking at all city parks, open spaces and trails.  Boulder has already banned smoking at all outdoor shopping malls and business plazas.  Since it is obvious that a person smoking a cigarette in an open space is not creating a public health issue due to second-hand smoke the reason given for this proposed ban is that billions and billions of cigarette butts are clogging up the city's sewer system.  Come one people, we don't have to make up theoretically reasons to persecute smokers.  They are all worse than Hitler.  We can persecute them simply because every society needs a pariah class and smokers are our pariah class.  Why can't we just admit that?