Joe Cameltoes

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Kittens as this is the World Wide Web and not a local Pennysaver newspaper we are going to begin todays lesson with a small portion of background information in order to gain a little geographical and political perspective.

This blog is coming to you from Toronto Canada. We are one of the largest cities in North America. We are the most multi cultural city in the world (this is a good thing), we enjoy a socially liberal society where gay people can marry each other if they want to (this is also a good thing because discrimination sucks), we have a fairly decent public transit system, clean water, people try not to shoot each other very much and if you have ever seen a movie about anything then chances are that is filmed here. Basically, it’s as if New York took the vacuum out and tidied up for guests.

The best way to describe Toronto is if Europe and Chicago had a child. We have a heavily congested city that is kept in reasonable order and are flanked by suburbs in a every direction. They are divided into municipalities just like everywhere else and typically when one of them does something politically it isn’t long until the rest do the same. Usually this isn’t a bad thing because it would make life difficult for all of us if you drove 15 minutes out of town and found out the hard way that in a different municipality they had legalized enslaving visitors from a different area code.

I say that this is “usually” a good thing because sometimes it doesn’t work out very well and in some cases it is absolute bullshit;

Smoking ban urged for Peel condos and apartments

October 19, 2009

Peel’s top public health officials are lobbying to ban smoking from apartments and condos in an effort to limit second-hand smoke inhalation.

If their push is successful, apartment dwellers would not be able to smoke in their own homes.

The region’s council is going to examine a report co-authored by Commissioner of Health Services Janette Smith, and Dr. David Mowat, Peel’s medical officer of health.

Their report says that Peel Public Health has received complaints from apartment tenants about smoke seeping into their homes.

“Tobacco smoke can seep from various openings in a multi-unit dwelling, including electrical outlets, plumbing, ductwork, ceiling light fixtures, cracks in wall, floors or doors and through common areas, such as hallways,” wrote Smith and Mowat in the report. “Some units may share ventilation or heating systems, which can further spread the smoke throughout a building.”

Their findings prompted an investigation into whether the city has the authority to ban smoking inside apartments.

Under the Municipal Act of 2001, Peel can invoke a bylaw preventing tenants from smoking, but Smith and Mowat suggest the best route would be to persuade Queen’s Park to enact a province-wide ban.

The province’s current ban on smoking applies only to enclosed public spaces, as well as elevators and hallways in apartment buildings. But it does not stop people from smoking in their homes.

“I don’t actually think that we need to be asking the province because I think it’s already happening,” said Pippa Beck, a policy analyst for the Non-Smokers’ Rights Association. “We have market forces on our side, landlords are recognizing the financial benefits, which are not insignificant, and there is more and more demand for smoke-free living.”

Beck noted several municipalities in Ontario, including Kitchener-Waterloo and Hamilton, are taking steps to ban smoking in residences.

This month, councillors in Kitchener-Waterloo decided, starting in April, new tenants in apartments owned by Waterloo Region would not be allowed to smoke at home.

The region had been receiving an average of five calls a month from tenants complaining about second-hand smoke seeping into their dwellings from other units and open windows. Those calls represented about 20 per cent of all tobacco-related complaints received by the region, according to a regional report.

In Peel, individual landlords of apartments are also choosing to make their buildings smoke-free.

In July 2006, a smoke-free 53-unit housing complex opened on Cummer Ave. in North York. In 2008, the owner said one tenant had left because of the policy.

Peel’s council votes Thursday on whether to approach the province about the recommendations.

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Kittens since most of you are hopefully fortunate enough to have no clue where or what Peel region is, here is a brief explanation.

It is a municipality surrounding Toronto that covers a large chunk of suburbs. People from Peel region drive into our city every day to work, shop and annoy us.They invade our city every day in their cars, make a mess and then go home to their suburban homes.

If you ever find yourself lost in Peel, you will more than likely require a GPS because asking somebody for directions won’t be very useful. You will see nothing but suburban homes, outlet malls, mega malls, mini malls, power malls and muffler shops. Nobody will ever tell you to turn right instead of left at an art gallery, historic monument or even an independantly owned and operated burger joint. You won’t even find a local neighborhood hobo trying to mooch a cigarette from you because there aren’t any. They can’t afford to live there and there not that they would want to because even if they did try to sleep in a park, the cops wouldn’t ask them to move, they would kick the shit out of them. It all looks exactly the same in every possible direction for miles and miles.

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(You don’t see pigeons in the suburbs because their homing instincts don’t work)

Okay so enough of bashing Peel. There are millions of them, and if you doubt me then Old Navy wouldn’t survive. Many of you actually live in one of them and hopefully want to escape.

Many of you are one of two groups. Smokers or non-smokers. You are also probably one of two people. Folks who do live in a building, or those who live in a house.

You are most certainly one of one group however, those who pay for wherever you call home and that home is your home and you know this because whenever you are done whatever you are doing you say “I am going home”.

Home is where we keep our stuff. Home is where we cook our food, go to sleep and usually eventually wake up, make coffee and if we choose to, walk around in our underwear watching German porn while we clip wooden clothes line pins to our nipples whilst singing show tunes smoking cigarettes and pretend we are confetti throwing Rip Taylor after a long drunken day.

Why do we do this? Because we can. Because we are in OUR HOME THAT WE PAY FOR.

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Non-smokers always screech and howl the same complaints at us smokers. They tell us we are polluting their air, making them sick, damaging their health and making their world a slightly stinkier and more unpleasant place to live. Thanks to them we are forced out of every place to eat and drink and onto the streets whenever we want a ciggie because they don’t like us. They figured that people who smoke should be forced outside.

Smoking and non-smoking sections wasn’t good enough for them. Then smoking and non-smoking establishments weren’t good enough for them. They denied business owners the right to open a place that would cater to either group. They yelled and bellowed that their rights to go wherever they wanted was being infringed upon and because they had to make the choice between going to a smoking or non-smoking pub was too difficult for them and worthy of an Amnesty international tribunal. Now business owners are told they are only allowed to cater to one group, the non-smokers and many of them have had to close up shop because smokers are saying that they would rather stay home, cook a lovely meal and enjoy a cigarette inside the home that they pay for.

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(Money well spent)

Kittens this article was found in the Health Section of The Toronto Star. It was cleverly placed in the health section and not in politics to create the illusion of credibility. If it were in the politics section then immediately the readers would start asking the obvious questions about human rights. Since it was in the health section it looks as if some fine upstanding people are trying to make the world a better safer healthier place by forcing us smokers outside of our own homes for a puff.

Due to the fact that it is hiding in the health section and not in the politics pages the human rights issue hasn’t come up yet, except it has, by the people who are supporting this new law, The Non Smokers Rights Association.

So who are these clowns?

What is the NSRA?

The Non-Smokers’ Rights Association is a non-profit health organization that has been at the forefront of tobacco-control efforts in Canada and around the world for the past quarter-century. The NSRA was founded in Toronto in 1974 by Rosalee Berlin, a registered nurse whose allergies made her particularly sensitive to second-hand smoke. It began as a small volunteer group dedicated to achieving clean air for non-smokers.

Soon after the group was formed, Ms. Berlin recruited the NSRA’s present executive director, Garfield Mahood, who had been working on environmental issues for several years. Under Mr. Mahood’s leadership, the association broadened its scope to all public health aspects of the tobacco epidemic, resolutely putting the blame for this problem on the tobacco industry, where it ultimately belongs, rather than on individual smokers.

Professional, dynamic advocacy based on solid research and critical thinking have been the hallmark of the NSRA since its inception. Thanks to ongoing efforts in coalition-building with national, provincial and local health and community groups, the association has helped bring about a sea change in Canadian attitudes towards the tobacco industry and its deadly products. Notable achievements include:

■Successful campaigns to obtain public smoking by-laws in cities from St. John’s to Calgary. As early as 1977, Toronto Mayor David Crombie referred to the NSRA as “the most impressive and intelligent lobby I have ever known.”

■In close co-operation with the Canadian Cancer Society and other groups, forceful campaigning that finally led to passage of the federal Tobacco Products Control Act in 1988, including a ban on tobacco ads and the right to impose health warnings on cigarette packs, which until then had been voluntary.

■Despite intense tobacco industry lobbying, the NSRA convinced the federal government to accept a world precedent-setting warning system, involving stark warnings that take up 30% of the front and back panels of cigarette packs. Even before the warnings came into effect in Canada, NSRA staff were busy explaining the system to health groups in other countries, leading to similar regulations in Poland, Australia, South Africa, Thailand and Singapore.

■Following the Supreme Court of Canada’s 1995 decision overturning much of the Tobacco Products Control Act, the NSRA spearheaded efforts to obtain replacement legislation from the new Liberal government. After months of heated debate, the Tobacco Act was finally passed in the spring of 1997, re-instating the advertisement ban (except for sponsorships) and giving the federal government the right to regulate the contents of cigarettes.

■More recently, the NSRA played a leadership role in setting up the National “Tobacco OR Kids” Campaign, which is pushing for a Royal Commission on the tobacco epidemic and for major regulatory changes and policy initiatives to prevent the supply of cigarettes to kids and to reduce adolescent demand for cigarettes.

■The association has also been involved in campaigns to obtain provincial tobacco-control legislation, notably the Ontario Tobacco Control Act in 1994 and the Quebec Tobacco Act in 1998.

The NSRA has been awarded the World Health Organization’s Gold Medal for tobacco control, as well as the Canadian Cancer Society’s Award of Merit for creative and forceful leadership in the cause of cancer prevention.

Apart from its headquarters in Toronto, the association has offices in Ottawa and Montreal, with a total staff of nine people.

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That’s right Kittens. Nine people pulled this shit off. Nine. Here’s another interesting tidbt from their very own website;

According to the latest results from the Canadian Tobacco Use Monitoring Survey (CTUMS), for data collected between February and December 2005, slightly fewer than 5 million people, representing 19% of the population aged 15 years and older, were current smokers, of which 15% reported smoking daily. Approximately 22% of men were current smokers, higher than the proportion of women (16%).

According to the 9 people who have an entire organization dedicated to preserving their “rights” and making sure we don’t get ours, 9 non-smokers are more important than 5 million smokers. They also say that they are not attacking smokers themselves individually, but the tobacco industry, which apparently they think operates in our apartments and condos operated by individual smokers individually.

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So Kittens since you have made t this far into today’s article I shall assume you either already have or are currently experiencing a great big juicy “What The Fuck???” moment.

You’d be right to as well and here is why.

Going back to the geography of Peel being the suburbs they are sorely lacking in two things. Apartment buildings and condos. There are a few here and there but mostly it is detached housing and shopping malls. On the street where this mighty blog is headquartered there are 17 new condo developments being built within a few city blocks. This isn’t exactly a newsflash either. it is pretty much the same way in every city and their surrounding suburbs. Cities have buildings, suburbs have houses.

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Draconian despots like those 9 people who think their human rights in their detached houses are being infringed upon by those of us who don’t live in detached houses always claim that we are killing them. That we are taking more than our share out of the healthcare system than those that live in the civilized smoke free suburbs. They tell us we pollute and are affecting their right to a smoke free healthy suburban life far far away from us and our homes that we smoke in. It is rather like how they made sure that the bars, restaurants and pubs that they didn’t want to go and spend any time in were in breach of their rights to not be there so they had a law passed making sure that they still wouldn’t go there, but if us smokers could no longer go there even if we still wanted to, and even then, nobody asked the people who actually owned the place what they thought about it anyways.

So us building dwelling renters and owners of our city homes are now responsible for destroying the lives of these nine people who are trying to get the ball rolling in the suburbs.

Kittens do you know what people who live in the suburbs do? No you don’t have to break out National Geographic to find out, I shall tell you. They drive. They drive everywhere. They drive to get a coffee and they drive to pick up their dry cleaning and they also drive to go to work, shop, eat, and have a few drinks. Because they drive everywhere there is a side affect. They crash. A lot. A suburb of Toronto called Markham has the highest rate of car accidents in the region. Not the city which is filled with jihadist cabbies, bicyclists, delivery vehicles and pedestrians…..the suburbs.

Cars and the resulting car crashes takes a huge toll on both the environment and the healthcare system. Nobody has ever had a word to say about smokers being responsible for climate change.

Us smokers who live in condos and apartments also tend to have an incredibly smaller carbon footprint than a non-smoker who lives in a large house. We don’t require as much energy because we don’t live in a triple mortgaged stadium crammed full of imported shit that was shipped here from over seas on a fuel burning cargo vessel. Also because we have less stuff and do not consume as much as a non-smoking suburbanite we throw less cap out. By not having as much waste as a suburbanite less o our garbage is hauled away again, in fuel burning trucks.

So if we use less energy, don’t drive nearly as much if at all (I am hard pressed to think of 5 friends I know with a car) don’t kill or maim ourselves as much in car accidents and consume as much imported trash from China one of the worlds most polluted countries and also fork out at least $5 in taxes every time we buy a pack of cigarettes that non-smoking suburbanites do not do then who the fuck are these 9 people to tell us that we can’t smoke in our apartments or condos that we pay for?

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In fairness to these 9 people who do not contribute nearly as much in taxes to the system as us building dwelling smokers yet take far more than us, they never claim to be interested in improving the environment. They sure do make it clear that they are very interested in THEIR environment, even if they don’t really live there.

Since us smokers aren’t the diabolical animals we are portrayed to be it doesn’t escape notice that these 9 people at the NSRA didn’t and won’t say anything about apartment landlords or condo builders having stricter building codes placed on them regarding filtering the ventilation inside of the buildings so that smoke doesn’t get into other units something that would benefit all of the tenants.

They also don’t really want the management of these buildings to crack down on tenants or owners of their units regarding any other odour that may possibly if you really tried to catch a smell of it release some stinky things that may occur within their homes. You know, like cooking fish or curry, farting, scented candles, incense, perfume, cologne, rotting compost, pets, cleaning materials or scratch and sniff books.

Rather than address what it is a laughable and simple cheap ventilation retrofit that would benefit everybody, they want us smokers thrown out on the streets and out of our homes that we pay for. You would think they might have thought of this because if their main concern is health it seems that might also be a handy way to deal with an actual health concern for everybody in the form of swine flu.

They also never mention how they would enforce this law. Would you call the cops if you think that perhaps you smelled a neighbor having a cigarette? Would the police have to drop their donuts and instead of answering a domestic violence call have to rush to the aid of a complainant who thinks that you are having a cigarette in your own home?

Maybe they would suggest that all apartments were fitted with CCTV cameras so watchful cigarette security guards can issue you a ticket if they catch you on camera lighting up a cigarette after you schtupp the missus.

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(Check it out Norm, the couple in 315 are doing a Cleveland Steamer)

Smokers have more than contributed to our vanishing rights too my Kittens. We have gladly decided that rather than put up a fight, we’ll just go outside and have a ciggie. We didn’t mind in the workplace because we figured we weren’t voluntarily there but we had to be because we all needed our jobs. Sure it sucked, but on the other hand we get to take smoke breaks.

Then when were were forced out of our favorite pub for a cig we also figured we would tolerate it, or just stop going altogether. Certainly the latter as often in the winter months.

We never bitch and moan when we go to a non-smokers house when we go out for a puff because it is their house and their rules and we respect them. If a non-smoker comes over to our homes generally most of us even accommodate them at least a little bit by opening a window.

This proposal however changes all the rules in a very bad way and smokers better smoke ’em if they’ve got ’em and show a pair of balls. This is a big deal. This isn’t just about smoking, this is about a vocal group of 9 people making sure that yours, mine and eventually theirs as well civil rights are taken away from us because of a hot button issue that has nothing to do with the public good, health or even the environment regardless of how big or small it is, it is about the few telling the many what they may or may not do within their own homes.

If this law were to pass, and somehow it was actually enforced then anything you now do in your own home that somebody else doesn’t like would become fair game.

What would happen if somebody suddenly objected to the kind of sex you enjoy with another consenting adult, or even alone by yourself?

Maybe a few people don’t agree with the kind of god you pray to in your own home and tell you to stop it or else.

How about if a handful of people think that some of the things you like to watch on your television or the books you enjoy reading aren’t in the best interest of the collective and start banging at your door and haul you away.

Or how about if like many people, you have an opinion on something and you start to talk about it. Then somebody decides you don’t like what you have to say and while you are in your home some cops pay you a little visit and if you are lucky they just tell you to shut up and never think those thoughts again. Forever.

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Bad ideas usually come cloaked in piety. Society has been conditioned to give away their rights in small tiny increments because we feel a small concession is a small price to pay for the greater good of us all. This is a double edged sword as it illustrates that in many ways we aren’t the vile selfish arsonists that we sometimes feel like and don’t mind a small bit of sacrifice if it benefits us all. Especially here in Canada we would rather pay a bit more in taxes and make sure we all have equal health care. It’s a small price to pay to be our brothers keepers.

Our rights start to go pear shaped when the noisiest few start telling the rest of us what is or is not okay. Universities which were once havens for free speech, thought and ideas have become supermax prisons of political correctness. The threat of maybe possibly somehow somewhere hearing or reading something that may or may not hurt someones feelings is more important that the right to have our feelings hurt and to learn from it.

The same is true with environmental movement. Bad ideas take to the air because the people with the bad ideas hide their intentions and salaries in the 12 veils of forbidden propaganda. There are rarely if ever sane solutions that benefit everyone, just a few sweeping laws that punish all of those that disagree with them or do something they don’t like and serve only those who came up with the bad idea in the first place. The bad idea that serves in this particular case, 9 people and not the millions of people who seem to be doing just fine and coexisting without them thank you very much.

It is a fine thing to want the best for your environment. That is why we have homes that we pay for and don’t shuffle our way through lives squatting in parks. We paint them, we decorate them and we feel most comfortable in them. If a neighbor gets loaded on PBR and starts puking in front of our door we either call the cops or smack him around ourselves thus depriving the cops of all the fun.

It’s also a fine thing to want the best environment for all of us to share and enjoy. We seek out the best solutions that will work for as many of us as possible and leave the smallest possible impact on our surroundings. This is not the case with the Non Smokers Rights Association. They want what is best for them. They claim that they have all of the answers (all 9 of them, that isn’t even a football team) and they want to come into your home to make sure you do as they say and think what they think because you may or may not CHOOSE to smoke.

They do not mention the impact of living in a suburban sprawl does to the environment that we all have to take care of does to the planet, the carbon bigfoot prints that they stomp all over our shared earth or even that a few basic fixes on an apartment or condo would benefit EVERYONE that chooses to live there.

If rent a flat or buy and condo under the assumption that there are no smokers in the building then you are retarded. You may have a set of keys to the front door, but so do a couple of thousand other people and they do not all think as you do or believe what you believe. If this idea does not appeal to you then you get into your car and go buy yourself a house because houses come with fences and fences make great neighbors.

If you buy a house one day and a neighbor shows up with the cops and they tell you that you aren’t allowed to leave your bunny slippers under your bed anymore because they don’t like it and it infringes on their rights to be against objectifying bunnies as footwear, you will know who to thank. The people who want the right to tell you what rights you may or may not be allowed to have in your own home and they are doing it because they are fighting for their rights to take away yours. Why? Because it is their right that’s why.

Duh.


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~ by jeff on October 22, 2009.

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