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More on the proposal by one New York State county to ban people from smoking in their cars if they are traveling with children…

One MNB user wrote:

While I've never smoked, except trying them in my early teens, I now know very few people with young children. In my days with my three I can't recall any parents who smoked, with or without children in the car, without the windows being cracked open enough to move most fumes out of the car.

Maybe all of us cared enough about our kids…

Another MNB user wrote:

First it will be the government controlling where people can smoke, then it will be the government controlling what we feed our children, when we put them to bed, what we let them watch on TV, what video games we allow them to play…

Smoking or not, there are parents that make irresponsible choices every single day (not just the smoking parents). I don't agree with parents who allow their children to eat fried and junk food, I don't agree with parents that use television as a babysitter, I don't believe that a 6 year old should play video games rated "M", but that is a parent's choice their prerogative. Of course we all understand the dangers of second hand smoke, but if the government starts here…where will it stop?

Still another MNB user wrote:

Your comments got me thinking. I recall as a child my parents smoked and so did most of their friends. Mom's afternoon bridge card parties seemed so innocent but when I came home from school our house looked like a smoke filled bar. They always smoked in the car and we kids really didn't think about it too much. Today I realize what they did was wrong and so do they, but its not something we openly discuss. I'm not out to give my parents a guilt trip, I'm sure they feel bad enough about it already.

I'm also not going to remotely suggest special spots in hell for anybody. I'm going to count my blessings. As for the ill effect of years of exposure to second hand smoke, well its not killed me yet.

Another MNB user wrote:

I hate smoking. Grew up with both parents smoking, yet never became a smoker. Can't stand the smell of smoke. That being said, it's time for the PC group to quit pushing us down that proverbial "Slippery Slope".

As opposed to smoking as I am, I'm sure that you can't legislate common sense and 100% protection, even for our kids. Those with a point of view too often use an obscure example (kids stuck in car with smoker to/from school with windows rolled up in the winter) that is emotionally appealing, but exceptional (I would suspect that most parents who smoke don't do this). Abhorrent? YES! Worth giving up our freedoms for? I think not.

Recent news - a town in CA is trying to pass a law that would prohibit smoking ANYWHERE outside within the city limits. That means that a smoker could be arrested for smoking on the patio in their own backyard. A bit too far for me. Sorry, but if someone comes into the backyard of my home demanding that one of my guests stop smoking on my property, they would also have to contend with my right to bear arms!

And another member of the MNB community chimed in:

Sounds like you got hammered by some readers on your position on parents smoking in cars. Just a quick note to say I'm 100% with you. What's next, government agencies making sure parents don't buy their kids too many Happy Meals or ensure the little ones get enough sleep at night.

But MNB user Linda Wish disagreed:

As the daughter of two super smokers- I remember the circle of hell that was our family car. Summer trips were the worst. I recognize the slippery slope for exactly what it is- but when do children's health rights become less important than our bartender, wait staff and employees in public places.

We've already traversed this slope with seatbelt and childseat laws. I see only upside for the trapped little people in the back seat. I suspect that many smart smoker/parents already follow this rule. As usual we need to legislate for the thoughtless.

And another MNB user challenged us:

How do you feel about state laws that require seatbelt usage? The issue is really the same – how do you protect the occupants of a vehicle? This is different from laws such as those prohibiting use of cellphones without a hands free device, which clearly are designed to protect not only the occupants of the car, but also others that are in danger due the driver of the vehicle being distracted.

Onto another subject…

We commented the other day that we believe that a lot of organic/natural shoppers would prefer to see such products integrated into mainstream products sections, that people make choices in different categories – for instance, there is nothing wrong with buying organic milk and Oreos.

Which led MNB user Mark Kastel to write:

The truth is often stranger than fiction. Kraft/Nabisco recently announced that they were introducing organic Oreos and Chips Away.

The organic Twinkie is next.

We suggested yesterday that consumer confidence could wane as people get tired of paying high gas prices, which prompted MNB user Rob Rice to write:

I recently saw and referenced some interesting research about this topic in a presentation made at a recent Convenience sector conference. It came from a survey executed by Penn Schoen and Berland Associates. They learned:

• 69% of consumers will spend more money and buy same amount of gas when prices increase.

• 66% of consumers say price remains most important purchase decision criteria (22% say location)

• 42% of consumers pay in-store (some buying other items)

• 25% of consumers say they would change purchasing behavior to save 1¢ / gallon (50% would to save 3¢ / gal.).

This says that most consumers are willing and prepared to pay more for fuel and DO NOT intend to curb their consumption of it. The most surprising finding was that despite that they will pay more/consume same, they remains most concerned about price, and 25% of consumers will change their purchase behavior (fill up across the street; fill up in another town; join a fuel loyalty scheme) to save $0.01 cent per gallon (that’s $0.13 cents on an average tank fill up). Further, 50% of consumers would change purchase behavior to save $0.03 cents per gallon ($0.39 on a 13 gallon fill up). I have honestly never realized how cheap we can be as consumers and can only imagine how willing customers are to change their purchase behavior to save 10 to 70 per gallon, as is the case with many grocery store supported continuity programs (spend in store save at the pump). Are the C-store guys worried?

And, regarding our ongoing discussion about Jackie Robinson, MNB user Geoff Harper responded to an email we ran here yesterday:

Good comments from Bruce, but you are hardly the only other person who considers Jackie Robinson a vital historic figure. Thousands and thousands of us agree. I am ordering the book today also.

True. We actually meant to point that out, but frankly forgot. It must have been the jet lag.

And MNB user Bob Gremley suggested two other books about Jackie Robinson:

Baseball's Great Experiment: Jackie Robinson and His Legacy - extremely well-researched book on both JR and the history of the Negro Leagues. Puts the whole 1947 year into context.

Jackie Robinson - I Never Had it Made - His autobiography only 1/3 of which is devoted to baseball. Other chapters on his involvement in civil rights and politics are told best here - a time often given scant coverage by books or columns penned by sportswriters.

We’re also a fan of “Double Play,” which is Robert B. Parker’s imaginative novel about a bodyguard hired to protect Jackie Robinson during his first year in the majors.

All good stuff.
KC's View: