Governor Walker Signs Smoke-Free Workplace Bill Ushering in Authoritarian Rule in Alaska - P.O.W. Report

Friday, July 20, 2018

Governor Walker Signs Smoke-Free Workplace Bill Ushering in Authoritarian Rule in Alaska


SB 63 protects working Alaskans from secondhand smoke


JULY 17, 2018, ANCHORAGE – Governor Walker signed Senate Bill 63 into law this morning at the Lucky Wishbone restaurant in downtown Anchorage. The bill, sponsored by Senator Peter Micciche, protects Alaskans by ensuring smoke-free workplaces and public places across the state.

For outsiders, holding the signing at Anchorage’s most famous fried-chicken eatery might raise some eyebrows. But longtime patrons of the Lucky Wishbone know it became Alaska’s first smoke-free restaurant in 1991, when co-founder George Brown decided to take a risk and ban smoking from the premises. The family worried about its effect on business. Nearly 30 years later, the Lucky Wishbone remains the oldest single-family owned restaurant in Alaska.

Many gathered to celebrate the new law, including supporters who worked long hours over more than six years to shepherd SB 63 through Alaska’s Legislature, and those who’ve worked for decades to get healthy working environments for Alaskans. That included legislators, Emily Nenon and the American Cancer Society, the American Lung Association, the American Heart Association, ANTHC, Mat-Su Health Foundation, Dr. Jay Butler, Alaska’s Chief Medical Officer, and many more: over 1000 Alaska businesses offered resolutions in support of SB 63 on its way to passage.

“The public health costs of smoking, especially second-hand, have been well known for decades,” Governor Walker said. “This law means no Alaskan has to sacrifice their health for their livelihood. I’m proud to follow George’s lead, and give working Alaskans a smoke-free future.”

Though George Brown died in January, at 96, the Lucky Wishbone remains open, as it’s been since 1955, under new owners: his daughter, Pat Heller, and two longtime employees, Carolina Stacey and Heidi Heimrich.
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May we cut through all the feel good sentiments for a moment and address the real issues: America has become a Soviet Union Authoritarian State (SUAS). When people ask me what it was like growing up in the Soviet Union, I simply state,


"It's just like America today....you get arrested for wrong-think, fired from your job for having an incorrect political opinion, fined if you don't do certain government sanctioned laws, and arrested if you try to protest the government...at least in the Soviet Union you could drink and smoke."

How is this law baring smoking "because it hurts people" any different than anything that Nazi Germany did?


I'm not joking:

After German doctors became the first to identify the link between smoking and lung cancer,[1] Germany initiated a strong anti-tobacco movement[2] and led the first public anti-smoking campaign in modern history.[3] Anti-tobacco movements grew in many nations from the middle of the 19th century;[4][5] the campaign in Germany, supported by the government after the Nazis came to power, is probably the best known,[4] though in fact stronger laws were passed in some United States states between 1890 and 1930.[6] The German movement was the most powerful anti-smoking movement in the world during the 1930s and early 1940s.[7] The National Socialist leadership condemned smoking[8] and several of them openly criticized tobacco consumption.[7] Research on smoking and its effects on health thrived under Nazi rule[9] and was the most important of its type at that time.[10] Adolf Hitler's personal distaste for tobacco[11] and the Nazi reproductive policies were among the motivating factors behind their campaign against smoking.[12]

America is all up in arms about Russia Collusion, well what about Nazi Collusion?  Now i'm not an expert in WW2 history, however, I maintain to this day that America's and Russia's ZFG attitude about smoking is what won us the war!














It's a little known fact that Stalin pioneered Vaping, but I digress...


So, let me ask you? How can America and Alaskans possibly be expected to fend off a future Russian or Chinese invasion (or God forbid Canadian) if we can't harden our lungs, body and soul for the battle field with a few tokes off the ol' fag in public?!?

Now, I write this to actually talk about the real health crisis in this country that needs to be addressed with legislation that actually impacts the health and lively hood of people.

Obesity



Yes, this is the real *Elephant in the room that nobody wants to address. It's much easier to go after the *tiny percentage of Americans who smoke. The argument is often made that smokers are a *burden to America...ok. I won't dispute that, however there is one bad habit that is even worse:

Obesity is one of the biggest drivers of preventable chronic diseases and healthcare costs in the United States. Currently, estimates for these costs range from $147 billion to nearly $210 billion per year.1 In addition, obesity is associated with job absenteeism, costing approximately $4.3 billion annually2 and with lower productivity while at work, costing employers $506 per obese worker per year.3

The article is understating the harsh crisis we are having in this country:

A new report reveals staggering statistics about the extent to which the obesity epidemic is robbing Americans of their health and longevity. Columbia University and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation examined the real impact of obesity on death rates.1

The study found that nearly one in five US deaths is associated with obesity, which is more than three times higher than previous estimates.

The effect varies somewhat by your gender, race and age. The younger you are, the greater obesity's influence on your mortality. And contrary to a previous study2, obesity is not protective if you're elderly. The Columbia study found the following percentage of deaths associated with high BMI (body mass index):

Black women: 26.8 percent of deaths were associated with a BMI of 25 or above (overweight or obesity)
White women: 21.7 percent
White men: 15.6 percent
Black men: 5 percent
The authors wrote:

"We believe that it is imperative for the US public and those who construct policy for that public to recognize that population health and more than a century of steady gains in life expectancy are being jeopardized by the obesity epidemic. Indeed, evidence has already implicated high rates of obesity as a significant contributor to the United States' relatively low life expectancy among high-income countries."

So, Governor Walker (and all politicians) if you really care about Alaskans, where is the legislation banning obesity in this state? Premature deaths separate poor innocent children from their parents, obesity makes flying uncomfortable for other passengers, obesity makes child slave laborers work even harder having to make XXXXXXXXXXXXXXL clothes, the injustices that others have to suffer due to this condition is in-calculable.

On the *plus side, being over-weight is convenient for concealed carry



Obesity as a Harbinger of Death

Unfortunately, obesity statistics are a bit tricky to determine because obesity itself is never listed as the cause of death. Instead, the complications of obesity, such as heart disease or diabetes, are blamed for a person's death. If you are obese, your risk for a number of serious health problems multiplies. Eight obesity-related diseases account for a staggering 75 percent of healthcare costs in the US. These diseases include:


  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)
  • Hypertension
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • Lipid problems
  • Cancer (especially breast, endometrial, colon, gallbladder, prostate and kidney5)
  • Heart disease
  • Dementia

The problem with legislating humanity and the point that i'm trying to get across, is while SB 63 is a valiant effort to protect people from pollution (read: second hand smoke) at what point does this end? By the logic of Walker's statements and the Bill Sponsor we should begin to legislate obesity, as I believe I've expertly demonstrated the negative impacts of. Legislating human vices is really a slippery slope to authoritarianism. Perhaps, we simply can't stop people from making stupid decisions. We can shame them however and often in a public square shaming works very well. And people have a fondness for shunning organizations that they disagree with or have bad public policies, there is no need for writing a law to do so. All it does is create bigger law books for some poor aspiring attorney to read through on his way up through law school.

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