Monday, September 18, 2006

Test weapons on your own citizens! / Smoking ban hurts charities

What else is there to say? Air Force chief: Test weapons on testy U.S. mobs

Nonlethal weapons such as high-power microwave devices should be used on American citizens in crowd-control situations before being used on the battlefield, the Air Force secretary said Tuesday.

The Western Standard had an article recently on how charities were heavily affected by the smoking ban, yet again proving that corporate wars fought by the state always hurt the smallest and least powerful. More state intervention, more suffering. Less state intervention, less suffering.

More plainly observed is the hit to the bottom line of non-profit groups after smoking bans are implemented. Many schools, charities and sports clubs raise money by providing volunteers to bingo halls and casinos--where the clientele is heavily weighted toward smokers--and splitting the take with the owners and the province. When Saskatoon banned smoking in that city in 2004, bingo halls reported losing $1.2 million in the first three months, leaving 300 charities and sports clubs facing a $726,000 shortfall. In Ottawa alone, the number of bingo halls has dropped by two thirds, to 4 from 12, since the smoking ban was implemented.

"When we first heard of this legislation, we went to our city council with our concerns about what would happen and started warning," says Ken Coulter, vice-president of the Windsor-Essex Non-Profit Support Network in Ontario. His organization, along with others, appealed to politicians to opt for separate smoking rooms with machine ventilation. In 2002, B.C.'s government rescinded a complete public smoking ban and reverted to allowing properly ventilated smoking rooms following appeals by the hospitality industry to the labour minister. "We have been as vocal as we can be," says Coulter. "It appears our provincial politicians have no interest." He's been working in the non-profit sector for 15 years, he says. "I've never seen it decimated to this degree where I have tenants coming every day now very worried and not paying their rent." Windsor's smoking ban has been in place for only a few months.

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