News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


Nonsmoker calls Decatur City Council’s smoking ban unconstitutional

To The Daily: What I would like to know is, who gives this City Council — and anybody else for that matter — the right to tell a business owner whether he (or she) can allow smoking in his (or her) establishment? It is up to the owners whether they allow smoking or not (or both).

To those on the City Council: Do any of you know what the Constitution is? It should be up to business owners, not government. They discriminate against smokers but I do not hear any complaining when the taxes on cigarettes come in.

If nonsmokers do not want to be around smokers, then they go somewhere else. They are not required to go into smoking establishments. They have a choice to go in or not. Economics will decide whether the particular business survives or not.

If the business owners are smart, they will get together and start a class-action suit to fight the ordinance.

The City Council was only paying lip service with the (Aug. 6) meeting. They let three folks from each side speak and then voted for the ban no matter what. Councilman Billy Jackson already practically said he would vote for the ban, regardless. All they know how to do is tax, regulate and try to push their personal agendas on others. I foresee several closings in our city if this ban is implemented. Big win for the city, huh?

Just another example of ignorance of the Constitution and the stomping of the rights of others by our local and other governmental organizations. Liberty is for all, not just for nonsmokers.

By the way, if anyone is curious, I am a nonsmoker. But I am for freedom. Just remember: “Those who give up liberty for safety or security, deserve neither” — Benjamin Franklin.

Jerry West

GOP not in as much trouble as Democrats

To The Daily: This is in response to the Aug. 1 editorial, “GOP in trouble when Bama voters unhappy.”

My problem with this editorial is the fact that it is complete nonsense. The editorial said Republicans should be glad that elections don’t take place this year because they wouldn’t win. The supporting argument for this is the poll taken that says a majority of Alabamians feel President Bush is doing a fair or poor job. That is spin on reporting the results.

I have heard other reports of this survey that put a positive spin on it showing the results for the percentage that gave him a fair or higher rating. The article then goes on to say this doesn’t necessarily mean Alabama wouldn’t go Republican again, but that the state has a lot of unhappy people, which does not bode well for incumbents. I wonder if the writer of this editorial has seen the approval rating of Congress. It is even lower than the president’s approval rating. I guess that would mean the Democrats should be worried about losing Congress, which I hope they do since I am a Republican.

This editorial was an attempt to make people believe the GOP is in trouble and losing support. If the writer wants to write his obviously biased opinions, he needs to try doing it in a way that isn’t quite so obvious.

Julie Clausen

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