THE DAILY BLADE: CA City May Ban Smoking At Home

The Belmont (CA) City Council is considering drafting an ordinance that declares secondhand smoke “a public nuisance” and extends the city’s current ban on smoking in workplaces and most public areas to any residence except a single-family detached home.


The proposal, aimed at multi-unit apartment buildings, is meant to address the health concerns of elderly apartment residents who complained of complications caused by second-hand smoke, according to The Associated Press.


The City Council of this Silicon Valley suburb of San Francisco is expected to enforce the ordinance by relying on civil suits brought by citizens or the city, and by imposing fines on violators. The proposed ordinance is likely to be taken up by the City Council in January 2007, and could go into effect by March, unless a judge grants an injunction as a result of a court challenge.


Secondhand smoke has been declared a toxic contaminant by the state’s Environmental Protection Agency. Two cities in the state, Dublin and Calabasas, have already declared smoking a public nuisance, paving the way for people to sue their tobacco addicted neighbors. But Belmont will be the first city in the US to ban smoking in the privacy of one’s home.


The Stiletto thinks that smoking is a slow form of suicide, and fervently wishes the one remaining person amongst her friends and family who still puffs on those accursed cancer sticks would quit - today. Nevertheless, she believes that based on the facts at hand a smoking ban in private residences would appear to violate Fourth Amendment personal, property and privacy rights that have been explicitly stated by the Founding Fathers and inferred as inherent by the Supreme Court. The proposed ordinance may also violate the Fourteenth Amendment’s equal protection clause because it disproportionately affects citizens who live in apartment complexes and other multi-family dwellings and expressly exempts those wealthy enough to be able to purchase a house in Silicon Valley’s superheated real estate market.


Aside from being constitutionally dubious, Belmont’s proposed ordinance is also highly ironic. In a state where consenting adults can engage in mind-bogglingly deviant sexual acts in the privacy of their homes, many Belmont residents won’t be allowed to smoke a cigarette afterwards.




More DIY Profiling


In yet another example of airline passengers going on their gut instincts to identify potential threats to their safety in the absence of effective screening procedures at airports that can spot the terrorists amongst them, six Muslim imams were removed from a US Airways flight from Minneapolis to Phoenix after a passenger passed a note to a flight attendant reporting “suspicious activity.”


According to BBC News, “The men were told to disembark shortly after saying evening prayers. Three of the six had stood as they prayed. … police were called after the men refused to get off the flight when asked to do so by the captain and airport security workers. The men deny that they refused to leave the plane and other reports that they chanted "Allah" while being escorted off, according to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).”

CAIR spokesperson
Ibrahim Hooper tells BBC News that, “Unfortunately, this is a growing problem of singling out Muslims or people perceived to be Muslim at airports,” and attributes the problem to “anti-Muslim hysteria by the passengers and/or the airline crew.”


The Stiletto would like to reiterate that if the flying public and airline personnel had confidence in the Transportation Safety Administration’s aviation security procedures and in the quality of the training airport screeners receive, such incidents would not happen. As usual, CAIR is crying “racism” instead of decrying ineffectual screening procedures that imperil the lives of Muslims – along with anyone else – who happen to be unlucky enough to be flying on a plane hijacked by Islamofascists.


If the TSA is unwilling or unable to implement a passenger screening program that is as effective as Israel’s, Ann Coulter’s tongue-in-cheek solution might be the next best thing: “Six imams removed from a US Airways flight ... are calling on Muslims to boycott the airline. If only we could get Muslims to boycott all airlines, we could dispense with airport security altogether.”


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