Friday, September 25, 2009

A Cat's Eye View

Baxter here. And let me tell you, THIS View is not a View I would ever have chosen! But for some Reason I ended up next to That Dog one day and my Humans took a picture.

I was Quite Worried this Week because I heard my Female Human talking about taking Me up to That Cabin they go to for a Week. There was Discussion about Cages and whether there would be Room in the Jeep. Luckily it seems they changed their Minds and decided not to do it This Time. I made sure they didn't Take Me With Them, though, when my Humans were leaving. My Female Human claimed that she was only trying to Say Goodbye when she called me over to her, but I didn't buy it. I hid under the Bureau until she left, Just In Case.

So, here I am. Thank Goodness they left the Computer for Me to Use. I haven't had a Chance to opine on the News for quite some time!

Today, instead of my Usual News Roundup, I want to talk about something I heard about Today that Annoyed Me. It has Nothing To Do with the President, Health Care, or the United Nations. It's about something totally Unrelated that just happened to Catch My Eye. Apparently the Government is going to start Regulating Tobacco and their First Step is to Ban all Flavored Cigarettes! The idea is that these Flavored Cigarettes appeal to Young People and therefore this should help prevent them from Starting to Smoke.

Now, don't get Me Wrong. I am No Fan of Cigarette Smoking. It is Dangerous, Smelly and altogether Icky. We Cats have Very Sensitive Noses and Smoke is Not our Friend. However, this is Some Slippery Slope they're going down. They're even thinking of doing something about Menthol Cigarettes, which have been around Forever. Plus it's such a Vague Law that Retailers aren't even sure whether Cigarillos or Small Cigars that are Flavored would count or not! (And hey, what about Pipe Tobacco? That comes in Flavors too - will it be Next?)

Next thing you know, they'll ban flavored Liqueurs or Sweet Wines! And what about Obesity? If they're So Worried about Kids' Health, are they coing to start Banning Snack Foods completely just because Kids might eat them? This Mentality doesn't take into Account that Adults may be enjoying some of these things. Shouldn't Humans have a Choice? And what about Catnip? It could be Next, and that would be the Last Straw!

Seriously, you Humans are Weird. Tobacco is a Legal Product, Bad though it may be, and it is already Highly Difficult to Smoke in many Public Places, although of course that Varies depending on what State you live in. So Smoking has been Declining as it is.

My feeling is, if they aren't going to Ban Smoking altogether then why shouldn't Humans have the Opportunity to Smoke whatever Flavor of Poisonous Tobacco Product they want? It's one or the other, People.

Of course, Banning Tobacco would also be Stupid. Americans seem to immediately turn to a Black Market to get the Vices they prefer. My Humans tell Me about something called Prohibition, when the Government decided that Liquor was a Vice Too Evil to be Endured and Banned it, resulting in the Roaring 20's, a period of Time when people drank More Than Ever and Organized Crime grew to Accommodate the U.S. Appetite for Bootleg Alcohol.

I have to tell You, I would certainly look to Underground Sources for my Dose of Catnip if I couldn't get it!

I think the Solution would be, they should just make sure only Adults buy Tobacco products, period. It should be Regulated as Strictly as Liquor. My feeling is, if a person is an Adult and is allowed to Vote or Fight in a War, shouldn't they just as well be Allowed to Choose what flavor of Cigarette they buy?

As an Independent-Minded Cat, my Preferred Recommendation to Reduce Youthful Smoking would be further Education about the Dangers of Smoking, keeping Smoking out of Movies and other Media that might make it seem "Cool" as the Humans say, and Strictly Regulate the age at which a person can Buy the Stuff. That is Enough. Because anything further would be that Slippery Slope I was talking about Earlier. What do You Think? I know this may be a Controversial Topic, but We Cats never Shy from a good Howling Match with other Cats so I'm Looking Forward to a Good Discussion.

Well, on to less Controversial Subjects. To end my Post on a more Pleasaant Note, I thought I'd show you a few pictures from the last time the Humans were in the Adirondacks.

Here are a couple of Nice Views from the top of a Hill near Ft. Ticonderoga.

A Nice Lady offered to take a Picture of all three of My Humans (including the Male Human's Father, far left)...oh yes, and That Dog. You'll notice she is Mouthing Off as Usual. That Dog never shuts up!

A View of Lake George:

A Scenic Barn with an Osprey Nest behind it on top of a Telephone Pole. A closer Shot of the Osprey below that. Looks Tasty but kind of Big so I doubt I could Catch One.

My Male Human's Father enjoying a View of the Pond and Woods at that Cabin place.

Until Next Time, Enjoy your Catnip Responsibly and Keep it out of the Hands of Kittens. They can Choose to Indulge when they are Old Enough!


Unknown said...

That Dog ;)

Fran said...

I did a little poking around the internets & discovered this:

Each day 2,000 Americans aged 12 to 17 become regular smokers.

I'll just say you have to be pretty naive to think candy flavored cigarettes are NOT targeted towards kids.

The thing about cigarettes is they are not necessary for life sustainment..... unlike food.

The people who lived back in the day before the surgeon general said cigarettes are bad, or when TV cigarette ads said things like
"Just what the Doctor Ordered",
or "4 out of 5 Doctors prefer smoking XXX brand".
I figure those people did have somewhat of an excuse.....

But we don't. It is not just a harmless habit.
Although if a kid wants to smoke-- they will regardless of if there are strawberry flavored cigarettes or not.

Turns out there was a landmark 1998 promise by Big tobacco, to not target children under 18.

they hook them with flavors & then they get addicted to the nicotine.

As for food police-- that ship has already sailed. In my area a local school district banned soda & junk snacks.

They did put in water & alleged healthy drinks... but lots of those juices have a whole lotta high fructose sugar & carbs & might actually have worse numbers than actual soda.

One could argue we can;t just sit around & say how bad the obesity rate of kids is these days, or one could take proactive steps.

On the flip side one teacher protested, saying she needed her candy bar junk food fix!
And one student simply walked down the block & bought a liter bottle of soda from the grocery store.

No you can't legislate everything-- but taking this step to stop "offering candy to the babies"
is a good move, in my opinion.

I just can;t imagine Humphrey Bogart at the bar drinking his shot of whiskey, and smoking a
Kauai Kolada cigarette.

Not gonna happen.

D.K. Raed said...

I think we have to ask why it is so hard to keep the ciggies away from children. Retailers are supposed to check ID. How and why are so many children trying something that has been proven to cause so many health problems? It can't be all about the candy flavor because kids have been smoking since well before those were available. I am always sad to see a very young person smoking. Adults can make up their own minds ... as long as they exhale their smoke at least a block away from my lungs.

On the Other Topic, Baxter, it sounds like you missed out on a nice cabin trip ... but at least you didn't have to listen to THAT DOG mouthing off! (great pic!)

Fran said...

BTW- That is a sweet candid pic of Gramps taking in the forest. Very Walden-pond esque!

Randal Graves said...

I think that first shot is one of the signs of the apocalypse.

Humans have a vile streak, so no matter how much legalization and regulation there is of a product - and there should be of virtually everything, starting with marijuana - there are always going to be cases of addiction and abuse, even among children. That will never be eliminated.

giggles said...

Right on, as always, Baxter!! You are one smart cat!! WOuld you ask your mom if she would be so kind, even though I have been a bad bloggy firend of late, to come visit my place and fill out the questionaire about her place upstate? The post is called "A favor to ask" and there is a linky she can click on.... My kids would surely appreciate it....
(Unless she's already done it??!!) Thanks!

PS. I think you should go to that place... I would love to go.... but I am far bigger than you and not of the cat variety. I am sure I would take up way tooo much space.... Should I tell you that there are probably all kinds of delicious things to chase, like mice and birds and insects... Surely you wouldn't be bored!!!!!

themom said...

Being a smoker, I won't make any comments on that subject. (Bad Me!) But the look you give "that dog" - could actually kill, I believe. I hope you manage to keep the canine in his place, and don't let him bother you! Take care Baxter.

TomCat said...

Me too, Mom, from back in the days when the doctor smoked while making house calls. The big irony here is the government still subsidizes Big Tobacco and taxes the hell out of smokers. Wouldn't it be great if they would take that subsidy money and spend it helping people quit?

Hiya Baxter! Long time no see!! Haven't you gotten rid of that dawg yet?

Bee said...

I"m a smoker, too, tried to quit more times than I care to count, but the shit really is addictive as all get out, and the best they've come up with is some neuron blocking drug which may or may not work, and doesn't seem to work for long, and gives hellfire & brimstone nightmares to boot. Well, apocalyptic night visions I've got plenty of, started taking OTC sleep meds to get rid of those.

So, they can ban it, but it would just be, like Bax said, prohibition all over again. However, if the Fed can stop the cig companies from putting in even more addictive stuff, then it might actually be possible to quit.

Christopher said...

Well Baxter, the good news is, when you're left alone you can invite the neighborhood cats over to party and stay up late and otherwise just have a good time.

Love the pictures.

Distributorcap said...

great pics, bax
and bax -- you are so smart

it is stuff like banning flavored cigarettes that causes the start of govt hate

if you want to smoke and get cancer - your choice. but those people should pay more for health insurance

baxter - you should go to lake george, you would love it

Mauigirl said...

Baxter here. Thanks for all your Great Comments. It is a Very Difficult Subject and of course, as a Cat, I don't have All the Answers. I'm sure the Tobacco Companies do know that the Flavored Tobaccos will Appeal to Young Folks; but it's the Interference by Big Brother into what is still a Legal Product that Irks Me.

However, My Female Human smoked for about 10 years, Long Before I was on the Scene - and she and all her Smoking Friends started on Regular Marlboros. That was THE cool cigarette Back in the Day and no way would anybody be seen smoking Flavored Cigarettes! She did eventually Quit Smoking, which was a Good Thing, when she was in her late 20s.

TomCat makes a Good Point, as my Male Human likes to also point out - the Government supposedly wants people to Quit Smoking but they are getting All These Taxes out of Cigarettes, so they have a Big Conflict of Interest. They are Hypocrites!

Fran is Right. Humphrey Bogart would not smoke a Flavored Cigarette.

Regarding the Trip to the Cabin. I will Consider going Next Summer if they go for a Long Period of Time. I am in No Hurry to be stuck in a Car with That Dog for 4 or more hours!

S.W. Anderson said...

Marketing flavored smokes to kids is obviously wrong and should be banned. Banning the cigarettes themselves is foolish and not likely to do much good and maybe none at all. Prohibitions nearly always create more problems than they solve.

I think basing laws on nonsense is a good way to promote disrespect for law and lawmakers in the young, who are very quick to spot and scorn nonsense.

Baxter, you're quite a guy!

giggles said...

Thanks, Baxter and MG.... It sure looks beautiful up there!!!!!

LeftLeaningLady said...

As a Quitter (I have been a non-smoker now for almost 3 months!) I have to say that it was NOT flavored cigarettes that started me smoking in my late teens. And now my son is 20 and none of his smoking friends smoke flavored cigarettes. Marlboro. And Camels. Crazy.

Outlawing it is not going to make a difference. More education is not going to make a difference. Slowly moving the places to smoke into further more inconvenients places will help.

Bee said...

It wasn't flavored cigs for me either. It was my best friend at the time, and the stupidity of youth.

MRMacrum said...

Too bad more humans aren't as smart as you are. Legislating stupidity has a very poor track record.

Liz Hinds said...

Hey, George here! you got a lake after named me! I like it. I didn't know I was that famous.

Cigarettes? Don't taste good, that's all I know. Unlike banana and sausage and grapes and cheese and beer and ... oh, mum says I've got to go now as she's going out. By bye, baxter, you're pretty cool for a cat!