My dad started smoking as a teenager and smoked for almost 50 years and then he died of lung cancer. My two boys were teenagers when he died and my daughter was 4. My dad never got to see them grow up, marry, have children. He was gone when I was 29 years old. My kids have often expressed regret that they didn't have a grandpa when they got older, to talk with, to share stories about his experiences, to know their roots.
It saddens me whenever I think about it. I almost get mad at him, even though he has been gone since 1967. I ask myself "what can I do to make a difference for other people's kids"? It is too late for mine.
Most people start smoking when they are teenagers. So we have to do all we can to discourage them. One way could be to raise the cigarette tax by $1 per pack. It has been verified in other states, that when this is done, thousands of kids quit or never start. It also may be the motivator to get adults to quit, when they can save that much money!
There is an effort going on now to raise the cigarette tax. Support it and make a difference in some families' lives. Smoking is the No. 1 cause of deaths in the USA. We all pay for it in higher insurance premiums. You can make a difference. Write or call your legislators.
Don't trust twisted liberal logic
I'd like to address one of the many Laputan questions posed by the writer from Nisswa in Tuesday's "Open Forum."
In a San Francisco suburb, an elementary school principal has forbidden a fifth-grade teacher to teach the Declaration of Independence because God is mentioned as the "creator." (Dispatch 12/1/04, Cal Thomas). The only reason this becomes an issue is because of the skewed liberal logic used to interpret the constitutionally guaranteed separation of church and state. The separation of church and state is a sound principle meant to prevent our government from establishing an official religion, be it Christianity, Muslim, or Judaism. But when this principle is twisted to a point that the document that announced our nationhood is declared unconstitutional by some politically correct liberal, it becomes the ultimate absurdity!
We see 5- and 6-year-old children suspended from school for sexual harassment violations when one child kisses another. We hear of personal injury lawyers winning verdicts for criminals because a home owner tried to defend himself or his property. Science tells us DNA markers make each one of us an individual and that this double helix of four proteins is constructed at the moment of conception. However, doctors and abortion clinics make billions convincing frightened young girls that no one knows for sure when life begins.
Americans have been bullied with threats of lawsuits and prosecution because of these twisted interpretations of laws that should function with common sense. We have had intellectual smokescreens thrown at us to confuse issues like calling the slaughter of innocent children a "choice."
So, to answer your question, "when does a strength become a weakness?" When your strength is a trust in twisted liberal logic instead of laws of dignity that God gave us and that have served humanity so well so long.
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