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Letters to the editor, December 18

Taking responsibility

I wanted to respond to the article by Dalton Gregory concerning the Denton smoking ban.

Passing a citywide ban on smoking nullifies property rights of the business owner and, in a most egregious manner, treats the populace as though they are not competent enough to make a good choice.

While in college in Hillsdale, Mich., I witnessed most businesses in the town voluntarily become smoke-free due to customer complaint; business owners responded to the desires and demands of customers and most everybody was satisfied with the results.

Government intervention was unnecessary and unwanted.

Also, Gregory stipulates that because other cities in North Texas have smoking regulations, so should Denton. Just because the majority in a few towns agree to an idea does not make the idea something that should be done.

In high school, I tried to justify my activities by citing the activities of others. This logic was not accepted by my mother, just as this logic should not be accepted by government.

Gregory’s argument about the protection of workers found validation in comparing Denton’s working conditions to that of a Bangladesh garment factory.

I find the comparison to be an absurd exaggeration and an insult to business owners who create Denton working conditions.

In high school, I argued to my mother, “Everyone else is doing it.” Afterward, I learned to take responsibility for my own decisions. I am unsure why the city of Denton wants to take that away from me.

Scott Rozell,




Timing curious

The Denton smoking ban is coming at a curious time. Regulation is not necessarily bad. When aluminum wiring in homes was found to be unsafe, they didn’t require all homes be rewired with copper, just homes built after a certain date.

Before a person puts money into a new business, they do homework. That includes the regulations in force at that time. A business model is designed that includes the cost of regulations.

The model may include activities involving the sale and consumption of two legal substances, alcohol and tobacco.

Take one away and the model becomes broken. The sound investment becomes a risky one because a few people are inconvenienced by having to look for non-smoking establishments.

People take jobs knowing smoking occurs. Patrons walk in knowing smokers may be lurking in the dark. It is all about choice.

What will be next? Trans fats in food or over-sized soft drinks? Oh yeah, New York City is already doing that — just after it banned smoking.

What if Texas follows Washington and Colorado legalizing marijuana? No secondhand smoking issues that I have heard.

Will smoking pot be allowed but not tobacco? Or will they have to pass another ordinance for that?

If people smoke less, they buy fewer cigarettes. That reduces taxes that put our uninsured children at risk.

At the same time, our city officials are against more regulations from the State. It’s OK for them to regulate us, but they don’t want more regulations from the state.

That’s curious.

Steve Sullivan,




Painful lesson

It has been said experience is the worst teacher because it is painful. Voters who ignored President Obama’s failed economic policies and re-elected him are about to get a painful lesson in Obama-nomics.

If you are unemployed, be prepared to stay that way. When you include hundreds of thousands of unemployed who give up looking for work every month, the real unemployment rate will stay well above 10 percent.

Increased taxes and regulations on individuals and businesses will continue to keep net job creation negative relative to an increasing population.

If you are a senior citizen, Medicare will change. Without meaningful reform, price controls and rationing will be the only way to manage costs.

Be prepared to pay more, have difficulty finding a doctor to accept you as a patient, and don’t be surprised when you are told you are too old for that hip replacement.

If you are a struggling middle-class family, be prepared to pay more for goods and services because the “rich” people who provide those things must pass along the added cost of increased taxes and regulations. So much for being unaffected by tax increases.

If you are a young person, good luck. Plan on spending the rest of your life paying for ever-bigger government, entitlement programs and runaway spending, debt and deficits.

There aren’t enough “rich” people to pay for this. But cheer up. You got free birth control.

To quote former NBA star/author Charles Barkley: “I might be wrong about this, but I don’t think so.”

D.J. Anderson,




Costas’ agenda

Last week during the halftime of an NFL football game, we were sternly lectured on the dangers of gun ownership by Bob Costas.

He discussed the tragic murder/suicide involving an NFL player and waxed eloquently about the danger of guns, how guns kill people and if that NFL player had not possessed a gun, he would still be alive.

Costas used his analysis time to indoctrinate the listeners about the ills of gun ownership.

This week I expected to hear about how alcohol kills, the dangers of alcohol, alcohol ownership and how one Dallas NFL player would be alive today and another out of jail if it were illegal to own alcohol.

Well, Bob missed his chance during his halftime analysis on Sunday.

On Sunday, he lectured the NFL about providing more counseling to grown men about making better choices concerning drinking. Liberals just don’t want to understand that people make choices and should be responsible for those choices.

Guns nor gun ownership are no more responsible for killing people than pens or computers are responsible for misspelled words, but then pens and computers are not a liberal agenda item and gun ownership is.

Gerald Slater,