California imposes no-chew law for big leagues

I'm no fan of tobacco in any of its variants. As a young officer, I was about the only one in my section who didn't smoke or chew. Just never wanted to do that. But tobacco was then so embedded in our culture that I despaired that I'd ever live in a world where I could avoid cigarette smoke. Forty years ago, my wife and I would avoid going out to dine and avoid shows where smoking was permitted--and that was just about everywhere. So we saved a lot of money by staying home. During that period I was breathing a daily bucketful of second-hand smoke in the office. But then in the early 80's a wonderful thing happened. Smoking was banned in many venues, and most employers here in CA made their workplaces smoke-free. Of all the many developments in my life, I look back on the banishment of smoking as one of the best. Even North Carolina, the "Cigarette State", now bans indoor smoking, and that sort of ban has spread through Europe. As recently as fifteen years ago, it seemed as if every German over the age of 14 was a chain smoker. No longer so. (Now if the French and Swiss could make similar inroads . . .) But "smokeless tobacco" was somehow different. A guy could pack his cheek with a chaw and not offend anyone, right? Well, sort of, unless you had to watch him spit every several seconds, and could stay out of the way of his squirt. All harmless except to the guy (and occasional female) dong it. Oh, I can recall stuff put out by pro baseball in the 1980 era showing players, managers and coaches posing with their drug of choice. Redman seemed to be the preferred chew for those who went for the cut leaf. As far as snuff (snuz) went, there were a number of brands that vied for the marketplace. My point is that using tobacco, even the smokeless variety, does bother others who aren't using it. While I share many things with libertarians, I will not go back to an era of breathing cigarette everywhere I go, and I don't like tobacco juice spitters either.
— October 12, 2015 7:40 p.m.

Gov. Brown vetoes bills to reform utilities commission

CaptD has done an excellent job of summarizing and encapsulating the mess. Don, you want to see Brown removed from office. Good luck with that. We all should recall the aftermath of Davis' removal from that office, and what we got instead. The real failure here was to learn from the past in choosing this governor. After his first go-round, there should have been no second time, no mulligan. Too many voters were too young to remember, or hadn't even been born, the first time he sat in that chair. I usually remind people that their best chance to affect policies and stop corruption and abuses is the ballot box. Criminal investigations can bring the miscreants down, but usually don't satisfy, and take 'way too long. (Let's remember the So County school district scandals that were revealed by Susan Luzzaro. It took years before the DA investigated, and after the indictments were handed down, it took about two years for the cases to play out. In the final analysis, all the baddies got off far too lightly. The outcome was better than if no indictments were ever handed down, but it really didn't send the message that needed to be sent.) The current attorney general has no reason to bring corruption charges in this CPUC mess, and every political reason to keep quiet about it. Oh, you say that's her job, prosecuting criminals? Why, yes it is, but what does that have to do with anything in this era of realpolitik? Sooo, the matter would have to involve the FBI which is under the Department of Justice, and that's part of a Dem administration that would much prefer not to embarrass a Dem state like California. Sigh.
— October 12, 2015 11:16 a.m.

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