California Health officials would triple the state tax on cigarettes

The LA Times reports

After seven failed attempts since 2002, a coalition of health groups and lawmakers is once again proposing to increase the tobacco tax in California, arguing that an additional $2 per pack of cigarettes will save lives, in part, by discouraging people from smoking.

Sen. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento), a physician, introduced the latest proposal, which would generate $1.4 billion a year to fund smoking prevention, research into smoking-related diseases and expanded treatment services for Medi-Cal patients.

The measure would require a two-thirds vote of the Legislature and the governor’s signature to be placed on the ballot. The tobacco industry has blocked past attempts, but representatives were not immediately available for comment Tuesday.

Supporters say they are prepared to take it to the November 2016 ballot with a signature drive if it fails in the Legislature. The state tax on a pack of 20 cigarettes is currently 87 cents, on top of a federal tax of $1.01 a pack.

“California’s tobacco tax rate is currently among the lowest in the nation with 32 other states having a higher tax rate,” Pan said in a statement. “SB 591 would put California’s tobacco tax rate at 8th in the nation and will restore California’s highly effective smoking prevention and research programs.”

The tax increase is supported by groups including the American Heart Assn., American Lung Assn. in California, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the California Medical Assn., Service Employees International Union California, Health Access California, and the California Hospital Assn.

The health groups said nearly 35,000 Californians died from smoking-related diseases in 2009 and they estimate the higher tax will save 100,000 lives.

The coalition cited a study by UC San Francisco’s Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program that concluded smoking costs $18.1 billion in California – $487 for each resident — in direct healthcare costs and indirect costs from lost productivity due to illness and premature death.

“Every day that goes by without legislation like this, California spends $49 million in tobacco-related healthcare costs, with taxpayers picking up a substantial portion of that tab,” said Olivia J. Gertz, president and chief executive of the American Lung Assn. in California”

Sorry, but California does not need any further tobacco taxes. Cigarrettes have gotten to the price where vaping is easier and cheaper habit to do.

It is no longer “cool” to smoke. Vaping is the new thing among teenagers to do. Therefore, the incentive to smoke tobacco is on the wane and the demand will decrease.

The stream of revenue generated by higher cigarrette taxes has done its job, but there is a point where enough is enough.

If they want to tax something, tax vaping supplies and issues.

March 4, 2015 at 5:34 am Leave a comment

California Health officials would triple the state tax on cigarettes

The LA Times reports

After seven failed attempts since 2002, a coalition of health groups and lawmakers is once again proposing to increase the tobacco tax in California, arguing that an additional $2 per pack of cigarettes will save lives, in part, by discouraging people from smoking.

Sen. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento), a physician, introduced the latest proposal, which would generate $1.4 billion a year to fund smoking prevention, research into smoking-related diseases and expanded treatment services for Medi-Cal patients.

The measure would require a two-thirds vote of the Legislature and the governor’s signature to be placed on the ballot. The tobacco industry has blocked past attempts, but representatives were not immediately available for comment Tuesday.

Supporters say they are prepared to take it to the November 2016 ballot with a signature drive if it fails in the Legislature. The state tax on a pack of 20 cigarettes is currently 87 cents, on top of a federal tax of $1.01 a pack.

“California’s tobacco tax rate is currently among the lowest in the nation with 32 other states having a higher tax rate,” Pan said in a statement. “SB 591 would put California’s tobacco tax rate at 8th in the nation and will restore California’s highly effective smoking prevention and research programs.”

The tax increase is supported by groups including the American Heart Assn., American Lung Assn. in California, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the California Medical Assn., Service Employees International Union California, Health Access California, and the California Hospital Assn.

The health groups said nearly 35,000 Californians died from smoking-related diseases in 2009 and they estimate the higher tax will save 100,000 lives.

The coalition cited a study by UC San Francisco’s Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program that concluded smoking costs $18.1 billion in California – $487 for each resident — in direct healthcare costs and indirect costs from lost productivity due to illness and premature death.

“Every day that goes by without legislation like this, California spends $49 million in tobacco-related healthcare costs, with taxpayers picking up a substantial portion of that tab,” said Olivia J. Gertz, president and chief executive of the American Lung Assn. in California”

Sorry, but California does not need any further tobacco taxes. Cigarrettes have gotten to the price where vaping is easier and cheaper habit to do.

It is no longer “cool” to smoke. Vaping is the new thing among teenagers to do. Therefore, the incentive to smoke tobacco is on the wane and the demand will decrease.

The stream of revenue generated by higher cigarrette taxes has done its job, but there is a point where enough is enough.

If they want to tax something, tax vaping supplies and issues.

March 4, 2015 at 5:33 am Leave a comment

Phone Interview Notes

Spoke with interviewer about a position today:

  • The phone call was kind of awkard.  The person did not ask me a lot of question about my position
  • He was very curious why I left my job of ten years.  Instead of trying to cover up the reason, I just tell the truth now understanding that I have turned my life around since then especially having two years clean
  • Having two jobs at one time was the most difficult thing to explain to the interviewer.  In reality, I want to leave the job immediately to a get a full-time position.  But the interviewer could not really understand the advantages of the Level-Up Academy and what it is potential impact
  • Again this was a brief phone screen, but sometimes phone screens can be quite awkard at times and you could be thrown into situation that you do not know how to prepare for.

March 4, 2015 at 1:02 am Leave a comment

Scott Walker Comparer Protestors to ISIS

What is up Scott Walker. Per the Huffington Post,

“WASHINGTON — Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker on Sunday made an effort to walk back recent controversial comments comparing union protesters to the Islamic State group and expressing doubt over whether President Barack Obama loves America.

Appearing on “Fox News Sunday,” Walker said he was “not comparing” union protesters to the terrorist group known as ISIS.

The comment came three days after Walker answered a question about ISIS at a conservative conference by saying, “If I can take on 100,000 protesters, I can do the same across the world.” Walker was referring to the protesters who gathered in Wisconsin in 2011 to oppose his efforts to strip public sector unions of collective bargaining rights.

I understand the context of its comment, but union-busting and dealing terrorism are two different things. You might be an expert on union-busting, but that gives you not a true understanding of the complexity of US foreign policy and US overreach.

US overreach is what led created to ISIS. But dealing with ISIS and mainly developing a long-term solutions requires diplomacy and massive rebuilding of the Middle East as this video shows

But union-busting is whole different business and union-busting does not prove that your fit for war. It shows that financial resources are scare and that those financial resources need to given the top 1% and not be spread around to everybody else based on need. Because the 1% knows what best for the country. In reality, they have no clue.
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDlR2AEhbX4)

March 2, 2015 at 4:47 am Leave a comment

Two Observations About Last Night

1. I found out that I still introverted around people. I tend to get social at the beginning of the event where there is less people and especially less noise. When the amount of noise increases, I feel that I have to talk over people and it is hard to listen to people. In really crowded environment, it would be difficult to deal with this and I would have to go home. Last night, it was less crowded venue so it was easier to talk to people. However, I think the amount of loud noise made me uncomfortable and therefore, I turned to my phone as a safety device where I can hide without having to talking to people. I think the crowd last night was not my usual group of friends so I felt slightly less comfortable than I normally do. There was people that I knew, but I still was a little bit too introverted and avoided talking to a lot of people who were there.
2. I tend to talk about myself too much without trying to get know more about other individual. I typically insert myself as the subject of the conversation instead of trying to ask more questions about myself. This is real problem that I have by trying to control the conversation because I have the fear of the conservation going dead if I let other people talk. Usually, this is a major problem because I have autism, I fear that people do not want to open to me or fear the conservation goes dead so my solution is try to control the conversation. Even if I am talking to another person about themselves, I am still controlling the conversation because I am asking the person questions that I am specifically interested in. This is still real problem needs some work

March 1, 2015 at 6:12 pm Leave a comment

Islamic State video shows militants smashing ancient artifacts in Iraq

ISIS does not respect ancient history at all as the AP reports

The Islamic State group released a video on Thursday showing militants using sledgehammers to smash ancient artifacts in Iraq’s northern city of Mosul, describing the relics as idols that must be removed.
The destructions are part of a campaign by the IS extremists who have destroyed a number of shrines — including Muslim holy sites — in order to eliminate what they view as heresy. They are also believed to have sold ancient artifacts on the black market in order to finance their bloody campaign across the region.
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The five-minute video shows a group of bearded men inside the Mosul Museum using hammers and drills to destroy several large statues, which are then shown chipped and in pieces. The video then shows a black-clad man at a nearby archaeological site inside Mosul, drilling through and destroying a winged-bull Assyrian protective deity that dates back to the 7th century B.C.
In New York, U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the U.N.’s cultural agency, UNESCO, is examining the video. “The destruction of cultural heritage is reprehensible and criminal,” Dujarric said, adding that it robs current and future generations of the history of their past.
The video was posted on social media accounts affiliated with the Islamic State group and though it could not be independently verified it appeared authentic, based on AP’s knowledge of the Mosul Museum.
Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city and the surrounding Nineveh province fell to the militants during their blitz last June after Iraqi security forces melted away

In reality, this shows that ISIS extremely deviates from the norm in terms of its behaviors even among of normal mulisms.  Normal Muslims do not smash ancient artifacts just because they represent things are unislamic,  You do not see the mullahs of Iran smashing ancient Persian monuments.

These are guys are death cult and that all that they are.

February 27, 2015 at 3:07 pm Leave a comment

Feds: Mail Soaked With Drugs Was ‘Hit’ With Florida Inmate

Getting high in jail must be bomb. The AP reports

“Postcards arriving at the Broward County Jail in Fort Lauderdale contained more than just drawings.

Federal prosecutors say the postcards were laced with a hallucinogenic drug that has similar effects as LSD. They say inmates paid $10 for a tiny piece of a card, which they put in their mouths to absorb the drug.

The South Florida Sun Sentinel (http://bit.ly/1E1hRew ) says two inmates pleaded guilty last week to federal drug charges. Authorities say a third man who was on the outside, 56-year-old William Hahne, has pleaded not guilty to possessing and distributing the drug.

Getting on high in LSD in jail must be the bomb because all you are doing is staring at a concrete block with a bunch of other dudes.  See all of those flashy lights and cool images is better than sitting with bunch of other bored dudes.

Maybe, we should give these to inmates before they decide to have a huge brawl in the county jail.  Maybe some fights will be averted and inmates would not be crazy to fight.

February 17, 2015 at 3:39 pm Leave a comment

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