"The state must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the  people. As long as the government is perceived as working for the benefit of the children, the people will happily endure almost any curtailment of  liberty and almost any deprivation." -Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler, Publ.  Houghton Miflin, 1943, Page 403

U.S. Critics Say Fruity Alcohol Drinks
Target Teens

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Consumer and anti-alcohol abuse groups
complained to federal regulators on Wednesday that companies are
peddling a new class of fruit-flavored alcoholic drinks to teenagers.

Calif. lawmaker urges soda pop tax to slim fat kids

A California lawmaker has proposed slapping a tax on popular soft drinks to help reduce rocketing
rates of childhood obesity.

Republican lawmakers accuse Ortiz of "demonizing" popular soft drinks and pushing government
too far into the lives of school children and their parents.

Clearing the Air for Children of Smokers

Doctors hoping to reduce the exposure of smokers' children to secondhand
smoke have found that putting nicotine monitors in the home seems to help
persuade parents to smoke less around their children.

In this case, parents were informed that the monitors in their homes showed nicotine
levels comparable to those of "the bar down the street."

Interesting choice of words.  I presume they never heard of the study conducted by the Oak
Ridge National Laboratories.  That's the one where they put actual air monitors on bar staff
to measure nicotine levels and discovered that they inhale the equivalent to 6 six cigarettes per
year.  One also needs reminding that simply because any substance can be measured in a body
it does not automatically follow that harm is being done.

Federally funded gun control propaganda

The federal government says it lacks funding for
much-needed research about the alarming increase in
autism, asthma, diabetes and other serious childhood
conditions. Now we know where scarce research money
goes: to fund gun-control propaganda.

In 1999, more than 12,000 Americans died from accidental
poisoning, while only 824 died from firearm accidents, only 88
of whom were children. Yet the CDC is apparently more
interested in stopping guns than poisons.

This study was initiated during the Clinton administration, and
its only plausible purpose was to promote gun control and to
try to rebut John R. Lott's brilliant book, "More Guns, Less
Crime." The Clinton administration hatched this study in order
to claim that states having relatively many guns harm children
more than states having relatively few guns, presumably to be followed by the mantra
that we must ban guns "for the children."

Conflicting Reports:  Group agendas apparently more important than what's really happening with "The Children"

After reading two claims in the same month that contradict each other we just had to pose a question to the author of one of the articles containing one of the claims.  On April 7, 2002 we wrote to Ron Scherer, Christian Science Monitor:

Mr. Scherer,

In my best Brooklynese I have to say...  I dunno.  You quote a survey
[Article - "Still fighting after all those billions"] to wit:

"According to the University of Michigan's Monitoring the Future survey,
smoking rates for US teens have dropped dramatically between 1996 and

But at the same time you write that the Lincoln County [Nebraska]
Tobacco Coalition reports on their own survey results showing younger
people are trying cigarette at younger ages.

They don't just say kids are trying it younger but MORE are trying it,

"More and more kids don't think it's socially wrong anymore. And, I
think when that awareness gets to that level- they don't think anything
is wrong and more people are joining in," said Matthew Weiss, Tobacco
Coalition Coordinator.

"About 33% of middle schoolers tried cigarettes, 49% did so when they
were under the age of 10.  About 14% tried a form of chewing tobacco,
and 18% tried a type of cigar.  The numbers go up with High School
students. Around 65% tried cigarettes, 25% tried some form of chewing
tobacco and 35% have tried a type of cigars."

[above from http://www.msnbc.com/local/knop/m160303.asp]

Now, my argument is not about who is actually right or wrong.  My
concern is the fact that articles are written that include only the
claim made by the group being highlighted in the article in order to
support their position.

It's apparent that there are conflicting numbers in regard to youth
smoking.  It is also apparent that each group will produce the numbers
that best support their goal and maybe even enough to guarantee their
employment remains necessary.

What do we end up with?  Nobody knows exactly what the "truth" is.  How
about reporting that?

Audrey Silk
Founder, NYC Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment
(NYC C.L.A.S.H.)