Friday, May 13, 2005

Work and lifestyle choices...

It was reported on MSNBC yesterday that a woman in North Carolina got fired because she was cohabitating with her boyfriend. It seems that North Carolina, like several states have several obsolete laws on the books that date back 300 years. They are uaually unenforced, but are still on the books. Apparently an overzealous sheriff or boss (don't remember where she worked) cited the law that prohibits workers from living with members of the opposite sex. So how does one define a 'co-habitator' from a roommate?

And on last nights local Fox Station it was reported that some companies will now fire you if you smoke at home. They argue its because of the high cost of health care. Once again, they are putting the burden of our screwed up health care system on the individual rather than go after the drug companies who reap excessive profits, the government that prevents you from shopping with your feet by buying in Canada, a huge beauracracy that depends on reams of paperwork to ensure their jobs.

In my hometown of Fall River, Mass. the fire department instituted a 'no smoking' ban and an off duty firemen was seen lighting up at a private party, was 'turned in' by someone and he was fired.

Employees must agree to a no smoking pledge and allow themselves to be randomingly urine tested or blood tested to ensure compliance. A first offense can lead to a suspension of pay for 5 days. Fortunately, some states are ramping up laws against 'lifestyle' discrimination. I hope they succeed.

Some of the companies that were mentioned were Weyco and Alaska Airlines. Boycott these companies. Whatever you may feel about smoking and its costs, we can't let the long arm of the government and your employer reach into your home. Some condominums in California will not sell to smoking buyers. Either ban tobacco (and deprive the GOP of a chief source of revenue) or leave people alone.

So where will all this end up? As you know, once one company gets away with this, its only a matter of time before these lifestyle laws will get extended. No drinking at the Christmas Party or company picnic? Must you practice safe sex to get and keep a job? Will married people be allowed to have unprotected sex, but daters can not? What if one spouse cheats on the other? When will it end? America may still be the home of the brave, but it is becoming less and less the home of the free.

In other matters, I went to the Trails Community Center to purchase 'HOA-approved' signs so I can have a few garage sales. I didn't pick them up because they ONLY take checks or money orders, no cash or cards.


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