We went to the Berkeley City Council meeting on September 9th (the day after we got home from Ontario, CA. where we were to attend some meetings and ECC) to set the record straight after the city council and our opponents (the body parts people such as the American Lung Association, American Heart Association, Tobacco Free Kids, etc. and the various other tobacco control groups) had done a hostile and violent bashing job on electronic cigarettes and vapor products at their previous meeting on the same topic on July the 8th. At the time only two people were present to oppose the ordinance. We had no reasonable expectation to “win” (in short; “because it’s Berkeley”) but needed to address it regardless. For about a month I put out the word and request to join us at the next council meeting, in various places including several specific to vapers in the San Francisco Bay Area. I had not expected a huge turn out but what we got was beyond disappointing. But let me get into that a little later in this report and start off with out strategy and what transpired.
This is probably going to be a lengthy summary of the second death of CA SB648 and one that is particularly difficult to explain in detail and with all its facets so I’ll try and keep it short and to the point because in reality, this is not any longer about a common sense bill that both vapers and industry supported but about how anti-tobacco groups (including the American Lung Association, American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society CAN, and California Medical Association) opposed a bill that would protect minors from having access to e-cigarettes via vending machines. It is about the true face of tobacco control and their true motives. I will spare you the long history of SB648 and how it went from the bill it once was into a bill that focused solely on vending machines and preventing minors from having access. Instead, I will go back to June 25th when we were at the State Capitol in Sacramento for the SB648 hearing in which we wholeheartedly supported the bill. You can read more about that on my wife’s website in the post about California SB648 Turns on a Definition.
The following is a breakdown and post analysis of the recent Oakley City Council meeting on the subject of banning the outdoor public use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigs, which we refer to as vapor products and Tobacco Harm Reduction alternatives to smoking traditional tobacco cigarettes). I am sad to provide this post analysis by highlighting the kind of blatant ignorance that not only us here, in Oakley, but millions of vapers (users of vapor products who are usually ex-smokers!) are confronted with on an almost daily basis. Let’s start you off with the video of the agenda item here. I will insert relevant parts of the recording along with time stamps.
Tom Baker, of “ECF fame”, had asked me a few times to debate him. He recently did so again in the most recent broadcast of Click-Bang radio with Russ Wishtart. Because the debate with Tom kept going on, and on, and on, like an endless downward spiral into madness, then plan was to have another episode with Tom next Tuesday June 10th at 9PM EST. I said I was going to call in. I was looking forward to that but just learned I will not be able to make it at that time because of THIS. I just, moments ago, received an e-mail notifying me that the electronic cigarette usage ban in Oakley, CA. has been put on the agenda for the city council. Unfortunately the time of the meeting intersects directly with Click-Bang. I’m sorry I will have to miss out on Click-Bang and Tom but when it comes to making a decision between fighting a local ban we had been preparing to do and going on air to battle an intellectually unarmed opponent the choice is not that hard. Tom and the entertainment value associated with him is just not important enough to distract me from what we’re really supposed to be doing.
The reason I am calling Assemblyman Dickinson a LIAR, in public, is because written testimony by many adult vapers has clearly stated many times before that we adults like flavors. We adults like flavors as much as children do. In fact, we love our e-juice flavors because it is part of what helps us stay off cigarettes. For him to state this “adults are not interested in flavors” as a fact is beyond infuriating but maybe this was Mr. Dickinson’s intention. If so, it shows what a horrible person he is. He doesn’t know any adult who likes flavors… and yet several were sitting right behind him that morning and many more told him clearly before these hearings.
Unfortunately it is much more than just a catchy title. It’s a reality for many of Autodesk’s current Media & Entertainment customers. And no, this is not a blog post to say “I told you so” to 3ds max or Softimage users but something of a much larger concern that I think is being overlooked because of the current and more specific destructive mayhem that the Autodesk disease is causing. This is about how I’m seeing a single company, single handedly, through mismanagement, incompetence, and above all, complete and utter ignorance, is doing rampant harm to a wider industry on which at least a part of their own existence depends. Combined with an unhealthy dose of disrespect for their customers this is nothing more than a recipe for disaster. A recipe that, unfortunately, is cooked up and served to its customers to chow down on.
After my recent “epic sized” blog post on ignorance about vaping a few people asked to see some pictures of my “vaping gear” in The Office. Well, I’m happy to oblige since I’ve now finally set things up in a way that work for me. It is, in part, thanks to one of our cats, Bece, that I ended up with more plastic display stands than I originally planned to get. As I was ordering a few things online she jumped up and walked straight over my MacBook Pro Retina. As I tried to get her to move her butt off of it she trampled a few times on the trackpad and it wasn’t until I placed the order that I noticed there were a few more things in there than I planned on. Ah, well… such things do happen. I guess she just likes vape gear and decided I should get more. Lots more. Perhaps I should “blame” her for all my vape related purchases, right Anyway, I have a few more mods, RBA’s and RDA’s on the way and thanks to Bece I know have enough holes to last me a while. Luckily those plastic stands were cheap so it didn’t result in any holes in my wallet.
Mr. Galstan, could you please list and describe the “known carcinogens” present in electronic cigarettes (or the e-Juice used in such)? The American Lung Association has repeatedly failed to do so, so why are you parroting them? Do you have any clue at all what is generally used in electronic cigarettes (or e-Juice)? I do. Many others do as well. And none of them are carcinogens. In fact, you might be surprised to learn that nicotine itself is not known nor has it ever been listed as a known carcinogen. If you are going to be a mouthpiece of an organization that has direct financial interests that are at total odds of people giving up smoking (after all, the association would no longer have a source of funding nor would they be able to pressure companies into handing them money for their “programs” which as a lot of us see it is not too different from mobster like extortion) then please be ready to back up your statements and claims with actual facts and substantiate them. Perhaps you may need to inquire at the American Lung Association so they can provide you with a canned statement that will, as per usual, not really answer the question.
I know, I know, I don’t normally post anything in Dutch on my site but I’m making an exception this time since it’s specifically aimed at a group of Dutch people. I have no idea what an online translation service would turn this into but I bet it would be hilarious. Ik kreeg onlangs een e-mail met daarin een aantal forum posts welke in een Nederlands Ubuntu (http://forum.ubuntu-nl.org/offtopic) support forum gepost zijn. Ik heb door de jaren heen wel eens het een en ander aan vreemde veronderstellingen en uiterst ongeïnformeerde uitspattingen gezien maar deze posts lijken het tot een compleet nieuw niveau weten te tillen. Op een of andere manier zijn een paar compleet ongeïnformeerde figuren daar helemaal overtuigd van hun eigen paranoïde waanbeeld dat ik daar in het forum links naar mijn site loop te posten. Op zich verbaasd me dat niet helemaal daar er in de afgelopen decennia best wel een aantal mensen en bedrijven zijn geweest die zich via de foto’s van mijn office(s) of voor mij hebben uitgegeven danwel hebben getracht de indruk te wekken dat het hun office was of op een of andere manier er bij betrokken zijn geweest. Een kleine collectie daarvan is te vinden op http://officethieves.com/.
I know, it’s been long overdue. But I’ve finally got to the editing of the pictures. Selecting the images for the “making of” section has really been a pain in the butt because there were so many and I have to pick the right images to reflect the things I’ll be writing about (and hopefully explaining). Tonight, and possibly tomorrow night I am going to shoot the night-time pictures, which is easier said than done because it still involves setting up some flashes and lighting to make the pictures actually reflect what it really looks like. With lots of reflective surfaces and areas of extremely low and high contrast (the environment versus the light emitted from the monitors) taking these shots is not as straightforward and easy a task as it might look. But I’m confident they will come out just fine since I had a few test runs over the past months.