Saturday, November 1, 2008

Nader Launched Non-Smokers' Rights Movement

Big Tobacco corporation executives have apparently contributed $30,000 to help fund the 2008 presidential campaign of Barack Obama--who, until recently, was apparently a chain-smoker. And the 2008 Obama presidential campaign has spent over $190 million of the campaign contributions it has received from the U.S. corporate rich on purchasing campaign ad space from the U.S. corporate media conglomerates--to try to persuade non-smoking U.S. voters that the inexperienced Obama is more qualified than Nader to move into the White House oval office on January 21, 2009.

But 2008 independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader is also the person who launched the Non-Smokers’ Rights Movement. As Ashes To Ashes by Richard Kluger recalled in 1996:

“Ralph Nader launched what would become the non-smokers’ rights movement at the end of 1969 by petitioning the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to ban the use of cigarettes, cigars, and pipes on all passenger flights, arguing that the smoke annoyed non-smokers, distracted the flight crew, and posed a danger to health and a fire hazard for all aboard…

“…The Civil Aeronautics Board…in September 1972 responded positively to a Nader petition to require separate passenger sections…

“A few weeks after his initial petition to the FAA, Nader called on the Interstate Commission to establish non-smoking rules for buses.”

Nader Called For `Semi-Regulation’ Of Airlines

Ralph Nader has also long believed that the interests and safety of airline passengers can be protected only if the airlines are `semi-regulated.’ As Rapid Descent: Deregulation and The Shakeout in The Airliines by Barbara Sturken Peterson and James Glab noted:

“A multitude of…critics…claim that only a new era of federal regulation could save…the flying public from further deterioration in airline service.

“…Ralph Nader in late 1993 outlined a detailed plan for what he termed semi-regulation of the airlines. In his book Collision Course: The Truth About Airline Safety, Nader advocated limited price regulation, using state regulation of the insurance industry as a model, to prevent price gouging and predatory pricing.”

The same book also recalled:

“Ralph Nader…the patron saint of aggrieved passengers…went after the airlines when he was bumped from an Allegheny Airlines flight on April 18, 1972…Nader’s lawsuit laid the groundwork for the eventual regulation of the airlines’ overbooking practices. But Nader saw this as just one piece of a broader pattern of industry abuses…”

(Downtown/Aquarian Weekly 8/14/96)

As long ago as 1972, Ralph Nader was offered the vice-presidential nomination by the Democratic presidential candidate, George McGovern. As Nader And The Power Of Everyman by Hays Gorey noted:

“When George McGovern of South Dakota did win the Democratic nomination and then had to force his original choice for running mate off the ticket he…suggested Nader run with him. But Nader said no…because he believes that `the more successful you become in politics the less effective you are, because you have to compromise yourself, you have to serve the interests that have helped make you successful...’”

(Downtown/Aquarian Weekly 6/12/96)

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