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Banning Smoking Around Lake Merritt Oakland Is Neurotic

There's an online petition this blogger will not link to that wants smoking banned around Lake Merritt here in Oakland.  I'm not a smoker, but others lighting up a cigarette or cigar outdoors does not bother me; it should not bother anyone at all.

That it does, and that an online petition to ban smoking around Lake Merritt, thus leading to one more reason for the police to write unnecessary tickets, is the best example of the almost insane levels of neurotic behavior that have been allowed to grow in the Oakland of the 20th Century.

There's so much green space, so many trees, and so few smokers, that the only way this kind of idea could float to the place of civic recognition is via the mind of an unhappy soul.  This person must walk outside and rather than think happy thoughts, is obsessed with what they think others should or should not be doing.

Such a person is but one step from madness.

Oakland is already not a fun place to be.  We have people who have been wired to think about crime and fear others almost 24 and 7.  Every event, it seems, has to be for some cause, rather than the cause of just enjoying life.  People walk by each other with their heads down, rather than up, engaging each other with a simple "hello."  Every day, Oakland shows more and more signs of a city one step from unraveling, and it's our fault.

The one way to overcome this is to just plain relax.  Instead of wanting to control your neighbor, try getting to know them.  Rather than create new ways to fine them, why not establish new networks to help better employ them.  And instead of walking by them with your head down and angry, walk by with your head up and happy.

Please stop this insane level of neurotic behavior once and for all.  Let people be who they are, and like them for it in Oakland.
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