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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (April 21, 1999)
Cigarette tax increase
won’t solve problem
OK, smoking is bad.
After the thousands of warning labels,
public service announcements and testimo
nials berating cigarettes, it’s hard to imagine
a living person who doesn’t know that smok
ing is an unhealthy pastime.
But in the rapid ascension of anti-smok
ing hysteria, the clean-air-and-body lobby
has lost sight of a number of issues that are
even more important than a smoke-free hotel
Personal freedom, to name one.
Anti-smoking sentiment has been direct
ed not only at the menacing, faceless ciga
rette companies, but also at the individual cit
izens who choose to partake in tobacco
despite countless warnings.
Attacking smokers is a foolproof political
asset, and Nebraska’s Legislature has not sur
prisingly jumped into the fray. Sen. David
Landis of Lincoln is sponsoring LB505, an
amendment-riddled bill that would increase
the cigarette tax in Nebraska from 34 cents to
Landis and the bill’s supporters want to
dissuade their fellow Nebraskans from light
ing up, and they think taxation is just the
answer. And as long as you’re not a smoker,
the tax increase does sound like a pretty good
idea, at first.
But before rushing to judgment on this
bill, Nebraskans and their lawmakers should
take another look at what they’re doing.
If keeping people away from cigarettes is
the true goal of this bill, it is flawed from the
start. Anyone who has felt the tingling rush of
the day’s first cigarette and the gnawing urge
of nicotine withdrawal will tell you that a 64
cent price increase is nothing more than a
Birds will fly. The sun will rise and set.
And smokers will smoke - no matter the
Anotner naw in this Din is that it is an
unfair tax. It will place a large burden on
low-income Nebraskans, and it will scarcely
affect those with more money in the bank.
But the biggest defect of LB505 is its
This bill is an unmotivated attack on a
shrinking minority - albeit a voluntary one -
and an attempt to legislate behavior in the
name of saving public health.
In the United States, government’s pur
pose is to serve its people, not tell its people
what’s best for them. Our senators are not our
But as long as they continue to swing
away at the unpopular and unfashionable
habits, public officials unfortunately will be
able to get away with it.
So look out, Nebraskans. That fat
packed, artery-clogging hamburger you’re
eating could be the next taxable item put on
the legislative chopping block.
Maybe then you’ll do something about it.
Unsigned editorials are the opinions of
the Spring 1999 Daily Nebraskan. They
do not necessarily reflect the views of the
University of Nebraska-Lincoln, its
employees, its student body or the
University of Nebraska Board of Regents.
A column is solely the opinion of its author.
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the Daily Nebraskan Editorial Board. Trie
UNL Publications Board, established by
the regents, supervises the production
of the paper. According to policy set by
the regents, responsibility for the editorial
content of the newspaper lies solely in
the hands of its student employees.
The Daily Nebraskan welcomes brief
letters to the editor and guest columns,
but does not guarantee their publication.
The Daily Nebraskan retains the right to
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Submitted material becomes property of
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Submit material to: Daily Nebraskan, 34
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Sister’s wedding becomes experience to remember
ERIN REITZ is a senior
major and a Daily
Bells were ringing, birds were
singing, and the tears were flowing.
Man, oh man, were they flowing.
Yes ladies and gentlemen, my
beautiful sister Kristen got married
this past weekend, and I was right in
the thick of it..
And thank God I was, because I
would have missed some pretty
hilarious stuff if I hadn’t been.
My sis got engaged last January,
and shortly after asked her nutty sis
ters (that would be Amy and me) to
be her maids of honor. (Two of us!
She’s so dam creative, that Krissy.)
Needless to say, I was just thrilled
and couldn’t wait to see what our
dresses would look like, so I could
immediately start hunting for match
Well, the year and a few months
flew by, and it was finally time for
the big Weekend o’ marital delight.
Everything was panning out just as
my frantic, fabulous mother and Kris
It all began with the rehearsal.
With much help, I figured out what I
was supposed to do with the ring,
flowers, small children, my history
book, that little thingy on my toaster,
etc., and all was well. We headed to
the rehearsal dinner.
Now, I was expecting a smallish
gathering of family to officially get
the ball rolling. My expectation
turned out to be so incredibly wack,
because there were close to 3,412
people at the restaurant, all of whom
(You must realize that the above
was a disgusting exaggeration. If
3,412 people made toasts at the din
ner, Kris and Mike wouldn’t have
been able to get married until July of
2002. Plus they never would have
been able to find that much prime
After dinner was when the hilari
ty really began. My parents set up a
hospitality suite at the hotel where
the reception was and everyone was
staying, and I’ll tell you that there
was some major hospitality goin’ on.
I never knew that watching (pre
sent and future) in-laws getting tipsy
was so much fun! Case in point, my
*Some names have been changed
out of the author s courtesy to her
family. By the way, his name is really
Schmiddy consumed many beers
and proceeded tcx tell me how to get
around the pornography-blocking
system on UNL computers.
Apparently all you have to do is
sweet talk the lab aid in computer
ese, and it’s all good. Too bad I for
got what I was supposed to say.
Also having consumed many
beers, my Uncle Fester* came to the
conclusion that it must have been
toenail jam lending to the “nutty,
musty flavor thing” in some 20-year
old peach liqueur my parents tried to
get rid of. Toenail jam. Yummy.
♦Fester’s real name may be Terry,
but we don’t know for sure. I think
he may have been someone else’s
Once the hoo-rah of the after
hours shindig ended, it was time for
the actual wedding on Saturday.
Everything was turning out to be
Except for one slightly huge
detail: We were missing a brides
maid s dress.
No kidding. It belonged to
Bridesmaid Consuelo who had sent
it from Texas via UPS, with guaran
teed overnight delivery on Tuesday
morning. The dress never showed up.
Here’s the real kicker of it,
though: Her original dress got lost,
Yup, she was sending the second
one to my mom. Someone jerked
around and lost her fust dress in'
December. (The poor girl was
cursed, I think.) Luckily, she had a
similar dress and wore that instead.
By the way, the dress showed up this
Monday. As in two days ago.
Convenient, huh? I thought so, too.
Oh, did I mention that
Consuelo’s plane got to North Platte
about two hours before the wedding?
Yup, that whole thing was a big wad
Once she got to the wedding,
though, everything went just as
planned. It was a lovely ceremony.
(Side note: When you get mar
ried, you’ll be able to tell if you’ve
had a “lovely ceremony” if all of
your relatives are bawling their eyes
out. It’s the one true tell-tale sign.)
After enough Kleenexes to fill a
Volkswagen were used, it was time
for the real fun: the reception.
Kris and Mike were taken there
by a wickedly rad horse and car
riage, while die rest of us were trans
ported by the ever-romantic four
door sedan. Everyone arrived safely,
and the party began.
The bar was open from about 5
until 9, and I was informed by my
wise-cracking dad to “Hit it hard,”
because he wasn’t paying for it.
(Don’t worry, I didn’t end up
face-down in the lawn the next
morning, but I do think I was in
charge of drinking for the other three
bridesmaids. When I do something, I
really give it my all.)
The cake was cut, toasts were
made, and we all danced like loonies
late into the night to music spun by
the deputy sheriff. (Only in western
Nebraska, you know?) It was a rol
licking good time, especially when
DJ Jazzy Lonnie broke out die
Chicken Dance. And who doesn’t
love the Chicken Dance, huh?
We got everything cleaned up
and hit the hay. I am not ashamed to
admit that I crashed harder than my
mom on a snowboard right around
The next morning we had brunch
and saw the happy couple off. Those
crazy kids are going to the Cayman
Islands for the honeymoon (lucky
punks), where they will finally be
free of wedding mayhem. I know
they enjoyed it, though. We all did.
A lot of magic happened last
weekend. Kris and Mike entered
wedded bliss, it was actually sunny [
in North Platte and I finally fulfilled
my lifelong dream of do-si-doing
with my dad. It just goes to show that
dreams really do come true.
Even with all of the little crises,
the wedding was a great success.
We’d all like to do it again soon, but
die truth is it would probably kill us.
Oh wait, Schmiddy’s gettin’
hitched on the 8th of May! I tell you,
the fun never ends with my family.
Best wishes for a fabulous life
together, Krissy and Mikey. I know
it’ll be wonderful (Just stay the heck
away from UPS).
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