A conservative news and views blog.

Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Friday, March 04, 2005

Marlborough Mafiosa

St. Louis County will probably be joining the ranks of other bloviating Bolsheviks with a proposed anti-smoking ordinance. Read about it by clicking the header.

In the interest of full disclosure, I don`t smoke (although my parents do) and prefer to sit in a restaurant or bar without someone blowing the products of that noxious weed in my face. Nonetheless, I am bitterly opposed to attempts to ban smoking for a variety of reasons.

First, there is not one tobacco shred of proof that there is any such phenomenon as second hand smoke. The populace has dealt with smoking for hundreds of years, and yes, everyone has always known smoking is bad for you. Cigarettes were often referred to as coffin nails or cancer sticks long before the Surgeon General issued his report. No one ever noticed any affects from second hand smoke; at least not until it became obvious that the bloviating Bolsheviks weren`t going to be able to cram laws against smoking down our collective throats. Suddenly, the Bolsheviks found the tool they needed; they could claim smoking hurt other people. They still haven`t been able to prove their contention, despite decades of desperate effort. This is the Great Con.

Secondly, I have never seen a constitutional authorization for government to intrude into what is clearly a matter between a man and his bartender (or restauranteur). Smoking is a legal activity, tobacco is a legal product, and government has no right to impose restrictions because a minority hates it. This is a matter of the free market; if bar and restaurant patrons do not wish to inhale smoke then they should go to bars and restaurants which ban smoking as a matter of policy. That few bars and restaurants are willing to do this stands as a damning testament to the claim that these laws are enacted by popular demand. They are enacted by the shrill insistence of an activist minority. Basic capitalist principles guarantee that services for the anti-smoker would develop, provided there was adequate demand. The sad fact is that there really isn`t great demand, and so the blustering bolsheviks are forced to rely on the force of law.

Those who hate smoking salve their consciences by saying to themselves that it`s for the smokers own good. The reality is that it is solely for the benefit of the anti-smoking zealots, and it allows them to stand high and mighty while bending the smokers to their godlike will. To the zealots it is about power. (As Orwell stated ``the purpose of power is power``!) This should be obvious to anyone who has been in public with a smoker and heard the nasty and abusive comments from certain members of the anti-smoking crowd. These laws are designed as much to cause pain as to protect. The Contra- Marlborough Mafia enjoy the thrill of wielding power, and making the smokers suffer.

The slippery slope principle applies here. If smoking can be whittled away, why can`t any other activity deemed dangerous or bad by the Bolsheviks? Certainly the case against eating fatty foods can be made on similar grounds, and in fact already has been. Driving with your cell phone on? Ban it! Too much coffee got you jittery-you may have an accident! Restrict caffeine! Driving is always dangerous, and perhaps better restricted to a chosen few. This path leads to the tarpits; you can fall in, and not climb back out.

It`s laughable what arguments our leftist friends will use; they say they are protecting the public health by discouraging smoking, but offer needle exchange programs and condoms to keep drug abuse and illicit sex ``safe``,while making the case that these behaviors cannot be modified. They argue that smoking costs the taxpayer in insurance claims, while ignoring the costs to the taxpayers of Aids, syphilis, Gonorrhea, drug addiction, and the myriad other ailments promulgated by their promotion of ``alternate lifestyles``. It is pure hypocrisy!

When I was in college (oh, so many years ago!) I remember getting into an argument with a foxy liberal girl (I would probably have laughed at her otherwise!) over the use of sugar cane in Brazil to produce fuel alcohol to run cars. She found the concept appalling; Brazil should be growing food for the poor, not making alcohol to run cars! Of course, I pointed out that without those cars the poor would be less likely to get food but, you all know how liberals are! This opened my eyes to what the left really thinks, and why they hate tobacco. I spoke with other liberals and it became clear that liberals hate cash crops. Tobacco is often grown in Third World countries for export to the United States, and the left in America sees this as despicable because everyone should be growing food to feed the poor! How dare they! People are starving, and America is buying tobacco! Oh, the humanity!

So the left has been waging a war on tobacco, joining forces with groups they normally would have nothing to do with (such as certain Fundamentalist Christian sects) to stamp out the evils of smoking (tobacco, that is; I once saw a movie starring John Cleese as Sherlock Holmes. He lit his pipe on a public bus in England, and the Sikh driver came back and demanded he extinguish it. Holmes pointed out that the sign said ``No tobacco smoking`` at which the driver lit up along with the dopie detective! Not far from the truth!) Tobacco is the first step in a much larger war they intend to wage. Who will come next?

Fellow St. Louisan Christopher Orlet had an interesting column on the subject. Read it here. Also, check out our friends at Static Noise for Craig`s take on the matter.

I understand full well why many people don`t like to be enclosed with smokers. I really do sympathize, but I think the market should determine this matter. I am of the opinion that the anti-smoking zealots have very different motives than the ones they claim, and I think this bandwagon will have serious repercussions on America in the future. It`s time to stop this madness. It`s time for the Marlborough Mafiosa to ride off into the sunset.



Blogger Aussiegirl said...

Criminy - I just posted a long comment and hit some button on the keyboard and erased the whole darn thing. Oh well -- I was just going to say that here where I live in Maryland, our local liberal county passed a new law forbidding all smoking in restaurants and pubs which has led to a number of old neighborhood favorites in my area to closed down and go out of business for lack of customers. The problem is that all the smokers simply go down the road a few miles to the neighboring county or DC and smoke there. It's stupid. Our local county last year tried to outlaw smoking in your own home if your neighbors could detect it or complained that they could smell it - wouldn't that have led to wonderful neighborly relation? Last year they tried to outlaw smoking outdoors. Sheesh. I don't smoke, BTW.

9:48 PM  
Blogger TJ Willms said...

A quick tip to aussiegirl, compose your comments in MS word then paste them into the comment window. I have to do it that way or the world would know with total certainty how bloody awful my spelling skills are. I’m a product of twentieth century public schooling and all that. In addition, there is the added benefit of never losing your work.

As for the anti smoking Gestapo, my home state is one of their proving grounds. Several years ago Duluth MN passed an ordinance banning smoking in any workplace, yes that includes the bars, and restaurants and the people of Superior Wisc. Just across the river, positively love them for doing so. Recently I read an article about how well the banning of smoking is going in of all places Ireland. The bar owners and restaurateurs there have lost an astonishing 43% of their income since the ban took effect 6 months ago. What I find so astounding about this kind of government intervention is the politicians have these gigantic stones when pushing junk legislation against the few smokers there are left. However, when truly important issues emerge those mountain-sized seeds shrivel up and seem to disappear.

I will disclose now as I have before, that I smoke like a Franklin stove. I am however very conscious of how it affects others and take great pains to be courteous when doing so. My efforts to be courteous go largely unnoticed judging from the whiny noises that seem to follow along where ever I go to have a heater in peace.
Fines not withstanding I say screw it! Light ‘em if you got ‘em!

5:31 PM  
Blogger Michael Morrison said...

"Marlborough" is a music festival.
"Marlboro" is the cigarette brand.
Apparently its christener was also, as is Gee Whiz, a product of government schooling.
After all, we have "donuts" and "drive-thrus" and moronic laws that try to change people's personal choices.
Smoking is bad; every smoker over the age of 21 will agree.
So, since everyone -- except maybe some of the kids still in government schools -- knows smoking is bad, but they do it anyway, what good is another stupid law?
I remember when Los Angeles passed a law against smoking in grocery stores. Did the morons on the Silly Council really think a policeman would show up if someone complained about a smoker?
Actually, these days it's hard to get a cop when there's a real crime being committed.

8:49 AM  
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12:01 PM  

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