Articles Archive 2005
December 12, 2005 - Tribal issues - The voters, at the behest of anti-tobacco special issues, last month granted tribal businesses a monopoly to cater to smokers. Faced with the glaring inconsistency of a "smoke free" utopia along side thriving casinos, restaurants and bars where smokers happily puff away, the state governor is futilely attempting to unravel a glaring contradiction.
December 5, 2005 - Politics and ETS, Part II - Ostensibly smoking bans are imposed to eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke. Norman Kjono in Part I of this series dealt with the deceptiveness of using the health issue to impose prohibition. Part II examines the conflicts between anti-tobacco and health. It also looks at the mercantile interests that hope to reap big bucks from smoking bans. Surprisingly the tobacco industry is adopting a strategy along the lines of "if you can't beat them, you may as well join them."
December 5, 2005 - Tribal issues post-ban - Anti-tobacco told the voters in Washington state that a vote for the smoking ban was a vote to protect every worker in the state. This was a lie on two levels. The first, of course, is that secondhand smoke poses no hazards to anyone. The second was that every worker would be "protected" from secondhand smoke.Norman Kjono examines the huffiness of the mainstream media that helped ensure that tribal enterprises were granted a state monopoly on catering to smokers but now is concerned that tribal gambling interests are too powerful. He examines the hypocrisy of newspaper editors who gleefully advocate granting favored industries an edge over their competitors then whine about unfair advantages.
November 28, 2005 - Politics and ETS - Voters and politicians have been sold a bill of good regarding smoking bans. Wherever they have been enacted the public has been assured that clean air for everyone is the goal. Even Big Tobacco has jumped on the band wagon as it parrots all the talking points written by the tobacco control industry.
Norman Kjono takes an in depth look at the promises and finds a different set of facts than those distributed by anti-smoking operatives. Clean air has not been delivered, on the contrary quite often the opposite has been the result of prohibiting smoking. The motives of the prohibitionists have also been revealed more in line with their bottom line than with public health and safety. We've been conned.
November 21, 2005 - Politics and ETS - On November 8 the citizens of Washington State voted to ban smoking everywhere. Everywhere, that is, that isn't run by Indian Tribal interests. While the initiative was advertised as a public health issue its real purpose was far more complex and involved all sorts of organizations and special interests that are motivated more by financial gain than health. Norman Kjono explains the issues involved and how the vote in Washington can benefit those who are motivated by liberty and the love of the truth.
November 18, 2005 - A Contrasting View - The Great American Smoke-out doesn't attract much press these days but, newspapers still feel obliged to cover it in a cursory manner. One reporter contacted FORCES and got an ear full.
October 19, 2005 - Tribal Issues - Anti-tobacco claims that enacting prohibition is "revenue neutral" as far as Washington State's coffers are concerned. As usual, anti-tobacco is lying.
October 19, 2005 - Save The Horses - An incident of interspecies sexual high jinks, an affair that startled even the sophisticated residents of Washington State, prompts an inquiry into how animal lovers will be affected should the initiative to ban smoking in "all" workplaces pass.
October 10, 2005 - I-901: Diverse Opposition- The Washington State statewide smoking ban is projected to win by a recent poll. Would that result come from the merits of that initiative or the absence of coordinated opposition? Norman Kjono provides commentary and emails concerning this interesting subject.
October 3, 2005 - Dear Michael Fancher - To no one's surprise the Seattle Times came out in support of the voter initiative "to ban smoking in public places." What was surprising is that the editors hold their readers in such contempt as to present blatant contradictions as somehow logical. Allowing smoking in tribal establishments while banning it from every other enterprise does not "create healthy workplaces for everyone." The condescension displayed by the editors goes even further as Norman Kjono reports.
July 18, 2005 - Baptist Revenue Enhancement - The bible records no instances where Jesus the Christ advocates policies that set one group of people against another. Quite the opposite in fact. When millions of dollars of pharmaceutical money, however, are showered upon various Christian churches in anti-tobacco America, even the pious make compromises with their supposed faith in order to snatch up all that free money.
Norman Kjono reports on the astonishing phenomenon of mercantile interests undermining centuries of doctrine in order to make a buck off the persecution of the blameless.
June 23, 2005 - Latest Edition Out Now- The sky's the limit! Time now to launch a RICO suit against Big Soda and Big Food.....Giving tobacco to the Food & Drug Administration to regulate is like inviting Dracula into the home.....In an interview on drugs and autism, Robert Kennedy, Jr. defines anti-tobacco "science" as what it is; junk science.....These stories and much more tobacco issues and the assault on personal choice both here and throughout the world.
June 23, 2005 - Exploring Ventilation - In response to his most recent column, Norman Kjono discusses ventilation, a subject he knows very well.
June 22, 2005 - NCI, Update Your Web Site - Norman Kjono's comments yesterday about a recent study from the National Cancer Institute prompted readers to check out that organizations web site. Some were surprised that the NCI, despite its latest study, still pretends that secondhand smoke is a health hazard for nonsmokers. No surprise there since the NCI ideologically supports prohibition, facts be damned.
June 21, 2005 - Obesity Cure: Empty The Beaches - Norman Kjono looks at the hideous problem of tobacco smoke assaulting bikinis on the beach and wonders, considering cold-water swimming contributes to fat, whether the public beaches should be shut down for the public good.
June 21, 2005 - Thank You BBC! - Norman Kjono's pleasant Father's Day with family and friends was made perfect when he received an invitation to appear on a broadcast about a possible smoking ban in the United Kingdom. The invite couldn't have come at a better time. For the past few weeks anti-tobacco's shibboleths have been crumbling before an onslaught of evidence. In particular Kjono focuses on the recent study from the National Cancer Institute which indicates secondhand smoke is a major factor in nonsmoker's lung cancer. We've been saying this for years and most graciously welcome the National Cancer Institute into our corner.
June 17, 2005 - Cancer Society Missed This One - Heard about the study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute that suggests secondhand smoke is not a major factor involved in nonsmokers' lung cancer? Of course not. Anything that counters the tobacco control mantra of prohibition must be ruthlessly suppressed.
Fortunately Norman Kjono has heard of this study and is willing to explain how it, along with the verdict in Scotland that found no proof that primary smoking causes lung cancer, presents a serious problem for the mythology developed by the tobacco control industry.
June 17, 2005 - Life In The 1500s - Looking back at what people used to believe we smugly assure ourselves that we've come a long way, baby. We are so up-to-date, so with it, so modern and so scientific. And yet... Norman Kjono finds that our priestly class, the health elite, seems to have been cribbing the superstitions and old wives tales from centuries ago.
June 8, 2005 - Up Yours Dude! - Other than giving aid and comfort to the terrorists, promoting regulations that will lower tax receipts and targeting law-abiding citizens for hatred, Norman Kjono is very happy with the legislative performance of his representative in Olympia. It's not the message Representative Hunter hoped to elicit, if indeed he really did want his constituents to respond his self-congratulatory newsletter to the folks.
June 6, 2005 - Outhouse Flatulence: Mystery Solved - One year ago we reported the disturbing tale of an exploding porta-potty due, so we were told, to the careless smoking habits of the occupant of the toilet. Just another slur, as Norman Kjono reports and we can thank our lucky stars that we will be spared the scatological-themed anti-smoking ads the anti-tobacco operatives would have loved to produce.
May 26, 2005- Targeting Michigan - There is something mighty strange going on in Michigan these days. For months the state has been attracting attention in both the national and international press. To state boosters the focus has been anything but welcome since the news is overwhelmingly disturbing. Norman Kjono looks at the latest news, which reports that Michigan is following a blueprint last seen in Nazi Germany, connects the dots and foresees the "Michigan disease" infecting the rest of the country.
May 24, 2005 - Back To The Future - A scurrilous screed masquerading as a consumer demand for a safe cigarette is circulating throughout the Internet. Although written several years ago it periodically surfaces to provide support for activities against smokers. This time it appears that the issue being highlighted is smoker discrimination in employment.
For months the few companies that have enacted policies against hiring smokers, and in some cases firing smokers who refuse to quit, have attracted the publicity they sought. Unfortunately for them the public has reacted with revulsion against these corporate busybodies. This screed has been resurrected to bolster anti-tobacco's agenda of compelling smokers to quit by denying them employment opportunities.
Two legendary Americans are also being resurrected to march in lockstep with the tobacco control industry. Henry Ford and Thomas Edison are being praised, not for their outstanding contributions to the American story, but for being visionary in their distaste for smoking and smokers. It would have been better for anti-tobacco to have left them to the pages of history as Norman Kjono makes clear.
May 12, 2005 - Fat Patch Next? - With the introduction of yet another pill designed to cash in on the obesity hysteria, Norman Kjono envisions saturation pharmaceutical ad campaigns focusing on the derrieres of fat smokers, each cheek sporting a patch touting an end to behaviors displeasing to the elite. Can the nation stand any more syrupy ads promising happiness through a quick fix?
April 25, 2005 - Intolerance Addicts - What it is with the mainstream media these days? Self-described as liberals, these reporters nonetheless revel in orgies of hate not seen since the hey day of the Ku Klux Klan. So much do these reporters despise and deplore the renegade smoker that in this year, 2005, one unearths a pharmaceutical plan to convert smokers from evil tobacco to righteous pharmaceutical nicotine that first reared its ugly head seven years ago. Nothing is too old or too ugly as long as it advances the bottom line of an important advertiser.
Norman Kjono reveals the fingerprints of the special interests that concocted a blueprint to rid the world of those pesky smokers and render them into dutiful consumers of overpriced smoking "cessation" devices.
April 22, 2005 - WA funds terrorists - We are sad to report that the Washington legislature values its anti-tobacco credentials more than it values the men and women serving in Iraq and throughout the world. For decent people there is a silver lining to the legislature's betrayal.
Norman Kjono reports on the end of the legislative session that saw smokers win big while also taking in the chin.
April 7, 2005 - House Proposes Increased Funding For Terrorists - It's do or die for anti-tobacco in Washington this legislative session. Several bills raising cigarette taxes and imposing smoking bans bit the dust last month but as the budgetary process heats up bills having to do with revenue are allowed to be introduced. The resulting mess is highlighting the innate contradictions that make up the ephemeral core of the anti-tobacco agenda.
One bill reduces the taxes on cigars, pipe tobacco and snuff while others (it's becoming confusing as these bills die then revive as did Dracula) hike the tobacco tax higher than the governor requested. The rationale behind lowering the cigar tax is valid and would apply equally as well to lowering the cigarette tax but the legislators appear able to hold opposite conclusions at the same time. Hovering over it all is the fact that high cigarette taxes are fueling the carnage in Iraq. High taxes are killing our soldiers, literally.
Only Norman Kjono can keep all this straight. His report of the cigarette/tobacco tax shenanigans reveals that the old saw about legislation resembling sausage-making is quite true. Lawmaking in Washington when anti-tobacco has a role is revolting to the senses.
April 5, 2005 - Lest There Be Any Doubt- A few weeks ago we reported on a government study that revealed high cigarette taxes are fueling illegal cigarette sale operations, many of which financially benefit Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations that are actively involved in military operations against America. A recent attack against American soldiers in Iraq drives home the message that raising cigarette taxes is deadly to Americans. Norman Kjono connects the dots which paint an ugly picture.
April 4, 2005 - Betrayal - The evidence is stark. High cigarette taxes are fueling terrorism, including that operating in Iraq. Politicians that propose yet more tobacco taxes are dupes, one hopes ignorant, of organizations that are killing American soldiers. Norman Kjono contrasts the betrayal, recently confessed, of Jane Fonda when she was used as a propaganda tool against American soldiers in Vietnam with the more despicable betrayal of American soldiers by tax-happy politicians working for the tobacco control industry.
March 31, 2005 - Old News, Bigger Threat - The cigarette tax hike proposal by Washington's governor daily becomes more insupportable. We've focused on the threat to American safety as terrorists move into illegal cigarette operations, using their huge profits, thanks to tax happy politicians, to buy weapons to kill soldiers. Norman Kjono expands his coverage to comment on the financial aspects of sky high taxes any time government attempts to modify human behavior with state-sanction coercion.
March 30, 2005 - Democrats Up The Smoking Ante - The timing couldn't be worse. At the moment the state senate proposes hiking the cigarette tax an Indian tribe announces its entrance into the cigarette manufacturing business. The tribal cigarettes will be tax free while those sold by non-tribal retailers will carry sky-high taxes. Such a deal! Norman Kjono explains why the supposedly anti-smoking governor and senators are helping the Indians become tobacco monopolists.
March 28, 2005 - Blood Revenue - Other than the rabidly anti-tobacco governor, who else is supporting the cigarette tax increase? Some of the supporters are obvious, some will surprise you and one will astonish you. Once the financial rewards are revealed it all makes sense. Too bad Americans will die. Norman Kjono explains.
March 25, 2005 - Mainstream Media Manipulation - Anti-tobacco has pulled out all the stops to get anything this year. Repeatedly rebuffed by the people through their representatives, the operatives are frantic that yet one more year will go by with no smoking ban or cigarette tax increase. The mainstream media is fulfilling its role as handmaiden for the tobacco control industry but its increasingly shrill cries to rape smokers are falling on increasingly indifferent ears.
March 24, 2005 - A Twisted Web - Governor Christine Gregoire's plan to stick it to smokers is being aided and abetted by the Seattle newspapers. One has editorialized in favor of hike the cigarette tax while the other is dispensing as news anti-tobacco boiler plate calling for higher cigarette taxes. Neither paper has seen fit to follow the lead of a California paper that two weeks ago reported on the federal Government Accountability Office's findings that high cigarette taxes results in illegal smuggling and black market sales that fund money to terrorist organizations. This report is obviously of far greater interest to the population than the myriad of press releases issued by anti-tobacco special interests. That it has been buried speaks volumes about our so-called free press.
Obviously Gregoire, the Seattle Times and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer are A-OK with providing aid to the terrorists who are killing our sons and daughters in Iraq. They also are showing their distain for the Washington State legislature which recently killed a cigarette tax hike. They are also showing their true feelings for the working class folk who pay the obscenely high cigarette tax. Finally they are giving the entire state the middle finger by endorsing a scheme that will reducethe payments the state receives from the national tobacco settlement. Such malevolence cannot be accidental.
March 23, 2005 - Butts to Bullets - Give Christine Gregoire, the embattled governor of Washington, an A Plus for predictability and loyalty to the tobacco control industry. Although a huge percentage of her state's voters believe she stole the election last year she is behaving exactly as she would have had she been the clear winner.
Right off the bat, despite the legislature strongly rejecting a bill to raise the cigarette tax, Gregoire is proposing that the per pack tax be raised 20 cents, increasing to 80 cents. To add insult to injury she proclaims that the state could get by without any new taxes but that "getting by is not good enough." Certainly getting through her first year in office without bashing the smokers is a prospect that Gregoire would consider "not good enough."
Needless to say the Seattle Times is mighty happy with taxing the smokers to beef up a budget that has been depleted by government mismanagement. The deep thinkers running that paper call the cigarette tax a "health measure" even though few smokers will quit but many will now turn to alternative purchasing options, many of which will result in providing a money flow to terrorists who are killing our soldiers in Iraq.
Norman Kjono is scathing as he unravels the twisted strands of incompetence, arrogance and hatefulness that marks Christine Gregoire's short administration.
March 21, 2005 - Washington's "Clean Sweep" Legislative Victory Over Special-Interests - Seven anti-smoker bills met defeat in the Washington State legislature, capping off a four-year string of defeat for anti-tobacco. The bills, six anti-smoking measures and one cigarette tax hike, were written and promoted by mercantile special interests who have hitched their financial stars on raping the one quarter of the population who smokes. In addition to the usual cast of anti-tobacco operatives are some players not usually associated with anti-smoking political activity.
One is the large statewide restaurant association. Such organizations initially oppose government-imposed smoking bans but over time have tended to go with the flow under the bogus "level the playing field" theory that if all restaurants must feel the pain of throwing out smokers, the financial damages should be spread out over the entire industry. Membership in such associations, however, are weighted in favor of the huge restaurant chains who weather smoking bans far easier than the small family-run eateries.
The other surprising player was the biggest of Big Tobacco. How is it possible that a cigarette manufacturer is supporting anti-smoking legislation, a cigarette tax increase and donating to an ardent "anti-tobacco" legislator?
Norman Kjono, who has been one busy man during this legislative year, explains.
March 21, 2005 - Bucks Begin to Speak In Washington - As anti-tobacco's political power diminishes in the state capitol the only other to take is blatantly buy a statewide smoking ban. Anti-tobacco has attempted to do so twice previously but this time the voter initiative it has prepared pulls out all the stops. The best thing about this latest initiative is that even the most obtuse can easily who benefits. Hint: it isn't health. Norman Kjono explains why this initiative most likely will face the same fate as the two prior.
March 14, 2005 - Anti-tobacco's Nose Job - There's a sucker born every minute but even in this land of the credulous it's doubtful that the hysterical tobaccophobe will bother sticking two thimble-shaped filters up his nose. After all, no one need breath tobacco smoke these days.. If, by a miracle, these devices did become popular Big Drugs would crush the manufacturer out of existence.
On second thought, perhaps there is room for these loopy devices since 2005 has, so far, been a bad year for anti-tobacco. Fewer bans passed and a reluctance to impose cigarette taxes. Has anti-tobacco worn out its welcome?
March 11, 2005 - New Statistics About Environmental Tobacco Smoke - As the drive to implement smoking bans intensifies in many state legislatures the grant junkies and their shills in the media are working overtime. This week alone at least two studies, one from Japan and one from California, have hit the airwaves implicating secondhand smoke in the rising increase of breast cancer.
The one from California is of special note since it was conducted by Air Resources Board, a bureaucratic regulatory agency not known for its commitment to scientific integrity. What this gang of political hacks has done is up the death toll from secondhand smoke by 23,000 deaths from breast cancer. These deaths are on top of the 50,000 some odd deaths that have seeped their way into public consciousness after the Environmental Protection Agency concluded that 3,000 Americans died from secondhand smoke each year. From 3,000 to 50,000 to 73,000 deaths in the space of a little over a decade. This at a time when exposure to secondhand smoke has dropped to almost nil. What's going on here?
Breast cancer is on the rise and although even though the anti-tobacco industry long ago exonerated primary smoking as a cause for the disease, political hay must be made from the panic over this disease. Before long we will hear that AIDS deaths are due to secondhand smoke as well as the suicides off the Golden Gate Bridge. Since this horrific abuse of scientific integrity comes from California, it's worth noting that the highest rate of breast cancer in California occurs in affluent Marin County, a location where secondhand smoke has been eliminated for decades.
March 9, 2005 - Local Governments Please Stand By - Anti-tobacco is banking the farm on two pieces of anti-smoking legislation. One, House Bill 2038, loudly proclaims that its passage will protect all workers from secondhand smoke. For all, read workers in nontribal restaurant, bars and casinos. Tribal enterprises will be exempt from the smoking ban legislation.
To add deception upon a lie, the state Office of Financial Management now weighs in by opining that banning smoking from nontribal enterprises will have no fiscal impact. Au contraire says Norman Kjono, and not just him. From many sources, most importantly from the county that last year illegally banned smoking comes a passel of data that shows passage of HB 2038 will reduce tax receipts while driving customers to the tax-exempt Indian enterprises. The businesses will suffer. Governments will suffer. All taxpayers will suffer. It's as simple as that.
March 8, 2005 - Come on, Associated Press, Get It Right! - Anti-tobacco must be given credit for cultivating and stroking the press. With few exceptions the mainstream press is completely in its corner, subtly -- and sometimes enthusiastically -- supporting anti-tobacco's agenda of prohibition, high taxes and smoker demonization. For too long the media could get away with its bias. With the ubiquity of the Internet those days, fortunately, are over. Norman Kjono zings the Associate Press for relying too faithfully on anti-tobacco's daily spin zone.
March 7, 2005 - Washington Smoking Ban Legislation, Part II: Legislative Bills, Past The Point Of Diminishing Returns - February 8, 2005 FORCES published Washington smoking ban legislation Part I: Initiative to the People 901. Today we publish Part II, about legislative bills in the state of Washington
Norman Kjono presents up to the minute information about the status of smoking ban legislation. He also discusses vested interest of smoking ban advocacy groups such as tobacco control and restaurant associations. An interesting part of this commentary is a presentation of facts about campaign contributions by Philip Morris and its parent group, Altria Group Inc., to politicians who advocate bills for total smoking bans and increased tobacco taxes
The deeper we dig into allegedly anti-tobacco the dirtier it gets. Why would Philip Morris conceivably provide campaign contributions to politicians who sponsor bills for a total smoking ban and increased tobacco taxes? Perhaps the answer to that question is a question: Where does the nicotine in GlaxoSmithKline's Nicorette gum come from?
It is long past time that we the people begin to view tobacco control issues with a broader perspective than the narrow tunnel vision of political party or personal preference. In truth allegedly anti-tobacco emerges in its true light, an elitist ruling class versus everyday folk.
March 2, 2005 - Shifting Sands Of Appropriations Power - Anti-tobacco operatives are attempting a stealth takeover of government finances in the state of Washington. Legislation hiking the cigarette by $1 per pack would, if passed, be a disaster for local governments and every budgetary jurisdiction except for public health and anti-tobacco special interests. Coupled with a proposed statewide smoking ban, which would cause a migration of hospitality patronage from tax paying nontribal businesses to tax-exempt tribal interests, these bills would cause serious reductions in revenues to cities and state government. Never has anti-tobacco reached so far. It will be stopped.
February 17, 2005 - Discarding The Wet Ones - We've all seen them. Paper towel in hand they traverse the office making sure their bare hand doesn't touch a door knob. In the restrooms they first pull down the towel then vigorously scrub, wiping off with the pristine towel so that flesh needn't touch any handle that is polluted by a co-worker. It's going to get much worse as the spermophobes' neurosis is fueled by the profitable collusion between network "news" and big corporations hoping to make a buck off unfounded fears. Norman Kjono takes a look at a blatant market ploy and finds an old pattern.
February 14, 2005 - The Little Group In Tacoma That Could - Last week the Washington State Supreme Court pronounced the Pierce County smoking ban illegal. Although no one, including anti-tobacco, was surprised by this decision, it's important to examine this latest defeat for Tobacco Control in the full context of the various schemes attempting to undermine the clear will of the citizens of Washington. Norman Kjono shows how pharmaceutical money still flows into the coffers of the anti-smoking activists, many of them located out of state.
February 9, 2005 - Revenue Rumbles - Tax happy Washington State legislators were stunned with a state supreme court ruling that wiped out a $431-million revenue stream. It seems the state had continued to collect the state's portion of federal estate taxes even though that federal tax had been repealed in 2001. What to do about the shortfall? Don't even think about fleecing the smokers, says Norman Kjono. That old rip off has reached the end of the road.
February 8, 2005 - Washington Smoking Ban Legislation, Part I: Initiative to the People 901 - Regular readers are aware that for the past year we have focused extensively on tobacco issues in Washington State. We rode a roller coaster of events that began with the state legislature firmly rejecting a statewide smoking ban, followed by a hairpin curve when one county, defying state law, enacted a total smoking ban, resulting in massive losses for the hospitality industry. Veering right then left that county law was overturned, reinstated and finally thrown out. Coincidental with the enactment of the county's illegal smoking ban law, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation wrote a voter initiative to ban smoking that puttered to a halt when the drive for signatures flopped. At the end of 2004 the Tobacco Control Industry had lost every battle it initiated.
It's a new year and to no one's surprise the Tobacco Control Industry is doing exactly as it did last year. Anti-tobacco Legislation has been written and submitted by the same politicians who wrote the discarded bills last year. A voter initiative to ban smoking statewide has been approved for signature gathering. As was the case last year every anti-smoking effort omits crucial data, primarily the fact that the goal of "protecting all workers from secondhand smoke" is a lie since Indian-run establishments are exempt from the smoking ban legislation and the voter initiative.
Norman Kjono sets the stage for the action that will occur in Olympia during the legislative session. In this article he examines Initiative 901, revealing the vested interests behind it, the deliberate misinformation it conveys to the public and the harm caused to the state if it should succeed. He explains why Washington State could be anti-tobacco's Waterloo due in large part to the terrific press coverage that last year, for the first time, moved well beyond the knee-jerk anti-tobacco stance we've grown accustomed to expect. The link between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and every effort to ban smoking in the state, for instance, was finally revealed and the deceptions written into the proposed smoking ban laws as well as the failed state initiative were thoroughly reported. Smoking is hot in Washington and the press will report the story. The information playing field is finally being leveled.
Advocates of property rights, personal responsibility and real choice are in a great position to thwart anti-tobacco's plan to impose prohibition in Washington State. That's good news but better is yet to come. Part II will announce the vital shift from defensive to offensive action. Stay tuned.
February 7, 2005 - Legal Reality Tsunami Sweeps Away Anti-Tobacco Damage Claims - Last Friday was not a happy day in the luxurious offices of the Tobacco Control industry. By a 2 to 1 ruling, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia threw out the racketeering portion of federal government's suit against the tobacco industry. Dreams of a $280-billion judgment vanished as the court declared the federal racketeering statute known as RICO cannot be used in civil suits.
The federal suit, begun in 1999 during the Clinton administration has already cost the US taxpayer $139-million dollars. Former Attorney General Janet Reno, who filed the suit, was opposed to it but buckled under pressure from the Clinton administration hoping to make political hay by tough action against the cigarette manufacturers. During the 2000 presidential campaign George Bush expressed reluctance to continue a suit that most legal experts called un-winnable, position echoed by John Ashcroft, the Bush administration's Attorney General. Both men caved under pressure from strident anti-tobacco special interests that wanted the legal action to become a second, even larger, tobacco settlement.
The suit, minus the portion that would have produced huge damages, continues, giving the tobacco industry many opportunities to turn victory into yet more chances to offer smokers up as sacrificial lambs. The suit, however, has served a beneficial purpose by providing a concrete link between the pharmaceutical industry and the anti-smoking agenda. The appeal that produced this stunning defeat for anti-tobacco was opposed, in court documents, by the largest player in the smoking cessation device racket. The façade of pharmaceutical corporate disinterest has crumbled forever. It's Big Drugs vs. Big Tobacco. This time the knockout punch was delivered by Big Tobacco.
February 3, 2005 - Smoky Data Smolders - Last year the media trumpeted a preposterous study that found cigarette smoke in a bar was more unhealthy than the air breathed by toll collectors on busy highways. Featured in all the news reports was one James Repace who has made a very good living zipping across the country to appear in legislative hearings discussing smoking bans. Repace's shtick is to assemble a mass of equipment in the style of a Rube Goldberg cartoon which is used as a visual aid to back up his contention that even on wisp of cigarette smoke is deadly. He claims, with a straight face, that only if the air in a room is replaced 50,000 times per hour can indoor smoking be made safe. Or is that 35,000 times per hour or is it actually 100,000 times per hour? Repace changes the safe air change rate willy nilly, which indicates that even he doesn't believe what he is say.
We are pleased that Chief Engineer, printed a rebuttal to Repace's lunacy. Norman Kjono, a long time anti-tobacco critic, is knowledgeable about ventilation technology, both from personal experience and through research into all aspects of air quality. Even more importantly he understands how Repace, who makes his living off pharmaceutical grants, and his donors have grown so accustomed to directing the anti-smoking agenda that they are now spouting rank nonsense, thinking they will continue to get away with it.
January 1, 2005 - Lifestyle Choices By Fiat - Perhaps we are jaded by the constant mound of negativity dumped upon the world by the therapeutic classes but the storm of controversy ignited by one company's decision to terminate employees who refused to take a tobacco-detection test caught us by surprise.
Our phone has been ringing off the hook as news outlets seek our take on Weyco Inc's rude intrusion into the private, off-duty affairs of its employees. Many of those inquiring are surprised to find out that Weyco, far from being a pioneer in job discrimination, is merely the end result of years of effort to pit employer against employee, legislator against constituent, neighbor against neighbor. Norman Kjono, who has followed closely anti-tobacco's purposeful agenda to whip up discord amongst people explains how and why this is done.
January 1, 2005 - A Progressive Queen of Nicotine? - She pulled her gubernatorial victory out of a hat with the help of her new, best friends and now the chips are due. Christine Gregoire, the governor elect of Washington State, was never very popular with the progressive wing of her party. Too in bed with corporate interests for them but rather than see a Republican ascend to the governor's house the progressives paid to count the votes again and again and yet again until Gregoire came out on top. She owes them now and she also owes her corporate special interests, including the pharmaceutical and tobacco industries. A clash in interests will ensue.