Or will that fundamental human right to express our opinions, too, be taken away from smokers next week, or next month, or next year? After all, anti-smoking leaders in Minnesota are now engaged in a campaign to ban the legal activity of smoking inside one’s own home—an action so unfathomably extreme that, historically, only tyrants and gods have ever dared to suggest, let alone attempt such a thing. That is why two other amendments to the U.S. Constitution explicitly prohibit the government from threatening citizens in various ways, inside their own homes. Such an action is tantamount to human slavery, where chains are replaced by armed guards who monitor, dictate and enforce citizens’ behavior even inside their own homes. If that appears consistent with a free country to this legislature, then I hereby accuse Minnesota legislators of being insane. How could such an obvious human atrocity even receive consideration in the United States of America? How is this possible? What kind of human power can enslave even a free People, while still calling them “free,” like this legislature’s “Freedom To Breathe Act” annihilated Minnesota smokers’ freedom, and instantly transformed me from a man who was born free into a man whose behavior was suddenly dictated by total strangers whose enforcers wield powerful weapons?

Only the ruthless power of raw, barbaric hatred is capable of such an abominable atrocity. And anti-smokers wonder why their regime is so frequently compared to the Third Reich. . . .

In a truly free country, anti-smokers are free to hate smokers, if their characters can compel them to no higher purpose in life. They are even free to create their own cult, and to wallow in their bitterness and blood-boiling hatred amongst themselves, if they can find nothing better to do with the only life they will ever live. However, once that cult begins to invade the lives of sovereign neighbors who exist outside that group toward the purpose of deliberately persecuting and exterminating outsiders, they become a domestic enemy of the People. You were elected to public office, in part, to defend the People against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Why does this legislature serve the anti-smoking industry, instead?

Or is the answer found in a subtle re-phrasing of the question: “Why does this legislature serve the multi-billion dollar anti-smoking industry, instead?”

Since I lack the wealth of a ferocious industry that you have forced smokers to enrich in order to finance their own persecution, I have no mindless, prefabricated form letter to send you at the click of a mouse button from the comfort of an easy chair, after receiving an email alert from that industry urging me to do so. Insofar as I do not wish to share my opinions with you while investing no more effort than a naive pre-teen expends when she accepts a potentially dangerous stranger as a “friend” on MySpace with one mouse click, I—yes, a “deadbeat” smoker—am not that lazy. Instead, you only receive this citizen’s carefully considered thoughts on the matter here, which I actually took the time to write myself.

The U.S. Declaration of Independence, which justified the American Revolution against British tyranny in the eyes of a candid world, clearly states that “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed.” Let me state my position just as clearly as the American Founders did: I did not consent to your statewide smoking ban, and I do not grant you my consent to raise tobacco taxes, any more than participants in the Boston Tea Party consented to the Townshend Acts or the Tea Act. I do not consent to this legislature imposing even more torments, and more persecutions upon me and my fellows. Do not repeat the most shameful episodes in history any more than this legislature already has, and repeal the inhuman smoking ban you have already passed. Prove to us all—including your ancestors who fought and died for your freedom, and your descendents who depend upon you to preserve their freedom—that you are better than that.

IN every stage of these Oppressions we have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble Terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated Injury. A Prince, whose Character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the Ruler of a free People.

– U.S. Declaration of Independence

Minnesota legislators—I vehemently oppose further tobacco tax increases, on the simple grounds that they are sinful and tyrannical. If you are incapable of avoiding government shutdowns and bankruptcy without using police powers of that state to extort angel capital from smokers to cover up your own gross mismanagement of public funds, then you are unfit for the solemn privilege of holding public office. And if you are incapable of withstanding the onslaught of pressure from tyrannical hate groups that utilize junk science, deception, manipulative rhetoric and propaganda, child exploitation, money, armed force, fundamentalist religious ideologies, ruthless suppression of opposition, political intrigue, lies, damned lies, and statistics to dictate individual behavioral choices in a free society, and to hijack a government that once defended our liberties above all other concerns, then you are unfit to govern a free People.

May every person who has ever loved life enough to fight for their inherent right to experience the only life they will ever live on their own terms hold this legislature in contempt of humanity, until such time as Minnesota legislators have cast rabid anti-smokers back into the shadows of the lunatic fringe from whence they came, and where they rightfully belong.

Leonard Spencer

July 4, 2011



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