Leonard Spencer is a citizen of Minnesota and has written an eloquent and forceful open letter to the legislators and governor of that state. It is a letter with a reach far beyond Minnesota though, both in the strength and emotion behind what he says, in its frequent applicability to bans everywhere, and in his call for citizens to recognize the importance of the damage done by the bans and by the destructive propaganda campaigns that treat smokers as less than human. Read Leonard’s words and whether you’re a Minnesotan or not, consider passing them along to your local legislators along with your own thoughts.
AN OPEN LETTER TO THE MINNESOTA LEGISLATURE
REGARDING A PROPOSED TOBACCO TAX INCREASE, AND
RELATED TOBACCO CONTROL ISSUES
Dear Minnesota Legislators:
I vehemently oppose further tobacco tax increases, such as the $1.50 per cigarette pack increase proposed by the American Cancer Society, which stands to benefit from the very revenue that these taxes would generate. Yes, even as the ACS claims, among other things, that these never-ending tax increases are intended to “protect our kids.” Before this legislature abandoned civilized, reasoned tolerance in favor of anti-smoking bigotry and mass hysteria with its statewide smoking ban, this kind of obvious Rocco-with-a-baseball-bat behavior was commonly identified as extortion. Exorbitant tobacco taxes are, after all, imposed despite the objections of smokers, and are enforced by a heavily-armed paramilitary police apparatus, and thus, by armed force. Or does the great state of Minnesota define an extortion racket differently than the rest of civilized humanity?
As far back as 1993 The Chronicle of Philanthropy reportedly warned that the American Cancer Society was “more interested in accumulating wealth than in saving lives.” With more than $1.3 billion in holdings, it would seem that the ACS has indeed been tremendously successful at this mission. Meanwhile, as smokers continue to lose their natural born rights, civil liberties, equal treatment among citizens, human dignity, and collective wealth to an increasingly degenerate anti-smoking industry, the only thing that remains as free to do as it pleases as our ancestors were, is cancer.
Even Minnesota non-smokers have been deprived of their right to freely choose whether or not to smoke in most places where they spend their lives. Thus, the status of "non-smoker" has essentially lost all of its previous meaning and significance as the direct result of an independent decision. If anything, this legislature has only enhanced the meaning and significance (and appeal) of being a smoker, because that is now the only status that results from a conscious choice, and a willingness to accept sacrifices in order to maintain one’s own identity and dignity. After all, meaningful human existence is only possible where the freedom and independence to pursue that meaning on one’s own terms exists.
If I had ever felt a desire to quit smoking, I would have done so. I do not need, and never have needed random other people—total strangers, no less—to tell me how to make my own life worth living. Given the freedom to do so, I am quite capable of figuring that out on my own. So are all other competent human beings. This legislature serves the lowest common denominator, instead, to everyone’s detriment. Rather than inspiring and elevating the lowest common denominator to greatness, as our ancestors did during the most awe-inspiring boom in freedom and prosperity the world had ever seen, Minnesota legislators subjugate and degrade competent citizens, and then scratch their heads in bewilderment as the economy collapses, and the government itself descends into a shutdown that humiliates us all while the world watches. That, in a nutshell, completely and sufficiently summarizes Minnesota society today after years of relentless, ever increasing, never ending government intrusion into citizens’ personal lives, and fiscal irresponsibility that is maintained by ruthless tactics, like demonizing smokers as an imminent threat to society so that their collective wealth may be seized by government and "non-profit" organizations without the legal consequences that are normally associated with armed robbery.
That is why I, along with many others, have boycotted the Minnesota economy ever since this legislature’s unconscionable smoking ban took effect on October 1, 2007. September 30, 2007 was the last time I voluntarily contributed money to the Minnesota economy, as far as the hospitality industry is concerned. Since your smoking ban took effect (for it certainly is not mine), I have spent approximately zero dollars at Minnesota bars, nightclubs, theaters, bowling alleys, restaurants or any other business that would have freely chosen to either allow or prohibit smoking on its own private property, had the proprietor not been forbidden by law from making that independent decision. For nearly four years, except in cases of immediate necessity, I have sacrificed what was previously a rich, fulfilling, and physically active social life, to boycott the Minnesota economy in protest of your smoking ban. Since I had the utter misfortune of moving to Minnesota immediately before your smoking ban took effect, my life as a Minnesotan has been tantamount to life as a prisoner inside my own home. This is not what I was promised when I was born free. Yet it is the duty of decent people to make such enormous sacrifices—even to the point of sacrificing our very lives long before we die—when faced with legislative indecency, in order to preserve for future generations the freedom that makes life worth living at all.
To date, Minnesota legislators have stolen more than ten percent of my life in this manner. So go ahead and spew forth plausible sounding rhetoric about your "courageous" and "heroic" efforts to promote bans and prohibitions in a free society, to "save the children" and "protect families." Continue to callously ignore those of us who truly are making tangible sacrifices to save real children and real families from a life under real tyranny, which is a fate worse than death for any person who entered this world with the goal of living a meaningful life.
As nations like Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, Iraq, North Korea and Afghanistan under Taliban rule have consistently demonstrated, legislating human behavior by force has never worked, and it never will work. It might work for ants, bees, or other species where individuals are genetically programmed to devote the only life they will ever live in mindless subservience to a colonial monarch. It might even work within the limited confines of a cult, where inherently risky purposeful life has been discarded in favor of the faux security provided by regimented dogma and blind obedience to the cult’s leader. But legislating behavior can never work for a species of highly evolved, unique, creative and independent beings who are inherently different from one another. Competent human beings mature and grow, and they learn to adapt to the reality of human diversity, and to tolerate both other people’s behavior and the risks associated with diverse behavior. Incompetent human animals seek to reduce our species to the level of insects, or a cult, by imposing homogeneity and conformity to their own personal behavioral standards upon everyone else in "the colony," by force, as if they were divinely ordained leaders of an entire species, rather than democratically elected public servants of a regional community. Prey tell, which of these approaches to human civilization is more likely to lead to peace, contentment, happiness and domestic tranquility for human beings living in the great state of Minnesota? An objective survey of human history, rather than a myopic, obsessive pre-occupation with contemporary anti-smoking bigotry and fear mongering, will provide you with the answer.
The American Cancer Society proposes this latest state tobacco tax increase only two years after President Obama signed the largest federal tobacco tax increase in history into law, barely eight months after candidate Obama had publicly pledged, “I will cut taxes—cut taxes—for 95 percent of all working families. Because in an economy like this, the last thing we should do is raise taxes on the middle-class,” at the Democratic National Convention. As usual, the excuse for President Obama’s nearly immediate tax increase upon taking office, despite his previously stated pledge not to do so, was to “save children” and “protect families.” Indeed, this law is even called The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, as if to institutionalize the American family itself as nothing more than a government agency that is subject to federal regulation and oversight, and to declare every child in America a ward of the state. The pretense of protecting children and families has been utilized by tyrants for millennia to control and exploit ordinary citizens, and to encourage greater loyalty to the state than to one’s own flesh and blood relatives, let alone to thy own self.
This kind of rhetorical deception to manipulate and coerce other peoples’ behavior is the natural tendency for those who prefer to live as colonial insects—provided that they serve as supreme monarchs with the authority to subjugate others, rather than living as civilized, equal human beings who exhibit the intellectual and emotional maturity that is necessary to peacefully coexist with others who make different decisions, hold different values, and exhibit different behaviors. Anti-smokers have contrived and exaggerated the dangers of smoking for both smokers and non-smokers, as a means of propagating this form of deliberate deception to the point where Minnesota has now joined the ranks of the most shameful episodes of persecution in human history. This legislature’s smoking ban and never ending tobacco tax increases directly subjugates and exploits approximately one million human beings who live in Minnesota, and indirectly tyrannizes every other Minnesota resident and visitor to this state. The U.S. Constitution does not guarantee "freedom" from other peoples’ behavior that you find personally distasteful. It provides freedom for all citizens, equally, by prohibiting government from tyrannizing any citizen, or singling out distinct groups for state-sponsored demonization and persecution. It is up to mature citizens to work out the remaining issues amongst themselves in a civilized, cooperative manner. There is nothing remotely civilized or cooperative about utilizing the rule of law, enforced by a heavily-armed paramilitary apparatus, to impose behavioral dictates on a distinct minority group that is engaging in a legal activity in a free and open society.
Now the extraordinarily wealthy American Cancer Society has proposed that Minnesota legislators impose a state tobacco tax increase that is two and a half times greater than the largest federal tobacco tax increase in history. In its form letter to legislators, the ACS asks you, “Is a $1.50 tax increase for a pack of cigarettes too much? Not if you consider what impact tobacco has on Minnesota. No, a $1.50 tax increase for cigarettes isn’t too much. When you think about it, it’s not enough.”
Since when, during an unprecedented economic crisis that poses an even greater long-term threat than the Great Depression, where people are losing their savings, their jobs, and their homes, with no recovery in sight, is it "not too much" to demand that some people typically give an additional $1.50 each day to a state government that is not even competent enough to operate on a multi-billion budget without shutting down? This represents an income loss of approximately $45 per month for typical smokers at a time when many Minnesota residents are trying to enjoy lives worth living on an income of less than $1000 per month. Yet the American Cancer Society suggests that even this is "not enough."
How much harassment, bullying, persecution, and financial distress will be enough? How much psychological, emotional, and physical torment that accompanies being the defenseless target of a multi-billion dollar war machine that is owned and operated by hateful fear-mongers will be enough?
Quite literally, without any need for subjective interpretation, the American Cancer Society is asking this legislature to impose upon Minnesotans who smoke (and their families) a magnitude of human suffering that is beyond quantification. In any other context—if, for example, this exact same campaign were being waged against Catholics, or African Americans, or women, or homosexuals, or Jews—decent people would regard this as an attempted crime against humanity. Yet the ACS itself enjoys tax free status as a benevolent "non-profit" organization, with more than $1.3 billion in holdings, while the supposed object of this organization’s contempt (cancer) continues to run rampant. Smokers have suffered infinitely more than cancer has, in anti-smokers’ war.
"When you think about it," something is dreadfully wrong here.
The ACS asks you to consider what impact tobacco has on Minnesota. I could not agree more, and I urge you to carefully consider this as well, because historically tobacco has been an integral part of countless individual spiritual experiences, friendships, harmonious neighborhood and community relations, business partnerships, arts and entertainment, rites of passage, and even romances. Tobacco has always provided unique forms of pleasure, satisfaction, and spiritual benefits that are beyond the statistical quantification of disembodied science that is conducted without soul, or common sense, or humanity. Smoking is a universally popular social lubricant that brings people from all nations, races, religions, sexes, and ideologies together in peace and friendship, quite unlike any other discrete activity is capable of achieving. That is why we pass the “peace pipe,” rather than the “peace can of beer,” or the “peace needle” (or the “peace bottle of pharmaceutical happy pills”). So yes, by all means, please do as the American Cancer Society suggests, and carefully consider the impact that tobacco has on Minnesota. Because Minnesotans were much happier, friendlier, and more humane before anti-smokers replaced civilized society in this state with anti-smoking fear, suspicion, and moral panic.
In fact, given the positive effect that tobacco and tolerance of tobacco users had on domestic tranquility in Minnesota throughout previous generations, I also recommend that legislators carefully consider the impact that exterminating tobacco, and therefore tobacco users, will have on Minnesota. You might even begin, for the very first time, to consider the truly devastating impact that anti-smoking hate groups and the so-called "tobacco control" (i.e., tobacco user control) movement has had on Minnesota in recent decades.
Even mortal opponents on the battlefield lose their hostility when the enemy offers them a cigarette. Anti-smokers’ adamant refusal to even acknowledge the profound significance of an activity that is capable of transforming mortal enemies into friends—while governments routinely fail at this task despite endless domestic programs, international diplomacy, intelligence subversion, meddling in other peoples’ affairs, and militant action—is a clear sign of anti-smokers’ obsessive fanaticism on this issue. Tobacco is quite a remarkable blessing to this world, yet anti-smokers only see death and disease, as if other desirable and beneficial products, from automobiles to nuclear power, do not also introduce an “increased risk” of death and disease into our society—even for people who do not drive or use electricity.
Indeed, one of the anti-smoking capitols of the United States, San Francisco, is built upon one of the most active fault lines in the world. Yet anti-smoking leaders there do not move away to save their own children and protect their own families, even as they devote their entire lives, and their entire careers, to exterminating a specific risk that other people thoroughly enjoy, and benefit from, and cherish. Regardless of their benevolent sounding rhetoric, sober contemplation of anti-smokers’ utterly fanatical behavior makes it clear that the anti-smoking movement has little or nothing to do with personal and public health, or decreasing “risk.” And even a brief survey of the 500 year history of anti-smoking makes it clear that health has never been the motivating factor of this hateful campaign that is waged by degenerate, socially incompetent individuals whose hearts are more blackened and corroded than a diseased lung.
In fact, it makes a thoughtful person wonder whether the anti-smoking movement would exist at all if tobacco smoke had the exact same effect on health, but smelled like vanilla extract.
Yes, the ACS asked you to "think" about the impact that tobacco has on Minnesota. Unfortunately, it failed to ask you to carefully think about the devastating impact that increasing tobacco taxes, yet again, will have on Minnesota. Please allow me to compensate for this convenient omission in the remainder of this letter. I apologize in advance that this is going to get ugly. But that is a natural consequence of this legislature’s incomprehensible failure to study the well-documented five hundred year history of a monumentally vicious and violent hate group commonly known as the “anti-smoking movement,” before legislators made a conscious and deliberate decision to institutionalize that hate group’s will as a matter of public policy in a (formerly) free society.
Oddly, in the two years since its implementation, I have not seen any child, or any family, anywhere, benefit from the largest federal tobacco tax increase in history. However, I have observed children and members of families living lives of quiet desperation in poverty, vegetating under the influence of pharmaceutical drugs, and dying from a lack of competent health care, while banks were bailed out by government, pharmaceutical companies profited more than ever, and the health insurance industry achieved a federal mandate that all Americans must purchase health insurance—whether they can afford it or not—or suffer severe penalties that can seriously harm them if they do not. What I have not seen is children or families becoming billionaires from this tobacco tax increase, as anti-smoking leaders have acquired control over billions of these tax dollars.
Apparently, in the minds of anti-smoking leaders, “saving children” involves terrorizing them with tax-funded photographs of blackened, diseased pigs’ lungs, while “protecting families” is accomplished by lying to children, and telling them that these photographs accurately depict what their smoking parents’ lungs look like. Even if I agreed that the promotion of mortal fear and terror among children and adults served a useful purpose (which I do not), I still cannot understand why billions of tax dollars are needed for anti-smoking leaders to accomplish what Osama bin Laden managed to do using far less funding over three decades than the anti-smoking industry receives in a single year.
Or do Minnesota legislators regard it as something other than intellectual rape, when anti-smokers spend each day teaching smokers’ children to disrespect, fear and hate their own parents, while those same parents are busy working at productive jobs to support the children whom they love and care so much about?
Children should never be engaged as combatants in adult wars. This includes the “War on Tobacco (Users)” that rabid anti-smokers have unilaterally declared as their own personal jihad against smokers. Those who regard children as profitable for this purpose, as the anti-smoking industry routinely does, should be held in contempt of human decency itself, and banished from civilized society. Smokers are losing their patience with these anti-smoking parasites who feed off the fear, misery, and wealth of others—and with those legislators who serve the exclusive interests of a five hundred year old segment of the lunatic fringe that finally learned how to turn irrational fear and bigoted hatred into a legally protected, profitable enterprise.
Smokers do not exist for the purpose of providing extorted income to government and its private beneficiaries on demand, at the command of well organized, extraordinarily wealthy "non-profit" institutions that behave more like organized crime than a sincere scientific effort to prevent or cure disease. Likewise, children do not exist for the purpose of being intellectually and emotionally molested by adults who ruthlessly exploit the very existence of children as a pretense for using force to dictate adult behavioral choices, and for taking possession of smokers’ collective wealth as spoils in their unilateral “War on Tobacco (Users).”
From every individual’s perspective, government is comprised of random other people—total strangers, no less. How dare you arbitrarily declare that random strangers are more qualified to raise other peoples’ children than the child’s own parents, who, with only extreme exceptions, are vastly more qualified to raise their own children by virtue of genetic ties, familiarity, a long history of interaction, and familial love. Random strangers include the following, among other things: liars, bullies, thugs, thieves, criminals, rapists, murderers, junkies, slave masters, cannibals, child molesters, religious fundamentalists, cult members, stupid people, the insane, and people who enjoy having sex with animals. A quick glance at a newspaper will confirm that government is comprised of its proper proportion of these degenerates. Indeed, statistically speaking, a number of complete strangers in the Minnesota legislature who lie, cheat and steal—or much worse—probably voted for the smoking ban that has devastated so many peoples’ lives, even as they publicly claimed to be “saving children” and “protecting families,” or doing some other divine work.
That is why responsible parents tell their children never to talk to strangers. That is why I would never allow a child to speak to a Minnesota legislator. Yet you would have these same random strangers dictate, by force, how other families must raise their own children—“or else.” You would dictate what behaviors other parents must not be allowed to exhibit around their own children—“or else.” You would arbitrarily define how much an adult must pay for a consumer product, with blatant disregard for the unintended consequences of upsetting free markets. You would dictate the precise locations where other people may or may not engage in legal behaviors—“or else.” You would arbitrarily judge whether others are engaging in “good” behaviors or “bad” behaviors. You would look at other people who are doing something that makes them happy in a world where sources of real happiness and contentment are hard to come by, and pass prohibitions against it. Such an aggressive preoccupation with spending the only life one will ever live constantly interfering with the lives of other people is indicative of mental dysfunction, not benevolence. It certainly has nothing to do with responsible administration of a government that derives its just powers from the consent of the governed.
Yet the American Cancer Society wants you to raise tobacco taxes, yet again, to finance even more of this very kind of degeneracy.
Let me state this with clarity: There is no rhetoric, no matter how cleverly worded, how finely crafted by professional wordsmiths, how scientifically manipulative, and no matter how well it abuses language and statistics to mask raw animalistic hatred, that will ever override the simple truths that our American Founders stated so succinctly when they established the system of government that you voluntarily swore, under oath, to preserve:
To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of
opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical.
– Thomas Jefferson
If you disagree with Mr. Jefferson, I suggest that this legislature begin to tax anti-smokers, to finance the propagation of smokers’ opinions. Or have Minnesota legislators become so accustomed to twisting reality with manipulative rhetoric that you can rationalize this suggestion as somehow being sinful and tyrannical, while your exorbitant taxation of smokers to finance their own persecution is not?
I urge all Minnesota legislators to visit the website URL below to review the form letter that ACS lobbyists have created so that mindless followers of the anti-smoking cult may, without any independent thought, any independent research, or any concern for human decency, effortlessly mail legislators a letter that was written by someone else, or slightly modified (presumably, subject to ACS approval). Legislators may even send themselves the exact same letter, or easily train a chimpanzee to do it, using this convenient online facility. Thanks to this well-funded machine, even functionally illiterate alumni from Minnesota public schools who cannot discern the difference between legitimate science and politically-motivated junk science may push a button to deluge legislators with letters that assert a host of ostensibly well-researched, “proven” facts and prophecies that are utterly inconsistent with the reality of human experience.
Please note the deliberate use of a junior high school composition level in the ACS’s letter to legislators. Did the American Cancer Society hire a thirteen year old to write this letter and text it in over his or her cell phone? Or is this a sign of their regard for legislators’ literacy and intelligence? This letter even includes exclamation points, which convey personal emotion. Do anti-smokers also claim to possess divine knowledge of non-smokers’ thoughts and emotions, like they claim intimate knowledge of smokers’ personal motivations? Apart from supernatural explanations, psychic abilities, and delusions of godhood, one would expect this to be possible only when their target audience’s thoughts and emotions have been deliberately socially engineered….
Unlike the American Cancer Society, I cannot afford to build a form letter machine on the internet. Unlike the American Cancer Society, I cannot afford to wage a million dollar campaign that is dedicated to punitively impoverishing people whose behavioral choices I personally despise. I am too busy engaging in productive activities, like trying to inspire a sincere quest to cure cancer, to waste my money, and the only life I will ever live, on sociopathic efforts to “de-normalize” and exterminate other peoples’ behavior. Unlike the American Cancer Society, I am too busy earning money to pay for health insurance that primarily benefits my sickly, non-smoking co-workers, since I am not prone to illness or disease, to listen to blatant lies about how much money smokers are costing non-smokers and society (cited in exact dollar amounts, no less).
This person suffering from hereditary defects costs the community 60,000 Reichsmark during his lifetime. Fellow Germans, that is your money, too.
– Nazi propaganda poster justifying the mandatory euthanasia of "unhealthy" people, on the premise that they place a preventable financial burden on strong and healthy Aryans, (1936)
I guess they’ll just have to die.
– A British anti-smoker, commenting on the fate of smokers in a BBC radio broadcast debating whether smokers should be denied socialized
health care altogether, simply because they are smokers, (2010)
Unlike the American Cancer Society’s CEO, I did not receive $2,428.592 in compensation (according to the American Institute of Philanthropy) last year. Quite the contrary: tobacco tax increases cause me—and most smokers—a great deal of preventable pain and suffering. However, smoking itself only brings me pleasure, and enhances my life experience to the status of gratitude that I reserve only for family, friends, and the most thrilling, awe-inspiring experiences that make life worth living. Tobacco is well toward the top of the list of things in this world that I would like to personally thank God for one day. What kind of deranged mind would tax sources of happiness on the pretense that taxation is “one of the most effective ways to encourage current tobacco users to quit” experiencing the incomparable pleasures and benefits of smoking? (With the exception of wealthy smokers, of course, since exorbitant tobacco taxes only devastate the poor, and seriously harm the middle class, while having no perceptible impact at all on wealthy smokers).
I urge legislators to immediately cease their “War On Tobacco (Users),” repeal your repugnant smoking ban, stop the flow of tax dollars to anti-smoking gangsters, conduct a proper criminal investigation of their racketeering activities—including millions of dollars in dubious “donations,” “grants,” and “campaign contributions” used to purchase lobby for smoking bans—which makes Al Capone’s domination of Chicago machine politics look like a high school craps game by comparison—and prosecute guilty parties accordingly. You might then use the money you seize from the anti-smoking industry’s runaway gravy train to finally—finally—begin waging a sincere war against cancer. Only then will this legislature stop hurting people, and begin to help them.
Or would the cure for a non-human disease (e.g., cancer) destroy somebody’s pretext for waging war against human beings whom they personally despise (e.g., smokers)?
Anti-smoking legislators’ benevolent sounding rhetoric no longer has any meaning, juxtaposed against the catastrophic consequences of their vicious, mean-spirited behavior in support of this medieval hate group. It is time for this humiliating descent into madness to stop, even as this generation has already earned the scorn of posterity, as our descendents will have no option but to regard The Great Secondhand Smoke Scare that afflicted their ancestors with the same sense of profound shame and humiliation that burdens us when we remember the Crusades, the Inquisition, witch trials, McCarthyism and human slavery.
Ever since King James excoriated smokers in his hateful, racist polemic, A Counterblaste to Tobacco, in the year 1604, the most rabid, frothing-at-the-mouth anti-smokers have failed to provide the name of even one otherwise healthy person, of any age, from any nation on earth, at any time in human history, who can be demonstrably proven to have been killed by exposure to tobacco smoke alone. After half a millennia of fanatically focused effort to prove that smoking poses a more devastating threat to humanity than Lucifer himself, the best anti-smokers can do is engage in aggressive argument by exhortation, publish papers at a pace that would make any rain forest go limp with fear, repeatedly cite abstract statistics about “increased risk” that have no manifest meaning to real people living in the real world, utilize rhetorical presentation of circumstantial evidence and manipulative language to persuade courts in their belief that exposure to tobacco smoke “killed” someone, and arrogantly declare that ordinary citizens are too stupid to comprehend their esoteric “science,” so we are therefore obligated to believe even obvious hate mongers on blind faith alone, for no better reason than because they claim to be concerned with “public health.” As if the truly vast majority of humanity that is not rabidly anti-smoking cared nothing about public health (or preserving rain forests, which clean and filter our air).
Meanwhile, off-camera, and outside the public forums where vain, self-absorbed anti-smoking leaders draw attention to themselves like ten dollar whores on a military base, smokers and non-smokers alike continue to be demonstrably killed by cancer and other terrible diseases. Indeed, cancer rates continue to increase decades after the percentage of the population that smokes dropped from a height of 75 percent (nominally, 50 percent), to around 20 percent.
Yet, even as so many people continue to die from disease, anti-smokers continue to robotically repeat inane slogans about secondhand smoke “killing” non-smokers, which contradicts the reality of human experience over five hundred years of tobacco cultivation and use in Western civilization, where otherwise healthy people have not been dropping dead like flies trapped inside a can of insecticide when exposed to tobacco smoke. Anti-smokers may whine, moan, and complain about people smoking around them, but that is merely evidence of their own social incompetence; it is not demonstrable scientific proof of a deadly epidemic. Likewise, the existence of a very loud and aggressive Westboro Baptist Church, quoting sacred texts to “prove” their points, does not demonstrably prove that homosexuals are a threat to society—as the brilliant, credentialed, professional American psychiatric and psychological establishments believed was true until the 1970’s.
One never knows when a homosexual is about. He may appear normal,
and it may be too late when you discover he is mentally ill.
– American anti-homosexuality propaganda film, (Boys Beware, 1961)
I have lived in several states, and have traveled much of this country, and never have I experienced so much venomous hatred and deliberate persecution as I have being a smoker in Minnesota. (And I have even smoked cigarettes in San Francisco). It is painfully obvious that anti-smokers have done much to eviscerate Minnesota’s formerly accurate reputation as a friendly, tolerant, generous and neighborly state. Having found this divisive, heavy-handed behavior profitable, these out of control hate mongers are now targeting "obese" people (a childish, superficial, bigoted assessment of another person’s worth, if there ever was one) in similar fashion, once again using the "public health" phantom as a pretense for establishing their dominion and control over other peoples’ lives.
In the great state of Minnesota, friendliness has been replaced by fear and suspicion, tolerance has been replaced by judgment and persecution, and neighborliness and comradery have been replaced by mean-spirited segregation. Our hard-earned and cherished freedoms have been replaced by government dictatorship over the most trivial minutiae of citizens’ daily lives, from the precise conditions under which we are legally allowed to swim in water, to the color of s child’s toy. Under this insane, nightmarish regime, which makes George Orwell’s warnings to posterity seem positively stale, an overweight pipe smoker who drives an antiquated vehicle is now regarded as an "unhealthy, irresponsible, drug-addled child killer who places a preventable financial burden on our health care system, and drives vehicles that pollute the atmosphere with dangerous methane greenhouse gasses, which threaten the future of all life on earth."
When I was a child, we just called it Santa Claus and his eight tiny reindeer. But then again, I was not raised in the great state of Minnesota, which cares so much about "protecting children" from these kinds of mortal dangers. I only had to worry about minor threats, like global thermonuclear war, or the loss of our Constitutional rights and basic human freedoms to communists, fascists, or well-funded Medieval hate groups that finally managed to go mainstream after 450 years of miserable failure toward that goal.
Meanwhile, Minnesotans continue to generously donate their hard earned money to the very “non-profit” organizations that will ultimately terminate civilized society in this state, as experienced and emboldened anti-smoking warriors expand their dominion into every area of non-smokers’ personal lives as well. This tragic downfall of the Minnesota character did not begin with the smokers and stable non-smokers who worked together to build a great nation. It began with unstable anti-smokers, whose agenda is characterized by the deliberate introduction of fear, suspicion, hatred, division, conflict, segregation and persecution into previously harmonious and tolerant social relationships.
Anti-smokers’ modern reign of terror appeared to have begun innocently enough with the 1964 U.S. Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health (which found that pipe smokers were healthier than non-smokers, by the way). This movement gradually transformed into the most financially profitable, politically influential, and widespread fascist regime that the world has ever seen. But in fact, the strategies and tactics of the modern anti-smoking industry were codified much earlier than that, by Nazi Germany’s inhumane anti-smoking program. From the Egyptian empire, to the Persian Empire, through the Roman Empire, to the Third Reich, no single entity or agenda has ever possessed so much power over so many people, across so much of this planet. By some accounts, anti-smokers have subjugated more people to their personal will today than the sum total number of human beings who had ever existed before the modern anti-smoking industry was born in Germany, just prior to World War II. Today, the anti-smoking industry interferes, directly or indirectly, in the lives of nearly seven billion people. That is roughly seven billion human beings who would otherwise be free with respect to tobacco—right now, this very minute, as you read these words—if the animalistic power of health fascists did not dictate the terms of their existence.
Show me any movement or ideology—political, social or religious—that has ever exhibited so much unrestrained dominion over the entire human species.
The lesson of history is crystal clear: Tyrants, by their very nature, are incapable of leaving other people alone—ever. Tyrants never cease to expand their dominion over other peoples’ lives, until somebody stops them. And the only available means of stopping tyrants, once they acquire power, are typically devastating.
And now former Minnesota Governor Pawlenty, who enthusiastically signed this legislature’s hate crime of a smoking ban into law, wishes to carry this social disease to the White House as President of the United States? This insanity needs to stop, and the solution must begin where the problem began—within the Minnesota Legislature. Stop supporting this vicious, socially devastating anti-smoking industry, whose only “products” are fear and terror, and whose only “service” is the effective promotion of hatred, persecution, and prohibition. We don’t need it in Minnesota. And for the love of humanity, 310 million Americans—if not seven billion people worldwide—do not need to have this kind of fascism take root in Washington, D.C. We’ve seen where that path leads before, in countries that did nothing to stop government intrusion into citizens’ personal lives before it was too late. Enough newsreel footage from Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia already exists to satisfy the average person’s morbid curiosity about what that form of society is like. If you think you can safely wait to stop this freefall toward disaster only after the smokers whom you personally despise have been exterminated, you are setting yourselves up to learn a very hard lesson in the power of human evil. There won’t be any smokers left to defend you, when today’s persecutors become tomorrow’s persecuted.
As our elected leaders, I implore you to stop sleeping with the devil, or soon we will all wake up in Hell.
If the modern medical establishment, which claims to possess wizard-like Space Age superhero powers of healing, can only improve upon the blood-letting techniques that killed George Washington when he suffered from a sore throat by utilizing expensive, horrifically toxic (and carcinogenic) chemotherapy and radiation to treat cancer, and pills to treat every other ailment—both real and imagined—it might be time to re-evaluate whether this sadistic, for-profit, trillion dollar drug dealer truly serves any useful purpose in a free society. And if this generation, which has been mesmerized by anti-smoking mass hysteria, seeks to be regarded by posterity with any higher regard than Crusaders, witch hunters, slave masters, and wealthy robber barons, then this embarrassing, asinine public health tyranny needs to end, and sanity needs to return to public discourse, public policy, and public life.
There is a reason why I once related intimately to the American Founders and the many smokers and non-smokers who worked together in harmony to build a great nation, yet today I can only relate to African Americans who suffered under government-sponsored Jim Crow laws, South Africans segregated by government-sponsored Apartheid, Native Americans herded onto reservations like human cattle by government forces, and Jews who had their assets stolen and were forced into the ghettos of occupied Europe by government—out of sight and out of mind, upon the orders of mean-spirited, bigoted fascists. I used to identify with people who unified and built. Now I can only identify with victims of those who divide and conquer—always under some prejudiced pretext of protecting a “better” class of people, or “the children,” from a distinct minority that is deliberately demonized as an imminent threat to the rest of society.
To make this atrocity as contemptible as possible, smokers are even forced to pay for this abomination with never ending tobacco tax increases, if they are to remain smokers at all. Their only alternative is to follow the examples of those who suddenly quit being Jewish, and became Nazi collaborators instead, when the going got tough for European Jews as the Third Reich’s dark shadow descended upon them. The only way to survive in a fascist state is to disown your own identity and adopt the hateful ideologies, deranged beliefs, and ruthless behaviors of those who have enslaved you. That is how fascism metastasizes in the body politic. Your relentless taxation and smoking bans have cast this same darkness upon Minnesotans who smoke—and by extension, every Minnesota resident and visitor to this state, whether they smoke or not. Yet, on the grounds of maintaining my human dignity, I would suffer the same fate as anyone who died at Auschwitz before I would quit smoking for any reason other than because I want to. (Notably, some anti-smokers have privately stated their desire to implement this kind of “final solution” to the “smoker problem”—with legislators’ help, of course).
I was born and raised in a free country. Yet I am no longer free. Are you going to blame tobacco for that, as well? Tobacco does not pass fascist prohibitions or impose discriminatory, punitive taxes on arbitrary classes of citizens. Only legislators do that. Tobacco does not judge people who engage in morally neutral behaviors as “good” or “evil.” Only ideological extremists do that. European citizens’ independent decisions to observe Judaism did not send them to the ghettos, or the gas chambers of Auschwitz. Nazis did.
It is worth noting that the infamous Auschwitz death camp was originally known by another name, I.G. Auschwitz, because it was in fact an enormous industrial complex operated by I.G. Farbenindustrie AG (aka I.G. Farben)—the chemical and pharmaceutical cartel that produced the Zyklon-B gas used to kill millions of Jews. There is a reason why doctors and pharmaceutical company executives were convicted of human slavery and crimes against humanity at Nuremberg, but tobacco executives were not. (Unfortunately, the American doctors who refused to treat “negros” in times past never received similar justice). As General Dwight D. Eisenhower’s postwar investigation determined, it was I.G. Farben that provided essential financing and infrastructure that allowed Third Reich to accomplish what it did in Europe, particularly when it came to the accomplishments of “denormalizing” Judiasm, eugenics, racial cleansing, and genocide. To my knowledge, the tobacco industry was not even mentioned in this investigation, or at any time during the Nuremberg trials. (Though I admit I have not yet read all of the transcripts from Nuremberg).
Today, the pharmaceutical industry, which benefits the most from smoking restrictions, provides the anti-smoking reich with much of its financing and infrastructure—both directly, and through the activities of “non-profit” front groups like the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation—toward the explicit goal of exterminating tobacco use (and therefore, tobacco users). The rest has been paid for by donations from well-meaning, but oblivious citizens, and capital extorted from the tobacco industry and smokers themselves. When “non-profit” cancer industry executives consistently rank among the highest paid individuals in the United States of America, year after year, while the threat of cancer only increases, rather than decreasing, one must wonder how anxious these anti-smoking executives really are to discover an effective cure for cancer, and therefore bring a sudden end to their profitable and powerful positions of dominance. Unless we acknowledge a degree of sheer incompetence that the world has rarely witnessed before, it is only in the context of profit and power that their fanatical devotion of extraordinary time, money, manpower and resources toward exterminating smoking, rather than cancer, appears to make any rational sense.
Or are they really that incompetent after all? And if so, why does this legislature continue to fund them? I for one have a great deal of difficulty recognizing a qualitative difference between chemotherapy and any other form of Medieval torture that claimed medicinal or curative benefits. Many people who were “treated” with blood-letting, exorcisms, leaches and even with tobacco survived those superstitious practices, too. Does that mean they really were effective treatments after all, or did nature and the placebo effect have anything to say about it? And if these treatments really were effective, why didn’t everyone who received those treatments survive? (Perhaps their doctors were incompetent?).
Fear not, legislators. To ensure that no person ever actually thinks about these things and continues to submit themselves to exorbitantly expensive—and, therefore, supremely profitable—chemotherapy, an army of experienced, high-paid anti-smoking propagandists are always ready to deliver “cured” cancer patients to any public event, anywhere in the world, on a moment’s notice, to prove beyond any reasonable doubt that chemotherapy “saved” them by… saying that it did. (They use that same hard-hitting logic to “prove” that smoking caused their cancer in the first place).
Unfortunately, the countless patients who died as chemotherapy literally destroyed their immune systems and corroded their bodies from within are unavailable to balance this propaganda with an alternate opinion. You see, anti-smokers are addicted to lying, and they cannot seem to shake the bad habit of repeatedly making claims that cannot be falsified and, therefore, can never be proven wrong (or proven right). Which is kind of a shame, because legitimate scientific method demands, among other things, that a valid hypothesis must be falsifiable, to prevent this very kind of academic fraud.
Among the shameful menagerie of epically idiotic ideas that smokers have been compelled to finance, by force, the U.S. federal government now mandates that smokers must display their own unique badge of shame—their own yellow Star of David, as they are gradually segregated from mainstream society—in the form of grotesque “graphic warnings” on cigarette packs. These are the very kinds of terrifying, traumatizing images that responsible adults, unlike government officials, make every effort to protect children from seeing. Indeed, this is why we have “R” ratings on films that display the exact same imagery, while anti-smoking leaders aggressively lobby for “R” ratings on films that… depict the ordinary behavior of smoking, instead.
The U.S. federal government now mandates that our environment be flooded with billions of these sickening images, as if our environment will somehow become more aesthetically pleasing when honest photos of real smokers enjoying real life in the real world are replaced by staged images of autopsied cadavers, which exist only in the CGI graphics folder on some government computer. As if society will be better off with omnipresent photographs of gangrene, than it was with the smell of tobacco smoke—which, to more than a few, presents a sweet aroma.
While people may have different opinions of tobacco smoke’s odor, only necrophiliacs and anti-smoking leaders regard omnipresent images of gangrened human body parts as a welcomed sight on an otherwise beautiful planet. Smokers have been forced by exorbitant taxation to finance the groups that are responsible for this kind of sadistic lunacy, which represents the public policy equivalent of apocalyptic, cacophonous “death metal” that contrasts so profoundly with beautiful music. Yet it is legislators and regulators at the local, county, state and federal level who institutionalize this foolishness that humiliates and degrades our entire species.
Question: Since when does the “Leader of the Free World,” the world’s “Beacon of Freedom,” determine public policy by blindly following the example set by deranged sociopaths in Canada and Europe who invented these “graphic warnings” out of sheer hatred and contempt for smokers, and a fanatical desire to publicly humiliate and “denormalize” smokers at any cost?
Answer: Ever since smokers were forced through exorbitant taxation to provide the funding necessary to transform this self-absorbed segment of the lunatic fringe into a tremendously profitable international, multi-billion dollar industry. This is all about bigotry and money, not public health.