The smoking ban has passed the House again, however, and is tipped to go all the way.) One of the Republicans who killed the smoking ban gave a sorrowful quote to the New York Times: "I’m surprised that a lot of the ‘Live Free or Diers’ who usually confront us with statements like ‘stay out of our life’ or ‘we don’t need more legislation’ were the ones asking us to ban smoking."

Another interesting article from Reason Magazine on the death of Liberty. When something is taken for granted, relaxation ensues – and complacency follows. Thus, what has been earned literally with blood throughout history ends up having been for nothing. Today liberty has no defenders – at least, very few of them. In all times, the enemies of liberty have always waved the scarecrows of danger and risk – risk for health, for safety, for national security. They always pushed the “costs” of freedom but never those of tyranny. They always promoted the zero risk philosophy that leads to zero tolerance, which leads to hate, that leads to oppression, which then becomes “normal” and “fair”. And once you have been conditioned to be terrified by the thought of a cut on your finger, or a ticket for “wrong” behaviour, you know that you are a victim of the “zero risk” mentality. At that point, is it conceivable that you accept the “risks” that come from fighting institutions to gain back the liberty you lost? Of course not.

The enemies of liberty never say that they are its enemies — that would be too obvious. Rather, they swear on the name of liberty: it becomes “freedom from” (smoking, death, Jews, drinking, blacks, commies, obesity… who or what is irrelevant). The word itself is redefined into a “common good” that no commoner ever gets to establish. Quickly, "liberty” is reduced to conformity to decisions made by upper echelon, while individual freedom becomes a "threat". Submissive and obedient behaviour (no smoking, no drinking, always wearing safety belts, and so on) is rewarded with no punishment and named “normality”. Conversely, free behaviour is “denormalized” with hatred, punishment, junk science and brainwashing – the “freedom from”. Be a "good" citizen, act as if you believed the ideology. Nobody cares about your respect, anyway – all they want is your obedience. So, choose to quit smoking, drinking; wear that safety belt and just don’t get fat: you don’t want to risk the punishment, do you?…

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