A further consideration on a previously published FORCES commentary “The march of the Nazi state” involves the situation in Iowa, and highlights a new angle of attack by the public health Nazis. These observations, sent to us by a reader, are worthy of very attentive consideration by all those who fight antitobacco everywhere in the world. That is the reason why we have labeled this posting as “recommended reading”.
Under the current rules in Iowa the health department can record unlimited anonymous complaints about smoking, to which the business owner has no access and the department has no duty whatsoever to confirm as to accuracy. In addition, House File 2212 declares smoking in public places to be a public nuisance. Cumulative health department records of alleged complaints can then be used to suspend or revoke ANY license or permit required to operate the business to “abate the public nuisance.” All business owners, regardless of the type of business, are at extreme and continuing risk.
Please note that the Iowa health department DID NOT elect a threat to public health as the basis for their emergency declaration for rules. They elected “provides a guidance benefit for those who must comply with the rules.” The emergency declaration precludes – in effect, prohibits – public participation in the rule making process, in veritable Nazi-Fascist spirit.
So here we have rules that are not even focused any longer on public health, which the public is prevented from participating in developing, that create a permanent compliance record based on unconfirmed data, against which the business owner must defend himself in proceedings that can take away his or her livelihood by revocation of business licenses or permits. To cap it off, abating a public nuisance can be used to seize private property by the state.
Folks, public nuisance is how the antis intend to win the ETS war. PLEASE understand they know that, in spite of their rhetoric, they have lost the ETS fraud debate and have now shifted to public nuisance as the basis for enforcement. The Nazis can now stand in Iowa and other state courts and say that while ETS as a health risk is highly controversial, it does not matter to smoking ban enforcement because ALL ACTIONS WILL BE BROUGHT UNDER PUBLIC NUISANCE STATUTES.
Keep fighting ETS if you choose or, if you like it better, fight on the basis of property rights. However in this next level of anti-tobacco advocacy it will not matter one wit whether ETS is a bona fide health risk or not. The simple fact that state statutes say smoking is a public nuisance will give them the leverage to win on enforcement even if they conceded that previous claims about ETS were false.
This level of advocacy at the regulatory level is far above the heads of most opponents who are still stuck on believing they can fight for the cause as we did ten years ago. The focus of future fights MUST be on legislative intent, purposes and content plus enforcement rules. This is a whole new ball game and the current rule making process affects every business owner, whether they allow smoking or not. It is also deeply frightening to responsible business owners and citizens who grasp its true importance (as Iowa folks do, finally).
I hope that this is not going to open up a can of worms based on emotional immaturity or silly fixation on principles. The fact is that we are fighting a moving target in a dynamic war that is not static at all. The health Nazis are absolutely determined to stamp out smoking, and they will do whatever is necessary regardless of truth, freedom, economy, morality and fairness. On the other hand, we are absolutely determined to stamp out the Nazis and the form of "public health" that they represent. Therefore we must be as dynamic as they are, and detect and anticipate their moves and strategy to achieve both the destruction of their initiatives and, eventually, the wiping of their movement and ideology.
— Name withheld
At FORCES, the message has been received and understood. We sincerely hope that other organizations will also see this shift in the enemy’s strategy.