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Friday, June 12, 2009
[DISCLAIMER: I have never tried a tobacco product and never will, nor am I on the payroll of "Big Tobacco."]

Today, the Senate approved a bill giving the federal government the authority to regulate tobacco (Obama has promised to sign it). It is fascist stuff like this that make me not too hopeful for this country's future. Rather than allow people to think for themselves and inhale or imbibe whatever they like (as long it doesn't affect others), the all-wise senators have seen fit to become the all-powerful daddy of Americans, telling us what we can and cannot do.

What's equally as bad is how dishonest this bill is. Jacob Sullum explains:
Tucked away in the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which was passed by the House in April and by the Senate this week, is a provision that speaks volumes about the law's impact. It prohibits manufacturers from making "any statement directed to consumers" that "would reasonably be expected to result in consumers believing" a tobacco product "is regulated, inspected or approved by the Food and Drug Administration."

The bill, which President Obama supports, authorizes the FDA to regulate tobacco products. Yet it says, "consumers are likely to be confused and misled" if they know the FDA is regulating tobacco products. They might mistakenly believe that FDA regulation makes these products safer, for example, when the opposite is the truth.
[T]he FDA can keep a product off the market even if it is indisputably safer than conventional cigarettes, based on fears that it will attract nonsmokers or smokers who otherwise would have given up tobacco entirely. That same hurdle applies to the promotion of existing products.
Such censorship would sacrifice the lives of current smokers for the sake of a tobacco-free future. Likewise the mandated reductions in nicotine content authorized by the law, which would be aimed at making cigarettes less attractive to nonsmokers.

The predictable result of reducing nicotine content is that people will smoke more to get the dose to which they are accustomed. They will take more puffs, inhale more deeply, hold the smoke longer or consume more cigarettes. Consequently, they will be exposed to higher levels of toxins and carcinogens.
Since FDA regulation is apt to make cigarettes more hazardous while impeding competition from safer alternatives, you can begin to see why mentioning it might give consumers the wrong impression. I won't tell them if you don't.
[Oops, I forgot. The above disclaimer isn't completely true... I did try a snort of German snuff one time.]
[UPDATE] Ron Paul nails it on this issue.


Steve Martin said...

I hate cigarettes and smoking...but I will defend people's right to do it as long as they are not bothering others (blowing it in their faces, etc.)

Next, it will be cheeseburgers and ice cream.

Champagne, Cabernet, and Brandy will be off limits though, for the totalitarians on the left like to sip those things at their snooty, self-righteous cocktail parties.

Chris A said...

Darius, don't tell me your finally admitting America is trending toward a fascist state. I guess you had to wait until Bush got out of office. ;)

Darius said...

Like I've been saying over on Zeal for Truth (even though no one seems honest enough to admit it, instead choosing to twist my words), Bush's motives were very different from Obama's. Let me be clear, that doesn't make the end result any less heinous (other than Obama has taken Bush's economic policies and put them on growth hormones). But it is to say that there was a limit to how far Bush would take fascism or socialism, since his concern was not for more power (notice how quietly and humbly he's left the stage) but for the safety and health of the people and the responsibility of his job. Unfortunately, in some areas, he didn't have principled views, so a little puff of pragmatic wind was able to toss his policy into leftist or fascist water.

What concerns me more is when the motive is for more control and more power, but the rhetoric is all about taking care of the little people. The little people are going to be hurt the most by the cap and trade laws. The little people are hurt most by minimum wage laws. The little people are always hurt the most by leftist policies. And lefties know it... they just don't care.

Darius said...

I've never been a fan of Bush's economic policies, or his love of "compassionate conservatism." In many areas, he's much like Huckabee, whom I loathe politically.

What I did appreciate was his unswerving devotion to life and his willingness to make the hard decisions without first asking for a poll. He didn't put politics first, he put the people first.

Chris A said...

Yeah, I read what you wrote on ZFT. I disagree respectively. I don't think either of these guys have or had motives superior to the other. I don't know of any way of telling accept by their rhetoric anyway.

But if I remember correctly, a couple years back you weren't acknowledging the fascist trend irrespective of the motives.

I think its been pretty well established that we were going to go to war with Iraq even before "9/11 changed everything." So I personally find it hard to buy the "hard decisions" argument.

And with all the death and carnage that ensued in Iraq, I really have a hard time referring to Mr. Bush as "pro-life" - even if substantially more of "them" were killed compared to "us".

And really this ties in with Bush's economic policies, since this was the first US war since the Revolutionary war so heavily leveraged on debt - accept this time it was debt to the communist Chinese government.

Darius said...

I don't want to rehash Iraq, since I know we don't agree at all. Suffice it to say, it is anything but "well-established" that we were going to war with Iraq before 9/11, since no one knew that Saddam would continue defying the U.N. All he had to do was stop being a political idiot and he would still be in power today.

Darius said...

To some extent, motives don't mean much (except to God, perhaps), since at the end of the day, Obama's economic policies don't probably differ much from Huckabee's.

But it is important to understand the motives and ideologies behind the policies. You don't combat Obama's economic policies with the same appeals as you would combat Huck's or Bush's. One thirsts for power and control, the other after some flighty idea of compassionate semi-capitalistic Christianity.

You might change Bush's mind with some education; it is unlikely you'll ever change Obama's without a heart change. He doesn't care that his policies don't help the economy, that's why he never once said that redistributing the wealth would do so. He cares that his ideology is followed to the letter, damn the results. It's just like any Marxist, back to the original one himself. All the evidence to the contrary is to be ignored, transforming society is the end goal.

That's why you see so many leftists-turned-conservatives... they're people who actually cared about society and people and realized that their ideology didn't match reality after they had lived a little. Like the old saying goes, if you're not a liberal when you're twenty, you don't have a heart, but if you're not a conservative when you're 40, you don't have a brain.

Chris A said...

I think perhaps Obama is a bit of a Marxist, but Neoconservatism has Trotskyite roots as well, so the basis for the ideology is similar since Trotskyism is a reformed form of Marxism.

And of course, Bush was effectively a Neocon, and by proxy a Trotskyite - particularly as it relates to foreign policy; hence the concept of permanent war in the popular form of "War on Terror".

The genius of Neoconservatism is its ability to mask itself as an updated form of Conservatism, when in fact it is anything but, while
Obama's domestic policies are overtly Marxist, which make him easy to spot. The foreign policy is basically the same as Bush's.

Chris A said...

In case anyone is interested, here is Ron Paul's take on the passage of this tobacco bill:,tx14_paul,blog,999,All,Item%20not%20found,ID=090615_2978,TEMPLATE=postingdetail.shtml

Darius said...

Thanks... I added it to the post. He's not alone in the Republican Party... the House Republicans voted 2 to 1 against it. Sadly, the Senate Republicans voted 23-16 in favor.

Chris A said...

23-16 huh?

Darius said...

Yeah, the inmates are running the asylum these days. Too many Huckabees...

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The Cross Centered Life: Keeping the Gospel The Main Thing
Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God
Overcoming Sin and Temptation
According to Plan: The Unfolding Revelation of God in the Bible
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Money, Greed, and God: Why Capitalism Is the Solution and Not the Problem
When Helping Hurts: Alleviating Poverty Without Hurting the Poor. . .and Ourselves
The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith
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Life Laid Bare: The Survivors in Rwanda Speak
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