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Monday, December 20, 2010

Liberal Lunacy 6: Anti-Smoking

I am not a smoker. I do not smoke, I have no intention of smoking. But I have no problem with other people smoking. Just like drinking. And just like drugs. Do not do them and do not plan to do them. But I recognize that people can make their own choices in life. If I do not agree with what they do to enjoy themselves I will not prevent them from doing so and I expect them to return me the same favor and not interfere with me. Sadly this simple concept is so hard for certain people to understand.

Now I know what you will tell me. You will tell me, "but these liberals are not trying to ban smoking, smoking is not banned, you can smoke if you really want to". This is true, smoking is not banned. But these liberals would like to see it banned. It is true that smoking is not banned, but there are a whole lot of people out there that would love to see it banned, or at least reduced to the point of it almost being non-existent.

I just had this realization when I saw a cigarette block. On this cigarette block it was written, in extremely huge letters, "Smoking Kills". And on the other side of this cigarette block it was written, "Smoking may reduce the blood flow and causes impotence".

I was surprised. I really did not know this was written on cigarette blocks. I thought it just had a surgeon general's warning about how dangerous it is. The last time I saw a cigarette block before today was a while back and I do not remember it saying how smoking kills and how it causes impotence.

I finally figured out what is going on with the whole smoking situation in the US. There are these liberals who really hate smoking and they want to use scare tactics to stop people from smoking.

Why do I say this? Because it is obvious from the way these warnings are phrased on cigarette blocks. These people gave up rationality a long long time ago and are playing a fear game. They want to scare the smokers as much as possible.

If these liberals said that tobacco companies must carry a warning message about the known harms of smoking that would be reasonable. That is an understandable position. For example, a small message somewhere on the block which said, "smoking has been proven to increase risks of ... ". This is a reasonable message. It cautions the smoker to know the possible health harm that can come from smoking.

Consider alcohol bottles. There is also a surgeon general warning. The bottle does not have written all across it "Drinking kills", rather it has a message box at the end of the bottle that writes the possible dangers that can come from excessive drinking. This is a reasonable caution.

But what is this whole "Smoking kills" caution about? It is an unreasonable statement. When you make a statement "smoking kills" it implies that the smoker will die instantaneously from smoking. I will say "bullets kill" because that is true. A bullet will most certainly kill you if it hits you in a vital organ. But I would never say "smoking kills" because that is disingenuous.

I thought the entire point of the FDA was to scientifically study the dangers of food and drugs for consumer protection? How is it in any way scientific to blow the dangers of smoking out of proportion and write "smoking kills" on all cigarettes? If we really wanted to be scientific we should write in a reasonable sized manner, "smoking has been found to increase risk for ...". That is it. That is honest and that is scientific. But when you want to write "smoking kills" that is no longer being scientific. That is flat out fear mongering. Not to mention it is unscientific also, and hence cannot be written, by FDA standards, on cigarette blocks.

The statement "smoking kills" is unscientific. As I said it sounds as if the smoker will immediately die from smoking. While in fact it takes many many years of continuously smoking to increase the risks of death. And that is just a risk. It is not even always guaranteed to target all people. This is why "smoking kills" is nothing but fear mongering - especially when it is written big all the way across cigarette blocks.

But it gets even dumber with the second message, "smoking causes impotence". That is humorously dumb. It is funny to put such a message on a block. As if the message that smoking will kill you is not enough to get people's attention. Now you need to also tell them that guys will fail to get boners. Yes, because that will really prevent smoking. If guys would not care about dying then they would care about not getting boners? What good is a boner on a dead guy? It really is so pathetically funny.

And again this message that "smoking causes impotence" is written all the way across the block. For what reason? It is obvious what the intention is. To scare people from smoking. That is all. It has no goal to be scientific or fair. It just wants to stop people from smoking.

These liberals are not rational about the smoking situation at all. They are practicing pure fear mongering on people who do smoke. It is just like parents who tell their children that they cannot let strangers into their house because the strangers will kill them ("kill" is really a euphemism for molest that parents do not want to explain to their little kids). As Doug Stanhope said in a comedy routine, "nobody wants to fuck your kids". The number of molested kids every year is extremely low. Statistically speaking letting a stranger into your house is no reason to be scared that he will molest your children. But parents are not rational about this. They assume the worst. But more than assuming the worst they scare their kids. They exaggerate the dangers of letting strangers into their house to scare their kids into listening to them.

What about various medical drugs that are used? Sure they come with a big list of possible dangers that they have. Many of them are far more dangerous than smoking. But not a single one has a big sign across it that says "codeine kills", for example. They simply list the possible risks and dangers along with some warning. All of this is stated in a calm tone and explained in a clear manner with no fear mongering.

Or what about alcohol? Alcohol is more dangerous than smoking. Rush Limbaugh made a good point when he said, "alcohol kills you faster than smoking". I think back to Purim and how many dumb Jewish kids end up in hospitals because of excessive drinking. None of them end up there from cigarettes but from drinking. Drinking is far more dangerous to them than smoking up on Purim. But why are there no signs which say "Alcohol kills"? Or why are there no signs which say "excessive alcohol makes you unable to preform sex"?

For me it is obvious what is going on. These liberals hate smoking for whatever reasons. I am not exactly sure why but it is clear from their intentions. They want to ban it. But they cannot. The smokers still can smoke. These liberals do not like that. So they attempt to come up with whatever method that they can to limit smoking as much as possible. Since that is the next best thing to banning smoking.

First, they want to scare people. Having a reasonable warning sign is not enough. They want to scare them into making them think they will die from smoking. In addition to scaring them sexually. Once these fear tactics are used they want to push scary imagery on cigarette blocks to further frighten the smokers. But scare tactics are not enough, they realize it does not really work in eliminating smokers.

Second, once they used the scare tactics they go after various public places. They would love to see it outright banned, but it is too hard to do. So they go after public places. Like parks, for example. At this point they will remind you about the children. They will say, "think about the children who have to be exposed to all of this smoke". The "what about the children argument" never gets old.

Third, once they manage to get rid of it from various public places they go after restaurants (and casinos). But in this case it is not only the fault of these liberals. The war against restaurant smoking was waged also by anti-smoking restaurant competitors who were losing customers. There is a problem here, restaurants are private property. As private property they need to be respected as individual homes. If you do not want to be in a smoking area then do not go there, go to different restaurants that do not allow smoking. But it is not good enough for them. They want to see it gone even from private places too.

Fourth, tax cigarettes. The general rule of economics is that whatever you subsidize you get more of and whatever you tax you get less off. The first three tactics do not work as well as these liberals would like, so now they want to tax cigarettes to make them much more expensive for smokers to buy. That way, they hope, they can reduce the number of people who smoke who will simply not have the money to buy such expensive cigarettes. Sadly, they do not realize how they destroy tobacco businesses that end up losing out under such a tax to less-taxed tobacco businesses in other locations (as is happening in New York City).

These liberals who are anti-smoking obviously want to see it eliminated from their treatment of smoking. This is why I do not think it is an exaggeration to say that they would like to see it banned entirely if they can end up passing such a law.

The big irony behind of all of this is that as much as they hate smoking cigarettes they love smoking marijuana. Because marijuana, as they will tell you, is "natural". Wait, I thought tobacco was "natural" also? Why should they be free to smoke marijuana (which they should) but go after those who are free to smoke tobacco? End this double standard.

11 comments:

  1. There are many intermediate positions. There are plenty of people (both liberal and conservative) who believe that smoking in enclosed public places should be banned. I remember the days when every bar you went into was smokey and you would leave with a headache and your clothes smelling of stale smoke. I don't think that is an unreasonable ban since it clearly affects other people. Banning the right of people to destroy their own health strikes me as not reasonable; educating them about the FACT that smoking is bad for you is one thing. Banning it totally is very different.

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  2. "There are plenty of people (both liberal and conservative) who believe that smoking in enclosed public places should be banned.":

    It is mostly a liberal thing though. What I said about the fear mongering of these people is apparent.

    "I remember the days when every bar you went into was smokey and you would leave with a headache and your clothes smelling of stale smoke.":

    Bars are not public places. Do not like it there then do not go there, go to places that do not allow smoking.

    "educating them about the FACT that smoking is bad for you is one thing.":

    Putting "smoking kills" and "smoking causes impotence" is not educating it is fear mongering. Do you agree with that?

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  3. Liberals and conservatives alike, indeed. That's because liberal and conservative are two ways of saying 'busybody' although at times they disagree on what behaviors they should bully others about.

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  4. "Bars are not public places. Do not like it there then do not go there, go to places that do not allow smoking."

    You exhibit a very unsophisticated understanding of the law. "Public Place" for many people in many communities means an enclosed area to which the public is invited or in which the public is permitted, including but not limited to, banks, bars, educational facilities, gaming facilities, health care facilities, hotels and motels, laundromats, public transportation vehicles and facilities, reception areas, restaurants, retail food production and marketing establishments, retail service establishments, retail stores, shopping malls, sports arenas, theaters, and waiting rooms."

    I know that this does not fit within your libertarian utopia but it is certainly is the view within the real world.

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  5. "I know that this does not fit within your libertarian utopia but it is certainly is the view within the real world.":

    If you are going to accuse of me of vices then you should justify them. Saying I am utopian is an empty statement if you cannot defend your case. You said that last time and you never done anything to defend that view. In fact, from everything that I say and you say, you sound way more utopian that I am. From my experience people who understood my position have told me I was instead being too cynical. But both those accusations are just empty statements. If you wish to use that against me then explain how this is so.

    Now let me ask you a very simple question. Can there be a formal dress only restaurant? If you say yes, then this restaurant automatically discriminates against those who do not dress formally. It is a public place and so according to you it cannot do that. What about a smoking club? Can there be a smoking club like there is a drinking club? If you say yes then you have just agreed with me. It is a smoking club that serves food. What is the big deal?

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  6. "Saying I am utopian is an empty statement if you cannot defend your case."

    It is utopian to believe that anarchism (as you defined it in an earlier screed) is possible. You stated then that anarchism does not mean that people don't come together to create laws. So lets go with that. 10 people come together and form a law; one of the person's breaks the law...what happens? If nothing happens, there is no law, if there is an enforcement method then there is a defacto primitive state. I'm not going to spend the energy writing explaining how one thing inevitably leads to a larger and more expansive state apparatus. One only needs to read history to see how the state has grown. The fact is, there are absolutely no anarchy's out there...NONE. That alone should convince you that the idea is Utopian (Utopia comes from Utopos meaning no-place in Greek).

    "Can there be a formal dress only restaurant? If you say yes, then this restaurant automatically discriminates against those who do not dress formally. It is a public place and so according to you it cannot do that."

    Yes, there can be a formal dress only restaurant. The requirement that someone conform to a dress code does not cause measurable harm or damages to the patrons. Second hand smoke clearly does. The case of the restaurant is interesting because it is not cut and dried. It involves many conflicting rights. For example, a restaurant cannot discriminate against a person just because he is black.

    Restaurants represent a kind of intermediate public place...not the center of the town square, but not absolutely private space either. I don't see why it so difficult for you to understand that there are shades of gray in every situation.

    Even in absolutely public squares there are laws against public nudity, for example, and I for one applaud them.

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  7. "It is utopian to believe that anarchism (as you defined it in an earlier screed) is possible.":

    Let us say that Charles Darwin believed that evolution can happen without punctuated equilibrium. Does it make him utopian if he was wrong about it? No. It makes him wrong.

    If my ideas are wrong then they are just that, wrong. How do you deduce utopian from here? You need to say something about me that points to be greater promised perfected world or some change in human nature. Otherwise I am not utopian, just wrong.

    "10 people come together and form a law; one of the person's breaks the law...what happens? If nothing happens, there is no law, if there is an enforcement method then there is a defacto primitive state.":

    You missed my point. That is not the definition of a state. My definition of the state was a coercive land monopoly that claims ownership over a territory and uses violence to establish its claim. Where exactly does this happen here?

    Using force is not a state. I am not a pacifist. Sure, you can find some pacifist anarchists out there who go so far that they turn into gay vegans. But I think those people are rather stupid and utopian. I am no pacifist. I will fight. I defend my private property with lethal force.

    I am not against police, courts, or the military. These are forceful institutitons, of course. But they are necessary to defend freedom from within and without. But that alone does not make them states. If you are being robbed and I take out my beloved magnum .357 and blow out the brains of the theif to save you then I am being violent and forceful but I am not a state (because I am not a land monopoly that ... you get the idea).

    "Yes, there can be a formal dress only restaurant. The requirement that someone conform to a dress code does not cause measurable harm or damages to the patrons. Second hand smoke clearly does.":

    But the patrons decide if they want to enter it or not. I do not see what is so hard to accept about that. According to you it should be illegal to have a smoking club? Can you answer that question. There cannot be a smoking club because second hand smoke damages people who agreed to walk in there and end up smoking anywhay?

    "Restaurants represent a kind of intermediate public place.":

    Why? Why cannot I open up my own house and say, "this is my own home and I welcome who I choose into my own house, those who come in pay for things I serve them". What you are saying is contrary to the freedom of association.

    "I don't see why it so difficult for you to understand that there are shades of gray in every situation.":

    Because this situation is incredible simple. If I asked you if a person can kill other people for no other reason at all you will say "no". Oh my science, you are such an absolutist! Oh no. In this case you have no problem taking such a strong stance because there is no grey area here. In this case, with retaurants setting their own policies, I have no problems at all because it is their own little place. It is really not so hard to understand. I do have shades of grey, but they only come up with complicated questions (what exactly is recognized as property; at what point it is considered aggression; when are children recognized as adults, and so forth). But your questions are very easy for me.

    "Even in absolutely public squares there are laws against public nudity, for example, and I for one applaud them.":

    You are such a boring person.

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  8. "If my ideas are wrong then they are just that, wrong. How do you deduce utopian from here?"

    From definition number 2 in Websters for Utopian "proposing or advocating impractically ideal social and political schemes." Anarchy is an impractical social and political scheme that you have suggested to be an ideal. Its not just wrong its Utopian. Sorry.

    "My definition of the state was a coercive land monopoly that claims ownership over a territory and uses violence to establish its claim.

    Your definition of state is not a definition it is a polemic. I can define the state as "a politically organized body of people usually occupying a definite territory" from Websters.

    "But the patrons decide if they want to enter it or not. I do not see what is so hard to accept about that."

    Its not per se; If I don't like someone because they are of a different color skin should that mean I can keep them out? Think about it this way. You own a restaurant, a commercial enterprise (with a separate tax code and various other responsibilities to society in exchange thereof) if you invite people in for another purpose than smoking; namely to eat at your restaurant or to drink at your bar, then they have the right to eat at your bar without someone swinging a sword around would you not agree? If you expressly set up a smoking club that sounds like just the sort of common sense rules that should be allowed. The main point here is that common sense rules the day.

    "Why? Why cannot I open up my own house and say, "this is my own home and I welcome who I choose into my own house, those who come in pay for things I serve them". What you are saying is contrary to the freedom of association. "

    You may do so within your own home. You cannot do it in a commercial establishment. Free association is not unduly compromised.

    You are such a boring person.

    Lol. The roar of the exciting math dweeb. None of my many friends would agree. You on the other hand...a loner...have no yardstick with which to measure how interesting people find you. I'm glad you interest yourself.

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  9. "From definition number 2 in Websters for Utopian "proposing or advocating impractically ideal social and political schemes." Anarchy is an impractical social and political scheme that you have suggested to be an ideal. Its not just wrong its Utopian. Sorry.":

    I do not care what Websters defines. It is a terrible definition. By that definition the minimum wage is "utopian" because it does not work. By that definition the war on drugs is "utopian" because it is a massive failure.

    My definition of utopia is a perfect or almost perfect society. That is what most people think of a utopia. If you use one of the online dictionaries that is how they define it.

    Being wrong does not make you utopian. Liberals are not utopian because they support the minimum wage law, just economically wrong. Most conservatives are not utopian because they support the war on drugs, just economically wrong.

    Being wrong and being utopian are completely distinct.

    You said I was wrong. You did not do much to explain why I am wrong, but I played along with you. I said that even if I am wrong that does not make me utopian. Because in order for me to be utopian I must have a vision of a perfected structure of the world. Which you never was able to demonstrate where. Thus, your objection to me being utopian is an empty statement that you never were able to demonstrate.

    "Anarchy is an impractical social and political scheme that you have suggested to be an ideal.":

    Empty dangling statements will not win me over to your side. I heard that "anarchism/libertarinaism is unrealistic, and I am being a realist" probably over a hundred times in my life by people who do not back up those statements with much arguments.

    "Your definition of state is not a definition it is a polemic.":

    I get to define what a state is since I am writing about it. I do not care how dictionaries define worlds. Definitions are not right or wrong, they are up to how we define them. That is how I define the state. A group of people who settle and decide various decisions for the public that the public voted upon is not a state, by my definition, and I have no problem with such an organization of people.

    "then they have the right to eat at your bar without someone swinging a sword around would you not agree?":

    I agree. But what if the owner of the restaurant designed a sadistic restaurant where there is a chance to be severly hurt or possibly even killed by a random flying sword? And say there were masochists who enjoyed coming into this restaurant, possibly sexually attracted people to BDSM who were sexually turned on by pain, then you are suggesting that these people cannot come to such a restaurant people you do not want to be there? Why are you against people who sexually arouse themselves by physical pain and cruelty?

    If this can be allowed then kal vichomer certainly a chain smoking club that serves food.

    "You may do so within your own home. You cannot do it in a commercial establishment. Free association is not unduly compromised.":

    Why not? And do not tell me that is what the court ruled. I do not care what they ruled. I want to hear an argument.

    "Lol. The roar of the exciting math dweeb. None of my many friends would agree. You on the other hand...a loner...have no yardstick with which to measure how interesting people find you.":

    You are right. It is hypocritical of me to decide what is boring and what is not by my own standards if it is not my standards but the standards of others who decide what is exciting.
    ---

    This has nothing to do with the anti-smoking movement. I am not sure why you keep on returning to the subject of anti-statism every time even though I said nothing about it. I did not even rile against the FDA in my above post. You turn me off topic into some other conversation which is not appropriate to this post.

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  10. Smoking causes asthma in kids. And it mostly affects low income people who can't afford to buy a house. They live in apartments, maybe the parents don't smoke, but it all comes in from next door and the kids get asthma. And since its mostly black kids nobody cares, especially not the fake-Jew Calvinist determinists.

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