It's one of my favorite poems - so it is with a heavy hand that I reference this potent lyric to a dullard's past-time: Smoking.
In today's USAToday, the legislature in Washington state considers outlawing smoking outdoors.
|On Tuesday, Washington state voters will consider the first statewide ban on smoking within 25 feet of buildings that prohibit smoking. That would mean lighting up near offices, stores, theaters, restaurants and government buildings could bring a $100 fine.|
I don't smoke. I don't think that smoking is a healthy activity. It contributes to increased cancer rates, increased mortality, higher medical costs and, thereby, higher insurance premiums. I've lost many relatives to lung and throat cancer.
But I do not think that smoking should be banned and I don't think that the Big Tobacco lawsuit was a good thing.
That lawsuit established a dangerous precedent. It said to all US citizens, "You have no control. If you smoked cigarettes, you can sue Big Tobacco and get a big payout." So now, if 10 years from now you get sick and, you've eaten beef once a week - you can find some weasel attorney to sue the US Beef Council on your behalf because, obviously, the Beef Council showed up at your door and made you eat the Beef.
|"If you ban smoking outside near a door or window, essentially you have no place to smoke except your own home - and maybe not even there," Sullum says."What's next? Smoking in a house with children will be considered child abuse. Smoking around pets will be cruel to animals."|
It's just another indication that our freedoms are being legislated away. Los Angeles radio talk-show host Dennis Prager also argues that the “war on tobacco” represents a dangerous misplacement of moral values: “The next generation will ask: What preoccupied America in the final decade of the twentieth century—while unprecedented numbers of its children were being raised without fathers, while the country was living with rates of murder far higher than in any other advanced democracy . . . [while] rogue nations built stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons . . . ? The majority of [America’s] national politicians, state attorneys general and educators will be able to answer together, ‘We fought tobacco.’ Shame on them all.” (hat-tip: www.enotes.com/1984)
The tyranny of the minority goes on....