June 29, 2009
By Alan Caruba
My grandfather lived into his 90s and smoked cigarettes. My father lived into his 90s and smoked a pipe. Smoking is not a death sentence, but for some it is a cause of lung and other cancers. There is likely a genetic disposition toward these diseases, a family history similar to other comparable diseases.
I smoke up to three cigars a day. If I had to stop smoking I would probably have to stop writing because I write best with a cigar in my mouth. Babies suck on pacifiers. Grown men smoke big cigars.
Whose choice is it that I smoke or not? Up to now it has been my choice, but the cost of my tobacco preference has been rising exponentially. The government has decided that I and everyone else who choose to smoke must be punished because the government has decided we are harming ourselves and allegedly others around us.
The worst kind of tyrant is the one who forbids you free choice under the guise of knowing what is best for you.
Referring to "The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Act" Rep. Ron Paul said it best on June 15. "Last week, another bill was passed and signed into law that takes more of our freedoms and violates the Constitution of the United States. It was, of course, done for the sake of the children, and in the name of the health of the citizenry. It's always the case that when your liberty is seized, it is seized for your own good. Such is the condescension of Washington."
I have searched the Constitution for where it says the government has this right and I have not found it, nor does the Constitution say anything about the right of government to determine how much or what I want to eat, but every day in every way the government is depriving me of the right to make these decisions for myself.
The first crop that generated any kind of real income for colonial America was tobacco. Smoking has a long history in our nation. All around the world people light up and take a drag. If the Food and Drug Administration regulates the permissible amount of nicotine in a cigarette, people will just smoke more of them to get some level of satisfaction.
This is not just a "sin tax" such as all governments have leveled on alcohol and tobacco. This is the deliberate effort of government to end the manufacture and sale of cigarettes and, presumably, other forms of tobacco. The government will deny this, but the government will be lying.
When Barack Obama signed this law into effect it was just one more way that the government of the United States of America is asserting its right to control every single aspect of your life. This is the purpose of so-called healthcare reform as well.
At some point, the nation becomes a communist entity and you become a slave of the state. Even the Russians are warning us against this.
The federal government does not have that right to determine if one wants to smoke or not and what the cost of tobacco will be. However, through taxation, it can impose its will on everyone.
In Florida, where the Hav-A-Tampa company trademarked its cigars in 1902, the company announced it will close its plant, leave 495 workers unemployed, and transfer production to Puerto Rico. In New York City, there are plans afoot to require that huge anti-smoking signs be posted wherever tobacco products are sold.
This is gangster government at work and it is prohibited from taking these actions. As the 9th Amendment says, "The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."
It does not have that right. As the 10th Amendment says, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."
The people! The people who up to now have had an inherent, unspoken and accepted right to smoke.
The people! The people who up to now have had an inherent right to eat what they want and as much as they want. People cannot be compelled to be "healthy" in ways determined by the government.
The federal government is presently getting ready to require everyone to purchase health insurance whether they want to or not. It is getting ready to require that every company that generates or uses energy purchase carbon offsets at the same time it is interdicting access to coal, oil, and natural gas.
This is a repeat of the failed Prohibition of alcohol from 1919 to 1933 that roiled America until its repeal.
There was a time when Calvin Coolidge could say, "The business of America is business", but it is not the business of America is to get into your business, your life, and to dictate every aspect of it while denying you any control over it.
As we get ready to celebrate Independence Day, if you still think you live in the "Land of the free and the home of the brave," think again.