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Heavy-Handed Politics

"€œGod willing, with the force of God behind it, we shall soon experience a world
without the United States and Zionism."€ -- Iran President Ahmadi-Nejad

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Congress gets ready to burn smokers with latest bill

Written by William Campbell Douglass II, M.D.

The way things are going, it won't be long until cigarettes are banished from the American landscape forever. Not long ago, I told you about a bill in Congress which proposed putting the regulation of tobacco products under FDA jurisdiction. In early April, this bill was passed in the House, and it won't be long until it reaches the Senate.

Of course, the bill as it currently stands gives the FDA only the authority to regulate tobacco, not to ban it. But even with specific language in the bill prohibiting a federal tobacco ban, it doesn't take a genius to realize that this argument will be debated sooner or later. And now that the FDA is on its way to holding sway over tobacco, you can bet it will fall on the "sooner" side of things.

In fact, TIME Magazine columnist Dr. Scott Haig put it succinctly: "Rather than equate [cigarettes] with food and drugs, if lawmakers were serious about the health costs of smoking, they would take the logical next step and just make the damn things illegal."

Even Sen. Ted Kennedy, who will officially introduce the passed House bill to the Senate said, "FDA regulation of cigarettes -- the most lethal of all consumer products -- is long overdue," adding that he was "confident" the bill should quickly sail through to Senate approval.

And while the anti-smoking crew are sure to celebrate this next giant step toward the end of tobacco, those of use who are fond of our personal freedom aren't quite so thrilled. By inviting the government to wipe the American landscape clean of all tobacco products in the name of the public good, we slide a bit further down the throat of Big Government.

For years I've written to you about small-scale efforts to ban not just cigarettes, but all manner of other things deemed "unsafe." First, they'll take your cigarettes. Then what's next: Fattening fast foods? Red meat? Alcohol? Candy? The possibilities are, unfortunately, endless. And you know darn well that once the government takes control of anything, it rarely if ever loosens its grip.

Of course, none of this takes into account the fact that tobacco is not the big bad wolf our national health organizations have made it out to be.

Crying "Uncle Sam": Website charts emotional course through tough financial times

There's no surer way to put yourself in a foul mood than by watching the financial news these days. And your friends in the U. S. government (who, by the way, have played no small role in helping to create these tough economic times) have been good enough to post a new section on a website alerting you to the signs of depression that can result from the collapsing economy.

See? President Obama really cares.

The U. S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service has created a website called "A Guide to Getting Through Tough Economic Times." The site warns of the health dangers that could result from losing your job or your house -- including over-eating and gambling.

Yes, only the government could possibly consider squandering money to create a website that tells people who lost their jobs or homes that -- and I'm quoting directly, now -- "it can be particularly devastating to your emotional and mental well-being... these problems can add tremendous stress."

Your tax dollars at work, right?

Smoke 'em if you got 'em... and before Big Brother takes 'em.


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