June 4, 2003: "U.S. Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona
told a congressional committee Tuesday he would support a total
ban on all tobacco products, insisting that they have no benefit
to society whatsoever."
is not enough that this dippy and (as far as I am concerned) criminal
regime in D.C. should be mired in Iraq in a messy – nay lethal – and
probably permanent occupation of a land it said it would "liberate."
Now it indicates, through an apparently lunatic Surgeon General
(I wonder if he has a classy banana republic uniform to wear of
the sort that Surgeon General Dr. C. Everett Koop use to affect
back in Reagan's day?) that the administration would support "a
total ban on all tobacco products," because "they have
no benefit to society whatsoever."
would be news not only to the millions who enjoy a smoke but also
to that vigorous campaigner against nicotine, the late Leo Tolstoy,
who, in his "Why Do Men Stupefy Themselves?" said nicotine's
chief "benefit" is that it soothes the guilty conscience.
Else, he went on, "Why do all whores and thieves smoke"?
You would not, based on that remark, classify old Leo as an utter
enthusiast for the weed, but at least he never allowed himself to
think, as does this really terrible man we appear to have as a surgeon
general, that human beings are willing to spend millions (billions?)
of dollars, and a good deal of their health into the bargain, to
get no real benefits at all from consuming the major contribution
of the New World to the immense armamentarium of global narcosis.
is the tyrannical bureaucratic mind (I use the term loosely) at
work. Look at the facts, by heaven, and deny them. We can change
all that. Nothing is beyond us, we Conquerors of the World. Bring
on the cops. Let's replicate our fantastically successful war on
alcohol – whoops! I forgot, that one wasn't so successful, was it?
Well then, let's add tobacco to the heroin, marijuana, cocaine,
"speed," etc., war and drive tobacco into the underground
market along with the rest of them, thus creating God alone knows
what new and most welcome opportunities for the criminal and governmental
classes (do I repeat myself?).
course, not really. The remark of the Surgeon General is just spin,
baloney, hypocritical bushwah. The feds (and states) are not about
to give up the stiff taxes they impose on cigarettes and other tobacco
products in favor of conducting night raids on clandestine tobacco
pushers. And somewhere in the dank, dark, and very deep recesses
of their putative souls they indeed must recognize that the peeuhpul,
intellectually sluggish and slow to revolt as we always are, do
have some sort of boundary, which the "state" can invade
only at grave risk to the parasitic classes that live by the "state."
boundary was discovered in the case of alcohol. The "state"
had to retreat and finally had to tell the raging, anti-alcohol
puritanical interests that their Prohibition was a no-go; "everyone"
was defying it: judges, cops, clergy, bankers, stockbrokers, gangsters
(for whom it was a Godsend), and that nice little old couple down
the street. And it made us the laughing stock of the world, as in
some ways we still are for our unending and futile campaigns to
enforce public "virtue," although since we are also the
biggest bully on the block, the laughter is nowadays somewhat muted.
of drugs, what is sickening is the way the hypocrisy of the governing
class joins forces with the evil intentions of the suppliers of
illicit drugs, to make for a cozy deal to keep the trade going.
The war on drugs doesn't make prices too high or successfully interdict
the shipment of drugs altogether, either of which results would
unduly anger the users and is anyway impossible to achieve. But
the "war" does supply work for a huge cadre of cops and
prison guards, not to mention big shot administrators and wardens.
And – certainly
important side effects – it yields fortunes in captured drugs (what
does become of them?) and a steady supply of seized property
to fatten the petty cash and car pools of various levels of government.
Also it maintains a robust and continuing enlargement of our truly
record-breaking population of not-very-criminal criminals in jails
and prisons across the land.
Leo Tolstoy was right. Men (meaning everybody) will stupefy
themselves, from time to time, one way or the other. Only an insanely
invasive, crudely moralistic, and tyrannical government will much
concern itself with that propensity as distinguished from real crimes
with real victims.
one thing all this government propaganda does that sets out to prove
the devil is resident in substances and therefore the substances
are real baaaaaad in themselves, is to throw up a huge cloud of
squid ink around the whole matter of substance abuse. Thus we almost
never get to hear any common sense about the reasons and the ways
people do drugs and how much harm is really caused by them. The
whole thing proceeds at the level of a discussion of arson that
starts with the axiom that matches cause it.
White [send him mail]
writes from Odessa, Texas.