Monday, May 5, 2008

Our Tax Dollars at Work

"When you break the big laws, you do not get freedom; you do not even get anarchy. You get the small laws." —G.K. Chesterton

First, let me say this:

I've never smoked a cigarette in my life.

I passionately hate, loath, and detest cigarette smoking, and find it utterly distasteful and bothersome — almost to the point of being offensive.

I do, however, have even greater distaste for public smoking bans, such as we have in the fair corrupt state of Illinois, because it leads to insanity like this:

Pipe smokers huff and puff about smoking ban

State law forces collectors who want to light up out of St. Charles convention center

I gotta give 'em credit for giving it the old college try:

The group had sought, with the help of its attorney members, to get around the state smoking ban that went into effect in January by arguing that the event was essentially a private club meeting.

The hall is strictly staffed with volunteers, convention-goers were to pay $15 to join the club, and attendees were to sign a waiver stating they "freely and willingly accept all the risks of smoking, second-hand smoke, third-hand smoke, and all other risks, both real and imagined, regarding smoking tobacco."

The powers that be weren't amused:

But St. Charles police, DuPage County health officials and anti-smoking advocates didn't buy it.

"This is the first time we've seen such a blatant attempt . . . to actually undermine the law through legal sophistry," said Mike Grady, the American Cancer Society's Illinois director of public policy. "We're very happy with the outcome. This is the perfect example that the law is being enforced."

I've often thought that if smoking is really as dangerous as it's purported to be — which, of course, is the rationale behind various prohibitions thereof — it seems to me that said limited restrictions don't go nearly far enough. Rather, it would seem the only responsible thing the government could do is to ban any and all tobacco products outright.

Of course, what with the ginormous tax revenue stream they generate, that'll never happen.

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