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Shove a Cigarette Down Bush’s Throat

Wednesday, April 30th, 2003 · 6 Comments

Yet again the Bush administration tries to prevent something good — heaven forbid — from happening in the world. Why? What the hell is his problem? Does he like that 5 million people die every year from tobacco-related diseases? Does he like that that number will double in 3 years? Has he ever seen someone he loves die of a tobacco-related disease? I sure as hell doubt it. What possible good could come out of trying to stop tobacco prevention? Wake up, Dubya, and get a clue.

Bush tries to weaken tobacco treaty / Its controversial terms include world ban on advertising

A snippet from this story:

    “Instead of leading international efforts to reduce tobacco use, the Bush administration has repeatedly obstructed the development of a tough international tobacco control agreement,” Pelosi said Tuesday in response to the position paper. “That is unacceptable. We can and must do better.”

Amen, sister.

Tags: rants

6 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jose Luis // Apr 30, 2003 at 11:05 am

    While having a conversation with a very liberal very good friend of mine, he was explaining to me why in his view we needed a bigger government and more government programs.

    “We need to protect people from themselves.” He said

    Meaning that if people smoke and die is not the peoples fault, that belongs to the tobacco industry.
    If people shoot each other, then it’s the gun manufacturers fault
    If people get fat, is not their lazy ass fault, its McDonalds fault.
    If people are too lazy to work and become homeless then it must be the government’s fault.

    It seems to me that the goal of the liberal today is to rid people of any responsibility for their own actions.

  • 2 gabe // May 1, 2003 at 9:53 am

    Allow me to address each of your points that don’t really have much to do with my original post anyway:

    “If people shoot each other,” it’s because it’s easy to buy guns on the street because the laws in place are not stringent enough to keep people from buying handguns or automatic weapons. Look at England – no guns, no homicides by gun.

    “If people get fat,” it creates a national health crisis that comes out of my tax money and inceases the cost of insurance for us all. This will only continue to get worse as the Baby Boomers get older and require more health care. And guess what? McDonald’s doesn’t give a shit about health insurance since it doesn’t offer health insurance to its employees.

    “If people are too lazy to work and become homeless,” they’ll probably stay on the streets and become mentally instable. And guess what? There’s no system of care because Reagan shut down mental health institutions in the 1980s and forced people in need of care into the streets. How ironic. Look at him now. Oh, by the way- many people who are homeless become homeless not because they’re “too lazy to work” but because of inadequate social programs or a lack of EDUCATION. Not everyone is blessed by a college or even high school education.

    It seems to me that the goal of the liberal today is to create a world where people are happier and healthier and wherein social policies exist that make damn good sense and contribute to the betterment of our world.

    Why is it that conservatives preach this anti-government agenda, yet they have no problem spying on people via the IAO, keeping immigrants in jail because they might be terrorists, and indefinitely & without trial detaining “possible terrorists” in Guantanamo Bay?

    You may think we don’t need certain laws, but many are there for a reason. Seat belts…conservatives thought making seat belts a required part of every vehicle would crumble the auto industry. Has that happened? Smoking in HOSPITALS…in the office…women as equals to men. Yes, these are all crazy liberal/progressive ideas that would now not be any other way…and, of course, conservatives at the time fought against these ideas. Look at history. And think about the very definition of these two political ways of thinking:

    progressive: “moving forward or onward”
    conservative: “tending or disposed to maintain existing views, conditions, or institutions”

  • 3 Jose Luis // May 1, 2003 at 5:50 pm

    My points have everything to do with your original post because all you just did was validate them with your arguments and excuses for self-destructive behavior.

    Progressive: “moving forward or onward” excuse me but creating a socialized society where we have a paternalistic government protecting individuals from themselves is everything but progressive.

    I would also like to switch your definition from conservative with this one of conservatism.

    b : a political philosophy based on tradition and social stability, stressing established institutions, and preferring gradual development to abrupt change

    And if liberals would stand for the definition of liberalism below I would call myself a liberal. Unfortunately the left in the US today stands for everything other than the definition below.

    b :a theory in economics emphasizing individual freedom from restraint and usually based on free competition, the self-regulating market, and the gold standard

    I would love to buy your argument about homeless being homeless because the lack of social programs and education but all I need to do is look at newly arrived immigrants to not agree with your argument.
    Most of them (immigrants) come to the country without an education, without being able to speak English and most definitely they don’t enroll in social programs for fear of being deported yet you very rarely see any of those guys in the streets. They are living proof that all you need in this country is will and determination and hard work.

    You do a disservice to the homeless by giving them reasons for self-pity and by making them believe that society owes them something.

  • 4 Dave Reed // May 1, 2003 at 9:56 pm

    Oh, boy! I get to play Devil’s Advocate. I’ll separate my points for each individual.


    Even if you get rid of all the guns from the street and people’s possession, people will still kill other people. They’ll just become more creative with it.

    We shouldn’t try to rid the U.S. citizens of firearms. We should place barriers to keep irresponsible users from abusing their privilege. We should emphasize personal responsibility rather than make excuses. Sure, corporate entities should be held responsible when it is their fault. Gun manufacturers should not be sued when some idiot in New York didn’t lock his firearm up (or keep it out of the wrong hands; reasonably, of course). On the other hand, tobacco companies should be held responsible for making sure the public knows the health risks of smoking and the actual contents of those cancer sticks.

    Some things to research: ranking of firearm deaths in certain age groups (compared to other causes of death); comparisons of the U.S. to other countries where citizens carry guns to see how the other countries’ death rates compare for firearms.

    I’m not sure if “progressive” is quite what I’d call it. I think that’s dependent on your point-of-view or political leanings. What’s “progressive” for some people (Pro-Choice; Affirmative Action) may not be for others.

    [Gad. Did that make any sense?]


    Many “bums” are very capable of working if they were to put the effort into it. Some, though, are too ill (schizophrenics in Downtown/Midtown Sacramento are somewhat common) to help themselves. It’s not an excuse but a fact of life. Fortunately, I think the number of ill homeless are rather small.

    I think most immigrants come from a background where they absolutely had to work hard (in some places for something as low as $5 a day; or something ridiculously low) in order to survive. They grew up in that atmosphere, and hence they work hard wherever they go.

    [Warning: potential broad generalization coming] Americans, on the other hand, tend to be lazier. That’s not to say that there aren’t a lot of hard workers out there; there are. The tendency is towards doing as little work as needed to get the job done, and hoping mommy and daddy will support them financially through everything.

    Re: Liberalism “emphasizing individual freedom from restraint.” Couldn’t this imply that a Liberal should be calling out for fewer laws rather than more? That’d seem counter-productive, since, in this society, one needs to have laws in order to protect personal freedom (e.g. harassment).

  • 5 gabe // May 2, 2003 at 9:48 am

    Thanks for chiming in here, Dave. I pretty much agree with you on the firearms & tobacco company front.

    Jose- I gotta say, man, have you ever walked around the streets of San Francisco? (Treasure Island doesn’t count.) Most homeless people are white folks. When was the last time you saw an Asian homeless person? Or Mexican? Or Indian? Sure, there’s the occasional black man living on the streets, but the majority are white people. They’re not immigrants. Often, they’re vets who returned from Vietnam only to be spat upon, unemployed, and without health coverage.

  • 6 Dan // May 2, 2003 at 1:30 pm

    Jose- It’s silly to say that the homeless are always responsible for their situation. There is an undeniable link with social institutions. When Reagan cut HUD funding by 80% in combination with huge cuts in other social services, homelessness in the years follwing tripled. Did the “lazy” percentage just coincidentally get larger? The whole point of living as a society is that we benefit from social living, then you go and tell the most vulnerable citizens that it’s their own responsibility for everything that has gone wrong?

    There are, by most estimates, between 1.5 and 2 million homeless in America, 600,000 homeless on any given night. As far as homeless demographics and composition, ignorance and generalization are very damaging. Roughly 30% of homeless are children. You go on believing that they all deserve it.

    If you’re at all interested in this issue, I suggest reading “Rachel and Her Children” by Jonathon Kozol.

    The fact is, in the richest country in the world, a country that spends 400 billion on the military annually, the prevalence of homelessness is unbelievably shameful.