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THE ODD WORLD OF CONTROL
What if our tobacco policy and AIDS policy were the same?

By Dorothy Anne Seese
dottie@politicalusa.com

2/11/2001

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While 55 nations around the world are trying to control the use of tobacco due to health problems, the killer plague of AIDS continues to grow.  What is strange about this is that nations are willing to condemn smoking and the tobacco plant, but they stay away from the issues surrounding HIV/AIDS other than to finance and promote a cure for the disease rather than the causes.

Since it is well known that tobacco use is a hazard to a person's health, the root cause has been attacked, or at least it seems to have been attacked.

With HIV/AIDS, the root cause (which might lead back to condemning homosexuality) is not attacked, but rather, a cure is sought for the disease.  To follow this logic would mean that smoking would not be condemned, but a high-pressure campaign would be mounted to find a cure for lung cancer and emphysema.

I find this curious until I examine what the anti-tobacco crusade has accomplished, and what the AIDS cure-crusade has accomplished.

The anti-tobacco crusade involved changing a nation's, even a world's mindset.  From being a socially acceptable habit, it has been redefined as a drug addiction and fear of the effects of second hand smoke have been widely disseminated by the media and various governments, and in the United States, only smokers have been deprived of any defense against discrimination.  The entire crusade proved that a government can take one aspect of social behavior and through litigation, publication and intimidation, turn an entire segment of society against the other.  To avoid persecution one must conform.  The idea that choice may be involved in a free society does not apply to a government-chosen target.

Since 1983 when the ultra-liberal United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of a woman who claimed her health had been damaged by smokers, anti-smoking campaigns have had this result: three-fourths of the nation now hates one-fourth of the nation.  (It is estimated that approximately 24% of Americans are still smokers.)

The solution, according to the government, is to get everyone to stop smoking and to ban it from public life.  Now that would be very far-sighted if it had no other ramifications than a sincere concern for health and quality of life.  However, the logic is somehow flawed when compared to the next issue.

So ... what if some U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that HIV/AIDS is growing because one segment of the population introduced it and perpetuated it in the United States via homosexual acts and therefore, we, as a nation, should condemn homosexuality while seeking to find a cure for the HIV/AIDS pestilence?

Newspapers would be screaming "discrimination" while radio talk show hosts would be accusing the court of religious bias and antiquated notions of morality.  The American Civil Liberties Union would have 10,000 lawsuits filed within 24 hours.  Various Gay and Lesbian Rights organizations would be marching on Washington decrying the denial and abuse of their civil rights and freedoms.  It would get on the Supreme Court fast-track.  Our mindset has been changed over the past 20 to 30 years so that we are officially forced to accept homosexuality as an alternative lifestyle rather than a deviation from the norm.  Thus, discrimination is not allowed in America!

Or is it?

Remember, it depends on what group you want to target and control.

In 1963 Madalyn Murray O'Hair's son, representing her organization of atheists, received a ruling from the Supreme Court that took the Ten Commandments off school walls, presumably under some redefinition of the First Amendment and separation of church and state.

Since that time, numerous cases have reached various levels of the courts regarding whether a student may bring a Bible onto campus, pray, or engage in any activity that would identify that student as being Christian.  (The same rules have not applied to students who are overtly Muslim, Jewish, or other religious belief.)

As recently as the 2001 Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on the nomination of John Ashcroft for Attorney General, the subject of the man's Christian beliefs came up as the basis for opposing him, attaching to such religious belief all manner of accusations that were untrue.  But, if you are a practicing Christian who believes what the faith teaches rather than giving idle lip service to it, you can be targeted for such beliefs in the United States.

Now we could get to the matter of ownership of guns, which has gone from a private matter of choice to a prejudice against private ownership of guns in the minds of the same people who have targeted other beliefs, behaviors and rights.

I won't go there, because the gun control issue is well enough known, and the above outline of how and against whom discrimination exists in America is enough to allow anyone to form a conclusion as to the logic applied.  I would ask this:  do guns kill people, or do people use guns or the next handiest weapon available to kill?

The odd world of control is everywhere, and because there's always a good reason in front of the real reason, many Americans fail to get the point.

If you are an American, let me ask this:  how free are you?  For older Americans, how free are you today compared to 30-40 years ago?

OH ... you thought this was an article about tobacco.  Look at the title again ... "The Odd World of Control."  It's not about tobacco, it's about control.

Buy Books 


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Civil Warriors : The Legal Siege on the Tobacco Industry
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Dorothy Anne Seese, 2001

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