Before anyone invokes “Godwin’s Law”, Wrong! it does not apply here. Hitler detested tobacco and he called it “the wrath of the Red Man against the White Man, vengeance for having been given hard liquor.” Robert Procter wrote a book on the subject.
The state performer in antismoking propaganda was Adolf Hitler. As one magazine put it:”brother national socialist, do you know that our Führer is against smoking and think that every German is responsible to the whole people for all his deeds and emissions, and does not have the right to damage his body with drugs?”“Robert Proctor presents a great deal of evidence that the nazis’ exerted massive control over most facets of ordinary citizen’s lives. Yet somehow, he never reaches the obvious conclusion that such compulsive regulations, even if arguably well intentioned, ultimately lead to a large scale sacrifice of basic freedoms.
A through protectionist and interventionist economic policies. It promotes the use and primacy of regulated private enterprise and private property contingent upon service to the nation, but where private enterprise and private property are failing, inefficient, or unable to fulfill fascist goals, it supports the use of state enterprise and state property in those circumstances. At the same time, fascists are hostile to financial capital, plutocracy, and “the power of money”
Firearms (ATF) into two new organizations. This Act creates with the Department of the
Treasury a new Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) and moves certain law
enforcement functions of ATF to the Department of Justice.
Under the Act, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau is responsible for
administration and enforcement of:
Internal Revenue Code of 1986, 26 USC (IRC):
Chapter 51 (Distilled Spirits, Wine and Beer),
Chapter 52 (Tobacco Products and Cigarette Papers and Tubes), and
Sections 4181-4182 (Firearms and Ammunition Excise Taxes); . . . .” TTB.GOV,
http://www.ttb.gov/about/stat_auth.shtml (last visited Nov. 16, 2010).
They attack legitimate small businesses (RYO shops) which are largely used by poorer people who can’t afford the abusive taxes imposed in the name of social engineering yet they deliberately attempt to kill the shops that cater to that group. Then of course they issue reports that tobacco smuggling contributes to terrorism.
Disturbingly, the financial loss and budget effect are only part of the problem. Often the state’s loss is terrorist organizations’ gain. In 2008, under my leadership, a House Homeland Security Committee investigation found a terrifying nexus between cigarette smuggling and terrorism.
We uncovered far too many examples. Consider, counterfeit cigarette tax stamps were found in an apartment used by members of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad cell that carried out the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. The notorious “Lackawanna Six” Islamic-terrorist cell received $14,000 from a former gas station operator, who was subsequently convicted for cigarette trafficking and money laundering.
In 2002, authorities convicted conspirators in a cigarette smuggling ring that generated a profit of $1.5 million — part of which was funneled to Hezbollah, along with laptops, night-vision goggles, stun guns and blasting equipment. In May 2010, New York State tax agents disrupted a smuggling operation, in which an FBI wiretap recorded one man recruiting for Al Qaeda, discussing blowing up a shopping center.
Of course this begs the question is it the role of government to impose punitive taxes on people who engage in activities that the “elite in Washington don’t approve? We see on a daily basis how this nanny statism has eroded freedom and freedom of choice. Recently Congress and the President shut down the RYO shops using almost identical wording as the rules set by the TTB. Many especially non-smokers did not hear about it because it was one paragraph buried in the “Transportation Bill.
WASHINGTON — Late Friday, President Obama signed H.R. 4348, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act, which primarily maintains jobs on highway transportation projects and prevents interest rate increases on new loans to college students. The bill, which allocates more than $100 billion to be spent on highway, mass transit and other transportation programs, includes a rider designating roll-your-own (RYO) tobacco shops “manufacturers” for tax purposes.
Just two days ago a group of RYO shops filed suit based on the fact that the amendment is unconstitutional.
First it violates the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth amendment. Rolling your own cigarettes is not illegal, you can do it in your own home all day long. The RYO shops do nothing more then rent you a machine so that you can do it more efficiently. These are not manufacturing grade machines, they produce about 20 cigarettes a minute as opposed to the 20,000 cigarettes per minute that a cigarette manufacturer’s machine does. You can buy one of these machines and use it in your own home but under the law you can’t rent the same machine and use it in the store.
Second it violates the “takings clause” of the fifth amendment. The amendment virtually makes the machines that these businesses invested in worthless thereby a taking without due process or “just compensation”
This of course is a simplification of the case and when I can find a link to the entire complaint I will post it. But we see the erosion of freedom and freedom of choice on a daily basis. Here is a video done by Audrey Silk founder of NY CLASH.
Of course we have all heard about how widely popular smoking bans are and how well they are working. Of course they claim no economic harm. and of course they are using money extorted from smokers through the MSA (Master Settlement Agreement) to enforce this ban. Of course the intent of the settlement was compensate the states for some of the medical costs of caring for persons with smoking-related illnesses. Very little has been spent in that area. What was not used as an attack on the rights of smokers was used to fill budget shortfalls. So this in itself is a hidden tax on smokers. From Peoria IL:
Sullivan added, “This business is hard enough. We don’t call on ‘mom and pop’ shops. You just don’t do that.”
Koehler and other members of the Senate subcommittee also expressed frustration that a $4,557 grant was issued to the Peoria City/County Health Department from a source they were unaware of. The money actually came from the massive 1998 legal settlement against tobacco companies that awarded $9.1 billion to Illinois though 2025. Of that, $86,866 is budgeted this year to the Peoria City/County Health Department for enforcement grants to ensure the Smoke Free Illinois Act is obeyed.
Since Fascism is basically a partnership between a strong central government and corporations the above should be of no surprise but other then those of us fighting the smoking bans. The back room deals between Obama and Big Pharma on Obamacare have been reported.
A memo obtained by the Huffington Post confirms that the White House and the pharmaceutical lobby secretly agreed to precisely the sort of wide-ranging deal that both parties have been denying over the past week. . . . It says the White House agreed to oppose any congressional efforts to use the government’s leverage to bargain for lower drug prices or import drugs from Canada — and also agreed not to pursue Medicare rebates or shift some drugs from Medicare Part B to Medicare Part D, which would cost Big Pharma billions in reduced reimbursements.
Of course those of us fighting all of this have known for quite some time. Dr Michael Siegel who formerly worked at the CDC and was a Tobacco Control Trainer has reported on this.
I had no idea that the contractors providing state quitline services are all part of an insiders club that is beholden to the North American Quitline Consortium. The best potential contractor in the nation would not be eligible to even bid for a contract to provide quitline services in many states if it were not a member of NAQC.
What is so troubling, though, is why the state health departments are playing along. Why would state governments agree with the requirement that contractors must pay off NAQC in order to apply? Would not the state health departments want to identify the best and most qualified possible contractor, not merely chose their contractors from the subset of companies that have made their payments to NAQC?
Equally troubling is the fact that in order to “join the club,” a service provider must necessarily create a conflict of interest for itself with Big Pharma. Since NAQC is funded by three pharmaceutical companies with a vested interest in having their products offered to quitline callers, contractors who join NAQC become members of an organization that is funded by, and advised by these pharmaceutical companies, which serve as corporate delegates to the group.
What is surprising is the unholy alliance between Big Pharma,Big Tobacco and the NACS, from the NACS:
WASHINGTON – The Washington Post last week analyzed the $109 billion federal highway bill, pointing out that the amendment includes language that would reclassify tobacco shops that offer roll-your-own (RYO) machines as “tobacco manufacturers.”
The Post, however, painted a different picture, framing the issue as one of Big Tobacco against the little guy. “This is catastrophic,” said Phil Accordino, whose small company builds RYO machines in Girard, Ohio.
NACS, along with tobacco companies and some members of Congress, maintain that the bill is aimed at cracking down on unregulated cigarettes. “Roll-your-own cigarette machines take advantage of an unintended tax loophole, and that isn’t right, so this offset closes it,” said U.S. Sen. Max Baucus.
Now from the Post:
Officials with the tobacco companies, and allies who include some public health advocates, counter that they’ve been trying to crack down on ultra cheap and unregulated cigarettes, which they contend skirt tax and health laws.
Even the non-smokers among you should be disturbed by this. Here is Vicki McKenna when the state tried to do the same thing.
Welcome to Fascism in Amerika.