Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Forefathers, communists, and injustice

I guess it was predictable that on this air-clearing Virginia day, we'd get some folks blowing smoke. Guess they've been puffing too long and their brains are totally fogged.
In Roanoke, a fellow named Gordon Middlekauff said "banning smoking in restaurants is communism...." Calling opponents "communists" has been popular since the days of McCarthyism and recently teabagger types have made abundant misuse of it to attack everything Obama. Then he brought out the ghosts of Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and Sam Adams by adding, ".... our forefathers fought for us... to smoke where we want." Hum, I do recall that early American men were big smokers, but I don't recall that was the cause of the American Revolution or a major bone of contention at the Philadelphia Convention. Revisionist history, I guess.
A Travis Powell called the smoking ban a "huge injustice." Guess he'll have a tough time saying the Pledge of Allegiance. Maybe he'll modify it to "and justice for all, except smokers."
Poochie Preston is upset because it upsets his routine... "get off work, get a beer and smoke a cigarette." Sorry Poochie... not part of everyone's routine.
It is amazing how smokers can claim their rights, their freedom, their liberty, their justice is somehow denied by bans on indoor smoking. I remember a teacher once telling a class, our rights extend to where the other person's nose begins. In this case an especially apt analogy.
It is equally amazing how our public discourse so frequently strays into name-calling and perversion of our nation's history. But, perhaps I'm guilty too... while sitting at a stop light just last night, the cute blond in the car to my right tossed her butt (cigarette butt, that is) right in front of my car. Exercising my freedom of speech to show my displeasure, I tooted my horn. Guess she got the message and didn't like it... exercising her freedom of speech she glared and gave me the too-often-used one finger salute. &#*@ communist!

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