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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Aversion Fads -- Smokers Are Scum!!!

If you'd missed it, cigarette smokers are scum!

You could ask the Governor of Wisconsin. He's decided recently, that:

Taxes should be increased on cigarettes, essentially doubling cigarette taxes for folks who buy cigarettes in Wisconsin, and

Smokers should be barred from bars and restaurants in Wisconsin -- but not exactly.Waitaminute, what do I mean not exactly, and wassup with the "aversion fad" in the Subect: line?

Well, first of all, a "fad" is a form of mass dementia. An Aversion Fad is a fad to hate a particular group of people or type of behavior. A victom of an Aversion Fad will hate, loathe, despise either people of that type, or people who behave in that particular way -- with no consideration of who they are or what they do otherwise. If one is a victim of an aversion fad toward the use of toothpicks, for example, and Mother Theresa used toothpicks, then Mother Theresa is the embodiment of evil, and must die, or at least suffer the worst punishment the aversionoiac (a word I just created) can accept without actually having to think about it. Aversion fads aren't about thought. They're about getting in line to accept hating whatever one needs to accept hating to get on the bandwagon and be accepted as part of the tribe.

We've seen it before, and the consequences have been uniformly, profoundly and frighteningly ugly.

It gets worse, pretty reliably.

Aversion fads are a common tool of politicians. This has been true at least as long as humans have had language. Get folks to hate a particular group, and if you aren't part of the Evil Group, you are by definition Good ("Either you're for us or against us") and can be completely trusted to speak the truth, even when you're obviously lying.

So, now the Governor of Wisconsin feels that (A) taxes have to be nearly doubled on cigarette smokers, many of whom are WWII war heroes, and (B) those smokers must be denied the freedom to act like smokers in public restaurants and bars.

You can't smoke in restaurants and bars, if the Gubinator prevails. BUT he wants to make sure to double the tax rate on cigarettes as part of the same process. His claim is that he wants to stop people from smoking -- but he's makiing very sure the state of Wisconsin doesn't stop getting the billions of dollars of tax money he gets from cigarette smokers. So even if he stops half the current smokers from smokiing, he still gets to spend the money.

Smokers are smokers, and we aren't going to stop being smokers. If young kids aren't fooled by the government, as I was, into becoming smokers, I'm all for that. But I'm a smoker.

Except now I get to be treated as a second- or third-class citizen, not worthy of eating in a restaurant or drinking in a Wisconsin bar, but I get to pay substantially more in taxes for the privilege.

Oh, HELL no. Trust a politician to find a way to abuse law-abiding (albeit spit-upon) citizens, but still make sure the billiions of dollars we produce still keep rolling in. Uh-huh.

This sucks. You can read this and know it sucks, smoker or non-smoker. You're gonna let Governor Beavis get away with this? Spitting on veterans?

It'd be easy, wouldn't it, though?? Everybody hates smokers, even though most smokers are from the Greatest Generation, right??

NOTE: I: refer to Him as Governor Beavis, because the only alternative would be Governor Butthead, and that would b e insulting. Even though he has insulted the intelligence of everyone who pays taxes in this state, calling him Governor Butthead would be an insult to the office, which deserves better treatment from me. And from him, for that matter.

And not all smokers are from the Greatest Generation. Not all are veterans, either -- though I started smoking seriously in basic training, and I am a peacetime veteran. And nobody ought to be treated like pond scum for becoming addicted to a substance that was promoted for a century and a half at least by most governments. (There are more smokers in China than people in the US.) My addictive behavior may be stupid. But I damn well earned it. If Governor Beavis wants to tell me I'm not worthy to be treated as a legitimate citizen and (heavily) tax paying citizen, he needs to do me and my fellow veterans the courtesy of saying so to our faces, rather than kicking us to the curb and dropping a doubled tax bill in the gutter -- where he assumes we live.

I'm going to skip the part where I start cursing vehemently. For the moment.

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