The foundational thought behind libertarian logic is that to empower government to do one thing is to empower government to do something else, only worse.
So what's the big deal about Bloomberg wanting to restrict smoking?
Allow me to elucidate.
Few eyes batted when, in 1913, the federal government imposed its first real income tax. Sold as a soak-the-rich, pay-their-fair-share, and we-get-what-they-pay, the middle class didn't realize that empowering the government to soak the rich also empowered the government to drown the middle class in excessive taxation. That little pip-squeak of an income tax is now the 2,000-pound albatross that hangs around the neck of every American who dares venture into the workforce.
So what's the big deal about government controlling our smoking habits (I don't and never have), consumption choices, and entertainment venues?
The problem can be summarized simply by stating that "the power to take away one's beer can is the power to take away another's Bible.
Few axe-wielding prohibitionists considered that -- by empowering government to restrict guzzling at Joe's corner bar -- they were feeding the monster that would restrict sermonizing at the corner church, rip crosses and other religious symbols from courthouse lawns, and teach kiddies about the values of Islam (called cultural appreciation) while prohibiting Christian effects in government schools (called separation of church and state) .
Is there a connection between income taxes, free speech and religious liberty? Ask any Baptist or pentecostalist who dared do damage to the reputation of liberal democratic candidate. "Thus saith the Lord" can be a lead into a letter from the IRS announcing your tax-exempt status has been revoked. Disagree with militant gay hate groups? Don't utter a word from the pulpit, they are listening and it may require your ministry to include the federal government on its missionary roster via income taxes.
It's a Catch 22.
Billy Sunday built his ministry on advocating prohibition. But inviting the government to do God's work included censoring preachers and using the IRS as a means of enforcement. He didn't realize that. Sunday's ministry would be considered a hate group today; and he helped create that atmosphere of big government intrusion.
Billy Sunday was the fundamentalist Christian who invited big government to prohibit alcohol. Michael Bloomberg is the fundamentalist liberal who is inviting big government to prohibit smoking. They were/are both doing Government's work. (Note I capitalized Government; proper form when naming a deity.)
Preachers who pound pulpits are no problem, its when they pound pulpits and talk at the same time that Planned Parenthood takes note, tells the ACLU, demands the IRS investigate, and your church ends up adding money to the pile from which Planned Parenthood takes millions.
There is only one way to win: Go back to square one. Reaffirm the concepts wisely instilled by the founders in our principles of personal liberty. Then tell Bloomberg, "I may not like what you smoke, but will defend to the death your right to smoke it."
Bloomberg’s anti-cig push: Smoking ruins sex
By Carl Campanile / New York Post
Mayor Bloomberg has begun a hard-sell campaign to discourage young people from smoking: It could destroy their sex lives.
The city Health Department’s “NYC Quits” Web site warns that young men who smoke cigarettes are more likely to suffer erectile dysfunction in middle age.
And females are more likely to become infertile.
“Men who smoke can have trouble getting and keeping an erection. Quitting smoking can decrease the risk of erectile dysfunction,” the site says.
Male impotence, or ED, is caused by a lack of sufficient blood flow to the penis. Inhaling carcinogen-laden tobacco smoke for years can lead to ED because it disrupts the ability of the heart to pump the necessary level of blood needed to achieve and maintain an erection, studies found.
Smoking also restricts the flow through blood vessels and causes hardening of the arteries.
More than 30 million men in the US suffer from ED, and that number is expected to double by 2025. Many are smokers.
And there’s a scary message for women as well.
“Women who smoke have more difficulty getting and staying pregnant. Research suggests that smoking, especially in adolescence and young adulthood, may increase the risk of moderate to severe premenstrual syndrome,” the site warns.
Research shows that smoking is harmful to ovaries, accelerating the loss of eggs and reproductive functions and may advance the time of menopause, according to the American Society of Reproductive Medicine
A smoking-rights group slammed the messages as another overblown scare campaign.
“The biggest wet noodle around here has been Bloomberg. His idea of civil liberties is the equivalent of erectile dysfunction,” said Audrey Silk of Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment.
“The ‘greatest generation’ — the group with the heaviest smoking prevalence — came back from World War II and produced the baby boom. Does that sound like erectile dysfunction to you?” Silk said.
City health officials defended linking its anti-smoking campaign to sexual health.
“If you think smoking is sexy, think again,” said Health Department spokesman Sam Miller.
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