by Jane Gaffin
The venerable academic and author Walter Williams, an economic professor at George Mason University, who comes with a long litany of credentials, is one of my favorite political syndicated columnists and is often an invited commentator on a number of radio talk shows such as Brian Wilson’s Libertas Media Project.
I admire Mr. Williams whose thoughts always make sense. I can comprehend, thus retain, what he said after he said it. That, to me, is the sign of a true academic; an unpretentious teacher who doesn’t talk over the student’s head. I could have done with a few more professors the likes of Mr. Williams during my school years.
It is for all those reasons I saved his article Bizarre Arguments and Behavior to my document file for future reference, having come across this specific piece on the Lew Rockwell website under the heading The War on 2nd Hand Smoke.
Other than UK writer Christopher Snowdon at Velvet Glove, Iron Fist, it is not too often I come across anybody agreeing with my opinions about the bogus United Nations people-control tobacco-control tactics, based on so-called “researchers” snatching fake statistical numbers out of thin air, that was perpetrated on a gullible public while buying off the health-care system.
One exception to Christopher Snowdon was another Christopher, the late journalist, debater and orator Christopher Hitchens, a smoker and drinker in his own rights. During an interview with Rhys Southan of Reason Magazine in November 2001, Mr. Hitchens explained, among other things, why he was no longer a socialist and why moral authoritarianism was on the rise.
“I’m damned,” Mr. Hitchens said, “if I’ll be treated how smokers are now being treated by not just the government, but the government ventriloquizing the majority. The majoritarian aspect makes it to me more repellent. And I must say it both startles and depresses me that an authoritarian majoritarianism of that kind can have made such great strides in America, almost unopposed. There’s something essentially unAmerican in the idea that I could not now open a bar in San Francisco that says ‘Smokers Welcome’ ”
If the truth were told, anybody with a grain of sense would find a moderation of smoking tobacco and alcohol consumption far safer than the health-care system’s unrestrained habit of prescribing deadly pharmaceuticals that cause more illnesses than cures.
Practitioners are conditioned to blame past or present smoking as the cause of all health ails while ignoring pills as a major culprit. When the dumb quacks find out the patient has never smoked tobacco, or anything else for that matter, they are up a creek without a scapegoat and indignant because they cannot collect their Big Pharma rewards for foisting nicotine and/or alcohol withdrawal assistance on the patient. Unless the patient is dumb enough to allow it to happen.
“Some statements and arguments are so asinine that you’d have to be an academic or a leftist to take them seriously,” was the attention-grabbing introduction sentence from Mr. Williams’ March 26th column. Whereas the entire column must be read to appreciate all the examples he dredged up, toward the halfway mark is where he goes on a roll about the second-hand smoke fable.
“Decades ago,” he continued, “I warned my fellow Americans that the tobacco zealots’ agenda was not about the supposed health hazards of secondhand smoke.
“It was really about control.
“The fact that tobacco smoke is unpleasant gained them the support of most Americans. By the way, to reach its secondhand smoke conclusions, the Environmental Protection Agency employed statistical techniques that were grossly dishonest.
“Some years ago, I had the opportunity to ask a Food and Drug Administration official whether his agency would accept pharmaceutical companies using similar statistical techniques in their drug approval procedures. He just looked at me….
“Former U.S. Department of Agriculture spokesman John Webster said:’Right now, this anti-obesity campaign is in its infancy. … We want to turn people around and give them assistance in eating nutritious foods.’
“The city of Calabasas, Calif., adopted an ordinance that bans smoking in virtually all outdoor areas. The stated justification is not the desire to fight against secondhand smoke but the desire to protect children from bad influences — seeing adults smoking.
“Most Americans don’t know that years ago, if someone tried to stop a person from smoking on a beach or sidewalk or buying a 16-ounce cup of soda or tried to throw away his kid’s homemade lunch, it might have led to a severe beating. On a very famous radio talk show, I suggested to an anti-obesity busybody who was calling for laws to restrict restaurants’ serving sizes that he not be a coward and rely on government. He should just come up, I told him, and take the food he thought I shouldn’t have from my plate.
“The late H.L. Mencken’s description of health care professionals in his day is just as appropriate today: ‘A certain section of medical opinion, in late years, has succumbed to the messianic delusion. Its spokesmen are not content to deal with the patients who come to them for advice; they conceive it to be their duty to force their advice upon everyone, including especially those who don’t want it. That duty is purely imaginary. It is born of vanity, not of public spirit. The impulse behind it is not altruism, but a mere yearning to run things.’ “
I love it! Put that in your pipe and smoke it, all you doctors, enforcers, meddlers, connivers, snivelers, moralizers, influence peddlers, uplifters and other busybodies who care to stick your noses in other people’s personal lives where you are not welcome.
Thank you, Mr. Williams!