Sunday, April 23, 2006

I Have Met The Enemy

Unfortunately, many times the enemy is us. By "us", I mean smokers and even those non-smokers who agree with our side of the Anti-smoker issue. We seem to be LETTING "them" defeat us.

The thing that strikes me, as I read posts on various blogs and forums, from smokers and anti-smokers throughout cyberspace and representing a cross-section of the "civilized" world, is how often WE seem to accept and express defeat. Even in defiance, ie: "Okay so you won. You made your point and I understand that my smoke makes you sick so I don't have a right to do it around you. Can you understand that even though I am a stupid, weak, tobacco junkie I have a right to kick your ass if you try to tell me what to do when I'm outside your smoke-free zone?"

Then there are those who have come to believe that they are indeed stupid, ugly, selfish addicts who should be ashamed of themselves. They hide the fact that they choose to smoke, sometimes even from their own friends and families. They agree that they should quit and sometimes say they agree that smoking bans are a good thing. "Maybe it will help me kick the habit." "I know I shouldn't smoke around my kids because it will give them asthma." "Well the vote was 2 to 1, so I guess I have to go along with the majority."

Not that it's surprising we should feel defeated. After all, the campaign against us has been going on a long, long time and we know it's extremely well funded, well organized and insidious. But, we shouldn't forget that we have facts on our side, while they only have "truth" - their own particular brand of "truth".

And even when we KNOW The Truth Is A Lie, we say "Well, what can we do about it? That's the way it is."

There is a lot we can do about it. First of all, smokers must take back their dignity and recognize that choosing to smoke does NOT make anyone a "loser". I don't know who to thank for this web page, but I guarantee it will lift your spirits and remind you who you are.

And BTW, my profile pic is less than a year old. At 5'7", I weigh a tidy 140 pounds, still chew with my very own teeth and though my hair is beginning to grey around the edges, have been mistaken for someone 10-15 years younger than the 58 I'll be in two weeks. I still walk a mile or two almost every day because I enjoy it (even in the frequently-rainy climate of Western Washington), can still run up two flights of stairs without panting and do water aerobics with more energy and enthusiam than most of the 30-somethings who share the pool with me. I have smoked an average of a pack a day since I was 22.

If you do want to quit smoking because YOU have decided it effects your health or it's a habit you can live without, there are plenty of methods out there to help you. But do it because you WANT to, not because you feel forced into it. And once you become a non-smoker - don't join the anti-smoker crusade.

Second of all, we need to educate ourselves about the methods, motives and maliciousness of the anti-smoker brigade. Michael J. McFadden's Dissecting Antismokers Brains is, hands down, the BEST investment you will ever make in this regard. You'll also find links at left to other excellent sources of information.

And once you understand what's really going on, you can educate others. Start with friends and family, whether smokers or non-smokers. Help them to see the fallacies, the loss of freedom, the risk to their own liberties; and encourage them to spread the word as well. Many non-smokers would support us if they were fully aware of the scope of the issue. As it is, they usually don't think it effects them much, so...oh well.

But most of all, make certain that every smoker you know understands the facts and refuses to believe the propaganda about ETS. As long as smokers themselves believe the lie that their smoke "injures" others, we have no chance to change the culture we find ourselves in. "They" count on us to be good little citizens in their smoke-free utopia because they know that most people don't want to harm others by their actions. "They" have made us compliant by lying to us for the past 30 years and their lies are becoming more shrill and egregious. As long as no one offers any serious challenge, the lies and outrageous bigotry toward smokers will continue unabated.

Third, stop thinking that the only way to win is to have enough money to fight on the same terms as the massive ATI. A true "grassroots" organization can have enormous influence if it's large enough and ever-present. There's a lot we can accomplish with our own computers and printers, a little courage and bit of creativity.

I'll have more on that idea in the days to come and I'll soon be posting the next chapter of The Smokers' Rebellion too. Look for a new character to fire up your imagination and perhaps, to inspire you.


Blogger Eli said...

Smokers need to look for defenders as always. Oppressed needed to look to leaders as always. Our best cutting edge we have is to expose the hypocrasy of these hijacked religions, politicians, and illustrate to everyone, smokers/non smokers exactly what has been started here and what needs to be stopped. If we just cast aside any blame, and see our common problem, we can beat it!

9:23 PM  
Blogger Colin Grainger said...

Hi Kathleen,

I live on the north east coast of Soviet Scotland. Our recently introduced ban is killing people.

I agree with everything that you say here. The one thing I am seeing more and more often in these dark days, is that the wheels are coming off the anti-smoking bandwagon. Naturally, I am doing all I can to loosen the nuts.

ASH UK, and more recently, the British Heart Foundation have been using outrageous lies in the popular press. Since they enjoy a "cosiness" with our government, I can only surmise that they are in cahoots to maintain the state of fear. If we are all scared, all the time, we are likely to whine less when tax raises appear on the horizon.

What I fail to understand is why we are letting them get away with it.

11:54 AM  
Blogger Kathleen said...

Hi Colin - I fail to understand that too. I hope we can do a lot to change it in the near future.

It saddened and shocked me when I realized Scotland was facing the same type of censure we do here. My ancestry is Scottish and I had the pleasure of visiting there in 1984. We found the Scottish people and their hospitality to be such a joy and we felt so comfortable we would gladly have stayed....forever.

My husband (also named Colin) is from the northernmost region of England. He has been an American citizen for twenty-some years and most recently visited family "back home" about eight years ago. He too, was astounded at what's happening in the U.K. these days.

Best of luck with your "wheel removal", please let me know if there's anything I can do to assist you in your endeavor. Too bad we can't form a huge roving band and blow smoke in the faces of Anti-Smokers the world over!

1:14 PM  
Blogger Colin Grainger said...


I am forced to confess that I am only a "plastic" Scotsman. I actually hail from the north west of England-Manchester to be precise. I moved up here with my fambly 16 years ago and it has been a joy. Up until March 26th that is. I campaigned heavily against the ban in my wee village (1400 people) but the apathy was almost beyond belief. I say almost because I also was until recently, extremely ashamed of my "murderous" habit. Once I saw the light I got writing to all and sundry. Alas, the response was pitiful.

We have a campaign running on the BBC Action Network called StoptheBan. In Scotland we just changed it to EndtheBan and for my sins, I am now the Groups' spokesperson.

You are unaware of this but I already rely on you, Annette (my wife is also called Annette-is that spooky?) and Dr Mike for a great deal of my data. We also have a friendly smoking doctor supporting us. His name is Phil Button. Is that a great name or what!?

Our ban is the most wide-ranging in the world. Apart from Calabasas of course, but it is hateful nevertheless.

Thank you for inspiring me!

Stay safe, stay well, and stay sane!


1:30 PM  
Blogger Kathleen said...

Sounds like you and my husband are from neighboring locales. Do you consider yourself a bit of a "Geordie" as well?

If you haven't already done so, be sure to get one or more copies of "Dissecting Antismokers Brains". I can't recommend it enough!

1:38 PM  
Blogger Colin Grainger said...

Ordinarily, just knowing that your hubby is a Yorkshireman would upset me, as I am a Lancastrian (ask him about our "scuffles" 7 or 8 hundred years ago), but my dad was born in Middlesbrough, which is a stones throw from Geordie-land.

I have worked there many times on Oil & Gas projects, particularly at Wallsend. I am sure he knows and loves it well!!

MJM and I write to each other, and support each other on UK websites. I ordered Antibrains several weeks ago, but I think that someone is bringing it to me personally rather than trusting the postal system! From the length of time so far elapsed, I have concluded that they are walking....

Tell Colin from me that there is nothing sweeter than a Red Rose...

Then stand well back!

2:03 PM  
Blogger Kathleen said...

Why Aye Man!

3:34 PM  
Blogger Soren said...

Good to see the spirit of your thinking. Rebellion is, in my view, quite possible. Sooner or later citizens are going to discover what a fraud the anti smoking movement (or rather the whole healthist movement) is based on.

In my little home country of Denmark the healthist craze is hyping up. Although Scandinavian countries are traditionally healthist, I am proud to live in the most libartarian of those countries. As yet, you can still go to a bar or restaurant for a smoke, and far from all workplaces are 'smoke free'.

In the long run, we will win. But victory will be hard won. Defending liberty and expanding it is not easy. It never was.

And we may have to resort to harsher means than have yet been applied.....

5:15 PM  

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