Tobacco Bill Signed Into Law

06.22.2009

“First they came for the smokers, but I didn’t speak up because I’m not a smoker.”

I can’t believe he signed it. I gave him money, wore his button and cast my vote by his name. In return, instead of hope and progress, we get authoritarian feel-good pandering and “Think of the CHILDREN” politics

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090612/ap_on_go_co/us_fda_tobacco

Smokers, particularly the younger crowd, will find they can no longer buy cigarettes sweetened by candy flavors or any herb or spices such as strawberry, grape, orange, clove, cinnamon or vanilla. Cigarettes advertised as “light” or “mild,” giving the impression that they aren’t as harmful to health, will no longer be found on store shelves. A great way to improve health is to start this fat burning program, it´ll make you feel and look great, and for the ones who doesn’t even need to lost wait, they can always take natural supplements since you can buy kratom online, so you feel and perform better.

[emphasis mine]

And the YOUNGER CROWD won’t be able to buy them? Bull****. They can’t legally buy them NOW. It’s the ADULT crowd that can buy them today and won’t be able to buy them at some point in the future.

There are lots of things that children should not do and should not have. Since when does that mean that those things can’t exist?

I’m not a heavy smoker, and it’s not an expensive luxury for me to buy some cheap dab rigs at this point, but it’s something I enjoy. It makes me feel good to smoke. My favorite brand? Djarum. Cloves. I’d say I smoke fewer than 30 a year. That’s a pack and a half.

Now I’ll have to get them from indian reservations (if they have them) or smuggle them here from Canada if I want them. I suppose I could stock up, but I kind of like only having to buy a pack at a time, working on that pack for a few weeks or a couple months and getting another when I run out. They also get acrylic pipes and less fresh tasting after a while, which is another reason it sucks to stock up.

I still don’t have Canadian-style health care. Labor unions are still weak. We’re still stuck in a war (5000, by the way.) It’s still really hard for a small business owner to get a loan. Still no affordable electric cars on the horizon.

But thank god I’m being saved from the horrors of Grape Camel Lights and cherry pipe tobacco.

What did I ever do to you that I deserve to have one of the few pleasures I have in life go away? I don’t smoke where people are going about their business. I go as far from people as possible. I don’t blow smoke in anyone’s face. If someone asks me to put out the cigarette, I do. If someone does that passive-aggressive fake coughing thing, I still put it out. If there’s no ashtray or trash, I extinguish it and put it in my pocket until I can throw it away. I’ve done NOTHING wrong.

I understand why people hate smokers. Rude smokers piss me off too. The problem is that people form bad anecdotal statistics in their minds and it seems like “all smokers are rude smokers.” Polite smokers smoke in places where you can’t smell them. They do their jobs without constant smoke breaks. The don’t litter. They are pleasant, even when they’d like a cigarette right now but can’t have one. Polite smokers go unnoticed and therefore don’t exist. This means all the data that gets filed away in the “Smokers” folder in that information schema file cabinet of your mind are the smokers who block the sidewalk in front of bars with their stink (just a side note, if you are one of those people who likes anti-tobacco laws, YOU put them in front of that bar). The vast majority of smokers don’t bother anyone, in the same way that the vast majority of homeless people don’t hassle you for spare change, but when the only members of a group you notice are the annoying members, it’s hard to think about anything else.

I get it. I understand. This is how human brains work. You’re mistaken though. Read Freakonomics. It’s a good book. It has nothing to do with this, but it talks about these sort of associations that human minds make. Plus it’s the kind of book where strangers will start conversations with you if they see you with it in public.

If you don’t like smokers who are rude, outlaw the rude behavior and here’s a novel concept: You know all those laws that states and counties and city councils love to pass about littering and second hand smoke and “25 feet from entryways”? How about we ENFORCE THOSE LAWS. We don’t enforce them, because they’re not meant to do anything except log “Aye” votes into the columns of the politicians who vote for such popular laws. Meanwhile, as the laws go unenforced and people light up in line at Disneyland people’s hatred for “those filthy smokers” grows and these stupid laws become even more popular in spite of solving nothing.

For me, this is like when Firefly was canceled. This is like when they started putting high fructose corn syrup in Ben and Jerry’s. This is like the inevitable departure of the fleeting McRib (limited time only.)

No… even those don’t sum it up. Those were corporate decisions. This is LAW.

This is like when I was told I was no longer allowed to wear my bright red deck shoes to school because they were “gang-colored”. They were Keds and Vans. Jay-sus, man. Keds… Vans!

What do you like that might be next?

And everyone here pointing out how annoying cigarette butts in your lawns, parking lots and sidewalks are. Everyone mentioning how obnoxious people are when they just light up sitting next to you. Everyone complaining about how people can be jerks when they’re jonesin’ for a cancer stick. Everyone talking about the smell. Everyone worried about the health risks of cigarettes to you, as a non-smoker.

This bill does NOTHING to stop that.

It bans a certain kind of cigarette and allows a different kind of cigarettes. It limits advertising, which will probably make cigarettes cheaper. It allows the FDA to order lower nicotine levels, so rude smokers will probably be spending more time blowing smoke in your face and throwing 10% more butts on your law.

Anyone can still smoke those unflavored, unadvertised, low-nicotine cigarettes where they damn well want. Right in your face when you’re walking into a store. And they’ll still smell bad. And they’ll still be just as unhealthy.

It’s just some of us who liked the flavored kind can’t get the flavored kind anymore.

You lose AND I lose.

Sometimes, though, it seems that some people just like to have someone to pick on. I just wish it was sub-prime home-buyers again.

I think promoting health is a good thing. I think taking away rights, even if those rights are the right to do something unhealthy and/or stupid, is a bad thing. You all know how I vote, but sometimes the people I vote for piss me off and the snarling libertarian that lives inside me takes over. I don’t like when that happens, because it puts me on the same side of the privacy fence as people I’d rather not be fenced in with. Sure, there’s weed and hookers over here, and the taxes are really low, but I can’t hear myself think with all the automatic-weapons-fire, bottle rockets and people quoting bible scripture.

I can find a little humor in this though. Of all the flavors getting banned, I noticed menthols were saved from the firing squad. First black President.

Really Weird Audio Illusion

06.10.2009

http://www.infoniac.com/science/scientists-observed-the-transformation-of-speech-into-song-when-repeated.html

For the first time Diana Deutsch noticed such illusion when, back in 1990s, she revised a recording of her own voice. She noted that the phrase “sometimes behaves so strangely” somehow morphed into a song when it was repeated several times.

Here is the link to the audio.

This effect makes me want to record phone calls and biology lectures to see what high-energy dance tunes I can create from them.

It kind of reminds me of that Strongbad cartoon where he will never, ever, ever, ever, ever make a song about Sibbie.

Now, maybe someone can record Taylor Swift and see if THAT turns into music.