Sunday, March 11, 2007

Nazis. Mein Gott.(i)

Big Al Capone is Dead but the Spirit of the Jack Boot Lives on In Chicago

Is this the Olympic Spirit?

What makes a Nazi?(ii) One of our perceptions of what was most hateful about the Nazis was their ‘anything goes’ push to get things done. Kill Babies? Fine. Force young and old healthy people into slave labor? No problem. Kill the old and infirm, the lame, the halt, basically anyone who would cost more to feed than they could produce in a day? OK, get rid of them. If they stand in your way, get rid of them. Even if they only stand in your way philosophically……Especially if they stand in your way philosophically! Get rid of them. Remember: the Nazis and the communists in Russia, China and Viet Nam came first for the intellectuals, the lawyers and the teachers. Free thinkers. The people who were most understanding of others.

Ah, yes,

When they came for the communists,(iii)
I remained silent;
I was not a communist

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.……… they’re coming for the smokers.(iv)

That’s the dilemma of people with a conscience that live in the city of Chicago. Sometimes in Chicago, the powers that be just can’t resist slipping on their pretend armbands with the swastikas and the pretend collar bars of the schutzstaffel and let the populace know just who is in charge of the city. Sometimes they just trample on other people for no other reason than because they have the power to do it. Its not enough that they pass a law that forbids smoking. Its not enough that they pass a law that forbids smoking even in places where it can’t really bother others. On top of making laws, they also have to let you know that whether you like it or not, they control your life. In fact the main point of the exercise is to show you in no uncertain terms that they can control your life. To show you that they can control your life most especially if you don’t like it.(v)

Running a large city, especially one as diverse and complex as Chicago is tough. There’s a lot of conflicting interests and sometimes that doesn’t allow for the smoothest of roads to Oz. For example, one thing I learned a million years ago when I held(vi) a very tiny, teeny, teensy, weensy, political office, is that there’s certain things you can’t tell your constituents. For instance, if you want to use your office to eliminate slavery, you can’t very well tell the slave owners what you’re up to. Sorry I can’t think of a better example right now but I think you get my point. Being a politician isn’t always easy.

The cause of all my consternation today is the story that there are people who want to close Marshall McGearty Artisans.(vii)(viii) It seems that in the face of the new laws that prohibit smoking in public places, a new venue has opened. Marshall McGearty Artisans is a tobacco lounge at Milwaukee and Damen. You have to be 21 to get in. McGearty’s serves drinks, food and will roll you a hand made butt. That’s probably pretty cool in view of the fact that these days most popular American cigarette brands are rolled with crap tobacco. To digress for a moment, I have to say that it wouldn’t surprise me if American cigarettes were made mostly of cardboard or something. This becomes readily apparent if you go to another country where the cigarettes are rolled with quality tobacco. Take for example, Craven’A’, a Jamaican brand. First, I was very pleased to find that Craven’A’ (with filters) is a good substitute for the US brand, Camel (without filters). In fact I was pleased to find that in addition to being a good switch, the quality was even better. For example, if you tamp a new pack against your hand before opening, the tobacco doesn’t slip down in the paper. If you try that with American cigarettes, the tobacco tamps down at least ¼ to 3/8 of an inch. I was amazed that the package is clearly marked “Genuine Virginia Tobacco”. They burn slower, smoke smoother and are a far higher quality tobacco than ANY US cigarettes.

If people are dead set on smoking, can you blame them for making all they can out of the experience? We are talking about adults here. Under the restrictions promulgated by law these days, there can be little doubt that they MUST be allowed to pursue their course of action: It is legal. It is certainly no more dubious than drinking alcohol, casino gambling, lottery gambling, horse racing, dog racing, auto racing, and a host of other activities we readily put on TV and admire! The only thing that’s bad about smoking is that the PC Nazis have staked it out. And of course it will kill, cripple, maim and disfigure you! But the latter is also true for drinking alcohol, casino gambling, lottery gambling, horse racing, dog racing and auto racing.

These people are adults participating in a legal pursuit. The kindest thing I can say about the people who object to this place is that they obviously have too much time on their hands. And we all know the military’s punishment for people with too much time on their hands, don’t we? (if you get complaints about anyone underage in the place, fine, prosecute them. But lets have lots of complaints from honest people. Don’t send in some kid with a ZZ Top beard who’s 17 years, 11 months, 30 days, 23 hours old and try to crucify them.)

And don’t you believe that health crap. Its about money and power.

Please don’t for a minute believe that I have any sympathies for Tobacco. But there is no social cost to smoking. The costs of treating smoking caused illnesses is just about balanced by the savings gleaned to society because smokers don’t hang around and collect their share of old age benefits. Smokers don’t linger in the hospital for years. Lung cancer is hard to diagnose early and lung cancer is aggressive. That is it’s a short time from onset to death.

And don’t you believe that the politicians are trying to protect us from ourselves and from the second hand smoke of others. They are just pandering to the interests of the anti smoking fanatics who have scared the crap out of the rest of us. That and the tobacco settlements lets them put a few more of their relatives on the public payroll.

Which brings us to why you needn’t believe the AMA or the American Cancer Society about how they only care for our well-being. The doctors rejoice over the double whammy of tobacco. If the medical profession can keep the public concentrated on hating smoking, maybe no one will notice that medical malpractice is way above lung cancer in how many people are killed every year. The second whammy is that the medical profession figures that they can make as much money selling nicotine patches to the addicts as the tobacco companies can earn pushing cigarettes. The struggle between the medical profession and the tobacco companies isn’t a clash between good and evil. Its just another street fight between two drug dealers.

Next time you hear a doctor complain with great self-righteousness about how the tobacco industry is killing people, and he’s tired of the waste of medical resources to treat them, tell him the same thing that your boss tells you when you bitch about being tired of your job: Hey, Pal, there’s 1000 other mopes out there on the street just waiting for your job. If you don’t like it, hit the bricks!

Do just what you should do when the doctor tells you to lose some weight: If he needs it, tell him to get on the scale.

Next time you hear a doctor complain with great self-righteousness that he’s sick of treating gun shot wounds and we need to confiscate all the guns, tell him that we can get to that right after we take care of a much worse scourge: Malpractice by doctors.

Who’s next? Autistic children? Alzheimer’s patients? They cost an awful lot in health care expenses. And they linger for years. Fat people? They’re mostly unproductive and ugly for sure. How about diabetics? They might not be as ugly as fat people, but they require expensive medicines all their lives. And when it comes to mealtime or party time, they’re not very exciting. Why thanks to the PC Nazis its already impossible to have a complex discussion about race or gender on most college campuses today.

Lest you misconstrue, I’m a tobacco addict. I quit smoking years ago. I don’t remember when. I don’t keep track of things like that, but it was 5-10 years ago or more. While I respect 12 step programs, I find that counting the days of sobriety (straightness, cleanness???) would keep me focused on when I did smoke and be more detrimental than helpful.

I’m a tobacco addict. I have no problem with alcohol. But I have had to admit that I can’t even enjoy one cigarette every 2-3 months like I’d hoped. I don’t even trust myself to have a few puffs of a cigar at Christmas or New Years or a wedding or christening. Tobacco is to me as alcohol is to a drunk. One butt today and I’m back to a pack a day tomorrow. I love the stuff but my neighbor recently had his bladder cut out due to cancer. Did you know that bladder cancer is highly correlated with smoking? Whoda thought? Lungs yes. Bladder? And did you know that there’s a urinary tract equivalent of a colostomy bag? If you don’t have insurance that’ll pay for bladder reconstruction there is. And by the way, my neighbor still smokes!

And that’s the thing of it these days. We’re getting Nazified. Just as with the powers in Washington today, when you decide on the basis of YOUR right and truth that you are justified in all manner of prevarications and deformations of the truth to sell your point, you go right over the edge. You emulate your enemies to the point where what you do is exactly what they did.

For these people who want to smoke themselves to death in peace, where are their 4th amendment rights to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects?

For these people who want to smoke themselves to death in peace, where are their 9th amendment rights? The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others (rights) retained by the people.

And for those who wish to close the hole that allows for a place such as Marshall McGearty Artisans, where are their rights under Art 1 Sec 10 against ex post facto laws.

Tomorrow, look your favorite politician in the eye and ask yourself: “Is he interested in the common good or is he looking for the next lamb he can throw to the wolves to insure his reelection?”

[i] Remember the guy….The low ranking German officer who was running that train station in the movie “Von Ryan’s Express”. Frank Sinatra (Ryan) wound up as ranking officer in a German prison camp toward the end of WWII. There was a mass escape. Sinatra, Trevor Howard and a few others were pretending to be German officers chaperoning a train full of the escapees. At one switch yard, the low rank officer was going to sidetrack the train or something. The prison camp chaplain was masquerading as the highest-ranking officer of the fake officers on the train. The priest was the only one who fit the honcho’s uniform or something. Anyway, to get the ‘unter offizer’ to let the train go on its way, the chaplain pulled the old
movie trick of the ‘higher officer stymied by the lower officer’. The priest threw a fit, starting off with how the clerk’s tunic was unbuttoned at the top, and that he was going to report the clerk and all his people to the Fürrer for sloppy operations that were a disgrace to the Third Reich blah, blah, blah. The clerk complied with the chaplain’s wishes and rearranged the entire European rail system to suit the squeaky wheel (more like a clanking tank tread bearing down on you). As the party of ersatz officers left the railroad office, the relived clerk muttered the sigh of relief: “Nazis. Mein Gott.” The whole joke of the scene was that even the Nazis couldn’t stand the Nazis! Well that’s what I thought of when I heard that there were
people who objected to Marshall McGearty Artisans….Nazis. My God.

[ii] And don’t give me any of your holier than thou crap that I’m insulting WWII or the VFW or the Holocaust, or whatever it is axe that you grind, by calling these people Nazis. I’m so sick of groups that harp on their cause like they’re the only ones who’ve been wronged. Like pornography, I know a Nazi when I see one.

[iii] A poem attributed to Martin Niemöller:

When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I did not speak out;
I was not a Jew.

When they came for me,there was no one left to speak out.

[iv] Where were the smokers (along with general aviation, cryptographers, anyone who uses telephone equipment, people with large debts, anyone with a brain when they passed the patriot act) when they tried to take away my guns?

In recent years our fine government has tried to or succeeded at:

Tried to eliminate General Aviation.
Tried to require all computer encryption software to include a back door so the G could fight crime.
Tried to allow phone companies and all their subsidiaries, partners and affiliates, the right to the use the personal information of anyone, any part of whose phone traffic traveled on any part of the phone company’s lines.
Revised the bankruptcy laws so most anyone has to pay off their debts, no matter how long it takes. While Corporate bankruptcies of course are just an every day tool to void labor and supplier contracts.
Do I need to even comment on the Patriot Act or what the librarians thought of it?
Whenever I hear the above groups complain about the laws passes to make the politicians lives easier at the expense of the above groups, I always ask, “Where were you when they tried to take away my guns again this year?” And believe me, if this is Chicago, they will try to take away my guns again this year. It's no surprise, that like Nazi Germany, Illinois is one of the last two states in the US to allow concealed carry of firearms.

[v] How much of a Nazi do you have to be to run Chicago? Well the most prominently quoted politician in the recent stories about this tobacco lounge has this as just one notch on his swagger stick: While its pretty evident to some that he hates black people, as evidenced at least inpart by his total opposition to the candidacy of Harold Washington, Chicago’s first black mayor, in recent years he and his wife foster parented a black infant. After the mother of this child, a woman with drug problems, completed all the requirements ordered by the court that took the child away, the politician and his wife sued to keep the child, maintaining that the mother was unfit. By the way, the wife is a Judge. Power trip? Racist? Nazi?

[vi] Four times I held the office. And I was never elected. The popular guys who always kicked my ass in the election could take neither the heat of the office nor of their constituents. They quit mid term. I was then appointed to the vacancy.



- © 2007 The Chewed End All rights reserved.

No comments:

Seamus O'Bròg is an artist and freelance writer who tries to turn life's irritations into life's lessons.

His money back guaranteed newsletter "The Pitfalls of Unlocked Cell Phones and SIM Card Cloning" can be purchased by clicking here.