Saturday, April 28, 2007

Tabloid Politics Exposed

This week the Borough Council of Keyport, New Jersey passed an ordinance that would make smoking in your car, with anyone 17 years or younger, illegal. For now, the ordinance is a secondary offense and will cost violators $75. But this is just the beginning, of course.

According to the AP, Mayor Robert Bergen said:

"We're not trying to use the power of the motor vehicle system to punish people into behaving the way we want them to" (then why did you pass the law?)

he continues...

"This ordinance is really intended to be a positive public policy statement about the need to take care of our kids."

This public admission of the true intention of the law is proof of the absurd policies being pursued by our elected politicians. They are passing laws, restricting freedoms and legislating "common sense", in order to make a STATEMENT about how much they care about children.

If you care about children, then do something for Children!!! How about funding education for children? Enlighten us with society's collective wisdom rather than intruding into our lives with repressive laws. Our founding fathers would be disgusted to see the country they founded being manipulated by such short-sighted, narrow-minded, self-serving functionaries. These "laws" are an intellectual and moral failure!

Or, perhaps I am wrong. Maybe we should make candy, fast food, raised voices, television, and all "non-wholesome" or "deviant" thought illegal. Yeah... that's the ticket... Maybe our politicians should extend their hands into our homes with surveillance cameras to ensure that we are parenting according to their standards: obviously they know what is right and wrong.

PS: the legal smoking age in New Jersey is 19, so why should 18 year olds be exposed to second-hand smoke? Does anybody read these laws before they pass them?

Saturday, April 21, 2007

NPR TU Interview

Here is a selection of the good quotes:

"If you can help one person savor their time better, then that, to me, is what we do."

Savoring Your Time
"A cigarette is about giving your body nicotine. A great cigar is about the time you take to savor it."

About the world we live in
"I want to live in a world where tobacco is not anathema to the culture, but really just an accent."

Products Matter More Than Money
"it's the product that matters and that's refreshing in today's day and age."

The interview was almost 3 hours long and they edited it down to 3 minutes. While the interview and freelance reporter were extremely pleasant, I think it is obvious that NPR has a deep dislike of Tobacco in any form. But they did manage to air some of the good parts of the interview. Honestly, I think they left the best parts out and tried their best to NOT make the interview GREAT. The best quotes were truncated, highly edited, and/or omitted. This was an interview that was not meant to glamorize Tobacconist University, but I hope that our value and credibility did shine through. This interview was mostly about TU, yet they packaged it into the Marketplace Money program and then into the A Day in the Life segment: so much of what was said was skewed and shaped to suit their needs. In particular, I must disclaim any and all references to investments and income: I have no idea what kind of editing went on with the numbers they quoted, but it made no sense and is not reflective of the reality. But they had to put something in about numbers and money since it is a "money" show.

Overall, this was a good piece in my opinion, and hopefully just the beginning...

Saturday, April 14, 2007


"I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it."

Thomas Jefferson to Archibald Stuart, 1791.
born April 13, 1743

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

National Public Radio meets T.U.

On the weekend of April 20th, National Public Radio will broadcast an interview I did with them about Tobacconist University for their Marketplace program. Broadcast times will vary depending on what part of the country you live in, so please check their website at The interview took 3 hours, but I think they will have edited it down to between one and two minutes. This is a travesty since I'm sure I provided at least four minutes of worthy material, but I am grateful for the opportunity nonetheless. My hope is that Tobacconists and the luxury tobacco industry will be portrayed in a positive light. It should be a strong counterpoint to the anti-smoking hysteria and Smokerism that is running rampant through our society. I hope that this will be just the beginning with regard to representing luxury tobacco as civilized and legitimate products that enhance our quality of life and our culture.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Freedom Reigns in the Land of Jefferson

Last week, the Virginia General Assembly voted (59 to 40) to continue to allow smoking in restaurants. While the Governor may still veto the bill, this small victory leaves hope for freedom loving Americans (smoking or non) around the country. The Assembly was sensible enough to create a rule where restaurants would display a sign that informs patrons that smoking is allowed on the premises. BRAVO!!! This makes perfect sense since asthmatics and smoke-sensitive people should be aware of the business practices of establishments that allow smoking. Making businesses announce their policies to sensitive customers is the responsible approach to protect uninformed individuals. Legislators throughout the country should take note. Instead of taking away freedoms to "protect" every segment of the population, they should be informing and educating and letting consumers vote with their wallets: that is the American way.

At this point, I should consider renaming this blog the Anti-Smoking-Ban Crusade. I would prefer to write about the organoeleptic delights of luxury tobacco, but that would be too self-indulgent in light of the legislative momentum that is usurping our rights. It is refreshing to see a State in America where the citizens and legislators remember the values our founding fathers espoused. I imagine that since Virginia was home to Thomas Jefferson, it is no small coincidence that they continue to preserve the most basic American freedoms. Let's hope that Virginians, and other Americans, continue to rise above the hysteria and fear surrounding Environmental Tobacco Smoke, and preserve our right(s) to define and pursue our own happiness.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Liberty Quoted

"The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion."
- Edmund Burke (1729-1797)
Speech at Country Meeting of Buckinghamshire, 1784

"Real liberty is neither found in despotism or the extremes of democracy, but in moderate governments."
- Alexander Hamilton
Constitutional Convention, June 26, 1787

"But a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty once lost is lost forever."
-John Adams
To Abigail Adams, 1775