Virginia Governor Tim Kaine proudly signed legislation in March which will ban smoking in all private restaurants; this law goes into effect in December of this year. now, at least on the apolitical surface, one would think I would be all smiles about this law. after all, I have never taken even one puff from a cigarette – I rather loathe the invasive smell of smoke, and the tenacity with which it refuses to let go of my clothing after a night on the town. I find appalling the CEOs of big tobacco, who knowingly market their product to youth, because every soul they win will score thousands of dollars over their lifetime. I abhor the physical damage tobacco does to the mouth, gums, teeth, lungs. most personally, I was affected by the cancer it gave my mother, whom God graciously gave the strength to fight off this horrible disease (at least for now), but who has not yet found the strength to kick her addictive and deadly habit.
but after all these things, I am at odds with Governor Kaine for a multitude of reasons. first, this law takes responsibility and choice away from the individual. many of us enjoy going to bars and restaurants – but who is forcing us? if smoking in a bar is an ingrained atmosphere of that bar, then so be it. should we be barred from eating fish in a seafood restaurant, if the smell of fish is repulsive to some customers? NO! those customers can find somewhere else to eat, where there is no fish!
but most importantly, I loathe the continuous government intrusion into the private sector. as the individual consumer has a choice, so should the individual business owner. the owner should be free to make a decision on smoking based on what is best for his or her business. anyone who cannot deal with smoke in a particular restaurant can surely find another one which has chosen not to allow smoking on its premises. and if such a restaurant cannot be found, one is free to start their own restaurant which enforces such rules, as there is clearly a market for it! such is the beauty of capitalism.
this law was surely made with good intentions, but it walks the line right on the edge of that slippery slope. it encroaches on the liberties of one citizen (the business owner) for the liberties of another (the anti-smoker); this idea is against the fundamental nature of a Republic. could we eventually see a ban on smoking in any business? that does not seem far-fetched after a bill of this nature is passed. could we eventually see a ban on smoking in your own home? certainly that seems ludicrous. but one must consider this possibility: what if your business is run from your home?
“The Fed”, or The Federal Reserve, is a private conglomeration of banks which literally controls the U.S. economy and has the power to print money, but has never been audited. when asked fiscal questions by Congress, the Chairman of The Fed (currently Ben Bernanke) is free to, and ususally does, NOT answer. Alan Greenspan himself has said that The Fed is above the law. does it make sense that the most powerful private corporation in our country, one which performs all its operations with our taxpayer money, has never been audited? it’s time for this to change.
UPDATE: Rep. Alan Grayson [D-FL] asks the Federal Reserve Inspector General about the trillions of dollars lent or spent by the Federal Reserve and where it went, and the trillions of off balance sheet obligations. Inspector General Elizabeth Coleman responds that the IG does not know and is not tracking where this money is.
this is a bill by Ron Paul [GT] [OC], but it is the epitome of a nonpartisan issue. I can’t imagine a “Democrat” or “Republican” going home and saying, “well I don’t really think we have a right to know where our money is going, so I think the Federal Reserve should continue giving our money away in secrecy”.
here’s how to support this bill, and it’s almost as easy as reading what you’ve just read (well, it will take about 5 minutes):
- go to faxZero, which lets you send 2 faxes per day for free. put your name and email into the “Sender Information” box (it’s important to use a valid email, as you will be sent a confirmation which you have to click before the fax will be sent).
- download this pdf. attach it to the “Fax Information” section in faxZero, and enter the Confirmation Code.
- find your state’s reps which are NOT currently co-sponsors of this bill (here are Virginia’s reps – currently the gentlemen from districts 1 and 6 ARE co-sponsors – the rest need to hear it from us!).
- go to your rep’s official website and find the contact page (for example, Rep. Randy Forbes). find the fax number for their Washington D.C. Office, and copy and paste it into the “Receiver Information” box in faxZero after putting your rep’s name into this section.
- UPDATE: HERE ARE NAMES AND FAX NUMBERS:
- Rep. Rob Wittman [R] at 2022254382 (already a co-sponsor)
- Rep. Glenn Nye [D] at 2022254218
- Rep. Robert Scott [D] at 2022258354
- Rep. Randy Forbes [R] at 2022261170 (5/20/2009 UPDATE: NOW CO-SPONSORING!)
- Rep. Tom Perriello [D] at 2022255681 (5/13/2009 UPDATE: NOW CO-SPONSORING!)
- Rep. Bob Goodlatte [R] at 2022259681 (already a co-sponsor)
- Rep. Eric Cantor [R] at 2022250011 (6/23/2009 UPDATE: NOW CO-SPONSORING!)
- Rep. Jim Moran [D] at 2022250017
- Rep. Rick Boucher [D] at 2022250442
- Rep. Frank Wolf [R] at 2022250437 (6/11/2009 UPDATE: NOW CO-SPONSORING!)
- Rep. Gerald Connolly [D] at 2022253071
- click “Send Free Fax Now”! you will receive a confirmation message in your email – click it. congrats! you have just contacted your Representative about one of the most important issues facing our government today…
- but don’t stop there! send another one to another rep. then, tomorrow, send two more. keep sending until every rep in the nation gets the message! we wanna know where the gold at.
if you have any questions, please leave them in the comments. I would love to answer them. it’s time for transparency.