Archive for corruption

Heads Up, In Smoke

Posted in evil, legal system, politics, rant with tags , , , , , , on August 20, 2009 by vagabondsaint

So, I was informed today by a smoke shop owner that the rumours are true:  clove cigarettes have been banned in the US, and after September 17th, no more will be imported.

I have issues with this.  On my fucking birthday, no less.

The argument was made that flavoured cigarettes are more attractive to kids.  I don’t want kids to smoke, certainly.  I am completely against that.  However, it’s already illegal for people under 18 to buy cigarettes.  What good is banning the flavoured kinds when all cigarettes are already illegal for minors?

An argument, against this law, was made that the law banning clove cigarettes is unfairly discriminatory.  How could it be called so?  Because only one country in the world makes clove cigarettes:  Indonesia.  It’s a mammoth industry there, and this law just cost them one of the biggest markets for, well, everything in the entire world.  It’s also where Barack Obama spent a fair amount of time as a youth.  Way to completely screw over one of the countries that raised you, you fucking ingrate.

Notice above you there that I said that cloves are made in Indonesia.  That’s right, there isn’t a single brand of clove cigarette that is produced in America.  Not one.  So not only does this law screw Indonesian cigarette makers, it gives their etiquette-mandated complimentary reach-around to American tobacco companies instead.  It knocks off one of their major competitors.

Don’t think this law favours American companies enough yet?

It bans cigarette flavours like cloves, vanilla, cherry, grape, bacon (you knew somebody somewhere was working on a bacon-flavoured cigarette), orange, banana, any and all soprts of sweet cigarette flavours (even though cloves aren’t really sweet).  Except one flavour.

Menthols.

Made right here in the good old U.S. of fucking overzealous nanny-state A., by good old American tobacco companies.  In a law banning every conceivable flavour of cigarette other than plain tobacco, somehow menthols are still legal.

Political fuckery at its absolute finest here, people.  And the media has been completely ignoring the blatant use of legislation to eliminate competition for American companies, possibly because, in this current political climate, smokers and homosexuals are still completely okay to demonize and legislate against.

I’m still not going to buy American-made cigarettes.  It takes me a but a few weeks to get a passport, and Canada is only three hours away.  I’ll spend those few weeks buying every pack of clove cigarettes that I can, to hold me until I have the passport.

In case I haven’t made it clear, this law really, really fucking pisses me off.

More later.

VS – 08.20.09

Moments Of Brilliance, #1: Stuck On Stupid

Posted in brilliance, politics with tags , , , , , on June 9, 2008 by vagabondsaint

For a few days, Larry Langford was my hero.

Last week, my roommate, who will be henceforth referred to in these pages as NE, brought an item on the news to my attention. (I wonder what it says about both of us that she only watches local news, while I only watch national or international news. . .but that’s something for another column.) The item was about the city of Birmingham, Alabama, which has recently placed all municipal workers on shifts of 10 hours a day, for 4 days a week, instead of the normal 8-hour day 5 days a week, in order to ease the burden of high gas prices. Good idea, right? Yeah, I thought so too. But what made Larry Langford, Mayor of Birmingham, my hero was this quote: “In America, we’ve been stuck on ‘stupid’ for so long that it’s become accepted; it’s become the norm.” (I’m paraphrasing.) And again, I have to agree with Mayor Langford. We in this country (America) have been doing things in stupid ways for so long that it’s accepted and normal and we’ll fight against any changes, even when those changes are beneficial in both personal and global ways (how long has the automotive industry been fighting against regulations to raise fuel efficiency? how long have oil companies sought through lobbying to crush efforts to develop cleaner energy sources?).

So Mayor Langford is quite correct. We need to stop being stuck on stupid and do things better, more intelligently.

One of the these things I think we need to stop is government corruption on all levels, state, federal, city, and county. For example, the case of a county commissioner in Alabama who has been under investigation by the SEC for years for suspicion of accepting $150k in cash and gifts in exchange for giving county bonds to a certain business. Said commissioner was sued by the SEC on April 30 of this year, even though he is no longer a county commissioner and is now. . .

. . .wait for it. . .

. . .is now the Mayor of Birmingham, The Arguably-Honourable Larry Langford!

The hell, Larry? The hell!

Ah well. . .I guess everyone has a moment of brilliance; even a broken clock is right twice a day.

VS – 6.9.08