Punchinello’s Chronicles

August 3, 2010

Right Before Your Very Eyes!

Filed under: View from the Bottom — Punchinello @ 3:18 am
Tags: , , , , ,

You may not smoke, and you may be someone who’s pleased to see the never-ending call to ban all smoking. But you should understand that You’re Next! Did you know that Congress recently passed the PACT Act? That stands for “Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act of 2009.” It means that NO cigarettes or cigarette tobacco may be sent through the US Mail system in any way at all, other than from business to business.

So what?

Consider one of the increasingly relevant situations many of us are facing today when we go out shopping. You go to a store to buy something and they’re out of stock. Perhaps the store has gone out of business. More likely, the store “doesn’t carry that anymore.” What do you do next?

More and more people are turning to e-commerce and shopping online. If you don’t see what you want in the store, you go online and check Google (or other search engines). In all cases, you’ll find what you’re trying to find. It might be new, might be used, you might find it on eBay or Craig’s List, or it’s somewhere else in the world.

But you find what you’re searching for!

Your next option is to buy the item. It’s shipped…oops…that would mean a mail system of some kind! Fed Ex and UPS voluntarily signed contracts that they would not ship tobacco products. Now, despite the nebulous constitutionality of it, the United States Postal Service is prohibited from shipping cigarettes, tobacco, tobacco products and all things tobacco…except cigars! (Politicians smoke cigars, y’know.)

The public relations reason for this law was that too many bootleg cigarettes were getting into the system. Too many people were buying cigarettes online from the Indian reservations, not paying taxes, and “illegally” bypassing the massive taxes levied by the various states and the federal government. That’s the ostensible reason.

The actual reason is that Philip Morris and RJ Reynolds were losing more and more money as people started buying generic cigarettes. The super tobacco conglomerates lobbied congress in order to make it impossible to buy any cigarettes other than theirs. That’s fine, maybe retail is a good thing and paying taxes is our citizen’s obligation, right?

We started rolling our own cigarettes, and purchasing loose tobacco in the local tobacco stores. Oh, and by the way, loose tobacco, including pipe tobacco is also banned from all US Mail commerce.

What we found was that for a short while, we were able to get what we chose to get at the local stores. Then the typical retail problem cropped up: out of stock, can’t get it, the company don’t make it no more…and so forth.

The problem is that we can’t shop online anymore! We have NO choice in the matter! And keep in mind that cigarettes and tobacco are still completely legal!

Too bad, so sad you might say. “You shouldn’t be smoking anyway!” Hah!

Think of anything you particularly like — anything at all. Then contemplate what you would do if you couldn’t find that something in the stores. You’d go shopping online for it, right? Now think about what happens when The Government decides to ban the shipment of the product! Not ban the product itself, just make it impossible for you to get it delivered!

The ironic thing about all this is that at some point we’ll definitely quit smoking. That’ll be a few thousand dollars removed immediately from the overall economy. Problem solved: we won’t smoke, and screw the government and all the people depending on tax money for benefits.

The tragic thing is what’s happened to the American Indians. Years ago, they approached Philip Morris and RJ Reynolds with a business plan to sell cigarettes online, like mail order. Those super corporations laughed and told the injuns to go take a hike.

As a result, the Indian Tribes put together a tremendous business and began taking over the entire cigarette market. Instead to playing fairly, the super conglomerates simply strong-armed their favorite congressional politicians to wipe out the entire business. Oops…there go thousands of jobs, wiping out a viable economy for the injuns. Screw ’em, we should’a wiped ’em out back in the 1700s, right?

Take a look at “The Incredible Bread Machine” video. The actual film begins at 5:15min, with an introduction that’s skippable. Two things: First, pay close attention to the story about the aged liquor and the lobbyist. By simply changing a simple regulation that nobody in congress was interested in understanding, one company was able to wipe out its competition for the price of a few politicians.

Secondly, pay close attention to the debate at the end of the film regarding the use and function of the FDA. Note that this unelected regulatory body, along with the EPA are about to take control of whole areas of the entire US economy! Did you know that but for only a few votes in a tiny, slim margin you almost were legally stopped from buying ANY kind of over-the-counter vitamin supplements? No, of course you didn’t.

The EPA is about to put into action a full-spectrum constellation of regulations involving carbon dioxide. You may remember high school science, in which you learned that living bodies require carbon dioxide. The EPA has “decided” that CO2 is a “pollutant.” Wait ’til you get a look at the amazing increases in prices you’re about to see!

What’s happened to smokers, as countless people have warned about for decades, is about to happen to fat people. It’s all “for the chillllllll-drinnn” don’t’cha know. We want our children to be “safe,” but the irony is that children are so screwed up these days, they don’t know which end is up anymore. There’s already a law in the UK that mandates how all people MUST report their percentage body fat to the government. It’s to help with “statistics” about obesity in Great Britain.

Do you like a medium-rare hamburger? Unless you cook it yourself, you won’t find one for sale. The FDA won’t allow it. So you’d like to order that “thing” you found on eBay? What if the post office won’t ship it?

America used to be a land of choices and freedom. We figured out what would kill us, and mostly we tended to avoid those things. We’re now facing a situation where on the one hand, we’re prisoners of Big Box Retail shops and the other hand, we’re outlawed from shopping anywhere else.

And it’s all happening right before your very eyes. Here’s a very famous poem attributed to Pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984), speaking about the inactivity and inaction of German intellectuals during the rise of Hitler to power. Mark it well, because it’s exactly the same thing taking place in America, circa 2010. Simply add a stanza about when “they came for the smokers.”

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.

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3 Comments »

  1. What’s sad is the Seneca internet sellers did everything right. They back checked every new customer – by voice. Buyers had to have a legitimate CHECKING account. Shipments were sent with “required ADULT signature upon delivery”.

    “Protecting the children” is a ruse for the passage and signing of the PACT Act. It was passed as a concession to Big Tobacco and to appease the militant anti-smoker special interest groups.

    Native American people were the ones who used tobacco in the first place – ironic that the government is taking the commerce of tobacco, like it has everything else, for itself.

    Comment by Injun Smoker — August 3, 2010 @ 1:28 pm | Reply

  2. This is exactly right, and it’s why EVERYone should be sitting up and taking notice of the PACT Act, as well as the S-CHIP tax bill! This is a clear and present example of the federal government deciding to entirely wipe out a whole field of legitimate business for the sole purpose of supporting a major lobby. The FDA and “Big Pharmaceuticals” are another current and living example.

    The Indian Nation currently has gambling and tobacco as a solid source of revenue, mostly because so many other companies don’t want the business or it’s perhaps under organized crime’s umbrella. But if there was oil found on a reservation, or some other important commodity, then we would see the US government take it away just as they did in the past. Now that a viable tobacco business model is eating into the profits of Big Tobacco, we’re seeing the results.

    What’s even more, and critically important is that it isn’t a minority group under attack anymore! It’s the entire concept of free enterprise, small business and legitimate capitalism; not “crony capitalism” where politicians and their cronies get together to get rich.

    The hypocrisy is blatant in that not one single thing about the public justification for these actions is true. It’s all demonstrably false, and nobody cares. The typical American doesn’t get into these “sin tax” activities all that much, so this is where the government can act without a lot of noise. Watch what happens when fat people are outlawed, though. THEN we’ll see some complaints. We can only hope that by then it’s not too late, and the Constitution still exists.

    Comment by Punchinello — August 4, 2010 @ 2:25 am | Reply

  3. this is a true nazi thing they are doing to the cigarette industry, and i wnder how long will it last!

    Comment by BluCig — August 30, 2010 @ 5:43 pm | Reply


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