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Friendly tip to the smokers in our lives

You know, when you walk into a room with a lit ciggie and people start choking and gagging? We’re not putting on a show of any kind, it’s because we ARE choking… on your smoke.
So are you but that’s not the point.
When you then get all huffy-puffy and offended and say something like “Well, MOST people don’t complain about it, it must just be a personal thing for YOU.” well, there’s a reason people don’t say anything about it. It’s because we have a conditioned reaction to such histrionics, to people acting like it’s an infringement of their rights if other people don’t enjoy the fresh aroma, taste and most of all TOXIC fumes coming from your ciggie, and if we go that extra step and say something about it we’ll be subjected to a hissie fit.
It’s just one of those things, you know? Torn between watching you self destruct one puff at a time, wanting you to not kill yourself over a stupid and filthy habit…
And also wanting to be “nice” to you because we don’t want to be shitty to you.
Maybe if YOU would realize that, you know, and refrain from lighting up around people who don’t smoke. You know, ASK if anybody minds if you smoke in his or her presence and if he or she does mind, try not to take it as a personal insult that people like to be able to breathe. Just take the thing outside and smoke it, the courtesy wouldn’t kill you. The cigarettes will, but that’s a story you’ve already heard, yes?
Big Tobacco just won a lawsuit brought against them by Missouri hospital districts because the Hospital Districts are going bankrupt treating smoking related diseases and injuries.
“Hey, we’ve known our product is poison since the 1930s (proven) and for a couple hundred years before then (suspected) but it’s not our fault that we sell Death on the installment plan, get people to pay US to kill THEM…”

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Comments

Comment from Sugurd   (IP: 71.180.43.69)
Time: May 6, 2011, 4:23 am

Sir,
Do you think the Native Americans were filthy too? Do you find something particularly foul about the tobacco leaf? Or is it just the defiled state of corporate tobacco products that sicken you? I have a great respect for tobacco, and I tend to partake in it without excess. I currently have some organic tobacco leaves hanging to dry right in my living room. Have you ever wondered if given the choice, whether you’d rather continue breathing American petroleum air amongst endless strip malls, sports bars, morons and barbed wire fences; or simply not freak out and go insane when you see some feller smoking across the street minding his own business? I am quite tired of control, and have no desire to tell others what they should not do. I do however, sympathize with your aversion to smoke indoors. But, unfortunately the control borgs will not stop here. Keep in mind, it is not just tobacco smokers who are in the crosshairs of idiocy, it is you too, and it may not be long before you too are told what to do, eat, and perhaps even think. Be cautious, and live and let be.

Comment from Brother Jonah   (IP: 75.163.172.16)
Time: May 6, 2011, 6:49 am

It’s hard to do it without going to excess. It’s addictive. And not every American Indian smokes, I don’t. My great-uncle did, and he carried it to excess, didn’t do it as a medicinal herb. He actually hand-rolled Bull Durham and chain-smoked. He was about 90 when he died. Not from cancer but he had lost one lung to cancer 35 years earlier. He was Tsalagi and originally from Talequah. My dad did, and died of cancer when he was 43.

Yeah, cigarettes are a concentrated form, whether organic or the Genetically modified type, they burn hotter and you smoke more of them.
The “ceremonial” part of medicinal tobacco? Along with burning sage and cornmeal, do you know what that does?
It drives away biting insects. Other insects too.
And most people, now, don’t smoke for that reason. They do it because they’re addicted to it.
When they do it around people who don’t smoke, it’s not sharing medicine, it’s no longer caring about their own health or that of the people around them.

Toads are also medicinal, and in other tribes, and not just Natives, so are peyote and psilocibin mushrooms. So is pulque, the raw form of tequila.
Be cautious and answer in your heart, but would you “share” mescaline with people who don’t have a lifetime of preparation and a cultural and spiritual tie? Somebody who doesn’t know his way in The Dreamtime, somebody who just wants to get high for fun?
Or with somebody who might die from it? Or with somebody who doesn’t want it, would you forcibly share with him?

Would you “share” tobacco with infants, with other people who can’t breathe around it? I would believe, and hope, that you would wait until you have none such in your presence.
Such courtesy would set you apart from most.
They tell us, forcibly, what we must breathe, and call it freedom. How is the tyranny of bad manners better than any other tyranny?

There are laws of courtesy that are older than laws “telling what one may breathe or eat or drink”. Tobacco is lethal to many, and forcing them to partake, how would that make one who does so better than any other idiot with a lethal weapon?
There’s the 2nd amendment, sometimes it gets mixed into the Tobacco question, to keep and bear arms. Would you hand a knife or a gun to a child? Would you shoot inside your living room with your children standing or running around?

Bullets aren’t always lethal, sometimes they merely maim. Would you keep and bear arms like Tear Gas? A lot of people do, in one form or another. Mace isn’t lethal to everybody nor is Tear Gas. But to some, it is. Would you spray mace in your own living room?
How about with a child in the room or somebody with weakened lungs?
Far more than a matter of your own liberty, or of the people you would gas.

And, just as most people who smoke don’t do it for medicine they also don’t do it for liberty, theirs or yours or mine or anybody else’s. My father, when he died, hadn’t enjoyed tobacco for a long time. It was a slave-master. They disgusted him but held him in thrall.
The last moment I saw him alive, he had to go outside and smoke. Not because anybody was forcing him to go outside, but because inside, was his oxygen tank. You can’t light up around that. It was the Tobacco corporations, and not the government, who snared him into their web with promises of freedom when he was 11 years old.
They say they don’t have to pay for doing things like that, even though their victims were deliberately misled by their companies. Like the ones dying from THEIR heavily marketed products in Missouri, they led them into an addiction the Corporations KNEW would kill them, then the Corporations stand back and say, ‘wait, we sell them poison, we tell them it’s good for them (like your analogy to American Indian medicine) and we’ve known for a long time that it kill even people around them who ARE NOT WILLING PARTICIPANTS yet a judgment of our guilt would somehow be against the Liberty of those poor, Freedom Loving people we deceive into killing themselves and others”.

They lie.
Be cautious, as you say. Live, and let live. And if you take another life you should take responsibility.
If you take hundreds of thousands of lives and claim you have no responsibility you would be a murderer, especially if you knew all along that was what you were doing.

If you were shooting in your living room around me or my kids (or yours) and I took the gun away from you, stopped you from killing us… would that be an infringement on liberty, a slippery slope to dictatorship?

If you shoot in your living room, or mine, and harm somebody in the room, would it be a “slippery slope to dictatorship” to demand that you pay for his medical treatments?

Comment from Brother Jonah   (IP: 75.163.172.16)
Time: May 6, 2011, 7:15 am

do you think the Native Americans were filthy

Somehow, don’t know why, but my spirit says that you’re not American Indian, you seem to speak of us as though we were all gone. None left.
Speak cautiously sir. There are a great many who wish for us to walk the rainbow.

If you ARE Indian, you still would only speak for your own soul. Not mine, or anybody elses. There are spiritual laws and that’s one.

There was a white man, a Scot living in England, named Eric Blair, who wrote several books, one of which was titled by the date “1984”, often cited as a masterpiece against the decline of individual liberty, where the State (you could if you wish substitute “corporation” for state, the Corporations already do) had slogans written everywhere. War is Peace, Love is Hate, Ignorance is Strength, Freedom is Slavery.

The Corporations, knowing that their control over individual Other People would be threatened if their actions, like peddling tobacco and other poison, were made their legal responsibility…

Have started propaganda campaigns where some of their propaganda involves saying that tobacco was a medicinal herb to American Indians and thus any infringement of their marketing Death to people of all tribes and nations and races was somehow an insult to American Indians.

I don’t know about you but I’m not going to be the Indian version of an Uncle Tom for a bunch of rich-bitch mostly peckerwoods who would, upon meeting me, would have their Police or other private guards clear me away from their pathway. While probably on their way to “work” devising slogans and brand names like “American Spirit” cigarettes that use an image of MY heritage for THEIR profit.

They would, in other words, within one day show their sneering illusion of their “superiority” over me, and all my relatives, first by punishing us for not being Rich and of course white and then using our heritage to sell their poison to mostly white children.

And then, not sure if you’d fit into this category, but use caution because you use their words, have people say that their selling of poison is somehow fighting for MY liberty and MY heritage.
So, use caution. Be and let be.
The Freedom they sell at a price, IS Slavery.

And like the hospitals in Missouri and everywhere else in the world, we’re “free” to pay the costs of the damages THEY caused.

No sale.

Comment from Sugurd   (IP: 71.180.43.69)
Time: May 6, 2011, 1:29 pm

Simply because certain corporations defile a small set of words to exploit their value, I will not surrender my language. I am not Native American in this form, and think it makes no difference. I am not quite sure how one would go about proving either the superiority or inferiority between a Siberian shaman and an “Injun”. Not a valid point to me. What is valid to me is freedom, and again, not the trademarked bullshit brand of it that corporate-politic has usurped. You imply that there is an epidemic of beautiful people suffering and dying in droves from second hand smoke. You almost seem to forget about the many other and substantial influences on decayed health. Such things include the virtual nuclear war which we’ve endured, with the countless atomic bombs detonated below, above, and on the surface of the Earth. The state of food and soil has killed many, not just through deficiencies, but through active poisons like trans fats. We also seem to have sucked as hard on the phallus of oil as any ever did upon the butt of a cigarette, and with far worse consequences, especially after not only pollution and stunted scientific/social growth are factored, but when war is considered. We also live in a society that is generally psychotic, overly competitive, conditioned (not self-defined), and largely functions as a collective of purposeless labor-force not unlike insects. Never mind the silent thoughts and images of beauty we may hold internally. The grossly severe consequences of our “attempt” at society are not currently admirable in proportion to our positive traits. This is not criticism. I simply state what is now more than slowly becoming apparent to many. Again, I do not criticise, but make a case for a complex set of circumstances which more than warrant one have a cigarette without hindrance from those who have yet to form dynamic priorities, and who inadvertently support carnage themselves in more than a few ways, and too often, are simply not at risk from what they squeal about. I am sure most of the aspiring saints when crusading to destroy tobacco, do so in their cars. And quite directly, I will say (surely to your great disappointment), that this mindless campaign against a leaf is but a witch hunt performed by bored and thoughtless fools who never bother to address important aspects such as additives, excess, psychology (not just marketing), and things like “cancer” itself. No, I am afraid just as men like Tesla are buried forgotten below the excrement of a society of petroleum-driven cows with memory disorders and bellies full of pepsi, cheeseburgers and propaganda, other voices of reason are drowned in the white noise of collective consensual insanity.

I do not support excess, though I do not wish to prevent by force excess which harms only those who volunteer. Secondhand smoke indoors is certainly unreasonable when afflicting others. But a society of crazed masses with no critical thinking skills and an overabundance of hypocrisy is not a fair contender. I will discourage any form of self destruction, but not by force. However, I have seen no acceptable evidence supporting that moderate use of this leaf if self destructive any more than time itself. Because science is a process of discovery, and one likely barely just begun, especially in the field of biology, with this mentality there will always be forced conscripts to the capricious ideas of others. Of course, on any finite surface which is shared by opposing ideologies, there will be conflict. Anyone who would dictate what I do with my own form makes a serious and criminal intrusion. You might bewail and cry about the medical costs of dealing with the effects of chronic smoking whilst yourself paying taxes to black budgets, war machines, and extremely bad health science in general. This makes little sense to me.

From all the effort I’ve made to understand this strange event of life, I have encountered no more than weak and dubious claims to support that we chose to be here. In this incarceration (incarnation) into the metabolically mad dance of seemingly futile and often exquisite destruction known as life, I will see no action that does not negligently harm another as flawed. Now if you would go so far as to twist these words to imply that courteous smoking harms others, you might be wise to truly consider the impact of the majority of our actions and participations on others, especially as Americans. I am not the slave of others emotions.

Comment from Sugurd   (IP: 71.180.43.69)
Time: May 6, 2011, 2:03 pm

While I respect your work, I do wonder why you chose to list the IPs associated with posts. As a privacy advocate myself, I plan to go out of my way to avoid IP logs on my website. And I can assure you, any website which contains free thought is surveilled by trolls.

Comment from Brother Jonah   (IP: 75.163.172.16)
Time: May 6, 2011, 4:44 pm

The IP addresses because some come to text-equivalent to shout, no problem. others come to spam. Mild problem.
Others come to do a DDOS attack, such as the IDF spam-gunners. We’ve gotten thousand word essays written within seconds of each other on the same computer. Not possible.

We’ve also gotten, pursuant to that, actual “crack” attacks where the whole website was taken down for hours.

Many others who have attempted it.

Most sites which do blogs have really enhanced moderation, you verify that you’re actually human and the blog owner approves whether or not to display the comments.

The Corporates who run the ISPs do much more than log when you comment. Depending on just how piggish your particular ISP and, it’s a level of degree, how much rather than if…

And then there’s Big Brother who, as you know, has a nasty habit of throwing people into dungeons when somebody says something they feel is actionable. See for instance what happened to raisethefist.org, a really crude drawing of a pipe bomb was placed on the site by somebody who wasn’t imprisoned for it, but testified against the Weblog owner, who WAS prosecuted and placed in prison and then on federal probation where he could not access the internet at all.

Things like that happen and, this blog being one of the most open ones I know of, is a ripe target for all such shenanigans.

As to how does Native American enter into it, that WAS your first argument. We’re not all the same person or even the same tribe. Some whole tribes just happen to not even like whole other tribes. It happens and most of us get used to it.

And it still doesn’t equate that asking people not to smoke where I’m breathing is somehow a call to repress anybody or his rights.

Nor would making purveyors of the poison actually pay their bills. As to people dying from second hand smoke, they do. It’s a simple equation, breathe poison and suffer some adverse health effect, differs from person to person what effect and how serious those effects are, but they exist and some of them are deadly.
Some of the toxins in Tobacco Smoke aren’t in gasoline fumes or pesticides or whichever other poison compounds.

If patients keep turning up in substantial numbers with symptoms traditionally associated with Tobacco smoke it makes a really clear pattern.
When they smoke themselves it’s really clear and when they don’t personally smoke, but are still exposed to cigarette smoke, the possibility is opened and investigated.

If the persons blood and urine test positive for higher levels of certain chemicals that are only released, in those combinations, through burning tobacco, it starts to become an open/shut case.

If you want to delve back into privacy matters, the tests can be refined and probably could tell your exact brand of cigarettes. Chemistry is a pretty precise science.

Yes, we live in a toxic stew. No, we don’t have to accept it as inevitable and one really neat way of minimizing exposure to certain chemicals is to avoid being in the same room with them. Outside of organic systems, like in the tobacco leaf or in the human body, most of the chemicals tend to break down.
Meanwhile on the subject of it being rude to poison people, it would also make it a lot easier to diagnose what’s wrong with the ecosystem in any given area if there are fewer toxins to consider.

and really, the stuff is poison and can’t be made harmless.
That’s one of the constants in the equation. People showing up in cancer and emphysema and asthma epidemics and testing in droves positive for tobacco poisons is really strong evidence that it’s a primary cause for those illnesses. When other possible causes are whittled away it becomes clearer and clearer.
You’ve got a right to smoke, I’ve got a right to breathe. You can live without cigarettes, do you think I can live without breathing? If you have to tell the monkey to shut up and you’ll feed him maybe five minutes or so later, however long it takes to go somewhere where the person isn’t forced to smoke right along with you, why not?
If you can’t bring yourself to do that then you’ve surrendered your liberty already. To a metaphoric Monkey on The Back.

There’s no absolute duty on anybody’s part to surrender to that monkey, especially those of us who don’t smoke.

If you’ll spend so much time arguing the corporate line that not wanting to breathe their poison equates to us oppressing them, then you’ll likely be conflated with a corporate spokesperson.
I mean, they’ve been paying a lot of money to get that message out and repeated to us…

So, find out what the corporates have been saying, and do it for the past 70 years or so, because everything they said back then, there’s still people alive who remember it…

I still remember Tobacco jingles from almost 50 years ago, they are that pervasive.
And, as to it being a question of liberty again, how many times exactly has a tobacco company gone out of business due to government meddling? Really and seriously, none of the regulations have real teeth. Never have.

Comment from sugurd   (IP: 71.180.43.231)
Time: May 8, 2011, 1:49 am

You make some fair points, but I simply cannot and will not accept any condemnation of the tobacco leaf in its natural, or naturally cultivated state. There are many things in nature which contain toxins. Excess will bring out the toxins in anything, for excess is a toxin in itself. As for the corporations, vermin are vermin, and I never wanted to even discuss the subject.

I am currently chewing on a home grown, organic tobacco leaf, and enjoying it quite a bit. If I felt like smoking it, I would, and happily so. I have views on cigarettes, which are not entirely positive. But I also very much appreciate pipes, especially the Peterson. I must say, that anyone who harassed me whilst smoking my pipe, sitting on the Severn, would quickly become something I placed into the category of pestilence. They would be reduced to an element of insane and ridiculous hostility. Indoors, you win. No contest. However, If I own the building, and wish to smoke inside, it is the bane of willing and antagonistic only. Respect.

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