Tobacco

Revealed: Big Tobacco Invented the Tea Party!

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Tobacco Control

Did you know that Big Tobacco invented the Tea Party movement? So claims Brendan DeMelle in a recent Huffington Post piece headlined "Study Confirms Tea Party Was Created by Big Tobacco and Billionaire Koch Brothers." Said study, published by the journal Tobacco Control, is more carefully worded. Anti-smoking activist Stanton Glantz and his co-authors even concede, deep into the article, that "many factors beyond the tobacco industry have contributed to the development of the Tea Party." (For instance, "the Tea Party has origins in the ultra-right John Birch Society of the 1950s.") But DeMelle's headline accurately reflects the general thrust of Glantz et al.'s article, which features a diagram of nefarious links that seems to have been inspired by Glenn Beck (or maybe Thom Hartmann). "Rather than being purely a grassroots movement," Glantz et al. write, "the Tea Party has been influenced by decades of astroturfing by tobacco and other corporate interests to develop a grassroots network to support their corporate agendas, even though their members may not support those agendas." Co-author Amanda Fallin goes further in a press release, saying, "The records indicate that the Tea Party has been shaped by the tobacco industry and is not a spontaneous grassroots movement at all."

The main evidence for this thesis is that Citizens for a Sound Economy (CSE), a think tank co-founded by libertarian billionaire David Koch and economist Richard Fink in 1984, received donations from tobacco companies (mainly Philip Morris) between 1991 and 2002. A year or two later, CSE split into two organizations, FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity, that have helped support and organize Tea Party activists. How much tobacco money did CSE get? According to Glantz et al., $5.3 million over 12 years, which amounts to roughly 11 percent of CSE's revenue as of 2002. That's a substantial share, but was it enough to corrupt "a think tank dedicated to free market economics" and backed by an ideologically motivated billionaire? Glantz et al. show that CSE saw eye to eye with Philip Morris on issues such as tobacco taxes and smoking bans, which presumably is why the company supported it. But they do not present any evidence that CSE took positions contrary to its avowed principles because it was eager to keep the tobacco money flowing. Nor do they claim that FreedomWorks or Americans for Prosperity, the groups that have aligned themselves with the Tea Party, receive substantial tobacco industry funding, let alone that such money is important enough to sway the entire Tea Party movement. Instead they resort to this sort of insinuation:

As of 2012, AFP and FreedomWorks were continuing to support the tobacco industry's broad policy agenda…including opposing the EPA and health care reform. These organisations have been fighting state tobacco taxes and smoke-free laws since at least 2006….

Echoing well-established tobacco industry arguments and the patriotic rhetoric of the [industry-backed] smokers' rights groups, they argued for private property rights, consumer choice and limited government.

According to Glantz et al., then, supporting private property rights, consumer choice, and limited government makes you objectively pro-tobacco, whether or not you are getting any money from cigarette manufacturers. After all, those are "well-established industry arguments." Likewise, if you oppose ObamaCare, you are doing the bidding of Big Tobacco, even if you don't realize it. 

If these positions are so clearly indefensible, why does the money matter? "It is important for policy-makers to be aware of the corporate funding sources for organisations that work to influence public policy," Glantz et al. write. "It is important for policy-makers,the health community and people who support the Tea Party to be aware of these complex and often hard-to-track linkages." But they never really explain why. Surely it is possible to judge arguments and evidence on their own merits, without reference to the alleged financial interests of the people offering them.

But rather than respond with arguments and evidence of his own, Glantz seeks to discredit his opponents by implying that they do not really believe what they are saying, that they are only in it for the money. "It is important for tobacco control advocates to anticipate and counter Tea Party opposition to tobacco control policies," Glantz and his co-authors write, "and to ensure that policy makers, the media and the public understand the longstanding intersection between the tobacco industry and the Tea Party policy agenda." In other words, if you don't have logic and facts on your side, smear your opponents as Big Tobacco shills or dupes.

The best part: This political hatchet job masquerading as science was funded by taxpayers like you, via the National Cancer Institute, whose mission apparently now includes agitating against the president's critics.

Disclosure: David Koch is a trustee of the Reason Foundation, which publishes Reason magazine and this website. In the 1990s the foundation received donations from Philip Morris, which also bought ads in the magazine; the total revenue amounted to less than 1 percent of the foundation's budget. See how it all fits together?

Update: Al Gore endorses the theory that the Tea Party is a tobacco product, while transforming Stanton Glantz and his friends into a federal agency:

A new study by the National Cancer Institute of the National Institute of Medicine reveals that the Tea Party Movement was planned over a decade ago by groups with ties to the tobacco and fossil fuel industries. The movement was not a spontaneous populist uprising, but rather a long-term strategy to promote the anti-science, anti-government agenda of powerful corporate interests.

Given Gore's own financial ties to cigarette manufacturers, it seems equally reasonable to conclude that he was invented by Big Tobacco.

[Thanks to Hans Bader for the tip.]

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152 responses to “Revealed: Big Tobacco Invented the Tea Party!

  1. Oh noes, it’s the Kochtopus!

  2. Brendan Demelle is a doubleplus good duckspeaker.

  3. Disclosure: I have donated money both to Reason and to Cato. Also, Coke is my favorite soft drink.

    Yet the Tea Party still suppresses my instructions to support free migration.

    1. Well it’s obvious you’re just part of the Mexican Coke lobby.

      1. I believe MikeP is even on Chicago’s most wanted list as a result.

        1. You can get into bad heat with your town’s Coke distributor for importing the Mexican product. True story.

          1. In my town, they got in on the racket. The Mexican glass bottles of Coke and the American plastic bottles of Coke come in on the same truck now…

            1. Yes. But if YOU do it, they will sue you or complain to the FTC over “franchise” violations or some bullshit.

          2. Haha, you yanks got it the worst.. lucky down here in australia we abandoned any notions of protectionism, cut tarrifs below 2% and we also have very little agricultural subsidies.. and as a result.. this coke i’m drinking.. sweetened with sugar.. and we can even get the glass bottles. Also our corporate tax is lower, and our healthcare is individual based and we have a choice in our policies and providers (it’s not perfect tho…) Suck it bitches!

            1. Sept weeds illegal everywhere, we are the only english speaking country to lack marriage equality, the only guns you can buy here are shotguns and rifles and you have to be part of a club…

            2. Ah, yes. Australia’s unilateral free trade. I know it well.

  4. The worst part of this, the absolute worst, is that the fucking National Cancer Institute did it.

    1. Wholeheartedly agree with you. That is maddening.

    2. This is why none of donations ever go to health organizations any longer. They’ve all been corrupted and co-opted by the Public Health Do-Gooder Compulsory Compliance squads. They’ll beat us down into good health, even if it kills us.

      Fuck these fascist wanna-bes.

      1. Yup, now all these left wing, nanny state causes are public health issues.

        Which makes them seem all scientific, and shit; I guess.

          1. You’re doing it wrong, Paul. Let me show you how it’s done:

            Seig Heilth!

            1. That’s funny, I’m gonna remember that one.

              H.T. to both of you.

          2. Sieg Health!

            Or Sieg Gesund!

        1. Except, you know, actual, old-fashioned public health issues. TB is now “epidemic” in San Francisco, thanks to illegal immigration. And a recent study concluded that our anti-plastic bag law has increased food-borne illness emergency room visits, and about five deaths a year. But it would be politically incorrect to talk about things like that.

          1. Not to mention people going to the doctor for every little thing to get their script of antibiotics thereby reducing their effectiveness (superbugs), which will increase under Obamacare.

    3. This research was funded by National Cancer Institute grants CA-113710 and CA-087472. The funding agency played no role in the selection of the research topic, conduct of the research or preparation of the manuscript. SAG is American Legacy Foundation Distinguished Professor in Tobacco Control.

      Oh, fuck me.

  5. “many factors beyond the tobacco industry have contributed to the development of the Tea Party.”

    The NRA, to name just one.

    What do I win?

    1. You win a paper cup with your name on it. Provided your name is Dixie.

      1. are you saying P Brooks is married to and cheated on by Dinesh D’Souza?

    2. Fried chicken

  6. As usual, your readers were ahead of you and discussed this in the morning links. The National Cancer Foundation part is the coupe de gras. Apparently, they have been infiltrated and taken over by leftist retards.

  7. This is right up there with them claiming that the gun lobbies are corrupt and somehow forcing politicians not to ban guns, against their will.

    They cannot, and will never, fathom that someone might actually disagree with them without having ulterior motives.

    1. That’s because they don’t believe in rule of law, but rule of Top Men.

    2. They understand that people disagree with them, they just believe that people disagree with them because they are: (a) uneducated; (b) simple; (c) religious; (d) gullible; (d) unscientific; or (e) racist.

    3. More proggy projection, entropy.

    4. There is no such thing as principled opposition to these nanny-statists. If you oppose their latest andgreatest brainfart, whether it’s smoking bans, food truck bans, carbon credit exchanges, insurance exchanges, banning cosmetic features of firearms, free-speech zones, et cetera ad nauseum, then you are either evil, a shill, an ignorant dupe, or some combination of the three.

      They are on the side of the angels. OBEY.

    5. They cannot, and will never, fathom that someone might actually disagree with them without having ulterior motives.

      And that something, somewhere is completely unregulated!

      1. …and that someone, somewhere may be happy [that way].

    6. It’s all about spin, not truth.

  8. The best part: This political hatchet job masquerading as science was funded by taxpayers like you, via the National Cancer Institute, whose mission apparently now includes agitating against the president’s critics.

    Yet more evidence of why the CDC can’t be trusted to gather gun statistics.

  9. Where the hell is my check from Phillip Morris?

    1. On Christine Gregoire’s desk.

      Don’t worry, she’ll spend it on your behalf, very wisely.

  10. they argued for private property rights, consumer choice and limited government.

    You know who else argued for that stuff?

    That’s right.

    RACISTS

    1. Do you know what else was property… slaves… (though i wouldn’t be surprised if the fascist neo-cons in the current tea party supported slavery either)

  11. So does President Obama still smoke tobacco products or not? It was one of the few things I liked about him. That, and his last name wasn’t Bush or Clinton.

  12. Yo, Sullum, could you redo that chart so it’s a clickable link to a version large enough to read? Also, that chart doesn’t appear within the HuffPo article and the Tobacco Control article requires registration.

    1. I was hoping for the same. I like to see full page versions of crazy. I tried reading the HuffPo comments for my daily dose, but teh stupid, it burnz.

      1. Why did they even bother with all of the extraneous side organizations to prove their point.

        It goes like this: TOBACCO COMPANIES—–ORPHAN ABATTOIR—–TEA PARTY.

        1. “ORPHAN ABATTOIR”

          Why do I not work there?

          1. Also a great band name.

    2. Done.

  13. Anyone doubt that Gus Hall’s Communist Party network can’t be tracked through a spider web of connections to just about every Prog organization?

    1. I don’t know about Gus Hall’s group but David Horowitz on his website (frontpagemag.com) has a whole section called Discover the Networks which is kind of a Six Degrees of Separation for leftists.

      1. That’s what I was going to say. This thing reminds me of something David Horowitz would come up with.

        Of course, Horowitz is actually correct.

  14. So the 2nd amendment was only about slavery, and the Tea Party is a puppet of tobacco companies.

    The so-called progressives are on a roll. No mention of which modern day conservative movement which has been retroactively revealed to have been founded to promote Eugenics, forced sterilization, slavery, anti-suffrage, etc.

    Oh well.

    1. The so-called progressives are on a roll. No mention of which modern day conservative movement which has been retroactively revealed to have been founded to promote Eugenics, forced sterilization, slavery, anti-suffrage, etc.

      1. That’s because we already know that ? conservatives like William Jennings Bryan, Woodrow Wilson, Oliver Wendall Holmes Jr., etc., who were the real power behind the Progressive Era.

  15. Big Tobacco is Big Time Awesome.

  16. I fucking love private property rights;
    Consumer choice gets me hot every night.
    But even I draw a line:
    Limited government? Nein!
    Anarchy is where I set my sights.

      1. well that ain’t too bad, that’s my boy!!!!!

    1. Think I might be in love.

  17. One does wish there was a smokers rights and interesta organization that was Not tied to the legally hogtied and far from disinterested cigarette business

    1. Smokers have to pay so goddamned much in vice taxes that they don’t have the leftover money to fund interest groups. The tobacco companies make a decent profit on the sale of smokes (albeit nowhere near as much profit as govts make) so they foot the bill for such organizations.

  18. I seem to recall that Obama was associated with a wacko pastor, a professor who pushed critical race theory, and a known terrorist. They’re just ALL coincidences and had no bearing on the man’s ideology, or so I’m told.

    If you’re a Tea Party member, then you may or may not smoke. But you’re probably not ok with intrusive rules that prohibit your right to smoke inside your own home, or even outside. A tobacco company (not unlike Soda companies and such) donates money to tea party or TP friendly think tanks because they’re generally against the government restricting your access to legal products. Therefore, the tea party is bought off by the tobacco companies. Yeah, that seems tremendously safe.

    1. tremendously safe

      1. Doesn’t seem very safe to me.

        1. Dang, I meant to say “tremendously fair”, and I repeated the mistake when I tried to correct it.

          1. i do that. its so weird.

  19. What I find interesting is that A4P and FreedomWorks are so reviled on the left — two organizations which, while not libertarian, have no input or stated position on the culture war stuff which they so declaim, or on foreign policy. Really tells you where the left’s priorities are at.

    1. Er, duh. The left’s entire reason for existing is socialism. Foreign policy only matters to the extent that America is preventing socialism in other countries. And culture only matters to the extent they can make their opponents look like bigots.

      1. Marx and Marcuse make for a heady brew.

      2. Leftists are really anti-hedonists, they just put on a good show. I thought I could find common cause with my leftie friends with marijuana legalization. Turns out they only want it decriminalized to the barest extent necessary so it can be taxed. It’s about the taxes. Period. Legalizing any other narcotic remains anathema to them. Even if they smoke pot themselves, because rules are always for other people.

        Ditto for sex. San Francisco, the mecca of the left, cracks down harder [sic] than on prostitution than most cities. Sports figures and policemen baring their all in a calendar? Unacceptable! Alternate sexual lifestyles are okay, but only if they represent a bona fide leftie voting bloc. Thus gay marriage is celebrated, but polygamy remains off the table for polite discussion. Polyamory is praised, but polygamy is not discussed in polite society.

  20. Aaah, fuck ’em. One day their giant government will collapse in on itself from its own weight, and not a one of these dumbasses has a fucking gun.

    Fuck it, give ’em the government they want and hunker down.

    1. No, but they have a lot of bombs and a lot of bunkers.

      1. Their assertions to the side, these people aren’t the US military. They’re just under the impression that the military will do whatever they tell them to, no matter how horrific and brutal.

        Again, they ain’t got shit.

        1. You notice all those generals being pushed out of service lately? You might be in for an unpleasant surprise when TSHTF, at least as far as how the brass will react. Whether the actual soldiers have the balls to go against their officers remains to be seen.

          1. If things fell apart the military is the last thing I’d be worried about.

            Roving gangs of looters and rogue cops would probably be the things to worry about.

            1. Have to agree. The US Military are straight up mercenaries– all patriotic hand waving aside–TSHTF is likely to be the dollar going tits up as the bankrupt gov runs the printing presses like crazy. GI Joe doesn’t do squat if he isn’t getting paid. It’s why the USSR’s military for the most part just watched as it fell apart. They hadn’t been paid in a long time. US grunts are no different.

          2. The generals aren’t what matters, it is the captains, majors, and Senior NCO’s who matter.

            If some politician tried to go full on fascist and ordered US soldiers to start gunning US civilians the brass wonb’t be the ones pulling the triggers, it’ll be the mid level officers and senior NCO’s who will either follow orders or rebel and I’m putting my money on them not following orders

  21. “It is important for policy-makers,the health community and people who support the Tea Party to be aware of these complex and often hard-to-track linkages.” But they never really explain why. Surely it is possible to judge arguments and evidence on their own merits, without reference to the alleged financial interests of the people offering them.

    First you point out their bare assertions, then you suggest they actually argue the MERITS of their position? What kind of fucking monster are you, Sullum?

    This is for the children!

  22. Well smoke em of you got em boys, the proggies already have their minds made up

    1. Yeah, I give up. This will run it’s course.

      Our grandchildren will ride motorcycles, bicycles, and skateboards without helmets, just as they are inclined to do. The money needed to hire police to enforce trivial laws will be gone, gone, gone. The money needed to fund the nanny enterprises that advocate for such laws will be gone too.

      I think it’s best not to delay correction.

  23. You know they are right. You see, I knew a tea party member whose third cousin knew somebody’s sister who was married to this guy whose cousin’s boyfriend had a teacher who knew a guy who worked on an oil field with a last name of Koch. So in other words, a direct link between the tea party and the Koch’s.

  24. I went around and around with an asshole just the other day who had a similar thesis that the NRA is run by the moustache-twirling Snidely Whiplashes at the NSSF. The fact that several of the NRA’s policy positions are contrary to the economic interests of gun manufacturers was irrelevant to him; rather, he was convinced by “several articles” (i.e., nonsense like this, written by anti-gun hacks at Slate or Rolling Stone or whatever) and the fact that the NRA hadn’t dignified the bullshit with a response.

    The problem is that these people occupy a fantasy bubble in which they’re principled tribunes of the common man, fighting rapacious packs of venal crapweasels. To acknowledge that a non-trivial number of common men genuinely think they’re full of shit is to puncture that bubble.

    And yes, the ridiculous irony of their “we belong to the reality-based community” pose is completely lost on them.

    1. The fact that several of the NRA’s policy positions are contrary to the economic interests of gun manufacturers was irrelevant to him

      Which ones? Genuinely asking here. One of my favorite things about the NRA is how they’ve been able to get the gun industry, unlike every other industry in the country, to stand up to the State. You go to Ruger’s website, the first thing that pops up is a way to send an email to your representatives. There were some real issues in the 90s with quisling gun manufacturers, but now they’ve all got the message: We hang together, or we will hang separately.

      But of course progressives see corporations working to protect civil rights as a bad thing.

      1. Just two examples:

        * NRA opposes further import restrictions. Domestic gun makers loves them some import restrictions.

        * NRA opposes bans on “Saturday night specials.” Gun makers love rules that would drive consumer demand upmarket.

        1. Damn your quick fingers!

          To HELL!!!

        2. I had forgot about import restrictions.

          I will quibble with the Saturday Night Specials thing though. Sure, SW, Ruger, Colt, Glock, etc might not oppose Saturday Night Special bands. But Raven, Lorcin, Jennings, Hi-Point etc. certainly would. Of course they don’t have the same amount of muscle as the better quality companies, but anyone who makes cheap guns isn’t going to be a fan of bans on cheap guns.

          1. Re: cheap guns, sure, agreed — downmarket manufacturers hate bans on cheap guns, upmarket manufacturers love them.

            But the NRA opposes bans. Assuming the NRA is really controlled by the industry, why in God’s name would it favor the interests of smaller, less-moneyed companies like Raven, Lorcin, Jennings, Hi-Point, etc. over those of the big players like Glock, SigSauer, Ruger, S&W, and on and on?

            You have to be drinking the drain cleaner for that to make any sense at all.

      2. I think the NRA may be against the ‘assault weapon’ importation ban and other free trade barriers.

        These laws favor American manufacturers to a degree. But a lot of the firearm manufacturers are chock full of staunch 2nd supporters, so they might not even support these protectionist measures.

      3. I’d add that the NRA’s success in getting manufacturers to toe the line is basically a function of the organization’s membership being pretty effective at punishing traitors. Remember back a few years ago with Smith & Wesson started playing footsie with the Clinton administration? The NRA whipped its membership, which promptly went berserk, and S&W’s owners ended up selling the company to people who’ve been pretty uncompromising ever since.

        1. Yeah, some people are still pissed for Bill Ruger supporting standard magazine bans. He said something like, “People don’t need more than 10 rounds.”

          That’s why there were no factory 10/22 25 round mags for a long time; they had to wait for the old man to die.

          1. Yep. What’s nice is that manufacturers are increasingly owned by people who’ve marinated in modern gun culture. The Hornadys of the world have grown up to consider something like three-gun every bit as mainstream as duck hunting, so we’ve seen a real weakening of the Fudd mentality among manufacturers.

            1. Yeah, see the east coast outdoor sportsmen show this year.

              Man, people lost money and exposure for their beliefs.

              I got a list of companies that pulled out, and when I need shit I consult that list.

      4. Corporations only work for one thing, and are legally required to. If it happens that maximum gun proliferation (the goal of the gun industry) promotes a civil right, gravy, but the debate is whether maximum gun proliferation is the proper manifestation of the right.

        1. Retarded troll is retarded.

          1. No, let tony speak. I think he may be onto something.

            See, I’ve read about this before. Let me explain to you how this works: you see, the corporations finance the NRA, and then the NRA goes out… and the corporations sit there in their… in their corporation buildings, and… and, and see, they’re all corporation-y… and they make money.

            1. It’s not a myth, profit-generation machines known as corporations do exist.

              In order to argue that they’re not doing everything possible, even at the expense of some social good, to maximize profits is to argue that they’re bad at what they do.

              The corporation and their lobbies have one goal and not the other, which is perfectly fine. That’s why we need democratic government to have the other, political, debate. It would be a rare thing for a corporation’s interests to coincide with the civil rights of all people.

              1. It would be a rare thing for a corporation’s interests to coincide with the civil rights of all people.

                How about the entire entertainment industry, which includes movies, TV, publishing of both books and magazines, and now ebooks, radio and music, video games, board games, pornography, etc. Billions of dollars, millions of people, thousands of corporations, all protected by the 1st Amendment and we are all better off because of it.

                Fuck off slaver.

                1. But that conflicts with peoples’ right not to be offended by those products, right Tony?

              2. How exactly do they conflict when they are the same?

                1. There are lots of industries that produce benign products. Some don’t. Arsenic distributors should be heavily regulated. Filmmaking, more lightly. Guns are dangerous (and if they’re not dangerous then they’re not the effective tools you claim they are), so apart from whatever may be in the Bill of Rights, are legitimate targets of regulation. We don’t tolerate absolute free speech if it conflicts with public safety, so it goes without saying that we shouldn’t tolerate absolute gun rights for the same reason.

                  1. Owning arsenic or a gun doesn’t conflict with public safety, you idiot.

              3. It’s so adorable the way you believe in the existence of a “social good” apart from individuals’ life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness (which, quel horreur, may occasionally include buying a firearm from a willing seller).

                It’s almost as if you think that individuals exist for the benefit of society, rather than the other way around.

                1. Social good is a macroscopic way of describing what’s good for people individually. You can’t survey everyone, so you gather social metrics, and make policy whose effects can only be measured by such.

                  1. Social good is a macroscopic way of describing what’s good for people individually. You can’t survey everyone, so you gather social metrics, and make policy whose effects can only be measured by such.

                    Yup, Tony knows what’s best for you. Lie down and take it like a good girl.

                  2. How about, instead of treating people like lab rats, you leave them alone to figure out what’s good for themselves?

              4. Tony, you don’t care about civil rights, so don’t pretend to.

                Unless you contend that being owned by the state, and your life subject to the whims of 51% of the voting public, but you’re allowed to engage in buttsex is “civil rights”.

                ‘Cause that seems the whole of your political worldview.

                1. If 51% decide something, then it’s not a terribly big haul to convince enough people to switch sides and give you your way.

                  If 70% decide something, then who the fuck are you to tell them the 30% should get their way instead?

                  1. When “getting their way” entails an obligation on the part of the reviled minority to give up their rights to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Twit.

                    1. Which you define as every single policy you don’t like whether it’s legitimately related to minority civil rights or not.

                    2. What are minority civil rights and how are they different from everyone’s civil rights? And who are you to lecture on minority rights anyway? As long as the 70% agrees, the 30% should be screwed according to you.

                  2. If 70% decide something, then who the fuck are you to tell them the 30% should get their way instead?

                    Yeah like when black people wanted to vote or now the gays want to get married. Tough shit man, you gotta get Tony’s magic percentage.

                    1. Fuck democracy with a ten foot long libertarian supreme court assault dildo.

                  3. If 70% decide something, then who the fuck are you to tell them the 30% should get their way instead?

                    At least you’re not pretending to care about “civil rights” anymore.

                  4. Re: Tony,

                    If 70% decide something, then who the fuck are you to tell them the 30% should get their way instead?

                    Yes! Hence Kristalnacht.

                    Your true colors are slowly coming out, Tony baby.

                  5. Who the fuck am I?

                    I’m an individual, Tony. That’s who I am.

                    Take your 70% and shove it straight up your ass. My rights are not negotiable.

                    1. My rights are not negotiable.

                      Heh, how quaint.

                    2. If I ever do feel like enough of a minority, and I feel like this may happen, then I will employ extraordinary means to make myself less of a minority.

              5. “maximize profits “

                You keep using that phrase, I do not think it means what you think it means.

                See every individual has his own definition of profit because every individual has his own cost benefit matrix and time horizon considerations.

                Given that corporations are not people capable of making actual decisions but rather legal fictions controled by people who do, the corporation acts in a manner that maximizes “profits” as percieved by those managers, this behavior will never be in perfect alignment with a pure accounting dollars and cents profit because those managers will percieve other forms of “profit” and account for non cash costs that could never show up on an accounting ledger. This means that corporations do not do everything possible to “maximize cash profits” (and even there you are not accounting for time horizon preference differences) and they will often quite explicitly take actions which directly impair their cash profits becuase their managers percieve some other profit from it. This does not make them bad at what they do either, nowhere is it written that corporations mist try to squeeze every last penny of profit out of their operations, so long as they are making A profit for their investors and that profit is roughly in line with the profits they could recieve from other investments they are performing their function.

        2. So the debate is over whether everyone should have a gun or not?

          Nice try, retard, but the debate is over whether we have the right to choose to own guns. Gun proliferation has nothing to do with it.

          1. That’s what I said. Maximum proliferation is the concern of the industry; how much of that is tolerable is the concern of society and politics.

            It’s not even about whether you have the right to choose to own guns. You do and will. The question is what guns and how powerful, and whether insane people should be able to get them.

            1. “Insane” being conveniently defined as “crazy enough to want a gun” of course…

              1. I’d be OK with that, but that’s not the policy on the table.

            2. Retard, you said

              …but the debate is whether maximum gun proliferation is the proper manifestation of the right.

              Maximum gun proliferation is not the same thing as the right to own guns, or a certain type of gun, you stupid fuck.

            3. “Maximum proliferation is the concern of the industry”

              Citation needed.

            4. “That’s what I said. Maximum proliferation is the concern of the industry; how much of that is tolerable is the concern of society and politics.”

              How about we let society decide it by having the people who want to purchase guns purchase guns and those who don’t to not purchase guns? But that doesn’t fit with your desire for central control

              1. What, you mean, we should leave people alone to make decisions for themselves, and deem the emergent results of that to be society’s judgment on the matter?

                Why, that’s completely nuts! We couldn’t possibly.

              2. Because we have an enormously high gun death rate, which is not unrelated to our enormously high gun proliferation. It’s as much a social problem as a polluted drinking water source.

                1. “Because we have an enormously high gun death rate, which is not unrelated to our enormously high gun proliferation. It’s as much a social problem as a polluted drinking water source.”

                  Allow me to translate: “Because some of the people who don’t buy guns want to force their preferences, to one degree or another, on everybody.”

        3. Re: Tony,

          but the debate is whether maximum gun proliferation is the proper manifestation of the right.

          Just like another debate was once whether maximum comic book proliferation was the “proper” manifestation of that other right?

          You have no clue, or idea, or even a hint of what is a right, do you, Tony? Hint: It is not a gift from government.

    2. The reality thing is Chony, derprider, and shriek’s favorite go to argument.

  25. When did Harold Ramis become a anti-tobacco activist?

  26. I fully support liberalization of tobacco regulation and taxation. I’m talking billboards within 500 feet of schools, cartoon mascots, getting rid of the dumbass warnings, and so forth.

    1. For a taxation example, allow me to mention taxing tobacco the same rate as a loaf of bread. Fuck excise taxes.

  27. Fuck disease non profits. They take donations and spend them on political horseshit, rather than helping sufferers or funding research.

  28. My hypothesis: This “study” isn’t really meant to get uncommitted voters to reject the Tea Party, it’s simply intended as fapping material for committed progressives.

    1. Re: Eduard van Haalen,

      it’s simply intended as fapping material for committed progressives.

      And the author has the sticky fingers to prove it!

  29. But when are they going to do a study on people who are so insecure that they need to come up with elaborate conspiracies to explain why others don’t share their political views?

  30. Where’s the flowchart for the Pro-government pep-rally known as the Occupy Movement?

  31. Gore has ties to big tobacco? Someone forgot to tell him to exhale!

    1. So Phillip Morris invented the internet?

  32. People who like freedom are supported by organizations who love freedom who are supported by companies that would benefit from freedom. OMG! What fucking nightmare!

  33. Re: Tony,

    Social good is a macroscopic way of describing what’s good for people individually.

    Uh, no Tony, your definition contradicts the meaning of “social” and “macro”.

    Anyway, social good is simply an euphemism for what government will think of next and justify it, somehow.

    You can’t survey everyone, so you gather social metrics, and make policy whose effects can only be measured by such.

    Like the Soviets did, right? Which is why their experiment went so well!

    Oh, don’t tell me they didn’t do metrics! Don’t be a liar now, bitch!

  34. It won’t be long after the mass produced marijuana cigarette industry explodes that progressives will bitch and complain about that too and demand “public health” legislation against “Big Marijuana” as well.

    1. No shit. They certainly want to crack down on legal substances so they certainly will if pot becomes legal.

  35. Hey, I’m connected too! Tom Borelli was my classmate, sometimes even my labmate, at NY Medical Col., and we were in the Graduate Student Ass’n together.

    But I thought everyone already knew that “tea” was code for “tobacco”.

  36. Damn, I have been found out – I am in the pockets of Philip Morris International. Every 3 months PM sends me some money in the form of dividends to do its nefarious bidding.

  37. The link to the free article is here: http://tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/…..50815.full

  38. These organisations have been fighting state tobacco http://www.shoxinfr.com/nike-shox-nz-c-5.html taxes and smoke-free laws since at least 2006..

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