Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Smoking is good for you

Sometimes a piece comes along that appeals to my vice, but makes it into a (almost) virtue. So this

George Blecher essay on smoking. He mentions all the unmentionables: bans on smoking, the cult of health, "it’s become the single religion of much of Western society," and so on.

It is short and good enough for you to read the whole thing. And keep in mind what Churchill said about cigars: "Smoking cigars is like falling in love; first you are attracted to its shape; you stay with it for its flavor; and you must always remember never, never, let the flame go out."

Discussions - 9 Comments

"...first you are attracted to its shape..." What is it with conservatives these days and cigars (yeah, yeah...I know, Clinton is a glaring exception)?? Schwarzenegger, Limbaugh, now you guys. What is so great about the shape of a cigar? Granted, with all the homophobia on the right (not in the sense of HATING gays necessarily, but fearing them - "Lincoln was 110% heterosexual!!"), I’d assume it’s not the phallic shape that you are attracted to (unless it’s a sublimation thing?). So, I wonder, is it their similar shape and color to dog feces? Well, I’ll give you all the benefit of the doubt there. Maybe it’s their similar shape to missiles, bombs and bullets. Yep, that’s gotta be it. A love of destruction. Yes, I know, destruction strictly for noble purposes.

Elizabeth: Charming response. Cigars are delicious, according to those who smoke them, and they smell good. You smoke one with ease, without hurrying (unlike cigarettes). It has a contemplative effect (not for any narcotic or chemical reason). You taste it, as you wrap your lips around it. You watch the smoke, as you talk with your friend, and sometimes talk about women. Men rarely smoke a cigar alone (not so with cigs). It has nothing to do with sublimation. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. Besides, those who smoke them think themselves stable and manly enough not be worried about such things. By the way, I have never met a conservative--even one who thinks homosexuality is wrong or bad for a person--who hates homosexuals. Nor have I met one who fears homosexuals. Although--and I consess something here--I do remember discovering that a couple of very lovely girls at my high school (Hollywood High) were reputed to be lesbians and I considered it a bit of a challenge. And it was.

I smoked, I quit. I miss exactly this:
Though smoking may not have been good for us, the camaraderie that went along with it made this journey more fascinating, and its end perhaps more bearable.
I have friends who girlfriend smokes. For the sake of not following in my Grandfather’s footsteps, I would prefer she quit. That What a response. Cigars have a flavor unlike cigs, and you stink like them for hours after extinguishing them. Good and bad, right? Right. But I tell you, it was a good day when I last smoked one on the patio of the reception hall with the guys--after the dance of my good pal’s wedding.

Peter, wonderful response to Elizabeth, my thoughts exactly.

I would like to add though, what’s wrong with missiles, bombs & bullets? I do, in fact, love the smell of napalm in the morning. And a good, fat cigar in the evening.

Ahh, the smells of freedom!

Kelso: Careful now, or your frothing mouth will put out your freedom-scented cigar. By the way, does napalm still smell like freedom when it’s burning the flesh off some kid who has no idea what’s going on??

Yes, yes it does. Just ask John Kerry, he knows all about killing kids.


1. I presume you were attempting to pull a "gotcha" with the Kerry comment. Why do you presume I am a Kerry supporter or defender? I’m not; I didn’t vote for him, and wouldn’t, but it does seem clear that his military service was considerably more brave and legitimately honorable than G.W. Bush’s service. Too much bizarre truth-twisting is needed to come to any other conclusion, regardless of whether Kerry ever took a bullet in ’Nam, or how many. Further, what evidence do you have that Kerry was ever personally involved in "killing kids"? Beyond that, killing them with napalm - wasn’t napalm typically dropped from aircraft? Did Kerry fly aircraft?

2. If your "gotcha" about Kerry was designed to be effective, are we to assume that you think it was wrong for U.S. soldiers to do this (kill kids) in the Vietnam war (or any war)? Or is it okay, since killing kids (at least with napalm) leads to freedom, as you reply?

3. If you think that killing kids with napalm during Vietnam was wrong, have you (or G.W. Bush, who we know supported the U.S. in the Vietnam War) ever spoken out against the practice?

4. We all know, from various posts, that you’re a supporter of GW Bush. So, in comparing Bush’s military service during Vietnam to Kerry’s, you see Kerry as a coward, because he killed kids (well, if there’s evidence of this, I’d agree with you!), and you see Bush as a war hero because he avoided committing any atrocities by staying in the U.S.???

In attempting to fire off a sarcastic retort, you really presented a confused jumble of what your positions might be on certain issues.

I know Kerry killed children because he said he did (see his own testimony.)

Aw, come on. Is that the only question you’re gonna address?? What was stopping Bush from going over to Vietnam, killing some (adult) Gooks, and also busting Kerry for committing war crimes (that he’s since confessed to)?? That would’ve been doubly heroic and noble, no?

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