Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

I could never emulate the economist Irving Fisher — and not just his use of index numbers. He was a perfervid purist. He didn’t just defend “the success” of Prohibition, he looked forward to the day when coffee, tea and bleached flour would be outlawed, too.

Hey, I love my coffee. You’ll have to pry my cup from my cold, dead fingers.

Of course, many forms of purism are obviously hygienic. But take purity beyond persuasion, into force, that’s not safe for anybody. And fraud? Weasel-wordy purists aren’t against lying for the cause, either.

Take the hookah.

Hookahs are to tobacco-smoking what bongs are to marijuana-smoking: A water-filtration-based, easy-to-share drug delivery system. In “Putting a Crimp on the Hookah,” the New York Times quotes one hookah smoker as saying he’s unconcerned about the health effects, since he only smokes it about once a month. The author then states “But in fact, hookahs are far from safe.” As Jacob Sullum of Reason magazine points out, both can be true. Tobacco smoking isn’t exactly healthy. But occasional imbibing of water-filtered smoke is almost certainly better for you than regular cigarette use.

The New York Times focuses on the next leg of the “ever-shifting war on tobacco,” the prohibition of “hookah bars.” Though there’s some talk of protecting second-hand smoke victims, it’s pretty obvious that this war is really about squelching a “vice” by force.

Which is itself worse than vice.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor

4 Comments

  1. Drik says:

    Can you Camus?

    Once again:

    “the welfare of humanity is always the aliby of tyrants”.

    “Now the only moral value is courage, which is useful here for judging the puppets and chatterboxes who pretend to speak in the name of the people.”

    We need more of his ilk.

  2. Charlie Seng says:

    And, while we’re at it, at least someone with some kind of authority and with a small amount of common sense should stop the “anti-tobacco purists”, who put “second hand smoke” in the same category as regular cigarette smoking. It’s now gotten to the place where the American Cancer Society (which is not a medically based organization) flat out says that second hand smoke absolutely causes cancer the same as cigarette smoking. The is just not true. You may not like the smell of cigarette smoke, but unless you are sitting in a room without ventilation all day and there are 10 smokers in there smoking cigarettes, you are not going to develop cancer of the lungs. The tobacco police are getting stronger.

  3. […] Show Me the Way to the Next Hookah Bar I could never emulate the economist Irving Fisher — and not just his use of index numbers. He was a perfervid purist. He didn’t just defend “the success” of Prohibition, he looked forward to the day when coffee, tea and bleached flour would be outlawed, too. Hey, I love my coffee. You’ll have to pry my cup from my cold, dead fingers. http://thisiscommonsense.com/?p=6423 […]

  4. Jay says:

    A bit off topic, but might help Charlie Seng understand the American cancer Society.

    LOOK AT THE NUMBERS- THE NUMBERS BEING, THE SALARIES TO TOP PEOPLE, VERSUS THE AMOUNT SPENT ON TRUE RESEARCH; AND HELPING PEOPLE.

    I HAVE NOT CHECKED, BUT AM SURE THAT THE TOP PEOPLE MAKE A SALARY IN THE 6 DIGITS, PLUS BENEFITS.

    THE SAME IS PROBABLY TRUE FOR ALL OF THE OTHER “NATIONAL” CHARITIES.

    LIEK UNITED WAY; RED CROSS; ETC.

    LEECHES, ALL.

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