Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The return of the Moffitt

Posted by Craig Westover | 3:30 PM |  

Ok. Here’s the humor post for the day. Actually it’s a comment Bob Moffitt of the ALA left on the Power Liberal post declaring me a “shill” for posting this opinion. You gotta admit – life must be grand in Bob’s world of self-delusion.
I also once had hopes of having a rational debate with Fishsticks. Those days are long past. He protests that he is not a "pro-smoke activist," as I have called him from time to time, but his every action and word has shown that that is exactly what he is.

A shill for Big Tobacco.

Debate the smoking ban on Libertarian principles all you want, Craig, but when you imply that the entire medical and scientific community are LYING about the proven health risks of secondhand smoke, you cross into "tin foil hat" land.
Excuse me. Rational debate? But we can’t discuss science, because Bob won’t offer even a single study that he contends supports “no level of secondhand smoke is safe” and statistical analysis is “scientific minutia” that is irrelevant.

We can’t debate government policy and legitimate government authority, because Bob is not a policy maker and therefore, he contends, policy that he advocates for is not his responsibility to defend.

We can’t talk about economics because Bob refuses to go beyond aggregate tax numbers that show government isn’t losing money because of smoking bans. He refuses to look at a breakdown of those numbers that show specific businesses are hurt economically. Actually that’s fine. If his position is those businesses must suffer for the good of the whole – that’s at least intellectually consistent. Bob, however, refuses to acknowledge that the policy that he advocates has, indeed, caused personal hardship for a goodly number of people.

As for his statement that I implied the entire medical and scientific community is lying, well Bob, that’s bullsh*t, which is exactly what I called it in the column being referenced. In fact, I said that policy makers (and activists) that exaggerate valid scientific and medical research to reach conclusions not supported by the data are specifically NOT LYING. They are bullsh*tting.

To lie, one has to know the truth. To people like Bob, and I offer his comment as evidence, the truth is irrelevant. As long as they create the impression they want and it helps them achieve the end that they want, truth doesn’t matter. If there’s a little truth, that’s okay, but it’s not necessary. That’s not lying – that’s bullsh*t.

Bob, the offer still stands – show me one study, any study of your choice, that you feel conclusively or even vaguely indicates that there is no safe level of secondhand smoke, or that justifies any one of your statistics – 38,000 people die annually from secondhand smoke, 3,000 people die from lung cancer due to exposure to secondhand smoke (I pointed you to that one) or any study that shows how those statistics relate to bars and restaurants – and I’ll be happy to discuss it with you. But you won’t. Bullsh*t is so much eaiser.