…and cancer sticks

At long last, we have a piece of legislation to help us deal with that insidious “slow poison” known as “cigarettes”. Your Eyewitness has long harboured a suspicion that the Indigenous peoples — who were “discovered” by Columbus and soon exterminated from the West Indies –had their revenge on Europeans by passing on the use of tobacco to them!! The Amerindians used tobacco only occasionally, for religious purposes!

Even though James I of Britain denounced — in his polemic of 1604, titled “A Counterblaste to Tobacco” — the use of tobacco as a “custome lothsome to the eye, hatefull to the Nose, harmefull to the braine, dangerous to the Lungs, and in the blacke stinking fume thereof, neerest resembling the horrible Stigian smoke of the pit that is bottomelesse,” nobody listened to him!

After all, there were big bucks to be made from the “blacke stinking fume”!! Soon Africans slaves were hauled over the Atlantic to grow tobacco on PLANTATIONS – to keep up with the demand for the addictive stuff that created its own market!! The colonies that would become the United States of America soon became the biggest producers of tobacco, and eventually the largest producers of cigarettes. Fast forward to the middle of the 20th century, and medical research began to show the harmful effects of tobacco on the lungs etc, via the 4000 odd (very odd!!) chemicals produced when tobacco’s burnt. The wonderful ingenuity of US democracy — which changed the concept “bribery” to “lobbying” — soon kicked into gear on behalf of the US tobacco companies, to convince the public that cigarettes were actually not just “sexy”, but GOOD for them!!

But with the evidence showing that even ‘second hand” smoke from those around folks could give them cancer, the manufacturers had to do something! They couldn’t just give up all those profits, could they? They looked around and saw that the natives in what was now the “third world” didn’t know better. Why not sell it to THEM? After all, they wanted to live just like the Americans and Europeans, didn’t they?

And so said so done. With the First World exporting the cancer sticks, after 50 years, we’re now the biggest smokers on the planet! But finally, we’re taking action against this scourge. We now have “The Tobacco Control Bill 2017”, which bans smoking in all indoor workplaces, indoor public places, and public transport. We hope our citizens will get wise to what’s really in their interest and support this ban.

Your Eyewitness never got into smoking after, as a youth, he answered a question posed by the philosopher Bertrand Russel.

“Can you imagine a cow inhaling smoke from burning grass? He couldn’t!!

…and tension

Just when you thought the smoke had cleared from the Camp St ruins, it seems to have stuck in the eyes of the law enforcement personnel who’re looking for the convicts who absconded. (You can’t REALLY call fellas who WALKED OUT the front gate of the prisons “escapees”, can you? They just “left”!!) The ones from the Lusignan Cow Pen are real “escapees” – they did things the approved way – like digging tunnels under the noses of the guards, and stuff!!

But back to our protectors with smoke in their eyes. What else can you say when a bunch of them – armed to the teeth – shoot and kill a fella who was running away from their menacing shouts? What else was this chap expected to do? Stand still and be shot, like what happens to folks of a certainty ethnicity in interactions with the police in the US?

Is anybody keeping count of all the false arrests, beatings, shootings, and search-and-seizures those folks have been subjected to after July 9th?

…and mirrors

By the time you read this, the coronation of VC Griffith would’ve taken place. But rather than the promised “500 national, regional and international representatives”, just the faithful ones showed up!!



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