Smokers Free My Ass!
Smokers Free My Ass
Read Them and Weep
The following letters were written to Visa and Mastercard by a personal friend of mine who has been purchasing tobacco on line for several years. As you read his letters and the responses he received, please keep in mind the following;
Sales tax is being used openly as a means to control the behavior of a selected group of citizens.
On line purchases of products is legal, including tobacco.
My friend lives in the state of Washington.
Tobacco use is legal.
In a consumer driven economy, the customer retains the right to chose who, where and how to make private purchases for their own personal use.
States have forgotten that the residents of their state are in fact their customers.
States and cities have chosen to tax certain products in a well thought out effort to price those products beyond what the market is willing to pay.
They have chosen to apply pressure on the Attorney Generals of their states, equally dependant on tax revenues, whining about their losses in tax monies. Law enforcement in turn is more than willing to apply pressure on Visa and Mastercard, neither of which would like to tangle with law enforcement, I'm sure.
There has been a lot of talk over the last few years about the coarsening of society. It is, as a matter of fact, a favorite subject on The Fox News Channel while numerous liberal commentators and politicos pine for the gentler days when people had a "sense of community", respect for the law, etc. etc. etc.
As a smoker, old enough to remember the times before the anti-smoking campaign, it is my personal opinion that one of the major forces responsible for the incredible loss of respect for law enforcement and the growing intolerance directed against anyone who dares to live outside the guidelines of "socially approved" profiles, can be laid at the feet of the on-going hate campaign directed against smokers, backed by those politicians who believe in the rule of democracy along with a strong federal government, as opposed to the defense of individual rights and strong state rights.
Remember, a democracy is 50.5% of the Voters deciding how all of us must live. A republic defends the right of each individual to chose how to live their life as long as they harm no others. We were founded as a republic for a reason. As President Gerald Ford said, "Any Government big enough to give you all you want is big enough to take away all you have".
To: Ask Visa USA
Subject: Card Usage
Since returning to the US in 2000 I have used my Visa card to purchase many things. I have also used it to make on-line purchases. One of the things I use it for is to purchase tobacco on-line.
I have been informed that credit card companies are now refusing to allow purchases of tobacco products charged to these cards. This is an outrage!! Your company has no right to dictate what I use my card for as long as it is a legal product!!
IF, and it's a big if, I receive a reply to this I'm sure it will be something to the effect that your company is taking the "Moral High Ground" etc. Think again: I am a free citizen using your card to buy a legal product. Get out of the morality business and stick to your own business please and out of mine.
Dear (First Name of Customer),
Thank you for contacting Visa. By way of explanation, Visa acceptance does not override state laws. Therefore you may wish to contact your state's attorney generals office regarding any general laws or tax laws which may prohibit the purchase of cigarettes from another area or state.
We hope this information proves helpful,
Thank you for writing,
This is from our Constitution:
"No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation;"
and that "No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, ...enter
into any Agreement or Compact with another State..."
Please allow me to use my credit card as I see fit for a legal product.
I have lived a great deal of my adult life abroad and have used my credit cards to buy all sorts of things including tobacco. Please explain to me why I can't use them here.
Thank you for your inquiry to MasterCard International.
We understand your concerns. However, MasterCard prohibits the use of its
cards for any illegal purposes. We have been notified by both federal and
state law enforcement authorities that the internet sale and shipment of
cigarettes to or within the U.S. by certain internet merchants violates
numerous federal and state laws, and we are cooperating with the
authorities to ensure that MasterCard cards are not being used for illegal
If you believe such transactions should be legal, we urge you to contact
your elected representatives to urge them to take action.
Customer Service Center
Like the man says, contact your elected representatives.
Register to vote now and take back control of your life the same way we lost control, one step (one vote) at a time.
Many cities and counties and states allow on-line registration and absentee voting. Not sure if you'll have the time? Mail in ballots are becoming very popular. To begin, start with your states website, and do a search for voter registration information. You can also check the on line sites for the major parties.
Not comfortable with any of the national parties? Register as an Independent here.
If you prefer, you can use this link to register in your town, your state.
Federal Government Register
Let the mainstream parties know what makes you uncomfortable, what you think about the current laws and policies, and solutions you think may work.
Volunteer your time, your effort and your opinion. If nothing else, Pay Attention. Personal freedom begins with personal responsibility for your actions, the application of common sense and tolerance for others.
If you think your vote doesn't count please remember the "hanging chads" in the national election in 2000, not to mention the hoards of lawyers dispatched to guard the vote in 2004. In 2009 we saw; lawsuits being brought against the community action group Acorn by several states and counties; a Senate seat that was vacant for 7 months in Minnesota while endless recounts and legal actions took place; the possibly of a Senate seat for sale in Illinois. To learn more about the Acorn lawsuits, please Google the following key words; Acorn, voters, lawsuits.
2012 is shaping up to be a lot of fun!
October 2010: If you have been watching politics this year, the above is a true under statement. 2012 is shaping up to be even more historic then I suspect this year will be. This page was written in 2006 I believe. Last year the same California Congressman managed to slip in a bill that tried to stop all on-line tobacco sales. It is a stark lesson in how Progressives work, one step at a time. Isn't life fun! If you are one of those who think not voting makes a statement, you are right! How do you like the results?