MAY 2003

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When Will They Liberate New York
From Nowy Dziennik
April 4, 2003

By Marek Tomaszewski

Newspapers have reported that the U.S. Army’s Third Infantry Division, having destroyed the Medina division of Iraq’s Republican Guard defending the south of Baghdad, entered the outskirts of the Iraqi capital. The marines from the First Division, having fought with the members of the Iraqi militia known as Fedayeen (or those who are willing to die for Saddam), are currently within a few miles of Baghdad. Commenting on the course of events on the frontlines, one of American generals said: “soon we will thrust the switchblade into the heart of the oppressor.”

Perhaps the American soldiers, having liberated Baghdad and Iraq, before they return to their wives and fiancées could stop by New York for a moment and liberate us from the anti-smoking despotism of Bloomberg?

Beginning April 1, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the 51 members of the City Council have mandated that smoking be banned in all bars, restaurants and offices. The city’s Department of Health has announced that owners of bars will have to pay a fine of $200 if they fail to abide by the new law.

As reported by New York City’s tabloids, inspectors are already circling Manhattan. They are creating “black lists” of bars and restaurants where still unfazed smokers are practicing this baleful habit. In a few weeks they will pull [the lists] out of their sleeves to punish those guilty of antismoking insubordination.

I would like to ask [a question] – why is using nicotine, which is legally sold in stores, treated by the authorities of New York as something deserving of punishment?
Will the next step to supposedly make us happier be a ban on fried chickens, dripping with fat? Or maybe on candy? After all, they are also considered to have a detrimental impact on health.

I am suggesting that before we see any anti-fat and anti-sugar action of the mayor, the marines visit New York and liberate us from the anti-smoking oppression. Their action would return to us the liberty to spend leisure time the way we choose to, without the interference of governmental Fedayeens.

Translated from Polish by Joanna Sufin.

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