The hypocrisy of smok­ing bans

HUD wel­comes gang­bangers in pub­lic hous­ing but bars smok­ers

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary - By Tammy Bruce

When HUD Sec­re­tary Ju­lian Cas­tro an­nounced a pro­posed rule to ban smok­ing in pub­lic hous­ing na­tion­wide, the ab­sur­dity was too much to bear. Here was an­other pre­dictable lib­eral toady from Pres­i­dent Obama’s regime (and a man very of­ten men­tioned as a pos­si­ble vice pres­i­den­tial run­ning mate for Hil­lary Clin­ton) sanc­ti­mo­niously is­su­ing a sup­pos­edly grave con­cern about the health and safety of poor Amer­i­cans.

This ‘we care for you!’ dec­la­ra­tion is noth­ing but a cyn­i­cal po­lit­i­cal ma­neu­ver and should be mocked for its dan­ger­ous hypocrisy.

Mr. Cas­tro, all puffed up and smug, an­nounces their “rule” to keep the poor re­ly­ing on pub­lic hous­ing from smok­ing in their own apart­ments yet the same Mssrs. Obama and Cas­tro are work­ing fever­ishly to make sure con­victed gang-bangers and drug deal­ers are as­sured apart­ments and homes in that very same fed­eral pub­lic hous­ing be­he­moth.

Con­sider peo­ple lan­guish­ing in Sec­tion 8 hous­ing and fed­eral hous­ing projects get­ting a lec­ture about how they will not be al­lowed to smoke in their own homes all in the name of “health and safety.” Then con­tem­plate the irony of the same fed­eral bu­reau­cracy re-writ­ing the rules to make sure con­victed crim­i­nals have an eas­ier time mov­ing in right next door to a sin­gle mom try­ing to raise her two sons and des­per­ate to keep them out of trou­ble.

What do lib­er­als tell that woman? That they care about her health and safety by ban­ning tobacco, as they move in a meth dealer next door and an MS-13 gang mem­ber down the hall.

In Septem­ber Sec­re­tary Cas­tro re­sponded to “hu­man rights activists” ask­ing HUD to elim­i­nate rules ban­ning con­victed crim­i­nals from pub­lic hous­ing. This was rather con­ve­nient, as the ad­min­is­tra­tion was preparing to release 6,600 fed­eral con­victs, the largest mass release of crim­i­nals in history. And it’s just the be­gin­ning of a planned release of 46,000 fed­eral con­victs.

As this hor­ror un­folds, per­haps Mr. Obama’s bu­reau­crats think ev­ery­one will be dis­tracted from the in­flux of drug crim­i­nals with the tobacco smok­ing ban rule. Are they try­ing to re­place tobacco with meth in Sec­tion 8 hous­ing? Con­sid­er­ing our pres­i­dent was the pot-smok­ing “Choom Gang” leader in high school, any­thing is pos­si­ble.

Smok­ing is al­ready banned in the lobby and hall­ways of pub­lic hous­ing projects, but this new rule would also pro­hibit it in in­di­vid­ual apart­ments. All in the name of pro­tect­ing peo­ple from the dan­gers of sec­ond-hand smoke. In a state­ment, Mr. Cas­tro de­clared, “We have a re­spon­si­bil­ity to pro­tect pub­lic hous­ing res­i­dents from the harm­ful ef­fects of sec­ond­hand smoke, es­pe­cially the el­derly and chil­dren who suf­fer from asthma and other res­pi­ra­tory diseases. This pro­posed rule will help im­prove the health of more than 760,000 chil­dren and help pub­lic hous­ing agen­cies save $153 mil­lion ev­ery year in health­care, re­pairs and pre­ventable fires.”

So in Mr. Obama’s world, you only really count if you’re poor and strug­gling and have bro­ken the so­cial con­tract by com­mit­ting a ma­jor fed­eral crime. God help you should you be poor, fol­low all the rules, and make a point of liv­ing de­cently.

While the ad­min­is­tra­tion in­sists th­ese are “non­vi­o­lent” crim­i­nals, think again. In­vestors Busi­ness Daily re­ports, “Their un­prece­dented release couldn’t come at a worse time. Drug-re­lated shoot­ings and mur­ders are ex­plod­ing in the very U.S. cities where th­ese paroled drug-deal­ers will be dumped,” re­ports IBD. “Th­ese aren’t dis­ad­van­taged youths busted for smok­ing pot, as Mr. Obama has por­trayed them. Most sold crack co­caine or meth, highly ad­dic­tive drugs typ­i­cally as­so­ci­ated with vi­o­lent crimes, in­clud­ing armed rob­beries, car­jack­ings and drive-by shoot­ings,” notes the pa­per.

The irony, of course, is the one thing that would as­sist the poor and strug­gling who are mired in the hell of gov­ern­ment as­sis­tance is if lib­er­als ad­mit­ted it’s their ma­lig­nant poli­cies keep­ing peo­ple in a cy­cle of poverty. Health is im­me­di­ately im­pacted by stress, which is the main prod­uct of the Demo­cratic party, their boss Barack Obama and his hench­men like Mr. Cas­tro.

Many of us agree smok­ing is an aw­ful thing. I grew up with a mother who smoked 3 packs of cig­a­rettes a day. It was an en­vi­ron­ment that in­stilled in me a per­sonal dis­gust for the habit, and for my gen­er­a­tion, we ul­ti­mately grew up with science prov­ing the link be­tween smok­ing, can­cer and heart dis­ease.

Smoke-free en­vi­ron­ments are good things, but the is­sue here is the ex­tra­or­di­nary cyn­i­cism, hypocrisy and even malev­o­lence of the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion ban­ning smok­ing in the name of health and safety while at the same time im­port­ing con­victed crim­i­nals whose crimes specif­i­cally de­stroy both.

Tammy Bruce is a ra­dio talk show host.

ILLUSTRATION BY ALEXAN­DER HUNTER/THE WASH­ING­TON TIMES

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