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Out of the Humidor

CA Readers
From the Print Edition:
Tiger Woods, May/June 2008

(continued from page 1)

Regardless of their careers, a plumber, doctor, lawyer or sports figure all share the respect of one another because they have a common denominator: a love for a good cigar.

The rewards each shares in this ritual are diverse. All discover they are not alone; they get a chance to vent, espouse their opinions and gain a new level of confidence from the respect they receive from the group. The bottom-line benefit for most of a cigar shop's patrons is a recharged battery and the knowledge that no matter how their day goes, there is an extended family waiting to hear the good, bad and the ugly while enjoying a great smoke. Personally, I find my cigar shop much more effective and a lot cheaper than visiting with a neurotic $250-an-hour psychiatrist.

When did free speech and a friendly environment to share it become such a threat to this country? How did we allow nonsmokers to take over the Constitution and eliminate our rights to congregate in a place of our own choosing? A cigar shop caters to cigars smokers only. There is no reason for the general public to visit and/or shop in these facilities. If they are not visiting, how can the smoke be a problem? The company line is that it is done in the interest of good health for all. What about mental health? Social interaction is paramount to good mental health. Who knows, we may not have had to add the term "going postal" if those workers had come in for a good cigar and a friendly environment to unload excess stress. America was always the land of opportunity. It gave anyone the chance to build a quality of life in direct proportion to his efforts. Many of these Americans are cigar shop owners and taxpayers who are being destroyed by a few who think they know what's best for everyone. Small-business owners support much more of the tax base than the big corporations. What small businesses will be next in the name of better health? Liquor stores? Fast-food restaurants?

Today, a man's home is not his castle, nor is a man's business.

Shouldn't we be scared to death when we realize that we can no longer smoke in our own backyards, our homes and in our car, as well as our local cigar shop?

Is this attack on smokers really about smoke or is it an attack on free speech, the right to congregate and communicate? The majority does rule, but is the majority making the rules in America today?

I will head over to my local cigar Alamo to share my thoughts with other Americans who have exercised their free will to enjoy my company, views and their own brand of great cigars.

Douglas S. Keane
Murphy, Texas

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