virus: Killing the tabacco-lords(KMO's $0.02)

Sat, 02 Aug 1997 10:37:30 -0700


I've read several moral arguments on this list for thinking that killing
key figures in the tabacco industry is bad idea. Here's a practical
argument; it won't work. How many South and Central American drug-lords
have been "brought to justice" in a rain of bullets? Has it solved the
"drug problem" in the US? Did the demand for coke go down when the
Mexican army gunned down Pablo Escobar as he fled across a roof-top in
nothing but his socks? Was it reduced when the US Military invaded
Panama and captured Manuel Noriega?

Killing tabacco-lords would be a serious PR screw up. Right now, the
killers are all on one side of the issue. Killing people would
trivialize any arguments against tabocco use that appealed the inherent
value of human life.

Setting all moral considerations aside, killing the tabacco-lords would
be a bad plan. It would give the opposition plenty of ammo to demonize
ALL anti-tabacco spokesfolks (not just the ones who did or advocated the
killing) and it would do nothing to impair the tabacco industry. With
that kind of money to be made, there will be plenty of competant people
anxious to step up to the plate and lead the cartel for awhile. And
they'll have better security than their predecessors.

If you want to fix the program, alter the code. Don't excise individual
logic gates in the hardware of the system, especially when those
hardware components are instantly replaceable.