Thingish Things

Audrey Silk for Council!

Written By: William F. B. O'Reilly - Feb• 25•11

I have a new hero.  She is Audrey Silk of Brooklyn, NY.

Audrey is featured in today’s New York Times for growing her own tobacco in her small Marine Park backyard, washing the leaves, hanging and drying them in her basement over a period of months, cutting them, chopping them, and then rolling the processed Golden Seal Special Burley tobacco into tax-free cigarettes all because she refuses to pay – or cannot afford – the thousands of dollars in state and city taxes that have been piled onto cigarette smokers over the past 10 years. Audrey, a retired police officer, estimates that she already has saved herself $5,000.

It is the perfect American response to government harassment.

I quit smoking years ago, and I’ve finally gotten to the point where I don’t like the smell of the things.  But I hate the stink of government over-reach far more, and what’s happened in New York is rank. A pack of cigarettes now costs $14 in Manhattan delis, and it’s illegal to smoke them indoors and out.

My favorite part of today’s Audrey Silk story – I even love her name – is her quote: “The only way we’re going to win now, since you can’t reason with the irrational, which is the City Council or any lawmakers, is you have to take the position of giving them the finger.”

Wave it proudly, Audrey. It’s the stuff of Thomas Paine.




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  1. Andy B. says:

    Glad she’s saving all that money.
    She’ll need for her chemo.

  2. Your Friend says:

    Great piece. Love her position. I also think pot should be legal nationwide and tobacco should cost as much as pot. Both should be taxed to the hilt to help with our state and federal deficits. I totally support the freedom of the individual to do reckless and stupid things however they see fit, but I’m sure as hell not happy to pay for her medical costs because she is so stupid about her health choices. That’s what the taxes are supposed to offset and as crazy high as they are, they still don’t come close to offsetting the costs of tobacco-related health care costs. Some taxes are good, some regulations are good, every position can’t simply be against such things. You’re not an anarchist, are you?

  3. […] in New York — a pack can cost upwards of $14 in New York City now — is causing lots of unintended consequences — like this converted ice cream truck which sells nothing but cigarettes now. The smokes […]

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