AFGL: OSOK, Fielder & Maryland Sucks

January 27, 2012 · Posted in AFGL, Assault on Cigars, Cigar Industry, Sports · Comment 

A Few Good Links today will cover the new cigar from Room 101, why I am happy Prince Fielder is a Tiger and why Maryland sucks.

1. Jewelry craftsman and cigar maker Matt Booth has teamed up with his photographer to come out with a new blend of cigars called OSOK, One Shot One Kill. Now, if you are thinking that name is provocative let me just fill you in on the meaning: by “shot” they mean “photograph” and by “kill” they mean “killer photo.” The photographer, whose name is Edgar Hoill, is nicknamed OSOK and that’s where that comes from. If the cigar is as good as its marketing it should be great.

I like the name and it’s more understandable than one of Booth’s other cigar creations – Namakubi, which has something to do with severed heads and Samurai. I don’t have any definite plans on reviewing either of these cigars but I wouldn’t rule it out.

2. Prince Fielder did not sign with the Rangers (woohoo) but has decided to sign on as part of the one-two punch that is Prince-Cabrera. I guess if you wanted to strangle a joke out of this you could say that Prince, Cabrera and Verlander are now “Detroit’s New Big Three.” (Note to Tigers’ marketing team: I came up with the slogan so you owe me royalties if you decide to use it.)

The reason why I like this is because it puts Prince in the AL Central. The Tigers should be strong enough to manhandle their division counterparts and suppress wins enough so that none of the teams from the Central will seriously compete for the Wild Card. If baseball goes to a two Wild Card format for 2012 that means there will be five teams (Angels, Rangers, Yankees, Red Sox and Rays) battling for four playoff spots (AL West and East champs and the two Wild Card spots).

Anything can happen over 162 games but that really isn’t true. I just can’t envision a world where the Orioles or the Mariners figure out how to win enough ballgames to make it to the playoffs.

3. I’ve driven through Maryland before, it looked nice. But now I’m going to have to say that Maryland sucks because it has decided to increase cigar taxes. The size of the tax increase is a sideshow to the rationale:

“I imagine everyone’s here because of the public health side of the story,” Maryland’s Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown said. “It’s also a revenue generating story but that wouldn’t be why you’re here, but rather to focus on the benefits to health of what we’re proposing.”

Saying that the reason they are raising taxes on cigars is for health reasons is as laughable as a guy saying he has a subscription to Playboy so that he can read the articles. States who tax tobacco use want the extra revenue and the politicians who support these onerous taxes want the goodwill they engender amongst the busybody anti-smoking groups.

Maryland Cigar Smokers Fight Back

December 23, 2008 · Posted in Assault on Cigars · Comment 

A couple of weeks ago I covered how Dallas was contemplating a new law that would outlaw the sale of single cigars so as to prevent the youths from hallowing them out and stuffing them with pot. Supposedly, if you outlaw the sale of single cigars (they want retailers to sell five packs, at least) then the cost will be prohibitive for high teens. Of course, this is ridiculous and is only meant to make it tougher for cigar smokers to get their hands on stogies.

Fortunately, a hearty few in Maryland are fighting back. From the Washington Post:

A cigar wholesaler, several retailers and a cigar enthusiast have filed suit against Prince George’s County, arguing that the county overstepped its legal authority when it adopted a ban on the sale of cigars in packages of less than five.

The County Council passed a bill in November that classified cigars in certain instances as drug paraphernalia and banned the sale of single cigars. The legislation, signed by County Executive Jack B. Johnson (D), was intended to curb the use of blunts, cigars hollowed out and filled with marijuana. The county was the first jurisdiction in the country to pass such legislation.

The cigar supporters filed suit in Prince George’s Circuit Court yesterday, arguing that tobacco laws should be passed by the state rather than counties. Saying that their business will be hurt by the legislation, which is scheduled to go into effect Jan. 8, the businesses and the cigar lover asked the court to enjoin the county from enforcing the law, declare it unconstitutional and award the plaintiffs $20 million in compensatory and punitive damages.

County spokesman John Erzen declined to comment on the litigation.

I’m beginning to wonder if there’s any place in this country (in the world?) where it’s kosher to smoke cigars anymore unhindered by the ever-growing reach of the government? It’s not looking like it.