“She had no free will’’

Quote of the Day for Thursday, December 16th, 2010:

Local man quoted in today’s Boston Globe, after he and his lawyers completed a successful $152M shakedown of tobacco company Lorillard, Inc., in a suit alleging the company was responsible for his mother’s smoking-related death at 54 in 2002:

“She was addicted,’’ William Evans said today. “Obviously, had she had a choice, she would not have smoked, and the record was clear about that. She made over 50 attempts to try to stop smoking and she was addicted. She had no free will.’’

Had she had a choice? She had no free will?

Is there a more brazen example of the lunacy that has spread its tendrils from the sanctimonious halls of academia into the barrios and slums of the modern underclass? It’s bad enough to not be able to grasp the difference between not having self-control and not having free will. It’s bad enough to go looking for a convenient third party to blame your problems on. But when a society allows this kind of legal larceny to go on, nobody’s means are safe from a clever enemy – and when the government is in on the scam like this, there is no place to turn for justice, except for a crapshoot appeals process within the same system that abets the larceny.

Mr. Evans may be a very rich man today, but the rest of us are just as much poorer – and in more than greenbacks. OK, he’ll probably never actually collect, but the principle of the whole stinking thing still stands…