A basic constituent of the US Declaration of Independence. It is not dissimilar to ‘Liberté, égalité, fraternité’, the demands of the French revolution. But you could also run both of those phrases together thus:
“Life, Liberty, equality, fraternity and the pursuit of happiness”
Weird, is it not, how each of those words can be turned on its head.
‘Life’ = permission to exist.
‘Liberty’ = freedom from risk.
‘Equality’ = standardisation.
‘Pursuit of happiness’ = relative states of misery.
The word ‘happiness’ intrigues me. I seem to remember a time when we had a good idea what that word meant. We considered ourselves to be ‘happy’ when we were smiling and laughing, such as might be the case at a party. The word had connotations of ‘gaiety’ (but not ‘gayity’). Could I describe myself as being ‘happy’ if I was sitting at home, nice and warm and comfortable, with a cup of tea or a glass of wine, and reading an interesting book? You might say, “Yes”, to that question. But suppose that the ‘interesting book’ was ‘The Gulag Archipelago’, which describes the horrors of post-revolution Russia? That book is certainly interesting, but it is far from ‘happy’. Am I ‘happy’, reading about torture, execution and expulsion?
We might change the word ‘happiness’ into ‘contentment’. I remember, some sixty years ago, asking one of the professors at college (‘philosophy’ if you want to know) if he was happy. I think that the question stunned him for an instant, but he was quick enough to reply that he was ‘content’.
Perhaps the Declaration of Independence should have stated ‘the pursuit of contentment’. Certainly, in the situation described above (reading the Gulag), I was content because I was warm and comfortable with a glass of wine and reading something interesting.
But I am not in the tiniest bit content, even though the circumstances are much the same, when I am writing this blog. I seethe. Well, not tonight, because this post is not about torture and persecution.
In the Gulag, torture was not necessarily direct infliction of pain. Isolation in a really cold cell and deprivation of sleep convinced many an innocent person to confess to anything just to get out of that situation. They did not care if they were shot – just get me out of this suffering.
Long ago, in the 1960s, I decide to stop smoking. My memory is somewhat iffy, but I think that it was simply because smoking was supposed to make you ‘out of breath’. Honestly! I think that I lasted for three days or so before I said to myself, “Sod that!” and started to enjoy my tobacco again. In the 1970s, I quit for 12 months, and bought my first car after six months. I could afford the payments. After a further six months, I started smoking again. AND IT WAS WONDERFUL!
And there is the crux. You can stop drinking beer etc, and you will not notice much difference – until you down that first pint after twelve months of abstinence. Only then will you realise what you have been missing.
Humans do not need a ‘Statute’ to tell them that they have a right to ‘seek happiness’. We are born with the instinct to seek ‘happiness’. Babies shriek to be fed, and gain pleasure from the feeding, and then the fall into a contented sleep. “Gain pleasure and then fall into a contented…” are the important words. Pleasure produces contentment.
In other words, I doubt that I would want to read the Gulag if I lived in miserable conditions. Wonderful, is it not, that ‘relativity’ does indeed play a part in whether we are ‘happy/contended’ or not.
What I cannot understand is why our Elected Representatives’ gain happiness from passing laws which torture smokers, drinkers, fatties, etc. Their objective cannot be contentment – it can only be a form of gaiety. What fun! Throw smokers out of their pubs and make publican do the throwing!! How we laughed, and how gay we were!
I had a thought a couple of hours ago. It was about the imposition of the need for a ‘permit’ to import ‘free movement of goods’ goods, such as tobacco leaf. How can there be ‘free movement’ when the freedom requires a permit? Permit = ‘vos papiers! (your papers!). There is no ‘freedom’ when ‘permits’ are required. We are still in the EU, and so obedience to the rules is still required. That means ‘Free movement of goods’.
I can see a vague possibility that Trump might rid the USA of leeches. The ‘swamp’ is full of leaches. I hope that he does so. Tobacco Control is super massive leach. The FDA regs about ecigs are a massive leach. They drain funds out of small companies by imposing a duty to prove that ecig liquids are NOT dangerous, or even more silly, that they could NEVER be dangerous to infinity.
I must buy the latest version of ecig. What shall I buy? I suppose that advertising ecigs has not yet been banned, so I could enquire on-line. What I would like is a version which might justify my importation of tobacco leaf.
But I would wish to import such leaf well in advance of my need to use it. The reason is that tobacco improves in taste if it is aged. It would be nice to import, say, a ton of tobacco leaf and store it to allow it to age. That would be lovely, but “Vos Papiers!” has injected the poison. Further, there are loads of different varieties, which have different tastes. EG, ‘African Red’, ‘Costello’, ‘Prilep’, ‘Shirey’.
Lawmakers have seriously been buggering everything up for the last few decades. Why? God only knows. Perhaps it is no more than they have nothing much to do except bugger things up. Maybe it has always been so, and perhaps that is the reason that there have to be wars from time to time – and revolutions. It may be that Brexit is a revolution, and the election of Trump might be a revolution, but do not discount the power of the aristocrats.
Trump needs to identify the aristocrats and deny them power – if he wants to rule ‘for the people’.
WILL he do so? CAN he do so? I do not know. But what I am certain of is that he must fight against propaganda and release America from Political Correctness, which includes Climate Change, SHS, Safe Spaces, and all the other miasmas.
We tend to think that we are more intelligent than people were thousands of years ago. I gravely doubt that that is so. In fact, it is quite possible that people 30,000 years ago, when they were painting on the walls of caves depictions of the animals which roamed around at that time, were just as intelligent as we are. What has changed is that human expectations have become extensive and varied; we all expect to own a car and take holidays in exotic places; we expect not to have to hand-wash our clothes, or collect fuel for our fires. I remember seeing people, around 1950, going on tips of coalmine slag searching for bits of coal. “Success” in those days was not earning a bunch of pound notes – it was collecting enough coal to make a fire. 5000 years ago, people in England built Stonehenge. It is just a circle of stone pillars with ‘cross-members’ on top. Here is a pic:
I have seen it stated that some of the stones came from South Wales. Stonehenge is situated near Salisbury, some 70 miles South of London. How were those huge stones transported? A huge amount of effort must have gone into its construction, bearing in mind the rudimentary tools available at that time. BUT THEY BUILT IT! That suggest to me that there was ‘peace in the land’ at that time.
In fact, it is easy to believe that, for generations, people live in peace. It may be that ‘the dark ages’ are only ‘dark’ because there was universal peace.
I think that it was Plato, the Greek philosopher, who first proposed that the best form of Government would be ‘philosopher kings’. ‘Philosophy’ means ‘love of knowledge’, so our ‘philosophy kings’ would be clever. In fact, King Solomon, it the bible, was just such a person. He was wise.
It seems to me that, despite the rise in ‘Democracy’, we still have ‘Philosophy Kings’ running out nations – Trump in the USA, May in the UK, Merkel in Germany, Putin in Russia.
But here is the problem. Are they really ‘wise philosopher kings’ or are they charlatans?
Blair’s imposition of the smoking ban leads me to think that he in particular was a charlatan. He was boss of the Labour Party, whose supporters were the working class. He deliberately decided that it was OK to persecute the working class – those who enjoy tobacco most. It is said that he ‘agonised’ over the smoking ban. Bollocks! He and his Government enthusiastically imposed swingeing penalties on anyone who defied the law. I remember visiting a restaurant just before the ban, and the owners did not allow smoking in the dining area, but allowed it in the bar. No problem – that was their decision.
The ban was supposed to be about the health of bar/restaurant workers, but that was always a lie. Did Blair know that it was a lie? The real purpose was one step to reduce ‘smoking prevalence’. EVERYONE who worked in or visited a bar or restaurant could not smoke during the time that they were in that place. The ban on smoking in cars with children present has nothing to do with children – it is entirely to reduce places where you can smoke. And it gets crazier. The Zealots want to stop us smoking in our own cars, even it we have no children. Why? Simply to reduce our opportunities to smoke.
And that is where the idea of ‘Philosopher King’ breaks down. HIS pleasure comes from making ‘wise’ decisions; HIS PEOPLE’S pleasure comes from beer and cigs.
No doubt bloggers of all kinds will give their views and there is nothing wrong with that.
I watched the full Inauguration process for the first time today – all two hours of it. I have seen the ‘swearing in’ many times before, but only the actual ‘moment’ of the swearing in.
I must admit to have been quite touched by the ceremony, even to the extent of slight ‘tears in the eyes’. Am I a sucker? Perhaps.
But did not Trump, in his speech, blast the ineffective Washington Elite? “Thay talk but do nothing”, he said.
To my mind, the critical promise that the President Elect makes is ‘to uphold the Constitution of the USA’. Nothing is more important. In the recent past, attempts have been made to ‘re-define’ the Constitution, especially about ‘the right to bear arms’. It has been said that ‘the right to bear arms’ meant only controlled rights by the Elite.
But we must leave that aside.
I think that Trump has a vision, but he does not actually spell it out fully. I think that he sees ‘protectionism’ as a necessary precursor to generosity. America must use its own resources and labour, of which there are plenty, even though it is possible to get those resources from China, or somewhere, cheaper. Only a strong America can be generous.
Also, he decried Education in America. As I recall, vaguely, he said that young people come out of Education knowing nothing. That cannot be true for most students. It is the flotsam and jetsam of ‘gender studies’ and such, which produce emotions rather than knowledge.
Tobacco Control has used the equivalent of ‘gender studies’ to promote its own continuity. Nothing is real. Studies imply ‘infinite life’ for non-smokers.
I doubt that Trump has the POWER to demolish the Healthism construct, and it may be true that he has no stomach for it. But he has courage, of which there is no doubt.
I was amazed by his inaugural speech. He did not talk in platitudes. He did not preach. He just said that ‘Washington blatherings’ in words will no longer do. ‘ACTION’ is the important thing. I think that there were a lot of frozen smiles on the faces of Obama et al.
Strangely enough, I liked Obama, and even more strangely, I actually liked Cameron when he first became PM. It took some time for me to realise that he was just a tool of The Elite. Did he know that he was a tool? His history reveals that he was an artificial creation, and nothing that he authorised was human. The treatment of smokers has been nasty and vicious. To put it simply, Cameron was THE BORG, and so was Blair.
It is hard to fight against it. The BORG cannot be reasoned with.
I vaguely see a situation where, post Brexit, holiday makers will be forbidden to import more than 200 cigs. That is what the law was a decade or so ago, or even longer. Australia still has such a childish law. But the massive development of tourism must preclude detailed examination of baggage. I remember in 1957 how customs in Dover required my panniers to be laid out on a shelf so that they could be opened and examined had Customs wished to do so. Imagine the chaos today if similar practices ruled today.
It is obvious beyond imagining that THE PEOPLE of England and the UK must get to grips with the idea that individuals who stand for Parliament are NOT ‘fit persons’.
Within the last month or so, a Professor made a complaint to the police that, in a speech, a Minister of the Crown, said the equivalent of Gordon Brown’s “British Jobs for British Workers!”, and that her statement was a ‘hate crime’. He appeared on TV to justify his complaint. I don’t know why he agreed because, oddly for a professor, he muttered and stuttered for the ten minutes or so that he was on the TV. But what is extremely odd is that the police, having found no fault in the Minister’s speech, still recorded the complaint and the Minister’s statement as a ‘hate incident’.
The substance of the professor’s complaint was that the Minister said that foreigners should only be considered for jobs if there were no British people who could do that job. The prof reckoned that that was racist, or ‘hateful’. But there is an inference in what the Minister said, which is this: “Why would employers go to the trouble of employing foreigners when there are easily available natives who can do the job just as well?” The answer is that the foreigners would do the job for less pay. So, the Minister is saying that it is not in the interests of our nation that foreigners should take jobs in preference to natives on the grounds that they are cheaper. That makes sense to me, since, otherwise, the country would be full of unemployed Brits and full of Chinese coolies working for peanuts and living in overcrowded, unhealthy conditions, and therefore likely to become a burden on the NHS.
Be that as it may. That is only one example of what seems to have become a trend – formulating criminal law which is vague. So what happens when a criminal law is vague? It is that magistrates, juries and judges have to interpret the law. What often happens is that judges ask: “What did Parliament INTEND when it enacted a specific law?”
It is a plain as the nose on one’s face, for example, that when Parliament passed a law which levied duty on ‘tobacco products’, it intended the law to apply to industry. Without looking up the detail, the evidence for such an interpretation is that collection of duties would only be cost-effective if such payments were in very big amounts – at least thousands of pounds at a time. Those are the type of payments which TobComs pay – in advance. TobComs are required to pay the duty before the products have been sold. It may seem a bit crazy, but it appears that, once the tobacco product has passed through the various stages of preparation, and is a state to be sold on (packaged and ready to go), it is at that point that TobComs must pay the duty. Is that clear? Put simply, a few leaves of tobacco are chopped up, additives are added, paper tubes are filled, 20 filled paper tubes are inserted into a cardboard box and then the box is wrapped in cellophane. AT THAT POINT, duty is payable, and the product must be stored in very secure premises.
Now, how can such a process possibly apply to an individual who either grows his own plants or imports leaf? It is obvious that it was never the intention of Parliament to persecute (by the imposition of duties on tobacco products) citizens. For example, there is no system in place for home growers to pay duty. Nor is there a system in place for individuals to pay duty on imported tobacco leaf – THERE IS NO DUTY ON IMPORTED TOBACCO LEAF!
So what was the intention of Parliament when it passed the ‘importer registration’ section of the Finance Act? I doubt that there were any more than half a dozen Parliamentarians who knew about that section or gave a damn about it. Therefore, it is reasonable to say that Parliament had no intention. No intention at all. And so, any interpretation at all was valid for TC.
That is why no one should register. The whole thing is a try-on, a trick – the importation of an Oz law from 1911. That importation is also an importation of corruption. Only organise gangs will pay customs officers to ‘not see’ a container load of tobacco, and those payments could be very substantial.
So we have a situation where Parliament has passed a LAW which infringes upon the ‘human rights’, or, better still, the rights of free-born Englishmen, to amuse themselves as they wish. There is no way that the import of tobacco harms anyone, especially those who do not import tobacco.
Tobacco is NOT dead tobacco plants. Dead tobacco plants are NOT tobacco. Nor are they ‘waste’. They are dead plants. They rot down to virtually nothing if you leave them alone. Tobacco is CURED leaves.
But the major scandal is that GOVERNMENT, you know, that big overarching thing which is supposed to help us all to live amicably together, has been turned on its head. It now exists to create antagonism; witness the funding of hatred of smokers via ASH ET AL, and medical porn on cig packets.
There is no essential difference between the contrived hatred of Jews in Nazi Germany and the contrived hatred of smokers in Nazi Britain. And how has that come to pass? It is because our ‘Elected Representatives’ are unable to cope. Only a tiny number of them are better informed than the ordinary man in the street.
I think that the Brexit vote was due to frustration, and rightly so. But the consequences are far-reaching.
What I would like to see is an end to vilification and persecution of smokers and an end to the total waste of public funds on the vilification of ALL citizens, whatever amusements they enjoy. ‘Public Health’ must not be permitted to trump personal autonomy, regardless of the consequences for the NHS – if any.
Criminal law MUST become opaque if the principles upon which it is based become opaque.
That is how the extermination of Jews in Nazi Germany became ‘normal’.
What was the ‘Remain-style’ use of words to try to get voters to vote to remain in the EU? Did it extol the virtues of the EU? No it did not. Nor have I seen anything at all the press or elsewhere which described the virtues of the EU. What we saw was fear-mongering. If we leave this ‘virtue-free’ organisation, then we will suffer.
In the recent Finance Act from Cameron and Osborne, The Zealots levered in a clause which required that ‘the free movement of goods’, a pillar of the EU, must be compromised. That clause requires that anyone who wants to import ‘Raw Tobacco’ must register and justify the import, and it also requires that the importer must be a ‘suitable person’.
What follows is not a splitting of hairs. It is important.
Hundreds of years ago, a substance was derived from the leaves of a plant. That substance was called ‘Tobacco’. It could have been called ‘ice’ or ‘water’ or anything, but those words were already in use. The substance consisted of the dried leaves of that plant. Someone invented a word to identify the plant. That word was ‘Nicotiana’. Later, it was discovered that the plant called ‘Nicotiana’ (after the name of the discoverer) came in various forms, and so sub-divisions arose – ‘tobaccum, rustica, silvestris, etc.
Do readers know that ‘nicotiana rustica’ contains about twice as much nicotine as ‘nicotiana tobaccum’?
Whatever name the plants had, the simple fact was that the cured and dried leaves were simply described as ‘TOBACCO’. They could have been called ‘lettuce’ or ‘cabbage’. My point is that there is no such thing as ‘RAW’ tobacco. Either the leaves are tobacco or they are not.
So we see immediately, simply by the misuse of words, that there is an intent to create an illusion, which is that there is a substance which is more than dried leaves (tobacco) – there is a substance which is different, and it is called ‘RAW’ tobacco. Carrots are not just carrots, they are ‘RAW’ carrots.
Thus we see that there is no difference between tobacco and raw tobacco. The use of the word ‘raw’ is propaganda, pure and simple.
The fact is, as far as I can see, is that Andrew Black, the Aussie witch-finder General, has somehow engineered a form of words in the Finance Act which creates a new criminal class – those who import ‘raw’ tobacco, aka tobacco, without permission. How does that accord with ‘the free movement of goods (tobacco is an agricultural product – only ‘tobacco products’ are regulated)?
So I see ‘resistance’ as refusal to comply with ‘registration’. If a shop appeared in Magalluf which sold ‘leaves’ of various kinds, I would risk filling my suitcase with those leaves.
It is only the fact that Britain is a group of islands that the witch-finder General can operate. He could not do so on the landmass of Europe.
Having said all that, there might be some leverage in flooding the Revenue department with demands for ‘licences’. “I want to import leaf so that I can experiment with blends without additives, and nothing will leave my home”. If you want to muddy the waters, even if you have no intention of importing leaf, then you could avail yourself of the ‘proforma’ here:
I see that, but that idea means acquiescing. The EU LAW is ‘free movement of goods’, which means that no impediment to the free movement of those goods in acceptable.
There are extremely wealthy smokers who could contest these aberrations. Where are they?
I must to bed.
Look at the comments from Vlad at the end of this post from Frank Davis:
Vlad dug out a report from 1967 which says that light smoking is good for you. That report came from US Department of Health, Education and Welfare. The report came from national household surveys for 1964/65. You can access the report here:
Vlad says: “This report is not listed in the library of reports on official SG [Surgeon General] site”.
We might indeed wonder why not.
I have so far read 11 of the 64 pages. Naturally, I am looking for bits which support the claim ‘that 10 cigs a day are good for you’. But first let me quote this:
“The sample is designed so that interviews are conducted during every week of the year. During the 52-week period from July 1964 through June 1965, the sample was composed of approximately 42,000 households containing about 134,000 persons living at the time of the interview.”
So we are not talking about a sample similar to the one used to decide that seeing someone vaping CAUSES a smoker to want to smoke.
As usual with such reports, it is not easy-reading, being packed with statistics, but it is at least reasonably clearly written. It seems to me to be written with the lay person in mind who knows a bit and is able to get around the detail if he so wishes.
So I came to a page 12 with a para headed ‘Heart Conditions’. Plucking out a couple of quotes, I see this:
The prevalence rate of heart conditions (excluding rheumatic heart disease) among male former smokers was about 44 percent higher than among those who had never smoked. Although the present smokers who smoked up to a pack a day had a rate about the ‘same as that for the “never smokers,;’ men whose heaviest rate was over two packs a day reported prevalence rates for heart conditions about 70 percent higher than “never smokers” (see tables D and 8).
Now then, it is easy to miss the bit that we are interested in. I’ll repeat the quote with the bit bolded:
The prevalence rate of heart conditions (excluding rheumatic heart disease) among male former smokers was about 44 percent higher than among those who had never smoked. Although the present smokers who smoked up to a pack a day had a rate about the ‘same as that for the “never smokers,;’ men whose heaviest rate was over two packs a day reported prevalence rates for heart conditions about 70 percent higher than “never smokers” (see tables D and 8).
That is the first indication. Present smokers of up to a pack a day had the same rate of ‘heart disease’ as never smokers.
Lower down in that para appears this:
Female former smokers reported about 25 percent higher rates of heart disease than those who never smoked, while the present smokers who smoked no more than a pack a day reported 19- 35. percent lower rates than the “never smokers”.
The researchers did point out that former smokers might have stopped smoking because of illness, but that is not what we care about. What the two quotes above indicate, on the face of it, is that respondents to this massive, Government survey who had continued to smoke, reported that they had suffered less heart problems than non-smokers.
As I said, I have not yet read further, but I did accidentally (page skip!) see something similar concerning sinusitis, but I do not want to pre-judge something that I have not yet read properly.
I shall continue reading tomorrow, all being well (dentist’s appointment!). But not tonight. I want to progress my reading of the Gulag. That report will also justify more than one reading.
The general tenor of that report leads me to think that researchers, at that time 1967, were still very much independent; that they were given the freedom to examine the stats and report truthfully what the ‘expert statisticians’ among them found. Which reminds me. I read somewhere that certain people or organisations, some years ago, tried to put pressure on our own UK national statistics to ask ‘leading’ questions in certain surveys. Nat Stats absolutely refused. No bloody way. Questions in surveys had to be as clear as possible so that the true picture could be obtained. In fact, I remember reading about an occasion when Nat Stats did ask a question which contained a double negative. I think that they must have realised that the answers were ‘statistically improbable’, because they changed the question the following year to eliminate the double negative. And guess what the subject was? It was about attending the pub after the smoking ban! I simply cannot remember the detail. At first sight, the question seemed innocuous enough. Something like: “Do you go to the pub a)more b) less c) the same, than you used to go before the smoking ban?” Where is the double negative? It is in the words ‘less’ and ‘ban’. The problem is this: How can a non-smoker decide NOT TO go to the pub because of the smoking ban? Do you see? We now have a sentence with a triple negative – non-smoker, not going to pub and ‘no smoking’! If a non-smoker decides not to go to the pub because of the smoking ban, the reason must have nothing to do with the smoking ban itself. Perhaps the pub became boring after the ban. Who knows?
Something like that.
If Nat Stats ever gave in, then we really would have descended into the morass that was Russia after the Revolution. No wonder that ASH ET AL have to commission their own crooked surveys.
Older readers will remember (1970s?) when climatologists were forecasting an imminent ice-age. The long-term planners in Universities and the UN must have shit themselves! Their plans for ‘global, socialist equality’ depended upon heat generated by human activity warming the planet, and not activity within the Sun reducing global temperatures! We can cross that bridge when it comes!
One might reasonably ask this question: “Why is our Government subsidising solar cells on the roofs of houses in rainy, cloud, cold UK, when the whole of the Sahara desert could be covered with solar cells to supply ‘free’ electricity to the poor of Africa?” Clean energy? No problem. Cold places have nuclear, hot places have solar. Is there anything that we could imagine which might transform the world? How about very light, powerful electricity storage batteries? What I am talking about is POWER in the sense that my laptop has thousands of times (?) more computing POWER than the original ‘Colossus’ computer, packed into a thin box measuring some 15″ x 10″. What might be the basic discovery? Obviously, I have no idea. I can only think of a couple of oddities in nature. For example. The cooler water gets, the less volume it occupies – until it freezes. When it freezes, it expands. Another one is that most things melt when they are heated, but clay becomes harder and harder and denser and denser.
We know so little about the Universe. Let me put it this way. I was reading about some new theory about gravity. I must honestly admit that I have not thought any of it through.
There is a weird fact that cannot be explained. We all know that the outer planets of the solar system take longer to orbit the Sun than the inner planets. The explanation is simple – the nearer a planet is to the Sun, the faster it has to be moving so as not to be pulled into the Sun; nor must it be moving too quickly, otherwise, it would escape and disappear into the cosmos. You might reasonably say that, when the solar system was formed, by pure accident, some of the material was moving around the Sun at just the required speed to stay in orbit. All the rest of the stuff either shot off or fell into the Sun. Over aeons of time, weak gravitational attractions and collisions collected the stuff in groups, which eventually became planets.
Right, but what has been observed is that the outer parts of (some?) galaxies are not moving fast enough (or should that be ‘slow enough’?) to maintain their position.
Oh my! I am way out of my depth here!
OK. The current theory is that ‘dark matter’ makes up the difference in gravitational attractions. The latest theory is that ‘dark energy’ is responsible. It has all to do with ‘cosmic energy’ left over from the Big Bang.
Or something like that!
But I must admit that I laugh at these theories. Why? Because no one has ever explained what Space IS!! Without knowing what Space IS, how can you devise theories which ignore the nature of Space? Space cannot be nothing, otherwise it would not exist. It exists. It is a ‘thing’, and therefore it must have properties. Not even Einstein defined the properties of Space, and no one has dared to speculate. I do not understand why that is. What are the properties of Space?
Suppose that I conjectured that light is an oscillation Space itself? That light is not a wave/ particle emitted by the Sun, but is a compression, de-compression, twisting and bending of Space itself? Einstein came close to it, but had no proof at all. That is why Relativity is still described, after a hundred years, as ‘a theory’. It is a theory because it postulates that Space can be ‘bent’.
Atoms are 99% Space. Let us suppose, just for a moment, that, somehow, the electrons and the protons and neutrons could be compressed within the confines of negative mass. Space would be the negative mass. Thus, the positive mass of the electrons, protons, neutrons, etc would be countered by the negative mass of Space.
I do not understand why it is so difficult for the word ‘Energy’ to be understood. Everywhere, and in all circumstances, it means collisions. ‘Potential Energy’ means the known effects of likely collisions. Basically, all Energy is movement.
Gosh! What a lot of blathering tonight! But I hold that there is extremism everywhere in Government; that the NHS is bedevilled by extremism; that there is no clear understanding; that politicians are incapable of understanding.
Is it not for that reason that politicians find more comfort in banning things?
Enough for tonight.
That day is getting closer and closer. I am referring to the latest piece of pseudo-science about ecigs. Dick Puddlecote fulsomely tears it apart here:
Here is the trick. Briefly, two groups of smoker volunteers were assembled. Individuals in, shall we say, Group A were sat down and a cigarette, lighter and ashtray were placed in front of them. Conversations took place and researchers waited to see when the volunteer picked the cig up and lit it. The same happened with Group B, except that, at some point, a researcher started to puff on an ecig. The smokers in Group B were inclined to pick up the cig and light it sooner than those in Group A. THEREFORE, seeing someone vaping caused the smoker to pick up and light the cig.
From that tiny experiment, with a few volunteers, in specific circumstances, the CONCLUSION was drawn that everywhere, whatever the circumstances, the sight of a vaping causes smokers to desire to smoke. THEREFORE, ecigs must be condemned, or at least banned where smoking is banned.
It seems that, for a change, the MSM decided not to bother publishing it – except for the Daily Mail:
I don’t know what is up with the Mail. If you look at the sidebar on the right of the article, there is a continuous stream of semi-clad young (female) beauties disporting their ample charms. I am sure that there are plenty of young males out there who would be enticed to ‘grab some pussy’; after all, it is obvious that the pictured beauties are ‘gagging for it’.
Does the Mail see such anti-ecig reports as click bait? Maybe, but there were only 35 comments.
Does the Mail actually see that research as important? I simply do not see it, unless the Mail article is just a knee-jerk response to promote anything which it thinks that its readers might get a vicarious pleasure from reading. In fact, one commenter fell for it hook, line and sinker:
If I spot someone vaping, I want to create as much distance as possible between me and them. Disgusting habit and disgusting that it hasn’t been banned to the extent cigarette smoking is. Either way, I should have the right not to bt exposed to its toxins.
One can only assume that the guy/gal must wear a mask whenever outdoors, or in an alcohol-infused atmosphere, such as exists within the enclosed space of a pub.
So let’s reiterate. A smoker is invited to take part in an experiment. He acquiesces. He is sat down near a table. A cig, lighter and ashtray is placed on the table, and he is told that he can light the cig any time he wants to. What would be the normal reaction of a smoker in that circumstance? It must surely be ‘suspicion’. He resists. So the researchers ask all sorts of questions and, eventually, he feels sufficiently comfortable that there there is no ‘plot’, and lights up. The same is true for Group B, except that the action of a researcher in using a ‘vape pen’ relieves the smoker’s ‘suspicions’ somewhat earlier.
In other words, the difference between the two situations is NOT the use of the vape pen, but the relief of ‘suspicion’.
That sort of situation is not at all uncommon. The most obvious one that I can think of off the top of my head is a situation which we adults must all have experienced from time to time. You go to some event, and you see a table with various alcoholic drinks and glasses on that table. Do you walk over and help yourself? Most certainly not! You wait to be offered a drink or invited to help yourself. You would prefer to remain ‘alcohol-free’ than risk shaming yourself to death by being told: “Erm.. Excuse me, but would you just wait for the toast to the bride?” Or whatever.
It is easy to see the fake circumstance in which that study was conducted.
But that fakery leads us to wonder what other fakery has gone on in the past. People like St Richard Doll were not ‘altruistic’ searchers after the truth. They were Eugenicists.
You see, why should such people want to stop people from enjoying themselves? Of what concern is it to them if other people do things which might shorten their lives? In the case of Doll, I cannot help but think that he was compromised by his journeys to Nazi Germany and his Communist leanings. I’m not saying that he faked the statistics, but he might have done. It is more likely that he failed to account for ‘confounders’. For example, in his Doctors Study, many of the doctors would have been ‘of military age’. That is, because they had been at university until they were about 24 or so, they would have been liable to be conscripted into the forces around 1939/1940/1941. Who knows what effect such experiences might have had on the bodies of those young doctors? And then there were the smogs. Doll made no attempt to differentiate between town and country, or anything else of that nature. There was a researcher in South Africa named Kitty Little. She observed that there was much less lung cancer in the windy, coastal cities than in interior, smoggy cities. Other studies have shown a markedly lower incidence of LC among smokers who live and work in the countryside than in towns and cities. Why are politicians not aware of these differences?
Which leads us to the massively important question: “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?” “who guards the guards themselves?”
That is a very, very, very serious question, since, if no one control the guards, then the guards can run rampant.
One of the practices that Government indulges in is to create enquiries and appoint board members of that enquiry who have a vested interest in the result. For example, as regards PP, and whether it would work to reduce smoking, the Gov in the UK decided to enquire into the Australian experience. Does PP work? Since that question can only relate to the statistics, you would think that an eminent statistician would lead the enquiry. But no – a paediatrician (doctor concerned with kids’ ailments) was appointed. Needless to say, his report did not address whether or not PP worked, but the likely effects in the future. Such reporting is propaganda and not facts.
It is a simple matter of fact that you cannot predict ‘facts’ which might or might not exist in the future. You can only describe ‘facts’ as they exist now. But you can, if history is properly described, identify historical facts, present facts and project future facts. But the absolutely important thing is that the descriptions MUST be accurate and clear.
That is why TC must be terminated. It does not, and CANNOT, describe facts accurately, either now or in the past. It can only produce propaganda.
How Tobacco Control has Contributed Substantially to the Obesity Epidemic and the Alcoholism Epidemic15/01/2017
A commenter to yesterday’s post made me realise just how true my heading is.
He said that most smokers now no longer go to the pub – they drink at home. I don’t know if national statistics have shown such a thing. They may have, but it all depends upon what questions are asked, and what people say in surveys. It is a well-known fact, I understand, that people under-report how much they eat, so it is not unlikely that they will under-report how much they drink. Before I started drinking substantially at home, it was comparatively easy to say how much I drank on average each week; all I had to do was multiply three by nine, which was my ‘normal’ intake each time I went to the pub – three pints. I suppose that I could add a couple more on Friday nights. But, now, I have no real idea. Perhaps more importantly, I have no wish to think about it. What does it matter?
But there is no doubt that very few smokers now go the pub. It is also true that many fewer non-smokers go to the pub. It is a matter of fact that some 17,000 pubs have closed since the smoking ban in England.
So the constant nagging by TC for the last several decades has frightened people sufficiently that they no longer avail themselves of the ‘appetite suppressing’ drug, nicotine. So they eat more – and more, and more. They cannot help themselves.
I can only quote my own experience. I enjoy my food very much, but I rarely feel hungry. That’s the whole point – I rarely feel hungry. Why do I rarely feel hungry, even though I enjoy my food and am physically quite active (you have to be when you are looking after a disabled person!)? It makes sense that my ‘nicotine habit’ suppresses my appetite, but does not stop me from enjoying my food.
So we see two effects of smoking propaganda and smoking bans. One, the incessant propaganda has caused obesity, and, two, smoking bans have caused people to drink at home more excessively than they would have otherwise.
If I stopped there, I would be behaving like TC in that I would advancing only ONE reason for this or that, and not including OTHER reasons. The reduction in the need for physical activity must ALSO contribute to obesity, but what about alcoholism?
The reality is that ‘youths’ (18 – 24) do not drink as much alcohol as they used to, but middle aged people drink more. That is what national statistics says. Is it not likely that the people most affected by smoking bans are middle-aged smokers who have become somewhat set in their ways? Those that have brought up their kids, are paying off their mortgages, are working in jobs with somewhat more responsibility, who would rather smoke and relax (and drink) at home than bother to go to boring pubs?
What is the answer?
I saw a piece tonight in the New York Times (I think) which complained that Trump, President Elect of the USA, was denigrating honest, investigative journalism. What a load of shit! We smokers all know that the New York Times has been promulgating anti-smoker propaganda for years! They headline the fear-mongering blatherings of ‘Experts’ without any ‘investigation’ at all. The piece in question particularly talked about Trump’s disregard for ‘Climate Change’. How awful!
Trump seems to have embraced Social Media. He has bypassed the MSM, and the newspapers do not like it. They especially do not like being ignored by Trump. But they are blowing in the wind. Social media is here to stay, and there is nothing that politicians or newspapers can do about it. Scepticism is also here to stay.
Politicians, if they had any sense, would stop and reverse micro-management. Such management is very, very expensive. It is not a solution to move that micro-management to local authorities. There are simple answers – do not fix what is not broken. Fix those things which are broken. Fix especially the things which you yourself have broken.
One of the things that especially annoys me is the difficulty of reversing erroneous legislation. You would think that the Tories would reverse legislation which they opposed in Opposition, but they never do. Nor do Labour in the reverse situation. The inference is obvious – their opposition was manufactured. They really did not give a shit.
So we have a situation where the Press claims to be ‘courageous’, but is acquiescent; politicians claim to be ‘free-thinking’, but they are not. Social media is revealing those failings, faulty though Social Media might be.
It will take some time, but I am sure that,eventually, truth and facts will prevail.
For decades, Tobacco Control has been able to claim that their propaganda and bans have reduced smoking prevalence. Mere morsels, such as smoking bans just displace smoking from one place to another, do not bother them. If smokers, and people who go to pubs to sit around expecting to be entertained by smokers and jolly people, as they sip their half of mild, drift away from pubs, that effect is of no interest to them.
But a thought struck me this evening.
Smoking bans in pubs were never aimed at smokers. They were aimed at bar staff. Nor were they intended to ‘protect’ bar staff. They were aimed AT bar staff.’No smoking’ in pubs directly reduced the opportunity to smoke for bar staff. Thus, for a few hours (most pub jobs are part-time), the opportunity to smoke was removed. Thus, tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of people would be deprived of the opportunity to smoke. Expand that idea to all workplaces, and you get a MASSIVE reduction in the opportunity to smoke. Thus, the statistics for purchase and consumption of tobacco MUST show a vast reduction.
Reading the ‘Gulag’ has opened my eyes in many ways. Not least is that there there were ‘quotas’ of ‘arrests’. Remember that ‘arrests’ were themselves, directly, a punishment. Today, we have much the same thing. “The Process is the punishment”. Thus, Cliff Richard, the epitome of non-dissolute, clean-living, virtuous, pop-stardom can have his reputation destroyed merely by innuendo and a raid, much publicised, on his home.
Quotas of arrests ensured a steady supply of ‘enslaved’ workers for each five year plan. If Engineers were required, then X number of Engineers could be accused of some misdemeanour and given a ‘tenner’. A ‘tenner’ was a ten year sentence – two five year plans.
In the same way, TC has manipulated ‘laws’ not to improve health, but to massage statistics. They make a point about reducing the availability of the purchase of tobacco products as though that reduction would reduce health consequences of smoking. But the reality is that they merely want to affect statistics. That is Arnott’s job – affect statistics.
The craziness expands and expands. PM Theresa May says that she wants to ‘do something’ about ‘mental health’ and negligence in that area. And yet she, and her like, forbade mental health patients to enjoy tobacco. Tobacco smoking relaxes. It cannot be denied, no matter how TC avoids that fact.
And there’s the pity. The persecution of smokers has come from the ‘The Frustrations’ of TC. A couple of decades ago, The Zealots expected the World to be ‘smoke-free’ by the year 2000, but they keep having to put the date further forward into the future. Therefore, the persecution must be intensified – just like Soviet Russia.
And our elected representatives are too weak to bring the ‘merchants of doom’ to account.
There ought to be a ‘penalty’ for deceit as practised by TC. The trouble is that Politicians themselves are guilty of deceit by permitting the war on smokers.
But there is one thing above all others which is A MASSIVE LIE. It is that second hand tobacco smoke is dangerous. You see, our sense of smell evolved to detect detect tiny amounts of dangerous stuff. Our sense of smell enabled humans to run away from forest fires and such. Our noses can detect stuff at the molecular level.
So it seems to me that TC is panicking. It is lost and does not know what to do. Ecigs have undermined its ‘raison d’etre’, and it is afraid.
For a change, it is not smokers who are frustrated – it is TC.
I continue with my reading of the Gulag Archipelago I am up to page 281 of 671).
Inevitably, as you read such tomes, ideas of all sorts spring into your mind. ‘Frustration’ has, today, been one such idea. I cannot remember what precise paragraph brought that idea into my mind, but it was quite clear to me as I was reading it. Solzhenitsyn (hereafter, ‘S’) rails in that paragraph about how thousands of Nazis were tried for war crimes after the war, but but no perpetrators of mass suffering and murder in the USSR have been tried since the USSR collapsed. Everyone says, “Don’t stir up the past. It is over and done with”. But S himself was a prisoner and remembers the suffering that he was put through. At the time of his arrest, he was an army officer – artillery. He was not told why he had been arrested, as was almost always the case. But he was fortunate – his commanding officer told him, to the chagrin of those people who had arrested him. “Did you correspond with X?” X was a friend from university. When X was arrested, the correspondence fell into the hands of the Soviet captors. As young men do, in all innocence, there were quips and comments about what was happening. Such quips and comments were deemed to be ‘plotting against the regime’ and thus traitorous. But at least S had an idea what was going on.
But what caught my eye especially was that S said those curiously common words: “They should be strung up from lampposts”.
It was that expression that set me thinking. We often see words to that effect in comments on a variety of subjects. “I wish I had a strong length of hemp and a lamppost to hand”.
And I thought about that. I cannot say that I like Arnott, or any of the rest of TC fake Zealots, but I would not regard their ‘crimes’ as a ‘stringing up from the nearest lamppost’ matter, and I wondered why so many people think that way. It was when I read the similar sentiment in Gulag that the reason came into my mind.
In almost every respect of Government and Regulations, the ‘little man’ has no say whatsoever. For example, as regards ‘plain packaging’ of cigs, some 500,000 signatures were collected against the idea, compared with roughly half that number in favour. And yet those opinions were totally disregarded; the ‘verdict of the jury’ was ‘guilty as charged’. Further, in Parliament, the vote in favour of PP was overwhelming. When the smoking ban was passed and enforced with the greatest of rigour, the ‘little man’ who enjoyed tobacco was was thrown out into the street.
Thus begins the frustration. There is nothing that you can do. And with every passing day, whenever a smoker goes to the pub, the frustration builds up. Over the last few days, since the beginning of January, that old advert which pictures a cigarette with a tumour growing on the side, has been featured again and again. When it appears, I cannot help but cry, “For God’s sake, FUCK OFF! Stop trying to frighten us to death!” That cry comes from frustration. We smokers are confined within a sort of pit from which there is no escape.
But there are people who are confined within similar pits which are not smoking-related pits. They too are very, very frustrated. But because they have no support, either in the media or in politics, they are seething with frustration.
And so, to the horror of the Elite who do not see the frustration building up, since they exist only within their own bubbles, Brexit and the election of Trump EXPLODED!
Frustration is like a volcano. Or rather, a series of volcanoes along the length of a ‘fault’ in the crust of the Earth. Persecution of smokers is only one of the volcanoes. Under the smoking volcano (!), there was a seething mass of frustration, as was the case with other volcanoes. Brixit and Trump caused those volcanoes to erupt. But suppose that Cameron had not conceded the referendum? It would not have mattered, because, sooner or later, the volcanoes would still have erupted.
The 1960s, 1970s and 1980s have often been sneered at, and yet I think that there was more contentment in those decades than before or since. There was full employment and youths were well paid for working and spent their money on fun, until they married and settled down. We had respected armed forces – not that they were used very well. Apart from the Falklands, they were very often used to shore up Tyrants.
It was around 1990 that the rot began. It was around then that the UN produced its ‘Millennium Goals’. Nations signed up to it without realising that the ‘Millennium Goals’ was actually a communist manifesto.
Why did the UK sign up to a communist manifesto?
Do people know that the person who signed the UK up to the FCTC was an unanimous Foreign Office Official? Do people realise that the person who signed the UK up to the recent TPD was a junior health minister, who did not know what it said? And who has been ‘moved on’? Well, she was ‘move on’, but I suspect that she is no longer a minister.
But all this moving ministers from one position to another and then sacking them does not affect the frustration of disaffected groups. That is true of smokers especially. Forest does the best that it can, but it can hardly be described as a huge pressure (volcanic eruption!) group.
But sometimes such groups actually are counter-productive, in the sense that they can be beaten down. Sometimes, it is better that the volcano should be allowed to blow its top.
But does Theresa May and her Cabinet realise that the volcano has erupted? Do the EU Apparatchiks realise that fact? The frustration in the minds of the ‘little people’ has erupted, and it cannot be subdued.
It may be that the repeal of anti-smoker legislation is at the very back of the queue, but nothing less than the repeal of ALL anti-smoker legislation will relieve the frustration.
That is why such immensely frustrated people demand that Arnott et al should be strung up by a strong hemp rope on the nearest lamppost.