Constructing Facts

It is easy to construct a fact. All you need to do is make a statement. For example, you could say, “You would not believe it. In January, one of my rose bushes burst into full bloom. The display was wonderful and the scent delicious”. You could say that, but in England rose bushes do not burst into full bloom in January. Most people would not actually accuse you of lying. They would raise an eyebrow and say, “Really! Amazing!” But suppose that you were an horticulturist by profession and you said the same thing? I suppose that people who know of your profession would be more likely to believe that it actually happened, and that it was a freak of nature.

So now hear this:

According to an article in the South Bend Tribune, the executive director of the Indiana Prevention Resource Center stated: “What we can gather is that students have this misconception it’s [ecig use] somehow safer than smoking a cigarette. I think the tobacco industry is really intentionally marketing e-cigarettes that way to make them appear, kind of by implication, that they’re safer than smoking a cigarette.” 

I got that from Michael Siegel’s blog. He rips that statement apart:

Siegel does not say who the executive director is, but the article does. It is one “Ruth Gassman, executive director of the Indiana Prevention Resource Center, which conducted the survey.”

Strange, is it not, that such a high-ranking person could not put a sentence together which is grammatically correct – but not to worry about that – it may be that she was speaking on the phone to a reporter.

What is astonishing about what she said was the blatant abuse of her position. Who is she implicitly to condemn tobacco companies? She conducts surveys. Further, what specialist knowledge does she have which permits her to decide that people should not say that ecigs are safer than tobacco cigs?

From the fact that more youths have being trying out ecigs, she has constructed A FACT (I nearly typed FART!). The ‘fact’ that she has constructed is “YOUTHS ARE ONLY TRYING ECIGS BECAUSE TOBACCO COMPANIES ARE MARKETING THEM AS SAFER THAN  TOBACCO CIGS”

Siegel interprets the statement differently. He says that she is saying that tobacco cigs are no more dangerous than ecigs. Or, alternatively, that ecigs are as dangerous as tobacco cigs. A = B, therefore B = A. He is right, of course, but that is not really what is important. What is important is her accusation that tobacco companies are deliberately misinforming youths.

I must admit to being a bit confused. Either that lady has been really well coached or she is so stupid that she accidentally covered herself. The reason is that she has managed to construct a ‘fact’, and yet phrased it in such a way as to be innocent of calumny. Are tobacco companies ‘marketing’ ecigs? Yes, I suppose. Advertisers are not allowed to say that ecigs are safer, but, Hey! Why quibble? I suppose that adverts could be construed as implying that ecigs are safer. What the unwary would pick up on is ‘ecigs are as dangerous as tobacco cigs, and tobacco companies are to blame’. That was the intention of the statement and is a newly constructed ‘fact’.

But even if the lady has been coached and her statement has be rehearsed and carefully constructed (along with its deliberate grammatical bodge), her statement show that the ‘fact creation’ department of tobacco control is beginning to run out of ideas. Evidence is in short supply, and so ‘fact creation’ must depend upon semantics. “YOUTHS ARE ONLY TRYING ECIGS BECAUSE TOBACCO COMPANIES ARE MARKETING THEM AS SAFER THAN TOBACCO CIGS”. Well, that is the gist of the statement, but is is not quite precise. The reason for the imprecision is the first phrase: “What we can gather is…..” Is that not very clever indeed? In other words, “We are not saying anything specific. We are ‘gathering’ that that is how students feel”. Very clever. Such a lovely little word, ‘gather’, is it not? In that statement, it permitted Ms Gassbag (sorry, Gassman) to explicitly accuse tobacco companies of wrong-doing while, at the same time, suggesting that ecigs are essentially just the same as tobacco cigs. Note my own little phrase there, ‘just the same as’. I’m learning.

All the time, the attack of ecigs is deliberately intended to narrow the difference between them and tobacco. Given the right words, I suppose that chalk could be brought closer to cheese in the mind. Thus, it could be decreed that eating chalk is fattening, and should be avoided, just like cheese. The fact that no one eats chalk is irrelevant. But what we have seen in the above is precisely similar. You can ingest chalk and it will do you no harm. Cheese is far more dangerous. You could say that ecigs are like chalk flavoured to taste like cheese. It will do you no harm and not make you fat. But the ‘fat controllers’ do not want you to take matters into your own hands. They want you to accept their self-rewarding remedy – cheese patches and gum. Thus, it must be cheese manufacturers who are surreptitiously promoting cheese flavoured chalk. How can it be otherwise? IT MUST BE STOPPED!!! In the end, all cheese production will end, but the cheese manufacturers will still exist, except that they will be making cheese flavoured chalk.

Funnily enough, people will still get fat, even though they are eating chalk instead of cheese. Frantically, the anti-cheese zealots will look around for the reason, and will find that FRUIT is the problem. Previous advice to eat lots of fruit will be degraded. Professor Rotte Napple will appear on TV and explain that previously unknown factors have been at work. The fructose in apples is far more dangerous than was thought. It causes cancers here and there. Give generously to the new government created ‘charity’ NIPPLE, which stands for ‘Not In People’s Entrails’. It is a new charity with a CEO paid £500,000 per an. It is confidently expected that the CEO will get grants to more than cover his salary. “If £1 of surplus cash saves a child’s life, then it is all worthwhile”, said the CEO elect, Ms Greta Grabb.


Enough of this silly comedy. Damn it! I might start writing verse next. A Shakespearean delight of FCTC bigwigs coming into conflict with vapers might be fun. Well…… Maybe. Except that vapers, despite holding the high moral ground, have no real cohesion. Politically, they are sunk. But it has always been so. What is important for them is to do their own manufacturing. GO UNDERGROUND NOW!!!! Do not be afraid of ‘The Government’. It cannot harm you. Trade among yourselves via the net. It is just like growing your own tobacco plants. Before it is too late, make connections with other vapers, preferably abroad as well as at home. Make it your business to get knowledge and sources of supply of ingredients before the Zealots batter you. Do it first. They have no compunction in outlawing you. “Smokers will be exiled to the outdoors”. Expect nothing different, for you are pawns in the war which the Zealots are waging against tobacco companies. The Zealots want everything to do with tobacco annihilated. Everything. Even the word ‘cigarette’ must be expunged from the language.

Good. The further the madness goes, the better.

I have said that politics is not about economics and such, but is about society. Those of us who wish to amuse ourselves as we wish in this one and only life can only duck and dive, if we are a minority. Actually, it can be amusing and life-enhancing to figure out the ways! But what is important is that one must give up any thought of ‘law-abiding’, other than as one wishes.

That idea is worth a lot of consideration.



10 Responses to “Constructing Facts”

  1. Jude Says:

    Good advice for vapers Junican, I have been saying much the same thing since I became aware of the ANTZ ideology. Stock up on your nicotine liquid, learn how to make your own atomisers and mods, that way you will not be at the mercy of gov taxes, or stupid bans on sales. Learn how to make your own liquids, its actually very very easy, far easier than even growing tobacco, (which in my country is illegal anyway). You don’t need garden space, you just need a basic knowledge in how to combine 4 ingredients, and anyone who can make a basic salad dressing can do this.

    Learn to wind a coil, (there are plenty of you tube vids to help, learn a bit about batteries, ohms , volts amps and watts, (which is useful info to know anyway), and you can thumb your nose at the ANTZ and the government parasites.

    The more vapers that can be self sufficient, and have knowledge they can share, the less the ANTZ ideology, or government interference can harm them.

    Indoor bans and outdoor bans will not stop people, all it will do is ensure that vapers and smokers do not spend money in businesses where they rely on people wanting to be at their premises, pubs, cafes, clubs , public events, public spaces, etc etc.

    Personally I think we have passed the tipping point, where people are no longer taken in by much of the bullshit coming out of public health, or the tobacco control industry.

    • junican Says:

      I doubt that the actual machines themselves will be targeted. Spare parts should always be available. Well, not in a rational ‘free’ country. Making the liquid is the critical thing and any serious vaper who doesn’t teach himself how to do it is stupid. Getting nicotine? Well, if it’s easy to get illicit drugs, illicit booze and illicit tobacco …..

  2. garyk30 Says:

    ‘Somewhat deceptive’ is like being ‘somewhat pregnant’ and is propaganda not science.

    Science is never deceptive and results are adjusted to produce the desired result.

    They say:
    Caution: The match of the CO2 and temperature graph above is somewhat deceptive. Since one is temperature and one is CO2 they cannot be graphed on the same axis, so the two axes have been adjusted to align the two.

    • garyk30 Says:

      They could have shown a graph of the amount of change.
      Lines would not have overlapped tho.

      Best estimate for absolute global mean for 1951-1980 is 14.0 deg-C or 57.2 deg-F, so add that to the temperature change if you want to use an absolute scale.

      Baseline in the chart is therefore 14 degrees C/57.2 degrees F

      Temperature change runs from 56.8 degrees F to 58.1 degrees F

      That is a 2% increase in absolute temperature F.

      CO2 range from 300 ppm to 400 ppm is a 33% increase.

  3. garyk30 Says:

    Nannies do the same ‘somewhat deceptive’ graphing here.

    One increase is about 1 to 5 and the other is about 1 to 17.

  4. cherie79 Says:

    OT but you story about rose struck a chord. My husband died very suddenly, he was not I’ll at all. This was in January and from the day of his funeral on the 13th. January a single perfect yellow rose bloomed in our garden where everything else was dead or dormant. It was really strange, the flower was my favourite and it bloomed for one month. I still have the pictures, never seen anything like it.

    • junican Says:

      What a heart-warming story, cherie! I really shouldn’t have picked roses! I know that they can go on flowering for some time, especially if they are in a sheltered spot or you live in certain parts of the UK. Perhaps I should have picked rhododendrons!

      • cherie79 Says:

        We had lots of Rose bushes but it was only that one rose that bloomed, not even another one on the bush. In a way it was very comforting. I pressed it and took it with me when I moved a year later. Considering the state of shock I was in, I feel that after a month he knew I would be ok. I am not in the least superstitious or religious but it did make me think!

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