“Those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad’. Anonymous ancient proverb, wrongly attributed to Euripides. The version here is quoted as a “heathen proverb” in Daniel, a Model for Young Men (1854) by William Anderson Scott.”
There is something uniquely odd about tobacco control. Dick Puddlecote drew attention to a ‘consultation’ by Brighton local authority about the banning on smoking in certain outdoor place. Those who have been following the ‘craziness’ of Brighton will know that it fell under the control of ‘The Greens’ some time ago. I believe that the greens have now lost control, but I’m not sure. It was during that time that Brighton banned smoking in one of its squares. I forget the details. Of course, it was not strictly a ban since the council has no such authority, but it has been put about as though it was a legal ban and citizens are encouraged to shout and scream at smokers who light up in that place. Brighton is now conducting a survey to ban smoking on beaches and other places. I completed the consultation form. It is the usual thing, including your age, gender-you-claim-to-be, ethnicity, and other related matters which have nothing to do with the matter in hand. One should have no qualms whatsoever about lying. For example, the form asked for one’s status as a respondent. None of the categories applied to me so I ticked ‘visitor to the city’. It’s sort of true since I did go to Brighton once about 65 years ago. It seemed a nice touch to imply that, as a visitor, one is absolutely against their plans.
Another similar survey/consultation has appeared, this time from Swansea. It is very similar. I completed that one also.
But I am becoming very cynical. I find it desperately bothering that these manifestly dishonest surveys and consultations are thought to have any value. For example, it is obvious that non-smokers have no incentive to check the truth of the so-called ‘science’ behind these bans. If it is true that 80% of the adult population are now non-smokers, it is obvious that they will have no idea that the danger from SHS is non-existent unless you are exposed for hundreds of years; that smoking a cig, which only lasts for about seven minutes, in a car when your child is present, will not have the slightest affect on him/her. The claims are so massively exaggerated as to be outright lies.
So we have Cameron saying that he is going to have EU treaties changed so that Britain can regain the powers which were given away, and yet he gives approval to pathetic, useless, dangerous, divisive prohibitions which ARE NOT dictated by the EU.
And there, ladies and gentlemen, lies the ‘cognitive dissonance’ – madness.
I came across something else today which is interesting. It was a little parable.
A professor in a mental health lesson (something like that) holds up a glass which is half full of water. Students expect him to ask them whether the glass is half full or half empty, but he asks them, “How heavy is this glass of water?” The question is so obviously stupid that no one answers for a little while until someone says, “Erm…. Obviously, we cannot say unless we get some scales and weigh it”. “True”, says the professor, “But I feel a weight, and, at the moment, it doesn’t feel heavy, but if I held it like this for an hour, my arm might start to ache. If I held it for a day, the glass would feel very heavy indeed and my arm would ache like mad. Worry is like this glass of water. Worry for a minute and there is no problem. Worry for an hour, and the worry starts to get ‘heavy’. After a full day, that worry becomes really painful. After a week, it can drive you mad.”
‘Cognitive Dissonance’ is like worry. It involves a person accepting two (or more) contradictory beliefs as both true, or something similar which is not so clear-cut. For example, a parent might believe that his son/daughter is a normal, good person. He is bothered a bit when said son/daughter keeps going out at night dressed all in black, and a brand new laptops and such expensive stuff appears in his/her room the next day. He knows that son/daughter is a good person, but is bothered by what is happening. He puts it out of his mind. When the police arrest said son/daughter, accusing him/her of theft and burglary, parent expresses intense surprise and shock. “He/She is a good person and would never do anything like that”, says parent to the local rag. There lies the CD – the parent tries to separate what he knows via observation from what he believes to be true.
You could say that a belief in global warming is much the same. I was watching a video of a US government committee hearing earlier today. Unfortunately, I can’t find it now. It does not appear in my history. It would be very hard to find it by looking through the sites I have visited today.
PS. Found the video. It was on ‘Grandad’s’ site:
The gist was that a VIP rep of some organisation in the USA had claimed that the world was definitely heating up and that ‘the science was settled’. There was no doubt. The Chairman of the committee asked him to explain why then there had been no satellite data which corroborated that statement for the past 18 years and that such data, in fact, indicated no warming. The VIP would not answer the question. The chairman tried a different approach. He asked the VIP if he had heard of ‘THE PAUSE’. The VIP simply would not respond. Again and again, the chairman asked him, without response. The VIP kept asking for advice from has assistants before answering, and all he said was: “The consensus among 97% of scientists is that global warming is a fact”. He repeated that mantra again and again and again. In the end, the chairman gave up and ended the meeting.
There is no doubt in my mind that CD is common in tobacco control. I remember, when I was about ten, an auntie saying to my mother, “It must be true because it was in the newspaper”. Even as a child of such tender years, I was sufficiently sensible to wonder, in my mind, why it should be true because it was in the newspaper. I suppose, at that age, I was reading a lot of comics, such as the Beano. I was sensible enough to know that the stories that I read in the Beano were not real. Desperate Dan did not eat enormous ‘cow pies’. (Or was that the Dandy?); Jimmy did not have a magic patch on the seat of his trousers which enabled him to fly. Why should ‘what the newspapers say’ be any more true than Desperate Dan or Jimmy And His Magic Patch?
We must understand that the VIP mentioned above was not suffering from CD. He was just a charlatan taking advantage of the current CD in the general population. Why is there CD in the population? Because almost everyone over 50 who is reasonable fit must have been around smokers all his life without problems. Only the propaganda from TC can have put into his mind that smoke is really, really dangerous. Therefore, he has conflicting evidence and MUST believe two conflicting things at the same time:
- He is healthy and fit.
- He has been damaged by tobacco smoke.
That dissonance lead such people into vehement comments on newspaper articles. It is the only way that they can cope with ‘the madness’ created by CD.
There are other weird things. Some 70% of the population would like to see capital punishment brought back, but politicians will not countenance it. And yet, those same politicians will send bombers to kill a couple of persons who ‘pose a terrorist threat’ to an unknown target in the UK, even though those persons are in Syria. Further, in that action, there was no guarantee that other people would not be killed or maimed, even it the right target was hit.
Is it any wonder that Ministers serve for a time in some capacity and then move on? Rarely do they stay in the same position for long, apart from ministries like the treasury. In those ministries, there is not much room for CD. Figures are figures.
So who are “The Crazies”? They are the people who have succumbed to ‘the madness’. Note that ‘the madness’ describes a mental state. “The Crazies” are those people who have succumbed.
I try to imagine a council meeting in somewhere like Brighton of Swansea. There is one member of that council who is a “crazy”. He/she suffers terribly from CD. He/she knows very well that there is no possible harm from SHS in the open air, but nevertheless want smoking banned in various places in the open air. He goes ‘crazy’ and invokes any and all possible fears which might be possible. For some reason or other, which we cannot presently mentally define, other members of the council are mesmerised. Perhaps the problem lies in the fact that most ‘un-crazy’ members contract the disease of CD from listening to the rhetoric of the ‘crazed’: children, harm, danger, glue ear, asthma, heart failure, brain death, etc, etc. Those members dare not, and physically cannot, stand up and shout, “CRAP, CRAP, CRAP”. Why? Because they are reasonable and sensible human beings and find it enormously difficult to tell another member of the council that he/she is mentally ill.
But that is what should happen. THE PEOPLE should not be dictate to by clever dunces who are mentally ill as a result of ‘Cognitive Dissonance’.
The condition of CD is not dissimilar to the conditions ‘sociopath’ or ‘psychopath’. The only way that a person suffering from the disease of ‘Cognitive Dissonance’ can cure himself is be getting other people to do it for him. Thus, a person who knows full well that a bit of tobacco smoke in a car from time to time cannot possibly harm a child in that car for the foreseeable future, but also knows that ‘there is no safe level of tobacco smoke’, will demand that the paradox be solved. For him, any policy which fits the bill (eliminates the paradox or eliminates the CD) is OK regardless of the severity, just as long as it eliminates his worry.
How many times have we seen statements like, “Smokers should be shot on sight”. But are we not equally in error when we demand that people like Arnott should be shot on sight?
People like Arnott are not ill as a result of CD. She is merely a charlatan, profiting from the activities of “The Crazies”. What has happened in Parliament (including the Lords) about smoking over the last several years has been a witch hunt type hysteria, led by “The Crazies”, whose ultimate goal, without a doubt, is a total ban on smoking. It must be so, since the ‘horns of the dilemma’ can only be avoided by denying the truth of the horns. That is, if there is a dilemma, then the sources which caused the dilemma must be untrue. For example, in a silly way, suppose that someone said that 2 + 2 = 3, and another person said that 2 + 2 = 5, then the resolution of the dilemma would be that both of those statements were false.
What is extremely weird is that “The Crazies” seem to carry the day in every respect. It has been going on since the Common Market was established. Why is the EU only now beginning to fall apart? Why was it not stopped long before it cost a fortune and why did our UK leaders not stop the drain on the UK People’s resources ten or more years ago? That is, what is the value that the UK gets from the billions of pounds transferred from UK citizens to apparatchiks?
The truth probably is that the savings of UK citizens are being deflated in value to pay for all the extravagance. Does our government know about and encourage that transfer of value? Is it surprising that our government squanders our wealth?
There are three classes. There are wealth creators; there are wealth users; there are wealth thieves.
“The Crazies” assist the ‘Wealth Thieves’.