Most of us use words to communicate. Some to obfuscate (make difficult to see or understand). Some so as to appear to say one thing, whilst saying something completely different, in order to obtain "agreement" or compliance. Even worse are those who attempt to implant ideas in such a way as to bypass our normal rational analysis of them. Such an implanted idea, because it has never been rationally analysed by the person who holds it, becomes a fixed idea and can be brought to bear in...
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Saturday, July 14, 2007
This low-life's name is Allan Sharpe and he operates in Northants. From the Northants Evening Telegraph;
East Northamptonshire smoking enforcement officer Allan Sharpe was given a police escort as he spent yesterday afternoon on patrol at pubs in the east of the county.
I'd say he got the reception he deserved. Let's give every one we see the same kind of treatment and if you can get a picture let me know and I will post it here.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Are you loyal to a party because of family, friends or class "identity"?
Do you study the issues each time and vote according to whoever comes closest to your own values? How did you arrive at those values?
Have you always voted a certain way and it is too late now to change?
Do you not vote at all because all candidates seem the same?
Do you abstain so as not to give any of them any kind of consent from you?
Do you abstain because you don't see any point to it?
Do you choose on the basis of looks, dress sense, hairstyles, manners?
What do you think of politicians? Are they all crooks? All honorable? Somewhere in between? Do you think it is possible for someone of real integrity to make it to the top? Do you believe that power corrupts?
Could you answer all the above on a postcard? Maybe you could but Probably not.
These questions, and a whole lot more, are now being discussed on The Big Debate forum. You might like to join in. The idea is to form a new political party.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Several centuries ago kings ruled by "divine right". They were said to be appointed by god and the churches of the day backed up the kings in return for special privileges such as being the only religion permitted in the realm. So even in those days "divine right" was not enough by itself to keep the populace in line. Kings needed propaganda to maintain their hold. Today we have governments that do not pretend to have a "divine right" to rule. They pretend to gain...
I just realized that I have made nearly thirty posts here and not one of them deals with the smoking ban straight on. I've given scraps in the posts about rights and economics but now it is time to deal with the ban itself. It is fundamentaly wrong because it is a Fascist policy. That is a word often used as an insult when the person using it runs out of logic. I am using it in a more precise way. If we read Mussolini on Fascism we find he was a kind of socialist but didn't like the methods...
Saturday, July 07, 2007
Not long ago I posted about Nick Hogan. He is still making news and is still speaking a great deal of sense. This man is capable of getting the law scrapped. One man? Well he can only do it with a lot of support but he can do it.
He is breaking the law on a daily basis I believe. He is still allowing smoking in two pubs that he owns in Bolton.
He is getting publicity because of this.
He is getting support from those against the ban, both smokers and non smokers.
He can't be allowed to continue to openly flout the law.
If he gets to court a big part of his defense will be to expose the bullshit science and other government claims that supposedly justify the law.
So the Bolton Council will not want him to get a court case.
Isn't this exsquisite?
Like savoring a really fine Cuban. I am watching this with great amusement.
Nick is insisting that he wants his day in court. I support him utterly.
On that day we must get hundreds, if not, thousands of people to the court. Everyone, smoker or not, who gives a damn about the freedom to decide what you can do with your own property should be there.
We will be Hogan's Heroes just as he is ours.
Friday, July 06, 2007
I've seen a few reports of smokers being caught smoking where verboten. The apparent intention of the media is to "name and shame". I very much welcome these stories for two reasons.
1. They let us know the ban is not being thoroughly adhered to.
Thursday, July 05, 2007
Looking at the ideas in the comments of the last post and in other forums I get the impression we'd like to make a big impact. I would also prefer the big effect, especially if it could be achieved with minimal effort. And indeed it can. Apparently. Well maybe not zero effort, and maybe there is a lot of planning involved, but it is possible to create quite big effects without lots of money or the media on your side. We have stickers and posters and t-shirts on this site and several others....
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
I know that most who are reading this blog are angry. I also know that given a way to fight back many of us would dive in with enthusiasm. I know that many of us have been looking around for campaigns or movements of one kind or another that we can get involved with. Some of us have even found things that we are now contributing to.
But I have also seen lots of apathy and I know you have too. Lots of people are thinking there is no point in fighting back as the cards are all stacked against us and we can't make a difference.
One source of hope is the fact there are so many of us who are outraged and looking for something to do about it. Even if many are despondent it is actually good news that MANY are despondent. We are not alone. There are thousands, nay millions, who are also outraged. That means there is potential. But if we all go off half cocked with half baked ideas we'll be less than wholly satisfied with the results.
So lets discuss whatever ideas we have as to what can be done. Do we need violent revolution? Is non-violent civil disobedience the way to go? What can be done through the legal system? How do we get our message out to people when the MSM (mainstream media) is more or less completely locked in to the status quo? What is our message anyway? Should we fight on the basis of exposing the junk science or on the basis of property rights? Should I say what I really think of Simon Clark over at FOREST? Do we need to organise ourselves? How? Should I add to this site ways and means for us to do just that? What do you think?
it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it"
I think we are at that time.
What are we doing on July 4th?
Monday, July 02, 2007
www.tobacco.org sounds like it might be a good place to buy some tobacco. Not so. It was a place where "news" was aggregated. By "news" was meant every false claim made by anyone who was even remotely antagonistic toward smokers.
On their website right now is the following which might be removed when they realise how self damning a statement it is. So I record it here for posterity;
"Payroll bounced today. I realize that this is poor reflection on my skills as a business owner, and I'm pretty embarrassed.
But I'm also pretty frustrated. The tobacco news has been without funding for 18 months (save for a 4-month period, which I haven't yet been paid for), so I've taken what income we do get (mostly from Tobacco Documents Online), and used those profits to pay for news continuation. Document funding has mostly dried up in 2007.
We're not really set up to charge subscriptions or take small donations. We need large players in the tobacco control arena to support our work. Subscriptions don't work because
- Significant overhead to handle subscriptions
- Because we provide very little original content (we're more a news aggregator), we'd run into problems with content providers who would want to be paid for the news they're providing.
- Our informal survey hasn't shown that enough people and organizations would pay for this service.
So, maybe we're done. Maybe something will come through, I've heard that the Bloomberg Initiative may be a good fit, but I'm lousy at raising money. I'm grateful to Robert Wood Johnson, American Legacy Foundation, and the other organizations who have funded the news for so many years (and walked me through the contracting and billing process).
After a while, we'll put the archives back up, so we'll still have access to the news history. But we're out of money, and although at 63 Gene might want to retire, that's not really an option now. (So, if you have some work for him, please contact him directly!)
It's been a pleasure serving the tobacco control community, and a joy to experience the many victories, especially in the area of smokefree workplaces (including bars and restaurants). Thank you all for the work you do, and for letting Gene and me be part of that."
To be completely honest I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand there is happiness. On the other joy.
Here is a simple design for a badge of honor. You may copy it for your own use or wait a couple of days while I look into the costs of getting these produced professionaly. The idea is to have them velcro backed so they can be detatched.
The printed size is about 95 mm.
Updated; 16/07/07 I scrapped the idea of the velcro backing. I can supply these on t-shirt transfer paper @ 2 for £1 inc. P&P. All you need is a plain t-shirt and a regular iron. It takes 10 seconds to transfer.
To order use the contact button at the side of the page near the top.
Joe Jackson is, as usual, on excellent form.
This is a recruitment poster that is all over the London Underground. It shows a snoop watching two people making an exchange. One has money in his hand the other is handing over something in a plastic bag. It might be drugs or black market tobacco. Whatever it is it is not a mugging, murder, rape or anything most of us would really care about.
The KGB and the Stasi are apparently history but;
if you have no friends or want to lose any you may have, if you hate the idea of people trusting each other and getting along you too can become "extraordinary".
Have you noticed the sheer quantity of "no smoking" signs around? Did we not know there was a ban coming in? I believe that murder, rape, arson, assault and many other real crimes are still illegal but perhaps they are not as illegal as smoking in the wrong place. Or, just maybe, they are intended to sneer at smokers and constantly remind them that they can't smoke here or there and to create a soothing effect.
Whatever the intention, one thing I am certain of is they look like targets.
The quality of the downloadable file is much higher than the image shown above. You can use it to print your own sticky labels. What you do with those labels is your business. But it wouldn't surprize me if they started turning up on trains, busses, pub windows, cafe windows. I think some people might just decide to show their appreciation of our great leaders and their new law.
A fellow traveller going by the name of AntiPuritan has written this nice piece that I thought deserved to reach whatever greater audience this blog might afford it. "I think it's important to understand how the fanatics WANT us to feel, so that we can start to subvert it properly. Now the ban is in place, they want us to feel marginalised, beleaguered, cowed, ridiculed, powerless, thoroughly beaten and finally broken and ready to conform. So, do you feel like this?...