Alcohol-free January?

This gave me the creeps.

Alcohol-free January: Where can you go to avoid people drinking?

Why do you want to avoid people drinking? Is it because you hate the stink of beer? Or the sight of people pouring poison down their throats? Or the sound of laughter?

Many people are attempting to stop drinking during January. But with drinking at the heart of British social life, it’s not easy.

January is a time for sobriety. For some that means total abstinence.

 Is it? I’ve never heard of it.

It’s the only time of year in the UK when a lot of people bond over not drinking. This year two charities have given their blessing to temporary teetotalism. Alcohol Concern has launched Dry January while Cancer Research UK is pushing its Dryathlon.

 CRUK! Say no more.

Those responding to campaigns like this can face a tricky month. Nobody wants to avoid socialising for a whole month, but with the British mania for social lubrication it’s hard to avoid temptation.

Mania? Don’t you mean epidemic?

You can almost see the glowing red eyes of the circling wolf pack, as they stalk their prey between the trees, slowly and relentlessly closing in on it, looking for signs of weakness, sniffing for traces of fear.

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About Frank Davis

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30 Responses to Alcohol-free January?

  1. Happy Dryuary Frank!

    Would you like some sparkling seltzer to put a spring into your step? If you’re good, we’ll give you a twist of lemon for it!

    :)
    MJM

  2. legiron says:

    I’m sticking with Drinkuary. Haven’t missed a day so far.

    • sadbutmadlad says:

      Me too. Got so much alcohol over Christmas that I’m still ploughing my way through it all.

    • Rose says:

      I had a sherry trifle with real sherry on saturday evening,count me in with the disobedient.

    • macheath says:

      Alright for some – I’m recovering from norovirus and living on yoghurt and boiled potatoes; all my Drinkuary intentions have had to go to the wall apart from medicinal hot toddies. (Sorry to let the side down, chaps!)

      FD, I think you’re right that this out-of-the-blue implication of the nation traditionally bonding over an annual period of abstinence seems to have sprung from nowhere but the fevered brows of the Righteous – is there anyone out there who has spotted it in previous years?

      The nearest thing I can think of is the medieval enforcement of the Lenten fast, where any breach would mean the parish priest sternly issuing the order for a dozen Hail Marys
      and a hefty donation to the poor; is this, perhaps, what CRUK and AC have in mind?

  3. harleyrider1978 says:

    Not to spoil the party but it appears the bastards have finally went for it all the way

    Victorians believe cigarettes should be made illegal

    Posted 1 hour 37 minutes ago

    New research shows most Victorians believe the sale of cigarettes should be banned.

    The Victorian Cancer Council findings show that more than 50 per cent of adults believe cigarette sales should be made illegal within the next 10 years.

    42 per cent of smokers surveyed agreed with a ban, compared with 38 percent who were against the move.

    Quit Victoria executive director Fiona Sharkie says until there is a ban, there should be further restrictions on the number of outlets selling tobacco.

    “One out of every two smokers will die from a smoking caused illness, we really have to question should it be sold as widely as it is,” she said.

    “Cigarettes are sold in 8000 retail outlets in Victoria, more places than you can buy bread. It’s not a matter of where you can buy cigarettes but where you can’t.”

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-01-15/victorians-believe-cigarettes-should-be-made-illegal/4465354?section=vic

  4. harleyrider1978 says:

    Victorians believe Alcohol should be made illegal

    Posted 1 hour 37 minutes ago

    New research shows most Victorians believe the sale of alcohol should be banned.

    The Victorian Cancer Council findings show that more than 50 per cent of adults believe alcohol sales should be made illegal within the next 10 years.

    42 per cent of drinkers surveyed agreed with a ban, compared with 38 percent who were against the move.

    Quit Victoria executive director Fiona Sharkie says until there is a ban, there should be further restrictions on the number of outlets selling alcohol.

    “One out of every two drinkers will die from a alcohol caused illness, we really have to question should it be sold as widely as it is,” she said.

    “Alcohol is sold in 8000 retail outlets in Victoria, more places than you can buy bread. It’s not a matter of where you can buy alcohol but where you can’t.”

    See how easy it is………..insert your favorite prohibition and hit send

  5. jaxthefirst says:

    There’s one big, big stumbling block to this little jolly-hockey-sticks, “you don’t have to drink to have fun” wheeze, though, isn’t there? And that is that because of the already-imposed drink-driving laws, the vast majority of people have, at some point in their lives, had to go out for an evening and abstain from the demon drink, or at the very least restrict it to a tiny amount. And anyone who’s been in that situation (which is most adults) will know for sure that yes, of course you can have a fairly good evening if you aren’t drinking, but the truth of the matter is that you’ll have a darned sight better one if you are.

    Unlike smoking – where abstinence wasn’t habitual until the smoking ban was imposed everywhere – in the case of drinking, people will know, from their own experience, from the outset, (in their heart of hearts, and regardless of what they might say for the sake of appearing to be Mr or Mrs Goody-two-shoes) that the implication of this campaign – that you can socialise and enjoy yourself just as much without booze as you can with it – is a plain, downright lie.

    • AlexB says:

      Jax, I disagree. If anything I think that for me the social atmosphere improves the already enjoyable act of drinking, rather than the alcohol improving the socialising. Plenty of times I have abstained to no ill effect on the social front. You (or rather, I) can enjoy socialising just as much without, I just don’t see why we bloody have to on the Temperance Movement’s say so.

      All that said, if I’m at a singaround I definitely need a pint constantly on the go. Very embarrassing when you are singing the praises of good beer and strong cider yet drinking a soft drink. And when they start on about the dull ass that refuses a glass, well…

      • Rose says:

        Yes, I have to disagree too, it’s the social occasion the wonderful atmosphere, the lights the noise, if I wasn’t stone cold sober I might miss something.
        With a bottle of lemonade just to lubricate the chatting and laughter, I have a clear memory of all that happened next morning and consider it my duty to gently remind those that don’t. : )

    • Reinhold says:

      But I do agree, Jax. :-)

  6. Walt says:

    What do you mean “unlike smoking?” I find it almost impossible to “socialize” w/o at least a couple of cigarettes smoked during– not on a step-outside-for-a-while-break from– whatever’s going on. The very idea that I might HAVE to step-outside-for-a-while in itself makes me cranky and anti-social.

    How’s the tooth, Harley? I’ve been there and know the agony. And always it seems to strike on a Saturday night or a 3-day weekend.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Sux still hurts………..doc only gave 6 pain pills for ten days of anti-biotics. until the infection is out I cant get the root canal done,so this dentist said today over the phone. Until I can pay up for a visit and the work I wont get any loritabs to ease the pain unless I hit the ER again and another ER CHARGE to get another lousy 6 loritabs. I dont want to pull it its a good tooth,it just broke off on the side last week after payday bills were cut and now Im kind short for paying out 600 bucks for a root canal and filling with shaping.

      Oh I could go to the VA but thats a 2 and a half hour drive one way in traffic only to get an emergency fix of anti-biotics and a few pain tabs,then scheduled for a week or 2 before they get me in!

  7. harleyrider1978 says:

    Frank I don’t know what all this means you and some of the other may want to review it seems rather damning though.

    Full AR5 draft leaked here, contains game-changing admission of enhanced solar forcing

    http://stopgreensuicide.com/

    Posted by Alec Rawls, 12/13/12

    I participated in “expert review” of the Second Order Draft of AR5 (the next IPCC report), Working Group 1 (“The Scientific Basis”), and am now making the full draft available to the public. I believe that the leaking of this draft is entirely legal, that the taxpayer funded report is properly in the public domain under the Freedom of Information Act, and that making it available to the public is in any case protected by established legal and ethical standards, but web hosting companies are not in the business of making such determinations so interested readers are encouraged to please download copies of the report for further dissemination in case this content is removed as a possible terms-of-service violation. My reasons for leaking the report are explained below. Here are the chapters:

    Lead story from the Second Order Draft: strong evidence for solar forcing beyond TSI now acknowledged by IPCC

    Compared to the First Order Draft, the SOD now adds the following sentence, indicated in bold (page 7-43, lines 1-5, emphasis added):

    Many empirical relationships have been reported between GCR or cosmogenic isotope archives and some aspects of the climate system (e.g., Bond et al., 2001; Dengel et al., 2009; Ram and Stolz, 1999). The forcing from changes in total solar irradiance alone does not seem to account for these observations, implying the existence of an amplifying mechanism such as the hypothesized GCR-cloud link. We focus here on observed relationships between GCR and aerosol and cloud properties.

    The Chapter 7 authors are admitting strong evidence (“many empirical relationships”) for enhanced solar forcing (forcing beyond total solar irradiance, or TSI), even if they don’t know what the mechanism is. This directly undercuts the main premise of the report, as stated in Chapter 8 (page 8-4, lines 54-57):

    There is very high confidence that natural forcing is a small fraction of the anthropogenic forcing. In particular, over the past three decades (since 1980), robust evidence from satellite observations of the TSI and volcanic aerosols demonstrate a near-zero (–0.04 W m–2) change in the natural forcing compared to the anthropogenic AF increase of ~1.0 ± 0.3 W m–2.

    The Chapter 8 authors (a different group than the Chapter 7 authors) are explicit here that their claim about natural forcing being small compared to anthropogenic forcing is based on an analysis in which the only solar forcing that is taken into account is TSI. This can be verified from the radiative forcing table on page 8-39 where the only solar variable included in the IPCC’s computer models is seen to be “solar irradiance.”

    This analysis, where post-1980 warming gets attributed to the human release of CO2 on the grounds that it cannot be attributed to solar irradiance, cannot stand in the face of the Chapter 7 admission of substantial evidence for solar forcing beyond solar irradiance. Once the evidence for enhanced solar forcing is taken into account we can have no confidence that natural forcing is small compared to anthropogenic forcing.

    The Chapter 8 premise that natural forcing is relatively small leads directly to the main conclusion of the entire report, stated in the first sentence of the Executive Summary (the very first sentence of the entire report): that advances since AR4 “further strengthen the basis for human activities being the primary driver in climate change” (p.1-2, lines 3-5). This headline conclusion is a direct descendant of the assumption that the only solar forcing is TSI, a claim that their own report no longer accepts.

    The report still barely hints at the mountain of evidence for enhanced solar forcing, or the magnitude of the evidenced effect. Dozens of studies (section two here) have found between a .4 and .7 degree of correlation between solar activity and various climate indices, suggesting that solar activity “explains” in the statistical sense something like half of all past temperature change, very little of which could be explained by the very slight variation in TSI. At least the Chapter 7 team is now being explicit about what this evidence means: that some mechanism of enhanced solar forcing must be at work.

    My full submitted comments (which I will post later) elaborate several important points. For instance, note that the Chapter 8 premise (page 8-4, lines 54-57) assumes that it is the change in the level of forcing since 1980, not the level of forcing, that would be causing warming. Solar activity was at historically high levels at least through the end of solar cycle 22 (1996), yet the IPCC is assuming that because this high level of solar forcing was roughly constant from 1950 until it fell off during solar cycle 23 it could not have caused post-1980 warming. In effect they are claiming that you can’t heat a pot of water by turning the burner to maximum and leaving it there, that you have to keep turning the flame up to get continued warming, an un-scientific absurdity that I have been writing about for several years (most recently in my post about Isaac Held’s bogus 2-box model of ocean equilibration).

    The admission of strong evidence for enhanced solar forcing changes everything. The climate alarmists can’t continue to claim that warming was almost entirely due to human activity over a period when solar warming effects, now acknowledged to be important, were at a maximum. The final draft of AR5 WG1 is not scheduled to be released for another year but the public needs to know now how the main premises and conclusions of the IPCC story line have been undercut by the IPCC itself.

    President Obama is already pushing a carbon tax premised on the fear that CO2 is causing dangerous global warming. Last week his people were at the UN’s climate meeting in Doha pretending that Hurricane Sandy was caused by human increments to CO2 as UN insiders assured the public that the next IPCC report will “scare the wits out of everyone” with its ramped-up predictions of human-caused global warming to come, but this is not where the evidence points, not if climate change is in any substantial measure driven by the sun, which has now gone quiet and is exerting what influence it has in the cooling direction.

    The acknowledgement of strong evidence for enhanced solar forcing should upend the IPCC’s entire agenda. The easiest way for the UN to handle this disruptive admission would be to remove it from their final draft, which is another reason to make the draft report public now. The devastating admission needs to be known so that the IPCC can’t quietly take it back.

  8. harleyrider1978 says:

    The link has all the sections of the draft study to be relased.

  9. harleyrider1978 says:

    Epidemiologists Vote to Keep Doing Junk Science

    http://www.manhealthissue.com/2007/06/epidemiologists-vote-to-keep-doing-junk-science.html

    Epidemiologists Vote to Keep Doing Junk Science

    Epidemiology Monitor (October 1997)

    An estimated 300 attendees a recent meeting of the American College of
    Epidemiology voted approximately 2 to 1 to keep doing junk science!

    Specifically, the attending epidemiologists voted against a motion
    proposed in an Oxford-style debate that “risk factor” epidemiology is
    placing the field of epidemiology at risk of losing its credibility.

    Risk factor epidemiology focuses on specific cause-and-effect
    relationships–like heavy coffee drinking increases heart attack risk. A
    different approach to epidemiology might take a broader
    perspective–placing heart attack risk in the context of more than just
    one risk factor, including social factors.

    Risk factor epidemiology is nothing more than a perpetual junk science machine.

    But as NIEHS epidemiologist Marilyn Tseng said “It’s hard to be an
    epidemiologist and vote that what most of us are doing is actually harmful
    to epidemiology.”

    But who really cares about what they’re doing to epidemiology. I thought
    it was public health that mattered!

    we have seen the “SELECTIVE” blindness disease that
    Scientist have practiced over the past ten years. Seems the only color they
    see is GREEN BACKS, it’s a very infectious disease that has spread through
    the Scientific community with the same speed that any infectious disease
    would spread. And has affected the T(thinking) Cells as well as sight.

    Seems their eyes see only what their paid to see. To be honest, I feel
    after the Agent Orange Ranch Hand Study, and the Slutz and Nutz Implant
    Study, they have cast a dark shadow over their profession of being anything
    other than traveling professional witnesses for corporate hire with a lack
    of moral concern to their obligation of science and truth.

    The true “Risk Factor” is a question of ; will they ever be able to earn
    back the respect of their profession as an Oath to Science, instead of
    corporate paid witnesses with selective vision?
    Oh, if this seems way harsh, it’s nothing compared to the damage of peoples
    lives that selective blindness has caused!

  10. junican says:

    I went to my local on Sunday night. My local is a BIG pub. Believe it or not, I was the only customer in there.
    For some reason, January has always been a quiet month in the pub. I suppose that it is a consequence of over-expenditure and fatigue. But never have I seen such a dead pub.
    The serving hours in that pub are till 11pm on Sundays. The Powers-that-be in the pub decided to stop serving at 10.30pm last Sunday, and for the future. It is clearly ‘the end’ when an organisation closes its doors to its fundamental business.
    Regardless of the ‘omerta’ of the MSM etc, I fully expect a PUBCO to become bankrupt in the immediate future. Will a Political Party, or Political Parties, bail out such a pubco? Why not? The Government bailed out THE BANKS, so why not Pubcos?

    Cheerful smokers stop going to pubs, therefore miserable non-smokers, who rely upon cheerful smokers to entertain them, stop going also. My experience on Sunday bears this out. The reduction in hours is laughably inadequate to cover the devastating effects of DEBT.

  11. “Fancy a trip to the theatre or to see some classical music? Be careful to avoid the interval drinks scrum. Hippos make their way to the watering hole with more restraint and poise.”

    – The whole blasted piece reads as if the mere sight of alcohol drives one to the bar immediately to down a pint of vodka. Like what was even the point of saying, “If you can avoid the communal wine,” when talking about church. Is even drinking that some kind of dreadful, virtue-shattering sin? Is one going to have a sip of the wine then charge into the backroom of the church to swig bottles of the stuff? The theatre thing was just insulting though. I go to the theatre quite a lot with my mum, who only drinks once or twice a year, so neither of us have ever had alcohol on our visits there I don’t think – we just haven’t considered it, even though I’m a heavy drinker so supposedly should be elbowing my way to the front of the drinks queue after being brainwashed into a drink-grabbing lull after seeing these “drinks scrums”. Also, when there are a lot of people in a small area, guess what! The result isn’t very graceful/restrained/poised whether there’s alcohol or not.

    Pious, neo-temperance bastards. Who was paid to write this bollocks?

  12. harleyrider1978 says:

    Dr. Segura was gracious enough to allow…
    Zayats Liontamer 9:07am Jan 15
    Dr. Segura was gracious enough to allow Smokers Against Discrimination some time to inverview her on a number of questions we may all have in our minds.
    About why doctors lie, and how to deal with it. Dr. G. Segura: “We live in a very dark age…”

    http://www.facebook.com/notes/smokers-against-discrimination/about-why-doctors-lie-and-how-to-deal-with-it-dr-g-segura-we-live-in-a-very-dark/468687246513773

    • margo says:

      She is so interesting. What a fab doctor!

    • Frank Davis says:

      Thanks for that. I’ve added a link to it from my Gabriela Segura piece last month.

      • nisakiman says:

        Her Zombie Antidote article had a link at the bottom to another article here in which the writer discusses how nicotine doubles the efficiency of certain pathways in the brain, and quotes:

        “if our immunity to emotional manipulation and psychopathic propaganda is directly proportional to the cortical control we can exert over the knee-jerk emotional reactions programmed into the amygdala, if smoking can DOUBLE the effective communication between the cortex and other parts of the brain, then what does that say about efforts to do away with smoking in the general population? Can’t have any of the hysterical sheeple accidentally waking up and thinking rationally about their actions.”

        It’s a little tinfoil hattish, but if indeed smokers did have a greater ability to resist propaganda / lies / orders from above etc, it would certainly be in the interests of the ones-who-would-be-our-masters to try to eradicate smoking.

        It’s an interesting thought…

  13. garyk30 says:

    “It’s the only time of year in the UK when a lot of people bond over not drinking.”

    A lot of people; how many is that, 8 or 9?

    Being with other people is not the only time when I drink.

    Several glasses of wine help me to be able to put aside the cares of the day and open my mind to wandering where it will.

    That is about the only time when the mental gears work well enough to actually play with thoughts such as:
    !. What would happen if the politico’s could be made to understand, in spite of the anti’s blathering, that never-smokers are only 0.004 times more likely to not die from lung cancer as heavy smokers.

    2.What was there before the ‘Big Bang’, there had to be something?
    Did the universe contract into that point of origin? Have there been billions of ‘Big Bangs’ over the last trillion years?

    3. Science tells us that there may be 10 or 11 dimensions in our universe. I can understand 4 or 5; but, the others are explained with math that is beyond me, What might those other dimensions be?

    4. What is ‘reality’? My ‘reality’ is what I perceive(see) or hear; but, optical illusions show that what I ‘see’ is not.perhaps, actually there.
    My hearing is no better, we often hear what we want to hear and not what is said or meant.

    5. Why do I never smoke in my dreams?
    Why does no one ever smoke in my dreams?

    The variety of questions goes on and on.

    None of this ‘mental meandering’ would be possible without wine( or the booxe of choice) keeping the humdrum world at bay.

  14. Rose says:

    You can almost see the glowing red eyes of the circling wolf pack, as they stalk their prey between the trees, slowly and relentlessly closing in on it, looking for signs of weakness, sniffing for traces of fear

    Oh yes indeed and they’ve been doing it for quite some time.

    Just a reminder, as they worked hard to split non-smokers away from us, so they will try to make non-drinkers look down on and mistrust those who drink.

    An attempt by Alan Johnson the then Health Secretary in 2009
    ( note how he also takes the opportunity to take another crack at smokers, attributing views that I have never heard expressed ).

    Teetotallers are the ‘new pariahs’ – Health Secretary warns on Britain’s drink habit
    19 March 2009

    “Teetotallers should be celebrated instead of shunned as pariahs, the Health Secretary will say today.”

    “Instead, Mr Johnson will demand a wider, fundamental shift in attitudes to alcohol. In a speech to the Royal Society of Arts, he will liken the ‘disdain’ with which nondrinkers are treated to that of non- smokers in previous decades”

    ‘Non-drinkers are often subjected to the same disdain that non- smokers were 30 or 40 years ago – they are the odd ones out at the office party, watching the football in the pub, at the family celebration.

    The question we must ask, not so much as a government, but as a society, is why unlike smoking, it is the abstainers that draw people’s attention, not those who regularly consume well over their two to four units a day, provided they don’t end up in accident and emergency care.’

    “Mr Johnson believes teetotallers should be ‘ celebrated’ rather than scorned, in the same way that people who have given up smoking are.”

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1163092/Teetotallers-new-pariahs–Health-Secretary-warns-Britains-drink-habit.html

    So suggest we be very careful to stick together in word and deed.

    You know, I really can’t believe in years past, how often I politely replied ” you are probably very wise” to someone who on being offered a cigarette told me they didn’t smoke.
    Hindsight is a marvelous thing.

  15. GERARD KIRK says:

    Letter to Dept.of Health,Ireland.

    “PUBLIC CONSULTATION RE EUSSR TOBACCO DIRECTIVE”

    I note with interest that the so-called public consultation closes tomorrow and with the Christmas break gave relatively little time for a proper debate.I do not believe that these “consultations” are a genuine exercise to find out what the public thinks.I can cite 2 recent examples of alleged consultation:- the EU own initial consultation which was ignored when the public basically said they were happy with the status quo and the campaign for plain packaging in the UK where the pro plain packaging people, through multiple signing of petitions, corrupted the process.

    I realise that sending my comments to the above address is a largely futile and pointless exercise.I have read a lot in the last few years about the myth of so-called second hand smoke and the many other half-truths and junk science about smoking.It is ironic that the tobacco control movement now behaves very similarly to the tobacco companies in the 50s and 60s.

    This EUSSR directive is a case in point.It is generally accepted,even by some in tobacco control,that snus reduces the risks of cancer as seen in Sweden but still there can be no change to allow it to be sold anywhere else in the EU.The proposals on electronic cigarettes are also the result of this puritan,prohibitionist mindset which seeks to demonise smokers.Clve Bates former head of ASH UK and certainly no friend of smokers has basically said as much.

    We smokers are sick of being hectored and bullied by the shock troops of tobacco control but realise that after this “consultation” more mean-spirited regulation based on pseudo-science and massaged statistics is on the way.We will not be giving up and eventually this petty and spiteful regulation will force people to say “This far and no further”.As with Prohibition in America the situation can change and I would be optimistic that smoking pubs will return in the not too distant future.

    Finally,to give but 1 example of the madness of existing regulations,the situation in hospital re smoking is an absolute disgrace.At a time of stress patients and visitors in many hospitals have to go off site to smoke.The same hospitals in their mission statements then have the cheek to say that said people should be treated with dignity blah,blah,blah.

    Gerard Kirk

    • Walt says:

      Good job, When I do commentaries like that myself in response to the various degrees of loonyness offered up here (US) i think of them mostly as Letters to Posterity. The current idiots will ignore them but one day in, say, 2087, some bright young college researcher will uncover them and say, “Well, they weren’t ALL nuts back then.”

  16. Rose says:

    Frank

    Take a look at this, I saw it on the Channel 4 news this evening.

    http://www.channel4.com/news/catch-up/

    Click on “Francophilia sweeps Mali amid military operations”

    Apparently they are dancing in the streets and everyone is smoking because tobacco was banned, if you were caught with a cigarette you could be flogged.
    Cigarettes were sold from under the counter and were called Secrets. If you wanted a cigarette you asked the shopkeeper for a Secret.
    The reporter says that even people who don’t smoke are smoking, just because they can.

    I noticed on the 10 o’clock news that the BBC didn’t mention a word about that.

    Previously

    Jun 16 2012

    http://www.thenewage.co.za/53664-1020-53-Islamists_in_north_Mali_burn_cigarettes_whip_smokers

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