Climate of Fear

An article in the Telegraph caught my eye today:

The NHS is doomed unless there is carnage at the top. Start with Sir David Nicholson

In his interview in this morning’s Today programme, of all the scary things said by Gary Walker, a sacked NHS whistleblower, was the simple sentence: “If you’re a doctor, where else can you work?”

In other words, if a doctor, a nurse or other medical specialist incurs the wrath of the NHS establishment by complaining about the treatment of patients, his or her career is doomed. Institutions are by their nature self-protective, so it’s unlikely that someone sacked by the NHS as a troublemaker would be warmly welcomed by the private sector.

Walker was a senior manager rather than a doctor – head of the United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust – when he got up the corporate nose of the bosses of the East Midlands Strategic Health Authority after refusing to put patients at risk by sticking rigidly to government targets rather than giving precedence to urgent cases. He was eventually sacked for swearing at a meeting – which even if true would be a preposterous reason – and paid off in 2010 with around half a million quid of taxpayers’ money (including lawyers’ costs) – on the understanding that he kept his mouth firmly shut. He agreed, because he had a family to feed and the alternative was financial ruin.

If a senior executive is treated like that, who can blame medical staff for being scared?

I stay as far away as I can from the NHS these days, and I’ve called several times for healthist, antismoking doctors to be purged from the UK medical establishment (as well as the WHO and the universities). So this article struck an immediate chord in me.

As Walker put it today: ‘This is a culture which is driven by the top… a culture of fear, a culture of oppression. If you consider that the people who have been running the NHS created that culture of fear, they need to either be held to account or new people need to be brought in to change that culture.’

It’s a culture of fear and oppression which extends far beyond the NHS, in the form of a long-term, state-sponsored, hate campaign directed against smokers, and increasingly also drinkers and anyone deemed to be overweight. And it comes right from the top, and the culprits are usually called Sir Somebody O’rother.

The fish has rotted from the head, so it’s the head that first needs severing. We need to see people being sacked for poor leadership, for covering-up and for the persecution of whistleblowers,

And the persecution of a great many other people as well. And this is exactly what needs to be done. The whole, rotten, stinking head must be sawn off. And if nothing else, its current condition may explain the silence of the medical profession in the lower ranks beneath the putrefying head:

If you’re a worried doctor or nurse who has seen people like Gary Walker being driven out for challenging dangerous orthodoxy, you will look the other way when you see wrongdoing.

I suppose that, until recently, I regarded the NHS as one of Britain’s crown jewels, offering ‘free’ healthcare to everybody. But these days I’ve come to realise that, when the state pays the doctor’s wages, the state can determine the policy of the entire medical profession, overriding the conscience and the beliefs of the individual doctors within it. And that is exactly what’s happening with the NHS, which is now seemingly completely driven by top-down, healthist, antsmoking, eugenicist imperatives. If you get sick, it’s probably your fault for smoking, drinking, or being too fat – and you not only deserve every disease that you get, but you also deserve to die.

Part of the problem seems to be that, despite 10+ years of public heath campaigns, smoking bans, etc, hospitals are bursting with patients (which was the reason why Gary Walker got fired, when he refused to axe emergency services in the hospitals for which he was responsible).

I wonder why the hospitals are chock full of patients? Could it be that once people quit smoking and drinking and eating and enjoying life, and sign up to the miserabilist killjoy healthist lifestyle, they promptly start getting sick in droves?

When I eventually come down with lung cancer or and heart disease or and smoking-related old age, there’ll probably be no point looking for medical treatment. So I’m planning to self-medicate with Chivas Regal, and cigars, and pork sausages deep-fried in lard and coated with brandy butter. And opium, if I can get hold of any. Because there won’t be anything else.

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42 Responses to Climate of Fear

  1. harleyrider1978 says:

    Frank you might have to depend on poppie seeds on bagels! This currency war is heating up and its likely to lead to the world wide depression weve been talking about for the last 3 years and more.

    • c777 says:

      Two things to watch for that will signal the beginning.
      Interest rates rise from the ridiculously low 0.5 % to even just 1%.
      Oil is priced on the gold standard not the petrodollar.
      Then that’s it, the readjustment will begin.
      After a few hard years a realistic economy will emerge, smaller government and no green shackles.
      Providing WW III doesn’t kick off as well.

  2. Check the passage reprinted below from our U of California, and then try search the main document for either “Glantz” or “smok” … and no, NEITHER seems to be in there!!!

    http://www.nas.org/images/documents/a_crisis_of_competence.pdf

    ====

    The second legal/moral objection to use of the University for partisan political activity is that state
    funds are misused when those funds are appropriated by the legislature for one purpose but used
    by state employees for a quite different one. It is safe to say that the legislature could never be asked
    to appropriate funds to promote one political party or philosophy at the expense of another without
    an immediate public outcry. The same result would surely occur were the University to ask for an
    appropriation of funds so that it could pursue progressive social change. Legislatures do not give money
    to universities so that they can pursue political goals. That kind of political change is sought at the
    ballot box, to which students and faculty have the same access as any other members of the public.
    A CRISIS OF COMPETENCE | 5
    NAS
    Accordingly, when state funds are used either by or in universities to pursue political aims, those funds
    are used for a purpose for which they were not appropriated, and could never have been appropriated.
    And that puts at risk the University’s relationship with both the legislature and the general public, and
    raises the question: how long can the University expect the public to stand by and acquiesce in this
    misuse of public money?
    Publicly Funded Resources Used for a Private Purpose
    Classroom time at a public university presupposes the expenditure of a good deal of public money.
    There is the construction, equipping, and maintaining of the building; the salary and benefits of the
    instructor; and the costs involved in multiple layers of campus administration. Though intangible,
    classroom time thus represents valuable public property created for a specific public use. An individual’s
    political beliefs, on the other hand, are a private matter, and his or her wish to promote them is a
    private, not a public concern. When even five minutes of class time is used to promote an instructor’s
    political beliefs, public property has essentially been converted to a private use. We have no difficulty in
    recognizing that this has happened when, say, a piece of university equipment is stolen—that too is the
    conversion of property paid for with public funds to a private use, which is part of the definition of theft.
    But when we compare these two cases, it is hard to distinguish them from a moral standpoint. In both,
    something that belongs to the public is taken by an individual for his or her own use.

    -MJM

  3. harleyrider1978 says:

    The findings of these studies match all too well the specific complaints that are now commonly
    heard about the manifestations of a politicized higher education: that requirements for coursework
    in American history and institutions have been dropped, that writing courses often stress writing far
    less than tendentious political topics; that prescribed books are frequently no more than journalistic
    presentations of a simple political message instead of the more complex writings appropriate to an
    academic context; and that faculty teach what to think rather than how to think: that is,

    [[they demand correct attitudes and beliefs of students more than they require independent reading and thought. This report is concerned with the corruption of the University of California by activist politics]],

    That’s pretty damning stuff!

  4. harleyrider1978 says:

    So basically the university is pumping out little communists bent on destroying the American Idea of freedom. Illegally using public money to do it and kicking out anyone who doesn’t buy the garbage and offers a differing perspective. Then we have the anti-smoking junk science being pushed thru the same university and down our throats.

    1. My question is this study attacks the progressives head on at their very source of control the university. Is somebody or group finally deciding enough destruction has been done to science,mediciene and the world of academia to finally stand up. It appears junk science and junk education is being called out.

  5. garyk30 says:

    Everyone dies and everyone has about the same probability their death will be from a disease that is ’caused’ by smoking!!!
    Data from Doll’s doctor study shows that 84% of the never-smokers’ deaths were from the diseases ’caused’ by smoking and 85% of the current smokers’ deaths.

    http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5644a2.htm

    table 2-Prevalence

    Cardiovascular Diseases

    Current smokers account for 30%
    Never-smokers account for 43%.

    COPD(Chronic Bronchitus) or smokers’ cough

    Current smokers account for 41%
    Never-smokers account for 39%

    The fact is:

    Hey! You never-smokers! If LUNG CANCER does not do you in, then COPD will! And if COPD doesn’t, then HEART DISEASE will.

    Just like smokers.

  6. Rose says:

    “A mythology has grown up around Nicholson the iron-fisted centralist, one that at times he seems playfully to encourage. He was a member of the Communist party in the 1970s, a political sympathy that outlasted youthful idealism (he did not leave until 1983). His signature words “grip” and “purpose” spatter his public pronouncements (“grip” is also the quality people most often attribute to him). He told MPs in 2010 he was putting in place Stalinist controls of NHS finances to enable the coalition’s market reforms to bed down.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2013/feb/04/nhs-chief-david-nicholson-judgment

    The old communists of New Labour
    August 2002

    “The influence of the Communist Party on New Labour has been neglected. One day it will be an important subject for a dissertation or PhD by a university graduate. It is not merely the case that a significant number of figures in the Government machine – John Reid, David Triesman, Peter Mandelson, Charlie Whelan to name a few – belonged to the Communist Party of Great Britain in all its King Street grandeur.

    Many others – Stephen Byers and Alan Milburn among them – were connected in one way or another with the obscure sub-Marxist organisations that abounded in the 1970s, doing their best to tear down capitalism. Even those, like Jack Straw, who had no Marxist sympathies at all, were obliged to come to terms with communist methods and adversaries in the shadowy internecine struggles of the 1970s and 1980s.

    It is these methods – as opposed to the now despised Marxist dogma about ownership of the means of production – that have endured to influence the Blair Government. Millbank admittedly borrowed its technology – rebuttal units, the Excalibur computer etc – from the United States. But the obsessive secrecy, centralisation and intolerance of dissent which were such overwhelming characteristics of the Millbank operation reek of the CPGB.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2002/aug/25/labour.tonyblair

    The Battle for Health’. A Political History of the Socialist Medical Association, 1930–51.

    “Stewart refers often to the embarrassments caused to the SMA by Communists within its ranks (many of whom he seems unaware), suggesting that its life might have been easier and its work more effective, had it avoided contamination in the first place. In his biography of Bevan, Michael Foot, no friend to Communism, admits that ‘demonstrations of protest with which liberal England tries retrospectively to salve its conscience were organized by the Communists. It is not true, unhappily, that the Labour Party and the TUC, inspired by their anger at the MacDonald betrayal, turned with revived energy to lead and guide the passion of revolt’.2 Revolt against mass unemployment, against destitution in the South Wales valleys, and against the appeasement of fascism in Spain, were initiated and led by Communists. In each case they were initially resisted by leaders of the Labour Party and the Trades Union Congress (TUC), though later selectively adopted as their own history. If the SMA had not accepted Communists for membership, or had it succumbed to the many demands from the Labour Party executive before and after the war to expel them, it would never have been an effective campaigning organization.”

    http://ije.oxfordjournals.org/content/31/1/268.full

    It’s quite surprising how many members of the Socialist Medical Association were also heavily involved in the beginnings of the campaign against tobacco.

  7. Junican says:

    Like what garyk says, Doll took non-smoking (and probably non-drinking) to be the perfect norm. Consequently, when he looked at what smokers die from and when, he found that smokers were worse off than ‘the norm’. But why should we accept non-smoking to be ‘the norm’?
    Doll found that heavy smokers were 50 times more likely to get lung cancer that non-smokers. Did lung cancer decimate heavy smokers? No it did not! Bearing in mind that the male doctors in the study numbered some 34,000, and that 25,000 died over the fifty years of the study, and that heavy smokers are 50 times more likely to get lung cancer, it is very surprising to find that the total number of lung cancer deaths over the whole fifty year period was a mere 1,052 out of 25,000. 1,000 got lung cancer but 24,000 did not.
    Doll was one of those remote ‘bosses’ who instituted NHS anti-smoking policies.

  8. harleyrider1978 says:

    Australian Bureau of Statistics: Smokers are less likely to have cancer, heart disease. http://members.iinet.net.au/~ray/ABS43820d.jpg

  9. nisakiman says:

    When I eventually come down with lung cancer or and heart disease or and smoking-related old age, there’ll probably be no point looking for medical treatment. So I’m planning to self-medicate with Chivas Regal, and cigars, and pork sausages deep-fried in lard and coated with brandy butter. And opium, if I can get hold of any. Because there won’t be anything else.

    Same as that Frank. Only I’ll make sure I’m in a country where opium is readily available.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      I got a pistol and if ever the time arrives with all that disease going on its a simple walk down to the pond! But of course with all those wonderful pain killers to abuse for awhile,I might have to wait on the ultimate answer……………

    • beobrigitte says:

      I am most likely to breath a sigh of relief not having to spend years in one of god’s waiting rooms, staring at a wall all day.

      Is “living longer”, even at government’s expense, really a blessing?

  10. harleyrider1978 says:

    Hey professor, why don’t you expose your ties to big T and the ties of your progressive friends.

    http://veritasvincitprolibertate.wordpress.com/2013/02/15/stanton-glantz-vs-the-tea-party/

  11. Pat Nurse says:

    Gary Walker stood as an independent candidate in Lincoln in 2010 and lost. His election leaflet made clear he was for the smoking ban and he was aghast that Karl McCartney was against it and for choice (which Walker, clearly an anti-smoker based on David Cameron’s voting record). I don’t know if Walker was at Lincoln County Hospital in 2001 but what is going on now was going on then. The hospital killed my mum through neglect and the Ombudsman upheld our complaint despite the fact that the hospital tried to deny us the chance to take our complaint further.

  12. Frank Davis says:

    Antismoker? That takes the shine off him a bit. But I don’t understand what can be based on David Cameron’s voting record. David Cameron wasn’t present in the HoC in Feb 2006, and so didn’t vote, when the smoking ban was debated (if ‘debate’ is the right word).

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Rammed thru like all of them. Deception and at nite they move to hopefully keep the friends of freedom at bay!

    • Pat Nurse says:

      That’s what i recall about his election leaflet as a potential voter. I made sure to check his views on that particular issue. He listed all the things the sitting Lab MP and other party leaders had voted for. I clearly remember him stating Karl had voted against the ban (which he supported). Karl was not an MP before 2010 and neither was the LibDem candidate. At the bottom of the leaflet in smaller print it stated the views of the candidates on that and other issues was based on their party leaders.

    • jaxthefirst says:

      It isn’t altogether surprising that Walker is an antismoker, because these days most people working (or, in his case, previously working) in the NHS are, particularly at senior levels. But if he is an Anti – as it seems that he is – I expect that, like all of them, he sees antismokism as something completely separate from all the other things in life and in no way connected to the present tragic woes of the NHS as a whole system. And his lack of ability to make the connection is the very thing which will doom his silence-breaking to failure. No heads will roll. No-one will be held to account for the parlous state of the NHS. And Nicholson will almost certainly keep his job with all its perks.

      It’s a curious blind spot that antismokers seem to acquire, almost like a kind of split personality syndrome. They can be all for liberty and protection of things like freedom of speech, freedom of movement, freedom of the media, and freedom of association; they can wax lyrical about how the democratic system in the UK has been gradually eroded; they can rail and complain about the state of the NHS, the corruption of MPs, and the rude and authoritarian attitude of public servants of all varieties, but the fact that all of those things are either threatened by antismokism or supported by it (depending on what they are complaining about) is somehow erased from the equation. I guess that’s brainwashing for you. After all, if they admitted that there was a connection – no matter how slight – then they’d have to adjust their own indoctrinated opinions, and that’s a difficult thing to do. Far easier to simply avoid the subject altogether.

      But the fact of the matter is that, far from being unconnected, anti-smokism is the single most reliable, cast-iron indicator of a greater malaise of precisely the type that Walker complains of, to the point that if people like him could only recognise it, it would be a very useful way of rooting out the damaging influences in society at the top levels. Rather like the presence of a particular marker confirming contact with a particular illness, confirming the presence of anti-smoking attitudes (whether openly admitted or not) without fail indicates that rot, corruption, greed, manipulation, dishonesty, lack of integrity and the abuse of whatever power is available to the person holding the anti-smoking view will surely be present, too. It may not be the root cause as to why they are such bad people but it is perhaps the conduit through which all their other unpalatable qualities flow. A person’s anti-smoking status is a one-stop, unfailingly-accurate, character assessment tool. What a shame that those few in power who remain as-yet uninfected by antismokism nevertheless still haven’t cottoned on to that, because until they do the present difficulties in all of our public services look set to continue, or to get worse.

  13. harleyrider1978 says:

    Researchers: smoking legislation is counterproductive

    ♦ Smoking bans sending smokers home ♦ Children under 13 get more smoke
    ♦ Both smokers & non-smokers leaving sparking after ban

    – INCIDENTAL IMPACT:
    Once again, the politicians must set expectations for smoking law down: The law provides no fewer deaths. There occurs no fewer diseases. There are no fewer smokers – and now shows a large, unconventional study that smoking law has some surprisingly negative consequences:
    Both smokers and non-smokers leaving restaurants and cafes in large numbers after a smoking ban – to the great detriment of the industry. Meanwhile, children under 13 years old on average, exposed to more smoke than they did before smoking law. Smoking law reduces not smoke – it moves it just – with smokers. From workplaces and cafes – for home and children.
    The study The Effect of Bans and Taxes on Passive Smoking [1] from 2009 by researchers Jerome Adda & Francesca Cornaglia from the London School of Economics. The study shows that smoking laws in the United States have been smokers to cut down hard on the time spent on food outlets, shopping, culture and travel. Instead spend smokers after a ban on average 98 minutes extra per day in the home where smoking is permitted.
    The study shows a society in flux and change after a smoking ban – and there is good reason to believe that the situation is the same in Denmark: Smokers move from public space for domestic rooms – and the smoke naturally follows with. Besides the negative impact on the hospitality industry and retailers get this “exodus” from the public “outdoor life” also the absurd result that 8-12 year old children on average get more smoke in their blood than before the smoking law.

    http://dengulenegl.dk/blog/?p=2184

    Forskere: Rygelov virker imod hensigten – Klaus K Blog
    dengulenegl.dk
    Endnu engang må politikerne sætte forventningerne til rygeloven ned: Loven giver ikke færre dødsfald. Der opstår ikke færre sygdomme. Der bliver heller ikke færre rygere – og nu viser en stor, utraditionel undersøgelse, at rygeloven har nogle helt

  14. harleyrider1978 says:

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/02/15/taxpayer-dollars-used-to-fund-study-tying-tea-party-to-tobacco-lobby/

    Taxpayer dollars used to fund study tying Tea Party to tobacco lobby
    http://www.foxnews.com
    Taxpayer dollars were used to fund a study by San Francisco researchers that painted the Tea Party m…

  15. garyk30 says:

    “When I eventually come down with lung cancer or and heart disease or and smoking-related old age, there’ll probably be no point looking for medical treatment. So I’m planning to self-medicate with Chivas Regal, and cigars, and pork sausages deep-fried in lard and coated with brandy butter. And opium, if I can get hold of any. Because there won’t be anything else.”

    You will probably just say ‘Oh shit” ‘ and go on living much as you had.
    I have,

    COPD is a progressive disease that has no cure.

    Last week, I was diagnosed with level 2(moderate) COPD.
    Doc says that; since I refuse to quit smoking, I have maybe 6-8 years left.

    Life is pretty much the same as always.
    It is not like I had a nasty stroke and was half paralyzed!!

    In a strange way, this is sort of amusing.
    As one gets older, they tend to get curious about when and how it will all end.

    Unlike most of you other old codgers, I know.
    How about that!!

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Hey Gary Im a young punk! only 52

    • Rose says:

      Gary, I am so very sorry to hear that.

      • garyk30 says:

        Dear Rose,
        Thank you; but, there is no need for sorrow.
        1. We all will die sooner or later.
        2.Since there is no cure, I will not be subjected to all sorts of chemical or medical adventures. Some of which have very nasty side effects..
        3. I am 70 and dying at 78 or so is about the average for males in the USA.
        Tho the antis will call my death pre-mature, the timing is about what I have realistically expected.
        4. If I wanted to feel that I was doing something positive. I could give up smoking. The never-smokers are left to wallow in their helplessness.
        5. I don’t have to be concerned about Alzheimer’s and dementia. My Mother went that way and it is a great hardship for family.
        6. The final 10-15% may be a little messy; but, for most of the time I have left I will remain reasonably active and comfortable.
        7. Since there is a definite,more or less, time limit on things, I can get together with family and not feel that we are being overly dramatic. I do plan on hoisting a few with my sons as often as possible.

        All in all, for the reasonable future, life goes on much as it always has.

        I do not expect limitations on food or drink.
        I do expect to ‘eat, drink, and be merry’ as much as I can, there is no reason not to do so.

        • Margo says:

          In the hope of cheering you, Garyko: I know two people with COPD. Neither one of them is a smoker (how about that, then?) and both have reached well into their seventies so far and seem to be to be doing not too bad.

        • nisakiman says:

          Gary, I salute your attitude. I think your approach is the most intelligent way to view the situation. If I were in your shoes, I most certainly wouldn’t give up the enjoyment of smoking on the unlikely off-chance that I could spend an extra couple of years wired up to a life-support machine, or dribbling in a geriatric care home. If I get to die of old age (and at approaching 64 that’s looking increasingly likely, to my utter amazement), I’ve already mapped out roughly how it’s going to play out. And funnily enough, given Frank’s comment in his post, the plan does include access to opium.

        • beobrigitte says:

          Gary, I am very sorry to read that you have COPD. I hope you continue to respond very well to treatment; I have seen some relatives (non-smokers!) living happily much longer with this illness than predicted.

          I must admit, at first I thought what Michael wrote – an over eager medic using this diagnosis as a means of scaring people into giving up smoking.
          Although the anti-smoking zealots love to blame smoking for COPD. The truth lies more in age, previous work (e.g. carpenters who encountered not only an excessive amount of dust but also fumes when treating the wood) and places you have lived. Smoking is found much further down the list of the ?causative factors.

    • Barry Homan says:

      Hard blow Gary, we’re sticking with ya

    • Gary, as you know, I’m not a doctor, but from my reading in the area it seems to me that COPD development and progress varies enormously from person to person. Unless you’ve had a series of PFTs (Pulmonary Function Tests) providing clear indications of a progressive and predictable pattern, I wouldn’t be counting down your days on the mortal coil yet.

      At a minimum, get a second opinion. The problem smokers face when dealing with things like COPD diagnoses is that doctors can (and I believe DO) use them for behavior modification purposes. The doc probably honestly believes you’d be healthier if you stopped smoking. Thus there’s motivation there for him to pressure you to quit. And what could be a better pressure than saying “Well, if you DON’T quit, then you’ve only got 7 years to live.” In the unwritten “Dr’s Best Practices Book” it’s probably a golden rule to exaggerate (or at a minimum, to give the worst possible) diagnosis for a patient for almost anything “if you continue smoking” because, hey, it can’t HURT if the patient stops smoking, right? At least that’s what they figure…. ignoring the psychological/enjoyment benefits and also ignoring the strongly negative psychological effects that occur if a patient continues to smoke.

      Medical research indicates that, on average, COPD seems to develop faster in people who are diagnosed with it and continue smoking than in those that quit. But without some very specific history and tests I can’t see where a doctor can come off saying something like “You’ve got X # of years if you don’t stop smoking.” In reality there have probably been a number of deaths CAUSED by such diagnoses as patients become depressed (I believe depression is independently recognized as a life-shortener) or develop risky behavior patterns (“Hey, if I’m gonna die within five years I might as well get good and drunk and screw a prostitute every night!”) or even outright go for active or passive suicide.

      Soooo…. at a minimum, get a second opinion, and better yet, get your PFT results from at least two or three tests spaced a couple of years apart and learn enough about what the various numbers/ratios mean so that you can see for yourself what’s going on inside you.

      – MJM

      – MJM

      • garyk30 says:

        MM,
        My Doc is a pretty good man. Tho his field is pulmonology, he has been my primary care Doc for over 20 years.

        The only reason he asks about smoking is to satisfy the need to check off a box.
        He never lectures about quitting.

        Doc did not predict life span.
        He said, more or less, that I could probably expect another 8-10 years and that smoking could possibly decrease that by a couple of years.

        He is keeping relatively close track of me and I have to see him every 4 months or so.
        When this all got started last Fall, he put me on inhaled medicine that has increased my lung function by quite a bit.

        Will see him again in June and find out things are holding up.
        Que Sera -Sera, or whatever.

  16. nisakiman says:

    A client of mine is a recently retired doctor (GP), and I’ve had a few discussions with him about the propaganda aspect of anti-smoking. I also sent him several links to research giving the lie to many of the generally accepted ‘facts’ about smoking. He was most interested in what I had to say and in the links I sent him. He told me that in medical school (which I assume he attended in the late 60s / early 70s) they were brainwashed with anti-smoking dogma, and that he personally felt that what he was being told didn’t tie in with what he observed around him. He told me that he’d always been somewhat sceptical about the claims made by the anti-smoking mob, but kept his mouth shut for fear of making his life difficult. So it would seem that the medical profession have been inculcated with the anti-smoking orthodoxy for many years. Which would explain why most doctors view smoking as one of the cardinal sins in medicine, as basic as not washing your hands before performing surgery. It’s been drummed into them from the word go.

    On a lighter note, I came across this rather delightful article yesterday from an Indian writer in praise of smoking.

  17. harleyrider1978 says:

    The Nanny State
    Not content with banning or at least fining those who make a living from cigarettes, trans-fats, salt and soft drinks, Michael Bloomberg, New York City’s mayor and billionaire busybody in chief, last week set his sights on a new villain: Styrofoam.

    In his State of the City address Thursday, Mayor Bloomberg pushed for a ban on Styrofoam food packaging, complaining it “costs taxpayers money” because the lightweight, insulating plastic foam is not biodegradable and thus has to be extracted from garbage before that garbage can be used as compost.

    The mayor also wants to decrease the already sharply limited number of parking spaces available in his city for normal cars, in order to set aside more space for electric cars, when the manufacturers of such vehicles are dropping like flies.

    In fact, the same day Mayor Bloomberg was announcing his latest flights of fancy, The Wall Street Journal reported the LG Chem plant that was supposed to build batteries for the Chevrolet Volt had so little work it recently was caught by the Energy Department’s inspector general using millions of dollars in federal grant money to pay idle Michigan employees to play board games and watch movies.

    Meanwhile, the Washington-based Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine called Wednesday for the city of Las Vegas to suspend the business license of the downtown Heart Attack Grill, which brags of serving large hamburgers and other super-size portions of high-calorie, high-cholesterol food, because of the death of a regular customer.

    Oh, please. Are adult customers being kept in ignorance of the nature of the food served there? Do other restaurants somehow bestow eternal life on their patrons, who thus never die?

    We’d all be healthier if we ate more fresh fruits and vegetables, and activists are free to promote that regimen to their heart’s content. But in a free country, does this mean anyone who serves burgers, fries and Cokes should be arrested and hauled away, locked in cells where they’re allowed only celery sticks – especially if their combo meal is served in Styrofoam?

    Now comes Assemblyman Harvey Munford, D-Las Vegas, who proposes legislation to levy a 5-cent tax on fast-food items with more than 500 calories, to deter such food choices. The poor man in need of a filling cheeseburger will pay the tax, but the upper-income diner who gorges on gourmet restaurant pizza won’t?

    The American people delegated to their government certain limited powers to provide for a common defense, and to perform other limited tasks not well suited to private profit. We do not pay these people to tell us what cars to drive, what foods to eat or what kinds of cups and boxes to employ at the carry-out window. Enough of this nanny-state nonsense.

    http://www.lvrj.com/opinion/the-nanny-state-191517191.html

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Don’t fret over list of cancer ‘risks’
      http://www.dispatch.com/…/…r-list-ofcancer-risks.html

      [["We are being bombarded" with messages about the dangers posed by common things in our lives, yet most exposures "are not at a level that are going to cause cancer," said Dr. Len Lichtenfeld, the American Cancer Society's deputy chief medical officer.
      Linda Birnbaum agrees. She is a toxicologist who heads the government agency that just declared styrene, an ingredient in fiberglass boats and Styrofoam, a likely cancer risk.
      "Let me put your mind at ease right away about Styrofoam," she said. Levels of styrene that leach from food containers "are hundreds if not thousands of times lower than have occurred in the occupational setting," where the chemical in vapor form poses a possible risk to workers.
      Carcinogens are things that can cause cancer, but that label doesn't mean that they will or that they pose a risk to anyone exposed to them in any amount at any time.]]

      Now,Im glad to see the ACS admitting to the dose response relationship finally!

      So now we understand why the following is factual:

      [[are hundreds if not thousands of times lower than have occurred in the occupational setting," where the chemical in vapor form poses a possible risk to workers.]]

      Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology, Vol. 14, No. 1. (August 1991), pp. 88-105.

      [[ETS between 10,000- and 100,000-fold less than estimated average MSS-RSP doses for active smokers]]

      http://www.citeulike.org/user/vmarthia/article/7458828

      [[OSHA the components in tobacco smoke are diluted below existing Permissible Exposure Levels (PELS.) as referenced in the Air Contaminant Standard (29 CFR 1910.1000)…It would be very rare to find a workplace with so much smoking that any individual PEL would be exceeded]]

  18. garyk30 says:

    A little humour.

    These were posted on an Australian Tourism Website and the answers are the actual responses by the website officials, who obviously have a great sense of humour (not to mention a low tolerance threshold for cretins!)

    Q:Can you give me some information about hippo racing in Australia ? ( USA )

    A: A-Fri-ca is the big triangle shaped continent south of Europe .
    Aus-tra-lia is that big island in the middle of the Pacific which does not
    … Oh forget it. Sure, the hippo racing is every Tuesday night in Kings Cross. Come naked.

    Q: Can I wear high heels in Australia ? ( UK )
    A: You are a British politician, right?

    Q:Which direction is North in Australia ? ( USA )

    A: Face south and then turn 180 degrees. Contact us when you get here and we’ll send the rest of the directions.

    Q:Can you send me the Vienna Boys’ Choir schedule? ( USA )

    A: Aus-tri-a is that quaint little country bordering Ger-man-y, which is
    Oh forget it. Sure, the Vienna Boys Choir plays every Tuesday night in Kings Cross, straight after the hippo races. Come naked.

    Q:I have developed a new product that is the fountain of youth. Can you tell me where I can sell it in Australia ? (USA )

    A: Anywhere significant numbers of Americans gather.

    Q:I have a question about a famous animal in Australia , but I forget its name. It’s a kind of bear and lives in trees. ( USA )

    A: It’s called a Drop Bear. They are so called because they drop out of Gum trees and eat the brains of anyone walking underneath them.
    You can scare them off by spraying yourself with human urine before you go out walking.

    • Frank Davis says:

      Gary, I know somone with COPD. He’s a smoker I met in one of the local pub gardens. Really nice guy. He seems to be getting worse, unfortunately, and also to be on some ‘management’ regime of drugs. Are you on any drugs?

      And I’ve added a link to Gary K’s Mathematical Comments in my blogroll. It takes people to Mince Pies To Die For, and your comments beneath that.

      • garyk30 says:

        Doc has me using ‘Symbicort’ inhaler twice a day. It is medicine used by asthmatics to improve bronchial function.

        Since last Fall, my lung function has improved by 50%.

        Please give my regards to your friend and tell him he is not alone in his problems.
        my wife and I will include him in our prayers.

        Thank you for the link listing.

  19. Mike Baraniecki says:

    When I eventually come down with lung cancer or and heart disease or and smoking-related old age, there’ll probably be no point looking for medical treatment. So I’m planning to self-medicate with Chivas Regal, and cigars, and pork sausages deep-fried in lard and coated with brandy butter. And opium, if I can get hold of any. Because there won’t be anything else.

    Nix to the Chivas. For me, there will always be Bourbon. But everything else you mention sounds great.

  20. Rose says:

    People kept giving me copies of Culpepper’s Complete Herbal & English Physician, I have three already, so at least I have a an alternative starting point if the need arises.

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