Catching up with TV

Another gorgeous sunny day, which found me once again in a pub garden, drinking beer and smoking cigarettes.

But this time, while sitting at a table, I managed to do myself an injury. I think it must be the first time I’ve ever done myself an injury while sat at a table with a beer and a cigarette. Perhaps there’s something in all those health warnings after all?

The injury was in fact the aggravation of a very old injury. Fifty years ago, while being pursued in the course of some game, I hurled myself out of a school window, and fell  10 feet in darkness, badly twisting my right knee. It never really fully recovered. I think there must a missing cruciate ligament in it, or something. And ever since, I have to take care to not put the knee out of joint. But it periodically happens, and I  limp around until it clunks back into place. And today it happened again, sitting at a wooden table in a pub garden, and I’ve no idea how. But with luck, it’ll be back in working order in a day or two.

This has fortunately coincided with getting my bi-annual dose of television, so I’ve spent much of the evening sat watching the box with my leg up on a small table.

And it’s been rather interesting. I haven’t seen any antismoking messages at all. But I’ve seen quite a lot of smoking, in news clips and documentaries. And I couldn’t help but think that the smoking was a bit overdone in the documentaries, with the complete process of inhaling and exhaling lovingly recorded, as if to say, “Look kids, this is how it’s done.”

The other people smoking were Russian (or ethnic Russian) soldiers who had just captured some place in Ukraine. Perhaps it was supposed to show that they were The Bad Guys. What it actually showed the kids was that super-fit soldiers smoke cigarettes on active service without apparent ill-effect, and also without being court-martialed and shot.

I had expected the coverage of the Ukrainian crisis (which is really horribly serious right now) to be accompanied by jingoistic anti-Russian propaganda. But there was none of that at all. Instead, the coverage seemed scrupulously neutral, with Ukrainians and Russians being allowed to disagree with each other on air, while the UK news anchors sat on the fence. The only person who pinned all the blame firmly on Russia was Foreign Secretary William Hague. But after he’d said his bit, it was promptly openly questioned how much he really knew about what was going on.

I get the impression that all concerned – Europe, America, and perhaps even Ukraine and Russia – are trying to downplay and defuse the situation. But unfortunately the situation is now so far gone it’s rather hard to see how it can possibly be defused. Because if civil war has quite broken out today, it may very well have broken out by this time tomorrow.

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Anything But Cheeseburgers

Slightly light-headed after sitting out  in the sun, with beer and cigarettes, all afternoon.

And the thought that the very worst way to make something happen is to enforce it by law. Because this means that people didn’t really want to do it. There’s no need to enforce by law what people want to do anyway.

And if what is enforced by law is something that nobody really wanted, the law will require continual enforcement. And the moment it ceases to be enforced, it will decay.

But I think that Tobacco Control believe that getting their smoking bans into law afforded them a strength and security they otherwise would not have had. I think they believe that, after people have got used to the law, and smoking has been “denormalised”, nobody will dream of lighting up in a pub or cafe again.

But the way I saw it today, their resort to the law – the most powerful weapon available to them – has actually made it absolutely inevitable that the bans will be revoked.

After all, imagine if people were compelled by law to live on a diet of cheeseburgers and french fries. People who didn’t much like cheeseburgers would soon come to loathe them. And even people who loved cheeseburgers and french fries would probably resent being forced to eat what they had hitherto eaten anyway out of free choice. All concerned would soon be wanting want anything but cheeseburgers. The law would thereby create an aversion to cheeseburgers.

And the same goes for smoking bans. To be compelled by law to not smoke is to ensure that quitting smoking will cease to be a freely-made choice, and that smoking bans will become more and more deeply resented, even by people who initially welcomed them.

If they’d really wanted to turn people off smoking, they should have made it illegal to not smoke. They should have made it compulsory for every pub-goer who bought a beer to smoke a cigarette or two with it, with hefty fines attached to non-compliance. That would have killed off the pleasure instantly. For what had been done out of choice would now be being done from necessity. And every cigarette smoked would be proof of abject subservience to state control. And the rebels would be the people who refused to smoke, and paid the consequent fines, and even went to prison for it.

If you want to create a vegetarian culture, then make meat-eating compulsory. And if you want a society of environmentalists, then fill the air with inescapable choking smoke.

And maybe that’s why we have a culture that is antismoking, vegetarian, and green. It’s because when smoking was ubiquitous, it was inescapable, and therefore mandatory, and something to revolt against. And when every single school meal consisted of cheeseburgers and french fries, it was revolutionary to want salads and fruits and nuts. And when every town had some factory chimney belching black smoke, the free spirit longed for fresh air and green leaves and mountain streams.

But now that carbon dioxide has been made more or less illegal, and smoking has been banned everywhere, then the natural rebel wants to smoke cigarettes all the time, and fill the skies with clouds of beautiful  black smoke, and chew bloody lumps of meat with bared teeth.

Whoever makes the laws is onto a sure-fire loser. When you’ve enacted your dreams in law, you haven’t won: you’ve lost. And you have most completely and totally and irrevocably lost.

Whatever your deepest hopes and dreams might be, if offered the chance to make them into binding law, refuse it!

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A Changing Political Landscape

I’m away from home this week, so posting might be a bit light. But I noticed that support for UKIP is surging:

The UK Independence Party (UKIP) has hit a record high ComRes poll rating, as the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties both drop points. UKIP is now polling at 20 percent, while Britain’s traditional third party, the Liberal Democrats, have sunk to just 7.
The Independent on Sunday and Sunday Mirror poll shows Labour (35 percent) increasing its lead to six points over the Conservative Party (29 percent), with the libertarian, small-government UKIP hot on the heels of Cameron’s party following the resignation of cabinet minister Maria Miller last week.
The poll results also reflect the two debate victories that UKIP leader Nigel Farage clocked up against Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg over the past few weeks. Despite some negative press since then, UKIP continues to rise, while the three mainstream parties are either losing voters, or stagnating.
Labour’s new six point lead is not a reflection on the party’s increasing popularity either. The poll shows Labour has not lost, nor picked up any voters since the March survey. Instead, Ed Miliband’s party is benefitting from a Conservative Party in disarray. With just 40 days until the European Parliamentary elections, the poll is being viewed as highly significant.

Maybe it’s because people are sick of the political class:

The British Establishment that has been replaced by the modern political class is wrought with catastrophic imperfections, but it was at least a structure that held honour, duty, patriotism and stewardship at its heart. The political class value none of these tenets, but instead represent a self-serving cancer that, in the space of a mere few decades, has rendered a great nation bankrupt and deeply divided. Our democracy has been steered into the doldrums of homogeneity and stasis.
And yet, the system that ruled Britain for a few decades, and was so incisively exposed by Oborne just six years ago, now seems to be crumbling as swiftly as it arrived.

With luck, we’re witnessing a collapse of support for all the mainstream parties, and the emergence of a new political landscape. For if UKIP have 20% support, and other non-mainstream garner an additional 9%, then something approaching one third of the electorate have deserted the mainstream parties.

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When will it end?

When will it end?

Napping can increase death risk by a third, study claims

Taking too many naps could increase your chance of a premature death, scientists claim. Adults who nap every day are two-and-a-half times more likely to die from respiratory illnesses than those who only sleep at night because napping can cause inflammation in the body, a group of British researchers say.

The study, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, also suggests that fiending for a nap could itself be a sign that a person already has a lung disease.

The team at Cambridge University tracked the lifestyles of 16,000 British adults who had agreed to be a part of a research project into the causes of cancer over a 13-year period. Participants provided information on their sleeping habits to researchers, including whether they napped during the day.

After analyzing the data, scientists discovered that people who slept for less than an hour in the day increased the chance of death by around 14%. This number rose to 32% if the nap lasted for more than an hour, and was linked to the development of respiratory illnesses, according to the study.

But Prof. Jim Horne from the Sleep Research Centre at Loughborough University told The Independent newspaper that most people are not at risk from napping.

“The findings actually show that the great majority – about 85% – of those people who napped less than one hour were at no greater risk.”

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A Voyage Around Durkin

I recently posted up a link to the Channel 4 documentary, Nigel Farage – who are you? I neglected to mention that it was made by Martin Durkin, who also made The Great Global Warming Swindle, one of the first climate-sceptical documentaries.

Today I discovered (or rather rediscovered) his website/blog, and I’ve been reading THE GREENS – A Warning from History (Volume One) and (Volume two) and NAZI GREENS – An Inconvenient History.

The same Nazi monsters who committed crimes of unimaginable barbarity also advocated vegetarianism, organic agriculture, forest preservation and homeopathic healthcare. How can we possibly explain this? What was the connection between the inhuman brutality of the Nazis and their gushing idealization of ‘Nature’?

The purpose of exploring Nazi environmentalism is not just to upset the greens. If environmentalism were a curious but peripheral aspect of National Socialism, it would be of no real historical interest. Environmentalists could be forgiven for saying, Ah well, it just goes to show, there’s a little bit of good in the worst of us. But environmentalist ideology was not an accidental, optional-extra to National Socialism. As we shall see, green ideas were at the core of Nazi thinking. The German Volk and Nazi movements marched beneath the banners of ‘Nature’ and the ‘organic’. However, what follows here is not simply a potted history of Nazi environmentalism. It is, at the same time, a brief history of early environmentalism writ large. As will become clear, it is not so easy to draw a line between two types of green thinking.

To understand why green ideology emerged at all, and why it happened in Germany, we need to go back in time, a few centuries, to set the scene. We have described elsewhere on this blog (The Greens: A Warning from History), the transition from feudal society to capitalism. To the greens this great historical change is more or less the source of all evil.

The trio of quite long essays made very interesting reading, and connected the green movement with Nazism. We all know the Nazi/eugenic origins of antismoking. And more recently I’ve been reading how the EU ‘project’ had a number of prominent Nazi founder members.  And so I’ve been wondering whether Nazism remains the default European (and perhaps also American) political mentality, whatever it happens to call itself these days.

And finally there’s Martin Durkin’s MARGARET THATCHER – Death of a Revolutionary

SHUT your eyes and think of Margaret Thatcher (twin-set, hair-do, hand bag, smells nice) and Fidel Castro (combat fatigues, bushy beard, revolver, smells of backy). Which one is the firebrand working-class revolutionary? The answer, of course, is Mrs Thatcher. The vile tyrant Castro enslaved and impoverished the lower orders in Cuba. Thatcher enriched and liberated them in Britain.

The reason the Left hates Thatcher so much is that she stole the working class from them. And she was able to do this because she understood and shared their aspirations.

And accompanying video (which I haven’t watched yet):

 

 

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Sitting Is The New Smoking – Or Maybe Not

Amusing yet accurate piece on Jo Nova.

I concede the globe warmed approximately 1 degree Celsius over the course of the 20th century, but I have my doubts about the other nine Tenets. But if you are a devout believer in Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming (CAGW) and want to convert me to your religion then I’m going to tell you how you can do it.

The fourteen easy steps
Step 1 – Stop making predictions that don’t come true.
Step 2 – When you make a prediction, don’t just say something “might” happen.
Step 3 – Don’t live your life like you don’t believe a word you’re saying.
Step 4 – Stop the hate.
Step 5 – Stop avoiding debate.
Step 6 – Answer questions.
Step 7 – Stop enjoying catastrophes.
Step 8 – Don’t use invalid arguments.
Step 9 – When you are wrong, admit it and apologise.
Step 10 – Stop claiming that 97% of scientists agree that humans are warming the globe significantly.
Step 11 – Stop lying. If you think it is okay to lie if it’s for a good cause, you are wrong.
Step 12 – Rebuke your fellow Warmists if they act in an unscientific way.
Step 13 – Stop blaming everything on Global Warming.
Step 14 – Why are the only solutions always big-government “progressive” policies?

Read the whole thing over on Jo Nova.

And Sitting Is The New Smoking:

A new campaign, Get Britain Standing, aims to get the nation back on its feet and help turn back the rising tide of ill health that is caused by spending too much time sitting down .

Gavin Bradley, director of Get Britain Standing, says: “It’s like smoking during the 1970s and passive smoking during the 90s. We all know a sedentary lifestyle is bad for us, we just don’t realise how bad it is. Spending less time sitting down really can add years to your life. That is the most important message.

But wait…!!! H/T Harley, Jogging Is Bad For Your Health:

A new study has found that people with a sedentary lifestyle live longer than marathon runners. The study by Dr. Martin Matsumura, co-director of the Cardiovascular Research Institute at the Leigh Valley Health Network in Allentown, PA, confounds expectations, with Dr Matsumura commenting: “Our study didn’t find any differences that could explain these longevity differences..”

I’ve also read that quite a few one-time Obama supporters are now deeply disenchanted with him. This video, from ZeroHedge, demonstrates one girl’s disenchantment.

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Brainwashing In Schools

Rather scary reading in Andrew Montford (of Bishop Hill) and John Shade’s Climate Control: Brainwashing in schools:

The impetus to put the environment and sustainable development at the centre of the education agenda can be traced back to the early 1970s. In these early days of the modern environmental movement, the UN’s Stockholm Conference of 1972 concluded that environmental education was ‘essential in order to broaden the basis for. . . enlightened opinion and responsible conduct’.

I was rather surprised how early it all started. I was a bit ‘environmental’ in the early 1970s, at a time when hardly anybody else took much interest in it. After that time, I gradually lost interest.

So, leaving university in the mid-1970s, I seem to have missed a profound change in the education system. And not being a parent, I’ve also missed the following:

This revolution in the purpose of education appears to be not only concerned
with changing the way children think but also about changing the behaviour
of adults, using their children as a lever. The chairman of the IPCC, Rajendra
Pachauri has suggested that a focus on children is the top priority for bringing
about societal change, and that by ‘sensitising’ children to climate change, it
will be possible to get them to ‘shame adults into taking the right steps’.
Pachauri’s ideas are echoed in UNICEF’s manual on climate change education,
which, it is claimed, is about helping children to become ‘agents of change’.

So not only are chiiiildren being used to justify all kinds of draconian measures on the one hand, but they’re also being used a shock troops against parents on the other hand. They have a dual use.

But in addition, climate change and related
areas such as energy use were to be taught across the curriculum, appearing
in chemistry, physics, biology, and citizenship lessons. And by accident or
design, the result has been the teaching of one particular dogma rather than
a balanced approach.

Perhaps this explains why, despite growing climate scepticism about global warming, the emphasis on climate change is being maintained by government and media, as if nothing was happening. And it’s because the educational (or re-educational) programme has been under way for 40 years, under both Conservative and Labour governments. There’s far too much invested in it.

And it’s scaring the wits out of lots of children.

In a survey of 500 American pre-teens,
it was found that one in three children aged between 6 and 11 feared that
the Earth would not exist when they reached adulthood because of global
warming and other environmental threats.105 In the UK, a 2006 survey found
that climate change was children’s top worry. . .

Montford and Shade conclude:

There can be little doubt that the provision of a rigorous education has now
given way to a highly politicised brainwashing of growing minds with ‘climate
change’ and energy scares as motivators and ‘sustainable development’ as the
‘solution’ . Gone are the days when the education system hoped to generate young people equipped to form their own opinions on complex scientific, sociological and political issues. Instead the education system, subverted by a green political movement, now seeks conformity with environmentalist orthodoxy, with any challenge to its vivid certainties viewed as transgressions to be ignored or treated with contempt.

The seriousness of what we have seen is hard to overstate. The fact that children’s ability to pass their exams – and hence their future life prospects – appears to depend on being able to demonstrate their climate change orthodoxy is painfully reminiscent of life in communist-era Eastern Europe or Mao’s China. Politicians seem to have given the nod to this process, effectively handing much of the curriculum to green activists. The question of whether what is taught in the classroom is scientific or political, balanced or biased, true or false seems to have gone unexamined.

Maybe smoking bans are the least of it all? Maybe they’re just one small component of a general re-education programme that’s been under way for a long time? One that involves all values being changed, not just one or two of them.

More on this from James Delingpole. And also this.

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