Smoking Roll-ups

The first thing I read today:

His wife, Sam, packed up their life by herself because Mr Cameron said he could not bear to go back to Downing Street.

After packing the last box, she put on some music, rolled a cigarette and danced around the kitchen – just as Mrs May and her husband Philip walked in. “I roared with laughter,” he added.

I knew David Cameron smoked, although he concealed the fact throughout his premiership. I didn’t know his wife smoked too. Furthermore I didn’t know she smoked roll-ups. Nor did I know that she smoked them indoors.

Theresa May was another smoker. Maybe her husband was too. Perhaps they were all smoking cigarettes in the kitchen of 10, Downing Street that day.

None of them did anything for Britain’s smokers, of course. In fact they continued with their persecution. They were all hypocrites, publicly pretending not to be smokers while they privately carried on smoking.

David Cameron said that the government would do the bidding of the British people in the EU referendum. But the first thing he did was to resign as Prime Minister when the result wasn’t what he expected. And that was another piece of hypocrisy. Saying one thing, doing something else.

I spent a while talking with an ex-paratrooper yesterday afternoon, sat in the sunshine outside a local pub. He was smoking roll-ups just like mine. At one point he asked me whether I put filters in them, and I said I didn’t. He seemed very concerned about this. “You know what the consequences will be.”

It emerged that this battered and grizzled Falklands veteran believed everything that he’d ever heard about the dangers of smoking.

I said that I no longer believed anything I was told about tobacco or alcohol or sugar or salt. Because, well, I don’t.

But he seemed unable to contemplate the idea that it was all nonsense, and repeated his dire warning.

Afterwards I wondered why some people were so credulous, and why some were so incredulous. Perhaps it was just different understanding, different experience. He was someone who could strip down and re-assemble an AK47 in a matter of seconds – something I wouldn’t have had a clue how to do. But I was someone who could solve simultaneous equations in a matter of seconds – something he probably wouldn’t have had a clue how to do. I trust soldiers to know what they’re doing, and he trusted mathematicians and researchers to know what they were doing. So he believed what the boffins told him about the dangers of smoking, and an ex-university researcher like me didn’t.

It’s probably the same everywhere. The more you know about something, the more critical you become. So if you’re an expert chef, and you sit down in a restaurant somewhere, you’ll immediately notice if the potatoes are undercooked, and the cabbage overcooked, and the mustard too sharp. You notice because you’ve been doing it all your life. And if you haven’t been doing it all your life, you don’t notice: you just eat what’s put in front of you.

The grizzled old war veteran may have possessed many skills, but he knew next to nothing about science and research. So he just ate was put in front of him. He swallowed it all unquestioningly.

A politician like David Cameron no doubt also possesses many skills, but he probably knows next to nothing about science and research. So he probably swallows what he’s told unquestioningly as well. And so does more or less everyone else.

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Interstellar Comet Borisov

Most comets orbit round the Sun, so the arrival of an interstellar comet, C/2019 Q4 (Borisov) is a highly unusual event

A new interstellar object has been discovered passing through the solar system. Discovered by Ukrainian amateur astronomer Gennady Borisov on 30 August, 2019 [Crimea skyMap]. The veteran comet hunter pointed the pointed the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory low on the northeastern horizon to Gemini perilously close to the Sun’s glare. Now the object has been designated Comet C/2019 Q4 (Borisov). At the time, the comet was approaching the inner solar system from beyond the orbit of Mars.

So I dusted off my home-made orbital computer simulation model, got hold of Borisov’s state vectors from NASA Horizons, and plotted its path.

First the view looking down onto the plane of the solar system shows that Borisov is approaching just outside the orbit of Mars:

Looking along the plane of the solar system, Borisov is coming almost vertically down onto the plane of the solar system, and is initially moving in the galactic plane (blue line).

These two views correspond to a plan and elevation of the inner solar system.

It’s going to take months to pass through the solar system. In my model it passes through the plane of the ecliptic at the end of October 2019. It doesn’t get anywhere near any planet, but since it passes through the asteroid belt between Mars aand Jupiter, it might dislodge an asteroid, depending on how big it is

This is only the second such object to be discovered and tracked entering our solar system from interstellar space. The first being Oumuamua (1I/2017 U1) discovered in October 2017.

Astronomy Now:

Initial observations indicate the nucleus is between 2 and 16 kilometres (1.2 and 10 miles) in diameter.

Wikipedia entry.

P.S. Apparent motion of Comet Borisov through Gemini 30 July 2019 to 13 Oct 2019:

borisov3

Apparent motion of Comet Borisov 30 July 2019 to 2 Jan 2020

borisov4

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Report A Hate Crime

The Tony Blair Institute for Global Change has released a report, Designating Hate: New Policy Responses to Stop Hate Crime, which recommends radical initiatives to tackle “hate” groups, even if they have not committed any kind of violent activity

The Home Office would be able to accuse any group it found politically inconvenient of “spreading intolerance” or “aligning with extremist ideologies” — and designate it a “hate group”.

Train of thought 2:

The Problem:
Groups that spread hate function with impunity
… current laws are unable to stop groups that spread
hate and division, but do not advocate violence.

The Solution:
• Create a new law to designate ‘hate groups’.
This new tier of hate group designation would
be the first of its kind in Europe and would help
tackle nonviolent extremist groups that demonise
specific groups

Train of thought 3 (metropolitan police):

What is hate crime?

A hate crime is when someone commits a crime against you because of your disability, gender identity, race, sexual orientation, religion, or any other perceived difference.

It doesn’t always include physical violence. Someone using offensive language towards you or harassing you because of who you are, or who they think you are, is also a crime. The same goes for someone posting abusive or offensive messages about you online.

Train of thought 4:

“…or any other perceived difference.”

Can anyone think of a non-violent organisation that demonises  and harasses large numbers of people, and posts abusive and offensive messages about them online and on the products they buy?

Isn’t ASH an Anti-Smoking Hate group? Isn’t it the single most divisive hate group operating with impunity in the world today? Doesn’t it demonise smoking and smokers? Doesn’t it hate smoking and smokers? Doesn’t it exclude them and defame them and rob them at every opportunity it can find?

Train of thought 5 (metropolitan police):

How to report hate crime

Hate crimes such as racist crime, domestic abuse and homophobic crime are one of our highest priorities. Currently, we have over 900 specialist hate crime investigators working in our dedicated Community Safety and Safeguarding Units across London.

These officers investigate and manage specific crimes, such as domestic abuse, hate crime and honour based abuse, which often require specialist knowledge and understanding. In partnership with external agencies, we’re supporting the needs of victims, their families and their communities to make them safer and prevent re-victimisation.

Why report hate crime?

It’s not OK to be targeted because of who you, your family or your friends are – or who people think they are. You have the right to live your life free from abuse and violence. If you’ve been the victim of a hate crime remember it is not your fault and help is available.

By reporting hate crime you may be able to prevent this from happening again to you or someone else. Our officers and staff are trained to deal with hate crime sensitively and professionally.

Remember, you don’t have to be the victim of hate crime to report it. You can report anything you’ve seen happening to someone else, or report it on their behalf if they don’t want to.

Train of thought 6:

Would anyone like to report ASH as a Hate Group that carries out hate crimes against smokers?

Start here for a quick and simple online form to report the anti-smoking hate group ASH. Or try True Vision.

As the British Prime Minister who introduced the UK public smoking ban in July 2007, Tony Blair is arguably himself the hate criminal responsible for enabling and empowering Anti-Smoking Hate groups like ASH.

I personally designated ASH as an “AntiSmoking Hate group” back in 2015.

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Some Thoughts on Nationalist Populism

Steve Turley:

“All over the world there’s been a massive blowback against the anti-cultural processes of globalisation”

His latest video has someone smoking a cigarette:

Steve Turley (and others) also often refers to the blowback as “nationalist populism.” Why should there be a global surge of nationalist populism right now? What triggered it?

I see the world from the point of view of a smoker, and so I’d like to try to explain nationalist populism from a smoker’s point of view.

And I’d like to point out that over the past 10 – 15 years, almost everywhere in the world, hundreds of millions of smokers have been exiled to the outdoors, expelled from society. And it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone if there are social and political consequences that have followed on from this global event. In fact, I would suggest that it would be astonishing if there were not major consequences to this major event.

Furthermore, what has happened to hundreds of millions of smokers has been pretty much the same everywhere. They’ve been expelled from the bars and cafes and restaurants they once inhabited. They’ve become exiles in their own countries. They have the same, shared experience as smokers everywhere else in the world. And they are responding in the same way.

The smoking bans that have multiplied across the world are a tiny part of an elite globalist project which extends well beyond mere smoking bans, and effectively amounts to a global revolution in which the whole world is re-made according to a carefully-worked-out plan which includes any number of forced cultural and economic changes, ranging from diet to light bulbs and carbon dioxide all the way up to the abolition of the nation state. It’s a revolution from the top down, rather than from the bottom up. It’s a revolution in which the cultural elites impose their beliefs on the people beneath them. And it’s a revolution they have undertaken because they happen to be in control of the world, as elites usually everywhere are.

And this is where the backlash starts. For the backlash is that of the people against the imperious elites. It’s a “populist” revolt against an arrogant, bullying, imperious elite trying to impose its vision on ordinary people who do not share that vision.

That’s the “populist” bit. Now for the “nationalist” bit. And this is a backlash against the global character of the elite vision. For the elite regard the world as one single, undifferentiated place, while the peoples of the world, nearly all of whom live in one place on the surface of planet Earth, regard the world as being highly differentiated into different countries (China, India, etc.), and even with different regions within those countries. Ordinary people everywhere identify with the places and cultures into which they were born. They don’t regard themselves as “citizens of the world.” It’s really only the elites, forever jetting around the world to meet at Davos, who can gaze down on the world beneath them from an altitude of 10 km, and see it as a single undifferentiated planet.

So the “nationalism” that accompanies the “populism” is a re-assertion of particular geographic identity over global, planetary identity. I’m not a Citizen of the World: I’m English.

Furthermore, in the case of smokers who have become exiles in their own countries, there must always be a powerful desire to be re-united with their homelands, and to take back the countries that have been taken from them. And smokers want to return to the indoor tables they occupied before they were so rudely evicted.

So this new “nationalism” isn’t like the nationalism of a century ago, which saw rivalries between nations, leading to wars between nations. The new “nationalism” is simply the re-assertion of real local identity in the face of an false, imaginary, “global identity”. Nor is it quite “patriotism” which is love of country. It is instead the longing of the exile to return to a native land (which might be either Eden or Israel) from which he has been expelled.

And smokers are just one of many different social groups which have found themselves alienated and exiled, in one way or other. And they are “conservatives” only in the sense that they preferred things the way they were before they were uprooted and exiled.

So “nationalist populism” or “localist populism” must be  contrasted with “globalist elitism.” And the populists far outnumber the elites. And the elites are losing control: the European Union is another elite project, and Brexit is a nationalist-populist revolt against this globalist elite project. If the elites launched a new kind of revolution from above,  the peoples of Europe are in process of conducting a counter-revolution from below, the result of which will be the defeat and destruction of the elites (and therefore the destruction of the global elite projects of Tobacco Control and Climate Control ).

There’s probably much more that can be said about all this. The elites began ceasing to be true elites when they ceased to speak and act on behalf of the people, but instead started to speak and act against them. Once the elites broke faith with the people, it was inevitable that the people would lose faith in the elites, and cease to listen to them, and start looking for people who would properly represent them.

 

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Is There A Tobacco Epidemic?

Thanks to Joe L, my good opinion of Melania Trump has taken a knock:

Since when has there been “a growing epidemic” of e-cigarette use? She’s not the first to abuse the term. From the Foreword of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control :

The WHO FCTC was developed in response to the globalization of the tobacco epidemic. The spread of the tobacco epidemic is facilitated through a variety of complex factors with cross-border effects, including trade liberalization and direct foreign investment.

Cambridge dictionary:

epidemic noun (DISEASE) [ C ]  the appearance of a particular disease in a large number of people at the same time: a flu epidemic

Neither cigarette smoking nor e-cigarette use are diseases. If a large number of people start doing something (like reading books or playing guitars) it doesn’t mean they’re suffering from an epidemic disease. For something to be a disease there must be an associated lack of ease, or discomfort or disability.  There is no discomfort  or disability associated with smoking cigarettes (or reading books or playing guitars), and so the pastime is not a disease., and if large numbersof people take up the habit of reading, playing, or smoking, it’s not an epidemic.

But perhaps Tobacco Control really does see the habit of smoking as a disease? And regards the sight of someone lighting a cigarette as not different from them becoming covered in spots or sores, and running a high temperature? The appearance of the cigarette between the lips is for them the symptom of the disease of smoking. It’s perhaps not that smoking is a cause of diseases (like lung cancer, which is a genuine disease, with considerable terminal discomfort associated with it) but that smoking is itself the disease.

Why else would they refer to the “tobacco epidemic” if they didn’t think that smoking was itself a disease?

Of course, once you can see smoking as itself being a disease, then you can also see reading books and playing guitars as diseases as well.  And of course you can see any unusual opinion about anything as a diseased opinion. Perhaps you see ideas propagating throughout societies as no different from flu viruses passing from one person to the next?

The Tobacco Control mindset is perhaps the expression of a medical perspective on life that sees absolutely everything in terms of epidemic diseases. So the Beatlemania in the 1960s was a global epidemic disease. And perhaps the rise today of what’s called “nationalist populism” is another global epidemic, or pandemic. Same with mini-skirts and mobile phones and cheeseburgers: All epidemics. And if trees get covered in leaves in Spring, that’s another epidemic.  And when they die in Autumn, that’s another epidemic. And on clear nights you can see the epidemic of stars in the space around us. Might this be the insanity of Tobacco Control? To see everything as disease?

I don’t think there’s a tobacco epidemic. I don’t think smoking is a disease. I don’t think vaping is a disease either. Or reading books, or playing guitars.

 

 

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Reducing Military Fitness

Via the comments:

Smoking and vaping is to be banned at the UK’s only Army training centre for teenage recruits.

Hundreds of junior soldiers pass through the Army Foundation College (AFC) in Harrogate each year.

Its commanding officer Lt Col Richard Hall said it was “unacceptable” that “most recruits don’t smoke on arrival, yet most do by graduation”.

New recruits will be barred from smoking next week, with a complete ban on smoking and vaping on site by 2020.

In a statement, Lt Col Hall said the ban was in order to develop recruits’ health and fitness.

He added: “I hope that this will discourage smoking amongst new recruits and reverse the recent trend we’ve seen in recruits taking up the habit.”

Were the smoking recruits who fought (on both sides) in WW1 and WW2 unhealthy and unfit? I don’t think they were at all.

The popularity of cigarettes rose sharply in both wars, probably because wars are highly stressful, and smoking relieves stress. In fact, being in an army is probably pretty stressful as well, regardless of whether there’s a war on.

A hundred years on, the bullying bastards in Tobacco Control are now making incursions into the military, among whom tobacco was regarded as essential.

“You ask me what we need to win this war. I answer, tobacco as much as bullets.”

So cabled the commander of the American Expeditionary Force, Gen. John Pershing, to the War Department in 1917.

If what Pershing said in 1917 was true back then, then it’s still true today. And it will be found, in any major conflict, that soldiers need tobacco as much as bullets. To deprive soldiers of tobacco is to reduce their fighting abilities.

And that’s probably exactly what antipatriot, politically correct Tobacco Control wants to do. They’re not trying to improve military fitness: they’re trying to reduce military fitness.

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Lost In Fukuoka

With luck, and Parliament now in recess, there’ll be a quiet few weeks when I can think about something other than Brexit.

Like this article in the New Yorker:

What If We Stopped Pretending?

The climate apocalypse is coming. To prepare for it, we need to admit that we can’t prevent it.

The author, Jonathan Franzen, clearly believes that we’re facing an imminent climate apocalypse. He also believes that we can’t prevent it happening. Why does he believe this?

It fairly rapidly emerges that he’s not a scientist, but he has a powerful imagination:

As a non-scientist, I do my own kind of modelling. I run various future scenarios through my brain, apply the constraints of human psychology and political reality, take note of the relentless rise in global energy consumption (thus far, the carbon savings provided by renewable energy have been more than offset by consumer demand), and count the scenarios in which collective action averts catastrophe.

What’s happening here? Well, this is someone who trusts the climate scientists in the IPCC. He has complete trust in them. He has a complete and perfect faith in them.

And I don’t share that trust. I lost trust in them when they started “hiding the decline.” And, actually, I didn’t even trust them before that. I didn’t trust them because I think that climate science is a young science about which all sorts of things aren’t well understood. I’ve got a book – Principles of Planetary Climate – by Raymond Pierrehumbert in which he makes it very clear that there are a lot of Big Questions floating around in climate science, questions for which there aren’t yet clear answers. And he’s a professor of physics, rides a bicycle, and has a big bushy beard. He also contributes to climate alarmist RealClimate. And he’s one of the climate scientists that Jonathan Franzen has total and complete faith in. How can you have complete faith in someone whose principal book makes it perfectly clear that he doesn’t understand all sorts of things about climate? If someone says that they don’t know much, shouldn’t you take what they say with a pinch of salt? Why doesn’t Franzen do this?

Puzzling over this last night, I remembered an occasion when I had to place my  trust in complete strangers. It was when I was visiting the city of Fukuoka in Japan, and after walking to the city shopping centre, decided to take the subway back to my hotel in the district Hakata, and immediately got lost.

The reason I got lost was that while I had a map of Fukuoka’s streets with English names of districts (e.g. Hakata) and streets, I didn’t have a similar map of the Fukuoka subway system. And in that system, all the maps showing the stations were written in Japanese. So I’d hardly travelled to the next station before I was completely lost, with no idea where I was. So that was when I started approaching Japanese subway attendants and passengers and saying the only word in Japanese that I knew (actually I knew one other word: birru or beer): “Hakata!” And they would point in one direction or other, and I would follow their directions. I must have approached about ten people. Fortunately one or two of them could speak a few words of English, and that helped. And eventually I reached Hakata. It took the assistance of about ten people to manage that, the last of whom even accompanied me out of Hakata station and asked me if I now knew where I was, to which I replied that I did.

So I think that Jonathan Franzen is lost in Fukuoka. He has no idea where he is. And he doesn’t understand anything about climate science. And so, like me when I was lost in Fukuoka, he’s placing his faith in complete strangers like Raymond Pierrehumbert. And he’s putting complete trust in them because he has no alternative.

It’s the same with Greta Thunberg. She’s a little girl lost in Fukuoka, placing her complete faith in bushy-bearded adults. She believes everything they say. Absolutely everything.

And it’s the same with millions and millions of other people. They have no understanding at all of climate science, and so they’re placing their complete trust in accredited climate scientists, for the less you understand the world around you, the more you must simply trust people who look like they might have a better idea.

But it gets worse – because the Franzens and Thunbergs are now demanding that everybody else place their complete trust in the climate scientists like they do. Franzen tells us that…

…overwhelming numbers of human beings, including millions of government-hating Americans, need to accept high taxes and severe curtailment of their familiar life styles without revolting. They must accept the reality of climate change and have faith in the extreme measures taken to combat it.

They have faith, and you also must have faith. And together we must take action: meaningful climate action.

In this respect, any movement toward a more just and civil society can now be considered a meaningful climate action. Securing fair elections is a climate action. Combatting extreme wealth inequality is a climate action. Shutting down the hate machines on social media is a climate action. Instituting humane immigration policy, advocating for racial and gender equality, promoting respect for laws and their enforcement, supporting a free and independent press, ridding the country of assault weapons—these are all meaningful climate actions.

So now gun control has become meaningful climate action. The entire progressive political agenda isn’t just a moral imperative of some sort: it’s meaningful climate action.

But I don’t think Raymond Pierrehumbert really knows that much. He’s said so himself. And I’m not lost in Fukuoka like Franzen and Thunberg. I actually understand quite a lot of  Pierrehumbert’s climate science (after all, I’ve got his book). And I’m building my own computer heat flow simulation model, because that’s what I used to do 40 years ago. I don’t have to place my complete faith in him. I can think for myself. And I do.

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