H/T Cage Canada for drawing attention to the ongoing US secondhand smoke trial.
Just one week before the Prince George’s County Circuit Court is scheduled to take up David Schuman’s secondhand smoke case against Greenbelt Homes, Inc. (GHI), a crowd packed tightly into a small room at the Greenbelt Community Center on Wednesday to hear Schuman out.
Schuman is suing the membership’s cooperative over his neighbor’s secondhand smoke, which Schuman asserts is a nuisance and is posing a danger to his health. He believes GHI violated his Mutual Ownership Contract by its failure to prohibit the nuisance, and as a result is seeking a total of $600,000 in damages.
In an emotional appeal, Schuman told the audience he had tried “very, very hard to avoid having to litigate.”
Schuman brought with him physicist and secondhand smoke consultant, James Repace, famed for his claim that only “tornado winds” could make rooms safe from secondhand smoke. The trial is still in process, although the judge has already thrown out Schuman’s claim for $300,000 punitive damages. The trial has been followed online, and has been attracting comments from the likes of Michael McFadden, Magnetic, Dave Atherton, and others.
And the really fun thing is that James Repace has been posting comments as well, saying just today:
Smoker’s Rights Polluting this Blog are Fronting for Big Tobacco:
Sounds to me like the “Smokers’ Rights” goons from FORCES who posted on this blog are a pack of total frauds fronting for Big Tobacco
Its awfully predictable, isn’t it? Anyone who speaks up in favour of smokers must be part of a Big Tobacco front group. But there’s more. Responding to Michael McFadden a few weeks back, he said:
If you and the other nicotine addicts who posted on this blog think this case is going to turn on hearsay about some cherry-picked articles by industry moles and others that you read but clearly don’t understand, while ignoring the vast body of literature by hundreds of scientists and the authoritative reports of federal agencies indicting secondhand smoke as toxic air pollution, you’re welcome to your pipe dreams.
And a week or two later he was taking another pot shot at McFadden:
It is of interest to inquire: what has motivated the often hysterical comments of the Patch Blog on the Schuman case? Mr. McFadden, for example, is one of more than a dozen crackpot columnists for the anti-public health organization FORCES. “FORCES columnists offer news and perspectives on such issues as smoking and public policy, smoking and science, and the increasingly evident slippery slope that is leading to tobacco prohibition. They also … chart the course of an authoritarian and censorious political and bureaucratic elite that uses state-of-the-art propaganda techniques, corporate handouts and tax dollars to woo the public towards … utopian illusions about health and safety in exchange for the privacy and freedom of both mind and body.”
Many of FORCES tactics revolve around disproving or “debunking” much of the scientific evidence surrounding smoking, as well as constantly linking anti-tobacco activists either to fascism/Nazism/communism or to some sort of criminal conspiracy against smokers and those people sympathetic towards FORCES’ causes.
The entire comment thread is worth a read – particularly Magnetic referring to Repace variously as James, Jim, Jimmy, and finally Jimbo.
I can’t for the life of me figure out what Repace is trying to do. It’s a good thing to see one of the major players in the secondhand smoking scam entering the bearpit. But he’s getting torn to pieces. Why is he doing it?
The answer may be that, in the past, people like him were used to speaking and being heard with respect as established experts in their field, but with a rising tide of effective online criticism (as well as a slew of books by writers like Chris Snowdon, Michael McFadden, Rich White, and others) now calling his ‘science’ and his ‘expertise’ into question, he maybe feels that the only way is to get down and dirty on the blogosphere. Because otherwise him and his cronies will lose everything.
So it looks like we’re getting to them. A bit like the dressing down that Deborah Arnott delivered to Dave Atherton in the green room after their television encounter a few months back (the gist of which was that he was ‘no expert’) also showed that they’re getting increasingly angry and resentful as, little by little, their claims of expert knowledge are being shown to be little more a confidence trick. And Deborah Arnott knows all about them.
Anyway, here’s Video Games by Lana Del Rey. It’s the latest hot music video, according to the Telegraph. And they should know, shouldn’t they?