Going Down Fighting

I turned 65 today. And I became a pensioner too. Next month I start collecting a full state pension. Which will be helpful.

For most of my life I’ve had an easy life. I was never homeless. I was never broke. I was never sick.

But now, late in life, I’m in a fight for survival like I’ve never been before. Because 5 years ago, with the UK smoking ban, I was pretty much expelled from society. Smokers like me are no longer welcome anywhere. It’s cost me most of my friends, and much of the sense that England is my home country. So it’s an existential struggle in which I’m now engaged.

I should have seen it coming, but I didn’t. I should have sat myself down one day, and pointed out to myself that the forces of antismoking darkness (which I first encountered in the 1960s in the person of the joyless Dr W) were steadily growing in strength, and that by simple extrapolation of the trend they were likely to be a power in the land in the coming century. I might also have pointed out to myself that there was a similar trend taking place with greens and environmentalists and vegetarians and the like, and they were going to be a power to reckon with too. But I dismissed Dr W as a lone nutter, and I dismissed the environmentalists as misguided idealists. It was like watching the tide coming in, and telling myself that, no, the water would never get to where I was sitting, under the pier on a rock covered in barnacles and seaweed.

Even as late as 5 years ago, I couldn’t believe that they’d ban smoking in pubs, ban smoking almost everywhere. People had been smoking all around me all my life. My grandfather smoked. My father smoked. My mother occasionally smoked. My brother smoked. Most of my friends smoked. They couldn’t ban smoking in pubs, could they?

But then they went and did exactly that. I now I feel like an exile in my own country. And at war with the state, and the medical profession, and the media, and many of my former friends as well.

I think they expect me to give in under this enormous pressure, in the face of almost complete exclusion, and quit smoking. But to do that would mean giving in to bullies, giving in to frauds and cheats and liars. But while I can forgive myself a lot, I could never forgive myself for doing that. Smoking has become my symbol of defiance, far more than smoking weed was a symbol of defiance in the 1960s.

They also seem to think that they have seen the future, and that there’s a one way tide, and that they’re riding that tide, and that people like me will simply be swept away. They seem to think that people like me are unenlightened throwbacks to a former age, and that we are slowly and remorselessly being drowned by the rising ‘progressive’ tide of smoking bans and windmills and vegetarianism.

But I don’t think human history is a one way tide. I think that the tide rises, and it also ebbs, and that history is a to and fro process. I don’t think there’s going to be any ‘smoke-free’ world anytime soon. Or ever. I think that one day Britain’s smoky pubs will return, and also all the smoky little bars in Europe and America and everywhere else they’ve been forbidden. That’s what happens when the tide starts ebbing.

Smokers like me may have been caught napping, but we’re fully awake these days, and we’re resisting, and our resistance will only stiffen.

I don’t know how long I’ll live. My ‘plan’ was to make it to 70 – the proverbial three score years and ten. And that’s only five years away now. And so I think I’ll be spending the rest of my life fighting the antismokers.

And in many ways it seems to me that 65 years is a good age for a man to take up arms and fight for what he believes in (which in this case happens to be freedom). Because it doesn’t really matter if I die now, after having lived a very pleasant and carefree life. What seems an awful shame is when young men go out to fight and die. Young men with their whole lives in front of them. Like my 22-year-old Spitfire pilot uncle, 70 years ago. He was fighting for freedom too.

And I’ve begun to enjoy fighting the new Nazis that have overrun us. They think that they’re invincible, but I don’t think that they are. And I think that the tide they’ve been riding is beginning to turn, in small ways, here and there.

And I’ve gotten to like the idea of going down fighting, perhaps after a nasty dose of gout, or emphysema, or influenza. Or maybe just falling downstairs. Whatever way it is, it will be just like falling in battle, with my horse cut from under me, and my armour pierced with arrows. Because I’m fighting every day these days, and I intend to carry on fighting and fighting and fighting, like I’ve never fought before.

So they can do their worst, these enemies of mine. It won’t matter to me. Because I have nothing to lose, not even my life, which I will soon lose anyway. I’m not like them, with their terror of ‘premature death’. I’m never going to dodge tobacco smoke, or burnt toast, or the second glass of wine, just so that I might live another year or two longer in their killjoy world.

And that’s one small chink in their armour. Nobody who is terrified of smoke, or carbon dioxide, or bacon, is ever going to actually fight for anything. Because they might get hurt, or – even worse – die a dreaded ‘premature death’. They always use proxies to do their fighting for them. Like the law, or the police, or the media.

They set out to destroy us, but we will destroy them. It may take us a long time to defeat them, but we will defeat them, and we will completely defeat them. And I too will share in that victory, even if I’ve been dead for years.

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67 Responses to Going Down Fighting

  1. Lars Folmann says:

    Happy birthday Frank. I hope you gonna have a nice birthday.

  2. beobrigitte says:

    Happy Birthday, Frank!!! Many, many returns!!!

    (Glad to be the first one to say this :) )

    They set out to destroy us, but we will destroy them. It may take us a long time to defeat them, but we will defeat them, and we will completely defeat them. And I too will share in that victory

    Yep!

  3. Mark Small says:

    Like hell we’re going “down.” The U.S. District Court in Indianapolis has had our proposed findings for 60 days-plus. If we were going to be shut out, it would have been by now. We argued “rational basis”—from OUR side. We have an excellent chance to win. I represent the Indianapolis bar owners who have been courageous enough to fight this travesty. And yes—this is America. I charged fees, but cut them significantly. I am smoking a cigar in my basement as I wait for a decision.

    • beobrigitte says:

      So they can do their worst, these enemies of mine. It won’t matter to me. Because I don’t have anything to lose, not even my life, which I will soon lose anyway. I’m not like them, with their terror of ‘premature death’. I’m never going to dodge tobacco smoke, or burnt toast, or the second glass of wine, just so that I might live another year or two longer in their killjoy world.

      These enemies of yours happen to be my enemy, too.

      Dodging tobacco smoke? Dodging burnt toast? Dodging a ‘Pere Jacques’? Out of the question!

      By the way, Frank; according to the anti-smokers you (and a whole generation of people) should have died a long time ago………..
      Surely the anti-smokers don’t tell lies? Or do they?

      I know we will enjoy many more years of your inspiring blog!

    • Mark, wishing you guys the VERY best with that!

      :)
      MJM

    • Steve Kelly says:

      Mark,

      Delighted to hear you’re still plugging. Godspeed.

  4. wobbler2012 says:

    Happy birthday Frank!! Always look forward to your daily posts. :-)

    Nearly half a million hits too which ain’t bad for an old man. ;-)

  5. mandy says:

    Happy birthday Frank. Given the anti raving lunatics used physical torture many years ago – As described in Velvet glove Iron fist book by Christopher Snowdon, slitting lips or pouring moulten lead down the throats of smokers. (sorry for some reason I can copy the part quoted in his blog but I cannot paste for some strange reason ) Glad that was banned, but now we are faced with mental torture, just as evil though. I, like many others though are using our “smokers money” wisely and fussy where we spend it. I have also been very fortunate with my health and I am in my 50s, I have used doctor “google” for the last ten years and hope to stay away from “big pharma” as long as possible. You voice the opinions of many, I visit here many days a week as I do many other sites, I love reading you blog and the great people who comment on them. Because I cannot express myself as well as others and my grammer is not the greatest, I rarely write anything nowadays.
    But thank you, to you and all

    • You put down your writing undeservedly :)

      For years there has been a thing called the Pink Pound, the spending power of the gay community largely unencumbered by children and their associated costs. The economic attractiveness of the group did a lot to overcome prejudice in some surprising places since businesses recognised it was in their own interests to take advantage of that spending power. Time to properly promote the Smoke Pound? Self-interest is a powerful weapon in recruiting allies to forcing social change….

  6. harleyrider1978 says:

    Happy birthday Frank and dont feel alone,I started figting the day after the ban came in in 2007!
    But look at what a fighting force youve become! Your blog and all the others like it have created an ARMY! A global Army……………..And we fight all over the world……………The Nazi’s know us,The government knows us,The world knows us because we are the world and we are PISSED OFF!

  7. cherie79 says:

    Happy birthday Frank, I made it to 70 last June so consider everything else a bonus now. Of course we should all be dead according to the antis, they can never explain why we are still here. Might not be in my lifetime either but I will be cheering too from wherever. I just hope the younger generation do not forget what feeedom was as they will not have known as we did.

    • Marvin says:

      “I just hope the younger generation do not forget what freedom was, as they will not have known it as we did”.

      I’m afraid they don’t know what freedom is, they have been so indoctrinated with PC bullshit, it scares them.
      I am so glad I was a teenager in the 60’s. You could do (almost) anything, smoke everywhere, ride a motorbike without a helmet, the music, the women etc.
      It must seem like ‘Armageddon’ to the young of today.

      Even right through the 70s and 80s I spent a fortune pubbing, clubbing and going abroad. I just cannot imagine what it must be like in a club today.
      Still, I suppose the young ‘adapt’ to the PC climate and lower their fun sights, a lot.

  8. harleyrider1978 says:

    Frank I was a bad boy today,I called the Nazis in Louisville and played em! It was fun………….I bet there still wandering about How can a smoker be charged with involuntary manslaughter of a non-smoker……………….roflmao!

  9. Wiel Maessen says:

    Congrats from me too, Frank.
    But we, your ‘fans’, are all your age group I guess. It’s about time we get the young people involved in this fight too. Our generation is the bridge that can still teach them in the coming years what is essentially happening.

    So, how do we get young people engaged, in this fight and similar fights to come?

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      52 here Weil……………..young enuf.

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        So, how do we get young people engaged, in this fight and similar fights to come?
        They will do it themselves via natural rebellion like before in America………..Our greatest allie the just say no campaign! Tell a kid no and what do we get.

    • What’s the situation over on that side of the Atlantic as far as universities go? Here in the States I’d guess over half the campuses have banned dormitory smoking by now, and about 15% have banned all open air smoking as well. The Antis always play it as “600 (or whatever) campuses have all banned smoking! Don’t be left behind!” but they never mention there are about 5,000 campuses out there. Still, the campuses over here, the Smoke Free Campus movement, is a huge push and attracting heavy Anti funding.

      So what’s the story in the UK/Eurosphere?

      :?
      MJM

      • In the UK all Halls of Residence are, to my knowledge (and I did some solid looking around and asking) 100% no smoking but, despite the occasional murmuring from the odd institution, there are no campus bans at all yet nor any bans related to distances from buildings. Some buildings come with demarcation lines in front of them (No Smoking Beyond This Point) but no one takes any more notice of them than the ones at hospitals. And one will find ashtrays at the entrances of buildings at every one of the half dozen unis I’ve visited in the last two years. No-smoking campus thinking has gone very quiet as an issue in the last year or so, perhaps because the HE sector has far bigger concerns like recruitment, financial stability and avoiding mass redundancies.

        • Probably also just due to lack of money. I think over there, there’s more effort being put into trying to cover up and justify the disaster brought on the pub sector. Over here it’s been such a piecemeal step-by-step process for the most part that they’ve been able to hide the damage. Plus we’ve got “Smoke Free Campuses,” and while I’m not sure of what their swag bag holds, I *believe* I’ve seen figures of ten or twenty million dollars bandied about (I’ll admit though that I *may* be confusing those numbers with Smoke Free Movies.)

          Once you remove the payola from an antismoking campaign the load falls on the true idealists/activists — the fringe/fanatic element that, by itself, never would have made it to the main stage and which has no idea how to fight without the financial support that gives them media coverage and paid staff/materials.

          – MJM

  10. chris says:

    Happy birthday, Frank, and many more! Never give in to despair–it’s even deadlier than tobacco smoke! (LOL)

  11. smokervoter says:

    Happy Birthday there my friend. Yet another inspiring post from a very inspirational writer. You’ve got many more ahead of you. Spirit trumps all else in my book.

    I’ll be fighting these miserable killjoys right along side you with a smile on my face, a cigarette between my lips, a glass of wine in one hand and a double, no make that a triple, cheeseburger in the other.

    As I’m typing this, the moribund world of the health and safety culture just keeps on plowing forward. The lead story on the Public Television Newscast is featuring a hot new CDC report on Obesity and Bloomberg with his dour countenance is there, as well as the First Lady with her new bangs and some stupid, brightly-colored mascot urging us all to get healthier – and – I just switched it all off. Eventually everyone is going to switch it all off and they’ll just be left talking to themselves.

    It’s just human nature. As Cindy Lauper once sang, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun and in the long run Everyone Just Wants to Have Fun. That’s what’s going to do them in.

  12. smokervoter says:

    I switched the gloomy warlocks and witches off and put me some ‘Nadia’ on the CD-player. Is that some spine chillingly beautiful music or what? I hope that link from yesterday worked for y’all. If you missed it, go back and click it.

  13. RdM says:

    Happy Birthday Frank!
    Almost 5 years behind you, turning 60 last September…
    And for a little “horoscope” entertainment, the local rag has for today:

    With Mercury moving through your sign, you’re at your sociable Piscean best as you chat and communicate; mix and mingle. It’s also time to research a favourite topic or study up a storm.

    Sound about right? ;=})

    Best Wishes,

    Ross

  14. Barry Homan says:

    Many Happy Returns Frank, thanks for all you’ve contributed. We battle on!

  15. Messalina says:

    Many Happy Returns Frank. Enjoy your day: eat, smoke, drink and be merry! Your writing is a wonderful gift and an inspiration to all of us. Many thanks.

  16. waltc says:

    Being on the Late Shift here, I’ll have to settle for being 30th to say Happy Birthday. But why assume dotage and death are just around the corner? If right now you’re healthy enough and angry enough, it should keep you going for quite a while. 65 only seems ancient from the perspective of 25.

    As for the rest, I’m not sure either that this Reign of Error won’t outlast me, especially because of its political nature (the Soviet Union lasted 73 years through propaganda and threat), but a lot of what I do–especially by going on record with written testimony to all those Bodies who consider themselves August– is in fact done for some distant posterity so it can look back and see that not all of us in this godawful time and place were blind mice. So, too, this blog will go down as Samizdat, preserved proof of underground sanity.

  17. Anoymous. says:

    Happy birthday Frank from a daily reader. Tip. Watch the HMRC code number carefully if you have an alternative income(s) apart from the state pension. It’s common for them to make a mistake for the tax year in which you receive your pension. Naturally, the mistake is not in your favour and then the ‘fun’ of recovering the money starts.

  18. Rose says:

    A very Happy Birthday, Frank!

    I am so pleased to hear that you intend to go down All Guns Blazing, I have long held a theory that such an attitude may act as a preservative.
    I must admit that I am enjoying myself too, it’s such a delight after years of getting the kids ready for school, washing clothes and only ever writing shopping lists, to finally click the brain into gear and crank it up to racing speed. An opportunity to exercise what few talents I may have, which in truth, without your inspirational blog would be decidedly strangled.
    Anyway, you may be 65 today, but in May I will only be 6 years behind you.

  19. Margo says:

    Happy Birthday, Frank, from another old’un. Still going strong!

  20. Marvin says:

    Happy bithday Frank…

    You really know how to write the stuff, what I think.
    I retired five years ago (aged 60) just before the f***ing smoking ban started.
    It hasn’t stopped me smoking but it has stopped me spending all day in the pub!!!

    I’m like you, the sudden “loss” of working and social life, hits pensioners the hardest.
    It’s a culture shock, especially if you like a drink, a smoke and a game of pool.

    On the plus side tho’ , you have oodles of time to do the things that YOU want to do.
    I’ve learnt lots of stuff since 2007 and not just about the smoking ban.

    I’m alone, but I don’t feel lonely.
    That, to me, is the sign of a truely healthy and independant lifestyle.
    Something the “healthists” will never achieve.
    We’ve got decades left yet and my plan is to live to a hundred, just to spite the bastards.

  21. nisakiman says:

    Happy Birthday Frank. I’m a little behind you, being a 49er, but we both grew up in much the same social environment.

    Even though I removed myself from what I could see was a fast-approaching PC nightmare more than ten years ago, and even though where I am I’m totally unaffected by the smoking bans (what smoking bans?), I am ANGRY! I am absolutely livid that these self-righteous bastards think they can lie and manipulate and propagandise the population into conforming to their grey, joyless world. I despise everything they stand for, and that’s why I fight them wherever I find them. I am, and always have been, a free spirit, and this drive for some warped vision of conformist utopia dystopia is anathema to me.

    I consider myself very lucky to live in a country where the people will not be dictated to by self-appointed jobsworth finger-waggers. We live here in a state of mild anarchy. Yes, it’s somewhat chaotic, and some things can be frustrating, but that is a small price to pay for the freedom I enjoy.

    Yes Frank, I too will not yield while there is breath left in me. I dearly hope that I will live to see these pustules on the body of society lanced and purged, but even if I don’t live that long, lanced they will eventually be; of that I am sure.

  22. Merv says:

    A very happy birthday to you Frank. I love your blog – it reassures me that it is the world that’s changing for the worse, not us, and we normal folk are definately not alone! All the very best.

  23. Frank Davis says:

    Thank you all for your kind thoughts and your fighting words.

    We will win in the end.

  24. jaxthefirst says:

    Latecomer to your birthday party here, Frank! Happy birthday! I’m a little way behind you, and not as close as I’d like. I’ve been pumping VAST amounts of money into my private pension and various other investments since the day my employer seized the opportunity of the smoking ban to ban smoking in ALL company premises, thus at a stroke whisking away what was in truth a massive amount of enthusiasm, goodwill and extra (unpaid) time which I used to voluntarily offer to them. All helped, of course, by the amounts of money I’ve saved simply by not going out and “doing stuff” over the last five years. As a result, my private pension remains very healthy, despite the constant efforts of various governments to slice bits off the top of it but – alas – still not at the stage at which I can tell my anti-smoking employers that I’m off.

    I’m interested that you mention gout in your article, though. I live in an area of the country once described as the “gout hotspot of the UK” and indeed I know many, many people who suffer with it. But not one of them are current smokers – to the point that I now refer to it as one of the “non-smokers’ plagues” – i.e. one of those illnesses, like Alzheimers and bowel cancer, which it just seems that smokers either never, or very rarely, seem to get, whereas every new case that I hear about, upon a little gentle investigation, turns out to be afflicting either a never- or a non-smoker. Not that this fact is ever deemed worthy of further investigation by researchers, of course – far easier simply not to mention the “S” word at all than allude to any possibility of a protective effect from tobacco smoke …

  25. Jonathan Bagley says:

    Happy birthday Frank. I must have been reading your blog from just about when you started. The archives go back only to June 2009. I think you are right in saying that becoming a pensioner is a good time to take up arms. Those with less to lose make more dangerous opponents.

  26. harleyrider1978 says:

    Send us your news
    Friday, February 22, 2013Purcell: Smoked by Obamacare
    By Tom Purcell
    special to the daily
    Email Print
    Copyright 2013 Summit Daily News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. February, 21 2013 10:19 pm
    Purcell: Smoked by Obamacare
    Summit Daily News
    Boy, do I feel sorry for smokers these days.

    Smoking used to be so fashionable and hip in the James Dean and Steve McQueen days.

    Women who smoked used to be sexy. No sooner did they pull a Virginia Slim out of a cigarette case than men would rush at them with lighters.

    Even when smoking was cool, people knew it wasn’t healthy. Some unhealthy smokers sued tobacco companies for concealing the unhealthful effects of sucking carcinogens into their lungs — and not one prevailed.

    That changed in 1998, when 46 states sued the four biggest tobacco companies to recover Medicaid costs for tobacco-related maladies. The states won big. The tobacco industry has been nicotine-coughing up billions of dollars to the states ever since.

    Or, to be more precise, smokers have been nicotine-coughing up billions. A pack of cigarettes costs five or six bucks. Taxes account for more than half of that price.

    In any event, over the years, smoking has lost its coolness appeal among the public. Anti-smoking groups have made tremendous gains banning smoking in public places. To date, 38 states and all 60 of our biggest cities have public smoking bans in place.

    To be sure, the anti-smoking sentiment is one of the few bipartisan issues left. People on both the left and right loathe smoking the way people used to hate polio and communism.

    Many people on the right, sick of dining in restaurants where smoking was still allowed, were all for government bans on the legal activity. Didn’t secondhand-smoke studies warrant it?

    Many people on the left were for such government bans, too, for the simple reason that they love when the government tells people what they cannot do — except when it involves smoking marijuana.

    And so it is that the bipartisan anti-smoking mob has relegated smokers to secondary-human-being status.

    Smokers are shunned at family gatherings and sent to the garage or the street, so as not to stink up the house.

    Even corporate CEOs who smoke are sent to the alleyway, where they mingle with other smokers like hapless pigeons.

    And just when smokers thought things couldn’t get worse, boy, are they getting worse.

    Government regulators, who are now interpreting President Obama’s Patient Protection and (ha ha!) Affordable Care Act, have determined that smokers should get hammered by insurance companies.

    Starting next year, health insurers will be permitted to charge smokers who purchase individual policies up to 50 percent more for their premiums.

    A 60-year-old smoker will pay, on average, $5,100 more than he is paying right now.

    Why? Well, the fellow’s smoking could cause him to have health issues, which others in the insurance pool would ultimately have to pay for.

    Since he is a higher risk for the insurance pool, shouldn’t he be required to pay more?

    Many in the anti-smoking mob, on both left and right, surely think so — as they miss the larger point: If our federal government has gotten so big and meddlesome that it can single out a particular citizen who has freely chosen to use a legal product as a vice, what CAN’T our government do?

    How long before chubby people and snack-cake eaters and people who like to hang-glide over mountain cliffs are also singled out by the government?

    How long before the government in a big city, such as New York, bans salt and large soda drinks?

    Oops, that has already happened.

    Yeah, I feel sorry for smokers, but the way things are going, we’ll all be mingling like pigeons in alleyways, secretly enjoying snack cakes, salty snacks and sugary drinks and hoping the government doesn’t catch wind of it.

    Tom Purcell, author of “Misadventures of a 1970’s Childhood” and “Comical Sense: A Lone Humorist Takes on a World Gone Nutty!” is a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review humor columnist and is nationally syndicated exclusively by Cagle Cartoons.

    http://www.summitdaily.com/ARTICLE/20130222/COLUMNS/130229963/-1/RSS

    • Rose says:

      Now hang on a minute Harley, what’s this coming over the hill?

      Big tobacco, anti-cancer activists oppose premium hikes for smokers

      “The American Cancer Society, meanwhile, worries that the high surcharges could make health insurance unaffordable to cigarette smokers, who are disproportionately low-income.

      “We’re anti-smoking, not anti-smoker,” said David Woodmansee, the cancer society’s associate director for state and local campaigns.”
      http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/02/20/3865775/big-tobacco-anti-cancer-activistsoppose.html#storylink=rss

      Lung Cancer Alliance And Legacy® Object To Stigmatization Of Smokers By Charging Higher Health Care Premiums Pursuant To Provisions Of The Affordable Care Act

      “Demonizing smokers has been made politically acceptable,” stated Laurie Fenton Ambrose , President and CEO of Lung Cancer Alliance. “Tragically, we have seen the impact of this demonization beyond increased health care premium costs. It has meant that our organization’s call for inclusion of scientifically validated low dose CT screening for lung cancer as an Essential Health Benefit has often fallen on deaf ears.”
      http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/lung-cancer-alliance-and-legacy-object-to-stigmatization-of-smokers-by-charging-higher-health-care-premiums-pursuant-to-provisions-of-the-affordable-care-act-192278971.html

      Now is that remorse or does it mean that if smokers can no longer afford insurance, they will no longer be paying for all the smoking cessation pills and potions, scans and sermons?
      You would have expected Anti-tobacco to have been thrilled that their denormalisation campaigns were working so well.

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        It simply means the ACS is worried about the future after all this B.S. is over………Now they can say see we werent against smokers at all. But of course their main concern is folks simply wont pay for obamacare and then the ACS wont be able to force them to obey their health edicts that are sure to come down in obamacare in years to come. Unless the whole damn thing collpases under its own unsupported weight. Its practically guaranteed to fail from the beginning. Every single state level Obamacare plan has defaulted in the past and been bailed out countless times. A nationwide obamacare will fail by the same means……….its simply not sustainable. Im waiting to see if they are going to create healthcare non-payment prisons for all of us yet. It will simply come to the point its cheaper to go on the dole than to work and have all your money confiscated for something you dont even need to begin with.

      • jaxthefirst says:

        But Rose, haven’t smokers been paying higher health insurance premiums over in the States for years anyway? I confess that I don’t understand the ins and outs of Obama’s seemingly much-mistrusted “Obamacare” scheme, but I sort of thought that the basic idea was to offer a one-step, low-cost, government-subsidised insurance policy for the lower-paid and those with chronic (or expensive) illnesses (or a prior history of such) who currently simply can’t get any insurance either because the insurance companies won’t cover them or because they can’t afford it. Sort of like our National Insurance, but administered by insurance companies instead of through taxation. Maybe Harley can help me out here …

        But either way, I’d guess that if they are now suggesting that even under the Obamacare system smokers are going to be priced out of the market then the level of funding which would otherwise become available won’t be forthcoming. And maybe some of these charity/campaign groups were on something of a promise on the basis that lots more people would be paying into the system, which of course would mean that there’d be more funding coming their way. Anything which limits the number of people paying in will necessarily limit the amount of money which they can get their hands on.

        After all, it’s money, and the power which that money gives them, which drives these people – not any concern for health or healthcare availability, whether for smokers or anyone else. If they’re now having to “say the unsayable” – that they think that anti-smoker prejudice is unfair (having actively encouraged it for years), even through gritted teeth – then you can bet your bottom dollar that there’s a financial motivation, and a damned strong one, for their doing so.

  27. Margo says:

    Found a good quote today. Lots of other people have already found it, and It seems to be used by many campaigners and so-called “conspiracy theorists”. In case you haven’t, it’s this:

    “When a well-packaged web of lies has been sold gradually to the masses over generations, the truth will seem utterly preposterous, and its speaker a raving lunatic.” (Dresden James – most likely a pseudonym for writer Donald James Wheal – nobody quite knows.)

  28. Mike_Iver_Village says:

    Happy Birthday Frank. I look forward to your posts every day. Long may they continue

  29. Reinhold says:

    Congratulations also from me, Frank!
    I already hurrahed you on Facebook last night, in German though.

  30. Mesmer says:

    Happy birthday, Frank.

    Very nice!

  31. smokingscot says:

    There is an alternate way of looking at this milestone Mr. D. On the assumption that you’ll be picking up £107.45 a week (£5587.40 pa), then you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing it’s all being paid for by the now working population. That includes their Ladyships’ Duffy, Arnott – and Williams.

    It depends on what genes you inherited. If you think you’ll live for 10 years or more (and I sincerely hope you do) then it may be worth your while to defer receipt as it goes up by 1% for every five weeks you defer. That, Sir, is a cracking good deal.

    https://www.gov.uk/deferring-state-pension

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      In america its come down to raise the age of entitlement to the day before death! Then all the money goes to the retards,rejects and yoyos that never worked a day in their lives!Enjoy what working class……………..the task masters whip is a tax from craddle to grave!

  32. harleyrider1978 says:

    http://www.blacklistednews.com/Prominent_American_Scientists_Call_For_Eco-Dictatorship_Under_UN_Rule/24367/0/0/0/Y/M.html

    Prominent American Scientists Call For Eco-Dictatorship Under UN Rule
    February 21, 2013

    Print Version

    By Jurriaan Maessen, BLN Contributing Writer

    Upcoming Scientific Publication: “(…) governments can and even should move
    beyond existent levels of public permission in order to shift norms,
    allowing public sentiment to later catch up with the regulation.”

    In a peer-reviewed paper by the American Institute of Biological Sciences
    titled “Social Norms and Global Environmental Challenges” (available ahead
    of print), to be published in the march 2013 edition of the Institute’s
    yearly journal BioScience, a group of well-known scientists calls on
    government and scientists to start with the planned social engineering of
    “norms” and “values” in regards to environmental policies. In addition, they
    propose putting into effect all sorts of environmental fines and regulations
    in the spirit of Agenda 21 to hasten the social acceptance of increased
    governmental control. Also, they propose that the scientific community as a
    whole should align itself with government “through a concerted effort to
    change personal and social norms”.

    The group of scientists involved in the upcoming publication include two
    Nobel Prize winners, economist Kenneth Arrow and political scientist Elinor
    Ostrom, as well as behavioral scientists, mathematicians, biologists- not to
    mention population scientists, the most well-known of whom are Paul Ehrlich
    and Gretchen C. Daily- whose professional relationship dates back to the
    Ecoscience days. The authors start out by stating:

    “Some have argued that progress on these (global environmental) problems can
    be made only through a concerted effort to change personal and social norms.
    They contend that we must, through education and persuasion, ensure that
    certain behaviors (…) become ingrained as a matter of personal ethics.”
    Stating that education and persuasion are insufficient to accomplish
    behavioral changes, they note:

    “Substantial numbers of people will have to alter their existing behaviors
    to address this new class of global environmental problems. Alternative
    approaches are needed when education and persuasion alone are insufficient.
    Policy instruments such as penalties, regulations, and incentives may
    therefore be required to achieve significant behavior modification.”

    Proposing that “effective policies (…) are ones that induce both short-term
    changes in behavior and longer-term changes in social norms”, the collection
    of prominent scientists assert that “government is uniquely obligated to
    locate the common good and formulate its policies accordingly.”

    The upcoming report however stresses that scientists are given the tools to
    have a hand in
    “government policies intended to alter choices and behaviors” such as
    “active norm management, changing the conditions influencing behaviors,
    financial interventions, and regulatory measures.”

    Each of these policy instruments potentially influences personal and social
    norms in different ways and through different mechanisms. Each also carries
    the danger of backfiring, which is often called a boomerang effect in the
    literature—eroding compliance and reducing the prevalence of the desired
    behaviors and the social norms that support those behaviors”.

    “Eroding compliance”, it is called. Anticipating that an increase in
    regulatory interventions by government are sure to create resistance among
    the target population, the scientists express confidence that their
    recommendations “can be carried out in a way that abides by the principles
    of representative democracy, including transparency, fairness, and
    accountability.”

    Despite these on-the-surface soothing words, the authors stress that
    government (and the scientific community) should ultimately “move beyond”
    public consent when it comes to top-down regulations imposed on the American
    people:

    “Some have argued that regulations are inherently coercive and cannot or
    should not exceed implied levels of public permission for such regulations.
    An alternative viewpoint is that governments can and even should move beyond
    existent levels of public permission in order to shift norms, allowing
    public sentiment to later catch up with the regulation”.

    By admitting they are willing to “move beyond existent levels of public
    permission” to push ahead with draconian environmental policies, these
    prominent scientists (among whom we find two Nobel laureates and one Paul
    Ehrlich) have proven their willingness to deceive the American population
    for their “environmental” control model. As Aaron Dykes put it while
    interviewing Lord Christopher Monckton,, the environmental “cause” is
    nothing more than “an absolute valued pretext for their absolute control
    model”.

    The engineering of public “norms” serves not so much any environmental
    cause, but another one, namely that environmental policies, even draconian
    ones, will finally be perceived by the US population as being consistent
    with their own personal norms.

    The way in which government may go about it shifting norms, the scientists
    argue, is by on the one hand “managing norms” through “such things as
    advertising campaigns, information blitzes, or appeals from respected
    figures”. The other aspect involved is the use of financial incentives and
    disincentives with the aim of conditioning the public to accept an
    increasing governmental control over personal behavior. The paper continues
    by saying that the best way to alter existing behaviors is through
    persuasive government regulations “such as penalties, regulations, and
    incentives” in order to “achieve significant behavior modification.”

    “Fines can (…) be an effective way to alter behavior, in part because they
    (like social norm management) signal the seriousness with which society
    treats the issue.”

    By extension, the authors express hope that behaviors and values will
    “coevolve” alongside increased government control in the form of state
    regulations and “fines”:

    “A carbon tax might (…) prove effective even in the face of near-term
    opposition. What needs to be assessed is the possibility that behaviors and
    values would coevolve in such a way that a carbon tax—or other policy
    instrument that raises prices, such as a cap-and-trade system—ultimately
    comes to be seen as worthy, which would therefore allow for its long-term
    effectiveness”

    In the context of this idea that shifting norms will “coevolve” alongside
    increased government regulations, the authors state:

    “Each of the government interventions can influence both personal and social
    norms, although they do so through different mechanisms. Only social norm
    management directly targets norms. Choice architecture, financial
    instruments, and regulations can all alter social norms by causing people to
    first change their behaviors and then shift their beliefs to conform to
    those behaviors.”

    In other words: the scientists propose arousing the concept of cognitive
    dissonance in the minds of people in order to guide the herd towards
    “proenvironmental” citizenship.

    “When it comes to environmental issues”, the scientists write, “two
    different types of social norms are at play in these dynamics: social norms
    of conformity or cooperation and proenvironment social norms. Only the first
    type need be present to induce proenvironment behaviors (although
    proenvironment personal norms may emerge from this through, e.g., cognitive
    dissonance, experience, or associating the positive feeling from social
    approval for an act with the act itself).”

    In the upcoming publication the concepts of peer-pressure and cognitive
    dissonance are being brought into the equation as effective norm-determining
    factors:

    “(…) norms of conformity and cooperation are far more universal than are
    proenvironment norms and are therefore far more powerful in inducing
    proenvironment behaviors that do not conflict with preexisting values or
    preferences. In other words, proenvironment values are not a necessary
    prerequisite to proenvironment behaviors.”

    While the authors express their hope that government expands control through
    all kinds of environmental regulations, they argue that scientists
    (especially life scientists) should align with big government, join forces
    in an unrelenting campaign to gradually create changes in behavior so
    environmental policies will be more easily accepted over the course of some
    time.

    “Life scientists could make fundamental contributions to this agenda through
    targeted research on the emergence of social norms”, the group asserts.

    “(…) many of the empirical studies cited in this article originate in law,
    psychology, economics, behavioral economics, anthropology, political
    science, and sociology. We know, for example, that the effective management
    of any commons requires sensitivity to local conditions, sound monitoring,
    graduated sanctions, and conflict-resolution mechanisms.”

    Who better to guide the sheep towards “good environmental citizenship” than
    those scientists specialized in social engineering:

    “Life scientists have a role to play in this by extending their existing
    theoretical analyses. To be effective, scholars of all stripes will have to
    extend their capacity to collaborate with decision- and policymakers in
    order to ensure realism and relevance.”

    The scientists would, in such an environmental dictatorship, also have a
    monitoring capacity:

    “Scientists could (…) effectively examine how combinations of different
    policy interventions and of the relative timing of deployment play out.”

    The paper is concluded with three distinct recommendations to both
    scientists and governmental agencies:

    “(1) the greater inclusion of social and behavioral scientists in periodic
    environmental policy assessments; (2) the establishment of teams of scholars
    and policymakers that can assess, on policy-relevant timescales, the short-
    and long-term efficiency of policy interventions; and (3) the alteration of
    academic norms to allow more progress on these issues.”
    |
    This entire publication is a clear and unmistakable sign that a scientific
    dictatorship is emerging under the pretext of environmentalism. More
    government control through regulations and fines combined with a proactive
    scientific community, brainwashing people into accepting this increasing
    governmental control where they would otherwise reject it. And guess who
    should be the coordinating body of this scientific dictatorship, according
    to the report:

    “Teams might be supported by permanent entities that maintain communication
    with policymakers; these will differ among nations but could be attached to
    the United Nations and its subsidiary bodies in the international context.
    One potential model is a national commitment of scientific talent in the
    service of United Nations agencies.”

    The United Nations. Of course!

    “These teams could also be charged with anticipating crises and evaluating
    potential policy responses in advance, since detailed evaluation in the
    midst of a crisis may be problematic; such emergency preparedness would
    probably focus on the immediate effects of policies on behaviors rather than
    on changing social norms, because this is likely to be of greatest relevance
    in a crisis.”

    All this talk of putting the UN behind the steering wheel of American
    government and the American scientific community points to the coming of age
    of the dreaded scientific dictatorship, against which many observers have
    warned us.

  33. harleyrider1978 says:

    As Aaron Dykes put it while interviewing Lord Christopher Monckton,, the environmental “cause” is nothing more than “an absolute valued pretext for their absolute control model”.

  34. harleyrider1978 says:

    Lord Christopher Monckton kicked out of UN for anti-climate change …
    http://www.ijreview.com/…/24475-lord-christopher-monckton-kicked-out-...
    Dec 11, 2012 – Lord Christopher Monckton kicked out of UN for anti-climate change views. Tweet. admin | On 07, Dec 2012. Any scientist worth his or her salt …
    More results for christopher monckton

    MY KINDA MAN

  35. harleyrider1978 says:

    Britain’s credit rating downgraded from AAA to Aa1
    The Government’s economic strategy has been dealt a serious blow after a leading credit ratings agency downgraded UK debt on its expectation that growth will “remain sluggish over the next few years”.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/9889410/Britains-credit-rating-downgraded-from-AAA-to-Aa1.html

  36. harleyrider1978 says:

    It is criminal when the investment bankers can borrow money from the Fed at 0% interest, invest in sovereign foreign bonds of Greece or Portugal (junk bonds really) for 6% buy a credit swap from JP Morgan for 1% as insurance and turn around and do it 35 or 40 more times. Talk about leverage, and they hope and pray that those worthless bonds will not be called because they do not have the money to pay for it. For example, the top 25 largest banks in America hold 250 trillion of these bonds and they are backed up with 8.5 trillion in assets. And its not just the banks, but pension funds, cities, counties, states and school districts are up to their necks in this junk. When these bonds are called, how can they pay? They cannot and when this bubble bursts, the world financial system will be no more. This will be the largest default in history and all will be destitute.

  37. Iro Cyr says:

    I am even later to the party than MJM. Happy birthday Frank. All you said about retiring in the present anti-social context they created for people who choose to smoke or choose not to quit.

  38. Steve Kelly says:

    Happy b’day, Frank. Keep at the blog. Spend your retirement checks on tobacco seeds and bootleg booze. That will keep you going a long time.

  39. Pingback: Going Down Fighting | VapeHalla! | Scoop.it

  40. Pingback: Active Norm Management | Frank Davis

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