The Darkening of the Light

I don’t usually spend much time looking at the global military scene. We always seem to be fighting somebody or other, and I never really understand why.

But I turned up this last week.

Tabloid Media Too Busy to Cover Brewing World Conflict

“Russia’s air base of Tu-95MS Bear-H strategic bombers in the Amur Region is switching to full combat readiness as part of massive snap drills in the Eastern Military District, the Defense Ministry’s press office reported on Sunday… The exercise, which involves over 160,000 servicemen, some 1,000 armored vehicles, 130 aircraft and 70 warships from the Pacific Fleet, was ordered by President Vladimir Putin on Friday evening.”

Well, the Russians are bound to be periodically conducting exercises, aren’t they? So it doesn’t really mean a thing.

And then yesterday I came across this glum-looking duo:

US And Russia Simultaneously Announce Intent To Arm Opposing Sides In Syria

In an almost palpable irony, Russian and U.S. officials simultaneously announced their intent to move forward with controversial arms transfers to opposing sides in the Syrian civil war Monday.

If there were any doubts about the proxy nature of Syria for the two sides, the announcements should put them to bed.

That’s pretty much just like the Cold War. This time we have a civil conflict in Syria which is pulling in Russia and Iran on one side, and the USA and Israel on the other. And we’re on the side of the…, erm…, …the Islamic fundamentalists.

That’s almost straight out of George Orwell’s 1984.

And of course there’s Edward Snowden too, who is now planning to stay in Russia – which sort of makes him into a Cold War defector much like, say, Kim Philby.

Whatever happens now, there’s bound to be a war of words between Russia and the USA. International tensions are bound to rise sharply.

It’s not the only tense stand-off developing. There’s China and Japan as well.

Fears of conflict between Japan and China have been on the increase since last autumn, amidst tensions over the Diaoyu/Senkaku islands. With political nationalism apparently growing on both sides, there are concerns that a military conflict could be sparked unintentionally.

China and India too.

Chinese general warns India against stirring up new trouble

Beijing, July 4/Nationalturk – Ahead of the arrival of Indian Defence Minister A K Antony on a three-day visit to China, a top Chinese army general Thursday warned India against provoking new trouble by increasing military deployment at the China-India border.

“It is a known fact that there are tensions and problems between China and India, particularly at the border areas,” Major General Luo Yuan told reporters today.

And of course North Korea.

Bomb North Korea, Before It’s Too Late

SINCE February, the North Korean government has followed one threatening move with another. The spiral began with an underground nuclear test. Then the North declared the armistice that ended the Korean War invalid. The young dictator Kim Jong-un followed with a flurry of threats to attack civilian targets in South Korea, Japan and the United States.

All this at a time when the global economy is in bad shape, and getting worse, which won’t help international tensions at all.

Perhaps that’s why there are smoking bans? Everyone is simply being got ready for a war in which there’ll be rationing, with no tobacco or alcohol or fast food or sugar. Or oil or gas or electricity. Nothing to do with health; nothing to do with the environment; everything to do with military necessity.

About Frank Davis

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32 Responses to The Darkening of the Light

  1. harleyrider1978 says:

    I gotta share this one!

    US Bureau of Labor Statistics Shows Zero Deaths From 2nd Hand Smoke
    Where are the deaths?
    If people who work in bars die from secondhand smoke, why does the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the last 4 years show ZERO DEATHS from exposure to harmful substances or environments?
    http://stats.bls.gov/iif/oshwc/cfoi/cftb0259.pdf This data is for 2011. (pg38 of 53). Notice that 31 people died while working in a “drinking place”(which my bar is classified as). 27 deaths were by violent injuries by persons or animals(?). 2 died by fires or explosions. I don’t know where the other 2 deaths are listed however, there are 0 deaths from exposure to harmful substances or environments.
    So where are these deaths from SHS?
    Notice 2010 under this below. In 2010, there were 28 total deaths, 25 from violence and 0 from exposure to harmful substances or environments.
    http://stats.bls.gov/iif/oshwc/cfoi/cftb
    0250.pdf (pg 18).
    In 2009, 32 deaths of bar workers. 31 were violent deaths and 0 from exposure to harmful substances or environments.
    http://stats.bls.gov/iif/oshwc/cfoi/cftb0241.pdf (pg 18)
    In 2008, 35 deaths of bar workers. 32 were violent deaths and 0 from exposure to harmful substances or environments.
    http://stats.bls.gov/iif/oshwc/cfoi/cftb0232.pdf (pg 18).
    They aren’t crawling out and dying in the parking lots either. We would have noticed ’em.”
    Sheila Martin

  2. harleyrider1978 says:

    Frank theres no shortage of tobacco in kentucky Ive got probably 100,000 acres of it with in 30 miles of me anyway I go! Ever seen a tobacco barn that can hold a million pounds of burley tobacco to cure! Up the road theres 12 of them in a row all brand new! Next time Im up that way I will get some pics to upload here.

  3. harleyrider1978 says:

    It takes about 500 acres of tobacco to fill a million pound barn…………………

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Well probably not 100,000 acres but more likely 15,000 between me and and northern tn and 30 miles around. Id have to go about 100 miles to make the 100,000 acre mark!

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        2012 tobacco harvest kentucky

        Kentucky burley tobacco production was forecast at 135 million pounds, up 5 percent from 2011. The increase in production resulted from increased harvested acreage. Yield was projected at 1,900 pounds per acre, down 100 pounds from the 2011 crop. Harvested acreage was estimated at 71,000 acres, up 7,000 acres from last year’s crop. Dry conditions had stressed the burley crop, but rains over the past month
        have significantly improved the outlook. Condition of the crop was mostly fair to good. For the burley producing states production was forecast at 186 million pounds, up 8 percent from last year.

        Burley growers plan to harvest 96,800 acres, up 9 percent from 2011.

        Yields were expected to average 1,917 pounds per acre, down 21 pounds from last year.
        Production of Kentucky dark fire-cured tobacco was forecast at 29.7 million pounds, down 4 percent from the previous year.

  4. mactheknife says:

    Good job we’re running our armed forces into the ground, and the Libs are trying to render the Trident fleet ineffective eh?

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Mac the sub fleet which I was in as a FTG or missle guidance technician I was sent to the SSBN Henry Clay the upper 5 % of my class was the first TRIDENT CREW that Electric Boat was Building in Groton Ct while I went the basic sub school. Wish I coulda got on that floating luxury liner! But the second hand smoke studies on the boats I got em and talk about B.S. to the MAX! Now after the ban I talked with an old friend at New London and he told me over 1600 chits came in the week the ban was announced for transfer to the surface fleet and then they go and put women and gays on board to boot!
      What we have is a sub fleet full of unqualified people affecting operational readiness to the umpth degree! Owebamas has been the worse thing to ever happen to Americas defense or offensive capabilities with his forced social reforms.

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        BTW I transfered out of subs when the tradevman rating was expanded from 5000 manning to 12,000 manning level! I was to be a land locked sailor for 20 years but only got 8 before grahm-rudman wiped out the TD rating and I was force converted to the SEABEES as an electrican and grunt yet again. I had a school seat for Oceanographic systems tech/maintenance side with an SRB of 60 grand for 4 years……bastards changed the school window frame from 18 months to 16 months and I caught the forced conversion…………The I get tick bit on field maneuvers and contract Lyme,erlichiosis and some other freaking disease and go 3 years undiagnosed then they give me a medical retirement at 14 years service! Oh to be back chasing skirts again and rampaging europe!

  5. XX All this at a time when the global economy is in bad shape, and getting worse,XX

    BOLLOX!

    We can afford to send Billions after billions to the land of queer boys (Greece), Italy, Spain Ireland and other third worl shit holes. We can send billions to Inia and Pakistan, so that they can keep up in the space, and nuclear powers race. We can spend billions on “Drones” that do not work, and we KNEW they did not work before sending the money(!). 60 to 70% of ALL bridges in Germany are in danger, to IMMINENT danger of colapse. “Can not repair them, that would be 14 billion we have not got.” Yet they can spend 15 billion on ONE FUCKING BRIDGE somewhere in Africa.

    “Crisis WHAT fucking crisis?” To quote Callaghan.

  6. margo says:

    So, what’s new about this, Frank? it’s all quite simple and about the same stuff it’s always been about – land-grabbing, resource-grabbing, domination, colonialism, imperialism, whatever you want to call it. There’s always money for it. No, the smoking ban’s not about ‘preparing’ us pawns (why would anyone bother to do that?) Our leaders do kind of need us to vote for them – and we do, every time, falling for the ‘terror-out-there’ stories and what-have-you.
    If they’d told us the truth about their atomic weapons way back in the ’50s, and the bomb-making factories they call ‘nuclear power stations’ -ie that they make us all ill, over time – we might have complained and not voted. But they didn’t. Instead, they found ways to convince the populace that the sole cause of all our ever-increasing illness was smoking. Hence the ban.

    • Frank Davis says:

      So, what’s new about this, Frank?

      A return to the Cold War, the way I read it. The clock just got turned back 30 years.

      Of course, for some people, the Cold War never ended.

      • margo says:

        That’s right – I don’t think it ever really ended. And the anti-Islam thing’s been going on since the Crusades. And the anti-Semitic stuff never really stops either – you can bet that’ll rear its ugly head and become overt again in the fullness of time. There’s always an ‘enemy out there’. Unfortunately, it’s us smokers just now!

  7. harleyrider1978 says:

    The UKIP political change is also in Amerika!

    Chris Christie: ‘This Strain of Libertarianism That’s Going Through Both Parties…Is a Very Dangerous Thought’

    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/07/25/chris-christie-this-strain-of-libertarianism-thats-going-through-both-partiesis-a-very-dangerous-thought/

  8. harleyrider1978 says:

    http://www.yaliberty.org/posts/ending-the-failed-war-on-tobacco

    Ending the Failed “War on Tobacco”
    Paul Fallavollita
    Jul 24, 2013 at 6:42 PM
    By Paul Fallavollita
    Former ATF agent Thomas Lesnak reveals in The Daily Caller that the current array of tobacco laws and taxes, far from deterring smoking, merely encourages a black market that finances terrorism and other forms of crime.

    Unfortunately, Lesnak’s proposed solution isn’t surprising in light of his former profession: increasing penalties and allocating greater funding toward law enforcement. The real irony is that he even mentions the Prohibition Era in his piece, but fails to draw the appropriate lesson from that experience. What, it’s hot in here? Let’s head over to the thermostat and turn up the heat — that’ll fix it.

    Want to put an end to tobacco-related smuggling and crimes? Repeal all taxes and regulations that the government currently imposes upon tobacco. No more tax stamps and no more Surgeon General’s warnings.

    This is unlikely to happen, though, since tobacco is “politically incorrect.” It has become common to see smokers huddled in the rain and cold alongside office buildings, herded into designated areas often located near the dumpsters, driven there by various ordinances.

    It is instructive to observe the kind of shaming that we see ritualized via the law in society surrounding substances ingested into the human body, from the aforementioned ghettoization of smokers to the near-ubiquitous imperative to transport alcoholic beverages on public streets in a brown paper bag.

    Some will surmise that my interest in the issue of tobacco laws is motivated by a personal desire to smoke. If that were my motivation, there would be nothing wrong with that, since politics is fundamentally about advancing one’s interests. (Unless you’re a socialist, that is, and then you’d only seek to advance the other guy’s interests — never your own, because that’d be selfish and immoral — and you’d certainly use taxpayer dollars to fund the effort.)

    In the interests of full disclosure, however, I do not smoke, but I will defend the rights of those who choose to smoke. There is a difference between being forced to not do something and choosing to not do something, so if I ever decided to smoke someday, the regulatory apparatus would affect me. That makes it my fight.

    Advocates of anti-smoking legislation claim to be looking out for vulnerable populations such as children or the poor, but it is precisely these populations that get hit hardest by governmental efforts. For example, when the federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau banned an Athens, Ohio bargain tobacco store from allowing customers to use a machine that lets them roll their own cigarettes, the Athens News had to acknowledge that the price differential between commercially produced cigarettes and home-rolled ones negatively impacts low-income consumers.

    If Lesnak & company continue to have their way, how long will it be until consumers stage a “smoke in,” or, less aggressively, launch a campaign to always ask proprietors where they keep their ashtrays (keeping the issue smoldering, so to speak)? Whether from a grassroots revolt or a change of heart at the top caused by a recognition of the brutal facts, tobacco policy will change. The point has been reached where no further taxation or regulation of tobacco can possibly yield the results that policymakers claim to seek.

    Content published on the Young Americans for Liberty blog is only representative of the opinions and research of the individual authors. It does necessarily reflect the views, goals, or membership of YAL.

  9. harleyrider1978 says:

    Italy set to ban smoking in cars with kids, pregnant women Ansa 04:33
    3 hours later
    Government steps back on smoking ban in cars Ansa 06:53

  10. Bucko says:

    A good nuclear war will sort everything out

  11. gary k says:

    Boys like to play with toy guns.
    Here we have immature men playing with very real and dangerous guns

    • margo says:

      That’s right. Wasn’t it Einstein who said the bomb had changed everything – except the minds of men?

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        A gun to the head,a bayonet to the back is how despots force compliance.
        The free mind even when suppressed seeks release from bondage and it works doubly hard to get that freedom while ruled by tyranny. Freemen will always fight back!

  12. chris says:

    When the economy is bad, governments always look to war as a distraction and a way to get the ball rolling. It also gets rid of many of the “surplus” unemployed.

  13. Tony says:

    It seems there is an effort underway to legislate for plain packaging and to ban smoking in cars. Possibly bypassing parliamentary voting in the process see:
    http://f2cscotland.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/plain-packaging-kicked-into-not-very.html

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      By Hook or by Crook they want theyre criminal laws for no crime to start with! Its insanity……….

      Children and Families Bill

      Amendments
      to be moved
      in grand committee

      After Clause 88
      LORD FAULKNER OF WORCESTER
      BARONESS TYLER OF ENFIELD
      BARONESS FINLAY OF LLANDAFF
      LORD MCCOLL OF DULWICH

      Insert the following new Clause—

      “Children’s health: standardised tobacco packaging

      (1) The Tobacco Advertising and Promotion Act 2002 is amended as follows.

      (2) After section 12 (television and radio broadcasting) insert—

      “12A Children’s health: standardised packaging

      (1) The Secretary of State may, if satisfied that doing so is in the
      interests of preventing harm to the health of children under the age
      of 18 or of promoting the health of children under the age of 18,
      make regulations specifying retail tobacco packaging requirements.

      (2) Regulations made under subsection (1) may provide that retail
      packaging or tobacco products of any such description, or falling
      within any such class as may be specified in the regulations, shall
      not, except in such circumstances as may be so specified, be of any
      such colour or shape, or display any such mark or trade mark, or
      any other particulars as may be so specified.

      (3) A person is guilty of an offence if—

      (a) in the course of a business he or she owns or manages retail
      or commercial premises or a leisure facility; and

      (b) he or she sells or supplies products which might reasonably
      be expected to attract, or be aimed at, children under the age
      of 18; and

      (c) he or she sells or supplies, or has in the premises or facility
      for sale or supply, any tobacco product; and

      (d) the retail packaging of the tobacco product does not comply
      with a specified retail tobacco packaging requirement.

      (4) In this section—

      “container” includes any pack, carton, box, tin, packet, bag,
      pouch, tube or other container;

      “retail packaging” means—

      (a) any container for retail sale in which a tobacco product is
      directly placed; or

      (b) any container for retail sale that contains a smaller container
      in which a tobacco product is directly placed; or

      (c) any cigarette paper in which tobacco is contained and
      anything else forming part of a cigarette other than the
      tobacco; or

      (d) any plastic or other wrapper that covers any retail
      packaging of the type described in paragraph (a) to (c); or

      (e) any plastic or other wrapper that covers a tobacco product,
      being a tobacco product that is for retail sale; or

      (f) anything (other than a tobacco product) that is placed inside
      or is affixed or otherwise attached to retail packaging of the
      type described in paragraphs (a) to (e) but does not include
      the lining of a cigarette pack if the lining complies with retail
      packaging requirements;

      a “retail tobacco packaging requirement” is a requirement
      relating to any of the following particulars—

      (a) the colour of retail packaging;

      (b) the shape and material of retail packaging;

      (c) distinctive marks displayed on retail packaging;

      (d) trade marks or registered trade marks displayed on retail
      packaging;

      (e) the labelling of or on packages, packaging or tobacco
      products, or associated with retail packaging or tobacco
      products;

      (f) the contents of retail packaging (including the shape and
      size of tobacco products);

      (g) any covert or overt markings, coded numbering or any
      other security features on retail packaging or tobacco
      products;

      (h) any other particulars relating to retail packaging or tobacco
      products as may be prescribed by the Secretary of State;

      a “specified retail packaging requirement” is a retail tobacco
      packaging requirement specified in regulations made under
      subsection (1);

      “trade mark” and “registered trade mark” have the same
      meaning as in section 1 of the Trade Marks Act 1994.””
      BARONESS FINLAY OF LLANDAFF
      LORD FAULKNER OF WORCESTER

      Insert the following new Clause—

      “Offence of failing to prevent smoking in a private vehicle when children are
      present

      (1) The Health Act 2006 is amended as follows.

      (2) After section 8 insert—

      “8A Offence of failing to prevent smoking in a private vehicle when
      children are present

      (1) It is the duty of any person who drives a private vehicle to ensure
      that that vehicle is smoke-free whenever a child or children under
      the age of 18 are in such vehicle or part of such vehicle.

      (2) A person who fails to comply with the duty in subsection (1)
      commits an offence.

      (3) A person convicted of an offence under this section who has not
      previously been convicted of such an offence shall have the option
      of attending a smoke-free driving awareness course in place of
      paying a fine under subsection (4).

      (4) A person who does not wish to attend an awareness course or who
      has previously been convicted of an offence under this section is
      liable on summary conviction to a fine of £60.

      (5) The Secretary of State may introduce regulations to alter the level of
      penalty payable under subsection (4).

      (6) The Secretary of State shall update all relevant regulations
      regarding the offence created under subsection (2) within six
      months of this section coming into force.

      (7) The Secretary of State shall introduce regulations within six months
      of this section coming into force to prescribe the format of the
      awareness course in subsection (3).”.

      (3) In section 79(4)(a), leave out “or 8(7)” and insert “, 8(7), or 8A(5)”.”

      Schedule 5
      LORD LESTER OF HERNE HILL

      Page 189, line 9, at end insert—

      “( ) In Schedule 1 to the Children Act 2004, for paragraph 7 substitute—

      7 The Secretary of State shall—

      (a) pay to the Children’s Commissioner such sums as are reasonably
      sufficient for the purpose of enabling the Children’s
      Commissioner to perform his or her functions, and

      (b) have due regard to the views of any parliamentary committee
      which has published a view on the level at which such sums
      should be set.”

  14. beobrigitte says:

    Tabloid Media Too Busy to Cover Brewing World Conflict

    Since this is of no interest to tobacco control, why should the media bother? Perhaps tobacco control knows that they are the FIRST ones to receive an imprint of many peoples’ shoes on it’s back side on it’s way out. (I would even torture my feet wearing HIGH HEELS for that for the lasting impression this creates!!!)

    US And Russia Simultaneously Announce Intent To Arm Opposing Sides In Syria

    That’s pretty much just like the Cold War. This time we have a civil conflict in Syria which is pulling in Russia and Iran on one side, and the USA and Israel on the other.

    Both sides must believe that the cold war “was a good thing” – off they go again.
    Oh, well. I guess tobacco control will still push for plain packaging and brown stained smoker lungs on cigarette packets. After all, the “poor chiiiiiildren, OUR FUTURE” must be saved from cigarette smoke.

    And we’re on the side of the…, erm…, …the Islamic fundamentalists.

    It would seem that “our” side has no problems sticking half it’s population into Burqas. (Smokers are exempt from the DISCRIMINATION LAW, lets add women. Will smoking women find themselves kneeling on the penalty spot???)

    Perhaps it’s not a bad thing that no-one can win this war. The few survivors will have to deal with nuclear fallout and not much possibility to feed “the poor chiiiiildren” that cannot enter a vehicle, be it a cart or a pram or anything, if there is a person SMOKING CIGARETTES (obtained in a brown bag with pictures of e.g. brown lungs all over it) pushing it.

    George Orwell only got the year wrong.

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