Paranoid Meltdown

Not my description, but Chris Snowdon’s.

First, WHO Director-General Margaret Chan drops out of giving a speech about Ebola.

The Director-General sends you her best wishes for a productive session. She is fully occupied with coordinating the international response to what is unquestionably the most severe acute public health emergency in modern times.

Instead she shows up in Moscow to give a speech to the FCTC conference that’s running there this week. Clearly she believes that the “tobacco epidemic” is the “most severe acute public health emergency in modern times,” and not Ebola.

And what’s the first thing the conference does? Kicks out the press and the public before discussing a global 70% tax hike on tobacco. (Can the unelected WHO tax the whole world?)

A tobacco reduction conference hosted by the World Health Organization, the United Nation’s public health agency, took a hostile and alarming turn on Monday when the public was kicked out of the meeting.

The tyrannical attack on the principles of transparency and accountability took place when delegates from more than 175 countries who are part of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, a UN global anti-tobacco treaty, agreed unanimously to boot spectators. Delegates then voted to ban the public from the Moscow conference center where the event is taking place for the duration of the week-long meeting…

After the doors were slammed shut and the meeting resumed, it became clear why the delegates chased the public away: They wanted to work on passing a global tax on tobacco in secret.

The international tobacco tax proposal would require that countries who signed the UN anti-tobacco agreement – nearly every major nation in the world except for the United States, Switzerland and Indonesia – to enact an excise tax equal to at least 70 percent of the retail price of tobacco products. That means a $10 pack of cigarettes would cost more than $33.

In other related news, an idea for a new prohibition is being floated:

A new survey found that over 60 per cent of people in the UK believe that employees in the food industry and health service should be completely prohibited from smoking. Over 40 per cent agreed that the emergency services and teachers should also have enforced restrictions on smoking.

Clearly they think that employees are serfs rather than free people.

And the US Department of Defense is considering a different prohibition:

The Department of Defense is studying a ban on the sale of cigarettes, cigars and chewing tobacco on bases and ships. Without committing himself, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has spoken favorably of the idea, citing health-care costs: “I think we owe it to our people.”

And in Australia, Healthway has got the opera Carmen removed from an opera company’s schedule:

The West Australian Opera has announced it will not program the opera Carmen in the next two years, after it secured $400,000 in sponsorship from Healthway, because the story features smoking.

The 1875 work by Georges Bizet is one of the world’s most popular operas and the heroine, Carmen, works in a Spanish cigarette factory.

Perhaps it’s that, as the Ebola epidemic has spun out of control, the WHO has responded by doing the only thing it knows how to do: ramp up its war on tobacco.

After all, while it was ignoring Ebola in West Africa, the  WHO was busy compiling detailed reports on Tobacco Control measures in Africa, and pressuring sub-Saharan countries to implement the terms of the FCTC in the face of the “red alert” of the “tobacco epidemic”:

The alert is red – we must force governments to recognise that exposure to tobacco smoke causes death, diseases and disability. It contributes to the nearly 6 million deaths caused by tobacco use annually.

Because, y’see, the tobacco epidemic is much more serious than the Ebola epidemic. Forget Ebola. It’s the tobacco epidemic that is the real red alert. Ebola has killed barely 4,000 people so far. But tobacco kills 6 million every year.

So you do understand now why Margaret Chan ducked out of giving a speech about Ebola, and concentrated instead on the real “acute public health emergency in modern times”: the global tobacco epidemic?

You do understand, don’t you?

Don’t you….?

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About Frank Davis

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46 Responses to Paranoid Meltdown

  1. Tony says:

    There is also this tonight:
    “Ban smoking in public parks: England’s most senior doctor warns lighting up in public places encourages children to take up the habit.”
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2793232/ban-smoking-public-parks-england-s-senior-doctor-warns-lighting-public-places-encourages-children-habit.html
    I begin to wonder if they’re firing all guns at once to try to distract from the astonishing activity at the WHO.
    Or even if the real story is elsewhere??

  2. Frank Davis says:

    The excitement continues over on Dick Puddlecote.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Cold water poured on plans to ban smoking in parks

      Boris Johnson has described proposals to ban smoking in parks as “bossy and nannying”, while Downing Street said there are no plans to implement the measure across the UK.

      The mayor of London set himself at odds with a recommendation from a health panel he set up that would make thousands of acres of parkland in London and landmarks including Trafalgar Square smoke-free zones.

      The suggestion was outlined in a report released today and its author, cancer specialist Lord Darzi, who was appointed to chair the London Health Commission by Mr Johnson, said they could become a blueprint for the rest of Britain.

      But the mayor said: “This idea in my view, as a libertarian conservative, comes down too much on the side of bossiness and nannying.

      “One feature of life in London is that we are a city that allows people to get on with their lives within the law provided they are not harming anyone else.

      “I think smoking is a scourge and it’s right to discourage it (but) I am very sceptical at the moment.”

      He drew on personal experience as he described his opposition: “I have to think back to my own life two decades ago when my wife and I had a baby.

      “It came to that point when everybody was asleep and I was in such a mood of absolute elation I wondered out into a park in Islington and it was in the middle of winter but I laid on the ground and had a cigar.

      “I don’t want to be in a city where somebody can stand over me and say you’ve got to pay £115 for doing something that is of no harm to anybody except me.”

      He insisted there is “a great deal in this superb report that we can take forward”.

      There appeared to be no appetite from the Government to roll out a ban on smoking in parks nationally.

      Asked whether David Cameron would back a ban on smoking in public parks, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman told a regular Westminster media briefing: “The Government has no plans for that.”

      http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/main-topics/general-news/cold-water-poured-on-plans-to-ban-smoking-in-parks-1-6897793

      The first time Cameron showed some bollocks ehh!

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        The next 6 months are going to be very very interesting…………..I feel the collapse coming………….

        • jaxthefirst says:

          Obviously the proposed open-air smoking restrictions have been the ones which have caught the headlines because they are the most outrageously unreasonable and thus most likely to cause the most debate and dissent – which, of course, is precisely what the papers/broadcasters want, because more punters means more money. But the puritanical Darzi has actually proposed some other little gems in this mealy-mouthed document including:

          • Traffic light labelling on menus at restaurant chains with more than 15 outlets
          • Planning guidance to prevent new junk food outlets opening within 400m (1,300ft) of schools
          • A minimum 50p per unit price for alcohol in boroughs affected by problem drinking
          • An acceleration of measures to reduce air pollution in the capital.

          Sounds like he bought into every bandwagon going by the sound of it – anti-smoking, anti-booze, anti “wrong” foods and pro-green-philosophy, to boot. What an odious, brainwashed little man he comes across as. And what a shame that we are all lumped with him in charge of such an important Commission. It casts a great deal of doubt on Boris’s self-styled “libertarianism” (despite whatever he might say about these latest proposals), that he appointed him in the first place; he must, surely, have known what a pompous puritan he was

          Darzi apparently wants parks to be “beacons of health,” where “kids are out there exercising rather than looking at adults smoking in the corner.” Pure relaxation and enjoyment of being there clearly don’t come into it. Oh no, anyone using the park has got to be “doing” something – that something, of course, only being permitted if he approves of it.

          And his vision of parks where kids are “out there exercising” paints a dreadful, military-style, “encouragement” to be active at all costs. What about kids who just want to sit and read a book? Or teenagers who just want to hang out with their mates? Or families who want to sit by the Serpentine enjoying a picnic? Or workers who just want a gentle stroll and to eat a packet of sandwiches on a park bench when it’s sunny? Are they all to be banned – sorry, “discouraged” – too, to make way for the legions of kids forced out on a Sunday morning for “running club” or “football practice” or “fun (yeh, right) rowing classes, whether they want to or not?”

          What a ghastly, hellish, artificial-enjoyment-embued world this man appears to be hellbent on creating.

  3. Joe L. says:

    I’m waiting for the WHO to attempt at tying up loose ends by reporting they have found a correlation between Ebola and smoking (or second-hand smoke… or seventh-hand smoke).

  4. Joe L. says:

    WHO claims that Ebola cases could hit 10,000 a week by December.

    Obviously a less severe acute public health emergency than tobacco is.

    • DICK R says:

      If they put the same effort into banning the use marihuana amongst certain sections of society as they do against smoking ,the streets of our cities would be safer from paranoid thugs , with the attention span of goldfish ,swaggering around believing themselves to be invincible and above the law.

    • beobrigitte says:

      The WHO cares about 10,000 Africans infected with Ebola by December? REALLY???? Why are they wasting public money in Moskow for old peoples’ disease NATURALLY occurring diseases? Die healthy? If you want to do that, just walk in front of a train!

      In the meantime, whilst the WHO and it’s ilk are cooking up more potions to keep unruly smokers at bay, a lot of REAL people die of REAL Ebola.
      On September the 16th Prof Grieshaber put on his blog:
      The World Health Organization thus pre-emptively blames “the world” if ever the situation should worsen. This is a piece of impudence, because in fact, it should have been the task of the WHO to prevent the spread of the disease at a stage when it was still manageable. According to the organization “Médecins Sans Frontières” who were desperately struggling against it during that phase, the WHO not only did not respond to their warnings for months and tried to downplay the extent of the problem, but also withdrew staff in the time before and even during (!) the Ebola outbreak in Africa. It was not until several months after the outbreak of the epidemic that the WHO decided to declare the international medical emergency.

      The progress of the epidemic so far: The so-called “patient zero” was ascertained retrospectively for December 2013 in Guinea, West Africa. From February 2014, the first cases of Ebola fever in that country were made public, whose Ministry of Health then, on 23 March 2014, officially informed the WHO of an outbreak of Ebola fever. At this point in time, 49 cases of the disease were known, of which 29 ended in fatalities.

      By June 2014, the epidemic had spread to two other countries, Sierra Leone and Liberia. The death toll was estimated by the WHO at that time to be 350. Since then, the virus has been spreading more and more rapidly, and when the WHO on 08/08/2014 finally forced itself to declare the disease as an international emergency, the spread was already too far advanced to still be able to stop the catastrophe. On the 4th of September there were 2,106 confirmed cases of illness and 1,050 deaths. The situation three days later, on 7 September: 2,639 confirmed cases of illness and 1,386 deaths. Neighbouring countries are fighting desperately against a spillover of the epidemic onto their territory by closing the borders to the countries affected. Individual confirmed cases of the disease are already known to exist in some other African countries, such as Nigeria, Senegal and Benin. Whether it is possible to prevent further spread is still uncertain. What is certain is that in the countries affected the worst is yet to come.

      A smoking ban for Trafalgar square in London (anounced today proudly by the BBC) is the first and uttermost important action the WHO and it’s croonies decided…..

      When all these WHO delegates get back from Moskow at Heathrow, can we please put them straight on a plane to Liberia? After all, they are supposed to care about the Liberians; they were there to lobby the smoking ban in 2011. Surely these delegates need to go back to check!!! NOW is a really good time for them to do so!!!

  5. waltc says:

    Fwiw, popular Fox News TV guy Bill O’Reilly called for ( head of US CDC) Freiden’s resignation on grounds of lying and incompetence and even incompetent lying. And radio star Rush Limbaugh seemed to be making the same points made here about Freiden’s bizarre preoccupation with cigarettes, salt, soda and fat while Rome (or at least Dallas) burns. I begin to imagine if the Republicans win the senate on Nov 4, that pressure might mount to get the bastard axed. Oh frabjous day though I’ll have to concede I’d prefer Freiden to Ebola. (I think)

    • Frank Davis says:

      I’m no fan of Piers Morgan, but he’s been putting the boot in too.

      CDC chief Dr Thomas Frieden now says we need to ‘rethink the way we address Ebola infection.’
      No s***, Sherlock.
      He announced this after instantly, and in my view disgracefully, accusing the Dallas nurse of ‘breaching protocol’ before he could have possibly known all the facts.
      Dr Frieden is the man in charge of America’s response to Ebola.
      Yet he seems to be changing his own rules of engagement as he goes, while blaming anyone but himself for the dreadful handling of the crisis so far.
      Only now are we seeing extra screening installed at American airports.
      Why was that not done months ago for all flights from West Africa when the epidemic began to take a hold?
      He’s had months to prepare for a possible infection on United States soil.
      Yet inexplicably, when it came there seemed to be no automatic process laid down for the CDC to be instantly informed of anyone presenting themselves at American hospitals with Ebola symptoms after flying in from affected countries.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Walt the CDC was transformed with a complete flushing of the old guard some 15 years ago and much in fighting went on over the new agenda………..Lifestyles………….That’s when CDC moved away from public health and epidemics into Health Facism……..

      Your right it is the final act in this play……………….Then Civility will return along with real medicine and public health. Lets all pray for a fast move to gut the government of these facists and in the WHO. I say the WHO because its come to the point that the entire UN body may be torn from the core by all of the world unless a complete shakedown of all personell isn’t done quickly.

  6. Zaphod says:

    “what is unquestionably the most severe acute public health emergency”
    Smoking is not acute, it is chronic. Ebola is (currently) acute.
    The man in the street may not know the difference between acute and chronic, but Public Health should, surely?

    • Joe L. says:

      The quote you’re referring to was spoken by Chan’s minion as a “reassurance” that she is “fully occupied” with the Ebola outbreak (hence “acute public health emergency”). The irony, though, is that she wasn’t able to attend the Ebola conference because she was fully preoccupied with the Tobacco Control conference.

  7. The international tobacco tax proposal would require that countries who signed the UN anti-tobacco agreement – nearly every major nation in the world except for the United States, Switzerland and Indonesia – to enact an excise tax equal to at least 70 percent of the retail price of tobacco products. That means a $10 pack of cigarettes would cost more than $33.

    Last time I checked, the UK’s total tax on cigarettes was 77% of the retail price. Maybe we’ll get a reduction? Or maybe they mean 70% excise plus 20% VAT plus whatever else they can think of. e.g. Gordon Brown added a bit extra to be given to the NHS. The WHO might want 10% commission added for their sterling work in combatting the ‘tobacco epidemic’.

    The $10 packet costing $33 is just silly as the $10 will already include taxes (a premium brand in the UK would cost about £2 for 20 without taxation), so that’s just sloppy journalism.

    But we know the UN is about total control and also that the elite(s) want population reduction where ebola thrives. Bill and Melinda Gates’ ‘foundation’ is making sure there are fewer Africans being born. They are introducing ‘family planning’ and increasing vaccinations. The latter also, Bill has admitted, will lead to a reduction in population growth, so their concern for ebola victims, I would imagine, is negligible. Psychopaths don’t do empathy.

    • nisakiman says:

      As I understood it, they want to add 70% to the retail price, which of course already includes duty and sales tax / VAT. Still, I fail to understand how that makes a $10 pack of cigarettes go up to $33. Surely it would increase to $17? Someone correct me if I’m wrong – I may have got hold of the wrong end of the stick.

      Whatever, if, as it seems they have, they vote this through, there are two possible outcomes. The first is that all the signatories to the FCTC will implement this tax hike (doubtless funneling a percentage to the WHO), and a very dangerous precedent will have been set. Not to mention that the black market will probably rapidly outstrip the legal market in volume. The second is that many of the signatories to the FCTC will see this as a step too far, and pull out of the FCTC altogether, particularly those countries who are not madly enthusiastic about clamping down on smokers anyway, but have signed up under pressure (read blackmail) from the IMF. Most countries are happy to go along with the FCTC since it espouses the current orthodoxy and it is a fairly broad brushstroke treaty which allows them some flexibility. However, my feeling is that not many countries will be too keen on having their tax policies dictated to them by a bunch of unelected ‘health professionals’. I think there will be resistance, particularly from low per-capita income countries.

      Who knows, looking at this wildly optimistically, it might even spell the end of the FCTC. We can but dream…

      • You could be right, so about £14.50 for a packet of 20 premium brand smokes. A nice time to enter the black market. Maybe I was confusing actual retail price with retail price before tax.

        Can’t see even our compliant government going along with that. The WHO could be touting 70% when they’re really after 30%, so it will seem like a relief that they’re ‘only’ going up by a smaller amount.

        We already have some tax dictated to us by the EU, like the landfill tax and the relatively small (and thus appropriately named) WEEE on electrical goods, but this 70% on cigs would be in a different league and pave the way for any number of future UN taxes.

        Like you say, hopefully it will be the end of the FCTC, but I’m sure they’ll do it so as to ensure their survival.

      • Jay says:

        Quite – it’s the politicos who have to tell their smoking voters why they suddenly need a mortgage to buy a packet of twenty.

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          Tobacco Control is in Turmoil to even try this. Chan and the rest jus committed political suicide for their organization. By now everyone knows whats going on and its movement not to control tobacco but to use it to establish UN SUPREMACY over all of us.

          The tax isn’t about tobacco its about laying down that their authority is higher than anyone elses. That they are the Power of the world and no one can tell them what to do.

          Its a power trip of pure Insanity…………..
          They showed their hand and theyre trump card so to speak. Its enuf for every country in te world to denounce the FCTC treaty and ignore it. That has deeper roots as it goes to the whole core of the UN foundation………….It may well bring an end to the whole 1 world government control movement. That’s if theres no more IMF and World bank loans or bailouts to come…………as that’s all that kept these countries on board was the promise of cash………..

        • Frank Davis says:

          Its enuf for every country in te world to denounce the FCTC treaty and ignore it.

          But will they?

        • Tragically, every Western government seems to be full of traitors who are giving all our sovereignty and freedoms to the UN, EU and all the other pan-national clubs who want them. That will continue even if they ignore the latest WHO ‘demands’ or water them right down.

  8. Barry Homan says:

    Time for Barry to belly-ache again. Reading all this, like I do faithfully, every day, and I’m thinking: that’s all I do. I read this stuff. I’m one smoker out of 1 billion plus, and I do nothing. We’re the biggest army in the world, but we can’t do anything collectively; all these twerpy, little misbegotten creatures with funny names have all the power, and they get more and more as they go along. And still, I do nothing. Just belly-ache. Bravo Barry.

    But I’ll keep reading for lack of being able to take any form of real action. Why do I do even this? What good has it done? Really, people.

    We need to do something.

    • Frank Davis says:

      Well, it’s an interesting political situation.

      I think it’s noteworthy that it seems to be coinciding with a collapse in confidence in the political class in the USA, UK, and Europe (and maybe elsewhere as well). Which is what should be expected when the pols no longer represent the people they’re supposed to.

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        Frank Ive a feeling that big political thingy that Joe Jackson was talking about is fixing to happen. I also believe Dr. Friedeman of CDC is very likely to RESIGN in the coming weeks over all of it and Id expect a total realignment of the WHO coming too along with much change and drastic change in the EU……………..The head is about to BLOW APART.

    • Zippgun says:

      The problem, of course, goes beyond just the smoking issue, this is just one strand of the authoritarian assault taking place. It involves battles on many fronts against a political class and its minions which is more obsessed than ever with controlling/criminalizing the population, and destroying democracy along with liberty. This means those who object to these developments can only politically support those who are not part of the Establishment which is doing these things, a party which will restore the liberty and democracy stolen, stop the march into totalitarianism. Until comparatively recently the people in the UK had no party of any consequence of this kind TO support. Now we (probably!) have in UKIP. Saying that, I’m far from starry eyed about UKIP. Old Tory authoritarianism no doubt exists in the party, one which is sometimes characterized as “the “real” Tory party – unlike the Cameron one. I don’t want a party in power which is libertarian on smoking but retains the obscene publications act, keeps existing criminalization of some adult porn (even extends it), hates “gays”, criminalizes the free speech IT disapproves, replaces Islam with Christianity as the religion which can’t be criticized, indulges in punishing by methods beyond proper law – fascistic monstrosities like ASBOs, EDOs etc – restores the death penalty as part of some general punishment freak agenda… a party that swaps the immature prejudices of the student union for those of the “shouldn’t be allowed” blue rinse set. The addition to UKIP of a reasonably libertarian figure like Carswell is good news in this respect.

      I think there is a whole generation of younger people who could be added to UKIPs support base if they stressed libertarianism to the internet/IPOD generation – many of whom simply don’t appreciate the bossy authoritarianism of the Labour party which many of them are inclined, largely by political brainwashing and youthful ignorance/idealism, to naively support.

      It is up to the blogosphere largely to get the message out. The MSM is, in many cases, in the enemy’s hands – certainly the broadcast media is little more than their ministry of propaganda. Progress has been made, but we need many more people to stop their drone like support for the “triad”, the 3 headed hydra of the present political class, who are all the same in their drive to steal our liberty and destroy representative democracy .

      • I trust UKIP about 2% to do all they ‘intend’, but they’re the only political hope we have at the moment.

        As for porn, if you want ‘democracy’ then the majority don’t want the worst porn legalised. If you want ‘liberty’ (which I think we all do here) there still needs to be certain restraints and degenerate publications come into that category. A libertarian society still needs to have standards or the whole thing will collapse (see Yuri Bezmenov and the KGB subversion of Western values as a way to destroy the West without using weapons).

        As for hating “gays”, all mainstream parties have gone far too far in normalising homosexual behaviour and a ‘Conservative’ prime minister rushed through an oxymoron (‘gay marriage’) because he’s a compromised globalist shill and a Fabian-styled family-wrecker.

        I agree with your final two paragraphs, although I don’t like the word “democracy”. Subverted, treasonous governments want to ‘spread democracy’ in Muslim countries because, as Lenin said, “Democracy is indispensable to socialism” and we have the utter pretence of it in the West to further the socialist agenda.

        Lenin also said, “There are no morals in politics; there is only expedience. A scoundrel may be of use to us just because he is a scoundrel.”

        Hence (along with experience – experience mainly) I don’t trust UKIP but vote for them and promote them anyway! That’s because I’m desperate rather than naive.

        • Zippgun says:

          Stewart
          On porn.
          I’m going to drone on quite a bit about this, as I feel there are very crucial issues involved for anyone who wishes to defend personal liberty. The 2008 Labour legislation well illustrates the creeping totalitarianism loosed in the UK after it fell into the Marxist claws of New Labour – though this “Tory” government has shown little interest in removing the damage they did, indeed, they’re building on the rotten foundations laid by Straw, Blunkett, Reid and co.

          There’s no evidence a “majority” want any form of adult porn which is consensual to be a crime for an individual to possess. No similar country to this one has such sinister and risible legislation. Those who did want it, who campaigned for a new law, were the usual noisy prodnoses/hard left feminist fanatics – the familiar organized agitators who get listened to and appeased by the politicians – but who are not any kind of a majority.

          We never had this sort of criminalization of individuals before – the OPA went after publishers and distributors – not members of the public, private individuals. The law is typical New Labour totalitarianism. When Labour (specifically the appalling home secretary Blunkett and a backbench Labour oaf called Salter) decided to start on a new “extreme porn” (adult) criminalization, there was held one of the home office’s public “consultations” about it. The home office’s consultation document had to admit they had no proof the material at issue was harmful or was produced by real abuse, though it did draw phony parallels with existing prohibitions of child images. But many supporters of a new law publicly lied about there being proofs that images were being produced by real abuse, including (non existent) “snuff” movies – Salter said people were being killed – all nonsense. Frequently discussed here are policies which have come into being based in fantasy junk about harm in relation to the smoking ban. Similarly, there’s no evidence porn is particularly “harmful”. In fact, there’s good evidence that the availability of porn reduces real life sex crime – though the anti porn pressure groups, like the passive smoke alarmists, mislead by pretending the opposite is true. Despite the predictable bias of the home office consultation response document, the overwhelming majority of respondents said no new criminalization was justifiable. Labour predictably ignored a “consultation” result it didn’t like and did it anyway.

          The law covers that which is provably consensual. Activities which are legal to do can become illegal if possessed as an image under this legislation. Being based in subjective definitions, nobody can be sure what is or is not illegal to look at/privately possess under the law. In the trials which have taken place using this legislation alone, those prosecuted for possession were cleared quickly by juries – though the defendant’s lives were probably still ruined by the experience – part of the object of such laws, they can be useful to spread fear and “send messages”, even when juries don’t like them.

          Personally, I don’t like porn much, but I don’t think its right that people into BDSM should potentially be made into criminals (which is what this law does) unless there are very good reasons for it. The law has its origins in the same sort of bigotry and mythology which led to homosexuals being persecuted over their private lives for 80 odd years under the Labouchere amendment of 1885. Images of child indecency are justified because there is a huge problem of real life child abuse which such laws attempt to address – not because of just a subjective dislike most people have of such images – ie on taste grounds. But the latter is the only rational basis for the adult image criminalization – and that should not be an accepted criteria for state action against individuals in a properly free society. Nobody is forced to look at the material if they don’t want to – this is not an issue of public display. For the “think of the children who might see this stuff” argument, the familiar last refuge of a totalitarian used so much about “normalizing” smoking, which was extensively used too as a justification for the law – as images cannot be “disappeared” by the existence of such legislation, it does nothing to limit their accessibility, such a justification for the legislation is thus totally irrational.

          Nothing should be illegal unless of proven harm or directly related to a crime – there should be no criminalization of individuals based simply on their private tastes, just as there should be no criminalization of opinion except for direct, unambiguous incitements to harm others.

          Laws of this kind, based in virtually wholly subjective rules of evidence, effectively strict liability criminal laws impacting on the private lives of individuals, should not be on our statute books. It was the neo communists who created New Labour who brought us to this (and it was not their only such law). One of the notable opponents of the legislation during its passage through parliament was the late, much missed Tory hereditary peer the Earl of Onslow – and a revolt in the Lords over it almost scuppered the law completely. Straw’s MOJ was forced to make last minute concessions on wording to limit the scope of the legislation – which could have caught even more material and potentially created even more victims, in its original form. Bad in itself, such a law creates a dreadful precedent over which more criminalization of individuals over what they might choose to “possess”, look at, read, which the intolerant don’t approve of. I really would advise anyone minded to to think very carefully about supporting laws like this, even if it concerns that which you don’t like – for it represents a huge lurch of UK law into very dangerous sorts of “crime creation” – a very handy blueprint for totalitarianism of a sort we never had before in the modern era, very much akin to the so called “hate crimes” (actually thought crimes) also fathered by Straw and his ilk. A weapon which “they” can use against anyone they don’t approve of.

        • Zippgun says:

          In the earlier post, para 5 – the sentence should read “Criminalizing images of child indecency are justified…”

    • beobrigitte says:

      But I’ll keep reading for lack of being able to take any form of real action.

      Yes, indeed, we are 1 billion plus smokers, all individuals who want to end this anti-smoking nightmare. There is no need to say: ‘someone should do something about it..’ – we all can. Just continue to disallow being treated like a second/third class citizen! Light up your cigarette with a smile for everyone who watches you. Be polite. Take another drag. In REAL life the loudmouthed anti-smokers are too scared to come near you!!!! (And to the very few that do you can politely remind them that excercise ‘is healthy’, 5 extra steps around/away from you will do them the world of good!)

      1 billion of unorganised people can do REAL action. I believe we do and that is why tobacco control begins to rush things….

  9. harleyrider1978 says:

    Even though the US didn’t approve the FCTC I found this today.

    Treaties are not a law higher than the U.S. CONSTITUTION

    Article VI, Section 2, treats treaties differently from laws. There is a textual distinction in the clause between laws “made in pursuance [of the Constitution]” and treaties “made under the authority of the United States.” See State of Missouri v. Holland (1920). The effectiveness of national treaties was a special concern of the Founding generation. This language ensured that treaties entered into by the United States prior to ratification of the Constitution—most notably, the 1783 treaty of peace with Great Britain and its guarantees against confiscations of Loyalist property—took precedence over conflicting state laws. The phrasing does not in any way imply that treaties are “supreme” even if they are not made in pursuance of the Constitution. The Supreme Court has declared that neither a treaty approved by the Senate nor an executive agreement made under the President’s authority can create obligations that violate constitutional guarantees such as found in the Bill of Rights. Reid v. Covert (1957).

  10. garyk30 says:

    “exposure to tobacco smoke causes death, diseases and disability. It contributes to the nearly 6 million deaths caused by tobacco use annually.”

    There are about 60 million total deaths worldwide- so, that is 1 death out of 10 total.

    In the USA they claim about 450,000 out of the total of 2.4 million.

    That is about 1 in 5.

    Clearly, the rest of the World is doing twice as well as the USA.

    Aids/HIV deaths are about 1.5 million per year.

    Clearly, Aids/Hiv is almost 2.5 times as acute and dangerous to World health as smoking.

    • garyk30 says:

      Of course, you can not put a user paid tax on the Aids/Hiv virus.

      No money there; so, ignor the problem.

      • garyk30 says:

        About those 600,000 deaths caused by smoking;
        1. Doll’s Doctor Study showed that while 85% of smokers’ deaths were from the diseases caused by smoking, 85% of the ex-smokers’ deaths were too, and 84% of the never-smokers’ deaths too.

        2. If ALL smiokers quit smoking, there would be no decrease in the 600,000 for many years.

        3. Eventually, since 84 is 99% of 85, 594,000 of those yearly deaths would still happen.

  11. harleyrider1978 says:

    The great Lira revolt has begun in Italy

    Ty’s note, make no mistake, the demise of the euro is in motion. Politicians and welfare statists need and want to regain the power of the printing press. Nothing will stop them as the public shall demand it. Great article.

    Italy’s Five Star Movement has thrown down the gauntlet, calling for a euro referendum to end depression and save democracy, writes Ambrose Evans-Pritchard

    http://tedbits.com/the-great-lira-revolt-has-begun-in-italy/

  12. smokingscot says:

    My understanding is that the WHO floated the idea of a world wide levy levy on cigarettes in 2012 just prior to COP 5 in Seoul :

    “to fund health care in the Third World through a global tax on tobacco of up to 5 cents per packet of cigarettes.”

    (if memory serves it was 5 cents for developed nations, 3 cents for developing and 1 cent for the rest).

    That was raised in our parliament by Mr. Puddlecote’s mascot and he was told that the UK would not agree to handing over tax to the WHO ( I know Dick did a post on that and maybe he’ll give a link in time). I believe several other countries took a similar view and, following a certain amount of “clarification” by a WHO talking head the whole concept was dropped.

    This year’s initiative seems to be gaining legs, depending on who’s doing the narrative. One thing’s accepted and that is the focus is a standard global level of taxation, BUT the tax can be kept by the respective governments.

    First floated by the WHO in May 2014 to coincide with no tobacco day, they called for a 50% increase in existing levels of taxation.

    http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2014/no-tobacco-day/en/

    That was commented upon by several organs at the time and, as the file name indicates, this lot didn’t much like it .

    http://dailycaller.com/2014/07/18/study-economist-says-global-cigarette-tax-is-a-terrible-idea/

    As that would result in a 35% increase in the price of a pack of ciggies in Britain (based on 70% of the retail price being tobacco duty). I suspect the figure now being bandied about of 70% of retail price being tax is a result of some backroom horse trading.

    Osborne has already stated that, for the 2015 budget, he’ll stick to the 2% escalator for tobacco duty and, as his lot will be going to the polls a few days after the budget, I very much doubt he’ll be terribly impressed if Mr. Black returns from Russia and lands him with an almighty nudge to hike it by 15 times over inflation.

    If it’s 70% of the retail price being tax then most EU countries are home dry already, thus leaving it to Health Ministers in Iraq, Libya, Syria and so on the intimidating task of persuading their governments to comply with COP 6. I don’t envy them.

  13. harleyrider1978 says:

    Who Is Dr. Thomas Frieden?

    October 09, 2014

    RUSH: Even as I speak, there is a discussion on CNN right now that the US Ebola patient didn’t have to die. Apparently they’re discussing a column written by somebody (I don’t know who; they haven’t named him that I’ve seen) who claims that we let Thomas Duncan die because he’s black (i.e., we’re racist) and because he was poor and because he was from Africa and because we didn’t care. Never mind the fact…

    You know, something that’s not getting mention in all this? There is also a story about the NBC cameraman being treated for Ebola in Kansas. For all this talk about — and it’s out there. I’m sure that if you watch CNN, you’ve heard it. This is not the first time they have brought up the subject here. I don’t think people are stopping to take the time to reflect on the doctors and nurses that are coming in close contact with these patients to treat them.

    Given all the news that’s out there about this disease, the death rate anywhere 50 to 90%, something like 7,500 cases worldwide, 3,500 deaths. So the death rate appears to be in the black of 50%, and yet an Ebola patient shows up — or even a suspected Ebola patient shows up — and the people in the hospital do not run away. They hang in there, and they won’t be their best to protect themselves and they treat these people.

    For all this talk about all the racism and bigotry, and how this guy didn’t get treated soon enough and the hospital sent him away, when he ended up coming back, he was attended to by people that come in close proximity. They’re trained medical professionals, I understand that, but those people, in Africa, have died. Doctors in Africa have died treating patients.

    People who thought they were taking precautions — people that had been fully deck the out in full hazmat gear — have died. I think there’s a lot being taken for granted here, particularly in the news media report throwing around here that there’s racism to explain why this Ebola patient died. It’s not as though he walked into the hospital and everybody left and said, “You’re on your own, Buddy!”

    He was treated, eventually, and the NBC cameraman’s being treated in Nebraska, and there are people within close proximity. There are people taking risks knowing what we know to treat the sick, and I think it’s outrageous to hear pepole bandying about this typical left-wing drivel and bilge that this country is filled with racists and bigots who don’t care if certain people get sick and die.

    Some columnist in the Dallas Morning News says Thomas Duncan did not have to die. Claims be wasn’t turned away, he would have been treated soon enough and would have lived, which is pure speculation! Nobody knows. I mean, we didn’t have any serum to give the guy. We’d given it all away to Africa. He got an experimental drug. He was treated twice by that Dallas hospital.

    The first time, he got the wrong treatment, but he was treated. I mean, Thomas Duncan died because he didn’t tell the doctors the truth from front to back, nor did his family. But just, folks, the next time that you hear this being bandied about by your typical left-wing media type who just can’t wait to rip into this country, just remember the next picture you see of medical personnel treating Ebola patients, up close and personal.

    That’s how you just put to rest this baseless charge.
    http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2014/10/09/who_is_dr_thomas_frieden

  14. harleyrider1978 says:

    Well, here’s who Dr. Thomas Frieden is. He was the health commissioner for Mayor Bloomberg in New York City. And Dr. Thomas Frieden, as the health commissioner in New York for Mayor Bloomberg worked with Bloomberg to increase tobacco taxes. He was right there banning smoking from workplaces, including restaurants and bars. Now, it’s too bad that Dr. Frieden won’t allow us to crack down on Ebola as hard as he’s cracked down on cigarettes.

    But I was talking yesterday, AIDS was the first virus to ever have privacy rights. It was the first virus to have civil rights. And Ebola may not be far behind because the same guy who was willing to ban smoking from workplaces and enforce it to the max, send people in to find people smoking and fine ’em, first offense, and worse after that. He was the smoking nanny. He was the smoking nanny for Mayor Bloomberg. He worked with Bloomberg to raise tobacco taxes and ban smoking from the workplace. He succeeded.

    This is the point. Dr. Thomas Frieden succeeded, along with Mayor Bloomberg, in banning cigarette smoking in an entire city, the largest city in the country. But the same guy says you can’t stop people from flying into the country from an Ebola country. Now, the last I checked, you don’t need a visa to smoke. You do need a visa to get into the country. Frieden did not think it was mean to contain cigarette smoking in New York City. He thought that was responsible. Cigarette smoking is not proven to kill everybody who does it. We can’t even calculate a smoking death rate, actually. There’s no way of actually doing it. And even at that, smoking takes decades to make people sick.

    Not Ebola. So here’s a guy who had no problem stigmatizing smokers. Here’s a guy who had no problem banning them to the outer reaches of society because they smoked the evil tobacco weed. But with Ebola, well, you know, there’s nothing really. It’s bad, but, you know, it’s just not fair, just can’t do it.

    BREAK TRANSCRIPT

    RUSH: By the way, in addition to the smoking ban and stigmatizing smokers as the filthiest, deadliest people in the city of New York, Dr. Thomas Frieden, who now runs the Centers for Disease Control, was the man behind the banning of trans fats in restaurants in New York City. His health department also required chain restaurants to post calorie information to raise consumer awareness of the caloric impact of fast food. That’s who this guy is. You were asking me, “What is he saying?” This is who the guy is.

    Smokers are public enemy number one, and we will banish them and their activity to the far reaches of our society. And we’ll do it with smiles, and we’ll do it with punishment in mind. It takes decades to kill from smoking and there is no secondhand smoke death risk. That’s another suppressed survey. The United Nations, the World Health Organization, they did research and they found it and they suppressed it. They did not report it, but we got the cached file from the website way back in the nineties. They studied it in country after country after, secondhand smoke might make people uncomfortable, but there’s no illness attached to it. It’s a big myth. Anyway, that’s who the guy is.

    BREAK TRANSCRIPT

  15. “Dr. Thomas Frieden succeeded, along with mayor Bloomberg, in banning cigarette smoking in an entire city, the largest city in the country. But the same guy says you can’t stop people from flying into the country from an Ebola country. Now, the last I checked, you don’t need a visa to smoke. You do need a visa to get into the country. Frieden did not think it was mean to contain cigarette smoking in New York City. He thought that was responsible. Cigarette smoking is not proven to kill everybody who does it. We can’t even calculate a smoking death rate, actually. There’s no way of actually doing it. And even at that, smoking takes decades to make people sick.

    Not Ebola. So here’s a guy who had no problem stigmatizing smokers. Here’s a guy who had no problem banning them to the outer reaches of society because they smoked the evil tobacco weed. But with Ebola, well, you know, there’s nothing really. It’s bad, but, you know, it’s just not fair, just can’t do it.

    BREAK TRANSCRIPT

    RUSH: By the way, in addition to the smoking ban and stigmatizing smokers as the filthiest, deadliest people in the city of New York, Dr. Thomas Frieden, who now runs the Centers for Disease Control, was the man behind the banning of trans fats in restaurants in New York City. His health department also required chain restaurants to post calorie information to raise consumer awareness of the caloric impact of fast food. That’s who this guy is. You were asking me, “What is he saying?” This is who the guy is.

    Smokers are public enemy number one, and we will banish them and their activity to the far reaches of our society. And we’ll do it with smiles, and we’ll do it with punishment in mind. It takes decades to kill from smoking and there is no secondhand smoke death risk. That’s another suppressed survey. The United Nations, the World Health Organization, they did research and they found it and they suppressed it. They did not report it, but we got the cached file from the website way back in the nineties. They studied it in country after country after, secondhand smoke might make people uncomfortable, but there’s no illness attached to it. It’s a big myth. Anyway, that’s who the guy is.”

    http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2014/10/09/who_is_dr_thomas_frieden

    • beobrigitte says:

      RUSH: By the way, in addition to the smoking ban and stigmatizing smokers as the filthiest, deadliest people in the city of New York, Dr. Thomas Frieden, who now runs the Centers for Disease Control, …

      He might be very busy – or out of a job in the foreseeable future. Ebola is NOT fiction.

      Smokers are public enemy number one, and we will banish them and their activity to the far reaches of our society. And we’ll do it with smiles, and we’ll do it with punishment in mind.

      We smile back whilst we light up another cigarette – or, as vaping ‘reminds-of-smoking-and-therefore-must-be-banned-too’, pull the latest mod of e-cigarette – and remind them that we just don’t die.

      It takes decades to kill from smoking

      Now, it will probably take 7 decades of smoking to kill me. (I started smoking at the age of 12).
      It is rather interesting that NORMAL ageing illnesses serve the purpose of keeping tobacco control afloat.

    • Reinhold says:

      Nice to see you here again, Lecroix.

  16. harleyrider1978 says:

    Retweeted WHO FCTC (@FCTCofficial):

    ‪#‎COP6‬ just granted observer status to Campaign for Tobacco-free Kids and the Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance

  17. Pingback: Chaos Reigns | underdogs bite upwards

  18. harleyrider1978 says:

    WCO announces the results of its first global operation against illicit trade in tobacco

    Brussels, 13 October 2014

    Press Release

    The first global Customs operation focused on the illicit trade in tobacco resulted in the seizure of 593 million cigarettes, 77 tons of smoking tobacco, 31 tons of raw tobacco, 15 tons of water pipe tobacco, 5 tons of chewing tobacco, and 2.5 tons of hand rolling and pipe tobacco. Three production machines were also seized, along with rolling papers, filters and other components used to manufacture cigarettes. Moreover, more than 100 criminals were arrested and 35 investigations are still ongoing in vital effort to disrupt criminals and dismantle the networks behind this trade.

    “Operation Gryphon highlights the challenges posed by the illicit trade in tobacco and tobacco products,” said Kunio Mikuriya, the Secretary General of the WCO. “The Operation clearly demonstrated the leadership role played by Customs administrations across the globe in combating this scourge,” added Mikuriya.

    Initiated and coordinated by the WCO, 93 Customs administrations took part in Operation GRYPHON which began on 1 October 2013 and ran for six months, focusing on the application of core Customs legislation, powers and competencies across the entire range of Customs control and clearance processes, including checks being conducted on duty-free outlets, free zones, stores, bonded warehouses, and means of transport.

    Officials of the WCO’s Regional Intelligence Liaison Office (RILO) Network, covering all six regions of the WCO, contributed to the success of the Operation, in particular by facilitating and coordinating information and Intelligence exchange at regional level. The RILO network proved to be an asset for global operational communication and clearly shows that Customs administrations have a unique infrastructure at their disposal to deal with the threats posed by illicit trade.

    Governments lose large amounts of revenue as a result of the illicit trade in tobacco products, evidenced by the fact that the street value of the cigarettes seized during Operation GRYPHON corresponds to a potential profit of approximately 93 million euro for the criminal syndicates involved in this form of illicit trade.

    Seizures included genuine branded cigarettes, counterfeit cigarettes, and brands associated with the illicit ‘cheap whites’ category of cigarettes. The 10 largest cigarette seizures occurred in Asia, Africa, Europe and South America, and the largest quantities of illegal cigarettes were transported in sea containers, trains or lorries, with smaller amounts detected in cars, air passengers’ luggage, and postal shipments.

    Reports indicate that smugglers used very sophisticated concealment methods by camouflaging illicit tobacco products in a variety of cover loads, including fertilizer, glassware, clothing, charcoal, transformers, foodstuffs, timber, and sometimes even legal cigarettes! Many of these cover loads are often of low value in order to ensure a higher profit for the smugglers.

    Operation GRYPHON confirmed that free trade zones also play an important role in the illicit smuggling of cigarettes. Consignments arriving in these zones are subsequently repacked into other containers, enabling the illicit cigarettes to be ‘lost’ or disappear. They then leave the zone as low-value goods (e.g., textiles, etc.), either misdeclared or concealed in other shipments.

    During the Operation, containers with double identities, i.e. duplicate container numbers, were also discovered. This form of ‘identity theft’ entails using the identities of import and/or export companies with a good reputation, as such companies are less likely to raise the suspicions of Customs officials. Although not a new phenomenon, Customs should remain vigilant about smugglers using this method to trick them.

    Another interesting fact that came to light during the Operation were shipments of cigarettes destined for conflict areas, such as Afghanistan, Syria and Ukraine. Twenty-one containers bound for Syria could not be traced after arriving in the country – a clear case of smugglers taking advantage of conflict zones, where Customs controls may be in temporary disarray.

    Participating administrations monitored cross-border shipments of tobacco products using risk assessment techniques. High risk shipments were either checked or an alert was sent to the importing country recommending that they monitor the suspect container and inspect its contents. The skilled use of risk management and effective Customs cooperation were the key contributors to the success of Operation GRYPHON.
    http://www.wcoomd.org/en/media/newsroom/2014/october/wco-announces-the-results-of-its-first-global-operation-against-illicit-trade-in-tobacco.aspx

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