The End of the Progressive Era

Following on from last night’s post about sanity and insanity, I’ve been wondering today if there’s been any consistent feature in modern madness – such as the sheer insanity of people now being frightened of tobacco smoke, and worried about carbon dioxide, and a whole bunch of other things – which nobody worried about, or even dreamed of, 50 years ago.

It seems to have been a process of gradually inflating or exaggerating the trivial into the monstrous.

That’s what’s happened with tobacco smoke. In fact it’s happened twice with tobacco smoke. Maybe even three times. The first ratchet step was made 60 years ago (80 if Nazi Germany is counted), when smoking began to be associated with lung cancer. This is something which more or less everyone now believes, and which allowed the next ratchet step to be made in about 1975, when secondhand, ambient tobacco smoke began to be associated with lung cancer as well. And lots of people believe this too. Which is what is now allowing ambient nicotine vapour to be treated like tobacco smoke, and the new fad of vaping banned, just because it looks like smoking. The whole thing has been one slowly growing insanity.

The same thing has been happening with global warming alarmism, but on a much shorter time scale. 25 years ago, nobody was worried about carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, but now (just like with tobacco smoke) hundreds of millions of people believe that it’s going to result in the atmospheric temperature rising by several degrees, the ice caps to melt, and humanity to be all but completely extinguished. And it’s all sheer lunacy.

Both of these new terrors were more or less completely unheard of 50 or 60 years ago. If our forebears had known that their descendants would believe such nonsense, they would have been open-mouthed in disbelief.

And what about the European Union? That’s another piece of lunacy that has gradually gathered momentum. At first it was just a simple trading community with open borders and shared standards. But with a continuing push towards “ever closer union”, the European Community gradually metamorphosed into the European Union, which is a monolithic, undemocratic superstate. It’s a sort of new Habsburg Empire, being run from out of Brussels and Strasbourg by unelected bureaucrats who make laws about absolutely everything. And, just like previous expanding empires, it has now come into collision with Russia in Ukraine. Yet, in the face of these and other deepening problems, European zealots like Manuel Barroso always call for “More Europe.” i.e. more centralisation, more laws, more restrictions, more taxes. And all brought about by the slow inflation of the notion of “ever closer union”.

The problem of immigration in the UK is once again something by which a small influx of people gradually increased to a veritable flood. Once again, this has been through a slow process of amplification or acceleration.

Gay marriage is another example. In 1967, homosexuality was decriminalised in the UK, thus ending the needless persecution of a minority. But did anyone imagine back then that the result, 40 years later would be that homosexuality would be taught in schools, and homosexuals allowed to get married? Once again, a trend has been steadily amplified and exaggerated.

Chris Snowdon has another example in Health über alles, which is about how one measure of health – longevity – has been gradually amplified to become the sole measure of health. Which is sheer lunacy, of course.

Another example might be found in the Highway Code, and road signs. 60 years ago, Britain’s roads had hardly any signs along them. Now there are signs everywhere, giving directions, warnings, announcing speed limits and lane restrictions. And the roads themselves have been painted with white lines and yellow lines and parking spaces and zebra crossings and lane directions. It’s another kind of slowly-growing bad craziness.

There are probably any number of other examples of creeping madness.

It always happens the same way. Some small and apparently innocuous step is made in some direction. But it turns out that this is only the first step in a long march, during the process of which what started out as innocuous gradually becomes more and more oppressive and obstructive and crazy.

Now I’m sure that most people would agree that, as time goes by, opinions gradually change. I don’t, for example, have the same opinions about everything as my parents had. And I don’t think that they had the same opinions as their parents. If nothing else, each generation has a slightly different historical context and personal experience to shape its opinions.

But my parents retained their set of opinions throughout their lives. They didn’t ever stop believing something, and start believing something completely different. It seems to be only the present generation who are being asked to stop believing one thing, and start believing another. And being asked again and again and again. Asked, for example, to stop believing that ambient tobacco smoke is harmless, and start believing its harmful. Or to stop not worrying about the Earth’s climate, and start worrying about it.

It seems to be believed that all that’s needed to change a population’s mind about more or less anything is to send them a different very loud message, and they will all dutifully go along with the new doctrine, particularly if it’s backed up by accredited authorities called Sir This or Professor That.

Certainly there seem to be some people – many people, in fact – who will swallow whatever they’re told. And these are the people who not only gave up smoking (if they ever started), but are also now terrified of tobacco smoke. And these seem to be the same people who believe that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is dangerously warming the planet. Such people seem to trust authorities implicitly.

But there are plenty of other people who will carry on thinking what they always thought, regardless of all attempts to change their minds. In fact, one might say that the majority of people have pretty fixed opinions about everything, much like my parents did. And when such people are told by authorities to start believing something else, they don’t go along with the advice: instead, they stop believing the authorities.

The combined result is an increasingly deeply divided society. One bunch of people – ‘progressives’ or ‘modernisers’ or ‘true believers’ – always go along with the latest fashionable set of authoritatively decreed dogmas. And the other bunch of people – ‘conservatives’ or ‘sceptics’ – carry on thinking the way they always did, and consistently reject new dogmas. And in between them an ever-widening gulf opens up.

And this is round about where we are right now. And the divisions are only ever deepening, because such is the pace of change that more or less every year there is some new doctrine announced, which progressives immediately adopt, and which conservatives reject, and which becomes yet another matter about which they disagree.

I used not to think that I was a conservative, but I’m beginning to think that I actually am one – simply because I’ve carried on thinking the way that I’ve always thought. And I’ve even moved contrary to fashionable trends – for example by ceasing to believe that smoking causes lung cancer. And these days I find myself more or less automatically rejecting anything that looks even faintly ‘progressive’.

And I suspect that there are a lot of people who fit much the same description. They are people who have also been asked to believe any number of ‘progressive’ new doctrines, and who can no longer swallow any more. And may have even begun to cough back up some of the ones they swallowed. And because I believe that most people are pretty fixed in their opinions, it follows that most people (in Britain at least) are conservatives of the kind I’ve just described. It’s really only a small minority of people – 10%? – who are genuine ‘progressives’ and ‘modernizers’ who can’t wait to deck themselves out in the very latest fashionable beliefs when instructed to do so.

And since I think that UKIP is really just a small-c conservative party, it seems to me to be entirely possible that it could end up stealing most of the vote, leaving a tiny rump of ‘progressive’ Labour, Conservative, and Lib Dems. This won’t happen, of course, because it requires a change of mind to end a lifetime habit of voting for just one party, and start voting for another. And an arch-conservative (like Norman Tebbit, for example) is never going to do that. Conservatives tend to be conservative not only in their beliefs, but in their voting habits.

UKIP, I believe, is picking up votes from people in all walks of life, who have become heartily sick of the current all-party ‘progressive’ consensus. And the more ‘progressive’ new initiatives that are launched, the greater the flood of new recruits it gains. If, for example, the EU was to decree that the Ode To Joy replace all national anthems played in cinemas or on TV, it would more or less guarantee another flood of defectors to UKIP.

UKIP’s real problem is most likely that everyone in it has a slightly different idea of which conservative utopia they wish to return to. Is the clock to be turned back to 1990? Or 1965? Or 1914? Do we go back to pounds, shillings, and pence? And to feet and inches and miles? And the Gold Standard?

But I think we have come to the end of the current ‘progressive’ era, and that the future is going to be conservative, and things like the European Union, and Global Warming, and smoking bans will soon be nightmare memories, with which to frighten children in bedtime stories.  And it will all be because the ‘progress’ was too rapid for most people to keep up with, and wasn’t genuine progress anyway, and because most people are naturally conservative.

About Frank Davis

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28 Responses to The End of the Progressive Era

  1. harleyrider1978 says:

    Frank when one stops believing in fairy tales and midnite boogey men in their sleep one assumes to have grown up.

    What we have had for 60 years is a bunch creating Boogey men for fearful and impressionable children to believe in.

    Its the adults Responsibility to teach them otherwise and MAKE THEM GROW UP!

    Your Blog and all the rest have done a fine job sleighing the Boogey men in the minds of the children……….

    Everyone Grows up eventually and even the creators of the Boogey Man finally admit it was just a dream and they fade back into the subconscious and wait and wait until they dream up a new Boogey Man to scare the children with……….

    Lets hope their are adults then who say NO and stand up for the truth so life can be lived without fear of magical mystical Boogey Men in the dark………

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Winston Churchill quotes –…

      Winston Churchill If you’re not a liberal at twenty you have no heart, if you’re not a conservative at forty you have no brain.

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        We have all lived to do the Job God handed us to do to Restore Freedom and liberty to everyone. God Bless you all!

  2. harleyrider1978 says:

    Det Fede Skelet‎” Anti smoking exposed – Tobacco Control Out of Control” – Fighting Back

    2 hrs ·

    “Anti-tobacco experts had longterm financial ties to Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline while working as scientific editors of the Surgeon General reports …”

    – google translation of Danish article:

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Anti-smoking experts paid by Big Pharma

      October 28, 2014 | anti-tobacco , corruption , passive smoking , policy , smoking bans , science

      ♦ Pharmaceutical giants are behind official ban reports

      ♦ Top experts sent out of committee: Got pharmaceutical money for decades

      ♦ Judge: Close ties with Glaxo and Pfizer makes their advice “suspect”


      Surgeon General 2006 on passive smoking: The chief scientific editor, Jonathan Samet had close financial ties to the pharmaceutical giants Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline – (logos inserted)

      A judgment transcript from a trial in the United States have documented massive conflicts of interest of three prominent anti-tobacco experts who were on the payroll of the pharmaceutical industry, while they were designated by the US government as scientific editors of the official “Surgeon General” Health reports on tobacco. These include report “Nicotine Addiction” in 1988, and the report on secondhand smoke in 2006.

      The three experts received for years fixed amount of money from pharmaceutical giants Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline, which casts a serious doubt on the work of experts, because the two drug companies achieved significant economic benefits because of the experts’ conclusions in the reports.

      This is particularly the conclusions of the Surgeon General 2006 report on passive smoking by the High anti-tobacco expert, Dr. Jonathan Samet as chief “senior scientific editor”.

      His final conclusion of the report was that passive smoking poses a death threat, which could only be countered with a total smoking ban, but this conclusion is disputed by many researchers in the field.

      The report, however, led to the introduction of the smoking ban in most of the Western world, and subsequently Pfizer & Glaxo earned billions in sales of nicotine replacements and smoking cessation products for smokers who because of the bans were forced to refrain from smoking at work and in the hospitality industry.

      The three experts’ financial ties to the pharmaceutical giants, as the legal documents from a judgment of the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in a federal lawsuit. The judgment was delivered in July 2014 by a US District Court in Washington, discussed here , here and here , (judgment transcript is here ).

      Judge: Untrustworthy
      tobacco report shall
      removed from the FDA’s registry

      The case was brought by two tobacco companies, Lorillard and Reynolds, against the FDA in 2011. The companies complained to the court that three leading anti-tobacco experts, Jonathan Samet, Neal Benowitz and Jack Henningfield was designated as tobacco advisers to the FDA in the expert advisory committee TPSAC – with Jonathan Samet of President – despite the fact that they all had longstanding financial ties to Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline.

      Their argument was that the pharmaceutical companies are competitors to tobacco companies because of their role as producers of smoking cessation products or nicotine substitutes like. Nicorette.

      This argument accepted by the judge, and the tobacco companies were dismissed. The judgment ordered the FDA to remove the three experts from TPSAC because of their extensive conflicts of interest with pharmaceutical companies, and because they all acted as the government’s expert witnesses in lawsuits against the tobacco industry. Benowitz and Henningfield did however leave TPSAC before judgment fell.

      The judgment also prohibits the FDA to use a scientific report from 2010 by the three experts are responsible. The report includes their recommendation to the FDA for a ban on menthol cigarettes in the United States. This report must be removed from the FDA’s registry, states the decision.

      The details of Jonathan Samet’s economic relationships with Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline seen from tobacco companies complain, as referenced in judgment printout and smoking cessation expert, Professor Michael Siegel’s website :

      Dr. Samet: “During the last decade, Dr. Samet har received grant support for research and writing from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) on mindst six occasions, herunder in 2010. In addition, he formerly part of the Institute for Global Tobacco Control, som is funded by GSK and Pfizer. More Over, Until 2009, Dr. Samet received regular honoraria from Pfizer for his service on the Pfizer Global Tobacco Advisory Board. ”

      Both Jonathan Samet, Neal Benowitz and Jack Henningfield is dedicated anti-tobacco activists who for decades have fought for “one world without tobacco”. According to the judgment transcript and other court documents, they have had close economic relations with the pharmaceutical giants nearly as long. Benowitz and Henningfield for over 30 years.

      Pfizer & Glaxo has been a scoop to have these three experts located in TPSAC where they have recommended restrictions tobacco and tobacco ban since 2010.

      According to Judge Richard Leon, the three experts’ recommendations are considered “suspect” and “at worst unreliable” because of their long-standing economic relationship to pharmaceutical companies. None of the three can be assumed to be objective in tobacco issues, and they must be removed from TPSAC because of their strong ties to smoking cessation producers are in violation of the rules for expert selections for the committee, according to the judgment.

      The claim was “no safe level”
      made to enforce
      smoking ban in the EU?

      The three experts massive conflicts of interest obviously raises doubts about the reliability of other scientific reports, they have been responsible for over the years. This is especially the reports have recommended smoking ban because of the assumed risk of passive smoking – for just smoking prohibitions have led to a strong economic incentive for the drug companies, the three received money from.

      Jonathan Samet, senior scientific editor af Surgeon General report 2006: “There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Period.”
      Jonathan Samet, senior scientific editor of the Surgeon General’s report in 2006: “There is no safe level of exposure to second hand smoke. Period.”

      While most authorities around the world have been vocal about the fatal dangers of secondhand smoke, including because of Samet’s conclusions, then there is no consensus in the scientific community that passive smoking may pose a risk of death. It is probably not possible, because the amount of smoke ingested by a normal passive smoker who live and work with smokers, only one part per thousand (0.1%) of the amount of smoke, smoker. This is equivalent to the consumption of 6-10 cigarettes per year.

      “Only a few researchers believe that secondhand smoke poses a risk of death,” said epidemiologist Geoffrey Kabat in his book on the subject. By far the largest number of studies have not been able to confirm that passive smoking is associated with cancer, even after many decades of exposure. Not even the latest studies .

      Despite remarkably weak evidence recommended Jonathan Samet, however, ban smoking everywhere in the world in the Surgeon General’s 2006 report. “The debat is over,” he told the publication, and: “There’s no safe level of secondhand smoke. Period. “

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        Sounds to me like the debate is over just like Franks title for tonights blog says!

        The End of the Progressive Era

      • carol2000 says:

        Standard Harvard disinformation, designed to make us waste our time blaming the wrong people. See how they don’t mention what an inconsequential part of the pharmaceutical business those quit-smoking drugs are, and how few smokers even bother to use them. Global revenues of pharmaceuticals were about $531,340,000,000 in 2013. And none of the top 50 products are NRTs. Global sales of nicotine replacement products were about $4.5 billion in 2011, which is just 0.85%, LESS THAN ONE PERCENT OF THEIR BUSINESS! ($M)

        • nisakiman says:

          Carol, the pharmaceutical industry are probably playing the longer game.

          In their book, smoking causes people to die young, and I would imagine that the bulk of their sales and profits come from dealing with the diseases of old age (I looked at the list you linked to, but none of those drugs mean anything to me, however I assume many of them will be for degenerative illnesses), be they cancer, dementia, diabetes or whatever. If smokers die young, then they deny the pharmaceutical industry all that income dealing with old age problems. I think it is still (as they see it) very much in Big Pharma’s interests to finance and promote the anti-tobacco pogrom.

      • carol2000 says:

        2013 Gallup poll – What were some of the major reasons or factors that caused you to quit smoking? [includes multiple responses so the “percentage” totals more than 100%]
        HEALTH = 76 = 62%
        PRESSURE = 18 = 15%
        OTHER =15 = 12%
        COST = 14 = 11%
        Note that less than 5% of quitters used a nicotine patch, less than 2% used prescription gum, and less than 1% used nicotine gum

        • carol2000 says:

          I meant to say prescription drugs, not prescription gum.

          Also, just a glance at the graph at the top of that Gallup link shows what a lousy job smokers’ advocates have been doing. Nobody can look at it and then claim we’re winning.

      • carol2000 says:

        HarvardProp is for their brainwashed cattle who’ve been conditioned to automatically froth at the mouth just because someone says “Big Pharma.” “Big Pharma” is the bogeymen of their beliefs, namely Big Bullshit – magic fruits and vegetables and exercise, and also, NO SMOKING!

  3. Another fascinating post for discussion. Thank you for taking the time, Frank.

    I think Harley has nailed it. The first I hadn’t thought of, but the people have been infantilised to the nth degree via ‘education’ and the media. As has been said a zillion times, children have been taught what to think and not how to think. Television has the added disadvantage of being hypnotic. It is the only way I can think of that so many people have believed so many lies in such a short period of time: mass mind control.

    And I was one of them until 2001 when I started ‘waking up’ to the unreality of ‘reality’.

    Although I had a splendid education (starting in 1968) – compared with today – it was still, I think, very much modelled around the ‘what to think’ process. Had ‘manmade climate change’ or Stonewall been around, we would have been exposed to the DVDs which were sent to every secondary school; in this case, “An Inconvenient Truth” and “Fit” from Stonewall.

    Incidentally, it took just one parent to take the Government to court over Gore’s lies and he won. Stewart Dimmock didn’t get the outright ban he wanted, but each showing has to be “accompanied by new guidance notes to balance Mr Gore’s partisan views”. It shows what one person can do when they have a sound argument and come up against a sensible judge.

    The other concept Harley introduced was God. Blair’s spin doctor, Alastair Campbell famously stated, “We don’t do God”. Probably because Blair thought he was God. But the problem today is that, as more people and more institutions “don’t do God” then moral relativism replaces absolutes and so there is no conceivable bottom to these slippery slopes because there are no boundaries and together with the mind control surrounding ‘equality’, the moral decline is set to continue.

    Same with the mind control about the environment, plus not doing God, and what we have is a great many people accepting the propaganda and the legislation, even the huge greenhouse gas emission cuts agreed which will kill our industry and old and poor people. But despite there being no global warming for 18 years (does the mainstream ever mention this other than Mr Delingpole?) half the zombies in the West still believe the Doomsday scenarios. They believe, like Ted Turner in yesterday’s video clip, that there is too much CO2 because there are too many people and because they maybe “don’t do God” they see no special place for man in creation, so without believing in absolutes in morality, humans can be got rid of to save all the species allegedly threatened with extinction.

    Another factor is fear. It is expedient for our masters to keep us all living in fear. When I was growing up, nuclear war was the biggie. When that subsided, the “War on Terror” was developed and a handful of multi-location attacks engineered to frighten us into believing they were going to be regular events unless we were all considered to be potential terrorists and appropriate ‘police state’ legislation enacted for our ‘safety’, but now we constantly read about “another al Qaeda plot exposed” before it’s too late. Phew!

    Nowadays, the fearmongering has just become silly. Probably due to the hypnotic TV again (and Alex “CIA” Jones!). People are scared of totally non-existent threats because they have been dumbed down to believe anything and all too often have no faith to put into perspective man’s special place on this planet and faith also aids in reducing worry, as well as engendering hope and being mindful of each other and understanding that there is something bigger than government. I often quote Lenin, but he does give the socialist game away just as Albert Pike exposes the real purpose of Freemasonry.

    Lenin said that, “Our programme necessarily includes the propaganda of atheism,” and it’s exactly the same for the creeping total socialist takeover we are being subjected to through the UN, EU, etc.

    One of my favourite verses from scripture is 1 John 4:18, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.”

    One of our masters’ greatest tools, divide and conquer, involves fear and loathing, not love, so naturally, people must be ‘protected’ from the “bigotry” of Christianity, by legislation if necessary, as we increasingly see, but the real reasons are the opposite to the ones given.

    We read about the baker in Colorado who has been ordered against his beliefs and conscience to bake cakes for ‘gay weddings’ (he will be monitored!) and has been told to attend reeducation lessons.

    ‘Progressive’ just means getting rid of what gels communities and countries together to replace it all with moral relativism (and thereby introduce any new legislation the government/EU/UN deems appropriate) and to induce fear, reduce loyalty to one’s country, create division and hatred (including within families) and extinguish hope so that all eyes look to the powers that be for all the answers, which are, naturally, the wrong answers.

  4. Lepercolonist says:

    Great article Frank. We need to listen to the skeptics. The American Lung Association from D.C. called today asking if I would like to distribute their propaganda in my neighborhood. They called the wrong guy .
    After my 5 minute rant about their bullying organization, he asked if I would like to contribute $ 25.00 ?
    Oh please…..

  5. Pingback: The End of the ‘Progressive’ Era? | Real Street

  6. waltc says:

    Dutch tulips. The Inquisition. Salem witch trials. Lynchings. Eugenics. Pogroms. Dachau. Red scares. Yellow perils. Islamic terror. Mankind seems to go through cyclical madness. During which sane heretics are burned, hung, gassed, sterilized, beheaded, outcast at best. A contagious hysteria that burns like a fever through a whole society and then burns out. Maybe it acts like a mass purging of the worst in human nature, something that has to be expressed, vented., vomited,, given free rein for a time before The Better Angels can again re-emerge. Dunno. But it seems to be an old story.

  7. Valkyrre says:

    We all know how to deal with health freaks,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,dont we ?
    But will we ?

  8. smokervoter says:

    Did anyone happen to catch Head ‘Choice’ Architect Cass Sunstein’s wife on the teevee last night as she surveyed the Ebola virus situation on behalf of the UN/Obama administration? Firstly, hats off to her for her courage and I hope she comes back with some fresh ideas on how best to handle this tragic public health crisis.

    However…who is her wardrobe assistant? The mens dress jacket and slacks in combination with her ever so slightly (and intrinsic) masculine facial features were less than flattering. Samantha Powers is the United States ambassador to the U.N. To be honest, if it had been a man in a skirt (in my opinion mens pillowy Dockers slacks fit that bill) I would have been equally dumbstruck. Far be it from me to cast aspersions on his/her/its sense of style. So what if old college buddies Cass and Barack both seem to favor tomboyish gals. Each to his/her/its own, I always say.

    I’d want long sleeves and leg protection in West Africa myself, I take back everything I said. Maybe it’s those bushy eyebrows.

    Cass Sunstein and my very own California lieutenant-governor, Gavin Newsom, like to make the rounds of the talking heads media circle (circus?) sounding like Mr. Liberty Progressive, old school, classical liberals who dislike government over-regulation, just like knuckle-draggin’ me. I don’t buy it. Not for one minute. Newsom fought to single out smokers in San Francisco in order to get them to fork out extra tax money for cigarette butt disposal while ignoring all other forms of urban trash.

    And Cass Sunstein. Well, he’s Cass Sustein. He puts the We in ‘We know what’s best for you’.

    It’s All for Your Own Good

  9. petesquiz says:

    Another great post. I think that one of the root causes in this creeping insanity is the news media. Fifty years ago we had three TV channels and three radio stations with a total daily news output of less than an hour per channel. Back then it really did have to be news to make it onto the screen or to the radio. There was also a healthy newspaper market which was the main source for analysis of the news and, intuitively, you knew which papers could be believed and which ones were merely muck-raking scandal sheets.

    Fast forward to today and we have multiple 24-hour-a-day ‘news’ channels and the regular terrestrial channels devote about 2 hours per day to ‘news’ as well as the analysis of the news that goes on as well. With all these channels competing for ratings and advertising there is a ready made platform for any crackpot theory to be aired – it only has to be scientific sounding and suddenly it goes from a crazy idea to being mainstream thinking! There is also the tendency for people to be more accepting of information presented on TV than if it came from a newspaper.

    It took quite a few years for the crazies to learn how to play the game, but they’ve perfected it now – a scientific seeming presentation with plenty of statistics, a clear message as to the harm it could do and rapid personal attacks on anyone who might disagree with them! With the proliferation of ‘news’ the standard of the people responsible for producing it has gone down meaning that all sorts of rubbish is now presented as fact.

    Do people believe in any of it? I think that if an item reinforces already held prejudices, then it will be believed by those people (the anti-smoking brigade has successfully exploited this!). Also, if a topic is repeated often enough it tends to seep into the consciousness of people and gradually, over time, it becomes accepted as fact especially when any opponent is so quickly and effectively rubbished (e.g. man-made climate change).

    Will people continue to believe it? I hope not! I do hope that you and you fellow correspondents are right and that people are starting to see that the emperor has no clothes…but I’m not so sure!

    • Frank Davis says:

      Fifty years ago we had three TV channels and three radio stations with a total daily news output of less than an hour per channel.

      Good point about the media. The more of it there is, the worse it seems to get. But then, it could be said that the internet is even worse!;-)

      But I think that TV is perhaps the most insidious, because it’s always broadcasting some message that’s washing over people if they’ve got it on and aren’t watching..

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        1969 America is when the so called medical moments began on tv……………..They haven’t stopped making hypo-condriacs out of people since.

    • carol2000 says:

      Those three TV channels and three radio stations were for all practical purposes only one, because the same anti-smoker crap was on all of them.

  10. beobrigitte says:

    Following on from last night’s post about sanity and insanity, I’ve been wondering today if there’s been any consistent feature in modern madness – such as the sheer insanity of people now being frightened of tobacco smoke, and worried about carbon dioxide, and a whole bunch of other things – which nobody worried about, or even dreamed of, 50 years ago.

    It finally arrived!!! With that I mean Prof. Ropohl’s book “Concern Society”.

    I haven’t had much time to read but what I read so far hits the nail on the head.

    Page 1: (summarised introduction paragraph)
    ‘Times are changing, yet rarely have they changed as much as in the last 20 years. If anybody had spend this time in a coma and had woken up right now, he would have problems adjusting to this time; there are many new electronic gadgets which he would not have the faintest idea of how to use, he would also have to face many contstrains.

    – he can’t drive his old car into the town center anymore (“Fight fine dust”)
    – he is forbidden to drink a beer in the tram (“fight alcohol”)
    – the authorities commit him to install smoke detectors (“fight fire danger”)
    – cyclists wear strange helmets (“fight injuries”)
    – in pubs you can’t smoke anymore (“fight tobacco”)

    We would have to explain to this person that in his involuntary long sleep a new society has emerged: the concern society.’

    I really regret – yet again – that, like Prof. Grieshaber’s book, this one from Prof. Ropohl is not (?yet) available in English.

    It seems to have been a process of gradually inflating or exaggerating the trivial into the monstrous.
    Indeed. And it happened very gradually; the trivial became monstrous whilst the monstrous became trivial. It is ok these days to let people die of a viral disease because TOBACCO causes an incredible number of FICTIONAL deaths. (Although there is very little being published right now – the WHO has taken “control”? – it is obvious that in Liberia Ebola is now out of control and a “committee” of organisations there on the ground is appealing to the public for funds.
    Isn’t this the job the WHO is supposed to do??? Why do we waste taxpayers’ money on them? I would prefer to dissolve this sponsor bought club and that this money goes to the organisations which are doing more than they can to help.

    And there will be a famine in Liberia next year. Orphaned children cannot attend to fields, let alone harvest and sell the crop. No-one worries about them having to deal with the loss of their mum and dad; they have to get on with life.
    And…… we worry about worry, driving ourselves into a worried-to-death person’s mind with nothing to live for; mental illness is on the way. The government “combats” this by “encouraging” the over 50s to STAY in work.
    On one hand, the over 50s are responsible for this repulsive character of “Yuppie” – it is nice to think that they have to burn more midnight oil – this time competing against 20-odd year old “Yuppies”.
    Payback is a bitch.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      I think the Libs are worried the kids might grow up with work ethic a very dangerous habit that individuals can have. Its very destructive to big government cronies.

  11. waltc says:

    “The trivial became monstrous while the monstrous became trivial” Perfect summation. Let us know if his book is ever available in English.

    CAROL– aside from just being ornery and snarky about any argument that doesn’t include germ theory, why would you possibly object to some of the biggest and most influential liars like Samet et al and the horse they rode in on ( the SG reports) being tossed on their ears and their work discredited? Is the enemy of your enemy still and always your enemy?

    On another angle, is 4.9 Bil –the pharma profits you sniff at–really chump change? Nor do I think their ling game has to be any more complicated than their bet that the more smokers are outcast, bankrupted and smeared, the more of them will turn to pharma’s not-so-safe placebos. If even a small percent of the world’s billions of smokers buy their crap, that’s a lot more billions in sales. They likely look forward to complete prohibition which would happily leave them as The Only Game in Town.

    • carol2000 says:

      Don’t insult me by pretending that years of researching the literature amounts to nothing but snark. Snark is what pinheads who get their information from the mass media rely on. Samet and his gang aren’t “tossed on their ears” or discredited by that “Big Pharma” nonsense. It’s the same shallow smear tactic that they engage in, and it doesn’t address a single thing about their actual work. Also, “Big Pharma” is the least likely sponsor behind the Magic Fruits and Vegetables types who are the most enthusiastic about bashing “Big Pharma.” They won’t increase their sales by encouraging that crowd. The rest of your story is nothing but grasping at straws, which for some inexplicable reason you would rather do than attack the health lies that are the major reason for people quitting smoking.

  12. waltc says:

    Should have read “long game” not ling or even lung.

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