Buying America, Town by Town

H/T Harley for this eye-opener about the ruckus in Westminster, Massachusetts, where the town Board of Health has proposed banning the sale of tobacco:

For well over a decade the Massachusetts Municipal Association has run something called the Tobacco Control Technical Assistance Program, assisted by grant money from the state Department of Public Health. It does things like campaign for town-by-town hikes in the tobacco purchase age to 21, and town-by-town bans on tobacco sales in drug stores. It will surprise few that it has been in the thick of the Westminster situation.

This article, written for a friendly audience of public health advocates, frankly describes how the MMA project, with assistance from nonprofit and university groups as well as the state of Massachusetts, worked to break down the reluctance of town health boards to venture into restrictions on tobacco sales (scroll to “Roles of the Massachusetts Tobacco Control Program, Local Boards of Health, and Tobacco Control Advocates”);

Local boards were enticed into hiring tobacco control staff by the DPH’s tobacco control grants. As a participant in the process explained, “[L]ocal boards of health looked at it as ‘oh, it’s a grant. Let’s apply for this grant. So now, what do we have to do, now that we’ve got it?’” … The grants dictated that local boards use those community members they had hired as their staff to assist them in enacting and enforcing tobacco control regulations…

The staff paid for with money from outside the town seem to have seen their job as, in part, lobbying the local officials: “We’ve had to work on each individual board [of health] member to get them to come around,” said one.

The account continues with many revealing details of how the outside advisers managed to orchestrate public hearings to minimize critics’ voice, deflect challenges with “we’ll take that under advisement” rather than actual answers, and in the case of particularly intense opposition, “back off for a couple of months” before returning. “Grant-funded regulatory advocates were able to counter all of [opponents’] arguments and tactics.”

In other words, an extra reason for the townspeople of Westminster to be angry is that they have been paying to lobby themselves. And it’s worth knowing exactly how the game plan works, because similar ones have been rolled out to localities in various states not only on “tobacco control” but on “food policy,” environmental bans and other topics. Grass roots? If so, most carefully cultivated in high places.

I thought this was something like how it got done.

“Grant money”.

Tobacco Control is buying American town health officials, one by one. And subverting local democracy.

They must have one heck of a lot of money if they can do that.

And, hey, they’ve got “food policy” too!

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52 Responses to Buying America, Town by Town

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Amen to that Brother it just means they will find another patsy town to play ball with.

      Westminster was a first stop on a new path/agenda going towns and then to cities to get tobacco ban sales and then likely on to whole states to ban the sales of tobacco just like they did 80-90 years ago. The whole and I do mean the whole progressive scheme today across all the agendas is a complete carbon copy of last centuries. They literally haven’t changed anything they are going for all the old laws they had on the books before!

      Westminister Officials Call Of Tobacco Ban Proposal

      Design&Trend · 3 minutes ago

      … town have been trying to ban tobacco sales. However, the Westminister officials have said they withdraw the ban. The health official in Westminister would…

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        How is it these folks actually got in control is the next question. I mean even Kentucky as well as Tenn I remember back in 2007 opening up offices of tobacco control across the states. Even in Hartsville tn where I was. I even got pre-recorded phone calls about tobacco control and the cheeeldren for awhile and when I reversed tracked the number it came up on a street but by 3 buildings with no address per sey……..

        It turned out to be in the District Attorneys office for the county seat……….

        I found out by accident when getting a friend out on bail for a child support charge when he was in jail. The signs that had been plastered around town stating ” second hand smoke is no joke” were all overt he left hallway of the building and right back to 2 offices where the enemy encampment was. I was told I couldn’t enter that area at all! It eveb had a stupid indoor no trespass sign on the short walled gate in the office!

        That’s how scared these folks are,they literally hide themselves in fear!

        I let the cat out of the bag to the local tobacco growers group and it wasn’t to long after that the office was shut down………

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          Here in Kentucky a lot of those offices have been shut down due to cut off funding but they opened back up in the health depts. over larger cities. That’s where they come from when trying to get bans passed they go out and shakedown the city councilmen or ladies to get propagandadized/ interviewed to push the effort. All there after is one soul to do te dirty work. Hell Ive even seen the ACS back and run heir own candidates for office to get a foot in a door!

        • Rose says:

          Harley, I can’t help thinking that if people were made more aware that nicotine is not unique to tobacco but in their favourite foods as well, it might change their attitude.
          After all, anti-tobacco’s use of nicotine as a weapon threatens our staple foods.

          By this omission people have been led to believe that nicotine is an alien substance not something they eat every day.
          Anti-tobacco have known that nicotine is not unique to tobacco since at least 1993.

          The Nicotine Content of Common Vegetables – 1993

          Which caused something of a ruckus at the time, the dispute being the validity of using cotinine as a measure of tobacco smoke exposure not that nicotine was indeed in vegetables.

          Click on letters to read Jack Henningfield’s comment and the doctor’s reply.

          “Dr. Henningfield apparently agrees with us that nicotine can be found in certain vegetables”

          Dietary nicotine. Won’t mislead on passive smoking.New insight into myocardial protection – 1994
          J. L. Repace

      • smofunking says:

        I’m surprised that they haven’t made tobacco ban tour t-shirts with towns and dates on the back.

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          Oh they always have t-shirts for every council meeting on a ban bought illegally with tax dollars or grant money. Its illicit lobbying all the way down the line!

          llicit Lobbying
          Report: Local health departments illegally used federal stimulus money to lobby

          April 16, 2013 2:15 pm

          At least seven local health departments illegally used stimulus grant funds to lobby for greater taxes and restrictions on tobacco and unhealthy foods, according to a report released Tuesday by a nonprofit watchdog group.

          The stimulus-funded Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) program disbursed about $373 million intended to educate the public about tobacco use and obesity. Federal law prohibits grantees from using the funds for lobbying activities.

          According to the group Cause of Action, local health departments from Alabama to California used the funds to devise or promote legislation designed to curb tobacco use or combat obesity.

          The report detailing the allegations is the product of a 19-month investigation into the CPPW program.

          “[Cause of Action’s] investigation revealed that CPPW money went to support lobbyists and public relations companies who used taxpayer dollars to push laws and agendas that would lead to tax increases on tobacco and high calorie products,” the report said.

          The report said illicit uses of CPPW grant funds “essentially transform[ed] the CPPW program into a conduit for lobbying for higher taxes and bans on otherwise legal consumer products.”

          Federal law prohibits grant recipients from using federal grant funds to influence “an official of any government, to favor, adopt, or oppose, by vote or otherwise, any legislation, law, ratification, policy, or appropriation.”

          Internal guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which administers the CPPW program, clarifies that the law applies “specifically to lobbying related to any proposed, pending, or future federal, state, or local tax increase, or any proposed, pending, or future requirement or restriction on any legal consumer product.”

          Cause of Action executive director Dan Epstein criticized the CDC for faulty oversight in an interview with the Washington Free Beacon. He also said specific CPPW grantees may have “committed not just violations [of lobbying prohibitions], but fraud.”

          According to internal communications from South Carolina’s Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) obtained by Cause of Action through public records requests, DHEC officials altered meeting minutes in order to hide the involvement of officials involved in grant fund disbursements after CDC expressed concerns about the use of grant funds for lobbying activities.

          “The DHEC stated outright that the purpose of altering the minutes was to hide the fact that its CPPW program coordinator had directed illegal lobbying in the pursuit of smoke-free ordinances,” according to the Cause of Action report.

          The DHEC did not return a request for comment.

          DHEC grant activities, like those of other state health agencies examined in the report, were explicitly geared toward specific legislative goals. Its application for CPPW funding said it would use taxpayer funds to “increase the support for and adoption of comprehensive smoke-free laws.”

          While that proposal and similar ones from other states appeared to violate laws governing the use of federal grant funds, Epstein says the CDC has made no effort to effectively oversee the CPPW program.

          “It’s not just a sign of misuse of taxpayer dollars,” Epstein said. “In fact, there’s some indication that the CDC encouraged this to occur.”

          Previous investigations of the CPPW program have produced similar findings.

          According to the inspector general for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), CDC’s parent agency, federal guidelines for CPPW grant recipients “appear to authorize, or even encourage, grantees to use funds for impermissible lobbying.”

          Members of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce cited that report and apparent violations of the lobbying prohibitions in multiple communications with HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius regarding the CPPW program. The committee’s investigative panel examined the program during a 2012 hearing.

          Annual CPPW disbursements are scheduled to grow to about $2 billion in 2015. When expenditures increase six-fold, Epstein said “we’re in a serious situation, because we’re going to undoubtedly see six times the fraud.”

          Florida’s Miami-Dade County Health Department, one of the agencies singled out in Cause of Action’s report, denied any wrongdoing in a statement emailed to the Washington Free Beacon.

          The Department “did not utilize any of the CPPW funding for lobbying activities, nor does the Department have any reason to believe that any of its contracted providers did so either,” said spokeswoman Olga Connor. “The Department of Health’s contracts specifically bar any provider from utilizing the CPPW funds for any type of lobbying activities.”

          The CDC did not return request for comment. Miami-Dade County was the only local government highlighted by Cause of Action to return a request for comment.

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          Smoke Free Florence used federal dollars for lobbying

          FLORENCE, S.C. – A government report confirms that Smoke Free Florence, the organization behind implementing the city’s controversial smoking ordinance in 2011, illegally used funds to lobby local elected officials.

          Though disciplinary action was taken, a government watchdog group is demanding the county be barred from receiving federal dollars as a result of the violation.

          It began in April of this year when Cause of Action (CoA), an advocacy group located in Washington, D.C., accused Smoke Free Florence of misusing monies from a $6 million grant used in an anti-smoking campaign that assisted with passage of a new smoking ordinance in the county’s largest municipality.

          The report, which included roughly 19 months of research, concluded that Smoke Free Florence misused grant monies from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The monies were managed through the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and facilitated through the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) and Circle Park Behavioral Center in Florence.

          A separate report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office confirmed funds were improperly used, but only had DHEC repay $247.79 in funds deemed misused and required some staff members to attend additional ethics training.

          Dan Epstein, CoA executive director, said that isn’t enough, not by a long shot.

          “Ultimately, what needs to be happening on behalf of the taxpayers is (that) Florence County, South Carolina, can never receive another federal dollar ever again until it shows it has proof of concepts for ensuring that federal funds aren’t misused,” he said.

          Epstein and the CoA report point to documentation – personal emails and meeting minutes for the most part – that it obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests that show DHEC staff lobbying members of the Florence City Council to support a smoking ordinance. It shows that they attempted to manipulate meeting minutes to, Epstein said, mask their involvement in influencing the passage of the ordinance.

          At the heart of the CoA report lie a series of emails among Smoke Free coalition volunteers and DHEC employees attempting to sway the votes of two Florence city councilmen, Glynn Willis and Buddy Brand, to support the ordinance. One email from Lori Phillips, a DHEC employee, recounts a conversation between herself and Florence City Councilwoman Octavia Williams-Blake – a Democrat and the smoking ordinance’s chief proponent – in which she said possible political ramifications and re-election implications for the two Republican councilmembers was keeping them from supporting the measure.

          “I asked Octavia what we could do to help make up Glynn and Buddy’s minds,” Phillips wrote in the email. “She said that the arguments about this being non-Republican hit home with them and they are about getting re-elected. She said they need to know that a large section of the residents in the City of Florence want this. I shared that we will have poll results to back this up.”

          Other emails discuss political strategy and show Phillips, as well as other DHEC employees, strategizing ways to convince Willis and Brand. The two councilmen later faced criticism from the Florence County’s Republican Party for their eventual support of the ordinance.

          What’s more, the report show that Phillips, as well as another DHEC consultant, Ian Hamilton, advocated minutes of Smoke Free Florence meetings be changed and that certain details about DHEC’s involvement be removed. Officials with Circle Park Behavioral Center, who served as a fiscal agent to disperse the grant funds from DHEC to implement the coalition program itself, confirmed that they had issued a complaint to DHEC regarding this incident. They said that the meeting minutes were not altered.

          Williams-Blake said she wasn’t surprised that a group like CoA had filed a report related to the smoking ordinance. The source of much controversy communitywide, stemming mostly from conservative activists claiming the move violated civil liberties, Florence’s smoking ordinance debate was always a hot-button issue.

          With regards to her interaction with Phillips and other members of the coalition, Williams-Blake acknowledged that she was contacted by the group several times to discuss the ordinance.

          “It was always sort of talking about where we were at in the process of voting or did I think it was going to pass,” she said.

          Shortly after the CoA report was issued, the CDC launched its own investigation into Florence County and others named in the report. They concluded that lobbying had in fact occurred in violation of the CDC’s lobbying guidelines, resulting in DHEC refunding the $247.79 related to “planning activities,” according a report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office. Staff members were also required to receive additional training on lobbying restrictions under the CDC’s guidelines.

          “At the time of the event discussed, DHEC responded to the CDC’s inquiry, and DHEC agreed to follow CDC’s recommended remedies,” a statement issued by DHEC said. “CDC requested two remedies, both of which were completed, with follow-up sent to CDC in June of 2011. Furthermore, DHEC prohibits lobbying activity by employees in their official capacity.”

          A CoA spokesperson said the CDC’s actions “missed the mark” and that harsher action should be taken.

          As of Friday, Florence County is still receiving some federal dollars for select grants but other federal dollars are run through the state, according to County Administrator K.G. “Rusty” Smith Jr.

  1. Local boards were enticed into hiring tobacco control staff by the DPH’s tobacco control grants. As a participant in the process explained, “[L]ocal boards of health looked at it as ‘oh, it’s a grant. Let’s apply for this grant. So now, what do we have to do, now that we’ve got it?’”

    Isn’t that how everything operates nowadays? Politics, science, medical ‘care’ – everything a ‘charity’ wants to achieve? It’s seems to be nearly all fake. Fake science; fake statistics; lies and deception all to get their hands on the grants and over-generous salaries.

    I refused to tell my doctor my current smoking “status” when regularly asked. We didn’t get on (generally) and he asked me to find another practice then literally a day or two later their smoking cessation woman was on the phone telling me they had me down as a smoker and would I be interested in help quitting?

    It’s always “quitting” isn’t it? Never a normal word, like “stopping” or “ending”. Shows how brainwashed they all are that they even conform to the same lingo. It’s the wrong choice of words IMO. Don’t losers “quit”?

    I asked the woman how much the practice makes out of people signing up to their quitting “service” and she couldn’t tell me, but that’s where their interest lies. They didn’t care about my actual health as I was denied treatment and asked to find a new practice. I had to go to my MSP who was told by one of the top brass at the Health Board that I would likely get the same (lack of) treatment at any other practice.

    Which brings me on to Leg-iron’s recent second brush with the NHS. He had previously fallen and cracked two ribs and bashed a kidney and was peeing blood for five days before it stopped completely. I think I would have put it down to the bashed kidney and ignored the subsequent and unexpected invitation to have a camera shoved up my ding-a-ling to check for bladder cancer. [Longrider commented: “I had it done a few years back. They had to peel me off the ceiling.”]

    The previous comment was:

    USA data- bladder cancer incidence rate is 2/10,000 per year.

    Did your doctor mention that there was a 99.98% probability that nothing of interest would be found?

    Lifetime risk is 2.4%….odds are 41-1 against your getting such a cancer.

    Only 1 in 5,000 such tortures, per year, show a cancer.

    If he charges the NHS a rate of $(US)100 per exam, it costs $500,000 per positive diagnosis.

    If he did 4 exams per day, he would have 1 positive exam every 5 years.

    The thought of the harm caused by ‘false’ positives is scary.
    A biopsy procedure would be very nasty.

    The figure for males in England in 2012 was 3.25 per 10,000. Leggy is Welsh and has lived in Scotland for many years, so that averages him out as living in England…

    In this money-obsessed society, which probably increased by an order of magnitude with the national lottery, it’s all that seems to matter. From those abusing the system to get grants to politicians giving away billions to foreign despots, transnational control systems, bribes (e.g. the billion pounds the UK gave India in ‘aid’ so as to ensure we got the £13 billion fighter jet contract – which they gave to the French instead and told us they don’t need our money.

    Anyway, I’m being tangential again. Hand out grants to ‘prove’ something and the scruple-free ‘experts’ will be lining up. Hand out cash incentives to ‘doctors’ and they’ll kill to get it. Literally! It’s how the Liverpool Care Pathway was so ‘successful’ in some hospitals as they were paid to starve and dehydrate people to death. Meanwhile, lesbians can get free fertility treatment, made pregnant via IVF (naturally – or unnaturally) which entitles them to maternity leave (which I believe has been increased to a whole year), child benefit, etc.

    The rest of us are just like lab animals amidst all this racketeering.

    • margo says:

      Yes, I also have noticed and get annoyed by the constant use of the word ‘quit’.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      It appears and has been the case for decades now that charities are nothing but window curtains for agenda driven political front groups or even for many. How else could these ” SOCK PUPPETS” get taxpayer moneys so easily and then actually be able to not only demand laws,but actually write it and watch it pass with no opposition and get carte blanchs passes to any damned thin they want………..Putin just bends right over and uses the police to do their bidding and remove everyone!

      Theres much more at stake here and I believe its the UN led take down of world sovereignty that’s literally behind it all with Obama as the key leader of it right now.

      But its much deeper than that,whats happening now goes back over 100 years!

      No doubt others fought it as hard as we do and it eventually died off but not all of it!

      • Yes, it goes back over 100 years. The Fabians have been at it for 130 years – smashing up the world in barely perceptible (until recently) steps to rebuild it in the image of socialism and joined by the other schools of ‘thought’ who infiltrated government and every other institution to destroy our freedom and national sovereignty by guile. The UN gets to oversee the process. How do you convince people the UN is a force for evil? As I often say, the people won’t truly wake up until there’s no food left or there’s no heating in winter. The UK is definitely threatened with the latter in the next year or two.

    • smofunking says:

      “Don’t losers “quit”?”

      That’s just it. Tobacco Control views smokers as “losers” due to their refusal to succumb to all their anti-smoking propaganda.

  2. Regarding yesterday’s comments. I understand it is etiquette here to continue previous discussions under subsequent posts!

    Thanks for your support yesterday, especially from Nisakiman. Blogs are the equivalent of pubs to me these days. I had to practically give up going to the Facebook Arms as I was spending about three hours a day in there and it was largely arguments.

    As Nisakiman said, What unites us all is a rejection of the social engineering that is being carried out by fanatics using gullible and vote-hungry MPs as their proxies. And what we do here in comments is share knowledge. And knowledge is power.

    @beobrigitte – Yes, I have actually just read a Guardian article which states that 40% of bosses wouldn’t consider hiring women in their 20s and 30s because of maternity leave when they could employ a man of similar age. One of the unexpected consequences of “rights”. We now even have paternity leave. All part of destroying our industry by increasing costs to employers to make us even less competitive in the global marketplace, in my opinion.

    All about money. Again. And perceived rights.

    Yes, I do get downhearted, especially as I have spent 13 years online arguing my case(s) – more in the past than today – and in doing so cost myself at least £100,000 in lost earnings (maybe far more, being self-employed). I’m driven by truth and justice and it has taken precedence over my own finances, which are now precarious. That and constantly dealing with the subversion of our way of life has undoubtedly exacerbated my depression, the reason for the shenanigans with the NHS.

    At least another UKIP MP announced in the small hours of tomorrow will cheer me up and give me a reason to continue. Next week, I’ll be hoping for a mass exodus from the Tories to the ‘promised land’ of UKIP.

    • Rose says:

      And what we do here in comments is share knowledge. And knowledge is power

      Stewart, I learnt almost everything I know about the subject from reading other people’s comments and then following them up. The beauty is everyone’s approach to the subject comes from a different angle – maximum coverage!

      In 2007 all I knew was that nicotine was not unique to tobacco and that chain smoking schizophrenics ( radio 4 ) were believed to be self-treating.

      So keep talking, people are listening.

    • beobrigitte says:

      Stewart, you must have enjoyed watching the news this morning – even though the BBC tried it’s best to play UKIP’s win down.

      @beobrigitte – Yes, I have actually just read a Guardian article which states that 40% of bosses wouldn’t consider hiring women in their 20s and 30s because of maternity leave when they could employ a man of similar age.

      What gets me is that this was the obvious to happen – and everyone is suprised…. I am all for EQUAL RIGHTS and that also means EQUAL RESPONSIBILITIES.

      Offering to freeze young women’s eggs isn’t it! It makes >40s women into becoming a whomb when nature starts taking away the things that made her attractive when she was 20 and of prime child bearing age.

      I do know couples where the MAN took prolonged paternity leave as it was his wife who was in the better job. That does make sense. So, it’s not a paedophile you see with a child on his lap in the playground, it’s the loving father.

  3. Talking of UKIP, just spotted more utter desperation from the traitor Tories:

    House prices in Rochester and Strood could fall sharply if Ukip wins the seat, according to Tory strategists.

    They claim voters are concerned the constituency could suffer the same fate as Barking and Dagenham where many middle-class families moved away following local council victories by the BNP.

    Speaking to the Telegraph, Charles Walker, MP for Broxbourne, who joined candidate Kelly Tolhurst on the campaign trail today, said: “The danger is if you vote Ukip, the value of your house will go down.”

    And your children will be sent up chimneys and get rickets and the Black Death will return and the area will be flattened by an earthquake…

    • Jay says:

      Don’t think I will ever believe that anyone would go to the bother and expense of moving house and area because they didn’t like the party which was dominating the parish council for the five minutes before another party took its place.

      Stay with it, Stewart – I, for one, respect your evident integrity.

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        I did! Moved to Kentucky my families original state we pioneered 200 years back……

        Freedom that’s something worth not only fighting for but even moving for if need be.

        Lord knows Ive fought my share of the battles……….

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        Jay I actually did better by moving. I got a 3 bedroom double wide 7 years old that had been vandalized and left rundown for 2-3 years for 47 grand. I had to replace the plumbing thru out and rebuild the garage out back and put in a central unit. Ive since added porches and decks with my carport as a shelter to shoot my pistolas from at my shooting hill out back.

        We gutted 3 walls and put in a 1970s franklin buck stove in the center of the house for winter heat. At 40 bucks a rick delivered and stacked I couldn’t beat it. I added to the front deck a roof over for about 8 ricks or 2 cords of wood at a time. I just open up the door and its a 16 foot walk to wood and dry too boot!

        My payment is 345 bucks a month on 1 acre and house with garage.

        Its not a mansion and its right on the rode but I love it with 4 big farms my closest neighbor is 1 mile down the rode either way and towns 15 minutes away………

      • Thanks, Jay. That cheap Tory smear was another attempt to link UKIP with the BNP and racism and generally to scare people into voting Tory. If anything is going to destroy the housing market along with everything else, it’s the LiblabCon.

    • prog says:

      Well, that’d be good news for first time buyers and those on lower incomes.

      • prog says:

        Anyway, there”ll be a devastating fall in houses prices and increase in repossessions everywhere when interest rates return to normal levels. Just a matter of time.

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          Prog you are so right! I have no doubt rates for 30 year mortgages to hit 18% before it levels off once it begins. Right now you cant even buy a home unless its thru HUD,FHA,VA without about 20% cash money down.

          Ive watched a new house built 2 years ago down the rode be repo’d 3 times since the welfare styled government spec house was built.

          People get it then out of nowhere they lose there burger job and or SSI on rexam and bam out they go!

          The smart folks are the handyman guy that buys a dump like up the road here from me.

          He got the house and 2 acres for 20 grand. Then he rebuilt the roof and the insides while living in a tent with his family. After a year of hard work they moved in it and his payment is only 125 bucks a month…………Now he has a small shop and graveled driveway along with his log splitter and wood heat.

          The mans one to not only respect but knows how to survive hard times!

          A lesson well worth learning at an early age no doubt.

        • prog says:

          It’ll f**k high borrowing governments as well.

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          Hell Prog I didn’t even think about that………..It will bankrupt countries…………ROFLMAO I cant wait! Im locked in at 30 years at 3.2%

        • prog says:

          It certainly will, same as the Weimar republic, Argentina and Zimbabwe etc. Except the US dollar would be useless, but precious metals, baccy and other tangible assets/materials would increase in value – as they always have when economies go tits up.

        • Harley, it’s almost impossible in the UK, but over in Ireland you can do the same sort of thing – buy a run down property with an acre or two for 20 grand. It’s one of my escape plans. Something like this and like you say, live in a tent or caravan to start with:

    • beobrigitte says:

      House prices in Rochester and Strood could fall sharply if Ukip wins the seat, according to Tory strategists.

      The fall in house prices would not be a bad thing – except that by now there are too many people caught up in mortgage deals payable for life.
      Labour did create this house-price-bubble. Not even UKIP could make a change, so the tories are making it up as they go along.

      The tories do not offer pubs the option of smoker-friendly rooms, either. No vote.

  4. Nightlight says:

    @harleyrider1978 — Great detective work. That’s the way to smoke these vermin out. It may be though that short of wholesale collapse of the present corrupt system followed by a clean reboot like in 1776, there won’t be a real solution.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      NN from what I can see the whole damned world is in revolt to the nannystate…………

      I say that because im in the trenches everyday all over the place and I see what the public are saying in the comments……..some comments sections on stories can run 3000-5000 comments deep.

      Even the Nazis trying to save face are starting to argue,they act like joe citizen but they are easily spotted. They argue yes its gone to far but I still support the indoor bans….

      Anyway Siegel was right when he told the NYTIMES 3 years ago that with outdoor bans they risk everything gained including the indoor bans…………

    • Fredrik Eicj says:

      Reboot? You mean tax avoidance!

  5. harleyrider1978 says:

    Social smoking on rise despite dip in cigarette use

    Central Florida Future

    She’s watched and supported them take the first heavy step of a grueling journey to stop smoking, to turn puffing a few packs a day into only a few …

  6. harleyrider1978 says:

    Youth smoking rates rising in New Brunswick

    Despite widespread social and legal measures against ingesting tobacco, smoking rates are rising among young people in New Brunswick. The New …

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Youth smoking rates rising in New Brunswick

      Experts at a loss to explain why more kids picking up the tobacco habit
      Despite widespread social and legal measures against ingesting tobacco, smoking rates are rising among young people in New Brunswick.

      The New Brunswick Health Council says those in the Grade 6 to Grade 12 age range baffle experts by lighting up.

      At seven per cent, New Brunswick owns the highest youth smoking rate in Canada, despite laws against smoking in cars with children, in public buildings, on public transportation or in bars and restaurants.

      Stephane Robichaud, chief executive officer of the council, listed decreasing smoking rates as the fifth priority to improve the health of young people.

      We’ve improved in the exposure to second-hand smoke, which is good. Unfortunately the cigarette companies are doing a great job. They’re still getting more and more youth to try smoking,” Robichaud said.

      In 2012-13, New Brunswick’s youth-smoking rate was five per cent.

      Taylor Mansfield took up smoking at a young age. “I was having some family issues between my parents, and I figured I would see if that would help with my stress,” he said.

      Cole Hutchins offered similar reasons. “I kind of started when I got depressed over my dad dying,” he said.

      “My dad smoked, and that’s how my sister started, and then my sister smoked, and that’s how I started. Big old family tree. And my mom smokes.”

      Hutchins lives with his grandmother, who doesn’t smoke. “Thank God. She’s really the one who is motivating me to quit this year.”

      20 students try to quit every week

      At Leo Hayes High School in Fredericton, Principal Brad Sturgeon points out the Quit for Life program, one of several helping students to quit.

      It gets about 20 students each week who want to stop smoking. Schools continue to offer quitting programs, counselling, peer-to-peer education, and teens speaking against smoking at middle school.

      “The initiatives that we have, hopefully we’ll carry those forward and be able to bring those numbers down again,” Sturgeon said.

  7. harleyrider1978 says:

    J. Dennis Hynes: Disdainful intolerance

    Posted: 11/19/2014 04:49:05 PM MST | Updated: about 16 hours ago

    The Camera has recently run articles about the proposed ban on smoking over a wide area of the city, including all city parks, hiking trails, University Hill, and other areas. As Mayor Appelbaum states, “wherever people sit, stroll or linger.” Before adopting such a severe restriction on a legal activity, I urge the City Council to reread Clay Evans’ intelligent, thoughtful article (“Boulder’s smug smoking ban mania,” Daily Camera, Feb. 2) addressing the issue of a widespread smoking ban.

    Mr. Evans urges compassion for the truly nicotine-addicted smoker and addresses the proposed actions as involving “smugness, moral superiority and an exercise in power cloaked in overstated concern for public health.” He notes that the actual health effects of secondhand smoke when strolling by someone smoking outside are so minimal and based on such thin evidence as to be mostly imaginary. “Smugness” is the perfect word, since underlying the prohibition is a disdainful intolerance for an activity one considers unaesthetic and displeasing. There’s a meanness of spirit underlying this proposed exercise in power.

    J. Dennis Hynes


    Has comments too! LOL

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      They are moderating,go figure

      s09 · 40 minutes ago

      What a crock. Protecting non-smokers from indoor smoke is good, but this level of authoritarianism over the tiny risk and mere nuisance of outdoor smoking is wrong.

      What happened to freedom?

      First and foremost the indoor bans as Insane as the outdoor bans. The Junk science is just amazing.

      SHS/ETS is 94% water vapor and air the rest contains only 800 or so chemicals so small they can barely be trapped and identified. The rest of the so called chemicals are THEORIZED to be in it!

      Your own human exhaled breath contains hundreds of the same chemicals found in tobacco smoke!

      A few hamburgers at the restaurant equate to about 1000 cigs in equivalent smoke and chemicals.

      That glass of water can equate to the same thing………the food you eat. The food mom cooks for dinner and the aromas and smoke it produces all the same chemicals yet again. Then we have Nicotine laden foods like potatoes and tomatoes with tea and many others of the niteshade family!

      Take that great restaurant downtown you cant wait to eat at,as you drive up you smell it and savor it yet your breathing in millions of cigarettes worth of comparable chemicals as you drive up or walk up!

      Then theres the cars and trucks downtown that add to the mix………. Then the most important part all those so called chemicals are what makes up the air we all breathe anyhow!

      Even OSHA wouldn’t pass a rule against indoor smoking after the facts were known that it doesn’t ham anyone and its always been classified as a class 3 irritant and that’s it!

      Field studies of environmental tobacco smoke indicate that under normal conditions, the components in tobacco smoke are diluted below existing Permissible Exposure Levels (PELS.) as referenced in the Air Contaminant Standard (29 CFR 1910.1000)…It would be very rare to find a workplace with so much smoking that any individual PEL would be exceeded.” -Letter From Greg Watchman, Acting Sec’y, OSHA, To Leroy J Pletten, PHD, July 8, 1997

      As far as particulate matter goes OSHA allows 5000ug/3m across the board under nuisance dust and smoke!

      The only harm ever done by indoor smoking was people believing witch craft still exists,perhap Boulder should change its name to SALEM MASS. circa 1660 and have a few witch trials and tobacco control activists can whoop some more black magic claims and get a few kids to cry out Im dying from the evil smoke!

  8. harleyrider1978 says:

    It appears even the Nanny Nazis are getting personally attacked these days by their own people!

    STEVE SPELLMAN: Instead of pointing fingers at Ginny Chadwick, look at City Hall

    Ginny Chadwick was elected to the Columbia City Council from the First Ward just last April, but she has already been caught up in a flurry of activity.

    So the Nazis like this one are in one very hurried wharp drive pace to implement as much of their agenda as they can before well…………..everything collapses around them it appears!

    From diving headfirst into the Opus student housing development saga, to proposals to ban alcohol in Douglass Park, as well as tobacco sales to those under age 21 citywide, to a last-minute policy reversal on an ordinance to relax marijuana criminality, Ms. Chadwick has faced controversy at nearly every turn.

    These are not the actions of a councilperson who takes constituents’ concerns seriously. Indeed, they show Ginny Chadwick to be so fundamentally untrustworthy that the extraordinary path of a recall is appropriate.”

    Alcohol, tobacco sales

    Out of a desire to improve a volatile section of the ward she represents, Chadwick proposed to ban alcohol in Douglass Park.

    I don’t believe for a second that she operates from any overt racism. It seems more like what’s called “disparate impact” in labor law, meaning a policy that inadvertently disadvantages minorities.

    Yet I’m skeptical whenever a restrictive law is touted as a magic wand to fix social ills. It can be easy to propose an absolute policy, but it’s usually difficult to enforce it.

    Smoking policy

    Chadwick is a true believer in the power of law to guide behavior. So to improve “public health,” she has proposed increasing the age required to purchase tobacco in the city from 18 to 21.

    Yet, 18- to 20-year-olds in Columbia could still fight and die for their country, be tried as adults for a crime and buy or rent housing. But we don’t trust them to buy a pack of stinking Marlboros. Heaven help us from such gross paternalism.

    What’s more, Kim Dude of Columbia’s Substance Abuse Advisory Commission took a stand in favor the proposal, declaring that “education isn’t going to change” a smoker’s “mind, but policy can.”

    I trust that Columbia residents are alarmed by Dude’s contempt for the influence of education on a young adult’s life. The reason I don’t smoke is because I was taught it’s unhealthy, not because a politician threatens store clerks with prosecution.

    Marijuana flip-flop

    With different constituencies already unhappy with her one way or another, the straw that broke the camel’s back was Chadwick’s reversal on the recent marijuana ordinance.

    She had stated clearly her support for the idea, leading proponents to expect a 4-3 vote, until she voted against it, setting up its failure.

    Between her early stance and her vote, Chadwick said she had become dismayed by the proposal’s inconsistency in state and federal law.

    Barbara Hoppe, the ordinance’s sponsor, apparently spoke for many when she noted: “It’s hard to tell what she really thinks. She’ll say she’s for something and then vote against it.”

    Recall movement

    People often don’t like the way a politician has voted, but the recall movement seems to have more fundamental beefs.

    Should Ginny Chadwick be recalled? I don’t live in the First Ward, so it’s really not my call.

    I interviewed Jake Loft, a First Ward resident, MU student and activist for the defeated marijuana ordinance. He has been going door to door in recent weeks with the recall petition.

    Loft says when he approaches people, plenty of them are enthusiastic: “Where do I sign?!” They cite discontent about the Opus thing, the pot thing or just the representation thing, a perception that nobody has truly spoken up for them for a long time.

    Voter apathy

    I read somewhere only about half of the First Ward residents are even registered to vote. The April election saw only 827 registered voters at the polls, an 8 percent turnout, and Chadwick got about two-thirds of that, a lowly 525 votes.

    So only about 3 percent of residents actually voted for Chadwick, which critics say refutes her claim of having a mandate.

    The bigger issue is that fewer than one-tenth of residents thought voting was even worthwhile.

    We could blame them for not fulfilling their civic duty, but perhaps the First Ward is so disenfranchised they just plain don’t have faith in City Hall. Nothing against Chadwick or her two predecessors, but none of these leaders have lasted more than one term since the widely loved Almeta Crayton served.

    Nonetheless, I find Ginny Chadwick to be a caring citizen who has stepped forward for public service and honestly wants to do good.

    The problem is that her version of good seems inconsistent with the values of many in the community. She should know, too, that a public servant can never communicate enough, either.

    We know. It’s a darn hard job. So heaven help Ginny Chadwick, or whomever gains her seat, because there’s a big mess at City Hall.

  9. harleyrider1978 says:

    Administrators consider campus-wide smoking ban after petition gains traction

    Bob > Thomas C Mahoney • 2 hours ago

    Thanks for your comment. Even the fact that it is a rule is a HUGE step that will take care of 99% of the problem. Yes there will be difficult people as there are in society who don’t abide… but that doesn’t mean we don’t pass the rule.

    Jack Listerio > Bob • a few seconds ago

    Thomas ya think maybe we should all get some stars of David to pass out to all the smokers on campus and let administration smoking enforcers wear swastikas…………It should be easy just as making a rule right……….that should send a clear message. If that doesn’t we can always build a few gas chambers and lite up the ovens!

  10. harleyrider1978 says:

    Good God read the comments you would think a national war for freedom had erupted!

    • Frank Davis says:

      WESTMINSTER (CBS/AP) — A proposal that would have made the town the first in the nation to ban all tobacco sales has gone up in smoke.

      Westminster’s board of health voted 2-1 to drop the proposal at its regular meeting on Wednesday, a week after rowdy opposition led board members to end a public hearing early.

      Board members Ed Simoncini and Peter Munro moved and voted to kill the proposal. Board chairwoman Andrea Crete voted to keep it under consideration.

      The board had initially said the ban would help keep a variety of tobacco products from young people, but businesses strongly opposed it.

      “The town is not in favor of the proposal, and therefore I am not in favor of the proposal,” Simoncini said in making the motion Wednesday, according to Fitchburg’s Sentinel & Enterprise.

    • Rose says:

      That comment thread is quite remarkable.

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        You couldn’t even get a fight out of the Nazis,they just were stuck in denial mode and outright name calling………..Oh well its still nice to take a dash at the Infidels!

  11. prog says:

    Could you have found the wrong cause?
    Antismokers of tobacco control.

  12. Pingback: Keep NOLA Killjoy-Free | Frank Davis

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