Rochester et alia

The details of the Rochester by-election:


The Lib Dem vote almost completely collapsed. Although smokingscot has a possible explanation for this:

Seems their loyal Lib/Dem supporters decided to vote strategically in an effort to keep out UKIP. So they didn’t vote for Lib/Dem, they voted for the Tories! Same source stated he believed many socialists and Labour supporters also decided to vote strategically and concluded that more Liberals and Labour supporters voted for the Conservatives than true blood Tories.

He implied that come the General Election his lot will return to the fold and this was nothing more than mid term spanky bottom time.

A case of Vote Tory, Get UKIP?

I think all the mainstream parties are slowly disintegrating. Labour’s Ed Miliband first:

The time for false praise and flattery, prevarication and procrastination, is long past. Ed Miliband should resign his leadership of the Labour Party, voluntarily if possible, forcibly if necessary. Within days, preferably, within weeks if not, but certainly before Christmas. Otherwise, with the collapse of the party’s Scottish vote, defeat for Labour at next year’s general election has moved from the probable to the almost inevitable.

But things aren’t much better for David Cameron,

Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood has David Cameron ‘by the balls’, with the Prime Minister having to ask his permission before doing anything, according to a former Tory adviser.

Dominic Cummings, Michael Gove’s key aide when he was Education Secretary, claimed that Mr Cameron is surrounded by a chaotic team and ‘cannot manage his way out of a paper bag’.

In a scathing attack, Mr Cummings said: ‘Everyone knows that Jeremy Heywood is in charge of everything.

or the Conservative party,

Cameron’s Tories are centrist, Europhile, politically correct. But the march of UKIP has brutally forced them out of their squishy comfort zone and forced them to start thinking like real conservatives again.

This is what’s so exciting about the election result. Yes it was a victory for Mark Reckless and UKIP. But it was an even greater victory for the British people generally. For years – certainly since the beginning of the Blair era – they have been treated with contempt by an increasingly remote political class which didn’t, for example, give a damn about what they thought about all the mass immigration and diversity being forced on them by government policy.

or Barack Obama,

Asserting a legal and constitutional authority he himself said he did not have, President Obama is going rogue, issuing an executive amnesty to 4 to 5 million illegal aliens.

He will order the U.S. government not to enforce the law against these 5 million and declare that they are to be exempt from deportation and granted green cards…

We have just taken a monumental step away from republicanism toward Caesarism. For this is rule by diktat, the rejection of which sparked the American Revolution.

or Ebola.

Ebola spreading intensely in Sierra Leone as toll rises

…533 new cases in the week to Nov. 16

Anyway, today is the anniversary of the JFK assassination, and Anna Raccoon is running a three-part investigation of it. The secret of who fired the third and fatal shot will be revealed tomorrow in the third and final part (although regular readers will know that I already have my own favourite theory).

About Frank Davis

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35 Responses to Rochester et alia

  1. harleyrider1978 says:

    All quiet on the western front……………..

  2. harleyrider1978 says:

    Obama broke Federal law and mostly he broke his oathe of office the defend and enforce the laws of the land……….This is an impeachable offense and can lead to his removal from office. But he doesn’t care,On another charge we can even state he is aiding and abetting federal fugitives from the law! Nowhere does it state a president can pardon non-citizens…………….

  3. waltc says:

    Interestingly on FOX News tonight ( “fair and balanced” or right-leaning’ depending on your perspective) they referred to Ukip as a “far right fringe party” but thn went on to say “that’s gone mainstream because of the immigration issue.” This in the context of explaining the UK’s problem with separatist and violent Muslims, and the general (negative) impact of all immigration on the Brit economy and employment

    The second paragraph in your rundown of the Conservative party above rather perfectly describes the feeling among a near majority of Americans though the elites plow on, indifferent to the opinions of us ignorant masses. That said, unfortunately an awful lot of those who clamor for a hands-off government would still favor government banning and taxing those stinky smokers.

    • Frank Davis says:

      I keep saying it again and again: UKIP is the conservative party that David Cameron’s Conservative party ought to be. The trouble with all three UK mainstream political parties is that they’re all ‘progressive’ parties. I’ve got nothing against progress if it makes life easier or better for people, but the ‘progressive’ smoking ban has made life much, much worse for me in particular, and for smokers in general. I preferred things the way they used to be. I don’t like this kind of ‘progress’. So I guess that, rather late in life, I’ve become a bit of a conservative myself. And that’s the reason why I’m surefire certain to vote UKIP next year.

      The immigration issue isn’t a hot button issue for me right now. I’m not a Little Englander. I grew up in places like Africa and South America where we were surrounded by black and brown people speaking languages I didn’t understand. It didn’t bother me. But we weren’t rootless. We were an English family, and most of our friends were English, and we had an English identity. My parents met the Queen a few times (although I never did). I think the problem comes when a people’s identity comes under attack. And I think that’s been happening a bit in Britain, in the same way as smokers’ identity has come under attack.

      I hope that all the Americans carry on being Americans, and all the French carry on being French, and all the rest too. Because that’s part of their identity too. And of course I hope they all carry on smoking as well.

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        Progressive has never meant Progress in any real meaning,its always meay more government control. That was proven during the first Progressive era back when they brought us americans not only Tobacco bans they even brought us tobacco prohibition laws in states. Then they moved onto Alcohol Prohibition and got an amendment passed then the next amendment they wanted was Tobacco prohibition which never happened but instead became the womens right to vote amendment.

        Progress has nothing to do with Progressives their agenda is always propaganda and control even the name they want to be called is camouflage from the reality of their true intent.

        Then the people woke up one day and did something about it,yet the snobbish progressives snub their nose in the air and continue right on being the elitist snobs they are………Hoping a new Messiah shows up to save their laws from repeal!

        Getting a law passed is easier than getting rid of it and they know it. So with all due haste the go into wharp dive to get as much pushed thru as they can before the collapse of their agenda comes in.

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          The Progressive Era was a period of social activism and political reform in the United States that flourished from the 1890s to the 1920s.[1] One main goal of the Progressive movement was eliminating corruption in government by exposing and undercutting political machines and their bosses and establishing further means of direct democracy. Progressives also sought regulation of monopolistic trust corporations through antitrust laws, which were seen as a means to promote fair competition for the benefit of consumers.

          Many (but not all) Progressives supported prohibition in order to destroy the political power of local bosses based in saloons.[2] At the same time, women’s suffrage was promoted to bring a “purer” female vote into the arena.[3] A second theme was building an Efficiency Movement in every sector that could identify old ways that needed modernizing, and bring to bear scientific, medical and engineering solutions; a key part of the efficiency movement was scientific management, or “Taylorism”.

          Many activists joined efforts to reform local government, public education, medicine, finance, insurance, industry, railroads, churches, and many other areas. Progressives transformed, professionalized and made “scientific” the social sciences, especially history,[4] economics,[5] and political science.[6] In academic fields the day of the amateur author gave way to the research professor who published in the new scholarly journals and presses. The national political leaders included Theodore Roosevelt, Robert M. La Follette, Sr., and Charles Evans Hughes on the Republican side, and William Jennings Bryan, Woodrow Wilson and Al Smith on the Democratic side.

          Initially the movement operated chiefly at local levels; later it expanded to state and national levels. Progressives drew support from the middle class, and supporters included many lawyers, teachers, physicians, ministers and business people.[7] The Progressives strongly supported scientific methods as applied to economics, government, industry, finance, medicine, schooling, theology, education, and even the family. They closely followed advances underway at the time in Western Europe[8] and adopted numerous policies, such as a major transformation of the banking system by creating the Federal Reserve System in 1913.[9] Reformers felt that old-fashioned ways meant waste and inefficiency, and eagerly sought out the “one best system”.[10][11]

          Heres the real clincher


          The Progressives were avid modernizers. They believed in science, technology, expertise—and especially education—as the grand solution to society’s weaknesses. Characteristics of Progressivism included a favorable attitude toward urban-industrial society, belief in mankind’s ability to improve the environment and conditions of life, belief in an obligation to intervene in economic and social affairs, and a belief in the ability of experts and in the efficiency of government intervention

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          Heres where they took over the whole damned institutions of everything creating the foundations for todays renewed agenda………

          Progressives transformed, professionalized and made “scientific” the social sciences, especially history,[4] economics,[5] and political science

          Real science tossed aside and junk science created and why we see Mark Twains
          The Moral statistician. Twain knew and lived what was happening to the country and was pissed about it so he used his pen to attack his enemies the same way we use the net to attack today!

        • harleyrider1978 says:


          The number of rich families climbed exponentially, from 100 or so millionaires in the 1870s, to 4000 in 1892 and 16,000 in 1916. Many paid heed to Andrew Carnegie’s Gospel of Wealth that said they owed a duty to society that called for philanthropic giving to colleges, hospitals, medical research, libraries, museums, religion and social betterment.[21]

          In the early 20th century, American philanthropy matured, with the development of very large, highly visible private foundations created by Rockefeller, and Carnegie. The largest foundations fostered modern, efficient, business-oriented operations (as opposed to “charity”) designed to better society rather than merely enhance the status of the giver. Close ties were built with the local business community, as in the “community chest” movement.[22] The American Red Cross was reorganized and professionalized.[23] Several major foundations aided the blacks in the South, and were typically advised by Booker T. Washington. By contrast, Europe and Asia had few foundations. This allowed both Carnegie and Rockefeller to operate internationally with powerful effect.[24]

        • harleyrider1978 says:


          Main article: Eugenics in the United States

          Some Progressives, especially among economists, sponsored eugenics as a collectivist solution to excessively large or underperforming families, hoping that birth control would enable parents to focus their resources on fewer, better children.[41] However, there were no major national, state or local programs that practiced or endorsed eugenics. Progressive leaders like Herbert Croly and Walter Lippmann indicated their classically liberal concern over the danger posed to the individual by collectivism and statism.[42] The Catholics, although favoring collectivism, strongly opposed birth control proposals such as eugenics .[43]

          Constitutional change[edit]

          The Progressives tried to permanently fix their reforms into law through constitutional amendments 16-19. The 16th amendment made an income tax legal (this required an amendment due to previous Supreme Court rulings). The Progressives also made strides in attempts to reduce political corruption through the 17th amendment and the direct election of U.S. Senators. The most radical and controversial amendment came during the anti-German craze of World War I that helped the Progressives push through their plan for prohibition through the 18th amendment (once the Progressives fell out of power the 21st amendment repealed the 18th in 1933). The final progressive amendment came with the passage of the 19th amendment and women’s suffrage.[44]


          Prohibition was the outlawing of the manufacture, sale and transport of alcohol. Drinking itself was never prohibited. Throughout the Progressive Era, it remained one of the prominent causes associated with Progressivism at the local, state and national level, though support across the full breadth of Progressives was mixed. It pitted the minority urban Catholic population against the larger rural Protestant element, and Progressivism’s rise in the rural communities was aided in part by the general increase in public consciousness of social issues of the temperance movement, which achieved national success with the passage of the 18th Amendment by Congress in late 1917, and the ratification by three-fourths of the states in 1919. Prohibition was essentially a religious movement backed by the Methodists, Baptists, Congregationalists, Scandinavian Lutherans and other evangelical churches. Activists were mobilized by the highly effective Anti-Saloon League.[45] Timberlake (1963) argues the dries sought to break the liquor trust, weaken the saloon base of big-city machines, enhance industrial efficiency, and reduce the level of wife beating, child abuse, and poverty caused by alcoholism.[46]

          Agitation for prohibition began during the Second Great Awakening in the 1840s when Crusades against drinking originated from evangelical Protestants.[47] Evangelicals precipitated the second wave of prohibition legislation during the 1880s, which had as its aim local and state prohibition. During the 1880s, referendums were held at the state level to enact prohibition amendments. Two important groups were formed during this period. The Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) was formed in 1874.[48] The Anti-Saloon League was formed in 1893, uniting activists from different religious groups.[49]

          The third wave of prohibition legislation, of which national prohibition was the grand climax, began in 1907, when Georgia passed a state-wide prohibition law. By 1917, two thirds of the states had some form of prohibition laws and roughly three quarters of the population lived in dry areas. In 1913, the Anti-Saloon League first publicly appealed for a prohibition amendment. They preferred a constitutional amendment over a federal statute because although harder to achieve, they felt it would be harder to change. In 1913, Congress passed the Webb-Kenyon Act, which forbade the transport of liquor into dry states. As the United States entered World War I, the Conscription Act banned the sale of liquor near military bases.[50] In August 1917, the Lever Food and Fuel Control Act banned production of distilled spirits for the duration of the war. The War Prohibition Act, November, 1918, forbade the manufacture and sale of intoxicating beverages (more than 2.75% alcohol content) until the end of demobilization.

          The drys worked energetically to secure two-third majority of both houses of Congress and the support of three quarters of the states needed for an amendment to the federal constitution. Thirty-six states were needed, and organizations were set up at all 48 states to seek ratification. In late 1917, Congress passed the Eighteenth Amendment; it was ratified in 1919 and took effect in January 1920. It prohibited the manufacturing, sale or transport of intoxicating beverages within the United States, as well as import and export. The Volstead Act, 1919, defined intoxicating as having alcohol content greater than 0.5% and established the procedures for federal enforcement of the Act. The states were at liberty to enforce prohibition or not, and most did not try.[51]

          Consumer demand, however, led to a variety of illegal sources for alcohol, especially illegal distilleries and smuggling from Canada and other countries. It is difficult to determine the level of compliance, and although the media at the time portrayed the law as highly ineffective, even if it did not eradicate the use of alcohol, it certainly decreased alcohol consumption during the period. The Eighteenth Amendment was repealed in 1933, with the passage of the Twenty-First Amendment, thanks to a well organized repeal campaign led by Catholics (who stressed personal liberty) and businessmen (who stressed the lost tax revenue).[51]

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          once the Progressives fell out of power the 21st amendment repealed the 18th in 1933)

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          So as history shows us progressivism is mostly bad its about control from cradle to grave.

          They had a few good ideas,problem was those good ideas were to build foundations for control of other things thru regulatory rule there by they could by-pass the constitution and do as they pleased thru these passed 8 decades!

  4. smokervoter says:

    There was NBC news anchor Brian Williams looking fake earnest, droning away on the nightly newscast about the Obesity Crisis with a massive chryon which read The Weight of the World featured on the lower third of the screen beneath. And it was the hottest October on record. Ho hum.

    The useless grant hustlers of medical academia and their public relations departments in the form of the mainstream media (and that includes the supposedly independent internet branch) have amazingly managed to revoke the law of diminishing marginal utility.

    There are at a minimum three new preposterous studies offered up for public consumption each and every day. That’s well over a thousand per year. You would think we’d be reaching the oversaturation point by now, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. The healthist bandwagon rolls on undaunted in magnitude.

    Professor Ruth Engs thought that the 3rd Clean Living Movement which began in 1970 at the start of the current tobacco hysteria campaign would expire round about 2010 after forty years of psychic overkill.

    Here we are approaching the year 2015 with no end in sight. Seven year old kids are peering into the mirror and envisioning their eventual octogenarian appearance.

  5. The Blocked Dwarf says:

    Nothing to do with UKIP but I thought some of you might be interested/shocked/sickened to learn the following; Yesterday I drove 2 of my, supposedly, adult sons to Stansted for a flight. Arriving at Stansted terminal , Youngest (24 ish I think-hell I have enough trouble remembering their names let alone ages) went into one of the terminal shops to buy some cigarettes. He came out looking absolutely shell shocked. A packet of 10 Lucky Strike cost him..
    ..£7.50 !

  6. In a scathing attack, Mr Cummings said: ‘Everyone knows that Jeremy Heywood is in charge of everything’.

    As David from Weston-super-Mare commented,

    “The big question is: Who controls Sir Jeremy Heywood, who has him by the spheroids?” (Green arrows: 26; red arrows:0)

    But we know that these dapper, smooth-talking party ‘leaders’ are just front men working towards the same goal.

  7. Rose says:

    Little things please little minds so at the moment I thoroughly diverted by the continuing white van man saga.

    Last night the crucial question was answered on Sky news, I saw him walking past his van with a cigarette in his hand.

    So not only has he had his England flags and his van presented for twitter mockery by the shadow attorney general but he has been “denormalised” and “exiled to the outdoors” by the anti-tobacco policies that Labour introduced.

    And they still think he should vote for them?

  8. prog says:

    I suspect that many otherwise voting Tories abstained, as a protest and/or they couldn’t bring themselves to vote UKIP.

    OT – Saw an episode of ‘Toast of London’ on C4 last night (starring the excellent Matt Berry). Very un-pc and funny. He’d given away the ending to Anthea Crippen’s ‘The Moosetrap’ on the radio as well as playing the detective. Also tries to get a job on University Challenge….well worth watching

    Anyway, about 8-9 mins in there’s a pub scene – ashtrays on the tables and virtually every extra smoking …

    This is a new series. Cameron as PM was mentioned and the date at the end of the credits was 2014

    • roobeedoo2 says:

      Ooh, thanks for the tip. I’ve pretty much well stopped watching TV now so have missed this series completely.

      Matt Berry was fabulous in the IT Crowd, written by Graham Lineham. This one is written by Arthur Matthews – both wrote Father Ted. I think you’ve just sorted out my evening’s entertainment :D

      • prog says:

        Thing is, why would a mainstream broadcaster allow it, given that smoking in pubs is illegal?

        • roobeedoo2 says:

          Not sure. Maybe because the Antis have no discernible sense of humour that they haven’t found it yet. I watched the first series last night. One of the actors featured on the agent’s wall is called ‘Forrest Ash’.

          Again, many thanks for the heads up – I was laughing all evening.

  9. roobeedoo2 says:

    Frank, I’ve spotted your swarm ;)

  10. harleyrider1978 says:

    Lord the shit from the progressive era just keeps piling up………….look at today then you can see where yesterday they had screwed us all for todays world.

    Medicine and law[edit]

    The “Flexner Report” of 1910, sponsored by the Carnegie Foundation, professionalized American medicine by discarding the scores of local small medical schools and focusing national funds, resources, and prestige on larger, professionalized medical schools associated with universities.[55][56] Prominent leaders included the Mayo Brothers whose Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, became world famous for innovative surgery.[57]

    In the legal profession, the American Bar Association set up in 1900 the Association of American Law Schools (AALS). It established national standards for law schools, which led to the replacement of the old system of young men studying law privately with established lawyers by the new system of accredited law schools associated with universities.[58]

    Social sciences[edit]

    Progressive scholars, based at the emerging research universities such as Harvard, Columbia, Johns Hopkins, Chicago, Michigan, Wisconsin and California, worked to modernize their disciplines. The heyday of the amateur expert gave way to the research professor who published in the new scholarly journals and presses. Their explicit goal was to professionalize and make “scientific” the social sciences, especially history,[4] economics,[5] and political science.[6] Professionalization meant creating new career tracks in the universities, with hiring and promotion dependent on meeting international models of scholarship.

    Notice Bloombergs Mayo folks in the write up,the same one he donated 1 billion dollars to!

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Their explicit goal was to professionalize and make “scientific” the social sciences,

      In other words their movement meant to silence the individual and promote their controllable universities and then they could easily create new so called professionals in created sciences like todays CLIMATOLOGIST or Tobacco Control Professionals………

      Universities became the tool to spread the poison by…………And they deemed it all science!

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        Hense why when I hear the term scientific method I cringe to no end!

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          Is it truly a world gone insane as it appears politics is all that these institutions were created for and to serve………….All of them. Each one supporting the promotions or so called discoveries of the others. To push each agenda forward backed by created junk science and shit laws and shit lawyers with shit agenda driven judges hand picked and schooled to be the ones to keep the lie alive and forth going………To what goal ultimate world domination where truth and fact mean nothing except to create belief systems and to curtail individualism and freedom. To brainwash whole societies and children for the ultimate goal of what!

          No wonder so many were seduced thru the decades until the ulterior motives began to surface and become the new Progressive era where freedom is but a idea tossed into the trash and those of us remembering it criminalized and or professionally assassinated for speaking out. Or watched for our every moves as enemies of the agenda. Our computers hacked or even worse as has happened our computers taken in a raid and us locked up for perceived crimes of exposing nothing more than the truth………..

  11. junican says:

    I’m confused. I don’t understand what Smoking Scot’s quotes about tactical voting means. Let me see….

    Turnout in the GE of 2010 was about 48,000.
    Turnout in this by-election was about 40,000.
    That is not bad for a by-election, so UKIP’s success did not depend much upon voters staying at home.
    UKIP got 16,800 NEW votes.
    They were not all Tories (dropped about 10,000), nor all Labour dropped about 7,000), nor all Libdem (dropped about 7000). Note also that Greens took about 1,000 votes from somewhere.
    I think that it is reasonable, in round figures, to say that the non-voters would have voted in the 2010 GE.
    We can sum the dropped votes and get 24,000. We can reasonably deduct the non-voters from that and get 16,000. We can also deduct 1,000 who went to Greens, leaving 15,000. So, even if all the losses from the three main parties went to UKIP, there is still a shortfall of 1,800 votes.
    Yes, there may have been some tactical voting, but it doesn’t seem to me to have been significant. I think that there is only one reasonable conclusion. Voters are not simply expressing vague dissatisfaction by voting UKIP; they have adopted a new political party and have abandoned the ‘old’ politics in droves.
    Yes, many will ‘return to the folds’ in 2015, like good sheeple, but not in droves.
    It’s up to UKIP to build on the two great successes which it has achieved.

    • smokingscot says:

      I put it in because that’s what the man from the Lib/Dems said on 5 Live.

      I did so was within the context of the main parties attempting to put a spin or damage control on the whole fiasco.

      The Lib/Dem chappie had his work cut out for him and I suspected he was clutching at straws.

      Doubtless some of his supporters did say – out of politeness – that they’d be voting tactically, however now you’ve done the workup, your figures prove what I suspected: it was the political equivalent of a tsunami.

      We must expect MSM and pundits to be way behind the curve on this and I find it unremarkable that on France 24 TV they had a natter about the possibility that the (traditional) British reserve may have broken and there may be an upheaval as they simply go for broke at the next GE, with UKIP the main beneficiary.

      Bear in mind they’re going through their own learning curve in France, with the Front National going from strength to strength. I recall their utter horror when they they reported on Ms Le Pen’s success at the EU elections and then went through the same navel gazing about it ONLY being a knee jerk reaction to immigration – and possibly the EU and possibly job losses (never once about ticked off smokers). I suspect many Italian commentators will be saying much the same thing, with their 5 Star Movement sobering them up a lot.

      So yes our cousins in France and Italy are showing us what’s possible – and that’s why I admire Mr. Miliband for sticking to his mandate and – hopefully – leading Labour into the next General Election. He, Balls, Mandelson, Clegg, Cameron and BoJo just help ram it down our throats that the only people who speak our language happen to wear a UKIP rosette.

  12. harleyrider1978 says:

    Smokers hold out for habit despite public pressure, taxes

    Perhaps the reason Mark Twain is so often quoted on quitting smoking is that his wry words ring all too true for so many smokers, former and current.

    “Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world,” Twain said. “I know, because I’ve done it thousands of times.”

    Dana Applegate has been there. Standing outside the Senator Hotel office building across from the Capitol on Tuesday, Applegate, 51, said she would not be joining Thursday’s Great American Smokeout, a national event in which smokers are urged to refrain for a day each November.

    “The Great American Smokeout?” Applegate said. “Not for me. Not this year.”

    Not even a case of pneumonia some years ago – so severe that Applegate felt like an elephant had settled on her chest – prevented her from resuming her cigarette habit.

    “It’s a disgusting habit and I don’t like smelling like cigarettes,” Applegate said, between frequent puffs while on break from her job as a political pollster. “But it’s the only vice I have. I’m so stressed I can’t even think about the hazards to my health, the way life is right now.”

    All in all, a combination of sin taxes, public education and shifting societal norms has driven down smoking rates nationwide in the past few decades. Today, in California, about 12percent of adults smoke, lower than the national rate of 18.1percent. But the state rate hasn’t budged much in the last three years. Many hardcore smokers, it seems, are having a hard time kicking the habit. And some young people are still picking it up.

    A coalition of health advocacy groups says increasing taxes on cigarettes will shock more people into quitting, thereby lowering health care costs and saving taxpayer dollars. Dubbed Save Lives California, the coalition comprises the American Lung Association, the American Cancer Society, the California Hospital Association, Health Access California and other organizations.

    “Prevention is the best medicine when it comes to tobacco-related diseases,” said Dr. Richard Thorp, past president of the California Medical Association. “As California has shown before, prevention is possible.”

    On Thursday, coalition leaders unveiled a proposal to impose a $2 tax on a pack of cigarettes through legislation or a ballot initiative. Sticker shock, they said, may save approximately 100,000 lives per year and persuade young people not to become longtime smokers.

    Opponents argue that the tax will disproportionately target the poor. Smoking cessation researchers say low-income Americans are the ones having the hardest time quitting.

    Applegate, for one, is coping with the loss of economic stability. During the recession, she lost the job she loved, helping people negotiate health insurance coverage. Just like that, there went her house, her savings and her peace of mind. Her current salary is just two-thirds of what she made before. Home is now somebody else’s spare bedroom.

    Cigarettes help calm her, she said. When that nicotine hits the receptors in her brain, she relaxes a little.

    Kenneth Warner, a professor of public health at the University of Michigan, penned an article in The Atlantic called “The Nicotine Fix.” In it, he and a colleague argued that while the nation’s cigarette addiction may be waning, low-income Americans continue to smoke, and die, at alarming rates.

    “The tobacco industry has been so effective at saying, ‘Oh, sure, smoking is bad for you but so is everything else,’” Warner said. “So if you are part of a largely blue-collar group that accepts smoking as a social norm and doesn’t understand the nature of health hazards beyond lung cancer, you may continue to smoke because everyone around you does,” he said.

    California, which launched the Great American Smokeout in 1976, was an early adopter of smoking cessation campaigns. Now, however, the state’s tobacco tax rate ranks 33rd in the country.

    A pack of cigarettes now sells for about $6 in California, according to The Awl, a current events website in New York that tracks cigarette prices in all 50 states. That compares to a low of $5.25 in Missouri and a high of nearly $13 in New York.

    Tobacco tax supporters say state budget figures show that California’s taxpayers spend an estimated $13.29billion annually through Medi-Cal to treat tobacco-related diseases ranging from heart disease to lung cancer.

    Today, the question of who becomes a lifelong smoker correlates tightly with a person’s level of education.

    In 2011, only 7.5percent of college graduates smoked, Warner said. That’s a decrease of 78percent since 1966, shortly after the U.S. surgeon general warned Americans that cigarettes can kill.

    Over the years, California has pressed its population to quit smoking mainly through taxes that make cigarettes more expensive and by spending part of the tax revenue on public interest campaigns. Bit by bit, lawmakers also have reduced the footprint where smokers can light up by banning cigarettes from workplaces, bars, restaurants, playgrounds, schools and health facilities.

    But critics, including the American Lung Association, note that California lawmakers have declined to raise taxes on cigarettes since 1999, when a 37-cent-a-pack tax was increased to 87cents. And not all of that cigarette tax revenue directly funds no-smoking programs. Ten percent is diverted to the state’s general fund, the lung association said.

    Smoking cessation advocates say more needs to be done to battle the health hazards of cigarettes. Lately, advocates have broken up into two camps: those who want out-and-out radical abolition of cigarettes through prohibition, and those who seek a middle ground through what’s now called tobacco harm reduction.

    The latter group includes Warner, who concedes it took him four tries before he was able to shake off the nicotine fix. These advocates acknowledge that nicotine is highly addictive and that some users may not be able, or may not want, to stop using tobacco products. They tend to promote alternative tobacco products such as e-cigarettes, smokeless tobacco and other forms of noncombustible tobacco.

    According to Warner, lighting up a cigarette and inhaling its estimated 7,000 chemicals, including arsenic, hydrogen cyanide and polonium-210 (used in the widely publicized poisoning of an ex-Russian spy in recent years) accounts for the vast health damage done by tobacco use.

    “If you light up anything, any plant leaf, and inhale, you are letting substances reach your lungs that have no business being there,” he said.

    In his article, Warner calls attention to Sweden’s dramatic success in reducing lung cancer death rates. Currently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is reviewing for approval a Swedish tobacco product called snus (pronounced snooze).

    Decades ago, Swedish Match, a cigarette manufacturer in Sweden, stopped producing cigarettes and developed the smokeless tobacco product that users tuck inside their cheek. Snus is a tiny tea-bag-like product filled with moist, refrigerated, unadulterated tobacco.

    Refrigeration prevents the tobacco from fermenting, a process American tobacco growers use to dry the leaves that produces a flavorful cigarette but one laced with a natural carcinogen that is not present in the moist, refrigerated tobacco.

    When the Swedish government heaped higher taxes on cigarettes but kept the price of snus low, men switched to the smokeless tobacco product. Today an estimated 30percent use snus, and, as a result, Sweden now boasts Europe’s lowest male lung cancer death rate.

    Swedish women, who consider smokeless tobacco a man’s product, still have cigarette smoking rates – and tobacco-related death rates – similar to those of females in the rest of the European Union.

    Whether such a variation on a tobacco product receives FDA approval and is embraced by the American market remains an open question.

    As the debate over how to drive down smoking rates continues, some longtime smokers voice little optimism that they’ll quit soon, even as nonsmoking regulations continue to limit where and when they are permitted to light up.

    Doris Burke, 56, or Sacramento, said she believes she needs to quit because she is growing older and fears developing health problems.

    “Actually I want to quit,” Burke said. “No, actually I need to quit because of my age. But I still enjoy it.”

    Read more here:

  13. harleyrider1978 says:

    Use of anti-smoking funds questioned in California Napa Valley

    A few days ago, Garry Trudeau, the popular author of the comic strip “Doonesbury,” presented his walking-talking “Mr. Cigarette” to ask, “Hi, folks! Are your kids still not up to the dangers of smoking? Well, don’t blame it on Big Tobacco.”

    Trudeau’s Mr. Cigarette goes on to note that Big Tobacco, as a result of a court settlement that went against them some years ago, had to cough up $206 billion to the states “to fund anti-smoking campaigns.”

    “So is that what the states used the money for?” asks Mr. Cigarette. “Of course not!” he answers his own question. “This year, only 1.9 percent of the wind-fall was spent on prevention!”

    Each year, Napa County receives a trickled-down million plus dollars ($1.2 million in 2014) of that windfall that Trudeau’s Mr. Cigarette says is “to fund anti-smoking campaigns.” And does the county use that money for direct anti-smoking or smoking prevention purposes? No, it does not.

    While the county appropriates almost the whole of its anti-smoking money to local health care organizations — admittedly a good thing — that has little or nothing to do with the “anti-smoking campaigns” Tradeau says is what the money is supposed to be used for. Such monies in Napa County, if used for anything at all related to smoking, are spent almost exclusively at the other end of the smoking equation, trying to heal tobacco-diseased lungs and smoking-caused cancerous throats, the near-life’s-end part of the smoking tragedy.

    It is doubtful that Napa County spends even 1.9 percent of the anti-smoking riches it receives for direct, stop-smoking or smoking-prevention efforts. And it has piled up $12 million that it is holding in “unappropriated” monies that should be going to that purpose. That’s above and beyond the $1 million-plus it receives each year.

    Some years ago, a sizable amount of the anti-smoking funds Napa County received from the tobacco settlement were annually and automatically given over to direct stop-smoking expenditures in the county. Then that annual, automatic appropriation somehow disappeared in favor of requiring the volunteers who were working in direct stop-smoking programs having to complete a long time-taking, tedious and complex qualifying process the health care organizations that now receive this money have to go through. The result has been that practically no direct anti-smoking funds are now being appropriated from the tobacco settlement monies Napa County receives.

    Earlier this year, the financial request of a group working in direct stop-smoking work in the county was turned down because it didn’t meet the relatively sophisticated bidding standard the county has established for health care and other organizations. That’s hard to imagine since the organization is working at exactly what the monies are supposed to be going for.

    The county’s public health officials estimate that 11 percent of Napa County teenagers are sucking at the killer weed called “cigarettes,” or trying out the dangerous, newfangled e-cigarettes. That translates to scores of young people in our county alone whose lives may be cut short by death caused by tobacco. The danger of cigarette smoking and other tobacco uses desperately needs to get to them right now.

    An effort is currently being made to request the Napa County Board of Supervisors to restore an automatic annual appropriation for the use of those who volunteer to do direct, anti-smoking programs in the county. I hope every Napa County citizen who has the best interest of the health of our children and teenagers at heart will send a note of support for that request to the supervisors.

    Ford lives in Angwin.

    Editor’s Note: County officials say Ford’s numbers are correct, but note that the settlement with tobacco companies did not require that the money be specifically allocated to smoking-cessation programs. Indeed, it comes with no restrictions on use at all. Napa County decided to split the money between a health-related grant program, which is awarded annually on a competitive basis, and a fund to bank money allowing the county to continue such grants long after the tobacco settlement payments stop in 2025.

  14. harleyrider1978 says:

    America Won the Battle against Smoking but Risks Losing the War

    States have reduced smoking to an all-time low. But future efforts suddenly seem hazy.

    Ellen Hahn running that mouth in this one………….

  15. mikef317 says:

    I’m probably the only commenter on this blog who defends Obama. The link about him is to a column by Pat Buchanan.

    Non-Americans might ask, “who is Pat Buchanan?” He was an advisor to Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and Ronald Regan. (Long, long ago, and all Republicans.) He twice (1992 and 1996) ran for President.

    Buchanan was once a popular figure on TV political talk shows, presenting conservative opinions in opposition to liberal views. He also wrote columns for the print media. I may be wrong, but I think his audience has been considerably diminished in recent years. Maybe his ideas have grown more radical, or maybe the U. S. public has moved on to other issues. I don’t know – or care. But I will state – emphatically – that Buchanan represents the viewpoint of a small percent of the American population – those on the far right. There is another, equally dogmatic, viewpoint on the far left. Both groups claim to represent THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.

    As one of 320 million American’s, I’d be happy if all these people developed severe cases of laryngitis. The far left is ape-shit about global warming; the far right is ranting about Obama’s tyranny. I’m tempted to invoke the Second Amendment and say, “can’t we just line these people up and shoot them?” I wouldn’t, but left or right, to listen to the extremes is to seriously misjudge the beliefs of the average American.

    Every reader of this comment lives in some country, and that country has an immigration law. In the U. S., we’ve been tinkering with ours since we became a country. I haven’t read a word of the law as it exists today (and I suspect 99.99% of Americans haven’t, either) but I’m sure that the law is long and complex – and it is the EXACT WORDING of the law that determines what is or is not legal. Furthermore, there are courts that hear cases on immigration, and their decisions also become part of the law. At a guess, it would take several years to become reasonably informed on this issue – but (not so much on this blog, but on what I get from U. S. sources) an astonishing number of Americans have suddenly become Legal Scholars, eager to proclaim (with utter certainty) what is or is not legal. (I wish I was that smart!)

    Like Obama or not, he spent 10 years teaching constitutional law. As I see it, his actions are legal and in line with what other Presidents have done in the past. I might be wrong, but this is a matter that can be settled in U. S. courts.

    Frank (or any other non-American reader), let’s make this personal. When your mother was pregnant, suppose she and your father visited the U. S. – as tourists, to work, or whatever. Suppose you were born on U. S. soil? The law says that you AUTOMATICALLY become a U. S. citizen. (Worse things could happen.) I think you’d also be a UK citizen. Regardless, if you were born on U. S. soil you would have all the rights of any American.

    Suppose 15 years pass. Your parents stay in the U. S. They work, pay taxes, and obey U. S. laws – but – they never apply for legal permission to stay in the U. S.

    Mom and dad are “illegal immigrants.” Son Frank is an American. (Frank, you have a brother; let’s assume he wasn’t born on U. S. soil; he is NOT an American.)

    Suppose the U. S. decides to get tough on illegal immigrants. Frank, you’re 15 years old. Black helicopters or a SWAT team descend around your house. Soldiers if full military gear break down the door, toss a few flash grenades, kill your dog if you have one, and under the threat of deadly force, arrest your parents and your brother. You CAN’T be arrested – you are an American citizen. (Or maybe they’ll arrest you just because you’re there.)

    What happens next? Your parents and your brother are illegal – part of the invading alien horde. Can they afford passage back to England? Let’s hope so or American taxpayers will have to foot the bill. Suppose your parents can’t pay, and American taxpayers won’t foot the bill – do we toss your family into the Atlantic ocean, and say “swim back home, vile alien invaders”?

    And what of 15 year old Frank Davis, American citizen, not deported? Can you get a job that will at least pay for food and an apartment? I think not. But there are foster homes, or orphanages, or you could decide to join your family on the long swim to England.

    Is this the America most Americans want to see? – emphatically, hell no!

    The U. S. (and I’d say also the UK and other “developed” countries) have an immigration problem. Alien hoards invading our borders? Or people picking crops and cleaning hotel rooms to earn a living? I don’t want to see the full power of the U. S. government set loose to stomp on these people. I think most Americans would agree.

    The U. S. Constitution gives the President enormous power. Obama is using that power to help people on the fringe of our society. And they are part of society – tomato picker at a farm, or a maid at a ritzy hotel. Illegal, yes, but just people trying to earn a living. Not alien hoards.

    In closing, a question. Did anyone read the comments on Pat Buchanan’s piece? These aren’t as bad as anti-smoking histrionics that say “I hope you die of lung cancer,” but they are narrow-minded, ignorant, and nasty (at least in my opinion). I’ve quoted some below. Judge for yourself.

    I’ll end with another question – would you rather be governed by Barack Obama or by the people who wrote these comments?



    Trust me, Obama is NOT the antichrist.. he IS the precursor to the coming antichrist, however. We think Obama is evil… we ain’t seen nothing yet…..

    It is virtually guaranteed that these endless swarming hordes of illegal alien invaders will turn this once great, productive, honorable and proud nation into the third world cesspools from which they come to suckle at the Great Federal Teat….

    “The Leader of The Latino Invading Forces (LIFO) has spoken. Surrender your weapons! Benito Hussein Obama has assumed the role as Emperor of the Americas. Submit! Stupid America Voter!” ~~~ Lt. Debbie Wassermann-Shultz. (Mikef comment. DWS is a member of the U. S. House of Representatives from Florida. She is also Chair of the Democratic National Committee which tries to get Democrats ellected to office. DWS is considerably to my left, but doesn’t make stupid statements like this invented quote.)

    Those of you that took the oath to protect the constitution, now is your time to act. Protect the constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic. Our constitution is under attack. You know what you need to do.

    Come next January both Republican led Houses of Congress should vote to authorize the American military to REMOVE OBAMA from the White House. Of course THAT is not in the Constitution… but who cares…right Barack?

    I seriously believe both congress and the supreme court should pack their sorry butts up and go home. We now have a supreme dictator with full power so they are no longer needed. Yes,he’s a criminal but he’s allowed to be because he’s black.

    The Illegal bastardo in the white house has decided America isn’t enough for his dominion. He wants Mexico, Central, and South America.

    If it was up to me we would split this Country in half. Everyone that voted for Obama on one side and the rest of us on the other. Obama’s side would begin its death spiral almost immediately with no one their to support them. At which point they would attempt to jump our border, in which case I would implement a shoot to kill policy with our border patrol agents.

    Screw the federal government, both parties. They gave us the Patriot Act and the NDAA. We know they are all traitors. It’s time for the Pentagon to grow a pair and honor their oath to defend the Constitution from these DOMESTIC enemies. Yes… A coup d’état to protect the Constitution, our Constitutional Republic, our liberty and our freedom.

    …the public, outraged, will begin civil and uncivil disobedience. If illegals do not have to follow the law and are rewarded, so should We The Citizens. So, perhaps they stop paying their student loans back, cease paying income taxes or balances owed, refuse to pay fines, fees, tickets, etc. The feds send agents at their peril for they are out-gunned and out-numbered.

    Scorched earth…obama in his last year will rip up the train tracks behind him like Hitler when the war was lost.

    • Frank Davis says:

      I included that mention of Obama in my post because it was something that was happening in the USA in tandem with events in the UK, and I’ve been getting the impression that the US right is very, very unhappy with what Obama is doing. John Boehner has been promising action of an unspecified sort.

      I don’t have any strong views on Obama (It’s Hillary Clinton that I really don’t like). But I pick up a sense of really deep division between the US right and left these days. It’s always been like that, but it seems even worse these days than it used to be. And it’s something that isn’t reflected in UK politics (yet): the division between left and right in the UK is much less intense. Take one of your quotes:

      “If it was up to me we would split this Country in half. Everyone that voted for Obama on one side and the rest of us on the other.”

      You don’t hear stuff like that in the UK. But I run across it regularly in the USA.

      I think also that immigration seems to be becoming a hot political issue everywhere. A lot of the support for UKIP is over immigration. Immigration isn’t a hot issue for me, though. I just happen to be someone who supports UKIP because they’d relax the smoking ban.

    • garyk30 says:

      You say that: ” I think most Americans would agree” with your ‘make them legal by anymeans’ opinion.
      Not true.
      ABC News/Washington Post Poll. Sept. 4-7, 2014. N=1,001 adults nationwide. Margin of error ± 3.5.

      “Do you think undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States should or should not be given the right to live and work here legally?”

      Should Should not Unsure
      %…… % ……………… %

      46 50 4

  16. Pingback: The Long Retreat in the Culture War | Frank Davis

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