Things noticed today

Things noticed today. One:

Fox’s John Stossel claimed that “there is no good data showing secondhand smoke kills people,” ignoring years of studies and a 2014 Surgeon General report that determined millions of Americans have died as a result of exposure to secondhand smoke.

On the December 4 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends, John Stossel pointed to anti-smoking legislation as an example of needless government interference in Americans’ personal freedoms. He justified his position with the claim that “no good data” exists demonstrating that secondhand smoke kills people:

He’s quite right, of course. Same goes for firsthand smoke too.

Two:

New York City’s leading smokers’ rights activist, Audrey Silk, says anti-tobacco politicians have blood on their hands following the controversial death of Eric Garner.

The street-vending entrepreneur died July 17 after a confrontation with police who suspected he was selling untaxed loose cigarettes, a crime for which he previously had been arrested many times.

Officer Daniel Pantaleo, recorded on videotape choking Garner into submission while he said “I can’t breathe” numerous times, was cleared of wrongdoing by a grand jury Wednesday, sparking nationwide protests.

“Everybody’s misdirecting the blame and the ones to blame the most are being so quiet,” says Silk, founder of Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment, also known as NYC Clash.

“Is it the police’s fault? Yeah,” says Silk. “But it’s not the NYPD, it’s the lifestyle police.”

Two-related:

Rand Paul blames Eric Garner’s death on high NYC cigarette tax

In 2010, the New York State Legislature passed a law raising taxes on cigarettes purchased in New York City to $5.85 per pack of 20 cigarettes.

Three:

DAKAR: The Belgian microbiologist who co-discovered the Ebola virus has accused the World Health Organization of dithering in reacting to the deadly epidemic and accused the international community of “hysteria.”….

“It took three months for the WHO to find out there was an Ebola outbreak. That I understand. Guinea had a poor laboratory infrastructure,” he told Doha-based broadcaster Al Jazeera in an interview due to air on Saturday.

“I have much more of a problem with the fact that it took five months for WHO – for the international health regulations committee, for that’s what it is — to declare this a state of emergency.

Heck, give them a break, willya.  You do know that they’re also fighting a tobacco epidemic and an obesity epidemic.

Four:

An epidemic of whooping cough has broken out in California. Not long ago, this ancient scourge had been banished by modern medicine. But now it’s back, thanks to people who believe modern medicine is dangerous.

These folks are not ignorant backwoods hicks. Many of them have advanced degrees. They live in some of the nicest neighbourhoods on Earth – places like Marin County, Napa and Malibu. But they believe that vaccines cause autism or worse. Immunization rates in some of the more fashionable California schools resemble those in the more backward parts of Africa. At the Valley Waldorf City School in Lake Balboa, for example, 88 per cent of students don’t have the standard vaccinations.

I suppose it depends what’s meant by ‘modern’ medicine. If by ‘modern’ is meant the latest healthist lifestyle medicine, then I agree: it’s dangerous. But I’d count immunization as part of ‘classic’ medicine.  It’s something that’s been done for over 200 years.

Five:

Russell Brand and Nigel Farage set for heated head-to-head Question Time debate.

I can’t bear Russell Brand. He comes across to me like an oversized toddler. I don’t know why anyone pays any attention to him at all.

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About Frank Davis

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60 Responses to Things noticed today

  1. smokervoter says:

    There’s a link on Matt Drudge’s website that I’ve become somewhat fascinated with lately called ViralNewsChart which is supposed to track stories with large followings. Although the explanation of their methodology borders on the mystical side (our secret algorithm !) I assume that the selected articles do attract more than a few eyeballs. Ranking on the first page today is Jon Stewart making fun of the great senator Rand Paul.

    “What the fuck are you talking about?” Stewart asked after hearing Paul’s remarks. “Well I guess now we know what it takes for a senator from Kentucky to admit cigarettes can kill.” What a cheap and unamusing shot from a pathetic little man.

    I utterly despise Jon Stewart. Luckily for me I don’t waste money on cable television and as such have not spent much of my time watching his incredibly unfunny Daily Show except when it is on someone else’s teevee set. I honestly try to find him funny but it is an impossible task. To me, politics and humor are like oil and water, and it doesn’t matter from which end of the spectrum it might originate. Government is about as funny as a fart in a spacesuit.

    He is in the same boat as Cass Sunstein and California lieutenant governor Gavin Newsom in that they profess to be non-partisan ‘progressive libertarians’ without an agenda when they are really hardcore, statist lefties. Jon Stewart is a sneering, pathetic little man who completely missed the very pertinent message behind Rand Paul’s statement. He doesn’t fool me for a second.

    Were it not for Bloomberg’s hubristic rejection of the law of supply and demand and well known historic Prohibition-era black market precedents, this man would not have been selling individual cigarettes on the streets of New York City.

    Lefty’s have but one gear in the transmission case – Snark, snark and more snark. It’s one of the reasons, despite being an open-minded kind of guy, I have very few friends on the Left. Above all else I love a good belly laugh.

    And I hate snarkiness with a passion.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/05/jon-stewart-chokehold_n_6273864.html

    • Some other Tom says:

      Jon Stewart is a breathing stool sample, in my opinion. I’ve never been able to watch him, or Bill Maher or any of those people for more than 2 or 3 minutes. I am thankful for them though – they’ve cured me of ever watching TV again…

      • castello2 says:

        Where are the conservative counterparts to Stewart and Colbert? It is very easy to make fun of you conservatives.. I understand that most liberals have been brainwashed by “public health” about smoking but poor white folks voting for conservatives is a joke. They are the party of the rich governing for the rich. What is more disturbing is that they don’t even try to hide it. At least the left in the US try to hide that they are bought and paid for. Russel Brand may piss you off too but if you can stand a few minutes he is telling truths.

      • Joe L. says:

        Keep in mind that long before Jon Stewart and Bill Maher became unfunny, drum-beating, flag-waving, anti-smoking liberal “pundits,” both were actually decently funny stand-up comedians … who smoked cigarettes.

        • smokervoter says:

          You know something Joe, you are absolutely right about Bill Maher as I vaguely recollect. He had a show called Politically Correct I think on late night ABC in the 90s. He was an ardent defender of smokers rights. In fact he worked the defense of them into his show just about every single night. It worked him up into a lather more than just about anything else.

          So, what happened? Did he quit and get Perfect Health religion or what? Anyone know the story?

          I rarely see his new show (no cable, I’m a rabbit-ears/digital decoder Wise Man – 92 channels for free) but what I do see of him via the net – yuck!!! He’s the pits.

        • Joe L. says:

          I’m not sure exactly what happened, smokervoter, but they were definitely both smokers, an their “reformations” both seemed to coincide with their career transitions from comics to liberal propagandists. While I was surprisingly unable to find photos of Maher smoking on the internet, here a few of Jon Stewart:

        • Joe L. says:

          Looks like we can’t post images. Here are links instead:

          Jon Stewart Smoking #1

          Jon Stewart Smoking #2

          Jon Stewart Smoking #3

  2. smokervoter says:

    Incidentally, the upcoming Farage-Brand debate is also listed high on the ViralNewsChart. That ought to be good, Nigel will wipe the floor with that pathetic little Millennial fool. The article described him as a comedian. Have I missed something here? What is he famous for? All I knew of him was that he got married to the musically worthless (but cleavage-ly worthwhile) Katy Perry. They ran away and had some kind of silly hippy guru wedding in India and then broke up.

    He should marry Jon Stewart and live happily ever after in Dullsville.

      • smokervoter says:

        I couldn’t make it past 3:00, what an annoying yoga bore. Like I said, government is about as funny as a….

        Father Jack, Edward West, castello2… you sure have a lot of different names and identities.

        Why not just post up one of your internet lectures with its rather typical underlying anti-tobacco smoking theme as frequently adopted by some ex-smoking, born-again vapers like yourself (not Puddlecote, nor Snowdon, etc.) and let the smokers who frequent this blog decide what they think about whoever you are.

        I personally think that you’re a part of what’s ailing my formerly fun-loving, easy-going home state and turned it into a leftwing hell on earth. Although there are some conservative control-freaks around to be sure, the vast majority of the folks who’ve ruined this state are illiberal Liberals. This isn’t the uninformed opinion of some Johnny-come-lately. I’ve lived in both eras, voted for Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan, all with my eyes wide open.

        • castello2 says:

          I am not the great fathe jack. Ed West if you must know. Fuck Dick Cheney and anyone who voted for him. right wing nuts are …….nuts

        • castello2 says:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDRnUGdIhCY Politics is funny if you didn’t vote for ronny or dick cheney

        • castello2 says:

          Besides the smoking bans, what have us liberals ruined in our state? FYI I am preaching to the anti smokers that they are nannies and should leave us smokers and vapers the fuck alone. They are pushing it so hard it is gonna bite them in the ass soon as harley says.

        • carol2000 says:

          I only made it to 1:17.

        • castello2 says:

          It appears you and carol2000 don’t want to listen to anyone but their own. You like what Rupert Murdoch has done to the media industry? Get out of that bubble or believe the BS?

        • carol2000 says:

          You’re the ninny living in a bubble if you think there’s any difference. Not in anything that matters!

        • castello2 says:

          Nothing specific carol? Who do you listen to that is different from Faux Noise or Rupert? Who can you trust that is not bought and paid for by big corporations or billionaires? Saying the comedian is an ass is not having a conversation.

        • carol2000 says:

          ) I don’t listen to anyone, and 2) trying to imply that I have an obligation to let some time-waster dump his worthless drivel on me because he’s supposedly “not bought and paid for by big corporations or billionaires” is trying to abort conversation, not promote it.

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          Carols closer to right on this………..there is no difference between Rinos and leftists.

          The day they quit fighting each other and began supporting each other is when all of us got fucked. Then when election time rolls around they play fight each other for the public and the core base…………

          Then we have a few outlaw types that truly are for the people……..like Rand Paul but even he has been gotton too by the Washington Clique,but at least he still pushes the right buttons on Occassions like this. Ive met the man personally and trust me he hates anything anti-tobacco especially smoking bans!

    • Rose says:

      What is he famous for?

      Leaving a series of obscene phone calls on the answerphone of an elderly actor about his granddaughter during a recorded BBC programme in 2008, which was then broadcast.

      Transcript: Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross prank call to Andrew Sachs
      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/celebritynews/3274807/Transcript-Russell-Brand-and-Jonathan-Ross-prank-call-to-Andrew-Sachs.html

      Nasty piece of work.

      • castello2 says:

        Carol. You finally get a respected, by some, main stream media bloke to say the truth about SHS and you tear into him like he is a fake martian invading your house. This is a huge step from all the fear mongering about SHS! Celebrate with a smoke and a 20 year old scotch and or a beer. Baby steps

  3. Smoking Lamp says:

    This are certainly heating up on all fronts. I suspect it is due to the Tobacco Control cult moving toward their preferred end state of tobacco prohibition.

    Today is the 81st Anniversary of the Repeal of Prohibition in the US (when the ill-fated 18th Amendment was overturned by the 21st Amendment). That alcohol ban resulted in widespread resentment of government authority and substantial growth of organized crime. While alcohol is legal (for now), tobacco use, especially cigarettes and cigar smoking, is increasingly subject to bans. New bans are proposed almost daily worldwide.

    Just today, New Zealand is facing a potential outdoor ban (see “Calls grow to ban outdoor smoking,” http://www.nzherald.co.nz/bay-of-plenty-times/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503343&objectid=11370016 ). This comes 10 years after the New Zealand pub and bar ban. In the last month, notable bans include a new outdoor ban in Ontario, Canada and a national indoor-outdoor ban in Brazil. Being in China has banned indoor smoking while a national ban for all China is pending. Universities all across the US are banning smoking (including smokeless tobacco and e-cigarettes) on entire campuses. Many cities are banning smoking in parks and outdoors at downtown entertainment districts. A ban for bars, casinos, and almost all of the city (including the French Quarter) is pending for New Orleans.

    Prohibition lasted 13 years, the tobacco witch hunt started with bans in Aspen (1985), Beverly Hills, 1987, San Luis Obispo (1990), California restaurants (19940, California bars (1998), New York City Bars and Restaurants (20020, Chicago Bars and Restaurants and Outdoors (2008), etc. Ireland’s ban was initiated in 2004, the UK followed in 2007, France in 2008, etc. Smoking is based in nearly every airport in the US, at Heathrow in the UK. The result of these bans has been increasing pressure from anti-smoking groups to further restrictions on smoking with a final goal of total prohibition Bars and pubs have closed (those that remain open are serving much less, perhaps a third of their past trade); smokers are demonized and subject to increasing calls for harassment (including denial of employment and health care).

    As regular reader of the blog well know, these are all put forward in the name of individual and public health despite an absence of solid unbiased scientific evidence for many of the tobacco control claims. Even when studies show no health risk of second hand smoke, the anti-smokers justify bans on the nonexistent risk. Now, the momentum is gaining, more bans are at hand, organized crime is benefiting and growing due to the rise in illicit tobacco trade. Police are enforcing tobacco tax and use laws alienating citizens. Meanwhile, many early anti-ban coalitions in the US have given up. Despite efforts to overturn bans in Illinois, Michigan, and Hawaii (for example), those groups are largely quiet. In New York, C.L.A.S.H. is still active and vocal and has even won minor victories on bans in state parks, however the prospects of overturning the comprehensive indoor appear dim. Bans on e-cigarettes are also proliferating.

    John Stossel’s op-ed is a welcome relief from the unfettered Tobacco Control propaganda machine. I guess the question is when will the madness stop? The global anti-smoker cult is making significant gains toward their end state. Are we going to see a reversal to the unabated anti-smoking momentum? If so, what is the tipping point? When will the public (and politicians) recognize they have been manipulated? When will we be able to enjoy a smoke–hopefully with friends at a pub or cafe, indoors or outside–without be vilified?

  4. carol2000 says:

    People like John Stossel are the problem – they’re just Official Anti-Smoker-Approved Fake Opponents, designed to make the ignorant masses think they allowed genuine dissent when they didn’t. Sniveling that there’s “no good data” is an outrageous sellout, because it ignores the fact that there is actual deliberate and systematic scientific fraud by the government on behalf of the anti-smokers. And just calling it “needless government interference in Americans’ personal freedoms” trivializes the enormity of what the government is doing. For the government to commit fraud to deprive us of our liberties is automatically a violation of our Constitutional rights to the equal protection of the laws, just as much as if it purposely threw innocent people in prison. It’s used as the pretext to take away not just our money and our freedom to smoke in public places, but also our freedom to smoke in our own homes, to encourage employment and housing discrimination against smokers, to subject us to personal discomfort and make our daily lives more difficult, and even to take away or threaten to take away smokers’ children. And for the government to spread lies about phony passive smoking dangers to incite fear in others is terrorism, no different from phony bomb threats.

    • castello2 says:

      Carol. You finally get a respected, by some, main stream media bloke to say the truth about SHS and you tear into him like he is a fake martian invading your house. This is a huge step from all the fear mongering about SHS! Celebrate with a smoke and a 20 year old scotch and or a beer. Baby steps

      • carol2000 says:

        Stossel said absolutely nothing about anti-smoker scientific fraud, and that is what’s important. The squishy-soft reason he gave of “no good data” is merely an invitation to dismiss his views, because the anti-smokers believe their data is good and Stossel and his ilk are merely in denial. That’s why Stossel and his ilk accomplish nothing other than to reassure the anti-smokers that their views are unassailable by any reasonable person, while our side gets cheated out of real advocacy. Furthermore, anybody who applauds him must be too dumb to understand this. Baby steps are for babies, not grownups! But I suppose you’d applaud it if they pawned off a mewling infant as “our” spokesman anyhow.

        • castello2 says:

          So just wallow in your self pity and don’t celebrate anything ever. Why do you think Stossel is in denial? He is speaking the truth for the first time in decades. Isn’t that what we want?

        • carol2000 says:

          The sorry excuse for the truth that Stossel speaks is no threat whatsoever to the anti-smokers. That’s why they regularly allow Anti-Smoker-Approved Fake Opponents to prattle it. It’s so lame it gives the anti-smokers confedence. What you’re celebrating over is just them getting away with cheating us again.

        • castello2 says:

          Who else besides Nigel has come out against shs with any profile at all? They are the only 2 I’ve heard. Whiskey all around! Please be specific now.

        • carol2000 says:

          Michael Siegel regularly makes it into The New York Times; Audrey Silk has been there too; various spokespeople from FOREST in the UK, for starters. But you are missing my point: If your attitude is that you’re so desperate you’ll settle for anything, they’ll take full advantage of it and give you worthless pablum. Not only does it not harm the anti-smokers’ case, it actually makes it look stronger than it is to see such weak objections to it presented as if that’s all there are. How about upgrading your expectations and asking why those so-called journalists don’t question the anti-smokers’ scientific fraud and demand answers? Start analyzing the situation objectively instead of just considering your own feelings. And as for Nigel, somebody needs to educate him about this and how it also affects food fascism and pollution issues, and point out that merely repealing smoking bans won’t be enough and there ought to be a shakeup and purge in the health establishment to really fix things. I haven’t tried to because I’m not a potential voter in the UK.

        • castello2 says:

          Nobody listens to Michael Sieglel or Audrey Silk but our little group. Nobody but people in this group probably even know both of their names. This was on a “major cable” tv show by someone many look to for information. It was as close to Main Stream Media as we have been in decades!

        • carol2000 says:

          For your information, “many people” look to The New York Times for information, too, and they tend to be the more powerful ones. And the bottom line is that Stossel didn’t say a damn thing that even the most ignorant person hasn’t heard before. And it really goes to show that Fox News isn’t any different from all the rest – just the same garbage, with different marketing.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Carol, Stossel tosses an on air in their face monkey wrench so deep it has been reprinted in I know of 6 foreign languages.

      The story didn’t die its still being told even by the leftists.

      They know its over,we know its over……………..Now its just a matter of time for it to completely fall apart. Oh yes there going at wharp drive to get as many bans of any kind passed as they can right now.

      But why the rush? They know its fast coming to an end……………

      • carol2000 says:

        Yeah, they know it’s over and THEY won – thanks in part to tools like Stossel and fools who think he’s the real thing.

        • Smoking Lamp says:

          How do you suggest turning the tide then? Where are the strong advocates? It is nearing the endgame, It seems all agree there. It is the outcome that is at stake. How will that come down? The anti-smokers appear to have the momentum and have a high operational tempo. Not so much on the side of the smoking community. How can that be changed?

        • carol2000 says:

          Concentrate of what matters, namely exposing the scientific fraud of blaming smoking for diseases caused by infection. Then demand that the government end this practice. Don’t waste any effort on crap like whining about nannyism and slippery slopes, and practically all the rest of those lame arguments.

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          They won what Carol…………….some bans passed they had 43 stayes last time this time only 26 and even those aren’t full bans. Cant you see whats going on in the world!

          Its falling apart for them EVERYWHERE! They know politically and publicly its nearly over for their movement. Why the secrecy in Moscow ehh……….afraid some politicans might get wind of their plans…………….

        • carol2000 says:

          They’ve installed their cabal in the FDA (with Jonathan M. Samet heading the scientific [sic] committee, of course), and are now in position to outlaw tobacco. Which would make repealing the smoking bans irrelevant.

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          It just dawned on me they held blackmarket tobacco hearings this summer so Paul is just brining up what the Senate already knows exists. To tie this death in with high taxation and bullying tactics of enforcement that leas to a death is a political bonanza move!

        • Frank Davis says:

          THEY won

          If you think that they’ve won, you must believe that resistance is futile.

      • Smoking Lamp says:

        Harley, I wish I was as optimistic as you. But ~10 years ago you could smoke inside in many cities in the US and Canada. Montreal, Washington, DC, Northern Virginia, Chicago, Boston, and others (including Ireland, UK, France, Spain, most of Germany, etc.) have all become smoke-free following New York’s ban.

        First no smoking in restaurants, then no smoking in bars, then came no smoking hotels, now smoking patios are being banned, parks and public streets and squares are being made smoke free. New nations join the list of prohibitionists seemingly daily (China, Brazil); outdoor bans are the thing in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the US, and UK.

        There is virtually no push back. The right to free assembly is trampled for those who smoke. All in the name of protecting others from second hand smoke (despite the fabricated threat the mass believe the propaganda). Where is the collapse of the anti-smoker tobacco control regime? What specific indicators do you see showing signs of the end of this madness?

        • Frank Davis says:

          There is virtually no push back.

          But there are consequences, and these gradually add up.

          In the first place, smoking bans are deeply socially divisive. This is something that was always bound to happen when, as ASH’s Deborah Arnott foresaw, “smokers will be exiled to the outdoors.” Once people start getting exiled, the fabric of society starts getting torn apart.

          Secondly, smokers stay home and stop spending. Once they stop spending in bars, they stop spending on travel, on clothes. They stop spending on everything. That drives a lot of demand out of the economy, and has a recessionary effect.

          Thirdly, smokers lose faith in experts, doctors, government. This has knock-on effects in other matters of health, and wherever trust and confidence are called for.

          And I think that, while they are not immediately obvious, these (inevitable) adverse consequences will gradually be recognised by more and more people, and the climate of opinion will change. It already is changing.

          I get the impression that the same thing happened during Prohibition in the USA. It didn’t end because millions of Americans marched in the streets against it. It ended because people gradually came to see all the adverse consequences that had flowed from it, which had only emerged over time.

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          It took 13 years for prohibition to end but it took the Nazi Progressives back then from 1860 until 1919 to get a law against it. The same applied to tobacco too.

          We have the internet today and with it we can within micro-seconds fight back………..

          Did our fore bearers have that at there disposal.

          It means we can turn the tide fight by fight………..How many times have you seen someone using what some of us have written in a comments run,Ive seen it lots and lots.

          When you see that you don’t even have to attack it yourself.
          Then we see its an international cartel via the UN the WHO and a bundle of Billionaires dumping cash to keep the game alive. Bloomberg has absolutely no qualms about paying bribes even openly to get his BS bans pushed thru.

          Just because you see China,Brazil and a few others get bans in place remember this they were very very dragging heels doing it………..Even in Russia.

          Most of the smaller countries and even in the larger ones they passed the law simply to satisfy the FCTC mandates and for no other reason than to keep a good faith door open to IMF and WORLD BANK money…………

          Now add in that everybody across the spectrum has become a victim of public health in one form or another……….Hense why UKIP and others like them have won massive elections. But theres more reasons economics being another. Whens the last time you saw a real government created econ report that was real!

          They’ve lied about everything and I mean everything forever and even more so in the last 7-8 years because they had more to hide!

          Weve won the shs war that’s apparent even the die hards wont defend it long………….

          Daily we have reports from media being put out against the bans and the junk science.

          Im not optimistic at all,Im a realist and I know for a fact these political agendas have a lifespan and then they die. The more nails I can drive in it across the coffin the quicker it gets buried……………

          Now each and everyday get on your puter find some storys and go kick that ass of theirs.

          That’s how to win……….never give up and never ever give in!

  5. Zaphod says:

    Russel Brand? I’ve seen some of his work.

    He really likes the sound of his own voice, and so do his many fans.
    He’s an articulate and engaging fool, with absolutely nothing meaningful to say.

    I suspect he serves a purpose, by encouraging people who can’t understand politics to not vote.
    It could be worse. He could be selling a damaging idea. A lot of simple people would buy it.

    • castello2 says:

      He makes some very good arguments against what you call a government. For the people by the people! He has a large audience and if you want to say he has something wrong, say it. What do you disagree with him about?

      • Zaphod says:

        If you find him plausible, follow his advice and don’t vote.
        He is a trap for unintelligent voters.
        I won’t damage the effect by disagreeing with anything he says.

        • castello2 says:

          That voting thing is not working. He didn’t really mean not to vote but that the system is broken. Read beyond the headlines and your corrupt newspapers.

  6. Zaphod says:

    castello2 – “He didn’t really mean not to vote…”
    “He seemed very clear about it. If you find him plausible, follow his advice and don’t vote.”
    But “if you want to say he has something wrong, say it. What do you disagree with him about?”
    No, don’t bother. Life is too short to listen to this.

  7. harleyrider1978 says:

    My internet c onnection sux lastnite and today!

  8. harleyrider1978 says:

    Is the New Pope real or a made to order EU backed pope to push the EU’s objectives…………..

    It would appear the Cardinals of Germany and England were more responsible for the new popes election than any others……………..

    Smoking gun? Pope Francis’ critics cite new book in questioning his papacy

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/religion/smoking-gun-pope-francis-critics-cite-new-book-in-questioning-his-papacy/2014/12/05/9d6dc0ec-7cb2-11e4-8241-8cc0a3670239_story.html

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Some fringe elements in the Catholic Church have proposed various theories they claim might either invalidate the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI in February 2013 or the election of Francis the following month.

      Others see the accounts of conclave machinations as further evidence that Pope Francis is, for them, a far more manipulative and autocratic figure than the public believes.

  9. harleyrider1978 says:

    Department of the Treasury Report to Congress on Federal Tobacco Receipts Lost Due To Illicit Trade and Recommendations for Increased Enforcement
    February 4, 2010

    On April 1, 2009, the federal excise tax on cigarettes was increased more than 150 percent, creating a greater incentive to evade federal taxes. An analysis of the effect of this tax increase on cigarette consumption, taxed sales, and smuggling could therefore not be undertaken.
    Further, the use of survey data poses an additional set of issues. Survey experts agree that survey respondents understate the true extent of their cigarette consumption. If taken as true, the responses in the surveys we examined, would suggest that, on average, only 70 percent of purchased cigarettes were reported to be actually consumed, which strains credulity. The substantial uncertainty surrounding the degree of underreporting of cigarette consumption in survey data necessarily generates large uncertainty about the magnitude of the federal tax receipts lost due to the illicit cigarette trade. Any estimate of federal tax loss based on survey data therefore should be regarded as only broadly indicative of actual receipts lost.4
    Two factors concerning the estimate of illicit tobacco trade should be noted at the outset. First, the study does not include data from the period after April 1, 2009, when the federal excise tax on cigarettes was increased more than 150 percent, creating a greater incentive to evade federal taxes. Second, a significant component of illicit tobacco trade in the United States is the illegal shipment of tobacco products from low-tax states to high-tax states, in order to evade state taxes. This activity does not necessarily implicate federal collections, since federal taxes are uniform nationwide and are collected at the

    http://www.ttb.gov/pdf/tobacco-receipts.pdf

  10. harleyrider1978 says:

    The high tax burden on tobacco results in de facto prohibition of the products, bringing all the undesirable outcomes associated with alcohol prohibition in the 1920s. In our research we have found evidence of substantial tobacco smuggling from low to high tax jurisdictions, violent crime, theft of tobacco and tobacco tax stamps, corruption of law-enforcement officers, and even funding of terrorist organizations through crime rings.

  11. harleyrider1978 says:

    Tobacco Taxation and Unintended Consequences: U.S. Senate Hearing on Tobacco Taxes Owed, Avoided, and Evaded

    Drenkard Statement to U.S. Senate Finance Committee July 2014

    Hearing on Tobacco: Taxes Owed, Avoided, and Evaded

    The high tax burden on tobacco results in de facto prohibition of the products, bringing all the undesirable outcomes associated with alcohol prohibition in the 1920s. In our research we have found evidence of substantial tobacco smuggling from low to high tax jurisdictions, violent crime, theft of tobacco and tobacco tax stamps, corruption of law-enforcement officers, and even funding of terrorist organizations through crime rings.

    http://taxfoundation.org/artic

  12. harleyrider1978 says:

    Now how can We believe CDC numbers on smoking rates when even the Federal Government knows they are UNRELIABLE!

    Survey experts agree that survey respondents understate the true extent of their cigarette consumption. If taken as true, the responses in the surveys we examined, would suggest that, on average, only 70 percent of purchased cigarettes were reported to be actually consumed, which strains credulity. The substantial uncertainty surrounding the degree of underreporting of cigarette consumption in survey data necessarily generates large uncertainty about the magnitude of the federal tax receipts lost due to the illicit cigarette trade. Any estimate of federal tax loss based on survey data therefore should be regarded as only broadly indicative of actual receipts lost.4

    http://www.ttb.gov/pdf/tobacco

  13. smokingscot says:

    Things Noticed Yesterday. Vlad’s speech.

    Lots of pomp, some seriously rich and influential people sat for a couple of hours listening to the wee fellow give his take on the world.

    For the most part he’s correct, the West isn’t to be trusted and all those International Bodies are out to get Russia. And (as expected) some parts want to break away.

    So the solution is to become more self sufficient, to tread their own path, to depend upon the industry and ingenuity of the Russian People (to considerable applause).

    Then the bit I liked, where he said that within four years Russia would show growth figures well above the international average!

    Well excuse the hell out of me, that’s where I had to have a wee chuckle, because there’s never been a case where growth has followed a smoking ban.

    Naturally our lot can blame the “international monetary crisis” and for sure Vlad’ll be able to point to sanctions imposed by the international community, but growth starts at the lowest level in any society… the small scale entrepreneur. Here they saw 20 to 25% of the market denied them, so imagine the effect where the number of smokers’ is closer to 40%.

    Nope Vlad I’m afraid on that point you’re barking mad… and supremely arrogant.

    No probs, got a note to check in 2018 to see how bad it gets in Russia!

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      The Russian pessimist said, It just cant get any worse than this!
      The the Russian Optimist said, OH yes it can!

  14. harleyrider1978 says:

    Bootleg cigarettes, Prohibition and the death of Eric Garner

    by Walter Olson on December 6, 2014

    Eric Garner, asphyxiated during his arrest on Staten Island, had been repeatedly picked up by the NYPD for the crime of selling loose cigarettes. Washington Examiner:

    The crime of selling “loosies” was not considered a serious one in the past. Many corner stores in New York City once sold them quietly upon request. But former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s cartoonish anti-tobacco crusade changed that and everything else. Smoking in public places was banned. Punitive taxes and a legal minimum price of $10.50 were imposed in an effort to push prices ever-upward, so that a brand-name pack of 20 cigarettes now costs as much as $14 in New York City.

    As a result, the illicit sale of loose and untaxed cigarettes became more commonplace.

    I noted at yesterday’s Repeal Day panel at Cato that according to figures last year, New York’s unusually high cigarette taxes had brought it an unusual distinction: an estimated 60 percent of consumption there is of smuggled or illegal cigarettes, much higher than any other state. Another way to think of it is that New York has moved closer to prohibition than to a legal market in tobacco. [earlier 2003 Cato study]

    In his history of Prohibition, Last Call, Daniel Okrent cites (among many other law enforcement misadventures) the fatal shooting of Jacob Hanson, secretary of an Elks lodge in Niagara Falls, New York, in a confrontation with alcohol agents — though Hanson had a clean record and was not carrying alcohol. At the time, many saw Hanson’s death as reflecting poorly on the Prohibition regime generally. For some reason, though, Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has drawn fire from some quarters for making a parallel observation about Garner’s death. [BBC; note however that while Garner’s frictions with the local NYPD seem to owe much to his repeated cigarette arrests, the proximate event leading to his arrest seems to have been his attempt to break up a fight]

    Yale’s Stephen Carter: “On the opening day of law school, I always counsel my first-year students never to support a law they are not willing to kill to enforce.” [Bloomberg View via Ilya Somin]

    http://overlawyered.com/2014/12/eric-garner-criminalization-everyday-life/

  15. beobrigitte says:

    New York City’s leading smokers’ rights activist, Audrey Silk, says anti-tobacco politicians have blood on their hands following the controversial death of Eric Garner.
    I agree.

    DAKAR: The Belgian microbiologist who co-discovered the Ebola virus has accused the World Health Organization of dithering in reacting to the deadly epidemic and accused the international community of “hysteria.”
    He, too, will find himself gagged.
    Ebola no longer makes headlines, the WHO is there to take care….. And lavish FCTC conferences to conjure up “treatment” for smokers, “fat” people, “alcohol users” etc.etc. on tax payers’ expense are far more important!! Who cares about the fact that the Ebola epidemic so far has killed >7000 people within <1 year? The WHO?

    An epidemic of whooping cough has broken out in California. Not long ago, this ancient scourge had been banished by modern medicine. But now it’s back, thanks to people who believe modern medicine is dangerous.
    What a great piece of generalisation. So the whooping cough virus is as it was when being combatted by vaccine? REALLY???? If modern medicine has not kept track on these virae then, indeed, it is dangerous. All it has done is to speed up the virus’ adaption rate.
    But I’d count immunization as part of ‘classic’ medicine. It’s something that’s been done for over 200 years.
    Indeed.

    Russell Brand and Nigel Farage set for heated head-to-head Question Time debate.
    I must admit, I have no time for Russell Brand. He likes to be called a comedian – except that he is not funny at all. How did he make a name for himself somewhere to make lots of money?
    Farage isn’t a comedian and has never proclaimed himself to be this. He takes his job very seriously. If anyone has to laugh at his opponents’ response to having had a dose-of-Farage it’s a side effect of people connecting to someone who stands up for people.

    Smokers are voters. UKIP is inviting smokers back into the community.

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