Driving Deeper into the Great Recession

H/T Harley and Juliette Tworsey. I’ve never been there, but it’s a city that I primarily associate with jazz and street music and carnivals. So this rings true:

People primarily come to New Orleans because our culture embodies and celebrates indulgence. The irony of the smoking ban is that drinking and gambling establishments encourage customers to party but walk a fine line between having fun and going overboard. Bars and casinos are not pristine environments where patrons go for quiet solace and the puritan experience. If the smoking ban is passed on belief that government knows what is best for the people, what’s next to be prohibited in the name of public safety? Beignets? Pralines?

Who would want to visit New Orleans for a puritan experience? Nobody much. Business will dry up.

I believe that Juliette Tworsey and her band, Firebug (whom I met when they played a gig in the UK 3 or 4 years back), moved from L.A. in California to New Orleans not long ago. It certainly seemed to make sense to me to a) move away from California, and b) to go somewhere with a flourishing musical culture. But now the puritans have arrived there too.

I guess Tobacco Control must have bought the New Orleans Board of Health, like they buy pretty much everywhere else. The puritans buy control. And now that they’ve gained control, they’re going to kill the city and its indulgent culture.

Because they don’t like indulgence. Puritans never do.

And if music venues close, puritans won’t mind. Puritans don’t like music either.

The only place in the USA that  I can think of with a more indulgent reputation is Las Vegas. And the smoking bans seem to be arriving there too.

The idea of a full-scale smoking ban in Nevada casinos seems out of place.

The “No Smoking” concept doesn’t fit the Strip’s “do anything” reputation.

Of the 23 states with commercial casinos, 18 outlaw smoking in casinos.

In Nevada, a voter referendum in 2006 banned smoking in all public places — excluding casino floors.

One gaming analyst, however, has warned investors that a Strip smoking ban could become reality in the next 24 months — or sooner…

Delaware’s gaming market fell 11.3 percent following a smoking ban in 2002. Illinois casinos experienced a 20.9 percent revenue decline after the Smoke-Free Illinois Act was passed in 2007.

Zarnett said the 2006 Nevada law, which eliminated smoking in bars, restaurants and taverns, was partially responsible for the 2010 bankruptcy of Herbst Gaming, which then was the state’s largest slot machine route operator. The smoking ban was blamed for the company’s 20 percent decline in slot route operation revenue.

Nevada’s voter-enacted ban was amended during the 2011 Legislature to allow smoking in taverns that serve alcohol and food but don’t admit minors.

But then, the puritans will be glad to see casinos closing.  Gambling is indulgence. Business will dry up.

Right in the middle of the Great Recession.


About Frank Davis

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43 Responses to Driving Deeper into the Great Recession

  1. Smoking Lamp says:

    The proposed smoking ban in New Orleans is indeed a travesty. The existing law bans smoking in restaurants and bars that serve food. The casino and bars without food are exempt. Many bars have smoking patios. There are also non-smoking bars. The proposed ban will eliminate the smoking bars and essentially bans smoking outdoors in the entire French Quarter and Central Business District. The claim smokers can just go outside would;t even apply since outdoor smoking would be banned as well. There is opposition but the Antismokers are going all out on this.

    The impact will be great. Te bar owners know this and will fight, so will the casino. The Antismokers say that business will not be hurt or will get better with the ban. Despite the propaganda this isn’t true. Atlantic City band smoking in casinos and the casinos experienced record bankruptcy. The casino ban was reversed. Now the Antismokers tout Macao as evidence that smoking bans in casinos work. The problem with that argument is Macao’s casinos are experiencing record breaking losses since the ban.

    I have posted on many of the articles covering the proposed NOLA ban, drawing the Antismokers’ ire as you can imagine. Sustaining a rational debate with these guys is near impossible. Nevertheless, the NOLA battle is likely the decisive engagement of the near future.

    • waltc says:

      Unfortunately for the bars, casinos, their owners and employees, the musicians who play the clubs, and a city not yet recovered from hurricane Katrina, one could then only hope that the financial losses are so immediate and devastating they can’t be dismissed, disguised, or blamed on anything else. What’s the local paper down there? The Picayune ? Are they too on the ban wagon? Just curious.

  2. caprizchka says:

    This is very sad news.

  3. harleyrider1978 says:

    The last I heard was the lard ass councilwpma pushing this only had one supporter for the ban.

    Most everything being pumped right now is the typical tobacco control spin machine in process.

    They state build it up like your getting the law,continue with press releases and opinion pieces keep the façade up even if you know you don’t have a clear majority. ACT like you do!

    Then they state in tobacco control books to keep up stories that show support for said ban before and after if it passes………..its all propaganda and likely N,O. ha sbeen offered one of those blueshield 50,ooo dollar community grants if they pass a ban and the open end to more grants if they push even more restrictions.

    • Smoking Lamp says:

      Harley, From the media reports she may actually have a majority of the city council behind this. The mayor has stated he supports and she has a co-sponsor Susan Guidry.

      According to a November 20 news report: “Supporters of the Cantrell’s measure include Mayor Mitch Landrieu and several New Orleans City Councilmembers. Opponents believe non-smoking measures should be left to businesses to determine themselves.’ (“First draft of New Orleans smoking ordinance bans all tobacco products from public areas,” http://www.bestofneworleans.com/blogofneworleans/archives/2014/11/20/first-draft-of-new-orleans-no-smoking-ordinance-bans-all-tobacco-products-from-public-areas

      Opponents to the ban, which also includes e-cigarettes and ‘vaping’, include business owners in the French Quarter: “French Quarter Business League (FQBL) said in a Nov. 12 statement that the measure “will have a devastating impact on badly needed tax revenues that provide police and fire protection, maintain the streets, pays government employees and keeps the city moving ahead.” He added that the ordinance “cuts against New Orleans’ strong tradition of tolerance and diverse lifestyles,” and Cantrell oversteps “the private right of smokers to smoke in private business establishments.”

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        Guidry is the only open support she has at all. Nobody else has openly said they are for it and that was just 2 weeks ago in the times picayune………

        • Smoking Lamp says:

          I hope that’s right… Either way opposition needs to mount. The Antismokers would not go for such a comprehensive ban if they thought they would lose. This comes on the heals of near-simultaneous calls for outdoor smoking bans all over North America. I think the choice of timing for all these actions is interesting. I also think the NOLA ban is the center of gravity in their current campaign.

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          The timing is critical and for a reason,Ive a feeling they know much of their funding is fixing to get cutoff via the GOP……………I will wait to see but its the only political change that’s happened to see such a rapid almost battle up the bulge push at one time over the last 3 months………..

  4. magnetic01 says:

    Originally posted 7 informational comments on Nola.com:

    Two were censored immediately. The other 5 lasted about 4 hours and then were all censored. One was a link to the OSHA position on indoor environmental tobacco smoke. My 2 further comments simply asking why my comments had been deleted lasted about 2 hours and then were also deleted (My replies to others’ comments have not been deleted).

    It’s interesting because I’ve posted similar/same comments to other stories on the same site without censorial retribution. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone’s comments deleted, including some incredibly vile antismoking comments. Even this response to one of my comments yesterday didn’t get deleted – I hope you the first to die a horrible death due to smoking Johnny Boy Anderson

    Notable, too, is that at the top of the web page for yesterday’s story there was a large advertisement, at least for a few hours, for “smokefreenola”.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Mag you got called me a few times,you see Ive torn atropine ass up so bad for the last 4 years they ban me on site………….. Ive got about 22 postes up thru the comments right now. I demanded why NOLA wont have an open honest debate on the JUNK SCIENCE………..That Idiot even brought up the stupid ambulance study!

      I laughed so fucking hard…………..

      • magnetic01 says:

        You’re saying that you’ve been banned (particular identity) from the site. One of the antismokers claimed that I was you so all my standalone comments were deleted. Fair enough. It makes more sense than anything I can come up with.

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          Mag if you bust there asses they will ban you……………it wasn’t being mistaken as me but putting out he same message as me or anyone in our group would be banned for the same offense. Not towing the lie. NOLA is as leftist on climate and smoking as they come just like the KC STAR.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      jack listerio
      2 minutes ago

      @Milk Punch Por Favor Since 1964, the report said, 2.46 million non-smokers have died from exposure to secondhand smoke….

      youd think by now theyed be a mass grave found and we did find it in Washington DC inside a building housing a SAMMEC computer. All the bodies had been properly buried in its Fraud programed memory banks!

      but the computer just wouldn’t spit out one single death certificate not even for direct smoking!

  5. harleyrider1978 says:

    6 hours ago


    After the smoking ban in restaurants, bars and most other workplaces was initially enacted in 2006, the number of ambulance-summoning phone calls that were made from any location but casinos dropped by 22.8 percent.

    But the number of such calls made from casinos stayed as high as it had been the year before. Then, two years later — after casinos banned smoking, too — the number of such emergency calls made from the grounds of a casino dropped by a little over 19 percent. Such calls from all locations have continued to stay down, years after the implementation of the smoking ban.

    — NPR

    jack listerio
    just now

    @atpontchrtrn @SouthTexasSaintsFan

    US Bureau of Labor Statistics Shows Zero Deaths From 2nd Hand Smoke
    Where are the deaths?
    If people who work in bars die from secondhand smoke, why does the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the last 4 years show ZERO DEATHS from exposure to harmful substances or environments?

    This data is for 2011. (pg38 of 53). Notice that 31 people died while working in a “drinking place”(which my bar is classified as). 27 deaths were by violent injuries by persons or animals(?). 2 died by fires or explosions. I don’t know where the other 2 deaths are listed however, there are 0 deaths from exposure to harmful substances or environments.
    So where are these deaths from SHS?
    Notice 2010 under this below. In 2010, there were 28 total deaths, 25 from violence and 0 from exposure to harmful substances or environments.

    0250.pdf (pg 18).
    In 2009, 32 deaths of bar workers. 31 were violent deaths and 0 from exposure to harmful substances or environments.
    (pg 18)
    In 2008, 35 deaths of bar workers. 32 were violent deaths and 0 from exposure to harmful substances or environments.
    (pg 18).
    They aren’t crawling out and dying in the parking lots either. We would have noticed ’em.”
    Sheila Martin

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      They just need to let us have another knock down drag out fight……………aiat brings in an audience everytime.

  6. harleyrider1978 says:

    Pima County anti-smoking proposal is punitive, not productive

    ago • By Maya Castillo and Richard Elías Special to the Arizona Daily Star


    The Pima County administration proposes to discriminate against smokers, barring them from being hired in the future and setting up an SB 1070-style enforcement system for current employees.

    No one, even addicted smokers, believes smoking is good for one’s health. The county should do all it can to help them quit and to protect its nonsmokers from second-hand impacts. But such a punitive system is the wrong approach, opposed even by the American Lung Association.

    This proposal would set a very dangerous precedent. It would signal that the county has a right to discriminate against people who have bad health habits – being overweight, having poor eating habits, not getting sufficient exercise, being married to a smoker or a person with poor health habits, engaging in risky behaviors such as rock climbing, auto racing or competitive contact sports.

    The proposal, scheduled for Board of Supervisors consideration on Tuesday, would have unintended consequences. It would prevent the county from hiring the best and most-qualified applicants for county positions, would set up supervisors in county departments as tobacco-use police officers and would discourage existing employees who are tobacco-addicted from remaining insured as they would have to pay a 50-percent surcharge for health-insurance.

    Under the proposal, applicants for county jobs starting on July 1, 2015, would have to be tobacco-free for at least a year prior to applying to be eligible for hiring. Job applicants would have to sign an affidavit to that effect and either 1) get a statement from their doctor that they have been tobacco-free for a year; 2) show documentation that they completed a smoking cessation program; 3) or submit results of a nicotine screening test (on urine, saliva or blood) showing they are tobacco-free.

    This would force the county to hire less-qualified candidates when the most-qualified candidates are tobacco-users. We should hire the best-suited and most-qualified candidates for county jobs regardless of their personal habits.

    This proposal sets up supervisors in county departments as SB 1070-style tobacco-use police who could single out subordinates for urine, saliva or blood testing “based on reasonable suspicion … that the employee has used nicotine/tobacco products.” This would impact employees who have sworn to the county that they do not use tobacco products to pay lower health-insurance premiums.

    Subordinates can refuse to submit to such testing, but by so doing are “subject to disciplinary action up to an including dismissal.” This is punishment they could be subject to if they took a test and tested positive for nicotine. They are presumed guilty unless proven innocent by an intrusive drug test.

    This is fraught with danger as it would allow supervisors to harass disfavored subordinates with unwarranted drug testing and would allow the subordinates’ peers to level real or fictional charges of tobacco use against them, causing disruption and ill-feelings not conducive to productive workplaces.

    The proposal would force employees who are addicted to tobacco to pay far more than other employees pay for health insurance. This discriminates against the tobacco users just as insurance companies did with people who had pre-existing physical conditions.

    The Affordable Care Act specifically allows insurance-premium surcharges for smokers, but 29 states wisely have banned this practice. It would encourage tobacco addicts to cancel their health insurance entirely, impacting their families in the process. That leads to worse health outcomes for those affected and excessive use of emergency rooms, driving up health-care costs community wide.

    “Punitive measures like tobacco surcharges have not been proven effective in encouraging smokers to quit and in reducing tobacco use,” according to the American Lung Association.

    We believe county policy should take a positive approach to the scourge of tobacco addiction. It should stress the benefits of tobacco-free lifestyles, have much stronger and more aggressive programs providing assistance to users trying to quit, and maintain rules to protect nonsmokers from exposure to second-hand smoke.


  7. harleyrider1978 says:

    well its midnite Ive done 2 hours damage to everything they said………….if its still up in the morning Id be very surprised as NOLA is the biggest read paper in N.O.

  8. harleyrider1978 says:

    Heres a Govenor we could all love maybe

    JEFFERSON CITY, MO. (AP) — A new report ranks Missouri near the bottom nationally in efforts to discourage smoking.

    The report by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids says Missouri’s budget includes $70,788 in state spending for programs to help people quit smoking or prevent them from starting. It says that ranks 50th among all states and the District of Columbia.

    The only state ranked worse is New Jersey, where no spending is listed. But the report says the New Jersey figure hasn’t been confirmed by the state health department.

    Missouri lawmakers had included an additional $150,000 in state revenues for anti-tobacco initiatives. But Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed that along with various other spending increases.

    The report says 22 percent of Missouri adults and 15 percent of high school students smoke tobacco products.


    My problem is old FAT Chris Christie doesn’t have any money being spent in jersey buying patches and gums the homestate for tobacco free kids and they don’t have any idea!

    If its true Christie cut off tobacco control money and we didn’t hear about it til now,something has been up for quite a while and silently………..

  9. harleyrider1978 says:

    How not to lie with pub closure statistics

    Christopher Snowdon

    11 December 2014

    My report about pub closures was generally well received when it was published yesterday, with the notable exception of the All-Party Parliamentary Save The Pub Group, which sent out a bizarre and vitriolic press release. The press release was too full of holes to get any mainstream media attention but it can be read here. The APPG, which has the Campaign for Real Ale as its secretariat, makes the baffling assertion that I am a ‘tobacco lobbyist’ and claims that my report argues that ‘pub closures are all down to the smoking ban not the disastrous pubco model, when the evidence clearly shows otherwise’. None of this is true. The report identifies the smoking ban as one of three factors – alongside the recession and alcohol duty – which have led to excessive pub closures since 2006. I also say that general social change is responsible for about 40 per cent of the recent decline. And I am not, nor have I ever been, a lobbyist.

    Evidently the APPG is upset that I rejected their arguments about the PubCo model being the major cause of pub closures. I did so for the simple reason that the rate of pub closures is very similar in both the PubCo sector and the independent sector. Figures from CGA Strategy show that 16.5 per cent of pubs in the non-managed (mostly PubCo) sector closed between December 2005 and March 2013, whereas there was a closure rate of 14.6 per cent in the independent sector. Clearly both parts of the pub trade have suffered to a similar extent. I put this down to a fundamental lack of demand for pubs as they currently exist.

    The correct way to look at the data is to calculate the number of net closures in each sector by taking the number of closures and adding the number of openings. The APPG does not do this. Instead, they take the number of net closures and add or substract the number of transfers between sectors. So, if a PubCo sells 3,000 pubs to the independent sector, the APPG counts this as 3,000 closures in the PubCo sector and 3,000 new openings in the independent sector.

    This is obviously wrong. A pub that is sold from one sector to another does not represent a closure. It has simply changed hands. In the report, I wrote: ‘The All-Party Parliamentary Save the Pub Group, amongst others, has been guilty of misrepresenting transfers as closures in an effort to support their claim that the “the non-managed (largely leased/tenanted) sector has seen many more net closures than those of independent freehouses” and that “PubCo pubs are being sold off for alternative use and bulldozed in their thousands”.’

    What the APPG lacks in evidence it makes up for in strident repetition and so it is unsurprising to find the group repeating its misleading claims once again in its press release. It reads…

    The reality of pub closures figures, as previously published by the Save the Pub Group is as follows: –

    · CGA Strategy figures show that there has been a much greater drop in the number of leased/tenanted pubs compared to freehouses between December 2005 and March 2013 – the number of ‘non-managed’ (tenanted/leased, mostly tied) pubs fell by 5,117 compared with a fall of only 2,131 in the number of ‘free trade’ pubs. (CGA Net Closure figures December 2005 – March 2013 – Source: CGA, sent the Save the Pub Group 2013 November 2013)

    · The pubco’s trade association, the British Beer and Pub Association’s own figures show that over ten years non-managed pubs decreased by over 8,000 whilst the free trade sector actually expanded by 1,600. (Source: BBPA Statistical Handbook 2013)

    · Enterprise Inns and Punch Taverns collectively disposed of over 5,000 pubs between 2008 and 2012, a THIRD of all of their pubs in just 4 years. No other model had anything like this disposal rate. (Figures taken from Enterprise Inns and Punch Taverns annual reports available online, 2008 Ent Inns 7763 and Punch 7560 by 2012 Ent Inns 5720 and Punch 4529)

    The third point answers the second. The total number of pubs in the independent sector has risen because the PubCos have had a high ‘disposal rate’ in the last decade. They are selling pubs to the independent sector, but transfers within the industry do not tell us anything about closures because they are not closures. To see the closure rate we need to look at the data from CGA Strategy mentioned in the first point above. Here it is…

    The APPG says ‘the number of “non-managed” (tenanted/leased, mostly tied) pubs fell by 5,117 compared with a fall of only 2,131 in the number of “free trade” pubs’. They do not mention the fact that the non-managed sector was more than 40 per cent larger than the independent sector in 2005 and therefore had more pubs to lose. They also ignore the net closure figures which are clearly displayed above in favour of a comparison between total numbers after transfers have been taken into account.

    To see the proportion of net pub closures in each sector, you simply need to divide the number of net closures by the number of pubs that existed at the start of the series and then multiply by 100. For the independent (‘free’) sector, this is 3,258/22,324 x 100 = 14.59 per cent. For the non-managed sector (most of which is made up of tied PubCo pubs), the figure is 5,304/32,177 x 100 = 16.51 per cent. The difference between these figures is trivial. Pubs have clearly been closing at a similar rate in both sectors.*

    The stubborn refusal of the APPG to do this basic mathematics does not reflect well on them, nor does their repeated use of misleading statistics in parliament. The government has looked at this issue on numerous occasions and come to the same conclusion. In May of this year, for example, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills noted that ‘between March 2010 and September 2012 the closure rate was very slightly lower in “non managed” pubs, 4.3%, than in ‘free’ pubs, 4.5%. The ‘net closure’ is the more appropriate statistic to use as it takes into account ‘churn’, where pubs close for a short period then reopen. However, if one uses gross closure figures then proportionately even more “free” pubs are closing, 3.4% versus 5%.’

    The Campaign for Real Ale has its reasons for wanting to be rid of the PubCos, just as it had its reasons for wanting to be rid of the beer tie in 1989 (CAMRA lobbied for the Beer Orders which directly led to the creation of PubCos – CAMRA now admits that it was ‘naive’). Like many special interest groups, it has been effective in using an All-Party Group to pursue its objectives in parliament and there are many PubCo tenants who hope that the government will give them a free lunch by effectively tearing up their contracts. That is a whole other story, but it is a shame that the APPG cannot make their case without resorting to skewed figures and smear tactics.

    *As an aside, the APPG’s press release says that ‘Mr Snowdon’s report contains the myth about tied versus free of tie pub closures, when CGA Strategy themselves have confirmed that they do not collect figures for tied versus free of tie pubs!’ It is true that CGA Strategy only has figures for ‘non-managed’ pubs. The great majority of non-managed pubs are PubCo pubs, but some are not. I acknowledged this in the text of my report. Note, however, that despite making this criticism, the APPG proceeds to use CGA Strategy’s figures in its response, albeit incorrectly.


  10. harleyrider1978 says:

    Is Germany Already Signaling The Complete (Economic) Collapse Of The European Union? | Zero Hedge


  11. Frank Davis says:

    From NOLA Times-Picayune:

    Cantrell’s tone suggests she’s not likely to give up much. Smokers are a minority, and their desire to indulge in what amounts to a suicidal practice should not trump the rights of non smokers to their public health, she said. “They are the minority, and they can decide who lives and who dies because of their desire to smoke a cigarette?” she asked. “No way.”

    Clearly she’s a fully-paid-up (or fully-bought-and-paid-for) antismoker. But I’m a bit surprised that she will openly dismiss smokers as ‘a minority’. Because isn’t this the Deep South, where the rights of minorities – like black people – were fought over back during the days of the Civil Rights Movement and Martin Luther King? Isn’t it a tad insensitive for a black council-woman to be dissing another minority, one to which she doesn’t belong? Don’t smokers have rights too? And don’t they have votes as well?

    I’ve been wondering today if I might be able to help out here with my little blog. A couple of years back Smokervoter asked to me to help out with California’s Proposition 29, and so I did, writing several pieces about it (Here, here, here, and here). At the outset it looked liked Tobacco Control was going win easily. But as the vote approached, their lead slipped, and in the event they narrowly lost. What influence I had on that was something I reckoned was pretty small. But Smokervoter said my blog had been mentioned on a radio show. And Michael McFadden thought my intervention worth a few thousand votes. But perhaps the biggest endorsement of all was the appearance of a hit piece on Tobacco Tactics aimed at me, days before they lost the vote.

    So maybe this could be another occasion when a UK blogger can help out? It’ll help make the issue go international. I’d be open to suggestions from US readers (and anyone else). We could maybe link up with other blogs (maybe even radio stations) to help fight the NOLA ban.

    And we’ve got 3 months before it goes to the vote in March, I believe.

    I’ll think about it today, and try to write some more about it tonight.

    Another Battle of New Orleans (but not against us Brits this time)?

    • nisakiman says:

      I think your blog is more influential than you realise, Frank.

      And not only because your posts are well written and articulate, but because you attract knowledgeable commenters who add lots of interesting and factual links. I visit your posts a few times a day to see what else has been added in the comments section, and have garnered massive amounts of info as a result.

      I would imagine that TC absolutely hate you and your commenters for exposing their lies on a regular basis. I’m also absolutely sure you could make a difference if you look specifically to the impending New Orleans prohibitionist movement in some of your posts in the near future.

      We’re off to Thailand and Vietnam for a couple of months on Tuesday, but we’ll be taking the laptop, so I’ll be following the NO saga with interest. :) I’ll update you on the situation re smoking in Vietnam, too, as this will be my first time there, and I have no idea how they deal with it.

      • Frank Davis says:

        I would imagine that TC absolutely hate you and your commenters for exposing their lies on a regular basis. I’m also absolutely sure you could make a difference if you look specifically to the impending New Orleans prohibitionist movement in some of your posts in the near future.

        They certainly hate me, although not as much as I hate them.

        I’m still turning over what might be done with NOLA. I’m sure that adding an international element would help (“The eyes of the world are watching you”). But it might be possible to wheel in some information. I guess they probably know about Westminster, Massachusetts. But do they know about Chris Snowdon’s recent IEA report on the impact of the UK smoking ban on the death of the British pub. What can we bring to NOLA that they don’t know already? That all the SHS stuff is a lie? And the FHS stuff too?

        I always kinda feel that a blog ought to be a good way to bring people together to work on some defined project. But I’ve never actually done anything like that. Might this be time to try? NOLA is an iconic US city. Are we going to let the puritan killjoys take it down?

        Have a lovely time in Thailand.

        • nisakiman says:

          Have a lovely time in Thailand.

          Thanks Frank. Barring flood, famine or disaster, I will. I have to do some mundane stuff while there, like sorting out my debit card (I’ve forgotten the PIN, and in Thailand you can’t sort it out remotely – you physically have to go to the branch where you opened the account to deal with it. And I opened my account in Hua Hin, which is some way south of Bangkok. Never mind. Hua Hin is a great coastal town and we will spend Xmas there.) and getting some more work done on my teeth.

          Apart from that, we’ll be in Bangkok and Ubon Ratchathani in the east, where we’ll be staying with the in-laws, and of course the 10 day foray to Hanoi. I’m looking forward to seeing Hanoi – it should be interesting. I have a hotel in the heart of the old city. I’m always drawn to the ‘Latin Quarter’ of any city. When I’m in Bangkok, I always stay in Chinatown, the oldest part of the city.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Jean Lafitte – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


      … Lafitte and his comrades helped General Andrew Jackson defend New … cannon and goods worth $ … Charlton Heston as Andrew Jackson. The Pirate Island of Jean …

    • smokervoter says:

      Woah Nellie, just dropped in for the first time today. Internet connection was down yesterday. Fixed it myself, all by my lonesome! It was the wire from the modem/router to a DSL filter. Intuition saved the day.

      Yes, your blog helped immensely in my opinion. I mentioned your blog while on the air with that radio guy. He put up a link to your site on his webpage as well for the duration leading up to election day.

      What really changed things was your internet juice. Up until you entered the fray, when you typed “Yes on 29” or “No on 29” into Google, all of the NO’s were written by ex-smoking non-smokers or Officially Approved Anti-Smoker Opposition types. I’ll never forget when your blog was at the very, very top of the search results for awhile. It was always at least #2, #3, #5 etc.

      Gotta run right now, but I’m putting my thinking cap on. For starters we’ve got to get some folks on the New Orleans city council recalled or thrown out in the next election. Help me out here someone, but doesn’t New Orleans have a high preponderance of smoking? And what’s the turnout like? Energized large minority bloc + low turnout = bye, bye antismoking candidate.

      I’ll get on with gathering the data and crunching the numbers later.

  12. Bob Johnson says:

    Don’t forget the financial source of the recent ban frenzy, the millions donated to several tax exempt political action committees (charities) from Johnson & Johnsons “foundation”. It’s extremely clever marketing strategy for their cassation products through its “Smokeless States Program” http://www.rwjf.org/en/research-publications/find-rwjf-research/2005/01/to-improve-health-and-health-care-volume-viii/the-smokeless-states-program.html

  13. Bob Johnson says:

    Here’s the rulebook used by the tax exempt political action committees, some of them formed by more money from Johnson & Johnson. http://www.no-smoke.org/pdf/CIA_Fundamentals.pdf

  14. Smoking Lamp says:

    Yes, This is a decisive engagement. Definitely engage and ally with other blogs. Expose the SHS lies, funding from global plutocrats, conflicts of interest b/t antismokers and pharma, and fiscal impact on bars and pubs in UK and elsewhere. Lastly expose tobacco control for what it is!

  15. harleyrider1978 says:

    Talk about fucking the enemies minds up……………………..

    10 minutes ago

    @jack listerio @atpontchrtrn @RoastDuck

    I tend to believe there are approximately six of y’all, using different login names and propagating your collection of computer files around the world, meeting every now and then in a Dr. No castle to hold your Dr. Evil kitty-cats in your arms and plan more wrongdoing for the world.

    Just for example, your comment below on turkey dinners being just as bad as smoking, happens to appear in 2014 as a comment by one “Harleyrider1778,” and previously in 2013 and 2012 by one “Harleyrider1978.” And a “Harleyrider1903.” Y’all need to work on better names!









    http://halfwheel.com/news-monroe-west-monroe-la-go-entirely-smoke-free … Here it appears under the name “John Davidson”


    Well, I’ll stop here… too many of these type of instances to bother with. It’s like a fully automatic machine gun trying to look like individual pistol shots, but you can tell by the spray what’s going on.


    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Frank Dungeon

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        jack listerio
        2 minutes ago

        @atpontchrtrn @jack listerio @RoastDuck

        Good Lord,you must be really feeling like overwhelmed that many people fightin smoking bans at one time everywhere around the globe. It has to be computer generated by a group. No way One man can possibly do all that. Its Super Human to even think such a thing or else he is superhuman driven by a madness so deep to see the world freed of Prohibitionism he just doesn’t sleep,eat or have sex.

        I believe your right it as to be an organization to cover so much ground and so many varied subjects.

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          If that was one man he would deserve a Congressional Medal………………what a man!

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          5 minutes ago

          @jack listerio @atpontchrtrn @RoastDuck

          Well, I asked about it before, and I do with the objective part of my brain think it would be an interesting news story to visit with you and Harley if y’all are different folks, and see what kind of life it is trying to save the world by fighting tobacco control efforts. If you’d really open up to somebody like a New Yorker or Rolling Stone or similar reporter, that would be interesting to me.

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          Hell half the battle is confusing the enemy…………………….I think we did it!

  16. Some French bloke says:

    “somewhere with a flourishing musical culture”

    At a time when “[playing] a musical instrument well seems to be a dying art”, to quote from a YouTube comment on John Lennon’s soul-stirring 1973 ballad “Out the Blue”
    (watch?v=-Bk8yV5fM5M), why not sample the stylings of “the best black, gay, one-eyed junkie piano genius New Orleans has ever produced” (Dr. John on James Booker):

  17. harleyrider1978 says:

    Somebody needs to nail this asshole Doc in NOLA I cant get in to post


    • harleyrider1978 says:

      My name is Mitchell Lirtzman. I have been a cardiothoracic surgeon for over 30 years, most of which have been spent operating on the consequences of tobacco abuse. I strongly agree with New Orleans City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell’s ordinance proposal and support a 100 percent smoke-free New Orleans. As a member of the Louisiana Committee for Advocacy of the American Heart Association, I stand with the majority of the population who also believe that all workplaces should be smoke-free.

      My specialty involves operating on countless patients with lung cancer, esophageal cancer, COPD, heart disease and limb-threatening vascular disease. Very few of these patients were nonsmokers. I have seen far too many die a painful death at the hands of these nearly preventable diseases.

      James Gill seems to imply that the facts concerning the harmful effects of secondhand smoke to be “junk science” when he says “If secondhand smoke is the hazard it is alleged to be …”

      The science is well-documented. A study done years ago on nonsmoking bartenders placed in smoking environments showed a marked decrease in lung function just by secondhand exposure alone. Service industry employees and musicians breathe 300 to 600 percent more secondhand smoke than any other type of employee. In fact, many have similar illnesses that one-pack-per-day smokers will develop.

      Additionally, Gill states, “We are constantly being told that thousands die from secondhand smoke every year, but not one of them has ever been named.” If one understands the scientific method, one will know that these studies involve the statistics of thousands of patients, studied over many years.

      A friend of my wife, a nonsmoker, died of lung cancer associated with secondhand smoke because her husbands all smoked. That’s a direct reference for you.

      I do remember the name of the first man I ever saw die of emphysema. At the Hines VA in 1974, Mr. E.G. was slowly turning blue until he suffocated while awake. Or perhaps the young man I recently operated on for advanced lung cancer, a two-pack-per-day smoker. Yes, these are/were smokers, but the effects of secondhand smoke are just as dangerous.

      While to smoke or not is a personal choice, no one has “the right” or the “free choice” to actively harm another person against their will. That is secondhand smoke.

      People are concerned about asbestos exposure and the small risk of developing mesothelioma, a rare cancer of the lining of the chest cavity. There should be more intense and widespread outrage for the more obvious and commonplace health risk like tobacco smoke, which is a real, proven and common health hazard affecting millions of Americans every day.

      I was fortunate to have participated in advocating for passage of the 2007 tobacco control legislation. Secondhand smoke exposure is a clear issue of public health, and our municipal leaders are elected to protect the health and welfare of all whom they serve. I’m hopeful that our leaders will join those of us concerned for the health and well-being of New Orleanians and all the citizens of Louisiana.

      Mitchell Lirtzman

      chief of surgery, Regional Medical Center of Acadiana


      • smokingscot says:

        Seems they’ve done an excellent job themselves. Pretty close to 85% rubbishing the Doctor.

        He does in fact exist, though in a very different world to ours.


        • Smoking Club Nights says:

          It is just a little embarrassing in a way to see this asshole’s credentials. Might make us look bad if they come out, so don’t refer to them if possible.

          Dr. Mitchell Lirtzman received his undergraduate degree with honors from the University of Illinois, and his medical degree from Chicago Medical School in Chicago, Illinois. Following a general surgery internship and residency at Rush Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center in Chicago, he completed a cardiovascular and thoracic surgery residency at Tulane University in New Orleans. During his residency at Rush-Presbyterian, Dr. Lirtzman received the Fremont A Chandler Award for Excellence in surgical research, and was made a member of the Owl Club Honor Roll for Excellence in Teaching while at Tulane. He is board certified in general and thoracic surgery and is a Fellow of the American College of Chest Physicians and the American College of Surgeons. In addition to cardiac and thoracic surgery, Dr. Lirtzman specializes in vascular reconstruction for limb salvage in diabetic patients, minimally invasive lung surgery and surgery in the treatment of reflex sympathetic dystrophy.

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