The Military Point of View

The world today, sunk in deepening economic depression, looks very like the world back in the 1930s. Back then it was re-armament that got the wheels of industry turning again, and rapidly brought down unemployment. Is history about to repeat itself?

Perhaps it is. The sanctions that have been imposed on Russia since its annexation of Crimea, combined with a steep fall in the price of oil, have resulted in a collapse in the Russian rouble. Very arguably, an economic war has been launched against Russia. Vladimir Putin certainly seems to think so:

It was vintage Putin, a three-hour tirade, with a strong hint that the oil price crash is due to a plot by the US and Saudi Arabia to cripple Russia.

It’s not just economic war, either. F-16s are being moved to Eastern Europe. And Abrams tanks too. After all, economic wars are very often precursors to shooting wars.

The rest of the world is hardly much more stable. In fact the entire world seems to be becoming more and more unstable. Are we running up to another world war?

I don’t know the answer to that question, but this morning I found myself thinking about smoking bans and lifestyle management and global warming from a military point of view.

And from a military point of view, tobacco and alcohol and sugar and all the rest of them are unnecessary luxuries to be dispensed with in war time. They’re the icing on the cake that will have to go.

Obesity is even worse. You can’t have fat lumbering soldiers, puffing cigarettes, waddling out of their trenches towards the enemy lines. You need strong, lean, fit men (and maybe women too).

So if you foresee large-scale war looming, it makes military sense to start to prepare populations for it, by cutting down tobacco, alcohol, sugar, chocolate, meat, and preparing a rationed diet, and encouraging slimming, exercise, body-building, etc. After all, this is what Britons had to endure in WW2 (and for some years after it as well), as Hitler’s U-boats were sinking hundreds of thousands of tons of shipping bringing badly-needed supplies from America.

Similar considerations apply to burning fossil fuels. From a military point of view, it is probably advantageous to minimise reliance on oil and gas, when oil tankers are easy targets for submarines, and gas pipelines easy targets for bombs. Much better as far as possible to have dispersed energy sources like, well, windmills and solar power plants. For the military are most likely going to grab the lion’s share of the available oil anyway.

And maybe that’s the real logic driving lifestyle management and carbon footprint reduction: military logic. Only it couldn’t be justified in those terms. So other justifications for doing it had to be found: That secondhand smoke, and sugar, and obesity, were killing people in thousands. And that CO2 emissions were dangerously warming the planet. None of them were true, of course. They were all complete fabrications. But they served to conceal, for a little while at least, the true military purpose of the measures.

For if a major war breaks out, and luxuries vanish, and petrol becomes unobtainable, and meat and eggs and sugar are rationed, the killjoy puritans will start to look strangely prescient. And so also will the anti-CO2 greens and all their ‘sustainable’ power sources. Everyone will want a windmill and a few solar panels.

What had seemed (and actually was) senseless will start to seem eminently sensible and far-sighted.

But curiously, if the real (military) reasons for austerity are one day revealed, then it’s very likely that the false justifications for them will be dispensed with. The global warming scare will evaporate overnight. And so will all the antismoking lies. People will be free to climb into their cars and go and sit in pubs and drink beer and smoke cigarettes again.

It’s just that there won’t be any cars, and there’ll be no pubs or beer or cigarettes either.

 

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About Frank Davis

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53 Responses to The Military Point of View

  1. harleyrider1978 says:

    Brian Monteith: Giving fresh look to old politics

    When faced with political parties that all say the same, and especially when what those politicians say is in direct contradiction to the everyday experience of ordinary people, then new parties appear attractive. It is no mistake that Nigel Farage is regularly seen with a pint in one hand and having a legal smoke outside. When the old parties seem so attached to corporate business so the Greens can look refreshing to those that believe small is beautiful. Politicians should heed the evidence or be damned by it.

    http://www.scotsman.com/news/brian-monteith-giving-fresh-look-to-old-politics-1-3640641

  2. harleyrider1978 says:

    Wont make much diff here. We got plenty of trees for firewood and plenty of coal in the ground plus plenty of corn that can be distilled into alcohol/gasohol/whiskey if need be. In fact about 20 miles up the road is an old coal mine on the hillside easily obtainable should one desire to dig a bit. About 2 tons would do you the whole year. In a war who the hell is going to push BS epa regs.

  3. harleyrider1978 says:

    Say ‘no’ to the Nanny State, paid for by you, for your own good

    If you see anything unusual or suspicious, please notify staff.”

    I’d like to give Sydney Trains an award. For months, it has been broadcasting this paranoid message on loudspeakers, randomly, routinely, intrusively and pointlessly at railways stations throughout the rail system.

    I appreciate that Sydney Trains means well, but this message is pollution. It achieves nothing. It intrudes on travellers. It is the bureaucratic mind at its most pedantic.

    It is bad enough that Sydney Trains, along with successive NSW governments, already charge a stiff premium for its worst service, the crowded peak hour trains, which carry the double indignity of also penalising those who have to be at work by 8 or 9am, which is most workers.

    So I’d like to award Sydney Trains a Disservice Award for the paranoid, pointless nonsense it is broadcasting all day, every day.

    This should also qualify Sydney Trains for a Nanny Award, instigated by the enemy of burdensome bureaucracies, the Centre for Independent Studies. It has just announced the 2014 “Nannies” for the most passive-aggressive impositions by government bureaucracies or their surrogates.

    The CIS trawled through the excesses of our burgeoning, over-regulating, micro-managing, unsustainable nanny state and pointed to the worst excesses of pointless government intervention, giving each a Nanny.

    The NSW Roads and Maritime Services is awarded a Nanny for the numerous illuminated roadside signs its puts up – it is by far the biggest visual polluter in the state, far ahead of McDonald’s. The most irritating of all these big brother messages are the large, illuminated signs that say: “Distracted drivers cause accidents”.

    Then stop distracting drivers! Stop polluting the highways with pointless little lectures. Spend the money on something useful, like better road signs, or cut the budget.

    The Nanny for the most belligerent act by government (and its monopoly surrogate) is shared by the NSW and Victorian governments, along with support from the Taxi Council, which have banned smartphone apps that enable private drivers to offer passengers a lift and charge for the service. The most famous such app is Uber, and it has been shown to slash the cost of fares by around 50 per cent.

    Apps like Uber would have a devastating effect on the monopoly rents charged by the state governments and the taxi industry by disrupting this highly regulated and dysfunctional industry. Deregulation! We can’t have that. It might not be neat and lucrative for government. The mantra of Your Safety will always be the argument given for this monopoly, as if the mantra of Your Choice was immaterial.

    A Nanny went to the Western Australian Opera, a state-subsided, state-sponsored company which cancelled a performance of Bizet’s Carmen that was to have been held in a tobacco factory because it may have sent the wrong message. Given that the fictional Carmen worked in a tobacco factory, the original decision was an inspired idea. But WA Opera was concerned it might offend a major sponsor, the West Australian Health Promotion Foundation.

    So it cancelled Bizet’s Carmen at the tobacco factory.

    The Health Promotion Foundation is a branch of state government operating under the brand, Healthway. It describes itself as “a health promotion foundation with a legislated obligation to promote good health and encourage healthy lifestyles [and] empowering individuals, groups and communities to be healthier.”

    What is it about bureaucracies and “empowering” people? The WA government, which has a serious budget problem, would do better by fulfilling its obligation to fiscal prudence and de-legislating and disempowering this cliche factory.

    The West Australian government scored another Nanny, via the WA Supreme Court, for its ruling that people trying to give up smoking cannot use nicotine-free e-cigarettes because the state law prohibits the sale of any product that even looks like a cigarette. Rather than amend the law, the WA government banned e-cigarettes.

    Another government agency, the Advertising Standards Board, won a Nanny for banning an ad that showed a man cavorting in a warehouse, standing on the front of a moving fork-lift truck, throwing a box to someone in a bear suit, and walking along parcels. Apparently this fictional parody was an affront to occupational health and safety standards and must not be seen by the public.

    Not every Nanny went to a branch of government. A group behind a website called No Gender December called for an end to gender stereotypes and “gendered” presents at Christmas. The website is full of excruciatingly earnest judgemental jargon such: “Gendered marketing informs children’s feeling about whether it’s socially acceptable to show interest in a toy. Some take the ‘knowledge’ into the playground, where they quickly chastise any child who demonstrates an interest in the ‘wrong’ colour or toy for their gender.”

    This presumptive, patronising, poorly-written sanctimony, wrapped in the hopelessly dated, lazy, inarticulate “inverted commas” of academic irony, may be a highly marginal ideological lobby group but it deserved a Nanny based on the its presumption alone.

    No Gender December is, no surprise, supported by the Greens, the champions of the nanny state, funded by you, for your own good.

    As Helen Andrews of the CIS said, in announcing the 2014 Nannies, “The Nannies will highlight the year’s most abysmal examples of trying to prevent, shield and badger us in the clear assumption that we are unable to, or should not be allowed to, make our own choices.”

    Hopefully, the Nannies will become a December tradition. Australia is a nation of nearly 16 million adults yet we allow our governments to treat us as if we are 23 million teenagers
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/say-no-to-the-nanny-state-paid-for-by-you-for-your-own-good-20141221-12bmc5.html?&utm_source=social&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=nc&eid=socialn%3Afac-14omn0013-optim-nnn%3Anonpaid-25%2F06%2F2014-social_traffic-all-organicpost-nnn-smh-o&campaign_code=nocode&promote_channel=social_facebook#comments

    • Rose says:

      Pioneering anti-smoking doctor Nigel Gray dead at 85

      “Dr Gray’s groundbreaking work included spearheading a public anti-smoking campaign that led to Victoria’s 1987 reforms banning tobacco advertising and taxing its producers.

      Some of the funds were used to establish VicHealth, of which he was later patron.

      This model has since been adopted throughout Australia and the world.

      The council’s chief executive, Todd Harper, said Dr Gray had left an “indelible footprint” on public health in Australia.”
      http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/pioneering-antismoking-doctor-nigel-gray-dead-at-85-20141221-12bnw8.html

      I think the damage caused to the British hospitality industry by VicHealth may not be generally known.

      “Summary of studies assessing the economic impact of smoke-free policies in the hospitality industry – includes studies produced to December 2002. Review of the evidence, VicHealth Centre for Tobacco Control.

      Produced by Michelle Scollo and Anita Lal, Australia VicHealth Centre for Tobacco Control, The Cancer Council Victoria”

      The smoking gun
      Summary of UK studies included in the report
      http://www.hazards.org/smoking/summaryofukstudies.htm

      Review of the quality of studies on the economic effects of smoke-free policies on the hospitality industry – 2003

      M Scollo,A Lal,A Hyland,S Glantz

      Abstract

      Objective: To compare the quality and funding source of studies concluding a negative economic impact of smoke-free policies in the hospitality industry to studies concluding no such negative impact.

      Study selection: 97 studies that made statements about economic impact were included. 93% of the studies located met the selection criteria as determined by consensus between multiple reviewers.”

      Conclusion: All of the best designed studies report no impact or a positive impact of smoke-free restaurant and bar laws on sales or employment. Policymakers can act to protect workers and patrons from the toxins in secondhand smoke confident in rejecting industry claims that there will be an adverse economic impact.
      http: //tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/content/12/1/13.long

      They might have been empty, but there was no loss of business, just an uncomfortable crush in the smoking areas.

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        Manufacturing the science to meet the agenda, in black on white. Does anyone still have doubts?

        ”Bal laughs when asked about the role of scientific evidence in guiding policy decisions. “There was no science on how to do a community intervention on something of this global dimension,” he says. “Where there is no science, you have to go and be venturesome—you can’t use the paucity of science as an excuse to do nothing. We created the science, we did the interventions and then all the scientists came in behind us and analyzed what we did.”

        Read under the title :
        Tobacco Control: The Long War—When the Evidence Has to Be Created

        milbankDOTorg/uploads/documents/0712populationhealth/0712populationhealthDOThtml

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        Befire ban business is at 100% revenue includes all customer smoking and non besides fatties and all of us. Ban come in depending on the business type it loses between 10%-60% of its business. Then years later as the new reduced revenue level become sthe new norm they run scam economics studies showing no losses as compared to whats left. Meaning they throw all the venues in together under one hat hospitality industry……..

        Sales receipts may seem down or may seem up. Point is at the corporate level the busier restaraunts offset the lower revenue generating facilitys. But when you take the mom and pop businesses where the smokers went to like bars,coffee house,breakfast joints and bingo halls etc etc youb get a completely differing outcome and it isn’t pretty.

        But think of this,the big boys took the anti-smoking losses early on after shakedown tactics by smokefree health dept workers. So the new norm should repeal happen could be as much as a 30% climb in new business overnite or within weeks.

  4. harleyrider1978 says:

    Now demands for NYC mayors resignation and a lowering of tobacco taxes I saw………….Somethings up

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Obama on video flaunting Cuban cigar hours after capitulating to Cuba

      Showing little regard or sensitivity to thousands of bitterly disappointed Cuban exiles, President Obama was captured on video enjoying the aroma of a Cuban cigar hours after announcing that he will restore diplomatic relations with the communist government of Cuba.

      An illegal Cuban cigar, as they are still an embargoed product.

      The cigar was given to the president Wednesday by a guest at a White House Hanukkah reception, who informed him that it was a Cuban cigar, according to the New York Post.

      “Oh, nice!” Obama said, as he received the gift. The Post said Obama kept the cigar, but was not seen smoking it.

      Babalu Blog noted that Obama’s insensitive display continues a long tradition of Democratic presidents and Cuban cigars, beginning with John F. Kennedy, who tried to scrape up as many as he could before his embargo went into effect, to William Jefferson Clinton, who… well, you know what he did with his Cuban

      Read more: http://www.bizpacreview.com/2014/12/20/obama-on-video-flaunting-cuban-cigar-hours-after-capitulating-to-cuba-166836#ixzz3MamHqLvX

  5. harleyrider1978 says:

    Belarusian independent news sites blocked

    Dec 21, 9:37 AM (ET)

    MINSK, Belarus (AP) — Several independent news websites have been blocked in the former Soviet republic of Belarus, where the government exerts close control of news media.

    There was no official word on who was responsible for the blockages that began Sunday, but a statement from the private news agency BelaPAN said “the decision to block IP addresses can be made only by the authorities.” Three of BelaPAN’s websites were blocked, along with the Internet newspaper Solidarnost and the website of the human rights organization Khartiya-97.

    Last week, the Belarusian parliament passed legislation declaring Internet sites as mass media and therefore subject to closure by the government. The law takes effect next year, before presidential elections set for November.

    Authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko, in office since 1994, has been called Europe’s last dictator.
    http://apnews.myway.com/article/20141221/eu–belarus-websites_blocked-a961a96c1a.html

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Russia makes Facebook block page of Putin’s top critic

      Moscow (AFP) – Russian authorities convinced Facebook to shut off a page inviting people to attend a rally in support of an opposition politician, drawing ire from Internet users Sunday.

      Supporters on Friday created an event page for January 15, the day President Vladimir Putin’s biggest critic Alexei Navalny will hear his verdict in a controversial embezzlement case which could see him sent him to prison for up to 10 years.

      Russia’s Internet watchdog Roskomnadzor said Sunday that the page has been blocked on orders of the general prosecutor.

      The prosecutor “demanded to limit access to a number of resources calling for an unsanctioned mass event, including social networking groups. The demand has been fulfilled,” RIA-Novosti news agency quoted spokesman Vadim Ampelonsky as saying.

      The Facebook event, called “Public gathering to discuss the verdict”, had over 12,000 people signed up at the time it was blocked, and now opens only through a non-Russian IP and only for non-Russian users.

      Navalny, whose leadership role in the opposition was built up over the years via his popular anti-corruption blog and carefully-managed Internet campaigns, criticised the social networking giant for quickly bending under Kremlin’s pressure.

      It’s a rather unpleasant and surprising behaviour by Russian Facebook. I thought they would at least demand a court order rather than rush to block pages as soon as crooks from the Roskomnadzor (the Internet watchdog) ask,” he wrote on his personal page.

      Former US ambassador to Moscow Michael McFaul wrote on his Twitter blog that the block set a “horrible precedent” and that Facebook should correct their “mistake” as soon as possible.

      Supporters quickly signed up onto newly-created event pages and made new ones blasting Facebook’s “censorship”.

      Navalny, a 38-year-old lawyer, is accused together with his brother Oleg of embezzling nearly 27 million rubles (more than half a million dollars at the exchange rate at the time) when Yves Rocher Vostok, the company’s Russian wing, used their delivery firm.

      The case is only one of many against him. A previous probe into embezzlement of a state timber company saw him sentenced to five years though the sentence was suspended later.

      In his final word this week Navalny, who has spent nearly a year under house arrest, said the case is based on

      http://news.yahoo.com/russia-makes-facebook-block-page-putins-top-critic-101004758.html;_ylt=AwrBJR74A5dUOXcAacrQtDMD

  6. harleyrider1978 says:

    Im so far in the stix we only got running water 2 weeks ago…………..

    It Rained

  7. waltc says:

    On the topic: This crap began in earnest c. 1993? when the wall was down and financially we were experiencing what was known as the “peace dividend” so I doubt ( and doubt you believe ) it was literally a long range war plan. That said, lately we’ve been hearing a lot about the unfitness of overweight would-be or might-have-to-be soldiers. Otoh, good luck trying to prove that tobacco isn’t a combat necessity. Too many Ernie Pyle photos of victorious GIs lip-dripping smokes. And while it’s true that in wartime ww2 gas was rationed, now they want to fight “environmentally-friendly” wars and may well revert to horses ( if PETA doesn’t sue them) and bows and arrows. On the other other hand, the healthists would gleefully welcome a hot war as an excuse to create rationing or at least a scarcity of evil substances (fat, sugar, salt, meat, fuel) and turn it into an anthem of Patriotic Duty. Last refuge of scoundrels.

    • Frank Davis says:

      the healthists would gleefully welcome a hot war as an excuse to create rationing

      Well, here in the UK, they regularly go on about how healthy everybody was during the rationing of the war years, to the point that you’d almost think that wars were about the best things that could happen to a country.

      And yet, smoking wasn’t banned, and tobacco was fairly easily obtainable, and smoking prevalences were sky high.

      And the principal reason why health may have improved was that rationing ensured that the poorest and most ill-fed people got an improved diet for the first time in their lives. Much like when people joined the army, they started getting regular square meals.

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        God I still remember c-rat cans in 1976 army, Then in or about 1985 MRE’s came out and us dumn asses couldn’t figure out how to eat em. So here I was chawing on a rock of freeze dried noodles and meat when this medical puke comes by and says your suppose to dump water into it and let it sit for 20 minutes to eat it……………Fucker youd think us stupid isiots would read the pack instrucions but being as hungry as we were we didn’t care.

        Then I had a snare I set about a 1/4 mile from our lines and caught me a rabbit. then the skipper smells it cooking in my foxhole and comes to investigate. Says that’s pretty snart their fella I think you can lead the nite patrols for us being so resourceful and all.

        So I ate my rabbit while the rest watched………… Then before I left I set up my home still out of piss pots and had my buddy watch it so it didn’t boil over. Made about a quart of moonshine over 5 days. I shared that!

  8. harleyrider1978 says:

    dont matter I think the flu hit me today. Ate and then gums started hurting upper and lower really bad then radiated to the back and then to sternum. Then the chest cold struck with chills and fever. Doc says its lastin 5 to 10 days FK ME!

  9. Barry Homan says:

    Hang in there harley, maybe it’ll pass quickly.

  10. harleyrider1978 says:

    The way benefits are handled by the Department of Veterans Affairs can tell us something about government health care

    Charles Skipper is an American hero. A retired member of the Army, he served in Vietnam from 1967 to 1968. A battlefield injury cut short his tour of duty, which earned him two Purple Hearts, a Bronze Star and a lifelong battle with post-traumatic stress disorder.

    But you wouldn’t know that he’s a hero by the way he has been treated by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Six years after filing a disability claim, he’s still waiting for resolution. Those years have been filled with paperwork, unfulfilled promises and a bureaucratic mess.

    Skipper’s experience is not unique. Many veterans have suffered at the hands of the VA, where the federal government is both the middleman and the manager of their care.

    Now he has a warning for America: “If you really want to know what Obamacare is going to be like, just look at the VA system.”

    A larger role

    True, the government owns the VA hospitals while Obamacare gives the federal government a larger role in overseeing the private health care system. But anytime the government gets involved, patients can expect delays, technological shortcomings and unreliable service.

    The VA’s biggest problem is its inability to process disability claim payments. There are roughly 700,000 claims pending. Of that number, a half-million have been backlogged for more than 125 days. Some have been backlogged for over two years.

    The VA’s attempts to fix this problem have not worked. While the backlog of first-time claims has slightly declined since April, the number of appealed claims has shot up. Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., the chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, fears that the department is “simply moving some backlogged cases from one queue to another” to artificially depress the backlog. Overall, the agency has processed 100,000 fewer claims than it promised for fiscal year 2013.

    The VA suffers from the same problem as HealthCare.gov: technological ineptitude.

    The VA still handles the majority of its claims process via paper, leading to inefficiency and delays. Attempts to modernize its system have also faced the bureaucracy’s steadfast opposition to change.

    The VA’s dysfunction can even mean the difference between life and death. More than a third of veterans in need of mental health services wait more than two weeks for exams, while 22 veterans commit suicide every day. Even scheduling a mental health appointment by phone can be a hassle. This summer, the VA hospital in Portland, Ore., had queues of 50 people and hour-long holds.

    Promises, promises

    Every year, too many veterans die of cancer and other diseases because VA waited too long to diagnose or treat them.

    It’s important to note that the VA, for all its faults, serves a necessary purpose. Many veterans praise the care they receive, even if it can be inconsistent. But as any veteran will tell you, the government’s promises are empty until they’re fulfilled.

    Now veterans aren’t alone. Under Obamacare, 5 million Americans have had their health insurance canceled despite President Obama’s promises to the contrary.

    Washington should take note. Attempts to give the federal government more control of the nation’s health care system are a fool’s errand. Veterans know this all too well.

    Pete Hegseth is the CEO of Concerned Veterans for America and an Army veteran of Afghanistan, Iraq, and Guantanamo Bay.
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2013/12/21/veterans-government-healthcare-obama-column/3896939/

  11. harleyrider1978 says:

    Feds Spend $402,721 on Underwear That Senses Cigarette Smoke
    http://cnsnews.com/news/article/feds-spend-402721-underwear-senses-cigarette-smoke

    • prog says:

      Dream job for knicker sniffers. Well, at least for who are turned on men’s soiled Y-Fronts.

      I guess that’d rule out most people, esp women (though I suppose it might depend on what the pay is).

  12. margo says:

    You could be right, Frank, with the war theory. Maybe this latest move to get female soldiers on the front line is part of it?

  13. garyk30 says:

    Oh dear, Harley is sick again.

    Seems that Harley got the short end of the genetic stick.

    Little resistance to disease and his Daddy was good looking.
    Harley is an ugly old cuss. :)

    • margo says:

      I think the military did it to him and he could claim compensation. All the same, sick or well, I’d trust him with my life (as long as we were on the same side!)

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Naa ticks borne disease and a tropical one from Honduras they think got me. Just a ,messed up immune system been dealing with it for years.

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        Last year I got lucky only got sick once,this year its like an epidemic started back in October brother sister in law even the wife and kid.

        • garyk30 says:

          What is the reason for you being such an ugly old cuss? :)

        • Frank Davis says:

          What’s up, Gary?

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          What is your reason for being such ab ASS!

        • garyk30 says:

          “What is the reason for you being such an ugly old cuss? :)”
          “Harley is an ugly old cuss. :)”
          Smiley faces at the end of a line are normally understood to mean the sentence is written in a joking,teasing, or otherwise kindly manner.

          Besides; since I see one every time I look in a mirror, I am skilled at recognizing such things.

  14. garyk30 says:

    I suspect that the ‘Depression’ may have caused people in the UK to self-ration way before WW2.

    The austerities of war may not have been that much extra hardship.

    These days, I suspect it will be govt policies, more than war, that will lead to hardship.

    Healthcare is almost rationed, depending on windfarms and solar power will lead to the rationing of electricity.

    Food prices are getting high enough that people will start self-rationing soon enough.

    Wars are not needed these days.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Gary check out DRONE JAMMERS

    • Rose says:

      Wars are not needed these days

      I quite agree. Wars fought by traditional means are obvious and messy and you always stand a chance of losing. I think wars are being fought in a subtler manner these days, and not only against other countries.

  15. Rose says:

    Winter Solstice: Stonehenge crowd gathers for sunrise

    “The winter solstice has been celebrated by about 1,500 revellers who gathered to watch the sunrise at Stonehenge.

    Druids and pagans were joined by a mass of revellers at the ancient monument, accompanied by a soundtrack of pounding drums, chanting and dancing.

    Although Sunday was officially the shortest day, Monday’s sunrise was the closest to the moment when the North Pole was tilted furthest from the sun.”
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-30573434

    Happy Solstice.

  16. beobrigitte says:

    The rest of the world is hardly much more stable. In fact the entire world seems to be becoming more and more unstable. Are we running up to another world war?

    I don’t know the answer to that question, but this morning I found myself thinking about smoking bans and lifestyle management and global warming from a military point of view.

    People in general appear to be ‘on a short fuse’ these days. Another world war? We already are in it – the war on smokers is universal.
    And, IS condemns smokers. But then, IS also sanctions the rape of young women captured. I wonder what tobacco control comes up to be in line with IS. After all, both invade countries via either by open military force or by smarmy lobbying of politicians and the mass media.

    The world war is be groups of people fighting each other.

    And from a military point of view, tobacco and alcohol and sugar and all the rest of them are unnecessary luxuries to be dispensed with in war time. They’re the icing on the cake that will have to go.

    This does remind me of the many anecdotes I have heard when being a child.
    During WW2 Germany’s population was supposed to have none of the above. The result was that e.g. there were many cellars that harboured a makeshift distille. A single, muffled, “KA-WOOM” in the night didn’t alarm anyone; it just meant that someone’s distille exploded. Apparently my granddad (not drafted for the army due to WW1 injuries + lost left eye due to stupidity) got out of bed and fired up his distille when there were more than one “KA-WOOM” in one night.
    Naturally, fire wood was precious. My granddad guarded his.
    At some point he noticed that it was going down rapidly. So he laced a few pieces of wood with gunpowder. The next day at lunch time he heard some muffled sounds from his neighbour’s house, so he went over to check. Everyone was ok, but the red cabbage (rare treat then!) was stuck to the kitchen ceiling… My granddad apparently told his neighbour: “share the cabbage – I share the wood for cooking!”

    People will NEVER under ANY circumstances let go of “unnecessary luxuries”. Because, whatever “unnecessary luxuries” are they keep people’s MINDS healthy.

    *******************************
    Off topic:
    The BBC announced the death of Joe Cocker.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-30582761

    What I find curious – the BBC didn’t state that Joe Cocker had lung cancer. He gave up smoking in (?)2000 ….

    In 2007 one of my sibling treated me for my birthday – to see Joe Cocker. It was a great concert, not one song I didn’t like -and footage from Woodstock!!

    • nisakiman says:

      What I find curious – the BBC didn’t state that Joe Cocker had lung cancer. He gave up smoking in (?)2000 ….

      I seem to recollect reading that ex-smokers were far more likely to get LC than current smokers – another one of those facts that is not aired publicly since it ‘sends the wrong message’. Which is probably why is wasn’t mentioned by the BBC.

      • Reinhold says:

        I seem to recollect reading that ex-smokers were far more likely to get LC than current smokers

        A friend of mine died of lung cancer (or rather the chemotherapy?) last year.

        He gave up smoking 14 years ago.

    • Frank Davis says:

      Another world war? We already are in it – the war on smokers is universal.

      You’re quite right.

  17. Rose says:

    NOLA smoking-ban supporters respond to State Police report, say ban wouldn’t hurt gambling

    “Supporters of a proposed smoking ban in New Orleans are pushing back after the Louisiana State Police went public with a report saying such a law would devastate the local gambling market and result in a massive hit to the state budget, which benefits from gaming revenues.

    After the State Police issued their report to the Louisiana Gaming Control Board on Thursday (Dec. 18), The SmokeFree New Orleans Coalition fired off a letter to the City Council aimed at undermining the state agency’s claim that a smoking ban would reduce gambling-industry revenues in Orleans Parish by $86.4 million and result in a loss of $17.4 million in associated state fees.

    The coalition’s letter didn’t call out State Police directly, but it did have harsh words for “Opposition messengers, parroting the talking points of casino and tobacco industry interests.”
    http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2014/12/nola_smoking_ban_supporters_re.html

  18. Frank Davis says:

    American Thinker

    Some analysts are saying oil could fall to $40 bbl. That would be a cataclysm that could bring the Russian economy to its knees. In this worse case scenario, Putin wouldn’t be the first leader to look abroad for an adventure to distract the people from their misery. Wars have begun over less, so the Russian meltdown bears watching.

  19. Smoking Lamp says:

    News on the pending Kentucky ban: “Supporters of statewide smoking ban push for floor votes.” http://www.lanereport.com/42718/2014/12/supporters-of-statewide-smoking-ban-push-for-floor-votes/ . This article suggests that Senate opposition to a Kentucky ban is eroding. It also asserts that 65% of Kentucky residents favor a ban (other antismoker sources say 70%). The article is written by Kentucky Health News so it is obviously biased but it is out there.

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