All Set to Boil Over

boiling_pointI build simple physical computer simulation models. In the last few days I’ve been modelling gases and liquids as clouds of ping-pong balls. In one model, a pool of balls gradually got hotter and more agitated, and finally boiled out of its container. Ping-pong balls everywhere.

I can’t help but think that human societies aren’t very much different from collections of ping-pong balls or atoms. For the most part they’re placid. But they sometimes get agitated. And occasionally they boil over.

And this morning I was thinking that, all over the world, human societies seem to be becoming more and more agitated. In my own case, I’m a persecuted and angry smoker. But I was noting a week or so back that anti-semitism was on the rise, which means a lot of persecuted and angry Jews.  And an anti-Islamic mood is growing in the Western world, largely in response to radical Islamic movements like Al Qaeda and ISIL (which may well, for all I know, consist of a lot of persecuted and angry Muslims). And in places like Iraq and Ukraine, it all seems to have come to a boil – in civil war.

Why is this happening? Is it simply that one bunch of people start needling another bunch of people, and the whole thing gradually spreads and escalates in a vicious circle of mounting tit-for-tat reprisals? Are we just seeing unreconstructed human nature in action? Is it a bottom-up social process that governments and top experts are trying to contain?

I don’t think so. As a smoker, I’m not particularly angry with anyone I know personally, down here at the bottom. I’m angry at the government that introduced a punitive smoking ban. And I’m angry at all the top doctors and health “experts” that called for one, and have been scaring people with outright lies.

And if I’m a climate sceptic, it’s because global warming alarmists are scaring everyone with bogus claims just like antismoking zealots scare people with bogus claims about tobacco.

And if I’m anti-EU and anti-WHO, it’s because a lot of antismoking zealots and climate alarmists are to be found in these organisations, burdening people with rules and regulations over which they have little or no democratic control.

Very little of the aggravation has been coming from the bottom, from ordinary men and women. It’s all coming from the top. The zealots are in the universities, in the top echelons of the medical profession, in the civil service, and in government. It’s these people who are doing the needling and restricting and persecuting.

Is it deliberate? Probably not entirely. In every case, it’s a bunch of people (of an authoritarian disposition) who think that they know what’s best for everybody, and who are prepared to force people to conform to their views.

In the case of smoking, they’ve decided that society will be fitter and healthier if everyone stopped smoking, and they’re using the law to gradually force everyone to stop smoking. In the case of global warming, they’ve decided that we have to dispense with carbon fuels, and shift to solar and wind and tidal energy sources, and they get huge government grants to build wind  and solarfarms. In the case of the EU, they’ve decided that Europe needs to be a unitary state with a common currency, and they’re pushing relentlessly for it, ignoring all protest and all opposition.

In each case, it’s One Size Fits All. There will be no smoking anywhere. And there will be no nuclear or coal-fired power stations anywhere either. And there will be a single European government across the whole of Europe. And all these programmes are advanced with top-down brutal clumsiness.

One might say that foreign policy is pursued in the same manner, largely by top-down bombing of non-compliant peoples.

But all it ever succeeds in doing is to make the people at the bottom – the people on the receiving end of the bombs and bans and diktats – more and more angry. But if the heavy-handed policy doesn’t seem to be working, they just use more bombs and bans and diktats.

There seems to be a complete disconnect between top and bottom. The top doesn’t seem to be in the least bit interested in what the bottom thinks. In fact, it seems to be completely oblivious.

If for example, (God Forbid!) I was a doctor working in Tobacco Control to improve people’s health, the people I’d be most interested in would be the recipients of my ministrations: the smokers of the world. I’d be very interested to know whether my smoking bans and display bans and packaging restrictions were helping them to stop smoking. After all, if you’re using a new treatment on a patient, you’ll want to drop in to see them now and then, to see whether they’re responding well to it, won’t you?

Not Tobacco Control, though. They have no interest whatsoever in the smokers they’re trying to ‘help’. One would have thought that there would have been regular surveys of smokers to find out how they were responding. One would have thought there would have been websites where smokers could provide feedback. I’ve never heard of either ever happening, ever.

This alone is one reason why people no longer believe that smoking bans have anything to do with health, and everything to do with top down control. These doctors are not interested in their patients, so they can’t be doctors.

No wonder everyone is slowly getting angrier and angrier. And no wonder it’s all set to boil over. We’re living in a pressure cooker with the top screwed down, and one day there’s going to be an explosion that will blow the lid right off.

About Frank Davis

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42 Responses to All Set to Boil Over

  1. Some other Tom says:

    Actually I disagree with only one portion of this… “Is this deliberate?…”

    I believe it is deliberate, 100%.

    • Smoking Lamp says:

      Not sure if it is deliberate or just fits into “the banality of evil” case, but if deliberate why? What is the point of denormalizing and persecuting smokers? Why fabricate and manipulate data to stimulate fear and marginalization of smokers? I see it happening but can’t see what positive benefit accrues.

      • nisakiman says:

        The only positive benefits that accrue, SL, is the warm glow of sanctimonious satisfaction the tobacco haters get when they achieve yet another ban.

        It’s like asking a mountaineer why he wants to climb a mountain. “Because it’s there”, he will reply. No rational reason apart from the fact it gives him satisfaction.

        Or perhaps a more apposite analogy would be asking a sadist why he enjoys inflicting pain on others. “Because it makes me feel good – orgasmic, even” is what he thinks, although he will probably say “Because they deserve it and it will do them good”.

      • roobeedoo2 says:

        As the thin end of the banning wedge?

  2. Smoking Lamp says:

    And now to heat things up: “Britain’s first OUTDOOR smoking ban to be introduced in two city squares” at (includes a poll). The UK is joining the madness piloted in the Us, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. This needs to be stopped before they start rounding up smokers and putting us in concentration camps (or just turn the whole world into a giant forced labor camp).

    • They took your guns, they couldn’t take ours…………….I have no desire for a shoot out with anyone. But if what you describe above were to happen,I have no qualms shooting the inquisitors of such insanity, much as most of the rest of the nation would have no problem with the same Im sure……………Hitler disarmed germans before he got real nasty……..The rest is history. Better to die standing and fighting than on your knees begging!

    • Smoking Scot says:

      Yup, Bristol. Home of Stephen Williams MP (Lib/Dem) Bristol west.

      Supposedly a voluntary initiative! By Smokefree South West.

      There’s a poll on the link that could do with a few more votes.

    • Smoking Scot says:

      And there’s another poll being conducted by Silver Surfers, asking if you think smoking should be brought back to pubs and such.

      Hugely in favour at the time of comment.

    • nisakiman says:

      Should smoking be banned in ALL public places? (Yes / No)

      67% NO when I just looked.

      • nsaki lastnite I was on that story and had voted. Then it was 6700 votes cast and 75% in favor of lifting the ban. I just looked and now it says 2600 votes and the entire no versus yes votes have been totally reversed and my 2 comments are still sitting in moderation!

        So I guess you can see even there the Nazis are playing with the fiddlers fiddle!

        • Somebody else just noticed it too from 10 minutes ago that in the last 1 or 2 hours the poll was changed………

        • Smoking Scot says:

          @ Harley.

          You’re 100% bang on. It was indeed 75% in favour of lifting the ban when I posted the link. Simon Clarke at Forest even tweeted that much this morning. Several comments confirm this

          Now it’s 37% in favour and the number is down to about 2800.

          Something stinks with Siversurfers. Unless they’ve been hacked (which I doubt).

          As it is very obviously political in nature, I’d say UKIP have nothing whatsoever to fear in shouting about amending the smoking ban!! The support is massive – just take all their polls and reverse them!!

          Mind you it does show how cocky they’ve become if they have used their clout to get the poll doctored after goodness knows how many have seen it in its original form.

          Maybe a good idea to screen capture future ones.

      • Smoking Lamp says:

        Yes, As Harley states this has been manipulated. It was 75% for nearly all day yesterday.

      • Smoking Lamp says:

        Yes, That is the public places poll. Still 69% no.

        On the should the pub smoking ban be reversed poll, they manipulated the results. Yesterday 75% were in favor of lifting the ban, they deleted beau coup responses to get a majority in favor of retaining the ban. This is outright fraud and deception. I wonder how much of their revenue comes from tobacco control and big pharma!

    • Smoking Lamp says:

      Should smoking be banned in ALL public places?
      YES 31%
      NO 69%
      Right now this is 69% against banning public smoking. Let’s see if they censor and manipulate this one too…

  3. Budvar says:

    A, They haven’t taken our guns, I still have mine thanks, and B, Don’t be too sure they can’t take yours. They don’t have to actually kick your door in and take them by force, all they do is ban the sale of ammo, then all your poodle shooter AR15s are nothing more than a club…

    • Not when you’ve got 15,000 rounds stock piled and a reloading press with plenty of primers and powder put back besides lead for casting and then theres a cheap way of electro plating copper to the rounds………….Uncles got the electro plating set up.

      • An ammo ban would work about as good as high taxation on tobacco!

        • The Blocked Dwarf says:

          The more, uhm, ‘criminal’ of european ‘preppers’ used to pay good money for black powder antique handguns like the Adams and Colts. The sort where one compressed a soft lead slug in the chamber and took a fulminate of Mercury cap. Storing charcoal, saltpeter and roofing lead not being a crime most places…yet.

  4. waltc says:

    Random thoughts:

    “brutal clumsiness.” Perfect. —

    Yes, it’s top down (tho don’t forget the media’s role as megaphone, its explicit approval, its assurance that “the debate is over” and that everyone who’s sane agrees) but the propaganda from the top has filtered down to enough of the bottom that the bottom is willing, even eager, to act as enforcers. It’s our fellow bottoms who flap their hands at bus stops, catcall at smokers, report old ladies smoking on park benches, write evil wishes in online comments and letters to the ed, and testify to every legislative body how the smoker next door or passing on the street is ruining their lives and killing their children.

    It IS true that smoking rates are down and what they use to prove it are gross statistics. But I doubt the decline can be attributed to any one of their moves. Sure, some people quit because of the price, some bec the workplace ban made life too uncomfortable, or the hiring ban screwed them out of jobs, but most of the quitters quit because of constant bottom-level nagging, from family and doctors, from social exclusion by (ex?) friends and peers, and those scary commercials of Horrible Doom that keep invading their living rooms and car radios.

    As for the motive, I think the governments actually believe that a nonsmoking (non-drinking, non-sugar-eating) population will save them money in government-backed health insurance, and employers have been convinced that the same applies to them. And landlords are being swamped with crackpot stats on the renovation costs of renting to smokers who leave behind buckets of third hand smoke. Then, too, on the individual or agency level, molding society is a personal power trip.

    Yes, a great deal of the bottom is angry about their deaf-eared and ham-handed governments, and yet…look at the survival rate and longevity of the scores of repressive dictatorships around the world. And in dictatorships with the cosmetic sheen of elections, the bottoms keep voting for their smug oppressors. How long did it take for the Soviet Union to fall, and then essentially recreate itself by popular demand? Once people get accustomed to authoritarianism they unfotunately seem to like it. That, or the game is so rigged, they don’t really have a choice. Or the choice is between the exact same thing wearing different clothes.

    Still, one can hope…

    • margo says:

      Good summary. I’m with you, waltc, despairing but still trying to find some hope.

    • Frank Davis says:

      most of the quitters quit because of constant bottom-level nagging, from family and doctors, from social exclusion by (ex?) friends and peers, and those scary commercials of Horrible Doom that keep invading their living rooms and car radios.

      It’s like that now, maybe, but it didn’t used to be.

      Thirty or more years ago, I had a bunch of friends, many (most) of whom smoked. One by one they gave up smoking, not because of nagging or exclusion or commercials, but of their own volition.

      Nobody ever nagged me to stop smoking. Not even any of my doctors. Nobody banned smoking either. And there were no commercials back then . All that stuff only started in the 1990s, and really gathered speed after about 2005. Round here leastways.

      No, people gave up smoking because they were broadly of the opinion that smoking wasn’t good for you. There’d been a steady drip-drip of medical opinion to that effect. And people were scared of getting lung cancer above all. They believed what they were told. It would never have occurred to them to disbelieve.

      I wasn’t much different. I half-believed it all too. Except that I had met the slightly insane antismoking Dr W.

      People back then gave up smoking in their own time, and at their own speed. And quite often started again shortly afterwards. The nagging and the exclusion and the commercials only started after most smokers had quit smoking. And it wasn’t even because when they quit they became virulent antismokers. That’s another entirely new social category. Antismokers simply didn’t exist in any numbers.

      • All that stuff only started in the 1990s, and really gathered speed after about 2005. Round here leastways.

        Smack on Frank and its the same here in the states in 2006 when the democrats got control of congress taking over in 2007 January by that fall 5 states had passed smoking bans in under 7 months time! It wasn’t even up for consideration until the Nazis got Federal backing and Pushing via D.C.

        Then when Owebama got in and the democrats control of both houses until 2010 when the GOP got it back at least congress then. Between 2008-2010 the dumbocrats screwed every smoker and stole every nickel and broke every lobbying law and federal grants there was…………

        I can say this too, On Obammies last day in office I betcha he signs a broad based pardon for any and all folks who worked in public health and other entities for any illegal activities done in the name of public healthism!

  5. Rose says:

    Bristol City Council given £30,000 to improve air quality
    31 January 2015

    “Thousands of pounds are to be spent in Bristol in a bid to improve air quality.
    The government has given the council £30,000 to monitor the movements of heavy goods vehicles in the city.
    The research will look at the frequency of deliveries to shops and the current methods used.

    Labour’s Mark Bradshaw, Bedminster councillor and assistant mayor, admitted the “rising issue” of air pollution was a “challenge”.
    “We’re committed to working with the business community. This is not about imposing any solutions,” he added.

    “We’ve really got to understand what businesses need to make them thrive, for them to serve their customers and their clients.
    “But equally we have a responsibility as a city to look at every measure that we can take to reduce air pollution.

    “Recent studies have shown that diesel vehicles are a major contributor.”
    Last April, the government estimated there were 29,000 deaths annually in the UK from air pollution.”

    So what is Smokefree South West doing about all this?

    Organising a purely visual distraction.

    Bristol squares aim to stub out cigarettes with voluntary outdoor smoking ban

    “No formal, enforceable ban will be imposed but 11 signs dotted around the squares will ask smokers not to light up and thank people for helping “keep Bristol smoke-free, healthy and clean”.

  6. Human rights groups slam prison smoking ban

    There are reports prisoners are already starting to react to the smoking ban.

    Human rights groups have slammed the move by the State Government to ban cigarettes and tobacco from Victoria’s 14 prison facilities.

    Brett Collins, co-ordinator of Justice Action, told 3AW Breakfast it was “counter-productive” and a violation of the rights of prisoners and staff.

    There are reports prisoners are already hoarding tobacco ahead of the ban, which will come into effect on July 1.

    “It’s just part and parcel of being in prison,” he said.

    “This is going to have a major impact on people in prison and disturb the hell out of them.

    “All experiments say that people who are banned from smoking resume smoking immediately when they are released.”

    Nicotine patches will be introduced and corrective services officers will also be banned from smoking on prison grounds.

    “Why would the government do something that is counter-productive where they are working against the people in the prisons?” Mr Collins said.

    “What they have failed to do is prepare them for release.”

    • Smoking Scot says:

      @ Harley

      Just in case you haven’t done so already. One for your archives.

      Professor John Banzhaf student ratings. Pathetic!!!!

      • Horrible professor. Class is the worst I’ve taken. Multiple choice exams are ridiculous. Class is super biased.. don’t dare express opinions different from his. DO NOT RECOMMEND!!

        Prof should get an "E" for EGO = it’s HUGE; if you are into rude and obnoxious, he’s the guy for you

        He is a horrible professor who enjoys embarrassing his students and then tries to use his students as props when he gets publicity for his cases.

        He’s self-absorbed in the extreme. My "A" was earned after realizing I could pay a tutor and skip his class – he’s worthless.

  7. Rose says:

    I just knew there had to be something more to it.

    Smokefree South West

    “The 2015 Be There Tomorrow campaign also launches today. The campaign highlights the special moments in life that one in two smokers who don’t stop early enough are likely to miss because they will die early.

    New research reveals the huge strain smoking puts on relationships

    The study, conducted by Smokefree South West, found more than four out of five people (83 per cent) have encouraged a friend or loved one to quit smoking.

    More than half of the 1,000 people surveyed in the region said that the fact their friend or loved one still continued to smoke made them feel anxious (57 per cent), with more than one in ten (13 per cent) complaining that their worry kept them awake at night and nearly two out of five people (17 per cent) stating that the habit caused friction in their relationship.

    The study found that one in three people (29 per cent) had stopped encouraging their loved one to quit as they were scared of starting an argument and 65 per cent had resorted to extreme measures to force the change, such as guilt-tripping their loved one (28 per cent), chopping up their cigarettes (seven per cent), hiding them (17 per cent) and refusing to buy them (19 per cent).

    Mrs Andrews said: “We know that most smokers want to quit but often put it off until it’s too late to avoid serious damaging disease or early death.

    “We all know smoking kills but somehow we think it will kill ‘other people’ not us.

    “For those who are close friends of a smoker or who love them this can be very hard and even frightening to live with.

    “Smoking has a dramatic emotional impact on friends and family members, on top of the well documented damage caused by passive smoking, which is especially harmful to children who breathe it in more rapidly.

    “The message is simple, if you don’t want to quit for your own health, then take that step to do it for the health of your family and your relationships, as your loved ones are desperate to help you quit, but often feel powerless to do so.”


    • Rose says:

      “New Bristol research has been conducted by Smokefree South West to coincide with the launch of the campaign which shows that smoking can cause a huge strain on relationships and high levels of anxiety amongst the friends and loved ones of smokers.”

      Huge strain on relationships and high levels of anxiety amongst friends and loved ones because of the activities of Smokefree South West?

      I wouldn’t doubt it.

    • nisakiman says:

      Emotional blackmail. It’s what they excel at.

      • Rose says:

        The BHF one from 2013 was particularly spiteful.

        Fags over family? Smoker’s choice sparks hate from loved ones
        February 27, 2013

        “Nearly a third of smokers surveyed admit their children or family hates them smoking and a quarter enjoy smoking less nowadays because they feel more guilty about it.”

        “Proving loved ones can often come a poor second to cigarettes, almost one in five of smokers confessed they could buy more for their family if they were to quit smoking, according to figures we’ve released to mark the launch of the thirtieth annual No Smoking Day campaign.”

        “Our Associate Medical Director, Dr Mike Knapton, said: “These figures reveal the emotional burden smokers endure by feeling guilty about the impact their addiction has on family life and their finances.”

        If they can split up just one family it will all have been worth it….

  8. Geoff Cliff says:

    What UNknown and UNelected power could possibly be agitating and setting people all over the world at each other’s throats? Some over-arching power that has been created by compliant governments, yet tells governments what they must do, and how to go about it? WHO could possibly wield this much power?

  9. MPs Win The Battle To Smoke E-Cigarettes In Parliament

    Politicians have got the green light to vape throughout Westminster.

  10. Bristol’s smoking ‘ban’ flouted on first day of voluntary measure

    Bristol yesterdaybecame the first city in the UK to ban smoking in outdoor public places but not everyone seemed keen to follow the voluntary scheme.Some smokers continued as normal while campaigners installed signs in two busy outdoor spaces – Millennium Square and Anchor Square.The pilot scheme will see smokers asked to stub out cigarettes when in the two areas, but it will be up to individual bars and restaurants if they choose to comply.The project by Smokefree South West follows a…

    I guess the story was so horrible the Nazis got them to pull the story altogether

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  11. I guess we can now all agree the
    Nazis are getting worried the ukip ban repeal poll was purposely changed out of fear and now Roses story about the outdoor ban was quickly followed by a smokers break the ban on first day story……….that was yanked by the media outlet that had first run it.

    Now we find ecigs have been approved for parliament……………If I was a Nazi Id be skkeeeered too!

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