Quiet Sunday

I thought I was coming down with a cold. I was wrong.

Good.

A few things I noticed today:

Telegraph:

Nigel Farage has called for the “bankrupt” first past the post electoral system to be scrapped after new research found the UK Independence Party will come second in 100 seats but only win half a dozen MPs.

The Ukip leader told The Telegraph he wanted the proportion of votes a party wins across the country to be reflected in the number of seats it has in the Commons and hinted it might be a manifesto pledge.

I’m hoping they get as many seats as the Lib Dems used to have. At very least, I hope Nigel Farage is elected. He’d be a real breath of fresh air in Westminster.

And you really wouldn’t know that there’s an election only two months away.

ZeroHedge:

No lessor official than European Commission President (and liar-when-it’s-serious) Jean-Claude Juncker has called for the creation of an EU army… in order to show Russia “that [The EU is] serious about defending European values.” Juncker explained an EU army would “help us fulfil Europe’s responsibilities in the world,” arguing that NATO was not enough since not all EU members are part of the alliance.

I wish they were defending European – or Western  – values. But in fact they are the enemies of freedom and democracy. And an EU army would as likely as not be used against Europeans, as an internal police force.

Russia_wants_war_look_how_closely_they_put_country_to_our_military_bases

Telegraph:

The Alpine region of Carinthia faces probable bankruptcy after Austria’s central government refused to vouch for debts left by a disastrous banking expansion in eastern Europe and the Balkans.

It would be the first sub-sovereign default in Europe since the Lehman Brothers crisis, comparable in some respects to the bankruptcy of California’s Orange County in 1994 or the city of Detroit in 2013.

It’s all creeping north from the Med.

Taking Liberties:

Decision to deny MPs a debate on plain packaging “absurd” says Conservative MP

Yes, it’s absurd and undemocratic and illiberal. But what else ever happens these days.

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About Frank Davis

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17 Responses to Quiet Sunday

  1. Senate OKs bill to exempt casinos, gambling parlors from smoking bans

    Las Vegas Blog (blog)

    Buckling to the gambling industry, the West Virginia Senate opened the door Wednesday for smoking at all casinos and video slot parlors in the state.

    http://www.lasvegasnvblog.com/2015/03/senate-oks-bill-to-exempt-casinos-gambling-parlors-from-smoking-bans/

    • Buckling to the gambling industry, the West Virginia Senate opened the door Wednesday for smoking at all casinos and video slot parlors in the state. State senators voted 20-12 to pass a bill in that allows county commissions to give smoking ban exemptions to racetrack casinos, gambling parlors and fraternal organizations. The legislation, which next moves to the House of Delegates, moreover gives a blanket smoking ban exemption to all buildings owned by veterans groups such as American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars. “This bill is about freedom,” asserted Sen. Craig Blair, R-Berkeley. “It’s a step forward for freedom in this country. It’s the right thing to do.” West Virginia has the 2nd highest rate of lung cancer, and the fourth highest rate of heart disease deaths. “I’m troubled we are going to roll back 40 years of time and allow and foster smoking in public places,” asserted Sen. Mike Woelfel, D-Cabell. Thirty of West Virginia’s 55 counties have comprehensive smoking bans. The Senate bill strips smoking regulations from county health departments. West Virginia has more than 1,200 bars and gambling parlors with limited video lottery licenses in that could seek smoking ban exemptions from county commissions. Only two West Virginia casinos – Mardis Gras Casino in Nitro, and The Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs – now ban smoking. A Hancock County smoking ban, which will contain Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort, takes effect July 1. The casino, with 1,200 employees, is the county’s biggest employer. …

      • Heres the real clincher in the bill

        The Senate bill strips smoking regulations from county health departments.

        That puts the bans in the hands of local councils not health Nazi depts.

        Meaning all the indoor bans could essentially be repealed by a small vote in each county afflicted by bans and restaraunts could be back up and running smoking like they were before and there are many up the I 79 corridor that still have smoking on a hush hush basis where the truckers go…………I know a few of them.

      • jaxthefirst says:

        “Buckling to the gambling industry …”

        Interesting wording. I wonder if the writer (who, like many journos these days may well be something of an anti – ref the use of the word “buckling”) realises that in that little phrase he’s tacitly confirming that the gambling industry has made it very clear that it WILL lose a lot of money by having to impose a smoking ban?

        It’s yet another indication of how unguarded these writers, or their editors, have become. Just a few years back the expression would have been “buckling to the TOBACCO industry” or indeed the gambling industry’s concerns would have been brushed aside as irrelevant or unfounded, because all the smokers who stayed away from casinos would (so they would say) immediately be replaced with droves of non-smokers who had been waiting for a ban before they’d dare enter a casino …

        An interesting turnaround, but not, I suspect, a conscious one. Good.

  2. waltc says:

    On topic: democracy seems to be fading if not downright dying in all the democracies. Indifference, ignorance and entopitlement reign instead.

    Off it, and on the subjects injected on yesterday’s thread:

    On air cabin air. Here’s a summary of (with many verbatims from) the US Gov’t report on cabin air and smoke which is kinda mindblowing. Includes stuff like measurements of on-board ETS, cancer rates of air crews from cosmic radiation, and how little extra it would cost to ventilate a plane properly. Also, IIRC, it quotes from the Consumer Reports article Michael cited, titled “Breathing on a Jet Plane.” Here are 2 links I have for the same piece, in case one doesn’t work or you don’t want to give your business to Legscy:

    http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/qwr31d00/pdf
    http://www.forces.org/evidence/files/lin-air.htm

    On deconstructing Seigel”s Restaurant Study, here’s Martha Perske’s piece, which S himself has acknowledged as sound while he still attempts to weasel:

    http://www.nycclash.com/CaseAgainstBans/RestaurantAir.html

  3. Letter, 3/9: Options for smokers

    The cigar bar bill article by Zach Pluhacek (”

    Ricketts signs cigar bar bill,” Feb. 27) was informative and appreciated. I have since read Sen. Tyson Larson’s LB118 and applaud this worthy effort. As a lifetime smoker, I can appreciate everything LB118 is about. I submit that a better solution would use the same foundations as this bill but allow for establishment of businesses where smokers can find the outlet taken away from them by smoke-free legislation. It doesn’t seem right that an entirely smoking-based business must prohibit smoking because a nonsmoker might want to work or shop there.

    I do support nonsmokers’ rights, but the playing field needs to be leveled. I understand the ban in most public places, especially where food is the sole product. If business owners could declare and license a business as a smoking venue, with publicly posted notice to potential patrons and employees, smokers could have places to sit and smoke while enjoying a drink and conversation. Nonsmokers would still have the option of patronizing regular bars and coffee shops that did not choose to directly market themselves to smokers.

    I must point out there are many varieties of cigarettes, just as with cigars and pipe tobaccos. I have always held the belief that businesses like bars or coffee shops should have the freedom to choose for themselves whether to allow or ban smoking. Free market principles of supply and demand would determine the ratio of smoker to nonsmoker venues, rather than legislation taking away all of one group’s rights to protect the rights of the other.

    Clifton B. Smith, Lincoln

    http://journalstar.com/news/opinion/mailbag/letter-options-for-smokers/article_ca9f9b77-ddc9-5908-8e18-0d6a06f76781.html

  4. Users of NHS Stop Smoking services may halve, cancer patients need improved social care services, binge drinking peaks age 25

    The Telegraph reports that if trends continue, users of NHS smoking services will fall to 400,000 this year, from 800,000 in 2011/12.

    The report says ‘urgent attention’ must be given to dwindling use of services which have been proven effective; because despite uptake of ‘vaping’ with e-cigarettes rising, many users continue smoking alongside it.

    http://www.pulsetoday.co.uk/news/daily-digest/users-of-nhs-stop-smoking-services-may-halve-cancer-patients-need-improved-social-care-services-binge-drinking-peaks-age-25/20009399.article#.VP1zkmM3Njo

  5. Tobacco Bonds May Be Dangerous to Your State’s Financial Health

    http://projects.propublica.org/graphics/tbcbonds-statemap

  6. Rose says:

    The NHS is really going too far now. What is this, scaremongering from cradle to grave?

    Official NHS calculator predicts when you will have a heart attack

    Take the test: New NHS tool estimates how long you will live until having a heart attack or stroke promises a ‘wake-up call’ to shock Britons into changing lifestyles

    ” But some critics raised concerns about the accuracy of a “blunt tool” which tells every Briton they will have a heart attack or stroke one day, when many will not, and raised fears that the tool could be used to push millions more people into taking medication.

    They also expressed concern that individuals would be frightened by being given a prediction, much of which is based on factors beyond their control, such as their family history of disease.”
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/news/11457774/Official-NHS-calculator-predicts-when-you-will-have-a-heart-attack.html

    What happened to optimism, happiness, hope and a carefree attitude to life?

    A hypochondriac, medicated nation, fearful of every shadow and terrified by every beat of their hearts, is neither use nor ornament.

    • Frank Davis says:

      shock Britons into changing lifestyles

      They always set out to frighten people, don’t they? If they could hold pistols to people’s heads – which is a way of really frightening people badly -, they’d do it straight away. It’s always scaring, threatening, bullying, shoving, banning, excluding, insulting. It’s their default method, every single time. There’s no carrot; there’s only stick.

      I sometimes wonder what these people are like at home. Is that how they behave to their families as well? Does little Johnny get told bedtime scare stories to keep him awake at night? Is there a list of banned foods pinned on the kitchen wall? If someone wants a coffee, are they made to stand outside to drink it? If anyone disagrees with them about something they’ve said, do they start shouting?

    • Smoking Scot says:

      @ Rose

      Apple announced more details on their watch today and it is their intention to gather -anonymously – data from all users to develop new and improved health measures (or something along those lines).

      Word has it that the watch will start at $400 for the entry level model and go up to $10,000 for the gold jobbie.

      Here’s some of their blurb – it tells you when to get off your bottom and what to do thereafter.

      https://www.apple.com/watch/health-and-fitness/

      Presumably the German Finance minister – Wolfgang Schäuble – will not be gifted one.

      Myself, I’ll stick with my Casio.

    • beobrigitte says:

      I am having a laugh! I did the test – and this is the result:

      On average, someone like you can expect to live to the age of 76 without having a heart attack or stroke.

      But then:
      What affects your heart age?
      Smoking icon
      Smoking
      I smoke 20+ a day

      Stopping smoking is the single biggest change you can make for your health. One year after stopping, your heart attack risk is half that of a smoker.

      
You don’t have to go cold turkey alone. There is a wealth of information and support to help you stop.
      Get help with quitting

      Blood pressure icon
      Blood pressure
      125
      High-normal

      Whilst your blood pressure is ok, it still might be described as being high-normal. Ideally, it should be below 120/80mmHg. Known as the “silent killer”, high blood pressure rarely has obvious symptoms but left untreated, it increases your risk of heart attack or stroke.

      The good news is, it can be brought under control through lifestyle changes such as losing weight, reducing the amount of salt you eat, exercising regularly and cutting back on alcohol and caffeine. You may also need medication.
      Find out more about blood pressure

      For someone MY age to have a systolic bloodpressure of 125 is classed as LOW blood pressure. In any case, it is not the systolic blood pressure, it’s the diastolic blood pressure they should have been interested in.
      Mine is 80. Or even less at times.

      It proceededs to scald me for paying no attention to my cholesterol levels. Following advice is given:
      The good news is that cholesterol levels can be lowered by having a healthy diet and being physically active. You may also need medication.
      Find out more about cholesterol

      Erm…. no question was asked about what sports I enjoy…… And, no thanks! to medication – it will be refused.

      What made me laugh the most:
      Stopping smoking is the single biggest change you can make for your health. One year after stopping, your heart attack risk is half that of a smoker.
      I AM a smoker and have no intention of living much beyond the age of 76. How come I am supposed to reach the age of 76? I am A SMOKER!!! Sometimes the overeager anti-smokers prove that they are talking nonsense!!!

      With all pleasures FORBIDDEN our planet is a grim place. Apart from that, WHY would any government want to have me around when I’m 80+ years old? To work?

      I am sick and tired of the “health” propaganda – it screws up young peoples’ minds. And it kills some of them.

  7. beobrigitte says:

    And you really wouldn’t know that there’s an election only two months away.
    Apart from Labour and the Tories promising to do the same things and being fully occupied competing with each other, there is little – that includes the LibDems – to be heard. But then, they are all too busy NOT listening to the people.
    On very rare occasions Farage gets a mention – it would seem that the BBC decided to ignore UKIP.
    In the end, the voters will decide.

    No lessor official than European Commission President (and liar-when-it’s-serious) Jean-Claude Juncker has called for the creation of an EU army… in order to show Russia “that [The EU is] serious about defending European values.” Juncker explained an EU army would “help us fulfil Europe’s responsibilities in the world,” arguing that NATO was not enough since not all EU members are part of the alliance.
    Who is going to pay for this army? And what did Juncker et al expect Putin would do when the EU began to meddle in the Ukraine?

    Perhaps the smoking ban, junk food, sugar, salt etc.etc. will become insignificant if we get an EU-army to in order to show Russia “that [The EU is] serious about defending European values.”
    I have another question: WHAT ARE these European values?

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