All Today’s Mad News

Daily Mail:

A lawyer who went for his usual cigarette break out of the first-floor window of his apartment was detained by police who mistakenly thought he was a suicidal jumper, according to a lawsuit.

Mark Moody was talking on his mobile phone and enjoying a smoke on the ledge when two policemen asked if he was trying to kill himself, even though he was just 12ft from the ground.

The 40-year-old said they were mistaken but the officers were undeterred, repeatedly asking questions as an ‘army’ of ambulances and emergency teams arrived.

An indignant Mr Moody refused to let the police into his flat but they apparently forced their way in anyway and allegedly dragged him out of the window sill and threw him on his front before handcuffing him.

The trial lawyer from New York was then taken to a psychiatric hospital, where medics immediately realised the error and apologised.

Mr Moody has now sued the New York Police Department for $40,000 in damages.

‘I wasn’t doing anything,’ he said. ‘Maybe it should be a crime to smoke a cigarette, but at the moment it’s not.’

H/T Nisakiman for this example from Beijing of setting people against each other:

Beijing residents miffed with smokers defying a ban on lighting up in the city’s public spaces are outing them online.

From 1 June, a ban on smoking has been in effect in the Chinese capital’s indoor public spaces including restaurants and office buildings, and on public transport. The ban also applies to open-air spaces near schools, sports venues and historical sites. Individuals found violating the ban will be fined 200 yuan (£20; $32) and businesses not enforcing the ban could face much stiffer penalties.

Beijing city authorities have sought to involve the public in their efforts to enforce the ban – a hotline has been set up to report those flouting the rules and the government has even suggested hand gestures that others should use to signal people to stop smoking.

The campaign has also been taken online by the Beijing municipal government with accounts called “Smoke-free Beijing” on the Twitter-like Weibo network and messaging app WeChat. The WeChat account provides information about smoking regulations, videos warning about the ill-effects of cigarettes, tips on how to quit and links to media reports about the ban.

But hundreds of residents are using its message board – “Exposure Table” – to post pictures of smokers allegedly violating the ban. The photographs posted on the board show people smoking on stairwells and in shopping malls – some even show policemen appearing to break the law.

And from Australia:

Next step for tobacco control? Make cigarettes less palatable

Australia has been a world leader in tobacco control. We were the first to introduce plain cigarette packaging in 2012.

We were also one of the early jurisdictions to ban “light” or “mild” labelling on packs in 2005 and to remove tar, nicotine and carbon monoxide labelling on packs in 2006. Those steps were taken after it had become clear so-called “low tar” cigarettes were not less harmful.

The problem is these tobacco control measures stop outside of the pack, while the cigarettes inside remain essentially the same. A logical next step is to regulate how companies engineer cigarettes to promote their use.

I foresaw this. Not content to change the packaging, they’re going to change the product as well, to make it taste nasty. They may even add rat poison, if tasting nasty doesn’t work.

Do bear in mind that once they start doing this with tobacco, they can do it to absolutely anything else as well. Enjoy a glass of wine now and then? You won’t when it tastes like piss. Enjoy watching movies like Casablanca? You won’t when all the smoking and drinking and gambling has been edited out.

Lastly, H/T Dick Puddlecote for more news from Australia:

GOLD Coast clubs and pubs may soon be counting patrons’ drinks to keep them sober, rather than risk fines of up to $56,000.

A radical new State Government plan will see breathalyser-wielding police testing drinkers at the bar to see just how drunk they are, with the results used to build a case against venues.

The liquor industry fears the move is a way to stop the party but Attorney General Yvette D’Ath says it’s to help cut alcohol-fuelled violence.

And it appears the blood-alcohol limits for drivers might be the standard on which club drunks are assessed — meaning drinking the equivalent of a sixpack of beer may soon be regarded as a big night out.

I suppose the fat police will soon be busy as well. There’ll be limits to the number of fried potatoes you have on your plate, and mandatory additions of celery and mung beans.


About Frank Davis

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25 Responses to All Today’s Mad News

  1. wobbler2012 says:

    Breathalizing drinkers in a pub is utter fucking insanity, the thing is only 10 years ago people would laugh at that suggestion and think of it as a practical joke, these nutters are serious. We’ve only got ourselves to blame for allowing these lunatics to flourish.

  2. roobeedoo2 says:

    Beijing has a terrible smog problem. A number of runners in last year’s marathon dropped out because of poor quality air.

    No Clicky, wrong decade, wrong Olympic city …

  3. jaxthefirst says:

    … with the results used to build a case against venues.

    That was one that I foresaw some years ago. I remember writing a comment in the MA in reply to a particularly smoking-ban-enthusiastic pub owner who, of course, had been bragging that his pub was doing fine, thank you very much, and declaring that those landlords who were claiming that the ban had damaged their businesses were simply rotten businessmen. I remember saying to him then to watch out for: (1) A lowering of the drink-drive limit, meaning that even the diners who were currently keeping him in business wouldn’t bother to drive all the way out to his pub for a meal and – err – a mineral water (now enacted); (2) increased associations between drinking and pretty much any kind of social ill – crime, car accidents, domestic violence, family breakdown; and, finally, (3) pub landlords themselves being made responsible for the amount of alcohol which their customers consumed, and responsible, too, for any ensuing damage they might cause – the anti-alcohol equivalent of anti-smoking’s punishment of pub landlords for customers lighting up in their pub. Needless to say, he poo-poohed the idea, saying “that’s never going to happen,” and that old stalwart “it’s different, because there’s no such thing as Passive Drinking.” Looks like he was wrong, and I was right (always a satisfying feeling, especially when dealing with a zealot). Because what happens in Australia, it seems (smoking bans, plain packaging etc) our copycat Governments seem doomed to follow blindly.

    Good. Hope he goes out of business, if he hasn’t already.

  4. Jude says:

    In some ways Frank, as someone who lives in the puritan outpost of Australia, I say bring it on. Because only when the zealots in public “health” , (that quasi religious cult), starts making draconian laws that impact the majority, will people here, (those apathetic), do anything at all about all the freedoms they have lost. It will be interesting to watch as those who like a drink with their gambling, start getting breathalized at the bar, and then cut off after they get past .05 , which really doesn’t take much at all, 1 glass of wine or spirits and you are over the limit.

    Those same puritan zealots have destroyed the pubs, they are now going after all the other things that normal people do, that they don’t like. What will be the tipping point I wonder?

    We live in interesting times Frank :)

  5. Smoking Lamp says:

    Frank, Excellent roundup of the intersecting thread of total control. The healthists are seeking Prohibition of tobacco (actually all forms of nicotine), alcohol, and foods they don’t approve of. But, I think the health angle is only the first salient in a quest for total control of all aspects of public life.

  6. magnetic01 says:

    China and anti-tobacco – background:

    The society, with between two and three hundred members, was the largest anti-tobacco organization in China at the time, surpassing the foreign missionary-led WCTU [Women’s Christian Temperance Movement] in Shanghai. By his own admission, Wu Tingfang’s anti-cigarette organization was directly inspired by the American eugenics and temperance movements, especially the work of John Harvey Kellogg and Mary Foote Henderson (1841-1931). The stated aim of the Anti-cigarette Smoking Society was to inform the public of the dangers of cigarette smoking, especially for women and young people. At one of its earliest meetings, the proceedings of which were reported in “Shenbao”, Chen Runfu spoke about the harm smoking caused women as well as children. An anti-smoking rally organized by the society and held on June 27, 1911, attracted a thousand supporters; a similar demonstration in the southeast section of the city a week later had about six hundred participants. (p.221)

    Golden-silk Smoke: A History of Tobacco in China, 1550-2010

  7. magnetic01 says:

    The “Dr Weng Xin Zhi” obit above was put together by Judith Mackay of the “World Lung Foundation”.

    We’re all familiar with the high profile shmucks of the antismoking racket – Stantonitis Glands, John Banz½ the ⅓, Simple Simon Crapman, Gregor Cannoli, etc. Most of them travel to countries untainted by antismoking fanaticism so that governments can get first-class advice on how to destabilize their countries through antismoking hysteria. There is one particular fanatic that has been highly influential in the Asia region but very much “flown under the radar” – Judy Mackay.

    Some background on Judy:
    (Note from link above: “Initially, she was instrumental in bringing about a ban on smokeless tobacco products in Hong Kong”)

    • magnetic01 says:

      Hong Kong, where Mackay has been highly influential, is now a centre for training in smoking cessation:

    • magnetic01 says:

      But, the article that really needs to be highlighted is this one:

      In stark contrast to the Swiss circumstance over the weekend where the public had its say, Mackay emphasizes how Tobacco Control Racketeers would preferably operate:

      Asia’s One-Woman Anti-Tobacco Campaign Still Going Strong
      “For most of the past 25 years, Hong Kong-based, British-born doctor Judith Mackay has been the tobacco control movement in Asia.

      She has pushed for tougher laws and higher tobacco taxes, lobbied for bans on advertising, and advised and cajoled governments in Hong Kong, Laos, China, Vietnam and most other Asian countries.

      She drafted Mongolia’s first post-Soviet anti-smoking law in her hotel room on the last night of her trip there, after spending most of the visit under suspicion of being an American spy.

      Her success is based on her ability to convince the right person with the right power to make changes that will save lives. And she is happy to take advantage of non-democratic regimes.

      “That is one of the reasons I was so active in the 1980s. Once you had democracies, you have white papers and green papers, you had public debates and forums and it went on forever,” the 65-year-old said from her Hong Kong home.

      “I found I could jump over quite a few fences in one go,” added Mackay, who has been a senior policy adviser to the World Health Organization for more than 10 years.”

      There we have it. Dealing with democratic countries can be such hard work. You have to deal with nonsense like freedom and personal autonomy. There’s all that useless paperwork required to justify your claims. And those endless public debates….. well! No. Judy would be happy to “take advantage of non-democratic regimes”. You need do deal with and con only one or, at most, maybe a handful of people. It can mostly be done over a six-course dinner; no paperwork; no public debates. Much….. much better. Smoking bans and a smoker persecution and extortionate tax program can be set in motion by lunch the next day. Then it’s off for a spot of tennis. That’s the way the world should operate….. none of this Swiss stuff.

  8. magnetic01 says:

    Some background on John Harvey Kellogg. Kellogg was a eugenicist (physicalist – health is a physical, absence-of-physical-disease phenomenon), a Seventh-Day Adventist (Adventists believe in a vegetarian diet, abstinence from alcohol and tobacco, and a regimen of exercise – these are also essentially eugenics beliefs) – although being later “disfellowshipped”, and anti-masturbation campaigner.

    He was an especially zealous campaigner against masturbation; this was an orthodox view during his lifetime, especially the earlier part. Kellogg was able to draw upon many medical sources’ claims such as “neither the plague, nor war, nor small-pox, nor similar diseases, have produced results so disastrous to humanity as the pernicious habit of onanism,” credited to one Dr. Adam Clarke. Kellogg strongly warned against the habit in his own words, claiming of masturbation-related deaths “such a victim literally dies by his own hand,” among other condemnations. He felt that masturbation destroyed not only physical and mental health, but the moral health of individuals as well. Kellogg also believed the practice of this “solitary-vice” caused cancer of the womb, urinary diseases, nocturnal emissions, impotence, epilepsy, insanity, and mental and physical debility; “dimness of vision” was only briefly mentioned.

    Kellogg worked on the rehabilitation of masturbators, often employing extreme measures, even mutilation, on both sexes…..

    He also recommended, to prevent children from this “solitary vice”, bandaging or tying their hands, covering their genitals with patented cages and electrical shock….

    Kellogg thought that masturbation was the worst evil one could commit; he often referred to it as “self-abuse”. He was a leader of the anti-masturbation movement, and promoted extreme measures to prevent masturbation.[23][24][25] In addition, Kellogg thought that diet played a huge role in masturbation and that
    a bland diet would decrease excitability and prevent masturbation. Thus, Kellogg invented Corn Flakes breakfast cereal in 1878. He hoped that feeding children
    this plain cereal every morning would help to combat the urges of “self-abuse”.

  9. magnetic01 says:


    “In 1876, Kellogg agreed to become superintendent of a small reform medical institution run by the Adventists, the Western Health Reform Institute, which then housed 20 patients. By the turn of the century, he had expanded it to accommodate 700 patients and had renamed it the Battle Creek Sanitarium; by the 1920s, it housed 1200 patients, including prominent industrialists and politicians. Kellogg invented a range of exercise equipment for the use of these paying guests.

    To improve the patients’ diet, Kellogg developed, patented, and introduced a variety of new foods, including Granola and Corn Flakes; he also invented peanut butter, artificial milk made from soybeans, and a variety of imitation meats. His younger brother, Will Keith Kellogg, later built a successful company to market his brother’s cereal creations; in so doing, he transformed the average American’s breakfast. Kellogg company profits were initially fed into the Race Betterment Foundation, which John Harvey created in 1914 to publicize and promote eugenics; later they flowed into the W. K. Kellogg Foundation.

    John Harvey Kellogg was an early member of the American Public Health
    Association and served on the Michigan Board of Health from 1878 to 1891 and from 1911 to 1917. In 1922, he proudly listed the latter credential on the title page of his book Tobaccoism, or How Tobacco Kills, a sustained assault on the physiological, pathological, nutritional, eugenic, moral, and economic devastation caused by the “tobacco habit.”2 This book contributed to the antitobacco campaign of the 1920s that led to a bill introduced by Senator Reed Smoot in 1929 to bring tobacco under the regulatory purview of the Pure Food and Drug Act—an effort officially endorsed by the American Public Health Association.3 In the end, however, Congress failed to act and Americans continued their unhindered and unregulated consumption of cigarettes.”

    Consist of Apollos and Venuses, Says Dr. Kellogg — Sees
    Race Going to Seed. URGES STATE REGULATION Deems Health and Marriage Inspection Imperative — Luther Burbank Supports a Similar Idea.

    August 8, 1915, Sunday
    SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 7. — The world needs a new aristocracy — “a
    real aristocracy made up of Apollos and Venuses and their fortunate progeny” — said Dr.
    J.H. Kellogg, of Battle Creek, Mich., in an address tonight on “The Eugenics Registry”
    before the second National Conference on Race Betterment.

    • magnetic01 says:


      From the 5th World [Eugenics] Conference on Smoking and Health, 1983, Winnipeg, Canada

      Free apples, bananas, oranges and bran muffins were available at breaks during the Conference. Young athletes, clad in gymnasium attire, conducted brief exercise rituals for delegates at many sessions. Health for all. (p.23)

      We now have a large global gym culture that didn’t exist 30 years ago. Gymnasia are selling points for hotels, apartment complexes, cruise ships, social clubs, etc. They’re all over the place now. In these gyms, people flex muscles for hours on end (or walk/run on treadmills – like rats in the lab) and strut about checking each other out [physically] or stare into mirrors in abject Narcissism, oozing vanity. They also spend copious amounts of time monitoring their diet. These are the eugenics “master people”, the “Apollos and Venuses” – the “aristocracy of the bicep”. Health, again, perversely reduced to only a physical phenomenon.

    • nisakiman says:

      Goodness me, Mr Kellogg sounds like a barrel of laughs! I bet he was the life and soul of the party!

  10. magnetic01 says:

    He Believes Americans Over-eat, Over-drink and Over-everything and Thereby Slowly Kill Themselves: “We Are A Nation of Suicides”, Says Dr. H.W. Wiley
    March 19, 1911

    SUICIDE is self-destruction. Then we are a nation of suicides, for we are continually destroying ourselves.

  11. nisakiman says:

    Off topic, but this made me smile:

    Smoking Pipes, Cigars, Tobacco Wanted

    This contrarian wants to turn back the clock to 1962, when men wore hats and smoked pipes, kids could buy cigars for Father’s Day, cigarette commercials aired on children’s TV cartoon shows, and doctors recommended that you smoke Camels. The time is now for fighting anti-smoking hysteria!
    Sell me your pipes whose owners have left for heaven, the tobacco sitting unused in bags and cans, your cigars feeling lonely and unsmoked, maybe even cigarettes whose owners have quit and don’t know what to do with them.
    I’m not looking for expensive antique pipes or $10 Cuba cigars, just bargain basement articles. Thanks for your attention.

    do NOT contact me with unsolicited services or offers

    Someone from San Francisco, no less! :)

  12. magnetic01 says:

    The Adventists have long marketed a variety of cereals and other “health” products under the Sanitarium brand (centred and popular in Australia).

  13. It would be interesting to try to tabulate how many “deaths due to bans” have occurred from people falling off roofs, out windows, and on crashing balconies (Did you see that balcony plunge news a few days ago? Anyone want to take bets on how many of those California students were pushed out there by their smoking bans?)

    I’m guessing more than 20 and less than a hundred. I’ve only seen news specifically relating to smoking for four or five, but I’m certainly not he All-Seeing-Eye Of Agamotto.

    – MJM

  14. waltc says:

    On the gym culture, read the hilarious novel, “Body” by Harry Crews.

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