Why Believe Anyone?

Nik Nak (roobeedoo’s delightful name for Nisakiman) got out of hospital yesterday. I spoke to him at his daughter’s home. The way he described it, it was like he’d been released from prison. It had been driving him mad, being inside that faceless institution. So much so that he felt he had to recuperate simply from being there, never mind any malady he might have.

I hate hospitals. I’ve only ever spent a single night inside one, and I didn’t much like that. It’s not just their poisonous smoking bans that are now leaking out not just into the grounds of the hospitals, but into the streets beyond. I hate the architecture as well, with all the bland beige walls and floors, that are increasingly devoid of any humanity at all.

The way I see them, they’re like gigantic sharks. Once you’re inside them, you’re lucky if you ever get out. I can well imagine that lots of people go into them with something as minor as a cut finger, and end up with MRSA, or Ebola, or ‘flu, and come out in a box. In fact, I can imagine people going to visit relatives in them, bringing flowers and chocolates (I somehow suspect that flowers and chocolates are as banned as cigarettes inside hospitals these days), and ending up in the same ward, with one of their legs amputated or something.

I hate doctors too. I haven’t visited one for over 10 years. For all I know, if they ever ran any tests on me, they’d diagnose me as having COPD, rabies, and terminal chronic malaria. I’m sure they’d find something. Because they’re always looking for something. And they’ve got names for everything. Malaria. Bronchitis. PTSD. Pneumonia. Names that are almost diseases in themselves.

I think the main thing that gets me about doctors (that I’ve written about before) is that, in the past you went to see them because you thought you were ill, and now you’re supposed to go and see them because they think you might be ill. They run all these tests on people’s blood sugar and blood pressure and stuff, and then tell them that they’ve got a bad case of umphalumphitis. They’ve become the people who decide who’s ill and who isn’t. The patient no longer has a say. And increasingly they seem to be deciding that everybody’s unwell. Just being ‘overweight’ or ‘underweight’ is now just about as bad as having typhoid or cholera. And they see smoking and drinking as ‘epidemics’, of course. The more senior the doctor, as far as I can see, the more barking mad they’re likely to be.

My view is that I will decide whether I’m ill or not, because it’s my life and I’m the one living and experiencing it,, not them. And I have detailed inside knowledge of me of a kind that they’ll never have, even with all their thermometers and pressure gauges and needles. For them, I’m a foreign country that they can’t enter. They can only stand on the border, and look in using telescopes. Or hope for reliable reports emanating from the interior.

If I’d been Nik Nak, and been told I had diseases X, Y2, and Z3b, I’d probably not have believed them. Why should I believe them? Why should I believe anyone? We’re living in a world of fake news these days. And the medical profession is one of the biggest purveyors of it. We’re living in a world on the brink of being one in which nobody believes any authorities or experts or scientists about anything any more.

And increasingly I don’t trust anyone. I don’t trust the BBC. I don’t trust the government. I don’t trust Theresa May. I don’t trust Boris Johnson. Soon I think I may stop trusting Donald Trump, like Ann Coulter seems to have done, months after writing a book called In Trump We Trust.

Oh, and I don’t trust the Pope. Or Jean-Claude Juncker. Or Robert De Niro. Or Hillary Clinton (I never did trust her anyway). Or Woody Allen. Or Miles Mathis. Or Paul Krugman. Or Paul Volcker. Or Alan Greenspan. Or Ben Bernanke. Or Janet Yellen. Or Bitcoin. Or Google. Or Facebook. Or Amazon. Or the Democratic Party. Or the Republican Party. Or the Conservative Party. Or the Labour Party. Or the Liberal Democratic Party. Or the Royal Society of Physicians. Or the British Medical Association. Or the WHO. Or Greenpeace. Or Friends of the Earth. Or Oxfam. Or the United Nations. Or Brian May. Or Peter Gabriel. Or NASA. Or MI5. Or GCHQ. Or the CIA,. Or the NSA. Or the FBI. Or the DEA. Or any 3-letter ‘intelligence’ agency, for that matter. Or Microsoft. Or Oracle. Or IBM. Or Big Pharma. Or the Rockefeller Foundation. Or the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation. Or Freud. Or Karl Marx. Or Darwin.

I could fill the page with people and organisations I don’t trust. And I’d be hard pressed to fill a line or two with people or organisations I still do trust. Do I trust Alex Jones? Not really. Jerome Corsi? Not really. Michael Savage? Nope. Nigel Farage? Barely.

I thinking we’re heading into a world in which all authority has gone, and in which people only trust themselves and their own eyes.

I got listening last night to somebody I’d never heard of before called David Berlinski, talking about Darwinism:

He’s a mathematician and philosopher. And he was sceptical about Darwinism. And also about Richard Dawkins (who should have been on my list above) and Daniel Dennett (who should also have been on the list). I suppose I found it refreshing because I don’t like Darwin and Dawkins  and Dennett much either, but for different reasons than Berlinski. I believe in evolution – just not Darwin’s idea of evolution. And maybe I’ll stop believing in evolution one day.

Anyway, I think Nik Nak is to be highly commended for simply having  managed to get out of that damn hospital alive. I’m hoping to visit him next week in the company of Twentyrothmans, who’ll be bringing some potent single malt whisky. I’m thinking of bringing a few cigars. In my experience, a judicious combination of alcohol and tobacco can cure more or less anything.

And after that, I hope he’ll be on his way back to Greece, and sunshine, and ouzo, and carpentry, and those wonderful Greek doctors who just give you a couple of vitamin pills and cheerily tell you to get on with your life.

About Frank Davis

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31 Responses to Why Believe Anyone?

  1. Carol42 says:

    Delighted to read that Nisakiman is home and very much hoping it means the biopsy was ok and things are not as bad as they sounded previously.

  2. waltc says:

    Send him good wishes from all of us.

    Been up all night with food poisoning and (therefore?) your screed reminded me of this:


  3. RdM says:

    Thanks for the Nisaki Man news update. Encouraging!
    Glad to hear! Get well!

    I hate hospitals too, the odd overnight stays I’ve had, even outpatient clinics.
    Couldn’t wait to get out… odd surgeries, a heart scare, apart from x-ray scans &etc.

    Although I’ve been putting off going to a Dr about pain that shouldn’t really be there.
    Recognising that it might lead to a hospital visit, which as above I don’t really want to do.
    So perhaps there’s some sort of balance to be struck. I might ring tomorrow.

    At least all that’s physical stuff… you know, we’re inspecting your meat and bones and internal organs and structures now, with our really advanced technology… (and knowledge, of course) and once we’ve done our tests we can decide what we might offer / prescribe.

    (The medical profession and politicians need to be reminded that they can only offer treatments, you have to give your consent after considering options;- they seem to have forgotten that with enforcing no smoking even if you’ve just come in with a broken leg… as we all know!)

    All that’s quite apart from enforced no smoking these days in geriatric or psychiatric “care”.
    Well, not apart in no smoking, but a world apart in length of stay, even to end of life.

    That’s really cruel.

  4. beobrigitte says:

    Nik Nak (roobeedoo’s delightful name for Nisakiman)…
    Delightful indeed. I think I’ll call Nisakiman Nik Nak now! :)

    Glad to see Nik Nak is out of hospital!!! I would think there is treatment to follow – hopefully as outpatient!!

    If I’d been Nik Nak, and been told I had diseases X, Y2, and Z3b, I’d probably not have believed them. Why should I believe them?
    I would not take their word for it but I would ask to see all test results.

    Why should I believe anyone? We’re living in a world of fake news these days. And the medical profession is one of the biggest purveyors of it. We’re living in a world on the brink of being one in which nobody believes any authorities or experts or scientists about anything any more.
    It looks like we smokers are not the only ones who have lost any, however small, trust we used to have in authorities. Apparently conspiracy theories attract an ever increasing number of people from all walks of life.
    I can only guess a lot more people than thought are disgruntled.

  5. Frank Davis says:

    Speaking of mad doctors:


    Dr John Crichton, the new chairman of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in Scotland, wants the sale of pointed kitchen knives to be banned to help reduce the number of fatal stabbings.

    Dr Crichton, who took on the role of chairman in June this year, is championing a switch to so-called “R”-bladed knives, which have rounded points and are far less effective as weapons.

    Later that day Dr Crichton added forks to the list of kitchen implements that needed to be banned, pointing out that forks have 4 sharp ends, rather than just one, and so are 4 times as dangerous.

  6. Rose says:

    I’m glad to hear that Nisakiman is out of hospital and in much friendler surroundings.

    The way I see them, they’re like gigantic sharks. Once you’re inside them, you’re lucky if you ever get out
    Thank goodness it’s not just me.

    H/T Dick Puddlecote

    Two leading Canadian anti-tobacco groups to shut down after Ottawa fails to provide funding
    April 9, 2018

    “The two award-winning Canadian non-profit groups that led the fight against smoking and tobacco products in Canada and around the world are preparing to close their doors after the money they expected to see in the most recent federal budget failed to materialize.

    The Non-Smokers’ Rights Association (NSRA) and Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada (PSC) have been limping along on a combination of savings, provincial help, and the work of volunteers since their federal funding was cut by the former Conservative government in 2012.”

    “The Non-Smokers’ Rights Association led the drive to put picture-based warnings on cigarettes. Its focus has been monitoring the tobacco industry and it has, over the years, won several awards including the World Health Organization’s Gold Medal for Tobacco Control in 2000.

    But the NSRA is now down to a single staff member in Montreal, has closed its Ottawa office, and is in the process of closing the main office in Toronto. Its next campaigns would have been aimed at getting tobacco out of corner stores and creating rules around second-hand smoke in multi-unit housing.”

    Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada was responsible for the hard-hitting anti-smoking campaign that featured Heather Crowe, a non-smoking waitress who developed lung cancer through second-hand smoke in the restaurants where she worked.

    In 2005, PSFC also won a World Health Organization award. It is now run by volunteers and operates out of one of the volunteer’s basements. Neil Collishaw, the group’s research director, said it will “struggle along” but, without paid staff or funding, there is a limited number of things it can do.”

    Interesting that their funding was cut one year after this –

    “We have obtained the manual on how to effectively implement outdoor bans published in September 2010 by Physicians For A Smoke-Free Canada (PSFC) : SMOKEFREE OUTDOOR PUBLIC SPACES: A COMMUNITY ADVOCACY TOOLKIT.

    We share with you here below a few of the more disappointing passages that we have uncovered.

    For proof that they have tobacco control advocates planted in the various internet forums look at the footnotes on the page that gives advice on how to refute arguments from the tobacco industry or their ‘’front groups’’ (page 22)”
    link inside

    Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada Encourages Local Anti-Smoking Advocates to Deceive the Public in Order to Get Outdoor Smoking Bans Enacted

    “In addition, the physicians group is encouraging anti-smoking advocates to deceive the public about how well outdoor smoking bans are working. Advocates are told to: “Plant stories in the media about non‐smokers politely asking smokers to move to a designated smoking area or outside the smoke‐free area and smokers complying. Create the impression that the bylaw is working…”.

    Moreover, advocates are encouraged to conduct bogus public opinion polls in order to make it look like there is more support for smoke-free outdoor areas than there really is by driving people to these online, non-scientific polls: “What is important with any online advocacy tool is that you have to drive traffic to the site to get the numbers that you need to influence politicians.”

    The Rest of the Story

    I’m not sure which is more remarkable:

    1. The fact that Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada is encouraging anti-smoking advocates to deceive the public in order to get smoke-free outdoor laws passed; or

    2. The fact that Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada had the chutzpah to put it’s advocacy manual online so that the entire world can see that the group is encouraging local advocates to deceive the public in order to get these increasingly aggressive anti-smoking policies enacted.”
    http: //tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.co.uk/2011/06/physicians-for-smoke-free-canada.html

    • smokingscot says:

      I see the money the two organisations were to have received will now be spent to try to stop the huge influx of contraband tobacco!

      In time our lot, the ones who shovel £200 million a year to tobacco control, will realise they’ve encouraged exactly the same reaction with British smokers (their claim that it’s only 15% of the market – and that the average smoker only consumes about 13 fags a day is utter tosh).

      Otherwise, excellent news for Canadian Smokers, keep it up chaps!

      • Rose says:

        It’s the government that changed the rules, not the smokers, after all, no one minds a reasonable contribution to funds. Abuse the people who pay you, in business or in politics and you’ll get a similar result, people stop buying your products and shop elsewhere.

    • jaxthefirst says:

      Ooh, Rose! What welcome news! Particularly following (fairly) hot on the tail of ASH New Zealand and those unpleasant little groups in the west of the UK. But really, it shouldn’t be any surprise to these organisations that State spending is being withdrawn. It’s the law of diminishing returns writ large. What on earth is the point in any government, anywhere, continuing to pump ever-increasing amounts of money towards organisations who are targeting an ever-decreasing group of consumers? From that point of view, these groups are effectively victims of their own “success” – the balance has now tipped to such an extent that even if those groups were successful in forcing every single remaining smoker to quit, the cost per quitter would be so great that it would far outweigh any estimated “benefits” (health-wise or financial) that might result. Which means that all things anti-smoking are now, to be candid, a very poor investment of any public funds. Hence the cuts. It’s actually quite a sensible decision on behalf of the authorities. In fact, the only people who seem to be surprised about it are the anti-smoking groups themselves. Which rather begs the question – how long did they actually think that the money would go on rolling in for when they themselves have spent the last few decades bragging about how low “they” have managed to bring smoker numbers down to? Talk about being hoist by one’s own petard …

  7. nisakiman says:

    Frank hits the nail on the head with his comments on hospital stays. I was getting to the point where I felt that if I didn’t get out really soon, I’d never get out, and be incarcerated forever. I was genuinely getting desperate, and felt that every day spent in there would further contribute to my eventual demise. You cannot imagine my relief when I finally gained my release yesterday. A huge weight was lifted from my shoulders, and today I am better just for being out of there.
    I’ve never been institutionalised, and don’t intend to start now.

    With regards the ‘nik nak’ sobriquet, I have to admit that I’m not particularly enamoured, but if people want to use it, then so be it. My username, nisakiman, I am very attached to, it having represented my online persona for more than 15 years. Apart from it appearing to be unique without having to have a string of identifying numbers attached, it also has both historical and linguistic significance of a personal nature. I can’t see that changing.

    Once again, thank you all so much for your messages of support. Unlikely though it might seem, it really does help.

    I’m still waiting for the results from the biopsy, and probably won’t get them until the end of the week. Then I’ll have a better idea of what the future holds.

    • Tony says:

      Really glad to hear of your escape Nisakiman. I hope your results are good too.

    • Roobeedoo2 says:

      Aww but you’re so…

      *Exactly, Clicky… /lights up… and he has such a cute baby face… /smoking… You just wanna eat him up… *

      By way of compensation, Nik Nak, may I offer you some music? <3

      */sigh… It’s like I’m fucking there, Clicky… /pats snout contentedly…*

    • Philip Neal says:

      Very good news that you are out, Nisakiman. Welcome back to freedom!

    • Smoking Lamp says:

      Nisakiman I am glad you are out of hospital and wish you well. I missed your comments and am glad to see them. Your words are a blessing. SL

    • jaxthefirst says:

      Great to hear you’ve battled through the barbed wire fencing and fought off the fierce guard dogs of the average NHS hospital and returned to the real world, Nika! Fingers crossed for the test results.

    • Joe L. says:

      Great to hear you’re out of hospital and resting somewhere familiar and comfortable, Nisakiman! You’re much better off mentally and physically surrounded by warmth and loved ones. Get plenty of rest, and don’t let the “experts” get in your head. The mind is very powerful — don’t let them commandeer it!

  8. smokingscot says:

    Excellent news squire. Fear not about your handle.

    We know you used to hang out in Nissakia, hence the unique play on words.

    Far better than Petrasguy!

    And her affectionate name’s not that awful. When she’s really ticked you’ll become “stretch”,

  9. I will decide whether I’m ill or not, because it’s my life and I’m the one living and experiencing it”

    Nik Nak – I’m using the moniker just this once, for the assonance – would better steer clear of the “Dr. Knocks” of this world (with reference to the 1923 theatre play by Jules Romains, and 1951 film starring Louis Jouvet)… The plot on imdb: “Saint-Maurice, an ordinary peaceful village, lived healthily so much so that the local doctor’s practice was scant. But that was before Dr. Parpalaid retired and was replaced by a charlatan by the name of Knock. A real genius this one, for he soon managed to persuade everyone that they were ill.”
    Wikipedia: “The whole village is found in bed; the hotel is transformed into a clinic and even Dr. Parpalaid, who temporarily returns to his village, is worried about his health following the “diagnosis” of Dr. Knock, and also ends up in bed.”

  10. Glad to see that someone has the courage to question Darwinian orthodoxy. It is most definitely “official; science” like that of Comrade Lysenko.

  11. Roobeedoo2 says:

    The puritans love children so much, they create the conditions for cigarettes to be purchased at ‘pocket money’ prices…

    • beobrigitte says:

      A desperate anti-smoking brigade…..
      Illegal cigarettes are reported to have caused at least eight deaths in the UK. Campaigner Julie Grant from Boston, Lincolnshire, lost her mother in a house fire six years ago. June Buffham had been smoking an illegal cigarette when she fell asleep in her chair. Contrary to EU law, the cigarette did not have the self-extinguishing feature which is now required, resulting in a devastating fire.
      Anti-smokers are running with the greatest nonsense raising common sense questions.
      One or two being:
      Where and when was Mrs. Buffham’s chair was bought, considering that even back in the 1980s Couches and chairs had to be made of “fire-safe” treated material?
      What exactly does “Illegal cigarettes are reported to have caused at least eight deaths in the UK.” mean? Is there a black market for couches and chairs?

      But according to ASH Cymru Chief Executive, Suzanne Cass, the sale of illegal tobacco undermines measures put in place to lower the number of smokers in Wales. “It’s sold at pocket money prices and we know that children are accessing the illegal tobacco.
      Here it is…. “the chiiiiildren….”

      The Welsh Government said “ASH Wales was commissioned by Welsh Government to scope a possible programme on illegal tobacco as highlighted in the Tobacco Control Delivery Plan for Wales 2017-20. We are considering the draft report and a decision will be made later this year.”
      The Welsh government can make life much easier for itself – kick Tobacco Control and ASH out and lower the tobacco tax. Black market will disappear. Everywhere. Simple.

      • Rose says:

        What exactly does “Illegal cigarettes are reported to have caused at least eight deaths in the UK.” mean?

        Legal cigarettes have burning agents put in by the manufacturers so they don’t go out,
        but Instead of just taking the burning agents out so they go like roll ups if you don’t smoke them for a bit, the powers that be decided to redesign the paper.

        “The safety standard known as Reduced Ignition Propensity or R.I.P. consists of two concentric bands of less porous paper within the cigarette paper which causes the cigarette to go out when not actively smoked.”

        Assuming that illegal cigarette makers still add the burning agents and those cigarettes don’t have the bands of thicker paper.

      • Rose says:

        “Illegal cigarettes are reported to have caused at least eight deaths in the UK.

        Campaigner Julie Grant lost her mother, June Buffham, in a house fire six years ago. June had been smoking an illegal cigarette when she fell asleep in her chair. Contrary to EU law, the cigarette did not have the self-extinguishing feature which is now required, resulting in a devastating fire.”

        The Alliance For Consumer Fire Safety in Europe

        Position Paper on Reduced Ignition Propensity (RIP) Cigarettes

        “The report also made it clear that in their tests it was not possible to set fire to furniture bought on the UK market with either cigarettes or matches, because by law it must resist
        ignition from both sources.”

        “In summary, cigarette-initiated fires would no doubt be reduced by the introduction of RIP cigarettes either by mandatory or voluntary means and this is to be welcomed.
        However, the contribution of RIP cigarettes to the reduction of European fire deaths and injuries in the home would be less significant in the context of the overall domestic fire safety problem because cigarettes are not the ignition source in most domestic killer fires today.”
        http://www.acfse.org:80/files/ACFSE Paper on RIP Cigarettes 27 Feb 2007.pdf

        So the chair in question must have been an antique.

    • smokingscot says:

      Really bad sound quality, but here’s a review of said Pect cigarettes.

    • Smoking Lamp says:

      The tobacco controllers conveniently ignore the fact that the illicit trade in cigarettes is a direct result of their ill-founded campaign of incremental prohibition and excessive, punitive taxation. They are complicit in nurturing organized crime and now they seek to shift the blame.

      • jaxthefirst says:

        I once visited a well-known tourist site (Wookey Hole caves, I think) in which there was an exhibition about old-time smugglers who, it seemed, had once used the caves to stash their goods before distribution. The sign quoted a nursery rhyme (either “Baa, Baa, Black Sheep” or “Pop! Goes the Weasel” – can’t remember which now), which they said was a coded protest against high taxation of numerous goods which led to huge amounts of smuggling and the sale of smuggled goods even to those in authority who were supposed to be stopping it. It ended with the note that “eventually, the Government realised that the high taxes merely made smuggling a profitworthy exercise and buying smuggled goods financially very worthwhile, and as a result, high taxes on these goods were abolished, which immediately greatly reduced the amount of smuggling.” At which I, a smoker, and my OH, a beer-man to his very boots, looked at each other and – oh, how we laughed!

  12. Lepercolonist says:

    “I hate doctors too. I haven’t visited one for over 10 years. For all I know, if they ever ran any tests on me, they’d diagnose me as having COPD, rabies, and terminal chronic malaria. I’m sure they’d find something. ”

    So true, Frank. A male 41 yr. old co-worker of mine had 5 different doctors for his ‘diagnosed’ ailments. His latest doctor misdiagnosed a pimple on his back as shingles. Once you get on the treadmill it is difficult to get off.

  13. Pingback: Useless Doctors | Frank Davis

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