Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes

Following on from yesterday, hat tip to Audrey Silk for this:

Letter: Ban on tobacco in jails, prisons has caused major problems (Gazette)
Jun 29, 2018

Just recently I read an article about Oklahoma state Representative Rick West. Rep. West introduced a bill to dismantle the July 2012 ban on cigarette sales and smoking inside state prisons.

Representative West states, “It’s caused more problems and didn’t solve anything … . If the intent was that no smoking be allowed amongst the prisoners, that certainly didn’t happen. They’re smoking in there right now as we speak.”

Representative West is 100 percent correct. I’m an inmate and a smoker. There’s not a day that goes by that I’m unable to do so, as long as I have the money to spend on black market cigarettes.

The major issues that arose due to the smoking ban in West Virginia prisons far outweigh anything that could have been accomplished by the ban.

The ban has made West Virginia prisons extremely more violent. Incidents arise due to inmates accruing massive debt to other inmates, robbing other inmates to pay for cigarettes, assaulting inmates who they know have cigarettes.

Since the Division of Corrections and Regional Jail Authority implemented the smoking ban, officers have been fired for smuggling tobacco and tobacco products.

The ban also places another extreme workload on officers who are already overworked and underpaid. Now they must take time to search out and write rule violations for tobacco products.

For about two years, Corrections was actually giving inmates urine analysis tests and wasting huge amounts of taxpayer dollars on a nicotine test. Obviously, there is many more proactive uses for this wasted money.

Bottom line: Rep. West recognized the complete absurdity of a ban that can never be enforced and has caused multitudes of problems. He took action to correct the issue. Will West Virginia representatives take the action that’s necessary to do the same?

Ray F. Hillberry

Mount Olive Correctional Complex

Fayette County

Prisons are, in many ways, microcosms of the societies in which they are found. They are mirrors in which the wider society outside them can be seen reflected.

The only real difference is that the rest of us live in an open prison, and we get to elect our own guards every 4 or 5 years.

There’s no real difference between public smoking bans and prison smoking bans. Both are arbitrarily imposed from above by the unaccountable authorities in Tobacco Control. There’s nothing in the least bit democratic about either.

A century or so ago, the world’s eugenicist medical elites decided that people shouldn’t smoke tobacco or drink alcohol or eat a wide variety of proscribed foods. They also decided that there were a whole range of drugs that they shouldn’t consume either. And these self-appointed authorities have been trying ever since to impose their will on the whole prison planet.

But the last few centuries have also seen the regular overthrow of such authorities in one revolution after another. First the American Revolution, and then the French Revolution, and the Russian Revolution, and the Chinese Revolution, and countless other smaller revolutions, all of which were popular uprisings against arbitrary and unaccountable authorities.

Many of these revolutions were triggered by the imposition of onerous taxes on peoples. The American Revolution was set in motion by firstly a sugar tax, a stamp tax, and finally a tea tax. 

And it’s the same today with the imposition of draconian tobacco taxes and smoking bans all over the world.

The inevitable result, I would like to suggest, is going to be a global revolution that will see the overthrow and complete destruction of the world’s self-appointed eugenicist medical elites, and most likely a lot of other elites as well.

The present rising populism in America and Europe is a portent of this coming revolution. It’s already seen the election of Donald Trump in the USA. And Trump is in many ways a new American revolutionary, not much different from George Washington or Paul Revere. And the current low-key civil war in the USA is the accompaniment to a new American revolution. It’s a populist revolt that is going to sweep Europe as well. And then everywhere else in the world.

And it’s as predictable as the periodic eruption of volcanoes, or the regular recurrence of ice ages.

Who guards the guards? Ultimately it’s the prisoners who hold their guards to account.

About Frank Davis

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7 Responses to Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes

  1. Pingback: *…/swallows…* – Library of Libraries

  2. beobrigitte says:

    Prisons are, in many ways, microcosms of the societies in which they are found. They are mirrors in which the wider society outside them can be seen reflected.
    The wider society “outside” dictates it’s lobbied cruelty to people (that have either stolen or murdered or peddled drugs) and who have nothing to lose. If prison guards are worried about second hand smoke “damage”, they should be fired simply because they are unfit to work in an environment where you need to be mentally and physically strong to survive.

    The present rising populism in America and Europe is a portent of this coming revolution. It’s already seen the election of Donald Trump in the USA.
    Like the time when UKIP got a lot of votes in Britain. Protest votes. UKIP went downhill because it didn’t take the smoker protest votes for serious.

  3. Roobeedoo2 says:

    This announcement somehow feels symbolic – Rose has commented here/hear about the impact of the London smog and the ‘smoking gives you lung cancer’ narrative:


    Keep chipping away eh, Clicky? Defo… /lights up…*

    • Rose says:

      Royal Observatory at Greenwich working for first time since London smog shut down telescopes 60 years ago

      “The Royal Observatory at Greenwich has been pivotal to astronomy and navigation since the beginning of time. Well, international standard time at least. But what few people realise is that the observatory has not actually observed anything for more than half a century.
      Astronomers were forced to abandon their work in the 1950s as London smogs grew so bad that they could no longer see the stars through their telescopes.”

      “Curator of Royal Observatory Greenwich, Dr Louise Devoy said: “The observatory really started to wind down in 1948 because Greenwich had been expanding, and Greenwich Power Station was belching out smoke so the telescopes were becoming useless.”

      Hazy days: How Great Smog made London stand still

      “On Friday Dec 5 1952, a thick yellow smog brought London to a grinding halt. The worst effects lingered for nearly five days and killed as many as 10,000 people.
      Helped by an unusually cold and windless weather front from Europe, the smog stopped traffic and trains; and closed theatres as audiences couldn’t see the stage.”

      But the smogs didn’t stop then.

      What it was like round here
      Yorkshire Post-1962 – the year of the Royal College of Physicians’ report put the blame on smoking

      “In the great London smog of 1952, some 4,000 people, mostly elderly, died.(Later found to be found to be over 12,000, the government put a cut off date of 4 days for deaths atributable to the Smog and did not count deaths that occured in hospitals where patients had been taken outside the boundary)

      It was said to be the worst peace-time disaster in the capital since the Great Fire of London.

      Lessons were learned but on the 10th anniversary, the smog descended on Yorkshire and it was found not too much seemed to have changed. On December 6, in certain parts of Leeds, the sulphur dioxide concentrations were higher than the lethal levels recorded in London a decade earlier.”

      “LONDON and Leeds were the areas worst hit by smog yesterday. In London last night the number of deaths neared the 70 mark and in Leeds over 50 people were in hospital “acutely ill” with respiratory illness”
      “The Department of Scientific and Industrial Research also said that the sulphur dioxide concentration was six and five times higher than normal.

      Pollution compared to that of the 1952 smog, the experts said. But without the Clean Air Act conditions would have been worse than in 1952.
      In the Kirkstall Road area of Leeds, the sulphur dioxide concentration was greater than that registered in London in 1952. At 5,185 microgrammes per cubic metre it was the highest ever registered in the city.
      The smoke content of the air has decreased since the last bad smog in 1959 said Mr RA Dalley the city’s analyst. This was due to the smoke control zone.”

      “United States has turned many once grim, grimy, lethal industrial cities into shining, clean places where it is not only a joy to live but is also safe to live. Not so Britain. The Clean Air Act was passed over six years ago. Local authorities were vested with full powers to enforce smokeless zones.”
      http: //www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/250th-an … eID=896717

      “Under the heading “Smog : The Guilty Ones”, this is what our leader writer had to say about it.”

      “Fog is a natural phenomenon. It is not particularly harmful. Rising from the sea or over a green pasture it has even inspired composers and poets. Fog mixed with smoke, chemicals and fumes, such as the major industrial conurbations and London have suffered in the last three days, damages lung tissue, stomach lining, nasal passages.

      Children’s lungs so damaged “will never be the same again”. So said Dr Mary Catterall, Research Officer in Respiratory Diseases at Leeds General Infirmary on Tuesday. She added: “Tonight there are probably thousands of people in the West Riding alone not only suffering from breathlessness but from pain in the chest and sleeplessness. In the great London smog of 10 years ago thousands died as a direct result of smoky fog. Nor is it to physical health only that damage is done; but it is by far the most important.”

      “The Clean Air Act was passed over six years ago. Local authorities were vested with full powers to enforce smokeless zones. They have done very little. They have preferred to enlarge small difficulties into major obstacles; they have temporised. By so doing, they have put the health and well-being of those to whom and for whom they are responsible in hazard. They are responsible for deaths by smog.

      It is not to be tolerated that Leeds will not be smokeless before 1975, Hull before 1971, York before 1972, Bradford before 1975.

      The inhabitants of the cities and towns of England should bring every kind of pressure to bear on local authorities and MPs to accelerate the abatement of this filthy, costly, deadly nuisance. They will be supported by The Yorkshire Post.”

      Luckily, I lived six miles outside the city, and we only went shopping there on a Saturday.

  4. Rose says:

    Having had the misfortune to see, smell and taste those smogs, you can understand why I never believed that smoking a humble nightshade plant was to blame, epecially when visiting lecturers at school told me that the cigarette manufacturers put road tar in them.

    For those who weren’t born at the time or have forgotten the industrial smogs, I collected all I could find on the Great London Smog and several notable others to put Doll’s study in context with the time and explain why so few people in authority believed him. Two years later, the Great London Smog was his big break.

    Air Pollution and The Great London Smog

  5. simplex says:

    -because it’s better for your health to smoke tea-leaves, or even just rolled-up toilet paper.

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