Expulsion

 I always thought that a picture from the ISIS survey illustrated well the impact of smoking bans.

They didn’t effect most people, because most people don’t smoke. And they didn’t effect a lot of smokers that much either, particularly those who entertained friends at home. For them it was an inconvenience.

But for people like me, who conducted the entirety of their social lives in pubs and cafes and restaurants, the smoking ban was not simply an exile to the outdoors, but was a complete expulsion from society. We may as well have been launched by rocket into space, and spent the rest of our lives in orbit around the Earth. Everything changed. And everything changed completely. The world was never the same after 1 July 2007 as it was before it.

Since that day I have been embarked on a journey that I didn’t want to make, watching the world change around me, and watching myself change with it.

One change in me was that I stopped watching TV or reading newspapers. For what I saw on TV was a world to which I no longer belonged, that I was no longer part of, that no longer spoke for me or for people like me. I may as well have been watching Spanish television rather than British television, and not understanding a single word of it.

And gradually I stopped going anywhere. Why should I want to go anywhere when I am not welcome anywhere? Smokers like me are not welcome in cinemas, not welcome in libraries, not welcome in art galleries, not welcome in museums, not welcome on trains or buses, not welcome in hotels, not welcome on planes. And yet once we were welcome in all of them.

The only places left are the gardens outside pubs in summer, where smokers still congregate. I can’t help but think that this was an unforeseen loophole in the law, and that one day smoking will also be banned in pub gardens as it is gradually being banned in other outdoor areas like parks and hospital grounds. And when that happens, my expulsion from society will be complete.

I very occasionally get invited to conferences, or to appear on TV or on radio, but I never go. Why should I want to be on TV? I’m not welcome there either. Nobody is allowed to smoke on TV, unless they’re in some sort of costume drama set in Victorian Britain. I once attended a UKIP conference (uninvited, and without being a member) and spent most of my time sat smoking outside. What’s the point of that?

These days, when I’m interested in global warming/climate change in a thoroughly sceptical way, and spend much of my time constructing computer simulation models of ice ages, I occasionally imagine that I might one day attend a climate conference. But that won’t happen either, because I’m no more welcome in climate conferences than I am in cinemas or pubs or restaurants. So I won’t be going.

I still vote, more or less as a matter of duty. But I’m beginning to wonder why. None of the political parties represents me. And none of them wants to represent me. None of them are proposing to relax smoking bans in any way.

I regard smoking bans as a form of socialism. Socialists want to change society, and change it in fundamental ways. And what was the UK smoking ban but a complete and fundamental change in British society? Usually socialists want to redistribute wealth, bring industries into public ownership, and so forth. But ultimately socialists are people who make plans for everyone, and want to bend everyone to their will. So why not start with smoking bans? They are just as controlling and intrusive as anything else. And they’re a lot cheaper.

Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, who introduced the UK smoking bans, were both socialists. But the nominally-conservative David Cameron did not repeal them. And neither did Theresa May. So they were both just as much socialist as Blair or Brown (or Jeremy Corbyn). All our politicians are socialists. Some are simply more overt than others. And that includes Boris Johnson, because he’s not going to repeal the smoking ban either.

In fact, since Boris has fully adopted climate alarmism, he’s arguably become even more socialist than any of them. For what is global alarmism than an excuse for the complete and radical reconstruction of society in every imaginable way, according to a centrally-devised plan?

About Frank Davis

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25 Responses to Expulsion

  1. “We may as well have been launched by rocket into space, and spent the rest of our lives in orbit around the Earth”

    Now would that not have been much better? On Earth we can see the pubs, restaurants and cafes, but can’t go in them. We can watch everyone else doing what they want while looking back at us and thinking, ‘Filthy smoker’, while we can’t be a part of it
    If we were all floating around in orbit in the ‘S Ark’, we would be able to do whatever the hell we chose to. Pubs, restaurants, cafes and places to go where all were welcome and not an anti-smoker in sight
    I think our very own smoker spaceship (that the anti smokers paid for) would be a very good thing.
    And if someone did give up smoking and become an anti-smoker, we could just blow them out of an airlock. Anti-smokers will be exiled to space, where no-one can hear you fake coughing

  2. Fumo ergo sum says:

    Here in Belgium, the year in which brutal military occupation began was 2011. Unfortunately, much unlike back in 1944, I am afraid that we can’t expect the allies to liberate us this time…

    I will never forget that annus horribilis. I would graduate at university in June of that year, and I was still living, studying and smoking in a student flat I rented that was located two floors above a famous café in Antwerp, that was even known abroad for its wide selection of beers. The café itself was a very cosy and charming place, where my student club would weekly gather every Wednesday evening. And despite I lived two floors above it, I was never really bothered by the noise or the disturbance it might cause. After all, I was fully conscious of the fact that I would move just above a café in one of the most vibrant student quarters of the city. This radically changed after January 2011, especially when the second semester of the academic year was to take off. All of the sudden, flocks of smoking (and drinking) customers and students would gather right under my window which overlooked the small courtyard. They would inevitably produce quite some noise, even at night, but I never formally complained about it. As I was involved in a politically libertarian organization, I was a staunch opponent of the smoking ban even before it was brought into force. For a start, I never understood and still fail to understand how the state dared to claim that bars, restaurants and cafés are “public spaces” that therefore ought to be “regulated” in all aspects of their management. I always conceived of them to be preeminently private spaces, albeit with an open door.

    Even though I always remained very tolerant toward my fellow smoking brethren under my bed (I even once had an “invitee” I knew who could enjoy his cigarette in my flat) , I can assure you that I had to finish writing my dissertation under very inconvenient and stressful conditions, as I had to wear earplugs nearly all the time. This was, indeed, a very direct negative impact on my personal wellbeing, brought to me with the greetings of the Belgian nanny state (still a relatively small nanny compared to yours, but already oversized to my standards). Actually, the smoking ban itself might have come “too late” to have caused a direct impact on my personal life. I ceased to be a board member of that student organization, since I needed all of my free time to concentrate myself on the writing of my dissertation. So I did not come downstairs on Wednesday evenings any longer. In June, I would effectively graduate, which I still consider to be a most decisive moment. I had a couple of friends whom I would regularly meet, but those relationships would soon disintegrate in the weeks and months to follow. This is of course an inevitable stage in life: friends would get spouses, pursue a career and/or even get children. Which means that they would have lesser and lesser time to see me. As a result, that café I once weekly enjoyed going to, soon degraded into an ‘empty house’. And the smoking ban did no good at all to try out a new place.

    And here is probably why. Still in 2011, a couple of friends and I reunited in a café that we also frequented sometimes. This was my first, and up to now still very last, café visit since the smoking ban came into force. With the ashtrays removed from the table, that café (imagine a very brown ‘nest’ with sticky floors that only students would dare to come in; which was part of its charm) all of the sudden looked very pale, dull and boring. Its charisma and conviviality also got exiled to the outdoors, just as the majority of its customers. But the most appalling incident happened at the counter. A young lady, I and another young man (also a smoker) were having a conversation inside and having discussions about a certain issue – I don’t recall what exactly. My male conversation partner would temporarily exile himself to the outdoors for a cigarette break, whereas I remained inside out of courtesy to the lady who would otherwise remain alone. Of course, you can imagine what happened: my friend encountered another smoking acquaintance of his outside, and when he finally got back inside, we of course forgot about the thread of our earlier conversation. If only he could have had a cigarette inside: our chat would not have been interrupted. It was a most alienating experience. Alienation. Sadness. Melancholy. These were the feelings that I associated with that particular café visit. I also remember for having left early that evening. I do not think the clock even struck 10 pm when I exited.

    As I said, that was the last time I ever visited a café, pub or bar. But I never really ‘missed’ it up to now. So from a personal perspective, the smoking ban did not really affect me personally. After all, even during my student times when smoking was still allowed, I would actually not go out very often. I mostly preferred the contemplative solitude of my flat or the university’s library. That’s to say: up until 2013 or so I would THINK that the smoking ban would not personally affect me. But it did and still does more than I could realize. This began in 2013, when I had my first paid job. On a certain day, my colleagues asked me whether I would like to join them for a drink. As I had not forgotten about my negative experience in 2011, I politely declined the offer. But as years went by, I reflected on the course of my life. I finally got a paid job – and now I even have a job that pays slightly better – and even a car, but am I really ‘happy’ with my life? After all, besides going to and from my work I nowadays don’t do any other commutes to anywhere at all. This could be partly explained through the fact that I often simply feel tired after a couple of days of work, and moreover, that I still continue to cherish my solitude and the beauty of silence together with a book and a cigarette.

    But the more I reflected on the reasons why I had nevertheless such a lingering feeling of emptiness and alienation (or even some forms of social withdrawal), the more those reflections aimed at the same culprit: the smoking ban. After all, I hated this ban from the very beginning. But why did I really hate so much? Actually, it had nothing to do with the ‘plain brute fact’ that I could no longer smoke in cafés. I could, and still can, easily act like a non-smoker for days or even for weeks. It had of course to do with the globalist, elitist and politically correct ideology that lurked behind the ban – an ideology that I strongly opposed (let’s call it socialism, indeed, the collective appropriation c.q. confiscation of private property for the sake of collectivist purposes). Back in 2011 I thought that the ban was bad because it sought for a good end by using bad, illegitimate means and that it therefore could not be justified. The good end to be pursued would be the protection of persons from harm (i.e., secondhand smoke – yes, I used to think then that it was harmful). The bad means would be the confiscation of private property in order to pursue that end. And since the seizure of private property is a violation of the non-aggression principle, which is intrinsically bad in all circumstances, the smoking ban could not be justified. Now, in 2019, I still consider those means to be bad in themselves for the same reasons. But I now also come to regard even the end as an evil in itself. Because it is now becoming increasingly clear that the smoking ban never was meant to ‘protect’ anyone from anything, but just a maneuver orchestrated by the state to bully and harass people into believing and acting what it wants them to believe and to do (or refrain from doing). As I hope that my other reactions on this blog regarding Protestantism and Pelagianism made clear, the antismokers actually want to abolish man in order to make room for, well, whatever fanciful made-up fantasy it may be. In these post-ideological times, it could be anything.

    Ten years ago, I could still look at a no-smoking sign for what it ordinarily meant: no smoking. After all, in 2009 or 2010 smoking would already have been prohibited in all schools, university classes, office buildings, town halls, shopping malls, railway stations, airplanes, restaurants, museums, supermarkets, etc. But it would still be allowed in bars, cafés (and even in clubs and discos!), meaning that there would still remain a significant space of liberty carved out in the social framework where one could feel welcome and at ease, far away from the often burdensome duties and conventions of one’s boss or family. But this last remnant of freedom and non-conformism ultimately perished in 2011. So from then on, whenever I enter a door with a no-smoking sign on it, I now seem to read the following ‘welcoming’ lines:

    “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here! You cannot see, hear, sense, smell or feel us. Yet our spies are everywhere around. From this point, you will be conditioned to the new way of life. You will act as we see fit, and refrain from doing what we do not see fit. Do not think that the bartender or the landlord have anything to say here. They are just puppets on our strings: WE are the real bosses here. Do not try to invent your own code of conduct or etiquette rules, since we have already compiled a whole body of arbitrary rules for your convenience. For the time being, let us be clear that you cannot smoke in here. But we will be back soon with further instructions about how you should dress, walk and talk; what you can eat or drink and ultimately, how you should altogether act and think. Meanwhile, please continue as if nothing happened. Just let yourself numbed by the large telescreen on the wall, enjoy a healthy gluten-free snack and let’s continue the partyyyyyyy! See you soon!

    Yours faithfully,

    The Bullies.”

    Frightening, isn’t it? And yet this is really what I see. So just even merely walking by a café with a no-smoking sign nowadays simply turns into an experience of horrific terror. But the worst of all is that almost everyone still continues to perceive these no-smoking signs as ‘neutral’ tokens of the same kind as a polite request to hang your jacket in the wardrobe or a brief reminder to close the door upon entering. But it is no longer a ‘neutral’ sign. It is an ugly, despicable ideological sign that could be easily put on a par with a swastika or a hammer and sickle. Indeed, the fact that nearly everyone fails to notice its ideological, bully-fueled nature is of course itself part of the ideology: “please continue as if nothing happened”. So it is ultimately this condition of blissful ignorance, which is the soil on which many evils in human history have already grown, that perhaps even bothers and worries me the most. And which therefore ultimately turned the smoking ban from an initially ‘remote’ and ‘impersonal’ event into something that in the end really got under my skin. And which ultimately turned me into one of these isolated pieces mentioned on Frank’s chart – orbiting around in space.

    So I also tend to go out more less than often, despite the fact we are allegedly living in a ‘permanently connected’ world enchanted with ‘endless opportunities’. I do not notice anything of it, since those nasty smoking bans and no smoking signs definitely do not halt at the Belgian border: the horror simply continues in all directions North, East, South and West. Just to give an example: in March this year I unexpectedly had a couple of days off at work. Since I always had wanted to visit the Palace of Versailles, Louis XIV’s masterpiece of architecture, I booked a last minute accommodation somewhere between Paris and Chartres. On the day of departure, I drove immediately from Antwerp to Versailles. Without smoking bans being in force in Belgium and France, I would perhaps have left the motorway in Mons, Arras or Compiègne to do some touristic sightseeing and to have lunch somewhere. Instead, I just grabbed a sandwich at a gasoline station at the motorway and enjoyed a cigarette on its rainy parking. After all, what would have been the difference from being there or standing in the cold on the pavement in Arras or Compiègne? In the afternoon, I visited the Palace (I admit that I ate something in one of its restaurant facilities). In the evening, however, instead of ‘hovering’ around in the city center of Versailles and having dinner in a French bistro, I just took my car, went to a local supermarket where I bought a baguette and a fine selection of French cheeses, drove to my host’s place, and just enjoyed a light dinner there. By the way, even when I do city excursions, I always make sure to book an accommodation on the countryside: not only because of the peaceful quietness, but also because these are often the places that are still the most convenient to ‘exile oneself outside’ in all discretion. The day after, I visited Chartres and its cathedral famous for its blue stained glass windows. After which the whole way back home could be undertaken without any detour or delay, except for rainy, smoky motorway parkings… Now, to be sure, I am definitely glad for having seen both Versailles and Chartres: these are monuments that are silent yet magnificent witnesses to eras when ‘Europe’ still meant many things more than a hyperregulated union of bureaucratic lunatics ruling from Babylonian towers in Brussels and Strasbourg. But at the same time, a lingering feeling of melancholy was always present with me during these two days. Even though I did everything I could to avoid it.

    • Frank Davis says:

      It is an ugly, despicable ideological sign that could be easily put on a par with a swastika or a hammer and sickle.

      Indeed.

      And it’s also, intriguingly, a road traffic sign. Like No Stopping. Or No U-Turn. No Right Turn. Somehow our laws have been replaced by road signs that have come indoors from the streets. And streets are public places, of course. Perhaps that’s why pubs became public places as well, as soon as they start putting up road signs inside them.

      • Margo says:

        Fumo ergo sum – I very much enjoyed your comment. Your style of writing fascinates me and I wonder which great English books (written perhaps about 1900 or so?) you have absorbed. It’s very refreshing to read such perspicacious and wonderfully correct English – thank you!

    • waltc says:

      A gripping account. What a sin that society has “exiled” minds like yours (ours). Perhaps that’s why it’s so both bland, restrictive and conformist. No Smoking also means No Debate.

      • Fumo ergo sum says:

        Thanks to all three of you for your kind reactions. I would like to add some further reflections on them, in order of appearance:

        ad Frank: I hadn’t seen it this way before, but I think it is indeed worth to note the similarities between public road signs and no-smoking signs. But there is also, at least at first sight, an important disanalogy between them as well. The rules that guide traffic and transport on public roads are non-teleological in nature. They do not aim at a particular outcome to be produced by it. Rather, the prescriptions and prohibitions that are in force on a road are meant to foster universal (well, at least within the territorial limits of the town, province or nation state that maintains those roads) rules of conduct that make it possible for people to freely move from one place to another without jeopardizing or hindering other road users. This means that the precise contents of those rules are contingent upon their non-teleological (‘nomocratic’) character. In other words, it would be pointless to justify a specific rule – for instance, a prohibition to drive with your car on a cycling path – by referring to a certain outcome to be produced. All that is needed, is that both car drivers and cyclists can jointly use the road in a convenient way. Of course, that doesn’t mean that the rules of conduct could not be subject to change once they came into force. It might indeed even be expedient to change them whenever a new practical situation or even a whole societal alternation is about to happen. To give an example: at least in continental Europe the change of the customary habit from driving c.q. riding on the left hand side to the right was due to the emergence of large carriages often pulled by several horses. Since the majority of the waggoners was right-handed, they preferred to sit on the left side of the carriage so that he could easily instruct and guide his horses with the whip. As a result, waggoners would prefer riding on the right hand side of the road, as this was the most convenient way to pass other carriages coming from the opposite side. So the custom of riding on the left hand side, which still dated from the times of medieval chivalry, gradually became obsolete until Napoleon would formally impose ‘driving right’ on his subjects in France, and the fashion of driving right would soon conquer Europe in about a century and a half to come. Now, it would be ludicrous, I think, to say that this switch could be teleologically justified. The change from driving left to right might have been more practical or convenient, but definitely not ‘better’, which is an evaluative category. Just as it may have been more practical, for whatever reason, for countries such as the United Kingdom to remain their tradition to continue driving left.

        In that respect, smoking bans and regulations are much unlike traffic regulations. Those regulations effectively aim at changing a particular behaviour pattern, namely to refrain people from smoking. Those bans are after all not meant to make a cafe or pub visit more “practical” or “convenient” – but “better”, which is an evaluative statement. But it might have been a clever maneuver to introduce restyled public road sign to introduce those smoking bans, indeed! After all, it is part and parcel of the antismoking ideology that even though it is imposed and enforced ‘top down’ upon us that it must nevertheless not be ‘felt’ that way. Those nasty no smoking signs might look as ideologically ‘neutral’ as public road signs at first sight, but they most definitely are not.

        Finally, and tragically enough, it must me noted that the non-teleological character of traffic and road regulations as I described it is also coming under severe pressure. After all, if you can already make people believe that pubs and cafes are “public spaces” where they are conditioned into doing or refraining from doing what the bureaucrats want them to do (or not), then, by implication, other “public spaces” such as roads and pavements also become hubs of social reengineering. This started already a couple of decades ago. I can still recall that in the 1990s or early 2000s, whenever a local road in my neighborhood would be redesigned or repaired, it would also come fully equipped with all kinds of speed bumpers, traffic islands and/or zigzag structures.They had of course no practical use whatsoever, but were only meant to ‘encourage’ drivers to slow down – even if they were driving outside a populous quarter on a main road. So they definitely were designed with a definite purpose: namely to “improve” security on the roads. Of course, the engineers simply sidestepped the devastating unintended consequences that such measures would bring forth, for instance the fact that ambulances and emergency services that need to be on their destination as quick as possible also had to ‘slow down’ upon arriving such speed bumpers.

        ad Margo: even though English is not my mother tongue, I did and still do read a lot of books and essays in English. Most certainly in the academic world, English became the undisputed lingua franca even on the European continent. At university I studied philosophy, where an important philosophical tradition – analytic philosophy – actually stands synonymous with 20th century Anglo-saxon philosophy. One of those philosophical masterpieces I really enjoyed reading during my studies and which I still highly recommend reading to anyone interested in ethics, was George Edward Moore’s Principia Ethica which first appeared in 1903, so indeed, right at the turn of the 20th century. Stylistically, it is a genuine delight to read: short sentences, clear language and a step by step unfolding of the main lines of argumentation; while at the same time being able to unfold some perplexing and sometimes complex ideas (it actually centers around the different meanings of the word ‘good’). I still think that anyone trying to denounce the rampant moralism of these days may find a source of inspiration in Moore’s work to combat his opponents. But even large chunks of 20th century continental c.q. German philosophy cannot be understood without some familiarity with the English language. Almost needless to say that many German philosophers – with the notorious exception of Martin Heidegger – would become lifelong foes of the Nazi regime, and flee to the United States. They include bright minds such as Hannah Arendt, Max Horkheimer, Alfred Schutz, Dietrich von Hildebrand, Herbert Spiegelberg and Leo Strauss – just to name a few. As a result, they would continue their careers at American institutions and also publish their further research in English as well. I personally like English very much as a language, because of its general tendency to use short words and sentences in combination with a logically ordered syntax. These are features that are often less self-evident in other languages such as German or my own native Dutch. Just to give an easy example, consider the number 43. In English you would say ‘forty-three’. But in Dutch, this would be ‘drieënveertig’. For a start, unlike ‘forty-three’, that is a comparatively large and unwieldy word to write. What is worse, it would literally translate as ‘three-and-forty’. But where is the logic to mention ‘three’ first when the first cipher you encounter is a ‘4’ and not a ‘3’? Even as a native speaker, I cannot explain it at all. But perhaps that the lack of a predeterminate, intentionally designed logic is often part of a language’s charm.

        ad waltc: in my comment on Margo’s reaction I spoke about philosophers being exiled from their home country, so I am definitely not the first one and I fear not even the last one that is a burden to society. And vice versa. What is even worse, the history of Western philosophy actually did not begin with an exile but with a most horrific assassination: that of Socrates, who was put to death by the ‘democratic’ rulers of Athens. But even in the centuries to come right after Socrates’ death, a whole tradition of philosophers-in-exile would emerge: Plato, Aristotle, Seneca, Athanasius of Alexandria, Dante Alighieri, William of Ockham, Descartes, Hobbes, Marx… The list of noble men that somehow offended the authorities by their unconventional ways of thinking grows on and on. Not to mention those aforementioned heroes that despite conditions of severe distress ultimately managed to survive the twentieth century – the bloodiest of all eras. So it may be a pity that I am living as an exile in my own country, but at least I find myself in good company.

        “No Smoking also means No Debate”. That is indeed a very perspicuous observation. Unlike Aristotle or Descartes, I may not be directly gone into exile for the things I wrote or said. On the contrary, if I were to put some effort I might eventually be very welcome to join the ranks of a corporate hierarchy, think thank, university or other organization. But I do not. For I would then presumably be forced into some kind of pale-looking smoke-free office where I would be forced to exile myself a couple of times a day, and experience certain social pressure at night to join my alleged “peers” in a smoke-free bar for a drink. Now, just to make a living I actually do work for a big company (a large Belgian supermarket chain), but only as a modest part-time customer service collaborator. That is actually all I can bear in amount of lightness of existence. Fortunately enough, the office building where I work does have a sheltered outside smoking area which is actually one of the reasons why I keep loyal to my employer.

        Now the antismokers might argue that, unless I do not smoke, I am still free to say and do whatever I want. But it is not. It presupposes a faulty premiss which I do not endorse at all: mind-body dualism. This has been a popular although incorrect doctrine within philosophy of mind, which states that mind and body are different substances that do not interact with one another. But is the tacit metaphysical presupposition that undergirds the antismokers’ agenda. They would define smoking as a ‘habit’ or a mere ‘inclination’ – like sneezing or scratching when feeling an itch – that is merely accidental to the mind’s activity. Conversely, it also holds that that such habits cannot be the outcome of a mental disposition since the mind has only control over itself (according to Descartes, the most famous advocate of mind-body dualism, the mind is a non-extended substance whereas corporeality is extended in the world of space and time). So if those habits are not the outcome of mental processes, then they must be the outcome of chemical or physical processes taking place in the body, that cannot be controlled by oneself. They can only be put under control through other physical processes – like pharmaceutical drugs or by brute force, such as smoking bans – that generate a new chain of causality in order to remove the cause of the habit or inclination.

        But I flatly deny this physicalist outlook – for various reasons, I consider physicalism to be the direct offspring of mind-body dualism. A human person is preeminently a unity between mind and body or an ‘incarnated’ mind; not some kind of zombie-like entity that could be split up in different parts. When we perceive things like odors, warmth or visible perceptions, we perceive these things through our bodily organs like our eyes, nose and skin – even though these perceptions are themselves not reducible to sensual data collection. It also means that most of the actions we perform are done through our body – not ‘by’ it, as the physicalist falsely holds. It also implies that these actions are intentional by nature and therefore shaped by reasons. Reasons, on their turn, definitely belong to the domain of thinking: there is no possibility to reduce them into some physicalist scheme of stimulus and response. For instance, when cleaning a floor or taking a walk, I definitely perform those actions ‘through my bodily parts’, but it would be nonsensical to say that it is my body taking a ride with me instead of the other way round. Someone may ask me for a justification why I would take a walk or start cleaning a floor; and I would be able to lay bare the reasons I have for doing so – for instance, because I judge it to be beneficial to take a walk or because the floor is dirty. And exactly the same accounts for smoking. I do not consider this to be an addiction or a habit at all that would reside somewhere in my body ‘cum res extensa’, and could somehow be arbitrarily separated from the rest of my human person. I can indeed give some very valid prima facie justifications why I smoke, for instance, that I consider it to be a non-separable part of my development as a human person without which my overall life quality would be poorer since it brings strictly personal forms of enjoyment and relaxation. Nowadays, I would of course add that my smoking is a actually a very deliberate and conscious act of revolt against cultural Marxism, of which antismoking zealotry is a subbranch, and which is based on lies, menaces and faulty metaphysical presumptions that ought to be revolted against.

        Since I presume a human person to be an indistinguishable whole consisting of both mind a body, and all intentional actions are shaped by reasons (as opposed to inclinations or whims), I therefore also presume that there is an intricate link between thinking and acting: we act through intentional, conscious thinking whereas thinking is in itself a form of intentional action – even its most primordial form. “No Smoking also means No Debate”. I would even go a step further: “No Smoking also means No Thinking”. Unless Orwellian ‘doublethink’ should be considered as a form of “thinking”, of course.

  3. RdM says:

    Calming down with (Erik) Satie Slowly ,,,

    Satisfaction depending on your hi-fi replay system …

  4. RdM says:

    Actually that’s not the one I was thinking of.
    Apart from all the great performances of Satie’s music out there, ther’s an album of (even more) slowed down versions … Satie Slowly, which is what was playing when I wrote.

    https://www.allmusic.com/album/satie-slowly-mw0002737739

    A taste of that, then?

    Something to smoke calmly with . . . ; = })

  5. RdM says:

    Ah no, even that wasn’t it, apologies …

    Even in repressive NZ, a bar near by me accommodates smokers as best it can…
    https://www.grandcentral.net.nz/smoking
    Many, most even, don’t, it’s true.

    But the fact that a few do is encouraging.

    Personally, I now smoke more or less only at home.
    It’s years since I went to a bar, even that one.

    Great live music and friendly company outside though.

    It’s still not enough. Well, it’s something, but in the face of repression.

  6. Pingback: The Continued Expulsion | Frank Davis

  7. melinoerealm says:

    Help needed urgently!
    As you know, there is again another attempt to pass the smoking ban in bars, cafes, etc. in Greece. I have begun another information campaign, and I will need a few things from all here who can help for a very special occasion.

    Basically I need:
    Some links or some info about the experiments on animals, during 50s-80s, that did not manage to cause any disease with smoking.
    And I need this by tomorrow afternoon.

    The reason I ask, is because a friend, who is a doctor, oncologist and director of a main cancer clinic in Athens, and a well-known authority on the subject (decades of treating cancer patients), has been invited in a significant event, where he will be among the main speakers.

    In his opinion, smoking has been disproportionally blamed for lots of things, and this isn’t true. There is an attempt to pass guilt on smoking and smokers, and this is false and very wrong. He will also speak about the ‘black lung’ lie, that it comes from coal mines.

    I was on the phone with him, and I have agreed to send some info on epidemiology regarding the attempted connection between smoking and lung cancer. And I appreciate any help you can offer now, until tomorrow afternoon, which I can include in my summary to him, for his speech.

    This is a VERY important opportunity, to be heard, and it is extremely significant that a very experienced doctor, oncologist, and well-respected, will speak against this demonisation of smoking.

  8. melinoerealm says:

    Thanks. The “Reply to Seppi” and “Historical Documents” are pretty solid.
    Sorry about the short notice, but I only found out about the speech an hour ago. I have to produce a summary of all these by tomorrow afternoon, and send them, so he has enough time to study them. The speech is on Friday.

    As far as the Black Lung is concerned, he knows perfectly well it has nothing to do with smoking. This is the difference with real doctors, who have actually been working with cancer patients for decades – they know most of the antismoking hysteria is unfounded.

    The weak point is epidemiology: real doctors don’t know statistics and/or mathematics. And mathematicians don’t know medicine. It’s the perfect strategy: doctors know the medical part is unfounded but they get convinced by epidemiology because they don’t know how to check it. Statisticians know the epidemiology part is unfounded but they don’t know biology & medicine so they can’t refute it.

    This is the gap that has to close. If anything else comes up by tomorrow, let me know.

    PS: Our main opponent in Greece is one of those “doctors in name”, Panagiotis Behrakis. He has his own NGO for “a world without smoking”, and he passes for a doctor though he’s never worked as a doctor one hour in his life!

    http://researchlab.gr/profile/panagiotis-behrakis/

  9. RdM says:

    One might also consider:
    A Critique of Nicotine Addiction
    https://www.gwern.net/docs/nicotine/2002-frenkdar.pdf

    and The Pleasure of Smoking
    from the right-hand side of the blog (scroll down)
    http://taking-liberties.squarespace.com/

    That A Critique of Nicotine Addiction is an expensive book purchased otherwise, so …

    Read (and save) while you can!

    ~ RdM

    Many other references possible ~ what is required to consolidate them?

  10. RdM says:

    I apologise for my drunk music references … I should know better! ;=}))

  11. melinoerealm says:

    Thank you all for the valuable info in such a short notice. I was able to compile a sufficient presentation and with time enough to be studied before the speech.
    It went great! The main point was that there’s an attempt to put excessive blame on smoking, unsupported by medical evidence, and that there are other, more serious factors that have to be considered (air pollution, food additives, chemicals etc. in his professional opinion). It went well with the other doctors, as well as the audience.

    It is not difficult now for many people to believe that the anti-smoking insanity is clearly not about health, but serves as a trick to hide other, real causes that damage people’s health. The more anti-smokers push now, the more they are viewed as suspect, and the more people are convinced that smoking is far less harmful than what they’ve been told, and there is another reason behind.

    I also watched a prominent historian professor speaking about the political aspect, and the control and submission that’s attempted.
    And other known public persons spoke against the smoking prohibition. On the overall, the public opinion is negative regarding the ban.

    Watching this closely.

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