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Monday 30 April 2012

Flying Sucks These Days

Some of you reading this blog might be too young to remember that travelling on an airplane used be to civilised and sometimes even fun.  Not always, but sometimes.  And this is very sad, really, because you probably have no idea how much freedom and civil liberty we have lost in very short amount of time.  You are inured to the travelling experience because you may not have known anything other than the current clusterfuck of security theatre Britain and America has instituted to keep you safe from dangerous people like ... babies.

Once upon a time there was minimal security at airports, and you'd be surprised to learn that we all got on just fine 99.999999999999% of the time -- I probably could have added a dozen more 9s to that percentage, but I hope you get the point. The risk of something bad happening to you now is no greater than it was in the 70s or 80s or 90s.   Airport terminals were open environments.  Anyone could pass through a metal detector and go right up to the boarding gate to see off family and friends; anyone could wait at the gate for the plane to arrive and greet their families the moment they got off the plane.  If a plane was late to arrive or leave, which happened a lot, you and/or your non-travelling friends could head over to the airport bar or pub and have a few pints.  You could go through security more than once, as many times as you'd like if for instance if you wanted to leave the airport terminal and get something from your car that was parked in the lot or garage.  All of you together could walk throughout the entire airport, including the baggage reclaim area, and nobody would think you were there to cause any kind of mischief, and nobody really did except for the occasional thief who preyed on weary, unsuspecting travellers.  Getting pickpocketed was about the worse you could ever expect, except maybe for the prices for food in the terminal -- that was robbery, no doubt -- or maybe lost luggage.

I'm telling you this because I used to love to travel.  I would back then happily travel anywhere by plane.  Long flights, too. Even after they banned smoking on flights, and in most areas of the airport, it was still a reasonably civilised environment to travel in.  Stewards and stewardesses (yes, I know it's now flight attendant, but what a crap name that is -- I wish they'd go back to the old names) were usually polite to you as long as you weren't causing them or anyone else any grief. It took only a few minutes to clear the longest of security queues.  Passport control was a breeze.  

And nothing much bad happened.  Well, until one day in September ten and a half years ago.  Everything changed.  Now, airports are on lock-down.  Once in, you cannot leave.  You can only get on your plane.  Security takes ages.  Everyone is a potential criminal -- old ladies, children, kids with MS, you name it.  All of us are threats. From the first moment you arrive at the airport, you are deemed a potential threat and they treat you accordingly from there.

If your terminal area doesn't have any suitable restaurants, tough shit, mate.  You'll sit there and wait for six hours because your plane is delayed and you'll just have to deal with that crusty sandwich you paid £7 for from a kiosk with no refrigeration. Smoking area?  Please. What about the flight itself?  Depending on which airline you fly with (ahem-- British Airways --ahem), it can be even more horrific than the terminal experience.  Every passenger is a potential criminal.  If you argue with a stewardess because she's not doing her job properly, they can have you arrested.  It used to be that the captain would come out and speak to irate or excessively inebriated passengers and calm them down -- now, the pilots are no longer allowed out of their cockpit -- hell, they used to come out and say hello and see how everyone was doing.  Now we have sky marshalls that will subdue you mid-flight, and if they feel it necessary, the pilots will land the plane at the first available airport so you can be arrested on the ground.  If by some happy chance you aren't deemed a terrorist during the flight, when you do land, you go through even more bullshit with passport control and customs, waiting in a queue that sometimes takes an hour or two to clear.   Meanwhile, if you're lucky, your luggage is still on the conveyor belt, spinning around and around and around until you finally come to claim it.  More likely, someone else has picked up your bag and carried it away to the lost luggage room.  If you're truly unlucky, someone carried it away to their home. 

Flying is no longer a fun experience. I hate flying now.  I never want to get on airplane again, until we go back to some kind of sensible process of security and of treating people with dignity and respect.  Unfortunately, I need to fly overseas in a few weeks and I'm dreading it.  I have to go. I do not want to go.  I would give anything to find an airline and airport that had very little security.  I would fly on that plane in a second. I would take children with me on this insecure airline without any reservation.  I would even pay a little extra for the privilege, even though that airline would be saving tons of cash on security stuff.  Because being treated like a law-abiding human being is far better than treating everyone as a criminal.  I hate flying.  I miss our freedoms we used to have.

Times change, that's for sure.  Not always for the better, though.  We are not safer for all of this security that we see in airports.  Anyone who really wanted to could duplicate the events of a decade ago.  It's just a fiction -- a bullshit security theatre so that our own governments can terrorise us and make us believe they are keeping us safe, when in fact they are only just taking more of our money and treating us like criminals. 

Right. Let me cheer you up then.  Watch this funny video.  And then after you laughed, weep for the future, because it's going to get a lot worse before it ever gets any better.

Maybe We Need A New Internet

Over the last decade or so, you probably have noticed that all of the world's governments have been trying to limit your on-line freedom.  Communist states, demockeries, dictatorships and monarchies alike all seek to control what you see, hear, and write on the interwebs.  This should not be surprising to anyone.  All governments fear the free flow of information and ideas, even our western governments.  It's simple, really.  The less you know about how your government is screwing you over, the more they can keep screwing you over while filling their pockets with your hard-earned gold.  The less you are able to communicate with your fellow citizens, the easier it is for government to do whatever it likes to you.  But the Internet changed all of that, and now twenty-five years on they figure they have to do something about it.  Governments have even set up GONGOs like ParentPort to convince you it is a good idea.  It's about control.

About a year ago, I read this Electronic Frontier Foundation article that suggested we need an Open Wireless Movement.  I remember thinking at the time that it was nice in principle, but that before everyone actually did so, a whole lot of innocent people might get arrested because someone used their WiFi to do something naughty or illegal.  Indeed, people have already been falsely charged with crimes because they didn't know their network was unsecured and open to any passers-by.  Suffice it to say, the only way an Open Wireless Movement could work is that if everyone opened their networks all at once, which frankly is not going to happen any time soon because a lot of our ISPs allow us only a limited amount of data for uploading and downloading under their fair use policies.

So, it is down to control again.  ISPs control the bandwidth on their networks by various means, governments try to control the content, and ultimately the users and freedom suffer.

It seems to me that what we really need is an open Internet.  One without any gateways or key holders.  Everyone will be able to access it all the time, with no restrictions on content or bandwidth.  It would be free of charge and it would be organic, meaning that nobody could control it, it would simply exist.  Every device would be both a receiver and transmitter, all of them open gateways to the free flow of information.  If you didn't want to see things like porn on this open Internet, you alone (or your parents) would be responsible for installing the appropriate filters on your device. 

To be honest, I wouldn't have the first clue how it would or could work in theory or in practice.  But I can see that such a thing would stop the nannies in their tracks.  If no one had control, then no one could exercise control. 

Well, it's a nice dream.  Maybe some day it will happen.  I'm not holding my breath.  It's 2012 and we still don't have rocket pants or flying cars.  I'd settle for a teleporter in the meantime.

Ain't Gonna Happen Any Time Soon

Speaking of Asshole Doctors

In trying to make a reasoned case for minimum pricing for alcohol to other doctors, Huddersfield's Dr Carsten Grimm comes off as a super nannying twat indeed.  But he's writing in a "personal capacity" so that makes it all right then, I guess.  You'll have to register on the site to read it (it's free), but Pulse published Grimm's call for a minimum price a few weeks ago.  I apologise for only just now coming to it.  There are only a small handful of us blogging about the nanny state and activist doctors, and every time I read something new about NHS doctors hating drinkers and smokers and everyone else they have to treat (because shock horror any of you actually have to fucking work for living) I have an aneurysm and need a few days to recover.  I feel overwhelmed at times blogging this stuff.  This one time, at band camp --

Anyway, if this guy is your doctor, I'm sorry.  Do make sure you do not tell him you are a drinker, though.  Or a smoker.  If you're a professional clown, or a disease-ridden hooker you might be OK.  Not sure about politicians, though. 

Trust me. I'm a Doctor who probably hates you, because I'm likely smarter and better than you chavs and peons.  I'm also tons of fun at parties.

So what has he said that has go me all riled up?  Better to say, what hasn't he said.  I wish I could post the whole article, but I cannot.  So...  Here are some highlights:

I am certain skiing would be made illegal in a matter of weeks if it were to be invented nowadays.

But my gut instinct, and my knowledge from years of working the field of primary care and alcohol misuse, tells me that [minimum pricing for alcohol] is good news.

In the one of the "worst analogies ever made" category:

Let me use another analogy. Only a few people would argue that there is no need for speed limits on our roads. Nearly everybody thinks it should be a bit higher than it is, and we all have a laugh about Jeremy Clarkson being ridiculous on TV. But does anyone believe we should have no speed limits at all?
So why do we believe that buying six pints of cider in a supermarket for less than £3 is any good?

Seriously, dude?  Speed limits and pricing for alcohol to make your point?  OK, people want the speed limit to be higher.  But nobody wants to spend more money on their booze, fuckface.  This analogy is ass.  And your a GP.  You're a fucking moron.  No wonder the NHS is going tits up. 

But you're not done yet...  go on then, make it worse why don't you.

Putting a minimum price to a harmful substance is a good thing. Making cigarettes more expensive was right – just travel to the Continent and see the number of smokers there compared with the UK – and it will work with alcohol too.

No, it wasn't the right thing. It only made smokers poorer, and now doctors in the NHS cannot be bothered to even treat the smokers WHO ARE PAYING YOUR GODDAMNED MOTHERFUCKING SALARY, you asshole.  Grimm, go fuck yourself.  No really, grab your office chair and ram it all the way up your arse and jump up and down for eternity.  I feel sorry for your patients who have to listen to you lecture them about their lifestyles.

I would like to close this post with FUCK OFF NHS.

I would also like to thank the Academy.

Sunday 29 April 2012

At Least 593 NHS Doctors Hate You

What do some doctors think about smokers and obese folk?  From a Guardian article that appeared last night:, a professional networking site, found that 593 (54%) of the 1,096 doctors who took part in the self-selecting survey answered yes when asked: "Should the NHS be allowed to refuse non-emergency treatments to patients unless they lose weight or stop smoking?"

Honestly, docs, if that's the way you feel about a large percentage of the population, you are not helping your cause at all.  You are making us despise you, because you are hateful motherfuckers.  You are doctors for fuck's sake.  This means, and has always meant, that you treat people who are ill regardless of their lifestyle choices.  Advise, yes.  Dictate, no.

You all really ought to reconsider your stance on this issue, NHS.  Hell, even Simon Chapman thinks it is worrying, and that alone should give you pause.

I already know of one person who is being denied treatment by the NHS for being a smoker.  Remember, do not tell your doctors the truth.  Lie to them if they ask if you're a smoker.  Deny everything.  It may be the only thing that saves your life.

H/T John Tilt on Twitter, with thanks, I suppose. :)

He may look friendly, but he is not your friend. Do not trust your doctors.
image via National Hate Service

Saturday 28 April 2012

Saturday Silliness

Here's a fun game you can try in your local village.  Take any child under age 13 or so, maybe a bit older perhaps, and give them a choice to inspect the goods in one of the two places pictured below.  What do you think the kids will choose?

Image via Daily Mail
Image via GeneWiki

Because cigarette packs and tobacco tins are designed to look just like toys for kids, so they're going to choose the bottom image. Right?  Right?  Who's with me?  No one?  Anyone?  Hello?

In Support of Cynicism

There has been quite a bit of action these past few days over plain packs.  Presently, if one were to use Twitter solely to gauge public opinion, it would seem that there is far greater support for plain packs than against.  This is to be expected because the message of "protect the children" resonates with the vast majority of sheep on this planet.  You can ban anything when you're doing it for the sake of children.  It doesn't even need to true; indeed, it rarely is true.  (Do note that the word "shocking" is being used. Morons, all of them.)

Moreover, if only 20 to 25% of the British population are smokers (the percentage I believe is a lot higher than that -- because I consider the occasional social smoker, who bums a naughty fag off of you when they've been drinking at the pub, should also be counted as a smoker), that means that the base support for plain packs has a minimum potential of about 75%.  This is, however, completely the wrong way to look at it.  The truth is, a number of smokers actually think plain packs is a good idea, because they have been demonised for so long about smoking that they end up hating themselves for smoking and they believe all of the propaganda.

Yet a high number of non-smokers think plain packs is a bad idea, which bring us to this well-written piece by cynical blogger Lisa, who smartly writes:

It is my view that measures such as these plain packs, if implemented, will lead to an extension in other areas. It will not stop with cigarettes. If permitted, plain packaging for every kind of good with connected health risks, however minimal, will be subject to the same treatment. Alcohol, for example. 'Junk' foods. The government will wage a war against the branding of all products with a perceived negative effect. This will then go on damage the companies, their profits and ultimately - the economy. 

This is exactly the point all of us are trying to make, in our various ways of doing it anyway, so thank you, Lisa. You can find Lisa's blog, The Voice of a Cynic, here:

In short, it's impossible to know how much support there is for plain packs.  And given that some of the tobacco control monsters are quite keen on rigging the results of petitions, it would be unsurprising to see some "cheating" when it comes to completing the consulation's questionnaire (notwithstanding that the questionnaire is complete fucking bollocks).  There could be dozens of Australians filling in the British consultation right now as I type this.  Maybe. I am a cynic, too.

Friday 27 April 2012

That Hitler Blog

When one invokes Hitler as a comparison, people often get offended because Hitler was an evil fucking tyrant monster responsible for millions and millions of deaths.  Of all the murderous tyrants in history, he's definitely in the top three.  He convinced millions of his countrymen and women to follow him through tactics of fear, hate, deception, and blatant propaganda.  These are, of course, the traditional tools to sway the sheep-minions to your side. I don't think anyone would appreciate being compared to Hitler.

Which is exactly the point.  Hitler comparisons are always deliberately inflammatory. They are designed to provoke a negative response and to make someone both take notice of what you've have said, and to then try to demonise you for having the balls to make the comparison.  A Hitler comparison is in itself a method of propaganda fire-fighting, particularly effective when used sparingly.  Because, even though it's "not nice to say" it's often hitting very close to the mark, and people who usually take umbrage to that comparison know it is close enough to the truth.  Hitler comparisons are not used to marginalise or trivialise what Hitler did in the early 20th century; they are certainly not meant to offend Jews or anyone who fought against Hitler and his armies.  They are merely meant as a warning that if we continue moving forward in this direction, we are treading down a well-known, well-worn and absolutely dangerous path of hatred.  The results of which will be disastrous.  History often repeats itself, sadly.

Hitler was also a reformed ex-smoker, and tried very hard to demonise smokers to curb their habits.  Ultimately he failed, but some of the tactics he used back then are still in use today, and only slightly modified for modern times and opinions. I view tobacco control tactics as fascist -- a boot-in-the-face totalitarian stomp on civil liberties, freedom, free expression and to happiness. 

I don't expect anyone to agree with my views.  I don't expect anyone to like my views.  I certainly do not expect anyone to endorse my views.  My views are mine.  What I do is no reflection on anyone else but me.  Anyone who would try to demonise others for things I've said is a giant-ass motherfucking hateful cuntscab.  I'm just sayin', is all. 

I've already discussed the whole Nazi thing here.  Frank Davis also has additional commentary here.  

Image via here and here

On Superheroes and Villains


I tend to view people who discover or work towards discovering cures for illnesses and disease as heroes.  How many millions upon millions of lives have been saved by penicillin alone?  Alexander Fleming is usually attributed to discovering penicillin back in 1928, for which he is a hero, but even so there were others before him who realised that a strange mouldy substance had antibacterial properties.  Later, using Fleming's earlier work, others made penicillin into a proper medicine and lives and limbs were saved in huge numbers.  Heroes, all of them.  No, they are superheroes.

So that's my view on researchers and scientists.  It's important to mention that from the start because when I think about the good work in cancer research that Cancer Research UK (CRUK) has done, the good work that they can continue to do, I view many of the people working for them as heroes.  Someday, somebody (or many somebodies) will make a huge breakthrough in properly curing one of the many forms of cancer, and countless lives will undoubtedly be saved.  And they will be heroes.

Yet despite my views I am in the awkward position of also believing that CRUK, which is so utterly capable of being a superhero, is doing an equal amount of harm to people as it seeks to enforce a particular agenda on the population rather than doing what it should be doing, which is working towards curing all cancers.

An Ounce of Prevention

You know the saying, just as I do.  "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."  All of the so-called health charities are now actively lobbying government for preventative tobacco control policies, such as plain packs, display bans, or just outright prohibition of tobacco.  CRUK is at the forefront of that lobbying and activism.  Without CRUK's financial support, many of these "charities" would simply disappear.  And so the familiar saying perhaps requires some modification:  "An ounce of prevention is worth millions of pounds."

I have no issue with any person or organisation trying to educate people on the risks of tobacco use, because I believe that people need to be properly informed of the facts in order to make decisions, or at least understand the possible impact of those decisions.  Knowledge is paramount.  What I take issue with is any person or organisation who would seek to legislate my personal decisions through prohibition or behavioural modification, to legislate my lifestyle via high taxes or bans, and to that end to put out patently false propaganda to sway the "gullible" feeling-not-thinking public into taking up their cause in order to protect children, who didn't really need any protection at all it seems.

If Hitler Were on Twitter & YouTube It Would Probably Look A Lot Like This

The latest video by CRUK is a travesty of research and integrity, it is blatant sensationalised propaganda, just like the propaganda that Hitler would have used.  You could have given those kids pink dildos and got the exact same response.  Because CRUK has for years consistently disregarded the facts in order to achieve their goal of prevention, because they are promoting a vile, hateful agenda of anti-civil liberties and prohibition, the good work of their honest researchers and scientists is tainted.

I cannot support any charity or organisation that lies, produces false research, or promotes hate against a group of people in order to achieve some "noble" cause.  While CRUK's intentions to save lives are probably good, they have become the classic arch-villain who is blind or uncaring to the damage he is causing because he can only see the ends.  Undoubtedly, there are many good people within the organisation working towards the very noble goal of curing cancer, and I do not wish to trivialise their fine work.  Despite all of the good they have done or could do, Cancer Research UK has grown into an arch-villain of epic proportions. By creating a legacy of deceptive propaganda and hate, they are undoing all of honest and good work of those who work for them.  They have disrespected each and every one of the good people who have contributed money to them.  They are not superheroes in my opinion.  They are villainous.

The question now is:  how far will they go?

Thursday 26 April 2012

The Independent Is Anything But

This article appeared in The Independent today, 26 April 2012.  It was written by Health Editor Jeremy Laurance.  According to my word count software, there are 529 words in the article.  Of those, only 24 words provide a rebuttal -- actually it is only 14 words, but I'm being generous by giving them the whole paragraph. That is about 9% of the article, if you were wondering.  Nine-Fucking-Percent!  And this is why I really, really, really hate the mainstream media.  No, really.  They are not independent. They are not fair and unbiased. They promote an agenda of sensationalised hate on a daily basis.  And we let them do it.

Would it have been so difficult to provide readers a proper contrary viewpoint?  Apparently, yes.  Because the opposition only gets this standard line, which while true it is really not working for us at all:

Jaine Chisholm Caunt, secretary-general of the Tobacco Manufacturers' Association, said: "There is no reliable evidence that plain packaging will reduce rates of youth smoking."

And it's deliberate lies and sensationalism presented as if were facts.  Look at this bullshit (emphasis added):

The research shows children aged from six to 11 are drawn to the slickly presented packs, responding with remarks such as, "It makes you feel you're in a wonderland of happiness", "It reminds me of a Ferrari" and "Yeah, pink, pink, pink." Jean King, director of tobacco control for the charity, said: "Children are drawn to the colourful and slick designs without having a full understanding of how deadly the product is inside the pack. It is time to end the packet racket."

Well, Jean, that's because every fucking child on this planet is stupid and gullible and their parents are totally incapable of teaching them, according to your wacky beliefs.

Look, people, these health nazis do not care about the facts. They make them up to suit their agenda.  If you keep sticking to "just the facts, ma'am," no matter how true those facts are, you are going to lose every single battle, because they aren't playing by the rules of fairness and evidence. It is really time to change tactics, and you can disagree with me all you like and say we need to be civilised and such, but we will not win if we do not change.  It is time to go on the attack with a equal or greater amount of sensationalism along with actual facts.

Because this being polite shit is NOT FUCKING WORKING!

Jeremy Laurance - Mouthpiece for Tobacco Control Twattery

Wednesday 25 April 2012

Sometimes You Just Gotta Laugh - UPDATED

Today, I came across following comments thread on ASH Australia's Facebook Page, which is always hilarious in its stupidity.   To summarise the situation in a few words:  someone writes "Ban BBQs" perhaps facetiously, which is then followed up with a comment that links to a parody about banning BBQs, which then has ASH asking where is the evidence?  That's rich -- these guys asking for evidence. I laughed my ass off reading that.  Sadly, no one pointed them to Dick's post or the BBC article.

UPDATE 26 April 2012 -- The below thread has been deleted from ASH's Facebook page.  I have no idea why.  Remember, always screen capture stuff like this, so it can be preserved.  Also, see the comments section below for another deleted conversation where ASH claims to be civil libertarians. I do not think they know the meaning of those words.  H/T and thanks to Cherie.

Here's the thread. Enjoy:

Bonus:  See this tweet for how ASH Australia likes to rig petitions in other countries.

Tuesday 24 April 2012

Meet Your Democratically Elected Nannying Tyrants

If you aren't going to VOTE THEM ALL OUT -- and why aren't you? -- then at least know which ones hate smokers and are happy to parrot ASH's shite, and do not vote for them ever again.  Note that their quotations for the first few are the same - these are directly from their web sites.  Wow.  What kind of brainwashing machine does ASH own anyway?  How do we get one of those?  Do click through to all the links.  Parrots -- sheep-minions of ASH, all of them.

Anyway, despite all of my investigations I can find no evidence of collusion with Tobacco Control at all here, people.  I cannot find any evidence that their support of plain packs will benefit them in any way, either.  Obviously, their own free will is at work.  It is curious, though...  Are these really the politicians we would want to entrust our children's future with?  I wouldn't trust these people to fill a paper sack with chips. That's me, though, being kind again.

Can I ask for your help in finding more MPs who are supporting plain packs, please?  Leave a note in the comments and I'll udpate this page.  Ta! This page will be permalinked on the header of this site under "Sheep-Minions".

Here we go, in no particular order (scroll down past the bulleted list for their comments and links):

UPDATED 21 May 2013
  • Fiona O'Donnell MP - East Lothian
  • Alex Cunningham MP - Stockton North
  • Ian Mearns MP - Gateshead
  • Alison Seabeck MP - Portsmouth
  • Bill Esterson MP - Sefton Central
  • Kevin Barron MP - Rother Valley
  • Stephen Williams MP - Brixton
  • Justin Tomlinson MP - North Swindon
  • Diane Abbot MP - Hackney
  • Anne Milton - MP - Guildford
  • Dr Sarah Wollaston MP - Totnes
  • Michael Dugher MP - Barnsley East
  • Roberta Blackman-Woods MP - City of Durham
  • Dawn Primarolo MP - Bristol South
  • Caroline Lucas MP - Brighton Pavilion
  • Andrew Lansley MP - South Cambridgeshire -- (formerly the Secretary of State, Health)
  • Geoffrey Robinson MP - Coventry
  • Dr Dan Poulter MP - Central Suffolk and North Ipswich
  • Mel Stride MP - Central Devon
  • John Denham MP - Southampton, Itchen
  • Annette Brooke MP - Mid Dorset & North Poole
  • Dr Liam Fox MP - North Somerset, -- Secretary of State, Defence
  • Dan Rogerson MP - North Cornwall
  • Hilary Benn MP - Leeds Central
  • Fiona Bruce MP - Congleto
  • Lindsay Roy MP - Glenrothe
  • Iain Wright MP - Hartlepool
  • Anne McGuire MP - Stirling
  • Chris Huhne MP - Eastleigh -- Former Secretary of State, Energy and Climate Change
  • Glenda Jackson MP - Hampstead and Kilburn
  • Michael Dugher MP - Barnsley East
  • Andy Burnham MP - Leigh
  • David Burrowes MP - Enfield, Southgate
  • Dame Anne Begg MP - Aberdeen South 
  • Tom Clarke MP - Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshil
  • Christopher Leslie MP - Nottingham East
  • Ann Coffey MP - Stockport 
  • Nicholas Dakin MP - Scunthorpe
  • Andrew Miller MP - Ellesmere Port and Neston
  • Norman Lamb MP - North Norfolk
Total Confirmed Sheep-Minions to date: 40
Total Unconfirmed Possible Sheep-Minions to date: 13

5 Feb 2013 Update Note:  Due to the increasing number of large images on this page, which was somewhat bandwidth intensive (especially for those using mobile phones / mobile Internet) I have changed the layout to an image gallery instead.  If there any issues, do let me know, but I hope you'll find it easier to use than it was.

Confirmed Sheep Minions

This image gallery shows MPs who have pledged their support for plain packaging, despite that the government supposedly has an "open mind."  To see their comments and links to the original pages, put your mouse cursor over the words "Mouse over for image description" under each photo.

Unconfirmed and Possible Sheep Minions

The following image gallery shows MPs who posed for a photo holding a plain packaging propaganda box with CRUK's ambassadors.  I have not yet confirmed if they truly support plain packs, however just posing with the plain packaging propaganda box is akin to proudly holding up a photo of Hitler, so they should all be ashamed.

Chapman's For Your Smoking Pleasure

One more pic for today, and then perhaps I will write something. 

Plain Packs Pic of the Day

So I'm On Twitter, I Suppose

You can follow Join me and together we can fight the evil tobacco control empire in 140 characters or fewer:

Follow Me or Darth Vader Will Be Coming For Your Happy Ass

Monday 23 April 2012

Bruce Guthrie - Epic Hater

Bruce Guthrie is a twat.  I didn't even know who he was until today, but based on his opinion piece in Australia's National Times, he's definitely a dickhead like the Root of All Evil.  Bruce Guthrie is unhappy because smokers "get the best seats" outdoors at restaurants.  Seriously.  Fuckwits like this guy have forced us outside, and then they complain about it. We knew this would happen.  We knew once you banned smoking indoors, it was only a matter of time before people would clamour for an outdoor ban, or a ban in cars, or bans in your home.

So what does Bruce Guthrie have to say? 

Of course, individual restaurateurs can institute bans and some have. Then again, they could simply take up the suggestion put forward by a tweeter this week: smokers should be made to sit inside at restaurants on the sort of balmy days we've been enjoying and outside in chilly winters. That way, non-smokers would always get the best seats. 

So, here we see precisely the problem at hand.  Non-smokers are more important than smokers.  Smokers are not people.  In Bruce Guthrie's world, smokers are sub-human.  The anti-smokers treat smokers as if they are Jews in Nazi Germany, or blacks forced to sit in the back of the bus in America's segregated south.  That is the hate they have for people who smoke.  You can dress it up all you like as a health issue, but that's just the window dressing. Pull back the curtains and the black, seething mass of hatred is plain to see if you would only look.

So here's a Pro Tip, Bruce:  Don't go to restaurants, and if you do go then sit indoors if the smoke bothers you.  Also, thank you for letting me know you're a hateful slimy dirtbag of a human being, which is me being kind here.  Smokers are people too.  I would say smokers are better people than you could ever be, because we aren't out to demonise people for their lifestyles.

And, oh, Bruce...?  You might want to pick yourself up one of these if you're going to carry on with your campaign of hate, and it has the added benefit of protecting you from second-hand smoke, dickhead.

One size fits all haters...

H/T: J Johnson

Persecuting and Killing Smokers is Normal

Cancer Council Western Australia would like you to know that they and everyone else hate you because you smoke.  Very kindly they have made an advertisement titled "How You're Seen" to further denormalise you, to demonise smokers.  The video isn't too bad -- I mean, no one is shooting the smokers at least.  Until you read the comments on the article:

beezlebub, 23 Apr 12, 4:10 pm

not a bad idea @Paul

i’d love to shoot all the filthy smokers whose butts plague the high watermark of my local beach

Which pretty much sums up the hate campaigns of the past 20 years.

By the way, don't litter, please.  It's very bad form, and you might get shot.

Sunday 22 April 2012

Plain Packs Will Harm Women Who Smoke Slim Cigarettes

You probably didn't know this (and you can bet that the Root of All Evil wouldn't tell you this, nor ASH, CRUK, Fresh, Stephen Williams MP, nor anyone in tobacco control), but counterfeiters do not bother making fake slim cigarettes.  The reason, despite what Chapman will tell you, is because it is often very hard and certainly not cost-effective to duplicate slim packs.  Slim cigarettes come in non-standard pack boxes -- the boxes are smaller and considerably slimmer than say a pack of 20s of Marlboro Lights.   Additionally, the pack artworks are often very complex with its overall design plus difficult-to-replicate embossing effects.

Don't believe me?  Have a look at this slims-style cigarettes pack.  You will never see this pack counterfeited:

Seriously, have a close look at this detail of the embossing:

Counterfeiters are not going anywhere near this pack. It's not practical to even attempt to copy this pack.  Is it impossible to copy it?  No.  But it would be so shabby that it wouldn't pass muster for a blind person (which reminds me, plain packs won't help blind people at all -- and yes, there are blind people who do smoke.  I do wonder how they were tempted if they couldn't see a pack...?)  The fact is, the more complex a pack is the harder it is to counterfeit.  Which is why the counterfeiters stick with the easier pack designs and the most popular brands.

Women tend to smoke slim-style cigarettes in far greater numbers than men (except for some places in the far east, I'm told).  Plain packs will force all packs to be of the same size, regardless of its contents, and it will strip away the unique features that make it difficult for counterfeiters.  Most likely, plain packs will mean that slim cigarettes are no longer made or possibly even legal, since the cigarette itself will need to be a certain size in order to fix inside the fASHist's standard pack.

This means -- and do pay careful attention: If plains packs do happen, women who smoked slim cigarettes would be at a substantially higher risk of acquiring and smoking dangerous counterfeited cigarettes than they otherwise would have been. For those who are going to say snidely, "Well, smoking is harmful, so what's the difference?" I say to you, ever watch someone get violently ill after smoking a cigarette from pack of dodgy fags picked up in Soho?  I have.  That doesn't happen with real, quality tobacco.

If you thought tobacco control fanatics actually cared about children and women, you would be wrong. The only thing they care about is punishing adult smokers and tobacco companies, demonising all of us, shaming us for being adults, and they use "protect the children" to convince the gullible, bleating sheep. It is not about health, and it isn't about the children.  It is solely about hating you. 

This is why we need to fight the nanny tyrants like the Root of All Evil.  They are not telling you the truth.  Plains packs will harm everyone ... men, women, and children.  It's a theory.  It is untested in any practical sense.  Are we really going to risk harming people by some dumb ass's theory?

They will stop at nothing to harm you. They hate you.  Make no mistake. Anyone who supports plain packs hates you.  They are all evil and they must be stopped.  Spread the word.

What Does Plain Packs Really Mean?

Today's message of truth is that anyone who supports plain packs may be supporting child trafficking unwittingly.  The bad people who destroy a child's life also make dangerously harmful counterfeit cigarettes.  Can you live with that decision?  Make the right choice.  Say NO to plain packs and help keep your kids and adult smokers safe. 

Saturday 21 April 2012

The Pussification of Australia

Dear Australia,

I miss you.

When I was a young lad I dreamt of visiting Australia. Not only was Oz this amazing and beautiful country, but the people didn't take shit from anyone.  Crocodile Dundee, Mad Max, and a few years later as an adult there was Farscape... Here was this little big island that could do anything.  Quirky, honest, proud, fair, hard-working...  Yes, I realise it is a romanticised vision. But you guys seriously fucking rocked in no small measure.  Everyone wanted to be an Aussie. I did. I practised my Australian accent for years.

Six or seven years ago I finally got to realise my dream.  I went to Australia and spent two weeks there.  Sydney.  What a beautiful city.  Just wow, guys.  The people were lovely; even that French guy hanging out at a beach-side restaurant taking the piss out of the English was charming. "Ah, the English," he said, with a sly wink.  "They arrive at 8 a.m., on the beach by 11, and by one o'clock I can light my cigarette off them."  I honestly fell in love with Australia, and at the time I really wanted to live there.  I just really connected with Oz in a way that I hadn't with any other country.  Well, I didn't move there for a variety of reasons, but now things have changed and I can't honestly envision even visiting Australia again.

So what happened?  Well, it seems to me that the proud people may have been beaten senseless by the horrific and tyrannical nanny state.  Australia's current government is... how shall we say ... er ... evil.  These do-gooder nanny busybodies are ruining everything that made Australia one of the best places on this fantastic planet.  But I thought, well, that's politicians for you; it's their job to be evil.  I bet the people don't really want to be babied.  Do Australians really want to be nannied?  I don't know, but I found it hard to believe that they did.  You can imagine how crestfallen I was when less than a year ago I read an article in the National Times that had a poll that said Australians wanted a nanny state.  Really?  This could not be.  I mean, what sort of people read the National Times?  I have no idea.  But look at the poll results of a mere 1620 participants who said they wanted to be told how to live their lives:

My heart was broken, definitely.  Sure, it's only 1620 respondents, but still... where was that Australian independence and spirit?  Aren't you guys supposed to tell the nannies to fuck off?

I read that article in July 2011.  I bookmarked it and I read it every now and then as a reminder of how people with good intentions can be really fucking hateful and evil.  It's a fair piece, with two anti-nanny views and two pro-nanny views.  You should read it.  Before you do, it should come as no surprise that the Root of All Evil wrote a brief opinion for this article.  And to be honest, I had completely forgotten that he had.  I will excerpt his piece here, and it helps explain everything you need to know about this hateful fucking nanny tyrant:

While you were sleeping last night the nanny state silently protected you, your family and your neighbours with mandatory smoke alarms and building, electrical and plumbing standards. The food you eat today will be highly unlikely to poison you, your children won't chew lead-painted toys, your car won't belch leaded smoke and lower the IQs of those most exposed, you won't be forced to smoke in your workplace on Monday and the state will guarantee that professionals and tradespeople you engage meet certain standards of competence - with remedies when this fails.

All this has been brought to you by armies of faceless, thankless researchers, bureaucrats, single-issue advocates and interfering politicians, many of whose names you will never know. But somewhere today, a chorus of hate-filled, self-righteous indignation will surface about the inexorable rise of the nanny state.
Political conservatives love recommending more education as a salve for every health problem. The argument goes: I haven't got the problem because I pulled up my own socks, weighed the risks and took responsibility. That's what everyone should do. The unspoken subtext here is a social Darwinism that basically says: those who are too stupid to act in their own interests deserve what's coming to them. So the child who has grown up thinking it's normal to drink litres of soft drink each week has herself to blame for her obesity?

And just what are these heinous erosions of freedom that ''nanny'' has destroyed? The freedom to not wear a seat belt? The freedom to have your cocktail of carcinogens packed in attractive boxes? The freedom to endanger others behind a car wheel with a lead foot or a skinful?

We began banning tobacco advertising in 1976 - 35 years ago. For no other products is there a call for a total ad ban.

Occasionally, those who know how efficient regulation is get carried away with paternalist zeal. They want to restrict people when they are only harming themselves - like banning smoking in parks. A healthy dialogue within public health keeps most of this in check. We have never lived longer or been healthier, thanks largely to nanny.

Simon Chapman is professor of public health at Sydney University. 

Did you notice the ease at which he shuns personal responsibility for a controlling all-powerful nanny state?  How he tries to make you feel guilty for making your decisions rather than letter the state do it for you. Notice how he says people are stupid by trying to assert their own free will, which he calls social Darwinism. Notice the inapt and incorrect comparisons to driving a car to cigarettes to wearing a seatbelt.  Is this the world you want to live in?  Chapman's ideal fucking world?  Or do you want to live in world where you do get to make bad choices from time to time, learn from them, be a better person for them, and then teach your children what you've learnt?  I'm going for the latter. Nannies be fucking damned.

I really don't know what happened to Australia. Maybe this fuckwit Chapman, his bedbug buddy Daube, and that hideous slag of a beast Nicola Roxon along with a host of other nannies have contributed to the decline of a once great, proud, rugged Australia that I loved -- that we all loved, that we all miss.  They've pussified Oz into a little big island of bleating sheep waiting to suckle on the government's nanny teat for nourishment and advice.  That's not the Australia I dreamt of.  That's not the Australia we loved.

Australia, I miss you.  Please come back, and I will come to you again. I promise.

Friday 20 April 2012

Your Typical Small Village Smoker-Hater Neo-Puritan

So I followed a link to an article on titled "Fifty Pubs Closing Every Week, Research Says."  Nowhere in the article is the smoking ban mentioned, not even in passing.  Because when I talk to pub owners, many of them say their business would improve if smokers were allowed to smoke inside the premises.  Who likes being forced to stand outside in the cold, or rain?  Some pubs, however, prefer to be non-smoking. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.  Every business owner should be allowed to choose.  It's their business, their property.  Before the smoking ban came in, we sometimes went to non-smoking establishments and we never complained or said they should allow smoking.  We respected their choice. 

Anyway, pubs are closing for a variety of reasons, some of the are just really shite and would have closed even if there wasn't a ban, but we all know that the smoking ban has had a detrimental effect on the pub trade.  Anyone who says it hasn't is a fucking liar.

Right, so I read the article, and then started to read the comments, which is always a recipe for elevated blood pressure.  Sure enough, some moron called Taxpayer-2010 writes this (as always, emphasis mine):

Posted by: Taxpayer-2010 on April 20, 2012 4:13 PM -- I live in a small village (Lambourn, Berks) - there are 2 rough pubs on the high street that always have tattooed smokers in their doorway but there are a dozen good pubs with friendly atmosphere and good food within a couple of miles. If one of the high street pubs close I would be delighted, if they both closed it would make the village much nicer after dark.

There are many bad effects from the recession/debt hangover but people drinking and smoking less is not one of them.
If a pub is well run and has decent food it will survive - if it relies on a core customer base of alchoholics (sic) and idiots then good riddance.

First off, what does having tattoos have anything to do with anything?  I have no idea what the percentage of people with tattoos is, but it's pretty up there.  Almost everyone I know has a tattoo.  People from all walks of life have tattoos -- rich people, poor people, politicians, doctors (even hateful activist doctors), schoolteachers...  Having a tattoo doesn't make you evil, or an alcoholic, or a thug, or a yob, or anything but someone who has a tattoo.  Tattooed people are not scary.  Do you want to see something really scary?  Click this link!  That's scary.  Imagine bumping into it her in a dark alley late at night.  *Shudders*  I'll take my chances with the tattooed people...

Secondly, during this recession people are drinking more and smoking more than they were before.  Tobacco and alcohol stocks are skyrocketing since Labour did us all in.  That wouldn't happen if sales weren't booming. Look!

Cigarette Sales Just Fine, say Big Tobacco
Thirdly, if you want your local businesses to close, you're a hateful dick, and you'd rather see people go on the dole than earn a decent, honest living.  You need to support your local businesses, and even if you don't want to give them your money, you can still support them by leaving them a-fucking-lone to get on with their business.  They aren't hurting you.  No one has attacked you in the village, because if they had, you would have written about it.  They are simply people out for a pint with their mates who are forced to stand outside because of bigoted anti-smoker people like you.

The only thing we need to get rid of is hateful people like you, Taxpayer-2010.  No, wait, we'll keep you around so we can be reminded just how stupid, arrogant, bigoted and hateful people can be, you arsewipe.

H/T - DP once again.

The NHS Smoker-Hating Story I Cannot Yet Write About

A very reliable source has informed me of a situation where a particular NHS trust is refusing to treat Patient X because X is a smoker, and X desperately needs this treatment.  While this tale of hate is true, I cannot write about it properly yet and reveal the full details, because I need to see the evidence first, which is a letter the NHS sent to Patient X.  Without that letter, the story is merely hearsay and unfit for publication.  Sadly, it does not seem as if X is willing to give me a copy of the letter, redacted or otherwise.  X worries that if the letter goes public then the NHS will retaliate against X and obstruct any and all treatment X may require.

Well, the NHS is already obstructing X by denying X's right to healthcare.  But even though the denial of treatment is egregious and I believe illegal, what is really sad is that X is fearful of what the NHS might do.  Should we be afraid of our doctors?  I think the answer is probably "yes."  X's fear could be unfounded or misguided, but still... what does that say about the current culture of hate and fear our government has been using against its own citizens if someone honestly believes there will be retaliation for letting people know the truth about the NHS? We should not be fearful of our doctors. They should be our allies!

I am still trying to get my source to convince Patient X to provide a copy of the letter X received.  If I do get that, I will write about it. 

In the meantime, if you are a smoker, then you need to be very suspicious and careful when you speak to your GPs.  In fact, I'm going to advise you here and now to lie to your GPs and nurses.  Do not tell them you are a smoker.  If your local surgery gives you a slip of paper that asks how much you smoke and how much you drink, do not fill in that information. You are not obligated to do so.  I know this because I have refused to fill it in and I have not suffered any consequences for it when I registered at a new surgery.  If you are speaking with your GP or a nurse and they ask if you drink or smoke, tell them you do not.  They will use this information against you.  Do not think that being honest with your GP is in your best interest.  It is not.

Because if you don't lie to them, they will refuse treatment.  I would also advise finding a solicitor / barrister who would be willing to sue the NHS on a no-win no-fee basis if you are refused treatment. On the other hand, good luck with that search.

One final important point to make.  I was reading Mark Wadsworth's blog this morning and I saw this "Reader's Letter of the Day" post.  It is yet another case of people saying that smokers and drinkers and eaters do not deserve health care.  We often rebut with facts and figures about how much tax we pay for our lifestyle choices.  That's fine, but it's the wrong way to look at it. 

The correct way to look at and respond is this:

Any person or organisation that would deny healthcare to any group of people is a hateful motherfucker.  Any person or organisation that would look at not treating people solely based on its costs is a hateful motherfucker. They are Nazis. They are worse than Nazis.  The NHS should either treat everyone equally, or we get rid of socialised healthcare altogether and go to private care.  This is not saying that the NHS should not find ways to reduce unnecessary expenditures and costs, because there is so much waste going on it's hard to fathom.  But we should not allow those to use costs of treating smokers or drinkers as an excuse to justify any legislation or denial of treatment.  You should call them Nazis.  You should call them Fascists

You should call them what they truly are:  Cunts.

This hateful hag named Amanda hates smokers

Additional historical reading:

If You Ever Had Any Doubt . . .

Mike Daube knows what's best for you.  He wants to make tomorrow better. "Who the hell is Mike Daube?" you ask.  Good question.  He seems to genuinely care about people drinking and smoking, but if you would ask me, I think Mike Daube is a hater.  He hates everything. He's a high-magnitude nannying twat.  He's on par with the Root of All Evil. Indeed, these two bumtards are like two gnashing bed bugs nestled up in the wrinkles of your duvet cover, endlessly feeding on the flesh of all of your vices, whispering their hateful fucking agendas into your ears while you sleep at night, unaware of the evil that has befallen you.

Mike Daube has made his career on telling you and your governments that you're too stupid to make your own choices.  Mike Daube wants you to know that tobacco companies and alcohol companies are evil.  If you ever had any doubt that alcohol is next on the list for the nannies, then you only need to read almost everything this guy has written.  He's quite happy to use the tobacco control template to protect the young, gullible children in the world. Here's a fine passage from this editorial he wrote for the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health:

Tobacco is now recognised as a pariah industry. Descriptions such as ‘evil’ and ‘merchants of death’ are commonplace; it is the world’s least reputable industry and there is broad acceptance of the principle that governmental dealings with tobacco companies should occur only if unavoidable and while holding one’s nose.

Millions of tobacco industry documents accessible following the US Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) show that the companies are even more cynical and dishonest than their critics had thought. Nobody could now argue credibly that tobacco companies should be part of policy-making processes, can be trusted with voluntary agreements on advertising, or should run public education programs.

The alcohol industry is different – or is it?

(2012 vol. 36 no. 2, pp108-110)

Read the whole thing above.  It's short.  Only a few pages of drivel, I promise.

Let's peek a little more into the life of this particular neo-puritanical, soft-spoken tyrant.  ABC News Australia writes this about him:

Mike Daube is Professor of Health Policy at Curtin University, where he is Director of the Public Health Advocacy Institute and the McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth. [...] He recently completed two terms as President of the Public Health Association of Australia, and is President of the WA Branch and convenor of the Alcohol Special Interest Group. From 2001-05 he was Western Australia's first Director General of Health and Chair of the National Public Health Partnership. Since moving to WA in 1984 he has held a number of chief executive and senior positions in government and NGOs. Before this he was a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Community Medicine at Edinburgh University, and described editorially in the British Medical Journal as "probably Britain's leading health campaigner."

Now, pretty much every piece ABC Australia does on smoking and health is written by the antis for the antis.  You almost never see ABC offer up a contrary view in rebuttal -- they do occasionally, but not often enough; sometimes they surprise you.   Think what you like, but the Australian media is so far up the asses of Chapman and Daube, that it's no wonder that the Australian public have believed all of the bullshit and wants the government to the nanny them (no different than the UK or US media, I suppose). This has taken years of campaigning by people like Daube to make happen.  Look at this gem from Daube on ABC's site:

Big Tobacco will fight any action that might reduce its profits, and even here in Australia, where so much has been achieved, we must ensure that there is continuing action. One might in retrospect wonder why it all took so long - why did Cancer Councils, the Heart Foundation, the AMA and other health organisations have to campaign for so long? Why did governments not even respond to far-sighted calls to protect children in enclosed spaces such as cars as soon as the evidence on the dangers of passive smoking came through? If we have learned one crucial lesson it is that we cannot afford any sense of complacency: smoking is still our biggest preventable killer.

We need further developments to maintain the momentum, and to ensure that there is a continuing focus on disadvantaged groups. There are also of course other challenges for prevention - notably alcohol and obesity, although these will require some different approaches and a judicious mix of carrots and sticks.

Don't worry, ABC is happy to give the health nazis some momentum.  Look at this recent article.  Do you see any contrary views at all?

So where was I?  Right. Daube. What a dick.  Below is an excerpt from his own pet newsletter where he writes about how to target children to socially engineer them into believing all of his bullshit.  And you thought tobacco companies were targeting kids with shiny artwork on cigarette packs.  Please. These fuckers are the kid-targeters. These are the evil fucking bastards in the modern era.  Parents are too stupid to raise their own children. Do not forget that.

The target audience
Initial plans are to target the young, web-savvy population of WA. This group of Western Australian’s are regularly online: 72% go online to send and receive emails, 60% want internet access anywhere, anytime and 50% believe that technology gives them control over their life. Such research indicates this group is receptive to an online social change campaign that places the emphasis on the audience.

Now ask yourself, who during WWII targeted children. Eh? And check out this video, which at the time of this writing has only 33 views -- four of which are probably mine.

He seems so nice, doesn't he?  Don't believe it, fatties. He's coming for you, too.  This man really hates everyone and everything that isn't the picture of perfect health.  Does Oz really need an institute for advocacy?  Christ on a bike, no wonder it's all gone tits up down under.

H/T to Dick Puddlecote for posting about this nannying tyrant for years.  I'm really not copying you, Dick. Honest. 

Thursday 19 April 2012

How The Nannies Think Kids Get Cigarettes

What ASH, BHF, NHS, and the Tobacco Control Nannies Will Tell You:

The Reality:

Don't believe the hype, folks. Tobacco control's job is to misinform you about the reality of kids smoking.  Fact is, the kids usually nick them from adults. 

Anyone want to wager that the first image makes the rounds of tobacco control propaganda?

To Kill A Mockingbird

I have to admit that I'm not a fan of Twitter.  It's certainly popular and is a fantastic tool for marketing your products, getting exposure for your blog or website, sharing a pithy viewpoint, etc.  It also allows people like the Root of All Evil, aka Les Chapman, to champion his hateful views incessantly to the herd of incredibly small-minded fuckwits who want to control every aspect of your lives.  They gobble it up greedily, like pigs at a trough filled with rotten fruit and excrement.  Hey, I believe in free speech, even speech that I do not agree with nor care to hear or see.  It does not even pain me to say that even the Root of All Evil deserves a platform to tell the world how much he hates you.  Because that afford us an opportunity to call him a fucking hateful, petty, nannying tyrant in response.

So, although I do have a Twitter profile that I have just recently created, I don't use Twitter except when I'm researching something or when someone e-mails me and points something out.  For me, one of the most annoying things about Twitter is that some people endlessly re-tweet (RT) others' tweets, like mockingbirds.  While I accept the usefulness of RT'ing in many circumstances, it doesn't make it any less annoying.  That is, of course, my problem.  If Twitter works for you, that's "luvly-jubbly."  Do what you like. It's your life, and I do not seek to ever tell you how to live it.

On the other hand, sometimes people offer up advice in the hopes that you might reconsider what you're doing.  Take, for instance, Sabine Wolff (and I apologise, I know nothing about Ms Wolff or her views on life) who tweeted "Stop retweeting Simon Chapman. Seriously."

This is sage advice, Sabine. 

Of course, the Root of All Evil is hurt by that, evidently:

Pro Tip, Root of All Evil:  You are often an arsehole of the highest order, which is my opinion and which is shared by more people than you would care to accept.  You are rarely nice to anyone and you are one of the most petty, hateful bastards I have ever seen -- and I've seen plenty in my day.  Don't get hurt when someone gets sick of seeing your twisted fucking views re-tweeted by your sheep-minions of hate. OK?  Now, please, go play with your fish and shut the fuck up for once.  If you weren't so in love with yourself, decent people might actually give you a pass.

But you're evil, and people have got your number by now. So no pass for you, Les. 

It's Midnight, and This is the Best I Can Do Right Now

Went out tonight with family.  Discovered a new pub with a fab, heated, mostly-covered smoking area.  Food was particularly awesome.  Any pub that tries to cater to their smoking customers is a winner.  Do take note, pub owners.  Make the effort and spend the money, and we'll spend our money at your establishment.

So, I haven't checked to see if this ad is accurate (and I don't really truck with the whole AGW thing) but the text is mighty compelling.  Plus, bonus: a smoking baby.  Cuz a little sensationalism goes a long way, baby.  Only a matter of time now before our favourite root of all evil wants to ban cars, to protect the children. 

Wednesday 18 April 2012

Big Society or Big Brother - Is There Any Difference?

The oppressive boot-in-the-face nanny state is advancing apace.  Via Big Brother Watch, we learn that government seeks to control everything you do and see -- not just your lifestyle habits, but your on-line viewing habits, too. If you thought that the Tories were for freedom, for choice, for letting people live their lives without government dictating to you, you have thought wrong.  The Conservative party is fast shaping up to be far, far worse than Labour was in noughties.  We are in incredible danger of losing all of our civil liberties under the false pretense of protecting the children.

What happened?  An "independent" panel of MPs called forth the nannies and other interested parties (ISPs and even one porn producer) and concluded that government needs to protect your young, gullible children from all of the evils out there on the interwebs.  Government wants to create an omnipotent busybody department that monitors and regulates everyone's internet activity.  How much do you want to wager that this group will be amalgamated into the new nanny department? 

Read the full inquiry here. It's 89 pages of unadulterated shite, mostly.  So, I'll just provide the panel's recommendations below for your ease of reference:


1. The Government should urgently review the implementation plans for “Active Choice” and press for an accelerated implementation timetable, more clarity on installation targets for all customers, and funding commitments from ISPs.

2. ISPs should provide better support for internet safety education and initiatives such as ParentPort and improve signposting for these services from their own web domains.

3. Government and industry representatives should draw up guidelines for improving the communication of existing internet safety settings, improving training for retailers, developing a family friendly kite-marking scheme for manufacturers and retailers and improving signposting to pre-installed security settings during device configuration.

4. ISPs should be tasked with rolling out single account network filters for domestic broadband customers that can provide one click filtering for all devices connected to a home internet connection within 12 months.

5. The Government should launch a formal consultation on the introduction of an Opt-In content filtering system for all internet accounts in the UK. The most effective way to reduce overall development cost and create the most flexible solution would be for ISPs to work together to develop a self-regulated solution.

6. Public Wi-Fi provision should also be filtered in this way otherwise home-based controls will be easily circumvented.

7. The Government should also seek backstop legal powers to intervene should the ISPs fail to implement an appropriate solution.

8. Finally, the Government should consider the merits of a new regulatory structure for online content, with one regulator given a lead role in the oversight and monitoring of internet content and in improving the dissemination of existing internet safety education materials and resources such as ParentPort.

Once again, parents, you are utterly incapable of raising a child. Do not forget that.

For the rest of us:  All you really need to do, folks, is follow the money.  Who stands to benefit from such a scheme?  Well, firstly, ParentPort.  That one is obvious. Also, the major ISPs will benefit hugely. Because only the big ISPs will have the financial resources to even attempt to monitor your activity.   The little independent ISPs won't stand a chance, so off they'll go into the ether.  You can count on the big ISPs to support any legislation that will crush their competition like they are gnats!

All big businesses support legislation that will benefit them financially, tobacco companies included.  Yes, the big tobacco companies stopped fighting the display ban because they knew the smaller ones would be unable to compete if no one could see alternative brands.  It is about shareholders -- it is always about money.

And it is never about protecting anyone or anything except for their purses and wallets.

Vote them all out, people.  All of them.  Collectively, they have created this financial mess and are now trying to distract our attention by putting forward all of these terrible restrictions on personal choice and freedom.  If you want to be nannied, move to Australia.  I'm sure there's room for you there.

Tuesday 17 April 2012

The Art of Bad Parenting

I've been trying to think of an easy way to break it to all of the parents out there who support plain packs and the display ban and every thing else that government wants to keep your young, gullible kids safe from, but I cannot.  How do you tell someone that they are a shitty parent?  It's not easy, particularly when they don't mean to be shite parents.  I would expect some abuse, both verbal and physical, if I tried.  Sometimes it is best to avoid unnecessarily telling people that they are stupid and that they need to think through things and not let their emotions guide their decisions.

But isn't it always best to tell the truth? I mean, you might think that not telling the truth means you are protecting their feelings.  Decent people don't go out to deliberately hurt people.  Yet who are you really protecting?  You or them?  Maybe both to be fair.  So you might keep your opinion quiet to keep the peace. 

Sometimes the truth hurts.  Because it's true.  And few people can accept criticism.  Certainly not dickheads like Simon Chapman.  Of course it is all right for him to call people stupid, to accuse them of having no morals or being a stooge, because he's an evil, bitter nanny-tyrant, and tyrants do what they like.  He is the bane of freedom and civil liberties.  He is...  I digress. 

Here's the truth, parents.  If you, as a parent, let the government decide what is best for your child, or if you let the government tell your child what is acceptable and what is unacceptable, then you are not doing your job as a parent. Your children are your responsibility. You do not get to delegate that responsibility.  You should never abdicate your responsibility to the government, because government will gladly take it from you and won't give it back.  Are you incapable of teaching your children what is right or wrong? These are your kids.  You have to raise them unless you're completely incompetent.  Don't let the state raise your children -- certainly not the nanny state.  Government will blindfold your kids to keep them protected.  The result is that your kids will be unable to make their own best choices, and unable to know when they've made the wrong choices. It will be your fault.

So if you want the government to take control of your kids, of your life, your responsibilities to educate your kids about the real world, then go ahead.  If you believe that your kids will be attracted to shiny cigarette packets, and that the only way to stop your gullible children from even trying cigarettes is to take away the pack designs and replace them with horrible, grotesque pictures, that's your choice.  But do not cry out how unfair it is when they do the same to alcohol, chocolate bars and candy, video games, coffee, fast food and everything else that someone says is harmful.  Because it will happen.  This I promise you.  They will stop at nothing to enforce their belief systems on you. 

Hey, you love your kids, of this I have little doubt, and you would do anything to keep them safe.  Right?  But do know this:  If you believe the hateful deception and evidence-lacking propaganda from the likes of Deborah Arnott and other tobacco control fanatics, and you support plain packs and the display ban because you want to keep your kids safe, then it means you are a shitty parent.  Sorry, there is no easy way to say it.  You have failed your children, and they will suffer greatly for it when they grow up.  Your kids deserve better.

Plain Packs - First Day of Oral Arguments in Oz

Australia saw its first day of oral arguments against the totalitarian plain packs law.  You can read it here, if you want.  The basic argument (and I'm really simplifying it) so far is that the Australian Commonwealth is appropriating the packaging of the products of a business to promote the government's message as if it were a billboard for the government.  The argument also claims that the tobacco companies' trade mark rights are being extinguished.  These are both correct assertions.  The judges may seem to be incredibly hostile, and maybe they are (it is Australia after all --  Nanny Land), but that is also part of their job. You have to argue your case and convince them.

Here's a word cloud of the transcribed text, because life is way too short for non-legal folk to suffer through the whole text of a proceeding:
Notably absent from the text are the words "Freedom," "Adult(s)," and  "Civil Liberties."  I think this is a mistake, but then I'm not the one arguing the case...