Sunday, 23 May 2010

The mis-appliance of science.

In the comments here, Mr. Wallis asked for evidence that passive smoking was not dangerous. My response was along the lines of 'it is not possible to prove that anything is not dangerous. What has not been proved is that it is dangerous'.

Thinking on it further, it is not necessary to prove anything either way concerning passive smoking in order to show that the smoking ban is simply a spite-filled oppressive bullying piece of thuggery implemented, enforced and supported by vicious filth who love nothing more than to watch someone else suffer.

The smoking ban, you see, is not about passive smoking. It's not about health. It is not even about smoking.

It is about control.

You still think it's about protecting you from smokers? Have a look at this and explain to me how that judge's decision protects anyone from smoke. Explain why it is not simply about making smokers suffer.

There is no proven threat from passive smoking, other than the threat to businesses. None. On the basis of this non-threat, smokers are villified and non-smokers are terrified. They believe the lunatic assertion that smoke can travel through walls from the flat next door because 'an expert says so'. They believe the insanity that a single particle of tobacco smoke is more likely to cause cancer than their children's glow-in-the-dark toys. Apple will not service warranty claims on their products if they are bought by smokers, because there might be a molecule of nicotine on them. As a smoker, I will never buy an Apple product because the warranty is void as soon as I touch it.

Last week's New Scientist bemoaned the 'denier culture'. Why won't people just believe what we scientists say, they cried. Then they conflated 'climate heretic' and 'smoking ban opponent' with 'holocaust denier'. Yet they cannot see why people won't believe what they say.

The whole climate change thing (remember when it used to be 'global warming'? Remember before that when it was 'The Ice Age Cometh'?) has been beset with demonstrable lies, faked and cherry-picked data, ludicrous scare stories and general smug 'if you don't believe, you must be a flat-earther' put-downs. Why would anyone with half a brain simply 'believe' in this? Every religion on the planet is more credible than this so-called 'science' at the moment and what do they do? Do they take a step back and think 'Right. We have some screwups in our work. Sort those out, double-check the data and present it correctly this time'.

No. They think 'They are not under control. Force them to comply'.

If there is real global warming happening, I'm afraid nobody is going to just 'believe' on the basis of 'an expert says'. You're going to have to prove it, and you'll need more proof now than if you had simply been honest in the first place - because now, you start from the position of a proven liar.

Yet we are to become reliant on wind power even though there has been not a breath of wind here for well over a week. The air is thick and humid and opening a window achieves nothing because the air doesn't move. We are to pay more and more for all forms of fuel, we are to use mercury-loaded dimlights instead of filament bulbs, we are to pay green taxes to support green jobs and all based on a lie. Question it, and what do you hear? Do you hear proof to back up these measures imposed on us?

No, you hear 'Well, if you're so sure, prove it isn't happening'. Prove a negative. Can't be done. We should not be expected to try because those of us who do not accept the lies are not trying to impose anything on anyone. Those who are forcing their control measures on us should be the ones to prove their case.

They don't. They make statements as if they are facts and then challenge us to prove the negative.

So it is with the smoking ban. There is no evidence at all for passive smoking. It is less dangerous than using a mobile phone and that has been scientifically proven. So why is smoking banned and mobile phone use encouraged?

They can't track a signal from your tobacco.

The smoking ban is not about passive smoking and never was. It is a Witchfinder distraction. Its purpose is to force people to do and think as they are told. Does anyone now believe that the witches killed during the English Civil War were really witches? Does anyone really believe they flew on brooms and sailed in sieves? Does anyone really believe they were making cattle barren and making crops fail? The people of the time believed it absolutely. A Expert said it was true and so they believed.

Now it is the smokers who are making your pets wheeze and your children develop asthma and you believe it, just as you would have been at the front of the mob surrounding the old lady and her herb garden. There was no requirement to prove that she was a witch, you know. She had to prove she wasn't. Which is impossible.

Are you still beating your wife? Answer yes or no.

There is no way out of a question phrased in that way. There never has been. It is the same technique.

You don't need evidence to support a witch hunt. All you need do is switch the burden of proof onto the witch. State that she is a witch and when she denies it, shout 'Prove it!' State that man-made global warming is happening and if anyone suggests otherwise, shout 'Prove it!' State that people die of passive smoking and when someone points out that nobody has been shown to even become mildly ill as a result of it, shout 'Prove it!'

Minimum pricing on alcohol will save lives. You say otherwise? Prove it! Salt is deadly. Don't agree? Prove it! Oh, the Righteous don't need to prove that their prohibition will do anything other than allow them to sit back and enjoy their spite. They have decided what's best for you and if you don't agree you have to prove the negative. You can't so they will set the mob on you unless you conform.

Except... they don't really care what is best for you. They just want to see the puppets dance. They want you to do as you are told because once you are trained to do as you are told, you will do anything you are told.

That is the true goal of the smoking ban and of any kind of ban. Not for your benefit. For theirs.

I believe it was Longrider who mentioned compulsory motorbike helmets. Not being equipped for motorbiking, I've never driven one but the point of the motorbike helmet is that it 'saves lives'.

Whose? If I am hit by a motorbike and the rider piles into me, he is going to do me a lot more damage if he has a hard hat on. So the helmet is of no benefit to me. It might be of benefit to the rider but that should be the rider's choice. They know the risks and should be free to choose whether to wear a helmet or not. That decision has absolutely no effect whatsoever on anyone else.

Compulsory seat belt wearing (with a fine of course) benefits only those in the car - unless the car turns over and they are trapped by the belt while the roof caves in. Making it a legal requirement made no difference to the pedestrian.

These rules were not brought in for your benefit. They were brought in to make you do as you are told.

So was the smoking ban. So is the new Cleggeron drink-price controls (incidentally, illegal under EU law. They've missed that part). None of these rules really benefit anyone and were never intended to.

You're being housetrained. Sit. Roll over. Beg.

There's a smoker. Get him, boy.

Good pet.

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

The oldest documented person in the world, Jeanne Calment, gave up smoking when she was 117.

Antipholus Papps said...

I'm afraid nobody is going to just 'believe' on the basis of 'an expert says'.

If only that were true! Studies have shown (they haven't but let's just say they have) that 94% of consumers believe any old shit that celebrities tell them is a pressing concern.

the smoking ban is simply a spite-filled oppressive bullying piece of thuggery implemented, enforced and supported by vicious filth who love nothing more than to watch someone else suffer

The most succinct and accurate description of this fascist monstrosity that I have yet heard! Great stuff!

Roue le Jour said...

A small part of the bigger picture. What the state is doing is "alle gegen alle" (all against all, but it sounds better in the language of fascism).

Muslim is pitted against Christian, gay against straight, police against citizens and, yes, smokers against non-smokers. The aim is to keep us too busy kicking our brothers to turn against them. Seems to be working, doesn't it?

(wv 'goons'. You couldn't make it up.)

almighty said...

it all reminds me of bertrands teapot.

Anonymous said...

Ask an asthmatic in a room full of cigarette smoke if it is harmless.

Billy The Fish said...

I used to enjoy an Old Port or two when out on the pop (it was the only time I ever smoked). Nowadays, I can't so I don't. Yes, I could go outside, but I'm not going to.
Do I miss it? Yes. Do I miss coming home stinking of stale smoke? Absolutely not. Never mind the dubious health claims; not reeking like an ashtray is worth the inconvenience, to me at least.

cornyborny said...

FFS. It's like groundhog day every time the smoking ban is discussed. Anon @05.28: have you even read Leg-Iron's post? You do know that you prove his point by instinctively reacting with a Righteous-approved slogan, I trust.

Billy The Fish: we've all heard that line a thousand times before, too. Me, I call it rationalisation.

Read the post again and engage your brains.

Anonymous said...

Thanks cornyborny, for your comments.

But whether you like it, or not, there ARE people who don't like smoking.

They aren't paralysed by fear of passive smoking - THEY JUST FUCKING HATE THE SMELL AND RESENT MADE TO STINK OF IT.

I absolutely agree that the ban is bullshit as implemented - it needs serious attention and scaling back.

But please stop pretending that everybody loves smoking. And that everybody thinks your right to smoke outweighs their right not to stink.

Anonymous said...

The Apple warranty ban isn't actually anything to do with prejudice or nicotine; it is much simpler. Their warranty is all about money.

When a person returns a computer under warranty then most of the time the unit is still mostly alright. The case will be OK, most of the components will function; most of the time we're talking trashed operating system and that's about it. So, Apple at this point re-image the machine with a clean copy of OS/X, replace the keyboard with a clean one and give the casing a quick polish then sell the unit as a refurbished one for about 25% less than new.

However, when doing this in the past they have noticed that if the machine was owned by a smoker, then the plastic casing and most of the components will get liberally coated with smoke, which as the system gets hot will evaporate off the thing and stink as they do so. This is harmless, but smelly and people don't like it, especially as the refurbished unit is sold as being as good as new.

So, faced with giving a customer most of their money back and receiving a machine they cannot then sell on as basically a good unit albeit with the odd scuff on the casing, Apple are faced with the fact that some (not all, just some) units that were owned by smokers are effectively unsellable if returned. They therefore have a choice: argue the toss on a case-by-case basis and incur legal costs on a regular basis, or use a draconian policy of no returns from smokers and put up with indignation from what is actually quite a small minority of the public. Moreover, smoking is strongly biased towards the poorer folk in society, and poor folk don't buy Apple computers, so a "No returns from smokers" policy saves Apple a lot of trouble whilst inconveniencing very few people.

This ban might inconvenience you, but Apple obviously believe that the loss of profit from winding up some smokers is worth the loss of revenue from paying out warranties to buy back un-resellable kit.

Dick Puddlecote said...

"Mr. Wallis asked for evidence that passive smoking was not dangerous."

All the evidence is HERE.

And remember that those results (majority show no danger whatsoever) are all based on lifetime exposure of those living in small enclosed areas with smokers. NOT just a couple of hours in a large, well-ventilated pub.

hangemall said...

The slog has an interesting article from the alcohol point of view.

cornyborny said...

Anon Redux: you're still missing the point of the post (and the point of the ban). It's not about health. It's not about ensuring that people's clothes never have to smell of smoke.

It's about control.

And it's about setting a precedent so that more controls can be imposed down the line. Then more, and more.

And when every single person in the country (in the EU?) has zero freedom to act or think as they might wish, it'll be too late to say "hm. Those people who wanted to smoke weren't really the problem, were they? Perhaps we should have thought a little harder about what was at stake and defended their freedoms because they were OUR freedoms too."

BTW, my original complaint wasn't about the existence of people who dislike smoke. It was about the lack of discussion (and so progression) on the subject because the same old anti-smoking arguments always appear in a trice to shut discussion down.

Glad that you would like to see the ban scaled back. Despite what the scaremongerers might say, it's not an all-or-nothing situation: a move away from a blanket ban would not result in the Smoking Army mercilessly advancing on all fronts until every last cubic inch of the country is B&H flavoured. Would the sky really fall in if choice and diversity were reintroduced? As LI has said many times, smokers have always been happy to compromise.

P.S. Interesting that you assume I smoke, just because I care about freedom. We're on the same side really.

Fausty said...

I see the French just ignore their smoking ban - and the officials turn a blind eye.

Once the coalition's petition bill is in place, we'll only need 100,000 signatures to trigger a debate on smoking in Parliament. We have more than 100,000 smokers in the UK ...

Leg-iron said...

Ask an asthmatic in a room full of cigarette smoke if it is harmless.

I used to visit the pub regularly with an asthmatic friend. He never once had an asthma attack in the pub.

he doesn't smoke but he no longer visits the pub. Because so few of his friends go there now.

Ask someone with hay fever whether a flower garden is harmless.

Should that person a) avoid flower gardens or b) demand that all flower gardens, even ones they have never and will never visit, are completely banned?

Should there be huge penalties for growing flowers or for allowing flowers to grow on your property?

You're thinking 'It's not the same thing'.

But it is.

Leg-iron said...

Billy the Fish -

There is a huge Boots the Chemist in Aberdeen. At one of its entrances is the perfume array where the stench of many mixed perfumes hangs in the air and clings to you as you pass through it.

Do I a) use another entrance, or b) demand that all perfumes are banned in every shop everywhere, even in places that I have never and will never visit?

Should I demand huge penalties for the release of perfume into the air, insist on harm caused by second hand and third hand perfumes (they are entirely artificial chemicals remember, not just a bit of burning leaf) and all simply because I don't like the smell?

You're thinking 'It's not the same thing'.

But it is.

This one has, in fact, already begun. Offices are banning perfume-wearing by staff because other staff don't like the smell.

Anon - those flowers will go, soon enough. I hear hospitals are removing them from wards even now.

The smoking ban was not the end point, you know. There's a lot more to come.

Billy The Fsih said...

Boys, you've got me thinking...

See, I like the idea of going out to a smoke-free boozer but popping into a smoke-room (ie, not outside in the bleeding cold) and having my lovely wine-flavoured smoke. I could then finish my Old Port and come back into the lovely fresh pub and carry on supping...

...except I couldn't, could I? Because I will now be a nasty smoky person and the non-smokers will sniff me in disgust and demand that I move elsewhere.

The only solution is nude smoking rooms with hermetically-sealed clothing storage, surely?

Furor Teutonicus said...

Roue le Jour said...

A small part of the bigger picture. What the state is doing is "alle gegen alle" (all against all, but it sounds better in the language of fascism).


I want a bloody explanation of THAT comment!!

Are you trying to suggest that all German speakers are Fascists?

YOU are bloody MARKED from now on.

Peter S said...

...Are you trying to suggest that all German speakers are Fascists?

No, just fucking German coppers.

Dick Puddlecote said...

"Because I will now be a nasty smoky person and the non-smokers will sniff me in disgust and demand that I move elsewhere."

See, this is the problem with those who argue against a sensible amendment. The only way to do so is by flying into wild exaggeration.

Non-smokers have never been like this, only anti-smokers are. And there aren't very many of them.

If your pub consists entirely of the latter, you might be wise to find another - it's not like the place is going to be much of a laugh with them around anyway. They have to hold a committe meeting to decide whether to smile or not. ;-)

Gendeau said...

Hi Cornyborny,

I am 'anon redux' (not the original anon), I was on my way out the door for lunch (euro-time) and didn't get a chance to sign in.

I absolutely agree with you over freedoms and rights. This ban doesn't affect me, but there are several next steps that would. In fact hysteria over 'other events' affects me already, there are earlier dog-whistle, not-thought-through laws that predate the smoking ban.

It isn't just self interest that means I'm in favour of reality and freedom; it is my natural attitude as well.

Third hand smoke, dangerous e-fags, banning smoking in all cars are clearly such bollocks that its insulting that these shitheads think we'll swallow their shite.

Second hand smoking? Don't know, but seeing as I find it unpleasant to be in an enclosed space with, I'd prefer not to have to take the risk/effects, thanks. I frequently hang around outside with smokers (they tend to be more interesting to speak to).

I think that smokers are better off fighting for evidence based laws and freedoms, rather than delude themselves that all the non-smokers don't care whether the ban is repealed - a lot of us like the pubs more now (shame there's the problem with viability of pubs - reality is a bitch, this issue needs addressing).

I would love an attempt to find a solution that works for all.

E.g. Regulating smoking shelters to have only one side is clearly for ease of the legislators (fuck the smokers) - Not fucking good enough.

Laba spent years implementing shit laws that crapped over people just because it was hard to write proper laws. Burn the lot and start again, using grown ups.

Sorry I didn't get to proof-read and sign my first message - I didn't have time, but I agree; I think that I have more in common with smokers than I have with controlling scum. I would love to be part of a freedom and (real) science based laws coalition, but can we keep it reality based over smoking?

There are honest people who don't like it AND there are facist cunts who are using it as a first step - non-smokers aren't all mindless haters, and we/they believe that their rights should count too.

I believe that there are a large majority of people who don't want to see the ban repealed completely, but are very much willing to find compromise that is less bullshit based.

Of course there are haters AND people who want a 100% B&H flavoured world - but you're not going to make them happy anyway.

Have a great evening in the sunshine

Gendeau said...

Hi Cornyborny,

I am 'anon redux' (not the original anon), I was on my way out the door for lunch (euro-time) and didn't get a chance to sign in.

I absolutely agree with you over freedoms and rights. This ban doesn't affect me, but there are several next steps that would. In fact hysteria over 'other events' affects me already, there are earlier dog-whistle, not-thought-through laws that predate the smoking ban.

It isn't just self interest that means I'm in favour of reality and freedom; it is my natural attitude as well.

Third hand smoke, dangerous e-fags, banning smoking in all cars are clearly such bollocks that its insulting that these shitheads think we'll swallow their shite.

Second hand smoking? Don't know, but seeing as I find it unpleasant to be in an enclosed space with, I'd prefer not to have to take the risk/effects, thanks. I frequently hang around outside with smokers (they tend to be more interesting to speak to).

I think that smokers are better off fighting for evidence based laws and freedoms, rather than delude themselves that all the non-smokers don't care whether the ban is repealed - a lot of us like the pubs more now (shame there's the problem with viability of pubs - reality is a bitch, this issue needs addressing).

I would love an attempt to find a solution that works for all.

E.g. Regulating smoking shelters to have only one side is clearly for ease of the legislators (fuck the smokers) - Not fucking good enough.

Laba spent years implementing shit laws that crapped over people just because it was hard to write proper laws. Burn the lot and start again, using grown ups.

Sorry I didn't get to proof-read and sign my first message - I didn't have time, but I agree; I think that I have more in common with smokers than I have with controlling scum. I would love to be part of a freedom and (real) science based laws coalition, but can we keep it reality based over smoking?

There are honest people who don't like it AND there are facist cunts who are using it as a first step - non-smokers aren't all mindless haters, and we/they believe that their rights should count too.

I believe that there are a large majority of people who don't want to see the ban repealed completely, but are very much willing to find compromise that is less bullshit based.

Of course there are haters AND people who want a 100% B&H flavoured world - but you're not going to make them happy anyway.

Have a great evening in the sunshine

Dr Melvin T Gray said...

Commenters are threatened with:

"YOU are bloody MARKED from now on."

Aka Von Spreuth, the Furor's wheelchair bound ramblings always amount to 'nichts'. Incidentally Peter S, the Furor is not a policeman and his claim to have worked for German Intelligence is equally spurious.

Leg-iron said...

Actually I think the Italians had fascism in place before the Germans. These days, the 'language of fascism' is rapidly becoming English anyway. With a Kirkcaldy accent.

Leg-iron said...

Who remembers the time before the ban? Who can remember when smokers exercised some mythical 'right to smoke wherever they wanted'?

Before the ban there was one smoking carriage on a train and nine non-smoking ones. Did you hear howls of complaints from the smokers in that one carriage? No.

Did you hear howls of complaints from the antismokers in the other nine carriages? Yes.

Before the ban, there were nonsmoking restaurants and pubs, and places with separate smoking and nonsmoking areas.

Aberdeen airport had a small smoking area screened off from the Nice People and with an array of extraction devices that made it look like the flight deck of the Enterprise. You couldn't smell smoke even while you were smoking.

Luton airport had booths that looked like Star trek transporters. They sucked air out so fast that again, you couldn't even smell the cigarette you were smoking.

We accepted those conditions. We accepted the segregation and the stares and the pointing at the strange people in the machines. Not bloody good enough, was it?

Smokers were already compromising before the ban. Now it's being extended into beer gardens, private cars and even our own homes.

Compromise is not a one way street, but the antismokers see it that way. If we're going to get even halfway back up that slope, we have to stop all thought of compromise.

If we are to get even a hope of any indoor smoking space anywhere, we have to act as if we are going for it all. No mercy, no prisoners, no compromise. Those are the rules the antismokers use and you can't win a war if you don't fight on the same terms.

Otherwise they'll have cameras in your home bathroom in case you're sneaking a quick one under the extractor fan.

Roue le Jour said...

Oops! My mistake.

I should have said the language of National Socialism. There, happy now?

Furor Teutonicus said...

Roue le Jour said...

Oops! My mistake.

I should have said the language of National Socialism. There, happy now?


O.K. That will pass. Thank you.

As to the other fucking idiot. "Wheelchair bound"?

What the FUCK is the fgool from Town end ON these days?

MTG said...

I would never eat it but I simply adore the smell of roast peasant in the morning.

Junican said...

One or two people here have mentioned in a vague sort of way the ESSENTIALS that we need to be aware of. This is clearly indicated by the comment of Anon 05.28 (WHY do people have to be ANON? Do they not know that they can chose 'a name' using the 'name/URL' prompt? Any name will do - it is just easier to refer back to a name rather than Anon).
Sorry for that digression.

Anon o5.28 mentions people with asthma. I could easily say that people with asthma should not go into smoky rooms, but that would invite the response, "BUT I HAVE EVERY RIGHT!". Apart from the fact that it is simply not true that asthmatics have 'every right', the whole idea of asthmatic visitors to pubs misses the point.

The whole point of the law is to protect pub workers. That is all (officially). If you complained to the people who made the law that external tents and sheds were places that pub workers did not ordinarily go, they would pick on the word 'ordinarily', and say that they have to legislate FOR EVERY POSSIBLE CONTINGENCY. Thus, it is POSSIBLE for an external tent to be full of smoke and that possibility has to be covered by the law.

We can see therefore the weakness in the lawmaker's arguement, and that is the POTENTIAL FOR HARM to a pub worker in going into an external tent to collect glasses or clean up, for example. If it is possible to show, statistically, that such exposure is harmless, the arguement for protecting pub workers' health begins to fall apart.

As it happens, such proof is available - more or less. I write that because of the weirdness of using statistics as a guide. Anyone interested should contact Dave Atherton via Freedom to Choose website.

We see therefore that, as far as the law is concerned, smells and asthma are irrelevant (with the possible exception of asthmatic workers - difficult, that). Only the 'harm' to workers is relevant.
The problem is, how can you prove a negative? How can you prove that passive smoking in pubs is harmless to pub workers? The fact of the matter is that you cannot - unless there is statistical evidence that such workers are no worse off than anyone who does not have a job where people who enjoy tobacco congregate. That is the best that you can do.

But it seems to me that this is the only way to go. Asthma and smells are irrlevant. Only the protection of workers is relevant. But of course we now have THE PROTECTION OF CHILDREN to contend with. Erm...whose children are we talking about?

gregtuco said...

Reproduced on the "Mott" album cover

A Sane Revolution

If you make a revolution, make it for fun,
don't make it in ghastly seriousness,
don't do it in deadly earnest,
do it for fun.

Don't do it because you hate people,
do it just to spit in their eye.

Don't do it for the money,
do it and be damned to the money.

Don't do it for equality,
do it because we've got too much equality
and it would be fun to upset the apple-cart
and see which way the apples would go a-rolling.

Don't do it for the working classes.
Do it so that we can all of us be little aristocracies on our own
and kick our heels like jolly escaped asses.

Don't do it, anyhow, for international Labour.
Labour is the one thing a man has had too much of.
Let's abolish labour, let's have done with labouring!
Work can be fun, and men can enjoy it; then it's not labour.
Let's have it so! Let's make a revolution for fun!

D.H. Lawrence

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