Friday, 31 December 2010

A night I'll never remember.

In the cold dark North they take Hogmanay seriously. You might think they get a bit wild up here over Christmas but you ain't seen nothing yet. The parties go on past dawn in some houses and I know which ones they are. Nothing more will happen here until January 3rd. Even the 24-hour Tesco is only open for the normal 9 am - 6 pm slot on the 2nd and closed on the 1st. They'll be stocking the shelves with aspirin even now.

The kickoff happens soon so I have to get showered and smartened up as far as possible. Don't know why. Everyone and everything will be booze-soaked and tobacco-infused by midnight and hardly anyone will be able to focus. We will also eat terrible, terrible junk food. By modern medical standards there should be no living thing here when the sun comes up.

I have much to do tomorrow, the dreaded Tidying Up is back at all levels. Like JuliaM, I have to sort out that bloglist because many have stiopped, some have moved, some stopped and came back and it's a mess. My Email inbox is groaning with all those undeleted mails I don't really need to keep.

Worst of all, I have been tagged by Timdog with the 'what does your desk look like' meme and frankly, it looks like something Al Qaeda would pass by because they'd assume it's already been blown up. It's long overdue for tidying but what will probably happen is that I'll put all the crap out of sight, take a photo and then put all the crap back. Carefully. I don't want to mess up my filing system.

None of this will start until I spring refreshed from my slumbers at the crack of dawn. Okay, until I drag my spinning head from my pit of stench at the crack of noon.

A Happy New Year to all, and don't worry about the transition from one year to the next.

Nothing's going to change.

Give us yer feckin' money.

Our government, in the shape (if geometry permits the existence of such a shape) of Frankie Maudlin, evidently believes that the word 'philanthropy' means 'emotional blackmail'.

The astoundingly idiotic idea of guilt-tripping us into giving to the generic term 'charity' whenever we engage in any financial transaction and pretending the money will really go to charity rather than Frankie Maudlin's expense account has already been covered by Snowolf, AlJahom, Subrosa and others.

So all I can add is a future conversation at a till somewhere.

Till operator (Drone): Would you like to give your change to charity?

Leg-iron (for it is me): Which one?

Drone: Huh?

LI: Which charity? Some I support, some I don't. So which one are you collecting for?

Drone: Well... no. It just goes to charity.

LI: Charity? You mean it goes to some woman named Charity? What am I paying her for? I hope she's good at it, whatever it is.

Drone (with silly giggle): No, it goes to charity. Good causes. You know.

LI: If I knew, I wouldn't be asking. So, specifically, which good causes are you collecting for?

Drone: I'm not collecting, I'm just asking.

LI: You are asking for money for some nebulous entity called charity. That's collecting.

Drone (getting properly sullen): Look, if you don't want to...

LI (who is not going to let this game end so easily): I didn't say I didn't want to. I'm only trying to clarify what I'm supporting before I part with the cash.

Drone: I don't know. The government gets the money.

LI: Right. So it's a tax then and nothing to do with charity at all. You're a tax collecter looking for voluntary tax payments.

Drone: No, it's for charity.

LI: Who told you that? The government?

Drone: um.... yes.

LI: And who gets the money? The government?

Drone: (blushes and stares at till)

LI: So you are a sucker who thinks you are collecting for a mysterious thing called 'charity' but doesn't know what it is you're asking me to support, on the word of the people who have asked you to collect the money but who haven't told you why they want it. Is that a fair assessment of the situation?

Drone: Here's your change.

LI: Thank you. Have a nice day.


I do give to charity. Every November I actively seek out poppy sellers because I want to give them money. That is a good cause. I always put money in the RNLI box. That is a good cause. I have a monthly direct-debit to the cancer charity that helped my niece when she went through leukaemia treatment. She survived, if anyone is interested, and will be declared 'clear' next March. I feel my small monthly contribution is not enough repayment, but can't currently afford to increase it.

What I will not do is give money to a government department calling itself 'charity' with no actual definition of what they plan to fund. For all I know I'd be funding ASH or that hideous Shenker bloke or the Salty Men or the Fatbusters or the Climatologists or more likely, Frankie Maudlin's retirement fund.

Every time I am asked I will say 'NO' and I will say it without a trace of guilt, but with immense pride. I am proud to deny funding to the scum who want to control my life and at the same time, I will continue to be philanthropic (as funds allow) towards causes I believe in and trust.

So if you are ever behind me in a supermarket queue, expect a delay. I will either take the time to count out the exact change, to the penny, or some variant of that conversation above will take place.

Charity used to mean something, It used to be about people helping people.

When my last boss took early retirement (like he had a choice, the whole department was made redundant) he said this in his goodbye speech:

"When I started in science, we were chasing knowledge. Now it feels as if we are just chasing money."

Many charities could say the same. Many are no longer concerned with their original objectives to anything like the extent they are concerned with chief executive pay and perks. They are businesses with a mission statement and corporate policy, hiding from the taxman under 'We are charity' pleas. I am already paying for this shit through my taxes. I am not paying more.

I leave you with an appropriate Alan Price tune, which has more connection with the real soul of charity than filth like ASH or the RSPCA could ever understand.

This man should be hailed as a prophet.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

The Crossbow Cretin.

This pair of dopes decided to hold up a shop and push all the right buttons for the Ban Brigade. They stole cigarettes and cash while brandishing a knife and a crossbow. Just wait for the 'Disarm the deadly smoker!' cries. I've already seen 'All criminals smoke' in the comments and won't be at all surprised to see 'All smokers are criminals' soon.

The 'Ban crossbows' calls will be along very shortly, and our government is just stupid enough to do it. Then the criminals will have all the weapons and we will have access to, at best, a pointed stick.

Look at that 'deadly crossbow'. It's not cocked and it has no bolt. There is a broom handle tied to the top of it! Even if he could actually fire that thing (the stick is lying on the stock, so the string, even if cocked, would run under it) it has no aerodynamic ability. It would be unlikely to go anywhere near his target.

Not only are these two so amazingly stupid that their faces are on full display for the ubiquitous CCTV, they have chosen a weapon that's impossible to hide anywhere among your clothing and their weapon is useless. They did not come by that crossbow legally because if they had, it would have included a couple of bolts. So a stolen weapon will once more be used to ban legally-held ones.

Police said the men are considered dangerous and should not be approached by members of the public.

No, don't approach them. Just point and laugh.

If the police receive a call saying someone is waving a crossbow around in public, what will they do? Send an armed response unit of course. These two will be facing real guns and they have nothing. An empty crossbow, a knife and a bit of a stick.

I hope they get shot and killed. There's not a single gene in either of them worth passing on.

If you own a crossbow, stash it somewhere safe. There will be a ban along shortly.

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Drool, zombie, drool.

(Picture surgically extracted from here)

It seems a few scientists have taken time out from proving that ice is hot and that smoke has supernatural teleportation powers to look at the nicotine-stained brains of a few people. Not too many because as every Nu-scientist knows, once you have the result you want you stop looking. Otherwise you get into all sorts of statistical tangles and might end up not proving what you were funded to prove. That would embarrass your money tree and would also be considered rude.

What they found will delight eugenecists on both sides of the political divide because it means they might be able to simply breed their opposition out of existence.

Conservatives have big amygdalas (don't get excited, it's not a part you can see or grope for unless you are equipped with some serious surgical kit and very twisted tastes). This part of the brain deals with anxeity and emotion. The hype, of course, is that conservatives are full of fear. There are other emotions but mentioning those would spoil the narrative.

What's not mentioned is that by extension, lefties are emotionless (*cough* cybermen *cough* borg *cough*).

On the otherhand, they [Tories] have a smaller anterior cingulate, an area at the front of the brain associated with courage and looking on the bright side of life.

So Tories are all scared and cowardly while Lefties are brave, cold-hearted warriors for... what? I wonder if those doing the study looked at their own politics?

The thing about emotion is that you don't want too much of it, but you do need some. You don't want to be cold enough to send people into war to die, knowing that you do so based on lies, but you don't want to break down at pictures of cheeldren used by fakecharities to con money out of you to pay their directors' bonuses.

The thing about courage is that you need some, but too much and it becomes foolhardiness. You need to be brave enough to stand up for yourself and your family but you don't want to be so foolhardy that you get on to the roof of a building and throw a fire extinguisher at people below, or deface a cenotaph or smash up someone's property while believing yourself invincible.

I think the fire extinguisher incident, in the context of this science, makes it clear that Lefties are a) foolhardy enough to throw it and b) so emotionless that they simply don't care about whoever it might hit.

In which case the small amygdala and the large anterior cingulate cortex is the anomaly. It's the drooling zombie in the room. Bullet, meet the leftie foot once more.

Well, it's all just a bit of fun until the eugenecists get involved, and until employers demand a brain scan to make sure you fit corporate political policy.

Until then, let's just enjoy a bit of brain music.

Remember, eating brains does not make you smarter. If they were smarter than you, you wouldn't be eating their brain, now would you?

Get your telescreen!

It seems that poor children are losing out on education if they don't have access to internet porn and World of Wastetime at home. I would say they have an advantage by being offline while going through education. In fact, several advantages.

1. They won't read bollocks like this and therefore won't be influenced by it.

2. The Internet is a fantastic timewasting machine when you have a deadline for something you don't really want to do. YouTube alone can delay any productive activity by days.

3. They are totally immune to cyberbullying.

4. They are totally immune to online porn.

5. They are totally safe from rancid old paedos pretending to be little girls.

6. Information on the Internet doesn't go back much further than 1980. That's why I kept seeing scientific papers repeating work that had been done in the 1950s and which was available to anyone who understood how the library 'stack' system worked. The later PhD students never even considered looking outside the Internet.

7. They won't spend their days turning into The Mighty Phlegm, Warlord of the Blue Galaxy and Ruler of the Margins, might spend some time actually playing outside and could even learn the difference between a sheep and a tree.

8. They won't start thinking that Wikipedia is Truth.

9. The Government won't know where they are, what they buy, who their friends are... ah. I see.

Never mind. I thought it was actually about education there, just for a moment.

Questions for addicts.

The Daily Pitchfork now has the story of the free pack of stick-on cigarettes provided by the NHS. As usual, they have hyped it to ridiculous levels and set off some choice nutters in the comments.

A couple of questions for those convinced they are addicted. First, a line from the article:

The week's worth of patches give smokers a gradual release of nicotine through the skin enabling them to get their 'fix' without the cancer-causing substances such as tar and carbon monoxide found in cigarettes.
As people become less addicted, they gradually use less stronger patches until they don't need to wear any at all.

(The spelling and grammar is all the Mail's. I'm not paid to proofread their semi-literate gabblings.)

Right. So you think you're addicted to nicotine because you have to have a 'fix' from a cigarette at intervals. Then you stick on a patch that delivers that 'fix' not intermittently, like a cigarette, but continuously. How, in that case, can you become 'less addicted' to the substance you're addicted to, if it's no longer an intermittent fix but a permanent high?

That's like trying to wean someone off heroin by providing them with a permanent supply via a drip. Will that work? Surely, if you give a nicotine addict a permanent nicotine fix, the next stage is not to apply a weaker patch but to start applying two patches. That is what an addict would do. Have you ever known a 'nicotine addict' do that?

Second, a comment from Deranged of Tonbridge Wells. Oh no, wait, it's from -

annie, devon, 28/12/2010 16:00

Patches worked for me - I thought they were brilliant - I tried will power, cold turkey, acupuncture, hypnosis. Went from 60 a day to none in a matter of weeks. Going cold turkey made me weep, scream etc etc - it was horrendous.

There is a myth I'd like to try and dispel about stopping smoking however - we are made to believe - consciously and sub-consciously by the cigarette manufacturers - that it is a really really difficult thing to do - trust me - once the nicotine leaves your body, which it does in a few days, it's not that bad.... it really isn't. Go for it...

So the patches worked for Annie because they kept her from gibbering until the nicotine left her body. Didn't she read what the patches do? They provide a continuous supply of nicotine to the body. It never left! Yet the patches 'cured her addiction to nicotine'. They did this by keeping her nicotine levels at chain-smoker constancy. Does that make sense?

Oh and Annie, should you happen by, think hard about who is telling you it's really really difficult to stop smoking. Think for a moment. It's not the tobacco companies who are calling you an addict, is it? No, it's the ones selling you the bloody patches. Please try to make the connection.

Annie didn't break an addiction. She broke a habit using a placebo. She believed she was addicted to nicotine so she displayed, on command, all the symptoms she was told to expect when she tried to stop. Then she believed that the patches cured her nicotine addiction because while she was wearing them and not smoking, the nicotine left her body even though the patches kept pumping it in faster than she could have smoked it. This is a level of doublethink that would make Big Brother proud.

Everyone who believes themselves addicted and who tries to just stop experiences the same symptoms. The same ones listed on the stop-smoking literature. Always the same.

Here's the missing sentence from the middle of Annie's comment:

Good for you, all you smugos, who are so righteous about people's lack of will power - when will you ever realise that everyone is different!!

Everyone is different, and yet everyone reacts in the same way to nicotine withdrawal. Everyone follows the instructions.

Is that addiction? Or is that just really clever marketing?

Oh, and what happened to all that 'nicotine residues are deadly' research? Why does that not apply to the patches?

You know what will be cruelly amusing? Someone turning up for a job interview, announcing that they are not a smoker, then getting a cotinine test and being called a liar. Because they believe, like Annie, that patches let the nicotine leave the body.

The addiction is a lie. If you want to stop, just stop. There are no withdrawal symptoms. You'll miss the habit for a while but if you're stopping because you aren't enjoying it, that won't last long at all.

First you have to believe that you are not addicted. Then those psychosomatic symptoms just vanish.

Break the conditioning. That's the hard part.


Anyone remember Jackanory? Someone would pop up during kiddie's TV hour and read a book. I no longer watch kids' TV, haven't for a long long time and rarely watch TV at all now. I'll bet there's no current equivalent to someone sitting there reading from a book.

I'm all in favour of kids reading books. It's a much more leisurely activity than what they do for enjoyment now, things like Xbox and mugging and shooting each other and ADHD. Reading is quiet time and that's missing from a great many kids' lives entirely these days. It's all rush, rush, on to the next thing, getting them ready for the adult career of 24/7 tax slavery or the alternative career of keeping human rights lawyers and State benefit departments employed.

Reading a book involves several hours of sitting and thinking. No easy visual stimulation, no vegetating and watching the colours and shapes move. If you're presented with plain text you have to use your imagination to picture what you're reading about. It takes concentration and thought, which get easier with practice.

So I had mixed feelings about the government cutting the free-books-for-kids idea. It's a fake charity for a start, as evidenced by the cries of 'It will all fall apart without government funding'. I like the idea of making sure kids get books but I don't like the idea of a quango deciding which books they can have. Distributing book tokens would be a better method.

Then again, don't schools have libraries any more? The one I went to had a library and the books weren't all school texts by any means. There was also a local library, free to join and free to borrow books from. Charity shops here have a decent selection of books, very cheap, and including many you'll never see on supermarket shelves. I've picked up The Great Gatsby and a hardcover copy of Moby Dick from local charity shops. They aren't entirely filled with unopened cookbooks and Jeffrey Archer novels.

As a fledgeling writer, I can see the temptation in finding a quango willing to buy many copies of one of my books and pass them around. Unfortunately the stuff I write isn't for children so BookStart will never distribute mine. It comes as no surprise to find that a children's book author is miffed at the loss of easy royalties from association with this quango but it all comes back to choice.

If you give a child a book, he has a book. He might not like that book, he might prefer a different one. If you give a book token, he can choose whatever book he wants. If you sign him up at the library he has access to them all for free. When a government sponsored organisation decides which books children own, the potential for control and indoctrination is immense. Hide your message among bunny rabbits and rainbows and send it to every impressionable young mind in the country. The Climatologists have already tried this, but they are clumsy writers and can't help resorting to death threats. They have produced more objections against their campaigns than they will ever produce against any power company.

On the whole, even though I fully support the book/child combination, I am not comfortable with the idea behind BookStart. So scrapping it was a good decision.

Except, of course, they haven't scrapped it. After a few bleats from authors and perhaps a word or two from Sir Humphrey on the potential of the scheme, BookStart gets to keep its funding.

Thousands of students protest repeatedly about tuition fees and the government stands firm. Smokers inundate Nick Clegg's fake 'great repeal bill' website to no effect. Yet all it takes is a couple of authors complaining that their royalties will be hit and the government cave in at once. What did they see in the BookStart scheme? A noble cause, or a useful future vehicle for indoctrination?

There will be those who will scoff. Have you heard of a book called The Water Babies? It's a children's story. It's also an introduction to evolutionary theory. Many old fairy tales contain moral messages. You might think children don't notice and you'd be right, they don't. The programming is subliminal.

There is nothing wrong with instilling morals in children, of course. Doing that through entertainment rather than lecturing is simply making use of a more efficient method of getting the message across.

The trouble is that the medium can contain any message. It can say 'be wary of strangers', it can say 'be kind to others', or it can say 'the government knows what is best for you'.

BookStart, as a charity, would be a good thing. As a quango, it is a dangerous thing. You would think that Philip Pullman, who refused to be CRB-checked for a supervised school visit, would recognise that government control is not necessarily a great thing. You would think that writers would be the first to realise how the written word can be used to persuade with subtlety.

This government caved in to a few authors when they stood up to hundreds of angry smokers and thousands of furious students. Why?

Could someone have explained to them exactly what they stood to lose?

Monday, 27 December 2010


I have here a boxed set of every episode of Steptoe and Son, plus the two Christmas specials. Not the film, fortunately, because that wasn't very good. Thirteen discs, all eight series. From the same person who gave me the entire set of Laurel and Hardy last Christmas. I have a feeling she's trying to keep me out of her way.

So if I seem slow to post or respond over the next few days, that'll be why. I haven't been rounded up and carted off, I'm just watching a dirty old man in black and white and laughing till it hurts.

The one with the snooker table (Pot Black, series 6) I could watch over and over and over.

An addict rambles.

These new patches are much better than the old ones.
(Picture donated anonymously by Email)

Once, years ago, I tried the nicotine patches. It was when I still believed in addiction, before the smoking ban finally proved to me that I wasn't actually addicted at all. I just like smoking. Now I visit the shops and leave my tobacco at home. It isn't vital to have it with me all the time, just as I don't carry a bottle of whisky or a portable espresso machine. It's not an addiction. Never was.

The patches were donated by a friend's mother who gave up on them and went back to smoking. She's now over 70, still active and still smoking. So I had some freebies, I thought I'd give them a go.

They brought me out in a nasty rash so I binned them.

However, tobacco prices kept going up, Man with a Van was still a rare beast and while the ban was still a few years in the future, it was becoming more difficult to find somewhere to smoke. Virgin trains were already entirely non-smoking and GNER had just one yellow-stained carriage for all the smokers to cram into. So I decided to try the gum instead.

It tasted like otter crap steeped in badger urine and formed into shape by forcing it through a fox's anus. There were fruit flavoured versions, which tasted the same except starting with a fruit bat instead of an otter. I persisted because I thought I was addicted to nicotine, therefore as long as I was getting nicotine, I wouldn't need to smoke. You know what the gum did to my perceived nicotine addiction?

It made it worse. Far, far worse. Faced with a long train journey on a non-smoking train, instead of settling back with a book or nodding off for the duration, I was chewing this stuff like a cow that's found a bale of marijuana the other cows haven't noticed yet. My jaw muscles developed a degree of definition that would make a bodybuilder weep. Unfortunately the rest of me would make a bodybuilder laugh, so let's just stick with admiring my Chuck Norris jaw muscles for the moment.

I was getting permanent nicotine intake. No more cigarette-break followed by declining nicotine levels. No more 'Oh well, can't smoke here, have to wait'. No, in went the gum and nom nom nom.

It didn't stop me smoking. At all. It morphed from a stop-smoking aid into 'I can haz nicotine and nobody can see', an additional nicotine intake I was convinced I somehow had to have on hour-long bus journeys and five-hour train journeys which had never previously bothered me. Eventually I remembered that I used to be untroubled by these smokeless periods and wondered what had happened to make the gum so vital. Could I still manage without it? I left the gum at home.

There was an instant improvement. The first bus ride made it clear that not only was the gum not helping, it was making life worse. Not being allowed to smoke tobacco for a few hours was no big deal. The vile gum was some form of self-flagellation, an admission of addiction, a witch's confession. It was a lie. I didn't need a constant infusion of nicotine through the medium of combined animal faeces in chewable form. It wasn't about the nicotine. It was all about the smoke.

The gum went straight in the bin. That addiction vanished in a flash. I have had no cravings on buses and trains, nor in airport waiting rooms, on planes, anywhere. I have not been in the slightest bit tempted to revisit the faecal-flavoured gum no matter how long I am stuck in a non-smoking environment. Because it's not about nicotine at all.

Nicotine does have effects in the brain, that's undeniable. The effects have been measured. Nicotine addiction - that's deniable, and I deny it. I am an Addiction Denier. A Nicotine Heretic. That's a new one. I expect some silly sod will be along to denounce me any minute.

If smoking was simple nicotine addiction, patches and gum would work. They don't work. If it was nicotine addiction, the gum would have accelerated my addiction to the point where I could not go without a chew, no matter how horrible it tasted, whenever I was restricted from actual smoking. I would have had to wean myself off that gum gradually. I didn't. I stopped and went back to not-smoking when there was nowhere to smoke, in just one day.

No cold turkey. No anxiousness. No mood effects. A whole section of my nicotine intake vanished with no effect whatsoever. Therefore it wasn't an addiction. So why was I still smoking?

It turned out to be very simple. I smoke because I like it. If I can't smoke, I don't. Smoking is, for me, an enjoyable thing. A relaxing thing. Not some frantic gotta-get-the-fix hippie frenzy. No, I'll make a coffee or pour a whisky, take my time rolling the cigarette, relax and enjoy both together. I no longer take my tobacco everywhere I go, as I did when I believed I was addicted. There's no point taking it when I go shopping. I no longer stop off at the cafe or the pub while out because smoking and shivering is not an enjoyable combination. I can't smoke inside any of the places I'll visit while out, so there is no point carrying the tobacco. When I get home I am not gibbering for a smoke. I'll deal with the shopping first, make a coffee and then take a seat and roll up a cigarette.

I know, for the antismoker, the very act of lighting the cigarete means they can scream 'Addiction' and use the line 'If you say you can stop, why haven't you?' to which I reply 'Because I enjoy it' and their response? 'Addict!'. There's no way out of a circular argument like that.

Try it on people who have jobs they hate. They don't go to work every day because they enjoy it. They hate doing it, but they do it every day anyway. Call them 'addicts' and see what you get. If you're not addicted, why haven't you given up that job and found another? Or gone self-employed? Or taken a course in your own time to get a qualification in something you enjoy, then change jobs? Why persist with something you hate doing, then call smokers addicts for persisting with something they enjoy doing? Pick the logic out of that one.

At my last wage-slave employment there was a porter who didn't like the job. He took evening classes at college, learned the basics of scientific lab work and moved up to a laboratory assistant's job. He wasn't addicted to misery and he did something about it. It can be done.

Okay, I'm saying smoking is not an addiction. Why then do so many find it so hard to stop? I know many who have stopped, and the most successful at stopping were those who were fed up with it and didn't want to do it any more. They didn't need patches and gum. They just stopped.

Most of those who fail to quit are those who still enjoy smoking. They aren't trying to stop because they're bored with it. They are trying to stop to save money, or because they believe it's killing them, or because they want a job somewhere that doesn't employ smokers, or because they have been ordered to stop by doctors, or because they have been harassed and bullied into it by ASH and their MP lackeys, or a host of other reasons except one. They are not actually trying to stop because they don't want to smoke any more. That is the only reason missing and it's the only one that works.

There is another set. Those who don't want to smoke any more but persist because they believe they are addicted. Psychosomatic effects can be very powerful. People have worried themselves into real physical symptoms where there is no disease, so setting up a purely psychological withdrawal scenario is easy.

So, convince a smoker they are addicted and you have control over them. They cannot stop smoking, even if they really want to, without your expensive help. Tell them the symptoms they will experience and they will experience exactly those symptoms. Tell them it's all about the nicotine and in these few cases, the patches and gum will work.

These are people who wanted to stop but believed they would suffer withdrawal. Given a patch or gum which they believe will stop them feeling withdrawal, they stop smoking - but in some cases they might be 'addicted' to the NRT. They are not, but they believe they are and that's good enough for the Pharmers. Hey, it worked for the tobacco industry, it'll work for them too.

Let's take something wildly bizarre. Suppose your hobby was puppy-strangling. You find nothing more relaxing than a cup of tea, a box of puppies and a garotte. Now, that hobby is unlikely to be socially acceptable. You wouldn't be surprised to find pubs and restaurants putting up signs saying 'no puppy-strangling' and if you went outside for a quick strangle, you'd expect passers-by to be disgusted with you. Eventually you decide that the social ostracisation is too much and you're going to stop strangling puppies. You try to wean yourself off it with kittens and budgies and mice but it's just not the same. Finally you stop, but not because you wanted to.

Then one day, you pass a pet shop next to a garotte shop and think 'One won't hurt'.

Are you addicted to puppy-strangling just because you enjoy it? Or are you slipping back because your reasons for stopping were the wrong ones? You didn't stop because you were fed up of strangling puppies. You stopped because society pressured you into stopping. They didn't approve of you and you went along with their demands. You didn't even notice the resentment building within yourself.

Without exception, those I know who have sucessfully stopped smoking and stayed off the baccy were those who just stopped. Just like that. They didn't want to do it any more. I know an ex pipe-smoker who picked up his pipe one day and said 'Nah, can't be arsed' and he never picked it up again. Several cigarette smokers who said 'It's not fun any more' and stopped. No patches, no gum, no books, no courses. No withdrawal symptoms, no mood swings, no cravings. They stopped because they wanted to.

The same is true of puppy-stranglers. Those who get bored with it just stop. Those pressured into stopping always relapse. Now that puppies can only be bought in packs of 20, come tattooed with warnings such as 'If you get your fingers caught, don't come crying to us' or 'Protect children: make sure it's furry and goes 'woof' before you strangle it', now they are all grey and sold under the counter, they are something surreptitious and naughty. You'll buy a box of puppies, take them home and sneak them out to the Strangly-Drinky in the shed.

Why? Because it was fun before and now that it's banned it's twice as much fun. The only one who can stop you smoking or puppy-strangling is you. Big Pharma won't help and don't want to.

Big Pharma gain from the addiction story. If you believe it's nicotine addiction you won't be able to stop even if you're not enjoying smoking any more. You'll keep buying patches and gum and keep falling back to smoking because you think it's a nicotine addiction. It's not but as long as you believe it is, you'll be suckered into buying NRT that does not and cannot work. Alternatively, you will fulfil Big Pharma's dream and become addicted to their product instead.

ASH gain from the addiction story because if you don't need their patronising smug version of 'help' then they are out of a job. The government gain from the addiction story because if you keep doing something long after you've become bored with it, you're still paying duty on it. Tobacco companies gain because... well duh.

Everyone involved gains from telling you you're addicted to nicotine. Whether they are selling you the stuff or trying to stop you smoking it, their continued existence depends on you believing absolutely that you are addicted. That's why their drones are trained to scream 'addict' at you.

I've read Allen Carr's 'Easyway' book. It has a success rate over 50% but ASH don't like it. Why? Because Carr didn't donate money to ASH and he was wiping out their addict base. Again, Carr's book talks of addiction but you'll find in there a passage where he tried to start smoking again to see if his method would work on a relapsed smoker. He couldn't start again. He didn't enjoy it.

Well, we're not supposed to be enjoying it. We're supposed to be slavishly addicted to it. One cigarette causes addiction, isn't that the mantra? So how come Carr couldn't restart on the grounds of not enjoying it?

Carr's success rate was down to his method being voluntary. People went to him because they wanted to stop. The NHS success rate is paltry because they push people into stopping. They are forcing people to stop doing something they don't want to stop doing.

The NHS are now giving away free iPods loaded with music to patients, to help them recover. I don't know what that costs but I bet it's in the range of hundreds per patient. For smokers, they are giving away patches that don't work. For less than half the cost of those iPods they could give away starter sets of Electrofag which feels like smoking.

No, it won't work for everyone but the antismokers miss the point. It is not about the nicotine. It is not an addiction. Decaffeinated coffee sells well because coffee drinking is relaxing. The caffeine is a buzz but it's not the principal aspect of the thing. Drinking the coffee is the main thing.

Likewise with smoking. The nicotine is the buzz, but the smoking is the enjoyable part. Electrofag is close to real smoking, without the ash and the nasty parts of the smoke. It doesn't have the heat and the full flavour but that could come with development.

We have Electrofag which emulates smoking to the point where you can sit back and blow smoke rings. Except it's not smoke, it's steam. No particulates, no potential carcinogens, no 700 (or whatever the made up number is now) chemicals, just nicotine, flavouring and steam. Sometimes just flavouring and steam. Loads of smokers have switched partially or entirely to Electrofag and what do the antismokers do?

They try to ban it.

If they were concerned about health they would be delighted. If they believed in nicotine addiction they'd be delighted. At a stroke, they could get many 'addicts' onto tobacco's methadone for far less cost than giving people pretty tunes to cure their ills. Instead of their Shamanistic belief in modern chanting to cure disease they could provide something that actually works.

They are not concerned about health. They are concerned about money. If 50% of smokers went over to Electrofag tomorrow, that massive duty take would also be cut by 50%. If all smokers went over to half Electrofag and half tobacco, again there would be a 50% loss in tax and we are talking in billions here.

As long as smokers believe they are addicted to nicotine, the Rash Patch and the Poo Chew will carry on being passed around by an NHS who knows it doesn't work and who, like their Pharma masters, don't want it to.

Smokers could all stop tomorrow. We really could, if we could get this 'addiction' nonsense out of everyone's head. That would ruin the Treasury. Even if every smoker decided not to smoke for one week, the effect would be huge.

We have to believe we are addicted because that is what keeps the whole gravy train rolling, from the tobacco companies through ASH and the Pharmers, through all those smoking cessation officers and departments, to the Treasury. There are a lot of people and a lot of money in this and it all hinges on smokers believing they are nicotine addicts. You know, if you added them all up, I wouldn't be surprised to find that the antismoking industry employs more people than there are smokers.

How to convince smokers they are not addicted? It won't be easy. They hear it from their doctors and their MPs and from 'experts' who tell them there are 700 chemicals in a cigarette without pointing out that if there are 700 chemicals in one cigarette, there can't be very much of any of them. They will place those as having higher authority than the bloke in the pub.

If the NHS really wanted to help people stop, they would play down the addiction story. They would tell you that stopping is just a matter of not doing it any more. Instead they hype it up until you believe you will pass through the very fires of Hell after stubbing out your last one. That approach almost guarantees the smoker will fail. Those feelings of nervousness and twitchiness and irritability are not caused by lack of nicotine. They are your mind's response to being convinced that you are about to suffer terribly from something you can't quite identify. The whole smoking-cessation industry is designed to fail. It is designed to keep its staff employed and to do that it needs smokers to keep smoking.

If ASH were really interested in stopping people smoking, they would be promoting Electrofag as a non-smoke alternative. They would be telling pubs and clube that Electrofag doesn't break the ban because then, smokers would return to the pubs in lousy weather and use Electrofag. Even if they don't stop tobacco use, they'll cut down. The pubs would be lively again too. Instead, ASH promote the patches and gum.

If I ever stop smoking, I am not likely to go back to the pub. For me, the two go together so if I gave up smoking I'd most likely lose interest in the pub part of the experience too. As it is, those two halves have been forcibly separated so I've replaced the pub half with smoky-drinky evenings. Because I'm addicted? Most of those who say that have never smoked, you know.

I say it's because I enjoy it. Smoking outside a pub is not enjoyable so I won't do it. If I don't have time or I am in a place where it's not allowed, or where it wouldn't be enjoyable, I don't smoke. No fidgeting, no irritability, no panic attacks. If smoking itself ceases to be enjoyable, then I will stop.

This one has rambled somewhat out of control. I suppose the bottom line is that if you smoke, don't want to any more and can't stop because you believe you will go through hell, you have been lied to. By all sides, because all sides profit from the addiction story.

The only ones who don't are the smokers.

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Goodwill to all men and even to one or two MPs.

I now have three more places to be deranged in. Aside from Old Holborn and English Secession, where I have had little time to say anything lately, I am now also a guest contributor at Fausty's place. Nothing there from me yet, but it's early days.

In the New Year I'll ramp up the bile here and elsewhere. Past efforts have always been 'post it here, repost elsewhere' but that's no fun. These other blogs have aims that don't exactly match mine. None are as rampant about smoking, for one thing. OH might agree with me on the lovely head-blasting effects of booze but maybe not to the levels I take it. If George Best had my liver for transplant he'd have been worse off. I have heard my liver scream and have been banned by crematoria in case they can't put the fire out.

For now, it's Christmas and I'm not going to spoil it for anyone by ranting about stuff.

Merry Christmas to one and all, and I hope you're all as tanked as me.

Don't worry about your liver. It grows back. As long as you give it time.

Saturday, 25 December 2010

A day off for the Grinch.

Tonight I am a tad tipsy so I ask for a little leeway on the spelling and grammar.

Fortunately I don't get maudlin tipsy. I get giggle tipsy. So when I hear that Thermos flasks are now the weapons of mass dreary tea, I can only think of Dwayne Dibley.

For this one day, I am not going to get worked up about anything at all. I'm going to visit YouTube and seek out the funny and the bizarre and just laugh the night away.

Normal misery will resume, far sooner than I would like.

Friday, 24 December 2010

Chingle all ze vay.

Apparently old Adolf was fond of a bit of Christmas cheer and had huge parties every year. Imagine the invitations:

You vill attend mein party und you vill enjoy it. If you do not, you vill enjoy ze Eastern front in ze New Year.

You vill respond.


If proof were still needed that here was a man madder than a bag of badgers, this is how he reconciled his hatred of religion with his desire to still have an annual knees-up.

Hitler believed religion had no place in his 1,000-year Reich, so he replaced the Christian figure of Saint Nicholas with the Norse god Odin and urged Germans to celebrate the season as a holiday of the ‘winter solstice’, rather than Christmas.

So in order to remove all trace of religion from Christmas, he extracted the one religion it actually belongs to and replaced it with two religions - one of which predated Christianity, the other of which was not related to Christmas at all. Righteous backfiring, unintended consequence and general stupidity is not a new phenomenon.

This diminutive dictator believed the future belonged to the Aryan race: tall, athletic and blonde. He was short, dark-haired and weedy. How much of a cretin do you have to be in order to work like a demon for a future which specifically excludes you or your family? He denied any Christian connection with Christmas while gassing Jehovah's Witnesses who also deny any Christian connection with Christmas. Agreeing with him was no guarantee of safety.

Banning Christmas. Banning smoking. The invention of second hand smoke. A draconian Green agenda. A hatred of Christianity while accepting any other religion, especially (in his case) the one that included runes and getting up early to watch the sun rise while sacrificing a virgin and being generally unpleasant to all and sundry.

That was Hitler's thousand year reich. I thought we had defeated it.

Still, he hasn't won. Even back then he had to cope with dissent among the drones.

But while many Germans baked biscuits and cakes in the shape of swastikas and adorned their trees with the symbols of the Nazi regime, most still called the festival Christmas.

You can insist on Winterval or Winter Lights or any of the rest of it. Most still call it Christmas even now and that is not going to change. Hitler's followers are still here, of course they are. They were there before Hitler was born. The snide and the spiteful have always existed and always believed themselves Righteous. They now follow doctrines we attribute to Hitler while insisting Churchill was really a prototype for Bernard Manning, but the underlying philosophy has never changed.

Hitler was nuts. All those who worship him will be offended but then I am an equal opportunities offensive little git. This man was a strawman. He wasn't what he's painted. Just a weedy idiot with a big ego and a little moustache and a few stupid ideas.

Left to himself, he would have ended up as one of those rag-clad gibbering drunks shouting 'I vos once ein Contender. I could have been zomebody'. The Righteous found him and thought 'Great. He's completely crazy and gullible enough to control'. That's the thing about big egos. They really are easy to control. Something I have used to great effect in more than one admin department. Push the right buttons and your paperwork gets to the top of the pile every time.

The Hand of the Righteous is clear in little Adolf's insistence on the Aryan race, for one thing. He employed Limpy Goebbels and Fat Boy Goering and yet his ideal was exactly the opposite. He wanted perfect health for ze entire Vorld, a shout that still echoes down the ages and is still shouted by hideously deformed gnomes and blimps with legs. He envisaged a world in which he, and most of his staff, should be the first into the euthanasia cabinets even though he sent fitter and healthier people into those chambers while employing those with body shapes he despised.

He demanded a Green future and ecological Utopia while building the biggest engines and guns the world had ever seen. His regime invented rocket-powered planes and bombs for the good of the planet. He built guns that could only be used if mounted on rails. To him, as to those who still follow the Righteous path, lifestyle restrictions apply to others. Do as I say, not as I do, is the oldest instruction in the world.

One of the best unintended consequences was when he decided Einstein was gas-chamber fodder, which meant Einstein (being pretty clever and seeing this coming) buggered off quick and gave his ideas to someone else. If Adolf hadn't been such an utter twat, he could have had that nuclear bomb first. It's pretty much standard for Righteous plans though. They always manage to balls it up.

What the Righteous have never learned is that the lunatics they take on as front-men for their agenda are impossible to control. Hitler soon believed in his own imagined invulnerability and the latest Righteous pets are starting to believe the same thing. History repeats itself to the degree that future history students will be given a 20-page book and told to read it fifty times. It's just the same thing over and over.

Hitler had no redeeming features. There was nothing to like about him at all. He was a deranged dwarf with an ego that could account for most of the dark matter mass of the universe. A self-important, arrogant, opinionated little git with almost as much humanity as gravel.

He wasn't running the show. That does not excuse him, he fronted it and agreed with it but he wasn't running it. Just as our current leaders aren't running the show either. Hitler didn't win but those who kept him as a pet are still here and still striving for a world of spite and malice.

They always have been and always will be. These people want to control everything by central diktat and form a world of clones who will behave as directed.

Fortunately, they are not very bright. They always, always, balls up everything they try to do.

So don't get too worried. Sometimes they gain ascendancy but they fall apart every time.

It's all falling apart now. Get some popcorn in. And ridicule them, it hurts them more than anything else. All of them.

Anyone going carol-singing? Have a few starters -


Good king Monbiot looked out
At the Global Warming
As the snow lay all about
He declared a warning

"This is all anomalous
Frost is an illusion
Fire is just no good for us
Wait till we have fu-u-sion".


Away with the windmills
No wind for to turn
Heat prices increasing
Old grandad we burn.


Deck the halls with blood and bodies,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.
Time to show Islamic folly,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.

Don we now exploding undies,
Fa la la, la la la, la la la.
Book a flight with Aero Fundies,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.


Light up merrily on high,
In heav'n the ashtray's filling:
Light up, blow smoke to the sky
And watch the antis falling.
De--hehehehe, De--hehehehe, De-hehehehe De--borah,
Arnott is apoplectic!


God rest miserable BMJ
Let nothing you cheer up
The smokers, we are all still here
You really have screwed up
You tried to exercise your power
We just bought more ashtrays
O we all met Man with a Van,
Man with a Van,
O we all met Man with a Van


Hark the drunken bastards sing
"Huey" to the porcelain ring!
Pee in bushes, almost blind
Topple over, they don't mind.
Harmless, goggle-eyed, they smile
While Shenker develops piles
Then to government proclaims:
"Deal with them, they have no shame"
Hark the drunken bastards sing
"Huey" to the porcelain ring!


O Come All Ye Porn Stars

... I'll get me coat...

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Equality imbalance.

There was once a wench with a conviction. It might have been a good conviction, or a bad one, or an irrelevant one, but to her it was extremely serious. She objected to gay 'marriage', actually referred to as civil partnership. Well, normally that's no problem. I object to the Dreadful Arnott and the Damn Shenker producing CO2 by breathing but my objections won't change anything.

The thing is, this particular wench was a registrar, responsible for the non-religious form of marriage-type union, and well, she didn't like it. She was hounded and bullied for not liking something she didn't like.

I have no issue with gay partnerships, nor with straight ones. Nobody can stand more than an hour or two of me so partnerships are not my area of expertise. I also make no judgement on religion. They might be right, but Pascal's wager won't work. It's no good pretending to believe 'just in case'. Either you believe or you don't. If there is no God, it's a waste of time. If there is, he'll know you were faking. Do or do not. There is no 'try'. A little wizened guy said that once, which means ugly + short = smart. I can go along with that.

More recently, someone who felt that abortion was against their beliefs was hammered for pointing out what are, in fact, some genuine risks associated with the procedure. Then there was a young girl prosecuted for 'inciting religious hatred' because she burned a Q'ran which was hers and put it on YouTube.

And yet nobody is arrested, charged with God Crime or hounded and bullied as a result of this. That's Harman Equality in action.

Therefore it is my duty to reach into the Equality Darkness at the edge of Politically Correct Town and bring forth something offensive to the maximum number of players in this particular game.

Enjoy. Be offended, one and all, and rejoice in nondisriminatory derision.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

The Junican Game.

I accept no responsibility for sprayed monitors or keyboards, or nasally-snorted beverages. Yes. It's one of those.

This is how the antismokers think of us. To them, we are all agents of the tobacco industry and we are determined to force everyone to smoke. We are the Marlborg. Resistance is futile. You will be fumigated. Smokefree is irrelevant.

Why do they think that? The truth is that we smokers are not interested in recruiting anyone because there is nothing to recruit anyone into. We are not interested in persuading anyone to smoke. Why would we? There is nothing in it for us. We gain nothing if someone else starts smoking, we lose nothing if they don't, we don't even lose anything if a current smoker decides they don't want to do it any more and stops. It is an individual choice and one in which your choices don't affect mine, and vice versa. If you plan to shout 'Second hand smoke' or 'It's all nasty and smelly' at this point, you should know that you have wandered deep into enemy territory and might want to consider shutting the hell up.

We didn't complain if a pub went smokefree before the ban. We just went to a different pub. It was no problem at all. We certainly didn't demand that the smokefree pub allow smoking so we could go there as well as the smoky pub. Antismokers will argue that that is exactly what smokers demand. Well, yes, we demand it now but that's because there is no longer an alternative pub for us. Not one. We can no longer exercise choice, and neither can the landlords of those pubs. The ones that are left.

The truth is, the antismokers think the smoker mindset involves forcing others to live as they do because that is the only mindset they can conceive of. The idea that people with different lifestyles can coexist, that there could be smoking and nonsmoking pubs, is impossible in their minds. Everyone must be the same. Everyone is the same, to them, and deviance from sameness is evil.

I wonder what they think happens when someone opens their first pack of cigarettes? America's General Sawbones has already stated they will die with one puff. (Don't anyone get all Julian Clary over that one, now) Soon they will die when they open the pack and inhale the aroma. Eventually we will be told that picking through the plastic and opening the pack will make this guy turn up with his gang of Nicobites:

"You opened the box. We came."

Well, it's no more ludicrous than most of the claims and actually less ludicrous than some. The antismokers could use that picture as a warning (smoking will make nails grow out of your head, and I wish I had the time and skill to replace every nail with a cigarette) but that's more in the style of the Church of Climatology. 'Do as we say or we'll come after you with a nailgun' is their speciality.

The smokophobes prefer to sneer and to try to be superior. They think we actually believe they had spotted Junican's trap before they fell into it. They think we actually believe they saw his message that spelled 'propaganda' before they trolled the blogs to find out who he was. The smugness oozed from them as they published his full name, knowing full well it was an invitation to the more radical of their lunatic fringe - and that's the lunatic fringe of a lunatic fringe, remember - to get their spite glands fully loaded and Righteously act like utter twats. The smokophobes are evil and stupid.

Therefore I invite them all (yes you too, BMJ) to take and use the following images as warnings on the cigarette packets. Go on. There's no charge. The tobacco industry pays me nothing and neither will you.

WARNING: NHS tracheotomy doctors learn their craft from watching Blue Peter.

WARNING: Smoking is an addiction that always escalates to the direct application of nicotine to the eye.

WARNING: Smoking can make you look almost as bad as a fake doctor with an obsession for looking at poo.

WARNING: This man smoked, and just look what happened to him.

How many smokophobes looked at those and thought 'Ooo, that's a good idea' at one or two, I wonder? Quite a few, because even though I have tried to reach into the abyss of absurdity I cannot reach as far as them. The Lefties will pounce on that last one as a brilliant idea, even though it's just going to make the less-bright think 'Really? If I smoke I can be Prime Monster?' They don't understand humour. They think they are good at sarcasm but there is a world of difference between sarcastic and snide. Really, we are not fighting the cream of the IQ bottle here. We know it, they don't.

Junican flew through their defences with unnoticed jibes and with a suggestion designed to be utterly impractical but just draconian enough to be credible. The BMJ responded with 'a few tobacco promoters tipped the balance' when Junican's suggestion reached 70% of the vote thanks to his friends and acquaintances, while the next score was 9% because these people have no friends. Now they have to award the prize, and I hope it's printed on rolling paper.

I think we should all follow Junican's example. Invent a new persona and give them ideas. The more insane and deranged the better. Junican has shown that they will accept any and all crazed notions without question as long as they think it makes smokers suffer, even if it only makes smokers laugh.

It is cruel to torment them, but it's just too much fun to resist.

The Art of the Smoke War.

Congratulations are in order to Junican, who has won the BMJ's prize of a year's subscription to Smoker-Bashing Monthly.

The BMJ still don't get it. They call us 'pro-tobacco blogs' but that is not what we are. We're just smokers. We are not 'pro tobacco'. We are 'pro being left the hell alone'. We have no interest in turning non-smokers into smokers like some kind of yellow-fingered vampires or Marlborg Collective.

I've just had an image of the Marlboro Cowboy with one of those Borg arms, which includes an ashtray, a rolling machine and a lighter. Must find time to fire up Paint Shop later. 'Come to Marlboro Country. Resistance is futile'.

No, we aren't interested in 'recruits'. We are not interested in making everyone live their lives the way we choose to. We are not interested in forcing non-smokers to smoke, we are not even interested in forcing them to be anywhere near us while we smoke, despite the smokophobe insistence that 'we want to smoke everywhere'. We don't want access to your house so we can blow smoke into your child's cot. We don't want all of the train or all of the bus or all of the pubs and restaurants. Smokers are around 20-25% of the population. How about 20-25% of the pubs, train carriages etc? No? Of course not. That would be letting the Untermensch think they might actually be human and the spiteful smokophobes could never stomach that.

Smokers are not the ones demanding compliance and demanding you live your lives as instructed. We are the opposite of that. We are, in fact, fighting that.

Nobody pays us to get all frothy-mouthed and wild-eyed about the medical profession, which seems to have amended the Hippocratic Oath with the words 'except smokers, drinkers and fat people', which tells us all our NI payments were in vain, it was just a protection racket after all, and that they will stand by and watch us die unless we live our lives as they dictate. We don't need to be paid to be angry about that, as a moment's reflection should make clear to anyone with half a brain.

I can only suggest that each member of the BMJ select a brain from their formalin-pickled collection and have it installed in place of their own. It is certain to be in better working order than what they have now and, unless they have Hitler or Stalin in their collection, it could not possibly be more vicious.

Should I ever require the attention of a doctor, and be ordered to assimilate or be left to die, he/she (and everyone within bellowing range) is going to hear about the Hippocratic Oath and how modern medicine has abandoned it, along with all pretence of scientific enquiry, in preference to witchcraft and hyperbole and outright lies.

I bet I'll never be able to get an appointment once they read this. But then what would be the point? I could go in there with erysipelas and it would be classed as smoking related. I'd be better off with a homeopath or an acupuncturist or even a man in a big mask with bells on his ankles who shakes a gourd full of dried peas at me and howls. The modern medical profession is now so bound up with smoking, drinking and waist size that they have forgotten the existence of bacteria and viruses. Smoking causing inner ear infections? Would you trust any oaf who believed that kind of nonsense with something as complex and potentially dangerous as cancer treatment? No, go for the gourd and dried peas guy. At least he won't give you a suicide pill to shut you up.

He also won't demand you pay for his services in advance, under threat of force, and then tell you to get lost when you need those services because you aren't wearing the right kind of hat.

So, can anything legal be done about this dismissal of the medical oath? Probably not. It's been changed so many times that it's not what we thought it was any more.

Perhaps the most drastic change to the Hippocratic Oath is this: it has degenerated over the ages from a solemn binding treaty where the physician takes full responsibility for his conduct to a meaningless formal adherence to tradition where doctors no longer have to worry about deities striking them down for malpractice (let alone being penalised for deviance from the oath).

It doesn't mean anything any more. If they want to watch you die, they can, and then they can say it was your own fault for smoking/drinking/eating or wearing the wrong kind of hat. We can't use that against them in law, but we can use it in public. The medics might have abandoned their original oath but the public think it still matters.

Legal redress might, however, be possible through NI contributions. These, we are told (yes, I know it's a lie and it's really just another income tax) are collected from us - by force - to pay for our pensions and for any future NHS treatment we might need. Fighting on the tobacco tax won't work. That's just tax. National Insurance, we are led to believe, is specifically to pay for pensions and NHS. Almost everyone in the country thinks that's true.

So, if we are forced to pay this - we'll go to jail if we don't - but when the time comes when we need to use the service we've paid, for, we are told we can't, then we have a case. It's simple extortion. A protection racket. Pay up or we'll beat you up, but don't ever try to make a claim.

Keep in mind that our opponents have no interest in being truthful. They are not under an illusion, they know they are lying and they know it's a propaganda war. Smokers keep responding with facts, but facts are dull. Stories are more interesting because all they need is plausibility, not truth. Try this one. Stories can be filled with sensational claims that capture the imagination. When you get into the statistics and the original research, you can root out the lies, but few will wade through a scientific paper. They are deadly dull. I've written a few myself and the rules are the precise opposite of those for writing stories. They must be impersonal, detached and passive. Facts only, and dry, non-excitable discussion. Well, the antismokers get a bye on facts but real scientists don't.

We need more than the truth. We need imaginative propaganda. We also need to be utterly merciless. Forget the tobacco companies, we'll get no help from them. They don't care how much they are fined, they just pass the costs on to us. Far from being paid by them, we are paying their fines for them. The bastards who rely on us for their income have abandoned us, which is why I am buying seeds in the Spring.

So, let's make the point on blogs and message boards and newspaper articles that denying treatment to specific groups because of lifestyle choices violates the Hippocratic Oath. Keep doing that, and sooner or later, one of their idiot drones will reveal that the Hippocratic Oath has been abandoned. That will have far more effect. If we say it, they'll scoff. It will take a reveal from one of their own to do it. We can force that to happen.

The same thing with NI. Pick and pick at it and sooner or later, one of those the lower drones trust will reveal that NI does not pay for anything specific, it's just another income tax. We can force that too.

Not so much in blogland, where few tread. In the pages of the Express or the Telegraph or better yet, in the high blood pressure world of the Daily Mail. If it can be made to happen in the Guardian, well there'll be a collective intake of breath from the tax-avoiding lefties on there because they already know all this and we're not supposed to tell anyone.

If we can get someone like the BMJ to confess that the Hippocratic Oath no longer carries any penalty for letting patients die for fun, or that NI doesn't pay for NHS treatment but is just more income tax, it will carry far more weight with the sheeple than anything we could ever say.

The enemy has no sense of humour and no sense of irony, but has an absolute sense of superiority. We can make them reveal the truth by letting them be superior because they think it will make them look clever.

They are dogmatic. They believe themselves to be absolutely in the right. 'The science is settled' is their line. They are cast iron. Banging your head on cast iron only achieves a sore head.

Try bending it, slowly, and what happens?

Monday, 20 December 2010

The omen.

For those who like superstition, here's a bit of fun:

There is a total lunar eclipse starting at around 6:30 am tomorrow morning. The moon will be low in the sky and will still be in eclipse when the sun comes up. Unusual in itself, but it also happens on the Winter Solstice. The last time that all happened together was in 1638.

Four years afterwards, all this kicked off. It didn't just happen, it had been building for a while. Arrested MPs, witch finders, rioting and finally civil war in 1642. Plague everywhere. The king was called Charles, so let's wish Mrs. Queen the best of health for as long as possible. Four years at the very least.

Of course, it's all just superstitious nonsense. All coincidence.

Nothing to worry about.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Bread (and milk) and circuses.

Okay, how does this work?

1) Retailers complain that the snow is keeping customers away.

2) Shop shelves are empty because of panic buying.

I could understand if they were in different newspapers, but no. These are both in the same newspaper. In the same article.

Come on now, newsmen. You can't have conflicting scare stories running simultaneously. Pick one and stick with it.

Besides, an old cynic like me can see alternative explanations for these scares. Many people are waiting for stuff they've ordered online - including me - and we all know that the post office vans wait around the corner until they are certain you are either out or in the shower.

So, do you take the risk that the Christmas stuff won't come in time or head to the shops and risk finding that 'We tried to deliver while you were out because it's more fun that way, ha-ha' card on the doormat? Personally I take the line that the present is the same whether handed over before or after Christmas so sod it. It's not as if there's any real significance in the handing over of presents anyway, for most of us. (Just call me Ebenezer. Everyone does at this time of year).

As for the panic buying - bread and milk? If I thought I was in danger of being snowed in for weeks, I'd stock up on dried and canned foods. Rice, pasta, stuff that keeps for ages. That way, if I'm not snowed in after all, I haven't wasted loads of money filling my freezer with stuff that's still available. The canned and dried goods will be happy at room temperature in a cupboard and will get used eventually, and I won't have to ruin my tea by dropping a chunk of frozen milk into it.

Why do people always go for the bread and milk? I suspect it's because the newspapers tell them to. There was a day recently when the local supermarket shelves were almost breadless but they were full again the next day. Pasta and rice? Fully stocked shelves throughout. Likewise, there was no shortage of anything canned or frozen.

If I was a supermarket owner, I'd want to shift the perishables quickly. No hurry on the long-lasting stuff, they have use-by dates far in the future. No, the ones to move are the short shelf-life ones. Like bread and milk.

If I was unscrupulous, I might look at the snow and think 'Oho, what if people thought the bread and milk were likely to run out? What if we're a bit slow at restocking the shelves for a day or so, to make them look bare? That would get a load of stuff off our hands and we wouldn't have to mark so much of it down for a while.'

But then I'm not a supermarket owner. I also don't have a freezer full of bread and milk because they aren't essential to me. So it's only an observation.

These scare stories aren't really scary. So the post is delayed and Christmas presents will have to be New Year presents instead. It's not a big issue, really. So people spend less on junk they don't need this year. I fail to see why that's a bad thing. So you can't get milk or bread for a day or two. There are other things to eat. Milk and bread will be back.

There is mass panic over these trivia, and people don't even seem to notice the paradox inherent in 'people can't get to shops but the shops are running out because people are buying it all'.

Yet tell them you plan to add a switch to the Internet to control what they can and cannot see, tell them it's 'for the cheeeldren', and they meekly accept. They really, genuinely believe that it's only to control porn sites. They could, of course, simply not go to those sites or install software that stops their children accessing them, but no. Nanny must do it for them. Then, when Wikilieaks disappears, they'll assume it's shut down. When all opposing views to any government program fail to appear, they'll assume everyone must think it's okay and that they are odd for not liking it very much.

The loss of pubs and other social gathering-places means that for many, the internet is now their principal contact with the wider world. We are being closed into individual boxes and fed through a pipe. At the moment, we can see out through the pipe but all it would take is one little bend...

...and there are many who will then accept all that comes down the pipe, secure in the knowledge that Nanny is hiding anything that might alarm them. If it doesn't come down the pipe, it doesn't exist.

The pipe is already bending. Riots in Rome and Athens and elsewhere took a long time to reach the media outlets that reported it. YouTube had the news faster. The pictures of Ice-Age-like frozen statues in Rome or the lighthouse encased in ice in America drift in as pretty pictures, not real stories. The real story is global warming. Frozen fountains in Rome are just another circus act, no more evidence than the lion-tamer. The coldest winter in a century is 'weather' while dodgy temperature records going back thirty years are 'climate'. Doublethink. Go on, give it a try. Dozens of total cretins can't be wrong.

The real danger of Wikileaks is not in its philandering boss, nor in the trivial gossip it has published lately. No, the real danger is the idea. If Julian Assange takes one last walk in the woods, then another will step forward. And then another. Some of them might be able to make even better use of the idea. They might be even better at publicising its existence. That can't be stopped.

What can be stopped is your ability to access it. That can be very easily stopped.

The anti-filth filters don't block web addresses. They block content. So any flash of flesh can be detected and you'll get a wagging finger and a voice saying 'Naughty' on your monitor. Those who are delighted to support this are missing the key word. Content.

It blocks content. Therefore it can be set to block any form of content. Someone wants to publish the latest government deviousness? Set filters to 'stun'. Now you can't see it, and you get the same screen so what do you assume? 'That link must have been a lie, it's porn spam'.


The best part? If you want, you can phone in and have the filters taken off. But they are officially only filtering porn. Therefore if you want the filter turned off, you've just set yourself up as an easy target because there is, on record, a request from you for access to porno filth and depravity. As the sheeple have been conditioned to know, if you're into granny sex you are also into child sex. Therefore it is legitimate to impound your computer, load some child porn onto it and send you to the stripy hole where Sweaty Bob McVaseline will plug into places no USB device has plugged before. Well, not that I know of, but I don't hang around with the sort of people who have a USB fetish.

Even then, you only get the porn filters turned off. Just the first layer. You'll still have to fight those set to block other content. If you succeed, well then the above scenario will deal with you before dawn.

And yet what are people getting worked up about? Bread, milk and the latest netbook or Kindle or iWant or some toy that looks like a robot but does none of the things shown on TV or 3D TV that will make you vomit or anything that can be remotely controlled - and not necessarily by you.

The Queen's head possibly being removed from stamps is a distraction. So we'll get EU stamps, so what? It'll cost us the same to post stuff and it'll still be scanned on the way just the same. I'm very much against having our postal system taken over by the Germans because we risk getting stamps with a Heinkel He111 on them and the word 'Nyah' under it. Even so, it's a distraction.

Buried in the news is the dismantling of our police force. We have been trained not to trust them so we'll all go 'Great, the little buggers deserve it' and that is entirely the wrong reaction. The ACPO will still be there but they achieve nothing. Front line officers will be cut.

Okay, if you're reading this then porn and games are not your only Internet interests. You will be aware of the riots all over the place, including in London and other UK cities. You will also be aware that this is going to get worse. So why are the Coagulation cutting front line policing? It seems obvious that when more and deeper trouble is inevitable, the services you need to boost rather than cut are police, fire and ambulance. Yes?

Well, if you're worried about stamps, this will give you a heart attack. If the UK police are short handed when the fan/faeces interface occurs, where will they get reinforcements? From the EU. Have you experienced French police? None of this 'minimum damage' crap with them. Tear gas, water cannon, whack the buggers and then arrest what's left.

Yes, this is the country that invented stamps but this is also the country that invented centrally-funded police. EU history does not like that. The EU must be the inventors of all things, including tarmac, the pneumatic tyre and the steam engine. They can't claim to be creators of the planet because even the dimwits who like them won't believe they could get as far as what shape it should be in six days. Or even in six billion years. The British are a pain because they keep thinking up new things instead of sitting around pavement cafes drinking latte and saying 'How am I zupposed to Create wiz so many deestractions?'

I mean, are bread and milk really the only things worth getting frantic over?

For most people, it seems so.

Small time sinner.

But working on it.

The Church regards gambling as a sin. I don't gamble, not for any religious reason but because I'm no good at it. I cannot recall any mention of gambling as sinful in the Bible.

Smoking is also not mentioned at all in the Bible. Drink is mentioned, as in turning water into wine and Noah getting plastered when the Ark hit land, and who could blame him? Drinking isn't banned, only drunkenness is frowned on.

Adultery, yes, there is a very specific commandment about that. And killing, and stealing, and coveting. Definite rules there. Gambling though? Smoking? No mention as far as I know.

There are seven deadly sins. Lust, avarice, gluttony, pride, anger, sloth and the other one. Well, it's late. Few of these feature in biblical texts, they were made up by the Catholics to boost the guilt levels of their population.

One thing that is very clear in the Bible is that God doesn't like gays. On the first set of stone tablets that Moses smashed, it didn't say 'No graven images'. That was added later to replace the 'No poofters' line. Oh, this is no bull, not even a golden one. All through the Bible there are places where it says 'You're not welcome' to gays, to the extent that I have been frequently baffled as to why anyone gay wants to join any religion that says, quite clearly, it doesn't want them. Certain other religions are even more restrictive in this regard, you know.

So when a Christian preacher says that homosexuality is a sin, he is saying what he genuinely believes. I don't have to agree because I am neither homosexual nor Christian so neither standpoint affects me at all. All the same, he believes it and to my mind, he can say what he believes. Nobody is forced to listen. He is not saying 'push a wall on top of them' or 'throw them off a mountain', he is just saying he believes it to be sinful in the eyes of his God. Having read that book, yes, that's definitely what it says in there. More than once.

This man did not call for any hatred or violence against gays. He merely said that in his view it was sinful. He does not want them hanged from cranes or buried under rubble, he just wants gays to go straight.

Well that's not going to happen. Even so, all he's saying is that he'd like it to happen. I'd like booze and tobacco to be handed out for free but that's not going to happen. I'd like to have a government instead of an EU admin department but that's not very likely either. It is not wrong to wish for those things, as long as the wishing is words and not violent action. Nowhere in the Bible does it say 'Thou shalt not think' although there is legislation in parliament to that effect, and it's an absolute requirement for MPs.

If someone says to me 'I don't like smoking or drinking', I can only respond 'Well, don't do those things.' If they come back with 'I don't want you do do them either,' I have to say 'That's unfortunate, because you are not going to get what you want'. That's the end of it.

Unless they come back and say 'You will live your life as I direct or I will make you suffer.' Then it's war.

This preacher did not declare war. He said 'I disapprove' and that's all. He was arrested. By a gay PCSO, so no conflict of interest there, eh? Consider what would happen if a straight PCSO arrested a gay activist for proclaiming that gayness was normal, and that the straight PCSO was weird for not accepting his view?

There is no fan on the planet that could cope with the amount of shit that would have hit it. All the lefties would have been baying for blood. Homophobia! Difference of opinion? No! Homophobia! They would shriek for harsher punishments than even those they want for smokers. Burn the heretic!

In this case, the preacher was eventually compensated with taxpayer's money. So common sense did not win after all. It never does. If a racist official does something to attack Asians, those Asians are compensated with taxpayer's money. If a misogynist official attacks women, the women are compensated with taxpayer's money. If a gay official attacks someone who doesn't like his lifestyle, that person is compensated with taxpayer's money. What does the official pay? Nothing at all.

If the official is proven to discriminate against drinkers, smokers or fat people, he/she/it will get a promotion.

And this is the point. Not the preacher's opinion, not the PCSO's personal use of a law he made up to suit himself. Accountability.

The public sector has none. Not one jot. You can say 'the police were sued' or 'the council were sued' but no, they weren't. In every case, the taxpayer was sued. None of the individuals pay a penny. They screw up and go to court, we pay their fines and costs. They lose nothing. All they do is crank up our taxes to cover the cost.

All that compensation comes from taxes. If I was convicted of something and told to pay compensation, I would be the one paying it. If I took a council official to court, won, and was granted compensation... I would be the one paying it through taxes. In my case I'd have a criminal record. In the council case, the nameless official would not. It would be a mark against me in the first scenario, a mark against a faceless, fluid entity called 'the council' in the second.

This is socialism. If you're not part of the Collective you are alone. If you are part of the Collective you are protected but you have no identity, no individuality. Will the Coagulation change this? Excuse me while I dissolve into hysterical laughter for a moment.

There are no individuals in the Coagulation. There are none in Government. The Coagulation is merely the currently dominant segment of the Collective. They are all part of the Collective and all subservient to the EU. They all have the Nuremberg defence of 'I vos only obeyink orders' to fall back on. None of them are individually accountable and they know it.

Until they are, they will never act as human beings.

They will always act like the ultimate in socialism. The Borg.

And you think you might be a sinner?

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Fast and bulbous no more.

RIP Captain Beefheart.

I picked this song because it once inspired a short story of mine.

Another genius/lunatic bites the dust. We're running out of them. Soon, all we'll have left are generic boy/girl/uncertain bands and Graham Norton. The future is bland.

Friday, 17 December 2010

Swinging both ways.

The Daily Gibber is a confusing paper. It probably causes more heart attacks than smoking, cholesterol and meeting Ed Balls in a dark alley combined. I picture their newsdesk typists working themselves into a frenzy before starting, something like the Japanese idea of exercise before work but involving a lot of sugar and caffeine.

If one of them writes something like 'It'll snow, but don't worry, it won't be too bad', the rest pin him down and stuff him with doughnuts and strong coffee until he's as trembling and wide-eyed as Gary Glitter at a playschool. Then he'll write ' Snow! Snow! Argh!' and all will be well.

They also love to print contradictory stories so you can't tell where they stand. The Left insist it's a right-wing hack-rag but they act more like Lib Dems. There is nothing they won't fire up into a hysterical rant, even when they cover opposing viewpoints.

Currently they have a piece telling us we're all terrified of ex-addicts and don't want them living next door. How would we know? If they were active addicts, we'd maybe spot that but ex-addicts? How many out there have ever demanded to examine their neighbour's arms for old needle marks? How many will do so first thing tomorrow morning?

I bet the answer to the first is 'none' and I'd like to think the answer to the second is also 'none' but it probably isn't.

I'd have no problem with ex-addicts living next door. Why would I? They'd be more interesting than the Righteous who live there now. The pisshead on one side (he works, he can afford it) is interesting, the non-smoking non-drinking in-bed-by-ten curtain-twitching drones on the other side are not. I avoid them. All they can talk about are the other people in the street. They do the same to everyone - whoever is not there is breaking some imagined law they've just made up. I think it has not occurred to them that we speak to each other.

Others can tolerate them, I can't. I avoid them for fear I might break a real law, one of those that says 'thou shalt not smite thy neighbour with a plank ripped from a fence' or some such. They would strenuously object to an ex-addict next door. If I pretend to be one, they might move away... hmm...

Besides, since I am classed by all and sundry as an 'addict', I could raise no moral objection to an active drug addict moving in next door, never mind an ex-addict. It's interesting though. Since smokers are classed as 'addicts', how long before these hand-wringers object to ex-smokers living nearby? Or ex-alcoholics? Or people who were once fat but lost weight? All ex-addicts, all could spontaneously revert at any time. Imagine the horror of knocking on that thin neighbour's door to find he's ballooned to twenty stone overnight and his hallway is full of empty pie tins? Or finding your upstanding local prohibitionist unconscious in an off-licence window? The Clean Air Campaigner with a whole pack of Player's Navy Cut burning like a little forest fire in his face?

No, we can't have ex-addicts of any description. The Mail is happy to tap that thin wedge-end in a little further. Their piece bemoans the terrible stigma suffered by those who have tried, so hard, to rejoin the Collective by giving up their drugs. They must be re-assimilated.

In the same issue, there is a tale of a pregnant woman who likes a glass of wine. Now, you know me, I like a glass of wine. Tonight it's a Rioja, Vina Salceda, and I'm most of the way down the bottle. The bottle is made of glass, so it's one glass. Fear not, the snow will not hamper my lifestyle choice this evening because I've received my annual gift of twelve bottles from my primary customer. Add that to the supply I've already laid in and I won't need to buy any more for a long time. It could be weeks.

The pregnant woman in the story likes 'a glass' of wine. A proper one, with a stick on the bottom. Unlike me, she doesn't insist on finishing the bottle. One glass. That is nowhere near enough to cause the 'foetal alcohol syndrome' so beloved of the commenters. That's actually pretty rare, you know. You'd have to drink a hell of a lot to make that happen. Still, the Mail commenters never fail to amuse:

Whilst i was pregnant with my two sons i allowed myself a white wine spritzer on special occasions ( of which there were only two or three). I chose against drinking like many due to the ' just incase' factor. I have no problem with those on here that have comented that they have a glass or two a week but those that drink this amount and then support this mother for doing the same are forgetting that she is admitting to drinking EACH NIGHT not each week. I would find that excesive even when not pregnant, it's an unnessisary risk why take it?

leanne, west mids, 16/12/2010 17:42

Excessive, Leanne? I am way beyond your definition of excessive. Let's compare literacy levels, shall we? It is, after all, a favourite game of Mail commenters. One glass of wine a night is excessive even when not pregnant! Okay drinkers, tell the smokers again about how the 'thin end of the wedge' argument was just silly? Also 'she is admitting to drinking EACH NIGHT!' Admitting! It's a crime now. Confess, witch, and ye shall be spared. Confess that ye have imbibed a glass of Don the Devil's bottled evil at each sunset and enjoyed it, and repent ye the ways of the swigger. There is no safe level of the Devil's brew, you know. Sounding familiar yet?

This one should take the year's award for idiot irony:

No doubt you'll be saying next that it is safe to drink and drive and that a drink or two only kills the odd person!

Alcohol is a poison - fact.
The foetus is extra sensitive to toxins - fact.
Drinking while pregnant is unsuitable for the unborn baby and to continue to drink is plain selfish.
- Crazy News, UK-Stalingrad, 16/12/2010

There's that Righteous technique again. 1. You think one glass of wine is harmless. 2. Therefore you think that getting into a car when you can see two steering wheels and four hands and the road looks like a writhing snake is harmless too. So if you think it's okay to go to a pub for one pint, Crazy, you think it's fine to stagger out of there at closing time, piss on a passing cat, throw up on a policeman and then shit yourself. Yes? Your logic, Crazy.

Then we have 'facts'. Alcohol is a poison. If you drink more than you can handle, yes. The same is true of water. I have days of not-drinking because I'm too busy or have to get up early, and sometimes just to prove to myself that I haven't slipped over the edge into alcoholism. Alcohol, like pretty much anything, is a poison if taken in excess, but excess is different for everyone. It can cause liver damage but you have to drink a lot for a long time with no respite if you want to do that. The 'fact' is that Crazy is a mindless drone who accepts every spoonful of crap he is fed.

The foetus is extra sensitive to toxins - well, no. The foetus is tougher than you think, Crazy. Babies used to be born in caves and mud huts and smoke-filled one-room cottages (this is before tobacco came to the UK, so don't get all excited) and in the backs of carts. They were dropped into all kinds of crap, literally. They played with farm animals and in the dirt and in open-sewer streets. During pregnancy, daily food was not guaranteed. In the UK, for many centuries, nobody drank untreated water. They treated it by turning it into beer. Small beer, to be precise, a fairly weak beer but nonetheless safer than water. Pregnant women drank that in chimneyless thatched cottages filled with smoke from the cooking fire, they ate meat (when they could get it) with the outside burned to a crisp and thereby filled with toxic acrylamides.

Only the toughest babies survived. Somehow, we seem to have lost that selected trait.

And... selfish? Whose child are we talking about here? Crazy's? I hope he's not breeding. Certainly not my child. So what the woman does to her unborn child is not my concern. She'll have to live with it, not me.

Okay, I know, someone is going to say 'But don't you care about the cheeeldren?' No. I don't care at all about the cheeeldren. There are six billion people on this planet, am I supposed to spend my time worrying that they might be having a bad day? Next door, both sides, have children. The pisshead has two friendly, pleasant, intelligent children who I would allow in my house if it was raining and their parents weren't in. The Righteous have two self-important, demented fuckwits who I would not invite into my home if there was an ice age and their parents were eaten by a sabre-toothed tiger. If the tiger was looking for dessert I'd open the curtains and get the popcorn. And, probably, the video camera.

If you have children, they are your children. Not mine. I have no interest in them at all. I will never offer childcare advice because I do not regard it as any business of mine how you choose to bring them up. That's your job. As the Sixties shop-stewards loved to say, Demarcation, comrades! I do not buy into this socialist crap about them being 'our' children because I didn't get a poke so I am not accepting responsibility here. You have an infestation of children in your house, you decide what to do about that. Not my business. The children are their parents' future. Not 'ours'.

Next up is the standard Righteous argument 'So you think parents can do what they like with their children, therefore you support child abuse'. No, I do not support acts of violence against any individual whatever their age. With a few certain exceptions, one of whom lives next door. Child abusers should be dealt with like any other violent criminal, which nowadays means a severe ticking off and a holiday, but unfortunately I'm not yet Dictator of the newly named country of 'Seeyoupalyerfackindeid'.

An aside, since I seem to have drifted from the main point as usual. I am now on my second glass bottle of wine. This is Tobelos, another Rioja. Very nice too.

The best part of Crazy's comment is his signature. He places himself in UK-Stalingrad with the wonderful irony that he is one of those the USSR would have snapped up as informers on the non-conformists. He sees the problem but doesn't realise it's him!

Anyway, back to the original premise.

In one article, the Mail bemoans our failure to re-assimilate those who want assimilation back into the collective. In the other, it bleats that not being part of the collective gets us treated like evil pariahs. The Mail commenters support both articles with equal zeal.

Far Right? Ridiculous. This paper is Lib Dem through and through. The only party that can fall off a fence and land on both sides.

Quantum Physics should be taking an interest.