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frank_davis


Frank Davis

Banging on about the Smoking Ban


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Not Even The Illuminati
frank_davis4
frank_davis
I'm not a great conspiracy theorist. My objection to them all boils down to one thing: I don't believe anyone is that smart. So when I read about the New World Order and so on over at The Tap, and all the fiendish things that the bankers and the Bilderbergers and Common Purpose are supposed to be up to, after the initial frisson of fear and dread has subsided, the old objection pops back up again: I don't believe anyone is that smart. I don't believe that, after thousands of years of people unsuccessfully trying to rule the world, someone has just managed to do so. Or will have done so by next Thursday. Or maybe the Thursday after.

These days my attention in mostly focused on smoking bans around the world, and particularly in the UK. But I also pay a lot of attention to the global warming thing too, in large part because it's so similar to the secondhand smoke business ("Trace amounts of gas pose dire threat", scientists say). And I pay rather less attention to the EU, in large part because the only thing I know it's proposing is an EU-wide smoking ban.

I don't believe that any of these are conspiracies. Or if they are conspiracies, they've been conspiracies in plain sight for many decades. No, to me they all look like examples of idealism, 'building a better world' and all that. A smoke-free world is (some people's idea of) an ideal world. A green world, devoid of cars and machines and factories, is another ideal world. And the EU state, into which all the countries of Europe have been dissolved, never to fight wars with each other ever again, is yet another ideal world. Who could possibly object to a green, smoke-free, war-free world?

But to me it all looks exactly like what was happening in Russia 100 years ago, when Bolshevik revolutionaries set out to overthrow the tsar and the old scheme of things, and build a heroic new Worker State, where everyone would be, y'know, ... equal. It very rapidly turned into a complete dystopia, with a gulag archipelago of labour camps. It turned into something far, far worse than anything that preceded it.

And I think that the same is likely to happen with the latest utopian dream of a green, smoke-free, war-free world. It'll just turn into another awful dystopia. It's already happening. The smoking ban is trumpeted as a great success, but it's only a success if the downsides of it are ignored (and of course they are ignored) in terms of fractured communities, bankrupt pubs, large scale smuggling, not to mention the falls in productivity and inventiveness as people stop smoking and get 30% dumber.

With global warming and 'green' energy, the result is whole countries carpeted with useless windmills, and dimbulbs in every home. Pretty soon we'll probably start having prolonged power cuts, as one by one the old power stations stop working.

As for the EU, the cracks are already beginning to show, in Ireland and Greece and most likely next Spain and Portugal and Italy. The EU, as best I can see, is an institution which generates thousands of restrictive rules and regulations which simply make life more difficult for everyone everywhere.

None of this surprises me particularly. There was a time, 30 or 40 years ago, when I would have thoroughly supported all these things. I've said before that I used to be a bit left wing (i.e. a bit of an idealist). I also used to be a bit of an environmentalist. I was all in favour of 'progressive' measures of every kind. Furthermore, a lot of the people I knew gradually gave up smoking over that period. And quite a few became 'environmentally aware'. And some bought into the idea of Europe, whatever the idea was. Only reactionary know-nothing stick-in-the-muds objected. There's a lot of soft support out there for smoking bans, green technology, European integration, and all that jazz.

But while a lot of the people I knew were going in that direction, I was slowly walking away. It perhaps began a few weeks after I'd walked into the Department of the Environment in London, some time around 1971, and told them that they should make people build houses with 6 inches of insulation in the walls. They listened to me kindly. But a few weeks later I woke up in the middle of the night, remembering the faint suggestion by one of them that it was perhaps a tad fascistic to require people to do things like that. That night, I realised that it was indeed fascistic. Who was I to tell people to fill their walls with insulation? It was up to them to make their own choices, wasn't it? Just because I'd written a computer programme that showed what savings could be made, did that make me an expert or something?

The end maybe came a few years later when I was a university researcher in building heat flow, and a young man (younger than me, anyway) came around and unfurled the plan of an eco-friendly, self-sufficient farm he wanted to build in Somerset, complete with solar collectors and all sorts of environmental gizmoes, and even a duck pond, and after studying it for a while I asked him how it was going to earn any money to buy stuff like seeds and new solar collector panels.

"Oh," he said. "We'll earn money from the tourists."

So there it was. He was going to build a 'self-sufficient', show eco-farm which was supposed to be funded by all the tourists who'd want to pay to visit it, and buy T-shirts and mugs and stuff.

It was completely barmy. After that, I began to see environmentalists as rather barmy. Just like I've always seen anti-smokers as rather barmy (there were hardly any of them 40 years ago). And vegetarianism.

Looking back at that time, I think that most of what I thought, and what everyone I knew thought, was all rather barmy. It hadn't been properly thought through. And it was all driven by idealism of one sort or other. But as I was retreating from it all, lots of other latecomers were piling in.

I suppose I've come to distrust idealism of any sort. And I've also come to distrust the idea of state planning. All these things look very captivating on the surface. But none of it has been fully thought through. Because the ideals can never be attained, and the planning always goes wrong. Because nobody really knows what they're doing. And nobody is smart enough.

I suppose that the way that I see the world these days, it's as a place of toil and suffering, some of which can be slightly alleviated here and there. For this is what the world has always been like, and very likely always will be like, only slightly better, or slightly worse. And rather than trying to make the world a better place, I'm more interested in stopping it becoming a worse place than it already is.

You are, I think, doing well if you are moderately prosperous, and have a circle of friends, and can simply go down to a pub in the evening and drink a few beers and smoke a few cigarettes and shoot a few games of pool.

But the antismoking idealists and the health zealots and the environmentalists and the EU technocrats - all busy making the world a 'better' place, all busy working for that green, smoke-free, war-free, ideal world - have already managed to remove even this simple pleasure. And that's before they've really got started with all their other grand plans for everyone.

It'll be a disaster, of course. It always is. The plans never work out. I just wonder how bad it'll be this time. I wonder how many people will tortured and locked up and shot and gassed and bayoneted when it all goes wrong, and they start looking round for 'wreckers' to blame for this latest failure of theirs to create their latest ideal world. Because none of them really have any idea what they're doing. None of them have really thought any of it through. None of them are that smart. No, not even the bankers and the Bilderbergers and the Masons and the Illuminati.

And when it all comes apart, there'll be a call to return to the world the way it was before, whatever's left of it. And the pubs will re-open, and you'll be able to drink and smoke as much as you like, if there's any beer to drink or tobacco to smoke. And they'll burn one or two lumps of real coal in the hearth. And there'll be a sovereign parliament in Westminster, with 30 or 40 MPs who can afford the horses to ride there. And nobody will want to hear any talk of any ideal world, shimmering like a holy grail on the horizon. And nobody will want to hear anybody's plans for anything either. They'll have had enough.

This brief respite won't last long, of course. Pretty soon, the idealists and the planners will be back again, with some new utopian goal in mind. Perhaps one in which dogs walk on their hind legs. Or parrots write books. Or everyone has a tricycle with a silver bell on it. Or whatever.

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One of your best.

(Anonymous)
Just that. One of your best writings since I started reading you a few weeks ago.

Conspiracies

(Anonymous)
Your second to last paragraph describes a Utopia which I fear has gone for ever if it ever existed. Great article though, describes the way I feel about global conspiracies. Won't stop me reading the theorists blogs though - just in case you and I are wrong you understand!

Heh...

(Anonymous)
Bang-on as usual. You know, I grew up considering myself a leftist in California because I believed drugs, prostitution and everything else under the sun should be legal, so long as you were only hurting yourself. Is that kind of anarchy just the flipside of the distopian view? Does it somehow lead into it? How is it that California bans smoking and then turns around and legalizes pot, anyway? What was the point of decriminalizing pot in the first place if it wasn't to give people a choice?

I think frequently the first people to propose a new freedom are the first to become disillusioned and, as you said so well, are on their way out the door when the followers and band-wagon-hoppers are on their way in. By the time California came to my view about marijuana, the majority in favor were the kind of people who had no principles or thoughts of their own. They didn't think, 'we should approve this because, even if I don't like it, I don't have the right to impose my views on others by criminalizing behavior'. They just went for the ride because it had become socially acceptable. What I mean is, they wouldn't have been in favor of it had it not already been socially acceptable. They aren't capable of thinking for themselves.

So by the time I was 20, I came to label myself a libertarian, and got sucked into lots of conspiracy theories. Without getting too deeply into it, what's happening on Fox News and in America right now is a great example of how dangerous it is for a lot of people to suddenly jump on *that* particular bandwagon without having views of their own. Conspiracy theories multiply exponentially; total paranoia grips society. These are the people who read Robert Anton Wilson as gospel and never suspect that he was satirizing them.

It's a bleak view of man's history you take, but I think it's inevitable. The best and worst you can hope for is to live in interesting times, as you say; the times when anarchy lurks around the edges, and old orders are overturned. We're in the worst of times right now, for individual liberties. Everything is moving backwards. All you can do is keep moving on under the radar. Viva España, though. All the bar owners here let you smoke once they close the shutters.

In reply

(Anonymous)
I saw some traffic come in from this most interesting blog, and checked it out. I don't have a predisposition to believe any one way of explaining the world, or assumptions. Research indicates that the world has been subject to the secret influence of a single cartel between two organisations for a hundred years. The cartel is so powerful that it owns everything near enough, including media and politicians, and is able to disguise its existence.

For example, who built the Fokker Wolf aircraft for Hitler in WW2? ITT, an American company operating within the cartel agreement under a German name. Who built most of Hitler's trucks and other road vehicles throughout the war? Ford. The list goes on of events that happened, which are inexplicable from a traditional version of history, without the cartel's existence.

If you want to read just one book which gives you the basic story of the world you actually live in, rather than the one you imagine you live in, this is it - The World Without Cancer - by G. Edward Griffin. Written thirty years ago, but as relevant to today's world as it was then. Many of the questions you are asking yourself are answered there.

I also used to be a bit of an environmentalist. I was all in favour of 'progressive' measures of every kind. Furthermore, a lot of the people I knew gradually gave up smoking over that period. And quite a few became 'environmentally aware'. And some bought into the idea of Europe, whatever the idea was. Only reactionary know-nothing stick-in-the-muds objected. There's a lot of soft support out there for smoking bans, green technology, European integration, and all that jazz.

This does ring a bell. I remember being horrified when I heard in the early 70s about the hole in the ozone layer and banned aerosol deodorant as a first action. I also heard then for the first time about a "united Europe", which I thought was a rather curious idea.
And a lot of people I knew even mentioned that smoking isn't good for you, it causes grubby lungs full of tar and because of that we all should give it up. All of a sudden, at the age of 15, a question crossed my mind and I did ask: "what if all this turns out to be a hoax"?
Admittedly "hoax" was not quite the right word to use - by the age of 20 I had encountered being stopped when leaving the motorway, once even for 2 hours, during which guns were pointed at me and my passengers, thanks to some of the actions of the Baader-Meinhof group.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Army_Faction)
[Coincidence had it that Andreas Baader died a few weeks after my brother did (both were completely unrelated!) and that my mother insisted on the tradition of the family wearing black for at least 6 month after.]
After a number of these, as I came to term it, minor inconvenience when leaving a motorway, the big guns did not do the trick anymore. I just handed my driving licence to the police officer, lit up a cigarette, opened the flask of coffee and politely asked if I am going to be there for a while. When the answer was an angry "yes", I just got my book out my bag (listening to the 'krr-krr' sound of one of the guns pointed at me when doing so) and continued to read.
My interest in adaptation began also in these days. Some aspects of it can be quite frightening as we don't seem to think much whilst we adapt.

Perhaps I have been lucky to have had many opportunities pointing to questions - after all, I am still alive - and still have no time, less even interest, for conspiracy theories. I go by what I can see. So far I can see manipulation of the masses by the few who wish to dictate their ideology in the name of health or whatever.


What you describe must have been awful, Brigitte. But I would imagine that it gave you courage - many people would have been cowed (frightened to the extent that they hide themselves away and do not engage).

Conspiracy theories break down into two broad groups - the 'possible' and the 'probable'. I would regard the Bloomberg Group (or whatever) as a 'possible', but I regard the Godber Blueprint as 'probable'. I find it impossible to believe that the anti-smoking spread, in an organised way, is accidental. It does not make sense that the gradual introduction of bans, one after the other, is accidental.

And yet, for the life of me, I cannot understand their determination! Why do these people insist upon dictating people's life choices and persecuting them? Why? what is the big deal in making people live longer? I can see the point of eradicating things like smallpox, malaria, AIDs, etc, but I do not see the point of interfering in people's lifestyle choices.

It may be that Frank's hypothesis that people are not smart enough to conspire successfully is normally true. But it seems to me that the anti-tobacco conspiracy has been very successful, and this is the reason that the conspirators have pushed it and pushed it.

Do you know what has surprised me? It is the utter silence of private pub owners and clubs in England. Utter silence. Are the Spanish pub owners silent? Are the Greek owner silent? No they are not! I hope that the Spanish and Greeks are heartened by the ructions in North Africa (although the actual matter in hand is less traumatic). They must persist and on no account give up the struggle.


Do you know what has surprised me? It is the utter silence of private pub owners and clubs in England. Utter silence. Are the Spanish pub owners silent?

Me too.

Frank

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how i got my lover back

After 6 moths of Broken marriage, my husband left me with two kids, I felt like ending it all, i almost committed suicide because he left us with nothing, i was emotionally down all this while. Thanks to a man called Dr Aisabu of Aisabu temple which i met online. On one faithful day, as I was browsing through the internet, I came across several testimonies about this particular man. Some people testified that he brought their Ex lover back, some testified that he restores womb,cure cancer,and other sickness, some testified that he prayed to stop divorce and get a good paid job so on. He is amazing, i also come across one particular testimony, it was about a woman called Shannon , she testified about how he brought back her Ex lover in less than 2 days, and at the end of her testimony she dropped his email. (aisabulovespell@gmail.com) After reading all these, I decided to give it a try. I contacted him via email and explained my problem to him. In just 48hours, my husband came back to me. We resolved our issues, and we are even happier than ever. DR Aisabu you are a gifted man and thank you for everything you had done in my life. If you have a problem and you are looking for a real and genuine spell caster, Try him anytime, he is the answer to your problems. you can contact him on aisabulovespell@gmail.com,,,,,,,,

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