Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Thank god The Village is over - Miseryfest supreme

If you live in the UK, you have probably depressed yourself beyond bearing it by watching a series on BBC One called The Village.  It's about life in an English village during World War One.

There was no uplifting feature to it in any way whatsoever. It's dreariness, pain and suffering, depression, poverty, ignorance, and all things horrible were selected to be featured in each episode. Not even the exquisite countryside uplifted.

I have never encountered a more deeply troubling series anywhere.  The writer has made a point of rolling up hell in one small place. I know that in the most dreadful life, even in Edwardian England, there are always small pockets of joy - but none exist in The Village.

If you have ruined your evening, your day, your week, or even your life and you have been watching The Village - a true miseryfest!  - you can thank god it over!

Monday, 29 April 2013

The invisibility cloak

There is a time switch in one's life. I'm not sure when it turns off, but it does. It happens when you get older. It plunges you into darkness, or rather you wear a cloak of invisibility. "Old person" is the name of it.

It shrouds you in a one-size-fits-all old-person outfit. Young people - that is everyone under 40, don't notice you in the street or at a party - or perhaps they make no effort to acknowledge you, thinking you have nothing interesting to say. People over 40 patronise you, assuming you might be deaf, addled or arthritic, so they offer you the comfortable chair in a loud voice and sit in the back in the car. They are the ones that might move over for you in the bus, whereas, anyone younger doesn't actually see you at all!

Old people look so dull, so uninteresting, so boring. It's easy to switch your attention to something seemingly more interesting.

BUT I have always been interested in old people, even as a child. I love history, and history lives in old people. Also wisdom. Wisdom is what makes old people so valuable. Politicians should be old and wise, with less bling and more sense.

I have found that if you investigate under the invisibility cloak, you find treasure. Many old people have done the most extraordinary things - things that might make your hair stand on end, and, what's more, they are still doing them.

It is tragic that old people are so undervalued in our western culture. Getting them to dance and sing at the village hall or play bingo once a week, or attend excercise classes arranged by patronising 40 year olds is sadly obscene. It makes people feel they are "doing" something for old people. Well, yes, maybe.

But the most useful thing that old people need is not the superficial activities, but the genuine interest of people in their culture, who value them for who they are - experienced humans.

We live in a time of the superficial, the young, the clone culture, Ikea, mass produced goods, new builds for small families, young politicians, child body fashions, youth culture, papered over cracks, an everything-must-look-good culture, and we tidy citizens by eternal and mostly experimental legislation making robots of the new generation.

How can we value old people when we value nothing old? So we simply cover them with an invisibility cloak and take them out of it now and again to prove to ourselves and others how good we are to them.

If you were a famous musician, an artist, a writer, a person of note you will be praised for "being so amazing for your age". Well, I think most old people are amazing. They are dealing with the hardest part of their lives and their invisibility cloaks are a heavy burden. We need to be more observant. We need to find the treasure.

We need to do that, because, unless we change, and whilst we live in a tribe that only honours the new, the invisibility cloak is going to cover us all in the end.



 

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Smoking - lest we forget....we live on an alien planet now.

We forget about smoking and how part of life it was. Smokers are treated like lepers now.Read Tom's story. Who people were, their value in society and what they did is of no importance except that they smoke.

Once, life was lived by smokers as successfully as any other life. Smoking did not always kill. It did not kill half of those who smoked. Anti Tobacco have made smoking more harmful than it could be. We must not forget that.

 Britain's 'oldest smoker' dies after puffing on cigarettes for 95 years
 The great-great grandmother, who loved a good party, took her first puff aged seven, just after the First World War started.
Winnie Langley had already cut down from her five-a-day habit to just one cigarette last year because of the credit crunch: Britain's 'oldest smoker' dies after puffing on cigarettes for 95 years
Winnie Langley had already cut down from her five-a-day habit to just one cigarette last year because of the credit crunch
Throughout her life it is thought the defiant OAP, who outlived her husband, son and all of her 10 stepchildren, smoked more than 170,000 cigarettes.
Mrs Langley, who made headlines at her 100th birthday after being photographed lighting a cigarette with a candle, began smoking to calm her nerves during the war.
The pensioner, of New Addington, Croydon, south London, was recently persuaded to give up her habit due to her failing eyesight after she could not see the end of a match.

Smoking secrets of oldest man


Smoker: Sek Yi
A Cambodian tiger hunter said to be the world's oldest man has died at the age of 122, according to his relatives. Sek Yi, who was also a martial arts expert, attributed his longevity and that of his 108-year-old wife Long Ouk, to smoking and the power of prayer.In an interview a few days before his death, he said: "When I was young I used to chew betel, but people made fun of me saying I was like a woman, so I took up smoking."

I think they were happy. They weren't thinking "Smoking is killing me" all the time.

Here is Churchill - an important man - a leper now. But lest we forget - he was a smoker.



Pity about the missing cigar - it would have been more honest.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Same little old woman problem

On Wednesday last week, I woke up and there was no internet connection.

I want you to know I am pretty hot on computers. I want you to know I am a woman. I want you to know I am a little old lady. I want you to know not having the Internet is a serious event. But this has been the most frustrating problem I have ever encountered. My provider was simply determined it was ME and my equipment that was in error.

A few weeks ago, a salesman from our provider phoned me to say that as one of their very oldest customers, who had been with them from the beginning, they were “rewarding” me with a special offer on my account. It would cost me £30.19p monthly for all services that I already had, PLUS free 084 calls and free land line calls to overseas countries.

The new “product” (my reward for being an old, loyal customer) looks the same as any product being offered to anyone else and started on the 14th April 2013.  On Thursday 18th April, my provider had a broadband outage in the UK because of a storm the night before. And I woke up with no broadband. My DSL connection was not authorised, disappeared, kapoof!, not there.

In my head, the above circumstances led to the logical assumptions that either the disappearing DSL is connected to switching to the new product or the storm, but not my equipment.

On Thursday 18th I spoke to broadband technical support in Calcutta. They patiently talked me through (for hours) the checking of my computer settings etc according to their guidelines. I knew my equipment was not faulty but, complied because I really need the broadband. I kept on pointing out it was THEM, not me at fault.

On the 19th I repeated the procedure with another technician. We removed all adaptors, extra wiring and I bought new splitters. No DSL connection. He supposedly checked the line. I then acquired one of  my providers very own routers known to be working on one of their lines and installed it on my line, changing the password etc. The diagnostics said “no DSL connection” - I had removed all the telephone connections too. It HAD to be my provider or the BT exchange.

On 20th I spoke to Line faults and demanded that they do something! Someone said he had raised a ticket with BT – and I WAITED!

I have two jobs which need my presence on the Internet, I have a responsibilities to perform and I was powerless. And I am a woman. Women are assumed to know nothing about computers. And old women are assumed not even to be mouse literate.

I had been patient. I had been polite. But now I was even beyond being cross.

Not having the ability to get connected, I KNEW, was not anything to do with my equipment, but something to do with THEM, the provider or the BT exchange.

At last on the 23rd, the line was reported as having a fault and yesterday, the 24th, a whole week later, the BT engineer pulled finger and repaired the fault at the exchange.

He called in to my house (which is just around the corner) to make sure I could get online  - as usual, he seemed confused that such a little old lady could know anything at all about computers.

Well - up yours. I TOLD you so!

 




Monday, 15 April 2013

Maggie Thatcher's Funeral and my Measles Proposal

Strange world. Solutions as I see them

In the UK the Government is using our money to pay for a State Funeral of Margaret Thatcher, a Prime Minister that was and still is, hated by millions of their citizens. I cannot understand why she has to have a State Funeral. In fact, Brits are very good at pomp and ceremony, but this is not the time to indulge in it. We are bankrupt after all. The millions of pounds being wasted on something so unpopular, should be used to some better purpose.

A better purpose I can think of, is offering vaccination-suspicious parents the single measles jab for their children. Andrew Wakefield might have been discredited by this country, but his ideas are still alive and well world wide. Three-in-one MMR vaccinations are much cheaper than two separate single shots (ironically, I don't think there is a single shot for mumps). The Government saves a lot of money by only offering MMR. The case against it is still not settled. If environmental pollution is a suspect in Autism's cause, then MMR may still be the straw that breaks the camel's back.

But, for future "epidemics" of Measles, I reckon, a single shot Measles vaccination offered to our children would have an almost 100% uptake by parents. They could be funded by Maggie Thatcher's State Funeral money savings. Everyone might be very pleased that some good came out of her after all.

 


Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Say Aaaaah! Laugh courtesy of Mr Puddlecoat.

 I have had to laugh - and cry at Dick Puddlecoat's post and have to add that Chewing Tobacco is different from Snus - but, whatever - same idea. I do wonder how you would police this? Say Aaaaah!?  They could also check your picnic basket to see it doesn't contain Chocolate Cake or Hamburgers, yes?  And frisk you with metal detectors to check you aren't carrying an electronic cigarette. The imagination runs loose. Who needs another planet? This one is as strange as any you could get!

And now for the outdoor snus ban 

If you thought Bloomberg's ban on smoking in 29,000 acres of New York parks  - and California banning e-cigs everywhere - was insane, wait till you get a load of this.

Grand Forks outdoor parks have areas where smoking is banned, courtesy of Measure 8 in November. Grand Forks Park Board Commissioner Molly Soeby wants to extend that ban to all varieties of tobacco. 
Commissioner Jay Panzer responded to Soeby’s proposal at Tuesday’s board meeting with a big grin and the words: “This is a ginormous can of worms.” 
After flashing a smile acknowledging Panzer’s assessment, Soeby argued that chewing tobacco is damaging because it’s an unhealthy habit in what should be a healthy environment. 
“We look at parks as a way to make a community healthier,” she said. “There’s no way tobacco makes us healthier. Our community is becoming more healthy and it realizes what a problem tobacco is.
 The "the smoking ban is only to protect those poor bar workers from passive smoke" defence is but a distant memory, isn't it?

She said she will be OK if she doesn’t get a smokeless ban, but . . . 
“I’ll be back next year,” she said. “The times are a-changing.”
They sure are. After 80 years, deeply anti-social prohibitionists have escaped their collective straitjacket and are greasing up the slippery slope on a daily basis.

I don't fancy alcohol's chances much, do you?"


Sunday, 7 April 2013

Waiting for the Spring

What a lovely day! Spring might be nearly here.
I'm very tired of winter. Looking forward to the spring. If you live in the UK, you might remember the  spring....But it's not here yet - I know - because I was out today and it's STILL not spring!

.






Friday, 5 April 2013

My lists

Things I don't like about this weird planet -

List A

Corporatism
Plastics
Nuclear Waste
Genetically modified crops
Pesticides
Pharmaceuticals
Consumerism
Ethereal Banking
Scientism - the belief science can solve all aspects of life
Epistemological Studies and twististics, bias, cherry picking
The Puppet Media
War Machines
The War on Drugs
Science dogma not revisited scientifically
Censorship/political correctness/mind police
Factory farming, Factory agriculture
Psychiatry and cultural mind control
Politicians


Things that have made this planet a nicer place -

List B

Medical Technology
Sewage, water treatment and plumbing
Central heating
Tarred roads and cat's eyes
Communication Technology
Computers
The Internet
Social Media

I could do without list A - how about you?



 












Thursday, 4 April 2013

Creepy academics, suspect science and public policy

How we are sculpted in society all begins in the Academic's head. This paper caught my attention today. It gave me the complete creeps. Even the title "Obesity and smoking: can we catch two birds with one tax?" gives me the creeps. I'm sure it's a well written paper - I did speed read it. But the IDEA gives me the creeps. We can kill two birds with one stone - we can punish two vices together - we can head bash real human beings and manipulate their behaviour by thieving from them?

Yesterday I put up a post with material that came from "Banishing Smokers 'For Their Own Good' " by Linda Stewart and "Butt Out: Anti-Smokers Go Too Far," May 1994 that exposed how society is made to conform on purpose. The ideas come from creepy academics sitting in universities writing papers for their personal glorification. Look how clever they are! Or scientists discovering new things on demand so they keep their jobs. And Government Corporations (including their own fake lobby groups) keeping their coffers full through taxation, and their citizens docile.

There are many public policies wrought by them we could have been better off without on this very odd planet. Well, that's what I think.

Look at this wonderful Art.... Creepy indeed....



Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Smokers,vapers and non-smokers - we have been MUGGED!

Frank Davis Intentional or Unintentional  post is a must read for smokers, vapers and non smokers alike. Read Waltc's comments at the end. Its an eye opener on how Society has been artificially sculpted. This blueprint is the model that has been used on you and me to alter our behaviour and, shockingly, we just fell for it. There was hardly a squeak of protest.

Do read the comments.. there are some especially interesting ones..

This information is from Waltc....(thank you Waltc I don't know how to contact you to grant me permission to use this - or thank you. I can find Blueprint for Public Health Action for 2000's but not 1990's - only lots of references to various reports mentioned in your information.)

Quote from Waltc

"This was spelled out in early TC documents. I’m quoting below from an article with no URL and I may have to (forgive me) chain post to make it clear how very “intentional” this was:
Excerpts from a 1991 US gov’t (NIH/NCI) “Blueprint for Public Health Action in the 1990′s” :
“As social beings, humans are subject to a desire to conform, to adopt the social conventions and norms of the majority, To the extent that individuals perceive their actions as deviant, there will be pressure to conform… Efforts to control tobacco use, then, should focus on creating a social environment that provides persistent and inescapable cues to smokers to stop smoking…” “.. the best way to change an individual’s behavior is to intervene through his social structures.”
Another’90′s Blueprint (sponsored by a coalition of NGO’s) maintains as a major goal: “To foster public perception that smoking is a socially unacceptable behavior.” The bulletin then adds that: “Restrictions on smoking in public places remain a keystone in the overall challenge to achieve a tobacco-free society.”
The motive behind bans, then, was not to protect the innocent from secondhand smoke but, by officially excluding them by law, to make others begin to see all smokers as unacceptable and deviant. The “desire to conform,” then, would cut both ways as the conformist nonsmoker would hop aboard the bandwagon of Public Opinion, and the now-excluded smoker would clamor to be let back in (or out, in the case of outdoor bans) to the Brotherhood of Man.
Most tellingly, one of the 9 members the EPA’s Scientific Advisory Panel (specifically selected to “independently review” the EPA’s 1992 report) included a Dr. David Burns, who openly admitted to having spent “half his time in the anti-smoking movement.” In testifying on behalf of an (early 90′s) outdoor ban that included city sidewalks and beaches in Del Mar, California, according to a Congressiona report, “Dr. Burns had made clear that his single-minded focus on promoting and supporting restrictions on the use of tobacco in any public place was to penalize smokers for their decision to smoke.”
Burns had said, on the record, that: “In order to modify smoking behavior, one needs to… create an environment in the larger society that actually discourages [smoking.] The key [is]..to change the larger environment in which [the smoker] functions to make it less conducive to using cigarettes…And to the extent that [the Del Mar ban] changes the image of the cigarette smoker and changes the psychological and sociological rewards of smoking…it contributes to changing the environment.”
FROM THE WASHINGTON POST, 9/22/97
“Many people quit smoking because it’s just plain socially unacceptable,”[said a spokesman for the American Cancer Society.]“Health risks didn’t move them…But the fact that they were social pariahs and not welcome in their own buildings did move them.”
And therefore, goes the thinking, it was well worth turning such a “Them” into pariahs.
“And then there’s the obvious backlash factor. The Inner Directed smokers have staunchly refused to quit because of the nasty pressure and have bonded into a class in such a way that their act of smoking is now a badge of their rebellion against the obvious manipulation.
Exactly what a smart sociologist might predict:
SOCIAL EFFECTS OF THE ANTI-SMOKING CAMPAIGN: CREATING A NEW CLASS
The campaign, quite predictably, binds smokers into a class:
“Dr. Howard Shaffer, director of Harvard’s Norman Zinzberg Center for Addiction Studies, warns that the (Boston) Health Department’s ad campaign ‘has an underside where it clearly ostracizes people. Groups that withdraw from the social mainstream become [a class] unto themselves with a new value structure. Splitting the society, one faction against another, has a danger. It does concern me.’
“Clifford Carr…a fierce and proven anti-smoking warrior [who] works as a tobacco-control expert at a research institution in Los Alamitos, Ca… is concerned about the stigma being created by the anti-smoking forces. ‘There is no doubt that what we are doing is creating a new class…Cigarette smokers are outcasts at this point. These people are being ostracized.”
“Dr Michael Montagne, associate professor of pharmacy administration at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy..:’While we’re trying to have an impact [on people's smoking] there could be a negative fallout. More than likely, the big impact is that people will just be nasty to each other in public places.’ “We create this mindset for the nonsmoker,[Montagne continues] that smokers are something that they’re really not. The impact would then be on interpersonal or working relationships. There could really be a problem. If smokers are portrayed as vile, people will say, ‘Well, really, I don’t want to live with this person anymore,’…whether these relations are in a workplace, a school or a home.”
And finally, this, from John Luik, “Pandora’s Box,” 1994
“By far the most morally objectionable aspect of the anti- smoking movement…is its readiness to use corrupted science to deprive smokers not only of their right to pursue their pleasure in public, but quite possibly to gain or retain their employment, or advance their prospects. Put more bluntly, it is a question of whether it is morally justified to use bad science to hurt people?….
In doing so, the anti-smoking movement simultaneously violates perhaps the two most fundamental moral principles, first by treating persons, in this case smokers, as merely means to the end of a smoke-free society…and second by inflicting substantial pain on an entire class of people without their consent and for no compelling reason.
But the question of…using corrupt science goes beyond depriving individuals of rights to something far more crucial, namely, the justifiability of depriving individuals of their moral standing through stigmatizing them as moral outcasts….In the end, this is of course, the logic- al outcome of ETS “science” to make smokers a class of moral miscreants.”