Anti-Smoking People fuming over Britain’s Failure to enforce Plain Cigarette Packaging

Posted by PITHOCRATES - July 14th, 2013

Week in Review

I was talking to a woman I knew who was in her 40s.  She took out a cigarette and lit up.  I asked her why she started smoking.  Was it the pretty cigarette packages?  The cigarette advertisements in her youth?  For back then the Joe Camel ads were still out.  As well as a slew of other cigarette ads.  Including cars painted up with Kool cigarette advertisements driving around town.  And the Virginia Slim ads were telling women they’ve “come a long way.”  Smoking advertisements were everywhere.  So did these things prove so attractive and irresistible that she could no longer withstand the lure of cigarette advertising?  No.  She started smoking because all her friends were smoking.

Kids want two things in life more than anything else.  To be grown-up.  And to be cool.  That’s why they start smoking.  Because smoking is only for grownups.  By law.  Which makes them look grown-up when they smoke.  Because only grownups smoke.

Then there is the cool thing.  Boys worship their rock heroes.  The guys who play their low-slung guitars with a cigarette dangling out of their mouth.  It’s just so cool looking.  Keith Richards.  Jimmy Page.  Eddie Van Halen.  Slash.  You name a guitar superstar and odds are there is a poster selling somewhere of him with a cigarette dangling from his mouth.

The stars in the movies they watch seem to all smoke.  For there is nothing cooler than a grizzled actor suffering through a stressful scene lighting up a cigarette afterwards to enjoy some soothing relaxation.  And few things are sexier than a femme fatale that seductively smokes a cigarette.  Our girls see this.  And they, too, want to be grown-up and sexy.  Which is why so many of them start smoking.  And when all of their friends are smoking, too, it just doesn’t seem like there is anything wrong with it.  And because all their friends are having sex that, too, seems okay.  It’s the softer side of peer pressure.  Well it can’t be bad if EVERYONE is doing it.

This is why this 40 something mother of 3 started smoking.  And she continues to smoke because she now enjoys it.  Like those grizzled actors in Hollywood movies.  There’s nothing like lighting up after a stressful work shift.  Even though today she is bombarded with warnings of what smoking will do to her health.  Despite anti-smoking legislation.  And the high taxes placed on cigarettes.  She still smokes.  Because she started smoking young to be cool and grown-up.  And now that she is a smoker her government attacks her with high taxes.  And legislation that ostracizes her like a leper.  Measures now coming to India (see Smoking bans, tax could save 9 million Indians: study by AFP posted 7/10/2013 on France 24).

Banning smoking in the workplace and levying a tobacco tax could prevent more than nine million deaths from cardiovascular disease in India over the next decade, according to a US study…

They found that smoke-free laws and increased tobacco taxes were the single two most effective measures, according to the study in PLoS Medicine on Tuesday.

These two measures alone would reduce heart attack deaths by six million and stroke deaths by 3.7 million, for a total of 9.7 million, over the next decade, the paper said.

The study compared five different tobacco control measures: smoke-free legislation, tobacco taxation, provision of brief cessation advice by health care providers, mass media campaigns, and advertising bans.

Interestingly, one measure is conspicuous by its absence.  This (see Delay on plain cigarette pack decision ‘sad day for child health’ by Sarah Boseley and Andrew Sparrow posted 7/12/2013 on The Guardian).

Lives will be lost as a result of the government’s decision to kick the notion of plain packaging for cigarettes into the long grass, say scientists and campaigners who accuse ministers of bowing to tobacco industry lobbying…

More than 200,000 young people under 16 start smoking every year. With advertising banned, cigarette packets are the only vehicle that companies are able to use to recruit children to the habit. The review said unadorned packs were less attractive to young people, improved the effectiveness of health warnings and reduced the numbers who mistakenly believed that some brands were safer than others.

Kids don’t start smoking because of pretty cigarette packages.  Or cigarette ads.  There are a lot of ads for kids to eat their vegetables yet many kids still resist those ads and refuse to eat their vegetables.  This has got to be the most asinine measure to get kids to stop smoking.  For if they really want to see who is at fault for getting kids to start smoking all they need to do is look into a mirror.

Liberal policies that attack traditional values and the traditional family have far more to do with kids starting smoking than Big Tobacco.  We’re giving high school kids free birth control.  Access to abortion.  And the morning-after pill.  Traditional values are ridiculed on television and in the movies.  Telling these kids that they’re not kids but grownups.  Who can make responsible decisions for themselves.  So they do.  They choose to be sexually active.  And we say we must respect their decision and not try to instill our morals on them.  Yet when they decide to start smoking we say that is wrong and blame Big Tobacco.  So much for our ‘grown-up’ children making responsible decisions.

And we’re never allowed to complain about the non-traditional behavior on television and in the movies.  Where getting stoned and having casual and consequence-free sex is now the norm.  And okay.  Our kids are seeing this.  As well as these people smoking.  They see this and want to imitate it.  Because if everyone is doing it just can’t be that bad.

If you really want to get kids NOT to start smoking then we need their heroes to stop influencing them into smoking.  We need them to be positive role models.  Not the ‘rebel against everything your parents and teachers tell you to do’ people that they are.  The bad boys.  And the naughty girls.  Who practice their art for the kids of the world to see.  And when life imitates art these stars say, “Don’t look at me.  Where are these kids’ parents?”

Not only does government endorse this behavior they facilitate it.  The liberal side of government.  The cool side of government.  Who want these kids to see how cool they are by not being like their parents or their teachers.  So they will vote for them.  And not those stuffy conservatives who don’t want them to have any fun.  Because they won’t vote for them once they wise up with some real education and real-world experience.  So they sacrifice our kids on the altar of politics.  By encouraging all kinds of bad behavior.  Like smoking.  Which they then blame on pretty cigarette packaging.  And not the societal decay they created.

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Expressing Conservatism Poorly loses the 2012 Election for Republicans

Posted by PITHOCRATES - November 8th, 2012

Politics 101

Few Liberal Women would want their Daughter appearing in Playboy after all they did to Empower Women

After the massive Republican gains in the 2010 midterm elections Peggy Noonan wrote in the Wall Street Journal that Americans voted for maturity.  That is, the grownups voted and got their way.  While in 2012 it would appear the children voted and got their way.  More free stuff.  Regardless of the consequences of more massive deficit spending.

Children want their parents to buy them everything they desire.  And the parents have to say no.  Because most parents just don’t have the money to buy their children everything they want.  They have to make difficult spending decisions because of their limited income.  Children don’t understand this.  They just want their stuff.  It takes time for children to grow up and understand they can’t have everything.  This usually sets in when they start working and raising a family.  Until they do, though, they still want things without regard to their costs.  Which is why the Democrats go after the youth vote.  Before they start voting for maturity.

Young people often make errors in judgment.  Because they’re young.  Krysten Ritter who plays Chloe in Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23 did a modeling job when she was 15 that she felt later was inappropriate for someone her age.  In a Playboy interview she said, “At the time I didn’t think about it, because kids don’t. They say your brain doesn’t develop fully until you’re 25. When kids do crazy stuff, it’s because they really are crazy. I just wasn’t aware; I had no fear. But I have not one single regret or feeling of resentment, because of where I am now. I have a good head on my shoulders. I learned all my lessons on my own.”  Kind of an odd thing to publish in a Playboy interview considering that a lot of the women appearing in Playboy are under 25 years old.  Who do crazy stuff.  Like objectifying themselves for money.  And voting Democrat.  For most women appearing in Playboy probably vote Democrat.  Even though few liberal women would want their daughter appearing in Playboy after all they did to empower women so they could build a career.  So they didn’t have to use their sexuality to earn a living.  Or to find a husband.  But when these kids grow up and get a good head on their shoulders they can learn their lessons.  And go on to great success.

Young Single Women were Voting Against their Future Married/Mature Selves

The Obama campaign successfully turned young single women away from Mitt Romney.  By saying that Romney would take away their birth control.  And their access to abortion.  Something they believed.  And it wasn’t just their birth control and access to abortion they were worried about.  Some liberals took to Twitter after President Obama won the election saying that they were relieved as they didn’t have to hoard tampons with the Romney defeat.  As well as birth control pills.  Don’t know how many or how serious they were.  But some were saying that.  For they believed a Republican administration would take women back to Victorian times.  Denying them everything except having babies, cooking and cleaning.

Meanwhile married women favored Romney.  Not by as large a margin as single women favored President Obama.  But a majority.  The difference being that maturity.  Married women raising children care more about how high taxes increase their cost of living.  How the growing federal debt will affect their children’s future.  How the high cost of gasoline is consuming more of the family budget.  And raising the cost of food.  That is, they are thinking like a grownup.  And as a grownup birth control pills, abortion and tampons are not high on their list of concerns.  For they were there since the Sixties.  When women empowered themselves.  And there have been a few Republican administrations since then.  Other things are more important to them.  Like making the mortgage payment.  Paying for braces for their children.  And taking care of an elderly parent.  Things few women think about until after the age of 25.  So basically young single women were voting against their future married/mature selves.

This is something that the younger generation doesn’t understand.  The generation they are voting/rebelling against?  It’s not a fixed constant throughout time.  The older people today were once the younger generation of a previous time.  And a lot of them voted/rebelled against the older generation then like the younger generation is today.  Just as many in the younger generation will become the very people they bitterly oppose today.  This doesn’t change.  The rift between the grownups and the children.  Just the people in these generations change.  And as they mature and grow wiser more responsibility and less having fun fills their days.  And they vote accordingly.

Hispanic Families are little different from the 1950s American Nuclear Family

President Obama got 71% of the Hispanic vote.  He did similarly well with Asians.  A common conclusion is that the Republicans lost these voters because of Romney’s more ‘extreme’ position on immigration than Governor Perry during the primary election.  And for using insensitive language like ‘illegals’ and ‘amnesty’.  Which may have turned Hispanics and Asians away from Romney.  While others say that a lot of these immigrants are here only for the free ride.  And will vote for the party that offers the most free stuff.  The Democrat Party.  And, yes, there may be some truth to that.  But those who are here for the free stuff are probably a small percentage of the total.  For most of these immigrants have strong conservative values.  Who don’t seek handouts.

The Hispanics breaking the law to come here are doing it to find work.  So they can provide for their families.   And will take some of the hardest and lowest paying jobs to provide for their families.  Working long hours in some of the most grueling conditions.  So their kids can have a better life.  Their labors and sacrifices for their family sustained by a deep religious faith.  A strong Catholic faith.  That respects life.  And opposes abortion.  Making Hispanic families little different from the 1950s American nuclear family.  And the Asian family is as strong as the Hispanic family.  Who work as hard so their kids can have a better life.  And their kids work hard and sacrifice, too.  Graduating college at the top of their class.  And this while taking the hard program degrees.  Not film.  Or gender studies.

So a good portion of President Obama’s voters seem to be conservative.  Or will become conservative over time.  Which means Romney didn’t lose the election because the nation is becoming more liberal.  He lost it because he did not articulate conservatism well enough.  Unlike Ronald Reagan.  Who did such a good job of explaining conservative policies (reducing costly regulations, lowering tax rates, keeping inflation from raising gas and food prices, etc.) that even Democrats saw that their lives would improve under these policies.  And they voted Republican.  Becoming Reagan Democrats.  If conservatives articulate these policies well enough they should appeal to the conservative values of Hispanics.  Asians.  Even single women.  Who eventually learn there is more to life than birth control, abortion and tampons.  But only if conservatives communicate this well.  Which Romney didn’t.  As proven by a lower turnout of Republicans than John McCain got in 2008.  In an election that was far easier to win.  As the Obama economy was little different from the Carter economy.  Allowing Ronald Reagan to sweep into office thanks to those Reagan Democrats.  Who understood his conservative message.  And liked it.

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Conservative (kən-sûr’və-tĭv), n., One who adheres to the political philosophy of conservatism.

Posted by PITHOCRATES - October 20th, 2011

Politics 101

Conservatives tend to be Responsible Adults with Jobs in the Private Sector who Pay Taxes Instead of Consuming Them

What is a conservative?  For a start, it’s probably not what you’ve heard.

There is this perception that conservatives are just a bunch of old white guys.  Bankers.  Corporate fat cats.  And out of touch Republicans (in the U.S., at least).  The perception continues that they are rich, hate the poor and are both closeted racists.  And open racists.  These perceptions are wrong.

Conservatives tend to be grownups.  Responsible adults.  Parents.  And they typically have jobs.  Real jobs.  In the private sector.  They don’t consume tax dollars.  They pay tax dollars.  And they tend to pay their own way.  Who want to raise their children their way.  And live their lives their way.  Without government telling them what’s best for them.

Conservatives believe in Limited Government, the Rule of Law, Individual Liberty and Personal Responsibility

Conservatives believe in limited government.  And they respect the Constitution.  They don’t believe it’s a living document.  Open to broad interpretation.  Or that it is merely a suggestion.  They don’t believe the courts should be used to make law that can’t be legislated in Congress.  The courts interpret law; they don’t write it.  Per the Constitution.  And they don’t like radical, populist change.  That are all theory.  With no track record of success.  They know their history.  Their heritage.  Their traditions.  And are very cautious when it comes to changing the old ways.  Especially when the old ways have been proven by time.

Conservatives believe in the Rule of Law.  Individual liberty.  And personal responsibility.  Where everybody plays by the same set of rules.  Regardless of race, color, sex, creed, etc.  And cheaters shouldn’t prosper.  They favor true capitalism.  And abhor crony capitalism.  Which isn’t capitalism.  But government favoritism.

They favor the Austrian School of economics over the tax and spend Keynesian school.  They believe in sound money and would lean towards reinstating the gold standard.  So government can’t inflate the currency at will to pay for more Keynesian spending.  They also believe that free trade benefits the consumer.  By providing more competition, lower prices and higher quality.

Conservatives typically Go to Church, Believe in the Golden Rule and Love & Respect their Fellow Man

Conservatives tend to be older on average than liberals.  That’s because they have grown up.  And left the ignorant ways of their youth behind.  They have worked and paid taxes.  Been part of the free market economy.  They know how wealth and jobs are created.  And have learned how to think for themselves.

They carefully budget their money.  Scrimp and save to raise a family.  Which is why they are very sensitive to taxes.  They struggled to get by.  And sacrificed for their children.  So they can have a better life.  So they oppose higher taxes now.  And higher taxes later.  For their children.  And their grandchildren.

But they don’t hate the poor.  Or those in need.  Conservatives typically go to church.  Believe in the Golden Rule.  And love and respect their fellow man.  Which is why conservatives are among the most charitable of people.  Many tithe their church.  Donate their time in their communities.  And make great neighbors.

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