Several years ago I was talking to an epidemiologist who is skeptical of the idea that smokers pose a mortal threat to people in their vicinity. Although he supported workplace smoking bans, he was frustrated by the willingness of so many anti-tobacco activists and public health officials to overlook or minimize the weakness of the scientific case that secondhand smoke causes fatal illnesses such as lung cancer and heart disease. He wondered when it would be possible to have a calm, rational discussion of the issue, one in which skeptics would not be automatically dismissed as tools of the tobacco industry. I suggested that such a conversation might take place once smoking bans became ubiquitous, at which point the political stakes would be lower. Judging from a recent article in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, headlined “No Clear Link Between Passive Smoking and Lung Cancer,” that conversation may have begun.
The article describes a large prospective study that “confirmed a strong association between cigarette smoking and lung cancer but found no link between the disease and secondhand smoke.” The study tracked more than 76,000 women, 901 of whom eventually developed lung cancer. Although “the incidence of lung cancer was 13 times higher in current smokers and four times higher in former smokers than in never-smokers,” says the JNCI article, there was no statistically significant association between reported exposure to secondhand smoke and subsequent development of lung cancer…
This is what I knew from the get-go: it was always nonsense to think that second hand smoke was a huge killer – or even a risk, at all. Certainly no more of a risk than going outside on a smoggy day in Los Angeles and just breathing. The amount of tobacco smoke a person would inhale via second hand smoke – even if they lived with a smoker – would be so tiny as to be inconsequential as a health risk. Remember, even for very heavy smokers, not all of them get lung cancer – smoking increases the risk of cancer, but it isn’t a 1 for 1 thing. If you smoke, it doesn’t mean that smoking will kill you.
Hopefully this will open up a debate – and get us away from the idiot idea that smoking is some sort of massively hideous thing which needs to be banned. Smoking is just a thing you can do – like eating cheeseburgers or having a coke. Not the healthiest choice. Not something any doctor would recommend, but it is something to do – for pleasure. You know, to enjoy life. Probably be better if all of us smokers ditched the cigarettes and switched over to pipes as we’d probably end up smoking far less (and mostly smoking much higher quality tobacco), but its still just one of the pleasures of life that someone may engage in. And like all things in life, there is a risk involved. Of course, the rule is, “eat right, exercise, die anyway”. Main thing to remember about life is that no one gets out of it alive. At some point certain, in a more or less painful manner, we will all exit this world. And if before I go I can have a smoke, that’ll make it more pleasant than going, as I must, without a smoke.
Recently we had a story claiming that a gay server was denied a tip because the family was a pack of homophobic bigots as well as a story about an alleged poor woman who essentially had to live like an idiot because of the bad, mean, nasty way America treats poor people. There were two commonalities in these stories:
1. They supported the liberal narrative about the United States (we’re just bad, bad people) and so were embraced and spread widely by liberals.
2. They were complete nonsense.
The people who did the actual perpetration of the stories were likely just con artists who knew their target audiences. For the first story (the gay server denied a tip) it was probably an attempted replay of an earlier story claimed by a black woman of being denied a tip by racists, and she picked up a pack of money from sympathetic people. For the poor woman, it appears a more straight-forward scam: she was asking for people to help her out financially and appears to have succeeded (at least temporarily) in picking up a bucket of money. The con artists aside, what this tells us about the left is that they will readily believe anything as long as it confirms them in their world view. There is no bit of nonsense too absurd for them – think about it: they actually believed that someone would (a) find out what sexual orientation their server was and then (b) go out of their way to insult the server. The left bought it because it confirmed their view that Christians are just hateful bigots who go out of their way to insult people of different views.
The left will never cease to be suckers about this sort of thing. There seems to be some sort of malfunction in the liberal brain – while some can start to think (and thus wind up as Libertarians or Conservatives), most of them never seem to form a single, independent thought in their lives. But there is a lesson for us on the right: whenever you hear a story which tends to confirm the liberal narrative about life in the United States, our first and best course of action is to presume it is a lie. Don’t go out on a limb and definitely call it a lie, but you’ll be safe if you immediately search for holes in the story and start pointing them out. As for the gay server thing, I saw that on a liberal website some weeks ago and immediately pointed out that it is highly unlikely that a group of patrons would know the sexual orientation of their server – so even if they were a pack of hideous homophobes, they would not likely have opportunity to give vent to their all-consuming hatred. The story seemed false from day one for me – but the comments from the liberals were all shocked and hurt about how this hateful thing had happened and applause for the “courage” of the gay server (with no explanation of how it is courageous to be untipped).
It could be, from time to time, that in a nation of 317 million people that a set of circumstances will occur which confirms some part of the liberal narrative. The law of averages does work that way – but the plain facts are that the United States is not a racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-immigrant nation. We are not cruel to the poor, nor indifferent to the plight of those who suffer. We are tolerant and mostly very polite about things and don’t give vent to our feelings for the most part (and in some cases, it would be better if we did). We’re pretty nice people, all in all. And, so, the chances of there being a true story confirming liberalism are very, very small. When confronted with such stories – demand proof; independent verification and always keep a few links of liberal BS stories handy to slam back liberals who claim that this story is sure to be true.
From Pajamas Media:
Government targeting of conservatives is not confined to a couple of federal departments, as demonstrated by the events in a small District of Columbia employee relations board. A letter obtained by PJ Media documents open racism and hostility toward pregnant and conservative employees in the D.C. Public Employee Relations Board (PERB). The letter also demonstrates that lawless hostility toward conservatives is a characteristic of all levels of government.
According to a resignation letter from its executive director, this District of Columbia government board responsible for resolving employee disputes with management has engaged in racist hiring practices, discrimination against pregnant women, and hostility toward conservatives…
Detailed in the articles are complaints from liberals at PERB that the African-American head of the PERB hired a white male, while another person proposed for hiring by the board should not be approved because her work record allegedly showed a “right of center” political ideology. The resigning head of the PERB – Ondray Harris – seems to have merely been a fair-minded man who followed the law in his hiring decisions. This, apparently, is an outrage to liberals who view government as their private preserve.
How are we supposed to work with such people? Where can there be bi-partisan activity with people who clearly hate us with a white hot passion? As we on the right work for victory – and we will be victorious, in the by and by – we must remember these things and take the necessary steps to ensure that all those in government who have abused their authority are removed from office – and if this takes firing half the people working in government, then so be it.
SPEAKING OF IDEAS THAT THE GOP COULD OFFER, I think a series of legislative proposals aimed at implementing promises Obama made in 2008 would be fun and politically profitable: Cutting the deficit in half, closing the revolving door between government and business (my USA Today column this week will be on that one), implementing greater transparency, etc. Just send one bill after another over to the Senate. . . .
Agreed – perfect idea. Of course, Obama and his slavish media would try to pretend that all that is just rot…but if we did do it – and keep doing it – then it would start to impress itself on the public mind, and that would work to our benefit.
Twitchy has the latest string of liberal hated – calls for Anny Romney to die, or kill herself…and kill her husband, too. There is more to see at Instapundit where there is a thread about how people who are conservative but work in “liberal” professions are afraid to have their colleagues learn of their views…because everyone knows that if you’re surrounded by liberals and don’t toe the line, they’ll make you pay for it.
Remember that “new tone” bullsh**? Yeah; me, neither.
Make no mistake. They are no longer the “Bush tax cuts.” They were tax cuts when they were enacted in 2001 and 2003. They have been the going tax rate for the past 9 years. They are the Bush tax rates. Any move to increase the current tax rates amounts to a TAX INCREASE. The Bill passed in the Senate today was NOT A TAX CUT BILL. It would simply maintain CURRENT TAX RATES for those making 250K or less.
And for some reason known but to God, Harry Reid thinks that if you make $250,000 (many small businesses fall into this category) that you’re magically a millionaire! (Liberals were never very good at math, were they?).
Not only that, they think that taking resources from those who have the ability to create jobs during this economy will somehow help the economy.
Moronic thinking such as this deserves no quarter. These clowns MUST GO.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s fellow Democrats in the Senate on Wednesday won passage of a bill to renew tax cuts for tens of millions of Americans, while