Category Archives: Health

Ambulances without Paramedics on Some 999 Calls to Save Money


by Stewart Cowan
http://www.realstreet.co.uk/2014/06/ambulances-without-paramedics-on-some-999-calls-to-save-money
Ambulances without Paramedics on Some 999 Calls to Save Money

Note: A fair point. There is currently no alternative to the NHS, and it will take a generation to replace it with something better for the people, as opposed to better for the usual special interests. This being so, we should insist that the budget is spent on healing the sick. SIG Continue reading

The reckless mass medication of Britain


by Robert Henderson
http://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2014/06/08/the-reckless-mass-medication-of-britain/

Note: I entirely agree with Robert. Most of the drugs handed out like smarties are decidedly iffy. Statins, in particular, are dangerous. Many years ago, I was commissioned by a drug company to ghost a paper on the benefit of putting the whole population on statins. In the course of my research, I discovered a mass of dissident literature on their side effects. I was in need of money at the time, so I wrote the paper exactly as my brief demanded. But I felt rather guilty when I saw my words quoted as gospel on the BBC website. My advice is to take vitamins and hope for the best. Certainly, you should never believe anything you read about medications in the mainstream media. It may have been written by me. SIG Continue reading

Psychology for Anarchists


by Chad Nelson
http://c4ss.org/content/27938
Psychology for Anarchists

Robert Anton Wilson’s 203-page mindbender, Quantum Psychology: How Your Brain Software Programs You and Your World, is more than meets the eye. The subtitle suggests a self-help book, and it appears to be just that in many respects. But twenty pages in, one realizes that there is no labeling this one. It is a psychedelic mix of pop-science, psychology, philosophy and politics all rolled into one. And if that doesn’t sound crazy enough, the book comes with exercises at the end of each chapter to be performed as part of a group-read. Wilson tells the reader throughout the book that he or she will gain much more from it if the exercises are actually performed. One of Wilson’s fan sites – www.rawillumination.net – joins readers together to discuss the exercises in a chat forum and, surprisingly, most are completely appropriate for remote participation. Continue reading

HIV Is Harmless


by Dr Donald Miller
http://www.lewrockwell.com/2014/05/donald-w-miller-jr-md/hiv-is-harmless/
HIV Is Harmless

Modern medicine has spawned great things like open heart surgery and corneal transplants, but it also harms people when its practitioners follow treatment guidelines based on fallacious theories. My grandson became gravely ill when he was 2 months old after his heart and kidneys started to fail. Studies showed that he had an underdeveloped aortic arch that restricted blood flow to most of his body, known as hypoplasia of the transverse aortic arch. A surgeon (a colleague of mine at the University of Washington) operated on him, placing this 10-lb. infant on a heart-lung machine, cooling him to a low temperature and then draining out his blood. With the machine turned off and no blood circulating through the body—for 19 minutes—to obscure what he needed to do, the surgeon enlarged the aortic arch by stitching a (pericardial) patch onto it. Now, three years later, this fortunate child is a healthy, active little boy and is developing normally. Continue reading

The End of All Chronic Age-Related Disease?


by Bill Sardi
http://www.lewrockwell.com/2014/05/bill-sardi/the-end-of-all-chronic-age-related-disease/
The End of All Chronic Age-Related Disease?

Note: Any thoughts on this? It would be lovely if giving blood turned out to the the cure for my hypochondria. SIG

Modern medicine is so taken over by corporatist interests, ranging from the delivery of healthcare in the clinic to the research labs at the National Institutes of Health, the regulatory agencies like the FDA and public health agencies like the Centers for Disease Control, all used to give a third-party government stamp of approval to a self-serving profession that is called “the best healthcare system in the world.” Continue reading

The FoodNazi farm-animal-Police dishonoureth us, doth bully us and yea, seriously degradeth us (from and old and unremembered tongue-twister)


David Davis

Here we see the Salt-Nazis regrouping for another attempt to either ration salt, or tax it, or both. As War Secretary of an incoming British Libertarian Minimal-Statist Classical-Liberal government’s first administration, I’m not especially worried about these people, for they will simply “have to go”. What salt is in what purchased food will become a matter for the manufacturing sellers and their buyers, as is good and right.

However, there is hope for proper capitalism still since there seem to be enough people still alive who are old enough to write stuff like the following:-

I have no objection against government offering advice and to an extent it is duty bound to pass it on. I don’t, however, go along with the tiresome narrative that food companies are evil because they deliberately hide toxic, addictive, additives to make profits knowing full well that it is killing their customers. Go along with that and one ends up demanding that the state should protect us by ‘acting’ against ‘Big Food’. It’s a trope that is encouraged by the WHO and ‘health’ activists, peopled as they are by those whose agenda is to use health as a tool for attacking western capitalism via global companies. Simplistic though it is, the idea of sinister corporations covertly poisoning populations to make money is a powerful one and seems to find sympathy with many people. I’m quite sure that in the ideal world as envisaged by the WHO and it’s cohorts that state food rationing would be the norm. Perhaps by manufacturing fears of ‘Big Food’ it will eventually encourage a demand for the state to control the food supply? Some might want this, I don’t know, but it certainly isn’t a world I’d wish to inhabit.

Say No to Big Brother


This is a guest email from Phil Booth, Coordinator of medConfidential – the campaign for confidentiality and consent in health and social care.

You may have heard in recent weeks about something called ‘care.data’ – a new scheme by the arms-length body that is now in charge of the NHS in England, which will soon begin uploading confidential information from your medical record held by your GP.

care.data will involve some of your most private, sensitive information being uploaded, processed and passed on or sold in various forms to researchers, pharmaceutical companies, commissioning bodies, insurers, think tanks, ‘information intermediaries’ – basically any organisation or company that can make a plausible case for access. Continue reading

When Basic Services Are Guaranteed As a “Right”


by Kevin Carson
http://c4ss.org/content/23900

When Basic Services Are Guaranteed As a “Right”

Recently Ezra Klein pointed out (“What liberals get wrong about single payer,” Washington Post, January 13) that single-payer healthcare wouldn’t solve the problem of America having the most expensive healthcare system in the world. American health insurance premiums aren’t so high because of the overhead cost or profit of insurance companies, but because of the price of service delivery itself. The private insurance industry is an uncompetitive cartel, to be sure. But next to the almost 300% price markup on an MRI in the U.S. compared to France, or the 2000% markup on a drug under patent, the cost of insurance is almost nothing. Continue reading

Bacon And Egg Man Review: New York Of The Future?


by Dick Puddlecote
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/DickPuddlecote/~3/3oJcsrSvSpA/bacon-and-egg-man-review-new-york-of.html

Bacon And Egg Man Review: New York Of The Future?BaconEgg.jpgWith the Christmas downtime, I managed to read some of the books which I’ve bought on a whim; been given on special occasions; or ‘borrowed-meaning-to-read-but-never-finding-the-time’.

One of these was Bacon and Egg Man by Ken Wheaton which chimes well with themes discussed here so I thought one of my rare reviews would be in order. Continue reading

The myth of the Unconscious


Book Review by David McDonagh

Therapy Breakthrough: Why some psychotherapies work better than others. Michael R. Edelstein, Richard K. Kujoth and David Ramsay Steele.

The book is about the old Freudian psychotherapy and the new, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy [CBT] that has largely replaced it over the last 60 years. The main difference seems to be that, bit by bit, and in their own innovative way, during the last 60 years the various followers of Freud tended to abandon the Unconscious mind idea or meme that many authors and psychotherapists today tend to think does not exist. I think, with the authors, they are right in that assumption. Continue reading

Medical Heroics: A Doctor Writes


Note: This is not the most cheerful posting we could make on New Year’s Eve. However, I watched a close friend die of cancer several years ago. He had the best medical care BUPA could provide. He had three big operations, a dose of chemotherapy, and occasional bursts of radiotherapy. He consented to them in the belief that they would extend his life, and even achieve a partial cure of his cancer. I don’t believe any of these interventions extended his life. I suspect they did much to shorten his life. I am certain that every single one of them reduced the quality of his life.

Continue reading

The Public Overwhelmingly Reject Minimum Alcohol Pricing Too


by Dick Puddlecote
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/DickPuddlecote/~3/cLJMB4lDhEQ/the-public-overwhelmingly-reject.html

The Public Overwhelmingly Reject Minimum Alcohol Pricing Too While the faux outrage about some irrelevant strategy consultant for the Tories still rumbles on, the Home Office released its report on the Alcohol Strategy consultation today, hence more reports about how minimum alcohol pricing has been scrapped … which we already knew from last week.

Some of you may remember an article here going through the consultation questions at the time, and many of you took part in the exercise. It panned out quite nicely, so time for more happy graphs.

The Home Office received 1,145 answers to the silly question as to whether minimum pricing is a good idea, and the majority again rejected a nanny state initiative by a comfortable margin. Continue reading

Popping Pills With The Romans


http://ancientandmedievalmayhem.blogspot.com.au/2013/04/popping-pills-with-romans.html 

I was recently reading a book (the historical fiction, Conspiracies of Rome by Richard Blake if you were to wonder) and early on in the book there were a few references to pills. Of the medicinal kind. ‘Buying pills from the Apothecary’. ‘ Pills rattling in a metal pill box’.
 
This got me to thinking about pills in Ancient Rome. I had not come across any reference to them in an early Roman setting before, not in non fiction and not in fiction.  That is not to say that there are none, just none that I have come across or remember. And, as is the way with me when I sense there is something new for me to learn about periods of history that interest me, my mind was awash with questions. Continue reading

Prescription for Competition


by David D’Amato
http://c4ss.org/content/18046
Prescription for Competition

As part of his March 29 GPS (Global Public Square) feature for CNN, Fareed Zakaria demonstrates that he’s not really paying attention, arguing that “[t]he central debate between Democrats and Republicans is over whether the free market works well in health care.” Zakaria is not alone in his misunderstanding about what it is that politicians of either major party actually advocate. As much as I hate to spoil the ending, neither Democrats nor Republicans are interested in anything like a real free market. Continue reading

Should There be a Minimum Price for Alcohol? by Sean Gabb


http://www.libertarian.co.uk/multimedia/2013-03-01-drink-sig.mp3

Sean Gabb, Director of the Libertarian Alliance, speaking on BBC Radio 5 on the 1st March 2013.

The background to this discussion was a report from the Alcohol Health Alliance, calling for a minimum price of 50p per unit for alcohol, and various restrictions on the advertising and sale of alcohol.

Sean argues these points: Continue reading

The Dramatic Benefits of Minimally Invasive Dentistry


Note: Too late for my combination of ceramic crowns and stumps waiting to be crowned. If you happen to be in the same position, however, my advice is to insist on no anaesthetic for any dental work. Short term dental pain is easily blanked out, and dentists become less willing to recommend and undertake anything really invasive. Otherwise, if you live in Deal, Dr Laurens does a nice job of keeping the teeth in your head. I wish I’d gone to him years before I did. SIG Continue reading

Another Blow For Minimum Pricing – Alcohol ‘Availability Theory’ Debunked


by Dick Puddlecote
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/DickPuddlecote/~3/vE3HghJj818/another-blow-for-minimum-pricing.html

Another Blow For Minimum Pricing – Alcohol ‘Availability Theory’ DebunkedThis study, published last week, is very interesting. Investigating the effects of the Licensing Act 2003 – you know, the one where ’24 hour drinking’ was set to plunge Britain into a drunken version of Mad Max according to the more excitable press – the authors investigated Manchester Police records to see if the many popular myths about its link with drink-fuelled violence had any basis in fact (emphasis mine, it crops up later). Continue reading

Minimum Alcohol Pricing Will Be Good For Pubs?


by Dick Puddlecote
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/DickPuddlecote/~3/KfLtikwuawA/minimum-alcohol-pricing-will-be-good.html

Minimum Alcohol Pricing Will Be Good For Pubs? Well, this has been the claim by CAMRA anyway. But, you know, I don’t reckon they have fully thought through the inevitable consequences of such a concept being widely accepted.

The Sheffield University study which the whole charade is based upon – madcap fantasy such as it is – already has a clause designed to impose the same on the on-trade in due course. In fact, it is claimed that extending minimum pricing to pubs too is the best possible outcome. Continue reading

Danse Macabre: The Black Death, Part 2


by Anna Raccoon
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/AnnaRaccoon/~3/oBAvFoWKb4U/

Note: I’m not convinced by the claim that plague and bubonic plague are not the same. Differences in symptoms and mortality rates may not mean very much. The 14th century Black Death and the 17th century plagues wiped out virtually everyone who had no resistance. We are the descendants of the survivors, and have probably inherited some resistance to the infection. It’s the same with the rats. That in itself would explain slower transmission rates, and lower rates of infection and mortality.

Syphilis was much more virulent on its first appearance at the end of the 15th century. Infections comparatively harmless to Europeans and Asians appear to have wiped out over 90 per cent of the native populations in South America during the 16th century.

Of course, infections also change over time. A bacterium is unlikely to survive for very long when it kills its host before it can spread to another. Therefore, changes in the nature of the bacterium and growing resistance of its victims will, over time, transform catastrophic pandemics into endemic problems. SIG Continue reading

Danse Macabre: The Black Death, Part I


by Gildas the Monk
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/AnnaRaccoon/~3/ZAVzOV26iZM/

Consider a world in which over the next three months, between 30-50% of the people around you have died of a horrible disease, full of fever and boils, often vomiting blood. What would that be like?

As regular readers will know, from time to time I take a historical topic which I may have heard of, but only have a superficial knowledge, research it and lay the results of my researches before readers of this blog – with our learned editor’s permission. I do not know why. Sometimes I do it for relaxation when I am a bit stressed. Sometimes Raccoon Readers provide their own and learned additional insights. Continue reading

POST APOCALYPSE RECOVERY PROJECT


POST APOCALYPSE RECOVERY PROJECT
James Roger Brown
Sociologist, Intelligence Collection and Analysis Methodologist
Director
P.O. Box 101
Worthington, KY 41183-0101
thesociologist
www.thesociologycenter.com
Last updated 09/22/2011

Check back frequently, I will be adding to and improving this page.

Suggestions for inclusion may be submitted to the above e-mail address. One high priority document has not been located. Between the end of WW II and 1950 Naval Intelligence created a classified archaeology report about prior civilizations on the North American Continent. Talk to your family members who served during WW II and Korea to determine the title and author of the document. I suspect it contains maps that we need.

Introduction

Activating this Post Apocalypse Recovery Project begins an effort which there is no documented evidence has ever been done before in all of human history. The purpose is to manage information, knowledge and resources to minimize the intentional disruption of social stability caused by the engineered collapse of civilization and minimize the recovery time to develop new stable social processes among the survivors. There will be survivors. Continue reading

The Monster In The Living Room


by Dick Puddlecote
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/DickPuddlecote/~3/7FkvGT7DK6w/the-monster-in-living-room.html

Yes, your kid will die!

No slippery slope here, obviously. Continue reading

Syphilis and Theories of Contagion


http://www.kckcc.edu/ejournal/archives/march2009/article/syphilisAndTheoriesOfContagion.aspx

Note: This might have something to do with the libertarian argument – but search me what it is. However, it’s a fascinating article, and was most helpful to my friend Mr Blake when he was researching one of his novels. SIG

Syphilis and Theories of Contagion
V. Smith, Doctoral Candidate
of Biological Sciences
City Kansas Community College

Abstract

Syphilis provides a useful lens for peering into the history of early modern European medicine. Scholarly arguments about how diseases were transmitted long preceded certain scientific information about the etiology or cause of disease in the late 19th century. Compared to the acute and widely infectious nature of bubonic plague, which ravaged Europe in the mid-15th century, syphilis was characterized by the prolonged chronic suffering of many beginning in the early 16th century. This study reveals the historical anachronisms and the discontinuity of medical science focusing primarily on the role of Girolamo Fracastoro (1478-1553) and others who influenced contagion theory. Examination of contagion theory sheds light on perceptions about disease transmission and provides useful distinctions about descriptive symptoms and pathology. Continue reading

Voices We Should Safely Ignore


by Dick Puddlecote
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/DickPuddlecote/~3/cRT0yM7NG50/voices-we-should-safely-ignore.html

I’ve counted to ten so many times with this guy recently. Lord knows I’ve tried but, Jamie Oliver, please stop with this stuff already.

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has criticised sports stars David Beckham and Gary Lineker for promoting junk food.

The television presenter, who forced the Government to introduce nutrition rules in schools after highlighting the unhealthy meals served to pupils, has added his name to a letter which condemns the use of athletes in commercials.

Look, guys and gals, “television presenter” are the operative words here. Say it was “London Black Cab driver”, what would be your reaction? Shut your trap? Couldn’t agree with you more.

Especially since the country won’t even listen to them on the subject of transport in London, yes. Perish the thought, eh?

So why is anyone listening to someone who has such a loose link with his subject matter, and seriously believes that the young will die before their parents because of a few cans of coke or a Big Mac here and there. The man is quite insane, or at the very least a bit of an easily-conned dick. Continue reading

Should the British State should do more to regulate drinking?


http://www.libertarian.co.uk/multimedia/2012-07-19-drink-sig.mp3

Sean Gabb on BBC Radio Bristol, on Thursday the 19th July 2012, to discuss whether the British State should do more to regulate drinking.

Sean says no for these reasons:

  • The ruling class and its mainstream media specialise in fabricating “problems” which always require a bigger and more empowered state to solve them. We have seen this with the global warming scam and the campaign against “passive smoking.” There is no reason to believe any of the statistics put out over “alcohol abuse.”
  • Even assuming there is a problem, this is an effect of earlier state intervention. When public drinking in England was in small, local pubs, the generations would drink together. This allowed the young to absorb the cultural restraints of their elders. If there was disorder, it was on a small scale. Now, measures like the smoking ban, which has closed thousands of small pubs across England, and the systematic privilege given to big chains have transformed public drinking. Thousands of young men come together in big, anonymous drinking barns in city centres. The licensing laws mean they are relased all at the same time onto the streets. It is not suprising there is trouble.
  • So far as one exists, this is a problem caused by the State. The best response is for the State to stand back and let individuals and voluntary collectives of individuals sort it out.

 

Legal firm bottom feeders and the NHS


by D.J. Webb

Dear all, no time for a long post, but I was amazed, at a time of cuts, to read that clinical negligence payments by the NHS rose by £10bn over the past five years to total £16.6bn! [See http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/9353443/Comment-The-spiralling-cost-of-no-win-no-fee-lawyers.html%5D This is not a small amount of money. Continue reading

Shhh … Alcohol Consumption Is Down Again


by Dick Puddlecote
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/DickPuddlecote/~3/jeslOdn5Ukw/shhh-alcohol-consumption-is-down-again.html

Did you know that the latest NHS statistics on alcohol consumption were released just before the Jubilee?

You didn’t? Well, I suppose it’s an easy mistake to make because the BBC didn’t seem to notice it either. Perhaps it’s because they were all camped out around the Mall … or that the health section’s skeleton staff would have had to report on this little “key fact”. Continue reading

Medieval England Twice as Well Off as Today’s Poorest Nations


Medieval England Twice as Well Off as Today’s Poorest Nations

ScienceDaily (Dec. 5, 2010) — New research led by economists at the University of Warwick reveals that medieval England was not only far more prosperous than previously believed, it also actually boasted an average income that would be more than double the average per capita income of the world’s poorest nations today. Continue reading

Have a Heart?


by D.J. Webb I read today that Vice president Cheney of the US, 71 years of age, had had a heart transplant. I hope all those under 71 years of age were in the queue first. I don’t think people over 3 score years and ten should be anywhere near the front of the queue for such things. Continue reading

Feeling racist? Blood pressure pill Propranolol may open hearts and minds


Article by Eric Pfeiffer.

[Note: If this is true - and it may not be - the ruling  class will be wetting itself with joy at the thought of  modifying behaviour through compulsory mass-medication. If  "racism" can be defined as the kind of sickness that  homosexuality used to be called, we can start with compulsory  treatment of those convicted of offences. We can then move  through compulsory vaccination, when the drug becomes available,  to the pharmacological eradication of every inclination found  inconvenient by the ruling class. SIG] Continue reading

Contraception Debate Misses a Basic Question


by Daniel Worden
http://c4ss.org/?p=9700

There’s been plenty of argument over proposed federal regulations requiring employers to offer health plans covering contraception for women. But few people bring up the basic question: Why is it considered normal for your boss to determine your healthcare options in the first place? Continue reading

Thoughts on Privatisation


by David Webb

Privatisation of services – which is basically what libertarians are calling for, along with an elimination of personal taxation – suffers from the key flaw that the bureaucratisation of our society extends to the private sector too: just because they are privatised, services do not have to be efficiently run, with lean management teams. Continue reading

BBC News – PIP breast implants: UK government says ‘no evidence’ to remove implants


by Sean Gabb

“If I had no right to fondle these breast implants when they were put in, why should I be obliged to pay for them to be taken out?” Critically discuss this statement.

PIP breast implants: UK government says ‘no evidence’ to remove implants

BBC News – PIP breast implants: UK government says ‘no evidence’ to remove implants

Sean Gabb in BBC Radio 5 Debate on Disabled Parking


http://static.addtoany.com/menu/sm7.html#type=page&event=load&url=http%3A%2F%2Flibertarianalliance.wordpress.com%2Fwp-admin%2Fpost-new.php%3Fpost_type%3Dpost&referrer=

by Sean Gabb

BBC Radio 5 Debate on Disabled Parking: http://www.libertarian.co.uk/?q=node/683

Sean Gabb, speaking on BBC Radio 5 on the 29th December 2011. Continue reading

Stunning New Medical Research: Being American is Bad for You!


Male Circumcision Leads to a Bad Sex Life

Niels Ebdrup
Science Nordic
Mon, 14 Nov 2011 20:47 CST

The Danish study is the first one ever to look into what effect male circumcision has on their female partners. Continue reading

LA News Release: No to a Smoking Ban in Cars!


http://www.libertarian.co.uk/?q=node/670

Libertarian Alliance News Release
Wednesday the 16th November 2011
Release Time: Immediate
Contact: Dr Sean Gabb, sean@libertarian.co.uk, 07956 472
199

No to a Smoking Ban in Cars!

The British Medical Association has called for a smoking ban in cars. Sean Gabb of the Libertarian Alliance denounces this call for the following reasons: Continue reading

Libertarian Alliance News Release on the Car Smoking Ban


News Release from: Sean Gabb, Director, the Libertarian Alliance
Contact: Sean Gabb – sean@libertarian.co.uk – 07956 472 199
Release Date: Wednesday the 22nd June 2011
Release Time: Immediate
Other Details: See below

Sean  Gabb of the Libertarian Alliance on BBC Three Counties Radio, on
Wednesday the 22nd June 2011, to discuss whether smoking should be
banned in cars where children are present. A Bill to this effect was
discussed on that day in Parliament.

Sean says no for these reasons:

•  The claim that 300,000 children suffer ill-effects every year in the
United Kingdom from “passive smoking” is a falsehood. There is no way
of gathering such data. There is even no sound epidemiological evidence
that passive smoking even exists. The alleged figure of 300,000 children
is what is called a “junk statistic.” It is in the same league as the
claims made in the 1980s about the number of people who would die of
aids by 1990, or the claims made in the 1990s about the numbers who
would soon be dead from mad cow disease. It is almost as gross a
falsehood as the fraudulent global warming claims made by British
scientists.
•  These statistics produced by pressure groups and
politicians are plainly dubious on their own account. Every single
statistical claim reported by the media and accepted by the politicians
seems to justify higher taxes or tighter controls on adult actions, or
both. There was a time when it was necessary to bribe priests into
saying that God wanted if before the authorities could oppress ordinary
people. Nowadays, a set of junk statistics is produced.
•  The demand for a smoking ban in cars is also an instance of the “saving the
kiddies” argument. This proceeds by hiding the agenda of control behind a
cloud of hot air about the need to protect children.

Therefore, the Libertarian Alliance is against any smoking ban in cars.

Listen here:
http://www.seangabb.co.uk/?q=node/565
http://www2.libertarian.co.uk/?q=node/362

End

Notes to Editors

The  Libertarian Alliance was founded in 1979, and is the foremost civil
liberties and free market policy institute in the United Kingdom. With
over 800 publications already available, its website grows by the week.

Dr  Sean Gabb is Director of the Libertarian Alliance. He has written over a
dozen books and around a million words of journalism, and has appeared
on hundreds of radio and television programmes. His seven novels have
been commercially translated into Spanish, Italian, Greek, Hungarian,
Slovak and Complex Chinese. His latest novel, The Churchill Memorandum,
can be found on Amazon

His latest book, Smoking, Class and the Legitimation, was released on the 22nd June 2011, and can be seen here:
http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/smoking-class-and-the-legitimisation-of-power/16111783

FLC185, The National Health Service: A Libertarian Perspective, Sean Gabb, 18th August 2009


The idea that only profit-seeking organisations are consistent with libertarianism is to take a shockingly arid view of the ideology. What libertarians should like about commerce is not its taste for profit but its distaste for compulsion. What legitimises markets, in libertarian terms, is that they are structures of voluntary association. This is what brings the friendly societies and much trade union activity, and so much of what in Victorian times was called \

via FLC185, The National Health Service: A Libertarian Perspective, Sean Gabb, 18th August 2009.

Michael Ford: Ayn Rand and the VIP-DIPers


 

Michael Ford: Ayn Rand and the VIP-DIPers

Note: According to this article, Ayn Rand took money from the taxpayers to fund her cancer treatment. If true, she may have been a hypocrite. She would also have lacked a proper analysis of the world in which we live.

Collecting welfare of any kind when you don’t need it, or deliberately making yourself in need of it, is immoral. But taking it when you have fallen on hard times is not wrong at all. We do not live in anything approaching a world of free markets. Running your life as if you lived in a free market society will, in many cases, land you on the scrapheap of life.

I turn to the case of the NHS. The private market is not free. It is very heavily regulated – professional barriers to entry, professional behaviour codes, drug safety and availability laws, patents, and all the rest. These regulations drive up the price of medicine beyond ordinary reach. If you fall sick, what are you supposed to do? Grin and bear it when your private insurance goes about a tenth as far as it would in a free market? Or take whatever “help” your government offers? I have private insurance. This buys me certain advantages I have never yet needed to test. But I am under no illusions regarding the willingness of my insurer to keep me dosed up through a chronic illness or a long decline.

Welfare is a drug handed out by a ruling class that has monopolised the means of production. You don’t abolish the first until the second has been addressed. Get rid of the NHS, by all means – but not until after the medical cartels have been disestablished.

More fool Ayn Rand and her followers for preaching otherwise.[Sean Gabb]

Next Year’s News on Health…


Christopher Houseman

From a possible future near you.

In the wake of the Coalition Government’s pledge to fine hospitals which persist in using mixed-sex wards, it’s emerged that the NHS has produced an unwritten 2-step plan in response:

1) Leave more people in the corridors – patients will be selected for this form of accommodation based on the gender of whichever patient is put in a ward first. Calls for the majority gender in the hospital to receive first dibs on the beds will be dismissed with the response that NHS staff are far too busy meeting government performance targets treating patients to keep shuffling people in and out of wards on the basis of periodic recounts.

2) Refuse to admit patients for treatment, and refer them to a neighbouring hospital instead. This will head off attempts to invoke sex discrimination legislation to abolish step 1. A Government report will then recommend sex-segregated hospitals, which will be discussed ad nauseam while hospitals quietly get on and implement the idea wherever possible until the mixed-sex ward fine is abolished.

FLC200, The Passive Smoking Scare: When Ruling Class Propaganda Masquerades as Science, Sean Gabb, 26th November 2010


FLC200, The Passive Smoking Scare: When Ruling Class Propaganda Masquerades as Science, Sean Gabb, 26th November 2010.

Introduction to \


Early in 1991, I was persuaded to do some editing work for The Social Affairs Unit. This book was by biggest project, and it involved more work than I expected. Some of the essays were fully written out and needed only moderate editing. Many were corrupt transcripts of what were often rambling conference speeches, and these needed to be rewritten. This was in the days before the Internet, and I had to spend days in various libraries, checking facts and pulling out quotations.

via Introduction to \.

FLC185, The National Health Service: A Libertarian Perspective, Sean Gabb, 18th August 2009


The idea that only profit-seeking organisations are consistent with libertarianism is to take a shockingly arid view of the ideology. What libertarians should like about commerce is not its taste for profit but its distaste for compulsion. What legitimises markets, in libertarian terms, is that they are structures of voluntary association. This is what brings the friendly societies and much trade union activity, and so much of what in Victorian times was called \

via FLC185, The National Health Service: A Libertarian Perspective, Sean Gabb, 18th August 2009.

David McDonagh on Advertising


Advertising
The Risks that Adverts Must Run and an Authoress’s
Fear of Freedom


By David McDonagh

The jennyass, Felicity Lawrence, feels that it is a big mistake of the CONDEMS’ new Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley, to dismiss the recent campaign of Jamie Oliver against obesity. Writing in the totalitarian propaganda sheet, that is so aptly named The Guardian, Thursday 8 July 2010, she protests that Lansley is overlooking the fact that it was only the nanny state could have recently saved the UK population from smoking. The Jamie Oliver campaign, backed by the state, has also worked in getting children to eat better at school, she says. Lansley was wrong to think it was all down to individual choice. Has he never heard of the power of marketing? Advertising can be used to get people to consume junk food. Andrew Lansley is not only facile, she says, but he is also clearly wrong headed in thinking that all social ills are down to individual responsibility rather than to the actions of powerful firms and their advertising campaigns.

This authoress wants to say, “Nanny does know best, Andrew Lansley.” She begins: “The health secretary’s belief that children should be responsible for their own diet choices would be risible were it not so scary” showing, thereby, a naked fear of freedom and responsibility, and a longing for totalitarian security and all round state

She indicates that Lansley is naïve to hold that “the captains of the food industry are decent chaps” who will choose not to sell junk food if only the state stops regulating them. “Lansley’s analysis of public health is so facile that it would be risible even in a prep-school debating society”, says this exceedingly stupid woman. It is unrealistic, she thinks, to expect schoolchildren to be responsible about their food.

She feels that Lansley has not even bothered to master his brief here “Figures out yesterday show that, far from putting large numbers off school meals as Lansley had claimed, Jamie Oliver’s campaign to improve school meals, and all the government work on nutritional standards that followed, has increased uptake of healthy hot meals at lunchtime. It turns out those in loco parentis, or to use that pernicious rhetoric of the privileged right, ‘nanny’, should decide what’s best for children. It works” she triumphantly exclaims.

Like so many Romantics, this is a tribal thing for the authoress. She does not seem to know that the pristine right of the French Assembly in 1789 was protectionist, as she is, and that the left was for the free trade, that she is so ardently opposed to. The Fabian Society called some old Tory ideas “socialist” in the 1890s, which was perfectly true, but they also said they were left wing. They did not fit in well with free trade, but this was widely accepted as being apt nevertheless. The dichotomy has been somewhat confused in common sense ever since.

Nor is Lansley even aware of the literature that shows that choice is a myth, she continues, as we are all ruled by the unconscious mind. He might begin his homework, she says, by reading up on Sigmund Freud’s nephew, Edward Bernays, he who wrote an essay on The Engineering of Consent. Advertising is more than just free speech; it is also a way of controlling those it broadcasts to, as the people all have an unconscious mind that any broadcast can enter to manipulate any one amongst the masses listening by using their modern techniques. Bernays was the first to realise that the public could be manipulated “into buying products they did not want or need by targeting their unconscious desires.” In the 1920s, he aided the large scale selling to the public of cigarettes and junk food. The state was needed to break the habit of smoking that such advertising had long built up, and it will similarly be needed to break the habit of consuming junk food too, says the authoress. With smoking, the adverts needed to be stopped first. Then the state was needed to put up taxes on the cigarettes and only later to ban smoking in public places. This long strategy alone could “quell the desires that had been so skilfully awakened” by the giant tobacco firms, she says. She writes as if there would be no smoking or eating of junk food at all if it was not for this tremendous manipulation ability of advertisements.

“Why does Lansley think the food industry has fought tooth and nail to avoid restrictions on its marketing to children? It has to catch them young, to form their palates and create their desires” she says.

This woman thinks that the founder of the Jesuits, Ignatius Loyola, was quite right to think that what we learn young enough; we can never quite analyse, or reasonably check out for truth in any way. It is worth mentioning that Voltaire was the product of such a Jesuit college.

We may hothouse the brain by early education to enlarge the brain by dendritic growth, but we cannot realistically hope to build in a special protection for any particular doctrine by any advantage in early education. And, as the pristine Romantic propagandist, J.J. Rousseau, rightly said, any material will aid brain development such that we will be able to think all the better as a result. Any ideas at all will educate us but none will stop further consideration as to whether they are true or not; quite the contrary, any will aid us to think clearly. Having learned about things – any particular things or things in general – we will be better able to think about fresh ideas than we would had we not been educated. A developed brain will better be able to think critically rather than being merely made loyal to whatever doctrines was used during its development.

Thus, the taxi driver’s knowledge of London will be as good as an intensive course of philosophy to that end. Both develop dendrites in the brain that basically boost the learner’s general ability. In the 1930s the best schools in the world were those run by the Jesuits, but they all, very oddly, confined themselves to Aristotle on physics, owing to their Thomist dogma. But their pupils soon caught up with modern physics as adults. Learning any subject will aid us to learn other subjects. Even if we could all be taught actually true doctrines, anyone might rethink them and fall into adult error, despite the fact that the external world, presumably, gives the truth a lift. Our brains simply do rethink all things. That is why this brainwashing idea is false. It assumes that we can be loyal to ideas indoctrinated but there is no way that we can prevent automatically revising all that we behold.

Richard Dawkins on memes is partly right. One aspect of the meme idea is that we believe, or catch, ideas like we do a virus, much as we catch a cold. But his idea that it is no use reasoning about the ideas that we thus catch, or pick up, any more than it would be to reason about a cold is clearly false, for all ideas are subject to reason not prior to adoption but at any time after they have been adopted. Thus, it is no advantage to get an idea adopted if it can be shed with ease, and false looking ideas can be shed with ease. Our minds automatically search for error and the rejection of anything that looks like error to us is automatic. We can never deliberately err, as Plato rightly said.

Earlier the authoress, Felicity Lawrence, wrote “Free choice isn’t healthy for the food industry’s menu” The Guardian, Wednesday 23 June 2010. She fears the market, loves the state yet also fears that the state has no chance unless it is very careful. I rather think that she is right that the state is not up to much, but she seems to merely imagine her supposed dangers of the market. “Traffic-light labelling was voted down in Europe only last week, scuppered by food industry lobbying of breathtaking determination and expense“. European consumer watchdogs have said that up to a billion pounds was spent by giant multinationals to get the members of the European parliament by use of emails and meetings to sway their vote, she tells us. The result is that an industry-sponsored scheme of nutrition labelling that serves only to confuse the customers emerged instead of her hoped for version of state regulation. The authoresses beloved Food Standards Agency [FSA], that had upset the giant firms in the food industry by successfully naming and shaming manufacturers for use of excess salt in their products, but it may now be abolished in the CONDEMS cuts even before it can fully sort out the big firms. There is simply too much fat in the foods that the big food companies sell today, says Felicity Lawrence, but the FSA might have put them in their place had the new government not been recently elected. “Plans are well advanced to emasculate it by returning its role in improving public nutrition to the Department of Health, whose past performance on food has been lacklustre” she says. “Another success, then, for the food industry and its lobbyists, who were hard at work in the run up to the election.”

The giant firms that produce all this dreadful junk-food for profit will not worry much over the plans that the state is making to control the advertising to children before the 9 pm TV watershed, as it can now use the internet to bypass any such regulations. It can use its adverts to get the children to pester their parents to buy junk food regardless of the planned restrictions. “This is not a world in which individuals make free, fully informed choices about food” she tells us. Rather “it is a world in which children are targeted by junk-food manufacturers from the youngest age. We live in a culture in which adult appetites are shaped by marketing that preys on our insecurities and emotional needs. It is an environment in which understanding the labels on our food practically requires a Ph.D. in food chemistry.” So she feels that the state is badly needed to protect the public from being victimised by the big firms that exploit them for profit.

But indoctrination is not as powerful as she thinks, even if we grant the idea that the adverts can indoctrinate; which there seems reason to think is false, as there is not even the time in most cases. The old adage “use it or lose it” seems to be the rule for all ideas, for if we do not use any set of ideas then they will tend to be forgotten. The general development of the brain, the growth of dendrites, will have been achieved by the use of any ideas used in education in the past. Not so the belief that the ideas in question are true, as that will depend on what the beholder thinks is the case at any one time only; even if, in revising what he thinks, he does not amend the content. The fact is that at any time, he might amend the content if it seems apt to do so. To think is to revise, even if we do not change our minds. And to be alive and in normal health is to think. We think automatically.

However, Felicity Lawrence has the daft idea that there is something called the “unconscious mind” that is the irrational enemy within us all. It will ensure that we are unhappy. That seems to be its main aim. So it urges us to do things that are bad for us. So we all need the guardianship of the state, which is, presumably, manned by politicians that lack this unconscious mind. How otherwise could they know what is best? But the idea that politicians are special in this way seems to be rather far-fetched. More realistic is the idea that there is no such unconscious mind, or any other means of manipulation through adverts.

Moreover, almost any history of psycho-analysis will show a falling off of this idea of the unconscious mind within the very movement that gave rise to it: within psychoanalysis. Any history of the movement will tell the reader about how the unconscious was abandoned by many, if not most, of the followers of Freud. . J.A.C. Brown, in Freud and the Post-Freudians (1964), for example, tells his readers that first Alfred Adler, and then many others, the majority, indeed, of the therapist followers of Freud, after a time, dumped this ‘unconscious’ meme as irrelevant to anything they thought was real. I think they were right to do so.

Similarly, the Jesuit colleges have exactly no chance of making a Catholic for life, given the first seven years. If ever such a successful former pupil is later willing to debate at any time, then all the Catholic doctrines learnt earlier will thereby run the risk of being discredited. This would be so even if the doctrines were true. If any opponents of the fondly indoctrinated Catholic ideas can get the pupil to debate then they do have a chance of wiping out any beliefs in the Jesuit creed that he was indoctrinated in. The Jesuits have no chance at all with Christianity in open debate, as Catholicism is, objectively, such a silly creed. But even if it were true it would still risk being abandoned on being criticised. Brainwashing is a mere myth, like mental illness, or irrationality, or socialism [as an alternative economy to the price system for the mass urban society] or the idea of God.

Even though all those bogus ideas – mental illness, irrationality and socialism – do give fools lots of pleasure, no one can actually believe as they wish, so anyone who discusses those bogus ideas thereby risks either being disillusioned, or even understanding an actual refutation in some cases. Bias cannot crowd out criticism, even though many fools feel utterly certain that it can. We are free to say what we like, but never to believe as we like. The one thing that Freud got right was “the reality principle”. We may not want to re-think, but we do re-think all the time; indeed we rethink any time that we do think, even if this is usually only superficially done. Any attempt to manipulate people will need to stand up to the normal test of reason or normal thinking that we all automatically do. It is not foolproof but it is a test.

In any case, the giant firms would need to compete with all the others in their adverts, even if we granted the bogus manipulation theory via the unconscious mind; but that theory looks lame so there is no need to grant it. Yet if we did, it would not be easy manipulation. Competition would ensure that.

Peter Watson in Ideas (2005) writes that the German historian of science, Theodor Gomperz said, “Nearly our entire intellectual education originates from the Greeks. A thorough knowledge of their origin is the indisputable prerequisite for freeing ourselves from their overwhelming influence” (p148) . But this is mere hyperbole, in both sentences, but complete folly in the second cited sentence, as ideas cannot gaol us in any way at all. Influence tends to push us out rather than to suck us in, thus the wider educated mind is usually the more independent mind and a man with a degree in Greek is not likely to be limited to ancient Greece in his outlook.

That we often deliberately make assumptions obfuscates the fact that we often make many tacit assumptions automatically too. Indeed, the latter assumptions are the norm. To repeat, the biologist, Richard Dawkins with his meme idea has the merit of getting the fact that we adopt ideas automatically, rather like we pick up a virus, correctly but he errs, and he errs very badly, when he says that what we automatically assume is thereby immune from criticism. E contra, we will automatically drop any assumption as soon as we see it as bogus, even if we are not right in it actually being bogus. As Plato rightly said, no one can deliberately err.

Indeed, few will think that this current common sense idea of irrationality, at least in the buying of what they do not want as result of advertising, applies to themselves. It only pertains to others; only to the masses. People may foolishly grant that they are irrational in other ways. But only the gullible masses seem open to being duped by advertising; but the masses are only an abstraction. We all feel we are better than others. It is the sort of value that we need to have, as it is, maybe, basic to survival; or at least it will have been so for our ancestors prior to the rise of civilisation. We realise that most adverts fall on barren ground as far as we are concerned. Few males want to wear the widely advertised female underwear, for example. But adverts must affect the masses, we think; even though we can also see that most people are not affected by adverts for wares that are made for the opposite sex or for products that are otherwise not suitable to most people who see or hear the advert. But why not, if they can manipulate any of us at will? Because we think about them, and in doing so we realise that the broadcast is not even aimed at us, of course. But if we do think in this way, then why should we ever grant the manipulation theory that Felicity Lawrence thinks is so silly of Lansley to ignore?

Even road-sweepers, or men selling newspapers, realise adverts have never persuaded them to buy what they do not want, though they still often feel that the adverts must work this way on the masses. The fact is that adverts persuade none. They do aid distribution by merely calling the attention of the people who already want the wares on offer to wares that they already want. That is enough to boost sales. No persuasion is needed.

Most adult people will admit that they have long forgotten most of whatever they learnt at school. I myself remember learning nothing at school on the normal day. I was very pleased never to be asked what I learnt on getting home for I would have usually had nothing to say. Most pupils seem to learn nothing on most days at school today too. That is why most nominal Catholics, sometimes even enthusiastic ones, know next to nothing about their creed, despite all those years of RI lessons at school. Most people do credit the schools with learning them to read and write, but they would have, most likely, picked these skills up as they grew up in the mass urban society. As Stephen Berry says, schools are mainly providing a child minding service. There has been no real building up of doctrine at school, let alone by the giant firms through adverts for smoking and junk food on the media. Mass indoctrination is greatly exaggerated.

Felicity Lawrence feels Lansley overlooks that the various firms have no social responsibility, beyond doing well for their shareholders. Why should they not want to sell more junk food? Bigger sales means more profits. She here overlooks that the firms have no interest in selling junk food, any more than any other food, and that firms actually sell only what is selected by the individual members of the public whenever such an individual chooses to become a customer. In each case, there is the money that the individual will need to pay whenever one wants to buy what is for sale, and that is a built-in disincentive to buy any particular good. Does the ware match up to whatever else the customer can obtain with money elsewhere? Our alternative uses of money have far more impact than any advert could ever have in ensuring that we only buy what we want, even if there was some sort of manipulation. We all do want money so we need to want any good that we actually do buy a bit more than the money that we pay for it and any manipulation, even if we grant it as real, will need to be strong to counter that. But Felicity Lawrence does not seem to realise that fact.

However, she will have experienced it whenever she has to pay for whatever she buys. By contrast, she will not have experienced the power of manipulation from the adverts, for it is not real at all. But she might think that, as this influence occurs unconsciously, she need never expect to have any experience of it. This does not seem to be a very realistic line of thought; but neither do the main ideas she accuses Lansley of ignoring look one iota realistic either. In any case, if the adverts can get the unconscious mind to buy anything, then why not get them to buy healthy food? Presumably, anything the public buys will yield a profit.

In any case, if the adverts can get the unconscious mind to buy anything, then why not get them to buy healthy food? Presumably, anything the public buys will yield a profit. Or does it all depend on the unconscious desires, as most accounts of it seem to suggest? If so, it does not even claim to get people to do as it wants but instead it simply depends on what is wanted by the unconscious mind already. Things are not looking so good for the big firms after all. They are going to need entrepreneurship with its risk of getting what the customers buy wrong, and thus making losses rather than profits. In this line of argument, it looks as if the firms do not have the alternative of handy manipulation by advertising to dodge the risk of losses after all.

Many amongst the UK public have feared greatly, just lately, that the law on product placement within TV programmes is about to be relaxed and they see this as sinister. Like Felicity Lawrence, they fear that advertisements will manipulate them through their unconscious mind by the use of modern techniques of persuasion. I recall a class in which the teacher put a case against adverts as a sort of running joke to lighten up the lesson [it was a mathematics night school class]. Towards the end of the class, he came near the end of his case against the Guinness adverts.: “Then it is on your mind that you might buy a pint of Guinness!” he exclaimed. He was a Guinness drinker and so was I. About seven of us went for a drink after the class each week. “And then you recall that you do not like Guinness!” I retorted. The class laughed. Just getting the message over will never be enough to sell a good. The good, or service advertised, will need to be wanted beforehand.

The authoress knows, or she thinks she knows, that social class rather than individual responsibility decides those things. Class is still a major determinant of how healthy a person is, says Felicity Lawrence. Inequality is the big factor that causes a lot of bad health by sales of cigarettes and junk food. The fact that the crass ideal of equality is impossible, in any case, is, presumably, not realised by the authoress. She goes on about how salt is bad for our blood pressure. But any reader might think that her silly articles are not the best recommended reading for dodging high blood pressure, nor is a daily reading of that rag, The Guardian. It may help its readers if they take their daily reading of it with a small pinch of salt.

Felicity Lawrence finds the idea of individual responsibility, that she calls a Tory idea, to be “truly frightening”. This idea “which casts everything as personal responsibility – social injustice, like obesity, is indeed a moral failure, but only on the part of those who suffer it” she writes. Felicity Lawrence finds the idea of individual responsibility, that she calls a Tory idea, to be “truly frightening”. This idea “which casts everything as personal responsibility – social injustice, like obesity, is indeed a moral failure, but only on the part of those who suffer it” she writes. But, if we look at it historically, if we go back to what Tory and Whig meant up to the 1840s, or what Tory and Liberal meant in the 1850s and 60s, then she is, basically, a one nation Tory par excellence. What is more, she writes for a pristine Tory warmongering rag that campaigned against Cobden and Bright for opposing the Crimean War, and helped to get both of them thrown out of the House of Commons for opposition to that war. However, she seems to lack the historical knowledge to realise all that.

My guess is that she will be very confused as to what is social injustice. It will be linked to the rather arbitrary ideal of equality in her mind, as in the mind of anyone who writes for The Guardian, but justice bears no relation to that crass ideal in reality. There are many things that we are not responsible for – how the way the moon affects the tides or, less obviously, the earth daily. But it is plainly true that we are responsible for how fat we are at any one time. It is also up to each of us whether we smoke cigarettes, or not. Being a member of the proletariat does not mean that I have to smoke cigarettes and eat beef-burgers. Many such classified people do not follow the norm in that respect, if it is a norm. It will only happen in my case if I want to do those things. My social class has exactly no actual bearing on my choice there; none whatsoever. Ditto for everyone else. But Felicity Lawrence prefers to personify mere social class; for she writes as if she feels that a mere academic abstraction can refute a plain reality, the reality of personal choice. She is hardly alone in that folly. But only actual agents can be responsible [i.e. to be able to respond to blame] and those mere abstractions are clearly not agents. So it is merely futile to blame them. This is, basically, what Mrs Thatcher was saying when they cited her on there being no such thing as society, for when it comes to blame, society is not an agent [and it is not actually a thing either, but mere social interaction]. It does not make sense to blame society, as it cannot do anything at all. Similarly, social class does not decide who smokes or eats junk food. Abstractions simply cannot be responsible in that they cannot respond.

I do not think that there is much of worth in any plea that Lansley has in mind to make to the food industry. It would be better for him to do nothing at all.

The less state regulation there is, the better. Regulation is going to be dysfunctional. This is because the state is bound to victimise some when it taxes and to corrupt others when it favours people with handouts too. It is going to be negative sum on the whole transaction, as there will not only be the funds transferred from OY to McX, but bureaucrats will also need to be paid for the administration costs that will be involved.

Felicity Lawrence tells us that Edward Bernays had his main influence in the 1920s but the essay she recommends Lansley to read dates from 1947. Bernays brought out a book he called Propaganda (1928). It adopts the absurd idea that we have an unconscious mind. The plain reality is that what is unconscious is not of the mind, ipso facto. To be unconscious is exactly to be not of the mind.

“If we understand the mechanism and motives of the group mind, is it not possible to control and regiment the masses according to our will without their knowing about it?” – Edward Bernays

Many people who champion the idea of an unconscious mind credit the fact that things can often become clearer if only we sleep on it. To let the action of the unconscious mind work on the problem for us (for example, on a new bit of mathematics) overnight. This time, contrary to the normal idea that it is the enemy within, the unconscious mind is held to be a friend who helps us with our homework. But what has most likely actually happened is that fresh brain development has taken place overnight, in that new dendrites have emerged in the brain. This will be unconscious, but not really to do with the mind, any more than muscle development that can, similarly, occur overnight. This is not of the mind at all but of the body. Either may be owing to a decision made to exercise the mind, or the body, but the development will be physical in each case rather than being mental.

Bernays had the very widespread idea that people are irrational and he thought that this explained why they bought things that he, when considering them with his advanced theories, thought they did not really need, or even want. As we do not need most things, the former idea of Bernays looks realistic. But with the second idea, that the customer does not even want whatever is purchased, there is the built-in disincentive of parting with some money that, in each case, tends to refute the idea that we never want what we buy. Indeed, that the customer parted with scarce money for whatever was bought suggests that the customer wanted whatever was bought even more than the money that they had to pay for it, even if they did not need what they paid for. Many of Bernays epigones in marketing thought that firms made things and then got the customers to buy them by secret methods involving the unconscious mind. But that looks a little nebulous if we but think about it.

Felicity Lawrence, too, seems to think that the choice was made for people by the firms before the customers buy anything. This is quite true as far as it goes and it is simply the great risk of ordinary entrepreneurship, but Felicity Lawrence and the literature she so admires, usually written by silly psychologists and marketing experts, did not mean that the firms risked a loss in guessing what could sell. Rather that the firms might be able to cut out the risk altogether by simply manipulating what people want towards whatever they found it easiest to produce, that they might cut out the risk of making unwanted losses with the aid of Bernays’ advanced theories. They thought that the whole of the risk of guessing what the customers might buy, what they wanted enough to pay for, could be bypassed by modern techniques of persuasion. It seems clear that they did not do much conscious thinking on this unconscious idea.

Oddly, the followers of Bernays usually also thought that making a study of people was needed, to see how the customers felt. If one understood what those “unconscious desires” were, then one could use this to the firm’s advantage. It could be used to sell products the giant firms had already decided to produce, to greatly increase sales of well-established goods. One example was where they found that many housewives felt a bit guilty, in their unconscious mind, that they were having it way too easy in the home by making a cake from a popular cake mixture, so the firm recommended, on the packet, that adding an egg would be needed. That made the housewife feel that the end result was a bit more of her own work, thereby easing the guilt by quite a bit and greatly increasing sales of the product as a result.

This cake mixture example is given in a few internet accounts of those hidden powers of manipulation that I finally resorted to in an effort to find out whatever it could be that Felicity Lawrence was referring to. Yet this much repeated example is odd in at least two senses:

1) Why did the guilt need to ever be unconscious and, if it was such, how was it ever found out by the researchers? Clearly, the unconscious meme was only included as it was a beloved false idol, or a mere fad. That is its attraction for the likes of Felicity Lawrence, Edward Bernays and all the others who adopt it. It is actually a counter productive idea in the story they tell of the housewives guilt. Their love of the paradox leads them to overlook the absurdity involved.

2) Why was research, such as this on housewife guilt, ever needed when they claimed to have the advanced means that could be used to sell her anything in any case? We have been told and retold, that what is needed, or even wanted, by the mere individual housewife does not matter but that theoretical abstractions, like the unconscious mind or social class, decides whatever she does. So why all this research into what it is that she desires? If sales are to be achieved by manipulating desires on the unconscious level, why not just get on with it then? That the masters of the advanced techniques seemed to think that some research was needed suggests that they did not consciously believe in the power of their own advanced means of manipulation.

Many who dislike the market ironically greatly over-estimate the power of money. They think that state services always would work, if only more money was supplied to them, for example. They also think that adverts simply must have a great effect merely owing to the money that goes into them. If the adverts did not persuade people then lots of money would never be spent on them, it is claimed. But adverts aid distribution even when they do not begin to persuade people of anything. It is enough that they remind people of what they advertise. Most people who reject the market do so on the idea that it is about greed and selfishness, but the market is, ironically, where the workers are all institutionally geared to serving others. This is so clearly the case that it might be far more aptly labelled as institutionalised altruism. Profit is a sign that wide sections of the public have been served by the firm who reaps the profit. By contrast, I fear that the state invariability mucks society up. It is always a negative sum activity, which is intrinsically uneconomic and thus dysfunctional and wasteful. So the CONDEMS seem to be on the right track in their aim of replacing the state sector with private sector jobs.

Some people feel that adverts are propaganda, and that is indeed the case, but they think that propaganda is all lies,ipso facto. The state used what it called propaganda against other states whom it was at war with in 1914 and 1939, but this wartime use of words by the state was indeed a war of words, rather that an attempt to recruit or propagate, so it might have been more aptly called polemics than propaganda. Propaganda sets out to persuade rather than to alienate or to discourage or to demoralise. It is out of place in war. So “wartime propaganda” is something of a misnomer.

In a moment of rare candour Galbraith remarked “You will find that the State is the kind of organization which, though it does big things badly, does small things badly, too.”

However, it is not the case that propaganda has to persuade. There simply is not the time to persuade in most adverts, though there is the occasional lengthy advert in magazines, which may be mistaken for an article, and may be of a similar length. It might have an opportunity to break this advertising norm by successful persuasion. However, most adverts are merely drawing attention to the item advertised. The notice of the Libertarian Alliance [LA] monthly meetings is an example. They draw attention to the meetings in the hope that those who see the advert will already want to come along to such meetings. Adverts rely on people wanting the ware, the good or the service that they set out to promote beforehand. The LA adverts are part of the distribution in the making of those LA meetings. They act merely like the ringing a big bell, but ringing a big bell only works in the wake of the achievement of any needed persuasion. They work only on the idea that what they call attention to is already desired. The persuasion needs to have been, long since, done before any advert can have an effect. Entrepreneurship in general also does not set out to persuade but rather to guess what people will, or might, want. It similarly conforms to what is out there already, or to what might soon emerge out there, rather than attempting to get people to buy what is simply easy for the giant firms to produce.

Entrepreneurship embraces the unavoidable risk of error, but the likes of the late J.K. Galbraith, or nowadays his son James, tend to feel, with Felicity Lawrence and The Guardian readers, that this risk can be taken away by the sheer power of advanced modern advertising techniques. It is merely naïve to think otherwise, we are told.

However, the reality is that if the ware being advertised is not wanted beforehand then the adverts will merely be barren. Thus the adverts for junk food will be lost on those that think it is aptly named, that the food being advertised really is junk. Adverts do not usually have the time to persuade, even if such rejecters of junk food could be persuaded, and entrepreneurship is not about persuasion anyway. Rather it is about guessing correctly the likely desires of potential customers. The adverts merely seek to draw attention to the product they set out to promote. They can only help to distribute what the customers already want.

Adverts are propaganda, but they are usually also post-persuasion phenomena. They only work on the already persuaded. They are wasted on the people that do not already like the ware, or service, advertised. They aid sales greatly, but only by calling attention to wares that people already want. Recent adverts have been less widely broadcast, but rather more like narrow-casts, thus they are better aimed at the target people who are more likely to already want the product promoted. This is simply to cut out the realised barrenness of the older wider broadcasts. Why would firms bother with all this if they had known how to get anyone to buy anything, as the authoress, Felicity Lawrence, and many others seems to hold?

The facts concerning the wares or services on offer do not usually even matter to adverts, apart from occasionally the facts of access, as to where and when they are on offer; i.e. merely the facts saying “it is here!”

The whole aim, then and now, was simply to drawn attention to what was on offer. That is why they so often use women, those masters of drawing attention to themselves, and they will use them in advertising any ware at all. It is the ability to draw attention to themselves, mastered by women, that the advertisers seek to use. It does not matter one whit that the ware being promoted has nothing to do with women. It is not sex, but the arts of attraction that women have mastered, and that makes them so very useful in all sorts of adverts. Adverts really are still, in effect, rather like the pristine adverts in the seventeenth and eighteen century, that did actually ring a big bell to call the attention of people to the goods on sale. The whole aim, then and now, was simply to drawn attention to what was on offer. That is why they so often use women, those masters of drawing attention to themselves, and they will use them in advertising any ware at all. It is the ability to draw attention to themselves, mastered by women, that the advertisers seek to use. It does not matter one whit that the ware being promoted has nothing to do with women. It is not sex, but the arts of attraction that women have mastered, and that makes them so very useful in all sorts of adverts. They draw attention not only from men; for females are even better noticed by other women who, presumably, have no sexual interest in them at all [though the PC crew might object to that; how they still love Freud, who held by dogma that we were all polymorphous perverts.] Adverts are there merely to draw attention: nothing more. But that is enough. It is all that an advert ever seeks to do and it is all it needs to do. It is not about persuasion. Still less is it about any manipulation. It does not even need to be agreeable. It only needs to draw attention to the ware, or service, that it seeks to promote. Maybe to rub people up the wrong way will draw their attention even more successfully than to be agreeable. That is a point for any advertising firm to seriously consider. They will need to think about the risk of failure, for advertising can never remove that risk.

However, we liberal propagandists need to realise that it is best to inform people if we are to persuade them. We do need to win the public over to seeing that the state is a big mistake and that taxation is anti-social rather than a sign of welfare. But adverts do not need to persuade. They do not need to tell the public much about the wares being promoted, but there may well be a need to state the time and the place where access to the wares promoted may be had, though with many, or even most wares, this might be well known already. So most adverts will need only to draw attention to what is being advertised.

This theory of adverts as unconscious manipulation, as advanced techniques of persuasion that can get people to part with needed money to buy anything that the giant firms can easily produce is not very persuasive. But this is what the authoress, Felicity Lawrence, rather stupidly and unrealistically, thinks is so very realistic and she is brazen enough to say that Lansley is facile to ignore it. The very idea of it is absurd, as there can be no unconscious mind, ipso facto. Similarly, there are no means that the giant firms have to get people to pay for things that they do not even want. So the whole line of thought is a mere brutum fulmen. There is no reason at all for this authoress to fear freedom.

Cough, Splutter Rave….


Sean Gabb

I have a cough that is causing me to bring up lumps of yellow phlegm. I have decided to blame the Jewminati Lizards and their henchmen in the City of London.

Anyone who dares question this is by definition one of them!

Some very nasty people are NICE


David Davis

Spotted this just now.

Spot the difference…


Christopher Houseman

As an Election Day, May 6th 2010 reveals yet another important difference between a toddler and an adult.

A typical toddler may emerge triumphantly from the toilet today with the words “Mummy, I’ve done a poo!” Granted, the volume control may need a bit of work but, hey, it’s a start.

By contrast, as an adult I may emerge triumphantly later today from a voting booth, and tell the world by a variety of means (including a Facebook app) “Look! I’ve voted!”

Mummy may ask the toddler whether he’s flushed the chain or perhaps even washed his hands.

By contrast, I need tell nobody who I voted for or why I voted as I did.

Thanks to the wonders of modern plumbing and sanitation, the toddler’s mess will be flushed away and (hopefully) dealt with at a sewage works.

My vote will be put in a pile with a bunch of other pieces of paper in order to “choose” a local MP, who may (or may not) be part of a governing party. If my chosen candidate wins, I’m supposed to get a warm feeling that I’ve forced a bunch of total strangers to listen to me, before all the bits of paper are disposed of. If my chosen candidate loses, my wishes will be ignored completely and my vote will simply be disposed of as a waste product.

The toddler’s poo may be turned into fertiliser to help grow plants for food and/or aesthetic pleasure.

I have no idea whether or how my ballot paper will be recycled, but I’m pretty sure there are laws against the use of 100% “recycled” ballot papers.

The plants produced with the aid of the toddler’s recycled poo may help to alleviate a range of problems including global hunger, air pollution and clinical depression. In the meantime, the processes involved in recycling the toddler’s poo will have involved honest, productive work by a wide range of people.

Whichever party “wins” will try to spend the next 4 or 5 years generating a big pile of steaming poo legislation (stet?) to dump on the statute books, and on the lives of millions of people who may never have voted for any of the governing party’s members in the first place. The results will include yet more waste, fraud and misery.

I conclude the toddler is ahead on points.

Swine Flu Pandemic is Fake, German Magazine Reports


 

Swine Flu Pandemic is Fake, German Magazine Reports

How Smoking can be Good for You


THERAPEUTIC EFFECTS OF SMOKING AND NICOTINE

http://www.forces.org/evidence/evid/therap.htm

   
Smoking lowers Parkinson’s disease risk – More evidence that smoking fights Parkinson – “A new study adds to the previously reported evidence that cigarette smoking protects against Parkinson’s disease. Specifically, the new research shows a temporal relationship between smoking and reduced risk of Parkinson’s disease. That is, the protective effect wanes after smokers quit.”
Impact of Smoking on Clinical and Angiographic Restenosis After Percutaneous Coronary Intervention – This large study shows yet another benefit of smoking. This time the benefit concerns restenosis, that is, the occlusion of coronary arteries. Smokers have much better chances to survive, heal and do well. Where is the press? Nowhere to be found, of course; we are talking about a significant positive about tobacco and smoking, which affects the health of people, don’t we? Well, come on! We are also talking about responsible media, here… people better increase their chances of death from cardiovascular disease then getting the idea that smoking may be good for them – a totally unacceptable paradox.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines paradox in these terms: “A statement or tenet contrary to received opinion or belief … as being discordant with what is held to be established truth, and hence absurd or fantastic”. Since the benefits of smoking are too numerous and consistent to be attributable to error or random chance, it follows that the established truth asserting that smoking is the cause of (almost) all disease cannot be true – a reality that dramatically clashes with the gigantic corruption of public health, its pharmaceutical and insurance mentors, institutions and media. Therefore, it is constantly suppressed in the interest of public health, but not of the people.

Severe Gum Recession, Less Of A Risk For Smokers –  In the strange world that anti-tobacco has wrought, any research that deviates from the tobacco-is-the-root-of-all-evil template is noteworthy.  Here is a study that shows that smokers are actually at lower risk from gum disease. In this page (scroll down) there is more scientific evidence from other sources about oral health and smoking.Honest scientists have always known that smoking has some benefit.  From the apparent shielding effect against Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases to the more intangible benefits associated with well-being and tranquility, smoking tobacco in many ways is definitely good for your health.
One of the “Health Warnings” on cigarette pack in Canada. There is no solid proof for any of the diseases attributed to tobacco – just statistics and speculative associations, but the ministries of health continue to lie to the public, in a dazzling display of intellectual, professional, moral and political corruption.
Twin Study Supports Protective Effect of Smoking For Parkinson’s Disease“Dr. Tanner’s group continued to see significant differences when dose was calculated until 10 years or 20 years prior to diagnosis. They conclude that this finding refutes the suggestion that individuals who smoke more are less likely to have PD because those who develop symptoms quit smoking.” “‘The inverse association of smoking dose and PD can be attributed to environmental, and not genetic, causes with near certainty,” the authors write.’Total silence from the antismoking mass media droids, of course, on this pivotal, long-range study that shows yet another benefit of smoking. The reasons are obvious, and they need no further comments. If the intention of “public health” is to inform the public about the consequences of smoking on health as it proclaims, why don’t we see “warnings” such as: “Smoking Protects against Parkinson’s Disease,” or “Smoking protects against Alzheimer’s Disease,” or “Smoking protects against Ulcerative Colitis” and so on, alongside with the other speculations on “tobacco-related” disease? Isn’t the function of public health to tell the citizens about ALL the effects on health of a substance? Obviously not. “Public health,” today, is nothing more than a deceiving propaganda machine paid by pharmaceutical and public money to promote frauds, fears, and puritanical rhetoric dressed up in white coats.

Does tobacco smoke prevent atopic disorders? A study of two generations of Swedish residents“In a multivariate analysis, children of mothers who smoked at least 15 cigarettes a day tended to have lower odds for suffering from allergic rhino-conjunctivitis, allergic asthma, atopic eczema and food allergy, compared to children of mothers who had never smoked (ORs 0.6-0.7). Children of fathers who had smoked at least 15 cigarettes a day had a similar tendency (ORs 0.7-0.9).”

Kids of smokers have LOWER asthma! You certainly won’t see this one on the health news of BBC or ABC, as they are too busy trying to convince us that smokers “cause” asthma in their kids – and in the kids of others. That, of course, is not true, as smoking does not “cause” asthma.
doc04.gif (346 bytes)Shocker: ‘Villain’ nicotine slays TB - “Nicotine might be a surprising alternative someday for treating stubborn forms of tuberculosis, a University of Central Florida researcher said Monday. The compound stopped the growth of tuberculosis in laboratory tests, even when used in small quantities, said Saleh Naser, an associate professor of microbiology and molecular biology at UCF. … Most scientists agree that nicotine is the substance that causes people to become addicted to cigarettes and other tobacco products.”

“… But no one is suggesting that people with TB take up the potentially deadly habit of smoking.” Of course not.It is much better to develop medication-resistant superbugs than to start smoking…It should be said that the “most scientists” in question are paid off by the pharmaceutical industry for their research; and that most of the aforementioned “scientists” promote the nicotine-based “cessation” products manufactured by their masters — mysteriously without explaining why such an addictive substance becomes “un-addictive” when used to quit smoking!

doc04.gif (346 bytes)Carbon Monoxide May Alleviate Heart Attacks And Stroke -  Carbon monoxide is a by-product of tobacco smoke.  A report indicates  very low levels of carbon monoxide may help victims of heart attacks and strokes.  Carbon monoxide inhibits blood clotting, thereby dissolving harmful clots in the arteries.  The researchers focused on carbon monoxide’s close resemblance to nitric oxide which keeps blood vessels from dilating and prevents the buildup of white blood cells.  “Recently nitric oxide has been elevated from a common air pollutant . . . to an [internal] second messenger of utmost physiological importance. Therefore, many of us may not be entirely surprised to learn that carbon monoxide can paradoxically rescue the lung from [cardiovascular blockage] injury.”   The pharmacological benefits of tobacco are nothing new.  
doc04.gif (346 bytes)Smoking Prevents Rare Skin Cancer - A researcher at the National Cancer Institute is treading treacherous waters by suggesting that smoking may act as a preventative for developing a skin cancer that primarily afflicts elderly men in Mediterranean regions of Southern Italy, Greece and Israel.  Not that smoking should be recommended for that population, Dr. James Goedert is quick to assure his peers.  What is important is not that smoking tobacco may help to prevent a rare form of cancer but that there is an admission by a researcher at the National Cancer Institute that there are ANY benefits to smoking. 
Smoking Reduces The Risk Of Breast Cancer – A new study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (May 20, 1998) reports that carriers of a particular gene mutation (which predisposes the carrier to breast cancer) who smoked cigarettes for more than 4 pack years (i.e., number of packs per day multiplied by the number of years of smoking) were found to have a statistically significant 54 percent decrease in breast cancer incidence when compared with carriers who never smoked. One strength of the study is that the reduction in incidence exceeds the 50 percent threshold. However, we think it important to point out that this was a small, case control study (only 300 cases) based on self-reported data. 
Nitric oxide mediates a therapeutic effect of nicotine in ulcerative colitis“CONCLUSIONS: Nicotine reduces circular muscle activity, predominantly through the release of nitric oxide-this appears to be ‘up-regulated’ in active ulcerative colitis. These findings may explain some of the therapeutic benefit from nicotine (and smoking) in ulcerative colitis and may account for the colonic motor dysfunction in active disease.”
doc04.gif (346 bytes)Effects of Transdermal Nicotine on Cognitive Performance in Down’s Syndrome - “We investigated the effect of nicotine-agonistic stimulation with 5 mg transdermal patches, compared with placebo, on cognitive performance in five adults with the disorder. Improvements possibly related to attention and information processing were seen for Down’s syndrome patients compared with healthy controls. Our preliminary findings are encouraging…”

More benefits of nicotine. Of course, it is politically incorrect to say that this is a benefit of smoking – only of the pharmaceutically-produced transdermal nicotine, the one that is terribly addictive if delivered through cigarettes, but not addictive at all, and even beneficial, when delivered through patches….
Antismoking nonsense aside, nicotine gets into the body regardless of the means of delivery. And more evidence about the benefis seems to emerge quite often, though the small size of this study cannot certainly be taken as conclusive.

biblio.gif (2261 bytes)Nicotine Benefits – The benefits of nicotine — and smoking — are described in this bibliography. This information is an example of what the anti-tobacco groups do not want publicized because it fails to support their agenda. Some of the studies report benefits not just from nicotine, but from smoking itself.  But of course, according to the anti-smokers, all these scientists have been “paid by the tobacco industry” … even though this is not true.  Sadly, personal slander and misinformation are the price a scientist has to pay for honest work on tobacco.
biblio.gif (2261 bytes)Parkinson’s Disease Is Associated With Non-smoking – Bibliography of references from studies associating Parkinson’s disease with non-smoking. Certain benefits of smoking are well-documented, but the anti smoking groups, backed by several medical journals (more interested in advertising revenue than in informing the population), are silent. By the way, what about the cost of non-smokers to society due to their prevailing tencency to contract Parkinson’s disease?
biblio.gif (2261 bytes)Alzheimer’s Disease Is Associated With Non-Smoking“A statistically significant inverse relation between smoking and Alzheimer’s disease was observed at all levels of analysis, with a trend towards decreasing risk with increasing consumption”.
doc04.gif (346 bytes)Research indicating that nicotine holds potential for non-surgical heart by-pass procedures honored by the american college of cardiology – Dr. Christopher Heeschen of Stanford University was honored by the American College of Cardiology for his research on the effect of nicotine on angiogenesis (new blood vessel growth). His work took third place in the 2,000 entry Young Investigators Competition in the category of Physiology, Pharmacology and Pathology.  Dr. Heeschen presented compelling data from research done at Stanford revealing that the simple plant protein, nicotine, applied in small harmless doses, produced new blood vessel growth around blocked arteries to oxygen-starved tissue. 
doc04.gif (346 bytes)Smoking Your Way to Good Health - The benefits of smoking tobacco have been common knowledge for centuries.  From sharpening mental acuity to maintaining optimal weight, the relatively small risks of smoking have always been outweighed by the substantial improvement to mental and physical health.  Hysterical attacks on tobacco notwithstanding, smokers always weigh the good against the bad and puff away or quit according to their personal preferences.Now the same anti-tobacco enterprise that has spent billions demonizing the pleasure of smoking is providing additional reasons to smoke.  Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Tourette’s Syndrome, even schizophrenia and cocaine addiction are disorders that are alleviated by tobacco.  Add in the still inconclusive indication that tobacco helps to prevent colon and prostate cancer and the endorsement for smoking tobacco by the medical establishment is good news for smokers and non-smokers alike. Of course the revelation that tobacco is good for you is ruined by the pharmaceutical industry’s plan to substitute the natural and relatively inexpensive tobacco plant with their overpriced and ineffective nicotine substitutions.  Still, when all is said and done, the positive revelations regarding tobacco are very good reasons indeed to keep lighting those cigarettes.
Does maternal smoking hinder mother-child transmission of Helicobacter pylori infection?“Evidence for early childhood as the critical period of Helicobacter pylori infection and for clustering of the infection within families suggests a major role of intrafamilial transmission. In a previous study, we found a strong inverse relation between maternal smoking and H. pylori infection among preschool children, suggesting the possibility that mother-child transmission of the infection may be less efficient if the mother smokes. To evaluate this hypothesis further, we carried out a subsequent population-based study in which H. pylori infection was measured by 13C-urea breath test in 947 preschool children and their mothers. We obtained detailed information on potential risk factors for infection, including maternal smoking, by standardized questionnaires. Overall, 9.8% (93 of 947) of the children and 34.7% (329 of 947) of the mothers were infected. Prevalence of infection was much lower among children of uninfected mothers (1.9%) than among children of infected mothers (24.7%). . Click here for more information on smoking and pregnancy.There was a strong inverse relation of children’s infection with maternal smoking (adjusted odds ratio = 0.24; 95% confidence interval = 0.12-0.49) among children of infected mothers, but not among children of uninfected mothers. These results support the hypothesis of a predominant role for mother-child transmission of H. pylori infection, which may be less efficient if the mother smokes.
Risk of papillary thyroid cancer in women in relation to smoking and alcohol consumption.“Both smoking and alcohol consumption may influence thyroid function, although the nature of these relations is not well understood. We examined the influence of tobacco and alcohol use on risk of papillary thyroid cancer in a population-based case-control study. Of 558 women with thyroid cancer diagnosed during 1988-1994 identified as eligible, 468 (83.9%) were interviewed; this analysis was restricted to women with papillary histology (N = 410). Controls (N = 574) were identified by random digit dialing, with a response proportion of 73.6%. We used logistic regression to calculate odds ratios (OR) and associated confidence intervals (CI) estimating the relative risk of papillary thyroid cancer associated with cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption.
Women who reported that they had ever consumed 12 or more alcohol-containing drinks within a year were also at reduced risk (OR 0.7, 95% CI = 0.5-1.0). Similar to the association noted with smoking, the reduction in risk was primarily present among current alcohol consumers. The associations we observed, if not due to chance, may be related to actions of cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption that reduce thyroid cell proliferation through effects on thyroid stimulating hormone, estrogen, or other mechanisms. “
A history of ever having smoked more than 100 cigarettes was associated with a reduced risk of disease (OR = 0.7, 95% CI = 0.5-0.9). This reduction in risk was most evident in current smokers (OR = 0.5, 95% CI = 0.4-0.7).
Urinary Cotinine Concentration Confirms the Reduced Risk of Preeclampsia with Tobacco Exposure – This study, though small, shows one of the benefits of smoking during pregnancy. “These findings, obtained by using laboratory assay, confirm the reduced risk of developing preeclampsia with tobacco exposure. (Am J Obstet Gynecol 1999;181:1192-6.) ”  Click here for more information on smoking and pregnancy.
Fact Sheet on Smoking and Alzheimer’s – From Forest UK.
Smokers have reduced risks of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease – Of the 19 studies, 15 found a reduce risk in smokers, and none found an increased risk. And smoking is clearly associated with a reduced risk of Parkinson’s disease, another disease in which nicotine receptors are reduced. The fact that acute administration of nicotine improves attention and information processing in AD patients adds further plausibility to the hypothesis.
The Puzzling Association between Smoking and Hypertension during Pregnancy – This large study has examined nearly 10,000 pregnant women. Conclusion: “Smoking is associated with a reduced risk of hypertension during pregnancy. The protective effect appears to continue even after cessation of smoking. Further basic research on this issue is warranted. (Am J Obstet Gynecol 1999;181:1407-13.) ” Click here for more information on smoking and pregnancy.
Smoking: Protection Against Neural Tube Defects? – Swedish researchers have some surprising news for pregnant women who smoke: a decreased risk of neural tube defects in babies.  Click here for more information on smoking and pregnancy.

LA News Release: Better England Free than England Sober


NEWS RELEASE FROM THE LIBERTARIAN ALLIANCE
In Association with the Libertarian International

Release Date: Tuesday 19th January 2010
Release Time: Immediate

Contact Details:
Dr Sean Gabb, 07956 472 199, sean@libertarian.co.uk

For other contact and link details, see the foot of this message
Release url: http://www.libertarian.co.uk/news/nr079.htm

“ALCOHOL CONTROL: BETTER ENGLAND FREE THAN ENGLAND SOBER,” SAYS FREE MARKET AND CIVIL LIBERTIES THINK TANK

The Libertarian Alliance, the radical free market and civil liberties institute, today condemns proposals to make it harder for poor people to buy alcohol. The proposals include higher taxes, compulsory minimum prices for drink, further controls on advertising, and power to close down retailers. The only disagreement between the three main parities is how far they wish to go.

Speaking today in London, Dr Sean Gabb, Director of the Libertarian Alliance, comments:

“These measures, if adopted, amount to an attack on the poor. The ruling class politicians who continually whine about alcohol will not be affected by minimum pricing or the abolition of special offers. I might add that none of them can be affected by such laws. Income aside, anyone who lies his way into Parliament can look forward to round the clock drinking in the Palace of Westminster of untaxed alcohol.

“But the measures will hurt poor people, for whom alcohol will become cripplingly expensive and hard to find. They have the same right to drink as the rest of us. Bearing in mind the problems willed on them by our exploitative ruling class, they often have a greater need to drink.

“The claim that drinking ’causes’ public disorder is nonsense. Alcohol does not run about the streets. People do. If people are making nuisances of themselves, the police should be instructed to stop behaving like New Labour’s equivalent of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and to start protecting life and property again.

“The claim that drinking makes people unhealthy is irrelevant, where not a lie. People must be regarded as responsible for their own mistakes. Anyone who bleats about increased cost to the National Health Service should consider that drinkers already pay more in taxes than the alleged cost of treating their specific illnesses.

“We oppose all controls on the availability of alcohol to adults. Better England free than England sober.”

The Libertarian Alliance believes:

* That all the licensing laws should be repealed;
* That all controls on the marketing of alcohol should be repealed;
* That alcohol taxes should be reduced to the same level as the lowest in the European Union, and that there should be no increase in other taxes;
* That not a penny of the taxpayers’ money should be given to any organisation arguing against the above.

END OF COPY

Note(s) to Editors

Dr Sean Gabb is the Director of the Libertarian Alliance. His latest book, Cultural Revolution, Culture War: How Conservatives Lost England, and How to Get It Back, may be downloaded for free from http://tinyurl.com/34e2o3. It may also be bought. His other books are available from Hampden Press at http://www.hampdenpress.co.uk.He can be contacted for further comment on 07956 472 199 or by email at sean@libertarian.co.uk

Extended Contact Details:

The Libertarian Alliance is Britain’s most radical free market and civil liberties policy institute. It has published over 700 articles, pamphlets and books in support of freedom and against statism in all its forms. These are freely available at http://www.libertarian.co.uk

Our postal address is

The Libertarian Alliance
Suite 35
2 Lansdowne Row
Mayfair
London
W1J 6HL
Tel: 07956 472 199

Associated Organisations

The Libertarian International – http://www.libertarian.to – is a sister organisation to the Libertarian Alliance. Its mission is to coordinate various initiatives in the defence of individual liberty throughout the world.

Sean Gabb’s personal website – http://www.seangabb.co.uk – contains about a million words of writings on themes interesting to libertarians and conservatives.

Hampden Press – http://www.hampdenpress.co.uk.- the publishing house of the Libertarian Alliance.

Liberalia – http://www.liberalia.com – maintained by by LA Executive member Christian Michel, Liberalia publishes in-depth papers in French and English on libertarianism and free enterprise. It is a prime source of documentation on these issues for students and scholars