Friday, July 19, 2013

The Anna Sobury Collection

The past history of the Tobacco Products Directive is interesting stuff.Authored by a man who was eventually sacked for being a corrupt official and soliciting bribes,it was nonetheless picked up ...

What's shocking from here in America is that such vast corruption in connection with this is ongoing and not being reported on by the mainstream media.

One would think that they aren't reporting it because it's just a tobacco issue and they think no one is watching.

Plenty of people are watching,I expect this is just the tip of the Anna Sobury/Andrew Black iceberg.

House of Commons European Scrutiny Committee

Ms Soubry refers to article 24 (plain packaging) and then says "...I would have thought you would have commended us for doing all that we could to ensure greater sovereignty for this parliament..." Clearly she believes that the other articles in the draft directive are completely irrelevant or she does not understand what she has done. She says "...some of us believe that these public health measures are very important..."  It would be nice if she considered the whole directive rather than just article 24.
Mr Philips: "The draft directive had been deposited in December 2012 wrote this committee in January 2013... and then there is no correspondence at all from you or the department until June 2013, despite this committee having raised a series of questions a report to the house and despite the fact that you must have known that matters were progressing..."

Ms Soubry replied "...I don't think it's as simple as that..." [Andrew Black then intervenes]

Mr Philips: "... why did the write round [to the government departments] take so long that this committee heard nothing for 6 months?..." 
It beggars belief that a junior member of government has done this without, it seems, any consultation with stakeholders, ministers in other government departments, or the very committee that was set up to scrutinise EU Directives.
One member of the Scrutiny Committee criticised her for asking for a scrutiny waiver and accused her of failing to keep the Committee informed.
Another pointed out that the Committee was charged with carrying out scrutiny and when that opportunity was denied they could not carry out that work.
A third said it was “remarkable” that the Minister did not seem to know that nothing had happened between January and June in terms of the European Scrutiny Committee’s position.
Soubry said she took full responsibility for the decision she took, and she was sorry that things were not done in the way that they should have been.
Then ask yourself this - where is the outrage from Labour? Yesterday at PMQs, Labour MP after Labour MP rose to condemn what they imagined was a case of one individual interfering in government business.

On the same afternoon, though, a Tory minister was excluding parliament entirely and committing the country to EU laws on the say-so of, well, herself and herself alone.

If Labour are going to allow such sleazy actions from a Conservative - and you know how they love to attack Conservatives - without so much as a murmur of criticism, you have to wonder which industry's lobbyists might be pulling theirstrings, eh?
Be amazed that Anna Soubry makes "no apology" for her actions against the British people (except for an apology to the committee itself), for deciding that only she could save us all from ourselves. Be astounded that Andrew Black says his wilful failure to answer the committee's questions for over SIX MONTHS is merely a "learning point." Be gobsmacked over the fact that Soubry didn't have to do anything at all -- the UK could have abstained -- but Irish Health Minister James Reilly and Andrew Black had convinced Soubry that something had to done right away, because if they didn't act then you couldn't trust the Lithuanians to do anything when they assume the European presidency.

And they did all of that simply because they just had to have plain packaging in the UK. Because they couldn't afford to let MPs have a debate on it. What they truly did was agree to ban menthol cigarettes, without giving MPs and tobacco consumers a voice in the matter, and at the same time agreed to completely shaft vapers by effectively banning e-cigs by regulating them as medical devices, without giving MPs and the British public a voice in the matter.
Not only did she give a national position on the Tobacco Products Directive without UK Members of Parliament being able to debate them, but she failed for the preceding six months to keep the committee advised of progress. She thereby contributed significantly to the fact that time ran out for proper scrutiny and debate.

This is open and unembarrassed abuse of process – Soubry says she feels the committee ought to be grateful to her setting out to create conditions whereby the UK government will be able to come back and introduce plain packaging. She somehow attempts to make the case that her abuse of the parliamentary process was designed to protect Westminster's sovereignty.

Will the UK opposition start asking pointed questions? 
 This leaves us in the position of a rush to judgement over the TPD, before the end of the Irish presidency, without proper debate in the UK. This has resulted in a swathe of horse-trading between health ministers from member states, including those from Sweden who have accepted TPD endorsement in order to retain SNUS flavourings in Sweden (for example).
The UK government, via Anna Soubry, have taken part in those discussions while in breach of scrutiny procedure and without recourse for parliament to debate and discuss the meat of the TPD.

We need to withdraw and step back from any agreements made by Anna Soubry until such a time as scrutiny requirements have been met and MPs have had the opportunity to discuss and debate the TPD in parliament. Voices have failed to be heard.
Failure to do this will result in MPs being denied from representing their constituents.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Signs Of A Broken Society Part Two

Inmate Sterilization and Eugenics
One of the former inmates who had worked in the infirmary stated things a bit more clearly:
“I was like, ‘Oh my God, that’s not right’… Do they think they’re animals, and they don’t want them to breed anymore?” 
Unlike Slate, the Center for Investigative Reporting places these practices in the broader historical perspective:
California still grapples with an ugly past: Under compulsory sterilization laws here and in 31 other states, minority groups, the poor, the disabled, the mentally ill and criminals were singled out as inferior and sterilized to prevent them from spreading their genes.
It was known as eugenics.
Between 1909 and 1964, about 20,000 women and men in California were stripped of the ability to reproduce – making the state the nation’s most prolific sterilizer. Historians say Nazi Germany sought the advice of the state’s eugenics leaders in the 1930s.
Packed lunches: pupils face ban in new school food plans 

The report, which suggests a link between nutrition and academic performance, highlights that parents currently spend almost £1bn on packed lunches but only 1% of them meet nutritional standards. In contrast, scientific studies show most school meals are a healthier option.
The report suggests a range of measures for headteachers to increase take-up of school meals. They include banning unhealthy packed lunches full of sugary drinks, crisps and sweets, or even a total ban on all packed lunches.
Children could also be barred from leaving school premises at break time, preventing them from buying unhealthy food, such as takeaways. But schools should also make their meals more exciting and ensure unhealthy snacks are not served during mid-morning breaks.

 On Sunday a male and a female police officer appeared on Mr Syvertsen’s doorstep. Upon seeing them, Mr. Syvertsen at first feared that something may have happened to his mother, who is 86 years old and resides in a nursing home. But the police were there with a warrant to search his home, charging that the cash he had spent was money that “came from a criminal offense.” In fact, the money was actually part of an approximately one-million dollar advance on an inheritance he had received. Mr. Syvertsen attempted several times to explain to the officers where the money had come from and to show them a letter confirming that fact, but they would have none of it and proceeded to invade his home and his privacy. Eventually the police realized their error and left his home.
Although the police now admit that they investigated Mr. Syvertsen prior to the warrant being issued and found that he had never been implicated in any criminal activity, they insist that “there were reasonable grounds to suspect” criminal activity given the “sum of the information available,” that is,  the large cash payment.
The HSE, through the courts, has imposed criminally high fines against a window cleaner, because he was cleaning windows.
But not only that, they fined the people who hired him too.
The free market economics in fenestrated hygiene and piscatorial cuisine is being undermined.

The drug is also the subject of a class action lawsuit in Ontario over alleged side effects that include psychiatric problems, including attempted suicide.
The NDP says it has uncovered an email written by a former health ministry employee that was sent to the independent Therapeutics Initiative.
In the email, the employee tells the UBC-based drug safety watchdog to stop their evaluation of Champix because "it's getting political and we aren't sure anyone wants to see a published evaluation."

Sneaky public-health messaging appears to be on the upswing across the country, particularly when it comes to soda. In California, a taxpayer-funded group, First 5 California, recently used Photoshop to transform a healthy-weight adolescent girl drinking skim milk into an obese girl drinking from a giant sugar packet.
Similar tactics are becoming common in public-health research. In 2011, the author of a widely reported study linking soda consumption and teen violence later admitted there was no reason to think soft drinks cause teens to be violent. In 2012, a Harvard-affiliated hospital was forced to admit it had promoted a “weak” study tying aspartame, an artificial sweetener used in soda, to cancer.
And just last month, the eminent scientific journal Nature took the extraordinary step of criticizing the chairman of the Harvard School of Public Health, Walter Willett, for referring to a peer-reviewed study on obesity as “a pile of rubbish” because its results run counter to the prevailing public-health orthodoxy. Willett argued, ironically, that the authors’ exhaustive review of data on millions of people “could undermine people’s trust in science” because the results could be used to oppose policies that restrict “soft-drink and food” choices.

LEGAL experts last night blasted a sheriff’s ‘nanny state’ meddling — after he ruled a mum was risking her kids’ lives by SMOKING.

Sheriff Scott Pattison claimed the mother-of-three’s ciggie habit showed a “lack of parental care” during a hearing into the youngsters’ welfare.
He referred the case at Ayr Sheriff Court to the Children’s Panel — where the woman could now face LOSING her kids.
But his decision has sparked fears of a massive rise in meddling by authorities, which could land more Scots parents in the dock.
Sara Matheson, a Glasgow University lecturer and partner in MTM Family Law firm, said: “There has been a move towards greater state interference.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Social Enemies

Beaufort parks look to ban grilling, balloons

Waterfront Park is the main attraction for tourists and locals. It's a place where folks can go for peace and quiet or walk the boardwalk. It is a place where families can go and make life long memories. This is why officials want to ban those things, and make folks register to throw parties in the park and other parks in the city. Folks will have to pay a small deposit, but officials don't have a dollar amount set yet. 
"If you want to attract family, this is good. I think they should have a small designated area for grills where people can use them, and then when they're done they can go out and enjoy the smoke free area," said Janine Palmitessa.

Schmidt, a well known lover of menthol cigarettes, is not being overly prepared. The European commission is hoping to ban menthol cigarettes. The proposed ban on menthol cigarettes is only the latest example of the nannying instinct exhibited by many legislators in the European Union, which has already proposed or implemented bans on unsupervised childrenblowing up balloonsrefillable olive oil jugs, and pictures of babies on baby formula.
Lalley was incensed to learn that bars and restaurants, many of whom don't appreciate voters interfering in their business decisions, are catering to smokers outdoors.
I have a vision of Lalley, like Colonel Kurtz from "Apocalypse Now", cowering under his outdoor restaurant table, wringing his hands and muttering, "The horror...the horror."
Mr. Lalley, exactly where did you think smokers were going to go?  Did you think they were going to form 'smoker colonies' in the countryside after they were ostracized by voters?
Lalley is calling for a closure of this so-called 'loophole'. "If there’s no smoking inside, there’s no smoking outside where food and drink are served," Lalley writes.
Here's an off the wall suggestion, Patrick.  Go INSIDE where smoking is prohibited.  Is it too much to ask that you pick yourself up and move 15 yards?  God forbid you should be inconvenienced in any way!  
I'm absolutely sick to death of the anti-smoking zealots thinking they're the only people entitled to courtesy.  Why should we pass further regulation when a little common sense is all that's needed?
Smokers are experiencing an ancient truth: if you concede the moral high ground, your opponents will have zero qualms about lying and claiming truths that simply “ought to be so” to drive home their advantage. For example: Did you know that there has been a study on the side-effects of lying on the human body? On average, each lie shortens your lifespan by 11 minutes.
Oops! Sorry, that’s actually the result (and now blindly held fact) of a 2000 study by Shaw, Mitchell & Dorling, subtly titled: Time for a Smoke? One Cigarette Reduces Your Life by 11 Minutes. Do a quick Google search for the phrase, it yields thousands of hits on government websites – but all the pages have been removed because it was…just plain false. I don’t know much about science, but this dubious conclusion sounds like what the big boys in lab coats like to call an “unquantifiable claim.” We laymen call it a lie. It was, and is, effective – because nothing is quite as convincing as the lie one desperately wants to be true.
PBS NewsHour: And do these arguments pan out?
I discovered the evidence was really weak. The evidence of harm to non-smokers on the beach or in a park from someone smoking is virtually non-existent. The evidence that fish and birds are dying because of cigarette butts is virtually non-existent. And even the evidence that seeing someone in a park or beach will encourage kids to smoke is extremely weak.
So I said to myself, what's going on here? What's the public health impulse that's involved that leads to these bans if the evidence is so weak? Because everyone in public health believes that what we do should be evidence-based.
As I thought about it, it became very clear that what was involved wasn't that we were trying to protect non-smokers from sidestream smoke on parks and beaches. We weren't really concerned about birds and fish. There wasn't really evidence that we were going to protect kids by disallowing smoking in parks and beaches.
What was involved was that we really wanted to make it less and less possible for people to smoke, because it's bad for them and we're trying to protect smokers themselves from a behavior that's going to increase the risk of disease and death.

I know Orgy isn't everyone's cup of musical tea,but like every song I post with every linkbank piece it's words mean something.
You might want to look at the lyrics to this song because if you're reading this I think the words will mean something to you too.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Signs Of A Broken Society Part One

Law professor calls for ban on parents drinking

The proposal was presented at a seminar organized by temperance society IOGT-NTO's at the Almedalen political week and is specifically designed to tackle "everyday drinking".

The law currently has no scope for punishing parents who drink in the company of their children and Leijonhufvud argued that the proposal is an attempt to prompt a discussion on the issue.

She compared the offence to minor assault which currently carries a penalty of up to six months imprisonment.

While the proposal is aimed at "everyday drunkenness" it in effect suggests that parents would not be able to share a glass of wine at dinner.

Humorless Ohio AG mugs ‘prescription’ coffee cup

Here’s the issue:  does a coffee mug that mimics a prescription bottle and says “Prescription Coffee, RX#: VRY-CAF-N8D, Drink one mug by mouth, repeat until awake and alert” make fun of prescription drug abuse?
DeWine thinks so.
“People die from accidental drug overdoses in this state every day, and these products make light of the problem,” DeWine said in a May press release.   “We don’t find these products funny at all.”
“These products” referred to the Prescription Line produced by Urban Outfitters, Inc., a national company listed on NASDAQ with revenues of $2.8 billion and three locations in the state.
May was when DeWine and 22 other state attorneys general asked the company to pull the Prescription Line of glasses, coasters, mugs and drink holders.  On June 10, the American Association of Poison Control Centers and 57 local poison centers wrote a similar letter asking that the products be removed.
Most agree, dandelions are a notorious weed. But some recognize that dandelion greens can contribute to a tasty and nutritious meal.
Among the fans of the food is John Taris, a 75-year-old retiree who lives in the Chicago area with his wife on a $1,500-a-month social security payment. When the couple's food supply was a bit low recently, he volunteered to go pick some to provide a vegetable, writes columnist John Kass in the Chicago Tribune (sub. req.).
But, caught in the act of picking the weeds by a Cook County Forest Preserve cop, he was issued a $75 ticket. His court date is July 9.
A spokeswoman for the forest preserve district noted that foraging is prohibited there and called the practice "unsustainable, especially when it's done for commercial purposes," the article reports.
“This is risk aversion to an unsustainable extreme. What lesson should a company like Stride Right take from the recall? It’s impossible to manufacture a shoe, or for that matter any product, that’s completely incapable of causing any level of danger. A recall like this doesn’t promote safety so much as it promotes hiding behind a wall of lawyers, crossing your fingers, and hoping that the risk of a product recall doesn’t put you out of business.”
He’s so right. Any product can, under some circumstances, turn lethal. That’s a  fact  we can’t seem to get a grip on without running to issue a new warning or law, making everyday life seem ever scarier to parents. That’s one of the reasons for helicopter parenting — we are told that almost everything is out to kill our kids unless we are exceedingly vigilant.