5-6-2004 Let the beatings begin


"Incrementally mellowing?" I like it. "The punctuationally challenged, incrementally mellowing one." It has a nice ring to it, but makes a lousy acronym and you sure can't dance to it. I happen to like my new Wilkes-Barre acronym much, much better: "Today's Improvements, Tomorrow's Success." What a nifty acronym. I know I for one, along with Copper Dude, would be all for Amy Lee being the poster child for this new, nifty slogan. But, I digress...

You know what is really sad? Being forced to vote against one candidate, rather than FOR your candidate. There is a new website out there: www.johnkerryisadouchebagbutimvotingforhimanyway.com . Check it out.

Something else was very weird about one of your emails. The guy who had a hair about the Ehrlich adds, "The 911 of pest control," with the person standing up on a chair or stool looking down at the floor, a look of panic on their face. I thought the ad was a great idea. My first thought was of the person having an emergency and calling 911. However, I will admit that I did think, "There are going to be some nut balls out there that are going to take offense to this." Sure enough. I tell you folks, I am becoming more and more clairvoyant. Perhaps it's because five planets were in the night sky and my aura was resonating with the moons of Jupiter. Perhaps it's stress that is slowly driving me over the edge. Who can tell? But I highly doubt the folks at Ehrlich said, "Hey this ties into Sept. 11, 2001 as well-wow, let's do it!"

I just find it weird that someone would think that the term, phrase, numbers, "911" cannot be used for anything, by anyone, forevermore. I think 9-1-1, the phone number, was around a lot longer than 9/11/01, the date. Hey, somebody should have told those terrorists not to attack us on that day because it screwed up our use of 9-1-1, the phone number. What was Bush thinking? It's his fault you know.

"Imus in the morning!" on "The mighty 590!" Oh, gosh! I'm out of the closet. Sue, I am so sorry. Sniff, sniff, hhhhooonnnkkk, sniffle, snort. I just can't take "The Kev" anymore. And Nancy's constant backpedaling and trying to rein him in are getting tiring. If they really want someone for the show, how about Joe Snedeker? He is brilliantly funny and creative, even if he is somewhat slanted to the left. At least he is nice to people, and can state his opinion without offending anyone. I tried to listen twice this past week, and both times within 5 minutes Kev was name calling again based solely upon his opinion. SUE, I STILL LISTEN TO YOU! I STILL LOVE THE SOX! AND THE PHILS! By the way Ms. Henry, you talked me into Loretta Lynn's new CD.

Okay Mark, this one is for you. I will be attacked, chastised, belittled, bewildered, befuddled, besmirched, beleaguered, bemused, beheaded, and that's just for starters. A while back you had something in one of your postings, or we might have talked about it at your pad over a beer-I can't remember (see above words)-about smoking. Since that time I have wanted to approach the subject and do so now, with the full intention of having my #$%& in a vise or other torture implement.

Let's talk about secondhand smoke and the World Health Organization, also known as WHO.
Yes, WHO.
No, who are we talking about?
Wait. Who are we talking about?
Yes, who?
I just told you!!
Forget it!

Anyway, WHO proclaimed back in the early to mid 80's: ** "Second-hand smoke is a real and significant threat to public health. Supported by two decades of evidence, the scientific community now agrees that there is no safe level of exposure to second-hand smoke... The evidence is in, let is act on it." **

The words that should throw up a red flag are "evidence" and "scientific community" and "agrees." The scientific community can't even agree on how old our Earth is, what the weather will be like tomorrow, and are still trying to get the "Theory of Evolution" changed to just plain old "Evolution."

The statement is bold, but it is quite ironic and quite disingenuous in that the WHO's own research back in 1986 stated the opposite. ** "The WHO's World No-Tobacco Day web site lists, "Comprehensive Reports on Passive Smoking by Authoritative Scientific Bodies." The listed reports include the 1986 reports from the Surgeon General and National Research Council." **

Uh, oh. "Authoritative Scientific Bodies." Big words. I guess WHO never imagined that someone would actually read these reports. They would just be able to make reference to them so folks could march, jump up and down and shout, "See, see, authoritative scientific bodies say it's bad for us! We've got to stop this! Kill all the smokers!" And then it happened. The facts got in the way.

** "The 1986 reports by the NRC and Surgeon General concluded secondhand smoke was a risk factor for lung cancer. But of the 13 studies reviewed, 7 reported no link between secondhand smoke and lung cancer. Given the statistical nature of these studies, this split in results is precisely what one would expect if no true link existed." **

Then the EPA got involved. ** "Thirty-three studies on secondhand smoke had been completed by 1993. More than 80 percent of the studies reported no association between secondhand smoke and lung cancer, including the largest of the studies. The EPA reviewed 31 studies - inexplicably omitting two studies reporting no association between secondhand smoke and lung cancer - and estimated secondhand smoke caused 3,000 lung cancer deaths annually. ** And the feeding frenzy began under the watchful and supportive eye of none other than our friend Bubba.

No smoking anywhere began. ** "Just when it seemed anti-smoking activists finally succeeded in producing scientific reports establishing secondhand smoke as a health risk, a federal judge overturned the EPA report in 1998. He ruled the EPA cheated on the science. Later in 1998, the WHO published the largest study ever done on secondhand smoke and lung cancer. The study reported no statistically significant association between secondhand smoke and lung cancer. Oops. **

So what do we get now? Sound medicine, sound research and reality. No, you silly, silly person. We get this: ** "The WHO claims secondhand smoke causes between 35,000 to 62,000 deaths from heart disease annually in the U.S. ** Got to pump those numbers up. It has to be bigger, stronger, and more unbelievable. Yet the WHO ignores folks like the New England Journal of Medicine, the University of Chicago Hospital, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, and Wake Forest University. But who are these guys anyway and so what if they say otherwise. I mean comments like: ** "there was no association between secondhand smoke and asthma among 5,400 children aged 4 to 16 years of age," ** made in the APAM should carry no weight. After all, we got BIG Tobacco to sue for BIG dollars to make BIG lawyers and BIG politicians rich. And where did the money go-projects like roads, buildings, debt payment, etc. Certainly not to the folks that were dying of lung cancer.

And now we have all those great rules like smoking sections in restaurants. Hell, I can go to Denny's right now and sit in a non-smoking booth that is back-to-back with a smoking booth. As long as there is a non-smoking section. Brilliant.

I AM IN NO WAY ADVOCATING SMOKING OR EVEN BEING AROUND SMOKING. I am saying that smoking is bad for you. Smoking kills. Smoking is addictive. But I am also saying that we have taken folks that smoke and have turned them into second-class citizens not worthy of a place on this Earth by fostering the emotion of panic and hysteria over a subject that is AT BEST misunderstood, misdiagnosed, and not supported by more than 50% of any meaningful research. There are 20-years studies to date that still contradict the WHO's claims. I still think more research needs to be done. I still do not like being around smoking. It is annoying, especially at mealtime. It is dirty and for the life of me, how a smoker can't figure out how to use the ashtray in his own car, is beyond me. But at the same time the riotous demagoging should come to an end as well.

Let the beatings begin. "Thank-you sir, may I have another!" Keep the Faith.
Private Sector Dude.