Friday, November 18, 2011

You Can Thank John Stossel for Your Electronic Tape Worm

I'm not a morning person, and generally unpleasant to be around until lunchtime.  But any day's a good day that starts with a post from s.z, and when you add in Dennis Prager telling the ladies to just lie back and let him, Bill Bennett, Mike Gallagher, Michael Medved and Hugh Hewitt fill their pretty little heads with the industrial run-off from their big pulsing Man Brains, well...that's about as close as I come to greeting the dawn with a smile and a wink across the brim of my coffee cup like the vivified spokesmodel in an old Yuban commercial.

Sheri also mentioned that she took the time out of her day to teach the fundamentals of Objectivism to an 11-month old infant, which takes a rare, Daniel-in-the-Lion's-den kind of courage, because babies are, by and large, not a sympathetic audience for the Randian Facts of Life.  Most of them, in fact, are needy, greedy socialists with a teat-draining attachment to the Nanny State (have you ever seen a pair of baby booties with actual bootstraps?  I rest my case).

And speaking of Self-Made Mustaches Men, let's check in with ex-consumer reporter and wrestler whipping boy, and current Galt's Gulch real estate agent, John Stossel:
"What's wrong with these chains?  These are the chains I forged (via a reputable off-shore subcontractor) in life!  Because I'm a producer!  Sure they chafe a little, but you know what?  Jacob Marley was a wuss..."

FDA Kills Smokers
My intuition makes me grateful that the FDA is there to protect me -- to make sure that every drug is proven both safe and effective -- but "protection" kills people.
Look, John, just be frank and tell her you don't like wearing a condom.  Or even fake a latex allergy if you must, but as pre-coital patter goes, this is a bit of a buzzkill.
Last week, I discussed how the FDA kills by keeping useful medical devices off the market. 
Like the Battle Creek Vibratory Chair, scourge of constipation!  Or  Sanitized Tape Worms!
"Easy To Swallow!"  (Just like the claims in this ad!)  And best of all, "No Baths!", unlike our exclusive line of Schistosomiasis Worms, which require immersion.
Now, we learn the FDA threatens the health of cigarette smokers who want to quit.
You know what I love most about English?  It's a such a vibrant, living language, always evolving and adapting.  Why, when I was a lad, we no longer said things like "when I was a lad," because it sounded archaic, or at least overbearingly precious.  And "learn" meant "to master a skill," or "acquire a fact," rather than "to distort a press release," or "to root around and pull shit out of my ass like an Okie noodlin' for catfish on Hillbilly Handfishin'."
How can I say that?
Perfunctorily?  Unconvincingly? In Percy Kilbride's Downeaster accent from The Egg and I?
Hasn't the FDA proposed that new warnings and gruesome pictures be placed on cigarette packages because the old scares apparently weren't working? ... So the FDA certainly seems to be trying to save smokers' lives. How can I say the FDA threatens smokers?
Because you have the morals of a Ukrainian phishing scammer?
What other conclusion can we draw when we consider that the FDA now talks about banning electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes. It sent threatening letters to manufacturers of the product.
The FDA sent letters threatening to kill smokers?  Talk about typical government fraud and abuse!  Instead of wasting our tax dollars threatening to kill people who are already killing themselves, they ought to be actually killing healthy people -- vegans, teetotalers, pilates enthusiasts!
E-cigarettes look like cigarettes, but instead of burning tobacco, they vaporize liquid nicotine when users puff on, or "vape," them. The resulting aerosol mist satisfies "smokers" without their inhaling tars and the most dangerous of tobacco's chemicals into their lungs.
What could be healthier?  I'm sure high-end spas will soon be replacing macrobiotic diets and yoga studios with "vape rooms."
What could be wrong with that? Well, the FDA says e-cigarettes contain trace chemicals that "may" be "toxic."
So do chips of lead paint, but that's no reason kids shouldn't be allowed to dissolve them in soapy water and smoke them in a bubble pipe.
But most everything "may" be toxic.
This column, for instance; and yet Townhall still doesn't carry a Surgeon General's Warning.
 New York Times science columnist John Tierney writes: "The agency has never presented evidence that the trace amounts actually cause any harm, and it has neglected to mention that similar traces of these chemicals have been found in other FDA-approved products, including nicotine patches and gum."
True, although no one has ever suffered from Secondhand Gum, unless they got a blob of it stuck to the bottom of their shoe, or tried to French kiss Ann Coulter while she was working on a Red Man-sized chaw of Nicorette.
 "The agency's methodology and warnings have been lambasted in scientific journals."
Like the Ladies Home Journal, and the Journal of the Whills.
Brad Rodu...
Who certainly sounds like a Star Wars character...
...a professor of medicine at the University of Louisville, concluded in the Harm Reduction Journal that the FDA results "are highly unlikely to have any possible significance to users" because it detected chemicals at "about 1 million times lower concentrations than are conceivably related to human health."

Moreover, Michael Siegel, a professor at the Boston University School of Public Health, told Tierney: "It boggles my mind why there is a bias against e-cigarettes among antismoking groups" such as the American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association.
Anti-smoking groups are opposed to nicotine addiction?  Call me impertinent, Professor, but it seems like your mind is easily boggled, so I suggest you decline any future invitations to actually play Boggle, otherwise it might set up a feedback loop that would ultimately result in a Scanners-like cranial explosion.

But in the interests of peer-reviewed science, let's see exactly what's behind this beef the anti-heart disease, contra-cancer extremists seem to have with vapin'.
[A]uthorities are wary of e-cigarettes and already several states, including New Jersey, New York, and New Hampshire, have made moves to ban them
As an ardent Libertarian, Stossel naturally supports States Rights, unless they involve stronger consumer regulations, because that's like castrating Superman.
Affordable and readily available online by adults and minors alike, some argue that this product, which comes in flavors like chocolate or apple, is just another way for teens to get hooked on nicotine.
But it's a potential boon to dieters.  Just imagine: you're in a restaurant, you've just finished a rich meal and you're trying to resist the dessert cart, when someone at a neighboring lights up a Strudel-flavored e-cigarette.  Suddenly, the flourless chocolate cake is forgotten, and all you can think is, "Mmm, your habit smells delicious!  Just like Großmutter used to make -- except, while we did gorge on her pastries after Sunday dinner, we didn't literally inhale them."
The American Cancer Society, Cancer Action Network, American Lung Association and others said in a statement on the product that "absent scientific evidence, these claims…that they are safer than normal cigarettes ... are in blatant in violation of FDA rules." 
And suspicions about these unregulated devices are not unfounded. The FDA survey of e-cigarettes found that one brand, Smoking Everywhere, contained diethylene glycol, a toxic chemical found in anti-freeze.
Now your teen won't overheat in the summer, or freeze up in the winter.  Anyway, back to Stossel:
It boggles my mind, too, because...e-cigarettes not only pose merely a hypothetical risk compared to real "cigarettes containing thousands of chemicals, including dozens of carcinogens and hundreds of toxins"... True, the cigarette substitutes are basically nicotine-delivery devices. But so what?

The American Association of Public Health Physicians wrote that e-cigarettes might "save the lives of 4 million of the 8 million current adult American smokers."

Four million lives!
It's unusual -- even surprising -- to see Stossel so exciting about saving lives.  I would assume this means he also supports a Single Payer national health insurance program that would save many millions more, except I know him.  Still, he probably feels entitled to credit for caring enough about his fellow, if inferior Man to save his miserable, moochery existence by unleashing the power of the Free Market, in the form of an untested, hand-held incinerator that delivers a highly addictive substance, seasoned with automobile coolant.
The FDA seems to believe that it can create a risk-free environment here on earth.
The FDA also seems to believe the American Businessman would put rat shit and brake fluid in baby formula if they could turn a half-cent per unit higher profit.  Bunch of airy-fairy Utopians.
But that is pure balderdash. Life is always a choice between greater and lesser risks -- zero risk is not an option. Striving to abolish risk kills people.
Preventing the Mark Eden Breast Development System from claiming it was "clinically proven to give you the front end of a 1955 Cadillac!" killed more people than Hitler and Mao combined.
"It's time to be honest with the 50 million Americans, and hundreds of millions around the world, who use tobacco," Rodu writes. "It's time to abandon the myth that tobacco is devoid of benefits and to focus on how we can help smokers continue to derive those benefits with a safer delivery system."
I don't know what planet Rodu comes from -- although I assume it's lousy with Sith -- but I think his statement would sound more credible if he was talking through a Darth Vader-style breath mask.


ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

...and yet Townhall still doesn't carry a Surgeon General's Warning.

And I want to know why, dammit!

Doghouse Riley said...

Y'know, in the same way that "New York Times science columnist John Tierney" might be more convincing if Tierney in fact had a science column in the Times, or was a scientist, or if what he did write was not the same libertarian objection to regulation, regardless of the particulars of the case, the pronouncements of Dr. Rodu might carry a little more weight if "Doctor" didn't mean "Dentist" in his case, or if the Endowed Chair, Tobacco Harm Reduction he moistens at the University of Louisville had not been purchased by the marketeers at US Smokeless Tobacco Co. and Swedish Match, purveyors of, among other fine chaws, Skoal and Red Man, respectively.

Anntichrist S. Coulter said...

Thank you SOOOOOOO much, Scott!

"True, although no one has ever suffered from Secondhand Gum, unless they got a blob of it stuck to the bottom of their shoe, or tried to French kiss Ann Coulter while she was working on a Red Man-sized chaw of Nicorette."

Now I will never need to eat (or try to get the food bank to return any fucking phone calls!!!), sleep (WHO could close their eyes without THAT imagery popping up like Tim Curry in "IT"!??!?! ), or conduct any other human actions or deeds or chores.

I will henceforth finally be in the state to which I have always (well, ever since Xmas, 1994, anyway) aspired: comatose and impermeable to outside stimuli for at LEAST the next six years. Yeah, I'll still be a toofless white-haired hag when I come out of it, but think of all of the food stamps that I'll have saved-up by then!!! PARTY AT MY HOUSE, 2017!!!

Anntichrist S. Coulter said...

Motherfucking TAGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Fuck a buncha blogger.

Anntichrist S. Coulter said...

FUUUUCKKKKKKKKKK. If Stosselstache is FOR cigarettes, then gawdlessdammit, I may have to --- *gasp!* fucking **QUIT**!!!

Pfft. Like THAT would happen... without seVERE arterial spray ALLLLL up & over this shit...

Anyway, blogwhoring that I'm blogwhoring for y'all, hope that all approve, it being ME and all...


Here's hoping that it helps!!!!!!

(I can NEVER fucking remembered, esp. when sleep-deprived, HOW to embed a link or activate a hyperlink to an outside source from the comment. Help, somebody? Please & thank you!)

Chris Vosburg said...

Speaking as one who has chased the camel for some 50 years, I regret to say that Stossel is right.

Well, almost right-- the FDA hasn't banned the ECigarette, they're just looking into it (as well they should), so take heart in the fact that Stossel is still an overwrought dummy.

Before I go further, I have to say that there's a handful of threads you can't wade into on the net without abuse, and this is one of them. Those opposed to tobacco also oppose the ECigarette, despite the difference, and I have been routinely accused of being a paid shill of the tobacco industries for posting what I am about to say.

Tobacco is about addiction to a psychoactive drug called Nicotine. Nicotine is not a carcinogen. Nicotine doesn't cause emphysema. Nicotine doesn't color your lungs and upholstery brown. Nicotine doesn't smell like an ashtray. Tobacco, on the other hand, does all of these things. Thus, separating nicotine from tobacco would seem to be a good idea, and insofar as the ECigarette does that, it's a good idea.

Which of course presents a dilemma for the FDA, which has steered well clear of nicotine, inasmuch as it is the, uh, active ingredient of tobacco, which it does not regulate.

The psychoactive properties are not well understood, primarily because it's been pretended for so long a time that there aren't any, and studies primarily focus on tobacco itself, not nicotine.

What little we do know is that nicotine has an antidepressant quality, and tobacco appears to be the drug of choice for self-medicating schizophrenics.

Personally, I look forward to a world in which ashtrays, like spittoons in hotel lobbies, are charming anachronisms of a past era. I've voted for every tax on cigarettes the state proposed, and if they asked for a ban altogether, I'd vote for it.

Yeah, I still smoke, and I can't help that, but my nieces don't, and I'm proud to say that caught without tobacco at the local pub the other day, not a single person in the bar had a cigarette to lend me.

In the meantime, ECigarettes provide a means to escape a filthy habit, but only to escape-- to the youthful experimenter, I'd recommend heroin instead, far less addictive.

pajzilla said...

FDA still allows the sale of a smoking-cessation drug, Chantix, which may or may not result in suicidal ideation and subsequent self-inflicted harm to patients.

"Hello, here's our failed anti-depressant or roach-spray that didn't work. Try it out for something else."

Myself have never tried the e-cigs but have chewed gum, worn patches and nothing has been successful, slight of a few lucky years here and there. There are many avenues to the cessation of smoking. Can't wait to see what's next. In any case won't consult with Stossle for information.

culuriel said...

I just wanted to thank you for your Journal of the Whills reference. :)

Scott said...

My pleasure. I knew at least one of you guys would get that.

Brian Schlosser said...

Yeah, that's some top-grade nerdery, there, Scott.

As for The Mustache Brother #2's arguments, I have to say I agree. I have a source that says doctors suggest smoking as a way to relax AND lose weight!* Whats the FDA got to say about that?

*Source: Lucky Strike ad, LOOK magazine, week of 14 August, 1952

Chris Vosburg said...

Tobacco merchants have never suffered from shame, God knows, and if they weren't throwing approving physicians at us in the ads, it was baseball players. I recall one magazine ad especially which quoted a ballplayer saying that when he was on third base, all he could think of was to get across home plate and into the dugout for a cigarette.

And those are the paid advertisements. Cigarette companies sponsored TV shows back then, and that sponsorship meant insertion of their product into the show whenever possible. Yes, you've all seen the Flintstones Winston ad, where Fred and Barney kick back with a smoke after some prehistoric yardwork, but I'm talking about the show itself, which brings us to Perry Mason once again, and the fact that the cigarette company sponsoring the show (Winston again, I think) took pains to make sure that poor Paul Drake had a lit cigarette in hand for every fucking shot. And check out the size of that ashtray on Perry's desk-- it's like 18 inches in diameter, easy.

And in the movies of the era, The Day the Earth Stood Still has a hilarious gag in which a doctor puzzles over the marvelous condition of the alien Klaatu's health-- while firing up a cigarette. Fucking lungs, how do they work?

And then there's the cigarette smokingest movie of them all: Fire Maidens of Outer Space.

As luck would have it, I was a mere couple of weeks into an attempt to quit and jonesing heavily when I first saw this MST3K experiment, and you can imagine what it was like for poor ChrisV: Anthony Dexter fires up the first ciggy in the opening scene, for God's sake, and it just gets worse from there, finally culminating in all five astronauts puffing away amid billows of smoke as they land on Jupiter's thirteenth moon.

I figured Writer/Producer/Director Cy Roth was actually a cigarette company exec, but apparently, no, he was just a really bad filmmaker. Who died at age 57. Hmm, I wonder what the cause of death was.

Anntichrist S. Coulter said...

I second Schlosser's sentiment, though I'm not entirely sure how I feel about Vosburg's. I am so fucking sick and tired of being looked at like some kind of diseased mutant (shaddup!) who doesn't DESERVE to occupy this planet, solely because I fucking SMOKE --- those little plastic cigarette-wannabes may be a more direct delivery system, but I still prefer the filth, pollution and outright rudeness of actual fire sticks.

Not all of us innernet toobs dweebs are home-bodies because we live in mama's basement, after all... very few places that we can actually GO out in public anymore without The Judgemental Jackasses muttering, huddling & sneering like The Witches from That Scottish Play, pointing bony fingers at us as barkeeps lock their doors. FUCK 'EM.

SOME idiots in this state think that they can ban smoking in barrooms and that the bar owners are going to roll-over & comply, like this is NYC or something. Yeah, good luck with that, Skippy, THAT'LL happen. Tourists to NOLA already treat this place as a giant urinal, it's not like they'll still show up if they can't smoke, at least not in the same numbers. Tits aren't the only reason that most FQ hotels have balconies.

Chantix flat-out doesn't fucking WORK, anti-depressants are guaranteed to make me uber-bitch suicidal, nicotine gum makes my throat close-up, and when in the hospital, those cute little "12-hour" patches, well, MY body tends to suck the nicotine out of 'em in less than FOUR. Ever since Bush Sr. and his Eli Lilly buds took over, the FDA has been nothing but a rubber-stamp agency for PROMOTING whatever garbage that the Pharma Bosses rolled out onto the Free Market.

I find it hilarious that a failed almost-journalist like Stossel will now try to vilify the FDA when we can't even get past the same rat-shit/roach-parts allowances that Carlin decried in the MID-'70s!!! Bitch, please. Once they figure out how much to TAX those little plastic pretend-cigarettes, they'll be on the shelves of every fucking Wally World on earth!

I'm still curious as to where all of that "tobacco lawsuit" MONEY WENT, that was supposed to HELP THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS, right alongside the legalization of casinos and lotteries all over the country --- since I'm being charged three times what the smokes are worth, WHERE ARE THE IMPROVEMENTS?!?! Hmmmm? The tobacco-haters PROMISED us such a better world once they'd robbed the poorest 80% of the country blind, and yet, public schools are rotting, closing, and "charter schools," another promise of their "utopianism" are getting busted, left and right. Well, they are down HERE, anyway. Half the surface streets in this town are still perpendicular to the actual land elevations since The Storm, and there's no hope in sight for all of the public buildings that lie rotting on all sides. So where'd the money go?

The Prohibition of tobacco & nicotine ain't working any better than it did with alcohol. The taxes don't help anybody but the politicians who write them, just like bad-cut moonshine and bathtub gin killed the desperate poor during The Other Prohibition. And, I might add, they've pulled an ADORABLE trick with the new "fireproof" chemicals that they've added to the cigarettes, because SOME idiots can't remember to put the damned things OUT before they go to bed. Ya gotta re-light 'em five times before you can finish one, so at least the fossil-fuel interest in smoking won't suffer, they'll sell more lighter fluid and plastic disposables than ever!

Anntichrist S. Coulter said...


Oh, and Vosburg? Don't be so quick about recommending heroin --- having gone cold-turkey 6 or 8 times off of Hillbilly Heroin(C), aka oxycontin, I wouldn't wish that experience on anybody but Dick Cheney and GHWBush, but then, THEY'VE probably never HAD to go without, by choice or by chance. After all, Herbert was on THC eyedrops and Halcyon the entire time that he was in the Oval Office.

Amazing what "medical care" one can get when one is properly situated, so to speak. And yes, people have been carrying "prescriptions" for weed around this state since WAY before it was legalized anywhere else, but again, it's who you know or who you blow, and/or how far below the radar you can fly.

Remarkable, really, the hypocrisy I've noticed amongst weed smokers who look down their blown-glass pipes at cigarette smokers... Very few know, REALLY know, what's in their weed, 'cause very few can get away with growing their own nowadays. The states can try to help safe growers, but the DEA has too much invested in "outsourced" weed, with all kinds of additives you prolly don't wanna ingest. Really fucked-up a Labor Day for me, and not because it was the one when they killed Princess Di, either.

Also, re: schizophrenics: remind me to tell y'all about what a home-rolled smoker schizophrenic did to the best rug I ever owned... or the crack & dick-on-the-side schizophrenic who tried to beat me to death. The nicotine didn't seem to do either of them a DAMNED bit of good. I know that if I go more than six hours without MY fix, that I'm much more likely to split or start raising hell, but it depends upon the reasons that I'm being deprived of my best medicine.

BTW, Scott? I looked up that worm you mentioned, the Schistosomiasis, just to see if it was the same worm teh F.U. was always threatening that we'd get for running around barefoot out thar in the boonies... prolly not so much. But one interesting note: if you wanna get rid of the snails that are the carriers/intermittent hosts of those nasty little bastards until they can latch-onto a big ol' mammal host? GROW/ENCOURAGE THE BREEDING OF CRAWFISH IN YOUR YARD. I shit you not.

I always knew that there was a reason that I never liked those fuckers... Think that we can get Stossel infected and off the air/teh innernet-toobs if we get enough worms into him? (heh heh... spellcheck offered "STONELESS" as a substitute for "Stossel"!!!)

BTW, if they're worried about e-cigs coming in flavors, in order to lure-in tween and teen proto-smokers, why don't they give a rat's ass about all of the BLUNTS and "tobacco wrappers" in every bodega/corner store that used to sell pseudeoephedrine like PEZ? "Kids" can buy "non-cigarette/non-cigar" tobacco products like "wrappers" allll over the fucking place, and nobody's doing a damned thing about THAT, right, 'cause it only affects "the RIGHT neighborhoods," right? Just like crack and AIDS. Have a grape-flavored blunt with your Hep-C, kids.

Porlock Junior said...

@Brian Schlosser:
"I have a source that says doctors suggest smoking as a way to relax AND lose weight!*...

*Source: Lucky Strike ad, LOOK magazine, week of 14 August, 1952"

It was true, though, or not wholly false. I recall, over 50 years ago, members of my family being schocked that a (very) young woman who worked for my aunt, having some weight problems, got a recommendation from her doctor to consider taking up smoking to help lose weight.

(Do the arithmetic -- yes, well before the Surgeon General's Report, but people who were awake knew about smoking before the government seal of disapproval came down. So it's not at all unlikely that there was truth in the Lucky Strike ads. Bastards.)

BTW, plaudits to Chris Vosburg for daring to get it right about nicotine. The demonization of that substance(*) needs to go on the roll of Sins of the Good Guys.

(*) Addictive(**) psychoactive substance, poisonous at excess doses, yes; so what else is new? Not so harmless as cannabis, but again, in context, what else is new? Kills approximately 0 people a year by acute toxicity; hey, is that supposed to be a good thing? What is this, an anti-alcohol rant? Yes.

(**) Disclaimer: Never addicted to nicotine -- so don't have personal interest in defending it -- because I don't have the physiology that fits it. Or, in the words of the great nicotine addict (after he kicked the cocaine habit) I lack "the addictive personality". Yeah, about as much as Freud lacked it.

Chris Vosburg said...

Yeah, I'd forgotten that nicotine seems to have some appetite suppressant properties as well (although pretty mild and not universally effective).

Incidentally, speaking of odd cigarette prescriptions, Dr House raised a few eyebrows in an episode from the first season in which he prescribed cigarettes ("one twice a day, no more no less") to a department store Santa suffering from inflammatory bowel syndrome who wasn't responding to other treatments.

Protesteth Santa: "But cigarettes are addictive and dangerous!"

House cheerfully responds, "Pretty much all the drugs I prescribe are addictive and dangerous. The only difference with this one is it's completely legal."

Anntichrist S. Coulter said...

I loooooved that clinic appointment, Vosburg. That, the allegedly "speak no English" Korean grandmother being used to get the pill for her "very modern" granddaughter, and one of the other clinic toadies (reminds me very much of how the Charity outpatient-clinic residents & "doctors" thought of and treated US PATIENTS) being instructed to start smoking, but can't remember the reason or the dialogue, sadly.

Chris Vosburg said...

The "Clinic hours" are a great running gag in the House show, especially in the early years.

My personal favorite: House staggers out into the waiting room on an especially busy day and offers fifty bucks to anyone who'll just go away.

Anntichrist S. Coulter said...

Like all good shows on FOX, the first season or two are always the best, and then they have to start FUCKING WITH IT, turning all of the GOOD shit into SOAP OPERA, and thus BONES becomes a fucking MATERNITY SERIES.

But yup, the clinic hours are a loverly punishment for a hyperlexic antisocial like House --- though I do occasionally pity the patients. They're not ALL flaming idiots or pathological liars, after all. Just the majority.
Though, I have to say, that if all doctors were as blatantly, brutally honest as House, when he's not playing dirty fucking TRICKS on people, we'd save a helluva lot of money on healthcare in this country on unnecessary drugs, tests, procedures & surgeries that they use to pad the fucking bill and bilk Medicare.

How I wish that House had been working in the Charity Hospital Ortho clinic back in '98/'99/2000, when I was being jerked-around over my broken fucking spine. They'd schedule 75-100 people for ONE appointment @ 8A, and if you were LUCKY, you MIGHT get to see a resident BY FIVE P.M.

If House had been there, I could've made a PROFIT, beyond paying for the parking and the gasoline and food to get and stay there!!! With a coupla disguises, I coulda racked-up a C-note or two, every month!