Anti-Smoking Campaign Farce (A Response to University of Alaska Anchorage)

It’s one thing for a college to have a couple of professors who abuse their tenure, like some here who have it and their classes consist of them rambling about stories and not really teaching anything.  It’s also one thing to have some teachers who want students to do projects that tell them what they want to hear.  However, it is another thing to have a department and a professor who are almost blatantly signing off on something that they like and using a student to do work that is a waste of the university’s time and money.  I have seen one such example and it has gotten me more than a little livid, because the truth is – this is a REALLY bad joke.

Over the last few weeks, we have seen posters up for a campaign that was supposed to ban smoking across campus here at UAA.  A campaign that is as useless as it was interesting, it was fun to watch.  This campaign started the first and probably only sectarian conflict that I will likely ever see here.  With the lack of student involvement, the two-sided propaganda war that ignited was a sight to see.  We didn’t get a picture but there was a jerry-rigged billboard of signs the day of voting against the ban, surrounded by posters in support of it.  It was kind of telling about how the entire campaign worked.  It was a war of words, with both sides getting heated and saying harsh things.  This was almost as ugly as modern political campaigns.

The propaganda was especially interesting.  The side against used heated rhetoric about how the people for this effectively want to cast a group of people who isn’t hurting them in any way out, just because they don’t like the habit.  The side in support made an interesting (and sometimes amusing) case that they could be putting other stuff into their mouths besides cigarettes (I can think of a few things…) and that smoking is something they should stop doing because it can harm their careers.  Which, to me, is kind of insulting, because it is another instance of trying to shame a group of people you don’t like to do what you want them to do.  To measure up to your standards.  But the other side’s comparison to casting out lepers in days gone by was also over the top.  However, it was a neat battle of ideals that was played out with all the vigor of a culture war.

The election took place and, wouldn’t you know it – it passed.  The ban of smoking on campus, a stupid and pointless waste of university time and money (which will be nigh-impossible to enforce effectively) has become part of the system here.

This is stupid for all kinds of reasons.  First, it shows that we have another instance of people who can’t handle even a fraction of discomfort.  Smoking is not allowed inside buildings.  It is supposed to be kept over 50 feet from any building at any time.  We make the smokers huddle outside in the winter like a bunch of hookers.  We have a lot of cops on the university’s PD force who smoke.  But all that pales in comparison to the fact that this is just going to be a waste of the school’s time and money.  For one – how would they enforce it.  Should all the UPD officers be on the lookout for anyone who is smoking?  Smokers are a clever lot.  Ban smoking in an city and you’ll have them on the roof or hanging out of the 20th floor window lighting up.  Are we going to have them waste their precious time searching for everywhere there are smokers hiding out?  Should we have a tip-line so students can call in and narc on people who aren’t hurting them at all?  The next thing that should have tipped them off is – banning things on campus doesn’t work!  I work on campus, and I have seen countless booze bottles and mini-bottles around, wherever there is a quiet place that they can avoid being seen.  So, we ban alcohol on campus, and that doesn’t work.  What could have possibly compelled them to believe that that would work?

However, that isn’t what gets me mad.  For real, that doesn’t.  Here’s what does make me mad – this was a project.  For real, this wasn’t done for what is interpreted as the greater good.  This was done for the express purpose of getting points.  And it seems that this person will succeed, since they made a poster and ever had their project signed off on by a member of the faculty.  Which ties in to the second thing that makes me mad.

I have little issue with the student who did this project.  For real, I don’t.  She has a lot of guts to get a culture war this strong going.  I admire her spunk.  Though I do take issue with the fact that the poster complained that the reason they didn’t get more votes for their proposal is because they didn’t want to pay the fee that Student Government had for their putting up fliers.  You won anyway, honey.  Be a good winner.  The person I have a problem with in all of this is the professor.

I won’t name names, because I don’t want to make this personal.  I want to make it about the merits of the thing.  The problem here is that there is a professor who signed off on this.  A professor who should have seen that this ban is a bad idea, won’t work and will just end up wasting the university’s time and money.  Not to mention, given how this will just get ugly in the long run, my money is on the ban ending in a few years, after the University, which is already tightening its budget, realizes that this isn’t helping them.  There is a professor here who should have realized that, historically, banning things doesn’t work.  They didn’t learn from history and decided to okay this.  Which, as we see it, means that they are in support of it.  That means that they are in favor of helping a student assist their ideology.

Now, maybe I’m wrong about that.  Maybe there is more to this story.  Maybe the professor just wanted to do what any good chemist does with two chemicals to figure out how they interact – put them in a beaker and apply heat.  However, it doesn’t feel that way.  What this looks like, by all appearances, is that this whole thing boils down to two things.  This whole affair is, at best – a waste of the university’s time and money.  At worse, this is academic nepotism so that this professor could get a student to do her heavy lifting for her.  If I’m wrong, good.  But that’s now what this looks like on the surface.  A student ignites a culture war for a grade, and the professor ignores what should have been evidence pointing that this wouldn’t work.

What a waste of time.

Until next time, a quote,

“I thought Mustang was all about kissing ass to get to the top?”  -Edward Elric, Fullmetal Alchemist

Peace out,

Maverick

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5 thoughts on “Anti-Smoking Campaign Farce (A Response to University of Alaska Anchorage)

  1. That it passed wouldn’t be unusual as we have no idea how many ballot boxes have been stuffed over this issue worldwide and it is a worldwide prohibition movement if you know the story of whats actually going on.

    First is the FCTC world anti-tobacco treaty brought into force thru blackmale by the UN thru the world health organization and its connections to the WORLD BANK and IMF. Where they threatened to cut off future loans if countries didn’t sign up.

    Then we have the Obama administration Blackmaling colleges to do it or risk losing grants and government health contracts and other such federally backed programs for schools.

    Colleges being forced to go smokefree by Obama Administration

    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced an initiative to ban smoking from college campuses last month. This is part of the HHS goal to create a society free of tobacco-related disease and death, according to their action plan released by the HHS in 2010.

    Colleges who fail to enact campus-wide smoking bans and other tobacco-free policies may soon face the loss of grants and contracts from the HHS, according to the plan. Western receives grants through a subdivision of the HHS called the National Institutes of Health, Acting Vice Provost for Research Kathleen Kitto said.

  2. It’s America that’s popularized antismoking insanity – again, and which other countries are following suit. The problem with Americans is that they are clueless to even their own recent history. America has a terrible history with this sort of “health” fanaticism/zealotry/extremism or “clean living” hysteria – including antismoking – that goes back more than a century.

    Antismoking is not new. It has a long, sordid, 400+ year history, much of it predating even the semblance of a scientific basis or the more recent concoction of secondhand smoke “danger”. Antismoking crusades typically run on inflammatory propaganda, i.e., lies, in order to get law-makers to institute bans. Statistics and causal attribution galore are conjured. The current antismoking rhetoric has all been heard before. All it produces is irrational fear and hatred, discord, enmity, animosity, social division, oppression, and bigotry. One of the two major antismoking (and anti-alcohol, dietary prescriptions/proscriptions, physical exercise) crusades early last century was in America. [The other crusade was in Nazi Germany and the two crusades were intimately connected by physician-led eugenics]. The USA has been down this twisted, divisive path before. Consider the following: The bulk of claims made about smoking/tobacco were erroneous, baseless, but highly inflammatory. Unfortunately, the propaganda did its destructive job in the short term, producing mass hysteria or a bigotry bandwagon. When supported by the State, zealots seriously mess with people’s minds on a mass scale.
    http://www.americanheritage.com/content/thank-you-not-smoking
    http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19981129&slug=2786034

  3. The current antismoking crusade, very much in the eugenics tradition – involving the same personnel and methodology, is much like crusades over the previous 400 years. It is a moralizing, social-engineering, eradication/prohibition crusade decided upon in the 1970s by a small, self-installed clique of [medically-oriented] fanatics operating under the auspices of the World Health Organization and sponsored by the American Cancer Society (see the Godber Blueprint http://www.rampant-antismoking.com ). This little, unelected group, using much the same inflammatory rhetoric of its fanatical predecessors, decided for everyone that tobacco-use should be eradicated from the world – for a “better” (according to them) world. These fanatics were speaking of secondhand smoke “danger” and advocating indoor and OUTDOOR smoking bans years before the first study on SHS: In the 1970s, populations – particularly in relatively free societies – weren’t interested in elitist social-engineering, particularly by a group (medically-aligned) that had a horrible recent track record (eugenics). Given that their antismoking crusade would have otherwise stalled, the zealots conjured secondhand smoke “danger” to advance the social-engineering agenda, i.e., inflammatory propaganda. Until only recently the zealots claimed they weren’t doing social engineering, that they weren’t moralizing. Well, that’s a lie that’s been told many times over the last few decades.

    The zealots’ goal this time is not to ban the sale of tobacco but to ban smoking in essentially all the places that people smoke (combined with extortionate taxes). Up until recently the social-engineering intent has been masqueraded as protecting nonsmokers from secondhand smoke “danger”. But even this fraud can no longer be hidden in that bans are now being instituted for large outdoor areas such as parks, beaches, campuses where there is no demonstrable “health” issue for nonsmokers. This dangerous mix of the medically-aligned attempting social engineering is a throwback to a century ago. We seem to have learned nothing of value from very painful lessons of only the recent past.

  4. Here’s a brief history of the antismoking madness (Godber Blueprint) over the last few decades.

    The first demand for a smoking ban was in the late-1980s concerning short-haul flights in the USA of less than 2 hours. At the time, the antismokers were asked if this was a “slippery slope” – where would it end? They ridiculed anyone suggesting such because this ban was ALL that they were after.
    Then they ONLY wanted smoking bans on all flights.
    Then the antismokers ONLY wanted nonsmoking sections in restaurants, bars, etc., and ensuring that this was ALL they wanted.
    Then the antismokers ONLY wanted complete bans indoors. That was all they wanted. At the time, no-one was complaining about having to “endure” wisps of smoke outdoors.

    While they pursued indoor bans, the antismokers were happy for smokers to be exiled to the outdoors. Having bulldozed their way into indoor bans, the antismokers then went to work on the outdoors, now declaring that momentary exposure to remnants of smoke in doorways or a whiff outdoors was a “hazard”, more than poor, innocent nonsmokers should have to “endure”.
    Then they ONLY wanted bans within 10 feet of entrance ways.
    Then they ONLY wanted bans within 20 feet of entrance ways.
    Then they ONLY wanted bans in entire outdoor dining areas.
    Then they ONLY wanted bans for entire university and hospital campuses and parks and beaches.
    Then they ONLY wanted bans for apartment balconies.
    Then they ONLY wanted bans for entire apartment (including individual apartments) complexes.

    On top of all of this, there are now instances where smokers are denied employment, denied housing (even the elderly), and denied medical treatment. Smokers in the UK are denied fostering/adoption. Involuntary mental patients are restrained physically or chemically (sedation) or multi-day solitary confinement rather than allow them to have a cigarette – even outside. In some countries there are also compounded extortionate taxes.

    At each point there was a crazed insistence that there was no more to come while they were actually planning the next ban and the brainwashing required to push it. The incessant claim was that they were not doing “social engineering” (prohibition) when the current antismoking crusade has been so from the outset, just like pretty well every previous antismoking crusade. There has been incessant (pathological) lying and deception. Many medically-aligned groups have been committed to antismoking – their smokefree “utopia” – since the 1960s, and are also in the pay of Pharma companies peddling their useless “nicotine replacement” products. They have prostituted their medical authority and integrity to chase ideology (this is exactly what occurred in the eugenics of early last century). All of it is working to a tobacco-extermination plan run by the WHO (dominated by the American “model”) and that most nations are now signed-up to (Framework Convention on Tobacco Control).

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