Other Blogs/Comments

I tend to write comments on newspaper web articles, op-eds, etc. more often than I add entries to this blog. Conversely, sometimes a comment can inspire a blog entry where the comment has been censored out by a zealous moderator or whereby I can add more detail. Many of these comments will have been penned using my Kin_Free pseudonym but I find I am increasingly using my 'Bright Eyes Open Wide' pen name on the 'Discus' platform. 

if anyone is interested, my BEOW comments can be found in chronological order here:-



(or click my Red Robin avatar on individual comments) 


"Change your hearts or you will lose your Inns and you will deserve to have lost them. But when you have lost your Inns drown your empty selves, for you will have lost the last of England."

Letter published in:  Lancashire Telegraph 19th August 2013

Change your hearts or lose your inns

The English pub was the envy of the world, where it was copied but never equaled – until recently!

The pub is what defined much of our culture, a place of close social interaction that brought together diverse characters and where long friendships were formed, a place where the world could be ‘put to rights’ and where social norms were defined.

Real pubs are almost extinct now, thousands of jobs have gone and ex-customers spread far and wide, many friendships lost.  Many old and infirm have been sent into isolation to watch their 32” plasma with a bottle of Glenfiddich for company to await their end.

No longer tolerated by the gullibly health obsessed, old Tom can no longer sit at the end of the bar and puff on his pipe. Old Aunt Elsie no longer goes on her weekly jaunts to the bingo with her friends because they have closed too, so she sits at home watching the ‘box’ with her cat as company.

On a wider scale, society has been fractured socially where division has replaced inclusivity, tolerance superseded by intolerance and for what? 

To please a few anti-smoker nutters and even fewer gullible new age puritans? 

To improve the health of the nation?

We hear daily how the smoking ban has ‘saved’ millions of lives so the normalisation of intolerance, the suppression our shared identity and loss of thousands of our pubs is a price worth paying right?

Unfortunately, the ‘saved lives’ idea is nothing but propaganda to maintain an anti-smoker agenda based on 1950s science! This saved ‘death toll’ is a computer generated prediction, an illusion based on flawed information.

If so many lives have been saved, why have new cancers almost doubled in the 15 years to 2006, why does so called ‘smoke-related’ disease continue to increase despite the reduction in smoking?

It is the smoking ban that has caused this destruction of our heritage using junk science to justify it! It is not natural evolution as some anti-smokers would have us believe, but forced change. Prices only rose as a result of this coercion that has driven custom away from pubs and left us in this desperate situation.

Take note: Hilaire Belloc also astutely said: “Change your hearts or you will lose your inns, and you will deserve to have lost them.” 
Kin Free

( http://www.lancashiretelegraph.co.uk/news/10621548.display/ )




Alzheimer's and Smoking

Playing down the benefits of smoking in preventing,
or delaying the onset of Alzheimer's disease.

A response to Guardian CIF article by Ben Goldacre.

The CIF article  by Ben Goldacre is a comment on a recent analysis of the science relating to studies that find tobacco smoke to have a beneficial effect on Alzheimer's disease. The analysis on which he bases the comment is simply an anti-tobacco establishment argumentum ad hominem, bulled up to sound like ‘science’. I am pleased this article has been put under the ‘bad science’ series, because this is about as bad as it gets and a lesson to anyone who thinks that anti-smoking science now has ANY credence whatsoever. It is not about ‘bad science’ more like promoting and celebrating bad science that serves a pre-determined agenda, which begs the question what affiliations does Goldacre have?  I make no suggestions, but whats good for the goose....

Goldacre fallaciously suggests that the media do not give smoking ‘science’ a fair crack of the whip when in reality they routinely report any anti-smoker rubbish, often apparently without the most basic validity checks. Examples of this ‘science by press release’ include Dr Winickof’s ‘Third hand smoke’ touted in the press as ‘science’ but which boiled down to ‘ringing around’ a few people for their inexperienced opinions, and Jill Pell’s Scottish Heart attack study  that was totally discredited when objectively examined using real, complete, hospital statistics. Pell’s ‘science by press release’ was devoured by the press and used to justify anti-smoker demands for smoking restrictions worldwide and anti-smokers still quote these ‘studies’ to further their pernicious agenda, ignoring the clear, indefensible flaws. The media, with a few notable exceptions, are very supportive of the anti-smoking agenda and if one looks at the value of anti-smoker and pharmaceutical advertising revenue compared with that which could be generated from the tobacco industry, or those who oppose the anti-tobacco deception, one can understand why.

Goldacre does not link to his ‘systematic review analysis’ reference, so I will do so for the purposes of accuracy. He actually refers to an ‘analysis’ authored by Janine K. Cataldo, Judith J. Prochaska and Stanton A. Glantz from the University of California, San Francisco, reported here; Abstract; the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease; While the first two authors are instantly forgettable, the third is instantly recognisable to anyone who is conversant with the anti-tobacco campaign. That Goldacre avoids mentioning Glantz, is an indication of his relevance to the validity of this ‘analysis’. If he wasn’t such a powerful figure and strong influence within the anti-smoker movement, it is my opinion that Glantz would have been put out to grass a long time ago, bearing in mind his well documented antecedent history. His infamy even warrants a full page here.  And another revealing article on Glantz here;

The anti-smoker industry which is run on oooodles of money and generous funding may well be inherently corrupt and Glantz has done very well, financially, out of it; For example. and through his ‘Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights’ organisation; RWJF reports (appendix 5). This also describes how Nicoderm manufacturer, Johnson & Johnson's private foundation, RWJF influenced the political community to attract public funding (tobacco tax) to the anti-smoker campaign but NOT using RWJF funding for direct lobbying(as this is against the law) but through its‘smokeless states’ initiative. However, I would suggest Glantz is one of several dedicated fanatics who is neither motivated nor corrupted by cash, but by a pathological hatred of smoking. His authoring of any analysis that considers which studies are good or bad on any smoking issue, has as much validity as an analysis, authored by an avid, lifelong, dedicated and fanatical Manchester Utd. Fan, that analyses which is the best premier league football team.

The analysis, according to Goldacre;

“... because they are scientists, not homeopaths – to make sure that they found all of the evidence, rather than just the studies they already knew about, or the ones which flattered their preconceptions. ... found 43 in total.”

If we look at the abstract of the analysis however, it states;

“... AFTER controlling for study design, quality, secular trend, and tobacco industry affiliation of the authors, electronic databases were searched; 43 individual studies met the inclusion criteria.”

So, apart from insulting homeopaths, in fact this indicates there were MORE studies, but they were only interested in the ones THEY considered relevant. They ONLY included those that met THEIR inclusion criteria.  I wonder how many studies which did not flatter their [anti-tobacco] preconceptions were ruled out! We are not treated to a list of those studies, nor why they failed to meet the criteria, so we just have to trust the integrity of the authors and ‘believe’ they did not meet the criteria, that the criteria was valid and thats that.

Glantz, commenting on the analysis in The Science Daily; states;

"We know that industry-sponsored research is more likely to reach conclusions favorable to the sponsor,"

Out of the 43 studies the authors deemed suitable for inclusion, 11 were disqualified because of some perceived connection with the Tobacco industry, in order to eventually come up with the conclusion that smoking represented a small increased risk for alzheimer’s disease. Glantz’s ‘analysis’ states;

“The researchers used an inclusive definition of "tobacco industry affiliation" and examined authors' current or past funding, employment, paid consultation, and collaboration or co-authorship on a study with someone who had current or previous tobacco industry funding within 10 years of publication.”

Did anyone notice the deliberate mistake?

Yes, Glantz’s ‘Industry-sponsored research’ is actually limited only to ‘Tobacco Industry sponsored research’! If we look at historic public health related research, various industries such as Nuclear, Chemical, Asbestos and others have sponsored research that, with the ‘right’ results would be ‘favourable’ to their industry. Most apparently unconnected tobacco related research has also been indirectly favourable to them, however. in this specific area of study, one omission is very relevant - the Pharmaceutical Industry!

This industry is arguably the greatest current beneficiary of anti-smoker research, and they have been major sponsors for years, yet there is not one mention of their input or involvement? In the past the pharmaceutical industry has made a killing on nicotine replacement therapy products and anti-depressants as a result of the anti-smoker campaign (possibly in a literal as well as abstract sense, when we consider Champix etc.). In relation to Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s Disease, and many other diseases that presently benefit from smoking, there is potentially a massive profitable future market for Big Pharma eg.  nicotine, the wonder drug :Pharmaceutical companies are keen to develop safe nicotine-like substances.If only they could eliminate their competition in the nicotine market - the simple cigarette;  Of course Pharmaceuticals also need to protect their present Alzheimer’s drugs market until such time as they are able to find a better way than smoking to deliver their nicotine wonder drugs. With Big Pharma, profit apparently trumps health every time;

So why were studies that had any Pharmaceutical affiliations NOT identified and controlled for, when the ‘right’ results would clearly be favorable to the sponsor! Is it possible that any ‘impartial analysis’ can be valid when such basic but essential information is ignored and excluded? If none were used, a simple note to that effect would have clarified their position.

To give the impression of ‘balance’ in his comment, Goldacre refers to other “research that comes from people who disgust us” - Nazi science! What he actually intends is, not only to psychologically  link the tobacco industry with Nazis, but also to provide some sort of positive corroboration of present day anti-smoker science. He achieves the opposite.

Prof Karl Astel, (who eventually committed suicide rather than face prosecution for his atrocities.) mentioned by Goldacre, was the Dean of the University of Jena  He headed The Scientific Institute for Research into the Dangers of Tobacco that produced what Goldacre describes as “a well-conducted study”. This institute was Hitler’s ‘baby’ and he, as we all know, was not only a militant anti-smoker but also the master of propaganda. Astel had earlier (before the Jena institute was opened or any tobacco research initiated) described abstinence from smoking as a ‘national-socialist duty’ and was himself a militant non-smoker. What sane person will believe that any tobacco research that this person is affiliated with, could be even close to impartial, yet his research is at the very foundation of present day anti-smoker science, pre-dating (even influencing?) anti-tobacco’s original high priest, Richard Doll also a critique of his work.

Astel’s comment has an uncanny similarity to the 1975 George Godber comment urging anti-smoker activists to “foster the perception” that smokers were harming others - again, well before any research was done on passive smoking ‘harm’. This seems to be a common thread within anti-smoker movement;  ie. Decide what the outcome should be and set the agenda then make the ‘science’ fit that agenda.

This is not the only similarity, there are others. In the Nazi era we had the University of Jena’s ‘Scientific Institute for Research into the Dangers of Tobacco’ and today we have the University of California’s  ‘Tobacco related disease research program’ (TRDRP). Can anyone not identify the inherent bias in the very similar names of these institutions (a process of natural evolution or just a complete coincidence)?

Both Glantz’s Alzheimer’s analysis and Winickof’s third hand smoke studies were supported by the TRDRP and so are many others. Now look at what the TRDRP  includes in its mission;

“TRDRP funds research in all relevant scientific disciplines designed to improve tobacco control...”

Does anyone believe that ANY ‘scientific’ study originating from this source would ever have the intention to search for the truth? Will it be impartial in any way, shape or form when its openly stated aim is simply to, ‘improve tobacco control?

I suggest that this analysis was never produced to provide an objective view of the science relating to the benefits of smoking and Alzheimer’s disease. It is not unique, but only one small part of a well established trend and well oiled machine that maintains a well used tactic to compromise and keep impotent any opposition to the anti-tobacco agenda allowing them freedom to disseminate their unchallenged version of the ‘truth’. Sadly, impartial science is being systematically choked to death and starved of funding by anti-tobacco cuckoos. Expect to see a future flood of ‘studies’ like this one of the same quality, with the same purpose and following the same agenda. For some perspective, here is a published list of research grants, involving $millions, awarded by the TRDRP for 2009 only.

This is an aggressive cancer that will continue to spread, infecting all other areas of genuine scientific research. As long as ethical scientists and honest politicians remain silent and continue to do nothing then impartial science will remain chronically ill! Fortunately, the almost moribund response to agenda science from ethical scientists and honest politicians, with a few notable exceptions, is compensated for by an increasingly disenchanted and vocal average ‘man on the Clapham omnibus’ and the San Francisco streetcar.



Nothing in this document should be taken as either medical or legal advice, but instead should act as a resource in providing general information that may be useful to the general public, and a basis for further research. While I have no reason to believe any of the links and references I provide are inaccurate or vexatious, I do not warrant the quality, accuracy or completeness of any information on this or any linked site. Such information is provided "as is" without warranty or condition of any kind and I add them in good faith on the understanding that the reader verifies the content to their own satisfaction

Update; According to a commentator on Ben Goldacre's 'promoting bad science' website forum (if he is to be believed), Glantz's junk science study used only 43 out of the 336 articles they found, which were presumably relevant to the Alzheimers/ smoking debate,. (we can only speculate because they don't divulge any details). Incredibly, they managed to exclude 293 articles, (ie. for every one included, nearly eight were rejected !!) Only generalised excuses were given for their exclusion - we are still expected to trust their word that their reasons were impartial and genuine - Sorry I do not!!  The anti-tobacco scientific community exposed their pedigree, and lost all trust, when they did the same with passive smoking studies - even then I believe they only excluded less than a hundred studies. No one was watching when they did that sleight of hand and it was quite some time before that one was eventually exposed - THEY ARE WATCHING NOW!



Smoking - a simple way to prevent or cure Swine Flu? 

index Arnica montana (The tobacco plant)

I can hear the response to this statement already; “Okay, Yeah, whatever, Pigs might fly too” (rolls eyes).. Or... “Another evil Tobacco company ploy”... Well, read on and look at the science ... Don’t be too ‘phased’ by the medical terminology!

Ever heard of the medical term ‘Cytokine storm’? No? - me neither, not until recently that is. Yet it seems to me to be one of the most important medical theories produced in recent history.

Normal cytokine production by the immune system contributes importantly to both health and disease. The nervous system, via an inflammatory reflex of the vagus nerve, can inhibit cytokine release and thereby prevent tissue injury and death. The efferent neural signalling pathway is termed the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway.

I am no medical expert, so don’t expect me to go into precise detail, but my understanding is that‘ Cytokine storms’ result from the body’s failure to control, via the vagus nerve, the auto-immune response to infection. Producing a virulent immune response with the production of large amounts of the immune system hormones, causes inflammation that can produce acute respiratory distress syndrome and eventually lead to multiple organ failure. (the body is killed by its own immune defence system).

While it is still, I believe, considered to be a theory, it is backed up by a fair bit of scientific observation and experimentation. It is believed that ‘cytokine storms’ are one of the characteristics of swine flu where the vagus nerve fails to react correctly to the infection. Nicotine (and smoking) is thought to stimulate the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway and ‘kick start’ the vagus nerve into action, preventing an excessive immune response.

Art Ayers article on ‘Suite 101’ explains the smoking/swine flu/cytokine storms/ vagus nerve connections; of course the article, as with almost any article on smoking health benefits nowadays, has to have the obligatory ‘but smoking is bad ’ comment! (Absolutely necessary for anyone who wishes to continue to comment on a health website or remain part of the medical scientific community).

The article states;

“The rapid high temperature produced by Mexican H1N1 suggest that some of the deaths have resulted from cytokine storms.”
“nicotine, although one of the most addictive chemicals, can have beneficial effects on inflammatory diseases, such as arthritis, asthma, cancer, inflammatory bowel diseases and perhaps, H1N1.” 

“Smoking cessation may contribute to more severe symptoms of H1N1 infections.” 
A more comprehensive document can be found in The Journal of Clinical Investigation, authored by Kevin J. Tracey of The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, Manhasset, New York, USA (2007). He outlines various aspects of the cytokine theory of disease, therapeutics and studies such as;

“The cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway has been studied by several groups using animal models of sepsis in which a perforation is created in the cecum in order to induce lethal peritonitis. Treatment of these mice [was done] with nicotine, .... Notably, nicotine administration did not begin until 24 hours after the onset of lethal peritonitis in this model, indicating that the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway can control cytokine responses even when the disease process is already established.” 
“ Administration of nicotine to these animals restored the cytokine balance, reduced influx of inflammatory cells, and attenuated tissue damage in the liver”

Oh dear! How will healthism reconcile this? Evidence that nicotine and therefore, smoking can cure cytokine storms!! Cytokine storms are strongly believed to cause deaths in the Mexican HiN1 epidemic, ergo, unless my logic is defective, smoking can cure Swine flu!!

“Cigarette smoking confers some increased risk of the development of rheumatoid arthritis but is protective against osteoarthritis. Alzheimer disease and other brain degenerative disorders are characterized by cholinergic deficiency and decreased vagus nerve activity. Our recent evidence indicates that centrally acting cholinergic agonists used in the treatment of Alzheimer disease can modulate peripheral immune responses by stimulating brain networks to activate the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway.”

This goes some way to back up and explain why many smoking studies indicate that smoking delays or prevents brain degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer'sParkinson's and possibly atopic conditions such as asthma, these are also apparently linked to vagus nerve activity.

“Cytokine overproduction has been implicated in the development of tissue damage and organ injury during hemorrhagic shock” ...“A high-fat diet also activates increased efferent vagus nerve activity, which decreases TNF levels and confers significant protection against hemorrhagic shock”

Wait a minute, What was that?...“A high-fat diet”… also protects against cytokine storms!! Another blow to healthism?

What of the ‘tissue damage and organ injury during hemorrhagic shock’ ? Sounds uncannily like the Ukraine swine flu mutation that is apparently Tamiflu and vaccine resistant and characterized by bleeding lungs! Does that indicate cytokine storm too?

Now, most people have never heard of ‘cytokine storms’ nor the beneficial effects of nicotine/ tobacco smoke on its severity. Why is this the case, when it is potentially life saving information? It may not be the ultimate ‘holy grail’ of medicine and these findings are in the early stages of research, but it strongly suggests that public health would benefit to some, possibly a substantial degree.

The conspiracy theorist may argue that this information was being suppressed as part of the New World Order where the elite desire a cull of the world population and that it is all part of the grand plan for world domination. There may even be some mileage in that. After all, rather than making this information available, the politicians and medical community worldwide are, in fact, going ‘all out’ using all kinds of debase tactics, to increase the non-smoking population as quickly as possible, which may indicate some hidden agenda!

I think that there is a much simpler explanation however. First of all, the anti-smoking movement always refuses to acknowledge that smoking can be anything other than damaging to health! If science does not agree with that dogmatic premise, then it must be wrong in their eyes and must have been produced by the evil tobacco companies. Could it also be more about the control of supply and delivery of that wonder drug - Nicotine! There would be no profit in it for Big Pharma if the swine flu pandemic could be solved by merely taking up smoking and eating a high fat diet, is there? Is it not beyond the bounds of possibility that they want the monopoly to supply everyone with nicotine based drugs, without the competition posed by tobacco, and, what would happen to all those millions of doses of (useless?) swine flu vaccine?

If this information is seen and accepted by the general public, can we expect a run on Boots the chemist battling for a rapidly dwindling stock of NRT products? Possibly, but it may be that the best response to the swine flu pandemic and the solution to preventing ‘the end of the world’ scenario, could be down to the humble, but reviled cigarette with it’s efficient nicotine delivery system, enjoyed with a pint or two of disgusting beer and a greasy Doner Kebab to follow, before collapsing in your stinking pit for the night - Oh the irony!!

Kin Free

Update:  August 2010:-
Well, the H1N1 pandemic failed to materialise and showed up the gullibility of governments around the world. (Big Pharma made a fortune!!) The WHO cried wolf with a level 6 pandemic warning and our very own chubby social engineer, Liam Donaldson used his influence to get the incompetent Gordy Brown to waste £millions. (£1,2bn spent to beat swine flu ... and just 26 lives saved ). Donaldson was a prime mover in the previous debacle too,  the smoking ban, and he is now allegedly looking for a plum job with the WHO after recently retiring from being UK's Chief Medical Oficer! (God help the world if he gets his feet under that table !!) 

Anyway, the  vaccines were widely believed to be dangerous, not being properly tested, with some claiming they were actually intended to reduce immune responses to the H1N1 virus or induce cytokine storms! Many refused to have them because of the feared side effects. With hindsight and the weak nature of the virus, this was probably a wise move. Some conspiracy theorists still maintain this was a failed attempt to reduce the worlds population to more sustainable levels and that they will try again soon. (Jane Burgermeister, Austria).

Time will tell - I am  generally not a subscriber to conspiracy theories but it may still be a good move to stock up on tobacco .... just in case!