The Bishop and the Butterfly: Murder, Politics, and the End of the Jazz Age

    The 15%, pack mentality & unrolling stupidity

    Smoking still accounts for a half million deaths a year  in the US, 1 of every 5 deaths.1 out of every 650 Americans dies from cigarettes yearly.

    This isn't news. MAD Magazine used to run iron lung parodies in the 60's. We know smoking kills, a lot faster than global warming.

    Driving has 1/15th the number of fatalities, and we make Google self-driving cars take precautions.

    15% of adults - 36.5 million Americans - smoke. More than 16 million have a smoking-related disease - slow suicide.

    You might think it's looking better, only 15% compared to 21% 12 years ago - but that's still an awful lot of stupid. *MORE* people smoke in the 25-44 range than over 65.

    (65+ is only 8% - let's hope the 13% for 18-24 year olds means a sea change)

    You think you can change people's minds with well-crafted arguments, logic, common-sense? 15% of your neighbors will clean their gun loaded pointed at their head.

    In a rare display of equality, blacks and whites smoke at the same right. Hispanics smoke less, Asians even less. Guess what demographics look like for 2050?

    Here's a funny one - a GED causes 1/3 of people to smoke. A real high school diploma only 20%. An associate's degree 17%. And an undergrad degree? 7%. So there you have it, the payback for completing college is not only a better paying job, but less time in the lung cancer ward at your local hospital, a later departure to the morgue. Maybe those extortionary loans are still worth it...

    But still, at 8 years old I got my parents to quit smoking - it wasn't that hard to figure out, even with a 4th grade education.

    And those smartass liberals in the West and Northeast? yep, smoke less - though only a third less from those light-me-up fatalistic rust belt MIdwesterners, just a wee bit less than Southerners.

    But where Hal might find justification and inspiration is that people below the poverty line smoke *twice* as much as those above. Poverty kills - even if by their own hand.

    Sadly but not surprisingly, the disabled smoke 50% more than the non-disabled.

    Stranger is that the LGBT demographic smokes 50% more than straights - really folks?

    Anyway, just a concrete example that there's a baseline crazy, self-destructive, nonsensical behavior out there -  it certainly doesn't stop with smoking, and certainly isn't confined to Republicans or conservatives.

    In the case of smoking, it's largely smokers themselves that suffer. Other areas of illogical, self-destructive behavior affect us all. Most advanced country on earth, and we can't shake the habit? Pretty pathetic.




    Sure there are problems with smoking but  then there are Hidden Benefits Of Nicotine on The Brain.


    Sure, but benefits decrease when you're dead...

    Most things do.

    The question is are there more effective drugs without the risk of addiction of the jitteriness caused by nicotine.

    Depends on which nicotine effect:

    "At higher doses, nicotine enhances the effect of serotonin and opiate activity, producing a calming, pain-killing effect. Nicotine is unique in comparison to most drugs, as its profile changes from stimulant to sedative/pain killer in increasing dosages and use, a phenomenon described by Paul Nesbitt in his doctoral dissertation[35] and subsequently referred to as "Nesbitt's Paradox".[36]" - wikipedia somewhere.

    But anyway, people are saying vaping makes them *more* jittery. And what do the other 1000 or so compounds in cigarettes do... ? which ones kill for pleasure?

    Anyway, what is it about cigarettes that produces so much addiction, so much death? It seems like an easy decision to make, yet 1 of 7 people buy into it. If we find a truly safe and satisfying cigarette, will they funnel their self-destructive nature into something else?

    BTW, off-topic, but did you catch the lyrics to Toby Keith's inaugural song?

         "Take all the rope in Texas / Find a tall oak tree

           Round up all them bad boys hang them high in the street

           For all the good people to see"

    Yeah, buddy - make America (even Texas) cray again. I guess the one slightly humorous angle is, "do they really have oak trees growing in the middle of the street? won't that like bend fenders on those pickup trucks imported from Mexico?"  Oh yeah, and the state that we helped our illegal settlers steal from Mexico, the one that had to secede because Mexico for some reason refused to let them import black slaves there. Guess they got tired of having their rights trampled on.

    But speaking of economic injustice and need for class-based solutions....

    I didn't waste time watching the inaugural. I'm not surprised by the lyrics, they fit with Trump's view of American justice. Anybody who disagrees with Trump is an enemy.

    I certainly didn't watch either - this excerpt comes from Samantha Bee's Full Frontal, which for the Donald Turnip years might turn into Full Frontal Lobotomy.

    This is hard to write, but my mother, who died at 83, smoked cigarettes to such an extent that her whole house, all of her clothes, and her very skin and hair stank of cigarette stench.  I hated to go to her house.  I hated to kiss her hello or good-bye.  It was repulsively sickening to me.  In the end, I decided to bring her to my house and take care of her, regardless of the smoke.  When I got to the Assisted Living place, I saw that it was too late for that; she was in a coma.  I felt true empathy for the withdrawal she must have been having and I asked that she get nicotine patches.  They made her vomit, so that didn't work.

    I have memories of driving in a relatively small car from Richmond, Virginia to Atlanta, Georgia with 4 kids in the back seat and 2 chain-smoking adults who insisted that the windows stay up.  I can remember lowering the window just a bit to get a breath of air.  Of course that was back when anyone who objected to smoking had a "problem" and could just leave the party, the restaurant, or even the theater if they didn't like it.

    Thank heavens the tide has turned, but my son smokes, (mainly vapes) but I am so enormously disappointed in this habit that I can't stand it.  I was in a Veterans Administation Hospital waiting room with my husband.  The stink of cigarettes was so infused into everyone's clothes that we had to move to a class-room to wait.

    OK, I get that during war, people smoke to help themselves cope.  But the fact that young people are smoking baffles me.  They spend all kinds of $$ to dress themselves, to primp themselves up; to look great, but they don't mind looking stupid with a cigarette, and they don't mind stinking either.

    I really hate smoking.  Oh, BTW, I have mild asthma, which my Dr. Attributes to second-hand smoke.

    I was lucky my pestering of my parents worked, but yeah, horrible war conditions is one thing, but what's driving it now? Sorry yours was so traumatic in any case.

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