英国网民评论:【卫报专题报道 烟草:致命的业务】大烟草公司依然在美国穷人身上大发横财

来源:龙腾网 译者:Lonkzxc原文地址:https://www.theguardian.comBig tobacco still sees big business in America's poor大烟草公司依然在美国穷人身上大发横财The US i

来源:龙腾网   译者:Lonkzxc


Big tobacco still sees big business in America's poor


The US is pegged as an ‘exciting’ market, but this growth disproportionately affects the poor – including the industry’s growers and laborers


Wheeling his oxygen tank in behind him, Leslie E Adams shuffled into the lung doctor’s exam room and let out a long string of rattling coughs. He tried to catch his breath, and coughed some more. He is 63, but looks a decade older.

Leslie E Adams颤颤巍巍地踱进了肺部医生的检查室,而且发出一阵阵响亮的咳嗽声,后面跟着他的氧气瓶。他试着吸上一口气,但咳嗽变得更厉害了。他63岁,看上去却像是75岁。

“I got stage three black lung. There ain’t no stage four. I’m on my way out,” said Adams. “Now, I am slowly going down the mountain.”


The American smoking rate has plummeted since the mid-20th century. Yet somehow the US remains a growth market. That is partly because the proportion of smokers has fallen, but the overall population is rising.


Add a nation bedeviled by inequality and those public health gains, while significant, have simply not reached every corner of the country.


With low taxes on cigarettes, intermittent regulations and tobacco-friendly politicians, many US states still mirror conditions around the developing world where tobacco companies see potential.


West Virginia arguably has the highest smoking rate in the nation. In places such as Logan County, where Adams, a retired coal miner, is from, the smoking rate was 37% in 2015. The last time the national average matched that was 1974.


“I smoked Winston, I smoked Viceroy. I don’t know what I was smoking last, I couldn’t tell you,” said Adams, about brands that once belonged to the tobacco giants Reynolds and British American Tobacco (BAT). “I just smoked anything. If it blowed smoke, I smoked it.” Adams is disabled with stage three pneumoconiosis, better known as black lung.

“我抽温斯顿,也抽总督。我不知道我最后抽的是什么牌子的烟,我无法告诉你,”Adams说,这两个品牌分别属于烟草巨头雷诺兹和英美烟草(British American Tobacco,BAT)。“我什么烟都抽,想什么时候抽就什么时候抽。”Adams因肺尘病致残,这个疾病的另一个名称更加令人熟悉,即黑肺病。

Adams will tell you he quit, but the truth is, after seven days in the hospital on a ventilator, he still tried to smoke three times. “I smoked about a half a one, and it just – I mean your lungs – it just takes all the oxygen out of them.”


Despite smoking bans, hundred-billion-dollar settlements and a smaller proportion of the American public smoking, Reynolds’ longtime ally BAT sees the US as “an exciting opportunity for long-term growth”.


Through the years, as the population rose, the proportion of Americans who smoke shrank, but their raw numbers stayed the same, at around 45 million smokers. Further, since the 1990s, the threat of tobacco litigation diminished and regulations proved less costly than feared, leaving tobacco companies room to increase the price of a pack. In America, where cigarettes are still relatively cheap, BAT only needs to sell two packs of cigarettes to make the same profit as it would selling six in other markets.


America is “highly attractive” and the “world’s largest tobacco profit pool” outside of China, BAT’s chief executive, Nicandro Durante, said, as he described a $49bn deal to buy Reynolds American in January. The deal will make BAT the largest listed tobacco company in the world.

美国“相当让人着迷”而且是除了中国之外的“烟草利润聚宝盆”。BAT的首席执行官Nicandro Durante说。他在一月批准了一道用490亿美元收购雷诺兹美国的交易,这将让BAT成为世界最大的烟草公司。

It also means revenue from eight out of 10 cigarettes sold in the US will be pocketed by BAT and a rival group of companies – Altria Group, a US Philip Morris company. Not since Theodore Roosevelt’s presidency has tobacco been so consolidated.


Mergers and acquisitions have allowed tobacco companies to squeeze profits from customers and the supply chain. Companies charge more for cigarettes, while union organizers say “poverty wages” keep families on the ropes. Both are trends seen worldwide.


At the same time, the typical profile of smokers has changed radically. In 50 years, smoking moved from glamorous to commonplace. Wealthy Americans have the lowest smoking rates, and the middle class has increasingly quit; instead, smoking has become a burden of the poor, less educated and marginalized.


The $49bn merger between BAT and Reynolds, expected within weeks, is the most recent act of faith by tobacco companies that selling cigarettes to Americans will remain profitable long into the future, even if the Americans who buy them can’t afford it.


As a young man, Adams worked in mines so tight he lay on his belly to dig. He dug his own hole for urination. When he learned mine owners handed out dust masks that didn’t work, he sued.


Adams lives in the Appalachian mountains, in a valley between two green hills affectionately called a “holler”. He and his wife had two daughters and a son, and those children had eight of their own.


He started smoking at eight, sneaking beside the creek to puff corn silk. He smoked cigarettes for 40 years. Now, after one son died of a drug overdose, unable to chase after his grandkids and still craving cigarettes, Adams questions whether cigarettes should be legal at all.



Leslie E Adams, 63, said he wishes cigarettes could be outlawed. Photograph: Billy Wolfe for the Guardian

Leslie E Adams,,63岁,说他希望香烟被禁止。

“They got so many drugs in there you couldn’t quit if you wanted to. I still crave them. If I had one right now, and I’d go to sleep, you’d hold it, I’d smoke it in my sleep,” he said. “That’s how bad you crave them.”


Dr Tom Takubo sees more than 30 patients like Adams each day at his clinic in Charleston. His is the largest pulmonology office in West Virginia. Set in the capital of a rural state in a rural region, Takubo sees patients from as far away as northern Kentucky and southern Ohio.

Tom Takubo博士每天在他查尔斯顿的诊所看见超过30个像Adams这样的病人。他的诊所是西弗吉尼亚州最大的肺学机关。即使位于一个美国乡村地带的农业州的首府,Takubo看过从北肯塔基州和南俄亥俄州远道而来的病人。

“Even if smoking dropped off today, I would probably be going for the rest of my career,” said Takubo.


No one is allowed to smoke in his office, but even so, the air smells faintly of cigarettes. Takubo’s patients carry the scent of the smokes they prefer. Former miners, shop owners and factory workers waiting for their appointments named L&Ms (by Altria) or Salems (by Reynolds) as their go-to brands. One woman said she smoked whatever cigarettes were cheapest, and called them “floor sweepings”.


Takubo estimates 80% of his patients see him for smoking-related diseases. “Cancer, acute bronchitis, flare-ups of their asthma,” he said, naming a few.


The national adult smoking rate dropped from 42.4% in 1965 to 16.8% in 2014, according to the Centers for Disease Control. But in West Virginia, the smoking rate in 2014 was still 26%, according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. One researcher with RWJF called the rate “extraordinarily high”.


When he is not seeing patients, Takubo has another role. He is also a Republican state senator in West Virginia, putting him in the unique position of treating the same people whose cigarette taxes he hopes to raise. He is occasionally told by a patient: “Now, doc, don’t raise the price of my cigarettes.”


“It’s really hard for me, because you hear people argue for financial reasons, for freedom of choice,” Takubo said about his fellow legislators, shaking his head. This year, inspired by a patient, Takubo introduced a bill that would have fined adults for smoking in the car with a child.


“I have a patient that’s lost about half of her lung function. She’s never smoked a day in her life,” he said. Instead, her father smoked in the car. “If she complained about it, he would roll the window up to teach her a lesson. She remembers even getting in the floorboard of the car because she couldn’t breath.”


But the bill was not successful. Takubo’s fellow Republicans voted it down.


Dr Tom Takubo points to an X-ray of a patient suffering from a severe case of coal workers pneumoconiosis, also known as CWP or black lung. Photograph: Billy Wolfe for the Guardian

Tom Takubo博士指着一张罹患严重的煤矿工人肺尘病的病人的X光照片,亦称煤矿工人肺或者黑肺。

West Virginia is also the epicenter of America’s drug overdose epidemic, but lung and throat cancer have proven far deadlier than opioids.


Drug overdoses killed 41 people for every 100,000 in West Virginia in 2015. The same year, lung and throat cancer killed tripled that number in south-western counties, such as Calhoun. There, those two diseases alone killed 123 people for every 100,000, according to the state’s health department.


The same year, 46% of adults in Calhoun smoked, RWJF found. The West Virginia department of health estimates that one in five deaths of people over 35 are due to smoking.


West Virginia scores badly on every imaginable indicator of poverty and inequality. Takubo has also argued increased tobacco taxes could bring the state significant financial relief. A $1 tax would have generated $100m in revenue for a state that had a $380m shortfall in 2016, and which spends $277m annually on smoking-related diseases. That too failed, although Takubo did help get a 65-cent tobacco tax passed.


Now, fearing Republicans in Washington will pass a healthcare reform bill that could severely cut Medicaid, a public health program for the poor, Takubo said simply: “That would kill us.”


State of the nation


In Washington DC, things have also changed in the halls of Congress. People who still smoke stand out, and perhaps for a good reason – Congress is mostly well educated and wealthy. Every single US senator has a college degree, and just 5% of the House of Representatives lack one. Most members of Congress are millionaires.


Today, someone with a high school equivalency diploma is nine times more likely to smoke (34.1%) than someone with a graduate degree (3.6%). A poll found Americans who earn between $6,000 and $11,999 are more than twice as likely to smoke as someone who earns more than $90,000.


Even 10 years ago, the “offensive and very strong” odor of a cigar prompted an aide in the Democratic representative Keith Ellison’s office to call the Capitol police on a congressman. Last year, the Republican House speaker, Paul Ryan, took pains to “detoxify” his predecessor’s office, a suite held by former speaker John Boehner. Boehner is a Camel smoker. He now sits on Reynolds’ board.

即使10年前,一支雪茄“冒犯而且强烈”的气味就让民主党代表Keith Ellison办公室里面的一名助理叫国会大厦警察对付一名国会议员。前年,共和党众议院议长Paul Ryan费尽心思给他前任John Boehner用过的办公室“消毒”。Boehner是骆驼牌的拥趸,现在是雷诺兹的董事。

Tobacco companies don’t spend as much money lobbying Congress as they once did. They spent $72m trying to persuade lawmakers to see their perspective in 1998, compared to $19m in 2016, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.


But they have not abandoned political spending. They have shifted strategies.


Last year, Altria and RJ Reynolds spent $71.3m in California trying beat back a cigarette tax hike referendum. They failed there, but succeeded elsewhere. In North Dakota, tobacco companies spent more than $5 for every man, woman and child in the state, $4m altogether, and convinced voters to reject the tax. They also succeeded in Colorado, where they spent $7m.


States were awarded billions in damages from tobacco companies in recognition of the public health consequences. Yet they largely fail to spend the money they were awarded to prevent smoking. States collected $26.6bn from tobacco settlements in 2016, but spent only 1.8% on smoking prevention, according to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. Tobacco companies, by comparison, spend $9.1bn a year on marketing, or $1m an hour, according to an analysis of Federal Trade Commission data.


North Carolina, America’s dominant tobacco-producing state, receives $139m annually from such tobacco settlements. Initially, the state set up three trust funds to spend that money: one to prevent smoking, one to help rural communities hit by a decline in smoking and one to help tobacco farmers.


The fund to prevent smoking was dismantled in 2011; all of that money was sucked into the state’s general fund. However, lawmakers allowed the settlement to continue to fund tobacco growing efforts.


Between 2000 and 2004, another $41m of North Carolina’s tobacco settlement went to retrofit tobacco curing barns, a move that researchers called “arguably counter-productive to tobacco control”, and which some farmers believed was at the behest of tobacco manufacturers.


“From our very first day, there was a constant struggle with the legislature,” said Vandana Shah, the first policy director of the tobacco use prevention fund in North Carolina. She now works for the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. “I’d be doing the rounds of begging and pleading that they don’t take our money away, and explaining the value of the program.”

“从我们存在的第一天开始,就有与立法机关的斗争,” Vandana Shah,北卡罗来纳州吸烟预防基金首位政策主管说。现在她为儿童无烟运动工作。“我总是处于这样一个循环中,请求他们不要拿走我们的钱,并解释项目的价值。”

Winston-Salem, AKA ‘Camel City’


Reynolds American’s hometown of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, has developed a relatively strict tobacco policy. An after-dinner cigarette in “Camel City” must be smoked outside, and finding a hotel room to smoke in is a significant task.


The regulations are reflective of how cities have handled smoking in recent years. Even Reynolds employees who smoke must use smoking lounges away from their colleagues.


Tobacco companies, said Gayle Anderson, the head of the Winston-Salem chamber of commerce, “really didn’t fight these laws at all … There just didn’t seem to be that kind of pushback.” She worked for Reynolds from 1976 to 1987.

烟草公司,根据Gayle Anderson,温斯顿—塞勒姆商会的领导人说,“压根不会对抗这些法律……没有成为某种阻力的可能。”她在1976年到1987年为雷诺兹烟草工作。

Once North Carolina’s largest city, Winston-Salem enjoyed a golden era on Reynolds’ wealth. “The moneyed families that ran the factories and mills shared their wealth with the community, endowing it with high schools, auditoriums, hospitals, stadiums, parks and recreational facilities bearing their names,” the local history From Tobacco to Technology said about the 1930s. “Their executives chaired the charities and the capital campaigns to raise money needed to achieve the community’s objections, be it a new terminal at the airport, an arts council for the city or assistance in relocating a college to the city.”


Reynolds still employs about 5,000 people in Winston-Salem, according to Anderson. For many years the notion was: “If you could get in at Reynolds, you were set for life,” she said.


Reynolds recently donated a 70,000 sq ft, immaculately maintained research facility to the town for redevelopment. Reynolds, Anderson said, “is still probably the single largest philanthropic company”.


“I can’t imagine how many hundreds of millions of dollars that’s worth,” said Anderson. “They’re benevolent and care a lot about the community, but it’s more like a partnership.” If Reynolds were to ever leave, “it would be a real blow to our ego, for sure”.


Tobacco grows on state highway 222/111 outside Dudley, North Carolina. Photograph: Justin Cook for the Guardian


‘We’re down here getting sick, going hungry’


If the company is seen by some as benevolent, that does not necessarily translate to automatic financial security for farmers and their workers. One twentysomething farmer stood by a running tractor as he described the start of each tobacco season in eastern North Carolina. It begins, he said, “with a loan from the bank that you don’t know if you’re gonna pay back”.


He started cutting tobacco in a friend’s field when he was about eight years old, the farmer said. As he smoked a Camel menthol, he acknowledged: “I shouldn’t, as much shit as I spray on it.”


For farmers, the tobacco system has changed considerably since the 1990s. Auctions are obsolete. Now, farmers contract directly with cigarette manufacturers or leaf buyers. This farmer’s entire crop is contracted to Alliance One, one of two major leaf companies.

对于农民,烟草系统相比20世纪90年代变化很大。拍卖绝迹了。现在农民直接与烟草制造商或者烟叶收购商签合同。这名农民的全部收成都签给了Alliance One,两家主要的烟叶公司之一。

Labor disputes are common here. Farmers can face cash shortfalls mid-season, making it difficult to pay workers on time. Farm laborers have no collective bargaining rights in the US, and child labor is legal on farms. Children as young as 12 can start working unlimited hours outside of school, and children of any age can work on a family-owned tobacco farm.


With only a handful of companies left to sell to – Philip Morris International, Altria, BAT, Japan Tobacco International and two leaf buyers who serve the same companies – farmers feel at the behest of tobacco companies, those interviewed by the Guardian said. This year, some tobacco buyers didn’t offer farmers formal contracts until spring, when tobacco was already growing in greenhouses.


Nevertheless, after a long fight with the Mount Olive Pickle Company, the Farm Labor Organizing Committee (Floc) secured a collective bargaining agreement with farmers in the North Carolina Growers Association. Several tobacco companies used farmers in the association, thus some tobacco workers were also covered. Last year alone, Floc handled around 500 total labor complaints, often for wage violations. But their influence is small: the union represents just 7% of North Carolina’s 100,000 workers.

然而,经过一次和橄榄山泡菜公司的长期斗争后,农场劳工组织委员会(Farm Labor Organizing Committee,FLOC)争取到同北卡罗来纳州种植户协会的集体谈判权。一些烟草公司使用协会的农民,因此一些烟草工人也受益。单单前年,FLOC处理了约500次劳工投诉,经常是薪资违约。但他们的力量微小:它仅仅代表北卡罗来纳州100000名劳工的7%。

The group has asked BAT to recognize a right to organize for all farm workers worldwide, and blames low pay for frequent disputes.


“I think they should pay more,” said Sintia Castillo, a labor organizer for Floc, whose accent reflects her heritage. Some words come out North Carolina country, others with a snap of second-generation Spanish. “You’re rolling in money at the top, and we’re down here getting sick, going hungry.”

“我认为他们应该付出更多。” Sintia Castillo,FLOC的一名劳工组织者说。她的口音反映了她的传承。一些单词来自北卡罗来纳州,另一些带有二代西班牙语的噼啪声。”你们身居高位在钱堆里打滚,而我们在这里生病挨饿。”

Castillo has six brothers and sisters, and started working in the fields with her family at age seven. She moved to tobacco around 13 and into packing houses at 18. Now she’s 24, a woman whose work has acquainted her with the paradox of organizing people without rights.


“There’s been times I fire people up, and then they get fired,” she said.


Catherine Crowe, 23, and Sintia Castillo, 24, who work with the Farm Labor Organizing Committee (Floc). Photograph: Justin Cook for the Guardian

Catherine Crowe,23岁,以及Sintia Castillo,24岁,她们为农场劳工组织委员会(Farm Labor Organizing Committee,FLOC)工作

She tells a story about Brent Jackson, a state senator and tobacco farmer. Jackson was forced to repay several thousand dollars in back wages after he was sued in federal court by zs. The union then alleged he “blacklisted” the seven farmworkers. Jackson pulled out of the growers association.

她讲了一个与Brent Jackson有关的故事,他是一名州参议院和烟草农民。Jackson在被一群外来工人起诉到联邦法院后不得不支付几千美元的拖欠工资。工会声称他“拉黑”了七名农场劳工。Jackson退出了种植户协会。

Last week, he sponsored a bill to make it illegal for farmers to deduct union dues from paychecks, or for growers to end a dispute with farmworkers by signing a union contract. The bill is currently on the governor’s desk. Campaign finance records show Jackson received $9,400 in donations from tobacco companies.


“Child labor exists because of poverty wages. There’s no way that a family can live off of $7.25 per hour,” said Catherine Crowe, an organizer with Floc. Forcing children not to work without increasing wages, the union contends, would only leave struggling families worse off.

“因为低工资儿童不得不出去工作。一个家庭无论如何都不可能靠7.25美元每小时的工资维持下去。” Catherine Crowe,,FLOC的一名组织者说。工会主张的童工工资不增加儿童就不去工作只会让挣扎求生的家庭更加恶化。

Philip Morris International and Alliance One have said they do not buy tobacco from farms that employ children under 18 for most tasks and, in general, tobacco companies have said growers are “not our employees”. Nevertheless, tobacco company audits have identified many instances of child labor in the supply chain.

菲利普莫里斯国际和Alliance One已经说它们不会从雇佣年龄低于18岁的童工作主力的农民那里收购烟叶。总之,烟草公司说农民“不是我们的雇员”。然而,对烟草公司的审计已经发现了供应链中许多童工例子。

In the past, Crowe and Castillo said, BAT has shown more willingness to work with the organizing committee, promising to encourage Reynolds to listen to union demands. As for how the unified company will act in the future: “That,” said Crowe, “is the question.”


●This article was amended on 13 July 2017 to clarify Vandana Shah’s position with the North Carolina tobacco use prevention fund.

本文章在2017年6月13日被修正过,为了澄清Vandana Shah在北卡罗来纳州吸烟预防基金的职务。







kthyregod 5d ago

..., the sad reality, which is America of today!


Mostly everything is for profit first and foremost - making people sick for profit, helping people get well for profit, education for profit, government for profit, policies for profit, legislation for profit, foreign relations for profit, defense


ThatFootIsMe kthyregod 5d ago

Yet this is a British company.


Machunny>kthyregod 5d ago

You are so very right. If it doesn't come with a hefty profit it isn't worth doing. That's why our schools, prisons, and health care are failing--it's so hard to make a profit off of those things. Putting school supplies on the backs of underpaid teachers, cutting back nurses and making them work longer hours, and keeping prisoners in longer to make electronics for private companies for cents an hour--it's hard to maintain a healthy profit margin on the backs of people who already have so little. Yet they keep trying.


Tom Heeks ThatFootIsMe 5d ago

Operating in the States under US law. I expect they are as British as they come, until it's time to pay tax here.


Pa_Cojones kthyregod 4d ago

the sad reality, which is America of today!

What a fucking idiot. So, British tobacco companies are upstanding, pay their taxes and contribute to society?


It's just that the information in this article is much more readily accessible in the US than here. And the Guardian is lazy and cheap by not doing the same investigations in the UK.


Brickyardjimmy kthyregod 4d ago

I'd even look beyond pure profit into the galactic need for growth as the chief enemy. It's a bit different than profits in that publicly traded companies can't just show profitability to keep their stock price moving--they have to demonstrate the potential for great growth. In mature categories with brands that already have significant market share, the potential for growth gets harder and harder to demonstrate. Many brands and companies start doing funky and detrimental things to their products, workforces and, ultimately, consumers. And you can apply those same sins to what Trump has planned for deregulation and other billionaire business friendly policies he's trying to cram down everyone's throats. Those are, more or less, all attempts to, yes, put much more money in the pockets of people and institutions that are already crammed full of wealth but they are probably more focused on creating upward movement in the GDP because that radically alters the fortunes of the stock market as well as artificially goosing the economy. But it comes at a cost.


When you hear conservatives screaming about the need for austerity measures these days and the need for balanced budgets and cost-cutting and so forth, they do so under the false but easily defendable pretense that this is an ideological approach based on rational, conservative economic principles but the truth is that, say, stripping the NHS budget down to its bones, is a way of artificially demonstrating growth. Notice that when they talk about budget cuts, they typically come at the expense of ordinary people. They don't talk about cutting military budgets or other big industrial expenses because that's wealth that flows directly into the profit systems of large industrial corporations. Much better to cut budgets that incrementally hit individuals for a pound here and a pound there. For the most of us, it's a gradual death by a thousand tiny bites.



Atlant 5d ago 

Much of America's politics and profits both depend upon keeping people ignorant and addicted.


Addicted to cigarettes, addicted to racism, addicted to misogyny, addicted to hatred of gays, addicted to hatred of the better educated, you name it, it's the same mechanisms that prop up Big Tobacco and Donald Trump.


Over a few decades, education could cure most of these ills (which is why Republicans strongly oppose free public education and now, no longer trust higher education).


bob232  Atlant 5d ago

You can't really believe all that nonsense.


Atlant  bob232 5d ago

You can't really believe all that nonsense.

What a witty rebuttal! Truly, I'm overwhelmed by your intellect!


Ryan24  bob232 5d ago

bob, the evidence is in the actions, not the words of the GOP. while i don't think that most GOP see education as a dangerous tool, they do seem to see it as 'fluff'...particularly when tax dollars can be used to support private schools with private agendas through vouchers. that's the best of both worlds for them, use the tax base for ONLY their OWN children.


it is hard to ignore that the GOP has been waging a war on the little guy for a very long time. and even harder to understand people voting for ethereal 'values' over economic interests...when the former largely don't come to pass (flag burning statutes, wipe out sexual orientation as protected class) but the later we see in tax code, legal decisions (Citizens United), and lobbying induced loopholes of an outrageous nature (Republican ACA with an amendment to give huge tax breaks to CEOs of healthcare companys...what??!!).


DeltaFoxWhiskyMike  Ryan24 5d ago

"Education" means "indoctrination" to the Democrats these days, who see every slacker class as privileged except the little guy they profess to support. If only he would get his mind straight. Damned Deplorables! 


Protected classes means everybody but the nameless faceless hillbilly redneck targets of Guardian wrath. They elected a damned game show host instead of the most qualified candidate since Thomas Jefferson. 


Hillary had custom tailored programs and windmills and everything for them to secure their votes, unntil the dastardly Russians or somebody let slip that she had competing and contradictory programs depending on who her audience was. 


So the damned tobacco chewing coal miners and their tobacco chewing coal miners daughters (cue banjo music) decided that the Democrats concerns about their values and economic interests were little more than focus group platitudes based on identity politics. And Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania voted for Trump. 


That you think their values are ethereal and put the word values in quotes is a clue that your concern is condescending and mostly contrived to get votes. They know that.


Atlant  DeltaFoxWhiskyMike 5d ago

"Education" means "indoctrination" to the Democrats these days, ...

Well, I suppose that's true if you think it's indoctrination to teach everyone in America that smoking is bad for their bodies and bad for their wallets.


Or that it's indoctrination to teach that every American citizen, no matter the color of their skin, has the same rights.


Or that it's indoctrination to teach that men have no inherent authority over women merely because they are men.


Or that it's indoctrination to teach that some people, even though born to two heterosexual parents, someone end up being sexually attracted to members of their own sex and that that's not a reason to (for example) tie them to a fence and beat them to death.


Yeah, I can see how you might construe all this as "indoctrination".


I prefer to construe it as good sense and good morality.


DeltaFoxWhiskyMike  Atlant 5d ago

Most people are perfectly fine with "live and let live." What they are less fine with is the indoctrination and enforcement by the authoritarian know-it-alls who go well beyond tolerance and start mandating common beliefs. 

You seem intent on being one of those, since you love telling others what to do. 

How about letting others develop their own good sense and good morality, and you manage your own.




Atlant  DeltaFoxWhiskyMike 5d ago 

Most people are perfectly fine with "live and let live." What they are less fine with is the indoctrination and enforcement by the authoritarian know-it-alls who go well beyond tolerance and start mandating common beliefs.

Quite honestly, if you disagree with any of the precepts I cited above, I WANT my government to exert its authority over you because you're taking a morally indefensible stance.


bob232  Atlant 5d ago 

It wasn't meant to be witty. Look, Americans have had free public education up to 18 for much longer than anyone else and spend more on it than most other countries. They have more repressive anti smoking laws. They have had years of positive discrimination laws in force in employment, housing and education. And as for racism in politics it was the democrats who spent years frustrating civil rights laws because their voters came from the Deep South. Your post was just a lot of silly rubbish.



WideandStarrySkies  bob232 5d ago

As Jesus said, "Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them." The Book of the Apostle Matthew 6:20


There is a reason we people in the Southern states lead in infant deaths and mother death rates. We are mired in a slough of medi beliefs, the lies of Prosperity Gospel pastors, and the everlasting all-American racism and hatred against the poor.


I say this as a proud white , working-class Southerner. And I still love my Trump-voting older relatives who---after all these years--- are spitting-mad about Brown v Board of Education de-segregating schools.


I am praying these older relatives do not lose their Medicaid and Medicare and Social Security under Trump---- who they still love!


Most of my Southern White friends are, like me, coping with delusional Trump-voting older family members. They refuse to see that a vote for Trump was a vote against their own children and grandchildren's health and future.


Ryan24  DeltaFoxWhiskyMike 5d ago

You're following a president who is tearing down years of social policy, programs, and progressive values (like protecting the environment). I understand that's "OK" because he's a conservative and all...but really, it is not accurate to suggest I'm patronizing you or anyone else with my comments.


trump is the last thing this country needs...and his election is a disgrace to the majority of americans. the democrats put forth an uninspiring candidate and the voting reflected that.


but alot of your other comments are no better than fox talking points. you can't be a thinking person and support trump. i admit that sounds narrow minded, but it is also true. if you look at his policies, social views, and temperament, they are all regressive.


people disliked Obama for imagined infractions "he's going to take away your guns"....


people dislike Trump for his words and actions.


i pray midterms throw a wrench in this ugly republican agenda and send a clear message to the people who think trump is "america", patriotic, or otherwise a valid expression of who we are in this country.


DeltaFoxWhiskyMike  Ryan24 5d ago

People disliked Obama and dislike Trump because their candidate lost to them. 


The Democrats are losing the interim elections because their only issue is their dislike for Trump. They need better issues and better candidates, or they will continue to lose ground. 

Who you are has to be more than who you are not. Insulting Trump supporters is clever but insanely counterproductive. Deplorable commentary cost Clinton millions of pissed off voters. I am a thinking person, and I think your comments are condescending, insulting twaddle. 


"Fox" is a talking point, by the way, and a BS Bingo square.


Ryan24  DeltaFoxWhiskyMike 4d ago

you are incomprehensible. i hope your lingo doesn't suggest you have a pilot's license, because you shouldn't be anywhere near the flight line.


now I am being condescending and it is well deserved.


DeltaFoxWhiskyMike  Ryan24 4d ago

You are the perfect example of why people are rejecting the Democratic Party sales pitches and staying home Election Day. You have nothing to offer but insults. Why would anybody vote for that? Unprofessional and unappealing. Have a nice day.


Brendan Weakliam  DeltaFoxWhiskyMike 4d ago

What would you suggest as an alternative?


DeltaFoxWhiskyMike  Brendan Weakliam 4d ago

Nothing. People are opting for anything else, and as a beneficiary of that avoidance, I say press on! Call out and blame and shame those gosh darn Deplorables until they see the light! By next election Hillary will have another $2 Billion to run once more and be ready to take her place on Mount Rushmore. 


It's all good and getting gooder.


suddenoakdeath  Brendan Weakliam 4d ago

She simply has no alternative except the one she voted for, Donald Trump.



Mags Smith 5d ago

It looks like democracy no longer exists in the US. It's a pretence. Big business runs the show and has a cloak called 'elections'.


DeltaFoxWhiskyMike  Mags Smith 5d ago

Democracies and even Representative Republics apparently are far, far, far too important to be left to elections these days. The voters don't know what is good for them and constantly vote against their own best interests. 




circuit  Mags Smith 5d ago

The US is a Corporate Oligarchy.


DeltaFoxWhiskyMike  circuit 5d ago

Because Hillary Clinton lost?


Tony Hatch  DeltaFoxWhiskyMike 4d ago

No, because it is.


Clinton is irrelevant.


circuit  DeltaFoxWhiskyMike 4d ago

No. It's been one for some time.



minotaur 5d ago

The 19th Century is alive and well in the USA and this is where the Tories want to take us in the UK. Unionisation has declined from 50% of the workforce to less than half of that. Without union protection people have no power to resist the constant depradations of capital and the organisations and people who own it.


The USA has a long history of extreme violence being used against workers who organise and a history of passing the harshest laws in the indutrialised West. These are the people who are funding Policy Exchange, the Henry Jackson Foundation, and other 'Think-Tanks', behind a cloak of anonymity.


I would not be a supporter of Putin or his actions and policies, he is a murdering thug. But he did pass one law that we should see passed here: All organisations in Russia in receipt of foreign funding have to declare the amount and the origins of those funds and we should have an identical law in the UK.


The activities of the lobbyists in the corrupt, bought and paid for, US political system are vile, but at least they are public and traceable, unlike our pristine and incorruptible 'Mother of Parliaments'. Of course our system is just as corrupt as that of the US but it takes place behing firmly closed doors and nobody is allowed to peek in.


Ryan24  minotaur 5d ago

i don't think you have to worry. the tories, are not nearly as bad as what we deal with over here. i used to laugh listening to cameron. he wouldn't be electable in the US. too moderate. that should give you a sense of how bad it is here.


no, you folks need to remain vigilant, but the culture over there is generally simply more moderate and progressive. lucky you.



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