Why Is The FDA Dragging its Feet on Admitting Snus is Safer Than Smoking?

Snus is safer than smoking and helps smokers quit, but the FDA can't seem to admit that. Big Pharma wants to keep it that way.

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Rob Schoenbaum/ZUMAPRESS/Newscom

It's now been a full year since the Food and Drug Administration signaled that it was nearing a decision on whether a Swedish-made tobacco product could be marketed in the United States as a less-harmful alternative to smoking.

What's taking them so long?

Stockholm-based Swedish Match won permission from the FDA in November 2015 to sell its smokeless tobacco products, known as "snus," in the United States. Snus consists of a small packet, similar to a tea bag, filled with tobacco powder. It is placed in the upper lip, in a manner similar to chewing tobacco or "dip" but does not require chewing or spitting.

Snus is popular in Sweden and has been credited for the fact that Sweden has one of the highest tobacco consumption rates in Europe but has the continent's lowest rate of smoking-related deaths. That's largely because Swedes don't smoke. They snus.

Can it be proven that snus is safer than smoking? Swedish Match thinks so. In addition to filing for permission to sell snus in the U.S., the company asked the FDA to allow snus products to the labeled as a safer alternative to smoking. In the application filed with the FDA in June 2014, Swedish Match argued that it could provide a public health benefit by getting Americans to switch from cigarettes to snus and proposed a label that says "no tobacco product is safe, but this product presents substantially lower risks to health than cigarettes."

That application was the subject of an FDA hearing in April 2015. At the time, an advisory panel ruled against Swedish Match's proposal to alter the mandatory warning labels affixed to their products. That, however, was merely an advisory opinion, and observers following the FDA's process say the federal agency signaled in October 2015 that a decision was near. A year later, Swedish Match is still waiting.

The company obviously has an interest in being able to pitch itself as a safer alternative to smoking—allowing it to stand-out from other forms of smokeless tobacco by stripping away dire warnings about mouth cancer, tooth decay and gum disease—as Swedish Match tries to grow its share of the U.S. market.

Still, this is about more than just marketing. Studies have shown that snus is indeed a safer alternative to cigarettes. For starters, not inhaling combustible material is always a good decision, health-wise. A peer-reviewed study published in Tobacco Control found that snus delivers high levels of nicotine with lower concentrations of other chemicals found in cigarettes. Snus "does not appear to cause cancer or respiratory diseases" and cardiovascular risks from using snus were lower than with smoking, the same study found.

A study conducted in Norway and published in Nicotine and Tobacco Research found that using snus was much more effective at getting smokers to quit using cigarettes than nicotine replacement products like patches and gum. Snus-ers were three times as likely to quit smoking as smokers using nicotine gum, the researchers found. They believed snus was so effective because it delivered a nose of nicotine that was almost the same as cigarettes and provided a "sensory effect that medicinal nicotine products perhaps lack" because snus smells and tastes like tobacco.

"In light of all the available evidence, the banning or exaggerated opposition to snus in cigarette-rife environments is not sound public-health policy," concluded Brad Rodu and Philip Cole, researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, who reported in 2007 that 200,000 smoking-related deaths per year could be prevented if tobacco uses across the whole of the European Union adopted snus at the same level as Swedes. (Snus is banned in most of Europe, even though cigarettes are legal, an arrangement that Reason's Jacob Sullum has described as "banning bows and arrows as an intolerable threat to public safety while allowing a free trade in machine guns.")

While there's still some question about how dangerous snus might be—one study in Sweden found a potential link between snus and pancreatic cancer, though the same study found that snus users are no more likely to get lung cancer (a far more deadly form of the disease) than nonusers—there is little doubt that snus is safer than smoking.

Why, then, does the FDA refuse to acknowledge that point?

Politics likely play a role in the FDA's foot-dragging. Remember that study from Norway that suggested snus was more effective than pharmaceutical products at getting smokers to kick the habit? It's a sure bet that American pharmaceutical companies saw those results too, and they're not keen on facing more competition in the anti-smoking marketplace—that's why big pharmaceutical companies also have supported the FDA's unreasonable crackdown on electronic cigarettes, another product commonly used by smokers who want to quit.

It's worth noting that Mitch Zeller, director of the FDA's Center for Tobacco Products, is a former lobbyist for GlaxoSmithKline, a major pharmaceutical company that happens to manufacture Nicorette Gum.

Dr. Gilbert Ross, of the American Council on Science and Health, told the Winston-Salem Journal that Zeller's appointment to run the Center for Tobacco Products carried an obvious conflict of interest, since Zeller "has been in the business of promoting FDA-approved traditional NRT [nicotine replacement therapy] products, while (not surprisingly) he has been in the forefront of opposing consideration of alternative cessation products such as snus and e-cigarettes."

Approving Swedish Match's application to pitch snus as a safer alternative to smoking would probably save American lives, but it would create more competition for Nicorette gum and other pharmaceutical stop-smoking products like Chantix.

If it were to deny Swedish Match's application to advertise snus as a safer alternative to smoking, the FDA would have to explain why it believed snus was equally dangerous as smoking—despite all evidence to the contrary. By sitting on its hands for a year, Zeller and the rest of the FDA has avoided committing to being on the side of science or on the side of Big Pharma.

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  1. The more important question is how to pronounce it: Snuhs or Snooze.

    1. I think it’s more like “snoos”.

      1. That’s disappointing. I like the sound of someone saying, “I’m going out back for a snuh.”

        1. They seriously couldn’t come up with a better name? May be it’s because I often hit “s” on my tiny mobile keyboard when I am going for “a,” but I just see “anus.” Try it. Read the whole thread and replace “snus” with “anus.” Jesus.

          1. Now you know how i feel about the term “Blog”

    2. “Snoose”

      like moose. also, add an ooomlatt over the U, for extra “ooo” effect.

      1. Swedish doesn’t have the ?, thank you very much.

        1. Not even in D?ff? I heard it was Swedish.

      1. Well, that’ll get you banned by the FDA. It’s lethal!

      2. Death by snu-snu.

  2. It only comes in tea bags if you’re a big pussy. Real Swedish men shove gobs of ground up tobacco under their lips.

    I’ve used snus off an on to help smoke less. It’s definitely nicer than nicotine gum if you like the taste of tobacco, and doesn’t appear to be any worse for you.

    1. So… dip for non-rednecks?

      1. Kind of. Doesn’t make you drool excessively, so you don’t need to spit.

    2. When I was a little boy we’d visit my grandparents, and my grandpa used to pack Copenhagen. I asked him one day what it was he kept putting in his mouth, and he said ‘candy’.

      So like any other 7-year-old, when I saw the tin on the table one day when no one was around, I decided to have some candy too. Took a big pinch and put it in my mouth and started chewing.

      As you can imagine it didn’t taste too much like any candy I’d ever had. I don’t remember if I actually got nauseous or if I just ran to the bathroom and spit it out right away. Either way, I never tried any of that ‘candy’ ever again.

      1. If they cured lip and throat cancer I would keep Copenhagen in my mouth sun up to sun down. Foremost , it makes me a better Christian. Also, I eat less which isn’t bad for a middle age guy still having to do PFTs and CFTs.

        1. Then you should get some snus.

    3. Just another reason to get out there and spay/neuter/euthanize your progressives today. So that we can have less of this nonsense.

  3. one study in Sweden found a potential link between snus and pancreatic cancer, though the same study found that snus users are no more likely to get lung cancer (a far more deadly form of the disease)


    93% of pancreatic cancer patients will die within five years of diagnosis ? only 8% will survive more than five years. 71% of patients die within the first year of diagnosis. The average life expectancy after diagnosis with metastatic disease is just three to six months.

    1. The risk is much, much smaller than the lung cancer risk from smoking.

      Did you look up the death rates/prognosis for lung cancer too?

      1. It is slightly better but roughly the same. You can’t really say than any individual case of lung cancer was caused by smoking. I suspect pancreatic cancer doesn’t even correlate to snus-use, outside of that one Scandinavian study.

        Lung cancer IS NOT “far more deadly” than pancreatic cancer, which is very deadly.

        1. I think the claim might be in regards to the frequency of morbidity and not the severity, as in fewer people die, not those that do die die any easier.

    2. I’m curious how snus could give anyone lung cancer, since you don’t inhale it. Mouth, esophygeal, etc., sure. Lung? I don’t see it.

  4. Swedish Match argued that it could provide a public health benefit by getting Americans to switch from cigarettes to snus and proposed a label that says “no tobacco product is safe, but this product presents substantially lower risks to health than cigarettes.”

    And here I thought the Swedes had a reputation for not having a sense of humor. Did they really send the letter asking that to the FDA or did they just publish it on their website as an example of their satirical skills? Either way, I lolled.

    1. One step on the road towards Copenhagen.

      1. One step on the road towards Copenhagen.

        is that anything like the Train to Bangkok?

      2. Its the slippery slope to the rollercoaster which leads to the alpine-slide to Hookah addition.

        1. Foreign types with the hookah pipes say, “Way oh, way oh, way oh way oh”

          1. Was it only at my college where people changed the lyrics from
            ‘walk like an Egyptian” to “walk with an erection”?

            It did fit the meter of the song perfectly. I haven’t been able to hear the song normally since.

  5. Can this Snus menace be stopped, for the children?

    OT, but did the DEA manage to ban kratom yet? You know, because it’s an emergency.

  6. Snus is popular in Sweden and has been credited for the fact that Sweden has one of the highest tobacco consumption rates in Europe but has the continent’s lowest rate of smoking-related deaths

    I don’t mean to nitpick (who am I kidding, of COURSE I love to nitpick), but these two statements are entirely unrelated. Tobacco use is not the same as ‘smoking’, therefore, the level of tobacco use and the rate of smoking-related deaths are not necessarily connected. The correct comparison is to ‘the rate of tobacco-related deaths.

    1. Given how even-handed the FDA is about tobacco I suspect their math on tobacco related deaths would work like this:

      Did they ever use tobacco once in their lives?

      Did they die?

      Then tobacco related death.

  7. OT: Comix maniac Jack Chick died this afternoon.

    1. I guess he died yesterday and the news was broken at the end of today’s PM lynx — which I rarely read that deep into multi-commented posts.

    2. He’s quick, he’s slick, he’s Jack T. Chick.

    3. While I enjoyed the luridness of his artwork and approach (reminds of Mad’s Dave Berg?), I obviously disagreed with him a lot. The Satanic Panic he helped stoke fucked over real people. I won’t mourn him, but will simply say :

      RIP to another flawed human.

      1. Jack Chick was great. He didn’t stoke the Satanic panic, he exploited it. All those hilariously entertaining comics lead to the one message:

        For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

        “Jesus” should always be your last word…

        1. “You’re an asshole, Jesus.”

    4. Comix maniac Certifiable lunatic Jack Chick died gained respite from the feral cats running loose in his brain, this afternoon.

  8. If it were to deny Swedish Match’s application to advertise snus as a safer alternative to smoking, the FDA would have to explain why it believed snus was equally dangerous as smoking

    Heh – no it wouldn’t.

  9. Snus is addictive. I know this kid who started with snus then was shooting it up. It’s called Snushing (pronounced “Snow-shoeing”).

    1. Did he turn into a crocodile and eat some faces?

    2. Shreek just passed out from shooting up snus. Tony hardest hit.

      1. He doing it like a suppository?

      2. Shreek just passed out from shooting up snus.

        “You have ass cancer….it’s when you have cancer….in your ass.”

        Tony hardest hit.

        Hopefully by frenchkissing a shovel…

  10. RE: Why Is The FDA Dragging its Feet on Admitting Snus is Safer Than Smoking?
    Snus is safer than smoking and helps smokers quit, but the FDA can’t seem to admit that. Big Pharma wants to keep it that way.

    The State doesn’t want you to quit smoking.
    It wants you to give them all your money and die…and the sooner the better.

    1. Well, I think that really they have to make tough choices. Which is why we need TOP.MEN. It’s not as simple as you claim. They have to decide when it’s the right time for you to just take an aspirin and die or maybe there’s enough revenue left in you to let you live a while longer. Tough work for TOP.MEN. Government works, it’s what we do together.

  11. Long time snus user here. The stuff is awesome. I used to smoke 2 packs a day. I can’t credit snus for helping me quit. I just cold turkeyed that shit and was done. But a couple years later i discovered snus and I love it. I now find cigarettes gross, but I love me some snus. Great taste. No spitting. No nausea. Dip is disgusting. Snus rules.

    For those that are interested, buy “general” brand. That’s the kind made by Swedish match. The crap that camel and Marlboro have made are pure dog shit. Tastes like sugar that sat in an outhouse.

    1. I prefer the Camel. It is a much higher quality product than that “General” shit.

      I like the Robust but Frost is easier to find fresh

      1. Bah. Swedish snus FTW. The Camel stuff just doesn’t compare.

        De gustibus, etc.

      2. Holy shit. Classic SIV. Fully behind the better of two completely shitty but well-known products. Rejects the one that actually tastes good and is authentic but no one has heard of yet.

        1. All I know is that all of you crazy H&R posters should be rounded up and sent to camps for even talking about all of these non-FDA approved weird substances. Camps need to be set up right away. I know that Hillary is the most qualified ever and a total policy wonk, so I’m confident she’ll get right on it. The children will once again be safe from you radicals and your deadly child killing substances.

          1. Ha. Well, to be pedantic (I am on h&r afterall) snus is fully FDA approved.

            It just still has the “you will DIE A TERRIBLE DEATH if you use this product” label on it. Swedish match would like to market more truthfully and the FDA said no.

            /To be fair, I probably will die a horrible death, snus or not.

            1. Death is the enemy. 2nd only to government, which totally plans on either killing you or just taking all your shit, whichever comes first.

              1. They plan on doing both!

          2. //bonus fun fact: Sweden refused to join the EU without an exemption from the EU snus ban. That’s why they are the only place it’s legal over there. The swedes love their snus more than their international government. It’s a small addition to the pros side of the ledger.

            1. Are you telling me that everywhere in Europe, this stuff is banned, outside of Sweden? I thought that only the Aussies and the USA had reached that level of retardation.

              1. Sadly yes, hyperion. It is true. It turns out there are many many places in the world that are less free than the US.

                And they will be our glorious blueprint…

                1. Yes I know. There are also many places that are more free than here in many ways. But none of them are better in all ways. There’s not many choices… ok, there are no choices for libertarians outside of Somalia, right?

                  1. Meh, Antarctica is still pretty empty; you’d be left alone down there.

                2. “And they will be our glorious blueprint…”

                  The way I’m seeing it, most of Europe will be to the right of the USA in a few years.

              2. Are you telling me that everywhere in Europe, this stuff is banned, outside of Sweden?

                They are not outright legal nor illegal in UKR; Russian brands were available in the eastern UKR; since UKR is not (yet) an EU country, having them delivered here via Sweden is not really a problem.

        2. You can find the General much easier than that Marlboro garbage. Camel owns the US snus market.

      3. Well, I know I’m never asking you to borrow sugar……ever!

  12. This just in, Sweden has highest rate of mouth cancer in world.

    1. I had to look it up. Remarkably, they have lower oral cancer rates than Europe or North America.

      http://www.who.int/oral_health…..e.pdf?ua=1

      Trigger warning: pdf.

      1. I had to look it up.

        I just assume he’s wrong about everything. its faster.

        1. Gilmore is a handsome genius.

  13. And e-cigs are likely safer than snus.

    1. VAPING BAD! GET OUT OF HERE, CHILDREN HATING RAT BAGGER!

    2. Did you consider the risk of being beat to death by someone who doesn’t appreciate your attempts to make sure the world knows you vape so hard… cause that’s probably significant.

    1. Shcmuck Manboobs is the worst, ever.

        1. Brazilians. Why am I not surprised by this story?

          1. BTW, it’s pronounced ‘teen’-‘my’-‘uh’. My resident Brazilian says so.

            1. Or right, you’re married to one. I assume you have your own theories.

              1. I was asking her about it and she couldn’t figure out who Tim Maia is, lol. Because I was pronouncing Tim the American way.

                I love Brazil, it reminds me of the USA in the 70s, where most people are just doing whatever the fuck they want and even though the government doesn’t approve of it, it doesn’t matter because they don’t know. Only with a leftist government that is more fucked up than anything we’ve seen yet (we’re working on it) and very limited opportunity for anyone who doesn’t already have money. And it’s less safe in most large cities… and then I think about Baltimore…

          2. They have an appreciation for levels of excess that we quasi-puritan Americans could never conceive

            Also, they’ve always been a truly multi-ethic culture that doesn’t sweat the whole ‘black/white’ divide re: music. Every single one of them is funky as shit.

            That’s my theory at least.

            I never knew he hadn’t ever released music internationally. He was always famous in record-collecting-circles. Here’s a random tune. I don’t know what his big hits were in Brazil. i’m partial to his first 2 records. Here’s his first. I’m glad to see people are trying to resuscitate his profile after many years.

            1. *sorry, i think that’s his second.

            2. “They have an appreciation for levels of excess that we quasi-puritan Americans could never conceive”

              And you’ve probably never been to middle of nowhere Bahia. I have, so I know.

              1. no, but my room-mate in college was the son of the brazilian minister of agriculture. we called him, “The Brazilianaire”

                1. That is an actual term in Brazil. Most of those are in Sao Paulo.

                  1. Or Brasilia.

      1. Not Block INSANE Yomomma? He’s not the worst?

    2. he’s up for re-election? I didn’t think he even bothered with campaigning. Who runs against him?

      1. Wendy Long, a white Republican lawyer, and Alex Merced, a nerdy libertarian who has a YouTube page with very few views.

        Schumer is a pussy and is afraid to debate Merced on the issues.

        1. “Schumer is a pussy and is afraid to debate Merced on the issues”

          Wow, I wonder where I’ve seen this sort of strategy before… It’s going to come to me, anytime now…

        2. he must hire them to function as straw-candidates. there’s no way anyone real bothers.

    3. [before looking it up]

      Is this the Greek yogurt one?

      [after looking it up]

      Apparently not. But the Greek yogurt ad shows just how awful having government in charge of school lunches is.

      1. Tons of carbohydrates daily is good for you and get all fat out of your diet cuz you don’t need a functional brain and the food industry needs to make more money. Now eat up, so you can get diabetes soon and then the pharm companies can get in on this shit.

        /FDA approves of this message.

    4. Jesus Christ, he’s been in the Senate for what, a thousand years? And he still hasn’t accomplished all the SJW bullshit in that ad? I know, I know, it’s the obstructionist NY GOP juggernaut getting in the way.

      1. Maybe he should ‘talk’ to Cuomo’s advisers. They have an amazing record of getting things done.

      2. He ran for the NY State Assembly (I think; it might have been the State Senate) straight out of law school. He’s been in elective office ever since. So as far as I can tell, he’s never held a job in the productive sector.

      1. And I have just the cure for that!

        … michael sembello’s sweaty-shoulder-hair…

        fun trivia = michael sembello was good friends w/ and collaborator w/ stevie wonder during the 1970s, and was a significant contributor to Songs in The Key of Life (arguably Stevie’s best record) and co-wrote the song “Saturn

        He also did the film scores for Cocoon, Gremlins, and Independence Day.

  14. Some might fine pants shitting.

    And OMG assault rifles!!! So scary! On an aircraft carrier!!!

    BTW, that 1950s era carrier looks like it runs on coal and was built out of legos. So scary!

    1. As these extraordinary photographs show, the Russian personnel were clad in bullet-proof vests and helmets as the pointed their automatic weapons towards English soil.

      I believe those are actually life-vests, and the “automatic weapons” are the deck guns, which only point away from the ship. Jesus. what, does hillary have friends in the UK who thinks she needs help with her whole Red Scare narrative?

      1. Yes. Also, gun control.

        Never mind the fighter jets. There are ASSAULT weapons on board!!!!

        1. pew pew pew.

          pretty sure that “international waters” are still 12+ miles offshore, even in the english channel.

      2. Well that’s one more aircraft carrier than the Brits currently have. Maybe they’re just expressing inadequacy issues.

    2. “BTW, that 1950s era carrier looks like it runs on coal and was built out of legos.”

      Camo for nuke power; they burn enough fuel to run the ship, but it’s a misdirection, along with the lengthy refueling ops to keep up the deception!
      Clever Ruskies!

      1. I almost fell for it, but then I saw that the telephones were made out of dixie cups and twine.

        1. Well, if they ever perfect suitcase tech, they might make suitcase nukes!

  15. You know what’s really safe?

    Broccoli.

    1. Why is it always a short skinny guy on baritone? all wrong

      1. Why is it always a short skinny guy on baritone?

        I played Alto Sax for 14 years and I still haven’t figured that out.

        1. I used date a girl who played bari sax in the Marching Band, and she weighed maybe 120 lbs soaking wet.

          At least the tuba player looks like a stereotypical tuba player. (Speaking as someone who played the tuba for 8 years. We’re not a traditionally fit bunch.)

  16. AREYOUPREPAREDTOCONFESSYOURSINSTOME?

  17. messages may be from extraterrestrial civilizations

    Wait, we might not be the only ones living here in a galaxy with a trillion stars? NO FUCKING WAY!

    “But they said that further work will have to be done before they can be “unequivocally attributed” to aliens”

    Needz moar funding tax payers! Pay the fuck up already! The science is not settled unless it’s global warming! Shut up, deniers!

    1. Well it’s not like Astronomy doesn’t already have a history of this.

      “Some weird signal coming in. It must be aliens.”
      “Nope, that’s a pulsar.”
      “Some weird signal coming in, probably aliens.”
      “Nope, that’s a quasar.”
      “Some weird signal coming in, must be bird shit on our equipment.”
      “Nope, that’s actually background radiation left over from the Big Bang.”

      I’m not saying it’s not aliens, but it’s probably not aliens.

      I’m not saying there aren’t planets out there capable of supporting alien life, but it took roughly 1/5th the age of the universe for Earth to go from single celled bacteria to creatures capable of transmitting radio signals. It’s possible some space faring civilizations came before us, but it is starting to seem more like we’re one of the first intelligent civilizations in our corner of the galaxy.

      1. You know how in Sci-Fi there are a lot of stories about Progenitor Ancient Alien Cultures. That’s us. We’re the the first ones around, at least in our neck of the woods,

    1. That entire site looks like an eye chart for people with brain trauma and can’t scroll their eyes.

      1. I kinda thought it looked like one of those pasted-together ransom notes.

        1. Helps you appreciate Reason at least.

      1. Still a better love story than Twilight The Boss Baby.

    2. “Actually, I’ve witnessed that. I’ve got a horse and it was there in the field. And a donkey came up, which was male, and I’m afraid tried to rape my horse.

      At the time the Ukip parliamentary later clarified he shared his party’s “libertarian views”

      Well, its a fair cop. We ARE all into gay donkeys.

      Seriously, the UK Indy takes random cherry-picked quotes by this guy, then insinuate all libertarians are therefore into donkey sex?

      Oh, right = they learned how the “Aleppo” thing worked, and now they’re going to re-use that M.O. on anyone libertarian from now until the end of time. Insinuate we’re all batshit crazy by waving around some random quote in bold type, going “SEE!!! SEE!!! WOODCHIPPERS!!!”

      1. It’s quite the hatchet job.

    3. I though it was accepted that homosexuality was a perfectly natural thing that happens all the time in other animals. And males are all into the rape, so why should this assertion be greeted with so much skepticism?

      1. LIBERTARIANS R CRAY CRAY MKAY?!

        its not supposed to make sense. when’s the last time you saw the media operate on “logic”?

  18. Oh, and fuck off Walking Dead. If anyone can do it for me, please superimpose Trump’s and Hillary’s head on Negan’s victims.

      1. If I were writing it, I’d have Negan kill everyone and end the series. Would’ve been epic.

        1. OT:
          I learned what Japanese I did in Okinawa. It took quite a while until I realized my accent and dialect was the equivalent of English as spoken in, oh, south Alabama. I presume you learned in Tokyo?

          1. Absolutely. Tokyo-ben. Seems the dialects are weakening a bit over the years, but Osaka dialect still throws me for a loop. They seem to know, however, not to speak with white people in full out local dialect. I think it was Edward Norton who learned fluent Osaka-ben. Kinda cool.

            1. Not fluent, but did learn in Osaka. Also he worked for Nova which is an English conversation school that absolutely sucks. They went bankrupt for cheating their students and the owner pocketed all the pension money the teachers had paid into.

              1. “Also he worked for Nova which is an English conversation school that absolutely sucks.”

                An Okinawan had a good grasp of from whence the yen came and contracted to provide the US island ‘gov’t’ with translations and provide English classes for the locals. I got fluent enough in Japanese to get hired and work for him in both capacities on my off-hours for the US military.
                Regarding the first, I was paid to turn direct translations into ‘transliterations’; providing transcripts of what was the intended message as derived from the word salad of the direct translations. Honesty in that effort got me fired; tough. Long story that would piss off commie kid.
                Regarding the grammar classes, there were typically two sorts of students; kids whose parents figured English was a step up and hookers who needed enough English to hook. That class was a BLAST!
                “Mothure! See how the tongue looks (open mouth)? See? Not Mothel! OK, try this: Fold your tongue down…
                You get the point; great times had by all…

            2. “Seems the dialects are weakening a bit over the years, but Osaka dialect still throws me for a loop”

              I read (no link) that national TV voices are now selected for a ‘west coast’ accent; seen as least ‘provincial’. I grew up in the US midwest, and never noticed that area as having an accent until I was in SF for a while; the ‘twang’ is now obvious.
              But domo for your reply; I’m ‘corrected’ by some Japanese who tell me that the contracted form should be arrigato.

              1. Grew up in Wisky, and lost my accent. Only reappears when I say, “WisKAHNsin”. Domo is for old guys and has the nuance of “Yeah, yeah. Whatever.”

                1. “Domo is for old guys and has the nuance of “Yeah, yeah. Whatever.””

                  So we’re in Munich; early dinner on the hotel patio. First server is as good at English as I am at German; we’ll make it work, but it will be work.
                  We get a new server, and the guy is 100% idiomatic American English; ‘Yeah, got that, cool..’
                  So are you an expat USer?
                  ‘Nope. Just watched too many US TV programs’.

              2. Midwest? Are you Norwegian farm stock like me?

                Madelia, Minnesota, and Stanhope, Iowa.

                1. “Rad” for red, “Bad” for bed.
                  Didn’t get that far west until I was in my teens.
                  German; industrial, look for rivers to power the mills. Prolly like you regarding a tractor, I can’t remember not knowing how to operate a lathe.

                  1. I’m German too. But we downplay that because of the… unpleasantness….

                    1. “I’m German too. But we downplay that because of the… unpleasantness….”

                      Cincinnati. Where German machine workers went when they left the Ruhr.
                      Gonna be hard to beat on three quarters of the population. Sorta like beating on the Jews there; hey, why you beating on Arron?
                      Supposedly ‘conservative’; had several grammar-school black buddies, one Japanese. A Chinese guy, Lee. He never went for Cinti chili.

    1. “…If anyone can do it for me, please superimpose Trump’s and Hillary’s head on Negan’s victims.”

      Won’t help. We’re still stuck with them and commie-kid pitching the hag while SIV continues his trip through the sewer with Trump.

      1. Don’t know if you saw it, but you’ve got all the main characters kneeling in a half circle waiting to get whacked with a barbed wire baseball bat. You could superimpose Jeb, Marco, Ted, Chris, Bernie, Donald, Hillary onto their heads. Some average dude with a shirt saying, “American Public” (Labelz!) bash the hell out of them. Fun TV.

        1. I know this sounds like “I don’t even own a TV!”, but I watch several sports games a year (10-12), maybe 8-10 car races, and not much else. Talladega was fun; long tracks are crew-chief territory, but Jr. looked like he was dressed in a Goodwill castoff.
          I did watch “Hill Street Blues” and a real fave: “Brisco County Jr”, but other than that, I’ve just never worked up an interest in any series at all.
          Mrs. Sevo is a sucker for “CSI XXXXX”, and if I hear that gong one more time, I’m gonna rip the wire out of the wall.

          1. Spoiler:
            CSI Miami is filmed here, less that 300 feet from my house. I drive by “Miami-Dade” police cars on the way to drop the kids off at school.

            1. Would you please grab that fucking gong and toss it in the nearest body of salt water?

              1. That’s Law and Order, a Dick Wolf franchise. Similar procedural, with slightly better actors and shittier writing.

                1. I have to admit to being not up to snuff on the shows.

            2. BTW, we were the film ‘hood for Nash Bridges. At the time, the locals didn’t gripe; HOO, BOY has that changed.

    2. At least something important happened in this episode. That’s about the best I can expect from a show that’s had long stretches in the past where hardly anything happens. “Oh no, we gotta find Sophia!” *barf*

      I’m also fine with the portrayal of Negan. I know some fans of the comic say he’s not muscular enough, but I thought he was plenty intimidating.

      1. Just didn’t like the way they played it straight. Looked like an ISIS video.

      2. Yeah, I kind of gape up around the 3rd season, I think. If I want to watch season long stretches on nothing happening, I’ll stick to Rectify. It at least has deep things to talk about while nothing happens. Hell, even Supernatural has a fight scene at least once an episode to keep things moving.

        1. ‘Gape up’? ‘Shudders’

  19. Haven’t read all the way up to this point, so, apologies if somebody has already said this: the reason the FDA won’t approve this product (and the reason they hassle e-cigs) isn’t evil Big Pharm. It’s Puritan Magic Thinking. Smoking is a vile habit, therefore, by the power of Transfiguration, any product that replaces cigarettes is also bad.
    Also, I was reading the earlier thread, and people got pretty mad and mean with each other, so I don’t think we should discuss politics anymore.

    1. “…the reason the FDA won’t approve this product (and the reason they hassle e-cigs) isn’t evil Big Pharm. It’s Puritan Magic Thinking.”

      Under the rule of ‘always prefer stupidity over cupidity’, I agree. No doubt the pharm biz would prefer to sell their wares as opposed to some OTC ‘feel-good’, but I have strong doubts there is a place on the org chart for the ‘Oppose Snus’ committee.
      Doesn’t begin to compete for funding with the ‘FDA Compliance’ committee.

    2. The reason the FDA won’t approve this product …

      Snus is already FDA approved; it just isn’t allowed to market itself as “Safer than cigarettes”

      Snus has been for sale in the US for…. at least well over 10 years. RJR bought into it pretty big in the early 2000s and launched their own product (*prior to them it was all pretty much swedish imports) nationally around 2005-6. I recall there being a bit of a boomlet in people trying it out in NYC around 2007-9; the nice thing about it being that you don’t have to spit. For people trying to quit smoking, or just people who didn’t want to go stand on the sidewalk during winter, it was handy.

      I feel like it sort of dropped off a bit in 2010 or so. I haven’t seen it as much at all. Part of the problem was that places that wanted to sell it needed to have these chilled storage displays – their product needed to be refrigerated, and RJR would give the retailers these special counter-top fridges. I think as sales tailed off, many decided it wasn’t worth the shelf space. That’s just a guess.

    1. Uh, did you have a point other than mentioning your cock-fave, fan boy?

        1. HIH do you find those?

    2. Police say a boy punched a police horse twice in the face

      HOLY SHIT!

      That kid is living the dream!

      You have no idea. Like our fellow commenter who would pay 10,000 dollarts to fuck Dora the Explorer in the ass, I’ve always wanted to punch a horse in the face.

          1. Nice.

            “It’s never right to hit a woman. I can accept that, but can women accept that not every ass kicking falls out of the fucking sky?” -Bill Burr.

            Also, slap!

      1. I think this pre-dated Conan’s horse-slap

        *and better-executed imo, as far as film-gags go

        1. I can’t believe it took 18 minutes to get to this.

  20. Snus? Fucking seriously?

    1. i can hardly wait to watch the snuce chewing hipsters ironically toting empty Campbell’s Soup cans to spit in and see the brown granular gunk that collects in their lumberjack beards.

      Maybe there will be a market for artisanal cuspidors.

      Yes, I spelled it “snuce” because that was how it was spelled and pronounced in the 1950s in Nort’ Dakota when the geezers all chewed that shit and spit it out everywhere.

      What next are these fucks going to whoop up next, just because the government wants to ban it?

      Snuce. Jesus Christ.

      1. snuce chewing hipsters

        you don’t chew it. It doesn’t require spitting either. although i did when i tried it.

        1. “snuce chewing hipsters”

          Add this to the band name list.

          1. Oh, mi Amore please don’t spit on the floor,
            Use the Cuspidor, that’s what it’s for.

            1. My chips are Frito-Lay
              No you can’t have one
              They’re all mine, They’re all mine
              If you want some
              Go to the convenience store
              I-i-i-i-f!
              They have not closed!

  21. OK, I’m getting “Surfair” ads for charter flights in CA. Anyone used them?
    They want a ‘sign on’ for info and no way I need ten more in-box entries.

  22. NYT would probably have preferred to save this until after the election… but i guess they have no time left =

    Health Plan Costs to Increase by an Average of 25 Percent, U.S. Says

    *average*

    Dwell on that. What percentage of people’s income is spent on HC already? For people with employer coverage, its like 10%, but with individuals its closer to 20-25%

    Its like getting a massive pay-cut with no notice.

    For a 27-year-old consumer, in the prime age group sought by insurers, the average monthly premium for a benchmark plan would be $302 next year, up from $242 this year, according to a report from the Department of Health and Human Services.

    that’s for people who never get sick w/no family expenses.

    what’s it like for the average moe?

    For a 53-year-old man with income of $53,000 a year, the cheapest midlevel silver plan will cost $714 a month, or $8,568 a year, according to the federal website, and no subsidy would be available.

    That’s before he actually gets sick, of course. 20% of his income out of pocket out the gate.

    When you consider that people who get ‘subsidies’ may see them clawed back if their income changes…

    How the fuck are democrats not being roasted alive on streetcorners? Seriously. This is what the entire 2016 election should have been about.

    1. Was listening to the radio this evening. The host said something like “well, the Democrats say they have good intentions, but they never work out.” Then some Team Blue nimrod called in and said “well, that’s because the damn Republicans screw up everything! The only reason Obamacare failed is because it has Republican ideas in it. We should have gotten single payer like every other first world country ABLOOBLOOBLOO!”

      1. We should have gotten single payer like every other first world country ABLOOBLOOBLOO!”

        oh, those ‘First world’ counties that are themselves caught in a desperate fiscal mess? great plan there.

        1. You’d think they’d have learned something from Greece, but no. It is impossible to wake someone who is pretending to be asleep.

    2. “How the fuck are democrats not being roasted alive on streetcorners? Seriously. This is what the entire 2016 election should have been about.”

      Because the stupid party selected a candidate who, unfortunately, is even less desirable than that fucking hag. And a Trump malapropism is far more newsworthy than a Clinton felony to most news-sellers.
      We will have a HRC presidency, and I’m now guessing over 320 ecv, the only hope at this point is that the stupid party hasn’t been stupid enough to yield congressional control.
      But stupid is as stupid does.

      1. “How the fuck are democrats not being roasted alive on streetcorners? Seriously. This is what the entire 2016 election should have been about.”

        I often wonder the same thing, and am inclined to oblige you in this matter. In fact, everyone needs to get out and do their part.

        Won’t you all help make Sevo’s dream come true? Everyone get out today, and everyday, and drag democrats alive and screaming onto funeral pyres (a polynesian barbecue is also acceptable). You know in your hearts it’s the right thing to do.

  23. So shines a good deed in a weary world: Iraqi soldiers replace cross knocked off church by ISIS

    recent anti-Trump ad features former nuclear missile launch officer:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lha5Gk-yCbw

    1. Is that guy in the lower left smoking? I joked in the PM links that all the photos of combat in Mosul have 1 guy shooting a weapon, while 3 guys stand around smoking

      Also – uniform humor

      1. You forgot to mention the ones posing for selfies. At least the Peshmerga are shooting down ISIS drones:
        https://youtu.be/ZX6ZxQh4rqI?t=9m59s

      2. Are they Teamsters?

  24. OT: Hey remember how Obama mocked people who objected to his mass importation of Syrian refugees as being afraid of widows and orphans? It turns out 2/3 of them were gaming the system and calling themselves minors.

  25. Amusing- George Washington University: “I want a Muslim refugee for president and I want a queer for vice president”

    Robert Spencer says: “How awkward it will be when the Muslim refugee president throws the queer vice president off the top of a tall building.”

    Elsewhere on JihadWatch:

    -German “expert on Salafism” says: Give Muslims their own city to prevent “radicalization”
    -UK government puts up 15-foot screens so arriving Muslim migrant “children” can’t be seen
    -Obama team kept list of Muslims for top jobs, excluded non-Muslims

    1. Do you have any links? I’m not doubting you, since that sounds like shit that happened.

      I’m an equal opportunity link asker. Stories that fit my pre-conceived notions should be scrutinized.

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