STRAIGHTENING UP DRINKERSHealth before liberty - The escalation of alcohol demonization in 2005
- December 12 - Four big, fat myths - Those who live in North America and even western Europe can see with their own eyes that people are beefier now than a decade ago. While the truly obese are still rare in the United States and almost non-existent in Europe, it cannot be denied that a trend has developed. It also cannot be ignored that this trend has been exploited by the bloated gangs of "health" racketeers who are far more dangerous to the public than a spare tire around the waist. In the forefront of state intrusion is the United Kingdom, which wants to impose a degree of interference into family life that would be unthinkable a few years ago. Initially costing several hundred million dollars, a database dubbed "Children's Index" will chart the progress of each child from birth to adulthood. Social workers will flag events, conditions or situations and launch an official inquiry if a child receives two flags or more. John Luik and Patrick Basham are appalled, not only by a government scheme to undertake the rearing of the nation's children but also the false justification for doing so. They examine four myths manufactured by public health officials in concert with assorted academics and special-interest lobbyists and shed a bright light on the the so-called epidemic of obesity.
- December 8 - Are you getting used to smoking bans? Good, now get used to this new piece of "progress" - "In a nation now accustomed to bans on smoking in public places, New York has planted a flag on what could be the next front in community health wars. It is becoming the first city in the country to ban all restaurants from using artificial trans fats, while requiring hundreds of eateries to post food calorie counts right on their menus." There you go: remember that the first step was to go after the suppliers of smokers and then it was the smokers' turn? You better rush to do what "public health" says, for you'll be next: forbid hydrogenated oil in public places, then in the house.
There is opposition to the ban: "...But the city's gigantic food-service industry has opposed parts of both new rules, and some restaurant companies have hinted that they might challenge them in court." ...Naah, they'll bend over after a bit of barking -- or they'll lose. We've seen it with smoking already. No liberty, constitution, truth or right can stop "public health" - only the force of the victims can - but that is exactly what the victims don't seem to be prepared to do, as they are more worried about living three more months than they otherwise might according to some junk statistic.
The scientific evidence on the trans fat scam is of the same calibre of that on passive smoking - that is, real trash - but who cares? We say it's bad for you and we forbid it - obey and shut up, get used to it. We have unlimited power, we are public health. Here is why that absolute power exists: "Many New Yorkers also were all for the ban, saying health concerns were more important than fears of Big Brother supervising their stomachs." As long as people are willing to surrender all the liberties that matter each time "public health" sings the "it's good for you" song (what other song could it sing, anyway? It works!), the dictatorship will be an election, for people will decide to be slaves and delude themselves they are healthy and free. And the key philosophical point beneath it all is best explained by paraphrasing Milton: it is better to serve for 75 years in heaven than to rule for 74.3 in hell. It really seems that America has surrendered: time for the West to choose a new leader?
- November 22 - Choose your persecution - Germany (so far) has been fairly benign towards smokers (although that may change soon) and, in western Europe, it is one of the last "bastions" of public smoking. The antis call that "backwardness" while we call it keeping from getting forward with fraud and dictatorship. But we have to be realistic: today every country needs a health persecution, and Germany cannot be an exception now that its presidency of the EU is near. How can a country neglect to show "concern" with some laptop computer epidemic and still be called an advanced nation? So, the first effect of the Istanbul conference where all the crooks of public health have recently met, is taking place only four days later. "Slimming European waistlines will be a priority of the German EU presidency with a focus on obesity in the lower income population, Germany's deputy health chief said on Friday", Reuters reports. As per cliché, the crystal ball fraudulent statistical forecasts are pulled out for effect: "Amid World Health Organisation (WHO) forecasts that one in five adults in Europe and Central Asia could be obese by 2010, Berlin said the problem will be prominent on its health agenda when it takes over the rotating EU presidency in January."
We can imagine a conversation along these lines in Istanbul between the WHO crooks and Germany's deputy health chief. German deputy: "We need more time to persecute smokers. There are still too many who remember the Fuhrer". WHO crooks: "Listen, you're gonna be president of the EU soon. What do you wanna do, show that you go after no one, so that everybody else looks bad? We're gonna call our boys at the International Monetary Fund to take care of you guys, you know? OurPharma partners are getting very nervous with you Krauts." German deputy: "I tell you that they're gonna call us Nazis".WHO crooks: "OK, pick something else, then. What about the fraud on obesity? Fatsos can't hide, they're easy to spot." German deputy: "Now, that's an idea! We'll distract the smokers by teaching them to hate the fat -- they'll fall for it. While they are busy fighting the butterballs, we'll create the infrastructure to screw them." WHO crooks: "You've got a deal, pal. Big Pharma is happy, so we are happy". The product is this Reuters communiqué. You thought that smokers had it bad? You ain't seen nothing yet. "Lardballs," Germany is coming for you!
- November 8 - Men are stupid, so protect them from hamburgers - With British Prime Minister Tony Blair under fire recently forhinting at eugenics as a solution to crime control with his talk of "pre-birth" "interventions," the United Kingdom certainly demonstrated how far it has fallen from being the proud champion of freedom, liberty, and human dignity that it once aspired to be, and largely was. We still hold out hope that a proud British tradition that once contributed so much to the world, and to the growth of modern liberal democracy, will reassert itself soon.
Part of New Labour's shameful legacy is the infantilizing of the British population, nowhere better evident that in its health campaigns, and in the rise of the silly - but dangerous - special interest groups that support them. In one of the latest manifestations, a bunch of hysterics calling themselves Sustain, attack Burger King for manipulating poor British men into linking their manhood with the consumption of death-dealing burgers. Why, these demons are just like the tobacco industry, and how can any man, stupid as they all are, resist being told - subtly, subliminally, almost criminally -- that he'll be more of a whopper if he downs a Double Whopper?
"It is irresponsible to link stuffing your face with a burger that contains more than half your daily allowance of fat with 'manliness'," whinges one of the group members. The answer, of course, is to ban Burger King's advertisement.
If all this seems petty, ask yourself this: if it's true that British people are as craven and idiotic as these "campaigners" - and the government - so often claim, how can such people be trusted with the vote? It's time to reclaim politics from the Health Totalitarians.
- November 2 - Police chief sacked for healthist memo - Once in a while the healthist nannies get what they deserve. This Florida police chief read too many obesity alarms and decided to do something for the healthy look of his officers. So, the zealous chief compiled a list of police officers and sent this message to the whole department: "Take a good look at yourself. If you are unfit, do yourself and everyone else a favor. See a professional about a proper diet and a fitness training program, quit smoking, limit alcohol intake and start thinking self-pride, confidence and respectability." For a change, the victims did not feel guilty and ready to submit. They took action -- and the chief got sacked.
Of course the chief is unapologetic -- just like all the followers of the health religion who stop at nothing, for absolutely nothing is more important than health, or the appearance of it. But this time, at least, one thing has been lost and another gained: the department lost an intrusive petty dictator and most likely gained some peace. Good riddance. Happy hamburgers and beers -- unbeatable with a smoke. Can't catch crooks on an empty stomach. One more thought: if all the smokers, drinkers, eaters and other victims of "public health" and the health Nazis would act like these Florida police officers we would have far fewer smoking bans, wouldn't we?...
- October 30 - U.S. exercise guidelines coming in 2008 - Although being soft-pedaled in this article, a new set of national exercise guidelines could easily get "adopted" as compulsory in a variety of settings, and -- given an atmosphere in which New York is now setting out to regulate the content of restaurant food -- it's hardly unlikely. A lot of people see the social and political dangers of the Health Revolution, but one of the problems facing the movements that oppose the Therapeutic State is the issue of specialization. There are those who fight healthism on alcohol, those who fight it on food, and those who say: "If it ain't related to smoking we don't deal with it." And, of course, those who fight for the freedom to eat sure don't want to get "mixed up" with issues concerning alcohol or tobacco, for those are "bad vices"; those who want freedom to smoke people don't mix with alcohol anti-prohibitions people for the same reason, and so on. Frankly, that is almost as stupid as those cigar smokers who support smoking bans to snub cigarette smokers.
In fact, the bans and shrill paternalism on all these issues are all facets of the same problem: the concept that governments have a compelling national interest in promoting -- or worse, compelling -- "healthy" choices. Aside from the fact that what's "healthy" is very arguable (is total abstention from smoking, drinking and eating certain foods a good thing? After all, dietary guidelines have changed a number of times in recent years, for example), the base concept is whether governments have the right/obligation to influence, steer and impose the choices of the citizens, whatever those choices are. Obviously the "health" establishments think so -- but who asked them? What happened to the wars, hot or cold, that we fought for so long against totalitarian regimes based on collectivism and centralization of power? As the mentality behind the Therapeutic State must be destroyed along with its machinery for the protection of liberties, freedom itself must return to its rightful place as paramount value of society -- well ahead of "public health" values (especially as they are increasingly redefined today) if we want to maintain what characterizes a free, prospering and truly progressing society. It is for that reason that narrow, specialist approaches will not be successful against healthism until they join into one, general and powerful cultural force against it.
- October 20 - Overeaters, smokers and drinkers: the doctor won't see you now - or: "I am God and I shall judge you" - And here is another manifestation of the sick mentality we describe above: the tendency of certain doctors (or "public health") to punish those who have "vices", and their arrogance in using medicine as blackmail to force people's choices. "At issue: health care for patients with self-destructive vices -- overeating, smoking, drinking or drugs. More and more doctors are turning them away or knocking them down their waiting lists -- whether patients know that's the reason or not. Frightening stories abound." Think about this: people who are supposedly there to "cure" people refuse to cure them on the basis of either their moral judgment, or that of statistical trash science used to justify the moral judgment in the first place.
We at FORCES would have a simple, practical cure to fix these "doctors": revoke their licence to practice medicine. Since it can be easily argued that each person (no exception) has some "self-destructive vice" (according to some junk science, anyway), then these "doctors" would be able to do what they seem best suited for: join the Puritan or fanatical group nearest them. People like that should not be allowed to practice medicine, for they go straight against what medicine should be all about: treat the patient regardless of anything else. Those mechanics of the body who have elevated themselves to the status of some kind of deity are as arrogant as the car mechanic who would refuse to fix your vehicle because you don't drive as he sees fit. Finally, try this for size: "...in a health system... where doctors have discretion over whom they'll take on, some say it's inevitable that problem patients will get shunted aside in favour of healthier, less labour-intensive cases." In that case there is one more reason to trash those "doctors", as there is no need for them when the "patients" are all healthy.
- October 11 - Questionnaire-based epidemiological "study" links cola consumption to lack of minerals in bones of women - This should be the header of the article we are linked to if it wanted to truly represent the meaning of the news it reports. We know that to be credible, every lie must have a veneer of truth in it. By the same token a junk study, to be credible, must contain real scientific info. It is true that bone mineral density (BMD) gives strength to the bones, but this is where the verified reality ends. "Because BMD is strongly linked with fracture risk, and because cola is a popular beverage, this is of considerable public health importance" : that's the emotional trigger to attract attention -- the keynote words have been sounded. Now let's proceed with the junk science attributions: "...The researchers found that women who drank the most cola had significantly less dense bones in their hips. The greater their intake, the thinner the bones, and the relationship was seen for diet, regular, and non-caffeinated colas."
A linear relationship does a lot to add credibility indeed - thus it must be true, especially in the context of the creation of the "mountain of evidence" against soft drinks which are "bad for you". We can then proceed with nonchalance to the inducing of the necessary emotional apprehension: "...Women who are concerned about osteoporosis may want to avoid the regular use of cola beverages". And who is the woman who says: "I don't give a damn about osteoporosis...?" Now let's go to the bottom of it all: how did the researchers gather data? With questionnaires. Did they have any meaningful way to check the accuracy of the answers?No. Could the weakness of the bones be caused by a large amount of other combined, interacting factors? Yes. OK -- trash this and keep on drinking Coke and coffee if you like them.
- October 11 - Overweight people are dumber, "study" says - Always, always we must remember that the targets of "public health" campaigns have to feel bad about themselves. Low self-esteem induced by propaganda leads to healthier, more obedient people! The targeted "losers" must be made to realize that only sterile "healthy" people (who don't smoke, don't drink, don't eat fries and abstain from anything else - in short, who do not live) can be smart and fully functional. By feeling like trash, the target group will bend over "for it's own good": it will not fight back because it is demoralized, and it will change behavious to become as "good" and as "smart" as its crooked persecutors claim to be.
This trash "study" fits the political pattern perfectly. Statement:"Overweight middle-aged adults tend to score more poorly on tests of memory, attention and learning ability than their thinner peers do." Explanation for statement: "The findings, they say, suggest that a heavier weight in middle age may mean a higher risk of dementia later in life... the researchers speculate that higher rates of cardiovascular disease or diabetes might help explain the link. But it's also possible that... " No more fooling around: the reason for the existence of this and so many other political trash studies is to tell the target (and the people around him - important for hatred and peer pressure): you are dumb because you eat too much. You wanna be smart like us? Eat what we tell you, behave as we want. And this is what the "Motivation to change" sub-header is all about, in fact.
Here is the only appropriate answer to this kind of scum: "Take your trash studies and your filthy paternalism, roll them up real tight and..."
- September 29 -Forget French fries and margarine, they are no good for you, now they will be illegal- Anti-obesity strikes at fast food restaurants with trans fat, just as anti-tobacco struck bars. Plus, restaurant associations brought it on themselves by catering to anti-tobacco. The pharmaceutical Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is heavily behind Bloomberg and his health squads. Try this for state paternalism: "Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden acknowledged that the ban would be a challenge for restaurants, but he said trans fats can easily be replaced with substitute oils that taste the same or better and are far less unhealthy. "It is a dangerous and unnecessary ingredient, no one will miss it when it's gone."
Note the use of the Precautionary Principle at work: "Artificial trans fats are very toxic, and they almost surely cause tens of thousands of premature deaths each year," says Dr. Walter Willett, chairman of the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard University School of Public Health. "The federal government should have done this long ago." Suspicion is enough, proof is not necessary. How can one be "almost sure" of death?... Ah, never mind anyway - they have the power, and that's all that matters. Obey for your own good, or shut down your business and go to jail.
- September 17 - Canada poised to make trans fat illegal - The great villain strikes again: there is absolutely no scientific evidence that trans fat is bad for your health. Of course there is common sense (is there really any left?...): too much trans fat - too much of anything - is bad for you. Whoppy skippy! The ancient Egyptians knew that already. But today the junk science par excellence, epidemiology, says that trans fat is bad for you - no causality established, no science involved, no accountability whatsoever by the "experts" who generate this trash information. And governments? They go along with the fraud, of course - somebody must show that "something has been done" to forbid what the "experts" say is bad, right? So what if these BS laws put the economy on its knees and make people work much harder to buy food. Health before economy, freedom or truth! This is the Health Revolution! We want a zero risk existence - and we-mean-zero! Who are you (you bastards) to say that zero risk is impossible? Whose payroll are you on -- who's your daddy?!... So what if there is no proof that trans fat harms health? We don't need any of that hair-splitting shit. We already know that fat kills!
However, (like everywhere else health fanaticism is involved) here the word "know" does not mean scientific knowledge at all: it meansbelief, justified with a mockery of science, because nowadays religion and old-world witchcraft have been replaced by epidemiological witchcraft. It just sounds more scientific, you know?... We are in the 21st century after all. This critique of the anti-transfat "science" written by Rolf Penner of the Frontier Centre for Public Policy's Agriculture in 2005 can be literally transposed to passive smoke, as multifactorial epidemiology is trash of universal application.
- September 8 -New book: An Epidemic of Obesity Myths - "The first myth is that someone's fitness can be calculated by measuring their BMI - body mass index, a figure based on height and weight. "Normal" BMIs are 18-24.9; "overweight" BMIs are 25-29.9; and an "obese" BMI is a reading of more than 30. That means that actors Tom Cruise, Sylvester Stallone and Mel Gibson are technically obese. A National Institutes of Health panel stated that as of 2004, 65 percent of Americans are overweight or obese."
- September 7 - Australian cheerleaders told to cover up - Here's one we almost missed. Why the cover-up? Seems the adults are afraid that the kids will get anorexic if their cheerleader costumes expose a bare midriff, thus tempting them to diet excessively. On the other hand, we might point out that the promotion and tolerance of skinny, attractive cheerleader peers makes fat girls feel unhappy, and may lead to desperate eating binges. Having said that, why are adults - and the government - all supposedly with the custody of the mental and physical well-being of children-encouraging even this much suggestive sexual display among young women, which might be seen as exploitation? But on second thought .... Never mind. Suffice it to say that these days, even running a cheerleading squad is an exercise in fretful pop-psychology second-guessing to the point of utter (pathetic) confusion.
- September 4 - ''This insidious, creeping pandemic of obesity is now engulfing the entire world" - Obesity Pandemic! "Insidious and creeping," no less. Do you get it from shaking hands? Off a toilet seat...or maybe I'm getting it mixed up with The Blob ... or the international Communist Conspiracy. Never mind, we're really scared now, and that's what counts. The only comforting news is that obesity is as big a threat as Global Warming (part of a cycle that has a several hundred million year history) and the Bird Flu non-pandemic (at least so far). Whew! For a while there I thought this could be serious.
What's a little more serious in this shameless and condescending fear-mongering are the obvious vested interests. Paul Zimmet, in addition to being a professor at several universities,is also employed by ChemGenex Pharmaceuticals. They are in the process ofdeveloping anti-obesity drugs. Holy health tonic, Batman! Thank gosh for disinterested and morally upright citizens launched forth against the lard that's menacing Gotham!
- August 28 - Garbage in, garbage out, garbage all around... - "Another pointless exercise in the statistical torture of data that have nothing to confess." That's how ace junk science buster and FOX commentatorSteven Milloy characterizes a new study that claims "just a few extra pounds" of weight takes years off your life.
Milloy rips into this study for several reasons. One of those reasons will probably seem especially astonishing to junk science newbies who don't have a grip on how big a scam statistical junk science can be. The "research" in this one is such that "it could very well be that overweight study subjects killed in automobile accidents or violent crimes are counted by the researchers as being killed by their bodyweight."
Yep, you got it. Garbage in, garbage out. For more on this, click here.
- August 3 -Chicago Chefs protest foie gras ban ... (more) - The City of Chicago has banned the serving of foie gras, and a group of restaurant chefs calling themselves Chicago Chefs for Choice has been formed in protest.
One participant to aStarChef. Com forum , on the issue said this:
"I'm a Chef/Owner in Chicago, I suppose this is akin to the 1920's prohibition (that didn't work out so well either) We have a city council that has apparently solved all of our civic, social and economic issues. I look forward to going to work and seeing no potholes and living with the knowledge that all of the cities schools are well funded and everyone has health coverage. Nice dream right? But not to sound overly biblical, and to paraphrase Joshua in the old testament, As for me and my house we will serve foie gras!!!"
- July 3 -Meddling Medicos- The American Medical Association is jealous of the behavior controllers in the United Kingdom who have been given free reign to impose wholesale their social regulations upon the population. The AMA has a wish list that it wants our government to enact to save Americans from themselves.
The coverage of agenda in the Wall Street Journal on June 14 adds that the AMA wants the Food and Drug Administration to take salt off the list of food additives that can be used without regulation because they are on the GRAS (Generally Regarded As Safe) list. In other words the AMA wants to treat salt like a carcinogen or other toxin. The reason is to reduce heart attacks and because we stupid people just won't cut down on salt no matter how much the "experts" have nagged us, so the behavior engineers are going after the manufacturers and restaurant owners and hoping to criminalize salt. Since salt-reduced let alone salt-free food is virtually tasteless, they will succeed in making people either avoid restaurants or travel to restaurants with their own shakers. Sort of like hip flasks during Prohibition.
- July 3 - Hauling out the heavy artillery - Plans to radically expand the therapeutic state in Great Britain could provide the last nail in the coffin of personal liberty in that once great country. To combat the brand new "epidemic" of obesity, the social engineers propose sweeping regulations of the food industry and advertising industries. The medical profession will be monitored to ensure that it is assigning the utmost priority to battling childhood obesity. Showing its fealty to the multi-national pharmaceutical industry, the government is considering the use of anti-obesity drugs that reduce the size of the human body. In Great Britain the political goal of converting a free citizens into automatons whose bodies belong to the state is well underway.
- June 15 - FDA: Restaurants on front lines in obesity fight - "...And letting consumers know how many calories are contained in a meal also could guide the choices they make, according to the report. Simeon Holston, 33, called more disclosure an excellent idea as he lunched on a sausage-and-pepperoni pizza at a downtown Washington food court..."
Poor crocodile Simeon needs a shrink as a zookeeper: he doesn't know that sausage and pepperoni pizza is fattening. What did he learn in school, antitobacco?... Now, really - answer honestly: do you actually and diligently read all the ingredients and calorie reports before taking a bite of food out of a box? Would you do that at a restaurant? You are there to eat, and you have so little time to read as it is, never mind summing up your caloric intake when you're supposed to be enjoying yourself! You have as much time as politicians have to read and digest the hefty 136-page book just cooked up by the Keystone Center for the Food and Drug Administration. Politicians, like most of us, love fast food - and in this case we are talking about political fast food.
Hefty and expensive, those reports tell politicians all about the mounting evidence of fat bellies across the land: the "experts" are saying it; it must be true. Invariably, the remedy is political fast food - more regulation, taxation and prohibition, and the problem will go away. Seriously, who believes that? And who believes that 64% of Americans are overweight? Of course they are - all we need is to change the threshold for obesity and the evaluation criteria, and presto, it's a fact. Equally of course, we are all capable of eating salad instead of sausage without the need for some bureaucrat to regulate our portions. Restaurants at fault? Can anybody say that waiters harass or point guns at the heads of customers who don't order nice pepperoni pizzas or juicy cheeseburgers? Here is the "Philip-Morris-made-me-smoke" syndrome again, shifting the responsibility from those who make the choice to those who offer it -- so we can force and enforce the "solution": get rid of the choice. The bad - says who? - stuff must not be made available. Go eat a fat one!
- June 15 -Taxing the portly - Meeting this week in Chicago, the AMA is considering recommending a "small" federal tax on soda along with other suggestions for a better and healthier America. It's estimated that small tax, possibly 1 cent per can, could raise $1.5 billion a year, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest (which previously has decried the consumption of most popular food).
The only surprising aspect of this proposed shakedown is that the American Medical Association waited so long in proposing it. As its membership declines as doctors leave in disgust over the organizations overtly political maneuvers, the AMA retains its clout by enthusiastically joining any ideology that extracts money from the people in the name of public health. The money, if such a tax is imposed, would go to outfits like the Center for Science in the Public Interest who would take it and construct campaigns to demonize the overweight and the corporations that sell so-called unhealthy food. Remember the self-serving activism of the AMA and CSPI whenever some bonehead politician cries over the phony "health care crisis."
- May 30 - Behold the modern freak show - In today's world of "Big Brother" and reality TV, covert freak shows can easily pass for respectable mainstream feature writing. Really, what possessed Britain's venerable (kinda) Guardian newspaper to send a journalist out on assignment to an obscure place in Russia Soviet Union to pay a poor family for exploiting the spectacle of a grotesquely overweight child? Are we learning something from this? Or are we just staring? The lead for this feature is telling; it's as if the writer lamely tried to put a brave face on this sorry assignment by playing up the trusty health angle: "If there is a 'face of child obesity', it is six-year-old, 15-stone [210 pounds] Dzhambulat Khatokhov", the article begins. Uh-huh. The Guardian's web robots reinforce the redeeming social value hook by placing the article on a page with links to Special Reports on Medicine and Health, and "useful links" to institutions ranging from the British Medical Association and the Royal Institute of Public Health to the (good old) World Health Organization. Guardian readers, you may gape and stare with a healthy conscience!
- May 30 - The junk food smugglers- Nanny may, in fact, not be all that bad. In England she's apparently teaching little children some very important lessons in entrepreneurship: how to start a blackmarket. With potato chips, sweets, burgers and soft drinks (in fact anything interesting) banned from the British schools, the enterprising kiddies are learning how to stock and run their own businesses, dealing in delectable playground contraband. Older kids are setting up car pool services like underground railroads that lead to MacDonald's.
Alas, poor Nanny may eventually be forced to ban the legal sale of burgers to "children" who are under 18. No, better make it 19. Er,,,how's 45?
- May 30 - Follow the losers - In hopes of satiating an insatiable appetite for power and control, Big Beverage has bent over, with hardly a whimper, for the health fascists. Big Beverage no doubt thinks this act of submission will be enough to get them out of the crosshairs.
Big Tobacco tried this ploy starting with the Surgeon General warnings and the TV advertising bans of the 60's and 70's. Then vending machine bans and so on. Throughout the 90's the tobacco companies basically chained their wrists to their ankles trying to gain favor with their persecutors. These tormentors, though more than happy to sidle up for the occasional quickie, had a lot more on their minds than the fleeting pleasure of watching their victim capitulate and squirm.
After decades of rolling over at their beckon call in hopes of a reprieve, Big Tobacco finally learned the real cost of getting off the radar. Cold hard cash to the tune of HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS of dollars that is sucked from the wallets of consumers to pay for government protection. Significant portions of these protection dollars are now being used to initiate and institute what amounts to, in many cases, total prohibition of a legal product on private property!
The "science" behind the obesity hysteria is every bit as shoddy as anything anti-tobacco ever regurgitated. As proven in a recent lawsuit in the UK (perhaps link to your archive commentary?), shining a light on the real science is the only way to derail their poisonous agenda.
If Big Beverage, or Big ANYBODY, plans on following Big Tobacco's "grab your ankles" script, well, we all know how that movie ends.
Einstein's definition of insanity: "Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results"
- May 15-From Big Tobacco to small sugar cone - Finally, the disinfecting sunlight of a public health campaign seems set to end the decades-long reign of the small-proprietor ice-cream vending industry in England. In a move to draw attention the industry's manipulative marketing tactics (they systematically park their vans near schools), health campaigners are focussing on the tremendous cost wrought to society by these seemingly innocuous, mostly ma-and-pa businesses.
"There are millions going into healthy food in schools, yet kids are rushing to spend their money on food from mobile vans," says Chris Waterman, the executive director of the Confederation of Education and Children's Services Managers .
Think of the waste. Millions of pounds sterling wasted. Millions. And that's not just idle speculation. It's the considered judgement of the Executive Director of the Confederation of Education and Children's Services Managers.
Those few industry apologists that remain in the health care sector (one quoted here actually sounds as if she's defending ice cream) should weigh their words carefully or consider changing careers.
- May 15-Big Mac attack - Yes, it's going to be official. The British parliament is about to enact the...er, not law, just apparently the statement that "There is no NEED for bigger burgers." Next they'll be prattling that there is no NEED for strappy gold sandals with 4 inch heels. The declaration is, of course, one more "for the children" who "aren't old enough to make informed choices." Along with its new laws on what is and what isn't "anti-social behavior" Tony Blair's UK is on a Huckabee-like health kick and the article tells us much more than we want to know about Blair's personal path to physical salvation (climbing more stairs; drinking water instead of tea.) And soon, we'll presume, drinking that water in a "smoke-free" pub. Inspiring, isn't it? Doesn't it just make you want to run up some stairs and chug-a-lug some water? Jolly Old England?
May 1 - Science in their own interest - "Had the anti-smoking zealots revealed their entire agenda back in the '60s and '70s, they wouldn't have gotten much. By using the piecemeal approach, they've been successful beyond their dreams, and the food zealots are following their example," notes columnist Walter E. Williams, in this glimpse into the ambitions of Center for Science in the Public Interest.
If you're ready for government monitoring and control of your grocery purchases in the foreseeable future, just keep quiet while the anti-smoking, anti-fat brigade arranges it all for you. After all, they're promising the politicians heftier tax revenues. What weight does your individual dignity carry against that?
that's happening now with ETS - and it could lead to prohibition if it isn't stopped.
- April 3 - Busybodies or Tyrants? - Walter Williams doesn't have much use for the laughably named Center for Science in the Public Interest, a Washington DC outfit that campaigns endlessly to convert Americans into a nation of tofu-swilling hypochondriacs. Unlike many who disagree with CSPI's goals yet attribute good motives to the organization, Williams sees them as a malignant pressure group that is steadily eroding our rights, much as anti-tobacco is doing. The brazenness of some elements in tobacco control provides the proof that "reasonably" compromising with unreasonable people is a recipe for disaster.
- March 24 - Addicting ingredients - This story from the New York Times delves into the plans by special interests to shake down the food industry and they took down the tobacco industry. Of special interest is an "obesity expert" from Yale named David Katz. Although he admits that "the evidence is scarce" he believes that the food industry engineer their foods to make their customers eat more. How do these diabolical companies accomplish this? By craftily conspiring to make their products taste good!
Research shows that people eat more when faced with a variety of foods, or even a variety of flavors within a single food. For example, you are less likely to overeat plain baked potatoes than those drenched in butter, salt, sour cream and chives.
What a break through! The task now for Katz and his social-engineers is to mandate that food be boring. A baked potato and broccoli without even a pat of margarine next to an unseasoned hamburger patty will solve the obesity crisis. No flavor no fatties. The future according to Katz.
- March 8 - Ostrich denial - As calls to impose a "fat tax" and require warning labels on soft drinks erupt the beverage industry channels the deep wisdom of the Big Tobacco and buries its head in the sand, hoping the mean people will go away. Such was Big Tobacco's tactic during the early days of the anti-smoking movement when decisive action could have crushed tobacco control before it unleashed its poison upon America.
Confronted with proposals "in favor of a soda tax, such as the one on tobacco" because "studies involving the links of soda and obesity are at the same stage as studies on tobacco and health problems several years ago," a flack working for the American Beverage Association squawks that linking soda consumption with smoking cigarettes is "absolutely ridiculous."
Hardly ridiculous since the demonization of soda is based upon the same sort of "research" that demonized cigarettes. Big Soda, like Big Tobacco, is an enormously rich industry that is run by cowards who continue to believe that if they only give in a little their persecutors will be sated. The greed of the conmen and shakedown artists can never be satisfied as the beverage industry will find as it goes down the exact same path as Big Tobacco.
- March 6 - Cigarettes of obesity - As the war on fat lumbers onward the shakedown artists and their compadres in junk science are honing in on individual components of the food industry, seeking the weakest links. Two sets of researchers have found that soft drinks aren't merely associated with obesity but actually cause it. Two scientific journals this week will publish these conclusions after a week of coverage by the mainstream news media.
As noted in this story from the Deseret News, the researchers have learned their anti-tobacco lessons well. Much of what they say echoes the dogma that proved so successful against smoking and the tobacco industry. Explicitly likening soft drink consumption to smoking opens the door to heavy government regulation as well as providing the foundation to shake down the rich soft drink industry by law suits.
The corporations targeted for shakedown have unfortunately decided to conduct themselves as did the tobacco industry. Instead of focusing on the predatory motives of the anti-fat special interests they indignantly repudiate any linkage between their product line and Big Tobacco's, seemingly obvious to the fact that anti-fat's "evidence" against Big Soda is just as damning as the "evidence" against Big Tobacco. That the evidence in both cases is fraudulently concocted escapes the soft drink industry's notice. Big Soda can learn from Big Tobacco and could win by doing exactly the opposite of what the cigarette manufacturers did.
- February 27 - Attack on conventional wisdom- This year has been unkind to many of those who toil in the junk science vineyard. Recently the benefits of the low fat diet have been shown to be vastly overrated. Dethroning the low-fat obsession is a cruel blow to those special interests who plan on reaping riches from shaking down the food industry.
This article from TCS Daily is an excellent compendium of the myths and realities of low fat diets. It's interesting to note that the fat warriors chose to link breast cancer to fat consumption much as the tobacco warriors found non-existent links between this frightening disease and smoking. Capitalizing on disease is what social engineers do best. Ameliorating or curing disease is something they don't do at all.
- February 15 - Fat War enlists perfect spokesman - The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the billion-dollar foundation financed by drug company stock, a few years ago branched out from its mission of banning smoking and raising cigarette taxes to benefit the manufacturers of smoking cessation devices to working the "epidemic" of obesity, another racket designed to enrich Big Drugs. This week RWJF announced an $8-million grant to be given to Bill Clinton, a former president of the United States. President Bill fronts for something called the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. Its agenda includes encouraging children to eat better and exercise more. How novel! And certainly a better gig for Bill than selling used mattresses. When two con artists such as these two meet, hold onto your wallets tightly.
- February 15 - The orthodoxies crumble - There is a seemingly inexhaustible willingness to believe that the voice of science is the voice of truth -- impartial, incorruptible, and unambiguous. It isn't, of course. Scientists are no less vulnerable to error or bias or ego than the rest of the human race. Scientists too can blunder or act from ulterior motives or convince themselves of things that aren't so. And yet on the whole they enjoy a level of deference and public trust that people in most other fields can only envy.
It's refreshing that these words are written by a newspaper man on the collapse of yet another casualty of the ginned up war on fat. If only he could persuade his colleagues in the American press to stop reporting press releases from scientists and researchers as straight news. The level of hysteria over health would diminish dramatically if reporters cast their supposedly skeptical eyes on health studies that daily clog the news. Old media may stop hemorrhaging subscribers and viewers if reporters made it their business to report what a study actually means, including accurate explanations of what the risk or benefit percentages actually mean. Above all the people and organizations that fund the study must be identified. The Chicken Little approach to health and science will backfire unless the hype is curtailed.
- February 10 -Littering with secondhand fat - Norman Kjono talks about the war, not on obesity or smoking, but on the working class. It's Robin Hood in reverse as the elite riffles the pockets of the poor and middle class, remorselessly promoting its thieving ways as the path towards happiness and good health.
- February 8 -Candy warning labels - Chocolate bars in the United Kingdom will soon carry warning labels modeled on those that grace cigarette packs. The labels will support the government's call for balancing lifestyle with physical activity.
The chocolatiers obviously hope to stave off the inevitable shakedown that is building momentum in countries where the epidemic of obesity rages. The warning labels will be as successful as the cigarette labels were in holding off the con artists and gangsters.
- February 3 -Knee-cap the bastards - John Banzhaf III, of Action on Smoking and Health, has seen too many Mafia movies. He fancies himself as some sort of wise-cracking "muscle" issuing vague but sinister threats to people targeted for a shakedown. That he makes these threats in writing indicates how confused the moral climate has become.
- February 1 -Licking their chops - The shakedown artists and con men may have extracted as much as they can from smokers through high taxes and the tobacco settlement but those exercises in theft were only a warm up to the rape of the food industry. As the biggest food maker in America Kraft Foods, Inc. is in the crosshairs
Expect to see more articles such as this as the gangsters gear up their campaign against Big Foods. Boiled down to its essence this multi-paragraph story reveals that Kraft Foods conducted research to find out how to make its food products taste good. Pretty innocuous stuff but when linked to the same sort of research conducted by its sister corporation, Philip Morris, the nation's largest cigarette manufacturer, the implication is clear. Big Food is addicting the populations just as Big Tobacco did.
- January 30 -Suing to eliminate free speech - A non-profit "health" advocacy group is targeting a breakfast cereal manufacturer and the cable channel that carries its advertising. Issuing a ultimatum, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, demands that Kellog Co. and the Nickelodeon cable network radically alter their advertising to children. If the companies don't commit to changing their marketing approach within 30 days CSPI will file a lawsuit in a Massachusetts court asking to stop Kellog's advertising campaigns.
While CSPI is not known for its sense of humor, one of the plaintiffs it has dug up to provide the human face for its anti-corporate agenda provides some laughs:
"It's hard for a parent to compete with so many ads making junk food fun and cool," Sherri Carlson, a mother of three who would be a plaintiff in a lawsuit, told reporters. "Although I have a strict policy against junk cereals in my house ... this doesn't stop my children from asking me for them, especially after seeing enticing ads."
Got that? This mother, who refuses to buy the Kellog "junk food", is willing to sue the company because she is annoyed her children are asking for the Frosted Flakes. In today's American inconvenience and offense is not to be tolerated and batty pet peeves must be allowed to clutter the over-worked courts.
- January 27 -Stealth fast food tax - "Fed up" by school kids littering neighborhoods in which high schools are located, an Oakland California city councilwoman has a plan. Her plan does not focus on the adolescent scofflaws who daily violate the law against littering but instead target the fast food joints that lawfully sell a legal product to those who choose to buy it. "Fees" ranging from $230 to $3,815 per year would be charged to restaurants and convenience stories depending on the size of the establishment. Non-profits and professional shakedown artists are enthused about the plan and support is high among city council members.
- January 27 -Limits proposed - A county supervisor in the Bay Area has a solution for the epidemic of obese kids; get rid of the fast food purveyors. While his busybody approach to a dubious problem that has been overblown by money-grubbing special interest groups is hardly unique, this politician's conflict of interest is fairly glaring. The fast food banner is the owner of a restaurant that competes with the establishments he want to limit.
- January 25 -Baseless lawsuit - For years we have said that the suits against the tobacco industry, although highly lucrative to lawyers and special interest groups, were merely dress rehearsals for the main event; taking down the food industry.
Michael Siegel examines a wonderful scheme by a team of lawyers, one a veteran of the tobacco lawsuits, whereby lawyers suing the fast food industry needn't bother with proving cause and effect. In fact legal wrongdoing by the targeted corporations doesn't appear to have any place in this shakedown scheme.
- January 16 - Tightening the grasp - The new year finds Michael Bloomberg, New York City's ϋber daddy and hyperactive mayor, forging ahead into new zones of intrusiveness on his quest to shape up the population. With smoking out of the way, Bloomberg first jumped on the trans-fats junk science crusade sending out letters to food service operators "suggesting" that they clean up their act. Next on his list is tackling portion sizes in the myriad of eating places that once made the city famous. Bloomberg envisions the health department teaching restaurateurs how make a healthy meal. Bring on the tofu, raw veggies and skim milk!
None of this, of course, is the purview proper to government but in Bloomberg's mad, health-obsessed universe individual taste and choice is the problem and government control is the solution. Unfortunately the suicidal New York hospitality industry, which ineffectively and flaccidly fought the smoking ban, reveals itself as an unwitting stooge for expanding health department power.
Leaders of the state restaurant association - who opposed the smoking ban - have so far supported the health department's dip into nutritional education, but are eyeing it cautiously.
"It's one thing for them to recommend, it's another if they start saying, 'You must do this,'" said Charles Hunt, who heads the association's New York City office.
Someone with an attention span more lengthy than a gnat's should remind Mr. Hunt that banning smoking in restaurants and bars was once "recommended" but, as night follows day, became the law. There is no compromise with a man who wants to slit your throat.