Wednesday, August 1, 2007

An Intrusive Government for Health Issues but NOT Terror?




A few weeks ago, I was surprised to hear a number of very Liberal people, people otherwise disposed to support and defend “freedom of choice,” applauding New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg’s “Nanny State” edicts banning trans fats and all but making smoking illegal, even allowing employers to take a smoker’s off the job activities into account.

The problem with such local bans or prohibitions is that they are (1) easy to subvert by merely crossing a state or city’s border and (2) hypocritical in that they refuse to make ILLEGAL substances that some public officials obviously believe are detrimental to life and health. If these substances are THAT unhealthy why not just make them ILLEGAL?

Ironically enough, many of these same Liberals claim to support drug legalization, at least the legalization of marijuana.

How do we rationalize banning smoking tobacco in public when a new study shows that ONE, single marijuana joint does the equivalent lung damage as FIVE cigarettes!
"The study shows that one cannabis joint causes a similar degree of lung damage as between 2.5 and five tobacco cigarettes," said lead author Sarah Aldington.

“Marijuana smokers had symptoms that included wheezing, coughing, chest tightness and phlegm — all of which were associated with tobacco smokers, except chest tightness.

“Last week, another study published in The Lancet medical journal suggested that using marijuana may increase the likelihood of becoming psychotic, with even infrequent use potentially raising the overall small risk by up to 40 percent.”;_ylt=Ar6V0_1_EScnfAwRUUQyU8IR.3QA

Trans fats, used mainly to maintain the shape and consistency of some foods amount to just 2% of the American diet, while saturated fats that also increase the risk for coronary disease account for 15%...and THEY’RE not getting least not yet.

For now obesity is going the very same way of smoking, as Joseph Epstein, writing in the WSJ notes

“A new study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine and done at Harvard Medical School (those twin towers of false authority), claims that not only do fat people do great harm to themselves but, through the influence of social network, can harm friends, especially close friends, by making it easier for them to overeat. Not only food, it turns out, but the wrong friends can make you fat.”

Can THAT be true? Second-hand FAT???

According to Epstein’s review of Harvard’s Gravaman Study, it CAN. “The Gravamen of the Harvard study holds that, if you hang around the heavy, soon heavy indeed will be the added bulk hanging about you, in the form of double and triple chins, pot bellies, love handles, ample cabooses, thunder thighs, thick calves, chubby fingers . . . good God, it's enough to make one tape a photograph of Joan Didion in a body stocking in one's locker down at the gym.

“The Harvard study, a work of medical sociology, is based on the famous Framingham, Mass., federal study of heart disease, which has been tracking some 12,067 people over the 32-year period between 1971-2003.

“Like much sociology, what the study has to report is obvious: If lots of one's friends are fat, it naturally makes it more likely that one will pick up their eating habits. In such company, putting on an extra 30 or 40 pounds isn't going to result in social censure.

“Like much sociology, too, the Harvard study is also preposterous: It apparently allows for environment (lots of junk food out there) and genetics (some people can eat Seattle Sutton meals with the tread mill turned all the way up without loss of a gram), but its single new finding -- that fat friends make it easier for their friends in turn to become fat -- dominates and is the only reason for the study's temporary prominence. In one of his poems, Wallace Stevens speaks of the "lunatics of one idea," and this particular idea -- fat friends make you fat -- sounds like a nice instance of Stevens's fine phrase.”

Oddly enough, the world is replete with examples of “unhealthy things’ suddenly found to be “healthy.”

Alcohol is without question one of the most abused drugs and perhaps the ONLY drug that doesn’t have to cross the nerves synapses, but can be absorbed directly through the cell membrane. It has long been seen as a healthcare nightmare, leading to cirrhosis, renal disease and cardio-pulmonary problems among many others.

And yet, today one to two glasses of an alcoholic beverage (especially red wines) has been shown by numerous studies to be very healthy.

A recent study from Japan shows that coffee use can reduce colon cancer rates in women by up to one half! Coffee and its primary ingredient have been lambasted by many health-nanny’s for it’s many unhealthy effects on people.

All that’s to say that it’s incredible to me, that so many people, people who seem ready to jump to the defense of our “freedom to choose” at a moment’s notice, are so willing to allow the government, a government they DO NOT trust in being more intrusive over terror concerns, to control what they can and cannot eat.

I mean seriously, if you’re going to let government make such personal decisions for you as what you can eat, how much you can eat, etc., then what possible problem can such a person have with surveillance cameras in the subways, on street corners, etc.? For that matter, what possible problem could that person have with government listening in on cell their phone calls, looking over their bank records, etc., etc.?

If you’re going to allow a government to ban various food stuffs based on studies that can often change or be contradicted down the road, based on various “health concerns,” or “public health threats,” then how can you then balk at the government being much more intrusive in its dealing with the current terrorist threat – a “public safety threat?”

It just DOESN’T make any sense.

In fact, the reverse could better be argued. The government’s police and military powers are both enshrined in the Constitution (“To provide for the Common Defense” AND “To ensure domestic tranquility”), but the entire Bill of Rights protects “We the People” from government intrusion, certainly any government intrusion that would seek to control what we eat, how long we must exercise, how much wealth or property we can accrue, etc.

Yes, the same Constitution gives criminals those same protections from government, BUT terrorism is NOT a “crime.”

Terrorism is an act of “unconventional warfare,” making international terrorists, or “terrorists for a cause” warriors or non-uniformed soldiers, who are (1) not subject to our Constitutional protections and (2) not even protected by the Geneva Accords which strips POW status from those who fight without uniform.

It was an interesting exchange, if only to show how badly misguided some far Left Liberals are today.

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