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May 08, 2012

Think It's a Farcical Hypothetical That The Government Could Order You To Eat Your Broccoli? Think Again.

Experts: The Government must impose further mandates on you in order to force you to be healthy and thus reduce its own costs.

I'm beginning to think Shakespeare erred. First, kill all "experts" who want to empower government. Do the lawyers afterwards.

Federal agencies should step in if industries that promote high-calorie foods to children do not implement common nutrition standards within two years, the influential Institute of Medicine (IOM) said Tuesday.

The recommendation came as part of a 478-page IOM report on the U.S. obesity epidemic that outlined broad policy changes the panel says are necessary to stave off a healthcare crisis.

The changes are aimed at a complete overhaul of the United States's "obesogenic" environment, the panel wrote.

"People have heard the advice to eat less and move more for years, and during that time a large number of Americans have become obese," panelist Shiriki Kumanyika of the University of Pennsylvania said.


"The average person cannot maintain a healthy weight in this obesity-promoting environment," she said.

Strategies like a possible soda tax and new zoning laws to encourage walking and biking are designed to "reinforce one another's impact to speed our progress," said panel Chairman Dan Glickman, a former secretary of Agriculture.

The food and beverage industry, as well as its marketers, must cooperate or face possible federal intervention on issues like childhood nutrition standards, the panel warned.

I'm currently pro-health. That may sound funny, but a few months ago I was anti-health. No, seriously. I was pretty much like "The hell with it, we're all gonna die, who cares."

That's not a healthy attitude (ahem).

That said, I managed to change some behaviors without the coercive power of Big Wellness forcing me to.

I don't floss. I know I should. But I don't.

Will the government start forcing me to do that?

These are not hypothetical questions, nor silly ones. We spend all of our childhood yearning to be free of parental control.

Our parents are (by and large) benevolent. They want what's best for us. Sum up everything your parents ever told you, and odds are, 93% of it is good advice. Stuff you should do and should not do. They were right.

Nevertheless, I, and most other adults (especially American adults), expected that parental control and authority would end sometime between 17 and 21 years old.

We did not expect that the government would not arrogate to itself the power to step in and be our new Parental Authority until the day we die.

Everyone should eat better and exercise more. And floss, for that matter. And stop smoking. And limit drinking. And the rest of it.

And yet -- what business is it of anyone else's that we should do that?

Yes, we should do these things.

But a government empowered to force us to do them would make life unlivable.

I do not wish to be controlled by a distant bureaucratic parent, and in fact I would rebel against it, and I mean "rebel" in the non-metaphorical sense.

We have not created a government to control us. Whether we want to live self-destructive lives, or healthy lives, that is our own decision to make.

This dovetails perfectly with the truism that a government big enough to give you everything is a government big enough to take everything away, including your most precious gifts of all, freedom, dignity, and personal autonomy.

As the government takes more care of us -- as it more and more steps in as an ersatz parent, spending money on us -- it begins to demand the what parents typically do of children who cost so much: That the children behave in a manner which will cost it less money.

"You'll live by my rules while you're living under my roof!" many frustrated parents have exclaimed in frustration.

And they have a valid point-- as they are subsidizing the child's lifestyle, they feel they are entitled to some input into that lifestyle, especially as regards the cost of it.

And with the government now acting as the national pater (father), we now here the government bristling the same as any parent:

"So long as you're under my roof you'll live by my rules!"

You cannot have a pater without paternalism -- otherwise it begins to bankrupt the pater.

And thus, your weight is now not just your problem but the government's, and Big Daddy Government is going to require you to slim down if you're under his roof.

Even A Small Slowdown In Obesity's Rise Would Save Big Money

Slowing the rising rates of obesity in this country by just 1 percent a year over the next two decades would slice the costs of health care by $85 billion.

Keep obesity rates where they are now — well below a 33 percent increase that's been expected by some — and the savings would hit nearly $550 billion over the same 20 years.

Those are two attention-grabbing conclusions from an analysis released this morning at the Weight of the Nation conference in Washington, D.C., sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Researchers from Duke University, RTI International and CDC prepared the analysis, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

It's the latest work that shows the health care costs associated with obesity, and the stark financial consequence of the epidemic.

In an important way, this is the public's fault. They have gladly signed on for a policy of increasing infantilization of the populace -- of themselves -- and now find that if they've accepted Infant Status (legally incompetent; others in loco parentis having legal power over them) in terms of taking Big Daddy Government's allowance, they're going to have to start doing Big Daddy Government's chores to earn it.

There's a way out: End this endless cycle of government dependency which in turn requires (experts say) further government control.

Americans are too fat. They ought not be fat.

But it is far more important that they be free than they be thin.

A life lived without freedom is not worth living. We are not animals, born for the cage and our master's choice of feeding schedule.

We should all be better than we are.

But no one is better than they are without freedom. Without freedom, we are nothing but animals.

This is a dangerous step the government is taking. If the cost of paying for the health care for so many unhealthy Americans is too dear, then stop paying for it.

Do not repeal human beings' basic dignity and autonomy to live their lives as they will.

It is better to die than to live under such a horror.

My roof, my rules?

It's time to Man Up and move the hell out of Big Daddy's basement.

The Tyranny of a Well-Meaning Parent: As Justice Kennedy said of the mandate: It fundamentally changes the relationship between citizen and state.

It changes the relationship from free man with power over government to child beneath the Father-State's protection-- and control.

Parents are well meaning-- but they're worrying never ends, does it?

We do not need a state without the love of a true parent, which imposes its will, ultimately, through trained men with guns, to take on the powers and responsbilities of a parent.

As C.S. Lewis wrote, benevolently-intended tyrannies are the worst of all:

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

via fixerupper.

Indecent: Do they even realize what they're suggesting?

From the New York Times:

When the biologist Daniel Lieberman suggested in a public lecture at Harvard this past February that exercise for everyone should be mandated by law, the audience applauded, the Harvard Gazette reported.

Not even a more-in-sadness-than-anger resignation to the idea that freedom must be abolished -- no, they're positively giddy about it!

They would strip the freedoms away from Americans to vindicate a busybody impulse to slim people down?

If they're willing to jettison freedom over so trivial a reason -- what reason wouldn't justify ending the American birthright of freedom?

What would not, in their eyes, justify the coercive power of the state squashing individual autonomy?

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posted by Ace at 04:00 PM

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