Thursday, January 28, 2010

John Stossel and The Food Police

John Stossel's program tonight is on The Food Police. Can't wait ! ! !

Bud Light – Check.
Mrs. Renfro’s Habanero Picante Sauce – Check.
Tortilla chips – Check.
Leftover fried corn nuggets that The Aggie left in the fridge a couple of weekends ago – Check.
Slimfast bar – Check.

Stossel started his show eating a bacon cheeseburger. I wish I had one of those, too.
The food police are coming, because you’re not eating right. They want to put taxes on things you shouldn’t eat, and they want to subsidize foods that you should eat. Stossel showed the Surgeon General stating that obesity is worse than terrorism.
NYC, Baltimore, Philly, and California have already banned trans-fats (despite their ability to keep food fresh longer.) L.A. banned the opening of fast food restaurants in “poor” neighborhoods (as if Tavern On The Green wanted to open franchises in the ‘hood.)
Numerous states have put an extra tax on Cokes. Illinois has a 6% tax on candy. They’ve even put a stop to school bake sales in some places.

Stossel brought in some highschoolers who once were allowed to have bake sales for their extra-curricular organizations. One girl argued that by the time you hit high school, you’ve decided what you are and aren’t going to eat. Temptations from the soccer team aren’t going to determine your body type.
He then asked his audience if any of them favored bans on school bake sales. No hands were raised. He expressed surprise that none of MeMe Roth’s fans in the audience stood up for their beliefs (perhaps they were overweight, and couldn’t stand easily?) Meme Roth turns out to be the first guest, and the head of something called National Action Against Obesity. NAAO was somewhat instrumental in stopping the sale of cupcakes in High Schools.

Roth said that obesity costs the country $147 billion dollars. She doesn’t want to pay the bill for this. It’s making her insurance premium go up. A national effort needs to take place to stamp out obesity. 20% of our preschoolers are overweight. 30-40% by the time they finish elementary school.
“If people refuse to do what is right…..we refuse to eat properly and take care of our bodies, we need to make it a law, or we need to (eliminate obesity) ourselves…..if we refuse to hold people accountable, we need to have government intervention.”
Roth thinks her grandmother may have been the first to get a Handicapped parking sticker because she was obese.

Good lord in heaven....the Fat Police are throwing grandmaw under the bus !

Roth thinks Girl Scouts are a great organization, but we shouldn’t be sending girls out to peddle Thin Mints. She suggest that since the girls are getting .60 per box, next time you’re asked to buy Girl Scout cookies, give the girl a dollar and tell her to leave the cookies on the shelf.
Stossel appreciated Roth trying to convince and persuade people, rather than use force. Unlike the next guest calls himself the head of The Head Of The Food Police SWAT Team.

Cut to commercial. I need more beer, and the picante sauce needs to be cut with something milder.

John Banzhaf is a George Washington University law professor. He takes exception to being called The Head Of The Food Police SWAT Team. Now we’re getting some controversy going. Banzhaf claims he hasn’t tried to stop any adult from eating whatever he wants. But he’s lobbied for full caloric disclosure on ALL foods.
He's fought against misleading advertising. WE USE LEGAL ACTION TO KICK OPEN THE DOOR !

The camera isn't kind to John Banzhaf. Professor Banzhaf might need to cut back on the cholesterol.

Roth gently interrupted Banzhaf and suggested he just calm down, and admit he’s the damn food police. Banzhaf then went into an anti-corporate rant against McDonald’s and KFC, forgetting who his audience was on this particular program. He bragged about the lawsuits won against those companies, as if the services they provide aren't voluntary exchanges. Stossel asked who this expense was passed on to…..

Mr. Banzhaf might need to spend less time reading labels, and more time on the stairmaster, because, because, ....

Banzhaf wants to label junk food. He argued that The Best And Brightest don’t need warnings, but the peons need them.
Stossel brought out a stepladder. It had 41 labels on it. Some are legally mandated, and some are there to defend the manufacturers against lawyers/vultures like Banzhaf. Stossel questioned the value of these. Banzhaf argued that the labels are effective. Banzhaf asked “Why do you think governments put warning on products?”
Stossel saw the pitch coming in slow motion from a mile away. “Because it helps governments grow.”

Roth sees this information as a “right”. Roth and Banzhaf brought out a life expectancy chart. It spikes upward. Banzhaf claimed this was because of his ban on smoking.

I’ve got to just come out and say it…..Is Banzhaf kinda fat??? Or is he morbidly obese??? Shit, physician, heal thyself ! ! !

Stossel trotted out an Onion parody headline “Hershey’s Ordered To Pay Obese Americans $135 Billion”. Banzhaf, who is full of more horseshit than the Fort Worth Stockyards, bragged about how McDonald’s “chickened out” and paid a 12.5 million dollar fine, rather than go before a jury of citizens and let them decide the issues.

Ok, here’s the libertarian point to all this….If I decide to eat at Big Botulism’s House Of Salmonella, it’s nobody’s business but mine. There is NO issue for a jury of citizens to decide, UNTIL Big B does me some harm.

I’m down two beers. Time to reload.

Eric Oliver is the author of “Fat Politics” and is a poli-sci professor at The University Of Chicago. He says the reason for our obesity “epidemic” is the arbitrary levels where our fitness professionals have placed the boundaries between “Healthy”, “Overweight”, and “Obese”. These classifications, using the Body Mass Index formula, mean that George W. Bush and Johnny Depp are overweight, and Arnold Schwarzenegger and Tom Cruise are borderline obese !
Banzhaf and Oliver went back and forth about causation for a while.

Banzhaf is probably classifiable as obese. I’m just guessing here. He needs an intervention. A full-blown Barack Obama government-must-intervene intervention into whatever the hell he's been eating. I wouldn't bring it up if Banzhaf were willing to leave us all alone. I'm just sayin'....

Oliver says that statistics suggest that, for people over 65, the people with the longest life expectancy are those who are overweight. My goal: to live forever. I need more beer, just as insurance.

Coming up next: Former Arkansas governor Mike Freakin’ Huckabee, who made every country-bred, corn-fed Arkansas student “weigh in”.

Only one beer down in that segment. Must train harder. I must train harder. Will restock during the next commercial.

Mike Huckabee lost 100 pounds by running marathons. Huckabee justified his school “weigh in” by saying the info went straight to the parents as a warning. Huckabee says you would be amazed by how many parents don’t think about their kids weight. He claims that Arkansas kids' weights started to decline after the weigh-in. All he did was give parents the info.
But the Center for Disease Control says that the kid’s weights went up.
Huckabee doesn’t want the government to be the Grease Police, or the Sugar Sheriff. (I think he’s used these phrases before.) He says that watching diets is one of the best ways to save the State a lot of money.

Cut for commercial and more beer. The chips are running low, too.

The L.A. City Council has banned additional fast food restaurants in SOUTH Los Angeles. Stossel brought in Jan Perry, a City Councilwoman to explain. Ms. Perry says that residents want more supermarkets and a diversity of food choices. Stossel wondered why, if that’s what residents want, entrepreneurs aren’t coming in.

New York mayor Mike Bloomberg has banned soda and bake sales in public schools. They’re trying to reduce salt usage. But the media has caught him eating all sorts of junk and putting salt on almost everything, INCLUDING PIZZA.

Reason magazine’s Nick Gillespie was brought in for some commentary. (He recently named Bloomberg the “Nanny Of The Year”.) Gillespie says that weight isn’t a crisis, just an excuse for politicians to boss people around. Gillespie noted that almost every guest on the show says that poor people, fat people, etc., make poor decisions and they need prodding and guidance to make the right choices. Choices like these aren’t a public matter.

The fact that we have to pay for these decisions is a GREAT example of why we should get rid of Medicaid and Medicare.
Roth couldn’t let that stand. She argued that we need to catch kids before they get too fat and do an intervention. Nick argued back that kids have parents. Parents should be the first source of info. Weighing should not be a focus for a school. An “epidemic” is a contagious disease. Salt and fat are tasty, and when people have money, they prefer foods that taste good.

One thing missing in all of this: The biggest contributor to obesity in the U.S. is corn. We have prohibitive tariffs in place against sugar, so the candy and Coke folks are forced to use corn syrup. And guess which crop our government subsidizes?

Roth interrupted some more, and said that as long as other people are paying the price, you force all of us to give an opinion on how you live your life.
Gillespie: then the solution is to get rid of socialized medicine. Brilliant.

Next up: Who gets to decide what you eat? The government, or you?
Don’t need more beer. Typing to fast too drink. Getting hungry, though.

So who owns our bodies? Government officials, or us?
Stossel ran an experiment with his studio audience. He put out two types of food: junk food vs. fresh fruits and vegetables. Many people went for the junk. What gives the government the right to decide for us? We should be responsible for ourselves.
The war on trans-fats, for instance. Scare mongers bring out the latest theories. Activists rally to get the government to ban the food. Lawyers sue to force companies to change, it's For The Children ®. Then the law is passed.
But what about those that don’t have a cholesterol problem? We’re punished. The artificial substitutes cost more.
Given the choice between government force and voluntary action, voluntary is better. End of story. Here’s some Milton Friedman:

Let government give us the information. But let it leave us free to choose what chances we want to take with our own lives.


Anonymous said...

Nick Gillespie kicked ass and ,I think wanted to after that woman.
Better wake up people before these kind of big government freaks gain any more power....Liberty will win...We will not give in

The Whited Sepulchre said...

Anytime I see Nick G on TV, or read one of his pieces at "Reason", I wear my black leather jacket for the rest of the day.

Jack Reylan said...

Bloomberg needs to pay more attention to hygiene. Workers step on and handle food surfaces whil supposedly protecting us by cleaning. Kids spread filth by clothes swabbing floors. Pigeons fly around delis crapping. One guy threw away food when the container fell to the floor then put the empty container in the pantry without cleaning it. Today's workers thingk hygiene is silly. They used to teach you about these things in grammar school but today it seems patronizing.

Birdzilla said...

We certianly dont need the wheatgerm inhaling health freaks to tell us how to live we dont need RALPH NADER,MICHEAL JACOBSEN,MARION NESTLY,NEAL BERNARD,PETA,PCRM,CSPI to dictate our diets to us