Friday, July 15, 2011


Alex Beam of the Boston Globe asks, What’s wrong with subjecting obese Americans to the same stigmatization that smokers are?

He's serious. I read the article (click here to read it yourself)and he proposes a campaign designed to stigmatize the overweight in the same way smokers have been made to feel for the past quarter-century.

The original idea was not Beams. He'd heard professor Daniel Callahan (retired cofounder of bioethics research institution Hastings Center),speak on a radio program and pose the question "why aren’t overeaters subject to the same stigmatization as smokers?"

Callahan makes a persuasive case: 67 percent of Americans are overweight, he writes. “Obesity is a leading cause of diabetes, heart disease, and kidney failure. There are some prima facie reasons for thinking about stigmatization as one more arrow in the quiver of possible solutions.

No category of US citizens, with the possible exception of prisoners, has been subjected to more government-sponsored economic and social harassment than cigarette smokers. Taxed up the wazoo, forced to pay hundreds of extra dollars for health insurance, tossed out in the rain and snow to sneak a few puffs of the dreaded cancer sticks - smokers are the deadbeat dads of the public health landscape. .

Sadly, the answer Callahan and Beam would propose is to to lead another crusade for stigmatizing men and women, that would be enormously hurtful for a lot of people.

I have an idea!

Why don't we round all these tubbos up and put them in camps?

I'll have to get in line, because those pictures of me in shape are so old that they're worth something to antiquers.

Maybe we can get a good rental rate on Auschwitz!

In both cases we are talking about behavior that is harmful to the individual and costly to society. If the proposal is to charge smokers and obese people more for health insurance, I agree.

In fact, insurance companies already do this. They charge higher rates for people who are expected to incur higher claims dollars. This is a process called underwriting.

The fact that humiliating smokers is a societally approved parlor game is wrong. Treating the overweight the same way will not make it right.

Obese people have been the butt of jokes far longer than smokers have, and yet the obesity rate has climbed to proportons that lead America to label it an epidemic.

You could argue that the obese are the last acceptable targets of discrimination.

Let's say Mr.Beam gets his way. Where would we stop?

Would those rotten cancer sufferers be next? Who do they think they are, anyway, with their special treatment centers and chemotherapies?

And what about those darn Alzheimer's people?

Certainly Mr. Beam and Mr. Callahan are capable of the selection of the new master race!

Maybe we should simply send everyone with a handicapped license plate or a maintenance drug prescription off to a detention center!

Or maybe,and I'm just saying, maybe singling a group of people out or having  preconceived judgments toward people or a person due to a physical characteristic is prejudicial and not in accordance with either the founding principles of this nation or the Golden Rule passed down to us by that Jesus guy a couple of thousand years ago.

Maybe by singling out these groups and persecuting them, America is acting a little bit like a European nation did a few decades ago when it was bent on world domination.

I'm talking about those wacky loveable Nazis, who treated the Jews the way Americans treat smokers and apparently would like to treat fat people. Or were they evil? That's right-they WERE evil!

Hold on - having another idea here - maybe we're supposed to be better than that!

I live in a state where smokers can basically only smoke in their home and in their car without breaking the law. They are reviled and treated like lepers, taxed and bad mouthed, and you know what? People still smoke!

I don't think all of the McDonald's waring labels, Michelle Obama kids programs and increased health insurance premiums are going to get to what really are the roots of the obesity epidemic. A few obvious drivers:

(1) Our lives have become increasingly sedentary. Things that used to require manual effort have been automated, and technology has advanced to where we sit all day at work, sit all night at home in front of a TV or PC, ride around the lawn on a riding mower (if we even bother-there is plenty of immigrant labor to exploit)-heck, we don't even open our own doors on our cars-everything we do has been automated!

(2) Our food has become increasingly processed and unhealthy. Our meats are infused with chemicals, our starches are processed and loaded with sodium, and our vegetables have the nutrients soaked out of them in the cans, or worse sit in refined sugars.

(3) Junk food is readily available. It was not that long ago that if you wanted a piece of chocolate cake you had to make it yourself. From scratch. And what you made would have been better for you than the prepackaged, chemical-and-dye-infused, toxic junk we consume today. How many people under sixty can even bake anymore? It used to be a treat, and a somewhat rare one, and now you can stop and buy all manner of snack foods, and many people have several per day.

(4) Television, the Internet and video games have sapped our children's creativity and activity levels. Pull the plug and kick your kids out of the house. Why don't you go out and join them?

Or come meet me in the weight room-I need a spotter.

And Mr. Beam? Just because no one is buying your rag of a newspaper, don't blame the overweight. It could be worse-you could be working for the Airheadzona Repugnant!

Monday, July 4, 2011


When Arizona's facist big-brother government installed cameras on the freeways to catch speeders, we were assured it was for our safety and had nothing to do with boosting revenue.

One word.


Today, the Arizona Republic site posted this story.

Traffic cameras not profitable for Arizona cities

The story tells us how traffic-cameras in 10 communities generated more than $20 million but cost the cities, towns and counties more to administer than they collected.

Shockingly, the cameras were removed.

The cameras, both stationary and those operated from mobile vans, make plenty of money for the companies that operate them. Redflex Traffic Systems and Scottsdale-based American Traffic Solutions combined earned more than $7 million from 10 urban Arizona municipalities last year, a fraction of their nationwide customer base.

The cameras also make money for the state through an 84 percent surcharge on tickets issued by cities, towns and counties. Those surcharges brought in more than $7 million last year on speed-camera tickets alone, even though the state ended its freeway camera program in 2010.

That money pays for a variety of programs, from training law-enforcement officers and treating juvenile drug addicts to the state Clean Elections Fund.

The state freeway photo program drew intense backlash because it was widely perceived as a revenue generator, not a safety enhancement.

Guess what? The perception was true? IT WAS ALL ABOUT THE FRIGGIN' MONEY!

Gee, Mr. DiscConnected blogger guy...does that mean our government was lying to us?

You got it!

Every time you vote for a silly new program that they push down your throat (or up your behind), sugar-coating it as for your own good, you take one more giant step towards the State running your life by giving up one more freedom that people have given their lives so that you'd have it.

And the government counts on the fact that you're too stupid to know they're doing it and too lazy to do anything about it anyway.

Remember Paul Revere? The Boston Tea Parties? Those people got a lot more enraged over a lot less. Our freedom is so severely curtailed that our Founding Fathers must wonder why the hell they ever bothered.

And don't get me wrong-I am not advocating speeding into busloads of little children.

But we already have laws against unsafe driving-anybody remember vehicular manslaughter?

All we need to do is enforce them.

If we really feel the need to tell adults it's unsafe to text and drive, can't we just round all these morons up and ship them off to that section of Texas that's on the other side of the fence?

Get 'em out of the gene pool!

If this is about revenue, just call it what it is and raise taxes.

So the next time you pass a speeding camera, don't slow down.

Speed up...

Give 'em your best smile...

...And flip 'em THE BIRD!