The Improper Role of Government: Your Overprotective Nanny
If there is one thing we can all do without, it is an overreaching
intrusive federal government which goes to great lengths to protect us
from ourselves — at our expense. Nor do we need a micromanaging, nit-picking
Big Brother to prohibit everything that isn't mandatory.
Note: The material
about RFID chips has
been moved to another page.
nanny state is not your friend. If you think our current nanny state is there to look out for you and make sure
you are safe, you've got a problem. The actual message of our helicoptering elite is that we are not to be trusted; we
are unreliable, discountable, and our "nannies" know better. We're simply naive children who must be led, watched over,
and protected — from ourselves. We must cede self-determination, and everything's gonna be okay. We
may not have anything anymore if we give up things like our self-respect, a way to earn a living, and our sovereign country,
but it'll be worth it because they'll take care of us all. There are many ways this warped relationship manifests.
All cancel culture would come under the umbrella that the nanny (in this case a combo of state, media, and tech oligarchy) knows
best. Our delicate eyes and ears can't be trusted to assess what we see and hear and come to the "correct" conclusions;
they must do it for us, leading lead us by the nose ring, as it were.
Try Limiting Us to Just One Drink a Day — After Everything They've Put Us Through? Unsatisfied with
regulating all those other things that once made up a normal life, our betters in Washington are shifting their all-knowing
minds to your and my little daily life choices. And yet again, they're doing it without the facts being on their side.
Despite the overwhelming scientific consensus being against them, they're now targeting grown men's booze. Are we adults in
this country anymore or not?
The Editor says...
Fortunately, a tweet is not a law.
well-being check initiative withdrawn after uproar in Tennessee. The Tennessee Department of Education has
withdrawn a $1 million initiative to conduct well-being checks for all children in Tennessee from birth to age 18
after the program sparked uproar this week, with critics calling it a big-brother government overreach. Gov. Bill
Lee and Education Commissioner Dr. Penny Schwinn released the Child Wellbeing Check Toolkit during a news conference
Tuesday. As originally published, the initiative recommended well-being checks for all children in the state to verify
well-being as school closures have left gaps for nutrition, health, and abuse reporting services amid the coronavirus
pandemic. Guidelines for the initiative were a collaborative effort of the 38-member Child Wellbeing Task Force,
created by Lee in June in response to the pandemic.
York shampoo assistant bill is dripping with special interests. A state bureaucrat wants to mandate 500 hours
of training for anyone who shampoos hair at a beauty salon or barbershop — but something about her push for the
bizarre new requirement just doesn't wash. That's because she is also a beauty school owner, The [New York] Post has
found, as is a second member of the state board that licenses salon workers. A third person on the panel runs a
membership and lobbying group for the cosmetology school industry. That's out of four total board members.
petty tyrants in your shower. The story of how Washington got into our showers started in 1992, but the real
action took place in 2010. A Democratic Congress passed and Republican President George H.W. Bush signed the Energy
Policy Act of 1992, which dictated the maximum flow rates on "showerheads, faucets, water closets, and urinals." The law
banned any shower head that allowed water to flow out at a greater rate than 2.5 gallons per minute (which comes out to
5.3 ounces per second) "when measured at a flowing water pressure of 80 pounds per square inch." This was an
overreach. People pay for their own water. If a family wants a lower water bill, it can always buy a low-flow
shower head. Why Congress thinks it has the authority to make showers weak is a question each "aye" vote back in 1992
should have to answer for. But even this intrusion into the most personal moments of a person's day was not enough for
Obama. He wanted to make sure that no showers, including those with more than one shower head, ever spat out more than
that congressionally mandated 5.3 ounces per second.
in the Time of Coronavirus. [Scroll down] The China virus has struck us in our Achilles heel. I
refer not just to our manufacturing supply chains, our healthcare system, or our bureaucratic CDC — though the
virus certainly has exposed weaknesses in all of these. It's also exposed a dangerous ideology infecting our
society — safetyism. Safetyism tells us that with the right technology, the right upbringing, and the right
experts in charge we can have a perfectly risk-free society — and that this is not only achievable it's
desirable. Rather than seeing risk as an inevitable feature of life, something that helps us grow
stronger in the overcoming, safetyism tells us risk is a bug that can (and should) be eradicated entirely.
Matter Who Biden Picks, His Running Mate Will Be A 'Karen'. Applying "Karen" as a pejorative is not as fresh as
it might seem. Some uses of the name to describe a spiteful, unpleasant woman go back maybe as far as three
decades. But the name has been more widely used as a cultural meme in recent months. With apologies to those
named Karen but aren't "Karens," a "Karen" in 2020 is, "an entitled, obnoxious, middle-aged white woman," says
dictionary.com. Wikipedia says a Karen "displays aggressive behavior when she is obstructed from getting her way." She
often wants to "speak to the manager" because it's her nature to complain, hector, and rage. During the pandemic, we've
seen Karens all over, screeching and nagging about masks, social distancing (both for and against it and on occasion taking
both sides simultaneously), and any conduct she doesn't agree with. A Karen is a tattletale and a snob, mean girl who
got older but didn't grow up. And her defining traits, bullying, a desire to subjugate others, and rank hypocrisy, fit
snugly with progressive-left politics.
Governor Will Still Ban Self-Serve Gas Pumps Despite Virus Threat. New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy may have
caved on closing all the gun stores during the pandemic, but there's one place where he's drawing a bright red line in the
sand. You people simply can not be trusted to pump your own gas. This has been a bone of contention in New Jersey
for ages, and some proponents of doing things the way that virtually the entire rest of the country does it hoped that the
current, dire conditions might move the Governor to reconsider. One such group is the New Jersey Gasoline, Convenience,
Automotive Association (NJGCA). [...] Everyone arguing in favor of lifting the ban is citing the state of Oregon. Half
of the state has a similar ban in place but on Friday they temporarily suspended the rule, allowing gas stations to offer
self serve if they wished to do so.
Interfere in Free Market by Restricting Dollar Stores. Adam Smith famously described the power of the free
market's "invisible hand" in his monumental tome, The Wealth of Nations. In it, Smith said that the butcher does not
provide us our supper for our benefit, but in the process of acting in his own self-interest, he does provide us with our
supper. Apparently, the Oklahoma City Council — joining several such cities across the country, including
Tulsa, Fort Worth, Birmingham, and DeKalb County in Georgia — has little regard for Smith's "invisible hand"
(presuming they have ever even heard of it). This week, the Oklahoma City Council passed restrictions on the establishment
of "dollar stores" in areas of the city that are statistically less healthy.
Nannied from Dawn to Dusk.
Last fall, the United Kingdom's outgoing Chief Medical Officer, Sally Davies, published a report on childhood obesity.
Among her proposals for "bold action" were measures to "allow children to grow up free from marketing signals and incentives
to consume unhealthy food and drinks," including the suggestion that the government "prohibit eating and drinking on urban
public transport, except fresh water, breastfeeding and for medical conditions." Such intrusiveness into everyday life, and
its tenuous justification — that adults must not set a bad example for children by, say, snacking on the
go — made the announcement a watershed in the growing British habit of taxing, banning, and tut-tutting an
ever-longer list of perfectly ordinary activities. In 2016, the government announced a nationwide tax on sugary soft
drinks. London's Mayor Sadiq Khan has banned junk-food advertising on public transport in the capital.
Unjust Deserts. About 20 years
ago, academic researchers began describing poor urban neighborhoods without supermarkets as "food deserts." The term captured
the attention of elected officials, activists, and the media. They mapped these nutritional wastelands, blamed them on the rise
of suburban shopping centers and the decline of mass transit, linked them to chronic health problems suffered by the poor, and
encouraged government subsidies to lure food stores to these communities. Despite these efforts, which led to hundreds of
new stores opening around the country, community health outcomes haven't changed significantly, and activists think that they know
why. The culprits, they say, are the dollar-discount stores in poor neighborhoods that — or so they
claim — drive out supermarkets and sell junk food. [...] Behind the sudden disdain for these retailers —
typically discount variety stores smaller than 10,000 square feet — are claims by advocacy groups that they saturate
poor neighborhoods with cheap, over-processed food, undercutting other retailers and lowering the quality of offerings in
The Editor says...
I see. The "activists" and "advocacy groups," also known as agitators, want discount stores to offer high-quality fresh food,
just like supermarkets, at rock-bottom prices, and they want the stores to accept the responsibility for the health and longevity of the
neighborhood residents, even though many of those residents are likely to hold up the store someday and take all the profits.
That only works if there are no other stores in the neighborhood that sell junk food, candy, lottery tickets, and cigarettes. In
reality, stores are located where the demand is, and stocked with the items that the customers are most likely to buy. Gas stations
sell incidental retail items because customers buy whatever their hunger or their greed tells them to buy.
Silly Laws That Shred Our Personal Freedom. [#3] In a small village within Westchester County, New York, you
cannot idle your car longer than one minute, including on your own private property. Otherwise you'll face a
fine. This is two minutes more restrictive — or more "progressive," as one community leader put
it — than Westchester County itself, which has a three-minute anti-idling law. "No person shall allow or
permit the engine of a motor vehicle to idle for more than three consecutive minutes when the motor vehicle is not in
motion," that law states. There are some exemptions, including for first responder vehicles, for hybrid-electric
vehicles that are recharging, and during freezing weather conditions.
The Editor says...
[#1] A car that is idling emits the same pollution as a car that is in motion; probably less. [#2] I have
owned more than one vehicle that was difficult to get started, and I'd be reluctant to shut down the engine just to keep
from wrecking the earth. [#3] Does every traffic signal have an extra feature now, to let you know you'll be
stopped there for more than a minute? Otherwise, how would you know? [#4] All you have to do is drive
forward an inch every 59 seconds to get around this law when you're out in public. [#5] What about
all the airplanes at the airport? Many of those engines are idling, as the planes wait for takeoff or wait for a
gate to open up. And each of those engines burns a lot more gas than your car.
the Elites Think Americans 'Need' Has Nothing to Do with Individual Rights. You may have noticed that all
advocates of federal gun control are arguing for the same end result, which is federal limitations upon the individual right
to own firearms. But the underlying arguments as to why they believe that the federal government should be allowed to
do so can vary, and often pretty wildly. [...] But in the end, all these arguments boil down to one thing — what
gun control advocates think Americans "need."
Bureaucrats Ruin Everything From Dishwashers To Gas Cans To Cars. [Scroll down] One car designer noted
that "I know of at least one vehicle ... that was discontinued entirely because changing curtain airbag regulations would
have meant the entire shape of the vehicle had to be redesigned." There are plenty of other examples like this of
regulators making products worse. Toilets that don't flush, showerheads that don't allow sufficient water flow, and
other modern product failures, are courtesy of the nanny state. And all of this, mind you, is just the tip of the
regulatory pyramid, with decades upon decades of rules, mandates, and regulations now affecting nearly every aspect of our
economy. Has this monstrous regulatory state improved the quality of our lives? If the above is any indication,
the answer is most likely no.
Cops Strip-Searched a
4-Year-Old After Mom's Errand Took Too Long. A mom who let her six children wait ten minutes in the car while
she ran in to get them muffins at a local Kentucky cafe is the focus of this oped I co-authored in The Washington
Post. Perhaps you can guess what happened next to the mom, Holly Curry. In fact, I'll bet you can. Though
it was 67 degrees and partly cloudy, and though it is statistically safer to let kids wait in the car than drag them across
a parking lot — the heart-wrenching stories of kids who die in cars almost always involve children forgotten there
for hours, not simply waiting out an errand — Curry found herself in trouble with the police.
Could Become the First State to Require In-Home Surveillance of Newborn Babies. If Oregon Governor Kate Brown
has her way, the Beaver State will become the first to require universal home visits for newborn children in the care of
their own parents. Senate Bill 526, introduced this month in the Oregon Legislative Assembly as part of Brown's budget,
orders the Oregon Health Authority to "study home visiting by licensed health care providers." Lawmakers went so far as to
declare that SB 526 is an "emergency" measure — one that requires a resolution by the end of the year.
Council bill would require chains to post warnings for sugary foods. Fast-food fans are going to have to slow
down to read all the warning labels on the menu if legislation introduced Wednesday in the City Council becomes law. A
bill authored by Councilmember Mark Levine would require chain restaurants to post warning notices next to each food item
that contains more than 12 grams of added sugar. That's in addition to the postings already on the books for high
sodium content and calorie counts. "No city has done this yet, but New York is backsliding in the fight against obesity
and diabetes, and helping people improve their diet is key to getting those trends moving in the right direction," said Levine
(D-Manhattan), who chairs the council's Health Committee.
Say No To Nanny
Bloomberg. [Michael] Bloomberg champions the party of Do As I Say, Not As I Do-ism. He crusades for public
transportation from the back seat of a plush SUV. He battles against climate change while flying to Davos and Paris in
private jets. He rails against junk food for everyone else while scarfing down Cheez-Its during media interviews about
his trans-fat ban.
Weak passwords banned in California from
2020. Default passwords such as "admin" and "password" will be illegal for electronics firms to use in
California from 2020. The state has passed a law that sets higher security standards for net-connected devices
made or sold in the region. It demands that each gadget be given a unique password when it is made.
Just Another Word for Nothing
Left to Lose. [Scroll down] It's easy to roll one's eyes at San Francisco, but a bill that would forbid restaurants
from handing out plastic straws unless requested by the customer has just landed on the governor's desk. Furthermore, a second
bill that just landed on his desk requires fast-food restaurants to offer water or milk as the default option on any children's meals.
Advocates for the latter see it as a strike against childhood obesity, but it's really just a means to meddle in parents' minor life
decisions. Parents can still order soda for their kids, but restaurants could face $500 fines for providing a soda with
the meal. This is an almost literal example of the "nanny state."
investigated for letting 8-year-old walk dog around the block. Just after returning home from a walk around the
block with her dog, Marshmallow, an 8-year-old Wilmette girl expected a visit from a playmate. Instead, police officers
arrived at the family's door. An anonymous caller had contacted police after seeing the girl walking the dog alone,
said her mother, Corey Widen. While police never pursued charges, the seemingly common activity launched an Illinois
Department of Children and Family Services investigation to see if Widen was neglecting her children, she said.
Have to Regulate Every Aspect of People's Lives'. A Santa Barbara city councilman inadvertently let slip the
primary purpose of progressivism in 21st century America. The city recently criminalized the use of plastic straws.
Speaking to that issue, Councilman Jesse Dominguez said, "Unfortunately, common sense is just not common. We have to
regulate every aspect of people's lives." Got that? "We" are smarter than you and know what's best for you better
than you do. Perhaps realizing that his comment revealed a fundamental truth of progressive thought, Dominguez tried
to walk back his gaffe: [...]
governor signs soda tax ban into law. California cities and counties are banned from taxing sodas and other
sugary drinks for the next 12 years under a bill signed into law by Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown. The deal was
rushed through the legislature and to the governor's desk on Thursday. In exchange for the law, the nonalcoholic
beverage industry is withdrawing a ballot measure that had been slated for November. It would have raised the voter
threshold to approve local sales tax increases on any item, not just soda taxes, from a majority vote to a supermajority
vote. Signatures were gathered for the ballot through a campaign funded by the beverage industry.
What California Thinks is an Emergency Bill. California is a Socialist nightmare with oppressive government
regulations and high taxes killing the middle class. Housing is so costly that it's greatly adding to the number of
homeless. The open borders and sanctuary cities policies have allowed killers, perverts, and drug dealers to get
protection everywhere in the state. With all the problems they have, they rushed through a bill that could make you
laugh. According to the Washington Examiner, the oh-so-urgent bill that had to be rushed through bans California cities
and counties from taxing sodas and other sugary drinks for 12 years. Are you surprised that a nanny state banned
taxes? Don't be. The reason they did it was to keep high taxes on everything else!
pitiful, politicized press to pull baby teething meds from market. The Food and Drug Administration issued
parents some stern warnings about teething medicines for their babies, and simultaneously told manufacturers and retailers
that if they didn't "voluntarily" stop selling the product to the tiny toddler demographic, they would face legal action from
the feds. Voluntary compliance — gotta love the federal definition of that, yes? But the bigger
question with this FDA message to consumers is this: Why now? And the bigger theme, of course, would be
this: Shouldn't parents, rather than government, be the final deciders of what's best for their babies?
studying adding warning labels to soda. The National Institutes of Health is spending over $150,000 to study
adding warning labels to soda. The University of California, Davis, is conducting the study, which will test warning
labels akin to those found on cigarettes at the campus cafeteria. The study aims to determine whether the warning
labels can "'nudge' consumers toward healthier dietary choices."
latest contradictions — Welcoming criminals but warning about 'dangerous' coffee. Imagine a state
that passes a law welcoming, embracing and protecting criminals, directly endangering citizens. Then imagine that same
state passing laws, and judges issuing orders that make no sense except to micromanage people's lives in the name of keeping
them safe. A contradiction indeed, and especially ripe in California. The same week that a number of cities and
counties in California sued their own state over the dangerous law making the state a "sanctuary" for illegal alien
criminals, a judge issued a ruling to save Californians from themselves and their coffee-drinking habit.
Having solved all other problems... California
Considers $1,000 Fine for Waiters Offering Unsolicited Plastic Straws. Ian Calderon wants restaurateurs to
think long and hard before giving you a straw. Calderon, the Democratic majority leader in California's lower house,
has introduced a bill to stop sit-down restaurants from offering customers straws with their beverages unless they
specifically request one. Under Calderon's law, a waiter who serves a drink with an unrequested straw in it would
face up to 6 months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
State's Seizure of Child from Couple It Deemed Not Smart Enough to Be Parents. A holiday happiness story to
share: The Oregon couple who had their two children taken away because the state determined they weren't smart enough
to be parents has gotten one of them back. As I highlighted in July, Oregon's Department of Health Services put Amy
Fabbrini and Eric Ziegler's boys — one 4 years old and one now 10 months old — in foster homes,
not because the parents were abusing or neglecting their kids, but because the state determined that they would be poor parents
due to their hampered cognitive skills. Fabbrini and Ziegler both have I.Q.s well below average — 66 and
72 — and their learning struggles were used as justification to take the children away as a preventative measure
rather than as a response to actual harm the children had suffered.
officials rip Burke idea to fine pedestrians using cellphones in intersections. A pair of key Chicago aldermen
want to fine pedestrians up to $500 if they're caught texting or using a cellphone while walking through an intersection, an
idea that quickly drew skepticism from city transportation officials and a noncommittal response from Mayor Rahm
Emanuel. The proposed ordinance, which would still have to pass the full City Council, calls for fines of $90 to $500
for each incident of using a mobile device while crossing a street or highway.
homicides, Chicago focuses on the menace of crosswalk texters. The Windy City's population is falling again
this year as nearly two residents per day are blown away by gunfire or carved to death by knives. But as Rahm Emanuel
is famous for saying in his Obama White House days, never let a good crisis go to waste. So Mayor Emanuel's machine
City Council is focused on another critical urban issue: Pedestrians texting while crossing the street. Also
talking on cells.
the Administrative State Serves Clients and Hurts Citizens: The Case of the Non-Organic, Organic Food.
The late economist and Nobel Laureate Milton Friedman used to say that only in government, when a program or project fails
dismally, the instinctive response is to make it bigger. [...] We're seeing Friedman's observation validated yet again in the
congressional response to an exposé of the pervasive dishonesty in the organic agriculture industry. Following a
scathing report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's inspector general that details fraud, mismanagement, and negligence
throughout the global organic agriculture/food supply chain, Congress wants to throw yet more money at the problem.
Progressive Machine Takes a Big Hit in Cook Country, Illinois. Here, in essence, is the recipe that progs have
used to grab power over the rest of us: [#1] Declare a problem that urgently needs to be solved. In the soda tax
case, the problem is the "obesity epidemic" (an expression that invokes a public health rationale for exerting extraordinary
controls that otherwise would be unconstitutional — think quarantining, for instance). [#2] Gin up
"studies" that cast blame on a convenient target, which is then demonized as "greedy" or "uncaring" or some other quality that
progs imagine they alone lack. [#3] As the target becomes unpopular thanks to the propaganda campaign, move to
implement a tax that is justified as punishing the evildoers, while guiding the rest of us into behavior that supposedly will
solve the problem.
Easy, America, The FDA Is Keeping 'Love' Off Our Food Labels. Bloomberg reports that an artisan baker in
Massachusetts got a warning letter from the FDA last Tuesday complaining, among other thing, about an ingredient listed on
the label of a bag of its granola. "Your Nashoba Granola label lists ingredient 'Love,'" the letter reads. It
goes on to inform the baker that "Ingredients required to be declared on the label or labeling of food must be listed by
their common or usual name (21 CFR 101.4(a)(1)). 'Love' is not a common or usual name of an ingredient, and is
considered to be intervening material because it is not part of the common or usual name of the ingredient."
Translation: Your attempt at light humor isn't funny to us rule-enforcing bureaucrats down in the bowels of
some dreary federal building.
Delays New Nutrition Facts Label Unveiled by Michelle Obama. The Trump administration is delaying a regulation
championed by former first lady Michelle Obama to redesign the Nutrition Facts label. The Food and Drug Administration
on Friday issued a rule delaying until 2020 the compliance date for regulations that will make listed calories on food larger
in an attempt to fight obesity. Mrs. Obama unveiled the new label in May 2016 as part of her anti-obesity "Let's Move"
campaign. Aside from increasing the font size of calories and the addition of "added sugars" on the label, the regulations
even dealt with how to label dinner mints. The regulations will cost food manufacturers an estimated $640 million.
You visit the tire shop to buy a new set. Used to be that you'd either tell the guy behind the counter which tires you
wanted or discuss options with him. Then you'd buy them and he'd install them. Now the guy behind the counter
will scan your car's VIN — which is tied to the DMV — and first find out all kinds of things
about you and your car. Then he will tell you which tires you're allowed to buy. Yes, really.
Spends Billions Promoting Itself. Of course they do so under the cover of "public service." In fact, the
most recent data I could find was from Breitbart in 2015. The report, obtained from OpentheBooks.com, states that the
government spends, or wastes, $4.34 billion on public relations. That was two years ago. [...] Much of that money spent
promoting itself is via the Ad Council. We've all heard and seen those wonderfully inspiring & heartfelt radio & TV ads.
They promote ways to help us manage our lives — because we can't manage on our own.
Obama, We Are Not Your Kids. Like many parents who are suddenly shocked at their child's teenage rebellion,
Michelle Obama appears surprised to learn that her kids (the American public) have interests and ideas very different from
her own. For instance, some of her "kids" genuinely disliked being told how to eat and live. Some bristled at
having their choices limited and being forcefully nudged to eat this way or that. Many balked when government
bureaucrats told them how to parent their own kids; they slammed the door on all the unsolicited advice about their personal
choices. In fact, most Americans don't like the federal government treating them like children at all.
Is the Government Telling Us How to Raise Our Kids? The headline says it all: "Proposed Bill Would Expand
Parents' Rights, but Critics Say It Goes Too Far." What exactly is too far when it comes to parents' rights? In the
case of this story from Fort Worth, Texas, it means that "critics" think parents shouldn't have the right to know what their
children are doing at school. Opposing this belief is Texas state senator Konni Burton, who authored the legislation.
She believes that parents should be allowed access to their kids' personal information, rather than protecting their child's
alleged right to privacy. The fact that legislation is necessary to correct the imbalance between parents' rights and the
separate, independent rights of their minor children is one of the defining characteristics of our current age, one in which the
government at all levels has become involved in the private lives of families, dictating child-rearing standards and penalizing
parents who do not follow the rules.
The feds are killing
off seesaws now. So long, seesaws. You've had your ups and downs over the years, but today you're not
only down, you're out. Like smoking, chainsaw-juggling and dodgeball, you became too much of a public-health menace to
be tolerated. The federal government is knocking seesaws out of existence, according to the New York Times.
That's right, the same people who keep warning us about the childhood obesity epidemic that just happened to come along when
childhood "play" was redefined from "running around madly" to "pressing sideways-pointing triangle on screen" are now
removing one more piece of movement-based equipment from kids' lives.
The Intellectual Yet Idiot. [T]hese
self-described members of the "intelligenzia" can't find a coconut in Coconut Island, meaning they aren't intelligent enough to define intelligence hence
fall into circularities — but their main skill is capacity to pass exams written by people like them. With psychology papers replicating less than 40%, dietary
advice reversing after 30 years of fatphobia, macroeconomic analysis working worse than astrology, the appointment of Bernanke who was less than clueless
of the risks, and pharmaceutical trials replicating at best only 1/3 of the time, people are perfectly entitled to rely on their own ancestral
instinct and listen to their grandmothers (or Montaigne and such filtered classical knowledge) with a better track record than these policymaking goons.
Nanny State: OK,
everybody's foam toys, out of the pool. After being absent from this space for a while, San Francisco makes a
roaring comeback this week after the city's government passed the nation's most extensive ban on foam products. The new
rules take aim at food trays, disposable coffee cups and packing peanuts. But all those things have been banned by
other governments in other cities, so the progressive elites on the San Francisco City Council had to go one step farther
to re-take their rightful place at the top of the Nanny State rankings. So they banned pool toys, too.
gorillas and moon missions. Once upon a time it was understood that a certain degree of skill was necessary to
survive upon the earth and the role of society was provide people with those skills. Today the emphasis is on reducing
every possible source of danger so that people with greatly reduced skills can safely live upon it. What may be
unrecognized in the shift is the degree to which this supposed idiot proofing may contribute to actually increasing the total
hazard. By moving the burden of safe operation away from the operator almost entirely to the product advocates may be
inadvertently creating greater dangers.
is a gorilla expert. [Scroll down] An adult male silverback gorilla has one job, to protect his
group. He does this by bluffing or intimidating anything that he feels threatened by. [...] I keep hearing that the
Gorilla was trying to protect the boy. I do not find this to be true. Harambe reaches for the boys hands and
arms, but only to position the child better for his own displaying purposes. Males do very elaborate displays when
highly agitated, slamming and dragging things about. Typically they would drag large branches, barrels and heavy
weighted balls around to make as much noise as possible. Not in an effort to hurt anyone or anything (usually) but just
to intimidate. It was clear to me that he was reacting to the screams coming from the gathering crowd. Harambe
was most likely not going to separate himself from that child without seriously hurting him first (again due to mere size and
strength, not malicious intent).
Obama wins food fight. Michelle Obama scored a major victory in her nutrition label crusade on Friday [5/20/2016].
In a major overhaul that has been years in the making, labels on packaged foods will now feature calories listed in bigger and bolder
type, a new line for 'Added Sugars', and serving sizes that are more accurate and uniform among similar products. The changes were
proposed by the Food and Drug Administration two years ago and are the first major update of the labels since their creation in 1994.
The labels are now found on over 800,000 foods.
Lady Michelle Obama: 'So Many Communities Are Becoming Play Deserts'. At a summit by the Aspen Institute's
Project Play, first lady Michelle Obama said Tuesday [5/17/2016] that some U.S. communities are "play deserts," because they
don't have sufficient opportunities for kids to participate in sports and other outdoor activities, compared to wealthy
communities. "So many communities are becoming play deserts, but in wealthy communities, there is a wealth of
resources. You can be in field hockey, or you can learn how to swim. There are aquatic centers and —
I've seen the difference. The disparities are amazing to me," she said.
The Editor says...
That's right, Michelle. Lots of nice things happen in "wealthy communities" that don't happen in the slums.
C'est la vie.
true-life 'nanny' state. As past is prologue, flash back to February of 2008. Way back then — even
before Mr. Obama's first election — Michelle Obama said of her hubby, "Barack will never allow you to go back to
your lives as usual, uninvolved, uninformed." [...] In retrospect of a more than seven transpired years of a largely dictatorial
and ultra-constitutional ("I have a pen, I have a phone") presidency, this nebulous and foreboding nugget is now as clear as
glass. Mr. Obama's totalitarian promise of interference in the lives of average private citizens extends to truly
remarkable and unprecedented lengths.
Mil to End "Diaper Disparity" after Free Diaper Laws Fail Twice in Congress. The multi-million-dollar
initiative is being promoted by the White House as essential to eradicate a national "diaper divide" and the goal is to
abolish "diaper disparity" by expanding access to affordable diapers for America's poorest families. Behind this
high-priced mission is Cecilia Muñoz, the White House Domestic Policy Director. A renowned open borders lobbyist
in Washington D.C., Muñoz was vice president of National Council of La Raza (NCLR) before Obama brought her on as White
House Director of Intergovernmental Affairs. A few years later the president promoted her to the more powerful and
prestigious post of top advisor on domestic issues. Muñoz wields tremendous power, coordinating the policy-making
process and supervising the execution of domestic policy in the White House. If she wants Uncle Sam to give poor families
free diapers, it's safe to bet that it will happen even if Congress has twice nixed the scandalous idea.
votes to ease calorie disclosure rules for pizzerias, delis, grocers. The House voted Friday [2/12/2016] to make it easier for you to avoid the harsh
truth of how many calories you're devouring as you scarf down that pizza. House members voted 266-144 to gut a proposed Food and Drug Administration rule
requiring chain pizzerias, delis, and convenience stores to list the calorie content of their meals on menus or menu boards prominently displayed on the premises.
Instead, takeout restaurants and grocers could choose to disclose calories only on their websites. The White House opposes the Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure
Act, saying it will leave Americans — who consume a third of their calories away from home — with less information to make healthy choices.
The Editor says...
Common sense, indeed. Common sense will tell you that if your goal is consistently healthy eating, you don't buy dinner at a pizza parlor or a
convenience store, except on rare occasions. And if you make an occasional excursion to a donut shop or an ice cream store, common sense will tell you
that it shouldn't be a routine part of your diet. You don't need the government to quantify the fat and calorie contents for you, especially since that
information is available on demand in most restaurants.
lawmaker's bill forces men to get note from wives before purchasing Viagra. Tired of what she considers the
government inserting itself into women's private lives, a Kentucky lawmaker has decided to return the favor. Rep. Mary
Lou Marzian, a Louisville Democrat, has introduced a bill that would force men who want to use erectile dysfunction drugs to
jump through a series of humiliating hoops beforehand, such as visiting a doctor twice and getting notes from their wives.
"I want to protect these men from themselves," Marzian, who is a nurse, told the Courier-Journal.
The Editor says...
Here we have a monumental double standard. It's hard to imagine the audacity required for a Democrat to introduce legislation
that acts exclusively against the liberty of men, since it is the Democrats who — when speaking about late-term abortion —
constantly say that health decisions should be made exclusively between a woman and her doctor.
Guns, Democrats Have Nothing Left But Tears. A free society can't function if its overriding purpose is to
ensure that every single person enjoys a risk-free existence. If Obama legitimately believes government has an obligation
to try and save every single life, he would be calling for a 20-mile-per-hour speed limit on highways and a ban on trampolines,
bathtubs, and skateboards. The world gives us plenty to cry about, but free people innately (or otherwise) understand
trade-offs. We weigh rights, utility, and many other factors before coming to a consensus on policy decisions, even if lives
are at risk. Naturally, this doesn't exclude us from balancing those concerns and making life safer for children —
we do it all the time. But progressive utopianism doesn't offer that balance; it can be perpetual mission creep.
Gun-Control Plan Includes Gun-Ban For Some Social Security Beneficiaries. The White House released a fact-sheet
Jan. 4 which previews the executive gun control Obama will unveil Tuesday [1/5/2016] and one aspect of the new controls is the inclusion
of "information from the Social Security Administration in the background check system about beneficiaries who are prohibited from
possessing a firearm." On July 18 Breitbart News reported on Obama's push to ban gun-possession for Social Security
beneficiaries who are believed incapable of handling their own finances.
California will soon have toughest shower head
requirements in nation. The flow of water from shower heads and bathroom faucets in California will be sharply reduced under
strict new limits approved Wednesday [8/12/2015] by the state Energy Commission. Current rules, established in 1994 at the federal level,
allow a maximum flow of 2.5 gallons per minute from a shower head. Effective next July, the limit will fall to 2.0 gallons per
minute and will be reduced again in July 2018, to 1.8 gallons, giving California the toughest standard of any U.S. state.
spent $2 million to have wives nag men about chewing tobacco. Since 2012 the government has spent nearly
$2 million on a campaign to get women to nag the men in their lives to quit using smokeless tobacco. The
National Institutes of Health has sponsored a continuing grant for the Oregon Research Institute to "evaluate an
innovative approach that encourages male smokeless tobacco users to quit by enlisting the support of their wives/partners,
both to lead smokeless tobacco users to engage in treatment and to help them sustain abstinence."
Trash Man Is Watching You. Saving the planet can be a messy proposition. This is
indelibly clear to Ron Zanazzo, who spends mornings rifling through garbage bags, looking for
envelopes or documents that can identify to whom the trash belongs. "In the summer, it can be
pretty disgusting," he told me, matter-of-factly. "In the winter it's not as bad because it's not
maggot-infested and all of that." Zanazzo is a city employee in Malden, Massachusetts, which, as
a part of a drive to be more environmentally friendly, now charges residents for their trash (one of
many approaches that cities are trying out in order to cut down on trash).
Obama screwed up Hillary's 'mommy party' strategy. For decades, the Democratic Party
has been considered the "mommy party," stressing expansive government as a provider of safety and
social welfare. The "mommy issues," therefore, consisted of health care, the environment, welfare
and other poverty programs, education, and Medicare and other programs for the elderly. The
Republican Party, by contrast, has been viewed as the "daddy party," emphasizing limited government
as a force for order and restraint, a mechanism to ensure rights, not engage in social engineering.
The "daddy issues," therefore, consisted of national security, illegal immigration, terrorism, law and
order, and familial and societal breakdown. If the "daddy party" is the enforcer, making individuals
live up to their responsibilities and face tough realities, the "mommy party" is the overbearing,
suffocating and invasive busybody.
Under Investigation After 11-Year-Old Plays Alone in Yard for 90 Minutes. Child
Protective Services is in the hot seat again — this time in Florida, where officials
placed two brothers into foster care and then in the care of a relative after one, 11, was found
playing basketball alone in his own yard. [...] The mom and dad, Cindy and Fred, were on their way
home from running errands but were delayed by rain and traffic. Meanwhile, their 11-year-old son had
beaten them home and didn't have a house key, so he amused himself by shooting some hoops while he waited,
for about 90 minutes.
range" parents in Maryland win appeal with CPS. The Meitivs got a surprise in the mail
last week from Child Protective Services, and a more pleasant one than those they've received in the
past from Maryland authorities. CPS informed them that their previous finding of "unsubstantiated"
child neglect in January of this year had been overturned, closing the case that put the Meitivs on
the national radar as "free range parents."
parents who deviate from the government-enforced norm. Controversies about "free-range
parenting" illuminate today's scarred cultural landscape. Neighbors summon police in response to
parenting choices the neighbors disapprove. Government extends its incompetence with an ever-broader
mission of "child protection." And these phenomena are related to campus hysteria about protecting
infantilized undergraduates from various menaces, including uncongenial ideas.
Annoying, Stunningly Stupid Warning Labels. It's everywhere. The legalese. The
lawyers' gobbledygook. The hocus-pocus and mumbo-jumbo from a generation dominated by the legal
profession. It's the fallout from our litigious society. The warning labels and messages are
everywhere: on ladders, cigarettes, and lawnmowers, on prescription drugs and alcoholic beverages.
Most of these warnings are expected. We hardly recognize them any more. We've become jaded and
mesmerized by them.
'free range' kids roam home. Two Sundays ago, Danielle and Alexander Meitiv of
Montgomery County, Md., got a call from Child Protective Services. Police had taken their two
children, ages 10 and 6, into custody three hours earlier and were holding them at the crisis
center. Had the children been abused? No. Were they lost? No. So what
prompted this extraordinary intervention? A concerned pedestrian had seen the children walking
alone and called 911. It was the second time in four months that the Meitivs' children were
reported to authorities as they walked home from parks about a mile away.
range kids' and the dangers of an overprotective society. [Scroll down] In
Sunday's event, the police lured the children into their car by telling them they would take them
home from the park. Instead, they were, in their mother's words, "confined to the back of a police
car for almost three hours without any explanation of why they were being detained." They were not
fed and were unable to call or speak with their parents who were growing frantic with worry.
No More 'Speeding'
for You! Someday — and that day might be closer than you want to
know — we'll look back fondly on speed traps. [...] Tomorrow, you may not be able
to "speed" even if you wanted to. Because your car will not allow you to.
wants to monitor how long hotel guests spend in the shower. The Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) wants hotels to monitor how much time its guests spend in the shower. The agency is spending $15,000
to create a wireless system that will track how much water a hotel guest uses to get them to "modify their
behavior." "Hotels consume a significant amount of water in the U.S. and around the world," an EPA grant
to the University of Tulsa reads. "Most hotels do not monitor individual guest water usage and as a result,
millions of gallons of potable water are wasted every year by hotel guests."
The Editor says...
No sane person spends any more time in a hotel shower than is absolutely necessary. But the EPA
is to blame for low-volume shower heads in hotel rooms, which cause the guests to spend more time in
the shower. This results in near-zero water savings. The amount of water "wasted" by hotel
customers cannot be determined without a gross invasion of privacy. In any event, the hotel guest
pays in advance for the privilege of a long hot shower.
The Sasquatch carbon footprints of
the sanctimonious environmentalists. While the stars of former and present-day
politics and religion get to burp carbon into the environment, the little guy is about to be spied
upon by EPA when in the shower. Not only does the EPA want to monitor how long hotel guests are
spending in the shower, they have a $15,000 grant to create a device to "modify" guests behavior.
who let their children walk home from the park found guilty of child neglect by the CPS. A
Maryland mother and father under investigation for letting their two young children walk a mile home from
the park alone have been found responsible for 'unsubstantiated' child neglect. Danielle and Alexander
Meitiv, who believe in a so-called 'free-range' approach to parenting, were thrust into the national spotlight
just before Christmas when police found Rafi, 10 and Dvora, six, wandering the sidewalk on their own.
The decision by Child Protective Services means that the CPS will keep a file on the Meitiv's open for at
least five years but Danielle and Alexander Meitiv have said they will continue to bring up their own
children as they see fit — whatever the consequences.
Immunization Push: Medical Dictatorship. Here are key quotes from the Plan: [...]
"Increase the use of electronic health records (EHRs) and immunization information systems (IIS)
to collect and track adult immunization data." Translation: expose confidential patient
medical records to many doctors and government agencies, in order to discover all adults who aren't
up to speed on their vaccinations — and therefore must get the shots. Goodbye,
privacy. Goodbye, unencumbered free choice.
Seeking 'Wearable Alcohol Biosensors' to Track How Much Americans Drink. The National
Institutes of Health (NIH) is offering up to $300,000 for the creation of bracelets that can track
how much Americans drink. The federal agency issued a challenge on Monday for individuals and
businesses to invent a "wearable alcohol biosensor" that shows a person's blood alcohol level in
real time. The government envisions a device that can be worn by Americans "in the course of their
daily lives." "Current technologies for real time monitoring of alcohol consumption, used in
criminal justice applications, have performed adequately, but have disadvantages for broader use,"
the NIH said in a notice announcing the challenge in the Federal Register. The NIH's National
Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) said it wants a device that can store data on how
much a person drinks.
The Editor says...
Oh, I see. The government wants to monitor our alcohol consumption "in the course of [our] daily lives," using a
sensor that we will (all) have to wear, presumably 24/7. For our own good, of course.
Differences Between A Child Who Grew Up In The 70s Compared To Today. The level of
fear we currently exhibit as parents and as a society towards children is at an unprecedented level.
When comparing the two time periods, an element of certainty exists where we have now immersed our most
precious assets into an toxic, overly hygienic, medicalized, obsessive compulsive, paranoid, anxious and
at the very least, a "cowardice culture" where children are being trained and almost indoctrinated into
a world where "the norm" is to fear everything and everyone.
Dangerous Things Every Kid Should Do. I'm not sure when it happened, but sometime
between 1989 and 2015 "the village" lost its mind. It seems like every day there are reports of
parents being arrested for simply letting their children play outside without hovering over them.
The things parents are being arrested for are the exact same things that we were allowed to do when
we were kids. As a result, neighborhood streets are empty and parents are terrified to allow
free, unsupervised play. These are not toddlers we are talking about but 8, 9, 10 and 11 year-olds
who are being taught they have no right to play at the neighborhood parks without the ever watchful
eyes of parents.
Gruber: The Gift That Keeps On Giving. Thought you'd heard the last of Jonathan
Gruber, did you? Check this out, from the end of a paper he delivered in 2010 to the National
Institute for Health Care Management entitled "Taxing Sin to Modify Behavior and Raise Revenue":
["]Ultimately, what may be needed to address the obesity problem are direct taxes on body weight. [...]["]
Northeast Nanny-Staters Who Are and the Blizzard That Never Was. For the record, the
total snowfall in Central Park, NYC was 5.5 inches. And though it was heavier in some other areas,
let's get something straight: in a supposedly free country, you don't tell people they can't travel
because of some snow. (Good test run for martial law, though.) Of course, this position finds
plenty of opposition nowadays, conditioned as people are to be protected puppets of the state.
Supreme Court Rules State Can Force Chemotherapy On Teen. A Connecticut teenager will
continue to receive chemotherapy against her will and her mother's wishes. In an oral ruling, the
state Supreme Court unanimously found Thursday that the question of whether Cassandra C., 17, of
Windsor Locks, was legally competent or mature enough to reject life-saving treatment was sufficiently
explored at two Superior Court hearings earlier this fall.
The CDC At A Glance. The
Ebola crisis shined the spotlight on the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The
agency is being criticized for mishandling the Ebola crisis but the CDC has been plagued with problems
for years and its incompetence has been tied to its expanding mission. [...] For example, the CDC has
programs addressing, chronic diseases such as obesity, environmental health, occupational health and of
course infectious disease. The CDC is also involved in behavioral issues including domestic violence,
teen dating and bulling. The agency also conducted studies on gun violence and alcohol.
keep your popcorn. Period. Conservatives warned America that the Patient Protection
and Affordable Care Act was a merely a power grab by the federal bureaucracy? We said you would not
keep your doctor, you would not keep your plan, and you certainly would not save $2,500. In fact, a
record number of Americans can no longer afford health care because of the Patient Protection and
Affordable Care Act. It was all so predictable. We were right. Don't ever forget
that. Label every one of their power grabs "Obamacare." Immigration reform is the Obamacare
of border control. Et cetera. Having screwed up health care, now we learn
Obamacare is screwing up movie theater popcorn.
them eat cake' updated for modern elitists. Body type has become a class marker. The
fashionable upper classes starve themselves and work out at gyms. Ectomorphs are the new natural
aristocracy. For most of history, fat was fashionable, indicating wealth. Now that humble folk can
afford obesity, why the enlightened classes pursue the opposite. And if others don't share their
dietary preferences in the current fashion, why they are just stupid: [...]
Control Freaks want to run your
life. They call themselves "public servants." But whether student council president,
environmental bureaucrat or member of Congress, most believe they know how to run your life better
than you do.
drinks are the new smoking'. Experts have called for sugar-laden fizzy drinks to carry
warning labels similar to those found on cigarette packets, in a bid to combat the adverse health
effects. New York assemblyman Karim Camara has introduced a bill that will require health
warning labels on certain drinks with added sugar.
to impose first soda 'sin' tax. Voters in Berkeley, Calif., made history Tuesday
[11/4/2014], approving the nation's first soda tax. Berkeley's Measure D imposes a
1 cent per ounce tax on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs)and flavored drinks for residents in this
city of 117,000. That will increase the price of a can of soda in Berkeley by 12 cents, and
68 cents for a 2-liter bottle. A referendum in San Francisco on a 2 cent per ounce tax fizzled.
multitasking hurts Ebola fight. While we'd be better off if the CDC only had one job — you know, controlling
disease — the CDC has taken on all sorts of jobs unrelated to that task. Jobs that seem to have distracted its
management and led to a performance that even the establishment calls "rocky." [...] These are problems that should have been
thought of in advance — and maybe would have been, if the CDC actually had only one job. But, in fact, the
CDC has multiple jobs, having involved itself in everything from playground safety to smoking in subsidized housing.
USDA to Spend $31.5 Million on 'Healthy' Food Stamp Program. The Department of
Agriculture, the agency that administers the food stamp program, has announced that it will spend
$31.5 million on a new program that will promote a healthy diet for recipients of the assistance.
The National Institute of Food and Agriculture, a division of the Department of Agriculture, is developing
the program to urge recipients of the SNAP food stamp program to choose more fruits and fresh foods.
Developing Technology to Detect Obesity from Your Picture. The federal government is developing a body
mass index (BMI) detector intended to be available to every American "anywhere and anytime," according to a grant
awarded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The detector is expected to rely on the analysis of facial
and body imagery. The project has been awarded $200,113 thus far to create the system under the notion that
too many obese individuals are unaware of their BMI.
Proposes Mandating Cars Broadcast Location, Direction and Speed. The National Highway
Traffic Safety Administration, part of the Department of Transportation, published last week an
"advanced notice of proposed rulemaking" on "vehicle-to-vehicle communications." What NHTSA is
proposing could begin a transformation in the American transportation system that makes our lives
better and freer — or gives government more power over where we go and when. In
announcing its proposed rulemaking, NHTSA is stressing its intention to protect the "privacy" of
The Editor says...
[#1] I'd rather be free than safe. [#2] The pencil-pushing do-gooders who come up with these
wonderful ideas never seem to mention the cost or the feasibility of their projects. [#3] There
isn't enough available radio bandwidth for a system like this, unless the big-money broadcasters are
willing to give up the band from 54 to 88 MHz, formerly known as TV channels 2 through 6;
and even then, that band is not especially well suited for much of anything other than broadcasting, which is why
it is currently somewhat of a wasteland. [#4] This is not about safety, it's about surveillance and control.
In Australia: School bans 'unsupervised cartwheels' on
playground. "All students have been advised that under no circumstances are they allowed to perform cart wheels,
handstands or any other type of gymnastic move at school unless they are properly supervised by a trained PE teacher," according
to the announcement. "It would be appreciated if you could remind your children about the safety issues involved with these
types of moves." The news site reports the announcement "caused a stir and left many parents wondering what would be next
on the 'ban' wagon."
Most Americans Want to Criminalize Pre-Teens Playing Unsupervised. A whopping 68 percent of
Americans think there should be a law that prohibits kids 9 and under from playing at the park
unsupervised, despite the fact that most of them no doubt grew up doing just that. What's more:
43 percent feel the same way about 12-year-olds. They would like to criminalize all pre-teenagers
playing outside on their own (and, I guess, arrest their no-good parents). Those are the results of a
Reason/Rupe poll confirming that we have not only lost all confidence in our kids and our communities — we
have lost all touch with reality.
Mindset Leads to Police Brutality. In Florida recently, police pulled up to a young
boy playing in the park and asked where his mother lived. According to a report on WPTV, the mom was
then arrested for "allowing her son to go to the park alone." Her son had a cellphone, and she would
check in with him along the way. The mom believes "he's old enough, but Port St. Lucie Police
disagree." There is a tendency to dismiss stories such as this as a silly mistake by an overzealous
police officer, but sadly it's part of a larger problem.
Suggests Changes to Grocery Stores to 'Nudge' Consumers to Eat Healthy. The U.S.
Department of Agriculture (USDA) is suggesting major changes to grocery stores to "nudge" Americans
to purchase healthier foods when they shop. The agency commissioned an "expert panel" to make
recommendations on how to guide the more than 47 million Americans on food stamps into spending
their benefits on fruits and vegetables. The group released an 80-page report this month
presenting their ideas, which include talking shopping carts and a marketing strategy for grocery
chains that would feature better store lighting for healthier items.
All your children belong to us. [A]s government grows bigger and more
powerful, as politicians, bureaucrats and busybodies increasingly think they know best, American families constantly must fight
interference in their most personal decisions and judgments. Of all the threats to our freedoms — warrantless
snooping, government secrecy, expanded police powers — none worries me more than the relentless march of the Nanny
State, which not only assumes that all parents are unfit to raise children, but that parents themselves must be treated like children.
doles out helpful, yet depressing summer safety tips. "People with heart and lung
disease, older adults and children are at greater risk from the presence of pollutants in the air
and should closely monitor the air quality in their area," an EPA press release from Jennifer
Colaizzi stated. "AirNow's Air Quality Index (AQI) translates data into color categories
so people can better understand what actions to take to protect their health."
The CPSC Takes
on Sparklers. This Fourth of July the federal government is issuing dire warnings to
protect children from the menace of sparklers. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has
released intense stick figure videos and posters warning that children should never be allowed to
hold a sparkler, due to fire hazards.
Won't Reinstate New York City's Big-Soda Ban. Guzzlers prevailed Thursday [6/26/2014] as New
York's highest court refused to reinstate New York City's ban on the sale of big sodas, ruling that the
city's health department overstepped its bounds when approved the 16-ounce cap on sugary beverages.
decision puts cheese making in peril. In what the agency called a clarification, the
FDA declared that wooden racks similar to the one Vella [Cheese Co.] uses "cannot be adequately
cleaned and sanitized." That, in effect, would make [Gabe] Luddy's cheese impossible to sell.
While the FDA late Tuesday issued a statement indicating there is room for compromise, if the
original clarification holds, it may affect more than Sonoma Jack. The Parmesan you grate
over your pasta might also be declared illegal.
Dietary Guidelines Committee Criticized as Politically Motivated. Experts criticized the federal government
committee currently crafting the nation's dietary guidelines as politically motivated and said it was putting environmentalism
over food science. The Hudson Institute hosted a panel discussion on the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC)
on Capitol Hill Thursday, analyzing the incorporation of climate change and "sustainability" into the recommendations that
are used to set standards for government food programs.
Did We Survive Childhood Before the '90s Safety Nannies Came Along? When our first son was born in 1991 we
were told to lay him on his tummy at naptime — never, ever on his back because it would increase his risk of
choking and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). By the time our second child came along in 1994 the experts had
decided that parents should never, ever let their children sleep on their stomachs because it increased the risk of
choking and SIDS. A month after he was born the experts told us that we needed to buy a wedge that forced our
son to sleep on his side. This would prevent choking and lower the risk of SIDS. Thus was our introduction
to our generation's obsession with hypervigilant parenting.
coming to vending machines, next to the chips and nuts. It's already disrupted the health-care marketplace.
Now, the Affordable Care Act is infiltrating vending machines. Yep, a provision in the Affordable Care Act requires vending
machines to display the calorie content of all food items. The FDA finalized the regulations April 3. If you
know the calorie content of an item, you might make a more healthy choice. Or so the thinking goes.
you're fat, stand-by for federal text messages to change your eating habits. The federal
Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee — these are the folks who brought us the carb-heavy food
pyramid now deemed erroneous — is meeting these days to update nutritional guidelines to conform
with new scientific evidence and with the determination of First Lady Michelle Obama to change America's
eating habits. Among new ideas under consideration are federal phone texts to obese citizens warning
of their unhealthy eating behavior. Seriously.
I'm Fighting to
Restore a Free Society. The central belief and fatal conceit of the current administration is that
you are incapable of running your own life, but those in power are capable of running it for you. This is
the essence of big government and collectivism. More than 200 years ago, Thomas Jefferson warned that
this could happen.
State Has Become Government's Default Posture. "Nanny State" barely begins to describe the unhealthy relationship
between today's citizens and their government. The term "Warden State" is more apt, especially under the Obama Administration.
The effects of this expansive government paternalism are not without cultural consequences, either. As government discovers more
and more areas in our private lives in which to insert itself under the guise of "Nanny knows best," people grow accustomed to —
if not reliant on — its presence.
Bad News for Obama's Antiobesity
Effort. With the obesity epidemic in full swing and millions of American living in neighborhoods where fruits and vegetables
are hard to come by, the Obama administration thought it saw a solution: fund stores that will stock fresh, affordable produce in
these deprived areas. But now, three years and $500 million into the federal Healthy Food Financing Initiative, there's a
problem: A study suggests it's not working.
40,000 new laws take effect in 2014.
In Illinois for example, teenagers will no longer get to use tanning beds without a doctor's note. If you live in Delaware, visit the
shark fin buffet while you can, a new law will make it illegal to own, sale, or distribute the controversial delicacy. And in California,
new laws take effect that will let students take part in school sports, or use bathrooms based on their gender identity, regardless of the
gender noted in their birth certificates.
Obama's Budding Nanny State. Thousands
of books and websites offer suggestions for how to get kids to do homework or clean up their rooms. But is it a mayor's job to motivate you to
drink less soda? Is it government's job to urge you to sign up for health care by way of schools stealthily sending messages home through your
children? Should bureaucrats find ways to change your mind about which washing machine you buy? Whether you realize it or not, this
so-called "nudging" of consumer choice, at the hand of government, is underway.
Why Liberalism Is On The
Wrong Side Of History. Liberals dream of one day seeing all Americans permanently locked in the smothering, cradle-to-grave death grip of
the nanny state. Nothing excites a liberal more than the idea of controlling where you go to school, regulating your work and play, deciding what
type of health care you're going to have and then deciding when you get to retire and how much money you have when you do. Even if you want to
choose, you can't. Even if you want to break free, you're stuck. You're not allowed to make different choices because liberals have
made it illegal.
America after Obama. Obama has substantially
enlarged the American "nanny state." Government regulates more and more of our daily lives, and the central authority's control of even
minuscule facets of our existence has been greatly expanded. Consider, for example, the Food and Drug Administration's recent decision
to ban polyunsaturated fats, claiming they constitute health risks. First, where in the Constitution is the central government given such
authority? Second, the scientific evidence for the claim that transfats are harmful is dubious, at best. Remember when we were told that
polyunsaturated fats were safe to consume?
The war against achievement. A friend recently sent me
a link to an inspiring video about an upbeat young black man who was born without arms. It showed him going to work — unlike
the record number of people living on government payments for "disabilities" that are far less serious, if not fictitious. [...] The
vision on which the all-encompassing and all-controlling welfare state was built is a vision of widespread helplessness, requiring ever
more expanding big government. Our "compassionate" statists would probably have wanted to take this young man without arms, early on,
and put him in some government institution. But to celebrate him in the mainstream media today would undermine a whole ideological
vision of the world — and of the vast government bureaucracies built on that vision.
The tyranny of bureaucracy.
[Scroll down] Do not millions of people owe their allegiance to the government for the privilege of receiving food stamps, unemployment insurance, welfare, business or
individual tax credits, college loans, agricultural subsidies, and now even health insurance? Is there any branch or even twig of life through which the
sap of federal subsidies does not run? No wonder the Tea Party, with its insistence on turning off the federal spigot, is being painted by progressives
as a danger to the national well-being. The national well-being, after all, is a state of stuporific addiction to entitlements and congressionally
approved benefits spooned out by thousands of federal bureaus and agencies that prove their worth by keeping the populace in what de Tocqueville called
Michelle Obama's water torture.
Just when you thought the Nanny State couldn't get anymore drunk with patronizing power over people, along comes Michelle Obama with a most urgent
plea: Make sure you drink water! Who knew?! Apparently we now need the government to tell us to do the most basic of things. [...] It
would not surprise me to see the First Lady begin to offer advice on how to dress ourselves.
Is Michelle Obama over-hyping hydration?
While water is inarguably essential to our long-term health (people do tend to die after a few days without it), the first lady may be going too far
in touting the energy-giving properties of H20. "The idea [that] drinking water increases energy, the word I've used to describe it is:
quixotic," kidney specialist Dr Stanley Goldfarb of the University of Pennsylvania told Politico. Beyond hydration, he said, there's little
evidence that water does anything for us at all.
Michelle Obama and Other Hydration-Related Issues.
It used to be when a person felt hungry, they ate, and when their God-given internal water gauge indicated they were running low, they
drank. That's the old way. Now we have Michelle Obama spending her time "nudging" us away from the soda aisle toward the
Interior Secretary: We Benefit From
'Federal Gov't Encouraging the Right Kinds of Behavior'. The "new energy future" will require the federal government to encourage "the right kinds of
behavior," Interior Secretary Sally Jewell told a clean energy summit in Nevada on Tuesday. "When you are getting into a new energy future, you really benefit
from having the support of states — and the federal government encouraging the right kinds of behavior and encouraging those incentives (for solar panel
installation), she said. Jewell mentioned the "right" kind of behavior twice in her speech, without specifically saying what it means.
Bloomberg Pushing Stair Use in NYC Multi-Story Low-Income Housing
Units. As part of his ongoing campaign to transform New York City into what he calls "Fit City," Mayor Michael Bloomberg is promoting "active design" for low-income
housing developments being built there, including plans to prompt residents to use the stairs and rooftop gardens for growing "healthy" foods.
Busybody Politics. It is hard to read a
newspaper, or watch a television newscast, without encountering someone who has come up with a new "solution" to society's "problems." Sometimes
it seems as if there are more solutions than there are problems. On closer scrutiny, it turns out that many of today's problems are a result of
The Orwellian government depends on a continuous state of emergency. Warning Pollution. The people in charge of
preparing us for various emergencies (either natural or man-made) made a choice at some point that there is no such thing as too many
warnings. But that choice has left us overwhelmed with information that people simply can't process and don't need. As a
result, people have learned to tune out the warnings in airports, subways, and other public spaces.
Latest load of garbage from Mike's
'bully' pulpit. Now that Mayor Bloomberg has decided we, all 8 million of us New Yorkers, should all go through our
garbage to separate out the biodegradable stuff and "compost" it, the time has come to retire a favorite designation for him.
He's not Nanny Bloomberg, he's Bully Bloomberg.
Bowling Shoe Law Being Debated in State
Legislature. New York State Senator Patrick Gallivan (R-59th District) New York State Assemblyman Robin Schimminger (D-140th District) are
sponsoring a bill that would cover bowling shoes. The bill in the assembly is co-sponsored by Assembly members Brian Kolb, Crystal Peoples-Stokes
and Jane Corwin. It would require alley owners to post signs, warning keglers not to wear bowling shoes outside, lest they become wet and increase
the likelihood that a bowler could slip and fall when they come inside[.]
The Candy Man Can't. A soda fountain
in St. Paul may be fined $500 by city inspectors for selling candy cigarettes. Lynden's Soda Fountain opened a few months ago
but was recently warned it was violating the city's ban on candy cigarettes, passed in 2009. It said it won't keep selling the
candy cigarettes or bubblegum cigars, but it is promoting the incident. "Stop in and try a Soda at half price between now and the
end of the year while sugar is still legal!" the store stated in a Facebook post.
Dodgeball Removed From Windham, NH
Schools. The classic gym class game has been a rite of passage for years, but dodgeball may have met its match in the
form of the Windham School board, which at a recent meeting voted 4-1 to end dodgeball and other so-called "human target" activities,
games with names like bombardment and slaughter. "It's almost turning into a nanny state," said school board member Dennis
Senibaldi, the one school board member who voted against the ban.
The Editor says...
Nobody, as far as I know, has ever been paralyzed for life playing dodge ball. But that happens on a weekly basis in
high school football, and football is allowed. Not only allowed, it's encouraged.
New York is the Nanny State with the least freedoms:
national study. New York's big government — with its hands deep in taxpayers' pockets and regulations controlling
everyone's lives — has made the Empire State the worst in the nation for personal liberty, a new study shows. A war on
sugary drinks is the least of freedom-loving New Yorkers' worries, according a report by George Mason University, which rated the state
No. 50 for the level of freedom its residents enjoy.
The Manufactured Authority of
the Nanny State. Lately, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been the chief spokesman touting the merits and necessity of a
Utopian nanny state. In a moment of honesty, he said while making a recent appearance on NBC, "I do think there certain times when
we should infringe on your freedom." [Emphasis added]
school district outlaws hugging, homemade food, pushing kids on swings. The Old Line State — where kids have been
suspended for making guns with their fingers and with toaster pastries — now boasts a school district that prohibits hugging
and homemade food in public elementary schools for anyone except a parent's own children. Parents must also register to enter the
playground and they can't push anyone except their own kids on the swings.
Smoke Gets in Your
Rights. One politician thinks he has the right to tell New Yorkers what they can put in their stomachs. Another
thinks he has the right to outlaw Californians smoking in the sanctity of their own homes. These two must think they are gods or
kings. Or dictators. They know what's best for you, so they feel free to force you to behave — for your own
Bloomberg's Soda Folly.
New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg's ban on large-size sugary drinks at certain establishments, colloquially known as the soda
ban, is a lesson in how to make your cause look ridiculous. Bloomberg hoped the ban would spark a nationwide crackdown on sugary
beverages. Instead, it became the subject of widespread mockery [...]
It Took A Judge, But
NYC's Soda Nazi Is Stopped Flat. In a ruling stunning in its strong language and moral censure, Judge Milton Tingling struck
down the Big Apple's infamous ban on large sugary soft drinks on the brink of its implementation. The judge declared Mayor Mike "Big
Gulp" Bloomberg's soda diktat "unconstitutional," "arbitrary and capricious," and said it "would create an administrative Leviathan and
violate the separation of powers doctrine."
Soda Ban and the
Government Leviathan. In recent decades, the judiciary has been at the forefront of efforts to expand the power of
government and to restrict the rights of the individual citizen. But today at least one judge has struck a blow against the
nanny state and its billionaire advocate.
What if New York's Nanny Is Actually a
Thug? What if a dictator in America used the force of law to tell you what to eat? What if the same dictator told
you what to drink? What if the dictator told you the sizes of the containers in which you could purchase a lawful beverage?
What if the dictator just made up the rules according to his own personal taste? What if the product he regulated was lawful,
sold nearly everywhere and consumed by nearly everyone?
while walking? Nevada assemblyman moves to ban it. Harvey Munford has heard a lot of talk about the dangers of texting
while driving. Now the Nevada assemblyman wants to focus on what he considers an equally perilous scourge: texting while walking,
especially across a busy street. Munford (D-Las Vegas) on Thursday introduced Assembly Bill 123, saying the new law could be
applied not to just urban streets but to all state roads, even in residential neighborhoods.
Nevada Lawmaker Attempts Ban on Texting While
Walking. Last Thursday, Las Vegas Assemblyman Harvey Munford (D) received a committee hearing for Assembly Bill 123 to
prohibit pedestrians from texting or reading cellular phones while crossing roads statewide, even in residential neighborhoods.
Those caught violating the proposed bill would receive a written warning for a first offense, followed by a $100 fine and a $250 fine
for a third.
The Logic of Liberalism.
[Scroll down] In sum, the liberal solution almost always involves more governmental intervention, more governmental
interaction, and particularly more taxation. Moreover, the liberal wants to be involved in everything; no issue is too
unimportant for their watchful eyes. [...] One could justifiably argue that every proposed tax dollar increase is earmarked
to be spent on three or more distinct venues. This small, though paradoxically large, detail is never explained by anyone.
Hairdryers' and Self-protective Cutting Shears. Apparently, Mexican drug cartels entering the U.S. to buy illegal guns
and Al Qaeda operatives infiltrating American soil are not the problem. But hairdryers that "fail to have adequate immersion
protection" — now that is a huge problem.
FDA proposes sweeping new food safety
rules. The rules, the most sweeping food safety guidelines in decades, would require farmers to take new precautions against
contamination, to include making sure workers' hands are washed, irrigation water is clean, and that animals stay out of fields.
The Editor says...
How did any of us survive up to this point? Farming is a dirty business, since food is grown in dirt, and even if all
food is contaminated to some degree, that's what cooking is for. It is my opinion that the country would be better off
without the FDA and without the Agriculture Department micro-managing everybody's business. (The same goes for the EPA, the
Departments of Labor, Energy, HHS, and a few others.)
The Namby-Pamby State. The namby-pamby state has enshrined the
principle of bureaucratic supremacy ostensibly in the interest of its citizens' welfare. On the one hand, it legislates down to the minor
details of everyday life, which it punitively monitors and controls, everything from seat belts to Girl Scout cookies to recycling habits to
school lunch guidelines to the shape of bananas. On the other hand, it conceives of its citizens, especially if they are not wealthy or
successful, as victims of a repressive politico-economic system who need to be coddled, catered to, subsidized, and provided with every service
regardless of worthiness or contribution to society, thus rendering them feckless and dependent while convincing them of their right to
2009 stimulus chief says taxes and rules on junk food are coming. Larry Summers, chair of the White House National Economic
Council when the 2009 stimulus was developed, suggested that President Obama will eventually tax and regulate junk food to drive people to
eat more healthily — although he dinged First Lady Michelle Obama's healthy foods initiative.
The Mayor of East St. Louis is the New Baby
Sitter. A new restriction passed by Mayor Alvin Parks of East St. Louis has enacted a new curfew and dress code
for the city's youth. Anyone under 18 that is caught out of class during school hours, outside after 10pm or out of the
house or school anytime without a parent or guardian, they will be arrested. Additionally, the mayor decided that youth
should also be prohibited from wearing any blue or red.
Michelle Obama Shares Her Supermarket Savvy.
[A]lthough Mrs. Obama's attempts at helping people to eat better and to make healthier food choices seem benign on the surface, it's offensive and condescending for her to
imply — once again — that Americans need her to tell us how to go about feeding ourselves. Supermarket Shopping 101 is just another example, even
though no one asked her to, of Michelle Obama taking it upon herself to coach adults on the proper way she thinks we should live our lives.
Bottled Water Going the Way of the 20-ounce Soda.
New York City is raging against salt, large sodas, and baby formula, allegedly for health reasons. San Francisco bans plastic grocery bags (as do many
Eastern LI towns), they regulate Happy Meal toys for sustainability and they have their eye on halting circumcisions because they're crazy. San Francisco
is also the city that wants to install GPS in cars so they can monitor peoples' travel and then tax them for it.
Legislating self-control. Too often,
Americans are willing to cede control over their lives to politicians. If the government can force us to use mercury-filled light bulbs,
ban smoking in bars, outlaw plastic bags in grocery stores and even prohibit Happy Meals at McDonald's, it should come as no surprise that
something as innocuous as a carbonated drink would be next on the list. Feel-good proposals of this sort are evaluated according to the
intentions of their proponents, not their likely result. The public tends to give it a pass because it's a matter of health and safety.
Such busybody ventures never achieve their stated goals.
EPA's scary-air sniffers. Americans on their
way to work or school may soon be reaching for a new high-tech device as they head out the door — a personal air-quality monitor.
That's the vision of bureaucrats at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) who are trying to develop a portable sniffer that measures the body's
reactions to pollution in the air. It's bound to take fear-mongering to a new level.
The nanny state infects the Peach
State. Last year, the Republican-dominated Georgia General Assembly enacted a ban on texting while driving
despite numerous studies, including a 2010 report from the Highway Loss Data Institute, showing that such legislation does
little to prevent crashes on the road. Peach State legislators have also enacted laws limiting the sale of over-the-counter
cold medications that happen to contain pseudoephedine, an ingredient used by a small number of drug dealers to make methamphetamine.
Those same legislators also mandated the establishment of databases containing the names of purchasers of many such medications. And,
not content with seat-belt laws long on the books, Georgia legislators recently went so far as to mandate that children as old as eight
sit in government-defined car seats.
It's Official: New
Yorkers Are Slaves of the State. New York City monarch Michael Bloomberg will propose a ban on the sale,
by certain vendors, of large sugary sodas. This, of course, is done in the name of "public health" and "fighting"
the "epidemic of obesity." Following the nanny-state tradition of declaring war on inanimate or abstract things,
Bloomberg has already launched blitzkriegs on cigarettes, salt, and trans fats, and even proposed to limit alcohol sales
in the city — all in the name of protecting people from themselves.
With crime tamed, New
York Mayor Bloomberg now turns to soda pop. With crime eradicated and every New Yorker fully employed, the three-term
gazillionaire city executive has been focusing recently on government-enforced health edicts to help his taxpayers live longer.
Bloomberg's fought salty foods and bad fats. He's cracking down on pedestrians texting. Now comes soda pop containing sugar.
Armed environmental police shut down ice cream stand.
Armed environmental police officers shut down a popular long-running ice cream stand in Massachusetts over the weekend and stood guard to make sure potential customers
were turned away. The officers claimed that the operator had failed to secure construction permits to make improvements to the stand. But operator Mark
Duffy, who has leased the property from the state for 26 years, says that he has never been required to get permits to make improvements.
Davis High fined for soda sales violation. Davis
High School has been fined $15,000 after they were caught selling soda pop during lunch hour, which is a violation of federal law. [...] "Before lunch you can come and
buy a carbonated beverage. You can take it into the cafeteria and eat your lunch, but you can't first go buy school lunch then come out in the hallway and buy a
drink," said Davis High Principal Dee Burton.
The Editor says...
From this experience the students will learn about hair-splitting big-government legalism and litle else.
School fined $15K for selling soda.
The $15K to pay the fine will come from funds normally used for the school's music program, art department and sports. That should make
for some better, more well rounded students, eh?
Apparently We're Too Stupid To Run Our Own
Lives. A young mother I know recently said, "When I saw the president on TV telling us how to wash our hands, I knew this country
was coming to an end. I'm 30 years old and I don't need the government to tell me how to wash up or what foods are good for me."
For that matter, I told her, how about those light bulbs we're supposed to buy — the ones that are more expensive; made in China and
require a hazmat team to clean up if they break?
The Feds' Intrusions Into
American Farms and Families. According to The Raleigh Telegram, "the rule would have prevented children younger than 16 from doing
'agricultural work with animals and in pesticide handling, timber operations, manure pits and storage bins' while also forbidding them from using
'power-driven equipment' and working in the 'cultivation, harvesting and curing of tobacco.'" Can you imagine? What's next? The
feds' crackdown making it illegal for kids to wash dishes, because a knife might cut them?
House overturns school bake sale ban.
State lawmakers overturned a controversial ban on school bake sales this afternoon after a fierce public outcry over school nutrition guidelines that also
prohibited pizza, white bread and 2 percent milk. "That is the stupidest thing I've seen in my career," state Rep. Cory Atkins (D-Concord), moments
after the House unanimously voted to ease the statewide cupcake crackdown. "Talk about hitting the nerve of government reaching far into people's lives."
administration scraps child labor restrictions for farms. The Labor Department withdrew a proposed rule
Thursday [4/26/2012] that would have limited the work that children can perform on farms. The proposal drew heavy
criticism from rural-state lawmakers and agricultural leaders, who cast the rule as government overreach that would erode
the traditional American family. Others in Congress supported the rule, and unions argued it was needed to make
farm work safer for young adults.
Bans Home-Cooked Meals for the Homeless. Hey homeless people, no soup for you. So says New York City Mayor
Michael Bloomberg, who has banned private food contributions to homeless shelters because he's afraid they won't meet his
exacting nutritional standards.
Children of the State. At least two parents have
come forward with stories of federal agents inspecting the bag lunches of their small children, pronouncing them nutritionally
unfit, and compelling the parents to pay for government-approved school lunches instead. One of the kids got her hands
on a signed memo from the school principal, discussing the USDA requirements for acceptable bag lunches, and clearly stating
that "students who do not bring a healthy lunch will be offered the missing portions, which may result in a fee from the
cafeteria." In essence, this boils down to treating the parents as if they were wayward children.
sneak Uncle Sam into your bedroom. [Scroll down] Politicians are like drug dealers. Once
you're addicted to freebies, you suddenly realize the free lunch is not so free. Like the drug dealers, the
politicians want your money, to be sure, but what they really covet is your submission. They love telling
you what to do and they always claim it's for your own good.
How One Bureaucrat Almost Succeeded in Banning
Car Radios. [Transportation Secretary Ray] LaHood's latest attempt to revise the rules of the road in response to hysterical
fears about in-car technology is nothing new. The proliferation of the cellular phone in the late 1990s was met with a similar response,
as was the advent of the car phone in the preceding decade. In fact, the state's attempt to engineer the ideal driving
experience — during which the automobilist's hands are always at 10 and 2, his eyes glued to the road, his ears pricked
only for the sounds of emergency vehicles and the laughter of children bouncing their balls too close to the street — dates
back to 1930s Massachusetts, and a man named George A. Parker.
the iCarly lunchbox and back away slowly!" [This story is] not about whether chicken nuggets
from a school cafeteria are more or less healthy than whatever parents choose to feed their kids. It's
not about whether a homemade lunch meets a government agency's "necessary guidelines." It's about the fact
that there are "necessary guidelines" in the first place, and now they're even sending agents around to enforce
them. It's about yet another busybody government bureaucracy intruding into yet another aspect of our
says mobile food vending trucks a 'threat' to kids. The California legislature continues to act as
the hard left's petri dish for testing totalitarian policies. AB 1678, introduced last Tuesday [2/14/2012],
would ban mobile food and beverage trucks within 1,500 feet of elementary and secondary schools.
'My Work in Politics' Is 'An Extension of My Role as a Mom'. House Minority Leader
Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said that she views her role in politics as an extension of her role as a
mother. ... Pelosi said, "Look, I am a mom and a grandmother. I view my work in politics as
an extension of my role as a mom. There are things we want to do for our children that are
simply beyond us."
Centers Mandate Milk and Race Of Dolls. Day care centers in Colorado may have to meet new rules
that regulate everything from the race of dolls to how much TV kids can watch. ... [For example,] Children over
2 years old shall be served 1 percent, 2 percent or skim milk (unless directed in writing by
a child's health care provider).
Top 10 Most Egregious Government Regulations.
[#10] Multicultural doll mandate: The Colorado Department of Human Services is proposing new rules to
require all day care centers in the state to have dolls available that represent the three different races.
The guideline is part of a 98-page document that sets new rules for child care that include what kids can drink,
how long they can watch TV, and mandates for field trips and sunscreen use. One wonders how the state, which
has been working on the measure since 2006, will go about enforcing the law.
food regulations? The federal government has a growing interest in the eating habits of Americans
for the same reason it has an interest in tobacco consumption, said Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of the
Department of Health and Human Services. The reason is money, because three-quarters of medical-spending
is driven by chronic diseases, such as obesity and tobacco-related diseases, she said.
I Don't Care If You're Fat.
I don't care if you're fat. I don't care if your kids are fat. It's none of my business. If you
want to lose some weight, be my guest. Or, like Michelle Obama, if you just want to have a juicy hamburger,
some fries, and a chocolate shake, that's fine, too. ... I don't care. It is none of my business if you're
fat. It is surely not the government's business if you're fat.
Feds want us
to live like children. We spend the first part of our lives trying to grow up, and, apparently,
millions of us spend the rest of our lives hoping to live like children. How else to explain the desire
to "save" Social Security and Medicare? Since 1935 for Social Security and 1965 for Medicare, older
Americans have expected government to take care of them, as if they are children incapable of taking care of
themselves. Nanny state, indeed.
alert system set to launch. If you get an urgent message on your cell phone from President Obama
later this year, it's not a prank. Under a new emergency notification system being announced tomorrow by
Mayor Bloomberg and federal officials, anyone carrying an "enabled" mobile device within range of a cell phone
tower would be alerted what to do in case of emergency.
No need to vote on this — the mayor
knows what's best for you. Menino
Bans Sugary Drink Sales On Boston City Property. Mayor Tom Menino issued an executive order to
ban the sale of sugary drinks on Boston city property on Thursday. "I want to make this a healthier
choice, the easier choice in people's daily lives, whether it's the schools, the work sites or other places
in the community," Menino said.
expands sugary drink ban. Mayor Thomas M. Menino said yesterday [4/7/2011] that he is
expanding his ban on sugar-sweetened drinks in schools to include all city properties and functions, a
sweeping restriction that means that calorie-laden soft drinks, juices with added sugar, and sports drinks
like Gatorade will no longer be offered in vending machines, concession stands, and city-run meetings,
programs and events.
Mayor Thomas Menino KOs Soda, OKs Alcohol. Boston Mayor Thomas Menino has banned soda, sports
drinks and sweetened ice teas from city property, according to a recent government press release. In
an attempt to reduce the city's rising obesity rates, Menino has banned all sugary drinks from city vending
machines, cafeterias and concession stands, just one day after reaching an agreement with the Boston Red
Sox that allows the team to sell mixed drinks at its ballpark.
Madness. About one third of American kids are now overweight, and poorer children are the
most likely to be in that category. So, educators are correct to be concerned about the nutritional
welfare of their students. Every school should be encouraging good health, right? But
forcing parents to buy school food is going too far. This is nanny state stuff. I know
that under President Obama the nation is heading in that direction, but it is now time to pause and
smell the meatloaf.
Feds lead charge for alcohol
detector. A quick-check alcohol detector designed to stop drunks from driving off was
hailed yesterday [1/28/2011] by U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood as a jump forward in the
war against drunken driving, while also raising concerns about nanny-state intrusions.
Agencies Rule Our Lives. Am I the only one becoming increasingly concerned about the
amount of power federal agencies have over every aspect of our lives? Everywhere we turn it
seems some agency is telling Americans what they can and can't do, whether it's the health care we need,
the technology we use, the financial decisions we make, the food we eat or the air we breathe.
It takes a vittle: First lady
engineers government takeover of children's food. The Obama administration is committed to
bringing more government into the lives of Americans. First lady Michelle Obama grabbed the spotlight
Monday at the District's Harriet Tubman Elementary School to promote an anti-obesity initiative in service of
this goal. She seeks to shift responsibility for feeding America's children away from parents and into
the hands of Washington bureaucrats. Declaring childhood breakfast, lunch and dinner menu options an
issue of national security, Mrs. Obama asserted, "We can't just leave it up to the parents."
Michelle's free lunch:
This free lunch bill, is not quite the free lunch it appears to be; it is paid for by reductions in funding for
food stamps where people can actually select what food to buy for their kids, say potatoes or potato chips, in
their food desserts. And why do so many kids get "half their daily calories from school meals"?
This is another area of responsibility removed from the parent(s) and handed over to the government; parents
don't even have to make their kids lunch to take to school.
Should We Ban Walking While
Wired? You've had the experience of walking along and negotiating around someone who is walking
slowly, weaving, or bumping into other pedestrians for an obvious reason: He or she is talking on a cell
phone, listening to an iPod, or texting on a Blackberry. And you've had the natural, inevitable response
to this annoyance: demanding a law to prevent it.
Distracted while strolling.
I'm too old to need a crossing guard to look after me at public intersections, and if I did, I wouldn't pick
New York state senator Carl Kruger (D-Brooklyn) to do the job. Kruger's the guy who wants to ban
"distracted walking" by pedestrians on public roadways. According to The New York Times, the bill he's
introduced in Albany "would ban the use of mobile phones, iPods or other electronic devices while crossing
builders unhappy with state-imposed sprinkler mandate. While many Pennsylvanians celebrated the
arrival of 2011 on New Year's Eve, home builders in the state likely did not blow their bugles and pop their
poppers with quite as much exuberance. That is because this year marks the beginning of a new government
mandate in Pennsylvania requiring that all new one- and two-family homes have an automatic fire sprinkler
system — a feature that costs thousands of dollars.
Political Assassination of a Prescription Drug. After use of Avandia for years by millions
of patients, objective evaluation of its long-term effectiveness and safety has been taken out of the hands
of physicians. Instead we must rely on the verdict of politicians. Medical decisions by agents of
government, like the FDA, inevitably and necessarily become political decisions. We cannot remove the
politicians from these decisions without first removing the FDA.
of Transportation new rules will make cars more expensive. Thought that new car was expensive
now? Wait till the Department of Transportation implements its latest plan to protect Americans from
themselves. Last week, the department announced regulations that would require all new vehicles to install
video cameras on their back bumpers. The idea is to make backing up safer, and it's not optional.
laws make absolutely no sense. If you have a strong disregard for your own health and safety, you are free
to express it in all sorts of ways. You can smoke cigarettes. You can gorge on fast food five times a day.
You can go live among bears in Alaska. You can stagger through the worst part of town at 2 a.m. You can
become a trapeze artist. You can join the Marine Corps. But if federal regulators get their way, you will not
be able to ride a motorcycle without a helmet.
LaHood: Obama's Power-Mad Cell Phone Czar. America is in debt past its eyeballs. Unemployment
remains stuck near double digits. Small and large businesses, unions and insurers are clamoring for Obamacare
waivers in droves. Jihadists are making a mockery of homeland security. And border chaos reigns. So,
what's one of the Obama administration's top domestic policy agenda items this month? Combating distracted drivers.
Secretary is out of control. Ever since assuming his Transportation post early in 2009,
[Transportation Secretary Ray] LaHood has been hell-bent to use the power of that position as a launching
pad from which to target cell phone use in vehicles. And he is serious about it; efforts by his
subordinates to downplay his words to the contrary notwithstanding. Facts and the Constitution
pose no speed bumps for this effort to restrict the liberty of those who drive America's roads in
privately-owned vehicles. A study published earlier this year by the Highway Loss Data Institute,
for example, shows that cell phone bans in three states did not lead to fewer car accidents.
The Unfriendly Skies. We
take risks each and every time we step out of our homes and don't need the government to decide for us which
risks are acceptable. So why, according to the Federal Aviation Administration, must our seats be in
their original and upright position as we begin our descent, a full 20 minutes before we land? What
are the actual risks to unclipping our seat belts seconds before the plane has come to a full and complete
stop? Why can't we use our cell phones while taxiing at LAX, but can do so at Heathrow?
in the backseat. It's classic bait and switch. Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) claims that his
ROADS SAFE Act — which authorizes a $60 million taxpayer investment in a government program
to further develop sophisticated in-vehicle technology that would keep a car from starting if the driver's
Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) level was above a pre-set limit — is all about stopping drunk
drivers. ... That's the bait. Here's the switch: This taxpayer-funded federal program, known as
DADSS (Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety), is actually developing alcohol detection technology to
come as standard equipment in all cars.
Francisco pol wants to take the joy out of a Happy Meal. Toys that have been synonymous with
kids' meals at fast-food restaurants could soon be banned in San Francisco under a new law proposed Tuesday
[8/10/2010] if the food contains too much fat, sugar or salt. Earlier this year, Santa Clara County
became the first local government in the nation to adopt such a law, but it only applies to unincorporated
areas and affects a handful of restaurants.
Obama to women planning a pregnancy: 'No fatties'. You might think you were doing a pretty
good job of running your own life before you'd ever even heard of Michelle Obama, but she knows better than
that. Your kids are big fat pigs and so are you, says the First Lady of the United States.
Obama puts his cook in charge of your diet. Obama's personal
cook made Senior Policy Advisor. President Barack Obama (D) is treating his multi gazillion
dollar spend our way out of debt and unemployment stimulus as his own private make work program, tossing
taxpayer dollars to favored constituents, such as unions, and to favored areas, such as his home city of
Chicago. And now he's making it even more private, choosing his family's personal cook, Sam Kass,
imported from Chicago, as... Senior Policy Advisor for Healthy Food Initiatives.
Food Czar? Really? You may laugh about the White House assistant chef being appointed
"Senior Policy Adviser." You'll stop laughing when you realize that those in power really do want
to tell you what to eat.
Bill Would Require Government to Track Body Mass of American
Children. A bill introduced this month in Congress would put the federal and state governments in
the business of tracking how fat, or skinny, American children are. States receiving federal grants
provided for in the bill would be required to annually track the Body Mass Index of all children ages 2
FDA Trying to Save People From Themselves.
The Food and Drug Administration finds it necessary to warn the American public that swallowing an over-the-counter
medication meant to be rubbed on the skin can have harmful effects.
No Pop for the Poor.
New York City's mayor wants the federal government to say food stamps can't be used to buy soda — a story
that is less about the technicalities of welfare and more about political paternalism. Now, there's a strong
argument to be made that if the government is setting the table and preparing the dinner, it should be able
to choose the menu.
Federal War on Salt Could
Spoil Country Hams. If the food police get their way, North Carolinians can kiss their country
hams, bacon, and fresh Bright Leaf hot dogs goodbye. These Southern specialties might not disappear
altogether, but, if the health agency's crusade against salt is successful, they never would taste the
Gateway Spice: FDA Wants To Regulate Salt. The Food and Drug Administration is planning an
unprecedented effort to gradually reduce the salt consumed each day by Americans, saying that less sodium in
everything from soup to nuts would prevent thousands of deaths from hypertension and heart disease. The
initiative, to be launched this year, would eventually lead to the first legal limits on the amount of salt
allowed in food products.
The Editor says...
I'd rather take my chances with too much salt than with too much government.
Big Brother Becomes Big
Bully. The government in the Age of Obama has gone beyond the big brother that watches out and
cares for us. Instead, it has becomes the big brother that torments and bullies us and then takes what
is rightfully ours: our savings, our freedom, and our futures. Liberals are often labeled as
wanting to bring out the nanny state (the feminine version of a big brother). This is wrong. A
nanny cares for her wards so that they can mature into responsible adults able to take care of themselves.
But a bully has other desires.
Behavioral economics — the
governing theory of Obama's nanny state. Just as Obama is a liberal Democrat who, his admirers
insist, isn't really a liberal Democrat, behavioral economics proposes government regulation that, behavioral
economists insist, isn't really regulation. Under the influence of libertarian paternalism, regulators
abandon their old roles as mini-commissars and become "choice architects," arranging the everyday choices that
members of the public face in such a way that they'll naturally do the right thing — eat well,
conserve energy, save more, drive safely, floss.
law to require home carbon monoxide detectors. California homeowners will be required to install
carbon monoxide detectors starting in July 2011 under a bill signed Friday [5/7/2010] by Gov. Arnold
Schwarzenegger that is aimed at preventing deaths and injuries caused by poisoning from the odorless,
The Editor says...
Carbon monoxide is dangerous, but so is government intrusion. Yes, you should have a carbon monoxide
detector and a smoke detector in your house. But the purchase should be your choice — not
The Left Squashes
Life's Little Pleasures. [Scroll down] If this were isolated, it would be worth mentioning
only in the context of wondering why people who run mental health — and most other activist —
organizations seem to have little common sense. ... But the Left has problems with much else as well:
smoking (including cigars and pipes); virtually all kids games that can make a kid feel at all bad or get
hurt; wood-burning fireplaces; cars; most jokes or any flirting in the workplace; incandescent light bulbs;
cool homes in summer; and more.
It's the Contempt.
Perhaps Obama and the Democrats are in denial. But I think it's more properly seen as contempt. They
simply don't care what voters think, for they know best. That's the entire premise of ObamaCare. Voters
who may be young and healthy can't be trusted to decide to self-insure or buy cheap, high-deductible plans.
Employers can't be trusted to balance health care, salary, and other employee benefits in deciding how to
compensate their employees.
Egg Panels. The first thing you notice are the
lines. A line to get your ID bracelet. A line to pass through the metal detector. A line to enter
the South Lawn. A line for the bathroom. Even a line to escape. The White House Easter Egg
Roll on Monday was a revealing look at the Obama administration's love of social
engineering — and a chilling glimpse of what fate may befall the American people if they
fail to rise up against it.
Nanny state will turn U.S. into Europe. Throughout the
health care battle, President Barack Obama asked, if European nations can deliver expansive universal health
care to every citizen, why can't the United States do the same. The president, an ardent Europhile,
poses that question about everything from high-speed rail to cheap college tuition. The answer is that
we can — if we're willing to live a European lifestyle.
Whose Body Is It?
Who owns you, and who should control what you put into your body? In what sense are you free if you
can't decide what medicines you will take?
Government" Treats Americans Like Small Children. We now live in a country where the government educates us,
gives us food stamps and school lunch programs when we're hungry, gives us money when we lose our jobs, frets constantly
about differences in free market salaries, orders home loans to be given to people who can't afford them, bails out failing
companies, and provides for our retirement.
nanny care insults the American spirit. You are victims. You are helpless against the wiles
of big corporations and insurance companies and you need protection. You need the government to take over
and do things you cannot do for yourself. That is the thinking of what David Brooks calls "the educated
class" that favors the Democrats' health care bills.
Ways Liberals Misjudge the American People: [Scroll down slowly] Why would anyone need
a SUV or a gun? You don't REALLY need those things. Also, liberals know what your salary should
be, how your children should be taught, and what words you should be allowed to use without hurting anyone
else's feelings. Oh, you want to pick your own lightbulb? Nonsense: You might do it wrong!
Let liberals tell you which one you need. There's just something about liberalism that turns most of its
practitioners, no matter how dumb or incompetent they may be, into finger wagging professors who want to
lecture the rest of the country about how to live their lives.
Who's going to check? Feb. 18
is deadline for bedroom smoke detectors. City residents who don't have smoke detectors in their bedrooms
will have to get their tools out soon. An amendment to the city housing code will require residents to install
smoke detectors in their bedrooms by Feb. 18.
The Editor says...
Whatever happened to the people who wanted to keep the government out of our bedrooms?
Obama wants school vending
machine changes. The Obama administration will ask Congress to improve childhood nutrition by
ridding school vending machines of sugary snacks and drinks and giving school lunch and breakfast to more kids.
Obesity in the Nanny State: Good intentions aside, a presidential task force isn't going to do
what millions of American parents already don't do — namely, pull the plug on the 68 percent
of kids with televisions in their bedrooms, or on the average 53 hours per week that "Generations M's"
(8-to-18-year-olds) spend engaged with electronic media. Nor will the task force change the way most
New 2010 laws: Cooking to texting.
From same-sex marriage in New Hampshire to payday loans in Kentucky, new state laws taking effect on New Year's
Day will change the way people live. California becomes the first state to bar restaurants from cooking
with trans fat — partially hydrogenated oils that have been linked to strokes and heart disease.
Stop Me Before
I Call Again. Gavin Newsom is at it again. The San Francisco mayor's latest foray into
annoying nanny statism is a proposal, reported in The Chronicle last week, to require the city's cell phone
retailers to post the radiation levels of their products. ... Newsom wants to require cell phone companies
to post warnings for an ostensible cancer threat that has not been established.
$373 million in stimulus money for better vending machine food. First Lady Michelle Obama visited the
headquarters of the Department of Health and Human Services in Washington Tuesday [10/13/2009]. She devoted much of
her talk to "the growing threat of obesity, particularly childhood obesity" in the United States, and she touted HHS's
recently-announced plan to spend $373 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act on plans to, among
other things, improve the healthfulness of foods in vending machines.
New Government Policy Imposes Strict Standards on Garage
Sales Nationwide. Americans who slap $1 pricetags on their used possessions at garage sales or bazaar events
risk being slapped with fines of up to $15 million, thanks to a new government campaign. The "Resale Round-up,"
launched by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, enforces new limits on lead in children's products and makes it illegal
to sell any items that don't meet those limits or have been recalled for any other reason.
Survives Nanny State Police, For Now. It was touch and go for NyQuil's manufacturer, Procter &
Gamble, yesterday [6/30/2009] while a panel of experts met to decide its fate. The panel was considering
whether to recommend the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) pull the popular, over-the-counter cold medicine
from the market because a relatively small number of consumers ingest too much of the product which contains
the pain medicine, acetaminophen.
The Editor says...
It is not the government's responsibility to protect us from ourselves, especially when only a few
people are misusing a legal product. I've heard that Indians drink Aqua Velva
, but that's
no reason to outlaw it.
financial regs — worse than we imagined. Hey kids! Let's create a brand,
spanking, new federal bureaucracy to protect consumers of mortgages, credit cards, and other financial
instruments from their own stupidity! That's just one of the nanny state goodie being proposed by the
Obama administration to address what they say were the causes of the financial meltdown. ... Surely some loans
were made by criminals. The laws are already in place to deal with them. But how can you
close a "gap" in the stupidity of the borrower? Never fear, the government is here!
Restaurants sizzling over city tax on frying oil.
During some recent restaurant industry audits, the city [of Denver] has claimed separate sales tax on frying oil, claiming
that the oil is a separate product because it is not absorbed into the product. Try telling that to a cardiologist
who wants you to cut down on French fries.
FDA Takes Cheerios
to Task for Boastful Labels. President Obama isn't just rewriting rules regulating the environment and
the financial markets — he is also going after the food industry. Target and example No. 1:
Cheerios. "Based on claims made on your product's label," the FDA said in a letter to manufacturer General Mills,
"we have determined (Cheerios) is promoted for conditions that cause it to be a drug because the product is intended for
use in the prevention, mitigation and treatment of disease." If the government's enforcement action against
Cheerios were to hold up, the cereal would be pulled from grocery shelves and consumers would need a prescription
to buy a box of those little oats.
Uh-oh, Cheerios. The latest
verdict from the Food and Drug Administration is that Cheerios is a drug. Parents, then, must be drug pushers.
The FDA sent a warning to Cheerios maker General Mills Inc. that it is in serious violation of federal rules.
Soft tyranny: Tocqueville envisioned a
ruling power that would be "absolute, minute, regular, provident, and mild. It would be like the authority
of a parent if, like that authority, its object was to prepare men for manhood; but it seeks, on the contrary,
to keep them in perpetual childhood...
slams speed-curbing trial. [Scroll down] It is linked to a GPS navigation system and
sounds a chime if the car exceeds the limit. It can cut fuel supply to the engine, reducing speed, if
the driver fails to slow down.
Euroamericans? What worries me
about Obama is not the specifics of the nationalization of GM and Chrysler, the government rescue of the United Auto
Workers, the effort to take over college financing, proposed universal health care, massive deficits and tax increases,
although they are worrisome and only the beginning, but the attendant culture of 'inflate your tires' and 'wash your
hands' paternalism. I think we are entering an age in which the federal government will increasingly guide our
thoughts into what is deemed correct — the sort of car we must drive, the type of salary we should make, the sort
of job we should have, even the type of thoughts we are to express, and all in the name of collective brotherhood.
Taking a bite out of crime... Pennsylvania Pie Fight: State Cracks Down on
Baked Goods. On the first Friday of Lent, an elderly female parishioner of St. Cecilia Catholic Church
began unwrapping pies at the church. That's when the trouble started. A state inspector, there for an annual
checkup on the church's kitchen, spied the desserts. After it was determined that the pies were home-baked, the
inspector decreed they couldn't be sold.
The Fed's Plan is More Scary Than the Bird
Flu. Like many Americans, I have been mildly interested, if not amused, watching the parade of
warnings — some quite dire — about the possibility of a bird flu pandemic. The
feds have spent billions of dollars preparing for a pandemic that most experts predict will not occur.
The Repugnance of
Socialism: No fully-grown human being with a single ounce of self-respect ever wants to
be taken care of by others. No person with dignity will tolerate being told what to do, what to think,
how to work or how to be an "acceptable" person. No free man or woman will tolerate the loss of liberty
in exchange for material comfort.
Those Calories, City Tells Subway Riders. These days, the New York City subways seem to be
filled with advertisements carrying prominent, unmissable public-service messages: Watch out for
second-hand smoke. Call 311 if you see a homeless person who needs help. Be on the lookout for
signs of child abuse. Don't harass women. Now the authorities have a new message for subway
riders: Watch those calories.
Free lunch "safety":
Some people can die from eating ordinary wholesome foods like salmon or peanut butter. If the government banned
every food that was fatal to someone, we might all die of malnutrition. If a drug is not safe, neither is
the illness for which the drug is prescribed. Nor are alternative drugs likely to be perfectly safe,
since nothing else is. Life involves weighing alternative risks, whether in football, pharmaceutical
drugs, or a thousand other things.
liberties: In New York City, where Mayor Michael Bloomberg has become a champion of a supposedly
new "post-partisan" movement of for-your-own-good-government, trans fats are off the menu. Smoking has
become the ceremony of heretics and outlaws. In 2006 alone, New York City banned — or attempted
to ban — pit bulls; trans fats; aluminum baseball bats; the purchase of tobacco by 18- to
20-year-olds; foie gras; pedicabs in parks; new fast-food restaurants (but only in poor neighborhoods);
lobbyists from the floor of council chambers; vehicles in Central and Prospect parks; cellphones in upscale
restaurants; the sale of pork products made in a processing plant in Tar Heel, N.C.; mail-order
pharmaceutical plans; candy-flavored cigarettes; the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus;
New York State Bans Insect Foggers.
New York has become the first state in the nation to force the removal of insect foggers — often known as bug
bombs — from store shelves and require the devices be operated only by certified pesticide professionals. For
the average homeowner facing cockroach or other insect problems, that means a simple, effective, and inexpensive
treatment option is no longer available.
Creating the Great American Potato
Famine? McDonald's just agreed to pursue pesticide-free potatoes for its restaurants.
The anti-technology zealots pushing this organic move had better hope the company drags its feet — or
we risk having the first McDonald's in history with no French fries. Less than a decade ago, the
Danish government's high-level Bichel technical committee concluded that an organic-only mandate would
cut Danish potato production by 80 percent.
Crackberry Crunch: Techno
"addiction" is plainly becoming both a social phenomena and a growing social problem in our age. As
such, it can only be a matter of time before nanny-governments — it being none of their
business — insist on manufacturers devising warnings or even spamming us to that effect.
The Credit Card Congress.
The House voted mostly along party lines late last month to pass something called the Credit Cardholders'
Bill of Rights. Given the current financial turmoil, the last thing Congress should do is undercut
access to credit and increase its price. This bill would do both. The legislation, sponsored by
New York Democrat Carolyn Maloney, is intended to address supposedly unfair and deceptive credit card
recent laws seen as protecting Dallas residents from themselves. At the decade's dawn, Dallasites could
smoke in restaurants, walk their dogs without carrying a pooper-scooper and stroll through downtown or South Dallas
without being monitored by police video cameras. Children, meanwhile, were free to run through parks playing with
their toy six-shooters. Homeless people could beg for money at will. Today, no more — the Dallas
City Council has since deemed such actions illegal and subject to stiff fines.
Lawnmower Men: Al Gore blew into Washington on Thursday, warning that "our very way of
life" is imperiled if the U.S. doesn't end "the carbon age" within 10 years. No one seriously
believes such a goal is even remotely plausible. But if you want to know what he and his acolytes
think this means in practice, the Environmental Protection Agency has just published the instruction
manual. Get ready for the lawnmower inspector near you.
Anti-DWI interlocks considered for ALL drivers.
The New York Times [10/21/2007], in an article that may not have been widely noticed because it was buried
in the Automotive section, reports that automakers and researchers, with U.S. government funding, are working
on anti-drunk-driving interlocks that ALL drivers will have to pass in order to drive their cars, whether or
not they have a record for DWI.
Activists Battle Mental Health Screening
Law. Two years after a new law was passed in Illinois creating the framework for schools to
screen students for mental health disorders, the state has saved more than $44 million in hospital costs,
according to a report released in early October. But some groups say the alleged cost savings do not
justify a program under which schools are overstepping their authority. They also say it imposes a
mandatory, universal plan to screen all children from birth through 18.
Nanny State Makes a Poor Babysitter for
Americans. Recently, the Economist ran a cover story on what the magazine called "soft
paternalism." The article focused on the emerging idea among some public policy thinkers that
too many Americans make "bad" decisions. Thus, we need government to nudge us in the right
direction, be it through sin or vice taxes, public relations campaigns, or in some cases,
State. Frontpage Interview's guest today is David Harsanyi, an award-winning columnist at The
Denver Post. He is the author of the new book, Nanny State: How Food Fascists, Teetotaling Do-Gooders, Priggish Moralists, and other Boneheaded Bureaucrats are
Turning America into a Nation of Children.
Declaration of Independence. We don't want other people's dough and we don't want other
people taking ours. We want to start our own businesses without being overregulated and overtaxed.
We want to educate our kids where and how we see fit. Whereas the Takers are trying to turn America
into France — where most everybody is dependent on government in one way or another —
we Leave-Us-Aloners believe what our Founders believed. We believe that government should handle the
basics, then butt out .
Portion Control: It's
What's (Left) For Dinner. Worried you haven't been hearing enough bad ideas lately? Be sure
to check out the Food and Drug Administration's new report on food and obesity. Chief among the report's
recommendations is that restaurants should adopt portion controls on what they serve to customers.
Are Americans Giving Up Their Freedom? Dispensing with the idea of limited government in realm of
benefits has meant dispensing with the idea of any limits to government power at all. Once we accept the
notion that government should ensure that our pursuit of happiness succeeds, we have accepted the notion that
government has the right to define what a happy life should look like. We can call this trend the
encroachment of the "nanny state," which it is, or the spread of "liberal fascism," which it also is.
But it is also the inevitable result of Americans' increasing desire to have government guarantee that more
and more aspects of our lives turn out all right.
Safety first. The
safety first movement has begun its attack on school playgrounds. Their first target: Swing
sets. Yes, Plano Independent School District (in an upper class suburb of Dallas) has been
convinced to remove swing sets from playgrounds at all 40 local elementary schools. The
move, Plano ISD says, will make recess safer.
The Editor says...
This situation is probably the result of an overabundance of ambulance-chasing lawyers, not just
overprotective liberal do-gooders.
the Tail on the Donkey Deemed 'Safety Risk'. The traditional children's party game pin the tail
on the donkey is under threat because parents consider it a health and safety risk. The claim comes from
retailers and parenting experts who say mothers and fathers are increasingly reluctant to put pins into the
hands of youngsters.
The Editor says...
I'm so glad there weren't any "parenting experts" around when I was a kid, and only a few lawyers.
Alcohol Nanny Breathalyzers:
Maybe we ought to think twice before adopting similar measures when it comes to traffic law. Specifically,
when it comes to an idea floated by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) to require that all new cars be fitted
with an ignition interlock that can detect alcohol in the driver's system — and shut the car down if it does.
Zero Tolerance or Unneccessary
Legislation? In New York the trademark jingle of the iconic ice cream truck has
been silenced. In Sacramento you have to use your inside voice on a thrill ride called
the Screamer. And in Murpheesboro, Tenn., the city council implemented a body odor ban on
its workers. Forget your deodorant and you could be breaking the law. With more and
more schools and local governments telling people what they can't do these days, some say
America has become a nation of bans.
The British government says Santa Claus
is too scary for children. "For very young children, Father Christmas can be terrifying,
and if you are planning a visit from Santa, you'll need to make sure that fearful children are near an
exit." … Children should give "experiences" instead of Christmas presents and stop sending cards
to cut waste, according to government advice.
Also in the U.K. ... Family
life faces State 'invasion'. Government surveillance of all children, including information on
whether they eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, will be condemned tomorrow [6/27/2006] as a Big Brother
system. Experts say it is the biggest state intrusion in history into the role of parents.
Protecting us from the good
things? Most people think government keeps us safe. It's why the Food and Drug Administration is
regarded as absolutely necessary. It protects us from snake-oil sellers. Who could argue with that? I
will, because years of consumer reporting have taught me that the regulators, by protecting us from bad things, protect
us from good things, too.
What's the alternative?
Without an FDA, how would doctors and patients know which drugs were safe and effective? The same way we know
which computers and restaurants are good — through newspapers, magazines and word of mouth. In a free,
open society, competition gets the information out, and that protects consumers better than government command and
FDA: Friend or Foe? Should a drug be
disapproved whenever it poses a health risk to some people but a benefit to others? To do so would
eliminate most drugs, including aspirin, because all drugs pose a health risk to some people.
crusade plagued by incaution, illusions. The recently launched crusade to have every child tested
for autism before the age of two has as its reason an opportunity for "early intervention" to treat the
condition. But the dangers of false diagnoses of toddlers and preschoolers have been pointed out by
Professor Stephen Camarata of Vanderbilt University, who has tested and treated children with autism for
more than 20 years and has encountered many cases of inaccurate diagnoses.
close to mandating HPV vaccine. First-in-the-nation legislation requiring HPV vaccinations for
girls entering the sixth grade is headed for a final vote in the Michigan House of Representatives, where a
committee approved the two related bills last week. The Senate already passed the measure.
Products Ahead. Hide the children: Commercial products are visible on network television.
That's the urgent message from a clatch of public interest groups who wrote to the Federal Communications Commission
last week demanding an end to "advertainment." This conspiratorial view of advertising goes back to Vance
Packard and the "Hidden Persuaders," the book unmasking the supposed media manipulation of the 1950s.
Nanny State. With his book "Nanny State," Denver Post columnist David Harsanyi has thrown a
conservative-libertarian rope around a disturbing political and cultural trend — the nannification
of America by moral busybodies and nitpicking maternalists who use government power to micromanage our
personal lives and protect us from ourselves.
Pie menace averted. Members of
the Community Advent Christian Church in Norwalk, Ct. wanted to bake pies this Thanksgiving and donate them to
the city's emergency shelter, but were told that under a state regulation home-baked pies cannot be donated to
the shelter and that any pies that get donated anyway are thrown out, reports the Norwalk Hour.
Big Brother Prescribes: Are mandatory aerobics
classes in your future? "When anyone dies at an early age from a preventable cause in New York
City, it's my fault," New York City Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden declared recently. In his campaign
to make sure that no New Yorker dies before his or her time, Frieden has adopted an expansive notion of public
health. … Safeguarding people from the risks potentially imposed on them by third parties is no longer
enough — Frieden now wants to protect people from themselves.
Twinkies, Smokes, and Fries: The Fallacies
of Sin Taxes. The search for government revenue in fiscally tight times tempts legislators to
raise revenue by imposing unusually high excise taxes on cigarettes, liquor, gambling, and so on.
Recently, we've seen new and creative measures aimed at fatty snacks, fast food, and soft drinks —
proposals familiarly known as "Twinkie" taxes. This type of charge, often called a "sin tax," appeals to
voters who view them as a way of discouraging consumption of certain objectionable products. Yet the
temptation to impose sin taxes is one that should be resisted for both economic and moral reasons.
Aluminum Bats May Go Way of Trans Fat. The [New
York] City Council, already one of the nation's leaders in the attempt to ban trans fats in restaurants, may
be first in the country to ban another potential safety hazard — aluminum baseball bats. On
Monday, the City Council will hold a hearing on legislation that would allow only wooden bats
be used at high school baseball games.
Book review Hazardous to our Health? FDA Regulation of
Health Care Products. In this book, four outstanding scholars examine how the FDA accumulated its enormous
power and what effects it has had on the public. It also explores who actually benefits and loses from FDA
actions, and whether alternatives exist to safeguard the health of Americans. This book raise serious questions
about the wisdom of giving policing power with little oversight or appeal process to scientists, as the FDA currently
does. It also argues forcefully that the FDA unnecessarily delays beneficial medicines and medical devices, many
of which are routinely available in Europe, from being available to Americans.
Protecting us from sunscreen?
People are happily protecting themselves with Mexoryl in South America, Europe, Australia and Canada, but in the USA you
are forbidden to use it. The FDA won't approve it. It won't even say why.
Nanny's guide to
being nice: Good manners abroad, like good manners anywhere, are good, of course. But
the government just can't help being the nanny. Good manners start at home, and you can't take with
you what you haven't packed.
Nanny State Push in Britain. As if they don't have enough to worry about already, Britons are being
told by their government to stop smoking, stop eating so much, be more patriotic, drink less wine
and — oh, yes — be more polite. Beginning in July, a sweeping smoking ban comes into
effect throughout Britain, making it illegal to smoke in restaurants, pubs or any public
place under threat of an instant fine of around $100.
"One of the greatest delusions in the world is the hope that the evils in this
world are to be cured by legislation."
The tyranny of visions.
Visions are powerful things. For some people, visions make facts unnecessary and can even over-ride facts to the
contrary. Even in democratic nations, there are people who can impose their vision on other people, with no
consequences for being wrong and no requirement that they prove themselves right. Social workers have for years
tried to stop white couples from adopting orphans from minority groups because that goes against their vision.
They don't need a speck of evidence to back up their preconceptions.
The tyranny of visions: part
II. California has long had more than its fair share of busybodies with a vision of the world in which it
is necessary for them to force other people to do Good Things. One of the latest examples is a recent ruling by
one of the many busybody commissions in California that people who build houses, or just remodel their homes, will in
the future have to have more fluorescent lights and even install motion sensors to control lights – all in
the name of saving energy.
The tyranny of visions: part
III. Nowhere is the tyranny of visions more absolute than with issues involving safety. Attempts to
talk about costs, trade-offs or diminishing returns are only likely to provoke safety zealots to respond with something
like, "If it saves just one human life, it is worth it!" That immediately establishes the safety zealot as being
on a higher moral plane than those who stoop to consider crass materialistic costs. And being on a higher plane is
what a great deal of zealotry is all about.
The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission Takes a Bite Out of Crime
agents target drunks in Texas bars. In one operation in a Dallas suburb, agents from the
Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission visited 36 bars and arrested 30 people for
intoxication. Carolyn Beck, the commission's spokesman, said the arrests were designed
to detain drunks before they left bars and behaved in dangerous ways, such as driving.
The Editor says...
The TABC is doing this despite two important facts:
1. The inside of a bar is private property, not public. Private
intoxication is not illegal.
2. People sitting in a bar are not driving; therefore, they are not
Sometimes common sense eludes public officials.
Texas Arrests Drunk People
in Bars. Some stories are just too stupid to make up and this is one of them. The Texas
Alcoholic Beverage Commission is arresting drunk people in bars to prevent drunk driving.
Public intoxication stings
catch 2,200 in Texas bars. The arrests included people who were drunk in bars, who sold
alcohol to a drunk person, or a drunk employee on the premises of a bar or restaurant with a license
to sell alcohol, said Carolyn Beck, a spokeswoman for the TABC. … Part of the problem with enforcing
the state's code regulating alcohol sales is "people still think that a bar is place to go get
drunk," Beck said.
There's a shocking revelation — people go to bars to get drunk!
TABC Patrolling Bars For Public
Intoxication. If you have a drink in an Austin bar or restaurant, and you do something out of
the ordinary, you could go to jail. The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission says they can spot people
who've had too much to drink, just by looking at them. … TABC busts are up 95 percent over the last
year. Legal experts say there's a reason for that. "TABC is trying to justify their
existence. They think that it is a politically popular thing to get out there and arrest
folks," defense attorney Ken Gibson said.
Lawmakers To Review Bar Busts.
Lawmakers plan to review a state drinking crackdown that uses undercover agents to arrest drunk people in
bars. … Legislators who oversee the commission said they agree with the emphasis on public safety, but
the program should be reviewed to check for abuses and to measure its effectiveness.
We've had our bartender arrested for serving one person two drinks. One was for the
customer's boyfriend, and they attested to this fact at the time. Neither were "falling down drunk."
We had a patron arrested for playing trivia and drinking diet coke. No
alcohol — just caught up in the sting.
While walking from the bar to a cab that he called, a customer was arrested for public intoxication.
And all of it is absurd, especially "saving people from themselves."
Exploding the Fireworks Safety "Threat": Though about
70 million of us live in states that allow all sorts of fireworks and firecracker use, 50 million other
Americans who live in nine states, including New York and Arkansas, need a permit to even light a sparkler. …
Safety is the major concern of those who ban our celebratory backyard light and noise shows, but their fears are
overblown. In fact, banning personal use of fireworks may actually result in more accidental fires because some of
those who try to avoid getting caught set them off in remote fields, causing fires that take longer to discover.
Judge allows San Diego Fourth of
July fireworks. A judge says San Diego can go ahead with an oceanfront fireworks display on the
Fourth of July, a decision that also temporarily spares tens of thousands of other local festivities from
rigorous environmental reviews.
Freedom Means Never Having to Take
Down Your Fuzzy Dice. About two-dozen states across the country passed laws micromanaging transportation,
education, business, alcohol, and social issues, while a few struck blows for personal freedom. Freedom means
having personal responsibility and the ability to make certain choices about everyday living that should not be dictated
by the government. It is not the job of the state to make sure people are happier, healthier, and more
productive by making decisions for them.
In Canada... Scrap the nanny
state and return our cash. For the most part, we ought to have our money given back to us and
be allowed to spend it on whatever we like. We may make bad choices or good choices -- but choice,
so we are told by the left, is a basic human right. There are the obvious areas of tax abuse, such
as tendentious and political arts funding, competing public broadcasters and government corruption and
inefficiency, all of which should go.
Air Bag Safety Coverup: Americans
ought to be free to choose to have air bags or not. After all the additional safety benefit
air bags provide, for seatbelt wearing passengers, is virtually zero.
Death by Government. Even
after it became known that air bags could kill children and smaller adults the government
continued to insist that they be used, propagandized in favor of their use, and refused to make
them optional. The regulators finally caved in and allowed switch-off devices in 1995, but it
is nearly impossible to find an automotive service center that will install one because of
their liability fears.
seatbelt measure defeated. New Hampshire will remain the only state in the nation not to require
adult drivers and passengers to buckle up. The state Senate, in a bipartisan 16-8 vote, killed a
House-passed bill that would have made failure to wear a seatbelt a primary offense. While proponents
called the bill a life-saving measure, opponents framed it as a debate about government intrusion on
personal freedom — a case of what one senator termed "nanny state" legislation.
About State Mandatory Seat Belt Harness Laws: While the use of a seat belt has saved
some people in certain kinds of traffic accidents, there is ample proof that in other kinds, some
people have been more seriously injured and even killed only because of forced seat belt use. … The
public is denied the right to know there is a legitimate contrary side to the seat belt law
controversy. At one time, it was the same with air bags until one investigative reporter
decided to start printing the truth about air bag dangers in certain kinds of traffic accidents.
There's a web site about this specific issue: Seat Belt Choice dot com. There
is a concerted effort from Washington through the National Highway Transportation Safety
Administration to pressure every state in America to enact a primary seat belt law and make
everyone buckle up or lose federal transportation money. A primary law means you can be
stopped solely if you or someone else in your vehicle is not wearing a seat belt. And
if you are stopped, you may be ticketed, fined and perhaps even arrested.
The truth about seat belts: When we read the
instructions to police officers and emergency personnel for filling out the FARS data forms, we learn that all persons
who fell off the bed of a pickup truck or fell off a snowmobile or a three-wheel or four-wheel ATV or from a go-cart are
to be listed as having been "ejected". Moreover, there is no evidence to prove that all the persons who are listed
as having been "ejected" actually were. … When we look at the actual data we find that most of these data points
are coded as "9" which is the FARS code in this category for "unknown". In other words, all they really know in
most cases is that the victims was outside the vehicle when they arrived on the scene.
belt laws: Primary seat belt laws give law enforcement agents a virtual carte blanche
to conduct traffic stops. Nevada's recent experience proves states don't need more intrusive
statutes to persuade more people to buckle up.
The cops aren't always wearing seat belts themselves. No seat belts in 42% of
fatal police car crashes. The study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
(NHTSA), which analyzed 733 crashes from 1980 through 2008, comes less than a week after a separate
report found that fatal traffic incidents in 2010 were the leading cause of officer deaths for the 13th
straight year. ... Some officers resist wearing seat belts because the restraints slow their movement in and
out of the cars, Floyd says. Others complain that the straps get tangled in utility and gun belts.
Socialism: [Scroll down] Similar justification was used for laws requiring helmets for motorcyclists
and bicyclists. After all, if one exercises his liberty to ride without a helmet, and has an accident and
becomes a vegetable, society has to bear the expense of taking care of him. The fact that an obese person
becomes ill, or a cyclist has an accident, and becomes a burden on taxpayers who must bear the expense of taking
care of him, is not a problem of liberty. It's a problem of socialism where one person is forced to take
care of another. There is no moral argument that justifies using the coercive powers of government to
force one person to bear the expense of taking care of another.
"Protecting" Kids Right off the Playground: Safety
bureaucracies and consumer activist groups routinely invent or exaggerate dangers to maintain their budgets and inflate
their apparent worth. And nothing works better than saving children who are already safe.
Obesity is now an illness, and it can
be covered by Medicare. Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson announced [7/15/2004] the Centers
for Medicare and Medicaid Services would remove language in Medicare's coverage manual that states obesity is not an
Why the State Hates Cholesterol:
Cholesterol is found in every cell of the body. This fascinating molecule, found in rich abundance in the tastiest
of foods, is the most critical component of mental function — surely one reason the State has waged its
historical role on this vilified yet truly magnificent molecule, independent thought being the primary threat to its
Nanny State Pushes Prohibition. Yet another
scientific report was released recently detailing the health benefits of moderate alcohol consumption. That's
right, the benefits of moderate drinking. But don't expect to hear about this good news from Budweiser or
Bacardi. The Federal Trade Commission prohibits brewers, vintners and distillers from communicating to consumers
any factual information regarding the health benefits of their legal products. The only health-related information
the sellers of alcohol products are allowed by the government to communicate to their customers is those scary warning
labels about potentially negative consequences of drinking.
This has "unintended consequences" written all over it... Governor
joins students in Jericho to sign bus idling law. Gov. Jim Douglas used six pens Friday to sign
his name to a bill that will ban school buses from running their engines while parked on school grounds,
except under special circumstances.
Get-Tough Politics: Joe Lieberman
wants nutritional labels placed on the food wrappers at fast-food joints. He wants the government to impose
nutritional standards on the food sold in vending machines in schools. He wants this, he wants that, he wants the
other. Let's get clear on one thing. This isn't about junk food. It's about junk politics. It's
about controlling every single last itty bitty detail of everything anybody ever does.
Under 8? Use a booster
seat. Parents will have to strap their kids into backseat car booster seats until they are eight years old
or reach a certain height if Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signs a bill the Legislature sent to him Thursday
The Editor says...
Why eight? Why not twelve? Why not 16?
"Click It or Ticket"
History knows of no totalitarianism agenda where noble goals weren't used as justification. Health and safety have
become the American justification for attacks on liberty. Whether seatbelt usage is a good idea is beside the
point, for daily exercise, nutritious meals, eight hours sleep, and cultural and intellectual enrichment might also be
good ideas. The point is whether government has a right to coerce us into taking care of ourselves.
Click it or ticket - Part
II. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an office within the U.S. Department of
Transportation, just finished its annual campaign to get us to wear our seatbelts under a program called "Click It or
Ticket." States receive federal subsidies to ticket drivers if they or their passengers are not buckled up.
Some states, such as Maryland, are so eager that they've equipped their officers with night vision
Victims of Over-Zealous Police
Officers: No one disputes the fact that seat belts save lives. Most states, therefore,
have buckle-up laws that make it a misdemeanor to drive with being properly belted. However, in Texas,
the Transportation Code not only permits a police officer to stop a driver for the non-use of seat belts, it
also permits the officer to arrest the driver for violating that law. Gail Atwater was one of those
Dangerous Changes in Seat Belt Law: Primary enforcement
allows the police to freely go on a "fishing" expedition to find sometime wrong under the pretense of not using a seat
belt. Primary enforcement resuscitates the once dreaded "general warrants" of King George III of colonial
America against motorists.
Congress Should Repeal V-chip Requirements.
Imagine a law that required printers to encode on the spines of books a bar code that could be used to record ratings
for violent content. If, within a year, publishers and authors had not come up with a rating system for book
violence, a federal agency would be empowered to craft guidelines on their behalf. Publishers would be required to
attach a rating to all the books they published. No one would pretend for a moment that such a system was
a license was required for Citizens' Band radio, but masses of people simply broke the law
and operated without a license until the FCC was forced to bow to reality. Citizens'
Band radio became popular because of widespread resistance to another example of regulatory
overreach: the unpopular 55-mile-per-hour speed limit.
Limit: I'm all in favor of limits, especially term limits. But some
limits are bad. For example, the 55-mile-an-hour federal speed limit. It was
always a dubious claim that it made the highways safer. Most drivers, no matter how
law-abiding, didn't really abide by the 55 mph limit. What they did was worry
about whether there was a cop around.
Safe at any speed in
Virginia. The most concrete achievement in the early days of the Republican congressional
takeover of 1995 was, arguably, the elimination of the hated 55 mph national speed limit. Millions
across the country experienced firsthand the benefit of moving beyond the "Washington knows best" mentality
that had gripped transportation policy since the 1970s.
Call It Fascism. If problems were actually solved, all these government
programs and bureaucrats wouldn't be needed. Thus, the crises must be perpetual,
never solved, always requiring another program, another intervention, more taxpayers'
money, more authorities granted, etc. The game is not to solve the problems but
to use them to control people through regulations and subsidies, increasing their
dependency upon the people writing and enforcing the regulations and providing the
handouts. People who are dependent upon you are people who vote for you.
It's Time to Roast the
Pig. The CPSC (US Consumer Product Safety Commission) created in 1972 by Congress, received a
budget of $55,200,000 for the year of 2002. The CPSC spends its time on important issues like having
8,000 "Bottle Cap Bear" key chains recalled because of the possible "choking hazard to young children."
This is typical government; they don't think you are capable of deciding what is safe and what isn't for your
FTC Outlaws Freedom in the Ice Cream
Market. The FTC is taking what should be a free bargaining process between producer and consumer
and is stacking it in favor of the consumer. Why are people who make ice cream less entitled to equal
protection under the law than people who eat ice cream?
Same story: Life, Liberty,
and the Bureau of Competition: The Federal Trade Commission set a new low
when it announced plans to block a merger between Nestle Holdings, Inc. and Dreyer's
Grand Ice Cream, Inc., two of the world's largest ice cream makers.
The Rise of the Nanny
State examines the origins, goals, and activities of the modern consumer
movement — a movement that, in the words of Tom Holt, "does not address
the needs of consumers. Instead, it serves the bureaucratic interests of governing
elites and the ideological and organizational interests of the movement itself."
made it. Whenever someone says that this or that government program is
absolutely necessary, I always wonder, "What did people do and how did they survive
before the program?"
California Makes Cars Less
Affordable: California today became the first state in the nation to restrict automobile emissions
of carbon dioxide, the same gas humans exhale. The auto industry pointed out, to no avail, that the
measure would make cars even more expensive and pressure people to buy death traps they don't feel safe driving.
Q: What should I do if I find a rock in a bag of potatoes? A: Simply return the rock to your grocer, who will give you the rock's weight in potatoes.
Protecting Us Out of Our
Rights: It is nobody's business whether I eat eggs sunny side up, drive
without wearing seat belts or pig out on hamburgers and French fries.
Protecting Us Out of Our Rights -
Part II: Some New Jersey localities have a ban on people pumping their own gasoline.
Policemen issue citations for driving without a seatbelt. By law, new cars must be equipped with
air bags. Federal law mandates that all new toilets flush using a paltry 1.6 gallons of water.
The Government Says You're Fat. As if the
government isn't trying to control every aspect of your life, it has now launched a program to determine what
and how much you eat.
The Sin of "Sin Taxes": Taxation is not a
proper venue for government officials to engage in half-baked social engineering programs. One of the
major impediments towards true tax reform in this country is the inability of almost all
politicians — Democrats and Republicans alike — to divorce themselves
from the use of tax policy to indulge their personal whims.
Big Nanny Takes a
Bath: How parents bathe their children should be no one's business — and no one
else's responsibility — but their own. But thanks to pressure from Big Nanny liberals like
New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, the government has torn down the shower curtain and belly-flopped into our
bathwater. In an attempt to rescue inattentive parents from themselves and their children, the U.S.
Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) voted unanimously last week [mid-2001] to regulate
Death by Regulation: Many government
programs increase the death rate among certain groups of people, although it often takes careful statistical
analysis to reveal the connection. Regulations motivated by political correctness are killing
Americans. It's time to face this reality and scrap the regulations. People should be allowed to
choose which risks they wish to assume, which risks to protect themselves against, and how best to do it.
Do American Voters Need Speech
Nannies? Many incumbent members of Congress are eager to provide America's voters with a new
government service — a federal law to protect them from messages about politicians that may
"manipulate" simple-minded voters, especially those communications that are "negative" in tone, or that
will result in "unhealthy" debate.
What unmitigated audacity! The US government presumes to own the Moon. Why stop there? Why
not just print a nice-looking deed and sell the Moon to the highest bidder? Or how about raising money
by selling lunar acreage?
With Good Intentions: Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) has introduced Federal
legislation that would prohibit schools from selling soft drinks or "foods of minimal
nutritional value" (read: snacks) during times when breakfast and lunch are served. It
would also give the US Department of Agriculture the power to ban sodas and snacks
outright on school grounds.
The Green Taliban Of
America: The hubris of the Greens has allowed them to dictate to everyone just how we should
conduct our lives for decades. That is why you can't build a home, an office building, a factory, a
hospital or a school, without an "environmental" study. That is why Americans have been steadily deprived
of pesticides, many used safely for decades, to protect us against the diseases spread by insect and rodent
pests. That's why millions of acres of our national forests burned this year because Greens won't let
them be managed through selective logging or to allow roads to be built into those forests. The list
goes on and on because the Greens have been responsible for one third of every law and regulation in the
Federal Register today.
Committed: What would we do without the California Legislature? How could
we survive without the guidance of environmentalists? Oh how our lives would be
meaningless without the Legislature taking care of our every need. Who else
can protect us from ourselves?
Cell Phone Regulation Federalizes
Traffic Law: Just when you thought there was nothing left for Congress to federalize, along comes
a bill by Rep. Gary Ackerman, D-NY, and Sen. Jon Corzine, D-NJ, that would regulate how Americans use their
cell phones while driving. Apparently no human action is too small or parochial for the federal
government to police. So now Congress wants to play the role of local traffic cop, too.
California Governor Signs Bill
Banning Hand-Held Cell Phones While Driving. The measure will take effect July 1st, 2008
and will make it an infraction to use a hand-held cell phone while driving except to make a call to an
emergency service provider. A first offense will be punishable by a $20 fine. Subsequent
violations will carry $50 fines. It's similar to laws in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and
The Editor says...
It is unfortunate that so many cell phone users have made this kind of legislation necessary through
their irresponsibility and narcissism. But it is also worth noting that laws of this sort have
been created first in the "blue" states, where Democrats predominate.
The War on Margarine: This
year marks the 116th anniversary of the Federal Margarine Act of 1886, part of an
80-year war on butter's toughest competitor. The Act was the capstone of a movement
to prevent consumers from enjoying the cheaper spread, which was introduced in 1874.
They Messed With
Texas: The fight to regulate personal food choices has infected Texas. That state, always
rightly proud of its spirit of self-determination and independence, will now restrict sales of so-called "junk
foods" at all public schools, usurping the role of parents in deciding what their children should and should not eat.
Zero-Tolerance Policy Applied to
Snacks: Controlling kids has become a national priority for schools. Zero tolerance is the
catch phrase for no lenience on students found with drugs, guns, and now candy and soft drinks.
Foreign Policy and Foreign Wars: Once a
government sets itself the task of trying to rectify the errors and choices of its own citizens, it soon
begins sliding down a slippery slope in which the end result is state supervision and regulation of all
of its citizens' activities, and all in the name of a higher "social good."
The people who tried to mandate 1.6 gallon toilets are now pushing
correct washing machines: The Libertarian Party says the
Department of Energy wants to make American consumers pay up to $800 more for
new "environmentally friendly" washing machines that may not work as well
as older models.
Tell Big Brother To Get Out Of Our
Washing Machines: In a back room deal without consumers or taxpayers present, the Clinton-Gore
environmentalists conspired with industry to mandate the manufacture of only front-loading, instead of top-loading,
washing machines. The mandate requires elimination of the agitator which is the element that washes our
clothes. Front-loading washers are available now but they make up less than 12 percent of sales.
So Big Brother's attitude is, let's force people to buy front-loading washers.
Flush Congress. Every
time I flush the toilet, I think of Congress. Well, that's not quite right. Every time I have to
flush twice, I think of Congress. It's been over a decade now that Americans have had to put up with
ineffective toilets, toilets that don't flush properly. In 1992, supposedly to save water, Congress
mandated that all newly manufactured home toilets flush with less water than the industry had previously set as
standard. Instead of flushing with over three gallons of rushing water, toilets were mandated to flush
with no more than 1.6 gallons. And, with this, American frustration with their toilets began
Too Much Safety? You can't put a price on
human life. That's a frequently heard response to safety issues, often accompanied by: If it saves
one life, it's worth it. Walter Williams questions this assumption.
The Smoking Section:
I've never smoked a cigarette in my life, and I certainly would not recommend cigarettes to anyone -- even someone who
is looking for a costly, destructive and deadly habit. Nevertheless, tobacco is a legal product. It is one
of this country's major exports. The decision to light up a cigarette is voluntary, at least at first.
After that, of course, it becomes a matter of addiction.
Of course it's a nasty, smelly habit. Even the smokers themselves will say so. But
passing laws that prohibit smoking is, in my opinion, just a method used by public officials to flex their
muscles and get the public used to accepting more and more intrusive regulations. Just as
with seat belt laws, it's not about public health and safety, it's about control. It's
also about bureaucrats who need to find something to do, in order to perpetuate their jobs.
county tries to ban smoking — in your own home. Suffolk County, located on Long Island, is on a
self-described mission to be the "most progressive county in the state." (And since we're talking about New York, there's
some stiff competition for the title.) With that in mind, county legislators are now considering a new ban on smoking
cigarettes and other tobacco products. While it's already forbidden to smoke in most public places, the new effort
would apply to smoking in your own home. If that sounds a bit too intrusive to you, you're probably not alone.
But the author of the bill insists that his reasoning is sound.
Trump approves raising legal smoking age to 21. By signing the $738 billion Defense Spending Bill, on Friday
[12/20/2019], President Donald Trump has raised the legal age for smoking to 21 nationwide — news that went
largely unnoticed. The new rules include cigarettes and e-cigarettes. The smoking age hike had bipartisan support
in the Senate, and was co-authored by Democrats Brian Schatz and Dick Durbin, and Republicans Mitt Romney and Todd Young, CNN
reported. Now that Trump's signature is on the bill, the Food and Drug Administration has 180 days to update its
regulations — and the new age requirement will go into effect 90 days later, ABC News reported.
The Editor says...
What does smoking have to do with national defense?
Al Sharpton, Corey Johnson holding up menthol-cig ban. A bill to ban menthol-cigarette sales in the city has
garnered overwhelming support in the council, yet Johnson refuses to bring it to a vote on the floor — because of
concerns pushed by the Rev. Al Sharpton, whose organization rakes in dough from the top-selling US menthol-cigarette
manufacturer. Sharpton and his powerful National Action Network have lobbied that a menthol ban could potentially lead
to more black residents being harassed by cops for possessing illegal cigarettes.
Why some health risks are publicized over others. As many Americans know, there has recently been a fairly
sudden and very public effort to draw attention to the health risks of e-cigarettes. This includes the Centers for
Disease Control (CDC) issuing weekly tallies of injuries and the states where they occur. Among the highlights: most
injuries are occurring in males under age 35. Contrast this effort to spread the word about e-cigarettes, with other
health risks that seem to be kept largely under wraps. This includes the CDC's refusal for many months to disclose the
number of victims state-by-state when it comes to a mysterious virus and a possibly related mysterious polio-like paralysis
that's been hitting American children since 2014. Thousands of children have been impacted by the virus and paralysis.
Yet CDC issued few public alerts, would not grant interviews when I asked, and initially claimed it could not give a list of
the states where the paralysis occurred for "patient privacy" reasons.
York] City Council's effort to ban menthol cigarette sales gains support. Sales of menthol-flavored cigarettes
in the Big Apple could soon be going up in smoke. A Bronx councilman who sponsored legislation to ban the sale of
menthol- and other minty-flavored cigarettes says he's gotten enough support from colleagues to ultimately have it become
law. Only 25 of the 51 members have signed on to the bill sponsored in January by Fernando Cabrera, but the Bronx
Democrat told The [New York] Post he believes he has more than enough votes lined up for the majority needed to put it over the top.
San Fran's New Prohibitionists.
San Francisco politicians and civic leaders love to think of themselves as cutting-edge free spirits who are so much more
tolerant than the rubes found in America's hinterlands. Hey, we have San Francisco values. We aren't foolish
Puritans when it comes to sexual behavior, substance use, and you name it. [...] I recall the time I walked down the sidewalk
smoking a cigar. I was far from any other human being and close to the world's biggest air filter (the Pacific Ocean),
and yet someone hectored me. Had I been smoking weed, no one would have dared to say a word — nor should
they have, given that marijuana is appropriately legal here. Welcome to tolerant San Francisco, where you have every
right to live as you please as long as you choose only to do the things that are socially acceptable.
Hope man charged with possessing untaxed tobacco products. The Washington County Attorney's Office has charged
Amjad Mustafa Salem, a New Hope resident, with one felony count of possessing untaxed tobacco products. A release from
the Minnesota Department of Revenue states Salem was pulled over due to erratic driving, which is when officers allegedly
noticed a large amount of tobacco products in his vehicle. He reportedly claimed to be transporting the products to a
retail location in Illinois, however the release claims Salem could not provide a valid invoice for the tobacco and admitted
to not being a licensed tobacco distributor in Minnesota.
McConnell Saves America by Raising the Age to Buy Cigarettes. The Senate majority leader wants to raise the
minimum age for buying tobacco products to twenty-one. Since he does not advocate a ban on tobacco sales, he is not
trying to eliminate tobacco use. He obviously feels that a person under the age of twenty-one is not mature enough to
be capable of making an informed and rational decision about using tobacco. In half the American states, a
twelve-year-old girl can legally decide to get an abortion. She does not need her parents' permission. She is
held to be mature enough to make that decision, but McConnell believes that we can't let her buy a cigarette. Her
eighteen-year-old brother can join the Army, be issued an automatic weapon, and be expected to make split-second decisions,
in the chaos of battle about whether to kill a human being. But we can't let him buy a cigarette. In every state,
eighteen-year-old men and women vote and elect the most powerful leaders in the world, leaders expected to make monumental
decisions that could affect millions of human beings. But we can't let them buy a cigarette.
Sense, Less Nanny in New FDA Commissioner. Last week Scott Gottlieb announced his resignation as commissioner
of the Food and Drug Administration. Unfortunately and unexpectedly, Gottlieb's reign was a departure from lessening of
government regulations so prevalent in other areas of the Trump Administration. His tenure culminated in siding with
so-called and self-appointed public health experts who have ginned up hysteria about e-cigarettes and vaping. As a
result, just yesterday the FDA moved to effectively ban flavored e-cigarettes from being sold in gas station and convenience
stores, a policy that could actually harm public health. Go figure. Vaping — smoking e-cigarettes —
allows users to inhale nicotine without all of the carcinogens in cigarettes. Vaping is not harmless, of course.
E-cigarettes also contain hazardous chemicals, but nowhere near as many as traditional cigarettes. Research shows that
smokers who switch from cigarettes to e-cigarettes dramatically reduce the risks to their health.
Bill Would Raise Smoking Age to 100 by 2024. Legislative attempts to restrict access to tobacco usually come
with some overheated rhetoric. But nothing comes close to the language in a Hawaii bill that would raise the state's
smoking age to 100, effectively banning the sale of cigarettes. "The cigarette is considered the deadliest artifact in
human history," declares HB 1509. The product, it continues, has "killed one hundred million people in the twentieth
century and is likely to kill one billion people in the twenty-first century," giving the tobacco industry roughly the same body
count as global communism. The bill, introduced by Rep. Richard Creagan (D-South Kona/Ka'u), aims to halt this menace
by raising the legal age for buying cigarettes to 30 in 2020, rising from there to 60 in 2023 and 100 in 2024. Retailers
who sell cigarettes to underage Medicare recipients would be subject to fines of $500 per violation.
Fight Set: FDA To Ban Menthol Cigarettes. [T]he Food and Drug Administration has decided that menthol
cigarettes and cigars should not be for anybody in this country, especially young people who like the flavors and think it
looks cool. The regulators are moving to ban both of them, which would remove about a third of the 250 billion
cigarettes incinerated in this country each year. The FDA is also moving over the next few months to restrict the
availability of the popular flavored e-cigarettes to youths. It might not surprise you to learn that menthol cigarette
makers do not like the idea. "A total ban on menthol cigarettes or flavored cigars would be an extreme measure not
supported by the science and evidence," said one.
Science-Based Community and E-Cigarettes. Government agencies populated with scientists people are pleased to
call "experts" are often thought to be above the ordinary give-and-take of politics and, especially, immune to the clarion
calls of activists and pressure of public opinion. Scientific experts, or "the science-based community," is supposed to
be driven by data and evidence, not the naked pressure of agenda driven interests. As we will see in the case of the
Food and Drug Administration's relationship to e-cigarette regulation, these assumptions about the impartiality of scientists
don't always hold water. The FDA is readying a new action plan to be announced soon concerning e-cigarettes.
Nobody knows what the agency will do. But it really shouldn't be so complicated.
regulators vow to ban menthol cigarettes. Officials at the US Food and Drug Administration told the Wall Street
Journal that menthol cigarettes are known for being harder to quit, likely because the flavor soothes the throat while
injecting a hit of addictive nicotine. Combustible cigarettes have taken a backseat as the FDA carries out a vendetta
on e-cigarettes, which are soaring among popularity among young people, rather than adults trying to quit, who were supposed
to be the target market. But this week, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb has revealed a number of strategies he plans to
explore to crack down harder on smoking in every group.
cigarette prices spark increase in 'buttlegging'. Buttleggers love New York. That's because it is fertile
ground for their illegal activities, since it is now more expensive than ever to buy smokes in the Big Apple. New York
has "the worst smuggling problem in America," said Scott Drenkard, with the Tax Foundation. The least one can now
legally pay for a pack in New York City is $13, which was recently raised from $10.50. "For someone who smokes cigarettes
regularly, cigarettes [for a month] can cost as much as two months' worth of groceries, family cell phone bills for a year,
or a vacation," according to Dr. Mary Travis Bassett, New York City Health and Mental Hygiene Commissioner.
In Singapore: Cameras
to be deployed to detect illegal smoking. High-resolution IR cameras positioned to detect smokers in prohibited
areas supplemented with visual facial recognition matching to ID offenders. Another example of surveillance sensor
fusion to find and fine scofflaws. Singapore's governance model, an example of benign authoritarianism, emphasizes
civil order. Suppressing second-hand smoke exposure is a hot enforcement priority for public health initiatives.
in public housing to be banned nationwide. By the end of July, two years after a rule was issued, a nationwide
ban on smoking in public housing will be in effect. As of July 31, the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department
will forbid the use of cigars, pipes and cigarettes in all public housing and common areas in addition to any outdoor area
that comes within 25 feet of public housing property. While the ban does not include e-cigarettes, chewing tobacco
and snuff, there could be restrictions on these products in some areas.
D.C. court injunction stops larger warning labels on cigar boxes. New tobacco regulations ordered by the Food
and Drug Administration were close, but no cigar. By Aug. 10, premium cigars were to be packaged in boxes with new,
larger health warnings. The cigar industry says this is costly and ruins boxes considered works of art. But on
July 5, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia placed a temporary injunction on the regulation.
In Tampa, known as Cigar City for its history as an industry epicenter, the injunction was celebrated.
City Council Votes to Raise Age for Tobacco Sales to 21. By a vote of 13-0, the Minneapolis City Council
approved a resolution Friday morning [5/25/2018] that will raise the age of tobacco sales in the city to 21. The
resolution will go into effect on Oct. 1. The current legal age to purchase tobacco in Minneapolis is 18.
in Virginia Beach given $100 ticket for smoking in a vehicle with a child. A person in Virginia Beach has been
ticketed $100 for allegedly smoking with a child in the car with them. According to the citation, which was tweeted out
by Virginia Beach Police Department Traffic Safety, the violation happened on Monday [5/7/2018] around 8:30 a.m. The
official charge on the citation was smoking in a vehicle with a minor present.
by a Black, a Woman, and Now a 17-Year-Old. The tactic is called incrementalism. Incrementally, we went from smoking
sections to even tobacco-less vapor cigarettes being banned practically everywhere. I heard a new movie promoted on the radio. The
announcer warned that the movie contained "historic smoking," as though seeing people smoking in buildings could be traumatic for viewers.
fight against illegal cigarettes. State authorities set a record in 2017 by seizing $6.6 million worth of
illegal tobacco products, a $1 million jump over 2016. The 2016 seizures, in turn, marked a increase from the year
before. Indeed, for each of the past three years, the state has steadily boosted inspections — and wound up
grabbing more illegal products. Included in the 2017 haul were 47,000 cartons of illegal cigarettes, 1.5 million
cigars, 134,000 counterfeit tax stamps and $445,000 in cash. Investigators also arrested 85 alleged tobacco smugglers.
hikes price of pack of cigarettes to $13, highest in US. New York City is boosting the price of a pack of
cigarettes to $13 — the most expensive in the nation — in its ongoing crackdown on smoking. The
hike takes effect June 1, 2018, under new legislation that also reduces the number of places allowed to sell
cigarettes. "We are sending a loud and clear message that we will not let their greed kill any more New Yorkers without
a fight," Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday in signing the bill into law at a Brooklyn hospital. "These new laws will
not only help reduce the number of smokers in our city, but also save lives."
The Editor says...
I doubt if anyone quits smoking because of incremental price increases. Most smokers are hopelessly addicted and will only
give up the habit if faced with career-threatening incentives, dire warnings from their doctors, or death. Usually death.
targets cigarettes in broadening of fight against addiction. Eight years after it was given the power to meaningfully
change smoking in America, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration moved to do so. On Friday [7/28/2017], the FDA announced it
would take advantage of powers in the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act — a law enacted under a
Democratic Congress and then-President Obama — to cut the level of nicotine in cigarettes to nonaddictive levels.
Up for Debate in Minneapolis City Hall. A proposal to restrict the sale of menthol flavored tobacco drew dozens
to Minneapolis City Hall Monday afternoon [7/24/2017]. While some said that the partial ban would reduce youth exposure to
a harmful product, others made the case that the ordinance may hurt stores' bottom lines. Convenience store owner Clay
Lambert spoke out against the proposal, which would limit menthol sales to adult-only tobacco shops. He said tobacco
sales make up about 35 percent of his business at the Metro Petro on University Avenue. Of those tobacco sales,
Lambert said about half come from menthol flavored products.
St. Louis-area convenience store owners indicted following federal raids. A federal grand jury has indicted 35 store owners
on federal conspiracy charges for trafficking contraband cigarettes, distributing controlled substances and money laundering. According to reports,
the suspects conspired for more than 2 years to buy contraband cigarettes in St. Louis, a low tax market, while transporting and distributing
them in Chicago, Illinois, and New Jersey, which are high tax markets. [...] The list of defendants include [sic]: Mohammed Almuttan,
aka Abu Ali, 35, St. Louis, MO Rami Almuttan, aka Abu Louay, 33, St. Louis, MO Hisham Mutan, aka Abu
Mohamed, 41, St. Louis, MO Saddam Mutan, aka Abu Ali, 24, St. Louis, MO Mazin Abdelsalam, aka Abu Mohammad,
38, St. Louis, MO Najeh Muhana, aka Abu Yazan, 41, Fairview, NJ Fares Muhana, aka Abu Yamama, 40, Cliffside Park,
NJ Ayoub Qaiymah, aka Abu Faysal, 23, Richmond, VA Naser Abid, 23, Chicago, IL [...]
Fake Science Gets Smoked — and What It Means for
Climate Change. Cast your mind back to the late 1990s, when trial lawyers and state attorneys general were after the tobacco companies
for what resulted in the "Master Settlement Agreement" by which the tobacco companies agreed to pay tribute of billions of dollars to the states for
decades to come in exchange for relief from the uncertainty of endless private and public litigation. I think it was a great deal for Big Tobacco
(how do I know? Just check tobacco stocks since the agreement was struck), and I teach this episode to students as an example of "how the sausage
is made" in real politics in the U.S. [...] In the middle of all this political maneuvering, the Clinton EPA came out with a finding that
"second-hand smoke" was nearly as bad for you as first hand smoke, which merely reinforced my view that you should always get your smoke first
hand: why take chances?
Used Terrible Science to Justify Smoking Bans. Despite the mounting evidence that transient exposure to
secondhand smoke is more an annoyance than a mortal threat, smoking bans have become widespread and politically
entrenched. According to the latest update from Americans for Nonsmokers Rights, which publishes quarterly reports on
anti-smoking laws, more than 80 percent of the American population now lives under smoking bans covering workplaces,
restaurants, or bars. An additional 3,400 jurisdictions ban smoking in outdoor areas such as parks, beaches, and
stadiums. More than 400 cities and counties restrict smoking while dining outdoors. More than 1,700 college
campuses are completely smoke-free. Nearly 600 jurisdictions include e-cigarettes under their smoke-free laws.
Some jurisdictions make limited allowance for places such as cigar bars and hookah lounges, while in others these are
completely forbidden or limited to businesses grandfathered in before ordinances took effect. The cost of these
policies falls almost entirely on people who smoke, an increasingly put-upon minority of the population. Rarely
are their preferences consulted.
Gift to Its Neighbors: Expanded Cigarette Smuggling Opportunities. For too many years, Arizona has led
the pack — or at least taxed the hell out of it — with among the higher cigarette taxes in the
West. "A cigarette tax higher than in neighboring states and cheaper prices on American Indian reservations have helped
fuel a growing black market for cigarettes in Arizona," the Cronkite News Service reported in 2014. It's true that few of
us actually paid that $2.00 per pack tariff for a pack of smokes; with every single state bordering us stealing less from
smokers and a long, handy border with Mexico, half of all of the cigarettes sold in the state are smuggled from elsewhere,
according to research by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy and the Tax Foundation. Many Arizonans avoid getting
mugged by enjoying life on the receiving end of smuggling routes. But we could be benefiting by running goods in
the other direction.
Jan. 1, smoking banned in Hillsborough public housing; already the rule in Pinellas. The ban on lit tobacco
products was given final approval by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development last week. It prohibits
smoking in public housing units, indoor common areas, administrative offices and all outdoor areas within 25 feet of
housing. The ban will apply to 900,000 housing units nationwide. Smoking is already banned by housing authorities
in St. Petersburg and unincorporated Pinellas County. The Tampa Housing Authority plans to start enforcing its
ban at the start of next year. Residents in its 1,550 public housing units will be required to sign a lease amendment
Clarifies That Ban On Cigar Donations To Troops Was Deliberate. The Food and Drug Administration has finally
confirmed that companies are banned from donating cigars to U.S. troops, according to an opinion piece in The Wall Street
Journal. In early September, GOP Rep. Duncan Hunter, a Marine Corps reservist who served in Iraq and Afghanistan,
wrote a letter to the FDA asking for clarification on a confusingly worded regulation that could be interpreted as a ban on
companies donating cigars to troops. Now, Ramesh Menon, acting supervisory congressional affairs specialist for the FDA,
has cleared up the confusion in a response to Hunter's letter: yes, companies are most definitely banned from donating
FDA is coming for your premium cigars. Do you, like me, enjoy the occasional (or not so occasional) cigar after
a long day of work? Well, thanks to the Food and Drug Administration, that simple pleasure could become much more
expensive. Your favorite cigar brand might even cease to exist. That's because of the Family Smoking Prevention
and Tobacco Control Act, which was passed back in 2009 but is just starting to take effect.
lands job with company at center of vaping law. A state lawmaker who supported legislation that made a single
business the only one in Indiana that can certify companies to make the liquid used in e-cigarettes says he sees no conflict
of interest in his taking a job with that business.
doctors call on Obama to ban sale of menthol products. A group of African-American doctors is calling on
President Obama to ban the sale of menthol-flavored cigarettes, which data shows are heavily favored among black
smokers. The African-American Tobacco Control Leadership Council sent a letter to the president in August, asking him
to direct the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) to remove the products from the marketplace. "Young African-Americans
die disproportionately from tobacco-related disease compared to other people in the population," Dr. Philip Gardiner,
council co-chairman, told NBCNews.com. "The punchline here about menthol is it allows the poisons in tobacco cigarettes
to go down easier."
The Editor says...
If you think cigarettes contain poisons, then don't smoke them! Self-control works better than prohibition.
industry goes on attack against FDA over e-cigarettes. Facing potential bankruptcy, the nation's 15,000 vaping
and e-cigarette outlets are mounting a massive political campaign to win a congressional reversal of new and costly Food and
Drug Administration rules that just went into effect. The "Right to Vape" campaign plans to barnstorm through 15
battleground and politically influential states to pressure lawmakers up for re-election to promise to use the upcoming
November lame-duck session to make changes to the regulations.
5 Times The Government Cure Was
Worse Than The Disease. [#2] In an effort to reduce smoking and increase tax revenue New York City has among the highest excise tax on cigarettes
and tobacco. With an average cost of about $12.50 in New York, and as little as $6 per pack in Virginia, there is no doubt people are capitalizing on
these margins. In February, a Staten Island man was apprehended for selling over 22,000 cartons of smuggled cigarettes, or the equivalent of
$1.2 million in tax revenue alone. The black market for cigarettes cost New York $525 Million in just 2011. According to a 2009
Department of Justice study, contraband market shows no sign of abating; "the incentive to profit by evading payment of taxes rises with each
tax-rate hike imposed by federal, state, and local governments[.]" Interestingly, a Dutch study found that smokers actually save the health care
system money because they die earlier.
woman headed to prison for bootlegging millions of dollars in cigarettes. A 37-year-old New Jersey woman faces
up to 15 years in prison for buying cigarettes cheaply in Virginia and trying to illegally re-sell them as part of a
multi-million dollar trafficking operation, according to a report. A dual citizen of the United States and Jordan,
Laila Alayat and a 39-year-old man purchased thousands of cartons of cigarettes from wholesale club stores in Virginia,
taking advantage of the nation's second-lowest per carton tax, Roanoke.com said. After paying only a $3 per carton tax
in Virginia, Alayat and Eyad Salahedin arranged to have the cigarettes transported to New Jersey and New York City for
resale, where the per carton tax is $27 and $58.50, respectively.
Air: Democrats Work With Big Tobacco and Big Pharma to Choke the Vaping Industry. Meet the strange
bedfellows against vaping: drug and tobacco companies, health advocates and Democratic lawmakers. A convergence of
interests among these four lies behind the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) announcement on May 5 that e-cigarettes will
be regulated as rigorously as tobacco beginning in August. Vaping advocates say the cost of FDA approvals will bankrupt an
industry that might vastly improve public health. This spring, a major study from the Royal College of Physicians, the British
equivalent of the Office of the Surgeon General, found e-cigarettes to be 95 percent less harmful than cigarettes.
Should Lose Custody Of Their Kids, Says Nation's Top Anti-Tobacco Lawyer. Parents who smoke around their kids
should be challenged for custody, according to the country's leading anti-tobacco lawyer. John F. Banzhaf, a law
professor at George Washington University Law School and founder of Action on Smoking and Health, touted the proposal at the
North American Regional Conference of the International Society for Family Law Monday [5/23/2016]. Banzhaf also proposed
requiring doctors to file complaints of child abuse against parents whose kids turn up at the emergency room with respiratory
problems as a result of their parents' smoking.
FDA's New E-Cigarette Rules Hand Big Tobacco A Big Win. For decades, the federal government has been on a
mission to create a "smoke-free society" — whether that involved stiff regulations, a massive lawsuit, or
relentlessly higher taxes. So what's the government's response when private industry comes up with a product
that actually could produce a smoke-free society? The government decides to regulate it to death.
Feds seek to ban smoking in public
housing. The Department of Housing and Urban Development is moving forward with regulations to ban smoking in public
housing. The agency issued a proposed rule Thursday that outlines a far-reaching ban that includes implementing costs of over
$200 million. The agency acknowledged that the rule could lead to eviction notices for poor, disabled smokers.
"This proposed rule would require each public housing agency (PHA) administering public housing to implement a smoke-free policy,"
a notice published in the Federal Register read.
Feds to Ban Smoking in Public
Housing. The Department of Housing and Urban Development is moving forward with regulations to ban
smoking in public housing. The agency issued a prosed rule Thursday that outlines a far-reaching ban that includes
electrical closets of low-income housing complexes, and implementing costs of over $200 million. The agency
acknowledged that the rule could lead to eviction notices for poor, disabled smokers.
bans the sale of 4 brands of cigarettes. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says four brands of cigarettes
do not meet the national standards for public health and they can no longer be sold. The R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company's
brands are Camel Crush Bold, Pall Mall Deep Set Recessed Filter, Pall Mall Deep Set Recessed Filter Menthol and Vantage Tech
13, the agency announced Tuesday [9/15/2015].
Mayor de Blasio moves to stop smokers from lighting up in homes. New York Mayor Bill
de Blasio is butting in to what city residents do in their homes, by pressing landlords and
developers to ban smoking inside apartments, according to a report. The mayor's administration is
planning to pay four health-advocacy groups $9,000 apiece to press landlords and developers to prohibit
lighting up in their apartment complexes so neighboring tenants don't breathe in secondhand smoke,
according to the New York Post. The city has already banned smoking in bars and restaurants,
workplaces, sports venues and parks, but has not moved against smokers who practice their habit in
the privacy of their own homes. City health officials emphasized the initiative is voluntary —
at least for now.
Blasio continues crusade against smoking at home. Mayor de Blasio is ramping up the
city's war against smoking — at home, The [New York] Post has learned. The administration
is planning to select and pay four health-advocacy groups $9,000 apiece to pressure landlords and developers
to prohibit smoking in their apartment complexes so neighboring tenants don't inhale secondhand smoke.
That means smokers would be barred from lighting up in one of their last sanctuaries: their own living
quarters. Smoking is already banned in public places, including bars and restaurants, workplaces, sports
venues and parks.
government wasted tobacco's $200B windfall. Back in 1998, the tobacco industry reached
an agreement with 48 states. Cigarette makers were to pay a guaranteed minimum of $206 billion
over 25 years to cover the cost of health care for people who got sick smoking — along with
other anti-smoking, public health-related programs. As happens when politicians are involved, most of
the money really didn't go to health programs. It mostly went to special interest projects throughout
the states. That's bad enough, but the real disaster occurred when states like New York decided to
take the money up front and run.
pushes forward ban on smoking with kids in cars. The Tempe City Council continued to
consider a proposed ordinance that would fine drivers $50 for a first offense and $100 for subsequent
violations if they smoke while a child is in the car. Smokers of all types, including e-cigarette
smokers, could be punished under the proposed ordinance. Tempe police cannot pull over a driver
solely for smoking with a child in the car. Instead, if drivers are stopped for speeding or
running a red light, and have a lit cigarette with a minor present, the officer could cite them for
each child in the vehicle.
Characters in Search of a Reason for New Orleans's Smoking Ban. New Orleans's city
council has unanimously approved a city-wide smoking ban in all bars and casinos, making it the
latest big city to pass such a smoking ban without the courtesy of a popular vote. The ban
itself, like the others that came in cities before it, is purported to promote the public welfare.
Non-smokers, government officials argue, have the right to have their lungs be unafflicted by dangerous
secondhand smoke if they choose to visit or work in any establishment. In the case of New Orleans,
teary-eyed city councilman James Gray II read aloud the names of people he knew who died of lung cancer,
which "convinced" lawmakers to approve the smoking ban. [...] This is all about coerced behavior change
and conformity to a government-approved lifestyle which is to be decided upon by our betters.
Bans Smoking Pretty Much Everywhere. New Orleans passed a far-reaching smoking ban on
Thursday that prohibits lighting up in bars, casinos, private clubs — even in the car
while waiting in line at a drive-thru. Claiming there is no "constitutional right" to smoke, the
New Orleans City Council unanimously voted to outlaw smoking and electronic cigarettes in indoor and
outdoor public places. The ordinance, which goes into effect in 90 days, applies to bars,
casinos, parks, private clubs, any business establishment, recreational areas, sports arenas, theaters,
and a host of other places.
Blasio quietly filed untaxed cig suit the week of Garner decision. Mayor Bill de
Blasio ordered city lawyers to stay silent about a groundbreaking lawsuit to keep bootleg cigarettes
out of the Big Apple — because it came as Hizzoner was downplaying the illegal cigarette
sales that led to the ill-fated police arrest of Eric Garner, The [New York] Post has learned.
The city Law Department drafted the civil racketeering suit the same week that a Staten Island grand
jury did not indict NYPD cop Daniel Pantaleo in Garner's chokehold death, and it was quietly filed
in Brooklyn federal court on Dec. 9.
York City's Steep Cigarette Taxes Create Crime and Grow Big Government. Thanks to New
York's laughably high cigarette taxes ($4.35 state plus another $1.60 in the city) and higher prices
generally, a pack of smokes in New York City costs $14 or more. That creates a powerful incentive to
smuggle smokes in from states such as Virginia, where you can buy a pack for a third of that price.
Fill a Ford Econoline van with a few hundred cartons and you can make a nice five-figure profit in a
weekend. Some people do.
Eric Garner death: Did cigarette
taxes play a part? "You want an all-encompassing state with the power to stop you from
smoking? Well, don't complain about the Eric Garner case," writes the Hayride's Scott McKay. "This
is what big government looks like." The Daily Caller's W James Antle says that while public
outrage is focusing on the level of force employed by the New York police, "let's not let the people
who write the laws off the hook". "A man who is killed by government overreach, fueled by
anti-tobacco fanaticism, is just as dead as one who smokes a carton of unfiltered Pall Malls every
week for 30 years," he writes.
Garner and the criminalization of everyday life. The crime of selling "loosies" was
not considered a serious one in the past. Many corner stores in New York City once sold them quietly
upon request. But former Mayor Michael Bloomberg's cartoonish anti-tobacco crusade changed that and
everything else. Smoking in public places was banned. Punitive taxes and a legal minimum price of
$10.50 were imposed in an effort to push prices ever-upward, so that a brand-name pack of 20 cigarettes now
costs as much as $14 in New York City. As a result, the illicit sale of loose and untaxed cigarettes
became more commonplace. Lawmakers had turned every non-wealthy smoker into a criminal, and police made
it a priority to curb this criminal creation of political meddling.
Yes, Stupid Laws
Help Kill People. Garner wasn't targeted for death because he was avoiding taxes, but
nonetheless, prohibitive cigarette taxes unnecessarily create situations that make events like this
possible. We frame violent acts and unintended consequences in this way all the time. When we
discuss how illegal immigrant women can be the helpless victims of domestic violence, we also blame
unreasonable laws for creating the situation. When we talk about the Drug War and millions of
non-violent criminals it creates and the violent tactics of the DEA and other agencies, we have little
problem blaming underlying policy. With good reason.
Role that Obama's Runaway Bureaucracy Played in the Death of Eric Garner. Garner
starts off in the video showing anger that the police have confronted him repeatedly, over time, not
just that day. He does not appear to be threatening anyone, and according to reports had in fact
just stopped a fight between other people. So it's not clear why the police elected to use force on
him. A citation would probably have sufficed. But a citation for what? Garner was reportedly
selling "loosies," individual cigarettes taken out of their original packaging. That's a crime?
Yep. Since 2010, that's a crime, sayeth the unaccountable bureaucrats at the Food and Drug Administration.
town's hearing on proposed tobacco ban ends abruptly after crowd gets rowdy. The
community of less than 8,000 residents is considering prohibiting the sale of tobacco products,
which would apparently be the first such ban in the nation. Westminster residents gathered on
Wednesday night to discuss the proposal, which would ban the sale of items such as cigarettes,
chewing tobacco and electronic cigarettes. The crowd grew so unruly that Andrea Crete, the town's
Board of Health chairwoman, abruptly ended the event, according to the Boston Herald. Just four
people spoke, and opponents of the measure sang as the hearing shut down. Crete left with a police
escort, newspapers reported.
town seeks first-in-nation tobacco sale ban. Health officials in Westminster, Mass.,
about an hour outside of Boston, have proposed officially banning the purchase and sale of all
tobacco products within city limits. The Board of Health says the ban would make it more
difficult for young people to get their hands on tobacco, in turn curbing the number of young
smokers and eventually helping to cut down on tobacco-related illnesses and deaths in the area.
smoking ban applies to Illini tailgaters too. The University of Illinois is reminding
football fans that its new smoke-free campus policy applies to tailgaters in Memorial Stadium
parking lots. Signs were posted at entrances to all UI parking lots and the stadium in time for
Saturday's season-opener against Youngstown State. The campus went smoke-free on Jan. 1 after a
student referendum. Hundreds of other college campuses around the country have done the same.
Really Don't Want You to Smoke at Work. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
(CDC) is seeking to ban all tobacco use at every work place in the country, including businesses
that operate primarily outdoors. The agency published a Current Intelligence Bulletin (CIB) on
Friday [8/22/2014] that would advise the few workplaces that still allow smoking to end the practice,
specifically targeting blue-collar workers in the construction and mining industries.
need not apply, county says. Pima County may soon refuse to hire anyone who smokes. And puffers
already on the payroll can expect even higher health insurance rates. In a proposed expansion of the county's
already-tough anti-tobacco rules, prospective employees would be tested for nicotine as part of the hiring process,
according to a memo sent by County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry. In the memo, Huckelberry referred to
statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that say smokers cost their employers about $3,400 a
year in lost productivity and medical expenses.
This Widow Deserve $23 Billion? Last week, a jury of her peers awarded a lone human,
Cynthia Robinson, over $23.6 billion to punish a cigarette company for the death of her husband.
And poof, they were no longer her peers — that is, unless they happened to be the only jury
in history to be composed entirely of multi-billionaires.
knowing much, Obama's FDA moves anyway to control e-cigs. [T]hose who think they know
best what foods Americans should consume how often in what quantities, what they should wear while
riding bikes, when and how they can use cellphones and generally live their lives have been eager to
light a fire under e-cigarettes, which in just six years has grown to a $2 billion-a-year
industry. The new regulations will additionally cover cigars and pipe tobacco.
Secretary 'Looking' at Banning Tobacco Sales at Military Installations. Defense Secretary Chuck
Hagel is "looking" at banning the sale of tobacco at military installations. According to one military
publication, Hagel appears to support it. "As the Navy considers banning tobacco sales on all bases and
ships, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel gave a strong endorsement of the review Monday, and suggested that he
would be in favor of a ban," reports Stars and Stripes.
Main Line Health to stop hiring smokers.
Main Line Health and Thomas Jefferson University Hospital are the latest regional employers to announce plans to stop hiring smokers and to penalize current
employees for lighting up. [...] Beginning May 1, job applicants must certify that they have not used such products in the previous 90 days, and
will abstain during their employment.
ObamaCare slams smokers with
sky-high premium costs, could backfire. Unlike drug addicts, alcoholics, or the obese — all of whom represent
higher-than-average medical costs — smokers are the only such group with a pre-existing condition that ObamaCare penalizes.
It allows insurance companies to charge smokers up to 50 percent more than non-smokers for an identical policy, depending on the state
and any subsidies the person might qualify for.
A look at the evidence behind
outdoor smoking bans. Prohibition on smoking in parks and on beaches has three justifications, according to two Columbia University
researchers, Ronald Bayer and Kathleen Bachynski. Those are: risk of secondhand smoke, pollution caused by cigarette butts and the
risky role models smokers are to children. "Our analysis of the evidence for these claims found it far from definitive and in some cases
weak," the researchers wrote. What they conclude is that what's behind the bans is an effort to "denormalize" smoking as part of an overall
public health campaign.
Two states have legalized marijuana, with more to come. Yet social taboos against tobacco smoking make it nearly impossible to
light up a cigarette in public places. Marijuana, like alcohol, causes far greater short-term impairment than does nicotine.
But legal cigarette smoking is now seen as a corporate-sponsored, uncool and dirty habit that leads to long-term health costs for society
at large — in a way homegrown, hip and mostly illegal pot smoking apparently does not.
Bloomberg Seeks End to Cheap
Cigarettes. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg opened a new front in his antismoking campaign last week when he proposed new
legislation that would require stores to keep tobacco products out of sight, making New York the first city in the nation to do so.
Connecticut lawmaker mulls smoking ban in cars
with children. A Connecticut lawmaker is focusing on a law that would ban in-car smoking, even with the windows down, for drivers with underage
passengers. New York Assemblyman David Weprin previously introduced a similar bill that would have instated a $100 fine for smoking in cars with
passengers under 14 years of age.
by Price' Drives Cigarette Smuggling in New York, Elsewhere. Cigarette taxes have been in the news lately, and not just because
politicians keep raising them. What's new is that state and local levies have grown so onerous in some parts of the country that they
almost could be called "prohibition by price." And like other forms of prohibition, this one has led to a spike in smuggling-related
criminal activity as smokers turn to illicit distribution channels.
administration to push for eliminating smoking on college campuses. President Barack Obama has already promised
not to smoke cigarettes in the White House. If his administration has its way, American college students will soon be
required to follow suit while they're on campus. Howard Koh, assistant secretary for health at the U.S. Department of
Health and Human Services, will announce a national initiative Wednesday at the University of Michigan School of Public Health
to stamp out tobacco use on college campuses.
Americans Have Become Compliant.
Tobacco zealots started out with "reasonable" demands, such as the surgeon general's warning on cigarette packs.
Then they demanded nonsmoking sections on airplanes. Emboldened by that success, they demanded no smoking at
all on airplanes and then airports and then restaurants and then workplaces — all in the name of health.
Seeing the compliant nature of smokers, they've moved to ban smoking on beaches, in parks and on sidewalks in
some cities. Now they're calling for higher health insurance premiums for smokers.
Buckle up laws were just the beginning. Unsafe at Any Smoke. A study just
released by the CDC characterizes second-hand smoke as the latest threat to "safety" — and of course, "the
children." It urges what you'd expect: That it be made illegal to smoke in your own car, at least, if "the
children" are present and possibly even if they're not. For as any smoker knows — as anyone who has shopped for
used cars knows — any car that has been smoked in retains the essence of the Marlboro Man for years, even decades
after the last butt was crumpled in the ashtray.
to spare kids smoky cars urged. In the first national estimate of its kind, a report from government
researchers says more than 1 in 5 high school students and middle schoolers ride in cars while others
The Editor says...
Any time the government wants to take away another little piece of your freedom, it is done "for the children".
You will no longer be free to smoke or not smoke in your own car, because Big Brother owns your kids. Here's
a simpler solution: Why not just require smoking drivers to roll down the windows?
top 10 constitutional violations. [#9] Graphic tobacco warnings: Late last year,
the FDA issued regulations requiring cigarette manufacturers to display graphic warnings on all packs of cigarettes
that must cover at least 50% of the packaging and graphically portray tobacco-related illnesses. These
warnings violate the First Amendment because the government is compelling the cigarette manufacturers to discourage
their customers from buying their lawful products.
Big Government Gets
Ugly. The Food and Drug Administration finds it intolerable that despite all the efforts to stamp
out smoking — through tobacco taxes, advertising restrictions, educational campaigns and smoking bans — nearly
50 million Americans continue to puff away. The hope is that repeated assaults with nauseating
photos will kill the urge.
warning photos faked. Tobacco peddlers will soon be forced to emblazon every package of their
product with graphic new warnings that show what the government says will happen to you if you smoke
cigarettes. ... There is only one problem with the federal government's great campaign of graphic images aimed
at combating the deceit of tobacco companies and rescuing us from our stupid selves. The images are
No More Smoking
For Florida Prisoners. In an effort to reduce healthcare costs at state prisons the Florida
Department of Corrections is moving to make sure their facilities are smoke-free by September. ... "Inmate
smoking and second-hand smoking is costing millions in healthcare costs each year," said Florida Department
of Corrections Secretary Edwin Buss.
The Editor says...
It's only a matter of time before this smoking ban faces a court challenge based on the Eighth
Amendment. But in the meantime, it's a step in the right direction, as far as I'm concerned -- not
because I'm opposed to other people smoking, but because prisons should be made as uncomfortable as
legally possible, so the threat of prison time will act as a deterrent to crime.
Surgeon General Jumps the Shark.
Let's all thank Surgeon General Regina Benjamin for demonstrating beyond all doubt last week that nannyism is
more dangerous than smoking. The Office of the Surgeon General just released a report claiming that a
single puff of a cigarette or a single inhalation of second hand smoke can permanently damage one's health and
perhaps lead to death. Now we know what all those blindfolded condemned men given one last puff as they
stood before firing squads really died from.
The Editor says...
Wow, they must sell some really potent cigarettes in Regina Benjamin's neighborhood.
Tobacco Report Called
'Unscientific and Potentially Unethical'. The U.S. Surgeon-General's report that even a single
cigarette can harm a person's health is unscientific and potentially unethical, a cigar and pipe trade group
says. According to the report released on Dec. 9 by Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, "there is no
risk-free level of exposure to tobacco smoke." In announcing the report, Benjamin said exposure to
tobacco smoke — even occasional smoking or secondhand smoke — "causes immediate damage
to your body that can lead to serious illness or death."
Warning Labels, Now With More Pictures of Corpses. The nanny-state moves into its self-parody
phase. Behold these (very real, I'm afraid) "larger and more noticeable textual warning statements and
color graphic images depicting the negative health consequences" of smoking, now being proposed by the Department
of Health and Human Services.
The War on Cigarettes.
[Scroll down] Just last month in Virginia, for example, a contraband cigarette smuggler pleaded guilty
in court of hiring a hit man to murder two people that he suspected of stealing his bootleg cigarettes.
According to media reports, the man's gang was hoping to make a cool $1 million by selling nearly 400,000
cartons of cigarettes in New York City — where taxes alone on a pack of smokes are $4.25.
Amazingly, New York lawmakers are seeking to add another $1 to this already obscene amount, an increase which
will only fuel additional bootlegging — and additional violence.
Council Readies New Smoking Ban. Attention Times Square denizens and those out for a stroll in
Central Park: It will soon be time to put out your smokes — forever. The New York City
Council is slated Wednesday afternoon [2/2/2011] to approve a ban on smoking in parks, beaches, marinas,
boardwalks and pedestrian plazas like Times Square.
This could happen here, too. Doctors banned from smoking.
Doctors in the Philippines have been banned from smoking by the country's medical association to make sure they
set a good example to their patients, the group said on Saturday [9/25/2010].
smoking ban at state parks and beaches. State lawmakers adopted one of the nation's most far-reaching
regulations of tobacco use Monday, approving a bill to outlaw smoking at 278 state parks and beaches. Gov.
Arnold Schwarzenegger has not said publicly whether he will sign the measure, which would allow a fine of up
to $100 for smoking at a state beach or in a designated section of a state park. Smoking would still be
allowed in many parking lots and campgrounds.
The Editor says...
You can't smoke on the beach? Have you ever been to a beach where the air was so stuffy
that you could smell someone else's cigarette? Every time I've been to the beach in the last 40 years,
there has been plenty of fresh air. Maybe New York beaches are different.
Senate Passes FDA Tobacco Law. The
Senate overwhelmingly passed historic legislation Thursday [6/11/2009] that puts the tobacco industry under the regulation
of the Food and Drug Administration. Companies are weighing the impact of the bill, which they say also puts severe,
perhaps unconstitutional, restrictions on advertising and packaging.
Cigarette Control and Thought Control.
What motivates advocates of stricter tobacco regulation is the unassailable assurance that they are not only
completely right but that their opponents are a) wrong and b) evil. This invigorating certitude
makes it possible to justify almost anything that punishes cigarette companies, even if it does no actual
good — or does actual harm. One of the main purposes of the new law is to reduce the number
of smokers in the name of improving "public health." This is a skillful use of language to confuse
rather than enlighten.
Tobacco and the Rule of Law: On
the one hand, DOJ promoted its novel lawsuit against cigarette makers. On the other hand, the same
watchdog agency stood idly by while tobacco companies and state attorneys general teamed up to violate the
antitrust laws. The multistate tobacco settlement, a cunning and deceitful bargain between the industry
and the states, allows the tobacco giants to monopolize cigarette sales and foist the cost onto smokers.
Crusaders Boldly Go into Smokers' Homes. During Prohibition, making and selling liquor was illegal,
but drinking it was not. With tobacco, we are moving toward the opposite situation, where it will be legal
to make and sell cigarettes but not to smoke them.
Congress Aims to Put Out Cigarettes.
Congress is taking new whacks at the cigarette industry, banning tobacco sales in Senate buildings and —
more importantly — seeking a significant federal tax increase on cigarettes. The industry, once
a lobbying behemoth, is quietly working against the tax bill. But it lacks the clout it once wielded.
to Regulate Tobacco Moves Forward. The House Energy and Commerce Committee approved a bill
Wednesday [4/2/2008] that would give the Food and Drug Administration sweeping regulatory authority over
the tobacco industry, clearing the way for a House floor vote on the legislation, which has long been
sought by anti-tobacco activists. If adopted, the bill is expected to dramatically reduce tobacco
marketing, to ban many flavored cigarettes, and to prohibit the labeling of cigarettes as "light"
FDA-Approved Cancer Sticks. A consumer
protection bill that reduced competition, raised prices, restricted choice, blocked information, and made
products more hazardous could not really be counted as a success. Yet the Family Smoking Prevention and
Tobacco Control Act, which has broad support in both houses of Congress, promises to do all these things in an
effort to discourage consumption.
Tax Burnout. Politicians in Annapolis are scratching their heads wondering what happened to all
those chain smokers who were supposed to help balance Maryland's budget. Last year the legislature
doubled the cigarette tax to $2 a pack to pay for expanded health-care coverage. Eight months later,
cigarette sales have plunged 25% and the state is in fiscal distress again.
Judge Strikes Louisville Smoking
Ban. When Democrats took control of Congress last January after more than a decade of Republican
dominance, their leaders and supporters talked as if anything was possible: They'd end the Iraq war,
boost spending for neglected domestic programs, even roll back some of President Bush's tax cuts. Nearly
a year later, they've confronted a bitter reality.
It's Official — Belmont Bans Smoking In
Some Homes. Thought to be the first of its kind in California, the ordinance declares secondhand
smoke a public nuisance and extends the city's current smoking ban to include multi-unit, multi-story residences.
Though Belmont and some other California cities already restrict smoking in multi-unit common areas, Belmont is
the first city to extend secondhand smoke regulation to the inside of individual apartment units.
Phony Science Begets Phony Public Policy.
Many Americans find tobacco smoke to be a nuisance. … But how successful would anti-smokers have been in
a court of law, or public opinion, in achieving the kind of success they've achieved based on tobacco smoke
being a nuisance? A serious public health threat had to be manufactured, and in 1993 the Environmental
Protection Agency stepped in to the rescue with their bogus environmental tobacco smoke study that says
secondhand tobacco smoke is a class A carcinogen.
USA. City governments go from banning smoking in city buildings one day to banning smoking
on the sidewalks the next. Several states are working on bans that prohibit driving while smoking if
anyone under 18 is in the car. There's no question that secondhand smoke is harmful, but where
is the appropriate limit for governmental intrusion into an individual's privacy?
Cannabis bigger cancer risk than
cigarettes: study. Smoking a joint is equivalent to 20 cigarettes in terms of lung cancer
risk, scientists in New Zealand have found, as they warned of an "epidemic" of lung cancers linked to cannabis.
Studies in the past have demonstrated that cannabis can cause cancer, but few have established a strong link
between cannabis use and the actual incidence of lung cancer.
reduces development of lung cancer. Working with manure can drastically reduce chances of
developing lung cancer, scientists have discovered. Dairy farmers are five times less likely than the
general populace to develop the disease, New Scientist magazine reports. The study found farmers
typically breathed in dust that consisted largely of dried manure, and all the bacteria that grew in it.
New Scientist said adults who had a greater exposure to germs than usual might build up a better
resistance to bugs, including cancer.
I've got a great idea...
Why not just put manure in cigarette filters instead of activated charcoal?
Tobacco tax is overtaxation. The
Legislature's proposal to increase the state's cigarette tax by another 50 cents per carton will give the
State of Michigan the dubious honor of having the third highest cigarette tax in the country. What is
even more troubling is that the proposal would increase the tax on cigars, pipe tobacco and chewing tobacco
by 100 percent.
Forgetting the Consequences of Totalitarianism.
Last year Surgeon General Richard Carmona declared there is "no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke."
For effect he added, "I would not allow anyone in my family to stand in a room with someone smoking." His
opinion was supposedly based on 20 years of scientific evidence, and it has been cited as gospel by
smoking ban supporters.
passive smoking debate. "Secondhand smoke debate 'over.'" That's the message from the
Surgeon General's office, delivered by a sycophantic media. The claim is that the science has now
overwhelmingly proved that smoke from others' cigarettes can kill you. Actually, "debate over" simply
means: "If you have your doubts, shut up!" But you definitely should have doubts over the new
Surgeon General's report, a massive 727-page door stop.
a Smoker in a Non-Smoking Area? Call 911. If you catch someone smoking in a non-smoking
area in Omaha, Neb., call the police. The Omaha Police Department is encouraging city residents to
call 911 in the wake of the citywide ban on smoking that went into effect on Oct. 2.
[Is that what the designers of the 9-1-1 system had in mind?]
Anti-smoking Efforts Go Too
Far. How far has the anti-smoking movement come in just the past four years? Much further
than many of its most ardent activists would have dreamed of in the 1970s, when the notion of smoking bans
first surfaced and was met largely with derision. … Of course, as with most limitations on personal
freedom, California leads the way.
Subjection of Smoking: Smoking, once a common habit in American society, has become a lightning
rod for controversy in recent years. Smoking sections in restaurants were rare 50 years ago, but
now places like New York City have implemented blanket bans for indoor public places. Some places have
even extended bans to outdoor space.
Florida Companies Forbidding Smoking In Private
Lives. A growing number of companies in Florida are forbidding their workers from smoking not
only at work, but also in their private lives. Westgate Resorts, the largest private employer in Central
Florida, has banned smoking and won't budge from a policy of not hiring smokers and firing employees who do
Smoking ban concerns businesses
in D.C.. Smokers are being forced out of bars and nightclubs in the District of Columbia beginning
Tuesday [1/2/2007], and some businesses are worried about losing dollars to Virginia, which has strong ties to
tobacco. "A lot of people are just going to drive closer to home (in Virginia)," said Jody Taylor,
manager of the Black Rooster Pub in downtown Washington. "For a lot of people, it's hard to have that
cold beer in one hand without a cigarette in the other."
The Last Gasp
of a Smoke-Filled Room? When the District goes smoke-free Jan. 2, at least one nicotine
haven will remain: the U.S. Capitol. Lawmakers, several of whom enjoy a good cigar, have exempted
themselves from the city's smoking ban, not to mention rules that forbid lighting up in federal buildings
across the country. But winds of change may be blowing on the Hill.
The Lynching of Big
Tobacco. The Florida Supreme Court is about to render final judgment in the Engle case,
which ordered tobacco companies to pay $165 billion in immediate, punitive damages in the name of their
alleged crimes against 700,000 Florida smokers.
Colorado Smoking Ban. A coalition of businesses and an El Paso County tavern owner today
[11/22/2006] filed an appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in their challenge to the
constitutionality of Colorado's "Clean Indoor Air Act." In October, a Colorado federal district court
upheld the law's constitutionality.
smokers from some surgery, says doctor. It is known to cause more heart complications, impair
tissue healing and result in more post-operative infections. Now a doctor is pushing for smoking to be
a criterion that eliminates people from access to some elective surgery.
Some hospitals won't
let smokers light up anywhere on grounds. Nationwide, hospitals are snuffing out tobacco on their
campuses, spurred in part by state and local laws restricting the habit. Half of King County's major
hospitals have joined the movement. Swedish Medical Center, the state's largest health-care provider,
went smoke-free two weeks ago. Valley Medical Center in Renton did so in March. Virginia Mason
Medical Center in Seattle was one of the first to ban smoking entirely, acting in 1994.
Propaganda from the Surgeon
General. According to U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona, … only smoke-free
buildings and public places "truly" protect us from the hazard of breathing in other people's tobacco
smoke. Separating smokers from nonsmokers and requiring air filtration systems are not
enough. Is this twenty-first century compassion or just another case of junk science
this the end of English literature? What do the following have in common: Oscar Wilde,
Henry James, Joseph Conrad, Virginia Woolf, T S Eliot, W B Yeats, Charles Dickens,
William Makepeace Thackeray, Evelyn Waugh, Philip Larkin and Kingsley Amis? The answer is, of course,
that if they were to come back to life in Gordon Brown's Britain and wanted to go out to their club, or a
restaurant or cafe, they would not be allowed to indulge in a habit which sustained them during the most
creative phases of their lives.
Cigarette Nazi update: Since
Carnival Cruise Lines banned smoking on its "Paradise" ship, 14 passengers and one employee have been put off at
the nearest port. One of the passengers was put off the ship after the steward simply found a pack of
cigarettes. According to Carnival, she was guilty of possession.
Laws prohibit smoking around
children. Anti-tobacco forces are opening a new front in the war against smoking by banning it
in private places such as homes and cars when children are present. Starting Jan. 1, Texas will
restrict smoking in foster parents' homes at all times and in cars when children are present, says Darrell
Azar of the Department of Family and Protective Services. Vermont, Washington and other states and
counties already prohibit foster parents from smoking around children in their homes and cars.
[Awwww … "It's for the children" after all. Who could be against that? Once again,
sentimental rhetoric prevails against individual liberty and personal responsibility.]
Belgium can now picture the worst from
smoking. Heavily taxed by governments, barred from smoking in offices, bars, restaurants and other
public spaces, and now forced to carry around small anti-smoking billboards, European smokers are not happy.
for right to buy cigarettes. Smokers should be forced to apply for an annual £200 licence
in order to purchase cigarettes, a Government advisor has suggested. The scheme would ensure smokers had
to make a conscious decision to continue the habit and require people to become "registered addicts".
and firearms: Preserving liberty in NH. Two issues sure to come up in the next legislative
session are cigarette smoking and self-defense. Really, they are two aspects of one larger issue:
personal freedom. The petty tyrants who love to dictate the personal behavior of others nearly succeeded
in banning smoking in all restaurants and bars in New Hampshire this past legislative session. Make no
mistake, this is not a health issue. It's about control of private property.
A Secondhand Scare Campaign:
Secondhand smoke is a dramatically diluted substance compared to what active smokers breathe in. Spending
an hour in a typical bar back in the 1970s was the equivalent of smoking only .004 cigarettes. The
level of smoke contaminants in today's bars is much lower, and several orders of magnitude less than OSHA
indoor air quality standards.
we just cut to the chase about the great Baltimore smoking-ban debate of 2006? City Hall
chambers were packed last week — packed, mind you — with hundreds of folks dying to weigh in
on the topic of whether the City Council should ban smoking in restaurants and bars. Many
opposed the ban, claiming that some owners of bars and restaurants might suffer a loss of business.
Proponents of the bill pointed out the hazards of secondhand smoke. But this issue isn't
about secondhand smoke. It's about firsthand stink.
Why I smoke
(cigars). There are few personal confessions more likely to alienate many Americans than to admit
to smoking. Singles ads are filled with people who will never even go on a first date with someone who
smokes. I strongly suspect that more women would date a millionaire who earned his money disreputably
than a millionaire who smoked.
Anti-Tobacco Zealots: Tobacco
executives have been accused of lying to Congress about their knowledge of tobacco's addictive
nature. Scientists have been analyzing the addictive qualities of nicotine since the late
1800s. Hundreds of medical studies have shown nicotine to be addictive. For a congressman
to ask a tobacco company executive whether nicotine is addictive is just as intelligent as that
congressman asking an astrophysicist whether the Earth revolves around the sun. Tobacco
executives fear liability suits and, therefore, deny addiction.
Menu madness: In the
early stages of the anti-tobacco campaign, there were calls for "reasonable" measures such as nonsmoking
sections on airplanes and health warnings on cigarette packs. In the 1970s, no one would have ever
believed such measures would have evolved into today's level of attack on smokers, which includes
confiscatory cigarette taxes and bans on outdoor smoking.
nation of sheeple. They started out calling for reasonable actions like no-smoking
sections on airplanes. Then it progressed to no smoking on airplanes altogether, then private
establishments such as restaurants and businesses. Emboldened by the timidity of smokers, in
some jurisdictions there are ordinances banning smoking in outdoor places such as beaches and
parks. Then there are seatbelt and helmet laws that have sometimes been zealously enforced
through the use of night vision goggles. On top of this, Americans accept government edicts
on where your child may ride in your car.
helmets rejected by motorcyclists. They came by the hundreds Sunday afternoon [10/7/2007] to the
Statehouse, on Harleys and Hondas, wearing jeans and leather, young and old, male and female, with one message
for lawmakers: Don't mandate helmets for adults. "It's not the helmet we oppose," Jeff Coleman,
state coordinator pro tem for ABATE, a motorcycle advocacy group, told those seated on the Statehouse
steps, to sustained applause. "It's the freedom of choice we defend."
government is only too eager to attempt to regulate people's private personal decisions. A few
years ago, Montgomery County, Md. considered a law that would have made it illegal to smoke in your
own home if neighbors complained. And several states, including New York and California, have
outlawed smoking in bars and restaurants.
Eyes National Cig Curb. Hillary Clinton lavished praise on New York City's tough
anti-smoking laws yesterday — and said she supports smoking bans in public places across the
country. Asked at an Iowa forum on cancer whether banning smoking in public places would
be good for America, Clinton replied, "Well, personally, I think so. And that's what a
lot of local communities and states are starting to do."
In Sweden... Woman banned from smoking in her own garden. The
Environmental Court in Växjö has banned a woman from smoking in her own garden, Sydsvenkan reports.
The 49-year-old single mother is enraged by the decision but says that she will obey the ruling to avoid having
to pay a fine.
in California Town Say Smoking Ban Is Working. Ten weeks after they enacted the most draconian
smoking ban in the nation, city officials in Calabasas, Calif., say the rules are having the desired
impact — reducing exposure to the secondhand smoke that can accumulate when smokers congregate
outdoors and near building entrances.
Statement on the NIH 'Consensus' Report on
Tobacco Harm Reduction: "The National Institutes of Health conference statement on tobacco use is
only eight pages long, followed by another nine pages listing the M.D.s, M.P.H.s, R.N.s, etc. who participated
in the process. The report is typical government work, a statement of politically determined objectives
followed by a superficial review of programs and research, ending with a call for 'more research,' 'more
effective strategies,' 'more collaboration,' etc. … In short, this report is a virtually complete
whitewash of the evidence and even the debate taking place on the use of smokeless tobacco products as smoking
cessation aids. All the distinguished scientists and doctors whose names appear on the document ought to
be ashamed of themselves."
but no thanks. The latest assault on common sense comes from no less than
New York Assemblyman Alexander Grannis. The Manhattan Democrat is a perfectly nice guy, with
what seems a perfectly nice idea: ban smoking in cars in which there are children.
I do not recommend the use of tobacco; however, the following article provides an interesting overview
of the history of tobacco use. Evidently the recreational use of tobacco wasn't known to cause
lung cancer and other diseases until matchbooks and lighters became available and people started
WHO Document Relies on Half-Truths and
Omissions. In recognition of World No Tobacco Day, May 31, 2006, the World Health
Organization (WHO) published a lengthy document titled "Tobacco: Deadly in Any Form or Disguise."
The publication misleads at least as much as it informs, and distorting the health risks of various modes of
tobacco usage may cause more harm than it prevents.
Smoke-free crusaders may now be
at your door. Fresh from their success winning a statewide smoking ban in bars
and restaurants, Minnesota's anti-smoking advocates are ready to zero in on where you live.
One anti-smoking group will kick-start a campaign this week to encourage landlords to outlaw
smoking in their buildings.
House Votes to Have FDA Regulate
Tobacco. The bill doesn't give the FDA power to ban existing tobacco products but gives
the agency power to restrict sales on safety grounds. The FDA also would be able to stop companies
from touting their brands as "low tar" and "mild" and restrict advertising to plain black-and-white ads.
Bogus 'Anti-Cigarette' Bill. A law ordering the Food and Drug Administration to regulate cigarettes is
moving through Congress — but is it truly good for public health? Hint: Cigarette maker
Altria (formerly Philip Morris) is one of the bill's strongest supporters. Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) has
already gotten the measure passed in the House; Sen. Ted Kennedy is on track to get it through the Senate soon.
Not Even Tobacco Is
Safe. The government's efforts to control and minimize tobacco could pick up more steam and begin to
resemble elements of outright prohibition.
Et Tu, Big
Business? This week, Philip Morris, the biggest of the Big Tobacco companies, supported
and won passage of an "anti-tobacco" bill that will make it easier for Philip Morris (a subsidiary of
Altria) to sell cigarettes by making it harder for smaller, more innovative firms to compete. One
way it will do that is by curtailing the First Amendment rights of tobacco companies, making it harder
to advertise their products (including healthier alternatives to normal cigarettes). Philip Morris,
maker of Marlboro and other established brands, already controls 50 percent of the market. That's
why it lobbied government to keep it that way.
About Kids and Smoking. At least since 1994, when seven tobacco executives testified before Congress
that they didn't think cigarettes were addictive, the public has not put great trust in those who sell carcinogens
for a living. What Americans may not realize is that they also shouldn't believe the people who are supposed
to protect us from tobacco. When it comes to cigarettes, the federal government can blow smoke with the
best of them.
Truth Gets Smoked. Any smoker who gives up cigarettes for snuff is clearly doing his or
her body a favor. That's because most of the danger from tobacco actually comes from setting it
afire and inhaling the smoke. Omitting that step makes a huge difference.
The Editor says...
Let me reiterate that The Editor is not now, nor has he ever been, a cigarette smoker. The
Editor finds "smokeless tobacco to be every bit as disgusting and low-class as ordinary cigarettes,
and does not recommend either one. Nevertheless, both are legal products, and if there are
self-destructive consumers waiting in line to buy these addictive products, the fools should be
allowed to purchase them.
Churchill's cigar airbrushed from picture. In the well-known original image, Churchill makes a
"V" shaped symbol with his fingers — while gripping a cigar in the corner of his mouth. But
in a reproduction of the picture, hanging over the main entrance to a London museum celebrating the wartime
leader, he has been made into a non-smoker through the use of image-altering techniques.
The Editor says...
Of course, there was no literal airbrush used in this process. It's an anachronism, like
sending someone a carbon copy of an email message.
to try banning smoking in parks and beaches. New York City is pursuing a tough new policy that
would shoo smokers out of public parks, beaches and even the heart of Times Square -- one of the most
ambitious outdoor anti-tobacco efforts in the nation.
Another page has information about the use
of taxes to discourage smoking,
or at least to take advantage of the people who are addicted to tobacco.
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be
the most oppressive. It may 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."