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Monday, January 30, 2006

Fat and Government: Waddling Together

Joe Soucheray addressed the ominous health threat that obesity in his Sunday column. Actually, that's not true. He addressed the ominous threat the state poses in the quest for uber-health and a risk-free life. Read Get a Clue: Get Oustide, For Free in the Pioneer Press.

He recalls the recent letter to the Strib editor (she also talked with him on his Garage Logic radio show). (See commentary by Shark Bait at Anti-Strib for this subject.) Souch also mentions activists in Boston who want to shield kids from television commercials that might (God forbid) target them with ads for cereal and candy.

Apparently, St. Paul had a day-long summit called Step Up Health... part of an initiative of the National Recreation and Park Association. For what?

They were learning how to make parks and recreation more inclusive, affordable and accessible in order to "tackle the growing problem of obesity." That's the way it is always referred to, a problem that needs to be tackled. It conjures up a big fat offensive lineman or a tackling dummy.

Needless to say the Souch doesn't believe the solution to more and more waddlers should come from our respected and efficient federal, state, and local govorning machine... which, let's face it, couldn't cut fat with a steak knife.

Obesity is not the result of a shortsighted government or an inattentive parks and rec board. The government has nothing to do with it. Obesity is the result of eating too much of the wrong thing, which we all do. If a mother wants the state to assume the responsibility of her child's body weight, then there is probably no responsibility that the mom would not surrender.

It stands to reason that if you want the state, or law firms, to regulate your child's diet, even if it means telling television networks and cereal manufacturers what commercials they can show or what their packaging must look like, then it is only a matter of time before the state would regulate the content of the television shows or cereal boxes themselves. Great. That's China, where the government regulates the information you want to find through Google.

We know Left and Right leaners who need to lose a few pounds... and many of them are not looking to the government for a solution. Minneapolis blogger Smithers has his weight chart on his blog and he's encouraging other folks to join him and keep each other on track. I can't imagine, though he leans Left, that he'd actually place trust in Minnesota's Senator Dayton or any Democrat or liberal politician to come up with policies, legislation, or funding to help him.

Then why in the flamming hootie-hoo do we have this nonsense?

I'll tell you right now, the amount of resistance within the government from folks who are conservative or Republican will be in direct proportion to those who actually try to make government smaller.

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