Busybodies of the World, Unite!

it's increasingly hard to escape those who want to deny simple pleasures to you—for your own good.

Editor's Note: This column is reprinted with permission of the Washington Examiner. Click here to read it at that site.

A smoke, a drink, and maybe a bag of chips in the privacy of your own home—they're the guilty pleasures of life for many of us. But it's increasingly hard to escape those who want to deny them to you—for your own good.

To take one small but irritating example, this Wednesday, the city council of Elk Grove, California, will consider a bill to ban smoking in all apartment buildings, publicly or privately owned.

You might see this as an effort to "harass the people and eat out their substance." Others prefer to call it "public health policy."

Earlier this year, Ronda Storms, a Republican state senator in Florida, introduced legislation to bar the use of food stamps to purchase "salty snack foods" and sugary treats. She's nicknamed the legislation the "No Twinkie Left Behind Act."

New York Times' food columnist Mark Bittman praises Storms for raising the important question: "How do we regulate the consumption of dangerous foods?...The government isn't doing its job," he argues.

Bittman quotes Storms approvingly, "It's just bad public policy to allow unfettered access to all kinds of food."

True enough, as Storms argues, the long-suffering taxpayer is on the hook for food-stamp purchases—as well as treatments for Type 2 diabetes—and he who pays the piper gets to call the tune.

But that's something to worry about, given the recent expansion of government control of and funding for health care—and it's particularly salient this week, as the Supreme Court considers the arguments on the constitutionality of Obamacare in HHS v. Florida.

In her confirmation hearing before her elevation to the Supreme Court, then-solicitor general Elena Kagan hardly inspired confidence when she equivocated on whether a law requiring Americans to eat their vegetables would be constitutional.

But whether or not the Court endorses the administration's limitless version of the Commerce Clause, the administration is already using stimulus funds and Obamacare dollars to push lifestyle changes at the local level. Earlier this year, New York's Mayor Bloomberg sought federal dollars in the form of Obamacare "community transformation grants" to fund a crackdown on "exposure to alcohol products." In 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention funneled over $16 million to Los Angeles for programs "encouraging comprehensive smoke-free outdoor air policies."

Obama's CDC head, who used to be Mayor Bloomberg's health adviser, declared in 2006 that "When anyone dies at an early age from a preventable cause in New York City, it's my fault." Now he cares about you on a national scale.

Meanwhile, across the pond, the UK's Cameron-Clegg government, which once proclaimed that it would "tear through the statute books" eliminating invasive laws and "illegitimate advances of the state," is now contemplating setting a minimum price for alcohol. The minimum would be set low at first—40p per unit of alcohol—but that's "a trojan horse," writes Chris Snowdon in City A.M.: "Once it becomes law, the temperance lobby will have a powerful weapon with which to incrementally raise prices."

We used to talk about "Anglo-American liberty." But from Elk Grove to Westminster, we seem to have forgotten what governments are for: to secure us in our basic rights and otherwise mind their own business.

Examiner Columnist Gene Healy is a vice president at the Cato Institute and the author of The Cult of the Presidency.

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  • Rob||

    To answer the title as if it was asked as a question, cue Tony in 3,2,1.....

  • Not Tony, but...||

    0.

  • Tony||

    Poking your nose in other people's business, is just as bad as not doing that.

  • Paul||

    Repeating myself is fun: Health departments are supposed to close down the Broad Street Pump, not tell me that I put too much salt on my fries.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    But then the entire Health Dept would consist of a lab tech with a test tube and a microscope. Under the current system, the Health Dept. can also provide jobs for salt police, fat police, toys in meals police, alcohol police, etc.

    What part of "make work" don't you understand?

  • ||

    If it was just "make work" it would actually be better. These guys are interfering with people's economic choices. Rather than being paid to do nothing, they're being paid to make things worse.

  • ||

    Stop the libertarian crap. Governments have never been about "secure us in our basic rights and otherwise mind their own business". Every government since the beginning of time has been about creating a hierarchy that you are at the bottom of. Anarchists are the only people who don't rule over you.

  • ||

    This.

    Governments are always run by people. People as a rule generally act in their own self interests. The fact that some people happen to work for the government does not change this. They will still act in their own self interests, but now they can do so at gunpoint.

  • ||

    Considering the Occupy Wall Street movement represented probably the closest thing to an anarchic "government", even on that tiny scale, I'd almost rather take my chances with totalitarian collectivism.

    Or put another way: when someone steals my car, which Anarchist Council of the Proletariat do I go to for a non-binding consensus vote to force him to give me my car back? Shit, that's right, we can't force him to do anything. Well maybe I'll just take him to court then. Shit, that's right, we don't have any courts...

  • Carston||

    In reference to most of the OWS'ers, they called themselves anarchists, and asked for socialism. They were ideologically inconsistent idiots.

    That is all.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    "when someone steals my car, which Anarchist Council of the Proletariat do I go to for a non-binding consensus vote to force him to give me my car back"

    The law firm of Smith & Wessen.

  • ||

    Or your DRO...

  • designate = stupid||

    "Hate to nitpick, but no you didn't say that."

    Yes moron, I did.

    "Nope. Despite you trying to threaten me."

    THAT WAS BEFORE THE SENTENCE YOU QUOTED IDIOT, AND THE SENTENCE YOU QUOTED IS A QUESTION, NOT A CLAIM OR ASSERTION.

    How fucking stupid are you that you choose to "nitpick" something and totally make an idiot of yourself in doing so?

  • Charlotte Corday||

    It seems you are trolling on the wrong thread. Mary ;-0

  • Nope||

    "Mary ;-0"

    Swing and a miss.

    Do you really want to do this?

  • Mary is Angry||

    Why are you so mad Mary?

  • U Mad Mary?||

    Mary you so crazy.

  • Rectal Stack||

    Here we go. [plays a steady rhythmic riff] Hey, this gal's good. [sings] "Well, I'm gambolin', gambolin' 'round, I'm a gambolin' gal, I'm gambolin', oh, yes, oh, yes!" [whistles poorly, shrugs, speaks] Free to get in. [sings] "I'm a gambolin' gal - G-A-M-B-O-L-I-N apostrophe, oh yes, I'm gambolin' -- Ga day. Oh, yes." [speaks] ....

  • Rectal Stack||

    ....Okay, everybody! "I'm a gam--" Come on! Sing with me! Come on, have some fun, come on! "Gambolin' ..." Are you people uptight or somethin'? You can't sing along--? Oh, I forgot... New York. [applause, keeps playing] Okay! All right, ladies only! "Oh, look! A gambolin' gal!" Come on! Okay, this half of the room! Beautiful! Now this half! Good, good! All right, two fifths! Now, three-fifths! Good. Seven-ninths! Two-ninths. All right, in Chinese now! [sings Chinese gibberish, then sings in English:] "Well, I'm gambolin', gambolin', gambolin', gambolin', gambolin', gambolin', gambolin', gambolin'! Gam! Boh! LINNNN!" [suddenly launches into a long, snappy, complex banjo instrumental, smiles and raises eyebrows at audience, stops, takes a fake....

  • Rectal Stack||

    ....arrow-through-the-head prop from the stool and puts it on] I like to keep the laughs rolling even while I'm playing. [finishes banjo tune triumphantly] Heyyyy....I'm Rather/Rectal/Mary Stack/RECTAL STACK/White Indian/Tony...and I'm here all the [TIME]! [applause]

  • ||

    Wow, what a mature response to someone making a mistake. I wasn't picking on you in a mean spirited way. I didn't point a finger at you and laugh. I didn't resort to name calling. Instead of just saying "Yeah, actually, I did. And here's where" you get all belligerent.

    It's not the first time I've mistakenly misread someone's post, and I'm sure it won't be the last (seeing as how I'm human and tend to speed read). But damn, I don't think anyone has gotten so butthurt over it that they called me an idiot in a completely unrelated thread. So kudos for that I guess.

  • Paul||

    It's like getting on a city bus. Just don't make eye contact.

  • GILMORE||

    Dude, I never ride the bus. The bus is *so* working-class. My monocle forbids it. My preferred method of intercity transportation is slave-litter-palinquin... failing that, child-drawn rickshaw, with whip-turbochargers.

  • Ex nihilo||

    Jeez dude, it's child-slave-litter-plinquin or wheelchair-drawn rickshaw.

  • GILMORE||

    sigh.

    I admit, since the financial crisis, I've had to cut back on the child-slaves. I'm starting to feel positively *bourgeois*.

  • ||

    Use lower-order primates, my man!

  • GILMORE||

    ...mexicans? I don't know... I mean, appearances still matter.

  • Ska||

    Give them European names and make sure they shave. You can almost get away with it...or at least tide you over until you can do some market distorting profit taking.

  • ||

    Naturally, I was referring to bonobos. Intelligent, strong, passive, obedient, and willing to breed a lot in captivity.

  • Ska||

    I'm a problem solver. I work with what people give me.

    Which are more likely to tear at your scrotum? You have to take that into consideration.

  • ||

    Take care, of course, not to mistakenly employ chimpanzee slaves.

    Chimps ≠ bonobos.

  • ||

    Sounds like girl I used to date :P

  • GILMORE||

    ... totally make an idiot of yourself...

    Hey, who's the crazy moron screaming at the brick wall?

  • Tim||

    You? Or are you the crazy moron screaming at the crazy moron?

  • ||

    "Anglo-American liberty"?

    You mean the kind enjoyed by Jose Guarena?

    Or the kind enjoyed by Kelly Thomas?

    Or the kind enjoyed by Keneth Chamberlain, Sr.?

    Or the kind enjoyed by Bradley Manning?

    Or the kind enjoyed by Ryan Fredericks?

    Or the kind enjoyed by Randy Weaver?

    Or the kind enjoyed by the 17 villagers?

  • Brian||

    I love listening to the 17 villagers.

  • GILMORE||

    Macho man~!

  • o3||

    the prob w regs & laws like this is it may cause a generalized comtempt for the law since smokers will obviously ignore it on private property...subject to private contract restrictions voluntarily agreed upon.

  • Ex nihilo||

    the prob w regs & laws like this is it may cause a generalized comtempt for the law

    If you don't have contempt for most laws now, you haven't been paying attention.

  • ||

    Yep, that is one of the problems with them

  • Just and Engineer||

    Recently one of the managers at my work asked my coworker to do a root cause analysis on why he failed to comply with a wellknown rule.

    He was having trouble figuring it out so I told him the cause is that there's so many rules he has contempt for that its become impossible to respect the rulemakers even when they make a valid one.

  • Ezekiel||

    I can almost forgive Rhonda Storms for the twinkie legislation, as I've worked as a grocery clerk and seen people using food stamps to buy all sorts of unnecessary items with them. Maybe we could just get rid of food stamps altogether?

  • Tonio||

    all sorts of unnecessary items

    Yes, those poor people. It's a shame that they don't have a wise, enlightened person like you to decide what they "really" need.

    Oh, also, the WIC/Foodstamp guidelines already prohibit the purchase of things the government deems unnecessary - booze, cigs, non-food items, hot to-go food, etc.

  • Charlotte Corday||

    It does. And sadly, it has just succeeded in creating a black market. You can pretty much purchase anything with food stamps.

  • Tonio||

    Not directly. At least not legitimately. But yes food stamp fraud is alive and well, even after they stopped issuing scrip and went to card-based systems.

  • Charlotte Corday||

    Sure not directly. That just means the mafia gets to take its cut, which hurts the recipients. We would be better off to realize people are always going to use the money in ways we don't like and just give them the money. That would at least prevent the mafia from taking a cut.

  • Ezekiel||

    Or maybe just realize that the government just can't be trusted to do anything right.

  • ||

    "Mafia takes its cut."

    Meh.

    Compare the Mafia-run numbers racket with State Lotteries. The numbers game had a payout of 2/3rds of funds bet. State Lotteries typically pay out 45 to 55%.

    Plus the Mafia didn't report winners' names to the IRS, so winners didn't have to pay tax on it.

  • Charlotte Corday||

    And the mafia never advertised and told people playing the numbers was a good thing.

    Yeah, probably better the mafia get it than the government.

  • ||

    Plus, Mafia members lived and worked in their communities and hired local tradesmen!

    :))))

  • WI is a dickwad||

    or .... DON'T GIVE THEM THE MONEY...

  • ||

    That's where the brisk food stamps for buying alcohol/cigs trade springs up. Friend of mine had a house human that lived for two years on food stamp purchased products traded for beer and cigarettes.

  • Ezekiel||

    The point is, if you use a food stamp card to buy a cart full of chips and soda, then you obviously don't need help buying groceries. This "wise and enlightened" person buys junk just like everybody else, but I buy it with my own money.

  • ||

    See, this is what happens when the government gets involved. We sit and debate about what redistribution is correct, rather than question the whole system.

    How many welfare recipients actually need welfare? How much is lost to fraud? How strictly are the restrictions on it enforced? Et cetera. Why does charity have to be run by the government, anyway?

  • Ezekiel||

    I'm not really debating what redistribution is correct, I agree with you, charity run by government is incredibly inefficient and unethical.

  • Tim||

    "if you use a food stamp card to buy a cart full of chips and soda"

    Who is doing this? Really? No one.

    So, rather than your very polarized version of events, we have a much more nuanced reality, where boars head pepperoni is 15 cents more than the greasy crap, and people like you howl about people on foodstamps being ok with that.

  • Ezekiel||

    What do you mean no one is doing this?
    the majority of people on food stamps that I've seen do this. It's actually a very rare thing to see someone buy food from anywhere but the top of the pyramid with food stamps.

  • Tim||

    "the majority of people on food stamps that I've seen do this. "

    buying a "cart full of chips and soda"?

    Bullshit.

    Or are you going to be a twat and use the "that I see" part?

    You're full of shit. Lie somewhere else.

  • ||

    Tim, you may be correct. On some other planet that is. I have witnessed what Zeek is alleging many many times. What I have not seen is someone using foodstamps to buy wisely. I am sure it happens....somewhere....or has at least once.

  • Ezekiel||

    No really, one time a dude went through the register in front of the one I was running. He had a eight 2 liters of pepsi and two 18 packs of mountain dew. The girl running the register hadn't asked him for his "savings card" so we (yes,we) were charged about 5 dollars more. When she told him there was no way to refund us, he got angry,and yelled at the manager for 15 solid minutes until the manager threatened to call the police.

    Granted, this is an extreme example, and most just buy their crap and get on with their lives, but it shows just how entitled people can get.

  • Tim||

    Hey, I'm a foul-tempered cunt. Deal with it.

  • ||

    As an experienced retail salesperson I gotta vouch for this. As a supporter of social safety nets it really does piss me off when someone buys top of the line food with an EBT card. At least it confirms the assertion made here that some people would be poor no matter what. You don't get that much to spend and so many blow it all on luxury items rather than getting as much basic stuff.

  • ||

    Oh, also, the WIC/Foodstamp guidelines already prohibit the purchase of things the government deems unnecessary - booze, cigs, non-food items, hot to-go food, etc.

    And money is fungible.

  • ||

    Yeah, but then you realize that the Rhonda Storms of the world turn a blind eye to people buying lobster, organically raised filets and imported cheese with their cards and pretty quickly realize that there's something genuinely twisted about our subsidizing the poor's purchase of luxury foodstuffs, but not Coke.

  • db||

    Someone has harrassed and eaten out the substance of this thread.

    Seriously, reading these threads where crazy troll spam has been removed can be an eerie experience.

  • Mensan||

    I very much dislike Ronda Storms, politically and personally; she's just unpleasant and her voice gives me a headache. In this case though, I almost agree with her.

    I'm opposed to food stamps in general, but as long as they exist, what they can be used to purchase should be limited. Just yesterday the woman in line in front of me at Publix used her EBT card to buy six 12-packs of soda, and several bags of chips. Then I watched her walk over and buy a stack of lottery tickets with cash. If you're so broke that you need other people to pay for your groceries, then you need be be living on the bare essentials, and Mountain Dew and Doritos are not essential.

  • ||

    Still can't believe she's in the state senate.

  • ||

    Just look at the rest of the membership of that body.

  • ||

    I used to know a state senator. While political, he wasn't insane like Storms.

  • ||

    I'm sure there are persons in legislative assemblies who are reasonable and intelligent, but as a general rule, the collective intelligence of a legislative assembly is derived by taking the IQ of it's least intelligent member and dividing it by the square of the number of members. (Or, for city councils, the cube of the number of members. Except in California, where the fifth power should be used.)

  • ||

    Agreed. Of course.

  • ||

    So I couldn't even remember my state senator's name. Charlie Dean. Given that his district and my federal congressperson's district happen to just nudge into Leon county and literally end at the western edge of my neighborhood, I've got fuck all to do with the guys who spend most of their time representing horrific backwaters like Jefferson and Madison counties. Can't wait for re-districting.

  • Mensan||

    One thing I miss about living in Leon county: My weekly (sometimes more frequent) phone call to Allen Boyd's office. I made a hobby out of giving him suggestions on how to best represent the 2nd District. I even offered to pay his tuition so he could take a U.S. Constitution class at Tallahassee Community College.

  • ||

    We don't have Boyd to kick around anymore. Flip-flopping to aye on Obamacare can get you voted out even in a Yellow Dog (D) district.

  • protefeed||

    I don't agree with her at all. It's bad enough that the government is confiscating money and redistributing it -- it is even worse when they tell the redistributees how to spend the stolen loot, which leads to them thinking, hey, why stop at just those on food stamps? Let's tell everyone what food to eat.

  • ||

    Isn't that the whole point of "redistribution": To control what others are doing?

  • Paul||

    The point is to get everyone participating in the "redistribution market"... I think you know where I'm going with this...

  • ||

    No kidding.

    Let's empower the government to feel more entitled with their authority.

    Not.

  • Loki||

    Mountain Dew and Doritos are not essential.

    They are if you're a fat fucking slob loser with no sense of shame. Let me guess: she was already morbidly obese, too?

  • Tonio||

    Well, the easy solution is to stop providing monetary, or quasi-monetary, benefits. Each week you get a box of dry and canned goods. Beans, rice, taters, kale...

  • Charlotte Corday||

    That is actually a good idea. We could very cheaply send everyone in America a basic diet of canned goods, wheat and so forth that would be more than sufficient for survival. Poof, no more hunger in America.

    But doing that would put a lot of food stamp administrators out of work. And would not do a lot to prop up big ag.

  • MNG||

    "But doing that would put a lot of food stamp administrators out of work. And would not do a lot to prop up big ag."

    Except it wouldn't put anyone out of work, because now you have warehouses and buyers and whole level of bureaucracy you never had to deal with before.

    And I find it laughable that anyone would think guaranteed bulk purchases wouldn't "prop up big ag".

  • Charlotte Corday||

    But since you sent it to everyone, you wouldn't have to track it. Everyone is entitled so there is no potential for misuse. So it would reduce not increase the bureaucracy, which is mostly there to stop fraud.

    And it would prop up big ag, but not as much and not in ways that Ag could control. Ag wants you out there buying meat and it wants you buying it at retail prices. Getting it bulk via the government doesn't make them much money.

  • Brandon||

    Pink slime for everybody!

  • ben||

    Hell, just set up a bunch of cafeteria style golden corrals ... if you can get down here you can eat all you want all day long. You could even do takeout.

  • ||

    I think the issue is; do you want to give money to the poor because you want them to feel good, or do you want to give money to the poor because slavery is illegal and this is the closest you can get to making a group of people mind what you say?

    The former is arguably foolish. The latter is contemptible.

  • Loki||

    do you want to give money to the poor because you want them to feel good

    FTFY. It's never about makeing the recipients of the redistribution feel good, but makeing the redistributers (and their progressive enablers) feel good about themselves.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Mensan, frustrating as other people's choices may be, they are still their choices. I would prefer to abolish food stamps, welfare, etc. However, I don't believe in giving people gifts, money, charity with conditions. Once you give it to someone, it is their property and they can do with it as they please.

  • wareagle||

    come on, EDG...govt money always comes with strings attached. There is nothing to prevent EBT cards from being used to purchase anything beyond staple items. But what do the looters care about what they eat? Ain't their money.

  • Tim||

    It doesn't help that smokers are some of the most unsympathetic people on the planet.

    Question, this is only for cigarettes right? I ask because if it's for Marijuana too, then all the Medical Marijuana users have a slam dunk ADA case.

  • Zeb||

    "smokers are some of the most unsympathetic people on the planet"

    WTF? Yeah when I am thinking of unsympathetic people, I skip right over that guy in Africa who makes kids be soldiers and Assad in Syria and think of people who smoke tobacco. Those fuckers. They're worse than Hitler.

    I find smokers quite sympathetic. Anyone who is the target of so many irrational and spiteful regulations deserves a lot of sympathy.

  • Tim||

    "I find smokers quite sympathetic"

    Which only proves that you're in the minority.

    "WTF? "

    What WTF asshole? They've been pushed out of every place they go to, including THEIR OWN HOMES.

    I'm right. You're an idiot who thinks pointing out that others SHOULD be more unsympathetic but aren't is some great feat.

  • Zeb||

    Huh? What the fuck are you going on about? I'm an idiot? Sorry, you are the one that made the absurd statement. The fact that a bunch of spiteful assholes want to make people's lives difficult because they use an un-PC drug (or want to allow their customers to do so) doesn't make those people any less sympathetic.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Tim, your circuits got crossed here, buddy. Zeb was expressing sympathy for ciggie smokers. You two are in agreement that smokers are being repressed.

  • ||

    Bittman quotes Storms approvingly, "It's just bad public policy to allow unfettered access to all kinds of food."

    Funny, Joe Stalin said something similar about the kulaks during the Holodomor.

  • ||

    Just what are the restrictions on food stamp purchases, anyway? Surely you can't just buy anything.

  • Ezekiel||

    Basically, just about anything you cam pick up in a grocery store that's generally considered edible, except for hot food from the deli.

  • ||

    Danger in the shape of somethin' piled.
    Sandwich nuked with jack, she's a hungry child.
    No one knows who she is or what her name is.
    I don't know where she came from or what her game is.

    Hot food from the deli.
    Hot food from the deli.
    Runnin' wild and lookin' pretty.
    Hot food from the deli.

  • T||

    Yup. No booze, no cigs, no prepared ready-to-eat food. Every other food item is fair game. If you want to spend it all on twinkies and lard, have at.

    Now that I think about this, is near beer food stamp eligible?

    WIC only allows purchase of 'healthy' foods. It seems some people would rather food stamps be more like WIC.

  • ||

    one of the problems is, the govt. is NOT the right org to determine what is "healthy foods".

    these are the same people who pimped the abominable food pyramid for decades.

  • ||

    ""one of the problems is, the govt. is NOT the right org to determine what is "healthy foods".""

    Government is just the hammer that many people thinks should be used because other people know best about what you should eat.

    The (nanny) meme for the 21 century is government should step in and make the right decision for those who can not. It's for their own good.

    People should go back to minding their own business.

  • protefeed||

    "But from Elk Grove to Westminster, we seem to have forgotten what governments are for: to secure us insteal our basic rights and otherwisenot mind their own business because that is how forcible monopolies inevitably roll, barring frequent revolutions."

  • ||

    'Bittman quotes Storms approvingly, "It's just bad public policy to allow unfettered access to all kinds of food." '

    ^These two people reeeaaally need to go fuck themselves.

    The latest spiteful, control-freakish bullshit to come along is third hand smoke. I dont recall reading anything about it here, but I have heard some employers sending employees home if they have the smell of smoke on their clothes or hair. They are claiming it is poisonous to children. Really, do these people have any introspection at all?

  • Old Mexican||

    Earlier this year, Ronda Storms, a Republican state senator in Florida, introduced legislation to bar the use of food stamps to purchase "salty snack foods" and sugary treats.


    That's so nice. By the way, what is a "salty snack food" and a "sugary treat"?

    Are pretzels a "salty snack"? Are kosher pickles, for that matter? How about beef jerky? Or popcorn? Or how about a V8 (just read the sodium content on a bottle of it)? Pork rinds? Carnitas? Bread? Tortillas? Aged cheese?

    How about strawberry jelly? Is it a "sugary treat"? Or barbeque sauce? No? Don't they put sugar on barbeque sauce? Or is it going to be left to a panel of notables to decide, just like for everything else the government purports to regulate? God help us.

  • Brian||

    For reasons such as this, I always assume that you're better off just handing people money, then both handing them money and trying to regulate what they do with it. In the end, you just waste even more money trying to control others.

  • ||

    "...is it going to be left to a panel of notables to decide..."

    Stop fretting. I am certain the panel will be comprised of top men.

  • ||

    Carnitas are not a salty anything. Made properly they are lard-drowned bits of awesomeness. Preferrably covered with a green sauce, some onions and cilantro and wrapped up in a tortilla. mmmm.

  • ||

    I once ate a Mcdonalds ice cream cone. When I got to the bottom part, you know, melted icecream in the sorta soaked but still crunchy in parts bottom, I just popped the whole thing in my mouth. As I chewed it up I noticed a sudden, powerful taste of cilantro. I spit it out and discovered that I had chewed up a damn cockroach.

    That was 30 years ago and I still wont eat cilantro.

  • Loki||

    My wife once found a dead wasp in her burger at a McDonald's and dead flies in her fries (and no I didn't just get posessed by Kim Jong Il's ghost for a second). That was many years ago when she was 6 or 7 years old. To this day she refuses to eat McDonalds.

  • ||

    Ha! I am with your wife. I wouldnt eat at Mcdonalds if they gave their shitty food away. In fact, I wont eat any fast food at all.

  • ||

    In-N-Out Burger will change your entire worldview on that subject. Fresh ingredients brought in daily, 100% real beef. It's the only fast food I can stand to eat - it's ruined me for cheap, greasy burgers.

  • ||

    Ah shit. Now you've got me reconsidering all of the great hole-in-the-wall Tex-Mex food I've ever eaten.

  • Zeb||

    As long as the bugs are all thoroughly cooked, I don't see the problem, as long as it tastes good.

  • ||

    Protein. Remember the bit about John the Baptist living on honey and locusts? Mmmm, sweet locust.

  • ||

    4 out of the 7 species of locust in the Israeli desert are kosher.

  • ||

    The other 3 have cloven feet?

  • T||

    Umm, why aren't the other three? Cloven hoofs?

  • ||

    Nah. Chew their cud/don't chew their cud. (Can't remember which applies.)

  • ||

    From Leviticus 11:22: "Even these of them ye may eat; the locust after his kind, and the bald locust after his kind, and the beetle after his kind, and the grasshopper after his kind."

    Bon appetit.

  • Mensan||

    I've never eaten locusts, but the fried grasshoppers I had just tasted like oil and chili powder.

  • GILMORE||

    Loki|3.27.12 @ 2:45PM|#
    My wife once found a dead wasp in her burger at a McDonald's and dead flies in her fries (and no I didn't just get posessed by Kim Jong Il's ghost for a second).

    In the *same* meal?

    That seems too coincidental. Almost like someone out there trying to gin up a lawsuit.

    It reminds me of this a bit =

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3DYbE44OIE

  • GILMORE||

    Regarding the cleanliness standards of fast-food proprietors...

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34.....3I4vXiGquQ

    My favorite =

    Steve Grover of the National Restaurant Association represents fast food restaurants. He’s a former health inspector himself.

    Thompson: “Does Dateline’s survey concern you?”

    Steve Grover: “It concerns me. I do not find critical violations acceptable.”

    Thompson: “Why are they there in the first place?”

    Grover: “Because no one’s perfect. I tell the executives every day, 99.9 percent is not good enough, when it comes to food safety.”

    Thompson: “What about 60 percent?”

    [cue a sucking sound of all intelligent life in the area spontaneously imploding]

    ....

    Grover: [sigh] “Sixty percent is not good enough when it comes to food safety.”

  • ||

    And oldie but a goodie:

    Of all tyrannies, a tyranny 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 consciences.

    C. S. Lewis

  • ||

    I never liked Lewis. I tried to read Mere Christianity once and found the 'logic' in it complete nonsense and gave up less than half way through.

    Still, what you quoted there neo is a true gem.

  • Zeb||

    I find his Christian Apologia a bit weak too, but he has his moments. The Space Trilogy is good, especially That Hideous Strength.

  • ||

    ^^This^^

    The final book in the Space Trilogy is scarily accurate on scientishist power grabs.

  • ||

    Good thing angels will save us when it happens here.

  • Socialistic Individual Sparky||

    I'd rather have a magical talking lion take me straight to the gates of Heaven.

  • ||

    No, we're pretty much fucked. But N.I.C.E could be renamed IPCC or EPA and its tactics would fit right in. (Hopefully they don't have a rotting head inhabited by a dark spirit calling the shots, but I'm not quite willing to bet against it.)

  • newshutz||

    I liked the Screwtape letters.

  • Joe M||

    Earlier this year, Ronda Storms, a Republican state senator in Florida, introduced legislation to bar the use of food stamps to purchase "salty snack foods" and sugary treats. She's nicknamed the legislation the "No Twinkie Left Behind Act."

    She's so focused on being clever, she doesn't even realize how idiotic she is. If anything, this should be named the "All Twinkies Left Behind Act."

  • Loki||

    I was thinking the same thing when I read that. Wouldn't the No Twinkie Left Behind Act be a Twinkie mandate?

  • Joe M||

    You know, if ObamaCare stands, how long is it before, once again, the satire becomes the reality? It won't be long before we have healthy food quota mandates. After all, once everything is "public health", the government has an "obligation" to control costs.

  • PHAT INDIAN||

    Time for the "feature not a bug" trope!

  • UvalDuvalCuckoo||

    Unless she means it from a control perspective, No twinky will be left behind from her stupid regulations and controls

  • ||

    It's not your body, the government needs you healthy so that you can pay your taxes.

  • ||

    Oh wait that would make us a slave to the state.

  • Tallahassee from Zombieland||

    I hope Ronda Storms is a zombie, 'cause otherwise it's gonna be kinda awkward to explain why I smashed her head in with a baseball bat.

  • ||

    Dont worry, I will say you were at my house having a beer when she 'tripped' and fell on the bat.

  • ||

    She tripped 8 times? That sure is weird.

  • fish||

    Stairs! With a bat on every step!

  • ||

    I wonder if she's just trying to keep the poor people from eating her twinkies.

  • Suki||

  • fish||

    Black Panther Party? How bout we start calling them Black Klan?

  • Loki||

    Stay classy, New Black Panthers.

  • wareagle||

    the Klan with a tan.

  • Socialistic Individual Sparky||

    Obama's CDC head, who used to be Mayor Bloomberg's health adviser, declared in 2006 that "When anyone dies at an early age from a preventable cause in New York City, it's my fault." Now he cares about you on a national scale.

    So we can blame him for the deaths of Trayvon Martin and Kelly Thomas? I think those were preventable. How about Caylee Anthony? Everyone that's been kidnapped and turned up dead?

  • ||

    Hey Tallahassee from Zombieland, I think you are going to need a case of new bats.

  • Tallahassee from Zombieland||

    I don't think there's anough baseball bats in the world for all the people who could use a brain re-arrangement.

    That's why I usually carry a wide assortment of blunt instruments, garden tools, and of course a shotgun or two. Plus I like to keep my options open.

  • ||

    wow. a good example that while (imo and ime) democrats greatly outdo repubs in nannystate legislation, some repubs are as bad as any statist dem

    jesus fucking christ.

    what a fucking abortion of a legislator

  • ||

    How the nazis in public health get away with it!

    The precautionary principle itself is a catch 22 argument. It entails giving no proof the same standing as actually having positive proof. In essence it makes a negative a positive which we all know you can never prove a negative. By using this principle we might as well all just kill ourselves as chance living with possible threats that might harm us. Its actually created to let the nazis claim whatever they want and get away with it! Its use must be destroyed as its led to total destruction of the scientific process trying to create proof where none exists to begin with,hense the mountain of evidence we hear the nazis preach all over the place without actually being held to any proof at all!

  • ||

    The principle itself cannot stand, it means an end to all we hold dear TRUTH.

    Without truth we have no meaning,we have no future,we have no life,no culture. We have only created hazzards that never existed,a culture defeated by fanaticism and led by radical nut cases passing laws based upon NOTHING! It gives basis to outlawing anything based upon nothing,it lowers the standard of proof in court to that of hearsay evidence to now convict!

    How did it happen,quite simply ENVIROMENTALISM!

    Precaution as Customary Law
    The question whether the precautionary principle is a principle of customary international
    law has received a great deal of attention, particularly since the principle’s inclusion
    in the Rio Declaration.

    http://www.ejil.org/pdfs/17/2/82.pdf

  • ||

    Rio Declaration on Environment and Development

    The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development,

    http://www.unep.org/Documents......cleid=1163

    Having met at Rio de Janeiro from 3 to 14 June 1992,

    Yes indeed the precautionary principle is an intregal part of GLOBA GOVERNANCE and well taking over the world! The UN must be destroyed..........If it lives we all die.

  • Mustakrakish||

    Needs more brackets, Hercule... I mean Harley.

  • ||

    It really sux when the key to their INSANITY is found!

  • shrike||

    Are you thinking what we're thinking?

  • ||

    Items not eligible for food stamps should have this info included in the barcode on the package. When scanned, it gives off a beep or a light on the register comes on or something, and the store employee pulls the item.

    Enforcement at point of sale. Of course, a few grocery store employees might get the shit beat out of them from time to time, but we will be taking positive steps to end fraud and misuse.

  • ||

    First they came for my transfats, and I said nothing.
    Then they came for my salt, and still I said nothing.
    And then they took my foie gras (CA state ban), and I still said nothing.
    And then they came for my alcohol, bacon, red meat, then eventually all meat, dairy and eggs and I couldn't say anything because I was starving and too busy gnawing on the fair trade, sustainably raised, organic Vegan nut and seed cake they would still let me eat to say anything at all.

  • Edwin||

    "dangerous foods"
    Am I the only one who notices this is an oxymoron? If it's actually dangerous (i.e. poison), it isn't food.

    People's lifestyles can be risky in the long term, in terms of creating chronic health problems. But no food is dangerous. I'm pretty sure every centenarian who never got cancer ate plenty of cakes, potato chips, and even smoked, in their whole life.

  • Edwin||

    So they want to give people free shit (food stamps), but then want to dictate how they use them? How much of a fucking asshole can you be. What kind of asshole gives a beggar money, then asks for some change back because they didn't want to give as much and changed their mind. That's being an epic asshole.

    Am I the only one who notices they don't even care about helping these people anymore? I mean at this point (these controls they're proposing), they're trying to dictate how they live their lives, not help them.

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