Post-Reductio America

A Mississippi lawmaker and three co-sponsors have introduced a bill that would....well, let's just quote straight from the bill:

Any food establishment to which this section applies shall not be allowed to serve food to any person who is obese, based on criteria prescribed by the State Department of Health after consultation with the Mississippi Council on Obesity Prevention and Management established under Section 41-101-1 or its successor. The State Department of Health shall prepare written materials that describe and explain the criteria for determining whether a person is obese, and shall provide those materials to all food establishments to which this section applies. A food establishment shall be entitled to rely on the criteria for obesity in those written materials when determining whether or not it is allowed to serve food to any person.

Sandy Szwarc called the bill's sponsor, who confirmed that he isn't kidding. We've finally arrived. Now just wait until the first bill like this actually passes.

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  • Scooby||

    "...have introcued a bill..."

    Is there going to be a typo in every post today?

  • Rotter||

    Maybe it would be a good thing if this law passed and was enforced. The resulting backlash would discredit the whole ridiculous "war on fat".*


    *Yes, that's pretty delusional.

  • ||

    The State Department of Health shall prepare written materials that describe and explain the criteria for determining whether a person is obese

    ...and a large fries.

    Um, can you lean in so I can pinch your love handle first? State law.

  • ||

    Surely this is a civil rights violation.

  • jackanapestarian||

    So in other words they're attempting to pass a law that would not ban restaurants but effectively put them out of business by denying them their clientele. That's just crazy enough to work!

  • ||

    No soup for you, fatties.

  • Russ 2000||

    Fuck. This can only mean ag subsidies are gonna go up again.

  • Mississippi Council on Obesity||

    The only way to lose weight is starvation.

  • ||

    I told you so, I told you so, I told you so!!!
    The fatties are next. Then the weak who refuse their civic duty to exercise.

    Let's go after people who can't bench press half their body weight. Or walk 15 miles carrying a pack. Slackers, they are!

  • ||

    The more I read the less Alex Jones looks like a screwball.
    This is just the beginning.

  • Scales of justice||

    Ironically, only an obese person will be able to carry the law books without being in danger of being crushed by them.

  • ||

    I like it. Who wants to look at a behemoth anyway?

  • ||

    hmmmm.... so many possibilities. do I go with the "pry my fat out of my cold, dead, chubby fingers" or the "first they came for the Jews, than the Catholics, than the homosexuals, than the plumbers..."?

  • Sandy Szwarc||

    How dare you offend me with your looks!

  • The AntiHumanist||

    On a related note, the New Jersey State Legislature is considering a bill to ban sports fans who have attended more than seven sporting events in a year from watching the Super Bowl, citing the potential cardiac arrests that such excitement can cause.

  • ||

    Another problem with this is that like tobacco and alcohol sales, you would have to try to keep people from buying food from these establishments for others. That is, if you pull up to a drive-thru, the restaurant would have to check each person in the car for obesity, and refuse service to everyone if any of them are weighed and found wanting, so to speak.

    I had a bad experience with this during my stint as the manager of a gas station late at night, when a tour bus stopped at our place and 30 people came in, half of them obviously minors and the other half wanting to buy alcohol, which state law prohibited us from allowing.

  • Roscoe Conkling||

    I get all my food delivered.

  • ||

    On the other hand, if passed, the law would be a boon to all-you-can-eat restaurants.

  • Sandy Szwarc||

    That is, if you pull up to a drive-thru, the restaurant would have to check each person in the car for obesity,

    No, that'll be OK because the obese person won't be visible to the public as long as they remain in their cars. And delivery is A-OK too. We just don't want to see fat people. Is that too mcuh to ask?

  • ||

    Some thin entrepeneur can only see this as a golden blackmarket opportunity.

  • ||

    Surely this is a civil rights violation.

    Ha. That's a good one.

  • Egosumabbas||

    Wow, my wife wasn't kidding me when she said that once the smokers were persecuted by the government, fat people were next.

    And people deny we're in a police state.

  • Nutter||

    This is going about it all the wrong way. The obviuus* answer is to ban food that tastes good. This will save thinnies from becoming fatties before it is too late.

    *mandatory Friday typo

  • ||

    Russ 2000: even better, we can start subsidizing the restaurants that are no longer profitable. The fewer customers they serve, the more handouts we'll give 'em.

    Who the fuck is John Galt?

  • jackanapestarian||

    The obvious answer is to retrofit all the doors to 10" wide. Ban drive-throughs and deliveries. Scofflaws get put in the stocks for public humiliation. The government has the power. They only need the willpower. And strong leadership. I'm Hillary Clinton, and I approved this message.

  • Egosumabbas||

    The more I read the less Alex Jones looks like a screwball.
    This is just the beginning.


    No frikking kidding. PrisonPlanet doesn't seem like such a silly name for a website, now, does it?

  • ||

    All this bill will do is stop lobbyists from taking Haley Barbour to free dinners.

  • Egosumabbas||

    I meant, it doesn't seem like such a silly name anymore

  • Episiarch||

    Hi, I just wandered in here from reality and I'm trying to find my way back there. What? This is reality?

  • Franklin Harris||

    Episiarch, I reject your reality and substitute my own!

  • ||

    Episiarch and Mxyzptlk sittin' in a tree....

  • Russ 2000||

    Leave it to Mississippi to come up with the 21st century version of a Jim Crow law.

  • Episiarch||

    Hcraisipe...OH SHI

  • ||

    I would love to be watching* when some poor server tells someone from the "Fat Rights" movement that he can't serve them.

    *from a safe distance.

  • ||

    Psst. Kid. Over here. Want some sausage gravy? Just $100 a kilo.

  • Fluffy||

    When they say "restaurants covered by this section", am I right in guessing without looking that the covered restaurants are fast food chain establishments only? Like the trans fat laws were?

    After all, if that's the case the lawmakers could score the threefer of passing a "deny business to disliked firms", "subject disliked firms to thousands of lawsuits filed by the borderline obese who are denied service", and "demonstrate that we don't have to respect the rights of fat people".

  • ||

    "Surely this is a civil rights violation." Actually I think it is also a private property issue. Oh, wait, the Woolworth diner is "public" property.

    Now all you fatties had better drop 100 pounds because to not do so means you are not getting on board for "National Greatness".

  • Egosumabbas||

    Okay okay okay, this is going to be a ridiculous idea, but bear with me here. What if some people WANT to be morbidly obese? You know, burn the candle at both ends. Yes, I know, sometimes it makes medicare and medicaid payments go up when you let people that but still. So somebody wants to lob off 20 years of their life in exchange for a twinkie-snorting habit? Anybody see a complete replay of the War On Drugs moralization here? Drug users are evil because they pollute their bodies... now they're using the same logic on people who have an unhealthy obsession with deep-fried mars bars. I guess we'll have to invade Scotland looking for Wild Haggis, just like us burning down poppy fields in Afghanistan and Coca fields in Colombia is an excersize in futility.

  • ||

    How long before we see the following Balko Post.

    Police officer Joe Donut was shot and killed yesterday while conducting a no-knock raid. The home owner, Mr. Cooke, was taken into custody and charged with murder. Police say they confiscated two hot plates, several dutch ovens, twenty gallons of partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, and almost one hundred pounds of potatoes. "Nobody eats that many potatoes" said Lieutenant Nanny "The idea is this is for personal use is laughable. In addition these were an especially potent variety, known on the street as 'Russets'. It's actually been bred up for maximum starch."

  • First Little Pig||

    I have been in arguments with socialist-types who earnestly believe in the need to phase out bad-for-you-food and would be all in favor of something like this.

    Here's the really crazy thing: when they base their arguments (as is inevitable) on the costs that obesity inflicts on society I state clearly that the answer is to allow the market to deal with it and disallow government from providing free health care to anyone and allow insurance companies to deny coverage to whomever they like, they look at me as if I've sprouted horns.

  • Episiarch||

    When they say "restaurants covered by this section", am I right in guessing without looking that the covered restaurants are fast food chain establishments only?

    Well, of course. Their favorite Michelin-rated restaurants need to be able to serve their fat asses, after all.

  • ||

    This bill is only phase one. Phase two mandates that grocery stores disallows people with a BMI above 30 from buying food other than celery, carrot sticks and non-fat milk.


    It was certainly nice to Rep. Mayhall to pawn off the enforcement of his law on the kids working the cash register at McDonald's and the hostess at Chili's.

  • ||

    OK, well, yes. Sure.

    "Could I see some Real ID, please? Thanks.

    I just need you to step out of the car, please. Thaaat's it, nice and easy. Now, put your hands on the hood, there. Take it easy. I'm just going to pull your shirttail up a bit....no need to get upset!! Take it easy, and no one's gonna get hurt. I just need to take your body fat percentage. Jim, you got the calipers?? Thanks......."

    And what about the anorexics?
    Shall we force feed them hush puppies and beer batter fried catfish?

  • Fluffy||

    Does anyone here doubt that John McCain and Mike Huckabee [in other words, both halves of the likely 2008 GOP ticket] would support such legislation?

    I can hear the Huckster now ["I know that when Jesus was helping me lose weight, the most difficult times would be when I passed by a Burger King or a Popeye's. Satan would tempt me just as he tempted our Lord during His 40 days in the desert! It was only by prayer and by Jesus' vertical leadership that I made it through! We need to do something to help Jesus in his battle with Satan, and crushing Satan's minions at Shoney's is the way to start!"

  • Other Matt||

    I don't know where y'all get the idea that drive through or home delivery will save you. I read:

    Any food establishment to which this section applies shall not be allowed to serve food to any person who is obese

    I don't see an exclusion for drive through or delivery. Big fun would result from thinking someone is obese, and having food delivered, resulting in a no knock SWAT raid on their house, looking for burger king wrappers.

    Seriously, it ain't about being seen or not seen, I guess he figures they'll starve them out or something.

  • ||

    I have a new obsession. Take your standard issue catch-phrase and then append ", fatties" to the end of it.

    Like "We're not in Kansas anymore, fatties."

    Or "Ich bin ein Berliner, fatties."

    Maybe even "It's not a big truck. It's a series of tubes, fatties."

    And as a special for reasonoids "Drink, fatties!"

  • Other Matt||

    How long before we see the following Balko Post.

    Warren beat me to it while I was typing.

  • Episiarch||

    So de stijl, you gonna use that in the strip club?

    "Give me a lap dance, fatties"

    or at the wet t-shirt contest?

    "nice tits, fatties"

  • ||

    Anybody see a complete replay of the War On Drugs moralization here? Drug users are evil because they pollute their bodies...

    Next it would be advantageous to establish that those who choose to defile their bodies will necessarily become depraved, violent criminals. Where's Tipper Gore &/or Nancy Reagan when ya need them? Never mind; Billary will suffice.

  • Zeb||

    And if they lop off 20 years of their lives, won't that save a lot of Medicare on the other end?

    Bear in mind folks, that this is only a proposed bill and it will definitely not pass. Give it a few years though...

  • x,y||

    Any food establishment to which this section applies shall not be allowed to serve food to any person who is obese...



    And food establishments with creative legal counsel will find a way to get food to obese customers without "serving" them.

  • ||

    Something weird about the "Haley Barbour Fat Reduction Act"

  • ||

    "To Serve Man"

  • ||

    Surely this is a civil rights violation.

    If a disproportionate percentage of the obese belong to a minority, I think you've lay down case.

    I wouldn't want to be the restaurant manager, or the server, who had to tell an NFL lineman "No soup for you!", that's for sure.

  • ||

    Jesus, do even fat people need to form interest groups these days?! Let the politicians delude themselves that BMI is the problem here. If they realize it's exercise, less video games for all of us...

  • Mike Laursen||

    And people deny we're in a police state.

    We may well be, but this particular item isn't putting us there yet. I used to get all worked up over this or that proposed bill in my state legislature, and blog about it being a sign of the coming apocalypse. Then I started going back a few months later to track what happened to the bills I had blogged about. I realized that legislators propose crazy shit all the time, and most of it dies in committee.

  • ||

    """And people deny we're in a police state"""

    We are not really. But we are trapped in a car going going down the freeway at full speed towards a police state. We can't seem to kick the driver out and take the wheel. Everytime we kick one out, another magically takes its place. Heeeeelp!!!

  • ||

    most of it dies in committee.

    Now, if the Legislators would just die in committee, we might make some progress.

  • ||

    I realized that legislators propose crazy shit all the time, and most of it dies in committee.

    And this is comforting how?

  • ||

    I can't say that we can claim to be the beacon of freedom. Why does America hate freedom?

  • ||

    """Now, if the Legislators would just die in committee, we might make some progress.""""

    New anti-whatever sheep will take their place.

    We really in a change in attitude, not just people per se. We need to adopt a pro-freedom attitude, which I shouldn't have to say being we are in America.

  • ||

    You do not want to mess with fat people.

    We are bigger than you.

  • ||

    What substance isn't controlled nowadays?

  • Mike Laursen||

    And this is comforting how?

    It's comforting compared to they propose crazy shit, it passes committee, is passed by both houses of the legislature, and gets signed into law by the governor. It's not comforting compared to an ideal world where they don't propose crazy shit at all.

  • Egosumabbas||

    What's really sad about the state of America today is that ALL freedoms are under threat right now: both economic and civil. It might even come to the point where the cost-benefit analysis of living here turns negative (particularly when I have children) and will have to move. This probably will entail some socialist european destination, because personally speaking, it comes down to valuing civil liberties more than economic liberties (And as a pre-buttal, I know there's a huge gray area between the two "brands" of liberty, and trying to draw a distinction is splitting hairs, but you know what I'm talking about). Also I have faith that Europe may actually improve in economy liberties in the future (see Eastern Europe, and the election of Nikolas Sarkozy in France), whereas our respect for economic liberty is going southwards (I cite the general riduculing of Ron Paul's economic policies by a lot of prominent groups as an example).

  • PantsFan||

    Facts about DHMO:

    http://www.dhmo.org/facts.html

  • ||

    This is a great idea. They should have a scale in front of the door at all restaurants - If you weigh too much, a siren goes off, a spotlight shines on you, and a trapdoor opens beneath your feet that delivers you to a subterranean fat-farm. God bless America.

  • LarryA||

    Police officer Joe Donut was shot and killed yesterday while conducting a no-knock raid.

    I prefer the one where Joe enters his favorite eatery and the clerk has to say, "Sorreee, Officer, but..."

  • ||

    When all the fat is outlawed, only the outlaws will have fat.

    If this only applies to chains, franchisors will only have to change the legal realationship to supplier rather than franchisor and they are no longer a restaurant chain but a supply chain.

  • PantsFan||

    :( whoops wrong thread

  • ||

    Well, now, what do you know....

    It turns out this here pro-big gov varmint just so happens to be a republican!

    Well now, at least he ain't one of them thar Nanny staters...

    More proof that there is zero chance of liberal/libertarian fusion. Them libertarians prefer their nanny staters republican style.

  • ||

    So, how long before they assign a caseworker to each fattie who does surprise inspections in their pantries and follows them to the market to make sure they aren't buying Twinkies and Ho-hos at the market?

  • ||

    But, don't chubbies need their Freedom Fries too?

  • Fluffy||

    Not just twinkies and ho-ho's, CFisher.

    You know what causes obesity among poor, minority and immigrant populations? Beans and rice.

    So we have to have a caseworker measure the amount of beans and rice purchased, divide by the family size, and...oh heck that won't work. The caseworker will actually have to observe all meals.

  • ||

    TrickyVic

    I had in mind The Committee of Public Safety.

    Might discourage new candidates from seeking the job.

  • ||

    Given obesity trends (especially in Mississippi), this can't be a winning election strategy for the three sponsors.

  • ||

    Doesn't this violate the 14th Amendment? Like, a lot?

  • K Parsons||

    So, my local coffee shop is in the middle of it's SECOND ANNUAL Biggest Loser contest, in which I participate. They've made high-fiber, low fat breads, low fat chicken salads, and tasty yet healthy homemade soups. All of this and they still wouldn't be allowed to serve me? BOLLOX.

    I guess I'll just sit home and eat my horded Hershey bars........

  • ||

    Once again I wonder how many nannies it takes to make a tyranny.

  • ||

    I can't see the police getting behind this at all. Think about it, fat people can't run as fast, they're bigger Tazer targets, they'll make a good "thumping" sound when hit with a baton, why, the list just goes on and on.

    Now, they'll have to increase the dimensions of police cruiser back seats, but otherwise...

  • ||

    "Kiss my hairy pale ass, fatties"

    Hmmm... I like it :)

  • The Extispicator||

    I, for one, look forward to the white, pasty protein glop our Government Caretakers will shortly begin rationing to us. One less thing to worry about. The mandatory exercise drills are, admittedly, more annoying. But think about the fact that you will live an extra 7.33 years enjoying the glop!

  • Robert||

    When they say "restaurants covered by this section", am I right in guessing without looking that the covered restaurants are fast food chain establishments only?


    Would that it were that narrow. No, the links are easy to follow and the bill is very short. It covers all restaurants that require a license and have indoor seating for 5 or more. So the only restaurants it wouldn't apply to would be drive-ins, hot dog & ice cream stands, places that have only walk-up windows, single table bakeries, and those that for some reason don't require a license, maybe because they don't cook.

  • ||

    I hope it passes, seriously and then all pretense will be gone.
    People, hopefully, will final see the truth and recongize the tryanny we are against.
    Then the Libertarian militia will no longer be dream but it will incorporate into something real and the second civil/revolutionary war will be on with America being cleanesed again.
    To America, To Freedom, lets ride.

  • yoshi||

    What's really sad about the state of America today is that ALL freedoms are under threat right now: both economic and civil.

    I read this and I just want to say "read a history book fatass.*" Our "liberties" have been thrown away dozens of times and many where still fighting for "liberties" as recently as three decades ago. As a gay man - I can't marry my boyfriend for christ sakes**. What is different this time around is technology is enabling those assholes that have existed since this country was founded additional tools to implement on a wide scale what has been shoved down our throats during every other time in our history. What is going on is nothing new. And neither is the fight against it.

    /rant

    *not intended as an insult but I had to throw a reference to the original topic
    **just an expression and not intended to express support for any deity

  • Brandybuck||

    Oh God I am so depressed.

  • economist||

    This means war! Fatasses of the world unite! We have nothing to lose but 50-100 pounds of pure body fat!

    Seriously, though, this law is ridiculous. Just another reason to hate Mississippi.

  • economist||

    Terry,
    I tried to ride up on by noble steed, but its legs collapsed. I think we might have a problem here.

  • ||

    We are bigger than you.

    Yeah, but we can outrun you.

  • ||

    Mr. Mayhill,
    How will this affect the tourists who want to visit the great state of MS? Will they be met at the border by armed guards and told they can't enter the state or travel through the state...unless they pack their lunch??? Eventually will you attack the wonderful people of MS who are on food stamps and force them to lose weight or lose their benefits?
    And, what about the people who are suffering from debilitating diseases and cannot lose weight? Will you refuse them the right to enjoy restaurants as well???

  • Disgruntled Mississipian||

    is suzzan joking when she says the wonderful people of Mississippi. Actually this state sucks so much balls it isn't even funny.

  • ||

    The sponsor said he didn't expect or want the bill to pass. He just wanted to (and succeeded) in sparking some discussions about what can be done to combat the obesity crisis (and it is a crisis, at least if you live in Texas!).

    Obviously this is not the best way, but it was the best way to get a lot of attention in a hurry.

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