Does He Get to Keep the Costume?

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According to The Washington Post, Surgeon General Richard Carmona quietly resigned last week—so quietly that I didn't notice until now. During his four-year tenure, the Arizona surgeon showed a propensity either to lie in the name of "the public health" or to be so clueless that he did not know when he was misrepresenting the facts. He was a bit less pompous than C. Everett Koop, although he wore the same silly uniform. Unlike Koop, who went after smokers first and later turned his attention to fatties, Carmona went after fatties and later turned his attention to smokers.

According to the Post, Carmona "said it would be all worth it if one student he talked to was dissuaded from making bad health choices, or if one mother quit smoking to improve her child's health." If that's all it takes to prevent the appointment of another national health scold, won't a teenage mother somewhere volunteer to stop smoking? Do it for your country.

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  1. Jacob

    Does this have a point beyond feverishly touching yourself?

  2. Jacob,

    Does this have a point beyond feverishly touching yourself?

  3. Talk about fast service – on July 28 the American Spectator ran this brief ecomium on Carmona in my response to Doug Bandow’s pro T-cell veto ‘A Right of Conscience’:

    “…a Jehovah’s Witness would be an improvement on the second-hand Surgeon General who’s been modeling Nixon’s surplus White House Guard uniforms on TV lately.”

  4. I couldn’t help it. I couldn’t. I couldn’t help but visualize Richard Crenna in his uniform.

  5. Now, you’ve got Rosemary Clooney singing in my head, “Carmona My House.”

  6. I know why we are getting fat!!

    its becosue we smoke less.

    oh wait that is just me.

  7. Hey Jacob, from the Surgeon General’s news release you link to:

    The report, The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke, finds that even brief secondhand smoke exposure can cause immediate harm. The report says the only way to protect nonsmokers from the dangerous chemicals in secondhand smoke is to eliminate smoking indoors.

    By coincidence, another article today titled “Just one high-fat meal can affect body”: Eating just one high-fat meal — in this case, carrot cake and a milkshake — can quickly prevent “good” cholesterol from protecting the body against clogged arteries, a small study shows. The researchers conclude that …“the take-home, public-health message is this: It’s further evidence to support the need to aggressively reduce the amount of saturated fat consumed in the diet… and …“Even one meal of a double cheeseburger with fries and a Coke will mess up your system, let alone a steady diet of it, which is a recipe for disaster”.

    http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/280380_diet08.html

    Cheeseburgers are the new meth.

  8. Do smokers breathe second hand smoke? Is it like a double hit?

  9. The health ‘scolds’ might want to study the dangers of sticking their nose into other people’s business.

  10. JKII: “The health ‘scolds’ might want to study the dangers of sticking their nose into other people’s business.”

    Agree, as long as the other people stop sticking their nose in my wallet after their unhealthy pleasures begin to be outweighed by the consequences of such pleasure.

  11. I never noticed before, but is it only a surgeon we put on the government tit?
    Is that fair? (Seems very class-based to me.)
    Why don’t we just dress the person up as Clarabelle of Howdy Doody fame, and give him or her the title of “Health Scold General”?

    Recall jesters/jokers and suchlike had a relatively high status per British history.

    Or, how about this, if we want to really bear down?
    An official US “Brain Surgeon General”?
    (His or her’s right-hand person could be “Rocket Scientist Lieutenant General,” opening a billet for our beloved thoreau to have a permanent sinecure.

  12. Don Coyote,

    The health scolds generally *are* the ones who are sticking their hands in your pockets to pay for other’s unhealthy choices.

  13. I’ve never stopped to think about it, but what is the mission statement of the SG’s office? Does it serve a serious purpose, even if the people that head it happen to be serious, smart, forthright people?

  14. Drink every time someone tries to show off their pop culture chops with a comment that says “cool reference”

    Comment by: Gimme Back My Dog at July 11, 2006 02:24 PM

    Jacob,
    Cool Pink Floyd reference.

    Everybody drink.

  15. The above was intended for the “The Fletcher Memorial Home for Incurable Incumbents” thread. Can I blame the friggin rodents?

  16. The health ‘scolds’ might want to study the dangers of sticking their nose into other people’s business.

    Yes, if they keep it up, they might find themselves with a terminal case of lead poisoning.

  17. Would that it were “Foster’s Home”, and they were Imaginary Incumbents.

    Kevin

  18. Great Ape:

    Why, here you go — The Surgeon General and the Commissioned Public Health Corps are a remnant of the US Marine Hospital Service, reorganized around the Spanish – American War. Being in uniform allows the doctors of this service (and the surveyors of the NOAA Corps, themselves a fascinating bit of Federal trivia) go about their business in traditional war zones without being at risk of being shot as spies.

    Duties of the Surgeon General

    To administer the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) Commissioned Corps, which is a uniquely expert, diverse, flexible, and committed career force of public health professionals who can respond to both current and long-term health needs of the Nation;
    To provide leadership and management oversight for PHS Commissioned Corps involvement in Departmental emergency preparedness and response activities;
    To protect and advance the health of the Nation through educating the public; advocating for effective disease prevention and health promotion programs and activities; and, provide a highly recognized symbol of national commitment to protecting and improving the public’s health;
    To articulate scientifically based health policy analysis and advice to the President and the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) on the full range of critical public health, medical, and health system issues facing the Nation;
    To provide leadership in promoting special Departmental health initiatives, e.g., tobacco and HIV prevention efforts, with other governmental and non-governmental entities, both domestically and internationally;
    To elevate the quality of public health practice in the professional disciplines through the advancement of appropriate standards and research priorities; and
    To fulfill statutory and customary Departmental representational functions on a wide variety of Federal boards and governing bodies of non-Federal health organizations, including the Board of Regents of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, the National Library of Medicine, the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States, and the American Medical Association.

  19. This is a most unfortunate turn of events. I was hoping that Dr. Carmona would die a horrible death from second hand smoke, like in 30 minutes, while in office, instead of lying through his non-nicotine stained teeth and getting away from the crime scene clean.

  20. This is a most unfortunate turn of events. I was hoping that Dr. Carmona would die a horrible death from second hand smoke, like in 30 minutes, while in office, instead of lying through his non-nicotine stained teeth and getting away from the crime scene clean.

  21. This is a most unfortunate turn of events. I was hoping that Dr. Carmona would die a horrible death from second hand smoke, like in 30 minutes, while in office, instead of lying through his non-nicotine stained teeth and getting away from the crime scene clean.

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