Friday, December 08, 2006

I am a staunch advocate of free enterprise

----- Sorry, this really turned into a rant -----

NYC bans science! What the hell?
The Junk Science master Steven Milloy has the topic covered...

"The New York City Board of Health this week banned the use of trans fats by restaurants. The decision is directly traceable back to the “research” of Harvard University’s Alberto Ascherio and Walter Willett, the promoters-in-chief of trans fats hysteria."

Now I don't care one bit about the health of trans fats or why someone whould choose to either consume them or not. What worries me is our government! Since when does the government know best? Fact is, ideologically speaking, I'm a Libertarian. Yes, I know that I live in a two party system and yes, I vote Republican. But freedom really excites me. And when my Google homepage links to a story like this, I can't sleep until I've vented...

"The Board’s notice of its decision to ban trans fats tries to bolster its case by playing on popular misconceptions about saturated fat. The notice states that, “trans fat appears even worse than saturated fat.” The Board apparently isn’t familiar with the several Ascherio-Willett studies that fail to link saturated fat with heart disease and stroke."

Are you kidding me? Wait, so now the infinitely wise NYC Board of Health can control the kind of food available to people based on a popular misconception?!
Hmmmm... And, since I'm such a fan of hypocricy:

"Regular (sugar-sweetened) soft drinks ought to be history as well. Willett linked them with weight gain and diabetes in women (Journal of the American Medical Association, Aug. 25, 2004). It didn’t even matter that the same study also inexplicably linked diet soft drinks with a similar risk of diabetes."

By now I'm laughing out loud.

If trans fats are so bad, why should you be able to purchase food in a store that is too dangerous to be served in a restaurant?

Good question. Because obviously the Board is only looking out for the safety and well-being of it's residents. And if trans fats are bad enough that the city government is forced to ban them from restaurants, then surely it should be ILLEGAL and not to mention, dangerous, to consume trans fats regardless of when or where. Unless I'm missing something.

This is the same kind of attitude we've been exposed to regarding the war on terror. It's the whole "people should listen to me because I know what's best for them" attitude of the Liberal elite. And frankly, I'm tired of it. So... combat operations and policies in foreign countries should be decided on by washed up desk jockeys who've wasted their life spending someone else's money in an attempt to get ahead in politics? The people who feel it neccessary to make decisions for everyone else have problems. My theory is it's the same people who were picked on in gym class 20 years ago for wearing black socks.
Is this how the schoolyard "weenie" gets back at the bully? By rising to power in politics and dictating the day to day life of everyone around them? The normal people went out and got jobs. They did something worthwhile. There are plenty of people in our country who would be amazing politicians. It's too bad that they are out doing other things... like leading military troops, or fighting fires, or running successful businesses. I can't imagine how many CEO's in our country would be over qualified to run for the Presidency. As Ronald Reagan once said:
"The best minds are not in government. If any were, business would hire them away."

I am an advocate of free enterprise because it allows those of us with "will", to succeed in whatever we do. I believe in survival of the fittest. If I want something, I am able to go get it. It doesn't matter what it is, all I have to do is work hard enough to achieve it and it's mine. That is what makes this country great. You don't like your boss? Start your own business. That's freedom.

And so I get pretty distraught when that kid I used to beat up on the playground now heads the Democratic Policy Committee and is trying to tell men such as myself how to fight a war. It just doesn't make sense.


Excellant post. Well said. I feel the same way. But sadly, the people running the Democratic Party are not Democrats. Look up the PDA and the Peogressive Caucus. Follow the "pth' and it will take you to ANSWER, UPFJ,ultimately the DSA to the Workers Party.
So just for the sake of argument, again, I'll pose another question. If freedom in all things is the ultimate form of freedom, then why do we have laws against things like murder, theft and rape? I've heard the argument made that as soon as you infringe on someone else's freedoms then that's where the line is to be drawn, but if omnipresent freedom is your ultimate goal then wouldn't the freedom to impose on the freedoms of others be protected under that logic? Of course, that would lead to anarchy which is the total absence of government control. So let's go back down the scale of freedom now. SOME controls must be placed to add control and prevent chaos. For the good of the people. So laws against high crimes are put into place. But to protect the people completely, laws must be enacted down through the most petty of offenses. Again, all for the good of the people. For their safety. For their health. Now comes the standard argument of seat belt laws, recreational drug laws, and the new twist on the old song and dance: NYC trans-fat ban nonsense. So I guess the overall question wrapped up in this mess is who is to say what's right, what's wrong, what's not enough and what's too far with our legal systems and regulatory protocols? What is the solution? I've heard you say it before in different arguments. It's all or nothing at all. Give'em an inch and they'll take a mile right? So what do we do about it? Again, a disclaimer. I think that the trans-fat ban is BULLSHIT. Mostly because I love cheeseburgers with a double helping of trans-fat on the top. mmmmMMMM! Just arguing for the sake of arguing.
you should note that Steve Milloy is actually an unreputable shady spokesman of a restaurant and food processing lobbying association.

Also, do you oppose removing lead paint, asbestos, and arsenic from buildings and your drinking water? do you oppose the govt stepping in to prevent E. coli outbreaks? Thus, is the govt violating your rights with the trans fat control-- no, the govt is fulfulling its duty to protect its citizens from toxins and poisons. And thats exactly what trans-fat is-- an unnatural toxic food additive (no plant or animal on Earth makes trans-fat).

I'm all for personal freedoms-- but i'm also for the govt protecting citizens from toxic poisons in our food supply.

And again, dont fall for Steve Milloy's biased rants with his hidden agendas and conflicts of interests.
Yes Nick, We've argued this countless times taking turns playing the Devil's Advocate. For the record, I'm not claiming to have the answer. I'm just opinionated.

So I guess the overall question wrapped up in this mess is who is to say what's right, what's wrong, what's not enough and what's too far with our legal systems and regulatory protocols?

I'll answer that short and sweet. Whatever the people want. That's the beauty of our country. Majority rules. The problem? The majority didn't get to vote on this. A "board" made a decision based on a single, questionable study. I don't like that. That's not democracy. That's not the American way. That is the European way. A small group of people deciding what is best for a large group of people. That sucks.

What is the solution?

To be frank, I don't have one. I guess I would say take it to a vote. Put the trans fat issue on the ballot. The problem with that? Have you ever read a ballot initiative?! Impossible to understand. Nobody wants to take the time to sift through the garbage "legal language" to find out what they're voting on. That sucks too.

And Anonymous... if that is your real name...

You can't compare trans fats and lead paint. That's just ridiculous. Besides, leave those types of decisions to the people that get paid to do the research, the FDA. Their job is to tell us what is safe for consumption. Not a panel of politicians in NYC.

And Milloy's rants may be biased, but so are mine... and I like it that way.
Good answer, Taylor. I expected nothing less from you. The democratic process that you and I fight to defend (you use a gun, I piss in liberal gas tanks) is similar to a philosophical concept known as cultural relativism. Let the culture decide what is right and what is wrong for the culture. Democracy at it's finest!

On a side note, I went to see Blood Diamond tonight. Very graphic, fun at times, hard to watch at others. All in all I give it 4 of 5 stars. You should check it out if you've got the time.

Oh, and for this so called Anonymous poster: plant or animal on Earth makes trans-fat..

Humans make trans-fat. NEENER NEENER NEENER!
How can Milloy be biased when he cites the studies' own conclusions? Maybe because pointing out this nagging detail squashes some preconceived notions?

We already have too many conclusions looking for science, any science, to prove them. Global change anyone?

This issue is one of agendas and hysteria. It is good governance to protect the governed from known threats, in some cases. It is bad governance to invent threats and then legislate them out of existence. The latter happens when agendas and hysteria take over.

There are a lot of people out there determined to make our lives better and safer, at least in their eyes, whether we want it or not.
A Harvard research study that was out to connect trans fats to health issues could find no evidence. In fact, the numbers showed that trans fats slightly reduced the risk of heart attack and disease over an extended period. The government has no right to infringe upon free enterprise. If I am notified in advance as to what I am consuming, I assume full responisbility for eating it. It is the job of the individual to decide which health risks they are willing to take, not the job of the government.
Well said.
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