Sunday, January 27, 2013

Let Them Eat Shakes!

Quick Quiz!

By a show of hands, who remembers the man featured in the photo above? 

Hey, put your hands down, I was kidding.  It's not like I can actually SEE you through that video camera on your laptop or anything... 

Or, can I???  Hmm, I wonder...

I cannot, of course, but just between you and me?  You might want to knock that cowlick down on the left side of your head if you plan on going out in public today. 

Today's post has absolutely nothing to do with your hair, that unblinking camera lens above your laptop monitor, or my ability to see you. 

Today's post has more to do with those people who CAN see you.

"They see you when you're smoking,
They know when you over-eat,
They see if you're on Blood Pressure meds,
They know if your knees are weak..."

In case you've forgotten who this guy is, allow me to call upon a series of 0's and 1's to decode the following digital representation of the wit and wisdom of... 

In defense of Alan Grayson - D, FL, (ousted in 2010) he was 50% correct in his assessment of the state of health care in the Nation.  From a purely statistical perspective, this makes him roughly 10 times more accurate than the majority of members in his party.  

His mistake, of course, was in saying that it is Republicans who want folks to 'Die quickly'.  The rest of what he said was pretty much dead on based upon what I read this morning. 

Yes, I am here today to tell you that:

Alan Grayson is a Visionary
I'll give you a few moments while you clear the milk you just sprayed out your nose off the keyboard. 
Again, just between you and me, you missed some.  Grab a paper towel and dry that spot just above your shirt pocket.  Cleanliness IS close to Godliness you know... 
And as I type this, I find myself a little closer to God than I was just yesterday.
ASSOCIATED PRESS, JANUARY 26, 2012:  Do penalties for smokers and the obese make sense?
NEW YORK (AP) -- Faced with the high cost of caring for smokers and overeaters, experts say society must grapple with a blunt question:
Instead of trying to penalize them and change their ways, why not just let these health sinners die prematurely from their unhealthy habits?
Annual health care costs are roughly $96 billion for smokers and $147 billion for the obese, the government says. These costs accompany sometimes heroic attempts to prolong lives, including surgery, chemotherapy and other measures.
But despite these rescue attempts, smokers tend to die 10 years earlier on average, and the obese die five to 12 years prematurely, according to various researchers' estimates.
"This is my life. I should be able to do what I want," said Sebastian Lopez, a college student from Queens, speaking last September when the New York City Board of Health approved the soda size rules.  [Moos Note:  No one has seen Sebastian since he made this comment  - nah, just kidding.]
Critics also contend that tobacco- and calorie-control measures place a disproportionately heavy burden on poor people. That's because they:
- Smoke more than the rich, and have higher obesity rates.
- Have less money so sales taxes hit them harder. One study last year found poor, nicotine-dependent smokers in New York - a state with very high cigarette taxes - spent as much as a quarter of their entire income on smokes.

- Are less likely to have a car to shop elsewhere if the corner bodega or convenience store stops stocking their vices.


There always seems to be a fight whenever this kind of public health legislation comes up. And it's a fight that can go in all sorts of directions. For example, some studies even suggest that because smokers and obese people die sooner, they may actually cost society less than healthy people who live much longer and develop chronic conditions like Alzheimer's disease. 
So let's return to the original question: Why provoke a backlash? If 1 in 5 U.S. adults smoke, and 1 in 3 are obese, why not just get off their backs and let them go on with their (probably shortened) lives?


From an economist's perspective, there would be less reason to grouse about unhealthy behaviors by smokers, obese people, motorcycle riders who eschew helmets and other health sinners if they agreed to pay the financial price for their choices.

That's the rationale for a provision in the Affordable Care Act - "Obamacare" to its detractors - that starting next year allows health insurers to charge smokers buying individual policies up to 50 percent higher premiums.

A 60-year-old could wind up paying nearly $5,100 on top of premiums.

The new law doesn't allow insurers to charge more for people who are overweight, however.  [Moos Note:  Well, at least not YET]

It's tricky to play the insurance game with overweight people, because science is still sorting things out. While obesity is clearly linked with serious health problems and early death, the evidence is not as clear about people who are just overweight.


That said, public health officials shouldn't shy away from tough anti-obesity efforts, said Callahan, the bioethicist. Callahan caused a public stir this week with a paper that called for a more aggressive public health campaign that tries to shame and stigmatize overeaters the way past public health campaigns have shamed and stigmatized smokers.

National obesity rates are essentially static, and public health campaigns that gently try to educate people about the benefits of exercise and healthy eating just aren't working, Callahan argued. We need to get obese people to change their behavior. If they are angry or hurt by it, so be it, he said.

Should I shift gears and jump into the debate over Gun Control and WHY people are hoarding weapons and ammunition over the past few years?  No.  I won't.  You can connect those particular 'dots' on your own. 

I'd like however to take a Left Turn towards a thought process which will solve ALL the problems referenced above.  I'm going to put on my Progressive Hat and use their logic to FIX the problems outlined above (you'll want to scrub your hands, face, and eyes with alcohol when you're done reading the section below):

How to fix!

  • Obesity,
  • Smoking,
  • Insurance Costs,
  • Over-Population,
  • and, sure, why not? "Global Climate Change"

Allow me to use the  AP logic to fix the ills of society today:

  • Cut all Federal Subsidies to the Poor which go towards 'food' - people will eat less, lose weight, and Live Longer (unless, of course, they starve to death - but if they do, hey, they'll die 'the healthiest' they've been in YEARS!)
  • Force manufacturers to lower the price of their cigarettes while implementing a higher TAX on them.  This does two things, First, it punishes the richest Americans for their bad habit, and Second, it still allows the Poor to obtain prescription narcotics via Welfare and / or Medicaid at their local physician's office, sell it on the street (at market prices) and allow them to continue to smoke - for FREE!  It's the compassionate thing to do - they needs thems smokes.
  • Provide Abortion on Demand - regardless the age of ANY patient!  Unborn, Newly Born, Teenaged, Middle-Aged, Geriatric?  No problem!  All it takes is a 'relatively painless' needle stick and viola!  Good night Irene!   Pop 'em down the chute into the furnace - boom, done!
  • Dozens of well-meaning and thoughtful Progressive Scientists agree with ME that the problem with the Earth is...  US!  If we weren't here mucking things up, the sacred Earth could continue upon it's merry way spinning, and spinning, and spinning, and...  (Any further elaboration would require scientific research and I'm not going there, okay?)
  • In the end, by allowing people to starve while continuing to smoke, we'll reduce the surplus population, save the Earth, and make the World a better place - for the, um, World.  We, of course won't be here to see how things turn out.
  • Now that I think about it, perhaps I should remain behind to make sure the Earth fully recovers from us?  I'm willing to do this not for myself, but for Mother Earth, Gaya, this Big Blue Marble spinning forever in space.  It's a sacrifice I'm willing to make. 
  • As for the rest of you folks, let me know if you have any cool stuff at home because I'm coming to get it when you're gone...  YOU won't need it any more. 
  • And don't expect me to bury you, I'll be chillin' with your XBox for days on end.  Just throw yourself into a fire or something when you begin to feel, really, really, bad, okay?   I don't want you laying around stinking up the place for me while I'm looting your home.  Thanks, that'd be great. 

No.  I don't want your stuff.  You keep it - I've got plenty of stuff of my own.  I guess in the end I ask you to keep your eyes open so you can see what's going on around you.  For example, if a Nationally known Politician is laughed off the national stage for using the phrase, 'Death Panels' to explain a provision of a national health care plan and a few years later you trip across an article which begins the way this one does - questioning whether the Fat or Smoking deserve to die???  Well, let's just say that in 2013 I don't believe in coincidences any longer. 

There are proponents of Eugenics in all levels of the Federal Government. They want people 'like them' to survive. 

And between you and me?  I'm not one of THEM.   

Hey, before I go, you've got a little bit of green stuff on your front tooth - salad at lunch today, huh?  Good for you.  Hope you had the Lite Ranch dressing (I see a little something on your collar).

Live long and prosper...  While you can, at least. 

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