Thursday, July 31, 2008

Today's rant: Unhealthy foods...

More and more folks are jumping on the "Be Healthy, it's the Law" bandwagon by banning the use of trans fats in restaurants, and demanding full disclosure of caloric content, making the sale of unhealthy foods an issue of public health. It makes sense, especially when consumers are completely unaware of the ingredients... right?

Laws like this get to me because they clearly demonstrate Americans' general inability to take responsibility for themselves. This cannot possibly be the first time people were aware french fries and hot wings are bad for you. Did they really not know burgers were bad for the arteries? Were they seriously unaware eating donuts can make you fat? What really pisses me off is the suggestion that restaurants are deliberately causing obesity and heart disease. Oh, I'm sure they'd rather you didn't know precisely how fattening their foods are, but they aren't exactly cramming it down anyone's throats. Restaurant executives aren't sitting around trying to think of ways to add more calories and fat in an attempt to slowly kill their customers. Whether or not they disclose caloric content, they're not making a secret of the fact that their foods are deep-fried in grease and covered in butter and cheese.

It's the attitude in articles like this, apparently shared by the majority of Americans, that's aggravating. How dare you clog my arteries with your french fries?!? I can't believe you'd put a bunch of sugar in your smoothies!! High fructose corn syrup?? You bastards!!

Time-Life had a book series in the 80's called Healthy Home Cooking. We've known home-cooked meals were cheaper and healthier than any restaurant could offer for at least 20 years. Yet in 1998, almost half the money spent on food in America was spent in restaurants (would have liked to find something more current, but I'm pretty sure it hasn't changed much). Thank goodness lawmakers decided to step in and save us from unhealthy food. It's obvious we can't be trusted to do avoid it ourselves.

Friday, July 18, 2008

A good reason to beat up a kid...

Via Daryl: We have to protect our school children from The Gays, so we refuse to protect Those Gay Kids from being bullied. You know, for the children.

This really doesn't make any sense to me. I think they're going at this backwards. Instead of adding more details to the bullying and harassment laws, why don't they remove them all? Is bullying and harassment ever okay? For any reason? Listing specific reasons someone may not be harassed or physically abused only suggests that there are reasons not specified where bullying is acceptable. I see this being a perpetual problem in the future. Will the inclusion of tattoos and piercings be proposed next? How about "unnatural hair colors"? Will we someday have to include "artificial body parts" to the harassment laws? And what about the details of the harassment itself? Right now, it probably says something like "physical or verbal assault or threats, in person or through mail, email, phone, text, or website forum." Must we change the laws every time a new form of communication is invented?

We cannot possibly stay on top at the legal level of all the reasons a person can be harassed or bullied, nor can we keep up with the ways in which they're harassed and bullied. Wouldn't it be easier just to say "ANY form of harassment or bullying in ANY way for ANY reason is illegal"?? The bigots conservatives insist that they don't advocate hurting a child, but that the inclusion of such terms as "sexual orientation" will open the door for gays to have equal rights more gay propaganda. Eliminating all specifics in the law seems to me to serve both the fears of the paranoid bigots concerns of the conservatives, and kids who are subjected to bullying.

Sometimes, simpler is better.