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June 21, 2011

FDA Approves New Cigarette Pack Warning Graphics

The FDA is trying to scare you away from smoking with some freaky looking graphics that will make their way onto cigarette packs in September of 2012:

Smoking graphic.JPG

Click the link above to see all of the grahpics.

One might wonder: if smoking is such a bad thing (and yes, it does cause terrible health issues including emphysema and cancer), why doesn't the government ban it?

Two words: tax revenue. Government programs like the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) are funded by federal taxes on cigarettes - back in 2007, the program's funding was reauthorized with a $35 billion expansion - funded by a 61 cents per pack tax increase. And, according to the Heritage Foundation, 22.4 million new smokers will be needed by 2017 to produce the revenue necessary for SCHIP.

States also like their ciggie revenue, and fret when it goes down due to more people quitting - even as they publicly vilify smokers by making it harder and harder to smoke anywhere - even in your own home.

Ironic, isn't it?

(Full disclosure: I am an on-again, off-again smoker. I tend to turn back to it during extremely stressful periods in my life.)

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October 23, 2008

Where Socialism Leads...Wise Words from a Russian Immigrant

My friend Karen pointed me to the following. It's a comment posted to this blog entry by Jake Tapper on Political Punch. The blog entry quotes Obama in Virginia claiming he'll sweep into Washington as the agent of change with a "righteous wind at our backs."

While that statement by The One is creepy enough, I feel the comment below is something we should all read and internalize. It's a lesson I am hoping Americans won't have to learn first hand (all spelling, grammar and punctuation from the original):

I'm an immigrant from Russia. I grew up in Siberia in 1960-70-s, the prosperous period in USSR. Neither my parents nor I were Party elites and had no special privileges to get an apartment, a telephone, a car etc. To give it to us would be decided by a few Communist Party demagogues on their subjective opinion regarding how hard and productive we worked for USSR and therefore for the Communist party.

Based on the size of our family, two parents and child, the government gave us a one room apartment that consists of a single room, 18 sq. yards, used as a bedroom, living room, and storage. The only other rooms were a bathroom and a kitchen, where I had to sleep. Lucky we had an apartment, since many families had to wait sometimes for twenty years to get one.

Since government controlled food production and distribution each person had special ration cards to buy in the local store 2 lb of meat or 1 lb of processed meat products per month, and 8 oz of butter.

During Yeltsin reign, in the early 1990's, taxes on business were significantly increased resulting in great decrease in production. Inflation hit 2000%. Sugar, eggs, salt, detergent, soap, vodka and even matches were also distributed through the ration cards. I was an engineer then. I remember having nothing to eat but bread and spaghetti. Shelves in the stores were completely empty. My mother, teacher, and her doctor friend were in the same situation. Nobody talked of poverty. We were all equal.

After I was fortunate to immigrate to US I was surprised how many people here whine about hardship of living and believed in a socialistic utopia. The question "Why?" is always on the back of my mind.

Looks like after Soviets were defeated by Reagan a lot of people fell asleep and let communists come to their back yard in the clothes of liberal media and education system, with promises of free healthcare and education -- with ideas to make irreversible change "from the lies, falsehood and hypocrisy of democracy for the rich and establish democracy for the poor" (Quote Marx and Engels)

If we will follow this road everyone will be poor. I guess I understand the liberal elite in D.C, they would revel in power. But local news paper reporters, or teachers? In socialist society they would be defeated and silenced first.

I want to scream that socialism was never about equality. To quote Lenin the socialism is "dictatorship of proletariat ", but in the end it is just a dictatorship.
Why so many people forget that freedom of individuality and enterprise all encompassed in the genius of capitalism makes this country great! Why so many do not realize that they live in the cleanest and most prosperous country in the world? Do you really want the government to decide how the necessities of life should be rationed or how big your home should be? Do you really believe that somebody in government can "spread the wealth around" fairly? I don't. I've been there before! Also I don't want that my children and grandchildren would live as I did with no way out. USA is only haven of freedom from government left in the world.


Thanks Zina. We can see how well socialism works today: Hugo Chavez, determined to create a socialist utopia in Venezuela, now can add national blackouts to his credit. The nation with some of the world's largest energy reserves can't give reliable power to its own citizens.

Those of you who have a shaky foundation in economics should read Basic Economics: A Common Sense Guide to the Economy by Thomas Sowell. It explains why socialism and communism doesn't work and why the free market does. I highly recommend it. Sowell knows his stuff, and he writes in an entertaining, easy-to-understand style.

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July 07, 2008

Nanny State Brits: Kiddies Who Don't Like Foreign Food 'Racist'

You think I'm kidding?

The National Children's Bureau, which receives 12 million a year, mainly from Government funded organisations, has issued guidance to play leaders and nursery teachers advising them to be alert for racist incidents among youngsters in their care.

This could include a child of as young as three who says "yuk" in response to being served unfamiliar foreign food.

Yup. Small children who are served food they are unfamiliar with and say "yuck" to are racists if that food had its origins in another country.

Little Johnny doesn't like chow mein? Sushi? Curry? Falafel? Then little Johnny may be a racist in the making and is in need of immediate re-education. To the camps!

Obviously those in charge over at the National Children's Bureau do not have children of their own, otherwise they might realize that young children frequently say "yuck" to anything they haven't tried before or looks different. There's a reason why peanut butter and jelly, hot dogs, macaroni and cheese and grilled cheese sandwiches are so popular with the toddler set.

Now the article does go on to say that verbal ethnic slurs should also be dealt with. I'm okay with telling a child that such language is inappropriate. But being taken to task for saying "no" to different food takes it in a whole "Brave New World" direction.

Honestly, if this is how British taxpayer dollars (pounds) are being spent, then the UK is going down the tubes a lot faster than I thought.

h/t: Moonbattery

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July 12, 2007

Brit Experts Push for 'Fat Tax'

Think the nanny state couldn't get more nannyish? You ain't seen nothin' yet! Experts in Britain are urging their government to impose what's being a called a "fat tax." No, not people actually being taxed for being fat, but a tax on foods deemed unhealthy and prone to contributing to obesity.

The author of the report, Dr Mike Rayner, told Sky News: "There's an overabundance of cheap, bad food in this country and we need to tax it, to make it more expensive, to make people switch to healthy foods.

"If we do have a tax on unhealthy food it will raise money for the Inland Revenue and a good way of spending that would be to subsidise healthy food."

Holy cow! Even uber-nanny state guy Tony Blair said no to this idea when it was first proposed back in 2004 because it went too far. But now that Gordon Brown is in office, perhaps proponents think they have a fair chance.

Of course many foods considered to be nutritious, when consumed in excess, can cause obesity. Which foods would be considered unhealthy enough to be taxed, and who would be in charge of choosing those foods?

Personal responsibility, folks. But nanny staters don't believe in personal responsibility, because people making decisions for themselves doesn't keep bureaucrats in power.

This video by 18 Doughty Street is worth seeing again (I've posted it in the past). Where will the taxing in Britain end? And how long will it be before leftwing nannystaters here decide such a tax is a good idea as well? Don't tell Mike "Trans Fat Ban" Bloomberg about it!

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February 26, 2007

Trans-Fat Was Just the Beginning...

I'm telling you, they won't stop until they have control of everything you put into your mouth. The paragon of neutral news reporting, CNN, had a story today that featured Jayne Hurley of the Center for Science in the Public Interest and hardly anyone else. CSPI advocates mandatory nutritional labeling on restaurant menus.

What's next, making you take a nutritionist with you to the supermarket?

Menus like this could soon be the size of your phone book

h/t: Newsbusters

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January 02, 2007

Down With Cheese!

New Yorkers had better hope the NYC Board of Health doesn't get wind of what its mentor, the UK, is up to:

NEW advertising rules which will brand cheese as "junk food" were yesterday criticised as "dietary nannying gone mad" by a leading farming industry figure.


The new regulations, being introduced this month by the television regulator Ofcom, will ban broadcasters from advertising cheese during children's TV programmes, or shows with a large number of child viewers.

They are part of a government clampdown on junk- food TV adverts and aimed at reducing the exposure of children to food high in fat, salt and sugar.

The ban comes in the wake of evidence that television commercials have an indirect influence on what children eat and are contributing to obesity in the young.

Yes, an indirect influence. What's not being said is that parents have the greater influence, and that it is their responsibility to make sure Jimmy and Susie are eating and exercising properly. Banning advertisements for anything, be it sugary cereals or cheese, is not going to do a heck of a lot in this fight against obesity. As I've said many times before, educate people about the importance of healthy eating and exercising habits. Then the choice is theirs.

To quote George Orwell: Liberal: a power worshipper without power.

h/t: Moonbattery

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December 05, 2006

Bye Bye Trans Fats, Hello Nanny!

Well, they've done it. After several months of debate, New York City's Board of Health has voted to ban the use of trans fats in restaurants:

Restaurants will be barred from using most frying oils containing artificial trans fats by July 1, and will have to eliminate the artificial trans fats from all of its foods by July 1, 2008.

Trans fats are vegetable oils that go through partial hydrogenation, a method that makes them more solid (think shortening). Trans fats are popular with restaurants and other food manufacturers because they give food a longer shelf life and give certain foods a certain taste and texture.

While the NYC Board of Health's concern for citizens' well-being is admirable, it's troubling that they are taking away the right of those same citizens' ability to make food choices for themselves. It's also troubling that they've decided to hamstring restaurants that use a legal ingredient to prepare their foods, forcing them to look for alternatives that may alter the quality of foods they serve -- possibly affecting their business.

A possible alternative might have been to require restaurants and other eateries to label foods that are prepared with trans fats so that patrons could decide if they wanted to eat a particular item or not. Business owners usually get the idea pretty quickly if something they're selling is not popular and why, and take the necessary steps to fix the problem.

I'm all for healthy choices. I'm also all for educating the public so that they can make more of those healthy choices (or not!) for themselves. Yet by adding this restriction, nanny staters are saying that we are incapable of deciding what's right for us. What will they decide next?

Here's more information on trans fats from the University of Maryland Medical Center.

Crossposted to Lifelike Pundits.

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March 04, 2006

Soda: The Next Nanny State Target

Like to guzzle Pepsi or Coke? Hold on to your soda cans, folks:

coke.jpgIn reports to be published in science journals this week, two groups of researchers hope to add evidence to the theory that soda and other sugar-sweetened drinks don't just go hand-in-hand with obesity, but actually cause it. Not that these drinks are the only cause - genetics, exercise and other factors are involved - but that they are one cause, perhaps the leading cause.

A small point? In reality, proving this would be a scientific leap that could help make the case for higher taxes on soda, restrictions on how and where it is sold - maybe even a surgeon general's warning on labels. (emphasis mine)

As usual, some folks think that by regulating a product and hiking up the tax, the public will come to its senses and be grateful for being shown the light.

Whatever happened to self-reliance? Making one's own decisions? Eating anything in excess is unhealthy. And, I don't know of anyone who would say that soda is a healthy choice. Moderation is the key. Just like it's okay to have a handful of chips with your sandwich, having a soda once in a while is not going to kill you...or in this case, cause you to gain a ton.

Let's face it: Most people gain weight because they eat too much and exercise too little. They could be gaining weight on healthy choices as easily as unhealthy choices. What's next, assigning us minders to see how much we eat?

Then again, think of all the tax money to be made on such a venture. Despite the fact that scientists can't agree on what the data says, lawmakers will probably jump on the chance to line the coffers with more cash to spend on special interest projects.

States like California will probably be first on the soda tax bandwagon.

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January 19, 2006

Suing Spongebob

These groups should join under the moniker People for the Nanny State of America:

Anti-junk food groups are suing Kellogg and Nickelodeon for $2 billion to block Tony the Tiger and SpongeBob SquarePants from pitching sugary cereals to kid viewers.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest and others said yesterday their lawsuit will seek $25 for each time a child sees a commercial about "nutritionally poor" snacks and foods.

The attack is based on a new Massachusetts law that would protect children from product harm — in this case, the ill effects said to be caused by junk food.Tony the Tiger.jpg

I am not surprised this idiocy is happening in the Great Socialist State of Massachusetts.

"Nickelodeon and Kellogg engage in business practices that literally sicken our children," said Michael Jacobson, executive director of the consumer group.

Gosh, all of those little kiddies might be exposed to the siren call of Tony the Tiger and Spongebob Squarepants. And what happens then? They beg Mommy and Daddy while at the store to buy Frosted Flakes and other such sugary breakfast concoctions.

Who buys the cereal and everything else? Mommy and Daddy. Who is ultimately responsible for their child's health and well-being? Mommy and Daddy. If Mommy and Daddy can't say no to Billy and Susie, then Mommy and Daddy have some real parenting issues.

Punishing the food industry for trying to sell their products isn't the answer; making information available to parents and kids about healthful food choices is. After that, it's up to the parents.

I don't approve of Frosted Flakes and Cocoa Pebbles either. So I don't buy them. I don't have a problem saying "no" to my kids when I think it's in their best interests.

Unfortunately, there are some people out there who want to impose what they think is acceptable behavior (not buying junk food) on the rest of us by punishing legitimate companies for advertising in an attempt to sell their legal product. While sugary cereals aren't the best choice, they are not lethal.

What's next?

UPDATE: Michelle Malkin has more.

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March 16, 2005

Free Heroin...Compliments of the Canadian Government

It's good to be a junkie in Canada.

Nurses and doctors in Vancouver are now authorized to administer free heroin doses to addicts in an attempt to lower the crime rate and the number of people who come down with diseases such as hepatitis B...not to mention the dreaded drug overdose.

First free needles, now free drugs. Will they provide a free funeral too?

Addicts just have to show up three times a day, seven days a week. It sure beats spending that welfare check on dope! Now they can use it for real essentials, like cigarettes and booze.

It's bad enough that the Canadian government is essentially condoning drug use through this freebie program. What's worse is there's no word as to whether any kind of rehab program will be offered to addicts who show up for a fix. According to FOX News, "some [addicts] think it's the government's way of killing them, while others say they can't wait for the free dope. But none of them thought it would eventually get them clean."

Can you imagine the outcry on both sides of the border if Canada offered free cigarettes to people addicted to smoking?

Wrapping up this latest disgrace in the guise of "public safety" really takes the cake. Not only are they prolonging the misery that drug addiction brings to those afflicted by it, they take away any sense of responsibility or culpability from the average person on the street. "I'm addicted...there's nothing I can do. Please ease my pain with a free dose."

Another question is, where are they getting the heroin? Are they manufacturing it themselves or buying it from a "reputable" source?

I can only imagine what's next for the Nanny State next door: perhaps they'll offer free lethal injections for those who want to commit suicide in the name of "public safety"? Stay tuned...

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