Tuesday, November 10, 2009

It Can Happen Here

I give it ten years tops before the American government decides this is an idea worth stealing: the Japanese government, in an attempt to stave off an obesity "epidemic," has passed a law mandating maximum waist sizes for people over age 40: 33.5 inches for men and 35.4 inches for women. Anyone who surpasses that is required to undergo "counseling."

Story taken from the Global Post, which I devoutly hope is a heretofore-unknown subsidiary of The Onion. (My own waist, incidentally, has a circumference of just under 25 inches, but stories like this make me want to inhale a few gallons of Ben & Jerry's purely out of spite.)

19 Comments:

Blogger Wife Beater said...

I know that libertarians think most people will live up to their responsibilities but I suspect that thinking is wrong. Maybe it's time to stop thinking that the majority of people are capable of being grownups. We can argue why this is but the sad fact is most Americans act like spoiled children. Perhaps we should treat them as such.

There is a laundry list of medical problems that come from being overweight and in my experience most people who are overweight could use some counseling. However most wont seek the counseling because of cost. Well, like the schools vs. prisons argument we can either pay for counselling to help them lose weight or we can pay for the major medical problems their weight will cause them later in life.

Don't bother with the idea that it's not Constitutional, consistent with the ideals of individual liberty or any of that crap. That's irrelevant to the people of modern America. They can't handle the responsibilities of such a social contract. Its time for a new contract.

6:38 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

So they can't handle responsibility as basic as deciding what to eat unless they become members of the government, at which point they can be trusted not only to make their own decisions but decisions for everyone else in the country?

And if people have medical problems from bad diets, so be it. Freedom is meaningless unless it includes the freedom to make bad choices.

6:49 AM  
Blogger J sub D said...

Wife Beaters comment had to be parody.

No person who believes in liberty would post such nonsense otherwise. No person who actually believed it would fail to follow the flawed premise to the logical conclusion, most people shouldn't be allowed a say in how the government is run.

7:10 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

J-sub, if WB is the fellow I think he is, then I don't think it is a parody. Unless his entire life to date has been a performance art skit and I have not yet realized it.

7:53 AM  
Blogger Jake said...

My money's on "iamagoldengod" for Wife Beater's secret identity.

8:15 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Me too, Jake! Damn, you're good.

Incidentally, WB: if you want Americans to stop acting like "spoiled children" the best thing to do is stop treating us as such. The idea "Adults can be trusted to make their own decisions, with the corollary responsibility to deal with the consequences," has been sadly missing from the American landscape since -- hell, well before I was born.

8:19 AM  
Anonymous smartass sob said...

... we can either pay for counselling to help them lose weight or we can pay for the major medical problems their weight will cause them later in life.

Or you and that mouse you must have in your pocket can just refuse to pay for either. Why should anyone be liable for the screw-ups and irresponsibility of others? Unless, of course, you think some of us should be enslaved for the benefit of the irresponsible. I am not my brothers' keeper - nor am I their slave. If the "people of modern America" can't handle the responsibilities of individual liberty, they can damned well rot. If you are concerned about their welfare, then you can take care of them with your resources. I'm almost certain no one would stop you. But don't think for a moment that I am one of your resources.

10:33 AM  
Blogger Wife Beater said...

Jennifer, no system is perfect. Certainly such power may be abused and perhaps poor decisions may be used to form policy. However where we stand now is much worse. People have freedomed themselves into a pile of medical problems because of piss poor choices. If they can't handle the responsibility it needs to be taken away. Will government handle it better? Maybe not. But I doubt they could handle it worse. If Americans get much fatter they wont be able to get out of their homes.

J sub D, I don't believe in "liberty". Many Americans don't want it and most don't deserve it. Those who do are such a thin minority that they may as well not exist. I figure average Joes and Janes shouldn't be allowed to participate in government. They have screwed everything up. How can some plumber from Poughkeepsie make an informed decision on matters of foreign policy and economic plans? If the government needs a new toilet, he may be the go to guy but otherwise, he needs to sit down, shut up and do his job.

Smartass, that's a fine idea you've got there. How exactly do you think it's going to come about? We need to deal with reality here, not the fantasy world you libertarian types live in. In reality we have social safety net that isn't going anywhere soon. As such you can pay now or pay later. Your choice. I prefer to pay less now than later when some fat chick gets diabetes and then develops kidney failure. You do know that people on dialysis get medicare too, don't you. You do know that complications from diabetes are the leading reason for going on dialysis, don't you. You do know that a leading cause of diabetes is piss poor diet and obesity, don't you.

Oh, and I'm not who you think I am...

6:09 AM  
Anonymous smartass sob said...

I don't believe in "liberty". Many Americans don't want it and most don't deserve it.

Oh, they want it, alright - for themselves - but not for others. As such they are the ones who don't deserve it. That would include you, WB.

In reality we have social safety net that isn't going anywhere soon. As such you can pay now or pay later. Your choice.

My choice is to not pay anything at all. Fuck off, slaver.

9:39 AM  
Blogger Wife Beater said...

Sorry Smartass, that's not an option. You will pay for social services or you will go to jail and receive some very special social servicing. I suppose that would give you time to catch up on reading Ann Rand though.

That's the problem with you libertarian types, you're not willing to deal with reality which is why you will never be taken seriously.

11:31 AM  
Anonymous smartass sob said...

or you will go to jail and receive some very special social servicing. I suppose that would give you time to catch up on reading Ann Rand though.

It's Ayn - not Ann; rhymes with sign. If I should ever have to go to jail over your mandatory health care crap, I can promise you it won't be Rand I'll be spending my time thinking about, WB, but people just like you. And just what do you imagine I'll be thinking? I'm getting to be an old man, and there's a saying about old men: don't pick a fight with one, because if he hasn't anything much to lose and can't take a beating, well then he might just kill you. And though someone might do for him in the end, he only has to get more than one of you to make it better than an even trade.

12:44 PM  
Blogger Wife Beater said...

Wow, threats already? That's not something I'd expect out of a mature fellow. How would it be my fault if you get locked up for failing to pay taxes?

5:18 PM  
Anonymous smartass sob said...

Wow, threats already?


Threats? Why, what threats? I thought I was merely apprising you of a few facts of that reality with which you claim libertarians are unwilling to deal. You know, like the way you were apprising me of the various "social services" I might expect if I failed to go along with your cannibalistic "democracy."

How would it be my fault if you get locked up for failing to pay taxes?

Oh, so it actually is a tax then? Good to know. How would it be your fault? Hmm, I don't know - how would it be my fault if people got sick from stuffing their gullets with slop all their lives?

7:10 PM  
Blogger Wife Beater said...

Sure SOB, you don't make threats. Just apprising someone of the foolishness of crossing you. You're right up there with Clinton for being able to quibble over terms.

As for it being a tax, who said it wasn't? Not me. Sure some partisan hacks may try to quibble over details but that's not my style. It does however seem to be yours so why complain?

As for fault, it's not your fault but you will wind up paying for it one way or another. Why fight it? You wont get anywhere.

2:53 PM  
Anonymous smartass sob said...

Sure SOB, you don't make threats. Just apprising someone of the foolishness of crossing you. You're right up there with
Clinton for being able to quibble over terms.

Amazing, WB. Presumptuous, uptight control freaks like you sit around blythely discussing the disposal of other
people's lives, liberty, and property - as if it were of no more significance than ordering a meal in a restaurant - and
then express surprise when someone suggests that such plans, if carried out, might result in negative consequences. I can't
decide whether you are delusionally out of touch with reality, or if you simply have shit for brains - it's probably
some of both.

As for Cigar Bill, I'm certain that you have much more in common with him and his power-hungry, social engineering,
bitch of a wife than would I. They have as little regard for the Constitution, "ideals of individual liberty," and all that
"crap" - as you call it - as you, yourself do....or Cheney/Bush and Biden/Obama.

As for it being a tax, who said it wasn't?

Uh, the dishonest, dishonorable, "partisan hack" who conned his way into the White House - that's who. Gotta keep up with current events there, dude, if you wish to convince others of your awesomeness.

Why fight it? You wont get anywhere

Why? Perhaps I'm a member of that liberty-loving, "thin minority" you so cavalierly dismissed upthread. Perhaps it amuses me to torment fascist/socialist, moral cretins such as yourself.

------------------------------

Oops! I nearly forgot - be sure to get more fiber in your diet, WB - it'll do wonders for that uptight feeling and your irregularity. I do declare, you control freaks have such problems with your plumbing. Run along now - your 'Bamy wants ya.

8:02 PM  
Blogger Wife Beater said...

Smartass, you need to enter the Olympics in the Jumping to Conclusions competition. I don't give a rat's pink patootie about your "liberty" or "freedom". I simply accept the world as it is instead of deluding myself that words will change it.

We live in a world where collectivists have won and individualists are a rare breed in danger of extinction. The reality is you will pay for the faults of others. Your only "choices" are when and how much you will pay. I prefer to pay less to educate than more to hospitalize. You seem to think it's better to let people screw themselves up and then get stuck with a much larger bill.

You seem to worry a lot about the lies of politicians. So what if Obama told a lie, he's a politician and a lawyer. I am not him so why are his lies relevant to what I have said?

Thank you for your concerns about my health but I already get plenty of fiber in my diet. Perhaps you should cut back on the coffee, you seem a bit on edge.

6:07 AM  
Anonymous smartass sob said...

Yeah, yeah - whatever, WB. You know, a "pragmatist" like you actually should consider suicide - I mean, hell, you're gonna be dead in the long run anyway; death would be the most practical option for you. Here's a thought: you could take half a box of ExLax and blow your brains out.

9:44 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

It would be interesting to have heard Wife Beater argue with abolitionists in the mid-19th century: We live in a world where everyone knows and accepts the fact that black people are hewers of wood and drawers of water, and will never be more than that, and if your silly abolitionist ideals took root it would shatter the southern economy anyway. That's the problem with you abolitionist types; you refuse to admit to reality, which is why nobody takes you seriously.

9:47 AM  
Blogger Wife Beater said...

Gee Smartass, one might think you are taking all this a bit too personally. Maybe you need to switch to decaf and try yoga. Politics may be too much of a contact sport for you.

Jen, do you honestly think we are at a point in history when there is a snowballs chance in hell of collectivist philosophy being tossed into the dustbin of history?

In the mid 1800's slavery was an issue that divided a country, today the issue dividing the country is Obama's birth certificate.

In the mid 1800's abolitionists were a significant minority, large enough that Lincoln kissed up to them to win his war. In 2009 true individualists are a minority so small that even the Republicans wont waste time kissing their butts.

11:54 AM  

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