Would You Like Taxes With Those Fries?

21 June 2004

Big Butts, Small Brains
by Craig J. Cantoni
June 17, 2004

There is an inverse relationship between the size of American butts and the size of their brains. The bigger the butt, the smaller the brain.

A case in point was the lead story on big butts, er, obesity, in the June 7 issue of Time Magazine. The story included the results of an opinion survey on obesity.

Eighty-seven percent of respondents said that individuals have a great deal or a good amount of responsibility for being obese. About the same percentage said that obese people are not getting enough exercise. At the same time, 58 percent said that the federal government is doing too little about the problem, and 41 percent said that there should be a tax on unhealthy foods, with the revenue being used for programs to fight obesity.

This illogical small-brained thinking can be summarized with the following syllogism: Individuals are responsible for being obese. Individuals can reduce obesity by eating less and exercising more. Therefore, the federal government should do something, including taxing people who are not obese and giving their money to those who are.

Naturally, since it was published by a propaganda arm of the nanny state, the lengthy article did not question the fairness, morality or constitutionality of the federal government taking money from people who control their urges and spending it on butt reduction programs for those who don’t.

To the establishment media, the Constitution is a quaint document under glass at the National Archives, and fairness and morality are always covered from the perspective of irresponsible people instead of responsible ones. This results in irresponsible people being portrayed as victims. And that, in turn, results in more irresponsible small-brained people who believe what they read in Time.

Following the mainstream media formula, the Time piece portrayed the obese as victims of biology, advertising, fast food, poverty, the price of healthy food, the auto, suburban sprawl and global warming. I’m kidding about global warming but not the others.

Before reading the piece, I knew for certain that it would not cover certain issues. It did not disappoint me. For example, it did not mention the following:

– That children in single-parent families are 40 percent more likely to be obese than children in two-parent families. – That much of the rise in single-parent families is due to misguided government policies and programs—the very same government that 58 percent of Americans believe can solve the problem of obesity. – That there is a connection between obesity and welfare, because welfare strips people of personal responsibility, initiative and self-esteem. – That it is a myth that healthy foods are expensive and not affordable for lower-income Americans.

On the last point, Time said that wealthy people can afford to buy an expensive lean steak, but poor people can only afford fatty food. What poppycock! Healthy food is not expensive. I know, because I don’t eat much meat but do eat a lot of salads made with beans, other canned vegetables and fresh produce. Granted, my wife wears a gas mask to bed, but that is beside the point.

Locally, a can of kidney beans costs 50 cents; a can of peas, 60 cents; and a pound of fresh broccoli, $1.64. Two high-protein, low-fat meals can be made out of these ingredients at a cost of $1.37 per meal, excluding the nominal cost of olive oil and vinegar.

The Time piece even had advice to parents for talking to their kids about being overweight. The advice was to be sensitive to their feelings and not be judgmental. I’m a bad parent. I tell my kid that if he eats one more potato chip, I’m going to rip his tongue out of his mouth. He is not overweight but is undergoing psychoanalysis. Just kidding about the psychoanalysis.

A recent PBS NewsHour segment on obesity in Arkansas covered the issue the same way that Time Magazine did. Of course it did. PBS is another propaganda arm of the nanny state.

The segment described the anti-obesity program started in public schools by the Arkansas governor, a former big butt, who, like reformed smokers, wants the state to stick its butt in other people’s business. He believes that the state has a right to stick its butt where it doesn’t belong. Why? Because socialism breeds socialism. PBS didn’t characterize the governor’s initiative that way, but that is how it should have been characterized.

If PBS were not a propaganda arm of the nanny state, it would have explained that socialism is achieved in incremental steps. First, the state socializes health care. Next, the state says it has the right to control obesity because obesity increases the state’s health care costs. Then, the state says it has the right to take money from people who eat responsibly and give it to people who don’t.

Featured in the PBS segment was a dumpster-sized honor student, whose command of English makes NBA players seem articulate by comparison. If she is an honor student, average students in Arkansas must have the brains of hamsters and the butts of elephants.

The student was shown at home having dinner with her mom, who is the size of two dumpsters. Dinner included a fried chicken leg the size of a mastodon leg, creamed corn and corn bread. Dad was missing from the scene. I’m sure that he was working overtime and was going to be home later. Wink, wink.

The scene then shifted to an interview with a school administrator. Hold on to your chair. You’re going to be shocked by what she said. She said that the schools can’t fight obesity without more money. Shocking! She did not explain why it is the role of schools to fight obesity or why parents can’t simply stop serving fried mastodon legs to their kids. And of course, PBS did not ask her such questions, because PBS and government schools are different arms of the same propaganda ministry.

As butts have gotten bigger, brains have gotten smaller, the nanny state has gotten bigger and the propaganda ministry has become more effective in shaping public opinion. It’s enough to make me want to kick some butt.

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Mr. Cantoni is an author, columnist and founder of Honest Americans Against Legal Theft (HAALT). He can be reached at ccan2@aol.com

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