Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Obesity...a partial solution

Michelle Obama is spearheading a war on obesity.

I think obesity has indeed become a problem.  I do not, however, agree with Mrs. Obama that the answer is to  mandate, from the Federal or State level, what we can and can't eat.  That's just more government, more tyranny, more bureaucracy, which means more cost.  It's ultimately not sustainable anyway, and will cause more harm than good.

The actual problem runs deep: consumerism, which manifests as gluttony.  We cannot fix that with any government incentive.

However, there is another thing that is exacerbating the problem immensely, and we can fix that legislatively, since it is caused by legislation.  That "thing" is the vast array of obesity-helping products that we consume in rather vast quantities, including (but not limited to) high-fructose corn syrup.

Scientists and doctors agree that over-consumption of high-fructose corn syrup is one of the leading causes of obesity.  But why is it so plenteous and cheap?  Shouldn't this be a self-fixing problem?  Given the vast level of consumption, shouldn't the price for this substance have gone through the roof?

Well, yes, it should have.  But it hasn't, because the ingredients to make it are subsidized by the government, keeping prices artificially low.  If the government didn't subsidize it, it's price would go through the roof, and consumption would decrease, and obesity with it.

So...Mrs. Obama, the solution is not to go all nanny-state on us.  The solution is, on the legislative side anyway, to stop subsidizing corn.  Pretty simple.  Reduce obesity and save a ton of money doing so.

"But Steve!  Corn is a food staple of the world!  We can't stop subsidizing it, or we'll all starve!"  No, Chicken Little, the sky is not falling.  We won't starve.  Why we won't is a whole 'nother post, though.

Edit: This post inspired by this one.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

I would like to clarify some things about my support for Ron Paul specifically, and the R3VOLUTION in general.
I am getting some very disturbing vibes out of the Campaign the last couple of days.  This has prompted some introspection on my part.  So here goes.

Ron Paul is both a man and a movement.  But as a movement, the label "Ron Paul" is just that: a label, nothing more.  He happens to be the one leading the charge at the moment.

We've known from the beginning that the man is not the movement.  He started it, yes (or rather, preserved it through the Reagan, Bush, Clinton, and Bush II years).  But the movement is a fundamentally deeper, vaster, and more powerful thing than even he understands, I think.

I say this because, although he himself has said many times, "You can't stop an idea who's time has come," his campaign released a statement to the effect of "Ok, now everybody play nice" today.

This was, undoubtedly, in response to two very messy state conventions (OK and AZ) over the weekend, and rumors of "hostile takovers" planned for several others, including Idaho.  The Ron Paul supporters at these conventions were, shall we say, zealous. The Campaign seems to think that they were over-zealous.
However, if the Campaign thinks they can put a lid on this, then I don't think the Campaign understands the very movement they've started.

Ron Paul is, I still believe, the best man for the Presidency. But this movement isn't about Ron Paul, ultimately.  It's about a return to sanity, a return to freedom, a throwing off of the corporate and globalist shackles that have been so carefully and fully laid on us over the last couple hundred years.  It's about retrieving the original vision of the founding fathers of America.  It's about once again raising the lamp of liberty beside the open door.

Ron Paul chose to do this by taking over the Republican Party.  To his credit, the Campaign has made it quite clear that this is still their goal.  And frankly, they are right: the Presidency would be really nice, but the House and the Senate would be better.  (Both the Presidency and Congress would be wonderful!)

Those who support Ron Paul do so because we genuinely care about this country.  We want to see him, or someone like him, as President.  We willing to go to extreme lengths to make this happen, whether he himself wants us to go to those lengths or not. If he doesn't want to be President, then by all means, let's get somebody else to carry the torch. It's not about the man.

Frankly, while I understand and even admire his call for civility, I disagree with it -- and for the same reasons!

Here's why I disagree: we've tried being civil, and the response has been nothing but insult and injury.  THEY have turned this into war, not us.  And in wars that are fought to win, there is no civility.

THEY have declared war on us by the plethora of instances (at every level) of blatant lies, underhanded tricks, and outright lawlessness.  We have persevered.  We have been civil.  We have used the very unjust rules that they created to beat them at their own game.  So do we get a nice concession and a "good game, well played" from them?  A civil response?

No.  Rather, they give us actual physical violence and torture.

So I say "to hell with civility".   No, let's not stoop to violence and torture, as they have.  Rather, I'm saying, -- both to "them" and to the Campaign -- "they" have given up all rights to civil discourse.  We should send the message loud and clear:

You have thrown away civility.  You have declared open war on us.  So we are coming for you.  We are coming for your positions.  We are coming for your prestige.  We are coming for your power.  You have been weighed in the balances and found wanting.  You have three choices: Join us, get out of our way, or oppose us.

Choose wisely, but we warn you not to underestimate our power.  If you choose to oppose us, you will be destroyed without mercy, for you have shown no mercy.  There will be no second chances, no quarter.  We will take no prisoners.

You have been warned.  The gloves are off.  Don't like what you've seen?  This is just the beginning!

The R3VOLUTION is here to stay.