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Jewish World Review Feb. 16, 2000 / 10 Adar I, 5760

Walter Williams

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Lifestyle Nazis update --
IMAGINE HAVING A RESERVATION, showing up at a restaurant and being barred from entry. That's what can happen in some parts of Canada if you washed your hair with an herbal shampoo and sported a scented deodorant. Why? You threaten people's right to breathe clean air.

"Oh, Williams," you say, "that's Canada; that can never happen here." Yes it can, and worse if we continue being wimps.

I've always warned that a lifestyle Nazi's work is never done. People applauded the Nazi attack on cigarette smokers and the tobacco industry. Now lifestyle Nazis are coming after fat Americans. The editors of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) wrote, "Obesity is epidemic." According to JAMA, the cause is "The availability of more food ... the growth of the fast-food industry, the increased numbers and marketing of snack food ... along with a custom of socializing with food and drink." JAMA points to the war against tobacco as the best way to fight obesity. The tactic is to talk about the cost of obesity to our health care and then terrorize and intimidate.

The American Obesity Association calls obesity "a ticking time bomb" and demands "fat taxes" to fund anti-obesity education programs. Yale Professor Kelly Brownell says, "I recommend that we develop a more militant attitude about the toxic food environment, like we have about tobacco." U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher supports the association's obesity vision. Giving the keynote address at its recent conference, Satcher said, "Obesity is a major public-health problem and one that deserves much more attention than it receives." Department of Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman is leading the agency's "anti-fat" campaign, which includes a planned "nutritional intervention" program in Mississippi.

Lifestyle Nazis have troops in the non-profit world in their war against America's fat people. Michael Jacobson, director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, calls for attack on the large servings at Chinese and Mexican restaurants, saying, "It's high time that the (restaurant) industry begins to bear some responsibility for its contribution to obesity, heart disease and cancer."

The soft drink beverage industry, according to Jacobson, is also responsible for obesity and heart disease, not to mention caffeine addiction. Emory University law professor Frank Vandall said, "I can't rule out that America's fast-food chains will be the next target."

Daniel Akst, writing for the New York Times, said, "It makes perfect sense for the victims of fast food ... to sue, and the sooner the better; they might even succeed at deterring substantial harm." Lest you think the lifestyle Nazis only have fat Americans in their gun sights, Mothers Against Drunk Driving tried to have beer banned at the new Verde Golf Club in Arlington, Texas. Their true, but hidden, agenda is alcohol prohibition. Robert Cohen, director of the Anti-Dairy Coalition, is pushing for milk prohibition, saying, "Milk products, like tobacco, are an enormous threat to the health of both children and adults, yet we see the dairy industry protected by constitutionally questionable laws while the tobacco industry is held accountable."

Lifestyle Nazis have the support of all manner of kooks, quacks and lunatics, plus millions of taxpayer dollars. Most of them are based in Washington and have easy access to congressmen and bureaucrats anxious to do their bidding.

You say, "Williams, what can we do about them?" As for me, I want to be left alone and here's what I say: If a lifestyle Nazi, politician or not, wants me to stop smoking or eat less, let him personally take the cigarette out of my mouth or the food off my plate. I guarantee you that when the dust settles only one of us will be standing.

Walter Williams Archives


© 2000, Creators Syndicate