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Monday, March 25, 2013
The Fat Police
Up Against the Wall Fatso! 
 
Drop the Twinkie and You Won’t Get Hurt!
 
Mayor Bloomberg of New York City is making national headlines as he continues his rampage on unhealthy habits in the Big Apple, including big gulps, smoking, and salt intake!  Back here in California, similar efforts by our own State legislature to curb unsafe behavior barely merit mention in the media at all!
 
Where do you draw the line between government oversight of personal habits and an individual’s personal freedom and choice as it pertains to their private lives?  Whether we are discussing mandatory helmet laws for motorcycles and bicycles, or the size of a cup of soda, or the right to smoke in your own home and car- who gets to decide what is legal?
 
The State claims that the cost to society from unhealthy living choices gives the government the right to intervene and dictate behavior under the Health and Safety code.  Once Obamacare kicks in, this imperative to meddle will only get worse as the government will have the added authority to deny care and treatment if you blow them off with respect to how you should live your life.
 
A State legislator recently introduced a bill that would prohibit smoking in private homes and apartments if the second hand smoke could possibly drift next door!  Another legislator wanted to ban sales of Gatorade in school cafeterias.  Of course, Michelle Obama tried to dictate what could be served in school lunches across the land, including calorie intake and portion controls, as if one size and diet is suitable for all students.
 
I find it amazing that the same liberals who want to legalize drugs, want to make less harmful foods and activities illegal!  They claim the war on drugs has been a dismal failure yet they think they can declare war on sugary drinks and junk food by making them illegal in schools?  Now, they want to make smoking illegal in your own home?   It is already illegal to smoke in your own car if a minor is present!  Do we really have the police power to enforce these laws?
 
As I covered this topic on the radio show and the Andy Caldwell Show facebook page, one person commented that if we made cigarettes completely illegal, would we have bales of tobacco being offloaded from panga boats onto our shores?
 
The point here is that our society is failing miserably to control behavior and substances that are truly a menace to society.  Just consider for a moment the abuse of meth here on the Central Coast.  People are dead because of this drug.  Yet, we are going to waste the precious time of law enforcement personnel and our justice system pursuing activities like smoking in a private home?
 
I do believe cigarettes are bad for your health and I do believe second hand smoke can be a problem.  I also know that riding motorcycles and bicycles can result in accidents involving head trauma.  I understand that high salt intake and too much sugar can pose health problems too.  But, the question remains, does government have a compelling interest to legislate and regulate behavior, in essence, making these activities a crime, when the potential for impacts to others is highly questionable?
 
Why not just come right out and make it a crime to be fat and/or smoke?  Will we let government dictate what food can be legally sold in our restaurants and grocery stores?  Should government control and ration sugar and salt as it does pharmaceuticals?  How long before it simply bans all deep-fried foods? 
 
When you let government assume responsibility for your life, you are in essence giving it control and losing your freedom in the process.  Who says government can do a better job of managing your diet and life than you can?   The answer to that question should tell you something about yourself!
 
Andy Caldwell is the Executive Director of COLAB and the host of the Andy Caldwell Radio Show weekdays from 3-5 p.m. on AM 1290 News Press Radio and AM1440 KUHL.
Posted at 10:55 AM By admin | Permalink | Email this Post | Comments (0)



Thursday, March 14, 2013
Taking Back America’s Moral High Ground
A lot of people avoid speaking out on a number of subjects due to the fact they are controversial in nature, but some controversies present problems too important to ignore. 
 
Few could argue the very basis of our free market capitalist system is being challenged on moral grounds, i.e., that the profit motive is evil and selfish, and that the redistribution of wealth is the right thing for government to impose upon society.  Additionally, the concept of private property rights and the ability to make use of natural resources, including growing food, can now be considered as damaging to the environment!
 
Whereas, many business people don’t feel comfortable debating issues of morality, there is another group of people who could be in the forefront of these debates.  For lack of a better term, I will simply refer to them as the faith community.  Unfortunately, many in this community don’t want to get involved in politics!  So, the business and faith communities forego the debate and the public is led in a vacuum of rational and historical discourse with serious consequences.
 
Historians are clear on one point about the demise of democratic forms of government and that occurs when a majority of citizens realize they have the power to take things away from the minority.  Inevitably, the economy collapses and society implodes.  We are supposed to be protected from this phenomenon as a result of living in a constitutional republic where the law protects the rights of every single person, versus a democracy where the majority rules.  Unfortunately, our courts and politicians have eroded the distinction between these two forms of government.
 
We are at a cross road in American history where a majority of Americans will soon be receiving their succor and support through the government.  These citizens don’t seem to care that our government has nothing to give to them but what it has taken away from some other citizen in the form of taxation, regulation or outright confiscation.
 
A recent example of this phenomenon is the debate about reforming the California Environmental Quality Act.  The local Sierra Club director claims CEQA protects democracy.  He can only make that claim if you define democracy as the ability to take away a person’s rights and opportunities without compensating them for their loss.   CEQA is a bureaucratic morass that has given birth to a cottage industry of lawyers and activists intent on defrauding people of their rights.  
 
Our founding fathers changed the course of history when they settled on a principle of government that challenged the norms of political discourse forever.  Our founding fathers stated in no uncertain terms their belief that all men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, including, but certainly not limited to, the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  Other rights of men enumerated included the right to free speech, religion, self-protection via the right to bear arms, the right to assemble, and freedom of the press.  Additionally, private property was protected, including the ability to be secure in your home and that your property could not be appropriated without just compensation.  Further, the founding fathers indicated that the only real, genuine purpose of government was to secure and protect these rights and whenever a government fell short, well, it would be time for another revolution!
 
If America is to survive, statesmen need to arise and defend our freedom and our rights and take the moral high ground in the process!  It behooves us all to ensure that such statesmen arise.
 
Andy Caldwell is the Executive Director of COLAB and the host of the Andy Caldwell Show, weekdays from 3-5 p.m. on KUHL AM1440 and News Press Radio AM1290.
Posted at 08:30 AM By admin | Permalink | Email this Post | Comments (0)



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