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Archive for March 6th, 2012

Say what you will about the Ten Commandments, you must always come back to the pleasant fact that there are only ten of them.  -  H.L. Mencken

As I wrote in “Change a Few Words”, “all prohibitionism is the same.  Oh, they’ll throw out all sorts of bogus reasons such as “morality”, “decency”, “health”, “public order”, “national security” and of course “the children”, but in reality they’re all based in one thing:  a busybody desire to control the private behaviors of others because they make individual prohibitionists uncomfortable.”  The most dangerous prohibitionists, however, are those who oppose no particular behavior or thing, but rather the very freedom of choice itself; these wannabe world-emperors demand control of everything and everyone they can see or know about.  They are motivated by a deep mental illness some refer to as Anti-Life, the unnatural and perverted need to see all free will extinguished everywhere.  Fortunately, they’re in the minority, so they can’t reveal their naked desire to rule the universe without being locked up as the madmen they are; instead they have to disguise it as a more typically-human obsession with something like “morality”, “safety” or “health”.  But unfortunately, most people aren’t skeptical or perceptive enough to see through the excuses to the underlying lust for power, and therefore accept the rationalizations at face value.

One tried-and-true way to frighten the hoi-polloi out of undesirable behavior, whether you’re an archetypal sky-god or just a little tin one, is to threaten them with plagues.  One year ago today I reported on an attempt to scare people out of having oral sex by claiming it causes cancer, but since there was neither widespread panic nor politicians vowing to “do something”, I guess the crypto-moralists felt compelled to try again:

A new study showing an estimated 7% of American teens and adults carry the human papillomavirus in their mouths may help health experts finally understand why rates of mouth and throat cancer have been climbing for nearly 25 years…The findings indicate that the virus is not likely to spread through kissing or casual contact and that most cases of oral HPV can be traced to oral sex, which many Americans mistakenly view as a safe practice…A survey released last year…found that about 90% of adults have had oral sex, along with 27% of 15-year-old boys and 23% of 15-year-old girls.  “I don’t think people think of oral sex in the same way they do with traditional intercourse,” said Fred Wyand, director of the HPV Resource Center…”Sometimes younger people engage in oral sex so they don’t have to worry about pregnancy.  They may not even make the link between oral sex and STDs.”

…Most oral HPV infections are harmless, and oral cancers are still relatively uncommon.  But given the new information, doctors should encourage their patients to use protection during oral sex, Dr. Hans Schlecht…wrote in an editorial accompanying the study…HPV is best known as the cause of cervical cancer, which kills 4,220 women in the U.S. each year…The virus can also cause vulvar, anal, penile and various head and neck cancers.  A study published in October…traced more than 70% of new cases of oral cancers to HPV infection, putting it ahead of tobacco use as the leading cause…an estimated 80% of Americans have contracted the virus…It usually produces no symptoms and is typically cleared from the body through natural processes…the overall prevalence of oral HPV was 6.9% — far less than the rate of genital HPV infection in reproductive-age women, which can be as high as 42% among women in their 20s…Among people who had more than 20 sexual partners, the prevalence of oral HPV was 20%.  But the researchers found it in fewer than 1% of people who said they were virgins and in fewer than 4% of people who said they had never performed oral sex…

The sky is falling!  Everybody panic! 7% of people have a common virus that we have a vaccine for and might, maybe lead to a comparatively rare type of cancer that kills 0.0027% of Americans a year.  Call the Marines!  Criminalize oral sex!  Well, what if I told you that 100% of people are exposed almost every day to radiation that can cause a form of cancer which kills over 0.003% of Americans a year?  It’s called “sunlight”.  Fortunately, we don’t yet have the technology to attempt a ban on that. fake diabetes ad

Busybodies aren’t only against sex, though; they also oppose what the average man considers the second-greatest pleasure in life and the average woman considers the greatest:  food.  Since people have a distressing tendency to drop dead when “authorities” stop them from eating entirely, it’s a bit harder to control than sex.  But that doesn’t stop the professional busybodies from trying, even if they have to lie to do so:

Mayor Bloomberg’s New York City health department has come in for repeated criticism…for crusading against salty and fattening foods through ad campaigns that manipulate viewer reactions in ways that border on the misleading and deceptive (“What can we get away with?” famously asked one official).  They’re at it again.  On January 9, Gotham’s for-your-own-good crew unveiled a new ad warning “Portions have grown.  So has Type 2 diabetes, which can lead to amputations,” dramatically illustrated with a photo of an obese man with a stump where his leg had been.  But as the New York Times reports, city officials “did not let on that the man shown — whose photo came from a company that supplies stock images to advertising firms and others — was not an amputee and may not have had diabetes.”  Instead, they just Photoshopped his leg off, which certainly got the effect they were looking for…

Even the basic claim that yummy food leads to obesity and diabetes is suspect; a growing body of evidence suggests it isn’t the food, but the containers it comes in:

…Exposure to even minuscule amounts of synthesized substances…can scramble hormone signals…[tricking] fat cells into taking in more fat or [misleading] the pancreas into secreting excess insulin…Among the most ubiquitous…of these…endocrine disruptors is bisphenol A, better known as BPA…a common ingredient in plastics and food-can linings.  “When you eat something with BPA, it’s like telling your organs that you are eating more than you are really eating,” says Angel Nadal, a BPA expert at the Miguel Hernandez University in Spain…the chemical triggers the release of almost double the insulin actually needed to break down food.  High insulin levels can desensitize the body to the hormone over time, which in some people may then lead to weight gain and Type 2 diabetes…An estimated 90 percent of people in developed countries have [dangerously high levels of] BPA circulating in their blood…due…to exposures from leaching food packages…cash register receipts, dental sealants and toilet paper

But banning a harmful chemical isn’t satisfying for control freaks, so we get this sort of insanity instead:

Sugar is so toxic it should be controlled like alcohol, according to new report that goes so far as to suggest setting an age limit of 17 years to buy soda pop.  It points to sugar as a culprit behind many of the world’s major killers — heart disease, cancer and diabetes…A little sugar “is not a problem, but a lot kills — slowly,” says the report…by Dr. Robert Lustig, a [longtime anti-sugar alarmist]…and two U.S. colleagues specializing in health policy…”If international bodies are truly concerned about public health, they must consider limiting fructose — and its main delivery vehicles, the added sugars HFCS and sucrose — which pose dangers to individuals and to society as a whole,” they say.  “We recognize that societal intervention to reduce the supply and demand for sugar faces an uphill political battle against a powerful sugar lobby…and will require active engagement from all stakeholders”…The report suggests governments introduce zoning rules to control the number of fast-food outlets and convenience stores in low-income communities and around schools.  “Another option would be to limit sales during school operation, or to designate an age limit (such as 17) for the purchase of drinks with added sugar, particularly soda”…

Because “health experts” always know what’s best for everybody, especially those stupid poor folks, and as we know “end demand” laws work so well to program the masses…oops, I mean “educate” them.  Luckily, most people recognize Lustig’s ilk for the lunatics they are, but stupid, unenforceable laws against consensual behavior get enacted all the time:

The Philippines Senate has passed a bill penalizing cybersex…defined as people engaged in “the willful engagement, maintenance, control, or operation, directly or indirectly, of any lascivious exhibition of sexual organs or sexual activity, with the aid of a computer system.”  Violators can be imprisoned for 6-12 years, or fined between $4,500 and $23,000…

I’ll bet you feel safer knowing that while you sleep, self-appointed guardians of health and morality all over the world are working hard to protect you from blow jobs, soda and dirty talk.

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