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At least half of Americans are total twats of some kind who will ban anything to stave off the fear of death, Part One Million. 
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Justin Steele's profile photoR. Francis Smith's profile photoDouglas Lathrop's profile photoRobert N. Lee's profile photo
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"A COMPANY WANTS TO MAKE MONEY" is second only to that for me in the litany of bullshit attacks on everything. Happily, it's usually the second thing out of censorious and banning assholes of all political stripes' mouths. 
 
Yes, Michael Bloomberg and New York City are TAKING ON THE CORPORATIONS. Because that's what they're both all about. 
 
I think the ban is stupid, but progressively-more-punitive taxation on portions above 6.5 oz. would be superior.

Soda is bad for you - strongly associated with obesity, insulin-resistance and diabetes. It has no nutritive value. It introduces caffeine to children. Larger sizes make people consume more. Poor people drink more soda than rich people, and suffer greater collective health problems as a result. The stuff is insanely overmarketed and insanely profitable. And incidentally, soda companies use leverage with schools to get their machines into position to derive even more profit from, and market more effectively to, captive audiences of children.

This is collectively the work of the Devil. Not seeing it that way -- and instead seeing it as an exercise of free enterprise -- is pathological.

Now on the other hand, we refuse to raise taxes on the rich, and NYC's streets and infrastructure are a mess. So applying an aversion tax to soda seems like an utter no-brainer -- you take some of the Devil's profits, you turn some people away from the bad substance, and you fill some potholes into the bargain. This is the way of Nature -- think of it as competition. It is a good thing.
 
"Soda is bad for you - strongly associated with obesity, insulin-resistance and diabetes."

LOL, like a bunch of idiots who really should know better, lately, you believe diabetes is caused by eating too much sugar or getting fat. Fuck off and ban a video game or buy something from Apple. I got no time to argue anymore with other people's deep respect for what TV commercials and Huffington Post headlines tell them. 
 
Why not a tax proportional to the sugar content in drinks?
 
How 'bout if we let people eat whatever the fuck they want? 
 
That hasn't worked out so well, so far, has it?
 
How hasn't it? Oh, you mean the fake obesity epidemic? Yeah, that's a disaster on a Satanic Ritual Abuse level. The horrors. 
 
Fake? Looks pretty real to me.  We see it here as well, and the number weigh in quite heavy (pun intended).  
 
Paternalistic shit like this is one reason average people hate liberals.
 
...ponders which of us he was addressing...
 
"Paternalistic shit like this is one reason average people hate liberals."

Even other liberals. 
 
I can't wait for a decade or so of telling American kids they're fat when they aren't bears fruit, though. What a beautiful day is a-comin. 

And there are people still in prison over Satanic crimes that never happened twenty years ago. If I've noticed one constant in my life about many other human beings, it's that they cannot live without being in a constant state of outrage over some made up shit. It's bestest if people are actually getting killed or jailed or something over that made up shit. Then it all blows up and What Were We Thinking? and rinse, repeat. There's no right or left tag on that bullshit, it's in all of us. 

Me, I try to live without that as best I can manage. From some extensive experience living with it. 
 
I eat whatever I want, but I try to eat a little less of it.  Not working out so well, so I exercise too... periodically...  I am a closet sugar rush addict, but I don't do fizzy drinks.  
 
I support educating people about the dangers of childhood obesity and diabetes.  I don't support banning food items in an attempt to combat either.  (I'm a type 1 diabetic.  Genetic bad luck; I'm rail thin and was a marathon runner when I was diagnosed at 25 with a rare subtype.)

I think a little fear of death is quite healthy and probably contributes a long way to longevity and the continuation of one's genetic line, though.  :)
 
Yeah, I have also recently hit middle age. I still don't want a fucking state that tells me I can't drink as much soda as I want to when I want to, that's idiotic. 

And I really love how the bullshit that gets used to ban intoxicants has been spread to this: sugar is now ADDICTIVE. And meat. IT'S WORSE THAN CRACK. IT'S A GATEWAY TO ALL EVIL EVERYTHINGS.

In the meantime, the Pope and Michael Bloomberg are raping babies together in the back room while you look for imaginary Satanists and streets teeming with the morbidly obese you'll never find. 
 
"I support educating people about the dangers of childhood obesity and diabetes"

So do I. I don't support changing the standards for "obese" so one pound over BMI is unhealthy and creating an "epidemic" overnight that way, nor telling people that getting fat causes Type 2 diabetes. Which an insane number of Americans do believe these days, it's worse than "going out with a wet head will give you a cold." 
 
Sugar IS addictive.  You don't realize how addictive until you try to go low carb.  It takes three weeks to kick the habit and lose the urge.  It's ingrained in us.  Sweet fruits are (periodically) rare in the wild, and primates are programmed to stuff themselves silly if they find some.

I'm fine with extra tax on things that is bad for your health.  If you want it, you can still have it, and the extra cash you pay goes to pay for healthcare - well, over here at least - where the state provide the care.
 
I'd also like to point out that there is a vast, multi-billion dollar and entirely bullshit diet industry in this country that totally benefits from this kind of crap. And we all know this. 

They lobby for it, too, they know what side of the bread they rape their babies on. 
 
Erm, you don't believe in any link between type 2 diabetes and obesity?  

walks quietly out of the discussion...
 
That is definitively true.  The diet products, the vitamin products, the omega-3 fish oil products - do all rake in top dollar for products that probably are not that expensive to make.
 
I believe in that link, +Justin Steele. I am living proof.  Once I shed 50 pounds, the symptoms disappeared and I could go unmedicated.  Lately, I have been slacking, gained some weight and start seeing some of the issues.  Need to kick the sugar habit and get some more exercise really.
 
I feel like I've taken crazy pllls: three decades ago, we all discovered bulemia and anorexia and some of the exact same people who said it was bad then to shame girls about body image, then, for not fitting some twig norm are doing the exact same thing, these days.

Then again: the Satanic thing, back three decades ago. Preceded directly by the wide and new understanding, socially and legally, that most child molestation was not about stranger attacks. So we invented a whole new imaginary category of stranger attacks and put people in more prison for that than we did rapey dads under the new child molestation laws for a decade or so. 

People are nuts. 
 
I like nuts... ...stares wildly into the void...
 
"Sugar IS addictive.  You don't realize how addictive until you try to go low carb. "

I quit both smoking and drinking myself to death for years and years. Don't make me laugh. 

Oh wait, that's not funny, getting out of those actual addictions was and is still occasionally pretty fucking hard, and talking about quitting sugar that way is insulting. 
 
I've quit smoking too.  That was hard the first time.  10 years off, then a year on.  Decided to quit again.  No problem.  Sugar was harder.
 
You mean the obesity problem that is a direct result of misusing and misunderstanding a 19th century heuristic? 

The one by which Marilyn Monroe was very nearly overweight? 

That one? 
 
Being nearly overweight is a long shot from being a lard carrier.
 
I've gotten a little bit of a picture over the years from work stuff of how the WHO and UN works, and...you know how the WHO ends up telling the whole world America's enormously fat and dying of fatness in gutters and everybody with some belly flab is morbidly obese?

Because a rich liberal lady here in Florida or in NYC or in LA or San Francisco or wherever who runs her local UN health council hates fat people, is totally repulsed by them, like some people are. 

Same deal with the smoking bans in restaurants and etc. - also based on fudgey data recs from the WHO. That started with some hardbody who pulls down twenty mil a year in Beverly Hills and thinks everybody can look like him with a little hard work. 
 
BTW: Alcohol is complex sugars.
 
UK has the same issues, Norway has the same issues.  Germans too.  French, Spanish and Italian - not so much.
 
There aren't any issues. They were made up to sell you the Atkins Diet. Have fun with that - intentionally putting your body into ketosis so you'll stay thin is AWESOME for you, especially your endocrine system. Hell, you might even blow your pancreas and make yourself diabetic!

Seriously: Atkins can wreck your body in exactly the way getting fat can't, by destroying your blood sugar regulatory system. And...people believe the opposite is the truth.  
 
The French are at about 40 percent overweight. US about 50 according to the BMI numbers. 

Facts. How do they fucking work? 
 
It is not a shame being obese, but it is a challenge.  My son (20) is obese.  He takes after me and my ex.  He is getting help, dietary help - learning to eat right (they actually told him to eat more, but differently), he's getting exercise help, and he is getting group help, sharing the issues with other young people in the same situation.  He will be participating in a "fat camp" this autumn, designed to increase his activity level, and become more aware about what to eat, and when to eat it.  No magic cures, just hard exercise and a life style change.
 
I'm generally about fifteen pounds over BMI. My blood pressure remains fine, my stamina, etc. It wasn't bad even before I quit the cigarettes and lush life. It's better now. 

Over that for me - my BMI's 155, so 170-175, that's where I start knowing I'm fat, and feeling it. Luckily, cutting out the boozing makes that not happen anymore, too. 
 
And yet you engage in body shaming as opposed to talking about the actual issues. 
 
"Lard carrier" is very much body shaming. 
 
Well, I did not intend it to be a shaming.  For me, it was a fact.  I carried lard.  50 pounds of it.
 
"It is not a shame being obese, but it is a challenge."

Yeah, I know. I have people very close to me who are actually obese and have attendant health issues. The woman I love, for one. 

But...I also have kids who are now grown. And I've watched them and their friends and my sister's kids, and my cousins' kids, and my friends' kids, through a bunch of waves of SAVE THE CHILDREN bullshit. 

And...nope, the girls didn't dress like elementary school hookers because of Britney Spears. And there was no big wave of junior high Rainbow Parties where seventh grade girls blew every guy in the room. And....there aren't any more fat kids than there ever were, when I was a kid, whenever. Nothing's really changed except the baselines.

My son's biggest, bestest friend turned into a pretty good offensive lineman in high school. My daughter's got a sports scholarship this year, too, IIRC. 
 
BTW - I did not have a goal of going into ketosis.  I was just avoiding sugar as a part of the daily diet.  I still ate fruit.  I indulged in small amounts of chocolate.  I ate everyhing I fancied, just less of it.  I did do two hours in the gym every day for three months, though.
 
Saying no to sugar was awfully hard in the start, though.
 
"Well, I did not intend it to be a shaming.  For me, it was a fact.  I carried lard.  50 pounds of it."

So did I, almost, for a while. Like I said, knocking out the alcohol took care of that - I'm a habitual walker and not a big overeater or anything, in fact I tend to forget to eat a lot, lost in a project or whatever. For instance, I just realized I haven't eaten anything since breakfast yesterday. 

Whoops. 

At any rate, I wasn't accusing you of shaming anybody.
 
Heard a really interesting story on NPR the other day about this. So BMI in kids works differently than BMI in adults. According to some studies nearly 1 in 4 "obese" kids actually have normal fat percentages because their doctors don't know this. 
 
Mr.Percival took offence, and I can't blame him for that.  It is not a nice thing to say, but truth hurts.
 
I do have to say: you're the first person I've ever had a conversation like this with who said one of his kids had a weight problem. I ask that a lot: are your kids unhealthily obese? The answer's always no, they believe this is happening in other, not good houses.

A lot of stories like that work that way, I notice: I asked the same question a bunch of times when the "Britney's turning all the second graders into harlots" stories went around and...nope, nobody ever even knows about a girl like at school her kids gossip about. But they just know there are other parents who would do that, send a second grader to school in a stripper outfit and a school where that's acceptable behavior. In Otherpeoplevania. 

And nobody in America lives in a town full of morbid obesity, either. Or a state. I've lived up and down the west coast and here in FL during the whole time this fat explosion is supposed to be happening, and...where is it? Are they all so huge they hide in their houses like the librarian in Blade or something? 
 
No. I didn't and no it goes beyond not being a nice thing to say. Or truth hurts. It's the same as the bullshit PETA pulls on this front.

It makes it into a value judgment. Now if that's not what you meant then I misread your intent.
 
This is part of the problem: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:World_Per_Person_Energy_Consumption-ar.png
But - better food = better living, and kids grow taller and taller, not just fatter and fatter.  It IS a science, and we are what we eat.  We try very hard to not eat processed food, but buy fresh veggies and fruit, fresh meat and fish, and high fiber bread.  Nuts and dried fruits are great as snacks.  We do binge on ice cream every now and then, though :)
 
Robert,

Julie and I are concerned about her oldest. But we are at the "let's not let this become a problem" phase. 
 
Well, not talking about a problem - will not make it go away.

If I could "fix myself", so can most people, but we need help, motivation.  My primary motivation was falling in love, but getting the friendzone - that pushed me to change. If we can get professional help - that doesn't hurt a bit, and here we get that help - at a symbolic cost - and the rest financed through the national health insurance system.

It shouldn't be a stigma, but if we can change something to make it less of a burden - why not?
 
"But - better food = better living"

Yes, which is why life is too short to waste on bad steaks or cheap liquor. 
 
Lars,

Obese isn't a value judgment. "Lard carrier" is. See the difference? I'm not saying don't talk about it. I'm saying use accurate non-judgmental language is a better way to go.

More helpful for everybody, I think. 
 
Well - I said it in the heat of the moment - in this discussion.  It is not a term I normally toss around.  Again - it would have been better unsaid, so again I apologize for using the derogatory description.

If one of our kids have the genes to put on weight, it is up to us to ensure it doesn't happen.  We have to feed them right.  We have to activate them (and ourselves).  

Before I did my gym regime, I started walking.  I walked an extra stop before going onto the subway.  I parked my car at the far end of the lot.  I took the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator.  Small changes, big effect.
 
"If one of our kids have the genes to put on weight, it is up to us to ensure it doesn't happen. "

Why?

I mean...okay, I will try to keep this out of TMI territory, but...Evonne isn't my first big woman, ever. Lived with a couple, been with a few, dated a few over the decades.

However it happened, I never fixated on any kind of female body type sexually, and my sex life has been all over the map that way. I don't have any problem with fat women. In fact, I find some of them very  beautiful and insanely sexually attractive, the way I do some other women. 

I don't want all the fat women to go away, I like fat women. It's not a fucking disease, tending toward the endomorphic. 

And yet it's always ranked as one of the things parents want a screening for so they can abort if necessary. Jesus. 
 
Why?  Well -  I was thinking in the region of where we can keep them in the round, but active and healthy area, and make sure they don't go into the weight range where it becomes a challenge to appear in swim wear, or part take in physical activities, and not in the slim as a model region.

Gaining weight (when otherwise healthy) means your intake is bigger than what you burn.  Our job as parents - is IMO - to keep these fairly well in balance.  More activity, and a little less food with fast carbs goes a long way.
 
Ironically I got judgey there. Sorry for that. 
 
"they don't go into the weight range where it becomes a challenge to appear in swim wear"

Meaning the weight range where they're terrified they'll be mocked by people with pathological problems of their own they like to wear like banners, uglier than any fat could ever be?

Yeah, those fuckers are awful. I always feel sorry for guys when I get to know them at work or whatever and realize they can't even bear to look at a naked female body that hasn't been Photoshopped to death, for real. 

And at that point, I just stop knowing them, those aren't the kind of guys I hang out with. And then I don't have to feel bad for their sick asses anymore. Plus I never have to risk any quality fat women getting offended around me by my idiot friends that way. 

"I could tolerate flabby muscles in a man, if it'd make him more friendly." Said somebody. 
 
We are discussing, using in the sharpest instrument in the world:  The pen. It is easy to swing it a little too wildly at times.  Over the years, we might grow a thicker skin - and it is great if we can "have it out" and still be civil about it.
 
I would like to congratulate this thread for not once, at least that I saw, having brought out "but the rest of us have to pay higher health care costs because of fatties!"  Because basically people who say that should be eaten.

Also, this: http://thingswithwings.dreamwidth.org/99675.html
 
I always feel sorry for guys when I get to know them at work or whatever and realize they can't even bear to look at a naked female body that hasn't been Photoshopped to death, for real.

Secret Gay Fact: Approx. 50-75 percent of those guys are closet cases.

One of the things I've figured out since coming out is, I'm a total bear chaser. These guys who look like they spend half the day at the gym and the other half getting body-waxed just don't do it for me. At all. I'm way more into guys who have some padding, and who ... well, look like guys rather than department store mannequins. That such guys (a) seem more at ease with me, too, and (b) are more likely to share the same musical and geeky interests that I have, are added bonuses.

Not sure what this has to do with discussions of the obesity "epidemic," or lack thereof ... other than that I'd be less likely to tune such discussions out if they didn't come so pre-laden with body fascism.
 
Yeah, same deal with the smoking stuff. There still ain't a lot they can do with you if you're dying of a smoking-related illness, and chronic  health issues from it are relatively cheap for providers and insurers and mostly your problem, smoker. They don't even try lung transplants for smokers, it's a terrible risk and a pointless gesture, at best. 

But fucktards believe that going to a club one night and people are smoking gives you cancer, or working at a bar where people smoke does, and that smokers make a unique end of life drain on public resources others don't. By virtue of dying much younger from shit nobody can even do anything about, apparently.

Because the same fucking rich lady's sewing circle that runs a local UN board told everybody that, and it worked. Basically. 
 
+R. Francis Smith - Over here - we don't pay more because of obese people.  We all pay the same to our national health insurance, and everybody receive the same care from it. We do put extra tax on alcohol and tobacco, and there even is plans for putting some extra tax on the sugar industry.
 
"other than that I'd be less likely to tune such discussions out if they didn't come so pre-laden with body fascism"

Yep. And nobody can tell me that isn't real, or that it's a guy thing, even: there are plenty of fucking awful women in the world who make sure all the big ladies feel like shit every minute of every day of their lives for just daring to ugly up their tight, hard universes. 

One of them I worked with a few years ago, she dropped dead at her desk at work, of a sudden. Her brain popped. Boy, was she a fit, fit corpse, though, there in front of everybody. 

She worked out all day long, every day, when she wasn't at work, and her vacations were all physical exertion vacations, and...I can just tell. I was a drinker and smoker and my girlfriend was fat and...she was weird around me. She couldn't relate to me because I wasn't a fitness fanatic like her. We had to occasionally work together and once found ourselves coincidentally at the DMV and sitting next to each other for an hour and didn't talk beyond exchanging pleasantries. 

It happens, more often with guys - women I work with tend more to either not be big workout queens or they are and find me charming and roguish in my unhealth. Or happened, I should say...weird, I wouldn't smell like smoke anymore if I had a job, now. 

We were roughly the same age. I spent all the adult years she did killing and denying herself to live longer torturing my own body with pleasures and caring not for the morrow. And I get more years than she does.

Funny that. 
 
As with most things in life - balance is key.  
 
Moderation in all things...including moderation.

I prize staying out of other people's business unless it's a literal matter of life and death pretty highly, though, that's not something I'm very moderate about. 
 
A very fit person dying from a brain aneurysm is very rare; hence it stuck in your mind.  An obese person suffering a heart attack or diabetes is very common, hence it doesn't really stick in anyone's mind.  We expect it.  

The journalistic concept is "Man bites dog = news; dog bites man = not news; it happens all the time."

I've had a lot of death in my life and my best wishes to you and yours that you all keep having the same luck and genetics that you do.  If you're able to be slightly overweight at 45 and have no health issues that is fantastic for you; many overweight 45 year old men can't say the same.  
 
+Lars Fosdal A poison is just too much medicine; and medicine is just the right amount of toxin.  First thing you learn in pharmacology school.
 
I think I can say that I am moderately moderate :)  That's a great term you've coined there!
 
Oh, I didn't coin that. My grandfather used to say it, and I'm pretty sure he got it from the Marx Brothers or somebody. 
 
Very true, +Justin Steele.  Even pure, clean water can kill us in the wrong dose - and I am not talking of drowning.
 
Yup.  It happens commonly in the military when they push too much water on recruits in hot weather.  Hydration guidelines recently changed due to this.
 
There just isn't any one good way to live for everybody, and this bullshit where no meat on your bones is "healthy" just got invented ten minutes ago, so pardon me if I don't buy it, ever.

Jesus, people elsewhere must laugh bitterly when they hear we're all convinced our children have too much to eat. 
 
Marx Brothers, ey?  I knew those guys were geniuses!
 
But they do, don't they? Have too much to eat?
When I was a kid, the candy and snack shelf in the store wasn't really all that big.  Today, we can be talking several aisles.  More processed food, rich in fat and fast carbs.
We need to be picky.
 
+Robert N. Lee It's individual.  If you're overweight and have no problems, great.  If you're overweight and have high blood pressure or borderline high blood sugar I have seen dietary modification time and time again reverse these afflictions.  It's amazing, people lose a spare 20lbs and their blood sugar and blood pressure go down.

Metabolic syndrome isn't something invented by Atkins to torture thin people, as seductive as that conspiracy theory might be to the diabetic or overweight.

The Inuit people ate an "Atkins" style diet for thousands of years and did just fine using ketone bodies for fuel; there are many ways the human body can fuel itself depending on what is available.  We're pretty amazing that way.

One thing I have an issue with is people thinking that ALL overweight people are unhealthy; this is actually untrue; for some people carrying a little extra weight is fine.  Really it depends on your fasting blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol, and overall well being.
 
As people often say about fast food - there's no problem with fast food; consider it rocket fuel.  If you're going to run a marathon, fine.  Eat 3000 calories.

Problem is, most people are eating rocket fuel and then sitting on the launch pad.  ;)
 
I guess things were different over there. We had candy bars and Slurpees back then, too, only the bullshit they told you then, mostly, as a guy was that it gave you pimples. Not that it would give you a slight pooch belly, and that WILL KEEL YOU DEAD, MAN. 

Girls got the HOLY SHIT NOBODY WILL EVER LIKE YOU AND YOU WILL DIE ALONE OF A HEART ATTACK ON TOP OF A PILE OF HAM SAMMICHES thing all along, I guess. Yay, equality. The jocks get to run everything everywhere. 
 
I know a few people that struggle to keep their weight up, so I can't complain.  Elderly people in particular can have problems with eating right and eating enough.
 
Erm, I think it was more that kids did active things back then and now they're drinking slurpees and spending all night on the internet sitting down.

I'm only 33 and even I recall my childhood being a LOT different and more active than the 13 year old kids I see today.

Again, I'm not so sure what the huge issue is - it's individual.  I can only imagine somebody getting very emotional about this topic might have some things to work through in order to have an objective opinion.  If you're fat and healthy, GREAT.  If you're fat and have high blood pressure, you might want to consider losing some weight. 

Then again, if you don't care about your personal longevity you might not.  I'm not going to tell you what to eat unless you ask my advice.
 
"It's individual.  If you're overweight and have no problems, great.  If you're overweight and have high blood pressure or borderline high blood sugar I have seen dietary modification time and time again reverse these afflictions.  It's amazing, people lose a spare 20lbs and their blood sugar and blood pressure go down."

Yeah, I got that. My problem remains not letting people drink whatever amount of soda they want to, by law. Because some other guy might be unhealthy and making unwise choices about his own body.
 
TV, game consoles, computers, internet, escalators, drive ins and shopping malls.  Oh, how I have grown to dislike their convenience.
 
They can always order more sodas - if they need to?
 
+Robert N. Lee I agree with you there.  I think the answer is to tax unhealthy things; not outlaw them.  If I had my way we'd legalize all drugs and tax the Hell out of them, too.

Tax the shit out of cigarettes, alcohol, and sugar/corn syrup - why the hell are we subsidizing unhealthy corn-crap foods?  Don't outlaw it; just tax it and use the revenue to educate people.

Then if they want to eat sugar and shoot heroin; more power to them.
 
"Erm, I think it was more that kids did active things back then and now they're drinking slurpees and spending all night on the internet sitting down."

Yeah, I haven't noticed that, either, and my son had like 35,000 Xbox achievement points before he hit college. They played outside, they did yard work for money, they volunteer outside and etc. 

I didn't do Fire Cadets or volunteer at a hospital in high school, certainly. MY GENERATION SUCKED AND WAS FAT. 
 
+Robert N. Lee *shrugs* Different lives and different circles we run in maybe.  I didn't volunteer when I was a teen but I certainly played a lot outside, walked and rode my bike miles every day, etc.

Today I rarely see a teenager walk or ride a bike anywhere.  Their parents drive them to friends houses and they play computer games.

If your mileage varies, great, but I think most people that have children would agree their own lives were more active as teenagers than that of their kids.  I know all the friends I have who are currently parents say that.
 
"I think the answer is to tax unhealthy things; not outlaw them. "

Yeah, we're not going to agree on this, although states doubling and tripling the price of vice items and extorting giant bribes from their producers and sellers and then pretending that's a morally superior position is constantly hilarious. 

I especially liked it when they all sued the tobacco companies, fifty states that had all made way more money over the decades from cigarette sales than any of the tobacco companies did in profits. That was beautiful. 

And then they all just jacked up the taxes and kept selling them. Because that's good, taxing poor people more for smoking at the same time you cut taxes for the people who sell them the cigarettes. 

Tell me about how state lotteries help the schools and environments, now. 
 
I support taxing the manufacturers as much as the consumers on vice items.  ;)

As for state lotteries, I consider them a stupidity tax.
 
Case in point:  My home state brought in 35 million from medical marijuana revenues and fees last year.  Not bad.
 
I pay stupidity tax :)
The night the gulf war started, and our former king died, I dreamt 8 numbers, and I was stupid enough to get out of bed, and write them down.  Don't. Do. That.
 
Even though it doesn't work? You do know that the forty-year decline in adult smoking in the US unexpectedly flattened in the last decade or so, yeah? Since all the bans and the new taxes?

Adults have been giving it up, smoking, and not starting in a constant drop since the seventies, when public awareness campaigns started and health discoveries emerged and etc. And that has slowed in ways it wasn't supposed to. We were supposed to hit a lower number at the end of this decade than we're going to. Smokers are feeling attacked and digging in their heels, and more young adults than a decade ago, or two, are starting...because it's forbidden, would be my best guess. 

Watch this come true: we're going to see a rise soon in younger people smoking, too. We're making it dangerous and hated and cool again. It will piss off your parents. 
 
It does work in one sense: if you're so overtly Puritan you believe people should be punished for smoking or drinking or whatever. 

I'm leaving the "stupidity tax" thing alone, because that was the most fucking asshole thing anybody's said in this thread yet, and I'm really not sure what to do with it. 
 
Feel free to leave it.  I stand by the words.  Everything I said, actually.  

I also volunteer to actually feed homeless people now with my time, which is more than I can usually say for people who get outraged with my opinions.  When was the last time you ladled out at a soup kitchen, out of curiosity?

Are you familiar with hunger up close?
 
Bye, asshole. You don't really have any black gay friends. 
 
He just said the desperate poor are stupid, +Robert N. Lee, what's to do with it?

I was (and still am, although it's hard to hold onto it this long) furious when Oklahoma passed a lottery under the completely bullshit rubric of "it will pay for education!" which, of course, it has not done at all, as anyone with sense knew, but even if it did, so what?  And I ask that as someone whose paycheck comes from education funding.

A lottery is not a "stupidity tax", it is a regressive tax, possibly the very most regressive tax, and it is immoral and it is wrong.  I have no problem with gambling.  But dangling a carrot in front of the desperate poor and then laughing at them when, surprise, they never quite get that carrot!  That is fucked up.
 
But never mind, apparently it's okay if you deign to feed one once in a while.
 
"He just said the desperate poor are stupid"

Yeah, that's probably a popular sentiment at the homeless shelters where he works every moment he isn't wheeling around crippled ice skaters. 
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