Friday, June 17, 2016

You Can Have My Dr. Pepper When.....

Well Philadelphia, the home of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, struck a blow against freedom yesterday by passing a 1.5¢ per ounce tax on soda pop. So that buck and a half 16 oz soda down at the 7-11 is now going to cost you an extra quarter. A 32 oz Big Gulp is gonna set you back an extra 50¢. The Philadelphia city council's eyes are glazing over at the thought of an extra 386 million dollars that they count on coming into their coffers. And they did it all to save you from catching the diabetes.

Of course part of the argument for the new tax was that it would REDUCE consumption of sodas by Philadelphians and protect the people's health - the people being too stupid to protect their own health. So if the tax actually does succeed in reducing consumption of Coca-Cola by the citizens of Philadelphia, then they ain't gonna get no 386 million in additional revenue. The trouble is they've probably already spent that money in next year's budget, which is why Democrat-run cities are always in debt. With hundreds of cities outside Philadelphia's city limits, Philadelphians will likely consume just as much soda only they'll buy it in nearby cities and suburbs, that don't have the tax. There will soon be a black market for soda pop in Phillie with pop junkies roaming the streets of quiet leafy neighborhoods. Your kids, instead of playing down at the park will be searching back alleys looking to score some Dr. Pepper or a nice A&W Root Beer.

The argument for such Byzantine laws is that it will help prevent diabetes which kills 70,000 people a year.
This is considered horrific by many nutritionists and diet nazis who say that if we make sugar illegal or at least prohibitively expensive to obtain, those diabetes death rates will come right down. As one wag put it, they didn't have diabetes in Bible times, coz they didn't have soda pop.

It's a specious argument, of course. People did die of diabetes in Bible times. Just nobody knew what the heck it was. People's' body parts would rot off and they would die of infections. They often would just drop face first into the honey pot one morning with a diabetes related heart attack. Then, people would carry them out of the kitchen and into the yard where they buried them. Nobody kept statistics. Nobody knew it was a messed up pancreas behind it, especially since they didn't know what a pancreas even was in those day.

Besides, diabetes doesn't always come from sugar consumption. Of course you should be careful not to eat too much sugar. Fatitude is unhealthy. But trying to write laws to force people not to eat sugar is stupid - as stupid as trying to stop gun violence by taking guns from all the people who don't commit gun violence. 

Also, why is it always the people who say that marijuana laws don't work, who then want to turn around and ban cigarettes and sugar? Kind of hypocritical if you ask me. But that lot really do love their Big Friendly Government and those taxes on everybody else. 

I don't eat much processed sugar at all. I'm not a big dessert guy. Never have been. But I got type 2 diabetes. I was doing okay till a massively stressful job gave me high blood pressure. Turns out that certain blood pressure meds have type 2 diabetes listed as one of their side effects. Should have checked that sooner. I've switched to one that actually protects against diabetes, but reversing that stuff is really difficult. My numbers are coming down, though, but I have to watch my diet now - especially sugar intake. 

- Prostetnik Vogon Gelz, "The Benefits of Bureaucratic Inertia"
© HHGTTG Publishing, PDG 22321
But let's face it, laws against sugar aren't going to prevent obesity. Our world is too stressful. Reading the Facebook thread that got me started on this and arguing with everybody probably put a fat load of stress hormones on me; on all of the argument's participants really. These stress hormones are eating away at our health say the docs. So, are we going to ban Facebook next? Tax it? Somewhere some Senator is already salivating over that prospect you can bet. Are they going to charge us 1.5 cents to post a comment? Two cents if you include a photo?

We're grownups for crying out loud. We worked hard to become grownups. Just because a few of you are still smoking wacky baccy and living in your mothers' basements, doesn't mean you should treat the rest of us like infants. Grow up. Be a man for heaven's sake.

Why in heaven's name do we want to turn our entire nation's government into everyone's Mommy. You didn't like Mom being all up in your bizness when you were a teenager. What makes you think you'll like it anymore as an adult? Take some responsibility, people. You want to avoid diabetes? Easy. Stop stuffing Twinkies and Twizzlers into your pie-hole. Don't wait for the government to try and make you. Though if they do, I plan to become a black market Twinkie dealer and make a fortune.

I don't want the government going after my Dr. Pepper, even if I don't drink it. I actually drink Diet Dr. Thunder mostly (all praise to Walmart for that one by the way), but if I want a Dublin, Texas bottled real sugar Dr. Pepper, I want to know I can still get one. It makes me happy to know I have that option. That's freedom for me.

The reason our nation is at loggerheads over issues like this is that we all tend to get stuck in our own political ideologies. It's the old "If all I have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail" conundrum. Essentially, we have two "hammers" in our political system - the "all government is bad" and the "all government is good" ideologies. One says we're all rotten sinners and can't be trusted with power. The other says man is basically good and if we find the right leaders to tell us all what to do we can create a man-made Utopia on Earth. I admit I'm drawn to the first position. Probably being a Christian predisposes me to that, what with the whole Original Sin doctrine. That doesn't mean I can't work with those who believe the opposite. The issues affect us all and need to be solved. The first thing we have to do, though, is everyone must lay down their hammers..

Given the state of our culture, I don't see that happening. We're probably going to end up beating on each other with our ideological hammers until we've killed enough people to get it out of our systems or have worn ourselves out beating on each other.

Just one man's opinion.

© 2016 Tom King

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