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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

I CAN SEE CLEARLY NOW: Today I join the campaign against obesity, especially the variety known as fatheadedness. Let's start with the California politician who wants to restrict fast food restaurants because their very existence takes over the willpower of kids and makes them eat way too many Greaseburgers. In turn, these vastly overweight young'uns end up blocking the sun and we all know obesity is a direct cause of global warming. (You didn't know this? Please, could you start coming to rehearsals?) "Cause" is such a cool word. Increasingly it means whatever any particular agenda-driven zealot wants it to. Did you know that certain state consumer protection laws "do not require a showing that the defendant's misbehavior caused a specific illness"? This is great news, according to Richard Daynard, who's a big fan of suing under such statutes because it "avoids complicated causation issues." Once upon a time, effort was required to prove that Y happened because of X. It wasn't always easy to prove that X actually precipitated the effect called Y. To prove that was supposed to be "complicated" because lots of dollars in potential damages were at stake. That was then, this is now. Do fast food restaurants cause people to take on the girth otherwise known to butter hogs? A growing chorus says yes: kids have no choice about what they eat, nor do their parents. It's the fault of the places where food is dispensed. Great. Let's start closing down restaurants favored by people who eat until they resemble butterhogs. Let's tell them they're not responsible. Then let's go after the ice cream parlors. And while we're at it: Hey, you — isn't that your fifth bagel, where'd you buy it? Close 'em down. At best, these are partial measures. I personally favor requiring all potentially fat children (definition: the ones with mouths) to get stomach reduction surgery by age 6. It won't be long before we'll be able to again sing, Here comes the sun.