07 March, 2007

He May Not Be Fat, But He's Big and He's Here To Tell You How You're Gonna Mess It Up For The Rest Of Us

A blogger I've not yet heretofore had the pleasure of reading has stumbled across my radar. He calls himself the Mountain 'Publican and he has some harsh words about the Obesity Epidemic.

At 6'3" and 245, Mike doesn't seem like the type of guy a person would tangle with. But I'm just a roly-poly little mama lion when it comes to this Fat Propaganda.

Mike's blog header says that
[He's] an 8th generation Mountain Republican dedicated to rugged individualism and old-fashioned leave-me-alone conservatism, believing in small-government and valuing individual liberty most highly.


All of which sounds like music to my leave-me-alone libertarian ears. I mean, what could be better than letting people live in individual liberty? Right?

Well, Mike had to go and ruin a good thing with his blog post.

I wrote yesterday about initiatives taken by the state to address obesity issues .... Market-based health care costs of the future will reflect whether we recognized and dealt with the obesity epidemic today.


Notice all the "we"s? I guess individual liberty doesn't extend to your right to eat what you want or pursue the physical activities of your choosing. Why not? Well, because it may be expensive for Mike later. In other words, you can be free if we decide that the way you exercise that freedom is okay with the rest of us.

In fact, it seems that Mike's entire blog is devoted to a state response to overweight. And you know, if that's how he wants to roll then so be it.

But please don't feed me that pretty line about individual liberty while you're on a crusade to rob me of mine and make me and other fat people second-class citizens. My fat is not in my brain, and I can spot your game.

Update: Mike is a personal injury lawyer. The same type of lawyer as those who got rich off the tobacco suits. Something tells me that Mike is gunning for another cash cow with his propaganda.

Mike, if you want to talk about things driving up the cost of health care, let's start with trial lawyers and leave the poor fat little children out of it.

8 Comments:

At 7:15 PM, March 07, 2007, Blogger Mike Faulk said...

Kat,

I understand how you could question my love of liberty in reading only one post. But I invite you to read all four of my posts this week on the subject of obesity. I hope my latest post provides some illumination on my position: http://therightmke.blogspot.com/2007/03/how-parental-responsibility-concerted.html.

As for your assumption that personal pecuniary motives have caused me to address the health issue of obesity, you couldn't be more wrong.

You should be relieved that I've never sued a tobacco company, I've never filed a medical malpractice case, I'd politely dismiss a prospective client who wanted to sue McDonalds for causing them to be overweight, and I keep this quote from Abraham Lincoln prominently displayed on my conference room table for all clients to read: "Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. Point out to them how the nominal winner is often a real loser - in fees, expenses, and waste of time. As a peacemaker the lawyer has a superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be business enough."

All personal injury lawyers aren't greedy ambulance chasers and stereotyping isn't always accurate in predicting behavior.

 
At 9:15 AM, March 08, 2007, Blogger Kat Coble said...

stereotyping isn't always accurate in predicting behavior.

Yet isn't that what you are doing when you address the 'obesity epidemic', using flawed statistics compiled by interest groups?

Not every fat person gets diabetes. In fact, the medical profession has not yet been able to establish a causal relationship between being overweight and diabetic. Scholarly articles use terms like "closely linked" and "associated" because they simply have not been able to draw a bright line between diabetes and being overweight. Nor have causal relationships been established between obesity and heart disease, kidney disease or joint disease.

Fat people may have those conditions, but being fat doesn't mean that you absolutely will have any of those.

Yet folks like you on your crusade to have the State regulate diet and exercise do so out of the stereotyping that predicts behaviour. Fat people eat badly; fat people don't exercise enough.

Your aims and motives may be pure, but you've unfortunately linked to a bandwagon that is all to popular with trial lawyers and nannystaters.

Granted I perhaps branded you unfairly by assuming low motives to your personal crusade. You, however, are continuing to unfairly brand the overweight.

The net effect of the Obesity Epidemic Crusade is to create a second-class citizenry out of the fat people in America. It allows the non-fat people many reasons to look down on fat people with pity, derision, and contempt. All under the guise of theoretically saving the healthcare system a few bucks.

 
At 12:18 PM, March 08, 2007, Blogger Chance said...

Let's say that obesity does produce health problems. I agree with Kat that the effects are overestimated, though I believe there is an elastic limit that is beyond healthy.

In an ideal world, the healthcare system would isolate costs to those that incur them. That is why I oppose universal health care, and large bloated versions of Medicaid and Medicare. When the government foots the bill for our collective health care costs, it has a vested interest in saying how we should live, including what we eat. If my lifestyle is incurring costs on other people, then we need to find a way to change the health care system, not look for reasons to impinge on people's personal freedoms.

 
At 5:17 PM, March 08, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since I sold out to the man, my corporate paycheck prohibits me from commenting on this, but Kat it's not just an American issue,the potential costs and future "spin" about obesity is international.

I read a report that the estimated future healthcare costs associated with obesity are predicted to cripple the healthcare system in Great Britain within 10 years. The marketing, the pressure and the increased insurance costs to individuals will make a weekend at a resort timeshare sales trip seem like a real free vacation.

saraclark

 
At 7:05 AM, March 09, 2007, Blogger Exador said...

I'm with Chance. Well said, sir/madam.

 
At 8:59 AM, March 09, 2007, Blogger Chance said...

"I'm with Chance. Well said, sir/madam."

What? The name 'Chance' doesn't exude masculinity?

 
At 5:21 PM, March 09, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lots of thngs contribute to high health care costs. Smoking, bad driving, and sheer stupidity are just a few. Fat people are abused and discriminated against enough as it is. We don't need to put all on the blame for high health care costs on them, too.

 
At 1:25 AM, June 03, 2007, Blogger Spidey said...

Blaming others in order to collect money from them is what lawyers do best.

 

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