Heavy Hand of Government

May 20, 2003

May 20, 2003

We just fought a war in Iraq, to among other things, bring freedom to a population that has been oppressed for 30 years. Here on the home front it seems that everyday we find the pressure building for government and the courts to tell us what we can do, can't do, can eat, can't eat. What is happening to our freedom of choice here at home?

More than 125 jurisdictions nationwide have banned smoking in bars and restaurants. I have never smoked in my life. I know smoking is not the road to eternal life, but to smoke or not to smoke is a personal choice. Smoking is not illegal. Some cities have tried to ban smoking outside on the streets. Others propose to ban smoking in private clubs. For a long time smoking critics talked up the danger of secondhand smoke, but in 1998 a study sponsored by the World Health Organization found no significant risk from secondhand smoke. You may say that smoking is bad so let's attack it anyway we can. Well, it doesn't end there the food police are also out to get us. If the stupid lawsuits against McDonald's were not enough, a public interest lawyer has filed suit in Superior Court Marian County, San Francisco (WHERE ELSE) to stop the sale of lethal, deadly Oreo cookies. Yes, he is serious, arguing that the transfat used in making the cookie is poisoning our children. Keep in mind that 40% of the foods found in supermarkets and restaurants contain some trans fat. No more cookies, no more pizza, no more ice cream, no more chips. Is there anything safe to eat other that tofu and broccoli? There is a broad national assault on food, especially food that tastes good. We know that we should not gorge ourselves on fat food, but there needs to be some balance.

I'm all in favor of education to encourage us to eat a broad variety of foods, eat healthy. Educate us against the risk of smoking, but let's not give up our freedom of choice. Heavy handed government is the greater risk.

Until next week, I am John Block from Washington.