Wednesday, July 31, 2002

In war on fat, it's the food's fault

Some extremist may be predicting the banning of beef, but today Kathleen Parker is writing about the imminent "new hefty-man lawsuit against four fast-food companies" that threatens to make a hamburger more expensive for everyone. You see, when the forces of darkness succeeded in demonizing tobacco users, making smokers the only group against whom social discrimination is socially and legally acceptable, open season was declared against any group which a) constituted a minority b)was not already "protected" by having previously being declared a "victim" by the politically correct minions of the nanny state, and c)spent an amount on their activity, product, or vice a large enough amount of money to be attractive to the plaintiffs bar. Which means, in English, scumbag lawyers who will take on any case, regardless of merit, where one third of a possible settlement or verdict would be in the millions of dollars.

I don't blame the lawyers. They are only using the system as it exists, even though they had a lot to do with the way it has become, except the attorneys representing the plaintiffs in this case were not personally responsible for the tort system in this country. The system is the way it is because the American people like it this way, and are the only people in the world who would stand for it. Spill coffee on yourself, and McDonald's owes you two million dollars. Worse, the stupid woman who spilled the coffee on herself becomes a hero to those who still have to work (yes, incredibly, the woman who won this lawsuit retired. She felt wealthy, not disabled. By the time of trial, she had made a 100% recovery. Since lotto winners spend a lot on lotto tickets, I wonder, does this woman spend a lot of time, well, spilling a lot of stuff on herself, hoping to "win" again?)

In 1609, the earliest settlers on this continent were growing and exporting tobacco, and by 1620 the government in England had warned the public that tobacco use was harmful to one's health, and indeed could kill you. 378 years later, juries started awarding cash to "victims" who were "fooled" by tobacco companies into smoking the dangerous weed. (don't get me started. I have triaged tobacco away, anyway, as has the tobacco industry, who settled their lawsuit) Then hot coffee was declared to be dangerous to the tune of millions of dollars to a single woman, who spilled it upon herself. As a coffee drinker, my quality of life has been adversely affected by this debacle, since I can not purchase truly hot coffee anymore. Sunny side up eggs and rare hamburgers have similarly been banned by the thought police, although I admit I could go home and cook them myself. So far....

And now fast food. In these pages I have already noted that beef may be the next target of the politically correct thought police. Being on a low carbohydrate diet gets me some very funny looks when I order at restaurants already. Now, I am no shrinking violet, and funny looks will not deter me from eating unpopular health food. but there is a real threat to me, and anyone else who pursues politically unpopular foods. Where does this madness stop? Because I am white, jewish, and of comfortable means I don't qualify as a victim, although all three categories constitute minorities. Yet women, maybe the only true majority (well, Christians also), have managed to acquire victim status. Why aren't smokers considered a victim class? Who is making these rules?

Me, I am waiting for disposable diaper users to be declared the next pariah group... Naaaah, Never happen. Women like disposable diapers. Less work for mother. Maybe women who wear lipstick and heels will be made the outcast group. Put them on an island. I'll go with them.