Sunday Links

Sunday, July 18th, 2010
  • Back when I wrote about the obesity debate for Cato, I remember when public schools telling parents their kids are too fat was the sort of thing people on my side of the debate warned about, and people on the other side of the debate said was ridiculous hyperbole. Also, the kid’s BMI is 19.4, and the school is sending home fat warnings? Why not just go ahead and build a vomitorium next to the girls bathroom?
  • NGO fight! World Health Organization criticizing Amnesty International for criticizing World Health Organization assessment lauding North Korea’s health care system. Shouldn’t starving a million of your own people to death somehow factor into any assessment of the sort of health care you’re providing?
  • Federal judge strikes down Stolen Valor Act, which makes faking military awards and experience a federal crime. I’ve written about this before. The proper remedy here is shame, not prison time.
  • Indiana may soon add a $100 doctor’s visit to the cost of treating a cold. Because of the meth.
  • More of this, please. Federal judge not only orders sheriff to issue gun permit sheriff improperly denied, but also orders sheriff to take college-level course on the First Amendment.

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58 Responses to “Sunday Links”

  1. #1 |  JS | 

    ” The proper remedy here is shame, not prison time.”

    No that would actually make sense. Plus politicians couldn’t get any outraged righteous indignation coverage out of it if the government didn’t get involved.

    Nowdays the American way is to give prison time, as much as possible, as often as possible. It plays well with the Fox News law and order crowd that supports people like Sheriff Joe.

  2. #2 |  JS | 

    Every cop in the country ought to have to take a college level course on the first amendment.

  3. #3 |  ZappaCrappa | 

    Sherrif Weber’s reasons? Weber’s reason for disapproving the application was, “concern from public. Don’t trust him.” Using that logic, Sherriff Weber and all police shold be immediately disarmed! Reason? Concern for the public. Don’t trust them.

  4. #4 |  adolphus | 

    Though I agree with the outcome and stand behind the Dorr’s right to own their guns, the fact that the elder Dorr is more concerned with the Sheriff’s apparent damage to two commandments than 2 amendments makes me a little, I don’t know, sad? concerned? fearful? conflicted?

  5. #5 |  Elroy | 

    Regarding Indiana’s requiring prescriptions for cold medicine, aren’t there any political groups lobbying to prevent this? I would be willing to contribute money to oppose this nonsense. They recently started moving cold medicine behind the counter where I live and the only thing you can buy after hours is not worth the trip to get it.

  6. #6 |  Leon Wolfeson | 

    Well, there’s good reason the UK has “behind the counter” (pharmacist must agree to dispense) as well as over the counter and prescription. The real problem is that the US-market literally useless phenylephrine-containing tablets (the nasal sprays with it work, but…) are now being sold here.

    You have to generally check labels until you find a pseudoephedrine cold medicine now, here. *grumbles*

  7. #7 |  Lucy | 

    How about the cops take classes on ALL the amendments, just to be safe?

    (Don’t tell em about the 16th or 18th, it’ll only confuse them.)

  8. #8 |  Marty | 

    re the fat letters from school- are there any innovative educational programs happening in schools? around here, there’s DARE, bully programs, drug-sniffing dogs, drug testing students for any activities, lots of sports, and lots of propaganda… not too much creativity or education being encouraged.

  9. #9 |  Lucy | 

    I’m really hoping the WHO has some good, sneaky motives here. But criticizing Amnesty International and saying North Korean health care is the “envy of the world” is sick.

    It’s like liberals who still claim Cuban health care is great because it’s “free.” Never mind people who have to save up medicines or buy them on the black market. Never mind that upper people (or say, Michael More waddling in from the North) get better access.

    Never mind that health care is never going to be purely scientific. It’s about caring for people. If you get seemingly good numbers from a country where the leader is a nut and a lot of people seem to be fleeing, I think that’s pretty scientific.

    Plus, 200,000 people in concentrations camps and mass starvation just isn’t very healthy.

  10. #10 |  Tybo | 

    Re: Pseudoephedrine – The phenylephrine substitute is useless. I’ve been told by physicians to simply avoid it for the most part due to disputes over its efficacy in pill form.

    Making it harder to get (as in, prescription only) will probably result in respiratory infection rates skyrocketing, since few people are going to go in for a cold or chronic congestion. End result – More widespread use of antibiotics, adding to antibiotic resistance! Seriously, does no one think of these things?

  11. #11 |  J sub D | 

    On fat letters from school –
    1) Being Cassandra gets old after a while doesn’t it?
    2) Wait till the first child neglect charges are bought. I see mandatory diet/nutrition classes for parents of fat kids in the future.
    3) Pedant alert. ! – Vomitoriums had nothing at all to do with vomiting. It’s a common misconception.

  12. #12 |  Henry | 

    I appreciate, I suppose, that the fat police haven’t bothered to stop at the deceptively reasonable stage. If they were sending out letters to the parents of morbidly obese children, it would be harder to convince people that it was objectionable.

    Instead we can point out that the policy jumped straight to targeting children who aren’t even obese, but merely “almost obese,” largely because they can’t even be bothered to correctly interpret the data. (BMI is increasing in that age range—see the CDC’s charts at—so children who develop quickly will naturally have high BMIs.)

  13. #13 |  PW | 

    The more I read about Judge Bennett from the gun permit case, the more I like him. This same judge decided that absurd federal sentencing guidelines on crack vs. cocaine were unfair and unilaterally decided he was only going to apply the milder cocaine standards from now on.

  14. #14 |  JS | 

    “Plus, 200,000 people in concentrations camps and mass starvation just isn’t very healthy.”

    How dare you? I’ll have you know that Kim Jong Il has totally eradicated obesity in North Korea!

  15. #15 |  Pinandpuller | 


    I dunno man, I’m kinda concerned about guys named “Adolph”. Coors sucks for one thing.

    “Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.”

    Support your OWN parents in their later years-no need for SS and Medicare.

    “You shall not murder.”

    No murdering-no innocence project etc.

    “You shall not commit adultery”

    Ex wives are a pain in the ass but I’m not sure if they should be illegal. See “You shall not murder.”

    “You shall not steal”

    Pretty self-explanitory.

    “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.”

    Yeah-that’s pretty controversial. Isn’t that called perjury?

    “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

    That sounds like something that everyone who supports limited government can get behind. As long as you free the male and female slave first. Maybe Moses meant middle-class taxpayer.

    All I would add is “You shall not commit puppycide.”

  16. #16 |  Pinandpuller | 

    J sub D

    I’m glad you cleared up the vomitorium thing. I was afraid they were going to do a bond issue here in Nashville and build one.

    Please welcome Rosie O’Donell to her one “woman” show at Nashville’s Rhinestone Vomitorium-featuring Gallagher.

  17. #17 |  J.S. | 

    Oregon welcomes you to the club Indiana! Got a cold? Want something decent to stave it off/kill it? Go see a doc! Good luck in that fight, all the cops here claim its done wonders stopping the local meth makers/market.

  18. #18 |  Les | 


    Well, we can’t forget:

    “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”

    The opposite of freedom of religion.

    “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.”

    There’s a hit against freedom of speech.

    “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates.”

    Can’t work on a Sunday? That’s downright un-American, isn’t it?

    And I think most folks forget that the punishment clearly prescribed for worshiping other gods, taking the Lord’s name in vain, and working on a Sunday is the same. It’s death, of course!

    Bronze age morality is highly overrated.

  19. #19 |  Xenocles | 

    While I don’t think it should be illegal in most cases, faking military service can get you some benefits* fraudulently (federal job applications, GI Bill, etc.)

    *Granted, in a lot of these cases the benefits are government cheese. But fraud is fraud.

  20. #20 |  SJE | 

    re: being fat.

    I’m old enough to remember when the civil libertarian cassandra’s were complaining about restrictions on smoking, and how they would lead to smoking bans. At the time I though that they were ridiculous hyperbole.

    I was wrong.

    I wonder if we can find similar arguments from old newspapers regarding drugs.

  21. #21 |  Judas Peckerwood | 

    “…Kim Jong Il has totally eradicated obesity in North Korea!”

    Not only that, JS, he also eliminated the need for health care rationing! Why don’t we ever hear this kind of positive news about Dear Leader?

  22. #22 |  Maria | 

    BMI is misleading in kids and tends to be misleading in some adults. It’s like measuring head sizes and sending home reports saying the kids with smaller brains might be borderline stupid.

  23. #23 |  Price | 

    Why the problem with the school sending home a butt mass index rating?? We all know that eating oneself into obesity has serious health consequences. Any parent that would allow their kid to eat themselves into a serious health situation should be held responsible..It’s abuse..And its rampant…1/3 of kids are over weight…seriously over weight…obese…dang Mom..wake up and smell the protein..

  24. #24 |  rhofulster | 

    Has Mitch Daniels taken a position on the pseudoephedrine prescription bill?

  25. #25 |  Mattocracy | 

    Nothing like the modern eugenics movement. You aren’t second class for being black, Jewish, or some other non European. You’re second class because your choices in life.

    Best to get ’em young. Send those insecure high school girls home with official papers saying their fat so the get more insecure and eat more to cope with it. Maybe they’ll get taunted and teased for it by their peers. Maybe they’ll turn to drugs so we can lock them up for that. Maybe develop eating disorders and we can send them to mental institutions. Maybe they’ll look for acceptance by having sex with everyone who asks. Then we can lock up their boyfriends too while we’re at it and call them sex offenders.

    Our public schools are run by sadists.

  26. #26 |  Mattocracy | 

    The more I think about it, the more I realize that public schools are a haven for predators. Sexual predators become religious leaders and boy scout troop leaders. The asshole bullies who enjoy picking on people who can’t fight back making their lives miserable, join school boards or become school administrators.

  27. #27 |  BamBam | 

    #25, the bullies also become employed in the law enforcement arena.

  28. #28 |  jrb | 

    I really need to sit down and write an essay against this incredibly stupid pseudephedrine bill and send it to the newspapers. I don’t really think it will have any positive effect, though. My fellow Hoosiers seem too enthralled with the glorious war on drugs. And that’s assuming I could actually get something published…

  29. #29 |  ClubMedSux | 

    Okay, regarding the “fat letter” article.. WTF??? I’m 6’0″ and generally weigh between 185 and 190. I like to think I’m fairly athletic (I walk 4 miles a day to and from work, lift weights and jog semi-regularly, play various recreational sports) and my BMI at 187.5 lbs. is 25.4, which is technically overweight. To get down to 19.4, I would have to weigh 143 lbs., which would make me one skinny (and weak) motherfucker. Sending home letters at that point? Beyond ridiculous.

  30. #30 |  Frank Hummel | 

    Nevermind what the WHO said about Amnesty or the other way around. Someone check the WHO director’s bank accounts, see how much kickback he got from North Korea to say that NK’s medicine is “the envy of the developing world”

  31. #31 |  bbartlog | 

    I don’t agree with the judge’s ruling in the Stolen Valor case. Yes, the law is crap (and a symptom of the cult of the military we seem to be cultivating); however there is not a general first amendment protection for making patently false claims. Granted, the vast majority of these cases are handled via tort in the case of actual damages occurring – for example, if I maliciously defame someone, or falsely claim to be an expert plumber before working on their house. But there are already examples of such action being criminal, notably in the case of impersonating a police officer (illegal even if done purely verbally). That throws the blanket protection for false statements into question and makes me think the ruling is unlikely to stand if appealed.

  32. #32 |  ClassAction | 


    I think you might be misunderstanding the Judge’s position a bit. The burden is always on the government to demonstrate that any particular infringement of speech is legitimate and warranted such that it overcomes the presumption of constitutionality under the First Amendment. The Judge simply found that, in this case, the government didn’t offer a compelling enough reason to criminalize these kinds of false statements. The inquiry is always specific to the type of speech being restricted and the type of penalties being applied by the government.

    But on top of that, your reasoning is flawed. Just because there are examples of cases in which false statements are not protected does not mean there isn’t a general blanket of protection under the First Amend for false statements. It just means that in some cases, the government has a legitimate interest in restricting false statements.

  33. #33 |  supercat | 

    ClassAction: The meaning of any type of credential or award will be largely nullified if people are allowed to forge or falsely claim it without consequence. I see no reason to believe the Founding Fathers would have intended freedom of speech to include the “right” to falsely state their credentials and awards.

  34. #34 |  Mattocracy | 

    If everyone was there ideal BMI weight according to the obesity panic nazis, we’d all look like concentration camp victims. Which is why they are a bunch of Nazi’s.

    According to the BMI, Emmitt Smith was borderline obese his entire career. Warren Sapp was obese and would run you down with his 4.6/40 speed and beat your ass if you told him that.

  35. #35 |  JS | 

    jrb #27, do it anyway! Who knows, you might actually make people think.

  36. #36 |  DJB | 

    WHO is absolutely right North Korea is the pinnacle of government health care. Its not starvation its aggressive dieting to prevent obesity.

  37. #37 |  Highway | 

    supercat, nobody’s saying there shouldn’t be a ‘consequence’. Radley even said so, that shame is warranted. You could probably also be fired for lying on application, or whatever it’s related to. The issue is that it’s a *huge* step to criminalize speech, and that’s what’s being decided: Is it *criminal* to say that you have experience that you don’t?

    If it is, then where’s the line? Is it going to be criminal for a contractor to say “oh, yeah, I’ve done plenty of bathrooms” to get a job?

    And DJB, North Korea is just looking out for their citizens! It’s pretty well accepted that calorie restriction leads to longer life!

  38. #38 |  qwints | 

    By my reading, all that’s needed for the Stolen Valor Act to be constitutional is a harm provision. The judge just said, “if there’s no harm, then there’s no crime.” I like that judge.

  39. #39 |  BamBam |


  40. #40 |  Brad Warbiany | 

    Note – BMI for kids doesn’t follow the same scale as for adults… Thus a 19.4, which is borderline underweight for an adult, put this girl in the 84th percentile amongst her age/gender peers.

    That being said, BMI is a bunch of bull. I used to simply use my own experience for that statement, as I’m borderline obese by BMI standards (6’5″ 255#, BMI 30.2), but it’s due to bone/muscle structure, not a gargantuan gut.

    But an interesting thing happened Friday. I was taking my kids (1 yo & 3 yo boys) to their regular doctor checkups, and the doctor told us right up front that when the kids are in school, they’ll probably get BMI tested, and to pay no attention to it whatsoever. The doctor could immediately tell from their body types that they were going to be big and muscular, and would not trend anywhere near “average” on a BMI chart.

    I’m a bit concerned about one thing: I’m gonna have to get a second job to feed those two when they’re teens!

  41. #41 |  the friendly grizzly | 

    IO’m 6-1 and 285. And while I AM built in a bearish way (big chest, shoulders in separate ZIP codes) I freely acknowledge I am quite overweight. But like someone stated above: for me to get down to the “proper” BMI, I would be skinny to the point of poor health.

  42. #42 |  xenia onatopp | 

    If memory serves, Ms Chang from the WHO actually DID mention the absence of obesity as one of North Korea’s health-care triumphs. Interestingly enough, Amnesty based its report on WHO figures, so it’s hard to see why the WHO is so concerned with standing behind Chang and covering her commie-loving ass; their own numbers strongly imply that somebody is a craven liar here, and it doesn’t appear to be Amnesty, so fire the bitch. Apparently, though, being a UN bureaucrat means never having to say you’re sorry.

  43. #43 |  Dakota | 

    “…Stolen Valor Act, which makes faking military awards and experience a federal crime.”

    Going after Colonel Sanders with everything they got huh.

  44. #44 |  Big_Texan | 

    I can’t believe BMI is still considered science. It was developed in the 1850s. Yeah 1850. If I remember correctly it was in Belgium. The point is in 1850, nutrition and diet was completely different than today.

  45. #45 |  MM1Ret | 

    “…Stolen Valor Act, which makes faking military awards and experience a federal crime.”

    “Going after Colonel Sanders with everything they got huh.”

    Colonel Sanders was a Kentucky Colonel. It’s something completely different.

  46. #46 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    No way in hell will the police union stand for a judge ordering one of their own to learn about the First Ammendment.

  47. #47 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    ” The proper remedy here is shame, not prison time.”

    Hysteria, like a crisis, shall not be wasted by politicians lest another politician sieze the opportunity.

  48. #48 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Fat letters from school? I’ll support them just as soon as I get to check out just how fat every teacher, administrator, and school board member is.

    From my experience, they are almost always obese.

  49. #49 |  Charlie O | 

    One repercussion of the restrictions on cold medicines has been moving major production of meth to Mexico. This has strengthened the Mexican drug gangs and increased the violence. Way to go “War on Drugs.”

  50. #50 |  Kristen | 

    [quote]Colonel Sanders was a Kentucky Colonel. It’s something completely different.[/quote]

    I think he was making a little joke, see?

  51. #51 |  DarkEFang | 

    “Regarding Indiana’s requiring prescriptions for cold medicine, aren’t there any political groups lobbying to prevent this? I would be willing to contribute money to oppose this nonsense. They recently started moving cold medicine behind the counter where I live and the only thing you can buy after hours is not worth the trip to get it.”

    In the part of Indiana I live in, all the stores have already put sudaphed behind the pharmacy counter, requiring you to fill out paperwork and show your driver’s license for a maximum of 8 tablets or whatever. Being able to purchase sudaphed with a prescription would actually be easier than the current system.

    This sounds to me like the state legislature is just trying to look tough on the issue without actually doing much of anything. The market already took care of the issue. Of course, meth dealers just break into pharmacies now, instead of paying for sudaphed.

  52. #52 |  Mike Healy | 

    Forget Colonel Sanders. What about Colonel Angus?

  53. #53 |  xenia onatopp | 

    Oops, that should be Chan, not Chang. Oddly my phone’s predictive text added the “g.’ Another reason to reread carefully before posting.

  54. #54 |  Lamarck's Giraffe | 

    More Sheriff Joe goodness (bandess?), from here in Maricopa County:
    “A Phoenix-area man accused – and later won acquittal – of murdering his infant son in 2003 won a second legal battle this month when a jury found two Maricopa County Sheriff’s detention officers guilty of abuse and awarded him $855,000 in civil damages.”

    Note the final paragraph from the article: “Every once in a while you get an aberrational jury,” said MCSO Deputy Chief Jack MacIntyre. “That’s why we have a court of appeals to straighten these aberrations out.”

  55. #55 |  supercat | 

    //supercat, nobody’s saying there shouldn’t be a ‘consequence’. Radley even said so, that shame is warranted.//

    Shame is only a useful threat against people who would try to avoid it. Many people who claim a fake background (military or other) are shameless.

    If one claims one has received from entity X a credential one has not received, and if one uses such claim to receive from Y any benefit one would not have received without such claim, one commits fraud; both X and Y should be considered aggrieved parties.

    In some cases, criminal charges may be applicable even if neither X nor Y is a government entity. Why should they be any less applicable when X is a government entity?

  56. #56 |  RWW | 

    You know, I think actual military experience and awards are a subject of shame.

  57. #57 |  Mark | 

    Wow, meth sounds awesome. Why haven’t I thought to try it before? I’m going to use my skills of technical invention to make some and get high! Woot!

  58. #58 |  Robert | 

    Being a programmer of medical & dental software, I seem to remember from research for a BMI/body fat calculation & tracking tool I wrote that BMI is considered to be of NO use for anyone under 20, their heights and weights are fluctuating too much for it to indicate anything. So why did anyone bother finding this kids BMI in the first place?