America: The nanny, nanny, boo-boo state
In case there was any doubt, the nanny state is alive and well.
For those traveling by air this holiday weekend, the Transportation Security Administration has unveiled its latest middle finger to the world: a new high-tech body scanner that projects a nude image of the traveler to a TSA agent. Those who refuse the body scan or whose scan appears suspicious are given a special frisk treatment as if they are about to enter a maximum security prison. The new security measures have led to a surge of irritation and outrage, with some planning a boycott set to take place today — one of the busiest travel days of the year.
There’s been a range of revolting incidents that have further captivated the public’s attention, from a breast cancer survivor being forced to show her prosthetic breast to TSA agents and a bladder cancer survivor being soaked in his own urine when a TSA agent accidentally ruptured his urostomy bag.
But the worrywart, protectionist attitude doesn’t stop there. In states across the country, officials have moved to ban the sale of the alcoholic energy drink Four Loko, with state Comptroller Peter Franchot calling the drinks “a clear public health and public safety threat.” And earlier this month, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors effectively banned the McDonald’s Happy Meal toy in the city. Many may have left their hearts in San Francisco, but apparently not their souls.
Certainly, health and safety regulations are a necessary annoyance. But this fall, government has become a cartoon-like caricature of sensibility. The TSA’s arrogant attitude toward criticism has failed to address travelers’ concerns, all while ignoring the fact that intelligence operations almost always stop terrorist plots, not airport security. With the crusade against Four Loko, officials seem to have completely ignored readily available substitutes — Red Bull and vodka or Jägerbombs, anyone?
But perhaps this is our new reality — a big nanny, nanny, boo-boo government. And if that is the case, maybe we shouldn’t stop with pat downs and banned Happy Meal toys. If we wish to dictate to millions what is best for their health and safety, it seems the most logical next step is to ban the most gluttonous day of the year: Thanksgiving.
Here, it seems, is a true national security risk. On Thanksgiving, fatty foods with high doses of sodium lurk in kitchens across the country at a time when more than 60 percent of Americans are believed to be overweight and diabetes is expected to impact half of Americans within the next decade.
Thanksgiving is a holiday where the one and only requirement is to eat. And not to just eat, but to eat in excess. The average Thanksgiving dinner contains about 2,000 calories, and most Americans eat the leftovers for breakfast, lunch and dinner for at least a week afterwards. Certainly turkey has its health benefits, but for many it just leaves them constipated and sleepy — not exactly the conditions needed to go for a jog. And if you’re not sitting around eating on Thanksgiving, you’re sitting around watching football or a parade of gigantic inflatable cartoon characters marching through the streets of New York City like an invading horde.
Besides, it’s not like Thanksgiving means anything anymore. It was originally a harvest holiday, and frankly, we don’t harvest shit. It was intended to be a means of giving thanks to God, not a holiday that exists solely to commit the deadly sin of gluttony over and over again. And if you don’t eat meat, like football or get along with your family, I’d suggest getting black-out drunk on Four Loko, but alas, no dice.
If all the pantywaist killjoys out there want to truly save the American people from themselves, Thanksgiving must be acknowledged as public enemy No. 1. Failure to do so is not only a risk to our security, but to ourselves. And that, it seems, would be ridiculous to ignore.
Originally published by The Diamondback.