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Archive for the ‘Health is the New Morality’ Category

CIGARETTE ADVERTISING

Posted by Andrew Roman on June 18, 2010

Random thought 55217:

In a world where tobacco consumption warrants a Motion Picture Association of America rating, where images of Winston Churchill are becoming “cigarless” thanks to airbrushing, where depictions of the Beatles’ Abbey Road album cover are conspicuously missing Paul McCartney’s cigarette, and where tobacco use – specifically cigarettes – has become an issue of morality, it defies logic – it is intellectually indefensible – that a corporation manufacturing and selling an item that is completely legal in the United States cannot purchase billboard space, magazine pages or air time.

Did you ever stop to think about that from a completely objective position?

I cannot be the only one who still finds it astonishing that in a free market society, there are laws against advertising a perfectly legal product.

Reasonable limitations are one thing. But an outright ban is another.

I cannot be the only one who is disturbed to observe a system of twisted moral values where the choice to smoke is on par with, if not considered worse than, cheating on a test or premarital sex.

Choosing to smoke, contrary to leftist dogma, is not an issue of character or moral fiber.

Cheating on an exam, on the other hand, is.

So, why is it okay for the government to tell a free-market entity that they cannot advertise their legal product? (This is not rhetorical. I’m actually asking the question).

It cannot be because there is an age restriction on tobacco.

Beer commercials and automobile ads – both of which have age limitations regarding their use – abound.

Is it because of all the “bad” that comes from smoking?

In this country, the number of violent incidents and crimes that can be directly attributed to alcohol consumption is enormous.

Yet, how many children have been beaten by parents who had one too many cigarettes? How many battered women’s shelters are filled with victims of Marlboro-crazed Neanderthals? How many people have been killed by those convicted of DWS (Driving While Smoking)?

Meanwhile, the number of automobile accidents caused by reckless, irresponsible drivers – preoccupied with cell phones, makeup, bags of drive-thru food on the passanger seat, etc. – is ever-growing.

Should beer and car ads be banned?

Of course not – just like ads for soda, sugar-rich cereals and cupcakes shouldn’t be nixed. It should be up to the network, billboard owner or magazine publisher to make the determination – not government.

I’m a big one for individual responsibility.

In October of last year, in a piece called THE NEW MORALITY – LIBERTY’S LATEST WAR, I wrote:

Talk show host Dennis Prager makes the point that if second-hand smoke kills as many people as is claimed by these totalitarian-like zealots – (some say as many as 50,000 a year in the United States alone, which would translate to nearly six people an hour dying in this country as a result of coming into contact with second-hand smoke) – then not only should the practice be banned outright everywhere, but those who are smoking need to be arrested and convicted for taking the lives of the innocent.

Logical, yes?

By the way, I don’t smoke. (I quit on February 2, 1998 at 3:14PM).

It’s a disgusting habit.
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Posted in Health is the New Morality, Moral Clarity | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

THE WAR ON SALT BEGINS

Posted by Andrew Roman on March 11, 2010

Liberals profess that it is a subjective morality that determines whether or not ripping the life from a woman’s womb is right or wrong, yet they are quick to call the act of smoking a universal immorality. Liberals gripe about wanting government out of their bedrooms, but have no problem if it shows up in the kitchen … or at work. 

If you could take a time machine back to, say, 1980 – or even 1990 – and sit down for a chat with someone from that time about some of the societal changes that await them, what are the chances that someone might think you were under the influence of some sort of hallucinogen if you were to tell them that smoking cigarettes in bars would be illegal? In bars! Or that privately-owned restaurants would be banned from using certain cooking oils? Or that it would be mandatory to post the calorie content of food in restaurants? 

They’d probably look at you like you were sporting three heads. 

Welcome to the future. 

It’s here. 

In yet another example of how health is leftism’s new morality, the first shot has officially been fired in the War On Salt – and leave it to a New York City legislator to pull the trigger. 

Six days ago, a bill was introduced by Assemblyman Felix Ortiz of Brooklyn that would ban the use of salt in restaurant cooking. Any violation of the salt statute would result in a $1000 fine.

A band of jackbooted Sodium Smashers could be showing up at your favorite eatery if its discovered that the chef salted to taste.

Care to guess what Ortiz’s political party affiliation is?

Arun Kristian Das of MyFox NY writes: 

Some New York City chefs and restaurant owners are taking aim at a bill introduced in the New York Legislature that, if passed, would ban the use of salt in restaurant cooking. 

“No owner or operator of a restaurant in this state shall use salt in any form in the preparation of any food for consumption by customers of such restaurant, including food prepared to be consumed on the premises of such restaurant or off of such premises,” the bill, A. 10129 , states in part. 

 

Ortiz has said the salt ban would allow restaurant patrons to decide how salty they want their meals to be. 

“In this way, consumers have more control over the amount of sodium they intake, and are given the option to exercise healthier diets and healthier lifestyles,” Ortiz said, according to a Nation’s Restaurant News report. 

No, this is not an article snatched from the pages of The Onion. This isn’t taken from an old Soviet cuisine mag. This isn’t the feature story in the March issue of Better Fascists And Gardens. 

This is free-market America. 

This is the land where liberals demand that government stay out of their business – and their bodies – when it comes to terminating a human life, but where private-sector restaurant owners are told by the government what oils they can cook with and how they can season their food. 

The sad (and frightening) thing is: This all makes perfect sense to the modern liberal. None of this seems contradictory or conflicted.  None of this seems out of order or unusual. This is all for our own good. 

Personally, I can’t help but wonder why there is so much lollygagging going on. Why not leapfrog over the baby steps and take this proposed ban on salt to its natural conclusion? 

Why not just ban food from restaurants? 

Considering how catostrophic it would be for the restaurant industry in New York, it makes perfect sense. 

Better yet, why not introduce a bill that bans death altogether? 

That’ll put an end to all of this mamby-pamby health-related legislation.

That such thinking, which would have seemed inconceivable even fifteen years ago, could lead to the introduction of legislation as absurd as this reveals two absolute truths. One, that freedom is easily eroded incrementally over the course of time, in the name of “good.” 

And two, human beings unchecked don’t know when to stop. 

That’s about as good a definition of liberalism as there is.

How long will it be before the Supreme Court declares salt a poisonous mineral?

  

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Posted in Health is the New Morality, Liberalism, Nanny State, New York City | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

THE NEW MORALITY – LIBERTY’S LATEST WAR

Posted by Andrew Roman on October 17, 2009

anti-smokingToday’s leftists – and some on the right – have decided that health is now a moral issue. It has become a religion, a value as important and ethically significant as any other Americans hold sacred. This morality is manifesting itself through marginally coherent (and agenda-driven) feel-good science. It is a result of  the propensity of today’s liberal to create policy out of emotion.

We see this, for example, in the ongoing evangelism that characterizes the man-made global warming movement. Despite the fact that there is not an iota of scientific data to back up the contentions of a world headed for disaster due to human activity, it is an ongoing hysteria that continues to be sold as absolute truth.

We see it in the ongoing debate that has consumed the bulk of the American dialogue in recent months – health care reform. Despite the fact that the United States has the best health care delivery system on the planet – the envy of the world – and the fact that only a relatively small percentage of Americans are uninsured, the word “Holocaust” is used to describe the “crisis.”

Clearly more critical to the well-being of humanity than the ongoing war against Islamo-fascism is the real battle facing freedom loving people everywhere, the next true peril. While the word “victory” has been vanquished by leftists from any discussion relating to the war in Afghanistan, the emergence of a nuclear Iran, and against evil in general, it has been expropriated for the Left’s fight to preserve this new value system.

It is, in a sentence, a struggle for the good of us all.

The enemy is (and actually has been for some time) tobacco … and to these new moral crusaders, it is the very existence of liberty itself that enables this diabolical adversary to continue to kill innocents. That’s why in almost every sector of life, actions are being taken to eradicate this evil with the same kind of vigor that used to be reserved for totalitarians and murderous dictators. That’s why government must involve itself. This is war. From bans in privately owned restaurants and bars, to making it illegal to smoke in one’s own car, the assault on cigarettes makes the Normandy invasion look almost pedestrian.

The University of Montana, for instance, is the latest institution of higher learning in the United States to break out its can of regulatory RAID and help stop the freedom bug in its tracks by pushing toward a “tobacco-free” campus – something they hope to accomplish by 2011.

Carmen George of the Montana Kaimin writes:

Julee Stearns, UM health promotion specialist and chair of the UM Tobacco Task Force that drafted the plan, said that as of Oct. 2, there are at least 322 smoke-free campuses and 172 tobacco-free campuses nationwide. Montana Tech will also be completely tobacco-free in July 2010. The tobacco-free plan, drafted at the request of UM President George Dennison, aims to ensure the campus environment is healthy and accessible for everyone, Stearns said.

Yes, you read that correctly; there is a UM Tobacco Task Force.

(I’m guessing there must also a UM Separation of Church and State Task Force, among others).

In Pennsylvania last summer, one day after a statewide ban on smoking took place in workspaces and public areas, the Keystone State became the first in the nation to create completely smoke-free campuses at its fourteen state universities. Following the state’s lead, Chancellor John Cavanaugh decided to do what he could to save the children. As Martha Raffaele of the Associated Press wrote:

After discussions with university presidents and system board members, Chancellor John Cavanaugh said he interprets the law to extend beyond buildings at educational facilities to include all campus grounds, such as courtyards, parking lots and athletic fields. Cavanaugh, who took over as chancellor in July, said some classes occasionally meet outside, and the schools also hold outdoor fundraising events and receptions. “After all of that deliberation, we decided we would go on the side of caution,” he said.

How fascinating.

I love it when liberals come down on the “side of caution.” (I’m willing to wager a vital body appendage that Mr. Cavanaugh is on the left).

no smoking signI wonder if that “side of caution” is in play when these open-minded, clear-thinking educators discuss the viability of a human life in the womb. (Perhaps that one flies above their collective pay grades). Either way, these health-as-the-new-morality crusaders – let’s call them “Mommy” for this discussion – have decided that smoking should not only be expelled from public view but must be abolished from every nook and cranny of life – including vehicles and secluded getaway spots.

It’s another small step toward Utopia.

It is reminiscent (and emblematic) of what Councilman Dave Warden of Belmont, California said three years ago when that community was looking to implement the most comprehensive smoking ban in the nation. He summed it all up for the members of the council when he asked, “What if every city did this, imagine how many lives would be saved?”

Sheer brilliance.

That’s the kind of vision that communes and sit-ins are made of – not to mention totalitarian societies. It is also another example of the unadulterated arrogance of today’s leftist. They have taken it upon themselves to regulate and legislate our lives so that, presumably, we will never ever die. This is all okay, of course, because smoking is a filthy, disgusting habit that kills trillions anf trillions of people each year. The fact that “Mommy” cares enough to imperil your personal freedoms should speak to the moral imperative.

It’s ironic (don’t you think?) that these anti-tobacco warriors are the very same people who angrily pumped their fists in outrage over provisions of the Patriot Act, claiming they were a direct threat to personal liberties, all the while justifying the government’s right to annex a person’s freedom to engage in a completely legal activity under the phony guise of saving lives – even though there is not a single human being who has ever been documented to have died from second hand smoke.

Not one.

Today’s purveyors of the new morality know better than you, and they’ll tell you so.

And this isn’t just relegated to the United States.

In a piece published Monday on the UK Telegraph Online website, columnist Ed West wrote about a particularly fanatical anti-smoking commentary he had come across – a piece he called “the most sinister article I’ve read in a long time.”

West wrote:

Duncan Bannatyne of Dragons’ Den has written an article that sent a shiver down my spine. Entitled “I’ll only be happy if smoking is banned”, it proposed measures so dismissive of any sane person’s idea of individual liberties that I’m tempted to say that it sounded better in the original German.

First he praises the Government for banning smoking in pubs and supports the latest proposal to put cigarettes in shops out of sight. But then he goes really mad:

“In my view smokers who currently stand outside a pub or restaurant having a fag should have to stand at least several yards away from the front door, to save the 79% of us who don’t smoke from breathing in their smoke when we go in or out. We should curtail the rights of the 21% and increase their responsibilities towards the 79%. In other words, we should stop them killing us and our children.

Studies estimate that about 11,000 people a year die because of passive smoking. This isn’t nanny statism, Big Brother, or wrongful interference in people’s personal freedoms – it’s the right thing to do to protect the health of the vast majority of us who don’t smoke from the declining minority who do.”

Really? Well, wouldn’t you have been better protected if you’d allowed smokers to meet inside smoking pubs rather than forcing them outside, where they kill you and your children?

“Smoking should be banned in cars, and particularly any vehicle with children in it.”

What?

“On a school visit I met a 12-year-boy who wanted to be an athlete who told me that every morning his mother lit up when she was driving to school, even though he’d begged her to stop. He should be able to report her to the police.”

Are you out of your mind?

“It should also be illegal to smoke at home in front of children. I accept that enforcing such a law would be difficult, but it would send a message that such behaviour is unacceptable. And shops should need a licence to sell cigarettes. They need a licence to sell alcohol, which is sometimes addictive and certainly harmful, just like tobacco, so why not? That would make shopkeepers less likely to sell fags to people under age.

Some shopkeepers are genuinely afraid of a ban on tobacco displays. But that is because the tobacco industry have been up to their old tricks. They tried to convince pubs that the smoke-free law would drive them out of business so they would lobby against the law.”

Er, the smoke-free law has driven loads of pubs out of business, you lunatic. I’m all for reducing tobacco use, but it isn’t any of the Government’s damned business whether people smoke in their own homes. What next? Will officials be able to come around and check they’re eating five a day?

Talk show host Dennis Prager makes the point that if second-hand smoke kills as many people as is claimed by these totalitarian-like zealots – (some say as many as 50,000 a year in the United States alone, which would translate to nearly six people an hour dying in this country as a result of coming into contact with second-hand smoke) – then not only should the practice be banned outright everywhere, but those who are smoking need to be arrested and convicted for taking the lives of the innocent.

Logical, yes?

When Belmont, California finally passed its landmark anti-smoking legislation into law in September, 2007, the ban was an outright prohibition of cigarettes in all areas of the city, except single-family detached homes.

This prompted me to wonder, if second-hand smoke poses that kind of calamitous threat to everyone everywhere, why then are single-family homeowners immune in Belmont? Don’t they matter? Aren’t the potential “innocents” in that single-family home as much at risk as someone who lives three floors above a smoker in an apartment building?

It is all sheer nonsense.

Yet, “mommies” all over the country are getting precisely what they want – control.

Should we expect the ACLU to step up and defend personal liberty? Perhaps a better question is whether or not anyone truly believes that once the evil of smoking is wiped clean from the lives of people everywhere, it will simply end there.

nanny-stateIn New York City, for example, the attack on cigarettes wasn’t enough. It extended to cooking oil and, most recently, salt.

Government infringements on personal choice always begin with “harmless,” “reasonable-sounding” discussions draped in genuine “concern.” It is always for our own good.

The zealotry from the left when it comes to the smoking issue is remarkable. The anti-smoking crowd is among the most – if not the most – intolerant in our society, and they continue to push falsehoods and fabrications to further their agenda. Despite inconclusive evidence, rigged statistics, and studies showing that the catastrophic dangers of second-hand smoke are bogus (note the recent report by the British Medical Journal as one example), these people are more than willing to sacrifice your liberties for you.

It is truly ironic how leftists aim to protect the physical body from selected poisons while scoffing at any suggestion that poisons of the mind and soul (hyper-sexed music videos, profanity-laced pop music, the banishing of God from schools, etc) have any kind of impact on people.

Morality, indeed.

Once the scourge of tobacco is eradicated and people stop dropping like Warner Brothers’ cartoon anvils from second-hand smoke, then we could turn our attentions to more casual fancies – like Islamo-facism.

No, I am not a cigarette smoker.

Yes, there can be no dobut that cigarette smoking is bad for you.

So what?

This is about liberty.

Period.
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Posted in Health is the New Morality, Junk Science, Nanny State | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

OBAMA’S LEFTISM, ETHICAL SCIENCE AND TASTY FACTS

Posted by Andrew Roman on March 11, 2009

stem-cell-research

Most surprising to me is not how radically leftist the President is showing himself to be in his policies and proposals, but how surprised others seem to be at the course he is taking.

Why exactly are Obama’s radical ideas shocking to anyone? What was it about everything Obama said during the campaign season that would make anyone think he was anything less than an honest-to-goodness, faithful, textbook Alinski-wing leftist? What exactly was it about a voting record that won him honors as the most liberal Senator in Washington – as well as a history of associations and activities with leftist anti-American radicals – that would lead card-carrying, self-professed liberals like CNBC’s “Mad Money” host, Jim Cramer, and billionaire Warren Buffet, to believe that The Messiah was a centrist?

Because they wished him to be?

Because Obama seems like such a nice guy?

Because he has the facility to deliver teleprompter prose with the tone and cadence of a moderate?

Radicals are not exclusively identified as angry, ranting, blathering, fist-pumping, banner waving Abbie Hoffman types with angled berets atop their heads and a need for deodorant. Being well groomed, even-tempered, and one who can read a script very well does not disqualify one from being a radical or a proponent of radical ideas.

As it is with most conservatives who paid attention during the campaign season, there isn’t a single thing Obama has said or done since his anointment that has taken me by surprise – from his announcement that Guantanamo Bay would be closed to yesterday’s green light on taxpayer funding of embryonic stem cell research (and all radically transforming stops in between) – the Obamacratic regime has, in my mind, followed the expected path: astronomical spending, social engineering, tax increases on the most productive, retreating from a war zone on a publicly announced date, rewarding failure … it’s all part of the same picture.

Yesterday’s Executive Order by President Obama was, arguably, the most radical move yet for the new President. What he did was more than just reverse the Bush Administration’s policy of not allowing taxpayer dollars to fund embryonic stem cell research. He has actually allowed for the creation of brand new human embryos so that they might be destroyed for future experimentation.

From the great Moral Accountability Blog, Yuval Levin from the Ethics and Public Policy Center explains:

“… it will tell researchers that if they destroy a human embryo, they will become eligible for federal dollars to use in studying its cells; establishing an obvious and unprecedented incentive. And the president has not established any moral constraints whatsoever on funding: he has instructed the NIH (National Institutes of Health) to create the rules, so it’s safe to expect that they will permit not only the use of embryos “left over” after IVF (In vitro fertilization), but also those created solely to be destroyed for research, including those created by cloning. This is well beyond what even most advocates of overturning the Bush policy have tended to argue for in public.”

The idea that the President has opened the door to allowing human life to be created, only to be subsequently destroyed in order to research potential treatments that may theoretically save human lives sometime in the future is as convoluted and unethical as any position ever held by an American president – especially in light of the fact that another type of stem cell (the adult stem cell) has already been used with success to treat diseases, without having to destroy human life.

Levin says:

“What we do know, however, is that cells derived through the destruction of embryos left over after fertility treatment-the cells that President Obama’s executive order addresses-are far less useful, far less necessary, and far less appealing to researchers than they seemed eight years ago when the controversy surrounding federal stem cell funding policy began in earnest. This is a monumentally radical step the President has taken.”

stem-cell-research-2Let’s be clear.

Despite what advocates are saying, this debate, at its core, has absolutely nothing to do with the advancement of science. Rather, it centers on the ethics of science. Understanding first and foremost that human embryos are human beings in the earliest stages of development, it isn’t – or it shouldn’t be – difficult to at least acknowledge the profound moral dilemma in giving the “okay” to fund their destruction with taxpayer dollars. It is critical to remember that an embryo is not something distinctly separate from a human being – it is simply a stage of life.

Unfortunately, that’s not how the main-stream media operates.

First, they disingenuously suggest to the public that President George W. Bush falt-out banned embryonic stem cell research, which he most certainly did not. However, because of Bush’s unwillingness to fund research on new stem cell lines, Bush was branded as an anti-science hayseed, in favor of letting folks like actor Christopher Reeves – paralyzed from the neck down after a horse riding accident – die without the opportunity of having government-backed research afford him the chance to walk again. Of course, the President of the United States has no such power to ban research. Bush was, in fact, the first President to allow federal funding for it – on already existing stem cell lines.

George Bush killed Christopher Reeves” threads at some wacko liberal blogs were not uncommon when Mr. Reeves died in 2004.

Second, the word “embryonic” is often dropped so that all types of stem cell research are conveniently lumped together.

This morning, on his radio program, Dr. Bill Bennett had a fascinating and instructive discussion with Professor Robert P. George, Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University.

Professor George made these very important points:

“The question is, will we go forward on the basis of research that requires the destruction of human life in its earliest stages or will we find an alternative path?

What’s really discouraging about the President’s decision yesterday is that we have found an alternative path. There are alternatives to embryo-destructive research that have shown enormous promise.

Sometimes in the media we get bias here that’s plainly pro-embryo destruction.

Stem cells are simply primitive cells that can be manipulated by scientists in order to become different types of tissue …

Some can come from adult tissue – just a skin scraping, the equivalent of a blood draw – harmless and completely ethical. Those stem cells, by the way are the ones that so far have actually proven to be therapeutically useful. They’re being used in therapies to treat diseases.

The second kind of stem cells we call embryonic stem cells. Those don’t actually exist in embryos. But if you take the cells from an embryo, thus destroying the embryo in a normal case, you can induce in a lab culture what is called pluripotency – that is, that quality that enables the cells to be morphed or manipulated into different cell types.

The really exciting news is that in 2007, an enormous breakthrough happened that enabled us to produce the biological equivalent of embryonic stem cells, but without killing embryos. These are not adult stem cells … These are called induced pluripotent stem cells. And these begin with an adult cell or an ordinary body cell – it could be taken from a child – but harmlessly again.

You can take an ordinary body cell … and essentially reprogram that cell genetically … make it into a primitive cell, biologically equivalent to a stem cell which can then be morphed into whatever sort of tissue you need for regenerative medicine. Unlike adult cells, they are fully pluripotent, and in that respect they’re just like embryonic cells.”

That is a remarkable revelation. How many people are aware of this truth? Doesn’t it seem reasonable to assume that the media should be interested in the science behind these induced pluripotent stem cells, which, as Professor George indicated, are the biological equivelant of embryonic stem cells?

The entire interview can be heard here in its entirety, directly from Bill Bennett’s “Morning In America” website. It is a must listen. Professor George is extraordinarily articulate and as compelling a guest as I’ve ever heard on talk radio.

Not that it would make a difference to the Obamacratic masses.

Like the junk science that propogates the Global Warming myth, this one is hard core leftist dogma.

Posted in Ethics, Health is the New Morality, Liberalism, Science | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

LIB GOV SAYS SODA FAT TAX PLAN IS GOING FLAT

Posted by Andrew Roman on February 13, 2009

fat-tax

Liberals are keen on making the rest of us uninformed, self-absorbed bundles of God-obsessed narcissists, i.e., conservatives, “aware” of things. (“National School Backpack Awareness Day,” “National Pit Bull Awareness Day,” “National Self-Injury Awareness Day” – all real). New York Governor David Paterson, if nothing else, has made us all “childhood obesity aware” now that his “fat tax” proposal looks like it will fail in blue-state New York.

I appreciate the Governor’s willingness to open my eyes, but I happen to drive past McDonalds, the Greek diner and the impoverished who live in the housing projects on my way into Manhattan almost daily – I know what obesity is.

Yesterday, the Governor spoke to college students saying that his plan to slap a “fat tax” on sugary beverages is going down in flames. He says the Empire State legislature will not go for it.

From CBS-TV in New York:

In meeting with college students over his budget, Paterson told the young New Yorkers not worry about his soda tax because the Legislature won’t go for it. But he said it has served its purpose of raising awareness of childhood obesity.

His proposal would put an 18-percent tax on soda and other sugary drinks containing less than 70 percent fruit juice. His analysis showed it would raise a projected $1 billion in revenue over two years and reduce use of sugary drinks by 5 percent.

The fat tax was the subject of articles, editorials, polls, talk radio and TV commentaries.

The plan had been supported by New York City Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden.

“Every can of regular soda has the equivalent of 10 teaspoons of sugar – 150 calories. Children that cut down on their soda intake cut down on their risk of becoming overweight or obese,” Frieden said.

Here are a few additional proposals:

Totalitarian Liberal Awareness Day (celebrated daily)

Leftist Jackass Awareness Day

Stop Ruing My Country You Stupid Dems Awareness Day

I am loathe to ever lavish any sort of praise on anything related to New York politics … but if New York’s legislature is giving this “health is the new morality” idea the thumbs down, good for them.

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