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Sep 06 2011

World of Class Warfare

I think this is the most brilliant segment Jon Stewart has ever done — I watched the whole thing with the most peculiar mixed feelings of rising incredulity, desperate laughter, and freakin’ rage, and you should experience those feelings, too. If you haven’t already, watch The World of Class Warfare Part I and Part II. He nails it: the injustices of the Republican party, and the smug, blithe evil of Fox News pundits scurrying to find solutions in taxing the poor more.

I’m in awe. It’s the perfect combination of the comedy genius of Stewart and the obliging straight men and women at Fox and the GOP happily setting up the jokes for him. If only there weren’t so much to joke about…

Also, if only the Democratic Party could seize the gift given to them.

98 comments

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  1. 1
    cody

    I just re-watched this earlier, and I feel the exact same way. Though after the response to Sam Harris/Warren Buffett/etc. to tax the rich more, and given the popularity of religious & antiscientific attitudes in our country, there may not be all that much for the democrats to capitalize on.

  2. 2
    Brian

    At some point we may have to accept the fact that the reason the Democrats don’t pounce on things like this is perhaps because they don’t actually disagree with the Republican stance all that much.

  3. 3
    unbound

    I didn’t know if I should laugh or cry…so I did both…

    At some point we may have to accept the fact that the reason the Democrats don’t pounce on things like this is perhaps because they don’t actually disagree with the Republican stance all that much.

    I agree…100%.

  4. 4
    EricJohansson

    I agree this was Stewart at his best.

    Also just ran across a perfect complement to the episode, this essay by a former GOP staffer who had enough of the lunatic asylum and finally decided it was time to get as far away as possible.

    It’s long but a must read.

    http://www.truth-out.org/goodbye-all-reflections-gop-operative-who-left-cult/1314907779

  5. 5
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    At some point we may have to accept the fact that the reason the Democrats don’t pounce on things like this is perhaps because they don’t actually disagree with the Republican stance all that much.

    Perhaps there is some of that in that the poor are a tool to be used to advance other agendas, but No fucking spine is my vote.

  6. 6
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Ericj

    Look here

  7. 7
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Perhaps there is some of that in that the poor are a tool to be used to advance other agendas

    horribly phrased

    Perhaps there is some possibility that some Dems views the poor as a tool to be used….

  8. 8
    eigenperson

    So what the fuck are we going to do about this? (Assuming, of course, that the Democrats do not grow a spine.)

  9. 9
    Setár, Elvenkitty

    Perhaps there is some possibility that some Dems views the poor as a tool to be used….

    What was it…all societies separate into the High, the Middle and the Low; the High try to stay in their position, the Middle seek to replace the High, and the Low try to advance their status and while they often get used by the High or the Middle to achieve their ends never really end up getting anywhere…

  10. 10
    EricJohansson

    Re Rev. BigDumbChimp

    EricJ
    Look here

    LOL, thanks, should’ve known PZ would be on top of it as usual.

  11. 11
    Phasic

    Aw dammit, I can’t view the video “from my location”. I presume that means outside the US.

  12. 12
    Setár, Elvenkitty

    Addendum to #9:
    “High” = total income > $1 000 000/year
    “Middle” = total income > median income but < $1 000 000/year
    "Low" = total income < median income

    …reasonable enough to say that there is an attempt to make the Middle fear the Low and attempt to combat the Low with promises of rewards from the High so long as we give them money now, much akin to services the like of Peter Popoff?

  13. 13
    Cameron

    @#11,

    I’m in New Zealand and can watch the video PZ posted.

    Extremely funny video though when he mentioned the bottom 51% own about $1.45 trillion dollars and half of that is $700 billion, you can’t compare that to taxing rich people over a 10 year period. It’d be a better comparison to tax the bottom 51% an extra 5% or something like that over a 10 year period.

    Not saying I agree the rich/poor should be taxed more, just noting the above and wondering if anyone else thought it was a biased comparison.

  14. 14
    Alisa

    @13 Well I’m in Australia, and it’s telling me I can’t view it. What does NZ have that we don’t?!

    Anyone got links to internationally-available versions?

  15. 15
    djfav

    So Warren Buffet writes an op-ed and their reaction is ZOMG CLASS WARFARE!!1!!1!

    Unhinged much?

  16. 16
    Sid Schwab

    In one of the shorter posts on my blog, I mentioned the Stewart bit, too. When the wingnuts attack the poor, it’s not class warfare, in the same way that adjusting taxes to move money upstream to the wealthy isn’t income redistribution. In the Rovian world, those words only apply to things liberals do.

  17. 17
    Francisco Bacopa

    I watched these videos when they first went online. Stewart has handed any Democrat who wants it a winning campaign in a box.

    And it’s not just Warren Buffett. Multi-millionaire steel magnate Herman Blume said it all more clearly over ten years ago.

  18. 18
    Trebuchet

    Brilliant. Stewart is everything Kieth Olbermann can only hope to be. And I LIKE Olbermann.

  19. 19
    Brain Hertz

    At some point we may have to accept the fact that the reason the Democrats don’t pounce on things like this is perhaps because they don’t actually disagree with the Republican stance all that much.

    Or they know that too large a proportion of the electorate watch Fox News and agree with everything they hear there. I don’t think that’s a better picture.

  20. 20
    shoshidge

    It was indeed Jon Stewart at his best, and it made me glad I don’t live in the USA.
    I did notice the misleading comparison that Cameron brought up, but I can understand why they did it.

  21. 21
    ThirdMonkey

    It’s all about bread and circuses.

    Even the most poor in this country are overfed and have a TV.
    Combine that with an attitude of anti-learning and magical thinking and you have 50+ percent of the population willing to vote for anything you can get them angry about.
    I’d say that those wealthy elite that control the poor are brilliant except for their extreme selfish short-sightedness. I predict that we have less than 20 years before even basic infrastructure services (food production, power distribution) begin to fail in parts of the US.

  22. 22
    geral

    Bow to your overlords!!

  23. 23
    Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM

    Even the most poor in this country are overfed and have a TV.

    You’re ignorant. Work on that.

  24. 24
    First Approximation (formerly Feynmaniac)

    I’m always amazed how I can feel angry, sad and disappointed at the same time and yet still manage laugh.

    Anyway, shorter Republicans/Fox News.

  25. 25
    ThirdMonkey

    You’re ignorant. Work on that.

    Yes, compared to the 750,000 people dying of starvation right now in Ethiopia alone, the American poor are truly suffering. There’s a big difference between the very small percentage of homeless people starving on the streets and the percentage of Americans who “(58.5%) will spend at least one year below the poverty line at some point between ages 25 and 75.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poverty_in_the_United_States).

    Especially considering that in some parts of the country the poverty level (for 2011 was set at $22,350 (total yearly income) for a family of four) is still enough to own property.
    Combine that with US obesity rates of 33.8% adults and 17% children in 2008 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obesity_in_the_United_States).
    So how am I ignorant of the situation?

    In comparison to the rest of the world, US “poor” are well fed and entertained. Just well enough to be controlled without risk of uprising.

  26. 26
    Drosera

    Can’t watch this in the UK, but with the Modify Headers plugin for Firefox I can.

  27. 27
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    ThirdMonkey:

    Even the most poor in this country are overfed and have a TV.

    And 99% of them have a refrigerator. What the fuck do you even mean by this? People in lower economic classes shouldn’t have nice things? They don’t deserve to eat? What?

    Combine that with an attitude of anti-learning and magical thinking and you have 50+ percent of the population willing to vote for anything you can get them angry about.

    Nice generalization, there. Of course the poor are all just god soaked ignoramuses! Otherwise, they’d be rich!

    … Or something.

    Fun fact: Most of the Tea Baggin’ set are middle-class or wealthier, not poor. *shock!*

  28. 28
    Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM

    Yes, compared to the 750,000 people dying of starvation right now in Ethiopia alone, the American poor are truly suffering.

    Red herring and strawman. You said the poorest in the US are overfed. That’s demonstrably wrong, with 14.6 percent of USian households suffering from food insecurity in 2008. And obesity doesn’t necessarily mean “overfeeding” – in fact, obesity and food insecurity can be found in the same households and even people. So talking about the obesity figures really isn’t relevant to the question of hunger.

  29. 29
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    ThirdMonkey:

    In comparison to the rest of the world, US “poor” are well fed and entertained. Just well enough to be controlled without risk of uprising.

    I have absolutely no idea what you’re going on about or how you’ve managed to tie income and weight in with… well, laziness.

    Care to try again?

  30. 30
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    Food insecurity – there was an article being shared on FB today about distributing of free food packages to poor people in Texas. Including the working poor. People were lining up for hours from 6am. (No FB @work and google-fu failing me, so I can’t post the link.)

    Also, you can be malnourished and obese at the same time, scarily enough. It can happen if your food is heavy on fat and carbs, and low on vitamins and other micronutrients – like most US school meals. The potato chips are probably the only thing preventing scurvy.

  31. 31
    David

    The food most poor people live on is pretty much guaranteed to make them obese, people with more money can afford food that isn’t laced with HFC and Fat. When I was growing up my mother was very obese, I never understood this because she walked to and from work which was at least 3 miles away and she worked as a waitress.(in a fast pace restaurant). Thing is, its harder to kick a sugar habit than it is to kick heroine.

    When the only food you can afford to feed your family is “fortified” with HFC you get addicted fast. So that if/when you finally can stop eating horribly and get good food you end up snacking on sugar because you simply can’t help it. I remember my mother spending the last of her money on milkshakes from burger king (which was across the street) because she just couldn’t help it.

    Most poor people are not fat because they have plenty of food, they are fat because they are addicted to carbs and for most it actually will take a medical intervention to get them off of it. One that will never come.

  32. 32
    ThirdMonkey

    My point was that it is all about class warfare. The wealthy and powerful keeping the poor just fed and entertained enough to keep them compliant.
    Bread and Circuses (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bread_and_circuses)

  33. 33
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    The reason many poor are overweight is that sugar and fat are the cheapest way to get calories and they are heavily marketed to that part of the public. Add that with limited access to employment, education, healthcare etc.. and you get what we have.

    Dumbfucks like yourself can ignore that all you’d like because it fits your little “told you so” version of reality, but that’s all it is.

    A little tale.

  34. 34
    PaulG

    Absolutely brilliant. The Clooney analogy was beautiful comedy genius.

    Only thing: those figures regarding the difference between financial highs and lows within each country, which place the USA in the 60s? Bullshit scientifically, as they don’t allow for the extraordinary number of wealthy individuals in this country (and the associated job/wealth creation). To compare the numbers to “Third World countries” is laughable: consider the mocked African countries, wherein a tiny, tiny, tiny number of individuals hold virtually all of the wealth. However, the wealth they collectively hold is tiny relative to what their American counterparts control. It’s a silly, headlines-for-research-funds dataset.

  35. 35
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    My point was that it is all about class warfare. The wealthy and powerful keeping the poor just fed and entertained enough to keep them compliant.

    Bullfuckingshit that was your point.

    Yes, compared to the 750,000 people dying of starvation right now in Ethiopia alone, the American poor are truly suffering. There’s a big difference between the very small percentage of homeless people starving on the streets and the percentage of Americans who “(58.5%) will spend at least one year below the poverty line at some point between ages 25 and 75.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poverty_in_the_United_States).

    Especially considering that in some parts of the country the poverty level (for 2011 was set at $22,350 (total yearly income) for a family of four) is still enough to own property.
    Combine that with US obesity rates of 33.8% adults and 17% children in 2008 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obesity_in_the_United_States).
    So how am I ignorant of the situation?

    In comparison to the rest of the world, US “poor” are well fed and entertained. Just well enough to be controlled without risk of uprising.

    Bull

    Shit

  36. 36
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Rev:

    The reason many poor are overweight is that sugar and fat are the cheapest way to get calories and they are heavily marketed to that part of the public. Add that with limited access to employment, education, healthcare etc.. and you get what we have.

    The term “food desert” comes to mind.

    The wealthy and powerful keeping the poor just fed and entertained enough to keep them compliant.

    I still don’t see how you’re tying this in with the poor. You might have a point if you were arguing about the middle economic classes (although, let’s face it, if you’re about to lose your house, I doubt very much that a Happy Meal is going to make you feel any better about your situation), but the people that aren’t even making it from paycheck-to-paycheck are hardly being appeased.

    ps: You might want to actually read the article you link to. ” Bread and circuses” isn’t meant to be taken literally, you know.

  37. 37
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Also:

    The wealthy and powerful keeping the poor just fed and entertained enough to keep them compliant.

    Considering how many states have cut food stamp and WIC programs and the fact that we’ve seen a real decline in wages since the 1970′s, this argument doesn’t hold water.

  38. 38
    Tom S. Fox

    Alisa, just use a proxy!

  39. 39
    Toadstool

    I totally agree, this was probably the best Daily Show segment I’ve ever seen.

    In response to PaulG’s comment above, the income equality figures used actually do take in to account the country’s total income. The numbers in the list are the countries’ Gini Coefficients, as reported by the U.S. CIA, and can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_income_equality. It’s not a perfect measure of income equality, but it is considered a good approximation by most economists.

  40. 40
    Hypatia's Daughter

    Man dies of tooth infection because he has no health insurance & cannot afford anti-biotics:
    http://abcnews.go.com/Health/insurance-24-year-dies-toothache/story?id=14438171

    Sorry to Godwin the thread, but I used to wonder how a culturally advanced country like Germany could fall for Hitler- until I listen to Limballs, Boortz, Faux News and their ilk fanning the flames of hatred & ignorance
    If Limpballs had been around before the Civil War, he would have defended slavery; in the era of Dickens, he would have defended 6 year olds working in factories & mines.

    And ya’know, dimwits, when you rent a cheap apartment or a trailer, it usually comes with indoor plumbing, refrigerators, stoves and air conditioning (in the south). And when you lose a job and end up working for minimum wage at Micky Dees, they don’t walk out the door.
    Owning a 15 year old appliance doesn’t make you rich. Just not homeless.

  41. 41
    BionicFreeFall

    If the idea that raising taxes on the rich is class warfare, what was it called when the tax breaks were first installed. I don’t remember FAUX News ranting about class warfare then.

  42. 42
    Jadehawk

    *reads thread*

    oh look, a moron who doesn’t know shit about poor people in the US has opinions on “overfed” Americans. Huh. I guess The time I lived on ramen and sugar packets for several months didn’t count as “being hungry” (or the time I lived on boiled rice and free fries; or the time I lived on nothing but rice and beans…), since even though I lost weight, I never dropped below a BMI of 25

    fucking idiot

  43. 43
    Jadehawk

    Owning a 15 year old appliance doesn’t make you rich. Just not homeless.

    even that isn’t always true. I was homeless for several months last year, while still owning a number of appliances (mini fridge, stove, microwave).

  44. 44
    Walton

    On a sensible definition, food-poverty isn’t necessarily limited to not having enough calories: someone who is unable to afford an adequate nutritionally-balanced diet is also living in food-poverty. It is possible to be simultaneously obese and malnourished.

    America may have an abundance of cheap high-calorie foods, but it does not have an abundance of nutritionally adequate foods at prices the poor can afford, especially with the food-desert phenomenon in some of the most deprived communities. Couple this with the boiling-hot climate in much of the South and West which makes it impossible to exercise outdoors during the summer, and the inadequate or nonexistent access to medical care for the poor, and it’s not surprising that there is an obesity crisis.

  45. 45
    DaveH

    The bread and circuses analogy still works though. People can’t live on just bread alone, but if you toss out bread (or subsidize HFCS) and run circuses (everyone has a TV), you can get elected.

  46. 46
    shawnthesheep

    For those that can’t watch the video, google hotspot shield. It’s an ip blocker that does not allow sites to identify what country you are from. I’m currently in Australia and can use it to view vids that are not supposed to be viewable in my region. The Hotspot program kind of sucks and occasionally redirects you to an ad page instead of the site you want, but that’s why I only stay logged onto when I absolutely need it.

  47. 47
    Setár, Elvenkitty

    DaveH #45: And then, worse yet, you can delude people into thinking they’re not really poor because, hey, they have a TV! Never mind of course that in the era of Craigslist it’s possible to get working TVs for extremely cheap or even free…

  48. 48
    Setár, Elvenkitty

    David #31:

    Most poor people are not fat because they have plenty of food, they are fat because they are addicted to carbs and for most it actually will take a medical intervention to get them off of it. One that will never come.

    [citation needed]. Badly, in this case; you’re claiming that a very very common food ingredient is physically addictive, and you’d think if that was the case the FDA would have been on it by now what with that whole tobacco fiasco.

  49. 49
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    Everybody’s addicted to carbs. The withdrawal will kill you, though a lot more slowly than withdrawal from oxygen or dihydrogen monoxide.

    More seriously, sugar in general and HFCS very specifically has been discussed as possibly addictive, though this is quite possibly just media over-hype of small studies on rats. I can’t find any good references right now and don’t have time (posting in between code runs at work). There’s a huge amount of newage sewage cluttering even google scholar.

  50. 50
    CanadianSteve

    @Cameron
    The key issue in the comparison that Stewart makes is that he isn’t comparing incomes, he is comparing total wealth of the bottom 50% to income of the top 2%. The significance is that a small increase in taxes on income (not touching the assets) of the superwealthy grants as much money (admittedly, over time) as taking half of everything that the bottom half have accumulated over their entire lives. A 5% increase in the marginal tax rate on the bottom 50% would generate considerably less money over the same 10 year time.
    If a wealth tax were considered – imagine for example a 1% tax on total wealth the wealthiest 10% – a great deal more money would be generated than either of the above options.

  51. 51
    Setár, Elvenkitty

    Alethea #49:

    More seriously, sugar in general and HFCS very specifically has been discussed as possibly addictive, though this is quite possibly just media over-hype of small studies on rats. I can’t find any good references right now and don’t have time (posting in between code runs at work). There’s a huge amount of newage sewage cluttering even google scholar.

    Seems like “healthy eating” in general these days is clogged with tonnes of new age sewage (snewage? sewooge?), mostly vitalism and essentialism combined with the belief that vitamins are a cure-all (aren’t the nutritional recommendations for vitamins in reality too high for most people, since they’re meant to cover 95% of the population?). And when you get past the new age scaremongering there’s the general scaremongering about how it’s unacceptable to have a body that’s not proportioned like a 20-year-old’s regardless of whether you’re 5, 20 or 50 — if you’re bigger than that, you’re fat — and the promotion of disordered eating habits (commonly referred to as “diets”) with the goal of attaining such a body shape, regardless of how unhealthy it may be.

    I’m beginning to wonder if there is even such thing as accurate healthy eating advice, other than simply making sure that one eats a variety of foods and balances their intake. All I can conclude so far is that ‘child obesity’ is almost totally fat-shaming bunk, and bariatric surgery should not be considered cosmetic surgery.

    But this is getting way, way off topic.

  52. 52
    McCthulhu, now with -25% less fat.

    I think Jon Stewart just shows us that the entire ownership and staff of Faux ‘News’, along with most of its viewership should (to turn a popular Pharyngulite phrase) DIE IN A FIRE!!! Oh, they’ve already started in Texas. Good, there is a GAWD!

    Seriously though, that was one of the most disgusting, stomach-churningly pathetic samples of the most specious bullshit I have ever seen emanate from the Faux pap factory. Anyone regurgitating that bullshit in a forum or conversation has to be incredibly stupid, insane, delusional, purely evil or some horrendous combination of all of those. For it to creep into reality like that is like living in some sort of Orwellian nightmare only Big Brother has been replaced with Big Business. Totalitarianism unchecked, in any form, is still evil, perhaps more in Capitalism because it feeds one of humanity’s worst traits: Greed.

  53. 53
    uncle frogy

    the republicans do not care about the debt one bit, they are not afraid of the government borrowing huge amounts of money as long as it is a republican government doing it. taxes are bad if they are their taxes spending is only bad if it is on the “liberals” and workers . what really surprises me is that it still works to get them elected instead of put up in front of a wall.

    uncle frogy

  54. 54
    Orion

    Goddamn it! Not available in my location! Why must Australians suffer so?!

    Please find an internationally available version!

  55. 55
    eveningperson

    It’s frustrating that the show and its clips are not available online in the UK.

  56. 56
    Quantum Kitty

    People living anywhere in the world can watch the episode here.

  57. 57
    tc48

    Here’s a video with a description of what you should do to be able to watch Comedy Central videos. There’s a Firefox extensions called “Modify Headers” that allows you to act like you’re in the US, as far as their site is concerned. I use it all the time and it works with most versions of Firefox.

  58. 58
    David Marjanović, OM

    So what the fuck are we going to do about this?

    We grab Stewart and drag him kicking & screaming to his inauguration.

    As usual, I’m not kidding in the slightest. I’m painfully serious. Can you say “Senator Franken”?

    Aw dammit, I can’t view the video “from my location”. I presume that means outside the US.

    I’m in Austria (not Australia!) and just watched both, without any of the tricks mentioned in comments 56 or 57, let alone a proxy.

    So Warren Buffet writes an op-ed and their reaction is ZOMG CLASS WARFARE!!1!!1!

    Unhinged much?

    Yes.

    This has been today’s episode of Simple Answers To Simple Questions. See you tomorrow, same time, same channel.

    And obesity doesn’t necessarily mean “overfeeding” – in fact, obesity and food insecurity can be found in the same households and even people.

    Yeah, because they can’t afford to eat unless they go to McFuckingDonald’s three times a day. (Or two, or one.)

    Most poor people are not fat because they have plenty of food, they are fat because they are addicted to carbs and for most it actually will take a medical intervention to get them off of it. One that will never come

    …because they can’t afford it, in that country where “afford” and “medical intervention” can occur in the same sentence.

    the extraordinary number of wealthy individuals in this country (and the associated job/wealth creation)

    Job creation?

    Show me.

    you’re claiming that a very very common food ingredient is physically addictive,

    In high doses it may well be!

    and you’d think if that was the case the FDA would have been on it by now what with that whole tobacco fiasco.

    LOL. You’re talking about the country where it’s not allowed to test cattle for BSE, for fear that somebody could advertize the fact that their cattle are healthy and thus gain an “unfair” advantage over others!!!

    In France, last time obesity among schoolchildren went slightly up, sugared drinks were banned from beverage automats in schools. Outlawed. And guess what, it even worked, from what I hear.

    new age sewage (snewage? sewooge?)

    Newage, pronounced to rhyme with sewage.

    All I can conclude so far is that ‘child obesity’ is almost totally fat-shaming bunk

    WTF. Look around yourself, and then come over here and look around yourself. And then go to Paris and look around yourself again.

  59. 59
    raven

    The christofascist Tea Party is a little short sighted regarding how they benefit from destroying the economy and impoverishing the US people.

    1. Who is going to buy the stuff that corporations make? If people don’t have money, it isn’t them. The Chinese? Good luck exporting to a country with educated workers than make $1/hour. This is why Warren Buffett is talking about taxes. If the economy crashes, his fleet of companies, which is largely consumer oriented, doesn’t make any money.

    2. Civil unrest. At some point, large numbers of poor people just get fed up. Or desperate. They don’t buy a TV station and produce propaganda programs like Fox News. They act out. In my area, there has been a huge increase in petty crime, mostly economic in nature during the Great Recession.

    It’s been known forever that the more income inequality there is, the more unstable a country is. In libertarian societies, there is always without fail, one job that does well. Armed security guard. People have to hire gunmen to protect them and their stuff. This isn’t optional, and even with armed guards, occasionally a family member will get killed.

  60. 60
    Mak

    Jadehawk:

    I was homeless for several months last year, while still owning a number of appliances (mini fridge, stove, microwave).

    Same. I’ve currently got a storage block full of appliances that I own but have no access to, because I lost my apartment and had to move across the country in order to have a place to live, ALL of which were given to me second- or third-hand by family members, excepting a TV I bought from a thrift store for three dollars. Nevermind that it’s literally older than I am and had I not moved away when I did, I would’ve needed to use a little box (that I couldn’t have gotten if the goverment hadn’t handed them out) in order to get weather reports on it. You know, in the midwest where tornadoes run rampant. Such luxuries.

    It’s pretty easy to get fat when you work at McDonalds and your only meals for the day are 1) the lunch break where they feed you from the menu, and 2) waste products from the end of the day. Oh yeah, and ramen. Which has next to no nutritional value in it but still has calories.

    Of course, I was lucky and had easy access to a grocery store. In a lot of places (including where one of my best friends now lives), people don’t even have that, and have to buy their food from convenience stores and shit. And you know how well gas stations are known for their healthy foodstuffs.

    But noooo, nevermind that my roommates and I couldn’t afford basic healthcare and sometimes we couldn’t even afford food, shitty as it was. Having a TV means we weren’t really all that poor. *eyeroll*

  61. 61
    passerby

    Posted to Facebook for my friends and family to see. My dad is on Social Security due to his epilepsy, my mother works a minimum-wage job at a potato processing plant, and my sister is on her fourth kid with my brother-in-law as a part Soldier, Part EMT.

    It sickens me that people can wipe their asses with Benjamin Franklin’s Face and then complain about ‘government repression’ due to taxes.

  62. 62
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    you’re claiming that a very very common food ingredient is physically addictive,

    Does the term “selfish brain” ring a bell with you?

    Here’s some news: good food is expensive. Bad food is cheap. That’s because bad food uses cheap ingredients and then mixes the flauvours in a test-tube, adding high levels of sugar and fat to things where you would not expect them without providing the fibre that would signal “full”, the long-chain carbohydrates that get used “slowly” and the vitamins that keep you healthy.
    If you don’t believe it, I suggest you do a simple experiment: buy a jar of ready-made tomatoe sauce. Read the ingredients, especially the amount of sugar and fat.
    Than make it from scratch, I mean tomatoes. Do the maths for the calories, sugar, fibre and fat and the cost.
    Compare.

    Yes, compared to the 750,000 people dying of starvation right now in Ethiopia alone, the American poor are truly suffering.

    And all the people fond of small government and low taxes should just pack their belongings, their families and their factories and move there.
    Good luck, don’t bother to come back.

  63. 63
    skeptifem

    Yes, compared to the 750,000 people dying of starvation right now in Ethiopia alone, the American poor are truly suffering. There’s a big difference between the very small percentage of homeless people starving on the streets and the percentage of Americans who “(58.5%) will spend at least one year below the poverty line at some point between ages 25 and 75.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poverty_in_the_United_States).

    You have no fucking clue what native american reservations look like, apparently. A lot of them do not have running water or electricity, and have majority unemployment. Politicians give away their fishing or hunting rights, which comprise the majority of calories for many people on reservations. When kids can’t get enough to eat they get taken away.

    outside of reservations and immigrants: I am sure corpses reaaallly give a fuck if they died from lack of adequate medical care vs starvation. The things I have seen working in an ER, you wouldn’t believe. They are horrible. You act as though homelessness is excusable at all in our society when it simply isn’t. It is one thing to have people in poverty in countries where almost no one has any money, it is quite another to have scores of mansions AND tons of homeless people. It is fucking shameful because our society can’t be bothered to move the wealth around a city much less around the world.

    What you don’t understand is that our current government lets people die in other countries when they do not have to. The only way that they give aid is by doling out surplus grain from our own farms for our own benefit, and it doesn’t help anyone develop an economy for continued food production. It doesn’t help anyone in the long term. I doubt that people who really gave a shit about helping starving people (as in the majority of people) would go about it in such a way, but sociopathic politicians who are controlled by industry sure as fuck would.

    Especially considering that in some parts of the country the poverty level (for 2011 was set at $22,350 (total yearly income) for a family of four) is still enough to own property.

    I very much doubt that you could reasonably own property with a family of four living on 22,350 a year. I will ignore that for now, however, since your point can be refuted without discussing your fantasy world in terms of numbers.

    What you do not understand is that the poor in america are time-poor and are forced to pay for convenience, and are never given adequate financial education to understand their options. I have heard so many bullshit arguments where clueless people literally suggest that the poor get in their car and bargain shop (you know, with the car they can’t afford, and the money they don’t have for gas vs walking, and the time they don’t have away from their 2 jobs). It is fucking ridiculous. Go look at how people actually live.

    Also, what you are saying when you make claims like the quoted portion above is “poor people could do better in america and live comfortably” but do not provide a clear reason for their failing to live so well on poverty wages. I have seen this argument in dealing with racists and sexist men over and over again. They point out how it is technically possible (though practically very difficult) for oppressed group x to do better. The underlying assumption is that there must be something inherently inferior about them if they cannot manage it. When you look for actual concrete obstacles that prevent better living you find a shit load, but then again people who understand that don’t point out the technical possibility of this or that because they understand that the ACTUAL possibility of it is very low for very understandable reasons. You assholes think you would do so much better than anyone else in poverty, but chances are you wouldn’t. Even educated people fall in the hole over and over after bankruptcy, and that education is a luxury that people in poverty do not typically get. Unless you are unbelievably wealthy you are one illness or injury away from finding out, too. You see the desperate poverty of the homeless and say “the small number of americans”, like they don’t fucking count or something. It is horrible. They are the most vulnerable portion of our society and you shrug them off. I wonder why no one helps the poor of other countries, right? Your attitude is the kind of shit that prevents it. It is too easy to come up with reasons for why the poor deserve it because you don’t want to think that it could happen to you, too. You want to think that just being a better person than they are will magically prevent you from becoming desperately homeless or poor, but the truth is that it won’t. You do know that roughly half of the homeless are veterans of war, don’t you? Our society doesn’t even take care of people who do everything they are supposed to.

  64. 64
    skeptifem

    Or they know that too large a proportion of the electorate watch Fox News and agree with everything they hear there.

    I am sick of this shit too. Let’s say that this person is right and most people are just idiots who don’t know better- why give a fuck about anything then? What I hear is “it isn’t worth trying to improve the world”. The majority of people aren’t idiots, they have legitimate complaints about the world and the most accessible explanations of the world come from the glenn beck’s of the world. It is up to us to make the facts more well known. I am not entirely convinced that the majority even buy what is said by right wing tv pundits, the lack of other voices on television doesn’t mean that people aren’t talking or thinking in their own lives.

    The disparity between public policy and public opinion is well documented. People aren’t as easy to fool as you would think, and fanatics are the minority. We have society set up in such a way that awful people get further than people who really try to do their best and give a shit about others. There isn’t a rule that says that it has to work that way. Democratizing things like economic decisions would go a long way in reversing social injustice. You can see the fear of democracy that leaders have, when they cannot determine the outcome ahead of time, that is.

  65. 65
    Ewan Macdonald

    Part of the problem with the tax debate is that it’s being approached from two completely different directions, and those approaching from different sides are talking past each other.

    On one side are people who, in general, will judiciously think about what a government can and should provide, and how it is to be paid for; and from there decide how best to spread the tax burden.

    On the other side are people who cannot quite forgive the other group for even entertaining the notion of taxation, and view all taxation as being inherently evil. It is this group that brings to the table ideas like the “lucky duckies” phenomenon – wherein someone earning 10k a year is ‘luckier’ than someone earning 100k a year because the former doesn’t have to suffer the rage of knowing that a portion of their income is going to the federal government.

    Until we realise that there is quite literally no reasoning with the first position – that judicious arguments quite simply will not work with people who disagree with the existence of taxation – we’re not going to get anywhere as we might as well be speaking different languages.

  66. 66
    Echidna

    Skeptifem, people are very easy to fool. Religion itself is an obvious example.

  67. 67
    skeptifem

    Most poor people are not fat because they have plenty of food, they are fat because they are addicted to carbs and for most it actually will take a medical intervention to get them off of it.

    I recently did an extensive post about weight loss surgeries on my blog. If there is some kind of carbohydrate detox (because nutrients are toxic?) the medical establishment must be ignoring it in favor of slicing people open and rearranging their organs. Either that or you don’t know what you are talking about, I find the latter to be the most likely source of the problem.

    Unsolicited advice on what will cure someone’s DEATHFAT is offensive and stupid. You most likely have no clue what you are talking about, especially when addressing people who are bombarded with diet ads so much that they have likely tried anything you could suggest. Starving will obviously make someone less obese, but it makes them a lot less healthy as well. In fact, a major point in my post is that a lot of the “success” stories of weight loss surgeries puke all the time or have malnourishment related problems for the rest of their lives, but since health is apparently measured in weight (rather than other more meaningful means) they are said to be the desired product of major surgery. The only thing you can tell from a person’s weight is their weight. Correlation is not causation, etc. There are healthy fat people out there. Raegan from dances with fat is a lot healthier than I am, though I have a much lower BMI than she does:

    http://danceswithfat.wordpress.com/2011/06/17/the-trouble-with-proving-it/

  68. 68
    skeptifem

    WTF. Look around yourself, and then come over here and look around yourself. And then go to Paris and look around yourself again.

    An anecdote, in my pharyngula? It’s more likely than you think.

  69. 69
    Michel

    US -> doomed. Jon Stewart was at his best for sure, but I couldn’t even laugh in the second part.

  70. 70
    skeptifem

    66

    So if people are easy to fool about one thing they are easy to fool about anything? even things they have direct experience with day to day? I don’t think so. Most of us are fooled by magic tricks, but few of us fall for investment scams. The increasing number of godless people should offer you some kind of hope, shouldn’t it?

    If you really believe that people are such fools, then what is your solution to improve the world, if it isn’t with the people most affected? The “let the most superior people take care of it” method hasn’t seemed to work out so great for everyone else. There are too many examples of people in history who got together and revolted because they were being treated unfairly. It isn’t like exploiters declare that they are behaving unethically towards the poor while they do it, they always have some reason to excuse it. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that there are more of us than them, and that they need us all to live. Where do you think socialist reforms came from in the us? They came from people who stood up to their masters, not only in the face of propaganda, but also in the face of actual physical harm. If I am right and we do nothing, then we have lost everything. If you are right and we act, we will end up in the same boat as right now. I don’t see a compelling reason to act as though people are beyond hope.

  71. 71
    vicarofartonearth

    It is scary what happen to Sam Harris. I know I have been waiting longer that free elections in Kuwait for the job creaters to start creating? We had this promise since Reagan.

    Where is the libertarian evidence a low or no tax policy works.

    These non business people forget it is not about saving money it is about creating wealth, too very different things.

    No one of this people can tell me what kind of business you get with an uneducated and unhealthy workforce.

    When question about the poverty of Victorian London, the then Duchess of Devonshire said she was doing her part, her parties employed lots of people.

    In the face of evidence that conservative economics have failed wereever they have been implimented and social democracy in todays world is the most prosperious, were do these people get off?

    My health my problem,your property your problem. Perry was then correct to cut fire protection, the land owners should be on their own, why should I be taxed for their fire protection, sewage removeal, roads, and police. It is everyone for themselves, it worked so well for pre WWWII China and is why Latin America is a place many want to leave for economic reasons.

    Libertarians wher is your evidence, where are your examples of you philosophy working?

  72. 72
    Walton

    I am not entirely convinced that the majority even buy what is said by right wing tv pundits, the lack of other voices on television doesn’t mean that people aren’t talking or thinking in their own lives.

    The disparity between public policy and public opinion is well documented. People aren’t as easy to fool as you would think, and fanatics are the minority. We have society set up in such a way that awful people get further than people who really try to do their best and give a shit about others. There isn’t a rule that says that it has to work that way. Democratizing things like economic decisions would go a long way in reversing social injustice. You can see the fear of democracy that leaders have, when they cannot determine the outcome ahead of time, that is.

    With this I have to disagree. In the UK, at least, public opinion tends to be far more right-wing, prejudiced and unenlightened than public policy. For instance, there is substantial public support in the UK for reintroducing the death penalty, and for “curbing” immigration. The right-wing tabloid press are extremely influential, and many people seem to be unable or unwilling to apply critical thought to the things they read.

    For this reason, I don’t buy the idea that more democracy will lead to less social injustice. If anything, it would probably have the opposite effect. (It’s no accident that the most fucked-up US states are those in which judges are elected rather than appointed, and in which law can be made by popular referendum.) Democratic elections are a necessary check on government power, but the tyranny of the majority should itself be limited by checks and balances, and by protection for individual constitutional rights.

  73. 73
    Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle

    Badly, in this case; you’re claiming that a very very common food ingredient is physically addictive, and you’d think if that was the case the FDA would have been on it by now what with that whole tobacco fiasco.

    I would LOVE to live on the planet where this was true.

  74. 74
    Jadehawk

    An anecdote, in my pharyngula? It’s more likely than you think.

    in this case however, fairly accurate as far as the existence of obese people in general and children specifically goes. Adult (and IIRC childhood) obesity is another one of those things that correlates with income inequality, possibly simply because both obesity reduction and income equality require government intervention.

    whether the increasing rates of childhood obesity are a sign of decreasing health and can thus justifiably be referred to as an epidemic is a separate issue, but I think the only study that showed obesity not correlating with overall health also showed that specifically, only obese individuals who exercise, are satisfied with their body image (i.e. don’t diet) and get all the nutrition they need are healthy. The evidence however suggests that children don’t get enough exercise and the food they’re fed is often not at all nutritious, so they generally wouldn’t fall into the “healthy obese” category…

  75. 75
    KG

    In the UK, at least, public opinion tends to be far more right-wing, prejudiced and unenlightened than public policy. – Walton

    That’s true as far as penal policy is concerned, but in other areas either both public opinion and public policy are right-wing, prejudiced and unenlightened (immigration and asylum, welfare benefits*), or public opinion is well to the left of public policy (the NHS, economic inequality, the banks, etc.), or it’s just not a significant issue for public opinion (abortion), or there’s a big generational difference in public opinion (gender and sexual orientation issues).

    * Even here, while public opinion is probably that a lot of welfare recipients are idle scroungers, a large proportion of the public will know people dependent on benefits but not fitting that stereotype.

  76. 76
    Celtic_Evolution

    Current Republican mantra:

    “Fuck the poor!”

    Current Democratic response to Republican Mantra:

    “Awww… do we have to? Oh, alright… ”

    Grr-fucking-rrrrrrr….

  77. 77
    etcetera

    The smartest thing the Republicans ever did was ally themselves with fundamentalist Christianity.

    Having grown up in a poor, fundamentalist household, every year my father and step-mother would vote for the Conservatives. Not because they actually believed that Conservative policies would benefit them in the slightest – they were otherwise very smart people. They voted Conservative because everyone else supported abortion and gays and it felt like a sin to vote for anything else.

    Yes, that’s right, they voted, as I suspect do a large segment of the U.S. population, for a party that was blatantly against their self-interest because Jesus.

    Even though “opiate of the masses” is a misquote, it still seems rather apt.

  78. 78
    truthspeaker

    lordsetar says:
    6 September 2011 at 8:02 pm

    Addendum to #9:
    “High” = total income > $1 000 000/year
    “Middle” = total income > median income but < $1 000 000/year
    "Low" = total income < median income

    …reasonable enough to say that there is an attempt to make the Middle fear the Low and attempt to combat the Low with promises of rewards from the High so long as we give them money now

    Oldest political trick in the book. Yes, I think it’s reasonable to say that’s what’s going on.

  79. 79
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Shorter ThirdMonkey: If you’re not so abjectly poor that you’re eating garbage out of a landfill in Manila, you’re not really poor, even if you lack health insurance or you have to get meals at soup kitchens or you can’t afford heat in the winter… so STFU.

    Also, our poor are Fatty McFattersons, so they can’t be really poor, because in the U.S. there are no such things as food deserts or time deficits or lack of adequate transport with which to bootstrap 20-lb. bags of brown rice or beans home.

    Or you can go read what Skeptifem wrote at #63, you ignorant fuck.

    David, #31, please stop spouting diet woo. Sugar and carbs aren’t heroin.

    David Marjanovic, #58: If the people who are so concerned about “child obesity” in the U.S. wanted to make a difference in children’s health, they would agitate for greater regulation of agribusiness, social programs to make healthy food more readily available to the poor, and physical education classes that did not glorify the naturally athletic and humiliate the fat or clumsy but which helped children of all shapes and inclinations learn to enjoy being in motion. “Fighting child obesity” in reality is little more than a more formal introduction to fat stigmatization than the kids already get in the playground and from watching TV.

  80. 80
    The Gaming Atheist

    My wife and I loved this. Jon Stewart was on fire!

  81. 81
    truthspeaker

    Ms. Daisy Cutter says:
    7 September 2011 at 11:46 am

    Shorter ThirdMonkey: If you’re not so abjectly poor that you’re eating garbage out of a landfill in Manila, you’re not really poor, even if you lack health insurance or you have to get meals at soup kitchens or you can’t afford heat in the winter… so STFU.

    Way to completely misunderstand his point.

    ThirdMonkey’s facts were wrong, but he was trying to explain how the rich exploit the poor while placating the poor just enough to prevent an uprising. It would have been possible to correct his factual errors without completely misunderstanding his argument.

  82. 82
    skeptifem

    With this I have to disagree. In the UK, at least, public opinion tends to be far more right-wing, prejudiced and unenlightened than public policy. For instance, there is substantial public support in the UK for reintroducing the death penalty, and for “curbing” immigration. The right-wing tabloid press are extremely influential, and many people seem to be unable or unwilling to apply critical thought to the things they read.

    I don’t know that political issues can be boxed up into right and left very neatly, so issues about wages or welfare may not necessarily be related to issues about immigration or death penalties. I was almost exclusively talking about issues that deal with the betterment of poor people in the us, like providing shelter and welfare and healthcare. If what you say is true about those issues perhaps a different system would need to be in place to deal with them.

    Your comment about the media is interesting to me. I live in Utah. One of the two major newspapers and multiple local tv stations are owned by the LDS church. Most of the other major companies that own media in the state are funded by oil or individual weirdos. When health care reform came about there were polls that said things like “majority of utahans against health care reform”, but when you looked at the numbers the majority were only against the portion that said that people would be required to purchase insurance. The headline is what people remember though. The majority was for all other reforms, in one of the most right wing states in the nation. A lot of media’s job is to alienate people who want to make changes and make them feel like change cannot be achieved through other means. At my last job I discussed socialist ideas with people from all kinds of backgrounds, and damn near everyone thought it sounded really spiffy. I didn’t use the word socialism, because it had been poisoned so heavily before, but when you ask people direct questions free of any buzzwords they tend to come down on the side of reason most of the time. The church AND the oil refineries both push the anti-climate change line so hard that it is difficult to find any local media saying that it is even happening, and yet the inversion comes each year and you can see the pollution in front of you like a fog for a few months a year, and so people know better. Tim DeChristopher was from here and I went to his support rally along with a bunch of other people. It isn’t nearly as lonely as it seems. I spent a good part of a year believing what I do without knowing how to find any events to help with, right? I don’t know how many other people out there are doing the same thing. Most of all I know that it was sheer luck that I even heard of the political ideas that I hold now, and that the lack of exposure is probably the main obstacle that exists in effecting any change. There are so many people that don’t really think anything can be done about their unfair circumstances but would rise up if given the opportunity to act.

    I don’t know if democracy would solve all of our problems but it would certainly solve many economic problems, which in turn help to ease social problems. The point of pushing democracy could be to create the best society or just to represent the interest of the majority out of fairness, there may be other ways that work better to create good societies. It is difficult to know what works without some kind of experimentation about the results of different social systems. It is clear that what is going on right now is shameful and can be improved upon.

  83. 83
    Holms

    “This video is unavailable in your location” i.e. Australia. Does anyone have a solution?

  84. 84
    David

    “David, #31, please stop spouting diet woo. Sugar and carbs aren’t heroin.”

    h ttp://foodaddictioninstitute.org/WP/scientific-research/physical-craving-and-food-addiction-a-scientific-review/

    Yeah, they actually are. Fats too apparently. I thought it was just psychological like most drug addictions but there are actual physical cravings too, just like heroine.

    @skeptifem I did not mean surgical intervention I agree its a horrible idea and should only be used when absolutely deemed the last option. I was talking about counciling and perhaps a doctor prescribed diet. I know dieting is nearly impossible, but I do know several people who were helped by their doctor laying out the facts and just telling them what they needed to eat and not to eat. A Medical doctor, not a homeopath or chiropractor a real MD, one who went to school for it and everything.

    I posted a different post with a few other links but it got blocked I assume as spam. just fucking google it. most of the peer reviewed stuff is behind firewalls but there is plenty that isn’t the only hard part is filtering through the “newage” for actual science stuff.

  85. 85
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Truthspeaker: I got his point just fine, thanks, but he could have made it without resorting to right-wing memes about the poor.

    David: “Food Addiction Institute”? Never heard of them. Their “advisory board” includes a fair number of what I’d call hucksters, whether dietary, “self-help,” or religious. That website design is wicked professional, too.

  86. 86
    David

    ht tp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2235907/?tool=pubmed

    Fine since google is too hard for you I assume pubmed is ok?

  87. 87
    echidna

    Whoa there, skeptifem..

    You said this:

    People aren’t as easy to fool as you would think, and fanatics are the minority. We have society set up in such a way that awful people get further than people who really try to do their best and give a shit about others. There isn’t a rule that says that it has to work that way.

    I agree with you except that I think that people are easy to fool. This is true, even of things they experience day to day. Religion is a perfect example – how many people believe in God’s daily intervention in their lives? It is only very recently (historically speaking) that people believed in elves. Anti-science rhetoric has become very pervasive, largely on the back of religious memes.

    People believe nearly anything from people that they trust, more than they believe their own eyes. Not only that, but oppressed people lose the belief that they have the power to change things, even when they do know better.

    What would I change? The first thing would be to put a public health option out there. As long as health care is tied to employers, employees are obliged to jump through hoops. H1B workers are even more constrained, because they have no right to be in the country for a single day if they are no longer employed. The concept of the public good and living wage have to return to the public discussion, with greater emphasis than “free market” and “creators and takers”. As if the people actually doing the work aren’t the productive class.

    I don’t think the situation is hopeless, but I don’t see any pushback from the people in the US in the near future either. Slavery in the US wasn’t ended by a slave uprising, it had more to do with enlightenment values seeping into the culture.

    People in the US should start recognising that the US is no longer the “place to be” for people outside the US, unless your country is in even bigger strife. The virtual chains of healthcare only being practically obtainable through an employer have to go – it is far more damaging to the independence of the population that most people believe (in my view).
    And then there is critical thinking. Separating facts from spin is something that is difficult, especially in a religious society where people are trained to accept whatever they are told without thinking. If you want an example of how to educate people about spin, the Australian show “The Gruen Transfer” is brilliant. I just can’t imagine that show being aired in the US at all.

    When I saw the Gruen Transfer show last night that PZ has written about today, nonly hours after I saw the John Stewart clips, I couldn’t help but think how glad I am to have left the US.

    US people are not stupid, no more than anywhere else. It’s that the memes that would bring about positive change are not getting traction.

  88. 88
    David Rolfe

    PZ!

    I’m know I’m way late to this thread, but the companion piece to that segment on the Daily Show is Colbert’s bit over similar ground: http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/393168/july-26-2011/-poor–in-america?xrs=share_copy

    Is this the sort of thing people email you instead?

  89. 89
    Jim Mauch

    Steward aka Lenny Bruce. Should we laugh or cry. The repo man can finance our debt with the microwaves, refrigerators and TV’s of the poor. Next we can have them picking our cotton.

  90. 90
    Jadehawk

    If the people who are so concerned about “child obesity” in the U.S. wanted to make a difference in children’s health, they would agitate for greater regulation of agribusiness, social programs to make healthy food more readily available to the poor, and physical education classes that did not glorify the naturally athletic and humiliate the fat or clumsy but which helped children of all shapes and inclinations learn to enjoy being in motion.

    well, yes. that’s precisely what the French did, which is what he was referring to.

  91. 91
    defides

    Can’t see it, because the numbskulls at the Comedy Channel signed themselves a deal where they cut off us Brits from access to their online versions of the programme without laying an obligation on Channel 4 to offer similar access within the UK.

    Duh.

  92. 92
    Setár, Elvenkitty

    DDMFM #58:

    WTF. Look around yourself, and then come over here and look around yourself. And then go to Paris and look around yourself again.

    I’m making a factual query, when the fuck did ‘it’s obvious!’ become an acceptable response? If the commentariat sent out some sort of memo declaring the ‘obesity epidemic’ to be a sacred cow, I obviously missed it =/

  93. 93
    Setár, Elvenkitty

    Jadehawk #74:

    in this case however, fairly accurate as far as the existence of obese people in general and children specifically goes.

    Which is not what I was questioning.

    whether the increasing rates of childhood obesity are a sign of decreasing health and can thus justifiably be referred to as an epidemic is a separate issue,

    THAT is what I was questioning.

    The evidence however suggests that children don’t get enough exercise

    By what standards? And are we counting all forms of physical activity, or only exercise, which is physical activity for no purpose other than physical activity?

    (I ask this because, based on my reading, only ‘exercise’ counts — physical activity that serves some other purpose does not, because that’s not exercise, you’re doing something else)

    and the food they’re fed is often not at all nutritious

    Okay, and? I know that you’re trying to imply insufficient nutrient intake (the statement is pointless otherwise), but you could just come straight out and say that. There’s no problem in doing so if you have the statistics to back it.

    And if you don’t have the statistics to back that, I’m hard-pressed to see how this is a problem if the kids are still getting enough nutrients anyway…

  94. 94
    Setár, Elvenkitty

    Addendum to #93: Yes, I am aware of the effects socioeconomic status has on obesity and do not deny THAT correlation, nor do I deny that government intervention is required in that case.

    My problem is projecting out an obesity problem shown to exist amongst those of lower socioeconomic status — which is explainable, and has been explained in detail in this thread — onto all classes as an ‘epidemic’, and the treatment of such an ‘epidemic’ as a sacred cow that’s obviously true to anyone (best exemplified by DDMFM’s awful excuse of a response to my query in that regard).

    I have an even bigger problem with the culture of disordered eating (more popularly known as ‘dieting’ or ‘calorie counting’) and the promotion of disordered eating as ‘healthy’ so long as one isn’t a literal stick figure, as well as the widespread acceptance of fat-shaming torture porn (“The Biggest Loser” and such), but that’s another issue entirely.

  95. 95
    llewelly

    David | 7 September 2011 at 1:26 pm :

    http://foodaddictioninstitute.org/WP/scientific-research/physical-craving-and-food-addiction-a-scientific-review/

    That article contains this paragraph:

    Colantuoni et al (2002) analyzed over a hundred peer reviewed articles, each of which showed that humans produce opioids – the chemically active ingredient in heroin, cocaine and other narcotics – as a derivative of the digestion of excess sugars and fats.

    Opioids are not the “chemically active ingredient” in cocaine. Second, some opioids are essential to neuron operation – there is not much you can do without some opioid production. Opioid production does not remotely justify the fear-mongering connection of “excess sugars and fats” to “heroin, cocaine and other narcotics”. The “Food Addiction Institute” website is filled to overflowing with these kinds of gross errors, logical fallacies, and unjustified fear mongering.

    While it seems unlikely to me that foods high in fat and sugar are completely non-addictive, it’s ridiculous to suggest they are as addictive as heroin. And it is revealing that when they went in search of addictive drugs to compare food to, they grabbed “heroin, cocaine and other narcotics”, rather than alcohol.

    Moreover, the “scare them straight with errors and exaggerations” approach has been a complete disaster with respect to “heroin, cocaine and other narcotics”, so if they really think high-fat and high-sugar foods are like those drugs, why do they think the D.A.R.E. approach will work for obesity?
    For a balanced view of obesity and weight loss, I suggest starting here.

  96. 96
    llewelly

    lordsetar | 8 September 2011 at 3:37 am:

    DDMFM #58:

    DDMFM posts as “David Marjanović, OM”. , not as “David”

  97. 97
    Setár, Elvenkitty

    Llewelly, here is comment #58 on this thread.

  98. 98
    llewelly

    Oh, thank you, lordsetar. My apologies for misunderstanding which comment you referred to.

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