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>rob, you misunderstood me and took my quote out of context.

you should make an effort to be more concise.

>How much do think private citizens would have donated to various organizations if
>President Bush stated the government would not be sending any money for Tsunami relief,
>but it is expected that each citizen would do what they can to help?

i don't know, but i do wonder why they took such a keen interest in that particular (relatively minor) event, to the exclusion of other, more serious crises. if it really is a keen sense of altruism, i'd expect contributed resources to be distributed according to need.

>Do you think private organizations & individuals would not step
>up to the plate if the government removed itself entirely from healthcare and public education?

they might try, but it's not possible to have an equitable, accessible system of public care without centralized oversight.

how do you think the average suburbanite in seattle would feel about writing a check to pay for a school in a poor, predominantly hispanic district in california? if you said "great," you're hopelessly delusional. this is the point of distribution of wealth through taxation, of course: poor people have no less a right to or need for the amenities you expect, and people will not willingly give of their wealth to help with needs outside of their sphere of consciousness. robin hood would have taken donations, had they been forthcoming.

if you're concerned about how the government distributes your money, take an interest and get involved. you just have to be careful not to let your biases get in the way.

>Secondly, I don't believe the state should be educating our children.
>It is the parents responsibility.

talk about vague. my parents suck at calculus, so thank god for public education.... of course, i suspect that's not what you're getting at.

>The government is not good at public education and he gave "proof" of that.

the government fails at public education when politics gets involved. See: the Scopes trial, and anything relating to the establishment of Intelligent Design in science curricula.

>Canada goes bankrupt all the time.

Do tell? Coulda fooled me! I was talking about personal bankruptcy, and Canada has generally run budget surplusses over the last decade. Of course, I'm not fond of the ways in which the Canadian government chose to save money, but your assertion is patently absurd.

Mark S:

>Your example of us all gorging on something that turns out to be harmful is
>so vague that I'm not sure how to craft a response.

you are being deliberately obtuse. think of it as an abstract proposition. something we do now may harm us in the future. think DDT, tobacco, nutrition, anything. what we don't know now may harm us in the future. also, what the companies who make the goods we use know - and won't tell us - may harm us.

>I do not agree that society is synonomous with government.

i never said it was. government is an instrument of society, and should be used as such.

the alternative to centralized governance is anarchy - in itself, not necessarily a bad thing - but if you want true equality, across demographic and administrative boundaries, then you need some form of centralization.

sure, you could have corporate, for-profit government (seem to be doing a good job of that already, in the US). do human needs and the profit motive always converge? would we be having this discussion if they did? which is more important to you? would you rather that the goverment channel all of its resources into the public good, or skim a big chunk off as profit?

you could have a national citizens' council to manage the flow of "charity"... but that would be representative government, wouldn't it? and isn't that what you already have?

the key to effective government is oversight. if the government is out of control there is exactly one place to put blame: the electorate. if you are complaining that the government doesn't represent you, or cater to your whims, you are playing the victim.

Mark S.


You may not have explicitly said that society is synonomous with government but you as much implied it by arguing for government regulation while claiming that we, those in disagreement with you, deny the existence of society and mutual responsibility. If your statement regarding our denial of society does not relate to your points on government intervention then please clarify.

"think DDT, tobacco, nutrition, anything. what we don't know now may harm us in the future. also, what the companies who make the goods we use know - and won't tell us - may harm us.

I absolutely agree. Companies, like individuals, operate in their own self-interest and the result can bring great harm. However, in the case of fast food, we are not talking about a toxin. In fact, we aren't even talking about a single product; we are talking about nutrition in general. Keep in mind, the fast food available at McDonald's is made of the same ingredients I can buy at the grocery store where I am more likely to create a larger serving (have you ever made a hamburger patty at home as small as a McDonald's patty? I know I haven't.) If you accept that, then what is the benefit to adding regulation on restaurants? Should the regulation require restaurants to give serving recommendations to all items they serve? What about suggested servings of water? Should there be serving suggestions pasted on the salt shakers? As I can create a far more unhealthy meal at home than anything I can eat at McDonald's, does the regulation achieve its goal? If the goal is punishing fast-food chains, then yes, perhaps it would be a success.

"the alternative to centralized governance is anarchy."

I disagree. The alternative to anarchy is government. The alternative to centralized governance is a republic where federal power, in terms of size and scope, is minimized compared to State and Local. I also disagree that central governance is required to achieve equality. Regardless, I fail to see how arguments of equality have anything to do with the topic at hand though I do agree that some centralization is necessary -- as is evidenced by the need for military protection, commerce among the states, etc.

I've heard the argument for increasing government involvement for the "public good" many times. As I understand it, the public good is anything the government does that betters or protects society from harm, sometimes mild harm sometimes severe harm. There's something similar to that notion that comes to mind often championed by those on the right: national security. What happens if we change the lexicon for a moment; everywhere you read "public good" let's call it "national security". Do you still feel the same desire for government intervention?

"you could have corporate, for-profit government (seem to be doing a good job of that already, in the US)."

We have big problems if government interventionists think the opposite to their position is for-profit government.

I do agree that our government is a reflection of the electorate, but surely you do not find yourself in-line with the majority every time. One of the major problems with a strong central authority is that dissenting opinions, which often times are regional sentiments, are easier to drown out. Why do you think there's a growing movement within the Democrat party to push state's rights? Because they are having trouble pushing their agenda on the national stage. The push for more centralization will result in a weaker voice for the minority point of view.

This issue of nutrition may be a pebble but it is still part of the growing problem.


Evan: "Regardless, since when is it the manufacturer's responsibility to craft your diet for you? "

I said it would be nice. Not that its their responsibility. If they want to say its safe to eat their products everyday, they should say so. If they want to say that morgan spurlock was using their product incorrectly and not as intended, they should say so. That latter one seems like a recommendation.


Rob, regarding your quote "poor people have no less a right to or need for the amenities you expect," I don't expect amenities. I pay for them. If I can't afford them, I don't consider them a "right."
Robin Hood helped the poor by taking from the government which was rich because it overtaxed the poor.
All other arguments aside, as long as health care is considered a right, government will be justified in enacting legislation to regulate what people eat.

Mark S.

Just a supplement to Jeff's statement, I consider it a right to pursue health care, I don't consider receiving health care a right. Gun ownership is a right but I haven't seen a call for the government to provide us with handguns.


I think a pretty good indicator of the "ads focus on brands, not products" theory is, as has been pointed out, ads themselves.

I think a very excellent example of this, and forgive me for being a bit icky, is feminine products. Tampons and pads perform exactly the same function, in two distinctly different ways, and are produced by different companies. And yet, without fail, nobody is dipping a tampon into one of the ubiquitous beakers of blue liquid to show it doesn't work as well as a maxi. Instead, it's pad vs pad, tampon vs tampon.

The only ads that can be said to encourage behavior/consumption of a product (as opposed to a brand) are those industry-sponsored ones, like the cheese ads. But I have yet to see a single ad "brought to me by America's Tobacco Farmers." I'm pretty sure they even stopped with the "Beef: It's What's For Dinner" ads, too.



"The only ads that can be said to encourage behavior/consumption of a product (as opposed to a brand) are those industry-sponsored ones, like the cheese ads."

Am I really to believe that an ad that did not mention a brand would have no effect? Or that once a brand is mentioned, the product effect is gone?


That's quite a stretch, sam.

Rob D.

If there's one pervading theme among people who argue for government involvement in shit like this, it's fear. Fear of not being in control, fear of this or that not happening quickly enough, fear of people.

Libertarians recognize that societies will always have their criminals, their slackers, their bums, and their ignorant. You have 2 choices as far as I'm concerned. You could either get off your ass, and back up your humanitarian jargon with some charity giving of your own, with some productive involvement of your own, or you could hand that responsibility off to the government. It's very clear what path you've chosen.

Why do politicians take credit for things that were accomplished by the free market and by the free associations of people? And why do you people eat that crap up so easily?

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Morgan Spurlock rules!!!!!



"And even the most aggressive of marketing campaigns don't recommend you consume one company's food or beverage product to the exclusion of everything else."

I would have to disagree. I recall a McDonald's ad in which the kitchen had been converted into storage space. In particular I remember the fridge being full of shoes instead of food. This clearly implies there is no reason to ever cook with McDonald’s food being so cheap.
So there.



I have a great link for a video profile on the documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock. Best known for his 2004 breakout film Super Size Me, he was recently at the SXSW film festival promoting his Oscar nominated film Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden? Filmed in the Austin City Limits Studio, Spurlock talks about filmmaking, blogging and interactivity between the two mediums. Here is a link to the video from the website of the show Docubloggers on the PBS station KLRU in Austin, Texas. Enjoy!





Big Bob

What were the types of complaints morgan sed that hje suffered during the 30 days of eating McDonalds in SUPER SIZE ME??? help me out


great article...... thanks.

Unhealthy foods

Whiskey for 30 days? That's a no! This is not healthy, it will bring a bad effect to our health, liver, to our heart etc. But ofcourse, advertisements can do or say anything they want, just to have people to consume it.


Everything is for people even whiskey which taste like petrol but hey some like it.
In moderation alcohol can boost your metabolism and I dont think advertising of smokes and boose should be baned. its enough we need to be 21 to buy some.

watch No Survey

me too maybe we need to give a survey after we watch the video online, this will help them figure out more topic to be dicussed here.


Yeahh no body is smoking now! Actus, you got the point!

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