Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Back For A Bit: in re Boston and Prohibition

Hey, long time no see!

Sorry for the long hiatus... I have no idea if I'll return to these pages on a regular basis. But now and again, I'll have a thing or two I'd like to say, and this is the place where I can say them.

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I found out this morning that Boston is contemplating a ban on the sale of sugared drinks in city buildings:
Concerned about the girth of employees and visitors to government agencies, Boston officials are weighing — gingerly — whether to restrict or even prohibit the sale of calorie-laden refreshments on city-owned property.

The city has convened influential health, education, and housing leaders to develop a policy that aims to reduce consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages. While discussions are ongoing, Bill Walczak, head of a community health center and a member of the city’s panel, said, "Somebody has to take a stand, and if it isn’t the government and health care institutions leading the way to a healthier lifestyle, who’s going to do it?"
Well, as I recall, Prohibition didn't work out too well last time it was tried. But I agree that, if such Draconian measures are to be taken, the government should certainly lead the way.

I therefore propose that all Massachusetts legislators be required to pass a physical fitness test. Since exercise is well known to be beneficial, calisthenics should be held on Beacon Hill every morning, and attendance should be required for all Massachusetts lawmakers. (The same goes for our representatives in Washington. How many people would pay money to watch Rep. Barney Frank doing jumping jacks? We might get some state revenue out of this.)

No doubt some legislators would complain about eating only the healthiest of health foods. But who said representing The People was supposed to be fun? You're not in this only for yourselves, are you?

If you intend to force us to be healthy against our collective will, you should set the example... and you should be prepared to go further than you expect us to go.

Will I abstain from sugary snacks if my lawmakers do? Perhaps I will; perhaps not. But I see no reason why I should if they won't.


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