Article Overview:   The Beast of Terror is bulging.  He's waddling around the industrialized world, spreading feasts of fat for people to eat and become blobs.    Governments around the world are attacking the Beast of Fat with a Fat Tax proposal.   Will it work?  Can the mothering and fathering of health be administered by the tax man or the Sentinel of Vigilance?


Wednesday--June 11, 2003—Ground Zero Plus 637
Global Fat Tax Attacks Beast Of Terror's Bulging Belly
Cliff McKenzie
   Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News

  GROUND ZER0, New York, New York--June 11, 2003-- Americans stiffening over the recent proposal to apply a "fat tax" to foods that promote bulging bellies and unhealthy diets aren't alone.   All over the industrialized world, government tax collectors are looking for ways to cut the fat out of deficits by criminalizing eating habits.
All taxes are punishments, of greater or lesser degrees.
     They are onerous invasions into a person's pocket, forcing one to pay the toll or not cross the bridge.

McDonald's golden arches would pay heavy fines for their many starches

The government wants to impose a fat tax on a greasy meal like the one above

     Want to eat a greasy hamburger and French fries, then suck down a thick shake?  Well, the government wants to punish you for consuming fat.    You have to pay to expand your waistline.  Besides the cost of eating too much, the government is out to tax your mandibles, and that gnawing Beast of Fat Terror screaming in your gut for another helping.
      And, its happening around the world.
     In Wales, The Western Mail, reported this morning that the British Medical Association, proposed the controversial tax at a conference as a financial tool to help fight the growing problem of obesity.  The paper noted that Dr. Ian Campbell, chairman of the National Obesity Forum, opposed the proposal saying:  "This was debated five years ago and dismissed as a tax on social disadvantage. People who have the greatest problems with obesity are those who live in the poorer socioeconomic groups and rely on high fat and high sugar foods," he said.

The British Medical Association proposed a fat tax as a financial tool

        The Western Mail noted that more than half the people in Wales are considered overweight or obese, and that obesity will overtake the U.K's number one preventable killer--smoking--in a decade."
        This morning, I happened to be thinking diet again, as I do each morning just before I fix breakfast.    As the thought shot through my mind, I heard the morning news blare out that New York was considering a "fat tax," an additional one percent (1%) tax on junk food, commercials, and, video games.  The video games were thrown in because people sit around playing games as their hamburgers and French fries turn to fat.  Television commercial promoting junk food are obviously weapons of the Beast of Fat Terror. 
        Lawmakers should have called the fat tax a "Terrorist Tax!"
        Justification for the tax, earmarked to go to education and promotion of eating nutrition-based foods, is underscored by statistics from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).  The CDC estimates that 15 percent of all children and teenagers in the United states are severely overweight or obese.   According to the CDC, the number of overweight teenagers has tripled since 1980.
        In concurrence, the United Kingdom reports that 20 percent of Britain's children are overweight.

"Your weight problem is not a character problem."

      Canada is also facing the problem.  On a CBC radio show, Dr. Lance Levy, a medical nutrition researcher and author of "Conquering Obesity" opposes the tax because he believes eating is not the cause of being overweight.   He believes it is the "motivation" behind eating that drives one to consume fatty food.  Thus, a tax on the manufacturers would be folly.
       However, he notes that about 51 percent of Canadians are obese or overweight, up from 32 percent a decade ago.

WHO calls obesity a global medical illness

       On a more global basis, the World Health Organization recently called obesity a global medical illness.  The WHO has termed the problem, "globesity."  In 2000, the WHO noted that obesity worldwide had increased from 200 million in 1995 to 300 million in 2000, with 20 percent of the obese, children.  The organization also said that the problem was not just limited to developed nations.  An estimated 115 million suffer obesity in underdeveloped nations, eating junk foods instead of more nutritious ones.
        Ironically, when I was a child my grandmother used to sternly say:  "Eat everything on your plate.  The people in Poland are starving."
       I learned to lick the plate clean, even though it made no logical sense why I should gorge myself while others were starving.  But, like any child, you don't argue with grandma who, in those days, had a rolling pin glued to her right hand.
       The "fat tax" brings up some scary thoughts.
       Here we are in the mine field of the Patriot Act, letting certain civil rights be whittled away here and there under the name of national security and anti-Terrorism.   In a way, the Patriot Act is a "fat tax."  It's cutting away at all the "extra rights" we have, as though we don't deserve them, or, that they are expendable rights--our civil obesity  needs trimming.
       Anything that takes something away is a tax.   Our rights are being taxed.  We are paying dearly for them in subtle ways, and no one knows exactly what they will cost, except that they will cost.  And when something "costs," you lose.  You get leaner.  Your bulging belly of civil rights gets slimmer, whether you like it or not.
       The fat tax seems to be another form of government intrusion into the civil rights of individuals.   The government is once more telling the people it knows what is better for the people than the people know.

The fat tax is government intrusion on how to raise children

        The fat tax is about the Beast of Terror growing fatter and the Parents and Children of Vigilance growing thinner.
        Dr. Levy opposed the tax not because he opposes fighting obesity, but because he sees the problem isn't about the people who make the food, or commercials or video games, but those who abuse themselves.  The governments both in America and abroad allege the tax money will go to education, but at what cost?
         And, does the government have the right to tell people how to live, what to eat?
       The more socialized the state becomes, that is, the more the people depend on the state to supply services, it seems the more rights the government should have.    In both Canada and Britain, socialized medicine is in effect, so the government, to reduce costs, sees itself as overlord of health.    Taxing and applying those taxes to education would seem a natural extension of their power--the power given to them by the people to take care of them. 
        But the real fat tax isn't about what one eats, it is about what one gives up.
        It should be called a Complacency Tax.
        The Beast of Terror operates on the basis of Fear, Intimidation and Complacency.   A Sentinel of Vigilance, on the other hand, employs Courage, Conviction and Right Actions for the benefit of the Children's Children's Children.  
        Complacency is the worst of all venoms of the Beast of Terror.   And, as people turn over their rights to government in the form of taxation, the more Complacent they become regarding the management of their own behavior.
        "I'm paying a lot of taxes, so I expect a lot of service," grumps one taxpayer.

A fat tax is turning over one's life to the Beast of Government Terror

        What he's really saying is, "I've become more and more Complacent in managing my own life, and I expect someone to run it for me."

        A fat tax is just another form of turning over the duty and responsibility for one's life to the Beast of Government Terror.
        Governments consume things.  They do not create.    For thousands and thousands of years, the role of government has been to exert the most power possible over the people, and in so doing, try to run the people's lives.  In every case, such efforts has failed, from the Roman times to the recent fall of Iraq.
        The right to eat, the right to sleep, the right to move around freely, the right to do whatever one desires that doesn't harm or injure others, is constantly being checked and balanced by growing laws and regulations.    A driver of a vehicle must obey the laws of the road or suffer the tax man's brutal retaliation--a ticket.
        But the privacy of a person is another issue.
        Does a person have the right to eat what he or she wants?   Or, does the government have a duty and responsibility to dictate that right?

Do  governments have the right to beat their chest sand tell people what to eat?

        If governments are in charge of health care, and, the cost of obesity impacts their ability to deliver those services at the expense of other health provisions, then governments step up to the plate and swing the bat of regulation.  They beat their chests and shout to the people:  "You gave us the duty to protect you, and we're going to protect you whether you like it or not!"
        Ultimately, this is slavery.
        People give up their rights to manage their lives to governing bodies, faceless, nameless entities that shift about in the winds of political change.  
        The fat tax is all about that.
        It's about the Beast of Government growing fatter while the Sentinels of Vigilance, the people, grow skinnier.
        The more one is taxed, the more famished one's body becomes to stand on his or her own two feet.
        A one-percent tax here, a one-percent tax there, accumulates until there isn't anything left.
        But worse, the right of Vigilance is given up.
        Who is in charge of the child's weight?  The government or the parent?

Are parents or governments in charge of children?

        If we follow the route of the fat tax, we end up with the government being in charge of our children's eating habits.
        We also find that along the route, we, the Parents of Vigilance, have been suckered into Complacency if we allow it to happen.  We have bowed once more at the claws of the Beast of Government Terror.
        However, there is a solution.
        The Pledge of Vigilance.
        If we look at the Pledge of Vigilance and act upon its Principles of Vigilance, we concern ourselves with the future not just of ourselves, but of our Children's Children's Children.    Even if we aren't a parent, we are a Loved One of Vigilance, we have nieces, cousins, nephews to think about.
        To do the right thing for the future generations we need to think and act in healthy ways--both emotionally, physically, spiritually, mentally.   This means we veer away from things that hurt us, that hurt our loved ones, our children.
        Eating fatty foods is an act of Complacency when the consumption of them exceeds healthy guidelines.  And, if one is not thinking in terms of Vigilance--to the future of generations to come--the odds are that Complacency will rule.
        What we need in America and the world is not a Fat Tax, but a Vigilance Tax.
        If we are going to tax anything, we need to tax our Complacency.

We need to put our funds into a Vigilance Pool

        We need to put all the funds into a Vigilance Pool, and promote the Pledge of Vigilance, and Principles of Vigilance rather than what to eat and why to eat it.
        Human beings are naturally seeking the "easier, softer way" in life.   It takes a shock here and there to startle us back to the reality that we must protect our rights rather than give them up.
        A Vigilance Tax would do that.
        If we put that tax into effect, and used every dollar to educate ourselves on our duties as Sentinels of Vigilance, we wouldn't have to worry about getting fat.  But the government would.   For the more Vigilant we became, the more threatened the government would become.   As we gained more Courage, Conviction and took more Right Actions for the benefit of the Children and the Children's Children's Children, the less government would be needed to tell us what to do, how to think and how to act.
        Ultimately, we would trim government down to its bare bones, rather than let it get fatter and fatter at our expense.
       So, if you want a thinner waistline and the power to rule your life, lobby not against a fat tax, but for a Vigilance Tax.  
       And, take the Pledge of Vigilance--it's the most nutritious food you can ever consume.

June 10--Beast of Terror vs. Martha Stewart

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