Monday, February 06, 2006

The Sound of One Bulb Dimming....

Contra Costa Times Guest Commentary

From the DIM BULB files:
Contra Costa Times Guest Commentary
Hall of Shamer


For your reading pleasure, I am including notations and observations which I feel somewhat dissipate the threads of bullshit woven into this purported commentary. I will endeavor one day to pick DeSaulnier's brain with my teensy tiny tweezers to see if there is a dim bulb flickering within.

Contra Costa Times Guest Commentary
By Mark DeSaulnier

OBESITY IS A major and growing problem in America.(says who?) substantially overweight children are at greater risk for a number of health problems, including Type 2 diabetes. (prove it- any HARD science here or just scaremongering?)Sedentary (could it be (gasp) lack of exercise that causes the problem-not just food? Hey! Let's ban Nintendo and XBOX in incorporated areas!) children who are obese are likely to remain so through adulthood, suggesting that rates of heart disease and stroke will continue to rise.

Not surprisingly, many studies have linked the obesity epidemic (scare word: is this really an EPIDEMIC?) to several environmental factors, including the excessive consumption of high-calorie, high-fat, low-nutrient food, snacks and soft drinks. (AND GENETICS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH IT AT ALL??? HMMMM)

This being the case, I felt that Contra Costa County should do its part to curb the problem by focusing on the health of children, and so I introduced legislation to that effect. (CC COUNTY BETTER WORRY ABOUT ALL THE MASSIVE PENSIONS IT IS PROMISING TO PAY OUT OF THE PUBLIC COFFERS. yikes!)

This legislation regarding child obesity had nine recommendations (well, golly Mark, only 9? And you call yourself a politician), only one of which is specifically related (uh does that mean that there are some which are NON-specifically related?) to fast-food restaurants.

At no place in this board order is there language that seeks to ban such establishments from building in the unincorporated parts of the county. (ie: No man's land- no place easily accessible by anyone wanting a burger. Hey Mark- maybe we could make a No-Fry District?)

What I sought were recommendations from county staff as to how we might think intelligently(as opposed to thinking unintelligently, a feat only accomplished by politicians and celebrities.) about future planning so that we don't, for example, allow half-a-dozen fast-food joints to spring up right across the street from the doors of a newly minted high school.(Are we minting high schools now? GASP!)

Some may argue we ought not to invest any effort in considering such matters.( listen to them- they're right)

As one of the county's two chief responsibilities is public health, I would not be among them. (Some might argue that you should close TR's and open a day spa..)

Several of the legislative items, all of which were unanimously approved by the Board of Supervisors,(aka: Roundtable of Idiots) include such things as promoting recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health against child obesity.

One of the recommendations directs our Health Services Department to provide information to our county's school districts so they can better provide nutritious cafeteria menus to students. (und ve vill force zem to eat ze bruzzel sprouts)

Another directs it to provide information to park and recreation facilities that would like to eliminate provision of soft-drink and junk-food items from their properties. (and replace them with what exactly? Fructose-infused faux juice? Soy chai lattes? with real juice which contains 100% juice and spikes up blood sugar as bad as soda?)

A majority of the recommendations that the board adopted are instructional(Listen to Daddy, children, he always knows best) in nature with no net cost (is there a GROSS cost?) to the county.

They simply direct county staff to provide information we already have at our fingertips to those entities that deal frequently with children. By the same token, as a result of adopting these recommendations, we have effectively positioned the county to be a recipient of future federal funding to fight this severe health epidemic. ($$$$$$KAAAAAAAAACHING!!!!!) **** HERE IT IS FOLKS- THE REAL AGENDA!*******************************************************Yo, gotta get our share of them big, bad old Federal funds (aka tax dollars). CCC is first in line, hand out and toeing the line for Unca Sam. YAHOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

The economic rationale for preventing obesity by focusing on the health of children is compelling. Obesity costs associated with medical care are now greater than those for both smoking and problem drinking.(HARD DATA?)

The annual cost of obesity to California alone in direct medical expenses, workers' compensation and lost productivity is estimated at $28 billion. (AGAIN- I want to see ACTUAL HARD SCIENCE here. Also, does anyone ever ask why it is that the public is FORCED to pay for anyone's poor choices? WHY? WHY? WHY?)

Here are the facts:(source:?) The proportion of overweight children ages 6 to 11 has doubled in the past 25 years; it has tripled for those 12 to 19. We need to realize this problem is rapidly becoming a pandemic.(SCARY WORD!!!!) (ed note: A pandemic, or global epidemic, is an outbreak of an infectious disease that affects people over an extensive geographical area (from Greek pan all + demos people. Is obesity an "infectious" disease?).

We need action to stop it. (No, Mark, we do not need politicians screwing something else up)

Obesity in America is costing our society billions of dollars each year(SAYS WHO??) and that is too substantial a crisis (BOO! scare language again!) for the Board of Supervisors to shirk responsibility to some other level of government. (shirk, please shirk. Shirk and I will vote for you.)

Our nation, state and county have been beset with budget problems for several years.(caused by run-amok state and county employees' unions)

We still tackle issues other than merely finance.(because if we distract you with lameass issues you won't notice how we pick your pockets.)

If a business is beset with budget troubles, it doesn't abandon the rollout of its new product, forgo customer service or eliminate its R&D department.(oh yeah, REALLY?) It multitasks.(yeck! Mark that is such an 80's buzzword)So should government. (No, government can scarcely walk and chew gum at the same time)

Contact: Mark DeSaulnier Phone: (925) 584-1851 Email:

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