Saturday, January 09, 2016

"France has the best government guidance on alcohol consumption. It has none."

The tone differs, but something about Jenkins' column reminds me of a "Health Plans and Death Plans," a piece by the late Alexander Cockburn.

 ... It’s sometimes argued that a decent single payer system would be functional to U.S. capitalism, since industries like the auto sector would be liberated from the burden of health costs. There are scores of decent policies that would be functional to US capitalism. But the soul of US capitalism is wedded to indecency. Consider torture and the death penalty. Critics of these procedures sometimes argue that they don’t work, or are inefficient. People spout out lies amid their torments. Innocent people die in the gas chamber and the justice system is injured in reputation thereby.. But the real allure of torture and capital punishment for the owners of the system is to instill fear and compliance precisely by the demonstration of vindictive irrationality.

The beauty of Cockburn's contrarianism is its political label neutrality, neither left nor right, just Cockburn.

The state needs to butt out of Britain’s drinking habits, by Simon Jenkins (The Guardian)

Goodbye nudge, hello Big Brother. The new “limits” on how many drinks ministers feel are “safe” make no sense. For two decades, we have been told to closely monitor our units, with the number 21 hovering over us. Now the hyperactive health secretary Jeremy Hunt has decided to slash the number to 14, though leaving it the same (14) for women.

These limits are about a vague national self-image of puritanism, not health ...

 ... Words such as risk, safety, danger and warning are both vague and yet loaded with fear. That is why rulers love using them. They invite the public to submit to a state-ordered pattern of behaviour that should not be the state’s business. These words should be banned from every government statement, unless strictly vetted by a statistician and a linguist.


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