Sunday, October 25, 2009

Government List of Things that Could Kill You

By Alan Caruba

With the presidential announcement that H1N1, the “swine” flu, is now officially a national emergency, plus reports out of the CDC that not enough vaccine is available, I thought it might be helpful to provide a list of things that the government says could kill you.

Right up there at the top is, of course, (1) global warming. President Obama and Al Gore says the entire planet is going to resemble a toasted marshmallow at a Boy Scout jamboree if we all don’t stop driving cars, manufacturing things, generating and using electricity, et cetera. And that goes for you, too, China and India!

Next is (2) smoking. It is an incontrovertible fact that everyone in the graveyard nearest to you who ever smoked is dead. The government, which used to make a lot of money from tobacco taxes, is dead set—no pun intended—against anyone smoking. This used to be a matter of personal choice, but now it will get you thrown out of arenas, restaurants, offices of all descriptions, and just about every other public place. Those who insist on still smoking are going to die. At some point.

Another thing that will kill you is (3) guns. It is a matter of complete consternation that the 90 million or so gun-owners in America are not all dead! The government wants to take away their guns in order to protect them from shooting themselves, their family members, and possibly someone trying to break into their home or apartment. Apparently criminals have not paid sufficient attention to government warnings and insist on using guns, whenever possible, in robberies and drug deals gone bad.

May I digress briefly to note what almost any homicide detective in America will tell you; on entering the murder scene, the first question they ask is where’s the husband or wife of the victim? Then they go down a list of nearest relatives and friends; most of the time this produces the perpetrator. Here’s a tip. If you kill someone, your family and friends will be the first to turn you in because they don’t want you killing them, too. So, essentially, if someone does end up murdering you, it’s someone you know and, if you kill someone, your mom will send you up the river faster than drinking the water in Mexico will give you the runs.

Before I go further, I need to also list (4) eating to the list of lethal activities in which you may be engaging. Eating, as is statistically demonstrated, can lead to obesity, defined as the inability to see your shoes or put them on without help. Or you may just get “fat.” And we all know that fat people are (a) jolly and (b) doomed to any early death. The food groups you are not supposed to eat are cookies, candy, and ice cream. If you eat any of these, you’re doomed, but frankly life without cookies, candy, and ice cream life is probably not worth living anyway.

A little known fact that the government is trying to suppress is that being a Republican or a conservative will, in fact, add years to your life. That’s because most of these folks have guns. Also, they have a very low level of gullibility so they are less prone to things like panic-inducing Swine flu announcements. They just deal with stress better. A lot of them love to hunt and fish. You know, clinging to their guns, et cetera.

The government really doesn’t want you to know this because it will cut into General Motors and Chrysler sales, but (5) driving a car can kill you a lot faster than most other activities. On the average, it kills about 40,000 people every year. So buckle up. Obey the traffic signals. Drive at a safe speed, and hope that the other people on the highway or street aren’t pumped full of “meth” or “coke”, so spaced out of their minds they think they’re in a space ship on the way to Planet Zeno. And, of course, there are all those drunken drivers out there, too.

I should also point out that ordinary flu kills about 36,000 people a year no matter what name it has. They are frequently the very young who lack sufficient immunity or old people with other life-threatening ailments. The H1N1, in terms of fatalities, does not appear to be anything other than a variation of ordinary flu.

There are, in truth, so many things the government thinks can or will kill you, legislators and bureaucrats are exhausted from passing laws against them, regulating them, and generally getting between you and them.

For the record, I think global warming is pure crappola; I have smoked cigars since my late teens and am now in my seventh decade of life averaging two a day; I own several guns; I eat and drive a car every day. I have an occasional drink, mostly wine. I get a “regular” flu shot every year and I get most of my exercise as a pall-bearer for friends who watched their diet, didn’t smoke, or had much fun when they were alive.


Buzzg said...

Leave us not forget that in the immortal words of Rahm Emmanuel; "We should not let a good crisis go to waste because it allows you to do things you could not otherwise do." Or words to that effect.
The manufacture of false crises, emergencies is the hallmark of the Socialist/Communist machine. That way the "Government" can ride to the rescue all the while compounding the problem, real or imagined.
My grandfather would not have liked this world we live in today.

Alan Caruba said...

I have been accused of being sarcastic on occasion and I try to hide it with a bit of satire...which, of course, this "list" is all about.

If a bit of truth escapes from the page, there's not much I can do about it.

Louise W said...

Alan, this is a wonderful commentary. As I smoked my cigarette and drank a Coke I laughed all the way through it.

Buzzg said...

First of all, SEMPER VERITAS. That's what all of us are about; I hope.
In all of this mutual angst over the destruction of the Constitution, and other sins too numerous to mention,it is good to remember something that Ronald Reagon once said; "If it moves, tax it; if it keeps moving, regulate it. If it stops moving, subsidize it."

Buzzg said...

You'll have to overlook my cynicism. I've been observing the destruction of our Constitutional Republic for far too long.

Alan Caruba said...

Cynicism can be a good thing.

Sarcasm,in my experience,does not translate well on the Web unless it's a cartoon or graphic of some kind. People tend to read everything as actual opinion so satire has to be fairly broad to make its point.

Rich Kozlovich said...


Although I am an ex-smoker (minimum 2 packs a day and at one point 3 packs), I was not personally upset by being around smokers. I am however glad and upset, at the same time, that these restrictions exist.

I am glad because there were always inconsiderate smokers who didn’t care if the smoke was drifting in your face while you were eating or working and wouldn’t move their cigarettes to avoid that...and let’s face it...cigars stink. If tobacco use hadn’t been going on for 300 years we would have never allowed it to come into existence today.

However, having said that, I am upset the whole thing was based on studies that claimed that second hand smoke caused cancer to non-smokers and even went so far as to claim that they had a greater risk than those who smoked. That is irrational and most importantly the study that promoted this cancer scare was rigged because if they had used what is the “gold standard” for studies it would have been rejected. That makes this a slippery slope issue. I resent lies told to bring it about.

I don’t think that anyone doubts that smoking and exposure to smoke represents health risks. But how great is that risk to second hand smoke? As you pointed out; cars probably represent one of the greatest risks that people will face and no one wants to get rid of cars.

As for guns; it has been shown that states which actually required people to arm themselves had a serious drop in the crime rate.

As for eating “right”; well that is important, but have good genes is even more important...and that even includes smoking.

When I was in the Navy there was an article in Stars and Stripes about a 104 year old man who claimed that the secret to his long life was drinking, smoking and eating candy bars.

This brings us to the real question. How much of this is about good health policy and how much is about control?

And as for Louise....put that cigarette out right now and get yourself a juicer and restrict your drinking to raw juice from now on. Just kidding...the stuff tastes terrible matter what they say on TV.

Ron H. said...


Great column as usual. I hadn't realized that you were such an expert on food. I'm glad to see my own attitudes about the important food groups vindicated. I too feel that life without cookies, candy, and ice cream is probably not worth living. :-)