Chunky people are relieved; Activists who want to tell you how to live are crabby
February 12, 2008
House Bill Number 282, which was introduced this month by Mississippi legislators, has died in committee. The bill would have banned fat people from Mississippi restaurants. The proposal was going to allow health inspectors to yank the permit from any restaurant that “repeatedly” fed overweight customers. The Coalition of Fat Rights Activists (COFRA) — no kidding, this is a real group — called on the state of Mississippi House of Representatives to withdraw the bill. About two-third of Mississippians are considered overweight or obese, according to a recent analysis of federal health data. It would appear that freedom, democracy and the majority won out. But debate continues over individual responsibility and just how much control others should have over what we are free to do.
“Freedom is fine for Islamofascists, liberal Democrats and animal rights activists but not anyone else,” said Nikki Barstool, an animal rights stripper known to frequent Islamofascist bars nude, but wearing a veil to maintain religious propriety. “No one else can be free to do what they want or there will be serious ramifications. Activists are the only ones who really understand what’s needed in society. It’s of critical importance for world peace and welfare that we stop people from over-eating, from smoking, from polluting, from speaking freely about the Ten Commandments, and from freedom of any kind that I don’t agree with.”
Not everyone signs-on to Barstool’s view of freedom and individual rights. “We should all be free to do whatever we want so long as we don’t physically harm anyone, or significantly damage others psychologically,” said Ichabod Crane, an educator who enjoys evening parties, but is often terrorized on his way home nights by a horseman lacking a head. “Rule of law and respect for alternate, even radical viewpoints, can be challenging for many people to tolerate. It’s important that we try to leave people do what they want as far as we’re able, if we can maintain a peaceful society. Lacking that, I suppose we have to either vote differing viewpoints down, or wipe some people off the face of the earth. It’s a tricky thing to deal with. No wonder it’s so hard for Jews and Arabs to stop killing each other”
Mississippi House Bill 282 (HB 282) would have prohibited restaurants with more than five seats from serving people determined to be obese. Restaurants that ‘repeatedly-fed’ obese patrons would be subject to fines or closure. The definition of obesity would be determined by the state’s health department.
The bill – introduced by Representative W.T. Mayhall, Jr., a retired pharmaceutical salesman with DuPont-Merk, and co-authored by Bobby Shows, a businessman and pharmacist John Read – would effectively legislate discrimination against people of size, said Coalition of Fat Rights Activists (COFRA) founder and president Paul McAleer. If passed into law, HB 282 would have discriminated against about two-thirds of Mississippi residents considered overweight or obese, according to federal health data. While COFRA lauded the intention to promote health and wellness, the Chicago-based organization maintains the focus of the three lawmakers is misguided.
“A law to protect us against over-eating would have had SWAT teams raiding homes and restaurants every Thanksgiving and special occasion,” said Surgical Steele, a short-haired plastic surgeon and a past winner at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. “While I agree that Paris Hilton should be banned from all movies and public appearances for the good of humankind, I think that stopping a guy with love handles from eating a sandwich is going too far. Everyone agrees that no person should carry a gun, smoke, drink, talk religion or politics, eat meat, wear fur, use an internal combustion engine, have a pet, use paper or plastic or vote Republican. But there’s no way we should prohibit anyone from a veggie sandwich. Of course that’s only if it was produced organically and from fair trade related materials and harvested by illegal Mexicans.”
In other news, the US government has charged six suspects for murder and war crimes in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States. Activists say they should be set free because they were only exercising an alternative lifestyle. No word on whether they will be allowed sandwiches during the trial.
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