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by Donald B. Ardell, Ph. D.
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Wellness in the Headlines
(Don's Report to the World)

Let's Wiretap the Twinkies People!

Saturday March 4, 2006

"Everyone knows there are only two things that can survive a nuclear holocaust: cockroaches and Twinkies." ~Peter Griffin

The Hostess Twinkie website proudly proclaims that Twinkies has been "tingling tastebuds for more than 75 years." At present, 500 million Twinkies are sold annually; Twinkie recipes are found in Twinkie Shortcake, Twinkie Misu and Twinkie Sushi, not to overlook Twinkie Wedding Cakes.

But, is this a good thing? Is it in the national interest for Twinkies to continue unfettered its profitable habit of tingling tastebuds? Not according to Nicholas D. Kristof. Kristof recently suggested that Twinkies might pose a greater threat than Al Qaeda (See "Mike Huckabee Lost 110 Pounds. Ask Him How," New York Times, January 29, 2006.) In a column about the formerly obese southern governor turned wellness guru, Kristof noted that "fat kills far more Americans than terrorists," and added: "The New England Journal of Medicine reported last year that because of rising obesity, life expectancy in the U.S. might soon stop rising and could drop...So if our government wants to keep our children safe, it doesn't just have to go after terrorists in Afghanistan. It also has to go after Twinkies at home...Imagine if Al Qaeda had resolved to attack us not with conventional chemical weapons but by slipping large amounts of high-fructose corn syrup into our food supply. That would finally rouse us to action."

Well, maybe we should get roused into action. Consider these facts, gleaned from the Kristof piece cited above:

How serious is the Twinkie threat? Kristoff quotes Mr. Huckabee, the wellness guru governor of Arkansas: "Obesity is reducing not only the quality of life of Americans, but also the fiscal soundness of our government and the competitiveness of our businesses. This year, G.M. will spend more on health care for employees and pensioners than on steel. Starbucks will spend more on health care than on coffee beans."

Piecing together information gleaned from countless wiretaps is not an exact science. It is an art. It requires the dedicated efforts by patriotic, god-fearing REAL Americans toiling selflessly in our beloved Bush Administration. Thankfully, these righteous warriors for an America with the kind of Christian values our founders cherished are resolute in their devotion. They are protecting us from Evil-Doers, especially terrorists in this, a time of war for those of you who have forgotten 9-11. (Thank you, thank you, Mr. President). While we may have to give up a little freedom here and there (guarantees against illegal search and seizures, privacy and any other rights the president deems helpful to the terrorists, for examples), who but whiney liberals has problems with that?

As a whiney liberal myself, and an infidel liberal to boot, I admit to having had a few problems with the Bush "spy on Americans" program. I was nervous about warrantless wiretaps and many other policies of this administration, even though I have no ties to terrorists and am too cheap to give to any charities, let alone the Islamic variety run by Osama and that crowd of loonies. Yet, after the Kristoff column, I might be ready to go along with at least one unconstitutional initiative by the Bush folks, including a warrantless wiretap, if that's what it's going to take to discover if there is a terrorist plot behind Hostess Twinkies.

Yes, let's continue to encourage healthier lifestyles and, like the governor of Arkansas, seek to get government to curb soft drinks in schools while "informing all parents of their children's body mass index." Let's also "encourage fitness, give exercise breaks as well as smoking breaks, pay for preventive health checks, subsidize efforts to quit smoking and seek to give food stamps more purchasing power when used to buy fruits or vegetables."

But don't allow Twinkies to undermine it all by tingling the tastebuds of our young. If there are enemies of the people behind this and similar obesity epidemic spreading agents, let's root them out. Go Bush. Listen in and bring these terrorists to bay.

Always look on the bright side of life.

Domain: purpose
Subdomain: humor

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