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Wellness Über Alles
American Thinker ^ | May 10, 2008 | anonymous

Posted on 05/10/2008 8:59:30 AM PDT by neverdem

A new battlefront in the war to erase politically incorrect civil liberties is taking place across corporate America under the innocuous-sounding banner of "Wellness."  Wellness certainly sounds nice; what kind of person is against wellness?  That sounds as crazy as being anti-hope, or standing in the way of change. 

Obviously we all want to be well, but now it appears you won't have much choice in the matter.  Be well or face consequences beyond the state of one's health. But always remember: We're doing this for your own good.

The latest thing that's in our best interest is a renewed focus on quitting smoking, or as they say in more sophisticated circles, smoking cessation.  And I'll take a brief time out to recognize that, indeed, quitting smoking is in a smoker's best interest, however, what's different this time around are the tactics employed. 

Before we discuss them, let's do a review of liberal social engineering programs from inception to execution.  These steps should prove generally predictive of smoking cessation efforts currently underway. 


The smoking cessation plan seeks to turn recalcitrant smokers -- those so far unaffected by health education, high taxation and appeals to self-interest -- into non-smokers through the imposition of a "smoke free campus".  What this means essentially is that no one is allowed to smoke anywhere on company property.  Not content with banning smoking indoors and segregating it outdoors, it is now banished entirely like some wayward cleric in 13th century Europe, (or in the case of Islam - 21st century Europe).  In many cases, these smoke free campus programs make it a company offense to even retire to your own vehicle and smoke a cigarette with the windows rolled up.  The justification: your car is parked on our property and we don't approve of smoking! 

What are your options if you still stubbornly wish to assert your right to smoke?  Put on your walking shoes; you're going on a hike. 

Keep in mind that many corporate headquarters sit on multi-acre sites, and you realize that the afternoon smoke break is turned into something resembling the Boston Marathon.  Harried smokers trekking across vast empty lawns to stand across the street, puffing furiously to make up for the ten minutes wasted traversing the tobacco-free DMZ.  We may as well take this to its logical conclusion and hang a scarlet "S" around their necks while we're at it.

At this point you may well question my motivation for this cynical diatribe against change. Chalk it up to my basic lack of hope.  Let me go on record as stating that although I did smoke as a younger man, I have not engaged in this self-destructive habit since New Years Eve 1994.  I do not write this from the point of view of a disgruntled smoker forced to tint his car windows or purchase ergonomic walking shoes in order to continue the habit.  I have no dog in this fight.

Instead I use these corporate anti-smoking campaigns as an example of the stark differences between liberal and conservative ideology.  As a conservative I don't see it as my job, much less my right, to make other people do things that are "in their best interest".  As a conservative, my assumptions are:


It's a little concept called liberty.  And by the way, it's the cornerstone of the Enlightenment, and a document known as the U.S. Constitution.  The Founding Fathers were very fond of liberty and fought a couple of wars with England on the very subject.  Ditto a whole lot of civil rights workers in the 50's and 60's.

Freedom is the right of emancipated adults to make choices for themselves and accept the responsibility for the consequences.  Don't think that the good intentions of the elites stop at the point of preventing you from putting smoke in your mouth. There are all those bad choices people make about what to eat just begging for correction.

The exercise of personal liberty, for all its flaws and imperfections, is far superior to the alternative, which for all my searching to avoid an over-used, often cliché term, is best defined as fascism.  Not the jack boot, kick your door in at 3AM variety.  But the more insidious, smiley-face variety described admirably by Jonah Goldberg as Liberal Fascism

So the next time some well meaning do-gooder comes along and tries to take away your freedom of choice remember to mention John Locke and George Washington.  Point out that you're not monitoring their "lifestyle choices" and would appreciate it if they returned the favor.  Instruct them that freedom is a messy proposition and doesn't come with the right to make other people's decisions for them.

Tell them to put that in their pipe and smoke it  (metaphorically of course, because we all know smoking's bad for you).

The author has requested anonymity for career reasons.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Government; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 1994electionresults; antisocialbehavior; contractwithamerica; fascism; smoking; smokingsucks; wellness

1 posted on 05/10/2008 8:59:31 AM PDT by neverdem
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To: neverdem
Lawyers designed the 'food pyramid' that created national obesity.
No doubt, they will try, try again (and then sue for the obesity, too).


2 posted on 05/10/2008 9:06:53 AM PDT by Diogenesis (Igitur qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum)
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To: neverdem

Hmm we best start this out with the political class. Specifically the leadership of the Democrats. Looking at everyone from Al Gore to Hillary Cliton, they need a serious dose of “Welliness” far worse then Corporate America does.


3 posted on 05/10/2008 9:08:37 AM PDT by MNJohnnie (http://www.iraqvetsforcongress.com ---- Get involved, make a difference.)
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To: neverdem
Tell them to put that in their pipe and smoke it (metaphorically of course, because we all know smoking's bad for you).

That may not be quite so true...

:-)


4 posted on 05/10/2008 9:10:02 AM PDT by TLI ( ITINERIS IMPENDEO VALHALLA)
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To: neverdem

I can’t stand to be downwind from the company smoke breakers. I’ll say that much.


5 posted on 05/10/2008 9:10:11 AM PDT by cyborg (Living strong for my mother and my residents since March 12,2008)
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To: neverdem
This is all a result of government involvement in health care. Now, no doubt there are some here who will know a lot more than I do about this subject, so take my numbers as round numbers meant to prove a point, rather than Gospel, but:

In any given year in any average pool of employees, something like 80% of health care costs are the result of 10% of the employees. Now, some of these are accidents, like getting hit by a car, but at least 50% of all these costs are the result of lifestyle choices... lung cancer, diabetes, COPD, heart attacks and strokes related to health, etc.

In any given pool of employees, there is not much that can be done about the 10%.. the horse has left the barn. But, there is another 30% or so of the employees who will one day BECOME one of the 10%. The smokers, the overweight, etc.

Health care costs could come down dramatically if even a small portion of that 30% could be converted into the part of the roughly 60% who are generally healthy people with healthy habits.

Now, why is this relevant? This is relevant because the government has a massive involvement in health care. For an average employee pool, the company and the insurance company have an incentive to get the employees healthier. The government is insuring or paying the costs for people who are even unhealthier than the average employee pool, so small amounts of wellness would save the gov't i.e. the taxpayers a LOT of money.

Since taxpayer foot the bill, a lot of people believe the government has an interest in promoting wellness.

This is the problem with creeping socialism.. once the gov't gets involved in one area, it justifies a further expansion of its involvment.

6 posted on 05/10/2008 9:10:37 AM PDT by Ron Jeremy
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To: neverdem

Wellness refers generally to the state of being healthy.
+
Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being.

=DoubleSpeak of the highest order.


7 posted on 05/10/2008 9:11:13 AM PDT by AndrewB
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To: neverdem

If the employer doesn’t want smokers then they should not have smokers. That is conservatism. If the reason is because they want their employees to be well or if they want to see them squirm from nicotine fits from withdrawal, it doesn’t matter.

The author wants to make employers allow smoking because of his perception the employer is a socialist. Such reasoning is compounding the error of social engineering and does not resemble conservatism or even libertarianism.


8 posted on 05/10/2008 9:17:39 AM PDT by Raycpa
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To: Ron Jeremy

Good post... take the king’s money, you take it on the king’s terms pretty much.


9 posted on 05/10/2008 9:17:54 AM PDT by cyborg (Living strong for my mother and my residents since March 12,2008)
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To: neverdem
The "planning" process described is almost a textbook definition of groupthink. Characteristics include:

Sound familiar? Smoking. Global Warming. The War on Terror. Pick an issue on the Left and see raging groupthink in action.

Groupthink can happen in almost any group but it certainly seems sometimes that Liberals are standing in line, eager to be a part of it.

10 posted on 05/10/2008 9:19:16 AM PDT by irv
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To: irv

Soubnds like f**kin communists to me.


11 posted on 05/10/2008 9:22:03 AM PDT by darkangel82 (If you're not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. (Say no to RINOs))
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To: cyborg

yeah, that’s an easier way to describe it.


12 posted on 05/10/2008 9:23:37 AM PDT by Ron Jeremy
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To: neverdem

We are now not anymore in the place where if you acted stupid or didn’t take care of yourself, you suffered the consequences. Now, you would be taken care at the emergency room and then put on welfare or SocSec disability for the rest of your life ( and with modern medical technology that could go on for years!.

Sooo... if the costs are coming out of my tax dollars the government has my eprmission to require helmets for motorcycle riders. If a corporation does not want to pay outrageous med insurance premiums for smokers, then mandate their employees do not smoke!

Until the “freedom lovers” enact laws that say either you have your own multi million dollar medical insurance policy or make laws refusing to treat certain emergencies at the ER and refuse to grant medicaid or SSDI to those who are not taking care of themselves.


13 posted on 05/10/2008 9:46:39 AM PDT by Recovering Ex-hippie (WE NEED A TROOP SURGE IN CHICAGO !)
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To: irv

Good post, describes every single “Liberal” I know.


14 posted on 05/10/2008 9:51:52 AM PDT by investigateworld ( Abortion stops a beating heart.)
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To: neverdem
“The author has requested anonymity for career reasons.”

This is very sad. Smokers are marked in modern day America. White males are marked, the ones who aren't of the ruling class. Gun owners have fought past the mark, but the libs won't stop.

The author forgot the combination of public relations and propaganda the left uses to reinforce its pet causes. If they believe something, it will be launched into the mainstream through movies and shows, news, documentaries, and college classes. Their opinions become our truth.

15 posted on 05/10/2008 10:31:01 AM PDT by Luke21
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To: neverdem

Great post - thanks.


16 posted on 05/10/2008 10:37:38 AM PDT by SkyPilot ("I wasn't in church during the time when the statements were made.")
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To: Ron Jeremy

“Health care costs could come down dramatically if even a small portion of that 30% could be converted into the part of the roughly 60% who are generally healthy people with healthy habits.”

For that particular business, maybe. But overall, I doubt it. Smokers tend to die earlier and as such don’t rack up the healthcare costs of someone who lives till 85 years old, sees the doctor two or more times per year, takes 3-4 or more meds per day for 20 plus years, has a couple of surgeries and numerous tests and then still engages in a costly treatment to deal with whatever it is that will eventually kill them. Not to mention the 20 plus years of collected social security.


17 posted on 05/10/2008 11:23:43 AM PDT by Round 9
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To: FJB2
For that particular business, maybe. But overall, I doubt it. Smokers tend to die earlier and as such don’t rack up the healthcare costs of someone who lives till 85 years old, sees the doctor two or more times per year, takes 3-4 or more meds per day for 20 plus years, has a couple of surgeries and numerous tests and then still engages in a costly treatment to deal with whatever it is that will eventually kill them. Not to mention the 20 plus years of collected social security

What happens after people leave the workforce is not a strength of mine, but the numbers I gave, although rough, are accurate for the work force. In any given year, roughly 80% of costs are bourne by 10% of the workforce, and of that, 50% are voluntarily incurred i.e. they are the result of lifestyle choice, with smoking a big one.

18 posted on 05/10/2008 12:38:09 PM PDT by Ron Jeremy
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To: neverdem

I’m partway into Jonah Goldberg’s “Liberal Fascism” and I recommend it highly. Most educational. I recommend it to liberals as much as conservatives but so far, they never read past the from cover and scream their rage at being compared to Nazis.

Lesson 1 overall from the book is “all birds of a feather.” They all share similar roots in nineteenth and early twentieth-century “progressive” philosophers and assorted politicians (T.R. and Woodrow Wilson among them) who asserted the primacy of the state over the people (with themselves as philosopher-kings, of course), and with the goal of imposing healthy living (among many other things) on us.

The one thing all leftys of various stripes over the past 150 years have shared in common is the fervent belief in the perfectability of Man and the total malleability of human nature. None of the gruesome failures so far has ever dimmed their ardor for their grand experiment.


19 posted on 05/10/2008 9:28:41 PM PDT by sinanju
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To: wardaddy; Joe Brower; Cannoneer No. 4; Criminal Number 18F; Dan from Michigan; Eaker; Jeff Head; ...
Conservative attack group riling Democrats

[Clinton Sows] Seeds of Destruction MUST READ!

Obama Needs a History Lesson (Excellent read!) IMHO, another holiday from history

From time to time, I’ll ping on noteworthy articles about politics, foreign and military affairs. FReepmail me if you want on or off my list.

20 posted on 05/11/2008 12:39:57 AM PDT by neverdem (I'm praying for a Divine Intervention.)
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To: neverdem

I can understand, given the health costs of smoking, the reason for its concern to companies & others stuck with the payment of group health insurance. If someone decides to drive or ride without a seat belt & end up in a crippling accident, should we the public foot the medical bill?

What bothers me, though, is the leniency given to AIDS, a disease that can be avoided through monotony & abstinence. The cost of insurance went up partly because of these people & their extensive treatments. Yet I don’t hear anything about regulating their behavior. I guess AIDS is more PC than lung cancer.


21 posted on 05/11/2008 1:05:53 PM PDT by MoochPooch (I'm a compassionate cynic.)
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