Numbnuts’ Nog Nattering

One thing that I’ve noticed about Libertarians (so-called) is that they are hung up on the idea the tyranny can only come from an overreaching government (though most of them are notably silent when said overreaching is done by Republicans).  Libertarians almost invariably turn a blind eye to the threats to freedom posed by corporations or wealthy private individuals.  Conversely,  Libertarians tend to portray attempts to regulate industry as attacks on liberty.  For the latest Libertarian affront to sense and reason, nothing beats Kevin Williamson’s bold resistance to the Eggnog Gestapo.  Let’s all put on our Liberal Fascist jackboots and tromp all over Williamson’s post.  The problems begin with the title, a Godwin’s Law violation, and they don’t get any better.

Here is a sentence that makes me want to burn my passport and move into a fortified rural compound:

The FDA dictates that U.S. nog have at least 6 percent milk fat.

Ah… the product standards of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are exactly analogous to the tactics of the dreaded Nazi Secret Police.  I imagine that, in Williamson’s “mind” (those square quotes are necessary), the Liberal Fascist Gestapo kicked down the doors of European Jews in order to mandate a minimum “white fish” quantity in gefilte fish

Somewhere in the vast array of federal rules and regulations — the 10,000 Commandments — is one specifying the minimum of milk fat that eggnog shall contain.  Did the men who fought at Lexington and Concord do so in order to set up a new regime that would manage their lives on this level? King George III would never have dreamed of such imperious behavior.

The men who fought at Lexingon and Concord fought to ensure that companies could foist adulterated and/or subpar products on the consumer.  Any attempt to force producers to adhere to a quality benchmark is tantamount to tyranny.  Why shouldn’t the “masters of the universe” be able to pass off thin, watery pseudo-dairy products as genuine, traditional eggnog?  The peasants aren’t owed an explanation, they will get what they get and like it!  Why should a “job creator” have to market their food products accurately?  They should not be forced to label their seaweed extract nog as such… besides, seaweed extract nog is delicious! 

King George III would never have dreamed of such imperious behavior. Is there nothing too trivial for the federal government to micromanage?

Is there nothing too trivial for an asinine Libertarian to whine about? Protip, Kevin, the adjective is Juvenalian, not juvenile- satire, UR DOIN IT RONG!!!

Not content to sit back smugly, enjoying the satisfaction of earning his wingnut welfare check for writing this bit of coprography (not to be confused with coprophagy, which is what Williamson’s readers engage in), Williamson had to add to his screed:

UPDATE: And then there is this:
Annatto and turmeric (for color) The use of these two natural food colorings—which add a yellow tone—is technically forbidden in eggnogs under federal regulation (it might make revelers think the drink contains more egg than it really does). But eggnog makers pushed back, and that rule has been stayed—pending a public hearing—for the past 30 years! The FDA is now looking into it.
I shall now set something on fire.

I consume more much more turmeric and annatto than the average ‘Merican, being addicted to the dubious cuisines of sinister foreign elements. I have no objection to the presence of such ingredients… unless such presence is meant to deceive the consumer.  Williamson even admits there is a deceptive intent in his post: (it might make revelers think the drink contains more egg than it really does). Traditional eggnog recipes don’t contain turmeric or annatto, they contain copious amounts of eggs.  Dairy producers should have to market nogs with trace amounts of egg as “curry nogs” or “adobo nogs”.

I suggest that, if Mr Williamson is sincere in his desire to set something on fire, he burn his computer… it would spare us his idiotic rants in the future, and it is sure to piss off some EPA or OSHA bureaucrat who would impose the tyrrany of clean air standards on patriotic Mr Williamson.

Posted by Big Bad Bald Bastard on 12/10/12 at 05:30 PM • Permalink

Categories: PoliticsNutters

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If the world were 100% sunshine and roses, this dyspeptic pricks would bitch about the thorns.

Did the men who fought at Lexington and Concord do so in order to set up a new regime that would manage their lives on this level?

They didn’t ask questions like that back in 1776.  They didn’t have TIME back in 1776.  Back in 1776 they were too busy singing songs…

(Firesign Theatre reference, for you young people.)

I am reflexively skeptical of any enterprise that vends comestibles and resists labeling. You want a girl to eat what, now? In a society where products actually state “propylene glycol” or “ester of wood rosin” and are routinely guzzled, just how shame-faced would a manufacturer have to feel about his chalk and lead confections to actually think “Gee, I better just keep these here ingredients under my tricorn”?  But that’s the industry itself—Williamson is speaking, I infer, as a consumer.  He wants to be fed lead and chalk with a soupcon of high-fructose corn syrup.  He wants the frisson of discovery to occur, possibly in a testing lab after a blood work-up, that he has been unknowingly ingesting things he would not rationally have chosen for himself.

Or he doesn’t, and hasn’t actually thought ahead that far. But a libertarian thought-experiment beckons:

If we imagine a world where there are simply no standards for labelling of products and regulations of what is in them goes out the window—how then are consumers to inform themselves? They could all find out severally that they have been enjoying the worst of all possible foods whenever investigative journalists or other concerned folks think there’s a story. I could forsee bands of vigilante food-scientists (when food regulation is outlawed, only outlaws will become food regulators), assaying various foodstuffs and publishing the results.  I also would forsee heretofore libertarian food-makers seeking redress in the courts to make the bad people stop picking on them. There is no society without some kind of controls placed on it one way or another.

But that aside, he’s full of nonsense, because even governments of the day of which he speaks knew of wooden nutmegs, pigs in a poke, the thumb on the scale and all those tricks. And there were laws.

People like Williamson are real morons.  Eliminating all health, safety and truth in labeling regulations would immediately put all normal, rational consumers en garde, so to speak.  The irresponsible industries, which is to say most of them, if given the chance, would soon start adulterating products.  The smarter consumers - most people, I think - would stay away.  The ignorant and conservatives would consume away, get sick and die.  So, a benefit there.  Soon, regulations would be back because, most American big businesses are just not responsible.  Profit maximization rules all.

People like Williamson don’t understand that politics, like nature, abhors a vacuum.  Eliminate government and monopolies and oligopolies will simply set the rules on their own.  The real agenda of so-called libertarians is simply to take away democracy and substitute private sector authoritarianism IMO.

So, he’s pissed off because people who sell a product labeled eggnog should actually have to put food stuffs in it that are what an eggnog should contain?  As opposed to, as you said, selling “thin, watery pseudo-dairy products as genuine, traditional eggnog” and this is bad??  Man, I just totally don’t get what they’re pissed off about.  Not for the first time I might say.

Love how Kevin is so sure that kindly Sam Barbieri would never sell eggnog that wasn’t chockfull of eggnogg-y goodness.  What childlike faith.  Every stop to think why Sam doesn’t sell poisoned food, Kev?  It’s not because he thinks so highly of you and your Corner pals.

The concept of adobo nog takes my breath away. This is something that must exist.

You want tyranny?  I’ll give you tyranny:  fucking stop signs.

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