Last week the Illinois Senate soundly defeated a proposal to ban trans fats in foods. The bill failed by a vote of 40-13, due in part to the hard work of the doughnut caucus.
Senator Mike Jacobs lamented the loss of his old trans fat filled Oreos, which taste better than Nabisco’s, current, ostensibly more healthy version.
Not lost amid all the funny remarks was the main point- Americans should be free to choose what they want to eat. Jacobs didn’t want Illinois to become a “nanny state.”
It seems a little late for that argument. With Americans already being told by their government what they can and cannot smoke, drink, drive, snort, wear, teach, say, watch, grow, and buy, what difference can a little trans fat ban really make?
In fact, New York City banned trans fats back in 2006. The bantransfats.com advocacy web site has been so overwhelmed with new information that the owners have stopped updating the site.
There are those (a phrase I have borrowed from our president) who are calling for a new constitutional amendment stating that “the Right of the People to ingest shall not be infringed.”
Good luck with that one.
Our hundred mile wide borders are a constitution free zone. At least according to the ACLU. I recently re-read their 2008 Fact Sheet on what it describes as the U.S. “Constitution Free Zone.”
The United States government defines our border as ”within 100 air miles from any external boundary of the United States or any shorter distance..” according to this statute, which was amended to include this distance after the 9/11 terror attacks. The purpose of the statute was to ensure the security of United States borders. However, the government has been expanding its searches to include U.S. citizens not seeking to cross the border with the blessings of the Supreme Court. In 1975, The U.S. Supreme Court held that Border Patrol agents at checkpoints have legal authority that agents do not have when patrolling areas away from the border. Border Patrol agents may stop a vehicle at fixed checkpoints for brief questioning of its occupants even if there is no reason to believe that the particular vehicle contains illegal aliens. The Court relaxed (revoked?) the Fourth Amendment when dealing with these fixed checkpoints.
While it is unclear how much these checkpoints are succeeding in protecting our borders, they sure have been resulting in some large pot seizures from U.S. citizens, who may have mistakenly believed they were protected by the U.S. Constitution. Granted, some searches and seizures are more invasive than others, but each U.S. citizen should have a reasonable expectation of privacy.
Some citizens have decided not to meekly accept what they perceive as a violation of their constitutional rights. I thoroughly enjoyed the following video. Clear some time in your schedule, though, since it goes on for a while.