Down in Florida, the State ordered a Diet Coach to cease and desist from giving – and charging for – advice to clients on how to lose weight.
On the one hand, the idea that people can’t talk to each other and provide a service for which they are in return paid for that service – in this case, advice about what to eat so as to lose weight – should be a basic cornerstone of libertarian idealism.
On the other hand, the State of Florida disagrees and claims it has a compelling interest in making sure that people who dispense such advice – for money – are up to its standards because 36% of the people who live there are classified as obese. That puts Florida in the middle percentile of the national obesity rankings. So they passed a law to make it a requirement for anybody who gets paid for nutritional advise must have a degree (which you can get from their State-run Universities for the price of a Masters Program! Get a Student loan to cover it!), nine-hundred hours of supervised training and fork over some money for a license.
All of this is to, as they put it, make sure that the people of the State of Florida, who are not capable of making informed choices about nutritional advise on their own, don’t get taken to the cleaners by paying people who have not earned their Masters Degree, taken the training and paid the fee, for their nutritional advice.
Now, the argument being made by the diet coach told to cease and desist is simply that everything she is telling her clients is freely available on the interwebs. Which… is true.
But is that really the argument she should have made?
Recently, a sitting member of Congress informed us that she was pretty upset about the people who are “making fun” of Congress members. She went on to say that she was demanding that those who dared mock her and other Congressweasels were to be hunted down by large dogs and bitten unless they stop it right this minute!
I’m kidding, of course. She didn’t really say anything about using the large dogs.
But she was quite serious and pompous about the fact that she has had it with people making fun of Congressweasles.
Ahem… Members of Congress.
It’s always a remarkable thing when our elected “representatives” seem to know less about the Constitution they take an oath to uphold and defend than say, a drunken gibbon. The gibbon, by the by, is not a member of the great apes, and – as far as I know – does not actually imbibe. Certainly not nearly as a much as most Congresspeople do*.
What is even more remarkable is an astonishing archeological find this past week in North Carolina that reminds us – as if we needed it again – that criticizing and mocking our “leaders” is pretty much an American pastime, dating back to before there was the United States of America, complete with a Congress full of clowns and buffoons to be mocked in the first place…
*Sorry, that was a bit of sarcastic twitting on my part**.
**To “twit” is to be intentionally insulting. I learned this fact when reading about John Wilkes and his North Briton #45 Newsletter which was full of intentionally insulting barbs aimed at King George III, which is more or less the point of this entire episode: “Why Frederica Wilson shut just STFU.”
The State of California once tried to pass a law limiting what a person could say about certain social issues. That law ended up going nowhere, but now, the state Legislature is debating ACR-99, a concurrent resolution which supposedly encourages religious leaders to address LGBT issues “from love” instead of any given religious belief.
Now, when the religious try to enforce their beliefs on me through the use of legislation or orders, I object.
So what should be my response to a government which seeks to tell religious leaders what they should – or should not – say from their pulpits?