Saturday, November 13, 2004


"Last week professional martyr and former presidential candidate Ralph Nader found himself favored by only the bottom one percent of the electorate. Despite this loss, his ever-multiplying organizations will soldier on, including those groups dedicated to dictating our diets. Nader -- who insisted that "McDonald's double cheeseburgers [are] a weapon of mass destruction" and attacked the omnipresent Michael Moore, poking fun at the celluloid star's own cellulite -- has inspired and employed many of today's leading obesity hysterics.

When it comes to the so-called "obesity epidemic," the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) is the undisputed king of hyperbolic hysteria. Founded by executive director Michael Jacobson and two other lawyers from Nader's Center for the Study of Responsive Law, CSPI infamously attacked Fettuccine Alfredo as a "heart attack on a plate," tried to scare the chopsticks out of the hands of those who enjoy Chinese food, and maintains a fatwa against countless cuisine choices. In addition to pushing fat taxes and obesity lawsuits, CSPI now says it's planning a campaign that will branch out into animal and environmental issues, with a name that should be music to Nader's ears: "Eating Green." ....

Commercial Alert is in the business of attacking business. Nader is its co-founder and the chair of its advisory board (see here and here for examples of their collective handiwork). One of Commercial Alert's flagship projects is an open letter urging "a global ban" on marketing food and beverages they don't like to children. Signers include CSPI and the Green Party of the United States, which ran Nader as its Presidential candidate in 2000.

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"A TV ad showing a computer-illiterate father getting chided for trying to help his Internet-savvy daughter with her homework has aroused the anger of fatherhood activists, who are calling on Verizon to take it off the air. 'Leave her alone,' says the wife/mother in the Verizon DSL ad, ordering her befuddled husband to go wash the dog as the daughter, doing research on the computer, conveys a look of exasperation with her father. 'It's really outrageous,' said Joe Kelly, executive director of the national advocacy group Dads and Daughters. 'It's reflective of some deeply entrenched cultural attitudes -- that fathers are second-class parents, that they're not really necessary,' Mr. Kelly said. 'To operate from the assumption that dad is a dolt is harmful to fathers, harmful to children, and harmful to mothers.'"

John Bonomo, a Verizon Communications Inc. spokes-man, said yesterday the ad has been running for several months. But only a few days ago did it come to the attention of Glenn Sacks, a commentator who hosts a weekly radio show aired in Los Angeles and Seattle that is sympathetic to the fathers' rights movement.

After watching the ad, Mr. Sacks began urging listeners of "His Side" to protest to Verizon - contending that the company would not have commissioned a comparable ad with the sexes of the parents reversed.

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