The Daily Show: Big Brother, where art thou?

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Barack Obama is a young man, politically speaking, and he's wet behind his somewhat humorously large ears. And his health care bill, recently signed into law, has been attacked on numerous grounds.

Some believe that with no public option, it's fatally weakened. Some believe it was a meddlesome bureaucratic miasma. Others believe it to be the inevitable result of Joseph Stalin dropping a load into Hitler's armpit of hell.

More than anything, on the right was one consistent complaint - the government was overreaching and infringing on liberties, resulting in scary Big Brother-type stuff. Because we all know the flexing of federal power under Democrats is socialism, whereas under Republicans it's heroism.

More importantly it points out the sad subjectivity of government as Big Brother. Some say government intrusion in our bedrooms is Big Brother at its worst. Others think government intrusion in our bedrooms is necessary for them to achieve erections.

I guess the danger of Big Brother all depends on who your brother is. If it's Wayne from "Wonder Years" or Chet from "Weird Science," that's dystopian. Hilarious, but dystopian.

But for every Wayne or Chet, there's a Greg Brady or Raj - and who among us wouldn't want a Raj in our bedroom telling us "What's happening?" Hey, hey, hey.

The question really is, what sort of big brother is our government? For instance, when it comes to fighting terrorism, you'd hope we have a protective older sibling.

"The FAA apparently has no idea who owns one-third of the private and commercial airplanes in the U.S.," reported "Good Morning America." "An investigation by the Associated Press finds ownership records are full of fake names and addresses, and that could make it easy for terrorists to buy planes without the government's knowledge."

Oh my God, our terrorist-fighting big brother is Fredo Corleone! It's OK. Fredo's done a good job. I'm sure Mike Hunt owns 13 G-5s.

Let's move on to product regulation. Did you hear Shrek glasses from McDonald's have been found to have cadmium, a known carcinogen, in the paint?

We need a good big brother in this case, someone who would keep us out of trouble and regulate toxic substances.

Instead of setting mandatory limits on cadmium, the government is allowing the industry to police itself.

That's right - they're letting corporations decide how much cadmium is OK. It's like putting out the whole bag of Purina and trusting your dog to stop when it's full. Oh, and the more the dog eats, the more it gets paid in Purina.

How does our government justify not regulating cadmium in children's drinking glasses?

According to their statement: "It has been determined that the glasses are not children's products. The size, weight, packaging and price are consistent with glasses more commonly used for consumption of adult beverages."

First, why are they OK with poisoning adults with cadmium? And second, Shrek glasses are for adults? I'll believe that next time I see Don Draper drink Canadian Club out of one on "Mad Men."

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