Posted by Pattie on 1/15/2006 07:21:00 AM

Letter to Air America Shows

I have little hope of this being effective, but here's a letter I wrote to the Lefties at Air America (both nationally and locally to Phoenix).

I listen to Air America in Phoenix every time I'm in my car and I have to tell you I am growing more and more discouraged every day.

It is amazing to me that such indepth analysis is being applied to the war machine abroad with little attention being given to a war that is being waged on Americans through the ever tightening hold employers are gaining on the private lives of their employees.

I'm old enough to remember the arguments against drug testing when such things became routine in the 1980s. We now have employers testing employees for tobacco use (a legal substance) on a regular basis. Under the guise of "decreasing health care costs," employers are free to fire people on the basis of what they look like and what they do in their spare time.

In 1996, former Surgeon General and well-know "rightie," C. Everett Koop, MD, called for a "war on obesity" that has grown into what may be the only domestic health care policy the Bush administration espouses. This war, like all wars, is designed to exact domestic control over the citizenry. It has little to do with our health or well-being.

As the senate democrats question Alito on his position regarding presidential powers, domestic spying and abortion rights, no one seems to see the larger picture from which these issues originate. We are not dealing with idealogues who want to impart Christian values -- we are dealing with a group of elitists who want to infuse themselves into every aspect of our private lives in order to control us. Why? So they can sell us more stuff and steal from us what they can't entice us to buy.

The real danger is not coming from the NSA, though certainly spying on the citizenry is reprehensible. It is coming from the employers who increasingly justify discrimination, lower pay, punitive health care policies and invasion of employee privacy on the basis of economics. Corporations conduct domestic spying legally every day and their power to do so is growing.

This invasion of privacy is undermining the gains made under civil rights.

From the January 11, 2006 Christian Monitor:
"The color of your eyes, the car you drive, and your weight may all sound like private matters. But in many states, employers can take those facts - and many more - into account when they decide whether to hire or fire you."

"Some groups are protected on the federal level: Employers can't discriminate against workers based on age, gender, race, disability, national origin, or religion. But unless state law says differently, all other characteristics are fair game, including your political leanings and even what you wear outside of work."

It is upsetting to see how little the Left cares about this and how uncritical they are about the industries that are setting this up in our country.

It is also upsetting to see how much Air America is contributing to these industries. Every diet company and pharmaceutical company advertising on Air America wants employers to promote wellness programs that are not designed to make us well but rather designed to keep us in our place.

Every time an Air America on-air spokesperson uncritically discusses health or weight loss programs, they are contributing to this invasion of privacy and control mechanisms.

An important propoganda to encourage in this "war" effort is to create disatisfaction with our bodies. In the same way that fear is needed to keep Americans' support of the war on terror and the war in Iraq, the more insecure we become with our health and bodies, the more likely we are to submit to the invasions of privacy regarding our health.

Is it that hard for liberals to believe that the medical and pharmaceutical corporations have lied to us about health for their own profit?

Liberals can connect the dots between Haliburton and the war on Iraq, but they can't seem to see that diet and weight loss advice might have political motivations.

Yes, I am a fat woman, and yes, I have a vested interest in ending the stigma and prejudice I face. But I am also a victim of the diet-pharmaceutical industrial complex. I literally dieted my way into disability because of the radical and not so radical ways I tried to fight my own biology. I have studied the data and the fact is our government and the corporate interests protected by our government are using fat people and the "war on obesity" to erode the privacy rights of all people.

Where is the liberal outrage that the CDC once said that 400,000 people were dying of "obesity" each year only to find out that any justifiable figure would be closer to 25,000? Where is the liberal outrage that in spite of this latest scientific evidence that the CDC continues to do its propoganda compaign as if obesity is a leading cause of death? I hear outrage at the attack on science all the time and yet no one liberal seems the least bit concerned that such a distortion in a major public policy effort remains.

Where is the liberal outrage that people's perfectly healthy stomach's are being mutilated each year through weight loss surgery? Liberals cry about African practices of genital mutilation and debate cultural freedom versus women's rights with a critical eye and yet no one on the left seems the least bit concerned that this expensive and untested medical practice has more basis in culture than science.

Where is the liberal outrage that billions of dollars are being spent every year to develop drugs that are killing people in the name of weight loss? These drugs are fast-tracked through FDA hearings in much the same way that the Bush administration has ensured appointees the least amount of resistance in gaining approval. The incompentancy of FEMA makes liberal news, but not the cronyism of the FDA.

Please, at least, look into this. Examine your own prejudices and ask yourself if you are not accepting at face value such "truisms" as "Americans are too fat" or "Obesity Kills" on the basis of cultural beliefs rather than scientific evidence.

Signs of emerging facism are everywhere right now. Please don't miss this one. It is an important erosion of our basic freedoms and it deserves attention from the left.

If you want to explore this topic with the critical eye it deserves, please feel free to contact me and I would be happy to provide you with resources and sources.

You can also contact a number of experts who have reviewed the data and are convinced that a better public policy is needed. A comprehensive list can be found at

thank you,

Pattie Thomas, Ph.D.
author, "Taking Up Space"