We worden beschermd tot in de dood. Bedreigingen waarvan onze grootouders het bestaan niet kenden zijn nu onze grootste vijanden. Alles is gevaarlijk en elke dag komen er nieuwe nog niet eerder ontdekte gevaren bij.

In een opiniestuk beschrijft een columnist het verschijnsel van een alsmaar meer beschermende overheid.

The connection between second-hand smoke and terrorism has yet to be explored, but it must exist. Both are evils the government has assumed the duty of protecting us from in recent years, lengthening a list that wasn’t short to begin with.

Today the government protects us from countless evils our grandparents never had to worry about. In fact, it protects us from evils our grandparents never even heard of or had no names for or wouldn’t even have considered evil. My grandfathers never spoke of “second-hand smoke”; they called it “smoke.”

My father smoked cigars. I liked the smell. As a small boy, I didn’t think of it as something the government should protect me from. Little did we dream, fifty years ago, how many things the government would one day be protecting us from: the food we eat, the water we drink, the air we breath.

Consider Professor John Banzhaf of George Washington University, a well-meaning man who is often described in the chilling words public-interest attorney. Professor Banzhaf has been a leading figure in the movement to ban smoking wherever possible, in the name of saving us from second-hand smoke.

Now he has branched out. He wants the government to protect us from obesity, so he is filing suits against the fast-food industry. Never before have our waistlines been thought of as a concern of the state, but times have changed. Just about everything anyone can construe as a menace is now a concern of the state.

In short, we are being protected to death. A friend of mine has coined a word for the mentality that sees dangers lurking in every hot dog: omniphobia. Who knows how many more perils Professor Banzhaf may yet call on government to banish from our lives? 

The Age of Omniphobia

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  • "Es ist schwieriger, eine vorgefaßte Meinung zu zertrümmern als ein Atom."
    (Het is moeilijker een vooroordeel aan flarden te schieten dan een atoom.)
    Albert Einstein

  • "Als je alles zou laten dat slecht is voor je gezondheid, dan ging je kapot"
    Anonieme arts

  • "The effects of other people smoking in my presence is so small it doesn't worry me."
    Sir Richard Doll, 2001

  • "Een leugen wordt de waarheid als hij maar vaak genoeg wordt herhaald"
    Joseph Goebbels, Minister van Propaganda, Nazi Duitsland

  • "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."
    Mahatma Gandhi

  • "There''s no such thing as perfect air. If there was, God wouldn''t have put bristles in our noses"
    Coun. Bill Clement

  • "Better a smoking freedom than a non-smoking tyranny"
    Antonio Martino, Italiaanse Minister van Defensie

  • "If smoking cigars is not permitted in heaven, I won't go."
    Mark Twain

  • I've alllllllways said that asking smokers "do you want to quit?" and reporting the results of that question, as is, is horribly misleading. It's a TWO part question. After asking if one wants to quit it must be followed up with "Why?" Ask why and the majority of the answers will be "because I'm supposed to" (victims of guilt and propaganda), not "because I want to."
    Audrey Silk, NYCCLASH