Does This Mean That LaDainian Tomlinson Isn’t Qualified To Plug HD TVs?

The people who’ve taken a legislative axe to archaic concepts like free speech and made it almost impossible to find a cold medication that works now have a new cause celebre…cracking down on celebrity endorsements for consumer products.

The ads in question this time are for the top-selling Pfizer product, Lipitor, a cholesterol-lowering drug that from all accounts I’ve been able to find works effectively.  The target for Congress’ ire is the pitchman that Pfizer selected to plug their product, Dr. Robert Jarvik (best known for inventing the artificial heart).  What is the hangup about Dr. Jarvik’s presence in the ad?  Apparently, even though he possesses a doctorate in medicine from the University of Utah, he’s not licensed to practice medicine (since he didn’t do a residency or internship) therefore Congressman John Dingell (chairman of Energy & Commerce) doesn’t consider him qualified to dispense medical advice or give recommendations about what drugs people should consider for health problems.

Leaving aside the obvious question of why an individal who’s apparently qualified enough to complete medical school and design a mechanical heart worth sticking in a person’s chest isn’t a more acceptable candidate to plug a medical product than some creepily cheery middle-aged actors (who likely never set foot in medical school) pretending to have trouble taking a whiz or raising their flag to full-staff when it’s time for a bit of the old in and out…what business is it of Congress who private industry uses to sell their products so long as the products 1) aren’t unreasonably harmful to the consumers, 2) do pretty much what the ads say they do, and 3) use ads that clearly recommend consultation with an expert before purchasing or using said product? 

Does Congress honestly believe that the overwhelming majority of people are stupid enough to base their lives around what celebrities tell them to do?  Or is this yet another cynical example of a proponent of socialized medicine using a backdoor tactic to undermine the private drug industry under the claim that they’re just “looking out for the consumer”?  Probably a little of both, in my own opinion, but consumers, U.S. healthcare and private industry in general would certainly be better served if our elected officials refrained from dictating to businessmen how they should run their ad campaigns for their products and stopped assuming that people are incapable of making informed decisions about what chemicals to put in their bodies or what products to spend their money on without a “qualified” pitchman telling them.

H/T:  Slate

I Can’t Think Of A Catchy Title

I suppose the best way to describe myself would be to say that I have a problem with authority. I’ve always disliked when people told me what to do, even as a young child, and I’ve always preferred to find my own path through life and make my own decisions, even if it occasionally went against the conventional wisdom and sometimes worked to my short-term disadvantage. My dad said I inherited it from him, but that I’ve taken it to a whole new level. When I was young I wanted to be a journalist, until I got to college and realized that journalism was less about the search for objective truth than it was about writing the stories that best suited your employer’s interests, whether they were true or not (which didn’t sit well with me at all). So I drifted aimlessly through a couple of years of college as an indifferent (often drunk) student, unsure of what to do with myself until one of my fraternity brothers gave me a copy of “The Fountainhead” and I got hooked on the ideas that success and a refusal to conform to societal standards were not mutally exclusive, and that the greatest evil in the world was society and government’s failure to recognize or accept individuality and individual freedom as a strength, not a weakness. So I threw myself into studying politics and history, worked in a few political campaigns after college, had some success, and thought about doing a career in politics until I realized that most of the people I knew who had never had a career outside of politics had no comprehension of how the real world actually worked and tended to make a lot of bad, self-absorbed decisions that rarely helped the people they claimed to be representing.

That didn’t sit well with me either, so I decided to put any thoughts of going into politics on hold until I’d actually had a life and possibly a real career, and I spent the next couple of years drifting between a series of random yet educational jobs (debt collector, deliveryman, computer salesman, repo man, dairy worker) that taught me the value of hard work, personal responsibility and the financial benefits of dining at Taco John’s on Tuesday nights (2 tacos for a buck) when money got tight.

After awhile, however, the desire to see the world (and the need for a more consistent and slightly larger paycheck) convinced me to join the Army, where I spent ten years traveling around the world on the government dime working as an intelligence analyst. I generally enjoyed my time in the military, despite the aforementioned problem with authority (which wasn’t as much of an issue in the military as many people might think it would be), and I got to see that the decisions our political leaders make were sometimes frivolous, often ill-informed, and always had unforeseen repercussions down the road…especially on the soldiers tasked with implementing those decisions. I was fortunate enough to spend most of my 10 years in the military doing jobs I enjoyed, traveling to countries that I always wanted to see (Scotland is the greatest place in the world to hang out, Afghanistan is very underrated) and working with people I liked and respected, until I finally decided that at 35 it was time to move into a job where I didn’t have the threat of relocation lying over my head every two or three years, where I didn’t have to worry about my friends being blown up, and where I didn’t have to work in any capacity for George W. Bush.

I work now for a financial company in Kansas where I’m responsible for overseeing, pricing and maintaining farms, commercial and residential properties, mineral assets, insurance policies, annuities, etc. In my spare time I like to read books on economics, history, and politics (I’m preparing to tackle Murray Rothbard’s “Man, Economy & State” and Von Mises’ “Human Action”…should take me about a year at the rate I’m currently finishing books), watch movies, and destroy posers on “Halo 3” (where I’m signed in under “UCrawford” for anyone interested in taking a shot at me some time). I used to play rugby until age, inconsistent conditioning, and a string of gradually worsening injuries finally convinced me to quit. I’m a rabid fan of the Kansas Jayhawks in general and their basketball and football programs in particular and I’m also a devoted fan of the Kansas City Chiefs and Royals. I’m also fond of going online and debating/picking fights with people on the merits of the philosophy of individual freedom…sometimes to the point of being an asshole (but hopefully a reasonably well-informed asshole). I’ve been a big fan of The Liberty Papers ever since finding it online, I respect the body of work they’ve put out, and I’m honored that Brad Warbiany invited me to join his jolly band of freedom fighters. So cheers, Brad, and to everyone else I look forward to reaching consensus or locking horns with you in the near future.