Should Our Government Combat the Obesity Epidemic?

Here is video from a talk I recently gave at the University of Wisconsin, laying out a few of the reasons I think the government needs to play a role in combating the obesity epidemic. If you dig further into the conference website, you will see a video from my opponent in the debate, Jacob Sullum, a libertarian writer at Reason Magazine. I’m going to try to dig around to see if I can find the back and forth we had after we finished both of our talks. It was a healthy debate, but one I definitely won hands down. Or at least I’ve convinced myself of that.
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Why James Bond Needs to Wear Condoms

Think of the last few times you watched a popular movie that involved any kind of sex scene? Not as in pornographic sex, but as in two characters ended up in bed together and had, ahem, conjugal relations.
In how many of those scenes did either participant make mention of a condom before the act?
We face a public health crisis of sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies, in large part because so few people use condoms. According to CDC estimates, Americans experienced 20 million new sexually transmitted infections in 2012, with half of those striking America’s youth. The majority of these infections could have been prevented by condoms.
There are lots of reasons people do not make enough use of these life-saving prophylactics. Unplanned sex happens, where neither partner is prepared. More often, neither party wants to spoil the moment… (Read more and view comments at Forbes)

I Will Gladly Pay More Taxes to Expand High Schools Sports

My 14-year-old son Jordan did not make the JV basketball team in his high school.  Not very surprising really.  There is no freshmen basketball team at his school and only six freshmen made the JV, out of a class of more than 400 students.  Six freshmen who were all taller and better basketball players than my son: “They all deserved to be on the team ahead of me,” he told me, resigned to the fact that he would not be able to play his favorite sport for his school team.  So now Jordan rides the bus home after school ends every day, no running around at practice or working out in the weight room with the rest of his buddies.  The weight room, after all, is reserved for “athletes.”
Our nation sits in the midst of a growing obesity epidemic, one that threatens the health of our children, and we can’t muster the public will (aka the dollars!) to assemble freshmen basketball teams?
In North Carolina?!? … (Read more and view comments at Forbes)

When Americans Rejected Small Pox Vaccines

When I lived in Ann Arbor, my children attended a public school where upwards of 15% of kids were not vaccinated for mumps because their left-wing parents didn’t trust the vaccine industry. Meanwhile on the right end of the political spectrum, Tea Party heart throb Michelle Bachman famously accused vaccines of causing… (Read more and view comments at Forbes)