Proposal: The Ensured Family Health and Disease Prevention Act

President Obama:

Finally we have a President that wants to actually protect wellness of citizens and immigrants. I am pleased to see your progress towards nationalized health care despite harsh criticism. Much of this criticism noticeably concerns money. What kind of person would put money above life?

You and I know that no one should have to die.

Yet even aside from that, money does not need to be a point of contention. There is a simple solution: Make us live in a healthier way through regulation and necessary coercion. Or, to put it in PR terms, ‘encourage’ wholesome living through ‘health standards’.

I was ecstatic to see the measures that you recently took with tobacco regulation. What a superb beginning for achieving a healthier America.

I suggest you now focus on caffeine. Think of it—young American children guzzle more espresso shots every year than they are (literally) able to count. Caffeine is always masked by syrups that entice our children. Greedy corporations like Starbucks, Peet’s, Monster, Red Bull, etc., need to be held accountable. American teenagers gain caffeine dependency before armpit hair. And it does not end there. These teenagers will become adults with stunted growth, arrhythmias, attention disorders, restless leg syndrome, and a variety of cancers all because of their caffeine intake. A university study has proven it.

Because affordable national health care requires healthy citizens, this caffeine travesty cannot continue. I respectfully propose that a bill be written requiring all cafes to serve only black coffee within six months time. Torino syrups, warm milk, and sweeteners must be confiscated. The bill will prohibit coffee sale to minors under the age of 15.

‘Energy-drink’ companies must enter a two-year dismantling program. By the end of the first year, all drink containers must be black. All cans must be labeled with a hazard symbol and list of consumption risks in English, Spanish, French, and German. Advertisements should be prohibited within four miles of any educational facility. By the end of the second year, the company would be given the option of either selling all assets or converting their factories for multivitamin production.

I hope that this plan meets with your approval. If enacted, I am confident it will lead to a healthier, happier America. As a former caffeine addict who occasionally falls off the wagon, I can personally affirm the necessity of these measures.

Respectfully Yours,

Published by

Robin Dembroff

Robin Dembroff is a student at the Torrey Honors Institute at Biola University, pursuing degrees in Philosophy and English Literature. Her writing has been recognized by the Visalia Times Delta, Ayn Rand Institute, Michael L. Roston Creative Writing Contest, Torn Curtain – The Zine, Biola English Guild’s St. John the Apostle Paper Conference, and the Biola History/Gov’t/Social Science Department’s J.O. Henry Award.

  • smmtheory

    Just say NO to caffeine Robin.

  • David Ulrich

    As a newb here, I got scared with your first paragraph. After finishing the read, I have a regular heartbeat again.

    Great satire.

  • Michael Bauman

    Obama’s health care plan is going to be a unmitigated disaster. Similar plans have been tried around the world, all with ugly results — no exceptions. Sadly, once a thing like this is in place, it will become exceedingly difficult to unravel it, to ratchet it back down.

    That’s another way of saying that I agree with Jonah Goldberg: While I am proud that America is wiling to elect a black man to the highest office in the land, I am afraid that he will be the worst president in American history and spoil it for black candidates for many years to come.

  • JillD

    For now, this is satire. The way things are going, I wouldn’t be too surprised if it becomes reality. The gov’t is coercing our lifestyle decisions with bribery and fines in more and more areas of our private lives.

    Have you seen the census questions? Why do they want all that personal information, hmmmmmm??

  • ex-preacher

    Do you really not understand the difference between the nicotine in tobacco and caffeine? Do you think that children should have free access to cigarettes? I suppose, to be consistent, you also oppose any and all restrictions on alcohol and illicit drugs. Are you against the new law restricting and regulating tobacco or do you just find your identity in being against everything that Obama is for? How sad.

  • Shane Vander Hart

    ex-preacher, it’s satire, relax.

    The point is what’s next? What if they decide to regulate something that you enjoy?

    Of course alcohol and illicit drugs should be regulated, and nobody I know wants to see kids becoming addicted to nicotine.

    Where in your mind does federal regulation end, and personal responsibility begin?

  • Kevin

    Shhhhhhhush. You’re giving the wrong people ideas.

  • Frances

    You forgot to mention caffeinated candy and sausage and who knows what else.

    I love the satire. Well done.

  • ex-preacher

    Yes, I understand it is intended to be satire. But it doesn’t work. She is using an extreme and ridiculous example to try to attack the tobacco regulation law.

    Here is wikipedia’s definition of satire:
    “In satire, human or individual vices, follies, abuses, or shortcomings are held up to censure by means of ridicule, derision, burlesque, irony, or other methods, ideally with the intent to bring about improvement. Although satire is usually meant to be funny, the purpose of satire is not primarily humour in itself so much as an attack on something of which the author strongly disapproves, using the weapon of wit.”

    Here’s my question: What exactly in the tobacco regulation law is Robin ridiculing by her extreme example? Her satire would make sense if she is a representative or supporter of the tobacco industry and opposes any and all regulation. Is that what she is saying?

  • smmtheory

    She was satirizing the left’s penchant for expanding the nanny-state Ex-Preacher… making Big Brother bigger and more demanding… the tendency of the left to try to control everyone’s freedom “for their own good”… and the irony here is that the left is ostensibly blaming – Tobacco company advertising that is allegedly targeted at children – while at the same time trying to expand bureaucracy to treat everybody as if they are children who don’t know well enough to decide how to lead their own lives. Being a leftist yourself, you must of course deny this and deny that this satire is effective. You are so establishmentarian man… you’re bumming us out.

  • http://willohroots.wordpress.comm willoh

    I am going to take my coffee out back in the yard and have a cigar, I will enjoy it now before the satellites are programed to watch for such things. It always helps with my sermon prep. How long will such horrible behavior be allowed!

  • ex-preacher

    So are you guys now agreeing that marijuana should be legalized and that the whole “war on drugs” should be dropped? Finally, we’re making some progress! And before you label the tobacco law as a “leftist conspiracy” you might take a look at who voted for it.

  • smmtheory

    Well, if nobody else will say it, I will. It was a mistake to close all the opium dens and flush all the leftists out into mainstream politics. The law of unintended consequences, eh?

  • Lindsay Stallones


    I like your logic. I hadn’t expected the conservatives to champion the legalization of pot, but now I’m seeing that it’s consistent with the ‘anti-nanny state’ philosophy.


    I’m interested to know what in particular you object to about the new tobacco policy (other than just ‘regulation bad’). Seriously! I haven’t talked to anyone who’s mad about it yet, and I’m stuck with the point-counterpoint on the Lehrer News Hour to hear the opposition on this one.

  • smmtheory

    So, are you and Ex-Preacher going to start advocating for the legalization of hallucinogenic substances also? I mean, the war on drugs covers a lot of ground as far as dangerous chemicals goes. There is also quite a gap between allowing people to use mild narcotics and allowing them to drive around under the influence of LSD. How would you quantify when a person is DUI and DWI with respect to marijuana? Obviously driving around impaired by that is as bad as driving around impaired by alcohol. Sure you find it fun and funny to link criticisms about a nanny-state being overly protective of it’s citizens use of poly-unsaturated fats with the government’s attempt to reduce abuse of dangerous narcotics, but you’re really being disingenuous by pretending there is no difference.

  • Lindsay Stallones


    Actually, I vehemently oppose the legalization of drugs. I’m just amused that conservative arguments, following their logical progression, would support their legalization. Conservatives need to come up with some better arguments. You can’t always rely on semi-clever terms like ‘nanny state’ to do your arguing for you. :)

  • smmtheory

    I’m just amused that conservative arguments, following their logical progression, would support their legalization.

    According to whose logic? That’s the crux of the argument. When you think of laws to protect people you apply it to protecting people from themselves. When conservatives think of laws to protect people they apply to protecting society as a whole from credible threats. There is a difference.

  • Robin Dembroff

    Illegal drug use is the same as smoking or drinking coffee. And morphine is the same as aspirin.


    And then there’s this: the new tobacco regulations don’t actually change any laws about tobacco use. It bans flavored tobacco and requires those laughable huge labels to be placed on each carton and pack.

    I was recently in Greece and noticed that they require said labels. They look like this:
    Right, and everyone knows that those pious Hellenes don’t touch the stuff.

    The government has an understandable interest in banning cocaine, heroine, etc. If you take those narcotics, you are an immediate threat to yourself and the people around you. Try driving on crack. You probably won’t come back to tell me how the experiment went.

    (I’ve seen people smoke, eat McDonalds, AND talk on the phone while driving. What talent! What glorious freedom we have to orchestrate our own premature demise!)

    I used the mock example of coffee because it is similar to tobacco in addictiveness and availability. Also, it’s basically pretty bad for you in immoderate, prolonged use. Just like cigarettes. Or alcohol. Viva el Prohibición?

    A Nanny tells her wards: “Don’t eat that, it’s bad for you.”
    A Mother tells her children: “If I catch you smoking, you are grounded for life.”

    The government should tell its citizens: “Pay your taxes and try not to blow anything up. Beyond that, best of luck to ya.”

  • JillD

    Let’s see…. Would I rather be on the freeway with every driver smoking a cigarette, drinking alcohol, smoking pot, texting, or applying make-up? Hmmmmmmmm……

    And I hate cigarettes. Personally, that is. But if you want to fire up, be my guest. Just not in the same air I have to breathe. That’s where I draw the line.

    The government is way too concerned about our personal choices that have no effect on others. Wait ’til you have to fill out one of those extended census questionnaires. Talk about invasion of privacy!

  • ex-preacher

    “I used the mock example of coffee because it is similar to tobacco in addictiveness and availability. Also, it’s basically pretty bad for you in immoderate, prolonged use. Just like cigarettes. Or alcohol.”

    You must be kidding. Coffee is bad for you just like cigarettes and alcohol? I’m pretty sure you must be smoking something to make such an absurd statement. How many people died from coffee last year?

    “The government has an understandable interest in banning cocaine, heroine, etc. If you take those narcotics, you are an immediate threat to yourself and the people around you. Try driving on crack. You probably won’t come back to tell me how the experiment went.”

    Sort of like drinking and driving, eh? So would you like to reimpose prohibition? Please explain how drinking whiskey, rum, gin, wine, beer or vodka differs from smoking weed in terms of how it affects your driving.

  • JillD

    A very common symptom these days is a “racing heart.” I had it. Went through a dozen tests. Finally, the doctor asked me if I drank coffee. Yep. Well, quit. I cut way back. No more “racing heart.” ‘Don’t know if it will kill you, but it sure feels like it’s about to. It did cause faintness, at times when I was driving. May be an indirect cause of death, but fainting while driving could be deadly.

  • Lindsay Stallones

    “The government should tell its citizens: “Pay your taxes and try not to blow anything up. Beyond that, best of luck to ya.””

    Wow, Robin. That’s just about the saddest assessment of government’s role that I’ve heard in a long time. If that’s your position, I don’t see how we can discuss anything seriously.

    And if you continue to insist that the consequences of tobacco use are equal to those of caffeine or McDonald’s consumption, I’m afraid you’re opinion’s not much good on this topic, either. It just doesn’t make scientific sense, and it’s a long way to go to for a self-indulgent joke at the expense of your political opponents. And it’s not even a good joke, at that.

    This isn’t the place for pure snarkiness. This is the place for intelligent discussion of important ideas – or perhaps I missed what Torrey’s supposed to train people to do.

  • JillD

    My mom smoked cigarettes for 70 years. If they kill you, they don’t kill you very quickly. I just don’t understand the hysteria about cigarettes. Obesity is a MUCH bigger problem. But please don’t start insisting that fast food be outlawed. Or that we be weighed every year and pay a “fat tax.”

    When I bugged my mom about her smoking, she used to say, “Well, ya gotta die from something.” Indeed. Maybe we ought to be more worried about the state of our SOULS and less about our bodies.

  • G Man



    Now I’m curious… I’d like to hear (in 2 sentences) what YOU think the government should tell its citizens.

  • Dustin Steeve


    Lindsay wants to have a serious discussion about your satirical post. How can you be so flippant in your responses to her? For starters, we both know that the role of the ideal government is not just to provide security for it’s citizenry and help protect them from the tyranny of the state of nature, but also is meant to appeal to our emotions so that it can bring about the change we supposedly believe it. The government can help us, yes it can.

    Unless you understand that, Robin, serious conversation over a satirical post is simply not possible. Oh, and your Torrey education has failed you… schmuck.


    According to the Mayo clinic, heart disease (not lung cancer) is the number one killer of men in the United States. Fatty foods which lead to obesity and high cholesterol are primary factors that contribute to heart disease. Scientists say that the evidence suggests that Robin’s comparison is not unserious. Your appeal to “science” to refute Robin is the only thing lacking in seriousness.

  • Lindsay Stallones

    Jill, Some people are very resilient. My great-grandmother smoked for decades, got breast cancer, then stopped cold turkey without any difficulty at all. My grandmother, her daughter, was still smoking cigarettes on her death bed despite the fact that the bone cancer that was killing her (which had spread from her lungs) caused her to break a rib each time she sneezed. She couldn’t give it up. But surely you won’t deny the overwhelming evidence of the harmful effects of smoking on the vast majority of smokers?


    I’m not making light of the problem of obesity in the country, but the source of obesity and the source of smoking-related diseases (including heart disease) are quite different. Even if we outlawed all fast food restaurants in the country, we’d have a problem with obesity. People have been overeating ever since there have been people, and it’s lifestyle and choices that can control it, not outlawing fast food.

    Tobacco products, on the other hand, carry inherent risk through simple use, and those same illnesses can usually be avoided by avoiding tobacco products, so their regulation makes sense.

  • Bob

    Hah! This reminds me of the time when Jesus was walking through Capernaum and saw all of the sick people crying out for help. He turned to Peter and said, “Truly, Truly, I say to you, those who have bootstraps should use them! Those who do not use them should be mocked!”

    Really? This is an evangelical website? Because, in my Bible, which I’m confident you’ll claim is the basis for your ideas, has a lot about helping people, helping the poor, the sick, the defenseless. It has nothing in it about mocking people who need help. Along with preaching the gospel, Jesus healed the sick. Now that the issue of healing the sick takes center stage, Christians rally themselves to ensure that the least amount of sick will get healed, as long as they can keep more change in their pockets? The Bible also has nothing in it that encourages Christians, en masse, to undermine their government. Quite the opposite–it explicitly teaches, on several occasions, that Christians are submit to the governing authorities, to pay their taxes, and that being “rich” is one sure-fire way to demonstrate to the world that you are not interested in the Kingdom.

    Christians, of all people, should be the ones who champion the cause of health care for all. Unless, of course, they’re more concerned about “mammon” than about the lives of others. As far as taxes go, Jesus said, “give to Caesar what is Caesar’s”. Caesar’s government killed Jesus, and Paul, and both of them clearly teach that you should pay taxes and submit to the government. Caesar’s government tried to exterminate Christianity, and still the Bible teaches you to pay taxes and submit to the Government, which is established by God. Jesus’ revolt was not political–“my kingdom is not of this world”–and, if he were here today, he would have added “if it were of this world, you would have seen an army of Tea Party protesters rallying to my side.” Jesus completely and utterly rejected, at every turn, the kind of religion that you are espousing here, all while you mock the attempts of others to do the types of things that Jesus DID espouse–like healing the sick.

    Why are evangelicals fighting against the very things that Jesus taught you to do? What do you stand to gain in this battle, except money? “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also”–a truism that’s perfectly evidenced by the fact that Evangelicals rise up immediately to fight against taxes or “big government”, but do nothing while 45,000 people die annually due to lack of adequate health insurance, or when families lose their homes due to bankruptcy caused by health care bills, or when people are cut by predatory insurance companies who care more about “mammon” than about life. Your treasure, and your kingdom, are “of this world”, and your heart rejects the very things that Jesus would have you do.