Lizas Welt calls to my attention a foolish article in the Los Angeles Times by the Walt/Mearsheimer duo. I'm not even going to try to argue with the article, which is so full of contradictions, sloppy descriptions of facts, bad reasoning and so on that it's embarrassing for the authors, or should be.
But isn't, obviously. And then I looked at other things on the LA Times website, and found this: a longish article with quotations from professors, researchers (or should I say, "researchers"?), physicians and others, claiming that obesity is society's fault, not ever the individuals', and society has to pass lots of laws banning the public display of food, advertising about food, the sale of food to minors, seniors and others, and so on.
At first I thought it might be a parody, but no, it's dead serious. They've got this whole raft of educated fools who are convinced that what people eat is not their responsibility, since they are controlled by powers larger than they, such as the icing on donuts at train stations.
Wasn't America invented by Puritans? People who put self discipline right up there next to God-fearing (which was WAY UP)? Have any of these scientists ("scientists") ever tried adding what used to be called "duty" to their lives? The kind of thing you do not because it's pleasurable (it often isn't) but because it's important? Remember that old (and forgotten?) Catholic custom of not eating meat on Fridays and other times, even though the surrounding masses of Jews (and a handful of Protestants) were?
My point is that this article is an illustration of a deep-seated malaise which, if not treated, will inevitably lead to the demise of the culture it has infected, and its replacement by less childish people. Which in itself might be regarded as a tragedy merely for the folks being demised (is there such a word?), except that for all their childishness, they do come from the most benign world power ever, and it would be regrettable if they disappeared. The next group will be worse.