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OPINION

The Busybodies Are at It Again

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WASHINGTON – The busybodies of the world health organizations are at it again. As if they have not caused enough acidosis and paranoia in the country with their insistence that we all wear masks to thwart COVID-19, they are now renewing their assault on demon rum and related beverages. These are the same busybodies who hound law-abiding gun owners and hunters. They target sports shooters and other sportsmen. I would not be surprised to hear that they are planning to outlaw squirt guns and slingshots and – who knows – possibly peashooters. 

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Incidentally, many of these pests are the same malcontents who spend sleepless nights worrying that the police departments of the country are engaged in endless genocide against harmless muggers, rapists and assorted crooks. They yearn to defund the police. The more extreme defunders of the police want to jail them and turn law enforcement over to the mental health quacks. Yet, the present atrocity is not the work of the above-mentioned busybodies; rather, it is the work of the busybodies who have filed a "research paper" for a journal with the unwieldy name of JAMA Network Open.

I have not read their research paper. The title of the publication in which they put it was sufficiently off-putting for me to settle on reading the condensations of their work in my morning newspapers. Yet, I get the gist of their work. They are endeavoring to renew the American experiment with Prohibition of 100 years ago. These New Prohibitionists never sleep.

The Wall Street Journal distilled the work of the New Prohibitionists thus: "A nip of alcohol here and there probably won't kill you." That is the good news. Then comes the bad news: "But it won't help you live longer either." According to the Journal, "The researchers analyzed 107 studies on the effect of alcohol in nearly five million people and found that no amount of alcohol consumption led to longer life than among people who never drank. People who drank 45 grams of alcohol or more a day -- about as much as in three glasses of wine -- increased their risk of dying sooner by up to a third. Among women, anything more than 25 grams of alcohol increased their risk of dying sooner."

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Well, there is more to life than ... well, longevity. Whenever I read that some old duffer checked out after living a couple of decades beyond the average life expectancy, I am moved to wonder: What kind of life was the old boy living before he made his last exit? Did he still have his essential organs? Did he get around by himself? Does he dread his next visit to the doctor's office? For some elderly folks, a visit to the doctor's office can be an epiphany. For others, it is not so pleasant.

If I have read the New Prohibitionists correctly, they propose that we stop drinking alcohol at dinner. Avoid our vespertine cocktail completely. In fact, banish ardent spirits altogether from our lives, all to the great cause of adding a few years to our old age and a few hundred medical bills to our children's inheritance. Well, as Yogi Berra said, or should have said, "Include me out." Alcohol can enliven one's life. How would Winston Churchill have gotten through World War II without booze? And another question comes to mind. Would Adolf Hitler – a famous vegetarian and teetotaler – have approached World War II in a better frame of mind if he had accompanied his evening Wiener schnitzel with a friendly glass of Liebfraumilch? Facts are facts; people who imbibe wine with dinner are friendlier than those who abstain. Consider Islam. Consider the terrorists.

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The researchers who contribute their learned tracts to JAMA Network Open might think about the happy side of alcohol the next time they submit their findings to a scholarly audience. Humankind can stand a recreational cocktail now and again.

Glory to Ukraine!

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