Government: Always Taking a Little Bit Off the Top

Assigned Reading: Officials Weigh Circumcision to Fight HIV Risk
(FROM: The New York Times)

If you’d like a glimpse of how the federal government would handle its new responsibilities as health care provider and arbiter, look no further than today’s New York Times. The article describes a new push by public health officials to promote routine circumcision for all boys born in the United States.

When I read “promote” in the Times, I actually see “mandate.” And from the language used by a honcho at the Centers for Disease Control, I think that’s a fair assessment:

But Dr. Peter Kilmarx, chief of epidemiology for the division of H.I.V./AIDS prevention at the C.D.C., said that any step that could thwart the spread of H.I.V. must be given serious consideration.

“We have a significant H.I.V. epidemic in this country, and we really need to look carefully at any potential intervention that could be another tool in the toolbox we use to address the epidemic,” Dr. Kilmarx said. “What we’ve heard from our consultants is that there would be a benefit for infants from infant circumcision, and that the benefits outweigh the risks.”

Now, add to the equation the costs involved in treating people with HIV and AIDS. Should the government inject itself into the health care business, it will surely mandate measures like circumcision to prevent HIV from a cost perspective alone. And why stop there? We already see steps taken by the government to limit access to cigarettes among military personnel. Are trans fats next? Non-whole-grain pasta? Whole milk?

Permitting the government to have even a say in health care in America is to allow government into the nooks and crannies of each American’s daily life. Control over every aspect can be rationalized by exploiting a relationship with downhill health care costs. And, if the government is willing to aggressively promote–i.e. mandate–circumcision to ward off a disease that can largely be prevented, do you really think it would somehow stop at the door to your refrigerator? To your bedroom? To your car?



  1. Gail B says:


    QUESTION: What would circumcision have to do with controlling AIDS or HIV? Wouldn't morals, coupled with a prophylactic device or abstinence, work just as well or better?

    Personally, if I had anything to circumcise, I'd be awfully afraid that this government's doctors would take more than skin! The Snip Czar would probably include sterilization with that move!

    (I don't trust that man!)


    What is it with Obama and penises?

  3. Uncle Rick says:

    I'm sure everyone on this forum has seen the figures before, but every time I see an item regarding spending money on the HIV/AIDS 'epidemic', I remind myself that heart disease and cancer claim many times the lives every year that AIDS does, yet gets a fraction of the funding. To add insult to injury ('death'?) AIDS is 100% preventable. With the very rare – and truly tragic – exception of accidental clinical infection, every single case of AIDS could have been prevented.


    I am going to be offline for a day Wednesday reading Larry's book.

  5. Linda says:

    There you go again, Gail, "imposing" morals, values, and principles into the discussion. You should know better than that by now. Today's world is void of those characters – and the proliferation of such voidance is constantly being encouraged.

    You're right – it makes no sense at all. But then again . . . what does any more?

  6. Georgia Traveler says:

    This is a decision the parents make, not the government. Most doctors would probably agree that circumcision is not a requirement.

  7. elspeth says:


    I don't trust him either, but circumcision has been proven in Africa to fight aids. Apparently, the glans (head of the penis) is tougher on males that are circumcised and do not allow the HIV to enter through that part of the body.

    It has been so effective, adult males are flocking to clinics for circumcision.

    At least, that's what I've read.

    verification: birash (bisexual rash??)

  8. Gail B says:

    Relax, ALL CAPS MAN! I caught the sarcasm/kidding in Linda's comment. I'm not asleep at the wheel today.

  9. Rix says:

    As a proud Jewish carrier of an uncircumcised appendage, I warn all authorities: the first one to so much as point a sharp tool in THAT direction before my body is cold will have a very bad case of lead poisoning.

    Seriously – circumcision might work for Africa, where personal hygiene is a luxury and male promiscuousness is a virtue. As for me, having more of the former and less of the latter works so far.

    >> What is it with Obama and penises?
    For a detailed answer, I could direct you to many sites, most of which are banned by my corporate firewall as "Hate/Racism". :)

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