Fwd: My new special


This Friday at 10 p.m. ET, I have another "20/20" special, [
http://ts.go.com/bk?bs=1&bj=44827410&bu=101759972&bt=170291249 ]"You Can’t
Even Talk About It." We tackle touchy taboos, like:

Madoff ran a Ponzi scheme? Medicare makes Madoff’s look small. Maybe we
should call Medicare: "Bernie Madoffcare." When Medicare was created,
seniors didn’t live as long, and medicine offered fewer wonderful but
expensive treatments. Now Medicare is heading towards bankruptcy.
Government has promised seniors $34 trillion more than it has funded. It
amounts to generational theft, says [
http://ts.go.com/bk?bs=1&bj=44827410&bu=101759972&bt=170291250 ]Andrew
Biggs of the American Enterprise Institute. "The government spends around
$6 on seniors for every dollar it spends on children, and yet the poverty
rate among children is far higher than it is among seniors." I confront
seniors about it. Some said, "We’ve paid our dues" and "Every paycheck,
money was deducted." But, in fact, today the average Medicare beneficiary
collects 2 to 3 times more than they paid in. Why do even wealthy seniors
feel entitled to free Viagra? When I gave them the facts, some seniors
revised their positions.

PREGNANCY DISCRIMINATION LAWSUITS. To protect pregnant women, Congress
passed the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. It makes it illegal to fire, or
not hire, or pay a woman less because she is pregnant. Today, employers
are even warned not to ask in a job interview: "Are you pregnant?" or
"Might you start a family?" If the new law was supposed to end
discrimination, it hasn’t. The number of pregnancy discrimination
complaints is on the rise. I argue that the law does more harm than good,
because from the employers’ perspective, many pregnant women cannot work
as hard — and it turns pregnant women into "lawsuit bombs." [
http://ts.go.com/bk?bs=1&bj=44827410&bu=101759972&bt=170291251 ]Carrie
Lukas, a pregnant vice president of the [
]Independent Women’s Forum, says, "Sometimes the laws that are intended to
help women like me actually end up hurting women like me. All of a sudden,
a potential employer is looking at me and thinking … ‘she just might
turn around and sue us. That makes it less likely that I’m going to get

bans on the trade of rare animal parts (tiger organs, elephant tusks,
rhino horns) have been about as successful as the international war on
drugs. Why? Because wherever there is a demand strong enough, market
forces overwhelm law enforcement. [
http://ts.go.com/bk?bs=1&bj=44827410&bu=101759972&bt=170291253 ]Terry
Anderson of [
http://ts.go.com/bk?bs=1&bj=44827410&bu=101759972&bt=170291254 ]PERC, the
Property and Environmental Resource Center, claims that governments have
repeatedly failed when they tried to save animals by banning their sale —
it failed with the Colobus monkey in West Africa … with the alligator in
China … and now, with the tiger in Asia. It’s quite the conceit that a few
conservation groups think a government decree can change history, and get
a billion plus people to change their habits. By contrast, does America
have a shortage of chickens? No, because people own them and eat them.
Allowing private owners to sell animals for food or tourism saved the
rhino and the elephant in Africa, and the bison in America. It could save
the tiger too, if environmental groups would drop their resistance.

RESCUING IDIOTS. Thrill-seekers hoping to surf the most difficult ocean
wave, bushwhack through treacherous back-country terrain or catch the
biggest ice-water fish … sometimes take unnecessary risks, disregarding
weather forecasts or warning signs. If they need to be rescued, let’s bill
them for the cost of the rescue. New Hampshire does that. I confront the
rescued, who say "no!" tax dollars should pay.

LET THEM DO STEROIDS. After years of hand-wringing over ‘roids in
baseball, the Olympics, and other sports, isn’t it time to acknowledge
that athletes will always look for ways to get a competitive edge … and
instead of treating them like children, let them go ahead and JUST DO IT?
Dr. Norman Fost, a bioethicist at the University of Wisconsin, says many
fears about steroids are bunk. I had been told that the "wrestler" who
beat me up years ago was "high on steroids — "roid rage." Later I learned
that he said his boss told him to hit me, that steroids had nothing to do
with it. Likewise, wrestler Chris Benoit’s murderous rampage, and Lyle
Alzedo’s brain cancer may have had nothing to do with steroids, despite
the media saying that they did. "The horror stories about the medical
claims … some of them are just frankly made up," Fost notes. "We don’t
stop people from eating lemon meringue pie … People everywhere take
enormous risks way greater than even the hyped-up risks of steroids."
Health issues aside, what about sportsmanship? "I don’t know why you would
think this is cheating any more than the hundred of other things athletes
do to enhance their performance," Fost said. We allow athletes to sleep in
hyperbaric chambers. Tiger Woods improved his eyesight to 20/15 with
surgery. "Janet Evans won a gold medal in swimming," Fost noted, "and
bragged about a greasy swimsuit that she was sure had a lot to do with her

RADIATING FOOD MAKES IT SAFE TO EAT. The CDC says that every year,
millions of Americans get food poisoning. 5,000 die. Last month President
Obama told us the fact that 95 percent of food is NOT inspected by the
FDA, is "… a hazard to the public health … " But he didn’t mention that
there is one way to make food safe: irradiate it. Irradiation means moving
food though a stream of ionized energy… it’s a little like X-raying it,
but with more power. The point is to kill bacteria. And it works.
Irradiated meat stays fresh twice as long. Irradiated strawberries last up
to three weeks on the shelf. But media hype and small scare groups have
made people wary of food irradiation. [
http://ts.go.com/bk?bs=1&bj=44827410&bu=101759972&bt=170291255 ]Ruth Kava
of the American Council on Science and Health says the anti-irradiation
movement is all about ignorant fear of radiation.

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