need is a fundamental reexamination ofrnour priorities in dealing with criminalrnand deviant behavior and a reconsiderationrnof whether the remedies proposedrnfor issues such as drugs and public corruptionrnare not worse than the disease.rnWe need to reemphasize the absoluternneed to respect privacy and personalrncommunication, except where seriousrnpublic interests are genuinely at stake.rnWe must assess the value of obedience tornlaw when that is maintained chiefly orrnsolely by the constant fear that anyonernwe deal with may inform the authoritiesrnof our peccadilloes, and ultimately wernmust question whether a democratic systemrncan be based on mutual fear andrnsuspicion.rnPhilip Jenkins is a professor of religiousrnstudies and history at Pennsylvania StaternUniversity and author of Using Murder:rnThe Social Construction of SerialrnHomicide (J 994).rnPeanut Butter—rnThe Next Menacernby Jay CornellrnDay 1. A celebrity chokes to deathrnon a peanut butter sandwich.rnDay 2. Headlines: “Celebrity’s FatalrnSnack.” “Shocked Fans Mourn Hero.”rnThe American Alliance of Alarmist ResearchrnGroups (AAARG) reports thatrn10,000 Americans died in 1992 fromrnchoking on peanut butter, and demandsrnwarning labels, tougher laws, and increasedrnfederal spending. Victims AdvisingrnPeople In Discrimination (VPID)rnpoints to studies showing that peanutrnbutter chokers are disproportionatelyrnminority, female, children, and poor.rnVAPID calls for a nationwide boycott, arnfederal investigation, and increasedrnfederal spending. Editorialists agree thatrnthe tragedy is a “wake-up call” that drawsrnattention to a national problem. A majorrnnewspaper reports that the celebrityrnhad 55-gallon drums of peanut butterrnin his basement.rnDay 3. Headline: “Extra-Chunky Style:rnA Spreading Risk?” A police photo ofrnthe celebrity’s table knife, smeared withrnpeanut butter, is leaked. It appears onrnpage one of all major newspapers andrnon the network news.rnA CNN Special Report: ]ars of Death:rnAn American Crisis.rnSenator Barbara Boxer points out thatrnthe United States has a higher rate ofrnpeanut butter deaths than Canada orrnLuxembourg. She decries “institutionalrnsexism” in the peanut industry and callsrnfor a congressional investigation, warningrnlabels, tougher regulations, more FDArnSnack Inspectors, increased federalrnspending, and passage of national healthrninsurance.rnSurgeon General Jocelyn Elders callsrnthe celebrity a “martyr” and chides thernPope for his “shameful record of silence”rnon peanut butter, “a threat to us all.”rnGreenpeace issues a statement linkingrnpeanut consumption to ocean pollution,rnglobal warming, and ozone depletion.rnProtests force some supermarkets to pullrnpeanut butter off their shelves. RushrnLimbaugh mocks the “nut nuts” andrneats a jar of peanut butter during his radiornshow.rnDay 4. Columnist Molly Ivins says Limbaughrn”preaches family values, but practicesrnbehavior that endangers society’srnmost vulnerable.” She points out thatrnformer President Reagan never used thernwords “peanut butter” in a speech andrnthat he vetoed bills that would havernincreased the number of FDA SnackrnInspectors, who are underpaid andrnoften minority women. “It’s anotherrntragic page in Reagan’s Big Book of Neglect.”rnAt the funeral service (broadcast livernon CNN), the tearful widow announcesrnthe formation of Condiment Control, arnnationwide advocacy group devoted tornrestricting the availability of all sandwichrnspreads. Her attorney announces a $100rnmillion lawsuit against peanut butterrnmakers, supermarket chains, peanutrnfarmers, and tableware manufacturers.rnHillary Clinton denounces “peanut profiteers,”rnbut disavows Elders’ remarksrnabout the Pope.rnFDA Commissioner David Kesslerrnannounces a recall of all “extra-chunky”rnpeanut butters. He asks for more SnackrnInspectors and the power to regulate allrnnut butters as drugs. Kessler also says thernFDA is considering mandatory viscosityrnlabeling, or even a requirement that nutrnbutters be sold only in liquid form.rnCashew and almond producers protest.rnAttorney General Janet Reno, citingrnstatistics which suggest that peanut processorsrnintentionally target women andrnminorities with dangerous food, announcesrnan investigation into possiblerncivil rights violations.rnA Current Affair pays $ 100,000 for anrninterview with a friend of the celebrity,rnwho claims the celebrity often talkedrnwith his mouth full.rnAntique and collectible shops report arnrun on peanut memorabilia.rnDay 5. A new poll finds peanut butter isrnnow the number two public concern,rnedging out North Korean nuclearrnweapons and homelessness.rnIn a speech at Howard University, arnNation of Islam official calls on all blacksrnto support the VAPID boycott. He saysrnthat peanut butter was “invented by Jewsrnto choke our black brothers and sisters”rnand receives a standing ovation. ThernCongressional Black Caucus refuses torncomment.rnIn a segment of Dateline, “Sandwichesrnof Shame,” NBC broadcasts graphicrnfootage of a dog choking on peanut butter.rnOliver Stone is interviewed and saysrnhe has evidence of a plot against progressivesrnby the CIA and peanut indus-rnThe Center for Science in the PublicrnInterest holds a joint press conferencernwith two of Ralph Nader’s consumerrngroups. Deadly Bread Alert and thernAnti-Jelly Action Coalition. They demandrntougher nut butter regulation andrnwarn of even greater threats still littlernknown to the public.rnPresident Clinton nominates a disabledrnNative American lesbian as thernnew “Snack Czar,” and asks Congressrnfor a $1 per jar tax to fund a “moderate,rnpreliminary” $200 million emergencyrneducation effort. A new 40-person officernwill be jointly managed by Vice PresidentrnGore, the FDA, and the UnitedrnNations.rnDay 6. A new poll shows President Clinton’srnpoor approval ratings have notrnchanged, despite the administration’srnswift response to the peanut butter furor.rnProclaiming a willingness to work withrnthe administration, a group of moderaternRepublicans announces a proposal for arn25 cent per jar tax, to be phased in overrnthree years.rnOutraged by the Dateline segment,rnanimal rights groups announce a boycottrnof NBC.rn”People Who Still Eat Peanut But-rn44/CHRONICLESrnrnrn