Free Markets, Free People

Nanny state: The lunch inspector

Stories like this infuriate me.  They again point to the depth to which government has come to intrude in our lives.  And yes, while this is an anecdote, it points to the wider problem of increasing intrusion and the loss of our freedoms.  Tyranny by a thousand paper cuts.

The incident took place in a North Carolina pre-school of all places.  There, a “lunch inspector” rejected the home packed lunch a 4 year old and required the child eat a school provided lunch instead, claiming the home packed lunch didn’t meet USDA requirements.

The child in question then ate all of 3 chicken nuggets for lunch as provided by the school and threw the rest away.

Now, the fact that the “lunch inspector” was wrong isn’t the story.  The lunch provided by the mother was more than acceptable by the USDA standard which requires 1 serving of meat, 1 serving of grain and one serving of fruit or vegetable.  The mother had packed a turkey sandwich, a banana, potato chips and apple juice.  The “lunch inspector” mistakenly believe that the lack of a vegetable disqualified the lunch.

The story, as far as I’m concerned is that the “lunch inspector” exists at all.

This is the problem:

The state regulation reads:

"Sites must provide breakfast and/or snacks and lunch meeting USDA requirements during the regular school day. The partial/full cost of meals may be charged when families do not qualify for free/reduced price meals.

"When children bring their own food for meals and snacks to the center, if the food does not meet the specified nutritional requirements, the center must provide additional food necessary to meet those requirements."

Really?  If ever there was a place the state has no business, its poking its long nose in my child’s lunch box.  None of the Nanny’s freaking business.

Who knows better what their child will eat, the state or the family?  Ever try to feed a 4 year old?  Forget the fact that the lunch packed was better than the meal the child was served and ate at school, or that the home provided lunch met and exceeded the USDA guidelines.  The fact that someone poked their state approved nose where it had on business is the problem.

Oh, and here’s reality of these sorts of misguided programs.

The bottom line: back off, government!  The responsibility for children belong to parents whether you like it or not.  You can’t both demand they take responsibility and then usurp that responsibility at will when the state decides it “knows better” for whatever arbitrary and god-awful reason.

This anecdote highlights a mostly silent and progressive usurpation of parental rights and authority.  It is happening everywhere, because, you see, the “experts” always know best.




Twitter: @McQandO

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76 Responses to Nanny state: The lunch inspector

  • It is not hyperbolic to say that having a kid in some public school systems in the U.S. is abuse of that child. This is the kind of crap you get from government monopoly…which is the very worst kind.

  • Lib friend on facebook told me it was just one overzealous teacher. A careful reading of the story seems to be ambiguous. It also took him a full day to tell me that, which says the statists were frantically finding the right meme.

    • @Harun My understanding was that it was NOT a teacher at all.

      • @Ragspierre If you have a link, please share. My response on facebook was that “oh, so its a teacher so its cool?” and then it was deemed an isolated incident. I’d say it will be isolated only due to the parental backlash.

        • @Harun @Ragspierre Right, isolated…something that occurs every day in that location (that would be, lunch inspection)…..Isolated, see?

          What was isolated is that someone made a lot of noise and complained about this bull and it caught national attention, that’s what was isolated.

        • @Harun Have not found anything authoritative on the issue, Harum. But the larger point would be that whoever it was, they were not remotely acting as a “teacher”, which is a very big compliant a lot of teachers I know have with the state of public ed in Texas.

        • @Ragspierre I am just looking to counter the “isolated incident” argument. Looker had a good point with “inspection” implying a program even if it uses teachers. The problem is that these guys probably think its a good idea.

        • @Harun I just heard an expansion on the story saying that Federal employees were there for an inspection. That is still not authoritative, by my lights…BUT…

        • Federal inspector – bull shirt. Not aimed at you of course, but I have been unable to find any reference to a Federal program that sends ‘nutritional’ inspectors around to schools. School cafeteria safety inspections are done at the state and local level using Federal Guidelines. There is no branch of the FDA I was able to find that is responsible for sending inspectors around to check school lunches for nutritional content.

          This is a ‘men in black’ excuse if there ever was one.

        • @Ragspierre @Harun
          Such a job would be the baliwick of the FNS (Food and Nutrition Service), a branch of the FDA.

          Here’s a PDF wherein they describe the mandatory inspections for schools that serve meals under the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program. This is for the Midwest – dated 2005 (so, yes, it COULD have been changed to do Federal inspections, but that seems unlikely…)

          “Schools that serve meals under the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP) are required to maintain proper sanitation and health standards in conformance with all applicable State and local laws and regulations. In addition, schools are required to obtain two school food safety inspections per school year, which are to be conducted by a State or local governmental agency responsible for food safety inspections (see 7 CFR 210.13 for the NSLP regulations and 7 CFR 220.7 for the SBP regulations at The Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004 (Public Law 108-265) increased the inspection requirement from one to two per school year, beginning in school year (SY) 2005 – 2006.”

        • @Ragspierre @Harun Anyone see a requirement for a nutritional lunch bag inspection?

          Ja Ja, ihre papiere bitte

        • @Ragspierre @Harun And sorry, that’s USDA, not FDA – my ‘editor’ is a nitwit sometimes. The document clearly is marked with the USDA logo (and has the words “UNITED STATED DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE” in large friendly letters under the rather boring logo).

    • @Harun Why worry about it being a Federal inspector or a local one?

      Well, a Federal one, or even a local one, implies that their lunches are effectively unmolested from one inspection period to another and this kid just happened to get caught up in the net on this pass.

      If it’s NOT Federal, and NOT State, and probably not even local municipality….it’s someone at the school practicing a little authority vacuum filling. Which is of course the reason why the lunch wouldn’t have failed inspection anyway, because someone made up the rules right there on the spot inside what the generally known guidelines seem to be.

      Or someone at the school was practicing a little revenge on Johnny, or Johnnies MOM perhaps?

      • @looker @Harun Thanks Looker for showing some skepticism about the story itself. If the facts as stated were accurate, it would indeed be appalling. But from what I can see, we have an anonymous parent making an assertion and neither the school nor any federal, state, or local agency has indicated any awareness of any of this taking place. I won’t guess what the facts really are, except to say it is extremely unlikely the facts are as stated.

        • Kudo’s on critical thinking, but BOOO because you did take away my planned apoplexy that no one questioned the story.

        • @CaptinSarcastic @looker @Harun Bruce Alexander, director of communications and governmental affairs with the USDA, said Wednesday the person inspecting lunches was a “North Carolina Education staff member conducting a review of the child care center.”

          The review, which took place on Jan. 30, was part of the state’s ‘Star Rated’ licensing program, Alexander said. The program is designed to provide parents with a rating of child care centers across the state, including the nutritional content of the meals consumed by children.

          “A teacher apparently was nervous during this state review and mishandled the situation,” Alexander said.

          Alexander also said the mother was never charged for the meal.

        • @Ragspierre @CaptinSarcastic @Harun I wondered if I was going to get my head handed to me when the USDA or whoever finally spoke up said their inspector screwed up. I WAS hoping they’d come along and clarify since everything I could find indicated they have no such inspectors and that people should be pointing fingers a lower down on the great government totem pole.

          Now, as to ‘mishandled’ – freaking YEAH, it was a rating, not a license to play Attila with a kid’s lunch.

          The idea they fingerpoked the lunch didn’t surprise me at all, I expected that was real, it was who they were suddenly blaming that began to smell when I started thinking about jack booted Federal Lunch inspectors poking around in lunch boxes and brown bags from sea to shining sea.

        • @looker @Ragspierre @Harun So a teacher in the school was doing their best to get the best rating and over-reacted, no “federal agents”. Oh well, this story has had its 48 hours on conservative radio and it is played out anyway. One in fifty Limbaugh listeners will ever know it was not true as presented.

        • @CaptinSarcastic @Ragspierre @Harun And I admit, I DO find that to be troubling. I think ill enough of my government right now without making it worse.

          Now! let’s talk about those donuts you have there, I see them, right there, behind that pad of paper!

        • @CaptinSarcastic @Ragspierre @Harun Still, it IS a form of tyranny that he or she (the teacher) was able to do that and thought it was okay, and thought they had reason that would make it all okay.

          Reminds me of that experiment about many people thinking they were shocking test subjects and did so, so long as the man who told them they could was dressed as an authority figure.

        • @looker @CaptinSarcastic @Harun Bruce Alexander, director of communications and governmental affairs with the USDA, said Wednesday the person inspecting lunches was a “North Carolina Education staff member conducting a review of the child care center.”

          A STATE staff member. Acting under a USDA mandate.

          “…part of the state’s ‘Star Rated’ licensing program, Alexander said.”

          Cmdr Stupid can’t even read.

        • @Ragspierre @looker @Harun I can’t read? You posted it and apparently do not comprehend what you posted. 1. A state employee is not a federal employee. 2. The state employee was performing a general review and not involved in replacing the child’s lunch. 3. The person that exerted an inappropriate level of intrusion into the child’s lunch was a teacher, not the state employee doing a review of compliance with USDA guidelines. Additionally, the rules, which may or may not have been followed by the TEACHER who provided the school lunch, is NEVER to take a childs homemade lunch, but to supplement it if they feel it is missing necessary dietary elements. In no case is a child forced to eat either their homemade lunch or the school provided supplement.

          But hey, keep your mind narrowly focused on the jackbooted thug meme.

        • @CaptinSarcastic @looker @Harun You seem confused by agency theory.

          And sooooooo much else.

        • @Ragspierre @looker @Harun Agency Theory applies, but the FACT is that the story did NOT happen as claimed. There was no federal agent, the state agent did not take away the child’s lunch. And apparently, as we are learning now, the teacher did not even take away the child’s lunch, but merely tried to get the kid a carton of milk. So giving a kid some milk is now defined as liberal tyranny. Take to the streets! Oh the humanity, the humanity!

        • @CaptinSarcastic @Ragspierre @Harun The latest update being broadcast on one local (to NC) station has it that an ‘official’ instructed the child (4 year old mind you) to get milk from the lunch line because the meal was missing dairy.

          So far they’re all over the map on what person of authority started the ball rolling on this. The State agency won’t answer who, and the school won’t answer who but the superintendent used the word ‘the official’ rather than ‘the teacher’ so if I had to guess I’d lean more towards the State rep now than before when we all were told it was an overzealous teacher.

          The official story they’re touting is they sent the 4 year old off to the line, by herself (oh well done!) to fix the problem. And, wow! how could it happen! but NOW it’s the fault of the 4 year old because she didn’t understand you see, and took a whole lunch, instead of a container of milk, and didn’t her her own lunch, and brought it home again. Damn those 4 years olds and their inability to follow instructions and act responsibly!

          Let’s get real, 4 year old, told her lunch is wrong and left to her own devices to fix it? Yeah, this just gets better and better every time they open their dumbass mouths.
          And the document that went home to mom, which bozo gave her that?

          They’ve stepped into the wasps nest now and they’re hoping this will follow the normal press cycle and go away so they never have to explain further.

        • @CaptinSarcastic @Ragspierre @Harun and their evasive action tells us all we need to know – they KNOW they made a mistake, otherwise they’d be saying ‘we’re sorry, but that’s the policy”, not

          “uh, well see, uh, The teaching state official federal inspector overzealous office aid told the 4 year old NOT to carry the lit match AND the explosive device in the same hand and the child must have misunderstood”.

        • @CaptinSarcastic @Ragspierre @Harun “Take to the streets! Oh the humanity, the humanity!”

          Heh, you laugh, it’s little incidents like this that people relate to, and they are relating to this in the WRONG way right now, because even the mom’s who agree that a box of Oreos is not a good lunch are going to get a little nervous when a turkey sandwich, banana and juice isn’t good enough (I left out the chips, chips are bad bad bad! salt, oil, potato, bad! bad! bad!).

          This is not good PR for government ‘helping’ people.

        • @looker @Ragspierre @Harun “Hey kid, go get yourself a milk,” That a 4 year old could mess this up is understandable, but so what. The idea that you could analogize this to instructing a child on explosives handling is just ridiculous. They did not need a SWAT team to accompany the child through the lunch line because regardless of whether she got it right or not, there was no danger to the child. I have kids, I tell them to do things all the tiime, when it’s a critical thing like “load these three clips”, I’ll supervise them, when it’s inconsequential, like “go get yourself a milf” I won’t. (Yeah, I saw the typo, but it was too funny to change). Do you really see anything wrong with a policy that says that a school can provide supplemental nutrition if a kid is missing something? Heck, they did that long before there were any guidelines, and they will do it if the guidelines didn’t exist. So while I may agree that there are way too many rules on every level, file this under a big nothing, All they did, in this instance of over-zealousness was try to give a kid a milk to GO ALONG with their lunch. Who is really over-reacting here?

        • @CaptinSarcastic @Ragspierre @Harun I was comically emphasizing how unimpressed I am with the official explanation that it was a misunderstanding that had anything to do with the kid being a lynch pin in how that misunderstanding came about and yet, that was the way the assistant superintendent painted it.

          Yes, silly to make it explosives, I understand. I would hope no one thought for a moment I was sincere in the parallel.

          Why is it so hard for them to be accurate from the get go? “He did it, no he did it, no one did it, we’re ‘investigating’, the kid did it”.

          Pretty sad that any part of the blame for this falls anywhere near the 4 year old, and yet, there it was….

          The state issued an official statement denying their people did it. Reiterating they have no policy of going through or questioning any child about food items brought from home. The superintendent turns around and said ‘the official’ didn’t tell the child to replace her lunch and then the child misunderstood and replaced her entire lunch. “Go get a milk” how does that turn into a new lunch?

          You see who they’re blaming Cap? The 4 year old.
          Now that’s the kind of government I want, the kind that will pass the buck to a 4 year old when the camera focuses the short lens on their actions. That’s accountability…the 4 year old did it, the 4 year old misunderstood, and we’re so sorry she screwed this up.

          They can take their time to inspect her lunch for it’s inadequacies, how about a minute or two extra….”hey Sally, why don’t you and I go over to the line and get a little milk to go along with your sandwich, won’t that be fun?!”

          Cause right now all I see is well payed Payless attired people the kid doesn’t know, telling her her lunch is wrong and sending her off to fix it alone (according the their own version of the story). Ya see how I think that version is only marginally better than the original story.

          We should over-react, to the idea that the stage was ever set where this play could occur.

        • @CaptinSarcastic @Ragspierre @Harun Actually – it’s not my problem at all, it’s North Carolina’s problem. There’s nothing the Fed did other than issue guidelines. There’s probably no real problem, other than an overzealous official and blame dodging government middlemen.

          This was more another of those principle things for me than anything else once I’d ruled out the FED inspector.

          Perhaps someone will post the dimensions of a pin relative to the size of angels and we can have at that next time.

        • @CaptinSarcastic @looker @Ragspierre So, you won’t mind when a soldier gets a little overzealous and water boards someone? That won’t be front page news and and indictment of whoever was in charge? I’m still thinking about this one.

        • @Harun @looker @Ragspierre Were the child’s rights violated by being offered milk that she was not obligated to drink? You guys are doing the loony analogies just to screw with me, right? You have to understand, I have a well developed sense of humor, but there are people right here that actually believe stuff like that.

  • So who will be at fault when some poor 4 year-old has his lunch taken away and is given something else which he is allergic to, say, containing eggs? Who’s going to stand behind such a deadly mistake?

    • @DocD They don’t serve eggs or peanuts or anything that you can be allergic to…just chicken mcnuggets and iceberg lettuce.

  • Hell, Nationally ‘encouraged’ school lunch programs started out as a way to dispose of ‘surplus’ commodities and feed people during the Depression – it was a 2-fer.

    Public Law 320 (74th Congress, 24 August 1936) created the Commodity Donation Program. The USDA Secretary was charged with “remov[ing] price-depressing surplus foods from the market through government purchase and dispos[ing] of them through exports and domestic donations to consumers in such a way as not to interfere with normal sales.”

    Another government program run amok…what were the chances?

  • Isn’t North Carolina a “red state?” That wouldn’t happen here in blue state Maine.

    • @scotterb Your blue state will be red tomorrow, Erp.

    • @scotterb Wasn’t IL planning on banning brown bag lunches for a while? You know, because we don’t know what parents will send in – there could be peanuts – we lose money when kids don’t use the school food.

    • @scotterb I bet the teacher is new, and just arrived from California.

      “Turkey and cheese! Goodness Gaia, where’s the tempe and bean sprouts!”

    • @scotterb Reaford borders Fort Bragg, Larry Kissell, – representative from the 8th District, is a Democrat.
      North Carolina sends both a Republican and a Democrat to the Senate.
      Currently considered a swing state, it’s “Republican” voting percentage has not exceeded 56% in the last 4 Presidential elections, with 49% in 1996 and 49% in 2008.

      Nice of you to paint it a deep red though Professor Distorto.

      • @looker @scotterb Bev Perdue, Democrat, Governor of NC

        • @McQandO @looker @scotterb You’re missing the obvious. It isn’t the red/blue (which is a stupid designation since red, the symbol of communism, should be Democrat, not Republican, anyway), or the political party.

          Who runs the school? Think this would happen at a private school?

          Also, since the government nutritional advice only makes people fatter and more dependent on costly doctor visits and pharmaceuticals, all government programs related to nutrition, diet, exercise, and the like should be immediately defunded and their buildings put up for auction. Those who knew that their advice was harming people should be held accountable, up to and including prison.

          This is what happen when you let the government get their camels’ noses under the tent. They “help” you into sickness and fascist control over all of your activities.

        • Note: the Democrats should be red and Republicans should be yellow, not blue. (Pink would also be appropriate for the GOP, though the election prognosticators like to use various shades to indicate poll differentials, so that wouldn’t work.)

        • “Think this would happen at a private school?”

          Certainly. Under state licensure requirements. Absolutely.

        • @Ragspierre “Under state licensure requirements.”

          Which, of course, means the source of the fascist control is still government.

        • @myweeklycrime No argument from me. I see how we have moved from point to point in history…often stepping on stones with which I would agree, had we not seen where the path gets us. The doctrine of state “plenary police powers” is attributed to conservative activist judges around the turn of the 19th Century.

        • @Ragspierre @myweeklycrime Funny it started out as a plan to feed the more or less poor and 2-fer it into supporting agriculture.

          Now it’s the license to inspect the lunch, throw the lunch in the trash, however much it might have cost, tell you what is and is not good for you, force your kid to eat the lunch they decide is proper, and then demand you pay for it.

          Sweet, I’m certain, absolutely certain, that was what they meant to do when they were trying to dispose of surplus produce and feed some kids at the same time.

  • This is classical progressivism. What Herman Khan, way back, called health and safety fascism. And it’s the very nature of the public schools everywhere.

    It’s like my definition of “diversity” training in schools: “We’re replacing your values with ours.”

  • Two NC members of Congress…one R, one D…have written a letter to the SoAg about this. This WILL eventually get some Mushroom Media attention.

  • North Carolina pulled another outrage related to nutrition when the North Carolina Board of Dietetics/Nutrition (NCBDN) warned a blogger about his webpages detailing his diet and exercise program, which unlike the advice from the likes of the NCBDN, actually reversed his diabetic symptoms instead of making him dependent on medication. Since it wasn’t the official government recommendations (which, again, DO NOT WORK), it was deemed verboten for him to offer advice WHICH WORKED.

    Richard Nikoley has a number of articles about this nonsense, starting with:

  • But ya know, I’m just thrilled that someone is inspecting the lunches now, maybe that wasn’t done before, maybe that’s the explanation for THIS

    What was it McQ the other day?

    “we’re so screwed”.

    • @looker Well, and we sprung from spores from space, ’cause our NOT ancestors were too stupid to feed their children and they all died off some time in the early 20th Century…er something…

  • If we did not have a Fed Dept of Ed, these things would not happen. When your school is beholden to DC parasites for money, then you dance to their tune. Flush the Fed Dept of Ed!

  • And in a violation of the first law of holes – the school system keeps diggin….

    “Speaking with ABC11 Wednesday afternoon, district officials also said the incident seemed more like a misunderstanding.

    Assistant Superintendant Bob Barnes said the official didn’t tell the child she had to replace her lunch with chicken nuggets. Instead, they told her she had to go through the line and get some milk – per federal guidelines – and she misunderstood and replaced her entire lunch.

    “I think that the child became confused about what she had to do. I think the child, instead of going over and picking up the milk, I think the child, for whatever reason, thought she had to go through the line and get a school meal which, that’s not our policy,” said Barnes.

    So the (in caps) FOUR YEAR OLD was told her lunch was wrong and sent off alone to get milk from the lunch line, and it’s a misunderstanding that she didn’t ear her lunch and that an entire lunch was gotten in the line, and that the mother was billed AND that a note was sent home to the mom saying students who didn’t bring a healthy lunch would be required to supplement whatever they bought from home with lunch line purchased items…..

    There still seems to be some dispute as to whether or not this was a STATE agent that did this, or a teacher. The State agency says it wasn’t them, but note that the superintendent no longer refers to the thug as ‘the teacher’ but as ‘the official’.

    Someone send these people a clue will they, even a gang of street thugs has better organization on getting their story straight.

    • “Kleeeeennnnnk! there is no vegie-table in zis childs lunch! Vat is ze meaning of zis!!!!!! Why is zer no vegi-table!”
      “I’ll correct it right away Major Hochstetter! right away!…..SCHULTZ!!!!!!!!”
      “jawohl Herr Kolonel?”
      “Schultz make sure this child has a decent lunch that meets the specifications, and get it right if you don’t want to find yourself guarding the lunch line in Smolensk! Immediately!!!!!”
      “Jawohl Herr Colonel”

      Severa days later –
      “I know Nothinnggggg, Notttthhhinnnnng!”

    • “Kleeeeennnnnk! there is no vegie-table in zis childs lunch! Vat is ze meaning of zis!!!!!! Why is zer no vegi-table!”
      “I’ll correct it right away Major Hochstetter! right away!…..SCHULTZ!!!!!!!!”
      “jawohl Herr Kolonel?”
      “Schultz make sure this child has a decent lunch that meets the specifications, and get it right if you don’t want to find yourself guarding the lunch line in Smolensk! Immediately!!!!!”
      “Jawohl Herr Colonel”

      Several days later…
      “I know Nothinnggggg, Notttthhhinnnnng!”

    • They weren’t “jack-booted thugs”. They were likely nice ladies in PayLess shoes, trying to reach retirement while paying the mortgage, and doing their best to comply with mandates from “above”.

      This is the very persona of the “soft tyranny” of liberal fascism. You can’t hate on these people because they are us…our neighbors, and the moms of the kids our kids play with. But the NOTIONS have to be fought, and fought hard and effectively.

      • @Ragspierre I can think of at least one elementary school principle that I had to deal with who would have done very well for herself in a black uniform with lightning bolt collar tabs. And I mean that quite sincerely.

        What I’m enjoying on this is now all the nice ladies and gentlemen in Payless shoes, who had no problem sending the note home to mom are now standing in a little beleaguered circle pointing at one another and shouting “it wasn’t me! it wasn’t me!”

      • @Ragspierre And yes, I know, but the bumbling image of the Hogan’s Heros ‘authority’ figures came to mind and my brain suddenly had all of them in the cafeteria inspecting lunches. Hochstetter in his long leather coat and hat, snarling at children as they opened their lunches for his inspection. Klink standing beside him with a clip board nodding and smiling as each one passed inspection and Schultz off to one side in the background smiling kindly and slipping strudel pieces to the cuter ones after the inspection had passed them.

      • @Ragspierre Worst of all, the woman I married has to be reminded about freedom and choices and how legislation against stupidity is not an effective means of government.

        Occasionally she reminds me too.

  • Remember when it was the bullies who stole lunch money from kids?

    Now the teachers are the bullies.

  • I am starting to believe that we might need a violent overthrow and just start killing masses of people who have a cavalier attitude for our personal rights.

  • The ‘nanny’ state is being off-set by religious-right’s ‘daddy’ state—and their attempt to tell us what’s moral.

    • @tadcf As an individualist, I’m less concerned with whether the collectivist control freaks are of the “daddy” or “nanny” variety, than I am with how much power they have to do harm to me. From my perspective, the caricature of the Republican peeking into our bedrooms is mostly a boogey man. Sure, there are a few idiots who get the spotlight, but they are mostly ineffective and rarely able to win elections above the level of school board, or perhaps even a rare seat in Congress (where they are outliers, unable to make the changes they claim to want).

      Within the limited model of your “nanny” vs. “daddy” dichotomy, there has not been parity for decades. The actual influence of “social conservatives” on the lives of the average American, in the form of laws and regulations, has receded for decades. Laws meddling with private, consensual sex between adults, have been overturned by courts or legislatures, for example. During the same time, we’ve seen an explosion of “nanny state” type interference on financial activities (bureaucratic red tape, labor regulations), use of private resources (environmental), and behavioral (health care—except abortion—rules and mandates, nutrition, child indoctrination). If there ever was parity between “nanny state” and “daddy state”, I’m going to say it flipped during the 70s or 80s.

      The “socially conservative” Republicans are mostly fighting a rear-guard defense and are losing ground on issues like same-sex marriage. (To be fair, Bill Clinton signed the DOMA and most Democrats support the status quo, out of fear of losing voters.) There is a lot of speechifying about immigration, but few changes are ever made on either side.

      You could argue that the War on Terror is a product of the law and order bunch, but while some Democrats loudly squawked against it when Republicans were in power, they kept the DHS, TSA, and such after they attained power. Meanwhile, plenty of Democrat pundits have turned the tables and accused Republicans and libertarians of being “paranoid” over the whole TSA “pat down” molestation brouhaha.

      Finally, the War on Drugs is a massive intrusion by the government to tell us what is moral, but both Democrats and Republicans support this or, at least, are afraid to even speak out against it. At the most, a handful press for more equitable sentencing (but still want people put in prison who have harmed no one) or medical marijuana. Only a rare bunch of politicians actually oppose drug prohibition as a whole. Considering how it has intensified and resulted in America becoming a prison nation (even if you don’t care about the people, you might consider how much money it costs YOU to keep so many in prison) and law enforcement has become increasingly “militarized” and corrupt.

      • @myweeklycrime @tadcf Caveat, I think you would have to eliminate any federal regulations that seek to prevent people or industries from infiringing upon the rights of others in ways that did not previously exist (technological progress). A simple example, if you are mining on your land, something that you should have a right to do, but your mining pollutes my well without my persmission, you have infringed on property rights. Much regulatory activity is a game of whack-a-mole. We put rules in place to keep people honest. 401k mamangement is fraught with this game of hide and seek. Way back when, you put your money, you got a return, but there were precious few details about the cost of running the fund. Some managers abused this loophole and paid themselves lavishly. The result were rules that management fees had to be disclosed. After that some managers created fees and services that existed outside of the reporting requirement, again, allowing them to siphon cash from the funds without reporting them. A new regulation was put into place to try and capture all of these costs in ways they must be reportable. One could argue that the “free market” could address these problems, people who siphon off their clients money will have poor returns and and they will go out of business, but we dont have a free market, and these practices have become ubiquitous.

        As to our prison nation, I could not agree more. We have more people in prison in American than much of the rest of the word combined, and a great number of these prisoners infringed on the rights of no one. This tactic is more likely to create criminals out of people that would have harmed no one, than it is to reduce crime.If we can’t end this ridiculous prohibition, I would be completely in favor of a prohibition on our government against incarcerating anyone who had not infringed on the rights of another.

        • @myweeklycrime @tadcf When I say eliminate, I mean remove them from any list of what you might call nanny state regulations. Many of these regulations are just examples of people finding different legal ways to infringe on the rights of others, and the regulations are simply addressing that reality.

        • @CaptinSarcastic @tadcf “Much regulatory activity is a game of whack-a-mole. We put rules in place to keep people honest.”

          Don’t say “we”. Only a handful of people in government make these rules, which are often purposely Byzantine to hide the true intent.

          Regulations are sold as a way to protect us, but more often than not they are tools of crony capitalism, i.e., rent seeking by the politically connected. Licensing and costly regulations keep small competitors and upstarts from being able to compete. Or, sometimes politicians and bureaucrats simply want more revenue and power. You’ve also got the egalitarians who want to punish the industrious and “level the playing field”. Worst of all are the holier-than-thou crowd who think they are controlling us for our own good. On the “social conservative” side would be the prudes who want to inhibit “vice” (intoxicants, gambling, certain sexual activity), but opposing parties are rife with control freaks, such as the environmentalist who want to inhibit human industry for the sake of nature—all for our own good.

          It’s perfectly reasonable to argue that someone engaged in mining who pollutes a neighbor’s water needs to be held accountable. But allowing politicians and bureaucrats, or judges, decide on rules for mining means that people who are not actually harming their neighbors may end up breaking some arbitrary law written by people ignorant of the technical details, or corrupted by contributors who may write the rules to screw the competition.

        • @CaptinSarcastic @tadcf “…I would be completely in favor of a prohibition on our government against incarcerating anyone who had not infringed on the rights of another.”

          If you actually meant that, you’d be a free market libertarian. If I don’t buy health insurance, don’t pay taxes for things I don’t use and don’t want, keep my property tax money to send my child to a private school, then I have not infringed on the rights of anyone else. And yet, I suspect you would not agree that I should be allowed to make such choices, and that if I did so, I ought to be incarcerated.

          Feel free to explain to me where you draw the line and why.

        • @myweeklycrime @tadcf Actually, I do mean that. There is a however, a however. I did not say that there could oe should be NO penalties. I do not believe that people should be sent to prison for not paying taxes, but I do think taxes must of course be mandatory, so a person who criminally evades taxation should be subject to penalties.

        • @myweeklycrime @tadcf I do agree that distinguishing honest regulatory policy that protects people’s rights and the crony capitalism variety is fairly difficult, and in our current system of legislation for sale, the latter is probably the rule rather than the exception. My point still stands that there is a place for regulation and regulation is not the problem, the problem is the system in which it used as a tool to advantage interests who pay for the advantage. Think about all the talk and agreement by both Republicans and Democrats (more the citizen variety than the professional politician variety) on the mistake it was to have repealed Glass-Steagall. And yet, is there the slightest bit of momentum for re-instating this rule? Nope, because there is too much money coming down on the side of keeping just as it is.

        • @CaptinSarcastic @tadcf “I do not believe that people should be sent to prison for not paying taxes, but I do think taxes must of course be mandatory, so a person who criminally evades taxation should be subject to penalties.”

          Government doesn’t work that way. If they impose a fine and you refuse to pay, they’ll steal your property, if they can. If they can’t they’ll imprison you. If you resist the theft or arrest, they will use deadly force. When you use the government to require people to do something, then ultimately that means the government will imprison them or even kill them. It’s just like the mafia, the bookie, or the loan shark who know they must hurt or kill people who resist, in order to maintain their reputation.

          You’re positing a land of unicorns and rainbows.

          Since taxes are nominally a way to have people pay for things which they purportedly need/want/use, the ethical alternative (which does not involve prison or aggressive violence) is simply for people to be responsible to pay for the things they want and use.

        • @myweeklycrime @tadcf ” the ethical alternative (which does not involve prison or aggressive violence) is simply for people to be responsible to pay for the things they want and use.” And you seriously want to argue that I am positing a land of unicorns and rainbows? I suppose every road would be a toll road, and every public toilet would be coin operated, and every street lamp would have a credit card reader should you want your street lighted? Would you pay the fire department before or after they start fighting the fire at your house? Would the detective that investigates your robbery be paid by the hour or an a contingency basis? I believe your position is philosophically sound, but practically ridiculously. Beyond that, everything we currently pay for is ostensibly supported by the American people as all spending was enacted or approved by our locally elected representatives. (As to whether they actually represent the voters that elect them, my answer is no, but that is a different argument related to how campaigns and the lifestyles of elected officials are subsidized not by public monies, but by private monies.

          I would say it is MUCH more realistic to argue that a law could be passed that prohibited physical incarceration for infractions which do not infringe upon the rights of others. Your suggestion is a complete and total destruction of our existing system and a replacement with something that has never been tried, much less worked in any size state.