Tales from the Nanny State
The first comes from our “hoist on their own petard” department:
A study from three sociologists based out of North Carolina State University charges that First Lady Michelle Obama’s campaign topromote healthy eating and decrease childhood obesity rates is classist and sexist in its implementation. This is because the model Obama advocates tends to put the onus of preparing healthy meals specifically on women, and also expects a level of disposable income, transportation options, and free time, which low-income families may lack.
The researchers interviewed 150 mothers and spent 250 hours observing 12 working-class and poor families as they shopped for food, cooked, and ate. They note:
In the fight to combat rising obesity rates, modern-day food gurus advocate a return to the kitchen. […] First lady Michelle Obama has also been influential in popularizing public health messages that emphasize the role that mothers play when it comes to helping children make healthy choices. The message that good parents — and in particular, good mothers — cook for their families dovetails with increasingly intensive and unrealistic standards of “good” mothering. [Sage Journals]
The study concludes that, “this emerging standard is a tasty illusion, one that is moralistic, and rather elitist, instead of a realistic vision of cooking today.”
Yes that’s right, the Interferer in Chief’s campaign has been declared classist and sexist. Of course if this were a right winger we were talking about all the lefty blogs would be blaring this in the headlines with a healthy dose of “I told you so” and “they just can’t seem to help it, can they” thrown in.
Irony. You have to love it. Its things like this that make my day go somewhat easier.
The second comes to us from Seattle, WA and is an example of what happens when people lose control of their government and that government decides to micro-manage every aspect of their lives with the intent of making sure they live it the way their betters decide they should live it:
The City of Seattle just passed a new trash ordinance that would fine residents and businesses for throwing away too much food.
The new rules would allow garbage collectors to inspect trash cans and ticket offending parties if food and compostable material makes up 10 percent or more of the trash.
The fines will begin at $1 for residents and $50 for businesses and apartment buildings, according to the Seattle Times.
So who will be the biggest offenders? Well, most likely schools which use the Michelle Obama program – okay, I had to tie them together somehow. No word, however, on how restaurants will fare under the law.
But think of it in a larger sense. You buy the food. It’s yours, your property. You can prepare it however you like (within reason) and eat it if you care too or … not. What you throw away or decide not to keep is entirely up to you — it’s YOUR property. It is none of anyone’s business.
On the other hand, you pay a fee or taxes to have your trash hauled away. That’s their job. Nothing more. Haul your trash away. In steps government and arbitrarily decides that you’re throwing too much food away (goodness knows where that perception comes from) and the “there ought to be a law” folks step up. They give those who pick up your trash the power to ticket you if they find you’ve thrown away too much food. Yeah, that’s right – the garbage police!
Most of the time these yahoos can’t even pick up the trash on time, and, of course they’re all math majors, so figuring out what percentage of your weekly trash pick up is over 10% should be a snap. They have plenty of time, right? I mean, good lord.
And if, in fact, people take this seriously, what do you suppose might happen? They’ll dump elsewhere. If they’re smart they’ll find dumpsters outside the Seattle city hall and dump their food excess there. Then the city can fine itself.
But it is another example of an unworkable law which will be arbitrarily imposed (if at all) and will see people attempting to circumvent it by means that I would guess will be less than sanitary and good for the city’s overall health.