Statism in a nutshell

I have friends who have taught in inner city schools.  Without exception, they have told me that, if a child’s parents are drug-addled, the school lunch may be the only meal the child gets.  There is a tremendous virtue to feeding starving children.

Having said that, I found revealing a statement Michelle Obama made after her husband signed the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act, a law that buffs up school lunch programs at the expense of food stamps (emphasis mine):

[W]hen our kids spend so much of their time each day in school, and when many children get up to half their daily calories from school meals, it’s clear that we as a nation have a responsibility to meet as well,” Mrs. Obama said. “We can’t just leave it up to the parents. I think that parents have a right to expect that their efforts at home won’t be undone each day in the school cafeteria or in the vending machine in the hallway. I think that our parents have a right to expect that their kids will be served fresh, healthy food that meets high nutritional standards.”

That’s statism in a nutshell, isn’t it?  “We can’t just leave it up to the parents.”  This absolves the state of any responsibility for protecting children whose parents no longer care for the children.  It’s so much easier, instead, just to push all parents aside.  This global approach has the purity of Occam’s Razor.  There are no unnecessary details.  Instead, there’s just a fundamental power grab.

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  • Libby

    If only she were emphasizing her later statement “…. I think that parents have a right to expect that their efforts at home won’t be undone each day in the school…” as it applied to other topics that are also the responsibility of the parents, such as sex education and environmentalism.  Our teachers and school administrators are actually quite comfortable in undoing parents’ efforts at home, and even feel more qualified than us.

  • suek

    But Libby…those two goals are contradictory.  That is to say…undoing the parents efforts at home is a _goal_ when it comes to sex education and environmentalism.  She is choosing to make the assumption that there are efforts as home concerning nutrition that the school might be undoing…it’s only a matter of time before the assumption is clarified to mean that the efforts of parents are obviously inadequate, and the schools have to take up the slack – just as they do with the sex education and environmentalism.  It’s going to be a “Oh my gosh…you mean parents _don’t_ have proper nutrition at home??” thing.
     
    Personally, if they’re really all that concerned about nutrition and teaching kids what and how to eat, I think they ought to bring back Home Ec.  For both boys and girls, and if they want to call it something else, fine.  As it is, too many people – if they don’t eat just fast foods, eat microwaveable meals.  I have no idea whether those are nutritious etc, but one co-worker brings them for lunch every day.  It smells _bad_…I really have to find out what brand it is – I do _not_ want to get it whatever it is!
     
    Anyway…teach them to cook.  You can microwave fresh veggies…in minutes.  I’ve even mastered microwave meatloaf, although that’s the only meat I cook – as opposed to reheat – in the microwave.

  • Danny Lemieux

    The problem is that childhood obesity really has very little to do with what children are eating, at school or anywhere else. What is more important are these interrelated variables:
    1) The frequency with which they eat (ad lib grazing or snacking versus three meals a day on a fixed schedule)
    2) The amount they eat (the constant availability of high calorie foods like soda pop, chips, etc.)
    3) The very American cultural norm of providing food at every social occasion possible (sports events, movies, cub scout outings, church events, etc.).
    4) The absolute collapse of physical activities, due to a number of reasons (over-scheduling parents, video games, down-playing of competitive sports, etc.).
     
    In the end, a calorie is a calorie is a calorie. Obesity is the result of too many calories, not enough burning of calories. It’s really not that hard to grasp.
     
    Michelle Obama can change cschool lunch menu options all she wants. She won’t change a thing, except perhaps to make children and their parents miserable.

  • shirleyelizabeth

    I’m pretty sure the system works that the more responsibility you try to take away, the more drug-addled parents you’ll have.

    I would really prefer for Michelle Obama to stay out of my community. I’m very certain we are capable of determining our own needs.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    Suek, in Japan there are high schools that have cooking clubs. And a sign of a girl liking a guy is making him a home cooked meal from her, putting it in a box set, and giving it to him to eat at lunch break at school.
     
     

  • Libby

    Shirleyelizabeth, I agree that Michelle Obama needs to butt out. This only enables parents to take less responsibility.
    I have a friend here in Denver who taught Kindergarten in an inner-city school (she purposely chose this school because she felt there was more potential for her to “do good” than in a wealthier neighborhood). The school provided free breakfast before class to ensure that the kids ate a good breakfast (which a lot of them weren’t getting at home) and could concentrate during class. Well, the parents who couldn’t be bothered to feed their children before sending them to school also couldn’t be bothered to get them to school early to receive a free meal. In fact, a lot of the kids were dropped off at school in their pajamas.
    The sad fact is that you have to deal with issues directly: If a child is obese, it needs to be addressed by the parent(s) and the pediatrician. If a child is not well fed and it is affecting their school performance or behavior, the teacher needs to talk to the parents, and get other involved if it is a case of neglect. All of these feel-good programs of showering all students with free food, or implementing restrictive rules on everyone because of a few overweight kids is not only unproductive, it is a power grab.
     
     

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    Looks like not only will Obama make you work, but Michelle has said she won’t leave it up to the parents. She will make the decisions. You’re just a subordinate.
     
     

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    I think that our parents have a right to expect that their kids will be served fresh, healthy food that meets high nutritional standards.”
    Obama also said that kids should attend public school to “make it better”. So parents don’t need vouchers.
     
    But what does Michelle do? She ends his kids off to private school in DC.
     
    Bunch of hypocrites, as usual.

  • suek

    >>And a sign of a girl liking a guy is making him a home cooked meal from her, putting it in a box set, and giving it to him to eat at lunch break at school.>>
     
    Hey…they used to do that in the old USA!!  In fact, it was called a box lunch picnic, and was a way of raising money for churches, usually.  The guys bid on the box lunches…and of course, there was a way a girl could make sure the guy knew which one was hers – if she wanted him to bid on it.
     
    And I have read somewhere that a man doesn’t marry a woman – and a woman won’t marry a man – if he hasn’t fed her a meal (taken her out to dinner) sometime in their courtship.  I don’t know about  that one.  It was attributed to the primitive need for a mate to provide food…but I could see that going either way.  Besides – unless you marry after the second date or so – you have to spend time somewhere somehow, and no matter what you do to pass the time, at some point you have to eat!
     
    >>4) The absolute collapse of physical activities, due to a number of reasons (over-scheduling parents, video games, down-playing of competitive sports, etc.).>>
     
    Badda bing badda boom!!  I think we have a winner!  Absolutely no question in my mind that 95% of the problem is too much TV and other electronic devices, plus Moms working so no one home to supervise and reluctance to let the kids out to play without supervision, removal of “harmful” toys on playgrounds…in other words, too little physical activity.  Kids are _supposed_ to have huge appetites – because they’re _supposed_ to be physically active enough that they burn the energy all off.  Cut out the physical activity and you get fat kids.

  • http://photoncourier.blogspot.com David Foster

    A lot of liberal policies eventually come down to forms of collective punishment. Several years ago, I read a horrifying story about a housing project that was being plagued by vicious dogs owned by drug dealers. So instead of getting rid of the drug dealers, the administrators adopted a “no dogs” policy for all residents. And in the name of customer service, they provided a phone number that people could call to have their pets picked up and killed.
     
    A perfect encapsulation of the casual cruelty of bureaucratic liberalism.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    Martial arts are a great social activity for young kids.
     
    I would recommend against attending ATA TKD schools or other schools that have a contract system or a black belt mass production philosophy. They are too commercialized for a long term time investment to be worth it.
     
     

  • Mike Devx

    For the first time in her adult life, Michelle Obama is proud of her cucumber.

    Yes, I know, that is wrong on so many levels.