Monday, December 26, 2011


Las Vegas Review-Journal Editorial |

O.K. -  The LVR-J is hardly the The New York or even The LA Times – and 4LAKids is being either foolhardy or brave in rebloging this content – the LVR-J is notable for:

  1. their  libertarian-teabagger politics  - Phyllis Schalaffy and Ollie North are regular contributors  (Note the “nanny-state” buzz-verbiage following)
  2. and for copyright trolling. Being a libertarian copyright-troll seems oxymoronic to me…but…

So allow me to run a little peanut gallery commentary to the editorialist’s - in 4LAKids signature 2¢ copper hue – both to compliment and damn them (and all) with faint praise.

Posted: Dec. 24, 2011 | 2:00 a.m.  :: As part of a campaign against obesity, the Los Angeles Unified School District banned sodas from campuses in 2004. It then moved on to nix the sale of junk food during the school day. But this fall, officials took their biggest step to date: feeding their captive charges what authorities consider a healthier menu.

“..what authorities consider?” Would those behe same alleged authorities that say global warming is real and advocate water fluoridation and vaccination programs and mandatory hand washing ?

The Los Angeles Times reported last week that one day's lunch menu included black bean burgers, tostada salad and fresh pears. But instead of sampling the fare, two juniors pulled three bags of Flamin' Hot Cheetos and soda from their backpacks.

" 'This is our daily lunch,' Iraides Renteria said. 'We're eating more junk food now than last year.' "

What? More unintended consequences of coercion?

"For many students, L.A. Unified's trailblazing introduction of healthful school lunches has been a flop. ... Many of the meals are being rejected en masse," the Times reports.

Participation in the school lunch program has dropped by thousands of students. Principals report massive waste, with uneaten entrees being tossed.

Acknowledging the complaints, L.A. Unified's food services director, Dennis Barrett, announced this month that the menu would be revised. Hamburgers will be brought back, and some of the more exotic dishes are out, including the beef jambalaya, vegetable curry, and lentil and brown rice cutlets. The district is even bringing back pizza -- albeit it with a whole wheat crust, and low-fat cheese.

On campus, entrepreneurial adults -- including a Junior ROTC officer and an art teacher -- have been found selling black-market candy, chips and instant noodles to hungry students, the Times reports.

OK: Having been one I can say with certitude that a Junior ROTC officer would be a cadet, not an adult.  And I love art teachers, but art teachers and Jr. ROTC officers selling black market candy, chips and instant noodles during school hours are actually violating federal law.on the books for decades.

"I compare it to Prohibition," Vanderbok said.

Bootleggers and speakeasy operators were (in addition to being “entrepreneurial adults” and libertarians) violating federal law also. Many went to prison. And many more got alcohol poisoning from bathtub gin. Others got lead poisoning in underground garages in Chicago and  roadside ambushes in Oklahoma.

Precisely. Should kids be taught about health and nutrition? Sure. Should they be given healthier alternatives to corn dogs, doughnuts and nachos? Sure. But "alternatives" imply choice.

It just goes to show: If you want to run a successful Nanny State, you've got to eliminate this "competition" business, this idea of "choice." In the end, they're going to end up needing a lot more guards and some barbed wire.

●● Oh please!   Remember the soliloquy of Sterling Hayden as Col. Jack D. Ripper in “Dr. Strangelove” about the plot to contaminate our bodily fluids and communize the nation by sabotaging a Coke machine?  Dr. Strangelove was farce. This is farce². 

Here’s what really happened, according to smf: : LAUSD was on the national cutting edge of school food service reform in banning sodas from campuses in 2004 and nixing the sale of junk food during the school day. LAUSD had eliminated transfats and saturated bad stuff. All grains were whole, sugar and high fructose corn syrup and mystery meat were being phased out. The really good cinnamon rolls were gone. New menus were being prepared, tested and focus grouped.

Jamie Oliver hit town and tried to push the District harder and faster, Supt. Cortines would have none of it. Then Cortines was gone and the new superintendent appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! with Oliver …and chocolate and strawberry milk were eliminated by executive fiat. (Which is like a Fiat 500 but without J.Lo. or the sunroof.)

It was handwritten on The Wall: Flavored Milk wouldve’ been eliminated within a few months anyway –. But Jummy Kimmell and A Celebrity Chef!: Whoa! – A Media Triumph. The critics raved!

All of this would've been swell and well done – had not the District Leadership (not to be confused with the Food Services directorate) pushed the envelope and decided to roll out all the new menu items – Districtwide – in one fell swoop with no further testing.

What’s with that? These ®eformers are Testers, driven by data!

The result is what we have today. The diners are waiting and Gordon Ramsey is ballistic in the kitchen. Its an awful lot like the BTS Payroll Fiasco – rolled out before it was ready. And all the powers-that-be, who chafed at adult’s resistance to change in their classroom, came face-to-face with children facing change on their lunch menu.

All in all,  just another brick in The Wall.

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