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Nanny staters are feeling emboldened

I bring you two stories that illustrate the point.

First up, this news from Georgia:

Preston Blackwelder proudly showed off a painting of his grandmother that had hung next to the front door of his Port Wentworth home.

She was the woman who led him to God, Blackwelder said Friday.

And with that firm religious footing, Blackwelder said it would be preposterous to stop praying before meals at Port Wentworth's Ed Young Senior Citizens Center near Savannah because of a federal guideline.

"She would say pray anyway," Blackwelder said of his grandmother. "She'd say don't listen."

But Senior Citizens Inc. officials said Friday the meals they are contracted by the city to provide to Ed Young visitors are mostly covered with federal money, which ushers in the burden of separating church and state.

On Thursday, the usual open prayer before meals at the center was traded in for a moment of silence.

The dilemma is being hashed out by the Port Wentworth city attorney, said Mayor Glenn "Pig" Jones.

Tim Rutherford, Senior Citizens Inc. vice president, said some of his staff recently visited the center and noticed people praying shortly before lunch was served. Rutherford said his company provides meals like baked chicken, steak tips and rice and salads at a cost of about $6 a plate. Seniors taking the meals pay 55 cents and federal money foots the rest of the bill, Rutherford said.

"We can't scoff at their rules," he said of federal authorities. "It's a part of the operational guidelines."

Rutherford said the moment of silence was introduced to protect that funding. He said although the change may have been misinterpreted, perhaps his company could have done a better job selling it.

"It's interpreted that we're telling people that they can't pray, but we aren't saying that," he said. "We're asking them to pray to themselves. Have that moment of silence."

Mayor Jones said he was outraged by the change and has promised to find a solution.

"It was one of the hardest things I ever did as mayor is to look those people in the eyes and ask them to be patient with me and honor their God in a moment of silence until I can have a resolution to this," Jones said. "For me to look at their eyes and tell them they can't thank God for their food, it's unheard of - I can't take it."

Not only are they looking to stop you from praying collectively before meals, they're looking to stop you from eating food they deem to be unhealthy:

A White House report warns, "The childhood obesity epidemic in America is a national health crisis."

The review by the Task Force on Childhood Obesity says one out of every three children is overweight or obese. The task force is a key part of First Lady Michelle Obama's campaign to solve the problem of obesity within a generation. President Obama ordered the comprehensive review of the issue.

The report includes familiar themes, emphasizing the importance of improved nutrition and physical activity. It also calls for some new and dramatic controls on the marketing of unhealthy foods.

The task force wants junk food makers and marketers to go on what amounts to an advertising diet. It says media characters that are often popular with kids should only be used to promote healthy products. If voluntary efforts fail to limit marketing of less healthy products to young viewers, the task force suggests the FCC should consider new rules on commercials in children's programming. It also challenges food retailers to stop using in-store displays to sell unhealthy food items to children.

The advisory panel proposes better food content labeling on products and vending machines. Restaurants and vending machine companies are urged to display calorie counts. The experts say the FDA and USDA should cooperate with the food and beverage industries to develop a standard system of nutrition labeling on the front of packages. The study also suggests that restaurants should re-evaluate portion sizes, improve kids' menus and list more healthy food choices.

The story goes on to reference taxing particular foods at state and local levels to discourage the consumption of less healthy foods. 

I no longer recognize the country I grew up in.

Are you getting a little tired of all this hope and change?

Crossposted at Brutally Honest.


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Comments (35)

"separating church and stat... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"separating church and state"

How long are we going to allow this BULLSHIT to continue? The Constitution states that Congress will establish NO religion. Hello? Church of England ring any bells? Fucking retarded idiots!

As for 'childhood obesity', maybe if the asshole retards running the schools would actually allow kids to participate in some sports, they'd burn off all those extra pounds. Instead, we get rulings about "NOT allowing kids to pick teams - someones FEELINGS might get hurt". Or, "no dodge-ball, someone might get hurt". "Don't run, you might fall down".

When are the liberals going to be told to shove their heads up their collective asses and leave the rest of humanity alone?

"We can't scoff at their... (Below threshold)
cirby:

"We can't scoff at their rules," he said of federal authorities. "It's a part of the operational guidelines."

BS.

Show us the rule - or law - or "guideline."

It's an overreaching bureaucrat trying to make points with some hard-left boss.

A White House report war... (Below threshold)
macofromoc:

A White House report warns, "The childhood obesity epidemic in America is a national health crisis."

what about the White House report on smoking... oh wait... nvm

Of course, when they get do... (Below threshold)

Of course, when they get done butchering the menu, we won't WANT to to give thanks for the food...

Until now, I've avoided com... (Below threshold)
Hank:

Until now, I've avoided commenting on Mrs Obama. Now that she's entered the fray, she's fair game.

How about we weigh her and measure her body fat ratio. I suspect she should probably be on a diet. Someone should be telling her what she can and cannot eat, how often and how much.

And as macofromoc points out, the president smokes. Who the hell is he to tell us how to live when he's engaging in one of the most vile personal habits there is and more than likely, costing us all money down the road when his lungs give out.

Friggin liberals. They screw up everything they touch (with other peoples money) and still have the nerve to tell others how to live their lives.

In the meantime, I'll pray that someday they come to their senses.

I think what we're seeing i... (Below threshold)
MarkJ:

I think what we're seeing is more likely the last gasp of the Nanny Staters. The Health Fascists are smart enough to know that if the GOP takes the House and, as increasingly seems likely, the Senate in the fall the Repubs will be quickly calling for investigations and throwing out subpeonas like fastballs.

And they know they're going to be a world of hurt when that happens.

Sorry, but the feds are out... (Below threshold)

Sorry, but the feds are out of scope here. Regardless of where that food comes from, or what monies were used to provide it, they have no authority over what happens the moment that food is placed before the recipient. The food is, for all intents and purposes, a gift. The moment that gift is in the control of the recipient, it can be dealt with in whatever manner the recipient pleases.

Pray away, folks. The feds have no say in what you can do with your own food. Hey, under federal law, if the food is bad enough the recipient can even use it as fuel for the fire with which to burn an American flag. How's that for delicious irony?

Now, if this were food that was being fed to someone on a federal payroll during the performance of their federal duty (say, a space station astronaut, for example), then the feds can dictate all they like. It's probably written that way in the FAR, for all we know.

"A White House report wa... (Below threshold)
914:

"A White House report warns, "The childhood obesity epidemic in America is a national health crisis."

The review by the Task Force on Childhood Obesity says one out of every three children is overweight or obese. The task force is a key part of First Lady Michelle Obama's campaign to solve the problem of obesity within a generation. President Obama ordered the comprehensive review of the issue."


Obama stealing the election is the crisis we face in this country. He needs to go, pronto.

Second of all, who the hell appointed the Wookie to do anything? Han solo? This is ridiculous. Stay out of sight Wookie, your better not seen or heard from.

No worries. With Obama's e... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

No worries. With Obama's ecomonic policies we'll all be skinny soon enough. Socialist countries never have obesity problems.

I'm not sure how you reconc... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

I'm not sure how you reconcile the complaint about the Nanny State not allowing prayer while accepting the Nanny State's handout. It's inconsistent.

I don't understand some peo... (Below threshold)
Wizard:

I don't understand some people's obsession with communal prayers. If you, as an individual, want to pray, no force on earth can stop you. Making a big production out of it isn't necessary. Since God is supposed to be omniscient, you don't have to shout to get His attention. In fact, I seem to remember something in the Bible where Jesus criticized those who prayed ostentatiously in public, suggesting it was better to pray in private.

Besides, once you take government money, you're obliged to play by their rules. (That money may have been taxed/extorted from you in the first place, but that's a whole 'nother argument.) Protecting the church from the state is a major reason to keep the two separate.

Now, as to the War on Junk Food, that's an absolute load of statist crap, just one more example of people who just aren't happy unless they're running everyone's life. The more rules and controls the nanny state puts in place, the less incentive people have to take any responsibility for their own lives.

I don't underst... (Below threshold)
I don't understand some people's obsession with communal prayers.
Me either. If everyone else in the room is praying and I choose not to, it doesn't hurt me in the least.
...oh wait -- that's not wh... (Below threshold)

...oh wait -- that's not what you meant, is it? That's ironic.

The prayer/moment of silenc... (Below threshold)
James H:

The prayer/moment of silence thing, I think, will ultimately be resolved in favor of the seniors if the courts apply existing First Amendment jurisprudence. The federal rule/guideline is a stupid one.

On the other hand, if this were a 100-percent federally owned facility, there'd be a problem.

On the fatty foods, I don't see nearly as much nanny stating as others might. When it comes to kids in school, you're talking about, well, kids, not functioning adults. And a school quite literally acts in lieu of the parent.

Regulation of child-oriented marketing seems a bit much, though. I'm all for public-education campaigns, even campaigns targeted at adults. I also see nothing wrong with the gov't buying advertising time during kids' TV hour to promote exercise or healthy eating. That said, I really don't want the feds driving a high-fiber stake through Count Chocula's heart. And FCC regulators taking torches to Frankenberry is a bit much.

And finally, on the issue of a fat tax ... I'm all for it. Not to discourage purchases, mind you, but more as part of a componenent aimed at expanded government-funded healthcare (which we know is on the way). If people are going to eat themselves into government-funded healthcare for their overweight carcasses, let 'em pay for it, sez I.

Wizard @ #11 ~ Everyone is ... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

Wizard @ #11 ~ Everyone is willing to "play by the rules" of course, BUT we wish to SEE the rules we are playing by. Is that fair enough?

The man said it was "part of the operational guidelines," and having made the assertion he must show them. Because if there is no such "guideline" in writing ANYWHERE, he is just lying, isn't he?

"Since God is supposed t... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

"Since God is supposed to be omniscient, you don't have to shout to get His attention. In fact, I seem to remember something in the Bible where Jesus criticized those who prayed ostentatiously in public, suggesting it was better to pray in private."

And who is the government to tell them they cannot verbally speak their prayers? These are not unruly children. These are senior citizens who deserve a little respect, not the dehumanization they're being served up.

As long as the facility is not sponsoring "prayer time" it should be a non-issue.

We can only hope they don't... (Below threshold)
Hank:

We can only hope they don't consult with the WHO about obesity. From a Washpo article...

"North Korea's health system would be the envy of many developing countries because of the abundance of medical staff that it has available, the head of the World Health Organization said on Friday.

WHO Director-General Margaret Chan, speaking a day after returning from a 2-1/2 day visit to the reclusive country...

Chan spent most of her brief visit in Pyongyang, and she said that from what she had seen there most people had the same height and weight as Asians in other countries, while there were no signs of the obesity emerging in some parts of Asia."

North Korea, the ultimate Nanny state, and what do you know? Great health care and no obesity.

My how the big government t... (Below threshold)
Don L:

My how the big government types loathe God.

They do have a lot to fear from someone who is all good - all truthful - and (gulp)all powerful.

We'll see how well those eminations from penumbras work out for them on Judgement Day.

Oh yeah -two minor points I forgot momentarily there.

I am a jealous God and Vengence is Mine.

Gulp, gulp!

"North Korea, the ultimate ... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"North Korea, the ultimate Nanny state, and what do you know? Great health care and no obesity."

So they kept her in the capital, and let her see only what they wanted her to see. Did she check out Kim, he's always seemed 'overweight' to me. As for the rest of the country, guess Chan skipped the part about the continuing FAMINE going on there.

NEWS FLASH! Famines keep obesity down! Can I have the bazillion dollars now for the 'study' I just did?

James H says:"And fi... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

James H says:
"And finally, on the issue of a fat tax ... I'm all for it. Not to discourage purchases, mind you, but more as part of a componenent aimed at expanded government-funded healthcare (which we know is on the way). If people are going to eat themselves into government-funded healthcare for their overweight carcasses, let 'em pay for it, sez I."

Just out of curiosity, do you oppose private insurance raising rates on people who smoke, are obese, etc. even to the point where it might become too expensive for them to insure themselves against that lifestyle?

Just out of curios... (Below threshold)
James H:
Just out of curiosity, do you oppose private insurance raising rates on people who smoke, are obese, etc. even to the point where it might become too expensive for them to insure themselves against that lifestyle?

I don't believe insurers should do so in group plans such as employer-provided health insurance. In those cases, the employer negotiates a standard rate for all employees.

But in individual plans? I can live with it. And keep in mind, I'm overweight and I have a pre-existing condition). I purchase insurance in the individual market. I pay more than the standard rate for these policies because of my pre-existing conditions. Do I like this? No. Do I understand it? Yes.

I am a jealous God... (Below threshold)
James H:
I am a jealous God and Vengence is Mine.

There is no god.

Nietzsche is dead.... (Below threshold)
God:

Nietzsche is dead.

Nietzsche is dead.... (Below threshold)
James H:
Nietzsche is dead.

So? Men die.

And as an aside, C-3PO once said, "It's against my programming to impersonate a deity." You may wish to look of it.

And, by the way, "God," if ... (Below threshold)
James H:

And, by the way, "God," if you want to play in the theological and philosophical sandbox, trot out an actual argument rather than dime-store bon mots cribbed from unstylish T-shirts.

"There is no God" </... (Below threshold)
Geoffrey Britain:

"There is no God"

You've made the assertion, now prove it.

"And finally, on the issue of a fat tax ... I'm all for it."

Do you consume alcoholic drinks? Use recreational drugs? Smoke or chew tobacco products? Drink coffee, sodas or black tea? Eat processed foods, candy, salty snacks or junk foods? Do you eat meat? Do you not exercise regularly?

By your logic, all of those things should be taxed as well because they all have been found to be detrimental to our health and contribute to higher group health care costs.

Obviously freedom and liberty are not high on your scale of priorities. Clearly, you're European, if not by birth, certainly by inclination. Why don't you move there? Italy is supposed to be very nice. Oh! That's right. too Catholic, perhaps Greece?

We'll pick up the god debat... (Below threshold)
James H:

We'll pick up the god debate when I've got just a hair more time (maybe later this evening). But to this:

Do you consume alcoholic drinks? Use recreational drugs? Smoke or chew tobacco products? Drink coffee, sodas or black tea? Eat processed foods, candy, salty snacks or junk foods? Do you eat meat? Do you not exercise regularly?

No. No. No. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.

Now, Britain, I'd like to make a pair of points:

First, some of these items are taxed one way or another through sin taxes, specifically alcohol, recreational drugs, and tobacco products. On these counts, I support nothing that is not already in place.

Second, perhaps I should repeat: I favor such targeted taxes only if they are part of a government-funded healthcare initiative. When all's said and done, I lean more toward a single-payer system than I used to, but I do not place a high priority on it.

My priority is ensuring that if such a system is implemented, then paying for it requires taxes on risky behaviors, much like an insurer can increase my insurance premiums because I am overweight. This is called personal responsibility. I consider it far preferable to enacting sweeping tax increases across the upper and middle classes to pay for the risky behaviors of a relatively small number.

Obviously freedom and liberty are not high on your scale of priorities. Clearly, you're European, if not by birth, certainly by inclination. Why don't you move there? Italy is supposed to be very nice. Oh! That's right. too Catholic, perhaps Greece?

No. All in all, I prefer America, though I am grateful this country is large enough that you and I can be separated by a thousand miles or more.


Jamie Oliver,a chef from En... (Below threshold)
Rich:

Jamie Oliver,a chef from England,came over to Huntington,WV to change the way people eat. Apparently Huntington was named the worst place to live because of the the eating habits there. Its not the greatest show,but if you watch just the first three episodes on Hulu.com or whatever your outlet is you can get a good look into what happens with government food and nutrition in schools. Oliver presents fresh foods locally grown and clashes with the rules and definitions of the imposed bureaucracy of town and state.

"Jamie Oliver,a chef from E... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"Jamie Oliver,a chef from England"

Britain has "chefs"? I've eaten in Britain, somehow the word BLAND keeps popping into my head.

In the early 1900's, when p... (Below threshold)
Deke:

In the early 1900's, when public education came into the predominatly Catholic, French speaking areas, of Southern Louisiana most of the teachers and admin. came from other southern states who belonged to predominatly Protestant denominations. When students made the sign of the cross before the mandated morning prayer, they were admonished by their teachers for doing so, they were told that it was wrong and that papist, idolatry would not be tolerated. This forced the church to open up a plethora of parochial schools drawing all the best students away from public education. To this day the public education system in Louisiana is in disaray, test scores are the lowest in the country, the amount of money they receive is dismal, due to low enrollment, and varied other problems.

Needless to say we have to be very, very careful when it comes to state sponsoring of religious practice, BUT again this is a case of the minority getting rights over the majority. I'm not an advocate of mandation but when a clear, vast majority of a group are comfortable with expression of religious beliefs and they are not forcing anyone nor ostracizing those who choose not to participate then one has to ask, "Have we gone to far?" Has common sense and polite decorum gone from the American landscape? I would hope not but it seems, perhaps, it has.

Not only is Nietzsche dead,... (Below threshold)
God:

Not only is Nietzsche dead, apparently so is James H's sense of humor.

"To this day the public ed... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

"To this day the public education system in Louisiana is in disaray,"...deke

As an army brat, I went to public elementary school for one year (1971) in Leesville (outside Ft. Polk). It was run and staffed by crazy people.

However, every morning at 10-after, the Lord's Prayer was recited by all. It was drilled into our heads. And it came in handy later in life.

Don't ask me how the LP entered the conversation EXACTLY, but in my teens I impressed more than one hottie's mama by knowing it, which basically gave me the E-ticket to paradise, since I MUST have been a Good Boy for knowing it!

I basically outranked the *sneaky* daughter in family esteem! Of course, since the Girl and Me were in cahoots, it was my job to whip out the Eddie Haskell act when necessary!, ie: "Oh no, Mrs. C! Me and Debbie are slipping outside through the window to observe the conjunction of Saturn and Venus for science class! And did you know that...
Our Father, Who art in Heaven,
Hallowed be Thy Name.
Thy Kingdom Come,
Thy will be done
On Earth as it is in Heaven.

Give us this day
Our daily bread,
And forgivith our trespasses
As we forgive those who trespass against us, etc, etc"

smooooth!

'Not only is Nietzsche d... (Below threshold)
914:

'Not only is Nietzsche dead, apparently so is James H's sense of humor."

James H Your dead!

"I am a jealous God and Ven... (Below threshold)
914:

"I am a jealous God and Vengence is Mine.


There is no god.

22. Posted by James H | May 11, 2010 5:03 PM | Score: -9 (11 votes cast)"

Someday you'll wake up! Hopefully before you expire...TY James

I gotta say that Don L's go... (Below threshold)
James H:

I gotta say that Don L's god is a petty little thing. I recall an Old Testament deity that sent a prophet to lead his worshippers out of slavery to the Pharoah. Fast forward a few thousand years, and Don L's god is going to make with the smiting because a few seniors haven't been praying over their government-provided meals.

Is Don L's god going to send prophet to lead these oppressed to the land of early-bird specials? Will the steak-tips guy be subjected to (death, frogs, etc., etc.) As far as oppression goes, this is a step down from delivering people from slavery or redeeming their sins through sacrifice.

As to 914:

Someday you'll wake up! Hopefully before you expire

I am awake. My eyes are more open than they ever were.




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