Saturday, May 19, 2012

Michelle Obama's Food Police Curtail Fine Arts Programs at School

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When you read a headline like that, doesn't it make you think you might be reading about a skit on SNL or something out of Monty Python? It's hard to parody modern liberals.
A Utah high school is learning the hard way that the government is serious about nudging students away from food it doesn’t want them to consume. Davis High School in the Salt Lake City area is having to fork over a whopping $15,000 in fines to the Feds because it accidentally sold soda through a vending machine during lunch.

Federal law requires the school to turn off its soda machines during the lunch period, which is 47 minutes a day. And Davis High school did turn off the machines in the lunch room. However, the school didn‘t realize that there was another machine in the school bookstore that wasn’t being turned off. And when the food police realized it, the school was hit with a $0.75 fine per student for the duration of the offense. Now the school is going to have to cut money to fine arts programs to make up the cost.
Fifteen thousand dollars taken away from educating the kids at Davis High School, not because they willfully defied federal law, but because they inadvertently violated federal law. And a pretty stupid law at that. These are high school kids. How many of them do you think are clever enough to know, that if they are having lunch at 12 and the soda machine shuts off at 11:59, that if they want to drink a soda with lunch, they just buy one a tiny bit earlier? Or across the street at an open store? Give me a break!

What business should the federal government have telling any local school district what they can and cannot serve on campus? What comes from the vending machine isn't technically being served by the school anyway! And speaking of intrusion into the lives of the students, remember that story not long ago about a state inspector examining the sack lunches that some preschool children were bringing from home, and rejecting them, according to USDA guidelines! These students were then forced to consume the oh, so nutritional chicken nuggets being served at the school cafeteria! This is the Nanny State on steroids! (And don't get me started on steroids, when Congress hasn't passed a budget in three years, yet can find time for hearings on whether or not athletes took performance enhancing drugs!)

Let's review. Each school has a principal. The school is likely part of a district. The district is under the auspices of a county board of education. The county board of education is subject to one of fifty state boards of education. So, with four layers of management, educational and nutritional expertise, in addition to parent teacher groups, why on God's green earth do we need a fifth, federal layer of bureaucracy? To soak up cash that could be going into the classroom to educate our children, all the while creating new regulations and one-size-fits-all restrictions and guidelines in order to justify their existence?

BTW, the superintendent of one admittedly large school district receives "an annual salary of $330,000, medical and retirement benefits, and a district car and driver." For comparison, in 2001, the annual salary of POTUS was increased to $400,000 per year, plus $50,000 for expenses. Know of any cities, states or federal governments

But this was apparently a federal law that was broken, so for the aforementioned Congress, who cannot even find the time to make good on their Constitutional mandate to produce a federal budget, I would suggest having the 10th Amendment to the Constitution branded on the forearms of every member of Congress, with the stipulation that they only be allowed to wear short sleeved shirts at work. Anyone who can find the penumbra of a shadow of a Constitutional prohibition on soda machines in city public schools may propose the next ordinance, but in the meantime, we need to get the federal government out of the business of trying to micromanage every aspect of our lives and make them focus on the duties they currently neglect that are clearly Constitutional.

Serious rant to follow.

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