Where is modern civilization heading?

As a society are we heading in the same direction as the ancient Romans? If so the question becomes.......

Are our leaders fiddling while civilization burns?

While we ponder the question I will post my personal thoughts on this blog. Often I will focus on current events that catch my interest, however I am not and do not pretend to be a news organization. I'm simply a guy with his own thoughts on issues that I believe affect our country and society.

Be forewarned, I have been accused of being a right wing thinker and if that is offensive please move on. Remember, this is my blog and my opinions, and unlike many facets of our already over-governed modern society they are not being forced on anyone.

However, please feel free to leave your comments, good, bad or indifferent, after all this is a free society we live in (at least for now).

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The "Nanny" state is alive and well, hide your Big Macs and Quarter Pounders

Well folks today is the day! The much needed and eagerly anticipated ordinance to ban free toys in children's fast food meals officially takes effect in the San Francisco region. If your not familiar with this particular ordinance here is a brief run down.

The Healthy Food Incentive Ordinance bans toy giveaways with children's meals at fast-food restaurants unless the meal meets San Francisco's strict nutritional standards, in this case meals of 600 calories or less. The ban targets Happy Meal-style toys, claiming that the inclusion of a a toy as an incentive unfairly targets marketing at children who are unable to make healthy decisions for themselves. The ordinance was easily passed by the San Fran Board of Supervisors in an 8-3 vote. Supervisor Eric Mar, who originally introduced the ban and has a young daughter argued that the "pester power" of a young child seduced by the toys can be enough to persuade parents to buy the unhealthy meals.

What's really interesting is that Mar was an elected member of the San Francisco School Board from 2001 to 2009, its president in 2005, and not once did he undertake the task of ensuring that student meals provided by the school district fell below the 600 calorie standard. In fact it turns out that not one meal in the current San Francisco school district qualifies to recieve a free toy. Not the 708-calorie beef dippers, not the 711-calorie cheese lasagna, not the 712-calorie chicken nuggets.

Whoa....... This is so wrong on so many levels I am almost at a loss where to start.

First and foremost, this ordinance clearly shows the contempt that those in power hold for the man on the street. Eight of Eleven Board Members obviously feel they are better qualified, know more, and must step in to ensure that the average parent is raising their child in a manner acceptable to board members. The underlying message (intentionally or not) is that parents in general are not intelligent or disciplined enough to ensure their own children eat "correctly", so naturally the government must step in. I have to wonder what kind of parent Mr Eric Mar is that he feels legislation is required to overcome "pester power" of a small child. Around my house I can assure you we do not require legislation we simply say "NO" and that is the end of the discussion.

Secondly, at what point was civic government empowered to step in and determine what a restaurants marketing campaign can contain? This is a direct assault on two fronts, one a private businesses ability to operate, and two an individuals right to choose their own diet. What's next, will they ban ketchup? After all, providing customers with Ketchup may "seduce" them to eat more french fries. While we are at it maybe removing the pickle and cheese from a hamburger will help the consumer avoid choosing it say over a salad.

Don't these idiots have anything better to do with their time?

The only funny part of this is that McDonald's already announced a "work around" for this and it is a brilliant move. The toys are still available for an extra $0.10, all of which is donated to charity, in this case Ronald McDonald House. So not only did MickyD evade an ordinance intended to make them look like the bad guy, but in doing so improved their standing as a good corporate citizen and member of the community. Long live McDonald's!

So I imagine that Mr Mar is fuming about this, who knows maybe he next move will be to introduce an ordinance dictating what  charities that the citizens of San Fran can contribute to.

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