Nanny state on steroids: Chicago school bans kids from bringing lunch … from home

Yet another example of the state stepping in and playing the role of parent (via @coyotered9):

At [7th-grader Fernando Dominguez’s] public school, Little Village Academy on Chicago’s West Side, students are not allowed to pack lunches from home. Unless they have a medical excuse, they must eat the food served in the cafeteria.

Principal Elsa Carmona said her intention is to protect students from their own unhealthful food choices.

“Nutrition wise, it is better for the children to eat at the school,” Carmona said. “It’s about the nutrition and the excellent quality food that they are able to serve (in the lunchroom). It’s milk versus a Coke. But with allergies and any medical issue, of course, we would make an exception.”

Carmona said she created the policy six years ago after watching students bring “bottles of soda and flaming hot chips” on field trips for their lunch. Although she would not name any other schools that employ such practices, she said it was fairly common.

A Chicago Public Schools spokeswoman said she could not say how many schools prohibit packed lunches and that decision is left to the judgment of the principals.

Oh … so principals are apparently allowed to do this in the Chicago school system. Nice.

At Claremont Academy Elementary School on the South Side, officials allow packed lunches but confiscate any snacks loaded with sugar or salt. (They often are returned after school.) Principal Rebecca Stinson said that though students may not like it, she has yet to hear a parent complain.

“The kids may have money or earn money and (buy junk food) without their parents’ knowledge,” Stinson said, adding that most parents expect that the school will look out for their children.

Such discussions over school lunches and healthy eating echo a larger national debate about the role government should play in individual food choices.

“This is such a fundamental infringement on parental responsibility,” said J. Justin Wilson, a senior researcher at the Washington-based Center for Consumer Freedom, which is partially funded by the food industry.

“Would the school balk if the parent wanted to prepare a healthier meal?” Wilson said. “This is the perfect illustration of how the government’s one-size-fits-all mandate on nutrition fails time and time again. Some parents may want to pack a gluten-free meal for a child, and others may have no problem with a child enjoying soda.”

Mike Brownfield at Heritage’s Foundry blog responds:

Never mind that the kids don’t like the food (the Tribune cites examples of parents and students complaining). The government is doing what it thinks is best when they know parents can’t parent, right? That same logic has led to a ban on Happy Meal toys in Santa Clara, Calif., a ban on trans fat in New York City, a soda pop tax in Baltimore, Md., a whole host of “sin taxes” by Congress, and calorie counts on vending machines to scare us from snacking.

So where do individual responsibility, choice and liberty come in? They don’t. That’s one lesson kids will learn quickly in the nanny state.

I bet Michelle Obama is so proud.

Update – 5:20 PM: Aaron Worthing, guesting at Patterico’s, adds this:

There is a certain attitude around these days, most prevalently on the left, that schools should be used to teach children the right beliefs about everything (except faith, naturally), from environmentalism to socialism, to everything. It’s reason 44,324 why we should have vouchers.


Honoring mass-murderers

**Posted by Phineas

You can tell a lot about what a society values by noting whom they choose to honor and glorify. In America, we revere important political figures such as George Washington or Abraham Lincoln for their devotion to the nation and their wise leadership. We admire star athletes for their physical prowess and heroic cops and firefighters for risking their lives to save others. And, of course, we praise the citizen-soldiers of our all-volunteer military for sacrificing personal gain to defend us from vicious enemies. All these examples and others show what we as a people deem laudable.

So what does it tell us about Palestinian society that they choose to bestow honors on the man who helped murder a bunch of elderly Jews celebrating Passover?

The Palestinian Authority Minister of Prisoners’ Affairs, Issa Karake, visited the family of the terrorist Abbas Al-Sayid who planned the Passover suicide bombing in 2002. Thirty Israelis were killed in the terror attack, when a suicide bomber entered a hotel in Netanya and detonated his bomb during the Passover Seder dinner. Al-Sayid is serving 30 life sentences for planning this attack.

The Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs maintains a list with the names, ages, and photos of Al-Said’s victims.

Via Big Peace, which has many other examples of Palestinian society honoring terrorist killers, including approval for the savages who slaughtered the Fogel family a few weeks ago.

PS: While I think the answer to my question is obvious, those interested in pursuing how Palestinian society has become a “fear society” would do well to read Sharansky’s “The Case for Democracy.”

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Public Secrets banned from Facebook? UPDATE — ban lifted

**Posted by Phineas

Apparently so. A reader wrote to tell me he was blocked from linking one of my posts there because of “abusive or spamming content.” So, I fired up the seldom-used Public Secrets account and, sure enough, I was blocked from linking a post from my own blog.


It had to have happened within the last week or so, since I recall seeing recent hits from Facebook. It’s no great loss, but I am curious which post outraged someone so much that he or she felt a need to complain. Was it one pointing out the inherent aggressiveness, misogyny, and Jew-hatred in Islam? That’s not being abusive, just honest. My contentions that Eric Holder should be impeached, Barack Obama is a stealth Socialist, and this entire administration a bunch of bumblers out to weaken the United States? Strong opinions, yes, but “abusive?”

And I wonder if it takes one complaint or several?

As for “spamming,” when did I ever try to sell any of you the “Secret Way To Make Money Fast?”

Well, recently, at any rate.

Anyone know how one goes about getting the ban lifted? Not so much for me, but I’d like others to be able to link, if they want to.

UPDATE: It looks like the ban has been lifted.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

The high price of the Obama administration’s war on CIA interrogators

The LA Times files a disturbing report about how the CIA has “slashed” its interrogation role in light of the administration’s stifling policies on interrogation techniques (via Memeorandum):

Reporting from Washington— He’s considered one of world’s most dangerous terrorism suspects, and the U.S. offered a $1-million reward for his capture in 2005. Intelligence experts say he’s a master bomb maker and extremist leader who possesses a wealth of information about Al Qaeda-linked groups in Southeast Asia.

Yet the U.S. has made no move to interrogate or seek custody of Indonesian militant Umar Patek since he was apprehended this year by officials in Pakistan with the help of a CIA tip, U.S. and Pakistani officials say.

The little-known case highlights a sharp difference between President Obama’s counter-terrorism policy and that of his predecessor, George W. Bush. Under Obama, the CIA has killed more people than it has captured, mainly through drone missile strikes in Pakistan’s tribal areas. At the same time, it has stopped trying to detain or interrogate suspects caught abroad, except those captured in Iraq and Afghanistan.“The CIA is out of the detention and interrogation business,” said a U.S. official who is familiar with intelligence operations but was not authorized to speak publicly.

Several factors are behind the change.
In January 2009, Obama ordered the CIA to abide by the interrogation rules of the U.S. Army Field Manual, which guides military interrogators and includes prohibitions on the use of physical force against detainees. Critics warn that Al Qaeda operatives could study the manual, which is available on the Internet, to learn how to resist its techniques, although no evidence has emerged suggesting that has happened.

Widespread criticism of Bush administration interrogation and detention policies as brutal and degrading led Obama to stop sending suspected terrorists to the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Public exposure also forced the CIA to close a network of secret prisons. That left U.S. officials with no obvious place to hold new captives.

In addition, some CIA officers are spooked by a long-running criminal investigation by a Washington special prosecutor into whether CIA officers broke the law by conducting brutal interrogations of suspected terrorists during the Bush administration.

“Given the enormous headaches involved … it’s not surprising there are fewer people coming into our hands,” said Paul Pillar, a former senior CIA official.

Just like most other sane, clear-thinking people who have not forgotten 9-11, I want just as many terrorist thugs eliminated as possible, but at the same time I realize that it’s also important to be able to capture, detain, and aggressively interrogate terrorists who are thought to have intelligence value because many of them will have vital information that will aid in the fight against Islamofascism both here at home and abroad.  So while it’s unsurprising and, frankly, predictable that the CIA is taking the “kill rather than capture” approach to terrorists outside of those literally captured on the battlefield in Iraq and Afghanistan, it’s nevertheless disturbing to read about all the same.   CIA agents in the field simply cannot rely on this President nor his America-last Attorney General to back them up, so many of them are taking the safe route with this approach rather than risk career, legal, and international retribution.  And in the process, bye bye, intelligence information.

By taking an insanely naive ideological rather than practical, tried and proven approach to handling known terrorists once we have them in our sights, this administration has effectively tied behind their backs the hands of some of the very people they rely on to gain valuable information that would lead to the capture of a high value terrorist like KSM, and/or information that would stop planned terrorist attacks before they happened.  This is exactly the type of pre-9-11 mindset that, in part, got thousands innocents murdered on one beautiful September morning.   This dangerous President and his head-in-sand administration cannot get voted out of office soon enough. 

Hurry up, November 2012.