Could Sarah Palin Be Right?!

December 30, 2010

by Mario Rizzo  

In an editorial the Wall Street Journal criticizes Sarah Palin for criticizing Michelle Obama’s anti-obesity campaign. The point seems to be that such talk from the Ms. Bully Pulpit is innocuous or benign. The writer makes an analogy with Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No” anti-drug campaign. 

Now if Michelle Obama were just a Chicago-based community activist who was organizing a nation-wide propaganda campaign to urge people to eat healthily I would have no objection.  

Although Ms. Obama does not hold any official office she is a spokesperson for the White House and her husband, the president. Nothing she does or says happens without political vetting, approval, strategizing and so forth. In this sense she is an arm of the executive branch.  

I do not believe it is the job of the federal government to teach us anything. It is simply part of the apparatus of compulsion and coercion whose job it is, at most, to main the basics of social order. When we allow it to become our Teacher we are elevating it to a role for which it has no comparative moral authority. Why should its values be authoritative? Why not my values? Why not your values? 

It is not as if this advice emanates from a source (the White House, including President Obama) that has a reputation for moral integrity. The deceptions surrounding Iraq and Afghanistan policy come readily to mind. (When were the troops supposed to come home?)  

And yet not even this is the main point. The advice comes from a person who has decided to devote her life to accomplishing goals by the political means. These goals are not the gradual reduction of political power (obviously) but its increase. It is wrong to think that granting moral authority, as all teaching authority must be, to such people is benign. One of the main differences between conservatives and classical liberals is that liberals do not look up to the state. They look down to it as a necessary evil.

Of course, what comes from the White House is rarely just advice but is part of an overall strategy encouraging the dependence of people on the state. We are weak. We must be helped in every area of our lives by our “betters” – those who wield power but so generously give of themselves to us.

If I weren’t a “health nut” I would eat some potato chips in protest.

68 Responses to “Could Sarah Palin Be Right?!”

  1. Richard Ebeling Says:

    Somewhere in his “The Study of Sociology,” Herbert Spencer says that one of the political superstitions of our age is the notion that an official stamp by the government on an ordinary piece of paper gives that scrap of paper some mystical significance and importance which most people, then, revere and give obedience to.

    This applies, no less, to the words emanating from the mouths of those who claim political authority or legitimacy.

    The older political superstition of the divine right and authority of kings and princes passed away in the liberal and democratic revolutions of the late 18th and the 19th centuries.

    But, alas, it was replaced by an alternative political superstition — the divinity of democratic politics. The presumption still prevails that those elected by “the people” are somehow bestowed or anointed with an extra ordinary power that, from the moment that they take their oath of office, fills them with powers of knowledge, goodness, and good intentions beyond those of mere common men.

    (Or that they have the divine insight to appoint others to non-elected offices in government who possess those supernatural powers of knowing what is right, good, and just for the rest of humanity.)

    Classical Liberalism claims that no man (or woman) has such divinity. It elevates only one person — the unique and singular individual human being — and says that each such individual should be self-governing and sovereign.

    Not only, or primarily, self-governing and sovereign in the sense that he debates and elects those who shall hold political office for a specific period of time, with particular and narrowly defined duties and responsibilities.

    No, Classical Liberalism declares a more profound self-governance and sovereignty. The right of the individual to govern and “rule” over his own life, guided by his own notion of the good, the beautiful, and the just; his own conception of what will give meaning and value to his life; and liberty to choose what that individual sovereign considers the best means and methods to attain his selected ends and goals and purposes.

    His “foreign relations” with other sovereign individuals is based on the idea and “policy” of non-interference in the “domestic,” personal, affairs of all other self-governing individuals. Their associations are grounded in the principle of mutual association and “treaty” (contract and voluntary consent).

    It is this deeper Classical Liberal conception of self-governance, sovereignty, and “rule” that has been lost, and needs to be regained.

    Richard Ebeling

  2. James Pier Says:

    Supporting the call for sefl-governance is clear evidence that paternalistic programs lead to unintended consequences. What busybodies like to call “the obesity epidemic” owes at least in part to the interventions of earlier busybodies that have resulted in two major developments: an obese individual is now considered by many a victim, absolved of responsibility for his own condition or its remedy; and secondly, the not inconsiderable costs of that condition are socialized by the many restrictions on health insurance which insulate the obese individual from direct responsibility.

    That more government is seen as a solution ought to be laughable on its face.

  3. Andy Says:

    I will eat some potato chips for you in protest.

  4. lxm Says:

    I suspect if Sarah Palin had said American youth had an obesity problem, you would have no problem at all.

  5. Roger Koppl Says:

    I gotta say, lxm, that your comment is just the sort of thing that gets me damn mad. Instead of responding to the argument made, you superciliously impute an unobserved inconsistency to your interlocutor. How about addressing the, you know, content of Mario’s remarks?

  6. DEA Says:

    Could it be the case that the “obesity epidemic” is a side effect of the success of government anti-smoking programs (from 50 to 20 percent of the population). Quitting smoking is associated with significant weight gain, which according to the propaganda is a price worth paying. But now that people don’t have to quit smoking, since they don’t smoke, obesity becomes the latest hurdle to be overcome in the creation of a perfect population. But here are some other hypotheses:

    H1: could it be that the sum total of a person’s intolerance stays the same, but that the focus changes with the evolution of political correctness. The people who in the past would have considered a gay atheist to be the worst kind of person now considers an obese smoker to be the greatest offense to respectable people. This would imply that “liberalism” has replaced conservatism as the natural home of the intolerant.

    H2: Everyone is equally intolerant, but the direction of intolerance differs, i.e. Michelle can’t stand obese people while Sarah shuns atheists. This may imply that conservatives and “liberals” are equally intolerant. And libertarians are intolerant of people without a coherent and economically literate ideology.

    H3: Politics disproportionately attracts intolerant paternalists of all stripes, becuase the pay-off for successful politicians is control over others rather than money for individual consumption.

    My H4 is that H3 will be the most popular hypothesis among readers of Think Markets.


  7. In the 1960s and 70s, some on the political left chanted a mantra: “The personal is the political.” That view denied the concept of any private sphere within which individuals were autonomous.

    Knowingly or not, the left was adopting Marxist-Lenist praxis as their theory. For socialism to work, there must be a new socialist man who no longer has bourgeois preferences.

    The fat busybodies are implicitly adopting the view that there is no personal sphere not subject to political authority. What could be more personal than deciding what to eat tonight? I bear the consequences.

    (The argument that I might become a charge on taxpayers is an argument against socialized medicine, not against being obese.)

    There is also the curious fact that, as Americans grow fatter, they continue to live longer. I don’t dispute that being fat may be bad for your health, but apparently not enough to halt advances in longevity.

    The libertarin response to this mindset was provided by John Wayne in “The Shootist” (his best and last movie, filmed in Carson City, NV). He articulated his philosophy that he would not tell any other man how to live his life, nor would he tolerate any man telling him how to live his life.

  8. Bill Stepp Says:

    A consistent classical liberal is an anarchist.
    And when are the Fat Police going to arrive in the People’s Republic of Berkeley? There’s an economist and blogger there who had better hide out when they do.

  9. James Pier Says:

    DEA says:

    H3: Politics disproportionately attracts intolerant paternalists of all stripes, becuase the pay-off for successful politicians is control over others rather than money for individual consumption.

    I wonder how many current Senators enjoy net worths in the multi-millions? I wonder further how many enjoyed that status prior to their ascendance to that lofty perch? I don’t think they lack for money for individual consumption.

  10. David Says:

    I know, James, but the ex ante expected earnings from a political career are surely smaller than from a business career (except within political dynasties), even if money is certainly welcomed by politicians. Perhaps those with fewer lucrative political connections at the outset (such as Obama, Clinton or Palin) are more likely to be paternalists than the more obvious rent-seekers (Bush I and II, Cheney)


  11. […] “I do not believe it is the job of the federal government to teach us anything. It is simply part of the apparatus of compulsion and coercion whose job it is, at most, to main the basics of social order. When we allow it to become our Teacher we are elevating it to a role for which it has no comparative moral authority. Why should its values be authoritative? Why not my values? Why not your values?”  Mario Rizzo http://thinkmarkets.wordpress.com/2010/12/30/could-sarah-palin-be-right/#more-4075 […]

  12. Seth Says:

    lxm – I would have no problem if either Michelle Obama or Sarah Palin said that American children have an obesity problem.

    I don’t have a problem if either leveraged their political clout to form voluntary organizations to do something about it.

    I do have problems if either uses government to do something about it, like pushing Congress to pass legislation to give the USDA more power over school nutrition.

    The problems I have with it are: a) I don’t believe this is something our federal government has the power to be concerned with, b) I don’t think it will be effective in achieving its intent (which I assume is to reduce childhood obesity), at least there’s no test market results to suggest that, c) It creates more government bureaucracy that will be more interested in self-preservation than achieving its intent, d) It continues the precedent of folks using government to create the appearance of having done something useful, when all they have done is pick the taxpayer pocket to bolster her own resume.


  13. In a bigger picture, I find it disturbing that some of the first ladies have wielded such influence: They were not elected and they should not be unofficial second vice-presidents. (The same applies to any future “first gentlemen”.)

    Now, I have no objections to a first lady engaging herself in politics—if she has the time, she could even run for an office of her own. However, merely being the spouse of someone important should not be an automatic ticket to influence (to a higher degree than can reasonably be avoided). Conversely, a president should be elected based on who he and his vice-president are, what they want to and are able to achieve, and what values they stand for—not based on whom he is married to, how cute his children are, or if he has a golden retriever.

  14. Jim Rose Says:

    Mario,

    at the risk of being a top grade pedant, the first lady may well be a federal employee.

    To quote wikipedia, “The Office of the First Lady is an entity of the White House Office … As such, Hillary Clinton’s abdication of the office in favor of the couple’s daughter, in advance of the former’s installation as a United States Senator avoided conflict under the Ineligibility Clause of the United States Constitution.”

    seasons greetings

  15. bill nietman Says:

    I am not an American. I live on a cruise ship dependent island: When I am forced to see grotesquely fat Americans tromping around the area 9by the thousands), I can only be grateful for ANYONE with the nerve/perspicacity to address that particular issue. I am not mentioniong the all pervasive McDonald.Burger king/Subways etc…. Reform your space & try not to pollute ours

  16. s ray Says:

    Using this title for an article is a loaded question and cheap journalism. Titles are to gain attention not to immediately divide. Good health support is helpful to everyone. Juvenile behavior to prove “I’m not afraid to be fat” (eating potato chips) is another indication of our dumb society that just doesn’t understand help when it is offered. Look at the amount it cost to medically treat obesity, go ahead and eat your heart out, then pay for it yourself.

  17. Gordon Jones Says:

    Utter unadulterated bull pucky. Written solely to get on the board. Look around. Talk to health care professionals. Too many fat kids out there, too many fat young adults. How could anyone criticize efforts by First Lady or anyone else to get this problem under control. Sarah is on a roll in terms of raising money for her own benefit with outrageous and idiotic press moments. It’s working folks!

  18. David McClurkin Says:

    Mario writes, “The writer makes an analogy with Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No” anti-drug campaign.” Bad call. Mrs. Reagan was in sync with established public policy. Mrs. Obama seems to be trying to influence/create public policy in this instance. That’s a big difference. Whether Mrs. Palin used a good rationale for calling out Mrs. Obama is open for debate.


  19. You’re an idiot.

  20. malialitman Says:

    Forget the moral imperative to encourage healthy eating for our children, just consider the cost to taxpayers of overeating. People who are obese cost us huge amounts of money in medicaid, medicare, and national health care benefits. Childhood obesity is one of the primary causes of juvenile-onset diabetes, so it is the government’s job to help people eat healthier, because it costs us gargantuan amounts of tax dollars. malialitman.wordpress.com. http://www.justsaynotobs.com

  21. Katie Says:

    It is the Sarah Palins of this arena who insist on taking Michelle Obama’s cause of stressing healthy personal habits and making it a leftist agenda of big government legislating our daily lives. Ms Obama has spoken many times of PERSONAL choice and has led by example, not by legislation. I find it incredible that they would welcome government interference when it comes to the most intimate aspects of our daily lives and yet manufacture government agendas when it comes to Ms Obama’s cause to raise awareness of how to avoid childhood obesity just to throw the fear of socialism into their ignorant followers. It is also telling that these same people insist on the right of the lower and middle class to be fat and have poor health as a result, but firmly believe that health care is a luxurious privilege.

  22. lcasey Says:

    Mario, you have to be about as loony as Sister Sarah. Have you taken a look at the children of this country? Have you seen what is served at lunch in the schools? Have you seen the portion size at fast food eateries?……..take another look at the size of the average American. On a recent trip to Disney Orlando, it wasn’t hard to spot the families from good old USA…..they were the huge ones. In contrast to the European families….thin, trim, wearing their ‘trainers’, looking like they could easily hike a mountain trail or run a mile or two. The US has become a country of fat people. Shame on you! The First Lady is 100% correct in wanting to get this next generation in shape……and shame on Mrs. Palin (Alaska residents lead the country in obesity, by the way) for thwarting her efforts in any way.

  23. Geneva Says:

    HOw sad that any adult could be so silly as to object to helpful advice simply because of the source from which it comes. That is simply childish; like the teenager who rebels against any helpful advice simply because it comes from his own parents. Not only is that childish but down right self-destructive. Some people simply need to grow up!

  24. tom Says:

    really? And not a single word about the agro-industrial complex? Are your free market values not threatened by a Monsanto monopoly on corn production?

    The government not supposed to teach us anything? You’d have the country home school then, I take it. And what then would you have Ms. Obama support? Literacy? Dear Sir–the government can’t teach?! What role,in your world of nutritional(and apparently moral) relativism, does the government play? Please. Has The Administration moved to the center so fast that you’ve lost your political compass. Your position would be laughable, were it not in such lauded pages.

  25. jebediah Says:

    Please! It’s just simply good advice; obesity is bad, don’t do it. It’s like an anti-smoking campaing. There’s no *teaching* here; it is a regurgitation of well-known facts.

  26. Chris Says:

    Here’s a thought exercise: Ignore your libertarian philosophizing and think of it as a national security issue. Today, the U.S. armed forces are having trouble recruiting troops that pass their physical fitness requirements because kids these days are raised sitting around playing video games and getting fat. Because of the younger generation’s lack of experience engaging in meaningful physical activity, the military is forced to lower their standards in order to fill their ranks.

    A healthier, more physically fit population is be better-suited to fight wars and defend our borders. To hope for less is to hope for our country to be weaker.

  27. phrage frenta Says:

    Were Mario and his ilk as unreceptive in print to Mad Nancy and her idiotic drug campaign ? I think not.
    It is the medium and the message. What a truly moronic partisan article. Many presidents’ wives have made themselves useful to the country. Michelle is another Eleanor Roosevelt.
    The Christian Science Monitor,for all the whacky notions of CS used to be an independent and lively paper. What a fall from grace.

  28. Sally in MI Says:

    In 2008, Governor Palin announced funding for this: “Fund Alaska’s obesity prevention and control program and work toward reversing the trend of childhood obesity.”
    She is a liar, a hypocrite and a woman looking to stay on the front pages.That is all she is.

  29. phrage frenta Says:

    forgot to tick the follow up box.Michelle Obama is witty,concerned, and intelligent enough to use her prominence to do good. Long may she shine.

  30. Gene Callahan Says:

    “Were Mario and his ilk as unreceptive in print to Mad Nancy and her idiotic drug campaign ? I think not.”

    phrage, I’m pretty sure Mario was not an enthusiast for the “Just say no” campaign. Of course, he didn’t have a blog then.

  31. Joshua Says:

    Those advocating limited government are quick to swat away any perceived reach by an overbearing government out to indoctrinate children or the public at large. “Main the basics of social order,” they say, stay out of my moral and personal judgments, they say.

    What they don’t do is suggest any sort of alternative for the moral and personal judgment the government is supposedly making for them. Leave it to the people? The people have had that chance, they are making those choices, and the result is an obesity epidemic.

    http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/trends.html

    If not from government, you best suggest another vehicle to inform people their better personal judgments of their health are leading the country to disaster. Or just completely leave that part out and only bark about what you think you know.

  32. Tracy Says:

    Fine… Let your kids be big and fat. They will have to suffer at the hands of the bullies.. Who cares.. That will be you and your fat kids’ problem…

  33. Vayno Says:

    I would agree wholeheartedly with Mr. Rizzo’s thoughts except for the fact that the government is paying (Medi-Care, etc) for our nation’s stubborn insistence on being fat and sick. We have all been “learning” what to eat via various forms of government intervention in our food systems for decades. To ignore this is to be ignorant of what a national food system is. To whit: the government “tells us what to eat” when it provides subsidies for corn, wheat, and other staples of our expanding waistlines (see history of the Nixon administration’s policies).
    While I agree in theory that it’s not the gov’t’s job to “teach us anything” (public schools are government schools, so this is a bit of fuzzy logic by Mr. R as well), it does so in ways that most pundits, such as Mrs. Palin, do not bother to understand.

  34. E.A. Says:

    Gov’t needs to but out of peoples lives
    eating, drinking, smoking issues.
    the two in the white house now, need to shut there traps, he smokes & she is fat

  35. Tracy Says:

    But you phony christians are ok with the government telling me I can’t have an abortion… Friggin hypocrits!!

  36. Danny Partridge Says:

    lmx is correct. So much for true ‘Christians’ turning the other cheek. Laura Bush, Barbara Bush, et al and other First Lady’s ALWAYS take a stand for something. The half/term Governor, all wrapped up in the American flag and ‘sometimes’ quoting the Bible is right by your standards. Shame on you.

  37. Tracy Says:

    Palin proposes new funds to benefit children
    $5 MILLION IN NEW MONEY: Denali KidCare, obesity prevention and Head Start would get boosts.

    By SEAN COCKERHAM
    scockerham@adn.com

    Published: December 5th, 2008 04:16 AM
    Last Modified: December 5th, 2008 04:44 PM

    Gov. Sarah Palin is calling for more state spending on children’s health insurance, preschool and other programs, even as Alaska oil prices and state revenues plunge. Cash flow into the state is shrinking as oil prices drop below $40 a barrel, the lowest level in nearly four years. Most state general fund money comes from taxes and royalties the state makes from oil. But Palin said the state can afford more than $5 million in new spending on areas like Head Start, obesity prevention, a test program of half-day preschool, and expanded Denali KidCare insurance.

  38. Danny Partridge Says:

    ‘E.A. Says’ is a perfect Christian. Open the gates St. Peter!!!!

  39. GringoViejo Says:

    Has the Monitor ever hosted a guest blogger who wasn’t a moron or a provocateur or, as in this case, both?

  40. Tracy Says:

    Same old tired “Rightwing BS”. You should have studied upon what all this ditwit did as Mayor and half govenor before you wrote this article. Now you look foolish as it has been proven she was for the prevention of child obesity before the Obama’s came along.

  41. bill nietman Says:

    The issue we are addressing extends considerably beyond US boundaries: It goes to a critical core of Western (largely US) ‘consumer culture’.
    ‘Cheap/quick’ food, with all it entails in terms of calories, and massively vested corporate interests, is quite simply undermining public heath world wide.
    I live in the (non-US) Caribbean and am witness to its ‘convenient’ consequences.
    Many here have of necessity lost the time & know-how to provide a healthy balanced meal for their families.
    This is a direct consequence of Western failing/marketing and a turbulent economic era for us all. I can only champion those who try to address these issues.
    Much that happens in the US also, rightly or wrongly, affects the rest of the world.

  42. Tracy Says:

    And I guess you all think Palin is worthy of beng President!! OMG!!!

  43. John Fredrick Says:

    You really are quite a stupid person.


  44. I am not going to go into the issue of whether Palin or Obama is right, nor whether the OP is insightful or a crack-pot. However: I am disturbed by the majority of the comments that have been made after mine. We here have very few arguments in a sea of insults, ad hominem, and claims that are irrelevant, speculative, or otherwise dubious.

    There are many pots calling the kettle black here—to the detriment of their own cause.

    (As an aside, one of the main topics in Sweden today was a politician actually suggesting a “fat tax”.)

  45. Kay Says:

    Mario, give it up on all of the deep philosophizing and get down to the point.

    I would be very supportive of Mrs. Obama’s child nutrition bill if it wasn’t for the fact that the money to fund it will be taken out of the food stamps program. (Atleast, that’s what I’ve heard.)

    Sarah Palin doesn’t seem to be worrying enough about the health of kids. For example, while she was governor of Alaska, she was sued by a human rights organization because she didn’t do anything when they told her that many foster kids in her state were being overdrugged. These kids were unnecessarily being prescribed too many psychiatric drugs.

  46. Dude Says:

    Say enough stupid stuff and everyone once in awhile anyone will be right. The problem is Palin’s batting average is so low.

  47. Greg Allen Says:

    If one is against the government teaching us things, then the last person you want to support is Sarah Palin.

    Palin supported counter productive abstinence-only education which cost us tax payers $300,000,000 a year.

    http://tinyurl.com/322tolu

    http://tinyurl.com/394caqf

  48. Americana Says:

    Sarah Palin is the most IGNORANT person in America. With childhood obesity at an all time high and children now suffering from adult diseases such as diabetes and hypertension and high cholesterol,thank goodness that Michelle Obama is attempting to bring light to this subject. The governement was established to support and to endorse the ” people’s” agenda. I cannot imagine a more perfect topic to have the goverment regulate. Can we picture a future filled with obese children and the diseases that will run rampant among that group. Sarah Palin continues to showcase her inability to show us that she not only has no common sense, she lacks the intellectual capacity to formulate a course of action that will benefit all people. Then again that is what ignorant peoplw do, when they cannot voice intelligle opinion, they throw rocks at those who can. Hoorah to palin.

  49. Othyem Says:

    Who ARE these people?

  50. laughwell Says:

    -Hey folks, if a tree falls in the woods and no one is around to hear it does it make a sound———If Sarah Palin talks in a room and no one is there to listen does she still sound stupid!

  51. laughwell Says:

    Thanks for not posting previous post?

  52. ks Says:

    LOL! That jerk Obama and his wife want to encourage our youth to stay healthy! How dare they! Its tragic, soon they may encourage kids to study hard, learn to read, or *gasp* help others.

  53. collins Says:

    Is a truth less truth when it is stated by a certain person?
    Even if i do not like a person that doesn’t make a truth from the person a LIE

  54. Greg Hill Says:

    Very interesting to read the “classical liberal” post by Mario and the many “street level” responses by people who seem to know something about child obesity.

    Mario’s model of the classical liberal view affirms choice, but exhibits very little understanding of the obstacles facing someone who aims to live a life based on free choices.

    Should John Stuart Mill no longer be counted as a classical liberal? What about Tocqueville? Both worried about the tyranny of opinion. Now do you really think that Michele Obama has more effect on American attitudes towards eating than McDonalds?

    And do you really think that an obese child is a person who says to himself, “I’m fully aware of the health and other problems associated with obesity, but I love high-calorie food and have chosen to eat as much as I like”?

  55. Etta Murphy Says:

    I’m amazed at all the learned comments posted so far! Really, this “high tech redneck” from Alabama would like to add her “opinion”. I’ve battled being overweight my entire life. And like every other obese person I’ve ever spoken with, I’ve tried many diets and have had varying degrees of success with all of them. And each of these diets had their negative side effects as well.
    1) high protein – hormonal irregularities, lowered energy, inflexibility
    2) low fat – unless the diet is high in complex carbs and low in simple carbs then you have energy spikes.

    In a school setting, due to economic constraints you are talking about a diet heavy in starches such as baked potatoes and pasta. The problem – many children will have an energy spike right after lunch (concentration problems) followed by a crash which leaves them exhausted for the last classes of the day.

    I am no longer overweight but I now have health problems which my doctors attribute to my stressful profession. From what I’ve read so far, many of you would now logically argue that there should be a “stressful job tax.”

    By the way, in your learned opinions, why do people who believe in what they are saying hide their identities?

  56. Andreas Hoffmann Says:

    Haha, funny how politically narrow-minded and emotional people get as soon as they read some names of politicians they either like or hate.

    In no sentence M. Rizzo supports Sarah Palin’s overall program in this post. He is giving an argument against an intervention in personal life. The same argument could be made against government that wants to tell you who to marry or not, or what to drink/smoke or not.

    Sometimes one should not be freaked out by names before reading the substance of a comment. On the other hand, one may of course be in favor of these so-called programs and intervention in personal life. But a liberal would not.

  57. Bob Murphy Says:

    Gene Callahan wrote:

    phrage, I’m pretty sure Mario was not an enthusiast for the “Just say no” campaign. Of course, he didn’t have a blog then.

    Gene, you are clearly dodging the issue. Phrage said Mario *and his ilk*. Your omission speaks volumes about Mario Rizzo and his Republican Christian allies.

  58. Damien Says:

    Seth: “I do have problems if either uses government to do something about it, like pushing Congress to pass legislation to give the USDA more power over school nutrition”

    This may not be the most popular belief, but I think that any organization that is responsible for kids 6-8 hours a day should have power over their nutrition during that time – especially since only 5 states require physical education in K-12.

    And while I agree that it’s fair to “not believe it is the job of the federal government to teach us anything” (author Mario Rizzo), it’s important to remember that we have the option *not* to send our kids to federally-funded schools. Simply find a private school that adheres more closely to your beliefs.

  59. Eleanor Rigby Says:

    If she is then it confirms that she is one big hypocrite with her agenda to create a national “culture of life.” If Americans have the right to be free to gorge themselves on junk food, then they also have the right to make other choices about their bodies.

  60. Pietro M. Says:

    Talking about politics attracts people who can’t use their mind and can’t hold their tongue. That’s the best evidence of Bryan Caplan’s theory of political irrationality I know of.

  61. Leo Daugherty Says:

    I’m sure that the very nice Mrs. Obama is as mystified by all the negative response to her anti-obesity campaign as the very nice Mrs. Clinton was mystified by all the negative response to her Nannystate-ism. All very nice people feel this way when some of us don’t want them using their authority to bend us to their wills — to “normatize” us, as the sociologists say. But the writer of the editorial is correct in pointing out that American government (even through such surrogates as First Ladies) has no moral, teaching authority — and should always be resisted when it tries to exert such authority. As the writer asks in his great rhetorical question, Why their values and not mine? Is Mrs. Obama “right” in her views? Of course she is. The point is: So what? It’s none of her business.

  62. Leo Daugherty Says:

    I’m sure that the very nice Mrs. Obama is as mystified by all the negative response to her anti-obesity campaign as the very nice Mrs. Clinton was mystified by all the negative response to her Nannystate-ism. All very nice people feel this way when some of us don’t want them using their authority to bend us to their wills — to “normatize” us, as the sociologists say. But the writer of the editorial is correct in pointing out that American government (even through such surrogates as First Ladies) has no moral, teaching authority — and should always be resisted when it tries to exert such authority. As the writer asks in his great rhetorical question: Why their values and not mine? Is Mrs. Obama “right” in her views? Of course she is. The point is: So what? It’s none of her business.

  63. Gale Says:

    I’m quite shocked at this contribution by Mr. Mario Rizzo. I’ve been living away from the US for 7 years and (gasp!) in Europe. It is quite clear to most people there is an obesity problem in the US (and yes increasingly in other European countries like the UK and Germany as well). When it comes to obesity in children, there is no argument one can make whether by parents, politicians, “busy-bodies, or whoever that it is healthy or in anyway good for children to be obese. Worse yet is to not do anything about it.

    Why not ask questions as to why this has happened in the last few years? Such as the growth hormones that gets pumped into meats or the high sugar/corn syrup content of almost everything on the supermarket shelves?

    There are laws in other countries, e.g. Switzerland, that limit the number of McDonalds and other ‘unhealthy’ eating establishments allowed in a certain area range. Yes, I know some will say they’re “socialist”, “communist”, “Marxist”, “Leninist” or “Nazis!” – to which I say, please go read some history books.

    This incredible soap-opera of messages/positions put out by Sarah Palin/tea partiers against the “establishment” is inconsistent, hypocritical and frankly moronic in so many ways!

  64. riodean Says:

    Tracy, from your cut and paste:

    “Cash flow into the state is shrinking as oil prices drop below $40 a barrel, the lowest level in nearly four years.”

    and today, crude is over $92.00 pb. Here’s Alaska’s new DEMOCRATIC Senator Mark Begich’s take on the Denali KidCare program, from On The Issues:

    “He favors expanding Alaska’s Denali KidCare program which provides health care to 25,000 children and low income pregnant women.”

    OMG, he favors EXPANDING it.

    Healthcare should be a state’s rights issue, that’s why a number of states are suing the government. Palin is not being a hypocrite, it’s not the federal gov’t’s place to force one plan onto the entire nation, infringe on our individual liberty nor that of the states.

    Chris:

    “Today, the U.S. armed forces are having trouble recruiting troops that pass their physical fitness requirements”

    Nonsense, all branches are meeting or exceeding recruitment goals, look it up. My formerly overweight nephew is a career MSgt. in the Army. He wanted to be in the military and chose to take the responsibility to lose weight…on his own, I doubt he’s the only one that has been inspired to do so.

    Phrage. So Michelle is another Eleanor Roosevelt, witty, concerned enough to use her prominence to….do good. “Mad Nancy” and the “Just Say No” campaign evidently…did good, so why the derision, hypocrisy noted.

    http://www.healthline.com/galecontent/just-say-no-campaign

  65. JAAC Says:

    Obviously, Childhood Obesity begins at too young of an age to suggest that smoking or personal responsibility have a role. It is a comedy and a tragedy. You want to lessen the governments role in our lives? Isn’t this the government for the people, by the people? We created it to protect us from evil. Only foreign governments with ill intent or corporations that want to enslave us would suggest our government should be less existent. Who is responsible for the obesity of America? The propaganda comes from big business more so than our bankrupt government. You really care about the obese? What you should care about is a journalist that is fed the propaganda of big business and then serves it to you. Perhaps sloppy seconds is your forte? No nutritional value in it though. Just makes you stupid.

    More to the point, maybe you didn’t notice that Sarah Palindrome is no longer in government. When in Alaska she was a big proponent of social programs. Heck, Alaska is a social program. No one can live up there without the Federal government and our taxes getting involved. Now she’s in business and slops out the propaganda to the hungry masses. It may taste great, but that’s just the corn syrup and we all know how addictive corn syrup is. It even makes bull crap sound good.

  66. rick Says:

    I find it ironic that republicans oppose health care and they also oppose the benefits of eating healthy foods. I think what we see here is that republicans want us sick, unheathy, and dying in medical debt. This is the loud and clear message I hear. BTW Sarah, Bristol is a porker. Feed her more s’mores to spite Obama!


Comments are closed.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,742 other followers

%d bloggers like this: