We’re back! Kinda. Avid readers have surely noticed by now that the site has been very sick for a couple of weeks. No, nobody tased me, bro, but sometimes that’s just how frustrating it is to work with multiple companies and roll internet payment plans around to different areas. You still can’t view the static pages or comment, but at least now you can read. And remember, you can always become a fan and start discussions with us on Facebook or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
President Obama has recently proposed removing high-calorie drinks and snacks from school vending machines. And as soon as President Obama came out with one opinion, like clockwork, Glenn Beck came out against whatever that opinion was. Did he think about this opinion? No! Thinking isn’t something Glenn’s best at. But hey, that just means it’s ever easier for me to blast every little bit of his useless demagogue opinion.
My personal opinion is (gasp!) in support of Obama’s. The country is indeed facing alarming rates of obesity, which, while over-hyped, is still disgustingly far from ideal. Glenn, as always, spouts his trademark enraged invective, along the lines of “Get yer theivin’ gummint paws out of my mouth.” Well, let me start out by saying, the government does in fact have a right to control what you do with/put into your body. Did you ever hear of an illegal drug, maybe cocaine or methamphetamines? These go in your body.
But really, the government deciding what you will or won’t eat is completely beside the point here. They’re not trying to ban soda or candy from school altogether, well, not in the cases I’m discussing at any rate. Your little fatty will still be allowed to smuggle treats onto school grounds unhindered. We’re simply trying to make access to unhealthy food more than a push of a button away. As for the argument that says that students should learn self-control on their own – I think that anyone making this argument not only is stupid, but simply hasn’t taken a look around at all. If any of these kids had self-control that they felt like exercising, would there be even half this percentage of obese kids? Hah, no.
But before we get ahead of ourselves, let me assert that I think that it IS a good idea for vending machines to be on school grounds. Perhaps a parent didn’t pack a satisfactory lunch or the student forgot her lunch all together, or maybe a student is simply hungry before/after mealtime, or maybe she needs some brain food before testing. Thus, I do think vending machines should be kept on school grounds and at reasonable prices, but should be stocked with healthy food like fruit, bottled water, non-fat milk, or single servings of things like oatmeal or non-sugary cereal.
One thing that I think must be added to any argument about healthy vending machines is healthier cafeterias. Cafeterias have started serving exponentially healthier food since I left grade school, but I still remember the atrocities served there in my time, horrid in both flavor and calorie count. Good lord! Luckily, since then cafeterias have started serving a bland mix of boiled vegetables and kosher mystery meat (no Halal for you), but this trend needs to continue even further. If the kid has a problem with what’s being served there, maybe he can snag a responsible parent who will pack a lunch for him. Or, maybe he can buy some healthy snacks from a vending machine.
The last thing that I feel should be mentioned is my absolute and unquestioning support of a “sin tax” on soda and juice drinks, for the same reasons. This is a big part of the government trying to kill two birds with one stone – to somewhat decrease the rapidly increasing rate of obesity, and to increase government revenue dramatically.
Really, the argument against healthy vending machines is no different than the argument against Obamacare. Our wonderful president has proven for the second time with this that he cares greatly about the health of the American people, and the Republicans and demagogue media personalities just seem to be scrambling for “rational” arguments to mask the facts that they just plain don’t like him.
There’s a thing in the law called “compelling interest”. What this means is that something in the law gets special privileges, if the effects of this action serve a compelling interest to the government. Well let me make it clear right now, that keeping American children healthy is absolutely a compelling interest – if nothing else, as a PR move. I don’t know about you, but I’m just about fed up with the stereotype of the fat, stupid Yank. Well, one of the very reasons I have this site is to show that some Americans DO realize that other ones are stupid. But how do we address the point about obesity? Not only does it make the nation look like a hive of bourgeois assholes, but it’s making those bourgeois assholes drop like flies. Flies with heart disease and liver failure, that is. Now I’m absolutely an advocate for population control, but that absolutely doesn’t mean that I don’t support preserving the lives of Americans that are already alive. Do I think that we should ban junk food altogether? No, because some amount of freedom in choice is important. But let’s not make the choice hard to ignore by placing vending machines in front of every five year old with a sweet tooth.