A North Carolina Non-Troversy?

[UPDATED 2/16; see end of post for update]

[UPDATE II: 2/17 – Please see this piece of reporting from Glenn Beck’s site The Blaze.  Beck’s reporter, Madeleine Morgenstern, has done what the original stories did not, and put together a reasonably well-sourced story that sheds a lot of actual light on what happened here.  The story is not anonymously sourced, contains an actual copy of the letter at issue here, and fills a lot of the holes that the original story had.  I admit, after reading Morgenstern’s piece, this story looks really bad, though I have to emphasize that it very much appears to be a function of the particular program at issue here, which is indeed an opt-in program. Nonetheless, consider the below retracted to the extent that it is inconsistent with Morgenstern’s article.]

Making the rounds the last day or two has been this story from the “Carolina Journal,” the monthly newspaper of the John Locke Foundation, which bears the headline: “Preschooler’s Homemade Lunch Replaced with Cafeteria ‘Nuggets’; State agent inspects sack lunches, forces preschoolers to purchase cafeteria food instead.”  (The story was eventually supplemented by significantly better reporting from another outlet here, which still fails to make the case being pushed by the narrative).

The headline sounds horrible, and the body of the story only makes it seems worse, conjuring images of government agents rifling through four year old children’s lunches to enforce USDA standards on healthy lunches, prohibiting children from eating food deemed insufficiently healthy (including turkey sandwiches!), and forcing them to instead eat government provided and mandated food (to wit: oh-so-healthy chicken nuggets).  The original story also claims that the relevant regulations here apply to all pre-K programs, including home daycare programs, with the obvious implication that “this could happen to you!”  This hits all sorts of libertarian buttons: invasion of privacy by the government, nanny statism of the highest order, government incompetence, not to mention forced-feeding of children.  It even has the initial appearance of a well-sourced story, with quotes from the parent, the head of the state agency, and the school principal, not to mention the tie-in to Michelle Obama’s healthy school lunch platform.

Not surprisingly, this story has been picked up in large swathes of the libertarian and conservative blogospheres, including by Jacob Sullum, who is himself usually a pretty decent journalist, and entitled his post on the subject “North Carolina Food Inspector Rejects Little Girl’s Home-Packed Lunch in Favor of Chicken Nuggets.”  The story even reached the pinnacle of attention within the right-of-center ideological media with a Rush Limbaugh segment (in which the “state agent” morphed into a “federal agent” charged with inspecting all lunch boxes). Predictably, the most outraged headline came from one of the folks at LewRockwell.com, “The Lunch Nazis are coming! No, They’re Here!”

One problem: the story is a load of bunk at worst, a non-story at best, standing for little more than the proposition that low-income children in NC’s low-income pre-K program whose parents don’t send them to school with enough healthy food will be provided with additional food to supplement what their parents send them to school with.

For starters, the context in which all of this occurred was a public school pre-K program run by the state popularly known as “More at Four,” but now called the generic name “NC Pre-K.”  In order to have a child enrolled in this program, which has a limited number of slots, the parents must actively choose to enroll, with priority going to “at-risk” children, to wit: special needs children and (importantly) low-income children.  Indeed, to even be eligible for the program, the child must either fit in one of those two categories or have a parent on (or about to be called on) active military duty.  Enrollment as an “at-risk” child means that the child’s enrollment is fully subsidized by the state, regardless of whether the day care is private or public.

These facts are critical because the “state agent” in this story turns out to be nothing more than a researcher from a program that grades the performance of pre-schools and operates out of the FPG Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  It also does not appear that this institute has any actual authority other than to provide assessments, which the state then uses in making licensing decisions and in setting the fees it will pay the day care provider for subsidized care.

Notably, as the second-linked story above suggests, the mother’s main gripe here does not even appear to be with this “state agent,” but instead with the school’s teachers, who continue to give the girl milk and vegetables despite letters from the mother asking them not to.  Indeed, the notion that this “state agent” was going around inspecting every single lunch box brought to the school does not appear to have much basis, as the agent apparently ordered full school lunches for every single child in this program and (see update) was evaluating the school’s compliance with standards, not individual parents’ compliance.  Even if he was doing such an inspection, there’s a pretty obvious context-specific reason for it: this is an opt-in program for parents who largely can’t afford to provide fully balanced meals.

Her other major gripe appears to be that she is worried about being charged for the additional food being placed in front of her daughter based on a letter from the school purportedly saying that kids who did not bring a healthy lunch would be offered supplements and that parents “may” be charged for the supplemented portions.  However, as the second-linked story makes clear, no such charges have been issued nor apparently was there any actual chance that such charges would be issued.

The original story’s claim that the relevant regulation applies to all pre-schools is also false – to the contrary, it applies only  to pre-schools choosing to participate in (and eligible for) the subsidized program.

The original story further obscures that in no circumstance was this child – or any child, for that matter – being forced to eat the school-provided lunch, nor was this child -or any other child – deprived of her boxed lunch.  Instead, as the second linked story acknowledges, the child was just provided with additional food and given the option to consume that in addition to her boxed lunch.  In other words, the claim that the school “replaced” this girl’s turkey sandwich, banana, apple, potato chips, and juice with chicken nuggets is totally bogus.

By and large, what this story boils down to is that a low-income child whose tuition is fully subsidized by the state under a program her mother opted into was offered some additional food to supplement the boxed lunch she brought from home.  This option was provided not because of some overarching, generally applicable law or regulation, but because the program in which her mother and school voluntarily participate requires such an option be available. The mother apparently objects to this option being provided to her daughter, not because of any health concerns or the like, but because she incorrectly believes that she will be charged additional money for her child being provided this option.  Since she won’t in fact be charged for this and there is no evidence she was ever going to be charged for it, there is absolutely no harm actually being done to her or her child.

Since this is also an opt-in program, there is no chance of this becoming some sort of generally applicable concern even to the extent there is some sort of nanny state concern here.  If the mother has some sort of ethical problem with her child being provided with the option of drinking milk or eating vegetables at school, then she is surely free to send her child to an unsubsidized day care program.

At most, the only actual concern here, hinted at by the second-linked article, is the expense to the taxpayer of providing the extra food free of charge.  Then again, since we are definitionally dealing with children whose parents will often lack the resources to provide a consistently balanced lunch, and since the whole point of the program is to provide those children with a pre-K experience that their parents’ income would otherwise prevent, this would not seem to be a tremendously important concern.

[UPDATE: The North Carolina Division of Child Development and Early Education has released a statement confirming much of what I wrote above, but also adding some additional clarification.  According to the statement, the division has:

“determined that no employee of DHHS, nor the Division of Child Development and Early Education (DCDEE) or its contractors, instructed any child to replace or remove any meal items. Furthermore, it is not DHHS’ policy to inspect, go through or question any child about food items brought from home. The facts we have gathered confirm that no DHHS employee or contractor did this.”

Additionally, citing the above-linked statement, a local TV news outlet which had jumped on the bandwagon claims that “the agency says it gave the little girl milk to offset a missing dairy item.”  However, this claim does not appear to be in the cited statement.

The TV station’s update further quotes the school district’s superintendent as saying that the child was simply instructed (it is unclear by whom, and it is unclear whether the child was first asked whether she wanted milk) to go through the lunch line to get some milk, and that the superintendent thinks “that the child became confused about what she had to do. I think the child, instead of going over and picking up the milk, I think the child, for whatever reason, thought she had to go through the line and get a school meal which, that’s not our policy.”

This version of events seems vastly more likely.  In effect, it means that someone at the school, whether a teacher, cafeteria worker, or a state program advisor (it’s still unclear which, though the first two seem much more likely if you’ve ever seen lunch time at a day care center) observed that the child lacked milk and suggested she go through the line to get some if she wanted it.  The child then mistakenly believed that going through the line meant she had to get an entirely new lunch.

This version also refutes the statement in the second-linked article from the top of this post that the alleged “state agent” ordered full cafeteria meals for every child in the program that day even as it confirms that no “state agent” was running around inspecting lunch boxes.

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464 thoughts on “A North Carolina Non-Troversy?

  1. Well, it would be a mitigating circumstance if we could at least all be reassured that the nuggets were not made from cage-free chickens.
  2. I appreciate your post, but:

    “If the mother has some sort of ethical problem with her child being provided with the option of drinking milk or eating vegetables at school…”

    Don’t do this.  She thought she was being charged extra money for this food.  Don’t get all “I GUESS THIS FOX NEWS WATCHER WANTS HER CHILD TO STARVE AND SUFFER JUST SO THAT DANG HOO-SAYN OH-BAAHMA GUMMINT AIN’T MESSIN WITH HER”.

    • I’m not doing “that.” Frankly, I would not judge her if she had some sort of an ethical objection here.  All I was trying to do was address a hypothetical counterargument. Obviously it’s hard to imagine someone having an ethical objection to a child having a chance to eat vegetables; but regarding milk, it’s not as if vegans don’t exist.
      • Vegans rarely pack turkey-and-cheese sandwiches for their kids’ lunches. But I take your point. It sounds like Mom is mostly concerned about getting a bill.
      •  

        The girl may be dairy intolerant and react badly to certain vegetables. My neice cannot have dairy, and has awful bowel/digestion problems with tomato, corn (which amazingly counts as a vegetable), apple, strawberries, eggplant, broccoli and onions.I worked at a daycare for a couple months and they always fed foods that the children were intolerant to. Every. Single. Day. despite clear notices by the fridge.

        Just because the girl comes from  a low income  family, doesn’t mean she’s starving. the meal provided seems typical for fussy four year olds.

         

         

      • There is no evidence to suggest that food intolerance is the case here. Her mother just says she is a picky eater and emphasizes pretty strongly that her objection stems from an incorrect assumption that she was going to get charged extra money. Had the child had some sort of food allergy, it seems pretty clear that this would not have happened; if that were the case and this had happened, though, it certainly would have been a much more legitimate story.
      • And why shouldn’t she be concerned that she could get charged for this food?  If I packed a healthy lunch for my child (which this was) that I knew she would eat, and then someone stepped in and offered other food to my child with the school sending home a note saying I might get charged for it, I would be upset, too. Especially if I were part of a low-income family, where every penny spent matters.  It’s not somehow wrong to care about someone else requiring you to spend money for something unnecessarily.
      • I pass no judgment on whether this mother should be upset or not.  If everything is as she alleges (and there’s reason to think it is not), then she should be upset.  But the thing she is upset about, and that she is alleging occurred, is not even remotely what those freaking out about this story are claiming she is upset about and are claiming happened here.
      • Or to summarise more simply:

        No-one’s saying the woman shouldn’t be upset, just that the newspaper reaction was ridiculous.

        The woman has a right to be upset — the letter was inappropriate.  But the press aren’t reporting “women sent thoughtlessly worded letter”, are they?

      • even if what you say is correct. processed deep fried chicken  nuggets do not provide extra nutrition – in most likely GMO oil… THEY MAKE YOU SICK. If the school offered that poison slop to my kids I would be furious too, whether an agent forced it or if it was offered is a side issue – the schools are serving up poison – and Americans are the only ones who don’t seem to have an issue with it…everyone around the world is looking at the slop served to US children and saying no wonder you guys are all fat, lazy and sick.

        do you think Obama is serving up slop like that to his kids? how about Romney? hell no, that are not that stupid – you lot are..

      • GM food doesnt make you sick. (unless you have the extremely rare misfortune to be specifically allergic to the variant protein). GM food is the future through which we will feed the world.
      • Soylent green following shortly, maybe?  I can foresee the Obamas wanting to expediate that happening, too!
      • f this, Listen to what you are saying.  This article has been fodder for Rush and Fox because it fits well into the meme that Michelle Obama’s efforts to get kids to eat better is a “Nanny State” abuse of power. 

        Now you are ragging Obama?   I am not an Obama fan, but wow, he can’t please anyone, even nutrition advocates like you.  Also, read the article again and realize the child incorrectly got a new lunch when they were only instructed to get some milk.

  3. I second Kain and McLeod, way to diligently get at the facts.

    School lunches has always been an issue close to my heart (no, seriously).

  4. Wonderful article!  The real subject of fascination being how fears and assumptions can  inadvertently create false information in our minds and media.  This is my first visit to The League of Ordinary Gentlemen and I find a warm welcome.
  5. Mark, I can’t relate to the specifics of this article but can recall when my own children went to a public school with lunchboxes similar to the one linked below, they were likewise given the “option” of free lunches. When they stopped eating the food packed by their Chinese grandmother living with us at the time, she got upset. When I dug into it at the school, I found out the school receives certain funding based on how many “needy” children attended. They saw my Eurasian kids, assumed “minority” and put them in with the free lunches (all for budgetary reasons, I’m sure they weren’t being racist, not really). They were not happy when I told them to cease and desist. This was all long ago, I’m sure such shenanigans could never be happening in today’s world.
    • Ward: sorry for taking so long to respond to this specific comment, though I did respond to your comment below alluding to this. I just wanted to say that, while a separate issue from what we are discussing here, this problem that you identify of school districts and government agencies finding ways to spend money to get more money is a very real problem that deserves a lot more attention. Suffice to say that there are some seriously messed up systemic incentives in the way that government agencies big and small do their budgeting.
    • This is a little bit hard to believe.  My mother administered a school lunch program, and everyone who wanted reduce price or free lunch was required to submit a form attesting to low income status.  The forms were then reviewed at the school district level before being sent along to the state department of education, which issued fee reductions and fee waivers.  No one was simply placed in the low-cost lunch group or the free lunch group because they “looked” poor.  The lunch forms were not used as the basis for any sort of funding based on the wealth or poverty of the school district because 1) they were self-reporting of income status and 2) the forms were entirely separate of forms used to determine income status.  The second group of forms asked questions about the type of housing students lived in, if they had ever been homeless, etc.

      I have no idea why your kids were given free lunches, but it’s vanishingly unlikely it’s because someone thought they looked poor (because Chinese Americans are a known poverty group?) and simply gave them this option.  That’s not the way the bureaucracy works, and it’s not the way funding is determined.

      What else did you find when you dug into this??

      • Coming forme someone who currently works at a public school in California I can state that the percentage of the student population that receives a free or reduced lunch is exactly how a school is categorized as a Title 1 school and does effect funding. Every year there is a push to get as many parents as possible to fill out the forms for free and reduced lunch strictly for funding purposes.
        Students are even bribed into making sure their parents fill out the forms with promises of prizes to class with a 100% rate of completed forms.
    • I had to fight the school and then the school board to allow my son to graduate from highschool because they had dogs sniffing cars in the parking lot for drugs, and when they passed by sons car, the dogs reacted — they didn’t find drugs, but they found a knife I had given him to do electricial work which he did part time to help get ready for college expenses. I explained the knife was a work knife and that I had given ti to him — it was basically a tool. They wouldn’t listen and they suspended him and said he coupldn’t graduate. I wrote a long, scathing editorial that was published in the paper. I finally got a hearing before the school board and I won against their attorney, but it was nightmare — all over a knife that was a tool, that was in the dash board of a car in the parking lot. All they could tell me over and over was We have a zero tolerance policy. I told them that zero tolerance doesn’t mean zero common sense at the hearing and that seemed to help with one guy who took my side. Public schools and bureacratic thinking are severely hampering the futures of a lot of kids.
      • MFarmer:  “zero tolerance” is a way to get around disparate-impact lawsuits.  If every student gets in trouble for Possession Of A Weapon, then you don’t have to deal with lawsuits from mothers claiming that you only confiscated their kid’s switchblade because he was black.
  6. If there’s an exoneration here, I’m not finding it.

    Nothing in this post is relevant.  If by “relevant” we mean “makes it an okay thing to do to a four-year-old, and not a really a crappy, degrading, demeaning one.”

     

    • Makes “what” an okay thing to do?  No one’s forcing the child to eat anything, no one’s taking her boxed lunch from her.  At most they’re putting some additional food in front of her.

      They’re saying the child was confused and intimidated by the process, but doesn’t the mother deserve a good chunk of the blame for that by virtue of the fact that she seems to have been the one to have created the confusion by acting on a false assumption?

      Look, the teachers probably should have abided by the mother’s instructions regardless of whether those instructions were based on a completely incorrect understanding of whether she’d be charged for the food.  But that’s not the part of the story that people are talking about.

      Instead, the part that everyone is talking about and outraged about is that the girl was allegedly deprived of her boxed lunch after a “state inspector” deemed it legally insufficient and it was then replaced (not supplemented) by a full cafeteria lunch which featured chicken nuggets.  The problem with this is that: (1) there was no “state inspector” in any meaningful sense, just a researcher without any actual or apparent authority to “order” anything; (2) there’s no evidence that the researcher “inspected” the lunch; (3) there’s not a single eyewitness quoted, just the mother’s interpretation of the four year old’s interpretation of what happened (four year olds are not exactly reliable witnesses as I can attest); and (4) by the mother’s own admission, the food was not “replaced,” but at most merely supplemented.

      Put it this way: if, instead of a so-called “state agent,” we were talking about a local business that one day decided to surprise all the kids in the school by buying them all lunch at the school cafeteria, would we be talking about how cruel that business owner was to the kids by forcing them to eat cafeteria food?

      • Take any normal child, put in front of them something “mom” made at home and something hot that looks (and tastes) like a McDonalds happy meal and which will they choose? My kids almost 30 yrs ago chose the junk food. Big surprise there. Once they started eating American junk food they really weren’t all that interested in the Chinese food their mom and grandma packed for them. Huge surprise. I guarantee that if you dig into this story a bit deeper you’re going to find budget dollars just like I did almost 30 years ago. Nothing changes.
      • Ward: I don’t disagree with your point here.  In fact, I can say for a fact that budget  dollars played a big role in this case.  The researcher, while without any direct authority, was there to give the school a star rating, with a higher star rating meaning a higher per-child subsidy for the school.  What that probably means is that the school decided that, because of the researcher’s presence, it wasn’t going to take any chances and was just going to pay for cafeteria meals for every student in this program so he would have to give the school an extra star.

        That said, this (and what you’re referring to) is a much, much different problem from the one that is being claimed.

      • The junk food your children chose probably wasn’t vegetables and milk.  That’s what seems to have been offered to the child in question here.  The milk likely has fewer calories than the juice her mom packed, and the vegetables (if she ate them despite being a picky eater) would be better than potato chips.  Or maybe she drank milk and ate vegetables in addition to juice and chips — still not very likely to contribute to an epidemic of obesity.

        Have you ever sat in a cafeteria with kids eating school lunch or school breakfast?  I did so this morning with my daughter.  Even if a little girl took an entire lunch because she was confused or “intimidated” by a teacher or administrator, no one would make her eat the lunch she took.  Kids leave stuff on the tray, drop it on the floor, give it to their friends, and all sorts of things.  My daughter ate some canned peaches and drank half a carton of milk, and didn’t touch her piece of “French toast” or her sausage link this morning.  I probably couldn’t have made her eat more, and no teacher or administrator would even try. To assume otherwise would be to assume that the behavior of kids in the cafeteria is very, very different than it actually is.

      • The mother is not to be blamed for school officials confusing and intimidating her child.  School officials should not be in the business of casting doubt in children’s minds about their parents’ decisions.

        (1) It doesn’t matter that it was a researcher who lacked any actual authority.  You cannot expect a four-year-old to make that distinction.  The entire point of preschool is to socialize kids to follow instructions given by adults.

        (2) Obviously somebody inspected the lunch.  The four-year-old may not have understood that her lunch was being supplemented, but she was bound to grasp that the grownups were worried her lunch was “bad” somehow.
      • You’re completely misreading the story. The researcher did not do anything – it was school officials reacting to the presence of said researcher, they gave the child (and I presume several others that seem to not exist in the story as reported) extra food.

        Your second point is irrelevant – have you ever seen a room full of toddlers eat lunch? Teachers are very directly involved – one doesn’t need to root through their lunchboxes to know what they’re eating.

         

      • The point here is that they told a five-year-old that there was something wrong with the lunch her mommy made for her, and none of the nuance being discussed here changes that.  Perhaps one has to be a parent to see how that would make one’s blood boil.
    • The reporting is woefully insufficient to conclude whether or not anything crappy, degrading or mean was done to any children. We have no idea in what manner it’s being done, no idea if the parent has any objection beyond expecting to have to pay for the food and no idea about any other such occurrences across the program to get a real picture. Good reporting would provide a lot of those answers.

      The school in question is possibly going against the parent’s wishes in giving additional food to the child in question, a la wardsmith’s story above – though we don’t know that she isn’t in favor of it after finding out it’s free – they seem to have just not asked.
      Further. it’s kind of key that the program is voluntary vs. being required for all public school students, isn’t it?

      The original story and the subsequent pickup seem be wholly dependent on large distortions of what meager facts exist.

      • See his comment below. He’s taking a weird position (the justification is particularly weird for a libertarian), but he at least words it better below.
  7. Great post Mark. I saw a headline about this somewhere and assumed there was a lot more to the story. I’m assuming people will still complain about this and yell about though since it verifies peoples world views.
  8. Pingback: Preschooler Forced to Eat Chicken Nuggets After Bag Lunch Fails State Inspection

    • If you’re referring to the researcher, I doubt that academics working for a state university would belong to the SEIU, whose members are largely low-paid service employees.

      Very possibly cafeteria staff are SEIU members, but they would not be the ones making decisions about which children received meals or supplements.  Probably the daycare center’s management made the decisions.

       

  9. too late.  it’s already echo chamber meme-ified.  when we’re all in either the FEMA camps or the reeducation camps that Bobo has proposed, we will be grateful for the force fed nutrition.
  10. I don’t know if I want to live in a world in which children whose parents may not be able to afford a full, healthy lunch are given extra nutritious food. I’m sure Bob will have something to say about the disordered and diseased liberal mindset (something about gnostics and pneumatics) that has led us to this world, but not being as verbose as Bob, all I can say is, I am appalled, truly appalled.
    • And I don’t know if I want to live in a world where kids with perfectly adequate homemade lunches are randomly stigmatized by the state as inadequate.

      Perhaps we can divvy things up?  You stay on your side of the line, with your fantasies about this kid being unable to get good food — and I’ll stay on mine?

      But no.  Your worldview requires someone to stigmatize, someone other than smart folk like yourself.

      • Where is all this terrible stigmatisation coming from? Teachers who work with little kids do a ton of helping with very stuff like clothes, cleaning up puke, wiping faces, etc. Helping with little kids basic needs goes on in every single day care in the country. I can assure you that here in AK preschool teachers help little kids all winter with making sure they have snow pants, hats, and gloves so they can go out and play. This is usually because the stuff gets lost or the parents forget, but they still do it.  So somebody made sure the kid had plenty to eat and now lines are being crossed.
      • You know, when I was a kid, free and reduced lunches were assigned at the beginning of each school week. When you went to school on Monday, the teacher would ask who needed free, then who needed reduced, and you received a card with a different color for each (I think free was blue, and reduced was either green or pink, but it was a long time ago). That was stigmatizing. When I was in grad school, my son received free lunches (they don’t pay grad students shit, as I’m sure you know). He had a card that looked kind of like an ATM card, as did all the students. No one knew which card had parents’ money and which card had state money on it. It’s not hard to do it that way.

        That said, I find the idea of worrying about whether preschool kids might be stigmatized because they get extra food from the state to be considerably less pressing than the concern that they might not be eating enough. You feel differently, that’s fine. Your world — the world in which we don’t feed people because we might hurt their feelings — is truly one I don’t want to live in.

      • That said, I find the idea of worrying about whether preschool kids might be stigmatized because they get extra food from the state to be considerably less pressing than the concern that they might not be eating enough. You feel differently, that’s fine. Your world — the world in which we don’t feed people because we might hurt their feelings — is truly one I don’t want to live in.

        In my world, the kid was getting adequate nutrition, so the idea that she might be going hungry is illusory.  And you should know that, because you did — I presume — actually read Mark’s post.

        But hey, feel free to make up any old facts you want.  Sure, it could mean you’re no better than the erroneous original story.  But think of it:  You’d also be able to say that she had leukemia, and that I kicked her in the shins at the personal instigation of the Koch brothers.

      • Jason, what, exactly, did I say that wasn’t true? I said the state gives them extra food because “they might not be eating enough.” They have a standard in place for measuring the nutritional value of brought lunches, and if a kids’ lunches aren’t meeting them, the parents have the option of letting them get extra nutritional food for free. That seems perfectly consistent with what I said. What’s more, the program is only about lunch. If the kid’s getting proper nutrition at home, that’s irrelevant (and though the mom says she is, she also says she won’t eat vegetables). I don’t mean to be rude, but if you’re going to accuse me of being untruthful, do it when I’m actually being untruthful.
      • What did you say that wasn’t true?  I quoted it for you.  I’ll do it again:

        That said, I find the idea of worrying about whether preschool kids might be stigmatized because they get extra food from the state to be considerably less pressing than the concern that they might not be eating enough. You feel differently, that’s fine. Your world — the world in which we don’t feed people because we might hurt their feelings — is truly one I don’t want to live in.

        This isn’t even a possible world, given the facts of the case.  Given any putative set of facts in the case.  Take your pick — the above still isn’t true.  There just isn’t any scenario in which we have a kid “not eating enough” or where “we’re not feeding people.”

        You made that up because it suited your politics, and I think you should apologize.

         

      • Jason, again, nothing I said in that quote is untrue. The program provides extra food for kids whose lunches the school deems are not nutritious enough, should parents opt into the program, and it does so for free. So when I say, “I find the idea of worrying about whether preschool kids might be stigmatized because they get extra food from the state to be considerably less pressing than the concern that they might not be eating enough,” when it is in fact true that “They get extra food from the state,” I’m being perfectly truthful. I exaggerated about your world in the last quoted sentence, as a rhetorical ploy, because you exaggerated about mine. But again, I haven’t said anything untrue. It’d be nice if you’d acknowledge that, but if you can’t, I would appreciate if you’d just keep quiet about it, because accusing me of being untruthful when I’ve done no such thing is, well, it’s untruthful.
      • It is certainly untrue when we look at this one kid.  She got a perfectly good lunch, she was getting perfectly good lunches all along, and she was not going hungry.  She was just a picky eater, and she wouldn’t eat the vegetables in her lunches.

        That’s quintessentially a job for parents, not for the state.  If you disagree with me on that, then in your world there truly is no private life left anymore.

        What you said remains untrue.  She wasn’t going hungry.  She was refusing to eat because she was a four year old who didn’t like vegetables.  There was no concern that she might not be eating enough.

         

      • If you disagree with me on that, then in your world there truly is no private life left anymore.

        This is such a melodramatic overstatement that I’m wondering at this point what you’re on right now, man. You continue to act as though my accurate portrayal of the program is inaccurate (it may not have worked out the way it’s supposed to with one kid, the only kid we know about from a poorly researched article, but the program is what I said it is — even in this case, it just gave a kid some extra food for free, which is what I said it does). And now you’re telling me that if schools pay attention to what kids eat at school, which they’ve been doing since before you and I were born (you know, in school lunches), then there’s no private life left anymore. I don’t even know what to make of that statement, because its parts are unrelated to each other. It’s as nonsensical as “Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.”

      • You were saying two things.

        (1) We faced a choice in this case:  Either risk humiliating the girl, or let her go hungry.

        (2)  Jason prefers “let her go hungry.”

        The problem is that (1) is false.  And even if it were true, then (2) would be false.

        But don’t let the facts stop you.  Not when it means smearing a libertarian!

      • Jason, I think I’ve been around long enough for you to know that I don’t think you really want to let a kid go hungry. I was exaggerating because you were (when you said “And I don’t know if I want to live in a world where kids with perfectly adequate homemade lunches are randomly stigmatized by the state as inadequate,” though that’s nothing compared to the “no private life” exaggeration), as I noted. But my claims about the program were not untrue, as I’ve repeatedly pointed out, while you’ve doubled and tripled down on the claim that I was. My claims, in the statement you quoted and elsewhere, were that the program gives kids extra food for free, optionally, when their brought lunches are deemed to be inadequate nutritionally. I’ve also worded it like this: they give kids extra food if they might not be getting the nutrition they need. Neither of those statements is inaccurate. I’ll stop beating a dead horse now, but your behavior here is bizarre.

        Also, I think I’ve been around long enough for you to know that I’m not in the smearing libertarians business either. I may disagree with your political and economic world view, but I respect it, as evidenced by the fact that I’ve been reading and discussing it with you for years. Assuming that you’re a victim in a discussion is way too Tom van Dyke for you, man.

      • Jason, you’re right, my behavior has been odd. I don’t usually react like this, but since it’s coming from you, it definitely bothered me (to the point that I snapped at Bob, who’s harmless, even if everything I said about him is true). But I’ve reacted precisely because this doesn’t seem very Jason-like. I hope on reflection you’ll see that.
      • One of the most compelling aspects of LoOG is watching decency win the day.   Everyone who gives a damn about these things is certain to become exasperated at turns.  Somehow, around here, we just don’t persist in it.

        Jason makes an important point:  beyond some point, children are the responsibility of their parents and no amount of busy-bodying will cure those ills.   Chris observes there is a larger picture here, one rather larger than the one girl.

        Schools have been obliged to pick up the slack for many evils inflicted on the children in their care.   Schools make mistakes at turns.   So do parents.   I made mistakes with mine, can’t speak for the rest of the parents around here.   But we’re faced with an epidemic of childhood obesity and concomitant diabetes, an entirely unnecessary blight on this society:  diabetes shortens the lives of those who suffer from it.    If making a kid eat one meal a day containing vegetables instead of fried starch is somehow a Statist Imposition, a quick inspection of a diabetic child’s retinas will quickly disabuse you of such thinking.

      • This part of the thread isn’t a discussion, or even a debate, between you and Chris, it’s a largely one-sided diatribe that only one of you appears to engage  in good faith as a discussion.  Maybe Chris–and I, and a lot of others here–assume too quickly that the four-year old in question wasn’t getting enough to eat (although I don’t recall where Chris made that claim), and maybe some of us assume too quickly that there was no stigmatization of the kid here–but surely that’s the kind of point one could make much more effectively than choosing the most uncharitable characterization of what someone says and attributing certain conclusions that that someone’s statements do not necessarily lead to.

        I realize this is more your blog than mine.  I’m just a reader and, less frequently, a commenter.  But one of you seems to be acting almost as a troll and incidentally lending credence to some of the worse stereotypes of libertarians, the stereotypes that say libertarians are overly confrontational and willing to criticize anyone vitriolically for even the slightest turn of phrase that, if carried to an extreme, might indicate a preference for the state doing something more than it should.

      • Thanks. This isn’t the way Jason usually acts. I don’t get it, and find it somewhat upsetting, more so than I find Bob being Bob for example.
      • I dunno Chris, in this thread you finally begin to reveal your thoughts, such as they are, and as much as I’m opposed to much of Jason’s worldview, I was very impressed with his reasoning on this question. Your reactions were disappointing because they were predicated on your commie-dem ‘feelings’ and not on any form of reason I’m acquainted with. It almost seems that, like Dr. Hanley, your reacting emotionally and not thinking. Re: this question Jason handed you your head, and, sadly, you don’t even know it, yet.
      • Meh.  Chris was being facetious and Jason was spoing for a fight because his dittohead nontroversy was dead, so he parsed himself some poo to fling.

        In other words:  the internet happened.

      • It’s hard to pretend to respect statists for years on end given the howlers they constantly serve up, parroting Andrea Mitchell and David Gregory and all the other alleged journalists who go home at night to crawl into bed, literally, with Fannie Mae lobbyists and Federal Reserve bureaucrats.
      • Jason, I wasn’t referring to this girl in particular, I was referring to the program. So were you, though you were judging it entirely by what one mother said about her one kid.

        So, again, nothing I said was untrue. You know this, I think. I’m not sure why you keep insisting that I’ve said something untrue, but at this point, it’s pretty disingenuous of you.

      • In addition to Chris’s point.  This stigmatization is partially a result of the larger cultural narratives and norms that say: if you can’t provide for yourself you are lazy and/or embarrasingly incapable.

        That is, it’s a result in part of radical anti-welfarism.

      • Plinko above complains about the lousy reporting, but here’s a quote from the 2nd linked article (following Mark’s advice, I didn’t bother reading the first). So I guess it is optional until it isn’t optional. Fortunately the daughter isn’t allergic to something that might put her into anaphylactic shock.

        In an interview with the Civitas Institute the mother said “I can’t put vegetables in her lunchbox. I’m not a millionaire and I’m not going to put something in there that my daughter doesn’t eat and I’ve done gone round and round with the teacher about that and I’ve told her that. I put fruit in there every day because she is a fruit eater. Vegetables, let me take care of my business at home and at night and that’s when I see she’s eating vegetables. I either have to smash it or tell her if you don’t eat your vegetables you’re going to go to bed.”

        The mother added, “It’s just a headache to keep arguing and fighting. I’ve even wrote a note to her teachers and said do not give my daughter anything else unless it comes out of her lunchbox and they are still going against me and putting a milk in front of her every day.

      • The program itself is optional, one does not have to participate at all.

        Secondly, it’s not clear if these quotes were before or after the mother found out there was no cost to the additional food provided, that’s a pretty key point that ought to be clear and is not. I have no insight to if it is or is not and my opinions on this matter would definitely be influenced if I knew.

        Thirdly, as the parent of a toddler and the husband of a woman that worked in child care for nearly two decades, I can attest that plenty of young child programs (public, private, religious all!) have very strict rules about what food is provided and what can/cannot be brought that are far stricter than anything I saw reported in this story.
        Figuring out how to deal with that is a challenge for schools and parents, probably even moreso now than when your children were in school. I do not care for that fact one whit, but it’s a completely different issue than the one that’s being ballyhooed in the popular imagination.

        On allergies, that’s a huge issue, though mainly from parents complaining when schools institute rules to protect other people’s children with deadly allergies.

      • A tax funded program at a government school is never really optional.

        Many parents may use it, rather than other day care because they are already taking another child to that public school who is forced to attend it, and they cannot logistically take two children to two different schools.

        Many cannot afford other day care since they have already been taxed to support this program.

        Many cannot find other daycare, including a neighbor, because the local government has licensed and regulated it out of existence.

      • The food allergy thing is absurd,  but the rest of it is interesting. I think it should be optional, of course, as the free lunch programs generally are, but I’m still not terribly worried about giving kids extra food. Actually, I’m not worried at all. And when you consider that school lunches and breakfast are often the only healthy meals kids get to eat in a day, I’m even less worried than not worried at all.
      • If this is a test program, rigorous testing may sort of require “all-in” opt in, or “all-out” opt out.

        “I want to test your new school lunch program, but only this part of it and that part of it and none of the others” doesn’t make you a good test participant.

      • JK-

        I work with children the same age as the girl in the story.  It is hard to know how children and their peers will react to different ways they are treated.  There are a myriad of factors that go into it.  With this in mind, any interventions (and that’s what this was, make no doubt about it, though we should not view ‘intervention’ as a 4-letter-word in education… it’s part of the process) should be implemented thoughtfully and deliberately to ensure not only that they achieve the desired ends but that the costs associated with them are as minimal as possible.  Without knowing more about how the situation was handled, it is hard to assume that the girl was in fact stigmatized, though it is certainly within the realm of very real possibilities.  Hopefully people are putting as much thought into the HOW of this project as the WHY of this project, which on its face seems laudable.  My hunch is they are not, but that might just be the cynical teacher in me.

      • “And I don’t know if I want to live in a world where kids with perfectly adequate homemade lunches are randomly stigmatized by the state as inadequate.”

        As long as we agree that this was not the case here.

    • Charity should never be the function of the general gummint. It’s possible, I suppose, that some Libertarians might agree. Unlike E.D., I think Jason may have made an excellent point. And Chris, you sanctimonious secular-progressive, your perverse and dysfunctional ideologies are responsible for slaughtering milllions of human beings without even a mea culpa, or by-your-leave.
      • No, Bob, I don’t. But I feel pity for you. You’re a sad, sorry old man, and the world has passed you by. It’s better for the world that it has, but quite clearly, it has turned you into an impotent monster, and I find that worth of pity.
      • And, I see you as a sad, pathetic, and confused young (?) modern consumed in a primordial anxiety that will end..who knows where?
      • Bob, I’m not confused, nor particularly sad. I’m not even that young anymore, really. I chose my world view, long ago, largely because it is the way out of anxiety. Where it ends I don’t know, but that’s half the fun, right?

        But hey, I’m not bitter. One more reason I pity you. You’re just all anger and fear and envy, and when it’s not sad to watch, it’s infuriating to do so.  I hope, honestly, that at some point in what remains of your life, you either actually accept the religion you merely use as a cudgel now, or you recognize it for what it is and move on. Until then, you’re really not worth any more of my time.

      • Thanks Chris for the deep and penetrating analysis! Of course, I’ll pray for you and always remember, I’m here to hep.
      • Not offended, Bob, just creeped out.  I second what Chris said about your religion.  I grew up in a conservative protestant church, and I understand the message of Christ quite well.  It’s not supposed to be a cudgel, but too many American Christians use it that way, including you. And nothing has done as much harm to Christianity, throughout history and certainly in contemporary America, as getting faith and politics mixed up with each other.  You are a fine emblem of that problem.
      • I have not found anywhere in the pages of scripture the passage that reads, “…go forth and redistribute.” Commie-Dem welfare policy has nothing, I mean absolutely nothing, to do with ‘caritas.’ And, those, including you who believe it does are, at best, confused. James this is a Libertarian site that’s been grossly infected with derailed libruls.
      • I have not found anywhere in the pages of scripture the passage that reads, “…go forth and redistribute.”

        And where in the scripture have you found a passage that says, “make sure government does not redistribute”?

        Where in the scripture do you find Jesus making any statements relative to politics and government, and what exactly does he say?  (I know the answer to this one, do you?)

         

      • ROFL.   Matthew, Mark and Luke all contain the account of the Rich Young Ruler.    Open that dusty and obviously-seldom-read Bible of your’n to Matthew 19 and head down to verse 16.

         

      • Preach it, Bro!

        “…If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

        Amen.

        Nowhere does it say, ‘the gummint will increase your taxes in order to redistribute among a parasite class that has been created by the great commie, Lyndon, and has dwelt among you for three generations. And, while you’re at it, vote for those loving, caring, and sharing commie-dems who insist on slaughtering their babies for Jesus really, really wants you to butcher your young so you can be free to be you! ”

        One can not be both a commie-Dem and a Christian. As ol’ Bob said, “you gotta serve somebody!”

        And, remember, I am here to hep!

         

      • Bob ol’ fake Bible scholar, where does it say the government shall not raise your taxes and redistribute that money?  And where does it say that you cannot be a Christian and believe government should do that?

        You know me, I’m no big fan of redistributive government, but damned if I can find anything in the Bible, despite a lifetime of looking, that says to be a real Christian you have to oppose government redistribution.  It just ain’t there, is it?

        When Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world,” he was saying, “I don’t give a crap about your public policies; I’m not telling you yes or no on any of them; I’m just not getting involved.”

        To pretend the Bible dictates public policy positions is to lie about the Bible.

      • Bob claim #1: Abortion should be blocked, and contraception too, because Bible Morality demands it.

        Bob claim #2: despite Bible Morality demanding it, government shouldn’t implement social programs to take care of the sick, the lame, the widowed, the elderly, and the needy.

        Score one for hate-filled christian two-facedness.

      • James, it just kinda eats away, doesn’t it?

        However, you’re one redeeming characteristic is that, in your ignorance, you are searching. Now, that’s a beginning, not much of a beginning given your derailed nature, but a beginning none-the-less. Best of luck.

      • Jackass.   Deuteronomy makes it clear enough :

        If there is among you a poor man of your brethren, within any of the gates in your land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart nor shut your hand from your poor brother, but you shall open your hand wide to him and willingly lend him sufficient for his need, whatever he needs.

        You shall surely give to him, and your heart should not be grieved when you give to him, because for this thing the Lord your God will bless you in all your works and in all to which you put your hand. For the poor will never cease from the land; therefore I command you, saying, “You shall open your hand wide to your brother, to your poor and your needy, in your land.”

        I don’t think we revere the same Jesus, Bobbo. Who is this Jesus you claim to worship? The Gospel of Bobbo: Blessed are the millionaires and the property owners, for they are favored of God and vice-versa.

        No, my Bible reads de ho neaniskos ton logon and when the young man heard these words apeithen lupoumenos he retreated, weeping en gar echon ktemata polla for he had many acquisitions.

        Millionaire Jeezus.   Gotta love ‘im.   He’s more fun than a gold plated gorilla.

      • OMG, no Bp we do NOT worship the same “Jesus.” You follow the anti-Word, the socialist-demonic construct that allows you to justify your various perverse beliefs. Caritas is all about the church and the individual, not the general gummint. If you re-read the scripture you provided you’ll see repeatedly the word ‘YOU.’ God is talking to YOU Bp, not to the STATE. It’s your obligation, the obligation of the church to care for the poor. BTW,  I trust you gave generously?

        Even that wanker Madison clearly understood what I am trying to get through your fat head. Check out the story of Madison and the French immigrants at Marietta, Ohio back in the day.

         

      • Bible Bob

        I’m still waiting for you to show me the scripture that says a Christian cannot support a redistributive state, or a state that owns the means of production.  You’re the great exegete here, right?  So it shouldn’t be hard for you to cite me chapter and verse.

        And remind me, dear friend, what did good ol’ JC say about taxes.  April 15 is coming up, and I’m trying to figure out as a Christian whether I should pay them or not.

      • James et al, “Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, but render unto God what is God’s”. As long as the “coin” has the face of the state on it, the state gets its “coin” back. That doesn’t obviate our compulsion to do our own redistribution by our own conscience to help out those less fortunate. Furthermore my observation has been that there is NO AMOUNT OF MONEY the state can spend to eradicate the poor, nor to level the playing field. Every state that has tried has failed miserably. Communism could remove God from the equation but they couldn’t eliminate man and I’m with every philosopher who understands that man’s nature is not inherently good.
      • I don’t see where it says here, in the Jewish Bible by the way, not the Christian one, you are quoting, where you are enjoined to pull a gun on your neighbor or and force her to cook for the poor, rather than feeding them yourself.

        Using the government’s guns doesn’t make it any different.

  11. Is there a psychological study somewhere on the kind of people gullible enough to believe the “state agents” are coming to force feed pre-schoolers? I wish those people would worry more about actual over-reach by the ‘state’, eg, warrantless wiretapping and SWAT teams invading private homes on a whim and no prayer.
    • Silence, please, for just a moment, for the Branch Dividians and their brutal, statist oppressors, the Clinonistas!
    • Conservatives have a smaller anterior cingulate cortex and a larger right amygdala.  As you can see with Bob, it makes them scared and confused, which means they’re only really useful to con men.  For the rest of us, at best he can only be deadweight, at worst, a fifth column.
  12. Pingback: State agent inspects sack lunches, forces preschoolers to purchase cafeteria food in - Tech Support Forums - TechIMO.com

  13. While you minimize these government interventions, this government is swindling the entire nation and destroying freedom as completely as they possibly can. I just don’t understand the Left anymore. I’ve never seen so many smart people go blind and mute on important issues regarding liberty and individual rights, and snarkily dismiss the low hanging fruit as if this is a righteous undertaking..
    • MFarmer, this is very much how I feel about it too.

      The original story was a very small thing.  The revised story is even smaller.  And that means what, exactly?  That everything’s fine, and that the government can do no wrong?

      It’s almost as if the left is relieved that — for once — they aren’t doing all that much to destroy individual liberty.  Now they never have to worry about anything, ever again.

      • It’s almost as if the left is relieved that — for once — they aren’t doing all that much to destroy individual liberty.  Now they never have to worry about anything, ever again.

        I’m sure this will be a takeway for some people.

        I’m pretty sure that those people would have taken that away, anyway.  For what it’s worth.

      • Remind us please who it is that trumpets warrantless wiretapping AND ALL THE OTHER overreaches since day one of GWB? This one liberal, speaking for herself, has pretty much given up. We marched and protested in HUGE numbers against the Iraq war, to what end? We were livid about torture and no habeus corpus and wiretapping and extraordinary rendition, ETC.! We can’t even close Guantanamo for gawd’s sake! There are not enough Americans about who give a flying fig for liberty.  I think it very unfair to say the left is intent on destroying individual liberty. What, pray tell, is the right up to?
      • Do not infer that my disdain for the left springs from any love for the right.  They’re doing their level best to erode individual liberty too, at least as I see it.
      • But you haven’t addressed my post. There were eight little words in the last sentence you addressed but ignored the rest. The left HAS objected. What more do you think we should do?  And what do you believe the left is doing to “erode individual liberty”? I should know about this so I can get outraged. If the left is as bad as the right, or anywhere NEAR as bad I need to know!
      • This line of criticism has never made any sense to me whatsover.  It’s the exact same line of criticism I got from the left on my post on the Waltons a few months ago.

        And guess what? I basically agree with Mr. Farmer’s sentiments about freedom being destroyed in this country in innumerable significant ways.

        But you know how the battle against that needs to be fought? By focusing on the shit that matters and not having a collective freakout on shit that doesn’t hold up under any kind of scrutiny.  Because if you focus on that kind of shit, then you’re not focused on the stuff that actually matters.  So forgive me for pointing out that this story is basically bullshit in the off-chance that it might help some people focus on the things that actually matter.

        On top of that, even if non-troversies like this somehow had a positive effect on freedom in this country, it would still be well worth pointing out when they’re wrong.  I can imagine nothing worse for freedom in the long run than to win the battle on the back of bullshit propaganda, nothing worse for the principal of “no force or fraud” than the use of fraud to advance it.

        Last but not least, I don’t remotely see how allowing factually bogus claims to pass unchallenged into places of prominence is better for the cause of freedom than actually challenging such claims when they are, inevitably, made.  It has always seemed to me that in order to advance any cause significantly in a more or less democratic system, you first need to have and maintain credibility.

      • +1.

        +1, even though I disagree with E.C.(above)  that “This stigmatization is partially a result of … radical anti-welfarism.”  As a kid, before I actually had any concept of welfare, I was told by my mom to go down to the volunteer fire station to pick up our government cheese and dehydrated milk.* I was embarrassed as hell.  The concern is about stigmatization is valid, which is why I like the solution Chris mentions (debit cards for the kids, so nobody can tell if it’s mom’s dollars or government dollars). 

        But +1 because even though that’s a real concern, it’s just not, in my view, a place where libertarians should be focusing their energies. “Don’t feed kids because you’ll stigmatize them,” is neither as important as “stop the cops from kicking down doors and shooting grandpa in the back by ‘accident’” nor as likely to persuade anyone that libertarians are worth listening to.

        ____
        * Speaking of this, my wife’s response to the whole “elite v. non-elite” thread was “if you never had the government cheese and powdered milk, then you can’t presume to understand us.” And that, in a nutshell, is why I got a little overwrought in that thread. People who never had to eat the government cheese telling me they aren’t different? Like hell.

      • JH-

        Isn’t that just one of many potential lines in the sand?

        People who never lived in a shelter telling me the aren’t different? Like hell.
        People who never ate out of a trashcan telling me they aren’t different? Like hell.
        People who never had to eat their fellow soccer players telling me they aren’t different? Like hell.

        The government cheese line may indeed be the appropriate one, but you’ll have to do more to substantiate that.

      • BSK,

        Goddam right. If anybody ever wrote a blog post saying, “I lived in a shelter and you didn’t, and so there’s a real difference between us,” and the response of half the commenters was, “no, there’s really not,” you can be damned sure I wouldn’t be in that half of the commenters.

        What disturbed me in that thread was not that the criticisms of the questionnaire’s methodology was inaccurate, but that everyone was so eager to focus on that as a way of denying the larger point, which they were all unwilling to think about–that maybe there really is a gap there.  And it was goddammed funny and goddammed infuriating that the people denying a gap were, as far as anyone can tell here, the relatively privileged ones.

        One of the last things I need is some well-intentioned liberal who’s never been on welfare saying that welfare only has a shaming effect because of anti-welfare ideology.  If they haven’t lived it, they don’t know.

      • “if you never had the government cheese and powdered milk, then you can’t presume to understand us.” And that, in a nutshell, is why I got a little overwrought in that thread. People who never had to eat the government cheese telling me they aren’t different? Like hell.

        Wow.  Elite vs. non-elite is not about government cheese.  It may have been why you got overwrought, but people who can score high Charles Murray’s quiz != people who have been on government cheese.  That was the whole point of all of that.

        For sure, people who are in poverty or have been know A TON of stuff that others don’t (are they “different” from others? – something not separable from saying others are different from them, sure, if you say so.).  But then there’s this part of the population that both has not experienced that and is also not part of the elite (or even the “New Upper Middle Class”), which we could probably call, to be safe, oh, say, “The Sixty-Five Percent.”  That’s who we’re talking about when we’re doing our elite vs. non-elite thing?

        Absolutely, people don’t understand what it’s like to be poor.  That’s just not what was being talked about in that discussion, except apparently by you.

      • …I do appreciate getting this context on that conversation, James.  it was clear we were coming at it from very different places.  And the place you were coming from was one I’m very sympathetic, and I’d like to think, familiar with (I wasn’t eligible for free lunches, but we were darn close; I didn’t have the kind of misfortune in my family you did, but there was a time when my dad lost his job, failed at starting a business, went into bankruptcy, etc.).  It’s just that I really think (having now heard Charles Murray discuss his book on a radio show) that the issues he was meaning to point up (and which he successfully raised in my mind) were not the ones he ended up raising in your mind.
      • Elite vs. non-elite is not about government cheese.  

        Like hell it isn’t.  My wife’s way to the left of me, and she was livid about that thread precisely because she also had to suffer the embarrassment of going down to get the government cheese.

        No, it’s not the only such line, and you don’t have to have eaten government cheese to score high on Murray’s quiz.  But if you go back and read that thread, you can see a distinct difference between those who scored high and those who didn’t–and the great irony is that it was those who scored low on that quiz who were frantically denying that they were in any way an elite, in any way not truly heart and soul with middle America, whatever the hell that means.  But holy hell, Mike, as imperfect as that quiz was, if someone scored low they shouldn’t have responded by immediately attacking the quiz–they should have responded by saying, “hmm, maybe I really don’t get those people, and maybe that means my favored political ideology/party really isn’t necessarily in their interests.”

         

      • The those people – what people?  You’ve imported a difference between being poor and not being poor (very real and important) into analysis of a quiz (all you have to do is let go of the quiz and just make your point – but to do that you have to allow for reaction against the quiz) that re

        So no one should attack the validity of a quiz that has no validity when, for god’s sake, there’s a point that the quiz doesn’t make that could b made in simple, declarative sentences?

        The whole point was that the quiz doesn’t reveal anything like what you’re talking about in terms of gaps in first-hand knowledge of what it’s like to be poor.  You associated those ideas with it, but that’s due to your prior (well-founded) concerns.  That people want to focus on the thing that was the subject of the OP in a post about a quiz does not mean they’re unwilling to acknowledge this or that other argument you might want to make (but that the quiz doesn’t).

      • …I meant to say, you imported the poor/not-poor distinction into the discussion of the quiz to try to make the results of it reveal something of interest just as Murray had to switch in the idea of an undeniably elite Yale professor in the place of the generic category of low scorers.  It’s exactly the same thing.

        Neither of those two situations need a quiz to demonstrate the gap you want to talk about.  Those gaps are right there for all to see.  if you want to talk about them, all you have to do is talk about them. No one is going to deny they’re there, and they shouldn’t deny completely their significance (though I hope your position isn’t that no one should differ with you whatsoever about the degree of that significance, or the gaps’ exact social meaning).

        The only thing that’s got you exercised is that people wanted to talk about the quiz in a post about a quiz.

      • The only thing that’s got you exercised is that people wanted to talk about the quiz in a post about a quiz.

        Wrong.  What got me exercised was how desperate everyone was to ignore the larger point, I assume so as to not have to actually face up to their own illusions.

        So no one should attack the validity of a quiz that has no validity when, for god’s sake, there’s a point that the quiz doesn’t make that could b made in simple, declarative sentences?

        You have an annoying habit of mis-stating what I said.  You tend to make my statements much more extreme than I ever make them.  Did I ever say “no one” should attack the validity of the quiz?  Hell, I critiqued it myself.  I don’t think you’re a bad guy, but this persistent habit leads me to think talking with you isn’t a particularly good use of my time.  You make good points that are worthy of consideration, there’s no doubt of that.  But I’m not going to dick around trying to re-explain myself constantly to someone who wants to assume that when I say “there’s more than X,” that I really mean, “Any of you fucking pricks talk about X, and I’ll execute every motherfucking last one of ya!”

        I want to like you, because at your best you’re a damn good discussion opponent.  But I’m going to blow you off as long as you continue that bullshit talk-radio habit.

      • everyone was so eager to focus on that as a way of denying the larger point, which they were all unwilling to think about–that maybe there really is a gap there

        When I look at what you quoted as my exaggeration next to this, yes, I see an exaggeration, but a relatively modest one, and one that is phrased in a pretty common way that results from quickly trying to characterize a more nuanced argument.  I’ve said before I try to write these comments quickly so it doesn’t eat up all my time, Occasionally things will come out in shorthand, producing inaccuracies.  Feel however you want about that.   I didn’t mean to distort your argument, and I don’t honestly think this correction changes my point that much.

        Why? Apparently what you’re saying is there was some threshold of persistence in focusing on the quiz past which you concluded that what was going on was simply evasion of the real “point.”  We were supposed to know when that was how?  And we were supposed to drop the entire point we (or maybe just I) was making about the quiz, just because you wanted us to, when all you would concede was that the quiz was flawed?  The whole point was that the quiz didn’t demonstrate anything like the point you wanted to focus on, but you wanted us to just accept an admission that it was just “flawed,” stop talking about the entire point we were trying to make, and start talking about how right you were to be making a completely unrelated point?  If that’s what you wanted, then you needed to say, “You’re right, the quiz is complete and utter crap and I disavow any claim that it has any value whatsoever, including in advancing this next point I want to make. Period.  Here’s the thing I want to talk about: _______.  What do you think?”  Otherwise, in maintaining any relevance of the quiz to your point (which you did by only going so far as to call it “flawed”), you were yourself extending the argument about the quiz, which is what the nominal topic of the post was.

        Moreover, James, we all do this, even you.  The quote above concludes much more than you legitimately ought to have about what people actually thought about your preferred area of focus, just from what they preferred to talk about.  It’s fine if you want to say they evidently didn’t want to talk about your point (even if you were maintaining the quiz made the point to some extent, which is what was actually being denied), but you didn’t say that, rather you claim that preference evinced a denial of your contentions. You’re reading denials of X where there was simply rejection of Y going on.  That’s the same thing as you accuse me of doing, basically: seeing arguments where they’re not being made.  Mine basically consist of a rushed, shorthand reference to a an argument that amounted to a bit of an extension to ask after the implication you were drawing.  Yours seemed a little more cut from whole cloth to me, but perhaps that’s just because I sit where I sit. But it is the case that I do and a have acknowledged the validity point you accuse me of denying by simply staying focused on a another point, while what you throw accusations at me about was basically using a common technique of extending an argument to seek its implication.  I don’t know anyone else here who gets quite so worked up about this common albeit …flawed argumentative tic.

        So I guess you can consider me not particularly chagrined by your scolding, sorry James.  Like me or not, it’s up to you.  We have temperaments that when in contact become pretty volatile, and while we’ve had our moments of mutual appreciation (at least I have), we’ve also had …other kinds moments.  I hope we can continue having both kinds.

      • James, I hope it’s clear that the whole point is that people – I want to claim liberals more than not, perhaps you want to claim otherwise (but at least I) do very much respect the baseline points you are making about these questions.  So it’s really just all about that thread.  And I maintain it doesn’t indicate anything about willingness to acknowledge these points that the focus was on the quiz when the post was pretty much all about the quiz.  We shouldn’t keep arguing about that thread.  The question is whether people really won’t acknowledge the kinds of gaps you’re talking about (if not necessarily agree with everything you want to say about them).  i can’t imagine you really think people won’t acknowledge these cultural and experiential gaps.  And I’ll say again, their significance and meaning need to be open to reasonable debate.  I think that’s all very much on the table, not being swept under the rug.  If you see new instances of it, I’ll welcome you pointing them out, so long as we don’t have to keep going back to that post about Charles Murray’s quiz.
      • Can you explain to me, please, how this takes away individual liberty (you and I understand that word very differently, but that’s OK, we’ll work with your definition)? There’s an optional program, and that program lets your kid (or you, the kid) get free food to supplement your brought lunch. If this violates individual liberty, then shit, let’s do away with it all.

        Actually, that’s a good idea. I’ll start with property, you start where you want. As long as I get to get rid of what I want, I have no problem with you getting rid of what you want.

      • The original story was a very small thing.  The revised story is even smaller.  And that means what, exactly?  That everything’s fine, and that the government can do no wrong?

        It’s almost as if the left is relieved that — for once — they aren’t doing all that much to destroy individual liberty.  Now they never have to worry about anything, ever again.

        Re:  your first paragraph:  the last sentence does not necessarily follow from the first two.  I don’t recall Mr. Thompson saying the apparent inaccuracies in the original story  “that the government can do no wrong.”   I probably haven’t read enough of the comments here, but it doesn’t seem to me that the liberals (or “the left”) on this blog are saying that all this means the government can do no wrong.  I do admit that the critique Mr. Thompson offers might (might!) be indicative of a hypercritical toward complaints about government interventionism that, in turn, feeds into a meta-narrative that is overly indulgent of government prerogatives and that this meat-narrative, in turn, leads toward a view that the government can do little (or “no”) wrong.  I have little sympathy for such an argument, but if that’s the argument you wish to make, then why  not make it instead of attributing conclusions to your opponents that they agree to, if at all, only implicitly.

        Re:  your second paragraph:  I’m not really a member of “the left,” but I am probably, in practice, a liberal, at least I tend to support policies that are liberal.  I guess I can say that my plans to destroy personal liberty have been checked by the innocuousness of the particular program in question (an innocuousness you seem to be conceding by saying the story is a “small one”–if I’m mistaken, let me know, as I’d not wish to mis-characterize your intentions).  I disagree that i never have to worry about anything ever again, however:  how can my plans to destroy liberty ever come to fruition now that people have been duly warned about government agents coming to raid children’s lunch boxes?

      • And look the whole time they talked about McNuggets that got to evade gay kids being beaten on the playground because their parents have no school choice, Obama killing brown kids with predator drones, the unemployment rate being 9% according to Gallup and the underemployment rate being 15%, and gas prices doubling because of Obama’s restrictions on production and his currency inflationism.
    • “this government is swindling the entire nation and destroying freedom as completely as they possibly can”

      Which government? The government of the state of North Carolina? Because this story has really nothing to do with the federal government at all.

      Or is it that this is not really news, in the way we understand it normally, but a sort of morality play in which the Division of Child Development and Early Education in the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Service symbolizes Big Government and the 4-year old is Everyman?

    • Evidence, please.  We’re not minizing anything if there’s nothing there.  Confusion is not evidence, ignorance is not an argument.

      … except on AM radio.

  14. Pingback: Your lunch isnt good enough - Page 2 - SLUniverse Forums

  15. To my knowledge reading the story from various places, the mother WAS charged $1.25 and this program is great at supplying addition “healthy” options. Even if there was no inspection and no food taken away, we have an obesity problem among our youth. Processed chicken nuggets in ADDITION to her lunch from home home is not the answer.
    • This is because most of the stories have referenced the Carolina Journal piece, which is incredibly misleading in how it is worded, but ultimately just says that she “could” be charged $1.25.  If you read the second-linked article, which is worlds better, it contains a lot of direct quotes from the mother, including that “So I went to the cafeteria to make sure she had no fee and it’s not being charged to her account yet.”  The principal is then cited as saying that none of the parents were asked to pay.
  16. Pingback: "Educators,” Not Parents, “Know Best,” Insists Michigan Bureaucrat REPUBLIC MAGAZINE | THE VOICE OF THE PATRIOT MOVEMENT

  17. Hey Mark, this is coming late in the day, as it has been crazy.  But this post is just awesome, and a great example of journalism.

    I am having a hard time why some people are focusing on the argument they want to be having, and not the facts at hand.

  18. Your article is missing the entire point and seems to not recognize the slippery slope we are already on. If you did even the most basic search of this subject you’d see districts all around the country intervening in parents food choices. And you must live in a parallel universe where you think this sort of behavior by govt wont get worse? If you use voluntary enrollment of educational funding as your excuse for this behavior than your standard only covers nearly everyone who attends public schools. I guess choice only relates to removing clumps of cells in leftyville? But our education industrial complex has no business intervening in these matters and should only concern itself if neglect is present. So you can quibble about details on how it was reported but your head must be so burried in the ground that you think govt is not capable or predisposed to this type of behavior when the most basic research on the matter would say you are wrong.
    • Dismantling a lie, root and branch, is not “missing the point.”

      If you don’t like a rational, fact-based narrative, you know exactly where to go to get your fix of baseless paranoia.

  19. And why do I believe Mark would agree with govt intervention regardless? I’m sure he’s all about THE CHILDREN!
  20. As someone who occasionally reads this blog independently (i.e. it’s on my blog bookmarks list though rather far down) but happened to read this post by following a link, I do find it entertaining to read the comments of OTHER people who followed a link, and clearly have no idea of the ideological disposition of the authors.

    There have been a few chuckles here, but sadly no one has dredged up my favorite, viz., “And what about Chappaquiddick?”

     

  21. So am I following the claims?

    • School took away the packed lunch – did not happen and no evidence it was likely
    • School force fed the child chicken nuggets – did not happen and no evidence it was likely
    • School charged the mother for something she did not order – did not happen but could have
    • School gave the child food she was allergic or intolerant to – did not happen but could have
    • By giving extra food the school made the girl a poster child for ‘the lazy poor’ and her politically savy classmates turned on her for it – implausible given the ages but not enough evidence
    • By giving extra food the school marked the girl as ‘different’ and any kind of different can make kids feel bad and lead to bullying – plausible but not enough evidence
    • By giving extra food the school increased this girls risk of obesity – very plausible but not enough evidence

    What did I miss?

    • That the school continued to force the child to take food against the parents’ wishes – probable but not confirmed by the evidence.

      To me this is the only real cause for concern left and I’d love for there to be some follow up. Everything else seems to be the usual hammer/nail problem as far as I can see.

      • Yeah, that sounds like a school that doesn’t know what it’s doing. The program, in the abstract, seems perfectly reasonable to me, as long as it’s optional. If the school doesn’t implement it very well, then that’s just evidence that someone needs to give the school some guidance.
    • You missed the part where “[slippery slope] FREEDUMB [false analogy] MURKA [strawman] FUDNING FATHERS [etc.]”

      Fortunately, certain mouthbreathing commenters have seen fit to supply that … need.

  22. Terrified for a moment early in the article that I might actually be on the same side as Limbaugh. Fortunately as the article went on, it became apparent that Limbaugh would spin it and that it simply demonstrated once again that reason has to trump philosophy or philosophy, even my own beloved libertarianism, will end up in the toilet just like what passes for conservatism today.
  23. I don’t want to discount the concern with stigma here, but just to be clear, do those who see it as a problem in this case see it as less of a problem in the free & reduced price school lunch program generally?  I’m genuinely unclear on this and if there are people who argue strongly against free school lunches because of concern about stigma, this is actually new information to me.
  24. This is why I didn’t jump on the story.  However, there ARE schools that have “outlawed” lunches brought from home by the principal.  There ARE schools that fail to provide options for parents to keep their children out of classes that they might find offensive.  There ARE schools that have said children do not have Constitutional protections once they cross the threshhold in the morning.   There ARE schools that have told parents to take a hike.  So, you can’t blame libertarian-types for being trigger happy over this.
    • However, there ARE schools that have “outlawed” lunches brought from home by the principal.

      How many lunches was the principal bringing from home?

    • There are also schools that force children to wear pre-approved clothes.

      The entity that’s claimed children don’t have certain Constitutional protections was the U.S. Supreme Court. Heck, they ruled schools can discipline kids for speech acts that happen outside of school or school-related activities.

      Libertarian reflexive antipathy toward public schools vs. the left’s reflexive support is an underrated source of tension between the modern American left and libertarians.

    • There are also children who go hungry in this country.   There are parents who give their kids cheap food, nutritious food beyond their meager budgets.   There are children whose only decent meal every day is served in the school lunchroom.

      So one officious little Barney Fyfe lunchroom lady does something silly — the hundreds of thousands of simultaneously fat, sick and hungry kids get lost in this aptly-dubbed Non-Trovery.   Wave the Constitution about an it please thee, use it to paper over the needs of these children.  Hunger knows no political stripe and adheres to no creed.   There are people eating out of dumpsters every day.   While I was in Minn/St Paul I used to go out at night to feed these people and bring them diapers, living in their cars, small kids in tow, going to school too, may I add, in dirty clothes.   I took several such families to the laundromat to do some washing and snuck them into the hotel for showers.   They are the new face of homelessness, the Car People.

      Trigger-happy?   The trigger was long since pulled on these people:  they lost their jobs and homes and the Anatole France’s commodious Park Bench is their new abode.

  25. I sure appreciate hearing the other side of the coin. I would have been a little more impressed if we had seen the note sent home and a quote from the school additional charges will never be incurred.

    I am an old guy just retired whose Son is 36 and has two children in preschool. We would expect the school to teach good study habits and if they wish teach good eating habits. I would not want the school dictating what to eat, when to eat it, or the quantity served. It should not be allowed that some functionary make a decision in front of any child that what they were sent with from their loving parents is not good enough. I was sent to school with spaghetti sandwiches because that was what we could afford at the time. To have someone question my parents intent to raise their kids would have been shameful.

    For me the story is how far is Government going to go just because they offer a lunch? Do they think that buys them a say in how we raise our children. Where are these functionaries when the illness sets in or the first heartbreak is felt or the first pangs of prejudice are felt?

    Teach education, teach good study habits, teach tolerance of all cultures, and stay out of the parental relm.

    Respectfully,

    Bill

    • Welcome Bill!

      I would not want the school dictating what to eat, when to eat it, or the quantity served. It should not be allowed that some functionary make a decision in front of any child that what they were sent with from their loving parents is not good enough. I was sent to school with spaghetti sandwiches because that was what we could afford at the time. To have someone question my parents intent to raise their kids would have been shameful.

      I think most folks here would agree with you, if those things are happening they need to stop. Though I think we often have very high expectations for the balancing act we require of schools – be they public or private – to serve everyone well while effectively deploying limited resources.

      Where are these functionaries when the illness sets in or the first heartbreak is felt or the first pangs of prejudice are felt?

      I highly recommend you get the chance to visit your grandchildren’s preschool and see for yourself. I’ve been to the one my wife worked at and it did not take me long to see that the good teachers deal with all that and more. Poor teachers, on the other hand, are a travesty.

  26. I appreciate your efforts to reveal the facts concerning this non-event. I first read it on the Atlanta Journal Constitution with great disbelief. I followed the link to the Carolina Journal and,as I always do, a quick check on the author and her employer told me somehow the facts weren’t being represented.

    I’m very happy to have found the League.

    • Give us time.

      Eventually somebody pisses you off.  If you stick around after that, you might be surprised, though.

    • There’s quite a bit your missing here, if that’s your question.  Specifically, the girl was allegedly provided with a full school meal in addition to what she brought from home, not just chicken nuggets.  Having been provided with the full meal plus what she brought from home, the girl chose to eat only the chicken nugget portion of the meal.
      • Having been provided with the full meal plus what she brought from home, the girl chose to eat only the chicken nugget portion of the meal.

        I suppose we should be relieved that the administrators didn’t also provide chocolate milk and a brownie. Then critics could be saying “we tried to give the girl vegetables, but she only ate the chicken nuggets, drank the chocolate milk, and traded the brownie for some M&Ms.”

  27. Pingback: Update on Carolina Lunch Box Story — The League of Ordinary Gentlemen

  28. Where’s Jamie Oliver…we need an expert to investigate the matter in a way that only a reality TV show can.
  29. I know I’ll repeat some earlier comments on here, but reading through this “debunking” I see more confirmation of relevant factors from the original articles, disproving your own apparent research [my comments in brackets]:

    1. Enrollment as an “at-risk” child means that the child’s enrollment is fully subsidized by the state, regardless of whether the day care is private or public.
    2. These facts are critical because the “state agent” in this story turns out to be nothing more than a researcher from a program that grades the performance of pre-schools and operates out of the FPG Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
    3. Notably, as the second-linked story above suggests, the mother’s main gripe here does not even appear to be with this “state agent,” but instead with the school’s teachers, who continue to give the girl milk and vegetables despite letters from the mother asking them not to.
    4. as the agent apparently ordered full school lunches for every single child in this program and was evaluating the school’s compliance with standards, not individual parents’ compliance.  Even if he was doing such an inspection, there’s a pretty obvious context-specific reason for it: this is an opt-in program for parents who largely can’t afford to provide fully balanced meals. [But that doesn’t makes sense since a lunch WAS sent.]
    5. Her other major gripe appears to be that she is worried about being charged for the additional food being placed in front of her that kids who did not bring a healthy lunch would be offered supplements and that parents “may” be charged for the supplemented portions. [So, the provision was clearly possible.]
    6. The original story further obscures that in no circumstance was this child – or any child, for that matter – being forced to eat the school-provided lunch, nor was this child -or any other child – deprived of her boxed lunch.  [Wow. Seems to me like a person telling a kid, "come over here and eat this," would be quite commanding to a pre-K kid.]
    7. The mother apparently objects to this option being provided to her daughter, not because of any health concerns or the like, but because she incorrectly believes that she will be charged additional money for her child being provided this option. [So, screw the mom’s opinion about what she wants the kid to eat. The state controlled organization says your food isn't fit enough for your kid.]
    8. Since she won’t in fact be charged for this and there is no evidence she was ever going to be charged for it, there is absolutely no harm actually being done to her or her child. [Except the state overruling her Mom’s desires.]
    9. Since this is also an opt-in program, there is no chance of this becoming some sort of generally applicable concern even to the extent there is some sort of nanny state concern here.  If the mother has some sort of ethical problem with her child being provided with the option of drinking milk or eating vegetables at school, then she is surely free to send her child to an unsubsidized day care program. [So, either make the state feed your kids milk OR take the draconian step of pulling the kid out of pre-K. A sound rationale, huh?]
    10. Then again, since we are definitionally dealing with children whose parents will often lack the resources to provide a consistently balanced lunch, and since the whole point of the program is to provide those children with a pre-K experience that their parents’ income would otherwise prevent, this would not seem to be a tremendously important concern. [So, kids who parents send in lunches aren't capable of feeding their kids?  I hope that makes sense to someone else.]
    • 1.  You’re taking this out of context.  The point here is that: (a) it is the mother’s choice to participate in this program, which is an opt-in program with a limited number of slots, so she is knowingly and willingly giving up certain parental rights; it’s no different from a situation where she sent her kid to a fully private day care with awareness of this policy; and (b) whether there should be fully subsidized pre-K programs at all is not the issue that is being complained of.

      2.  You’re ignoring the part about no “actual authority other than to provide assessments.”  To say such a person is an “agent” in any meaningful sense here is more than a little bit of a stretch, particularly since the allegation is that this “agent” gave this girl orders and was inspecting her lunch.  There is no actual evidence that either of these two allegations are true, and instead there is actual evidence of the opposite.  But even if the allegations were true, they would lack any broader implications because the “agent” would have been acting extraordinarily far outside the scope of his authority and employment.  Government officials may well do such things far too often (and they do!), but this would hardly be a particularly notable example.

      3.  The teachers ignoring the mother’s wishes prior to this incident, to the extent this is what happened (which is increasingly questionable), is most definitely troublesome.  However, that aspect of the story is not the aspect that is being trumpeted throughout the land.  And, while it is troublesome, it is not terribly so, because the allegation on this point is just that the child is being provided with additional options that the mother doesn’t want the child to be provided with (because she mistakenly believed she’d be charged for it). The child isn’t being “forced” to eat anything.

      4.  This paragraph is rendered moot by the update.  But even if it were not rendered moot, the point I was making with this was that even if the facts were as alleged, they were inconsistent with the central claims of the story, and indeed the central sources of outrage, that the “agent” was inspecting lunch boxes and then either rejecting them or accepting them.  As the update demonstrates, it has now been confirmed that the purported “agent” was doing no such thing.

      5.  Actually, it was not actually possible.  Please note that no one has actually seen or quoted from the alleged letter in any of these stories; there is only the mother’s interpretation of it.  As both of the original stories acknowledge, that is an inaccurate interpretation of the “may be charged” provision of the rules.  Perhaps the rules should be more clearly written, but again, this is hardly part of the story that has been oft-cited as a source of outrage here.

      6.  Perhaps.  But that is not the allegation.  The allegation is that she was merely provided with food, not that she was told to eat it or anything of that sort.

      7.  You are completely ignoring the fact that the mother’s objection has absolutely nothing to do with whether she thinks it’s appropriate for her child to eat the things she was offered, but instead was always that she didn’t want to get charged for something that she wasn’t going to be charged for.  Frankly, it would not be entirely unreasonable for a teacher to conclude, based on this being the sole objection, that the mother was ok with the child being offered the food, provided that she was not charged for it.  Moreover, by raising this objection and only this objection, it would be entirely reasonable for a teacher to additionally conclude that the entire reason no vegetables or milk was packed was that the mother couldn’t afford them (and guess what? the mother says exactly that in the original articles).  Seeing as the entire point of this program – in which the mother voluntarily enrolled her child – is to provide lower-income children  with day care that their parents might not otherwise be able to afford, providing the child with food options her mother otherwise couldn’t afford would seem to be precisely consistent with what her mother signed up for by enrolling in the program.

      8.  See response to 7.  The mother’s desire wasn’t “don’t you dare give my child vegetables and milk”; it was “don’t you dare give my daughter anything that you’re going to charge me extra for.”   Additionally, if the only harm here is that the mother’s desires were overridden in a program in which she had voluntarily enrolled, I would submit to you that, on the scale of harms inflicted by government  on its people, this harm rates about a 1.  Yet this story has gotten coverage as if it’s the surest possible sign of a police state, even as many of the outlets covering it actively choose to ignore things like this.

      9.  What part of “opt-in” do you not understand?  There are no shortage of other parents also qualified for this program who send their children to other privately or publicly run programs.  Meanwhile, there are also plenty of qualified parents who are not able to send their kids to this program because of the limited number of slots.  As a general matter, and regardless of whether you are talking about the public or private sector, if you actively choose to enroll in a program, you agree to abide by the rules of that program, no?

      10.  The program, by definition, serves parents with limited resources.  This particular parent even admits that she can’t afford to send her kid to school with vegetables and milk.  We are not talking about a regular pre-K class comprised primarily of children from middle class families, but instead a very specific opt-in program comprised of children from comparatively low income families.  In that specific context, yes it makes perfect sense for a teacher to conclude that the parent is unable to provide the child with all of the food the child needs.  A lunch may, in that context, well be the “best the parent can afford to provide” and yet still fall short of “what the parent should provide and in fact would provide if she could.”

      • Your rebuttal just became a leftist talking point today

        http://www.theblaze.com/stories/exclusive-2nd-n-c-mother-says-daughters-school-lunch-replaced-for-not-being-healthy-enough/

        This time, the accuser of the State was kind enough to furnish a copy of the letter that was sent home by the school.  Interestingly enough, the letter contains all of the things the first parent noted, including the part about a charge possibly applying.  Unless the accuser of the State bothered to steal letterhead, to invent a fake letter, and to forge the principal’s signature, the letter alone is pretty damning.

        http://www.wral.com/news/local/story/10731857/

        In the first case, the school officials did admit that the child was ushered into the full lunch line (which would indicate replacement, not substitution or amendment) but tried to chalk it up to “poor direction.” Yeah.  I willing believe that the school officials who were “policing” this poor child would allow something to just happen on “poor direction.” I was born at night, but not last night.

        “I want you to stay out of my lunchboxes, government.  You cannot stick your nose in that.” – PO’ed granny

        GO GRANNY!

  30. Pingback: The Nugget Fiasco: Did a Government Inspector Really Force a Kid to Trade In Her Home-Packed Lunch?

  31. Pingback: Chicagoschool principal outlaws brown bag lunches. - Page 2 - The Warpath

  32. I used to read with the first graders at my son’s school. They were chosen by the teachers as needing help. I came 2 or 3 times a week and got each child out of his/ her class to go with me to a quiet room where we read and played word games and talked about the stories, etc. I probably went through 30 kids in two years, there were 10 mothers participating in the program, and I don’t remember any one of the kids feeling stigmatized, and that is due to the way the teachers framed the issue. The children were ‘getting to go read with Mrs. So-and So’, etc. But even if they had felt stigmatized, which is worse? feeling stigmatized because you can’t read as well as your peers, or because you are getting help you need? Which is worse, going hungry/ having bad nutrition, or feeling stigmatized for getting help?
    • The alternatives were never

      (a) the kid starves, with her dignity intact

      or

      (b) the kid is stigmatized but well-fed.

      These were never the choices we had in the case at hand.  Our real choices were, apparently,

      (c) kid gets a healthy, balanced lunch from home, which she doesn’t eat

      or

      (d) kid doesn’t follow directions, eats a tiny bit of junk food from the school, and doesn’t even obtain, let alone drink, the milk that they wanted to give her.  She throws out nearly two full lunches’ worth of food.

      As of this afternoon, those appear to have been the real choices (though they may well change again, who knows?).  Liberals lined up behind (d) and cheered for it, because to them it was evidence that libertarians liked (a).

      I still don’t get this, but I’m tired of arguing it.

      • Jason, now you’re being patently dishonest. Show me one “liberal” who got behind (d) because it was evidence that libertarians liked (a). And don’t use my comments, because part of the point of my initial comment to you was that you weren’t talking like a libertarian at all (I was also making an absurd claim as a way of highlighting the absurdity of your own, which was an extreme exaggeration that later yielded to even more extreme exaggerations). You later talked like one, but initially, with the talk of stigma, you didn’t (it seemed to me, at least).

        So, show me one liberal who acted as you say they did. One. More than one would be great, since you used the plural, but I’ll accept one. At the moment, it appears to me you’re TvDing again.

      • Argh, you should have read on. Because the rest of my comment says, “That’s not what I was doing.” You see, Jason accused me above of doing that, so I wanted to make sure he recalls that I wasn’t.

        But hey, disingenuity day among League authors, apparently.

      • Except that, again, I didn’t even SAY X. What’s more, what I did say wouldn’t apply to any libertarian! Libertarians don’t say, “Don’t do X because it will hurt people’s feelings.” That’s now how they think about policy (and that’s a good thing!). Jason, on the other hand, said that he didn’t want to live in a world where kids get randomly stigmatized by giving them lunches, so I said I didn’t want to live in a world where we don’t feed kids ’cause they might get their feelings hurt. This is a.) obviously not what Jason was saying (but what he accused me of supporting wasn’t connected to reality, as I’ve said over and over), and b.) has nothing to do with libertarians or libertarianism.

        So, if you want to use me for an example, you’ll just come off looking daft. Kinda like right now.

      • “I said I didn’t want to live in a world where we don’t feed kids ’cause they might get their feelings hurt.”

        I assume that you were saying this in a deliberate attempt to contrast your position from the position you were arguing against, no?

        Even if you were, by your own admission, “making an absurd claim as a way of highlighting the absurdity of (another’s)”, I don’t think you get to argue that the people who heard what you said should have heard what you meant.

        Take it from me: I argue deliberately absurd things all the time. It’s better to say “I didn’t mean what I said” (and to imply stupidity on the part of the people who thought you did) than to argue that you didn’t say what you said (and, not only did you not say it, what you said was deliberately absurd in an attempt to highlight contrasts).

        Because if you say “I didn’t say X and, besides, it was deliberately absurd and you should have seen that”, you’re kind of undercutting both statements at the same time.

        But maybe I’m being stupid.

      • I assume that you were saying this in a deliberate attempt to contrast your position from the position you were arguing against, no?

        I wonder why you would assume this when I’ve repeatedly stated otherwise? I said that to contrast Jason’s absurdly hyperbolic claim about the program. It was meant to be absurdly hyperbolic in return! And again, has nothing to do with libertarians or libertarianism. So I said what I said, I didn’t mean it (as I’ve told Jason, though he seems to insist that I did), and it has nothing to do with libertarians. Where, then, am I an example of the sort I asked for?

      • Also, even if I did say it seriously, and it was about libertarians, it still doesn’t suggest that I support the program because it makes Jason and his ilk look bad.

        So yeah, you kinda are being stupid.

      • No hard feelings Chris. I can be, on occasion, annoying and I am fond of you!

        Jay, I’ve learned so much on this thread. I damn near peed my pants laughing. Younz guys should do this more often.

      • kudos for Mark, he writes the best blogs!

        JB, in all seriousness, should the Good Lord, the One you used to worship, send along one of those blessings we hear so much about, I’ll be in Las Vegas and I’ll bring along Miss Martha and me, you, Martha, Northie, and his husband can hoist a few bruskies!

      • As of this afternoon, those appear to have been the real choices (though they may well change again, who knows?).  Liberals lined up behind (d) and cheered for it, because to them it was evidence that libertarians liked (a).

        I for one did not line up behind (d); in fact, I did not even see (d) as a choice–although perhaps it is a logically possible one in the scenario you’re describing.  Perhaps “the liberals” did indeed so line up. Even so, I’m not sure which ones, but hey, why not fabricate a general claim of what “the liberals” do?  After all, “the liberals” do it to libertarians all the time….it must feel good to get back at “them.”.

        Perhaps Mark Thompson, this blog’s bleeding heart liberal statist, wanted to make libertarianism look bad, and that’s the only conceivable reason he wrote this post.  But I’ll let him speak for himself.

        Now, I acknowledge I’m being deliberately confrontational and perhaps am overstepping the bounds of what counts a courteous discourse.  I also acknowledge that some liberals have type-casted libertarians as cold-hearted, opportunistic Republican hacks.  But I think I, as a liberalish person, have tried not to do so, and I don’t appreciate all liberal-leaning people like myself being painted with that brush any more than libertarians like being painted with the brush of the worst of libertarianism.

        You probably have legitimate concerns, or at least concerns that I cannot dismiss out of hand.  But it’s hard even to decipher what those concerns are because of the vitriol with which you present them.

      • For what it’s worth, after reading Mr. Thompson’s update, I do feel sympathy for the situation the little girl found herself in.  Confusion about whether to go through the lunch line and get a whole lunch instead of just milk sounds trivial to our adult minds.  But I do remember being very young and being told to do things I didn’t understand and that sounded to me like a punishment even though it was just “procedure.”

        There’s perhaps a point here, and maybe one that gets lost in the OP’s discussion of a non-story taken too far.*  There’s a certain tragedy in a youthful life having to submit to the directives of an institution, and even if it’s an inevitable tragedy recapitulated in every life as every young person discovers what the world is really like, there’s a sadness to it, and a better and worse way to ensure that the child grows healthfully, and that way cannot be ensured simply by a school lunch program, although nutrition is probably an essential.

        Jason, I’m trying to meet you half way, trying to grok how you’re understanding this issue.  I intended my somewhat acerbic comment above as a plea for a more thoughtful exposition of whatever it is you find so objectionable about this story and Mr. Thompson’s analysis of it, preferably an exposition that doesn’t resort to language that, however you intend it, your interlocutors are likely to construe as personal attacks.

        *However, I submit that if the author decides the subject of his post is “the non-story was taken too far,” we owe some deference to the author before castigating him for not writing the post we would have written.  Please note that I say “some deference,” not “absolute deference.”  I think it’s legitimate to criticize for someone mis-framing the subject of which they write, although to be clear, I am not accusing Mr. Thompson of mis-framing the issue.

      • I second your request. I think Jason’s been unfair in his comments here, likely because he’s overly sensitive to issues that might turn into anti-libertarian fodder for “liberals” or “the left” or whatever they’re called these days. I know he’s overly sensitive to these issues because he’s seen them used so many times in the past to unfairly attack libertarians. I can understand that, and I don’t blame him for being sensitive in such a way. I just hope that, when he steps away for a bit, he’ll be able to rationally evaluate the actual facts of the case and the opinions of those who disagree with him, because to this point he hasn’t been able to do so.
  33. Pingback: The Stasi in School Lunchrooms at A Geek With Guns

    • North Carolina’s money would be better spent purchasing a new 9mm Beretta for each child born in the state!
  34. So it’s ok that they took away a little girl’s lunch and gave her state approved MacDonald’s nuggets because (1) it was some state funded academic twit and not a federal agent in some Michelle Obama trial balloon program and (2) the little girl was poor (and I see where you edited out “and a nappy headed pickaninney”) and therefore her drooling cow of a mother’s choice of turkey and cheese and apple juice we obviously inferior to the lunch provided by the lunch lady government union employee.

    It remains the case that so called liberals are the most heinous racists, objectively, in the country, profiteers on the slave trade, whose primary source of funding their candidates (after bailed out Wall Street cronies) are the educrat cartels, who give Democrats campaign donations in exchange for rounding up poor brown and black children and delivering them to the educrats’ illiteracy centers.

    The guillotine is really too good for some of you.

    • Look up there. There’s an article that points out that the kid wasn’t forced to eat the nuggets, nobody took her food away, and no employee had nothing to do with the kid getting a whole ‘nother lunch. But, since you also make Koz seem like a wilting flower, I’m sure you don’t actually care.
    • Wow.  Apparently reading comprehension isn’t taught anymore.

      Let’s go over this again:

      1. Her boxed lunch was at no time and in no way taken away from her, full stop. Nor was it at any time inspected, evaluated, rifled through, or anything of that sort.

      2. The “state funded academic twit” didn’t do a damn thing other than, at most, suggest that the girl get some milk, and there’s not even evidence of that much. More likely, a teacher or cafeteria worker made such a suggestion.  When the girl got in line for the milk, she appears to have misunderstood and thought that this meant she had to get the full meal at the cafeteria.

      But hey, let’s not let the facts get in the way of a good rage-fest.

      • I don’t see any facts or reportage in your piece Mark, just assertions. I see no quotations, no names, no corroboration by other people, no questions to relevant parties.

        I am sure the people who work at the school came up with explanations of why they weren’t doing the things they we accused of doing. So did Sandusky.

        This doesn’t prove them innocent. The mere fact that they work in a coercive system makes them presumed guilty. Parents aren’t sending their kids to schools where they are gay bashed, graduated illiterate, and molested by teachers, because they are feckless. It happens because liberals took away their freedom to choose, because the resulting slave trade allows you to fund your party with educrat campaign donations.

      • Every parent has the right to pull themselves by their bootstraps and earn enough to go to private school. Or, perhaps come conservatives who hate the public education system that much will create an alternate fee-free private education system, free of coercion and unions.
      • Charter schools get money from the education budget. Thus, it’s not really a conservative alternative funded by conservatives. It’s a conservative alternative funded by the people. My hope is that all those conservative who believe the public education system is irrevocably broken, get together and fund a government-free education alternative that I’m sure will be much better than public education.
      • Considering they’re Jesuits, they’re probably already with me on that. Social justice and all that. :)
      • Jesse,

        Your argument is really dreadful here.  You obviously accept a “liberal” program that’s funded by all taxpayers, but you think a “conservative” program funded by all taxpayer isn’t acceptable–whether because you’re just biased that way or whether it’s because you think conservatives can’t legitimately favor a publicly funded program isn’t clear.  Either way, it’s a bit nonsensical–it’s the fallacy of excluded alternatives.  Conservatives don’t necessarily have to object to the government funding of the program to object to the way the program is currently working, and to suggest an alternative  method that is still government funded.

        You are unfairly telling conservatives what is and is not an acceptable policy in their own ideology.  The problem is, you’ll never succeed in forcing them to go along with your definition of them.  As typical fractious humans, they’ll continue on their merry way of defining themselves and their own ideology, regardless of what you say their ideology requires.  And you end up not engaging in a meaningful discussion, but talking about pink unicorns.

      • Universal public education is not a “liberal” program, at least not since the late 1800′s. Just like roads funded by public funded aren’t liberal programs, at least since the mid-1800′s. I’ll happily admit that Medicare is a liberal program funded by taxpayers, but the difference is, I’m not claiming that private health care kills people and helps gay bashers of whatever Bruce was saying.

        I have zero problem with charter schools being funded by the state if the legislature votes for it and so on. I disagree with it as policy, but even charter school advocates wouldn’t call themselves part of an “alternate fee-free private education system.”

      • Jesse,

        Charter schools get money from the education budget. Thus, it’s not really a conservative alternative funded by conservatives. It’s a conservative alternative funded by the people. My hope is that all those conservative who believe the public education system is irrevocably broken, get together and fund a government-free education alternative

        Why do the conservatives have to fund their proposed alternatives?  Why isn’t it legitimate for conservatives to support a “conservative alternative funded by the people”?  Why on earth do they need to propose a “government-free” alternative?

        I think the answer is that you want to tell conservatives they’re not being real true conservatives unless they take their plans to a point that is conservatively extreme enough to satisfy you in your definitions of conservatism.

        If not that, then you haven’t explained yourself well, and what you mean by that paragraph is anyone’s guess.

      • I was responding directly to the notion that charter schools matched Bruce Major’s idea of a school system free of coercion and such where conservatives could teach free of “educrats” and such. They simply don’t. I don’t think that’s a bad thing.

        Again, I disagree with the policy of charter schools mostly, but I don’t think conservatives who believe in public education but want it to be in the form of charter schools are hypocrites or anything of the sort.

        So, people such as Bruce who believe public schools are dens of gay bashing and illiteracy have to come up with a government-free conservative alternative, but the other 95% of conservatives I have no quarter with them believing in charter schools, other than normal political disagreement.

      • Hah, I used something someone else said to mock something you said yesterday, and then you used my mocking you to mock what I said yesterday. This is getting seriously meta.
      • “I am sure the people who work at the school came up with explanations of why they weren’t doing the things they we accused of doing. ”

        But, why would they lie? Government employees can be counted on to tell the truth. Really.

  35. I don’t see an article that says reports any of those things. I see a scribble that makes those assertions, and that seems to be written by someone delusional or dishonest eoughto believe that a 4 year old being told to do things by adult authorities, in a government monopoly institution that most people are legally mandated to submit to and be incarcerated in for 12 years, is somehow a free individual making free choices.

    And I see you fail to deal with the fact that Democrats have to always leap to the defense of the educrats and their prisons, even though they are the locus of most racial segregation, anti gay bullying, and unequal opportunity, in the country, because it’s who pays you, it’s who fund your candidates. There are names for people who do degrading and evil things for money.

      • May I recommend some dirt? I’m told an enlightened person such as you likes to learn how other people live. To widen the experience, so to speak. I’m told you can tell the difference between North Carolinan hill-clay, and the low country swamp mud. Perhaps you can enlighten the rest of us?

        Or are you too proud?

      • Spearmint’s mighty tasty stuff. Not that you’d know, city boy.

        Does the shampoo you use cause spontaneous abortions? I’m  a thinkin’ you don’t know. Prove me wrong…

      • You might be fun to have a drink with, but since you are making assumptions about whether I am a city boy or not (I can explain for you the different methods of castration for swine and cattle, or even demonstrate them on some of the herd here, if we could find any who had testicles), and you don’t seem to be saying anything meaningful, let’s wait until we are face to face.
      • (in case it’s not clear from this man’s comment, I was specifically referencing a type of castration).

        From this man’s comment, I wonder if he’s expecting me to castrate him…

        Quite puzzling, truly.

    • What I get from Bruce: Democrats who may or may not have had anything to do with a program in a state with a Republican-controlled legislature are feeding kids chicken nuggets. Off with their heads!

       

      • Hey, if they would’ve fed the kid a McChicken instead of a chicken nugget, I would be with him. Those things are just nasty.
      • Ah, “Bush did it too.” The high level of critical thought that causes tingled up the legs of the Obama cognoscenti.

        And it allowed you to ignore the rather obvious fact that Democrats, which screaming racist and homophobe at their opponents, run, defend, and profit off a state monopoly institution most people are compelled to serve in for over a decade of their lives, that is a central locus of gay bashing and racial segregation and racism in America. Because you mewled that Republicans aren’t a whole lot better.

        Good try. But probably one of your other co-religionists will win this year’s Leni Reifenstahl prize again.

      • you are so offbase about his point, that he’s writing this. Sit down lad, and reread what he had to say. Come up with three other things he might have meant.

        Seriously, it isn’t hard.

        /schoolmarm

      • Yes – plus I’m a little slow. Can I beg your indulgence, then, to flesh out the Bush Did It Too just a bit? I’m not getting it. Thanks in advance, I’ll take my answer off the air.
      • It’s a good thing, that as a liberal, I’m not for severe punishments for students/teachers who gay bash or am in favor of forced desegregation of public schools, including busing. I mean, it’s not as if conservative whites were the one to rise up against busing or anything.
      • As a liberal you have been in favor, you say anyway, of desegregation and busing (and usually against home schooling, vouchers, charter schools, education tax credits, or any other form of choice that threatens your candidate’s funding source in the educrat cartels) for decades, and you even discovered that you are opposed to gay bashing a couple of years ago.

        And yet all the schools when I go to Baltimore, or walk around in DC, or ad about Los Angeles and New York I see a lot of poor black and brown children forced to go to the bad school in their zip code with no freedom to go anywhere else. Even when they are being beaten at that school for being gay (or for some other reason).

        It’s a pretty mantra your church teaches you to chant, but you still murdered the Indians.

      • Yup, thanks to globalization destroying the white working class in many urban areas and conservative white reaction to busing, there’s no support even among liberals to redesegregate the schools.

        But hey, ask around here. You’ll find out I have a lot of positions that even mainstream liberals don’t like. Some of the time, even the libertarians around here respect them, even if they think they’re crazy. :P

      • Wow globalization destroyed the white working class in Petworth or Federal Hill or Watts or the Bronx and left the black working class? Who knew globalization was so perceptive.

        You fascists, in your attempt to control everyone, created a system where parents mainly can only send their kids to the government school in their zip code. The results is that middle class people all move to counties with people as much like themselves, or if possible wealthier and better educated than themselves, for the good of their children. You take away their freedom to send their child to the school they think best, so they have to do the second best, if they can afford to buy or rent somewhere else – they have to move to an address assigned by the state to a school they think decent.

        This is how your state school system causes not only class and racial segregation in the schools, but also racial and class residential segregation, and then occupational racial and class segregation, as many jobs follow higher skilled workers to the zip codes they move to to get into a better school.

        It’s nice that libertarians like you sometimes. I’m a slutty libertarian myself, though I usually think leftovers should be bound and gagged so they can be used for the only things they are good for.

      • I’m actually in favor of school choice within the public school system, after reforms that make sure that no school is just left with the bottom 50% of the kids left over.

        To be blunt, conservatives, liberals, and I’m sure even some libertarians have made the screwy public school system the way it is. For instance, the first thing I would do and this is sure to piss you and some other libertarians off is pretty simple. Stop funding schools with property tax and destroy many school districts.

      • so you’ve been to the DMZ, have you?

        Yeah, I didn’t think so. F-off about what you don’t know about.

      • Seriously, am I typing in Farsi today or something? I really have no idea how what I’m saying is getting this badly misunderstood this often.

        Hold on, testing, testing, 1, 2, 3. Is this thing on? Can anybody hear me?

        My shirt is red and white.

        OK, what did I just say? If someone says that I said my shirt is blue and kills people for a living, I’ll know it’s something wrong with my typing.

      • I think everyone at the League is having some sort of hormonal cycle alignment in the last 36 hours.
      • Altho having a righty join our usual dozen lefties with the laundry-list method of arguing against the other side is a guilty kick, for the record I’ll register an objection to this as well.  Welcome aboard, Mr. Majors, but only sort of.  If it would highlight how banal, irritating and disruptive your mirror-images from the other side are, that would be good, but I don’t expect that will be the effect.
      • Regardless of what you may think of me, Chris, Sam, or the other “lefties” that have ruined your little corner of the Internet, I don’t think any of us have said something quite as just wacky as this.
      • I’ve ruined it for Tom because I call him on his bullshit. I don’t generally go the (banned) Mike or Bruce route and treat all conservatives/liberals like they’re as sophistical as Tom himself.
      • Of course they have, Jesse, although I won’t tar you yerself w/that brush.  I’ve found you capable of both civility and focus. That we disagree on stuff is secondary, indeed unimportant.  I abhor echo chambers, regardless of bent.
    • But of course Rush Limbaugh, et al don’t make fact-free assertions.  Please show to me the evidence that any of this narrative actually happened.  What’s amusing is that  every single “assertion” I make here is either in one of the original two stories from which this entire fiasco stems, is obviously deducible from those stories, or is in the documentation regarding this program.

      Here’s a quote from one of the two original stories which, to my knowledge, remain the only two stories to have actually interviewed the mother:

      “While the four-year-old was still allowed to eat her home lunch…”

      The other story at no time makes a single statement alleging that the girl’s lunch was taken from her.

      • So some parents say something happened to their children when their children were taken from them by the state and put behind walls in government buildings and managed by government agents, where people who are not government agents have restricted or no access, and where the inmates themselves have recently been denied, by government policy, the right to use cell phone cameras or other equipment where they might show the public what happens behind the camp walls.

        And you say: prove what you say happened behind the government controlled walls really happened.

        Why such Denialism? Do you also think anti gay bullying and gay bashing at public schools is just a hoax? Perhaps the gays are just ginning up sympathy so they can demand reparations or their own country?

      • I think gay bullying and gay bashing happens anytime you get more than seven eight-grade males together in one room.
      • Yes lots of things happen. But if parents we free to send their kids to the schools and teachers of their choice, little unsocialized brats would be reading “Lord of the flies” instead of re-enacting it. Perhaps after having been run around the playground for 20 minutes to burn off energy.

        You basically just said gay kids will always be beaten black and blue and made suicidal because that’s just how things are. Can’t blame it on the government school or educrats. They can’t do nothing about it. And it’s no excuse for those uppity parents to be demanding home schooling or the freedom to go to some other school where they think it won’t be happening.

        It’s another version of the educrat riff that they can’t educate the kids who all illiterate at 18 because it’s the parents fault.

        It’s very amusing to see you so called liberals defend gay kids being murdered and black kids having their life chances snuffed out, rather than admit that you have to rethink the state institutions you have set up that provide so many of you with jobs and that fund your candidates. And of course, you now want medicine and other industries to be transformed by Lord Zero into the same kind of state monopoly as a DC public school.

        Your intellectual dishonesty and cravenness is truly pretzel-like.

      • Uhhh…(1) what everyone is saying that the parent said….isn’t actually what she said; and (2)  everything that the parent said was her interpretation of what her 4 year old daughter told her; have you ever asked your four-year old daughter to  relay the events of the day? I have.  They have a tendency to say a lot of really strange things and to make even stranger associations.

        Again, please point out to me the actual source evidence that any of this happened in the way it is being portrayed.  You may not find my evidence of the opposite to be terribly reliable, but it’s pretty obviously evidence.

        You seem to think no evidence is necessary to prove this claim, that the burden of proof is on me to disprove it.  That’s not how evidence and argument work, especially since I’ve actually provided evidence disproving the claim.

        As for “children were taken from them by the state,” I honestly have no idea why the words “opt-in” are that difficult to understand.

        Regardless, I’m done arguing with you until you actually attempt to produce evidence to support the narrative that this girl’s box lunch was taken from her after being closely scrutinized, deemed “inadequate,” and rifled through by some “academic twit.”

         

      • Yes Mark. At least one parent says her daughter was bullied into ingesting government provided substances at a government compound where the government doesn’t let us see what is going on, instead of eating the privately produced, freely chosen lunch her mother made for her.

        And you say it is not true. But you provide no citations, quotations, interviews etc to show it is not true. And you probably have no access to any information except press releases and comments made by the government school staff to explain that they did not do what they say they did.

        That’s not evidence, it’s just flak-ery.

        You think I need to drive down there and interview people to raise questions about how little information there is in your article. You think I need to find media reports, from the same local and national media that ignored John Edward’s love child and illicit use of campaign funds to hush up the baby mamma, proving that everything is not just as the southern Sandusky-ites say it is.

        Your position is ridiculous on it’s face.

        Where are the witnesses among the other parents and students saying this mom is always a trouble maker, and that her little notch always lies? Can’t you get the teachers’ union peeps to find some cousins who will make those claims? Or at least threaten to beat the family causing all the ruckus? You are losing your passion.

      • Holy crap.

        The whole fishing point, at a bare minimum, is that not even the mother is alleging the “instead of” part.  I want evidence showing that she is claiming that her daughter’s lunch was taken from her.  The fact is that she isn’t.

        Instead, she’s explicitly complaining, in her own fishing words, that the problem is that her daughter is being offered food in addition to what she is sending to school with her daughter, not instead of.  She’s further explicitly claiming that the mere act of offering the food to her daughter is  the source of her objection.  That act may or may not be intimidating, but it is hardly something worthy of mass outrage when government does so many far more outrageous things.

        Note also that the original story has been updated to reflect that the “state agent” was in fact just “the school.”

        It is not enough to simply assert that the mother is saying exactly what you claim she is saying.  You need to provide actual evidence to support that.

        I’ll even help you.  Here is every single direct quote from the mother.  Tell me which quote supports the notion that the girl’s boxed lunch was taken from her:

        “”I don’t feel that I should pay for a cafeteria lunch when I provide lunch for her from home,” the mother wrote in a complaint to her state representative, Republican G.L. Pridgen of Robeson County.”

        “”What got me so mad is, number one, don’t tell my kid I’m not packing her lunch box properly,” the girl’s mother toldCJ. “I pack her lunchbox according to what she eats. It always consists of a fruit. It never consists of a vegetable. She eats vegetables at home because I have to watch her because she doesn’t really care for vegetables.”

        “”She came home with her whole sandwich I had packed, because she chose to eat the nuggets on the lunch tray, because they put it in front of her,” her mother said. “You’re telling a 4-year-old. ‘oh. your lunch isn’t right,’ and she’s thinking there’s something wrong with her food.”

        “I can’t put vegetables in her lunchbox. I’m not a millionaire and I’m not going to put something in there that my daughter doesn’t eat and I’ve done gone round and round with the teacher about that and I’ve told her that. I put fruit in there every day because she is a fruit eater. Vegetables, let me take care of my business at home and at night and that’s when I see she’s eating vegetables. I either have to smash it or tell her if you don’t eat your vegetables you’re going to go to bed.”

        The mother added, “It’s just a headache to keep arguing and fighting. I’ve even wrote a note to her teachers and said do not give my daughter anything else unless it comes out of her lunchbox and they are still going against me and putting a milk in front of her every day.

        “Friday she came home and said ‘Mom, they give me vegetable soup and a milk,’” said the mother.

        “So I went to the cafeteria to make sure she had no fee and it’s not being charged to her account yet,” she continued, ” but what concerned me was that I got a letter from the principal and it says students who do not bring a healthy lunch will be offered the missing portions which may result in a fee from the cafeteria. So if I don’t stay on top of her account on a weekly basis there’s that opportunity that charges could be put on her account and then if I let it go too far then it’s like I’m going to have a big battle.”

         

         

         

      • When you offer a 4 year old “additional” food it isn’t clear that she understands it as additional instead of “instead of.”

        I think you libbies need to read some Stanley Milgram.

        And her mother provided her with a lunch when sounds more than nutritionally adequate, if not superior, to the state offerings.

        You want some sympathy because you so called liberals are being, you say, falsely accused of nanny statism, in this instance.  You deserve no sympathies.  You are committing nanny statism left and right, your own original nanny statism and perpetuated and extended Bush nanny statism.  You have Lord Obama’s TSA vassals bringing back the feudal seignorial rights to molest the virgin children of the tax serfs.

        If people don’t believe your biased media, which always lies, if people stop caring if someone is a racist since you have over abused the charge, if people believe every story about Obama fascism is true even when they aren’t, you brought it on yourself.  Suck it up.

        And your article still has no evidence that this isn’t going on.

      • Yeah, uhh, you do realize I am a libertarian, right?

        “When you offer a 4 year old “additional” food it isn’t clear that she understands it as additional instead of “instead of.”

        I see what you did there.

        You do see how this is different by several orders of magnitude from the allegation that the child’s lunch was inspected, deemed inadequate, and taken from her, and that she was “forced” to eat chicken nuggets, right?

        On top of that, “it isn’t clear that she understands it as additional instead of ‘instead of’” is a rather more indefinite statement than “was forced to” especially when contradicted by the fact that her mother used the phrase “chose to eat the nuggets,” no?

        Mind you, this is all assuming that we take all of the mother’s actual allegations, which are themselves second-hand and based entirely on what her 4 year old daughter told her, as true.

        Notice what else is missing from these quotes, which constitute the entirety of the evidence for the prosecution: any mention of “state agents.”

         

         

      • Nope.  I still very much consider myself one, even if increasingly few libertarians would do the same.  I don’t much care for libertarianism as a quasi-organized political movement; then again, I largely define myself as being one who rejects political movements in general for reasons similar to your “politics as mindkiller” theme, and I’ve never really been fully integrated into libertarianism as a movement.  But my root political philosophy remains distinctly and entirely libertarian; Hayek and Emerson continue to be my most admired thinkers.

        My philosophy, if it is to be more specifically categorized, is certainly left-libertarian, but only because I believe, as I long have, that the manner in which state powers should be addressed matters quite a bit.

      • Ideology is a fabulous thing.

        It can replace reading.   And listening.   And critical thinking….

      • a government compound where the government doesn’t let us see what is going on,

        Good god, even I don’t refer to public schools that way.  And as a matter of fact, I find it pretty damned easy to go into my kids’ schools and see what’s going on.  All the staff greet me pretty nicely, too.  No grim faces, no guards with stun guns.  But I’m sure down in North Carolina they’re all much more government agent-ish than up here in Michigan.

      • Yes everyone is deferential to these hell holes.

        I remember how everyone wanted us to be extra emotional about the poor death of Christa McAullife on the Space Shuttle, because she was a teacher.  Why was she more deserving of empathy than the others who died (at the hands by the way of an incompetent government agency)?

        That’s why you anti-racist pro-education pro-regressives have provided for decades over racially segregated public schools that have ever increasing drop out rates and ever more illiterate graduates.  Because some of you are deferential in your evasions and others of you are craven in your acceptance of hush money in the form of educrat cartel campaign donations.

        While market based and voluntary society based products and relations innovate rapidly, so that technology and social institutions would be almost unrecognizable to someone from the 50s or 60s, even good schools change very little, and not always for the better.  And you think the schools that are good are good just because they keep their drop out and illiteracy rates in the single digits.

      • Uh, I’m a libertarian in favor of school vouchers, dipshit.  I’m just smart enough to understand that phrases like “government compound” don’t add value to the conversation.
  36. I listened to Capt Oxy this afternoon and he continued the disinformation about the “federal agent” taking the poor little girls lunch on Michelle Obama’s orders. I think of him as the Howard Stern of politics, but the things I find humorous due to the outrageous nature also worry me as his dildo heads take his word as gospel.
    • You aren’t very good at trash talk Joe. For one thing Rush is clearly smarter than you, so it’s kind of like watching a three legged deformed chihuahua chase a Land Rover.
      • One more remark that alleges that I’m hitting on you, sir, and I’m plonking you. It’s sexist, and I don’t like it. God bless your heart.
      • Who else thinks Bruce and Kimsie need to get a room?

        Who else is concerned about their potential progeny?

      • Clearly you’ve never played ball if you think that post was “trash talk”. No doubt you also suffer a  pilonidal cyst. Limbaugh is certainly more financially successful than me but not smarter. He is, however, smarter than you. When a person profits from repeating easily refutable lies and then having a gullible audience do the same demonstrates a lack of intelligence on both parts. Not to insult your lord and master though, at least he knows exactly what he is doing, your lack of critical thinking impels you  to simply swallow the load. Conservatism is a belief system followed by thankfully few.
      • Assuming that people who think Rush or Palin or Hannity are smarter or more honest than most of their detractors get their ideas from Rush and Palin and Hannity is a litmus test for so called “liberal” stupidity.
      • Please, keep posting. This stuff is gold, pure gold. I’m not even sure that had any grammatical structure whatsoever, but it was still the most awesome thing I’ve read today.
  37. Mr. Thompson, I have to admire your patience answering respondents who either didn’t read your piece, interpreted it in bad faith, willfully mischaracterized it, or are so eager to dredge up a straw man for their grand theory of state oppression that they’re just making noise and don’t really care about rebutting your post substantively or honestly. I might’ve beat my head against this wall of crap two or three times, and then erupted into a sputtering volcano of profane abuse. But you kept right on engaging them honestly and respectfully. It’s no great compliment to say that you are a better person than I am. But you are, and I salute you.

     

     

     

  38. The initial story was totally plausible. There ARE regulations in a number of states where students eating habits are “scrutinized” and tracked. In at least one public high school (and I suspect many if not all) lunches bought in the Cafeteria are recorded. This supposedly to pick up students who purchase things that they may be allergic to or prohibited (by a parent?) from eating. These are HIGH SCHOOL students. For heaven sake. This started back in 2003.

    It is absolutely ridicules that schools are monitoring the foods or required to provide a ‘healthy and balanced’ lunch. We are living in a nanny state. Children should be given choices and they shouldn’t be *Just* healthy choices. They should have access to soda from vending machines.

    I’m not saying we should be encouraging bad eating habits. Requiring schools to offer healthy *options* without prohibiting the soda/junk food/etc isn’t a bad idea. However it is wrong to monitor and enforce good eating or safety (monitoring for allergies) when the majority of students are more than old enough to be making these decisions and only a few have a problem. If there are individuals in the school that have a legit concern and need to know about possible allergies you should be TEACHING the kids to inquire. Not inspecting every childs school-bought meal.

     

    • Ay, Carumba.    I’m not sure I will ever completely understand the ethos behind the anti-government folks that visit here.

      So the government should not scrutinize lunches, or–for that matter–concern itself with what a child eats.   BUT… it should make unhealthy food available to children; food demonstrated to diminish their health and contribute to the growing incidence of diabetes…

      Does anyone else see a contradiction here, or has all these years marching in lockstep with my statist liberal comrades blinded me?

      • Snarky, you’re not alone. I thought about writing a response to that comment, then I decided that it was just too over-the-top ridiculous to even bother.  At least from the perspective of this anti-statist, you’re seeing quite well.
      • DISCLAIMER: I am not sure which post you are referring to so I do apologize for not having all the facts.

        I am certainly NOT anti-government but I do take issue with our government and its agents (ie school employees, USDA . . . ) sticking their nose in its private citizen’s food choices period. I am having a difficult time finding where this governmental duty is outlined in the US Constitution.

  39. Pingback: Looks like lunchbox nazi inspectors are mandated by the Feds - US Message Board - Political Discussion Forum

  40. Pingback: Preschooler’s Homemade Lunch Replaced with Cafeteria ‘Nuggets’ | JacobMcDonald.net v6.1

      • Yeah, the useful part of this discussion seems to have run its course. Tod and Rufus: if you or Tod or any of the other gents, for that matter, think it best to close comments on this post, I won’t object, though I do not feel comfortable making that call on my own post. I don’t want this thread to wind up with a slew of drive bys clogging up the Gifts of Gab sidebar and spilling over into the rest of the site.
      • I don’t know. If we are all moving on, do we care who keeps posting?

        Although I have to say, the guy messing with Kim this afternoon was, aside from being a troll to everyone else, really, really creepy with her. if we get many more like that I will definitely be up for closing it up.

        Mostly, though, I find it puzzling that it’s getting any trolling at all. Seriously, did no one bother to read your post?

      • Eh. If I have an opinion on the government force-feeding High Fructose Corn Syrup to children in order to make them more obedient to people in authority than their own parents, I’m going to give it.

        I don’t need to read no post first.

      • I’m actually surprised there hasn’t been more trolling, to be honest. Posts that challenge ideologically reinforced memes tend to encourage tons of straw men. It’s that whole politics as mind killer thing….

        Fun fact, though: this is now officially my most read post since we started the LoOG. My previous most-read post? February 14, 2011, entitled Pigford: A Tragedy and a Non-Troversy.

        Apparently, the secret for me getting lots of page views and links is to write posts on or around Valentines Day using the word “Non-Troversy.”

      • My favorite of all the sites linking to you was conservatives4palin.com.

        I think I’m partially surprised because the forced McNugget meme was one I would have thought was a parody until yesterday. Who knew?

    • I think it has something to do with the number of links at the bottom of a post (and, sometimes, where those links are from).

      I find that the more there are, the greater the probability that we will blow up in some spectacular fashion.

  41. This article was linked on the Huffington post as “the article” that could debunk the story. Turns out this was just a piece that attempts to counter the original source with an opinion- and twisted facts. The fact that this “article” mentions libertarians and conservatives already points to an agenda. First, More at Four is NOT a meal plan. But by reading this article, one would think that’s the case. At least that was the impression that I got, until I read more about More at Four on NC Early Childhood Association. com. Mark is suggesting that because the mother opted into the More at Four program that was designed to give at risk children an advantage in EDUCATION, that she should relinquish her parental authority to what is being FED to her daughter since the program was opt in any way? Seriously? Second, the article claims that these students are not being FORCED to eat school provided lunches, but states earlier that the mother sent letters REPEATEDLY to school officials requesting that they NOT give her daughter vegetables and milk. Making several requests to stop a course of action that is not being “forced” is very odd. Third, as others have stated the child’s meal was effectively replaced. Who gave the child chicken nuggets? Did she walk up to the cafeteria line and get the chicken nuggets herself? Do they have cafeteria lines at day care centers? Chicken nuggets vs. Turkey sandwich: which do you think will win? Fourth, this article claims there was no state agent only a “researcher” “assessing” the school, to which the state then makes decisions. Last time I checked, a state agent can take various forms including… the form of a researcher *GASP*.  The state memo you pointed out as “confirming” what you wrote, just points to how deliberate you were in attempting to spin. The memo admits there are consultants and contractors for the DCDEE that routinely visit schools. In closing, if you wanted to make an article debunking the story, you should have written one were the school repeatedly ignored the mothers input instead of suggesting the mother should withdraw her child from the Pre-K EDUCATIONAL program since it was opt-in and tax payer funded anyway.
  42. I love how liberals like you get all kinds of upset when you offer a handout and get bit on the hand when you’re not allowed to run things all your own way!   Look at you all snarky about it too:     “If the mother has some sort of ethical problem with her child being provided with the option of drinking milk or eating vegetables at school, then she is surely free to send her child to an unsubsidized day care program.”    Sooooo nasty!

     

    • “Bit on the hand” lol that’s it exactly. The mom didn’t ask for the “hand” out and is rightly upset that it was offered to her child after specifically asking that it not be. What’s wrong with that?
  43. Anyone ever notice when ever the topics get a lot of attention and real heated there is always someone with an article like this taking all the credit away from the victims!! Who cares why she didn’t want her kid having school lunches or extras at school it’s her kid! If I don’t want my kid getting the schools milk or veggies that mine and my famililes choice not the schools!!
    Everyone watch know your enimey and listen to the section on the governments plan and views on families!! It’s conquer and divide ! Soon the schools / government will have a say in what I make for my child’s dinner! Wake up and see how we are being decieved everyday , and stop being happy when someone puts you at ease with articles like this! Remember everyone needs to get paid and as long as we have people who see what’s really going on there will be someone putting there fears at ease with their own research ! We really have to stop letting their excuses get them off! The government has no right telling my kids to eat something I say no to
  44. Oh to the writer of this article I’m sry I don’t mean to trash you, your not the same person who turns us against each other it’s a lot of people and I honestly don’t know if you really mean well or not! But my point was not truly directed at you. It’s directed at the people in charge who are against us small people. For all I know you mean well but your kinda defending the man and from where I stand that’s my enemy . Do something for all of us and find out the governments real aim for our kids and email me because if you are a good reporter of the news you will find some dirt that will make you think twice about defending them. And if you don’t I will eat my words and apologize on this site!
  45. Pingback: Did a State Inspector Really Make a Child Trade Her Home-Packed Lunch for Nuggets? | Ensure Nutrition Facts

  46. I suppose that four year old went up to someone and invited them to look at the under nourishing food her mother makes her eat for lunch. Maybe that four year old wrote the bill and put it in her lunch bag along with her untouched food to give to her mother.  Perhaps the school principal lied when he said the USDA checked the little girls lunch bag and not the school staff. Hence he told the mother she won’t have to pay this time. I also read that children who brought lunches from home was randomly selected for lunch content inspection and not each and every lunch bag as you imply  being inspected . To me, it seems you are trying to cover up for the USDA  actions. Well, some tried to cover up for the TSA hands on searches of children also. I sincerely hope your article is correct but, given the actions witnessed recently. I have my doubts.
  47. Just so that I get something out of all this (not that I’m owed it, but I have spent at least a little bit of my life trying to figure out what the fish this is all about…), suppose that the facts were exactly as those who deemed this story outrageous initially feared.  In that case, what is the lesson that we’d have been asked to take from the episode?  I’m not even sure I can identify the particular part of the larger policy analysis space that would constitute domain over which that lesson might have been thought to function.  Any help would be appreciated.
    • The lesson? The lesson is that the Government needs to stick to its job as outlined in the Constitution of the United States and keep its nose our of private affairs! LAst I checked we are not having 1000′s of children die of starvation in this country as is the case in other parts of the world. Fact is no child is going to starve to death in the US.

      As for, “I’m not even sure I can identify the particular part of the larger policy analysis space that would constitute domain over which that lesson might have been thought to function. ” not sure but I think this is called a run-on sentence. Hope that helps.

      • Heh.   Supersize me, bro.  I jus’ love me some peepuls what are telling us All About how there are no hungry people in the USA.
      • We are NOT talking about a homeless child. Let’s stick to THIS article. We are talking about a far reaching govenrment who is defying the wishes of a parent!

        “”I don’t feel that I should pay for a cafeteria lunch when I provide lunch for her from home,” the mother wrote in a complaint to her state representative, Republican G.L. Pridgen of Robeson County.”

        “”What got me so mad is, number one, don’t tell my kid I’m not packing her lunch box properly,” the girl’s mother toldCJ. “I pack her lunchbox according to what she eats. It always consists of a fruit. It never consists of a vegetable. She eats vegetables at home because I have to watch her because she doesn’t really care for vegetables.”

        “”She came home with her whole sandwich I had packed, because she chose to eat the nuggets on the lunch tray, because they put it in front of her,” her mother said. “You’re telling a 4-year-old. ‘oh. your lunch isn’t right,’ and she’s thinking there’s something wrong with her food.”

        “I can’t put vegetables in her lunchbox. I’m not a millionaire and I’m not going to put something in there that my daughter doesn’t eat and I’ve done gone round and round with the teacher about that and I’ve told her that. I put fruit in there every day because she is a fruit eater. Vegetables, let me take care of my business at home and at night and that’s when I see she’s eating vegetables. I either have to smash it or tell her if you don’t eat your vegetables you’re going to go to bed.”

        The mother added, “It’s just a headache to keep arguing and fighting. I’ve even wrote a note to her teachers and said do not give my daughter anything else unless it comes out of her lunchbox and they are still going against me and putting a milk in front of her every day.

        “Friday she came home and said ‘Mom, they give me vegetable soup and a milk,’” said the mother.

        “So I went to the cafeteria to make sure she had no fee and it’s not being charged to her account yet,” she continued, ” but what concerned me was that I got a letter from the principal and it says students who do not bring a healthy lunch will be offered the missing portions which may result in a fee from the cafeteria. So if I don’t stay on top of her account on a weekly basis there’s that opportunity that charges could be put on her account and then if I let it go too far then it’s like I’m going to have a big battle.”

         

      • I should have stated in my previous post that there are not 1000′s of children, attending public schools, starving to death the the US.
      • Let’s see.   Homeless children, at least the homeless families I work with, do have their kids in public school.   The one nutritious meal those kids will get every day is served in the lunchroom.

        Perhaps you should have stated you have no earthly fishing idea what goes on right under your nose in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.   I am sure you mean well enough, God wot, but let’s face a few facts here:  the USA  features a pale, fetid underbelly of homelessness and poverty where three kids sleep in the back seat of an old Chevy Caprice under a single blanket, hidden in plain sight in the parking lots of shopping malls all over this country.   This I have seen and you have not.   These people are of great concern to me, both as a Christian and a human being and I am deeply angered by folks who would say their fate is none of our concern.

      • This situation does not fall under anything close to what you have described above! This is a clear cut case of a government agent overstepping their authority and TRAMPLING the rights of a good parent to govern the contents of her child’s lunch box.

        Please do not imply that I feel the poor are none of my concern. How do you know what poverty I have seen in this country and what I have not? You don’t know me or where I live.

        Deuteronomy 15:7 “If there is a poor man among your brothers in any of the towns of the land that the LORD your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother.”

        Psalm 140:12 “I know that the LORD secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy.”

        I, in no way intend to contend with the Creator on this issue! The poor are our concern to be sure. However, this is clearly not the problem in this particular case.

        This mom has “certain unalienable rights” given to her by her Creator as mentioned in the Bill of Rights; and has the right for her parenting to be respected and not undermined by those government employees in charge of her child during the school day. Please stick to the facts of this case and let’s not go on a fishing expedition.

         

      • Fact is no child is going to starve to death in the US.

        Fact?   I think not.   Perhaps the Creator will see to it those homeless American citizens are fed and clothed.

        When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

        “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

        “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

        “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

        “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

        “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

        “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

        Every enlightened human being believes the fate of the poor is in our hands, both as people and nations.   It is clear you do not believe any such thing.   Some silly lunchroom clerk gets confused by some child and lo doth a Confederacy of Idiots arise to complain, once again, of our Unalienable Rights to Ignore the Poor.    With such as these, it’s never our government, it’s The Government.

      • My apologies for my misspelling of “unalienable rights” there is a big difference between the two.

        “. . . the fate of the poor is in our hands, both as people and nations. It is clear you do not believe any such thing.” Where in my post did you get the idea that I am condoning neglecting the poor? Where in my post am I disagreeing with your statement above? We do not have, “Unalienable Rights to Ignore the Poor!”

        You clearly do not see the big picture here.

        The PARENT said NO. Period.

      • Fact is no child is going to starve to death in the US.

        People generally see what they want to see.    At present, you’re only opening your sanctimonious mouth to exchange feet.    I put my money where my mouth is:  I am driven to find these people.   They prey on my mind and my conscience.   I want my government to do something for them.

        I see the big picture in little tiny pixels, one suffering person at a time.   You can hide behind what the Constitution doesn’t say and pretend there are no hungry people.   There are plenty of people like you, too.

        WTF do you do for the poor, that you can sit there on your dead ass and stink up this article?   I’ll tell you who’s overstepping, it’s you, who doesn’t do anything for the poor.  Stepping over them, telling us what’s a fact about hunger in this country.

      • BlaiseP. Wow you sure show the fruit of a man who claims to be who you claim to be. Your mouth betrays you sir.

        I never once said the suffering and poor are not my problem. If you read the actual posts instead of passing judgement on someone you have never met you might have a clue about the issue I have been writing about.

        Peace.

      • Oh hush.   You’re the one saying nobody’s going to starve to death.    Since you’re not feeding the poor and The Big Bad Gummint has no Constytushonal Obligation to feed them either,  let your Hypothetical Parents send their Hypothetical Kids to Hypothetical Public Schools with what they can fish out of the dumpster.

         

      • To try my libertarian hat on for a moment…what about the right of the child to recieve adaquate nutrition?  Whether or not the school is actually doing that is another things (e.g. nuggets, sugar laden fruits).

        Proper nutrition is essential to cognitive and physical development.  Does a parent have the right to deprive their child of that?

      • E.C.,

        The salesman lied to you; that’s not a libertarian hat.  The child’s “right to receive adequate nutrition” is a positive right.  Don’t you know we libertarians squirt feces out our ears and start blowing up buildings when you libruls bring up positive rights?

        As to your second question, well, you’ve hit us libertarians in our weak spot–children.  Our ideology doesn’t account for children real well.  We might somewhat weakly claim that the parent has accepted a responsibility by virtue of having the kid.

      • Good grief, do you even read the posts? This mother was clearly NOT neglecting her child.

        I think YOU should eat a ham sandwich with lettuce for lunch, don’t forget your milk and 2 servings of fruit by golly. Oh and you musn’t put mayo on it because that is not healthy for you. Mmmmmm that’s making me hungry. LOL

        Who determines what is healthy for YOU?

      • kkbee,

        Ethan was just posing a hypothetical.  Chill, friend.  You’re new here, so you don’t know, but that’s how we play the game.  We’re not into the team red v. team blue thing so much as we are into trying to peer into the nuances of particular arguments and see where different angles on it might go.  If you can play that game, you’ll get along well here.  If not, you might fit in better somewhere else.

      • I’m genuinly curious though, what kind of responsibility does the state have to protect children from their parents?  A parent who feeds their child chew tobacco and liquor is clearly harming them, but what about one who feeds them McDonalds all day, everday, or yes, even in this situation, a lunch that lacks a certain well-rounded nutrional content.  How negative does the food need to be before the government has a responsibility to protect the child from the person who’s feeding it to them?

        As for what’s healthy, well that’s an empirical question and one I would leave to the consensus of those who study it.  I don’t have the authority to decide that whiskey is healthy for you and than start sending my child to school with a Barney patterned flask.  So what is it precisely that gives a parent the authority to send them with unhealthy food, if not simply the problems of monitoring such transgressions?

      • @Gach: Plenty as it turns out.   I can’t speak for what goes on in other states, but I’ve dealt with Child Protective Services in Illinois, getting refugees bolted into the system.   They inspect the cupboards and refrigerators, making sure there is healthy food for the kids.  It’s seldom a problem with refugees, but they have their little checklists.

        Parents who have been found to give their children drugs or alcohol or rotten food are routinely deprived of their custodial rights until they’ve gotten cleaned up.   I’ve worked with some of those DCFS people.  It’s some of the saddest work imaginable.  The things parents do to children would appall anyone with the faintest shred of a conscience.   The Dumpster People are at the ends of their ropes and often they do lose their kids to the foster care system, not a whole lot better than their lives on the road.   And though I am ashamed to say it, it’s one of the most troubling things I’ve ever done, I have reported a few of these people to DCFS for intervention, for the sake of the children themselves.   I know that’s such a facile excuse for the Nanny State but you wouldn’t believe some of the shit I’ve I’ve seen.

      • kkbee,

        Cool, stick around a while.

        Of course none of us follow the rule infallibly, but that’s what we shoot for.

      • The meals I had in public school weren’t nutritious. I am sure these homeless kids are getting something out of a free lunch, but most kids I knew in government school made fun of the tasteless slop given them, and only drank the milk from the carton not made in the vats at the school, and maybe ate an apple, but ignored the over boiled vegetables and mystery meat cold cuts and watery gravies.
      • Sounds horrid.   I’ve had me some horrible school lunches, too.   Still, we gotta eat something and I suppose a Double Cheezeburglar from the dumpster isn’t completely rotten and more appealing than the vile broccoli sprouts in the steam dish.
      • And this case illustrates overreach past that job outline in what particular ways that most concern you?

        I meant “the domain,” if that helps you with that sentence at all.

      • Michael Drew. It concerns me that,  ” . . . this case illustrates overreach past that job outline . . .” into the rights of a parent to govern their own child’s lunch box contents!

        “”What got me so mad is, number one, don’t tell my kid I’m not packing her lunch box properly,” the girl’s mother toldCJ. “I pack her lunchbox according to what she eats. It always consists of a fruit. It never consists of a vegetable. She eats vegetables at home because I have to watch her because she doesn’t really care for vegetables.”

        “”She came home with her whole sandwich I had packed, because she chose to eat the nuggets on the lunch tray, because they put it in front of her,” her mother said. “You’re telling a 4-year-old. ‘oh. your lunch isn’t right,’ and she’s thinking there’s something wrong with her food.”

        “I can’t put vegetables in her lunchbox. I’m not a millionaire and I’m not going to put something in there that my daughter doesn’t eat and I’ve done gone round and round with the teacher about that and I’ve told her that. I put fruit in there every day because she is a fruit eater. Vegetables, let me take care of my business at home and at night and that’s when I see she’s eating vegetables. I either have to smash it or tell her if you don’t eat your vegetables you’re going to go to bed.”

        The mother added, “It’s just a headache to keep arguing and fighting. I’ve even wrote a note to her teachers and said do not give my daughter anything else unless it comes out of her lunchbox and they are still going against me and putting a milk in front of her every day.

        “Friday she came home and said ‘Mom, they give me vegetable soup and a milk,’” said the mother.

        “So I went to the cafeteria to make sure she had no fee and it’s not being charged to her account yet,” she continued, ” but what concerned me was that I got a letter from the principal and it says students who do not bring a healthy lunch will be offered the missing portions which may result in a fee from the cafeteria. So if I don’t stay on top of her account on a weekly basis there’s that opportunity that charges could be put on her account and then if I let it go too far then it’s like I’m going to have a big battle.”

         

      • Understood.  but I’m still looking for the lesson about how far you want what the government is doing here to be scaled back.  Do you just want the particular personnel in this program to be more responsive to the parents who choose to participate?  Do you want programs like this not to obtain enough food for all the children, regardless whether their parents request it? Do you want them not to offer “free” lunch food at all?  Do you want supplemental programs like this not to exist?  Do you want public schools not to exist?  What’s the level of overreach you are concerned about that you think this incident demonstrates?  And then are you concerned about such overreach only inasmuch as it applies in this particular context – say, K-12 education, or supplemental education programs, or school nutrition, etc., or would you like the lesson we draw to be a more generalized one about where to draw lines limiting government interference in our lives, or how to think about how to draw such lines?  And if so, what is that generalized lesson?  We can just keep saying, “the Government needs to stick to its job as outlined in the Constitution of the United States,” but that’s never going to gain much force if people are not willing to say what they think that means (and make arguments about why it actually means that), both as relates particular policies, and as relates creating general rules for limiting government.  We need to fill in the blanks on that instruction to be able to carry it out.
      • Plow the earth under and salt it after burying the mummified remains of office holders in the educrat cartels and long term employees of the department of Education.
  48. Nice cover up but the fact is that there was a government person there looking at the little girls lunch why is it necessary to have government involvement  at all in what parents feed there children? And just because a Day care or school gets government  funding this does not give goverrnment complete control over peoples lives it is not needed or necessary to have this intrusion by government.
      • “government” is when democratic rule is abstracted and de-localized.

        If one considers the people with whom their children spend most of their waking lives, “government” people.  There are deeper problems affoot then socialized nuggets.

      • Where on earth do you think these school teachers get their paychecks? The government is the ruling authority in charge of our REPUBLIC.

        John Adams explained:

        [D]emocracy will soon degenerate into an anarchy; such an anarchy that every man will do what is right in his own eyes and no man’s life or property or reputation or liberty will be secure, and every one of these will soon mould itself into a system of subordination of all the moral virtues and intellectual abilities, all the powers of wealth, beauty, wit, and science, to the wanton pleasures, the capricious will, and the execrable [abominable] cruelty of one or a very few.

      • I’m feeling exceptionally bored coming up on this thre-day weekend, so let’s troll this one all the way out:

        School teachers get their paychecks from the school board, which is a product of and funded via the school district, a local, community which tends to overlap geographically with the township/city.

        Your school district is your responsibility.  You can’t blame some big bad government over which you have little control or oversight.  They are your neighbors, your kids, your neighbors kids, etc.  You don’t like what a teacher does, get involved.

        But to complain that the big bad school district is running someone’s life.  What a joke.

        Stop confusing “the government” = pejorative enthymeme for the downsides of democratic representative self-rule, which is in charge of OUR republic, with the school board, which is not.  If you need some links for American Goverment 101, I can oblige.

      • No need. These school teachers are following guidelines set about by OUR government. Yes, OUR government, has set up these guidelines not the school boards.
      • From the National School Lunch Program’s website:

        School lunches must meet the applicable recommendations of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which recommend that no more than 30 percent of an individual’s calories come from fat, and less than 10 percent from saturated fat, and at lest 20 percent from human meat taken from those who did not survive the reeducation/labor camps. Regulations also establish a standard for school lunches to provide one?third of the Recommended Dietary Allowances of protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, iron, calcium, and calories. School lunches must meet Federal nutrition requirements, but decisions about what specific foods to serve and how they are prepared are made by nefarious state agents..

        I might have edited this a bit.

      • Rofl. I think it’s been well demonstrated by a number of Nobel laureates among others that organized groups of small numbers of rent seekers, like educrats, pay attention to and lobby government agencies and candidates to received the concentrated loot stolen in bits every second from the tax serfs throughout their day every time they do or buy or sell anything. The chickens being plucked and eventually slaughtered can’t live their lives and raise their young if they have to research and organize every program that bleeds them.

        The liberal myth of democracy you imbibed in 7th grade civics is the tax predator ruling class’s blue smoke and mirrors.

      • “School employee” = “4 year old child’s teacher.”  Have you ever observed four-year olds eating lunch, whether bagged at home or obtained at school, whether in a public school or a private day care? They tend to need assistance or at least reasonably close supervision, especially when they’re eating as a group.  It is not possible to provide that assistance/supervision without observing what the child has brought for lunch.

        When you send your child to school or daycare, whether public or private, that facility has an absolute responsibility to safeguard that child’s health and safety while the child is at the facility.

        What if the child’s boxed lunch consists of nothing more than a soda and potato chips? What if that’s all the parent can afford? Are we going to prohibit her teacher from asking if she wants something else from the cafeteria?  What if the child simply refuses to eat the food she brought from home?  What if the child’s parent just forgot to pack milk in the child’s lunch box one day?  How is a teacher supposed to know when she should and should not offer additional food to a child, particularly when, as here, the child is enrolled in a program for lower income families?

        It seems to me that the policy at issue here is an attempt to resolve those questions, if necessarily in an imperfect manner, by using the USDA guidelines as the division between “should offer additional food” and “should not offer additional food.” I may have all sorts of problems with the USDA guidelines, but at least they’re a defined standard.

        And, yes, this situation still falls on the “should not” side of the equation. No, the teacher should not have offered the additional food or milk.  If the teacher disregarded the mother’s known instructions, even if those instructions were based on a misunderstanding of a poorly worded letter, then the teacher was very much in the wrong and should be disciplined accordingly.

        On the scale of grand injustices committed by government, however, a teacher making the error of offering a child in a program for low-income families additional food when it was not appropriate to do so does not even register.

      • Just throw the thunderbolt, Mark!  Anyone who begins his comment with an accusation that you’re engaged in a coverup isn’t going to be amenable to a reasoned response.
      • Why is it a “misunderstanding” when a government employee does something against a parents wishes?

        The quotes from the mother, that you provided, do not indicate anything wishy washy about her instructions. And your attempt to indicate the mother’s letter was anything other than clear instructions was not overlooked, “even if those instructions were based on a misunderstanding of a poorly worded letter.” In a nutshell, she asked for them to leave the parenting to her.

        This is not about a “scale of injustices” it is about the ability of a parent to have her parenting respected and not intruded on by the government agents in charge of her child during the day. What if, what if,  what if. . . This parent was obviously not neglecting her child’s welfare, she packs a pretty good lunch compared to my lunches, so leave her alone in the name of LIBERTY and JUSTICE.

      • The “misunderstanding” to which I refer is her incorrect belief that she would get charged for any additional food offered to her daughter.  I am not saying her instructions were unclear – I am happy to assume they were.  But “teachers disregard mother’s instructions based on mother’s inaccurate interpretation of program policy, offer child milk and vegetable soup” is worlds away from the story that is causing so much outrage.
      • Is this a headline, “teachers disregard mother’s instructions based on mother’s inaccurate interpretation of program policy, offer child milk and vegetable soup”?

        The mother’s statements, “”What got me so mad is, number one, don’t tell my kid I’m not packing her lunch box properly,”and  “. . . they are still going against me and putting a milk in front of her every day.” should be the biggest concerns. Not whether she “misunderstood” the program policy or not. She gave clear instructions as to the care of her child and they were clearly disregarded. Period.

        The “outrage” for me is the systematic stripping of parental rights in this country. This must not be tolerated. Has the government employee in question been reprimanded for her disregard of parental instructions? Have we heard anything about that? To my knowledge the things that are being debated have nothing to do with the real issue at hand. Parental Rights.

      • Let me ask you this: how would you structure the policy at issue here so that teachers can be expected to offer additional food to kids who come to school with nothing more than a bottle of soda and a bag of chips but will never, ever be permitted to offer additional food to kids who come to school with a sandwich, fruit, chips, and juice?
      • It is right above your question about structuring a policy. I’ll paste it again here:

        2:24pm post
        Is this a headline, “teachers disregard mother’s instructions based on mother’s inaccurate interpretation of program policy, offer child milk and vegetable soup”?

        The mother’s statements, “”What got me so mad is, number one, don’t tell my kid I’m not packing her lunch box properly,”and  ”. . . they are still going against me and putting a milk in front of her every day.” should be the biggest concerns. Not whether she “misunderstood” the program policy or not. She gave clear instructions as to the care of her child and they were clearly disregarded. Period.

        The “outrage” for me is the systematic stripping of parental rights in this country. This must not be tolerated. Has the government employee in question been reprimanded for her disregard of parental instructions? Have we heard anything about that? To my knowledge the things that are being debated have nothing to do with the real issue at hand. Parental Rights.

      • You’ve convinced me. I think we should have teachers in high school and college armed with cattle prods too, and they should roam the dorms and parking lots and shock any kids engaging in oral sex without condoms or dental dams.

        Society cannot afford the cost of STD and unwanted pregnancies.

  49. Still do not think the constitution supports this. Government is not in the healthy food business. Who says milk is healthy for our children. Oh yes, that’s right the MILK INDUSTRY!!
    • Government is not in the healthy food business.

      Well, it is in the “promote the general welfare” business, and healthy food just might fall under that mandate…

      • Lol. “promote the general welfare” needs to extend to the parent who, in this case, didn’t want the government’s help feeding her child veggies and milk.
      • Really?

        Schools–like all other human institutions, private and public–are imperfect.   I would bet you that whomever raped the mother’s rights by offering her child some milk and chicken was not aware of the mother’s  wishes in that matter.   I would further bet you that if that person were aware, they wouldn’t have sent the child through the cafeteria line.

        So I’ll grant you that something wrong occurred, but a teeny-tiny something wrong:  not a big illustrates-the-evil-of-liberal-government something wrong.  It’s just that organizations fail, even if they’re not government.   Do you have cable TV?  Ever have to call your cable company for customer service?   Then you know what I mean.

        So what is all the sturm and drang about?  Nobody died, and, with a couple years of therapy, both the mother and child could get through the illicit lunch.   After all, we all have to conserve our outrage for serial murders, Hitler, and Obama’s attempts to destroy America…

      • Denying the problem doesn’t make it go away. Parental rights in this country are being stripped away at an alarming rate. This is just one example of far reaching government. My children are more precious to me than anything in this world and I can hardly compare this issue with having trouble with my cable. Do you not see that the attempts to destroy this country start with the basic foundational unit, the family?
      • Ah… the attempts to destroy this country.      You’re right:  I was not taking those into account.

        From a chicken nugget, a revolution is born…

      • It’s these types of minimizing and snarky dismissal of complaints regarding government interventions that open the door for further abuses. The State depends on such apathy from apologists who trust that the State will not go too far.
      • This was not a “government invervention.”   It was a boo-boo.

        This seems like the end of liberty to you, because of your ideology, and because you see it as signal for something “larger.”

        But objectively, no actual harm was done to anyone.  There was no hospitalization, no injury, and no trauma.    And if the tenor of the conversation was not quite so apocalyptic, l could take all this a little more seriously.    A bureaucacy got something wrong–ok, I’ll grant you that.    But all the adrenaline-filled panic that is being expressed on this blog–with all kinds of hyperbolic inferences about “nanny-state liberalism,” liberty, “parental rights”  and apologists for The Stage–is simply out of control, and makes rational discussion impossible.   You sir, have said that “this government is swindling the entire nation and destroying freedom as completely as they possibly can..”

        There was no conspiracy to deprive anyone of their rights.   No large organization–not governments, not corporations, not militaries–get every policy right every time.

        So pardon me if I don’t join you in your outrage.    A little girl was mistakingly given free food.   I cannot know for sure, but I’m pretty sure that the rest of her life will not have been destroyed by it.

      • I didn’t say it was the end of liberty — you have described my reaction this way to make me look radical and unstable. Why? because I question even the ability of government to determine what goes in lunches. These are the interventions I’m talking about, not this case which the Left can sweep under the rug as a misunderstanding. You react to government criticism through hyperbole to make criticism of government look extreme. You are obviously a statist who is blind to the slow, sometimes fast, loss of freedom. I feel sorry for you.
      • Now that you have called me names (statist, blind) and told me that you feel sorry for me, I agree with you.

        You, sir, are a master rhetoritician.

      • If government intervened and took my land unconstitutionally, but I survived this and actually came out well in the next two years because of some other investments, would you say that no harm no foul is the appropriate response? Or, would you rebel against a government powerful enough to take my land unconstitutionally?
      • Do you see the term “statist” as derogatory? Oh well, I misjudged you. Welcome to the fight for liberty, comrade! I don’t feel sorry for you now – I admire your principled stance against statism.
      • If government intervened and took my land unconstitutionally

        Aw there you go again Mike, picking on poor Mrs. Kelo. Fortunately even though it was an abortion (hey, isn’t that another thread?) our screwed up SCOTUS declared that it was constitutional

      • Incoherent gibberish from a mind incapable of making distinctions.

        The mom was “raped” when she was forced to send her child to a state monopoly school system with most options restricted by the government.

        Which is pretty much the situation with cable tv too, which grew up as a government granted franchise monopoly.

  50. Pingback: So what happens in NC when a kid's sack lunch doesn't meet USDA guidelines? - Page 4 | Mark's Daily Apple Health and Fitness Forum page 4

  51. Second parent has come forward with the same experience, which happened at the end of January. Something’s not right here.

    If the mother didn’t send milk, the child should not have been sent through the line to get milk.  The fact that the child WAS sent through the line shows that someone indeed WAS noting the child did NOT have milk and clearly needed some (according to them).

    • That’s why he posted that Blaze link.  You know, because both the parents are just liars trumped up by the conservative media.
      • Obviously parenting is to important to be left to private individuals without central planning.

        Children must be removed from parents at birth.

        Better yet, remove ovaries and testicles of all 17 year olds and fertilize ova in a state laboratory.

        While we are at it lets start mandating under Obamacare. Why are women with a family history allowed to selfishly own private breasts at great danger to their health and expense to the society. Mandatory radical mastectomy is needed.

      • And that is why the government should inject you with the mind opening substances your body and diet are clearly deficient in.

        Yu can’t be allowed to function, unregulated, at your anti-social, sub-normal level of ideation. Even if you want to.

  52. Last year my four year old was in the Headstart Program in Southeastern TN and was required to order a school breakfast and lunch.  Even if they didn’t eat a single bite, they still had to go through the line and get a meal. Because we are Seventh-day Adventist we do not eat pork products. Pork is occasionally served during the month and we requested being allowed to send a sack lunch for those days. We had to sign a letter explaining why we needed to bring a sack lunch (for our religious beliefs) and have it signed by our pastor (which I thought was silly as anyone could have signed the form as a pastor and how would they really know).
  53. Pingback: Preschooler's homemade lunch replaced with nuggets - Page 2 - US Message Board - Political Discussion Forum

  54. Normally I wouldn’t weigh in, but as the editor of the original story and the followups, let me add my two cents.

    You say the original was poorly sourced. Part of the problem we had initially — and continue to have even now — is that representatives of the various government agencies that had some role in the story were offering incomplete and often inconsistent versions of what took place. I did my own reporting on this here:

    http://www.carolinajournal.com/exclusives/display_exclusive.html?id=8777

    When responsible authorities provide an account of what took place, and you have no reason to doubt them, you report what they tell you. It’s called journalism. And if you find inconsistencies, you do follow-ups.

    And as I discovered, the other story that you consider “better sourced” also has an inaccuracy: The employee who was monitoring the students’ lunches was not with the FPG Institute; this was a logical implication, since FPG used to have oversight of the program, but it doesn’t anymore.

    As you’ll see from my reporting, I got an answer from a definitive source, and the other reporter didn’t. But he (along with others) had received a tip, and once our initial story got out, there was a logical desire to publish what he had. It happens all the time in journalism.

    We were, however, guilty of imprecise wording in the initial headline and subhead, which led others who picked up on the original story to come to conclusions that were not borne out by what we stated. We have no control over what other people do with our work, but it’s unfortunate that they sensationalized what we found to be an interesting and important story nonetheless. More on how that all evolved here.

    http://www.carolinajournal.com/jhdailyjournal/display_jhdailyjournal.html?id=8780

    We’re very close to getting all the details of what happened and when. There was a good deal of obfuscation taking place. And we plan to publish a much more detailed story in the next few days, but we’re not going forward with anything more until the responsible parties clear up some of these discrepancies. Perhaps then you can determine if it’s a non-story.

      • Rick, thank you VERY MUCH for coming here and posting this. I personally believe this is fantastic! I apologize for not reading your original now, but having read your Bite by Bite piece, I appreciate that you’ve come /here/ to help set the record straight(er). Please please send an email to Mark so we can read the followup.

        My comment and reply from Mark got deleted somehow, but a more interesting angle to pursue is how these general programs are morphing against intentions due to the almighty budget dollar. Clearly the more students the school has on “free” food, the more money the school gets to handle. Throw in co-payment by parents with better means and I strongly suspect this is a little cash cow for school that they’d rather we didn’t notice. But that’s just my personal opinion.

  55. If she’s such a good Mom, then how come her four-year-old isn’t at home with her, eating a hot lunch under her direct supervision?  Awesome, use the free State services and then complain about the lunch.  Sense of entitlement much?
      • This is how it’s done by States — make people dependent on your services, then tell them to shut up when they complain about abuses of power. After all we do for you? Shut up and be glad we do what we do — if not for us, you’d be lost and suffering with no way to fend for yourself. It’s sad, really, especially when even intelligent, educated people make these arguments and believe them.
      • The right to clean, efficient, pothole free roads that pay for themselves and aren’t full of litter, fascist psycho cops, marching nazis, muggers, rapists, car thieves, Westboro Baptist Churchers, Occupiers, colapsing bridges and tunnels, and all the other trash that a for profit private road wouldn’t allow.
    • Fascist mind set. If you breath the air or dink the water then the government, like Hades, owns your soul and you cannot propose any alternative.

      Your meme is from Hell.

  56. This could have something as simple as the little girl asking her teacher for something to drink. I am not sure why an assistant didn’t get the milk for her as she was already sitting with her class probably. Then this would have been a non story. Nevertheless, parents often do forget to include something in their child’s lunch, and offering a replacement should not be taken as government interference. The teacher sounds like a very nice person.
  57. The fact that a simple confusion by a 4 year old child about lunch was turned into a days-long fever pitch story about Lunchroom Nazis, tells us a lot about the cult of victimhood in conservative culture.
      • We do.   It’s called subsequent reporting and embarrassed retractions.  Eventually gravity takes over and the dust settles on the thousands of comments.

        Fear not, though.  Matt Drudge or Breitbart will rootle around to find (more likely create) another such incident.   Every day brings fresh entries to the Litany of Liberal Nazidom and the cycle will repeat itself, as predictably as tomorrow’s sunrise.   Ho friggin’ hum.

      • Blaise are you Joan Walsh in drag…or is she you in drag. Is she still claiming that Breitbart took photos of his own tidy whitey covered phallus and then hacked Anthony Weinie’s twitter account and faked tweets from Tonio to all those chicks?

        Do you leftovers think anyone else cares about all your flatulence when you huddle together and gas up to keep warm?

    • Poor sad creature. I don’t think most of the conservatives are among the gay kids bashed in your state schools or the poor underclass kids who graduate illiterate and unemployable from them, while you racist liberals laugh and collect “teachers” union contributions to your party and candidates and take 6 figure jobs administering the “school” systems.

      They just have to live with the results of your perfidy and smell your mouth farts.

      • Hi Bruce!

        It was nice meeting you last week, and welcome to the blog.  Although I’m likely to agree with you on a lot of policy questions, I’d ask also that you respect the atmosphere of civility we try to keep at the League.  We’re different from most blogs on purpose, and we’d all prefer to stay that way.  Thanks.

      • Sorry Jason. I didn’t know you were here when I started this, ministering to their souls and providing remedial education.

        If I come back often, and it will be hard to resist, I shall attempt to leave my shofar and my sword at home, so you can practice your more Christian pacifist approach to dealing with infidels.

        Peace.

      • It’s not likely. Bruce is kind of known quantity on the ‘nets. I believe death threats tend to be his usual m.o. in argumentation, not civility.
      • And apparently lies and smears are your M.O.

        Maybe the Podesta brothers will pay you to become a scribbler for Talking Points Memo, if you aren’t already.

        Please produce an actual death threat from me within 24 hours against an actual person, or be exposed as a lying sack of excrement.

        Is this the new charge from you mentally retarded pussies, now that people just laugh at you when you scream “racism”?

      • El don and Bruce.  Don’t want to really get in the way, as it looks like you guys have some kind of history – and that’s all well and fine.

        But I need to refer you both to the commenting policy; we don’t like to delete comments, but we also want to keep this site about the conversation.

        Thanks in advance.

      • I have no idea who this person is, or at least didn’t until I googled him.  I suspect he is some parrot who reads the various leftist sites that attacked me a couple of years back for writing a guide to DC for people coming to Beck’s do.

        Nice to know you don’t allow libel in your comments.

      • Bruce:

        Posting what you believe to be commenters’ real names, the names of their employers and where they live is not allowed.

        You have already been referred to the commenting policy.  Due to the severity of this last comment, this will have to be our last warning prior to blocking.

Comments are closed.