I promised myself that I would not take up politics on this site, and that I would remain positive and offer positive ways to help people improve their lives. But this picture of this young man’s face and that alleged tray of food—his lunch— reminds me of some of my times in public school as well. I never went hungry for food but I grew weary of dealing with people with pea brains.
The source of the picture and the Meanwhich and Stinkburger story is this Twitchy post. I should warn you that the post is very heavy on profanity.
According to many we have “a childhood obesity problem” in this country. The very phrasing of that problem eliminates any possibility of “solving” the problem. Why? This phrasing is an example of linguistically hiding the pea, like the old carnival shell game. The carny has to show the chump there’s a pea to lure them into the bet. Then the carny hides the pea from the chump. Then the chump guesses wrong, which shell hides the pea. The chump loses the bet and the carny keeps the money.
So let us put this problem in simple English. We have too many young people who are too fat. We have more young people who are too fat than ever before.
By putting the problem in plain English, we can see a few things that we can’t when the meaning is shrouded in bureaucratic obfuscation. Despite there being more fat children, not all children are fat. So shouldn’t we identify which children are fat? Then, determine why they are fat before we go about starving otherwise healthy children?
Uh uh, they will say. You cannot do that because you will harm the self esteem of those children who are singled out. I say, okay, but then why is any of this the business of the public schools? Is this not the business of the parents and the children themselves. And why, for heaven’s sake, are healthy children who are not fat being put on a starvation diet?
But it gets worse. According to the Los Angeles Times, in the Los Angeles Unified School District, it is estimated that $18 Million Dollars per year are wasted on school lunches that are thrown in the trash. The children are buying their own food elsewhere. So, this program is a complete waste of time, money, and energy.
It is also reasonable to ask, in plain English, why are the schools wasting time and money making a bigger mess of this problem? Shouldn’t they be using their time and money on a much more important problem that should be their central reason for being: why are so many products of the public school entering college in America unable to do elementary school reading and arithmetic? Should that not be the main reason for the public schools existence; teaching reading and arithmetic? There was a time when the schools did a good job of teaching those fundamentals. On the left is Eric Sloane‘s book on rural public schools that mostly died out by 1940. These schools were primitive, the teachers were poorly paid, and yet the children learned to read, write, and do arithmetic.
I think many parents of children nowadays are seeing the feckless incompetence of the bureaucratic factory like schools and will seek alternatives. The days of the size 8 shoe are over. Here is a discussion of some alternatives.