Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Thoughts From the Front Line: Guest Post by "Mo"

"I have a problem with politicians who distract voters from the real issues with meaningless policies and proposals that do nothing for the common good, in fact cause trouble for the private sector, and create negligible if any benefit for their constituency. It’s akin to the classic bait and switch that sleazy salesmen have been pulling since the dawn of time… in fact this really is a chicken and egg scenario. Did the politician learn this trick from the salesman or vice versa? Who came first? Is there a difference anymore? Clearly we no longer know how to elect true leaders; instead we fall pray during each election cycle to the creative salesman. Even if we could find a true leader willing to step into the political arena, would voters be able to see through both the smoke and mirrors / smears of the salesman, and the less than perfect-ness of a true leader who may not have the polish and screen presence or perfect hair, etc. that we’re used to watching politicians spin so hard to create… but I digress.

What got me so spun up this morning (besides two cups of fully caffeinated Dunkin Donuts coffee)? Another example of elected officials ignoring and avoiding real issues. Using flawed logic to draw a link between contrived evils and their own proposed solutions… Doing nothing real for the public except to take away more freedoms. It is yet another assault on our individual liberties. It may be a very simple one… in fact, one of the simplest, most innocent, and therefore basal and visceral- The McDonald's Happy Meal. Man, don’t mess with my childhood memories!

The aforementioned politicians with nothing better to do have decided that it is imperative that they “break the link between unhealthy food and prizes.” [source] Ken Yeager of the Santa Clara Board of Supervisors believes that the toys tempt children into eating unhealthy. Wow, startling logic there Ken. Is this amazing display of logic based on any research? [source]

People at home, please conduct research on my behalf (I’m currently unable to do so while in Iraq defending your freedom to outlaw happy meal toys).

Step one:
Place two identical toys in a paper bag. In one bag, insert one half dozen chicken nuggets and some french fries. In the other bag, place a boneless, skinless chicken breast and some carrot sticks. This experiment should establish what type of food children prefer.

Step two:
Same set up except only place a toy only in the bag with the chicken breast. This experiment will establish the persuasive effects that the toy has on a child.

I’m guessing that in experiment one the McDonald's food will be selected at higher levels than the healthy food due to the aforementioned level of deliciousness due to fat and grease content. I’m also guessing that experiment two won’t result in reliable results as it will depend on the hunger level of the child. If the child isn’t hungry they will probably select the meal with the toy, ignore the food, and play with the toy. If they are hungry they will most likely choose the McDonald's food, eat it, and then whine for the toy until you give in.

Either way I think the results will suffice in breaking the link between unhealthy food and prizes."

*insert Paul Harvey voice* “And now, page 2!”:

In the end it comes down to a parent teaching a child that all things should come in moderation, and that we are responsible for dealing with the consequences our own decisions produce.

I’d love to see McDonald's and the other fast food chains in Santa Clara County shutter their doors, then let the Board of Supervisors answer to their constituency as to why the jobs are gone. That would make me smile. In the meantime, if you live in Santa Clara County, you may want to give the Board a call and ask them to focus on meaningful issues. Prepare yourself with suggestions, apparently they’re in need of them… otherwise their next pet project may be to limit my daily intake of fully-caffeinated Dunkin Donuts coffee…

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