• How to know when gov’t regulations go too far? When they ban GRITS

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    A silly story with a deeper meaning

    The silly part:

    Federal regulations effectively prevent schools from serving grits, which Southern kids enjoy eating. I sure do.

    The deeper meaning part:

    How a good-hearted program to help feed school children morphed into complete Washington control over all school lunches, with no federal laws ever making that explicit choice.

    Read and Enjoy the story and a lagniappe–the Perfect Blues Song (about Grits) at the bottom

    ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦

    First the came for the grits. And I said nothing.

    Then they came for the biscuits and gravy,

    And there was no one left at Waffle House to defend me.

    ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦

    Todd Starnes writes

    When President Obama promised to fundamentally transform America, we had no idea he was secretly plotting to ban biscuits and grits.

    The 2010 Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act strictly limited calories, fat, salt, sugar and just about everything else that makes food edible – including grits. . . .

    We could originally serve half whole grains but that changed in 2012 when we had to start serving 100 percent whole grains,” said Stephanie Dillard, the child nutrition director for Geneva County Schools in Alabama.

    That meant no more grits.

    “And grits are a staple in the South,” Ms. Dillard told me. “Students really want to eat their grits.” –Todd Starnes

    ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦

    Comment: Here’s a genuine question–and an important one politically. When, exactly, did the United States make an explicit political decision that Washington and not local schools should decide what all children eat?

    Answer: We never made such a self-conscious decision.

    This was the creeping effect of Washington control. It always works the same way.

    Here is the generic sequence by which local control is eliminated and moved to Washington without the peoples’ representatives ever making an explicit democratic decision to do so 

    1. The country perceives a problem, such as poor kids needing additional nutrition
      • We make a political decision to solve or manage the problem by passing a law and appropriating funding.
    2. Congress passes a general law saying, “Here’s some money for these kids’ nutrition.”
      • The goal, we hypothesize here, is worthy. In this case, it certainly is.
      • The President and his staff, who helped write the law sign it.
    3. Because the law needs implementation, a federal agency sets out rules and regulations with explicit criteria for key terms such as
      • Who is eligible? (“All children whose families are less than 4 (or 6 or 8) times the poverty level.”
        • Many of the key terms, such as “poverty level in 2017,” are defined by another bureaucracy
      • How much money goes to each school district
      • What foods the district has to serve to receive the money–and what foods it cannot serve. This restriction will apply to ALL their federal funds
    4. QED: All control over school lunches has been snatched away from local control without Congress and the President explicitly deciding on this change.

    To put it another way, this is how the country ends up being ruled by mid-level bureaucrats, whose regulatory control has grown exponentially.

    ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦

    Here’s the music to accompany the story: “If I don’t love you baby, grits ain’t groceries.” Little Milton and Bonnie Raitt do it right. Stay around for Little Milton’s interview about the early days at Sun Records.

  • Dumb Rules plus Dumb Enforcement, British edition

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    Retired British Civil Servant orders coffee, drinks most of it but has a little left.

    As a good citizen, she puts the paper cup in a garbage can. But, because the coffee would make a liquid mess in the garbage, she does the right thing and pours the remainder down the street drain.

    Up marches a “council enforcement officer” and gives her a ticket for $100 (£ 80) for pouring the coffee down the drain. (Daily Mail)

    However, Miss Peckitt, 65, was shocked by what happened next – to her disbelief she was stopped by three council enforcement officers and issued with an £80 on-the-spot fine for littering.

    When the retired civil servant appealed to the council in Ealing, West London, she was told the fine would not be revoked.

    ‘I think there is a big problem with litter but it is bizarre, I had put this coffee down the drain because it was the safe and environmentally friendly thing to do,’ she said.

    ‘The reason I didn’t dispose of the cup and the liquid in the bin was that I didn’t want to turn the contents of the bin into a soggy mess.’ –Daily Mail