Tuesday, June 08, 2004


Politians insult ordinary people: British politicians think that we are powerless to resist the temptations of convenience food: "Most bizarre of all, though, is the notion that a decade of officially sponsored risk aversion about letting children play outside or walk to school can be reversed by scaring them with the alternative risk of having an obese child; and the idea that children will be encouraged to take part in sport, not because they enjoy it, but because it is supposed to be good for them. The argument that the UK is facing imminent Death by Chocolate is heavier on prejudice than evidence. The solutions proposed by the document are even less persuasive."

"Overblown rhetoric about the 'obesity epidemic' has itself reached epidemic proportions. Trial lawyers increasingly see dollar signs where the rest of us see dinner. Activists and bureaucrats are proposing radical 'solutions' like zoning restrictions on restaurants and convenience stores, as well as extra taxes and warning labels on certain foods. As a collection of food cops and nutrition zealots gather in Virginia to fan the flames ... the Center for Consumer Freedom is releasing an extensively documented booklet that exposes the flaws, bias, and outright myths behind this widespread plague of misinformation. ... Our paper tackles the following seven myths driving the current hysteria over excess flab."

Litigation won't make America thinner: "In the hours after midnight, cable TV is saturated with ads for diet pills promising big and easy weight loss and ads for law firms promising big and easy legal judgments and settlements. Until recently, there was no direct connection between the two groups trolling for customers, but leave it to America?s trial lawyers to find one. Welcome to the brave new world of obesity litigation."

Michael Duffy on the anti-McDonalds stunt by Leftist film-maker Morgan Spurlock: "Spurlock didn't simply live off McDonald's. He stuffed himself with McDonald's... In doing so, Spurlock turned what might have been a mildly interesting experiment into a ludicrous stunt. Morgan Spurlock is to nutrition what Greenpeace is to environmentalism. There's also another point, which is that you don't have to eat McDonald's just because it's there... And why do we focus so much on obesity when the dangers of being under-weight are so much greater? Being underweight by five pounds is as dangerous to good health as being overweight by 75 pounds"


I have lifted the post below from Joanne Jacobs

"Auto tech classes motivate students at a huge New York City school and prepare them for skilled jobs, writes Samuel Freedman in the New York Times. But the program is about to be junked.
On the ground floor of Kennedy, tucked between the football field and the weight room, a teacher named Manny Martinez runs an automotive technology program. In the combined garage and classroom, amid tool cabinets and hydraulic lifts and service bays, about 170 pupils a year study a '97 Grand Am and '96 Cavalier the way medical school students study cadavers, as a means of learning anatomy and organ function.

For many of Mr. Martinez's charges, auto shop offers the one place and time where they experience the utility of an education. The vocational program keeps them coming to school. It has led a number of alumni into skilled jobs with dealerships and service centers, jobs that pay decent wages and benefits, jobs that boast a career ladder.

At a time in New York public education when specialized minischools are being uncritically embraced, one could plausibly say that the Kennedy auto tech program provides many of the same attributes: a focused curriculum, a motivated student body, the application of classroom knowledge in the real world. Which makes it nothing short of astonishing that within two weeks, if plans hold, the whole program will be shut down. The auto shop will be gutted, the students and teachers left directionless, several hundred thousand dollars' worth of equipment hauled away.

Kennedy High needs to make space for three mini-schools specializing in theater, international studies and law and finance. Another Bronx high school also closed its auto tech program to make space for mini-schools. Why is there no space anywhere for a small school focused on automotive technology? The jobs are there."

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