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Return of the Health Nazis

post #1 of 58
Thread Starter 
http://wcbstv.com/topstories/Connect....2.675314.html

That's right...they're baaaccckk!

Quote:
Contraband candy has led to big trouble for an eighth-grade honors student.

Michael Sheridan was stripped of his title as class vice president, barred from attending an honors student dinner and suspended for a day after buying a bag of Skittles from a classmate.

The New Haven school system banned candy sales in 2003 as part of a district-wide school wellness policy, said school spokeswoman Catherine Sullivan-DeCarlo.

I see more of these "health and wellness" policies in various school districts. I've posted on them before. It's one thing to serve healthier meals, not sell soda, and cut down on the number of treats kids bring in for the class. It's another thing to ban all candy in school, then suspend those that dare eat it, buy or sell it. I frankly don't see how it can be legal to have such a policy. How can you regulate what kids eat if they bring it themselves? What if a kid pays a quarter for a tootsie roll another kids brought with him for lunch? What about crackers and cookies?

The whole thing seems to be symptomatic of a larger affliction: Authoritarian control of human behavior. We see it in the work place, where we've gone from no smoking environments (fine with me) to employers charging more for health insurance for smokers (understandable, even if annoying) all the way to outright firing those who are smokers (not OK with me). Now, there is talk of the same type of actions being taken with those who are overweight. What's next...firing those who have unprotected sex? What about alcohol use? Maybe forced workouts during the day?

With schools, it seems the more they "clamp down" on students, the worse behavior and respect for the system get. It started with anti-drug pledges and physical fitness tests. Now it seems gone to the level of controlling students' entire lives.

Do you feel the school has a good policy? What about the larger issue of government and private entities controlling their workers' lives?
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post #2 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

http://wcbstv.com/topstories/Connect....2.675314.html

That's right...they're baaaccckk!



I see more of these "health and wellness" policies in various school districts. I've posted on them before. It's one thing to serve healthier meals, not sell soda, and cut down on the number of treats kids bring in for the class. It's another thing to ban all candy in school, then suspend those that dare eat it, buy or sell it. I frankly don't see how it can be legal to have such a policy. How can you regulate what kids eat if they bring it themselves? What if a kid pays a quarter for a tootsie roll another kids brought with him for lunch? What about crackers and cookies?

The whole thing seems to be symptomatic of a larger affliction: Authoritarian control of human behavior. We see it in the work place, where we've gone from no smoking environments (fine with me) to employers charging more for health insurance for smokers (understandable, even if annoying) all the way to outright firing those who are smokers (not OK with me). Now, there is talk of the same type of actions being taken with those who are overweight. What's next...firing those who have unprotected sex? What about alcohol use? Maybe forced workouts during the day?

With schools, it seems the more they "clamp down" on students, the worse behavior and respect for the system get. It started with anti-drug pledges and physical fitness tests. Now it seems gone to the level of controlling students' entire lives.

Do you feel the school has a good policy? What about the larger issue of government and private entities controlling their workers' lives?


Gone too far and needs to be moderated. I lean libertarian in this area.

I believe kids need to be brought up with healthier foods / habits but who are any of us to mandate our view of morality / health unto others. If parents had a choice of education centers and one school was known for their tough stance on junk foods and the parent knew that going into that school and was attracted to that vantage point then good. But when we have a monopoly with public schools and one here and there has an "off the deep end" policy where is the method to debate the policy?

It is not like the parent can take their child to another school (since we don't have vouchers) unless of course they want to pay twice for the education of their children.

There comes a point when the line is crossed and the monopoly school districts go too far.

Fellows
May the peace of the Lord be with you always

Share your smile, Have respect for others, and be loving to all peoples

Paul in Athens: Acts 17 : 16-34
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May the peace of the Lord be with you always

Share your smile, Have respect for others, and be loving to all peoples

Paul in Athens: Acts 17 : 16-34
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post #3 of 58
I always wonder when I see these kinds of things, which are so obviously ridiculous, if they're just to drum up outrage. "Child makes toy gun out of paper, is arrested by ATF!" "Child farts in school and is suspended for environmental pollution!" I don't know if the stories are true or we're not getting the whole story or it's maybe a good policy but these are just bad exceptions, or what. But I hardly think there's a wave of candy-suspending sweeping the nation, and I seriously doubt that one weirdo case really means anything deeper at all is going on.
post #4 of 58
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

I always wonder when I see these kinds of things, which are so obviously ridiculous, if they're just to drum up outrage. "Child makes toy gun out of paper, is arrested by ATF!" "Child farts in school and is suspended for environmental pollution!" I don't know if the stories are true or we're not getting the whole story or it's maybe a good policy but these are just bad exceptions, or what. But I hardly think there's a wave of candy-suspending sweeping the nation, and I seriously doubt that one weirdo case really means anything deeper at all is going on.

I often wonder that as well. However, I've seen some of this stuff first hand (not to the extent in this article, though). On this issue I know it's really happening...both in schools and in the workplace.
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post #5 of 58
<bites tongue hard enough to draw blood>
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post #6 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

I always wonder when I see these kinds of things, which are so obviously ridiculous, if they're just to drum up outrage. "Child makes toy gun out of paper, is arrested by ATF!" "Child farts in school and is suspended for environmental pollution!" I don't know if the stories are true or we're not getting the whole story or it's maybe a good policy but these are just bad exceptions, or what. But I hardly think there's a wave of candy-suspending sweeping the nation, and I seriously doubt that one weirdo case really means anything deeper at all is going on.

I would agree but my anecdotal experience says otherwise as well. I suspect the real issue with the papers has more to do with parents who are press savvy and have the resources to hire a good lawyer. The rest of them just suck it up and take the consequences or live under the school authoritarian rule.

At the middle school at which my wife works, there is no candy or soda allowed by students or teachers. It cannot be brought on to the campus or purchased by student OR ADULT. The students are also given two sets of books and are not allowed to bring backpacks to school.

So the question might not be, does this really happen often, but rather, who has a spare $25k-50k laying around to pay lawyers to enforce the right of your child to eat a Baby Ruth.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #7 of 58
Home-schooling is, obviously, the answer.

"Many people would sooner die than think; in fact, they do so." - Bertrand Russell
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post #8 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by audiopollution View Post

Home-schooling is, obviously, the answer.


<puts some ice on injured tongue >

Obviously.
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post #9 of 58
Well, I see the schools are getting our young citizens ready for more ass-raping by arbitrary and pointless laws before they graduate. You think this is bad kid? Just wait until you graduate.

Who says you don't learn anything in school?

Skittles... Taste the lawsuit.

post #10 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by @_@ Artman View Post

You think this is bad kid? Just wait until you graduate.

... and don't go trying to burn those candy wrappers in our fireplace to destroy the evidence- your dad cannot afford the fine!
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post #11 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

I would agree but my anecdotal experience says otherwise as well. I suspect the real issue with the papers has more to do with parents who are press savvy and have the resources to hire a good lawyer. The rest of them just suck it up and take the consequences or live under the school authoritarian rule.

At the middle school at which my wife works, there is no candy or soda allowed by students or teachers. It cannot be brought on to the campus or purchased by student OR ADULT. The students are also given two sets of books and are not allowed to bring backpacks to school.

So the question might not be, does this really happen often, but rather, who has a spare $25k-50k laying around to pay lawyers to enforce the right of your child to eat a Baby Ruth.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

I often wonder that as well. However, I've seen some of this stuff first hand (not to the extent in this article, though). On this issue I know it's really happening...both in schools and in the workplace.

So what is the deeper issue here? That we are too health/nutrition-oriented in our culture? Or that schools have become increasingly authoritarian?
post #12 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

So what is the deeper issue here? That we are too health/nutrition-oriented in our culture? Or that schools have become increasingly authoritarian?

I see it as the last of your two listed options.

Fellows
May the peace of the Lord be with you always

Share your smile, Have respect for others, and be loving to all peoples

Paul in Athens: Acts 17 : 16-34
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May the peace of the Lord be with you always

Share your smile, Have respect for others, and be loving to all peoples

Paul in Athens: Acts 17 : 16-34
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post #13 of 58
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

So what is the deeper issue here? That we are too health/nutrition-oriented in our culture? Or that schools have become increasingly authoritarian?

I think it's a little of both, but more #2. In fact, I'd expand it to say that it's an increasingly authoritarian culture, at least with respect to this issue. It seems to be prevalent throughout our society, from the workplace to the school system to the government. We've already had the trans fat ban in NYC, for example.

"If it's bad for us, it should be outlawed." That's the message. The Nanny State is alive and well. IMO the only reason the government hasn't tried to ban tobacco (for example) is that it pulls in too much tax revenue and they don't want to deal with the industry's lobby.
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post #14 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

IMO the only reason the government hasn't tried to ban tobacco (for example) is that it pulls in too much tax revenue and they don't want to deal with the industry's lobby.

Yes and no, the government (states mostly, but with encouragement from big government and lobbyists) force retailers to get (purchase at high rates) licenses to sell tobacco, then tax them for purchasing it from the wholesaler. If they don't abide to these rules they can be; shut down (and the tobacco confiscated), fined or even go to jail.

I work as a graphic designer for a roll-your-own tobacco wholesaler and our business is getting hammered by these new laws and restrictions. Even with blocks of disposable lighters (blocks you see on counters in convenience stores)...after 9|11 the government banned shipping of these (and lighter & butane fuel) through delivery companies such as UPS or FedEx, they can only be shipped through the US Post Office. Thanks Homeland Security...

But the tobacco taxes and laws for retailers is killing the business. Many are giving up selling tobacco, papers and pipes (regular pipes). Some even closing shop. I'd say that the sales business of RYO tobacco will be dead in 5 years.
post #15 of 58
I've been really amazed with how in "lockdown" schools are these days... especially high schools. At one local school, about 1 mile from my house, kids who are late to class are no longer just "tardy students" who get detention, they are "security risks in restricted areas" (um, they're hallways) The mentality is getting a little out of hand. It's like military school without the bad haircuts, ugly uniforms, and strict moral education.
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post #16 of 58
It's the inane "zero tolerance" policies.


http://www.zerointelligence.net/
post #17 of 58
wow I don't get scools sometimes

Down here they had a cell ( like a jail, they had bars) in the back of a class and they put kids back there
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post #18 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by mydo View Post

It's the inane "zero tolerance" policies.


http://www.zerointelligence.net/

Interesting website... ironic we're beating "tolerance" into our kids heads in a "zero tolerance" environment.

"You, child, must tolerate ALL, but we have NO tolerance for you."
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post #19 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jubelum View Post

... and don't go trying to burn those candy wrappers in our fireplace to destroy the evidence- your dad cannot afford the fine!

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

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In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

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post #20 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

So what is the deeper issue here? That we are too health/nutrition-oriented in our culture? Or that schools have become increasingly authoritarian?

I think that the culture has gone past a tipping point -- we are definitly into unsustainable practices, it doesn't matter whether you're looking at things from the perspective of a raw vegan or a Christian fundamentalist.

I just read the other day that upwards of 25% of American teenage girls have an STD -- do you know what that bodes for the percentage of boys? Point being, if 300 milion people want to screw/eat/borrow themselves to death, there's not a whole hell of alot you can do about it.

Cue dead white guy:

Quote:
Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains on their own appetites. Society cannot exist unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere, and the less of it there is within, the more there is without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.
--Edmund Burke.

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

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In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

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post #21 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmz View Post

I think that the culture has gone past a tipping point -- we are definitly into unsustainable practices, it doesn't matter whether you're looking at things from the perspective of a raw vegan or a Christian fundamentalist.

I just read the other day that upwards of 25% of American teenage girls have an STD -- do you know what that bodes for the percentage of boys? Point being, if 300 milion people want to screw/eat/borrow themselves to death, there's not a whole hell of alot you can do about it.

Cue dead white guy:

The problem as I see it with our society is that so much is in place "to be sold" to us. A lot of people are buying and without much thought (if any) given to the short term and long term repercussions of each choice they make.

People who are grounded in nothing will buy anything. With poor judgement and poor planning people tend to make even more mistakes and it is harder to put things back together for good. / (stability) fill in the blank.

In another way of putting it... It is easier to repair the loose thread in the sweater right after it is noticed than it is to attempt to re-make the sweater once it completely unravels.

The problem in America is that many seem to allow things to completely unravel before they have a moment of revelation and realize a need for change.

Simply put America has a management problem and it extends out and manifests as all kinds of problems with a list 10 miles long of things which are out of balance / control or are not sustainable in the long run.

Fellows
May the peace of the Lord be with you always

Share your smile, Have respect for others, and be loving to all peoples

Paul in Athens: Acts 17 : 16-34
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May the peace of the Lord be with you always

Share your smile, Have respect for others, and be loving to all peoples

Paul in Athens: Acts 17 : 16-34
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post #22 of 58
School clears kids in contraband candy caper:

http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/03/13/ski....ap/index.html
"Many people would sooner die than think; in fact, they do so." - Bertrand Russell
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post #23 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmz View Post

I think that the culture has gone past a tipping point -- we are definitly into unsustainable practices, it doesn't matter whether you're looking at things from the perspective of a raw vegan or a Christian fundamentalist.

I just read the other day that upwards of 25% of American teenage girls have an STD -- do you know what that bodes for the percentage of boys? Point being, if 300 milion people want to screw/eat/borrow themselves to death, there's not a whole hell of alot you can do about it.

I don't really see the relationship between the candy and the STDs. It seems that the former is a symptom of trying (but clearly going too far) to stem bad cultural practices and the latter is a symptom of the bad culture itself.
post #24 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

I don't really see the relationship between the candy and the STDs. It seems that the former is a symptom of trying (but clearly going too far) to stem bad cultural practices and the latter is a symptom of the bad culture itself.

I think dmz was just making a wider point that "penalty" or not people are going to do as they darn well please. Period...

Fellows
May the peace of the Lord be with you always

Share your smile, Have respect for others, and be loving to all peoples

Paul in Athens: Acts 17 : 16-34
Reply
May the peace of the Lord be with you always

Share your smile, Have respect for others, and be loving to all peoples

Paul in Athens: Acts 17 : 16-34
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post #25 of 58
Well, we're failing on a lot of different levels but are beginning to not notice -- the candy thing is obviously a reaction to an uptick in obesity, while at the same time we allow this insane level of STDs -- there are no words to express the irony there. As a nation, we are acting like a person who cannot feel pain -- a medical condition that usually contributes to an early death.

Anyway, it doesn't matter -- nothing is going to change. The underlying assumptions are that man is a psychological/political being, not a moral being. We will continue to try the right application of carrot and stick, the right waving of incentives, the right dosage of antipsychotic medication for our three-year olds, the right amount of social spending, etc. All the while we are numb to the spiritual problems that will ruin us.

Take your pick of candidates, not even Ron Paul or Nader has the stones tell Americans that they must stop filling their minds and bodies with garbage -- or that they needed to stop the mindless consumerism, that the trillion dollar inflows from other countries won't last forever. All you get is a sugar-coated populism -- corporate America is the problem, the Neocons are the problem, that you don't have "free" access to the pill fairies is the problem. Anything but the awful truth -- we are our own problems.

Meanwhile, we'll still keep prescribing antibiotics for the flu, and ethanol to "combat global warming".

It just has to run its course.

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

Reply

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

Reply
post #26 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmz View Post

Well, we're failing on a lot of different levels but are beginning to not notice

It just has to run its course.



It is as if the notion of "traditional" values is outdated and something to leave back in the 50's

"You can't tell me that I can't do X, Y or Z...

So instead we live in a culture that has many more problems with many more "inadequate band-aids" as to cope with the free for all / care -free lifestyles.

No fear if you get pregnant... just abort and all is well....

If you do get depressed from those actions... no fear... we have a pill for that...

and on and on we go..

Sit down with family for a family dinner? WHAT are you crazy????

Today one parent is at work while the other is going through a drive thru buying junk to eat for "dinner"

Obese Kids? No fear, we can treat their diabetes and high blood pressure...

And down we spiral unless we do something to stop this madness.

Fellows
May the peace of the Lord be with you always

Share your smile, Have respect for others, and be loving to all peoples

Paul in Athens: Acts 17 : 16-34
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May the peace of the Lord be with you always

Share your smile, Have respect for others, and be loving to all peoples

Paul in Athens: Acts 17 : 16-34
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post #27 of 58
Case of Illinois Mother on Trial for Leaving Child in Car for Minutes Sparks Debate

Quote:
Treffly Coyne was out of her car for just minutes and no more than 10 yards away.

But that was long and far enough to land her in court after a police officer spotted her sleeping 2-year-old daughter alone in the vehicle; Coyne had taken her two older daughters to pour $8.29 in coins into a Salvation Army kettle.

Minutes later, she was under arrest — the focus of both a police investigation and a probe by the state's child welfare agency. Now the case that has become an Internet flash point for people who either blast police for overstepping their authority or Coyne for putting a child in danger.

The 36-year-old suburban mother is preparing to go on trial Thursday on misdemeanor charges of child endangerment and obstructing a peace officer. If convicted, she could be sentenced to a year in jail and fined $2,500, even though child welfare workers found no credible evidence of abuse or neglect.

FTFA:

Quote:
"A minute or two, that's when things can happen," he said.

I could be wrong, but driving with your children in the car is probably FAR more dangerous statistically than leaving your kid in a locked car for 2 minutes.

I guess that since, when parents are asleep, their kids aren't under their direct supervision, parents should sleep in shifts so that nothing happens. After all "'A minute or two, that's when things can happen,' he said." Please Big Mother, protect us from ourselves, we can't do it on our own!

post #28 of 58
One of the things that Americans in Germany often comment on is how strange it is to see all the Germans waiting for the little green walk light to come on before they cross the street. Even if there clearly aren't any cars to be seen, if that light is red, they'll wait there until it changes. In the US, I've never seen Americans standing in front of a car-less street waiting for the walk light. They ignore the light and cross.

I think there's a sociological term for that - "looseness" maybe. The US is a loose culture. People engage in a wider range of behaviors, to put it nicely. There's more crime, there's more inappropriate behavior, there's more destructive behavior. There's also more entrepreneurship and positive individual behavior. But the range of behavior is wider. And it's less controllable. People will do what they want, and for the most part other people won't try to stop them. In Germany, people are nosy - if you're doing something wrong, they'll come up to you and tell you. It keeps the culture in line. In the US it would be inappropriate and considered meddling.

So, if you're concerned about US culture, what do you do? The research on health marketing is very clear - it doesn't work. You can't get people to stop using drugs with ads. You can't get people to wear seat belts with billboards. It's just too loose of a culture. But what does work is the strong arm of the law. Make a regulation that all cars have airbags and you won't have to hope people buy a car with airbags - they will whether they like it or not. Make a rule that people can't smoke indoors, and they won't. Give people a $100 ticket if they're not wearing a seatbelt, and they'll wear one.

It's a depressing situation. You'd hope that parents would feed their kids well without making zero-tolerance rules against candy. But the simple fact is, they don't. Telling people that it's a good idea just isn't enough in US culture. It doesn't work, because the culture is too loose. It's considered nosy meddling. So people are left with two alternatives: 1) don't care, let people engage in whatever self-destructive behaviors they want, or 2) pass ridiculously stringent laws to change behavior. What you see in the US is wavering back and forth between these two extremes.
post #29 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

One of the things that Americans in Germany often comment on is how strange it is to see all the Germans waiting for the little green walk light to come on before they cross the street. Even if there clearly aren't any cars to be seen, if that light is red, they'll wait there until it changes. In the US, I've never seen Americans standing in front of a car-less street waiting for the walk light. They ignore the light and cross.

I think there's a sociological term for that - "looseness" maybe. The US is a loose culture. People engage in a wider range of behaviors, to put it nicely. There's more crime, there's more inappropriate behavior, there's more destructive behavior. There's also more entrepreneurship and positive individual behavior. But the range of behavior is wider. And it's less controllable. People will do what they want, and for the most part other people won't try to stop them. In Germany, people are nosy - if you're doing something wrong, they'll come up to you and tell you. It keeps the culture in line. In the US it would be inappropriate and considered meddling.

So, if you're concerned about US culture, what do you do? The research on health marketing is very clear - it doesn't work. You can't get people to stop using drugs with ads. You can't get people to wear seat belts with billboards. It's just too loose of a culture. But what does work is the strong arm of the law. Make a regulation that all cars have airbags and you won't have to hope people buy a car with airbags - they will whether they like it or not. Make a rule that people can't smoke indoors, and they won't. Give people a $100 ticket if they're not wearing a seatbelt, and they'll wear one.

It's a depressing situation. You'd hope that parents would feed their kids well without making zero-tolerance rules against candy. But the simple fact is, they don't. Telling people that it's a good idea just isn't enough in US culture. It doesn't work, because the culture is too loose. It's considered nosy meddling. So people are left with two alternatives: 1) don't care, let people engage in whatever self-destructive behaviors they want, or 2) pass ridiculously stringent laws to change behavior. What you see in the US is wavering back and forth between these two extremes.

You have written (as I see it) one of the most well reasoned, best articulated posts I have ever read on the net.

You made some great points here!

Well said..

Fellows
May the peace of the Lord be with you always

Share your smile, Have respect for others, and be loving to all peoples

Paul in Athens: Acts 17 : 16-34
Reply
May the peace of the Lord be with you always

Share your smile, Have respect for others, and be loving to all peoples

Paul in Athens: Acts 17 : 16-34
Reply
post #30 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fellowship View Post

You have written (as I see it) one of the most well reasoned, best articulated posts I have ever read on the net.

You made some great points here!

Well said..

Fellows

Thanks. And may I say that your post is one of the best I've read.
post #31 of 58
Good post, BRussell.

I don't believe we can get there from here without a return to (shades of Burke) 'loving God, and our neighbors as ourselves' -- we'll never agree on the God part -- maybe the country could fight over who does less for themselves, and more their neighbor.





Shutting up.

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

Reply

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

Reply
post #32 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmz View Post

Good post, BRussell.

I don't believe we can get there from here without a return to (shades of Burke) 'loving God, and our neighbors as ourselves' -- we'll never agree on the God part -- maybe the country could fight over who does less for themselves, and more their neighbor.





Shutting up.

I'm glad you stated that so clearly, because it allows me to ask a question in a straight-forward, non-snarky way:

Given that a wholesale spiritual revolution of the general populace leading to "loving God, and our neighbors as ourselves" is unlikely, at least in the near term, do you recommend doing nothing at all to moderate behavior, in the mean time?

I know it's a theme for you-- that politics and civil remedies and "materialist" solutions are just doodling in the margins of the big book 'o faith, but the fact is that we have to live with one another, as best we can, in a world where the majority of folks are operating on self-interest and instinct.

So do you just throw up your hands and say "why bother"? Why bother addressing childhood obesity, or STDs, or political corruption, or corporate malfeasance, or gun violence, or any other societal ill, when any solution short of God centered consciousness is pointless and bound to fail?

Or do you try to make the best of what is, by your lights, a bad situation, and strive to find as many pragmatic, efficacious tactics as possible to increase the general well-being?

We can, of course, disagree on what such tactics might entail, and what "the general well-being" looks like, on the ground, but isn't it a huge cop out to decline to get your hands dirty and do the difficult work of navigating a compromised, contradictory, often debased world, in pursuit of a better one, and instead stand pat on heaven?
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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post #33 of 58
^My god that was good.
post #34 of 58
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

...
So do you just throw up your hands and say "why bother"? Why bother addressing childhood obesity, or STDs, or political corruption, or corporate malfeasance, or gun violence, or any other societal ill, when any solution short of God centered consciousness is pointless and bound to fail?...

I don't think that's his position. To me it's a question of how far we go to ensure basic law and order, public health, etc. I tend to err on the side of personal responsibility.

Of course, your right to swing your arms stops at my nose...and wallet. If you expect me to bail you out of your idiotic debt you've gotten yourself into, we have a problem. If you expect me to pay for your lung transplant because you smoked 60 cigarettes a day for 50 years, we have another problem.

So yes, it's a question of "how." We can work for healthier lunches and more phys-ed time in schools, as well as nutrition education. We should have sex ed classes and available precautions for STDS. But do we ban all candy and start passing out free condoms to everyone in school? No, I don't think we do. We should certainly fight political corruption and corporate malfeasance, but that doesn't mean we should indict all politicians and executives, either. Nor should we ban guns, for that matter. It's a question of how far we go. In my judgement we've already gone too far in many areas.
I can only please one person per day.  Today is not your day.  Tomorrow doesn't look good either.  
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I can only please one person per day.  Today is not your day.  Tomorrow doesn't look good either.  
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post #35 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

I don't think that's his position. To me it's a question of how far we go to ensure basic law and order, public health, etc. I tend to err on the side of personal responsibility.

So yes, it's a question of "how." We can work for healthier lunches and more phys-ed time in schools, as well as nutrition education. We should have sex ed classes and available precautions for STDS. But do we ban all candy and start passing out free condoms to everyone in school? No, I don't think we do. We should certainly fight political corruption and corporate malfeasance, but that doesn't mean we should indict all politicians and executives, either. Nor should we ban guns, for that matter. It's a question of how far we go. In my judgement we've already gone too far in many areas.

I think this goes back to the discussion of "unintended consequences." The government can be a good force in dealing with an issue... or it can exacerbate it and create an entirely new problem or set of problems.

There is a real tug of war in this country over if we've gone far enough or already too far in trying to solve problems. Look at gun control... just one of a hundred issues this same dynamic works for.

Many cities have decided to institute laws that make gun ownership illegal. In the search for "doing something about X" we've created an entirely different problem... criminals disregard the laws, at the same time good people have been made defenseless.

When there is a mall shooting, there is an instant reaction in two directions... first, those of us who support personal defense point out that there has been another sitting-duck killing in a so-called "gun free zone." We point out that there are not mass shootings at police stations, gun shows, etc. We say "you've gone too far, and people are dead because they were denied a means of self-defense."

On the other side, Sarah Brady, Schumer, Laut, Feinstein, McCarthy and crew make the same speech they've made for 25 years about there not being ENOUGH gun control. That even more disarmed people would be better and would prevent such shootings from happening again. Of course, they do happen again. And we keep getting bigger and bigger body counts as the distance to a gun, in the hands of the good guys, increases.

I think "gun free zones" have been shown to be a manifest failure. They've gone too far in some areas. The other side thinks that they have not taken away enough guns to make a difference, so we should let them pass more and more laws until safety increases. The problem is that the people who say "we need more laws to control X" have a cause to fight for until they have completely destroyed their target. The logical end to gun crime, from their perspective, is eliminating guns. The "unintended consequences" of gun bans is to create an entire class of defenseless people, facing an armed criminal element.

After a shooting, I always want to ask anti-gun people about why we are not "safe" and "how could this happen... you said that if we banned certain kinds of guns or put in new policies that we'd be safe. We gave up that liberty for your promise of security." Their response is, "well, this shows that we need more laws against guns and gun ownership." It's a never-ending death spiral... which most gun owners understand. Wanna see the end of the "restrict-incident-restrict" death spiral? Look at DC. I'm sure many of you wonder why some of us NRA types are so "radical" in your opinion. We've give up a lot of rights for the promise of the "common good," and there is never a level at which it is said "I think we've gone far enough and need to look at the other causes of gun crime."

The lost ground is rarely made up when the new policy "doesn't work." The 94 AWB was the exception. We know that, regardless of whatever we compromise or don't compromise on, the next incident will bring another wave of "we must restrict more."

In short, you can cause the problem or exacerbate it through your policies, then claim you need more laws and more power to "fix" what you have just made worse.

Reasonable laws, like FFL background checks and concealed carry laws, are supported by the people, and thus we have them. Outright wholesale gun bans, as well as easily-available machine guns are not... thus we do not have them.

I'm really fascinated with how people give up rights, in expectation of a situation being bettered, and then when it isn't, do not hold anyone accountable for their loss. They just bite on the next lie of "hey, THIS LAW will work where the others have failed." Such is the cycle.
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post #36 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

I don't think that's his position. To me it's a question of how far we go to ensure basic law and order, public health, etc. I tend to err on the side of personal responsibility.

Of course, your right to swing your arms stops at my nose...and wallet. If you expect me to bail you out of your idiotic debt you've gotten yourself into, we have a problem. If you expect me to pay for your lung transplant because you smoked 60 cigarettes a day for 50 years, we have another problem.

So yes, it's a question of "how." We can work for healthier lunches and more phys-ed time in schools, as well as nutrition education. We should have sex ed classes and available precautions for STDS. But do we ban all candy and start passing out free condoms to everyone in school? No, I don't think we do. We should certainly fight political corruption and corporate malfeasance, but that doesn't mean we should indict all politicians and executives, either. Nor should we ban guns, for that matter. It's a question of how far we go. In my judgement we've already gone too far in many areas.

Well sir, when DMZ says

Quote:
Anyway, it doesn't matter -- nothing is going to change. The underlying assumptions are that man is a psychological/political being, not a moral being. We will continue to try the right application of carrot and stick, the right waving of incentives, the right dosage of antipsychotic medication for our three-year olds, the right amount of social spending, etc. All the while we are numb to the spiritual problems that will ruin us.

that seems to to be pretty straightforward (not trying to talk past you, DMZ, just responding to SDW.)

So my question stands: if the real solution is acknowledgment of our status as moral, spiritual beings, and (as DMZ seems to agree), that's unlikely to happen on a broad scale, what obligations do we have to address our problems anyway?

If, as DMZ contends, non-spiritual solutions proceed from faulty premises and are doomed to fail, then doesn't it follow that any such efforts are entirely without merit, and should be abandoned?

Is it that such a world would not look terribly different from our own, since our thrashing around isn't accomplishing much, anyway?

Or that we should just get on with our ruin, as a means of sort of "bottoming out", so that the hard work of rebuilding on firmer foundations can commence?

Or does it really not matter, good, bad, or indifferent, since doomed is doomed?

I'm just having trouble wrapping my head around how this works, in practice, and I'm genuinely curious.
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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post #37 of 58
I think one cultural mentality will just rot, and fall away -- the healthy will assume it's place. If the current mentality is really reading the manual upside down, I guess the policy makers in Washington, or the people writing the DSM-V, can fumble with the knobs -- try to call down fire on their altars all they want. Hell, addabox, technically speaking we're a nation of slaves already.

Lots of cultures a have screwed up and ceased to exist, why should we be any different?

Anyway, its not the end of the world, just the end of you.

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

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In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

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post #38 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmz View Post

I think one cultural mentality will just rot, and fall away -- the healthy will assume it's place. If the current mentality is really reading the manual upside down, I guess the policy makers in Washington, or the people writing the DSM-V, can fumble with the knobs -- try to call down fire on their altars all they want. Hell, addabox, technically speaking we're a nation of slaves already.

Lots of cultures a have screwed up and ceased to exist, why should we be any different?

Anyway, its not the end of the world, just the end of you.

You had a book of idioms you studied vociferously as a child, didn't you?

**DMZ's kid goes to school**
Quote:
Teacher: "Who can tell me why Rome failed as a civilization?"

Billy DMZ: "Well, the people in Rome were reading the manual upside down! They can fumble with the knobs, try to call down fire on their altars all they want. They were a nation of slaves! They could breathe a scab on the end of their nose until the political calculus reached a tipping point! And heck, Wittgenstein wasn't born yet!"
post #39 of 58
Ha!

Maybe it's dawning on certain people that the American Taliban® isn't their biggest problem.

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

Reply

In our desire to impose form on the world we have lost the capacity to see the form that is there;
and in that lies not liberation but alienation, the cutting off from things as they really are. --...

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post #40 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmz View Post

Ha!

Maybe it's dawning on certain people that the American Taliban® isn't their biggest problem.

... apparently it is the easy availability of idiom books...
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