SF Ding Dongs Go to War -- Over Happy Meals
I guess I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure that San Francisco is the only city in America with both Rice-a-Roni and a foreign policy.
While many cities are concerned about mundane matters like potholes and going broke, San Francisco is worried about much bigger things. Like burgers and fries.
But first, a trip down memory lane.
During the war in Iraq, the people who live in San Francisco got a chance to vote on a resolution that asked: “Shall it be City policy to urge the United States government to withdraw all troops from Iraq and bring all military personnel in Iraq back to the United States?”
The Let’s-get-out-of-Iraq-Now side won in a landslide – 63 to 37 percent. And while the vote had absolutely no effect on anything, it did give the anti-war folks the opportunity to tell Bush and Cheney and Haliburton just how they felt. So there!
In another feel-good election, San Franciscans voted 60 percent to 40 percent to ban military recruiters from their public schools. The vote was non-binding, but it did tell us something about how the majority feels about the army, navy, air force and marines, doesn’t it?
And once, in a vote that did count, the school board decided to throw Junior ROTC out of the city’s high schools, despite the fact that the programs were optional and immensely popular with the kids who chose to join. One school board member said it was better to focus on a “curriculum of peace” than allow JROTC to remain as an after school activity.
Another time, the city supervisors voted to keep the USS Iowa out of San Francisco Bay where it was going to be docked as a museum – a protest, they said, against the war in Iraq and against “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.”
One San Francisco journalist wasn’t buying any of it. “These issues are simply being used as excuses to cover up anti-military and anti-American sympathies across the board,” she wrote. Bingo!
If they ever get attacked out there in San Francisco, may I respectfully suggest the city supervisors call the French for help.
Now, the sophisticates in the city I like to call “Halloween-by-the-Sea” are at it again. And this time they’ve got hamburgers and fries in their crosshairs.
Turns out San Francisco is threatening to ban toys in Happy Meals unless McDonald's serves up the meals the way the city government wants: with less sugar, sodium and fat, and with little cups of fruits and veggies. A city panel voted for the “Healthy Meal Incentive” legislation just last week and the full city board of supervisors is scheduled to take up the issue later this month, when it’s expected to pass – and probably with enough votes to override a veto by the mayor who thinks this is going too far even for San Francisco.
Taking on the military wasn’t enough for those tolerant liberal souls in San Francisco. Now they feel the need to take on Ronald McDonald!
But let’s be fair: childhood obesity is a serious problem. And yes, eating fruits and vegetables is better than eating stuff that will turn them into little fat slobs. And yes, for a lot of kids the prospect of getting a colorful, dopey, plastic toy can be enticing. But this raises a few questions.
If government can ban toys from Happy Meals what else can it do for our own good? Can politicians pass laws that actually require us to eat fruits and vegetables every day? Can they tax Ding Dongs to the point where nobody but Bill Gates can afford to buy them? How about Twinkies? Can they force us to wear helmets when driving our cars?
Before you say, “That’s crazy, of course they can’t do any of that” – ask yourself this: Why not?
Why can’t a government that is convinced it knows what’s best for all of us do all of those things. The answer is it can – if we’re dumb enough to allow it. As an editorial in the (far-from-San Francsco) Augusta (Georgia) Chronicle put it: “There's a difference between regulating and micromanaging. A government does the former under capitalism, the latter under communism.”
Look, I’m not calling the do-gooders who run San Francisco a bunch of communists. That would be unkind. To the communists. But aren’t these the same people who worship at the alter of “choice” – at least when it comes to abortion. Shouldn’t parents have a choice if they want to let their kids eat hamburgers and fries without some green veggie and a piece of fruit?
In San Francisco, you can get government-sanctioned “medical” marijuana all over the place. You can walk around higher than a kite and the cops will tell you to have a nice day. And they’re worried about french fries?
If you want to know what America would look like if the “progressives” ever took over – and I mean, really took over, with almost no serious opposition – take a trip out to to San Fransisco. Just make sure the food police don’t catch you with a Ding Dong in your pocket.