I realize that, according to President Barack Obama and the Obamamania Media, all things wrong with America can be summed up in these three words: George Walker Bush. If you had any doubts about that particular line of thought after the first sixty days of Obama’s presidency, all you had to do was tune into that snoozer of a press conference he held last week – which, by the way, preempted American Idol, the most popular show on television (smart political move there, dude). I lost count during that press conference of how many times the Prez referred to “this crisis he inherited” or “that problem that was left over from the previous administration.” All right, already…we get it: “Bush=Bad” and “Obama=Savior.” What I have learned from watching Obama and his willing messengers in the press over the past several months is that George W. Bush and his “failed policies” have resulted not only in the current economic “crisis” (both here and abroad), but also in America’s “diminished reputation” around the world, global warming, AIDS, higher rates of STD’s amongst teenagers, increased oil prices, Hurricane Katrina, the California wildfires, and now…(drumroll, please)…that’s right: FAT kids. Sorry. That was incredibly insensitive and politically incorrect of me…what I meant to say was “childhood obesity.”
Did you know that, according to the “Alliance for a Healthier Generation,” we Americans currently are breeding a generation of “fatties” and that George W. Bush is to blame? You already may have known that our kids are getting fatter, but I bet you did not realize that George W. Bush was the primary instigator and perpetrator of this tragedy, did you? Well, according to a report on ESPN’s Outside the Lines (which is a very good show, by the way, and which has now sparked the inspiration for my last two blogs), we are in the midst of what they call the “Critical Mass Crisis: Child Obesity.” This week, Bob Ley, who is the anchorman for Outside the Lines, did a report wherein he examined the “link between child obesity and the de-emphasis of P.E. in schools.” Ley had on, as his guest, some overly concerned lady (I didn’t catch her name, but it is wholly inconsequential to the conversation, I assure you) from the “Alliance for a Healthier Generation.” Brow furrowed, she and Ley went into a prolonged dialogue wherein she attempted to tie the “crisis” (her word) of child obesity to the passage of Bush’s “No Child Left Behind Act” of 2001. I’m paraphrasing, but the logic basically goes as such:
1) Bush (by himself apparently and with no assistance from Congress) pushed for and enacted “No Child Left Behind” (NCLB) in early 2002.
2) NCLB forced schools to “divert” their attention from critical subjects, such as music, art and Physical Education, in order to focus on what Bush considered to be the “core curriculum” (for those of us in fly-over country, I think that goes back to that Three-“R”s thing).
3) Due to the schools shifting their focus onto core curriculum subjects and the resulting “de-emphasis” on P.E., children got fat.
Folks, I kid you not. This was the line of “logic” being employed by this overly serious and distraught woman from the “Alliance for a Healthier Generation.” To Bob Ley’s credit, he did ask the question, “How big of a role should the parents play here?” Instead of acknowledging that the parents are the only ones who should be playing any role here, Alliance-Babe chose to use the question to blast Bush for defunding after-school basketball programs, etc., and cited the “stripping down” of these programs as further evidence that Bush’s policies will end up killing our children too soon and will make them “the first generation in our history to not live longer than their parents.” Out of sheer curiosity, I “googled” the “Alliance for a Healthier Generation” and discovered that it is a jointly funded effort by the American Heart Association and (another drumroll, please……….) the William J. Clinton Foundation. Hmm…enough said.
Look, I understand the concern here. Clearly, we do not want our children sitting on their duffs all day, playing video games and stuffing their faces full of Cheez-Whiz and Zingers. (There’ll be plenty of time for that when they get to college). And I do not begrudge the “Alliance for a Healthier Generation” or Bill Clinton or anyone else who decides to pick up the mantle for reducing the rate of childhood obesity and creating a bunch of little lean, mean, fighting machines out there. I just don’t know that the public school system is the place to wage this “War on Calories.” I could go on for hours – if not days – about the failures of the public school system. For once, I am not here to lobby for the elimination of the U.S. Department of Education (I will save that blog for when I really want to piss people off). Like it or not, we appear to be stuck with the concept of public schools for the time being. Could we all just step back for a moment, though, and consider the possibility of simply utilizing the public school system for its primary purpose – to educate and inform our children? At what point in our history did it become the job of schools and educators to make sure that our children are eating healthy and exercising? I know, I know…we need to educate kids about a broad number of subjects, both intellectually and practically. But when are we going to draw the line here and realize that the public school system cannot be a substitute for the family? It seems to me that this issue of relying on the schools to teach our children about proper eating habits and physical activities is reflective of the broader problem at hand. Newsflash to parents – If you are not going to take the time to teach these types of things to your kids, STOP HAVING THEM. It is not my responsibility to ensure that your child understands the benefits of a proper diet and exercise. Moreover, my fellow citizens and I who do educate our children about such things should not have to continue to subsidize a public school system that is not equipped to handle the type of “cradle-to-grave” care that your child seems to require because of your ineptitudes! (Sorry…I promised I wouldn’t get into that today).
This type of stuff irritates and enrages me. My independent-minded nation has been hijacked by a bunch of spendthrift socialists who are out to convince everybody that they are not capable of providing for themselves and their families. (“You can’t do it without government,” they say). And the most ironic part of it all is that these proponents of “bigger government” advance their cause in the name of “compassion.” Compassion?!?!? There is nothing compassionate about creating a nation full of thumb-suckers and whiners who cannot figure out on their own, without government intervention, that they need to get off their asses and onto a treadmill from time to time! I need some chocolate…
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