Monday, December 13, 2010 » Michelle Obama on Child Nutrition: ‘We Can’t Just Leave It Up To The Parents’

Unlike her food drive, this was actually a good idea.  She should have stopped while she was ahead. » Michelle Obama on Child Nutrition: ‘We Can’t Just Leave It Up To The Parents’

I hate to break it to Michelle but she's not a Czarina and, yes, we can leave it up to the parents. Only someone who is demented, or committed strongly to government by dictate (in other words, a dictator), would presume that the nation state has the right to tell parents what to feed their children.

But then again, everything she has done and said shows that she is that demented and is that committed.

The problem we've got, however, is not with what parents feed their children but the constant dumbing down of our educational system to include the lackadaisical attitude towards good, old-fashioned PE. The problem is not as much with the types of food our children eat but that they sit in front of a TV or a computer for their recreational activities instead of being outside playing with their friends. Our schools have failed to live up to the healthy mind and healthy body ideal that was the goal when I was a youth and instead worry mainly about the student's self-image. They do that because it's easier than trying to tell parents that their kid just can't hack it and they need to get involved with him or her in a big way. Think about it. What kind of self-image can you have when you aren't required to achieve a specific goal or fail?

The stated goal of Coach Bob Carter when I and the rest of the Freshmen boys walked into the gym that first day of school in September in 1963 was simple. "You will pass the Marine Corps Recruit Physical Fitness Test by the end of the year or you will fail this course!" he said. And we all knew that if we failed the course we'd have to take it again the next year because it was required for graduation and no one wanted to be a Sophomore having to take a Freshman class. Today, I dare say that type of rigid standard would not be allowed in a majority of the schools across the nation. Dare I also say that denying an otherwise healthy child a diploma because they can't perform basic physical activities due to being lazy or lacking motivation would not be allowed today? Parents would be up in arms that their child was being made to actually meet a standard or be given an "F" but even worse, school administrators and lawyers would have a heart attack over the possible repercussions. I mean, it's bad enough that the kids know that they have to achieve a certain level but can you imagine the blood pressure in liberal families when they see the words "Marine Corps?"

Several of the kids in my class initially had a very hard time keeping up. It wasn't easy but by the end of the year each of the boys--we were by then all of 15 and still boys--could do 50 push-ups and the required number of sit-ups, pull-ups and the run. Some were better than others but all achieved the goal that was so clearly announced at the beginning of the year. If "Michelle da Belly" really wants to address the physical fitness of the children in this nation, she should quite planning on the federal government taking over from the parents and go find Bob Carter. He'll be happy to tell her how to make youngsters sweat properly and how to make boys into young men because he did that for me and the rest of the fellows in my class. By the way, he didn't do it with touchy-feely type teaching methods unless you count on a foot in your behind if you tried to be a slacker. He was a football coach and did a great job with the baseball team, too, as he taught us not only how to exercise, but how to win and how to lose. (And he even taught the German language class as part of his teaching duties. Did I say it was a small school?) So if anyone out there has Michelle's ear, tell her to quite trying to be the Food Czar--she's not elected to do anything anyway--and to call Coach Carter. He'll straighten her out and tell her how it should be done.

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