Washington issues an order and no one raises a bleat of objection

Apparently we and the journalists tasked to keep us informed have become so inured to just taking orders from the central planners back at the Kremlin on the Potomac that no one raises the least bit of objection to the most invidious invasion of our affairs and lives.

School vending machines. (AP photo)

In a 1,000-word article by The Associated Press, it is dutifully reported that the Agriculture Department is ordering schools to allow only healthy low-calorie, low-fat, low-salt meals and snacks. Just once in the entire article is any resistance to the nanny-statism even mentioned, and only as the generic “conservatives, including some Republicans in Congress, who said the government shouldn’t be telling kids what to eat.”

Even today’s Review-Journal editorial criticizing the order is largely built around the fact it is a waste of money.

Where in the Constitution does it authorize any branch of the federal government to dictate what our children eat? For that matter where does it authorize an Agriculture Department?

Its very existence stretches the Commerce and Necessary and Proper clauses beyond credulity.

We now have the answer to Justice Antonin Scalia’s question during the ObamaCare litigation, “Everybody has to buy food sooner or later. Therefore, you can make people buy broccoli?”

But what is most galling is the way in which 99.9 percent of Americans swallow such dictates with utter docility, without question, without objection.

Brutus predicted in Anti-Federalist Paper No. 17:

“But what is meant is, that the legislature of the United States are vested with the great and uncontrollable powers of laying and collecting taxes, duties, imposts, and excises; of regulating trade, raising and supporting armies, organizing, arming, and disciplining the militia, instituting courts, and other general powers; and are by this clause invested with the power of making all laws, proper and necessary, for carrying all these into execution; and they may so exercise this power as entirely to annihilate all the State governments, and reduce this country to one single government. And if they may do it, it is pretty certain they will; for it will be found that the power retained by individual States, small as it is, will be a clog upon the wheels of the government of the United States; the latter, therefore, will be naturally inclined to remove it out of the way. Besides, it is a truth confirmed by the unerring experience of ages, that every man, and every body of men, invested with power, are ever disposed to increase it, and to acquire a superiority over everything that stands in their way. This disposition, which is implanted in human nature, will operate in the Federal legislature to lessen and ultimately to subvert the State authority, and having such advantages, will most certainly succeed, if the Federal government succeeds at all. It must be very evident, then, that what this Constitution wants of being a complete consolidation of the several parts of the union into one complete government, possessed of perfect legislative, judicial, and executive powers, to all intents and purposes, it will necessarily acquire in its exercise in operation.”

36 comments on “Washington issues an order and no one raises a bleat of objection

  1. Joe says:

    These yo-yos are slow-learners or were asleep in their American History classes when 1920-1933 was discussed. They believe they can regulate goodness for all, full speed ahead, damn the constitution (while they are munching on the goodies squirreled away in their lower left desk drawer).

  2. Again, well written and dead-on. The current malaise has been brought about by a complete capitulation of the populous. The “sheeple” continue to trust too much in government “protection” while not once asking or questioning the ever encroaching presence of the government in our lives. A good part of the US population BELIEVES the government can do things better than we can. They’re ignorant to history (failure of the education system) and the further degradation of the family means ignorance breeds ignorance. It’s a vicious circle while all the while the rise of the European Nanny State here in the US continues. Something has to give…at least I hope so. The slumber must end…if it’s not already too late. Thanks Mitch.

  3. This year the 100th anniversary of the 17th Amendment, which ended federalism. The people got what they asked for.

    Sorry, ever the editor: The word is populace. Don’t mean to be rude.


  4. Anonymous says:

    I suppose if one agrees with Mr. Mitchell that the Department of Agriculture is unconstitutional it would make sense that there would be something objectionable about legislation, enacted on a bi-partisan basis by the people’s elected representatives in 2014, that attempts to address the current obesity epidemic among school-age children. For the rest of us, this post just seems strange.

    By the way, Mr. Mitchell – the anti-Federalists lost the argument. The Consitution represents a rejection of their political theories.

  5. Well,Mr Anonymous, since you refer to the Constitution (‘unconstitutional’), you might want to refer to it again, highlighting the authority of the feds to address anything outside their delegated, enumerated responsibilities.
    It makes no difference what a majority or bi-partisan group wants, if it ain’t there it ain’t law.

  6. Ever heard of a tyranny of the majority?

  7. Rincon says:

    If the federal government helps pay the bill, they have the right to attach strings. Does federal money pay for any portion of school lunches?

    Ever watch Brain Games? There’s some fascinating information there. Scientists working for industry literally study our behavior as if we were lab rats and then apply their findings to convince us to buy and eat things we may not really want. Their methods are very effective. Children are exposed to thousands and thousands of very effective ads and other forms of marketing for junk food and somehow, parents are expected to convince their children to disregard it all.

    The right of free speech is forcing us to raise our children while the deck is being stacked against them. Should we respond in any way, or just let the next generation end up even fatter, more unhealthy, and out of shape than our rather pitiful generation?

  8. I have an unalienable right to be unhealthy.


  9. Vernon Clayson says:

    Maybe schools could put up signs like the military did when I was in during the early 50s, “Take all you want but eat all you take”. At the time I had a hollow leg (for those not familiar that’s a huge appetite) and had a 32 inch waist and weighed 175 pounds. Most guys maintained their weight but others gained, it had a lot to do with being active and their inherited body types. After I finished my enlistment and entered law enforcement with the New York State Police, I shot up to 190 but retired from that after 22 years weighing that and still with a size 32 waist. I knew others that became ponderous, I guess the diet of doughnuts and coffee affected them more than it did me. Again I was active, I played basketball and softball in their seasons and exercised routinely until I retired. That ended when I lived on the reservation at Parker AZ and became a fan of Mexican and Indian food, what’s better than a fry bread taco or eggs and chorizo? I moved to Las Vegas in 1983 at 220, won’t mention my wait) and have maintained that, Las Vegas has great restaurants, e.g., the Broadway Pizzeria. I can no longer eat an entire pizza but can still make a dent in one. And if you want a full plate in a real diner I suggest Lou’s Diner on Decatur. It’s not the government’s freaking business what people eat when they pay for it themselves.

  10. Vernon Clayson says:

    Waist, not wait, of course, it’s not bad, I have slacks from the 80s I can still wear, despite mockery from my wife.

  11. Wendy Ellis says:

    So now the feds are picking the winners and losers for vending machine products. I am going to be reading the fine print on the product labels, to see which companies manufacture the supposedly “healthy” snack foods. Since when are granola bars healthy? They’re just sawdust held together with sugar. And there is nothing wrong with whole milk.

    Yes, children are exposed to ads, marketing, and propaganda–especially at school, and put out by the federal government. And we, as federal taxpayers, are paying for it. They take our money and spend it to advertise on radio and television, and in the public schools. We don’t get to choose the message though, not as parents or as taxpayers.

    I decided what to feed my family when my kids were growing up. Meals included plenty of fruits and vegetables, by MY choice, our budget, and by what my family liked to eat. Yes there were cookies YUM, and birthday cakes. As adults, all three of my girls enjoy eating a variety of foods and have developed some pretty exotic tastes. I was always trying out new foods from different ethnic cuisines. Now, I get phone calls from them, asking how to prepare favorite dishes they ate growing up.

    I didn’t need or want the government to tell me what we should be eating. I can think for myself, and taught my children to think for themselves. I don’t spend time worrying whether they are eating a healthy diet. They are adults, and taxpayers. My parents fed and raised me. I fed and raised my children. I have every confidence in their ability to feed and raise their own children, without the help of Big Brother.

    Only drones need an army of do-gooders interfering with the most personal choices we make. But really, this is our government’s goal: controlling the people. Independent thinkers are difficult to control, and might inspire the drones to think for themselves. They must be stamped out, or it might spread, eh?

  12. Liberty exists when those in government fear the people, not the other way around.


  13. Anonymous says:

    Hey guys, you can give your kid whatever you want him to eat. You can pack his lunchbox with RingDings and YooHoo. Go right ahead. But don’t expect them to be selling that crap at the school cafeteria.

    You might find this to be a horrible deprivation of our constitutional rights. Here on Planet Earth we disagree.

  14. Winston Smith says:

    Actually, anonymous, the anti-federalists eventually won the argument, though not the 1787 contest. Their warnings about the future tyrannical behavior of the federal government as created by the Constitution, in spite of the restrictions later enumerated in the Bill of Rights, was prescient.

    “The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government — lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.” – Patrick Henry

    “I often wondered whether we do not rest our hopes too much upon constitutions, upon laws and upon courts. These are false hopes; believe me, these are false hopes. Liberty lives in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it.” – Judge Learned Hand, 1941

  15. That’s the quote I should’ve found, Winston. Thank you for the dead-on-point quote from one of my favorite jurists.

    “I often wondered whether we do not rest our hopes too much upon constitutions, upon laws and upon courts. These are false hopes; believe me, these are false hopes. Liberty lives in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it.” – Judge Learned Hand, 1941


  16. Of course, there is that vestigial tail on the Bill of Rights:

    “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

  17. Steve says:

    And once those officially healthy snacks have rotted on the shelves we will all be buying the replacement stock. Over and over and over until we realize no one is buying from the vending machines.

  18. Wendy Ellis says:

    Food fight! Ah…the good old days.

  19. Wendy Ellis says:

    Anonymous makes an excellent point!

    Parents should be responsible for packing school lunches, and the kids can help. This would cut out the taxpayer-funded waste, that the kids throw out every day at school. For those on food stamps, they are receiving the means to buy food, and it is their responsibility to send their own children to school with a lunch!

    BTW, RingDings and YooHoo deprivation must have made quite an impression on Anonymous. That’s okay, my Mom never packed that stuff for me, either.

  20. Anonymous says:

    I am open to suggestions for making the legislators fear us. The ballot box will only work when properly used and controlled by the people. The alternatives are not our accepted way of operating even though there is no doubt that they would work given the Lille Livers occupying most of the seats in Congress.
    A small demonstration project might work wonders to induce the rest to shape up or get out.

  21. Vernon Clayson says:

    Anonymous speaks up but is just another fan of big government, when he spoke of federal money he’s like the Washington group, fails to take into account the money comes from tax and rate payers. The royals print money and borrows money but it’s still on the back of the peasants. I think he should have the courage of his convictions and give his name. Actually I don’t see many giving their name, I think all, and especially anonymous, should have the courage of their convictions and use their names.

  22. Wendy Ellis says:

    I am always suspicious about people who make statements in opposition to fellow Americans, yet choose to remain “anonymous.” I should think they would be proud to stand behind their claims.

    People are welcome to disagree with what I have to say, but I am proud of who I am, and not ashamed to attach my real name to my posts.

  23. Wendy Ellis says:

    For all we know, “Anonymous” might be a member of the NV Legisature…LOL

  24. Winston Smith says:

    Well, Vernon, I prefer being Winston Smith, otherwise l couldn’t end my comments…

    War is Peace; Freedom is Slavery; Ignorance is Strength

  25. Steve says:

    Well Winston, how about attaching your link:


  26. Rincon says:

    No one answered my question. Does the federal government pay for part of the food?

    Is it not equally unconstitutional to deny our children cigarettes and alcohol? As long as we believe in freedom of choice for children, why don’t we allow cigarettes and beer in our schools…and all over for that matter?

  27. Oh yeah, Steve, thanks for reminding me…

  28. Rincon, parents have the natural right to control the behavior of their minor children, and nowhere was that right specifically delegated by the states to the federal government through the Constitution. The feds usurped that power, and increasingly try to control the populace by using government dependency through Marxist wealth redistribution, AKA, theft.


  29. Wendy Ellis says:

    Rincon: School Lunch Program. Yes, our federal tax dollars pay for free and reduced price school lunches. This is our money. But wait, there’s more…
    And, be sure to click on the link in this article to NEVADA, and the bribery offered for “count day” here in our own state.

    It’s pathetic.

  30. Wendy Ellis says:


    Nothing like “gearing up” for “showing up.” This obviously has not worked to improve student achievement here in Nevada. Show me how spending more money per student has improved student performance here in NV.

    What’s in YOUR [wallet] vending machines?

    Hey, I realize the original topic was about the federal government dictating the food items that must be sold in American public schools. This is contingent, however, on the schools bringing the feds the broomstick of the Wicked Witch of the West. A nearly impossible task (just ask Dorothy). Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

  31. […] fight a bureaucracy that has made your land worthless by diverting water from it or to be told what kind of food your school may serve or to have millions of dollars flow to Washington while your state gets […]

  32. OK, Rincon, no, the federal government does not “pay” for the food. It taxes us and then sends our money to various bureaucrats with strings attached. The decision about what to serve in schools — including cigarettes and liquor — should lie with the local schools in the taxpayers and parents in that district.


  33. Rincon says:

    Interesting article Wendy. The stupidity of government sometimes boggles the mind.

    If the food is paid for by the local government, then they should have the choice. If Washington taxes us to pay for the food, then they have the right to limit the kinds of food they will pay for.

    From a Rand study: “Two RAND researchers, health economist Roland Sturm and psychiatrist Kenneth Wells, examined the comparative effects of obesity, smoking, heavy drinking, and poverty on chronic health conditions and health expenditures. Their finding: Obesity is the most serious problem.” http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_briefs/RB4549/index1.html

    If local governments see fit to “protect” children from acquiring the habits of consuming alcohol and tobacco, they would be inconsistent to neglect obesity.

  34. Dave444 says:

    Regarding food paid for by the government… There is no such thing anymore than fuel is paid for by the government. The “government only transfers money
    (payment) from the people to pay for food or anything else. AFTER taking a little VIG for their troubles. What boggles my mind is how the sheeple continue to go along with this nonsense. If anyone needs help understanding the LEFT
    please read the comments of Dr. Thomas Sowell on the 2nd 3rd and 4th of July. It is a single story in 3 parts.

  35. Dave444 says:

    An apology to all… my use of “anonymous” has been unintentional and I should have corrected it before. FYI Dave444, smkj4@yahoo.com. and just plain Dave are all me David West Tom Mitchell can verify if necessary.
    I am “His friend in Phoenix who is now in Colorado “.
    Happy holiday to all including NYP

  36. Rincon says:

    Why are we subsidizing lunches in the first place? Let ’em brown bag it or pay for the hot meal. The parents, perhaps as represented by the PTA should decide what food is to be sold.

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