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Who's for 'junk shot' cannons?

By Tom Toles

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Cri de coeur

Are we babies? I'm beginning to think we are babies. Against my better judgment, I turned on the TV Tuesday night, and there was Katie Couric. We've gone from Dan Rather wearing a slicker in a hurricane telling us which way the wind was blowing to Katie interviewing gulf coast residents, asking them whom were they mad at the most. Mostly BP. But how about the government? Are you mad at the government, too? Maybe a little mad at the government, too!

A later segment told us about a Center for Science in the Public Interest report on some restaurant meals that have gargantuan quantities of calories and fat. Panta-gruel I would call it, were I given to making obscure puns. But Katie, who seems to never tire of health reports, decided it would be best to spin this one as a light culture piece. THE FOOD POLICE, she called them more than once. More interviews! Insightful replies, such as, "I'm rarely in the mood to order healthy choices."

Think what you like, but the food preparation and consumption patterns in the U.S. are a real problem. They are a large driver of health-care costs, which, in turn, is the fundamental problem with the federal deficit, which everyone claims to be so exercised about, which is probably the only exercise they're getting. FOOD POLICE! Yet another story anchored in the implicit premise that "I want what I want when I want it" is now the norm, and properly so, of American culture. That is the way BABIES think. And people are surprised when I think the appropriate response is a nanny state. --Tom Toles
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By Tom Toles  | May 27, 2010; 12:00 AM ET
Categories:  Environment  
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Comments

Toles...Nanny is not a good term. It is obvious that what we now have is not working. We the people could, however, in my humble opinion, become a more "nurturing" state.

Children? yes. Babies? no.
Children need "some" type of parenting/guidance. They are not mature enough to take care of themselves. Look where that has taken us thus far.

Posted by: bertzel | May 27, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

Nanny State: A State whose government institutions are authoritative and overpaternalistic. Interfering with and controlling peoples lives. That is nothing but Totalitarian lite. It comes down to freedom. A Nanny State chips away at Freedom. The leaders of a Nanny State fear freedom. Freedom conflicts with the power that these people seem to envision that they have. Nanny State leaders want to take things away from people by either banning them or pricing them out of reach. I do not get up everyday wondering what I can propose to restrict from my fellow American. That is all that the Left is interested in now, the restriction of freedom.

Posted by: bobbo2 | May 27, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

I try to “catch” the “news” whenever I can. Sometimes, however, a “diversion” is interrupted by the reality of life…or is it the other way around? Either way you look at it, I guess, I didn’t miss anything of importance last evening.
I did hear the “cri de Coeur” on the morning news and was taken aback by what I saw and heard, that is, until I witnessed the “exact response” for a second time just before the end of the interview and prior to the mike being hastily removed.
Though the “man” was clearly unhappy I think a bit of that particular outcry was also for show…maybe it’s just me. Sometimes “reality” and the perception of what one believes to be reality become confusing. This I find most often when it is “broadcast” for an audience.
And yes, I am mad at government… “we the people”.

Posted by: bertzel | May 27, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Toles, the problem isn't Couric. The problem is journalism in general. Sensationalism sells. Journalism always inflates problems, seeks out scandal, and when it can't find any invents. It doesn't report on good people. It doesn't report on happy things. Journalists won't tell us about the thousands--millions, I suspect!--of people who are doing the best with what they have and trying to make rational, responsible choices. Because that's not a good story. Of course, Mr. Toles, I shouldn't have to tell you all that, given the company you keep.

However, if you want people to actually listen to your argument in your blog posts, Mr. Toles, you might want to lay off the caps lock. Yes, you use it more sparingly than many people, but even one or two all-caps words shoots any argument you are trying to make in the foot. It destroys your credibility instantly. Or do you mean to be polemic?

Posted by: whiteflame128 | May 27, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Here we go again: Dump Dump Dump. Doesn’t anyone have anything nice to say anymore? If anyone wants to know the truth (I love that line from that movie where Tom-Cat is the Navy lawyer and Jack Nickelson is in the witness seat, and Jack shouts really loudly at Tom-Cat, “YOU CAN’T STAND THE TRUTH!!!”) about Katie: it’s that if it weren’t for her pushing colonoscopies, we’d all be wearing one of those nasty dew-dew bags – or worse: stretched out in some box in a bone yard. (Another commenter mentioned being “spoiled” – you don’t know spoiled until you’re squirreled away in one of those bone yard boxes for a couple years.) So, give her a little slack, and let’s write something nice – like how nice Diane Sawyer looks with those lenses and lighting that hide her wrinkles and facial hair. Or how nice it is to watch Brian Williams and see all of the same stuff that you saw twelve hours earlier on Today. We could all stand to exercise some civility where these hard-working multi-gillionaire anchorpersons are concerned. After all, their primary interest in this life is to keep us informed – and just look at how much we all know these days!!!

Posted by: dudeupnorth | May 27, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Toles, I hope you learned your lesson watching Katie Couric. You should know better. It's not just her. They are a bunch of blithering Idiots. They are not reporters or Newsmen(women) They are simply readers of poorly constructed sentences that violate almost every grammatical rule. Shame on you for expecting anything worthwhile on any news program. I, for one, thank you for being sarcastic, cynical and a Left-Winger.

Posted by: bavery1 | May 27, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Tom.. I am really surprised that you would watch Katie in the first place. As a news anchor, she is pathetic. She reached her "level of incompetence" on the Today Show. She would be a much better fit on Access Hollywood or a show of that ilk.

Posted by: nimuetre | May 27, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Psst. "cri du coeur".

That is all. :-)

Posted by: walkleftstandright | May 27, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Sometimes I wonder if democrats realize just how full of crap they are. They want someone else to control their food, someone else to control their health care, someone else to control this or that. And when it comes to paying for the programs and the (whatever) police, they want to raise someone else's taxes.

As for food, I can buy all the things I want to make my own food as tasteful as I prefer. And just as people continue to buy cigarettes, so will people continue to buy salt, and sugar, and fats.

When it comes to health care, until they bring a policeman to my door to force me, I will only visit a doctor when I feel the necessity. If that is once every 5 years, because I am healthy, so be it. If my employer doesn't offer company-provided insurance, I will pay the annual fine and continue saving for extra expenses just as I have been all along.

When it comes to voting, I will continue to read both sides (although reading the Washington Post often feels like dumpster diving) and continue to vote my preference.

As for social welfare programs, if it were up to me, I would institute mandatory random drug testing, as well as the cessation of all alcohol and tobacco use, and deny the purchase of junk food using food stamps. If you really need the help, that's fine, but don't tell me you need FOOD, and then go spending the money on cigarettes and beer. And don't tell me that candy, chips, and gum are "food" when there is no real nutritional benefit to them. Help is one thing. Condoning your addictions is another.

Posted by: whisperonthewind | May 27, 2010 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Ms. Couric may view the world with wide eyed wonderment - but she has an agenda to push, just as others do.

I stopped watching her.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | May 27, 2010 8:04 AM | Report abuse

The only problem with Tom's cartoon is that the cannon is pointed in the wrong direction. It is the Congress that is firing junk at the American population.

Posted by: johne37179 | May 27, 2010 8:03 AM | Report abuse

I am waiting for the day that the Government starts to regulate "all you can eat" buffets. Or at least tries to. The Federal Government has responsibilities that are enumerated in the Constitution. Protecting me from food is not one of these. While oil pumps uncontrollably from underwater in the Gulf of Mexico, the Government and many of it's representatives are concerned about how much salt I use. If our elected Representatives cannot get their priorities straight then they should have the Honor to get out of Government. I am sure that liberals on the Titanic would have been concerned more about the ratio of man to woman toilets than the fact that it was sinking.

Posted by: bobbo2 | May 27, 2010 7:46 AM | Report abuse

But where will you find the adults to oversee this nanny state, Mr. Toles?

Posted by: mocmao | May 27, 2010 7:05 AM | Report abuse

So, we have this disaster happening and you choose to slam the (what you have decided is a joke)tea party? Really? Maybe not cry baby, but I guess you've moved up to teen bully. Why not react to what's around you instead of making things up?

Posted by: dcjayhawk2 | May 27, 2010 6:26 AM | Report abuse

Toles your Food Police sort of sound like the Germans Gazpacho Police from near mid last century. Of course libs want to control everything because they think they know what best for everyone. Sure libs will try to rationalize in their own minds the 1st Amendment only applies to what is coming out of the mouth not going in and although the libs food control plan is 180 degrees from their argument in support of their pro abortion plan libs will figure out a way to fool yourselves.

Posted by: carbonhog | May 27, 2010 6:16 AM | Report abuse

So, we have this disaster happening and you choose to slam the (what you have decided is a joke)tea party? Really? Maybe not cry baby, but I guess you've moved up to teen bully. Why not react to what's around you instead of making things up?

Posted by: dcjayhawk2 | May 27, 2010 6:15 AM | Report abuse

Guess it's me and David McGee.

I think you have a point. Just a tip:

I often have my blood pressure skyrocket during "interviews" by "reputable journalists."

They don't ask the thought-provoking questions. They ask the leading questions. And I can see them coming a mile away. And to where do they lead? Basically, nowhere. To the place we have all been for the last ten years. And they never fail to bore me with the fourth grade message. It IS ridiculous.

And, hey, try this one on for size, Mr. Toles...

I know managers, MANAGERS, that work for the best known search engine out there. These people are in their 30s, sir. They watch "Twilight" and have very strong opinions about it. If you've never seen it, watch it. But keep a barf bag handy. I cannot believe grown people soak this stuff up and yearn for more. I don't even know what to say. It is truly a painful experience for me to endure - just KNOWING people are out there, oblivious to the age appropriateness or inappropriateness of teen drama. "New Moon" I think was the movie. It's about vampires. I'm afraid I'm too grounded in reality for a film about vampires, let alone a primetime series. Suspension of disbelief is harder at my age. Maybe with pulleys, but in the current configuration, "Twilight," in my opinion, is for 13 year old girls. Anyone watching past 18 years of age will NEVER grow up and will always be susceptible to BS, lies, brainwashing, marketing, lies, drama, lies, and Sarah Palin. So, I don't enjoy knowing they are out there.

I often feel as if I'm from another planet. One where Katie Couric is smart and Sarah Palin is informed. A planet where people outgrow high school dramas BEFORE they reproduce. It's the same planet where the Supreme Court ordered a re-vote, rather than handing the Presidential election to "W"

It's nice here. We drive electric cars... And people with stickers and decals on their pickup trucks are all in their teens. You're welcome to visit anytime.

Posted by: Thinker_ | May 27, 2010 5:15 AM | Report abuse

I had similar thoughts. I asked myself, why doesn't Couric ask those folks what role they played in the problem, not only with who they voted for (aka the no regulation GOP), but what habits they had that contributed to America's crushing need for oil, and what about the tea partiers not wanting "big government" until they need someone to clean up after corporate America's unregulated mess. It's tough to have sympathy for folks who never seem to think they have any responsibility in this so-called democracy.

Posted by: DaBrugg | May 26, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse

But Mr Tole's, your response to all of society's problems is bigger does of "Nanny State" goodness.

Posted by: SharpshootingPugilist | May 26, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse

When you propose the alternative as "everyone must sacrifice eating for pleasure to fulfill a goal of the State", how else do you expect people to react?

Provide information, and end all subsidies that make eating garbage artificially cheap. That's it. If people don't adapt enough for your tastes after THAT, well, tough for you then.

Posted by: toiletminded | May 26, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Excelllent observations Tom Toles. And if you had tuned in NBC or ABC news you would have seen and heard the same inanity. One night fat people are a problem, and the next night anyone trying to help inform the public becomes a Food Policeman.

Posted by: JoelPB8 | May 26, 2010 8:52 PM | Report abuse

So what exactly does a good nanny state diet consist of? Last night the democrats had a big fundraiser out in California and dined on quail eggs with caviar and salmon ceviche with jicama and avocado on a tortilla chip, a spring onion-asparagus tartlet with Meyer lemon vinaigrette-dressed frisee salad, braised Kobe beef short ribs with potato puree and a salsa verde-topped spring vegetable ragout and for desert buckwheat crepes with roasted cherries and almond ice cream. If this is what we get to eat under the nanny state count me in.

Posted by: taxcutsin12 | May 26, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Toles, I hate to agree with you when you make such statements as: "the implicit premise that "I want what I want when I want it" is now the norm, and properly so, of American culture." Yet, I have no choice but to do so. The mantra I keep hearing from so many is simple--"I, me, my, mine." There is no we, no sense of duty to others and our community as a whole, that comes to balance out the naked greed in today's society.

Please keep giving us the hard (and bitter) truth.

David McGee
Virginia

Posted by: dhmcgee | May 26, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

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