Category Archives: nanny state

You Will Pry My Kerrygold from My Cold, Dead Hands

For those of you who don’t know, I eat a ketogenic diet. It’s not some diet fad, but a way of eating I’ve been strictly following for months. This way of eating, which forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates, is primarily used  to treat difficult-to-control epilepsy in children, but there’s also been some evidence that suggests it helps curb migraines. It definitely helped me.

Butter is encouraged in this way of eating, and grass-fed butter is particularly healthy, because it contains high levels of healthy fats that make this way of eating particularly effective.

kerrygoldEnter Kerrygold. I love Kerrygold. Once I tasted Kerrygold, there was no going back! You can tell the difference immediately. It’s softer, smoother, and more golden delicious than regular butter. It’s good on literally everything! Heck, I could eat it plain.

In Wisconsin, however, the bureaucrats apparently couldn’t just allow people to enjoy their butter. Nope! The nanny state food bureaucrats just have to protect people from non-“expert” examined butter!

In 1970, a law was passed which required that all butter intended for commercial purposes within Wisconsin first be put before a panel of “experts” responsible for grading the product based on a set of state standards. This law, which had largely been forgotten or at least ignored for decades, has now become an issue once again thanks to the rise of high fat diets.


Since Kerrygold is based in Ireland, its products do not go through the same regulatory processes as American products. Without an official American-issued quality grade, the nanny state of Wisconsin is refusing to allow this butter to be sold on its grocery store shelves, despite overwhelming consumer demand.

Now, Kerrygold butter is being pulled from shelves and store owners are being threatened with hefty fines and even jail time if they fail to comply with these state regulations.

It’s all for your protection, citizen. Just shut up and buy what the state tells you to buy.

The butter police have spoken.

Wisconsin has veeeeeery strict standards about what kind of butter they will allow on the store shelves – you know, for the common good. It doesn’t matter that people love the product. It doesn’t matter that Kerrygold has never harmed anyone in the years it’s been sold in the United States.

Wisconsin has STANDARDS, dammit, and they will enforce them for your own good! But who really benefits? Certainly it’s not the consumers, who are literally driving across state lines into neighboring states to purchase the product they love! Certainly not Kerrygold, which has to bow down to the mighty cheese police and implement whatever ridiculous demands the state of Wisconsin imposes on them, which will likely make Kerrygold products more expensive for consumers to purchase.

So who benefits?

What’s Wisconsin most known for (other than beer and the Green Bay Packers)? Dairy products. Cheese. Milk. BUTTER!

And you know what happens when them dang foreigners flood the market with a quality product that people love more than Wisconsin cheese? Wisconsin dairy farmers lose profits.

So instead of improving their product to compete with Kerrygold, they apparently decided to shut the irksome competitor out of the market via government force.

You know what it smells like? Corruption and cronyism, that’s what.

Because if you don’t think Wisconsin’s dairy farmers have a metric fuckload of pull with the state legislature, I have this bridge…

Now, apparently Wisconsin is the only state in the Union that has these absurd cheese control regulations. Thank goodness for that, because if Virginia decided to bow down to some greedy lobby representing people whose way of dealing with quality competition is to use government force to cheat themselves a bigger market share, I’d become a cheese outlaw.

No one takes my Kerrygold!


No, I Have No Sympathy

I’m often accused of being heartless when I read media stories meant to tug at the heartstrings – stories about the nation’s poor, about hungry children, about stinking, miserable poverty that are meant to make me feel better about government spending yet more of my hard-earned tax dollars ostensibly to “help the poor.”


Because I have no sympathy. None. Sure, there are real stories of hardship out there, but frankly, I’ve been there and done that, so while I can empathize, what I usually see in these stories is parental FAIL, government FAIL and, to an extent, society FAIL. But I don’t see society FAIL in our failure to spend more money to provide more food for the destitute. I see society FAIL in preventing generational dependence on handouts, rather than fostering self-reliance and ingenuity.

When I first came to this country with my parents, we were destitute in a very real sense of the word.  We had a couple of suitcases, $300 in cash, and a $3000 debt we owed various organizations that helped us escape the Soviet Union. For the first few months, we lived in a one-bedroom apartment with my aunt and grandfather. My parents and I used the living room for a bedroom for the three of us. My aunt and grandpa slept in the “bedroom.” There was one bathroom for the five of us. I remember being so thrilled that it actually had toilet paper, because back in the USSR we used old newspaper to wipe. Toilet paper was cool!

Those first few weeks, I joined my grandfather on his excursions through Brooklyn, NY. He would walk the streets and look through people’s garbage to see if there was anything he could pick up. You’d be surprised what people threw out! I got toys, some books that helped me learn English and even some clothes!

Yeah… from other people’s trash.

After a few weeks, we moved into an apartment of our own a few blocks from my aunt and grandpa. It was small and infested with cockroaches. A lot of cockroaches. And no matter what the building did to exterminate, they were all over the place like the plague. They were on light switches when you tried to turn the lights on, in the sink, in the bathroom, in the shower, on my pillow and walls… everywhere. My parents had a room, as did I, and my dad got a menial job – yeah, even with his two Master’s degrees in engineering – to support us.

Furniture? Trash. It’s not like we actually brought anything with us! What we did bring that was worth anything was pretty much stolen by the customs “people” on the border. My dad found two frames for wooden armchairs in other people’s trash. He found wooden planks, which he placed on top of the chairs and cushions from other people’s garbage to place on top of the planks. We had some throws we brought with us from the USSR, so he put them on top of the old cushions, so we wouldn’t have to sit on them directly.

TV? Trash. My dad found a little 10-inch set, which he fixed (those Master’s degrees in engineering came in handy). It had rabbit ears, and sometimes, you had to wrap the things in foil in order to be able to see what was happening on that screen. That’s how I learned English. Watching cartoons on that little TV.

Food was always nutritious, even though we had nearly nothing to spend on it. I ate ice cubes instead of ice pops and ice cream. No candy. No soda. I didn’t even know what soda was until about a year after living in the United States! But we had chicken (it was the most inexpensive protein out there), cereal, milk, some juice, some fruit, vegetables, bread, milk, eggs and potatoes and rice. That’s it. Not an exciting menu, but it got us through each week. I didn’t starve, and I ate food that was good for me.

I wore pretty much the same clothes day after day. I had a couple of outfits. We saved the “nice” ones for school picture day. The other kids at school looked at me funny, because I didn’t change my clothes daily. The only thing I did change daily – a luxury back then – was the color of rubber bands in my pigtails. We found a few discarded items in others’ trash, so my mom washed them, and I wore those too. My clothes were always clean, even if they were washed in the sink with some soap by hand.

So yeah… I know stinking poverty. I’ve lived it. And when I see stories such as this atrocity in the Washington Post, I don’t look at my country and condemn it for not feeding the poor! I don’t look at the family in this story and think, “Look at me! I have all this stuff! I could give a little more!”

No. I read this story, and I see parental fail and societal fail for breeding generations of leeches, who have no desire or drive to care for themselves, but instead rely on handouts.

The lengthy article focuses on a new program to feed hungry kids in rural Tennessee.

The setting.

 First, schools became the country’s biggest soup kitchens, as free and reduced-price lunch programs expanded to include free breakfast, then free snacks and then free backpacks of canned goods sent home for weekends. Now those programs are extending into summer, even though classes stop, in order for children to have a dependable source of food. Some elementary school buildings stay open year-round so cafeterias can serve low-income students. High schools begin summer programs earlier to offer free breakfast.

How did government address this issue of child hunger? They threw more money at the problem. A record $15 billion annually to feed 21 million low-income children in the nation’s schools. And another $400 million to feed these kids over the summer funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Governors came together to form a task force. Michelle Obama suggested items for a menu. Food banks opened thousands of summer cafes, and still only about 15 percent of eligible children received regular summer meals.

Why? Because they apparently couldn’t make it to the food. The food had to be brought to them.

And late last month came the newest iteration: a school bus retrofitted into a bread truck bouncing along a potholed road near the Blue Ridge Mountains. It parked in a valley of 30 single-wide trailers — some rotting in the sun, others swallowed by weeds and mosquitoes alongside the Nolichucky River. The driver opened his window and listened to the utter silence. “It feels like a ghost town,” he said.


So, earlier this year, a food bank in Tennessee came up with a plan to reverse the model. Instead of relying on children to find their own transportation to summer meal sites, it would bring food to children. The food bank bought four used school buses for $4,000 each and designed routes that snake through some of the most destitute land in the country, where poverty rates have almost doubled since 2009 and two-thirds of children qualify for free meals.

A very depressing setting in a rural community of trailers, where children must rely on government and food bank assistance to have access to food. Yes, it’s sad.

 A 5-year-old girl saw the dust trail of the bus and pedaled toward it on a red tricycle. Three teenage boys came barefoot in swimsuits. A young mother walked over from her trailer with an infant daughter in one arm and a lit cigarette in the other. “Any chance there will be leftover food for adults?” she asked.

It was almost 1 p.m. For some, this would be the first meal of the day. For others, the last.

Observation #1: Mom has money for cigarettes, but none to feed her infant.

My parents had both been smokers for years. Pretty much everyone in the former USSR was – they smoked and drank a lot to get through life, I guess. But somehow, my parents prioritized food over cigarettes and booze during those lean years.

On this day, what [the food bank worker] saw at the first stop was five siblings arriving in clothes still stained from the pizza sauce they had been served on the bus the day before. “Did you get a chance to change today?” Anderson asked one of them, a 10-year-old girl. “Into what?” she said.

Next, at the second stop, a 7-year-old whose parents were both at work arrived carrying his 1-year-old sister in nothing but a diaper, spoon-feeding her juice from the bottom of his fruit cocktail cup. “She can’t eat chunks yet,” he said.

At the third stop, a high school football player pleaded for extra milk; at the fourth, teenagers fired rifles at cans up the road; at the fifth, always the most crowded, kids, parents and dogs waited in the shade under the trailer park’s only tree.

“Finally!” one of them said as the bus pulled in. He was a 12-year-old boy, shirtless and muddy with half of a cigarette tucked behind his ear, and he barged onto the bus and grabbed his lunch. “Bologna again?” he asked, studying his sandwich.

Observation #2: Kids received pizza the previous day, so there’s enough variety in the meals to at least provide a somewhat varied menu. Kid bitches about “bologna again.” Kid is rude. Kid is an entitled little shit.

Kid smokes. Cigarettes are expensive.

OK, honestly, if the child was truly hungry, he would take what is given to him and eaten it without complaint. That’s what true hunger is. True hunger is not complaining about what is given. Given by taxpayers. Provided by people who care about the hungry. But apparently, the kid feels himself not only entitled to the free meal, but entitled to a variety of which he approves! Sorry, that’s a no-go.

The rest of the story focuses on one particular family, living in a trailer in the area.

At Cedar Grove, the first stop, all five Laughren siblings returned to their single-wide trailer, back into the vacuum of their summer. Their mother usually took the family’s only car to work, leaving the children stranded in the trailer park. Admission to the nearby swimming pool cost $3 per person and they only had $4.50 among them. The cable company had cut off their service, and they had already spent the morning watching a DVD of “Fast & Furious” twice.

I will withhold comment about the fact that no one living in stinking poverty – real, third-world stinking poverty has a VCR, let alone a DVD player or DVDs.  My parents didn’t even purchase their first VCR until we had been living in the US for more than seven years! But hey… first world problems.

The children aren’t “stranded” in the trailer park. The oldest one is 14 – old enough to clean up, make some dinner, take the others for a walk, mow lawns or babysit for extra cash, etc.  So can the 13 year old.

But no, there’s no dinner to be made. Why?

“I am so freaking bored,” said Courtney Laughren, 13, walking over to their refrigerator 21 hours before the school bus was scheduled to return. Inside she found leftover doughnuts, ketchup, hot sauce, milk and bread. “Desperation time,” she said, reaching for a half-eaten doughnut and closing the door.


For Taylor, 14, it meant stockpiling calories whenever food was available, ingesting enough processed sugar and salt to bring on a doctor’s lecture about obesity and early-onset diabetes, the most common risks of a food-stamp diet.


For Sarah, the 9-month-old baby, it meant sometimes being fed Mountain Dew out of the can after she finished her formula, a dose of caffeine that kept her up at night.


[Mom’s] $593 in monthly food stamps usually lasted the entire month. They ate chicken casserole and ground beef for dinner. But now, with school out, she was down to $73 in food stamps with 17 days left in the month. “Thank God for the bus,” she said, but even that solved their problems for only one meal a day.


 She walked into the kitchen, collected what items remained in the pantry and set them on the table for dinner. “Buffet’s ready,” she announced. The children ate corn chips, Doritos, bread, leftover doughnuts, Airheads candy and Dr Pepper.


Her food stamps could be used for cold food but not hot food, and the nearby grocery store sold pre-made sandwiches for half-price after 8 p.m. She loaded all five kids into the car and drove a mile to the supermarket. They chose three subs from a case that glowed under fluorescent lights. They shared two, mushing pieces of bread for the baby, and then Jennifer wrapped the third sandwich to take home.

“For breakfast,” she said, and they drove back to the trailer and went to bed.

Here’s what I see:

A mother who has now squirted out FIVE kids – with the first one at a mere 18 years old – with a low-paying job and apparently no father for a second source of income. FIVE children, with the last one having been born less than a year ago. I would guess that a box of condoms is less expensive than supporting yet another hungry mouth. But no. Apparently, it’s OK to keep pumping out babies you can’t afford, because the government will provide free lunches.

Donuts, candy, sodas, chips, pre-made sandwiches. This is what this woman feeds her children for dinner.

Pardon me, but with nearly $600 per month in food stamps, one could get the following, which would easily last the entire month or even longer. I will note that these products would be purchased at WalMart here in Arlington, VA, where food prices are ostensibly higher. But I needed an idea of how much could be purchased with $600, so I used this particular service as a comparison of how much I would need to spend to feed a family of six for a month, using fairly nutritious foods, and not crap.

Here is the entire grocery receipt from WalMart:


As you can see, this is a grocery cart that includes everything from milk (powdered, but it’s milk) to juice, to easy-to-prepare meals, to canned veggies, rice, cereal, mashed potatoes, tuna fish and fruit snacks.

Ideal? Probably not.

But it’s more nutritious than donuts and chips, and much more filling. It requires some preparation, and it’s something the teenagers could easily prepare while mom is at work! But no… they would much rather sit around and watch DVDs.

Oh, and she has more than $130 left, which she could use for an occasional treat – dessert, pizza, whatever…

It can be done – with a little ingenuity and some help on the part of the children.

But no… the bus brings “free” food.

And it’s much easier to have “free food” brought to you than it is to make it work with what you have.

So what are we doing here?

Frankly, I don’t care if 1/1000th of a penny of my taxes goes to feed hungry kids. It’s not the amount. It’s what that tiny fraction of a penny is paying for. It’s paying for perpetual dependence. It’s paying for generations without a work ethic, the will or the ability to make do. It’s paying for someone who doesn’t see a problem with bringing five kids into this world without a proper job, knowing she would be unable to support them without government assistance.

And if the handouts continue, so will the generational dependence.

That’s what my tax dollars are paying for, and by all accounts, the problem is getting worse, not better!

My parents worked menial jobs, and they worked hard until they knew enough English to improve their lot. We moved to a better apartment – this one without roaches – but I still wore clothing from other people’s trash, and I still didn’t know what a donut was.

And guess what! We made it! Without dependence on the state, and without handouts.

So, no. I don’t like my tax dollars rewarding parental FAIL on this scale, and you shouldn’t either.


Gun Grabbing Nanny Bloomberg & MAIG At It Again

Per the NYT:

The commercial is an unambiguous appeal to gun owners: a middle-aged hunter, rifle in hand, vows that he will fight to protect the Second Amendment.The commercial is an unambiguous appeal to gun owners: a middle-aged hunter, rifle in hand, vows that he will fight to protect the Second Amendment But in a sensible, father-of-the-house tone, he also urges voters to support comprehensive background checks, “so criminals and the dangerously mentally ill can’t buy guns.”

The man behind the advertisement is not known for his kinship with the gun crowd: Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, the nation’s fiercest advocate of restrictions on firearms since the December rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

Determined to persuade Congress to act in response to that shooting, Mr. Bloomberg on Monday will begin bankrolling a $12 million national advertising campaign that focuses on senators who he believes might be persuaded to support a pending package of federal regulations to curb gun violence. The ads, in 13 states, will blanket those senators’ districts during an Easter Congressional recess that is to be followed by debate over the legislation.

It goes without saying that authoritarian scumbags like Michael Bloomberg think they know better than we do. Given his propensity for going after large sodas and salt, there’s no level of micromanagement he won’t stoop to. On Meet The Press, to fellow anti-gun left-wing stool-pigeon David Gregory, he said:

“[W]hile I think we are going to win this [background checks], celebrating in advance isn’t the right thing to do. We’ve got to go out, we’ve got a lot of work ahead of us. … I don’t think we should give up on the assault weapons ban. But clearly, it is a more difficult issue for a lot of people. And I don’t know that that reflects the N.R.A.’s power. It may be just that people have different views about assault weapons than they do about background checks. … I think I have a responsibility, and I think you and all of your viewers have responsibilities, to try to make this country safer for our families and for each other. And if I can do that by spending some money and taking the NRA from being the only voice to being one of the voices, … then I think my money would be well spent … If 90% of the public want something, and their representatives vote against that, common sense says, they are going to have a price to pay for that.”

Bring it on. We’ll make it our business to punish you and your friends, Nanny.

Lars Christiansen On The Danish Experience With Socialism

So, last Tuesday, I attended a very interesting lecture at the Heritage Foundation. It was given by a leading investment banker in Denmark, Lars Seier Christiansen. He is the founder of Saxo Bank. The bank still operates in Denmark, although Mr. Christiansen has since moved to Switzerland. More on that later. Yes, I know i should’ve posted this last week. I’m a blog slacker.

Morton Blackwell, one of the heroes of the fight at the Republican National Convention against Ben Ginsberg and the rest of Romney’s cronies, came out and gave a brief introduction of Lars, and told us that we were about to hear what socialism really does to a nation. He wasn’t kidding.

One of the first things Mr. Christiansen pointed out was that when you go so far as Denmark has down the path of socialism, it’s almost impossible to go back when so many become dependent on government handouts. Too many will be looking to get their ‘fair share’ of the loot, and will resist any real efforts to roll back the welfare state. He wryly obsetved that this was perhaps not the most friendly environment for an investment bank.

Next, he gave us a bit of background on his homeland of Denmark. It’s a monarchy, the oldest in Europe, with a standard Westminster-style parliament. If a party wins 2% or more, they are entitled to representation in the parliament. This creates a system where, much like many others of its type, minor parties can hold disproportionate power. There are eight parties that are represented in the parliament, so it is nearly always the case that a large coalition of parties is needed to build a majority. The worst news is that of these eight parties, only one could be described as right-wing in sense; the others express no interest in rolling back the welfare state at all.
Denmark had the highest taxes in the world, until recently being passed (barely) by Zimbabwe(!). The Danes also have the smallest private sector in the West, and one of the largest public sectors. Outstanding combination, no? As a consequence, even the most socialist politicians understand they need capitalists to generate revenue, but view them as very distasteful, sort of a regrettably necessary evil.
He also spoke about a very supervisory tone to Danish society. Hotlines where you can call and see if someone is cheating. Any payment above $1500 can’t be paid in cash. I am NOT making this up. Tax authorities wield exceedingly wide powers. For example, they can intern any kind of private property without court order,  and demand documents. This is not allowed to authorities imvestigating terrorism. Most Danes actually believe that anyone who is rich and successful cheated somehow. This is due in part to the makeup of the Danish parliament. It has almost no one with any appreciable amount of practical private sector experience. Many powerful goverment ministers are under 35, and very, very far left. Only 1.8 million of almost 6 million Danes are not dependent on the government. That’s staggering. And of course, everyone scraps for any entitlement they can get, due to the insane tax rates. Only 28,000 Danes make over a million krones ($150,000 or so). Massive envy and suspicion of these people.

Tax reform and government reform efforts are largely symbolic. “Tax reform” apparently means growing the PUBLIC sector. Six of the eight parties participated in this latest charade. The absolute furthest left party supports abolishing military and police and nationalizing the largest Danish companies, of which Maersk Shipping would be the most recognizable to Americans.

Politicians have walled themselves into having to promise more and more entitlements. Blue collar voters largely support “right” parties. This has all happened since 1960, when Denmark had a tax pressure lower than Switzerland, where Lars moved a few years ago, because of the insanely confiscatory and invasive Danish government. Since 1960, things have gone horribly wrong. No party has incentive to run on a small-government rollback platform,  so he doesn’t see how reforms will happen for a very,  very long time. They’re uncompetitive even with other socialist EU nations, due to high wages and lower productivity. Many young Danish people are leaving, and he figures they’re on the road to where Greece is now.

More fun facts: Property taxes average 3% of the full value of your home ANNUALLY. RIDICULOUS taxes across the board. Insane green taxes. Total tax pressure for upper middle class, he estimates at 80-85%. And he doesn’t see how it can be reformed, with everyone dependent on the government. He worries that we’re (the United States) headed in this direction. He emphasizes that it is NOT a system to emulate. He thinks it will collapse Europe-wide, bit by bit. Also, Euro politicians love the US going more socialist, so they can point it out when arguing against European pro-liberty advocates. He says we need to turn it around, before it’s too late. You can turn around freedom, but not democratic socialism. He believes it’s paramount to nurture free market values at home and in schools, and that may not be possible soon. He thinks European integration has been horrible due to mandates from Brussels, and erosion of national sovereignty, as evidenced by European politicians like van Rompuy.

So yeah, let’s not do that here. The man knows what he’s talking about.

Time to start making calls, people

The Hill reports the usual suspects swine are trying to slip a high capacity magazine ban into the cybersecurity bill under the radar.

The authoritarian swine include Schumer, Feinstein, and NRA darling Kristen Gillibrand. In the wake of the horrific Aurora shooting last week, the opportunistic swine just couldn’t pass up their shot.

It’s time to call your Senators and tell them to vote down SA 2575, which would limit possession and transfer of magazines and other feeding devices to no more than 10 rounds. Do NOT allow these statist swine to erode your rights!

The vast majority of you have committed no crime with your high-capacity magazines. You have committed to crime with your semiautomatic weapons. But YOU will be the ones punished, while every thug will continue to purchase any magazine and other feeding device illegally and with virtual impunity.

Make those calls. Do it soon. Do it before they render the Second Amendment toothless.

%d bloggers like this: