Coke or Pepsi?
It’s a decades old question? But now students from Davis High School in Utah won’t have to ask that question any longer…at least during lunchtime. You see, DHS was just fined $16,000 dollars by the federal government for being charged with a serious crime. The crime? Vending soda pop to its students—during lunchtime. Gasp! A federal offense, I guess. (Thank goodness I brought my own in a brown bag from home…probably just a misdemeanor.)
So, have a Coke…and a fine.
[First, before going any further, I must apologize in advance for the frequent use abuse of my less-than-well-developed sarcasm. It’s a defense mechanism.]
Now, you might be asking yourself, why is the federal government involved in the sales and purchase decisions of soda pop (or anything else) in our local schools? Don’t feel alone, I was just asking myself the same question.
IS IT A CONSTITUTIONAL QUESTION?
I’ve spent the last several hours looking through every nook and cranny of the U.S. Constitution trying to find the powers granted by the People to Congress for the restriction of our states’ soda consumption…looking…still looking…
The answer (you guessed it)…NOWHERE is Congress granted the power to restrict soda sales in my local school. Checking Article I, Section 8…collecting Taxes…necessary and proper…hmmm…nope…still looking…
And, specifically during lunch? Still looking…
The Founders were probably distracted by debating the War Powers thing, and the Weights and Measures thing, and the Naturalization thing, and the Letters of Marque thing…and, Bankruptcies…too busy to worry about soda, knowing that future generations would find an abnormal amount of time and taxpayer resources to debate this vital life, liberty, and property question.
THIS ISN’T REALLY ABOUT SODA…IS IT?
This “soda” issue is wrong on so many different levels I hardly know where to start.
First, federal mandates for child nutrition programs (i.e. National School Lunch Program) are administered by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Again, while I still have my Constitution out, I’m looking for the clause where Congress has the power to create local school food programs through the USDA, and I’m just not seeing it. Actually, the “rules” creating the national school food and beverage programs are not laws at all. Congress often “delegates” its powers to un-elected agencies. (I know because our state legislature does it all the time—we grant rulemaking authority to Executive Branch departments and divisions.) Lawmakers like this arrangement because it “releases them of liability” so they can point their finger at someone else when something goes terribly wrong…oh, and take the credit when something goes terrifically right. The Daily Herald newspaper in Utah reports that “(o)fficials say federal rules ban the sale of soda pop or candy during lunch to avoid competition with healthier foods.” Who do they think they are anyway?! My mom?!
FEDERAL EDUCATIONAL OVERSIGHT IS UNNECESSARY
Second, the U.S. Dept. of Education is an unconstitutional government agency. Let’s review the Tenth Amendment together…”The powers not delegate to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the People.” Looking…no federal constitutional education mandate…
Third, federal money (our money) given to (re-gifted back to) our local schools ALWAYS has strings attached. Schools become dependent on federal dollars whether through direct payments to Local Education Agencies (LEA), local districts, or through individual state budget appropriations using federal dollars, it’s all the same. A shell game. When states threaten to pull out of a federal program once they’ve committed, watch out! The federal government often times comes back to the rebel state with the “not so fast” line. Not so fast…do you like that money tied to that other unrelated federal program?! Get the point? It happens all the time.
Fourth, certainly the federal government plans to fix the nutrition dilemma by removing mandates and excessive oversight! Smaller, less centralized government is the answer. I hate to burst your bubble (not the first two housing bubbles), but we need to start worrying (even more) because the 2010 Congress recently passed “improvements” to child nutrition laws. They call the new mandate the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act (or HHFKA, what kind of a federal gov’t acronym is that? It doesn’t even spell anything). The feds are going to “fix” the problem by developing more mandates and restrictions requiring more fruits and veggies! Really?!
EVIL CORPORATIONS WANT TO HARM OUR CHILDREN
Lastly. Soon Washington DC politicians will realize that it’s Corporate America’s fault, again. The proverbial blame game. Vilifying corporate America is how Washington DC keeps the spotlight off of its own faults and failures. But, is exposing Corporate America as the villain really a smart idea for DC politicos? After all, it’s a bit like biting the hand that feeds them. I wonder if Congress has noticed who contributes to their campaigns. According to one “news” source, the food and beverage industry contributed $16.3 million in 2008 to political campaigns (with Coca-Cola Co donating $533,782 and $372,826 from McDonalds Corp). So, Washington DC politicians are taking contributions from the same companies that they claim play a part in our obesity, caffeine addiction, and high fructose corn syrup dependency. But, that’s how the machine fuels itself. Right?!
That reminds me…I haven’t watched “Super Size Me” in a while. You know Spurlock’s mom didn’t give him enough spankings whilst growing up…I’ll guarantee it. Fillet-O-Fish for me with extra tartar sauce! Oh, heck, just give me a #10.
This is a link to the news source mentioned above:
What will the feds tell us we can’t do next?
This argument isn’t really about soda, twinkies, fruits, nor veggies (no more than the 2nd Amendment is about guns). This issue is about constitutional powers residing in the States…or, the People (check the last phrase in the 10th Amendment). The People are loosing their sovereignty at the hands of politicians and bureaucrats who would draw a two feet by two feet box on the ground around each one of us and tell us not to move…oh, and don’t breathe…oh, and don’t speak…oh, and don’t…
The People are easier to control when they live in a box.
IT REALLY IS UP TO US
In these, our United States, the People ultimately decide what is lawful and unlawful. The apathy of the citizenry and the lack of accountability of our lawmakers (state and federal) determines the direction of liberty. What will we do today?
Soda today…free speech tomorrow. (I know it’s a stretch…at least I used to think so.)
WHAT WE ARE GOING TO DO…
State legislatures rely heavily on federal money. Washington DC designed the budget and appropriations process that way. It’s a direct reflection of the Golden Rule (i.e. the guy with the gold makes the rules). When state lawmakers raise their fists, stick out their chests, and go toe-to-toe with Washington DC, states end up backing down before the fight has even begun. Why? Because the federal government controls significant portions of every state’s budget. That’s where the actual problem lies. States love federal money. They say they don’t…but look closer. Over the last half decade alone: TARP, ARRA, No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top Trough, Federal Grants, etc. And, that’s just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. The People are also taking direct payments from the federal government (i.e. Pell Grants, Loans, Municipal Programs, etc.).
Tangled federal roots run deep throughout the soil of the “independent” States.
So, what are we going to do about it?
Just, stop it! That’s the plan…just stop!
(I’m too much of a pragmatist to believe the States will do it all at once.)
But, the States have to stop taking federal dollars. Ouch! What else does Washington DC have to hold over our heads? Think about it. It’s about the money. It’s only about the money. The federal government uses money to keep the People in line, when it should be the other way around. The states created the federal government, not the other way around.
It will take sacrifice. It will take frugality. It will take perseverance. Now, is just as good a time as any to start…stopping it!
WHAT WE ARE DOING RIGHT NOW
The Founders of the Patrick Henry Caucus and a number of other bright minds from around the country are in the process of developing a realistic plan to force Washington DC back into the confines of its limited, enumerated constitutional powers. This task will not be easy. It will take significant time and resources. It will take an organization of dedicated individuals—state lawmakers and citizens—to accomplish. The Patrick Henry Caucus is providing the framework. The Vision.
The PHC Founders will provide solutions to state legislators and citizens of the Several States. Over time, model policy will be presented, debated, and adopted.
WHAT WE NEED YOU TO DO…
Legislators – Organize a Patrick Henry Caucus (under PHC State Bylaws) to create a nationwide communication network. We call upon the 50 state legislatures to organize a Patrick Henry Caucus in their state. The organizational “packet” has already been distributed to many states. We are continuing our efforts to contact potential leadership in each state individually. This takes time to do properly.
State legislators can help speed the progress of this organizational effort by contacting Craig at Advisor@PatrickHenryCaucus.org. Legislators may also meet with PHC representatives at several national legislative conferences scheduled throughout the year.
Citizens – Join Us! And, get your friends to join with us. Contact your state legislators and ask them to contact us. They are very busy. If you are not contacting them about working with us, they are focused on something, or someone else. Your state lawmakers are more likely to listen if you have an cordial relationship with them. Remind them that the PHC is a multi-partisan organization focused on states’ rights. Remember, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights were fashioned and adopted by men who were NOT in total agreement all the time. That should be encouraging!
You will find citizens’ Calls to Action on www.PatrickHenryCaucus.org. Pick one item to work on, and do it! After you’ve completed the first item, pick another and do that one! Etc., etc., etc. Do something…anything. And, start today.
Nearly two hundred and thirty-six years have passed since We declared our independence. Please help us fight for two hundred and thirty-six more.
– Craig Frank
Alex Jones’ article on DHS soda ban > http://www.infowars.com/utah-school-fined-15000-by-feds-for-soda-machine/
[Craig Frank is a Founding Member and Special Advisor to the Patrick Henry Caucus. He currently serves in the Utah State House of Representatives in District 57, and has Sponsored and Co-Sponsored numerous States’ Rights and Privatization measures since 2003.]
Coke is a registered trademark of the Coca-Cola Co.