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Today's What-The-Friday is brought to you by insane parents of bratty kids! (And their lawyers, and activist groups...)

The Center for Science in the Public Interest is not the most famous groups in the world, nor are they one worthy of much merit. What is essentially the legal wing of an overgrown Mommy-and-me squad of obsessive parents who don't trust the world to manage their own caloric intake... is at it again!

I'm going to try to be as non-biased as possible in saying that this group, and many like it, are the ones behind the removal of soft-drink vending machines in schools (a school is no place to educate children and let them make their own decisions!) , the movement to label everything with it's nutrition content (WHAT!? That bag of peanuts may contain nuts!!! It damn-well better or Mr.Peanut will be receiving a very strongly worded letter from me!), and let's not forget to mention the movement to restrict the labeling of "diet" items to not persuade people into thinking the double-fudge whipped-cream and cheese-cake filled pastry was good for them because it was made with low-fat milk.

So long story short, McD's (the legal worlds whipping-boy) is being the target of yet another law suit. Did the coffee-scolded genius come back for a second cup? Nope, this time the suit makes less sense! The CSPI is suing Mc Donald's because, and I quote; " McDonald’s exploits very young California children and harms their health by advertising unhealthy Happy Meals with toys directly to them. " Now I'm no genius, but it seems to me that there aren't that many kids under eight years of age strollin' around just wondering where they'll blow 6 bucks on a meal. I might be wrong, but the last time I checked it was the parents that were supposed to be parenting the kids and not the already over-worked, clogged and dysfunctional state legal system. Don't get me wrong... if Judge Judy told me to eat my veg's I wouldn't give her lip. (I'm scared of her even before you include a solid wood gavel in the mix) but this is just ridiculous.

The lawsuit states that the kids are being "wrongfully targeted" and that the advertisements "advertising is also unfair to its competitors, who do not choose to attract very young children with the lure of a toy" (Yeh, the cheap bastards at Subway don't give away a toy with their kids meals...oh wait yes they do...But it's not like you can just walk into a McDonald's and buy a toy without stuffing a burger down your...what, you can just buy the damn things separately to shut your whinny child up? So there's not value to this trial at all? Oh damn are they going to be embarrassed. WHAT!? It takes humility and shame to feel embarrassment? Oh well... maybe the case will get thrown out and not waste precious tax dollars.)

The heart of the matter is this; The CSPI and its Angry-Mom-Mob believe that kids are morons. They even went so far as to quote a statement from the Institute of Medicine declaring that children "have lack of maturity and an underdeveloped sense of responsibility; they are more vulnerable or susceptible to negative influences and outside pressures, including peer pressure; and their characters are not as well formed.” Graham v. Florida, 130 S.Ct. 2011, 2026-2027 (2010) 
No one is going to deny this. Not a single person is going to argue that children don't have a long way to go and a lot of growing up to do. That "under-developed sense of responsibility" is something that we used to call "being a kid", and these kids aren't going to grown up any smarter or better adjusted because their moms sucker punched old Ronald. These kids need to be taught that their are things in life that are treats. These kids need to know that they can't always get what they want every time they whine and throw a temper tantrum over a toy at McD's. These kids need to grown up and make up their own minds without the hawk-like protection of lawyers and overbearing parents! Because in a few years these kids are going to get hit with stuff that's a helluva lot worse than fatty, salty foods. They are going to need that basis of knowing when to say no to help them understand why drugs aren't a good option. They will need to learn self-control and moderation when it comes to alcohol consumption. 

Now their are obvious reasons to take a step back and look at marketing aimed towards children. Yes McDonald's has made some errors in judgement over the years and they have even introduced some down-right ridiculous things to children. Take for example this whole kit. No one is going to defend the social implications this sort of thing has on a developing mind...but this isn't even what parents are concerned about. The lawsuit and complaints don't even mention this type of careless marketing.

If we keep protecting our kids from disappointment, from self-control, from moderation, we will be breading a generation of ignorant fools who, when faced with the uncontrolled substances of the world, go on a binge beyond all binges. We need to TEACH these kids, and not force them to obey what we think is best for them. 

" Children nonetheless influence the purchasing decisions of their parents. 
McDonald’s exploits that influence, by bombarding children with advertisements for 
Happy Meals with toys, knowing that it will result in kids nagging parents to purchase 
nutritionally poor Happy Meals for their children"

I call BS! It seems to me there's two lessons to be learned here, and the first is by the parents... try being parents for a change and step out from behind the lawyer bull-dogs. Stop blaming the system for what's wrong with your parenting, and your children. I can say this with faith because I am a child of the 90's. I can tell you from experience that marketing towards children is bull; it's the parents who've got the money. They make the decisions. If they don't want to teach their children the truth then it's them that is flawed in this system. This lawsuit is a parade of lazy, incompetent and irresponsible parents.

 So why does this story make the board at Memento Mori? Well who doesn't love to laugh at the ignorance of over-exaggerated and stressed out Californians. (Hey, at least they aren't bitchin' about the Ozone layer for a week or two...)

Cheers to rationality, and the lack of it when it comes to public affairs! I hope this case gets a judge with a sense of humour!


Check out the Case PDF here!

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