Friday 17 December 2010

The War On Fast Food Is Officially Declared

Listen, guys and gals, I did kinda warn you that anti-smokers were/are the most dangerous bastards the world has ever encountered.

And this looks very much like proof.

A mother of two from Sacramento, Calif., says that McDonald’s uses toys as bait to induce her kids to clamor to go to McDonald’s and to develop a preference for nutritionally poor Happy Meals. With the help of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, today the mom, Monet Parham, is filing a class action lawsuit aimed at stopping McDonald’s use of toys to market directly to young children. The suit will be filed in California Superior Court in San Francisco shortly after the court opens for business Wednesday morning.

According to Parham, the main reason her six-year-old daughter, Maya, asks to go to McDonald’s is to get toys based on Barbie, i-Carly, Shrek, or Strawberry Shortcake. The food seems almost beside the point to the kids, says Parham, because the toy monopolizes the attention of Maya and her two-year-old sister Lauryn.

“I am concerned about the health of my children and feel that McDonald’s should be a very limited part of their diet and their childhood experience,” Parham said. “But as other busy, working moms and dads know, we have to say ‘no’ to our young children so many times, and McDonald’s makes that so much harder to do. I object to the fact that McDonald’s is getting into my kids’ heads without my permission and actually changing what my kids want to eat.”
Yes, you did read that right. McDonalds are being sued (text of the claim here) by someone who has no concept of personal, or parental, responsibility.

But hold on, Dick, I hear you cry. How is that anything to do with the war on tobacco?

Well, since you asked, this case is very reminiscent of the early anti-tobacco suits filed by US lawyers on behalf of those who claimed they were suckered into smoking by the wiles of the tobacco industry. Many, many failed, for over a decade in fact, but eventually - bolstered by massive pharmaceutical investment - the Master Settlement Agreement stuck. Anti-tobacco then had their precedent and the rest of their descent into absurdity is history.

Not only that, the flood of cash it unlocked was generous enough to fund the very same lawyers in pushing for more censorious actions - aided and abetted by fellow newly-enriched dodgy epidemiologists providing junk science bullets - which has consequentially given us the quite ludicrous claims we are now seeing.

Now then. What is the link? Well, the world's most obscene anti-smoking lawyer (who made himself obscenely rich from anti-smoking) has been pursuing such legal action for quite a while.

You see, money is running out for anti-smokers. They need to find another way to please their pharma masters, and obesity drugs are the new game in town.

Here we are witnessing the opening salvo (in California, natch) of the war against fast food.

Funds are drying up for tobacco controllers, but there is a vast untapped wealth just sitting there taunting them in the form of multi-national food outlets (oh sorry, did you still think it was about health?).

You would probably have missed the early exchanges. Like tobacco, advertising bans were first, for the ease of getting them past legislators with minimal resistance. But it's all part of the template.

Where there's a government staffed by pompous authoritarians, there's a public health angle; where there's a public health angle, there's someone to blame; where's there's blame, there is a claim.

And where there's a claim, there is someone to profit from it, and 'scientists' to secure their funding for the next decade or so by pumping out shonky research.

This suit will fail, almost certainly. But the idea of a malevolant industry preying on kids for profit has laid its foundations in the minds of the terminally health terrified. Sooner or later they will make an absurd claim like this stick. And when that happens, the gates will open to a vast new seam of public health rent-seeking on the polluter pays principle.

Plus, numpty-packed governments aren't going to resist too much seeing as they can profit by it too. It is, as in this case, all for the chiiildren, after all.

I've lost count of the times I've listened to people stating that "I'm a libertarian, but I love the smoking ban". I generally tend to smile sweetly before looking around for someone more clever to talk to.

As I've mentioned before:

You simply cannot pick and choose which freedoms you like and which you don't. You either stand up to all of the dictatorial bullying, or you will inevitably become a target.
Where tobacco control leads, interference in other areas will gleefully follow. Often helped along by the very same joyless bansturbators who have so demonised tobacco.

If you like bans on any particular lifestyle choice, fine. Just prepare to be next in the firing line is all.


JuliaM said...

"With the help of the Center for Science in the Public Interest..."

WTF?!? This is the 'Daily Mash' and their 'Centre for Studies' again, isn't it?

Woodsy42 said...

At what time and for what reasons were the old 'cigarette cards' banned, might that not be a parallel of sorts?

Angry Exile said...

The march of hatred continues, and thanks to this useful idiot who can't say no to her kids and needs the government to do it for her the march has now turned due Salad Dodger. Look Ms Parham (California, bound to be a Ms), bring your sprogs round here. I'll happily drive past Macca's all day long with them screaming in the back, and I'll carry on saying no. Your ineptitude as a parent doesn't give you the right to tell a business how to market its products. And incidentally, if you win you'll need to change schools because all the other kids will find out whose mum (English, motherfucker, do you speak it?) is to blame for no more free toys at Mickey D's.

Christopher Snowdon said...

The Center for Science in the Public Interest are a bunch of vegan nutjobs. I think it's very likely that the claimant is involved with their cause or, at the least, has been actively recruited by them.

The case will fail, as you say, but it's a PR gimmick of the kind Banzhaf has used many times. It's a pretty clever strategy really. Train to be a lawyer and then file endless lawsuits at public expense to raise your own profile.

Snowolf said...

Is it a conicedence that the plaintiff's name is an anagram of Pharma? I think not.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Stupid f***ing bitch.

Anyways, here's my plan to get McDonalds off the hook - they shut down all their restaurants and re-open the next day as a chain of toy shops... which hand out free burger and chips with every toy purchased!


Mark Wadsworth said...

@ JuliaM, it's "Institute for Studies", actually.

WV: dlymahs

Ed P said...

I'm not sure if it's reassuring or not that Blame Mentality is prevalent in America as well as here. But coupled with parental irresponsibility, it does make good blog-copy! And what sort of idiotic first name is Monet anyway?

Michael Fowke said...

I love (vegetarian) fast food. If they touch my veggie burgers, they're dead.

Neal Asher said...

As always it's not so much the bansturbators but the useful idiots that give them ammo.

Anonymous said...

The plaintiff in the lawsuit is not some ordinary person suing McDonald's on behalf of her kids' health interests. This woman happens to be a regional director for child nutrition employed by the State of California at a high salary. Her filing of this lawsuit has the additional angle of her being already in cahoots with the CSPI leftist quango and possibly with Banzhaf himself - as people like this operate clandestinely doing backroom political plotting and finangling prior to making their appearance on public stage in order to generate as much publicity to normalize their approach before the public eye. This is certainly not some chance lawsuit from a simpleton or busybody self-righteous type, though the plaintiff may be just that also. But this woman is a highly paid employee of State of California and this lawsuit is part of a political manipulation going on behind the scenes - more than just a mere lawsuit, this is indeed an opening salvo against "big bad fastfoods" ala "big bad tobacco" style as already accomplished in the last decade. This case is probably not going to go away, even if it loses, as the publicity generated is the opening shot for another long war against freedom of choice and freedom from responsibility and individualism coming up next. And this time, it's not going to be only "the evil smokers" being targeted. It's going to be the self-righteous who sat back and did nothing, remained silent, while smokers' rights were deliberately destroyed and for no good purpose.

Anonymous said...

Link to one of several revelations out this week revealing that this woman is a highly paid regional director, political advocate and tool for the methodologies fully endorsed by Banzhaf.

"Monet Parham, by the way, seems to be an activist employed by the California government to advocate the ingestion of vegetables, though some pains seem to have been taken to obscure this connection."

This has shown up on several US blogs since Wednesday's court filing but is being purposely evaded in the mainstream.

Mainstream announcement of the lawsuit filing BTW came quickly within 20 minutes of its being filed and sourced from an AP News bureau from Portland, Oregon, 500 miles away and far outside of San Francisco where it was filed - which means there is behind the scenes planning that must have been done for it to be announced quite so quickly - a PR effort was already in progress long before the filing date and time occurred.

westcoast2 said...

It must have been the haapy meal toys and it seems the SF board of supervisors agree as they banned them. McDonald’s Hit by Happy Meal Toy Ban

From the report
Plus, there are the financial costs to consider. According to a recent study, being obese costs women an estimated $4,879 a year and men $2,646 due to factors such as having to take more sick days and reduced productivity. And all of us are paying a price in terms of the cost to our health care system

Financial Costs
Sick Days
Reduced Productivity
All of us pay

Yep, follow the blueprint.

JBIII will win one of these cases one day (may be even this one) then the precedent is set.

Dick Puddlecote said...

Michael Fowke: I heard tell of tofu burgers being condemned in San Francisco because, and you'll love this, they look like hamburgers and are therefore a bad example for kids.

Perhaps one of my SF readers (yes, there are some) may expand. ;)

Roger Thornhill said...

"The food seems almost beside the point "

So her argument is? If the food is "beside the point" then the kids want toys - duh.

Kids always want toys. Parents need to make kids know what "no" means.

An issue of parenting.

Dr. Brian Oblivion said...

Way to make the argument that human beings do not have functional brains and must be looked after by a nudging nanny in every aspect of life.

This kind of thinking only begs for more infantilization and a nice shiny cage for our personal liberties.

I make my own choices and am not a slave unable to resist nudges from government and industry. Legal action of this kind must be mercilessly rejected and universally laughed at.

It is an insult against the very concept of free will, which I rather fancy. I think I'll keep it then. Now kindly bugger off.

Dr. Brian Oblivion said...

I heard tell of tofu burgers being condemned in San Francisco because, and you'll love this, they look like hamburgers and are therefore a bad example for kids.

Ah, so tofu burger meet the e-cigarette.

How many fingers am I holding up, Winston Smith? So is this another action aimed at corralling the herd? Systematic looting is afoot and I haven't got a bean.

Anonymous said...

Actually tofu burgers aren't banned in SF. Sorry if it sounded that way in anything I’ve commented. But I did make a cynical comment recently that the equivalent of banning e-cigs because they look too much like people smoking would be similar in effect to banning tofu burgers for looking too much like hamburgers. And thus, why don’t health advocates ban them – to be “fair” – though they’re not actually banned.

So in theory, fast-food being attacked, regulated and banned, it's hypocritical then for tofu burgers, popular in California, to be allowed to still remain standing - otherwise then e-cigs should never have been attacked, which they were.

When the government begins making choices for people, then the rules to go by become purely political, non-scientific, unjust, unfair and fall into categories of allowed or banned based on non-objective lines of reasoning and with no regard for individual freedom or liberty, which in the past was always the direction of progress, moving forward. People chose. Businesses responded. Government stayed out.

This foray into the medieval past by way of government banning and bullying is transparent and full of holes; and taking into account, if e-cigs are banned for looking too much like smoking, then why tofu burgers are not banned when looking too much like hamburgers - I suggested it hypothetically to try making clear to anyone unable to "see" the hypocrisy in the system.

And a hypocritical system will by default be corrupt, unjust and non-forward thinking in regard of individual rights to freedom, which is bad news, for all. Every ban on individuals and attack on industry is a step backward, not forward, it’s the opposite of progressive.

That was my point about tofu burgers, not that they actually are banned, only hypothetically speaking perhaps they “should be” banned (much to the chagrin of California health-fascists I might add), going to the e-cig ban excuses I've heard on the same grounds – yet health fascists get away with this illogic in broad daylight in full view in the mainstream media set up to publish only a single viewpoint, that of the government.

And young people are being raised to stand in line to show allegiance to illogical thinking to be rewarded, yet the whole system of current government and methods is corrupt and rotten to the core - and like a Pied Piper could have severe consequences somewhere down the road.

Ban e-cigs indeed. Ban tofu burgers. Take tofu burgers away from lard-arsed Banzhaf and see how he likes it. That may have been my point also, is my contempt.

Dr. Brian Obvlivion said...

Every time I see someone eating a tofu burger I get an uncontrollable urge to shoot smack. It even looks like eating. Ban it!

No more second hand eating, I'm trying to kick.

NickM said...

The person I know (she's 37 and a professor at the University of Utah) with the largest collection of Happy Meal toys is a vegetarian.

Oh, and I will smoke my e-fag regardless. They will have to prise it out of my cold dead hands.