School Lunches, Let’s Move! and The Vision of The Anointed

Someone mentioned in comments that he read The Vision of the Anointed after I talked about it in my most recent speech and it “blew my mind” … but it’s also depressing to see The Anointed following the same pattern over and over.

Yeah, I suppose.  It’s like watching the same bad plot play out in dozens of movies.  But I still think it’s better to recognize the pattern.

In case you didn’t see that speech, here’s a quick recap of how Thomas Sowell describes The Vision of The Anointed at work:

  • The Anointed identify a problem in society
  • The Anointed propose a Grand Plan to fix the problem
  • Because they are so supremely confident in their ideas, The Anointed don’t bother with proof or evidence that the Grand Plan will actually work
  • If possible, The Anointed will impose the Grand Plan on other people (for their own good, of course)
  • The Anointed assume anyone who opposes the Grand Plan is either evil or stupid
  • If the Grand Plan fails, The Anointed will never, ever, ever admit the Grand Plan was wrong

I wrote six posts recently explaining why I believe losing weight (or not getting fat in the first place) is mostly about chemistry, not character.  That’s why the current Grand Plans designed by The Anointed to battle obesity are going to fail:  they’re based on the belief that losing weight is a matter of character.  Stop being a lazy glutton, get off the couch, go move around more, stop eating so much, and all will be well.  (And don’t forget your whole grains.)

One of those Grand Plans is, of course, the Let’s Move! campaign.  Just tell those kids to move more.  Get some pro jocks to encourage them to move more.  After all, we The Anointed know kids are getting fat from sitting around too much.

Except that’s not what the evidence shows.  Kids don’t get fat after they start sitting around.  They sit around after they start getting fat.  Here’s what one study concluded:

Decreased physical activity may have little to do with the recent spike in obesity rates among U.S. adolescents, according to researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Prompted by growing concern that the increase was due to decreased physical activity associated with increased TV viewing time and other sedentary behaviors, researchers examined the patterns and time trends in physical activity and sedentary behaviors among U.S. adolescents based on nationally representative data collected since 1991. The review found signs indicating that the physical activity among adolescents increased while TV viewing decreased in recent years.

And here’s what another study concluded:

Physical inactivity appears to be the result of fatness rather than its cause. This reverse causality may explain why attempts to tackle childhood obesity by promoting physical activity have been largely unsuccessful.

So telling kids “Let’s Move!” to battle obesity isn’t supported by the actual evidence.  But once again, The Anointed don’t believe they should be bothered with little annoyances like evidence that a Grand Plan will work before instituting it.  If their intentions are good, then by gosh, the results will be good too.  So we have a national Let’s Move! campaign, and organizations like the NFL have been recruited to promote it.  That’s why you see those Play 60 ads during football games now.

I respect NFL players who donate their time to what they consider a good cause.  But … does anyone really believe these guys are so athletic and full of energy because they were active kids?  I’d say it’s more likely they were active kids because they were athletic and full of energy.

Chareva’s not a sports fan at all — perhaps the biggest flaw in her otherwise fine character — but once in awhile she’ll plop down next to me when I’m watching football and ask how many home runs the Titans have scored.  (Since she doesn’t know diddly about the game, I’ve explained some terminology to her:  when a player runs the ball into the end zone, it’s called a home run. When a player catches the ball in the end zone, it’s called a fly ball. When a player kicks the ball through the uprights, it called a three-point shot or a triple – take your pick.)

Anyway, after a dramatic home run, some Titans players were running around and fist-pumping and leaping into the air to chest-thump each other in the end zone, and Chareva turned to me and said, “I bet when these guys were in grade school, they were the little boys who couldn’t sit still and drove their parents and teachers crazy.”

Yup.  And I’ll bet you a year’s pay nobody had to encourage them to go play outside.  Then I’ll bet you another year’s pay nobody involved with Let’s Move! or Play 60 stopped and asked themselves: Hey, if exercise is the key to battling obesity, why are so many NFL linemen fat? Does any sane person think those guys don’t exercise enough?

That being said, Let’s Move! doesn’t annoy me all that much.  I don’t think it will accomplish anything, which makes it a waste of taxpayer money, but at least it’s not a case of The Anointed imposing a Grand Plan on us.  But school lunches are another matter.  The USDA’s “healthy” choices are being imposed on kids.

As I explained in my speech, The Anointed are so inexplicably confident that the Grand Plan will bring about The Good, they view anyone who resists having the Grand Plan imposed on them to be opposing good itself.  That’s why anyone who resists the Grand Plan must be either evil or stupid.  (As in: you only thought that inexpensive, high-deductible insurance plan we took away was a better choice than what we’re ordering you to buy now because you’re stupid and can’t spot bad insurance.)

It couldn’t be that people who oppose the Grand Plan are convinced by evidence that it’s a bad idea – The Anointed don’t come up with bad ideas.  And of course, it couldn’t simply be that people who oppose the Grand Plan believe in that silly “it’s a free country” concept and don’t want other people’s ideas imposed on them, good or bad.  Nope.  Evil or stupid are the only explanations.

I didn’t want to give actual examples in that part of my speech, so I used a generic and silly version of The Anointed imposing a Grand Plan:  mandatory bleeding in schools to release the bad humors that experts say are making kids lethargic.  Here are two of the slides:

Now let’s take the actual example of the USDA’s new “healthy” school lunches, which were mandated by the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act. Kids are rebelling because they’re hungry.  Understandably, they don’t like the low-fat foods.  Look at how this article describes the result:

More than one million U.S. schoolchildren stopped buying school lunches during the 2012-2013 academic year, after new nutrition standards championed by first lady Michelle Obama took effect.

The stunning drop in cafeteria meals came despite annual increases in the number of children who receive free, taxpayer-subsidized lunches every weekday, the GAO report concluded.

They almost can’t give the stuff away, and parents are complaining about their kids going hungry.  So what should we conclude?  That the new lunch rules were a bad idea?  Of course not.  The Anointed don’t come up with bad ideas.  Take another look at part of the newspaper editorial I quoted in my previous post:

Yet here we are in 2014, grappling with a troubling childhood obesity epidemic but allowing children to reject nutritionally balanced fruit-and-vegetable laden lunches that are designed to be filling and healthy.  Not only are children rejecting the food outright, parents and schools are actually complaining to elected officials about the guidelines.

The conclusion from The Anointed:  those parents must be evil or stupid.  Let’s update my slides.

Like I said, it’s all very predictable.  Same old pattern, over and over.  That’s what makes books like The Vision of the Anointed so useful.  If nothing else, you learn to quickly spot The Anointed at work and can predict their next move.

The next move, as I explained in my speech, will be to blame anyone but themselves when the Grand Plan fails – which it will.  According to The Anointed, when the Grand Plan fails, it can only mean that:

  • The plan was good, but people didn’t implement it correctly because they’re stupid.
  • The plan was undermined by people who are evil.
  • The plan didn’t go far enough … in other words, we need to do the same thing again, only bigger.

So stay tuned.


30 thoughts on “School Lunches, Let’s Move! and The Vision of The Anointed

  1. James H.

    If there was a way to stand back and objectively view the mess the Grand Planners have created, it would be amusing. The problem of course is we are steeped in their failed Grand Plans, from diet to taxes to social policies. Being surrounded and harmed by Grand Plans, I am incapable of such objectivity.

    Of course it could just be me. I am after all a white guy living in fly-over country and we all know what a boob that makes me.

    Well, I’m a white guy in the South, so according to The Anointed, that makes me a gun-toting moron. And they’re half right.

  2. Tanny O'Haley

    And when the Grand Plan fails, The Anointed double down. A few years ago when I showed my doctor the UCLA study that showed 75 percent of those that had heart attacks had low to normal cholesterol, he like the authors of the study said the problem is that the cholesterol needs to go down even more. Sigh…bang head on desk…

    Yup. That’s doing the same thing again, only bigger.

  3. Be

    Fewer kids eating school lunches is a good thing! Maybe we should encourage them more.

    We got a marketing piece from Kent State offering “Care packages” for mid term exams that included a litany of “HEALTHY” industrial high sugar foods (rice krispie treats, granola bars, M&Ms, and not a single healthy food) to help our son perform well on his tests. Of course, if he really gets in trouble they can always call the national Guard.


    Send those care packages to all the other students so your son will climb up the scoring curve.

  4. scott

    Thomas Sowell is awesome, I love watching him smack down things like affirmative action, the wage gap myth and big govt. types using common sense and reason, something the anointed seem to lack either of.

    Sowell has an annoying habit of basing his arguments on evidence.

  5. T.

    Well, there is a correlation between high levels of iron and heart disease. Maybe the kids would benefit from being bled 😛

  6. Janknitz

    And, Ive heard they are trying to make the school lunches free for everyone so nobody has the stigma of getting a free lunch. Then they will ban lunches from home made with REAL food.

    My daughter attended a summer program at a “disadvantaged school” with such a lunch program and was told not to bring her lunch because it would “make other kids feel bad.”

    I’ll continue to let my girls make other kids feel bad with their homemade lunches.

    1. Alex (@FedFanForever)

      Wow, that’s Communism on display. Let’s lower everyone down. It’s like breaking ballet dancers legs so everyone else wont’ feel bad.

      Or not keeping score in grade-school sports contests so the losing team won’t feel bad.

  7. Tom Welsh

    Senator McGovern’s notorious observation that senators “can’t wait for all the evidence before taking action” (or, actually, any evidence at all) is a perfect example of The Anointed in action.


  8. Dave

    I laughed when I read, “Chareva’s not a sports fan at all — perhaps the biggest flaw in her otherwise fine character.” When she reads this post, she’ll probably want to know what other ‘flaws’ you might be talking about. Didn’t you mean to say ‘only’ instead of ‘biggest’? 😉

    Like James above, I see how so many of the ‘grand plans’ have affected my life in adverse ways. I’ve wondered if the PTB in the West secretly admire the powers of control that the Chinese government exercised over its population during the main Communist period. That pesky freedom thing sure gets in the way when you’ve got so many good ideas to implement for the ‘good’ of the people.

    It certainly comes to mind when I see the half @ssed implementation of a ‘plant based diet’ being promoted by the Feds. You know there’s got to be more than a few admirers of _The_China_Study_ among promoters of the new school lunches. If only they could get the whole population of the US to eat similar to impoverished Chinese farmers, except with industrial produced wheat, corn, and soy, of course.

    Well, we’ve had some schools and communities declare “Meatless Mondays,” so yeah, they’d love to impose more of the Grand Plan if they had the power.

    1. Bonnie

      Re: Meatless Mondays. As a Catholic, I’m used to meatless Fridays, but that doesn’t exclude fish, eggs, or milk products. For our lunch today – the 1st Friday in Lent – we had a big salad with chopped hard-cooked eggs, cheese, and sardines on the side. Somehow, I don’t think the fish, eggs, or cheese would go over well in school-mandated Meatless Mondays.

  9. Howard Lee Harkness

    “I’ve explained some terminology to her:”

    Just whose chain are you yanking on here?

    Sorry, I’m jealous because you are a lot funnier than I am.

    I’m still not sure if she knows I was kidding about the home run.

  10. Laura

    This is totally off-topic, and I apologize, but I just have to ask – Tom, is that you doing the voiceover on the Blue Cross/Blue Shield commercial playing here in NY? It sounds exactly like you.

    Not me. I haven’t been in a commercial for at least 15 years. Haven’t even been to a commercial audition since shortly after we moved to L.A. and I decided I hated the traffic too much to spend all day driving around to auditions.

  11. tony

    Tom. it’s awesome you are writing these articles exposing the anointed. I hope the articles create a mindset to form a united front to counter the anointed global designs. Otherwise, they’ll bulldoze us into oblivion.

    The expected failure of these programs will prompt them, if not opposed, to conjure a final solution that will entail placing people in gulag/nazi type concentration camps where:

    1. Prisoners will eat less – concentration camp rations
    2. and move more – forced labor.

    And they’ll tell us with a straight face ” we are trying to help you.”

    Well, some people do like to talk about how there were no fat people in those camps.

  12. K2

    Hi Tom,

    What a hot mess. I am listening to Brian Sussman filling in for Mark Levine tonight, and he brought up this topic. He spoke of a woman who called his own radio show to tell him she used to work in a school lunch room but quit because she got so disgusted at the amount of food being thrown away, mostly the fresh stuff that the kids refused to eat. At the same time, more and more people are on food stamps, but claim they can’t afford to buy fresh produce because it is too expensive. Something doesn’t add up here…maybe if the government got out of our way, the produce would be in the market place, thus driving down prices thanks to supply and demand, rather than bought up by the feds and left to rot in lunch rooms. I don’t know…just a thought.

    On that cost of produce note, I have seen a couple of documentaries (with an obvious vegan/liberal slant) where they follow a “poor” family through a store to show that soda is inexpensive at 4 liters for $5, so how could they possibly afford to buy broccoli? Ummm…I dunno….don’t buy soda and use that $5 to get broccoli, and probably some free-range eggs or berries and some cream as well? Nah, that would never work. The answer is for the government to give them MORE money. Bandaid on top of bandaid rather than actual healing.

    As a final note, from what I remember of school lunches (I usually brought my own, when I bothered with lunch at all), the new ones must be pretty rank if they are worse than what they had before the new regulations!

    All the best.


    The idea that poor people don’t buy vegetables because they’re too expensive or not available is a load of hooey. I saw a study or article about that lately. Maybe I’ll dig it up for a post. Bottom line: those foods aren’t sold in poor areas because people don’t buy them.

    1. Pierson

      Please do, if you can! Really, though American poverty does have its consequences, one needn’t buy only the freshest grass-fed, organic, and pastured milk, eggs, meat, and plant material to get nutrient-dense whole foods. Hell, even in the case of a single mother of 4 who makes $15,000 a year, a bag of potatoes, 2-4 lbs. of lean meat, a bag of fruit, a pound of butter, a half-gallon of milk, and a carton of eggs per child could easily be done for $40-60 per week (depending on the quality). It’s far from impossible, and restrictive or not, ‘monotony’ is no excuse for demanding that other folks pay for your affairs

    2. K2

      Oh please do! I’d love to read that post, as I am sure others would, too.

      Thanks again for being a true voice of sanity and reason. You’re a rare bird these days.


    3. Lori

      Do people who believe that fresh produce is expensive ever shop at a supermarket or go to McDonald’s? A lot of produce sells for $1 or less a pound, and a side salad is $1 at McDonald’s. Those are probably even cheaper at Walmart. But of course we don’t want fast food or Walmarts in poor neighborhoods.

  13. Chad

    The one thing I have learned over the years – You cannot convert the unconverted. Unfortunately there is just no way to turn this sad, sad, ship around until it crashes in flames.

    Oh wait, that’s happened! Whenever I go out I feel like the only average sized person for miles! We are screwed.

  14. Mike P

    School lunches is just one piece of a large pie of reasons why my wife and I are considering homeschooling our children. We have actually found education programs, k-12, that are online based and enable a significant amount of tailoring to your child’s needs. With today’s resources, there are meet-up groups, field trips, sports teams, etc., for kids who are homeschooled. It’s actually pretty incredible.


  15. desmond

    Sadly, we have just been struck by another annual dose of The Anointed: daylight savings time. The theory was increased energy efficiency. The reality (at least in Indiana after they opted-in to DST) was that power bills go up — probably because of additional use of air conditioning on summer evenings. Carbon emissions are likely higher as well — more light to drive around in. The response: they increased DST from 6+ months a year to almost 8! I am not actually completely opposed to the idea of DST (my ancestors woke up by the sun, not a clock), just the practice of making it more than 3 or 4 months long. Florida is actually condering making it permanent! Maybe they think oranges will grow better?

    I was a misinformed, bad parent this morning: taking my son to school late so he could sleep-in an extra half hour, rather than waking him up at oh-dark-thirty in the morning. We live at the western edge of our time zone, and might as well start a “bus stop astronomy club” this week. He is already on notice that “perfect attendance” is the one school award I hope he never gets.

    I hate Daylight Savings Time. As someone who’s a natural night owl and not a morning person in the least, I don’t need 8:00 AM to be yesterday’s 7:00 AM.

    1. Walter Bushell

      Yes, if we are going to do DLST we should move into in more gradually, perhaps by 15 minute jumps maybe every 3 weeks, so as not to be such a shock to the system.

  16. Tim Stockstill

    Meet the Anointed. Sounds like they’d love it if we all just became vegetarians because we’re not taking this climate change thing serious enough.

    Once we become vegetarians and obesity still exists, what will they suggest we eat then? I’m thinking old(er) people? They don’t think we deserve to live long anyways…

    Somehow this doesn’t surprise me. It’s the save-the-world types who seek out government power. It’s also the reason they shouldn’t have it.

  17. Eric from Belgium

    I am pondering over a simple question.


    1.Why do the anointed choose to be anointed, and produce these whacky plans?

    2.Why do the anointed choose to ignore facts?

    Hypothesis for question 1: homo sapiens decisions are motivated by sex, greed and pain. Does the decision make me look more the alpha male/female? Does it earn me more resources / saves me resources? Does it make the percieved pain of a problem go away or does it make me feel good (whatever these concepts mean to each individual)

    Hypothesis for question 2: Cognitive dissonance. If the facts are against one’s inner beliefs, one will ignore or twist the facts to fit one’s belief. Human history is full of such cases (for centuries theological beliefs refuted that the earth was spherical is probably the biggest one).

    I find it amazing that integration of ‘feedback’ is one of the most significant drivers of modern techologies, yet is blocked by the belief systems of the anointed.

    Potential conclusion:
    Loss of contact with reality is the defining symptom of psychosis. Psychosis is a diagnosis of exclusion.

    The inmates are running the asylum….. Time to located them shirts with buttons in the back.

    This matter is thought provoking, and I am currently working on a lecture on this subject. Once my thoughts are structured, I’ll share the content with you, I’m sure you’ll find a hilarious way of presenting it.

    Someone once asked Milton Friedman why so many intellectuals are fans of big government. Friedman replied (and I’m paraphrasing from memory) that it’s not intelligent people who are dangerous; it’s people who are so impressed with their own intelligence that they feel qualified to tell the rest of us how to live.

  18. Michael

    And this is another disaster in the making from the Anointed Do-Gooders: the war against carbon/fossil fuels/incandesent light bulbs/etc.etc. to “fight” climate change/global warming. Same attitude problem, same type of Grand Plan.

    Climate changes have happened in the past (i.e. ‘Medieval Warm Period’ then the ‘Little Ice Age’) so that means there’s a 100% chance we’ll have to adapt to some type of climate change in the future, whether or not humans are partly responsible for the warming period we’re supposed to be experiencing. Which means blaming humans for the climate is just pointless unless you’re exploiting the blame to push for an authoritarian socio-economic agenda (which is what a lot of climate alarmists are doing).

    BTW will you americans be able to buy incandescent light bulbs from Asia on Ebay or somewhere else? I’ve read that in Germany the customs agents are zealots who do whatever they can to seize those now illegal light bulbs. I can’t stand the lighting of those CFL lightbulbs and if the canadian customs forbids me from importing light bulbs for my personal use and if there’s no lawsuit to change the government’s decision then I’ll go back to using oil lamps and candles. And we’re supposed to be under a ‘conservative’ federal government. They reject the Kyoto protocol but they decide to ban traditional light bulbs. What a bunch of buffoons.

    Don’t get me started on that topic.


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