Thursday, June 24, 2010

Meals should be Happy

It's always good to know that we have so many groups out there looking after our well being. Just a few days ago, fast food chain McDonald's was put on notice by one of these watchdog groups, that if the hamburger giant didn't stop putting toys in their Happy Meals they would be sued!

Now, Happy Meals have been around for a good many years. These meals are packaged in a cute little box with cartoon charaters on the sides. The themes of the boxes change from time to time and are many times tied into a movie promotion. Inside the box you get a burger and fries and a soda comes with it. Quite often the deal includes a little toy and we're not talking anything fancy here. It's usually a cheap little plastic figure that may be broke or lost before you make it back to the house.

Well, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (Believe me, I'm not making this up) thinks that this is a dastardly practice by McDonald's. "It's a creepy and predatory practice that warrants an injunction." Yep, that was a statement from their spokesman. Now, I never realized there was a Center for Science in the Public Interest but its obvious they are a busy group. They claim that using toys to intice children instills bad eating habits. The soda wth the burger and fries is fine but throw in that five cent piece of plastic and you've got a real problem on your hands.

Years ago, in the early sixties, it was a big deal to stick a little toy in a box of cereal. The cereal companies would market the hell out these cereals. Most often on a kid's TV show. Well kids begged their parents to buy these cereals. I still remember collecting the characters from the Sky King television show.

Most of those breakfast cereals weren't the greatest nutritional meal to be serving the kids. But, you know what, it was up to the parent to make the choice of what to feed their children. The director of this CSPI says, "multibillion dollar corporations make parents' job nearly impossible by giving away toys". Well, no its not nearly impossible to do the right thing for your kids. Yeah, the kids are always going to want to go with those toys. If I carried the family purse back in those sixties, I'd buy a box of that cereal every day to get the Sky King toy I wanted. My parents didn't do that though, they did what they thought was right.

So, maybe the CSPI should look into suing the parents who aren't doing the right thing. Maybe they should find out why some parents think its alright to feed their kids burgers and fries on a daily basis. A Happy Meal now and then should be reserved as a treat for the kids. A reward after a great game of soccer or a well executed dance recital. Oh, and yeah, sometimes the toy can be used to intice the little one to finish up that meal so you can get home to watch The Bachelor.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I've Just been Wondering...

Sometimes I find myself just wondering...

I wonder how long the project to widen Route 128 through Danvers, MA is going to take. Especially since I haven't seen anyone working on it since they "started".

I wonder why a lot of people dress themselves up in expensive Red Sox shirts and hats then pay a lot of money to get a seat at Fenway Park, a really fantastic place to watch a ball game, and then spend most of the game traveling back and forth from concession stands with enough food for a week. Many of them have no idea what the score of the game is.

I wonder why it is that many of the people complaining about President Obama not doing enough about the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico are the same people who don't what the government interfering with business.

I wonder about the future of the country when I go into a Dunkin' Donuts and pick up coffee and muffins, ring up a tab of $16.33, hand the young cashier a twenty along with 35 cents and watch the confused look on her face.

I wonder if Congressman John Teirney realizes that an awful lot of signs for Rebulican Bill Hudak are cropping up in his district and I wonder if he happened to follow the campaign for Ted Kennedy's open senate seat.

I wonder if the Boston Celtics can win one more game.

I wonder if the Boston Red Sox are going to be a serious contender this year.

I wonder if those straight edged knit ties will ever come back in style. I still have quite a few.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Free Market, Not a Free for All

You've got to wonder, how long will media outlets continue to have the underwater shot of oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico. It continues to be one of the top 3 videos every night. Will this last into the fall as they say the leak itself will?

This whole story is depressing and disgusting. It's now coming to light that this was not quite the "accident" that we were first led to believe. It seems that BP cut corners. They kind of fudged on safety in order to pump a little faster. Lives were put at risk because money seems to always be the most important thing to a lot of corporations.

Eleven people who were doing work for BP died because some things weren't done the right way. It was more important to the people in charge to get that oil out of the ground than it was to make sure workers had safe conditions. More oil meant more money and that means happy shareholders.

Well now, a lot of people are going to pay for this new chapter of corporate greed. People who make their living of the Gulf are going to be paying for decades to come. Does this sound familiar? Haven't we traveled down a road like this before? The chairs are still warm in Congress where bank CEO's just got through testifying about their greed. And, yeah, a lot of people are paying dearly for that little "accident" of betting on the market.

You know, capitalism is a good thing. It works better than other systems. However, some people don't always play fair. Some people want to bend the system and that's why regulations need to be in place. It's not a question of more or less regulations. The fact is that regulations that do the job have to be there. The free market can not be free to regulate itself. Sometimes, too much is at stake.

A lot of people in this country are going around screaming about too much government. It's not going to be too much government if the government does the job of watching out that people don't get screwed by companies that don't want to play by the rules. It's kind of ironic that many people who complain about big government start looking for the government to do something when something like this oil spill happens. Well, we do need the government to do something. They need to enforce the laws and regulations we have governing the way we do business. That doesn't mean stopping business from growing. It means making business fair and safe for everyone.

We shouldn't have a fear of too much government, we should make sure we have enough government.

Monday, June 7, 2010

In the Mood

I've been kinda quiet lately. Not much to say, I guess. I've been tending to the yard and stuff but I've just not felt real communicative.

I've thrown out a few quibs on facebook here and there, but I've just not had an urge to put out anything of any substance. And, that's OK! It's not like I get paid for this crap. I wrote a lot better when I used to get paid for it. Of course, I didn't get paid a lot. So, maybe it wasn't that good.

Anyway, I figure the mood will pass and I'll start spewing some nonsense before too long. In the mean time, we've got some basketball to watch.