Independent Women's Forum RSS feedhttp://www.iwf.orgThe RSS feed for the IWF. News, Commentary and Blog posts from the Independent Women's Foundation.(...)IWF RSS at the FDA: No raw cookie dough!<p> <strong>The FDA&#39;s latest warning on raw cookie dough, issued just in time for Christmas, is providing plenty of food for thought &ndash; one thought being: Who has time to devote to such absurd warnings?</strong></p> <p> Eating raw dough or batter &ndash; whether it&#39;s for bread, cookies, pizza or tortillas &ndash; could make individuals sick, says Jenny Scott, a senior advisor in FDA&#39;s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.</p> <p> According to Scott, the bottom line for parents and their children is: don&#39;t eat raw dough. And even though there are websites devoted to &quot;flour crafts,&quot; don&#39;t allow children to play with raw dough or baking mixes that contain flour. Why?</p> <p> &quot;Flour, regardless of the brand, can contain bacteria that cause disease,&quot;&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">the FDA explains</a>. &quot;In 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local officials, investigated an outbreak of infections that illustrated the dangers of eating raw dough. Dozens of people across the country were sickened by a strain of bacteria called Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O121.&quot;</p> <p> The investigation found that raw dough eaten or handled by some of the patients was made with flour found in subsequent tests by the FDA to have the same bacterium that was making people sick. Ten million pounds of flour were recalled, including unbleached, all-purpose, and self-rising varieties.</p> <p> Some of the recalled flours had been sold to restaurants that allow children to play with dough made from the raw flour while waiting for their meals. CDC advises restaurants not to give customers raw dough &ndash; and the FDA offers a similar discouraging word to childcare facilities and preschools that let children play with raw dough.</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;"> <span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">OneNewsNow sought reaction from Julie Gunlock, director of the Culture of Alarmism Project at the&nbsp;</span></span><a href="" target="_blank"><span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">Independent Women&#39;s Forum</span></span></a><span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">.</span></span></strong></span></p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;"> <span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">&quot;The Food and Drug Administration&#39;s latest warning not to eat raw cookie dough should have all Americans worried &ndash; not about the dangers posed by raw cookie dough, which are minuscule for otherwise healthy people, but about a government that has grown so large that it has time to issue absurd health warnings while treating free citizens like they are simple children incapable of measuring risk,&quot; responds Gunlock.</span></strong></span></span></p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;"> <span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">&quot;Clearly it&#39;s time to cut government if federal agencies have time to cook up alerts on nonsense like this.&quot;</span></strong></span></span></p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;"> <span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><a href="" target="_blank"><span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">Writing about the FDA&#39;s &quot;cookie dough&quot; warning</span></span></a><span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">, Gunlock adds: &quot;... The scolds at the Food and Drug Administration are warning Americans about the mortal danger associated with licking raw cookie dough off a wooden spoon. If that&#39;s not a sign from Santa that the government has gotten too big, what is?&quot;</span></span></strong></span></p> GunlockFri, 15 Dec 2017 10:12:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumDisney Buys Fox, Mickey Becomes Mighty<p> The Walt Disney Company has closed a deal to acquire a significant portion of 21st Century Fox Inc. In the nearly $60 billion deal, Disney will get Twentieth Century Fox&rsquo;s movie and TV studio, cable channels that include sports networks, and international properties. The deal does not include Fox News or Fox Business. Disney assets now include Pixar, Star Wars, Marvel Studios, ABC, ESPN, half of A&amp;E and 30% of Hulu, among other properties. This near-monopolization of media companies by Disney is troubling for a number of reasons.</p> <p> While the most obvious objections folks may have are concerns over monopolization, and that means the even larger issue is one of message control. Execs at Disney will now have greater power to push their own worldview while excluding others. As Jim Geraghty of National Review&nbsp;<a href="">notes</a>, &ldquo;More than a few conservatives contend they see some heavy-handed propagandizing in Disney&rsquo;s entertainment options. The controversies about ESPN growing more political are well-covered. <span style="color:#ffffff;"><strong><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">Julie Gunlock recently laid out the increasingly crass and activist tone on the programs of the Disney Channel and Disney XD. Disney&rsquo;s CEO, Bob Iger, has grown increasingly vocal about topics like the DACA program, the Paris climate accords, and gun control.&rdquo;</span></span></strong></span></p> <p> If conservatives are opposed to Big Government, they should be equally concerned with the dangers posed by Big Business. Hot Air&rsquo;s Ed Morrissey&nbsp;<a href="">writes</a>, &ldquo;Mega-acquisitions like Disney&rsquo;s and AT&amp;T&rsquo;s put far too much control over communications and industry into too few hands. We want a free market, but when consolidation reduces a market to one or two entrants, consumers no longer get free choice and dynamic innovation.&quot;?</p> GunlockFri, 15 Dec 2017 10:12:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumHappy Birthday Bill of Rights<p> On this day, 226 years ago, Virginia became the 10th of 14 states to approve the first ten amendments to the constitution, which gave the Bill of Rights the two-thirds majority of state ratification necessary to make it legal.&nbsp;<a href="">The Heritage Foundation</a>&nbsp;provides an excellent history of the struggle to get those first 10 amendments to our constitution adopted by the states and offers a fine explanation of why the Bill of Rights continues to be among the most important documents in our Nation&#39;s history.</p> <blockquote> <p> There is one final question to be answered: Even if Madison believed that a bill of rights could be framed--as ours surely was--with the intent of preventing the implication of powers not granted to the government by the Constitution, what benefit could be gained by it? Was it not Madison who argued most forcefully that we cannot trust in parchment barriers? The answer is that Madison indeed thought ambition would counteract ambition, to &quot;oblige the government to control itself&nbsp;this was the idea of checks and balances. But it does not explain how the Founders proposed to safeguard individual liberty from tyranny of the majority, rather than tyranny of the rulers over the ruled. The safeguard of individual liberty, Madison reasoned, must lie with the people themselves. It is the people who must be responsible for defending their liberties. And a bill of rights, Madison and his colleagues finally concluded, might support public understanding and knowledge of individual liberty that would assist citizens in the task of defending their liberties.</p> <p> A bill of rights, they saw, could serve the noble purpose of public education and edification.&nbsp;As Madison confided to Jefferson, &quot;The political truths declared in that solemn manner acquire by degrees the character of fundamental maxims of free Government, and as they become incorporated with the national sentiment, counteract the impulses of interest and passion.&quot;</p> <p> From this view, our first 10 amendments are still important today, in their text and substance, beyond their legal effect. They still call upon us to study them for the sake of knowing our liberties and defending them from all encroachments. Although these amendments may be nothing more than &quot;parchment barriers,&quot; they can still provide a bulwark against encroachments on our rights. For as Hamilton wrote in&nbsp;<em>Federalist</em>&nbsp;84, the security of liberty, &quot;whatever fine declarations may be inserted in any constitution respecting it, must altogether depend on public opinion, and on the general spirit of the people and of the government. And here, after all...must we seek for the only solid basis of all our rights.&quot;</p> </blockquote> <p> While the Constitution now has 27 amendments, the first ten articles that make up the Bill of Rights are the iconic pledge that all Americans have the right to:</p> <ul> <li> Freedom of speech, press, religion and assembly</li> <li> Keeping and bearing arms</li> <li> Freedom from unreasonable search or seizure</li> <li> Due process</li> <li> Speedy trial</li> <li> Trial by a jury</li> <li> Freedom from cruel and unusual punishment&nbsp;</li> </ul> <p> We should all talk to our kids today about the importance of the Bill of Rights and the ongoing struggle to protect the freedom of all Americans.&nbsp;</p> GunlockFri, 15 Dec 2017 09:12:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumCookie Dough Killer?<p> Just in time for the Christmas cookie season, the scolds at the Food and Drug Administration are warning Americans about the mortal danger associated with licking raw cookie dough off a wooden spoon. If that&rsquo;s not a sign from Santa that the government has gotten too big, what is?</p> <p> The FDA has a long history of issuing these sorts of warnings, which do nothing more than convey the agency&rsquo;s belief that Americans are troublesome children incapable of assessing the risk associated with common, everyday (and totally joyful) situations or accepting the consequences of one&rsquo;s own risky behavior.</p> <p> Most people know eating raw food (or raw ingredients in delicious things like cookie dough) carries some risk and yet, we&rsquo;re willing to do it because things like sushi, oysters, rare steak, unpasteurized french cheeses and even the uncomplicated pleasure of raw cookie dough licked off a mixer blade tastes good.</p> <p> This latest FDA warning likely stems from a 2016 outbreak of E. coli, the result of contaminated flour. That outbreak sickened 26 people in 24 states. Or perhaps the warning is associated with the FDA&rsquo;s ongoing obsession with the raw eggs in cookie dough and the remote chance that you might have used an egg contained salmonella. Lenore Skenazy (of Free Range Kids and now&nbsp;<a href="">Let Grow</a>)&nbsp;<a href="">looked into the raw egg freak-out</a>&nbsp;a few years ago (also the focus of an FDA warning) and she figured out that it was much ado about not much at all:</p> <blockquote> <p> Some of you may recall that just a few years ago we were being warned to avoid eating cookie dough not because of the flour but because of the raw eggs. I did my research back then and discovered that only 1 out of 30,000 eggs carries salmonella, and of the people who contract it, 94 percent don&#39;t go to the hospital.</p> </blockquote> <p> Of course, this isn&#39;t to suggest foodborne illnesses aren&rsquo;t something to be concerned about but when you consider these relatively low numbers, does it really warrant a <em>federal</em> agency issue a warning? Perhaps these numbers offer a reason celebrate that in our day and age, 24 people with a tummy ache is considered an &quot;outbreak&quot; and 1 out of 30,000 eggs is a reason to worry.</p> <p> What&#39;s often forgotten in these situations is the loss of fun that comes when these warnings are issued. No doubt someone will see this warning and instead of enjoying a spoonful of cookie dough, caution will lead them to immediately rinse the bowl. Of course, the very young, elderly, or immunocompromise must take extra precautions. But why should everyone be told to skip this guilty pleasure?</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> GunlockWed, 13 Dec 2017 16:12:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumStatement: 'Tis Not the Season to Freak Out Over Raw Cookie Dough<p style="text-align: center;"> <a href=""><strong><img alt="" height="143" src="" width="500" /><br /> <img alt="" height="115" src="" width="500" /></strong></a></p> <p> IMMEDIATE RELEASE<br /> Wednesday, December 13,&nbsp;2017</p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <br /> <span style="font-size:18px">STATEMENT</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"> <span style="font-size:20px"><strong>&#39;TIS&nbsp;NOT THE SEASON TO FREAK OUT OVER COOKIE DOUGH<br /> FDA COOKS UP ALARMISM OVER RAW DOUGH</strong></span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"> &nbsp;</p> <p> WASHINGTON, D.C.&nbsp;-- Independent Women&rsquo;s Forum <strong>Culture of Alarmism project director Julie Gunlock </strong>issued the statement below on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration&#39;s&nbsp;new warning against consuming raw cookie dough:</p> <p> &quot;The Food and Drug Administration&#39;s latest warning not to eat raw cookie dough should have all Americans worried: Not about the dangers posed by raw cookie dough, which are minuscule&nbsp;for otherwise healthy people, but about a government that has grown so large that it has time to issue absurd health warnings while treating free citizens like they are simple children incapable of measuring risk. Clearly it&#39;s time to cut government if federal agencies have time to cook up alerts on nonsense like this.&quot;</p> <p align="center"> ####</p> <p align="center"> <a href="" target="_blank"></a></p> <p> <em>Independent Women&#39;s Forum is dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren&rsquo;t just well intended, but actually enhance people&rsquo;s freedom, choices, and opportunities.</em></p> <p dir="ltr"> --</p> <table dir="ltr"> <colgroup> <col /> <col /> </colgroup> <tbody> <tr> <td> <p dir="ltr"> <a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="IWF_Stacked.png" height="29" src="" width="92" /></a></p> </td> <td> <p dir="ltr"> Victoria Coley<br /> VP, Communications<br /> <a href="" target="_blank">Independent Women&rsquo;s Forum</a><br /> &nbsp;</p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p> &nbsp;</p> GunlockWed, 13 Dec 2017 13:12:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumWhat London Could Learn From Los Angeles About Banning Fast Food<p> London Mayor Sadiq Khan recently&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">announced</a>&nbsp;plans to ban future construction of fast food restaurants within 400 meters of city schools. Khan says the policy is designed to reduce the &ldquo;ticking time bomb&rdquo; of childhood obesity.</p> <p> Khan&rsquo;s right to be concerned about the health of London&rsquo;s children. According to various reports, London has the highest rate of overweight children in England. But is banning restaurants that serve high-calorie meals the right answer? Such a move suggests fast food is to blame. Khan certainly thinks so. Consider what he said about the new policy (emphasis mine), &ldquo;Takeaway restaurants are a vibrant part of London life, but it&rsquo;s important that&nbsp;<strong><em>they</em></strong>&nbsp;are not encouraging our children to make poor food choices.&rdquo;</p> <p> They? Are they&mdash;meaning the restaurants&mdash;encouraging children to make poor choices simply by existing? Do&nbsp;<em>they</em>&nbsp;have that power? Khan goes on to explain that his plan &ldquo;will encourage a healthier food environment around our schools so that junk food is no longer the option for children nearest the school gates.&rdquo;</p> <p> It&rsquo;s true that banning the construction of fast food restaurants will limit children&rsquo;s ability to eat that type of food, but only when they&rsquo;re at school or right after school is dismissed. What happens when those kids go home or take a bus to an area where fast food restaurants are located?</p> <p> What Khan and many other politicians who pursue these sorts of anti-obesity policies fail to consider is the important role parents play in a child&rsquo;s nutritional development. Parents who are involved in feeding their children and who take an active role in explaining healthy food decisions are more likely to have healthy kids. This might seem like common sense, yet encouraging parental involvement is never considered a policy worth trying.</p> <p> Here&rsquo;s another reason to give the parent strategy a try: banning fast food restaurants has been tried before and it failed spectacularly.</p> <p> In 2009, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously passed a regulation to&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">ban new construction of fast-food restaurants in South Los Angeles</a>ostensibly, like the London policy, to curb obesity in the city. This policy was widely praised at the time by food writers, politicians and health activists who said a fast food ban was a positive step towards helping people make better nutrition decisions.</p> <p> Yet, by 2015, a&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">study by the RAND Corporation</a>&nbsp;proved that the policy was a dud. The report stated that the policy &ldquo;failed to reduce fast-food consumption or reduce obesity rates in the targeted neighborhood.&rdquo; In fact, obesity rates in that area of Los Angeles had risen at a faster rate than in areas of the city that didn&rsquo;t ban fast food restaurants. Apparently, those who applauded the plan didn&rsquo;t know that cars and buses could transport people to other areas of the city&mdash;specifically areas that still allowed fast food restaurants to exist.</p> <p> While obesity didn&rsquo;t decrease in South Los Angeles, something else did: the employment rate. According to the Los Angeles Times, by 2012, South Los Angeles&mdash;where the fast food bans were in place&mdash;was economically worse off than it was at the time of the riots two decades earlier.&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">The&nbsp;<em>Los Angeles Times</em></a>&nbsp;reported at the time:</p> <p> Median income, when adjusted for inflation, is lower. Many middle-class blacks have fled in search of safer neighborhoods and better schools. And the unemployment rate, which was bad at the time of the riots, has reached even more dire levels. In two areas of South Los Angeles&mdash;Florence Graham and Westmont&mdash;unemployment is almost 24%. Back in 1992, it was 21% in Florence Graham and 17% in Westmont.</p> <p> Naturally, the article failed to mention that the fast food ban as at least partially responsible for the dearth of low skilled jobs&mdash;the very jobs that often employ workers just entering the workforce and teenagers, who often lack the type of work experience that would help them get higher-paying jobs.</p> <p> The L.A. fast food ban offers a valuable lesson about the unintended consequences of &ldquo;good for you&rdquo; government policies. They might sound good on paper but they rarely lead to improved health outcomes and sometimes, they even end up hurting the very people they are intended to help.</p> <p> Let&rsquo;s hope London is listening.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> GunlockTue, 12 Dec 2017 08:12:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumStars Can Do Good<p> I&#39;m no fan of Hollywood and even less impressed with entertainers who rant about policy issues about which they know very little or <a href="">take pot shots</a> at government employees who bravely stand up and face the press each day. Yet, stars can and sometimes do use their fame for good. Take the heatbreaking case of Knoxville teen Keaton Jones who just last week appeared in a heartbreaking viral video begging to be left alone by school bullies.</p> <p> <iframe allow="encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" gesture="media" height="315" src="" width="560"></iframe></p> <p> This isn&#39;t easy stuff to watch and yet, the follow-up story is the sort of thing Hollywood tear-jerker movies are made of. After the video when viral, several A-list celebrities reached out to Jones, including Katy Perry and Demi Lovato. Even Captain America himself, Chris Evans, tweeted the teen to invite him and his mother to the premier of the latest Avengers movie. That&#39;s cool.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en"> Stay strong, Keaton. Don&rsquo;t let them make you turn cold. I promise it gets better. While those punks at your school are deciding what kind of people they want to be in this world, how would you and your mom like to come to the Avengers premiere in LA next year? <a href=""></a></p> &mdash; Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans) <a href="">December 10, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="" charset="utf-8"></script> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Of course, the real hero of this story is young Jones who with brutal honesty, bravery, and a genuine curisouty about what makes people be so mean to each other highlighted an issue all parents should be aware of and guard against--bullying. It&#39;s important that parents not only be aware of the bullying their children might be experiencing; it&#39;s important parents talk to their children about the bullying they purpetuate, either through actively engaging in it or sitting passively and letting it happen to others.&nbsp;</p> <p> I hope little Keaton Jones goes to Hollywood and has a great night at a movie premier. And I hope his classmates learn a valuable lesson about how kindness is the better path.&nbsp;</p> <div> &nbsp;</div> GunlockMon, 11 Dec 2017 11:12:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumThe Disney Channel is no longer safe for our kids<p> As a mom of three young kids, I&rsquo;m careful about what they&rsquo;re exposed to on television, and I screen the shows they watch to confirm they reflect our family values of respect and courteousness. That&rsquo;s why my kids are banned from watching the Disney Channel.</p> <p> The Disney Channel and its spin-off, Disney XD, are no longer &ldquo;safe spaces&rdquo; for kids. The kid characters on Disney&rsquo;s shows are often mouthy and disrespectful to parents and authority figures (who are usually scripted as muddle-headed and embarrassingly square). Even many of the strange animated characters make crass and nasty comments.</p> <p> Shockingly, both my conservative and liberal parent friends tend to be angered by Disney&rsquo;s programming. And in the Trump era, moms treasure these rare moments of bipartisan disgust.</p> <p> Of course, some defend Disney, saying the company is only reflecting our culture and doing what all corporations do by responding to consumer demand. Yet maybe the company should reconsider caving in to the worst impulses of an immature demographic &mdash; Disney XD is designed for kids aged 6 to 14.</p> <p> After all, Disney has another consumer to consider &mdash; the wearied parent battling modern culture to instill principles of kindness, politeness and respect of elders. This Sisyphean task is made more difficult when kids get a regular dose of vulgar speech, crude jokes and insolent behavior on a channel designed for kids.</p> <p> If that isn&rsquo;t enough, Disney has now decided to throw some sex and gender issues into the mix.</p> <p> Small-screen shows like &ldquo;Andi Mack&rdquo;&nbsp;<a href="">featured a tween character coming to terms with his own sexuality</a>.</p> <p> Disney is pushing boundaries even further by attempting to address the transgender issue.</p> <p> On a recent episode of the Disney XD show &ldquo;Star vs. the Forces of Evil,&rdquo; a young boy dresses up as Princess Marco Turdina &mdash; get it? Turd-ina &mdash; in order to rescue a group of girls from the evil headmistress at St. Olga&rsquo;s Reform School for Wayward Princesses. Sounds tame, right? Boy rescues girls, how traditional.</p> <p> But when the boy is revealed to be &mdash; gasp! &mdash; a boy by the headmistress who reveals he has chest hair under his princess costume, the young girls rally around him and launch into the sort of social-justice lecture one might see playing out on the University of California, Berkeley campus.</p> <p> The scene begins with the headmistress shouting, &ldquo;Turdina isn&rsquo;t a princess. She&rsquo;s a boy!&rdquo; To which the girls, responding to such a disgusting display of gender bigotry, offer a chorus of defense for Turdina, shouting down the headmistress with comments like:</p> <p> &ldquo;Why does it matter if he&rsquo;s a boy? Nothing he said was wrong!&rdquo; &ldquo;He can be a princess if he wants to!&rdquo; &ldquo;Turdina is a state of mind!&rdquo;</p> <p> No doubt, Disney writers understood this scene would make parents uncomfortable, but what they didn&rsquo;t understand is the nature of the discomfort.<br /> Sure, some will be unhappy with the transgender-embracing message, but most will be more concerned that kids are being told it&rsquo;s OK to shout down an adult.</p> <p> Is that how we want children acting &mdash; shouting down authority figures? Oh, wait, they&rsquo;re already doing that. Again, just look at our college campuses.</p> <p> We hear a lot from the left about how corporations have a duty to make the world a better place for all mankind.</p> <p> In response to activist pressure, most corporations give lavishly to environmental causes. Corporations are told they must diversify their workforce. As such, most major corporations, both old and new, have initiated a variety of badly managed &ldquo;Corporate Diversity Programs&rdquo; that have done nothing more than increase tension in the workforce.</p> <p> Corporations do these things because the public demands it &mdash; and to avoid lawsuits.</p> <p> When it comes to how parents feel and how most parents want to raise kids, Disney seems to think it has zero responsibility.</p> <p> That&rsquo;s not going to change until parents start pushing back &mdash; or, you know, start pushing the television&rsquo;s &ldquo;off&rdquo; button when Disney comes on.</p> GunlockFri, 8 Dec 2017 09:12:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumSchool Lunch Makeover Results in More Chubby Kids<p> The Daily Mail <a href="">reports today</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p> More than 57 percent of children in the United States will be obese by age 35 if current trends in weight gain and poor eating habits continue, researchers warned Wednesday.</p> <p> The risk of obesity is high even among children whose present weight is normal, said the report in the New England Journal of Medicine.</p> <p> &#39;Only those children with a current healthy weight have less than a 50 percent chance of becoming obese by the age of 35 years,&#39; said the study, led by researchers at Harvard University.</p> <p> Some 36.5 percent of the US adult population is now considered obese, a condition federal health officials define as having a body mass index of 30 or higher.</p> </blockquote> <p> That&#39;s interesting considering all the work Former First Lady Michelle Obama did to reduce the number of overweight children. She completely revamped the school lunch program (which resulted in inedible food being served to kids and a massive and very embarrassing food waste problem). She launched &quot;Let&#39;s Move&quot; in an effort to get kids moving. She beat up on food companies for producing what consumers demand and backed food activist demands to add more and costly labels to foods and restaurant menus. She pressured grocery stores to stop stocking certain food items and even criticized advertisers for putting food ads on television.</p> <p> But what Michelle Obama didn&#39;t do is talk to parents or involve parents in the conversation about how best to tackle the childhood obesity issue. Instead, the Obama administration sideline parents and encourage them to pass off their child&#39;s nutritional development to the state&mdash;in this case the school lunch lady. In fact, under the Obama Administration, the school dinner program expanded from a small federal pilot program serving 13 urban areas to a national program serving all schools. So, now, kids can have three full meals served at school--breakfast lunch and dinner.</p> <p> And what has that gotten us? More chubby kids.</p> <p> It&#39;s time for a new strategy. Instead of expanding the school lunch program, we need to encourage parents to feed their kids. This isn&rsquo;t a call to kill the school lunch program nor is it the heartless advocacy of letting kids go hungry.</p> <p> The school feeding programs should continue. But they should serve the kids that actually need help--not be a program designed to let middle class and rich parents to skip packing their kid a lunch, which is precisely what school feeding programs have become for many parents.</p> <p> Just consider the rather <a href="">shocking numbers</a>: Of the five billion meals served during the school year, around 33 percent are paid in full. That means a third of the kids eating these school-provided meals didn&rsquo;t need or qualify for a free or reduced cost meal. In other words, these are kids come from families whose parents can afford to pack them a lunch. According to the School Nutrition Association, on average, full priced school lunch costs between $2.34 and $2.60. While that might seem reasonable, that&rsquo;s a pretty high price to pay if kids won&rsquo;t eat what&rsquo;s being served.</p> <p> There&#39;s a high cost to parents ceding thier child&#39;s nutrition--and kids are paying that price. Childhood obesity studies overwhelmingly show that family meals, limiting television viewing, and getting kids to bed at a reasonable hour are the real keys to helping kids eat right and maintain a healthy weight. A home-packed meal is a part of that.</p> <p> So maybe, given these latest grim childhood obesity numbers we can hold off on yet again expanding these useless government feeding programs and do something new and cutting edge--encourage parents to take responsibility for feeding their own children.</p> GunlockThu, 30 Nov 2017 09:11:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumNBC fires 'Today' host Matt Lauer in latest alleged sexual harassment revelation • Steve Gruber Show GunlockWed, 29 Nov 2017 19:11:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumDon’t fall victim to activist groups trying to steal your holiday cheer. • Cam & Co. GunlockTue, 28 Nov 2017 14:11:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumSamizdat GOOP Memo Reveals Plans for Image Makeover<p> <strong><u>Memorandum</u></strong></p> <p> To: GOOP Staff</p> <p> From: GOOP Management</p> <p> Subject: New Approaches to Making Gwyneth Appear Not So Dangerous</p> <p> ________________________________________________________________________________________</p> <p> Okay, staff. We need a new, fresh approach. Recent market research and internal consumer polling has shown that GOOP and Gwyneth have both become something of a worldwide joke and the subject of a ton of ridicule from the medical and scientific communities.</p> <p> This has us all a little concerned. Especially Gwyneth, who just last night ate an entire slice of processed white bread. She&rsquo;s consoling herself with carbs. It&rsquo;s that serious.</p> <p> It all started last month when news broke that GOOP won the&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Rusty Razor Award</a>(similar to the Razzie Awards, but instead of recognizing bad acting, it&rsquo;s given to those who peddle so-called &ldquo;dangerous pseudoscience&rdquo;). After that, GOOP began to see a shift in its consumer base&mdash;from people looking for quality gifts and high-end personal items to people looking for epic gag gifts and presents for people they hate and wish to harm.</p> <p> While there&rsquo;s certainly money to be made in the gag gift/harm your mother-in-law/PTA president/spin or CrossFit instructor market, Gwynnie is pretty upset that she&rsquo;s lost her more refined consumer base and wants to regain her reputation as a respected gift master/lifestyle guru.</p> <p> To do this, GOOP senior management, along with Gwynnie&rsquo;s tribal dance instructor and her carbohydrate sobriety coach, have been working on a plan to reverse this unfortunate trend and launch a corporate image makeover.</p> <p> First, in an effort to distract from the recent negative media stories that (wrongly) suggest GOOP is giving out questionable medical advice, Gwynnie has created the perfect diversion: She&rsquo;s getting married to some&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">D-list Hollywood producer guy</a>. She&rsquo;s also agreed to temporarily put her privacy on hold to&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">post an Instagram shot</a>&nbsp;of her new fianc&eacute; and her former husband together at brunch with the very fresh and totally original hashtag (that she thought of all by herself): #modernfamily. Because that&rsquo;s Gwynnie&mdash;totally modern with a strong belief in maintaining super awkward and strained togetherness.</p> <p> Next, we&rsquo;ve decided that GOOP needs to embrace the current and hopefully short-lived trend of relying on science and evidence-based information on health and nutrition. While we&rsquo;re all quite baffled by the public&rsquo;s sudden interest in and reliance on medicine that actually works and the public&rsquo;s even more bizarre desire to listen to qualified and highly trained medical professionals, Goop management has decided to at least acknowledge that the company&rsquo;s advice might not exactly be science-based or even really very safe.</p> <p> As such, we&rsquo;ll be unveiling this year&rsquo;s GOOP Christmas Buying Guide with this provocative line:</p> <p align="center"> <strong>THE Ridiculous, But Awesome Gift Guide</strong></p> <p align="center"> <strong><em>We&rsquo;ll see your portable yurt and raise you a personal yellow submarine</em></strong></p> <p> So, to break down what we&rsquo;ve done here:</p> <ol> <li> We&rsquo;ve capitalized the first &ldquo;the&rdquo; because it is THE&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">gift guide</a>. None others compare because no one else has Gwynnie who is THE arbiter of good taste. In fact, we soon expect to hear from Prince Harry&rsquo;s fianc&eacute; Meghan Markel who will no doubt ask Gwynnie to design the bridesmaid gifts (hint: jade vaginal eggs are very popular with royalty and z-list cable series regulars).</li> <li> We&rsquo;ve also acknowledged the ridiculousness of our gift guide by actually putting the word &ldquo;ridiculous&rdquo; in the title because we want people to know that&nbsp;<em>we know</em>it&rsquo;s all a little ridiculous (frankly, we prefer the word &ldquo;silly&rdquo;) and that we&rsquo;re embracing it. By accepting and even celebrating the fact that we&rsquo;re being ridiculed and have become the subject of so many jokes, we own it and in owning it, we&rsquo;re taking back our power. And that&rsquo;s what Gwynnie is&mdash;powerful.</li> <li> We also added the words &ldquo;but awesome&rdquo; after the word &ldquo;ridiculous&rdquo; because we want to signal that yes, we get it&mdash;we&rsquo;re ridiculous but who cares when it&rsquo;s awesome. I mean, sure we tell women who have been the victims of sexual abuse that crystals can help with the trauma and pain, which of course is a lie and immoral, but just imagine how awesome these sad women will look surrounded by crystals. See? Our advice is ridiculous but you look awesome following it. Get it?</li> <li> Underneath the title, we&rsquo;ve added a little challenge to our critics. We want them to know that their criticism isn&rsquo;t going to change us. Nope. In fact, we&rsquo;re doubling down on ridiculous with a $40,000 set of speakers, a $16,500 at-home float tank, a personal yellow submarine, and if you&rsquo;re looking for that budget item: an $8,000 antique, hand-carved canoe.</li> </ol> <p> Look team, we need to ride out this bizarre interest in science and legitimate health advice and this rash of criticism from un-fabulous people who have science-y degrees in medicine and biology and pharmacology and chemistry and just pray that the world returns to its normal mode of believing the crazy things celebrities say. Until then, keep drinking the organic, agave-sweetened, non-GMO, humanely processed Kool-Aid.</p> <p> Namaste!</p> <p> <em>(A note for the literal-minded: This is a parody)</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> GunlockTue, 28 Nov 2017 13:11:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumGreen Activists Want Moms To Be Too Scared to Shop<p> It&#39;s that time of year again.&nbsp;</p> <p> No, no&hellip;It&rsquo;s not a time for Christmas cheer and the holiday giving spirit. It&#39;s time to FREAK OUT about the toxicity of perfectly safe and sensible items sold to holiday shoppers in a big box store near you. Nothing says Merry Christmas like total paranoia that the toy you&#39;ve picked out for your kid is a silent killer. Good times.</p> <p> But that&#39;s precisely what Rhea Suh, President of the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) (and Christmas ghoul), wants you to believe.</p> <p> Clearly Suh doesn&#39;t think the holidays are stressful enough. She thinks you should needlessly worry that toxins and poisons lurk unseen in toy stores across the country. Instead of the regular questions that swirl around one&#39;s head when out Christmas shopping, like &quot;will little Timmy like this?&quot; or &quot;Is this too expensive?&quot;, Suh and her fun-stealing colleagues at the NRDC want you to ask &quot;will it kill the kids?&quot; or, &quot;will this give little Timmy cancer and little Susie autism.&rdquo; Maybe Suh thinks we should just give our kids rocks, sticks and organic baby carrots for Christmas.</p> <p> In a blast email the NRDC sent out just before Black Friday, Suh dramatically warned shoppers:</p> <blockquote> <p> Before you storm the aisles of your favorite stores for Black&nbsp;Friday&nbsp;deals today, you&rsquo;re going to want to read this.&nbsp;NRDC and our partners just released a consumer report grading retailers on the toxicity of their products &mdash; and many of America&rsquo;s most popular stores failed.&nbsp;When we shop at a trusted store, we expect the products lining the shelves to be safe. But the alarming truth is that toxic chemicals are hiding in everyday products, from cleaning items and cosmetics to baby toys and electronics.&nbsp;</p> </blockquote> <p> Of course, like most alarmist messages from radical green activist organizations, there&#39;s always a teeny nugget of truth in the message. Suh&#39;s correct that toxic chemicals are contained in cleaning items and cosmetics and baby toys and electronics. Yes, those items do contain chemicals and if consumed at high enough levels, they&rsquo;re toxic. But what Suh and her ilk always leave out is that the dose makes the poison.&nbsp;</p> <p> In order to get a toxic dose of the chemicals Suh&#39;s so worried about, you&#39;d have to EAT the baby toy (entirely and many of them) and multiple containers of cosmetics. You&#39;d have to drink that Windex (yum!) and devour that Wii console or that shiny new iPhone (chewy!). If this is happening...if you&#39;re actually seeing little Timmy chew and swallow his gaming device and little Susie drink her bottle of Kim Kardashian&#39;s latest fragrance (or vice versa, I don&#39;t want to be too gender specific here), well, you have bigger problems on your hands.&nbsp;You&rsquo;ve got a nutty kid.</p> <p> Suh also leaves out a critical bit of information about these so-called &ldquo;toxic&rdquo; chemicals that moms might find interesting. Chemicals (used in small and very safe quantities&mdash;that are highly regulated and tested for safety) make products better, safer, more durable, less expensive and free from many of the pathogens and bacteria that actually do kill. For instance, there&rsquo;s a reason my 6-month old mascara (that I really should discard and replace) doesn&rsquo;t give me an eye infection&mdash;it contains these handy things called &ldquo;bacteria killing chemicals&rdquo;&mdash;the very thing Suh likes to call toxic. Yes, science-challenged Suh and the other geniuses at the NRDC like to say that chemicals are toxic but moms should know the facts&mdash;chemicals are toxic TO BACTERIA! That&rsquo;s a good thing.&nbsp;</p> <p> It&rsquo;s natural to worry about your kid&rsquo;s health but don&rsquo;t be a victim of the nonsense peddled by groups like the NRDC who seek to profit off of this sort of bad information. Naturally, the organization is running a fundraising campaign at the moment and will no doubt profit off the fears they&rsquo;ve stoked on holiday shoppers.</p> <p> Enjoy your holiday and do a little stress-free shopping. Okay, that may not be possible, but stress about the real things&mdash;like will Timmy and Susie love or hate their gifts this year.</p> GunlockTue, 28 Nov 2017 08:11:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumIntroducing Virtue Signalling Barbie <div style="font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.800000190734863px;"> <p class="m_3751732752408430989gmail-mol-para-with-font" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; min-height: 1px;"> <span style="font-size:14px;"><font face="arial, helvetica, sans-serif">Mattel has unveiled a brand new Barbie doll modelled after the the first US Olympian to compete wearing a hijab. This marks the first Barbie doll to wear a headscarf in the company&#39;s 58 year history. &nbsp;</font></span></p> <p class="m_3751732752408430989gmail-mol-para-with-font" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; min-height: 1px;"> &nbsp;</p> <p class="m_3751732752408430989gmail-mol-para-with-font" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; min-height: 1px;"> <span style="font-size:14px;"><font face="arial, helvetica, sans-serif">Ibtihaj Muhammad won the Bronze medal for fencing at the Rio&nbsp;Olympics&nbsp;last year and while she indeed is a good role model for young women, there&#39;s something strange about a Barbie doll dedicated to a woman who hides all of her womanly features, as her religion requires her to do (in fact,&nbsp;according to a WSJ story on Muhammad, her parents actually sought out a sport that would allow her to be entirely covered while competing).&nbsp;</font></span></p> <p class="m_3751732752408430989gmail-mol-para-with-font" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; min-height: 1px;"> &nbsp;</p> <p class="m_3751732752408430989gmail-mol-para-with-font" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; min-height: 1px;"> <span style="font-size:14px;"><font face="arial, helvetica, sans-serif">But let&#39;s not forget an important aspect of this particular type of doll: Barbie likes to show skin and according to an awful lot of feminists out there, there&#39;s nothing wrong with that. Even Mattel&#39;s recently revamped line of modern and very woke Barbie dolls (which includes entrepreneur Barbie, scientist Barbie, curvey Barbie, afro Barbie, girl power Barbie, blue-haired punk Barbie,&nbsp;along with a variety of Barbies with different skin tones) all like to show off a bit of skin as well as beautifully coiffed hair, and many fun fashion accessories. They are, in short, very girl-y.</font></span></p> <p class="m_3751732752408430989gmail-mol-para-with-font" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; min-height: 1px;"> &nbsp;</p> <p class="m_3751732752408430989gmail-mol-para-with-font" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; min-height: 1px;"> <span style="font-size:14px;"><font face="arial, helvetica, sans-serif">Muhammad&#39;s Barbie is a bit different. Decked out in her fencing garb which covers her head to toe in white cloth, wearing flat athletic shoes and a hajib which conceals her hair entirely, Hajib Barbie hardly makes for a fun doll over which young girls can primp and preen.&nbsp;</font></span></p> <p class="m_3751732752408430989gmail-mol-para-with-font" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; min-height: 1px;"> &nbsp;</p> <p class="m_3751732752408430989gmail-mol-para-with-font" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; min-height: 1px;"> <span style="font-size:14px;"><font face="arial, helvetica, sans-serif">Ibtihaj Muhammad is understandibly excited to have a Barbie in her image, telling the Daily Mail:</font></span></p> <p class="m_3751732752408430989gmail-mol-para-with-font" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; min-height: 1px;"> &nbsp;</p> <blockquote class="gmail_quote" style="margin: 0px 0px 0px 0.8ex; border-left-width: 1px; border-left-style: solid; border-left-color: rgb(204, 204, 204); padding-left: 1ex;"> <span style="font-size:14px;"><font face="arial, helvetica, sans-serif">I think its revolutionary for Barbie to take a stand in this moment that we&#39;re in&mdash;and I would say, as a country, to have a doll wear a &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; hijab and be the first of its kind.&nbsp;</font><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;">There has never been a Barbie doll to wear a hijab before. I&#39;m really excited&nbsp;to have this moment happen in my life and also for all these little girls now who can shop for Barbie doll that may look them, may wear a hijab like they do, or like their mom does, or like a friend does.&nbsp;</span><font face="arial, helvetica, sans-serif">But also have kids who aren&#39;t Muslim, who don&#39;t wear a hijab, to also have the opportunity to play with a doll that wears a hijab.</font></span></blockquote> <p class="m_3751732752408430989gmail-mol-para-with-font" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; min-height: 1px;"> &nbsp;</p> <p class="m_3751732752408430989gmail-mol-para-with-font" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; min-height: 1px;"> <span style="font-size: 14px;">Of course it&rsquo;s nice for toy makers to provide consumers with variety of choices and even encourage kids to explore cultures other than their own. But one suspects&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 14px; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif;">this all has very little to do with the the actual people who want or purchase Barbies. This has more to do with a dinosaur of a company working hard to signal it&#39;s own virtue to an increasingly fickle and politically active consumer base and to feminists who continue to devalue traditional femininity.</span></p> </div> <div class="yj6qo ajU" style="cursor: pointer; outline: none; padding: 10px 0px; width: 22px; margin: 2px 0px 0px; font-family: arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12.800000190734863px;"> &nbsp;</div> GunlockMon, 13 Nov 2017 20:11:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumFighting feminism on campus, one step at a time<p> It can be tough to be a conservative woman on a liberal campus, but organizations like the Network of Enlightened Women (NeW) are doing their part to change things.</p> <p> Last month, the George Washington University chapter of the NeW hosted a panel entitled &ldquo;Conservative Women: Fighting Feminism On Campuses and Beyond&rdquo; featuring NeW Founder and President Karin Agness Lips, Emily Jashinsky of the&nbsp;<em>Washington Examiner</em>, and <span style="color:#ffffff;"><strong><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">Julie Gunlock of the Independent Women&rsquo;s Forum.</span></span></strong></span></p> <p> Each of the three panelists shared stories from their personal experiences as both a conservative and a woman on college campuses, as well as in their careers. They discussed a myriad of topics &mdash; everything from feminist literature to scandals rocking Hollywood, focusing on the trajectory of the feminist movement, and its exclusionary nature.</p> <p> &ldquo;The feminist movement has so tarnished its own brand that less than a quarter of American women identify as feminist,&rdquo; NeW&rsquo;s president told the young women in attendance.</p> <p> Lips lamented that so many look to attack other ideologies, instead of having rational conversations and asking questions.</p> <p> Jashinsky, a graduate of GWU, advised attendees to read feminist literature that they may not agree with, and to engage others who may be open to discussing other viewpoints. Hard partisans are unlikely to be converted, but activists can make headway if they &ldquo;engage the disinterested.&rdquo;</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;"> <span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">Gunlock discussed her experience as a conservative woman and noted how strong, conservative women are often unfairly portrayed throughout the media and in popular culture.</span></strong></span></span></p> <p> The audience was full of both young men and women, eager to ask questions of the panelists. The questions included a range of topics from current events, such as the Harvey Weinstein scandal and the Boy Scouts of America&rsquo;s recent announcement, to how to stay confident and level-headed when facing adversity in the workplace as a woman.</p> <p> Altogether, the panel about fighting feminism on campus did exactly that at the campus of GWU.</p> <p> NeW educates young women on conservative ideas, cultivates a community in which to discuss and strengthen these ideas, and emboldens young women to speak out on campus and in their communities. They expand intellectual diversity at universities by empowering conservative women to stand up for their beliefs. NeW is educating and training the next generation of conservative women leaders.</p> GunlockMon, 13 Nov 2017 09:11:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's Forum