This week marks the 40th anniversary of the Staggers Rail Act of 1980, which deregulated American freight…
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Happy 40th to the Staggers Rail Act, Which Deregulated and Saved the U.S. Rail Industry

This week marks the 40th anniversary of the Staggers Rail Act of 1980, which deregulated American freight rail and saved it from looming oblivion.

At the time of passage, the U.S. economy muddled along amid ongoing malaise, and our rail industry teetered due to decades of overly bureaucratic sclerosis.  Many other domestic U.S. industries had disappeared, and our railroads faced the same fate.  But by passing the Staggers Rail Act, Congress restored a deregulatory approach that in the 1980s allowed other U.S. industries to thrive.  No longer would government determine what services railroads could offer, their rates or their routes, instead restoring greater authority to the railroads themselves based upon cost-efficiency.

Today, U.S. rail flourishes even amid the coronavirus pandemic…[more]

October 13, 2020 • 11:09 PM

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Government-Sponsored Food Fights Are Liberalism’s Version of School Reform Print
By Ashton Ellis
Wednesday, December 22 2010
By prohibiting sodas and sweets – and in one case, second helpings – public school districts across the country are succumbing to the demands of Nanny-state regulators.

Never let it be said that liberals refuse to reform the public school system.  Or even, for that matter, that they oppose school choice.  While conservatives often push for changes that affect the classroom, liberals are setting their sights on a different battleground: the cafeteria. 

In what could be spun as alternative definitions for the terms “school choice” and “abstinence education,” the left is waging a nationwide war on fatty foods.  By prohibiting sodas and sweets – and in one case, second helpings – public school districts across the country are succumbing to the demands of Nanny-state regulators.  As usual, the goal is more control for the state and less options for those it supposedly serves. 

Earlier this year, the Flagstaff, Arizona school district started measuring elementary students during gym class using the body mass index (BMI) scale.  Those who scored too big were sent home with a note to their parents stating the risks of being overweight.  Among them are the possibility of impending obesity, diabetes and perhaps an early death.  In effect, the school’s policy is, “pinch an inch, then get snitched.”  And all in front of an entire gym class filled with adolescents.  Liberals: making bullies’ jobs easier with every intervention. 

Another inanity worth mentioning is San Francisco’s ban on toys in Happy Meals.  The ordinance was so off-target the city’s mayor, Gavin Newsom, was against it.  Not to be outdone, New York City’s Health Commission compared soda drinks to liquid fat.  Is applying the term “food terrorism” to the fast-food industry far behind?

More recently, the St. Paul, Minnesota school district decided to prohibit all sweets from campus.  Like their counterparts in Flagstaff, the St. Paul administrators say they’re concerned with the spike in overweight kids.  Though the majority of hefty students come from poor and minority families, the school doesn’t have much success changing the eating habits of parents.  So instead, they’ll deprive the children.  

Speaking to a reporter for the local Star Tribune, 10-year-old Misky Salad summarized the consensus of her peers: “All my friends say, ‘This really sucks.’”  The “this” Misky referred to was not only the ban on candy, but also on second helpings.  The precocious youth then incorporated an argument the liberal establishment no doubt wants to avoid, saying, “A lot of us feel it should be up to us to determine what we should do with our bodies.” 

I wonder which leftist indoctrination class gave Misky that idea.  Could it be that a fifth grader taught to believe that her unquestioned discretion extends to any type of behavior she or her sex-ed curriculum can conceive – but not to the kind of food she can eat – senses a disconnect?  After all, what good is freedom of choice if it only lets a person treat herself like candy, but not to it? 

Misky’s confusion throws some light on the deplorable state of public education.  Straitjacketed by political correctness, schools are tempted to turn a blind eye toward real problems in favor of solving cosmetic ones.  Certainly, the dramatic rise in the occurrence of childhood diabetes is cause for alarm, but so too is the anything-goes-mentality espoused by students like Misky.  What’s lacking in both cases is the failure to form a child’s conscience to avoid evil and seek the good. 

But that doesn’t fit into the liberal worldview.  Far better to have students legally required to attend a school where their clothing, diet and curriculum are pre-selected.  For liberals, reforming education means creating an environment of uniform diversity.  Everyone is free to choose – so long as it’s the same choice the school already made. 

Question of the Week   
Which one of the following individuals laid the ‘Golden Spike’ joining the Eastern and Western U.S. railroad lines to create the Transcontinental Railway?
More Questions
Quote of the Day   
 
"President Trump's recent executive order laying out his 'America-First Healthcare Plan' makes clear his continued commitment to the long-standing, bipartisan consensus that we should protect people with preexisting conditions. Unfortunately, the previous administration's attempt to make good on that consensus -- Obamacare -- has failed to deliver on its promises.Contrary to the prevailing media narrative…[more]
 
 
—Seema Verma, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator
— Seema Verma, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator
 
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Do you believe you will be better off over the next four years with Joe Biden as president or with Donald Trump as president?