April 28, 2010, - 3:50 pm

DumbAssity (TM) of the Day: Santa Clara Outlaws Happy Meals

By Debbie Schlussel

There’s a reason why, as I’ve previously noted, the letters in the words “Nanny State” also make up the words “Neat ‘N’ Nasty.”  It’s nasty when others tell you how to live your life.  Others like the statist members of California’s Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors.


DumbAssity (TM) of the Day

I’ve said it before.  I’ll say it again.  It’s up to parents to teach their children responsibility, discipline, and self-control.  Not McDonald’s.  And not government.  Big Brother is big enough.

But the lefties who run Santa Clara County don’t think so.  And, so, they’ve outlawed Happy Meals and other similar promotions by fast food restaurants, which they say entice kids to nag their parents into buying them unhealthy food.  So what?  It’s called marketing.  It’s a form of free speech protected by the U.S. Constitution.  When I was a kid I nagged my parents to buy me things, too.  And they often said the one word parents today won’t:  NO.

Is that McDonald’s fault?  Is it Happy Meals’ fault? No.  It’s the fault of lazy parents who won’t say no.  Lazy parents who use TV, videos, and computers to raise their kids.  Parents who have no sense of what it takes to be a parent. A parent who won’t say no to a Happy Meal because their kid wants a cute toy is a parent who will tolerate drug use, sex at an early age, and bad academics by their kid. In other words, that parent is actually just a sperm or womb donor who wants to be friends with their kid.

And the Supervisors of Santa Clara reward that bad parenting, that laziness, that unwillingness of parents to turn down their kids’ every whim and wish, lest they experience some temporary whining or crying.

Happy Meal toys and other promotions that come with high-calorie children’s meals will soon be banned in parts of Santa Clara County unless the restaurants meet nutritional guidelines approved Tuesday by the county Board of Supervisors.

“This ordinance prevents restaurants from preying on children’s’ love of toys” to sell high-calorie, unhealthful food, said Supervisor Ken Yeager, who sponsored the measure. “This ordinance breaks the link between unhealthy food and prizes.”

Voting against the measure was Supervisor Donald Gage, who said parents should be responsible for their children.

“If you can’t control a 3-year-old child for a toy, God save you when they get to be teenagers,” he said. Gage, who is overweight, said he was a living example of how obese children can become obese adults. . . .

The board, whose jurisdiction extends only to the unincorporated parts of the county, including much of Silicon Valley, voted 3 to 2 in favor of the ban after a contentious meeting that included more than an hour of testimony on both sides.

Yup, like I said, Neat ‘N’ Nasty. They have a Neat and easy way to control McDonald’s. And insert their Nasty predilections on a private business that makes millions of Americans’ lives easier.

The Politburo has come to California in a big way. Sickening.

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31 Responses

If I owned a McDonald’s in that area I would have to tell this board of commies to shove their “rules” up their ass!! Just who in the hell do these people think they are????

Doug on April 28, 2010 at 4:02 pm

Saying “no” to my kids is one of my favorite hobbies. Parenting guru (and one of the few smart parenting gurus out there) John Rosemond, calls the word no “Vitamin N.” Just as vitamins A – E build up the body, vitamin N builds character.

You’d be amazed at how well hearing “no” so frequently improves their behavior. It’s uncanny.

Ari on April 28, 2010 at 4:17 pm

My wife actually likes to order the happy meal! It’s a small drink, small fry and the burger–it’s all she wants. I tease her about the toy. She weighs 98 lbs soaking wet! So no porker here!

So the question is, will they allow a Happy Meal section, behind the counter now for ADULTS ONLY?

BB on April 28, 2010 at 4:18 pm

There is a difference between making a child happy by showing them how much you love them and allowing them to do things that could harm them.

I think parents are better placed to judge than government commissars when Happy Meals are appropriate for the child. The government’s weakening of the family is the last thing we need to see happen in America today.

Dumbassity, indeed.

NormanF on April 28, 2010 at 4:33 pm

great now I feel better — my 1-year-old will be safe! NOT (I live in Santa Clara county)

Jennifer on April 28, 2010 at 4:43 pm

–As I predicted, back in the mid-90’s when Henry Waxman and his tobacco-gestapo, were shaking down the industry. Afterwards, I foretold that “salt” would be villified. We haven’t seen anything yet…and it’s all for the “children,” of course!

Therefore, I “challenge” the Supervisors of Santa Clara to lead by example, and submit to a BMI test. Let’s see how obese “they” are.

Patrick on April 28, 2010 at 4:53 pm

Permissive (non)parents are one thing, but the reason so many kids are fat these days is lack of exercise. With their youthful metabolisms, most could easily handle the calories if parents and schools would simply reinstate mandatory PE.

Graty Slapchop on April 28, 2010 at 5:18 pm

What’s next, maybe this:

Boy banned from eating cheese sandwich
A two year old boy was banned from eating cheese sandwiches at a council-run nursery unless his parents added a lettuce leaf.


duane on April 28, 2010 at 5:37 pm

They should ban the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors from meeting. What a bunch of numbnuts.

What do they expect McDonalds to serve – bean sprouts and tofu? And what’s to keep these a##holes from banning Big Macs and fries? And then there’s all of the nonsense with taxing sugar and banning salt.

The only way they will be able to take my cheese burger from me is by prying it out of my cold, dead hands…

Jarhead on April 28, 2010 at 5:57 pm

    Right on! Nothing will stop this insanity coming from the lunatics on Shutter Island, oops, I mean lawmakers in California. Next, it will be salt, then Bacon, then sugar, then olive oil, then butter…They already banned peanut oil in movie theaters so where does it end?

    Who cares? on April 29, 2010 at 3:42 pm

Kind of reminds me of forcing people to wear seat belts in cars; of course that is also meant to be a revenue enhancer.

Little Al on April 28, 2010 at 7:22 pm

    That is wrong also. If you cannot choose what food is best for you to eat, or whether you should or should NOT wear a seat-belt, then U. R. NOT FREE & U DO NOT OWN YOUR BODY, & we are well on our way, down the road to tyranny.

    The road to tyranny is paved with good intentions…

    Who cares? on April 29, 2010 at 3:47 pm

Something from The Center for Consumer Freedom…


Bob Porrazzo on April 28, 2010 at 7:28 pm

An Adults Only happy meal…hmm. Just imagine what the prizes would be like. Of course, any and all toys would be eco-friendly. It is California, after all.

cirrus1701 on April 28, 2010 at 7:35 pm

From that site which I mentioned…

“But guess who appears happy at the depressing move by Santa Clara County? You got it—master manipulator MeMe Roth and the killjoys at the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). When this proposal was first floated last month, a spokeswoman from CSPI said that a toy ban was “on our list of promising policy options” and also claims today that CSPI’s research says most kids’ meals are “unhealthy.” (“Unhealthy” is a label CSPI seems to give to anything but steamed kale, Brussels sprouts, and sweet potatoes. Not exactly the happiest of meals.)

Most residents of Santa Clara County think this is bogus as well. A poll reveals that 80 percent of residents think that banning toys in kids’ meals isn’t an important issue. Who knows—maybe the next county proposal will be to force kids to finish their vegetables before they’re allowed dessert.”


Bob Porrazzo on April 28, 2010 at 7:36 pm

I grew up in Santa Clara County. I don’t think that there are very many unincorporated areas left in the county to be affected by this. What were apricot orchards when I was a kid are now condo complexes. This may be a law with little to no jurisdiction. Baron Park incorporated years ago as part of Palo Alto. This is the county with cities like Saratoga, Sunnyvale, San Jose, Mountain View. I can’t think of any unincorporated areas that may be sporting a Micky D’s.

And I’ve had my share of Happy Meals too. It’s always for the toy that I buy one.

Richard on April 28, 2010 at 8:14 pm

Is it wrong to laugh out loud at this while cleaning your rifle and taking an ammo bath? I think it used to be, but now this may be more acceptable behavior. Life has become a theater of the absurd. Thank you all for your grasp of reason. I must stop trolling YouTube. The lack of sanity on that site is depressing.

Dave (aka Not that ominous)

AnOminousOne on April 28, 2010 at 8:15 pm

Santa Clara County is facing budget deficits, schools that do not function, and rising crime. However, the Board Of Supervisors have found time from such trival matters to engage in serious debate over the “McDonald’s Happy Meal”. Also, note that they are going after food chains that cater to lower income people. Do you think those supervisors would even think of apply this to a five star restaurant under their jurisdiction? Would they like their diets subjected to an official audit? No, this is feel good garbage that hits lower income people, and makes their lives just a bit more miserable.

sorrow01 on April 28, 2010 at 8:34 pm

Minor point “Santa Clara Outlaws Happy Meals” is not completely accurate. The law in question sets up nutritional regulations for Happy Meals but it doesn’t outlaw them.

Also I don’t personally agree with this law but I don’t live in Santa Clara. If the people there want this law why shouldn’t they have it? Isn’t that what happen in AZ?

Pete Bone on April 28, 2010 at 9:41 pm

Happy meals do target kids. But SO WHAT. Capitalism… hello? free will ? hello?

McDonald’s does serve mostly crap food. I’m OK with that. WTF happened to choice in this country ?

I mean hell, under this edict George Lucas is a mass murderer with all the cross over crap he has pushed from the Star Wars franchise.

I guess there is a large enough segment of the public that is so stupid that it needs ‘protection’ from advertising because they and their kids are too stupid to know that fast food does not always equal good food… sheesh…

David Koblentz on April 29, 2010 at 1:54 am

Vielen Dank mein Fuhrer für das Machen von es illegal, glückliche Mahlzeiten zu kaufen. Wir kennen alle, wie Kapitalist den solche Dinge sind, und wir können das in des Lands Nationalen Sozialismus nicht haben

“quick translation…. Thanks for making happy meal illegal as we can not have capitalism in the land of National Socialism”
(my use of 1930’s German is in no way meant to insult you Debbie. I just see a lot of simularities between Germany circa 1936 and the USA 2010)

martin fee on April 29, 2010 at 10:01 am

    Right on MF!
    So many similarities, it’s like looking into a mirror.

    The road to Tyranny is paved with good intentions…

    “But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet,and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand.
    Ezekiel 33:6

    Who cares? on April 29, 2010 at 3:54 pm

Just another reason to boycott California.

JeffT on April 29, 2010 at 10:07 am

    You boycott California you get a third less of your food.

    CO on July 21, 2010 at 8:21 pm

The governments and quasi-governments in the San Francisco Bay Area intrude further and further into peoples’ lives every year. I have lived here for 34 years now and hate it more with every passing day. Unfortunately it will only get worse, because the majority of my brain-dead, ill-educated citizen-neighbors vote for this kind of intrusive government again and again, and don’t mind their freedom of decision being incrementally taken away from them on everything, right down to whether one can light a fireplace in winter or buy their kid a happy meal. As long as they can drive 90 mph on the freeways without law enforcement, and lease BMWs, they are happy.

Timothy on April 29, 2010 at 10:18 am

What do people of California expect? They vote in these morons and let them inflict thier socialistic nanny state policies with almost impunity.

California is getting stupider by the day. Illegal immigrants can enter and stay at taxpayer expense. No problem. But a frekin’ happy meal – no way Jose.


Rob at dailyrasp on April 29, 2010 at 12:19 pm

The road to tyranny is paved with good intentions…
i.e it’s for the “children” or for “the poor”, or for “the good of the country” or for “your own good” or its done to “make us more secure”. Blah Blah Blah…ya da ya da ya da

Debbie’s right, the Politburo would be proud of this Decree. Now, kids with happy meals will be “outlaws”. LOL

“But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet,and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand.
Ezekiel 33:6

Who cares? on April 29, 2010 at 3:34 pm

McDonald’s should sue the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors for violating their right rights under the Constitution.

There needs to be a strong message sent to these morons that they do not have the right to violate peoples or corporations rights under our system of Government because “it is for the children pandering”.

We still live in a barely free country albeit on its last legs.This is the kind of stuff that happens in banana republics not America.

ScottyDog on April 29, 2010 at 5:07 pm

Well why stop at Happy Meals? Let’s have a French Fries Inspector person at every Micky D’s to ensure that every patron only gets the proper number of french fries with their meal, that number to be determined by the elites who know so much more then we do about everything. And why should there be two scoops of raisins in every box of Kellogg raisin bran. One scoop should be plenty. And we can have Soft Drink Police whose function is to enter homes and drug test children to determine the sugar level of their urine to see if they’ve had too many soft drinks. Heck this list is endless. Matter of fact since the government is so wise, so powerful, so knowledgeable we should just send our paychecks to the government so they can determine how much money we need and that’s all we get. It’s for our own good ya know. Who to marry, what to wear, what school to attend, what job to have, what to read, to listen to, to watch on the TV; what to eat, to drive, to think; all brought to you courtesy of your government. YeeHaww.

kenny komodo on April 30, 2010 at 12:27 am

One of the least pleasurable memories I have of raising my kids was my 5-year old’s screaming, decidedly unhappy rant, “IWANTAHAPPYMEALIWANTAHAPPYMEALIWANTAHAPPYMEAL!!” come mealtime on weekends. To this day, 22 years later, she doesn’t realize how much she still resents me for not hopping to it back then and buying her exactly the kind of wretchedly non-nutritious “Happy Meals” garbage that McDonald’s advertising smartasses threw at kids whenever they turned on TV. How nice of Santa Clara County to give those McDonald’s bastards a well-deserved kick in the ass for hijacking the word “happy” in order to hustle their belt-popping swill just the way homosexuals stole the word “gay” to pretend theirs is the true “happy meal” choice. Drop the harrumphing about “lazy parents”, Deb — not everybody makes the kind of lawyers’ salaries that pay for live nannies, so they’re stuck with TV nannies when it rains.

W.R.Fawn on April 30, 2010 at 4:48 pm

If I was a parent, which I’m not, I’d go in, buy the toy, and then either order pizza, make a salad, make something else that’s good for them, or, rarely, very rarely, get them McDonalds! I am.a teenager, and McDonalds is not my favorite place to eat! How am I supposed to be a responsible parent though Ms. Schlussel, I am worried that I will not be responsible enough and fail as a parent! I’m not planning to be a parent soon, I just want to know how to raise my kids right when I grow up and do have kids!

Robyn on January 17, 2016 at 11:36 am

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