Outrages: Green nonsense, penis pumps and homeland-security snow cones

David Martosko Executive Editor
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It’s always a good thing, in my view, when government demonstrates its own stupidity. Sometimes it’s blatant, and other times it comes via the sort of bank-shot idiocy that also shows some of us to be no better than the deeply flawed people we keep electing as our leaders.

And let’s remember that battiness itself, the villain personified in both legislation and the human misbehavior it inspires, is truly a freak without a country.

Meet Rob Benzie, the English headmaster of Ansford Academy in the British southwest. “Social justice and global awareness,” his biography says, are high on his list of priorities, making him a proxy for too many principals on our side of the Atlantic.

Last week, Benzie chose a day with temperatures hovering around 34 degrees to make — and force his 656 students, age 11 to 16 to make — a political statement, by turning off the heat and holding classes in the bone-chilling cold. All in order to lower the school’s carbon footprint for a day.

And he wants to make this a “regular event.”

Unimpressed, a teacher at Ansford told The Sun that the whole thing was “beyond stupid” and “absolutely ridiculous … I’m all for saving the planet but this was barbaric.”

Generally, parents were not amused. One mom said her daughter “was shaking when she came home. I was absolutely furious.”

Having grown up “playing in the tropical rain forests [and] going to the beach most days,” Benzie somehow has the idea in his head that the British Isles are the front lines of global warming.

I have a semi-serious question: Even if he’s right — which he most assuredly is not — who is he to deny the odd Nigel or Pippa a taste of the tropics? This is what can emerge when daft people in positions of authority start believing the hope and change their governments spew as policy.

Nearby in another European country, the leaders of three organic food companies and the director of the firm that certified their holier-than-thou organic purity are under arrest. It seems Italian, Austrian, Belgian, French, German, Hungarian, Dutch and Swiss consumers were paying extra for organic produce and actually getting cheaper, garden-variety stuff instead.

Gee — is anyone surprised? The organic food industry has got to be one of the most sophisticated sleight-of-hand tricks in the history of consumer deception.

Abracadabra! There’s nothing truly magical about organic food. It just costs more, and is grown in manure. (That’s the “ick” in organic.)

Rabid greenies can save their protests for an Occupy rally: I spent ten years researching food policy. If you want a looking-glass view of the fraud endemic in the organic-food certification industry, read “Is It Organic?” by former Canadian organic inspector Mischa Popoff. It’s almost enough to make you want to buy all your groceries at Wal-Mart.

Even closer to home comes a food-related outrage that left me — well, as cold as an Ansford 12-year-old. When members of Congress gave the Department of Homeland Security authority over ICE, this is probably not what they had in mind. Montcalm County, Michigan received a snow cone machine last week, courtesy of Big Sis and her friends at DHS.

Your federal government has now tiptoed perilously close to actually giving ice to Eskimos. The county, northeast of Grand Rapids, averages low temperatures near or below freezing for seven months of the year. Setting that aside, exactly what kind of threat to the U.S. homeland can Michiganders hope to thwart with rainbow-colored desserts?

Of course, the story doesn’t end there. The West Michigan Shoreline Regional Development Commission, which administers DHS programs in the area, actually requested a popcorn maker. That organization’s director told reporters that perks like this are “used to attract people so they can be educated and prepared for homeland security.”

Underwhelmed taxpayers should take heart: At least it’s not a National Park Service outhouse in Pennsylvania. Those start at $330,000. In Montana they can run up to a cool million dollars. This clearly belongs in someone’s stand-up (sit down?) routine, but it’s no joke.

Yet no roundup of government psychopathy would be complete without joke about getting screwed, so how about this one? Medicare-funded penis pumps are the new super committees: The government spends heavily and we get excited for awhile, but in the end Americans wind up just as deflated and hopeless as before.

Everyone living outside a convent has heard about this by now. Suffice it to say that $240 million can bribe a lot of flaccid voters.

Silly idea: The Department of Health and Human Services should box up a few dozen of those “medically necessary” devices and send ’em up to Montcalm County, Michigan. If that doesn’t attract people to a homeland security-preparedness lecture, nothing will.

David is The Daily Caller’s executive editor. Follow him on Twitter

David Martosko