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We had a story last week about how the US Senate's Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee passed the Improved Nutrition and Physical Activity Act, legislation that would create federal grants to pay for in-school nutrition classes and promote physical fitness. The legislation now goes to the floor of the full Senate.

One MNB user responded:

About time! Why would we want to continue the trend of children developing onset diabetes, overweight and heart disease? I think most find healthy food more tasty after they've been off the coffee, coke and junk food for a while. Less blood sugar swings too!

And another MNB user chimed in:

This bill is very interesting to me, especially since my mother teaches many types of classes concerning nutrition already... but in two years it appears as though school budget cuts will force this program (Family and Consumer Sciences previously known as Home-Economics) out of all public schools in her city. That leaves many kids with just heath class and most of them will only have it for part of the school year (opposite gym).

We think that schools that pay sufficient attention to issues of nutrition and fitness are few and far between. For example, in the district where our kids go to school, we know that the gym teacher who has our nine-year-old daughter is an old guy who is marking time until retirement.

Furthermore, we try to go into her school about once a week to have lunch with her, and are utterly appalled at the crap they serve these kids - warmed-over sausages, pizza that looks like road kill, and mystery meats that look like it is at the end of the consumption cycle rather than the beginning.

As parents, we owe our kids more.

On the subject of labor strife and Wal-Mart's influence on competition throughout the country, one MNB user wrote:

Business, as well as consumers, needs to maintain a diligent effort to block ALL efforts by Wal-Mart to enter their communities Nationwide. Despite hiring their PR firm to bolster their image, including TV spots that attempt to create a vision of their Corporate tactics as nothing short of an Angelic sacrifice to humanity, their efforts and massive wealth would be far better served if they paid their employees a living wage. Adding to this is the recent hits for refusal to pay overtime, provide equal opportunities and pay for women, and most recently hiring illegals to work at their inexcusable minimum wage levels with no insurance... sadly, the list just goes on and on.

Like most of today's Corporations, Wal-Mart has become so accustom to maintaining obscene profits, obscene CEO wages, and record breaking stock values by breaking the back of the American worker... somewhere in Corporateland, someone has to realize one of the simplest and most basic rules of economics is that "the employee and the consumer are one and the same person"... While Corporations siphon off every dime of the businesses that fund them, clamoring for more consumers and more consumer dollars, they make any effort necessary to eliminate employees or substantially reduce wages and benefits to those they retain. The real no-brainer is to realize that if you bankrupt your employees, you have bankrupted your consumers!!!

Wal-Mart has become the living example that other Corporate Retailers seem to be modeling themselves to in their attempt to "maintain market share" or "remain productive" or "remain price competitive". We all know Wal-Mart does NOT create any new jobs... they run all competition out of business by opening their doors with below wholesale prices. Once the competition ism gone... up go the prices... down goes everyone's standard of living... for everyone except the VERY WEALTHY Wal-Mart family that placed number 4 in the Forbes 400... how these people live with themselves is beyond me...

Sorry for the length of this... I am adamantly opposed to any further Wal-Mart advances... at least unless they sign a Union Contract that pays a living wage and has benefits that is Wal-Mart paid as well !!!

It's nice to live in a world without ambiguity, isn't it?

We reported last week that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) concludes in a new report that cloned farm animals and their offspring are safe to eat, posing little if any scientific risk to the food supply…and noted in our commentary that "we just hope that this is a subject treated intelligently and dispassionately by all concerned…objectivity, rather than demonization of opposing viewpoints, is what's called for here."

MNB user Rob Bartels responded:

I agree with your comments on cloning. It would be nice to see comprehensive and peer reviewed scientific study on any impact at all that cloning might have.

Frankly it would be nice to see the same for GMO & pesticide treated food items as well.


Finally, we wrote in our OffBeat column last week that "24" is the best show on television…but MNB user Alex Drew had other thoughts:

I'll give you "24" as a great show, but the best..."The Simpsons," hands down!

We'll agree to disagree.

By the way, Fox is rerunning the first episode of "24" tonight at 8 pm EST, followed by the premier of the second episode at 9 pm…keep in mind that "24" is made up of 24 one-hour episodes that tell the story (in real-time) of a single day…so it is a great evening to catch up.
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