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jordan179 - Thank You, Michelle Obama, For Teaching Us How To Eat Salad
April 22nd, 2014
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Thank You, Michelle Obama, For Teaching Us How To Eat Salad
Yesterday, Michelle Obama -- she of the amazing arms about whom the poets sing -- spoke to all America on a topic of great interest, regarding which we had previously we had walked as in darkness.  Today -- as the war-clouds mass over the Ukraine, as the words of hatred once again resound against the Jews of all lands, as America trembles in the weakness of the last five years, during which of course George W. Bush (or is it Dick Cheney?) has mysteriously managed to rule, for nothing is ever Barack Hussein Obama's fault -- Michelle has enlightened us on the most burning question of our day.

She's told us all how to eat salad.

“I mean, dressing is supposed to be an enhancement, it's not supposed to be the meal. You know, so you're not supposed to have like, extra dressing on the bottom of your -- that means you've had too much dressing. And that also makes the vegetables -- it wilts them, and it takes the excitement out of it. So you notice when you get professional salads out at a restaurant, one of the reasons that they taste so good is that they don't over dress it. So try that, where it's just coating the vegetables and it's not swimming in the vegetables."

Whoa ... I'm sure, if I practiced enough of the vice to which Barack Obama gleefully admits he focused on in his college days -- the one which he forbids all ordinary Americans from partaking in under codign criminal penalties, but of which He in His Infinite God-Kingdom may boast  -- I think with enough weed this might even make sense to me.  And I might profit by this wisdom.

It's deep, lady.  Deep.

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[User Picture]
From:eta_ta
Date:April 22nd, 2014 02:14 pm (UTC)
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Don't you dare to call her a mere "lady". She's the First!
PS
Her novice's enthusiasm in trivial things might be touching - after all, we all had to learn some time in our lives how to hold a fork or use dollop of dressing in our salad - if this marvel of our education system was not fawned to by half of the country.
on the other hand - she is great as blog fodder material.

Edited at 2014-04-22 02:37 pm (UTC)
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From:xiphias
Date:April 22nd, 2014 03:15 pm (UTC)
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Right, because it's not like doing things like that -- nonpolitical noncontroversial public statements -- is the First Lady's job or anything. And has been since the beginning of the Republic.
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From:eta_ta
Date:April 22nd, 2014 03:22 pm (UTC)
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xiphias, at what age you personally learned how much dressing you liked with your salad? did you need Authority From Above to tell you this? now, do you think other people are stupider than you and need to be told that by a First Lady?

Edited at 2014-04-22 03:22 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]
From:jordan179
Date:April 22nd, 2014 06:25 pm (UTC)
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Her admonitions might be more charming did they not come from an Administration who has expressed an interest in controlling personal behavior through administrative edict, executive order and taxation.
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From:gothelittle
Date:April 23rd, 2014 02:50 pm (UTC)
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After all the changes she's gotten forced through, ultimately lowering the quality and usefulness of food provided to our children and, in some cases, even forbidding parents from packing them an adequate lunch, nothing she dictates about how we are supposed to eat food is nonpolitical or noncontroversial anymore.

Compare it to President Reagan vs. President Obama recommending acetaminophen over aspirin for a headache. With Reagan, it would've just been a suggestion. With Obama, it would likely be a prelude to Health and Human Services ordering all doctors to prescribe Tylenol for headaches or not get paid for their services. And yes, the ACA does allow that to happen.
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From:xiphias
Date:April 23rd, 2014 02:51 pm (UTC)
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Just to clarify: so it's not WHAT she's saying that bothers you: it's that she's an Obama.
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From:gothelittle
Date:April 23rd, 2014 02:59 pm (UTC)
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I wouldn't care if she was an Obama, a Kennedy, a Bush, a Jones, a Smith, a Romanov, or a Zhang.

When someone who is succeeding in her attempt to force you to change the way that you eat tells you how you are supposed to eat, it is going to be different than if someone who does not have the power (or is choosing to not use the power) to force you makes a recommendation.

In other words, is her little bit of salad information a piece of advice, or an order? By her past actions, it could very easily be taken as an order, or made into one if she doesn't think it's being followed.
[User Picture]
From:xiphias
Date:April 23rd, 2014 03:00 pm (UTC)
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So, in other words, your problem isn't with what she's doing, but because she's an Obama.
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From:gothelittle
Date:April 23rd, 2014 03:02 pm (UTC)
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If Malia Obama, Sasha Obama, Sarah Obama, George Obama, or Malik Obama said it, I wouldn't have a problem with it.

Does THAT answer your question, or are you going to continue to try to set me up for whatever you're planning to accuse me of?
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From:xiphias
Date:April 23rd, 2014 03:04 pm (UTC)
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I'm not setting you up for anything. I'm simply pointing out that you're against this because of who said it rather than what was said. I'm not even arguing whether you're right or wrong to do so.

I'm just making the observation that a statement that you would consider totally innocuous coming from someone else you're against because of who said it.

It's not like Michelle Obama has any more power to set policy than Malia or Sasha Obama does, anyway.
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From:gothelittle
Date:April 23rd, 2014 03:06 pm (UTC)
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Oh, funny, I must have just imagined all those schools across the nation trying to figure out if the changes they have to make to their lunch programs are worth the money they'll get from the Federal Government if they comply with the new guidelines she created.

I do not consider a piece of advice to be innocuous when made by someone with the power *and the proven inclination* to force you to adopt it if you don't do so "voluntarily".

THAT'S my problem.
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From:jordan179
Date:April 23rd, 2014 05:22 pm (UTC)
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If Jesse James says "I'm gonnna kill you" I take it as a more serious threat than if Henry James does so. This is rational, not prejudicial.


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From:banner
Date:April 26th, 2014 02:48 am (UTC)
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It's not like Michelle Obama has any more power to set policy than Malia or Sasha Obama does, anyway.

You obviously have NOT been paying attention to ANYTHING that has gone on in this country in the last 5 years, have you?
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From:foxfire74
Date:April 23rd, 2014 03:03 pm (UTC)
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Insofar as "Obama" is rapidly coming to mean "person with the desire and ability to force extralegal changes in behavior", yes. If a Smith had similar desire and ability, I would have a problem with Smiths.
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From:banner
Date:April 26th, 2014 02:47 am (UTC)
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You really are thick aren't you? It doesn't matter what her name is, it matters that she has been abusing her power to force us to do things not in our best interest because she thinks she knows what is best for all of us.

It's because she's a tyrant.
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From:justgoto
Date:April 23rd, 2014 03:24 pm (UTC)

Wow!

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Just to clarify: so it's not WHAT [they're writing] that bothers you: it's that [they're writing about] an Obama.
[User Picture]
From:xiphias
Date:April 23rd, 2014 03:28 pm (UTC)

Re: Wow!

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Doesn't bother me in any case. I don't mind whether they're against the sentiment or the speaker. I don't say that they don't have reasons to be against the speaker. I'm just pointing out that it's about the speaker and not the spoken.

I don't have a problem with that. And, indeed, you'll notice that they agree that it's about the speaker: that the sentiment would be completely inoffensive if it was said by someone who they perceived as unable, or unwilling, to make it a mandate instead of a suggestion. Their problem is that they consider Michelle Obama someone who can and will mandate and enforce this sort of thing, rather than that she thinks it's a good idea.

I'm just pointing that out. The disagreement isn't about what is being said, but about the perceptions people have about what the speaker wishes to, and is able to, do ABOUT it.
[User Picture]
From:gothelittle
Date:April 23rd, 2014 04:22 pm (UTC)

Re: Wow!

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Yes, actually, you've pretty much pegged it. :)
[User Picture]
From:xiphias
Date:April 23rd, 2014 04:37 pm (UTC)

Re: Wow!

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But you see why it's an important distinction to make, don't you? It determines to what extent this is an "echo chamber issue." It reinforces the existing beliefs of people who already think in a particular way, and intensifies those feelings, but has no effect on people who DON'T already have those beliefs.

This is a problem if and only if you believe first, that Michelle Obama has the inclination to create mandates backed with force to implement this, and second, that she has the ability to do so. Oh, and third, I suppose, that such a mandate backed up by the power of law/regulation would be a bad thing. If you believe all three of these things, than this is an event which confirms, reinforces, and strengthens those feelings; if you don't, it has absolutely no effect on how you consider the situation.

This makes it an example of the sort of story, and the sort of way in which a story is received, that leads to polarization and fragmentation of the way that the American people consider issues. A story which is based on EVENTS is one that can sway people: plenty of former Obama supporters, including me, have felt their support of him weaken in response to his intensification of the drone program, the failure to rein in the NSA, the failure to close Guantanamo bay, the failure to hold American torturers responsible for their actions. Those are situations which are based on external observable facts.

However, situations in which the problem is personality-based only reinforces existing belief structures, rather than make any fundamental shift in people who don't hold those beliefs.
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From:gothelittle
Date:April 23rd, 2014 05:03 pm (UTC)

Re: Wow!

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Ah, see, there's where you're wrong.

Michelle Obama's inclination to create such mandates has already been proven by fact, as been her ability to do so.

Your third point assumes that you are a member of a political philosophy that believes that people controlling every detail of other people's lives is not in and of itself a bad thing. In fact, your decision to list the last point troubles me more than the other two. They are easily verifiable as fact, while your third point is indeed a matter of philosophy or, as you seem to prefer calling it, personality.

If a given thing is bad, mandating it makes it worse. If a given thing is good, mandating it does not make it better.

Personally, I don't like *any* dressing on my salad. I would think that this would make Michelle Obama approve of my eating habits, but as her new lunchroom restrictions basically prohibit cafeterias from serving the basic brown rice and beans casseroles that make up the bulk of my healthy eating, I'm not so sure she'd appreciate me.

To turn your argument around, W Bush calling for war in Iraq was only a problem (by your argument) if you believed that he had the inclination to do so, that he had the ability to do so, and that it would be a bad thing. Therefore opposition to war in Iraq leads to polarization and fragmentation (your words!), and thus an "echo chamber issue".
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From:xiphias
Date:April 23rd, 2014 05:13 pm (UTC)

Re: Wow!

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You're assuming what beliefs I personally hold. I'm not talking about myself or my beliefs with respect to this specific issue: I'm trying to do as objective an analysis of how people will react to this as I can.

Perhaps my phrasing would have been clearer if I was talking about how BLATANT things are? Perhaps the issue is more how OBVIOUS things are, which is related to how much they affect me personally? The NSA listening to my calls affects me personally; whatever "healthy eating initiatives" Michelle Obama is behind doesn't affect me, because I don't, right now anyway, eat in any places that she controls.

You may notice that I put that third point in -- about it being a bad thing -- separately, because it WASN'T part of my own thought process, and so it only occurred to me after I thought of the other two.

Your last paragraph is a bit baffling. If you remember, that's exactly what happened. People generally believed that Bush had the inclination and ability to push for a war in Iraq, so therefore, people who thought that was a bad thing was against it; people who thought it was a good thing were for it.

People who thought it was a bad thing rarely heard convincing arguments it was a good thing; people who thought it was a good thing rarely heard convincing arguments it was a bad thing. It lead to polarization and fragmentation, and became an "echo chamber issue."

That's exactly what happened. So I'm not sure why you're counting a thing that happened as a counterexample.
[User Picture]
From:gothelittle
Date:April 23rd, 2014 05:57 pm (UTC)

Re: Wow!

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Ahh, see, I go by the "when they came for X" principle. It goes kind of like this:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out-- Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out-- Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out-- Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me--and there was no one left to speak for me.
***

As for your view of opposition to presidential policies, I must say I disagree. I believe that being able to articulate a different point of view *prevents* your society from becoming an echo chamber.
[User Picture]
From:jordan179
Date:April 23rd, 2014 05:24 pm (UTC)

Re: Wow!

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Their problem is that they consider Michelle Obama someone who can and will mandate and enforce this sort of thing, rather than that she thinks it's a good idea.

Unless you consider the Obama marriage to be highly unusual, she presumably has greater ability to influence Barack Obama than does Joe Blow off the streat. And Barack Obama has a proven tendency to act unconstitutionally in pursuit of his personal prejudices, so this worries me.
[User Picture]
From:justgoto
Date:April 23rd, 2014 06:58 pm (UTC)

Re: Wow!

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No, they don't agree. That is why they are arguing against your ridiculous premise.
[User Picture]
From:jordan179
Date:April 23rd, 2014 05:21 pm (UTC)
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Not that "she's an Obama," rather that she and her husband notoriously believe that their personal whims should become administrative edicts with the force of law behind them. It's their ideology, not the sound of their last name, that bothers me.
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From:xiphias
Date:April 23rd, 2014 05:21 pm (UTC)
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That's what I was getting at, yes.
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From:jordan179
Date:April 23rd, 2014 05:25 pm (UTC)
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Yes, but your problem is that you obviously see this exercise of rational prediction on my part as somehow unreasonable or objectionable, while yourself making no rational argument against it.
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From:igorilla
Date:April 22nd, 2014 06:38 pm (UTC)
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one of the reasons that they taste so good is that they don't over dress it
Dressing isn't free, it costs money
[User Picture]
From:jordan179
Date:April 23rd, 2014 07:17 am (UTC)
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Of course, Michelle Obama, who feels so oppressed that she first experienced pride in America when her husband was nominated for President, in fact came from a socioeconomic class in which considering the cost of salad dressing would be like me considering the cost of white bread. That's part of the problem with her advice and her husband's edicts: both of them come from wealthy backgrounds and imagine themselves to have been poor and oppressed, so they have no notion of what the lives of the genuinely poor are like, and their commands and suggestions are alike clueless.
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From:marycatelli
Date:April 23rd, 2014 12:26 pm (UTC)
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Let us be just. Given that a billion people on this planet live on less than a dollar a day, the overwhelming majority of Americans have no notion of what the lives of the genuinely poor are like.

Of course, most of us don't go off to the Third World to lecture them about white bread. . . .
[User Picture]
From:chocolate_frapp
Date:April 23rd, 2014 12:04 am (UTC)
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I'm a Democrat and this makes even me want to bang my head against a wall.
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From:headnoises
Date:April 23rd, 2014 06:35 am (UTC)
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/sympathy
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From:marycatelli
Date:April 23rd, 2014 12:07 am (UTC)
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She doesn't mention that a fat-free salad dressing means you won't absorb the fat-soluble vitamins as well, if at all.
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From:headnoises
Date:April 23rd, 2014 06:35 am (UTC)
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Also, salads are a very good way to get food poisoning. (no cooking, no germ killing)
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From:wombat_socho
Date:April 23rd, 2014 02:52 am (UTC)
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Her priorities are backward. My salad is there to serve as a base for the yummy tasty ranch dressing I slather on it. More fat FTW!
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From:prester_scott
Date:April 23rd, 2014 11:03 am (UTC)
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This. Salads are really just low-carb sandwiches!
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From:metaphorsbwithu
Date:April 23rd, 2014 03:55 am (UTC)
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I love salads and eat them often, but let's face it - without a nice dressing, croutons, an assortment of slivered meat, cheese, dried fruits, etc., plain salads are basically rabbit food.

Btw - how tall is the first lady & how much does she weigh?

Millions of starving students subject to her theories and dictates on what the "little people" should eat want to know.

[User Picture]
From:expanding_x_man
Date:April 23rd, 2014 07:34 am (UTC)
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Did she actually say this at the High School graduation of those students in Kansas? I thought they were kind of rude to not want her there, but now... I am beginning to wonder. And, you know I am NOT a fan of her or the President but at first I thought, 'c'mon kids it's the First Lady!" Any First Lady, I mean, it is kind of special. But I hope the rest of the speech was more memorable, because this is really, really BAD. I don't expect a whole lot from First Ladies but better than this!
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From:eta_ta
Date:April 23rd, 2014 12:38 pm (UTC)
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Well, they should have welcomed her for sheer entertainment value. The spectacle of First Clowness, outdoing herself just for your benefit - now, that's memorable.
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