640 Food

It’s not just for breakfast anymore

(Well, actually, it is. For the time being, anyway.)

There I go again, saying I’d abandon the Dewey (R) System and then going ahead and using it anyway. Like I said, the number of hits on this blog is anemic; today, just by accident, I may have found at least one reason why, other than the blog’s having no coherent theme and the likelihood of its being off-putting in polite company. Reason number three: it seems that anyone using a PC without a high-powered microscope probably can’t see the little gewgaws on the right-hand side, the bits and bobs that are so very important to my work here. And, oh, yeah, reason no. 4: this blog is all about me, and as I’m learning more and more, it ain’t all about you.

Be that as it my, I’m asking you all for a favor. I would love to speak with anyone who has any knowledge whatsoever of the origins of the federal School Breakfast Program. By anyone, I mean anyone. Even if you happened to be watering the plants or washing the windows and overheard something when federal officials blew through your town back in the early 1960s and asked all the local city, town or school officials whether students were getting anything to eat for breakfast, please let me know.

I’m doing a research project (full disclosure: it’s with my dad, who used to work for the Agriculture Department) on the School Breakfast Program and a whole passel of other federal child nutrition programs. It’s not a big, dark, secret, Deep-Throat-meets-Michael-Moore type of thing. We’d just like to know how the program got started, who was there when they started it, what research they did, especially in the field, to support getting the federal government involved in school breakfast. I have a whole big  list of other questions I still haven’t finished writing yet. We’d like to know how many sites they visited and who they brought with them.  Respond to me here and I’ll figure out how to get in touch with you without getting all the spammers involved.


John Leonard

Lots of good news items yesterday:

Internet Archive wins Patriot Act law suit

Inside the Library of Congress

Despite proven return on investment, libraries still face budget cuts

Ban ‘Second Life,’ Congressman says

Same-sex penguin story leads ‘challenged’ book list

Clintons hold up release of more documents

Another book of crazy library stories

I don’t know how or why Bear Stearns fucked up. My sense is that this is another example of a company lying through its teeth, or not checking to see whether other people are lying through their teeth, before throwing unimaginable amounts of other peoples’ money down a bottomless rat hole, like Enron or WorldCom. Does anyone remember them? So my question is, when a company is “too big” or “too interconnected with too many other key players in the American economy” to be allowed to fail, does that make them more or less likely to behave responsibly? Human nature being what it is, my guess is “less likely.” This is similar to the situation I witnessed growing up in D.C., when diplomats could act like assholes behind the wheel—driving drunk, destroying property, killing, maiming and injuring innocent bystanders and racking up thousands of dollars in unpaid parking or speeding tickets—without worrying about prosecution, because of fears that pursuing charges might spark an international incident. More than once, I heard arrogant, sharply dressed men in expensive sports car with those prized red, white and blue tags shout at a cop, “I have diplomatic immunity! Fuck you!”

So is that what we have here, the business world’s equivalent of diplomatic immunity—”economic immunity”? Listening to the calm, measured tones of the talking headless on NPR’s Talk of the Nation just now, I couldn’t help but think that they were sent out by the People Who Run Things to just sort of placate, pacify, confuse and otherwise condescend to the rabble to avoid anyone fomenting some sort of insurrection. But even if the great mass of Americans weren’t so complacent, who would be the target of our wrath? Lawrence Kudlow? He hasn’t worked at BS for 14 years. And what would be our rallying cry? “No more . . . um, bad . . . um . . . investments . . . yeah . . . . By the time we peons figure out what Bear Stearns got away with, they will have changed their M.O. and found new ways to fuck us all up the ass without fear of any consequences whatsoever.

To avoid even the appearance of improper conduct, I am temporarily suspending any mention of the Dewey Decimal Classification system in general, or any DDC number in particular, until such time as I get the nod from the OCLC, which owns the rights to said system. I certainly don’t want a Library Hotel-type situation on my hands.