Louisiana's new 'lemonade law' is a great example of bipartisanship in action.

This meeting of the Childhood Preservation Society can now come to order.

We ask that you please silence your Simon, and unless they identify as "hungry, hungry," please put any hippo feedings on hold.


Before we get to a status report on how successful our coloring book resurgence has been, I'd like to share some exciting news out of Louisiana that will serve as a model for many of our local efforts going forward.

As many of you are well aware, lemonade stands are a rite of passage for many young people in the U.S.

From the street corners of big cities to the roadsides of rural highways, these citrus oases (It's the plural of oasis. Who knew, right?) provide refreshment for thirsty travelers and early business opportunities for America's youngest entrepreneurs. And sometimes they even sell bottled water or doughnuts.

What's more patriotic than that?

President George W. Bush stops for a lemonade at a roadside stand on his way to the Raleigh-Durham Airport in 2004. Photo by Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images.

But occasionally adults with nothing better to do enforce local laws and statues requiring a permit for such endeavors.

Or worse, they ticket the children outright, penalizing them (or their parents). At best, they collect a few hundred dollars and sour a perfectly good afternoon. At worst, they squeeze the life out of the tender entrepreneurial spirits of local kids.

GIF via "The Simpsons."

How often does this happen? Way more than it should.

These sisters in Texas were trying to earn money for a Father's Day gift. Shut down.

Half a dozen kids in Maryland planned to split their earnings with a pediatric cancer charity. Shut down.

And a girl in New York selling cookies and lemonade with her dad was cornered by parks department agents. Shut down.

It's petty and really, really frustrating.


Andria and Zooey Green just wanted to help their dad do something nice. GIF via USA Today/YouTube.

It's a terrible use of time and resources. So Louisiana legislators did something about it.

Sen. Gary Smith, a Democratic legislator from Norco, Louisiana, introduced a measure to exempt kids from paying an occupation license tax on their small businesses. The bill passed with unanimous support, and Gov. John Bel Edwards plans to sign it. So long as the children of Louisiana take home less than $500 a year, they're free to operate their lemonade stands as they wish without fear of "The Man" knocking their hustle.

Photo by iStock.

The law takes effect Aug. 1, so the Childhood Preservation Society would like to remind its members to keep a low profile should they choose to fly in the face of the existing rules and operate lemonade stands in the bayou all summer long.

Senate Bill 99 (or as it should be called, "The Lemonade Law"), is a big victory for the small people of Louisiana and a reminder that our lawmakers can still work together.

At every level of government, infighting, partisan rancor, and childish posturing are the name of the game. It's why people lose faith in once-revered institutions and why so many long for a change to the status quo.

While a simple, commonsense measure in Louisiana won't change much for most of us, it's something. It's proof that our lawmakers can do the right thing. And a reminder that they can be the leaders we want them to be, if just for a moment.

Or maybe it's proof they like roadside refreshments as much as the rest of us. And frankly, that's OK too.

Whatever the reason, it keeps me hopeful.

Photo by iStock.

The Childhood Preservation Society will now take a brief recess for ... recess.

Please grab a juice box and some graham crackers on your way out.

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Should a man lose his home because the grass in his yard grew higher than 10 inches? The city of Dunedin, Florida seems to think so.

According to the Institute of Justice, which is representing Jim Ficken, he had a very good reason for not mowing his lawn – and tried to rectify the situation as best he could.

In 2014, Jim's mom became ill and he visited her often in South Carolina to help her out. When he was away, his grass grew too long and he was cited by a code office; he cut the grass and wasn't fined.

France has started forcing supermarkets to donate food instead of throwing it away.

But several years later, this one infraction would come back to haunt him after he left to take care of him's mom's affairs after she died. The arrangements he made to have his grass cut fell through (his friend who he asked to help him out passed away unexpectedly) and that set off a chain reaction that may result in him losing his home.

The 69-year-old retiree now faces a $29,833.50 fine plus interest. Watch the video to find out just what Jim is having to deal with.

Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House! www.youtube.com

Cities

The world officially loves Michelle Obama.

The former first lady has overtaken the number one spot in a poll of the world's most admired women. Conducted by online research firm YouGov, the study uses international polling tools to survey people in countries around the world about who they most admire.

In the men's category, Bill Gates took the top spot, followed by Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

In the women's category, Michelle Obama came first, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. Obama pushed Jolie out of the number one spot she claimed last year.

Unsurprising, really, because what's not to love about Michelle Obama? She is smart, kind, funny, accomplished, a great dancer, a devoted wife and mother, and an all-around, genuinely good person.

She has remained dignified and strong in the face of rabid masses of so-called Americans who spent eight years and beyond insisting that she's a man disguised as a woman. She's endured non-stop racist memes and terrifying threats to her family. She has received far more than her fair share of cruelty, and always takes the high road. She's the one who coined, "When they go low, we go high," after all.

She came from humble beginnings and remains down to earth despite becoming a familiar face around the world. She's not much older than me, but I still want to be like Michelle Obama when I grow up.

Her memoir, Becoming, may end up being the best-selling memoir of all time, having already sold 10 million copies—a clear sign that people can't get enough Michelle, because there's no such thing as too much Michelle.

Don't like Michelle Obama? Don't care. Those of us who love her will fly our MO flags high and without apology, paying no mind to folks with cold, dead hearts who don't know a gem of a human being when they see one. There is nothing any hater can say or do to make us admire this undeniably admirable woman any less.

When it seems like the world has lost its mind—which is how it feels most days these days—I'm just going to keep coming back to this study as evidence that hope for humanity is not lost.

Here. Enjoy some real-life Michelle on Jimmy Kimmel. (GAH. WHY IS SHE SO CUTE AND AWESOME. I can't even handle it.)

Michelle & Barack Obama are Boring Now www.youtube.com

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via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

Planet

The world is dark and full of terrors, but every once in a while it graces us with something to warm our icy-cold hearts. And that is what we have today, with a single dad who went viral on Twitter after his daughter posted the photos he sent her when trying to pick out and outfit for his date. You love to see it.




After seeing these heartwarming pics, people on Twitter started suggesting this adorable man date their moms. It was essentially a mom and date matchmaking frenzy.

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