Friday, May 1, 2009

The Children Are Our Future: They'll Be Paying All The Bills, After All

There are some things that just make you say, "Really?" Like, when the teamsters union gets all pissy because Mexican trucks are allowed on our roads, and then you find out that there's a whopping 97 Mexican trucks on American highways.

So, because one group was mildly threatened, draconian measures have been taken, resulting in draconian retaliation. I'd wonder who can blame countries that retaliate by hiking up tariffs--and countries around the world apparently are reacting to the various little Smoot-Hawleys the President is building--but I'd hope that someone, somewhere, in charge of some country gets that while one-way free trade isn't fair, by blocking it, you only hurt yourself.

But the one that gets me the most is this beauty: Obama cancelled a successful voucher program in DC, including 200 scholarships already sent out. The most powerful lobby in the state, maybe in the country, controlling the lives of millions upon millions of students, regardless of how poorly they educate them, was threatened by a handful of poor souls who had managed to escape.

So they had to uproot these kids. Give them a taste of the good life, then take it away. And who's taking this opportunity away? People who send their own children to private schools, quite possibly the same ones these kids will not be going to.

Politics is always stupid. It's a shame that it's often mean as well.


  1. Link:

    "In 1983, the National Commission on Excellence in Education concluded in A Nation at Risk: 'If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war.'"


    "Pournelle's Iron Law of Bureaucracy states that in any bureaucratic organization there will be two kinds of people: those who work to further the actual goals of the organization, and those who work for the organization itself. Examples in education would be teachers who work and sacrifice to teach children, vs. union representative who work to protect any teacher including the most incompetent. The Iron Law states that in all cases, the second type of person will always gain control of the organization, and will always write the rules under which the organization functions."

    There's a lot of that "FU, I'm all right, Jack" going around. Obama's kids are fine; now he has to pay his debt to the teachers' unions. Democratic politicians are owned by the unions, union leaders are so narrowly focused that they don't seem to care what happens to the industries that employ their members, and I wonder if the teachers at Sidwell Friends are unionized?

    Since Washington DC is, or used to be, and could be again, under the direct control of Congress, IF the members of Congress were as smart as they would like us to think, THEN it should be a model city, the best run in the country. Another: IF Congress still had to use some of their time to be the City Council of Washington DC, THEN they would have less time to pass pernicious laws such as — name a few of your favorites here. Anything related to global warming? CPSIA? Rosa DeLauro's Food Safety Modernization Act? The GIVE/SERVE act? Not to mention Murtha's airport, and — oh, I could go on all night.

  2. I had intended to wrap that up with a reference to "The Gods of the Copybook Headings," but got so wrapped up in the last paragraph that it slipped my mind. So, here.

    "We were living in trees when they met us. They showed us each in turn
    "That Water would certainly wet us,
    as Fire would certainly burn:
    "But we found them lacking in Uplift, Vision and Breadth of Mind,
    "So we left them to teach the Gorillas while we followed the March of Mankind."

    Hope and change, hope and change. Chesterton had something to say about change:

    "In the matter of reforming things, as distinct from deforming them, there is one plain and simple principle; a principle which will probably be called a paradox. There exists in such a case a certain institution or law; let us say, for the sake of simplicity, a fence or gate erected across a road. The more modern type of reformer goes gaily up to it and says, "I don't see the use of this; let us clear it away." To which the more intelligent type of reformer will do well to answer: 'If you don't see the use of it, I certainly won't let you clear it away. Go away and think. Then, when you can come back and tell me that you do see the use of it, I may allow you to destroy it.'

    "This paradox rests on the most elementary common sense. The gate or fence did not grow there. It was not set up by somnambulists who built it in their sleep. It is highly improbable that it was put there by escaped lunatics who were for some reason loose in the street. Some person had some reason for thinking it would be a good thing for somebody. And until we know what the reason was, we really cannot judge whether the reason was reasonable. It is extremely probable that we have overlooked some whole aspect of the question, if something set up by human beings like ourselves seems to be entirely meaningless and mysterious. There are reformers who get over this difficulty by assuming that all their fathers were fools; but if that be so, we can only say that folly appears to be a hereditary disease. But the truth is that nobody has any business to destroy a social institution until he has really seen it as an historical institution. If he knows how it arose, and what purposes it was supposed to serve, he may really be able to say that they were bad purposes, that they have since become bad purposes, or that they are purposes which are no longer served. But if he simply stares at the thing as a senseless monstrosity that has somehow sprung up in his path, it is he and not the traditionalist who is suffering from an illusion."

    Though sometimes it's tricky to tell. I think the modern drug laws, for instance, tore down an old freedom. (Jefferson: "Was the government to prescribe to us our medicine and diet, our bodies would be in such keeping as our souls are now.") Modern "conservatives," who don't know that drug prohibition is a relatively recent thing, might think that prohibition is the conservative thing.

    Well, you did say "Unleash hell." And that business with the DC voucher program is so bad, that you would think it would disillusion the Obama supporters. Won't, though.

  3. And who's taking this opportunity away? People who send their own children to private schools, quite possibly the same ones these kids will not be going to.bastards. I heard about this and I couldn't believe it.

  4. Good stuff, Hector (and Blake).

    *sigh* I second knox's "bastards".

  5. Anybody who has cooled off can take a look at this video. It will warm you right back up again.


Grab an umbrella. Unleash hell. Your mileage may vary. Results not typical. If swelling continues past four hours, consult a physician.