So much horror, so little time. There is so much happening (and so much lackadaisical disinterest and inexplicable lack of decision-making from BO) that I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed. Rather than trying to post separately, I thought I’d just thought bomb on a few of the many things that are happening and have happened (or come to light) in the past week or so . . .
This administration is still doing less than nothing about Iran . . .
We have Iran going nuclear, launching two tests in as many days, on a Jewish holiday (but that’s nothing like the Yom Kippur War of 1973, right?). With the U. S. dithering and wittering on about “sanctions” and possible strident verbal rebukes, Iran is quaking in its boots. Or, um, not. Naturally, they are laughing their butts off at the impotent “power” of the U. S. and have crafted a lovely agreement with Venezuela to get gasoline, thus essentially thumbing its nose at the U. S.’s “threat” to stop the importation of gasoline (and oil) from our allies to Iran unless they agree to stop their plan to nuke Israel off the face of the earth. No problem, says crazy Ahmadinejad (only it took him twenty-five minutes to say it), I’ll just go to my buddy Chavez, help him find some uranium so we can have another nutjob join the nuclear age (and provide Iran supplies if that silly Russia becomes difficult) and get some essential fuels in return. Yay.
The White House’s response? Let’s keep up the pressure of threatening to impose sanctions, you know, tell them we’ll impose sanctions to limit their access to oil and gasoline (limit to that which they acquire from Venezuela and China, I guess). We’ll just see what Iran decides to do, which path they decide to take, says the ever-insipid Gibbs. Um, I think they’ve already made their decision there, Gibbs, don’t you?
White House: Afghanistan, Schmanistan–we’ll get to it one of these days. Maybe.
We have the war in Afghanistan, BO’s “good war,” being back-burnered for no clear reason and with the result that more and more American soldiers are dying every day. Needlessly. McChrystal wants more troops, he has a strategy, but the White House is telling him not to even bother submitting his request formally (this is their avoidance tactic on the issue, McChrystal sent a letter a month ago to BO stating that he thinks we can prevail there, if he only had more troops). BO has spoken to this hand-picked general of his exactly once in the 70 days he’s been on the ground in Afghanistan. Once! As others have noted, BO spent more time talking to David Letterman than he has to his general in an on-going war. Commander in Chief my fuzziest slippers!
This wavering, prevaricating, waffling nonsense from the White House is sick-making. It’s very simple, send the general any and everything he asks for . . . or get out. Dithering like this is simply costing more American lives and giving the dems something to point to about how ineffective the war is. Of course it is! It’s under-funded and under-supported. We can do it, but we cannot with our hands tied and our military men and women sent into dangerous territory to perform herculean tasks in too-small numbers and without sufficient support. We either want whatever it is we want there, or we don’t. Easy-peasey. If we accomplish our goals and run the Taliban and al-Queda out of Afghanistan (and Pakistan, I guess, while we’re at it), then help them set up a democratic government and train them to defend themselves, then we’ll all be that much safer. If we don’t, we empower the terror recruiters because we show ourselves to be weak and stupid. Neither appearance seems to bother the current president of this country.
The ongoing healthcare debacle.
And what’s going on here? Well, not only has the president’s over all approval numbers dipped below 50% again, at the low low 49% approving of BO’s performance and 51% disapproving, but now only 41% approve of his healthcare plan, while 56% disapprove. That’s not good, that can’t be spun to sound good. Not even by the New York Times (which Clifton over at ABC calls the DNC Newsletter, heh). The latest from the loons on the left is that we need to specifically include illegal immigrants in the government option. Two things wrong with this: we don’t want a government option, and illegal immigrants should absolutely not be included. Geez, we’re already a magnet for every illegal within swimming or walking distance, what’s that going to do? And if we can identify them to pay into the plan, let’s ship them out. I am so sick of the pandering to illegals. It’s just wrong.
I do, however, have a problem with the Baucus bill provision that legal immigrants must wait five years to become eligible. If people come to this country legally, then the second that they obtain legal status, they should be afforded every right, protection, opportunity that this country offers. That’s the American Way. It’s the illegals who chap my hide, and the argument that they can currently purchase car insurance is not a selling point! They should not be able to do that, either. It’s ridiculous.
healthcare “urgency” (hmph!)
The other argument is that we are facing a possible pandemic of H1N1 this fall and winter. Yes, and? Even if this government takeover passes, the whole thing won’t be in full effect until 2013. How is that going to help anyone this fall? It’s just another phony argument made by phony people who portray phony motives. If all of this is so urgent that it must be passed before the summer break, by October 15, and now by the end of the year, then why (o why) doesn’t the thing kick in (the actual “takeover” part) until 2013? Can anyone say, “2012 presidential election”? And as an aside, when was the last time that BO said he wants to be a “two-term president”? Seems to me that all I’ve heard from him lately is that he wants “to be president for a long time.” A proclamation that sends chills down my spine.
Social Reform K-12 Education
K-12 education is a disastrous mess in this country. We all know it. Our kids are embarrassingly unprepared for college and can’t answer simple questions about American history, fall behind a large number of countries in maths and science, and can’t tell the difference between a contraction and a possessive. While the problem is serious and puts us at risk in the future in terms of staying competitive (not that this is a real concern to BO, though he says it is, he’s simply interested in controlling every aspect of this society), it’s not something that springs from anything other than liberal interference in our K-12 education system. Teaching students to write whatever floats through their heads is not teaching students to write. It’s teaching them that writing takes no form, has no rules, does not matter.
Grade inflation, a rampant problem at the university level, is a direct result of the unpreparedness of students who attend college and the myriad programs and initiatives that shove students into college even when they are not prepared and / or don’t have the intellectual “stuff” to make it there (when universities actually taught people how to think and gave foundational and advanced knowledge in a wide range of subjects). We weren’t always slacker-losers in education, so let’s look at when we started falling behind (around the time that we started congratulating students for subpar work so we wouldn’t hurt their feelings and when we started letting them pick their own curriculum (grr!)). Spending more time navel-gazing is not going to make anyone smarter or improve any test scores. Actual education reform is needed, not these ridiculous ideas that don’t even come close to addressing the fundamental problem/s.
I’ve written previously on BO’s “merit pay for teachers” being a bad and wrong-headed and stupid idea, and so, too, is his idea that we send our kids to school longer than they already go, which is already longer than the countries who are out-stripping us in maths and science.
Kids in the U.S. spend more hours in school (1,146 instructional hours per year) than do kids in the Asian countries that persistently outscore the U.S. on math and science tests — Singapore (903), Taiwan (1,050), Japan (1,005) and Hong Kong (1,013). That is despite the fact that Taiwan, Japan and Hong Kong have longer school years (190 to 201 days) than does the U.S. (180 days). (source)
The problem, then, is not the amount of time spent in school, but the amount of time in school learning to sing songs of praise to a mere man and learning about gay penguins. This is not education, this is liberal indoctrination. Period. If we want our students (and therefore our future) to be successful, we need to teach them as we used to. One of the things that drove me away from higher education was the ridiculous emphasis on “peer” learning; students will not learn as much from each other as they can from their professor, and any and all statements to the contrary are based in wrong-headed pedagogy that foregrounds “discovery” rather than actual learning. So there.
What this plan is really aimed at is social policy; this is BO’s solution to teen gangs, teen drug use, teen crime, teen violence, and other negative behaviors that begin, usually, after school and before their parents get home. If they come home at all. While I’m all for finding ways to help our kids stay on the straight and narrow, sticking them in school from 7:30 until 5 p.m. or from 8 until 7 p.m. is not the answer. The same kids who drop out, cut classes, and are basically unsupervised because their parents are either working two or three jobs or are on drugs (or whatever) or simply don’t care will still drop and cut classes. Again, the majority are essentially punished so that a small minority of people can be “taken care of” by the State. Gee, what’s that called again? Not only that, but the unions whom BO loves so much, won great victories for workers in cutting the work week to five days and forty hours, and now we are going to demand that our children work longer days, six days a week?
School children singing the “Barack Hussein Obama mmm, mmm, mm” good song has been discussed to death. My only addition to the dialogue is that the argument that this was a Black History Month exercise is another attempt to tweak the fibers of white guilt. I say this because the operative word here is “History”; use Black History Month to teach kids, oh, I don’t know, history? Teach about Dr. King, who had the right idea that we should judge people by the content of their character and not the color of their skin. Hiding behind Black History Month is nothing more than a political ploy to get us to shift uncomfortably in our chairs and stay silent. Use Black History Month to teach songs about Sojourner Truth, Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, about the unnamed and unsung heroes who have fought and died for this country since (and during) the Civil War. Better yet, get rid of Black History Month and teach all of these things as we should, as parts of the fabric of American history and not as something to keep separate and distant and “other.”
And where’s our Dear Leader while all this is going on?
Jetting off on Air Force One (carbon footprint, anyone?) for an overnight trip to Copenhagen to peddle Chicago for the 2016 Olympic Games. Geez!
The NYTimes and WaPo declare themselves irrelevant
A note on the New York Times and Washington Post’s decision (after they failed to report on either the Van Jones story or the ACORN scandal) to hire someone to watch Fox News and listen to conservative radio in order to keep up with . . . well, the news. D’oh. Why wouldn’t I just watch Fox myself if all you’re going to do is report what they do . . . after they do?