Wednesday, September 02, 2009

The President's address to schoolchildren

I keep seeing this described in the press as an address to "all" public school children. But since the Federal Government can't actually require any school to put this program on, I hope that "all" simply expresses their hope as to who will tune in.

I've read through the Ed. Department's teacher's guide for the address several times (this is the pre-K through 6th grade guide) and am left wondering what this speech will cover. There's a lot about what the President will ask the kids to do and how the kids can help the President.

Maybe it's innocuous: "study hard and go to school." Typical for modern presidents, where our view of his role, sadly, has degenerated into a lot of this sort of thing. But harmless and actually a bit of good for the kids.

But I wonder whether or not this will be where Obama makes his push for community service, which his campaign had said he'd require of all students. The Mrs., who grew up in Communist Eastern Europe, rolled her eyes and said that was what they had to do every school year--two weeks of working out in the fields. You weren't actually required to do that, interestingly enough. You'd just have to repeat the school year if you opted out, that's all...

There's also the problematic phrasing in this teacher's guide:
"Why is it important that we listen to the President and other elected officials, like the mayor, senators, members of congress, or the governor? Why is what they say important?" is not important to listen to any of them! It is important for them to listen to us. We have absolutely no obligation, under any interpretation of our Declaration of Independence, Constitution, other founding documents, writings of the Founding Fathers, or of the whole premise of our system of government, to "listen to" our elected officials (or bureaucrats, for that matter). Our system is predicated on their listening to us, and there is not the converse idea of our needing to listen to them.

We are not wards of the state. We are free men. Our President needs to listen to us, and we go about our lives without needing him to tell us to do things for him. Now, again, if he's just going to tell the kids to study hard, that's fine. It's the advice of any adult to a child. But he gets no special consideration by being President, and he needs to remember that.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Ted Kennedy's Soviet Gambit, again

Commentary by Investor's Business Daily here. They bring up the 1799 Logan Act and ask if Kennedy violated it, even though the Soviets didn't take up his offer of help.

I'm still amazed this man wasn't drummed out of office for his behavior.

Left-wing astroturfing for town hall meetings

Caught on tape. A "Health Care for America Now" guy tells people how to drown out opposing questions and block the camera's view with signs.

Obama's arm-twisting on Honduras

O'Grady investigates the lengths to which our administration will go in pressuring Honduras to take back their would-be dictator.

One thing I'm curious about: Honduras has presidential elections coming up this November. Once they elect and inaugurate a new president, will our sanctions and threats against them cease? If any of these measures last a day past the beginning of their new administration, I'll have to believe it is purely punishment for having ousted a favored leftist. I think it is, anyway, but there won't be any pretext for maintaining these sanctions after the next Honduran administration takes office. Let's see how that goes...