Category Archives: Are You F**king Kidding Me?

No President for Saginaw

I have to admit, as a founding member of the reality-based community, I’ve been a little burned out on right-wing nut jobs lately.  What with the Birthers, the Obama-as-Joker posters (what the h*** is up with those?), and a certain gubernatorial abdication*, there’s not a lot more my shattered hope for the American polity can really stand.

So forgive me if I was the last to hear about the latest: angry parents threatening school administrators and scaring them into not showing the President’s address on September 8.

President Obama’s plan to deliver a speech to public school students on Tuesday has set off a revolt among conservative parents, who have accused the president of trying to indoctrinate their children with socialist ideas and are asking school officials to excuse the children from listening.
The uproar over the speech, in which Mr. Obama intends to urge students to work hard and stay in school, has been particularly acute in Texas, where several major school districts, under pressure from parents, have laid plans to let children opt out of lending the president an ear.
Some parents said they were concerned because the speech had not been screened for political content. Nor, they said, had it been reviewed by the State Board of Education and local school boards, which, under state law, must approve the curriculum.
“The thing that concerned me most about it was it seemed like a direct channel from the president of the United States into the classroom, to my child,” said Brett Curtis, an engineer from Pearland, Tex., who said he would keep his three children home.
“I don’t want our schools turned over to some socialist movement.”

President Obama’s plan to deliver a speech to public school students on Tuesday has set off a revolt among conservative parents, who have accused the president of trying to indoctrinate their children with socialist ideas and are asking school officials to excuse the children from listening.

The uproar over the speech, in which Mr. Obama intends to urge students to work hard and stay in school, has been particularly acute in Texas, where several major school districts, under pressure from parents, have laid plans to let children opt out of lending the president an ear.

Here’s a particularly choice observation

“The thing that concerned me most about it was it seemed like a direct channel from the president of the United States into the classroom, to my child,” said Brett Curtis, an engineer from Pearland, Tex., who said he would keep his three children home.

“I don’t want our schools turned over to some socialist movement.”

Next you know, the same people will be blaming Obama for the Holocaust.  Oh.  Wait.

The sad thing is, these wing nuts have actually managed to succeed in getting school districts to censor (or even ban) the President’s speech.  And not just in Texas.  My sources in Michigan tell me that even in places like Saginaw Township — as much of an upscale suburb as you’re going to find in Saginaw — the administration has been cowed into submission, and has instructed teachers to refrain from showing the speech.

On my planet, we let the President talk, even when we don’t agree with him.  And how a speech from a Democratic president is inherently worse for children than one from a Republican, I have no idea.  I’ll leave it to you, dear readers, to explore your own feelings on this.

But, meanwhile, if you want to do your part to stop the hysteria, why not give the Superintendent of Saginaw Township schools what for?  Here’s their website: Saginaw Township Schools.

And the phone number for the office of the Superintendent: 989-399-8044.

Tell ’em Matski sent ya’.

* Like any assasin — in this case, an assasin of reason — I refuse to named the Alaskan Abdicator by name.

Advertisements

Prepare to be Afraid

Okay, so maybe I’m the last one to hear about this (and it wouldn’t be the first time), but I caught some of Rachel Maddow’s show last night and found myself terrified by a video of a “birther” hijacking a GOP town hall meeting.  (Not the same video, ’cause I’m lazy, but here’s an earlier story by Maddow on the same topic.)

These people scare me in the way a single rat scares me – there’s always more than one.  And aren’t these the same wingnuts who thought they saw black helicopters over America c. 1994?

Seriously … what in particular creates the kind of low-grade schizophrenia that seems to afflict so many on the right?

American Enterprise Institute v Soccer

A strange, bizarre, and yet somehow pedantic rant from the increasingly irrelevant American far right:

… thankfully, Americans are not buying it. In spite of the fact that one can drive by an open field on Saturdays and usually see it filled with young boys and girls playing soccer, the game’s popularity has not moved anywhere toward being a major sport here in the United States.

… For sure, there may be a number of reasons that is the case but my suspicion is that the so-called “beautiful game” is not so beautiful to American sensibilities. We like, as good small “d” democrats, our underdogs for sure but we also still expect folks in the end to get their just desert. And, in sports, that means excellence should prevail. Of course, the fact that is often not the case when it comes to soccer may be precisely the reason the sport is so popular in the countries of Latin America and Europe.

Ah, I get it.  In America, only people who DESERVE to win, win.  People like Bill Gates, who inherited his money honestly before he conned his way to buying DOS.  Or, to use a sports analogy, people like Mark McGuire and Lance Armstrong, who certainly never ever would’ve ever taken any banned substances, no sir.

It’s sad that AEI is so far fallen that they’re reduced to rehashing these tired arguments.  I mean, at least say something original.  Or, better, read Franklin Foer (of Brookings) book How Soccer Explains the World.

Pop Song 89!

Let’s be clear here. When I said it was important to support the Post-Intelligencer as it adapts to technology, that did not mean you could go and blog the weather.

The weird thing about weather is that there’s a pretty simple non-technological way to determine it: look out the window. And if that doesn’t suffice, there’s probably a widget for it. But don’t insult our intelligence by trying to ramp up page views with a paragraph on the weather.

Oh, and Department of Revenue press releases and WDOT advisories aren’t far behind in my book. The worst thing you can do if you have a blog — far worse than if it were a newspaper — is make it boring. You guys just did that.

We Need New Shorthand Not For “Spin” But Rather For “Unaccountably Bizarre Spin That Defies Both Common Sense And Logic”

Perhaps Blagojevich didn’t get the fairest treatment but the more he speaks, the clearer it seems that the legislature probably got it right:

“Well, baby, we’re out of here,” he said to Louanner Peters, a deputy governor. His entourage hurried him toward his S.U.V. and the airport, reminding him that time might be ticking on those vehicles. He shook hands with workers on the airfield, state troopers and the pilots.

On the plane, he took a front-facing seat on the left side, his regular spot, “for old time’s sake,” he said.

“We should have been more selfish, not selfless,” he said. “It sounds probably perverse for me to say that based on what some people are saying about me. But it’s true. My family, we didn’t take advantage of all these things that people do. My successor has done a whole bunch as the lieutenant governor — taken all kinds of trips all over the world and trade missions — like he’s got anything to do with anything as lieutenant governor.”

Cue the Black Helicopters

Wise sage John Bolton (formerly, Bush ambassador to the UN) pleads for a return to strict constitutionalism in American treaty-making:

THE Constitution’s Treaty Clause has long been seen, rightly, as a bulwark against presidential inclinations to lock the United States into unwise foreign commitments. The clause will likely be tested by Barack Obama’s administration, as the new president and Secretary of State-designate Hillary Clinton, led by the legal academics in whose circles they have long traveled, contemplate binding down American power and interests in a dense web of treaties and international bureaucracies.

Really, John?  Really?  Those damned [cough]liberal[/cough] “academics” and their “knowledge”.  Lord knows all this country needs is good-looking mountain man too proud to ask questions, and everything will be hunky-dory.

Please, will someone in the GOP put a gag on these parrots of yesteryear’s “Old Timey Reagan-Land” policy?  It’s old.  I’m not saying we’ll all agree with everything the Obama team does, but it’s time to move on.