Tuesday, April 17, 2012
What’s wrong with this picture? America through the looking glass
Commentary by James H. Shott
Summoning forth recollections of “Monty Python's Flying Circus” and other farces, the following true-life examples of what’s going on in America ought to wake you up.
1. A Massachusetts school principal wanted to rename "St. Patrick's Day" in an effort to be "inclusive and diverse," and to ease discomfort that some students might have in celebrating St. Patrick's Day or Valentine's Day. Lisa Curtin, principal of the Soule Road School in Wilbraham, Mass., decided to change the names, and in February renamed “Valentine’s Day” to "Caring and Kindness Day,” according to parents with children in the school. Some parents criticized the decision to change the name St.Paddy’s Day to "O'Green Day" as stupid and illogical.
That’s an apt description.
2. A North Carolina grandmother became upset when her 5-year-old granddaughter's home-made lunch was taken away at school because school officials said it wasn't nutritious enough. The lunch, which consisted of a turkey and cheese sandwich on white-wheat bread, potato chips, a banana and apple juice, was taken away and she was forced to eat cafeteria chicken nuggets.
The assistant superintendent of the school system agreed that the lunch was healthy, but it was missing milk, a key part of what is considered to be a healthy meal under state guidelines. The grandmother says the state should not be inspecting lunches and should instead focus solely on academics.
Don’t you admire her restraint?
3. As reported by a Washington newspaper, First Solar, a heavily government-subsidized solar company, received a U.S. taxpayer loan guarantee to sell solar panels in other countries. Last September, $455.7 million in guarantees to subsidize the sale of solar panels to two solar farms in Canada were approved. The owner of the solar farms is First Solar.
Your government at work.
4. A Burnsville, Minn. man was arrested and thrown in jail because city officials said he had not properly put up siding on his house. Mitch Faber was cited with “having an unfinished exterior” when, nearly four years after he started it, his home’s stucco project was not complete.
Faber told a Minneapolis TV station he always intended to finish the project, but that he ran into financial trouble when the economy took a turn.
His first encounter with the city happened in 2007 when he got a letter saying the siding needed to be finished. “We were in the process of finishing,” Faber told the station. “This wasn’t something that we were trying to avoid doing.”
There were two more letters in 2009 and another in 2010, which required Faber to appear in court. That’s when he was told to finish the siding, or go to jail.
In order to comply, Faber and his wife spent $12,000 to put a stucco facade over their house’s plywood exterior. It wasn’t enough: Last November, Faber was arrested after city inspectors concluded the work wasn’t up to code.
What happens in Burnsville if you actually commit a crime?
5. In what is being portrayed as a preview of fully implemented Obamacare, government officials in Michigan are demanding that a 9-year-old child follow standard procedure and take a dangerous course of cancer medications that can cause additional cancer – even though the boy has had three scans indicating an absence of the disease.
The Home School Legal Defense Association is an organization that concerns itself with home school rights, responsibilities and restrictions but also intercedes in cases that could have a significant impact on child and parental rights.
The HSLDA’s chairman, Michael P. Farris, confirmed that the Michigan Department of Human Services has filed suit to force the parents to administer the chemicals to their son even though he’s been clean of cancer on scans over the past year.
Well, at least it’s not a death panel.
6. The District of Columbia Board of Elections opened an investigation after an undercover video posted online showed an activist against voter fraud going into a Washington polling station and beginning the process to vote under the name of U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. When he said he didn’t have his ID, the poll worker said it really didn’t matter, and was prepared to give the activist a ballot.
Rather than find out why poll workers did not ascertain the real identity of the “voter,” who did not accept the ballot, the Elections Board has decided to investigate the activist.
Vote early and often in DC.
7. The New York City Department of Education created a plan to ban the use of 50 words on standardized school tests, thinking the terms might be offensive to some people.
Among the words on the forbidden list were: birthdays, celebrities, cigarettes, crime, divorce, evolution, politics, sex, religion, rap music, Halloween, terrorism, rock-and-roll music, and violence.
Fortunately, and contrary to the previous examples, common sense prevailed and the school system decided against going forward with its plan.
These examples reflect government at all levels run amok, and they paint a dismal picture of America’s future, unless we wise up.
Cross-posted from Observations