It was once an American credo that bad laws are made to be broken. But with the Republic’s long slide past democracy into a police state, reverence for “the law,” good or bad, now reigns. We might chalk that up to the draconian penalties awaiting violators: eight years in prison for lying to the FBI despite the agency’s own inability to tell the truth; hundreds of dollars in fines for exceeding speed limits; execution for disembarking from an airline flight without permission. Such severe punishment will dissuade all but the bravest or craziest from flouting the rules.
At the National Education Association’s convention, held last July in San Diego, retiring general counsel of the organization, Bob Chanin, in his swan-song speech to the union’s faithful, asked the rhetorical question, “Why are these conservative and right-wing b*****ds picking on the NEA and its affiliates?”
We would not have to ask the above question if public education had not become the great, costly, and tragic failure that it is. It has failed the children, but in reality it has not failed the progressives. They were the ones who engineered the dumbing-down process which parents and taxpayers continue to pay for. But it is the children who suffer in terms of becoming intellectually disabled, semi-literate, disoriented, frustrated, and terribly unhappy. But what is even a bit disheartening is that many liberals still believe that government schooling has been a noble experiment.
It’s not enough that the federal Transportation Security Administration (TSA) gropes us at checkpoints in airports, photographs passengers naked, steals from them, and even killed one. Now it’s recruiting the nation’s truck- and bus-drivers as snitches against us in a scheme it calls First Observer.
There’s a wonderful German word, “schadenfreude,” which translates roughly as “taking pleasure in the misfortune of others.” Normally that would be a pretty petty thing to feel. But I’ve got to admit, I’ve been enjoying a lot of schadenfreude lately, as I witness the problems the Association for Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) has created for itself.
Following the OPEC Summit in November of 2007, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad shook things up when he said the U.S. dollar was “a worthless piece of paper.” He had expressed concern over the dollar’s decreasing value and wondered aloud if the global marketplace should use another currency in the trading of oil. At the time, the world scoffed at the concept and looked at Ahmadinejad as a mad man.