Wednesday, March 11, 2009

New Meaning to the Term: Nanny State


Yesterday, president Obamanator, our fearless leader into the Brave New World of Tit-Sucking and Fanny Spanking, unveiled his new edumacation plan to the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. There was some tough talk about merit pay and incentives and head thumping the unions for keeping good teachers down, blah, blah, blah. But then our prez revealed his true colors with some truly alarming statments.

Summarized in an article at msnbc.msn.com, here they are, with commentary by yours truly.

• Improved pre-kindergarten programs, including $5 billion in the stimulus plan to grow Head Start, expand child care access and do more for children with special needs. He also said he would offer 55,000 first-time parents regular visits from trained nurses and said that states that develop cutting-edge plans to raise the quality of early learning programs would get an Early Learning Challenge Grant, if Congress approves the new program. (Whoa, Nelly! You mean gub'mint-appointed and trained "nurses" are going to jack boot themselves into the homes of new parents to make sure they're towing the gub'mint line regarding proper child care? Pee U. Smells like Commie Spirit to Moi.)

• Reducing student dropout rates. To students, Obama said: "Don't even think about dropping out of school." (That's pretty tough talk there, cowboy. And do I detect a hint of a threat?) But he said that reducing the dropout rates also requires turning around the worst schools, something he asked lawmakers, parents and teachers to make "our collective responsibility as Americans." (Wow. Dude actually used the words "collective responsibility." It's REALLY beginning to stink in here.)

Repeating his call for everyone to commit to at least one year or more of higher education or career training, with the goal of highest proportion of college graduates in the world by the year 2020. (What if we don't want to? What if we want to raise cattle on our family's ranch, or travel to Africa to help the poor, or cruise on our trust funds and hang out in Santa Fe contemplating our belly buttons?)

In fact, what if we don't want to do any of this? What if we want instead to exercise our CIVIL RIGHTS to just say NO? What are you gonna do about it, Barry?

Because the essential question underlying these particular points is: Who defines productive? Who quantifies it? Say my neighbor to the west of me, George, makes $50,000 a year as a plumber while the neighbor to the east of me, Mike, makes $100,000. Will the government penalize George for not being as productive as Mike? Doesn't matter that $50,000 is more than enough for him and his wife to live on every year, he's not getting with the program like Mike is, gosh darn it!

When the government starts setting standards for productive action – whether in education, business, or child-rearing – you no longer have the country our founding fathers fought for. You have something else. Which is fine, if that's what the majority of us want. But let's have the guts to call it what it is – fascism – and not fool ourselves any longer that we're living under a republican democracy.

24 comments:

NYD said...

Maybe it's time to stop saying "No" just because you have a right to do so.

As a matter of fact every citizen of every democratic nation has a duty to be productive. The choice of your contribution is of course your own.
The founding fathers had it easy all they had to do is fight for freedom. Today we find ourselves in the position of protecting it.
I personally think that at some point citizens have to be responsible for improving society as a whole rather than maintaining the status quo.

moi said...

NYD: My point isn't to be contrary "just because." My point is to say no to government control over our civil liberties, which includes our family and intellectual lives. Where do you think productivity comes from? Certainly not government mandates – which in actuality create status quos and stifle incentives. Productivity is the result of talented, ambitious people seeking certain goals, who break rules, don't conform, and inspire others not to, either.

K9 said...

i agree these jokers in washington have narrow definitions of EVERYTHING and most of the time it is in service to THEM to retain control and power. i cant drop out fast enough. i hope my productive is to lay low and be as self sufficient as i possibly can. and to some that will look broke but i will be LOADED.( to your plumber vs bidnessman point.)

moi said...

K9: Exactly. What if half this country decides to just say no to the piratical practices of the past thirty years and live totally off the grid? In other words, not spend, spend, spend but instead engage only in focused, community-based exchanges of value-for-value? Now, talk about environmentally sound. But not much use for the government in that case, is there?

Boxer said...

oh, I LOVE your red voice!!!!!!!!

Mr. Boxer sent this to me the other day:

"You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation.You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it."

Gnomeself Be True said...

The spouse, a teacher, has been bitching for years over NCLB. She's right, it's a piece of crap program.
I've been trying to explain to her that the problem isn't that GWB messed with education, it's that the Feds were messing with education.
She read the Obamessia pronouncements and was very put off by the (token) statments about accountability.
I'll be saying "I told you so" for a very long time.
Stupid liberal woman still thinks that Goobernment is the answer...if only we could get good liberal goobernment.

Of course, this is small satisfaction as the asshat she helped elect will continue and expand crushing federal government involvement where they need to get the fuck out of the way.

CHEF TROLL said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AL (the inventor) GORE said...

I invented "collective responsibility". And, unlike Gnome, I married a Republican. But 30 years and 200 pounds later, I've got her thinking and looking just like me!

I rock!

CaptainBrevity said...

LIBS HAVE NO MURALS!

Heather Cherry said...

Hey, thanks for the link, Moy.

P.S. Little known fact: Obama was born out of the glorious union of a unicorn and a rainbow. Also his poo smells like Febreeze.

moi said...

Boxer: Mr. Boxer sounds like a wise pugilist, indeed.

Gnome: I think the only thing he plans to do with NCLB is ensure the money's there to back it up. Not good. But, I like his ideas about merit pay, I'll give him that.

Al: Actually, you "jelly."

Captain: But they have tons of mixed media collages.

Cherry: Huh. I was betting on Dolce and Gabana's Light Blue.

K9 said...

grherhahaha heather cherry! febreeze kills, ya know.

Heather Cherry said...

Moy: You would.

K9: Muwahahahahahahahaha K9! Can someone please tell me why they're trying to make everything smell like Febreze (I think I misspelled it before) now? Everything is "Now with the scent of Febreze!" Ugh. I've never liked the smell of Febreze anyway. And why would I want my frozen dinners or lightbulbs to smell like Febreze anyhoo?

NYD said...

I like the addendum to the original post yet there are a few points on which you might want to reconsider. The government will not penalize "George" in fact the opposite is the case. It will be "Mike" who has to pay more taxes. Yet "Mike " will still be able to live a fairly decent life after the assault by the IRS.

Secondly, I didn't notice anything mentioned about government standards for productive living in the speech nor do I think it wrong that certain standards be set for the education of a nation's youth. America is the wealthiest, most productive nation on earth yet for the last decade there has been a drastic decrease in educational standards. This you can see for yourself. The National Center for Education Statistics .

If the govt. is setting standards on how we decide to live, love and do business then you have got something valid to fight against.

Yet it is within their purview to ensure that all talented, original entrepreneurs follow guidelines (that have nothing to do with the creative process) which are put in place for the benefit of all.

I understand that you feel perturbed at the fact that Washington has exceeded it's rightful bounderies of legislation and I couldn't agree with you more, but America is far from being a fascist state.

moi said...

Cherry: The Febreeze-ification of the scented world is a plot, I tell you, a plot!

NYD: It was your original comment, thoughtful as always, that prompted my addendum. I agree that our educational system is a shambles. How could it NOT be? For decades, it’s been the same ol’ refrain: we have to fix education. But we never do. Why is that, do you suppose?

And why is it that the world managed to birth productive people, people of genius even, long before public education was mandatory? Why is it that there are people out there who have been educated to the hilt who languish in their so-called careers, while others, some of whom never attended a single day of school beyond the 10th grade, are majorly successful? Could it be that education and drive and success have nothing to do with a “system” and everything to do with the intimate connection between a teacher, a child, and their parents?

We may not have an out and out fascist government, but many of its tactics over the past several administrations have most certainly been fascist. Our government as established by its founders exists to protect our civil rights through a series of laws. It does not exist to extend those rights to some but not others. It does not exist to bully us into doing what it feels is for our own good, and I will include in that, a trained force of “nurses” who spy on first-time parents and an administration that continues to require our nation’s children to attend its substandard educational system.

Given the evidence, is it such a stretch to imagine that the next step after forcing us to meet certain standards of education is forcing us to meet certain standards of production?

A government giddy with the possibilities of micro-managing every aspect of my life, a government that wants me to get with the program but only the program it prescribes, is NOT a government working for my good or anyone else's good – individual or collective.

EmmaK said...

I don't agree that people need to be productive as in earn as much money as possible. But they do have a responsibity to live within their means if they can. So being on Welfare without really even trying to finish school or get a job is a bummer I would say.

While like you say Obama is being heavy handed with his educational ideas I don't know what else one can suggest. Okay obviously the underclass of US society needs to be reformed from the ground up, dysfunctional families breed dysfunctional students. But how do you change these dysfunctional families without interfering?

moi said...

Emma: But they do have a responsibity to live within their means if they can. So being on Welfare without really even trying to finish school or get a job is a bummer I would say.
I couldn't agree with you more. Although I don't advocate our educational system as it stands – or where, it seems, it is going – neither do I advocate welfare, which is, in many ways, government perpetuated.

And while I certainly share your concerns about children being brought up in dysfunctional families, I don't see what the government could possibly do to remedy those situations. I come to that conclusion through direct experience. My experience with child social services has been, how shall I put it, like dealing with Laurel and Hardy.

Basically, wherever you have human societies, you have imperfection. Sometimes there is NOTHING that can be done about that. Does that mean that we, as members of that society, shouldn't come together and try and assist those who are suffering? Certainly not. But I see so much more effective work being done by private organizations that directly appeal for assistance than I do by government "programs" cooked up and mis-managed by a bunch of bureaucrats.

CHEF TROLL said...

Amen to Moi's last comment regarding people VOLUNTARILY helping others through well-organized PRIVATELY-FUNDED vehicles.

I don't think it's a matter of those PRIVATE organizations doing MORE good than the Government, however.

In many cases, and definately the case with the Federal Department of Education, the Government doesn't do good at all. It's made things measurably worse.

The Founders would be disgusted that we even HAVE a Cabinet Level Federal Department of Education.

K9 said...

a perfect and timely example to the education situation is visible in todays news. looking at forbes' billionaire list in remarkable contrast to Europe, most american billionaires are self made, while europes are inheritance based. of american billionaires 15 never finished college -10 didnt finish high school.

in obaaama's cabinet you have a boat load of ivy league scholars. these are people who spent a lot of time theorizing how things work and have little real world experience in how things actually DO work. this is the fundamental problem with career politicians.

kmwthay said...

Why in the world would the government send nurses to the homes to first time parents?

a. where will these nurses come from? There is already a mega-shortage of nurses in much more critical areas of healthcare. Maybe this is what Obama means when he threatens not to drop out of school. It's the pre-cursor to him saying, 'not only will you not drop out of school, you will go to school to be a nurse so I can send you to the homes of first time parents..."

2. It sounds like he wants to be the ultimate hall way monitor, and guess what... America has forgotten the bathroom pass. We're all in detention for the next 4 years.

d. Obama-schmama. Next time borrow money from Oprah - let her money bail out the banks and insurance companies. Ya'll are besties... she'll loan it to you. She thinks you are the greatest thing that happened to this country. We tax payers can't afford anymore bailouts.

Wow, that was awkward said...

What a crazy coincidence. I have been contemplating your belly button from all the way over here in Denver!

moi said...

Chef Troll: The only reason we even have public education is because the gub'ment outlawed child labor :o)

K9: And we won't even go there with all the successful immigrants who come to this country.

kmwthay: and guess what... America has forgotten the bathroom pass. We're all in detention for the next 4 years.

Ding, ding! You win Best Comment of the Day Award! ROTFL.

WTWA: Aw, I bet you say that to all crazy-ass Libertarian chicks in your life.

Heff said...

I like the way you think, moi.

moi said...

Heff: Whew. That's good. 'Cause La Revolucion totally needs a heavy metal rock star. PARTY!