Episode 55: A Service Considered Essential, Banning Recreation at Recess, and Name That Quote!
Of all the services that the government performs, which ones are considered “essential”? Which ones stay operating even during a shutdown? Here’s an example of one, and in fact, it’s a service that is active only during a shutdown.
What if they held a recess and nobody played? A school is banning baseballs, soccer ball, basketballs; basically anything that might give you a boo-boo. That may seem silly (and it is), but there’s some other silliness that’s prompting it.
And we have another round of “Name That Quote”. In the continuing saga of the debt limit, I have an outspoken critic of raising it. See if you can guess who it is.
Ceiling Whacks [Snopes.com]
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This past weekend, veterans and their supporters protested in Washington, DC. They took down the barricades surrounding the open-air World War II memorial, and dumped some of them half a mile away outside the White House. It seems like spending money, during an alleged government shutdown, to close something that doesn’t actually require opening was a bridge too far for an administration bent on making sure you feel the pain, even if the pain is manufactured.
Speaking at this protest were politicians of all stripes, standing with and supporting our vets. Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and Sarah Palin were there, they spoke to the crowd, and… Hmm, just a minute. Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Sarah Palin… Aren’t they all Republicans? Why yes; yes they are. What should have been a bipartisan show of support, was partisan only because every available Democrat either supported this manufactured pain, or dare not cross his party leaders with a show of independence, or support the troops.
Is the question of this manufactured pain – shutting down things that have never been shut down during a government shutdown – a partisan issue? It shouldn’t be. And I do understand supporting the President who happens to be of your party. Generally, you don’t want to be the one giving the other side an easy target. I get that. But aren’t there some things beyond the pale? For some, it appears not.
Oh, and on Monday, the barricades were put back up. Now there’s an essential service for ya’. Seems the World War II Memorial is more secure than our borders.
There’s concern over safety, and there’s paranoia. You decide which this is. It seems that officials at Weber Middle School in Port Washington were worried that students were getting hurt during recess. So they instituted a ban on actual fun during recess. They banned footballs, baseballs, lacrosse balls, or anything that might hurt someone on school grounds. Sports balls are out, Nerf ball are in
They’ve even banned rough games of tag (and I suppose they’ll know “rough” when they see it), or cartwheels unless supervised by a coach. “So, what do you teach at school?” “Oh, I’m the playground cartwheel coach.” That’s got to look great on a resume.
Anyway, I say just wrap them in layers of bubble wrap and let them roll around for an hour.
But there is an angle touched on in the article that may explain and additional side to this. In the 50s and 60s, heck, even into the 70s I think, if a kid got hurt at recess, he was expected to shake it off, maybe find the nurse to get a band aid, and that was that. Sure there were the occasional serious injury, but that’s what insurance is for.
However, today, if a kid gets hurt in recess, he could have his college education paid for after the subsequent lawsuit. Yeah, laugh at the schools that go to extremes over safety, but there is an underlying, real, and costly reason that is partially to blame; our litigation-happy generation of parents.
It’s silly, but it is, in part, in response to some silliness of its own.
Here’s something I’ve not done in a while. Let’s once again play “Name That Quote”. This is the game where I read someone’s words verbatim, and you try to figure out who said it. If you’re playing along at home, give yourself 10 points for being correct, 5 points if you’re close (and I’ll let you determine what close is), and 1 point if you get the political party right. (Hey, it’s a 50-50 chance.) And for this quote, party is a factor. Here’s the quote
The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies.
There’s lots more, but you get the gist of it. Come to the website and see the show notes for a link to the full text of this rant against a debt limit increase.
I will give you a hint; this is not from the current debt limit fight. The speaker is someone who has been on both sides of the debate. That’s right, he was against the debt limit increase before he was for it. No, it’s not John Kerry, but if you thought that, you were close.
This quote, from March 16th, 2006, during a Republican presidential administration, is from the, then, junior Senator from Illinois, Barack Obama. Of course, now that he’s in the Oval Office, it’s just as reckless, and just as much a failure of leadership, to agree with what he said. You’re likely to get whiplash discovering what a difference an administration makes.