- One thing does need to be said -- whatever you think about the merits of the situation on either side, and despite the irritating street theater and crappy behavior of the protestors, they aren't being irrational. If I had a sweet deal, I wouldn't want to give it up, either. The problem is the same as it always is in these cases: it's very easy to confuse your self-interest with the general interest. Which leads to the next two items:
- Writing in the Wall Street Journal (link is from Hot Air), Stephen Hayes asks a question for which he likely knows the answer. “In Tucson, the president called on Americans to honor the victims with a ‘more civil and honest public discourse’ that would ‘help us face up to the challenges of our nation in a way that would make them proud.’ Perhaps it’s unfair to expect him to answer for the offensive language and actions of Wisconsin’s protesters, though Joe Kiriaki is an Obama donor and Lena Taylor was an Obama superdelegate to the Democratic National Convention. But given his words just a month ago, is it too much to ask him to emphasize now that he meant what he said?” He didn't mean it, Mr. Hayes. And it is too much to ask.
- Ann Althouse, the UW-Madison law professor and blogger who has been following events in her neighborhood quite closely, notes how a teachable moment can go really, really wrong. As it happens, some of the teachers are now asking students to write an essay about what they did during their, ahem, break, hoping to incorporate "lessons about Wisconsin labor history." Althouse asks two really good questions. First, "What grade does a kid get if he says he demonstrated in favor of Scott Walker? Or if he says he stayed home and played video games?" You'd like to think it wouldn't matter, but can you be sure?
- Then there's this, also from Althouse: "Look, the teachers should leave the children out of their political struggle. They've already deprived them of nearly a week of the teaching they signed on to deliver. The students should receive, immediately, substantive educational lessons of the completely normal kind. Leave the politics, indoctrination, ideology, and political discipline out of the classroom. Children are required to attend school. The teachers who hold these young bodies and minds captive owe them pure, rich education. It's a disgusting violation of trust to do anything else. I can't believe people who are fighting to preserve their job benefits would even think to appropriate the children this way. It's mind boggling." It's only mind-boggling to someone who doesn't confuse their self-interest with the general interest.
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Still there, of course. A few more thoughts: