Flashback: No You Can’t, Barack

Today Obama will be addressing a captive audience of school children.

Last year I wrote a column for the Dallas Morning News on why I won’t let my daughter be one of the captives.

Here it is.

No, You Can’t Mr. President

There’s no doubt the presidential address directed to the captive audience of the nation’s schoolchildren Tuesday will be nonpartisan and positive. Chock full of “study hard and stay in school.”

The problem? It’s not his place to deliver it.

That’s why my first-grader won’t have any part in this.

I know some people will say that we live in a democracy, he’s the national leader and the people voted for him.

Those people are wrong on all three counts. We’re a republic. He’s the president of a federation of states. And a majority of the members of the electoral college voted for him.

What could further cement this fundamental, dangerous misperception of the proper, limited role and power of the president’s office than to have him beamed into every classroom speaking virtually ex cathedra? I got nothing.

By the way, see how I haven’t mentioned the president’s name? That’s intentional. It wouldn’t matter to me who the president is. This could be Bush, Clinton, Reagan or zombie Milton Friedman – it wouldn’t matter. I don’t want a president of any stripe presenting himself as the All Powerful Oz until my kid has the wherewithal to look behind the curtain.

The study materials dictated by the White House to accompany the address make the hairs on my neck stand up:

Why is it important that we listen to the president and other elected officials, like the mayor, senators, members of congress and the governor? Why is what they say important?

What specific job is he asking me to do? Is he asking anything of anyone else? Teachers? Principals? Parents? The American people?

They’re not even trying to hide it: What elected officials say is important, and they are different – more important – than you. We should do what they ask. It’s our role. Listen. Serve. Obey.

This is anathema to everything good in the American spirit. Government is supposed to serve us, not the other way around.

(And why should kids be taught to value the words and wants of officeholders who’ve tanked the economy and taken out a mortgage on their grandkids’ future for nondefensive wars and failed bailouts? But I digress with these criticisms in a way I bet few teachers will.)

Look, watching a president’s speech in a middle or high school civics class? No problem. In a few years, I want my kid to be confronted by challenging ideas, informed debate and opposing values. That’s how a kid learns, evolves and strengthens her own ideas and beliefs.

That’s not what this is.

These are grade school kids. You know, the ones who giggle over the word booger and do their financial planning based on the tooth fairy’s visits. Critical thinking and nuance? Not their strong suits yet.

What this is, though, is imprinting on them the idea that one person is their leader.

And if he’s the leader, what does that make them?

This didn’t start with Obama and – shocker – it’s not about him.

In his book The Cult of the Presidency, Gene Healy examines the decades’ long drift away from the vision the Founding Fathers had for the limited role of the president, and at the disturbing trend of both liberals and conservatives to think of the office as a limitless “combination of guardian angel, shaman and supreme warlord.”

This Tuesday’s address will only make it worse.

Execute the federal laws, Mr. President.

You do your job (don’t you have a deficit to grow or something?), and we parents and teachers will worry about the kids.


So When Are Muslims Not Raging? Never, That’s When

Is the problem really some redneck preacher burning some dumb book, or the fact that everyone — left, right, Muslim, Christian, non-believer — agrees that the mere act of burning that book in some backswamp part of Florida would spark worldwide violence?


We’re talking about a primitive belief system that can’t tolerate the right of free speech and the right of people to criticize them for their primitive beliefs.

For Einstein’s sake, they murder filmmakers and condemn cartoonists to death.

Michelle Malkin hits exactly the right note with her column today.

The eternal flame of Muslim outrage
by Michelle Malkin
Creators Syndicate
Copyright 2010

Shhhhhhh, we’re told. Don’t protest the Ground Zero mosque. Don’t burn a Koran. It’ll imperil the troops. It’ll inflame tensions. The “Muslim world” will “explode” if it does not get its way, warns sharia-peddling imam Feisal Abdul Rauf. Pardon my national security-threatening impudence, but when is the “Muslim world” not ready to “explode”?

At the risk of provoking the ever-volatile Religion of Perpetual Outrage, let us count the little-noticed and forgotten ways…

Read the rest of the column here.

Repeat After Me: None of Your Business. Am I Free To Go?

My love of the TSA and the mouth-breathing pickpockets and gropers is widely known.images

So it should come to you as no surprise this guy — also a Reason contributor –  is my new man crush for how he handled overbearing Customs and Border Protection agents.

“Why were you in China?” asked the passport control officer, a woman with the appearance and disposition of a prison matron.

“None of your business,” I said.

Her eyes widened in disbelief.

“Excuse me?” she asked.

“I’m not going to be interrogated as a pre-condition of re-entering my own country,” I said.

This did not go over well. She asked a series of questions, such as how long I had been in China, whether I was there on personal business or commercial business, etc. I stood silently.

Read his whole encounter here.

Separated at Birth?


How Team Left and Team Right Are Screwing Texas Education

Both the left and the right are guilty of manipulating standards, textbooks and curricula to favor their own narrow view of American history, world history, social studies and all the other malleable subjects not math and hard science.

Zombie turns an angry eye towards both the Tweedledees and Tweedledums.

Great read. First in a series.