Archive for December 16th, 2009

Since the 1960s, consumers have been complaining about loud TV commercials. 

Finally, Congress and broadcasters seem to be paying attention (maybe consumers should have bought some loud commercials themselves?). Legislation filed two years ago by Rep. Anna Eshoo, a Democrat from California, may come to a House vote as early as this week.

Silly me.  All the problems facing this country, and all the ways Congress has exceeded its power, I would have thought that they would have other, more pressing priorities to address.  But I guess it can’t all be environmental legislation based on bad science, industries (that the government hand-picks) that are too big to fail, and taking a healthcare system plagued with innovation and more extensive care than other countries allow their citizens, and fixing those “problems”.  No, I guess part of a running a nanny state also requires micro management of silly minutiae.  Otherwise, they just wouldn’t be responsive to the continual malcontents in society who yell “There outta be a law!!!” at every irritation and slight.

  But my favorite line from the story is this gem:

It only took 45 years of consumer complaints, according to Consumers Union.

But 45 years ago, you’d actually have to get up to turn the volume down in most cases.  That has a higher irritation threshold.  Now everyone has a remote control, and the fact that one of our elected officials thinks that this a proper use of Congress’ power speaks volumes about them…and us.  And I really don’t like the fact that it says we are a bunch of thumb-sucking whiners who are too damn lazy to man up, and use the remote control to lower the volume.

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What’s wrong with this picture?

A Taunton father is outraged after his 8-year-old son was sent home from school and required to undergo a psychological evaluation after drawing a stick-figure picture of Jesus Christ on the cross. 

The father said he got a call earlier this month from Maxham Elementary School informing him that his son, a second-grade student, had created a violent drawing. The image in question depicted a crucified Jesus with Xs covering his eyes to signify that he had died on the cross. The boy wrote his name above the cross.

Well, I suppose I should be refreshed that someone recognizes that what was done to Jesus was violent.  Of course, one might consider the  fact that a picture and a brutal act of violence are two different things.  And that being concerned that an 8 year-old depicting a crucifixion is different from an 8 year-old crucifying someone, as that would require more strength than an 8 year-old could muster…especially by himself.

The boy made the drawing and was sent home from school on Dec. 2. He went for the psychological evaluation — at his parents’ expense — the next day and was cleared to return to school the following Monday after the psychological evaluation found nothing to indicate that he posed a threat to himself or others.

Of course, the real question is “Are the ‘professional educators’ who believed that this was a threat required to undergo a psychological evaluation for seeing the potential for violence in an 8 year-old’s drawing?”  Yeah, I know.  I’m not holding my breath, either.

The boy, however, was traumatized by the incident, which made going back to school very difficult, the father said. School administrators have approved the father’s request to have the boy transferred to another elementary school in the district.

Hardly a surprise.   Make a depiction of an event significant to your faith and get booted from school until the shrink gives you a “Come back to class” note.  I’d be traumatized too.

Seems like a long, long way from:

 Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.

Zero tolerance rules.  They allow rule makers the illusion that they are tough on certain offenses, and that they require ACTION! when certain criteria are met.  They also allow those who would otherwise be responsible to evade responsibilty…and the burden of thinking and making a judgment.

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