Friday, November 6
Let me explain "rationing" to the teabaggers.
[Photoshopped their sign just a lil' bit. Original here.]
Last night I attended an open house for the grade 6-8 magnet school for my children's school district. This is a terrific school. Every single kid in the school gets their own MacBook with their textbooks embedded to take home. The kids, as evidenced by the "student ambassadors" hosting the open house, are well-spoken, confident, learning dynamos.
There were about 250 parents and kids there in the crowded auditorium, being sold on the idea of applying to this magnet school. It's like selling water in the desert. Five hundred fifth-graders are expected to apply for approximately 100 available spots in this school. The sales pitch was completely unnecessary except to provide some eighth-graders with some public speaking "enrichment".
And we all sat there like sheep. No one shouted out in rage that the other option, one many of us fear and four out of five of us will be forced to consider, is sending our kids to the assigned residential school for our address. You know, the MIDDLE school that gets occasional good reviews because the SHERIFF'S DEPUTIES that roam the hall are really nice people.
That access to decent public education, right here in our own community, is rationed by a completely arbitrary lottery.
The children in my school district, a district I expect is typical, are poor and getting poorer by the year:
Crooks and Liars posted a story this week that half of all kids in America are, not will be, on food stamps sometime in their lives (full disclosure: my kids are, and free lunch too), and for black kids the statistic is 90%. This is not based on projections, but on historical evidence collected for a pediatric organization. Pediatricians know that children on food stamps are more likely to be malnourished. It's a national health concern and, memo to John Kyl, should be a homeland security concern as well.
And what comes to my mind as I take the long route home, my hands shaking on the steering wheel, is all this talk about rationing and "hands off my healthcare" from a generation of people who are going to receive a check from Barack Obama for $250.00 in the next year. Am I to assume the teabaggers will be tearing up the check and returning it to the US Treasury with their own stamp, out of concern for the deficits they protested in DC yesterday? Or will they apply that money to their hotel bill from last night, might as well stay an extra day so we can see the Air and Space Museum, seeing as Dick Armey gave us free bus fare into town.
Dick Armey, who considers healthcare reform, but not the Bush tax cuts, "generational theft."
Theft for WHOM, Dick?