Thursday, March 25, 2010

God bless America, maybe?

You know, I mock America a lot, but I'm pretty sure democracy may actually be failing when stupid shit like this happens. You know, when some guy think it's OK to fire on another guy's car, on the fucking Beltway I drive every day, with his daughter in the car. Really? Here are the details:

"[Gabriel] Poventud threw open the door of his silver Jaguar on the shoulder of the highway where the truck also was stopped and began shooting, police said, with his 2-year-old daughter inside in her car seat.

Over four miles and 20 minutes the two drivers drove recklessly and in a rage, state police allege, with Poventud's 2-year-old daughter in her car seat during the ride. Four bullets "would have hit the cab if they had penetrated the dump bed," a state trooper has said in a complaint filed in court."

Good job, guy. Really, just phenomenal.

Another example: Students' progress nationwide has stalled behind No Child Left Behind, meaning that despite all the funding that's been pumped into the initiative, kids nationwide really aren't reading any better:

"When Bush signed the law, hopes were high for a revolution in reading. Billions of dollars were spent, especially in early grades, to build fluency, vocabulary, comprehension and a love of books that would propel students in all subjects. The goal was to eliminate racial and ethnic achievement gaps. But Wednesday's report shows no great leaps for the nation and stubborn disparities in performance between white and black students, among others."

What does this mean? I'm going to go with "parents not spending enough time with their children and therefore not encouraging reading and leading their child down a path of illiteracy." Maybe I'm wrong. But I grew up in a house where Saturday morning visits to the public library happened every week, reading was encouraged everywhere (even at the dinner table) and my parents wanted me to read everything, from newspapers to magazines to paperbacks.

And I'm not saying that not spending time with your kids is a problem specific to any class or race - my rich cousins who are both cardiologists make about $500k a year but their kids haven't even read "Harry Potter," because they're too busy playing on the laptops their dad bought them for their 8th and 6th birthday, respectively. Maybe if reading was more encouraged both at home and in school, something would change. But I'm doubting it.

And lastly, I'm all down for vigilante justice. I'm a big fan of Batman. Yup, this guy.

But I'm thinking that crazy conservatives and tea party activists or whatever the fuck else they call themselves resorting to violence and threats against elected officials that voted for the health care legislation Obama put forth aren't citizen heroes, they're douchebags. Are you really going to criticize other countries that follow bizarre legal codes, like Islamic law, but then think it's cool to threaten someone's life because they voted for a bill you don't agree with? You're a fucking idiot.

The only thing giving me hope is that an Ann Coulter speech at the University of Ottowa was canceled due to protests against her. You could say that I'm speaking out of both sides of my mouth, since these protestors were threatening Coulter too, but I think there's a big difference between being against a speaker who only spits venom against people of different religious and sexual orientations and attempting violence against an elected official who is trying to help their constituents. You da best, Canada.

+ Photo courtesy of SparkTV

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