Thursday, August 28, 2008

I wonder who they will vote for now?

I wonder if the counter-recruiting folks are finding themselves in a bit of a dilemma. For years they have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars, and tens of thousands of man hours opposing military recruiters in schools. Anti-recruiting initiatives across the country have sought to prevent military recruiters from having the same access to high school campuses that college recruiters enjoy. All of this to prevent military recruiters from being able to offer these eligible students the opportunity to say "yes" or "no".

Senator Obama wants to make every child over the age of 10, attending public school, serve the government.

If military recruiters calling high school students to see if they want information about the military is enough to make someone bomb a recruiting station, I can't imagine what mandatory community service will make these people do. Hell, they might be mad enough to try and blow up court houses.

Looking over the fact sheet, I can't help but think "What government does he think will supervise this goat rope?". The basic premise of "No Child Left Behind" was that there would be a standard way of telling how well students are being educated, and be able to identify and correct schools which fail to meet this objective. They wanted to standardize a way to measure how well schools do their core mission; Educate American children. The government can't even do that right.

Let me say that again clearer.
The federal government can't even determine if schools are educating children to a minimum standard.
And I'm supposed to believe this same government will be able to track and enforce a voluntold program for a couple dozen million students? Just suppose for a second that the Obama-Jugend Universal Voluntary Citizen Service was actually implemented. Americans will sue, and force the government to spend millions of dollars defending, about the Pledge of Allegiance containing the phrase "Under God". How do you think families are going to feel when their children find themselves having to do voluntold service at a church, synagogue, mosque, or temple? How will a pro-life family feel when their son is required to help out a hospital which does abortions? I'm sure there will be some provision which would, nominally, allow a family to not require their child to serve at some organization which is antithetical to their beliefs, however there are only so many places which can handle a sudden influx of volunteers. There will be plenty of families in the position of choosing whether their child will complete their 50 hours of community service or holding on to their beliefs.

It wouldn't be much of a program if students and their families were allowed to just go out and find something they wanted to as a volunteer. The only places students will be allowed to volunteer, and receive the necessary credit for this service, will need to be certified. Who will certify them? The government. I know how I feel about the government suddenly having the power to give a yay or nay to whether a particular non-profit is worthy of being able to tap into this vast swell of free labor.

I wonder what part of the school day is going to be sacrificed to accomplish this goal? I watched a school refuse to allow ASVAB testing because it would consume a four hour block of time for the junior class one day of the year. Elementary school students are so overwhelmed with classwork, homework, books, and supplies that they need to have roller bags for their gear. What will be sacrificed to allow these students the time to fulfill their service obligations? English? History? Science? Math? Maybe extra time can be added to the school day to accommodate this. So, who will pay the teachers for their extra time? How will the janitorial services folks feel about getting home to their families an hour later because they couldn't clean the school until the kids left?

This just leads me to the safety and accountability portion. School districts can't keep pedophiles out of their midst now. Let's go ahead and expand the number of people who will have access to students twofold. Who is going to be held accountable when Little Skipette hurts herself cleaning up a park? I forgot, everyone will have full health insurance. Skipette's medical treatment will be free, however it will take her three weeks to see a doctor, during which time the ligament damage she suffered when she rolled her ankle will be permanent, requiring surgery (which will be delayed), and restricting her to a life of collecting disability. So it will all be good since there will be a plethora of new Skipettes there to care for her needs as part of their requirement to move on to the seventh grade.

Of course, all this good work will be useless if the same crop of under experienced teachers are manning the classrooms. So, to address this, President Obama's Classroom Corps "will enlist retired or mid-career engineers and scientists to provide support for math and science teachers...". Now, there is a reason that engineers and scientists don't choose to work in schools. The pay is crap when compared to what they can make on the free market. There are only a couple of ways to go about doing this. Either those who wish to enter into the science or engineering fields will be compelled to voluntold their time at their local schools, or every school district in America is going to be getting a huge chunk of tax-payer money to support the hiring of these professionals. I don't see the various teachers unions enjoying the sudden influx of non-union members into education, or the fact that they're likely to be paid more than most teachers despite a lack of experience in education.

Senator Obama's Universal Voluntary Citizen Service plan is designed to screw poor people.


I said it.

This will not affect rich people for two reasons. 1: They go to private schools which will likely be exempt from such requirements. 2: If they do go to public schools, they go to schools in wealthy locales who can afford the additional staff to support such activities. This will affect middle class folks because their schools can't afford the additional staff, so they'll have to cut something else from the school day. Probably the non-football athletics and the music programs. But it will still happen for them. Poor people though, they're boned. Poor people don't get to send their kids to good schools. Poor schools already under perform by every measure. They can't afford new staff, and the quality of what they have is already hurting. This is simply going reduce the small opportunity for a good primary education that poor families already have. It is going to reduce the time spent learning in class, while increasing the time spent commuting between home, school, voluntold location, and home.

Heck, the good senator just wants to take 50 hours a year from 10 year olds. He wants to take 100 hours a year from adults. College students will need to do 100 hours a year of voluntold service. Remember collegians after you've paid your tuition for the semester and as you're picking up trash along the highway instead of studying for your finals, you could have joined the military and at least be getting paid for enjoying the suck.

Honestly, this makes me question the critical thinking skills of all those college students who are going to be voting for the junior senator from Illinois. First off, he wants them all to spend 100 hours a year doing voluntold work. He also wants many of them to be required to spend their post-college years working for below-market wages as mentors in schools. Then he chooses as a running mate a man who is in the pocket of the RIAA. The same RIAA who has decided to sue everyone who has ever downloaded a file from anywhere that may, or may not, be music. Even the dead. I don't know much about being a college student nowadays, but I do know they don't like being sued for downloading things.

I'm looking forward to see the counter-recruitment folks move on to trying to block the conscription of 12 year olds to go help out at the local church.


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