If your 11-year-old needs to be prescribed birth control at her middle school to prevent pregnancy you have failed as a parent. Miserably.
The rationale behind the Portland School Committee’s decision (by a vote of 7-2) to turn three middle school clinics into pharmacies for the promiscuous is because of the supposed “outbreak” of pregnancies among middle school girls.
While the figures are certainly troubling, I don’t think 17 pregnancies from three schools over a four-year period is that much of an epidemic. Certainly the thousands of other girls not getting knocked up are doing something right. And they didn’t need their school nurse to put them on birth control to do it either.
I’ve tried my best to stay out of the whole Scooter Libby affair. It just didn’t interest me, but I knew that the story would only get bigger when Libby was found guilty of perjury and obstruction of justice. As expected, President Bush commuted his 30-month prison sentence and Democrats started flying off the wall as if Bush just coddled a serial killer.
That Democrats are so determined to see Libby in a prison cell for committing perjury and obstruction of justice is quite interesting considering that these same Democrats were the ones who reduced themselves to the mantra: “it was just a blowjob” when beloved President Clinton committed perjury and obstruction of justice.
Libby lied to a grand jury about what he told reporters before Valerie Plame’s name was revealed. Clinton lied to a grand jury about his sexual relationship with Monica Lewinski. No one’s comparing the two cases, but it’s undeniably true that President Clinton committed the same crimes. But he never faced jail time; Republicans just wanted the liar out of office. Libby lost his job and got a prison sentence.
Democrats were outraged over the Clinton impeachment and his subsequent disbarment. Sure, it was perjury and obstruction of justice, but he was just trying to protect his family that he didn’t so much care about when he was being pleasured by a White House intern.
Libby (not the president by a chief of staff to the vice president) didn’t give federal investigators the right names and because of that Democrats want him rotting in prison for two and a half years.
MoveOn.org, one of the most influential liberal political action committees, was established in 1998 to defend President Clinton for committing perjury and obstruction of justice. Today, they’re fuming with rage because someone who isn’t President Clinton was spared for committing perjury and obstruction of justice.
It’s time to cut the rhetoric.
Wrote Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in his concurring opinion as part of the 185-page decision from the Supreme Court today that ultimately rejected a school’s voluntary integration plan. The decision was 5-4 with the Chief writing for the conservatives plus Justice Kennedy. Thomas’s concurrence is a rebuttal to Justice Breyer’s dissent. I’m still reading through it right now and I can say that Breyer and his liberal colleagues are PISSED. Usually justices end their dissents with “I respectfully dissent.” Breyer, after saying the court will “regret” today’s decision, ends his opinion with “I must dissent.”
UPDATE: More to come as I finish reading the opinions, the final ones for this term. Once again swing-voter Justice Kennedy has proven to be the most powerful judge in the country. While he has more often than not sided with the conservative justices, he today voted with the liberals in a 5-4 decision repealing the death sentence for a “mentally delusional” inmate.
Update II: The Supreme Court got it right, plain and simple. Chief Justice Roberts reminds us that “Seattle has never operated segregated schools – legally separate schools for students of different races.nor has it ever been subject to court-ordered desegregation.”
Because there’s no history of segregation, the majority argued, there’s no compelling interest to divide up the students by race. If as a result one school is prodominatly one color that’s the way it is. As Thomas wrote:
The dissent repeatedly claims that the school districts are threatened with resegregation and that they will
succumb to that threat if these plans are declared unconstitutional. It also argues that these plans can be justified as part of the school boards. attempts to .eradicat[e] earlier school segregation. Contrary to the dissent’s rhetoric, neither of these school districts is threatened with resegregation, and neither is constitutionally compelled or permitted to undertake race-based remediation. Racial imbalance is not segregation, and the mere incantation of terms like resegregation and remediation cannot make up the difference.
Although there is arguably a danger of racial imbalance in schools in Seattle and Louisville, there is no danger of resegregation. No one contends that Seattle has established or that Louisville has reestablished a dual school system that separates students on the basis of race. The statistics cited in Appendix A to the dissent are not to the contrary. See post, at 69.72. At most, those statistics show a national trend toward classroom racial imbalance. However, racial imbalance without intentional state action to separate the races does not amount to segregation. To raise the specter of resegregation to defend these programs is to ignore the meaning of the word and the nature of the cases before us.
It is a noble goal to achieve racial harmony where schools are divided perfectly even by racial demographics and the students hold hangs singing songs of racial diversity. But we shouldn’t get there by socially experimenting with race.
Andrew Cohen at Washington Post’s Bench Conference laments the ass-kicking we were handed today by a conservative Supreme Court majority in four of five rulings (the fifth was near unanimity):
The Justices further chipped away at the wall that separates church and state, took some of the steam out of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law, neutered federal regulators in environmental cases to the benefit of developers and slammed a high school kid who had the temerity to put up a silly sign near his high school.
Indeed, so strong is the conservative bent to the court right now that even when its right-facing Justices did not agree on the legal reasons or rationale for their rulings– which was the case in the religion case noted above– they are able to agree to promote government sponsorship of religion and to block taxpayer efforts to prevent it. In other words, there is room for dissent even among the Court’s working majority– a bad sign for liberal judges, lawyers and litigants in the months and years to come.
Contrary to the forthcoming hysteria, today’s rulings were hardly earth-shattering developments. Yes, the conservatives weakened McCain-Feingold; good news for people who appreciate free speech. McCain-Feingold is a crappy law that tells us when we can and cannot promote a candidate of our choosing with our own money during election season. Even a majority of liberals are satisfied with today’s outcome in this case. Nevertheless the justices restrained themselves from striking it down completely. So don’t worry, Congress can and will still tell us how we we’re allowed to participate in political campaigns.
The supposed “wall” that separates the evil church and state is still intact; the Supreme Court simply reminded us that charities vying for federal funds ought not to be punished because they have a religious affiliation. Instead, charities should be judged by their effectiveness.
The kid whose “silly” sign got him into trouble was reminded that you can be punished for celebrating illegal activity (in this case drug use) if done on school time. To be sure, Cohen is right in his analysis that there was dissent amongst the majority – Clarence Thomas would have given schools the power to regulate all forms of speech because, “in the earliest public schools, teachers taught, and students listened,” and that’s how it should be today. He was alone in concurrence.
Cohen is also right that any doubts there may have been that President Bush moved the court to the Right have been surely extinguished. Expect more of today on Thursday when the court is expected to finish this year’s term.
In my last discussion on zero tolerance I thought we were making some progress dismantling it. Rather it appears things are getting much worse:
Va — Hugging is now a punishable offense at one Fairfax County, Va., school.
Kids at Kilmer Middle School in suburban Washington, D.C., are under a zero-tolerance touching policy. They’re banned from poking, prodding, hugging — even high-fiving.
School officials said that at the overcrowded school, pokes can lead to fights and handshakes can be gang-related.
Yes, let’s socially isolate young students as much as possible by banning innocuous hug and handshakes. That can’t be unhealthy!
True, as “school officials” have wisely stated, some handshakes can be gang-related. But I don’t think there’s much “can be” if it’s Timmy the chess club president caught showing a sign of friendship to a fellow classmate. But I guess he could be a banger, so to avoid the risks we’ll simply expel him and anyone else caught being human for the remainder of the school year.
What the school board really ought to do is approve the distribution of Soma. Huxley would be proud.
For the sake of congenial discourse I don’t like to throw the word retarded around very much but the graduation policy at Galesburg High school most certainly calls for it:
Caisha Gayles graduated with honors last month, but she is still waiting for her diploma. The reason: the whoops of joy from the audience as she crossed the stage.
Gayles was one of five students denied diplomas from the lone public high school in Galesburg after enthusiastic friends or family members cheered for them during commencement.
About a month before the May 27 ceremony, Galesburg High students and their parents had to sign a contract promising to act in dignified way. Violators were warned they could be denied their diplomas and barred from the after-graduation party.
“It was like one of the worst days of my life,” said Gayles, who had a 3.4 grade-point average and officially graduated, but does not have the keepsake diploma to hang on her wall. “You walk across the stage and then you can’t get your diploma because of other people cheering for you. It was devastating, actually.”
Maybe it’s because I’m such a bore but I never found graduation ceremonies to be worth all the pomp and circumstance. It’s really for the families which is primarily why I attended my own. So because one family got a little too excited when they heard their daughter’s name called she was denied a diploma.
I’m never surprised when it comes to ridiculous public school policies that in effect do nothing more than bother students, but this one was just so close to breaking out when the system got her.