In today's jingoism news ... | Slag Heap

In today's jingoism news ...

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They don't call it the South Hills for nothing, I guess. Lately, every other week brings new evidence that Pittsburgh's prosperous suburbs are turning Dixie.

The Mt. Lebanon school district, you may recall, is one of those districts -- like my very own Upper St. Clair -- that decided not to let its students see President Obama's stay-in-school speech last week. 

But guess what? According to KDKA-TV, just days later, Lebo did have an event in whch grade schoolers observed the anniversary of 9/11. And what did the personnel at Markham Elementary teach their kids?

[T]he lesson they teach on this day isn't so much a history lesson. It is more of a public service appreciation lesson. 

Ha! Sounds like fascism to me! "Public service appreciation"? They have that in Red China. What next? An invitation to join the Young Pioneers? Or -- God forbid -- Americorps? 

But the high point of the story is this: 

The officers and principal said the lesson they most want the post-9/11 generation to learn about is respecting community service.

Right. Respecting community service. I know that's a real priority over there in Mt. Lebanon. Unless that service takes the form of being the President of the United States of America. In which case -- repeat after me, class -- fuck that guy.

I want to be fair about this. Apparently, at least one student's family lost a family member in the 9/11 attacks. And you know, I think it's nice for kids to meet police and firefighters. Up until a week ago, I wouldn't have given this story any thought. 

But now? Now I'm thinking this is just the kind of bullshit partisan double-standard that is about to torpedo this country for good. I can't help but wonder -- did parents have the option to pull their kids out of this event? Wouldn't the kids be better off if they HAD been reading their history books? Because suddenly, it seems, if authority figures want to speak to students, there are all sorts of educational standards to meet.

And hey, if a speech about staying in schools is supposed to partisan, let's not pretend 9/11 can't be used the same way. Iraq, anyone? The latest round of Tea Party buffoonery on 9/12? 

Note to President Obama: Next time you want to be treated with respect by school officials, play it safe and bring a copy of My Pet Goat.

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