Monday, June 08, 2009

A few things

Thing One. Today, SCOTUS refused to hear an appeal of the Army's "Don't ask, don't tell" policy on gay soldiers. That sucks, though perhaps a different phrase would be a more appropriate condemnation. More disturbing, though, is that the government filed briefs in support of the policy.

That would be the Government as in the Obama Administration. As in my President who promised me he'd drop this ridiculous policy. Why is Obama dragging his feet on this? Why wasn't this a no-brainer rubber-stamp kind of action to satisfy the liberal masses?

I'm not expecting Obama to do anything about gay civil unions right now. Why should he? The states are, one by one, taking care of this for him at the moment. But, in a United States where gays can marry legally, the notion that they must adhere to a "don't ask, don't tell" policy is ludicrous. Come on, Obama.

Thing Two: this op-ed piece. Someone who knows a heck of a lot more about higher public education than I ever will thinks that the path to improving same includes actions like high pressure tactics to curb truancy, and advertising like crazy to encourage public college enrollment.

I read this piece through several times. And I cannot grasp the logic in the argument that spending beaucoup bucks to encourage college enrollment is going to improve the quality of higher education. Having more people attend college won't make the education they receive there any better.

And encouraging truants to mend their errant ways is a fine idea. But, again, having more children attend and graduate from high school will not in any way improve the quality of higher education they could receive in college. Could it be that the author is confusing the notion that the winner of the advertising wars is usually the best product available?

Perhaps we should encourage public post-secondary institutions to focus on improving the education students receive in the institutions, rather than simply trying to persuade people to attend. Maybe we should send the author back for a remedial logic course, too.

Last thing. Stanley Fish's blog has an interesting discussion today of Obama's allegedly changing use of personal pronouns. I haven't paid enough attention to render an opinion on whether he's right or not. I do know that the dichotomy between Obama's avoidance of "I" and Hillary Clinton's consistent use of same during the campaign was persuasive rhetoric on its face.

I'll have to think more about what kind of pronoun use I expect from my President. :-)



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