Girls, you can grow up to be anything you want . . . as long as it’s vapid and useless

According to Dan Kennedy, Ms. Obama went on a mentoring of young-girls style blitz across D.C., and brought along a number of “representatives” to show the girls that she met that they can be anything that they want to be when they grow up.

If all the national and local D.C. media coverage of this I saw and read is accurate, Michelle, judging by the stars she presented as role models, wants the young women to aspire to be singers and actresses, athletes, 4-star generals and astronauts. There was only one woman CEO or entrepreneur mentioned by media – Debra Lee, the CEO of the Black Entertainment Network; no women small business owners,  no top women sales professionals – not even difference-makers like school teachers or nurses and caregivers or stay-at-home moms raising successful families.


Or even political leaders, like, say the successful governor of a fiscally stable state. Like, say, Governor Sarah Palin. She was one of only two women ever to run for vice-president on either of the two major parties’ tickets, and a mom. And unlike, say, Jennifer Granholm of Michigan, she hasn’t run her state into the ground.


No, Michelle presented Alicia Keyes and Sheryl Crow, actresses Fran Drescher and Phylicia Rashad; a couple of athletes; the first black woman to travel in space; and a celebrity make-up artist.


What is so significant here is that nearly all the examples-to-aspire-to presented are primarily supported by the economy; not supporters of the economy. Not creators of innovative products, of companies, of jobs. Not women who started some sort of enterprises from scratch and built them into successful businesses. Heaven forbid we should encourage these girls to grow up to be business owners. Better for them to hope for a spin of the wheel of celebrity via American Idol. Particularly appropriate given our celebrity-president.


Now, a few (minor) issues with Mr. Kennedy’s statements: First, he wasn’t there, so he doesn’t know for sure that more productive women weren’t included who just somehow escaped media attention (far-fetched, I’m sure); second, I’m not sure that “the first black woman in space” is that minor a role- becoming an astronaut is pretty impressive; I would assume that she is a scientist, so hopefully she’s contributing something in terms of research. 


But the boat that I think Kennedy misses is that this is not a problem with the Obamas, not by a long shot.  This is a problem with the whole women’s power movement in general.  Women are so used to being told how fantastic they are and how much they can accomplish that they a) think that it’s perfectly rational that they should become famous actresses/singers/athletes; and b) that the world owes it to them to make it so. 


The result: so many gals out there never put any thought into what they produce and what they offer- it’s all what I want, what the world should give me, and what fulfills me- never are they to consider finding a need and fulfilling it.


Amazing lack of reading comphrehension

Tennessee has a bill up for hearing that would allow professors to carry guns on campus.  Here’s what the second paragraph of the article says:

State Rep. Stacey Campfield’s proposal, scheduled for a hearing Wednesday before a House Judiciary subcommittee, would allow any full-time faculty and staff member with a valid permit to bring a handgun onto their public college campus.

Got that?  “full time faculty and staff member with a valid permit.”  Not really a difficult concept, not complicated with legalese, pretty simple use of words. 

So, for whatever self-hating masochistic reasons, I have to go and read the comments.  Lets have a look-see, shall we?

I am trained to take out an armed person, others are not. There will be an accident of the worse magnitude if bill is passed. College students are not trained in armed combat, how to space themselves, how to ensure that they only shoot the intended target, how to shoot under pressure, when to shoot and not to shoot.

Every student should be issued an .44 Mag during registration. It would require only a small increase in tuition fees but think of the safety aspect. Wonderful idea!!!

I just see alot more dead kids and teachers in our future because guns are being made so accessible to be everywhere. There’ll be shootings over parking places, looking at girlfriends’ wrong, or other minor petty annoyances.

Now this is one of the most stupid things I have heard in a while, armed (KIDS) on our colleges campus. just what’s with you people

Look kids are going to get guns anyway. It is irresponsible not to teach them how to protect themselves while using guns.

Seriously now:
Have you ever BEEN to college? Lived in a dorm? Do you really think it’s a good idea to arm everyone there? Do you know how many kids are drinking? How much emotion? How many breakups? Fist fights? Kids living for the first time away from the authority they’ve had all their lives: their parents? Do we really want them to have deadly weapons, too? Do you REALLY think that gun crime and injury would go DOWN if you gave all the college students guns? Are you INSANE?

(emphasis mine) That’s out of 36 comments (and there are several others that seriously imply, but don’t specifically state, that they understood it to apply to college students (who are not, for the record, kids, particularly if they have carry permits, which are issued over age 21)).  My favorite, by the way, is the last  one, where not only does the proposal to allow professors with carry permits actually apply to students, but it also applies to students who are living on campus away from their parents for the very first time (most of whom would be 18, obviously), and it would involve giving guns to all of the college students guns. 

Anyhow, I support the measure, but doubt it would do a lick of good, given that maybe2 professors on campus would actually make use of it.  But hey, if some nut-job comes in blazing, I’d sure hope that I was in one of those professors’ classrooms. 

By the way, I had the opportunity to meet Stacey Campfield (the proponent of this bill) when he graciously came to speak at an event sponsored by our Federalist Society.  I was really impressed with his willingness to discuss and debate his ideas, and he was more than happy to invite tough questions from the students.  He is known for being a bit on the extra-conservative side, so a few of the more liberal students discussed staging  a protest.  Notice that I say discussed; they didn’t actually do it, nor did they even bother to show up to ask him questions or see what he had to say.

The Spanish Experiment

One thing that I absolutely love about our federalist system is our ability to experiment with different policies and learn from the experiences of other jurisdictions.  Laboratories of democracy and all that.  But, ding, ding, ding, here’s a case where we don’t even have to put one of our precious states on the line- Spain has already done the hard work for us. 

March 27 (Bloomberg) — Subsidizing renewable energy in the U.S. may destroy two jobs for every one created if Spain’s experience with windmills and solar farms is any guide.

For every new position that depends on energy price supports, at least 2.2 jobs in other industries will disappear, according to a study from King Juan Carlos University in Madrid.

U.S. President Barack Obama’s 2010 budget proposal contains about $20 billion in tax incentives for clean-energy programs. In Spain, where wind turbines provided 11 percent of power demand last year, generators earn rates as much as 11 times more for renewable energy compared with burning fossil fuels.

The premiums paid for solar, biomass, wave and wind power – – which are charged to consumers in their bills — translated into a $774,000 cost for each Spanish “green job” created since 2000, said Gabriel Calzada, an economics professor at the university and author of the report.

“The loss of jobs could be greater if you account for the amount of lost industry that moves out of the country due to higher energy prices,” he said in an interview.

Spain’s Acerinox SA, the nation’s largest stainless-steel producer, blamed domestic energy costs for deciding to expand in South Africa and the U.S., according to the study.

“Microsoft and Google moved their servers up to the Canadian border because they benefited from cheaper energy there,” said the professor of applied environmental economics.

“May destroy two jobs for every one created.”  Wow.  Now, here’s the important question: Can we learn from Spain’s mistakes? 

Europe loses hope

According to ABC News (yes, ABC news), Obama will be facing a chilly reception in Europe this week. 

The last time President Obama went to Europe, he was greeted with raucous applause and 200,000 Europeans choking a Berlin square, chanting “Obama” and “Yes We Can.”

This time, as the president heads to London this week to press the Group of 20 nations for a global economic stimulus plan, he’s likely to get a warm reception but cold comfort from many European leaders.

European Union chief Mirek Topolanek, the recently ousted leader of the Czech Republic, calls the plan the Obama administration has been pushing “a way to hell.”

Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel is also a skeptic.

“We must look at the causes of this crisis,” she said. “It happened because we were living beyond our means. … We cannot repeat this mistake.”

When the election all went down, and my liberal friends were running around all starry eyed, and one of the first things that they would say was how much the world was going to love, no not just love, but LOVE us now that Obama was going to be our saviorpresident.  I kept wanting to interrupt to find out why that even mattered, because, I always understood that if you are using popularity as a measure, you need to go back to junior high.  But they were just too lovestruck to get a word in, if you know what I mean.  (I did manage to ask one friend why Chicago, Philadelphia, New Jersey, and Michigan are not paradises, despite years of liberal rule- his response- “how should I know, I’ve never been to any of those places.”  Ah, explains so much.)

Thing is, I was quite sure that it didn’t matter whether or not we were popular, but it never really crossed my mind that we still, that Obama still wouldn’t be.  But of course he wouldn’t be- they hate the U.S.  Bush was just the figurehead of the time.  Still doesn’t matter.

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