Friday, May 3, 2013

American Pie Replaced by Upside Down Cake

An Eagle Scout in trouble.
Many of us -- particularly people of my age group -- grew up believing in America as the home of baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and the beautiful red, white and blue bunting that adorned festive locales during the summer months. America was a special place we enjoyed for the unique place we held in a world full of madness, surrounded by murder and tyranny while enjoying our own little cocoon of sanity. Those days are gone, my friends, just as many of your high school sweethearts suffered the same fate.

America has lost its collective mind, thanks to an inept media and -- dare I say it -- the board of education. Federalizing anything is always a bad idea, but to bring the education of our young under the auspices of a federal bureaucracy is lunacy, as we are learning today. The case of David Cole Withrow is a prime example.

The young man from Johnston County, NC, recently made headlines and earned the wrath of the Johnston County School Board for a transgression that never should have been, especially if one were to actually read the district rules by the letter. Withrow is an Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America, and he's also an honor student at Princeton High School, two marks that make him an outstanding young man, at least in the America in which I was raised.

A few days ago, Withrow arrived at school in his truck and reached in the back to grab his book bag, only to realize that the shotgun he used for skeet shooting was left back there. Having no time to go home and remove it -- as he didn't want to miss a class -- Withrow went straight to the office to call his mother and ask her to come and get the gun and bring it home. But school administrative staff overheard the conversation and called police, and this young man was arrested and immediately expelled.

While the schools of America today have "zero tolerance" policies in place, they also exercise zero common sense. Withrow made an honest mistake, tried to rectify it as soon as possible, and was punished nonetheless, regardless of his exemplary background, and with no regard for his future. Yet, kids that are disruptive by malice in schools across this country are given chance after chance, and remain a disruption, usually because they are considered minorities and no one wants to appear "intolerant". Doesn't zero tolerance implicitly indicate intolerance?

Our problem is that the insanity doesn't end in our schools. Today we had the President of the United States speaking to a group of students in Mexico, and what he said was stunning, but you won't hear about it on the evening news.

President Obama was talking about our problems here in America as though he has nothing to do with any of them, and to an audience of people who are not Americans. (Yet)? What was particularly galling was Obama speaking of gun violence and the Second Amendment to our Constitution, something his audience doesn't know about, nor much less cares. A man complicit in Fast and Furious -- a program which gave hundreds of high powered weapons to Mexican drug cartels -- complaining about illegal guns going to Mexico from the United States is the height of hypocrisy, and I bet you won't hear about this in the news, either.

And finally, getting back to the schools, we have the Federal Drug Administration and the federal courts fighting over the age at which young girls can get an over-the-counter drug to end pregnancy without a parents consent. The Federal judge wanted no age restriction (he's from New York, after all) while Obama's FDA set the limit at 15. Great, so now a 15-year-old girl can get an abortion pill whenever she wants, but in school, she still can't pop an Advil to help with a headache without facing suspension or expulsion.

It makes one truly wonder why a wonderful young man like David Cole Withrow even strives to become the best that he can be in a country such as this. Perhaps there is still hope for us in spite of my own cynicism?

One can only hope and pray.

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