Ed Driscoll

Everything Within the State


At Ricochet, Troy Senik looks at the prospect of the NFL promoting ObamaCare (presumably with PSAs featuring millionaire NFL players fresh off the police blotter telling the audience buy this policy, or we’ll kill you, Michael Vick will go medieval on your dog and Bob Costas will steal your lightbulbs) and writes that even worse examples of Soviet-style reeducation are on the horizon:

As bad as the NFL campaign is, however, it pales in comparison to this, from the Heartland Institute’s Loren Heal at Human Events:

The Los Angeles Unified School District will use a state grant to train teens to promote ObamaCare to family members. Covered California, the state’s health insurance exchange, announced grants of $37 million on May 14 to promote the nationally unpopular law.

LAUSD will receive $990,000. The district listed as a primary outcome for its project, “Teens trained to be messengers to family members.”

Covered California spokeswoman Sarah Soto-Taylor said staff have not questioned this goal.

“We have confidence that the model LA Unified brought to the table will be successful in reaching our target population, which includes family members of students,” she said.

LAUSD will also use tax-paid staff to promote ObamaCare through phone calls to students’ homes, in-class presentations, and meetings with employees eligible for ObamaCare’s taxpayer-covered healthcare, the grant award says.

Invade my football game with a PSA that is (A) justification for discharging a firearm at my television and (B) underwritten by me, and I’ll be annoyed. Start deputizing my (purely hypothetical, to the best of my knowledge) children to dispense your agitprop and the situation is about to go thermonuclear.

This brings up an interesting question. Over on the Member Feed (it’s pretty cool in there, so you might as well pay the cover charge), member Scarlet Pimpernel wonders if the logic of yesterday’s Supreme Court decision on gay marriage means that young children in public schools are going to start receiving more … expansive, shall we say … sex education. That doesn’t strike me as a homophobic question. In fact, it strikes me as the kind of question a parent would avoid only if they were going out of their way to avoid seeming homophobic. You can probably be completely fine with gay marriage and still want to avoid your adolescent child being exposed to the sexual buffet theory of eros.

What could go wrong with that?

Oh, right:

Alleged victims of abuse at Miramonte Elementary have until July 5 to accept recent settlement offers from the Los Angeles Unified School District, officials said Tuesday.

The school district pressed its point with a new website that emphasized that fact with a countdown clock clicking toward the deadline second by second.

“The reason we’re setting up the website is to provide information to the community — both to the community at Miramonte and to the taxpaying community at large,” said Sean Rossall, an L.A. Unified spokesman.

“There is a finite time on these offers,” he said. “The idea is not to ratchet up the pressure, but to make sure the community understands there are deadlines on this.”

Attorneys representing alleged victims have accused the district of trying to strong-arm their clients into settling for less than they deserve. They have scheduled a news conference for Wednesday morning to respond.

The damage claims stem from allegations that former teacher Mark Berndt spoon-fed his semen to blindfolded students as part of what he called a “tasting game,” among other alleged incidents of abusive conduct.

Berndt, 62, has pleaded not guilty and awaits trial.

And finally, for an exit quote, there’s this:

 Reading these stories reminded me of a passage that has been attributed to George Washington: Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action. It’s not clear that this quote really came from George Washington–but whoever said it, it captures an important truth. Yes, government is essential, but it is inherently very dangerous and there must be constant vigilance to keep this danger in check. Yet the dangers to individuals that come from a tremendous expansion of government seem entirely invisible to the “progressives” who currently dominate our national politics. This despite the fact that over the last century, hundreds of millions of people have been killed by their own governments and billions more subjected to lifetimes of unnecessary poverty.

We keep breaking the eggs, but as George Orwell apparently did say — when do we get to see omelet?