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« To Hint Of Religion, Or Not To Hint Of Religion (Norman Costa) | Main | 'tis the Season to be giving... and receiving? »

December 08, 2011


Yes, indeed, thank you so much Charles Blow for showing us the moronic depths Newt Grinchgrich stoops to again, and again. The fact that there are those who listen to him and agree with his offensive "assessments" is really troubling.

My apologies for being somewhat disrespectful here. On the other hand, Gingrich has not earned much of my respect lately, if ever.

Naveeda, no need to apologize for being "disrespectful" to a man who has very little respect for anyone else. A super egotist and a know-it-all, Gingrich is detested by most of his erstwhile congressional colleagues (of his own party) and I am sure, his ex-wives. The Republicans are said to be crestfallen that he is the front runner in the race for the nomination because he is a time bomb so full of hubris, hypocrisy and corruption that they think his self-destruction on the national stage will be spectacular.

I of course, am dreaming of a Gingrich-Trump ticket - an embarrassment of riches!

@ Ruchira:

Thanks for posting this, but it is painful to have to consider and reflect upon.

The politics of divisiveness has taken a new low. The unemployed, the remnants of a middle/working class society, the small business owner, home owners with mortgages, unions of teachers and civil servants, and pensioners have been manipulated into thinking that some or all of the others are responsible for your woes.

Now Gingrich wants to turn parent against child, and tax payer against children. We hear Wall Street apologists yelling at the 'hippies' of the Occupy movement to "Get a job!" [Like they really know anything about the Hippie movement.] Imagine someone walking to the County Office Building to pay their school taxes. While passing a playing field at an intermediate school the tax payer sees a couple of teams of 12 year old girls playing soccer. "Get a job, you lazy deadbeat brats!"

Can't you just see a Gingrich administration passing 'job creation legislation' requiring all 9 year old children to register for work release programs. Polls show that the biggest supporters of the child work registration plan are former homeowners who lost their homes in the recent financial crisis. The legislation was supported, also, by baby boomers whose retirement funds were wiped out by packaged 'toxic' real estate mortgage investments.

This just in from the Future News Network [FNN]: 26 August, 2035. Labor Department statistics show that birth rates have fallen to a new low of 0.17 percent. Most couples are refusing to have children. This is not surprising since a recent study showed that parents cannot afford to raise their children past the age of 11. In related news, China is now outsourcing some of its apparel manufacturing to new plants in St. Augustine, Florida. "This is a great leap forward in finding productive work for our skilled and highly trained child workers," said Florida Governor Kidsar Dross. He added, "We've dropped the eighth grade diploma as a requirement for gainful employment. Our labor pool has grown enormously, as a result."

Former President, Newt Gingrich, who passed away fifteen years ago, will be proposed for Canonization by the American Catholic Church. The USCCB issued a statement saying that Gingrich's conversion to Catholicism, thirty years earlier, was a sign from heaven for all Catholics. Still it could be years before his sainthood is finalized. However, with birth rates at near zero, there could be very few Catholics around when it happens.

I actually rather liked Kathleen Parker's twist on Gingrich's icky idea:

Tough times call for tough solutions, but singling out poor children is one of those random thousand-ideas-a-minute that should have gone directly into the right brain’s shredder. A better idea might have taken its place. Here’s one for the hopper: Allow all children to volunteer to contribute to their school’s upkeep in exchange for vouchers redeemable for privileges that school kids value. Think of it as an experiment in capitalism (work for reward) and self-esteem building (status through achievement).

I think that's a great idea. Indeed it's more typically the children of the privileged who get used to not working, and to looking down upon work. I probably learned a fair bit more from working for part of my college financial aid than from the average class. There's good research showing that many kids respond to financial incentives for grades, but some think that distracts children from the joy of learning. Whether or not that's right, I think this twist is a worthy one. Make it so all children can (and are encouraged to) earn decent pocket change and money for clothing from doing odd jobs in the school and community. Might put the brakes on the mad extracurricular rituals yuppie kids go through. Might we even get to the point where Yale thinks it's icky for applicants never to have mopped floors in their school?

Prasad, what you and Parker are suggesting is a great way of learning work and work ethics. In my rather well off and at the time somewhat exclusive (intellectually, not financially) girls school, we routinely painted walls, cleaned gym and lab floors, dusted and arranged library shelves, planted gardens and picked up trash. We never got paid but the collective chores were great fun. During these " clean-up and touch-up projects," we got a couple of periods free (sometimes the whole day) and our teachers participated with their saris hitched up. I was in school in the first two decades after independence; Gandhi's message of manual work being honorable was alive and kicking in the newly independent nation.

My two kids, grown up in the US, held numerous after-school jobs from the time they turned fifteen through college. They also did volunteer work. It wasn't necessarily for money but it didn't hurt to get paid. (One summer in college, my daughter worked as a "potato beetle inspector" in a farm, employed by an agricultural program at the U of WI at Madison; she was a philosophy major)

What is obnoxious in Newt's suggestion was that he targeted only poor children - all those future "pimps" and "thieves," the progeny of current pimps and thieves. Kathleen Parker also pointed out that it is futile to ask people to pull themselves up by their boot straps in cases where the boots are missing.

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