Two quick suggested readings about the government shutdown that I’m trying hard not to rant about in this space: 1, A terrific piece from James Fallows in the Atlantic about the media somehow equating the shutdown as a “failure of Washington on both sides,” and him calling them out on that bullshit. And 2, a great story from Anne Applebaum, a foreign correspondent at the Washington Post, about how this ridiculous shutdown looks to the rest of the world.
I get a lot of emails from the American Civil Liberties Union, since I donate to them every year and am on their mailing list.
Most of their emails, frankly, I ignore, because they’re about things I already know and am equally distressed about.
But every once in a while they help bring to light stories like this, where the punishment goes so far over the line compared to the crime that’s sickening.
Kyle Thompson is a 14-year-old Michigan kid who loves football and video games. His school principal said if he had a school-full of Kyle Thompsons, he’d be very happy.
Last spring a teacher caught Kyle passing a note that said “hit list” on it; Thompson later explained that it was a list of people he wanted to hit at football practice, anyway, that’s not why he’s in the news now.
The teacher and students were apparently laughing about the note and the tug of war, but a short time later Thompson was pulled out of class, and then handcuffed by police. He was expelled from all Michigan public schools for a year, and sentenced to house arrest, for allegedly “assaulting” a teacher.
This model student who had ZERO history of any untoward activity, has been barred from schools for a year under a “zero tolerance” policy.
Sometimes, the lack of common sense among people in leadership positions is astonishing. Watch the video above to hear Kyle’s story.
**OK, just a quick pet peeve that I’ve developed lately. Have you noticed that whenever you want into a bank, a drugstore, or anyplace you’re making a transaction, the store employee calls the customers “guests?”
It happened again Wednesday when I was in Walgreens; while I waited on line the lady behind the counter said “Can I help the following guest please?”
When did we all become “guests?” Am I staying over at the store and having a meal, or taking a shower, or sleeping there for the night? Was I invited into Walgreens or Bank of America by invitation, and therefore I’m a guest?
I just think it’s weird. I’m the customer, you’re the store, and I’m not a “guest” in your store. So stop calling me a guest.
OK, end of my Seinfeld-ian rant.
**Finally today, the 9-year-old boy inside of me always finds these things funny, especially when news anchors say them and have no clue why everyone else is laughing…