Monday, September 01, 2008

Teach Labor Day

Today we honor those who labor -- especially those who do the physically hard jobs.

At Centre College, we honor labor by laboring. Centre is its own world. We often begin the term on Labor Day. I think this is appropriate. One of the ways we can honor physical labor is by teaching the privileged (who will probably not be doing much of it) to treat their fellow workers with respect.

Those of you not laboring this day, enjoy your civil sabbath.


peter hoh said...

You were right.

Gruntled said...

I took down the post because I thought the story of Sarah Palin as a grandmother was getting tangled with the "babygate" stories. This is, on the whole, a better outcome than some had proposed. I still don't know how Gov. Palin proposes to manage an infant and non-stop campaigning. So far it appears that her plan is to have Bristol take care of the baby, but that will get harder and harder.

halifax said...

In the good old days (pre-Gore/Cheney), vice-presidents did nothing but attend funerals and show up at the Senate once a year or so. Given what I take to be McCain's conception of the vice-presidency, Palin will have more time than most working mothers to take care of the baby, if McCain is elected.

Between now and November, the father will have to leave the ice-fishing and snow-mobiling behind and help out a bit (though I don't believe that it's ice-fishing or snow-mobiling season, even in Alaska).

We, of course, have no real idea of how the daughter's decisions were made, but she, like her mother, did not eliminate the child (though I suppose that she still has a few months to consider).

Gruntled said...

I commend Bristol Palin and her husband to be for doing the right thing, having done the dumb thing. I likewise commend the senior Palins for standing by their daughter. And if she is pregnant now, that settles the "babygate" issue. Bristol can fade back into family obscurity.

Vice presidents today do more and know more than they did even when I was young. Especially if they serve old presidents with checkered health histories.

Paul said...

I appreciated the fact that in that article they mention that Gov. Palin backed teaching an abstinence only curriculum in schools not so that liberals can all give a big collective "I told you so," but because it shows once again that teenagers are going to have sex. Some won't, but a lot will. Even teens that come from a stable family with strong values are not immune.

Because of her mother's position and notoriety in the community I doubt Bristol had the ability to get birth control on her own without her parents knowledge (the governor's daughter can't just get an appointment at the clinic). I wonder if she felt like she could come to her parents with the fact that she was sexually active. I somehow doubt it and in the end I feel like that is the main problem with abstinence only education it closes dialogue and leaves the teen out there on their own when having to decide how dumb the "dumb thing" ends up being.

Some teens will have sex, period. To think otherwise leaves the world with lots of surprised grandparents.

halifax said...

I'm unconvinced by the 'do more, know more' argument. John Adams knew more than Gore/Cheney/Quayle/Bush/Mondale, et al. combined. (I could have also picked Thomas Jefferson, Aaron Burr, John C. Calhoun, or Elbridge Gerry) Both Gore and Cheney, and especially the latter, have done more, but that's not the result of some historical inevitability. Both served under presidents with marked deficiencies in foreign policy experience (among other deficiencies) and were sold as hands-on vp's. Quayle, Bush, Rockefeller, Ford/Agnew, LBJ, Nixon, and Barkley were not substantially involved in governing, and FDR changed vp's as often as he changed underwear.

The experience question might still be important, of course, but it retains resonance for Obama as much as for the Palin pick. The distinction between the two is that Obama was president of Harvard Law Review, and, in the pseudo-Platonic world of the Progressive, that makes him an expert in everything under the sun. Remember, however, that progressives rarely win without help from populists (like Palin) who enter politics because they are angry, not because they believe that their academic credentials deserve recognition in the highest offices in the land.

As you know, I'm neither a progressive nor a populist, so I hope that I can maintain a modicum of distance in this conversation. But the soi-disant intellectuals who are dismissing the appeal of Palin's candidacy also once scoffed at Mr. Reagan because he was an actor and had only gone to Eureka College. Or, to relate another example of similar progressive ignorance, remember Pauline Kael's reaction when Nixon beat McGovern in 1972. She couldn't believe it because, as she put it 'no one I know voted for Nixon.'