Fourth grade wake up call

Last week whilst talking on the phone to my brother Blaine, he said something rather alarming in an attempt to actually give me a compliment. It went something like this: “Kiddo, you possess a never ending fountain of bile ready to spew forth into print at any given moment.” Mind you, he actually meant that as a good thing and I took it as such.

The reason for his er, um, well, stunning endorsement was due to my blathering on about a recent news item that really had me in an uproar. Of course, my language with Blaine could never be printed in this family paper, so I shall be as kind and gentle as humanly possible while conveying the information to you.

At this point, the news item is a bit ancient as it unfolded about 10 days ago. However, just in case you have not heard about it, I will now bloviate until I've run out of space or until you run screaming from the room—which ever comes first.

It all began during a civics class for fourth graders in New Hampshire. The kids were studying how a bill becomes a law and came up with their own hands on kind of lesson. They wanted to have a particular breed of hawk designated as the state raptor. It was actually a hawk of the red tail variety.

Now, the class followed the protocol of the day in terms of moving this pressing issue along. That included having a sponsor for the bill, etc., blah, blah and blah. I used to know total details of how a bill becomes a law. You know, when it no longer has to perch on the steps of a capital building and sing, “I'm just a bill, yes I'm only a bill...” For those who did not grow up with Schoolhouse Rock, I apologize but that off the topic outburst gave me my first opportunity to digress and we all know how that thrills me to the marrow.

Moving along, the children did take all appropriate measures leading up to the big day. Not to mention, but I will, they wore shirts depicting said hawk. I know this has not one thing to do with whether or not a bill goes through but it's kind of precious and I threw it in for good measure, as did they, I'm almost certain.

The youngsters gathered in the gallery of their state capital region in order to watch, with wide eyed wonder as excitement unfold before them. Look, I'm trying to make this as interesting as possible so bear with.

Various elected officials began to debate the bill and, in doing so, proved to be the morons that most of them are. No offense.

One loon got up and said something along the lines that if they kept up with that type of discussion, soon they would be endorsing a state hotdog. Another adult, and I use that description lightly, prattled on about how they don't need a state raptor as they already have a bird. All comments were condescending, rude and sarcastic. Laughter ensued and the barbs kept flying, like Wallendas, through the air. Open mocking by grown adults, mind you, continued with almost a hateful tone to put it delicately.

The whipped cream atop the polluted-politician-pecan-pie came in the form of one jackass who decided to use the platform as a place to wedge his perverse point into the debate.

He said, and I quote, “As I was doing the research on this bill, I watched a couple of videos. Its known for its extremely strong and sharp talons, which it grasps its prey. It uses its razor sharp beak to rip its victim to shreds, tearing it apart limb by limb. I guess the shame about making this a state bird is that it would serve as a much better mascot for Planned Parenthood.” (Note, I did not correct the grammar of this goofball.)

Now, no matter one's view on Planned Parenthood, (PP), and/or the abortion topic, this was certainly not the right time or place to bring such an off the topic thought to the forefront. Talk about a MAJOR digression on his part.

Thankfully, the kids weren't clear on what PP was, which caused lively discussions around many a dinner table that night, I'm quite sure. The thing that kind of broke my normally solid heart was that some of the fourth graders asked why everyone was laughing at them and making fun of them in general. See, they understood that but did not get the reference to PP, thank goodness.

What on earth? I mean what *&^%$# jerks, to say the least. I cannot use any more colorful language as the chief would blush and I would be fired pronto.

I'm not saying that the bill should have been swooped into law just because kids proposed it. The whole point of the matter was to show the youth of our nation how a bill evolves into a law. Instead, said youth was ridiculed to the max by elected officials.

As you are abundantly aware, from columns gone by, I'm not one to coddle children by shoving potatoes in their ears as to not upset their delicate balance. However, this kind of behavior is simply uncouth, disgusting and, to use Mother's favorite word, appalling.

Not all is lost, however, because I guess those young students got to see how government REALLY works.