Thursday, August 30, 2012

Left Side of the Aisle #71 - Part 3

Clarabell Award: GOP Senate candidate says having child out of wedlock "similar" to pregnancy from rape; miners required to attend Romney rally, lose day's pay; Nebraska schools want deaf 3-year-old to change his name because they claim the sign for his name looks like a gun

I had several candidates for the award this week, an embarrassment of embarrassments, as it were - but remembering that the standard for the Clarabell Award is meritorious stupidity, one just stood clearly above the rest.

Among the also-rans was Tom Smith, GOPper candidate for Senate in Pennsylvania this year. He's another of these lame brain bozos who wants to ban access to abortion even in the cases of rape or incest.

On August 27 he was pressed by a reporter on how he would handle a daughter or granddaughter becoming pregnant as a result of rape. He said he had already "lived something similar to that" in his family. When a reporter asked Smith to clarify what kind of situation was similar to becoming pregnant from rape, the candidate responded, "Having a baby out of wedlock."

"Put yourself in a father's position," he said. "Yes, it is similar."

His campaign later insisted that it was a "misunderstanding" and that he specifically denied making the comparison. Even though he did. I guess he "misspoke." When he said "Yes, it is similar," he actually meant to say "No, they're not the same thing at all" but the other words just slipped out by accident.

Another entrant was Rob Moore, Chief Financial Officer of Murray Energy Company. Murray Energy owns the Century Mine, a coal mine in Beallsville, Ohio. Earlier this month, Witless Romney had a campaign event there, with hundreds of coal workers and their families present. But now, many of the mine's workers are saying they were forced to attend the event and lost a day's pay to do it, fearing they might be fired if they didn’t go.

Moore denied the claims - or at least said he was denying them. But what he actually said was that, first, it was true that workers weren’t paid that day and second - get this now, this is a quote:
Our managers communicated to our workforce that the attendance at the Romney event was mandatory, but no one was forced to attend.
Paraphrasing Arthur Dent, this must be some new meaning of "mandatory" of which I was previously unaware. Pure Clarabell territory.

In fact, that was going to be the odds-on winner until I heard about the administrators of Grand Island Public Schools of Grand Island, Nebraska, who are this week's dishonorees.

Hunter Spanjer is a 3-year-old boy who attends pre-school. He is deaf and uses the standard S.E.E., Signing Exact English, for sign language.

The problem is his name: The way he signs his own name, Hunter, is by crossing his index and middle fingers and waving them slightly. As a result, the superior intellects running the school system of Grand Island, Nebraska, want him to be forced to sign his name some other way because they insist the sign resembles shooting a gun and so runs afoul of school policy that forbids any "instrument" that "looks like a weapon."

So according to the big brains of the school officials, the fingers of a 3-year-old are an "instrument" that someone might think is a gun.

And as for any resemblance, hello? The kid's name is Hunter - so he uses the sign for a hunter, which, duh, is going to have some sort of resemblance to a gun.

But here is the real important thing: Bear in mind always that the way Hunter signs his name is the way he introduces himself to the world. The sign is his name. It is his name. By demanding he sign his name a different way, the school actually is demanding that his name be changed to something of which the school can approve. I mean, suppose he wasn't deaf, suppose he communicated orally and said "My name is Hunter." Would the school have demanded his name be changed because the word "hunter" has an association with weapons? You and I both know the answer to that.

The ACLU has written to the district asking the policy be reconsidered and the National Association of the Deaf is prepared to assist the Spanjers with legal action if necessary.

A representative of the district said the school was trying to come to the "best solution" for preschooler Hunter. The best solution is for school officials to apologize to the Spanjers and drop the matter after realizing they have been astonishingly insensitive and appallingly ignorant clowns.


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