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Verboten Tag?

Friday, Aug. 31, 2007 1:05 AM

An elementary school in Colorado has banned the children's game of tag on its playground, because some children (or rather, their parents) complained they were harassed or chased against their will.

"It causes a lot of conflict on the playground," said the assistant principal. She also stated that running games would still be allowed as long as students don't chase each other.

Wonderful! Let's not address the problem of bullying or harassment at all, let's ban tag!

Tag is not the problem; it is simply a vector through which the problem arises. Just as a co-worker with a cold can spread germs through handled papers and shared phones - but we're not rushing off to ban paper and phones, are we?

And though I am not an expert in child development, it would seem the importance of creative play is being overlooked. Wouldn't tag teach the impermanence of a label ("it"), as well as visual discrimination skills, physical coordination, and general socialization?

Of course, there are those other running games that don't involve chasing one another. Like what? Wind sprints?

If bullying and harrassment are an issue, the correct approach is to identify and make clear the undesirable behavior, and impose consequences for engaging in it.

Let's not 'protect' our kids in emotional bubble-wrap so that they grow up to find themselves ill-prepared for a world where people like to go around popping all the little bubbles.

From the Global Warming Impending Doom Department: NASA now says that global warming could result in 'more tornadoes.'

Alongside last season's increased and more devastating hurricanes, I guess.

I'm not disputing the possibility, but when your model fails to make an accurate prediction over the course of one season, it obviously isn't a strong model, even though Hurricane Dean hit Category 5 and dredged up all the 'we need to develop new categories' talk.

I'm more concerned that we haven't done much in the way of securing our infrastructure, so that our response to a hurricane or tornado is top-notch. It's disgusting that, two years down the line, over forty percent of those residents displaced by Hurricane Katrina are still without homes.

With the GAO report on Iraq being leaked, the Pentagon isn't even trying to hide their attempts at spin control.

Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morell says that policy officials 'made some factual corrections' and 'offered some suggestions on a few of the actual grades' given by the GAO.

"We have provided the GAO with information which we believe will lead them to conclude that a few of the benchmark grades should be upgraded from 'not met' to 'met,'" Morrell explained.

The issue is apparently goals-in-progress, as opposed to the stricter standard of complete or not complete.

What is this, George W. Bush's third grade report card?

And then there's the blatant reframing by Tony Snow. "The real question that people have is: What's going on in Iraq? Are we making progress? Militarily, is the surge having an impact? The answer is yes. There's no question about it."

That's right, America. You're too stupid to understand the real question, so Uncle Tony will spoon-feed it to you along with another dose of six-more-months.

So how is that police academy with the defective plumbing going, Tony? And what corrective or punitive measures have been taken against the contractor?

How is it that al-Maliki makes a landmark agreement with opposition leaders in the midst of everyone's August recess? (And, apparently, without meeting with people?)

There are very few things in life that we get credit for finishing halfway, from eating all our vegetables as a kid to completing National Guard ... oh, wait, George did get credit for finishing that halfway, my bad.

But the White House still isn't being honest about the mission in Iraq - is it security? (Failed.) Is it 'breathing space' while al-Maliki whips everyone into line? (Failed.) Is it defeating al-Qaeda? (Failed.) Catching Osama bin Laden? (Failed.) Blaming Iran for all our troubles? (Success!)

An honest appraisal is clearly not forthcoming if the Pentagon and State Department get to see an advance draft and make changes.

Expect the so-called Petraeus Report to be more of the same self-serving crap, with an extra helping of patriotic fervor in honor of 9/11.

So, if Senator Larry Craig's lying about his bathroom encounter and pleading guilty to charges that he claims he is innocent of merits dismissal, why are we still putting up with Bush and Cheney, whose lies about Iraq have been repeatedly laid bare?

Is it because dishonesty is expected and tolerated in Washington unless it happens to be about your 'morals'?

Oh, wait, morals include honesty, don't they? And the Bible (which Bush once referred to as the 'Handbook for Life,' the only one you'll ever need) clearly states that thou shalt not bear false witness. (And we'll just leave, 'thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's goods' parked alongside.)

Incidentally, Craig's seat is in a state with a Republican governor. Congressman David Vitter's is in a state with a Democratic governor. So Vitter gets to stay, and Craig has to go.

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