Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Obama Pledge

Here's a video making the rounds of celebrities pledging to become better people in honor of President Obama.  The folks at Volokh are in a tizzy about it.  Judge for yourself:

I'm not big fan of Obama, but I have a tough time getting worked up about this.  Pretty harmless.  In fact, as a libertarian, I'd much rather have a president who inspired individuals to go forth and do good works rather than a president that wants to cram well-intentioned but  ill-conceived programs down our throats.  (Like, just hypothetically, forcing public school children to "volunteer" in their communities as a condition for their schools receiving certain federal funding.)

Mainly this video reminded me that  Anthony Kiedis is kind of a tool.  That Nicole Ritchie still exists.  And that Jason Bateman is awesome. ("I pledge to flush only after a deuce and never a single.") 

However, Bateman should have gone the extra mile and not only pledged to flush only after pooping, but also to poop less.  But, I'm nitpicking.  If Bateman comes through with an Arrested Development movie he will have done his part to make the world a better place.

And who is the dumbass who thinks "selling his obnoxious car and buying a hybrid" is going to help the planet?  All that would happen is that some other dude would be driving around in his obnoxious car while he drives around in a more efficient car.  Also, cars (even Priuses) don't grow in organically farmed fields.  They are made in factories which consume fuel and pump out C02. 

What he needs to do is at a minimum get his obnoxious car off the road.  He could give it away to an obnoxious homeless person to live in.  Or use it as a kennel to raise obnoxious stray puppies.  Or use it to fill in an obnoxious sink hole provided that it wouldn't reduce wetlands.

Or he could just keep his existing obnoxious car but drive it less.  Maybe even take the bus.  But that would require actual (obnoxious) sacrifice.



  1. "The Obama-Biden plan sets a goal for all students to engage in service, with middle and high school students
    performing 50 hours of service each year, and college students performing 100 hours of service each year"

    Sorry - how is that 'forcing school children to volunteer' again? I must have missed it. I see kids who want to get $4,000 off their tuition can do 100 hours of community service, but other than that, where exactly is the language you're referencing?

  2. "Obama-Biden believe that middle and high-school children should be expected to volunteer 50 hours during the school year and summer months."

    They also propose additional federal funding ***"conditioned"*** upon "school districts developing programs to engage students in service opportunities."

    I don't understand how opponents of No Child Left Behind (of which I am one) can possible get behind this loony plan. But that's just me.

  3. Guess I just don't see "developing programs to engage students in service opportunities" = "forcing public school children to volunteer"

    That's a very broad brush with which to paint. And I don't see how it's 'loony' to make students aware of public service. Note it says 'develop programs' - no one can force the students to actually serve. That's up to them. But I think it's a great idea to attempt to interest them in something other than themselves.

    But that's just me.

  4. I pledge not to let the comments of a bunch of douchenozzles at Volokh kill my buzz.

  5. You don't think that when the rubber meet the road schools won't implement a mandatory "volunteering" requirement so that they can meet their federal goals and get extra money?

    It's not like this is some huge stretch.

    And for the record, I think its a great idea to encourage kids to volunteer in their communities. That's a redherring. The question is whether it is a good idea foe the federal government to require it as a condition for those children getting a public education. That's the loony part.

  6. By the way, I am not really all that worried that Obama is going to follow through on some of his nuttier campaign promises.