Forget that President Barack Obama spoke to students after a week of uproar about what he planned to say. Forget that the speech was mostly apolitical cheerleading about the importance of learning. Please, please forget that Utah parents seemed to be out front on the opposition to this speech. What is important to remember is that experience is the best educational tool, and whether students are in kindergarten or high school, hearing a live speech from the current president is a great way to learn about democracy. And it doesn’t need to end there. Legislators and other state and local officials are always willing to visit schools and provide students with first-hand knowledge of democracy in action. In all cases, regardless of their political leanings, interaction with the community leaders will only benefit students.
For anyone pinching pennies after a job loss or struggling with stagnant income, it’s nice to know the mansion dwellers sympathize. At least, they do for an evening, when they attend what has apparently started to grab hold with the rich and not-quite-getting it set: recession/depression parties. Similar parties were popular last year when the recession really hit people, focusing on frugality by encouraging homemade gifts or dinner parties with inexpensive food (such as John Rasmuson describes in this week’s opinion column). Such gatherings have now morphed into bashes held in million-dollar homes who play the role of the financially destitute, embracing ugly stereotype of poverty like well-worn work clothes as costumes or bean soups for dinner. Why not go all the way, and end the party with a staged job loss or foreclosure?
Bowl Buster Blues
BYU’s 14-13 victory over Oklahoma is something to celebrate, even by Ute fans. Besides being a huge boost for every Mountain West Conference team, it is one more blow against the empire that is the Bowl Championship Series. Someday, perhaps the excuses for maintaining the BCS will run dry—or the current crusade of Attorney General Mark Shurtleff and Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, will succeed—but until they do, everybody who supports a school on the outside looking in should root for their fellow underdogs.