Saturday, June 19, 2004
LANSING (MI) -- At the Capitol today, leading House Democrats held a press conference to explain the many virtues of their new abstinence-only education campaign. Republicans complained that "they are stealing our thunder."
Undeterred by this criticism, House minority leader Dianne Byrum (D-Onandaga) pointed out the main points of the program.
"Complete abstinence is the only method proven to be 100% effective. When it comes to violence, the only way to be absolutely certain that you don't shoot someone, is to never pull the trigger." To elaborate, she went on, "The critics of this program argue that 'kids will do it anyway, so there is no point in trying to stop them.' This does not square well with the values we want Michigan kids to have."
"Some people argue that an occasional punch in the nose does no real harm, and it builds character. The only character it builds is the kind of character that beats his wife."
House Republicans counter by pointing out that most of them were picked on as children, and it helped them to be better politicians. "That's how I learned that the only way to be successful, is to always win at any cost," said Speaker of the Hose, Alexander de Large (R-Isle Royale).
"In order to survive in the rough-and-tumble world of Lansing politics, you've gotta know a good one-two punch." He adds, "the only good compromise is a dead compromise." Asked to explain why he thinks Democrats are stealing the Republican's idea, he stated: "Now, the Democrats are stealing a page from our playbook. The abstience-only concept has proven to be successful with sex education. The teen pregnancy rate in Michigan has dropped to zero, at least in the New Charter schools. But whereas abstinence from sex is a good thing, abstinence from violence only breeds a bunch of weaklings. A little of the old ultra-violence helps build ambition. It is a valuable as the good old ultra-work."
Mr. de Large was referring to the recent study conducted among certain Michigan Charter schools, known as "New Charter Schools," that show a complete absence of teen pregnancy. These schools have children work 60 hours per week to pay for their education. Some pundits have argued that the insistence on productive work has added to the value of the children.
After the press conference, Mr. de Large stopped by the Magdalene Laundry to pick up his dry cleaning. The laundry, run by the girls-only New Charter School, provides dry-cleaning and other desired services to Michigan politicians at low cost. As he walked in to the cleaners, he noted with approval that the girls all work behind chest-high "modesty panels" so that no signs of sexual maturation would be visible to the public...
Notes: There are many snarky little twists in this satire, but one or two may require a bit of explanation in order for this to make any sense at all. The Magdalene Laundries were sort of like "reform" schools, mainly for teenage girls who got pregnant without first getting married. The history of the Magdalene Laundries is one of the darker chapters in the history of humankind. Of course, throughout history, various societies have had ways of pretending that teenagers are not sexually active. One common method was to send the unfortunate girls to some kind of institution, far from their hometown. Often, it was said that they were off caring for an elderly aunt, or some such pretext. Some of the institutions were built with windows that were chest-high, so that passers-by could not see that the girls were pregnant.
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