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Jewish World Review May 21, 2002 / 10 Sivan, 5762

Tony Snow

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Musings | Sometimes, I don't know what to make of our schools. Consider this story: The Teachers Association in San Leandro, California, has voted to stop celebrating the birthday of Abraham Lincoln and to reallocate the vacation day to honor the late Cesar Chavez. The educators evidently believe Lincoln saved the wrong kind of union.

Says Thomas Morse, the association's political action chairman, "The diversity of our community is growing, and it looks beautiful and we want to honor our Latino families. And the other reason, which is very important for union members, is that Cesar Chavez was a labor leader."

If you want evidence that our schools have become enthralled with vacuous fads, this is it. San Leandro educators want to get rid of an occasion to study the man who may have been our greatest president -- in order to provide a spoonful of self-esteem for union members, and dish out some treacle about Cesar Chavez -- who, in the broad sweep of things, may have been an interesting man, but hardly historic.

I want to cast my vote today in favor of retaining the British Royal Family. I'm arguing not on the basis of tradition, heck the House of Windsor -- with all its eccentricities and dysfunction -- it no longer serves as the repository for great practices or ideas. Nor do I wish to insinuate that the monarchy plays a role in cementing Anglo-American relations.

No: Just keep them because they're entertaining.

You've got Prince Charles, who dumped Diana in favor of a woman who looks a lot like his horse.

Then, there's the queen -- who's as reclusive and irrelevant as Garbo, but not as glamorous.

And best of all, her husband, Philip, the Don Rickles of royalty. Last year, he asked some Australian aborigines if they still threw spears at each other. Then, the other day, he encountered Susan Edwards, who is blind, confined to a wheelchair, and aided by a seeing eye dog. After sizing up the situation, the royal consort quipped to the woman and her pooch: "Do you know they have eating dogs for the anorexic now?"

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