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Your observance [here]

By Mark Hamrick ·
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Posted 10 am ET

Washington is engaged in an unprecedented round of budget tightening, but the resources of the federal government are being put to use to mark no fewer than five proclamations for the month of May and two for today alone. And that's just from the White House.

The press secretary's office must hate the end of the month, given the regular routine of paper that has to come out on the last day, letting us all know what we need to celebrate upon the flipping of the calendar.

In no particular order, President Barack Obama proclaimed May:

  • National Foster Care Month.
  • National Physical Fitness and Sports Month (the first lady's favorite).
  • National Building Safety Month (who can argue against that?).
  • Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.
  • Older Americans Month (older than what?).
  • Jewish American Heritage Month.

So, if you know a foster child who is fit, a building engineer from the Asian Pacific and is a senior Jewish American, well that person has hit the observance jackpot.

One can imagine that taken alone, each and every one of these proclamations is fine. But at a time of remarkably low inflation in the economy, isn't anyone concerned with "Proclamation Inflation"?

Resolving to not give safety the slip -- oops!

Let's go to National Building Safety Month. The president's proclamation says, "Protecting our communities from harm requires commitment from all of us." From where I sit, that seems to spread the responsibility or the blame around quite a bit. After all, should everyone really be asked to weigh in on engineering integrity?

In the same proclamation, the president seems to ease up a bit when he says, "I also call on all Americans to learn more about how they can contribute to building safety at home and in their communities." OK, count me in. I'll make sure there are no banana peels left on the steps either at home or in the office.

Law and loyalty for May 1

As if that's not enough, there are two proclamations for May 1. For Law Day, USA, as the news release notes, the president calls on "all Americans to acknowledge the importance of our nation's legal and judicial systems with appropriate ceremonies and activities, and to display the flag of the United States in support" of this observance. So, fly the national flag and thank goodness for lawyers.

Finally, May 1 is Loyalty Day. With that, we're asked to reaffirm our allegiance to the United States of America, our Constitution and our founding values. All of that sounds like a good idea for a patriotic American. But with all of these proclamations for May and the date, loyalty seems like the last thing on anyone's mind. It is more like Little League. Everybody gets to play.

Follow me on Twitter @hamrickisms.

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