Jed walks over to the table where Bruno and Sam and other staffers are doing some last-minute strategizing. He asks what they have. Bruno says, "'We will catch the perpetrators, we will track them down, we will punish them...' along those lines." Yeah, that's some great oratory, there. Jed looks at a paper -- the speech, I presume. Bruno ventures that it's too early for Rocky. Jed thinks so, and comments, "Plus, once you catch a perpetrator, you don't need to track him down." Sam says, "I told you, he likes the rhythm." They start walking, and Bruno says it was Sam's line. Sam says it's a dummy phrase -- a placeholder. Jed decides he's just going to talk a little bit. As he hustles up a flight of stairs with SS guys and staffers all around him, we can hear him being announced in the background. Sam says, "'Joy cometh in the morning,' sir." Jed thanks him.
Jed enters the auditorium, where people are standing, clapping, cheering, and waving miniature American flags. It's not an enormous crowd of people, though, and the amount of noise they're making seems out of proportion to their numbers. Jed makes his way through the crowd to the stage and positions himself at the podium, in front of the NEA banner that reads, "Making public schools great for every child." That's one ripping good slogan. He begins: "'Joy cometh in the morning,' Scripture tells us. I hope so. I don't know if life would be worth living if it didn't. And I don't yet know who set off the bomb at Kennison State. I don't know if it's one person or ten, and I don't know what they want. All I know for sure -- all I know for certain -- is that they weren't born wanting to do this. There's evil in the world, there'll always be, and we can't do anything about that. But there's violence in our schools, too much mayhem in our culture. And we can do something about that. There's not enough character, discipline, and depth in our classrooms. There aren't enough teachers in our classrooms." Lots of applause for that, naturally. "There isn't nearly enough, not nearly enough, not nearly enough money in our classrooms, and we can do something about that. We're not doing nearly enough, not nearly enough to teach our children well. And we can do better, and we must do better, and we will do better, and we will start this moment today! They weren't born wanting to do this." Some of the crowd's already on its feet again cheering and applauding, as the usual suspects (C.J., Sam, Charlie) watch from the perimeter of the room with the usual serious expressions of approval, inspiration, motivation, and/or pride on their faces. Yeah, I think that's nearly enough already. What an empty and incredibly redundant pile of poo. There's oratorical rhythm, and then there's a place where you've crossed the line into the chorus of "Rock and Roll All Night." I can't believe these overworked, underpaid educators could get so whipped up about a speech that makes absolutely no specific promises, contains no details of any policies or plans whatsoever, and doesn't amount to much more than "tut, tut" and "rah, rah." Rating on the Credulity Strain-o-Meter: 5 out of 10.