Don't tell J.K Rowling, but I actually found an application for her literature in the real world, though probably not in the way she intended. Back in Order of the Phoenix, at the start of another year a Ministry of Magic official (and eventual nemesis of the book), Delores Umbridge, interrupts Dumbledore's welcome speech to announce how the Ministry is going to be more 'involved' in insuring the kids get a 'quality' education. Over the course of the book, it becomes readily apparent just what sort of education a Ministry-enforced curriculum offers - a total lack of real world application, denial or playing down of threats outside of the school, power being consolidated in one Ministry-approved individual, and worst of all, severe punishment for dissenters.
Interestingly, if you look at the headlines over the last few weeks, you'll see the Obama administration employing all of these tactics, to varying degrees. Take a look:
Government "involvement" for our "benefit" - "Wall Street is not going to play as dominant a role in the economy...We don't want every single college grad with mathematical aptitude to become a derivatives trader. We want some of them to go into engineering, and we want some of them to be going into computer design."" - Barack Obama, http://www.foxnews.com/politics/elections/2009/05/03/obama-wall-street-play-dominant-role/
Lack of real world application - "Republican lawmakers are calling on the Obama administration to produce a plan for closing the Guantanamo Bay detention center...So far, France has formally agreed to take in a single detainee as a symbolic gesture." http://www.foxnews.com/politics/first100days/2009/04/29/republicans/
(PS - the raising of a single finger is also a symbolic gesture...)
"And I believe the nation that invented the automobile cannot walk away from it" Obama in his first State of the Union address, apparently unaware that Germany invented the car.
"More than 90 percent of the guns recovered in Mexico come from the United States."
Obama during a press conference with President Felipe Calderón of Mexico. According to Factcheck.org, "the 90 percent claim made by the president and others in his administration lacks a basis in solid fact."http://www.factcheck.org/politics/counting_mexicos_guns.html
Denial or playing down of outside threats - According to Janet Napolitano, Obama's head of Homeland Security, terrorist attacks are now known as "Man-made disasters" and include "events which, either intentionally or by accident cause severe threats to public health and well-being." The list of 'events' comprises bioterrorism, terrorism, and pandemics and diseases.
Power consolidation - White House Census Power Grab May Violate the Constitution
GM CEO resigns at Obama's behest
White House Urged Silence On Merrill Acquisition...The government helped orchestrate the acquisition of Merrill by Bank of America http://www.wbur.org/2009/04/23/bofa-testimony
"Wall Street is not going to play as dominant a role in the economy" Obama, cited above.
And let's not forget-punishment for dissent - "White House uses strong arm tactics to extort concessions from lenders...One of my clients was directly threatened by the White House and in essence compelled to withdraw its opposition to the deal under the threat that the full force of the White House Press Corps would destroy its reputation if it continued to fight."
"Rightwing extremism [includes] those that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely. It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration.” - Janet Napolitano, DHS Secretary
To sum it up, we've got a president who thinks he's Delores Umbridge in charge. What will it take to recover from 4 years of Obama, if he can do all this in just 4 months?