School Administrator Control

The time has come, in the light of the tragedy that IS our schools to consider teacher control.  In this case, the sort of control that forces teachers to think like rational human beings before going off half cocked and doing stupid things.

It might also be time to think of administrator control.  A good first measure would be to say that no one not in possession of a brain that functions AT LEAST at cat level can be a school administrator.  Above all, they will NOT be allowed to make any type of safety policies.

I live in Colorado, so I have been in doubt that my school system could or would protect my kids in the event of someone wishing to massacre school kids wholesale.

The problem, you see, was Columbine, followed by what has to be the most stupid set of rules ever created by man – or monkey.  Or mongoose.

It started with my younger son’s preschool teacher, assuring us with tears in her eyes and voice, that she would willingly DIE for all or any of our kids.

Uh…  First of all, this was a woman who couldn’t be bother to notice that my kid was bored out of his gourd, and who kept trying to get me to have him classified as autistic.  (As far as I can tell because she had taken autism in school.  Clearly not WELL.  I mean, what she thought was a symptom was that Marshall would listen to instructions, then look to see what his classmates were doing, or ask a classmate what to do.  That’s not autism.  That’s deafness – which it proved to be, in a specialized form.) Second… I didn’t want her to DIE for my kid.  I wanted her to prevent my kid being killed.  Whether she died or not was, frankly, quite immaterial to me.  I mean, I’d prefer people don’t get killed, but her getting killed or not was not a guarantee my kid wouldn’t also be – or not – killed.  And her self-dramatization as “martyr for preschoolers” was seriously off-putting and meant – to me – that she wasn’t using her brain over this, but trying to think with her emotions.

Then she outlines the plan handed down by the administrators.  Their plan, basically, is to – at the first sign of a threat – lock all the kids in the class.

I’m going to be blunt: in a school where the doors aren’t bullet – or strong kick – proof, locking the kids in the class just ensures if THERE IS a gunman, he can systematically go down the row of classrooms, kick the door, shoot everyone.  Reload.  Next classroom…  Or throw a grenade in the there.  Or…

In fact, I can’t conceive of a single circumstance in which locking the kids in, and keeping them all like sitting ducks in a group will keep them safe.

This is when I realized the system had gone nuts.

A)    NOTHING in their plan prevented an attack like Columbine’s.  In fact it could be said to facilitate that type of attack.

B)    It allowed teachers to self-dramatize as protectors, even though most of them weren’t armed; couldn’t have shot a lame rat in a barrel; would have wet themselves at the sight of a gun; and would never think of doing those things that could/should be done to prevent an actual massacre.  You know – throw books/desks/water/vase, then make a desperate rush at the gunman while he’s confused.

And that in a nutshell is where we’ve got.  Because of some well-publicized massacres and because the emphasis is put on guns (Columbine involved bombs also, which fortunately failed to go off, and the worst school massacre in the US – unless I misremember – involved bombs only) this allows the bureaucratic mind to go … stupid.

Instead of genuinely trying to prevent casualties in the case someone with evil intentions comes into the school, they try to control THE STUDENTS.  This is the equivalent of keeping everyone safe by preventing them from running with scissors, even if the scissors are desperately needed to cut a noose that’s strangling someone.

Keeping the students locked in classrooms does nothing but make it easier to identify the bodies.  Oh, yeah, it also allows the school to say “We did everything we could.  Ms. So and So died for her students.”

Then there is the fetishization of elements in whatever the latest well-publicized shooting.  When I was picking up the kid from school, in a downpour (we had only one car.  The school was five blocks away.  We walked) wearing a raincoat, they made me stop, remove the (dripping) raincoat and FRISKED me, at gunpoint, because, you know, Columbine involved a “trench coat mafia” (turns out it didn’t, but that’s besides the point.)  This of course meant that I, a middle aged mother of two was somehow a member of a highschool Goth clique fifty miles away.

When my friend’s kid wore a t-shirt to school showing a sword and “puncture marks” and saying “Dueling society, an ever diminishing group” (or something like that.  It was a standard con t-shirt) they made him turn it inside out, because it “could be considered a threat” (in a madhouse.  A threat is something like “I’ll kill you.”  Not “Hey, I make jokes about a dueling society” – do these people even KNOW what dueling means?)

Then there’s the fact that these people have decided guns are what causes the deaths.  Only guns.  Not anything else.

This means that the kid who chews a poptart into the shape of a gun MUST be suspended; that the kid who wears a Marine Corps t-shirt to school is threatened with suspension that the student who disarms a gunman gets suspended and that singing the Fresh Prince of Bel Air’s theme song on your cell phone message can get you arrested.

This is not only insane, but counterproductive, and it comes totally from “bureaucratic mind and procedure.”

Note in the last article that they said everyone did what they were supposed to: so, mishearing lyrics, then arresting an innocent student, disrupting classes in the entire district and messing up people’s schedules is what the rules are DESIGNED to do?

Good to know.

Note that if the student had recorded a song – his or another – about shooting people after school, it still would not be evidence of anything, not even a vague intention to do so.

This is the type of thinking that had a teacher FROM A SCHOOL MY SON NO LONGER ATTENDED call us because “a concerned student” had called HER because my son was posting blues lyrics on his face book page and one of them referenced suicide.  The teacher called us DURING SUMMER.  And tried to bully us into taking the boy (who when the call came was goofing around with us on the subject of going out to play mini-golf) to a psychiatrist.  BECAUSE HE QUOTED BLUES LYRICS, which he identified as blues lyrics, and was posting then analyzing in relation to the themes of blues.

Even when we pointed the context to the teacher, she insisted it was her “duty” to make us take our son to a psychiatrist.  Because someone willfully misunderstood him.

I think it was NOT her duty, but her pleasure, to stick her nose in everyone’s business.  And I think these rules ONLY encourage sticking their noses in everyone’s business.  Instead of stopping potentially homicidal students (or people from outside) who, usually, are more careful about not giving themselves away, they only encourage teachers and schools to persecute kids (or parents) who are odd, who deviate from the norm, who behave in quirky or unusual (but completely harmless) ways.

They also encourage beating back any student disposed to fighting back or self defense.

In other words, all of these are tools for enforcing conformity.

Which is why we need teacher and administrator control.  They need to be reminded sharply that their DUTY is to teach our kids academic subjects: not to raise them, not to “form” them, not to indoctrinate them, and certainly not to emasculate them.

Arm the sane teachers (yes, there are a few.  More precious than rubies and rarer than diamonds, but a few in each school) and tell them it’s their duty to shoot any attacker.  Then teach the kids to throw everything on hand at an attacker – NOT sit still and wait for death.

I don’t want the teachers to give their lives for my kids.  I want them to fight back and defend my kids.  And I want them to stop trying to stick their noses where they don’t belong.

They’ve forgotten they’re our employees and think they’re our (and our kids’) parents.  It’s time to stop this crazy train.

And those who do things like bother parents at home in summer, over a student that doesn’t even attend their school; those who make kids turn innocuous t-shirts inside out, those who charge students for chewing a pop tart in the shape of a gun, and those who causes incidents over misheard lyrics, or charge someone for saving lives (because, well, he was near a gun.  He’s “tainted”) need to be liable to criminal prosecution.  Only then will this nonsense stop.

213 thoughts on “School Administrator Control

      1. Oh thank you. You just reminded me of R. F. Delderfield’s To Serve Them All My Days and the lovely British television adaptation. Sigh. It is one of those British boy’s school stories. At one point they have a new head of the school appointed who the boys particularly loathed. The man was named Alcock, and the boys would mock him refering to him as ‘All cock and no balls.’

          1. To Serve Them All My Days was available on DVD a few years ago; whether it is still in print I do not know.

            That was an era when Masterpiece Theater provided consistently good entertainment, such as the first two Sharpe’s series, A Town Like Alice and Poldark.

            1. So you choose to name three series that have lovely men and that are also good examples of what two of my friends calls BBC clothes porn? Why not mention The Irish RM while you are at it.

  1. One of the teachers at the school where I substitute has an aluminum baseball bat in the classroom. Why? 1) for physics demonstrations outdoors. 2) for breaking the window if there is a fire outside the only door. 3) for beating the devil out of anyone who tries to force their way into the classroom. The school is probably going to install some more external security measures, but after a lot of discussion and back and forth, I doubt that anyone will be allowed to carry on campus, and neither will a liaison officer be hired.

    I should note that in this religious school, missing the first days of upland game bird season and opening day of deer (rifle) season are excused absences with a note from a parent.

    1. I thought all of the schools in Texas closed down for the first day of deer season, the first day of pheasant season, and the day duck season officially opens. That applies to Louisiana, as well.

      1. No waterfowl up here, so that’s not a holiday. There’s some talk about replacing duck day with the opening day of dove season, but that’s a different denomination, and well, you know how religious disputes can get. 😉

  2. I know YOU know Sarah.. but here it is for anyone not familiar with Point 10

    The Communist revolution is the most radical rupture with traditional property relations; no wonder that its development involved the most radical rupture with traditional ideas.
    But let us have done with the bourgeois objections to communism.
    We have seen above, that the first step in the revolution by the working class is to raise the proletariat to the position of ruling class to win the battle of democracy.
    The proletariat will use its political supremacy to wrest, by degree, all capital from the bourgeoisie, to centralise all instruments of production in the hands of the State, i.e., of the
    proletariat organised as the ruling class; and to increase the total productive forces as rapidly as possible.
    Of course, in the beginning, this cannot be effected except by means of despotic inroads on the rights of property, and on the conditions of bourgeois production; by means of measures,
    therefore, which appear economically insufficient and untenable, but which, in the course of the movement, outstrip themselves, necessitate further inroads upon the old social order, and are unavoidable as a means of entirely evolutionising the mode of production.
    These measures will, of course, be different in different countries.
    Nevertheless, in most advanced countries, the following will be pretty generally applicable.
    1. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of and to public purposes.
    2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
    3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance.
    4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
    5. Centralisation of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.
    6. Centralisation of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State.
    7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the State; the bringing into cultivation of waste-lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.
    8. Equal liability of all to work. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
    9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of all the distinction between town and country by a more equable distribution of the populace over the country.
    10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children’s factory labour in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production.
    When, in the course of development, class distinctions have disappeared, and all production has been concentrated in the hands of a vast association of the whole nation, the public power will lose its political character. Political power, properly so called, is merely the organised power of one class for oppressing another. If the proletariat during its contest with the bourgeoisie is compelled, by the force of circumstances, to organise itself as a class, if, by means of a revolution, it makes itself the ruling class, and, as such, sweeps away by force the old conditions
    of production, then it will, along with these conditions, have swept away the conditions for the existence of class antagonisms and of classes generally, and will thereby have abolished its own supremacy as a class.
    In place of the old bourgeois society, with its classes and class antagonisms, we shall have an association, in which the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all.

    1. Yup,,,,,the usual Communist bait and switch….association instead of government but no mention how the association will be accomplished given difference of ideas (inevitable when deciding what shall be produced which will be also a question of for whom given different people have different needs and desires). The answer that is always underneath is force. Violence is endemic to leftism.

      1. Underneath all government is force, because “government” of all types is ultimately a gun to your head and an order to obey or die.

        1. Yes and No. Yes, force is the “last argument of kings”. However, there can be an element of “legitimacy” associated with government that’s lacking in the case of others using/threatening force.

          A government that is seen as “lacking legitimacy” will have a hard time “keeping control” no matter how much force it is capable of using.

          Mind you, I haven’t had much coffee so I may not be making much sense. [Wink]

          1. A government that is seen as “lacking legitimacy” will have a hard time “keeping control” no matter how much force it is capable of using. == Quoth the dragon

            … we are about to test this, Drak. We are about to test this.

          2. A government is a lot more stable when people revere it as the proper ruler. Not to mention that if it’s only source of power is that it can crack your head, it probably goes about cracking rather more heads than is pleasing.

  3. Our schools are being destroyed – in large part because of the creation of the “Education” degree. The Ed.D is the instrument that has infected our education systems with a fatal rot.

    1. You may have missed it, but the destruction of our schools as a source of meaningful education is a fait accompli. And it wasn’t just the Ed.D., it also involved the “Teaching Credential” being used as an ideological gatekeepers’ stamp.

      1. Same as publishing applied an ideological check to newcomers and called it “good writing.” Yep. Any gate leftists get hold of starts being kept for ideology, not competence. Which means the field tends to go downhill FAST.

      2. John, I wish I had missed it but I didn’t. I teach parttime at the community college level and I see how utterly unprepared for college the kids I get are.

        At one point, I thought about going into teaching as a third career (don’t laugh at me, that’s my wife’s job). According to my state education dept, I was not qualified to teach high school math classes (after getting a honor qualifying score on PRAXIS math teachers exam) despite having a BS in Computer Science, with a minor in Mathematics, a Masters degree and a JD in Law as well as almost a decade of teaching community college courses parttime in two states. Why? Because I hadn’t had the course “History of Mathematics” in undergrad.

  4. This kind of stuff is the reason homeschooling is growing like wildfire. Google Maryann Goldboro and learn about a woman whose 13 year old daughter was CPS’d because she wouldn’t put her kid on psych meds.

    Today it’s the call from the administrator urging you to send your kid to a psychiatrist. Tomorrow it’s child protective services at your front door accusing you of neglect because you failed to do so. A lot of people are homeschooling now because they just don’t want their kids on radar. Sounds paranoid, until you do some research.

    1. I remember stories of the early days of home education in our state. Some counties were not inclined to accept the loss of students and, even if the home student was properly registered with the state the county would send out protective services and insisting the child was truant. At the first state first home education fair I attended the advise was given — if social services comes to your door, be polite, but don’t let them past the front door. Why? Because in some counties that was treated as sufficient assent as to give them free range of your home. (I, fortunately did not live in one of these counties.)

      1. I have always been advised to treat all law enforcement like vampires. Meet them outside your house and never invite them inside, if they knock on your door and ask to come in, politely step outside and close the door behind you rather than letting them in.

        I use the same method for dealing with Jehovah Witnesses, and especially in winter it works admirably at reducing their witnessing to a short concise summary 😉

        1. Exactly– my way of dealing with all State officials including police. Now my hubby works at DEM (NV Division of Emergency Management), but I have given him a clean bill of health. lol

  5. You will notice that one argument against school vouchers is that these are the engaged parents needed to keep the school on track.

    Which is, to say, they are not professionals and need constant adult supervision to do their jobs.

    We should fire them all and hire professionals.

    1. It is the “Professionals” that got us in this mess. In Japan they have a saying that goes something like this, “The nail that sticks up gets hammered down.” That is exactly what the “School System” is doing to the kids. We need to completely eliminate the school system and instead institute schools on an individual and need by need basis. As a need forms a new school can be created but that school will cease to exist when the students graduate. No self perpetual schools with new enrollment. A facility can be rented space, portable buildings etc. Things like Auditoriums, Gyms, Athletic Fields can be rented or use existing city or community ones. The only way to correct the schools is to get the “System” out. Each school would be over-seen by representatives of the parents using the PTA model. Administration would be minimal. By using this model the per student cost to the state could be reduced by as much as 75%.

      Since this idea would provide better education, lower costs, get rid of unneeded infrastructure and maintenance costs involved, and involve parents more directly in the education of their kids and the running of their schools it does not stand a chance it will ever be adopted.

      BTW, I created this model in less than five minutes of pondering the subject, of course I am not a professional.

      1. And if you want to make a “magnet school” you could hire a crackerjack teachers to give a presentations via skype, with the in-class teacher acting as a proctor and issuing tests. That means you could hire a top-end teacher for 1/5th the price and the promise that the pro would never have to teach studyhall or pre-algebra ever again.

  6. I remember the days when the rural schools were governed by school boards. When the Federal government decided to make us all the same in our schooling, it was then that the schools started to change to the craziness. School boards had as much power as the PTAs (none). The first change I remember is the sex education course taught in high school. This had to be in the 70s. I won’t say that the schools were the greatest then either. I have read a McGuffey reader, and I am impressed with the education required of a teacher in that period of time. Not everyone finished 8th grade then, but they did learn to read and cipher (at least the parents required that of their children in some families).

    Once again education is part of the responsibility of the parents and NOT the responsibility of the Federal government. Parents had more control over what their children learned when it was only a small classroom. Now– school has become a babysitting service.

    1. The sex education in the 1970s, if not calculate to humiliate the children into becoming sexual activity by its insinuations against virginity — was designed by silly geese, because it was not intended it was very stupidly designed.

      1. Since I didn’t go through the sex education, I will defer to what you know. My sister in law told me what they learned in sex education and it was all condom related. –I think it is more a how to– than a wait till your ready manual.

        1. From what I remember of sex education (very little, it was on my list of don’t-need-to-attend-regularly-to-pass-so-why-bother classes) it was very poor at how to also.

          1. The only “sex ed” I received was from ex-military types — and it wasn’t just the “mechanical” side; I was also taught stuff like “why the phrase ‘fuck me, bitch’ is only appropriate ‘behind the door’ (if then)”, “why we do not go around smacking girls we aren’t in a relationship with on their asses in public places”; and generally how to Not Behave Like A Cretin.

            1. The first sex ed I had, as I recall, was from my parents. When I learned how to read, I ended up reading a bunch of stuff by adults that amounted to their opinions about sexual mores. Fairly decent cross section of adult society. I was unimpressed.

              My How-not-to-be-a-Cretin, insofar as I’ve learned it, came from ‘I don’t want to be like them’.

              When it came time for the school system to try their hand at things, my critical review was extremely negative. I didn’t find them all that much better than child molesters.

              I kept quiet for several reasons. One, I wasn’t able to articulate things much beyond the level of name calling. Two, given the obvious power disparity, I did not feel secure enough to speak. (Perhaps for related reasons, I was fairly fearful for most of my childhood. I didn’t think Joan Aiken was dark, because I figured that it was reasonable to expect the possibility of that sort of behavior from adults that one didn’t a long observational record arguing the opposite.) Three, how horrible would it be to be correct in that evaluation, to then be successful in convincing a majority of adults that it is accurate for them, and that it can no longer be overlooked.

          2. I’d been reading medical and biology texts, so the mysteries of Tab A into Slot B were sort of ho-hum. The grade-school talk for girls presented nothing new. The Jr High health teacher, a former coach, was so blase about the topic that we got the necessary information and walked out of class saying, “That’s it? Well that’s boring.” (Great job on his part.) The more unusual forms of recreational procreation were not covered (this is late ’70s, early ’80s).

      2. I went through SexEd in the 70s, and that’s nonsense. It was basic biology with very little emphasis on prophylactics.

        It may in later years have morphed into a how-to session, and certainly
        “news” reports from certain more progressive areas have you wondering about the proclivities of some involved, but in the classes I went through it was the basic biology and not Karma Sutra for Kids.

        1. What you received in the 1970s under the title sex-education varied greatly depending on where you lived.

    2. Ok, the man’s political sense is as poor as his voice was once golden, but I just have to post Man Piaba.

    3. The Reader sets can be found on Amazon, used, for less than ten bucks.

      A set.

      Guess what I snagged with a bit of birthday money, to build up my home schooling library…..

  7. I’m starting to believe the instapundit quip that sending one’s child to public school is extreme parental neglect. If I had to do it over again, I would strongly consider home schooling for the reasons identified here and many, many more.

    1. Ditto. If I had to do it over again, my kids would probably have seen a classroom in 11th grade and that only if we found the school with dual college program where younger son finished his high school in a blissful haze of engineering and calc.

      1. Our two daughters, with a two-year exception in third and fourth grade, were homeschooled through ninth grade, then off to a boarding (co-ed) religious school. Which latter was a mixed blessing in retrospect. Then off to college where they earned BA’s in English…none of which has had anything to do with their current careers.

        Their brother homeschooled through eighth grade, went to a local high school where he was bored out of his skull and opted to take the CHISPE (think GED for HS students) exam, aced it, opted out of college and runs an internet services company’s internal IT infrastructure.

        All of them think that news about happenings in current public schools is evidence that the Crazy Years are upon us.

  8. Methinks you gives today’s educational professionals too much credit. I think we should execute everyone employed by the school systems and start over. I am including universities and I work in one

      1. This seems a reasonable compromise. Fire them and then require they wear pink slips wherever they go so that we can easily identify them.

        Of course, there are vile associations with the Nazis requirement that people wear coloured armbands … but hey, just because the Nazis did something doesn’t make it a bad idea; they did make the trains run on time.

          1. In case you are curious what Faggot Stitch looks like…this shows the basic stitch, there are numerous variations. While I knit in a modified Continental style I found the instructions clear:

          1. Oh, the trains ran on time. On time meaning the time the trains ran. One wag commented that this was done by ignoring such niceties as the convenience of the passengers.

      2. “Pink Slips” aren’t humiliating enough. Besides, if you don’t make it painful, they’ll try to do it again. My suggestion: each teacher should get ten whacks with a nerf bat for each year they’ve taught, by the students they failed to truly teach, in front of the last school they taught at. The whacks should be videotaped for posterity. The students that think they got a decent education from the teacher will give light taps. Those that think they’ve been failed, or poorly served, will make the whacks HURT. Once that’s done, THEN give them their pink slips (size extra large), fire them, and make sure their name appears on a list of people banned for life from even APPROACHING small children.

        As for “Departments of Education”, or “Schools of Education” at the post-secondary level, let’s just say that what I would truly recommend would make the halls run with blood, and the building that housed them be condemned.

  9. Your oldest would have got into terrible trouble if the teahers had found out what he and his friends planned to do if there was a sound of a shot or other mass threat at school (he told me after Columbine): we ignore the teachers, run to point A, watch each others backs as we descend to the basement and make our way to an apparently forgotten exit outside the school.

      1. A Beslan rerun actually what I fear the most. The exits are limited, most of the classrooms have only one door, and, well, I’ll just leave it there. Let’s just say that the security requirements for school construction, the fire code for school buildings, and the common sense code do not appear in the same book. I have a few ideas as to what I could do to get the students out, especially the smallest ones, but Lord, it’s a terrifying scenario.

        1. The schools I attended were all single story, with lots of big windows close to ground level, at least in the high school consisting of nonopening windows made out of REINFORCED GLASS WITH WIRE MESH INSIDE so they couldn’t be broken out. Other than the PE classes, shop classes, and few select science classes, they all had one entrance door. The fire drills consisted of everybody lining up in single file and following the teacher out the door, down the halls and finally outside. Nobody ever seemed to consider that THE HALLS might be what was on fire.

  10. I modified a set of familiar axioms:
    Those that can, do.
    Those that can’t, teach.
    Those that can’t teach, teach teachers.
    Those who can’t teach teachers, administrate.
    Those who can’t administrate, become politicians.

    There was a time when I admired teachers. I was in fourth grade.

  11. In another recent case a kid was expelled for wrestling a gun away from a kid bent on shooting another student.
    You see the evil jumped from the gun on contact and infected him. You could probably see the dark shadow spread up his arm if you were watching that instant. He was technically punished for not cooperating with the school authorities. What they demanded of him they didn’t say. I suspect some statement he was wrong.
    It’s past fixing.
    If we have a revolution they will be replaced. One way or another.

    1. He was expected to allow either himself or someone else to be killed by another person. Of course the authorities are going to punish that noncompliance, as nine times out of ten it’s the authorities trying to do the killing.

  12. You have to go way down the list of mass school murders before you get to firearms. The worst was dynamite, and only a third of the charge went off. Another mass murder was done with a home-made flamethrower (!)

  13. My sister is homeschooling her two oldest but put the six-year-old in school because she kept fighting with her older brother. I hope that J will try again with my niece, I don’t trust public schools even at the elementary level.

  14. Assuming the existence of electric stoves in today’s schools – where Home Economics may have lost funding in favor of less useful things – I’d worry as much about somebody filling the reflectors under the heating elements with mercury (a most effective strike at the school and its residents) as about some other and in the end less effective attacks.

    1. You might be surprised by how High School cemetery labs have changed now we live in the enlightened days of safety regulations due to a litigious society and insurance costs. I doubt you would find anything as dangerous as mercury available.

        1. Ok, that makes more sense.

          On Tue, Mar 5, 2013 at 6:57 PM, According To Hoyt wrote:

          > ** > CACS commented: “dang dang double dang dang… Chemistry.” >

        2. The cemetery labs are at the vo-tech high schools. You know, the ones next to the fine-art magnet school with all the black-clad, angsty art students.

  15. There is a wider movement at work, here. The pathologies observed in the school systems today grew from seeds that were first planted over a hundred years ago by the Progressives, and kicked into overdrive with the teacher unionization movement in the mid-20th Century. The broader lesson to be drawn from this is to kill statism in the cradle. Always. No quarter.

  16. Write a YA novel about it: “Die Hard In A High School.”

    Demonstrate the futility of the school’s protocols (which have been accessed by the perps: Rommel, you glorious bastard, I read your book.”

    The gay kid knows the secret routes in and out from avoiding bullies and teachers/administrators who use gay students to make ostentatious displays of their tolerance. The habitual troublemaker is shown to have been acting out his disdain for the idiots running the school — he regularly reads college graduate level chemistry books, which comes in handy when they access the janitors’ supplies.

    Beloved Spouse t’other day commented about the hullabaloo which ensued in the Sixties when a “B”-student proved that he could design a nuclear weapon merely by utilizing open source information. I observed the kid was probably a B-student because he was bored with the classes and couldn’t be bothered to waste time on pointless make-work assignments. Sometimes the A-students aren’t smarter so much as they are swots, doing what they’re told and asking no awkward questions.

      1. Nobody ever prevents a school massacre by DYING for their students; they prevent school massacres by making the other guys die for the students.

        1. Look on the bright side: if those “teachers” die for their students, there is an opportunity to fill the vacancies thereby created with people smarter than my houseplants.

    1. I highly recommend Toy Soldiers by William Kennedy. Not a YA treatment, but it is one of my favorite Cold War era novels. Imagine something like the resourcefulness of Home Alone but playing for keeps. I do not recommend the film, despite my abiding appreciation for Louis Gossett Jr.

    2. I know how to design functional nuclear weapons using either enriched uranium or plutonium. I’d have to have help with the electronics, but any 15-year-old nerd could program the chips for me. The only two parts that are hard are polishing the elements and ensuring the timing sequence works FLAWLESSLY. That last was why I believe the first two NORK weapons failed.

      1. Yep. Since they are AFAIK using plutonium, it’s almost certainly an implosion device that they have (versus a ‘gun’ like Little Boy). Bets are that any failures in testing were because of the timing sequence.

        Well, that said, the really hard part is getting the actual fissile material in quantity, a good chunk of the rest is surprisingly off the shelf now.

        1. Using only 1940s technology, the Manhattan Project folks decided they didn’t even need to test their gun-type uranium fission device (Little Boy) before using it in combat. The only hard part is the refining of the weapons grade uranium-235.

          The South African nukes were reputed to have been gun-type devices, I assume due to this simplicity, and AFAIK the earlier mentioned “B-student” device designed from open source information was also a gun-type uranium device.

          1. It’s been a long time since I read it, and it wasn’t memorable enough to remember the title, but I read a novel that gave an in depth and detailed explanation of how to build a nuke, and cited open source documents in the back where they got the info. The simple uranium nukes aren’t hard to build, the materials are just hard to lay your hands on, and the safety equipment to build it without giving yourself and anyone else around a lethal dose of radiation.

          2. Many years ago I read “Mushroom” the non fiction story of that B student’s effort. Can’t find it on Amazon, so I’m sure it’s long since out of print. I do recall he contacted explosives manufacturers who readily supplied details on the exact composition of the necessary compression charges, and at some point Freeman Dyson was involved. I believe this was a thesis or research project possibly involving a master’s program.
            For that matter, I do remember a fairly detailed science fact article in Analog some years back with step by step instructions on building a gun type nuclear device.
            Truly, once the US proved it was possible the hard part has always been the acquisition of sufficient weapons grade fissile material. Refining isotopes is a stone beyatch which is why the quick and dirty route is to go with Plutonium even though it’s harder to make go bang.

  17. It leaves me to wonder what some of us are to do. I have a choice between, as it stands now, losing the house in order to homeschool, or find a way to fight and counteract the propaganda that will be spoonfed to my daughter the second she starts preschool.

    Some of us just flat out can’t afford to homeschool. I think that’s what “They” count on. I know some fantastic teachers, and even they fall into the same traps.

    FYI, the kid who got suspended for wrestling the gun away from another student is a victim of a zero-tolerance policy regarding fighting with weapons. Which is even worse, since they have made it school policy to be a victim of violence or a victim of the school system’s idiocy with zero tolerance policies.

    1. I was in the same position. I thought, at least. I couldn’t work with them in the house. And we needed the money for the mortgage.
      Then I HAD to homeschool for a year… and it turned out I COULD work. I’m not going to say it was easy, but I did it. Alas, he wanted to go back to school.

      I KNOW it’s harder if you work outside the house, but I would investigate local homeschool leagues and sharing arrangements, then test them because some are as bad as public schools. But sometimes you can get away with teaching one “class” which is a day a week, a few hours, and have other parents pick the other stuff. This MIGHT (not saying for sure because I don’t know your situation) MIGHT be doable around a nine to five.

        1. That’s definitely worth looking into. My current schedule has me working Sunday/Monday and Wednesday/Thursday, and even the second job I’ve had to pick up (Pizza delivery!) will be Friday/Saturday nights, so I’ve got at least 2 days a week.

          Of course, my wife would like me to find a much better paying job so she can quit hers and we can just have her homeschool, but that is a bit of a ways off before I can manage that.

          Thanks for the ideas, Sarah!

          1. I’m sure things have changed since I was in school, but back then I had a couple friends that were homeschooled. A lot of what they did was correspondence that just had to be sent in and a test taken to get credit. Their parents actually spent zero time teaching them but wanted them homeschooled so they could be around to do whatever needed doing, and were expected to do the schoolwork in their spare time. While this is not a recommendation of that method if you actually want your kid to learn, but it does mean you could be more flexible and say school 2-3 hours in the evenings and all day on Tuesdays and Fridays.

            1. Yeah, well, look to Great Courses, whatever it’s called now. Also there are a bunch of online schools. Most of what I did was put Marshall’s desk next to mine and keep track of his hours while he did work.

              You still need a parent at home. Kids get distracted.

            2. Now comes one of the ‘dirty little secret’ any home educator discovers. Without a classroom of kids to settle down, get organized, review a bit of what any absent child may have missed – which also serves to get everyone up to speed and the necessity to address the material at several levels — it takes less time. Even if you have to take lots of extra time to master a particular aspect of the material for your child it will probably take less time. Institutionalized school wastes time, and trains people to accept having their time wasted.

              The other aspect of home education is that many of us who have done it do it with the goal of creating a self learner. The home educator needs to teach the skills necessary to do this, to supply the material needed, be there to provide the encouragement (or a bit of a push) and to help when the going gets rocky.

              1. Marshall worked about 4 hours a day. He did two years in one officially. In fact, he did more like six years in one, because when I pulled him home he was reading and writing at second grade speed. He also did work far in advance of highschool, which the crediting institution had no clue what to do with, including college level Shakespeare studies, which led him — via stage machinery — to Greek theater, which led him to Greek, which led him to mythology, which…

  18. Sarah,
    There is so much I could say.
    There is so much I want to say.
    But there is no way I could have said what you did as politely as you did.
    I’m afraid my way would have smoked my keyboard. I’ve met some teachers and administrators as you’ve described. I’ve also met some fine, outstanding teachers. Not so many administrators.
    Those who can, do;
    Those who care, teach;
    Those who can’t, administrate.

    1. I can say that, in almost 20 years of working in education, I have known a grand total of two good school administrators, and I currently work for one of them. The rest couldn’t care less about the consequences of their decisions for students or faculty, and did whatever was politically expedient, at least from what I could see.. This is college level, mind you. So I expect there to be even fewer good ones at the lower levels.

      1. my last experience teaching in junior college, was a dozen years ago. I love teaching. I left because…I couldn’t handle the paperwork and administrative bullcr*p.

        1. Heinlein defined (I forget whence he pilfered it) a school as a log with a teacher at one end and a student at the other. He left out the vice-this and assistant-that, guidance counselors, career advisers, work therapists, grief therapists, therapy therapists and all the rest of the intermediaries feeding at that log. Of course there are no principles.

      2. In every position there exist two (at minimum) two job descriptions: the Official description and the Actual description. For most school administrators the “do whatever is politically expedient” is the key element of the actual job description — the one that keeps you hired and gets you promoted. Trying to achieve the actual descriptions targets entails making of waves and disruption of affairs and gets you run out.

        Remember, Watergate has proven to be a scandal created by a disgruntled seeker after promotion. There was nothing there that wasn’t common operating procedure for administrations prior.

        1. It’s kinda freaky how many “everybody knows X was big” things that my folks said were BS turned out to be… dum dum dum…. BS.

  19. How I didn’t quite cold cock a vice principal, and why I loathe all school administrators.
    Youngest son was quite bright and very popular with his teachers. Did well scholastically until he hit fourth grade, then his grades dropped dramatically. We suspected he might have some mild learning disability and repeatedly requested he be tested. The wife was a teacher in a former life so knew that such testing was a federal requirement. In our last school conference the vice principal looked me in the eye and said, “do you really want your son to be labeled?” My wife had a firm grip on my right arm which was what saved him from a fist to the face. She left marks on my forearm. Once I’d calmed down I simply stated that we wanted to know the truth so we could deal with whatever was necessary. The school reluctantly agreed to put son on the list, but were informed that it would be the next school year before the testing could be performed. The wife knew this was in direct violation of federal regulations, but by that time the administration was in defensive mode and refused to further discuss much of anything with us.
    Wife and I were both understandably upset and concerned. Her boss at work, an engineering contract company, noticed she seemed somewhat distracted and got her to tell the story. He told his wife that evening at home. She called her former college roommate who just happened to have married the then president of the state school board. She told her husband.
    Two weeks later after the tests were completed we found that Dan had an issue with hand and hearing coordination. He simply could not listen to a teacher’s lecture and take notes. Prior to this class it hadn’t been an issue as he retained the necessary information without notes.
    Three part solution: exercises to improve the note taking abilities, permission to tape record teacher lectures, and the teachers provided him with copies of their lecture notes. Dan is now grown, he and his wife each operate their own small businesses and are raising two children. They moved out of state as he refused to allow his kids to attend any school here.
    I really only have two regrets over the whole thing. First, that I didn’t sucker punch that Ahole vice principal, and a tad of guilt that we used connections to move Dan to the top of the list. Certainly best the way it turned out, but at least wish I’d asked that VP just how many of his relatives did his family keep hidden in the basement to prevent them being “labeled” by the neighbors.

  20. He simply could not listen to a teacher’s lecture and take notes.

    Is that unusual? I’m pretty bad at that too and I always assumed that while some people can do it, a lot of people are like me and can’t.

    1. Oops – the comment above should’ve been connected to the comment by Uncle Lar above.

      1. Supposedly a fairly common learning disorder. Dan’s case was towards the serious end of the condition. He was so quick with his verbal skills that he covered well until 4th grade when his lack of that ear, brain, hand connection became apparent. As I said, there are exercises designed specifically to build that skill and also minor classroom procedure changes that can do a lot to compensate.

        1. Actually some kids — particularly boys — develop that later. Our schools are geared towards GIRLS development schedule.

          Marshall had something similar in that his two eyes don’t work together. Ditto two ears… He heard everything at the same level, etc. I have that problem with vision to an excess, but seem to have grown out of the others — though I’m sure I HAD them as a kid.

  21. My parents saw it and homeschooled my sister and I for years. I would have liked to homeschool mine, but that’s another story. I’ve met some teachers I like (small, rural schools) and even one elementary principal, but never met an administrator who was worth what they were being paid. I well know that homeschooling isn’t for every family, but public schools need to come back to local control, and the federal government can get their stinking fingers out of it.

  22. We’re gearing up for a battle royal with Timmy’s school. Timmy has MULTIPLE PROBLEMS, beginning with traumatic brain injury, cascading down through dyslexia, the problem with both eyes not tracking the same object, speech and language issues, and general hand/eye coordination issues. We begin the battle Thursday, at a meeting with the school “crisis intervention team”. We have the reports from two different testing sites, tons of medical records, and hopefully, the report from his last MRI. The problem is, we’re dealing with the local school system (D11 for Sarah, since she will know and understand. 8^)).

      1. Since I don’t live near you, when I read about “D20s reputation”, the only thought that came to my mind was “Yeah, they have a terrible reputation for rolling ones when you really need them to roll twenties.”

        No points for guessing what my friends and I played during college (and for several years after, until I moved away). Haven’t found that good of a gaming group since, alas.

        1. Re: gaming groups, it might be worth talking another look around, if you’re in the position where you’d given it up as something of a lost cause. I realize there are a lot of places where such things are thin on the ground, but the Web makes it easier to organize small groups within a county or parish, and my impression is that gaming in general is getting less of a bad rap now that people have been playing video games and tabletops for decades without triggering any calamity,

          Granted, I currently live in a target-rich environment, but my hometown used to be something of a gaming desert in my view and that is changing. And even on campus, while there have long been groups that get together to play board games or strategy games or to LARP, now there are a fair number of current students and locally based alumni who are running tabletop campaigns or participating in tabletop games without any club involvement.

  23. Bureaucrats see every crisis as a way of advancing their budgets, power, and control. School killings are great crises. Hence, hiring security guards and buying metal detectors (budget and power). Hence, locking children in classrooms when there’s a threat (control). Hence, forbidding adult students from carrying licensed handguns on a college campus (power and control).

    The same bureaucratic urges explain the continued use of failed programs such as Head Start and DARE and whole word reading.

    1. It’s not just at schools, either. At work today we had quite a few laughs over the company’s “Active Shooter Policy”.

      After calling 911, we’re supposed to call Loss Prevention.

      Avoid hugging the police, pointing, or screaming.

      Only in the most extreme circumstances are we supposed to actively resist.

      Thankfully, the building is marked with signs declaring it a gun-free zone, so we’re completely safe.

      1. Mr. Crawford, Does your company also provide the targets for your backs? Or is that cost prohibitive?

      2. Loss Prevention? Is that to inform them that they have failed their jobs and just lost employees, or is loosing employees considered a net gain?

      3. I think it’s disgraceful, that our president is risking the lives of his own children by not allowing them to live in a gun-free zone. And all the Congress members, too — the White House should be a gun-free zone.

            1. OK, apologies if anyone else has already posted this on another thread, but it’s too apropos not to share. Bonus points if you can name everyone depicted:

              1. TXRed, I liked that. Thank you.

                This song could be extended, sadly many of these men were removed only to be replaced by different but also terrible governments. Sigh.

    1. Fortunately, Vice President Maduro has forbidden crying for the deceased president Chavez.
      What a relief, I don’t have to get more onions.

    2. Rumors have been flitting about the open source intel intertubes that Ugo has been pining for the fiords for some number of days, with the surviving staff sitting around in sweaty rooms staring at each other waiting for brilliant plans to spring forth.

      1. The whole 60-years-after-Stalin thing is pretty… “coincidental.”

        OTOH, I’ve been expecting to hear he was dead since he “went to Cuba for treatment.”

          1. They say we don’t no stinking religion, religion suppresses mankind.. Then why the holy relics?

            I see, you don’t want any competition on any field. You’ll be the mother, you’ll be the father, you’ll be the whole family, you’ll be the employer, you’ll be the caretaker, you’ll be the faith and the government.

                    1. Given the fact that a number of NY Jews were of Russian descent, and that a number of Marvel staffers were NY Jews … you may have just uncovered an inside joke.

    3. You know things were/are bad when FinkProgress is telling its pocket politicians to quit eulogizing Ol’ Hugo. Apparently the gushing is worse than Spindletop: just as messy but a lot less productive.

  24. The teacher can be fantastic, and the principal may be great as well. If the administration, enamored of the latest theories from the ivy covered ivory tower of academia, sets the scope and sequence and requires certain methodologies be applied the school may have no choice.
    A friend who was an award winning elementary principal had to leave the county she had worked for because she believed that it was proper for all students to receive similar consequences if they required discipline. Apparently the powers that be had decided that certain groups needed to be treated with special consideration. They said it was obvious, the numbers showed that certain groups were more often the recipient discipline, therefore they must be being unfairly targeted. The powers that be admitted it was possible that these children, who otherwise qualified as ‘at risk’, might have behavioral problems due to bad home situations. What they did not wish to consider was that real care would be to teach them, for the sake of their own futures, how to behave properly in society.

    1. Your friend is from Seattle?!
      (Not sure what the National News is saying about it….. the students identified as “African American” or “Native American” are disciplined more often than “white” and “Pacific Islander,” specifically; no word on “Asian” kids. Keep in mind, this is the same school system where a cop had to deck a female that was bigger than him when he stopped her from jaywalking under the specially installed crosswalk, and they were in the middle of a growing mob of all one racial identificaiton…and she idiot girl shoved him. I kinda question putting a guy that small out on any patrol not involving large vehicles or a partner, rather than footpatrol or a bike. Half of safety is not looking like a target.)

      1. I would want to see the details – it doesn’t require much stretching of credulity to imagine a High School girl at 5’8″ and 250 lbs, especially if she is Samoan.

        My favourite recent story of this type was the rumble between African-American and Sudanese-American students in Minnesota. Geeze – what continent has Sudan? Such circumlocutions are the opposite of what newspapers are for and persuade attentive readers that they are more committed to veiling the news rather than reporting it. Sanitized for our protection?

        1. Better, there were a bunch of videos– that’s how I know the girl was BIGGER than him, not just heavier.

          Black crowd, by the way. (She later apologized, too– and apparently was sincere in it; standard issue foster kid who was being an idiot because everybody else was…which would do no good if the cop had been killed by the mob that was forming.)
          Was a one-week wonder about the cop that had “decked a teenage girl.”

          Me, I figure if you don’t want to get punched, don’t shove someone.

          Of course, I’m also not so lazy that I’ll jaywalk under an expensive crosswalk in a spot that has had multiple fatalities.
          (Which is why they built the expensive elevated crosswalk, and had a cop standing there to give jaywalking tickets.)

          I can’t even imagine what a Samoan kid that pulled the same stunt would’ve done… assuming they survived going home….

          1. Heh, from what I hear about Samoan families, kid would have been marched down to the police station to apologize to the cop personally, likely with a rather large set of bruises from dad.

        1. Especially when the Department of Justice is out LOOKING for “civil rights violations.”

          The evidence required?

          When you sort folks by skin color, a minority is over represented in a negative light.

          Ugh.

  25. I want to see Public Education destroyed, but not for any of the reason described.

    I want it gone for one, and only one reason: I want those goddamned motherfucking asswipe scumsucker school buses *OFF MY GODDAMNED STREETS*. I am tired of traffic being blocked for miles because some school bus is sitting in the middle of an intersection with its door open because there’s a rail line in front of it. I am tired of having traffic on one-lane streets blocked for miles in *both* directions because a school bus stopped, let one kid off, rolled forward six feet, *STOPPED AGAIN*, and let another kid off, and repeated this ad nauseam for the better part of four miles. I am tired of school buses traveling 10 MPH under the speed limit in clear weather on dry pavement. I want the Yellow Peril destroyed, once and for all — in fact, let me put it in terms the Left will understand: “BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY”.

    (Can you tell I don’t like school buses?)

  26. As per my recent procedure, I’d suggest that gun control in the educational system is a product of institutional white supremacism.

    Not fond of how sex ed is handled.

    I have many other concerns about the educational system.

  27. In every school I’ve visited I’ve noticed that the front office is well staffed, often to the point of folks tripping over each other, the administrative offices have nice carpet, furniture, and the latest electronics. At those same schools teachers are expected to buy standard classroom supplies out of their own pockets. At least they get to deduct the expense on their tax returns. The administrators typically have advanced degrees in education, usually with a thesis or dissertation on some obscure topic, the equivalent of “how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.” Invariably they like to experiment with new innovative techniques in education. And when those fail dismally they simply flush that class and usher in a fresh new one to fiddle with.
    In short, our children are nothing more than transient fodder for the mill with the primary goal being the administrator’s self aggrandizement. When their grandiose plans fail they shrug, tell themselves “well at least we tried”, give themselves a few new perks as a reward, then inflict themselves on the next class of unsuspecting victims.
    Did I mention that I loathe school administrators?

    1. I’ve mentioned here before, but it’s worth repeating, that local school administrators (at least up to County level, and possibly not even State) do not have any control over how their budgets are allocated, leading to really poor monetary distribution. This is why we need to get the Feds out of the education system and possibly the State-level governments as well.

    2. Because an angel is a spirit, not a body, and only a body can exclude other objects from a point in space, or be excluded, an infinite number of angels can fit on the head of pin.

      Note that this is independent of the existence of an infinite number of angels, or indeed any angels.

      A useful thought experiment in distinguishing

      1. And wrongly used as the pinnacle of uselessness when a simile is desired, whereas a typical doctoral thesis would provide a far more cogent example of total uselessness for that purpose.

      2. That’s the original evisceration response from the first time the (Protestant– English, I think?) mock-example was used, no?

            1. I can think of a few Baen authors whose answer would be along the lines of “I know – I’ll send you where you can ask them directly. Hope you’ve covered your admission.”

  28. For my sins, I was assigned to the field based appeals committee for the College of Education when I was on faculty at a university other than the one which presently employees me. What that means in English is that education majors who couldn’t meet requirements or were asked to leave their student teaching assignments had to come to us if they wanted to stay/continue in the program. Usually it was just a case of being one or two credit hours short or some such, often due to poor academic advising. (And not all students asked to leave an assignment were at fault.)

    But we did hear cases of academic dishonesty. The worst case was when 14 students in a lit class being offered through a distance program at a community college were caught plagiarizing. Two of them were far enough along in their degree that they had to come before the committee.

    When I asked these young ladies young ladies who was responsible for knowing the ethical standards of their field, they both said they were. (The students came before the committee separately.) I followed up with asking them to define ethics. The first gave an answer that was sort of close; she at least had a general idea of what ethics were. The second said that ethics consisted of doing what made other people like her and what made her feel good about herself. The education faculty had no problem with that. The faculty from the College of Arts and Sciences on the committee did. I taught the science prep class for the education majors, which is why I was on the committee.

    The vote split along college lines as to whether to allow these two people to continue in the program. Since education faculty had the majority, guess how the vote fell.

    And some people wonder why education in this country is in trouble.

  29. Force does not underlie all government actions but it does so when it is obvious to the people that the force applied is selective, continuous and the only way the government can justify power. It is why Machhiavelli stated that republics were stronger than kingdoms. The people created the state and therefore the state had more resources and greater acceptance.

  30. True that but it is forced force so to speak. If I enter into a contract with you and don’t hold up my end and enjoy the benefits of your effort than you have a problem. If I am stronger you will just have to live with it unless you have recourse. That is a form of force on my end and the government is a legitimate form of recourse. Immoral force is that which clearly favors one party and even encourages them when they lie and steal.

    1. What contract did you enter into with government? Seriously? Do you have any clue what you’re talking about? This is what justifies things like “you have to buy health insurance. It’s your duty for being born.”

      And in the most legitimate of governments there will be things they want you to do that make no sense, are not good for you, and you CERTAINLY DIDN’T AGREE TO.

      Why do you do it? Force. Government is force.

      1. I agree with you there but this is the kind of thing which I believe is an abuse of force and must…..MUST….end badly. There will be plenty of politically protected groups….criminal type, etc…that will leach and put more of the burden on honest people (which to an Obamabot is a feature not a bug). There is at least some level where a government operates as a fair arbiter for people and not as an overlord.

        Also if at some point you would like to send me money for services not rendered let me know. I’m obliging that way.

        1. “There is at least some level where a government operates as a fair arbiter for people and not as an overlord.”

          Really? Name it. Name one time the government does _anything_ which is not backed up by the threat of force. Mr. Jelli if you believe that time exists you’re more of a fool than you appear.

          The only place Mao ever got anything right is when he said power flows from the end of a gun.

          Government’s ability to use force may, in a republic or democracy, have been ceded to it by that nebulous “the people” but government cannot function without the threat of coercion.

          Are there places where this is necessary? Certainly. Like most small “l” libertarians I want no more government than necessary, _But no less either._

          For certain _rare_ things government is the only answer. But, like violence, it is a blunt instrument liable to do more harm than good unless aimed very carefully. The education of our children is certainly not one of those times.

          1. I know all about force but the reality is most of life is peaceful. A cop is not a thug and he is most effective where the people respect what he does what he provides and the right and wrong actions that good societies respond to. Individuals have access to force to.

            Are libertarians now Marxists believing that repression is what underlies the society and if I steal from YOU AND NOT THE GOVERNMENT or I do you personal harm what the government does in return is force and not enforcement. By this logic feminists are right. Marriage is rape. If actions look the same they are one and the same.

            1. Ahh, I see you _are_ a bigger fool than I originally thought you, a feat that.

              If you had read for comprehension you might have noted that I _did_ say there are certain things for which government is the only answer. Indeed if you steal from me, I do want the government, in the form of local law enforcement, to take action (Mostly because I’d actually prefer to take action myself, as I think impaling offenders on a short stake, pour encourager les autres, is generally highly effective, but I’m aware that most people think that’s … excessive) however that cop (who you claim is not a thug but I know several who are exactly that, and that’s just in a small town in Kansas, let alone LA) has his authority backed by *gasp* force. Coercion. A gun.

              All government authority is backed by the threat of coercion — as in fact ALL authority of any kind is.

              My boss’ authority is backed by the threat that if I don’t do what I”m supposed to do I can get fired. My authority over my children was backed, in part, by the threat that if they misbehaved I would spank them.

              However your contention that this logic renders the feminists right, is, well, about as stupid as I expected from an unthinking sheeple.

              Marriage is, at least in theory, a contract entered into by mutually consenting adults. No authority is imputed or implied by said contract. You’re using a typical liberal trick (And yes, for the record, I think you’re a stealthing lib) of introducing a straw man, which has nothing to do with the topic at hand. Next it’ll be “IT’S FOR THE CHILDREN!!!”

              1. Ah and I see that you like your comments melodramatic…..your cliché sensei taught has taught you well. And you are so wise….yes I am Stealthing Lib. I have been seeking you from afar….sent by He Who Must Not Be Named Unless There is An Invoice Involved because your presence is a threat……truly your voice is grand and you have command of much…..or maybe you should take some meds and calm down. Yours is the first comment I’ve read that actually attacked anyone personally especially since you were not even responding to a comment directed at you.

                1. Cliche? I do not think that means what you think it means. However, you have yet to respond to my previous challenge. Name one time, ONE when government action is not backed by the threat of force. Show your work. Or retire the field.

                  1. I would say the American Constitutional Convention was a perfect example of government not by force but by consent. There may have been those who disagreed with the Constitution but it represented and included rights for those whom the Constitution may not have been the favored type of government. If you think it was accomplished through maximum arm twisting and threats let me know. Glad you are being nice…..I thought it was oddly obnoxious considering these are just comments and mostly by people who generally agree.

                    1. Once again, with even smaller words. That was creation of a government. Once created its edicts are backed by the threat of force. Sorry, you still aren’t getting there.

                      So, again, that word does not mean what you think it means.

                    2. Wasn’t the American Constitutional Convention an agreement between governments? The States conspired to better coordinate their affairs and rearranged the deck chairs as emplaced under the Articles of Confederation.

                    3. May I suggest you peruse the Anti-Federalist Papers? Not everyone was so sure that the proposed Constitution adequately addressed their concerns.

            2. Um. Most of life in OUR culture is peaceful because we in the western cultures have built up generations of mutual obligations and trust between authority and each other – a trust which has in the last few years been largely shredded.

              Until very recently, most people in the USA trusted that cops would mostly follow the spirit of justice where the law failed. The TSA, no-knock raids, cops spraying bullets indiscriminately and facing no consequences, not to mention assorted other abuses by cops and cop-like agencies has damn near broken that trust. Similarly people used to trust that the politicians were mostly decent people. That’s gone.

              When all those mutual trusts fail, what takes over is brute force. This is happening now.

              Government is by definition force. Necessary, certainly. Individuals tend not to be in a position to handle marauding gangs, where governments are usually granted the ability to raise and employ armies.

              Force is not automatically repression. Force applied in excess or wrongfully isn’t either – it takes a systematic pattern of excessive force and/or wrongful application to bring repression. Which, incidentally, negates your idiotic alleged argument about feminists being right.

              1. I said feminists are right if force and enforcement are the same thing…..meaning of course I don’t believe they are. However if you believe the foundation of government is simply to create a favored class and not because man himself is flawed then you might as well be a leftist feminist

                1. Let me try this one more time. I’ll use small words. EnFORCEment (see what I did there?) implies the use of force.

                  Let’s see if you can understand this scenario. Your neighbor steals something from you. You call the police. He refuses to return it. What then, oh sage, does the non-thug cop do? He uses force to arrest your neighbor and get your property back. Thereby enFORCING the law.

                  All government rests on the threat of force. Whether it’s repressive or not is dependent upon the level to which it is applied.

                  Get it now?

                2. Raymond, if you open your Encyclopedia Antonymia and look up “leftist feminist” you will discover that its opposite is Kate Paulk. When you find yourself making such remarks as Kate Paulk “might as well be a leftist feminist” it is a clear sign you are arguing through your hat, having abandoned sweet reason and hope of persuasion in favor of browbeating. When that happens you might as well be a Chavenista*.

                  *Term employed in honor of the recently departed. Feel free to substitute totalitarian thug of your preference.

                    1. What works better for you….splotches of blood on the wall or paint thinner? If you want the splotches I’ll stay sober…..you want paint thinner I’ll have a few drinks….

                3. Enforcement = en-force-ment. The prefix en- means to cause to be in or cause to be subject to. The suffix -ment denotes an action or resulting state. Hence, enforcement literally means to make a person or thing subject to force, with a secondary meaning of having made a person or thing subject to force.

                  Ergo, enforcement is either the act of applying force or the state of having applied force.

                  Now, as to your assertions – I would call them moronic, except that this would insult perfectly nice morons – you did not say that feminists are right if force and enforcement are the same thing. You claimed that acknowledging the – mostly legitimate – force that governments apply makes those who do so Marxist and that by extension those people must believe that the feminists who equate marriage with rape must be right. If this wasn’t what you meant, I recommend you study English. Although I have to admit I don’t know where you’d learn without getting real leftist dogma shoved so far down your throat it would come out the other end.

                  Then in response to my observations (apparently, since I can’t see you calling Patrick a leftist feminist), you imply I think the purpose of government is to create a “favored class”, thereby proving that you read what you wanted to see, not what was actually written.

                  It is only the ideologically bound who refuse to see what is actually there, in my experience. You seem to want to believe that those who disagree with you are stupid and/or evil (another classic leftist trait, by the way), and get all huffy and throw silly insults around when people respond with facts. If that isn’t the case, you need to show a little more humility in online discussions.

                  Now, next time you try to claim that the concept of “enforcement” can be meaningfully divorced from “force”, please let me know where you’ll be at the time. I’d like to watch. Success would be on the lines of separating sunlight and heat.

            3. I think you may have misunderstood, libertarians are not Marxists, they are realists. Any law has behind it the threat of force — i.e., enforcement. The small l libertarian does not see this as wrong, but as a fact. What the libertarian considers is what can only be done by a government, and how this is best and least intrusively done.

              In America you might argue that the government has been stolen from when one of its citizens has been robbed. That is because this country is founded on the peculiar idea that ‘We the people’ are, in fact, the government. What we generally refer to as the government are our representatives. If you steal from me, you have stolen from me. Still, I and others may have agreed to assign to our government the enforcement of my recourse — through the laws, police and courts.

              And when that government oversteps the bounds, such as threatening to bypass the Posse Comitatus Act, we should call them on it. We do not belong to the government. It is ours and we need to take it back.

  31. Btw, Jelli, this is me being nice. Kate is going to dismember you and feed you your own genitalia when she sees what you called her. She’s one of Sarah’s closest friends and if you were as schmardt as you seem to believe you are, you’d be able to guess her general opinions of leftism and feminism.

    1. Pat, quit feeding him. He likes to hear himself type. That much is clear. I also notice that, after being warned by several of you — including Sarah — he didn’t have the common courtesy to apologize to Kate. Instead, he talked about how “this is fun”. The only reason I can think of that Kate’s not already disemboweled him is that she was off-line last night when his leftist feminist comment posted and her new job doesn’t give her the opportunity to comment before lunch today.

      Jelli, let me warn you. You’ve gotten off lightly so far. Pat’s been nice. So have the other regular followers of the blog. However, if you want to keep pushing buttons, go ahead. It’s been awhile since we’ve had a line by line shred by either Sarah or Kate.Those are really fun — for everyone but the person being subjected to it. So you might want to consider apologizing to Kate for calling her names.

      1. Now I’ve read it, I need to stop laughing hysterically at the thought of me being equated to leftist feminists. That is possibly the most idiot notion anyone has ever managed to derive from something I wrote.

        When I can breathe again I’ll respond properly…

  32. This is fun…..here’s the thing….if you don’t believe there is some level where there is a voluntary level of social contract then you believe government is simply repression and that even includes good government. If you believe that then the real question is how do you get rid of repression and not how you do you refine government (an ongoing and painful process) than to each his own. Good luck fighting the Marxists and their grand vision. They will win every time because they at least promise an end game though they never will deliver.

    That is why I have always been suspicious of Objectivism. Anything which is based on an absolute atheism is I believe doomed to failure (but that is my opinion…I will never in my lifetime experience absolute atheism…thank the Lord). Life is such that it is not ignorance or stupidity that brings people to believe in a Higher Power. I certainly do. It is in a mutual seeking out of and living under what that Power desires for mankind that is the ultimate good and is the level wherein a government does not have to be repressive (and at its most minimal and probably not government as we understand it). That is of course an end game too but at least it establishes what is the common good. Yes people will fall short of it but that is where the repressive function comes in. Even then, if done justly it consists of constraint and not aggression. Force is the means but what is most important is the intent and the outcome.

    1. *sigh* No one ever said there wasn’t a voluntary social contract. Consent of the governed and all that. What we said was that at some level, power rests on the threat of coercion.

      Nor did I ever say I was an adherent of Objectivism. While I think Ayn Rand’s economic theories bear some study, I think she was an odious twit in her personal life. And as an evangelical Christian, I do believe in a higher power.

      The problem, sir, is that you have this insane idea that a perfect government is somehow achievable prior to the return of Christ. It isn’t. Just as man is _not_ repeat _not_ perfectible, neither is any institution designed by men.

      Our government, as designed, was the closest to perfect you’re going to find on this Earth. It has never, I repeat, never, been instituted as it was designed. As extant NOW it is working on being as repressive as the Soviets ever were. It’s not there yet, but should the vile libprogs get their way, it will be. I lump you in with them, sir, because you still seem to believe man is perfectible, despite your protestations to the reverse. Your words reveal you for what you are sir — a liberal masquerading as a conservative.

      1. I said I was religious but I never said I believed in Christ (maybe this pen name does but that would be the extent of it). There is however a positive religious law and that is the basis. Now even if we do not get to enlist in government the rights enshrined in the Constitution are I believe sufficient to create a government in which these rights are renewed, freedom of speech, association and religion are enough to make sure that at least at some level, shared values are the basis under which we live…but of course that depends on the citizenry itself. The better the citizenry the better and less repressive the government. As for losing my audience, I need to have a paying audience in the first place and that hasn’t happened. Maybe the next book.

        1. When someone has stated that they are a Christian, and that, therefore, they have a particular world view, it is not the equivalent of saying that they believe you must be one as well..

    2. I seem to recall something about “consent of the governed” being thrown about by the Founders.

      Thing is, none of us get a chance to enlist — government is a circumstance into which we are born and most of us can affect it about as much as we do the weather. So, “consent” is largely recognition of the fait accompli and agreement with things as they stand.

      As for voluntary social contracts, the only one I’ve ever entered was the one for marriage with the Beloved Spouse.

      Raymond, your binary (if you don’t believe … then you believe …) argument is seriously lame. Arguing for the elimination of shades of gray is one of fifty ways to leave your audience.

      1. Spray warning, please! After a day of cross browser testing (and no that doesn’t mean Firefox is angry) I really don’t need my brain twisting around that particular combination of pop cultural pap.

        1. My apologies – I’ve been posting here so long I forget that my gravatar icon is not a spray warning.

    3. .if you don’t believe there is some level where there is a voluntary level of social contract then you believe government is simply repression and that even includes good government

      What twaddle. The “voluntary” level of social contract between people representing government entities and everyone else is one where everyone else chooses to submit to the people representing government entities because one or more of the following conditions applies:
      a) the person submitting loses no more than he or she gains
      b) the person submitting regards the restrictions imposed by the agents of government to be sufficiently non-harmful or beneficial as to justify the sacrifice of his or her own interests
      c) the person submitting is looking down the barrel of a loaded firearm
      d) the person submitting has given up
      (this is not an exhaustive list).

      Whether the force majeure of government is applied with care in the case of good governance or applied the way it’s being done now, it remains what it is. Playing games with the names is an old PC trick used to hamper thought processes and short-circuit mental associative abilities.

      Objectivism in the Randian sense is grossly misunderstood – as you have done – and should not be linked to the woman’s own life and religious beliefs. In addition, you admit you are not atheist then proceed to characterize atheists in a singularly negative fashion by implying that anything arising from an atheist perspective is doomed to failure. Funnily enough, that includes medicine, the Internet, the clothes you are wearing, the food you eat, and just about everything else in your life.

      Before you start scratching your head: almost everything in modern life in the West is derived from observation, deduction, and inductive reasoning, then applying the results of these to action in a systematic fashion. Without that process (otherwise known as “science”), life would not anything like as easy or comfortable as it is today. The core element of scientific investigation is not presuming the existence of a higher power, but in looking for how something could operate if such higher power did not exist.

      Oh, and before you call me an atheist, I’m not. Other things I’m not are: Marxist, feminist, leftist, and damn near any other -ist you care to name.

  33. I remember the day Seth came home with his shirt inside out. It told me the school didn’t understand satire. I can’t remember if I was more upset about them making him turn his shirt inside out, or sad because they lacked common knowledge.

    And I’ve got dozens of more stories about the stupidity of the teachers and administrators. My wife was in the office dealing with the stupidity so much the last thing they wanted to hear my kids say was, “Call my mother.” It was amazing how that got them results. And if we went in for a teacher meeting, my job was to make sure my wife didn’t hit the teacher.

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