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Archive for March, 2012

I have at times been criticized for being difficult and harshly critical of people at times.  This might be a fair criticism, but at the same time, it is rooted in a belief that most people are their own worst enemies, and often deliberately do or say demonstrably silly things, and then get offended when people like myself have the temerity to call them out.  But at the same time, I don’t direct that blowtorch at people who can’t help whatever ails them.  Maybe it took having to neural-atypical children to really drive that point home, but consider it made.  And when I see accounts of people who have training and who are considered “authorities” deliberately belittling and mocking those they have been trained and hired to help?  Yeah, the RCOB* descends, and the fangs come out.

So when I read this story?  Yeah…put away the breakables.

Two Alabama teachers have been put on administrative leave after the mother of a 10-year-old student with cerebral palsy attached an audio recorder to the bottom of his wheelchair and caught them scolding him about drooling, among other things.

Really? REALLY?

You drooled on the paper,” a male’s voice, allegedly that of teacher’s aide Drew Faircloth, could be heard saying impatiently. “That’s disgusting.”

“Keep your mouth closed and don’t drool on my paper,” a woman’s voice said, allegedly teacher Alicia Brown. “I do not want to touch your drool. Do you understand that? Obviously, you don’t.”

Over the three days of recordings, Salinas said Jose received about 20 minutes of actual instruction and spent almost the entire day sitting in silence with no one speaking to him.

This cannot be excused.  There simply is NO excuse for this.  Scold him in a snotty way for something he cannot help, then all but abandon him when he is in your care? I can imagine all sorts of treatments for this kind of behavior, none of them pleasant.  But the kicker?  They got slaps on the wrist.

Salinas took the recordings to the school board and the teachers were put on administrative leave. But last Friday, the teachers were back at school.

and

By Monday, the teachers were back on paid administrative leave, and on April 9 the school board will meet to decide what further action to take.

Great.  Treat a kid with cerebral palsy like dirt, and get paid time off, recalled, then more paid time off when those idiot parents had the nerve to continue complaining.  What do you want to bet a teacher’s union is behind this?  Paid time off is not the right response.  This is a formal hearing, followed by a swift termination.

And they wonder why parents are reluctant to acknowledge and acquiesce to the “authority” of the educational establishment?

The behavior of these teachers is beyond reprehensible.  Parents have every reasonable expectation that when they entrust any child, let alone THIS child

to the schools, that they will not be mistreated or abused. These teachers cannot be trusted to fulfill their professional duties, and should instead be cleaning the johns at the nearest truck stop.

*Red Curtain Of Blood

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Another sign of the impending apocalypse:

The Arkansas Supreme Court on Thursday struck down the state’s law banning sexual contact between teachers and students, finding that people 18 or older have a constitutional right to engage in a consensual sexual relationship.

I’d say that you could hear smug yankees inserting “hillbilly” jokes here, but as soon as they realizes this helps advance the agenda of people like former “safe schools” czar Kevin Jennings, teacher recruiting should go through the roof in Arkansas.

Not everyone on the Arkansas Supreme Court has lost their minds.

In a dissent, Justice Robert Brown said that the majority’s opinion will cause disruption in high schools because there will be nothing to prevent teachers from having sex with students who are 18 or older.

“This will cause significant disruption in our high schools and have a deleterious impact on education in general and the teacher-student dynamic in particular,” wrote Brown.

Can I get a “DUH.”????

The Left, which is always finding something positive in sexualizing our children, will put the best spin possible on this.  I can just see the arguments now.

“With all those possibilities for “extra credit”, the students’ grades are bound to rise!” (I bet that isn’t all that rises either.)

“This should make recruiting of teachers much easier, and think of all the quality teachers that they will be able to get from places like Los Angeles!”

If I sound angry, it’s because I am.  There is a HUGE elephant in the room here that the “consenting adults” crowd will conveniently ignore, even if it becomes blatantly obvious, and the state’s attorney’s argued it.

Attorneys for the state argued the law protects high school students from sexual advances of teachers who are in positions of authority. But the high court found the law was unconstitutional because it criminalized sexual conduct between consenting adults.

Ignoring this was silly, as it ignores a long-standing legal concept in our jurisprudence.  (It also glosses over the fact that not only is this a matter where the ability of one party to “consent” is questionable, as they are hardly in a position to “negotiate at arms’ length”.)  That concept is “In Loco Parentis”, which means “In the position or place of a parent.”

To understand the application of “In Loco Parentis“, I found this brief explanation:

Through the legal doctrine of in loco parentis, courts upheld the right of schools to discipline students, to enforce rules, and to maintain order.3 Rooted in the English common law, in loco parentis originally governed the legal rights and obligations of tutors and private schools. 1 W. Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England 441 (1765) (“[A parent] may also delegate part of his parental authority, during his life, to the tutor or schoolmaster of his child; who is then in loco parentis, and has such a portion of the power of the parent committed to his charge, viz. that of restraint and correction, as may be necessary to answer the purposes for which he is employed”). Chancellor James Kent noted the acceptance of the doctrine as part of American law in the early 19th century. 2 J. Kent, Commentaries on American Law *205, *206–*207 (“So the power allowed by law to the parent over the person of the child may be delegated to a tutor or instructor, the better to accomplish the purpose of education”).
As early as 1837, state courts applied the in loco parentis principle to public schools:
“One of the most sacred duties of parents, is to train up and qualify their children, for becoming useful and virtuous members of society; this duty cannot be effectually performed without the ability to command obedience, to control stubbornness, to quicken diligence, and *414 to reform bad habits …. The teacher is the substitute of the parent; … and in the exercise of these delegated duties, **2632 is invested with his power.” State v. Pendergrass, 19 N.C. 365, 365–366 (1837).
Morse v. Fredrick, 551 U.S. 393 (2007)

“In the position or place of a parent.”   

Yeah, I’m not sure that I’m digging the image that evokes.  Call me crazy… 

This is a judicial sanction of a predatory betrayal of trust.  And sadly, I think it is a reflection of “modern” morals and values.  And you can keep them.

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What? Let me go get my surprised face.

But of course, it’s because those dumb hick conservatives have it wrong, as their opposition to global warmening (I mean, like how stupid they were to be skeptical of that whole ponzi scheme the Algore was peddling with his “the earth has a fever” nonsense, right? Everyone knows that it is a FACT…what’s that?  The planet’s mean temperature didn’t go up at all? Well, how stupid of those idiot conservatives to oppose “climate change” regulations.  What rubes!), and all that other science! like the missing link of the month club, and a scientific establishment bent on defending the THEORY of evolution as scientific FACT (And well find the proof…eventually) while mocking people of faith for their faith.  That’s why he can be so confident in his reasoning for this:

“It kind of began with the loss of Barry Goldwater and the construction of Fox News and all these [conservative] think tanks. The perception among conservatives is that they’re at a disadvantage, a minority,” he says. “It‘s not surprising that the conservative subculture would challenge what’s viewed as the dominant knowledge production groups in society — science and the media.”

I’m sorry, but to call the media a “knowledge production group” gives them far too much credit.  At its best, it informs, but it would be completely inaccurate to say that it “produces knowledge”.

And while there is scientific research that does create knowledge, those who would insist that as a whole is “objective” and its results are not dominated by money and ideology has failed to take notice of what has occurred with regard to global warmening over the last decade, and the frauds perpetrated by proponents such a Dr. James Hanson.

Both institutions subscribe to the belief that “truth” is malleable, and many conservatives can see that clearly, which is why that “trust” is so low.

 

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…and “leading from behind” (which was called “pushing” in more honest times) like this has permeated society, which is why President Downgrade can always blame EVERYTHING on someone else.

“On Tuesday, a cartoon ran on the Opinion page of The Daily Texan that offended many readers, and we sincerely apologize for our decision to run it.
 
The cartoonist, Stephanie Eisner, no longer works for The Daily Texan.”

What courage.  They make the decision to run it, and when the Inevitable Outrage Machine™ fires up, they sacrifice the person who created the content, rather than defending their decision. 

“Despicable” doesn’t quite describe it.  Nothing is ever anyone’s responsibility anymore, unless they aren’t the ones who made The Decision That Mattered™ or aren’t in a position to defend themselves, then it’s their fault.

And this particular “OUTRAGE!!!11!!!!Eleventy!!!”?  Get back to me when the riots start because the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People refuses to change their name.(Ben Jealous, please pick up the courtesy phone.  Ben Jealous, please pick up the courtesy phone.) 

Yeah, yeah.  I know.  Just like another word we are supposed to fear and loathe, there is nothing wrong when those with “enhanced melanin” say it.

Now Ms. Eisner can make similar drawing with the caption “…and opinions, and anything else that might be controversial or cause pain were outlawed, right before laws were passed relieving anyone of the ability to make a decision without the approval of “experts” and the guarantee of government that they will never have to suffer the negative consequences of those decisions.”

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For a man who claims he can do nothing about rising gas prices, he sure is doing everything he can to drive them up.

“And when the price of oil goes up, prices at the pump go up, and so do these companies’ profits,” he said. “Meanwhile, these companies pay a lower tax rate than most other companies on their investments — partly because we’re giving them billions in tax giveaways every year.”

Of course, when the dollar is recklessly and irresponsibly inflated by a government addicted to buying votes with entitlements it has no business doling out in the first place, those dollars are worth less (and continue to be so until they are worthless) so it takes MORE of them to buy the same thing you used to be able to buy with fewer dollars.  So now the barrel of crude that used to sell for $67 now sells for over $100. 

This means that you pay more at the pump to fill your tank, demonstrated to great effect with my last fill up.  This also mean that to maintain the same profit margin, which for oil companies is a very small one (the government makes more on a gallon of gas than the oil companies do), they have to raise prices.  It also means that the amount of dollars in profits goes up, thus giving them “record” profits, but it does not mean that the percentage of profit goes up at all.  Even a three-year old will understand it when you substitute dollars with a medium that they can relate to.  And just like when any other tax on a business goes up, this additional cost of doing business will be passed on to the consumer.

I just can’t wait for $7.00 a gallon gas, can you?

But then, that’s been his plan all along.

 

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I almost pity the Solicitor General. Almost.

But liberal Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Justice Elena Kagan seemed skeptical of Clement’s argument that the government could have mandated individuals to buy insurance not in advance, but “at the point of consumption”, at the hospital for example. Is this just a “matter of timing?” Kagan asked.

The transcript is fascinating.  The Solicitor General must be using a whole box of Tucks™ Medicated Pads after today.

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Fran Porretto will be shuttering Eternity Road come April 1.

We haven’t always agreed, Fran, but I’d be lying if I were to say I wouldn’t miss your perspectives.

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Liberty:  freedom from control, interference, obligation, restriction, hampering conditions, etc.; power or right of doing, thinking, speaking, etc., according to choice.

License:  permission to do or not to do something.

Today has been a study in contrasts, originating from sources which have been, in truth, quite fantastic.  On my drive to work this morning, I heard the story of the Los Angeles City Council’s burning new priority, passing a resolution urging “the management of radio and television stations in Los Angeles to do everything in their power to ensure that their on-air hosts do not use and promote racist and sexist slurs over public airwaves in the City of Los Angeles”.

I had to pause for a moment when I heard that reflecting on the fact that this same city council passed a law that now requires performers in porn movies to wear condoms.  Only in California could we see the latest rendition of “The First Amendment: Ur Doin’ It Rong” so expertly played out over the course of a month.  It takes a twisted sense of priorities to presume the right to ban speech that some in the community have decided is “unacceptable”, but to respond to an industry that is as graphic and demeaning as it could possibly be, not by moving to ban it, but to be its mother and say “Don’t forget to wear your rubbers.”

Aside from the absurdity of going after speech which is Constitutionally protected and condoning that which actually isn’t, one is struck by the impression that what we learned as children is wrong, and that names really do hurt us, and moreover, it is the duty of government to protect us from such an assault.  Of course, in a time when we have the self-appointed “dog whistle” hearers in society who can magically hear all manner of offensive speech, including that which is never actually said, it begs the question: will the City Council also include a list of all the words we are not permitted to say, or would that be offensive to ask?

Speaking of offensive, today found me in a quandary.  I actually found myself in at least partial agreement with someone I despise: Bill Maher.

It seems that Bill wrote an op-ed in the old grey birdcage liner this morning.  This probably wouldn’t have been read, much like many other items in that endlessly sinking ship, but it was yet another in the attempts to convince the public that it really wasn’t hypocrisy for Obama’s super PAC to accept a million dollar donation from Maher, who has never apologized for purposely offensive statements about Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann, so soon after the latest exercise in contrived outrage over Rush Limbaugh using unflattering terms when talking about activist (and sometimes law student) Sandra Fluke’s incredulous and specious testimony before Congress on the burning need to make Catholic educational institutions like Georgetown provide contraceptives in the health insurance plans they provide to students, despite the Church’s long-standing teachings which are opposed to contraception.

In this op-ed, Maher argues that America has essentially wussed out with the rush to point fingers at one another over the things that we say, and that rather than seeking the annihilation of someone who says something that we find offensive, we need to exercise our right not to listen, and not decide instead that the speaker isn’t worthy of speech.  He then went on to point out that the path to inoffensiveness takes us to a place where the only real debate is whether we are going to choose ecru or antique white.  I admit that this actually took some courage for him to say.  Not in the sense of  people should be able to say whatever they want.  With his history, and the place he occupies in the current debate, this is as surprising as the sun rising in the East.  The surprise is in him basically saying to everyone “Buck up, and get over it.  Just because someone says something you don’t like doesn’t mean that you can or should try to silence them.”  This is bold stuff indeed, because if the right to be offended, and to squelch the offending voice is surrendered, then the Left would actually have to talk about issues again.  No more condemning every criticism or probing question of President Downgrade as “racism”, and frankly, that is something that they can ill afford to do, even with Maher’s Million.  But there are is a point that should be part of this ongoing discussion that we can’t get away from, and yet can’t seem to ever really have, either, and that is this:

When speech is condemned, what we are really condemning is the thought behind it.

Words convey ideas.  That is the point.  And while they can indicate motive, it has been too easy to fall into the trap of believing that we can always ascribe motive, especially with the words that were not said, but heard by those who already decided that they were nevertheless meant by the speaker, and the effort to remember that the words also have meaning, as do the context in which they were said.  And for far too long, as a nation, we have been far too eager to stigmatize, and even try to criminalize thought, and not actually listen to each other and have an honest conversation.

I applaud Maher for almost getting there and saying something meaningful.  I’m impressed that he said something that so clearly contradicts what has been a tried and tested technique of the “tolerant” left that has preached so long and so loud about the need for diversity and inclusion of every identity but the ones they don’t like.  It can’t have made the DNC, MSNBC, Media Matters, the NAACP and the rest of the alphabet soups very happy, but I’m sure that they’ll do nothing to change their game plan.  After all, Maher didn’t.  He could have actually gone above and beyond, and actually talked about an idea, rather than simply being offensive for the sake of being offensive, but instead chose to end the piece with this:

 “If we sand down our rough edges and drain all the color, emotion and spontaneity out of our discourse, we’ll end up with political candidates who never say anything but the safest, blandest, emptiest, most unctuous focus-grouped platitudes and cant. In other words, we’ll get Mitt Romney.”

Ignoring the hope and change of “Yes we can!” and fainting fools.  This is why at its heart, this was a request for a license, and not a defense of liberty.  But then, given where he is, he is surrounded by those who have far more interest in license than liberty, which is why I expect his public disclosure of an honest concept will be forgiven, and forgotten quicker than the Fluke outrage the next time he wants to call Sarah Palin a cunt.

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If you do not ask the right questions, you do not get the right answers. A question asked in the right way often points to its own answer. Asking questions is the A-B-C of diagnosis. Only the inquiring mind solves problems. – Edward Hodnett

Nothing rings so loudly in our ears as the things that we heard someone else never say. – Me

This week, Rick Santorum found himself in the crosshairs not just of the Left-leaning media, but the media on the right, over one of several policy statements posted on his campaign website.  The offense? Promising to prosecute laws that the Obama administration has shown no interest in prosecuting.  Were these laws against illegal immigration? No, although being in support of those would have been controversial enough for some who supposedly occupy space on the right. No, his crime was far worse.  He suggested that he would have his attorney general prosecute existing obscenity laws against hardcore pornographic materials.  From his own website on the issue:

For many decades, the American public has actively petitioned the United States Congress for laws prohibiting distribution of hard-core adult pornography.

Congress has responded.  Current federal “obscenity” laws prohibit distribution of hardcore (obscene) pornography on the Internet, on cable/satellite TV, on hotel/motel TV, in retail shops and through the mail or by common carrier. Rick Santorum believes that federal obscenity laws should be vigorously enforced.  “If elected President, I will appoint an Attorney General who will do so.”  

The Daily Caller printed a story this week on Santorum’s policy statement that launched a firestorm of outrage by people who furiously tweeted, commented on Facebook, or blogged with one hand on how ridiculous this concept is, and how it is yet more evidence that he is unserious about becoming President.  While the cries of “Get your hands of my [sticky] porn!” rose from many quarters, people who should know better began to weigh in with opinions about things that he didn’t say.  I could cover them, but Stacy McCain has done a pretty good job of compiling some of them in his piece on the subject, which you should read, as well as covering the very interesting point that this breathless “news” story has actually been posted on the candidate’s site since JANUARY 9th of this year, but is only now a threat to America getting its rocks off. Stacy McCain also has asked the follow-up questions regarding the coverage of this “story” that in days gone by  might have been asked by a good reporter, which makes me believe I should actually hit his tip jar.  Hell, I guess not all of this should do this simply as a method to keep from succumbing to the gaslighting being done to us by the legacy media.  And predictably, as the week wore on,  the usual suspects weighed in with the usual answers.

“I find it ironic that Republicans (like Santorum) are out there wanting less government and government intruding into our lives, but when it comes to moral issues they want government to legislate morality,” says [Steven] Hirsch [co-founder and Chairman of Vivid Entertainment]. “It doesn’t work. It will never work.”

Thus once again ignoring that the bulk of law “legislates morality”, as it is intended to punish and discourage behavior that society finds is bad (murder, stealing, rape), and to not interfere with something that society finds is not harmful (having an honest job), or even encourage that which society finds beneficial (buying a home, saving money, having children).  It isn’t that “legislating morality” doesn’t work, Mr. Hirsch.  Law does it all the time.  The real question is “Who’s morality shall we legislate?”

What I find surprising about this story is not that people on the left and the right are getting very excited about what Mr. Santorum didn’t say (that he is coming to your home to take all of your porn videos, and copies of “Sex With Animals”).  If there is a sign of the times for our age, it is hearing the things never said, whether is Maureen Dowd hearing Joe Wilson’s unsaid “, boy!” at the end of his declaration to the President Downgrade, or the many, many plans for a christofacist theocracy heard by anti-christian and anti-theist bigots whenever someone speaks about the strong Christian influence on our body of law, our culture, and our founding as a nation. 

Instead, the real story is the questions no one is asking.  Questions like “Why do we consider it acceptable that we have such a body of laws to begin with, if the notion of their enforcement is so ridiculous/silly/offensive or wrong?  We have all sorts of laws that regulate what materials can and cannot be sent through the mail.  The FCC will issue fines for dropping f-bombs on the air, or having a “wardrobe malfunction” during a Super Bowl halftime show, and arguably these actions are far more tame than a download of “Snow White and the Well-Hung Dwarfs”, a DVD of “Debbie Does Everyone”, or the latest issue of “Barnyard Love”.  If the idea of these laws is as ridiculous as Mr. Flynt suggests, then why doesn’t he spearhead the movement to have them repealed?  Certainly, if they do not accurately reflect the moral sensibilities of a majority of Americans, then it should be a relatively easy matter for Congress to repeal them, right?  After all, the issue is much more titillating and sexy than addressing insanely out of control spending, or even passing a budget, right?  This is the same Congress that had time for hearings on baseball, and having professional activists and part-time students come and give testimony on the burning need to violate religious schools’ conscience  rights and provide astronomically priced contraceptives to students who are so busy training to be the 1% that they need $1000.00 worth of birth control a year.

What does it say about us as a people that some among us feel so strongly in favor of hardcore pornography that we consider unfettered access to it to be a right, despite what our laws say about it?  What does it say about us that the idea of continual non-enforcement of law is somehow considered to be a legitimate and laudable goal?  Does this concept edify or delegitimize the notion of rule of law in a society that is supposed to be based upon laws and not on men?  And what does it say about us that we as a society are so quick and eager to vilify a man who states among his many goals a desire to have law enforcement under his administration enforce the laws?  When I ask myself those questions, I don’t like the answers.

Larry Flynt can say that there is no “there” there all he likes.  As someone whose home is built upon the furious fapping of others, I would expect nothing less from him.  But there is something about systematic exposure to hardcore porn that diminishes the humanity of both the object and the end-user.  The gratification without effort or consequence can kill the ability to relate to and recognize the satisfaction of another, driving the emotional intimacy of a healthy relationship extinct as the use of another person merely to satisfy lustful impulses becomes a primary goal.  Creativity also suffers, as we become programmed to react to what someone else has decided is sexy.  But don’t just take my word for it.  It’s recognized in all sorts of interesting quarters these days.

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Not content to just piss off Catholics and other people of faith who were paying attention, the Obama Administration decided to widen its War on Christianity by announcing today an expanded contraceptive mandate that now will require ALL universities to offer contraceptives to all students free of charge.

In a move that is likely to reignite the ire of religious leaders, late Friday afternoon the Obama administration announced a proposal that would require universities, including religious universities, to provide contraception, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs to their students, as well as their employees, without a co-pay. This appears to significantly widen the originally-announced HHS mandate, which had only applied to employees.
The White House released the 32-page proposal late Friday afternoon. It outlines three different options to ensure that the health plans for employees and students of religious organizations cover birth control, including abortifacient drugs, and sterilizations, without co-pay.

How very islamic of this administration. Screw your beliefs, you will submit.

This doesn’t make a lot of sense, as the media machine had done his heavy lifting for him on this topic and succeeding in convincing the televisitariat that this is about something completely different than what it is, and now he decides to drag other Christians into it?  This can’t end well…for him.

 

 

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