Liberty is an inherently offensive lifestyle. Living in a free society guarantees that each one of us will see our most cherished principles and beliefs questioned and in some cases mocked. That psychic discomfort is the price we pay for basic civic peace. It's worth it. It's a pragmatic principle. Defend everyone else's rights, because if you don't there is no one to defend yours. -- MaxedOutMama

I don't just want gun rights... I want individual liberty, a culture of self-reliance....I want the whole bloody thing. -- Kim du Toit

The most glaring example of the cognitive dissonance on the left is the concept that human beings are inherently good, yet at the same time cannot be trusted with any kind of weapon, unless the magic fairy dust of government authority gets sprinkled upon them.-- Moshe Ben-David

The cult of the left believes that it is engaged in a great apocalyptic battle with corporations and industrialists for the ownership of the unthinking masses. Its acolytes see themselves as the individuals who have been "liberated" to think for themselves. They make choices. You however are just a member of the unthinking masses. You are not really a person, but only respond to the agendas of your corporate overlords. If you eat too much, it's because corporations make you eat. If you kill, it's because corporations encourage you to buy guns. You are not an individual. You are a social problem. -- Sultan Knish

All politics in this country now is just dress rehearsal for civil war. -- Billy Beck

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Dept. of Our Collapsing Schools


English doctors want to ban sharp, pointy kitchen knives. Legislators there want to replace the glass in beer bottles and bar glasses with plastic. Silly? Of course. Concepts like this make me shake my head vigorously to make sure I didn't miss anything in the translation. It's difficult to believe people can be that naïve.

But the Brits are hardly alone. The Nerfland Coalition™ isn't restricted to that side of the pond.

Via El Capitan's Baboon Pirates blog I found this USA Today op-ed on our "softer, gentler" advocates in the national education intelligentsia. The key quotation:
It seems that many adults today regard the children in their care as fragile hothouse flowers who require protection from even the remote possibility of frustration, disappointment or failure. The new solicitude goes far beyond blacklisting red pens. Many schools now discourage or prohibit competitive games such as tag or dodge ball. The rationale: too many hurt feelings. In May 2002, for example, the principal of Franklin Elementary School in Santa Monica, Calif., sent a newsletter to parents informing them that children could no longer play tag during the lunch recess. As she explained, "In this game, there is a 'victim' or 'It,' which creates a self-esteem issue."

Is anything OK?

Which games are deemed safe and self-affirming? The National PTA recommends a cooperative alternative to the fiercely competitive "tug of war" called "tug of peace." Some professionals in physical education advocate activities in which children compete only with themselves, such as juggling, unicycling, pogo sticking, and even "learning to ... manipulate wheelchairs with ease."

But juggling, too, poses risks.

A former member of The President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports suggests using silken scarves rather than, say, uncooperative tennis balls that lead to frustration and anxiety. "Scarves," he points out, "are soft, non-threatening, and float down slowly."
I would have more to say, but El Capitan points out that Red at Sheila Variations does it just fine.

In the mean time, I need to find a nice hard surface to bang my head against.

UPDATE, 6/3: Toren points to an associated piece at Silent Running with this excerpt:
Trying to raise children with the erroneous belief that there are no winners or losers, and that nothing bad will ever be allowed to happen to them will only result in an unworkable society full of litigious, therapy-obsessed malignant narcissists with a widly inflated sense of self-importance, a belief that nothing is ever their fault and an inability to recognise evil, let alone actually do anything about it.


Never mind.
And one commenter, Lucyna, left this there:
There is a reason why this is being done - it's called "dumbing down". Cocooning creates adults that need to be looked after - that way they are far more manageable and less likely to be troublesome. This process is well under way and has been in progress for over a century now.

Oh and pc is the palatable explanation - not the actual reason.
Which once again reminds me of Connie du Toit's explanation for the destruction of our public schools:
The other day our Carpenter’s helper heard me say something along the lines of, "it is difficult to conclude that incompetence is the reason why our public schools have deteriorated. There comes a point where you have to suspect sabotage, or a conspiracy."

He asked me if I really meant that. I gave him the five minute explanation of John Dewey’s known affiliation with communists, his frequent essays and articles about the wonders of the Soviet education system, and his quote, "You can’t make Socialists out of individualists. Children who know how to think for themselves spoil the harmony of the collective society which is coming where everyone is interdependent."

I then went on to tell him about how public schools changed at the turn of the last century. That there were others involved in turning Americans from free-thinking individualists to factory drones. I also added that many people probably went along with it because it seemed like a good idea, but there were certainly enough people behind the scenes, who knew that the goal posts had been moved. THAT is a conspiracy.

Yes. There does come that time when you are forced to don the tinfoil hat.

The incompetence excuse only works once. Incompetence this great is impossible to attribute to accident.
This isn't naïveté. This isn't incompetence. Lucyna is correct. This is deliberate sabotage.

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