Not in Kansas Anymore

by Deana Chadwell3/24/18
I have a 1956 Norman Rockwell print of a frumpy, sweet-faced teacher standing in front of a class of clean-scrubbed, straight-backed children. They had just written “Happy Birthday, Miss Jones! ” on the blackboard for her. It’s a scene light years away from a 21st century school massacre, and it may take some time for the more Pollyanna amongst us to readjust to what the 21st century school really is. This may explain the freak-out over the idea of arming teachers: Miss Jones with a Ruger tucked into her belt is just too hard to swallow.

This worries me because we can’t fix a problem that we don’t have the courage to really acknowledge. Our schoolrooms are still full of great kids — sweet-natured and teacher-loving, but these days every class has an ever-increasing number of students carrying major psychological damage. I’ll never forget a class of freshman I had one year – of the 27 students in that section, 9 were seriously mentally disturbed. I know a teacher who’s trying to deal with a student who has already thrown rocks through the principal’s office windows and is currently threatening to burn down the school with a flame-thrower. He’s 6 years old.

It’s been 10 years since I’ve been in a public school classroom, but even back then the horrible parenting I was seeing had me worried. I’ll never forget the young man who chose to write his narrative essay about the night his father tried to strangle him.  He was nervous about testifying at his dad’s trial. Or the young woman whose father was willing to pay for the braces she needed as long as she would bring home friends for him to have sex with. And the young man, fatherless and very troubled, who brought a hatchet to school to use on me if I made him give a speech. His terrified mother’s warning saved both my life and his.

Or the kid who stole my credit card and was going to hold it hostage until I changed his failing grade. Or the young lady I found sobbing her heart out in the hallway one morning. I hesitated to stop and talk to her – she was prone to frequent tearful meltdowns – but I did stop and I was glad I had. That morning her father had walked into a local park, doused himself with gasoline and lit a match. He was, of course, dead – and no one in that household thought to keep this poor girl at home that day.

I’m sure most teachers have those stories, but such stories are anecdotal — there have always been bad parents and damaged kids, but we’ve never had so many. We can trace some of this breakdown through stats – the counselors at my last high school estimated that at least 60% of our clientele came from highly dysfunctional homes. Look at the stats on drug overdoses – our kids, by the tens of thousands, are willing to risk their lives for the momentary faux-euphoria they can get from opioids. They are lonely enough and unsure enough to spend hours on social media, trying, I suppose, to build a facsimile family, a façade of a life.

According to research done by the Barna Group, Generation Z finds professional achievement, hobbies, and sexual orientation more important in their lives than either family or religion. (Remember that Gen Z includes not only our high school students, but a great many of their teachers.)  Their grandparents’ values are just the opposite. In fact, the same study shows that only 9% of these young people are committed, active Christians. That’s what happens when we send our kids into a system where God is either ignored or mocked. We leave those kids there for 12 years and then they go to college where they are ridiculed and excluded because of their faith. We bought the lie that schools can be neutral and now we’re having to cope with the results.

And what happens when the post-modern moral compass of students fails?  Some stats can give some insight. In the 1910’s there were only 2 reported incidences of violent attacks in U.S. schools, and one was actually an accident.  In the 2010’s there were 126 such attacks. Students all over the country are attacking (with both knives and guns) each other and their teachers at an ever-increasing rate. The correlation is unsettling; something has gone wrong.

Let’s look at this from a teacher’s perspective. A study published in 2011 by CNS News concluded that 145,100 public school teachers had been physically attacked by their students and that 276,700 reported being threatened by students. And that was almost 10 years ago. Just recently (2017) a Huffington Post article mentions that 11% of the teachers in Wisconsin had been attacked by students. The article also discusses a union study that showed that 27% of the instructors interviewed had experienced threats, bullying, and harassment, and half of those incidents had been perpetrated by their students.  This is a long, long way from happy-birthday-Miss-Jones.

We have developed an undercurrent of thought in this country that has created a mirage, a distant vision of a utopian society in which everyone will live effortlessly and harmoniously, placing no strain on dear Mother Earth, offending no one, and rarely taking responsibility for much of anything. We will puff our egos and pat ourselves on our collective, non-working backs about the Shangri-La we created without any help from that nasty, demanding God. After all, we are evolutionarily sure that people are basically good, so all we have to do is to sing Kumbaya and smoke a joint or two.

It’s quite a shock therefore when things like the Parkland shooting happen. If people are basically good, then how do we account for the Wicked Witches flying around our cities? How do we explain the massive amount of irresponsibility that led up to the Parkland massacre? We can feel the philosophical panic building. To unravel the twisted, inconsistent, evil worldview that got us to the Austin bombings, the Los Vegas and Parkland shootings, to the shooting in Maryland will take some excruciating soul searching and human beings are not usually willing to go there.

We want to imagine that our schools still look like Miss Jones’ classroom, but that’s not what’s out there.  We want to picture Dorothy skipping merrily down the yellow brick road and we don’t want to think about the hordes of flying monkeys following her. We don’t want to be told about the sex, drugs, cheating, harassing, ugliness of a great many of our public schools – and not just the high schools. As we send our daughters off to the school dance, we don’t want to be told that kids on a dance floor don’t dance; they have sex, clustering around the engaged couples so tightly that the chaperones can’t get to them. I’ve seen that happen myself. We may be able to adjust to the teenage society pictured in Grease or American Graffiti, but not the actuality of today. There is no longer romance because they go directly to sex. There is no more thrill of pushing the speed limit or sneaking a cigarette out behind the barn. That’s no big deal anymore.

I graduated from high school in Lincoln, Nebraska, in 1963. The big, super-cool thing a kid could do then was to drive 75 miles south to Marysville, Kansas where you could buy 3.2% beer at the age of 18. Luckily that road was mostly straight and flat and few of the wild boys in my class got hurt driving it.  That was about it.  I had parties at my house once a month – dozens and dozens of kids – and we drank Pepsi and ate popcorn and danced – just danced – to my brother’s band.

But we’re not in Kansas anymore.

I pray that we snap out of the Emerald City fantasy we’ve been lounging in and face the fact that Miss Jones is going to have to strap on that Ruger at least until we’ve rescued the next generation and raised those kids in a Norman Rockwell way.


Deana Chadwell blogs at ASingleWindow.com. She is also an adjunct professor at Pacific Bible College in southern Oregon. She teaches writing and public speaking.
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Deana Chadwell

About Deana Chadwell

I have spent my life teaching young people how to read and write and appreciate the wonder of words. I have worked with high school students and currently teach writing at Pacific Bible College in southern Oregon. I have spent more than forty years studying the Bible, theology, and apologetics and that finds its way into my writing whether I'm blogging about my experiences or my opinions. I have two and a half moldering novels, stacks of essays, hundreds of poems, some which have won state and national prizes. All that writing -- and more keeps popping up -- needs a home with a big plate glass window; it needs air; it needs a conversation. I am also an artist who works with cloth, yarn, beads, gourds, polymer clay, paint, and photography. And I make soap.
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57 Responses to Not in Kansas Anymore

  1. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Here’s a related article. Students are finding out about the inescapable formula of freedom-vs-security: The Parkland Students Just Learned What Asking For More Safety Means, And They Naturally Don’t Like It.

    The gist of it is that the superintendent of Broward County public schools has declared that only clear backpacks will be allowed (which the school will provide at no cost)

    One student tweeted (and soon removed this for some reason): “So, we’re giving up all illusions of normalcy. okay. why should 3300 students be penalized for the failure of security to do their job?”

  2. Timothy Lane says:

    Some horrifying stuff there, Deana. I knew it was bad, but some of that is beyond what I expected. On the other hand, in the late 60s there was apparently already a lot of trouble in public schools, or so I was told when my mother decided to send me to a small private school for high school. I never witnessed anything worse than hazing myself (though that was bad enough).

    School neutrality toward religion may be manageable. What we face is school hostility toward religion, and that creates serious problems.

    I read about that see-through backpack rule. The complaining student may be one of those who hasn’t joined the lynch mob. But its leader, the worthless David Hogg, is one of those complaining about the new role. As always with leftists, someone else should pay the price.

  3. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    At the end of the day, we still have the two vital unanswered questions:

    1) What is the cause of all this?

    2) What is the solution to this?

    The proximate cause of the Parkland shooting is the unwillingness of the adults to mete out penalties to students who were engaged in bad (sometimes illegal) behavior — and then, in the case of the police, to sit back and do nothing when a shooter was loose inside a school that had helped to hatch these little monsters.

    The reason non-white students were not disciplined is because it was considered harmful to do so. Some may even believe this, but most probably went along for fear of being called a “racist” if you don’t give special treatment to non-white students.

    In the case of the cops who stood by and let the kids be slaughtered, this is still difficult to understand except in the case of the on-site cop whose habit was to find clever ways to let non-white kids off. So certainly any ethic in him “to serve and protect” had been completely neutered. He was there not to mete out punishment but to find ways around it.

    Deanna mentions some specific instances and I’m not sure that you have to go much beyond the breakdown of the family and traditional morality to explain it, as well as the social dysfunction produced by government welfare and our corrupt popular culture.

    Still, let me try to answer my own questions, in brief:

    1) The causes are multiple and well-ingrained.

    2) The solution is for white and Asians parents, in particular, to pull their kids out of these multicultural cesspools.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      They also need to discipline their children themselves. The schools don’t do it anymore (at least public schools don’t), and even the civil authorities can’t be counted on, especially in liberal counties such as Broward.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        I think you touch on a crucial aspect of this, Timothy. We might assume that parents are outraged by what is going on. And I doubt all parents are in support of institutional racism, sexual liberalism, and just an all around Lord-of-the-Flies atmosphere in schools.

        But let us remember one crucial fact: 99% of parents aren’t upset enough about the situation to do anything about it (and that number likely reflects the percentage of teachers as well). It can be assumed that the schools are doing first and foremost what is expected of them: babysitting their children and, increasingly, molding them into the state religion of Progressivism where rainbows and gold stars all shimmer in abundance.

        To object to any of this likely means contradicting what 99% of parents and teachers already believe — and I mean the basic tenets of Progressivism.

        To actually fix things you have to first unmask the dysfunction, racism, and the creepy nature of this state religion. And I just think because most people are now indoctrinated into it (including from inside Christianity) that they are very much in a position of having to saw off the branch that they are sitting on. Not easily done.

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          Our culture/society has become like the once-elite athlete who got lazy and has allowed himself to go to seed watching TV, eating junk food and drinking soda and beer. He caught a cold, didn’t think much of it, but it developed into bronchitis and then double pneumonia.

          It will now take drastic outside intervention to rescue the situation, but given the man’s age and condition it may be too late.

          Worse still, the medicos to whom he needs to turn, have degrees from the Baron von Muenchhausen University of make-believe and they don’t have the knowledge, or really feel like expending the time and effort to rectify the situation.

          Seriously, I think the rot in the country has reached a certain critical mass and will only continue to get worse. I fear it will take it getting much worse before the country will wake-up to the situation. But by then the only remedy will be very nasty and it will take a long time to get over the remedy, if we are lucky. I use “we” loosely as I think all of us will be long gone by the time this happens, but I do worry about future generations.

          • Timothy Lane says:

            Many decades ago, there was a series of one-panel cartoons about one J. Wesley Smith and his historical misadventures. Many of these were collected in a book called Through History with J. Wesley Smith, and I wish I still had a copy. Still, I remember many of them (such as Smith watching a debate and asking, “Who’s that beanpole up there debating with Stephen Douglas?”). One involved Smith, challenged on what he had said (which wasn’t given), saying, “And I can prove it by Baron von Munchausen here.” I had to get that one explained to me.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            Seriously, I think the rot in the country has reached a certain critical mass and will only continue to get worse.

            This may come as a shock, but I don’t disagree, Mr. Kung.

            With the exception of Deana and Glenn, Christians have become the worst proponents of traditional authority. And I believe that whatever and whomever we regard as legitimate authority is what this is all about (and why Libertarians remain an inherent facilitator of Progressives).

            The central element of the modern Leftist/Liberal/Progressive counter-revolution is “don’t trust authority.” The first goal was to delegitimize all existing authority. America, the Bible, Men, Western Civilization, and the idea of earning one’s own keep have all been delegitimized. (Even the idea of being educated, as we see in parts of the black community, is delegitimize as “acting white”.)

            American (and Constitutional) authority is bled away because of the old institution of slavery. The Bible is discredited as just so much irrational, anti-science, anti-women superstition. Western Civilization is dismissed as a story of the white race exploiting third-worlders. The authority of men is dismissed as attempts to subjugate women.

            None of these elements are blameless. But first and foremost the ideology of Progressivism is utopian (and throughly feminist now). Always and ever the perfect will be the enemy of the good. The good will be destroyed because it is not perfect. And the perfect can somehow always be envisioned.

            With most forms of external authority having been delegitimized (thus libertarian is a natural allie), there is little else left but some combination of totalitarian government combined in creative (although often unpredictable) ways with the only true legitimate authority left: The Will. And Hitler would be proud in some regards, because today we are living in the realm of The Triumph of the Will. The will is the final authority (within, as I said, some creative limits imposed by the Progressive state).

            If any external (that is, traditional) authority is illegitimate than who are you (or parents, or friends, or bosses) to tell me that I cannot wear a dress and pretend I am some other “gender”?

            Still, it’s easy to oversimplify this as we attempt to mock it instead of understand it. It’s certainly not that the Left is without an authority and a shared set of ethics. But I would say the inherent problem is that their ethics are tied not only to utopian expectations but to the “not that” syndrome. Most liberals cannot think in terms of what they are for — other than superficial motifs about environmentalism, “diversity,” etc. They don’t have to. The rightness of their cause is based entirely on “not that,” on simply doing the opposite of the despised evil ones. This also conveniently gives them license (within certain limits) to act as cruddy as they want.

            So what’s not to like? You are free to pursue almost any impulse (provided it is in no way a traditional impulse) with the only cost being to give an automatic head-nod to the half dozen or so core shibboleths of the Left.

            One of the consequences of uprooting all traditional, natural, and logical authority is we begin to give rights to trees, mountains, rivers, etc. Traditional (particularly biblical) authority says that nature was created by God as one thing and man as another, with man having authority over nature. Well, with that being the traditional case, you need not unearth any Pagan-like Magna Carta for trees and shrubs to find rights. It’s enough to do the opposite of whatever traditional authorities dictated, and there will always be some bit of pollution somewhere to prove the rightness of one’s case.

            We’ve let loose a will with utopian (read: totalitarian, authoritarian) impulses with no particular sound or sane logical structure of ethics or authority other than power and will. And it’s not today’s children in schools who are the cutting edge of it. They are playing out the structure believed and instituted by their parents and even their grandparents. The “authorities” in charge are not in charge. They will not easily distribute Vitamin N (saying “no”) contrary to any non-traditional ethic because this is their ethic too, however poorly they may understand it. They have fully imbibed the idea that they have no real moral authority over their charges. Of course, in many cases, even if this is not consciously believed, most are too afraid of being slapped down to go against the grain.

            It’s easy enough to pretend that all is well in schools. They do, at the very least, remain a “free” babysitting service for parents who have goals other than raising good children (although the multicolored superficial Progressive veneer implies that your are doing your child good). After all, many of these same schools (I encourage you to visit your local school) are filled with rainbow drawings and unicorns and puppy dogs festooning about every inch of the walls and halls. There are endless nicey-nicey slogans. “Work together.” Etc.

            So we pretend that schools are a-ok. We’re satisfied that they are little glowing rainbow-filled playgrounds where we all pretend that all is well and that we need never discipline (traditionally) the kids for we have convinced ourselves that our lack of control and authority is a good as we praise “self-guided learning” and other such nonsense. And in our entertainment culture, we often (even the best of us) mistake entertaining them for training them.

            And so it goes.

            • Timothy Lane says:

              One of the interesting aspects of the leftist use of slavery as an excuse to reject America is that their party was the one that defended it. Why shouldn’t we reject the Demagogues for the same reason they reject America? Unfortunately, one would have to have the proof of their acting that way in order to use it against them.

            • Quite a tirade, Brad. Love it. I especially like your take on the negative nature of the progressive “platform.” They have nothing they’re for because miserable complainers can’t think in creative and positive ways. Evil is not the equal opposite of good; it’s the total lack thereof. Therefore there can be no answers, no plan, no future goal. Misery is all they have.

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                Therefore there can be no answers, no plan, no future goal. Misery is all they have.

                Deana, I like to think in terms of “there but for the grace of God go I.” True human sympathy isn’t about approving of men using the ladies room so that all the right people will back-slap you. True human sympathy involves not “niceness” but compassion, which means to-suffer-with. And we suffer with not because we have taken possession of a person and caste them in the role of hero-class because we can use them as a cudgel for our ideological enemies (as many use the poor against freedom and free markets). We suffer because we see the soul of the person as a thing of inherent value, not to be cast away and certainly not to be used for petty partisan or ideological politics.

                This is what we used to call an adult informed by Christian virtues and embolden to right action by considered courage. We tell a child “No, you can’t do that” even if the child says “I hate you.” Using wisdom (a product of experience and knowledge) we help to guide others for the sake of themselves, knowing how easy and tempting it is to give in to their child-like demands and narcissistic impulses.

                Human virtue comes at the cost of whittling down our appetites into manageable proportions as well as whittling our egos down from demigod-like status. A person of this caliber cares not a whit for your race if you can do the job or try to do the job to the best of our abilities or try with honesty and persistence.

                We have the opposite now, where there is constant attention given to race, sex, genders, etc., with barely any room left to evaluate people based on themselves.

                Those with race-based, gender-based, sex-based, or class-based thinking have already devalued the person. Yes, I know, that in their minds they are being “double-special-nice.” But ultimately how much good did race-based “nice” do for Nikolas Cruz? Here’s a boy (by no means blameless) who was cast off by the system in the name of doing him good. Instead, they almost guaranteed that there would be no safety net to catch him before something like this mass shooting happened. There was no in-between, no corrective actions along the way.

                We joke about how religious and moralistic the Puritans were. At least that is the common conception. But consider that after WWII and the Korean War were won (or at least over), Americans simply wanted to get back to work and live the good life. Perhaps having a nice house and a two-car garage wasn’t the noblest of pursuits, but they were honest and productive ones.

                But what actually happened? For whatever reason, their progeny (the baby boomers and beyond) became arguably the most moralizing bunch of prigs America has ever seen. And it’s only gotten worse. We might rightly make fun of some of the Christian excesses in our past. But Christian excesses never came anywhere near the Progressive self-righteous judgers and moralizers of our day. Nothing can just be. Everything is judge good or bad according to their totalitarian moral system — and one decidedly lacking mercy.

                This is similar to the Chesterton Effect: “’When men choose not to believe in God, they do not thereafter believe in nothing, they then become capable of believing in anything.” Those who rejected our Christian roots as being the province of moral busy-bodies have become the worst, most invasive busy-bodies our nation has ever seen, quite including the Puritans who, frankly, cared only to police themselves in their self-made communities.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                Robert Heinlein had an interesting discussion of punishment in Starship Troopers. He favored corporal punishment, though this is no more perfect than any other form (it wouldn’t work well with masochistic criminals, as Frederik Pohl and C. M. Kornbluth pointed out in one of their novel collaborations).

                Actually, the Korean War was a modest victory, though obviously not the sort of total victory we had gotten used to. At the end, South Korea had a more defensible border and larger area than pre-war. In addition, we successfully insisted on letting the POWs to stay in the West if they wanted (unlike Operation Keelhaul after World War II).

              • David Ray says:

                Nice observation Deana. It parallels Dennis Prager’s astute observation that leftists, having a godless void, fill that void with an alternative purpose.

                That purpose becomes employing insatiable anger to dismantle everything that made this the greatest nation in history. (It’s their self induced “righteous cause” .)

              • Timothy Lane says:

                Most people seem to need some form of faith. If they don’t find it in religion, they will seek in something on Earth, usually some sort of utopia. This leads them to fanatical politics heavily oriented toward violence, made worse by the fact that as reality contradicts their dogma, they reject reality just as zealously as the push their agenda.

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                Most people seem to need some form of faith.

                I’m going to make a very strange proposal. I would suggest that the material aspect of ourselves is full of appetites. Such appetites are common, useful, and often absolutely vital. We need to eat, for example, no matter our disposition or beliefs about anything else.

                There’s another aspect of ourselves that we can generally call the non-material. That includes mind, feelings, soul, and such things as beauty, truth, goodness. These are subtle things. If we turn them into “appetites” proper we threaten to turn them into common things, vulgar things, even harmful things.

                Ideologically and metaphysically, reality is up for grabs. And people tend to grab it in order to own it. Religion and faith easily become true idols.

                Reality puts us in a position where faith is the only option. The question is always what kind of faith, how is it held, how is it grabbed. The best quote in the bible may be:

                For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

                There has never been anything light about Communism, socialism, or Leftism. They are a heavy yoke. They are faith that demands worship from all with no competitors. They often demand death as well. Until Westerners can grab and hold these distinctions again, we will be wandering in the desert.

    • Steve Lancaster says:

      Add to #2 it time for funding for public schools stop. We constantly hear about the “public good”, yet when we really look at the good done by publicly funded institutions its marginal, at best. Public schools are the social equivalent of GIGO (garbage in, garbage out). Best answer may be to just give the money/vouchers to the parents. Even the worst of them will use it better.

  4. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    Here is one of the products of the public school system. He reminds me of the sock-puppet Obama. I wonder whose hand is making the puppet move?

    http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2018/03/hogg-wild-david-hogg-rallies-democrats-in-dc-if-you-listen-real-close-you-can-hear-the-people-in-power-shaking-video/

    I find it odd that this guy and all the recent shooters look very soft. No John Wayne types to be seen.

    How much of the problem lies in the fact that having been taught how special they are these nuts run into the truth and simply can’t take it. They then take their grandiose sense of self to the extreme and start killing those who have had the temerity to call their “specialness” into question.

    The school system has done young people a huge disservice by perpetuating the lie that everyone is special. Life has a way of slapping you in the face with the fact that you are not that special after all. And that is apparently very disturbing to many people.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      I’m curious. Are you suggesting that worthless POS Hogg (hmm, that’s far kinder than he deserves) could go (or might have done so under other circumstances) the way of Cruz? At the very least, that might explain his extreme hatred of anyone who disagrees with him. (But didn’t someone — probably you or Brad — make this same argument previously?)

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        I am wondering out loud if these types go off the deep end because they have been made pussies (by the culture, but especially the school system) and therefore can’t handle life. It is like they are all seeking attention to prove they really are special and if you don’t agree they’ll show you one way or the other.

        I wonder if these types have significant inferiority complexes thus must lash out exactly because the know that they aren’t special. That they are pussies. Of course, we are talking about extreme cases.

        • Steve Lancaster says:

          In the real world these kids would get a sudden shock of reality, maybe that is part of what triggers them? Almost all of them are close to graduation and the reality that they must leave the comforts of a managed environment for a world that expects them to care for themselves, pay their bills, keep a job, raise a family and generally start acting like an adult.

          I don’t know about the rest of you but I looked at graduation as liberation day. Yep, I made mistakes and learned from them, but I never had any desire to return to high school, nor an urge to go back and murder teachers, staff and other students. I saved those urges for the communists.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            I had two years of community college and then went to work for my father and then it was all on-the-job training (often, in the field of design and print production, making it up as we went along as computers were introduced).

            I found college to be a waste of time. But then I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do (and still am not sure). But it’s obvious that if you want to learn to be an engineer you need to learn the engineering curriculum (including math, etc.) This is all good stuff. Math. Science. Physics. Medicine. Chemistry. Thank goodness we have the ability to teach people these important skills and thus keep society advancing in a useful and practical way. No utopia, but it’s nice to have someone with the knowledge to build strong bridges or who can find a cure for the common cold.

            From what I understand, you can obviously still learn a lot at college. You can still get useful degrees. However, from what I also understand, colleges have been turned into shopping-mall-like comfort utopias, an actual vacation from life for these kids — often while they get useless degrees in “gender studies” or whatever.

            Make me our republic’s Sulla for a year and I would end all state and federal funding to schools and foster a free market. In effect, we are not only over-spending for education but we are paying for the privilege of turning our yute into spoiled, fact-starved brats.

            • Timothy Lane says:

              At Purdue I started out as a math major, then discovered I had reached my limit before I was done with the needed courses. So, since I already had a computer science tech option, I switched over to a major in it. I also minored in history and economics. Once I was past my required courses (and testing out of 26 hours of them helped speed that up), I basically worked up what courses I wanted to take and took them to my faculty advisor for approval, which he always did.

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                At Purdue I started out as a math major, then discovered I had reached my limit before I was done with the needed courses.

                Barbie said it best: Math is hard. It’s so funny that the cultural lunatics attacked Barbie for saying this. I’ve taken a calculus class and a trig class. And I barely understood either. Math is indeed hard although it’s relatively easy for some. But my brain is not so constituted as to make it easy.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                At a company Christmas party while I was working at Olivetti, I made a reference to simple calculus — to which the boss said he had never heard anyone refer to it that way. But the basics, especially of differential calculus, are pretty simple — at least to me.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          I am wondering out loud if these types go off the deep end because they have been made pussies (by the culture, but especially the school system) and therefore can’t handle life.

          Mr. Kung, there are a lot of big, complicated, convoluted, answers to the problems of today’s yutes and the public school system. But it is as simple as saying that we have spoiled them.

          For everyone’s amusement: David Hogg Looks To Coast Through His 15 Minutes As The Most Obnoxious Kid In The News

          Why have we spoiled them?

          1) The cult of the child. For whatever reason, the Left (probably a natural outcome of the impulse to undermine all traditional authority) has always been yute-oriented. Yutes are easier to manipulate and turn into the kind of non-thinking mob that is useful to them. (See: David Hogg, little fascist twerp).

          2) Feminism has raised female traits (“feeling,” “emoting,” “compassion”) over the more male traits of reason, standards, impartial judgments. We’ve therefore rewarded raw “emoting” and quickly silenced those who took a moment to ask such logical questions as, “If the police won’t protect us, what good is it to take more and more of our rights away, especially our right to protect ourselves?”

          3) Dr. Spock and all that liberal nonsense that says that the worst thing we can do to little Johnny is punish him. Instead, we need to “understand” him. We’ve created all kinds of rationalizations for not doing the job of providing quick and predictable consequences for little Johnny. Read this article on restorative justice to see yet another one of these rationalizations, this one highly racist.

          Many people seem to be born naturally mad and bad. We no longer have the attitude that people are inherently flawed. Instead, we’ve raise supposedly all-wise yute up. After all, the closer you are to the womb the purer and less tainted by imperfect society you are.

          • Timothy Lane says:

            Well, some people do respect discipline, especially in red states. In one of Paul Shanklin’s parody CDs based on stuff he did for Rush Limbaugh, he has a couple being overwhelmed by their naughty kids. Just in the nick of time a representative of Oklahoma shows up to teach them the time-honored custom of spanking. It works a lot better than their previous method. Broward County could profit from the lesson, but they’re too far left to try it.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              Well, some people do respect discipline, especially in red states.

              No doubt. But the overriding point is that when they send them off to public schools, this is all nullified.

            • Steve Lancaster says:

              In the progressive meccas of SF, LA and NY; it the parents who need spanking.

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                I agree. Parents need spanking.

                I’m an old softy when it comes to kids. But there is a line (such as lying, stealing, or doing something particularly dangerous) that requires The Commando Adult to make an appearance. Immediately. Clearly. No fuzzy edges. If a kids starts to eat a piece of glass, you don’t try to calmly talk him out of it and explain why glass isn’t a good thing to eat. You grab the piece of glass and maybe slap his hand and yell “No.”

                However, parents these days are extremely indulgent. In fact, I would say to a great extent in most households that kids are somewhat in charge. With the Disneyland which is public schools, with video games, with all kinds of entertainment and cheap goods, parents today are competing for their children’s affection and attention. And that is a losing proposition, especially because it is difficult to punish them physically or even to isolate them. “Go to your room” rings hollow when that room has a TV, video games, and a smart phone.

                And parents are very disinclined to take away the toys. Again, I do believe on some unconscious level they know they are competing for their kids attention and affection with a culture-at-large that offers nothing but easy and abundant pleasures. And with “social media” at a kid’s fingertips, who really needs one’s parents? They are there to provide free room and board. Other than that, and with society falling all over itself to make life easy for the Snowflakes, and with every TV show portraying parents as dumb, incompetent goofballs, the moral authority of parents is getting thin.

              • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

                However, parents these days are extremely indulgent. In fact, I would say to a great extent in most households that kids are somewhat in charge.

                I think it goes beyond that.

                Raising children properly is a very time and work intense effort. It does not happen on its own. It requires sacrifice of one’s time and wants to the care of one’s children. Parents must be around just about all the time children are young and keep a consistent set of rules. This is not easy and given two-worker households are now the norm, it is almost impossible. How much more so in the case of all the poor bastards who are “raised” by immoral and in many cases stupid women.

                One of those weasel sayings which came out back in the 1980’s to try and cover up for today’s parents from taking on their responsibility was, “Quality time.”

                God how I hate that dishonest trope.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                Something like this came up early in the movie True Lies. Schwarzenegger’s character says, after his daughter has done something wrong, that he raised her better than that. His partner notes how little time he has with here compared with school and popular culture. They raise her, not her parents.

  5. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    I don’t think children should set policy on what to eat, how long to play video games, when to go to bed, or how best for people to protect themselves against predators.

    However, the Pope has joined that Cult of Yute in his remarks that are obviously regarding the anti-Second-Amendment yute rallies as facilitated and staged by Left wing anti-gun media advocates:

    The temptation to silence young people has always existed,” Francis said in the homily of a mass . . . There are many ways to silence young people and make them invisible. Many ways to anesthetize them, to make them keep quiet, ask nothing, question nothing. There are many ways to sedate them, to keep them from getting involved, to make their dreams flat and dreary, petty and plaintive.

    Dear young people, you have it in you to shout, he said, urging youths to be like the people who welcomed Jesus with palms, instead of those who called for his crucifixion.

    It is up to you not to keep quiet. Even if others keep quiet, if we older people and leaders, some corrupt, keep quiet, if the whole world keeps quiet and loses its joy, I ask you: Will you cry out?

    It’s always been a question whether this pope is more dishonest or stupid. But a couple things to point out:

    1) With CNN and others falling all over each other to give these anti-Second-Amendment kids a very large microphone, it’s absurd to talk about young people being silenced. In fact, those being silenced (or at least not amplified) are the kids who do not share the gun-centered approach of the little fascist David Hogg and his anti-Second-Amendment cohorts. Even besides all that, no generation of kids has ever had a larger ability to spread their thoughts thanks to the internet, smart phones, and various social media.

    2) Although by implicitly supporting the “voices” of the little fascist David Hogg types by implying these little Hitlers-in-waiting just can’t be heard, the text of the Holy Fake Father is morally neutral. If the point is “kids should be listened to and not silenced,” then what about the voice of the shooter, Cruz? Isn’t his voice just as legitimate? Didn’t he have something to say? And as some commenters have pointed out, did this illegitimate pope ever clamor for “the voice” of children abused by priests to be heard? Did he ever give them a large microphone in the Vatican?

    3) The Vatican police force has guns. The Swiss Guard reportedly carry Glock 19 pistols and/or Heckler & Koch MP7 submachine guns.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      The video below is of the anti-gun march in Los Angeles. I watched the first 4 minutes or so and it was amazing.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GCHSSdjcnow&feature=youtu.be

      A couple of people interviewed understood something about the 2nd amendment and guns, but most were absolute idiots. One older woman, who used libertarian logic, said if one can obtain an AK-47, then one should be able to also obtain an atomic bomb, therefore nobody should be able to obtain an AK-47.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        I’m all for protecting the kids. But then why didn’t the Broward County deputies step in and take out the shooter? Isn’t that something that needs to be fixed? And if you want to protect kids, you need to deal with the bad guys. Why then didn’t Cruz repeatedly face stiff consequences for his actions all along the way? Isn’t that something that needs to be fixed?

        You could take away all guns. But to fixate on the guns is to miss these other more immediate points. And one Cruz with a knife or sword could just as easily slaughter dozens of “gun free zone” kids. Any motivated and strong young man could take a baseball bat and have his way with these kids who are increasingly becoming dumb sheep. Heck, you could do it with an old-fashioned lawn dart.

        If I’m Trump, I call their bluff. (And, believe me, I have no illusions about who Trump is and where he’s going.) I call for banning all violent video games. I call for taking away cell phones from all kids because too often they are used to plan crimes. I call for schools to be turned into prisons. No windows. Metal detectors everywhere. You need a pass just to leave your classroom to go to the next one. No private school lockers because someone might hide a gun or bomb there. Obviously clear backpacks (great idea). School uniforms would be required because it’s too easy to hid guns under baggy coats and such.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          And forbid anyone buying fertilizer and fuel oil, especially near schools (that last part would be useless, but it would probably sound good to a leftist). Timothy McVeigh killed far more people (many of them kids) than were killed in any of the mass shootings that have ever happened in America.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            Good points. And probably nail polish and nail polish remover are out. Nail files are definitely out. Nail clippers as well. Tampons could even be a weapon in the right hands.

            • Timothy Lane says:

              In Caroline Cooney’s Rearview Mirror, a wooden chair is used to kill the villain at the end.

            • David Ray says:

              Brad,
              It’s ridiculous to imply that tampons could be used as weapons. . . unless you deny them to liberal men having a drama-queen moment.

              Hence, back in’ 98, I sent a box of ’em to “Jumpin” Jim Jeffords to help placate his delicate sensabilities. (Back then I signed my letters “I can be arrested at the following address”. Somehow I never got taken up on it.)

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          If one takes a look at the statistics, which can be somewhat confusing, about 62-64% of deaths by firearms are suicides. About 31-34% are homicides. Deaths by rifles are about 5-600 a year.

          Young black males are about 13 times more likely that young white males to be killed by gun violence.

          An uptick in gun violence has been noticed. Increases in violence in Baltimore, Chicago, St. Louis, Washington D.C. and Milwaukee are largely responsible for this uptick. The increase in violence appears to be related to the profitable heroin trade. So the obvious solution is to outlaw heroin.

          Oh wait. Isn’t heroin already an illegal drug?

          Anyway, we should make it harder for people to buy handguns as most crimes seem to be committed with handguns. And if we made it harder to get them, fewer crimes would be committed.

          Oh wait. Several studies have shown that about 70-80% of “handgun” crimes are committed with illegally obtained weapons. Ooops.

          Well, if we want to use history and statistical analysis as a way to determine who best to keep from getting their hands on guns, the answer would be very clear. Young black males.

          Has anyone heard that suggested? No? Because this whole sham movement is not about public safety, but about the left trying to control your rights.

          • Timothy Lane says:

            And most of those young black males probably don’t acquire their guns legally anyway. Most of them are probably gang members.

            I think you probably overestimate homicides using refiles and shotguns. I know they’re generally fewer than killings by knives — or even fists and feet.

          • pst4usa says:

            Mr. Kung, you need to remember that the left never lets fact, logic or truth get in the way of their agenda.

  6. pst4usa says:

    All very good comments and I have a few random observations. One more coffin nail in the dirt nap box for this country, not mentioned, is the mind numbing “I (fill in the blank)” device, sucking the brain cells out of todays kids faster than crack cocaine.
    The “Anti-Social”, social media and the narcissistic addictions that mankind is naturally inclined to, makes little Sally Snowflake want to kill herself or others because she was, (trigger warning!), un-friended! How can this be, we have told Sally just how special she is, she is perfect, how could an event, (the un-friending), this devastating ever happen?
    And as others have pointed out, We kick God out of the schools and wonder why He is absent in these kids lives.
    Here is the opposite of the solution and just what we will try to do. Let’s wrap all the kids in giant Hermetically sealed Kevlar bubble suits so we can keep them from ever feeling any pain or disappointment, and then let them out at 26 years old, when they will be old enough to handle it.
    The American Spirit is dead, long live the new American Spirit.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      makes little Sally Snowflake want to kill herself or others because she was, (trigger warning!), un-friended!

      That’s a central aspect of this, Pat. Would anyone here really object if an avalanche of true niceness, compassion, and sensitivity were to break out? But this is not what we’re are seeing. We are seeing people use the concept of these things as a bludgeon to hit other people over the head with. Normal people realize when they’re being threatened and blackmailed by these little emotional beasties. There’s nothing “nice” about it at all. And it’s time we stop feeding these brats and making them even worse monsters.

  7. David Ray says:

    Interesting thing about the high school I attended ; respect for teachers was abundant, drugs were so rare that I never saw any. (Hence no arrests, at least on campus. )

    It was unimaginable to have experienced any of the godless crap Mrs Chadwell described in her article. (Apparently the ACLU never got wind of how Christianity was casually discussed, even, at times, in classrooms. )
    So was Richardson high school back in ’83.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      Things were similar in W.T. White high school in the 1970’s.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        I graduated in 1969 from Louisville Country Day. Needless to say, things were similar there. Pretty similar at Purdue, though I did have a roommate who smoked pot (though I didn’t know about it while he was my roommate). I went through 7 roommates in 4 years, though my first and last years each involved a single roommate. It helped that we had a lot of openings on our floor my second and third years.

  8. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    We’ve certainly discussed many of these points here. But kudos to J. Warner Wallace for tying this all together. The Daily Drama is full of noise, but I found his article to be a rare oasis of good sense and analysis: These Four Cultural Changes Are Behind the Increase in School Shootings

    Although I’m dubious about what libtard administrators and teachers call an epidemic of “school bullying” (and am slightly dubious of Wallace’s emphasis here), I think there is a valid point that “social media” (which I have more than once referred to an “antisocial media”) is certainly capable of amplifying the torment that the Little Monsters (otherwise known as “teenagers”) typically hand out to one another. As I’ve always said, these shooters are shooting up schools, not your local post officer or 7-Eleven, for a reason.

    Theodore Dalrymple makes some good points in An Uncivil Society, including:

    Perhaps uncivil society would now be a better term for at least a part of it, which wants to reform not only laws but our minds and souls. It does this not for the sake of betterment, but as an exercise in, or as an expression of, power. The will to power seems to have infected people who once might have been content to live quietly, power itself now being the only goal worth aiming for in the absence of anything more elevated or elevating.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      in a smart phone culture, the bully is as near as your phone.

      I think Wallace needs to complete this sentence. It should read, “in a smart phone culture, the bully is as near as your phone, yet at the same time, far away avoiding the risk of retaliation.”

      I suspect today’s social-media bullies are, more often than not, cowards. They don’t have the guts to stand face-to-face with the object of their bullying. Those they bully with a type of impunity and with little of no risk of retaliation. Perhaps this has something to do with the way rage seems to build up in some of these shooters.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        I think Wallace needs to complete this sentence. It should read, “in a smart phone culture, the bully is as near as your phone, yet at the same time, far away avoiding the risk of retaliation.”

        Agreed. And let’s add to that, Mr. Kung: “At any time, one can always put down the damn phone.”

        Regarding bullies, cowards, etc. What you say may all be true. But the internet — that one step back from face-to-face — consistently amplifies the nastiness in people. It’s happened to us all. A libertarian friend not too long ago went completely nuts on me on Facebook over a subject that I honestly can’t recall. (And don’t want to waste the brain cells to do so.) I was a “racist” for some reason or other.

        I’m certainly swimming against the current when I ask people to at least think about stepping out of the maelstrom of The Daily Drama. Of course, the problem is, people like the Drama. Descartes almost had it right: “I bitch, therefore I am.” And what a truly ridiculous notion for an online blogging site in this day and age to try to rise above anonymous impulse. Thus we often hear crickets chirping here. There is little, it seems, inside most people that can rise past the level of the petty, vindictive, and angry.

        This is why I counsel humor and a sense of proportion. One of the interesting notes about the Battle of Britain from the recent book I read is that the British had a wild sense of humor through all the trouble. They had somewhat of a dark sense of humor at times but a sense of humor nonetheless.

        The Nazis, on the other hand, lacked that almost completely. You can see consistency between Nazism and a David-Hogg-like Leftism where everyone is just a sour nag. Social media is a bust.

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          And let’s add to that, Mr. Kung: “At any time, one can always put down the damn phone.”

          I was thinking the same thing, but trying to imagine myself as a 14-15 year-old girl who had the sense to put down the phone and ignore the nonsense.

          My next thought was that such an intelligent girl would, inevitably, have a friend or “friends” with phones who would just have to show her what others are saying about her.

          There are always stupid and evil people out their who wish to sow misery amongst us. And that doesn’t even take into account the many airheads who simply don’t consider what they are doing.

          So I suppose it takes a very stable, strong-minded kid to keep on the straight and narrow.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            I’m not the most social guy in the world, so what I say should be taken with a grain of salt.

            But there is such thing as too much of a good thing. We’re indeed a social animal, but that’s just one part of us. The idea to me that people can’t shut this stuff off is truly laughable. I can shut the world our for hours with ease. And I actually cringe every time my phone makes a noise to tell me that I have a new message. I, of course, have learned to hit the “silence” button, often forgetting to turn it on again. “Didn’t you get my message?” I’ve learned just to not care.

            Obviously people who are angry, who are unhappy, and/or who are just naturally belligerent people are given all the more power in social media where one bad apple can spoil a whole bunch. That’s assuming, of course, that there are non-rotten apples. I no longer believe this. I believe that social media, by its very nature, is rotten and to participate in it is like swimming in a sewer and then complaining that the water isn’t clean.

            So I just don’t do it anymore. I won’t allow the hysteria, mental sickness, and unhappiness of other people to effect me. To some extent, in real life some of that is unavoidable. But to intentionally plug into it is going to require some soul-searching by supposed conservatives and others. There are many ways to stay in contact with your family and friends other than “social media.”

            Many people are simply addicted to the drama. And it gets truly insane as they denounce the very thing that they are participating in.

            • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

              I can shut the world our for hours with ease.

              But you dear Horatio are, like myself, an old fart who doesn’t much give a damn about what others think.

              Such an attitude is more difficult for an adolescent, even though I guess the seed of it was already sprouting in us both as youngsters.

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                My job entails spending a lot of time on the computer interacting with people. Mostly through emails. It’s draining. You might have six jobs going at one time, all with various details that all have to be right, and with most of the communication from clients containing ambiguous information which you must nail down in as polite a way as possible.

                All this can be very draining. I can’t imagine at the end of a hard day (or in the middle of a hard day) intentionally sticking my face in the fan of “social” media. Sure, I write stuff here and do enjoy that. But I think it’s quite a different dynamic than Facebook, Twitter, or any of those things.

                I wish I could say I don’t care what people think. I guess it’s situational. I care what my clients think. I care what a few of my friends think. But outside that circle, I’ve really come to take all this Drama with a grain of salt. I just think The Daily Drama via social media (and cable news) has become, as I’ve said before, a fast-rotating thing that spins so fast unto itself that there is no grip on, or connection with, the reality that sits underneath.

                I’m more than happy to discuss any issue of the day. But that’s not what is going on. People don’t talk issues, per se. They vent using issues merely as a carrier wave for psychological angst that I do not want to share in.

            • Timothy Lane says:

              We get a fair number of messages on our cell phone, but they never seem to be numbers that we recognize, so we ignore them.

              In blogging, I generally ignore insults, seeing such people as pure trolls. I will respond to those who actually make a serious point. But if they start insulting or telling blatant lies, I then ignore them.

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                I have sinned with the best of them. But I now take the view that anyone on the internet is in the position of the frog carrying the Facebookian scorpion on his back to ferry him across the river. It’s the nature of this social media, infused by the “social” appetite for one’s Warholian 15 minutes, to sting.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        Yes, not only do they bully over the internet rather than in person, but they can do so using a pseudonym. How do you strike back against someone like that?

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          People love spreading their misery over the internet for some reason. Detaching from this toxic Drama is not easy. You have to take a line from the movie, War Games: “The only winning move is not to play.”

          It’s taken me a long long time to even halfway wise up to the poisonous dynamic of the internet. But eventually you come to terms with the fact that it’s not real. People must be taken with a yuge grain of salt. And you must not get sucked into their toxicity.

          I’ve made no secret to my opinion and strategy regarding the internet/social media. I just assume people are insane until they prove otherwise.

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