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[P]
Zero Tolerance Discipline: Act Now, Think Later

By Crashnbur in Op-Ed
Sun May 27, 2001 at 04:45:59 PM EST
Tags: Freedom (all tags)
Freedom

So what is Zero Tolerance, aside from a policy to "protect" our nation's children from such tragedies as the Columbine shooting of over two years ago? Perhaps we should look at some of the facts:

WFAA TV, a site for a Dallas television news station, reports that a middle school student is being charged with a misdemeanor and a $550 fine for uttering the "F" word in class. Apparently, Chris Beauleau uttered the word while telling a joke to some classmates during a lull in class activity. So what we have is not only a horrible disproportionate reaction to what can best be described as, at worse, an act of disrespect for one's peers, but perhaps a violation of the eighth amendment (you know, the one that protects us from cruel or unusual punishment). At worst, a child deserves disciplinary action such as detention or even suspension for such an offense - not criminal charges. Another example of "Zero Tolerance" at its worst.


Another example of this nationwide "Zero Tolerance" epidemic includes a student who was arrested and charged with felony possession of a weapon on school property when a kitchen knife - not a cutting knife or a steak knife, but a butter knife - was found wedged under the passenger side seat of her car by a sheriff's deputy. The knife was the remnants of moving over the weekend; apparently it had escaped from its container. Lindsay Brown, an honor graduate and National Merit Scholar at Estero High School, was also hit with a five-day suspension at the end of her senior year, which means that she is forced to miss her own graduation.

The superintendent of the Lee County school system reasoned that the knife represented a "clear and present danger" (Nuze, near the bottom) to the students of Estero High School, not because Lindsay was poised to use it in a threatening manner, but because someone else may see the knife and break into her car and threaten another student. If I am not mistaken, that reasoning still clears Lindsay Brown from any wrongdoing. Can anyone name any instance in which someone has spotted a "weapon" such as a butter knife in someones car, broken into the car, retrieved the weapon, and then threatened anyone with it? Or perhaps I should ask if anyone would use a weak butter knife instead of the tire iron or any of a number of other random heavy, metal objects that could be found in anyone's car. Or, for that matter, could the tools in the toolbox in Jeremy's Ford pickup be considered deadly weapons?

At least the Estero High graduating class has organized a boycott of the graduation in Lindsay's honor.

[From Neal Boortz] Ben Ratner was an eighth-grader at Blue Ridge Middle School in Loudon County, Virginia. He received a note from a friend which told him that she was contemplating suicide and that she had a knife in her binder. Ben asked her for the knife; she refused to give it to him, so he took the binder and put it in his locker, intending to take it home to his mother, a nurse, for help with the situation. School officials found out about the knife and asked Ben if he had it. He said he did and delivered the binder to them. Ben was then suspended for ten days for possession of a weapon, despite statements of school officials declaring that he posed no threat to anyone and that they understood why he had taken the knife from his suicidal friend. The next weekend, Ben's friend slit her wrists; her suicide attempt was unsuccessful.

Ben Ratner's ten-day suspension became "indefinite", pending review. The school board acknowledged that his actions were noble and admirable, but upheld his suspension anyway. Ben was out of school for nearly four months. Ratner, by means of his parents, filed a lawsuit against the school district for violating his civil rights. The case was dismissed by a lower court. They made their appeal to the Fourth Circuit Court about two weeks ago.

These Zero Tolerance policies put in place after the Columbine incident are only making victims out of honest students - students who wouldn't dream of hurting anyone at school. All Zero Tolerance does is relieve school administrators of the burden of considering infractions on a case-by-case basis. It takes the thought process out of dealing with school violence. Are you willing to send your child to a school where administrators can't be bothered to think for themselves?

So what is Zero Tolerance, aside from a policy to "protect" our nation's children from such tragedies as the Columbine shooting of over two years ago? Mindless, abject stupidity! (to quote Neal Boortz) Aren't we supposed to be trying to teach our kids how to think rationally? Is there anything rational about this Zero Tolerance nonsense?

Chris, Lindsay, and Ben are just three in a long list of victims of these idiotic Zero Tolerance policies.

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Poll
Zero Tolerance is...
o a bad idea; it needs to go. 29%
o good in theory, bad in practice. 15%
o part of a left-wing conspiracy. 3%
o a play on people's emotions. 5%
o absolutely ridiculous. 34%
o simply misunderstood. 0%
o the inability to hold alcohol. 8%
o (other) 1%

Votes: 141
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o WFAA TV
o charged with a misdemeanor
o Lindsay Brown
o Nuze
o boycott of the graduation
o Neal Boortz
o Neal Boortz [2]
o Also by Crashnbur


Display: Sort:
Zero Tolerance Discipline: Act Now, Think Later | 308 comments (307 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
Post your own Zero Tolerance stories! (3.00 / 4) (#1)
by Crashnbur on Sat May 26, 2001 at 02:35:19 PM EST

A great part of this article, I hope, will be your contributions and opinions on these examples and many others that you, the K5 community, should provide! Support or backup my points, and feel free to contribute to the [potentially] clashing opinions! I'm interested to see what you have to say.

crash.neotope.com


Local school did something like this (3.50 / 2) (#2)
by onyxruby on Sat May 26, 2001 at 02:48:25 PM EST

A local junior high school in my metro area did something like this several years back. A seventh grade girl (about 12) had a small 2" slimline pocketknife in her purse that she used to trim her nails. A teacher found it, noticed it had a blade (1 1/4") and the girl was expelled from school for the year.

And to think I used to bring a buck pocket knife with me to school (3" blade) for working theater tech after hours (it was allowed back then). I also wonder what would be made nowadays of the guillotine I made for an term paper prop (aluminum foil on cardboard blade - otherwise fully functional and 7 feet tall).

The moon is covered with the results of astronomical odds.
[ Parent ]

It's really changed here. (3.66 / 3) (#3)
by John Milton on Sat May 26, 2001 at 02:53:54 PM EST

They used to let the students bring hunting rifles. They just had to leave them in their trucks. Now, they have a police officer in the hallways. I don't like zero tolerance policies, but I honestly think it is a good idea for every school to have one police officer around. Most of the students like him anyways. At least that's what I hear. They brought him in the year after I graduated.


"When we consider that woman are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should Treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." -Elizabeth Cady Stanton


[ Parent ]
Police Officers on School Campuses (3.75 / 4) (#4)
by Crashnbur on Sat May 26, 2001 at 03:03:35 PM EST

I believe that the presence of an officer on school grounds is a good thing. I believe that figuatively bullying the children into submission with an assault of various rules and regulations, and reactionary policies like "Zero Tolerance", are horribly bad.

Teachers used to actually teach the students. They would call your parents when your academic efforts were sliding, and you would shape up, and you and your grades would show improvement. Today they call parents when you are disrupting class (not a bad thing, except that this has completely replaced academic concerns). So, in other words, the priority of our educators is no longer to educate, but to assert their control over their students.

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
Behaviour problem (5.00 / 2) (#11)
by John Milton on Sat May 26, 2001 at 03:36:38 PM EST

One of the big problems with behaviour in schools is that children have no fear of parental discipline. If I got in trouble when I was younger, I wasn't scared of my teachers. I was scared of my parents. I think that's what really instills good behaviour. Your teachers can only punish you once or twice at school. Your parents control your whole life.

Most parents aren't cracking down on their children now. They more apt to blame it on uncaring teachers. While that is a problem, I know I was always disgusted when an obvious trouble-maker had their parents convinced that the school was just harrassing them. The problem with zero tolerance is that it gives those slick ones validity. You never know that they aren't really right.


"When we consider that woman are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should Treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." -Elizabeth Cady Stanton


[ Parent ]
Parental "Fear" Incites Good Behavior! (5.00 / 2) (#15)
by Crashnbur on Sat May 26, 2001 at 03:45:01 PM EST

Ahah! Excellent! I'm glad you said something about that. I agree with you completely, and my personal experience backs that up nicely. You see, I am the middle child, so by nature I am the one with all the "moderate" traits. My sister has no respect or fear of either parent and attempts to run them, and my brother follows her example, only not quite as badly. I, on the other hand, have always been afraid of losing privileges, and even more afraid of disappointing either of my parents. One of my biggest fears (I wouldn't really call it a fear, but for lack of a better word right now I will) has always been the thought that I might not amount to anything significant, and I would hate to be the one in my family that was useless.

I do not place much emphasis on what outsiders think, but I strive to please those closest to me: family, friends, professors, potential employers. I have always had an amazing respect for those that may significantly affect or influence my life.

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
bah (none / 0) (#250)
by mami on Wed May 30, 2001 at 11:35:47 AM EST

I believe that the presence of an officer on school grounds is a good thing.

I think it's the most shameful defeat of the American school system to need one on school grounds.

[ Parent ]

It's not a need. (none / 0) (#256)
by Crashnbur on Wed May 30, 2001 at 06:26:08 PM EST

It's a choice. And in many cases, it's a good choice. It keeps things from happening. It is very obviously not necessary, for if it were then every school would have one.

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
just for some perspective (4.25 / 4) (#18)
by jij on Sat May 26, 2001 at 04:00:40 PM EST

When I was in high school in the 60's, a friend and I were playing with our pocketknives in class, flipping them rapidly upwards to imitate switchblades, for some inane juvenile reason ( probably to get a reaction from the teacher). This made the teacher nervous, so she ASKED us to please put them away, which we did. Note that we were allowed to bring pocketknives to school, just not allowed to brandish them menacingly. And lest you think that children were somehow better behaved back then, at this same highschool there was a drunk student running thru the halls with a knife chasing another student in order to kill her, several students who flipped out on LSD, a trashcan set on fire about once a week,a couple of bomb threats, etc, etc, etc. If I were in school now, doing the same silly things I did then, I would be suspended, arrested or worse. These things were handled in a more sane, rational manner then, is all.

"people who thinks quotes are witty are fucking morons" - turmeric
[ Parent ]

All the same... (2.50 / 2) (#21)
by Crashnbur on Sat May 26, 2001 at 04:44:19 PM EST

...I'm glad that the system has "improved" somewhat to disallow drunkenness and setting trash cans on fire at school. I disapprove of students no longer being allowed to carry lighters, nail clippers, and other common items simply because they could potentially be used as a weapon. Newsflash: Pencils are weapons too.

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
it wasn't allowed then... (4.00 / 1) (#34)
by jij on Sat May 26, 2001 at 05:44:25 PM EST

and the kids doing it were caught and punished. One of the trashcan arsonists is now a respected attorney; if he had been arrested and charged with a crime, and eventually expelled, instead of counseled and listened to, his life might well have turned out much differently.
Today it seems as though teachers and school admins are terrified of their students. Very sad. Very scary. What kind of message is that to send to young kids?

"people who thinks quotes are witty are fucking morons" - turmeric
[ Parent ]

I see your point. (none / 0) (#37)
by Crashnbur on Sat May 26, 2001 at 05:52:49 PM EST

In fact, I think I made that point in different words in response to someone else's comments around here... It's good that we think mostly alike, although I don't see the problem in disagreeing either. :-)

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
Pencils (none / 0) (#197)
by wiredog on Tue May 29, 2001 at 09:42:06 AM EST

Pencils are weapons too.

Look at left palm. Yep, the "lead" from the pencil I was stabbed with, in 1978, is still there. Today the guy who did it would probably be expelled and tossed in jail for that. Then, he just got a stern talking to.

The idea of a global village is wrong, it's more like a gazillion pub bars.
Phage
[ Parent ]

Kinda Small Comparitively..... (3.50 / 2) (#50)
by aerogems on Sat May 26, 2001 at 10:05:10 PM EST

.... but I was more or less run out of my first high school for this paper which I handed in as an assignment.

I was first given three days removal from class. I protested it by showing up for class, and refusing to be disturbed while reading my book. That "stunt" got me a 3 day out of school suspension. I made it a point to mention that this was all pretty baseless. Apparently, that bought me an additional two days of out of school suspension, but funny if I was never notified, until a letter arrives in the mail (around 1PM) on the 4th day..... After, I had gone back to school expecting to attend classes.

Had a bit of an argument with the principal, who told me himself, that it was a three day suspension. I finally agreed, said I wanted to get some stuff from my locker. He agreed to that, and then decided to make me leave by a different door. I suppose it was just to be an ass in general, but don't know for sure. Me being a stubborn one, and that door adding an extra minute or two onto the walk to my car, stated that I was going to leave by a different door.

A standoff ensues, I eventually leave, and they use that as an excuse to try and expell me. I transfer to a different school, and find proof that not everyone in administration of public schools is completely clueless.

Some other students found some things I'd written between schools, and gave it to the administration. I explained what they were, etc, and that was pretty much the end of it.

Meanwhile, I ended up causing probably 2X more trouble for my old school administration from the other school, than I ever did while in that school system.

A local community college also decided to provide me with some amusement. A prof stole a work of mine, and gave it to the administration. They use that to railroad me into an academic probation status, after numerous rights of mine were violated according to the codes of that school. The president of that school refused to do anything about it as well.


If you're motivated enough to go to the store to buy a motivation book, aren't you motivated enough to do that? So you don't need the book! Put it back, tell the clerk, "Fuck you, I'm motivated, I'm going home!" -- Geroge Carlin
[ Parent ]

You communicated... (none / 0) (#97)
by ti dave on Sun May 27, 2001 at 06:16:20 PM EST

A Threat.
Yes, in many jurisdictions, what you wrote could be seen as a criminal offense.

You seem to have been fairly specific with the details throughout the story, and then you made the crack about rounding teachers up and killing them.

Yes, I am aware that you didn't specifically state that you were the one doing the dirty work, but your entire essay was full of no-so-subtle innuendo.

All it really takes is the victim feeling that his or his family's safety is jeopardized, and the court will rip you a new one.

Count yourself lucky that a 3 day suspension is all you received.

ti_dave


"If you dial," Iran said, eyes open and watching, "for greater venom, then I'll dial the same."

[ Parent ]
I just realized... (4.00 / 1) (#71)
by Crashnbur on Sun May 27, 2001 at 11:30:36 AM EST

When I typed that comment, I thought I had typed "support or oppose", and I know that I can remember typing that, but it looks to me as if it currently says "support or backup". Hmm. Whatever, I was not implying that you should not oppose my arguments. I want you to, if that's where your opinion stands. Sorry for any, um, confusion.

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
Great way to destroy respect for authority... (4.58 / 17) (#5)
by khym on Sat May 26, 2001 at 03:14:54 PM EST

Of course, most students don't have much respect for authority as is, but these zero tolerance rules are a great way to utterly annihilate any respect there that might be left. Especially the one where the student got suspended for trying to help the girl who was contemplating suicide: if "doing the right thing is no excuse for breaking the rules", then "following the rules is not the right thing to do" can't be that far behind.



--
Give a man a match, and he'll be warm for a minute, but set him on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.
I agree. (2.50 / 4) (#8)
by Crashnbur on Sat May 26, 2001 at 03:31:14 PM EST

I was going to say, "I couldn't agree more", but upon second thought, I realized that it makes no more sense than saying, "I could agree more", so I decided to simply say I agree. (Was that sentence overkill? :-)

Respect for authority is going down the tubes because children are developing the ability to reason fairly quickly these days, and they can sense bad treatment when they get it. In many cases they may be wrong as a result of immaturity, but I would be willing to bet that our nation's education system isn't near the calibur that it used to be. Too bad for our children, right?

And all the Democratic agenda is pushing for is losing teacher accountability, which would in turn decrease their responsibility to educate, create that much more of a dependent population based on a lack of education, and before long... The Socialist States of America!

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
Children behave how they are taught to (4.00 / 4) (#61)
by Pseudonym on Sun May 27, 2001 at 03:29:37 AM EST

That's what it boils down to. Children behave how they are taught to. If they are taught discipline by being hit, they are more likely to hit in return. If they are taught that authorities have no respect for them, they will have no respect in return.

"Zero tolerance" teaches kids that justice is stupid as well as blind.



sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f(q{sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f});
[ Parent ]
Thinly veiled unsupported attack on spanking. (4.00 / 2) (#136)
by Vermifax on Mon May 28, 2001 at 01:22:13 AM EST

"If they are taught discipline by being hit, they are more likely to hit in return. "

Nah, but I would say that children who are abused (in the real sense of abuse) are more likely to be abused. I know lots of people who were spanked and are non-violent. Of course there are statistics that agree with you and ones that don't but it is by no means a decided issue.

One wonders if the columbine duo were shot as children by their parents.


- Welcome to the Federation Starship SS Buttcrack.
[ Parent ]

Not veiled at all, just offtopic (3.00 / 1) (#139)
by Pseudonym on Mon May 28, 2001 at 03:20:08 AM EST

For the record, I am indeed anti-spanking. I believe that spanking, whether or not it does harm, does absolutely no good. Also, the subject line is a blatant ripoff of The Natural Child Project's slogan, "All children behave as well as they are treated". (For the record, I don't support everything they teach. For example, I think that home schooling is not the best choice for a most kids, although I do admit that in a lot of cases it's an improvement over our outdated industrial-revolution-era system.)

However, that was not my point. I just picked an example out of the air, probably because it reminded me of the Natural Child slogan, and I definitely could have picked a better one. Sorry about that. If you want arguments against spanking, go elsewhere, or start (yet) another story on the topic. I don't want to start a thread on it here because it has nothing to do with the article on zero tolerance.



sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f(q{sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f});
[ Parent ]
Actually... (3.00 / 1) (#140)
by Pseudonym on Mon May 28, 2001 at 03:22:26 AM EST

Come to think of it, spanking is slightly on-topic, in the restricted sense that it is a hypocritical "solution" to a problem of child behaviour. (*whack* That's for hitting your sister!) It won't drive kids to violence, but smart kids (and not-so-smart ones too) will definitely see the stupidity in it.



sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f(q{sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f});
[ Parent ]
*whack* that's for hitting your sister WORKS (3.00 / 1) (#165)
by tzanger on Mon May 28, 2001 at 02:29:47 PM EST

(*whack* That's for hitting your sister!)

Have you ever done this? Have you any studies to show it doesn't work? I don't have the actual studies by from raising three kids (well in the process of), I can tell you that "*whack* That's for hitting your sister!" WORKS WONDERS.

Why? Because (this is my theory) when Little Johnny hits, he is doing it more for defense or because he is trying to exert control[1] over Little Suzy. When Little Johnny gets smacked he is reminded that "Gee that doesn't feel good at all!" and then feels bad for hitting his sister and perhaps will try other means to get what he wants.

As I said in a previous post, I don't use hitting as an end-all be-all punishment. But when he tries to use it inappropriately my APPROPRIATE use of it corrects his behaviour.

[1] Yes I see the alledged hipocracy. However he is using an inappropriate form of control (it works for dad on me, why not me on sis?) -- It SEEMS hipocritical but really it isn't. It's all about the when and why to use physical punishment over other forms.



[ Parent ]
killer granny's??!... (3.25 / 4) (#141)
by dbarker on Mon May 28, 2001 at 03:32:12 AM EST

I'm sorry, but I don't know many granny's walking around beating people up... I know my grandparents went through a relatively harsh schooling, and whilst I'm not advocating bringing back the cane or smacking, it's possibly a little harsh to say that 'by being hit, they are more likely to hit in return.'

I personally feel that whilst the fine was a little over the top, there needs to be some way of dissuading kids from swearing - in the past, it would have been the cane, when that was phased out, it was to tell the parents in extreme cases (and they'd use the cane/smacking) but in these PC times (no, not the beige boxes sitting under your desks...) there's nothing left to punish a child with, and they all know it. I don't know what could be used as an alternative - I suppose making them stand in a corner for half an hour is seen as unfairly segregating the child from his/her peers or something...


Dave :)
[ Parent ]

Not the old hitting debate again... (5.00 / 1) (#163)
by tzanger on Mon May 28, 2001 at 01:57:24 PM EST

Children behave how they are taught to. If they are taught discipline by being hit, they are more likely to hit in return.

When I strike my kids it is usually for one of two reasons: To show them that what they are doing hurts someone else (i.e. they're hitting someone but don't realize that it hurts) or to get their attention when other methods are not working effictively (i.e. my 1.5yo daughter puts her feet up on the table and pushes her chair backwards).

I rarely RARELY strike my 5 year old son; he's gotten too old for that and his reasoning and congnitive skills are very good. My 1.5 year old daughter hasn't got those skills yet but she does respond to smacking the top of her hand when she is touching something bad or a smack on the foot if she is not listening when I tell her to put her feet down off the table. My 4 month old son will go through the same stage, I am sure.

My whole point is that your very general statement is dangerously false. Up to a certain age physical punishment is very very effective and should not be discounted. However using it as a primary means of punishment hardly gives lasting results and is likely to breed violent behaviour if that's all they know to control.



[ Parent ]
Bleah (none / 0) (#178)
by Pseudonym on Mon May 28, 2001 at 09:42:50 PM EST

I really didn't intend to get into this topic. I very much regret using that example.

As a parent, and as someone who was spanked by loving, non-abusive parents, I conclude from my experience and subsequent research that while spanking most likely does no lasting damage in and of itself, I don't believe it does any good. Therefore I really don't care that you, as a presumably loving parent (and I have absolutely no reason to doubt that you are) spank your kids. That's entirely up to you. I don't care.

Now let's get back on topic, okay? :-)



sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f(q{sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f});
[ Parent ]
zero tolerance (3.00 / 4) (#6)
by alprazolam on Sat May 26, 2001 at 03:18:06 PM EST

Zero tolerance policies have been around a lot longer than Columbine, I would make the claim that the vast majority of them in place at schools have nothing whatsoever to do with Columbine. They have everything to do with politically minded school boards taking responsibility and jurisprudence away from principals and assistant principals.

We had a guy who got expelled for spanking a junior with a paddle. Not to hurt him or anything, just to put the juniors in place. I don't think the kid who got spanked cared but he must have mentioned it to his mom, who called the school, and the zero tolerance rule kicked in.

Political Correctness, Affirmative Action, more... (3.33 / 6) (#14)
by Crashnbur on Sat May 26, 2001 at 03:40:35 PM EST

Political Correctness is almost as bad as Zero Tolerance, and just as bad as Affirmative Action. I am not racist; I am simply a capitalist. Affirmative Action purports to advance our minorities by offering them special benefits that our "majorities" don't get. NEWSFLASH: Our "minorities" aren't so much of "minorities" any more. They're catching up rapidly. Aside from that, Affirmative Action is pure discrimination. Instead of discriminating against minorities, it discriminates FOR them and against everyone else. It creates an unfair advantage for those that should be trying a little harder and not sitting idly by in what they perceive as the mode of society into which they are locked. I am an individualist, which means that I believe that every individual has the ability to make his life for himself if he gets up and really tries. Some barriers are larger for some than for others, but it is not impossible.

As for Political Correctness, it is also catering to the "minorities" and it is hurting education. One of the most abominable Politically Correct movements involved the separation of church and state. This separation has been taken WAY to far by the liberal left of politics to the point that it is almost a crime to mention any religious allegiance in schools. This almost puts religions to shame; many prayer clubs around the country have been disbanded. Our Founding Fathers never intended to outlaw religion in schools. They meant merely to outlaw religious discrimination in schools.

I would love to write more, but, unfortunately, I must mow the lawn. It is an utterly pointless task, for I like the grass long and green, and everyone else likes it short to be "aesthetically pleasing". Tell me... is long grass really a problem today? (I guess if it were to get too long it could be, but I don't see the point in mowing every week. Ugh. *bites lip and walks outside*)

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
Say what you mean, don't use weasel words... (2.71 / 7) (#74)
by el_chicano on Sun May 27, 2001 at 11:54:33 AM EST

Affirmative Action purports to advance our minorities by offering them special benefits that our "majorities" don't get.
What utter bullshit! AA attempts to redress inequities in hiring that occur when Whites get together and form a "good old boy" system. We don't get anything special, or else Congress would be 85% minority instead of 85% White.
NEWSFLASH: Our "minorities" aren't so much of "minorities" any more. They're catching up rapidly.
What the hell is that supposed to mean? If minorities had caught up to Whites don't you think we would have more equal political representation? If minorities had caught up to Whites don't you think we would have greater economic power?

To tell you the truth, if we had truly caught up would be using our economic power to suppress White people just like White people are using their economic power to supress minorities today...
Aside from that, Affirmative Action is pure discrimination. Instead of discriminating against minorities, it discriminates FOR them and against everyone else.
ROTFL!!!! Do you seriously believe this or are you just saying "Ditto!"?

Look around you, White boy. Most of the politicians and CEOs are White. These people are not the BEST White people out there but just ordinary White people.

W's election shoots down your concept of the US being a meritocracy because he benefited from a form of Affirmative Action too; a form of AA known as the "good old boy" system that benefits White males.

W only won because his daddy had been president. You want proof?

W's only business experience was parlaying a tiny investment in the Texas Rangers into millions. It was not a coincidence that the Texas Rangers were owned by one of his daddy's friends. W was a crappy Texas governor, but Texas has had so many corrupt White governors that W looked like a statesman by comparison.

If the US was truly a meritocracy like you claim, then we minorities would not mind too much because then we would have an EQUAL chance at advancement. Also, if the US were a true meritocracy then it would not matter to us minorities if a White male were president, because then that person would be the MOST QUALIFIED White male in the country, not the idiot son of one of the worst presidents we have ever had.

Whites talk a good game about civil rights but have failed to deliver on promises of equality and advancement based on a person's qualifications. Since this is not a meritocracy, then minorities still need Affirmative Action to ensure that Whites hire qualified minority candidates instead of the less-qualified Whites who happen to be related to or friends with the White person doing the hiring...
It creates an unfair advantage for those that should be trying a little harder and not sitting idly by in what they perceive as the mode of society into which they are locked.
And here you mean the lazy Blacks and Hispanics on welfare, huh? Come on, be a man and say what you mean. I've been called spic, greaser, and beaner by White people before, so being called a lazy welfare cheat would be an improvement.

If you had the cojones to say it outright that is. Come on, have the balls and say what is on your mind. Don't sneakily try to use weasel words that hide your true colors...
I am an individualist, which means that I believe that every individual has the ability to make his life for himself if he gets up and really tries.
Ditto. Ditto. Ditto.

How can you call yourself an individualist if you subscribe to right-wing group-think? You sound like a closet KKK-loving neo-Nazi skinhead who doesn't have the balls to say what he really means. At least when you shave your head or wear a White sheet people will know what your politics are upfront...
Some barriers are larger for some than for others, but it is not impossible.
Nope, no barriers if your name is George W. Bush. Or if your name is Average White Guy.

Let me tell you, we minorities have barriers that your comfortable White middle-class upbringing cannot conceive of. Come on down to the barrio sometime and try to spout your "Ditto!" nonsense and see how far you get in convincing these people that their problems are personal failings (social/cultural) and not problems with the system (economic/political).
As for Political Correctness, it is also catering to the "minorities" and it is hurting education. One of the most abominable Politically Correct movements involved the separation of church and state.
Nope, not PC but Constitutional Law. Maybe you should read some political commentaries by Thomas Jefferson dealing with religion (and factionalism) sometime.

Besides, as an atheistic Chicano I believe that "God" does not exist and that "He" is the figment of deluded people's imagination. Why should I have to be FORCED to sit through the subjective propaganda of idiots who believe in mythology when school is supposed to be about objective thing like math and science?
This separation has been taken WAY to far by the liberal left of politics to the point that it is almost a crime to mention any religious allegiance in schools.
That is a good thing, my son. If you want religion, go to a church school. Why do White conservatives find that so hard to understand?
Our Founding Fathers never intended to outlaw religion in schools. They meant merely to outlaw religious discrimination in schools.
You just don't get it, do you? If support any sort of religion at all you will discriminate against someone who happens to have another religion (i.e., believes in a different set of mythological figures).

If you support Christianity then you discriminate against Jews (who right-wing "Christians" call Christ Killers). If you support Satanism or Wiccanism then you will offend those who are Christians. And of course any support of religion at all discriminates against atheists like me.

They say that the young are born open-minded so they originally start out as liberals. The older they live, as negative experiences close up their minds they become conservative.

You seem kind of young to be conservative. Why is that? Is it because you have swallowed what your parents have been telling you hook, line and sinker? It is a pity you mind is so closed a such a young age, at at time in your life when you should be exploring all the different philosophies out there.

Just like you don't have to drive your daddy's Oldsmobile, you don't have to believe in your daddy's beliefs. If you were a real man you would strike out into the world and learn a few things. Only then would you be a true individual instead of a standard "Ditto-head" too cowardly to challenge the misguided beliefs your parents have programmed into you...

[ Parent ]
It's good that you prove that you don't know me. (3.75 / 4) (#79)
by Crashnbur on Sun May 27, 2001 at 01:00:17 PM EST

I'm in the same boat you are, sir. I am white, yes. I am rich, ooooh no. I am far from it. In fact, I am quite poor. I am not even elligible to be taxed. I am in just as much of a minority as you, if not more so. So quit speaking to me as if I am so much different than you. When will people realize that we are all people? That's all we are. White, black, brown, green, red, blue... it doesn't matter. We're people.
If minorities had caught up to Whites don't you think we would have more equal political representation? If minorities had caught up to Whites don't you think we would have greater economic power?
Catching up in numbers and providing political ideas and theories that would get you elected are two very different things. Try sending people other than Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton "to your rescue", and maybe you'll see a difference. I am just as much for getting the inner city children out of the inner city as you are, and I don't necessarily have a problem with "making it easier" for them, you know, since they obviously have a pretty rough time of it.

But do you know, sir, that right now I can not afford school? My sister got through college on several loans, and only because of excellent academics, and I am doing the same. My brother will not be able to go to college, most likely, because his grades aren't quite up to that. However, he plays baseball, and very well, and he knows that that is his only chance of getting a college education. I don't live in the good part of town, either. The only difference between us, then, aside from our skin color, is that I am not pleading to my government to help me out. I'm helping myself.

So, you'll say, I'm white, so that makes it easier for me. I am not going to refute this, because I do not know what prevails on the minds of those in the system around me. I do not know if my educators or employers are racist, I only know that I am not, and ideally no one would be. And, ideally, you would not be. In fact, for so long I have heard minorities preach that they should be treated no differently (MLK? Jesse Jackson?), yet they continue to push to be treated differently by pushing the Affirmative Action and other agendas. I understand that it may not be as easy, but that does not mean that you are stuck. I could very easily be stuck in my low-class lifestyle, but I'm already pushing towards a degree in engineering, and I'm heading to law school after that.

How is this possible? I study hard in school, I make A's, and I earn academic scholarships. Oh, and I don't know how it works nationally, but around here, minorities such as black and hispanic students must receive a certain percentage of those scholarships, regardless of potential better academic performance by other students that may deserve the scholarship more, simply to meet the AA standards. In other words, people like me, people that work their asses off to get into college are snubbed day in and day out because Affirmative Action pushes to make it easier for the minorities that are having a tougher time.

As for Christianity, I am a Christian, but I do not discriminate against Jews. I do not believe that they are Christ-Killers, as you say. Yet another brilliant insight into my mind, a mind that you apparently know better than I do. I like the way so many people suddenly know me better than I do.

AND OH MY GOD, my favorite line of all:

You seem kind of young to be conservative. Why is that? Is it because you have swallowed what your parents have been telling you hook, line and sinker? It is a pity you mind is so closed a such a young age, at at time in your life when you should be exploring all the different philosophies out there.
MY PARENTS ARE LIBERALS! And so is everyone around me! Why? Because I live in the rough part of town, most of my friends are black, and most of them preach for affirmative action! Believe me, I am in a minority around here, but I am not hated for it. Why? Because they respect my views just as I respect theirs! Why? Because we actually know each other, rather than pretending to or making it look like we do.

Oh, and my objectivist philosophy means that I am open minded to all philosophies. Believe me, sir, I have considered all of my options (which is something none of you K5'ers can see in me, I have noticed), and I have decided that this is what is best for me, and what I feel is best for the country. I may not be right - that's the beauty of politics. The people make it right, not one person. So quit bickering to me as if I am making your life a living hell, because I'm not.

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
a few comments (4.00 / 1) (#171)
by sopwath on Mon May 28, 2001 at 05:05:17 PM EST

I seriously doubt someone who just said he's not a racist would support a group of people trying to form a "good ol' boy" system. WTF! Being against AA is not racism.

If you have such a huge fucking problem with white politicians and CEOs, why don't YOU run for office or try and start your own company? Apparantly they are normal people so you should ahve no problem doing what they do.

You insult MY president by saying he won because of some type of world-wide organization that has alligned to keep the white man in office. What fucking color is the person you voted for? Al "I'm a liar" Gore is white. Just so you know.

Limitations brought on by political parties are not based on racism, they are based on business and profitability of the party. If the person who could bring the most money to the party was black, he would get the nod.

Saying that blacks can't get ahead because of some whites that are racist is stereotyping. I know very few whites that still are so closed minded that they wouldn't give a perfectly qualified black person a job over a less qualified white. The only 2 I do know are my father and grandpa. I think people still stay friends within thier own race, religion, class/status... I have only 2 black friends and I know that those black friends of mine have few white friends. That's human nature.

You say he was intending to insult by calling you spic or beaner even though he didn't. Yet you called him a "white boy" which is basically the same thing. That's hypocracy at it's best.

being a republican is not the same as being in a violent right wing facist group. That would be like me calling a democrat a communist.

I agree with your points on separation of church and state. I am also athiest.

I live with my mother separate from my divorced parents. I worked for 2 years to earn enough money to buy the computer I 'm writing this on. My family has been on welfare, I know all about being poor. By workign my ass off, I got ahead. Don't tell me that other people can't do the same thing. Both my parents are very liberal.



Graduation, Sleep, Life: Pick Two
[ Parent ]
Yep (3.50 / 2) (#28)
by Elendale on Sat May 26, 2001 at 05:05:32 PM EST

Zero tolerance has been around forever. When i was back in high school i made the mistake of whacking one of my friends over the head with my hat (a soft hat, and he really deserved it...) in front of one of the deans. I've never been a particularly 'good' student while my friend graduated second (and only because of a C in gym once) in the class. Now this particular dean had been looking for something to "teach me a lesson with" for a long time- while i didn't follow their rules i made sure they couldn't touch me either- and this happened to be it. He grabbed me and started to forcibly remove me from the lunch room and was threatening a ten day suspension for assault or something equally rediculous when my friend smacked me on the head with his lunch bag (which contained some painfully hard objects...) and essentially dared the guy to do the same to him. He backed down (too many witnesses i guess) and let me go. I do note, however, that he was the one who later (post-columbine) pulled me out of school, had me basically arrested, and attempted to get me in trouble with all sorts of completely bogus claims so maybe it was more of a personal thing than a "zero tolerance" (now that i think about it, he was the one who started that in our school as well) policy but the zero tolerance policy was being used to support his personal vendettas.

-Elendale
---

When free speech is outlawed, only criminals will complain.


[ Parent ]
I love people like your friend. (4.00 / 2) (#32)
by Crashnbur on Sat May 26, 2001 at 05:25:12 PM EST

People that stand up to authority when they know that the authority is being abusive, daring them to put the same bogus charges on them when all parties involved know that the figure of authority could easily be signing his own ticket out of his office... Ah, people like that rule. I was sort of like that in high school, but I didn't have the right friends to really take a stand. I did my best by writing literally hundreds of letters to the principal and school board, and lots of the stuff I wrote about received considerable local attention... But nothing really significant.

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
left wing conspiracy? (4.00 / 7) (#7)
by dammitallgoodnamesgone on Sat May 26, 2001 at 03:28:48 PM EST

The thing that has always confused me is that in America, Zero Tolerance is always seen as a left-wing issue, same as political correctness. In the UK (and, I'm pretty sure, the rest of Europe) Zero Tolerance is pushed by the right wing, as the left is "soft on crime". Why is that? Is it just that the right wing in America believes in gun possession, guns being dangerous, or is there some other reason?

I agree, somewhat. (2.00 / 1) (#9)
by Crashnbur on Sat May 26, 2001 at 03:32:23 PM EST

Read my comment in response to another article. I mentioned the Socialist/Democratic agenda briefly.

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
Yes (3.60 / 5) (#19)
by psctsh on Sat May 26, 2001 at 04:01:20 PM EST

Like Crashnbur said--when you think of the democrat/left, think of how they're represented by teacher unions. More specifically, think about how the unions want their member's to be absolved from responsibility in making bad judgement calls.

Now think about about the republican/right, and keep in mind that they're gun nuts, and thus don't want persecution for owning guns or hunting knives.

Not to stereotype the two parties, as exceptions exist. As a side note, I think everyone wants the kids to get fucked over drugs. Did you know my high school's rules and regulation book outlawed over the counter drugs and cough drops? It was right next to the section dealing with sexual assault.

[ Parent ]
Interesting stereotypes. (4.00 / 1) (#29)
by Crashnbur on Sat May 26, 2001 at 05:10:32 PM EST

For the record, I declare no political allegiance. I am an independent, though I support the Libertarian doctrination and some of my friends believe that I am a mild conservative. I won't deny that, because I know I am for the interpretation of what the Constitution was intended to mean (convervatives, loose interpretation) rather than the literal word-for-word interpretation (liberals, strict interpretation). That said, I will respond to the comments.

Yes, the liberal left wants teacher accountability to be done away with. In other words, teachers don't need to be responsible for DOING THEIR JOB. This is nonsense, and I don't see how anyone (other than selfish teachers) can even consider it.

As for the "gun-nuts" of the right, I am not going to question the stereotype, but I will clarify my position on that issue. I refuse to own a gun. I do not want the temptation to use it in the event that it becomes necessary. True, it could save a life if someone is threatening me or my family. True, it could be accidentally found by a child and used improperly. Either way, I choose NOT to own a gun. The key here is choice - freedom.

That said, I think it can be extrapolated that I am pro-choice. I believe that women, or parents, should be allowed to choose if abortion is right for them. Let's get one thing straight: I am not for abortion. I am simply for one's right to choose that option for him-/herself. It is not my responsibilty to decide what someone does to his/her own body. And it is wrong to allow the government to control such. (Puts an interesting little twist on the war on drugs, if you think about it.)

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
Um... (none / 0) (#33)
by psctsh on Sat May 26, 2001 at 05:37:06 PM EST

I wasn't really going out to knock either party, I just put that "gun nut" cliche in lest people assume I'm attacking democrats based on my own political affiliation. As for your bolded quote "I am not for abortion," I don't think too many people are "for abortion" (except the misanthropic bitch, of course, but even that's satire/trolling), as that would seriously cut off our population in one generation...

[ Parent ]
Then again... (none / 0) (#36)
by Crashnbur on Sat May 26, 2001 at 05:51:37 PM EST

What would be so bad about some serious population control? I can nearly guarantee you that the responsible couples that wish to have children would have their children, and wouldn't they, therefore, be provided with better methods of raising their children, because there would not be as many to worry about? Or... what about overpopulation? All this is speculation at best, and perhaps a bad argument. Still, it's worth thinking about, at worst.

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
What children? (4.00 / 1) (#40)
by psctsh on Sat May 26, 2001 at 06:33:52 PM EST

My being pro-abortion is different from my being pro-choice. If I'm pro-abortion and get my ideology accepted by the majority, then it will mainly be the irresponsible people who have children, as they would be outcasts in society. Pro-abortion is not about population control, it's about stopping the population completely. The parents of children won't be provided with better methods, because noone will be willing to help out--there wouldn't be money for schools, community sports leagues, etc.

[ Parent ]
You are wrong. You have it exactly backwards. (none / 0) (#82)
by el_chicano on Sun May 27, 2001 at 01:21:53 PM EST

I won't deny that, because I know I am for the interpretation of what the Constitution was intended to mean (convervatives, loose interpretation) rather than the literal word-for-word interpretation (liberals, strict interpretation).
Let me put it in terms you will understand. Liberal == loose. Conservative == strict.

Strict interpetation by the conservatives led to Plessy v. Ferguson, the famous "separate but equal" case. Loose interpetation by liberals led to Brown v. Board of Education, in which the Supreme Court invalidated Plessy and eventually led to busing as a remedy for school segregration.

Think about the "War on Some Drugs". Liberals want legalization of all drugs, conservatives want to throw people in jail for one joint. "Zero tolerance" was originally a conservative reaction to the hippy liberalism of the 1960's that encouraged drug use.

If conservatives can convice the sheep, err students, out there that even safe drugs like LSD can kill you then the students will be more willing to submit to "zero tolerance" even if the whole concept is based on a "Big Lie". Apropos to that is a quote by Adolf Hitler --> "The broad mass of a nation... will more easily fall victim to a big lie than to a small one."

Also, if you are so willing to throw out inaccurate information as the gospel truth, how can we be sure that you know what you are talking about when you talk about other topics? I personally will give your "ideas" very little credence since you obviously are not willing to even do a little fact checking to make sure you are telling the truth or not.

PS I suggest that when you go to college you take either a Constitutional Law course or a course in Constitutional History. Barring that a Google search to validate your facts would do wonders for your reputation...

[ Parent ]
My point... (none / 0) (#85)
by Crashnbur on Sun May 27, 2001 at 02:06:28 PM EST

...was not that I prefer conservatives over liberals or a loose interpretation over a strict interpretation. My point was that I dislike conservatives almost as much as liberals. Naturally, then, I probably show a few more conservative traits, as I don't disagree with them quite as much.

So tell me something. Why did you vote for Al Gore? Or, if you didn't, why would you have voted for him instead of Bush?

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
My point. (4.00 / 2) (#92)
by el_chicano on Sun May 27, 2001 at 03:16:04 PM EST

So tell me something. Why did you vote for Al Gore? Or, if you didn't, why would you have voted for him instead of Bush?
I voted for Nader. I lived in Texas during the election and a vote for Al Gore would have been a wasted vote.

However, had my vote counted I would have voted for Gore. I am a yellow dog Democrat because I was born in the barrio and have been poor and minority all my life.

Why do minorities tend to vote so heavily Democratic? It is because they have diversity policies that work. Look at a Democratic convention and you see the face of America in 2001.

Look at a Republican convention and you think it is the 1950's and Eisenhower is president. A sea of White faces with an occasional token minority is not what America is all about. Maybe it was in the past, but not anymore...

Besides I suffered under Bush as Governor for several years. If he was a crappy governor what on earth would make me think that he would do any better as President?

A fact that was not reported by the media: when Bush was governor of Texas, he had the Texas Rangers arrest disabled people in wheelchairs because they were protesting next to the Governor's mansion. The charges were bogus: blocking the sidewalk. I guess he was afraid that all those handicapped people were a threat to his safety or something...

Also, I used to be pro-death penalty but I have changed sides. If you counted all the prisoners executed by W he probably would be the biggest serial killer in U.S. history. (He was not in Hitler's or Pol Pot's league when it came to killing people but 120+ executions puts him in Triple A ball, to use a baseball analogy).

Also, I am a veteran and I was offended that he used daddy's connections to stay stateside. At least Al Gore set foot in Viet Nam when his father could have gotten him out of it.

It is some what of a Republican trait: actors Glenn Ford and Jimmy Stewart flew bombers in WWII while conservative icon Ronald Reagan stayed stateside making Army training films! That is why Bob Dole, a true war hero, was always one of my favorite Republicans. I would have loved to vote for him, but it was too bad he couldn't campaign worth a lick...

Enough reasons for you?

[ Parent ]
One comment. Just one. (none / 0) (#117)
by Crashnbur on Sun May 27, 2001 at 10:04:30 PM EST

Why do minorities tend to vote so heavily Democratic? It is because they have diversity policies that work. Look at a Democratic convention and you see the face of America in 2001.
So.... they vote to make life easier on themselves rather than for the good of the country. And I thought I was the selfish one. I guess there's no such thing as altruism, though.

Hmm.

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
Collective Action (none / 0) (#138)
by Matt on Mon May 28, 2001 at 02:30:57 AM EST

Try applying that same logic to Repulicans. Most Republicans I know are in that party because they oppose social programs that demand high taxes. In both examples, you have people voting for the side that benefits themselves the most.

[ Parent ]
Confidential to Matt: (none / 0) (#184)
by Crashnbur on Mon May 28, 2001 at 11:01:26 PM EST

You can read about forty other comments under this article where I have said very clearly that I dislike conservatives just as much as liberals, or maybe only almost as much because I disagree with liberals just a little bit more. Either way, I agree with you. Republicans suck. In fact, anyone that declares allegiance to a political party instead of voting for what he truly believes is, well, a hypocrite. It is highly unlikely that anyone agrees with everything that a party says, for anyone with opinions will naturally disagree with something someone else says. The only way to get the legislation passed that they truly feel is right is to vote for what they feel is right, and not just by party lines to promote themselves.

So what are political parties? Means by which politicians band together to promote themselves further into their chosen careers. Selfish organizations that promote themselves instead of what is best for a country. And I don't like any of them, except, just maybe, the Libertarian Party, but only because I know that that is the only party that has any hope of really shaking up the system and bringing a little more honesty to Washington than is currently there.

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
parties are rational (none / 0) (#308)
by quinten on Wed Feb 27, 2002 at 02:46:18 AM EST

and it is rational to vote in a party, given limited information.

in fact, it is irrational to seek out more information than it takes to make a vote. (Leaving aside the irrationality of voting to begin with) Parties are a useful informational shortcut, so in most cases it makes sense to vote the party line.
Ceci n'est pas un sig
[ Parent ]

Misinformed (none / 0) (#218)
by weirdling on Tue May 29, 2001 at 02:37:26 PM EST

I saw footage of the convention, and there were plenty of minorities about. I don't know where you got your information from, but the current Republican party has fought hard to court minorities of late, and the hispanic demographic helped Bush get elected in several key states.
Now, Bush, himself, didn't execute anyone. The state of Texas did. Please, get your facts right. For Bush to have stopped the executions would have been for him to deny the will of the people, and political suicide in that state.
It is funny to me how liberals consistently compare him to a serial killer, when the policies enacted by the State of Texas and carried out by GW Bush put *far* more serial killers and assorted other offenders away *for good* than did policies from Clinton, et. al. In other words, way more innocent people lived their lives free of crime due to Bush than Clinton. Oh, well, systemic analysis isn't a strong point for a liberal.
Now, as to using his father to get out of Vietnam, that is pure speculation. Clinton did use his family to get out of Vietnam, serving in the Coast Guard. Oh, wait, double standards are good, too.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
same here (3.00 / 2) (#20)
by raaymoose on Sat May 26, 2001 at 04:37:01 PM EST

Up here in Canada, it seems as though it's the political right pushing zero tolerance, and the left is pushing understanding over overreaction. There's a fine balance that needs to be reached. The US has gone too far into overreaction, but it's just another indicator of a sick society.

[ Parent ]
On second thought... (3.33 / 3) (#22)
by Crashnbur on Sat May 26, 2001 at 04:48:13 PM EST

Perhaps it is because politics in the UK are far more to the left than here in the U.S. I am not particularly familiar with UK politics, but from what I am told by many, who for all I know may simply be lying to make America look better, UK politics are essentially socialist, while US politics are essentially capitalist. In other words, while Zero Tolerance is being produced from the same region on the political spectrum, it would be considered right-wing in the UK and left-wing in the US by contrast of the prevailing political systems in each.

This is just an assumption, and possibly a bad one. If I am wrong, don't blast me... Just correct me. :-) Thanks...

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
Socialist Europe to make america look better LOL ! (5.00 / 1) (#145)
by neuneu2K on Mon May 28, 2001 at 06:28:43 AM EST

Europe is 'Socialist' because our politics are NOT the same as yours (Europeans do not see that either !).

For us europeans (I'm french), the USA seems far to the 'right' while for you Americans we are far to the 'left' (<sarcasm>Communists are not all child molesters here you know !</sarcasm>).

In fact it is an error on both sides. The problems are simply not seen the same way. I think that (as in many things) you are ahead of us in your political ideas (Some in good and some in bad) but you are frozen in your political system.

As an exemple, the Zero-Tolerence policy is a debate in US, in france it is slowly creeping in without anybody caring.

We have more rules about what is politic and what is not here.
It is quite strange that you have most of the political debate and a frozen society.


I ask the apology of non-US and non-Europeans here (<jest>are there any ?</jest> and if you think that my english is too bad, then sue me :-)


- "And machine code, which lies beneath systems ? Ah, that is to do with the Old Testament, and is talmudic and cabalistic..." - Umberto Eco
[ Parent ]
Yeah, I have yet to (3.90 / 10) (#10)
by psctsh on Sat May 26, 2001 at 03:34:24 PM EST

hear one good story about zero-tolerance. So here's an event that occurred in my school district (on the florida panhandle, in case any of you from my region recall this) a couple years ago.

On a bus, two elementary students were riding to school, when one of them hands the other a (I think it was either tylenol or ritalin) pill. The recipient of this gift didn't want it, so he threw it out the bus window immediately. Needless to say he was suspended, not because he was throwing things out bus windows (which ironically isn't a reason for suspension), but rather because he was in possession of a drug on school property. The best part about this story is that he didn't ask for the pill, didn't want the pill, and had it for all of two seconds before he got rid of the pill.

Needless to say, this was a pretty big story in my community, but I'm pretty sure the school board stuck by their decision, even though several of the students there at the time vouched for the kid--including the one who handed him the pill (if I recall correctly). I didn't get to see how the whole incident turned out though, 'cause I left before it was resolved. So I think this brings up the question: Does anyone here have a positive story involving zero-tolerance? Maybe an example of a psychotic being expelled for bringing a gun to school, who then does less damage when he finally flips and kills the people at the new [smaller] school he was sent to?

Oh yeah (2.25 / 4) (#12)
by psctsh on Sat May 26, 2001 at 03:40:05 PM EST

...and I would have posted this earlier had I not gotten a power surge which restarted my computer, and completely screwed up my internet connection for about an hour. Right before I was about to preview/post. God I hate mediacom.

[ Parent ]
Heheh. (1.00 / 1) (#23)
by Crashnbur on Sat May 26, 2001 at 04:50:52 PM EST

I remember those days. That's about the only bad thing about cable modems around here. A power surge will bork your connection, but you can usually dial right back in. With cable, you have to wait for the cable signal to come back, and you also have to wait for the cable internet service to come back... double whammy. We are rarely hit by surges around here. We are more prone to temporary cable outages from accidents and storms, though.

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
Disciplining students who don't need it (4.12 / 8) (#13)
by Saxifrage on Sat May 26, 2001 at 03:40:14 PM EST

Well-written, Crashnbur!

One thing I have been particularly struck by, in light of the flood of new rules and regulations put in place in public schools after the shooting at Columbine, and Thurston, and Jonesboro, and so on, and so forth, is the unbelievably disproportionate response to some things, while ignoring others.

I am sufficiently lucky to go to a school where the administration would never dare try to, say, suspend a student for having a butter knife, or for taking a knife from a friend who was suicidal. They're only being decent out of self-preservation, but all the same, they're still not being that frivolous. However, that does not mean that I cannot sympathize with students in that sort of situation.

The greatest problem with the post-Columbine response to dealing with students is that it places a huge burden on administration to prevent something like that from happening at their school. Because of that, the zero-tolerance threshold, already a hair-trigger response, becomes an almost instantaneous snap, the instance something becomes questionable.

This would all be fine and well if we assume that administrators are doing this for all actions, and fairly. That's not the case.

As a freshman, our vice principal calmly informed me one day at lunch that my scissors, clearly visible in an open pocket of my backpack, were not an acceptable school item and therefore I could not bring them any longer. If I continued to bring them, he added, I would be suspended. I had brought them that week for a project in my global studies class, because the metal scissors designed for right-handed six-year-olds were not useful for a left-handed freshman. That was inappropriate, as I was told, because "teachers provide adequate school supplies for any project that you'll be doing in class."

However, not far away from me, in the cafeteria, every day, students would stand around, doing all sorts of lewd and unpleasant things to each other and passerby. Vulgarities, sexual gestures and innuendo, just plain being loud... you name it, they would do it. But because they were only being tasteless and stupid, rather than carrying a pair of potentially dangerous scissors, our vice principal never disciplined them.

Ultimately, that response prompted my friends and I to sit in the halls, instead of in the cafeteria, at lunchtime. However, I have always felt that they were responding disproportionately to something that was not a threat, while not enforcing prior standing rules about appropriate conduct on school grounds.

I think that one of the greatest dangers of zero-tolerance policies is that it takes time away from administrators who might otherwise have been dealing with inappropriate behavior-- in particular, at a high school, one would think that dealing with depression and sexual harrassment would be a priority, but it is virtually ignored at our school because of the zero-tolerance policies-- and forces them to deal with small things. Butter knives. Scissors. They have lost sight of the big picture, and they are turning our schools into prisons.

I'm glad I'm graduating. If our public schools continue down this slippery slope, any children I have later in life will attend private school. Period. I refuse to subject them to the routine indignities I'm dealing with.


"I may disagree vehemently with what you say, but I will fight to the death for your right to say it." - Francois-Marie Arouet de Voltaire
I too was lucky. (4.00 / 2) (#25)
by Crashnbur on Sat May 26, 2001 at 04:58:22 PM EST

Despite the fact that my school was particularly anal when it came to rules such as tucking in shirts, disallowing backpacks (even see-through backpacks), and not allowing students to walk certain halls during certain lunch periods (even though the halls were empty), the officials running my school always heard a rational argument from a rational student, and, in about half of the cases, the a good student would get his/her way.

Can someone tell me, please, how tucking in shirts provides a safer educational environment? That was the school board's reasoning, and, to this day, I do not understand that.

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
On the subject of dress code (3.00 / 1) (#49)
by John Milton on Sat May 26, 2001 at 10:05:07 PM EST

My school outlawed caps or hoods, because they were gang related. If your anything like me, your probably laughing through tears right now. Yes, those evil baseball caps cause gangs. It was so stupid. We couldn't even use the hoods on our jackets when it was raining. Here it is, the middle of the winter, we can't pull our hoods over our heads. Don't even try wearing a ski mask. Although to give them credit, they were ambiguous about ear muffs. ;)


"When we consider that woman are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should Treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." -Elizabeth Cady Stanton


[ Parent ]
We do the same... (none / 0) (#161)
by MAStirling on Mon May 28, 2001 at 01:38:28 PM EST

I was scrolling through the comment list, happened to hit on your mention of killing lunch time in the halls... my friends and I do the very same thing. Of course, we all also have a portion of the second to last period of the day free because of AP Classes. The caferteria is acutally a decent place once you only have the honors students in there... none of the usual s*** because the morons are back in intro to algebra.

[ Parent ]
What a great system... (3.80 / 5) (#16)
by DeadBaby on Sat May 26, 2001 at 03:50:07 PM EST

Reading these stories makes me realize a very dangerious thing:

If I was in school right now I would go out of my way to get suspended with the lamest excuse from the school every week. I'd basically give up my education to become a martyr and I can only assume my own personal views that these zero tolerance rules are so pathetic and unfair carry over to the mass majority of students forced to follow them. It's not making anything better, it's just making the authority figures seem more devious and willing to exploit a situation to get revenge on students. (as every school student already thinks without such stupid rules to prove it)



"Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity -- in all this vastness -- there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us." - Carl Sagan
Even better than that... (none / 0) (#26)
by Crashnbur on Sat May 26, 2001 at 04:59:36 PM EST

Intentionally devise a plan to screw the system over and bring about a change that would truly make you a martyr within that system. Hey, maybe the kid that eventually overturns this Zero Tolerance crap will have a street named after him or something!

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
Naming streets (none / 0) (#195)
by wiredog on Tue May 29, 2001 at 09:34:48 AM EST

maybe the kid that eventually overturns this Zero Tolerance crap will have a street named after him

Actually, they usually name schools after heroes. Wouldn't that be funny?

The idea of a global village is wrong, it's more like a gazillion pub bars.
Phage
[ Parent ]

Heh. (none / 0) (#213)
by Crashnbur on Tue May 29, 2001 at 02:09:21 PM EST

I intentionally did not say that simply because I don't think he would want a school named after him... And they still name streets after people around here. We're running out of places to put new streets, though.

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
Missing the big picture. (3.83 / 12) (#17)
by maquina on Sat May 26, 2001 at 03:58:13 PM EST

As an international student, just finishing my first year of study here in the US, I think the Zero Tolerance policies are going way too far. It always suprises me how schools put so much attention into the small stuff, and ignore the big picture. The Zero Tolerance policy is great, no amount of violence should ever be allowed to happen on campus, but clearly it is being implemented incorrectly. Violence does not start when a studen carries a butterknife in his car. It starts when authorities (principals, parents, teachers, etc.) fail to see the warning signs in the behaviour of kids who are prone to violence. The Zero Tolerance policy should focus on behaviour, and the causes for such behaviour instead of focusing on the action that such behaviour produced.

Which brings me to my point. Authorities are missing the big picture, if they think a student carrying a knife to school is a clear threat to classmates, they are wrong. The real threat to schools are kids who exhibit violent and offensive speech, kids who dont seem to respect authority, kids who have an aggresive behaviour without nothing causing it. Schools should use their resources in providing better attention to these kids instead of losing them in frivolous applications of the Zero Tolerance policy.

Irving
http://director.chessmasters.com/maquina

Excellent synopsis. (3.66 / 3) (#27)
by Crashnbur on Sat May 26, 2001 at 05:02:16 PM EST

I don't know how accurate you are on a national basis, but I know that that is how it works around here as well. Rather than focus on those that pose the immediate threats, however, teachers are forced to be politically correct with their rules and regulations. They are not allowed to discriminate against the disruptive bunch because, well, it's discrimination! That, and I think most teachers are actually afraid of those groups of children.

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
Wrong! (4.50 / 4) (#110)
by Kasreyn on Sun May 27, 2001 at 09:41:44 PM EST

Violence does not start when a studen carries a butterknife in his car. It starts when authorities (principals, parents, teachers, etc.) fail to see the warning signs in the behaviour of kids who are prone to violence.

No, this is exactly what the Zero Tolerance goons (I would say Nazis but then someone will declare that one law of arguments, damned if I can remember its name, on me, and I'll be so screwed), this is exactly what the Z-T proponents say. They say it's justified to treat children like high-security-prison inmates to prevent violence. They think every child is a vicious killer waiting to go off. By supporting this concept you only strengthen their case.

The real threat to schools are kids who exhibit violent and offensive speech, kids who dont seem to respect authority, kids who have an aggresive behaviour without nothing causing it.

Idiot!! Offensive speech, so we should fine them and suspend them for saying "fuck"?!! Kids who don't respect authority - so you'd prefer a nation of drones? Aggressive behavior without a "cause"?!! Behavior ALWAYS has a cause. It doesn't materialize out of thin air. Parents and teachers are just too DUMB to find the cause, and therefore think the kid must be "bad". If you'd try to UNDERSTAND instead of condemn, we wouldn't HAVE this problem.

What truly causes child violence is frustration and unhappiness. Children are unhappy when their parents and teachers don't pay attention. Children are unhappy when no one seems to love them. Children are frustrated when they see all these big problems with the world and want to help, but get ignored because they're young. Children are unhappy, afraid, and angry when their peers mock and hurt them, and teachers and parents don't do a DAMNED thing to stop it. These are the things that need putting an end to. Not watching for "warning signs".

For chrissakes, let's STOP treating our children like criminals waiting to happen. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy.


-Kasreyn.

"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
[ Parent ]
wrong? (2.50 / 2) (#120)
by maquina on Sun May 27, 2001 at 10:21:53 PM EST

They think every child is a vicious killer waiting to go off. By supporting this concept you only strengthen their case.

I do not support thinking that every child is a vicious killer waiting to go off. I think that in most cases of school violence clear warning signs were exhibited by the students. This doesn't mean that kids should be treated like high-security-prison inmates. This means that instead of wasting resources on policing children to see if they carry any weapons, they would be better off taking care of children, especially those who exhibit violent behaviour. To notice violent behaviour does not mean that teachers are going to be on the students shoulder everytime. It means that students should know their students and act according to the knowledge they have of the children.

Idiot!! Offensive speech, so we should fine them and suspend them for saying "fuck"?!!

No we should not suspend a student for saying fuck. But a student saying things like : "I am going to kill you" or "You are an stupid asshole who deserves to die" or "Faggots dont deserve to live" is clearly incurring in offensive speech. In my opinion school authorities would gain a lot if instead of waiting for this particular student to carry out a weapon and actually perform the killing, they would stop the offensive behaviour right there, and try to correct the behaviour before anything much more worse happens.

Kids who don't respect authority - so you'd prefer a nation of drones?

Please back up your claims. Respecting authority does *not* mean that there will be a nation of drones. Disrespecting authority also, by no means, represents that we have free will. When you disagree with your President you dont go off and start a revolution, instead you work with the current set of rules and use them to make your voice heard. In this way you have free will *without* disrespecting your authority. This is the behaviour we should try to create in our children. One doesnt need to be agressive to make his/her voice heard. Children should be taught to challenge authority whenever they think they have a good reason for it. But they should be taught to do so with intelligence and not with blatant disrespect as you seem to suggest.

Aggressive behavior without a "cause"?!! Behavior ALWAYS has a cause.

My bad. Should have better defined this statement. What should have been written is: kids who have an over agressive behaviour, which may disrupt their development, and the development of their fellow classmates. Good enough?

For chrissakes, let's STOP treating our children like criminals waiting to happen. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Agreed. Bringing a butter knife to school is not a federal offense.

I hope i cleared out all of my points.




Irving
By the way, calling me an Idiot is not a smart way of handling an argument.

[ Parent ]
Erg. (3.00 / 1) (#135)
by Kasreyn on Mon May 28, 2001 at 01:07:41 AM EST

Look, sorry I called you an idiot, I spoke in anger. This whole article has me seeing red at the morons responsible. I remember my own school career (wasn't too long ago), with a mixture of horror and loathing. I can't help but be disgusted by this happening. And I didn't mean that kids should challenge all authority, I was just annoyed because the way you phrased that part sounded like the Party Line one always hears out of the mouths of the ultra-conservative types who are doing this stuff. What can I say? I boiled over, sorry. But I still believe what I've said.

-Kasreyn


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
[ Parent ]
violence causes (2.00 / 3) (#130)
by bigelephant on Sun May 27, 2001 at 11:53:53 PM EST

Violence is caused by frustration/unhappiness? Maybe. School shootings? The only cause is GUNS. If the US didn't allow people to sell guns to 15-year-olds legally (or almost legally), it wouldn't have one single school shooting. While some fucked-up kid can kill dozens of people with a gun, he'd be hard-pressed to even wound anyone with any other weapon. If the goddamn NRA jackoffs (some of whom are the school administrators or are funding them) didn't push their fucking agenda, this country would not have any problems with violence in school. Maybe minor fistfights. Nothing more. However, when you can legally buy a gun at your nearest walmart, the problems become much more severe. If the country didn't allow anyone to use guns except the police/armed forces/whatever, there would be exactly ZERO chances for these kids to obtain weapons. And anyone who says that a gun protects his fucking freedoms needs to have their head examined, because there's definitely something wrong with it. You can't do anything with a gun other than rob banks/stores/whatever and cause school shootings, even though the NRA would convince you otherwise.

[ Parent ]
Come on, please. (4.00 / 2) (#144)
by traphicone on Mon May 28, 2001 at 05:52:56 AM EST

And anyone who says that a gun protects his fucking freedoms needs to have their head examined, because there's definitely something wrong with it.  You can't do anything with a gun other than rob banks/stores/whatever and cause school shootings, even though the NRA would convince you otherwise.

Of course, which is why our law enforcement officers all have guns, seeing as how they're always knocking over banks/stores/whatever and causing school shootings.

"Generally it's a bad idea to try to correct someone's worldview if you want to remain on good terms with them, no matter how skewed it may be." --Delirium
[ Parent ]

Ignorant shit. (3.00 / 1) (#267)
by Dissention on Wed May 30, 2001 at 11:24:58 PM EST

A weapon can't/is not/will never be THE problem. They are tools, they can't think, they can't act. In fact, you could have as much luck calling a fucking eraser THE problem.

I threw a wad of paper at a friend today. OMFG, lets ban paper! that is the source of that problem. If I did not have paper I would thereby not be able to throw a piece at my friend.

OMFG! Isn't it so simple? Just take away whatever the person used and then crime will stop! Lets just take away oh lets say...guns, knives, pencils, pens, rulers, shoestrings, cords, forks, glass, screwdrivers, hammers, wrenches, any other blunt object, plastic, fists, tables, chairs, cloth (so you can't smuther someone) hands, feet, and skin.

Hey, if we take all that away (and about a billion other things) we can stop crime! Go to it!

[ Parent ]
I wouldn't call him wrong. (3.00 / 1) (#134)
by Crashnbur on Mon May 28, 2001 at 12:53:47 AM EST

Maybe he's exaggerating a bit, but he is at least partially right. You're both right. Accept some compromise. Be happy. :-)

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
I'm not buying this purported "epidemic." (3.94 / 17) (#24)
by elenchos on Sat May 26, 2001 at 04:51:26 PM EST

I classify these public school idiocy stories alongside those that begin their off-the-wall rants by breathlessly citing "today's worsening crime epidemic..." in spite of the years of falling crime rates we've had. They are reacting to the greater quantity and more sensational quality of crime news reporting, not the frequency or severity of crime itself.

Similarly, in the last few years it has become the fad in mainstream news to scour local news feeds for any absurd or outrageous example of school administrators screwing up. Supposedly these reports represent an "epidemic," but look at the size of the US public school system. The US Dept. of Ed. says there are 46 million students in grades K-12, and five and a half million staff. With that many students and teachers in that many schools, you would naturally expect some mistakes to be made; mistakes of all kinds, not just this special brand of persecution which often happens to provide ammunition for some conservative or libertarian attack on teachers/the NEA, or school funding, or in favor of school choice or whatever. Or just a general alarm at the "epidemic" of political correctness. This task of picking out rare events that further one's agenda is all the easier given that the typical US public school administrator or teacher is just not that bright. Given how little they are paid, it is hardly surprising that talented college graduates stay the hell away from careers in education, and so the field is left to those who can't do any better.

I think that it matters who it is who is constantly trying to bring these stories to the spotlight. Aside form schoolkids themselves, whose message is "skool sux!" we have primarily the media's least-reliable sources to thank for digging this stuff up. Rush Limbaugh, Matt Drudge, or crashnbur's pet crank, Neal Boortz, a guy that makes Rush look as respectable as Walter Cronkite. Bah! If this "epidemic" were real you would not have any trouble showing me a straightforwad statistical proof, such as a dramatic increase in disciplinary action against a population of students who had hitherto not been in any trouble, but now are getting nailed due to this draconian atmosphere.

I don't think it's there, and I think if you looked just as hard for counterexamples, you would find at least as many cases of schools screwing up in the opposite direction, such as giving pot to a student, or, as at my high school, the teacher who let some moron hire a stripper to come to class for a birthday party.

So I ain't buying it. Y'all got an axe to grind and it is biasing the whole story away from reality.

Say to yourself in the early morning: I shall meet today inquisitive, ungrateful, violent, treacherous, envious, uncharitable men. All these things have

Aha! "No news like bad news!" (2.00 / 2) (#30)
by Crashnbur on Sat May 26, 2001 at 05:14:03 PM EST

If you have never seen The O'Reilly Factor on Fox News, and any of this talk intrigues you in the least, I recommend watching it, if only once. (FoxNews, 8:00pm and 11:00pm EASTERN on weeknights.) You see, one of his taglines is, "The Good, The Bad, and The Ridiculous", which is exactly what you were just talking about. The media scours headlines for the news that will stir up a reaction! BINGO!

And my goal, with stories like these, is to keep that reaction to a minimum, and to put the myths to rest. I hope that you all can understand my intentions, here. Offensive or not, the truth is always best, and we deserve to know it.

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
Is it the variation in your drug dosages? (2.09 / 11) (#35)
by elenchos on Sat May 26, 2001 at 05:50:54 PM EST

Your two-faced Jekyll-and-Hyde performance could not be better calculated to piss me off. Today we have Nice Crashnbur, who mods up criticism and claims to be here to contribute good discussion. I suppose next week when the moon is in a different phase or something you will be back to crapflooding and modding down anyone who disagrees with you. Have you apologized to lee_malatesta yet, by the way?

But on to this thing. Your article is nothing but more gasoline on the fire and you are sitting here telling me that your goal is to put myths to rest. What myth are you putting to rest? Your article is nothing but a repetition of the standard media myth that Zero Tolerance is causing an epidemic of persecution of innocent students. You said that: "epidemic." You did not quote that and did not then proceed to put the myth to rest. Hello? Crashnbur? Anyone there? Do you remember what you have written from one minute to the next?

/me opens another window

And now I see you have posted a second reply to me, but no longer in your Nice Crashnbur personality. Now your are defending using Boortz as a source on the grounds that you disagree with him frequently. That is irrelavent. The problem is that he is unreliable, and you shouldn't be promoting unreliable sources at all. And the Wall Street Journal? With their Zero Tolerance Watch? What is that tool of corporate America's agenda here, do you think? They claim to have come up with 55 cases of this Zero Tolerance abuse. With 45 million students, that barely exceeds on in a million. Does that constitute an epidemic? And of course the WSJ is only searching for a certain kind of story. If someone were searching, how many stories could you find that would undermine this pro-gun, "pro-family" conservative agenda, whose goal is revealed in cases like this in Washington: The Christian Coalition put the brakes on an anti-bullying bill because it could be used to punish a student for making anti-gay slurs against another student. How many stories are there of schools that blithely ignore threats of violence, or actual violence, or of teachers who do things that encourage carrying weapons and solving your problems with violence? There is another side to this story, and if you look for the other side you will realize that we simply have many kinds of mistakes being made. Looking only for one kind of abuse of school policy skews the image to create the illusion that there is an epidemic of political correctness.

And you are not helping matters at all. You are simply repeating the line that the corporate-run media is pushing, motivated partially by their agenda, and partially because they are sheep and if Zero Tolerance stories are all the rage, they will run Zero Tolerance stories.

But answer my question. What do you say anywhere in your article that puts any "myths" to rest?

Say to yourself in the early morning: I shall meet today inquisitive, ungrateful, violent, treacherous, envious, uncharitable men. All these things have
[ Parent ]

If you don't like my opinions, don't read them. (2.12 / 8) (#38)
by Crashnbur on Sat May 26, 2001 at 06:13:09 PM EST

1. Don't bring crap like this up. First, you have no idea what you're talking about. Second, you are horribly mistaken. 2. Let's look back at your opening words there:
Your two-faced Jekyll-and-Hyde performance could not be better calculated to piss me off. Today we have Nice Crashnbur, who mods up criticism and claims to be here to contribute good discussion. I suppose next week when the moon is in a different phase or something you will be back to crapflooding and modding down anyone who disagrees with you.
First, I have never done this. I have ALWAYS modded up any articles that have (a) supported the article in that they provide the potential to generate quality discussion and (b) are not blatant insults.

I have never simply modded someone's comments down for disagreement, and I made this point very clear when people like you tried to accuse me of it. I simply modded down the blatant hatefulness. There is no room for animosity in a community site that requires the involvement of its members as much as K5 does.

Now, on to the next untrue assumption that you have made of me:

Now your are defending using Boortz as a source on the grounds that you disagree with him frequently.
No, I did not. I defended using Boortz as a source on the grounds that I agreed with the point he made about Zero Tolerance. When I disagree with his perspective on an issue, obviously I do not use his words to defend my point. When I do agree, I may or may not use his words. This makes sense, I think.
And the Wall Street Journal? With their Zero Tolerance Watch? What is that tool of corporate America's agenda here, do you think? They claim to have come up with 55 cases of this Zero Tolerance abuse.
Like I said, these are only search results, many are duplicates, and they are only within the last eight weeks. Most of the Zero Tolerance articles mention several more than just one incident of Zero Tolerance idiocy. In any case, the fact that 55 cases of 45 million students is not justifiable, because the Wall Street Journal's coalition of columnists only report on a small fraction of these instances, and I would guess that a much larger number of instances never make the local news. (I should say that the WSJ writers are not employed by the WSJ; most of their columns originate elsewhere and are only featured in the WSJ.)
...teachers who do things that encourage carrying weapons and solving your problems with violence? There is another side to this story, and if you look for the other side you will realize that we simply have many kinds of mistakes being made. Looking only for one kind of abuse of school policy skews the image to create the illusion that there is an epidemic of political correctness.
I will not fight you too much on this point, but I would argue vehemently that teachers that do things to "encourage carrying weapons" and such are an extreme minority. Most teachers advocate pacifism in a school environment (it's part of their method of keeping the violence out of the schools).
But answer my question. What do you say anywhere in your article that puts any "myths" to rest?
Let me quote myself. I said, "And my goal, with stories like these, is to keep that reaction to a minimum, and to put the myths to rest. I hope that you all can understand my intentions, here." I did not say that I would directly put any myths to rest; my intention is to only have them put to rest. I am only one person, and though you may not like it, I do not have the knowledge, the leverage, or the power to disspell any of these myths alone. This is why I spread my message here, so that, if there is any truth to my argument, the myths will be put to rest.

And one last piece of advice: The truth concerning opinionative matters can not be found without clashing opinions. In theory, all opinions contain some bit of truth, even if that bit is unnoticeable. The only way to come about any truth, which is virtually unknowable, is through the meeting of clashing opinions, reasoning, and settling on a new hybrid of opinions.

In other words, your choice to attempt to insult me is very unnecessary, and does not serve to prove your point. So please, if you wish to argue your point, just argue your point. I try to do the same. And finally, if you don't like what I have to say, you don't have to read it.

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
How long O Crahsnbur, will you abuse our patience? (2.18 / 11) (#41)
by elenchos on Sat May 26, 2001 at 07:23:42 PM EST

Don't bring crap like this up??? And why not? I have to seriously wonder where you get off thinking you can tell my what crap I may or may not bring up. I think I do know what I'm talking about, and I think everyone ought to be made aware of just what a fucked up dude you are. What is it that I have no idea about? Is it my failure to comprehend why you call one person after another "idiot" and "moron" because you don't like what they have to say? You have not ALWAYS done anything of the kind, pal. What you have ALWAYS done is been consistently two-faced.

I suppose you could go back and change your vindictive comment ratings, but throughout that thread anyone can see one reference after another to your cheap tactics. You weren't being treated to "hateful" remarks, and you had that proven to you by a dozen different people. Yet still you were a dick to them, and still you maintain that your motives are legit! If there is no room for animosity and hatefulness, then explain your own vicious behavior.

As far as the issue at hand, I have indeed argued my point and have indeed given good reasons why this "epidemic" is unproven, and why you are guilty of participating in spreading this myth. Your claim that by continuing to perpetrate this falsehood is a strategy for discovering the truth is bullshit. That's the classic troll defense. You are not stirring up the pot, you are clouding it with misinformation and calling it a contribution of value. Balls.

You would like it if I stopped reading your stuff, wouldn't you? You'd really like it if I stopped posting comments and revealing you for who you are. No dice, girlfriend. There is nothing I enjoy more than unmasking you, and I have every intention of beating you over the head with this bludgeon of your own making again and again. You just can't expect to have the whole world forget your reprehensible behavior like nothing ever happend. You have some serious apologies to deliver and some damn convincing contrition to display before I change my mind about that.

When someone tells the truth about you and you find it insulting, that means it is time to change. Way past time, in fact.

Say to yourself in the early morning: I shall meet today inquisitive, ungrateful, violent, treacherous, envious, uncharitable men. All these things have
[ Parent ]

This proves nothing. (1.57 / 7) (#42)
by Crashnbur on Sat May 26, 2001 at 07:40:50 PM EST

I'd like to see how you justify that this proves any of the nonsense that you are trying to spread about me. You say that I mod unfairly, but in every instance that I modified negatively in the comments of the article you linked to, I did not rate them negatively because they disagreed. I modded negatively because they were saying untrue things about me or blatantly attempting to insult me or someone else.

Go ahead. Read them. Find ONE instance in which I have modded unfairly. I DARE YOU. And I'm betting money that you can't do it.

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
This is so tedious. Guilty, guilty, guilty liar! (2.00 / 11) (#48)
by elenchos on Sat May 26, 2001 at 09:57:41 PM EST

But fortunately, the work of finding examples has mostly already been done for me. Since you are free to change any rating you have done, it is better just to go by the testimony of prevous posters. Such as Sboox, here. You called him an idiot for that. Or enterfornone here, or greyrat here shows us you doing the opposite, modding up crap that you agree with. He gives us more links as evidence. You rated that stuff 1 at the time of greyrat's post. Who knows what you've changed it too now. As of this posting, you gave this a 1. How come? Can you explain? Or this.

And then of course Lee took the trouble of carefully dissecting the evidence here, and pretty much rubbed your nose in it. He links to this comment, which you modded down to 1 and have since changed to 5. Is that why you think you can challenge me to find examples? Are we to believe that Lee and all those others are on crack, or are we to believe that you went back and changed the ratings, and are now attempting the bald faced lie that you never did it? Which is it?

Is that enough for you? Man, you are so guilty as charged.

And how did you respond? A total stonewall and denial. Pathetic. And you called them "idiot" and "moron." Why did you call all of those people "idiot" and "moron?" How do you justify that? The 1 ratings are actually trivial. But the spewing insults at people who were unbelievably patient with you is inexcusable. It amazes me that you still show your face at K5, or that anyone tolerates your contiuned presence. How come you go on and on trying to justify your behavior? Where do you get the nerve to go on lecturing others on how they ought to behave?

Why don't you own up to your actions?

Say to yourself in the early morning: I shall meet today inquisitive, ungrateful, violent, treacherous, envious, uncharitable men. All these things have
[ Parent ]

Excuse me for being rash. (1.16 / 6) (#54)
by Crashnbur on Sat May 26, 2001 at 11:58:11 PM EST

But you, sir, are an idiot. I have changed no ratings. Why would I? You don't even know me, yet you speak to me as if you do. Tell me something: who do yo think you are? If comments are reasonable, I rate them accordingly. Has it occurred to you - even once - that perhaps PEOPLE LIKE YOU, the ones that simply don't like my ideas, and therefore do not like me, take articles that they feel I moderated unfairly (which I have not) and write these long posts attempting to damage my reputation? You must admit that you are doing that, because you do it in every one of your posts in response to me.

I have done nothing wrong, yet you insist that I have. The day you can prove me wrong without a doubt, I'll leave. Oh, but don't worry, that won't happen.

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
Can I have some? (3.20 / 5) (#55)
by Anonymous 242 on Sun May 27, 2001 at 12:43:47 AM EST

Whatever it is that you're on must be pretty potent.

Have you ever heard it said that the ego is the most potent, most addictive drug there is?

I take back the comment in the title of this post. I don't really want any. I'm trying to divest myself of my pride, not increase it.

Put not your trust in princes, in sons of men in whom there is no salvation. For they shall succumb to the grave, and on that very day their plans perish.

What gain is it to fool the unwary about your past on a weblog of minor popularity if it puts your sould in jeapordy of damnation? Judgment is coming, my beloved, will you continue to play the part of the foolish virgin unprepared for the arival of her Lord or will you bring extra oil to be vigilant through the time of darkness so that you will not be cast out to the place where there is much wailing and gnashing of teeth?

[ Parent ]

In the words of Douglas Adams... (2.83 / 6) (#57)
by Crashnbur on Sun May 27, 2001 at 01:01:54 AM EST

"If there is anything more important than my ego around, I want it caught and shot now."

Not really, of course. Interesting stuff, though.

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
And where is Douglas now? (2.55 / 9) (#59)
by Anonymous 242 on Sun May 27, 2001 at 01:15:51 AM EST

Eh?

[ Parent ]
Hmm. (1.00 / 2) (#68)
by Crashnbur on Sun May 27, 2001 at 11:19:56 AM EST

At first, I thought your arguments might actually have a little substance, and that perhaps figuring out our differences would be worth my time. After that last remark, I know that you are just a cold individual intent on your attempts to antagonize me (and probably others), and so... enough. Quit wasting my time. Good bye.

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
Oh, how blind can you get. (2.33 / 3) (#94)
by elenchos on Sun May 27, 2001 at 05:10:55 PM EST

Right now, the best friend you have here is lee_malatesta. AFAICT, he is the one person who actually cares about your welfare and is genuinely trying to help you, as opposed to the rest of us who simply want to crush you like the little bug that you are. And yet you turn on him, ingrate. You know, Dante was right to reserve the ninth circle of hell for those who betray their benefactor.

Say to yourself in the early morning: I shall meet today inquisitive, ungrateful, violent, treacherous, envious, uncharitable men. All these things have
[ Parent ]

Think about it for a bit (3.00 / 2) (#103)
by Anonymous 242 on Sun May 27, 2001 at 07:29:22 PM EST

Really. Think about it. For all his wit and wisdom, where is he? His breath has left and his body is now corruption. From dust he was made and to dust he just returned. His wit and humor didn't give him any more time on this earth than anyone else.

And as Mr. Adams, so too you shall be.

You can waste your time in a vain attempt to get the good folks at kuro5hin to respect you by misleading them with your petty lies. Or you can walk away from falsehoods.

One day, your breath shall leave your body and all that is left will be a cold, cold corpse. What then?

I like to think that perhaps when that happens, there come judgement, that I have a shot at eternal life in the presence of the mighty eternal One. I like to think that you too have that opportunity. I'd rather not see you continue to piss it away on petty games of pride and dishonesty.

But it's your choice. It's your life to live. It's your walk to find the path that you will take.

-l

[ Parent ]

Hey, waitjustonedarnsecondheremister! (1.80 / 5) (#104)
by elenchos on Sun May 27, 2001 at 08:07:54 PM EST

I hope you meant that as a reply to Crashnbur and not moi! I'm pretty sure you did.

I'm guessing that you have good reason to believe that he follows some kind of Christian worldview, in which case your warnings about ultimate judgement for his dishonesty are all the more astute. Given that belief, I had thought you were asking Mr. Bur to consider that the atheist Adams is probably roasting right now, and the Crash will be joining him if he does not repent his wicked, wicked ways.

But your point might also apply to an atheist like me who believes neither in souls nor an afterlife nor certainly in ultimate justice. Given that our life is but a flickering instant and when it is over we will have nothing, it is no doubt an utter waste to spend any time bickering with deluded high school boys like Crash -- oh, forgive me! He's a big college freshman now. No wonder he knows so much.

But it's fun.

Oh, and I almost forgot. Douglas Adams' character Zaphod Beeblebrox is the one who said that obnoxious line about having anything more important than his ego shot. And Adams takes great pains to show the reader that he thinks that Zaphod, while lovable at times, is a fucking prick bastard who totally deserves all the shit that rains down on his two meaty heads. Didn't he model Zaphod on a kid that he thoroughly despised at school? I think I read that somewhere.

Regardless, only a weasely, wormy, little punk would actually want to be compared to Zaphod except in the most ironic of jests.

Say to yourself in the early morning: I shall meet today inquisitive, ungrateful, violent, treacherous, envious, uncharitable men. All these things have
[ Parent ]

I give up. (1.00 / 2) (#116)
by Crashnbur on Sun May 27, 2001 at 10:02:50 PM EST

It is absolutely impossible for you to know every moment of my existence so well that you have any idea what kind of person I am or... bah, fuck it. You're absolutely hopeless, or pretty close to it. I'll pray for you.

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
Rate me 1! (1.00 / 2) (#114)
by Crashnbur on Sun May 27, 2001 at 09:59:23 PM EST

You can waste your time in a vain attempt to get the good folks at kuro5hin to respect you by misleading them with your petty lies. Or you can walk away from falsehoods.
Two things. One, the "good folks" at kuro5hin ignore people like you that blatantly attack the character of your peers, such as myself, for simply sharing his point of view. Two, I do not mislead, I do not lie, and I do not intend to deceive anyone. You know, you should be a political campaign manager. You're damn good at making something out of nothing.

And tell me something... Tell me how your great insight into my life, oh great and all-knowing Lee Malatesta, proves that I am proud or that I am dishonest? Go on. I would just love to hear exactly how you intend to back up all these arguments. You can sling all the mud you want, but when it comes down to it, you have no idea who you're talking about. All you see is typed words on a page, and from that, you somehow have gathered all that I am.

Oh, and by the way, if you are so serious about all that religious stuff, then you're muckraking isn't looked highly upon either. Give it a rest and argue the points of the article, and drop the character attacking bullshit. It has nothing to do with Zero Tolerance.

Now rate this comment a 1; it has nothing to do with the article.

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
[OT] Ratings flamewar (4.16 / 6) (#60)
by sigwinch on Sun May 27, 2001 at 03:26:26 AM EST

[Apologies for topic drift.]
But you, sir, are an idiot.
This mode of rhetoric does not convince. It tittilates and stimulates the emotions, without supporting or detracting from the point. If someone really is an idiot, gentle application of logic will tend to illuminate that fact.
I have changed no ratings.
Unfortunately, the Kuro5hin software does not (publicly) record a user's rating history, only their final rating. Your claim is therefore nonfalsifiable, so it is not an element of logic. The only safe way to handle nonfalsifiable topics is to discuss the nonfalsifiability itself, and use that as an excuse to change the subject.
Why would I? You don't even know me, yet you speak to me as if you do.
These phrases move the argument into the realm of character, charism, and trust. This mode of rhetoric is most useful in conjunction with the devastating application of evidence and logic to your opponent's character or history. Absent such evidence or logic, the reader is only left with the contrast between you and your opponents. Unfortunately, elenchos and lee_malatesta have made many good, reasonable posts. Conversely, you have made a number of posts that could be generously referred to as "shrill". (At least on the rating topic.)
Has it occurred to you ... that perhaps PEOPLE LIKE YOU, ... take articles that they feel I moderated unfairly ... and write these long posts attempting to damage my reputation?
Drawing attention to one's reputation, paradoxically, serves to diminish it. Let your conduct establish your reputation.

Quote #1: "If one is really a superior person, the fact is likely to leak out without too much assistance" -- John Andrew Holmes

Quote #2: "The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

The day you can prove me wrong without a doubt, I'll leave. Oh, but don't worry, that won't happen.
Short of pointless effort by Rusty, it won't happen because it is a nonfalsifiable proposition. Except for the handful of people who saw the old ratings, we cannot know for sure. And if it could be proven, that would be a nasty, unpleasant situation.

A better approach would be to smooth the matter over and publicly resolve to give reasonable ratings. If you are sincere, the fact will be obvious and the matter will end with minimal strife.

--
I don't want the world, I just want your half.
[ Parent ]

"Let your conduct establish your reputation.& (1.00 / 2) (#70)
by Crashnbur on Sun May 27, 2001 at 11:28:15 AM EST

This is my conduct, in case you haven't noticed. I'm not the kind of person that sits idly by and let's people get away with simple idiocies that concern me. If they don't matter, then perhaps... But when half of the K5 crowd chooses to follow them, simply because, well, maybe they worded their argument better, then I will argue my point. It's better than, say, just abandoning the place.

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
More childish insults, I see (1.80 / 5) (#64)
by itsbruce on Sun May 27, 2001 at 06:24:29 AM EST

But you, sir, are an idiot.

In which alternate universe is this a mature and reasoned response?

I have changed no ratings.

For that to be true, back in the "Cardinal Sin" story a whole bunch of people must have started complaining about imaginary 1 ratings given out by you to try and discredit you. That was pretty stupid of them, given that the 1 ratings they were objecting to were all in the same story as their complaints. If they were lying, dont you think this would have been noticed and pointed out by the hundreds of people who read the story as it slowly sank towards rejection?

Either all those hundreds of people are colluding against you or you're talking nonsense (to put it politely).

Why would I?

To try and cover up evidence of your previous childish behaviour.

If comments are reasonable, I rate them accordingly.

This is so obviously untrue that I can't believe you make that argument honestly. In the "Cardinal Sin" story, as so often before and since, you rated 1 on just about any post that disagreed with you, no matter how calm and reasoned. You also answered most of them with posts starting "You're moron/idiot/asshole". How can you possibly try and present your behaviour in this thread as reasonable?

The universe is not out to get you. You are not being picked on. Your behaviour is objectionable and most reasonable people object to it.


--I unfortunately do not know how to turn cheese into gold.
[ Parent ]

One more time. (1.00 / 2) (#69)
by Crashnbur on Sun May 27, 2001 at 11:25:15 AM EST

For that to be true, back in the "Cardinal Sin" story a whole bunch of people must have started complaining about imaginary 1 ratings given out by you to try and discredit you. That was pretty stupid of them...
Well, you got one part right. If you go back and look at the story, I'm sure I placed about a dozen one ratings on about a dozen different comments. However, on every one of those comments that I gave a one, which I do not and have not denied, they have attacked me personally, or have otherwise degraded the quality of their comments by grossly assuming or overreacting.

I have changed no ratings, and I have not rated unfairly. Now drop it. You're beating a dead horse.

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
Well, this is a puzzling thing (2.50 / 4) (#80)
by itsbruce on Sun May 27, 2001 at 01:10:44 PM EST

they have attacked me personally, or have otherwise degraded the quality of their comments by grossly assuming or overreacting

If someone, in the course of debate, imputes to you a motive - even hypothetically - you consider it justification for rating 1. Same if they (in your eyes) have misunderstood you. This is not only an abuse of the ratings system, it's childish.


--I unfortunately do not know how to turn cheese into gold.
[ Parent ]

You are doing it again. (1.00 / 2) (#81)
by Crashnbur on Sun May 27, 2001 at 01:16:50 PM EST

If it is nothing more than a simple misunderstanding, I can forgive that, and I don't rate someone a 1 just for that. You, sir, are simply stretching what I have said, which is precisely the thing that I rate comments negatively for. The thing is, you K5'ers are so unable to hold back, and you always aim to prove that the opposite opinion is absolutely horrible, so when something doesn't line up, you blast it, and the author as well. At least, that's been my experience. Correct me where I'm wrong.

But alas! This is not the purpose of this OP-ED story. Do yourself and K5 a favor, and if this issue is so important, write a piece on it and get it in the queue. In the mean time, stop wasting space here.

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
If we are not going to read you, why bother? (2.25 / 4) (#75)
by el_chicano on Sun May 27, 2001 at 12:19:49 PM EST

This is why I spread my message here, so that, if there is any truth to my argument,
There is no truth in your argument, you just don't realize it yet...
the myths will be put to rest.
So why don't you give it (and us) a rest? :->
And finally, if you don't like what I have to say, you don't have to read it.
Well, if he/she is like me, he/she likes to read pieces from different viewpoints.

The mass media tends to be controlled by conservative elements because you never see news sympathetic to the left in the U.S. For example, I say we should totally legalize sex and drugs but you will never see those sentiments in the mass media.

As a result, we need to look for other viewpoints on the internet to balance out the conservative bias of the mass media. Since we are fed a steady diet of conservative bias by the mass media, it is hard to read more of the same on the internet.

As I see it, the big problem with your "writing" is that you don't have anything ORIGINAL to add, just tired rehashes of the same crap that Limbaugh and Boortz have been spouting for years.

You want respect, give us some originality in your thinking and writing and you will earn some respect. As long as you keep trying to pass off "Ditto!" as original thought you will receive zero respect...

[ Parent ]
Nice. (1.00 / 2) (#77)
by Crashnbur on Sun May 27, 2001 at 12:37:54 PM EST

There is no truth in your argument, you just don't realize it yet.
And, when you convince me of that, I will, as you recommend, give it a rest.
As long as you keep trying to pass off "Ditto!" as original thought you will receive zero respect...
You... you...!!!! Ugh. For twelve years in school children are taught that, to write a good research paper, they must find other sources of information that defend their arguments with like arguments. However, when I go and do this, I am "passing off 'Ditto!' as original thought! You inconsiderate bastard! These are my thoughts! Why do you think I read Neal Boortz? Or Fox News? Or World Net Daily? Or ANY DAMN THING for that matter? I don't read it and just agree with it! I figure out what I know, how my opinions line up, and I when I read things that I don't agree with, I [obviously) don't use them to support my argument! On the same note, of course, when I find something that I do agree with - such as some of Neal Boortz's items - I use it to back up my argument. How the hell is this passing his thoughts as mine? It isn't! I am merely telling you that I agree with him!

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
Do you know what "ditto" means? (1.00 / 2) (#83)
by el_chicano on Sun May 27, 2001 at 01:36:38 PM EST

On the same note, of course, when I find something that I do agree with - such as some of Neal Boortz's items - I use it to back up my argument. How the hell is this passing his thoughts as mine? It isn't!
Ditto - 1 : to repeat the action or statement of (see #3 - the transitive verb form)

I did not say you were plagarizing, only repeating what Boortz said (since you gave a link for your citation).
I am merely telling you that I agree with him!
So why do all Rush fans say "Ditto!"? Because they agree with him...

[ Parent ]
Who's Rush? (1.00 / 2) (#84)
by Crashnbur on Sun May 27, 2001 at 02:04:11 PM EST

Tell me something... do you think I listen to Rush. Do you think I even like Rush Limbaugh? Answer honestly.

And, to put things a bit more obviously: I have had these thoughts and opinions for years, and only recently, with the gift of the internet, have I been able to research them further and discover the groups in which my interests are shared. I have preached these same ideals for months on end, and only in the last two months or so have I even found out who Neal Boortz is. And no, I don't listen to his show. Never cared to. I don't agree with him enough for that.

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
Rush is a Big Fat Idiot - Al Franken (1.00 / 2) (#87)
by el_chicano on Sun May 27, 2001 at 02:33:16 PM EST

Tell me something... do you think I listen to Rush. Do you think I even like Rush Limbaugh? Answer honestly.
You probably don't listen to him because you think he is a blowhard. If so I applaud you.

I am a yellow-dog liberal. You are a neo-Nazi skinhead compared to me. Shit, Fidel Castro is too conservative for me.

I have heard all the conservative (and its twin brother libertarian) arguments for years. They may be new to you but they get *OLD* really fast. For instance every one loves to tell you what Karl Marx said but maybe one in one hundred actually have read Marx.

You just need to read more. Read about politics, economics, history, etc. Read both sides and think about them. The more you know the better equipped you are to argue your point.

It is funny but the best way to prepare yourself for a debate is to play devil's advocate. If you can present the opposition's ideas easily because you truly understand them, it will help you to argue the other side better because you know where you opponent is coming from...

[ Parent ]
That explains it! (1.00 / 2) (#89)
by Crashnbur on Sun May 27, 2001 at 02:45:00 PM EST

I am a yellow-dog liberal. You are a neo-Nazi skinhead compared to me. Shit, Fidel Castro is too conservative for me.
That explains our differences, then. So long as you understand that I am not a conservative... just more conservative than you. :-)

As for my reading, I have been reading the political theories of Locke, Aristotle, James, Rand, and many others for years, and I have recently taken up more modern political figures like Ghandi, Hitler, Jesse Ventura, and, through history classes, most of our nation's history of Presidents.

Either way, I don't think any lack of reading has anything to do with what may be perceived as a lack of knowledge on my end. Perhaps I just don't write enough to cover my tracks. That's just my style: I try to be general and open-ended, but not so much as to not state my opinion, in order to get my point across.

I'm a very open minded person, believe it or not... I don't blow off any argument that I disagree with. If it seems that way, then perhaps I have already considered it and decided that it was not for me.

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
Question. (1.00 / 2) (#78)
by Crashnbur on Sun May 27, 2001 at 12:42:54 PM EST

While I am being so heavily criticized by you and others for my oh-so-horrible viewpoints and mistakes in my writing... tell me, kind sir, where are the articles that you have written?

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
Answers. (2.00 / 5) (#86)
by el_chicano on Sun May 27, 2001 at 02:18:11 PM EST

While I am being so heavily criticized by you and others for my oh-so-horrible viewpoints and mistakes in my writing...
Your viewpoint is fine. I may disagree with it but I am only pointing out that your limited experience hurts what you are trying to say.

Go to a ghetto or a barrio. Talk to the people there. Then write up an article saying how poor minorities tend to be conservative and I will read it with interest. In the case of we Chicanos I will agree with you because many Chicanos are conservative due to the influence of the Catholic Church.

My point is that ORIGINAL thought will be appreciated by your opponents as well as your allies...

As for your writing, I used to work as a professional Proofreader so I am very picky about English usage. My first language was Spanish and I got an 97% in the verbal part of the SAT (in 1977 when SAT scores meant something.)

You are obviously a White person who speaks only one language (unless you have taken a second language in school but did you really learn that second language?). There must be a reason that you cannot speak English, your native languge, as well as a Chicano who did not start speaking English until he was 6 years old (bilingual education works!) and also speaks Spanish fluently...
tell me, kind sir, where are the articles that you have written?
Well for the last three years I have worked full-time in the IT industry while earning >60 hours in IT at the local community college. I love to write but I have not had much time to do it the last few years.

I do plan on writing an article on Affirmative Action and how it is not working in IT. I feel that I have suffered from racial discrimination and I am going to meet with our CIO. If I don't get any satisfaction from him I am going to go to the EEOC and file a racial discrimination complaint against my employer.

I am going to give our CIO a chance to fix the discrimination problem that currently exists in our department but if he refuses I will go on the offensive: press releases to local TV/Radio stations, some opinion articles to local newspapers, and a "-sucks" website to publicize my problem with racism where I work.

You can be sure that I will submit an article to K5, but since a new semester is about to start (an Oracle Admin course and Advanced Windows Programming course) don't hold your breath on that happening in the next few days. Maybe in a couple of weeks...

PS you seem like a bright person, but I have to agree with the other poster's assessment of your "Jeckyl and Hyde" behavior. It is O.K. to defend your opinions but don't be a dick about it.

Also, flames (personal attacks) existed on the internet when I started using it in 1994 so they are not going to go away. Be a man and ignore them, you know "sticks and stones..."

I was originally going to put a +1 on this article because I thought it was well written and had some interesting links (much better than your average K5 or /. article). However, you blew it by making it a conservative screed and then getting shrill and ultra-extreme in the comments. Had you taken the middle ground and then calmly proved that conservatism was the way to go I would have voted it +1 FP. For now I don't know how I am going to rate it. (maybe a +1 section or 0 don't care, I will not give you a -1 just because I disagree with your viewpoint)...

PPS Some of my currently existing rants are located at http://vatoloco.net/aztlan/ in case you have a few minutes to kill. Read the Affirmative Action article and see how I looked at both viewpoints equally and then decided that the liberal approach was the way to go. That is what I mean about starting in the center and working your way to the preferred position...

[ Parent ]
Ah, good response. (1.00 / 2) (#88)
by Crashnbur on Sun May 27, 2001 at 02:40:02 PM EST

You say that you would have voted +1 had I taken the middle ground and stated that conservatism was the way to go. Hmm. Let me think about this...

If I thought that conservatism was the way to go, that would be no problem. The problem is that I don't. I don't agree with conservatism. Take some of the good qualities of conservatism and some (slightly less) of the good qualities of liberalism, and combine them with some of the good qualities of several other political ideologies, and you might find something close to my political ideology.

My best friend used to be a far-right Republican. He always told me that I was conservative because I always shared the arguments that would appeal to him. To prove him wrong, I began to share with him the liberal arguments (fewer in number) that I also supported. So, he accepted that I am a centrist, possibly libertarian, leaning conservative. This I will not argue, but I am not a conservative.

As an individualist, I declare no political allegiance. I believe that, in the current state of our political system, libertarianism is perhaps the best of the political ideologies for our nation, but I believe myself to be an independent. I do not subscribe to any of the doctrines of any of the parties near enough to declare myself one of any of them. I would say, however, that I believe in the roots and theories under which the Democratic Party was founded. The Democratic Party of today no longer lives by their own rules, however. At least, not Democrats like Tom Daschle, the Senate Majority Leader.

Either way, I liked your last comments. I noticed an abrupt shift in tone... It seems as though we have calmed a bit. Good. Let's keep it that way. We can dislike each other's opinions and be reasonable at the same time. :-)

And, a bit of warning, though hardly a threat: Make sure you cover your bases when filing a discrimination suit. Wealthy employers do not take such charges lightly, and they usually have the money to defend themselves well. Just prove yourself right. :-)

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
Why are you so angry with the world? (4.00 / 2) (#198)
by theboz on Tue May 29, 2001 at 10:07:57 AM EST

I have read some of your posts in this article and have seen a lot of anger and unnecessary attacks on people for having differing points of view than yours. I don't think that you know everything either, although you take a holier-than-thou attitude with most of the people you criticize. If you really cared to reach people and show them what you think is the truth you would do much better by talking to people in a more civilized tone as you have here than to attack people like you have in some of your other posts.

I'd also like to point out a few things that you should think about. You talk about how you are repressed and the minority groups need to be represented more in the government and how there are not many minorities working in certain companies or types of jobs and such. I think you should look at it in a more logical manner. If a group of people makes up 15% of the population in a city, and the other makes up 85%, then why would a company need to be 50% of the minority group and 50% of the majority? That would be discrimination against the majority since there would be an unusually high number of minorities in that company. What needs to be examined more is the types of jobs the minority group gets. Rather than setting quotas, people should look at the quality of the jobs that this minority group has. What good does it do if you hire a bunch of black and latin people to be janitors for all the whites?

Also, I think it depends on who you are around as to what you see as the truth. Personally, I do see examples of how minorities can get ahead without dealing with a "good ol' boy" network. I have family and friends from Mexico that are successful in the U.S. just like any gabachos could be. I could tell you about a female DBA from Guadalajara who is still very much Mexican and able to support herself and all of her coworkers love her and think she does a great job. I met her boss who loves her work and traveled to GDL to attend her wedding a couple years ago. Her husband is a successful java programmer, and has not been laid off and is a very important part of his company. There are others I know, java programmers, computer animators, lawyers, architects, etc. that are successful. What I am saying is that I do realize there is discrimination against people, and that something should be done to prevent it. However, the world is not as bad as you paint it to be.

They say that kindness attracts people more than being mean and hard. You seem to be more of a rabid chicano than an effective voice for the latin people. You seem to have developed a zero-tolerance policy of your own where you belittle white people for not letting you walk all over them. I can't tell about you from your postings but a lot of people like you are racist against whites. It's sad since there is only one true race of humans, and you would think that those who are among groups that have been repressed in the past would be more careful to not fall into the same frame of mind as the bad people. If you think that white people are oppressing you, invite them over to your house for dinner and make yourself friends with them. It's not selling out; it's changing their way of thinking and making friends. People fear what they don't know so you should learn more about other people and let them learn who you are as well.

Anyways, this has gotten mostly off topic, but I just want to say that you should be more calm and mature in your debates rather than accusing people of being racist and arguing. All of us humans are stuck with each other in life, so we might as well have more friends than enemies.

Stuff.
[ Parent ]

"...crashnbur's pet crank, Neal Boortz...&quo (4.00 / 2) (#31)
by Crashnbur on Sat May 26, 2001 at 05:20:58 PM EST

First of all, the "epidemic" is real. Do yourself a favor and run over to the Wall Street Journal's Opinion Journal, scroll down until you find the search box on the left, and type "Zero Tolerance" (with quotes) and click enter. (Or click here to go directly to the search results that that search produces.) The Opinion Journal's search results can only go back so far, but the search (at the time I write this) gives 55 results since April 5 regarding scores of different examples of this "epidemic" across the country.

And now... for your comments about my "pet crank, Neal Boortz":

Um, I disagree with Neal Boortz on a great many things. He is way too hostile in many of his opinions. He is much to harsh. I do not wish to find any brilliant examples of this right now, but suffice it to say that he and I do not see eye to eye. However, I do agree with him on certain issues - especially this one.

As for Rush Limbaugh - way too conservative. As for Matt Drudge - not familiar. Been to his web site a couple of times, but I don't like it. Not organized enough, not aesthetically pleasing, so I visit maybe, um, once a year.

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
Yer missing the point: (4.75 / 4) (#46)
by Canimal on Sat May 26, 2001 at 09:26:09 PM EST

At least what I see as the point.

The article is anecdotal, not statistical. The poster is pointing out, what did he say, the abject stupidity of school officials, abandoning all common sense for the sake of adhering to a specific, stupid rule that is most certainly widespread across the country.

If you a teacher and give pot to a student, you can expect to be prosecuted. If you bring in a stripper to class, you can expect to be reprimanded and maybe fired. But if you punish a student who takes away a knife from a suicidal friend, or suspend a student who accidentally leaves her own kitchen knife in her own car, or persecute grade school kids for even stupider and more imaginary crimes, you stand up and say "well, we have to enforce this policy. It doesn't matter if it is wrong in this case or not."

Of course the schools are going to make mistakes. When you make a mistake, the proper thing to do is to say you're sorry, to make whatever amends you can, and try not to do it again. But that's not what's happening in these cases. The mistake makers don't think they are wrong, or worse, they admit that they are wrong but say they don't give a damn, they're going to do it anyway. That's why these "mistakes" are worth discussing.

Matt



[ Parent ]
Statistics matter, and anecdotes lie. (2.66 / 6) (#51)
by elenchos on Sat May 26, 2001 at 10:09:30 PM EST

When you carefully search out a specific kind of ancecdote and present only those, concealing the background, you are telling a lie. It is like only reporting crimes commited by a certain group and not reporting the rest. Selectivity creates a dishonest picture. And then slapping the label "epidemic" on it just seals the guilt of the liar.

Just how do you know that the one kind of error is always punished and corrected, and the other kind is not? For every case of overzealously enforcing the zero tolerance rules, how many are there of failing to be strict enough? Are they searching as hard to report those? Does he Wall Street Journal have a special collection of anecdotes about failures to be strict enough in not tolerating violence? No. They only report one kind of story, and they have 55 examples culled from a student population of 46 million over a period of a year or more. Care to imagine how many cases of lax enforcement there are? Do you think it is more or less than 55?

I agree that the people who run our public schools don't do a very good job, although I think it is damn good if you take into account how cheap we are in refusing to pay what it costs to hire quality people. But I do not agree that there is this epidemic of overzealous enforcement of Zero Tolerance. There is just the usual collection of judgement errors, and a right-wing media frothing at the mouth ready to report only those errors.

It is false propaganda.

Say to yourself in the early morning: I shall meet today inquisitive, ungrateful, violent, treacherous, envious, uncharitable men. All these things have
[ Parent ]

Lie. (1.00 / 1) (#73)
by Crashnbur on Sun May 27, 2001 at 11:41:27 AM EST

lie (v): to present false information with the intention of deceiving.

I do not intend to deceive - never have. None of you know me here, and based on previous comments, you probably won't believe or won't care to even read this, but one of my most prominent qualities is that I am a serious person: I say what I mean, I mean what I say. I am usually not so bold, but most people aren't stupid enough to attack me on what I perceive as opinions or vague generalities. If you have a valid reason to argue, then argue, but don't attack. That is so... [you fill in the blank].

If you want someone to see your point of view, you're not going to win them over by insulting them, calling them stupid, and refuting everything they say.

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
Oh, I'm still reading. (1.00 / 1) (#93)
by elenchos on Sun May 27, 2001 at 04:38:10 PM EST

    most people aren't stupid enough to attack me on what I perceive as opinions or vague generalities
Well, percieve it as whatever makes you feel better, but right now I'm looking at a whole screenfull of people attacking you and your bullshit on all sorts of grounds: logical, moral, political, personal, you name it.

A person who carefully selects out only a the evidence they want and promotes that as representing an epidemic is telling a lie, and if they are so grossly inept that they don't realize they are being deceptive, then it becomes yet another case of being a victim of your own terminal stupidity. "I'm not a liar, I'm just so fucking stupid that I look like a liar." My sympathies.

But I do think you are at fault and if you don't know better from reading your Neal Boortz and watching Rupert Murdoch's news channel, I blame you for not bothering to try to learn something from some more balanced and diverse sources.

As I write this more posters are lining up to call you a liar about changing your 1 ratings. The whole world can see you are a liar and you sit here just burying your head deeper in the sand. Who are you trying to fool?

It is probably too late to mention this, but my motivation was never that I care about ratings numbers. I would have respected you more if you had let your 1 ratings stand. What I am going to continue hammering away at about you is your lies, your two-faced behavior, and the deceptive articles you constantly submit. I just use the lies you told about ratings as ammunition.

Say to yourself in the early morning: I shall meet today inquisitive, ungrateful, violent, treacherous, envious, uncharitable men. All these things have
[ Parent ]

Connect the dots, la la la la la. (1.00 / 1) (#112)
by Crashnbur on Sun May 27, 2001 at 09:51:30 PM EST

Well, percieve it as whatever makes you feel better, but right now I'm looking at a whole screenfull of people attacking you and your bullshit on all sorts of grounds: logical, moral, political, personal, you name it.
I count three, but there could be one or two more that have only said a couple things. And most of the arguments are simple misunderstandings turned toward insulting me. My only complaint, in those cases, is not that they disagree, but that they choose to attack me personally rather than reasonably arguing their points...
But I do think you are at fault and if you don't know better from reading your Neal Boortz and watching Rupert Murdoch's news channel, I blame you for not bothering to try to learn something from some more balanced and diverse sources.
I will make this point for about the twenty-seventh time (maybe the third under this article, but that's still enough): I READ NEWS FROM SOURCES ALL OVER THE WEB. I read Neal Boortz because I generally like his ideas, though I vehemently oppose several of them. I watch and read CNN and Fox News. I visit about forty different news sites at random times including several liberal and conservative biased sources. Again, you are assuming you know me or my sources, and you do not. I simply used the sources that applied to this article to defend it. It wouldn't make sense to use articles on CBS that don't touch the Zero Tolerance issue in this article... Do you think?

As for the ratings, I still don't understand why any of you think that I changed any of them, but if you are going to disrespect me for standing for myself and what I believe, then by all means, go for it. Lord knows I wouldn't want people respecting anyone for standing up for the truth. (And, well, as you say people are lining up to call me a liar, if they can't prove it, it only serves to make us all look like asses. So what's the point again?)

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
Well, okay then. (1.00 / 1) (#118)
by elenchos on Sun May 27, 2001 at 10:16:16 PM EST

Since you are reading forty different sites, from all over the spectrum, can you tell me what one of the liberal sites has to say about Zero Tolerance abuse? Come on, quick, since you are so well informed from so many diverse sources, that should be easy for you.

And now tell me why you didn't mention those points of view in your article. If you disagreed with them, you could have brought them in to refute them. But you didn't do that. You only showed us one side, even though your head is stuffed with all those different points of view. You would think that one of them would have just fallen out of you with that wide a spectrum of information flowing into your head all the time. Hard to make any sense of it.

Unless you are a proven liar. Oh, but wait, you are, aren't you?

This is one of the reasons why credibility matters. No one can verify every single thing they read, but if we have a good memory for past behavior, we can learn whom to trust and whom not to. Lee Malatesta, for example, gets more respect than you will ever have in your lifetime, because he has earned it. People see that he has posted a comment saying that you rated something a 1, yet now it is rated 5. They beleive Lee when he says it was a 1, and they don't beleive you when you say you never changed it. He has credibility, you do not. See? It matters.

That is why, while this discussion is about Zero Tolerance, it is also about you. You sullied your own reputation and you are now paying the price.

Say to yourself in the early morning: I shall meet today inquisitive, ungrateful, violent, treacherous, envious, uncharitable men. All these things have
[ Parent ]

And. (2.00 / 2) (#125)
by Crashnbur on Sun May 27, 2001 at 11:07:39 PM EST

Well, the Progressive Review offers basically the same arguments that I am opposing here, only it includes many more aspects of zero tolerance. The trend I am seeing most, however, is that the liberal media tends to avoid stories regarding Zero Tolerance, or they dance around them trying to justify in poor ways. It seems to me that ALL media sources avoid the stories and opinions that do not serve their agenda, so why would the liberal media report on it? They are not reporting on it because they know that the rest of the media will get all the attention for it, especially the negative attention. As long as they stay out of it, they are unable to receive negative attention... and who looks bad now? The conservative media! This is not provable, obviously, but think about it... You basically say that my "conservative" sources look bad. Hmm.

Also I am not aiming for some national school reform to fix this. I do not mind the Zero Tolerance policy as a backbone to reduce violence in schools. However, in the few instances in which acts that require attention occur, it is not too much to ask that educators be reasonable in deciding how to deal with the child in question. The schools are the victims so long as they are reasonable. When they are not, then the children are the victims.

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
Well, if you say so. (1.00 / 1) (#166)
by elenchos on Mon May 28, 2001 at 02:51:42 PM EST

I guess in the cave I live in, the name of the "Progressive Review" never finds its way in. I would have just looked at the obvious: The Nation, where their oppostion to Zero Tolerance is mostly focused on drug policy, and where, unlike the exclusively conservative sources you used, the "culture war" aspect of this is mentioned. Which brings up the most obvious Left source to look at for a counterargument on this topic: the NEA. If anybody can be the advocate in favor of Zero Tolerance, it should be them. You should have brought them in too, if your real purpose is to find the truth, as you continue to claim. And you should have no trouble at all refuting their reasons for supporting ZT.

I hear no more denials that you changed your ratings and lied about it. Just tired of saying it? Or have you finally admitted that as well?

Say to yourself in the early morning: I shall meet today inquisitive, ungrateful, violent, treacherous, envious, uncharitable men. All these things have
[ Parent ]

Shut up about it already. (1.00 / 1) (#183)
by Crashnbur on Mon May 28, 2001 at 10:56:49 PM EST

I hear no more denials that you changed your ratings and lied about it. Just tired of saying it? Or have you finally admitted that as well?
So just because I say I didn't do it, I did it? If I "admitted" that I did, and I know I didn't, I would be committing a much greater injustice than what you and several others that have no idea claim. And yes, I am tired of saying it. I am even more tired of you people assuming that you know exactly what happen when all you have to go on is what others say. It's my word against theirs, and we all know that that never works. So just drop it! It's a pointless argument and you know it, and I'm sick of hearing of it. Until you have anything that proves me wrong, just don't say another word about it.

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
I already said 'No' to that. (none / 0) (#186)
by elenchos on Tue May 29, 2001 at 01:20:31 AM EST

No, I will not shut up about it.

Do I have a reason to shut up about it? None that I can see. I have the same reasons now to keep bringing it up that I did when I started. Why do you think it is somehow for you to tell me to stop bringing it up?

As far as what assumptions I am making, that would be none. I was there, so to speak. I saw the entire discussion unfold before my eyes and watched you sniveling denials and apalling volleys of insults appear one after another. I know what happened. Many others do as well, and we have seen them post statements saying so.

Now for some other observer, who didn't see exactly what happened, then yes, we have your word against, um, well, everyone else.

Why don't you think the posts by me and Lee and itsbruce and all the others prove you wrong? Do you really think all of us are conspiring to lie? Are we all hallucinating? Why would so many people post statments contradicting you? Can you explain why that would be happening?

I know why. Because you are caught. I bet you're sick of hearing about it.

Say to yourself in the early morning: I shall meet today inquisitive, ungrateful, violent, treacherous, envious, uncharitable men. All these things have
[ Parent ]

So back to square one. (none / 0) (#187)
by Crashnbur on Tue May 29, 2001 at 01:54:18 AM EST

As with my argument with el chicano, we are going to disagree no matter how many times or ways we say it, so let's just drop it. I can't prove you wrong, you can't prove me wrong, and we both, apparently, believe that we are right. There's not room for so many right people around here. So let's just ignore the argument and move on. It's better that way, I think. If it resurfaces, as I'm sure it will, then so be it, but let it go for now.

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
You could answer my questions. (none / 0) (#188)
by elenchos on Tue May 29, 2001 at 02:25:47 AM EST

That would go a long way towards resolving this apparent impasse. It isn't really an impasse, since I have proven you wrong. I have shown the testimony of several people who clearly contradict your version of events. The task that has been awaiting you is to explain this discrepancy. I have posted links showing that you did mod down all sorts of valid comments (which in itself was not that big a deal), and then you denied that they were valid comments. When that didn't work, you modded some of the most egregious ones up, and are pretending it didn't ever happen. You had painted yourself into that corner by pretending that you were the objective mature one, and that eveyone else was guilty of childish personal attacks. The problem was that your moderation put the lie to that absurd claim.

You should have just admitted you were wrong and never lied about changing the ratings. But you did. I've linked two or three times to lee_malatesta's comment that clearly states this fact. Why don't you respond to at least that one? You keep ignoing it and that is why I keep bringing it back. It is also the easiest one for me. If we could get past that one, then I'd have to dig up the other evidence which is slightly more obscured. But first, answer that one.

Is Lee crazy? Is he lying? Explain it.

If you go on just repeating your denial with no explanation, then we will never get any where. Your simple denial is not an argument, it is a conclusion. What we need to hear is your argument that supports your conclusion that you didn't do it. So. Explain.

Or admit the truth. The sooner you do that, the easier it will be, and the longer you go on, the harder it gets to climb out of the hole you dug. So, explain...

Say to yourself in the early morning: I shall meet today inquisitive, ungrateful, violent, treacherous, envious, uncharitable men. All these things have
[ Parent ]

Drop it. (none / 0) (#189)
by Crashnbur on Tue May 29, 2001 at 02:42:55 AM EST

I'm sorry, unlike most people around here, I don't pay attention to user names. I know el chicano's because someone referred to him, and I think you're is like elcheno or something, but I don't feel like scrolling up to make sure. I know there's a Lee Maltesta around here, but I have no idea what he's said, only that he's disagreed with me. That's not a big deal to me. Sorry, I don't keep a list of names and I don't hold grudges. See me on another day. I'm going away for about twelve hours now. (so you know, I guess)

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
That is just pathetic. (3.00 / 2) (#190)
by elenchos on Tue May 29, 2001 at 02:58:16 AM EST

You've been telling me that I haven't proven anything, yet now you say that you never even looked at the evidence I gave enough to know what it means? Bullshit. You know damn well what I've been talking about all along. If you couln't figure out what those comments I linked to meant, and who those people are, why didn't you ask me? If you didn't know what Lee said, why didn't you follow the link and read what he said? Because you already knew, that's why.

But by all means, take your time. If it means you are going to actually answer the questions that I've been asking again and again, then I'll gladly wait. And if you don't answer, then I'll be back keep asking until you do.

Don't take too long. You know how hard it is to undo a lie that has sat festering and growing as you tell more lies to protect it. It just gets worse and worse, I tell you.

Say to yourself in the early morning: I shall meet today inquisitive, ungrateful, violent, treacherous, envious, uncharitable men. All these things have
[ Parent ]

forget it (3.66 / 3) (#191)
by eLuddite on Tue May 29, 2001 at 03:48:56 AM EST

If I may paraphrase the precious git,

"YOU FUCKERS DONT UNDERSTAND ME!!! TO WATCH ME THINK OUT LOUD IS TO LOVE ME. WHY CANT YOU THIS???"

He simply will not suffer your criticism as long as he considers his waffling, whiny, words and actions unrepresentative of his inner, huggable self. His moderation in this article is a joke. Offer to share half a peanut butter sandwhich with him and he'll give a 5. This is a grown man? A college graduate, no less?! Frankly, you are embarrassing yourself by continuing in this futile arguement. He will not learn and there will be no more satisfaction is his continual defeat than if you stole his lunch money.

(Crashnbur, even if you trained yourself to catch frisbees in your mouth, I'd still prefer the company of my dog. You are such a fraud.)

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

So there is no ambiguity here? (3.00 / 2) (#217)
by elenchos on Tue May 29, 2001 at 02:35:10 PM EST

I just wanted to make absolutely certain that I have proven my point. That there is no one who could read this and interpret it to mean anything except that the subject of my crusade is in fact a phony, two-faced liar. That there could be no mistaking that whatsoever, and after having been given more than ample opportunity to correct any possible misperception, he has thoroughly failed to do so. Because it is not a misperception, it is a fact. And so he has instead simply dug himself deeper with more lies and denials and attemtps to sow confusion. That is completly and umistakably clear? If there are any doubts, then I will be glad to go on, you know.

But since it appears that I shall never get replies to my questions I put to Crashnbur, then all that remains is to make absolutely sure that I have covered all the bases and dotted all the i's and crossed the t's.

So, now, what you're saying is, I have done so, correct? You're sure about that? I have really proven completly and unarguably that Crashnbur is dishonest, hallucinatory bullshitter. It is totally demonstrated, QED, and all that? You're sure?

Well, ok then. If I've really done it completely and totally, then I guess I'm done. If there is no stone left to turn. If that is what you are saying, then, fine. I'm done.

...You're sure now? Cause, if not, I could add some more, really, I don't mind. Just say so. I'll be checking back, and if you or anyone is not completely convinced, I'll pile on some more proof. Just say the word. But if you're totally convinced, then OK. I'm done.

But only if you're sure you're sure...

Say to yourself in the early morning: I shall meet today inquisitive, ungrateful, violent, treacherous, envious, uncharitable men. All these things have
[ Parent ]

You can call me Shirley. (3.66 / 3) (#230)
by eLuddite on Tue May 29, 2001 at 04:22:14 PM EST

There can be no ambiguity except in the mind of crashnbur and his walking wounded crashnbur posse that's bleeding angst and self righteous indignation all over K5.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

[OT] Your signature needs working... (none / 0) (#304)
by Gutza on Sat Jun 09, 2001 at 11:25:54 AM EST

The quote you sign with is from Marcus Aurelius' FIRST book in Meditations...

[ Parent ]
It dosen't matter how frequently it happens (5.00 / 3) (#96)
by Dink Meeker on Sun May 27, 2001 at 06:11:18 PM EST

Zero tolerance is a miscarage of justice because it is DESIGNED to bypass justice. There is a reason why school administrators and judges have (in the historical past) had the leeway to determine an appropriate punishment on a case-by-case basis. Not all situations are the same and it takes a real person who is empowered to act on their own sense of reason and morals to at least give the semblance of fairness. I would rather be judged by some close-minded politically self-serving fool who was completely biased against me than have a powerless ceremonial figurehead for a judge.

Zero tolerance is a bunch of overly simplistic conditions, if A then B; howver A is some vague concept (like "weapon at or near a school") and B would be considered a harsh punishiment for even the most extreme cases of A.

And this problem isn't just confined to schools. We've had a zero tolerance drug policy for quite a while now. If the cops suspect that any of your property was used in a drug-related crime or purchased with drug money, they can sieze it and sell it and never charge you with a crime or bring you to trial. And no one is accountable for anything, because we have this piece of paper that says we can't make any exceptions for anyone ever, that's what zero tolerance means.

The property siezure thing has been under fire for awile now, but the same thing happens in other areas. Don't expect to ever see your computer again if it is suspected of being involved in a case of "hacking". At least hacking is a specific term and would never be applied to innocent actions like portscanning or pinging, right?

The concept of being innocent until proven guilty means that some people will not be pushished as strongly as they should. If you want to argue for a policy of guilty until proven innocent, where some peple will be punished more than they should (which judging from the above post, appears to be an acceptable loss to you), fine. It's possible to at least make that argument. But it is absolutely ridiculous to say that people should be guilty, even if proven innocent, which is what zero tolerance is, and all "tough on crime" rhetoric aside, is what it was purposly intended to be.

"Everybody in this room is wearing a uniform, and don't kid yourself." --Frank Zappa
[ Parent ]
(ZT is bad) != (ZT is an epidemic) (4.50 / 2) (#99)
by elenchos on Sun May 27, 2001 at 06:37:17 PM EST

Your critique of Zero Tolerance is on target, and I think the connection you make with drug policy and hacking is astute.

But if you are going to call it an epidemic, then the numbers do matter. If you are going to look at the over 50 millon students and staff in our schools and talk about what is the biggest problem to worry about, or what king of unfariness or injustice is most prevalent, then the numbers must matter. You have right wing journalists scouring the news and scraping the bottom of the barrel to come up with this set of anecdotes, and the numbers they have just don't impress me. Compare the WSJ's 55 number to the number of date rapes that happen between our 46 million school kids every day. Or the number of suicides. Or count how many times every day some kid who gets beat up and his assailants get away with it. Out of 46 million kids, do you think that number exceeds 55 a day? Probably does.

So if you are addressing a nationwide audiance and trying to get everyone interested in what is going wrong in schools, it is dishonest propaganda to present only these carefully selected anecdotes, and it is an injury to our kids to have the public clamoring to solve this one minor kind of injustice when there are worse problems elsewhere demanding our attention. I think the worst problem, by the way, is that the kids most at risk are stuck in the most underfunded schools, and that overall, we have decided on a normal, acceptable amount to spend on education that is far, far too low. If we just spent what is costs to hire first-class teaching talent with small class sizes, they would be smart enough to handle all these judgement calls and give good guidance about weapons in schools or threats or teen pregnany or whatever. We wouldn't need to be scutinizing their every move like we do now, because they would be a class of professionals that could be trusted much more. And they would incidentally teach their students a thing or two to boot.

Without getting into a whole long proof of that, I would just ask if you can give a good education to a kid on the cheap, how come smart, educated rich people spend so much money on their own kids, instead of saving their money and sending them to public schools?

So you're right that Zero Tolerance is messed up, but I think this kind of sensationalism draws attention away from the root cause, which is bad decision making in general by underqualified teachers and administrators.

Say to yourself in the early morning: I shall meet today inquisitive, ungrateful, violent, treacherous, envious, uncharitable men. All these things have
[ Parent ]

One Click Clarification... (none / 0) (#111)
by Crashnbur on Sun May 27, 2001 at 09:43:19 PM EST

Maybe not a clarification, but something I would like to point out. It seems to me that you are responding to this topic as though my article suggest that this is the largest problem schools are facing. I did not make that claim, nor did I intend to imply that. I only meant to discuss one problem.

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
You called it an "epidemic," I remind yo (4.00 / 2) (#113)
by elenchos on Sun May 27, 2001 at 09:56:04 PM EST

For the fifth time. Do you know what an epidemic is? Is that just a buzzword? Do you have a dictionary handy? If not, go to dictionary.com and see if that helps any.

Checked the definition now? Good. So tell me, do we have an "epidemic" of Zero Tolerance abuse, or not?

And aside from that, your whole story obviously implies that this is a really important problem, if not the biggest problem in schools. And any fool can see that it is being used as a wedge to drive in another kind of draconian laws, that mandate our poor, inept teachers follow a conservative rulebook with the ten commandments nailed to the wall. Does the WSJ or News Corp have any other special lists of anecdotes, such as date rapes uninvestigated, or gay bashings condoned? Hell no. They have a different agenda.

And they have you dutifully serving them. Congradulations.

Say to yourself in the early morning: I shall meet today inquisitive, ungrateful, violent, treacherous, envious, uncharitable men. All these things have
[ Parent ]

Buzzword. (none / 0) (#123)
by Crashnbur on Sun May 27, 2001 at 10:34:44 PM EST

I know the definition, thanks. I'm very fluent in the language. Perhaps I meant to say that we have a sudden outbreak, which is almost the same thing, but not as bad, you know? Or maybe the news has just created a heightened awareness to a problem that has been around for decades, and has been generally accepted for so long that now it has really become a problem. Not our schools' greatest problem, mind you, but a serious problem none the less.

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
An admission. (none / 0) (#124)
by elenchos on Sun May 27, 2001 at 10:41:40 PM EST

I'll take it. Thank you.

Say to yourself in the early morning: I shall meet today inquisitive, ungrateful, violent, treacherous, envious, uncharitable men. All these things have
[ Parent ]

No problem (none / 0) (#133)
by Crashnbur on Mon May 28, 2001 at 12:50:38 AM EST

I have no problem admitting that I'm wrong ... when I'm wrong. :-)

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
I guess it depends on what you'd call an epidemic (5.00 / 1) (#115)
by Dink Meeker on Sun May 27, 2001 at 09:59:37 PM EST

I see your point that it's wrong to only mentioning a few extreme cases that support your side of an argument, and statistically speaking these stories are low, but that dosen't mean there isn't cause for alarm.

We seem to agree that zero tolerance is a flawed concept that does some (arguable) amount of damage, so I'll use that as a starting point here.

My problem with zero tolernace is not so much the specifics of a few extreme cases, but the thinking (or lack thereof) behind the entire concept. From the minute the phrase was first coined to stop drugs, it has gained more and more acceptance and has been viewed as an acceptable solution to additional problems.

I would consider that an epidemic of sorts.

Yes the sensational stories of zero tolerance gone wrong are few in number, but they aren't the only negative effects of zero tolerance either. Many kids are busted for similar infractions and don't fight it, or the story dosen't get noticed. Ordinary cases of school administrators with their heads suck up their asses don't get much coverage either, but most everyone has had some personal knowledge of such an event. The mere presence of a zero tolerance policy creates a hostile atmosphere towards the students as administratiors go out of their way to find things that might be used to create a potentially harmful situation where something bad could happen. Zero tolerance basically tells schools "You are incapable of exercising good judgment" and they will grow used to acting without thinking. Students lose respect for authority when they see it abused on a daily basis and when everything is a punishable offense with exagerated consequences, no one gives a shit about breaking the rules.

Zero tolerance is a mob-mentality reaction with a catchy name to make the public think that something positive is being done. It's not like before Columbine there were school shootings, and the Vice Principal took the kid aside and said, "Look sonny, shooting your classmates is wrong and I should expel you but, you're so damn cute it would just be plain mean to punish you. Off you go and don't let me catch you shooting people again."

And there aren't any positive results from zero tolerance either. Is some psycho going to call off a shooting rampage because the school has a zero tolerance policy?

Policies that destroy kid's civil rights have a tendency to migrgate to grown-up laws. We need to educate the public that cool slogans!=good laws and we might as well start teaching them this at PTA meetings.

I agree that getting rid of zero tolerance dosen't address the root problems, but it is a problem in and of itself, and it is quickly and easily remidied without any additional funding necessary. School administrators just need to start looking at these things on a case-by-case basis. They can still be as strict as they like when some kid brings a weapon to school to be tough, and at the same time let the kid off who packed a plastic spoon in their lunch. The two situations are different. Maybe some school officials won't recognize this, but we need to give them the power to act accordingly if they do.

"Everybody in this room is wearing a uniform, and don't kid yourself." --Frank Zappa
[ Parent ]
And I suppose Stalin's police weren't an epidemic (3.00 / 1) (#169)
by Ebon Praetor on Mon May 28, 2001 at 03:37:23 PM EST

I suppose that Stalin's secret police weren't a problem either. It doesn't really matter that there were a few 'isolated' incidents of people getting beaten or killed illegally.

How many people have to get screwed before some people realizwe that their is a problem. It would be much the same if you had your license revoked because your meter ran out.

If you want to see how bad some laws have gotten, this is from CNN. "Legislators are considering measures to toughen penalties. In Michigan, lawmakers passed a law in 1999 requiring the expulsion of any pupil who verbally threatens another person." (CNN 5/28)

And you don't think that there is a problem yet.



[ Parent ]
A little sloppy aren't we? (none / 0) (#180)
by elenchos on Mon May 28, 2001 at 10:42:27 PM EST

Do your know how widespread Stalin's oppression was? Was it relatively rare? Or was it of such proportions as to be called "epidemic?"

The answer is "epidemic." He and his little elves were everywhere.

This Zero Tolerance thing, however, is clearly not proven to be so widespread or exceptional. So far there is no reason to think that overzealous enforcement is actually a worse problem than lax enforcement. But we don't have a crusade against lax enforcement by the right. On the left, we have the NEA hard at it. But what is the reality?

As I said, mistakes of all kinds being made, not just this overzealous Zero Tolerance kind. I said that is a problem and that I think the root cause should be addressed, rather than just giving teachers even more outside oversight and even more strict rules to follow. The problem is that we no longer trust their judgement, and we ought to get teachers and administrators whose judgement we can trust.

Now, to get to the rest of this sloppyness problem, you accuse:

    ...you don't think that there is a problem yet.
Can you show me where I say I think there is no problem? It is obvious that the "it" I refer to is this "epidemic," the issue that my entire post is about, not the existence of some cases of Zero Tolerance abuse. So did I accidentaly say somewhere else that the problem doesn't exist?

Say to yourself in the early morning: I shall meet today inquisitive, ungrateful, violent, treacherous, envious, uncharitable men. All these things have
[ Parent ]

Um, ok.. (3.00 / 9) (#39)
by delmoi on Sat May 26, 2001 at 06:21:45 PM EST

Stupid bureaucracies do stupid things.

Film at 11.
--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
clue-o-meter stuck at zero (2.96 / 30) (#44)
by samth on Sat May 26, 2001 at 08:56:49 PM EST

Suppose I was a conservative on K5. And suppose I knew nothing about politics. But I repeat myself.

Maybe he's been deluded by the USians around here, but dammitallgoodnamesgone has this to say

Zero Tolerance is always seen as a left-wing issue
Well, aside from the grevious lack of actual left-wing politicians in the US, this is simply untrue. While, in general, zero-tolerance is supported across the political spectrum (sadly), it is much more of a right wing issue than one the Democratic party cares about. One of the reasons for this is that zero-tolerance is linked to controlling media, something that has always been a conservative issue.

Our loyal submitter, crashnbur, has this to say in reply

UK politics are essentially socialist, while US politics are essentially capitalist.
Given that Blair threw the real socialists out of his party in his repositioning of "New Labour", I find this claim striking in its inaccuracy.

Then, crashnbur continues his reign of terror

I won't deny that, because I know I am for the interpretation of what the Constitution was intended to mean (convervatives, loose interpretation) rather than the literal word-for-word interpretation (liberals, strict interpretation).
Clue alert! The conservatives are the ones in favor of the strict interpretation of the constitution. Go read something by Justice Scalia.

Then, crashnbur tops them all

And all the Democratic agenda is pushing for is losing teacher accountability, which would in turn decrease their responsibility to educate, create that much more of a dependent population based on a lack of education, and before long... The Socialist States of America!
First, we have this myth of lack of accountability. Then, we have the claim that the supposed lack of accountability will lead to a dependent population, which will lead to socialist takeover. Which, of course, is the Democratic Party's goal.

If you told me people believed this, I wouldn't believe you.

Then, when you thought it couldn't get worse, crashnbur goes off about affirmative action, prayer in school, and their relation to the liberal conspiracy that is zero tolerance.

I am not racist; I am simply a capitalist.
And the difference was?
NEWSFLASH: Our "minorities" aren't so much of "minorities" any more. They're catching up rapidly.
Aren't we glad that black people no longer suffer in our society. They are no longer harassed by police, or get substandard education, or get turned down for loans, based on race. Good for them.
It creates an unfair advantage for those that should be trying a little harder and not sitting idly by in what they perceive as the mode of society into which they are locked.
Oh, I see. If you're being discriminated against, it just means you need to work harder. No need to correct any aspects of society, black people just need to try harder than white people. And if they don't, I guess that's too bad for them.
I am an individualist, which means that I believe that every individual has the ability to make his life for himself if he gets up and really tries. Some barriers are larger for some than for others, but it is not impossible.
I hope that's comforting for people growing up in the inner city - crashnbur knows that it isn't impossible for you to get out. But making it a little easier for you - that would be discrimination.
One of the most abominable Politically Correct movements involved the separation of church and state.
Yeah, that Jefferson guy should be kept out of politics altogether.
This separation has been taken WAY to far by the liberal left of politics to the point that it is almost a crime to mention any religious allegiance in schools.
Funny, must have missed that. I thought that it was just prohibited to have school-sponsored prayer. When did they bar talking about religion?
This almost puts religions to shame; many prayer clubs around the country have been disbanded.
Either that, or Congress passed a law protecting them. I wonder which.

Zero tolerance policies are bad. Having morons for students rights advocates is worse.

Given a choice between Libertarianism and ravenous martian spores, I ask you, do I look good in this Bernaise sauce? -- eLuddite

canimal, wtf? (2.00 / 4) (#45)
by samth on Sat May 26, 2001 at 09:13:28 PM EST

Canimal, what the fuck were you thinking when you gave that comment a 1? Oh, wait, it was probably "I disagree with that comment, so I'm going to rate it 1".

Given a choice between Libertarianism and ravenous martian spores, I ask you, do I look good in this Bernaise sauce? -- eLuddite
[ Parent ]
Don't like snide, nasty posters. (3.83 / 6) (#47)
by Canimal on Sat May 26, 2001 at 09:42:31 PM EST

I don't agree with your comments, but that's not why I voted you down. You are being snide and nasty, posting upthread, and just generally showing the kind of behavior I'd really like to discourage.

More than anything else, it was this:

(some dude) I am not racist; I am simply a capitalist.

(you) And the difference was?

You post was full of crap like that, but that one got under my skin. Congratulations.

Matt



[ Parent ]
sometimes being snide is appropriate (1.66 / 6) (#52)
by samth on Sat May 26, 2001 at 10:17:42 PM EST

First, what's wrong with posting upthread? I had a large number of comments that I wanted to respond to at once?

Second, 1 ratings are given to inane/noise comments, not snide/nasty comments. And sometimes, like when your responding to people who have no clue what they're talking about about, it's hard to control a little snideness.

Finally, I really do believe that capitalism (at least in an forseeable form, especially in the US) is an inherently racist system. You may disagree, but rating my post down is not the appropriate way to do that.

Given a choice between Libertarianism and ravenous martian spores, I ask you, do I look good in this Bernaise sauce? -- eLuddite
[ Parent ]

Posting upthread **is** inane noise (3.75 / 4) (#56)
by forrest on Sun May 27, 2001 at 12:44:39 AM EST

Thanks for pointing out that inane/noise comments deserve a 1.

I ususally don't rate comments, but I spent several minutes puzzling over just what the f*** you were talking about, because yours was the first post I saw after the article, and I still haven't seen any of the comments you quote.

As a consequence, I can only classify your post as "word salad".

[ Parent ]

huh? (2.60 / 5) (#62)
by samth on Sun May 27, 2001 at 04:09:45 AM EST

Exactly what else should I do to respond to more than one comment? And if you have a problem with seeing newer comments first, there's a nice little option for seeing the oldest comments first.

Given a choice between Libertarianism and ravenous martian spores, I ask you, do I look good in this Bernaise sauce? -- eLuddite
[ Parent ]
Maybe this would help... (1.00 / 1) (#95)
by elenchos on Sun May 27, 2001 at 05:31:21 PM EST

I think it makes sense to post upthread if you do intend to respond to several comments, or to respond to a common theme that runs through numerous comments, especially if that theme is represented in top-level comments, lower down in the threads, and in the original article.

If someone loads the page and the first thing they see is an upthread comment that refers back to comments they haven't read, is is their fault for setting the view to show newer comments first. If you want to know what is going on, look at comment #1 first, but don't blame later posters if you can't tell what they are talking about.

However, I think forrest has a point about the result looking a little like word salad. It does demand that everyone reading it has read through the entire discussion and remembers all of it practiacally. I think you could have avoided this if you had just linked to the things you qouted, instead of just dropping in the quotes. And probably if that post had been broken up into two or maybe three parts and those parts had been posted as replies to the appropriate areas it would have been impossible to be confused.

I'm just speculating. I think all the 1 ratings I'm seeing in this discussion are just total bullshit. The fact that you find a couple things wrong with an otherwise insightful post is no reason to go nuts. But at this point I think ratings are meaningless, since there are right now about 5 accounts being use to modstorm up and down the thread. But this shows once again that ratings mean nothing and as long as they do the job deleting penis-birds and fp!'s then that is good enough.

Say to yourself in the early morning: I shall meet today inquisitive, ungrateful, violent, treacherous, envious, uncharitable men. All these things have
[ Parent ]

thanks (none / 0) (#106)
by samth on Sun May 27, 2001 at 09:02:33 PM EST

Yeah, linking would have been a good idea. That way our good friend crash might have thought that I wasn't taking his statements so out of context. But that ratings on this thread are remarkable. A number of people (your_desired_username, BobaFett, hph) have rated basically every single comment in this thread to 1. I don't think I've ever seen such abuse of the moderation system. And - gasp - I'm no longer a trusted user. Whatever shall I do.

Again, thanks for the advice.

Given a choice between Libertarianism and ravenous martian spores, I ask you, do I look good in this Bernaise sauce? -- eLuddite
[ Parent ]

Me too, again. (none / 0) (#107)
by elenchos on Sun May 27, 2001 at 09:14:49 PM EST

I see all sorts of ratings from account names I've never seen before, some with pretty low uid numbers, oddly enough.

But there are hardly any ratings from the people I'm used to seeing every day on K5, and whom I know fairly well because they actually post instead of lurk. Maybe they are all out of town for Memorial Day.

So I get a little break from seeing garbage comments, and in a couple days things will even out and be back to normal. What goes around comes around, eh? These kids just haven't learned that yet.

Say to yourself in the early morning: I shall meet today inquisitive, ungrateful, violent, treacherous, envious, uncharitable men. All these things have
[ Parent ]

OK, I just got a little over-angry (5.00 / 1) (#142)
by BobaFatt on Mon May 28, 2001 at 04:20:32 AM EST

Recently, I have had to put up with a spate of petty bickering on a couple of mail-lists I lurk on, so my temper is kind of short. Rather than bother trying to work out who is more to blame than who in this thread full of personal insults and moderation arguments, I basically just threw up my hands, muttered "a plague on both your houses", and rated everything a 1.

Oh, and BobaFatt is deliberate, it being a reference to my increased girth.
The Management apologise for any convenience caused.
[ Parent ]
I'm a little confused here. (4.00 / 1) (#167)
by elenchos on Mon May 28, 2001 at 02:57:39 PM EST

When those who actually contribute to K5 lose their tempers and toss in a few insults, they deserve to get modstormed. But when some lurker who adds little or no content to K5 loses his temper and modstorms the discussion, we should be sympathetic and forgive him.

Does that sound fair?

I have to say, recently I have bugun to really start to dislike lurkers. And I think I have good reason to.

Say to yourself in the early morning: I shall meet today inquisitive, ungrateful, violent, treacherous, envious, uncharitable men. All these things have
[ Parent ]

Ah, forget it. (3.00 / 1) (#173)
by BobaFatt on Mon May 28, 2001 at 06:19:22 PM EST

That'll teach me to explain my actions. Next time I should just remeber to keep my big trap shut ;-)

I admit, I don't post as often as I like, but I have had a couple of articles posted recently, and I plan to follow them up in the near future.

Oh, sod it. Someone mod this, the parent, the grandparent and the great-grandparent as 1 please, as they are somehow even less relevant than the rest of the "discussion" in this thread.
The Management apologise for any convenience caused.
[ Parent ]
It will teach me to post at all, eh? (3.50 / 2) (#179)
by elenchos on Mon May 28, 2001 at 10:34:41 PM EST

Obviously it is better to just say nothing and let everyone presume my silence is consent. Or is it worth the "risk?"

Say to yourself in the early morning: I shall meet today inquisitive, ungrateful, violent, treacherous, envious, uncharitable men. All these things have
[ Parent ]

Quick word... (1.00 / 1) (#72)
by Crashnbur on Sun May 27, 2001 at 11:35:11 AM EST

So you know, all of the "quotes" that he uses are either in the article or spread between here and every other comment in this collection under the story. The only problem, though, is that he took several of them out of context, removed the rest of paragraphs that clarified how I meant them, etc... You know, the stuff that would get you an F in a journalism class (although I would guess that the media loves the "muckraking" stuff).

Anyway, yes, I said all of those things he quoted. But his interpretations of what I meant are absolutely horrible and inaccurate.

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
"Yes I said that but I did not mean that" (3.00 / 2) (#76)
by el_chicano on Sun May 27, 2001 at 12:36:10 PM EST

Anyway, yes, I said all of those things he quoted. But his interpretations of what I meant are absolutely horrible and inaccurate.
Then the fault lies with you, the writer. If you cannot express yourself CLEARLY and UNAMBIGUOUSLY then you are not doing a very good job as a writer...

[ Parent ]
Well... (1.00 / 1) (#90)
by Crashnbur on Sun May 27, 2001 at 02:55:42 PM EST

I find it funny that only you self-proclaimed liberals are the ones misinterpreting my words and spreading that misinterpretation. Others have had no problem interpreting what I meant, and in fact agreed. In fact, I could make the unfounded assumption that my intended meaning is being horribly exaggerated, which is something else that I have suggested repeatedly, but I'm tired of this argument. If you can't understand simple, general terms, then I can't help you. :-)

The people that do understand me, however, prove that it is no fault of mine. Let's compare the amount direct responses to the article that disagree with or misinterpret my article to those that agree or understand.

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
Why is it that only liberals distort what you say? (3.50 / 2) (#146)
by Code Name D on Mon May 28, 2001 at 06:31:27 AM EST

So far through this thread, I have heard only once person make any claim to being a liberal. However, I nave noticed that a number of persons have presented arguments against your position. I suppose that any one who just happens to not share your opinion in one of those "stupid liberals," right?

Secondly, I have not seen one example where you were quoted out of context. You have in fact been invited to identify and clarify any of these misquotations, and you declined to do so. You are still privileged to do so at any time. By all means, make yourself clear, however simply siting the charge of being misquoted without offering any thing specific is a hollow charge.
(_) Truth dispatched by mer logic, was never truth to begin with.
[ Parent ]

And to answer your question... (none / 0) (#182)
by Crashnbur on Mon May 28, 2001 at 10:53:10 PM EST

Because the conservatives aren't distorting what I'm saying! If I'm right, they leave it alone and question the parts where I'm wrong.

Also, I have gone back to prove in many instances where I have been taken out of context. Obviously, you have not read those comments, or you are excluding them. Or, in other words, taking me out of context to prove a false point.

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
Blah. (none / 0) (#185)
by Crashnbur on Mon May 28, 2001 at 11:05:45 PM EST

You people are just as qualified to go back and read my comments as I am, and if you did you would see that I have not lied to you. Why should I waste my time convincing a group of people that have zero impact on my life? Oh, but I try, little by little, but it doesn't work. You people are just so convinced of your own righteousness that I could never "prove" you wrong.
I suppose that any one who just happens to not share your opinion in one of those "stupid liberals," right?
For the 742nd time, I dislike conservatives just as much as liberals. I have never used the phrase "stupid liberals" that I am aware of, but in hundreds of comments, I would not be surprised if I let it slip once or twice. Besides, anyone that claims allegiance to any political party is stupid, in my opinion, because they are essentially relying on the party to promote them by buying into that party's platform, rather than standing for their own personal beliefs.

Think about it. Nearly every Republican or Democrat disagrees with several of his/her party's standpoints on a number of issues, yet they continue to vote along party lines to protect their own career.

In other words, they vote for their own promotion instead of the good of the country. This is wrong, although I'm certain that my opinion doesn't count for anything here.

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
Also... (1.00 / 1) (#91)
by Crashnbur on Sun May 27, 2001 at 02:59:38 PM EST

Don't forget to respond to my first comment under this article, in which I meant to say "support or oppose", but I accidentally typed "support or backup" ... In other words, I mistakenly gave the impression that I didn't want opposing arguments, when I most certainly do. I just prefer reasonable arguments to personal attacks. You know?

Either way, if you look at my response to that when I noticed my error, I cleared it up, I think. No one seemed to be too upset about it anyway. I think they know what I meant. Therefore, although it was my fault, as the writer, that the meaning could have been misinterpreted, it seems that most readers of that comment could extrapolate what I meant... I don't make it difficult, do I?

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
be proud of your ones (none / 0) (#160)
by anonymous cowerd on Mon May 28, 2001 at 01:13:40 PM EST

...they generally mean, sharp shooting! you hit a nerve.

Besides, anyway, seriously, who in the world gives a fuck what "mojo" rating you, or anyone else, has got? As far as getting the message out, a one's as good as a five. Now zeros can sink your message right out of sight, that's hitting below the belt, but evidently "canimal" restrained himself from making so low a blow.

Yours WDK - WKiernan@concentric.net

stint grits
darts file
gratis ways to fit tins
dapper angle
ill apple
-Barbara Baracks

[ Parent ]

ones and zeroes (none / 0) (#181)
by Crashnbur on Mon May 28, 2001 at 10:45:31 PM EST

Actually, zeroes can only be given by "trusted" users, or users that have been rated highly enough to be considered "trusted" by, um, well, however this system works. I was a trusted user until people started accusing me of lying again, at which point, when I defended myself, they rated my comments ones because, um, well apparently I am lying, and they know my life better than I do. Funny how so many experts on me there are around here... :-) But that's not the point. The point is that only "trusted" users deliver the zeroes, and so they are generally not "below the belt", because people that are generally liked by the system are the ones giving them... Et cetera.

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
Well, I know two things. (2.00 / 4) (#53)
by Crashnbur on Sat May 26, 2001 at 11:48:04 PM EST

You're good at making unfounded extrapolations and assumptions by taking sentences out of context. The other is that your comments are worth almost nothing to me. You essentially attacked my comments and my character. Oh, and before you claim that I rated your comments lowly because I disagree with you, that is far from the case. I rated your comments lowly because you made several comments that basically attacked me, were horribly taken out of context, or were otherwise distasteful (let me count them really quick ... I count 12. I count 4 reasonable arguments, and I agree with 1. Let's see. 12 unreasonable, 4 reasonable.)

Answer a question for me, please: would you consider yourself to be on the left?

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
Well, I know one thing. (2.60 / 5) (#58)
by eLuddite on Sun May 27, 2001 at 01:06:14 AM EST

You have zero tolerance, which is considerably more than your accurate knowledge.

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

Wrong. (1.00 / 1) (#66)
by Crashnbur on Sun May 27, 2001 at 11:17:51 AM EST

If I had zero tolerance, I would be blasting him and insulting him, rather than trying to understand why he made such rash assumptions, exaggerations, and other mistakes in judging my words and my character.

This is an op-ed piece, and it carries my opinion - nothing more. It does not provide any of you with this grand glimpse into my life, who I am, what I do, how I live, who I vote for - none of that. So how is that, every time I say something even slightly political, suddenly all of you are experts on all of those aspects of my life?

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
a challenge (2.16 / 6) (#63)
by samth on Sun May 27, 2001 at 04:14:17 AM EST

First, I don't give a shit what you rated my post. Second, which sentences would you like more context for? Please, provide more context for any of the quotes, and we will all see that my point still stands. And I certainly attacked your comments, since they were dumb.

As to your 12 awful comments, provide one that was incorrect. Just one.

Given a choice between Libertarianism and ravenous martian spores, I ask you, do I look good in this Bernaise sauce? -- eLuddite
[ Parent ]

123456789 (3.25 / 4) (#65)
by Crashnbur on Sun May 27, 2001 at 11:16:01 AM EST

First of all...
Oh, I see. If you're being discriminated against, it just means you need to work harder. No need to correct any aspects of society, black people just need to try harder than white people. And if they don't, I guess that's too bad for them.
I don't know what your deal is here. There are about 400% MORE whites living in poverty than blacks. Okay, so perhaps there are 600% more whites in the country, so there is a slight disproportion, but that is not so overwhelmingly great that it is a problem with society, as you would call it. Trying to pass more rules and regulations in order to "fix society" does not work. It only generates more contempt for the law-making bodies. This is a country that stands for freedom, not some two-bit, half-assed version of it in which every minority group with half a problem is treated like something special because they were supressed or maltreated in the past. I'm a lower class white kid in a rural town barely making it on my own, and the rest of my family is sinking. Do you know what's keeping me afloat? It's not some government program that offers any benefits because I have more problems than the rest. It's not some two-bit, lying, political icon that discriminates against the rest of the country in favor of people like me. No, it is the fact that I work my ass off, read the books, and push myself. Newsflash: This is not a communist country. We do not simply fix society for those feeling oppressed.

And, like I said, the majority of your arguments against mine took them out of context, stretched their meaning, and basically made me look like a right-wing fascist just because I may be a little more conservative than you. Well, perhaps there's a reason for that. Perhaps it's because I do not agree with much of anything that liberals advocate.

And do me one favor. Explain what you meant by this line:

Yeah, that Jefferson guy should be kept out of politics altogether.
I understand that you were being sarcastic, but I don't understand what you meant by it, unless you were simply taking my quotation which it follows horribly out of context in order to make your point. (By the way, you would either make a good politician or a horrible journalist. I'm hoping you go for neither, however.)

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
do not enter a subject (4.33 / 3) (#98)
by samth on Sun May 27, 2001 at 06:21:18 PM EST

There are about 400% MORE whites living in poverty than blacks. Okay, so perhaps there are 600% more whites in the country, so there is a slight disproportion, but that is not so overwhelmingly great that it is a problem with society, as you would call it.

Actually, the poverty rate among blacks and hispanics is about 3 times the rate of white poverty, according to the census bureau. For children, the rate among blacks is nearly 4 times that of whites.

Trying to pass more rules and regulations in order to "fix society" does not work. It only generates more contempt for the law-making bodies.

So you claim. The Europeans seem to be doing pretty well at it. See this comment.

This is a country that stands for freedom , not some two-bit, half-assed version of it in which every minority group with half a problem is treated like something special because they were supressed or maltreated in the past.

Personally, I think the kind of freedom you're advocating is the two-bit version of it. And I'm much less concerned with people who were maltreated in the past than with people being maltreated in the present. Like non-white people today.

I'm a lower class white kid in a rural town barely making it on my own, and the rest of my family is sinking. Do you know what's keeping me afloat? It's not some government program that offers any benefits because I have more problems than the rest. It's not some two-bit, lying, political icon that discriminates against the rest of the country in favor of people like me. No, it is the fact that I work my ass off, read the books, and push myself.

Is this describing you personally? According to your web page, you seem to be in college. Regardless, if you're suffering, why shouldn't the government help you out?

Newsflash: This is not a communist country.

Your point being? Nothing I've advocated here sounds anything like communism. This is in fact one of the things I was criticizing you for in my original post, confusing moderate liberals with real leftists. Us real leftists find that annoying, and the liberals do too.

We do not simply fix society for those feeling oppressed.

I don't know about people "feeling" oppressed, but fixing society to stop oppressing people sounds like a damn good idea to me.

And, like I said, the majority of your arguments against mine took them out of context, stretched their meaning, and basically made me look like a right-wing fascist just because I may be a little more conservative than you.

Anyone who says they're an objectivist is a *lot* more conservative than me. And which quotes were out of context? Please, clarify them.

Well, perhaps there's a reason for that. Perhaps it's because I do not agree with much of anything that liberals advocate.

That much seems clear. That doesn't mean I can't criticize you for that position.

Yeah, that Jefferson guy should be kept out of politics altogether.
I understand that you were being sarcastic, but I don't understand what you meant by it, unless you were simply taking my quotation which it follows horribly out of context in order to make your point.

I was criticizing your comment about the seperation of church and state. The phrase "seperation of church and state" comes from a comment by Jefferson. Are you not opposed to the seperation of church and state? If so, I take that comment back.

Given a choice between Libertarianism and ravenous martian spores, I ask you, do I look good in this Bernaise sauce? -- eLuddite
[ Parent ]

Reasonable Argument. (3.00 / 1) (#109)
by Crashnbur on Sun May 27, 2001 at 09:38:53 PM EST

Actually, the poverty rate among blacks and hispanics is about 3 times the rate of white poverty, according to the census bureau. For children, the rate among blacks is nearly 4 times that of whites.
Which is exactly what I said, except I used exact numbers rather than their rates. As I said, there are a greater number of whites in poverty than minorities. I did not say, "a greater percentage of the white population..." because I knew that would be wrong. Thank you for not proving a thing against me there.
The Europeans seem to be doing pretty well at [passing more rules and regulations in order to "fix society"]. (then a link to some other comment
Well that's great, if you want to live under a socialist system in which the money that you earn goes to someone else because they have a tougher time living than you do. (Sidenote: this does not mean that every European in Europe is subject to this, which I am sure you would have used to annihilate my point had I not said something about it.)
Is this describing you personally? According to your web page, you seem to be in college. Regardless, if you're suffering, why shouldn't the government help you out?
Because that is not the government's job! The government's job is to efficiently run our country and serve its people, not pull its people out of problems that the government is not responsible for. The government is not the reason that my family is in a bit of a financial pinch right now. The government has nothing to do with it. This has come about because my parents split ten years ago and my father took on three kids, a house payment, two car payments, and basically all the bills required to take care of a family on one salary. This has nothing to do with the government, is not the government's thought, and I do not deserve government help just because bad decisions have landed my family in a pinch. Besides, we are working hard, and we are earning our way out of it.

Oh, and I am in college, as I have stated numerous times, because I worked my ass off and earned academic scholarships. I thought I told you this. Must not have. So you know now.

Personally, I think the kind of freedom you're advocating is the two-bit version of it.
You are entitled to your opinion. I think the same of your kind of freedom, apparently. :-)
And I'm much less concerned with people who were maltreated in the past than with people being maltreated in the present. Like non-white people today.
It is my understanding that everyone is maltreated at some time or another, regardless of race. Sure, racism is a problem for minorities in many areas, but think of the biggest reason why: The civil rights movement is so recent that a great number of our population are still those born in the days before Martin Luther King and desegregation. The racist influence is still there, naturally, but as that generation fades, so does their influence.

Also, while I don't like to make this point, it is very obvious to me that many blacks are just as racist as racist whites. People feel the need to stop this oppression and to stop treating minorities differently, yet people like Jesse Jackson preaches that blacks need to be treated differently in order to rise up. Also, blacks have "Black History Month" to celebrate their heritage so that all children - white, black, hispanic, asian, whatever - learn about "black history". Could you imagine the reaction if a "White History" holiday of any kind were ever to become a reality? Not only would the white man that suggested it be considered a racist, but anyone in support of such a holiday would be considered a racist. Yet blacks and other minorities preach for equality.

That doesn't mean I can't criticize you for that position.
Criticize the position and the opinion, not me. That's part of my goal in this exchange. I'm not attacking you; I'm attacking your attacks. And I prefer to call it "reasonably arguing", although the "reasonably" part gets lost in the insults.
I was criticizing your comment about the seperation of church and state. The phrase "seperation of church and state" comes from a comment by Jefferson. Are you not opposed to the seperation of church and state? If so, I take that comment back.
That's what I thought you meant. The reason I was wondering is because, if that is what you meant, then it had not point in being said. I made no mention of being opposed to the separation of church and state. I agree with that. What I said was that some legislation pushes it too far. I apologize for the confusion, but I still think I said it clearly.

Look, I don't dislike you, and I prefer to argue reasonably. Can you give me that much? If people that think differently can't get along, how are the answers supposed to come? Oh, but that's part of what's wrong with the American government... :-)

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
more reasoned argument (3.00 / 1) (#119)
by samth on Sun May 27, 2001 at 10:19:19 PM EST

Which is exactly what I said, except I used exact numbers rather than their rates. As I said, there are a greater number of whites in poverty than minorities. I did not say, "a greater percentage of the white population..." because I knew that would be wrong. Thank you for not proving a thing against me there.

That would be all well and good, were it not for two things.

One, your absolute figures were incorrect. There are less than twice as many white people as black people in poverty in the US. And blacks and hispanics account for approximately half of the poor people in this country.

Second, absolute figures are uninteresting for the most part. We ca n't tell if people are being discriminated against in job hiring by looking at absolute numbers - we have to look at how many people are in the population from each category. The same is true of poverty.

Well that's great, if you want to live under a socialist system in which the money that you earn goes to someone else because they have a tougher time living than you do.

First, your original claim was that this didn't work at all. Now, you seem to be claiming that it's wrong for some other reason. Do you agree that it does work?

Second, whether I want to live under such a system (or whether you want to live under such a system, for that matter) is irrelevant. Allowing people to suffer is wrong.

Because that is not the government's job! The government's job is to efficiently run our country and serve its people, not pull its people out of problems that the government is not responsible for.

Why isn't it the government's job? I think that the a society has no more important job than helping the neediest among its members, and the government is the instrument by which society acts.

Oh, and I am in college, as I have stated numerous times, because I worked my ass off and earned academic scholarships. I thought I told you this. Must not have. So you know now.

That's nice. Are there enough merit scholarships for everyone? Of course not. In fact, merit scholarships given to everyone would defeat the point. Better would be everyone being able to go to college, regardless of their financial situation.

You are entitled to your opinion. I think the same of your kind of freedom, apparently. :-)

Yes, everyone can hold whatever opinon they want. That doesn't make them any more correct.

It is my understanding that everyone is maltreated at some time or another, regardless of race. Sure, racism is a problem for minorities in many areas, but think of the biggest reason why: The civil rights movement is so recent that a great number of our population are still those born in the days before Martin Luther King and desegregation. The racist influence is still there, naturally, but as that generation fades, so does their influence.

The vast majority of people in this country were not even out of high school at the beginning of the civil rights movement.

Unfortunately for your argument, people are racist in every generation, and non-whites experience racism still today. Yes, it's better than it was in 1950. But that doesn't mean we as a society don't have a lot more work ahead of us. Claiming that it will all get better if we just wait is both disingenous and false.

Also, as the study discussed here indicates, there is still significant unconcious racism among younger segments of the population.

Also, while I don't like to make this point, it is very obvious to me that many blacks are just as racist as racist whites. People feel the need to stop this oppression and to stop treating minorities differently, yet people like Jesse Jackson preaches that blacks need to be treated differently in order to rise up. Also, blacks have "Black History Month" to celebrate their heritage so that all children - white, black, hispanic, asian, whatever - learn about "black history". Could you imagine the reaction if a "White History" holiday of any kind were ever to become a reality? Not only would the white man that suggested it be considered a racist, but anyone in support of such a holiday would be considered a racist. Yet blacks and other minorities preach for equality.

Treating people differently is not automatically racism. Sometimes, it is an attempt to compensate for the failings of society, and to redress those same failings.

As to Black History Month, the reason we don't have a White History Month is that every month is White History Month. For example, every day, the New York Times Online lists famous people who were born on that day. For today, the link is here. Of the historical birthdays, every single person is white. That's why we don't need "White History Month". We've got it 12 months a year.

Criticize the position and the opinion, not me.

The positions you hold reflect on you as a person.

I made no mention of being opposed to the separation of church and state. I agree with that. What I said was that some legislation pushes it too far. I apologize for the confusion, but I still think I said it clearly.

Well, I'm glad you aren't opposed to that, and I take by my comment about Jefferson. I still think that you are greatly naive to think that it's possible to have prayer in school, or any of the other things recently struck down by the courts without infringing on the freedoms of people who don't share the majority religion. Or people who don't have religion.

Given a choice between Libertarianism and ravenous martian spores, I ask you, do I look good in this Bernaise sauce? -- eLuddite
[ Parent ]

Okay, Okay. (none / 0) (#122)
by Crashnbur on Sun May 27, 2001 at 10:30:29 PM EST

I see your point, and we are going to disagree no matter how long we keep at this, so I'm stopping now. Besides, I think we have come to reasonable terms here... at least we're not still bickering back and forth like four-year-olds. All I can recommend to you now is that you (if you haven't already) read the other articles in this story and continue to spread your point of view to others. I respect your opinion, though some of the personal attacks could have been left out.

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
ok? (none / 0) (#129)
by samth on Sun May 27, 2001 at 11:31:16 PM EST

Ok, the argument's done, if that's the way you want it. And I have read all the other comments.

However, I will continue to post comments such as I did (only with more links, as per elenchos's suggestion) about anyone who claims that the Democrats aim to create a Socialist States of America. And although I won't do it, I suspect you will continue to be criticized if you keep modding down posts you don't like.

Given a choice between Libertarianism and ravenous martian spores, I ask you, do I look good in this Bernaise sauce? -- eLuddite
[ Parent ]

Then it's settled! I hope. :-) (none / 0) (#132)
by Crashnbur on Mon May 28, 2001 at 12:48:29 AM EST

I have modded up scored of posts in this article, particularly el chicano's and one other guy's, simply because they argued well. Others I modded to a 4 or 3 because they were good arguments, but there was something that drew them down, like a bad assumption or a mild insult, or something to that affect. Others.. well.. you know how they go.

And I didn't change any ratings. :-)

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
A few errors? (5.00 / 1) (#192)
by Afty on Tue May 29, 2001 at 06:08:35 AM EST

Trying to pass more rules and regulations in order to "fix society" does not work. It only generates more contempt for the law-making bodies.
So you claim. The Europeans seem to be doing pretty well at it. See this comment.


Umm - actually the 'Europeans' aren't doing pretty well at it. We seem to be heading down a slightly more socialist path than the USA but we're introducing our own draconian laws and regulations which can be selectively enforced (that's the whole point of zero-tolerance - more power, less accountability for the people who actually make the decisions as to whether to punish an individual or not).
There are a million reasons why there are lower murder rates in some European countries, but here is an example for you: Two youths recently broke into a mans house (repeatedly) - one night the man lay awake waiting for them with a shotun to defend his property, when they broke in he challenged them and they ran, he shot and killed one of them.
This man was jailed for our equivalent of a 'felony'. This is not right. Us Europeans have lost alot of our freedoms, and we lose more everyday to the lawmakers, and I am not willing to trade a lower murder rate, and lower crime rates for my freedom, but it appears I have no choice.
Crashnbur is absolutely correct, you cannot remedy a social problem with either a political or technological fix, without introducing other issues.

Is this describing you personally? According to your web page, you seem to be in college.

So what if the guy is in college? Since I was 16 years old I (a wonderfully lucky European) have had to have a job in order to stay in education and go to college and university. My government doesn't believe in paying for my education, so I had to pay for it myself, and also pay all my expenses while I was there. I did this by 'reading the books' and working my ass off. Just because you're at college does not mean you don't have to struggle to survive.

Regardless, if you're suffering, why shouldn't the government help you out?

Perhaps you should help yourself? Everyone has the right to go to school in America yes? Now admittedly, the social pressures in inner city classrooms *not* to succeed are probably higher than elsewhere but at the end of the day you decide whether you work hard or not. The state should *never* hand out aid to people who are suffering who haven't at least made an effort to help themself.

I don't know about people "feeling" oppressed, but fixing society to stop oppressing people sounds like a damn good idea to me.

This would be fine, if most of the 'oppressed' people actually were oppressed, instead they are for the most part simple 'faced with lesser opportunities' which is so *very very* different to being oppressed. Head to Afghanistan or Iraq to find out about oppression. In *any* capitalist society there will be rich people and there will be poor people, that's the way it works. It's up to the poor people to help themselves, innovate, work hard and become rich. It's not up to the cushy middle class whiners to write laws to make it 'easier' for them in life.



[ Parent ]
Thanks. (none / 0) (#216)
by Crashnbur on Tue May 29, 2001 at 02:33:58 PM EST

About the man jailed for shooting the burglar: He should be a hero, if not something greater. He stood for his freedom and took out the bad guy, yet he is punished. Here in America, our government is trying to pass laws that would do the same to us. We are trying to outlaw gun ownership.

Let me see. If private citizens are not allowed to own guns, what does this do to crime rates? Me thinks they will shoot through the roof, as only the criminals would have the guns. Not only that, but knowing that average Joe does not own a gun, the criminals could raid homes worry-free because the good citizens would have nothing with which to protect themselves.

And my favorite story of all, posted on here a few months back: A woman's house was broken into. The burglar came in and landed on a knife, or so I recall, and cut his leg very badly. He sued the woman and she had to pay him about $6000 for his injured leg, despite the fact that he was breaking into her home with the intent to steal, which he admitted, if I'm not mistaken.

Oh, what a great world we live in.

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
I know... (none / 0) (#241)
by Kaki Nix Sain on Tue May 29, 2001 at 11:21:26 PM EST

...this might come off sounding a bit asinine, but could you give an example of a blanket anti-gun law that has been proposed? I'm sincerly curious about this as I'm under the impression that so far the proposals have been for registrations, id checks, waiting periods, limiting which guns, restricting felons, etcetera. Not outlawing guns outright.

Oh, and this is quite far off topic. Sorry about that too.



[ Parent ]

Have to disagree with you there (5.00 / 1) (#252)
by BobaFatt on Wed May 30, 2001 at 12:57:27 PM EST

The farmer was not defending himself or anyone else against a threat of death of injury (real or percieved). He lay in wait and shot the guy in cold blood. It should be noted that he shouldn't even have had the shotgun (the Police revoked his license after reports of him taking pot-shots at people). Ask yourself this: Are you in favour of the death penalty for the crime of burglary? If so, your position might make some sense, otherwise, it lacks something in the logic department methinks. If you were suddenly to outlaw gun ownership in the USA, I would be unsurprised if the scenario you describe took place. On the other hand, in a culture with no major tradition of gun ownership (eg much of Europe), this appears not to be the case, as the difficulty in obtaining a gun and the aditional risk of being found in posession of it (a serious offence) make it undesireable for petty crimes.
The Management apologise for any convenience caused.
[ Parent ]
Oh, I agree with you there. (none / 0) (#257)
by Crashnbur on Wed May 30, 2001 at 06:29:24 PM EST

But I don't recall saying anything against that point. Death is not worth being shot, and once the kid had turned his back and ran, the man should not have fired. And I refuse to own a gun. I am against guns. But if everyone was like me and no private citizens owned guns, then it would be open season for burglary year-round.

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
'Cold Blood' (none / 0) (#273)
by Afty on Thu May 31, 2001 at 05:35:56 AM EST

While the facts of your post are correct, your language makes it clear you disagreed with the shooting on some grounds? 'Cold Blood' is an interesting term to apply here - it imples the farmer did not get excited, worried or have any kind of reaction to pulling the trigger, which I sincerely doubt. I bet he was scared, agitated and angered, which is not 'cold blooded'. Then you went on to ask "Ask yourself this: Are you in favour of the death penalty for the crime of burglary?". Of course, not, the first time someone burgles a house there should be a mild punishment. If they do it again, it should be more severe. At what level do we reach the death penalty, for surely we must reach it if we are to be fair to society? Once the man has burgled a large number of properties, repeatedly it is obvious he can be of no use to society and is merely a leech on the hard work of others. He must be removed from society. This can be accomplished in a number of ways : send him to another society (deportation), jail him (very costly still to the society) or kill him. Personally, I feel the farmer was in the right to shoot, I think it is a shame the burglar actually died, it would have been better if he had lived to see the consequences of his actions, but I feel no remorse, and would still feel no remorse if the farmer had shot the burglars companion down too. One question to ask : If the two fit young men had broken into the building and the farmer has been waiting without a gun, perhaps unarmed for them, and he had challenged them, do you think they still would have run away? Perhaps they would, but I imagine there would be people in this world when faced with an unarmed older person challenging them, outnumbered 2-1 would likely assault and kill him.

[ Parent ]
yup, some errors (none / 0) (#247)
by samth on Wed May 30, 2001 at 06:27:06 AM EST

in your post.

Umm - actually the 'Europeans' aren't doing pretty well at it. We seem to be heading down a slightly more socialist path than the USA but we're introducing our own draconian laws and regulations which can be selectively enforced (that's the whole point of zero-tolerance - more power, less accountability for the people who actually make the decisions as to whether to punish an individual or not).
In what sense aren't you 'doing well at it'? There are a number of problems with Europe (I wouldn't want to move there), but on a lot of things, they're doing pretty well. Did you read the post I linked to?
There are a million reasons why there are lower murder rates in some European countries, but here is an example for you: Two youths recently broke into a mans house (repeatedly) - one night the man lay awake waiting for them with a shotun to defend his property, when they broke in he challenged them and they ran, he shot and killed one of them. This man was jailed for our equivalent of a 'felony'. This is not right. Us Europeans have lost alot of our freedoms, and we lose more everyday to the lawmakers, and I am not willing to trade a lower murder rate, and lower crime rates for my freedom, but it appears I have no choice. Crashnbur is absolutely correct, you cannot remedy a social problem with either a political or technological fix, without introducing other issues.
You can effect lots of social changes with political fixes. Sure it creates lots of issues - otherwise people would have figured this out long ago. And as to the dread 'losing our freedoms', I reccommend Streetlawyer's article on "why freedom?". In short, it says "Why should freedom trump everything else?". You seem to claim that. Well, why?

As to the specific instance you mentioned, do you have more details - a link maybe?

So what if the guy is in college? Since I was 16 years old I (a wonderfully lucky European) have had to have a job in order to stay in education and go to college and university. My government doesn't believe in paying for my education, so I had to pay for it myself, and also pay all my expenses while I was there. I did this by 'reading the books' and working my ass off. Just because you're at college does not mean you don't have to struggle to survive.
I was just pointing out that his situation as described on his website didn't sound much like the situation described in that post.
The state should *never* hand out aid to people who are suffering who haven't at least made an effort to help themself.
First, why the hell not?

Second, most people have made at least some effort. I would venture that most of them have made more effort than GWB ever did. Yet they are poor, and he is President.

This would be fine, if most of the 'oppressed' people actually were oppressed, instead they are for the most part simple 'faced with lesser opportunities' which is so *very very* different to being oppressed. Head to Afghanistan or Iraq to find out about oppression. In *any* capitalist society there will be rich people and there will be poor people, that's the way it works. It's up to the poor people to help themselves, innovate, work hard and become rich. It's not up to the cushy middle class whiners to write laws to make it 'easier' for them in life.
First, the fact that people in Afghanistan are more oppressed does not make people in the US not oppressed. Second, even if they are just given far fewer opportunities, but not actually "oppressed" (whatever that means), I still think that society, acting through its agent the government, has a duty to help them.

You haven't given much argument for you claims, you've just made them. Do you have arguments?

Given a choice between Libertarianism and ravenous martian spores, I ask you, do I look good in this Bernaise sauce? -- eLuddite
[ Parent ]

You're jumping to too many conclusions. (none / 0) (#258)
by Crashnbur on Wed May 30, 2001 at 06:30:35 PM EST

So you're basically saying that fixing this problem to create another is basically okay, because it fixes the first one?

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
I like jumping (none / 0) (#262)
by samth on Wed May 30, 2001 at 09:49:31 PM EST

Which problem are you claiming I'm creating? The "problem" of less freedom to screw other people? I disagree that that's a problem.

Given a choice between Libertarianism and ravenous martian spores, I ask you, do I look good in this Bernaise sauce? -- eLuddite
[ Parent ]
Well it is. (none / 0) (#263)
by Crashnbur on Wed May 30, 2001 at 10:32:51 PM EST

The "problem" of less freedom to screw other people? I disagree that that's a problem.
Taking away that freedom is certainly a problem. Punishing criminals for criminal acts is not a problem, if we do it right. But simply removing the freedom is not the answer.

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
sorry, no assertions allowed (none / 0) (#270)
by samth on Thu May 31, 2001 at 01:29:00 AM EST

You claim that taking away this freedom is a problem. I disagree, and give the reason that taking away this freedom has good consequences. You need to provide an argument as to why this is a problem.

I see a couple potential arguments. One, that taking away any freedom is wrong. This is, however, a premise that requires substantial argument. Two, that taking away this freedom in particular is a problem. You would have to either dispute my reasons (the good consequences) or the relevance of said reasons (conseqences don't matter, for example).

It's not often that people give you your arguments on a platter. Use the opportunity.

Given a choice between Libertarianism and ravenous martian spores, I ask you, do I look good in this Bernaise sauce? -- eLuddite
[ Parent ]

La. (none / 0) (#271)
by Crashnbur on Thu May 31, 2001 at 04:35:04 AM EST

As an individualist, it is a part of my fundamental mode of thought that freedom to choose, when a person is reasonably able, and when such a choice does not infringe upon others' freedom(s), should always belong to every one. Maybe that's Libertarian, which is why I've shown a bit of interest in them of late, but this has been my view since long before I knew even what the Libertarian Party was.

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
de da (none / 0) (#275)
by samth on Thu May 31, 2001 at 09:43:10 AM EST

That's nice. That's also not an argument. Why should anyone care what you say your "fundamental mode of thought is"? And when free choices conflict, what then?

Given a choice between Libertarianism and ravenous martian spores, I ask you, do I look good in this Bernaise sauce? -- eLuddite
[ Parent ]
You asked for my reasoning. (none / 0) (#277)
by Crashnbur on Thu May 31, 2001 at 03:36:20 PM EST

And I gave it to you. If that's not good enough, then that's too bad.

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
that's not reasoning (none / 0) (#282)
by samth on Fri Jun 01, 2001 at 03:25:43 AM EST

Making assertions about your "fundamental mode of thought" isn't reasoning. It's just making assertions. You claimed that we shouldn't do things to benifit black people. It now turns out that your reason for this is your "fundamental mode of thought". If you aren't willing to give a reason why your claims about modes of thought should impact the world, then take back your earlier claims to have ideas about how the world should work.

Given a choice between Libertarianism and ravenous martian spores, I ask you, do I look good in this Bernaise sauce? -- eLuddite
[ Parent ]
That was my reasoning. (none / 0) (#293)
by Crashnbur on Sun Jun 03, 2001 at 02:40:30 PM EST

Don't make me say it again.

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
math according to crashnbur (2.50 / 2) (#298)
by samth on Mon Jun 04, 2001 at 12:19:58 AM EST

  1. 1+1=3 (premise)
  2. 1+1-1=3-1
  3. 1=2 QED
"But, Crashnbur, I'm not sure I agree with your premise there at 1."

"Oh, that's part of my 'fundamental mode of thought'. No arguing with that."

"I guess not."

Given a choice between Libertarianism and ravenous martian spores, I ask you, do I look good in this Bernaise sauce? -- eLuddite
[ Parent ]

crack according to crashnbur (4.00 / 1) (#301)
by samth on Tue Jun 05, 2001 at 05:07:33 PM EST

Well, here I had just decided not to complain about moderation of my comments anymore, and here I go doing it again.

Seriously, what is your problem? Rating comments to zero is simply unacceptable. According to the FAQ, zero "is to be used for spam only!". That comment was many things, but spam was not one of them.

Get a life.

Given a choice between Libertarianism and ravenous martian spores, I ask you, do I look good in this Bernaise sauce? -- eLuddite
[ Parent ]

Further information (none / 0) (#272)
by Afty on Thu May 31, 2001 at 05:28:26 AM EST

In what sense aren't you 'doing well at it'? There are a number of problems with Europe (I wouldn't want to move there), but on a lot of things, they're doing pretty well. Did you read the post I linked to?

Yes, I read the post. Some poverty levels are lower in Europe, as are most of the murder rates. There are a whole variety of ways to measure the quality of life, and how well a government is doing but the majority are subjective, so there is little point in arguing them. All I am saying is that life is not rosy in Europe, and that things are not always as they seem.

And as to the dread 'losing our freedoms', I reccommend Streetlawyer's article on "why freedom?". In short, it says "Why should freedom trump everything else?". You seem to claim that. Well, why?

I will look that article up sometime, as for why I claim that - well because of my value system. I believe freedom is the most important thing a person can have. Many of my family fought and died to maintain my freedom, and I appreciate that - only now I see those freedoms gradually being taken away by faceless lawmakers and it sickens me. I cannot fight them because I don't have any power to do so, other than in illegal ways - and if I fight them illegally, I will be punished. It's a lose-lose situation.

The state should *never* hand out aid to people who are suffering who haven't at least made an effort to help themself.
First, why the hell not?
Because they don't deserve it. You can't exist merely as a leech on society, as a parasite because you're too damned lazy to get off your ass, get an education or get a job. I've sacrificed alot in my life, to learn a great deal and work hard and I don't regret it, but I do despise people who spent their schooldays getting drunk every night, skipping lessons and failing everything they did somehow claiming the right to some of the taxes that my hard work paid for.

Second, most people have made at least some effort. I would venture that most of them have made more effort than GWB ever did. Yet they are poor, and he is President.
That's a whole other matter. Politics, particularly in the US, is corrupt, useless and no longer carries out the tasks it was assigned to do.

First, the fact that people in Afghanistan are more oppressed does not make people in the US not oppressed. Second, even if they are just given far fewer opportunities, but not actually "oppressed" (whatever that means), I still think that society, acting through its agent the government, has a duty to help them.
You haven't given much argument for you claims, you've just made them. Do you have arguments?

You are correct in saying that there are varying levels of oppression, and I am sure that at least some people in the US are oppressed in some way, however I don't think you understood the point of my comment, and I cannot think of a better way to put it, - If you do not work hard at school, or afterwards, to gain in knowledge and wisdom, and the result is that you cannot get a decent job, you are not oppressed. In the same way, if you have a job, but stand around the coffee machine seven hours a day, and you get fired - you have not been unfairly dismissed
There are consequences to every action you make, and the consequences of not working hard for an education, or not working hard for your employers (all of them) are usually that you end up with no job, or a crap one. I feel no duty to help lazy people. I know social pressures in school are hard to deal with, but these pressures happen at almost every level of schooling (there was deinitely a pressure to *not* do well at the school I attended) but I am not responsible for those conditions, and I have no desire to pay out for a temporary fix after the fact.
What I state here are my opinions, not facts, which is why I do not back them up with statistics. 88.2% of statistics are made up.

[ Parent ]
information? (none / 0) (#276)
by samth on Thu May 31, 2001 at 09:55:03 AM EST

Yes, I read the post. Some poverty levels are lower in Europe, as are most of the murder rates. There are a whole variety of ways to measure the quality of life, and how well a government is doing but the majority are subjective, so there is little point in arguing them. All I am saying is that life is not rosy in Europe, and that things are not always as they seem.

Yeah, things aren't always as they seem. But that isn't an argument for anything. Why is the situation in Europe less desireable? I've given reasons why it is. You haven't given anything.

I will look that article up sometime, as for why I claim that - well because of my value system. I believe freedom is the most important thing a person can have.

"Because of my value system" is not an argument. Why should we follow your value system?

Many of my family fought and died to maintain my freedom, and I appreciate that - only now I see those freedoms gradually being taken away by faceless lawmakers and it sickens me.

What people died for is irrelevant. People die for lots of things, many less worthy than freedom.

Because they don't deserve it. You can't exist merely as a leech on society, as a parasite because you're too damned lazy to get off your ass, get an education or get a job. I've sacrificed alot in my life, to learn a great deal and work hard and I don't regret it, but I do despise people who spent their schooldays getting drunk every night, skipping lessons and failing everything they did somehow claiming the right to some of the taxes that my hard work paid for.

First, whe it is of benifit to society generally for people to get things they don't deserve, why shouldn't they? Second, I claim that these people deserve a decent standard of living, simply by virtue of being human.

If you do not work hard at school, or afterwards, to gain in knowledge and wisdom, and the result is that you cannot get a decent job, you are not oppressed. In the same way, if you have a job, but stand around the coffee machine seven hours a day, and you get fired - you have not been unfairly dismissed

Yup. That's true.

There are consequences to every action you make, and the consequences of not working hard for an education, or not working hard for your employers (all of them) are usually that you end up with no job, or a crap one.

Yeah, but suffering significantly and unneccessarily shouldn't be one of the consequences of *any* act.

I feel no duty to help lazy people.

Why should laziness be punished?

What I state here are my opinions, not facts, which is why I do not back them up with statistics.

Well, unless you opinions are totally arbitrary, you need to give reasons for them.

88.2% of statistics are made up.

I always thought it was 65.3%.

Given a choice between Libertarianism and ravenous martian spores, I ask you, do I look good in this Bernaise sauce? -- eLuddite
[ Parent ]

Crikey... (none / 0) (#285)
by Afty on Fri Jun 01, 2001 at 10:07:38 AM EST

Yeah, things aren't always as they seem. But that isn't an argument for anything. Why is the situation in Europe less desireable? I've given reasons why it is. You haven't given anything.

OK, the country in which I live currently has a political system which while one of the better around desperately needs reform, and voter apathy is increasing massively, because the society we live in votes for the party that accuses the other of the sleasiest deeds. We have a lower GNP than the US, meaning the average quality of life is significantly lower. We are rapidly approaching a police state in my country. The racial intolerance in my country is quite significant and there have recently been riots and race-related fighting just a few miles from my home.

"Because of my value system" is not an argument. Why should we follow your value system?

I believe it to be right, I hope that more people take up my value system or one similar to it because it means my life will be significantly more contented. I am not saying that you 'should', I am merely expressing that is my value system.

What people died for is irrelevant.

It most certainly is not. It's hard to believe someone can be so disrespectful towards the people who gave up their lives to ensure you spent your life in the freedom and wealth that followed the world wars. I will not argue this point, but suffice to say that my family members gave my life for the cause that has resulted in your greater quality of life, I *am not* threatening or trolling but that comment of yours horrifies me, and I must say I have hit people for alot less.

First, whe it is of benifit to society generally for people to get things they don't deserve, why shouldn't they? Second, I claim that these people deserve a decent standard of living, simply by virtue of being human.

I disagree with both of those statements. I state that no-one should receive something they don't deserve. Ultimately it will not make them any happier, but the person who has to give it up in order for them to have it, will lose something unjustly. I also disagree that all humand beings deserve a decent standard of living. Only those human beings who sufficiently contribute to society deserve a decent standard of living. If your preferences were passed into law, 99% of people would give up thier jobs and slob around, receiving a decent living standard provided by the state. But of course, the state can no longer sustain that standard with the burden of so many people, so society slips backwards rapidly into very poor standards of living.

Yeah, but suffering significantly and unneccessarily shouldn't be one of the consequences of *any* act.

Murder?
Rape?
Robbery?
'Welfare' or 'Social Support' are merely forms of givernment sanctioned theft of property from those who have worked hard and contributed to society. People who are 'in poverty' may suffer - but if they are free to earn a fair wage in a fair job then they are motivated to do so. Take away that motivation, and why would they want to learn or work?

Why should laziness be punished?

It shouldn't be punished, neither should it be rewarded or encouraged in any way. If someone is too lazy to gather food to eat, let him starve, if he is too lazy to earn enough money to place a roof over his head, let him sleep under the stars. Neither of those is a punishment.

Well, unless you opinions are totally arbitrary, you need to give reasons for them.

What? I have to go back into my childhood, the way I was raised, and my social conditions and conditioning ever since birth in order to 'validate' for you that my opinions are valid?
Someones' opinions are always valid as they are 'opinions', not facts or claims. My opinions are mine, if you disagree with them, say so, say why if you like, but do not try to tell me that I need to support my opinions with evidence.

[ Parent ]
why? (none / 0) (#290)
by samth on Sat Jun 02, 2001 at 01:10:54 PM EST

OK, the country in which I live currently has a political system which while one of the better around desperately needs reform, and voter apathy is increasing massively, because the society we live in votes for the party that accuses the other of the sleasiest deeds.

From the title of your post I assume you're British. If that isn't the case, disregard these comments.

It seems that many more people vote in the UK than do in the US, and that the political system offers a better chance for third parties. Also, from reading the BBC, it seems that the Tories are doing more accusations of sleaze, but Labour is still going to win.

We have a lower GNP than the US, meaning the average quality of life is significantly lower.

Well, the GNP per capita is not an exact measure of standard of living, nor is material standard of living the most important thing in life. Finally, this page, while old, has something to say about standard of living.

We are rapidly approaching a police state in my country. The racial intolerance in my country is quite significant and there have recently been riots and race-related fighting just a few miles from my home.

These could just as easily (and maybe more easily) be said about the US.

I believe it to be right, I hope that more people take up my value system or one similar to it because it means my life will be significantly more contented. I am not saying that you 'should', I am merely expressing that is my value system.

You seem to be advocating it, and you sound like you vote for candidates who advance that system. Both of these suggest that you are willing to have your value system impact the lives of others.

It most certainly is not. It's hard to believe someone can be so disrespectful towards the people who gave up their lives to ensure you spent your life in the freedom and wealth that followed the world wars. I will not argue this point, but suffice to say that my family members gave my life for the cause that has resulted in your greater quality of life, I *am not* threatening or trolling but that comment of yours horrifies me, and I must say I have hit people for alot less.

I intend no disrespect to your ancestors, who certainly died in a good cause. That does not make the fact of their death an argument for the rightness of their cause. Plenty of good causes have had no one die for them, and far more people have died in bad causes than good. For example, millions of people died in defense of Imperial Japan in WWII. Yet Japan was brutal, murderous, and agressive. The fact that people die for something has no bearing whatsoever on the rightness of the cause.

I state that no-one should receive something they don't deserve. Ultimately it will not make them any happier, but the person who has to give it up in order for them to have it, will lose something unjustly.

First, there is clear evidence that being fed does make people happier. Second, saying that these people lose unjustly begs the question. I do not think it unjust.

I also disagree that all humand beings deserve a decent standard of living. Only those human beings who sufficiently contribute to society deserve a decent standard of living.

Why is this? Why should these people suffer for not contributing to society? What is the point of their suffering?

If your preferences were passed into law, 99% of people would give up thier jobs and slob around, receiving a decent living standard provided by the state. But of course, the state can no longer sustain that standard with the burden of so many people, so society slips backwards rapidly into very poor standards of living.

Both of these statements are empirically false. Many people work harder than they need to, despite not being paid more. Public school teachers, most of who could get better paying jobs, are an excellent example. Second, countries that do guarantee minimum standards of living have done very well.

Murder? Rape? Robbery?

No one, not any one, should suffer unneccessarily. Criminals should suffer only neccessarily (which is plenty).

'Welfare' or 'Social Support' are merely forms of givernment sanctioned theft of property from those who have worked hard and contributed to society.

Or it's people contributing back to the society that made it possible for them to have everything that they take for granted, and that society helping the workers who helped make the rich rich.

People who are 'in poverty' may suffer - but if they are free to earn a fair wage in a fair job then they are motivated to do so.

You still haven't said why people should suffer. And there's plenty of evidence that people neither earn a fair wage, nor always have an opportunity at all. And certianly most people don't have the same opportunites the rich have.

It shouldn't be punished, neither should it be rewarded or encouraged in any way. If someone is too lazy to gather food to eat, let him starve, if he is too lazy to earn enough money to place a roof over his head, let him sleep under the stars. Neither of those is a punishment.

If the son of a rich man is lazy, he sleeps in a bed. If the son of a poor man is lazy, he sleeps in a jail cell. That's wrong, and that's punishment.

Someones' opinions are always valid as they are 'opinions', not facts or claims. My opinions are mine, if you disagree with them, say so, say why if you like, but do not try to tell me that I need to support my opinions with evidence.

You've made plenty of claims, and you seem to believe that society should be changed according to your opinions. If so, you need evidence, if not, I guess you're just planning to talk forever, and never take action.

Given a choice between Libertarianism and ravenous martian spores, I ask you, do I look good in this Bernaise sauce? -- eLuddite
[ Parent ]

Our differences are too great (none / 0) (#295)
by Afty on Sun Jun 03, 2001 at 03:41:32 PM EST

You make some very valid points in your post, but I do not think we can ever reconcile our differences and agree on any major point. A few minor rebuttals:

1] I don't vote for a candidate, and I would never attempt to force my value system on anyone, physically or politically. I hope to educate people and make them think, so that they can choose my value system or one like it.

2] I believe you deserve to suffer if you take wealth from other people and do not contribute an equivalent amount of wealth back into society.

3] Yes, many good causes have not had people die for them, but it is my belief that freedom is the greatest thing a man can own. Is it worth dying for? I don't know - I haven't yet declared war on my government, so for me, I guess not.

If the son of a rich man is lazy, he sleeps in a bed. If the son of a poor man is lazy, he sleeps in a jail cell. That's wrong, and that's punishment.

Something is wrong there, but it is not the fact that the lazy mans son sleeps in a jail cell. It's the fact that any lazy man does not sleep in a jail cell.

I respect your views, and you certainly argue your points well, but I believe our fundamental differences mean we are wasting our time continuing this discussion, it is unlikely you will change your mind to agree with me, and I'm fairly certain my value system will not change.

[ Parent ]
never stop questioning (none / 0) (#299)
by samth on Mon Jun 04, 2001 at 04:25:26 AM EST

I think it's important to never stop questioning your beliefs, even those that are the most fundamental. Furthermore, I feel it is unlikely that we have no common ground at all on ethical issues. For example, I'm sure you would agree that the unneccessary and pointless death of lots of innocent people is bad. Of course, it is possible that we share no ethical common ground, but I doubt that.

As to your rebuttals,

  1. Why don't you vote? And don't you think that the world should adopt your system? If not, what exactly does it mean to believe in your system?
  2. By that accounting, I would claim that a large percentage of the wealthiest people in society would deserve to suffer greatly. Furthermore, why should people get what they deserve? If it doesn't hurt anyone else, why shouldn't people get more than they deserve?
  3. Right, I believe that freedom is also good (though not the ultimate good). But my point is that what people die for has no relationship to what is right.
Something is wrong there, but it is not the fact that the lazy mans son sleeps in a jail cell. It's the fact that any lazy man does not sleep in a jail cell.

Really? You really think that people who are lazy (and have no other "vice") should be punished for that by imprisonment? What good would that serve? Who would that help? And doesn't that take away people's freedoms?

Furthermore, how exactly are you going to ensure that the rich son is treated the same as the poor one?

it is unlikely you will change your mind to agree with me, and I'm fairly certain my value system will not change

Never say never. My value system has changed in the past, because people I talked to and things I read convinced me I was wrong. I'm always prepared for that to happen again. You should be too.

Given a choice between Libertarianism and ravenous martian spores, I ask you, do I look good in this Bernaise sauce? -- eLuddite
[ Parent ]

correction (none / 0) (#283)
by streetlawyer on Fri Jun 01, 2001 at 03:34:14 AM EST

You can't exist merely as a leech on society, as a parasite because you're too damned lazy to get off your ass, get an education or get a job

You mean to say that you cannot do these things if you are poor. If you happen to inherit a large fortune, in your value system, it is perfectly legitimate for you to leech off society for your whole life, consuming goods and services that others have produced.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

While that is true... (none / 0) (#284)
by Afty on Fri Jun 01, 2001 at 09:40:36 AM EST

In *my* ideal value system you would not be able to get rich unless you had previously contributed to society an equivalent wealth (knowledge, social, material) thereby not making you a leech, but someone who is living off their savings.

Unfortunately, currently the rich tend to abuse the system, or at least their accumulated wealth allows them to be impervious to any challenge upon them because of the way the system treats them. We need a way to ensure that people are rewarded fairly for what they contribute to society before we start to implement systems that discriminate against those who have worked harder, and yet whom may not have been rewarded fairly.

[ Parent ]
well that's nice (none / 0) (#286)
by streetlawyer on Fri Jun 01, 2001 at 11:06:20 AM EST

Somehow, I think the idea that people would not be poor in your ideal world is a pretty lousy reason for refusing them a decent life in the world as it actually exists; if you truly believe that the system is unfair and abused by the rich, then your comments about the poor above ("parasites") are extremely unfair.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]
Who are the parasites? (none / 0) (#294)
by Afty on Sun Jun 03, 2001 at 03:34:27 PM EST

There are many rich people who are also parasites, and to a much greater degree.

Some poor people work hard, and are as such not parasites, others do not and as such are parasitics, but all they take is shelter and food - very little more as long as they are not taking things that do not belong to them.

Conversely, the rich parasites tend to consume massive amounts of resources per head, and as such are a greater drain on society.

As for 'people will not be poor in your ideal world' - that's rubbish. I mentioned elsewhere in the thread that there will *always* be poor regardless of how 'good' your society is because almost everyone measures wealth relatively.

[ Parent ]
credit where credit's due, man. (1.00 / 1) (#203)
by cicero on Tue May 29, 2001 at 12:13:41 PM EST

"suppose I was an idiot, and suppose I was in congress. but I repeat myself"

-mark twain.


(this has been popping up on my fortune screen save for quite a while, that's the only way that I know)


--
I am sorry Cisco, for Microsoft has found a new RPC flaw - tonight your e0 shall be stretched wide like goatse.
[ Parent ]
Methinks there's a definition problem (none / 0) (#215)
by weirdling on Tue May 29, 2001 at 02:25:54 PM EST

What to an Englishman is a socialist and what to an American is a socialist are two entirely different things. So, while it seems wrong to you that the liberals in the US are doing this, it is often the liberals who are doing this. These kind of rules often get enacted in majority liberal constituencies, not in majority conservative. Whether you think that they are liberal or not, by the US definition, they are liberal.
Now, as to the constitution, it very much depends which part is being read as to whether the given partisan views the thing as literal or figurative. I do agree that conservatives *tend* to be more literal, but they are not exclusively so, as any Libertarian or Constitutionalist can tell you.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
What!? (5.00 / 1) (#226)
by Rand Race on Tue May 29, 2001 at 03:58:06 PM EST

What to an Englishman is a socialist and what to an American is a socialist are two entirely different things.

Excuse my french but; Bullshit. What to an idealogical christian conservative is socialist and what to an educated person of average intellegence (of any nationality) is socialist are two entirely different things.

So, while it seems wrong to you that the liberals in the US are doing this, it is often the liberals who are doing this. These kind of rules often get enacted in majority liberal constituencies, not in majority conservative

Again, bullshit. Of the three examples in the story two of the schools are in Republican districts (Loudon Co. VA., Ft. Myers FLA.). The third is a Democratic district, but it's in Texas.

Whether you think that they are liberal or not, by the US definition, they are liberal.

Wrong again, perhaps by the right's definition which is "anything that I don't like is liberal" but not by any human with more than two braincells to rub together. As a progressive (what most republicans would call a radical liberal) I certainly do not see this as a liberal issue, I see it as a moron issue and there are certainly morons amongst all spectrums of political thought.


"Question with boldness even the existence of God; because if there be one, He must approve the homage of Reason rather than that of blindfolded Fear." - Thomas Jefferson
[ Parent ]

Perhaps the examples (5.00 / 1) (#229)
by weirdling on Tue May 29, 2001 at 04:14:14 PM EST

However, these things are coming from all over the country right now. Southern California is where several have come, including the paper gun incident. What you will find is that the 'zero tolerance for drugs' comes from conservative areas and 'zero tolerance for violence' from liberal areas. That seems to be the trend, anyway. Both are quite disgusting.
However, being as that a lot of America views the current British government as socialist, I don't understand how you think your definition superior. I was trying to explain the differences in view. The 'cradle to the grave welfare system' is essentially the definition of socialism to many in America: the government ensures your entire survival. Considering how many of the rabidly conservative here believe *our* Democrats to be largely socialist, can you understand how there *might* be a definition problem?
By the way, what to you is a conservative Christian isn't necessarily a conservative Christian to someone else. I grew up in what most people consider a conservative Christian church, but we didn't believe in monkeying around in government as the Conservative Christian movement in the US does. By the standards of those in the Conservative Christian movement, we were liberal Christians. See how it works? From where I sit, American liberals are not socialists, but UK liberals most definately are. Just my call...

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
personally... (none / 0) (#232)
by Crashnbur on Tue May 29, 2001 at 04:41:25 PM EST

For the record, I don't believe the Democratic is necessarily Socialist. However, I believe it shows strong Socialist tendencies, and especially through leaders like Tom Daschle. I don't consider myself to be conservative, although I'm certainly more conservative than liberal. Either way, I'm going to back out of this argument now. This was just a personal reaction to a general comment. Sorry. :-)

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
liberal and liberal (4.00 / 1) (#238)
by Andreas Bombe on Tue May 29, 2001 at 08:36:45 PM EST

And to make things more complicated, people outside the US might get confused by your use of 'liberal'. That word is related to liberty, so it seems rather strange that US conservatives use it as a derogative since they aren't openly, well, anti-liberal.

For example, there is the German party FDP, which follows a policy that is the closest of any German party to the US policy, very free market, low taxes, yada yada yada... Now, funnily, if they aren't referred to by their official name FDP, they are usually called / call themselves "die Liberalen" ("the liberals"), not despite of but because of their political views. Heck, their official homepage is under www.liberale.de.

What do I want to say here? Perhaps I jumped in because it was about resolving definitions, and I wanted to add some confusion. Sorry.

[ Parent ]
That's because U.S. liberals are hypocrites. (4.00 / 1) (#239)
by Crashnbur on Tue May 29, 2001 at 09:25:00 PM EST

I only mean that half in jest.

You see, liberals these days are for putting a law to everything to protect everyone, when in actuality we're just getting so many laws that our existence is being rigidly defined by politics. So, I'm a bit against liberals right now.

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
I see what you are saying... (4.00 / 1) (#248)
by Rand Race on Wed May 30, 2001 at 08:48:20 AM EST

... it's just worded oddly.

Socialism is government control of economic entities. That is it. You can have degrees of socialism, all western nations do, but saying 'to him it's socialism but to me it's not' is just fooling oneself for ideological reasons. Even the most conservative of lawmakers believes in some socialism, else why not privatize the army? No particular reason why the armed forces can not be contracted out, many a nation throughout history has relied upon mercenaries for defence. The fact is that a modern state requires a sort of economic republicanism (in the classical sense not the political party) that mixes socialist, capitalist, and even mercantilist systems. We in the states tend towards a more capitalist stance but we have many socialist programs as well (army, roadbuilding, social security, welfare, bank insurance, police, etc, etc) and even an ever increasing amount of mercantilist policies (farm subsidies, corporate welfare). There are differences in opinion of what constitutes a 'socialist state' (which I assume is what you mean) but not in the basic definition of socialism.


"Question with boldness even the existence of God; because if there be one, He must approve the homage of Reason rather than that of blindfolded Fear." - Thomas Jefferson
[ Parent ]

A note on action v. reaction (4.16 / 12) (#67)
by Signal 11 on Sun May 27, 2001 at 11:19:50 AM EST

I'd just like to point out that our legal system often reacts before any action has taken place. Zero tolerance policies are not coming about as a result of violence, but rather because of the fear of it. These are two completely seperate issues, and I just want to make sure people are aware of the distinction. People are not rational. Don't forget that when trying to 'prove' that violence is occuring because more schools are adopting zero tolerance policies.

With regards to this kind of clamping down, it seems that the 60's 'flower childs' have decided to try to supress similar youthful misadventures in my own generation by passing draconian legislation, and trying to cut off 'bad influences' like music, violent video games, and raves. It's like watching a ballet with the mute button on... it is a graceful transition from the 60's to the modern-day authoritarianism, and we know the dam will break soon and we'll move back towards the direction of the civil rights movement. How quickly do the middle-aged forget the lessons of their youth... and how often the youth shall be condemned to fight off the conservative forces yet again, rather than directing it towards true progress.

Mark my words - this is just a small part of a much larger trend which will end in a good deal of violence, bitter feelings, and sudden changes in this society as people reach the breaking points and declare the law invalid and rebel against it. As Kennedy said - those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable. The nature of humanity tends towards freedom - you can't hold us back for any length of time, eventually the dam will break and we'll have mass disorder. Fear it all you want, you can't stop it.


--
Society needs therapy. It's having
trouble accepting itself.

60s flower child rebuts (4.66 / 6) (#159)
by anonymous cowerd on Mon May 28, 2001 at 01:06:02 PM EST

...it seems that the 60's 'flower childs' have decided to try to supress similar youthful misadventures in my own generation...

Like wow mannn! Bummer that you, like, feel that way, Sig.

The blanket term you want to use is not "flower childs" ("childs" is non-standard but very good, sure preferable to "flower children") but "boomers". That would label all the people in my age group.

You weren't around at the time, so you don't know, but during the 60s and even into the early 70s what you call "flower childs" were a very, very small minority. A generally well-hated one, too. There are a number of reasons for that, not the least of which was the cloying imbecility of some of the pronouncements coming out of the so-called hippie community. Between the limp stoned idiocy of George Harrison's "Within you without you" (even at the time, freak-daddy Zappa skewered that nonsense) and the proto-punk political ideology of Abbie Hoffman, one often despaired to find any brains at all beneath all that ratty long hair.

Now Hoffman was a very funny and charming guy, at least from a far enough distance, but go dig up a copy of his Revolution for the Hell of it - "burn all the factories" and "screw in the streets" and "kill your parents" aren't exactly sound, practical political advice. Alas, there seems to be a Gresham's law of popular ideology where loud, brash, dumb ideas inevitably displace calm, well-thought-out ones. Of course it didn't help that, whenever you had a mass demonstration like the one in Washington D.C. in October 1967, where there were tens of thousands of protestors peacefully, lawfully carrying signs, as the Constitution clearly entitles them to do, all the mass media completely ignored them and focused instead exclusively on the handful of radicals, half of them agents provocateurs on the FBI payroll anyway, who were tossing Molotov cocktails around. But that deliberately fraudulent media reportage has evidently succeeded in making you believe, thirty years later, that a typical teenager in the late 60s was either akin to one of the free-love hippie-commune clan in that famous Time magazine photo, or else that rioter guy in that other famous Time photo - you know, him, standing shirt off on the barricaded street, shouting and flipping off the photographer (and through him, of course, each of the multi-million middle-class readership of Time).

Even those of us who were long-haired, dope-smoking anti-authoritarians back then felt there was something phony and contemptible about the tie-dyed image of "hippies," and as I said, among us boomers there were innumerably more short-haired "straights" and even Army volunteers (keep in mind that back then, with ten thousand pointless U.S. fatalities a year, volunteering for the Army was a variety of Russian roulette) than hippies. Returning to your original assertion, I think it's safe to say that that minority who were anti-authoritarian back then generally remain anti-authoritarian today.

Yours WDK - WKiernan@concentric.net

stint grits
darts file
gratis ways to fit tins
dapper angle
ill apple
-Barbara Baracks

[ Parent ]

Sounds *just* like today... (none / 0) (#244)
by anonymoushero on Wed May 30, 2001 at 01:23:19 AM EST

> what you call "flower childs" were a very, very
> small minority.
   Substitute 'black-bloc anarchists'

> mass demonstration like the one in Washington
> D.C.
   A16, Seattle-WTO, Rep/Dem Ntl Convention, etc, etc.

> the mass media completely ignored them and
> focused instead exclusively on the handful
> of radicals, half of them agents provocateurs
> on the FBI payroll anyway, who were tossing
> Molotov cocktails around.
   Bricks thru windows - after the cops started tear-gassing peaceful protesters earlier in the day...

   Yeah, anyways, little has changed.

-- Ender, Duke_of_URL


[ Parent ]
I dont know if i should laugh or cry.. (2.87 / 8) (#100)
by henrik on Sun May 27, 2001 at 06:44:04 PM EST

It's this kind of idiocy that makes me glad i dont live in the US. Home of the free, land of the brave indeed. Is it just me, or are all USians completly lacking any kind of common sense? That guy held a pill for two seconds and gets suspended? WTF? What happened to making rational decisions and judging by a case by case basis?

I'm stumped.. and this in the worlds leading nation. Now, the US is in the forefront of every technical, economic and military measurement imaginable. As the US, as the worlds most developed nation, behaves as idiotically as it does sure kills any hope that we might develop and make a better society in the near future. Humanity is in a sorry state. :(

Maybe we should just let evolution try again..

-henrik

Akademiska Intresseklubben antecknar!
Shadow boxing (4.25 / 4) (#121)
by ttfkam on Sun May 27, 2001 at 10:26:33 PM EST

The US loves an enemy. Take away the clear and present danger from outside, and the US will find a way to fight itself.

- or -

The US got so used to the Cold War that few remember what it's like to actually live in a state of true peace.

Take your pick. Idiocy is not solely a US phenomenon. And it's not that we all lack common sense. The mob will always be an impediment to reason. This is especially true when the buzzword "children" enters the debate.

If I'm made in God's image then God needs to lay off the corn chips and onion dip. Get some exercise, God! - Tatarigami
[ Parent ]
Or... (4.00 / 1) (#225)
by Crashnbur on Tue May 29, 2001 at 03:02:53 PM EST

Perhaps it is true that there are always problems to be considered and, if we are lucky, to be solved. When the more urgent threats of the outside world go into remission, we may then focus once again on our internal problems, which are obviously not as severe as nuclear weapons threats, but can potentially cause just as much damage to a nation.

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
You can't trust (4.52 / 19) (#101)
by localroger on Sun May 27, 2001 at 06:44:16 PM EST

You can't trust students. They aren't mature enough to [have sex | drive | handle butter knives] without responsible supervision. If they flout our authority we should [reprimand | whip | expel] them as necessary to ensure their compliance with these rules which are for their benefit.

You can't trust parents. They don't have what it takes to [wear seat belts | helmets | raise kids] without lots of supervision from the State. We should [fine | ruin | jail] them as necessary to ensure their compliance with these rules which are for society's benefit.

You can't trust teachers. They are too [lazy | stupid | permissive] to enforce our rules without lots of supervision from the State. We should [censure | fire | jail] them as necessary to ensure their compliance with these rules which are for their charges' benefit.

You can't trust schools. They are more concerned with the desires of [students | parents | teachers] than they are with enforcing the State's rules which are for their own benefit. We should [blackmail | defund | sue] them until the [parents | teachers | administrators] comply with these rules which are for the State's benefit.

You can't trust States. They are too [popularly driven | underfunded | locally focused] to reliably implement rules consistent with the Big Picture. They should be [blackmailed with their own tax money | taxed to death | sued] until the [citizens | legislators | judges] pass laws which comply with these rules which are for their own benefit.

You can't trust judges. They are too [human | locally focused | unreliable] to enforce these rules which are for their own benefit. We should remove their authority over [sentencing | evidence admissibility | parole] so that these rules which are for our own benefit will be applied consistently.

You can't trust citizens. They are too [stupid | greedy | venal] to follow the rules. We should [jail | kill | draw and quarter] as many of them as necessary to ensure compliance with these rules which are for their own benefit.

You can't trust the government. It is too [huge | inhuman | greedy] to follow its own rules. We should [vote | protest | start a revolution] as necessary to get it to act the way it is supposed to.

Where it's going:

Any act which is not on the list of Permitted Acts is by definition an Unpermitted Act, and punishable by death. Every public place is outfitted with Eyes and Beams; when the central computer senses an Unpermitted Act through an Eye, it activates the Beam and automatically kills the offender. It is better that a million Citizens should die than that a single Unpermitted Act should go unpunished. -- a synopsis of the background of Norman Spinrad's noval Agent of Chaos.

I can haz blog!

The Once And Future King (3.66 / 3) (#137)
by kubalaa on Mon May 28, 2001 at 01:50:31 AM EST

Your quote reminded me of a bit from T.H. White, which unfortunately I can't remember verbatim. Arthur was in an ant colony modeled after communism, and there was a sign to the effect that "Everything not forbidden is mandatory."

[ Parent ]
*sigh* (4.00 / 3) (#196)
by The Queen on Tue May 29, 2001 at 09:36:53 AM EST

Unfortunately I can't see a stop to this anytime soon. When did people quit taking responsibility for themselves? My folks spanked me, and I turned out okay...

Thinking about moving to Switzerland... :-)

[ Parent ]
I was spanked as a child. (3.00 / 1) (#219)
by Crashnbur on Tue May 29, 2001 at 02:40:40 PM EST

I think proper discipline as a child is all but necessary to develop him/her into a reasonable adult. My sister was a rebellious little shit and still is, and she's twenty-two. She's got all the booksmarts in the world, but she has no respect. She's a user and a partier - she only lives for herself. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but her means of going about it are all wrong. If it works for her, though, I'll let her have it. Just so long as she doesn't ask for my help as much as she's tried to use me.

I, after watching her lead, have taken a much more subtle approach. I can't really explain why, but I was always a bit more afraid of disappointing my parents, and I was afraid of punishments. Maybe it was because they started earlier with me and actually enforced the punishment when they threatened it. Either way, I turned out to be the respectful one in my family, and neither parent argues that I am the best behaved child. And still, to this day, I am punished more than either of my other two siblings because they expect more of me, and when I don't deliver, they know that I can do more. So there's a price to pay for such things...

Still, I think I've turned out okay. I haven't been spanked since I was twelve. Punishment since has included losing a stereo, television, and a number of other things. The worst punishment on the planet: My dad used to make me sit in the middle of the kitchen floor while he cooked. Not that I didn't occasionally do that anyway, but when you're actually told that you can't move, and he won't let you, well that sucks. :-)

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
cursing on school campuses (4.33 / 6) (#102)
by Delirium on Sun May 27, 2001 at 07:05:21 PM EST

A few of these examples are really examples of disproportionate punishments in our criminal justice system, not anything specifically to do with school discipline. For example, the $550 fine for saying the "F" word in class is not a school policy; in many jurisdictions it's a misdemeanor to use foul language on a school campus. This applies to anyone on campus: students, teachers, staff, and even visitors. In one incident about a year ago a mother who cursed at a driver ahead of her in the line to pick up her child was charged under the law and fined around $500.

Now if you want to disagree with the law, that's fine, but it's a separate issue from discipline in schools, as this is a law that applies equally to students and non-students.

oops (5.00 / 2) (#206)
by ooch on Tue May 29, 2001 at 01:36:37 PM EST

I called my teacher a dickhead(well not exactly, but no-one here understands the dutch word eikel) the other day. Luckily I don't live in the States then:-) The teacher just understood the humor, and tolled me to not say it again. And me thinking my own school was totalitarian and childish! I know a kid who carries a rather big knive to school, he uses it to cur his apples and so forth. Never heard anything about that.

I have been on a school which didn't believe in punishment, and the kids behaved much better then the school I am now in. When you didn't kept yourself to the few rules there were someone would explain to you friendlt why the rule existed, and that's it. Only if you repeated the 'crime' often, and your graden were doing badly, you would have to do minor chores. Since then I believe the best thing to do is to treat schoolchildren as mature adults, not immature animals, and they will behave accordingly.

[ Parent ]

It's amazing... (4.00 / 2) (#220)
by Crashnbur on Tue May 29, 2001 at 02:43:09 PM EST

It's amazing how, when you treat teenagers as adults, they become mature so quickly.

It's amazing how, when you treat teenagers as children, they become mature so much more slowly.

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
So do something about it! (3.66 / 6) (#105)
by cod on Sun May 27, 2001 at 08:47:53 PM EST

People continue to whine and cry about zero tolerence, low test scores, and every thing else that the government school system does to screw up their kids. They one thing they don't do is pull their damn kids out of the system. Every decent sized town in this country has private schools of evey possible flavor and if they don't (or even if they do) homeschooling is legal in all 50 states. There is no excuse for any kid of any age to get a subpar education, or be torminated by the assinine policies of a school board terrified of its own shadow. Listen up parents...its YOUR job to make sure your kids get an education and grow into responsible productive members of the society. Get off your ass, sell one of the BMW's if you need the money, and put your kid into a better school - or teach them yourself at home. Just stop whining when a bunch of government employees with no vested interest in your childs life acts exactly like a government employee with no vested interest in your childs life. What exactly do you expect?

not exactly (3.54 / 11) (#127)
by Seumas on Sun May 27, 2001 at 11:26:05 PM EST

We live in a world where it takes two full incomes to support a family (at least, the SUV, house in the 'burbs types). Unless both of those incomes are fairly large, the last thing you can afford is private school. And unless you want your family to live on oats and water out of the back of a van, you're probably not going to be staying at home five days a week to teach your children.

However we wound up in this situation, it's rather ingeneous when you look at it from the government's side. Except for well-to-do people, they either get to raise your kids for you or stick you in the poor-house.
--
I just read K5 for the articles.
[ Parent ]

Which is my predicament. (3.00 / 1) (#131)
by Crashnbur on Mon May 28, 2001 at 12:42:38 AM EST

Luckily I am through with school. But my brother is not...

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
Independent education can be affordable: (3.33 / 3) (#150)
by Canimal on Mon May 28, 2001 at 09:18:24 AM EST

It really depends on whether or not you want to make it a priority.

My wife stays home and takes care of our (5 month old) daughter. We intend to homeschool. So far we have been able to keep paying rent and only have oatmeal occasionally at breakfast, with milk. We do drive fairly old cars and are shopping for a house considerably smaller than what the bank thinks we can afford (even on my single income). Homeschooling is a financial sacrifice, probably a bigger one than private schooling, but both are feasible if parents make up their mind to do it. I have seen this with families poorer than ours.

Obviously you are not going to give up a second income or fork over $5000*n a year for private schools without feeling it. It is not a decision that is likely to be made lightly, and shouldn't be. But it is not correct to say you have to be rich to exercise educational choice for your kids.

Matt



[ Parent ]
there is no way that one minimum-wage income... (3.00 / 3) (#151)
by chutzpah on Mon May 28, 2001 at 09:24:06 AM EST

There is no way a single minimum-wage income can pay for private school, or even decently clothe and feed a medium-sized family, there are a large number of people that have to live off minimum wage incomes, because they dont have the education or skills to get a higher paying job.

[ Parent ]
Of course that is not what I said: (3.00 / 1) (#152)
by Canimal on Mon May 28, 2001 at 09:43:39 AM EST

I said you can homeschool or have your kids attend private school without being rich. I did not say you could do it on a single minimum wage income.

It would be possible if we had school vouchers, but that looks like it is still a ways away. Too many people think that improving the educational options of poor people is a dirty oppressive religious fundamentalist conservative right wing conspiracy. (see Code Name D earlier in this thread.) Ah well.

Matt



[ Parent ]
There should not be a need for school vouchers (4.00 / 1) (#153)
by chutzpah on Mon May 28, 2001 at 10:41:24 AM EST

There should not be a need to have school vouchers, the public system should be good enough to educate everyone. I live in Canada, in a small town who's economy happens to be baised on education (1 university, 1 college, 2 high schools, 2 elementary schools).

Of the 2 high schools one is a private school (a very reputable one) and one is a public school. In Quebec we have standardized tests administered by the government in fields such as math and science that all high school students are required to take, it is actually a very good method of keeping high schools up to par, the public school reguarly has a higher average than the private school. This does not mean there are not reasons to send your kid to the private school, but it does show that you can get a fairly decent education at the public school, so there is not really any need to resort to alternatives other than the prestige of a private school.

I'm a university student now, and a fair bit has changed since I left high school, but I hear that the environment at the public school is still fairly open, and not overly oppressive.

[ Parent ]
There's an awful lot of "should nots" ou (2.00 / 1) (#156)
by ehintz on Mon May 28, 2001 at 12:17:49 PM EST

There should not be a need to have school vouchers, the public system should be good enough to educate everyone.

There also should not be a shrub in the White House or silly laws which make pot a crime while booze is legal. While I agree 100% that the public systems should be competent, the fact of the matter is, at least in the states, they generally aren't. Period. By choosing private schools for my kids I will be both meeting the immediate need of said kids, while sending the message to the local public schools that they are inferior. Perhaps if enough other parents forgo big houses and dual SUVs in favor of private education the district will figure out that they need to improve the system. Vouchers would speed the process quite nicely.

Regards,
Ed Hintz
[ Parent ]
In regards to the conspiracy theory. (3.00 / 1) (#172)
by Code Name D on Mon May 28, 2001 at 05:47:40 PM EST

I said you can homeschool or have your kids attend private school without being rich. I did not say you could do it on a single minimum wage income.

Than this would imply that home schooling or privet schooling is not a viable alternative for the poor.

It would be possible if we had school vouchers, but that looks like it is still a ways away.

I have yet to see the voucher program that would change this. Especially in poorer districts that have few recourses to spend on vouchers in the first place. Secondly, I have yet to see the voucher program that works to separate the poor (who would presumably be in grater need for these funds) from the wealthy that already have their children in privet schools. Indeed, this is a significant problem that was ran into with the existing voucher programs as parents rush to enroll their privately tutored students for the first time in public education, just so they can draw the vouchers.

A second problem with vouchers comes with the behavior of privet schools themselves. Privet schools use tuition as a means of controlling the quality of students they let in. A voucher program that would give a poor parent enough money for tuition, might suddenly be faced with escalating tuition as these schools work to bar the poor eliminates of society.

Privet schools can also determine acceptance on other criteria, such as existing grade. I have seen many a conservative point to higher average grades at privet schools as proof of their superiority over public education. But without exception, it is because these school lock out poorer performers. Even a student already in can be expelled if grads sag below a certain level.

Most privet schools are only equipped to handle "main stream" or "gifted." A student with a learning disability, or even a physical handicap, would receive an inferior education, even when among the best of intentions. In perspective; you may have an excellent auto repair shop, but they can't work on air plains, no mater how good they are with cars.

The third and most significant flaw with school vouchers is that they do nothing to improve public education. So far, the best argument I have heard in favor of vouchers on this issue is: "It will force them to improve, or close their doors." This isn't offering a plan to improve public education, it is offering a plan that razes the stakes of failure, and sense vouchers takes moneys from a public school district, offers them a new handicap to overcome. I hear a lot of talk about competition for students between public schools and privet schools. But such a competitive system isn't seen in other sectors. We don't see McDonalds being forced to subsidize Berger King for every Happy Meal that they do not sell. But school vouchers will ask public schools to subsidize privets schools for every student they do not teach.

Too many people think that improving the educational options of poor people is a dirty oppressive religious fundamentalist conservative right wing conspiracy. (see Code Name D earlier in this thread.) Ah well.

I am all for improving education of all levels and types. However, as you can clearly see for yourself, I have serious reservations for voucher programs. I have yet to see any viable responses to these issues. (You are privileged to respond in their stead.) This alone prompts me to believe that the whole debate is being held in bad faith. If supporters of vouchers are unable or unwilling to answer these questions, then I have to ask why can't they or won't they answer them?

If this is my conclusion, than logic demands that I resist vouchers because they would do harm to education for the poor. Statements saying that people who do not support vouchers are also against improving education for the poor is nothing more than vindictive slander.

The primary topic of this thread in regards to zero tolerance is a part of that issue. But I see these laws being pushed by right wing conservatives. Explain to me how a school board can uphold the expulsion of a student (for holding a pill for two seconds) while at the same time conceding that the application of the law inherently unfair. This is like a judge finding you innocent of murder, then hanging you any way.

I find it an interesting coincidence to learn that it is conservatives that are passing and enforcing zero tolerance laws in this manner, then turning around and criticizing the schools as inept and draconian in regards to laws that they them selves forced throw. Simultaneously, they are arguing of the need for school vouchers to allow parents arguably to "escape these failed school that are unresponsive to their needs." The only explanation to this contradiction that I can think of is that there is an agenda to discredit public education in order to create a false need for vouchers. (If you think there is a flaw in my logic, your are invited to point it out. However, just stating that I am incorrect will not be considered a viable argument.)

If you are as in favor of improving public education as you might claim to be. Then explain how is it that you see fit to raise the issue of school vouchers in the face of draconian zero tolerance laws, and NOT take the more logical approach and argue that the laws need to ether be relaxed or enforced more intelligently? It should be noted that school vouchers do not even address this issue, and is irrelevant.

If this is not your position, then explain how these draconian examples of zero tolerance could be considered a positive contribution to public education? If so, then would it be your position to support similar zero tolerance laws in privet schools? If privet schools already have similar laws, then what makes them better than public schools in this regard?

I await your response.

If truth can be dispatched with mer logic, then it was never truth to begin with.
(_) Truth dispatched by mer logic, was never truth to begin with.
[ Parent ]

Vouchers, again: (3.00 / 1) (#193)
by Canimal on Tue May 29, 2001 at 08:50:05 AM EST

It seems to be my fate to argue vouchers on K5 over and over again. :)

(me) I said you can homeschool or have your kids attend private school without being rich. I did not say you could do it on a single minimum wage income.

(you) Than this would imply that home schooling or privet schooling is not a viable alternative for the poor.

It is probably not a smart choice for a family trying to get by on a single minimum wage income. But I would not say it is not an alternative for "the poor". Another poster pointed out the family with two $7/hour incomes who put their kids through private school. I read a guy on the homeschooling newsgroup who claimed to homeschool 7 kids on a $25K income. Again, it depends on how important it is to you.

Secondly, I have yet to see the voucher program that works to separate the poor (who would presumably be in grater need for these funds) from the wealthy that already have their children in privet schools.

I suspect such have been proposed, but who cares? If school choice is a good idea, I do not see why it is better as a privilege only for poor people.

A second problem with vouchers comes with the behavior of privet schools themselves. Privet schools use tuition as a means of controlling the quality of students they let in. A voucher program that would give a poor parent enough money for tuition, might suddenly be faced with escalating tuition as these schools work to bar the poor eliminates of society.

Tutitions at private schools probably would rise after instituting voucher plan, but only in the short term. Soon there would be more private schools and prices would fall again. This is basic economics, not a dirty conspiracy.

Perhaps a few private schools use tuition to screen students, but most of them use tuition to pay operating expenses. They even make some effort to keep their tutition low and affordable. That way they get more students. Really. I'm serious.

Most privet schools are only equipped to handle "main stream" or "gifted." A student with a learning disability, or even a physical handicap, would receive an inferior education, even when among the best of intentions.

I doubt this is correct, except perhaps in extreme cases of physical handicap. I suspect that most existing private schools will accept children with "ordinary" physical handicaps, and I suspect they would under voucher plans too. Likewise for ordinary learning disabilities, though the way a private school deals with slow students may be different than the public schools, which suits me.

We don't see McDonalds being forced to subsidize Berger King for every Happy Meal that they do not sell. But school vouchers will ask public schools to subsidize privets schools for every student they do not teach.

Only if you take the standpoint that educational money should support public schools merely for existing, and not for teaching students. With vouchers, the money follows the student. The school that does teach the student gets the money, and the school that does not teach the student does not get the money. It seems bizarre to me to say that the non-teaching school is therefore subsidizing the school doing the teaching.

A side point: I have heard of several voucher plans where vouchers were less than the per-capita funding received by the public schools. Say the system spends $6000 yearly per student. The voucher might be for, say, only $4000. So the school that teaches the student gets $4000 and the public school system gets $2000, just because.

Would you consider that a subsidy to the public school system?

If this is my conclusion, than logic demands that I resist vouchers because they would do harm to education for the poor.

I don't think your conclusion follows from your arguments, even if I agreed with your arguments.

But I see these laws (ZT policies) being pushed by right wing conservatives.

Really. Do you have some support for this? Certainly the right wing is behind zero tolerance for drugs, but I think dragging a 11 year old off in handcuffs because he draws a picture of a gun is more of a left wing stupidity. I am sure there are plenty conservatives that support ZT, but I do not see any indication that it is mainly a right wing issue.

I find it an interesting coincidence to learn that it is conservatives that are passing and enforcing zero tolerance laws in this manner, then turning around and criticizing the schools as inept and draconian in regards to laws that they them selves forced throw.

It would be interesting if it were true. It would be even more interesting if the same conservatives that supported ZT were now criticizing the schools for it (i.e. instead of different conservatives taking different positions). If it were true, I don't think I would assume an evil conspiracy as my first explanation, but to each his own. In any case, I have my doubts about the accuracy of this statement.

The only explanation to this contradiction that I can think of is that there is an agenda to discredit public education in order to create a false need for vouchers.

Well, I doubt you have the facts of the matter correct. But if it were true in a given case, I would consider it more likely that the conservative thought ZT sounded like a good idea when he first heard it, and then reconsidered when he saw it in practice. Another possibility would be that he doesn't give a damn whether ZT is a good idea or not, and is just claiming whatever position has the most popular appeal at the time.

If you are as in favor of improving public education as you might claim to be. Then explain how is it that you see fit to raise the issue of school vouchers in the face of draconian zero tolerance laws, and NOT take the more logical approach and argue that the laws need to ether be relaxed or enforced more intelligently? It should be noted that school vouchers do not even address this issue, and is irrelevant.

You should go back and reread the posts that I was replying to. I was talking about vouchers because that is what the thread was about.

However, to be clear, I think "zero-tolerance" policies are stupid, born out of a hysterical fear of students and a desire of administrators to displace responsibility for their actions. Schools should not have ZT policies.

Matt



[ Parent ]
You might try answering questions. (3.00 / 1) (#200)
by Code Name D on Tue May 29, 2001 at 11:35:14 AM EST

You are destined to defend school vouchers because it is a bankrupted policy. Allow me respond where appropriate.

It is probably not a smart choice for a family trying to get by on a single minimum wage income. But I would not say it is not an alternative for "the poor". Another poster pointed out the family with two $7/hour incomes who put their kids through private school. I read a guy on the homeschooling newsgroup who claimed to homeschool 7 kids on a $25K income. Again, it depends on how important it is to you.

I know a man who claimed to have jumped out of a B29 over Germany during World War II without a parachute and survived (at the cost of the life of the German Soldier he landed on.), but I wouldn't argue that bomber crews throw away their parachutes.

This is vouchers first problem. It doesn't reach every one. The poor still has to struggle while the wealthy that already have their children in privet schools get a rebate. I noticed you did not respond to that criticism.

I suspect such have been proposed, but who cares? If school choice is a good idea, I do not see why it is better as a privilege only for poor people.

"Who Cares?" This is an odd position for some one who is reported to be in support of vouchers. And suspecting that a better program has been proposed isn't food on the table. As for "School choice," so far this is nothing but a bumper sticker without any real meaning behind it.

I have already offered a point that erodes the "choice" for the poor end of the spectrum, and I can't see you arguing that the wealthy do not currently have school choice outside of voucher programs, so the spectrum of parents this is intended to address has already shrunk significantly. And as further argument will show, it will shrink even more.

Tutitions at private schools probably would rise after instituting voucher plan, but only in the short term. Soon there would be more private schools and prices would fall again. This is basic economics, not a dirty conspiracy.

You're trying to pass of a market based system as a superior alternative to accountability. Firestone tires functions in the market place as well, and we know where they are today. But this is besides the point in that tuition's are not currently market based. If they were, then their tuition would be lower in order to compete with public schools as they now stand. Instead the opposite is true. Tuition for most privet schools are extremely high. A cheap privet school starts at 10,000 dollars a year per student and goes up from there. The most generous voucher I have seen is only 8,000 dollars and drops from there.

Perhaps a few private schools use tuition to screen students, but most of them use tuition to pay operating expenses. They even make some effort to keep their tutition low and affordable. That way they get more students. Really. I'm serious.

Oh, of course you're serious. You have to be because this fact is the largest deal barker among parents for voucher programs. It all looks great until they learn that there is no guarantee that a privet school will even take their chilled. And you still haven't addressed admissions exam scores. An omission I was expecting you to make. And I can just imagine how eager a privet school will be to accept student who was expelled because of a ZT law, or worse, with a real police record. Again, public education is required by law to take these students. Privet schools are allowed by law to discriminate on bases of sex, finical stature, sexual orientation, religion, and mental capacity.

In the end, all parents have is your "promises" that privet schools will serve the over all public good. We already see this not happening in other free market sectors. Why would a free market education be any different?

I doubt this is correct, except perhaps in extreme cases of physical handicap.

Even more erosion. Pubic education is required by federal law to educate all students, including those with the most extreme handicaps. So such requirements are place on privet schools.

I suspect that most existing private schools will accept children with "ordinary" physical handicaps, and I suspect they would under voucher plans too. Likewise for ordinary learning disabilities, though the way a private school deals with slow students may be different than the public schools, which suits me.

One of the first things you need to know about the handicapped is that there is no such thing as an "ordinary handicap." If they were ordinary, then they wouldn't be handicapped. Oh I am sure it is nice to see a wheel chair ramp out front here and there, but not all of the handicapped are in wheal chairs. For the handicapped to get vouchers is of little good if the school in question is not equipped to handle their needs. Witch I might add is the very intention voucher programs are supposes to provide.

Only if you take the standpoint that educational money should support public schools merely for existing, and not for teaching students. With vouchers, the money follows the student. The school that does teach the student gets the money, and the school that does not teach the student does not get the money. It seems bizarre to me to say that the non-teaching school is therefore subsidizing the school doing the teaching.

This just goes to show that a conservative is not a spendthrift with other peoples money. I noticed you're used of "educational money" in the place of a school districts monitory recourses. I ask you, can you possibly expect a school board to collect taxes from their districts, only to deport the receipts outside the district? Isn't this a common rant among republicans that tax funds are being deported?

Under your approach, the local zoo could ask for school funds to teach monkeys to balance on balls. Just because a privets school deals with education, dose not entitle it to public funds, any more than McDonalds is entitled to Burger King profits because it has to do with burgers.

Is it, or is it not the position of vouchers to compete with public schools for students? If it is so, then how can you justify insisting that public subsidize their competitors? This is not a free market system but a racketeering ploy. Voucher proponents then reply that it is the parents prerogative, but the parents are only the vehicles for the subsidies in question. Making the parents unwitting dupes to drain funds from public schools (who must produce the funds for the vouchers) and deposit them into the coffers of privet school who make no sacrifice under the plan.

A side point: I have heard of several voucher plans where vouchers were less than the per-capita funding received by the public schools. Say the system spends $6000 yearly per student. The voucher might be for, say, only $4000. So the school that teaches the student gets $4000 and the public school system gets $2000, just because.

Would you consider that a subsidy to the public school system?

Sounds more like a hypothetical than an "I have heard." The truth of the mater is that public schools receive a lot of finical aid form the state and the federal level. But this aid is under a variety of conditions that the funds are used as they are intended. And yes, they are tied to student enrolment. But this is the whole point of the unfairness of vouchers because they are NOT tied to enrolment. According to the proponents, a voucher will allow the student to leave the school, while taking the money tied to the student with the voucher. Mean while, the public school is left holding two bags. Not only do they see moneys leave with the voucher, but the loss of the student on the register means the moneys promised to that student will not be submitted.

The point isn't weather public schools receive subsidies from outside, but why it is supposable fair to force public schools to subsidize their own competition? You have not answered this.

If this is my conclusion, than logic demands that I resist vouchers because they would do harm to education for the poor.

I don't think your conclusion follows from your arguments, even if I agreed with your arguments.

Oh, so now my opinions must meet with your approval? I don't think so. Homey don't play d'at.

but I think dragging a 11 year old off in handcuffs because he draws a picture of a gun is more of a left wing stupidity.

This is classic conservative propaganda. These draconian ZT laws are also passed under the watch of conservative school board members who receive ideological support from the Republican party. And as the three second pill anecdote demonstrates, the dracondean ZT laws and the ZT drug laws are one and the same.

"Good laws are written by conservatives and bad laws are written by stupid left wingers" is an argument of Rush Limba quality.

It would be interesting if it were true. It would be even more interesting if the same conservatives that supported ZT were now criticizing the schools for it (i.e. instead of different conservatives taking different positions). If it were true, I don't think I would assume an evil conspiracy as my first explanation, but to each his own. In any case, I have my doubts about the accuracy of this statement.

LOL. Instead of splitting hairs you are trying split ideologue. It isn't a contradiction because two people are involved in two positions instead of just one? That also sounds like support for the conspiracy argument to me. Really, do you honestly expect me to take this as an honest argument?

Continuing:

My original question still stands. If you are as in favor of improving public education as you might claim to be. Then explain how is it that you see fit to raise the issue of school vouchers in the face of draconian zero tolerance laws, and NOT take the more logical approach and argue that the laws need to ether be relaxed or enforced more intelligently? It should be noted that school vouchers do not even address this issue, and is irrelevant. Your attempts to dismiss my questions only leave it unanswered. I might remind you that it was YOU who mentioned school vouchers.

You claim zero tolerance laws are born out of hysterical fear of students. And you have already argued that once solution is the voucher program. IE: Parents faced with ZT laws should leave public education." You then put foreword vouchers as a mechanism to make this possible. However, I have yet to hear you argue that ZT laws need to be relaxed or change. How is it that you can critique something, but not be a proponent for changing what you criticize?

I also noticed you evaded my charge that vouchers only raises the stakes for failure with public education and offers nothing in terms of viable solutions to the many problems that public education faces. Without such a proactive solution to an existing problem then how can vouchers possibly be seen as a solution to any thing?


(_) Truth dispatched by mer logic, was never truth to begin with.
[ Parent ]

I must conclude: (3.00 / 1) (#201)
by Canimal on Tue May 29, 2001 at 11:53:15 AM EST

You are nuts.

I'm not spending any more time on this. If anyone else out there thinks Code Name D made a good point that I should address, please restate it, in English, and I will try to respond.

Matt



[ Parent ]
Some Answers (none / 0) (#274)
by Steve B on Thu May 31, 2001 at 08:11:46 AM EST

This is vouchers first problem. It doesn't reach every one.

Unless and until you can prove that the public schools do reach everyone ("are supposed to reach everyone" doesn't count), this is irrelevant.

And I can just imagine how eager a privet school will be to accept student who was expelled because of a ZT law, or worse, with a real police record. Again, public education is required by law to take these students.

Why in the world should schools allow thugs (the ones with a real police record -- I assume we all agree that ZT nonsense should be abolished) to mix with properly behaved students? We keep convicted thugs in separate institutions (prisons) in the adult world for our own protection; why shouldn't the same principle apply for the protection of our children?

But this is the whole point of the unfairness of vouchers because they are NOT tied to enrolment. According to the proponents, a voucher will allow the student to leave the school, while taking the money tied to the student with the voucher.

You've just contradicted yourself. The number of vouchers that go to a given school is equal to the number of students who take them there -- i.e. enrollment.

The point isn't weather public schools receive subsidies from outside, but why it is supposable fair to force public schools to subsidize their own competition?

The money does not belong to the public schools. The money is being paid to the public school as payment for a service (allegedly) rendered. If a student goes elsewhere for education, then the public school is not serving that student and should not be paid.

By your reasoning, if I stop going to Burger King because I decide that don't like their food, then Burger King is somehow being forced to "subsidize" the establishment I patronize instead.

If you are as in favor of improving public education as you might claim to be. Then explain how is it that you see fit to raise the issue of school vouchers in the face of draconian zero tolerance laws, and NOT take the more logical approach and argue that the laws need to ether be relaxed or enforced more intelligently?

Presumably because he sees so many dysfunctions in the public school system that he has gotten tired of playing whack-a-mole with the individual problems, and favors a major overhaul to correct many problems simultaneously.

[ Parent ]

B29 over Germany (none / 0) (#291)
by strlen on Sat Jun 02, 2001 at 09:36:57 PM EST

If he's claiming to have been in a B29 over germany, he's already lying, because B29 was only used over Japan and the Far East, due to its range, altitude and load capability.

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]
RE: One income minimum wage... (3.50 / 2) (#177)
by cod on Mon May 28, 2001 at 08:55:16 PM EST

There is no way a single minimum-wage income can pay for private school, or even decently clothe and feed a medium-sized family, there are a large number of people that have to live off minimum wage incomes, because they dont have the education or skills to get a higher paying job.
A one income minimum wage family has no business having kids in the first place. Thre is no right to produce offspring you can't afford to support. Especially in today's ecomony whre McDonalds pays 2X minimum plus benefits - somebosy that can't do better than minimum wage needs to be focused on other things besides reproduction.

[ Parent ]
Homeschooling (none / 0) (#292)
by weathervane on Sun Jun 03, 2001 at 12:01:27 AM EST

Homeschooling is a sad joke, an extended childhood that allows overprotective parents to coddle their children while deluding themselves into believing they're providing their children a superior education. However much math and science a homeschooled child may learn, it's a totally inadequate preparation for real life.

Isn't school supposed to teach academic subjects? Maybe, but the truth is that these classes are effectively irrelevant, a decoy for the important subjects taught in North American schools.

I am a well educated person. I have a university degree, I did very well in high school. But the truth is, aside from basic composition skills, everything I learned after about Grade Five has been completely irrelevant to the real business of my life. Except, that is, for the accidental lessons of my schooling.

Things like writing book reports based on books I'd never read (a key marketing skill). Sucking up to authority figures I hated and despised. Learning to cope with and manipulate inane, revolting, and abusive peers. Cramming wildly for tests the next morning.

For most of us, this is the real business of our lives, and while some might say math was more useful to them than English Composition, the invaluable skills of bullshitting and human relations will never make it into the SAT curriculum.

Homeschooling teaches none of this, and my belief and experience is that sheltered homeschooled kids are easy meat for the manipulators and office pragmatists such as myself. You can rattle off whatever SAT scores you like, but book knowledge is no preparation for a Dilbert office complex.

Disclaimer: this rant is based on my encounters with about three homeschooled acquaintances, all of whom were hopelessly ill-prepared for the horrors of university and the workplace. YMMV.

[ Parent ]

You have a point, but. (none / 0) (#296)
by Canimal on Sun Jun 03, 2001 at 04:33:40 PM EST

I may be naive, but I don't particularly want my kids to learn "the real curriculum" that you refer to. That's one reason we are homeschooling, in fact. I have only minimal skills in those areas and I get along okay.

I don't want my kids to be "easy meat", though. I do worry about this a little. This is one of the few objections to homeschooling I actually take seriously.

I don't have an answer that really satisfies me. My hope is if we can get our kids out in the world and making their own decisions as often as possible, and to try not to rush in every time we think they are sticking their fingers in the fire, they will learn some self-defense against trickery and treachery and manipulation.

And maybe not.

We'll have to see, I guess. But it took me years to get over the cynicism I learned from school. I don't want my kids to learn those lessons that well. I'll take some chance I'm going too far the other direction.

Matt



[ Parent ]
Private/Catholic school (3.00 / 2) (#154)
by guinsu on Mon May 28, 2001 at 11:17:50 AM EST

My parents weren't well off at all when I was growing up (both parents worked, 10 year old cars that we had bought used, no vacations, etc) But they sent 3 kids through catholic elementary school and then to private high schools. If a parent really feels it is in the best interests of their child they will find a way. The high schools in particular had scholarships and grants for both smart kids and poor kids.

[ Parent ]
An interesting argument. Let me see if I follow. (3.00 / 3) (#143)
by Code Name D on Mon May 28, 2001 at 04:46:50 AM EST

This is an interesting argument. Let me see if I follow your logic correctly.

If your local school enacts a draconian zero tolerance that treats it's students like criminals awaiting a crime to be convicted for, than you should pull your student out of that school and enroll them in a privet school or home school your children. Thus, yet another example of the failed public school system.

Considering that nearly all zero tolerance rules are supported and enforced by conservatives. And also considering that many of the same conservatives are arguing in favor of school vouchers and even the shutting down of the public education system in general.

This leaves only one possible conclusion: that zero tolerance is in fact part of some kind of agenda to discredit public education by stripping away any form of civility or justice. If this is true, that this is surely a "disaster" of one's own making, and highly unethical.

What your argument fails to address however, is that all though you may pull your children out of the school in question, what about the other parents? Not every one has the same options as you might have. Two working parents do not have the time to home school.

And what of the students are branded as criminals even before they commit the crime by these zero tolerance rules? Am I to believe that a privet school will accept a "known felon" and put them into a position to attack other students?

You also failed to address another solution to the problem. These rules are set by the school board, witch consisted of elected officials. It would seem to me to the nature of democracy to allow the locals the power to effect the policies of their own schools. That is one of the functions of this forum. However, your contempt for this approach has already been stated as "People continue to whine and cry about zero tolerence, low test scores, and every thing else that the government school system does to screw up their kids." Your own advice for this issue is to "pull their damn kids out of the system" witch in my view is equal making a vain effort to run away from the problem.
(_) Truth dispatched by mer logic, was never truth to begin with.
[ Parent ]

Rebuttal to Code D (2.00 / 1) (#176)
by cod on Mon May 28, 2001 at 08:49:41 PM EST

Considering that nearly all zero tolerance rules are supported and enforced by conservatives. And also considering that many of the same conservatives are arguing in favor of school vouchers and even the shutting down of the public education system in general.
Actually - your quite wrong. The conservatives have zero desire to shut down the public school systems - what they want is control to force their christian-centric beliefs on the young of America, all in a noble attempt to save us from ourselves.
What your argument fails to address however, is that all though you may pull your children out of the school in question, what about the other parents? Not every one has the same options as you might have. Two working parents do not have the time to home school.
I know single parents that are homeschooling and working a full time job to support their children. I don't think I could pull it of as a single parent, but some people are.
You also failed to address another solution to the problem. These rules are set by the school board, witch consisted of elected officials. It would seem to me to the nature of democracy to allow the locals the power to effect the policies of their own schools.
Look around (not here at kuro5hin - in the real world). Do you want most of these people making policy that affects your life? I sure as hell don't, democracy = mob rules, always has and it always will.

[ Parent ]
It's all about priorities (3.33 / 3) (#155)
by ehintz on Mon May 28, 2001 at 12:00:52 PM EST

I watched some documentary on PBS several years back. They profiled a hispanic family in Los Angeles. The Dad was a foreman at a sprinkler manufacturer, making about $7/hr, and Mom was a maid at a hotel. Both low wage positions. Here's where things get interesting. They own their own house, and both of their kids go to private school. Of course, there are sacrifices. They don't have a car, the entire family uses public transportation. I don't recall seeing a TV or stereo in the house. Anyway, the point is, if these guys can squeeze out the cash, I sure as hell can and will. So maybe I won't be able to buy that 1ghz Athlon, or an 80meg drive for mp3s. There is no better investment than my kids future, IMHO. On a side note, this is where the whole voucher thing would be a good idea, why the hell should I subsidize the education system while paying for my kids to go to private school? Choice is seldom a bad thing.

Regards,
Ed Hintz
[ Parent ]
Problems w/vouchers - private schools - charters (none / 0) (#245)
by anonymoushero on Wed May 30, 2001 at 02:17:31 AM EST

1) Private schools don't have to follow the same rules that public schools do. (see handicapped access - in some cases they get to co-opt the public facilities for their private profit, at expense of public students)

2) Private schools can discriminate. They can claim they don't and just raise their admission prices - hey, it's a free-market, right?

3) Private schools don't have to (this state) test kids with same grade materials, and when the students eventually get pulled from the charter schools because their parents finally realize how dumb their kids are for their age - the kids come into their age-group grade testing 2 or 3 grades below, and public teachers are not allowed to bounce them to the grade where they belong. And nothing happens to the charter school.

4) Private schools get to cherry-pick: Admissions, dropping poor performers, etc, etc. And public school *must* pick them up, degrading public schools performance numbers in comparision to private/charter schools by taking out the high-achievers from pubilc schools and removing poor-achievers from private schools. Sounds like a fair system to judge results by, doesn't it?

5) A free market already exists for education. Why does it need a subsidy in vouchers? How about because it doesn't work? If you care about your child's education, you'd pay for private school. :)

Vouchers/Charter Schools/Private Schools primarily cater to those who've already got money, leaving the poor to get the worst learning environment (a severely degraded public education), and fragmenting an already fragmented culture. Intergrating culture is the reason behind public schooling, instead of just requiring literacy and other tests (and fining parents who don't educate their children) - and the key benefit enjoyed by WWII draftees: a cross-status/socio-economic level exposure - tieing together disparate parts of our culture.

You say: "Hey, trying to civilize all sections of society is too much effort, let's just allow people to divy up into groups, based on economic factors." -- Cool, you deserve all the thugs, thievery, revolution and anti-social behavior such fermentation causes. You've been getting just a fore-taste of what's to come by allowing such horrible un-intergrated inner-city schools, versus some of the schooling that went on in the 50s (yeah, some of that was segregated) and 60s.



Solutions:
If you yank your kid from public school, you don't get to come back. Ever. If you can't find a private school, or find a way to home-school, tough beans. If your charter school doesn't educate your child up to grade-level proficiency (see below), too bad - you picked a poor place to invest your money. Maybe you can sue. Although your disclosure agreement probably prevents that....

Matching tests (without cheating proctors from charter schools - used to pad their own performance numbers) are required for performace evauluations between public/private schools. Preferably as near double-blind as you can make it.

Exams to actually achieve grade-level/proficiency, not age-based stupidity. Grade-levels should be roughly based on age, but no automatic advancement determined by age - which is what is happening. F == retake the grade-level, not 'at your parent's optional choice'.

If the public school system feels like accepting a reject from the free-market, no complaints about where they're put grade-wise according to their incoming testing scores. If they're too far below grade-level, public schools don't have to accept them. A 15 year old doesn't belong in a 4th grade classroom, no matter how deficient his education has been, it'll hazard a whole classroom of puny 4th graders.

Reject all student transfers from other schools (public or private) if they don't bring educational records with them. Currently a major problem in inner-city public schools (at least 1/3 to 2/3rds of a classroom is new to the school per school year - some problem kids move to different schools more than 8 times a year). And bring up the parents on charges of truancy if they're not doing home-schooling for said kids.

I could go on. But anti-public school advocates are winning the media war, and they deserve the society they're setting up. The rest of us need to go to consensual communities where such idiocy is against your zoning acceptance disclosure agreements.

-- Ender, Duke_of_URL

[ Parent ]
Why don't you submit this? (none / 0) (#249)
by Canimal on Wed May 30, 2001 at 09:11:54 AM EST

This is fairly well written, and I like arguing about this stuff. :) If you put it in the queue, I'll vote it up and at some point respond.

I will point out that vouchers, charter schools, private schools, and homeschooling (?) are all different things, and you seem to kind of roll them together.

Matt



[ Parent ]
ahhh.. (none / 0) (#255)
by anonymoushero on Wed May 30, 2001 at 04:21:36 PM EST

But I have beefs with all of them.

Except maybe private catholic schools. But I'll have a beef when they start taking public monies.

I'm not writing it up quite yet because I'm in the process of looking for work, and organizing tons of stuff, and moving, etc, etc. My life is chaos. Some $$/job would help make it less stressful, but until I get that under control, my posting is very ad-hoc, and writing - well, that's nil.

I'd like to write more on the grey-goo problem too, we had a real good discussion on that way back when.

-- Ender, Duke_of_URL

[ Parent ]
The question I have... (3.00 / 5) (#108)
by rabbit on Sun May 27, 2001 at 09:36:17 PM EST

Is this: do people *really* think that the zero-tolerance rules have any chance of stopping another columbine from happening?

Seriously, the kids that go completely apeshit, are usually, aparently, perfectly average, normal kids. Nobody said to themselves "gee, I think that Kliebold kid is going to blow up a school someday". Nobody ever said "gosh, I hope that Kip Kinkel don't own a gun, otherwise, he's probably gonna kill us all someday." You might want to note, incidentally, that many(though not all) of Kip's guns were bought for him by his parents.

Zero-tolerance isn't going to work. The really scary people are just going to be more careful and quiet until that fateful day comes when they exact their, ahem, vengence.

If you want to learn some really interesting stuff, go look up the roots of the word "kindergarten".


-- I have desires that are not in accord with the status quo.
the facts about columbine (4.14 / 7) (#147)
by dbt on Mon May 28, 2001 at 07:14:08 AM EST

(first off, let me say that I think it's ironic that the same people that say "nuclear power is perfectly safe, forget about 3 mile island" also support post-columbine policies).

Now.

You're completely and totally wrong about Dylan and Klebold. The police knew weeks ahead of time that they were building and testing pipe-bombs, and they didn't do anything. Didn't talk to the parents, didn't talk to the school, didn't do anything. T he school administration got reports of things like their video project for class where they mimicked walking through the school shooting people, and didn't do anything. Didn't even call their parents.

So now everybody is sure the correct solution is to overreact to everything. Sigh. If people would just talk to kid's parents when stuff like this happens, and deal with the obviously pathological cases intead of setting zero tolerance, we'd be fine.

[ Parent ]
the answer I have is this... (4.33 / 6) (#164)
by cicero on Mon May 28, 2001 at 02:22:24 PM EST

do people *really* think that the zero-tolerance rules have any chance of stopping another columbine from happening?

yes, they do. but in conjunction with parents that actually parent

and I've got to say, I find it really amusing when people get pissed off at school districts for this sort of thing. what the hell do you expect them to do? in this sue them before they sue you world, school districts are only following the time honored tradition of trying to cover their asses. There's really not a whole lot that they can do, except not tolerate this sort of shit on school grounds. It's really up to the parents.

I will grant you that some cases are extreme (anyone care to extrapolate how many columbines/santee hs/etc. incidents were avoided b/c of zero tolerance?), but if you stop foaming at the mouth for a second, you'll realize that all we ever hear about are those cases. You'll never hear about the parents who found a gun in their kids room after the child was suspended for saying something at school. it's just not newsworthy, and it doesn't fuel our anti-establishment fire.

the real solution would be something like zero tolerance for students, and if the child caught doing something that violated those rules, then some sort of parent/student counseling, or class session or something. (I'll admit that I'm kinda making this up as I go along, but the parents really need to be forced to get involved in the lives of their kids, and not leave the actual raising of their children up to the schools and daycares).

and again, to reiterate the point I've seen other try to drive home, if you don't like way the situation is now, then do something about it! something other than telling your local school district that they are morons and that they're only stiffling the good ones.


--
I am sorry Cisco, for Microsoft has found a new RPC flaw - tonight your e0 shall be stretched wide like goatse.
[ Parent ]
bullshit (4.00 / 1) (#236)
by orthox on Tue May 29, 2001 at 06:17:01 PM EST

all it does is hide the truth. not letting people outwardly display their thoughts only lets them stew in their own minds, where they can become twisted and distored form reality. they will have no reality point to verify agains and begin to actually beieve the faulty thought path they are travelling down.

it pushes the problems into the future. yes, some people will better fit into society, but everyone else will be made a bit more tense and disturbed. people are going to be turned into malcontents because of stuff like this zero tolerance policy i keep hearing of. what you'll never hear of is examples of the zero tolerance policy causing things like columbine. it will happen. people will become repressed and sooner or later one or two will pop. officials will just ask for tougher punishment and more restrictive policies (yes yu can get stricter than zero tolerance).

ever try hold a lid down on a pot of biling water?

another thing that will develop is that when things do happen they will be more serious. if you are going to ge the same punishment for bringing a butter knife to school than a stilletto or switchblade, then why not go all out? if you are going to get just as suspended for saying the work fuck as starting a fight in school, then why not say fuck and throw punches? it's all the same in the end.

i'll only touch on the cause...

it's a fundamental failure of the parents of _ALL_ children. if you want the children to behave better, create laws that assign punishments for the parents of the children. not having enough time to rais ethe kid is not an excuse. another possibility is to force the parents and children to go to classes dealing with the nature of the students problem. have the classes geared to both the parent and child, and both have to attend to avoid fines/jailtime. not having time to attend the classes wil not be an excuse. (thats the biggest problem, the parents are not spending any time monitoring the children's development and providing a proper example of behavior) the parent's are in most cases "working for a better life" and sometimes "working so my child can have a better life" in the process they are destroying the childs life. i'm going to stop now, because i'm getting a bit steamed thinking about all the greedy, selfish, self centered, oblivious, idiotic parents in this world... (they should really require a license to have children)

[ Parent ]
so i'm confused.. (1.00 / 1) (#237)
by cicero on Tue May 29, 2001 at 07:19:40 PM EST

as to what exactly is "bullshit".

did you read my entire post? or just the first line.


--
I am sorry Cisco, for Microsoft has found a new RPC flaw - tonight your e0 shall be stretched wide like goatse.
[ Parent ]
oops (none / 0) (#269)
by orthox on Thu May 31, 2001 at 12:36:23 AM EST

ok, you busted me. i got as far as newsworthy, misinterpreted it and started ranting based on the misinterpretation and some of the other posts i had read. upon closer inspection it looks like we just said the same thing. whenever i hear offocials pointing the finger everywhere but at themselves (or at least comtemplating it) i get a bit fired up. they just keep making it worse.

[ Parent ]
One huge error in this thread... (none / 0) (#264)
by Dissention on Wed May 30, 2001 at 10:56:00 PM EST

Parents, are NOT able to care for their children's mental health, it is a joke to think they can. It is acceptance by peers that creates a happy teen, not their parents. Parents, CAN'T stop this from happening, in fact no one group of people have a prayer of doing so. It is a fundamental problem with society that people get alienated, unfortunately this sort of problem is also the hardest (and most likely impossible) type to solve. Our society is screwed, fucked, unfixable. There are going to continue to be more and more such instances as columbine and there is no way to stop it from happening. Sucks huh? As for ZT and security, they are after the fact measures (they can be called preventive, but only for small instances such as a fight etc). Do you really think that my school having a ZTP and security measures (such as a camera) is going to stop me (assuming I'm suicidal anyways and all these cases prove that to be true) from walking in and shooting the first 10 people I see? This is the thing that makes this such a hard situation. These people are suicidal and vengeful. Those are the two most dangerous traits you can possibly have in a person. Not only do they not fear any consequences of their action, but they will enjoy carrying out their revenge.

[ Parent ]
One huge error in this thread... (none / 0) (#265)
by Dissention on Wed May 30, 2001 at 10:59:51 PM EST

Parents, are NOT able to care for their children's mental health, it is a joke to think they can. It is acceptance by peers that creates a happy teen, not their parents.

Parents, CAN'T stop this from happening, in fact no one group of people have a prayer of doing so. It is a fundamental problem with society that people get alienated, unfortunately this sort of problem is also the hardest (and most likely impossible) type to solve.

Our society is screwed, fucked, unfixable. There are going to continue to be more and more such instances as columbine and there is no way to stop it from happening. Sucks huh?

As for ZT and security, they are after the fact measures (they can be called preventive, but only for small instances such as a fight etc). Do you really think that my school having a ZTP and security measures (such as a camera) is going to stop me (assuming I'm suicidal anyways and all these cases prove that to be true) from walking in and shooting the first 10 people I see?

This is the thing that makes this such a hard situation. These people are suicidal and vengeful. Those are the two most dangerous traits you can possibly have in a person. Not only do they not fear any consequences of their action, but they will enjoy carrying out their revenge.

[ Parent ]
Safe Schools Act (3.80 / 5) (#126)
by eean on Sun May 27, 2001 at 11:20:06 PM EST

When I was in sixth grade 5 years ago they passed the Safe Schools Act in Missouri. It was one of these deals where they are supposed to report all incidence of violence or threats to the police. At the same time, I believe, they made it law that 12 years old can be tried as adults even though they still only have the limited rights of minors. But that is a different story.

Generally, they are not enforced. I have heard teachers make threats in a joking manner. (In which case I usually say "Safe Schools Act" only half-jokingly - one of these days that might get in trouble if they don't watch it.)

I think that is the general problem with No-Tolerance stuff, is that, in fact, they are not No-Tolerance. Many people don't get even a warning well others get the full punishment of law. When the punishments are so bad, it is in the teachers best-interest not to enforce them, because as the law-suit proves, it could be bad for all involved. So in fact it may have somewhat of an opposite effect then what they were created for.

"Seak the middle path" as Buddha would have said if he spoke English. Really, as was pointed out, Admistrators needs to make a case by case decisions. Their should be some sort of rules, but rules that give leyway - none of this one-punishment-fits-all that seems to be the hallmark of No-Tolerance policies.

And bringing police into the situation just seems like a bad idea. The justice system is not known for making outstanding members of society.

A Modest Proposal (3.50 / 4) (#128)
by Crashnbur on Sun May 27, 2001 at 11:29:27 PM EST

I do not propose to do away with Zero Tolerance policies, necessarily, and I understand that there are greater problems to be concerned with. However, it is not too much to ask that our educators be held responsible for reasonably disciplining our children, rather than simply going by the book written by a government that has no knowledge of any specific cases to be in question. It is not too much to ask for educators to employ a logic when punishing a child for an act.

It is not too much to ask that innocent "crimes", like possessing an ordinary butter knife in your car after a move, not be punished by a felony charge for possession of a deadly weapon, and a school suspension that forces one to miss her own graduation. I know people that own much deadlier "weapons", such as cars, that actually use them in a threatening manner that are never charged with anything, except perhaps a parking ticket.

crash.neotope.com


Zero Tolerence is flawed.. (4.16 / 6) (#148)
by bsdave on Mon May 28, 2001 at 07:25:16 AM EST

If you ask me, Zero Tolerence is based on a fundamentally flawed principle; which is that it doesn't address the problem, it addresses the consquences of the problem.

Think about it, they can go around fining as many kids as they want for saying 'bad words', but until they explain how and why older people find these words offensive, they're not accomplishing anything really.
--
Daaave

Punishment as a means to an end. (4.33 / 6) (#158)
by Mad Hughagi on Mon May 28, 2001 at 12:35:42 PM EST

I absolutely agree with your statement.

Punishment is employed in the hopes that it will deter people from performing socially unacceptable activities. It is a means to an end through the use of fear - if you fear punishment, it will prevent you from taking a certain course of action.

Now if someone is rational, and can forsee the consequences of their actions in a fear-based system, why is it that they are not simply shown how to rationalize the situation for themselves so that they can come to the right conclusion? Obviously if we have enough confidence in our citizens to rationalize their consequences based on a fear of punishment then we should have enough confidence to believe that they will make the right decisions based on a rational motivation of another kind - namely education.

The point of the matter here is that criminals perform crimes because they have rationalized that the punishment is not a deterrant!!! The see the benefits of their actions as outweighing the possibility for and the degree of punishment. Obviously we need to go deeper into the problem if we want a solution. Timothy's acceptance of death is about as blatant of an example as I can think of. He didn't fear the death penalty when he killed all those people. He still doesn't fear it today. Punishment does not work when the mechanism by which it acts is over-ridden - fear. The only people that lose are those who are punished unjustly - obviously they fear the punishment but they did not expect to be punished in the first place. Using fear to control a population is exactly how dictatorships are run... any coincidence?

Personally I do not follow laws per say. I do what I feel is right in any given situation. The fact that the two are in accordance "most of the time" is very pleasing - it prevents me from having to deal with a rigid authority that often uses absolutes (zero tolerance) out of context.

An example is jay-walking. Imagine that every person who performed the action of jay-walking was fined. Is it justified? Do we take the law to be absolute, regardless of context? That is what zero-tolerance is about, and that is why it is so dangerous. A simple action like leaving a butter-knife in your car can result in punishment. This is an outrage, not only to the accused, but to society as a whole. Are we really that ignorant as a society to deserve such authoritative measures?

Zero tolerance is a very strong indicator of totalitarianism policy. People should think about how much they value their personal freedoms and their relationship with the rest of society before they "jump to conclusions".


HUGHAGI INDUSTRIES

We don't make the products you like, we make you like the products we make.
[ Parent ]

I agree completely. (5.00 / 1) (#222)
by Crashnbur on Tue May 29, 2001 at 02:50:49 PM EST

And I will comment further on one point:
Personally I do not follow laws per say. I do what I feel is right in any given situation. The fact that the two are in accordance "most of the time" is very pleasing - it prevents me from having to deal with a rigid authority that often uses absolutes (zero tolerance) out of context.
I agree. Another example: stop signs and red lights at 3:00am. (You do not know these streets, but I will use their names anyway.) There is a traffic light at the Carl Vinson Parkway and Russell Parkway three-way intersection that is very friendly to Russell traffic; not to Carl Vinson traffic. Trying to turn left onto Russell from Carl Vinson, sometimes I have to wait fifteen minutes for the light to change. Yes, it's that bad. It has gotten to the point that occasionally I get brave enough to just zip through it. Why? I can see a half mile down Russell Parkway in either direction, and there is very obviously no traffic coming, so why the hell must I wait on some traffic signal to tell me to go? When there is any traffic near, I wait just because... But when I'm the only vehicle, I go. Is this wrong?

Another problem: STOP SIGNS. My god I hate those things in most cases. I think they are great at four-way stops that receive a lot of traffic. I think they are horrible in about 75% of their instances. What do we need instead? YIELD SIGNS! Yield signs are exactly the same in one respect - you must stop if traffic is present. In another respect, they are different - if there is no traffic present, you don't have to stop. This saves time, gasoline, brakes, and, though perhaps only a nickel at a time, money too. Coming to a complete stop when there is obviously no traffic present is ridiculous, and I think drivers would be able to handle it. Of course, I'm not one that matters...

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
explain why? (4.66 / 3) (#170)
by CrayDrygu on Mon May 28, 2001 at 04:13:11 PM EST

"until they explain how and why older people find these words offensive, they're not accomplishing anything really."

Speaking of which, I've never heard or been able to come up with a *good* reason why these words are so offensive. There's plenty of near-synonyms to the word "fuck" that are perfectly acceptable. I'm not gonna run down the list of words, but the same thing applies to most of the rest of Carlin's Seven.

The only reason I've found for why "fuck" is offensive is because it's always been that way, and I don't accept that reason for much of anything.

[ Parent ]

Is fuck offensive? (4.00 / 1) (#223)
by Crashnbur on Tue May 29, 2001 at 02:53:55 PM EST

I could reason it through the argument of evolution. If man really has evolved from the ape or other mammals over millions of years, then doesn't it make sense that our languages and abilities to communicate are only evolved from our means of communication generations ago? By that, then, our "offensive" communications are only those that we deem offensive. They are not universally offensive. They are not offensive to any other civilization, system, whatever. Only to us. They are simply sounds that a creature makes. If "fuck" is offensive to you, then one of every ten barks from your dog should also be offensive, because I'm sure he gets just as mad as we do sometimes... He just looks cuter. :-)

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
Pardon the D&D reference, but (2.50 / 2) (#149)
by locke baron on Mon May 28, 2001 at 08:00:29 AM EST

WTF is it that we're advocating with these ZT policies? Is it good, or just raw, oppressive order? And, as we've seen, ZT just causes tons of damage.
So, ZT == Lawful Neutral with Lawful Evil tendencies... Aren't we supposed to be shooting for Lawful Good?
Ahh, well... Authority is starting to piss me off these days. CG forever, heh?

Micro$oft uses Quake clannies to wage war on Iraq! - explodingheadboy
i don't get this.......... (3.33 / 3) (#157)
by c0sm0 on Mon May 28, 2001 at 12:28:02 PM EST

since when is it illegal to say fuck? Is it illegal to say fuck in the U.S.? What about freedom of speech? I don't understand the U.S. at all these days.........

It's a state matter... (3.66 / 3) (#168)
by ODiV on Mon May 28, 2001 at 03:01:46 PM EST

Not too long ago a guy flipped over in a canoe and cursed. The state he was in has a law against profanity (I think as long as women or children are present). He was charged.

It seems a lot of states have really out of date laws. What's scary is that some of them get enforced.

I'm not sure about these "School Zone" profanity laws, but if they're not based off of what I just mentionned, then whoever has been passing the laws has their priorities mixed up imho.


--
[ odiv.net ]
[ Parent ]
And its stupid (4.50 / 2) (#202)
by bored on Tue May 29, 2001 at 11:55:42 AM EST

The case your thinking of was Michigan V Boomer. Its insane but the judge still upheld the law. I guess what he needed was a jury trial and one of those fully informed jury activists outside picketing his case.

[ Parent ]
Out of Date Laws (4.00 / 1) (#211)
by Crashnbur on Tue May 29, 2001 at 02:01:50 PM EST

Out of date laws are a big problem, I think. Such laws as "setting off a nuclear device within city limits shall earn a $500 fine". I forget which city this is for, but about seven years ago, it was still a law. Or how about a law somewhere in Pennsylvania, Pittsburg I think, when, if a horse is seen anywhere near a street, you must stop your vehicle, turn it off, exit, and remove your wheels. That seems just a bit outdated.

Lucky for me, my community has rid itself of its out-of-date laws. All it takes is for one person to read the manual and propose that a ridiculous law be dropped.

Fuck, that's another $500 fine!

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
Zero Tolerance Sucks (3.80 / 5) (#162)
by MAStirling on Mon May 28, 2001 at 01:53:38 PM EST

ZT policies are stupid and inefficient. I got suspended for fighting because I pushed someone who had thrown a punch at me into a wall. In fact, I recieved greater punishment despite the fact that I was minding my own business and he started both the original confrontation and the fight itself. Although this moron won't try it again, another will, and if it comes to blows, he's going to lose some teeth because if I'm gettting punished for standing up for myself, I'm at least going to do the crime.

I know many others who feel the same way. ZT unfairly punishes many people who get caught in a bad situations and encourages students to take things as far as they can because they're going to get the same punishment anyways.

Something like that happened in my high school (4.50 / 2) (#204)
by tekniklr on Tue May 29, 2001 at 12:23:56 PM EST

This reminds me of a few years back (way before Comlumbine) when I was in highschool. A kid I knew got jumped for no reason outside of the lunch room. He didn't want to get suspended, so he just stood there and took all the punches until a teacher came and broke it up.

Even though he didn't start it, he never threw a punch, and teachers witnessed this, he still got the same punishment as the other kid- 10 days suspension.

[ Parent ]
I feel his pain. (5.00 / 1) (#214)
by Crashnbur on Tue May 29, 2001 at 02:18:02 PM EST

I've suffered this as well, though not in exactly the same way. No, mine was worse. I was in seventh grade, and two girls were bickering near the classroom door - one inside, one outside. I had just gotten up to go to the restroom, so I was walking between them, not expecting anything. As I reached the doorway, they jumped on each other, and I was right between them. I just kind of ducked out of the way, and, one of the girls being a good friend of mine, I pulled her away from the other when they had briefly separated. (I wasn't about to jump in while they were scrappin'...) About twenty students and two teachers witnessed this, told me that I deserved a medal for what I did (they were both several inches taller than me... girls in middle school), and then I was stuck with five days in school suspension. Everyone was on my side, even the teachers. It was long ago, and I don't really remember the details, but I still have no idea why I was punished.

The message it sent? "You could have been hurt" or "That's not your job" or "Let us handle it" ... which basically means that I shouldn't be trying to help out. I should wait on someone else to do it. What a wonderful planet this would be if we all thought that way.

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
I had similiar experiences in Middle-School (none / 0) (#278)
by grmoc on Thu May 31, 2001 at 06:09:20 PM EST

When I went to middle school, I was punched, kicked, and restrained just about every day on the school bus. For the first year and a half, I did nothing, believing that eventually they would tire of it.
Of course, that didn't work, as they were reasserting their dominance over me, and releasing agressions. Eventually I stopped listening to my mother, and listened to my father about the situation. In short I decided to defend myself.

The day after I'd reached this decision I was accosted on the bus again. I punched the guy back- a right hook to the nose, and the rest of the trip passed in peace. When we got off the bus, the guy (I assume gaining confidence due the the proximity of his friends) decided to go after me again. He punched me in the head, I kicked him in the groin.

I received detention everyday for a week.

Of course, before the incident we had appraised the principal of the situation, and he basically indicated that there was nothing he could do.
In other words, what faced me was a catch-22, and I had to decide which punishment was worse. Being beaten-up every day easily won out.

I had a few more such episodes, with similiar resolutions. The end product was that after that year I'd spent about 4 weeks of afternoons in detention, and I wasn't touched again.

ZT does not help kids in these types of situations- It punishes them for being reasonable. Do you not have a right to self defense? Isn't it reasonable to protect yourself from harm?

[ Parent ]
Here's an idea (3.25 / 4) (#174)
by end0parasite on Mon May 28, 2001 at 06:29:57 PM EST

Maybe these kids do something else wrong but the authorities don't have proof, so they prosecute them for other minor laws, like arresting Al Capone on tax evasion.

Of course, that's not what really happened, and I didn't give this thought a second... thought.


Jim

Unconstitutional? (2.66 / 3) (#175)
by aralin on Mon May 28, 2001 at 08:11:41 PM EST

First of all, these Zero Tolerance policies smell badly with law and constitution violations. They break the very process of crime & punishment and make it into a parody of justice. They give excuse for oppression and lowering and taking away of already so low rights of minors.

Everyone around is full of bull**** about human rights, but childern are not considered human by most of these evangelists. The most fierce among them who would start a war with some country just on the grounds of violating human rights and oppression of their inhabitants are denying the same rights to their own childern. Is this a way how to teach next generations about the importance of human rights? By denying them?

I think that there definitely need to be a congressional commision for watching over minor rights at least and few other steps should be done. And first of all we should ask ourselves if these Zero Tolerance policies don't make more damage than Columbine. After all Columbine and others were result of early attempts for oppressing childern and compulsory use of behavioral drugs for over active childern.

this one is great (1.00 / 1) (#199)
by zfight3e on Tue May 29, 2001 at 10:22:44 AM EST

right on

[ Parent ]
zero tolerance (2.60 / 5) (#194)
by webNoodler on Tue May 29, 2001 at 09:14:01 AM EST

How about some zero tolerance of sex offenders. My friend was raped in broad daylight in the Kansas City area. The man came back to her home several days later and mugged her. They caught him and convicted him to 4 months in jail! Then, in Liberty Missouri, not to long ago, the front page of the local newspaper advertised clay county's top 10 most wanted criminals. Number one on the list: Hispanic mail wanted for 'assault'. His bail: $200,000. On the back page the 'lesser' criminals of the top 10 were listed, including: a white male charged with sexual assault of a minor and forceable sodomy. This man's bail was set at $20,000. reality is terrifying

Hmm. (4.00 / 1) (#210)
by Crashnbur on Tue May 29, 2001 at 01:56:25 PM EST

I'm not sure what point you're trying to make here... And judging by the rating of your comment, I think others might be having the same problem.

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
orange (none / 0) (#235)
by orthox on Tue May 29, 2001 at 05:48:29 PM EST

I'm not sure it's entirely the same thing. On that end of the scale it seems a bit light, but on the students end of the scale it is too heavy. A felony offense means you can't vote anymore. They may never get to vote at all. If you scaled up the punishment for the student to something tangible like your example they rapist/mugger would be getting the death penalty (just get rid of them).

Another problem is proof. For the protection of the innocent against unproven claims, proof is needed for a conviction (then again dna might have worked). There probably wan't enough proof to convict on the rape, leaving only the mugging offense. If both were proven the punishment would be much stronger. (its punishment, not rehabilitation as some like to think). It may not seem fair, but it was meant to protect someome from going to jail just because someone acused them of rape. (I know a teacher who was accused (totally falsely) he lost 60 pounds, his health severly declined, spent lots of money defending himself, and nearly his job, and i'm sure a good bit of reputation just be cause he wouldn't let some girl on the jv basketball team, she then accused sexual harrasement. if proof were not required he would be in far worse shape)

The crime vs punishment system is totally screwed up. Heck computer crimes will land you in jail longer than rape/mugging. Which do you think is the more zserious crime?

Personally I think the zero tolerance thing should continue. Sooner or later there will be a critical mass of bright unjustly persecuted individuals without the right to vote (via felony convictions) who will want a change. Then we'll see what happens.

(If I were still in high school I would be in a federal penitentary by now, judging by the state of things.)

[ Parent ]
National Security? (none / 0) (#240)
by Crashnbur on Tue May 29, 2001 at 09:46:14 PM EST

Heck computer crimes will land you in jail longer than rape/mugging. Which do you think is the more serious crime?
If I know America, our government sees rape, assault, burglery, etc. as much less serious than information crimes like hacking, cracking, or stealing valuable information from government sites. Why? National security is at stake, of course! Uncle Sam doesn't care about your body or property as long as he keeps control.

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
Great Idea (4.00 / 1) (#243)
by Dink Meeker on Wed May 30, 2001 at 12:51:26 AM EST

Cause no one was ever falsely accused of a sex crime.

Yes there are a lot of terrible things that people do, and sometimes they don't get what they deserve, but zero tolerance isn't the answer. Zero tolerance says that judges aren't necessary, and that the mob mentality of a hurt, emotional and scared public can fairly decide on the punishment of crimes before they even happen.

"Everybody in this room is wearing a uniform, and don't kid yourself." --Frank Zappa
[ Parent ]
started before columbine (3.00 / 1) (#205)
by un_eternal on Tue May 29, 2001 at 12:42:52 PM EST

The high school I went to had zero tolerance policies in place back in 93 or so.



-Ahh...A nice legally binding electronic signature
Sure. (4.00 / 1) (#209)
by Crashnbur on Tue May 29, 2001 at 01:55:12 PM EST

I know. But because there are no more greatly significant tragic events on which to base these policies, it only makes sense to say that ZT policies are to protect from things like Columbine. Note that the word "like" preceeding "Columbine" means that it has nothing to do with Columbine directly.

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
sorry (2.00 / 1) (#228)
by un_eternal on Tue May 29, 2001 at 04:11:41 PM EST

I didn't really mean to imply that there was anything wrong with using columbine as an example, I was just mentioning it for informational purposes.



-Ahh...A nice legally binding electronic signature
[ Parent ]
In that case, thanks. (4.00 / 1) (#233)
by Crashnbur on Tue May 29, 2001 at 04:43:04 PM EST

It just wasn't clear that that was your purpose. (Besides, several comments buried in the threads around here have pointed out the Zero Tolerance policies have been around for decades. It seems to me that they are only a problem now because people are just now gaining the ability to stand up for themselves and their own rights.)

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
My school (none / 0) (#242)
by Jebediah on Wed May 30, 2001 at 12:45:59 AM EST

My school was a leader with the ZT shit in the early 90's. Amazingly enough the school wouldn't hesitate to toss a kid with a butter knife no matter what the reason, but seemed to allow the "troubled" kids (the ones in the special class all day) to get by easy. Some of these kids truly were monsters, threatining to kill whoever looked at them the wrong way.

To get back to my point... one day I had stayed late after school to retake a test and saw one of the troubled kids whip out a pocket knife. I have no problem with anybody carrying a pocket knife, but by all rights this kid should have been suspended. Instead his supervisor saw the knife, said he wasn't to have it, and took it away for the time, later giving it back.

Now if stuff like this can go on, how I'm I supposed to believe ZT works?

[ Parent ]
Zero tolerence is a tool (4.75 / 4) (#207)
by jd on Tue May 29, 2001 at 01:42:24 PM EST

But like any tool, you can't just hit out at random in the hope you'll carve out something useful.

Zero tolerence makes a brilliant hammer. Councelling (by councellors who are capable of the task and who know what they're doing, not just K-Mart specials, collected cos they were cheap) makes a great chisel.

The right hammer, the right chisel, applied delicately by a craftsman can carve out some wonderful patterns. But even then, that's what you use it for.

If you've rough edges, a chisel - however gently used - is utterly inappropriate. Fine sandpaper is what you need.

In education, the sandpaper is the example set by the staff and parents. They can roughen up the smoothest edge, or smooth down the worst splintering.

In the first example, I'd say that was a rough edge. There's no evidence that anything more dramatic is required. For that reason, I'd want to know what the staff quality was like. Was this rough edge natural, or manufactured?

If manufactured, the entire staff should be in compulsive therapy and probably doing community service, as well. A damaged tool needs repair before it can be used. To use it further just worsens the damage and the results.

THIS, to me is the correct use of Zero Tolerence. If there is a failure in the system - ANYWHERE in the system - you don't tolerate it, you fix it.

The incorrect way, the way many places apply Zero Tolerence - is to amputate, rather than fix. This is why they don't notice the disease in the system's brains and thinking.

Okay. (5.00 / 2) (#208)
by Crashnbur on Tue May 29, 2001 at 01:52:50 PM EST

I followed your analogy, but I'm vacating it now. I think the whole system in that first example was screwed up. Lee County schools had incorporated the law into their school system, which is not always bad, but is a horrible thing to do for such a simple "crime" as possession of a butter knife. And in another when a child says the "f" word, why a criminal charge? I use that word about forty times a day (usually in song lyrics, other times in jest, and rarely in any offensive manner), and if someone tried to slap me with a criminal charge for it I'd see their ass in court.

When speech goes so far as to damage others, perhaps it is time to question one's freedom of speech. When using the "f" word does nothing of the sort, and especially when friends are laughing and enjoying the conversation, a fine and criminal charge for uttering the word is a violation of that freedom of speech. There is a very fine line between what is damaging and what is not, but I think it could be drawn fairly easily for most cases.

I'll stop now, because I'm sure I've just opened up a whole new conversation, and I'd rather wait on the comments to flood in before clarifying any further.

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
Exactly. (5.00 / 3) (#212)
by jd on Tue May 29, 2001 at 02:05:35 PM EST

I don't see the difference between what I wrote, and your post -- except your post was easier to follow and much more succinct.

The use of legal force, in this case, was utterly inappropriate, and may well have caused far more serious damage than the original "problem" could ever have done.

I also think you're absolutely right, that sometimes speech -can- hurt, and it's good to know when that happens, and to take action when that happens.

As for knowing where the line should be drawn, to go back to my analogy for a second, is the "problem" a rough spot or an uncut design? The difference should not just be "fairly easy" to see, it should be bloody obvious, 99.999% of the time.

[ Parent ]

Stop crime before it happens (4.33 / 3) (#221)
by weirdling on Tue May 29, 2001 at 02:50:45 PM EST

At one time in this country, you had to actually commit a crime before you could be punished. These days, you only have to demonstrate the capacity to commit a crime or behave in such a way as to allow the possibility of someone else committing a crime. Let me explain: Speed limits. These are in place to make the highways safer, I am told. Essentially, if you speed, you are in jeopardy of hitting someone, thus possibly of causing damage, so you can be ticketed for going too fast. Nevermind the lack of solid evidence to back this up... Zero tolerance in schools. Students with the ability might do something. Let's take away the ability. Once again, no crime has been committed; no damage done; yet we must punish pre-emptively or something might happen. Global warming. Something might happen, so we should punish those offenders who might be causing the thing that might happen Internet censorship. It is possible Junior might be damaged by something he might read on the internet, so let us stop that up front, nevermind the downside. Gun ownership. Apparently owning a gun makes one multiple times more likely to be criminal, despite mounds of evidence to the contrary, so we need to remove the guns to remove the possibility, nevermind the damage this might cause to society and the freedoms infringed. Social Security. People won't save for their own retirement, nevermind evidence to the contrary, so we must force them to put money away that might grow as much as 4% APY if they are miserably poor. Nevermind they could get twice that or more out of the stock market even if they're incredibly stupid. Welcome to the world modern nannyism has created. At one point, people will realise that this was called the 'land of the free and home of the brave' for a reason: if you want to be free, you've got to be brave. The only true way to freedom is through responsibility, which doesn't mean behaving in a certain pattern, but rather accepting the results of your actions and the random chance that is life. In other words, these things happen, and until we know for sure why, we shouldn't randomly go around making laws that we think might help, because we know they do hurt, and the certain damage they do is often greater than the help we think they'll generate.
I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
Your first two sentences. (3.50 / 2) (#224)
by Crashnbur on Tue May 29, 2001 at 02:57:01 PM EST

Your first two sentences perfectly describe what is going on here. Too bad I couldn't think of those words while writing the article. (Ah, but that's part of the purpose of the comments system!)

Try spacing out some paragraphs next time, though. :-)

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
close but then you lost me..... (4.80 / 5) (#231)
by drewbydrew on Tue May 29, 2001 at 04:33:44 PM EST

I perfectly agree with the first part of your statement, but then I start having to take issue. I think that you are oversimplifying the situation a bit to lump Gun control, Global Warming and kids with butter knives into the same category. Let me explain:
All of the situations you describe are restrictions on behavior based on potentiality (except perhaps for global warming which last I checked is well agreed to be scientific fact www.ipcc.ch). The difference is that on some of these things there are obvious consequences we are unwilling to deal with, and on others we presume that there are consequences which may or may not be fitting. Guns are complicated machines designed with one basic purpose: to expel a projectile at a high rate of speed. These projectiles are by nature highly dangerous, and we therefore limit the sale and use of weapons to areas we deem appropriate (hunting rifle ranges etc). We also restrict who can have a gun, recognizing the potential for harm as too great for members of society without the judgement to exercise caution (children, mentally unstable people and convicted criminals sometimes).
That's the easy part, the hard part is what to do with things that are intended to be benign, but can have hazardous consequences. Cars, for instance, are intended to transport people from one place to another, but can have the unintended consequence, even with the best of intentions, of killing people. As a society, we agree cars are a good thing, but we control their uses because we understand that bad things happen to good people. Speed limits are present because the faster we drive (generally speaking) the greater the probability of an accident. So we agree collectively on a speed that is a compromise between speed and safety and then enforce that as a rule so that individuals don't "exploit the commons."
I don't think I am alone in suggesting that a society full of people driving at high speeds in cars full of guns is not where I want to live. But what makes zero tolerance so disturbing is that it over regulates potential dangers. If we were to suddenly ban cars because of their potential for killing people we would be foolish. The costs would clearly outweigh the potential benefits of safe usage. The same thing applies for jailing kids for swearing in class, it's not that the action is undeserving of regulation or punishment altogether, just that the punishment in no way fits the crime.
Zero tolerance is endemic of a culture that is so terrified of its own children that it is frantically trying to restrict their every movement in the hope of quarantining a few delinquents. Instead of solving the problem, however, we are alienating more of our kids and creating an even clearer divide between youth and authority, which can only serve to encourage those few delinquents anyway...

[ Parent ]
Well thought out response (none / 0) (#279)
by weirdling on Thu May 31, 2001 at 07:10:13 PM EST

I agree mostly with what you say, but the reason I hold my position of reducing such rules is that I put the cost of these laws higher than most. Let me explain.
First, gun control. Keeping people from shooting willy-nilly isn't something any sane person will contest. However, removing guns from the hands of law-abiding citizens consistently causes crime to go up and never causes it to go down. Hence, the cost of this law is actually definable and much higher than what it saves.
Same with speed limits. The function of accidents to speed is not linear but takes off exponentially at the point at which the car/driver combination can no longer handle speed. 'Reasonable speed' is different based on the vehicle. The SUVs in my way are making a 'reasonable speed', 65MPH. On the same road, even dodging them, my Camaro can make 85MPH, as long as I drive sanely. The Autobahn demonstrates this to be true. Most accidents are caused by driver error, not speed or any other factor. Excessive speed is often only a factor in accidents caused by alcohol. Hence, it qualifies as a law that has a high cost (that of people not being able to move as efficiently and that of people developing an adversarial relationship with the local government) compared to practically nil in actual benefit. Reasonably, if an accident happens, the cause can be determined, and at that moment, should the cause be excessive speed, whoever was speeding is at fault, but this is almost never the case.
As to global warming, I'll let it lie, but I remain far from convinced.
To me, the common thread in all these laws is the fear of something. You sum it up well at the end of your article: 'society full of people driving at high speeds in cars full of guns is not where I want to live'. It's exactly this fear that disturbs me about these laws. They're not enacted because there is a definate need but because there is a vague fear. Oh, well, such is life...

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
Nice idea, but... (4.50 / 2) (#234)
by Golden Spray on Tue May 29, 2001 at 04:57:44 PM EST

I have two things to say.

The first is a general comment on the Zero Tolerance Policy. I don't think that looking at it as just as a disciplinary action is sufficient. I think it should be looked at from the school's point of view as a defence from possible litigation. What happens if honour student Sally is found with a knife in her locker and the school decides that a stern talking to is good enough (Sally, being intellegent, convinces the school admin of some excuse). The next day she stabs Billy the bully. Billy's parents find out that Sally was previously found with a knife and so are now better able to sue the school for not protecting Billy. Of course such things are increadably rare, but the school is probably not willing to risk it. For them it is much better to violate the rights of the innocent in order to protect themselves. Zero tolerance gives them a blanket protection from such possibilities.

My second point challanges some of your assertions about "being assumed guilty". Some of your examples are a bit silly. In a perfect world everyone would be intellegent, responsible and thoughful. In this world there would be no need for things like speed limits and gun control or environmental laws. Everyone would understand the repercusions of their actions and so would act accordingly. Unfortunately this is not reality. People are, in general, short sighted, self centered, irresponsible and stupid. Just as a parent protects her child from its ignorance, so should the government protect the people from themselves. This will limit the rights of the individual. Only those who are responsible enough to handle it have really lost anything (the rest are to irresponsible and so should not have the right anyway), hopefully they will be intellegent enough to recongize the bigger picture and the greater good.

To illustrate my point lets look at gun control. Guns making people crimials is false, but guns definately make it easier for people to kill each other, either intentionally or accidently. That is what people want to control. They can't control people's stupidity, but they can control those people's ability to hurt others because of it. I don't believe that crime should be linked to gun control, thats not really the point. The point is that Inbred Jed is not going to accidently shoot is neighbour nor is his son going to be able to steal his dad's gun to show up (and then accidently shoot) his friend if Jed does not have a gun.

You argue that if people want responsibility they should be willing to accept the consequences. I agree, however I believe that most people only think they want responsibility. Were they bright enough to actually understand what that means, they probably would be able to handle the responsibilty. Most are not.



GS

[ Parent ]
Give more credit to the human race (4.00 / 1) (#280)
by weirdling on Thu May 31, 2001 at 07:18:02 PM EST

If people really are short-sighted, selfish, and stupid, then speeding laws will have no impact. By and large, criminals are short-sighted, selfish, and stupid, and these laws do have no effect on them. Hence the drunk driving problem, people running stoplights, and homicides.
Now, your laws have cost those actually responsible freedom without significantly improving the lot of the rest of the world. Essentially, you only hurt those you should encourage.
Now, as to Inbred Jed, please, look at the statistics. So few people are accidentally shot (around 200/yr), that it is laughable compared to other statistics, such as those killed by cars or who have drowned. See, you're proving my point: these laws are enacted not because something is happening but because people fear something might happen. However, gun control has a definate down-side: it always increases crime. Not the penny-ante stuff like pickpocketing, but the big stuff, most noticeably rape and robbery. That's right; more guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens, less crime...
As to children killing other children, that happens around 30 times a year. More children die in buckets in the back yard. However, once again, you make my point for me. BTW, most of those 30 die in cities where the child who pulled the trigger has no knowledge of guns other than what was seen on TV. Where guns are commonplace, accidental discharge deaths among children are significantly lower, not higher.

Now, as to the final argument: if people aren't forced to accept the consequences of their actions, they will never learn responsibility, but that's not my problem. I take responsibility for my actions and do not appreciate being treated like a child for it.

Sources for statistics cited about guns: "More Guns, Less Crime", John R. Lott.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
I'll give humanity credit when they earn it. (4.00 / 1) (#281)
by Golden Spray on Thu May 31, 2001 at 10:03:32 PM EST

I don't want to argue gun control. Thats not the point. The point is whether or not laws which restrict people's freedom for the "greater good" are reasonable. You think they are not, I think they are.

For an interesting discussion of Lott's book check out this. I have not read the book so I can't comment on the validity of the argument, but it does look like a well informed piece.

Let me ask you this. How can you force someone to accept the consequences of their actions? If you could wouldn't it be too late? I don't think that making people accept reponsibility is the problem, so much as making them think about the consquences before they act. A responsible person will recongize the possible consequesions of their actions before they act and thus choose to act in such a away as to minimize the negitive outcomes. An irresponsible person does not think about the consequences until its too late. Having laws that limit the possible choices reduces the irresponsible person's ablility to cause "trouble".

Also you seem to have taken some personal offence to my previous post. I did mean to imply that you were stupid, etc. The fact that you read and post to a site like kuro5hin is strong evidence that you are not.

GS

[ Parent ]
That study (3.00 / 1) (#287)
by weirdling on Fri Jun 01, 2001 at 12:02:21 PM EST

There are so many misrepresentations of Lott's study in that study that it is, to me, propaganda. I suggest you read the original work before dismissing it out of hand on the basis of a study that concludes that Lott does not take into account the differences between low-crime counties and high-crime counties, which he devotes most of a chapter to. That's just one of the statements that are shown as fact in that study that are not so. Typical of anti-gun literature, I'm afraid.
You're right; I have no intention of arguing the gun question; that's been done to death.
How to force someone to accept the consequences? Simple: let them suffer them. Take away welfare. Make it possible for someone to be held liable monetarily for their actions even if they have no money. Some guy who causes a wreck but has no money or insurance and is found at least criminally negligent can have his wages garnered or some other arrangement such that they *do* pay for their actions.
I wasn't taking offense. I was arguing that laws like these *do* hurt me, personally. They don't hurt someone else in a city somewhere that is irresponsible because the odds of such a person obeying the law are actually miniscule. They do hurt me, all other sports car owners, all other gun owners, and just about everyone else who has the ability and the responsibility to do something the society has decided is too dangerous to let people do.
In other words, the law exists to prevent lawless people from doing things that scare normal people. It isn't effective at what it intends to do but it does limit what honest, law-abiding citizens can do, and is therefor far more damaging than helpful.
See, it is personal. I can't emphasize this enough. When people speak of 'inbred jeb', the gun culture, professional speeders, or any other category of non-aligned citizen that I might belong to, it does damage to people, me included. This politics is not inclusive and is not wise.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
How much are you really hurt? (3.00 / 1) (#288)
by Golden Spray on Fri Jun 01, 2001 at 02:52:19 PM EST

Putting aside the possibility that guns can prevent crime (which I don't personally believe) how much do these laws actaully hurt you? Looking at speed limits, do you actually have some need to go faster? Or do you just enjoy it? How would being forced to drive at 65mph hurt you?

It seems like it would be, at worst, inconvenient. Perhaps you can explain it too me.

If being inconvencienced could/might save lives would it not be worth it?



GS

[ Parent ]
Time is money (3.00 / 1) (#289)
by weirdling on Fri Jun 01, 2001 at 06:00:23 PM EST

If nothing else, the time I have on earth is worth something. By your reasoning, why not set speed limits at 10MPH, where a fatal accident is almost impossible? For instance, should I drive from Denver to Colorado Springs at the speed limit, it takes around an hour. At a safe speed in my car, it takes around 45 minutes, leaving more time for me to actually do things. Do it often enough and it saves time.
Now, compare it to how much the law saves society, which is practically nothing. At least, in both the cases of speeding and gun control, it has never been demonstrated that either law will actually provide any real, tangible benefit.
See, while you may not agree that having more guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens would decrease crime, no credible study has ever existed to suggest that such would increase crime; on the contrary, even the study you cited can't make that correlation. At best, it said there is no difference. Ditto for speeding. No study exists that demonstrates beyond a shadow of a doubt that a speeding law saves anything.
I am convinced that the global warming studies do not prove anything, either, and generally, those who support global warming immediately resort to saying there is a strong indication, so we must act *because the damage may be high*, not because there's a good odds of it happening. Nevermind that the damage from acting is *known* and *will* be high. One can't make a decent decision without knowing the payoffs.
Now, as to what I lose as a gun owner: I can't legally transport my guns in some municipalities. The storage of my guns becomes a matter to discuss with my attorney. Guns I am fond of are declared illegal. A sport I enjoy, that of target shooting, becomes harder to do. A quick perusal of gun laws will show that they always hurt the sport shooter more than the criminal. That others do not see this hurt does not mean it isn't there. And, then there's the emotional content that is so often overlooked, particularly with guns. I know people who have made comments about 'gun-toting rednecks' in my presence, at which point I identify myself as such, and they say, 'we don't mean you', when, of course, they do. The fact is that most of the people who own guns legally are very responsible people. It's those who own guns illegally that are irresponsible with them, and they already break the law, so the law does not make any difference there, but it does hurt those of us who own guns.
Let's look at some examples. Two of the most egregious gun laws are the assault weapons ban and the magazine limitation. In both cases, no material benefit could possibly be recognized: magazine limits have absolutely no impact on the lethality of a gun and criminals don't use assault weapons that often, generally less than 1% of the time. In other words, it will plainly make zero impact on crime. As to suicides, they are difficult with assault weapons, and it only takes one bullet (multiple shootings are obviously rare in suicides), so a magazine limit has zero impact. Take accidental shootings: once again, assault weapons are significantly under-represented because they aren't used for hunting (the majority of accidental shootings), and they aren't often found in the hands of irresponsible gun owners because of their high expense (most child-shootings occur in homes where the child is ill-informed about guns). Once again, a magazine limit will have no impact on the lethality of accidental-discharge death.
What did these laws actually do?
Target shooters often shoot at very small targets at medium ranges. These shooters prefer the .223 Remington round, or 5.56 NATO, its military designation, often deployed in the M16 and its variants. These guns are assault rifles, yet their primary civillian use is target shooting and 'varminting', hunting small rodents. The assault weapons ban caused new shooters to have to buy much more expensive 'custom guns' rather than a run-of-the-mill AR15. Right there, sportsmen are hurt.
Now, to another form of assault rifle, the SKS and its variants, which are civillian forms of the AK-47, firing 7.62x49. This round is an exemplary middleweight, heavy enough to take down medium game, such as deer. It is also very cheap to shoot. The gun is cheap to acquire and simple to operate. Making the SKS illegal did two things: made importers modify the thing slightly so it was once again legal, and drove the price up, making it more expensive for entry-level shooters to acquire what is essentially a very serviceable rifle.
Assault rifles are not good for defense, as they are bulky and underpowered, believe it or not. For a smaller form factor, a handgun can be had that has more power. For the same form factor, a shotgun has orders of magnitude more power, and hence, lethality. Assault rifles are not good for the commission of crime as they are practically impossible to conceal.
Now, on to magazine limits. Firepower is computed as the number of rounds multiplied by the effectiveness of the rounds. In other words, 9MM is only about 60% effective at stopping a human. So, to guarantee a stop, one must hit at least three times. 17 rounds of 9MM, then, equals 6 rounds of .357, roughly, as .357 is widely considered a one-shot-stop weapon. In other words, the material result of the magazine ban was increased lethality, as fewer 9MM weapons are available and more of .357, .40S&W, and .45 ACP are put into use for their superior firepower with only 10 rounds in the clip. Since all of those guns have higher lethality rates than 9MM, your odds of dying in an armed encounter just went up. Magazine limits have no effect on the *number* of guns available, and it only takes one shot with many of the heavier calibers to have a significant chance of death. It's worse in many municipalities, where persecution of possession of handguns has caused criminals to move to shotguns, which are almost 99% lethal at short range. Thanks a lot...
How does it hurt sportsmen? I have a .22 carbine, which is a short rifle that is semi-automatic. It is a Ruger model 10-22. It has a ten-round clip. This gun will never be used for defense, as I own many other guns that are more effective, but, when used for its stated purpose, target shooting, I have to stop and reload every ten rounds, rather than being able to reload every fifty or a hundred, which is a pain.
Once again, a law that hurts a demographic tangibly without any serious benefits.
That your average person has no knowledge of these issues is evident by how idiotic these laws tend to be. They help no one but do significantly harm gun owners.
My problem is that most of these laws are made out of fear. You put it rather well: if being inconvenienced *could/might* save lives, would it not be worth it?
This is exactly what I'm railing against. We don't *know* if it will save lives; the evidence available now suggests it won't or at best it will make no appreciable difference, and there exists evidence, in the case of guns, that removing them might *cost* lives, yet they're enacted anyway, despite the fact that they are *totally* unfounded.

I'm not doing this again; last time no one believed it.
[ Parent ]
nice (none / 0) (#303)
by gtx on Thu Jun 07, 2001 at 07:40:31 PM EST

you need to spend some time in my neck of the woods. we ARE 'inbred jed' out here. i've been in my back yard shooting machine guns with one of the local police chiefs. we're very country. we're also very republican. the police out here don't care what you're shooting, just as long as you're not shooting towards anybody's houses :)


--------
i don't have anything clever to write here.
[ Parent ]
It's good to find some rationality once in a while (none / 0) (#305)
by SyNcr0 on Sun Jun 10, 2001 at 04:06:13 AM EST

I would like to thank you weirdling, for refreshing my interest in the human race for a while. I live in an area that once was full of people who were if not intelligent, at least they were reasonable and rational. A part of me wishes that I had lived in a time when knee-jerk reactions were not a part of civil politics, and the rest of me wishes that people would take their heads out of their posteriors and actually look at reality. Too many people digest what is reported in "reliable" media, and do not do any research into the topics at all. Gun control: only hurts the sportsman, because criminals almost always use stolen or illegaly purchased firearms. To prevent accidents in the home, do not hide guns from your children. Instead, once they reach a reasonable age, take them out and show them how guns work as well as how to be safe with them. This has been a tradition in my family for many generations now, and none of us has ever been shot by accident. Those of us shot intentionally were shot during wartime by the enemy. Speed limits: There is still no proof that speeding causes accidents, or even that higher speeds are more likely to cause accidents. The only thing that causes accidents is lack of attention; attention to the road (which loss is immediate for drunk drivers and people driving while talking on cell phones), attention to other drivers, and attention to weather conditions. I myself have driven well past the speed limit on many occasions (before my car broke down, anyway...) with not even the hint of danger, because I did not drive beyond the car, or my capabilities for handling the situation. I did this because it was a 50-mile drive from home to work, every day both ways. I have never hit anyone else (I have been hit before though, rear-ended at stops), nor have I driven while intoxicated. How is the speed limit saving me or any other drivers on the road while I am? Simply; it isn't. However, I will always wear my seat-belt, even though it has been proven to *cause* death in high-speed collisions, where people have survived without one. My choice, my problem. It is sad that the apparent majority of the population is of a mind that we need saving from ourselves... Why should we be saved if we are the ones making the mistakes in the first place? The whole concept is asinine. The real problem is that parents are not available enough to properly raise their children, so we have more juveniles who have no concept of responsibility for their actions. I'm not going to point the finger very sternly at parents, because there are many who have jobs that do not allow time for proper parenting. However, coming from a family where both parents worked long hours, I can say that something is being done horribly wrong by many of the parents in the US. You cannot force an adult to see right from wrong, but you *can* teach a child the difference between them, and have that teaching stick. Teach children responsibility, and they will be responsible adults. Do not believe me? Look to other countries, where such things are taught as par for the course. How about Switzerland? They are a well developed nation, which has firearems of all kinds in the hands of the populace, and little crime for it. The children are taught responsibility, and it carries on to their adult lives. Or how about Germany, where on the major freeways they have no speed limit? Common everyday drivers drive their cars as fast as they see fit, with no restriction. Yes, accidents do occur, and many are fatal. However, this can be directly attributed to that lack of attention which I spoke of earlier. Do not drive faster than is reasonable for the road, and you will not get into this situation. The same holds true for a few states here in the US, such as Montana. There are freeways with no speed limits in certain areas of the state, because it is ridiculous to expect someone to travel a long distance on relatively flat and straight terrain at a meager 65mph. I've begun rambling now, so I'll stop... It's late, and I'm off to sleep... Anyway, it's good to see that there are some people left who have their senses still about them and haven't bought into the propaganda spread by the news. The daily news is filled with falsehoods, misrepresentations, and deliberatly eschewed truths. Don't believe everything you read, lest you become a robot. After all, that is what the powers-that-be would prefer, no? :-D

[ Parent ]
Argh (none / 0) (#306)
by SyNcr0 on Sun Jun 10, 2001 at 04:09:14 AM EST

Trust me, I had put line breaks in there, they just didn't show up... Sorry for the long paragraph, wasn't completely my fault... :)

[ Parent ]
Origin of Zero Tolerance (4.60 / 5) (#227)
by krlynch on Tue May 29, 2001 at 04:08:57 PM EST

I'm surprised that I haven't seen anyone discussing the actual origin of zero tolerance policies: school districts fear of civil rights suits. When schools are told that they should discipline students without resorting to the court system, they try to do so. If someone perceives that their child has been disciplined "unfairly" or "disproportionately" and sues the school system over alleged civil rights issues, it is the butts of the administrators on the line. Even if they have done EXACTLY the right thing, and applied a punishment that fits the crime, teaches the student not to do the same thing again, and lets other students know that misbehavior will not be tolerated, and they continually do so in a manner that most here would seem to consider fair and consistent, all it takes is ONE case where a parent brings a lawsuit.

Lawsuits are expensive to fight, even if you win. And since "government" is seen to have very very deep pockets (even though most local school systems have very very shallow treasuries), "government institutions" like schools are prime targets. And most schools just can't afford even that first lawsuit. So, in order to remove the possibility of being sued for "disparate treatment" of students, many schools have had to implement policies that define classes of offenses and associated punishments in order to shield themselves from liability. And then they have to apply those punishments consistently, all the time, so as to build up a history of "fair and equal treatment" of all, regardless of how ridiculous the punishments end up being in certain isolated instances.

That the pendulum has swung (in some cases) too far the other direction is inevitable, but neither surprising nor likely to bring down the Republic. I would guess that in the next few years, we'll start to see more and more (successful and unsuccessful) lawsuits against individual punishments, and the pendulum will swing away from zero tolerance toward the other extreme as districts run for cover. And then disparate treatment claims will rise, and on and on and one.

Coming in a bit late here... (5.00 / 6) (#246)
by kitten on Wed May 30, 2001 at 03:59:27 AM EST

..so in all likelihood the issues I'm about to raise have probably already been covered, and possibly by persons more articulate than I. But zero tolerance has been a favorite enemy of mine for some time, so I thought I'd jump in anyway.

First, does anyone really think that policies like "zero tolerance" are going to prevent another Columbine-esque incident? If a student is whacked out enough to walk into a school armed to the teeth, is he really going to stop and think "Gee, I was going to shoot anything that moves, but I just remember they have a zero tolerance policy here. Damn."
A brief aside: My gripe here also applies to installing metal detectors in schools. I used to have to explain my thought, but now I just point to The Matrix in which Neo walks through a metal detector, sets it off, and wow, now we all know he has guns. He shoots everyone anyway.

Zero tolerance, then, isn't really a preventative measure. It's a knee-jerk reaction to an outraged public that schools aren't doing enough to "protect" our children. It's a highly visible - if ineffective - policy that schools can point to and say "Look, we're doing our best!" Everyone knows it's idiotic and doesn't do anything positive or productive, but it makes them feel better to be able to see something.

It's also a cop-out for lazy administrators to avoid making any decisions whatsoever. Rather than dealing with every incident on a case-by-case basis, they can simply say "zero tolerance" and lay down a ham-fisted, blanket approach to each and every situation, regardless of how absurd the results are.

Furthermore: Who or what defines a "weapon" in the "zero tolerance" policy? A student is suspended for having a butter knife under the passenger seat of his car (by the way: how was this knife found?), and this is somehow construed as a "weapon".
Ladies and gentlemen, let's be realistic: There are very few objects in the classroom that cannot be utilized as an effective weapon, given the mindset to do so. I could bludgeon the guy in front of me with a textbook. I could stab someone with a pencil or pen. I could use those heavy three-hole paper-punchers to beat someone with. The combination locks on the gym lockers would make an excellent "loaded fist". I could take off my belt and whip, strangle, or garrote someone.
If Johnny were to bring an icepick to school, you can be sure the administration would go apeshit. Yet the school provides Johnny and all his classmates with compasses, which is essentially the same thing.

I think we can all see by this point that I'm going to state the abjectly obvious and talk about "intent". It isn't the object that is important; it's what I intend to do with it. So little Suzie brings a nail file in her purse and is promptly expelled from school and faces criminal charges for bringing a weapon to class, and the next day young Timmy uses the Masterlock on his gym locker to beat someone over the head. While Timmy is certainly in trouble, he will not face weapons charges.

It goes much further than weapons, of course. A student in my class back in high school had a report due, but his printer died. He placed the file on an ftp server, and the next morning at school, opened a DOS prompt to retrieve his file from the server. He was promptly nailed for "hacking", of which there is "zero tolerance". Just one of many ridiculous examples.
When are we going to stop absolving administration of responsibilty and make them do their jobs? If this "zero tolerance" policy continues, we could replace all discinplinary figures in schools with a computer that has one button for each category of offense: "Weapon", "Drug", "Hacking", etc.. the teacher pushes the appropriate button and the computer mets out a punishment based on the button-press alone; no other variables such as intent, context, situation, etc are given. In essence, this is what the zero tolerance policies reduce administrators to.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
Hah! Love the Matrix bit. (2.00 / 1) (#261)
by Crashnbur on Wed May 30, 2001 at 06:42:35 PM EST

Really. It's not like the metal detectors were going to stop Neo. It was more of a, "Hello, boys! I have guns!"

And I agree with every point you made. Excellent write-up.

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
Metal Detectors (5.00 / 2) (#266)
by Dink Meeker on Wed May 30, 2001 at 11:12:25 PM EST

Truly fine pieces of craftmanship.

We've all been harrased at airports over pocket change, belt buckles, and walkmans, but here's a truly absurd and offtopic story.

A few months ago, my brother and I were flying cross country. Right before we left (late) for the airport, he had been working in the garage. After going through the metal detector without incident THREE TIMES (we had two long layovers) he said "oh, shit" and pulled out a 15" steel screwdriver that he had absentmindedly stuck in his carpenter's pants.

"Everybody in this room is wearing a uniform, and don't kid yourself." --Frank Zappa
[ Parent ]
In other words... (5.00 / 1) (#268)
by Crashnbur on Thu May 31, 2001 at 12:20:58 AM EST

If a 15" steel screwdriver can make it through three metal detectors, how many other more questionable items are smuggled through intentionally? Makes you wonder...

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
I got a knife through. (5.00 / 1) (#300)
by ODiV on Tue Jun 05, 2001 at 10:38:05 AM EST

I had a knife in my bag before I put my stuff in it. It had around a 3" blade. I guess they just weren't paying attention. I was thinking about throwing it out, so I wouldn't get in trouble, but then I figured if they caught me stashing a knife in the trash I'd get it worse.


--
[ odiv.net ]
[ Parent ]
Smart move, I think. (5.00 / 1) (#302)
by Crashnbur on Tue Jun 05, 2001 at 08:21:46 PM EST

And admitting to them that you had a knife that you didn't know you had, and giving it to them offering ZERO threat would still get you suspended, you know, if Zero Tolerance were in effect.

What I like to do is have a conversation just loud enough that a teacher will overhear me saying "the [insert forbidden object] is in my locker". Twice I had my locker searched for nothing more than wild speculation, despite the fact that everyone in the front office knows me and my father, and they know that I am not a troublemaker by any means. The first time I was threatened with suspension just for the suggestion that I could have had something. They're reaching...

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
Community thinking (none / 0) (#307)
by slaida1 on Fri Jun 15, 2001 at 10:14:07 AM EST

I believe it's not (just) laziness wich pushes school administration to use 0-tolerance policy. There may be lack of empathy and ignorance too but that's not what I'm writing about.

This looks like fear of failing to act as a part of a great machine. Communication makes us all come closer together and today it's very instant and thorough utilizing email, instant messaging or gsm and populaces ability to be open and better understanding of emotions. We can share a lot but are not ready to the consequences when masses communicate this way.

Individual becomes weaker as communities grow stronger and more homogenous. We don't have the social tools to deal with this and make masses more intelligent like in these internet forums. Here, anyone with a good idea may say it aloud and others may rate (support or disapprove)and comment it in private. This is important. There's no privacy or anonymity in real world outside the 'net and that, with a lack of fair moderation, is a major disadvantage. Only in relatively rare situtations in everyday life like votings, anonymity is seen as a important thing.

When people live in a culture where things must be said without the protection of anonymity, they grow cautious. No matter if there's government watching and punishing the criticizers or not, pressure from the community is enough to quell most unconventional ideas.

My point here is: keep your distance if you want to stay the way you are now. Masses are frightening whether they mean good or not. Until we can adapt these methods (rated and anonym forums) to everyday life and communications or invent better ones, masses do no good.

[ Parent ]

NOT a butter knife. (4.66 / 3) (#251)
by SnowBlind on Wed May 30, 2001 at 12:49:57 PM EST

Saw this story today on the national news, they showed the evidence collection bag for the knife in question. It is most definitly NOT a butter knife. It was a 7 to 9 inch boning knife. Just the sort of knife I would use to say, slash a tire...

Not that I am defending the ZTP or even the idea of a ZTF. They reek of pure stupidity and Commisar tactics.
On the other had, get your facts strait, misrepresenting the facts to overdo the dramatic force of your argument.
Stick to the facts, they are more than enough stupid stories for ZTF to carry the point.

There is but One Kernel, and root is His Prophet.
Actually, it was a 5-inch steak knife. (5.00 / 1) (#259)
by Crashnbur on Wed May 30, 2001 at 06:38:26 PM EST

Several of the AP stories and one of the Fox News stories called it a "steak knife" with a "five-inch blade" ... The original story that I read called it a "butter knife" though, which is why I called it such. I believe I acknowledged that mistake somewhere in this mess of comments, but I would never be able to find it. :-)

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
Update (4.40 / 5) (#253)
by wiredog on Wed May 30, 2001 at 01:31:57 PM EST

Lindsay Brown lost an appeal that would have allowed her to attend her graduation.

"Anything that's invented after you're 35 is against the natural order of things", Douglas Adams
I Notice the boycotted graduation was yesterday... (4.66 / 3) (#254)
by DontTreadOnMe on Wed May 30, 2001 at 03:25:17 PM EST

Does anyone know how it turned out? Did a sizeable portion of the graduating class actually boycott the cerimony, or, as I suspect, did nearly everyone but her closest friends cave in to institutional and parental pressures and attend?

If the high school students did manage to organize and execute a reasonably effective boycott, I will be very impressed. Indeed, if all of her personal friends managed to stick to their guns and boycott the event in the face of parental and school pressures I will be very impressed.

Most people never grow such backbone. Most of those who do either have it instilled at a very young age, or developeit sometime after they are out of highschool.

If anyone has pointers to a followup story I'd be very interested in hearing how it turned out.
--
http://openflick.org - Fighting Copyright with Free Media

Right here. (5.00 / 2) (#260)
by Crashnbur on Wed May 30, 2001 at 06:41:31 PM EST

My story, my link to the follow up! Heheh. foxnews.com/story/0,2933,25938,00.html "Some had threatened to boycott the ceremony, but there was no protest." I guess it just wasn't worth it to mess up their own graduation. It's not like they could go back and change it or anything.

At least she's keeping her scholarship. "FGCU President William Merwin has already said the university will raise money for her tuition if the 18-year-old National Merit Scholar doesn't receive her state-sponsored scholarship because of her arrest."

crash.neotope.com


[ Parent ]
"Democracy" is unstable... (5.00 / 4) (#297)
by tapir on Sun Jun 03, 2001 at 09:39:42 PM EST

Mainstream political scientists believe that, given any serious perturbation, American democracy will deterioriate into a dictatorship. It almost happened with Nixon.

When people are afraid, be it of the crime they see on television, the economy crapping out, or being sassed back by their own kids, they want a strong protector. Someone to make anybody bleed who's different from them. The 1920's were a crazy time in Germany, and they found a protector in Hitler. Then they got into a war which they thought was really a blast until they started to lose...

A mountain of credit-card debt, compounded by stock market stupidity and the breakdown of the global trading system is going to have millions of Americans fearing for their economic and physical survival over the next ten years. People are going to be looking for a leader to make them feel safe, to lock up anybody who's different... If you're in that category, you might want to move to another continent while you still can.

Zero Tolerance Discipline: Act Now, Think Later | 308 comments (307 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
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