Thursday, June 6, 2013

Weapons Part 2: The Conditioners

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. [Book of Proverbs, 22:6]
"Give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man" -- Jesuit motto
"Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted." -- Vladimir Ilyich Lenin
"He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future....It is not truth that matters, but victory." -- Adolf Hitler

As you can see from the above, there's general agreement on the importance of conditioning young minds...though, as you can see from the above, the motives involved in seeking to do so have varied rather widely.

It would be the greatest of errors ever to assume benevolence in one who demands the privilege of "teaching" your children. Yet there are large, well-funded organizations, that have the tacit cooperation of the federal government, demanding exactly that. That's the situation we face in these United States at this time.

As matters stand, the educrats can't compel you to send your kids to their schools. All they can do is whine about how unfair it is -- to them, of course -- that you should be allowed a choice in the matter. But, with the assistance of state and local governments, they can make it very hard for you to exercise that choice. Their principal tool is the local public-school tax. In many districts, that tax has risen so high that residents can't afford to pay it and pay for a private education for their children...not that most private schools are all that much better than the public ones, sad to say. The schooling industry -- they don't educate according to my lights -- has been so completely suborned by leftists that the formal alternatives are little better than the public carceratoria.

The public schools -- I prefer to call them government-run schools -- have become the Left's principal weapon in its drive to "gain the future." An illustrative incident arose quite recently:

OWINGS, MD -- The father of a middle schooler in Calvert County, Md. says his 11-year-old son was suspended for 10 days for merely talking about guns on the bus ride home.

Bruce Henkelman of Huntingtown says his son, a sixth grader at Northern Middle School in Owings, was talking with friends about the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre when the bus driver hauled him back to school to be questioned by the principal, Darrel Prioleau.

"The principal told me that with what happened at Sandy Hook if you say the word 'gun' in my school you are going to get suspended for 10 days," Henkelman said in an interview with

So what did the boy say? According to his father, he neither threatened nor bullied anyone.

"He said, I wish I had a gun to protect everyone. He wanted to defeat the bad guys. That's the context of what he said," Henkelman said. "He wanted to be the hero."

In his column of this morning, Todd Starnes provides still more details:

Since the incident happened a day before winter break, the principal reduced the suspension to one day. But the family was ordered to complete an ‘intrusive’ four page questionnaire and the deputy sheriff said he would have to search their home --- without a warrant.

“But he was emphasizing that it warranted a 10-day suspension,” [Henkelman] said.

Robin Welsh, the deputy superintendent for school system, confirmed to Fox News that the incident occurred. She also said there was misinformation about the case. However, she declined to go into any details citing federal and local confidentiality laws.

Welsh did point out that the principal of the middle school did nothing wrong.

“The principal followed our policies and procedures and absolutely did handle it in an appropriate manner,” she said....

After Henkelman picked up his son from school, the deputy sheriff said he would need to search their home.

“I said, by what authority and he said that he had to make sure the house is clear of guns,” he said.

The deputy arrived at their home 15 minutes later armed with a four-page questionnaire.

“I was uncomfortable answering the questions,” he said. “But I was told if I don’t fill this form out – he would not be allowed back in school.”

The questions covered topics ranging from mental health to how many guns and weapons the family owned.

“They were very intrusive questions,” he said.

At some point, the deputy said he had to search the home. They got as far as the kitchen when Henkelman decided to feel uneasy.

“I asked him to leave,” he said. “The deputy became agitated and said he would get a search warrant. I said that’s what I needed.”

After the deputy left, Henkelman called the sheriff’s department. He was told over the phone that officers would not be searching his home.

The deputy later returned to complete the four-page document.

Henkelman said he’s speaking out because he never got answers from the school district.

“When I tried to get to the bottom of this – they refuse to answer any of my questions,” he said.” I called the director of transportation and he would not put anything in writing. I told him that was very cowardly.”

Contemplate that for a moment while I fetch more coffee.

There's an awful lot to talk about in there, no?

  • First, there's the school district's assertion of an outrageous power over speech outside the school grounds;
  • Second, there's the punishment and terrorizing of a good child who had placed no one in any danger;
  • Third, there's the sheriff's department attempt to abridge the Henkelmans' Fourth Amendment rights;
  • Fourth, there's the business about the questionnaire as a condition for the child's readmission to school;
  • Fifth, there's the refusal of the transportation functionary to commit to a written statement about the event and the circumstances.

But here's the question I find most relevant: Why?

I can find only this answer:

The school district seeks to condition the students to react to even the thought of weapons with fear and revulsion, while the sheriff's department seeks to compel private citizens to reflexive submission.

That all this took place in the United States should terrify anyone with three functioning brain cells.

Different persons will focus on different aspects of this outrage. My focus keeps drifting back toward the intrusive questionnaire, which the sheriff's department told Bruce Henkelman was a condition for his son's readmission to school.

A law-enforcement department told a private citizen that unless he accepted a completely unConstitutional invasion of his privacy, his child would be denied the education he was forced by law to pay for.

The wonder of it is that the deputy sheriff didn't attempt to force the search upon the Henkelmans. Perhaps he realized it would be "a bridge too far." But given the tenor of our times, he might have gotten away with that, just as the school district and sheriff's department appear to have gotten away with the questionnaire business.

The rise of the 3D-printer has gotten a lot of column-inches, mainly because of the device's recently revealed potential for fabricating weapons parts. Though such parts are currently quite limited in their utility, the continuing development of the 3D-printer will make for ever more sturdy and reliable fabrications, such that anyone with access to such a device will be able to manufacture a working gun at will.

This is the death knell for effective gun control. Because of this technology, it will never be possible to collect and destroy all the firearms in private hands. That dream of the statists has been shattered once and for all. But we mustn't expect them to give up on their drive to disarm us. Rather than campaigning against our rightful possessions, they'll strive to warp our children's minds.

They will seek to create a pervasive hoplophobia in future generations of Americans, such that even the thought of a gun induces a nauseating fear; incidents such as the one narrated above will provide the template. If they succeed in doing so, the Second Amendment will cease to be important in any practical sense. Our kids won't even be able to mouth the word "gun" without punishing themselves through their deeply embedded anti-gun conditioning.

It's a very low-tech approach to fastening fetters upon our nation...but it works:

"There are some religious orthodoxies which require a very specific diet, and the absolute exclusion of certain items. Given enough indoctrination for long enough, you can keep a man eating only (we'll say) flim while flam is forbidden. He'll get along on thin moldy flim and live half starved in a whole warehouse full of nice fresh flam. You can make him ill—even kill him, if you have the knack—just by convincing him that the flim he just ate was really flam in disguise. Or you can drive him psychotic by slipping him suggestions until he acquires a real taste for flam and gets a supply and hides it and nibbles at it secretly every time he fights temptation and loses."

C. S. Lewis pinned it equally well:

In order to understand fully what Man's power over Nature, and therefore the power of some men over other men, really means, we must picture the race extended in time from the date of its emergence to that of its extinction. Each generation exercises power over its successors: and each, in so far as it modifies the environment bequeathed to it and rebels against tradition, resists and limits the power of its predecessors. This modifies the picture which is sometimes painted of a progressive emancipation from tradition and a progressive control of natural processes resulting in a continual increase of human power. In reality, of course, if any one age really attains, by eugenics and scientific education, the power to make its descendants what it pleases, all men who live after it are the patients of that power. They are weaker, not stronger: for though we may have put wonderful machines in their hands we have pre-ordained how they are to use them....

Hitherto the plans of educationalists have achieved very little of what they attempted and indeed, when we read them—how Plato would have every infant "a bastard nursed in a bureau", and Elyot would have the boy see no men before the age of seven and, after that, no women, and how Locke wants children to have leaky shoes and no turn for poetry—we may well thank the beneficent obstinacy of real mothers, real nurses, and (above all) real children for preserving the human race in such sanity as it still possesses. But the man-moulders of the new age will be armed with the powers of an omnicompetent state and an irresistible scientific technique: we shall get at last a race of conditioners who really can cut out all posterity in what shape they please.

Do not think the dreams of the tyrants stop short at a monopoly on instruments of force. He who seeks power over others ultimately demands it over others' thoughts and reactions. And as Orwell pointed out, the tyrant has but one way of assuring himself that his power is complete:

    "How does a man assert his power over another, Winston?"
    Winston thought. "By making him suffer," he said.
    "Exactly. By making him suffer. Obedience is not enough. Unless he is suffering, how can you be sure he is obeying your will and not his own? Power is in inflicting pain and humiliation. Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing. Do you begin to see then what kind of world we are creating? It is the exact opposite of the stupid hedonistic Utopias that the old reformers imagined. A world of fear and treachery and torment, a world of trampling and being trampled upon, a world that will grow not less but more merciless as it refines itself. Progress in our world will be progress toward more pain. The old civilizations claimed that they were founded on love and justice. Ours is founded upon hatred. In our world there will be no emotion except fear, rage, and self-abasement. Everything else will be destroyed--everything!...If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face--forever."

You know where that last citation comes from, don't you, Gentle Reader?


GearHeadPatriot said...

Totally off topic, what happened to the "Tales of New America"? The links are broke. I'm on 19, you can't leave me hanging!

GearHeadPatriot said...

What happened to "Tales of New America"? The links have all dropped off! Don't leave me hanging!

Francis W. Porretto said...

Sorry, GearHead. The author wanted me to delete the Tales from the site, so he could publish them through Amazon.

Anonymous said...

The "educators" only do this kind of left indoc to white kids. If you ask me these white leftists are losing because the demographics have their uselessness baked into the cake. If the colored kids ignore these people it won't be long before the white kids join them.

Joseph said...

Indoctrination doesn't always work. For example, the Jesuits trained Voltaire but I don't think they gave us the man.

Anonymous said...

Anon June 6, 2013 at 10:09 PM:

Leftist indoctrination is laid into every child smart enough to learn it, regardless of race. There are racialist angles, but unless a student reads outside the approved/mandatory reading, he's not going to understand beyond the basics of "to each according to his proclaimed need, from each as little as she pretends to have, borrow the difference." , meaning: "vote YES on all bond measures and new taxes on the rich". Always vote Democrat, because the other teams are stupid/evil/greedy/selfish and Racist.

At least, that was what I got from my 1973-1986 Seattle Public Schools honors-special-advanced-elite classroom education. It was a miracle that I got a diploma, I was so bored.

Credit MAD Magazine of the pre-advertising era for a dose of critical reality and poking fun at the all-too-serious over-commercialized cold war society of my youth. If only I had found Bernays in 1985...