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Friday, March 16, 2018

Forced March Madness

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For those who may not be up to date on the most au courant Hallmark holidays, Wednesday was "National School Walkout Day" - during which students in some school systems were actually compelled to protest, whether they wanted to or not, under the guise of "showing support" for the 17 victims of the nightmarish shooting at Florida's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Frankly, "showing support" for the victims isn't exactly an act of radical courage - everyone mourns these innocent victims, including the President and every member of the NRA. And yes, everyone would like to assure student safety. So the point of the walkout isn't really to support anyone - but rather to flat out protest against the Constitution in general and the Second Amendment in particular. An amendment which, we'd guess, is not being constructively explained in schools which are preoccupied with lockstep liberalism.

Happily, many school districts threatened consequences for students who went AWOL during class time - but not all of them. Take Rocklin High School in (surprise!) California, where a history teacher, Julianne Benzel, dared to ask her students if it would be equally appropriate for the school administration to support a walkout to protest abortion. Mind you, she didn't discourage her students from participating in the walkout...but she did ask them to actually think.

She was subsequently put on paid suspension because of "several complaints from parents and students involving the teacher's communications regarding the student-led civic engagement activities," which is as ripe a piece of euphemistic liberal baloney as we've heard in a long time.

We'd suggest that in the future, such schools might actually encourage the teaching of history rather than assuring that uneducated students will be doomed to repeat it.

BONUS: THE WEARING OF THE GRIN

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Technically, that's a tease-shirt
Everyone claims to be Irish on St. Patrick's Day, but we're the real deal - having the blood of a County Cork grandfather coursing through our veins. Albeit not coursing through the official family tree: it seems that grandad "Red," a piano teacher and smooth talker, hit the road immediately after discovering his young piano student (who apparently also got organ lessons) was "heavy with child."

The young girl was quickly transported to another town to secretly give birth (as was the custom back then) and the baby boy was eventually adopted as an "orphan" by her own parents...and raised as her brother with no one the wiser.

That boy became our father - and a great one! And whenever St. Patrick's Day rolls around, we find ourselves thankful that abortion wasn't as easy to obtain all those years ago...because otherwise we wouldn't be here to heft a mug of green beer in honor of our immediate ancestors (be they scoundrels or not).

Best wishes to all for St. Patrick's Day, and here's hoping that if a leprechaun does gift you with a pot of gold, the IRS never finds out about it!



29 comments:

Sortahwitte said...

I'm sure there are thousands of un-sung heros living in our midst.
It's nice to know the name Julianne Benzel.

mamafrog said...

And it so happens that today is my dear departed father-in-law's birthday. He was a lovely man and I wish I'd been able to know him longer (he died right after we got married 40 years ago). And the funniest thing of all is he was a twin for Gregory Peck!! I had to look twice the first time I met him. There is Scots-Irish in my husband's and mine's family, so Erin Go Bragh, ya'll!

REM1875 said...

I am an American but also a citizen of Ireland (both sides are Irish) so I guess that makes me the real deal. I won't be hoisting green beer or brawling ..... anymore..... But I support all who do ....
Happy St Patrick's Day to y'all

Geoff King said...

Since motor vehicle accidents are by far the highest causes of teenage death, and texting while driving a huge percentage of those among teens of driving age, perhaps they should instead hold a walkout protesting automobiles and smartphones instead of guns.
Although I am part Irish, green beer has always been unappetizing to me. A wee bit o' Irish whiskey, on the other hand......

James Daily said...

Yea, today is me youngest GD BD - 6. Still irritated she was born one day early. My ancestry is Irish and Scotch. I was wondering why I was so cheap, then it dawned on me my paternal grandmother was Scotch, mystery solved. Again, these marches for this or that are less useful than a fly swatter. When these nitwits realize the whole Constitution rest on the 2nd amendment, their history education begins. The states and federal governments can pass all the laws they want and that will deter nothing. Do they young people think all the guns in Chicago, Balt, Phil, etc were purchased legally? Even if they were, do they believe these criminals will have a change of mind and turn them in? Feel good marches and such are just that, I DID MY PART!!!

Emmentaler "A Bit O' The Irish" Limburger said...

Dia dhuit ar maidin!

My given name being Patrick, and both my grandparents being "off the boat" Irish lends tomorrow special meaning to me! Gree beer be damned, it is Guinness Special Export and Jamesons that will be spillin' into my gullet tomorrow!

Slainte! Erin Go Bragh!

On a slightly different, subject, the GOP has never truly learned how to win elections, even when they have. So, give "the people" a tax cut! Yay! More money in your paycheck! Whoopeee! Then follow up with this: Republicans Push Internet Sales Tax. THAT will make sure they're popular going into the midterms! Whoopee!

twocents said...

Well stated indeed profound as regards your heritage and "Red". Indeed we would be at a loss without your sense of humor. There is a horse thief and worse in every family lineage and to the purists who think not I will also bet there is rape as well. Think of all the marauding bands and conquering hordes in antiquity. And no Biblical scholar am I but I am pretty sure that includes the House of David.

NVRick said...

After things settle down, do you reckon that someone, somewhere will get their knickers in a twist that "Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School" is sexist and should be changed to "Marjory Stoneperson Douglas High School"?
I have all the sympathy in the world for the victims and families involved, but I have nothing but contempt for those who would use children to promote a political attack on the Second Amendment.

Boligat said...

One: Julianne Benzel should sue. . . for a LOT of money. . . and if it takes a lot of money to do so, I'll donate. Just tell me where and when and how.

Two: Concerning scoundrels for ancestors. I'm like LBJ who famously said of Somoza: "He may be a(n) SOB, but he's OUR SOB." So, he or she may have been a scoundrel, but he (or she) is MY scoundrel.

Three: I'm not Irish, but to celebrate I suggest everyone should read a Ken Bruen novel from the Jack Taylor series. Ireland in print! (And no fair watching the TV series, either. They aren't as good as the novels.)

SteveO said...

A mandatory show of support for the victims might make those cowardly deputies who listened to them die feel bad, though.

John the Econ said...

Kids did get a lesson Wednesday, just not the one that organizers thought was being taught. What they did learn was this is what cultural Maoism/Marxism looks like. All that was missing was the little red books. Kids were rewarded for making their "bold statement" while kids who actually thought and acted for themselves were punished.

In my highly-Progressive jurisdiction, kids were told by administrators that there'd be no repercussions for walking out of class, rendering the event as nothing more than cheap, mass virtue signalling. Many of these kids actually thought they were little Rosa Parks as they spewed their well-rehearsed, yet seemingly meaningless ad-lib lines to the media. The kids I have respect for are the ones who stood up to peer pressure and refused to participate. On the other hand, in the more conservative valley to the south, kids were told there would be consequences for walking out. So I have a bit more respect for them, because they knew there'd be repercussions for their "protest". Kudos to administrators there for not folding to Progressive pressure.

Wearing of the Grin: Certainly more believable that Liz Warren's family legend. Glad you were here to tell it.

Judi King said...

What is going on in some of our Nation's schools is treasonous if not criminal. Those poor, sheltered, naive, spoiled children haven't got a chance in the real world.

An Irish Blessing:
"May the Saddest Day of the future be no worse than the Happiest Day of your past"

Happy St. Patrick's Day! I vote for Bailey's Irish Cream....yum.

John the Econ said...

@Geoff King: One of the useful idiots I saw on our local news the other day was bemoaning what a "raw deal" his generation was dealt. Seriously.

No generation before this kid in the history of mankind has had it so easy and comfortable. As you point out, the biggest mortal threat he faces comes from himself or his immediate peers in privately owned automobiles while drinking or texting on handheld digital devices more powerful than all the computers in existence on the planet put together when his parents were born. His generation is provided with "safe spaces" so that his feeble mind won't have to be exposed to anything that might make him feel intellectually uncertain or squirmy. Many of previous generations immediately got shipped off to far away places to fight wars upon graduation. Generations before that didn't even get to be in high school, and if they did they were required to learn things that most college grads today are completely ignorant of.

It's times like this that I wish there was a draft so that this kid could be plucked from his cushy life of leisure and navel-gazing and dropped into the Hindu Kush where there are people lots of people with "assault weapons" who really do hate who he is and have a mandate from Allah to put him out of his and everyone else's misery.

Terry Johnson said...

When people ask, I always say that I owe my singing voice to "me Irish muther an' me Heavenly Father". (my dad was Swedish and couldn't sing a lick)

AmyH said...

I'm not Irish (that I know of) but I do have Irish in me (wink, wink). My daughter is Irish since her daddy is Irish & German.

My 15 year old son did not participate in the 'walk out'. The school did not allow them to leave school grounds but allowed them to go to the Fieldhouse for speeches and 'rememberance'. When I found out about this ridiculousness, I had a talk with him about a few things.
1. Why the Founding Fathers put the first 10 and more importantly the first 3 in the order they did.
2. If the 2nd were to be repealed, what is to stop the Democrats from repealing the 1st, 3rd, 4th, etc and have some "big issue" that "forces" them to repeal?
3. This wasnt started by "some kids". This was formed by Farrakhan, Women's March founders, Planned Parenthood and the Church of Satan.
4. I then explained who Farrakhan, Sarsor & the other woman are. He knew about PP & knows who satan is.
5. How does going to the Fieldhouse help the students of MSHS? It doesnt.

They would have done better to have each teacher or the Social Studies teachers have a polite discussions about how to stop this and it isnt getting rid of guns.

PvtCharlieSlate said...

Please convey to Lefty Lucy and her t-shirt a hearty Erin Go Braghless.

AmyH said...

I would like to post the letter my father sent to the principal of my son's high school. He is the Commander of his VFW post and is a member of an American Legion post. I did not include incriminating names.

Mr. W***s:

I expect that your plan for March 14 walkout is about as best as one could expect considering the political climate.

I challenge your plan to create a space for students to express their thoughts on current gun legislation. This makes the assumption that school violence is caused by the lack of, or the need for, gun legislation. This is the political trap of the extremists.

Is this March 14 walkout officially associated with the national groups Women’s March, PTA and Louis Farrakhan? If so, are the students aware of the extremist anti-Semitic postures taken by these groups? And will you allow the students to wear ‘pussy hats’? If or when the media links M****** High with Women’s March / Pussy Hats and Louis Farrakhan, what is the plan to rescue MHS reputation? The School Town of S*********** and L*** C****** Corporation might be at ease associating with extremist hate groups, but is that what we want for M****r High?



Rather than a protest walkout and banners to express solidary, which accomplishes nothing, ask the concerned students to examine the cause of current school violence. What is different in this current time compared to your grandparent’s school days? Many students carried guns in their cars and pickup trucks every day and nobody gave a thought to using their gun inside the school to shoot people?



Challenge the students to think rather that emotionally react. If there is a need to change or eliminate the 2nd amendment, should we also consider changes to the 1st Amendment (hate speech and freedom of association and applying to the Legislature by petitions) or 4th Amendment (warrantless search) , 5th & 6th Amendments (incarceration of mentally challenged, due process, unlimited incarceration).



Respectfully,

Alfonso Bedoya said...

Well said, John. Re St. Pat's day: I AM Irish---or at least part of me is---the rest being mongrelized from Scotland, England and Germany and if my DNA sampled sent to Ancestry.com carries any accuracy, several other places. Gotta drag something green from the closet for tomorrow's festivities.

Anonymous said...

Glad you're here, too, Mr Jarlsberg!

I'm also the result of a whoopsie doo that was covered up for decades and have only just discovered the truth--but no, worries. I'm glad I was allowed to hang around!

On a side note--my assumed ethnic origins have now been proven via DNA to actually be Scotch-Irish. So St Patty's Day has taken on new significance for a lot of new reasons :)

Erin Go Bragh!

jpb252 said...

Another illustration that when a progressive talks about free speech, he means his speech, not yours.

Igor said...

From one Irishman to another, Stilt:

How do you tell if an Irishman's queer?
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He loves women more than whiskey.

(Don't blame me, blame my Dad for that groaner...)

Stinking Bishop said...

For a true historic Irish/American beverage, try Irish Brigade punch: equal parts of champagne and whisky. They didn't fool around with the drinks back in the 1860s...

FlyBoy said...

Regarding all of this ruminating concerning the Irish, I'm reminded of one of my favorite quotes: "God gave us whiskey to keep the Irish from taking over the world." Don't recall who said it, but it's still worth remembering!

Gary said...

Is genius too strong a word for your work?

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Sortahwitte- I agree about Ms. Benzel, though it's distressing that it now takes a hero to ask high school students to actually engage their brains.

@mamafrog- If you're going to look like a celebrity, Gregory Peck is a good one!

@REM1875- I don't actually drink green beer on the big day. It's too troubling when something else comes out green an hour later.

@Geoff King- I'd actually like to see some widespread protests against texting while driving, although knowing kids today a lot would probably be injured during the event because they were texting while walking.

@James Daily- You nail it by calling these "feel good marches." That, to me, is one of the principal differences between liberals and conservatives. We've decided that actions which do good are more important than those which just make us feel good about ourselves.

@Emmentaler "A Bit O' The Irish" Limburger- Sounds like you're doing St. Paddy's Day properly! And I agree that the GOP stinks to high heaven when it comes to winning elections. I am in no way, shape, or form a Republican...a party which seems to hold one core tenet above all others: shooting themselves in the foot.

@twocents- Grandad Red went on to marry and have a family. A family that was pretty darned surprised to find out that my Dad (and his progeny) existed when he contacted them just a couple of years before his death. Red himself had passed away decades earlier - a heart attack following his band's performance at a Valentine's Day dance. How ironic that he would be surrounded by hearts as his own was sounding out its final beats.

@NVRick- They'll have to change the "Douglas" part of the High School's name too, since Douglas debated Lincoln and Lincoln was anti-slavery...ergo Douglas was surely pro-slavery, right? Yeah, it's flawed and specious logic, but it would probably fly today.

And yes, I'm completely in sympathy with the victims, families, and people who want to find a way to prevent this kind of thing. I won't close my heart or mind to possible means of ameliorating these horrific events, but that's not the real agenda behind those who are so eager to manipulate kids.

@Boligat- I'd kick in to Julianne Benzel's fund, too - and will if I hear of a legit campaign to do so. Regarding Grandad, my reference to him as a "scoundrel" is done good-naturedly as I don't know the details of his brief involvement in Grandma's life. She didn't strike me as a seductress when I eventually met her - she looked a lot like my father in drag - but who knows what she looked like (or acted like) 50 years earlier?

@SteveO- I still don't understand why no one entered the scene at the time, though I can also appreciate the extremely chaotic nature of what was happening. A lot clearly went very, very wrong and needs to be addressed.

@John the Econ- Certainly not every school gave the "ok" for kids to walk out, and fewer still made the protest a mandatory event. But that it should happen anywhere is a big concern. Not to sound like too much of a codger, but I really worry about what these youths will become.

Regarding Liz Warren, I should take a page from her book and claim I'm descended from a "Red" man.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Terry Johnson- Well don't start singing "Danny Boy" or we'll all be crying on our keyboards.

@AmyH- Thanks for the details about your son's specific circumstances on walkout day. I'm very suspicious about who funds these non-viral "events." I was just reading an article about George Soros's tax returns suggesting that he poured a lot of money - millions - into turning Ferguson into the battleground it became. Protesters brought in by bus and paid to keep up a radical presence for weeks and months.

And I absolutely agree that kids need to learn the real meaning of the 2nd Amendment: it is the citizens' last resort to fight tyranny. Considering how many on the Left claim that Trump is a dangerous fascist creating a police state, you'd think they'd be the loudest advocates for holding weapons right now.

@PvtCharlieSlate- "When Erin leads to Starin'"

@AmyH- Thank you so much for sharing the letter your father wrote. He makes excellent, excellent points in a very reasoned manner.

@Alfonso Bedoya- It turns out that I don't own much of anything green to wear on the big day. Oh sure, my fruit of the looms were overdue for a change, but I'm not sure that counts.

@Anonymous- Nature has ordained that the "urge to merge" is sometimes irresistible...and here we both are (and many others) to prove it!

@jpb252- Yes, indeed. And progressives actually take it a step farther than just trying to restrict our free speech - they believe that their right of free speech compels the rest of us to listen and agree. Hardly what the founding fathers had in mind.

@Igor- I guess that would be an obvious giveaway. (grin)

@Stinking Bishop- Holy Cow! Champagne and whisky?! I'd give it a shot...or two.

@Flyboy- And who are we to argue with the wisdom of the Heavenly Father?

@Gary- I'm not sure the word "genius" applies to my work as much as the word "unpaid." (grin)

Gee M said...

"I'm not sure the word "genius" applies to my work as much as the word "unpaid." (grin)"

Agreed...as well, many other options besides "unpaid"...
As I am unable to check with Mrs Jarlsberg, I have compiled a more general list of descriptive terms.

acuity
vision
astuteness
cleverness
discernment
intelligence
acuity
farsightedness
perspicacity
sagacity
acumen
perspicuity
the right stuff
wisdom
brilliance
twisted brilliance (see "Johnny Optimisim")
sageness
sagacity
sanity (see also "discernment")

I am sure there are many other wonderful terms to use, but I am exhausted by so much thinkin'...

(Wouldn't an online store to buy, say, "I heart Stilton" caps or "Okefenokee Approved" T-Shirts help the unpaid designation?)

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@GeeM- Well shucks, now you can add "blushing" to that list! Very nice of you to say, too.

As far as the "unpaid" reference, it's true - but jokingly so. I've always resisted trying to monetize this site because I don't want any question about my motivations. The blog is really about expressing myself, enjoying the thoughts and company of the good people who visit, and trying to shine a little humorous light in the darkness. I do run a couple of Google ads in the sidebar, which generates almost exactly enough revenue to pay for the emailing service which I use to keep in touch with folks.

All that being said, I would like to create a little merchandise just for the fun of it. A long time ago, I made it possible for people to buy "Hope n' Change" wristwatches...one of which actually snuck on to national television on the wrist of a reader who wore it on his TV show, working on cars. Fun!

John Holton said...

I remember what I was like when I was 16: I was a total moron. No one listened to me because everything I thought and said was stupid. Hell, we have to tell kids not to eat detergent, an indication that 16-year-old kids are still lardheads, and we're supposed to listen to them?