AK Haart wrote, on the topic of electric cars:
We run into difficulties when people say things of such mind-boggling stupidity that we almost wonder at their sanity. Why does he/she say such things? It's nonsense. I’m not speaking of specific slogans here, but conceptual frameworks which may just about make sense internally, but which are obviously in wild conflict with other, more rational frameworks. Examples are not difficult to find.Let's open with this one from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, via This is True, via email:
"She grabbed a bag of apricots, dried apricots, opened them, ate a couple, put it back and the security guard watched her doingWell no, I'm quite sure common sense never entered into store policy, just as it never enters into any other jobsworth policy in society at large today - there are just too many incidents going on out there - ask Julia M or Longrider.
it," says Alissa Jones, about the incident at a Safeway grocery store in Everett, Wash.
The guard nabbed the culprit, Savannah Harp, and took her and her shopping companion, who didn't see the incident, to the back of the store for interrogation for shoplifting. "She's banned from the store, and we're pressing charges," the guard told them. "She needs to sign this form saying she understands she can't come into any Safeways."
The problem: Savannah is four years old. The guard made her scribble her name on the document anyway. Her companion at the store was her father.
When corporate officials heard about it, the security guard was fired, and they apologized to Savannah's parents."Our policies on shoplifting are intended to protect our customers, but built on common sense," said Safeway spokeswoman Cherie Myers. "And everyone understands what common sense is."
What was going on with that man's brain? Whatever led him to think that such an action was remotely acceptable or de rigeur? From what perverse brainwashing centre did he get this and all the other strange ideas he most likely had? How did he lose the sense of proportion, a sense of ... well ... common sense?
Then we might look at the role the father played in all this, sitting passively, allowing the store clerk to do this. And what of the daughter's sense of right and wrong, instilled by the parents?
And while we're still on the topic of children:
# Instead of targets set to the lowest competency, why are schools not charged with maximising everybody’s potential? Yes, that may mean segregating pupils by ability but so what, providing that all have the opportunity to work hard and move up to a more challenging class.I know you're not joking. That and any number of practical applications and learning experiences of numeracy and literacy are great, especially when what is taught in school is reinforced at home and what is brought as a question to school is taken up by the teacher - this is how the two should be working together, along with an endless series of visitors to the school from the "real world", giving some of their skills or by visits out to the real world. All of that supplements the rote-learned drills, the rationale behind them already explained.
# As a parent and in my professional capacity, I have spent far too much time revising and teaching times tables to children whose primary schools have left them utterly confused on the subject.
# I was never taught my times tables in the traditional way. There was an experimental method which didn’t work. My parents were forbidden from teaching me times tables in a way that I would have learnt them. There was an immense injustice meted out by the school, blaming their failings on others. Home Schooling is perhaps the best way to go …
# Ultimately, it still falls on parents’ shoulders to do something about it.
# 16 times table is essential, for the lbs and ozs, although a case can be made for 20 and the shillings.
# The purpose of learning multiplication tables is to develop a feel for numbers and agility in mental arithmetic. But any teacher who has to be told that shouldn’t be in a classroom. And they should all learn to play darts. There’s nothing like it for practising mental arithmetic (I’m not joking, btw).
Who is responsible for outlawing legitimate techniques of learning? Who got teachers to say, of times tables, "We don't do that any more - it's from the 1950s?"
Nick Clegg is to attack Tory plans to introduce tax breaks for married couples, claiming ministers must not try to preserve a “1950s model” of family life in “aspic”Let's not get into the political issue of tax breaks at this moment but just zero in on Clegg's mind. Once I can calm down enough and control this desire to hit the fool with a brick, the same question comes up - whatever is wrong with this man's brain? Is he evil or just misguided? Here's a reply from the comments thread and it's sad that it needs to be spelt out:
At the start of the 20th century ALL major cultures and almost every minor culture was a marriage centered culture. In the cultural battles of history, marriage centered cultures had won out. Why? Because if a non-marriage culture came about, it would weaken very fast, and collapse.Not 1950s in aspic, something a certain section of the political world loves to trot out whenever anyone utters common sense but the way things are meant to be. Not unlike the Judaean Peoples Front:
Why do things go so wrong so quickly? It's primarily because we are born with a deep desire to know that we are loved and valued by the two people who brought us into the world. When we don't get that feeling of being worthy of love and respect from our two biological parents, some of us react badly - either internally beating ourselves up (depression, drug abuse, etc), or we externalize our anger by inflicting pain on others.
As humans, all we can do is to do our best to make sure that when we bring children into the world we are there for them. This is most likely to happen when parents have committed to each other - for better, for worse. The state can play a key role in helping to support the inbuilt desires of all children through supporting the marital dreams of its taxpayers and - and this also helps society become healthier in the process. You cannot build a healthy society without marriages - it's just the way it is.
STAN: Don't you oppress me! ...Occupiers urinate inside St Paul's, via Churchmouse:
JUDITH: Here, I-- I've got an idea. Suppose you agree that he can't actually have babies, not having a womb, which is nobody's fault, not even the Romans', but that he can have the right to have babies.
FRANCIS: Good idea, Judith. We shall fight the oppressors for your right to have babies, brother. Sister. Sorry.
REG: What's the point?
REG: What's the point of fighting for his right to have babies when he can't have babies?!
FRANCIS: It is symbolic of our struggle against oppression.
REG: Symbolic of his struggle against reality.
Senior Anglican clerics are quiet on the matter. After all, only last week the spiritual leader of the Anglican Communion -- the Archbishop of Canterbury -- expressed his empathy for England's youth who rioted in August of this year. Perhaps he would like to invite them -- and Occupy -- to share the comfort of Lambeth Palace.I'm trying to look at it from the point of view of the defecator. He's living in a first world standard tent until the evening, when he goes home and watches tele, eating first world food, quite financially cushy but he's living a life of self-imposed squalour. He's caught short and perhaps doesn't want anyone to see him doing it outside - so he goes inside to do it.
However, laity are less complacent. Rex Murphy, a columnist for Canada's National Post picked up on the increasing sacreligious activity in Western nations. One of the examples he mentions is the defecation in St Paul's:
"Meantime, overseas, their [O]ccupy brethren in London were found to be defecating (I could use the vulgar term here as it so matches the act, but let us retain some respect) within — not on the steps or in the precincts, but within — St. Paul’s Cathedral. St. Paul’s — in ancient times the cathedral where John Donne preached, where Lancelot Andrew[e]s, one of the fathers of the King James Bible, was dean, a cathedral arguably second in importance in Christianity only to the Vatican — treated as a sewer ...
In short, they turned St. Paul’s Cathedral into a public toilet and used its sacred walls as a crude bulletin board. However, there was no vast outcry at the appalling disrespect, the deep contumely such acts represent."
At best, he has no knowledge or concept of the history of the place, of his heritage. At worst, he is defecating on Christianity because that is what we're all exhorted to do these days - in every magazine, every news programme, in all public discussions, urged on by the same nasties who have aided and abetted these occupations whilst at the same time, severely punishing working class people for turning up at marches protesting what these nasties are doing.
One left-liberal at my place tried to make out that this was just one person, that occupiers are generally fine, upstanding pillars of the community. Then with that illusion addressed, she tried to say that the American version was better. No - this thing is systemic, it's part of the current infrastructure, part of the current ideology by which people are living.
No common sense, no proportion, no discretion, living like beasts, anything sacred or concerning heritage to be mocked, honourable words parodied and given the opposite meaning to what they had conveyed: