Saturday, April 23, 2011

When Reality Television Hits Home...

From my local fishwrap vis-a-vis the new VH-1 'Reality Show' Mob Wives.

First off, I object to the term 'Italian-American Elite' for the following reasons;

a. We (those of us who think this show presents a seriously destructive view of Italians and Staten Islanders, and glorifies the Mafia Lifestyle) are not elitists; we're average people of moderate intelligence and taste who can still recognize a turd when we smell one,

b. The examples of this so-called 'Italian-American Elite' quoted in the article are no such thing. I didn't know these people even existed (except for the Borough President and the State Senator) before someone asked them for a quote. That's how influential and recognizable they are in the Staten Island Italian community specifically, and the New York City Italian community in general. As for the lady who was the head of the Island GOP, this is akin to being President of the AV Squad in junior high, given the dysfunctional nature of most New York State GOP establishments.

If New York democrats weren't such knuckle-dragging doofuses who fucked up by the numbers on a regular basis you couldn't pay enough people to vote republican in most local and state elections. It's usually only after some catastrophic performance (think David Dinkins) , or some great debacle (think Mario Cuomo) by a libtard that some Repubs even get a sniff at a chance to run successfully for office, right up until the NY GOP, predictably, shoots itself in the foot (see: Rick Lazio, Dede Scozzafazza, Carl Palladino, et. al. Oh, shit...they're all Italians!).

The point being that if you're going to designate people as an elite, there'd had better damn well be something elite about them. But I digress...

Secondly, this show, much like most of the drivel on television these days, has no redeeming qualities about it, whatsoever. In a day-and-age where we're treated to shows like 16 and Pregnant, The Real Housewives of_______, American Idol, Jersey Shore, Celebrity Rehab, and 1,000 Ways to Die, just how many more chances does Hollywood need to prove to us that, yes, the Entertainment Industry does believe that we're all mouth-breathing retards, and the more offensive and inane the fare proffered the more retarded we get, and the richer they get, at which point the cycle begins afresh, and society drops a few more precious IQ points?

If you must know, I did, indeed, watch about 10 minutes of this sorry spectacle on the replay  (not that I wanted to, but I can't keep running it down without at least knowing something more than what I read about it),and it made me physically ill. Primarily because THAT was almost every woman in my life flashing before my eyes on the screen; I grew up with that, I've dated that, I've been surrounded by it my entire life. I'm absolutely sick of it, and watching it on television only makes me want to seriously injure somebody, and causes my prostate to contract painfully -- as if it were digging a foxhole in my innards with which to shelter itself from the barrage of whiny, nasally, third-grade dialogue, all the fake tans, the cellulite and the image of  four cows in spandex and three-inches of slapped-on-with-a-trowel-Mabelline who think they're all the sexiest thing alive in the Solar System.

I find the thought of being violently ass-raped by a rutting moose with a bad case of halitosis infinitely more appealing, and far more intellectually stimulating, than watching these four broads with their unjustifiably-bordering-on-serious-mental-disease high opinions of themselves and their delusions of sophistication, coolness, sense of style or erroneous belief that they are some kind of trendsetters.

We don't have Trailer Trash in these parts, but if we did, that would be it's equivalent.

Often, I am accused by some readers of this page of having absolutely no respect for women; well, if you were raised in a swamp in which these four assholes are the best example of the prevailing female type, then you'd have little respect for women, too. Actually I DO have respect for women, but only the ones who actually DESERVE some. This type most certainly doesn't.

In Defense of the Right to Offend...

Mark Steyn belongs on Mt. Rushmore. Click on the links contained within to gain the full context of the rather impenetrable stupidity on display all over the world, and then ask yourself this question:

How is it that the Western World, the culture that has invented just about everything that is useful or enriching, that fostered the spirit of unfettered free inquiry, ensconced in Law the principle of the fundamental rights of all Men, which first harnessed and then unleashed the energy that makes modern life possible and sustainable, has fallen to this astoundingly low level of petty argument within itself, about it's own validity, accomplishments and worth?

Probably because we live in an age where people freely claim the pretense to an intellect, but possess none of it's actual tools. A steady diet of Post-modernism and multiculturalism will do that to you, you know.

There is no progress, in any sense or meaningful way, without the ability to ask questions -- and thus find answers -- which will eventually offend someone on some level. Offense is a necessary evil if society or science is to ever evolve to another, perhaps freer, more honest, more inclusive, and higher stratum. One is left to wonder just what has been left undiscovered, unexamined, unsaid because someone who would have discussed, examined, or discovered was kept from the initial impulse by the thought "Better not go there; someone might be offended"?

Why is it necessary to punish people who speak things that others don't like? Why is it necessary for people to find ever more ways to whine and wear the mantle of victimhood, even when they have no call to? Why have we divided ourselves by race, sex or sexual preference, religion, political leanings or economic class? When will all the fucking snivelling end? And when can we get back to kicking ass and taking names as a Culture?

I'm reminded of a famous speech, uttered by one of the most offensive people to ever walk the Earth, if the history books are to be believed:

"I am Theoprastus, and greater than those to whom you liken me; I am Theophrastus, and in addition, I am monarcha medicorum and I can prove to you what you cannot prove...I need not don a coat of mail or buckler against you, for you are not learned or experienced enough to refute even a word of mine...As for you, you can defend your kingdom with belly-crawling and flattery. How long do you think this will last? Let me tell you this: every little hair on my neck knows more than you and all your scribes, and my shoe buckles are more learned than your Galen and Avicenna, and my beard has more experience than all your high colleges..."

Who said that?

Why, it was none other than Phillipus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim, better known to history as Paracelsus. Who was Paracelsus? He was a chemist, botanist, mathematician, astrologer, theologian, doctor, Ur-psychologist and all-around Royal Pain in the Ass (some believe, wrongly, that his name was the origin of the English word 'Bombast') who invented the modern science of toxicology, and who is one of the Fathers of modern pharmacology and medical diagnostics.

Who was he berating? The medieval medical profession (the Doctors of Physic) of his day who still believed that disease was either caused by an imbalance of 'humors' that could be treated with bloodletting, sweating or purging (which often killed the patient in the process), or who were still attached to the superstitious Christian belief that diseases were the just rewards of a sinful life.

It almost sounds like ObamaCare.

Paracelsus drove his opponents crazy. Many thought him insane (and if you ever read about his life, he just might have been). He was ostracized, attacked, stripped of his posts, bankrupted, persecuted, publicly vilified and humiliated...and he was also RIGHT. He suffered because he dared to speak a truth -- actually, many truths -- that offended, well... basically everyone; the members of his profession, the Church, the Universities of Europe, the Rich and the Powerful.

He died penniless and discredited, an itinerant doctor travelling all over Europe -- on foot -- experimenting, treating the sick and injured for the sake of his belief that he was put on this Earth for just that purpose. He left his few remaining possessions (one legend has it these consisted of his writings, a cloak, and a pair of boots) to the poor. His reputation as a thoroughly disagreeable, arrogant, obnoxious -- and most offensive man -- meant that his methods and discoveries would be denied to medical science for many years after his death by his quite considerable number of intellectual, religious and scientific enemies.

The point? Just because you don't like the messenger, just because you don't like the message, it doesn't necessarily follow that either is wrong, and the message certainly should not go unexamined because it offended someones tender sensibilities, or threatened someones rice bowl. Even a really stupid idea presented by a complete asshole can sometimes reveal some drop of wisdom, if you can manage to strip away the bullshit and keep your feelings in check long enough to examine it.

Truth is truth -- even if it's delivered with a four-letter word, a racial slur, bad joke, or a gratuitous insult -- real or perceived -- attached to it.

All this sensitivity bullshit is leading us towards a less-cohesive, rather than a more-inclusive, society. This will slowly chip away at our veneer of civility and the bonds of friendship, and ultimately destroy what few notions of freedom and democracy -- you know, the remaining freedoms that haven't already been bastardized and destroyed by illiberal Liberals already -- that we might have left.

I really fear to live in such a world, and not only because it will be either really, really boring or exceedingly violent, but because it will be intellectually, artistically and spiritually sterile. What remains of Life after such a thing occurs would be hardly worth living, because the basic right of expression will have been excised from it. No exchange of ideas, no arguments, no jokes, no books, no trade, no art, no music.

All human endeavor would stop right in it's tracks, out of fear of giving offense and the retribution that follows.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

This Is Why No One Reads Wonkette Anymore...

A few weeks ago, I got an mini-avalanche of traffic from Wonkette readers, who apparently arrived because they were looking for pictures of drunken leprechauns. Presumably they needed them to make fun of the proverbial inebriated Irishmen on St. Patrick's Day, and couldn't find their crayons. Now, they make fun of a three-year old with Down's Syndrome just because they happen to viscerally hate his mother. And why do they hate his mother? Because she happens to hold different political and social views than the oh-so-sophisticated Wonkette legion.

They can't stop her, so they might as well attack her children. That's on Page 3 of Alinsky's Rules for Radicals, you know.

By the way, these people tend to call themselves "Liberals", but there's very little of the Liberal in them.

Now, I'm no angel, here. I regularly write stuff that's just as vile and which could be considered hateful, unless you have half a brain and a sense of humor, but in my defense Muslims AREN'T regular human beings; they're some sort of inbred mutant strain that diddles livestock and which blows themselves up because God said they should, so that doesn't count. But, I can at least say I've never attacked a child ( parents: hell yes!) just to make what's basically a very stupid political point, i.e. that Sarah Palin, by her very existence, is an affront to everything a committed feminist stands for -- mostly because she's the most glaring and obvious example of just how wrong boilerplate feminism truly IS. Whenever I write something nasty, I do try to at least follow a very simple philosophy:

a. There must be some point that I'm trying to make. It might not be a very good point, granted, and I might not even communicate my point very well, but then again, I'm not one of the oldest political websites on the 'net that still retains a pretense as being THE trendsetter in regards to all things Left-leaning. I don't even claim to be the guy who knows everything about everything and everyone that's anyone. I don't worship at the altar of political power, and I simply do not drool over the thought that I might see and gossip about the really sexy libtard junior Congresscritter from California's 405th District who has a really highly-developed sense of metrosexual fashion. That stuff ain't important, which is probably why fewer and fewer people read Wonkette every day.

b. I don't claim to be, nor do I aspire to be, a professional journalist; I don't own a set of kneepads, never learned to cover my teeth when performing acts of gratuitous fellatio upon the rich and powerful denizens of Washington, D.C., and I didn't spend a shitload of Mommy and Daddy's money on a J-school degree which turns out to be about as useful as one of those "Be a Certified Gun Repair Technician!" certificate courses one used to see advertised on the inside of matchbook covers. I would rather be labeled a Sex Offender, Child Molester, Mass Murderer or Enron Executive than to be considered a journalist. It's a profession which has been so thoroughly discredited that I'd wager that Barehanded-Septic-Tank-Cleaner probably evokes an image of far greater prestige and respect amongst most people. I'm simply a crazy dude with a variety of axes to grind, determined to use my First Amendment Rights before people like the social-climbing-libtard-prostitutes of Wonkette conspire with their democratic (small 'd' intentional) party johns to take them away from me.

c. I wouldn't even make fun of Nancy Pelosi's retarded children (I'm sure she must have many), a person who actually HAS done serious and long-lasting harm to this country (unlikeTrig Palin), and she's perhaps the second-worst person on Planet Earth, First Place being occupied by a three-way tie of Hillary Clinton, Ryan Seacrest, and Kathy Griffin (each perhaps a harbinger of Antichrist?), and all four just nudging that Ama-doo-dad feller into a solid third place. There's no reason to go there, anyway: Nancy, Hillary, or Sarah are all adults, capable of defending themselves and answering their critics, even the unreasonably insane ones -- like me. Attacking children is a really douchey thing to do, and with Sarah Palin, it's become the Libtard's sport of choice. First it was Bristol, then Willow, and now, Trig. At what point does it stop? At what point do you believe you've exposed your pettiness and stupidity enough, and whatever sense of shame you still have left -- finally --kicks in?

I know, I know...If you let something akin to a sense of decency kick in, you'd never get invited to another smart cocktail-cocaine-and-forced-anal-sex party in Georgetown.

As for the author of that piece (my guess is that he learned and honed his fine journalistic skills upon only the very best gas station washroom walls), the fact that he -- after the fact, and after the outrage -- retroactively adds an inadequate apology at the top of the post, cuts no ice. The post, after all, is still there for everyone to view. Frankly, it's probably still there because without the outrage it's caused no one with two braincells to rub together would visit Wonkette anymore. If anyone over there had any class whatsoever, they'd take it down, but alas, they haven't seen traffic like this in years. A dilemma if ever there was one.

Some of the comments to this article were, if you can believe it, far more vile than the post itself.

There's talk going about the 'net about a boycott of Wonkette's sponsors (that would probably be Massengill Disposable Douches, SuperFlow Do-it-yourself Home Enema kits, and Sunstroker 2000: The Solar-powered Men's Masturbation Aid for a Greener Planet!), but I've never been a big fan of boycotts. Mostly because they're stupid, and never hurt the people they're intended to. The good people at (THE Homosexual Dating Service for the discerning anonymous Interstate restroom sex aficionado) or the Craig's List Adult Services Page aren't responsible for what Wonkette decides to publish, or even has a say over what is published -- the asswipes at Wonkette would scream from the rooftops about censorship if a sponsor ever demanded editorial say-so, even if does sometimes, hypocritically, scream even louder for the censoring of it's political opponents -- so why should those people, with no connection other than an advertising stake, be unfairly punished?

Don't boycott the sponsors; just stop reading Wonkette. And yeah, I've 'fallen into the trap' of reposting their stupidity while imploring you to avoid it, but this is about something more important than whether or not Wonkette gets a few more readers.

It's about people who would, and do, happily echo the Left's oft-repeated mantra that, for example, a Paul Ryan Budget Plan would cause children with Down's Syndrome to have to 'fend for themselves' taking a position on one hand of standing as the defender of the weak and helpless -- to score cheap political points -- while on the other hand viciously attacking a child with Down's Syndrome -- to score cheap political points.

Wonkette claims that it's a humor site, but it's difficult to see anything funny about any of this. If anything, it's extremely educational: you now know, if you didn't know before, what the self-proclaimed, self-assured, oh-so-fashionable, self-selected 'Liberal' elite really thinks and how it behaves, despite a pretense of intellect and sophistication, or claim to the higher moral ground in all things.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Girls Will Be Boys and Boys Will Be Girls...

10-yr old Australian boy to get Sex-change "therapy".

You know, if you want to have your privates mutilated, it's not a lifestyle choice or a matter of feelings; it's a fucking mental disorder. Finding ways and excuses to allow people to mutilate themselves (free-of-charge, too) is not 'therapy'; it's insanity. And if you've ever wondered just why the medical community hasn't yet found cures for AIDS, cancer or malaria, it is probably, in part, because vital medical resources are being wasted trying to figure out how to turn vaginas into penises, and vice-versa.

The amount of money this sort of unnatural and medically-unnecessary transformation eats up, from beginning to end -- what with the drugs, the hormone treatments, the surgeries, not to mention the life-long mental health 'support' regime -- is presumably enormous. I'm guessing that if someone were to add it all up, for the expense of granting one demented douchebag -- probably prodded into it by his whackadoo Mother, in the first place -- his Cinderella fantasy, the Australian government could probably provide treatment for four or five cancer victims, if not more.

Worse, once the process is completed (i.e. post-surgical mutilation) it's not exactly reversible, so tough shit if you change your mind when it's all said-and-done.

The following quotes from the article are complete and total bullshit:

"The court heard that Jamie saw herself as a "freak" and a "girl in a boy's body," and had first identified as a girl when she was a toddler."

How many toddlers do you know who are capable of making that determination all on their lonesome, let alone would remember having done so? Is this scientifically possible? Has any reputable scientist studied this phenomenon? Did anyone even fucking check?

"At the moment Jamie can live comfortably as a girl, is socially confident and suffers no teasing or social isolation."

Yeah...riiiight. I don't know what planet these people live on, but here on Earth children the world over are beastly little swine who just can't wait to tease, ostracize, and beat up other children they find weird. It's just what they do. My guess is that this child never goes out to play, has few friends, and probably lives in a hermetically-sealed bubble at home.

This is child abuse, plain and simple. That it is being sanctioned by the Australian government is absolutely astounding.

Without knowing all the particulars, I wouldn't doubt for a second that the kid's mother, disappointed at not producing a baby girl, put this idea into his head or at least decided while he was young to ignore biology and treat him as a her for the sake of her own misguided preferences. Been known to happen. I'd sterilize this 'mother' before she breeds again. It might be the one thing that saves some poor, future child's sanity, and maybe even his life.

In the meantime, we discover that Australia's neighbor, Malaysia, simply sends boys who display feminine tendencies to special camps in order to butch them up. In an Islamically-approved way, of course. The only problem with this, though, is that the people who judge which boys are deemed to be in need of rectification are members of a religion which sanctions sheep-shagging and gang rape, and is part of a greater culture which is notorious for higher-than-average rates of male-on-male sexual assault.

Islamic Madrassas are infamous dens of male rape, you know. How else do you get them into the proper frame of mind to fly an airliner into an office building? When creating future generations of terrorists you need to first destroy their self-esteem and will to live, and endemic poverty, unemployment, sexual frustration and denial of basic human freedoms can only get you so far, you know. I'll bet that on page one of every terrorist in Gitmo's dossier, it's stamped in red: Raped By Imam/Terrorist Recruiter. Send 'em to a camp where sexually-frustrated males (all Muslim men are sexually-frustrated, you know) who live in a culture where male-on-male rape is endemic and systemic on the off-chance that you can 'save' them from homosexuality? Sounds like 66 Islamocally-approved sexual assaults just waiting to happen, if you ask me.

All of this leads me to a very interesting question, however. Assuming the Muslim kids won't be raped by their 'counselors' (it could happen), which approach to building healthy and happy children makes more sense to you: a government-sanctioned medical board deciding to spring for hormone therapy for a10-year old boy so that he can one day -- maybe -- grow tits that won't work, and have his tallywhacker reshaped into a facsimile of a vagina -- that likewise won't work -- or sending kids to a 4-day camp/seminar where someone can give them some advice and counselling, and probably provide a manly role model or two?

I hate to have to admit it, but the Exploding Sheep-Shaggers may just have this one right.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Professor Hanson on Patient Obama...

National treasure. I say we put the Prof's face on the dollar bill, already.

"The Little Old Man Who Invented Hunger"

Cubans beginning to rethink Communism. What took them so long?

This post coincides nicely with the 50th anniversay of the Bay of Pigs fiasco. To all of you dipshits out there who still continue to worship at the altar of JFK, I say this: John Fitzgerald Kennedy was a gutless coward.

(H/T Instapundit)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Civilization: Now Officially Over...

Re: the new VH-1 'reality show' entitled Mob Wives. I wrote about this piece of shit last week, before it previewed. Even without the benefit of being able to watch it, I knew it was complete and utter crap, ifonly because the sort of people who would actually show their faces in public and be willingly associated with it must be one or more of the following:

a) Stupid
b) Dumb
c) Unintelligent
d) Whores willing to do anything "to be famous", and
e) Dimwitted

It seems that I was right, as this review in the Staten Island Advance would lead one to believe, even though the review itself is hardly worth reading (really, the Advance actually paid someone to write this drivel, but won't give me the time of day on a freelance basis?).

But what really makes me laugh are the comments appended to the story. The Money Quote:

"...I now see why some men prefer prison..."

Now, what really makes me sad about  this whole thing is the discovery that these four scifoozas frequent my beloved Lee's Tavern, a Staten Island institution serving some of the best pizza you've ever had in your life. I will now stay away from Lee's as if the Health Department had declared it a deadly Dysentary Risk.

I will now have to eat more pizza at the Original Goodfella's, which may have a Mob-inspired name, but at least there's a very good chance that these four skanks won't be walking in to make us all sick to our stomachs.

The Word...

It was Saturday evening, and we're all sitting around the Lunatic's Sister's kitchen table. The cake has just been served, this day being her birthday (Happy Birthday, Dear Sister!). One of my nephews has just called another "retarded", as kids are wont to do.

What happened next was something that sent douchechills down my spine, and produced a violent urge to vomit.

"You know", The Lunatic's Sister says to her child, "you're not supposed to say 'retarded' to people, because it's hurtful. What did they tell you at school about that?"

"Why not?" asks the Lunatic, innocently, wishing he hadn't asked just as soon as the words are uttered, because it has just dawned upon him at that very second that he's about to listen to an explanation of why that word has become verboten that will be long, pointless, and...well...umm....rather retarded.

The Lunatics Sister, after all, is not the sharpest knife in the drawer. But, he asked for it, the Moron ( I wonder: Am I allowed to use that word, if I apply it only to myself?), and by God, he's gonna hear it -- if only because My Sister sometimes behaves as if she's my Mother, as well. This pisses me off because:

a) I already have a Mother who lectures me (still) while having nothing intelligent or positive to say, and

b) Nothing pisses me off more than being lectured to in that annoying and condescending tone which both Mother and Sister adopt, as if they're talking to a wayward child, with that irritating habit they have of being unable to explain themselves without a lengthy pre-amble, a diversion to a parable which might only be tangentially related to the subject at hand, and that slow and deliberate diction that would make one believe that I'm a retard, too, if you'd ever heard it.

I can hardly wait.

It turns out that a child at my nephew's school is what they now refer to as "mentally-challenged". I happen to know the child in question; he's autistic, and is given to unpredictable outbursts. I disagree, strongly, with the label "mentally-challenged" when applied to the Autistic because of my experiences with several autistic people. I know autistics that would put the greatest mathematicians of history to shame, who hold down important and complicated jobs, or who are capable of doing anything most people could do, infinitely better, and with a level of precision that would give a German engineer a permanent hard-on.

I'm a fanatical believer in the theory that we, the Human Race, would not live in the world we do if it hadn't been for some autistic dude sitting in the back of a cave, spending hours and days flaking away at a pierce of flint to form the perfect spearhead. I believe that some of the greatest scientific, literary and artistic minds in human history were probably autistic, or at least possessed some of the same qualities that we ascribe to autistic people. Autism does not mean"challenged", nor does it mean"stupid". Anyways, back to our story.

So, The School recently had another of it's fund-raiser evenings -- why a public school, supported by tax dollars, requires an almost-continuous series of fundraising drives is a question that no one can adequately answer for me. It seems that while the City and State of New York see fit to spend somewhere in the neighborhood of $14,000 per student per academic year, it does so without buying supplies for the classroom. The money raised, I'm told, often goes to buy the Basics: from art supplies to toilet paper -- and this particular child caused a commotion during the festivities.

This kerfufle caused the parent of another child to remark "I think that kid's retarded" , apparently whispered to another, but still within earshot of the autistic boy's mother. This observation, made by an ignorant clod with no social graces, apparently troubled her to no end because within days there was a PTA meeting where the subject of the word "Retarded" -- and the evil and incorrect applications and connotations connected with it  -- became the main subject of intense debate.

Some observations on the 'debate', as it was explained to me;

1. The child in question is NOT retarded, he's autistic. Most people do not make the distinction, or even know the difference. Mother-with-a-Stick-up-Her-Ass wants everyone to know that her son is Autistic and NOT Retarded. In the often-confusing world of politically-correct causes, Autism somehow rates higher than simple Mental Retardation. Angry Mother is offended that someone may have used a word that somehow downgrades her son's condition. Like being Retarded is akin to living in the ghetto to Autism's Gated Community? Autism is to Mercedes what Retarded is to Ford Pinto? By what standard we say that this particular affliction is more worthy or honorable than another is beyond me, and I think my head exploded when I heard this ridiculous 'argument' about a distinction most people are incapable of making without conscious effort.

It all probably has to do with some sort of competition between "Special Needs" childrens' parents for state aid, I'll bet.

2. The word 'retarded' is hurtful, mean-spirited, and damages an already-fragile child's self-esteem, and shouldn't even be used to describe a child who is, you know, actually retarded. Unless, of course, you -- as the parent of a retarded child -- choose to wear your genetic failure as a badge of courage, shout "RETARDED!" at the top of your lungs in order to get to the head of the line at Disneyland, or use your child's affliction to get yourself some charity money, taxpayer funds, special consideration, sympathy, or fake affirmations of your 'courage'. Life, and the vagaries of Genetics, have handed you a veritable Lemon; make Lemonade. Love your child, by all means, but don't expect that others should have to give you a medal or some special accommodation because of his/her condition.

That Society often does so is a matter of courtesy; you don't get to elevate that into a special set of extra-constitutional rights.

3. Henceforth, sayeth the School, the word "retarded" is hereby banned from the vocabulary of all the Inmates..errr...Students...and there will be a 'Zero-Tolerance' policy regarding the use of the word. Penalties are not specifically discussed, but promises are made by the Gods of Education that they will, indeed, be harsh. Just what 'harsh' means in the context of children between the ages of 5 and 10 is an open question. I rather doubt flogging is going to make a comeback, and quite frankly, expulsion would probably do some of the students more benefit than real harm. After all, this is a school which has a janitor with a huge yearly budget, but somehow he's not allowed to spend any of it on cleaning supplies, because parents are constantly being asked to send the children to school with all sorts of anti-bacterial products.

'Zero-Tolerance' policies, mind you, often trip over their own self-defeating logic; if the original argument was over context (as in this case), then the application of the policy must, by it's very nature, also trip all over context. Since no one feels capable, or willing, to make a decision regarding context the easist thing to do is to simply avoid the discussion altogether. One hopes. This is not an enlightened policy: it is an abrogation of responsibility. In the context of educators guiding and shaping young minds, it is a surrender of the intellectual to the emotional, and ultimately serves no one well. This should have served as one of them 'teaching moments' I keep hearing about; why not take the time to instruct the children on the differences between retarded and autistic, stress a little understanding, patience and courtesy, and then tell Mommy-Run-Amok to shut the fuck up and deal, like an adult?

Anyways, I listened to my Sister relate the whole sordid tale, and wanted to reach across the table and strangle the life out of her, because she swallowed the whole 'Zero-Tolerance' nonsense completely, and was determined to enforce it within her own home.

Okay, fine. It's your house and they are your kids, so do what you like, but you have, Dear Sister, missed the Bigger Point (this is, indeed, my Sister's greatest talent, so I'm not entirely surprised). Actually, she's missed a bunch of points.

The first is that a greater mass of people are being punished for the thoughtlessness of another. Some asshole with no class mutters something he shouldn't, and gives offense. In the Old Days when people simply sucked things up and soldiered on -- or just got into a fistfight and solved their problems Mano-a-Mano -- this would have been taken care of immediately, and would not have required a public meeting and a censorship regime.

The Second is that it's kind of ridiculous that one person should be allowed to impose this sort of censorship over hundreds simply because she was offended. How it came to be that we, as a society, began to empower those with often-petty axes to grind is something I often wonder about, and then fervently wish we could reverse with a carefully-planned program of street executions. Unfortunately, there are some people who haven't learned the very simple lesson that Life Sucks, and that on any given day, you will probably be offended at least once, and then there are other people who haven't learned the lesson that once you allow a petty grievance to become a Federal Case -- and then crafted an all-encompassing policy to address that specific grievance -- you've opened the floodgates to all sorts of stupidity.

Today, it's the use of the adjective 'retard' in an offensive context; tomorrow, it'll be wearing a cross or yarmulke to school, wearing certain colors on certain days, a particular item in a bagged lunch, or a student's superior fashion sense which will make someone, somewhere, groan about 'unfairness' and 'offense'.

The simple truth is that the majority of people who inhabit this Blue Marble are dumber than dogshit; addressing their petty concerns in such a sweeping manner only leads to a coarsening and constriction of Life for the rest of us.

The final problem I have with this is that a word, which is perfectly valid and has a meaning outside the context of handicapped children, is being taken away from other children at a point in their educational lives where they are forming the primary abilities they will need to express themselves later in life. They are learning to expand their vocabulary, they are learning the lessons of context and contrast within language. The word 'Retarded', in and of itself, is not offensive; it's an adjective. The only power it has to offend is the power that people choose to give it.

Banning it's use may make Mother-Mind-Everyone-Else's-Business happy, but she has done, I think.a great disservice to the other children in the school. What, for example, would happen if it should turn out that Shakespeare, or perhaps a Great Poet, happened to use the word 'Retarded' in their works? Should we ban Shakespeare? Should we rewrite the entire literature of the Western World so as to remove all the words that are personally offensive to her? What if the word appeared in a scientific treatise? Should we develop a new way to teach sciences with an entirely new and non-offensive terminology?

No sooner did I hear this sorry tale then I went right home and broke out my copy of George Orwell's 1984.

In that tale of Political Correctness run amok, the Protagonist, Winston Smith, is a newspaper reporter (in a sense; what he actually 'reports' is not 'news', but rather Politically Correct lies and a continuous rewriting of history for political puposes) is having a conversation with a colleage who is involved in the recrafting of the English language (called Newspeak in the book).

This collegaue is openly bragging about his work, which is the destruction of words;  especially words that have political signifigance. These words must be purged from the lexicon because they can be used to express discontent, to foment counter-revolution, or because they would expose some politically-inconvenient truths that The Party would rather keep hidden or obscured. This colleague postulates that in the future, the English Language will eventually contain but ONE word, and it's meanings and context would be rigidly defined and no other meaning or context could ever be permitted.

The ultimate purpose of the destruction of words was to deprive the people of the ability to communicate with one another, or to express dissent and discontent, as a means of keeping the directing brains of society (The Inner Party, i.e. The Government) in power forever.

Perhaps it is a great leap to make -- from the banning of a word in order to soothe one person's ruffled sensibilities to the loss of ability to express Political Dissent -- but the effect is the same. With each banning of a word, with each narrowing of the scope of thought, with each attack on the individual's right of free expression, we're one step closer to tyranny. Whether it's the tyranny of a panty-bunched school board, a hyper-sensitive Mother, or an overbearing Government, matters not: we're slowly being trained to avoid saying what we feel. When you forbid people from speaking freely -- even inartfully or meanly -- you no longer have the most basic of freedoms.

I can understand why a Mother with a difficult child might be offended by the insensitive comment of a total dipshit; I don't understand why it was that someone gave her the power to remove a word from the vocabulary of hundreds of children -- and though she may not have intended to do this -- given an unelected, and largely unaccountable,  school administration the power to limit the way in which people might choose to express themselves.

I also don't understand how it is that my Sister swallowed this dangerous precedent whole without thinking about it's implications. She's not THAT dumb, after all, but perhaps she's just been trained better than I have.

Before I get a flood of e-mail accusing me of being indifferent to the plight of 'challenged' children and harried parents, let me make it clear that I am not without sympathy. Let me also make it clear that your Autistic child's 'limitations' are mostly of your own making, and ultimately speak more about YOU than about HIM. The child in question is a sweet, loving, beautiful little boy -- I know him personally -- and I'm convinced that if you (his Mother) didn't dote on him, and try so hard to 'protect' him, he'd find himself a nice little niche in this society and be far more useful, productive and relevant than a goodly number of so-called 'normal' people.

The first obstacle that you -- as a parent -- have put in his way is to hide the truth from him; that this world is inhabited by thoughtless morons who learned how to whisper in a sawmill, and who have no manners, and now that you've taught him that to get ahead all he has to scream louder and brandish his 'disability' like a club, don't be surprised when he starts doing the same to YOU.

After all, he's not stupid.

I would wager that he's smarter than any ten people you know combined.

I would, however, hope that one day Mommy Dearest might realize what she has done, and how she has behaved, and come to regret it. Unfortunately, when that day comes it'll only be after someone has dictated how she should live her own life in much the same way that she has just dictated that others should live theirs.

Such is human nature.

That's far a more offensive possibility, to me, than someone misapplying the word 'Retard' in a way that you find irritating.

UPDATE: Edited for spelling and grammar. My apologies!