From today’s TPC:
Dear Tallahassee: The Second Amendment Requires No “Guardian”
No Particular Place Nor Person – A Story from the Modern “Academy”
Sometimes things happen and nobody cares. Even if what happens is horrible. Worse, many, maybe most folks usually, if they consider matters at all, cheer on the atrocity de jure, especially when calamity comes wrapped in false promises of something … anything. They only begin to care when the wolf is literally at their door. Some only find alarm when jaws close around their own throats. Tom Ironsides wasn’t one of them.
Every morning was a grand new beginning in his educational experiment, serving as a humble substitute teacher in the high schools of a suburban county much like most others across fading America. Monday, April 22nd was no different. Coach R’s first period honors chemistry class, a point of pride at Silver Snuff Comprehensive High, worked rather sleepily on their review sheets. Tom surveyed the room – fourteen working slow but steady, two working on and off, two quietly discussing the weekend, three engaging the digital wonders of social media, and one sleeping soundly. He spoke words of encouragement:
‘It’s all about balance. Calculate the change in pH for each little equation. You should be asking yourself if you have electron donation or reception in progress. Your work goes in the little boxes. Every correct formula will match one of the three answer options for each equation thus leading to the next problem. It’s just an equation-maze puzzle, from “start” to “finish.” This young lady up here is almost finished!’
‘Were you a chemistry teacher before you came here?’ asked a boy from the back-right. He was committing three infractions at once – being black, wearing a hoodie, and listening to something via earbuds. Unconcerned with bureaucracy, Tom had already noted him among the “slow but steady.”
‘I lectured in classical philosophy for three years at a University in Eastern Europe,’ Tom answered, ‘Before that, I did two one-year teaching fellowships, one here and one in France.’
His answer piqued the interest of a few plodders and one of the on-and-off-agains.
Another boy in the back, maybe a “good old boy” inquired, ‘What did you do before that?’
Tom thought for just a second – the plain and direct (and maybe still classified) answer simply would not do. He replied, ‘I … retired from the Marine Corps.’
‘You an officer?’ the first boy wanted to know.
‘Yes, Oh-five, light colonel. I was in … requisitions. At the Pentagon.’ While technically true, this explanation was far from exhaustive. Tom wondered if it would satisfy collective curiosity. Beyond “requisitions” he had always had trouble with explaining things away to the innocent and the by-the-book “I can’t talk about it” never felt right to him.
Of all people, a pretty girl in the front row, the one who was now actually finished, pushed the matter forward: ‘So, is it “Mr. Ironsides,” “Dr. Ironsides,” or “Colonel Ironsides?”’
‘Were you in combat?’ came an inquiry from another good old boy.
Tom, vividly remembering a painful night in Mosul, considered his available options. Balance, Thomas, he told himself. ‘Well, I …’
‘Pardon this announcement,’ squeaked a limp-sounding voice from the ceiling, ‘Teachers, please hold first period for a few minutes after the bell rings. We are starting a… We just need a few minutes to do something.’ After a short pause, it continued, ‘Please keep all students inside the classrooms and keep the doors closed. Keep the students away from the doors…’
Tom starred at the circular speaker for a moment, wondering if there was anything to be added. He hated superfluous chirping, as he heard it. Five, ten seconds passed. Okay, that’s that, he thought. At least his little predicament was diffused. He spoke: ‘Well, now we all have time to finish. Let’s have at it.’
Minutes passed. A bell rang. A tardy bell rang. More minutes passed. Half of second period passed. The students, all of them, were now either tapping at their phones of dozing. From just down the hall, a loud BARK! got their attention.
‘So that’s what that is about,’ Tom smirked. The black boy with the hoodie returned his expression with a chuckle. Some of the kids looked less than pleased.
Tom swiftly stepped to the door and glanced out the narrow, security-wired window. Coming down the hall was a grumpy-looking coach, a lighter-loafers-looking administrator, two tubby lawmen in tactical pants, and a rather handsome German Shepherd. Tom instantly formulated a plan which he found both defiant and amusing. He stepped to the front of the class. ‘When they come in, everyone look at me,’ he said. The class nodded along.
Someone twisted a key in the unlocked door. It opened and in walked the grumpy coach. Tom “resumed” his lecture: ‘… and that’s why the Georgia sheriff pled guilty to violating the students’ civil rights, violating his oath of office, kidnapping, obstruction, and…’ He looked at the now quizzical coach, ‘Hello! How may I help you?’
After gaping at Tom for a second, the coach spoke directly to the class, ‘I need everyone to step out in the hall. Just leave yer bags and jackets in here. Take off yer coats. Just leave everything. And, hurry it up.’ He turned and, avoiding Tom’s steady thousand-yard stare, said, ‘I, uh, please step out with them. Sir.’
‘Love to!’ boomed Tom as he waltzed into the hall. He walked straight up to the nearest obese deputy, ‘Can I have a look at your warrant? I’m writing a research paper on probable cause.’
The officer looked confused and almost frightened. ‘I don’t… We… It’s routine procedure.’
‘Just kidding,’ Tom said with a laugh, wheeling to face the class, now assembled along a locker-embedded wall, ‘Thank god the dog barked, right kids? Just enough time to flush that fresh batch!’ With that, twenty-two previously sullen and dejected teenagers roared with laughter.
Even the deputies checked smiles as they entered with the Shepherd. Grumpy Coach also stepped back in and closed the door behind them.
Tom’s mind briefly addressed the sub-compact .45 on his ankle. Not a thought about it. You don’t print and you never touch, Thomas. And, that’s only a drug-sniffing dog. Of course, it would impress the hell out of these kids to pull OC on this rabble of petty tyrants… His thoughts were cut short by the suspiciously swishy administrator, who now angrily addressed the still snickering students.
Mr. Assistant Something chastised the children, ‘Now! We’re not gonna have any of that. This is very important and if you don’t want to…’ He was cut off, in turn, by Tom, who stepped in front of the little man, making sure to “accidentally” brush shoulders.
Tom asked bluntly, in his long-unused direct action mission voice, ‘Did the principal invite them here?’
Stammering, all the man in the pink plaid shirt could muster was something about a policy at the board office.
Tom continued, ‘Under sixteen dash seventeen dash four-twenty, either the school’s principal or president has to authorize any outside visits. By anybody. You don’t have a president, just a principal. He didn’t invite them, huh? No warrant. Are they in hot pursuit of a dangerous felon or something?’
The little man looked worried. The kids, having found a new hero, looked on in rapt silence. Tom looked CIA serious. He didn’t blink.
Luckily, the classroom door opened at that most awkward moment. ‘I think we’re done this morning,’ said one of the county’s finest (and largest).
‘Okay, y’all can resume the science,’ barked Coachy the Grouch as he lumbered away.
‘We’re studying civil rights, at the moment,’ rejoined Tom as the kids filed into the room.
Several minutes later there came another BEEP from above. The squeaky voice (now sounding a little shaken) announced the “project” was over and that all students should report to second period. He thanked everyone and extolled the school’s commitment to “safety.” He added that the Pride Club would meet Wednesday after school in his office. He ended with the lame house motto: ‘Cause you can’t get enough of the Snuff stuff!’ A bell rang.
Thanks to “safety,” second period lasted all of seven minutes – barely long enough for Tom to take attendance and tell the new kids to do the pH review sheet for homework.
Another idiotic interruption from the sky heralded the fact that parents and the community were being alerted to that morning’s successful – nothing at all was found – routine safety search via Facebook and Instagram. Another bell rang.
Third period was Coach R’s planning period. For Tom, it was investigative and alarm-ringing time. He quickly downloaded the school’s letter from Zuck’s Suckerbook site, read it, and suppressed a laugh. The damned stupid letter hadn’t even been up for fifteen minutes and it already had garnered twenty-eight little “likes” and “hearts.” The mindlessly cheerful comments had started as well, most of them thanking Providence for “safety.”
Yeah, keep the kids safe by stomping on their Constitutionally-protected liberties, Tom mumbled to himself.
The last, latest comment caught his eye. It was from the little effeminate admin man, who apparently had just posted the letter itself. His self-congratulatory remark got under Tom’s thick skin: ‘No, sir. Nothing illegal was found. But, then again, if they’re not doing anything wrong, then they have nothing to worry about.’
Tom repeated that to himself as he dialed the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The conversation, once it started, was a little disjointed.
‘Hello. I’m not sure if you’ll consider this civil or criminal. I’d call it criminal. My name is Tom and I’m a substitute high school teacher. I’m a mandatory reporter. I just witnessed a school and the local police break violate scores of students’ rights, break about a dozen laws…’
Forty minutes later, Tom was wrapping up an interview with an ASA and two special agents when Little Mr. Pink Shirt snuck to the door. Eavesdropping, he caught the last of the conversation, Tom’s end:
‘Definitely. Under the State Constitution too. Maybe under forty-two U-S-C nineteen-eighty-three? No. I don’t know the state’s kidnapping statute. The one for disrupting a school – it’s a one-year misdemeanor – is sixteen dash seventeen dash four-twenty. Ha, ha! Yeah, like pot… Conspiracy for all counts. RICO too, if I was really tacking on shit. Oh, hey, thanks, gentlemen, ma’am. Bell’s about to ring and my coffee cup is empty. No. No, I doubt anyone from here to there cares at all about any of this. But, I thank you. Goodbye.’
Pinky recoiled from the doorway and slunk back to his office. More bells rang. Coffee was consumed. pH was balanced. A girl thought Tom looked like a cartoon robot.
Around four o’clock Tom signed out. Another successful day in his experiment and one he would remember. He turned around and saw the Plaid Swisher standing in the corner.
‘Who were you talking to this morning during third,’ that squeaky, annoying voice asked.
‘FBI,’ Tom deadpanned, ‘I’m a mandatory reporter, don’t you know.’ He turned to leave but couldn’t help adding one last thing: ‘Of course, if you’re not doing anything wrong … then you have nothing to worry about.’
The next Monday morning, on his drive back to Silver Snuff of all places, came a predictable call from Agent Sara Smith (who sounded young and kind of sweet). She regretted to inform Tom that, after an exhaustive (one-week) investigation, the Bureau and the Department were declining to do anything about the previous week’s matters. Something about a Facebook barometer. Something else about being overworked assisting refugees and making sure commercial banks were protected against customer withdrawals. She asked Tom to keep the issue quiet. Not an issue for this particular sub. For the past twenty years, he never had a problem maintaining silence. Sa la vie.
Eight o’clock. A bell. A BEEP. Something about the “Snuff stuff!,” and Tom looked out at Coach R’s first period once again. He dropped the prepared lesson plans in the lab countertop sink and began,
‘About last Monday, kids. About that. It’s important to follow the law … for safety and so forth. And … the law, and the CFR, just happen to say that a person can make up to one-half ounce of certain things before it’s a problem, legally-speaking. Now, this being a boring old chemistry class and all, who’s ever heard of Torpex? I have here a dash of powdered aluminum…’
CFF Public Service Announcement:
Every week in this country, government schools and local law enforcement routinely throw the law out the schoolhouse window – at the expense of your children. Your acquiescing “likes” and “hearts” be damned.
Fifty years ago, the United States Supreme Court ruled that students do not “shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.” Tinker v. Des Moines Indep. School Dist., 393 U.S. 503 (1969). They don’t shed the following either:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
– U.S. CONST. Amend. IV (1792)
Rights may not be “shed” but they can be trampled. If we allow it. Will you?
This week’s TPC column space will feature a large chunk of fresh fiction by yours truly. It’s education-related and something you won’t find anywhere else. A melding of important topics, with a little wit and drama for the measure. I envision it as a beta test part of something larger. Something that might look like a novel.
More to come – will be posted here on publication date.
I may do a second “normal” national affairs column too.
As National Affairs-ish as it gets: Bombings, Borders, and Baldwin
MB McCart’s good take on the report:
By MB McCart, Editor
Well, folks, it finally got released. The redacted version of the Mueller report. As several others commented, I cannot begin to say how impressed I was that several media outlets had already read, disseminated & published their findings on the almost 500-page document literally within an hour or so of it being released. Wow!
As for myself, I’ve scanned most all of it & have seriously read, so far, about a 1/5th of it.
In many ways this just confirmed what you were already believing. If a Trump fan – total vindication; a Trump hater, on the other hand, is going to think this proves there were improper things going on. Who’s right? Really, who cares…
It is what it is but as is often the case, the truth is somewhere in between the two extremes, though I believe it’s fairly apparent that the whole concept of a “Nothing Burger” was a pretty apt description. And all those folks who’ve been convicted? It was all for non-Russia stuff with the exception of Flynn, who basically just made an honest mistake but then got crucified for it.
And let’s not forget, all of this was built on a lie – the infamous Steele dossier that was paid for by the DNC & the Clinton campaign, and let’s also not forget that it was helped along by those in the intelligence community looking for an “insurance policy.”
But, before all of that, let’s also not forget that all of this purportedly started with Russian groupscreating Facebook pages & groups while spending approx. $100K & that Clinton campaign Chair John Podesta was an idiot & had his email hacked.
The nerve of Russia, right? If they’re going to do stuff like that, they should do it like the good ole US of A, CIA-style – actually do it in person. Get some boots on the ground. Maybe kill some folks.
My added comment:
‘Tis as I wrote on March 27th: “Everyone knew this story was complete bullsh!t from start to finish. Now, it’s official.” Trump is not “f*cked” as he originally feared; he’s no longer bogged down and is free to get to work on at least a few major campaign items. Sadly, I predict the invasion will continue and the swamp will remain stagnant and stinking. I’ll also call, officially, Trump’s re-election next year – with or without substantive redress of the rot. Excellent article, Mr. Editor. PS: local (and state) anti-speech laws are routinely stricken by courts. It’s the social media itself that presents the 21st Century, SJW problem.
UPDATE: nice to see someone agrees with me:
Casting the Widest Net, Real National Affairs for the People
Our topics of discussion, in this here column, of late, have been just a little heavy. For that, I do not apologize. Regardless of their ardent unpopularity among the general population, I kind of like freedom and truth. Matters of geopolitics, religion, economics, Satanic globalism, cultural decay, academic collapse, terrorism, war, and the very survival of Western Civilization are all worthy of intelligent consideration. And, if the approach is, or has to be, a little zealous, then so be it.
I recall Barry Goldwater’s eternal words of vitriolic courage, “…that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice!”
But … not today. Today, in order to honor the real people out there (the “peeps,” as they call themselves) I cast forth the wide net, the drag net. Dredging the very bottom as it were. I owe my inspiration to a heart-warming family social media story I almost read last week. My drive I owe to a gaggle of teenage girls who, yesterday, forced me at gunpoint into a large, cool, hip, and very trendy Amerikan mall. It was, for them, a fantastic way to spend an afternoon, excused from schooling. For me, it was a fine, educational vacation day.
“Mauled at the mall,” I might normally call it. But, this time, I undertook a deep exploration of the culture on its home turf. Like a visitor from another planet, I stumbled about, awe-struck by the … um … the spectacle.
On the Christchurch, NZ matter:
From the International Desk: The Christchurch Mosque Shooting
When I first heard of the incident at the Al Noor Mosque in New Zealand, my first thought was, “false flag.” The why has to be one or more of three things. One, gun control. Two, fomenting more war in the Middle East, most likely with Iran. Three, to rally more “refugees” into NZ and the West. Someone always wants more war. And, if they can excite Muslims into retaliation and then blame Iran for it, so much the better. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern wants diversity in New Zealand. Period. (She also wants more sodomy, more abortion, and more socialism – go figure). The gun control was a given and is already playing out.
And, no Cletus, “false flag” does not equal “nothing happened.” There were real bullets, real people, and real blood. I know.
I watched the original 17-minute video. I will not link to it nor explain how to find it on the dark web. It’s out there. Most people probably should not partake, though they’ve likely seen far worse “entertainment” from Hellywood. However, I would suggest some of you should watch it. I give two and a half reasons why.
First, if you search for it on Google, you won’t find it. And, some of the first articles that come up are about why you shouldn’t watch it.
Zuck wants to protect you and your private data. Let that sink in. Come closer, little girl, I’ve got some candy… Of course, the only known way to protect people is through more and more government intrusion. Perish the thought that people could just, you know, stay off of known spy and misinformation sites.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Saturday called for governments to play a greater role in regulating the Internet, citing four areas where he believes better rules are needed.
Zuckerberg said new regulations are needed to protect society from harmful content, ensure election integrity, protect people’s privacy and to guarantee data portability.
Facebook has faced a torrent of public criticism over its handling of Russian intervention in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and its policies on hate speech that many governments and users consider too lax. At the same time, conservative lawmakers in the U.S. have accused Facebook of political bias and censorship.
Zuckerberg proposed regulating harmful content by setting up independent bodies to set standards for what is considered terrorist propaganda and hate speech and is therefore prohibited.
‘You don’t say much, do you? You stuck up or something?!’ And, Tar Book, she still ain’t say nothin’…
But, Br’er Lovett, he say plenty. From TPC, last April:
His other motive was the afore-mentioned collusion. A dirty little secret of the political world is that large corporations are absolutely head over heels in love with government regulation. State mandates price out competition, prevent startup challenges, foster monopolies, and raise profits. One of “your” political heroes hinted around this fact; Zuck nodded along sheepishly.
What we witnessed this week was the deprecation of freedom, free markets, and personal responsibility. Some would spread that spirit beyond the socials unto the whole internet. There’s the old adage about sacrificing essential liberty for false security. Br’er Fox and Br’er Bear will promise saaaaafety, all the while plotting to sacrifice Br’er Rabbit to the dinner pot. Help we could do without, that.
See? I. Told. You. So.