That’s Unpossible!

They’re from San Francisco!  They can’t know how to shoot!

S.F. couple kill daughter’s alleged pimp, cops say

A San Francisco couple whose teenage daughter was allegedly being pimped by a Southern California man tracked him around the state, failing at one attempt to kill him before shooting him to death near Candlestick Park, authorities said Wednesday.

Pretty sad. Couldn’t they get help from the authorities?

The couple have been together since middle school and live with their three other children in San Francisco. Their daughter disappeared some time ago and after searching for her, Gilton and Mercado discovered that she was turning tricks and that Sneed was her pimp, their attorneys said.

“They had gone out to local police agencies, agencies in Southern California – they had even tried talking to national organizations,” said Eric Safire, Gilton’s attorney. “Every place they turned to turned them away.”

Guess not.

It seems the evidence is mostly circumstantial:

On June 4, Sneed was in San Francisco, driving his Toyota Camry at Meade and LeConte avenues at 2 a.m., when someone – prosecutors say it was Gilton – shot him with a .40-caliber handgun. Sneed crashed into a parked car and died a short time later at San Francisco General Hospital.

A few hours later, police questioned the girl at the Bayview Station, Safire said. On Saturday, her parents were arrested.

Sneed was a victim of a drive-by shooting in South Los Angeles last year, according to Los Angeles police. An appeal filed in a murder case involving a friend of his said that both the friend and Sneed were members of the Nutty Block Crip street gang.

Apparently the daughter fingered the parents, but really, how reliable a witness can she be? And the victim was a gang member previously involved in two drive-by shootings. Sounds like reasonable doubt to me.

Quote of the Day – John Taylor Gatto (Pt. 8)

Between 1896 and 1920, a small group of industrialists and financiers, together with their private charitable foundations, subsidized university chairs, university researchers, and school administrators, spent more money on forced schooling than the government itself did. Carnegie and Rockefeller, as late as 1915, were spending more themselves. In this laissez-faire fashion a system of modern schooling was constructed without public participation. The motives for this are undoubtedly mixed, but it will be useful for you to hear a few excerpts from the first mission statement of Rockefeller’s General Education Board as they occur in a document called Occasional Letter Number One (1906):

In our dreams…people yield themselves with perfect docility to our molding hands. The present educational conventions [intellectual and character education] fade from our minds, and unhampered by tradition we work our own good will upon a grateful and responsive folk. We shall not try to make these people or any of their children into philosophers or men of learning or men of science. We have not to raise up from among them authors, educators, poets or men of letters. We shall not search for embryo great artists, painters, musicians, nor lawyers, doctors, preachers, politicians, statesmen, of whom we have ample supply. The task we set before ourselves is very simple…we will organize children…and teach them to do in a perfect way the things their fathers and mothers are doing in an imperfect way.

This mission statement will reward multiple rereadings.

And I will now quote Henry Louis Mencken from the early 1930’s on the subject of public education:

That erroneous assumption is to the effort that the aim of public education is to fill the young of the species with knowledge and awaken their intelligence….Nothing could be further from the truth. The aim of public education is not to spread enlightenment at all; it is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed and train a standardized citizenry, to put down dissent and originality. That is its aim in the United States, whatever the pretensions of politicians, pedagogues, and other such mountebanks, and that is its aim everywhere else.

And what is a good citizen? Simply one who never says, does or thinks anything that is unusual. Schools are maintained in order to bring this uniformity up to the highest possible point. A school is a hopper into which children are heaved while they are still young and tender; therein they are pressed into certain standard shapes and covered from head to heels with official rubber-stamps.

Quote of the Day – John Taylor Gatto (Pt. 7)

The secret of American schooling is that it doesn’t teach the way children learn, and it isn’t supposed to; school was engineered to serve a concealed command economy and a deliberately re-stratified social order. It wasn’t made for the benefit of kids and families as those individuals and institutions would define their own needs. School is the first impression children get of organized society; like most first impressions, it is the lasting one. Life according to school is dull and stupid, only consumption promises relief: Coke, Big Macs, fashion jeans, that’s where real meaning is found, that is the classroom’s lesson, however indirectly delivered.

The decisive dynamics which make forced schooling poisonous to healthy human development aren’t hard to spot. Work in classrooms isn’t significant work; it fails to satisfy real needs pressing on the individual; it doesn’t answer real questions experience raises in the young mind; it doesn’t contribute to solving any problem encountered in actual life. The net effect of making all schoolwork external to individual longings, experiences, questions, and problems is to render the victim listless. This phenomenon has been well-understood at least since the time of the British enclosure movement which forced small farmers off their land into factory work. Growth and mastery come only to those who vigorously self-direct. Initiating, creating, doing, reflecting, freely associating, enjoying privacy—these are precisely what the structures of schooling are set up to prevent, on one pretext or another.

As I watched it happen, it took about three years to break most kids, three years confined to environments of emotional neediness with nothing real to do.

Well, Hell.

Back in 2010 when HaloScan/JS-Kit/Echo decided to raise their fees for providing a commenting service by a factor of about twelve, I switched to DISQUS.  I was assured that I could import my Echo comments into DISQUS – all 40,000+ of them.

Well, I could, but DISQUS didn’t know what to do with them.  You see, there was no way for DISQUS to figure out what posts the comments attached to.  Echo left that information out, apparently, or at least didn’t place it where the importing program could find it. 

Those old threads are still out there on the Echo servers, but I have links to very few of them.  I didn’t figure Echo would continue to support comments for bloggers who weren’t paying them, and I was right.  Apparently even more right than I thought.  Echo won’t be supporting comments for anybody other than major commercial customers, apparently.  On October 1, they’re going to all go away.

There’s a lot of good stuff in those comments, and it pains me to know that it’s all lost.

Quote of the Day – John Taylor Gatto (Pt. 6)

…between 1967 and 1974, teacher training in the United States was covertly revamped through coordinated efforts of a small number of private foundations, select universities, global corporations, think tanks, and government agencies, all coordinated through the U.S. Office of Education and through key state education departments like those in California, Texas, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and New York.

Important milestones of the transformation were: 1) an extensive government exercise in futurology called Designing Education for the Future, 2) the Behavioral Science Teacher Education Project, and 3) Benjamin Bloom’s multivolume Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, an enormous manual of over a thousand pages which, in time, impacted every school in America. While other documents exist, these three are appropriate touchstones of the whole, serving to make clear the nature of the project underway.

Take them one by one and savor each. Designing Education, produced by the Education Department, redefined the term “education” after the Prussian fashion as “a means to achieve important economic and social goals of a national character.” State education agencies would henceforth act as on-site federal enforcers, ensuring the compliance of local schools with central directives. Each state education department was assigned the task of becoming “an agent of change” and advised to “lose its independent identity as well as its authority,” in order to “form a partnership with the federal government.”

The second document, the gigantic Behavioral Science Teacher Education Project, outlined teaching reforms to be forced on the country after 1967. If you ever want to hunt this thing down, it bears the U.S. Office of Education Contract Number OEC-0-9-320424-4042 (B10). The document sets out clearly the intentions of its creators — nothing less than “impersonal manipulation” through schooling of a future America in which “few will be able to maintain control over their opinions,” an America in which “each individual receives at birth a multi-purpose identification number” which enables employers and other controllers to keep track of underlings and to expose them to direct or subliminal influence when necessary. Readers learned that “chemical experimentation” on minors would be normal procedure in this post-1967 world, a pointed foreshadowing of the massive Ritalin interventions which now accompany the practice of forced schooling.

The Behavioral Science Teacher Education Project identified the future as one “in which a small elite” will control all important matters, one where participatory democracy will largely disappear. Children are made to see, through school experiences, that their classmates are so cruel and irresponsible, so inadequate to the task of self-discipline, and so ignorant they need to be controlled and regulated for society’s good. Under such a logical regime, school terror can only be regarded as good advertising. It is sobering to think of mass schooling as a vast demonstration project of human inadequacy, but that is at least one of its functions.

Why We’re Winning

I may have another mom hooked on the idea of shooting. After getting the hang of the pellet rifle, she pointed at my pistol and asked if she could shoot that as well. I explained that there wasn’t a safe place in my little yard to do so, but that there was talk of getting a “Mom Shoot” together for beginners and she should really come to that. I kept a calm and neutral tone, but inwardly I was jumping up and down clapping my hands yelling “WE’VE GOT ANOTHER ONE!!!” — Nancy R. at Excels at Nothing

As Robb Allen says, what have the anti-gunners got? Anti-gun ranges?

Automotive Whimsy

I saw a couple of things in the last few days that caused me to whip out my cell phone and snap some shots.  This first one made me laugh:

The second one made me do a double-take:

Don’t see it?  (Always wanted to use this, since I first saw it used at Rachel Lucas‘ place):

Yes, those are eyelashes – not paint, fake eyelashes. Ooookay.

Here We Go Again

Well, Mitt Romney (actually the RNC) sent me another begging letter – a two pager, telling me about Mitt’s stellar “conservative business principles” and “fiscal discipline.”  I guess they didn’t get the message last time.

So I wrote a bit longer letter in reply:

Dear Mitt (or other RNC politbot – not that I have any illusions that someone will actually read this missive):

I received your letter recounting your record as governor of Massachusetts and asking for my monetary support of the RNC. I noted, after studying the letter thoroughly, that while you spoke highly of your “conservative business principles” and “fiscal discipline,” you made absolutely no mention of “Romneycare” and what it has done to your state’s economy.

I find I am reminded by the current race for President of the 2003 recall election of California governor Gray Davis, wherein several candidates vied for the captaincy of the Titanic and then the titular Republican victor proceeded to rearrange the deck chairs – for two terms. This is that election, I think, writ an order of magnitude or two larger.

President Obama, ex-Speaker Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Reid have been boring holes in the bilges of the Ship of State. I have no illusions that you as President can plug them. So no, Mr. Romney, I won’t be sending you or the RNC any money this year, or in 2014. At best, I will vote “Republican” because it will slow the rate at which this nation sinks, but at this point I don’t think there’s much chance of saving the old girl. We’re past that, I think. As someone recently said, when your last Republican opposition dropped out,

“Given how the GOP field has been winnowed, this has really just been a race to determine the form Gozer the Traveler takes.

“So this just means the giant Slor is off the table and we’re choosing between the moving Torb and the Staypuft Marshmallow man.” (Ghostbusters reference, look it up.)

That’s a T-shirt design now, if you weren’t aware. They sell it at I bought one.


Kevin Baker

It goes out in tomorrow’s mail in the RNC’s postage-paid envelope. Useless, but it makes me feel better.

Is the Fat Lady Clearing Her Throat?

Stocks End at Lows on EU Woes

Stocks accelerated their selloff in the final minutes of trading to close down more than 1 percent across the board Monday, as initial euphoria over Spain’s bank bailout fizzled and amid ongoing fears over a global economic slowdown.

The S&P 500 fell 16.73 points, or 1.26 percent, to end at 1,308.93. The Nasdaq dropped 48.69 points, or 1.70 percent, to close at 2,809.73.

The CBOE Volatility Index, widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, jumped above 23.

The pin’s not pulled out quite yet, but…

UPDATE:  Here’s some more:

The only problem with the deathbed conversions of the sort that Ken Livingston is metaphorically experiencing is that it often happens at the stage when a crisis is cascading. It happens too late. The damage is widening exponentially. There won’t be years or months left to change course. What Spain illustrates is the compression of time within a crisis. Things are not only happening, they are happening faster than anyone believed was possible.