What sort of mind does these things?

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 doing
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.”

Well 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.

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:

Children must learn their times tables by age of nine

Here is a range of comments from my place:

# 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.

# 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).

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.

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?”

Moving on:

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.

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.

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:

STAN: Don’t you oppress me!  

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.

Occupiers urinate inside St Paul’s, via Churchmouse:

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.

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.”

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.

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:

An underclass of yahoos, just as the globalists wish to create and to which all people in the land not members of the dog-eat-dog elite must eventually succumb to and become part of.

7 comments for “What sort of mind does these things?

  1. Voice of Reason
    December 18, 2011 at 10:00 pm

    James- this one we can agree on.

    1. To deny (or forbid) parents a method of teaching basic arithmetic is insane, and I dela with the consequences every day. For whatever reason, learning multiplication tables by rote makes learning higher-level mathematics a little easier. Of course, the non-numerate grade school teachers in the US just tell them to use a calculator, and move them on.
    2. The incident at St. Paul’s is disgusting. I’m not sure what the appropriate punishment should be. Even ignoring the large amount of disrespect for the religion, what about the cultural history of that beautiful place?

  2. December 18, 2011 at 10:57 pm

    Thank you, James, for the mention and for citing the Telegraph article on Nick Clegg. I saw red when I read that the other day. The comment which you quoted is excellent.

    On times tables, yes, nine is a good age, and school is the place to learn mathematics, one of the three ‘Rs’. Not only did I learn them at age nine (yes, there were a few awkward moments), but also our primary school principal would come around nearly every day, call on one of us, name a times table and ask us to recite it. It was intimidating then, but I’m grateful now.

  3. December 19, 2011 at 5:48 am

    “Then with that illusion addressed, she tried to say that the American version was better.”

    The American version of what? Of the Occupods? They’ve had deaths, rapes, and stabbings in their version!

  4. December 19, 2011 at 8:27 am

    On Clegg’s mind you ask, “whatever is wrong with this man’s brain? Is he evil or just misguided” I think he is mis-educated, the worst being that he is in the process of ensuring that our children and grandchildren become the same! 😈

  5. graham wood
    December 19, 2011 at 10:30 am

    “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,”…..etc

    A good comment, but very sad description of our and Western society which has largely rejected God, the Bible, and with these, moral standards, including specific Christian expression of these.

    We could ask: why is society (UK) so radically different from say that which was found between earlier generations and, arguably, up to about the 1950s? Perhaps the answer is that up to that time there still existed a Christian based consensus on moral standards and behaviour which still to a great degree governed public office and conduct. Precisely the reverse is now true at every level, including the deliberate fostering of Statism, the secular State, and a rejection of God, and so the consequences are we now reap what we have sown.
    It is not new for the Bible itself describes this sad process which repeats itself throughout history of all nations which pursue such a course – either collectively or in terms of individual belief and conduct.
    I do not rejoice, or express a sanctimonious self righteousness in pointing readers towards what Paul tells us in the first chapter of his letter to the Romans in the New Testament. It is all writ large there – but so also is the antidote to this appalling situation given in later chapters.
    I only suggest the direct link between modern hedonism and a growing pagan culture with the abandonment of God’s Word.

  6. Andrew Duffin
    December 19, 2011 at 10:47 am

    Thinking back, I believe I was seven when I learned all the multiplication tables up to 12×12. It amazes me, even now, that people hesitate and stammer when asked what 12×7 is, or something like that.

    And the thing to remember is that every single child at my primary school – which was private, but by no means “posh” – achieved the same thing, at the same age. You had to; it was a requirement, and the teachers knew how to teach it, so they did.

    A dark age is defined as one in which we have not only forgotten what we achieved before, but also have forgotten that such achievements are even possible.

    Discuss, in connection with reading and writing standards in state schools in the early 21st century.

    • graham wood
      December 19, 2011 at 11:38 am

      Andrew. As one of an older generation I too learned by rote multiplication tables, and benefited from a higher level of education than obtains now.
      But I suggest that any lowering of the education level, whilst to be lamented for its own sake as wholly undesirable, is not what is at issue here. The country can have any number of well educated, sophisticated, and culturally mature pagans, which arguably we have at present. The issues before us of widespread lawlessness, moral declension, and governmental corruption is not primarily addressed by “better” educational, but by the urgent need for spiritual and moral renewal. IMHO this can only occur within the context of a spiritual revival of biblical Christianity. For example – see the dramatic change in British society, equally depraved in many ways as now, in the early to mid 18th century brought about by the transforming and powerful effects of the Gospel’s spread by the preaching of John Wesley and other Christian evanglists.

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