Sometimes a Poptart Is Just a Poptart

March 4, 2013

Or, One-Size-Fits-All Rules Really Don’t

In the past week we’ve had some stellar (and dreadful) examples of “one size fits all” rules being broken, and the sheer idiocy and loss of life that can result.

Case in point #1: A small boy nibbles a Pop-Tart, trying to make it look like a mountain. Being a 2nd-grader, it ends up looking not so much like a mountain, but rather somewhat like a gun (photo here, you decide; it looks rather like Idaho to me). Teacher promptly suspends child for two days, because, according to Fox News:

“[A] student used food to make an inappropriate gesture.”

I’ve got yer inappropriate gesture right here, folks.

Case in point #2: A teen who should be hailed as a hero is, of course, suspended from school. The boy and two classmates tackled another student who was pointing a loaded gun at yet another student.

“I think he was really going to shoot him right then and there,” said the suspended student, not identified by WFTX because of safety concerns. “Not taking no pity.”

The student said the suspect, a football player, threatened to shoot a teammate because he had been arguing with his friend…

That’s when, the teen told the station, he and two others tackled the suspect and wrestled the gun away. The next day, all three were suspended.

Case in point #3: In this one, strict adherence to the rules led to the death of an 87-year-old woman. In Bakersfield, CA, an elderly woman collapsed at her retirement home. A staff nurse called 9-1-1 for assistance, and the dispatcher determined that the woman wasn’t breathing and required immediate CPR in order to survive until the ambulance arrives.

[The dispatcher] pleads for the nurse to perform CPR, and after several refusals she starts pleading for her to find a resident, or a gardener, or anyone not employed by the home to get on the phone, take her instructions and help the woman.

“Can we flag someone down in the street and get them to help this lady?” Halvorson says on the call. “Can we flag a stranger down? I bet a stranger would help her.”

Not only did the nurse refuse to give CPR, she also refused to ask anyone else, even outside the home, to assist. As a result, the elderly woman died.

Folks, I just don’t know where to begin here. We as a culture are rapidly losing the ability to think for ourselves, to make the tough choices, to stand up for what is right — see Case in Point#2 for what happens when you actually do the right thing.

Common sense and the ability to do the right thing are being educated out of our children, regulationed out of our professionals, and bred out of our natures.

Society now has so many guidelines and regulations now that inhibit independent thinking, that stifle creativity, that punish good deed doers. That these rules are applied across the board, without thinking, and apparently without either common sense or compassion bodes ill for the future of society.

The present isn’t looking all that hot right now, either.

Stoutcat


Remembering Our Happy Warriors

March 1, 2013

memorial_Breitbart_140Today marks the one-year anniversary of the death of Andrew Breitbart, the quintessential happy warrior of the contemporary Conservative blogosphere. Others who knew him will do a better job of memorializing him. Although I never met Mr. Breitbart, I greatly admired him for his intelligence, his humor, his moxie, and his staunch defense of Conservative prinicples. I think one of the purest example of of his combination of humor, cojones, and all-out brains came when he wandered into a press converence meant for Anthony Weiner, former Congressman from NY (and currently best know for Tweeting inappropriate photos to the world at large) and basically took over and defended himself against allegations then-Rep. Weiner had made against him. It is pure 24-carat gold however you look at it. This is our happy warrior at his very best and brightest.

Mr. Breitbart is not our only lost warrior, however. As I reflect on the loss of his Conservative voice, I can’t help but remember a few other clarion voices gone far too soon.

memorial_seipp_cathyCathy Seipp was probably the best writer you’ve never heard of.  A first-class writer and blogger from California, Ms. Seipp passed away in 2007 from lung cancer, which, as she was a non-smoker was both tragic and ironic. As she wrote during a period of remission, “I just want to let everyone know having cancer hasn’t made me a better person.” Andrew Breitbart was one of many friends, and he remembered her as a “package of joyful contradiction.” What  a fantastic description! Charlotte Hays mentioned her as ” lovely in person and wicked in print.” For me, Ms. Seipp never expressed herself better (or more entertainingly) than when she went head-to-head against uber-liberal Lawrence O’Donnell. I wish the video were available, but you can read about it here and here (scroll down to the “neck-vein popping moment”).

memorial_deanbarnett3Dean Barnett‘s was one of the first blogs I ever read regularly, and I think it was there that I made my very first blog comment as Stoutcat. I followed his Soxblog from its early days, up until the time he passed away in 2008, finally succumbing to cystic fibrosis. In his blogging career, he wrote very frankly about his illness, but he never let it stop him from climbing up the ladder from small-fry local Sox-fan-blogger to big-time writer for National Review Online, the Weekly Standard, Townhall, and finally as a regular guest host for the mighty Hugh Hewett, whose fans affectionately referred to Dean as “Chowda” for his unmistakable Boston accent. Dean was intensely loyal, strongly conservative, and funny as heck.

He was also a very early, extremely staunch Romney supporter back in 2007.  I can’t help thinking that if Dean had still been around in November of last year, we’d be talking about President Romney right now.

memorial_gerry ashleyWe lost our very own Gerry Ashley in January of this year, due to complications from heart surgery and a very aggressive brain tumor. I still can’t say much about him, as my heart is still too sore over his loss. Fortunately, as with the souls mentioned above, the essential Gerry is still available to anyone who cares to hear his voice via his prolific and entertaining writing.

But right now, we’re still trying to deal with the Gerry-shaped hole in our lives where the man himself used to be.

Remember them all with a smile of gratitude, and gear up. We definitely need more happy warriors to rise up to take their places!

Stoutcat