Patterico's Pontifications


Son of A Gum!

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:06 pm

[guest post by Dana]

We haven’t reached peak gun-hysteria yet, but we’re getting there:

A student at Lehman High School student reportedly asked for some chewing gum, but another student thought the student said “gun,” KCEN reports.

No gun was found and Hays County, Texas school district spokesman Tim Savoy insists the school was never in “lock down,” though school administrators did “hold students in their extended class periods to investigate the concern with little to no disruption to their schedule.”

Here is a copy of the letter the principal sent home to parents:

Dear Lobo Parents,

This morning we received a report from a student that there was allegedly a weapon on campus. After investigating the concern, it was determined that a student thought he heard the word “gun,” but in fact it was another student asking for some “gum.”

The safety of our students is always foremost on our list of priorities, so we take these concerns seriously. We continue to encourage students to report anything they see or hear that causes them concern. Fortunately, in this case, it was a misunderstanding and there was no threat to our school or need to conduct a lockdown.

Because we are conducting the PSAT, we were able to hold students in their extended class periods to investigate the concern with little to no disruption to their schedule.


Michelle Chae
Principal, LHS

Here is a comprehensive list of words that begin with “gun” and should be immediately banned from public discourse lest another near-tragedy nearly happen:


And it only gets worse:


(Haha! Just kidding! The gun doesn’t really shoot gumballs. It just looks like it. You have to unscrew the cap of the container in order to get to the gumballs. Talk about dodging a bullet, eh?)


Ben Shapiro Guts David I-Love-Me-Some-Perfectly-Creased-Pants Brooks

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:46 am

[guest post by Dana]

Token “conservative” writer for the NYT, David Brooks, was recently taken to the woodshed by Ben Shapiro. Brooks, of the sneering “I divide people into people who talk like us and who don’t talk like us” fame, and ignorantly refers to conservatives as ‘dangerous,’ ‘imbalanced’ and ‘radical’, foolishly opened himself up for attack with this view of conservatism:

By traditional definitions, conservatism stands for intellectual humility, a belief in steady, incremental change, a preference for reform rather than revolution, a respect for hierarchy, precedence, balance and order, and a tone of voice that is prudent, measured and responsible. Conservatives of this disposition can be dull, but they know how to nurture and run institutions. They also see the nation as one organic whole. Citizens may fall into different classes and political factions, but they are still joined by chains of affection that command ultimate loyalty and love.

Shapiro hits back:

There’s only one problem: this is absolute horseshit. Traditional conservatism stands for principles, not just tactics. Conservatism prefers intellectual humility not because conservatives should politely demur in the face of civilization-destroying leftism, but because lack of intellectual humility leads to tyranny. Conservatism believes in incremental change only when the status quo is decent. It does not prefer incrementalism in rolling back the evils of radical leftism. The idiotic notion that establishment Republicans have done a wonderful job “nurturing and running institutions” has been disproved by years of useless establishment Republican governance. And as to the notion that the nation is “one organic whole…joined by chains of affection,” Brooks is living in a nation that no longer exists. He ought to listen to Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton talk once in a while.

(Brooks might want to reconsider that “chain of affection” slop, given that Hillary proudly considers the Republicans her enemies.)

Read the whole thing.


UPDATE BY PATTERICO: To me, this is reminiscent of the Thomas Sowell distinction between the constrained and unconstrained visions. Brooks’s vision sounds constrained: conservativism in a cautious, Burkean sense. Shapiro sounds more like a bomb-thrower out to remake America.

The thing is, when radicals have remade America in their own image, getting us back to where we were may require action of a more radical nature than cautious Burkean conservatives are comfortable with. In the courts, for example, you can’t undo Warren-era precedents without being willing to upend a lot of “settled law” that has no basis in the Constitution — but has a lot of cautious judges who have treated it as precedent nonetheless. The same is true of a society that folks like Obama and FDR have remade from a government of limited powers into a Leviathan. Getting us back to limited government, if it ever happens, is going to require us to break some eggs. The David Brookses of the world may not realize that, but if the other side is the only one ever willing to make radical changes, they will accomplish their goals while we sit back and watch. That’s not what I want to do.

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