Thursday, May 30, 2013

Zero Tolerance

Warning: political rant. New recipe to come next week sometime.

Paving Stones on the Path to Dystopian Tyranny

Zero Tolerance means:

  • Zero Thought Necessary
  • Zero Decisions to Make
  • Zero Responsibility
  • Zero Accountability

It is the administrative bureaucrat’s dream. It is the perfect excuse.

Back in the 1990’s, Zero Tolerance policies were presented as the best path to Getting Tough on Crime. Any offense, no matter how small, would be dealt with as if it were the gravest crime, subject to full sanctions and response by the authorities. That way, supposedly, small problems could avoid becoming larger ones.

It was all a vicious lie. The point of Zero Tolerance is to condition us to accept the unacceptable and to sanction government sponsored abuse of our precious children. Zero Tolerance means Absolute Power. It never stays within the intended bounds. It never fails to corrupt.

Zero Tolerance “No Knives” policies resulted in children being suspended and/or arrested for possession of nail clippers and plastic flatware with their lunch. “But a plastic knife is intended for spreading peanut butter, not mayhem”, you say? No matter, policy says we cannot apply reason.  “Intent” may no longer be taken into consideration.

Zero Tolerance “Drug” policies resulted in teens being suspended and/or arrested for possessing aspirin. A student can get into serious trouble for carrying a potentially life-saving inhaler without "proper authorization". We are to believe that it is okay to withhold needed treatment because of "policy". 

One student was strip searched because administrators suspected she had ibuprofen in her possession.

In each case, teachers and administrators are able to avoid any accountability for disgusting, unreasonable acts by pointing to “policy”. They are just following orders.

As Zero Tolerance policies and behaviors progress, the definition of “offense” has been expanded to include more and more normal behaviors exhibited by normal school children. Temper tantrums, which might have resulted in removal from the classroom and a stern lecture from a counselor or the principal, now result in handcuffs and court appearances. Teenage highjinks and pranks, which in the past would have earned a few hours in detention, now result in criminal records.

Last March, a Maryland seven-year-old was suspended for unwittingly eating his pastry into the shape of a gun. He was attempting to chew out a mountain. His teacher and principal responded with hysterics, removed him from the classroom, and suspended him for being “threatening”. This was done without regard for the fact that no one, besides the teacher, felt threatened in any way by the pop tart sculpture. The principal of Park Elementary claims he bears no responsibility whatsoever for his ridiculous, asinine reaction.

Policy, don’t you know? Just following orders.

The teacher was not responsible.

The principal was not responsible.

Only the child was responsible.

Let me repeat this: The adults are not responsible any more. Only children are to be held responsible.

Zero Tolerance is a conditioning program. It is meant to condition school workers to accept whatever edicts the state hands down, no matter how evil they might be. Anything can be designated an offense worthy of mistreatment from here on in. We parents, teachers, principals, and members of society, are being conditioned to tolerate the systematic abuse of our most vulnerable. If we let them have our children, we'll tolerate anything.

Zero Tolerance is a paving stone on the path to tyranny. It is part of the larger campaign to incrementally remove all vestiges of justice in our society. No longer will judgment be permitted in the adjudication of criminality. Do not question. Do not reason. Follow policy. Follow orders.

It is through ideas like Zero Tolerance that we are conditioned to look the other way when gross injustice is perpetrated.

We must not accept this outrage. We must not condone the removal of accountability. We cannot look the other way.

The Nazi concentration camp guards were following “policy” too. We are headed down that road. Let us turn around.

Evil triumphs when good people do nothing.

Let’s tell evil to take a hike. No more "Zero Tolerance".


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Peanut Butter Cornflake Cookies

Reunions. This is the year for High School and Family reunions. Lots and lots of memories.

Most of us have unhappy memories of our school cafeteria food. However, there is one item that was always a hit in our school system: Peanut Butter Cornflake Cookies. Nirvana on, of all places, a school lunch tray! On days when these cookies were on the menu, we all made sure we arranged to buy our lunch. Usually they appeared on alternate Thursdays along with Turkey and Gravy, the second-best item on their entire menu.

While they were well known within our small school system, no one else seemed to know what they were. I met kids from all over the country, and none of them had ever heard of these delightful treasures. We were so lucky.

Anyway, a post on my high school Facebook group reminded me of this favorite dessert, so I went surfing for a recipe. There are several incarnations to be found, and with a little experimentation, I have arrived at a fairly good approximation. (After a few decades, the secret was bound to get out.)

I posted a comment on Facebook that I had made some, mostly for the benefit of old classmates. However, a relative commented that she would like some. Since she was going to be at a family reunion, I decided to bring some with me to the gathering.

I figured that a few would be eaten, and I would end up taking more than I could eat home with me.


All that was left were a few crumbs. People raved about them. They requested that I post the recipe to Facebook. So I did. From my phone. It’s that easy.

Peanut Butter Cornflake Cookies

1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons honey
6 tablespoons corn syrup
1 cup peanut butter
5 cups corn flakes (I don’t usually recommend brands, but the Kellogg’s® flakes work the best.)

Bring sugar, honey and corn syrup to boil for a minute or two. Remove from heat. Stir in peanut butter. Pour over corn flakes in a large bowl and mix to coat. Press into 9x13 pan. Let cool. Cut into squares. A pizza cutter works well.

You’d think it would be sticky, but it’s not. So don’t worry about greasing the pan. Really.

Cheap, easy, super yummy.

Enjoy. Impress your friends, relatives, and, most importantly, PTA parents (which is no small victory).