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March 17, 2008

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Putting the Wolf on Trial

(Note: I am deeply indebted to two of our regular bloggers who sent these items. You know who you are, and thanks.)

There have been a number of books published recently on the apparent American changeover from reason and knowledge to superstition, gut feelings, ignorance, and reality TV. We will get back to this in a minute, but now, let us go to medieval Europe, where a man-eating wolf was captured after scarfing down more Germans than he was allotted. Rather than simply bashing the beast in the head, the outraged burgomeisters dressed it as a man, cut off its snout, sat it in court, tried it, and convicted it of eating people, for which it was judicially put to death. That, they believed, would send a real message to any wolf with man-eating inclination.

Now we return to the 21st century, when the people who are allegedly running things and cannot control them are also turning to superstition to solve their problems. First on our list is the Penn Manor (PA) School District, which gave two days' detention to a student who wore a T-shirt with the image of a military sidearm and text authorizing the wearer to hunt terrorists. The kid was first asked to turn the t-shirt inside-out; when he refused, they threw the book at him.

Memo to the Penn Manor School District: A t-shirt is only a t-shirt. No one has ever been hurt by a T-shirt. No one has ever been provoked to violence by a t-shirt. Nothing is helped by banning dopey t-shirts or penalizing their wearers. (I have, however, seen major damage done in gym by rattail towels.)

Second on our list is the California legislature, which was sold a bill of goods on the wonders of microstamping technology and ballistic imaging and enacted both into law. (I'm sure you know what these alleged wonders are, and what they are supposed to be able to do.) In any event, the two procedures have been discredited by the California Department of Justice, the National Academy of Sciences, and the Maryland State Police Department. Maryland and New York have had these systems in place for nearly ten years and neither has produced a single arrest or prosecution.

But it's high tech, so it must work. The Germans who tried the wolf would understand completely.


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These all smack of being Politically Correct!
Dave P., I really appreciate when you post things like this. It really brings out the ignorance of the "learned" few that seek to limit our God given rights, and, since our American atheists amigos no longer think God is a part of America, Constitutionally given rights!


Dave in St Pete

The Constitution does not give us any rights. It does limit the power of gov't to restrict those inalienable rights enumerated in it.


The Germans, back then, wanted to "feel good". Today, we want to "feel good". We can't feel good with a war on. We can't feel good if we know that people out there want us dead. We can't feel good if there is a possibility that we could be shot in CA, and the perp never being caught. Although we can't ban weapons, we can feel good, knowing that anyone who commits a crime with a gun will be caught. We don't have to worry as to whether that statement is true. We can just feel good thinking that.

My heart goes out to that lad with the shirt. I remember how little events like this, although positive, shaped my son's attitude. Why would anyone try to debase that boy's pride that his uncle was proudly serving his country? I don't know the boy's age, but if he's in elementary school, he may carry this emotional scar for a long time. The only possible defense for the school is that all pictures on shirts are unacceptable.


I congratulate this kid for refusing to turn his t-shirt inside out. It would have been easy to avoid the trouble and just cave in. Good for him.

NH Philosopher

fight the power.

I'm in school right now

It feels good knowing that there are still people at the bottom of the food chain.



Mr Petzal
I can only disagree on one point
T- shirts do cause violence.
Did know that wolves ate quite afew Germans and Russians,.but was never able to find reliable evidence as to any preference

I once put on a t-shirt that said ,..
"An Irishman is just a Scott that can't swim or count to ten".
True story ,..
I am no more Irish than I am German,. ( Norwegan and a smidge Welsh)
But I had Irish and Italian buddies) <(most were half irish and half Italian,) .. we boxed together.
And we used to tease each other unmercifly about ethnic backgrounds.
If you never heard a Norwegina joke in your life ???? you been liven in a Mosk.

I had thw t -shirt made up especially for a party ( only one of its kind I know of)for an Irish friends birthday.
I put it on by mistake, (on St Pats Day no less) instead the one intended that said ,..
"Ireland go Bra",. which means Ireland for ever if memory serves.

Anyway,.. picture Chicago 1973,..beer and shots were the order of the day ,.. had a sweat shirt over the t-shirt
People were drinking, singing, dancing,. and falling down ,..roughly in that order.

I took off the sweat shirt shirt not to make a statement but ( forgot I had it on) because I was hot,.. A Shamrock and the printing was on the back. A few moments later
the largest humanoid I ever encounterd,. tapped me on the
shoulder,.. and knocked me on my A$$.
I had a split second ( saw it coming)so I faded on it,. just a little.
But could not avoid it all together ,.. Not sure how the guy didnt break my neck but he didnt,..
Sliding to a stop on a beer soaked flooe 10 feet from where I got hit,. ws now thinking this guys is gonna try to kill me,
VC didngt get it done and i wsnst about to let let giant Irish guy kill or cripple me in a bar,..
Thusly was getting ready to employ tactics that would ensure my safty.
Had managed scramble up and get set,. he was coming in again,..
when my firnds ( 4 ,..all boxers ) grabed the guy told him it was a joke,.. that I was OK and not to kill me.YUK YUK

Jaw was swollen for days ,. but no permanent damange that has of yet manifsted.Probbaly because my neck was over 19 inches then and I weighed about 200 lbs.someone smaller very likely maimed or killed.

Once he was inofrmed I was as the lads put it
"there friend" ( a not so subtle hintin that town) .. he was very sorry and saw the humor. YUK YUK
Finding out I was Norwegian ( he was 1/4 or so he said) ,.I then could not buy a beer the rest of the night ,.. but lord what hangover,..
That was one of the last St Pats days I ever really got shall we say Green.

So yes Her Petzal,..
t shirts can be dangerous YUK YUK

ad U swear this is true ,. it was on St pats day


If the shirt was against school policy (like short skirts, tube tops, etc.) why bitch about the shirt being banned? Just because it has a gun on it and we all own guns doesn't mean it the school should allow it. ALL SCHOOLS HAVE POLICIES CONCERNING CLOTHING.

The microstamping deal is nothing more than junk science that the state knows is junk science. BUT, this junk science allows the powers that be to force ammo prices through the roof and penalize all legal gun owners and hopefully make them give up their guns. Make the ammo super expensive, ban lead and take away target ranges (because of noise pollution and lead contamination) and what's the point in owning firearms?

This is their agenda and we all know it.



With all due respect. I think some of you are acting a bit holier than thou as far as this t-shirt is concerned. Just because you agree with the message you support the kid, but had the kid been wearing a short that said or depicted some assinine thing that didn't fit your particular world view things would be different.

And no, I am not saying that I above being hypocritical. I just tend to take a contrarian view on pretty much anything.

This is not a new issue. Schools have been telling kids what they can and can't wear since there have been schools. In the twenties and thirties girls could not wear pants; in the sixties girls got in trouble for not wearing "restraints;" and in my day I got sent home from Juior High School for wearing a "Big Johnson" shirt.

Dr. Ralph

Okay, I will readily admit that tee shirts with writing on them can and will elicit extreme responses from those predisposed to violence or those with their own special brand of prejudice... whether it be against guns, war, or our vernacular society which has had about all it can take of loss of power and rights to any and all government institutions.
My first thought is that the very first Amendment to the Constitution was freedom of speech followed closely by the second with which we are all familiar and should guarantee the first.... obviously we have fallen far from our founding fathers ideals.
Yohan I like your style, keep the safety off and keep pulling that trigger.

Jim in Mo.

In '68 I was a junior in high school and I got thrown out of gym class for showing up in a 'Budweiser' t-shirt.


Okay I'll agree that; If the school had a pre existing policy, banning T shirts with political or controversial statements, the school is right, the boy and his parents are wrong. If they chose not to enforce this policy until this shirt surfaced, then the school is wrong. If the school had no policy until this shirt was worn, the school is wrong.
But we don't know the history behind this event.

I took a course in Management Science in college. The Prof introduced us to "The Red Hot Stove Rule.

A red hot stove gives warning.

A red hot stove burns everyone that touches the stove.

A red hot stove burns every time its touched.

If the school didn't follow these rules, they were wrong!


Speaking of....

I graduated in 1969.
The girls "could not" wear jeans/slacks/pants "at all" unless the weather was "really" nasty. (low temp/high winds)
I remember the superintendent sending one kid home because he came to school with "no socks". He saved a twenty mile round trip home and back by borrowing athletic socks from his baseball coach! (Oddly enough, the same superintendent!)
The more folks blog about this, the wilder the imagination goes!
Ban all shirts, tee or otherwise with any graphics of any sort!?
How about the Fox or maybe the Croc? Do we cut all the "Wrangler" tags from your kid's western shirt!? Here's an even better one! No sports jersey's unless suited out for an event!
This is all about common sense and not over reacting to everyday life! It's all about Mike Diehl's SNAP's!
Where will it all end?



Hey Bubba I beat you by a year (1968). We couldn't wear bluejeans to school. T shirts weren't allowed either. Hell, in 1972, in the Navy, we weren't allowed to have Ti-dyed T shirts.
That's history and today is now!

Some facts from this event; The kid adores his Uncle. The Uncle is presntly serving in the Armed Forces, somewhere in the Middle East. The Uncle sent him the shirt as a present.

Now I speculate; Had there been an existing policy about pictured T shirts, and had that policy been enforced, the parents could not have taken this to court. I believe that this event is due to a liberal school administrator who decided to enforce this ban because of the statement.


I think you're probably pretty close to correct Yoop. PC and SNAPs all in an uproar!


Clay Cooper

If it wasn’t for the train in Alaska in the dead of winter taking out the greatest present of the moose population, wolfs packs may not need to be reduced until they are actually over abundant!


I don't think the real issue here is wether the school did or did not have a dress code. the issue is the gross overreaction. A couple of years ago I read A story about A school kid (I can not remember how old) that found a BB gun on the way to school. The kid picked it up and took it to the School office to turn in. - And was promptly suspended for it. Another story I read was of A kindergarden student suspended for sexual harrassment for kissing A classmate. I believe that we as A society left our common sense behind long ago and it just seems to continue to get worse.


This is from the Penn Manor School District Handbook for students:


Students shall not wear clothing, jewelry or any other attire that present a health or safety concern or that advertise or advocate the use of alcoholic beverages, drugs, or other illegal behavior, lewd, profane or obscene language or messages, and messages that disrupt or create a reasonable apprehension of disruption of the educational program, including MESSAGES THAT ADVOCATE VIOLENCE AND MAYHEM, criminal behavior or the violation of Board policy and messages that have as their sole purpose the harassment and/or intimidation of others in the school community.

In other words, pc or not, the rules are on the books from 1999. The kid is wrong, his parents can sue a ham sandwich if they want but the kid should have turned the shirt inside out or changed it.

If his parents don't like the rule, take Larry the lawyer to the school board meeting and try to change the rule. Sue the school to try and change the rule if you wish, but as it stands, they appear to be wrong.



You did a nice job, digging that up. Now, please tell me, has this rule always been enforced?

What I'm saying is that perhaps this kid witnessed other students wearing T's with other emblems, maybe Malcom X or Che Gueverra. There is a possibility that these students weren't asked to turn those inside out.

In any event, a two day suspension seemed a bit harsh to me. I think the incident could've been handled a lot smoother.



It really doesn't matter if it's been enforced frequently and fairly. Is life fair?

Are all traffic laws enforced? Do cops arrest every drunk they see?

The school chose to enforce the rule. If the kid can prove he was discriminated against have @ it. Realistically what we have is maybe an example of people not liking to be told no.

It happens in society all the time.


Del in KS


My first winter in AK the snow got really deep and one day a train killed 48 moose between Fairbanks and Anchorage. They get on the tracks to get out of the deep snow.

Del in KS

I was class of 68 in Bushnell Fla. Girls had to wear dresses or skirts. No Tee shirts or sandals. There was no drugs. Boys that wanted to get in trouble drank booze and chewed terbaccie. Everyone wanted a Corvette. Even back in those days the woods was my favorite place to be.


Everything is different in California!
And as long as we keep giving them our tax dollars, they'll keep spending it on crap like this......


As I said on the other blog; we ought to be darn careful that rules enacted by PC school board ninnies don't infringe on Constitutional Rights of our youth. The lesson they learn by us allowing their rights to be infringed based on supposed 'Need to maintain order and discipline' ideas is that we can pick and choose how the Constitution applies. By infringing on the First Amendment Rights (yes they are Rights confired by The Bill of Rights - a part of our United States Constitution!) we will erode the respect our youth have for the Constitution in general and the Bill of Rights in particular. That does not serve us and our support of the Second Amendment very well, does it?!?

A tee shirt certainly can provoke but this incident could also have been used as a lesson in tolerance of each other's views. Shame on Penns Manor school board for teaching intolerance and politically correctness under the guise of maintaining order and discipline!


I can assure you that if you are on the freeway going between 5 and 10 over, and you have tostay inthe right lane because everyone is passing you, and you get a speeding ticket, you will lose respect for police. Nothing debases law enforcement as much as selective enforcement. It totally destroys the perception of "right and wrong" for some folks. I'm sure the kid has served his sentence by now. Hopefully, his dad could take him either hunting or fishing during that time.

I'm curious as to what happens now with handgun ammo. Do companies actually make special ammo for the states that have these laws?
The intent of this law was to make ammo so expensive, people wouldn't shoot anymore. This ties in nicely with the boy's T shirt. Ordinary folks will lose all respect for their legislators who enact these dumb laws.
P.S. Stupidity is often windborne. Sometimes something idiotic in Sacramento finds its way to Lansing, Madison and Albany.

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