Monday, March 12, 2007

People Is People

It's been 20-plus years since I last failed to attend a U.S. Government class. Needless to say, I ain't no constitutional scholar, though I sometimes play one online. My law training is limited to several trips to small-claims or traffic court over the past 27 years. In short, I don't know 'the law', but I've known enough lawyers, and stood before my share of judges, to understand the that initials "J.D." after someone's name is absolutely no guarantee of any higher level of intellect. I'm even willing to go so far as to believe, in many cases, it is a verifiable sign of just the opposite. Lawyers don't always impress me,and unless it's Halloween, adults in Darth Vader Robes just look silly regardless of who's wearing them.

Anyway... what brings this up is a Federal Appeals Court (D.C. Circuit) ruling to a challenge of a District of Columbia law banning the ownership of handguns by the citizenry. Personally, I think the law is stupid, and it appears the DC circuit majority agrees with me, overturning the law, setting up a challenge in the US Supreme Court on Second Amendment grounds.*Link*

In a 2-1 decision, writing for the minority,which means herself, and herself alone,Judge Karen L. Henderson,offers up this explanation:
"To sum up, there is no dispute that the Constitution, case law and applicable statutes all establish that the District is not a State within the meaning of the Second Amendment."

Hello? The second amendment does not mention the rights of states, but the rights of the people, and last I heard, the District does indeed have people in it.

I understand that the ridiculous sounding Justice Henderson just may be whoring for her idealogical point of view that opposes gun ownership, but is it necessary to be so stupid and illogical when doing it?
Is this the best a graduate of Duke and UNC Chapel Hill can do?
I'm thinking just maybe we might all be better off if we just put normal, logical everyday folks without educational pedigrees in charge of this stuff.


hammerswing75 said...

By her logic they don't have freedom of speech in D.C. either and citizens had better have an extra bed ready for any Marines that might need to stay the night.

The Law Fairy said...

I'm even willing to go so far as to believe, in many cases, it is a verifiable sign of just the opposite.


Mick said...

How DARE you talk about a female judge that way!!

Gino said...

LawFairy: it was a Kelo reference.

The Law Fairy said...

But does that mean lawyers are especially unintelligent, or that they're human and, like most humans, are prone to moments of severe stupidity?

Mick said...

You are assuming that lawyers are human in the first place, big mistake.

The Law Fairy said...

True enough, mick. I can shoot lasers from my eyes.

mick said...

hmm...I may have to become a lawyer then

kr said...

Geez, LF, it's a good thing for everyone that you only know us on blogs ;).

Hey Gino, I'm joining a rhetorical war you might be interested in: formalized (especially cumpulsory) schooling is not "education," it is "schooling." "Education" is actual learning: development of character and ability to think. This is not what most "schooling" is designed to deliver.

I have been convinced of this for a long time, but am currently forcing my way through John Gatto's 400 page The Underground History of American Education ... which traces the gradual deliberate torture-death of the "America" we all think we love.

If we can remove the veneer of respectability and sophistication from the brain-prisons we call schools, perhaps we can spring the next generation--not just from the schools, but from the ridiculous "judgments" they teach children.


Gino said...

kr, i've always remain convinced that higher education is not a sign of intelligence, or even the ability to aquire it.
it is, instead, a sign of self discipline.
i went to school with a couple of stupids who graduated with double majors. one of whom still cant find a job over 30k, into her 40's!

not to pick on lawyers specifically.
but if being a lawyer makes you so damn smart, the cream of intellectual society, then why are their numbers so large?
and if a harvard pedigree is so indicative of greatness, then why so many harvard buffoons running the govt?
too often, what is taught is arrogance, imv. that this sheepskin makes you greater than the lesser unwashed, even IF you have to pay somebody else to change the oil on your mercedes because you dont know how to turn a wrench.

kr said...

eh, I was speaking more broadly
"schooling" starts in kindergarten, if not earlier; by the time someone is 18 we generally expect them to be responsible for their own stupidity (despite society having cultivated it, in most schools)

I don't think graduating from college even requires that much self-discipline--dragging an actual education out of the college, maybe. Grad programs, maybe.

But then I think any non-self-directed learning is at least inefficient and that it often shoots right beyond useless and into counterproductive.

And I agree that it IS stupid to think you are "smarter" because you have any sort of degree.

That book: all about hiow the British class system and the Prussian majority-dumb-down system were imposed here to create social order out of the chaos created by the onset of the industrial age.

The cliche that Harvard(etc.) often has more to do with pedigree than talent or smarts, exists for a reason.


And I shouldn't even start on the insularity of the university system and the government and industry ... judges and doctors are both suspect merely because of the amount of schooling they had to be involved with to get where they are, in my opinion. Like STDs--you aren't only sleeping with the partner(s) you know, but with every partner they have ever slept with ...

Gino said...

so, you think we should scrap the way we currently 'do' education?

i think what happens k-8 isnt really education as much as it is training. do the tricks you're taught, and you pass.
8-12 is what i would call indoctrination. regurgitate the info on test day, and you pass.

but so much of our system is designed toward college as the goal, that i think a large portion of the students are dis served. vocational training needs to be increased, and those who seek it not looked down on.

learning how to build a house requires an education, but we dont often view carpenters as having one.

kr said...

Yeah, actually, scrapping k-1, and most of how we run undergrad programs.

College as a "goal" is getting pretty ridiculous by itself, as colleges merely propigate further kids' dependence on other people defining their lives. (In general, of course. I am sure exceptions exist--just like a few teachers manage to sidestep their state-required training regimens enough to not be pedagogues.) What's truly ridiculous is that all functioning adults will instinctively think of people in college as "kids" ... doesn't that by itself tell us we (America) have screwed up completely in "raising" "our" children? At 18?? I mean, really ... !?!

Kids need actual learning, actual responsibility, and to not have society try to lie to them that busywork will ever provide any meaning for their life (or any actual learning). They need to have chances to interact with the world and other people in non-artificial environments (yes, there is "after school"--when they are wiped out from having to spend 8 hours doing something terribly unnatural, and which time we are of course mostly encouraged to fill up with even more stuctured, non-family-based activities ... ).

It's all training to make kids believe beehive industrial thinking--to think they are pathological when they want some actual fulfillment out of life, or when they consider that no-meaning schooling and no-meaning work are not Enough just because they can have a big-screen TV at age 26.

I fully agree that the Germanic scholastic caste-system that was deliberately imposed on America in the late 1800s and early 1900s and relegates trades to something "less" than college is completely screwed up, and that college doesn't equal "educated" (any more than working in a trade does).

To the extent that structured schooling is perhaps desirable (depending on local needs and capabilities--not on govermental-industrial needs and priorities), a mixed-age schoolhouse makes INFINITELY more sense than the now-standard age-based gradelevel "advancement."

(This rant brought to you by Sixteen Years Of "Academic Success.") (This rant usually involves a lot more cussing, and can go on for literally hours ... but someday I'll get my own soapbox, and people who care can track me down there ;). )

kr said...

That was supposed to be "k-12," of course, that first sentence ;).

Gino said...

the big problem, as i see it, is that schooling is govt run.
the system sets the parameters of success, and then decides how sucessful they are by changing the parameters to suit their requirement for sucess.

that is why social promotion became standard practice. where some locales have banned that practice, the system dumbs down the testing. when some even fail at the lowered level, they blame it on the stinginess of taxpayers.

there is a solution.
no more govt schools.
turn schooling into a free market, where the customer decides success or failure, and what form the product will take.

kr said...


Government and Big Business(/money) need to be disenfranchised.

Power to the People ;).