Common Sense Has Left the Building

This morning, I had a dream that Hillary Clinton was towing my car. She said it was a “clunker,” that it didn’t get good gas mileage, and that as much as she didn’t want to do it, President Obama was making her do so.

As I brushed my teeth and recalled having the dream, I thought for a moment that I must be losing it. Taking a spin around the Internet a few minutes ago has confirmed just that, as two very different stories have made me wonder whether or not I awoke to a bizarro world today.

First, from an Oregon television news station, we see the story of an apartment complex which has banned all display of American flags. The complex, it seems, is situated in a diverse neighborhood, and the unnamed property manager has thought it best to just ban showings of patriotism and pride in country. Here’s an excerpt:

Jim Clausen flies the American flag from the back of his motorcycle. He has a son in the military heading back to Iraq, and the flag – he said – is his way of showing support.

“This flag stands for all those people,” said Clausen, an Oaks Apartment resident. “It stands for the people that can no longer stand – who died in wars. That’s why I fly this flag.”

But to Oaks Apartment management, Clausen said, the American flag symbolizes problems.

He was told to remove the red, white and blue from both of his rides, or face eviction.

“It floored me,” he said. “I can’t believe she was saying what she was saying.”

Even long-time residents like Sharron White, who has flown a flag on her car for eight years, has been told to take it down.

White said management told her that “someone might get offended.”

“I just said to her ‘They’ll just have to get over it,’” White said.

Resident we talked to who had been approached to take down their flags all told us the same thing: that management told them the flags could be offensive because they live in a diverse community.

And then there’s this next head-scratcher, reminiscent of a story which broke yesterday about a six-year-old Cub Scout facing 45 days in a reform school for bringing a fork-spoon-and-knife tool into his school. This story, though, about a high school senior, Eagle Scout and military hopeful possibly seeing his West Point hopes dashed because of overzealous school administrators, is just as egregious and maddening. Here is video and an excerpt:

A 17-year-old Eagle Scout in upstate New York has been barred from stepping foot on school grounds for 20 days — for keeping a 2-inch pocketknife locked in a survival kit in his car.

Matthew Whalen, a senior at Lansingburgh Senior High School, says he follows the Boy Scout motto and is always prepared, stocking his car with a sleeping bag, water, a ready-to-eat meal — and the knife, which was given to him by his grandfather, a police chief in a nearby town.

But Lansingburgh High has a zero-tolerance policy, and when school officials discovered that Whalen kept his knife locked in his car, he says, they suspended him for five days — and then tacked on an additional 15 after a hearing.

Now, don’t get me wrong — I understand policies against weapons on school grounds. I certainly don’t want some pimply-faced pre-teen showing my daughter his father’s T/C Contender in the hallway between periods. However, a two-inch pocketknife locked away in a car–both belonging to an Eagle Scout who has received a commendation for saving a life and has already received basic military training–should be the least of school administrators’ concerns, right behind a rabid, ladle-brandishing lunch-lady gone wild.

Furthermore, I understand the need for an apartment complex to do what it can to keep the environment as non-divisive as possible. Landlords have a legal obligation to provide tenants with quiet enjoyment and a habitable place to live — and while that has more to do with migrating cigarette smoke and leaky faucets, I can understand erring on the side of caution. However, requiring that tenants remove American flags, especially tenants who have children overseas fighting for this country, is just insane.

All I’m asking, in these two cases and others like it, is for a little shred of common sense. If nothing else, it would allow my waking hours to make slightly more sense than those spent dozing overnight.

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Comments

  1. D.A.Gust says:

    I have written all of my military contacts about Matthew Whalen's "problem", and asked them to pass along this story.

    I would write my senator, but he is an idiotic, turncoat, self preservationist, cadaver looking, Obamanot, butt headed, dip-wadish loser, and Democrat…

    1st LT Whalen, Matthew…has a ring to it.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Screw this common-senseless country we've become….. I'm with Glenn and his call for civil disobedience this morning on air.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Would a U.N. flag be OK?
    SCREW EM.

  4. Rix says:

    While the second case can be attributed to severe dementia of the school authorities augmented by crippling and deranged policies of the DoE thugs, the first – about the flag display – left me wondering about its legal aspects. Such policy, unless explicitly spelled in the lease – actually, EVEN if explicitly spelled in the lease – is likely unenforceable. Having dealt with NJ eviction court on a few occasions, I don't see a single judge upholding an eviction over such policy. And if the landlord takes action outside the court, he may be soon looking at a VERY sizeable judgment plus legal expenses on both sides to cover. Oregon might be a liberal hell but at least it's a very tenant-friendly liberal hell!

  5. Uncle Rick says:

    These kind of things burn me no end. My father was an Eagle scout, my older brother made it to Life, my younger brother and I made it through Cubs and got the Arrow of Light, my oldest son is an Eagle (now a petty officer third class in the Navy's Nuclear Power Training Command) and my youngest son is a Life scout working on Eagle.

    Those school board idiots haven't got the common sense God gave an ordinary rubber duck. Maybe some day a Boy Scout will save one of their lives, or the life of a loved one because he was prepared. It's bound to happen some day.

    Sheesh!

  6. Anonymous says:

    These people need to have Crocodile Dundee show them what a knife really looks like.

  7. Stacy says:

    each day more reasons why this administration is bad for our country fall into my lap. not fly the flag? seriously? maybe that landlord is taking a lesson from the white house and will soon ask tenants to hang the chinese flag instead. the white house did it (to celebrate 60 years…why? i dunno!)… they are taking our freedoms away right under our noses.

    Be glad you woke up this morning (even with the weird dream)… some people even tho they "woke up" this morning… are still sleeping. Not sure what it will take to wake them up…but hopefully something will do it soon… or by the time they wake up… the "bad dream" they were having will have become reality.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Zero Tolerance is a reaction to the fact that today's teachers are as a brain dead group. They don't think, they just deliver the liberal mantra.

    It is a sad time we live in. The least intelligent "instruct" our children.

    Go visit a daycare institution in Texas. Look carefully at those the chidren are turned over to during their wakeful hours…the hours when they learn the most.

    If any one of those daycare workers were to show up at your door at night would your reaction be to grab your gun, or dial 911 before answering the door?

  9. Anonymous says:

    There was some back on forth on the comment section of the KATU post regarding the flag issue. I have included the 4 relevant comments here, in order.

    Just wondering what anyone thinks from a legal perspective.

    http://www.ushistory.org/betsy/more/hr42.htm

    HR 42 Section 3
    SEC. 3. RIGHT TO DISPLAY THE FLAG OF THE UNITED STATES.

    A condominium association, cooperative association, or residential real estate management association may not adopt or enforce any policy, or enter into any agreement, that would restrict or prevent a member of the association from displaying the flag of the United States on residential property within the association with respect to which such member has a separate ownership interest or a right to exclusive possession or use.

    Expressly public law since July 24,2006 and presumably consitutionally [sic] protected since December 15, 1791

    Sadly I don't think this applies since this is an apartment complex. The residents have no "separate ownership interest or a right to exclusive possession or use" — they don't own the apartment they live in and they do not have exclusive use as their lease will allow the management company to come in at any time to make repairs.

    I suspect the tenants do have a right to exclusive possession or use of their apartments and personal vehicles ( which are presumably permitted under the terms of their lease for exlusive [sic] use of their apartment)

    Actually, when you sign an apartment lease, you create what is called a tenancy for years. This creates a non-freehold estate which essentially gives the tenant exclusive use and possession of the property, but does not convey ownership. So, the aforementioned statute should include renters as well

  10. JUDGE JUDY says:

    Zero tolerance is laziness, pure and simple. That way absolutely no thought or brain power has to be expended to 'judge', and it also eliminates any chance for lawsuits based on any such judgements.

  11. goddessdivine says:

    Hey anon at 3:10:

    Please don't lump us teachers all in one group. Some of us are smart (and conservative), and certainly don't spew "liberal mantra". We also have no say in district policy.

    Having said that, there are a lot of idiotic policies running rampant in our school system. It's time for people to stand up and get them changed.

    I carry a Swiss Army knife in my car for emergency purposes as well. Wonder if my school would have a hissy-fit if they knew….

  12. rob.granger says:

    How did the school find the knife in the locked trunk?

  13. Still a Patriot says:

    Hi Jeff -

    We all wake up to a "bizarro" world every day.

    Bizarro & tomfoolery – how is it that you know & use 2 of my favorite words???

    Susan

  14. Anonymous says:

    The car he drives is also a "weapon". Almost anything can be used as a weapon. Even his shoestrings could be used to strangle someone.

    What about all the baseball, lacrosse and field hockey players walking around with their weapons?

    Zero tolerance means zero tolerance. It also means zero common sense.

  15. Jan says:

    Knee jerk reactions and failure to utilize situational leadership creates situations like this. It's absolutely asinine. Working in corporate America in HR we practiced situational leadership as a company policy. You take each individual and situation separately since just because the end result looks the same doesn't mean the circumstances are. Dumb, dumb, dumb….

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