Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 708, February 17, 2013

The real "progressive" agenda isn't about
gun control, but population control.
They talk a lot about "a really good plague".

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Open Letter to the Overseers of Mary Blair Elementary
by L. Neil Smith

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Attribute to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise

Principal Valerie Lara-Black
Mike Hausmann, Thompson School District Spokesman
Paul Bankes, Thompson Director of Elementary Education
Mary Blair Elementary School
860 East 29th Street
Loveland, Colorado 80538


The purpose of this letter is to thank you for your actions of the past several days in the matter of the seven-year-old you suspended (in your initial account of those events) for throwing an imaginary grenade.

As a fifty-year veteran of the libertarian movement, I have been trying, for all that time, to persuade people that the public school system, more than any other individual or institution, is responsible for the utter mess America finds itself in today, and that it must be abandoned. You have done more, in just a couple of weeks, to convince everybody of those things, than I have been able to do over the past half-century.

Perversely, your achievements are remarkable: inculcating children, especially boys—and coercing their parents to help you—in a culture of harmlessness and helplessness; stifling the powerful intellectual curiosity natural to all young humans and replacing it with a bovine acceptance of authority; and making kids dull-witted, short-sighted, and above all, unthinkingly compliant. Believe me, it will be the stuff of doctoral dissertations for the next five hundred years.

But it's nothing new, of course. It was the objective that the founders of tax-funded compulsory education in this country, notably Horace Mann and John Dewey, had in mind to begin with. They cautioned the system not to encourage too much thinking at the conceptual level, because that might give its little victims the dangerous notion that they know better how to run their own lives than their duly-appointed overseers.

You can't afford to have the future hewers of wood and drawers of water, the farmers and the factory workers, thinking too much on their own, now, can you? Although it appears you can teach them (by your own example) to lie, cheat, steal, and fake reality when the chips are down, rather than openly admit that what you did was wrong. As such, you are a true credit to the spirit of the Hickenlooper and Obama Administrations.

But here's a problem, and the time has come for you to learn something, provided it's within your capabilities (I have my doubts). The United States Constitution (I can already hear you snicker at those words, or see you yawn, but it would be to your advantage to sit up straight, get rid of that chewing gum, and pay attention) was never intended to apply to individuals. It applies only to the government of which you, for better or worse, are a part. It is the charter, or operating system, of government, without which you have no authority whatever.

Even worse, at least from your point of view, I imagine, is that, despite the misleading name it's been given, the Bill of Rights—the highest law of the land—is not merely a laundry list of privileges generously granted to individuals by the government, to be taken back again whenever it's necessary or convenient. Once again, it isn't about people, at all; it's about power. It is a list of things that the government—this means you—is forbidden to do, under any circumstances.

And here's the really fun part: one major consequence of the document's applicability only to government, and not to individuals, is that there is no lower age limit to any individual's rights. For example, Americans (and all human beings, for that matter) have a right to freedom of expression whether they are three or a hundred and three.

They have an absolute right to play with imaginary hand grenades, pretend to pull the imaginary pin, let the imaginary "spoon" lever fly, and throw them at any imaginary thing or person that they wish to, making wonderful, delicious explosion noises as they do. And you have absolutely no legitimate authority to forbid it or punish them for it afterward.

I can't begin to tell you how glad I am, at times like these, that my daughter never set foot in a public school. In her 20s, now, she's pulling a four-point in college. But the damage you do to the American character is spreading. That's why I've long said we can't begin to get well until the system is abolished, its buildings emptied of all inmates and (paraphrasing Cato the Elder) razed to the ground so that not one stone is left standing on another, and salt is sown on the ruins.

Perhaps they'll be replaced by something useful and productive, like a bowling alley, a pornographic bookstore, or an indoor shooting range.

Feel better now?

I hope the smelling-salts helped.

Something else that will help is to start training for a job more worthy of your true aptitudes. You can begin by practicing a key phrase:

"You want fries with that?"

L. Neil Smith has written over 30 books and hundreds of columns and articles. He is the Publisher and Senior Columnist to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise, now in its 17th year online, and is associated with Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership. His most recent works, available at and B&, in both paper and e-book formats, are Ceres, Sweeter Than Wine, and Down With Power

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