Fifty years ago at school ...
Situation: Johnny and Mark get into a fight after school.
1957 - Crowd gathers. Mark wins. Johnny and Mark shake hands and end up mates.
2007 - Police called, armed offenders team arrives, arrests Johnny and Mark. Charge them with assault, both expelled even though Johnny started it. School inundated for weeks with Victim Support counsellors.
Situation: Jeffrey won't sit still in class, and frequently disrupts other students.
1957 - Jeffrey sent to office and given a good caning by Headmaster. Returns to class, sits still.
2007 - Jeffrey given huge doses of Ritalin. Becomes a zombie. Tested for ADD. School gets extra money because Jeffrey has a disability.
Situation: Billy breaks a window in his neighbour's car, and his Dad gives him a whipping with his belt.
1957 - Billy is more careful next time, grows up normally, goes to uni, and becomes a successful businessman.
2007 - Billy's dad is arrested for child abuse. Billy removed to foster care and joins a gang. Psychologist tells Billy's sister that she remembers being abused herself and their Dad goes to prison. Billy's Mum has affair with psychologist.
Situation: Mark gets a headache and takes some aspirin to school.
1957 - Mark shares aspirin with teacher.
2007 - Police called, Mark expelled from school for drug violations. Car searched for drugs and weapons.
Situation: Sione fails high school English.
1957 - Sione gets extra tuition, passes English, goes to Uni.
2007 - Sione's cause is taken up by counsellors. Newspaper articles appear nationally explaining that teaching English as a requirement for graduation is racist. Class action lawsuit filed by John Minto against Ministry and Sione's English teacher. English banned from core curriculum. Sione given NZQA unit papers anyway for effort and hurt feelings, and ends up mowing lawns for a living because he cannot speak English.
Situation: Johnny takes apart leftover firecrackers, puts them in a model aeroplane paint bottle, and blows up an ant bed.
1957 - Ants die.
2007 - Local police & noise control called. Johnny charged with domestic terrorism, parents investigated, siblings removed from home, computers confiscated, Johnny's Dad goes on a terror watch list and is never allowed to fly again.
Situation: Johnny falls while running during morning tea and scrapes his knee. He is found crying by his teacher, Mary. Mary hugs him to comfort him.
1957 - In a short time, Johnny feels better and goes on playing.2007 - Mary is accused of being a sexual predator and loses her job. She faces 3 years in prison while Johnny undergoes 5 years of therapy.
** In 1957 the novel Atlas Shrugged was published. It became a best-seller, was found in a Library of Congress survey to be the second most influential book in America after The Bible, and was recently described by The New York Times as "One of the most influential business books ever written."
** In 2007 the best-seller was a recommendation from Oprah's book club about the author's "year-long search for spiritual meaning."
|Atlas Shrugged |
by Ayn Rand
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