Category Archives: Public Sector Unions

Forging Through a New System

Matthew Hennessey:  “In Spain, where my brother-in-law and his wife are raising two young boys, if you don’t send your kids to school at the age of six, you get a visit from the cops.”

Shoot, that’s peanuts compared to what can happen in Sweden.

Recently, my sister sent me this article about a UN treaty.  If ratified by the United States, it could jeopardize the parental right to homeschool a disabled child.  And as Mr. Hennessey points out, if we can legitimize Obamacare’s individual mandate “on the notion that costs incurred by an individual but borne by society necessitate government intervention,” then couldn’t we legitimize a school mandate under the same reasoning?  Like this:
“homeschoolers are no different than the uninsured in the costs they impose on the rest of us. Doesn’t society suffer if kids aren’t being properly socialized? Don’t institutions suffer if children aren’t being properly educated into citizenship?”

My first instinct is to scoff at this worry.  If anyone were to dare question my academic standards, I feel confident in my ability to embarrass the heck out of such impudence through sheer volume of educational documentation, as well as the obvious in-person brilliance of my poor unsocialized hell spawn.

But then, Mr. Hennessey makes a good point when he says, “Do the Spanish live in a free country? . . . They probably think they do.  Compared to Saudi Arabia or China, Spain is practically a libertarian paradise. . . .”

We Americans think that we live in a free country, too.  Yet, we allow our government to tether us in innumerable ways, from the cars that we drive, to the foods that we eat, to the manner in which we light our homes.

Never forget:  the collectivists in our midst hate the concept of homeschooling.  To these totalitarian adherents, the idea that parents alone should decide how their children are educated . . . perfectly scandalous.  We can’t be trusting parents with responsibility over their own children, can we?

On top of all this is the fact that most folks feel dependent upon the school system, whether public or private.  I should know.  I felt not just dependent, but deliriously grateful for a British school system that would take a difficult boy off my hands full-time, because the Brits have a lovely thing called “reception” that begins at age four (4!).  Sod that silly German kindergarten starting at age five.

So we started down a well-trodden path that seemed so easy at first.

It quickly grew thorny and treacherous.  Experts wanted to diagnose my son, and label him as something more than difficult and strong-willed.  My advice to be firm was ignored.

This is the point at which I give anti-homeschoolers reason to squeal:  she’s over-protective!  Her child has special needs that she refuses to acknowledge!  Like this commenter to Mr.  Hennessey’s article:

“my wife and I have experience with several local homeschooled children that makes us question their socialization skills, as well as the motives of the parents.  The parents of one child we know pulled him out of the public school because the school psychologist tried to persuade them that he had a learning disability and needed special therapy.  They could not accept that.  Now that their son is a teenager, we can easily see that he is grossly unsocialized and has an obvious speech disability.  The public schools were eager to help him with the problem, free of charge, but no, he had to be homeschooled to protect him from the taint of being considered impaired in any way.”

Now, don’t you dare ask whether this child could have been worse off by remaining in the public school system.  Derp.  The notion that public school would have improved his situation is to be taken as unalterable truth.

This is the point at which I ask:  why am I writing this post?  Do I really need to defend my decision to homeschool?

No.  I am unwavered in my dedication to home education.

But some of the commenters really got under my skin.  Like this one:  “That’s why we have medical professionals, and I see no reason not to elevate education professionals to the same logical level.  Child development is a science, bona fide and constantly being improved.”

Ahh.  Child development is a science.  We need professionals to help us navigate our way through this science, like the professionals who created a 1st grade curriculum that instructs kids to water a rock.

I have a question for all those education professionals.  Why do I have to find a nonprofessional homeschool teacher to teach my son Latin?

Bah.  I should not have allowed the comments on Hennessey’s article and Dreher’s article to bother me.  The way I reckon, the more cash-strapped states become, the more likely they are to embrace homeschooling, which costs the state exactly zero dollars, while the parents still pay property and other taxes.

Yay for supporting a failed system through our tax dollars, even while we forge our way through a new system!

So About These Occupiers . . .

What’s the best way to deal with them?

“Feh” is my initial gut instinct–who cares?  Let them beclown themselves.  I commented in this vein over at Conservatives on Fire.  Yeah, there are Soros and other Big Money connections–who cares?  All the better if these substantively empty protests drain the left’s coffers.

Then I got around to reading a post over at FilmLadd. (Drat.  I can’t remember who led me to FilmLadd, so I can’t do the via link.)  In that post, Mr. Ehlinger makes an unsettling point:

“My hunch is that these protests aren’t about accomplishing anything right now except to flex their muscles, test out the police, and see which supporters “they” (the White House) can count on.

In short: #OccupyWallStreet is a dry run for November 2012.”

Hmm.  That sounds bad . . . and yet plausible.

What do you think?

Some Sloppy Housekeeping

I am grateful to have some out-of-town company this weekend.  They are here to help me celebrate a milestone.  Yep, the big-four-oh.

Yay me! 

Never bemoan a birthday, folks, because you probably wouldn’t fancy the alternative.

On to the housekeeping.  I’d rather give these links a more proper treatment, but if I don’t spit ‘em out right now, they’ll only get lost in the shuffle.

First, P.J. O’Rourke has the last word on the Amy Chua Tiger Mother thing, and dang it’s funny.  I cannot match his talent, but I can parrot his words:

Amy Chua, I’ve got bad news. “A” students work for “B” students. Or not even. A businessman friend of mine corrected me. “No, P. J.,” he said, “ ‘B’ students work for ‘C’ students. ‘A’ students teach.” Teaching in the Ivy League gives you a lot of time off, Amy​—​enough to write a crap book, worse than Yale prof Erich Segal’s Love Story. Maybe when you get some time off again you should come to rural New Hampshire and meet the Irish Setter Dad children.

Buster, age 7, is a master of passive resistance who can turn staying up past his bedtime into Tahrir Square. He could hire himself out as a civil disobedience coach to Mahatma -Gandhi and Martin Luther King, if they weren’t dead. Poppet, 10, is a persuasive saleswoman, not to say charming con artist, who can hand you a sheet of black construction paper with a hole in it and convince you it’s a science project on collapsed super-novas. And Muffin, 13, has her own .410 shotgun and knows how to use it.

Try your Chinese Tiger Mom stuff on my kids.

Ha!  The whole article is worth it if you have time.

Second, via Disrupt the Narrative comes yet another awesome Bill Whittle video, Eat The Rich!  This video has that extra little something which no leftist can ever refute:  math.

Third, via Mayrant & Rave and Mr. Macky comes a nifty little resource: LiberalSpeak.com.  The list isn’t long, but here are a couple of my favorites:

Health Care = Abortion rights

Unconstitutional = We don’t like it

Open-Minded = Subscribes to liberal dogma

Fourth, someone named Duane Lester rather ingeniously asks the obvious:  Isn’t Fear of a Government Shutdown Proof That Government is Too Big?  His answer contains lotsa good info.

Next up is the lovely fact that unions aren’t as powerful as they think they are.  Wisconsin Supreme Court:  A Referendum That Wasn’t:

“Union have already spent millions fighting battles across the country, depleting their war chests for the 2012 election cycle.  Many states are following Wisconsin’s lead and taking away the ability of government unions to force their members to pay dues.”

Warms the cockles of my heart, enough even to withstand the gutless maneuverings of the House GOP.

Happy Weekend, ya’ll.

Koch Puppets’ Newest Misleading Video

You know which puppets I’m talking about–Americans for Prosperity.  Well, they are either got a right-wing plant to pose as a teacher, or they cleverly edited this lady’s words to make her look bad.

Because teachers are underpaid and underappreciated.  And taxpayers rightwingers are bleep-holes.

MANDATORY DISCLAIMER:  No, I do not think this lady represents the view of all teachers, and I do not think all teachers are overpaid and overvalued.

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