Things Are Not Always What They Seem

Shasta had spent the last few days attempting to register and insure vehicles but was hindered by the apparent loss of his birth certificate, which The Equuschick found for him yesterday by the effortless method of walking into the office and picking up the folder where she had really thought his birth certificate was all along (and yea verily, like a good wife had told her husband so) from off of the desk.

She was quite pleased with herself yesterday until she asked Shasta where he had actually looked for the thing, anyway, and he said in all humility, “In the yellow file holder and the brown file holder. That’s all.”

This communicates nothing to you dear readers, but what it communicated to The Equuschick in a sudden flash of understanding was that Shasta, poor fool, had been looking for his birth certificate where it actually belonged.

Therein lay the trouble for the man, because his wife doesn’t keep things where they might actually be said to Really Belong. She puts things and keeps things in places that make sense for the moment in The Equuschick’s head, and if she handles the items herself and thinks through it she is actually pretty good (for now, but this will change as she gets older) at remembering her own quirky little systems.

Thus it was that she remembered having last used Shasta’s birth certificate when applying for insurance and having placed it in the folder with the rest of the insurance information and having put it on top of the desk Just in Case it was all needed later, something like six months ago. That’s what The Equuschick does. She kept track of a couple of year’s worth of medical bills by a combination of a Lisa Frank unicorn folder and Happy Bunny stick-it notes, all kept at various times on her bedside table, on her dresser, in a bookshelf. Etc.

What Shasta does is keep specific things in specific and traditional places at all times. If they aren’t there, his imagination is not up to the task of The Equuschick’s quirky little systems. He doesn’t need quirky little systems. At least, he didn’t until he married The Equuschick. Whoops.

It is sort of like the way Shasta and The Equuschick do laundry. Shasta helps, but he will not put away any of The Equuschick’s clothes. This may seem unreasonable until you have seen their closet. A blind man could function superbly well in Shasta’s side of the closet. Shasta can barely look at The Equuschick’s side of the closet without suffering seizures and once very kindly explained to her that he wouldn’t mind putting away her laundry if only he could figure out her system.

The part where The Equuschick tried to explain that there was no system was utterly beyond his comprehension. He went into something like a comatose state of denial.

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The high cost of saving time

Clean houses never last, but hugs and kisses do.

Clean houses never last, but hugs and kisses do.

When my oldest girls were little, I did their hair every morning in tight braids (so tight they claim their faces looked like they’d had botox injections). I did this because tightly braided hair stayed neat and tidy all day.

One morning as I was getting out the brushes and comb, one of my girls said to me pleadingly, “Brush it slow, mama, do it slow.”
I was puzzled for a minute, and then I felt that unsteady sensation of dismay that comes when we realize we’ve allowed an unwholesome practice to take root. So often in the mornings I wanted to rush through this task to get on to the business of life, the school books, the cooking, the housecleaning (for company, we were always having company), and I am always running late for something. And what happened is that I would brush their hair rather, um, briskly, and when they complained I would say, “I’m sorry, but we’re in a hurry.”

Okay, sometimes when I accidentally brushed an ear instead of a handful of hair in my unseemly haste I would say, “I’m so sorry, but your ears got tangled in your sleep.” Humour, or lame attempts thereof, side, the pleas of ‘brush slow, Mama, brush slow’ had a deeper meaning. I realized this haste had become the norm instead of the exception, hence the plea to “brush it slow.”

I resolved to pay more attention to the moment, to take time to brush their hair slowly so that the hair brushing ceased to be a painful ordeal. Now, they wanted me to go slowly because speed involved sometimes too brusque of a hair, or ear, brushing. But what I discovered is that when I slowed down while I did their hair, we often had lovely and interesting conversations- conversations that wouldn’t have happened at any other time of day, and that couldn’t happen when I was rushing to be on to the next thing. We sang songs, told stories, and they asked questions about things they’d noticed- things they might not have had the time to think of if we hadn’t been sitting quietly together while I ‘brushed it slow.’

Sometimes the cost of saving time is too high. More on the high cost of convenience over at Frugal Hacks.

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On the Division of Labor

bonnet tip to Cafe Hayek for this link to a quote from the Babylonian Talmud:

Ben Zoma once saw a crowd on one of the steps of the Temple Mount. He said, Blessed is He that discerneth secrets, and blessed is He who has created all these to serve me. [For] he used to say: What labours Adam had to carry out before he obtained bread to eat! He ploughed, he sowed, he reaped, he bound [the sheaves], he threshed and winnowed and selected the ears, he ground [them], and sifted [the flour], he kneaded and baked, and then at last he ate; whereas I get up, and find all these things done for me. And how many labours Adam had to carry out before he obtained a garment to wear! He had to shear, wash [the wool], comb it, spin it and weave it, and then at last he obtained a garment to wear; whereas I get up and find all these things done for me. All kinds of craftsmen come early to the door of my house, and I rise in the morning and find all these before me.

There’s a sort of sideways example of the division of labor in volume six of Charlotte Mason’s six volume series– Towards a Philosophy of Education. She explains that she and her staff choose the books for all the schools and then send the lists around every term:

There has been talk from time to time about interfering with the liberty of teachers to choose their own books, but one might as well contend for everyman’s liberty to make his own boots! It is one of those questions of the division of labour which belong to our civilisation; and if the question of liberty be raised at all, why should we not go further and let the children choose their books? But we know very well that the liberty we worship is an elusive goddess and that we do not find it convenient to do all those things we are at liberty to do.

In the 1911, volume 11 edition of the Parents’ Review, edited by Miss Mason, T.G. Roooper writes:

We can imagine a school in the country, where hardihood of life can be cultivated amid fresh air, open windows and cold water, where life is simple and varied, and the evils of excessive subdivision of labour are avoided.

The effect of a one-sided education is obvious. We have excessive division of labour, distributing life into sharply divided states of toil and amusement; work without pleasure in it and amusement without intellect. We have a vast heap of human misery which we pity and cannot alleviate; we have abolished slavery in word, but there are masses of men who are not yet free and cannot develop their individual capacities.

We can imagine a school where the masters lead a common life with the boys, dressed like them for practical activity in the field, and not in black cloth gowns or cassocks, working at gardening or ploughing, directing the boys at work with them, where the child is not isolated from the society of adults out of lesson time, and where adults find a real and not a pretence or toy occupation in utilizing the child’s force as far as it goes in work which is useful for the establishment. We can imagine that time at this school will not divide itself into sharply cut sections of work and play, hated restraint followed by lawless relaxation, but rather consist of interchange of occupation, continuous but varied, some lighter, some severer, some taxing muscle, some brain.

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Why Obama’s Plan DOES Demand That You Change Your Health Care Plan

For example, as he has in virtually every appearance he makes, the president repeated “Nothing in this plan will require you or your employer to change the coverage or the doctor you have.” He even repeated it. “Nothing in our plan requires you to change what you have.”

That of course is quite simply untrue. The president favors a requirement that everyone must carry basic health insurance. But the individual mandate that he favors and included in the bills before Congress doesn’t just say you have to have insurance: It specifies what benefits your insurance must have, even if you don’t want those benefits or they boost the cost of your policy.

Obama also claimed about the new public option, more properly called a government-run insurance program, “No one would be forced to choose it, and it would not impact those of you who already have insurance.” But the reality is that, because a taxpayer-subsidized government plan could undercut private insurance premiums, employers would have every incentive to dump their employees into the government plan.

The rest of Michael Tanner’s article is informative as well.

The President told (as he has before) a sad story about Mr. Otto Raddatz, who he claims was denied timely treatment and subsequently died. It does sound like his insurance company behaved in a nasty fashion and it was a difficult time in the family’s life. But, in fact, they appealed the decision, the denial was reversed and his treatment was, in fact, continued on schedule. His sister testified before Congress:

He did indeed receive the stem cell transplant. It was extremely successful. It extended his life approximately 3-1/2 years. He did pass away January 6, 2009, and he was about to have a second stem cell transplant. Unfortunately, due to certain situations, his donor became ill at the last minute and so he did pass away on January 6. But again, it extended his life nearly 3-1/2 years and at his age, each day meant everything to him…

Did the President lie or was he misinformed? I expect the latter, but I don’t expect a correction to be made anytime soon. Basically, it sounds like somebody needed to frost the cake, gild the lily, embellish the rose- because it appears the insurance company did act like a bunch of horse’s patoots. The real story could have been used to bolster an argument for reform- but no, somebody had to misrepresent the facts and change this from a true story about an insurance company acting like jerks and imposing extra stress and strain in a family’s life at a very bad time, into a scary gothic tale of horror and death caused by the insurance company.

Who is doing the scare mongering here?

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Two ACORN employees fired

“I’ve been fighting alongside ACORN on issues you care about my entire career. Even before I was an elected official, when I ran Project Vote voter registration drive in Illinois, ACORN was smack dab in the middle of it, and we appreciate your work.” — Barack Obama, Speech to ACORN, November 2007

“If they making money and they are underage, then you shouldn’t be letting anybody know anyway….”

“They don’t even exist.”

“Call them ‘exchange students’.”

“Train them to keep their mouths shut.”

ACORN workers, nonchalantly advising a client on how to protect herself from the law when she starts bringing in 13 Salvadorean minor girls- very young teens- to turn tricks for her.

“It’s illegal. So I am not hearing this, I am not hearing this,” said an ACORN staffer who identified herself as an accountant. “You talk too much. Don’t give up no information you’re not asked.”

Because the group receives millions of dollars in federal grants, Napolitano said, “ACORN agents and employees are required by law to adhere to high standards of lawful and ethical behavior; standards akin to those required by law of federal employees.”

ACORN suggested a plan of action for the purported pimp and prostitute, but did not fill out tax forms with any false information. But because the official sought a $50 fee for ACORN’s services, a conspiracy charge could still be considered, a defense attorney told FOX News.

How many billions of dollars did ACORN get from the stimulus? Aren’t they the group the President tapped to do the Census?

After sputtering about how it has to be a fake (which I actually can understand, as the two ACORN employees take criminal admission after criminal admission without flinching, even telling the 19 year old prostitute about to be a Madame to 13 young teenaged girls to be proud of what she does- it’s surreal), this video showing Acorn officials giving cover and advice to what they believed to be a prostitute planning on smuggling minor South American girls to this country to turn tricks for her, ACORN has fired two people.

Anybody who believes these two were the only bad apples in the bunch probably still believes in Santa Claus.

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