Racism In America

I know that it exists. We’ve in been a small midwestern town where there were simply no minorities at all and heard a man who did not support his family say the reason was because all the minorities got first pick of all the jobs. I do know there have been situations where a minority had a hiring advantage, but this was simply not the case. With no minorities in the town, it’s simply impossible for preferential hiring to be the reason this man did not have a job. When we were in our early twenties we rented a house from a little old lady at our church. When we were moving she wanted us to help her find a replacement renter. We kept sending her potential renters, and she kept saying she needed us to help her find new renters. One day I called her on the phone to say that we were sending somebody else over to interview her and I thought they seemed great. There was a pause. Then she said, “WEll, are they like us?” I thought she meant “Are they Christians?”
What followed was a very tangled conversation as she tried to say what she meant without actually saying what she meant and I failed completely to understand her. I wasn’t being deliberately obtuse, it simply never, ever would have occured to me that somebody would refuse to rent a house to a family just because of color. Maybe I was stupid and naive, but my parents did rear me to be color blind, and I appreciate that. My landlady didn’t. She finally had to say what she meant, “Are they white?” I was utterly flabbergasted, gobsmacked, incoherent, and astonished. There was a long and painful silence as I tried to make my mouth and brain work together. I think I just said “I don’t know” and hung up. Then I called her back to say, “You know, you just can’t, can’t, can’t, can’t, I mean you can’t, it’s just not, well, you know, you just can’t say things like that.”
She said she knew, and she apologized and asked me not to tell anybody, because she was just an old lady.
My mind still reeling I weakly repeated my ‘but you just cant, can,t can’t do that.’ and added the even weaker, “It’s illegal.” A friend told me later that the legality part was least important, I should have explained that it was immoral, unbiblical, unchristian. My friend was right, and I wish I’d been better at thinking on my feet.
I could give other anecdotes, but my point is simply that racism does exist, and I get very tired of discussion where people insist it doesn’t.

I get equally tired of discussions where people insist it exists where it doesn’t. Which brings me to this article, an excellent response to all the ridiculous accusations floating around about the reasons for the tragicomic response to Katrina: The RAcism Charges Won’t Wash

“If the government’s failure to get help instantly to Katrina victims reflects American racism, why have the images of thousands of poor, displaced blacks triggered the greatest outpouring of charity in American history?

…News outlets and pundits the world over—from the Washington Post to Al Jazeera—have gleefully portrayed the Katrina suffering as the product of what Braun calls “America’s original sin—racism.” Yet for racial sinners, Americans are sure behaving strangely. As of September 11, they had donated at least $788 million to Katrina charities, according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy—an unprecedented pace of giving, easily topping the post-9/11 and tsunami giving”

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Government Spending

“I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.”

—James Madison, 1794

Does Government Always Have to Grow? by Stephen Davies is a very interesting article available online from the Foundation for Economic Education (a highly recommended resource). Says Mr. Davies:
“Today in the “developed” world, governments spend on average between 40 and 60 percent of the national income. Most people take this for granted. This is where the first element of historical perspective comes in. Government spending on this scale is historically recent. In 1900 the average share of national income taken by government was about 10 percent. Government spending rose as a proportion of national income throughout the twentieth century. The two critical episodes in most countries were the two world wars. Government spending soared during the conflicts. Afterwards, although it declined, it never went back to its pre-war level.

All this is well known. There is an extensive scholarly literature on the reasons for this growth of government since 1900.1 The common conclusion is that the growth of government was unavoidable and is irreversible. However, taking a longer view than one that stops in 1900 leads to a different conclusion. Government grew, apparently inexorably, before and then was sharply cut back.”

For that history lesson looking at the longer view, read the rest of the article.

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Copy Work for Mother’s Common-Place Book

“School-taught English usually errs in the direction of pedantry; it lacks life and virility. The corrective is to be found by brining the child early and late into contact with literature that has character and distinction. Teach him to love this, to return to it often, and his own spoken and written English will be worth.”

~~Nicholas Murray Butler, winner of the 1931 Nobel Peace Prize

Note: He also said “An expert is one who knows more and more about less and less.”
He is quoted here on the importance of Bible knowledge as part of cultural literacy.

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Ramblings from a tired mind

It has been an insane week, and it is not over yet. When casting about for something to post, Iremembered this bit that I wrote for some other purpose last week. Someone (another homeschool graduate) asked what socialization meant for our family. Here is my response:

I think in my family socialization has always simply meant being able to grow into an adult and participate in your world in a mature manner. Perhaps socialization is the wrong term for such a thing, but that has been our idea of it. This definition led the DHM to come up with the following example: Say you wanted your child to learn French. Would you expect him to learn it from many other little children who didn’t know French, but who were also supposed to be learning it? No. You would surround him with those who had already succeeded in learning French and who would example good French to him. If we want our infant to learn English we don’t put him in a room with many other infants; we surround him with people who already speak English.
So why, if you want your child to become a mature, well socialized being, would you surround him with children who don’t know how to be one? If you want your child to learn how to be part of a family, why surround him with a classroom setting most days of the week?

When people ask about socialization they tend to mean, “Won’t this poor child get to interact with people at all?” People = children their age. Very little thought is put into this position. Very rarely do adults have friends only their age, sharing only their geographic region. This is what they expect for children, though.

We’ve lost two very important concepts in modern culture:
* the importance of the family
* the importance of being an individual

If we’ve lost the art of living in a family, then we are in serious trouble. Public school (and traditional socialization) harms the cohesiveness of family. Family living allows us to connect with all age levels, with varying personalities; it allows us the joy of belonging to something that is actually good. Great groups of people precisely our own age levels is not good, despite what we are told.

If we lose the art of being an individual, it is difficult to stand against a group doing wrong. It is difficult to pursue a path different than the majority, the path best for your life. Being part of a classroom group will gradually kill the sense of individuality in most cases. Real socialization can be taken to mean the ability to adapt to the graces of the adult world without losing the sense of individual, responsible freedom.
~~~

Addendum to the Rambling:
Three books I would recommend that touch upon a few of these issues (even though the themes of these books are rather different, and none of them are exclusively about socialization):
* “Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling” by John Taylor Gatto

* “The Educated Imagination” by Northrop Frye (love this book!)

* “Defying Hitler” by Sebastian Haffner (he has some excellent things to say on how “drugging” it is to one’s moral conscience to be part of a group, although most of this book is about pre-WWII)

In various forms all of those books say things I agree with but don’t have the talent to express myself. :-)

DHM adds: We’re late to the party, as usualy, but La Shawn Barber has been talking about this very subject. See “If you Haven’t Gotten the Message Yet.
She says if you can’t afford private schools, homeschool. I say, ‘why not skip the middle man and just home school?’
She also says in regard to diversity:
“My guess is that many government teachers and administrators live as far away from blacks as they can get and send their kids to private schools with few blacks. But I’m only guessing. “
In our town, of course, if you want your kids to know any black kids, they have to know homeschoolers. There are very, very few minority kids in public schools here, but they make up a goodly percentage of our homeschool group.

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Why Vinegar is a Must Have Item In Your Emergency Kit

Tonight we had shish-kabobs for a birthday dinner at Granny Tea’s house. Each of us make our own sticks up with our preferred vegetable to meat ratio. The Headmaster grills the first round for us, but after that, we are on our own. Grilling is always a bit worrisome with young children around, but ours are careful, and we don’t let The Cherub out near the grill as she is too unsteady on her feet (some other time we might discuss the video display she knocked down in the store today).

So the small young children are fine. Equuschick, however, picked up her metal skewer at a point where it had been nicely grilling, so she burned her finger. She raised a nice blister on an index finger and has been in some pain all night. She tried cold water, ice, and aloe vera (we have a large plant just for such moments as these), but none were quite satisfactory. I knew I was forgetting a good home remedy (I remembered breastmilk works wonders when topically applied to burns, but we didn’t have any), so I googled away, and found… vinegar.

Equuschick applied some apple cider vinegar to her finger and declared that it felt the best of all the other remedies. She went to bed with a cloth soaked in a.c. vinegar and wrapped around her finger. She got up an hour later to put some vinegar in a cup so she could freshen the compress when it wears off and the pain awakens her again.

I decided that an expanded post on vinegar and many of its specific medicinal and household uses was in order. I typed out that post. We had a brief power outage, but it was long enough to lose my post. Vinegar can’t fix that.

I’m not going to redo the entire post, so these websites must suffice. Please take a look at them. Vinegar is an important item in your emergency kit and for daily household use.

60 uses for Vinegar

About.Com has several pages of tips

Just a few uses to make you curious enough to want to know more:
treats fungus of all sorts, athlete’s foot, nail fungus, yeast infections, thrush
Sunburn relief (wouldn’t that have been something for those stranded on a roof all day?)
Yellowjacket stings
Jelly fish stings
Make a truly disgusting drink to increase your calcium level
Make a very interesting drink to treat cholesterol
Sore throats
Stomach viruses
Toothaches
headaches, muscle aches and pains, even sprains

Literary reference:
Then up Jack got
And home did trot
As fast as he could caper
He went to bed
To mend his head
With vinegar and brown paper

Updated to add: Previous posts on emergency supplies are listed in this post.

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New Blog Search Tool

Google has a new blog search engine.

Technorati and Truth Laid Bear also work.

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The President’s Speech

We missed it because family birthdays are more important, but we live in the age of the internet and instant replay. If you also missed it, please check:
~the Political Teen
~The Whitehouse’s own transcript

Some after speech discussion at Polipundit, sprinkled with some four letter words, so check first for young readers.

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Copy Work for Mother’s Common-Place Book

“School-taught English usually errs in the direction of pedantry; it lacks life and virility. The corrective is to be found by brining the child early and late into contact with literature that has character and distinction. Teach him to love this, to return to it often, and his own spoken and written English will be worth.”

~~Nicholas Murray Butler, winner of the 1931 Nobel Peace Prize

Note: He also said “An expert is one who knows more and more about less and less.”
He is quoted here on the importance of Bible knowledge as part of cultural literacy.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Ramblings from a tired mind

It has been an insane week, and it is not over yet. When casting about for something to post, Iremembered this bit that I wrote for some other purpose last week. Someone (another homeschool graduate) asked what socialization meant for our family. Here is my response:

I think in my family socialization has always simply meant being able to grow into an adult and participate in your world in a mature manner. Perhaps socialization is the wrong term for such a thing, but that has been our idea of it. This definition led the DHM to come up with the following example: Say you wanted your child to learn French. Would you expect him to learn it from many other little children who didn’t know French, but who were also supposed to be learning it? No. You would surround him with those who had already succeeded in learning French and who would example good French to him. If we want our infant to learn English we don’t put him in a room with many other infants; we surround him with people who already speak English.
So why, if you want your child to become a mature, well socialized being, would you surround him with children who don’t know how to be one? If you want your child to learn how to be part of a family, why surround him with a classroom setting most days of the week?

When people ask about socialization they tend to mean, “Won’t this poor child get to interact with people at all?” People = children their age. Very little thought is put into this position. Very rarely do adults have friends only their age, sharing only their geographic region. This is what they expect for children, though.

We’ve lost two very important concepts in modern culture:
* the importance of the family
* the importance of being an individual

If we’ve lost the art of living in a family, then we are in serious trouble. Public school (and traditional socialization) harms the cohesiveness of family. Family living allows us to connect with all age levels, with varying personalities; it allows us the joy of belonging to something that is actually good. Great groups of people precisely our own age levels is not good, despite what we are told.

If we lose the art of being an individual, it is difficult to stand against a group doing wrong. It is difficult to pursue a path different than the majority, the path best for your life. Being part of a classroom group will gradually kill the sense of individuality in most cases. Real socialization can be taken to mean the ability to adapt to the graces of the adult world without losing the sense of individual, responsible freedom.
~~~

Addendum to the Rambling:
Three books I would recommend that touch upon a few of these issues (even though the themes of these books are rather different, and none of them are exclusively about socialization):
* “Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling” by John Taylor Gatto

* “The Educated Imagination” by Northrop Frye (love this book!)

* “Defying Hitler” by Sebastian Haffner (he has some excellent things to say on how “drugging” it is to one’s moral conscience to be part of a group, although most of this book is about pre-WWII)

In various forms all of those books say things I agree with but don’t have the talent to express myself. :-)

DHM adds: We’re late to the party, as usualy, but La Shawn Barber has been talking about this very subject. See “If you Haven’t Gotten the Message Yet.
She says if you can’t afford private schools, homeschool. I say, ‘why not skip the middle man and just home school?’
She also says in regard to diversity:
“My guess is that many government teachers and administrators live as far away from blacks as they can get and send their kids to private schools with few blacks. But I’m only guessing. “
In our town, of course, if you want your kids to know any black kids, they have to know homeschoolers. There are very, very few minority kids in public schools here, but they make up a goodly percentage of our homeschool group.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Why Vinegar is a Must Have Item In Your Emergency Kit

Tonight we had shish-kabobs for a birthday dinner at Granny Tea’s house. Each of us make our own sticks up with our preferred vegetable to meat ratio. The Headmaster grills the first round for us, but after that, we are on our own. Grilling is always a bit worrisome with young children around, but ours are careful, and we don’t let The Cherub out near the grill as she is too unsteady on her feet (some other time we might discuss the video display she knocked down in the store today).

So the small young children are fine. Equuschick, however, picked up her metal skewer at a point where it had been nicely grilling, so she burned her finger. She raised a nice blister on an index finger and has been in some pain all night. She tried cold water, ice, and aloe vera (we have a large plant just for such moments as these), but none were quite satisfactory. I knew I was forgetting a good home remedy (I remembered breastmilk works wonders when topically applied to burns, but we didn’t have any), so I googled away, and found… vinegar.

Equuschick applied some apple cider vinegar to her finger and declared that it felt the best of all the other remedies. She went to bed with a cloth soaked in a.c. vinegar and wrapped around her finger. She got up an hour later to put some vinegar in a cup so she could freshen the compress when it wears off and the pain awakens her again.

I decided that an expanded post on vinegar and many of its specific medicinal and household uses was in order. I typed out that post. We had a brief power outage, but it was long enough to lose my post. Vinegar can’t fix that.

I’m not going to redo the entire post, so these websites must suffice. Please take a look at them. Vinegar is an important item in your emergency kit and for daily household use.

60 uses for Vinegar

About.Com has several pages of tips

Just a few uses to make you curious enough to want to know more:
treats fungus of all sorts, athlete’s foot, nail fungus, yeast infections, thrush
Sunburn relief (wouldn’t that have been something for those stranded on a roof all day?)
Yellowjacket stings
Jelly fish stings
Make a truly disgusting drink to increase your calcium level
Make a very interesting drink to treat cholesterol
Sore throats
Stomach viruses
Toothaches
headaches, muscle aches and pains, even sprains

Literary reference:
Then up Jack got
And home did trot
As fast as he could caper
He went to bed
To mend his head
With vinegar and brown paper

Updated to add: Previous posts on emergency supplies are listed in this post.

Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments