Truth or Truthiness?

7 06 2007

Driving back from the library with DD earlier, I realized what sounded so familiar.

There’s a blog which I haven’t really followed but I guess it’s been updated and now, the blog owner says:

We’ll shoot for the truth and respect for individuals over there. It won’t jive with what your used to spouting.

OK, spelling and grammar are not her thing and she doesn’t like me (for good reason, we have not agreed on this for a while and I keep calling her on BS) but she has latched onto the non-issue of charterhomeschooling and continues to post about the “dangers” of it.

Aided by other supporters of the WSfH ridiculousness, she now has a blog under the flag of AHA, an arm of HEM, whatever, all the same players anyway.

None of this is even remotely interesting but the interesting part was her new, to me anyway, tone.

I realized she has adopted the same tone as those “crisis pregnancy centers” that want to “help” young girls who find themselves pregnant and are looking for information about their choices.

Instead of information, the type of “crisis pregnancy center” I am thinking of preaches a line of scripture, steers the young lady away from abortion and assures her that all will be right with the world if only she will have this baby.

You can read more about their tactics in this report: False and Misleading Health Information Provided by Federally Funded Pregnancy Resource Centers.

All done under the cover of sweet, loving, Christian kindness and a claim of providing helpful information.

This AHA blog has the same feel. Suddenly, someone counting magazine subscribers and ad revenue seems to have realized that sounding crazy may not be the best way to attract readers. Better to sound caring and helpful. Better not to alienate a large chunk of parents looking for the best way for their families to homeschool. (While still contending there is only one right way, of course. Allowing that there are these other options in the world, but you wouldn’t want to consider them and they are dangerous anyway. . .)

Instead of just providing “truth and respect for individuals,” which would be so much easier, the message is crafted ever-so-carefully to lead the new homeschooler in a very specific direction.

That’s the connection I made anyway. Everyone can read and decide for themselves. 🙂




6 responses

7 06 2007

Yes, I see that same connection. You put me in mind of how breast cancer risk studies were cleverly and oh so objectively touted to scare– oops, to inform and “save” women who otherwise might inform themselves about their own bodies and risks and needs, seek professionally competent and politically unfettered counsel from their own physicians and whatever other trusted advisers they so desire, and then exercise their legal, private family-planning choice options without political agenda-tampering having the first thing to do with it!

Given all the sociopolitical battles fought over School the past 50 years, I choose not to put my kids in that line of fire. Wouldn’t I be stupid then, to think it doesn’t happen on the Internet just among us “friends?”
Home education is lucky (so far) that we’ve resisted making holy grails of our veterans and theorists and activists, and that mostly we refuse to follow anyone anywhere, even those we do like! Certainly not the ones who get pushy about my private family choices. Homeschoolers are a self-led community of learners all right! 😉

7 06 2007

And btw, we all HAD our own thriving HS place for “truth and respect for the individual.”
She burned it like an arsonist and then salted it, with the help of the corporate shells under whose sponsorship she now claims to offer this counsel.

Hey, remember she mentioned Deb Stevenson at Daryl’s the other day, said she’d like to get her “on the team” or something like that? — so wanna bet she shows up to great fanfare any day now, as the Official Counsel of Record to give this blog ministry legal cover? . . . Her corporate shell (with Judy What’s -her-name) is already listed in the right-hand widget. NHELD. Judy — what IS her name, Nance, she ran for office as a Republican a while back, hmmm . . .aren’t there any honest-to-goodness liberals left in the AHA-HEM coop?

7 06 2007

Aron, I think that was it.


7 06 2007

And, yes, there was a nice environment at NHEN. There still could be. But I don’t think the issue of charterhsing needs to be rehashed and all the arguments for and against are included in the Controversial Issues page and the Forums at


7 06 2007

Yeah, that was it, thanks.

And yes, NHEN goes on with its great work (thank god Laura Derrick is quoted about hsing by Newsweek et al, rather than the alternatives!) just without all the “discussion” wargames, and we all have our own blogs anyway, now everything can seek its own level like water. (Unschooling science lesson for the day, kids!)

7 06 2007

Come to think of it, you are right that this all sounds very re-treaded. That whole chunk of verbiage between the two same old rulebook literalists (Mary Nix and Annette) about you and me as the thorns in their Clarity Definition sides:
This is from last year but it could be from tonight (and btw, “sam” as mentioned here turned out to be COOL! , he’s even blogrolled here now)–
“DWARFING PLUTO and Shrinking Ourselves: A Joyfully Unclear Meditation”

They scold us and say if I (and Nance, just to further confuse you by further clarifying) would just hush up and go along with their political strategy of distinct legal definitions as liberty, then the hsing world would be a peaceful, secure little Stepford place where we’re all free to be the same, and so would school. Happy homeschools and public schools could live in perfect, legally defined and enforced harmony, each person clearly defined on one side or the other with both sides patrolling the borders. Immigration laws strictly enforced, because that serves the interests of both governments. And it’s so easy to keep straight!
I should consent to government by unelected fundamentalist and authoritarian peers, because then our home education will be freer and safer? But this isn’t the point, they tell me, WE define the point, not you!
After another exhausting trip round the sophistry (stupidity?) track, last night an unschooling dad who apparently never heard all this before — or maybe only ever heard one side of it in some little homogeneous eddy somewhere, and just assumed that this one threshhold belief defines all homeschoolers, the way belief in the Virgin Birth defines Christians? — finally sniffed at me and Nance, said even his eight-year-old son understands how calling something by a different name doesn’t make it so. . .
This dad, let’s call him Sam — because he says that is his name, although it might be an online alias, and I once knew a schnauzer named Sam, but hey, it’s not my business to research and relabel this fellow homeschooler, or worry about whether the name he chooses to use in this context is confusing, disingenuous, or possibly outside the LAW as documented on his official government birth certificate — DadSam says Nance and I are clearly wrong, and he figures we know we’re wrong but won’t admit it and he’s done listening or thinking. (LOL, he doesn’t know us or much about the fight, or the laws in our state or the context of our unschooling, but he can define us as “wrong” and pronounce that we must define ourselves as “wrong” too?)
He might as well have pronounced himself the Decider. If enough homeschool parents agree with his definition for us all, will his victory be a GREAT MOMENT IN EDUCATION?
You start to see now, that this habit of defining strangers by your own beliefs and concerns and then calling it reason or science and writing it into law and rule as self-evident truth, is not so easy or logical as that Big Duh makes it appear at first pass?
Sam the Unschooling Dad meant to underline his disdain for our global position about clarity, definitions, emphasizing wedge issues in politics, and the unintended consequences of oversimplying complex ideas and relationships in our own groups and communities (much less letting the GOVERNMENT oversimplify our words and labels and choices, to narrow and control what we used to call our “liberty” but now label mere “legal options” as if life were just a Red Chinese menu and we can’t cook. ) . . .
School is about defining clear answers that everyone accepts to pass. Education is about distinguishing one’s self rather than being a credit to one’s label, wanting to be define one’s own thoughts, feelings and questions to pursue, rather than being taught defined, clear, factoid answers written into curriculum, testing and the law.
Home education thus would be different than homeschooling, though we don’t use the terms distinctively among ourselves or in law (that’s another tired old battle.) I’ve learned to contemplate and comprehend ambiguous reality through or around imperfect labels . . .in the end it’s the human understanding itself, not the words used to dispute or articulate it, upon which real education is focused. . . .

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