Tea Partying is to Homeschooling?

18 02 2010

Read this Time Magazine power of story about disaffected tea partiers wanting to bring their own dollars and choices and leaders “home” from big government, struggling to make a movement with rival leaders, exploitation of their intended message by entrenched and often shadowy interests, etc and let’s think about how it’s analogous to our grassroots out-of-school learning party these past 30 years or so.

Naming the Tea Party movement, however, is easier than defining it. Tea Partyism covers a lot of ground and a world of contradictions. It contains Nashville lawyer Judson Phillips, who recently organized the first Tea Party convention at the posh Gaylord Opryland Hotel, charging $549 per ticket and pocketing an undisclosed profit. But the movement also embraces the volunteers who denounced Phillips and his convention as a money-grubbing mistake. . .

“The Tea Party movement is in danger of getting a bad reputation” by courting conspiracists, Erickson wrote.

Does it sound to you like how Thinking and Evolved Homeschoolers get mixed into an indistinguishable mob to the public view, with World Net Daily and HSLDA and Generation Joshua and the baby-whipping Pearl ministry, the Duggars with too many children, the John Galt believers, and garden-variety conspiracy theorists calling their homeschooling the only real patriotism (as they reject American law and treaties regarding school, taxes, separation of church and state, the Geneva Convention, the UN and even the US President himself) all powered by the same established homeschool business interests behind the NHEN-targeting “We Stand for Homeschooling” — the disaffected and anti-intellectual rabble fighting to speak for home education then, just as disaffected and anti-intellectual rabble now demand to speak for the Constitution and “real Americans” as tea partiers?

“This is not about policy. It’s about incitement to violence.”

Or never mind where it comes from, and just ask yourself if it makes SENSE. Do their scripted war-whoops hang together as Read the rest of this entry »

Nobody Does It Better: Unpacking Political Corruption

28 01 2010

Before she knew Barack Obama much less Sarah “Pallin’ around with Terrorists” Palin and Joe “You Lie” the Plumber — um, Wilson — JJ once wrote:

I feel like we’ve been fighting each other so long that it’s not about fighting for competing goals or visions any more, as much as it is the fight itself. . .

I’m not in the hole alone, and dirt is flying all around me.

IF it’s really completely hopeless, and we always must be at war among ourselves just because we’re human, then progressive thinkers can at least admit it to ourselves and figure out how to integrate THAT into our world view. It would be more honest.

She concluded much later by asking, “So — now what?”  None of us could answer that then, beyond another shift in party power.  Can we (any of us) do any better now?

In October 2006, Culture Kitchen was hosting serious, honest good-government talk among Thinking Citizens.  Remember way back then? The GOP was in authoritarian command and control (government as god and guns for private profits) but an election was on the horizon and Scientist-Democrat-blogger Mole wrote a post making the case that

“Democrats Stand for Honest Government
The Republican Party is imploding because of corruption. Their corruption has already sent Randy Cunningham to jail and forced the resignation of Tom DeLay and Mark Foley. In Ohio and Missouri and Kentucky their corruption is shocking. And voters are tired of it.

The Republicans try to cover up their corruption, lying for each other. They even protected a sexual predator for six years! When faced with corruption in their ranks, Republicans lie and cover their tracks. Their final defense is to whine pitifully, “but the Democrats do it too!”

Well, Democrats have indeed been known to be corrupt. But there are differences.  .  . We attack Republican corruption and on the rare occasions it comes up we attack Democratic corruption as well. I see no comparable reform movement within the Republican Party. All I see are more lies, more sleaze and more greed. All I see are Republicans and companies like Halliburton and Exxon and Enron in an orgy of greed and profit, looting America and sacrificing American troops for profit.

. . .Republicans wallow in corruption. Democrats are fighting corruption.

So Nance (longtime Democrat) and JJ (longtime independent non-partisan) engaged this argument, in ways disconcertingly relevant this morning in January 2010, knowing what we know now and having just watched the State of the Union last night — President Barack Obama (longtime Democrat) appealing to GOP power brokers and especially to us longtime independent non-partisans.

I recommend you go to Culture Kitchen and read the whole conversation because we weren’t the only ones thinking and talking, but here are some excerpts just from JJ and Nance:

Just Can’t Buy It

Submitted by JJ Ross on 11 October 2006 –

That ship has sailed, hopefully for the last time with a majority of American voters innocently at the pier waving goodbye and welcoming in the new.

However earnest and sincere individual candidates and operatives may be, polls and personal observations persuade me neither Rs nor Ds will be able to dump a load of “purity and honesty” cargo on us to just buy on faith and pay for later, and maybe that’s a good thing.

Some new third party for the same old system isn’t my idea of change, either. The system is corrupt, nobody does it better, and we’re just not in the media mass market for any more cheap and peeling tricks with a fresh coat of paint slapped on,peddled as progressive government.

I suffer from chronic liar,liar, pants on fire exhaustion, like nearly everyone I know in ordinary family life. Say we ARE collectively in the mood for real change, toward something that really is more honest and productive than we’ve constituted as government in our lifetime. What would we suggest, without the union (or any other) label I mean? There ought to be ideas other than soundbite-slogan partisan ones we can at least start imagining and working toward, building new frames, having new conversations . . .

Unpacking Corruption

I’d unpack the sins and slogans a little differently is all (I am not R or Green or any other festive party color.)

Yes, of course, honesty is the right direction, so great for us all if some Dems are heading that way or at least acknowledging it’s the right direction. But it’s not just because they ARE Dems though, is it, really? And they aren’t all alike, nor are all R pols or us independents.

And are they really the only ones you see moving that way? That’s all I’m saying, not throwing out rhetoric, honest!
The poll says I’m not alone in seeing dishonesty in too many places and all the wrong faces . . .

I think your case can be made reasonably to the public but ironically, Read the rest of this entry »

Speak Up When Pro-Child Politics Are Attacked as Anti-Parent

12 11 2009

Here we go again. Families, child-rearing and home education publicly
stereotyped as conservative extremism and anti-human rights, sigh. If
you parent and/or educate children and don’t fit this stereotype, make
your voice heard too. Don’t let this define your principles.

Parental rights rally on Washington planned: Your stories needed!

November 11, 11:01 AM
by Lynda Ackert

The Convention on the Rights of the Child was adopted by the General
Assembly of the United Nations on the 20th of November 1989. As part of a celebration, internationalists backing this UN Convention have
declared November 20th of this year as ‘Children’s Day.’

In response, ParentalRights dot org will rally in Washington, D.C. on that day. The rally will be held at the U.S. Capitol from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., on the East Lawn across from the Rayburn House Office building.

Speakers during the rally will include Rep. Peter Hoekstra and Sen. Jim
DeMint, the lead sponsors of the Parental Rights Amendment; Gerard
Robinson with Black Alliance for Educational Options; William Estrada of
Homeschool Legal Defense Association; Dean and Julie Nelson of National Black Home Educators; and Steven Groves of Heritage Foundation.

Whether you homeschool or not, parental rights have been and are
continuing to be under attack.

Want your voice heard? ParentalRights.org wants to hear from you. If you have experienced any assault or threat to your parental rights, make your story known by emailing ParentalRights. . .

Homeschooling is a parental right…Let’s keep it that way!

Source: ParentalRights dot org

For more of JJ’s thoughts on the UN and this political meme setting up “parental rights” in opposition to child and human rights, start with:

Homeschool freedom fighting: It’s so not about the UN

Parental Rights and responsibilities: Parenting sex and parenthood

Latest Homeschool Freak-out from World Net Daily

Mike Lux on America’s “Historical, Hysterical Conservatives”

1 11 2009

They have used the same arguments — for tradition and states rights, against “big government socialism” — in every era. In those past eras, history was not on their side. It is not in our time, either.

. . .These conservative arguments have always been tinged with more than a little hysteria, just like today. And no matter what, conservatives always insisted they owned the moral high ground.

Related news reinforces the Lux WorldView: the former governor of my state now accuses President Obama of attacking American capitalism. Jeb Bush does this not just publicly but apparently for calculated effect not on capitalism or the economy’s current crisis, but his own political prospects.

He needed to make the news he’s been so out of and must re-control if his plan to resurrect any of his traditional dynasties — the Bush family, GOP, Roman Catholic Church — with himself anointed to lead, has a prayer.

Logical Fallacies and Propaganda “Christians” Have Been Known to Use

3 09 2009

Cock of the snook to Lynn’s comments for this, where I found Christians warning other Christians about “spiritual abuse” and interpreting wikipedia’s fallacies and propaganda techniques to arm people against it.

(They read like the current public discourse on everything):

Frequently used propaganda techniques in Spiritually Abusive groups

Read the rest of this entry »

Because Teaching “Vile, Contemptible Nonsense” Is Bringing Down America

19 08 2009

(More from our epic examination of what conservative Christian curriculum really teaches, even when it claims to double as mainstream academics.)

“My biggest curiosity factor, however, is why do you care?”


Up-thread Lynn and I do talk about how the wonderful world we all live in together is threatened for all, when any indoctrinating power including if not especially patriarchal fundamentalism, gets power-hungry in public policy. Look at the history of the Catholic Church or modern-day middle eastern theocracy, or just turn on cable news in America to the current town halls.

The entire state of Texas is (unconstitutionally in my view) implementing by public policy a new curriculum to literally indoctrinate students in this armed and dangerous version of Christianity — yet you’re asking US instead of those elected public servants, why we should care what kids grow up believing? Do you seriously mean to claim that all curriculum and all education is just competing indoctrination anyway, so what does it matter??

If so, you answer your own question: THAT is why it matters. Because believing that lie spoils everything good, true and beautiful that is real and dehumanizes us all so we can devolve back into warring religious tribes.

Even if you can’t believe as I do, that Read the rest of this entry »

Homeschool Freedom Fighting: It’s So Not About the UN

12 06 2009

Homeschool advocates, please, please educate yourselves first before you “defend” homeschooling freedom in the public square, lest you make our community’s thinking skills seem inadequate and thereby bolster the regulators’ case or the standardizers’ case or the social worker-teacher union-UN case.

UN headquarters in Manhattan

UN headquarters in Manhattan

I can see this summer’s bloggery heating up for some self-righteous blood-boiling already. (Heck, Spunky never cooled off from last summer!)

So before homeschooling advocacy devolves into another long hot one of “who do they think they are?” and “you’re not the boss of me!” not likely to impress the president, the US Ed Dept or the general public with our maturity and superior educational philosophy 😉 I suggest we do our own homework, not because anyone can make us but because that’s who we think we are.

Only then can we understand, much less craft and succeed with, higher order arguments for homeschool freedom like “Government of the Gaps” or The Ethics of Teaching and Training”.

And seriously, you can’t win if you don’t enter. Ranting about something that doesn’t address the criticism or concern being leveled at us, is worse than useless. To win you have to figure out what the other side’s offense is and then engage them in a match, play by the rules of that game if you hope to ever beat them at it.

For example, if we hope to win against academic arguments, what academic ammunition options can we make and learn to use at home? (That’s kinda the whole point of home education, right?) And we need to keep that power dry — it’s important that we recognize and resist lowest-common-denominator peer pressure among ourselves (not just our kids!) as well as the cynically unhealthful doses of outrage and hysteria packaged like cheap fast food from WND and HSLDA.

Particularly this summer as anti-government rhetoric and lone wolf lunatic violence is spiking in the news cycle, thinking homeschoolers should redouble our commitment as good citizens to carefully reason our way through collegial public concerns, and thereby prove we can resist both the temptation to conflate every conversation into religious war, and to drag it down to tea party soundbites about socialism and Hitler and dark suspicions that our fellow citizens and elected leaders are conspiring to strangle homeschool parents with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Those of us who can home-educate ourselves and our families with higher quality food for thought sources than those, will enjoy the abundant fruits of higher quality critical thought at home and still have plenty to share freely with the neighbors.

As recommended introductory course material, here’s a virtual trip seven years back in time, to the beginning of the philosophical case against homeschooling and our challenges to that case. An intense and imo important discussion with Stanford philosophy professor and homeschool critic Rob Reich in August of 2002 took place on the list then known as NHEN-Legislative. That discussion Read the rest of this entry »