Today is the last day of March in the year of our Lord 2016. That means it has been five years since I had my pulmonary edema/heart attack/kidney failure. I had one foot through the veil. Nothing like a close encounter with the Grim Reaper! It makes you appreciate all the things you have, even if think only have a little. I think my last post explains how much I really had to lose.
One of the results of my near-death experience was that I quit smoking altogether. Cold turkey! No messing around! Although it has been five years since I spent two weeks in the hospital, it has not been five years since I gave up smoking altogether. In the last month or so, I have gone back to smoking my pipe occasionally. That is the backsliding I am referring to in the title to this post.
I know I will get a fair amount of criticism for my apparent weakness of character, at least from some of the fundamentalists on the Internet. So be it! I am almost 69 years old and I am fully aware of the consequences that I face for going back to smoking. I believe the consequences of smoking my pipe occasionally will be minimal. Certainly nothing like the consequences of going back to smoking two packs of cigarettes a day, which I did for about 50 years. I know my doctor will give me all kinds of crap, if he finds out, as will my cardiologist. But, it is my decision and no one else’s. I accept the consequences. That is what a real adult does. Make a decision and live with your decision and its consequences. Don’t go blaming God, Satan, the tobacco company, the Marlboro man or anyone else. If you choose to smoke, like I did to some extent still do, it is no one fault but your own.
Continue reading Backsliding Away
In my overview of the history of government regulation of public education, I hinted at the reasons why I currently home school my younger son, Michael, who is in the fifth grade, and why, when the current school years ends, I will be homeschooling my daughter Heidi, who will be a junior in high school. Too much government infringement on my parental rights! I have had enough of playing the stupid bureaucratic rules established by politicians with little, if any, experience or expertise in education. Too much of school administrators who are bureaucrats first and educators only as an afterthought. Too much of teachers who learn all the latest pop psychology theories of teaching, but learn little of the subject they teach. Too much of education becoming more brain washing than teaching our children how to think! Too much stifling of creativity in the name of conformity!
In my overview, I talked about my making cause with the religious homeschoolers, many of whom are fundamentalists, and I talked about the fact that I am so “radical” as to be “conservative” in my position on certain issues, like parental rights. I specifically used the term “God-given” in talking about why my rights as a parent supersede any so-called rights the government thinks it has over my children. An explanation of why I used that term and what I mean by it is in order here.
Continue reading Homeschooling In Defense of Liberty
The ivory towers of academia will never be the same after the massacre on Tuesday morning at Virginia Teach in Blacksburg, VA. The attempts to come to grips with the killing of 32 people, almost all of them students. by a fellow student has left us all searching for the words that might bring some sense of meaning to what is most definitely a senseless act of violence. Who was this shooter? Not just his name. but some understanding of who he was as a person that might give us some clues as to why he did what he did. What was he trying to prove by killing his classmates and professors? What does this say about us as a nation? Are we raising our children to believe and/or accept this kind of violence is an acceptable way to express grievances against the system?
All these questions are searching for answers. But I doubt we will find many answers. We will be lucky to find the words to express our grief and outrage at the violence. The fact that it occurred at an institution of higher learning only makes the violence that much more inexplicable. Colleges and universities, since their founding in the Middle Ages, have always been perceived as sanctuaries from the real world. as places of peace and serenity. They have been almost as sacred a place as a church. No longer. Continue reading What Words Do We Use? In Memoriam
As I said earlier today, I am going to talk a bit about homeschooling in the next few posts, but first I want to make some additional comments about something I talked about the other day and that is the use of terms like liberal, conservative, radical, etc. Because humans need to use words, we tend to create classificatory categories as shortcuts to help describe ourselves, other people and things in general. The problem with these words/categories is that they are amorphous,vague and how one understands them depends on one’s “horizon of meaning” [perspective or point of reference].
We use these very imprecise and open-for-interpretation categories because they save time and energy. For instance, I call myself a political and religious heretic, because that is easier and quicker than writing long statements of my political and/or religious beliefs every time I want to say that I disagree with orthodox Christian beliefs or that my political beliefs are outside the norm of the American political establishment. Continue reading An Overview of Governmental Regulation of Public Education in the United States
I am going to get a bit personal with today’s post, and then I am going to take a break for a few days or so to focus on writing a serious semi-scholarly piece for the Syncretism series. I wnat to get the Easter peice done that I have been promising for over a month now. Time to deliver on that promise, don;t you think?
What I want to talk about today is homeschooling and the religious and political issues that come as baggage with any decision by a parent to homeschool his children. The focus of today’s discussion will be the social motivationsa, as opposed to psychological ones, and the social perceptions of homeschoolers. I am going to use my own experiences as a homeschooler as well as those of other homeschool parents that I know here in Mountain Home. I will also draw in material from other posts I hav e written without actual citing and referencing the artciles. So, if you are not familiar with my body of work, I suggest you start reading! LOL [BTW, to keep me from getting too stressed and ranting too much, I am listening to Page and Plant’s No Quarter and Walking Into Clarksville albums. If you don’t know who they are, Robert Plant and Jimmy Page are the heart and soul of Led Zeppelin]. Continue reading With Liberty And Justice For All – True Conservatism
A young man, a high school student, does a religiously oriented blog on WordPress.com, just as I do. He has posted comments on some of my posts and I would gladly return the favor but he does not allow comments on his blog. Recently he posted his comments about an article in the LA Times advocating the teaching of a Bible literacy course in the public schools. You can read his post, which includes a link to the original article in the Times a target=”_blank” href=”http://icanplainlysee.wordpress.com/2007/03/14/public-school-bible-study-recommended-by-latimes/”>here. What follows below is my comments on what this young man has to say
If the Bible were taught as, say, a literature course without any doctrinal prejudice one way or another, this would be a terrific idea. It might get these students to develop their critical thinking – the REAL purpose of education – in an area that most of them do not think much about at all. They either develop serious apathy or they swallow whatever pablum they get from their family and/or church. Continue reading Public school Bible study recommended by LA Times
CDC Warns of ”Choking Game” After 82 Youths Die
It seems to me that the families and teachers and other adults failed these kids terribly. This is what is wrong with America – not a lack of religious faith, but a lack of personal responsibility. Children are born to parents ill-equipped to take responsibility for them. We are too concerned about BS like trying to prevent aging or at least the appearance of aging or other trivial BS and the ones who pay the price for the irresponsiblility of so-called adults are our children. It”s time for Americans to get their heads out of their asses and take a good look at what we are becoming – a nation of irressponsible idiots. Continue reading And where, pray tell, where the parents of these children??