Patterico's Pontifications

11/25/2012

Teaching Children About Economic Realities

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:19 pm

A couple of nights ago I explained basic supply and demand concepts to my 12-year-old, using Hurricane Sandy as an example. She was easily able to grasp concepts that apparently eluded Gov. Chris Christie, such as the fact that prices go up when demand goes up and supply goes down. More important, she was able to understand the effect that artificially depressing prices has on supply. (Gov. Christie still needs to figure that one out.)

These are not difficult concepts, but our schools don’t teach them the way they should. Which means that, in a crisis, politicians can put on fleece and go around artificially depressing prices, and people confronted by shortages consider these politicians to be heroes.

That conversation got me thinking about the fact that, as a culture, we need to get these concepts across to our children systematically. Coincidentally, I received an email today from the author of The Fisherman’s Catch : A Conservative Bedtime Story. From the book description at Amazon:

Hanauhoulani (call him Han) is a fisherman in a remote pacific island village a long time ago. He figures out a better way of catching fish and begins to become wealthy. The village chief decides it is not right for one man to have so much while others have so much less.

Experience a story that teaches kids it is hard work and determination that creates wealth. Not simply having something handed to you. From the old adage, “You can give a man a fish and feed him for a day or teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime” this story helps explain that true wealth does not come from redistribution of goods but from inspiring others to reach their potential.

The author has a Kickstarter project for his second book, which he describes as follows:

The second will be called “The Cobblers Magic! A Conservative Bedtime Story” and takes place in a land of magic just on the other side of imagination. The concepts it will teach will center on Deficit Spending, Inflation, and that it is okay to say ‘No’ in a world of infinite wants, but limited resources, the word ‘no’ is how we budget. It compares an intelligent cobbler elf named Silvia against the fairy council that simply does everything that the other faeries want.

Ultimately the fairy council casts a dark and terrible spell to try to fix everything, they try to ‘make magic’ which is the currency of the land. This does not work and instead they simply dilute everyone’s magic and cause a whole new set of problems to take place and quickly spirals out of control.

I recoil a little at the idea of “conservative” children’s stories, because it smacks of brainwashing children towards acceptance of a particular ideology. However, as a practical matter, most popular culture brainwashes children towards an ideology that rejects self-reliance and economic realities in favor of a mushy socialistic reliance on government. I haven’t read these particular books, but I like the idea of teaching children how the real world works. If that means it has a “conservative” label, so be it.

If we’re going to save the future, educating our children properly is going to have to be part of it. Check out these books and see if you think they might help.

678 Responses to “Teaching Children About Economic Realities”

  1. Ding!

    Patterico (43b036)

  2. The author should absolutely drop the ‘a Conservative Bedtime Story’ part. From a marketing standpoint, he’s just narrow his scope of buyers. From a storymaker’s point, why not let the story speak for itself.

    With that, what simple and sound concepts sadly falling into the ‘quaint’ category of the past.

    Dana (292dcf)

  3. Once upon a time (and as recently in America as the 1960s), the public schools taught virtues like thrift and economy.

    Now they teach “conservation” (which means condemnation of others’ spending and use patterns) and unicorn magic.

    Beldar (cab489)

  4. As hashtags go, by the way, cab489 is a pretty good one. Sounds like a cousin to “Car 54.”

    Beldar (cab489)

  5. By definition, people who are inexperienced and uneducated are very impressionable. That makes them easy to influence or even brainwash. IMO it’s much better to teach people things that work, as opposed to things that makes them feel good but don’t work.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  6. Education, especially K-12 but college as well, actively promotes beliefs that are in fact economically false. The environmental twaddle so prevalent in K12 is an example.

    Even in college, more concepts that are overtly false and long discredited are promoted until you somehow you fall into a real economics major where you have to be completely deprogrammed to understand real economics.

    Although there is still a resistance movement among the left in economics trying to pretend that left/liberal economics hasn’t been utterly discredited in the real world. Steven Hayward at Powerline wrote this piece about an attempt to defend the indefenseable buried in a “book review”.

    SPQR (768505)

  7. When a large swath of children are not seeing a direct correlation between a parent’s work and success, but are rather seeing them signing their kids up for free lunches and breakfasts at school and AFDC, etc, it’s easy to see where this way of life (and for many, a preferable one) negates any good ecomic principles. The default is expectation instead is what makes it easier to feel good.

    Dana (292dcf)

  8. Well this is timely. The CCSSO, the Council of Chief State School Officers, dropped a bomb after the election and during the holiday minds elsewhere week that misrepresents the Constitution, civic obligations, the nature of economics, and pulls in Marxist theories about the ecosystem and human personalities being a product of social interaction.

    Yikes! It is part of Obama’s poorly understood Common Core education “reform” that guts the transmission of knowledge in favor of socio-cultural theory. From Soviet Lev Vygotsky of course. To impact K-12 AND higher ed.

    I wrote about the CCSSO Framework here http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/tearing-up-the-fabric-of-a-free-society-the-new-college-career-and-civic-life-c3-framework/

    So yes teach your son everything you think he will need to know accurately. Please be aware the accreditation agencies are pressuring private schools as well. The idea is for there to be no safe port in this cultural storm.

    Robin (801f44)

  9. “What’s In The Box, Daddy?”

    A Santorum Family Christmas

    happyfeet (befba5)

  10. it’s a present for the dog

    pdbuttons (71b691)

  11. Thanks for the spoiler Mr buttons jeez

    happyfeet (befba5)

  12. At least it’s more honest than cars 2 was.

    Ghost (2d8874)

  13. There are now two/three whole generations in many areas of this country who do not have the personal experience, knowledge, and wherewithal to teach their children anything about family economics and income triage because they had no one ahead of them to teach it to them either. These are pretty often the same people who do not have, and have never been part of, an intact traditional family where children used to learn lessons of thrift and making do by merely observing their resident married dad and/or mom bringing home an honest paycheck after putting in a long day and difficult commute.

    Additionally, with so many of what are supposed to be our best and brightest college kids graduating with huge personal credit card debt and student loans coming due, one wonders how many of our citizens under 30 even have a clue about personal finance and responsibility let alone understand anything practical about a nation’s economy.
    Is it surprising so many just gloss over the debt and deficits and entitlement math? It’s like a foreign language to many of them.

    elissa (862a9f)

  14. How can economics be taught in the public schools; a liberal who understands economic becomes a conservative!

    Even setting aside that snide comment — which, admittedly, I am, loathe to do — public school teachers have serious problems with understanding the free market economy because they are not part of the free market economy. Their jobs are, for the most part, not determined by customer demand, but by politics, and the power of the state to seize money from their “customers” whether the customers wish to pay for the public schools or not.

    Employees in the private sector, whether unionized or not, cannot demand more from their companies than their companies can pay and still stay in business. Because private sector demand is subject to individual wants and availability at an acceptable price, private sector employees are disciplined by the marketplace. Sometimes they guess wrong and drive their companies out of business, as the bakers’ union just learned.

    Not so with public sector employees! The government can’t go out of business, and no one can cease being a “customer,” since we are all compelled to pay taxes. That is the economics the teachers learn, and no other, so it is hardly surprising that that is the economics they teach.

    The economist Dana (f68855)

  15. Pre-teens get logic, reasoning and mathematics. Liberals? Not so much…….

    Kevin P. (a6d18e)

  16. if kids get one conservative book it should be the one that teaches them that journalists in america are bought and paid for whores and if one tries to touch them they should find a teacher or police officer

    happyfeet (befba5)

  17. “Build a man a fire and you warm him for a day, Set a man on fire and you warm him for the rest of his life”

    Anon

    f1guyus (647d76)

  18. I think putting the subtitle “A conservative bedtime story” is a Very Bad Idea. It marks it as a book to be shunned and avoided at all costs by all right (as in “politically correct”, not “political”) thinking liberals.

    For example, you might buy it, subversively, for your liberal friends’ kids… but they’ll see that on the cover and subtly push their kids away from it, so it doesn’t get read by/to them… and hence does no good on the subversion front.

    And subversion is what’s needed. The liberals have been engaging in a subversive push of their memes for decades now… it’s damned time the political Right got wise to that and began fighting back.

    IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in All 57 States (8e2a3d)

  19. 19- The political Right will have a hard time fighting with marshmallows.

    convict# (31009b)

  20. Public schools, better known as “State-run, Progressive Indoctrination Centers,” should be the simplest place for Conservatives to start reclaiming the minds of the youth of America.

    If we permit our children to be indoctrinated as little Marxists, there is no question of how they will vote.

    My kids have never spent a single day in such a place.

    Save the nation! Take your kids OUT of public schools.

    WarEagle82 (97b777)

  21. We should just do away with the Constitution, merit, achievement, personal property, personal wealth, and free speech, and instead allow ourselves to be governed by a wise oligarchy of community organizers, lawyers, judges, and former Hostess bakers. They would know what’s best for teaching children. Or something.

    Elephant Stone (65d289)

  22. “Give a man a fire and he’s warm for a day, but set him on fire and he’s warm for the rest of his life.”

    — Solid Jackson (From Jingo, by Sir Terry Pratchett)

    Milhouse (ea3f0d)

  23. And in the important news of the day, Auburn fired Gene Chizik earlier today.

    This was just as predictable as Mitt Romney losing in November.

    WarEagle82 (97b777)

  24. Frankly, I am surprised he wasn’t fired at half-time in the Iron Bowl…

    WarEagle82 (97b777)

  25. Igotbupkis nails it…we can’t put our “National Review Approved” gold star label on the front book jacket, otherwise it will be dismissed as merely ‘right wing propaganda.’
    As a result, liberals won’t read it, but what is always more damaging is when librarians, school administrators, and purchasers at book stores, et al, refuse to give the book a fair shot when they think it’s “right wing propaganda”.

    Certainly, we want “conservative” parents and home-school teachers to be able to locate “conservative” books for their kids, yet we also must not lose focus of our important objective of being able to reach the hearts and minds of misguided liberals and the mushy middle, and that needs to be achieved by using subtlety and even the occasional Trojan horse approach.

    Elephant Stone (65d289)

  26. War Eagle, you better hope they don’t replace Chizik with Bobby Petrino. He’s a good offensive coach, but he’s also an offensive person, in a different sort of context—he leaves a path of debris everywhere he coaches.

    Elephant Stone (65d289)

  27. Wow, Kristof is an idiot.

    IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in All 57 States (8e2a3d)

  28. War Eagle, you better hope they don’t replace Chizik with Bobby Petrino. He’s a good offensive coach, but he’s also an offensive person, in a different sort of context—he leaves a path of debris everywhere he coaches.

    Comment by Elephant Stone

    I don’t think Auburn will want to touch Petrino. Open adultery is not something that flies at Auburn.

    Also, the man has a winning record at the college level, which for some reason, is a negative in recent coaching searches. Go figure…

    WarEagle82 (97b777)

  29. …our important objective of being able to reach the hearts and minds of misguided liberals and the mushy middle

    It’s not just that, I consider most of them a lost cause. But their kids, that’s different. Their kids still have open minds, and, if they get exposed to this stuff early, they may well be more flexible later on when the liberal crap clearly isn’t working.

    Exposure to a wider range of ideas makes people more flexible.

    IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in All 57 States (8e2a3d)

  30. re: Auburn. The REAL retards were the ones who fired Tommy Tuberville because of one bad season after many good ones. As a Gator, I’m always happy to see AU make remarkably dumb decisions regarding its programs, but THAT one had me going “HUH…??

    Auburn tends to make idiotic kneejerk decisions based on what happens in a single year. Expecting results over time is one thing. Expecting to be NC contenders every year is just ephtarded.

    IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in All 57 States (8e2a3d)

  31. Elephant Stone wrote:

    War Eagle, you better hope they don’t replace Chizik with Bobby Petrino. He’s a good offensive coach, but he’s also an offensive person, in a different sort of context—he leaves a path of debris everywhere he coaches.

    Better him than Lane Kiffen.

    The Oakland Raiders fan Dana (f68855)

  32. Igotbupkis,

    We’re on the same page, pardon the pun.
    I assumed it was inferred that the school books and children’s books that would be purchased by liberal and mushy middle adults, would ultimately be read by….uh, their children !

    Elephant Stone (65d289)

  33. War Eagle wrote:

    I don’t think Auburn will want to touch Petrino. Open adultery is not something that flies at Auburn.

    You haven’t been around students much recently, have you?

    The Dana who went to college (f68855)

  34. That probably means, they will choose Kiffen, ‘for reasons passing understanding’

    narciso (ee31f1)

  35. Hey, Joker Phillips is available! Please, take him!

    The University of Kentucky alumnus Dana (f68855)

  36. It’s not really a “conservative” book. It’s a book about simple, basic economics. That isn’t “conservative,” it’s simple supply and demand.

    The only thing that makes it “conservative” is the fact that liberals think unicorn farts are the solution to all the worlds problems.

    These people shouldn’t be taken seriously and mocked at every turn.

    egd (920467)

  37. In the meantime, at UK:

    Among the faithful, there is a (fanatical) faction that adamantly wants disgraced former Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino. There is a faction that wants the administration to throw the same kind of money the school threw at John Calipari to get him to coach basketball at UK. There is a faction that wants a name coach, any name coach, that would constitute a “home run” hire.

    The real “name” coaches already have jobs. UK will have to either go for a big program’s coordinator, or a smaller conference head coach who wants to try his luck in the SEC.

    I have a feeling that Rich Ellerson, head coach at Army, will be available; he’s probably going to get fired with Army having a 2-9 record this year. He’s a great coach, but Army’s defensive players are both too small and too slow to stop anyone. If he came to UK, and could get the triple-option offense to work there, and have defensive players who actually have size and speed, he could do well.

    The University of Kentucky alumnus Dana (f68855)

  38. These hash tags are offering some interesting hexadecimal math opportunities.

    navyvet (00a7f2) + (02dd07)

  39. egd,

    Uh, friend, thanks for the lecture. (eyes roll)

    There’s a reason I put “conservative” in quotes. Although, now that you mention it, it’s worth pointing out that “basic economics 101″ and “supply and demand” are very much considered “conservative” within the context of 2012 public policy discourse and 2012 right vs left ideologies.

    Nonetheless, the strategy for introducing “non-liberal” books to the children of liberals as well as clueless mushy middle swing voters is still to be subtle and stealth-like in the marketing of the books.

    Elephant Stone (65d289)

  40. Dana,

    Ellerson sounds like a good strategy for UK. I wonder if he’s a good recruiter, or if he has potential assistants who are talented recruiters.

    I imagine Sonny Dykes at LA Tech might get some notice, too. And Gus Malzahn at Arkansas St, who used to be the OC at Auburn a couple years ago.

    Elephant Stone (65d289)

  41. The Peter Principle works in all walks of life. Particularly politics, but coaching, too.

    Ag80 (b2c81f)

  42. The best that the best teachers can do is teach kids to be teachers. And the best teachers are in public schools because that’s where the best pay and benefits are.

    There are two ways out of that, that I can think of, that might work: The parents teach their kids to become better than their teachers with after-school schooling; the kids, themselves, are smart enough to become self-taught.

    As far as echognomics goes*, no! I will not subject my ten-year old to that. I will spoil her rotten. Daddy, and mama too, will reach into their pockets as deep as they can for as long as they can. We want our child to be better than us, and to have a better life than we’ve had.

    *resounded sounds of underground sprites

    nk (875f57)

  43. Argentina has jumped to front of the line for sovereign default. There will be others over the next year.

    Looks like Bennie B. was right, dollar will be the last currency standing.

    How do I teach the squirt bartering for a living when I haven’t done it before?

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  44. BTW, I wonder, that people who think that AGW is nonsense, or think that evolution is nonsense, or think that creationism is nonsense, take economics seriously. Do you know an economist’s credentials? His bank balance. I’ll listen to a billionaire.

    nk (875f57)

  45. “We should just do away with the Constitution, merit, achievement, personal property, personal wealth, and free speech, and instead allow ourselves to be governed by a wise oligarchy of community organizers, lawyers, judges, and former Hostess bakers. They would know what’s best for teaching children. Or something.”

    - Elephant Stone

    Someone get Elephant Stone his cookie. He’s making big-boy comments.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  46. Patterico, at 12 your daughter is old enough to read books such as Free To Choose (Milton & Rose Friedman) and Economics in One Lesson (Henry Hazlitt). I hope she’s already reading Heinlein, and maybe Poul Anderson. We the Living (Ayn Rand) might be appropriate too. Maybe even Daughter of Time (Josephine Tey) to inculcate a skeptical attitude to Received Wisdom, though with a warning that it is a work of fiction.

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  47. BTW, I wonder, that people who think that AGW is nonsense, or think that evolution is nonsense, or think that creationism is nonsense, take economics seriously. Do you know an economist’s credentials? His bank balance. I’ll listen to a billionaire.

    Sorry, you’re wrong; an economist is not a financial adviser. Economics is a branch of psychology; it’s about the choices people tend to make, the ones they’re more likely to make than any others, and therefore the ones that will dominate when averaged over large numbers.

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  48. The important thing to remember, people, is that we make sure to decide what our children do or do not have to read from an early age so that they learn to think the right way.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  49. I happen to have a BA in Psychology, Milhouse, and I guess that’s an argument that won’t work with me. No economist has ever been proven to know his a** from a hole in the ground, including the greatest one ever, Karl Marx.

    nk (875f57)

  50. This should be good.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  51. All the best economists have righteous beards.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  52. The only thing I worried about my daughter’s reading, Leviticus, is that she would try to climb the bookcases and they might topple on her. The detective and sci-fi paperbacks are on top, the “serious” literature are in the middle, and the motorcycle, car, music, and gun books are on the bottom. ;)

    nk (875f57)

  53. I cut my young teeth on Tolkien and the “Hank the Cowdog” series.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  54. No economist has ever been proven to know his a** from a hole in the ground, including the greatest one ever, Karl Marx.

    Are you nuts? Marx was a sh*t economist. The labour theory of value?! Smith, on the other hand, was pretty much spot on in most of his observations, as far as they went.

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  55. Gee that spammer’s persistent. And getting bolder.

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  56. I still have My daughter now has my first paperback edition of The Hobbit.

    nk (875f57)

  57. “No penny was ever earned except through sweat and blood, yours or somebody else’s”, is likely the truest economic theory, Milhouse.

    nk (875f57)

  58. Leviticus:

    If you cut your teeth on “Hank the Cow Dog,” then you are about the same age as my kids in college.

    Nothing wrong with that, but I still have the car seats.

    Ag80 (b2c81f)

  59. but Army’s defensive players are both too small and too slow to stop anyone

    Those small army players are cadets and upon graduation will be big enough to stop anyone

    EPWJ (d84fb0)

  60. “No penny was ever earned except through sweat and blood, yours or somebody else’s”, is likely the truest economic theory, Milhouse.

    Bulldust. It’s arrant nonsense. Enterprise and capital each create far more wealth than labour does. Donald Trump, Bill Gates, Michael Bloomberg, and pretty much any other tycoon you can name has created billions of dollars of value without sweating or bleeding. They did not steal their money; they created it. It would not exist but for them. That is why it is rightfully theirs. Whereas someone who works his arse off digging a ditch that nobody wants, in a field where it isn’t wanted, has destroyed value.

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  61. And I’m astounded that anyone who believes such a doctrine would be posting on this blog.

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  62. Milhouse, I’m sure nk was just being tongue-in-cheek about Karl Marx.

    Incidentally, Karl Marx was not one-tenth as wise as Groucho Marx.
    And while Groucho Marx’s work merely left millions of people to die laughing, Karl Marx’s work actually left millions of people dead.

    Elephant Stone (65d289)

  63. “I’ll listen to a billionaire.”

    nk – Why would you assume a billionaire is telling you something that is good for you rather than good for him?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  64. Yes, I was funning Karl Marx.

    But I do believe that [cheap] labor is the base of the economic pyramid. I mean, why is everything at Toys R Us made in China?

    nk (875f57)

  65. “Sorry, you’re wrong; an economist is not a financial adviser.”

    Milhouse – Whatever gave you the idea that an economist can’t function as a financial advisor?

    You must have never taken the opportunity to read any of the pieces put out by the chief economists or their underlings employed by major banks, investment firms which are often chock full of asset allocation advice by asset class, industry and country.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  66. “If you cut your teeth on “Hank the Cow Dog,” then you are about the same age as my kids in college.”

    - Ag80

    More likely than not; I’m 23, so I might be a little older. I remember my Grandma reading those books to me and my little brother when we were tots and laughing til she cried, which of course made us laugh til we cried. The process would probably repeat three times over an hour or so. Beautiful memory.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  67. It was more something like, “has your fortune teller won the lottery lately?”, daleyrocks.

    nk (875f57)

  68. But I do believe that [cheap] labor is the base of the economic pyramid. I mean, why is everything at Toys R Us made in China?

    There is no “economic pyramid”. And everything at Toys R Us is not made in China; the physical toys are made there, but they are the least valuable component of what TRU sells. The reason they’re made there is the doctrine of comparative advantage; US workers’ time is too valuable to be wasted doing that work when they’re capable doing something worth more. In other words, for the same reason that so many people pay a kid to mow their lawn, even if they would do a better job of it themselves.

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  69. “It was more something like, “has your fortune teller won the lottery lately?”, daleyrocks.”

    nk – No idea what you’re gassing on about, but the idea that people like Warren Buffet is acting on something other than his own selfish interest when his spouting potential public policy solutions is pure hogwash.

    Psychologists are much like fortune tellers, all they have is guess work. Economics, especially microeconomics, is easy. Prices go up, demand goes down. Supply goes up, prices go down. Not very tough.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  70. The important thing to remember, people, is that we make sure to decide what our children do or do not have to read from an early age so that they learn to think the right way.

    Who said that?

    I saw a few people, including myself, discussing the importance of exposing children to ideas that are too often drowned out in today’s society. But I’m sure most parents, like myself, want to teach their children to think for themselves. That is the highest goal. My daughter will do well, I think.

    Could you point me to the comment or comments in this thread that advocate brainwashing? Or are you just being uncharitable again?

    Patterico (8b3905)

  71. Alright, Milhouse. You’re a bright guy. My model is the pyramid, what is yours?

    My daughter bought a Juganji at Toys R Us, today.

    Somebody made it, somebody shipped it, somebody shelved it, somebody sold it, somebody capitalized all of them. Who is the indispensable?

    nk (875f57)

  72. 12 might be a little young but that depends on the child, but follow the link from my username to the PBS series that aired in 1980 (updated in the 90′s) by Milton Friedman. Excellent discussion of economics in a way most people can understand.

    crosspatch (6adcc9)

  73. but the idea that people like Warren Buffet is acting on something other than his own selfish interest when his spouting potential public policy solutions is pure hogwash.

    No disagreement, necessarily. Take everything with a pinch of salt.

    nk (875f57)

  74. My daughter bought a Juganji at Toys R Us, today.

    Somebody made it, somebody shipped it, somebody shelved it, somebody sold it, somebody capitalized all of them. Who is the indispensable?

    The designer who came up with the idea, and the entrepreneur who made it a reality, obviously. Everyone else is easily replaceable, and their contributions to its value are minimal. How is this not obvious to you?

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  75. nk,

    The genesis or “idea” of the particular toy is indispensable. Without the idea of the particular toy, the toy doesn’t exist. No offense, but the Toys R Us employee who merely puts the toy on the shelf is not indispensable—he’s a dime a dozen.

    The capital investment in all the overhead required to put the toy into mass production is indispensable.

    There are many fewer ideas people than laborers. There are many fewer capital investors than laborers. There are many fewer Michael Jordans than Sam Bowies. Michael Jordan is more indispesable than Sam Bowie.

    The ideas guy and the capital investors guys are more indispensable than the laborers. By definition, cheap labor is cheap due to the over-supply of laborers willing to work for X in wages.

    Elephant Stone (65d289)

  76. The capital investment in all the overhead required to put the toy into mass production is indispensable.

    Yes, I forgot to mention the capitalist, but the entrepreneur who put it all together and made it happen is even more important. There’s plenty of capital out there, and there are plenty of ideas, but neither capital nor ideas will make anything on their own.

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  77. By the way that is something that Adam Smith left out of his analysis.

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  78. Maybe in Smith’s day the capitalist and the entrepreneur tended to be one in the same.

    crosspatch (6adcc9)

  79. can you use the tea in the spray bottle over multiple days or must you make new tea each time you want to do an application?, online casino games, bbdd,

    SantiagoHendrie (a81be6)

  80. So we are all on the same page, just using different words? The entrepreneur is “investing” his “sweat and blood”? In the end, it is the work of someone’s hands? A chain of hands, maybe, for a better model?

    nk (875f57)

  81. Reading with my daughters was one of the highlights of parenting. They would bring arm loads of books to read just before bed. I miss those days.

    convict# (31009b)

  82. Milhouse : I suggest that you re-read or read “the Wealth of Nations.” I say re-read or read because I have found that most commenters on the early economists such as Smith, Say, Ricardo et. al. have relied on what they were told rather than what they had acually read. The quick “drive-by shooting” that passes for intellectual analysis in many college level Economics courses should not be relied upon – read the complete original work.

    Michael M. Keohane (2edce5)

  83. However, as a practical matter, most popular culture brainwashes children towards an ideology that rejects self-reliance and economic realities in favor of a mushy socialistic reliance on government

    And now, at least in places like California, school textbooks are required — mandated — to single out famous people who are gay-lesbian-bisexual-transgendered and highlight the contributions they’ve made to society.

    At the core of any healthy economy is filling the minds of young people not just with the antithesis to kum-ba-yah socialism, but also surrounding them with a reassuring, stable culture. IOW, it’s a lot tougher establishing and maintaining economically viable people when they’re raised in a “anything goes” and “if it feels good, do it” culture.

    Moreover, the reason why figureheads like Bill Clinton and the current occupant of the White House no longer shock and dismay — and are even embraced and celebrated — and also are increasingly unethical and dumbed-down, is because we, as a society, have become desensitized to various forms of corruption (socio-political) and falling standards.

    Don’t cry for us, Argentina.

    Mark (01c836)

  84. nk,

    No, “we” aren’t all using different words to make the same argument. You were arguing on behalf of the populist laborer, equating his “indispensability” to that of everyone else.

    On the other hand, Milhouse and I were talking about the ideas guy (entrepreneur) and the capital investor being indispensable.

    Elephant Stone (65d289)

  85. Smith was concerned with mercantilism, that version of ‘crony capitalism’ which depended on the state’s graces,

    narciso (ee31f1)

  86. The important thing to remember, people, is that we make sure to decide what our children do or do not have to read from an early age so that they learn to think the right way.

    Comment by Leviticus (17b7a5) — 11/25/2012 @ 8:34 pm
    Maybe that’s important to you. But its a misrepresentation of what others are writing here. But it is an accurate representation of what the education systems are attempting to do.

    SPQR (768505)

  87. “Could you point me to the comment or comments in this thread that advocate brainwashing? Or are you just being uncharitable again?”

    - Patterico

    The one I had in mind was this one from Milhouse:

    “Patterico, at 12 your daughter is old enough to read books such as Free To Choose (Milton & Rose Friedman) and Economics in One Lesson (Henry Hazlitt). I hope she’s already reading Heinlein, and maybe Poul Anderson. We the Living (Ayn Rand) might be appropriate too. Maybe even Daughter of Time (Josephine Tey) to inculcate a skeptical attitude to Received Wisdom, though with a warning that it is a work of fiction.”

    You talk about wanting to teach your daughter to think for herself, and I believe you; but this is a thread about “A Conservative Bedtime Story” that is essentially political propaganda jammed into an Aesop’s fable; and then you’ve got Milhouse wanting to slap a copy of I Will Fear No Evil into the hands of a 12-year old kid. It’s just weird, man. If kids like to read, they will figure out what to read for themselves. I have no problem with anyone suggesting books for their kids, but this whole thing has too manipulative a feel to it.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  88. Leviticus, in other words, you could not find anyone making a comment to support your snark.

    SPQR Grammar Nazi (768505)

  89. “Leviticus, in other words, you could not find anyone making a comment to support your snark.”

    - SPQR

    Other than the one I pinpointed… no?

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  90. I mean, Patterico’s putting words in my mouth when he says that I think anyone is “advocating brainwashing.” I was thinking more along the lines of “viewing children as a political resource.”

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  91. “But it is an accurate representation of what the education systems are attempting to do.”

    - SPQR

    Says you.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  92. No, Leviticus, Milhouse didn’t write anything like what you snarked. You just felt he did …

    And while I read I Will Fear No Evil at around age 12, notice that you supplied that particular title from Heinlein’s bibliography – Milhouse didn’t.

    SPQR (768505)

  93. Leviticus, says me? No says the education establishment itself. Just one example being the education major who was expelled from a teaching program because of a failure to accept the left wing ideology of the graduate school.

    SPQR (768505)

  94. We should divorce ourselves of this silly notion that parents have a right to select books for their own children, or that concerned citizens have a right to collectively voice their concern over the particular books being promoted in public schools and libraries at taxpayer expense.

    We ought to defer to the wise owls of the public education system to select books for children and students. After all, everyone knows that the public education system is devoid of any political agenda. And by definition, they just know better than the rest of us. We must accept the idea that some ideas are more equal than others. Or something.

    Elephant Stone (65d289)

  95. “Leviticus, says me? No says the education establishment itself. Just one example being the education major who was expelled from a teaching program because of a failure to accept the left wing ideology of the graduate school.”

    - SPQR

    Link?

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  96. I imagine Patterico’s kids go to a school with a well-stocked library and a Books Club, and they have a wide variety of choices of what to read. We got The Hunger Games for the daughter from the school’s Book Club when she was nine, in fourth grade. There was criticism that the series was too “mature” to be offered to elementary school children.

    I have read all of Heinlein, I am not a fan. Jack Vance, now, is sitting there just waiting for the daughter to show some interest in Lyonesse. Alongside The Dawn of Man and Warfare in the Classical Period. She prefers playing Minecraft mostly these days, though. ;)

    nk (875f57)

  97. “We should divorce ourselves of this silly notion that parents have a right to select books for their own children.”

    -Elephant Stone

    Better that than divorcing ourselves of this silly notion that children have a right to select books for themselves… rather than having your half-baked political slogans jammed down their throats at bedtime.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  98. PJ O’Rourke has a ‘good parts version’ of Adam Smith’s On The Wealth Of Nations that I found fun to read. It’s also very cheap to pick up in various places, kind of like a public service.

    As for me, Dungeons and Dragons taught me my readin’, writin’, arithmetic, mathematical analysis, and economics. It can be an excellent teaching tool.

    luagha (5cbe06)

  99. Easy, guys. My father bought me Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, and Black Mask* detective stories when I was eight. He was just happy that I read. He bragged that he had taught me to read the newspaper when I was four.

    *Did you know that both Batman and Spiderman were Black Mask characters, in dark overcoats and fedoras, with twin .45s, before they became men in tights?

    nk (875f57)

  100. Leviticus–I am going to assume that at your age you don’t have children yet. But if you can envision that day some time in the future when you might be a loving dad–and if you can envision that there could be circumstances in which you and your spouse are not thoroughly comfortable in what you know to be some of the themes and policies that teachers are espousing to your kids–can you see some (any) value in pointing the impressionable youngsters in a slightly different and historically valid direction through specified reading material at home? You know, if only to give them a broader base of facts and knowledge upon which to make their own decisions?

    elissa (dbef28)

  101. Leviticus,

    Where have you been taught all these diversionary tactics ? You spend more time with straw men than Dorothy, The Cowardly Lion, or the Tin Man ever did.

    When did I assert that children should not be allowed to select their own books ?

    Elephant Stone (65d289)

  102. BTW, Leviticus, the definition of “child” is that it needs a parent to make choices for it, along with providing for it. Hmm?

    nk (875f57)

  103. nk,

    One time I came home from school – I was around 11 or 12 – and found two books on my bed: Of Mice and Men and Death of a Salesman.

    My dad never said a word about them until he found me sobbing at the ending of one of them a couple days later.

    Of course parents should influence what their kids read – but never for the sake of something as worthless as politics.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  104. Elephant Stone,

    When did I say “We ought to defer to the wise owls of the public education system to select books for children and students. After all, everyone knows that the public education system is devoid of any political agenda”?

    Quit whining, dude. Turnabout it fair play.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  105. *is

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  106. No, the educational establishment would never attempt to shape the political perceptions of the children, wait what;

    http://houston.cbslocal.com/2012/11/23/texas-schools-teaching-boston-tea-party-as-terrorist-act/

    narciso (ee31f1)

  107. “Of course parents should influence what their kids read – but never for the sake of something as worthless as politics.”

    Leviticus – Some call it politics, others call it values or morals.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  108. Leviticus, the whole idea is to balance against halfbaked political ideas that elementary teachers inculcate into students, as well as economically illiterate gibberish found in K12 curriculum. Something you have pretended not to notice was the thread’s entire theme.

    SPQR (6c7367)

  109. My friend Leviticus,

    When everyone in the pub is accusing you of being drunk, there’s a good likelihood that you’re probably, uh, at least a little tipsy.

    I made fun of the left wing meme that the public education industrial complex is the final word because they believe they simply know better. You on the other hand actually highlighted my quote, then ascribed a belief to me that I never stated.

    As you progress through your particular law school’s education, they might teach you that evidence is important. (Well, hopefully.)

    nk and elissa make good points about parenting. The parent has the right to choose books for their own child, as part of the whole “providing for their child” thingee.
    And I would submit that citizens have a right to be involved in affecting the decisions of public school boards and public libraries. After all, they are being funded by, you know, like, the, uh, taxpayers. Or someone.

    Balance is key in public discourse—particularly when we’re discussing public education. A strict menu of left wing themes and values as dictated by the public education industrial complex makes Johnny and Mary unhealthy, unwealthy, and unwise….and uneducated.

    Elephant Stone (65d289)

  110. Hi everyone,

    I am the Author of these books and I find the discussion here great and nothing that I have not argued with myself about many times. I mean honestly the book is more ‘Economic’ than anything else so why not call it that.

    It has been a hard decision and perhaps some day I will simply label it an ‘Economics’ Bedtime Story. But the truth of the matter is that I believe in the concepts that it teaches ( I better since I wrote it ) You see I view the way that we act as having a label. For better or for worst this is the way Conservatives, at least from my understanding of the word, view the world. That real wealth comes from going out and creating something of value, not waiting for it to be handed to us.

    Now why label it ‘Conservative’ why not do what many others have done and simply present it and get people to accept it and then have them figure out what the ‘philosophical’ message is. It is simply because I feel it is dishonest not to claim something for what it is. This is a book with a point of view and I want parents fully aware of it before they even touch the book. I do not want to ‘brain wash’ kids. In fact if you get the book and look in the back at the questions they are meant to be open ended, creating discussion rather than forcing belief on people.

    Thanks again to Patterico for even letting you all know about these books. I appreciate the discussion here and really enjoyed the comments, even the mean spirited ones. If we are not forced to examine ourselves and our own motives then what are we but bigots against the world lol.

    Thanks everyone and Cheers,

    Thomas Wright

    Thomas Wright (6e30c1)

  111. “Something you have pretended not to notice was the thread’s entire theme.”

    - SPQR

    What you have pretended not to notice was that the book in question was a flagrant propaganda tool – to the point that the author labeled it as such. What creeps me out isn’t that parents want to provide their kids with a broad diversity of reading material; what creeps me out is that they’re contemplating subverting the objective of well-read children in favor of the objective of politically conservative children.

    It’s not the act that creeps me out. It’s the motivation.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  112. Oh and one last thought.

    Children are to be quite honest empty vessels, Tableau Rasa, not to say they do not have their own ways of thinking. I have five children myself and every one of them is distinctly different in the way that they process information. However, they are your children. If you do not attempt to inform them about the way the world is then someone else will.

    Please let me know when a set of information, from any source, does not have a point of view or bias? Culture is a foundation of understandings based on bias. If they are your children, you should at least have the opportunity to express how you see the world and help them process information. Pick up the book, find out for yourself if it is worth sharing with your kids. I try to go over some of the more salient concepts in my video ( which I am updating now lol ) I have labeled the book ‘Conservative’ so that if you philosophically simply cannot abide to hear anything so labeled and automatically reject it that you may do so ( it is the reason why I have a hard time NOT labeling the book as such lol )

    Once again, Cheers,

    Thomas Wright

    Thomas Wright (6e30c1)

  113. Richard Milhouse Nixon wrote:

    Sorry, you’re wrong; an economist is not a financial adviser. Economics is a branch of psychology; it’s about the choices people tend to make, the ones they’re more likely to make than any others, and therefore the ones that will dominate when averaged over large numbers.

    If that is how you are going to define economics, then you have just defined most of the professional ones as poor ones. The President’s stimulus plan was going to work, work, work, because the professional economists — including the former President of Harvard University — told us what the effects of the stimulus plan would be on people’s behavior, and it all made perfect sense, was drawn up in neat, professional graphs, and was absotively, posilutely perfect, right up until it was wrong.

    What you really have in economics are people who take assumptions based on how, and why, they believe people responded to different economic conditions in the past. In that way, it’s almost more statistics than psychology. If the assumptions are wrong, then the outcome is wrong, or, put better, garbage in, garbage out.

    There are still people arguing that we need another stimulus plan because the New Deal worked — even though it didn’t either, with unemployment being higher in 1937 than in 1931 — without the first bit of consideration that maybe, just maybe, conditions are somewhat different in 2012 than they were in 1933.

    The Dana who gets a new hexadecimal hashtag for writing at work (3e4784)

  114. The Windy City Barrister (875f57) wrote:

    and the motorcycle, car, music, and gun

    books

    are on the bottom.

    Where your children can read them? Quick, somebody call Children and Youth!

    The nanny-state Dana (3e4784)

  115. ==the book in question was a flagrant propaganda tool – to the point that the author labeled it as such==

    Have you read the book in question, Leviticus? What parts specifically do you find to be flagrant propaganda? I am curious what you find so objectionable or misleading?

    elissa (dbef28)

  116. EPWJ wrote:

    but Army’s defensive players are both too small and too slow to stop anyone

    Those small army players are cadets and upon graduation will be big enough to stop anyone

    Well, yeah; carrying an M-4 will help with that. But in football, they have to leave their weapons behind.

    Army has two victories this season, against Air Force, whose players also have to make weight or tape, and, amazingly, against Indiana, which plays in the Big 10.

    CBS Sports Network carried most of the Army games this year, and it was a sad sight to see: the Army cornerbacks just could not keep up with the opponents’ receivers, and the corners and safeties were at a significant disadvantage in tackling; opponents made way too many yards after contact, because they were simply bigger, faster and stronger.

    The Army-daddy Dana (3e4784)

  117. Which book was a blatant propaganda tool, Leviticus? The ones Milhouse mentioned … or the ones you pretended were mentioned but only you brought up?

    By the way, Wizard of Oz was political propaganda pushing Democrat themes of the day.

    SPQR (6c7367)

  118. “Which book was a blatant propaganda tool, Leviticus?”

    - SPQR

    The one called “The Fisherman’s Catch: A Conservative Bedtime Story.” The one this thread is discussing. And (it sounds like) the upcoming “Cobbler’s Magic: A Conservative Bedtime Story.”

    elissa,

    What I find objectionable is parents motivated to inject politics into bedtime reading.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  119. “Wizard of Oz was political propaganda pushing Democrat themes of the day.”

    - SPQR

    Interesting. How do you figure that?

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  120. Hahaha, never mind I looked it up. Really?

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  121. Leviticus has not voiced objection to the left wing indoctrination by the public education industrial complex that selects books for kids to read, but if there are a few thousand (or million, even) parents in the country who may say, “Hmmm, I think I’d like my kids to explicitly read some books on the more traditional or conservative side of the equation,” then Leviticus infers that the parents shouldn’t be….selecting books for their own kids to read.

    Classic.

    Again, I guess we should just leave the indoctrination to the educators—”Parents, you stay out of your kids’ education !”

    Good Lord.

    Elephant Stone (65d289)

  122. Lol, here, let me settle the question of whether the book is a propaganda tool. The answer is of course it is. It has a bias. It is the reason that I have to label it as such to be honest with my audience. Now as a ‘propaganda tool’ is it really all that effective? Of course not. When you tell people that something is a propaganda tool then it simply cannot be used as such.

    What was the video that showed a woman being cared for by the government from cradle to grave? It was little else but a propaganda tool. In point of fact most of what is offered up by Obama today is propaganda and little else. Even science is propagandized to the point where you have now labeled people with a different understanding of the ‘science’ as ‘deniers’ and those that tend to take the science to far as ‘warministas’ lol.

    The real question is simply is the book I have written incorrect? You can argue against many of the points of view of the book and I encourage people to do so. I hold to what Keynes said, which by the way if he were alive today I would hope he would chastise the majority of those that invoke his name in economics, ‘When the facts change I change my mind, what do you do sir?’

    Here let me tell you a few aspects of the book that ‘may’ even be wrong. I argue that as taxes go up so does dependence on those tax streams in the book. I argue that real wealth can NEVER come from wealth transfers. I argue that people make economic decisions and if given the opportunity to have almost the same, if not a little less with less effort they will take the path of least resistance. I argue that Wealth Producers will look to move to other locations that give them a better deal ( again the concept of economic choice ). I argue that Opportunity means having the chance to create something of value and reap the full benefits of your success and that failure is one of the many obstacles that we must face. I argue that when major wealth creators leave, Government does not simply say, ‘oops you were right’ but instead simply tacks onto it the next higher income earners as ‘the top 1%’ which btw no matter how many times you try you will always have a top 1%. I argue in my book that Innovation changes the Supply Demand Curve and makes the standard of living increase for everyone.

    Look my book HAS a point of view. It therefore in a sense, no matter how you attempt to say otherwise, has propaganda material in it. So does Dr. Seuss. So did the movie Cars 2, Heck Wall-E, or any number of other kids movies have the same.

    T.V. Shows attempt to show new/different life styles as being fun and exciting. Etc and so on. All propaganda. The real question is can you read something that is honest about what it is, be willing to teach from it, and help your children learn. I do not simply allow the T.V. to be turned on in my home because if I am not there to help my own children understand the context in which things are being portrayed then they will get someone else’s skewed outlook on life.

    So yes this is a book that is technically Propaganda. But so was Gulliver’s Travels, Call of the Wild, The Grapes of Wrath, etc and so on.

    Sorry to wax eloquent. Or blather depending on your point of view. As you can see I am fairly opinionated and perhaps did not help my case as to why you should pick up a copy. The truth of the matter is that EVERYTHING in life has a point of view, yes even ‘science’ which attempts to be objective but often times the only reason research is done in the first place is to validate someone’s opinion in the first place. That does not make the science behind it ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ but it must then be repeatable and all to often we take the limited result set that we receive and then project our own rational onto it.

    Leviticus is unfortunately correct the book is Propaganda. However on the upside Leviticus unfortunately seems to think that most things in life are things other than propaganda. Propaganda btw did not always have negative connotations. It became such as people attempted to manipulate others into believing the things they want them to believe. I do not wish to manipulate ut rather give a point of view which may then be argued with in an intelligent fashion. Yet again I must come back to the concept that if you do not CHOOSE what to teach your children, someone else will choose for you. I am honest and open about what my book is in the hope that people will find it worth the reading.

    Cheers,

    Thomas Wright

    Thomas Wright (6e30c1)

  123. Mr. Thomas Wright–I am going to make an unsolicited observation with respect to your work from my own marketing perspective: Are you aware that many books, catalogs, and popular magazines on newsstands are currently marketed to appeal to different target groups and/or geographic areas simultaneously by simply utilizing different cover headlines and cover art? (Even though the content, the “innards” if you will, is exactly the same in all versions). Perhaps using “conservative” in some versions of your title and labeling –but not in others– could broaden (or conversely not limit) the hands in which your books might land.

    This is not being sneaky or dishonest. It’s just good American marketing and economics!

    elissa (dbef28)

  124. Than you, Mr. Wright. The daughter (my the daughter) has been reading at adult level for a while, though. (She’s ten.)

    Are you working on anything with mathematicians that carry swords, ride winged horses, play electric guitar, and have puppy-love crushes? We need to bring her math up. ;)

    As the twig is bent, the tree will grow. Children do need guidance, and they appreciate it, and their parents for providing it, later.

    nk (875f57)

  125. *Thank you, Mr. Wright*

    nk (875f57)

  126. elissa,

    I agree with you… It is something that I have argued with myself over and over again. I have created a fun, entertaining, and in my opinion fantastic book lol. I may well be short changing it by being too open about a single aspect of the point of view.

    Thank you, your observation is VERY relevant.

    Cheers,

    Thomas Wright

    Thomas Wright (6e30c1)

  127. The Windy City Barrister (875f57) wrote:

    and the motorcycle, car, music, and gun

    books

    are on the bottom.

    Where your children can read them? Quick, somebody call Children and Youth!

    Comment by The nanny-state Dana (3e4784) — 11/26/2012 @ 12:27 pm

    They’re the heavy, high-quality leafed, hardcover ones, Dana. You put the paperbacks high, the novels and poetry in the middle, the heavy volumes on the bottom.

    nk (875f57)

  128. Mr. Wright, I do agree with you there’s an inherent point of view in every work.
    That’s where I see a divergence between conservatives vs liberals.
    Liberals often attempt to deny there’s an inherent point of view in many of the, uh, points of view, they wish to promote. In their eyes, only right wingers are engaged in “propaganda.”

    Elephant Stone (65d289)

  129. ==elissa, What I find objectionable is parents motivated to inject politics into bedtime reading==

    For goodness sake, for generations from “Charlotte’s Web” to “The Chronicles of Narnia” to “The Little Engine that Could” to “Bambi” to “Lion King” to “Cinderella” nearly all children’s stories have touched somehow on societal interactions, personal values, economics and politics. Just cuz they’re couched in fables, fairy tales and barnyard animals doesn’t mean they don’t contain and teach meaningful life lessons.

    elissa (dbef28)

  130. 91. I mean, Patterico’s putting words in my mouth when he says that I think anyone is “advocating brainwashing.” I was thinking more along the lines of “viewing children as a political resource.”

    Comment by Leviticus (1aca67) — 11/26/2012 @ 8:54 am

    This is amusing; actually teaching your children the difference between what works and what doesn’t is treating them “as a political resource.”

    Because of course public schools are one of the remaining bastions recycling the failed theories of the past.

    And, naturally, Barack Obama’s social and political circle of friends is at the heart of it.

    The Ed Schools’ Latest—and Worst—Humbug Teaching for “social justice” is a cruel hoax on disadvantaged kids.</a

    Ayers would soon go on to disprove thoroughly F. Scott Fitzgerald’s famous though mistaken aphorism that “there are no second acts in American lives.” Ayers’s spectacular second act began when he enrolled at Columbia University’s Teachers College in 1984. Then 40, he planned to stay just to get a teaching credential. (He had taught in a “Freedom School” during his pre-underground student radical days.) But he experienced an epiphany in a course taught by Maxine Greene, a leading light of the “critical pedagogy” movement. As Ayers wrote later, he took fire from Greene’s lectures on how the “oppressive hegemony” of the capitalist social order “reproduces” itself through the traditional practice of public schooling—critical pedagogy’s fancy way of saying that the evil corporations exercise thought control through the schools.

    It hadn’t occurred to Ayers that an ed-school professor could speak or write as an authentic American radical. “There are vast dislocations in industrial towns, erosions of trade unions; there is little sign of class consciousness today,”

    Obama’s comments about the “bitter clingers” wasn’t merely an expression of contempt toward the racist hicks of the rust belt. It was Ayers’ partner-in-crime’s socialist lament that they were still clinging to their various opiates instead of developing their true class consciousness.

    It is Obama’s mission to fix that. It’s also the mission of the government schools.

    In 1997, Ayers and his mentor Maxine Greene persuaded Teachers College Press to launch a series of books on social justice teaching, with Ayers as editor and Greene serving on the editorial board (along with Rashid Khalidi, loyal supporter of the Palestinian cause and the Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies at Columbia University). Twelve volumes have appeared so far, including one titled Teaching Science for Social Justice.

    Teaching science for social justice? Let Teachers College professor Angela Calabrese Barton, the volume’s principal author, try to explain: “The marriages between capitalism and education and capitalism and science have created a foundation for science education that emphasizes corporate values at the expense of social justice and human dignity.” The alternative? “Science pedagogy framed around social justice concerns can become a medium to transform individuals, schools, communities, the environment, and science itself, in ways that promote equity and social justice. Creating a science education that is transformative

    Hmmm. If I recall correctly one of Ayers’ political proteges, a guy who launched his political career in Ayers’ living room views himself as a transformative figure. A guy who said we are “days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America” back in 2008. His name escapes me for the moment.

    …implies not only how science is a political activity but also the ways in which students might see and use science and science education in ways transformative of the institutional and interpersonal power structures that play a role in their lives.” If you still can’t appreciate why it’s necessary for your child’s chemistry teacher to teach for social justice, you are probably hopelessly wedded to reason, empiricism, individual merit, and other capitalist and post-colonialist deformities.

    The series doesn’t yet have a text on mathematics, but it’s sure to come, since the pedagogy for teaching social justice through math is even more fully developed than for science. One of the leading lights of the genre is Eric Gutstein, a Marxist colleague of Ayers’s at the University of Illinois and also a full-time Chicago public school math teacher. Gutstein’s new book, Reading and Writing the World with Mathematics: Toward a Pedagogy for Social Justice, combines critical pedagogy theory and real live math lessons that Gutstein piloted with his predominantly minority seventh-grade students.

    …Accordingly, Gutstein has relentlessly politicized his math classes for years, claiming that this approach has improved his students’ math skills while making them more aware of the injustices built in to capitalist society. One lesson, for example, presents charts showing the U.S. income distribution, aiming to get the students to understand the concept of percentages and fractions, while simultaneously showing them how much wealth is concentrated at the top in an economic system that mainly benefits the superrich. After the class does the mathematical calculations, Gutstein asks: “How does all this make you feel?” He triumphantly reports that 19 of 21 students described wealth distribution in America as “bad,” “unfair,” or “shocking,” and he proudly quotes the comments of a child named Rosa: “Well I see that all the wealth in the United States is mostly the wealth of a couple people not the whole nation.”

    Naturally these cheap propaganda tricks only work on young minds, as only the inexperienced and uninformed will uncritically absorb the lesson. Capitalism results in far more equal wealth distribution than socialism, and moreover it also has far greater social mobility. It was far harder to go from the bread line in the old USSR to the level in the party hierarchy where you’d have your chauffeured limo and weekend dacha outside of Moscow than it ever was to lift yourself out of poverty in the US and own your own business. Just as it is now in Cuba or North Korea.

    But the indoctrination doesn’t just consist of what to think, but who to listen to. Only people who espouse the leftard ideology are compassionate. Anyone who resists or tells them differently is evil.

    So teaching children that there are such things are economic realities, and that the history of people ignoring those economic realities to impose collectivist failures is perpetually doomed to failure, is very much a conservative endeavor. You can’t ignore the fact that the educational establishment is indoctrinating children to believe that even to talk about economic realities is really just to use “codewords” to mask the inherent racism and greed of the capitalist system.

    Obama and the educational system have convinced the majority of students that the whole purpose of economic activity is to give people free stuff. They are in the process of demonstrating that the “free market” fails to do that, and that only government can be “trusted” to deliver that free stuff.

    Ignore for the moment the fact that the recent government mandates imposed upon businesses, essentially turning them into government subsidiaries distributing benefits, demonstrates we don’t have a free market and in fact we haven’t for quite some time. Let’s not lose sight of the forest for the trees. The left has since the 1960s been increasing hostile toward private enterprise. The occupy movement was the latest incarnation of that fact. The democratic party has ridden this wave of anti-capitalist populism to impose such burdens on private enterprise that many business leaders openly acknowledge that they could never start the businesses today that they once were able to start in the 1970s.

    And while simultaneously hobbling business to the point where private economic activity can no longer really provide the benefits of private economic activity the government now demands that private enterprise function as a public utility.

    Meanwhile the schools teach that it’s the proper role of government to order about businesses, and any failure to achieve utopia can be blamed on the remnants of the greedy, racist, imperialistic free market when it doesn’t go along with the social justice agenda.

    We’ll see the same thing in microcosm during the run up to the fiscal cliff.

    Politico – Bob Woodward: Obama ‘mistaken’ on sequester

    Bob Woodward says President Barack Obama got some of his facts wrong on sequester at Monday night’s debate.

    Woodward’s book “The Price of Politics” has been the go-to fact check source for the president’s answer, in which he claimed the idea of using deep, automatic, across-the-board domestic and defense spending cuts to force Congress to address the nation’s burgeoning federal deficit originated from Congress, not from the White House.

    Woodward reports in his book that White House Office of Management Director Jack Lew and Legislative Affairs Director Rob Nabors took the proposal for sequestration to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and then it was presented to congressional Republicans.

    During the debate, however, Obama said the idea originated on Capitol Hill.

    Sequestration, the fiscal cliff, is an idea that originated in the Obama WH and the Democrats have no intention of avoiding it. Yet the public overwhelmingly plans to blame the GOP as the Democrats act on what’s been their plan all along.

    We have a public that is willfully resistant to the facts. So much so that they are hostile to any presentation of the facts, or even the idea there are any. They prefer the ideology of lies. Which is no accident; that’s the goal of “teaching for social and economic justice.”

    Which leads to things like this:

    Failing School Ranks Every Teacher and Principal ‘Highly Effective’ State has Hazel Park schools as failing, but its teachers all get highest marks

    …Every teacher and principal in the Hazel Park district received the highest evaluation despite student achievement getting an “F” from the state in 10 of the 16 measured categories in the four elementary schools and in the junior high and high schools.

    Hazel Park Junior High registered a “C” in reading and was the only school not to get a “D” or “F” among the six buildings.

    Naturally Leviticus is more comfortable with this crowd assigning a reading list to children than the parents.

    Steve57 (7a880e)

  131. NK,

    Lol, Your child is a treasure! No as of to date I have been concentrating all my time energy and effort in creating simple fables that explain complex concepts. However I would suggest that this book is worth picking up for ages 4 – 12. TO be honest the older the child is the better the discussion you can have with them. The concepts and ideas in the book are layered in such a way as to afford discussion into the high school years.

    I actually am invited to share the book in schools ( I have only accepted Private and Charter School Speaking engagements to date ) It actually takes 45 minutes for me to go over all the economic concepts in the book and then I have a 15 – 30 minute discussions with the children afterwards.

    Junior High is my favorite as the children have a better basic understanding than kids 7 – 10. For Leviticus as I am sure he will be incensed at the concept of my going before other peoples children and talking about these concepts the first thing I explain is that this book has a point of view and that they should go home and discuss the concepts with their parents. I WANT children to talk about economics with their parents and other children.

    One book that I would recommend that I know about can be found on Amazon. It is an Economics Mystery book called Striker Jones. NC your child may enjoy that one. I am not sure it will help her with her math but it may be a fun way to explore Economics beyond the complex levels of my own book.

    Though again, I take 45 minutes just to go over the layers of understanding in my own book lol.

    Thank you for your Kind Words, I am very grateful for the chance to share with others.

    Cheers,

    Thomas Wright

    Thomas Wright (6e30c1)

  132. Elephant Stone,

    I agree with you. It is one of the reasons I have such a hard time NOT saying my book has a point of view. It is interesting how some people rail against it. I have received death threats due to my honesty. I love Elsie and her support and I agree that perhaps I am being honest and heck even possibly overly misleading in labeling the book ‘Conservative’ but I feel far too great a responsibility to both the term ‘Conservative’ and in being honest with those who are supportive of this project with their hard earned money NOT to be honest.

    You all have been so wonderful I have enjoyed the thoughts and discussion here more so than I think you can imagine. You are all well educate and thoughtful individuals. Even Leviticus in his own way is attempting to prove that he is correct and that his view has merit. Which it does. But I would ask Leviticus to see past the bias of his own thoughts and arguments to see that in the grander scheme of things this book is not really that bad.

    Thanks again for the wonderful support of all of you.

    Cheers,

    Thomas Wright

    Thomas Wright (6e30c1)

  133. Mr. Wright, thank you again. If we can’t get your book at Border’s, we’ll get it from Amazon. (We are old fashioned, we like to wander among stacks.)

    BTW, you can make a smiley from a colon and right paranthesis. Or ^_^.

    Do I take it that I got your point? That money will not just show up at your door, roost, and lay more money eggs for you? Or even pack its lunchbox every day, go to work for you, and put its pay envelope on the dresser drawer on Friday? But that you have to work (too)?

    nk (875f57)

  134. Empire of the In-Between

    NYT columnist Adam Davidson notes that whereas once the real engine of the economy lay between NYC and DC on the train ride in between, now the drivers are at the endpoints of the journey and what’s in between is in ruin.

    As Ted Kennedy once said of the fiscal calamity of the health care system, it didn’t just happen. We were regulated into it.

    Davidson observes that the whole model of the US economy “flipped” when people within and without government figured out that negotiating the terms of the surrender of private enterprise to government, the regulations that have nearly extinguished free enterprise in this country, was a more sure way to riches than trying to actually navigate those regulations.

    The point of a public school education is to make sure the kids never figure that out. That they never blame the people regulating us into one mess after another, but rather the people being regulated into extinction for not having the proper attitudes.

    Steve57 (7a880e)

  135. Well, gang, we’re obviously having one of those fundamental disconnects. This creeps me out. It doesn’t seem to doesn’t bother you. I’ll live.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  136. Mr. Wright – Thank you for your comments on this thread.

    It does seem odd that people fly off the handle at the idea that classic childrens’ stories such as “The Little Engine That Could,” about trying, overcoming adversity and succeeding could be considered conservative political propaganda rather than just a lesson for living, while the evils of anthropogenic warming are drilled into the minds of starting in grade school.

    Henny Penny was a liberal.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  137. Mr. Wright,

    I believe that in the 2012 public policy discourse and 2012 right vs left lables, “economics 101″ and “supply side” economics are considered to be “conservative.”
    Particularly if we listen to the knee-jerk responses by liberals.

    I would also add that I’m not sure that a “point of view” necessarily always equates to “propaganda.”
    There’s always a point of view, but that doesn’t mean that every point of view can be fairly labeled as propaganda.

    For instance, if I watch a football game in which I have no dog in the hunt so to speak, I can write about that football game, and even mention that I believe that team X was the better team (they actually won, let’s say), but that would not mean that I’m necessarily writing propaganda on behalf of team X.

    On the other hand, if team X actually lost the game handily, yet I still concocted numerous excuses for their loss in my synopsis of the game, then I might be perceived as an apologist for team X. In that case, I might deserve the label of “propagandist.”

    Anyhow, I appreciate your dialogue with us here, and I will be sure to purchase your book, even though I am merely a swingin’ Hollywood bachelor who has no children.

    Elephant Stone (65d289)

  138. “This is not being sneaky or dishonest. It’s just good American marketing and economics!”

    - elissa

    I think the fact that the words “A Conservative Bedtime Story” are written on the cover of his book indicates that Mr. Wright already has a pretty good grasp of “good American marketing and economics.”

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  139. “Anyhow, I appreciate your dialogue with us here, and I will be sure to purchase your book, even though I am merely a swingin’ Hollywood bachelor who has no children.”

    - Elephant Stone

    Case in point.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  140. “Well, gang, we’re obviously having one of those fundamental disconnects.”

    Leviticus – If you have not shopped for childrens’ books it is a little tough to understand. If I have a child who is not playing with the kid of a gay couple, am I more likely to pick up “Heather Has Two Moms” or one of Mr. Wright’s books? You decide.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  141. Leviticus, a question:

    Over at Forbes, there’s an article entitled “Do You Live in a Death Spiral State?” where they compare the ratio of takers and makers in the Several States.
    New Mexico leads that list with a ratio of 1.53 takers for every maker, two spots worse than CA.
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/baldwin/2012/11/25/do-you-live-in-a-death-spiral-state/

    Que pasa?

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  142. Once upon a time there was a little kid who was very progressive and wasted his food stamps on twinkies and marijuana. After that he was twice elected to the presidency of the United States of America.

    Sleep tight, wee conservative child.

    happyfeet (3eead3)

  143. Leviticus snarkily misrepresents other commenters, gets called out on it by several people, then implies it is merely a ‘Cool Hand Luke’ failure to communicate, then assures us he’s cool with it.

    I love it.

    Elephant Stone (65d289)

  144. We’re all fine, Leviticus. Discussing economics can be like dividing by zero and every answer is different.

    nk (875f57)

  145. “Leviticus snarkily misrepresents other commenters, gets called out on it by several people, then implies it is merely a ‘Cool Hand Luke’ failure to communicate, then assures us he’s cool with it.”

    - Elephant Stone

    It’s not a “failure to communicate,” dude. It’s a difference of perspective.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  146. Mr. Feets – Is there a childrens book about why mommy sliced and diced the new baby in her tummy?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  147. “Over at Forbes, there’s an article entitled “Do You Live in a Death Spiral State?” where they compare the ratio of takers and makers in the Several States.
    New Mexico leads that list with a ratio of 1.53 takers for every maker, two spots worse than CA.
    Que pasa?”

    - askeptic

    I guess not enough parents read their kids Conservative Bedtime Stories.

    You know what a lot of those government leaches in NM are doing? Working at LANL and Sandia. It’s why we’re full of leeches but not quite the poorest state in the country.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  148. *leeches

    dammit

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  149. I can’t afford another baby sighed mommy. I just can’t.

    It’s okay mommy said little Timothy. You can just have an abortion.

    Oh my goodness you’re right I bet there’s a planned parenthood app for that be a doll and find mommy’s iPhone.

    Here it is mommy!

    You’re the best little boy in the whole world.

    You’re the best mommy in the whole world!

    happyfeet (3eead3)

  150. The school sold us a sex education book that includes anal sex. I already had a book about the crucifixion of Spartacus, and his surviving slave rebels, to decorate a Roman highway. Which is worse for a ten-year old girl?

    This is where parents come in, to help their child understand.

    nk (875f57)

  151. Children’s books need to talk about how much better life can be with a father in the house being a role model.

    mg (31009b)

  152. This creeps me out.

    Naturally. You’ve been steeped in the indoctrination centers that have groomed you your entire life to react as you are.

    I’m sure that the fact that I expect to run a business for a profit strikes you as a manifestation of greed. I’m sure none of this does:

    Forbes – America’s Richest Counties

    The nation’s richest counties have for the last few years been concentrated in the Washington suburbs. Median annual household income in Loudoun County is $115,574. The latest data shows that four of the top 10 richest counties are in Washington’s Virginia suburbs with a fifth, Howard County, Md., equidistant between Washington and Baltimore, also among the nation’s 10 wealthiest.

    …The nation’s fourth-richest county is far from Washington D.C., but its wealth is still largely derived from federal government spending. With median annual household income of $103,643, Los Alamos County, N.M., is the richest county in the Western United States and one of only two western counties that can be found in the top 10. Its biggest employer is the Department of Energy’s Los Alamos National Laboratory.

    I mean, really, why shouldn’t the circle-jerk of public employees and politicians lobby for and vote themselves greater and greater riches from the public trough. After all, they’re protecting you from my greed, Leviticus.

    Oh, and my racism. The only reason a businessman like me wouldn’t simply absorb the losses imposed upon me by policies such as ObamaCare is because apparently I can’t stand the idea of a powerful black man in the oval office imposing redistributionist policies upon me. Clearly I’d have no problem with a government mandating that I work for free if only it were headed by someone as white as Lenin.

    Obviously, greed simply goes away when one enters “public service.” So what if it is increasingly the only sure way to guarantee a lifetime of employment at a six figure salary, a million dollar home in the DC suburbs, generous amounts of time off, and lavish retirement benefits. And as in Europe, if we follow their model, the “public servants” are often exempt from the income and other taxes they impose on those who weren’t enlightened enough to avoid the private sector.

    Of course, that’s not greed. Lobbying for a living, or voting yourself a living, can never be greed. Only expecting a return on the risk you take with your savings and other assets can be greed.

    Keeping the bureaucrats in wagyu and arugula is just the price that you, the sheep, owe the shepherds who are the only thing standing between you and the rapacious wolves of capitalism, Leviticus.

    At least, that’s what they’re teaching in the schools these days.

    Steve57 (7a880e)

  153. “At least, that’s what they’re teaching in the schools these days.”

    - Steve57

    Is it? How old are you? What was your last interaction with a public school that didn’t come gift-wrapped from Sean Hannity?

    I went to public schools. They were too busy trying to teach us to algebra and biology to worry about the “indoctrination” that paranoid conservatives spend so much time whinging about.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  154. I didn’t realize it until today but it seems pretty clear that the mere word “conservative” sends Leviticus off the deep end for some reason. It’s puzzling becuse “conservative” is a standard, recognized, and accepted way to categorize the politics, economics, and way of life of a considerable segment of normal, productive, mainstream people not just in the United States but in many nations throughout the world.

    elissa (dbef28)

  155. As an aside, I read this article the other day that said that anyone who calls someone a sheep in an internet argument is a moron.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  156. Steve57- I’m stealing some of your lines.

    mg (31009b)

  157. Totally right, elissa. It’s almost Pavlovian.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  158. 156-moron

    mg (31009b)

  159. “Steve57- I’m stealing some of your lines.”

    - mg

    Make sure to get the one about the “rapacious wolves of capitalism.” Use it right, though, otherwise it’ll sound f*cking stupid.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  160. OK, so far, so good. But why is it Pavlovian? I really want to understand– and you do not make it easy.

    elissa (dbef28)

  161. Leviticus #148,

    It does seem that the biggest employer in New Mexico is government, so you’re right about that.

    Now why are you so angry? What do you find so threatening about this discussion?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  162. DRJ,

    Do you only get angry about things that threaten you?

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  163. Anger comes from fear.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  164. 160- Already have, and will continue to do so.
    Thanks Steve57.

    mg (31009b)

  165. 156. As an aside, I read this article the other day that said that anyone who calls someone a sheep in an internet argument is a moron.

    Comment by Leviticus (1aca67) — 11/26/2012 @ 2:20 pm

    There you go; believing everything you read. I was borrowing from a complaint a intern-of-color filed against a Congressman-of-color and “civil rights” activist who was pressuring her for sex. The Congressman kept insisting that the “sheep gotta take care of the sheepdog.”

    I was just curious what you consider the proper price to pay for such “protection.”

    148. I guess not enough parents read their kids Conservative Bedtime Stories.

    Comment by Leviticus (1aca67) — 11/26/2012 @ 2:02 pm

    This is true. Far too many show their children stuff like this.

    The Lorax, review

    This review in the Telegraph doesn’t do this this blatant socialist propaganda flick justice, although they do touch on its major failing.

    Enter, in flashback, the Lorax: a hairy orange curmudgeon voiced by Danny DeVito, who pleads for an end to the deforestation along with his entourage of bears and goldfish, whose singing voices make Alvin and the Chipmunks sound like the Royal Opera. The Once-ler ignores them and environmental meltdown ensues, although the moral – trees good, capitalism bad – is lost amid irrelevant action sequences, strainingly-enunciated punchlines and some of the crummiest songs in recent memory. In one, ominously titled How Bad Can I Be, the word “bad” is drawn out to four syllables in an attempt to make the chorus scan. “Ba-a-a-ad” isn’t the ha-a-a-alf of it.

    The “moral” is never lost. This kiddie move bludgeons you over the head with the “moral” that capitalism is bad and the greedy capitalists who never think they are bad must be stopped before they destroy the planet from beginning to end. The propaganda starts early, and it never is labeled propaganda. Just he “conservative” objections to this awful propaganda.

    Such as pointing out that despite what Danny DeVito would have you believe the greedy capitalists don’t cut down all the trees. They plant trees. Just as we’re likely not to run out of chickens or turkeys any time in the near future. Unless PETA convinces the government to ban meat. Just like we’re about to run out of Scimitar Horned Oryx if the “Friends of the Animals” succeed in “protecting” them from sport hunting in the US where as a result of the fact they pay their own way their population is booming. Unlike in their native habitat where what’s now been reduced to a remnant population achieved similar “protection” years ago.

    154. “At least, that’s what they’re teaching in the schools these days.”

    - Steve57

    Is it? How old are you? What was your last interaction with a public school that didn’t come gift-wrapped from Sean Hannity?

    I went to public schools. They were too busy trying to teach us to algebra and biology to worry about the “indoctrination” that paranoid conservatives spend so much time whinging about.

    Comment by Leviticus (1aca67) — 11/26/2012 @ 2:19 pm

    Right, Leviticus. Thanks to the NEA I had a fairly successful career in corporate training after I left the Navy, doing what the teacher’s unions refused to do. There’s a reason companies ship jobs overseas, and one of those reasons is to access an educated work force. Not a thoroughly “self-esteemed” workforce. We lag behind other countries not because we’re not throwing money at the problem. It’s just that the teachers unions have figured out that failing to teach is a gold mine that’s endless.

    But that’s ok, Leviticus. You convince yourself that schools are busy “trying” to teach this crap. If, or rather when, I get tired of the burdens the government plans on imposing upon me for being stupid enough to have employees I can go back into corporate training (although it’s not called that anymore).

    And there won’t be any shortage of demand for that from the companies that can’t ship jobs overseas, and part of the reason I’m confidant there’s job security in them thar trainees is because people like you refuse to acknowledge the problem exists.

    Steve57 (7a880e)

  166. “Anger comes from fear.”

    - DRJ

    So, do you only get angry about things you’re afraid of?

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  167. It’s the monkey reflex. It’s old.

    See the stranger, fear the stranger, hate the stranger, kill the stranger.

    Please be careful how you talk to DRJ, Leviticus.

    nk (875f57)

  168. Experience a story that teaches kids it is hard work and determination that creates wealth. Not simply having something handed to you. From the old adage, “You can give a man a fish and feed him for a day or teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime” this story helps explain that true wealth does not come from redistribution of goods but from inspiring others to reach their potential.

    I don’t get what Leviticus finds so offensive about this.

    JD (2fe45d)

  169. Or Elephant Stone and Milhouse, too, JD. They think that money breeds itself, like lice.

    nk (875f57)

  170. “Please be careful how you talk to DRJ, Leviticus.”

    - nk

    I will be. We’re on the same page, there.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  171. Yes, Leviticus. I believe people only get angry about things that make them fearful or cause them actual pain. I don’t see any reason to think this discussion is causing you actual pain so it must make you fearful.

    Assume for the sake of argument that I’m correct. What is it about this topic that might threaten you or make you fearful? Could it be that it suggests your education was deficient or manipulative, and that your opinions may have suffered as a result?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  172. algebra and biology….
    Funny, isn’t it, that these fields (STEM), at least at the University level in CA, are dominated by foreign students, or Asian-Americans whose parents predominantly sacrifice so that their children attend private schools (non-union, mostly) or have tutors to ensure they get good SAT scores.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  173. “The Freedom Bee” by Nicole Haas
    Exceptional children’s book, talks about tyranny,capitalism, with great illustrations.

    mg (31009b)

  174. I find the concept of hard work to be a conservative propoganda tool, and a racist dog whistle. How dare you brainwash children by teaching them the importance of work?

    JD (2fe45d)

  175. What kind of parent only allows their children to select what they will read? Do they get to pick their food at every meal? Of course parents participate in this aspect of child rearing, Leviticus.

    JD (2fe45d)

  176. “I don’t get what Leviticus finds so offensive about this.”

    JD – I think it is the word “Conservative” in the title of the story. He has not raised any fundamental objection to the plot summary that I noted.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  177. JD, it seems to be a logical extension of Spock.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  178. Leviticus, so the only “takers” in New Mexico work at LANL and Sandia? You really want to run with that? (Note I have friends at both LANL and Sandia)

    SPQR (d2ee00)

  179. 173.

    algebra and biology….
    Funny, isn’t it, that these fields (STEM), at least at the University level in CA, are dominated by foreign students, or Asian-Americans whose parents predominantly sacrifice so that their children attend private schools (non-union, mostly) or have tutors to ensure they get good SAT scores.

    Comment by askeptic (b8ab92) — 11/26/2012 @ 3:47 pm

    Not to mention:

    America must become more competitive in the science, technology, engineering, and math fields

    The experts reported last year that among 29 wealthy countries, the United States ranked 27th in the proportion of college students with degrees in science and engineering. And among developed countries, the United States ranks 31st in math and 23rd in science, not to mention the achievement gap between low-income and minority students and their peers. American 12th graders were near the bottom of students from 20 nations assessed in advanced math and physics. Large parts of our student population are literally being deprived of a top-notch education.

    In other words, the US ranked last among the 31 OECD countries in math and was scraping the bottom in science.

    The two subjects Leviticus claims public schools are so busy “trying” to teach that they don’t have time for “indoctrination.”

    Reality begs to differ. But then, “reality” like “gender” is just a social construct.

    At least, that’s what the schools are teaching these days. Or rather what they were teaching until 2006 when I left corporate training for a different industry, as up to that point I was dealing with the output of the public school system on a daily basis. Leviticus would have me believe things have improved. But then again, reality begs to differ.

    The NEA argues we don’t spend enough on what they claim they provide; an education. Of the 31 OECD countries only Luxembourg, Switzerland, and Norway spend more.

    We spend more on education for far worse results than any other country on Earth.

    The NEA, and indeed the entire liberal establishment, has figured out there’s more money in keeping people stupid.

    Too much education makes people economically dumb

    Certain concepts so thoroughly fly in the face of common sense and hard-won experience that only years of a US education makes it possible to embrace them.

    Steve57 (7a880e)

  180. We followed Dr. Spock raising the daughter. We childproofed the house, gates on the stairs, locks on the cabinets, the remainder nothing a baby could move if it could reach it in the first place. Forty-five minutes free range, fifteen minutes arms was the plan. I cheated, I held her whenever I wanted until she was two. She hasn’t become an ax murderer. Yet.

    nk (875f57)

  181. It took Lizzie Border how many years?

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  182. ‘What’s Wrong With Education Cannot Be Fixed with Technology’ — The Other Steve Jobs

    For now, let’s stay with that aside by Murdoch — that Jobs was “somewhat dismissive of the idea that technology could transform education.” Not only is this absolutely true, but it plays a large role in explaining why Jobs had long been interested in creating something like a GarageBand for education.

    In a 1996 interview with Wired, Jobs explains his position:

    I used to think that technology could help education. I’ve probably spearheaded giving away more computer equipment to schools than anybody else on the planet. But I’ve had to come to the inevitable conclusion that the problem is not one that technology can hope to solve. What’s wrong with education cannot be fixed with technology. No amount of technology will make a dent.

    It’s a political problem. The problems are sociopolitical. The problems are unions. You plot the growth of the NEA [National Education Association] and the dropping of SAT scores, and they’re inversely proportional. The problems are unions in the schools. The problem is bureaucracy.

    Obama’s “you didn’t build that speech was complete crap. Everyone who has to deal with the output of the US education system knows the last person anyone needs to thank for business success is a teacher.

    I’m not entirely thrilled with the idea of private companies stepping in to repair the deficiencies that the NEA allows students to graduate with. Paying twice for the same service doesn’t add to the wealth of the nation. But then President Social and Economic Justice just has me thinking about surviving his destruction of the system that does create wealth, and stepping in and doing what the unionized teachers won’t could be just the life-ring I’ll need to grab to do it.

    Steve57 (7a880e)

  183. Lizzie was a thirty or so, I believe, askeptic? You know she was acquitted? (I’m a lawyer who waa a wannabe detective, I know these things.)

    nk (875f57)

  184. Yes, Leviticus. I believe people only get angry about things that make them fearful or cause them actual pain.

    In this case, I don’t think it’s fear. I think it’s more a matter of a person’s liberal biases being counteracted by various comments, observations and statistics, which then triggers resentment. Such a person feels his (or her) compassion, generosity, humanity and big-hearted tolerance — or “do your own thang” hipness and non-conformity — are being squished and squashed.

    Bratty, rebellious kids responding to ol’ mom and dad setting down parameters as to what books are good or bad for a child will respond in a manner not too different from that of a do-your-own-thang liberal.

    BTW, Patterico, the revamped format of your message forum sure does make going through dozens of posts no longer an eye-glazing effort.

    Mark (81782c)

  185. New Mexico leads that list with a ratio of 1.53 takers for every maker, two spots worse than CA.

    After the election I was speaking with a person of the left who also has a job in municipal government. I told her that she at least gets something out of her pro-Democrat-Party, pro-liberal POV. For saps like those of us in the private sector, we get not much more than a whole slew of damn taxes, red tape and paper-pushing headaches via the IRS and local/state government edicts.

    The motto of America in 2012 (and the rallying cry in countries like France): Let’s all quit our day jobs and go work for the government!

    Mark (81782c)

  186. But that is rooted in fear, Mark. Fear that one’s reputation will be adversely affected if beliefs are revealed as misguided or incorrect.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  187. We all feel these emotions but I think it helps to understand why.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  188. But I do believe that [cheap] labor is the base of the economic pyramid. I mean, why is everything at Toys R Us made in China?

    Ummmm.. because there’s no money to be made in makeing THINGS any more. All new wealth is basically derived from creating ideas or providing services.

    China is only used to make things because their labor is still slightly cheaper than using a robot to do it. Not much, hence the recent tendency towards reshoring as Chinese labor costs inch upwards thanks to the inevitable rachet effect of industrialization.

    Remember — of the $500 or whatever list price of an iPhone 4, China only got about SIX BUCKS for making it. The rest went to the design people and the owners of the various IP built into it.

    That iP wasn’t built on the backs of cheap labor — it was built on the brains of the creators.

    IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in All 57 States (8e2a3d)

  189. P.S., you want to see the factory of the not-too-distant future, go watch Minority Report (TEN YEARS OLD. Geeeez). In it, there’s a scene of a “future” Mitsubishi factory that makes cars without any human interaction at all. It’s not all that far away from now.

    IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in All 57 States (8e2a3d)

  190. But it does bother me more than a little, IGotBupkis, to be told that Bill Gates and Steve Jobs did not work like dogs to get where they got to. That they only had an idea and an investment. And that their machines built, transported, and sold themselves.

    nk (875f57)

  191. Go buy yourselves a pack of bacon from an “investor”. Porkbellies are marketed in the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. See what you can cook with that.

    nk (875f57)

  192. “Leviticus, so the only “takers” in New Mexico work at LANL and Sandia? You really want to run with that? (Note I have friends at both LANL and Sandia)”

    - SPQR

    My whole point was that Forbes’ “Taker/Maker” distinction is stupid, because they designate anyone connected to government as a “taker” without accounting for places like Sandia and LANL and the Air Force bases and etc. etc. etc.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  193. elissa wrote:

    ==elissa, What I find objectionable is parents motivated to inject politics into bedtime reading==

    For goodness sake, for generations from “Charlotte’s Web” to “The Chronicles of Narnia” to “The Little Engine that Could” to “Bambi” to “Lion King” to “Cinderella” nearly all children’s stories have touched somehow on societal interactions, personal values, economics and politics. Just cuz they’re couched in fables, fairy tales and barnyard animals doesn’t mean they don’t contain and teach meaningful life lessons.

    Heck, even J K Rowling decided that Albus Dumbledore was homosexual, to further some idiotic agenda. There was nothing in any of the Harry Potter books that had anything to do with Professor Dumbledore having a wife or girlfriend or boyfriend or lover; his role in the book was as a teacher, mentor and defender of good, with nothing sexual at all, but the lovely Miss Rowling decided that he just had to be homosexual.

    The literate Dana (f68855)

  194. Leviticus, no your snark was stupid because you pretended not to understand the point.

    SPQR (768505)

  195. “Assume for the sake of argument that I’m correct. What is it about this topic that might threaten you or make you fearful? Could it be that it suggests your education was deficient or manipulative, and that your opinions may have suffered as a result?”

    - DRJ

    Assuming for the sake of argument that you are correct, the thing about this thread that makes me fearful is the prospect of living in a country where people are so blinded by partisan politics that they’ll let it pollute their relationships with their children.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  196. I actually think that most conservatives have an advantage in this area: they work around people who have absolute freedom to express themselves, in even the most outrageous ways…while knowing that expressing conservative points of view will, um, not be as acceptable. I’m speaking of academic environments, but it is pretty common elsewhere.

    I really think civility is missing in our society; people often confuse honesty with tactlessness, and that people who disagree with them are stupid. Dangerous thinking, all across the board.

    I have a good friend who, when I brought up that I wanted to see that screw up in Benghazi investigated, responded that embassies get overrun and people die. “It happens,” he replied. Um. Of course, he didn’t feel that way when GWB was President, at least based on his FB posts.

    It’s a flexible yardstick that, to put it mildly, doesn’t benefit folks on the Right. I mean, we used to hear that Sarah Palin was stupid, endlessly. Joe Biden? Wow. He is a brilliant man, according to some of my friends. Even when I have tried to get them to see that Joe Biden is decidedly not a nice nor a clever man:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1j0FS0Z6ho

    He lies throughout this little snitfit, and I have no reason to think he has changed. Now, if a Republican did that? Wow.

    Or the business with Marco Rubio and the age of the Earth. Frankly, most of the partisans arguing this don’t understand any science at all; they are just cheerleading. And it becomes clearer when Slate wrote that great article showing that Barack Obama really didn’t answer that question in a significantly different way.

    http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2012/11/rubio_and_obama_and_the_age_of_earth_politicians_hedge_about_whether_universe.html

    They are politicians. But just try criticizing the President in many places. Gulp.

    So we run into a situation where disagreements too often become disagreeable. I have to listen to all kinds of extreme Left of center statements, while keeping my own counsel.

    When I have brought this up in the past, I hear several responses: (i) it is not true that academia is in lockstep, politically; (ii) I am a wimp for not speaking my mind because nothing bad would happen if I do; and (iii) Rethuglicans are far, far less tolerant of different ideas than progressive Leftists.

    Oh, my, to quote George Takei. All three points above are demonstrably silly—not in terms of my own opinions, but based on news reports. I think the whole business at the University of Iowa applies, let alone the usual things that happen on campus.

    How does this relate? I have young children, and I get to see how they are marinated, from an early age, in…um…non-centrist ideas. But the students I teach are all quite certain that they are both well informed and highly tolerant, unlike those eeevvviiiilll Republicans.

    Like a nice young lady I know, who told me that she was afraid of Israel, because of how warlike they are. I asked her to look up what the leaders of Iran have said about Israel. She had never done that. She has just accepted what she was told in class.

    Where I teach, there is a whole course for freshmen on genocide. They don’t discuss Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot, or Great Stalin. Not even what is happening, now, in Darfur. Or North Korea. Guess who they do discuss?

    You’re correct: how Americans treated Blacks and Native Americans.

    Sigh. Is there a solution? Hopefully, raising a generation that genuinely distrusts and questions authority. Not just when they oppose the politics of that authoritarian. Because, for good or ill, pendulums swing. And what was acceptable when Politician A is in power becomes acceptable when Politician B is in power.

    Such as executive privilege under GWB, used by BHO.

    Anyway, I think it is fairly silly to claim that public schools are not biased; they are. The question is what to do about it. And as with the good folks at FIRE, the solution to speech you don’t like is more speech, not less.

    Most campuses talk diversity, but they get to define the term narrowly. I want to see a generation of students who aren’t passive, just sitting there. Perhaps we will see it, but I am not hopeful.

    My apologies for the sermon. I’ll go back to my cave now.

    Simon Jester (49826f)

  197. Leviticus,

    You don’t have to believe Forbes. What about The Economist? It shows that New Mexico is one of the top “taker” states.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  198. Leviticus,

    What you see as polluting children, I see as protecting children from being blindsided by the realities of life when they grow up.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  199. And that doesn’t explain why you would feel personally threatened, unless you still view yourself as a child.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  200. SPQR,

    And that video is f*cking nauseating, right? I think so.

    DRJ,

    I really don’t see what New Mexico’s poverty has to do with anything.

    Simon,

    I definitely agree about liberal bias in academia, even to maddening levels. I don’t see it as much elsewhere.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  201. Leviticus,

    It shows that the New Mexico model isn’t working well. Or maybe it shows the New Mexico model is working great, at least as long as there are other states willing to fund it.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  202. “What you see as polluting children, I see as protecting children from being blindsided by the realities of life when they grow up.”

    - DRJ

    Ok.

    “And that doesn’t explain why you would feel personally threatened, unless you still view yourself as a child.”

    - DRJ

    I assumed for the sake of argument that this whole situation made me fearful, not personally threatened. I’m not trying to be obstructionist, but I don’t understand what you’re getting at. If you think I’m angry about the intent behind this book (which I suppose I am, in an abstract way), then what threat do you think I must be feeling?

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  203. I went to public schools. They were too busy trying to teach us to algebra and biology to worry about the “indoctrination” that paranoid conservatives spend so much time whinging about.

    Leviticus, I have no idea what “public schools” YOU went to, but the ones I went to OPENLY suggested to my mother that I was “too independent, I needed to learn to be a follower”. Yes, those were the exact words.

    The schools I went to did just about everything possible to mess me up socially because of my intelligence, instead of encouraging me to develop in both arenas.

    I “failed” reading in 5th grade at least one or two terms. Why? Because I didn’t want to read the boring garbage they were trying to force me to read. I read 2001, A Space Odyssey instead. Yep, an adult book at 10y old. I just SUCKED at reading things… The fact that I regularly checked out 4-5 books a week at the local public library, and finished them, that was a clear sign of how my reading capacity was developing. But that’s not what “reading” class was about. It was about teaching you to read boring garbage that had no interest to you, to teach you that reading is painful and uncomfortable and to be avoided at ALL COSTS.

    And with most kids, that worked quite remarkably effectively.

    The school I went to openly prevented me from taking Calculus in my 10th year in school (“11th grade”, I skipped one — I was 15) , DESPITE the fact that I’d taken all the pre-requisites (AlgI in 9th, AlgII and Geom in 10th, Pre-Calc in summer school after 10th) for the course… so instead I checked a Teachers edition college calc textbook from the public library that had the answers in the back and taught it to myselfthat “independence” thing they failed to stomp out despite their best efforts. Yes, I taught myself Calculus at 15. Because my school wouldn’t LET me learn it.

    Schools have gotten much worse since then. The fact that they not that long ago “adjusted” SAT scores up so they no longer translate back to what they were in the 70s and earlier says more than enough. A 1300 now does not equate to a 1300 in 1975. It shows far less capability and achievement now than it did then.

    Public schools SUCK. I wouldn’t allow any children in my care anywhere near them. I’d home school them instead.

    IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in All 57 States (8e2a3d)

  204. “It shows that the New Mexico model isn’t working well.”

    - DRJ

    I’d argue that there are a lot of ways to look at that. Wanna compare budget deficits?

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  205. The Third Book of Moses wrote:

    I’d argue that there are a lot of ways to look at that. Wanna compare budget deficits?

    Every state had a budget deficit, a huge one, even those with balanced budget requirements. That is to say, they spend much more than they take in in taxes.

    What they do is receive billions of dollars in federal grants to balance their budgets on paper, but what is really happening is that the states are passing their budget deficits on to the federal government, which has no balanced budget requirement; 43 of the states do.

    The economist Dana (f68855)

  206. New Mexico’s only success is at its official state sport, drunk driving. My friend spent the weekend consoling his neighbors who lost their 13 yr old son to a drunk driver over the Thanksgiving weekend.

    SPQR (768505)

  207. Before Susana Martinez became Governor, or afterwards,

    narciso (ee31f1)

  208. Dana,

    My point is that NM has a projected $250 million budget surplus for fiscal year 2013. It looks like Texas has a budget deficit of between $15-27 billion.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  209. “New Mexico’s only success is at its official state sport, drunk driving.”

    - SPQR

    Don’t forget playing minstrel to jaded tourists from ugly shit-h*le states.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  210. Difficult to believe that New Mexico is running a surplus for 2013 given that its deficits were of that magnitude in the last couple of fiscal years.

    SPQR (768505)

  211. narciso,

    Afterwards the election of Gov. Martinez.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  212. *After

    dammit

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  213. Thread veered has. Nap I take.

    nk (875f57)

  214. Fear that one’s reputation will be adversely affected if beliefs are revealed as misguided or incorrect.

    DRJ, yes, the fear of looking like a fool or idiot. In that regards, I totally agree and understand why you use the word “fear.”

    Anyway, I think it is fairly silly to claim that public schools are not biased; they are.

    The people who claim that grade schools (and their teachers) aren’t full of left-leaning bias are the same ones (Hello, editors of the New York Times!) who have the audacity — and gall — to say that the MSM isn’t full of liberal subjectivity.

    BTW, if America’s public schools aren’t performing up to snuff — as a large part of the public has believed for a long time — chock that up to another facet of modern American society that is deemed cruddy and also, at the same time, full of the ethos of liberalism.

    But, ah, when one’s heart (and do-gooderism, and sophistication, and humaneness, and egalitarianism, and generosity, and tolerance) is in the right place, one never has to say he’s sorry.

    Mark (81782c)

  215. Leviticus,

    Texas has real problems going forward as it tries to meet the fiscal demands of Medicaid and ObamaCare health insurance requirements. New Mexico faces the same problems. I hope Perry handles it as well as Martinez seems to be.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  216. obamacare now has a mandate is what the perky cnn propaganda slut says

    happyfeet (3eead3)

  217. Don’t forget playing minstrel to jaded tourists from ugly shit-h*le states.

    Leviticus,

    I released your comment from moderation, but if the point of the asterisk was to avoid the filter, I gotta say, man:

    You’re doing it wrong.

    Patterico (8b3905)

  218. Hahahaha…

    Oops. Yeah. Operator error.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  219. Well-played, sir.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  220. Aaaaaand an unnecessary hyphen to boot.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  221. Public Schools!

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  222. The Third Book of Moses wrote:

    Hahahaha…

    Oops. Yeah. Operator error.

    That’s not a bug; that’s a feature of the operator in question. :)

    The mean Dana (f68855)

  223. Little known fact: In New Mexico, it’s against the law for a female to appear unshaven in public.

    Colonel Haiku (864f44)

  224. In Taos, the ladies must shave;
    I wonder; do the men bathe?
    Probably not,
    Tho’ it’s quite hot
    ‘Cause they’re passed out all drunk on the pave.

    The Limerick Avenger (f68855)

  225. Maybe I need to start drinking, too…

    http://youtu.be/YYqnoULgD30

    Simon Jester (49826f)

  226. Noooo, noooo, Dana. Don’t ask.

    SPQR (768505)

  227. I share some of Leviticus’s concern about the way this book is marketed; there is something I find off-putting about giving young children books that are explicitly labeled as propaganda for a particular political viewpoint. It’s difficult not to think of the Muslim shows that used to be featured on the bad Charles Johnson’s blog before he became the bad Charles Johnson: giant fuzzy puppets who talk about how the Jews ran us all off our land. Certainly the book here is nothing of the sort, and any such comparison is unfair — yet to me, the idea of indoctrinating children is so repulsive that my mind leaps to one of the most noxious examples one can imagine.

    And yet . . .

    And yet, the principles that this book teaches, if the description and the author’s comments are any guide, are simply principles that I don’t even regard as “conservative” but rather individualistic and oriented toward a philosophy of independence and self-reliance. It’s a shame that such principles are characterized as “conservative” these days when I used to think of them simply as “American” — but then, we have reached a place in our country where a significant enough percentage of Americans do not share these values that it no longer seems appropriate to simply call them “American.”

    Leviticus is unfortunately marring a chance at an interesting discussion of the topic with sarcasm and unfair characterization of the viewpoints expressed, which certainly gives him the chance to feel self-righteous, which sometimes seems to be the top goal of Internet commentators, but which also invites people to treat his arguments with equal contempt, and degrades the level of discussion.

    I also humbly submit that Leviticus is assigning too little weight to the concerns expressed by so many here: that Hollywood and some schools tend to perpetrate a left-leaning view of the world that is so pervasive that one hardly recognizes it as bias, unless one keeps one’s senses alive to the way that society’s message so often subverts the values we try to teach our children.

    I don’t mean to jump on Leviticus too much here, as I share some of his concerns. But I do mean to jump on that aspect of his commentary that I see as hindering rather than helping the discussion.

    I’d ask everyone else to remember that when one person takes on the crowd here, it’s not easy. There can be a swarming type phenomenon that can stifle good debate. Just keep that concern in mind, if you would.

    Patterico (8b3905)

  228. “Leviticus is unfortunately marring a chance at an interesting discussion of the topic with sarcasm and unfair characterization of the viewpoints expressed, which certainly gives him the chance to feel self-righteous, which sometimes seems to be the top goal of Internet commentators, but which also invites people to treat his arguments with equal contempt, and degrades the level of discussion.”

    - Patterico

    I agree that I’ve been far too pissy on this thread. The “taking on the crowd” defense is relevant sometimes, but I started out on the wrong foot (with my first couple comments) and downhill from there (with a few exceptions). I’m gonna stop responding to a couple of people so that I can spend more time responding to others (elissa, SPQR, JD, Dana, nk, DRJ, etc.).

    My apologies.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  229. Leviticus,

    I’m not sure what threat you might be feeling so that’s why I asked you. Anger and hate (and their companion, fear) strike me as extreme emotions for something like this book.

    It could be because you are angry about conservative ideology. Or maybe you are angry at what you perceive to be the indoctrination of children. Or it could be something else entirely. But I don’t think you can claim you aren’t upset by this, and I’m interested why.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  230. “Some schools tend to perpetrate a left-leaning view of the world that is so pervasive that one hardly recognizes it as bias, unless one keeps one’s senses alive to the way that society’s message so often subverts the values we try to teach our children.”

    - Patterico

    In hopes of restarting a potentially productive discussion that I feel I’ve had some hand in derailing, can I draw an example from that to try to restart this discussion?

    Say there’s one kid at school with a sandwich and an orange and some M&Ms and one kid at school with no lunch whatsoever.

    Teacher observes.

    Kid with the lunch recognizes that the other kid has no lunch. He asks his teacher what to do.

    What should the teacher say? Is it a left-leaning or right-leaning response, or neither?

    That evening, the kid with the lunch asks his parents what he should do tomorrow.

    What should the parent say? Is it a left-leaning or right-leaning response, or neither?

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  231. “Maybe you are angry at what you perceive to be the indoctrination of children.”

    - DRJ

    I think that’s what I’ve been trying (and failing) to say.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  232. And the fact that the desire to indoctrinate children would be exploited by savvy marketing.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  233. At the risk of getting Leviticus irritable, if he is upset by indoctrination of children for political means, he must be upset literally (in the Biden-sense) all of the time.

    I suspect that some people—not Leviticus—who are upset by this are upset at the idea of more indoctrination, in opposition to what the public schools push constantly. And they do, even at an early age (as I know from my own two sons in a good public school).

    I work very hard to explain both sides of an issue to my boys (especially for my teenager). Too bad the schools don’t do so as well. They should.

    Which is what drives the “conservative” book authors—an attempt to find balance. Which, as Fox News has discovered, is not “balance” in MSM-Newspeak.

    Simon Jester (49826f)

  234. Leviticus,

    I hope you will be equally upset at how little confidence Americans have in public education.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  235. Simon,

    I do remember a few instances of attempted public school indoctrination (in middle school, if I recall); I know it goes on, and it does bother me when it does, but I don’t think it’s nearly as constant as some people do.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  236. You mean like those chants to Obama, that appeared in more than one elementary school, particularly in New Jersey,

    narciso (ee31f1)

  237. “You mean like those chants to Obama, that appeared in more than one elementary school, particularly in New Jersey.”

    - narciso

    Those were incredibly disturbing. No argument with you there.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  238. This is a story about political correctness in a teachin program albeit not the story I had in mind up thread.

    Here a counseling graduate program expelled a student because she wouldn’t accept their view of homosexuality thereby refusing to allow her to study counseling because of her refusal to conform to their politically correct view. Court decision upheld the program’s actions. In this case, what is objectional is that the education program refused to allow her to study, I’d not object to a school district refusing to hire her or disciplining her for actual counseling of students in violation of a policy.

    SPQR (768505)

  239. Sigh. Parents? Weigh in, please.

    With all due respect, you have been soaking in it all of your life in public school, based on your age. It doesn’t always soak in, but it is everywhere.

    It started when I was a boy. But I don’t care to argue. There are entire books written on the subject these days. However, I am sure that the authors will be described as, ironically, biased.

    I have an idea, seriously. Go to your local high school, since you are in law school. Ask if you can get volunteers for a political action club, to assist the President in getting Obamacare passed.

    Then go to another high school, and ask if you can organize and mentor a conservative club on campus, to support Republican values.

    Actually, don’t try this. It will make you sad.

    Simon Jester (49826f)

  240. “With all due respect, you have been soaking in it all of your life in public school, based on your age. It doesn’t always soak in, but it is everywhere.”

    - Simon Jester

    I suppose that’s entirely possible. I read (an abridged copy of) Les Miserables in 9th grade English; is that the sort of thing you’re talking about?

    You’ve also gotta remember I wasn’t in high school very long. I dropped out and went to community college, then UNM a semester later. So if anything, I got thrown into the Liberal-Bias Hopper earlier than most.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  241. You know why I didn’t go to private school? My parents couldn’t afford to pay university prices for a marginally improved middle-school education. In economic terms, it was a question of opportunity cost.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  242. SPQR, from the linked article:

    In accordance with the American Counseling Association’s (ACA) code of ethics, Eastern Michigan University prohibits students in its counseling-degree program from discriminating against others based on sexual orientation. In fact, students are taught to affirm a client’s values during counseling sessions.”

    Hardly the fault of the public education system that a private organization’s ethics code was in conflict with this lady’s personal beliefs.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  243. Leviticus, yes it is. They enforced it.

    SPQR (768505)

  244. Would their program be accredited if they hadn’t?

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  245. 234. “Maybe you are angry at what you perceive to be the indoctrination of children.”

    - DRJ

    I think that’s what I’ve been trying (and failing) to say.

    Comment by Leviticus (17b7a5) — 11/26/2012 @ 6:55 pm

    Except of course you are angry about people attempting to undo their children’s indoctrination. It’s just that when the people who are politicizing everything from history to math work for the National Education Association or its affiliates and call it education, then that’s what you call it, too.

    But it doesn’t serve anyone well. Particularly the children who are scarred by it. Businesses can ship jobs overseas or automate. It isn’t just that regulations and mandates drive up the cost of labor in this country. It’s also that the education system is graduating people who haven’t learned useful skills. The number one skill they haven’t learned is how to learn.

    It is not an education these people are graduating with. The people who have politicized this indoctrination while refusing to acknowledge that’s what they’re doing (while openly discussing how they might more effectively do what they deny they’re doing, by the way) accuse those attempting to undo the damage of “politicizing” the issue.

    The UK is farther along this road than we are.

    BBC – UKIP couple have foster children removed from care A couple have had three foster children removed from their care because they belong to the UK Independence Party.

    People’s Services, Joyce Thacker, told the BBC that her decision was influenced by UKIP’s immigration policy, which she said calls for the end of the “active promotion of multiculturalism”.

    UKIP’s immigration policy states the party wants an “end [to] the active promotion of the doctrine of multiculturalism by local and national government”, and urges Britain to leave the European Union (EU).

    The Labour Party has called for an investigation into the Labour-run council’s decision, after claims from UKIP it could have been politically motivated.

    …The couple, who have been approved foster parents for seven years, were eight weeks into the placement when they were approached by social workers about their membership of the party.

    The wife told the Daily Telegraph: “I was dumbfounded. Then my question to both of them was, ‘What has UKIP got to do with having the children removed?’

    “Then one of them said, ‘Well, UKIP have got racist policies.’ The implication was that we were racist. [The social worker] said UKIP does not like European people and wants them all out of the country to be returned to their own countries.”

    What would be funny, if this situation were funny, is the reaction of the people defending the council that removed the children because the foster parents failed their political litmus test.

    After removing the children because of the assumed political views of the foster parents due to party affiliation and generating massive complaints, the defenders of this action accuse the complainants of “politicizing” this decision.

    This is the world we live in. When people are discriminated against solely because their politics are not of the preferred progressive type, complaining about it is “politicization.”

    When parents resist the political indoctrination of their children in the state-run schools, teaching their own children something other than the progressive doctrine is “indoctrination.”

    Leviticus, how many hundreds of rockets do the Palestinians have to fire into Israel before you start worrying the Israelis just might violate the ceasefire?

    Steve57 (7a880e)

  246. Leviticus,

    I appreciate Simon Jester’s invitation but I don’t think anecdotal reports by parents will convince you there is liberal indoctrination of students in public education. However, I think it should concern all of us that the Gallup poll I linked above shows the American public’s significantly declining confidence in public education. (Maybe it is related to the fact that sometimes education is just a joke.)

    There can be many reasons for the decline but, overall, I think it shows people have serious problems with public education. The fact that parents are buying books to use to personally teach their children — whether they are liberal books or conservative books — should be cause for celebration, not anger.

    Both you and Patterico say you’re troubled by attempts to indoctrinate children but this involves a book marketed to parents for their own children. I can understand concerns about books purchased for a school library or selected for a school curriculum, but I’m mystified that either of you would be worried about parents “indoctrinating” their own children. It’s called parenting and it’s what we’re supposed to do.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  247. “It’s called parenting and it’s what we’re supposed to do.”

    - DRJ

    Is this a necessary element of parenting? I can’t recall my parents telling me what to read. And I can’t imagine them being motivated by a desire to influence my eventual political beliefs, even if they had. And I can imagine them being offended by such ham-handed pandering, in any case. (Maybe that’s what I’m angry about).

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  248. Leviticus,

    Why on earth would you closely supervise what your child eats, drinks, wears, lives in, drives in, and plays with … but not care what they read and learn?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  249. “Why on earth would you closely supervise what your child eats, drinks, wears, lives in, drives in, and plays with … but not care what they read and learn?”

    - DRJ

    Isn’t that a mischaracterization of what I said? It’s not about “not caring” what they read and learn; it’s about fostering a love of reading and learning without jamming a political philosophy down their throats. There’s a difference.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  250. Let me ask a question: could the lessons of “The Fisherman’s Catch: A Conservative Bedtime Story” be taught some other way?

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  251. Now, replace Leviticus’ comment about parents with the word “teachers” and see how it reads.

    And DRJ as someone with one son in elementary school, and one in middle school, I am saddened by the sheer numbers of parents I meet—well to do, progressive parents, in my district— who pay what certainly appears to be no attention to what their children learn at school. Or not learn.

    Simon Jester (49826f)

  252. 251.

    “It’s called parenting and it’s what we’re supposed to do.”

    - DRJ

    Is this a necessary element of parenting?

    Comment by Leviticus (17b7a5) — 11/26/2012 @ 8:11 pm

    It formerly wasn’t. But then the NEA declared war on reality.

    Preparing the fledglings to leave the nest has always been the central element of parenting. The job has gotten much harder ever since the schools started dealing in reality-avoidance. As if it doesn’t exist.

    Steve57 (7a880e)

  253. This is intellectual tolerance run amok, Leviticus. As a parent, it will be your job to teach your children how to have healthy minds and bodies. It’s a parents job to help children make wise choices about what they put in their bodies and their minds.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  254. And Leviticus, I know you are not a parent…but have you ever looked into the reading lists that children get in schools these days? You might be surprised at what you will find.

    With all due respect to DRJ, there are many parents posting here, people you respect, so surely you would not discount their own experiences putting their children in school…and the sum of those experience might in fact trump your own personal experience?

    Simon Jester (49826f)

  255. I’m tempted to drift back into sarcasm and unfair characterization.

    I need a sponsor or something.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  256. Julia Ward was expelled from a graduate counseling program for her views on same sex marriage.

    That’s Example One Million of how leftism has become truly sickening and extreme in the 21st century. It’s no longer pure sarcasm to say that should Islamofascism and Sharia Law become increasingly interwoven throughout the Western World, that not everything about that will be bad.

    I’m also reminded of a person in my workplace who’s a hard-core liberal, a devotee of Obama and any other garden-variety leftist politician. A few weeks ago I overheard him snickering like a high-school kid about the sexual orientation of some celebrity he and a friend were discussing. I wanted to retort: “hell, instead of mocking such people you better hug and kiss them, as they and you are now living in a world of liberalism gone berserk.”

    Mark (81782c)

  257. Why are you again tempted to resort to sarcasm, Leviticus? You seem very sensitive on this topic and since you don’t have children, it’s hard not to assume you are sensitive because you are personalizing this to yourself or your generation.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  258. “This is intellectual tolerance run amok, Leviticus. As a parent, it will be your job to teach your children how to have healthy minds and bodies. It’s a parents job to help children make wise choices about what they put in their bodies and their minds.”

    - DRJ

    1) From a very early age, my parents stopped proactively selecting my reading materials for me. At a slightly later age, they stopped vetoing my selections.

    2) My parents were never motivated by a desire to inculcate a particular political or economic philosophy. I have a different political philosophy from both of my parents, to the point of heated argument. I spent a lot of my formative years reading Hunter S. Thompson essays, which I can’t imagine my evangelical Christian mother could have been super-happy about.

    3) I went to public schools. The worst propaganda I faced was Channel One (which I found tremendously offensive, for the record – I wasn’t allowed to leave the room while it played).

    4) I think I turned out alright.

    I’ll put it this way, ironically enough: it’s the difference between the free market and central planning. One is better than the other.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  259. “Why are you again tempted to resort to sarcasm, Leviticus?”

    - DRJ

    It’s not you, it’s Steve.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  260. Leviticus, I love the idea of the free market in education. Very few other people do, and in particular the Education-Industrial Complex since about 1965.

    I’m glad you had what you feel is a good experience. But I do suggest, again, that you speak a number of parents on this subject. I’m particular bemused by your statements that there is no pervasive bias in public education. Parents may differ.

    Simon Jester (49826f)

  261. 263. It’s not you, it’s Steve.

    Comment by Leviticus (17b7a5) — 11/26/2012 @ 8:32 pm

    I suppose you have to resort to sarcasm again, Leviticus, because I draw on things other than a bottomless well of uninformed dogma to support my position.

    Steve57 (7a880e)

  262. Leviticus:

    It’s not about “not caring” what they read and learn; it’s about fostering a love of reading and learning without jamming a political philosophy down their throats.

    I think I can speak for every parent when I say children have an incredible ability to resist having anything jammed down their throats. Even if you could monitor every moment of your child’s life, they will find a way to resist!

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  263. Reading things of which your parents disapprove is, of course, a time-honored tradition.

    Simon Jester (49826f)

  264. Please tell us, Leviticus, how many hundreds of rockets must the Gazans fire into Israel before you start worrying the Israelis may violate the ceasefire and launch an unprovoked war of aggression against the Gazans.

    Steve57 (7a880e)

  265. So you are personalizing this. Thank you.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  266. “I suppose you have to resort to sarcasm again, Leviticus, because I draw on things other than a bottomless well of uninformed dogma to support my position.”

    - Steve57

    I need a sponsor.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  267. You were unclear, why we had to follow the constitution, earlier, I know it’s sort of a quaint notion, but I would think that would be a prerequisite for law school,

    narciso (ee31f1)

  268. Isn’t it interesting, DRJ, that so many children do indeed resist inculcation at home, but seem to welcome it at school? Almost as if it is “cool” there, and “old fashioned” at home…even when the goal of championing a point of view is the same.

    And it’s not about freedom of expression. There are few more lockstep philosophies than the Left, currently.

    I think it is “oikophobia” or “fear/dislike of the familiar.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oikophobia

    Explains a lot.

    Simon Jester (49826f)

  269. 262 “4) I think I turned out alright.”

    To whom it may concern, although this old man hadn’t irretrievably made a mess of it by 23, I wish I’d had higher standards at the end of that circuit.

    It’s an iterative process.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  270. “You were unclear, why we had to follow the constitution, earlier.”

    - narciso

    Yeah… no I f*ckin wasn’t. I disagreed with originalist interpretive philosophy. It’s not the same thing.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  271. Since I’m making a conscious effort to be polite, I want to politely say that I feel like I am addressing other peoples’ points and not having my points addressed.

    Free market (children choosing their own books) vs. Central planning (parents choosing their children’s books)?

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  272. Simon Jester:

    Isn’t it interesting, DRJ, that so many children do indeed resist inculcation at home, but seem to welcome it at school?

    I hadn’t thought of that. It is interesting.

    I guess it’s peer pressure or youthful rebellion. I can still remember how both feel. It’s a part of growing up but the hard part is getting past it.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  273. Say there’s one kid at school with a sandwich and an orange and some M&Ms and one kid at school with no lunch whatsoever.

    Teacher observes.

    Kid with the lunch recognizes that the other kid has no lunch. He asks his teacher what to do.

    What should the teacher say? Is it a left-leaning or right-leaning response, or neither?

    That evening, the kid with the lunch asks his parents what he should do tomorrow.

    What should the parent say? Is it a left-leaning or right-leaning response, or neither?

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  274. Well, my point is that “Central Planning” by the government is far, far worse than individuals choosing. Or is it?

    You do know that the books at school were picked by large committees of people, unaccountable, I am sure. Or perhaps they don’t have agendas other than enhancing critical thinking and reasoning in young people?

    Simon Jester (49826f)

  275. The question is: does government know best how to raise children, or do parents? I suspect that is what is driving this discussion.

    Simon Jester (49826f)

  276. “You do know that the books at school were picked by large committees of people, unaccountable, I am sure. Or perhaps they don’t have agendas other than enhancing critical thinking and reasoning in young people?”

    - Simon Jester

    So it’s a “Fight fire with fire” argument?

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  277. “The question is: does government know best how to raise children, or do parents? I suspect that is what is driving this discussion.”

    - Simon Jester

    No, man. It’s not.

    Here: lemme stipulate that public education is nothing but a constant, brutal propaganda machine.

    Now (and with that stipulation in mind, why the heck not) let’s talk about whether or not we like a parent making their kid read this book.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  278. 270.

    “I suppose you have to resort to sarcasm again, Leviticus, because I draw on things other than a bottomless well of uninformed dogma to support my position.”

    - Steve57

    I need a sponsor.

    Comment by Leviticus (17b7a5) — 11/26/2012 @ 8:38 pm

    Was it my reference to the OECD data contrasting the results achieved vs. the money expended that clued you into the “fact” that I could only oppose solvent-state-to-PEU wealth transfer out of some irrational hatred for “teh other?”

    Clearly I don’t have the stature of a Steve Jobs. Just as clearly, the fact he concluded the US educational system is a wasteland was just a ploy. A powerplay, designed to to screw the worker for the benefit of the mighty, mighty capitalist.

    Right, Leviticus.

    Steve57 (7a880e)

  279. It’s just a hunch, but I bet Albert Schweitzer died at peace with his God.

    “drew his feet up into his bed, full of years.”

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  280. The UK is farther along this road than we are.

    It’s getting to a point where I really don’t know who to root in favor of, who to root against. However, I do think the two sides deserve one another.

    cbn.com, November 2012:

    Stoning for adultery. Amputations for theft. Death for apostates. And second-class status for Christians and Jews. This is life under Sharia law, the Islamic system practiced in countries like Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Great Britain.

    Yes, Great Britain. There are reportedly some 85 Sharia courts now operating there, with Islamic judges ruling on cases ranging from financial to marital disputes among British Muslims.

    Sharia courts operate outside of British common law. Their defenders say the courts are legal under a 1996 Arbitration Act that allows people to settle differences through methods of their own choosing. The courts have popped up in several British cities with large Muslim populations, including Birmingham, Bradford, Manchester, and London.

    The Tower Hamlets section of East London is arguably the epicenter of the Sharia movement in Great Britain. The impoverished borough has been dubbed “The Islamic Republic of Tower Hamlets.” Its first elected mayor is a Muslim who critics say has ties to extremist groups.

    Radical Muslims have threatened women there for not covering up, and gays have been beaten in the streets.

    “If people are afraid of having their hands cut, don’t steal,” UK Islamist leader Anjem Choduary said. “If you don’t want to be stoned to death, don’t commit adultery.”

    Last year, his followers put up posters around Tower Hamlets labeling it a “Sharia-Controlled Zone” where “Islamic rules are enforced.”

    Mark (81782c)

  281. DRJ#276: I suspect it is a little of what went on during the election…people liking how they feel about a topic, rather than thinking about it deeply. Placing blame irrationally (blaming GWB for the last three years of BHO’s administration). It’s about feeling “cool” and “edgy” while doing what a large number of other people are doing, too.

    Oikophobia. It’s worth reading about.

    Every parent has had the experience of a teacher telling them that a child is perfectly behaved at school, while the same child behaves, um, less perfectly at home.

    It’s a weird psychological disconnect I have seen over and over again. Like my nephew, all about “organic” this, and “pesticide free” that, buying weed from some guy on a street corner. When I suggested that this, um, was not wise or consistent with his personal philosophy, he replied that the guy selling weed was “cool” and “wouldn’t do anything that would hurt anybody.”

    I told him that there was no one, and I mean no one, more caveat emptor capitalist than a drug dealer, but he just looked at me blankly. I guess I needed Pitbull to do a PSA to get him to listen.

    Simon Jester (49826f)

  282. Oh, I’m sorry, Leviticus. I guess you get to pose the question on this post.

    The best way to propagandize kids? Forbid them to read that dirty, dirty book. You should be glad that these parents aren’t as manipulative as they might be.

    Simon Jester (49826f)

  283. “Oh, I’m sorry, Leviticus. I guess you get to pose the question on this post.”

    - Simon Jester

    I’ve been answering questions for this entire thread. Is it presumptuous of me to point out that a discussion is where two people ask each other questions? They call the other thing an “interrogation.” It’s less fun.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  284. I’m out.

    Goodnight, DRJ.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  285. Leviticus:

    Free market (children choosing their own books) vs. Central planning (parents choosing their children’s books)?

    Neither.

    First, to me, “children” in this thread means grade school students and younger. I encourage letting children choose from approved books, whether it’s from their parent’s home library or a school reading list. I also know that children see a lot more, especially in this online age, and that’s why it’s important to balance what they see and hear in pop culture with books that reflect facts, history, values, and viewpoints that they don’t learn in school or everyday life.

    My ultimate goal was for my children to want to read a broad range of materials. One way to make that more likely was to make sure they were exposed to a broad range of materials and ideas. Thus, one of my goals as a parent was to make sure they were exposed to the books and ideas that their schools don’t show them.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  286. If children are exposed to the poisonous ideas contained in books that teach basic economics 101, then the children might eventually grow up to become adults who identify incomes vs outcomes, and seek to balance their own checkbook, and even embrace the notion of being self-supporting. Who knows, they may one day even muster the courage to question the national debt.

    We can’t allow that.

    Just think about how the Hostess bakers might have voted on the contract negotiations, had they been previously exposed to such controversial ideas.

    Elephant Stone (65d289)

  287. 287. “Oh, I’m sorry, Leviticus. I guess you get to pose the question on this post.”

    - Simon Jester

    I’ve been answering questions for this entire thread. Is it presumptuous of me to point out that a discussion is where two people ask each other questions? They call the other thing an “interrogation.” It’s less fun.

    Comment by Leviticus (17b7a5) — 11/26/2012 @ 9:04 pm

    There’s a reason you’ve been answering questions for this entire discussion. Stop acting like that reason, that reaction, is some inexplicable phenomenon.

    288. I’m out.

    Goodnight, DRJ.

    Comment by Leviticus (17b7a5) — 11/26/2012 @ 9:04 pm

    Probably wise to quit.

    But don’t think that means you’re ahead.

    Steve57 (7a880e)

  288. Leviticus,

    I commend you for singlehandedly taking on this debate. I recall doing that before and it is hard. But you have Patterico near your side and that makes it a little easier, plus it’s good experience for an aspiring lawyer.

    Good night.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  289. Leviticus:

    Now (and with that stipulation in mind, why the heck not) let’s talk about whether or not we like a parent making their kid read this book.

    That’s the part of your argument I find so perplexing. Would you let your child eat cookies all day, if that’s all they wanted to eat? Would you let your child wear the same clothes every day for a week, if that’s what they wanted to wear? I’ll admit, and I suspect most parents here would agree, that I’ve done these things or things like them. But I don’t do these things often and, similarly, I wouldn’t let my child routinely decide what to read and think about.

    The permissive lifestyle is not good for children because they don’t have the requisite maturity or judgment to know what they need or how to go about getting it. They need discipline, structure and parental guidance in every aspect of their lives.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  290. Next week, some of you people will be advocating that parents should actually be allowed to take their own children to the religious services of the parents’ own choosing !
    It’s a slippery-slope from there when you teach your kids to read that agenda-driven book, without it first being approved by state-licensed educators. You know which book I’m talking about. The Bible. How is this even legal in the United States ?

    That’s brainwashing.
    You fascists.

    Elephant Stone (65d289)

  291. When I envision Leviticus’s comments emanating from that of a rather young person — which I believe he is — I take them in stride. But when I imagine such a POV originating from that of a much older person, that’s when I can’t help shake my head and think, oh-oh, something is wrong. Something tells me I’m witnessing a case of stunted maturity.

    Liberalism loses its quaintness (and excusability) the older its adherents become.

    Mark (81782c)

  292. It’s a slippery-slope

    Someone could have made the slippery-slope argument several years ago about, as one example, the “live and let live” agenda — ie, liberalism going off the deep end — becoming so absurd that the government (ie, California’s) eventually would require that public-school history textbooks specifically point out people who were GLBT and take their sexuality as a parallel aspect of their achievements.

    There was a time when I’d actually have pondered whether such a scenario was mainly hyperbole or a plausible slippery slope.

    Sheesh, I now realize I’ve been surprisingly naive.

    Mark (81782c)

  293. Both you and Patterico say you’re troubled by attempts to indoctrinate children but this involves a book marketed to parents for their own children. I can understand concerns about books purchased for a school library or selected for a school curriculum, but I’m mystified that either of you would be worried about parents “indoctrinating” their own children. It’s called parenting and it’s what we’re supposed to do.

    I think it’s pretty clear I am not troubled by this book or by parents buying it for their children. I think my kids are old for it but I am still almost curious enough to buy it myself. I think the idea of teaching children about the hard realities of life and the virtues of independence is necessary and anything that helps is great.

    I commend you for singlehandedly taking on this debate. I recall doing that before and it is hard. But you have Patterico near your side and that makes it a little easier, plus it’s good experience for an aspiring lawyer.

    I don’t think he does have me near his side. Only in one respect: I don’t like the title. Conservative bed-time stories, to me, carries an overtone of indoctrination.

    I think people develop firmer political beliefs if they have at various times in their lives actually given a fair chance to all perspectives. Doesn’t mean they have to accept them. Just give them a hearing.

    I’m much more interested in teaching my children to think for themselves and to make their own decisions than I am in drilling into them that they need to grow up voting for Republicans as president. On the other hand, I will preach to them that you don’t get something for nothing, that you need work to create value, and the like — all the kind of stuff this book sounds like it teaches.

    They don’t have to believe that but they are going to have to listen to me tell them because that’s what I believe and I don’t think that’s political. I think it’s common sense and it’s about what life is like.

    But I am very interested in having them not just follow the herd because it’s the herd. So much damage in this life comes from following the herd. Sometimes you should because that’s what you need to do to survive, of course. But as humans we need to be able to think for ourselves and not just follow the herd from instinct. These days, the herd wants to bankrupt future generations. That’s not a herd I want to follow.

    So the idea of indoctrinating kids with values? Yeah. You gotta do that. Indoctrinating them with political views? I resist that. I realize there is overlap, of course. My children get speeches that probably sound like indoctrination to some people. Like I was lecturing Lauren about shortages and supply and demand. But also, I was testing her ability to soak it in, so she could apply the concepts on her own.

    But I feel no duty to raise a Republican. I feel a duty to raise moral children who think for themselves. I don’t see either party as very moral these days. Both want to behave irresponsibly. Just one seems more committed to it than the other, but get them both in office and they still want to bankrupt my children.

    Anyway, I’m rambling, but I think DRJ has me far closer to Leviticus’s camp than I actually am.

    Patterico (8b3905)

  294. Following the herd.

    “They do what they do and we do what we do” is the first thing I told my daughter when she started school. (Well, after “Be sure to say good morning to your teacher”.) And I keep on saying it to her. We have turned it into a joke, “If everybody jumps off a cliff, be sure to jump too”.

    It has caused her trouble. She is not the popular girl. I have have had to talk to other fathers about her being ganged up on and bullied. But she is not unpopular, either. She has her own style, punk-goth, I can’t remember when she last wore a skirt, she chases after boys and boys chase after her, and has girls as “besties”.

    And there is no “oikophobia”. She is family-oriented enough.

    nk (875f57)

  295. “…I think I turned out alright…”

    Another victory for the self-esteem paradigm.

    The K-12 Ed I attended, in the Age of Neanderthals, didn’t allow students to remove themselves from instruction when they felt like it, why would the use of Channel-One change that?
    Even in college, if one made a habit out of getting up and walking out in the middle of a lecture, some serious “office time” was going to be spent answering the question: Why?

    askeptic (2bb434)

  296. “indoctrinate”….Dog Whistle Alert.
    Isn’t that a code-word for propaganda?
    Shouldn’t this be couched as teaching the new generation the values of self-reliance and independence?
    Which, BTW, are not “conservative” values, but historically American, libertarian, ones; but ones highly disturbing to the collective.

    askeptic (2bb434)

  297. BTW, “oikos” is commonly transliterated “eco”, in English. ;)

    nk (875f57)

  298. Is this a necessary element of parenting? I can’t recall my parents telling me what to read.

    Yes. You don’t think they just let you read whatever you wanted, do you? Do you think we should let kids eat candy for breakfast?

    Why do you insist on calling it indoctrination when it is teaching the value of work? What do you find so offensive about that?

    JD (318f81)

  299. if you want your kids to have self respect you wouldn’t ask them to identify with a political party here in America is wouldn’t think

    unless maybe they did it ironically

    happyfeet (3eead3)

  300. *I* wouldn’t think i mean

    happyfeet (3eead3)

  301. no not even ironically

    happyfeet (3eead3)

  302. Mark #295,

    I agree.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  303. if you want liberal people to not be liberal people you have to give them a serious alternative

    hint: this probably doesn’t involve asking them to join the Todd Akin Rick Santorum Mike Huckabee team

    happyfeet (3eead3)

  304. Yes, we can offer them, Chris Chrispy or Meg Whitman, they don’t care about the spendings, in fact they want more of it, otherwise Betamax Brown would be back in Oakland.

    narciso (ee31f1)

  305. chris ch

    ristie and meg are both in the “lack self respect” camp in a pretty big way Mr narciso

    happyfeet (3eead3)

  306. I left this discussion thread late afternoon yesterday. In catching up here this morning I have to say there were a lot of interesting comments. But I appreciated and want to single out Simon Jester for his always informed and well stated posts (especially his self-described “sermon”) combining both his experiences as a modern parent and as one who himself resides inside academia. I particularly liked his use of the subtler image of “marinate” to describe how leftist thinking and “values” are being taught to children through classroom discussion and activities, which I believe is actually much closer to what is actually going on in the public schools these days. And I think many people like Leviticus, some parents, and a lot of teachers themselves, especially younger ones, do not even notice, or recognize it for what it is.

    Instead, Leviticus kept demanding examples of outrageous, blatant, easily recognizable cases of indoctrination or propaganda or bias he could label as “progressive” in the schools’ curriculum or teacher/administration behaviors. But when confronted with a few of them he either ignored them or seemed to say “yeah, well besides that”. I’d only add this one more to the list: In the recent Chicago school strike many teachers were caught propagandizing their grammar school students to the point of teaching them union slogans, sending handouts home with students and asking them to come out to the picket lines with signs of support. Supposedly some older students were told they would be given class credit rewards by teachers if they showed up to march and support the teachers. Should non-liberal leaning taxpaying citizen parents in financially strapped Chicago not be expected/allowed from home to combat and balance this egregious behavior perpetrated against both students and taxpayers?

    elissa (0d16a3)

  307. Leviticus,

    Let’s reset this discussion. Forget this book, because the way it is marketed is affecting the discussion for the worse, IMO.

    Do you think it’s political propaganda to teach children that you can’t get something for nothing, and that hard work is what creates value? And (this is part of classical liberalism too) that men should take care of one another as neighbors, friends, and through charity rather than relying on the government to do so?

    See, I don’t think that’s political propaganda. That’s teaching your kids values.

    Some people might believe in raising their kids to be members of a political party. I don’t believe that. But the stuff I just discussed *should* transcend party lines.

    These days, I don’t think it does. But I have to count on my kids to recognize that for themselves. I give them the principles but they are the ones who will have to apply them in their lives.

    Does that make sense?

    Patterico (8b3905)

  308. Leviticus, I think what you’re missing in all this, that people are repeatedly trying to emphasize, is that parents do play THE central role in imparting values to children.

    If we leave them to bob on the waters of society’s norms, they will be lost.

    That’s why I teach them that thinking for themselves is so important. But of course thinking for themselves requires them to have a foundation of values, so that when they see the herd departing from those values, they know not to follow.

    Patterico (8b3905)

  309. And getting back to the book, once you accept that parents spend their children’s formative years doing nothing but drilling principles into them — you have to be responsible, you have to get your work done, you have to tell the truth, etc. etc. — it’s hard to see how there is anything offensive about what this book is teaching (from the descriptions).

    Maybe what offends you is that the guy is claiming these basic American principles are “conservative”? But teaching these principles is hardly political indoctrination.

    Patterico (8b3905)

  310. “So the idea of indoctrinating kids with values? Yeah. You gotta do that. Indoctrinating them with political views? I resist that.”

    - Patterico

    I think that’s a good way to say it. I think that’s what I’ve been saying over the course of this thread – with the additional twist that I don’t think telling your kids what to read is necessary to indoctrinating them with values, especially if one of the values you want to inculcate is intellectual curiosity.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  311. “Do you think it’s political propaganda to teach children that you can’t get something for nothing, and that hard work is what creates value? And (this is part of classical liberalism too) that men should take care of one another as neighbors, friends, and through charity rather than relying on the government to do so?”

    - Patterico

    No.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  312. Patterico,

    You’re always a fair debater, to the degree that I would submit you are sometimes too generous in extending the benefit of doubt to the other side during debate and discussion.
    However, I wonder if you’re making the kindly error of equating “conservative themed book” with “a partisan Republican book.”
    I think the liberals may be doing the same, and I assume that’s why they are flipping out over a book that contains a theme of applying basic economics.

    Certainly, each of the two major parties is a vehicle for expressing “values” in our legislative bodies, but adherence to basic economics should not strike a partisan dischord, though it does seem to be a bit of a Freudian revelation when liberals instinctively equate themes of basic economics with the GOP.

    If there’s a children’s book that contains a thematic element that “stealing is wrong,” I would hope that members of both parties could embrace it, even though one of the two parties is generally perceived to be tougher on crime than the other party. Likewise, I would hope everyone would be willing to embrace a children’s book that may contain, say, thematic elements of “tolerance” or “acceptance” of someone in the neighborhood who is “different.”

    But, if, for instance, the author Mr. Wright wrote passages in the book where allegiance to Paul Ryan or Jim DeMint was evident, or any value judgement of either of the two parties was made, then certainly questions of partisanship would be justified. A children’s book about “sharing your toys with your siblings and friends” is great, although if an author explicitly dropped in something along the lines of, “Johnny doesn’t like to share his toys with the neighbor children because he is greedy—he’s probably going to grow up to be an evil Republican !”, then certainly, that would be an example of an explicitly partisan book.

    Elephant Stone (65d289)

  313. Patterico,

    While I was writing that last post, I see that you contributed additional comments very clearly delineating between values VS partisanship, thus I now declare my last post null and void ! Ha, ha, ha.

    Elephant Stone (65d289)

  314. “Leviticus, I think what you’re missing in all this, that people are repeatedly trying to emphasize, is that parents do play THE central role in imparting values to children.”

    - Patterico

    I’m not missing that at all. I know that perfectly, perfectly well. My parents taught me many values. My schools taught me few.

    I also have very, very fond memories of my mother and father reading me and my little brother to sleep when I was a child. We chose the books (a la Hamster Huey and the Gooey Kablooey). The thought of polluting that with politics offends me, a lot.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  315. What about teaching the value of hard work offends you so? Or is it the “conservative” in the title?

    JD (318f81)

  316. “What about teaching the value of hard work offends you so?”

    - JD

    I never said that. Stop putting words in my mouth.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  317. ==The thought of polluting that with politics offends me, a lot.==

    Well, L., please feel free to feel offended then. As near as I can tell you are, and have been, the only person on this entire thread who believes we are advocating and discussing “polluting with politics” rather than attempting to reinforce basic economic principles and personal self respect and self reliance to our children. Enjoy.

    elissa (0d16a3)

  318. Patterico #311:

    Let’s reset this discussion. Forget this book, because the way it is marketed is affecting the discussion for the worse, IMO.

    Do you think it’s political propaganda to teach children that you can’t get something for nothing, and that hard work is what creates value?

    Are you sure this isn’t a conservative message? Are you really sure that both parties believe hard work creates value?

    “I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something — there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there.

    Barack Obama, 7/13/12 Campaign Event in Roanoake VA.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  319. how often does someone have to pry inappropriate reading material out of their kids’ hands

    for sure there’s worser problems to have i would think

    happyfeet (3eead3)

  320. And, yes, feel free to call me a partisan polluter. These should be traditional American values and they used to be traditional American values, but they aren’t anymore.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  321. It’s not a question of prying inappropriate material out of kids’ hands, happyfeet. It’s a question of introducing them to books and ideas they never thought about and might never see if parents didn’t introduce them.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  322. Gooey Kablooey is NOT an American value

    happyfeet (3eead3)

  323. The thought of polluting that with politics offends me, a lot.

    This book teaches the value of hard work, no? Were you not referring to it when your typed the above sentence?

    JD (318f81)

  324. ok I was just curious

    mom and dad were very glad they had kids what liked books

    they weren’t picky about which books

    happyfeet (3eead3)

  325. It’s so, JD. Leviticus did not demean the value of work. It was a couple of other commenters, and even then I believe it was just a misunderstanding.

    We are all working people, here. Leviticus knows that being a lawyer means buying a job. And school, itself, is work if you want it to mean anything.

    nk (875f57)

  326. If you allow the children to pick whatever they wish, we would read nothing other than Knuffle Bunny, any Disney Princess books, and Cat in the Hat. Though I enjoy them all, I don’t leave it up to a 4 year old to determine her entire book selection any more than I allow her to use her iPad without limits or supervision, or choose her own meals.

    JD (318f81)

  327. In fairness to President Obama, let me provide the full paragraph from his statement about hard work that I excerpted above:

    There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me — because they want to give something back. They know they didn’t — look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something — there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there. (Applause.)

    Could he be any more clear that he doesn’t think hard work leads to value. I submit that President Obama and the Democratic Party believe what leads to value is people working together toward common societal goals.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  328. I’m upset about this and, in accordance with my questions to Leviticus about what he feared, what I fear about this is conservatives’ willingness to reframe and explain what’s happening in ways that make liberal attitudes seem acceptable. When you reframe this debate as one about cultural values and not political values, you excuse liberals to continue to dominate the educational system and pop culture — and you thereby make it easier for them to infuse their values into our children and society.

    But don’t take my word for it. Take it from the Kind of liberals: “Everything is political.”

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  329. Auto-correct is not my friend! That should have been the “King of liberals,” not the “Kind of liberals.”

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  330. I read all my books then I read my sister’s blume books and about the incestuous flowers in the attic (don’t eat the donuts) then I read my brother’s books like the watership down (i cried) and about the mouse and the motorcycle (i never could figure out what made the motorcycle go) then I read mom’s books which was a lot of age inappropriate stuff like John Irving… Garp was very disturbing but we were on a long motorhome trip and it kept me busy

    Dad didn’t read as much as the rest of us but I read his Ludlum then I read all of Ludlum’s stuff except Road to… somewheres

    He’s not even a very good writer just had good plots mostly

    happyfeet (3eead3)

  331. Bravo, JD. We let the daughter read anything she wanted BUT there was going to be directed reading, too, on top of the school assigned. One hour. With mama and daughter reading alternate pages. We still pay for her books, now that she reads independently, so we have some control, but so far I have seen nothing to cringe about her choices.

    The iPad and computer, I sometimes wonder. I gave her my YouTube account. There can be some disturbing stuff there. She found out about Westboro Baptist Church for one thing. But we got past that.

    nk (875f57)

  332. Yes, I found Road to Gandolfo, not one of his better works, too slapstick,

    narciso (ee31f1)

  333. After Obama assembles the death panels which will dole out medical resources to approved patients, he should assemble a national book panel, derived of librarians, lawyers, public school teachers, journalists, Democrat Congressmen, and Richard Trumka.
    The National Book Panel would have the authority to determine which books we can read, and they will have the authority to shut down any publishing house that attempts to subvert them by printing literature that does not meet the state’s Gold Seal approval.

    Regnery would be liquidated, and the usually nicely tailored Mark Steyn and Greg Gutfeld would each end up wearing orange jumpsuits at Guantanamo, where they may not be allowed a subscription to Commentary or The Weekly Standard, but they could enjoy the well-manicured soccer fields and endless supply of prayer rugs as a consolation.

    Oprah could get involved, with her Book of the Month Club, which would rely upon Chief Justice Roberts’ ruling that the federal government can tax you if you choose against become a paying member of her club !

    This is what the lefties refer to as being, “pro-choice !”

    Elephant Stone (65d289)

  334. The best, ever, ever, ever, spy story written was The Interlopers by Donald Hamilton.

    (He was better known for his westerns, you may have seen The Big Country with Gregory Peck, Charlton Heston, and a whole other star-studded cast.)

    nk (875f57)

  335. 321. Well, L., please feel free to feel offended then. As near as I can tell you are, and have been, the only person on this entire thread who believes we are advocating and discussing “polluting with politics” rather than attempting to reinforce basic economic principles and personal self respect and self reliance to our children. Enjoy.

    Comment by elissa (0d16a3) — 11/27/2012 @ 8:11 am

    I have been known to “pollute” my students with my politics.

    I’m sure it starts with the emails. Reactionary that I am, I insist they are somewhat decipherable in the English language.

    Then I move on to their mad rapping skillz. Which, if they were all that great, would mean they wouldn’t be in the class I’m teaching. They’d have a recording contract. So shut up. Here’s how you do a presentation in the corporate environment.

    I doubt Leviticus would approve of my attempts to make the barely employable more employable. No matter how successful those attempts were.

    Steve57 (7a880e)

  336. I didn’t know you were a teacher, Steve.

    One thing I’m always grimly amused by is how liberals happily infect everything with politics, assuming that’s laudable and fine. A colleague was eating chik fil a and it triggered a reaction from a lefty when the poor guy just wanted to eat his lunch in peace.

    Yet conservatives who inject their politics are often reacted to as though they crossed this line of polluting the world with their uncool politics. I am happily uncool so I don’t care at all, but it’s an interesting issue.

    School is full of subtle dependency indocrination, and my history classes omitted so much of our history…all of which would support a conservative point of view. Upton Sinclair and Asata Shakur got more time than Ronald Reagan and Winston Churchill, in my US History class.

    When I asked my professor why, she did not have an answer but made a point to note I was conservative a few times ( as though that is remarkable ). No harm done… indeed I feel I learned a lot from this brilliant but incredibly biased professor.

    I see this constant pressure to assume liberal is default and conservative is ‘other’. Now if a parent wants to teach a child about responsibility, that’s indoctrination.

    As DRJ said, this country used to have American values. Now we have a 16 trillion dollar deficit.

    Dustin (73fead)

  337. nk,

    Wouldn’t you say that Hamilton is best known for the entire Matt Helm series ?

    “The Big Country” is fantastic, right you are about a star-studded cast. With Heston, Peck, and Chuck Connors, has there ever been a cast with as many angular jaws ?!
    Jean Simmons and Carroll Baker were a couple of hotties, and Mr. Have a Holly Jolly Christmas (Burl Ives) grabbed the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.
    Director William Wyler is one of the all-time greatest.

    Elephant Stone (65d289)

  338. DRJ is onto something. I call it “optics”: how things appeal and appear to people. Hard work and advancing from that work is…a conservative value?

    Perhaps, but then ask, word association wise, what most people associate with the word “conservative”?

    What the Right must do is fight Teh Narrative. Media is the best way, in our current time.

    We need a Right-wing Jon Stewart, it pains me to write.

    Getting back to kids and books, one thing that helped me a lot (and is relevant to DRJ’s point) was being a debater in high school. I was forced to argue “the other side” repeatedly. It helped me.

    In addition, being far, far to the Right in my workplace (though most conservatives find my values “squishy”) has helped me “see” the other side well.

    So I work hard with my sons to describe BOTH sides of arguments. No, not for everything. But making them question authority—even my own—is the most important gift I can give them…

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  339. Here’s another recent example of the liberal ed culture being interjected into day to day politics:

    The Wisconsin Recall Kerfuffle!

    Just think of all of those teachers, many accompanied by their students, massing at the WI Capitol, and the MD’s from the nearby State Med School writing Doctor’s Notes to excuse them from work with pay, while they were protesting the direction that the voters of WI, in the most recent election, had set the government upon.

    If that isn’t a result of “marinating”?

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  340. We need a Right-wing Jon Stewart, it pains me to write.

    We have him, and a modern iteration of RR, in Bill Whittle; if we could only find a “GE” who would underwrite him on national media on a daily/weekly basis.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  341. I don’t always know to whom I’m talking to, Elephant Stone. I figured more people would know the Big Country better than Matt Helm. (My personal favorite of Hamilton’s westerns was The Two Shoot Gun.)

    nk (875f57)

  342. JD: 169.Experience a story that teaches kids it is hard work and determination that creates wealth.

    311. Patterico: Do you think it’s political propaganda to teach children that you can’t get something for nothing, and that hard work is what creates value?

    It should be obvious that hard work is neither necessary nor sufficient for the creation of value. Although it may help.

    The idea that hard work creates value is, (or maybe the converse, that value is measured by the amount of hard work that went into something) in fact, classicial Marxism.

    http://www.isil.org/resources/lit/labor-theory-val.html

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labor_theory_of_value

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  343. The Big Country….
    Burl Ives well deserved his Oscar, a powerful performance.
    Peck gave one of his best, under-stated portrayals.
    The rest were all very good, and it was a marvelous film, with an important message.

    I don’t know if there really was anything of substance in “Matt Helm”, pure escapism – but the ladies were always easy on the eyes.
    Daliah Lavi – words do not do her justice.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  344. Correction, maybe:

    http://www.investopedia.com/terms/l/labor-theory-of-value.asp

    This was first proposed by Adam Smith.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  345. The Dean Martin Matt Helm movies were horrible, askeptic.

    The books were something to twist a thirteen-year old’s mind. I don’t know if The Interlopers can still be found. I have my $0.60 original Fawcett. I wouldn’t mind if my daughter read it. Most of it would go above her head. She’d mostly enjoy the black Labrador dog.

    nk (875f57)

  346. Could the values taught by “The Fisherman’s Catch: A Conservative Bedtime Story” be taught another way? By other books? By better-written, more thought-provoking books (no offense, Mr. Wright)?

    Then what is the appeal of this book? What’s the upside? Is there a downside? If so, what is it?

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  347. We had to read Ayn Rand in my public high school, by the way.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  348. Liberal Indoctrination Centers!

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  349. In the books, Matt Helm is a cold-blooded killer. In the first book, Death of a Citizen, he is trying to go straight. Married with children. But his former lover, who has defected to the Soviets, kidnaps his baby daughter to blackmail him into killing somebody. He tortures her to death, with a pocket knife she had given him, to make her tell where the baby is.

    nk (875f57)

  350. I learned my values from my parents. Farmers, factory workers, grew up under German occupation. They left behind a lawyer, an MBA, and an eye surgeon.

    nk (875f57)

  351. Then what is the appeal of this book?

    The perfect is the enemy of the good. Just because you think there are better books doesn’t mean books that are merely good are pointless.

    Reading stimulates our minds. Good values need more than a single, ultimate example. They need reinforcement and plenty of discussion.

    Dustin (73fead)

  352. “The perfect is the enemy of the good. Just because you think there are better books doesn’t mean books that are merely good are pointless.”

    - Dustin

    The perfect may be the enemy of the good, but the better is not the enemy of the good. I get you, one way or another, but I’m driving at another point.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  353. Could the values taught by “The Fisherman’s Catch: A Conservative Bedtime Story” be taught another way?

    I don’t get why you object so strenuously to this book. Or the stated lesson. Is it simply the vehicle?

    By other books? By better-written, more thought-provoking books (no offense, Mr. Wright)?

    What about this one do you object to? How do you know it is not well written? You have spent much time objecting to and discussing this boon that does not provoke thoughts.

    Then what is the appeal of this book? What’s the upside? Is there a downside? If so, what is it?

    The appeal seems to be the lesson, the message, what you have referred to as politicization, and likened to propoganda.

    JD (518ff4)

  354. I had to read 1984 and The Grapes of Wrath in high school. A waste. You can take a horse to water but you cannot make him think. I appreciated them much later when I picked them up on my own volition.

    Atlas Shrugged was one of my bestsellers when I had the subway newsstand. It’s a train book that will last for a month, and even longer when the train toilet has no paper.

    nk (875f57)

  355. I read 1984 and The Grapes of Wrath on my own, right before I started high school. They both terrified me, in different ways – gave me a nice Spectrum of Societal Terrors. 1984 is government without people (what happens when people stop thinking for themselves). Grapes of Wrath is people without government (what happens when people stop thinking about each other).

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  356. “I don’t get why you object so strenuously to this book. Or the stated lesson. Is it simply the vehicle?”

    - JD

    It is the vehicle, in a big way – and the motive to which I believe the crude nature of the vehicle speaks. I’m sure the content is largely unobjectionable, in a vacuum.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  357. The perfect may be the enemy of the good, but the better is not the enemy of the good.

    Actually, perfect is hyperbole. We mean ‘better’ when we say perfect is the enemy of the good.

    I say read both the good and the better. That would be perfect.

    Dustin (73fead)

  358. So if “conservative” was left out of the title, this would be unobjectionable to you?

    JD (518ff4)

  359. and the motive to which I believe the crude nature of the vehicle speaks

    What do you believe the motive, and crude nature of same to be?

    JD (518ff4)

  360. BREAKING: Naked men in John Boehner’s office!
    [True story]

    Icy (weR$krEwd) (15e9b9)

  361. Leviticus:

    I get you, one way or another, but I’m driving at another point.

    Dustin made a good point but you say you’re “driving at another point.” So what is it?

    In addition, instead of telling us how much this book offends you, please explain why. You seem to object to it as propaganda but every non-fiction book has a point or an agenda. Why does this book push your buttons so much, if it’s not the conservative slant?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  362. I said at 234 and 235 why this book offends me. This is a book of fiction. Does every book of fiction have a point or agenda? Does every children’s book use its agenda as a marketing ploy?

    “Why does this book push your buttons so much, if it’s not the conservative slant?”

    - DRJ

    Pretend for a moment that this book was called “The Fisherman’s Catch: A Progressive Bedtime Story.” I would find that equally offensive. I’d appreciate it if people would stop pretending that I’m irrationally offended at the sight of the word “conservative.” In fact, we can continue this discussion with regard to a book with that very title, if you want – it won’t change my arguments. Propaganda is propaganda.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  363. Ignore the effin title. What about the book offends you? We u d’état and you don’t like the title.

    JD (518ff4)

  364. And propaganda for children is gross.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  365. Understand.

    JD (518ff4)

  366. JD – the title is very much something about the book. I think the author probably knows that better than anybody. If it weren’t for the title, we would not even be talking about this book.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  367. Oh good Allah.

    (Sorry, JD. It’s time. It must be said.)

    elissa (0d16a3)

  368. Both you and Patterico say you’re troubled by attempts to indoctrinate children but this involves a book marketed to parents for their own children. I can understand concerns about books purchased for a school library or selected for a school curriculum, but I’m mystified that either of you would be worried about parents “indoctrinating” their own children. It’s called parenting and it’s what we’re supposed to do.

    Exactly. How is this not perfectly obvious and uncontroversial? A parent’s most important duty is to “train up a child in the way he should go”; that’s even more important than looking after the child’s physical needs. What would you think of a parent who recommended that his child read The Turner Diaries, or who knew the child was reading it and did not take steps to ensure he wasn’t influenced by it?

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  369. elissa,

    You haven’t exactly exerted yourself addressing any of my points. If anyone should be exasperated, it’s me.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  370. Is it possible that blue state conservatives are more troubled by this book, or the marketing of this book as conservative, than red state conservatives? It might be hard for a blue state conservative — someone who is more likely to interact daily with liberal family, friends, and coworkers — to endorse a book that suggests conservatives are more economically literate or more concerned about economic principles than liberals.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  371. “Why on earth would you closely supervise what your child eats, drinks, wears, lives in, drives in, and plays with … but not care what they read and learn?”

    - DRJ

    Isn’t that a mischaracterization of what I said? It’s not about “not caring” what they read and learn; it’s about fostering a love of reading and learning without jamming a political philosophy down their throats. There’s a difference.

    “A love of reading and learning” is no better than “a love of eating and drinking”, or “a love of acquiring possessions”; it depends what one is reading or learning, just as it does what one is eating or drinking, and how one acquires ones possessions. A child given a love of eating but no guidance on nutrition is as likely to eat poison as good food; and one given a love of reading with no guidance is as likely to be poisoned as enlightened.

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  372. Leviticus,

    All children’s books have a goal, point or agenda. Thus, in the sense you are using the term, every book marketed to children is propaganda. Why does this one bother you so much?

    As for your exasperation, I’ve responded to all your questions except the one about the child without food in the school cafeteria. I chose not to respond to that because it’s a complex issue that I thought was more about teaching children empathy, but I will do so now if you wish. Please restate any other questions and I will address them, too.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  373. 251.

    “It’s called parenting and it’s what we’re supposed to do.”

    – DRJ

    Is this a necessary element of parenting?

    Comment by Leviticus (17b7a5) — 11/26/2012 @ 8:11 pm

    It formerly wasn’t. But then the NEA declared war on reality.

    Preparing the fledglings to leave the nest has always been the central element of parenting. The job has gotten much harder ever since the schools started dealing in reality-avoidance. As if it doesn’t exist.

    It was always necessary. Educating children, which means indoctrination, is their parents’ responsibility, not their schools’ or teachers’. Parents may hire schools and teachers to do it for them, but it remains their responsibility. The school or teacher is merely the parent’s agent. So if you trust the school and teacher to be doing the job as you want it done, then it’s not necessary for you to do it as well; but it’s as well to spot-check just in case they’re not doing it properly. And if they’re doing the opposite, then the parent has to take countermeasures, either by removing the child from that influence, or by administering an antidote at home.

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  374. Leviticus,

    It seems to me that authors write books to teach us something, to motivate us, or to entertain us. Help me understand your position that you find so clear and I find confusing.

    Are you saying children should only read books designed to entertain, but that any attempt to motivate or teach is propaganda and should be questioned or censored?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  375. “As for your exasperation, I’ve responded to all your questions except the one about the child without food in the school cafeteria.”

    - DRJ

    I know you’ve responded to my questions. My exasperation was for elissa, who has not, but is nonetheless exasperated with me.

    As to your point – that “every book marketed to children is propaganda” – A) I disagree, and think intent matters when determining what’s propaganda and what’s not, and B) what I’ve repeatedly stated is particularly offensive to me in this instance is the fact that “Propaganda for Your Kids!” was the chosen marketing strategy directed at their parents.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  376. We can narrow the issue to political propaganda, if that would make the issue clearer.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  377. Leviticus,

    I just saw your comment #370. It suggests that your objection is, in fact, to the word “conservative” since that’s the only word in the title I assume you find objectionable. And based on your earlier comment about a “Progressive Bedtime Story,” I assume you think I would similarly object to that book as propaganda. It’s true that I probably wouldn’t buy such a book, but I don’t care that it exists. The only reason I would care is if my school district decided to make it required reading.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  378. “And based on your earlier comment about a “Progressive Bedtime Story,” I assume you think I would similarly object to that book as propaganda.”

    - DRJ

    No, I wasn’t thinking that you’d object to that book existing. I was making the point that I would object to that book as readily as I object to this book – that it’s not about “Conservative” or “Progressive” to me (which I feel like I’ve pointed out a million times over the past few years) so much as the notion of the dog-whistle in general.

    It’s not that I find the notion of conservative propaganda for children uniquely offensive; it’s that I find the notion of political propaganda for children generally offensive.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  379. Leviticus #379,

    Let me restate your point so I know if I understand it:

    Your concern is that authors shouldn’t write books to convey political topics to children. We want children be entertained and informed by books, but they should not be targeted by anything politicized.

    Please correct that statement if I still don’t get it.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  380. Milhouse,

    What books would I not have been allowed to read if I had grown up in your house? What books would you have made me read? And how?

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  381. L-with respect to exasperation: I spent a good part of yesterday afternoon seriously attempting to understand what your points of contention were and why you reacted the way you seemed to. I posted a fairly lengthy comment again this morning which as far as I can see you made no attempt to address. It’s been more than a full day and hundreds of comments of give and take, many of them yours –and frankly I still don’t have a clue why you are personally so “offended” at how other parents may or may not choose to raise their young children. Nor do I even know what you are talking about when you use the highly charged (at least it was in my day) word “propaganda” to discuss the content of a children’s book which apparently you have not read.

    Fortunately, I realize I no longer care about trying to make heads or tails of your “argument” or about trying to convince you of anything related to children’s literature or parenting. I’ll try to drop in here again later to see if there have been any significant breakthroughs, or epiphanies, though.

    elissa (0d16a3)

  382. ‘Forgwt it, he’s rolling’ elissa, as Robin has pointed out, there is a deliberate attempt to indoctrinate students to value emotion over fact,
    sentiment over reality,

    narciso (ee31f1)

  383. DRJ,

    Here’s how I would state my position:

    I find it offensive that anyone (including teachers) would target children with political propaganda, or (alternatively) that they would seek to exploit a desire for pre-chewed propaganda in their parents for profit.

    I’m using “political propaganda” as “conveying information with a desire to inculcate political preference.”

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  384. Also from your comment #379:

    As to your point – that “every book marketed to children is propaganda” – A) I disagree, and think intent matters when determining what’s propaganda and what’s not …

    While you’re on this topic, apparently you think it’s okay to politically proselytize children as long as the author’s intent is something you consider good, right, etc. How exactly does that work?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  385. “I’ll try to drop in here again later to see if there have been any significant breakthroughs, or epiphanies, though.”

    - elissa

    Thanks. I appreciate that (seriously). I hope we can make such a breakthrough, and/or that I’ll be able to make my points more clearly than I have thus far.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  386. “While you’re on this topic, apparently you think it’s okay to politically proselytize children as long as the author’s intent is something you consider good, right, etc. How exactly does that work?”

    - DRJ

    I think there’s a difference between the inculcation of values and the inculcation of political preferences, as Patterico has pointed out. That’s why I have no objection to books like “The Little Engine That Could” (which I remember from my childhood) or “Anthem” (which I read in high school) but still have an objection to this book which makes a literal selling point of a political buzzword.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  387. I find it offensive that anyone … would seek to exploit a desire for pre-chewed propaganda in their parents for profit.

    Really? You object to an author marketing a book that parents are free to buy or not buy, simply because it appeals to a specific political point of view?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  388. Well, then, exactly where is the dividing line between values and political preferences? Is it solely in whether it has buzzwords like “progressive” and “conservative”?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  389. Let me rephrase:

    “I think there’s a difference between the inculcation of values and the inculcation of political preferences, as Patterico has pointed out. That’s why I have no objection to books like “The Little Engine That Could” (which I remember from my childhood) or “Anthem” (which I read in high school) but still have an objection to this book which makes a literal selling point of a political buzzword. attempts to profit from a political dog-whistle.”

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  390. Oh, and one last thing: What should we do about your objections? Are you talking about banning books like this, or preventing it from being marketed, or something else?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  391. So you want to ban buzzwords?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  392. “Really? You object to an author marketing a book that parents are free to buy or not buy, simply because it appeals to a specific political point of view?”

    - DRJ

    When it’s ultimately aimed at the parents’ children, yeah. The pretty pictures tell the kids this is just like any other story. The label on the cover tells their parents that it’s something else. It’s dishonest.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  393. If so, where does that end? What happens if the left adds more and more and more buzzwords to the list of unacceptable marketing tools?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  394. This has been instructive, Leviticus. Thank you for your time.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  395. To clarify, I need to do some other things so I’m leaving now.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  396. “Oh, and one last thing: What should we do about your objections? Are you talking about banning books like this, or preventing it from being marketed, or something else?”

    - DRJ

    Of course I’m not talking about banning books like this. All I’ve said is that I’m offended by it, and think it speaks to a destructive politicization of our culture, creeping into its marrow. We’re coming to want the buzzwords more than the values behind them – otherwise there wouldn’t be a burgeoning market for this otherwise unremarkable story with one remarkable feature.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  397. Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 11/27/2012 @ 8:22 am

    Could he [Obama] be any more clear that he doesn’t think hard work leads to value.

    That is a truism. Hard work does not lead to anything. Smarter work maybe does. That is not the point at which to pick a disagreement with Barack Obama.

    I submit that President Obama and the Democratic Party believe what leads to value is people working together toward common societal goals.

    I’m not sure they have any ideas. He does seem to be hinting that people have no responsibility for what they make maybe. But actually he’s not saying that.

    He says: “They know they didn’t — look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own.”

    probably true enough. And he wants to give credit to the constitution and the rule of law, which is also true, and might be what most disntibguishes the United States from Mexico.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  398. DRJ,

    No worries. Thanks for your time as well.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  399. But then, Obama claims roads and bridges help…

    If there is any group of people Obama is anxious to give away money to, it’s construction unions.

    And the people would have worked, that’s true. But that’s not the point.

    Construction unions by the way don’t want to build anytthing new – they just want to “repair” because that way the job is never done.

    Add also constuction companies and bond dealers to the list of people who would benefit from the spoending that Obama is very anxious to make.

    The Keystone pipeline presented a problem, since the construction unions were for it, but the radical environmentalists were against it. So he punted.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  400. “If so, where does that end? What happens if the left adds more and more and more buzzwords to the list of unacceptable marketing tools?”

    - DRJ

    With due respect to DRJ, I want to make it perfectly clear for posterity that I’ve not spoken of banning or restricting anything. I’ve only said that I find certain things offensive, and that I think those things speak to a destructive trend in our society.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  401. Talking about reading in general avoids controversy – that’s why they do it.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  402. Would you object to a book that pushed a parable of leftist ideals, but did not claim to do so in it’s title?

    JD (318f81)

  403. Hard work does not lead to anything.

    Abject BS

    JD (318f81)

  404. Free market (children choosing their own books) vs. Central planning (parents choosing their children’s books)?

    Wrong. Central planning fails because no government knows or can possibly know better what is in each person’s interest than the people themselves. Parents, on the other hand, are presumed to know their children’s interests better than the children themselves. That’s why there’s such a thing as parents, why children are not just set loose at birth to fend for themselves.

    Perhaps the central fallacy of socialism, corporatism, etc., is the idea that the state stands to the individual as parents stand to their children.

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  405. Comment by nk (875f57) — 11/25/2012 @ 8:18 pm

    I’ll listen to a billionaire.

    They really don’t know very many things. Even the better ones, like Michael Bloomberg.

    And if you think a billionaire is always right or always honest…there’s George Soros.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  406. “Would you object to a book that pushed a parable of leftist ideals, but did not claim to do so in it’s title?”

    - JD

    Not as much as I’d object to one that did. What sorts of things do you mean by “leftist ideals”? Central planning? I would find that offensive, labeled or not, because it’s a political thing and not a value or a virtue. Multiculturalism? I would not find that offensive, unlabeled, because it comes across as a value/virtue rather than a political thing. I would find it offensive if it was “The Fisherman’s Pow-Wow with the Native Americans: A Progressive Bedtime Story” because it would have been politicized.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  407. The second richest man in America thinks, or claims to think, there’s something wrong with Proposition 13.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  408. Leviticus – I went back and re-read the entire thread, and I still don’t understand your position at all.

    JD (318f81)

  409. Stoning for adultery. Amputations for theft. Death for apostates. And second-class status for Christians and Jews. This is life under Sharia law, the Islamic system practiced in countries like Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Great Britain.

    Yes, Great Britain. There are reportedly some 85 Sharia courts now operating there, with Islamic judges ruling on cases ranging from financial to marital disputes among British Muslims.

    Good grief. No, stoning, amputation, and all these other horrors are not happening in the UK, nor in Europe, the USA, or Australia, where sharia courts (and Jewish batei din, and Catholic canon law courts, etc.) also operate. Operating religious courts is a fundamental aspect of the free exercise of religion, and your objection to it is unAmerican. These courts don’t execute anyone, because they haven’t got the power. Nobody can be compelled to appear before them, and their compliance with the verdict depends on their prior agreement. There are also hundreds of secular arbitration courts operating, whose decisions are equally enforceable by virtue of the litigants’ prior consent. So what is your problem, exactly?

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  410. It has no position, JD, because having a position would then lead to having to defend said position. It rarely has a point, much like lovestain. I don’t know why you torture yourself by engaging it.

    Amalgamated Cliff Divers, Local 157 (721840)

  411. Bulletin: Susan Rice now says she was wrong. is that news?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/28/us/politics/after-benghazi-meeting-3-republicans-say-concerns-grow-over-rice.html?hp

    Susan E. Rice, the ambassador to the United Nations, conceded on Tuesday that she incorrectly described the attack on the American mission in Benghazi, Libya, in September as following a spontaneous protest, rather than being a terrorist attack. But she said she based her statement on the intelligence available at the time and did not intend to mislead the American public.

    Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said, “Bottom line: I’m more concerned than I was before” — a sentiment echoed by Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire.

    Are people finally going to get at where things went wrong – the CIA, the moles and their Sooper Sekrit Intelligence?

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  412. I’m upset about this and, in accordance with my questions to Leviticus about what he feared, what I fear about this is conservatives’ willingness to reframe and explain what’s happening in ways that make liberal attitudes seem acceptable. When you reframe this debate as one about cultural values and not political values, you excuse liberals to continue to dominate the educational system and pop culture — and you thereby make it easier for them to infuse their values into our children and society.

    I would be interested to hear examples of what you consider cultural values and what you consider political values.

    Patterico (956c74)

  413. Leviticus will have a stroke if some prog writes a book about Heather having two mommies name Julia—NOT. B-b-but its all about tolerance, and no one is trying to politicize teh gheys. Puh-lease. Offended? Get a freaking life.

    Amalgamated Cliff Divers, Local 157 (721840)

  414. No, Sammy, the Super sekrit intelligence, was in the phone intercepts and the fracking Facebook pages of the folks involved

    narciso (ee31f1)

  415. Finkelman, your story still hasn’t taken into account the claim that the DNI is who changed Rice’s talking points. Imagine my surprise that you’ve not adjusted your version to match the changing events …

    SPQR (768505)

  416. It’s been a good round of the ‘argument clinic’ although abuse seems to fit better,

    narciso (ee31f1)

  417. mr leviticus is not going to have a stroke he just thinks it’s tacky to market blatant propaganda to kids

    but that eco crap is so much worse than anything on the table here

    at this one outfitters in Gatlinburg I found this kids book called something like “one planet one child” and it made me not wanna shop there but instead I got these expensive teva hiking boots cause I was like wow these are really kinda sexy looking boots plus they’re really practical for hiking and stuff and they weigh less than a cat’s head

    happyfeet (3eead3)

  418. “Leviticus – I went back and re-read the entire thread, and I still don’t understand your position at all.”

    - JD

    happyfeet understands it pretty well: “mr leviticus is not going to have a stroke he just thinks it’s tacky to market blatant propaganda to kids.”

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  419. I still don’t get what is “propoganda” to teach your child about hard work. I get you don’t like the title.

    JD (518ff4)

  420. Reading The Grapes of Wrath:

    Wasn’t neccessary as my Father’s family was part of the Dust-Bowl diaspora, and what he, his brother’s, and my GrandMother couldn’t tell me, my neighbors here in SoCal could:
    There were a lot of Okies, Arkies, and Jayhawkers in my little town growing up.
    Mom’s family came from Cleveland, and left even earlier to escape the rot of what was the industrial heartland.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  421. Rice, and “the intelligence available at the time”:

    Since Patraeus says that the CIA’s analysis of the origins of the Benghazi attack were altered after leaving his shop, and before being plopped-down on Rice’s desk, that directs the gaze at the DNI, or (the most likely suspect IMHO) Tom Donilon, the President’s National Security Advisor (interesting job for a labor/politacal hack).

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  422. “I get you don’t like the title.”

    - JD

    That’s a start, I guess.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  423. Beyond the title, what is objectionable about the actual message?

    JD (518ff4)

  424. Hmmm. Titles can be annoying. Ask Ann Coulter. Probably many people won’t even read her books based on the title. Howard Zinn comes to mind with his “Peoples’ History” blather.

    But I think objecting to a title is a slippery slope indeed. But I find—and this is NOT a dig at anyone—most people nowadays are like bumper stickers: not a lot of depth to their philosophy…just reactive slogans.

    It seems a shame. The content should be objectionable more than a title.

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  425. “Beyond the title, what is objectionable about the actual message?”

    - JD

    Nothing, so far as I can tell from that plot summary. Maybe it’s overly simplistic, but that’s kinda the point of kids’ books to some extent, so whatever. It’s the dog-whistle that bothers me.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  426. Again: it’s the mindset the title indicates more than the title itself – the idea that parents should be choosing their childrens’ reading material, and choosing it based on politics.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  427. Patterico,

    I think cultural values are values that a community or society believe are important or right/moral. If so, then I don’t think there is a difference between cultural values and political values in today’s America, where politics touches every aspect of our lives. It’s one of the consequences of an overbearing government and governmental regulations.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  428. Leviticus,

    Regarding book banning, I wanted to know what remedy you favored and that is one option. Apparently you are merely offended by this but don’t believe it should be remedied. Frankly, there are so many things in America today that offend me that I tend to focus only on things that can or should be changed. I guess I erroneously assumed the same was true in this situation.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  429. “I think cultural values are values that a community or society believe are important or right/moral.”

    - DRJ

    Would you object to the notion that cultural values were those values that almost everyone in the culture could agree on, and political values were values divided closely along party lines?

    Thus “hard work” or “free speech” would be cultural values, while “distrust of taxation” or “support of unionism” would be political values.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  430. DRJ,

    I believe this problem should be remedied, but not by a fiat of any sort – and particularly not by government. The ideal remedy would be people getting together and talking about how politics has poisoned us, and how we ought to attempt a more productive and meaningful discourse moving forward.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  431. Politics hasn’t poisoned anything. People did it.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  432. Leviticus #433,

    I don’t agree with that. It’s like trying to divide water in the ocean.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  433. Politics has poisoned everything.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  434. “I don’t agree with that. It’s like trying to divide water in the ocean.”

    - DRJ

    Really? I don’t think so. You were the one that convinced me of the value of “reasonable man” standards.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  435. Patterico: would it be possible for you to grab 12 random commenters out of the hopper? Just curious.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  436. Should we just restrict the Little Darlings to readings from Grimm, and Aesop?
    As they got older, perhaps some Homer, or Confucius.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  437. A question, DRJ: Do you think there is a specific culture associated with liberals and a separate, distinct, mutually exclusive culture associated with conservatives? It might explain why you think it’s so difficult to distinguish political values from cultural ones.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  438. It would appear that there is a great deal more Hubris on one side of the equation than the other.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  439. Leviticus:

    Do you think there is a specific culture associated with liberals and a separate, distinct, mutually exclusive culture associated with conservatives?

    I don’t know. I always thought we lived in the same culture but I’m starting to wonder.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  440. 421.mr leviticus is not going to have a stroke he just thinks it’s tacky to market blatant propaganda to kids

    Then don’t be selectively outraged about BLANTANT PROPAGANDA! Blantant propaganda disguised as social engineering isn’t any less offensive.

    Amalgamated Cliff Divers, Local 157 (721840)

  441. Okay, the irony is clear, it pains me to note:

    “…it’s the mindset the title indicates more than the title itself ..”

    Speaking of mindsets.

    I have a great idea. And I will contribute. Patterico, can I buy the book and you could send it to Leviticus?

    Because then, the gentleman can read the book that seems to upset him so…and then he might be able to criticize the actual book instead of the title.

    I detest this culture of “dog whistle” bias.

    And I’m sure that this will cause all kinds of upset. So I’ll sign off. Patterico, please let me know. I’m happy to buy the fellow the offensive book. I mean, I haven’t read it either. But I tend to support expression where I can, especially when I haven’t read the book.

    Simon Jester (9d1be9)

  442. Perhaps both Leviticus and I will loathe it. But let’s not argue endless about the title of a book most of us have not read. That seems a bit scary to me.

    Simon Jester (9d1be9)

  443. Maybe Mr. Wright could send Patterico a transcript of the text, since he’s getting a passel of free advertising from this post. But if you send me a copy of his book, I’ll read it. You’re right. I am confident that it would enhance the edge to our discussion.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  444. Then after we’ve read the book you could stick around and talk about it with me.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  445. I am more small “l” liberal on some issues than my first wife, and she is more small “c” conservative on some issues than I am. Of course, strongly held ideas do tend to exclude other ideas. But I do not think it makes the people who hold them mutually exclusive.

    nk (875f57)

  446. Right? Right.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  447. Why bother to read the book if you’re going to judge it based on its title?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  448. Actually, I’d buy the book myself for a chance to see a conversation with Simon through from start to finish.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  449. I’ll never understand why people who are distrustful of politicians vote to extend politicians more power over people’s lives.

    I’m distrustful of politicians—and that’s precisely why I seek to limit their power.

    Elephant Stone (65d289)

  450. “Why bother to read the book if you’re going to judge it based on its title?”

    - DRJ

    If you think I’m so far gone that I couldn’t change my mind in the face of my own apparent mistake, then I don’t know why you bother talking to me.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  451. Which isn’t to say that I’m not happy to be talking to you, DRJ. Yikes. I need to step back for a second. That came out way pettier than I meant it to.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  452. I like the picture on the cover. Greek shores, at least where I was, teem with octopuses and cuttlefish. All you needed to do was walk into the surf and you’d come out with an octopus wrapped around your ankle. (They are venomous, be careful.)

    nk (875f57)

  453. I haven’t had octopus for years. I need to get out more.

    nk (875f57)

  454. Is it “cover” or “dust jacket”?

    nk (875f57)

  455. I never think you’re “too far gone,” Leviticus, but you’ve been so committed to judging this book by its title or by its marketing throughout the comments. How would reading it change your mind about the idea behind this book?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  456. Some people might believe in raising their kids to be members of a political party. I don’t believe that.

    Well of course not. That would just be silly, since there’s no telling what the Republican party will stand for by the time they’re old enough to vote. Loyalty should be to a set of ideas, not to a specific corporation that happens to implement them at this moment, let alone one that does so very imperfectly.

    Political parties are tools for supporting good measures and opposing bad ones; they are not the measures themselves. It’s like the difference between calligraphy and quill pens.

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  457. And note that the book is called “a conservative bedtime story”, not a Republican one.

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  458. Leviticus, why don’t we form a coalition? I suggest “no penny was earned without sweat or blood, yours or that of others”, for our platform. That will shut everybody, except the trust fund babies, up.

    I think we’ve gone enough around on the parents’ “rights” to control their children’s books, and the answer is you really cannot unless you lock them up in the basement. And some parents do that and sometimes we send them to prison for it.

    Children will be exposed to books and all other kinds of words, from many different sources, and they will hear what they want to hear and disregard the rest.

    nk (875f57)

  459. True, that, nk. If they even read it to start with.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  460. Hmm

    When some 10 year old somehow finds themselves in the woods, on their own, what books might give them survival skills – an audacity of hope – or the boy scouts manual,

    EPWJ (4380b4)

  461. I used to remember the days when the smart set used to invoke the words of wisdom, “don’t judge a book by its cover !”
    I seem to recall it was even a theme of a particular “Brady Bunch” episode.

    Nowadays, it seems like there’s gonna be a campus sit-in if Ann Coulter is invited to speak by the College Republicans or if the word c-o-n-s-e-r-v-a-t-i-v-e adorns a book jacket.
    And many of those indignant censors actually self-identify as “pro-choice.”

    Somewhere in west Los Angeles, Alanis Morrissette is whispering, “Isn’t it ironic ?”

    Elephant Stone (65d289)

  462. Just as an overall frame of reference this is the sort of parenting that “offends” me. I wonder if anyone ever read this dear child a bedtime story–

    BENTONVILLE, Ark. (AP) — An Arkansas man accused of killing a 6-year-old girl who lived next door cried the day her body was found in a nearby vacant home, neighbors said Tuesday.
    Police in Bentonville arrested Zachary Holly, 28, on Monday — about a week after Jersey Bridgeman’s body was found next to the mobile home where Holly lived. Holly is being held in the Benton County Jail on capital murder, kidnapping and residential burglary charges.
    ……
    Jersey, whose father and stepmother are in prison for chaining her to a dresser last year, was found dead just minutes after someone reported her missing on Nov. 20.

    ….
    Jersey’s death comes after her father and stepmother chained the girl to a dresser last year. David Bridgeman told investigators he restrained his daughter to prevent her from getting into medication and other things around the house in Rogers. David Bridgeman and stepmother Jana Bridgeman pleaded guilty in June to false imprisonment, permitting abuse of a minor and endangering the welfare of a minor. She is serving a 12-year prison sentence, plus three years for a probation revocation. He is serving an 18-year prison sentence.

    In the meantime, those who knew Jersey are remembering the little girl who was still joyful despite what was, by all indications, a difficult life. “I don’t know how she dealt with it, but she dealt with it and she still smiled the whole time,” family friend Mike Whitcomb said.

    elissa (0d16a3)

  463. “Somewhere in west Los Angeles, Alanis Morrissette is whispering, “Isn’t it ironic ?”
    Comment by Elephant Stone (65d289)

    I think that dingbat Canuck would be yodeling.

    Colonel Haiku (aa5ecf)

  464. Milhouse, as you often do, you make a good point with your delineation between a “conservative” book vs a “Republican” one. It seems like some people refuse to draw such a distinction.

    I also brought this up this morning #317, but it got lost in the shuffle.

    Here’s what I wrote,
    —————
    I wonder if you’re making the kindly error of equating “conservative themed book” with “a partisan Republican book.”
    I think the liberals may be doing the same, and I assume that’s why they are flipping out over a book that contains a theme of applying basic economics.

    Certainly, each of the two major parties is a vehicle for expressing “values” in our legislative bodies, but adherence to basic economics should not strike a partisan dischord, though it does seem to be a bit of a Freudian revelation when liberals instinctively equate themes of basic economics with the GOP.

    If there’s a children’s book that contains a thematic element that “stealing is wrong,” I would hope that members of both parties could embrace it, even though one of the two parties is generally perceived to be tougher on crime than the other party. Likewise, I would hope everyone would be willing to embrace a children’s book that may contain, say, thematic elements of “tolerance” or “acceptance” of someone in the neighborhood who is “different.”

    But, if, for instance, the author Mr. Wright wrote passages in the book where allegiance to Paul Ryan or Jim DeMint was evident, or any value judgement of either of the two parties was made, then certainly questions of partisanship would be justified. A children’s book about “sharing your toys with your siblings and friends” is great, although if an author explicitly dropped in something along the lines of, “Johnny doesn’t like to share his toys with the neighbor children because he is greedy—he’s probably going to grow up to be an evil Republican !”, then certainly, that would be an example of an explicitly partisan book.

    Elephant Stone (65d289)

  465. Ha, ha, Colonel, I always appreciate your expansive knowledge of music. I remember several months ago when you made a nuanced reference to Echo & The Bunnymen.

    Elephant Stone (65d289)

  466. What people seem to be forgetting is that one of the major goals of this book was to be judged by its cover.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  467. What people are not forgetting is just how upset Leviticus is by a book of which he knows zipola of its contents.

    SPQR (768505)

  468. Yes. I am upset by a book I haven’t read, based on an assessment of the cover that was meant to be assessed without reading the book.

    The sheer gall.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  469. Yes, Leviticus, you are upset over one word in the title of the book. And you are completely oblivious to how irrational you look as a result.

    Chuck Bartowski (11fb31)

  470. What people seem to be forgetting is that one of the major goals of this book was to be judged by its cover.

    BS. It’s major goal was to impart a lesson. A specific one, about hard work. And to sell copies of said book.

    JD (518ff4)

  471. Why Daddy is a Democrat
    $9.00
    “Why Daddy is a Democrat” brings to life the core values of the Democratic party in ways that young children will easily understand and thoroughly enjoy. Using plain and non-judgmental language, along with warm and whimsical illustrations, this colorful 28-page paperback depicts the Democratic principles of fairness, tolerance, peace, equality, and concern for the well-being of others.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  472. DRJ,

    What cultural values do you think are essential to American society? What political values do you think are essential? (From your previous answers I understand the answer to both questions may be the same, but I ask the questions to better understand your contention that cultural and political values are inseparable.)

    Patterico (b2bb6b)

  473. “BS. It’s major goal was to impart a lesson. A specific one, about hard work. And to sell copies of said book.”

    - JD

    Hahaha… whatever, JD. Agree to disagree.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  474. Yes. I object to one word in the title. Let me put it this way: I recoil at the idea of “conservative” children’s stories; it smacks of brainwashing children towards acceptance of a particular ideology.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  475. daley,

    Is that for real?

    Patterico (b2bb6b)

  476. L,

    1) Are you objecting to the book’s content, its marketing, or both?

    2) What do you mean by the word “ideology” in your last comment?

    Patterico (b2bb6b)

  477. Found searching for Progressive Children’s books on Amazon:

    Princess Smartypants

    Editorial Reviews
    From Publishers Weekly
    In both text and art, Cole’s characteristic wacky humor sparks this fable about a contemporary princess who “enjoyed being a Ms.” and finds an ingenious method for retaining her single status. Ages 4-8.
    Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
    From School Library Journal
    PreSchool-Grade 3 Princess Smartypants doesn’t want to get married; she’d rather live with her pets. Commanded by her parents to find herself a husband, the Princess sets tasks for her horde of suitors. Prince Vertigo is commanded to rescue her from her crystal tower; Prince Grovel’s quest is to take the Queen shopping; and so on. All of the potential husbands fail miserably as the gleeful Princess looks onuntil Prince Swashbuckle appears. He accomplishes all of the challenges with resourcefulness and a royal flourish, and is rewarded with a kiss from Her Highness. He’s transformed into a gigantic warty toad. When word gets out, Princess Smartypants loses her appeal and so lives happily ever after. Truly comical watercolors in softly glowing colors complement this fairy tale parody perfectly. The Princess wears overalls; among her pets are goofy-looking dragons and other magical beasts. Clever details add to the fun; one of Prince Swashbuckle’s medals features a tiny golden pig. Probably more fun for adults than children, this is still an appealing book for budding feminists. It presents a new slant on the traditional fairy tale princess in a light-handed, tongue-in-cheek manner. A refreshing alternative. Lucy Young Clem, Evansville-Vanderburgh County Public Library, Ind.
    Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  478. man… let the terrier chew his rat… or ratón, if’n ya gotcher moch on…

    Colonel Haiku (aa5ecf)

  479. For the story you told us, daleyrocks, I have a story for you:

    Once upon a time, a Prince asked a beautiful Princess: “Will you marry me?”

    The Princess said: “NO!!!”

    And the Prince lived happily ever after and rode motorcycles and went fishing and hunting and played golf and drank beer and scotch and had tons of money in the bank and left the toilet seat up and farted whenever he wanted.

    The End

    nk (875f57)

  480. hard work… perseverance… honesty… patience… clarity of purpose… humility…

    belief in founding principles… live and let live/golden rule… living within one’s means… keeping/delivering on promises made… the ability to hold a grudge…

    Colonel Haiku (aa5ecf)

  481. Patterico @479 – Straight cut and paste.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  482. “For the story you told us, daleyrocks,”

    nk – Not my story dingleberry.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  483. Here is the link to the page with bunch of children’s books and their descriptions where I pulled comment #475.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  484. Still, I like nk’s story. I want a motorcycle too.

    SPQR (768505)

  485. You said it, you own it, c***sucker.

    nk (875f57)

  486. I’ve had enough of your s***, you shriveled up old maid. Let’s just both ignore each other, for our host’s sake.

    nk (875f57)

  487. hey… that’s not cricket, nk.

    Colonel Haiku (aa5ecf)

  488. Three men, an Italian, a Jew, and a Greek, are crossing the road, when a bus runs them all over, killing them instantly. They appear before Saint Peter, who prepares to let them into Heaven.
    The three plead and beg to be allowed to go back, as they’re only young and haven’t led full lives. Eventually Saint Peter relents and lets them go back to earth – on the one condition that they give up the one thing that each of them wants most of all in life, not even to attempt to attain it.

    BANG!! They’re back in the same street they came from, all a bit shocked by the experience.
    Within a few minutes, they’re passing by a pizza shop. The Italian can’t help himself, he runs in, and just as he’s about to take a bite of pizza, BANG!!, the Italian disappears – he’s gone back to Heaven.

    The other two are quite shocked by this, but then continue on walking. Just then, a dollar coin rolls across the footpath in front of the two men. The Jew can’t help himself, he bends over, and just as he’s about to pick up the coin, BANG!!, the Greek disappears.

    Colonel Haiku (aa5ecf)

  489. That’s a tall order, Patterico, but these are my essential American cultural values: That we are free people living in an independent nation that recognizes and protects our individual God-given rights, equality of all, and the right to self-government and self-determination. Everything ebbs and flows from these general principles.

    These are also our political values.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  490. daleyrocks has been on my a** for the last year for no reason I can think of think of, Haiku. I’ll just put him on ignore from here on.

    nk (875f57)

  491. The preacher decides to get personal. He starts picking on ladies in the congregation. He points to one and says, “You have the sin of gluttony. So much that you named your daughter Candy”. He points to another, “Your sin is avarice. You even named your daughter Penny”. A lady gets up, takes her son by the hand, and says, “Let’s go, Dick”.

    nk (875f57)

  492. Let me put it this way: I recoil at the idea of “conservative” children’s stories; it smacks of brainwashing children towards acceptance of a particular ideology.

    Yeah, I got that the first time you wrote it. What I don’t get is the over-the-top defensiveness. “Conservative” in a title doesn’t offend me any more than “liberal” or “progressive” would. It’s just a word.

    And the idea that parents would need a word in a title to brainwash their children towards acceptance of a particular ideology is really laughable.

    Chuck Bartowski (ad7249)

  493. Why bother to read the book if you’re going to judge it based on its title?

    Now, who was that fella that said he could tell what a book was going to say just by reading the title, and then he got banned?

    askeptic (2bb434)

  494. This week, parents think they actually reserve the right to select books for their own kids—during the consumerist holiday season, no less !
    But next week…that’s when the slippery slope really descends into chaos.
    It’s when parents begin contemplating taking their own kids to the religious denomination service of their own choosing—without first consulting lawyers, judges, journalists, public school teachers, Democrat Congressmen, or Hostess bakers.

    How is this even legal in the United States of America in 2012 ?
    I thought we re-elected this Barracus Obamas person to put a stop to this sort of provocative action and freedom. Or something.
    Didn’t Chief Justice Roberts rule that the federal government can make Americans buy something even if they don’t want to buy it ? Then by the same token, doesn’t the federal government retain the authority to make Americans NOT buy something that they actually WANT to buy ?

    We need to bring back book burnings and censorship.
    Occupy Barnes & Noble 2013 !

    Elephant Stone (65d289)

  495. Leviticus,

    I suspect your entire difficulty with the book rests entirely upon conservative in its title. I think that it disturbs you that Conservatives have become the party of work and responsibilty, while Liberals have become the party of redistribution and irresponsibility. After all, I know that you saw some of the various interviews of Obama’s voters proclaiming the greatness of free Obamaphones, free healthcare, free foodstamps, free welfare ad infinitum.

    Instead of reading the title of his book as “The Fisherman’s Catch : A Conservative Bedtime Story” try reading it as “The Fisherman’s Catch : A Traditional Bedtime Story”. By subbing in ‘traditional’, does that make it less offensive to you? If it does, it should not! Conservative and Traditional both have very near the same meaning, it’s just that conservative has become more politically loaded.

    See if the application of titles in the following story cause you discomfort, and if they do then re-read it without the titles added. Basically all the author is doing, is a retelling of Aesop’s Fables with a more modern flavor.

    The Conservative Ant and the Liberal Grasshopper

    In a field one summer’s day a Liberal Grasshopper was hopping about, chirping and singing to its heart’s content. A Conservative Ant passed by, bearing along with great toil an ear of corn he was taking to the nest.

    “Why not come and chat with me,” said the Liberal Grasshopper, “instead of toiling and moiling in that way?”

    “I am helping to lay up food for the winter,” said the Conservative Ant, “and recommend you to do the same.”

    “Why bother about winter?” said the Liberal Grasshopper; we have got plenty of food at present.” But the Conservative Ant went on its way and continued its toil. When the winter came the Liberal Grasshopper had no food and found itself dying of hunger, while it saw the Conservative ants distributing every day corn and grain from the stores they had collected in the summer. Then the Liberal Grasshopper knew:

    It is best to prepare for the days of necessity.

    peedoffamerican (ee1de0)

  496. “…What cultural values do you think are essential to American society? What political values do you think are essential?..”

    This reminds me to ask, in the Rod Taylor version of “The Time Machine”,
    he comes back at the end to gather the books he thinks he’ll need to “re-start” civilization in the future.
    Not having read the book (if the answer is there, I’m unaware of it), what were the books that he took with him?
    Which ones would you take?

    It may not be a moot point to ponder in light of current world conditions.
    Noting the destruction of the Bamiyan Buddha’s, and the burning of the Library at Alexandria, what would happen to such a place as the Smithsonian,
    or the Library of Congress, under a Wahhabi regime in America?

    Would/could civilization be restarted in the future?

    askeptic (2bb434)

  497. Let me put it this way: I recoil at the idea of “conservative” children’s stories; it smacks of brainwashing children towards acceptance of a particular ideology.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  498. “1) Are you objecting to the book’s content, its marketing, or both?

    2) What do you mean by the word “ideology” in your last comment?”

    - Patterico

    1) Insofar as the title that offends me is more related to marketing than content, I’m objecting to the book’s marketing more than its content.

    2) By ideology I mean political ideology. By political ideology I mean a set of political values (sometimes informed by a coherent ethical or economic philosophy) sufficient in number and clarity to allow a reasonable man to identify one as an adherent of that political ideology.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  499. it smacks of brainwashing children towards acceptance of a particular ideology.

    The title may smack of it, arguably, but do you believe teaching your child the value of hard work is brainwashing towards a particular ideology?

    JD (518ff4)

  500. Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime.

    Confucius was a brainwashing propogandist

    JD (518ff4)

  501. By ideology I mean political ideology. By political ideology I mean a set of political values (sometimes informed by a coherent ethical or economic philosophy) sufficient in number and clarity to allow a reasonable man to identify one as an adherent of that political ideology.

    OK. DRJ described a set of American political values taken from the Declaration of Independence:

    That we are free people living in an independent nation that recognizes and protects our individual God-given rights, equality of all, and the right to self-government and self-determination.

    I’m sure you know enough about world history to recognize that these values are hardly universal.

    So.

    1) Do you recognize what DRJ described as a clear and specific “set of political values” (informed by a coherent ethical and economic philosophy)?

    2) In other words, do you recognize what DRJ described as a political ideology? Perhaps not in the way that term is used at times . . . but in a way that you yourself defined it?

    3) If the answers to 1 and 2 are yes, do you have a problem with parents teaching their children that this particular ideology is correct? That they are free to read what they like and think what they like, but that freedom and self-determination are, in the end, the correct set of principles that humans should live by?

    4) Do you believe people all over the world would answer yes to question #3 today? How about in 1800? And does that matter?

    I’m getting a little more Socratic now, but it’s not a trap. These are just questions.

    Patterico (8b3905)

  502. I have come to disagree with Leviticus on the broader concept. Sorry, Leviticus. Of course parents will try to influence their children’s thinking. In my case, our father tried to keep us away from guns, even though he himself was a soldier, shooter and hunter. It didn’t work with me, it worked with my brothers. My mother bought me a crucifix in 1974. I still wear it.

    It’s a parent’s duty, not just a right, to guide his child, the best way the parent can. I consider the “conservative” in the title to be a warning label. But it’s the parent’s call.

    nk (875f57)

  503. plus you have to live near fishes

    happyfeet (f8b1e7)

  504. I still think the sarcasm is a little overdone on both sides. I doubt I object to the book’s content, but I remain a little uncomfortable with the marketing. Sue me. (I don’t mean that.)

    Put it this way: let’s say for the sake of argument that one believes a) there are values that ought to be seen as American, but b) those values have become the exclusive province of one party.

    And one wishes children to be brought up according to those values, and vote in a way that promotes them.

    The target audience, I take it, is the audience that needs convincing.

    Why not make imparting the values be the goal, rather than arguing that only one party is standing up for those values? Why not let your message be a rather than b?

    Because if you get across a, and teach people to think for themselves, they will figure out b for themselves.

    In any event, and club me about the shoulders if you disagree, but I personally think “vote for this party” is not the way I want to teach my children. I want to teach them: I believe in these values. For the following reasons, I currently believe party x best fosters those values. That’s why I support party x. You should make up your own mind, but for God’s sake, kiddo, don’t get caught up thinking government handouts are the solution to life’s problems, because they aren’t.

    That’s providing a foundation of solid values and teaching kids to think for themselves while explaining why you think the way you do. To me it feels right, while “learn my conservative principles” feels more like indoctrination of the sort that I understand why Leviticus would find it off-putting. This may be semantic or a matter of labeling or marketing, but fundamentally in my gut I sense a difference there.

    Patterico (8b3905)

  505. Conservative is not a party.

    JD (518ff4)

  506. This thread reminds me of too many “Twilight Zone” episodes.

    Elephant Stone (65d289)

  507. “I have come to disagree with Leviticus on the broader concept. Sorry, Leviticus. Of course parents will try to influence their children’s thinking.”

    - nk

    No need to apologize. Of course parents will try to influence their children’s thinking. I object to the crass and political nature of this particular vehicle of attempted influence is all.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  508. I had planned to leave this sad thread alone but ran across this piece by Ryan Lovelace at Insty and wanted to add it to the mix. THIS is what we’re dealing with, folks. But sure, let’s just go ahead and talk about politically minded parents brainwashing kids with bedtime stories.

    A political science professor at Butler University asks students to disregard their “American-ness, maleness, whiteness, heterosexuality, middle-class status” when writing and speaking in the classroom – a practice the school’s arts and sciences dean defended as a way to negate students’ inherent prejudices.

    The syllabus of the course at Butler, a small Midwestern liberal arts institution in Indianapolis, spells out that students should use “inclusive language” because it’s “a fundamental issue of social justice.”

    The syllabus of the class, called Political Science 201: Research and Analysis, goes on to ask students “to write and speak in a way that does not assume American-ness, maleness, whiteness, heterosexuality, middle-class status, etc. to be the norm.” It is taught by a black, female professor.

    In an interview with The College Fix, Jay Howard, dean of Butler’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, denied this practice essentially presumes every student who walks through the door is a racist or misogynist.

    My name is Ryan Lovelace, and I dropped that politically correct political science class.

    Clearly, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Butler University believes its students were raised as racist and misogynist homophobes who have grown to harbor many prejudices, a stance that is both offensive and hostile to any student’s ability to learn.

    As a student at an institution predominantly focused on the liberal arts, I expected to hear professors express opinions different from my own. I did not expect to be judged before I ever walked through the door, and did not think I would be forced to agree with my teachers’ worldviews or suffer the consequences.

    As a journalism major, I will now strive to avoid the liberal arts college as much as possible, not because the college fails to provide its students with any practical knowledge, but because the college seeks to indoctrinate its students with a hostile paradigm that views people like me—an American, white, heterosexual male from a middle-class background—as evil; whitey-righty need not attend.

    http://www.thecollegefix.com/post/12062

    elissa (0d16a3)

  509. What if someone in Australia reads this book ? Is he being brainwashed to vote “Republican” in American elections ? How about some little Irish lad in County Kerry ? Is he being “brainwashed” to grow up to ultimately move to American, and vote for the GOP when he becomes an adult ?

    There’s an inherent reason why legal shows such as “L.A. Law,” and “Ally McBeal,” and “Private Practice,” were all such goldmines for quirkiness.
    Ha, ha, ha.

    Elephant Stone (65d289)

  510. Crass and political title

    JD (518ff4)

  511. I see a lot of “flexible yardstick” at play here. I have one son in elementary school, and a second in middle school. I see how the reading assignments are portrayed by the teachers. A person of the Left would sneer at me and claim that “only decent values are being taught”—like sharing what you have to help others.

    But it is all about the context.

    There was a big blow up at our local elementary school. Most of the teachers wanted the elementary school kids to make murals about the President during the election. The kids had a “choice” of course: the President or “the rich guy” (as one teacher put it to the students) running for office. Two teachers stood up and made a stink.

    Guess how they are being treated, right now?

    Or in my own departmental office, there were Democrat bumper stickers available. No Republican ones. This in spite of a direct statement from our Provost about taking political positions on campus.

    So I am not outraged by a person putting the word “Conservative” in the title of a book he has written, no.

    I am happy with a system where everyone is encouraged to speak their mind about politics. I am happy with a system where no one does. What I find to be hypocritical and unfair to children, is the flexible yardstick: ignoring problems with “Team D” in school, and putting “Team R” under a microscope.

    As for me, I do talk about what different political parties believe with my kids. I tell them that they need to start making up their own minds, insisting on intellectual fairness (as opposed to that flexible yardstick), and so on. I make fun of people who go along with what other says; I express pride toward people who make up their minds and stick by their guns.

    Given the amount of Left of center books for children out there that I have read, I am not so concerned about the title of a book we haven’t read.

    As for titles, I am reminded of this great novel, by Sharyn McCrumb:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bimbos_of_the_Death_Sun

    The point here was that the SF writer had a title pasted on by the publisher to drive sales in a particular niche market.

    I am also reminded of speaking two years ago to a new advisee.

    He said to me after a few sessions, “I’m glad we get along. I wasn’t sure when I saw your picture.”

    I raised an eyebrow.

    Oh, c’mon,” he replied. “Everyone judges people by how they look. I’m sure you do, too.”

    I’m not now,” I replied.

    What do you mean?” he asked, looking hurt and confused.

    The title is not the content.

    Simon Jester (9d1be9)

  512. Oh, and elissa, thank you for the kind words earlier. I like to post less and less these days, because family problems are making arguing on the internet less interesting to me.

    But I read posts regularly, and appreciate the time you put into yours. There are a lot of good commenters here at Patterico’s.

    Simon Jester (9d1be9)

  513. Patterico,

    I’m intrigued by your line of inquiry at #505; I want to give that discussion the attention it deserves, but I’m off to meet someone and won’t be back to the thread tonight. Just want to let you know that I’m not blowing off your questions, and that I’ll be back to this thread tomorrow.

    I will say in quick response to your second question that I don’t recognize what DRJ described as a political ideology the way I defined it. I would define it as an articulation of a set of cultural values, not political values (of which a political ideology is built), because those are values that almost everyone agrees on – in line with the distinction between cultural and political values I proposed in #433. I don’t think anyone could look at a person espousing the values described by DRJ (re: the Declaration) and figure out what political ideology the person espousing them adhered to.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  514. “Given the amount of Left of center books for children out there that I have read, I am not so concerned about the title of a book we haven’t read.”

    - Simon Jester

    You said you’d buy me a copy earlier so that I could read it. I said I would read it if you bought it. So was that an offer, or a gimmick? If it was an offer, I accept.

    I’m sorry to hear that you have family problems, by the way. And I really am sorry that we always end up arguing. I shoot my mouth off a lot, I dunno…

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  515. I won’t argue anyone’s political stance on raising children.

    I have two, but they are almost grown now. Actually one is 21, but he’s still my boy. The 18-year-old daughter challenges my thinking every day. They are doing well and I love them.

    The few pieces of advice I would give is to kiss them good night every night and say: “I love you,” and show them that you love your spouse as much as you love them.

    I don’t see how politics in my case matter much. I do get a lot of roll-eyes, though.

    Ag80 (b2c81f)

  516. “Bimbos of the Death Sun”

    Simon – Along the same lines, I keep seeing a title on netflix, “Nude Nuns With Big Guns” which I am certain is a cinematic masterpiece, but which I have not yet been intrigued enough to watch.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  517. Didn’t Chief Justice Roberts rule that the federal government can make Americans buy something even if they don’t want to buy it ? Then by the same token, doesn’t the federal government retain the authority to make Americans NOT buy something that they actually WANT to buy ?

    Um, that one’s already long-established. The fedgov already prevents us from engaging in commerce that we want to, and the courts have rubber-stamped it with the excuse that any commerce at all indirectly affects interstate commerce, which Congress may regulate by banning if it wants. The whole point of the recent case was 0bama’s claim that this works the other way around too; that if Congress can regulate commerce by banning it then it can also do so by making it mandatory; that just as buying something is a commercial decision that Congress can regulate, so is not buying something. So it’s bizarre to resort to the sort of backwards reasoning you just did to “prove” what was taken for granted going in.

    And as a point of fact the court rejected the analogy, and said that Congress can not make people buy things they don’t want. The only reason 0bamacare survived is because the choice not to buy insurance is a real one, which the administration expects millions of people to take, because it’s the most sensible choice for them. It’s perfectly legal not to buy insurance, and doesn’t cost too much. If it were illegal, or if the tax that’s waived if you buy the insurance were so high that it wasn’t a real option, then it would have been struck down.

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  518. 2) By ideology I mean political ideology. By political ideology I mean a set of political values (sometimes informed by a coherent ethical or economic philosophy) sufficient in number and clarity to allow a reasonable man to identify one as an adherent of that political ideology.

    This is incoherent.

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  519. Jee-zus, Milhouse, loosen that necktie.
    You’re flirting with Sammy Finkelman-ish territory, there in #521, with your inability to detect tongue-in-cheek snark. I was referring to the the tantrum that was thrown in this thread by someone who thinks parents shouldn’t buy books that will allegedly “brainwash” their own children.

    But thanks for the pedantic lecture ! Or something.

    Elephant Stone (65d289)

  520. Good comment, Simon #515.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  521. . I was referring to the the tantrum that was thrown in this thread by someone who thinks parents shouldn’t buy books that will allegedly “brainwash” their own children.

    Yes, I know, but why’d you bring up the 0bamacare decision? It doesn’t figure into this at all. Congress can already ban any commerce it doesn’t like, except for that pesky first amendment.

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  522. Dude, when a person (Leviticus) is arguing that parents shouldn’t be allowed to buy “conservative” themed books for their own children because it would be too dangerous to poison their young minds with such values, I was inferring that the federal government should step in and do something to protect the children—like prohibit parents from buying such books for their kids.

    It’s all tongue-in-cheek snark. I apologize if I elicited your blood pressure to rise.

    Elephant Stone (65d289)

  523. “This is incoherent”

    - Milhouse

    No, it’s not.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  524. “Dude, when a person (Leviticus) is arguing that parents shouldn’t be allowed to buy “conservative” themed books for their own children because it would be too dangerous to poison their young minds with such values…”

    - Elephant Stone

    I’ve argued nothing of the sort.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  525. No, he hasn’t. He has argued against the book being marketed as “conservative”. And then the conversation spun.

    nk (875f57)

  526. There’s yet another remake of Les Miserables, this time a musical?

    nk (875f57)

  527. Leviticus is no censor. He is not asking for any legal solution to his criticism of this book’s title or the parenting of children to have the right politics.

    I see no reason why values that touch on politics should be exempt from the basic parenting responsibility to guide children towards what’s right.

    Dustin (73fead)

  528. “The law, in its majestic equality, forbids both the rich and the poor, to steal bread and sleep under bridges”. A pantheon has room for lots of gods, and the conservative pantheon can fit in charity, even government-mandated charity.

    I think we’re arguing degree, I have seen no bright line yet.

    nk (875f57)

  529. the conservative pantheon can fit in charity, even government-mandated charity.

    “Government-mandated charity” isn’t. Charity is a conservative value, motivated by benevolence; “government-mandated charity”, aka theft, is a socialist value motivated by envy.

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  530. You’ll take away Cook County Stroger Hospital, Milhouse? Food stamps LINK? Discount bus passes to seniors? Abolish taxation for public schools and make them all self-pay?

    nk (875f57)

  531. You believe that charity is only an individual virtue, and not part of society’s collective conscience?

    nk (875f57)

  532. “I see no reason why values that touch on politics should be exempt from the basic parenting responsibility to guide children towards what’s right.”

    - Dustin

    What I’m primarily arguing is that politics should not supersede values in the hierarchy of what parents are intend to teach their children. The marketing of this book has a flavor of misplaced priority. I think that parents should teach their children moral and cultural values and let their children decide which political values they think best channel those moral and cultural values (again, using the definitions of cultural/political values that I proposed at #433).

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  533. You believe that charity is only an individual virtue, and not part of society’s collective conscience?

    If government forces you to be charitable, you were denied the choice to be charitable. You were denied a very important thing. It’s no longer charity. And in our society, it’s really just vote buying from moochers.

    Dustin (73fead)

  534. The Scriptures confuse me on this. Aren’t we supposed to give either 1/8th or 1/12th of our income to charity? Romney gave away 57% percent of his income. 13% to the general revenue, 44% to charitable causes. The IRS helped him, by making his charitable contributions tax-deductible. Alright, it’s not government-mandated but for sure it’s government-enabled.

    nk (875f57)

  535. . I think that parents should teach their children moral and cultural values and let their children decide which political values they think best channel those moral and cultural values

    I don’t see why abortion or taxing the most successful or gun rights are different from moral and cultural values.

    Are they just that way because they are? I want to teach my family right from wrong with no limitation on content. I want my kids to have a deep enough understanding that they don’t dumbly just emulate my votes, but understand them. Because I sincerely believe my politics are rooted in what’s most moral, I want my children to share my politics as a natural result of wanting my children to be moral.

    Dustin (73fead)

  536. You believe that charity is only an individual virtue, and not part of society’s collective conscience?

    What the hell is “society’s collective conscience”? And what money has “society” got to salve that conscience with? My money belongs to me, not to “society”. “Society” can only get hold of it at gunpoint; what makes it different than the mob?

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  537. ““Society” can only get hold of it at gunpoint; what makes it different than the mob?”

    Pretty letterhead.

    SPQR (768505)

  538. And, still, there is no bright line. No orphanages? No stipends to foster parents?

    nk (875f57)

  539. “I don’t see why abortion or taxing the most successful or gun rights are different from moral and cultural values.”

    - Dustin

    Because equally moral people from the same culture can disagree on them, I would say (although I struggle with whether or not that applies to abortion). Can equally moral people from the same culture disagree on whether or not one should work hard, refrain from stealing, care for their fellow man?

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  540. What the hell is “society’s collective conscience”?

    It’s why we have lights and not stop gates at intersections.

    nk (875f57)

  541. Leviticus would apparently believe that before abolition became uncontroversial in America, it would have been wrong for parents to “brainwash” children with such propaganda as Uncle Tom’s Cabin, because abolition was a political (i.e. controversial) value, not a cultural (i.e. unanimous) one. No, parents should have just let their children be randomly influenced by whatever they chose to read on the subject, and if they grew up to be pro-slavery that’s just how it goes.

    It is all parent’s job to indoctrinate their children; to inculcate in them a correct doctrine (as the parents understand it, of course).

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  542. Socialization. It does not mean what you think it means.

    nk (875f57)

  543. And, still, there is no bright line. No orphanages? No stipends to foster parents?

    If you like those things, go right ahead and fund them. What money has “society” got for them? Where did it get it? Does it have a job somewhere? Did it inherit money from a rich uncle?

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  544. What the hell is “society’s collective conscience”?

    It’s why we have lights and not stop gates at intersections.

    What has that got to do with conscience of any kind? Does anyone have a moral problem with gates?!

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  545. “Leviticus would apparently believe that before abolition became uncontroversial in America, it would have been wrong for parents to “brainwash” children with such propaganda as Uncle Tom’s Cabin, because abolition was a political (i.e. controversial) value, not a cultural (i.e. unanimous) one. No, parents should have just let their children be randomly influenced by whatever they chose to read on the subject, and if they grew up to be pro-slavery that’s just how it goes.”

    - Milhouse

    Which is why I included moral values in that hierarchy first, Milhouse. I’m not precluding the possibility of an immoral culture – even if it leaves the door open for you to b*tch about the “immorality” of taxes or some nonsense.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  546. equally moral people from the same culture can disagree on them, I would say

    I disagree, but thank you for getting to the crux of the matter.

    You have moral nihilism about issues like abortion or gun rights, and believe that pro choice gun ban supporters are as moral as pro life gun rights enthusiasts. I think that there is a huge moral difference between the two positions. One is right, the other is very wrong.

    Can equally moral people from the same culture disagree on whether or not one should work hard, refrain from stealing, care for their fellow man?

    No. One is right and the other is wrong.

    But we can tolerate our different opinions about who is right and who is wrong so that we have a more functional and pleasant society that engages these moral controversies without hatred or destruction.

    But we should not confuse that tolerance for moral nihilism.

    Dustin (73fead)

  547. Dustin, I definitely don’t have moral nihilism about abortion. I think abortion is clearly morally wrong.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  548. Gun rights are a totally different story.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  549. I think abortion is clearly morally wrong.

    And I misread your comment. My apologies.

    Let’s just pretend I named some other controversy instead, then. I believe there is a right and a wrong about such matters. On some of these matters, we often choose to tolerate disagreement about what the right and wrong sides are, but there is one of each.

    Dustin (73fead)

  550. “Leviticus would apparently believe that before abolition became uncontroversial in America, it would have been wrong for parents to “brainwash” children with such propaganda as Uncle Tom’s Cabin, because abolition was a political (i.e. controversial) value, not a cultural (i.e. unanimous) one. No, parents should have just let their children be randomly influenced by whatever they chose to read on the subject, and if they grew up to be pro-slavery that’s just how it goes.”

    - Milhouse

    Also, it’s hilarious that you would use that as your example after spending an entire thread defending the Framers’ tolerance of slavery as a means of defending originalism.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  551. “Let’s just pretend I named some other controversy instead, then. I believe there is a right and a wrong about such matters. On some of these matters, we often choose to tolerate disagreement about what the right and wrong sides are, but there is one of each.”

    - Dustin

    I see your point, but I think there are plenty of issues (and especially political issues) where there is no morally right or wrong answer.

    Take tax cuts – is it morally right to cut taxes in every situation? I won’t bother asking whether it’s morally wrong.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  552. Milhouse, you are playing devil’s advocate.

    nk (875f57)

  553. Also, it’s hilarious that you would use that as your example after spending an entire thread defending the Framers’ tolerance of slavery as a means of defending originalism.

    Um, what’s that got to do with it? Should abolitionist parents have indoctrinated their children with abolitionism, or should they have just let them pick a side at random? For that matter, should anti-abolitionists have let their children be influenced by abolitionist propaganda?

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  554. Milhouse, you are playing devil’s advocate.

    No, I’m on the side of the angels. You’re the one advocating naked theft.

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  555. Gun rights are a totally different story.

    Why? What moral right does anyone have to disarm another person who is not threatening him?

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  556. I think there are plenty of issues (and especially political issues) where there is no morally right or wrong answer.

    And so naturally you think parents should encourage their children to creatively work out when to go which way, rather than dumbly follow brainwashing on these topics. That makes perfect sense in situations where there is no moral component.

    is it morally right to cut taxes in every situation?

    No, but it is morally right to recognize that this belongs to the person who earned that money, not the government, and thus tax cuts are not gifts to the rich or the like.

    I would not want my children to think taxes are always wrong… we do need a functional government as a matter of practicality. I would want my children to understand the moral implications, though, and also understand that contrary to popular belief, no one owes you anything. Even rich people.

    Dustin (73fead)

  557. I can’t believe that you believe that if you were to call 911 no ambulance should be dispatched to you unless your subscription was paid up.

    And I can’t believe that you do not stop at stoplights because you think it’s wrong to run into another car or a pedestrian.

    nk (875f57)

  558. I see your point, but I think there are plenty of issues (and especially political issues) where there is no morally right or wrong answer.

    Take tax cuts – is it morally right to cut taxes in every situation? I won’t bother asking whether it’s morally wrong.

    What moral basis is there for taxing one person for someone else’s benefit?

    But there are things beside morals. Arithmetic, for instance, is amoral, but it’s still a parent’s job to educate children about it. So’s correct economics, which is where we came in. So even if there were no moral imperative to cut taxes (which there is) there would still be an economic imperative, and parents have a duty to teach this to their children just as they must teach them that 2+2 can never equal 5.

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  559. Whose face is on the coin? (It’s not quite the same as “You did not build that”.)

    nk (875f57)

  560. I can’t believe that you believe that if you were to call 911 no ambulance should be dispatched to you unless your subscription was paid up.

    What is this “911″? What has it got to do with the government? If I have an emergency I’m more likely to call a volunteer ambulance corps; do you think it should fund itself by holding up banks, or by running a protection racket?

    And I can’t believe that you do not stop at stoplights because you think it’s wrong to run into another car or a pedestrian.

    Now you’re just incoherent. Of course it’s wrong to run into people, or to take an unreasonable risk of doing so. Stop lights may or may not indicate such a risk. What’s that got to do with the topic?

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  561. Whose face is on the coin? (It’s not quite the same as “You did not build that”.)

    What the hell do I care what design is on the various currency tokens I may use?

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  562. You have talked about the tax and spend powers, before. Are you advocating a Galt society?

    nk (875f57)

  563. And I do not believe you did not recognize the “whose face is on the coin” quote. You are fooling with us.

    nk (875f57)

  564. “1) Do you recognize what DRJ described as a clear and specific “set of political values” (informed by a coherent ethical and economic philosophy)?

    2) In other words, do you recognize what DRJ described as a political ideology? Perhaps not in the way that term is used at times . . . but in a way that you yourself defined it?

    3) If the answers to 1 and 2 are yes, do you have a problem with parents teaching their children that this particular ideology is correct? That they are free to read what they like and think what they like, but that freedom and self-determination are, in the end, the correct set of principles that humans should live by?

    4) Do you believe people all over the world would answer yes to question #3 today? How about in 1800? And does that matter?”

    - Patterico

    1) + 2): I don’t recognize what DRJ described as a political ideology the way I defined it. I would define it as an articulation of a set of cultural values, not political values (of which a political ideology is built), because those are values that almost everyone agrees on – in line with the distinction between cultural and political values I proposed in #433. I don’t think anyone could look at a person espousing the values described by DRJ (re: the Declaration) and figure out what political ideology the person espousing them adhered to.

    3)I don’t have a problem with parents teaching their children that this articulation of cultural values is the correct set of principles that humans should live by.

    4) I believe there are some people (and maybe many) people here and around the world who would have a problem with parents teaching their children that this set of cultural values is the correct one. I think there would have been more people who had a problem with it in 1800. I think it does matter because it shows that those cultural values are becoming more widely accepted.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  565. re: 566 – One of my favorite nk quotes comes to mind.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  566. You have talked about the tax and spend powers, before. Are you advocating a Galt society?

    I’m advocating honesty; the basics of not murdering, stealing, or raping. What are you advocating? The mafia?

    You think I should care about squirrels because someone once got out of a sticky situation by pointing to them?

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  567. Leviticus, “that we are free people living in an independent nation that recognizes and protects our individual God-given rights, equality of all, and the right to self-government and self-determination” is definitely not an uncontroversial statement; if a public school tried teaching it the ACLU would have kittens.

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  568. I would hardly call our Constitution “omerta”, Milhouse. ;)

    nk (875f57)

  569. The ACLU might have kittens, but most normal people would not.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  570. It seems to be you, that wants a society without a shared ethos.

    nk (875f57)

  571. I would hardly call our Constitution “omerta”, Milhouse. ;)

    Nothing in the constitution endorses taxing one person for another’s benefit.

    It seems to be you, that wants a society without a shared ethos.

    You can share whatever ethos you like; what does that have to do with robbing people, or killing or raping them?

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  572. The ACLU might have kittens, but most normal people would not.

    The courts would back the ACLU

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  573. Leviticus, my friend, you’re saying that a book that contains in its subtitle the word “conservative,” should not be given to children by their parents.
    Whether the book is actually given, or bought, provided, purchased, stolen, handed down, borrowed or blue, or if it is read on a Kindle—kindly save the parsing of the actual transaction for mock trials next semester.

    The bottom line is you fear that children’s minds will be poisoned by subversive moral values that you disapprove of.
    Fortunately, we have something called the First Amendment which enables men such as Mr. Wright to not only write a book with such “subversive” themes, but to entitle his book as he chooses. It also protects the rights of parents to provide their children with books of their choosing without having to first consult you.
    Additionally, it protects your right to stand on a tree stump and give a lecture about the mating habits of the eastern jackrabbit, or for you to rant against Federalst #51, if you so choose.

    Your notion that parents should be disallowed from imparting their values onto their child is too Orwellian. Who gets to determine “what” the “proper” values are that a parent may be permitted to influence their child with ? The State ? A special panel of wise owls ? Kathy Sebelius ? You ?

    I want to thank you, Leviticus, for eliciting me to think of a particular entry for the 2013 Doo Dah Parade. I’ll let you know if it comes to fruition. :)

    Elephant Stone (65d289)

  574. I’m holding an election for gods of the conservative pantheon. Vote.

    No taxes vs. some taxes.
    No spending except for the military vs. general spending for the general societal welfare.
    No abortion vs. no abortion except in case of danger of death or great bodily harm to the mother, or incest or rape.
    Hate all Muslims vs. hate some Muslims.
    No gay marriage vs. who gives a rat’s behind.

    Nominations are open for more candidates.

    nk (875f57)

  575. Nothing in the constitution endorses taxing one person for another’s benefit.

    ?

    You can share whatever ethos you like; what does that have to do with robbing people, or killing or raping them?

    ????????????

    nk (875f57)

  576. I’m holding an election for gods of the conservative pantheon. Vote.

    No taxes vs. some taxes.
    No spending except for the military vs. general spending for the general societal welfare.
    No abortion vs. no abortion except in case of danger of death or great bodily harm to the mother, or incest or rape.
    Hate all Muslims vs. hate some Muslims.
    No gay marriage vs. who gives a rat’s behind.

    Nominations are open for more candidates.

    Some taxes, no welfare spending, no abortion, hate terrorists and not hate peaceful Muslims, who gives a rat’s behind about gay marriage.

    Nomination for balanced budget.

    Dustin (73fead)

  577. Let me put it this way: I recoil at the idea of “conservative” children’s stories; it smacks of brainwashing children towards acceptance of a particular ideology

    That merely restates at #501 what you had already stated at #478. I understood you the first time. I just find your position laughable. Parents will always guide their children toward some ideology. It’s almost like you don’t really understand what you’re arguing against.

    Chuck Bartowski (11fb31)

  578. “That merely restates at #501 what you had already stated at #478. I understood you the first time. I just find your position laughable. Parents will always guide their children toward some ideology. It’s almost like you don’t really understand what you’re arguing against.”

    - Chuck Bartowski

    It’s almost like you don’t understand that that’s a direct quote from Patterico, giving (half of) his thoughts on this same book and it’s creepy title.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  579. “Leviticus, my friend, you’re saying that a book that contains in its subtitle the word “conservative,” should not be given to children by their parents.”

    - Elephant Stone

    I’m saying that it offends me, and no more. Stop trying to put words in my mouth.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  580. “Your notion that parents should be disallowed from imparting their values onto their child is too Orwellian.”

    - Elephant Stone

    Not my notion at all. You are making stuff up.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  581. Leviticus:

    What I’m primarily arguing is that politics should not supersede values in the hierarchy of what parents are intend to teach their children.

    If this thread has shown us anything, it’s that few here agree on the dividing line, if any, between cultural (or moral) values and political (or government) values. It strikes me as an arbitrary and unworkable distinction, although it probably would appeal to liberals because they often want to divorce morality from government.

    I’m still preoccupied with what you want to do about this. I certainly don’t object to talking about the topic but the list of offensive things we could talk about is endless. At this point, I assume you simply want to vent about something you find offensive. Do you want us to agree parents shouldn’t buy products that are marketed this way? Because I certainly don’t.

    If anything, I like it when a product comes with transparent labeling and I wish every book, especially children’s books, made it this easy to see where the author is coming from. That doesn’t mean I won’t buy progressive or liberal books, but I’d like to know that’s what the author thinks it is.

    Finally and FWIW, I think a better distinction than cultural vs political ideology would be to separate political tactics from political ideology and values. The former have always been manipulative and offensive while, over the course of American history, the latter have been remarkably similar to American culture. I submit that’s why our nation has been both so great and so moral. Unfortunately, because modern Democratic political ideology has been slowly moving away from both American greatness and American morality, that is no longer the case. I think that’s why my statement of essential American values is no longer as universally accepted as it once was.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  582. Finally and FWIW, I think a better distinction than cultural vs political ideology would be to separate political tactics from political ideology and values.

    Yes. Believing in free enterprise is a value; voting Republican, whether in general or in a specific election, is a tactic. One must be ready to change tactics as necessary, and it makes no sense to indoctrinate children with them, because by the time they become relevant to them they may have changed.

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  583. What are the political values behind Crossing to Safety?
    The Sound and the Fury?
    The Great Gatsby?
    Hank the Cowdog?

    Politics has poisoned everything.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  584. “Believing in free enterprise is a value; voting Republican, whether in general or in a specific election, is a tactic.”

    - Milhouse

    Believing in free enterprise is a cultural or maybe moral value; believing that free enterprise means lower taxes is a political value; voting Republican is a political tactic.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  585. It could also be that what you think of as the pollution of society really comes from trying to separate politics and morality, because Americans no longer agree on what is and isn’t moral.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  586. It could also be that at some point people came to confuse petty politics with higher morality, and that this led to the absurd demonization of political opponents which characterizes our current political discourse.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  587. Can you give me an example?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  588. Leviticus,

    Here’s why I ask my last question: I think Americans are polarized over issues like abortion and gay marriage because they create conflicts between cultural/moral beliefs and political/government interests. It isn’t politics that makes this happen. It’s the tension that comes from these conflicts.

    On the other hand, you seem to suggest that politics itself is to blame. Thus, can you give me an example of an issue in which people largely agree about the moral aspects, but politics has made it polarizing? The issue may exist but I can’t think of one.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  589. Or perhaps you blame politics when people have moral disagreements. Is that what you’re saying? If so, why blame politics when the disagreement arises from morality?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  590. Hi, Neat post. There is an issue along with your website in internet explorer, might test this? IE still is the marketplace chief and a good part of other folks will pass over your magnificent writing because of this problem.

    teeth (ad2326)

  591. believing that free enterprise means lower taxes is a political value;

    Huh? Taxes are by definition not free, and they’re money taken out of the free market and not available for what its owners want to do. Believing that free enterprise means lower taxes is not a value at all, it’s a fact, like believing that gravity means things fall down.

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  592. “Can you give me an example?”

    - DRJ

    I’m thinking in terms of economic issues. What was once (properly, to my mind) a political issue – say tax policy – has taken on the air of a moral issue, where people think that anyone with a divergent view of tax policy is an immoral person, a thief or a miser.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  593. What was once (properly, to my mind) a political issue – say tax policy – has taken on the air of a moral issue,

    Tax policy was a political issue when everybody agreed that taxes ought to be as low as they could possibly be, and they disagreed only on how low that was. People with the same belief in low taxes can legitimately argue over whether hiring an extra policeman is a necessary expense that benefits everyone in a way can’t be achieved any other way, and therefore the tax increase necessary to pay his salary is legitimate, or unnecessary and therefore illegitimate. Today the idea of increasing taxes for the purpose of hiring an extra policeman sounds ludicrous, because taxes are not driven by spending, and there’s always enough padding in the budget for it.

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  594. Are you saying that politics has been used as an excuse to demonize people who disagree? If so, I agree in part. But that isn’t the fault of politics. That’s the fault of the persons who choose to demonize those who disagree with them, and it isn’t limited to politics. It happens everywhere and I blame pop culture, not politics. It’s pop culture that taught people how cool it is to be sarcastic and ridicule others.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  595. I’m thinking of people like Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, but going as far back as SNL. I admit it’s funny but it’s also destructive to the national debate.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  596. “Are you saying that politics has been used as an excuse to demonize people who disagree?”

    - DRJ

    No. I’m saying that people ill-advisedly elevated their politics to the level of core values that people have always naturally, historically, and viciously defended. People defend their way of life; we in America have elevated something as silly as political preference to a way of life.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  597. Do you think we treat politics as too important? That we should dial it back and realize politics isn’t as important as things like family and religion, and it’s not worth getting so angry about?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  598. Leviticus:

    I’m saying that people ill-advisedly elevated their politics to the level of core values that people have always naturally, historically, and viciously defended.

    What part of our lives do politics and government not have an impact on today? For instance, can you think of any part of our lives that isn’t impacted by federal, state or local government laws and regulations?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  599. 600. “we in America have elevated something as silly as political preference to a way of life.”

    Whatever.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  600. Finally, I may not be remembering correctly but aren’t you the one who thinks there is no significant difference between the political parties? If so, could that explain why you think it’s silly to care much about partisan issues and disagreements?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  601. It could explain it, yes.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  602. The basic conflict is the one between personal Liberty, and the size and intrusiveness of the central government.
    As the reach and scope of government expands, the Liberty & Freedom of the individual contracts, eventually disappearing altogether.
    That is why those who feel more confidence in the manner in which individuals govern themselves, resist the expansion of the state;
    for without checks, government will expand until it consumes all before it.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  603. Tammy Bruce has taken Laura Ingraham’s place on my radio dial. I’m copacetic with that.

    GOP, don’t even bother to ring my phone, I’m not home.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  604. DRJ – 598, 599 – to be sarcastic and to ridicule others is part of Life … to be sufficiently self-aware and self-sufficient to withstand the slings and arrows of outrageous friends is an important part of individuation and growing up … and learning to deal with sarcasm and ridicule without violence or unreasonable forcefulness is also a valuable part of Life … after all, the alternative is that someone grows up to be like our Th1n-Skinned-in-Chief …

    The problem is not sarcasm and ridicule – rather, it is those who take even innocent words and actively and intentionally *choose* to TAKE offence – whether offence was offered or not …

    When a goth kid tells an ROTC kid ” … and your mommy dresses you funny !”, the appropriate response is an incredulous look and otherwise to ignore the unaware goth kid – not to run to the teacher and whine that the goth kid is being mean …

    Personally, when someone tries to insult/ridicule me, I consider the source … when it is a friend, I return the favour, in kind … when it is someone for whom I have no respect, unless I feel like choosing to misinterpret what they said in ways that make the someone look foolish, I choose not to accept their ‘gift’ and I let the words go on past me …

    Just because someone throws a spiny sea urchin towards you – that doesn’t mean you have to catch said sea urchin squarely between both hands – you have the option to let it sail on past you to break harmlessly on the ground … if, however, you choose to impale both your hands on the sea urchin, whose fault is that ?

    Here endeth the Reading from the Tales of the Alasdair …

    Alasdair (e7cb73)

  605. Some people take themselves waaaay too seriously. This is the problem with grad school—the profs sit there and tell the students that they are the cream of the crop, and the best and the brightest, and the future beacons of light for all of humanity, yadda, yadda, yadda.

    Some of us yawned when we were told that. But some of the gullible students grab that baton and run with it—they actually embrace the narcissism.

    Should we prohibit parents from allowing their children to watch Fox News or MSNBC or talk radio or any mainstream newspaper, for that matter, for fear of kids becoming “influenced” by partisanship ? Should we prohibit children from watching any of the President’s speeches on television for fear that the kids may become unduly influenced politically ?

    What absolute Orwellian silliness.

    Elephant Stone (65d289)

  606. Alasdair,

    I agree people need to be able to handle ridicule and sarcasm with grace. I also think it is a part of life and can be humorous and entertaining. But I think there are also times when it is intended to be malicious and hurtful, and that’s something I watch out for and try to avoid.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  607. What DRJ said. I’ll take any kind of ribbing from friends who, in the middle of a conversation, say “eat s***”. But when there is a pattern of malice, my inner shark comes out.

    nk (875f57)

  608. “Should we prohibit parents from allowing their children to watch Fox News or MSNBC or talk radio or any mainstream newspaper, for that matter, for fear of kids becoming “influenced” by partisanship ? Should we prohibit children from watching any of the President’s speeches on television for fear that the kids may become unduly influenced politically?”

    - Elephant Stone

    I have suggested nothing of the kind, as I’ve stated repeatedly and you’ve repeatedly ignored. Several other commenters have pointed this out. I have stated that propaganda directed at children offends me. I have explicitly stated that I have no interest in any censorship of any kind. Your repeated suggestions to the contrary are beginning to seem dishonest.

    I don’t know why you’re so fixated on the fact that I’m in law school, or why it bothers you so much. You talk about it way more than I do. But a lot of other people on this blog went to law school too. If it’s important enough for you to insult me that you’re willing to insult them as well, then whatever. Or maybe they were all grounded enough to escape the Narcissism Trap of Law School unscathed, and I was the susceptible egomaniac, right?

    Or maybe you quit tiptoeing through the tulips and just call me an assh*le and be done with it.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  609. This thread’s about to peter out, but I’ll make sure you get another chance. Maybe it’ll be cathartic.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  610. Leviticus,

    How do you reconcile this statement:

    I don’t recognize what DRJ described as a political ideology the way I defined it. I would define it as an articulation of a set of cultural values, not political values (of which a political ideology is built), because those are values that almost everyone agrees on . . .

    with this one:

    I believe there are some people (and maybe many) people here and around the world who would have a problem with parents teaching their children that this set of cultural values is the correct one.

    If many people around the world disagree with these values enough to oppose teaching them to children, it cannot be the case that “almost everyone” agrees with these values.

    If, however, you want to try to make the case that “almost everyone” in the world today agrees with self-determination, equality for all, freedom, independence, and God-given rights, I’m going to ask for an argument and facts to support that contention.

    Patterico (8b3905)

  611. Or maybe you quit tiptoeing through the tulips and just call me an assh*le and be done with it.

    Is “assh*le” like “shith*le”?

    I keep trying to explain this concept, but I’m not sure it’s getting through . . .

    :)

    Patterico (8b3905)

  612. Or maybe you quit tiptoeing through the tulips and just call me an assh*le and be done with it.

    Comment by Leviticus (17b7a5) — 11/28/2012 @ 8:44 pm

    Pat spelled it out, he practically diagramed the sentence, and you’re still not getting it.

    Hint: it’s not the “hole” part that’s vulgar.

    Hello!

    Steve57 (7a880e)

  613. Only tangentially related to this thread, but somewhat, is the arrogance that comes with giving government the powers that should belong to the marketplace — whether we’re talking health care or so many other things.

    DRJ talks about government intrusion in our lives. Until you feel in your bones that the market is the best default solution for almost every problem — not every problem, but almost; far more than we allow it to be — you don’t see this government intrusion.

    But when you feel it in your bones, it’s because you realize that central planners can’t match individual decisionmarking . . . and that’s true almost every time.

    Just about any time someone talks about how you can’t leave x, y, or z to the marketplace, they cite a condition that is the way it is precisely BECAUSE of government intervention.

    Health care is a great example. Aside from the rare catastrophic issue, why do we need health INSURANCE? Why not just have a marketplace and you pay for the health CARE (not INSURANCE) you need, in a competititive market? Many will answer: have you seen the cost of health care? How could I pay that?! And they won’t realize that it’s precisely the noncompetititive nature of our health care system, driven by government subsidies, that MAKES prices outrageous.

    It’s infuriating. Let the marketplace work! Stop the arrogance!

    But I guess all that’s a topic for another day, when I have the energy.

    Patterico (8b3905)

  614. “I keep trying to explain this concept, but I’m not sure it’s getting through . . .”

    - Patterico

    Hahaha… dang. I keep keying in on vowels, for no real reason.

    To be fair, you just talked about the “competititive market.”

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  615. Patterico @ 614,

    Those two statements are easily reconcilable, I think: since I’m couching the Declaration values as cultural values, they only need to be agreed upon by almost everyone in the relevant culture (i.e. American culture), not by almost everyone in the world. And I think those values are agreed upon by almost everyone in American culture.

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  616. Alaisdair,

    I thought about this more and my concern with sarcasm and ridicule, especially in pop culture like Jon Stewart, is that it tries to discredit certain people (usually conservatives) so the public won’t even consider their arguments. In SNL days, it discredited them as old-fashioned or gerks. Today it takes more to discredit someone in the public eye, so they are labeled as racists, sexists, or bullies … but the result is the same. When we disallow certain arguments in advance, that is destructive to the national discourse.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  617. Auto-correct is so interesting. Geeks became gerks, and I don’t even know what that means. It also tried to change racists and sexists, but I caught those. I wonder why it wouldn’t recognize or allow those words?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  618. I think DRJ’s point is particularly pronounced with how Mr Stewart has made a campaign out of denigrating Fox News, one of the only ways a person can get out of the liberal bubble when watching TV.

    He does this with a series of pretty legitimate points about Fox’s coverage, which is often over the top or unserious (like their morning program) and then creates this ridicule of the entire station.

    At that point, this audience’s more gullible members no longer are willing to hear out the ideas that Fox conveys and NBC,ABC,MSNBC,CNN, and CBS will never convey.

    And that neatly protects the liberal bubble.

    I do think to some extent, liberals are very alarmed when they see that bubble challenges, putting Fox in the ridicule crosshairs.

    Dustin (73fead)

  619. Leviticus,

    I don’t think Americans today agree on what independence, sel-determination, and freedom from government intrusion means. For instance, Bloomberg’s and Michelle Obama’s willingness to tell us what to eat is hard to reconcile with the Founder’s vision of America and the conservative view, but there is no doubt it is popular with many Americans.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  620. DRJ – what is this ridicule and sarcasm of which you speak?

    JD (518ff4)

  621. I don’t think Americans today agree on what independence, sel-determination, and freedom from government intrusion means. For instance, ObamaCare.

    Well said, DRJ

    JD (518ff4)

  622. Those two statements are easily reconcilable, I think: since I’m couching the Declaration values as cultural values, they only need to be agreed upon by almost everyone in the relevant culture (i.e. American culture), not by almost everyone in the world. And I think those values are agreed upon by almost everyone in American culture.

    What if everyone in your immediate culture agrees with conservative values? OK to inculcate your children with them?

    By the way, I think nearly everyone in American thinks they believe in freedom. But not everyone really does, by a long shot.

    Patterico (8b3905)

  623. Would almost everyone in America genuinely agree that freedom is a good thing and part of the American way of life? Then I think freedom is an American cultural value, even if people disagree about where to draw the line.

    And I don’t know how healthy it is to believe that one (political?) group has a monopoly on the appreciation of freedom.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  624. “Well said, DRJ.”

    - JD

    Again: not what she said.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  625. All views of what constitutes freedom are equal and valid?

    JD (318f81)

  626. Again: not what she said.

    I copied and pasted her words right up to the example.

    JD (318f81)

  627. As for the effects of government intrusion in daily lives, I’m currently reading a history of post WWII Britain titled “Austerity Britain”. It covers the immediate post war Britain when the wartime coalition government is replaced by the voters with a socialist government.

    It is astonishing to read of the arrogance of the socialist government as it begins planning the rebuilding of Britain and overtly states that unpopular city planning – of immense urban rebuilding into huge gray government housing high rises opposed by the locals everywhere – would be shoved down everyone’s throats regardless of opposition because it was for their own good to be swept up into these anonymous housing projects.

    SPQR (768505)

  628. “I copied and pasted her words right up to the example.”

    - JD

    … Which she didn’t provide. See how I differentiated who said what there?

    I’m sorry. I’m being b*tchy (got it!) about this. But Elephant Stone has persistently misrepresented my position on this thread, so I’m hyper-aware of accurate representation at the moment.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  629. Including my typo, JD. Next time fix my typo so I wouldn’t look so dumb!

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  630. Well, JD’s example was better than mine so I hereby adopt it.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  631. It was actually a better example, no offense.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  632. I don’t think that it is a matter of not knowing what independence, self-determination, and freedom from government intrusion means. I think most Americans know those. I think it’s a degree of how much of them we are willing to give up for a material interest or an abstract interest.

    Those were the temptations the Devil posed to Christ. Bread (a metaphor for security), the miracle, the banner of a leader. Christ rejected them, but that lesson is not learned by everyone.

    nk (875f57)

  633. Conservatives may be just as guilty on focusing on “bread”, as the “moochers” are, but just from another direction.

    nk (875f57)

  634. Whose face is on the coin?

    nk (875f57)

  635. Leviticus,

    I don’t care whether it’s “healthy.” I care whether it’s true. Liberals used to be the ones who wanted people to be free from government intrusion but that’s no longer true, is it?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  636. Speaking of Britain and healthcare, the Daily Mail reports the NHS has institutionalized euthanasia for sick babies.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  637. Fine. I’ll be more blunt: it’s not true. Liberals and conservatives both accept government intrusion, just in different areas and to differing degrees. Pretending that one side values Freedom with a Big F and the other does not is more than unhealthy – it’s demonstrably false.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  638. I cannot even think of one conservative example comparable in scope or degree to ObamaCare, the EPA dictats, intrusion into 1st Amendment rights of religious organizations, the Bloomberg/michelle food control, etc …

    JD (318f81)

  639. So a pox on both their houses, no matter how much intrusion each is willing to accept or in what areas of our lives.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  640. Does my last statement resonate with you, Leviticus?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  641. FWIW, Leviticus, if that is your view then I’m more sympathetic than you may know. I voted for Perot in 1992 because I felt the major parties were on the wrong path and I didn’t see much difference between Bush 41 and Clinton. I still don’t and I don’t regret my vote. I certainly respect your right to feel the same way.

    In addition, I admit the GOP doesn’t represent small government principles as well as I would like, but I think there are significant differences between today’s Republican and the Democratic Parties. The GOP may not be all I want it to be but it embraces capitalism and rejects socialism/redistribution, the path Democrats have chosen. That’s a very big difference to me and IMO for our country.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  642. “I cannot even think of one conservative example comparable in scope or degree to ObamaCare, the EPA dictats, intrusion into 1st Amendment rights of religious organizations, the Bloomberg/michelle food control, etc …”

    - JD

    Um. Patriot Act? DOMA? Gimme a break.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  643. “So a pox on both their houses, no matter how much intrusion each is willing to accept or in what areas of our lives.”

    - DRJ

    Yes. That resonates with me. Both sides have deified politics for personal gain, at the expense of a discourse regarding cultural values which might allow us to see the other side as people again.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  644. Speaking of Britain and healthcare, the Daily Mail reports the NHS has institutionalized euthanasia for sick babies.

    This is another section of that article that stands out to me.


    ‘I witnessed a 14 year-old boy with cancer die with his tongue stuck to the roof of his mouth when doctors refused to give him liquids by tube. His death was agonising for him, and for us nurses to watch. This is euthanasia by the backdoor.’

    ^ But the UK is full of the ethos of wonderful, beautiful, compassionate, heartfelt, generous liberalism. So such a society — no matter what, no matter how — is totally okay and fully humane. Besides, the ends justify the means.

    Mark (56b304)

  645. Patriot Act is one example yes, done in the name of national security. Having the Feds monitor my library books is creepy. DOMA was Clinton.

    JD (518ff4)

  646. DOMA was passed halfway through the 104th Congress, with Republican control of both House and Senate.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  647. While raising my child to think for herself–actually patently unnecessary in her case–I would be entirely remiss as a parent if I did not give her the Cliff Note version.

    There will be a test, regardless, and she’s at least going to hear the answers once.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  648. Leviticus,

    I agree that, all too often, Republicans have been the Democrat-lite Party. I don’t ask you to agree with my assessment that President Obama and the current Democratic Party are socialists, but I hope you can answer these questions:

    Is capitalism a core American cultural and/or political value?

    In your view, is there a point where socialism is not consistent with America’s core values?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  649. “DOMA was passed halfway through the 104th Congress, with Republican control of both House and Senate.”

    Leviticus – While you are correct that the legislation passed during a Republican controlled Congress, it sailed through both Chambers by significant majorities, the House by a vote of 342-67 and the Senate by a vote of 85-14. What is your point?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  650. So what cultures are they who remain serenely apolitical and thrive?

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  651. DRJ,

    Let me have a little time to think about those two questions.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  652. “Leviticus – While you are correct that the legislation passed during a Republican controlled Congress, it sailed through both Chambers by significant majorities, the House by a vote of 342-67 and the Senate by a vote of 85-14. What is your point?”

    - daleyrocks

    My point is that conservatives disregard “freedom” as readily as progressives when it suits their particular purposes.

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  653. “So what cultures are they who remain serenely apolitical and thrive?”

    - gary gulrud

    I dunno. The Amish?

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  654. I’m unconvinced that DOMA is an example of conservatives disregarding freedom.

    DOMA starts with the presumption that there is a ‘married’ status recognized by the states, and that there is also such a status recognized by the federal government, and it sets the rules for that recognition (in the case of the federal government) and allows states to not recognize certain marriages performed in other states.

    I don’t see how that impinges on *freedom*. I think, as a matter of policy, that the feds should recognize any marriage which is valid in the state where the purportedly married couple is domiciled; but the federal government’s failure to do that doesn’t render a gay couple married in New York any less free.

    aphrael (5d993c)

  655. I think we’re using the broadest possible definition of “freedom” if we’re stipulating that (say) tax increases impinge of “freedom.”

    Leviticus (1aca67)

  656. Comment by SPQR (768505) — 11/29/2012 @ 8:08 am

    huge gray government housing high rises opposed by the locals everywhere – would be shoved down everyone’s throats regardless of opposition because it was for their own good to be swept up into these anonymous housing projects.

    I didn’t know they did that too. I also didn’t know that idea existed in the 1940s in Britain – I thought “slum clearance” and housing projects were more of an idea of the late 1950s in the United States.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  657. Good grief. How much does bi-partisan passed DOMa add to the debt and deficit? Does DoMA affect every man woman and child in America? Is the IRS managing DoMA? This is the camparison we’re being asked to measure against Obamacare?

    elissa (8ecf1e)

  658. Patriot Act?

    Leviticus (17b7a5)

  659. Leviticus #661 et al

    I know of many areas where the Dems have *acted* to impose bans legislatively/by regulation – smoking, Big Gulps, the free practice of religion in public schools (OK, they are establishing the Church of Zero Deity – banning everything else, including historically appropriately placed crosses (heraldic rather than theological)) as examples …

    Can you tell me/us any equivalent example of a full outright ban, actively prosecuted governmentally by the GOP, please ? I have been looking, for a while, but they don’t seem to be quite as common a Dem-created/enforced bans …

    The Patriot Act knowing what books I read could have creepy aspects – except that I *used* to be able to rely upon American founding principles to keep the government in check … with the current DOJ, since I am not a fully-inculcated Obamabot, I don’t feel anywhere near as comfortable …

    Alasdair (f0d395)

  660. DOMA passed 342/67, you can’t that many reps to figure out what to order for lunch,

    narciso (ee31f1)

  661. ==Patriot Act?==

    OK. You tell me, Leviticus. What are the comparisons you see? Are there, for instance, sunset provisions in Obamacare as were put in place by lawmakers for some of the more conroversial aspects of the Patriot Act? Things that by law had to be revisited in 10 years after passage or they’d expire. Three of these Patriot Act clauses were extended in May 2011 (with some compromise “fixes”) by bipartisan congressional vote, BTW.

    elissa (8ecf1e)

  662. voting for doma is on par with getting a romney face tattoo

    you’re really kind of living in your own little world of stupid at that point

    happyfeet (59b1dd)

  663. “My point is that conservatives disregard “freedom” as readily as progressives when it suits their particular purposes.”

    Leviticus – Picking out legislation that did not receive a single Democrat vote or virtually no Democrat votes rather than the bipartisan DOMA would make a better comparison to Obamacare.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  664. daleyrocks (you beast !) – to find legislation where the Dems voted significantly less for it than the GOP did, you can just look at the Civil Rights Act in the 1960s …

    Alasdair (f0d395)

  665. The PATRIOT Act was a grabbag of wish lists from the DOJ dating back to the Clinton administration.

    I’ve found that seeing someone whine about the PATRIOT Act is pretty much a guarantee that I’ll see something utterly ignorant written about it.

    SPQR (768505)

  666. OK – who unmoderated a comment and messed up a perfectly bad numerological reference, then ? (grin)

    Even with inflation, 667 is not the number of the beast !

    Alasdair (f0d395)

  667. DRJ #621 (at least until someone else gets unmoderated) – I read your 620 comment as ‘jerks’ (just with a g) and it seemed to fit …

    As for auto-correct not allowing you to use “racists” and “sexists”, perhaps the all-seeing iDevice you (I am guessing) use either a) recognises you as conservative, and, as such, not allowed to use such terms, or b) strongly feels that racists and sexists *must* be changed for their own good …

    (On a slightly picky note, while I have two good eyes, my name doesn’t … (grin))(unless that is yet another iDevice artefact?)

    Alasdair (f0d395)

  668. That was my fault, Alasdair, but I’ll blame my iPad anyway because it obviously has a thing for extra i’s.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  669. And I don’t know how healthy it is to believe that one (political?) group has a monopoly on the appreciation of freedom.

    I wish I could say I agree, but at least in the economic sphere, it’s damn near a monopoly. As DRJ said, it’s not about whether it’s healthy but about whether it’s true. And in health care, business regulation, and the like, we’re seeing an aggressive expansion of arrogant centralized control of huge swaths of the economy. It’s really and truly awful in ways most people don’t understand.

    Patterico (8b3905)

  670. “I wish I could say I agree, but at least in the economic sphere, it’s damn near a monopoly.”

    Patterico – That’s just part of the left’s identifiable cultural/religious values – corporations and profits are bad, but government and equality (especially if one already has made millions and can speak extra specially sanctimoniously) are good.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  671. Look, you are arguing against a cult: http://www.amazon.com/The-Gospel-According-Barack-Christianity/dp/0983068046. Arguments do not work against cults, but you do have this: http://www.amazon.com/The-Gospel-According-Barack-Christianity/dp/0983068046

    So there you go. What happened to the hyperlink button?

    Ag80 (b2c81f)

  672. Nevermind. I see it now. Sometimes the blind can see.

    Ag80 (b2c81f)

  673. Caddell on the New Whig party:

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/11/30/Can-the-Republican-Party-Avoid-the-Fate-of-the-Whigs

    The bummer for Levi is the Libertarians still will not have a home.

    Kinda like the birds of the air.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)


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