2021, Anybody?

I guess what scares me most about the flu shutdowns is not the flu, but the probability that this is going to happen again and again.

I'll feel better after I've had more coffee.


So now Joe Biden is channeling ... the Pope?

I ran into a PJ Media article about what Democrat candidate for president Biden has been saying:
"In two virtual fundraisers this week, presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden called the coronavirus pandemic a 'wake up call' on climate change and said he was 'excited' about the crisis because it presents 'opportunities' for 'institutional changes'."
Pope Francis has been emphatically calling the pandemic and other catastrophes a wake up call.

Religiondigital on 22 March 2020 quoted the pontiff saying "Fires, earthquakes -- nature is kicking us to take care of nature." [Thanks, Google Translate!]

A Breitbart.com article 9 April 2020 stated, "Pope Francis said he believes the Chinese coronavirus pandemic is “certainly nature’s response” to humanity’s failure to address the “partial catastrophes” wrought by human-induced climate change."

The Breitbart article pointed to and paraphrased a Vatican news article that had a longer form of a statement by Pope Francis but only in Spanish:
"Every crisis is a danger, but also an opportunity. And it is the opportunity to get out of danger. Today I believe that we have to slow down a certain rhythm of consumption and production (Laudato si, 191) and learn to understand and contemplate nature." [Thanks Google Translate!]
That's some real authentic Saul Alinsky / Rahm Emanuel anarcho-socialism, there!

Isn't it strange that Biden is echoing the pope like this? What's going on here? Is it fanboying, synchronicity, or is it just plain old lazy plagiarism?


Two steps forward, one step back?

Harvard University stated via Twitter that they would be hosting a pro-homeschooling virtual conference in response to pushback from homeschoolers following their promotion of the ideas and conference of Harvard Law Professor Elizabeth Bartholet.

Corey A. DeAngelis Tweeted 24 April 2020 "Harvard's Kennedy School is officially hosting an event to counter the Law School's conference attacking homeschooling. Title: 'The Disinformation Campaign Against Homeschooling' I'm speaking at the event May 1st."


DeAngelis is an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute and is "director of school choice" at the Reason Foundation.  He is also executive director of the Educational Freedom Institute.  

DeAngelis and ChoiceMedia colleague Bob Bowdon have produced a video (too long/didn't watch) which he says they "... discuss how the coronavirus pandemic is impacting all areas of education. We examine and challenge Harvard Magazine’s “Risks of Homeschooling” feature, which is full of anti-homeschooling propaganda, and discuss Harvard Law School’s upcoming anti-homeschooling conference. We also discuss the views of conference organizers, including law professor Jim Dwyer, who claims “the reason parent-child relationships exist is because the State confers legal parenthood,” and Harvard’s Elizabeth Bartholet, who calls for “a presumptive ban” on homeschooling."

DeAngelis' virtual conference seems more like evidence of faculty disagreement (some academic freedom still exists at Harvard?) than any effort by Harvard as an institution to create or maintain advocacy balance. 


Homeschooling-Ban Wave Continues to Swell

An article in the New York Post from 23 April 2020 underlines the advancing attack by Big Education on homeschooling. Without providing citations, the Post article noted, "The Washington Post and ­Salon have raised questions about the practice [of homeschooling] lately."

Harvard Magazine (May-June 2020) discloses that Professor Elizabeth Bartholet (Harvard University Law) is calling for a ban on homeschooling.   

Bartholet has published a long article supporting her opinion in the Arizona Law Review in which she does her best to hold up the interests of The State over and against the natural interest of parents.
"The legal claim made in defense of the current homeschooling regime is based on a dangerous idea about parent rightsthat those with enormous physical and other power over infants and children should be subject to virtually no check on that power. That parents should have monopoly control over children’s lives, development, and experience. That parents who are committed to beliefs and values counter to those of the larger society are entitled to bring their children up in isolation, so as to help ensure that they will replicate the parents’ views and lifestyle choices."
(Side note: Homeschooling is a regime? Might as well say religious liberty is a regime, or free speech is a regime.)  

Obviously the interest of an authoritarian State is more benign, in the mind of Bartholet, because State control is exercised by Experts.  Like Bartholet.  

The 80-page PDF of the Arizona Law Review article sets up a giant straw man in the form of a homeschooling movement that is unified, powerful, and flush with money.  I think she wishes homeshoolers were the NRA or something.  In her mind, what unifies homeschoolers into an unstoppable political monolith is a combination of misogyny, child abuse, and religious fundamentalism.  Bartholet's personal belief system is such that this monolith is anti-science.  On page 26 she says, "The (homeschooling) studies are dressed up to look like true social science."  Is social science even science?  Is it science in the sense that in regard to it one can bring to bear the categories of true and false?  

By page 78 of the PDF Bartholet has proposed sweeping government restrictions on homeschooling liberty, in order to rectify rare harms such as actual child abuse in homeschooling families.  But the State must not stop with cleaning up the filth of homeshoolers! Those evil private schools are also beyond State control in many ways!
"Policymakers should impose greater restrictions on private schools for many of the same reasons that they should restrict homeschooling. Moreover,it would be deeply unfair to allow those who can afford private schools to isolate their children from public values in private schools reflecting the parents’ values, while denying this possibility to those unable to afford such schools."
Ouch. Now you're stepping on those Policymakers' toes, Ms. Bartholet.

Anyway, remember that "Policymakers" means The Government, and common sense school control means more Big Government control over all schooling.  Bartholet knows the Policymakers will exempt themselves like they always do.  

The Harvard Magazine article concludes with a quote.  "I think an overwhelming majority of legislators and American people, if they looked at the situation," Bartholet says, "Would conclude that something ought to be done."

Create a crisis.  Agitate that something ought to be done.  Expand government control.  Liberty always loses.  


Big Education wants to ban homeschooling. But you knew that.

If social lockdowns over the Comunist Chinese Party Flu are lifted in time (big "if"), Harvard University will host in June a confab on how to work against homeschooling.

"We will convene leaders in education and child welfare policy, legislators and legislative staff, academics and policy advocates, to discuss child rights in connection with homeschooling in the United States. The focus will be on problems of educational deprivation and child maltreatment that too often occur under the guise of homeschooling, in a legal environment of minimal or no oversight. Experts will lead conversations about the available empirical evidence, the current regulatory environment, proposals for legal reform, and strategies for effecting such reform."

In case you wanted to attend: I'm sorry, the event is private and by invitation only.

So.  I see now.  My children are Victims of Educational Deprivation.  How they must have suffered while my wife and I worked so hard under the guise of homeschooling!

Just think how much people like Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, and Theodore Roosevelt could have accomplished in life if only -- rather than being maltreated under minimal or no oversight at home -- they had undergone the leveling and equifying effects of years of classroom schooling!

Be advised:  Responsible Home Education is to the people who want to dismantle homeschooling what the phrase "gun safety" is to people who want to repeal the Second Amendment.  Oh of course they are doing it For The Children.  They are doing it to address "steep disparities in the quality of education received."  I begin to sense the evil that grins like good.

Big Education seems here to be driving for forcing parents to prove need if they want to homeschool.  Some gun owners (legal or otherwise) use guns to commit suicide or murder; some self-called homeschoolers abuse children.  Somebody should Do Something.  As we have seen with concealed carry permits for firearms, once the applicant is required to prove "need" the permits are functionally banned;  only the "right" people get permits.  The cult of experts wants control.  Watch this trend.  Be very wary.


I watched a little movie this morning.  JB Benna at Journeyfilm has released his little documentary about Roz Savage rowing solo from the Canary Islands to Antigua. 

"JB Benna’s inspirational short film, entitled Rowing The Atlantic, tells the story of Roz Savage’s journey from an ordinary career woman to an adventurer, facing the most intimidating challenge of her life rowing 3,000-miles across the Atlantic Ocean. We see her struggles, her shortcomings and fears and how she discovered that she had it within her to rise to this seemingly impossible task."
The video is in HD so do embiggen it.

It is kind of refreshing to think for a few minutes about something not political or news-driven at this flu-obsessed time.  Because sometimes the ocean of life just up and breaks your oars.  Also: British accent!