Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Texas Vacation Highlights

We went to Texas last week to see my dad. He has an antique store in Taylor called Wooden Heart Antiques, and he and his wife were on HGTV a while back.

Anyway, while we were there we went to the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum and the Dr. Pepper Museum, both in Waco. As a former Soda Pop Bottle collector (I have about 400 bottles), I really liked the Dr. Pepper Museum, but they didn't give free samples. Two years ago we went to the Blue Bell Ice Cream Factory. They gave free samples. The Texas Ranger museum had lots and lots of guns. Pretty neat, especially for 4 boys.

In Austin, there is a cool Austin Science & Nature Center that is free. In addition to fossils, lots of trails and some wild animals, they also have a sand pit where kids can dig for cement fossils. We then went to the overpriced Austin Children's Museum. It's not so much a museum as it is a big play house with some science thrown in. It was $33.50 for two adults and 4 kids. I don't think we will go back to the Children's Museum. The kids seemed to have as much fun at the park, but, the park isn't air conditioned.

Of course, all the museums count toward homeschool hours.

We also ate some really good food. Mexican, barbecue, and real hamburgers that will spoil you from the fast-food junk forever. The city of Taylor has a very nice park that is very shaded. A good thing to have in Texas. The temps were in the mid-to-high 90s all week.

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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The Supreme Court of the United States has Already Said Marriage is Between One Woman and One Man

U.S. Supreme Court MURPHY v. RAMSEY, 114 U.S. 15 (1885) This case deals with a law in Utah not allowing bigamists or polyamists to vote. This is toward the end of the decision, 4th paragraph from the bottom. And we know that once the Court decides, by golly, that is binding LAW.
For, certainly, no legislation can be supposed more wholesome and necessary in the founding of a free, self-governing commonwealth, fit to take rank as one of the co-ordinate states of the Union, than that which seeks to establish it on the basis of the idea of the family, as consisting in and springing from the union for life of one man and one woman in the holy estate of matrimony; the sure foundation of all that is stable and noble in our civilization; the best guaranty of that reverent morality which is the source of all beneficent progress in social and political improvement. And to this end no means are more directly and immediately suitable than those provided by this act, which endeavors to withdraw all political influence from those who are practically hostile to its attainment.

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Monday, May 15, 2006

Links on Education

Don't give us government childcare for Mother's Day by Carrie Lukas. It's amazing to me how many people find ways to get what they want without the government's involvement. People who make due with less, or women who find ways to earn money at home. Why should my taxes be used to pay for your kid to be picked on and ignored? If that's what you want then pay for it yourself.
"[F]eminist author Kate Millet argues, children are better served by “professional” caregivers: “The care of the young is infinitely better left to trained professionals rather than to harried amateurs with little time nor taste for the education of young minds.” American parents disagree. Harried amateurs that we are, we tend to think that young kids are better off at home—and even many career mothers wish for more time with their children. "

Star Parker writes about the NAACP's fight against private school vouchers. In Florida,
"During the past school year, 740 students participated in the Opportunity Scholarship Program, of which 64 percent were black and 30 percent Hispanic. The students are practically all from low-income families."
Let's see, 64+30=94. So 94% of kids using vouchers were minorities and low income. The NAACP can't let that happen. Such a thing might weaken the bonds between them and the NEA. Why there is a bond there I don't know. Any union or group that kept my race from advancing for the last 50 years wouldn't have my support.

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Thursday, May 11, 2006

Debra J. Saunders on Raising Education Standards

Debra J. Saunders talks about the crazy world of California. Specifically, the education and judicial systems. Seems a judge has put a halt to the test all people must pass to graduate.
"It's sad but true: All California schools are not equal. The question is: What do you do about the inequity? Do you sanction the inequity by allowing students to graduate ignorant? Is that fair? Or do you require that all graduates be able to read a news story and know what it means when a sale sign says "25 percent off"?"

I hope to actually write some soon, but in addition to my full time job, I've been hired to do some writing for one person and web site designing for another, so I have other priorities at this time.

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Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Links for Families and Luddites

To begin, Jerry Large wants to push "pause" on all the new stuff. Specifically all the new stuff that has too much stuff. Meaning, a dishwasher with more than 3 buttons. Call me a Luddite, but it's overkill. Why is it that you can't buy a high-quality, well-built item that doesn't also do 20 things you don't need it to do? I want a well-built, comfortable car, but I don't need each seat to have it's own thermostat. I want a VCR with a fantastic picture and sound, but I don't need 800 programming options. Can I get the one with out the other?

Second link, An Education that May Pay for College. Straight forward investing, without all the bureaucracy.

Third link, and a good one, Rebecca Hagelin reviews Christian Ethics in Plain Language.
It may seem like the height of sophistication to think that we can (or should) load our children with facts and figures and then leave it up to them to decide what'’s right and wrong. In fact, it'’s a moral abdication of our duties as parents.

And of course the Homeschool Carnival, week 19. Some good thoughts on raising boys this time around.

And lastly, but never leastly, The Carnival of Kid Comedy.

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