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Everything posted by Vort

  1. Perhaps I have oversimplified the argument until it distorts my meaning. It's not so much the name of the union. It's the whole sales job of "we're here for the children." I don't question the integrity of most teachers as far as their reasons for being a teacher go. Obviously, most who go into education do it for the children, in some sense. (Not everyone, though. I'm sure you know at least some teachers who make you think, "Why on earth did this person choose to be a teacher of children?") But why do professional, publicly funded teachers even exist? They exist because we as a society and as individuals value our children's education. The children's education must be the top priority. Specifically, we do not value teachers and teaching merely because the teachers need to earn money. Yet that is precisely the reasoning that underlies the article linked above. Homeschooling is a concern? But why? Well, because it threatens to destabilize public schools. But who cares? Why should destabilization of public schools be a concern if a superior method exists? Ay, there's the rub. The argument is that homeschooling is an inferior way of educating one's children. Okay, they should lead with that. It doesn't have anything to do with teacher job security. (It's also a fairly easily refuted claim, which I suspect is why it's not explicitly made.) Or perhaps the argument is really that public schooling is too valuable to let fail. Okay, well, that's an argument I can get behind, at least to some degree. But that raises the question: Why do we perceive that public schooling is in danger of failing? Certainly not because some people homeschool, and certainly not because some people spend tens of thousands of dollars sending their children to private schools. It comes down to money; public schools aren't getting enough of it. But even if that observation is true, it doesn't address the central issue. If the public schools are in danger of failing, it's ultimately because the value of the product of public schooling is not perceived to be worth the cost. This is a basic economic argument, and should (at least initially) be approached in such terms. Granted that public schools serve a vital societal function, that doesn't suggest that we want an inferior product, or that we should support said inferior project because public schooling is just too important to allow to fail. "Crappy public schools are better than no public schools" may be a true statement, but it is not a compelling argument. More importantly, it misses the point. People are smart. I see no evidence that today's generations are particularly stupider than their parents' or grandparents' generations. Why should the product of our public schools be crappy? Why shouldn't the schools be expected—better yet, required—to produce consistently outstanding students? That's a complicated argument that I may not be qualified even to address in anything deeper than a cursory manner. But I think a couple of things are clear: Competing public interests and competing beliefs of various parents make the choice of public schooling curricula difficult and even hazardous. There exists no mechanism in public schools to reward truly excellent teachers or, perhaps more importantly, to get rid of poor teachers. In my opinion, the existence of the above two bullet points makes public education highly problematic. I'm not sure that effective public schools can exist with such constraints. Yet the teachers' unions, primarily the NEA, refuse to budge on the second of those two issues. As for the first, if there is no public consensus on societal matters, the public schools cannot adopt a consensus approach. Nor do they, nor have they in generations. Public schools exist, not to reinforce parental teaching and attitude, but to counteract parental teaching and attitude. And in my humble opinion, THAT is what is wrong with public schools, and why I have some sympathy for those who say that having no public schooling is preferable to having the public schooling we currently find in place. TL;DR The argument that public schools need more public funds is a non-starter. Address the underlying issues first, then worry about funding.
  2. I agree with everything you have written, except for those last six words. When the NEA bills itself as an "education association" and claim the benefit of the children as its purpose, it is fair to hold it to that standard.
  3. Interesting question. Our word "mercy" derives from the old French merci, meaning "pity". This in turn comes from the Latin merced, meaning "merited reward". So the idea of somehow qualifying for, if not actually earning, God's mercy seems baked into the etymology of the word. I agree with scottyg that the "most merciful" course is by definition the first. I also agree with JAG that it really invokes the question of what is mercy. God is infinitely merciful, so we need not worry that maybe God won't show us all the mercy he can. But if the idea of God's infinite mercy turns us into universalists, then we have fallen into the trap warned of by Nephi: Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die; and it shall be well with us...Eat, drink, and be merry; nevertheless, fear God—he will justify in committing a little sin; yea, lie a little, take the advantage of one because of his words, dig a pit for thy neighbor; there is no harm in this; and do all these things, for tomorrow we die; and if it so be that we are guilty, God will beat us with a few stripes, and at last we shall be saved in the kingdom of God. Nephi goes on to call these "false and vain and foolish doctrines". Yet even within the Restored Church of Jesus Christ, look how many cling to some form of exactly this. The most merciful course that God can follow is exactly the course that he will follow. Maybe that's not very useful, but it's the truest answer I can think of.
  4. The problem with some who homeschool is the same as the problem with some who use public schools, which is the same as the problem with every human being: Taking responsibility. To take responsibility for your children's education does not mean simply disenrolling them from public school. That may be a first step, but there are ten thousand more steps after that. People want to check something off their checklist and have it done with. For many things, that works. For educating your child, it does not. Homeschooling is not a discrete activity. Homeschooling is best described as a lifestyle. Life itself becomes the school. Topics are not taught individually, divorced from their application in life; rather, the child is introduced to life's tasks and wonders in the context of the skills being taught, e.g. math. There are those who listen to people (like me, perhaps) who decry the state of public education and suggest that homeschooling might be the best possible alternative. Those people, in a fit of pique, might then pull their children from the public schools. This in itself is not bad, and could be the first step to something good. But again, steps 2 through 10,001 must be taken, or the children are little better off than they were, and in at least some cases are actually worse off. Homeschooling is not an event. Homeschooling is a lifestyle choice. You don't have to be perfect at it, just as you don't have to be perfect at any life choice you make, at least to begin with. You simply need to be dedicated to the tasks before you and humble enough to see when you're wrong or don't know what you're doing and get help. In my view, what we call "homeschooling" is really just family and friends taking care of each other, the way God intended us to live. If you give honest effort, you will very probably be okay and your children will benefit greatly from your sacrifices. If you think you can simply hand the kids a book and the TV remote, your children will get few if any benefits from your efforts. I'm an advocate and perhaps an evangelist for homeschooling. But implicit in that advocacy is the idea that you actually homeschool your children.
  5. Doesn't matter. The SLTribulation and other anti-LDS sources will openly lie about things if they think they can deceive the uninformed and unwary. True, bad actors make things worse for us, but don't imagine that bad press for the Church is always or even normally due to bad actors.
  6. Taking things with a grain of salt is the mark of the Beast.
  7. https://www.seattletimes.com/education-lab/student-enrollment-in-seattle-continues-to-drop-heres-what-it-means/ The NEA is surely one of the most powerful unions in the US. (This link says they're #1, which I'm inclined to believe.) They have spent decades trying to convince the gullible that they're in it for The Children. Looks like that strategy hasn't paid off sufficiently, so they're no longer trying to hide behind The Children. They need those public funds, darn it!
  8. My wife didn't laugh at the Husband Store, but she did laugh at the Wife Store.
  9. Satan laughs and his angels rejoice. Here is my opinion about MGTOW from four years ago. It pretty much expresses my current feelings on the subject.
  10. Many people say this, but it is simply not true. I, myself, am a time traveler. In fact, I have traveled through time from 1963 to this very moment at a rate of one second per second to bring you this vital information: Say your prayers night and morning. My work here is done!
  11. Or as the $100 bill guy said, "We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately."
  12. If you were wondering why the MGTOW movement seems to be gaining momentum, look no further than Exhibit A above.
  13. Do you have the fourth of July in the UK?
  14. Joseph's is the skull missing the face. Natural decay; note that Emma died years later and without massive injury, but her exhumed body was in much worse shape than either of the brothers. The shot that killed Hyrum apparently did not mess up his facial structure very much.
  15. https://interpreterfoundation.org/bibliographies/hugh-w-nibley/lectures/
  16. Meanwhile, the media and Democrats studiously look the other way while our cities burn. I voted for Trump in 2020. I think his SC appointments will be his lasting legacy. I believe I misunderstood his (admittedly base and crude) sense of humor before listening to much of it, which is where most of the animus against him originates. I am no huge fan of Trump, but nothing I have seen from the highly biased media has convinced me he's likely guilty of anything beyond stinking rotten politics. The rioters, on the other hand, were fomenting and actually committing criminal acts in the name of revolution (aka sedition), just as the pro-abortionists are now doing, literally threatening the lives of Supreme Court justices. Somehow, this has been utterly forgotten (read: covered up) by the media, replaced by a handful of drunken yahoos whose "storming of the Capitol" involved walking around armed and stealing souvenirs. The uneven enforcement isn't even hidden any more. If I'm cynical, it's because the media are a bunch of liars.
  17. From at least the time I was 12 years old, literally from my childhood, I have wondered why so many used the growth of the Church as some sort of testimony of its truthfulness. As I've gotten older, I have decided that the simplest explanation is also the best: the Argumentum ad Populum. But the word of the Lord makes it clear that, until he comes and brings again Zion, his people will always form just a small minority of the earth's population. It's fun to watch the Church grow, but I have seen many online anti-LDS and those weak in the faith who have argued that the Church's diminishing growth is evidence of its lack of divine approval. If we're going to go by absolute numbers to determine what truth is, we should all be Roman Catholics*. *(For whom I have gained a lot of respect over the years. If I were to leave the Restored Church of Christ but remain a nominal Christian, I would almost certainly become a Roman Catholic. For all the theological problems of their doctrines and practices, they produce some very decent people, and offer the only real alternative to continuity of Priesthood authority from the time of the Lord's mortal sojourn until now. I'm no Catholic basher.)
  18. Vort

    College football fans?

    U$¢ and U¢£A ar€ moving to th€ Big 10? Not $ure what to mak€ of that. $€€ms v€ry $trang€ to m€.
  19. I've been called or interviewed or whatever it's called for two juries. The first time I was rejected by the defense counsel; the second time, it was the prosecution. Both peremptory challenges. Looks like I'm an equal-opportunity offender.
  20. Yes, I know. That's the thrust of what I wrote.
  21. They want to kill babies. Why would you think they might not want to kill anyone and everyone who disagrees with them?
  22. Agreed, police forces are not the primary culprit behind such selective treatment. When I was at Penn State in the early 1990s, there was a (minority, obviously) conservative newspaper on campus that had all its papers stolen two or three times. The perps were finally caught; two young women. Upon their admission to having stolen the newspapers, their judge refused to pass any significant punishment on them other than saying "tsk, tsk". Not even a fine. Not even a demand for court costs. Rather, the judge made it crystal clear that any revenge newspaper-stealing by conservatives would be met with the full authority of the courts. This kind of hypocrisy of uneven enforcement based on whether or not you're leftist is hardly new.