Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas

1Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth.

2This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria.

3And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city.

4Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David,

5in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child.

6While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth.

7And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

8In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night.

9And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened.

10But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people;

11for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

12"This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

13And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
14"Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased."

15When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, "Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us."

16So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger.

17When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child.

18And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds.

19But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart.

20The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them.

- Luke 2: 1-20

Just wanted to wish you all a Merry Christmas and give you a few little gifts. First are a couple of my favorite Christmas songs. I hope that you enjoy them as much as I do.

This first one is called A' Soalin' by Peter, Paul and Mary. It's a two-fer since it also contains a verse from my favorite Christmas hymn, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.

This second one is a newer favorite. It is The Rebel Jesus by Jackson Browne and performed by The Chieftains. I have included the lyrics below the video (it is actually just an image of the album cover while the song plays).

The streets are filled with laughter and light
And the music of the season
And the merchants' windows are all bright
With the faces of the children
And the families hurrying to their homes
As the sky darkens and freezes
Will be gathering around the hearths and tables
Giving thanks for all God's graces
And the birth of the rebel Jesus

They call him by the "Prince of Peace"
And they call him by "The Saviour"
And they pray to him upon the sea
And in every bold endeavor
As they fill his churches with their pride and gold
And their faith in him increases
But they've turned the nature that I worshipped in
From a temple to a robber's den
In the words of the rebel Jesus

We guard our world with locks and guns
And we guard our fine possessions
And once a year when Christmas comes
We give to our relations
And perhaps we give a little to the poor
If the generosity should seize us
But if any one of us should interfere
In the business of why there are poor
They get the same as the rebel Jesus

But pardon me if I have seemed
To take the tone of judgment
For I've no wish to come between
This day and your enjoyment
In this life of hardship and of earthly toil
We have need for anything that frees us
So I bid you pleasure and I bid you cheer
From a heathen and a pagan
On the side of the rebel Jesus.

My other gift, I won't mention Ron Paul in this post. *grin* Well, except there. But that's it... for now.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Objections Addressed, Part 1

In October (Wow! I haven’t been here in awhile, huh?), I included a short post entitled Who is Ron Paul? All that was included in the post was a YouTube video and a simple observation and question: “He had me at ‘Constitution’. What about you?” Well, never ask a question if you don’t want to know the answer.

I received a few comments and emails with some questions and (passionate) responses that I wanted to address specifically and in some detail, so I will be doing that in a short series of posts over the next couple of weeks. Again, please leave a comment or send an email to agree, disagree, or otherwise propel the discussion. All I ask is that you do so civilly.

The most passionate response I received was from one of my dearest friends who I’ve known since college. I am christening him “Bill” for the purposes of this discussion. He and his wife are like a brother and sister to Frodo and I. Bill and Frodo usually get into intense religious and political discussions whenever they talk, and I always found this a little amusing since they probably agree 90% of the time, but if you walked in in the middle of one of their conversations, you might not believe it. It is like a tennis match between two relatively equally matched players but one has a slightly better serve and the other has the mildly superior backhand… neither is so superior that they become discouraged but their complimentary strengths make them better players in the end. Anyway, all that to say, I love him… be nice (to both of us). *grin*

Bill gave me his permission to publish his email:

Ron Paul is an insult to all those serving abroad, and does not understand the Constitution, at all. If he feels that only Congress should deploy troops, then STOP FUNDING THEIR MOVEMENT!

This is a symptom that afflicts so many - the idea that the military can have, in effect, 535 Commanders-in-Chief.

Of all the Republican candidates (and I don't know who I support yet), he is most offensive to me. Thankfully, most of America thinks so too.

Iraq is not a mistaken policy - sure, mistakes have been made, as in any war. To pull out of Iraq is shortsighted, and any potential leader that thinks so should be avoided at all costs.

I’ll start at the beginning:

Ron Paul is an insult to all those serving abroad, and does not understand the Constitution, at all. If he feels that only Congress should deploy troops, then STOP FUNDING THEIR MOVEMENT!

This is a symptom that afflicts so many - the idea that the military can have, in effect, 535 Commanders-in-Chief.

Dr. Paul is in favor of pulling our troops out of Iraq as soon as possible. He has a few reasons for this, but the primary one is that the war was undeclared and therefore unconstitutional. After 9/11, Dr. Paul (as a member of Congress) approved the funds for our military to go into Afghanistan to accomplish a specific mission. In his address to the nation at the beginning of operation Enduring Freedom on the afternoon of October 7, 2001, President Bush enumerated our military’s goals as follows:

On my orders, the United States military has begun strikes against al Qaeda terrorist training camps and military installations of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. These carefully targeted actions are designed to disrupt the use of Afghanistan as a terrorist base of operations, and to attack the military capability of the Taliban regime.

As he concluded his address, President Bush stated:

To all the men and women in our military -- every sailor, every soldier, every airman, every coastguardsman, every Marine -- I say this: Your mission is defined; your objectives are clear; your goal is just.

The goal was clear, shut down the al Qaeda terrorist training camps, capture their leaders so they could be brought to justice, and maim the Taliban’s military capability. Our soldiers fought well, and on March 8, 2002 then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld stated:

We've now pretty much completed the phase of taking the Taliban out of Afghanistan's government and putting the al Qaeda on the run. They're no longer capable of using Afghanistan as a safe haven and that's terribly important…

…It is not possible for bin Laden to be using Afghanistan effectively as a haven for terrorism. He's not recruiting there. He's not training there. He's not raising money there. He's on the run.

Also, numerous sources (you can read some here, here, and here) believe that Osama bin Laden fled into Pakistan during the battle of Tora Bora in December of 2001.

My understanding of these events is as follows- We did not declare war when we went into Afghanistan because a terrorist group that was being actively supported by Afghanistan’s government attacked us on our own soil, therefore the government was complicit in the attack and in effect declared war on us. Therefore, we were retaliating to an active declaration of war by a foreign power. According to the War Powers Act of 1973, the Congress and President may use military force without an official declaration of war for 60 days. After the 60 days are over, Congress must either officially declare war or cease military actions. There are a few instances where this 60 days can be extended an additional 30, but after that, the Congress must declare war or forces must be brought home.

Within this 90 day time frame (assuming a 30 day extension), the majority of Taliban strongholds were toppled (the most notable being Kabul, Kunduz and Kandahar) and all known organized factions of al-Qaeda were known or presumed to have fled to Pakistan. Hostilities should have ended or war should have been declared.

According to Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution, the power to declare war is given to the Congress:

The Congress shall have power…

To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;

To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years;

To provide and maintain a navy;

To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces;

To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the states respectively, the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

So, according to the Constitution of the United States and the War Powers Act of 1973, the United States Congress should have either declared war or removed our troops from Afghanistan by January 7, 2002 (90 days after the start of operation Enduring Freedom). Had the Congress declared war, the President then would have continued in his role as Commander and Chief according to the powers given him in Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution:

The President shall be commander in chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the militia of the several states, when called into the actual service of the United States

No one, and definitely not me or Dr. Paul, is suggesting that there should be 535 Commanders in Chief. That would not only be ludicrous, but it would also be in violation of the Constitution. The founding fathers wisely separated the ability to declare and fund war from the ability to command the military. They wanted to provide an obstacle to the corrupting nature of power and try to prevent any one branch of the government (specifically the President given the tyrannical monarchy they had just successfully severed ties with) from having complete control of the military. It is rather difficult to use the military to establish a dictatorship if the purse has been welded shut.

Alexander Hamilton addressed this issue in Federalist Paper #24: The Powers Necessary to the Common Defense Further Considered:

A stranger to our politics, who was to read our newspapers at the present juncture, without having previously inspected the plan reported by the convention, would be naturally led to one of two conclusions: either that it contained a positive injunction, that standing armies should be kept up in time of peace; or that it vested in the EXECUTIVE the whole power of levying troops, without subjecting his discretion, in any shape, to the control of the legislature.

If he came afterwards to peruse the plan itself, he would be surprised to discover, that neither the one nor the other was the case; that the whole power of raising armies was lodged in the LEGISLATURE, not in the EXECUTIVE; that this legislature was to be a popular body, consisting of the representatives of the people periodically elected; and that instead of the provision he had supposed in favor of standing armies, there was to be found, in respect to this object, an important qualification even of the legislative discretion, in that clause which forbids the appropriation of money for the support of an army for any longer period than two years a precaution which, upon a nearer view of it, will appear to be a great and real security against the keeping up of troops without evident necessity.

As to Bill’s frustration “ If he feels that only Congress should deploy troops, then STOP FUNDING THEIR MOVEMENT!”, I am a little confused as to why this statement is included here. Since the original deployment of troops in October of 2001, Dr. Paul has not voted to continue funding the troops in Afghanistan or Iraq. Dr. Paul didn’t even vote to send troops into Iraq. He has earned his nickname of “Dr. No” by consistently voting against any unconstitutional legislations, resolutions, etc. that are introduced in the House of Representatives. On October 8, 2002, Dr. Paul voted against House Joint Resolution 144 which gave the President unconstitutional powers over the US military. Basically, the resolution hands over constitutionally established congressional powers to deploy the military to the executive branch. This clearly breaches the system of checks and balances the Constitution was meant to establish. On that same day, Dr. Paul voted against the Department of Defense Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2003 (which included funding for undeclared wars) as presented in HR5010. (These votes took place in the 107th Congress.) He has continued to vote against such unconstitutional spending and troop deployments. (The Washington Post has a great site where they track the voting records of all members of Congress. It is a wonderful resource but can be a bit difficult to navigate. You’ll need patience to find older votes since they are listed chronologically with the most recent first. The New York Times also has summaries of voting records for all of the Presidential candidates for a variety of topics. You can see all of their voting records on the hostilities in Iraq here.)

Bill, in the case of finances as they pertain to current US military actions, I believe you are preaching to the choir. As far as your understanding of the constitutionally appointed roles of the Congress and the President where the military is concerned, I think you are severely in error.

I will address the remainder of Bill’s email in a separate post in a few days.

Also, I wanted to note again that these are my opinions and understandings of these issues. Although I believe that they align to those held by Dr. Paul and that I have faithfully represented his stances here, I encourage you to read his opinions for yourself. Check out his voting record at the sites I mention above or go to his campaign website or congressional website for more information.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Ron Paul Phenomenon on PBS Friday 12/14

FYI, there will be a story entitled "The Ron Paul Phenomenon" on the PBS series NOW this Friday, December 14th at 8:30pm (I assume this is EST). You can see a preview of the segment here. The story looks like it is going to be less about Dr. Paul and more about why his supporters are so entrepreneurial and passionate in their support of him. (thanks to Heather at Stepping Heavenward for the heads up)

Also, there is a great interview of Dr. Paul (aka Dr. No) by John Stossel on ABC's website. There is a text summary of the interview, Ron Paul Unplugged, and a series of video clips, Paul & Stossel: Two Libertarians Talk, Ron Paul on Freedom of Choice, Ron Paul: Is War Ever Justifiable? and Paul on Drugs, Prostitution and Gay Marriage.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

I'm Rerun

Which Peanuts Character are You?

You are Rerun!
Take this quiz!

Quizilla |

| Make A Quiz | More Quizzes | Grab Code

Friday, November 30, 2007

I'm Done!

I'm done!
I'm done!
I'm done!
I'm done!
I'm done!
I'm done!
I'm done!
I'm done!
I'm done!
I'm done!

Book 1 Student Text - in to the publisher
Book 1 Activity Guide Outlines - in to the publisher
Book 1 Teacher's Manual - in to the publisher

Now, I am going to take a day off to hang out with my kids. Play Christmas music way too loudly. Dig out the Christmas decorations. Wrap Quarto's birthday presents. Make some animal costumes for our church's Christmas play this Sunday. Make some homemade pizza. Just be and enjoy.

Good night! I'm going to go read a book. Just because.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

William H. Seward,
Secretary of State

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I just couldn't help myself...

I saw these two headlines on an internet news service, and I knew I couldn't wait two weeks before saying something.

First headline: Stem Cell Breakthrough Diffuses Debate

Scientists have created the equivalent of embryonic stem cells from ordinary skin cells, a breakthrough that could someday produce new treatments for disease without the explosive moral questions of embyro cloning.

Research teams in the United States and Japan showed that a simple lab technique can rival the complex and highly controversial idea of extracting stem cells from cloned embryos.

Gut Reaction: "Finally!"

Thoughtful Reaction: "Will it really be accepted?"

There are some flaws in the technique. The primary one being that in the transition process, the DNA of the skin cells is altered thus increasing the risk of forming cancer. Because of this risk, human applications are being delayed. The developers of the technique feel that this side-effect can be avoided with some changes to the technique.

Overall, this is wonderful news. The technique is cheaper than clone harvesting, a large number of potential of skin cell donors and ease of procurement means a larger pool of stem cells available for research and treatment, and the need for the cloning of babies and abortions to harvest stem cells is removed. It seems to be a win-win all around.

Second Headline: High Court to Weigh Ban on Gun Ownership


The Supreme Court said Tuesday it will decide whether the District of Columbia can ban handguns, a case that could produce the most in-depth examination of the constitutional right to "keep and bear arms" in nearly 70 years...

...The government of Washington, D.C., is asking the court to uphold its 31-year ban on handgun ownership in the face of a federal appeals court ruling that struck down the ban as incompatible with the Second Amendment. Tuesday's announcement was widely expected, especially after both the District and the man who challenged the handgun ban asked for the high court review.

The main issue before the justices is whether the Second Amendment protects an individual's right to own guns or instead merely sets forth the collective right of states to maintain militias. The former interpretation would permit fewer restrictions on gun ownership.

Gut Reaction: What?!

Thoughtful Reaction: What?!

At first, I was simply amazed that this case even got this far. The Constitution clearly states in the Second Amendment:

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

When the Second Amendment was first proposed, many, including James Madison, expressed concern over what the term "militia" meant and what exactly the amendment was proposing. In a letter to Mr. Madison, Tench Coxe, a delegate to the Continental Congress from Pennsylvania, pointed Mr. Madison to a series of articles he had written in the under the pseudonym "A Pennsylvanian." On June 18, 1789, the (Philadelphia) Federal Gazette(Philadelphia) Federal Gazette ran the article "Remarks on the First Part of the Amendments to the Federal Constitution" by Tench Coxe (aka "A Pennsylvanian") which read, in part:

The militia of these free commonwealths, entitled and accustomed to their arms, when compared with any possible army, must be tremendous and irresistible. Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man against his own bosom. Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birth-right of an American ...the unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people.
The militia, who are in fact the effective part of the people at large, will render many troops quite unnecessary. They will form a powerful check upon the regular troops, and will generally be sufficient to over-awe them.
Whereas civil rulers, not having their duty to the people duly before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as military forces, which must be occasionally raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow citizens, the people are confirmed by the article in their right to keep and bear their private arms.

We are the people. The amendment gives the people the right to keep and bear arms. We are the militia. The amendment confirms the necessity of a well regulated militia and is therefore confirming that the removal of the right of the citizenry to own guns ("and every other terrible implement of the soldier" according to Coxe) is not up to the government. If fact, government prohibition of weapon ownership is strictly prohibited.

James Madison himself, in Federalist Paper No. 46, when addressing the concern over the federal government's ability to call up and control the militia (or the greater fear, maintenance of a standing army with the increased ability for government oppression), states that this fear is impractical since the populace of America will be armed:

Those who are best acquainted with the last successful resistance of this country against the British arms, will be most inclined to deny the possibility of it. Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of. Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.

That this is even being contested amazes me, but another fact in the case stuck out to me. Did you see it? "
The government of Washington, D.C., is asking the court to uphold its 31-year ban on handgun ownership in the face of a federal appeals court ruling that struck down the ban as incompatible with the Second Amendment." Thirty-one year ban?! How did this ban pass in the first place? Why did it take this long for someone to contest it? I find this scary.

I'll be keeping my eye on this scientific breakthrough and the upcoming Supreme Court case. In the meantime, back to work. The finish line looms larger than yesterday and will be larger still tomorrow. (Plus, I need my rest so I can clean my house for Thanksgiving guests.)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

December 21st

Where will you be?

I'll be at the theater watching the greatest musical of all time.

Want to come?

Monday, November 12, 2007


That was me sending up a virtual signal flare.


Isn't it pretty?

Ooh! Aah!

Anyway, I'm still here.

Still alive.

Up against a deadline.

End of the month.

Book one.


I hope.

Hopefully, I'll still be conscious.

See you on the other side!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Remember, Remember the 5th of November

If you are from Britain or a history buff (or homeschooled *grin*), the title phrase probably recalls the story of Guy Fawkes. Guy Fawkes was a member of a Roman Catholic, anti-Protestant group who attempted to assassinate King James I and blow-up the British Parliament on November 5, 1605 in what has become known as the Gunpowder Plot. Guy Fawkes Day is still celebrated in Britain and involves fireworks, bonfires, and the burning of Guy in effigy. Recitation of the following rhyme is popular among British children as part of the celebration of Guy Fawkes' capture:

Remember, remember, the 5th of November
The Gunpowder Treason and plot ;
I know of no reason why Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.

Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes,
'Twas his intent.
To blow up the King and the Parliament.
Three score barrels of powder below.
Poor old England to overthrow.
By God's providence he was catch'd,
With a dark lantern and burning match

Holloa boys, Holloa boys, let the bells ring
Holloa boys, Holloa boys, God save the King!

Hip hip Hoorah !
Hip hip Hoorah !

A penny loaf to feed ol'Pope,
A farthing cheese to choke him.
A pint of beer to rinse it down,
A faggot of sticks to burn him.
Burn him in a tub of tar,'
Burn him like a blazing star.
Burn his body from his head,
Then we'll say: ol'Pope is dead.

(That's about as cheery as Ring Around the Rosy, isn't it?)

If you are a movie buff, the phrase "Remember, Remember the 5th of November" may bring to mind the Guy Fawkes mask clad freedom fighter (known as "V") of the fictitious, socialistic London of the future as portrayed in the movie V for Vendetta (based on the graphic novel). You can see V in the picture to the right. (The poster behind him is one of the many slogans used by the totalitarian government that attempts to place the government in the position of a god.) The movie's opening voiceover draws on the children's rhyme:

Remember, remember, the Fifth of November, the Gunpowder Treason and Plot. I know of no reason why the Gunpowder Treason should ever be forgot... But what of the man? I know his name was Guy Fawkes and I know, in 1605, he attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament. But who was he really? What was he like? We are told to remember the idea, not the man, because a man can fail. He can be caught, he can be killed and forgotten, but 400 years later, an idea can still change the world. I've witnessed first hand the power of ideas, I've seen people kill in the name of them, and die defending them... but you cannot kiss an idea, cannot touch it, or hold it... ideas do not bleed, they do not feel pain, they do not love... And it is not an idea that I miss, it is a man... A man that made me remember the Fifth of November. A man that I will never forget.

And here is the speech given by V when he addresses the people of London and reveals his plans to overthrow the totalitarian government and expresses the importance of a unified citizenry if change is to take hold:

Good evening, London. Allow me first to apologize for this interruption. I do, like many of you, appreciate the comforts of every day routine- the security of the familiar, the tranquility of repetition. I enjoy them as much as any bloke. But in the spirit of commemoration, thereby those important events of the past usually associated with someone's death or the end of some awful bloody struggle, a celebration of a nice holiday, I thought we could mark this November the 5th, a day that is sadly no longer remembered, by taking some time out of our daily lives to sit down and have a little chat. There are of course those who do not want us to speak. I suspect even now, orders are being shouted into telephones, and men with guns will soon be on their way. Why? Because while the truncheon may be used in lieu of conversation, words will always retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth. And the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn't there? Cruelty and injustice, intolerance and oppression. And where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission. How did this happen? Who's to blame? Well certainly there are those more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable, but again truth be told, if you're looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror. I know why you did it. I know you were afraid. Who wouldn't be? War, terror, disease. There were a myriad of problems which conspired to corrupt your reason and rob you of your common sense. Fear got the best of you, and in your panic you turned to the now high chancellor, Adam Sutler. He promised you order, he promised you peace, and all he demanded in return was your silent, obedient consent. Last night I sought to end that silence. Last night I destroyed the Old Bailey, to remind this country of what it has forgotten. More than four hundred years ago a great citizen wished to embed the fifth of November forever in our memory. His hope was to remind the world that fairness, justice, and freedom are more than words, they are perspectives. So if you've seen nothing, if the crimes of this government remain unknown to you then I would suggest you allow the fifth of November to pass unmarked. But if you see what I see, if you feel as I feel, and if you would seek as I seek, then I ask you to stand beside me one year from tonight, outside the gates of Parliament, and together we shall give them a fifth of November that shall never, ever be forgot.

As of yesterday, November 5, 2007, "Remember, remember the 5th of November" has taken on new meaning. It is the day the Ron Paul Revolution took a giant leap forward. Yesterday, the Ron Paul campaign raised $4.3 million dollars in 24 hours. The fundraiser was prompted by an independent Ron Paul supporter through his website, but was embraced by the campaign (according to an article by ABC News, Who Are Ron Paul's Donors?). Donations came from both already active supporters and donors and more than 21,000 donors who registered with the campaign for the first time yesterday. As of today (November 6th) at 3:30 central time, the Ron Paul 2008 website is reporting this quarter's total fundraising has reached just shy of $7.4 million which surpasses last quarter's surprising $5.1 million and is more than half of this quarter's goal of $12 million.

So, are you ready to join the Ron Paul Revolution and celebrate a victory next November 5th?

*Note: I haven't forgotten about responding to the comments I received (via both email and the comments section) to my last Ron Paul post. I am up against a work deadline, and a "cut and paste" post like this is easier than a researched, thoughtful post. I'll begin posting responses to the other post in a week or two (I hope... as long as I keep chugging along on this deadline).

Sorry about the weird formatting on the rhyme. Not sure what's going on. Looks fine in writing mode, but it's off when I post. Oh well.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Reformation Day

Out of love for the truth and the desire to bring it to light, the following propositions will be discussed at Wittenberg, under the presidency of the Reverend Father Martin Luther, Master of Arts and of Sacred Theology, and Lecturer in Ordinary on the same at that place. Wherefore he requests that those who are unable to be present and debate orally with us, may do so by letter.

In the Name our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

1. Our Lord and Master Jesus Christ, when He said Poenitentiam agite, willed that the whole life of believers should be repentance.

2. This word cannot be understood to mean sacramental penance, i.e., confession and satisfaction, which is administered by the priests.

3. Yet it means not inward repentance only; nay, there is no inward repentance which does not outwardly work divers mortifications of the flesh.

4. The penalty [of sin], therefore, continues so long as hatred of self continues; for this is the true inward repentance, and continues until our entrance into the kingdom of heaven.

5. The pope does not intend to remit, and cannot remit any penalties other than those which he has imposed either by his own authority or by that of the Canons.

6. The pope cannot remit any guilt, except by declaring that it has been remitted by God and by assenting to God's remission; though, to be sure, he may grant remission in cases reserved to his judgment. If his right to grant remission in such cases were despised, the guilt would remain entirely unforgiven.

7. God remits guilt to no one whom He does not, at the same time, humble in all things and bring into subjection to His vicar, the priest.

8. The penitential canons are imposed only on the living, and, according to them, nothing should be imposed on the dying.

9. Therefore the Holy Spirit in the pope is kind to us, because in his decrees he always makes exception of the article of death and of necessity.

10. Ignorant and wicked are the doings of those priests who, in the case of the dying, reserve canonical penances for purgatory.

Read all 95 of Luther's Theses Here

Martin Luther posts his 95 theses
on the doors of the church at Wittenberg

Sola Scriptura

Sola Gratia

Sola Fide

Solo Christo

Soli Deo Gloria!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Beware Big Jelly

Stinkin' corporations are trying to discredit that good 'ol American standby, Peanut Butter.

I kid you not. Read it for yourself.

I Think Jelly Has Been Editing My Wikipedia...

Monday, October 29, 2007

Food For Thought

If you can make any religion look idiotic, chances are, you haven't understood that religion. You can't take treasured beliefs from the past and mock them.

After I spoke at Brigham Young University, a well-groomed student came to me and said, "Dr. Zacharias, you didn't directly attack Mormonism. Was there a reason?"

"Of course," I said. "I was assigned a subject on which to speak, and the subject was getting to the truth: Who is Jesus? I lectured on that.

"If I had been asked to deal with the differences between Mormonism and orthodox Christianity, I would have done so. But I still would have done so graciously."

"I just want to thank you for that approach," he said. "Two weeks ago there was a man on campus who came on his own invitation and started crying down hellfire and brimstone. He was escorted off campus."

The old Indian proverb holds true: Once you've cut off a person's nose, there's no point giving him a rose to smell. We tend to think being kind and listening to the opposition implies we have sacrificed the message. But we need to learn how to handle critique, how to address an antagonist. Even while you wrestle with the ideas of an opponent, you must keep the dignity of the opponent intact.

- Ravi Zacharias

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Time For A Tour

We've lived here for about four months now, and I'm just getting around to posting a house tour... yup, that sounds about right for me. So, here we go...

As you approach the house, this is the view up our street. Our driveway is immediately to the left in this picture. At the end of this road is a very pretty state park/ boating area/ nature preserve. Very cool.

There's the house as seen from the mailbox. Did I mention that our front yard is huge? Well, I should have, 'cause it's huge! At night, it is a great place to lie in the grass and look at the stars (if the people across the street don't have their floodlights on and you don't accidentally lay atop a fire ant hill... ouch!).

I wish this picture of the house came out a little better. It has such beautiful landscaping out front. When we pulled into the driveway with the moving truck, my first thought was that it looked like something out of an Anne of Green Gables story. Our landlord helped build the house when he was 14 (about 60 years ago). His family has owned this land for generations. His great-great-grandfather helped build the church we attend. (I'll post pictures of that when I get a better camera.) The little pop-out on the left is the master bedroom and looks out on this:

Isn't that pretty? It is such a pretty little spot with a different view on each side. Behind me as I take the picture is the front yard, to the right is our bedroom (the chairs there look right into our side window; actually, that's a little weird now that I think about it; I might have to move them), the old cattle pasture is straight ahead (the original house is back there, too) and there are woods to the left. Secondo is going to use our bedroom window as a nature viewing area into this spot. It's perfect with the bordering of the different habitats, and we plan on filling the bird feeders and setting up a salt lick. (Secondo already has a wildlife count going. So far we've spotted white-tailed deer, raccoons, opossums, a 5 foot rat snake (ugh), hawks, two turkey vultures, lots of butterflies and a hummingbird. She's started a nature journal and hopes to put photos of the animals in and has researched the diets and interesting facts of all the animals she has seen and put them in the journal.)

This is the view as you walk in the front door. We have a little bench to the right to place bags under . I love the fireplace. We had some torrential rains over the last week, and water was coming into the chimney, thus the unsightly bin in the fireplace. We can't wait to get a fire screen and get some fires going in there.

As you turn right after entering the house, you go into the office (most people would call this a dining room, but we needed the office space more). This is the living room as seen from the office area. You can see our cat food supply for the cat we inherited when we moved in here. (I tried to take a picture of her, but she looked possessed in the photo. I miss my digital camera.) The bookshelves are from our old town library up north. They were renovating the library (a historic feed store and train depot that was used as a hospital during the Civil War) and took out their solid oak shelving and replaced it with all metal shelves. Scandalous! The only good thing about it was that they gave away the old, solid wood shelves to whomever wanted to haul them away, so Frodo and a friend (and fellow bibliophile) went over and piled all they could in the friend's pickup truck. Since they were back-to-back library shelves, Frodo ripped them in half, so we now have two 7 foot sections of shelves. The frustrating part is, this was the only wall long enough for a whole section. We could only put half a section up in the office. But that's alright. Homeschoolers don't need bookshelf space, right? [insert maniacal laughter and oozing sarcastic tome here.] See the round tables in the middle of the carpet? We made those! Neat, huh?

We couldn't find a coffee table that suited our needs. We wanted something that we could move around if we needed to since it is very hard to place end tables in here, and the kids often put pillows down to watch movies and want to get the tables out of the way. We decided that a couple of tables put together would do the trick, but we couldn't find anything we liked, so we made our own out of large wall clocks and metal plant stands.

This isn't the greatest picture, but you get the idea. (Did I mention that I miss my digital camera?) Oh, and the clocks work... usually, when the batteries don't fall out after constant battering by children. Okay, back to the tour.

This is my half of the office. (You can see the archway to the living room on the right.) It's not usually this neat, but you can imagine it this way when you picture me sitting at the table working away or blogging or paying bills or whatever. Oh, and on the table is the newest member of our family, Moss. He's a squirrel tree-frog. These are his temporary digs while we work on a new habitat for him.

This is Frodo's half of the office. He has the screen to the kids' computer on his desk in addition to his laptop. Sadly, I can't get the screen resolution on the kids' computer to work properly, so they haven't been able to use it since we moved. (Well, they tried, but they started getting sea sick!) I think the monitor is too new for the computer. Any computer gurus out there want to help me out? Where was I? Oh, yeah... house tour. The doorway on the left leads to the kitchen.

The landlord put the floor in before we moved. I *heart* this floor. They are easy to clean, hide dirt and look very cottage-y. The doorway on the left leads to a very steep set of stairs up to the girls' room (no boys allowed). On the right, the wall has the height markings of all the kids who have lived here in the past 20 years or so. It's very cool. When there isn't a regular tenant, the landlord lends the house to missionaries who are on furlough. There are a lot of height markers on the wall (including our munchkins).

This is the main bathroom. Yes, it's off the kitchen. Makes sense since I think it was put in before the house had hot, running water, so it had to be near the stove to heat bathwater. It is a little weird, though, to come out of the shower and see the kids eating breakfast (okay, lunch... alright, dinner). The bathroom was remodeled before we moved in. Actually, when we pulled in the driveway the first night with the moving truck, the landlord and his wife were in here putting up the mirror and the shower curtains. I love this bathroom. It's so pretty.

View of the kitchen from the bathroom door. To the left (immediately next to the bathroom) is a laundry room and access to the basement (which we don't discuss; it's creepy). It's hard to see in this picture, but the little window near the back of the kitchen is a pretty, stained glass window. It is so nice to stand in front of something so lovely while making breakfast or emptying the dishwasher.

This angle, taken from the stovetop area, shows the school area of the kitchen. Just to the right of the bookshelves is a big closet where we have craft supplies, small appliances and about a three months' supply of toilet paper. The bookshelves have all of the school books we are currently using or use most often as well as my cooking and gardening books. You can see the stairs to the girls' room on the left and the white board, periodic table and calendar at the entrance to the hall.

The hall had the only wall space long enough to hold the maps. I often find the kids sitting on the floor or standing on kitchen chairs out here examining the maps. The door half-way down the hall goes to the boys' room, and the door at the end is the master bedroom... with a half bath (I can't tell you how nice it is to have two toilets again). I didn't take pictures of the bedrooms because they were very messy. They are finally looking more put-together, so I hope to take pictures of them at some point.

A little stroll down the hallway brings you back to...

The living room. (The kids love that the house is a circle, but it can be a little nerve-wracking when Quarto comes zooming around with his trucks for the millionth time.) There's the bench by the front door, and in the back of the office, you can see the half-unit of library shelving. (You don't know how much that kills me that we couldn't put up a whole unit. We could use the shelf space. The girls of piles of books on the floor of their room.) In the foreground is my Grandpa's chair. I love this chair. The fabric is a little scratchy, but it is amazingly comfortable. You can't see it too well from here, but it would fit in perfectly in Lucy and Ricky's Connecticut house. It reminds me of their den in the house my Dad grew up in. It had pictures of the family all over one wall (the den, not the chair). I don't know how many times my Grandpa watched Oklahoma! while sitting in this chair. At least as many times as he and I sat there to plot how to get to the Dairy Queen before supper without Grandma knowing. (He looked much happier watching television or planning covert operations than he did listening to the Twisted Sister album my Grandma bought me on one visit. Wonder why? *grin*)

This house has the perfect layout for us. I wish we owned it instead of renting, but I don't think that's gonna happen, so I'll try to be happy that I get to experience it while I'm here.

Well, that's the new place. Now you'll know where to picture me if you're reading or we're talking on the phone. Now y'all just need to come on down for a visit and set a spell!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

It's All About The Music, Right?

Come on, admit it... you only tune-in for the music.

Beware the Cheshire Cat

From a Baltimore Sun news blog:

“Every parent in America should have the right to send their children to the school of their choice – including the right of responsible parents to choose home-schooling,’’ Giuliani said, drawing strong applause from an audience that includes many home-schooled teenagers from around the nation.

Read the entire article here

It's like nails on a chalkboard, isn't it?

Sure, it sounds good the first time you read it. Maybe even the second time. Then you see it. "Responsible parents." You pause.

"Yeah. I'd agree with that. Who would want irresponsible parents to homeschool?" you think. Then it hits you... who gets to decide who's responsible? Giuliani? Congress? The state? The local school board?

How would they define responsible? Have children who pass standardized tests? At least one parent holds a teaching certificate? Doesn't use curriculum put out by a religious publisher? Uses a whole language reading method vs. a phonics-based approach?

What would it take to determine if a parent is responsible? Would they assume that every parent who took the time to fill-out the government-mandated paperwork is responsible? Would they do a background check? Would they send a case worker to your home?

The Cat only grinned when it saw Alice. It looked good-natured,
she thought: still it had very long claws and a great many teeth,
so she felt that it ought to be treated with respect.

`Cheshire Puss,' she began, rather timidly, as she did not at all
know whether it would like the name: however, it only grinned a
little wider. `Come, it's pleased so far,' thought Alice, and she
went on. `Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from

Alice speaks to Cheshire Cat

`That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,' said the

`I don't much care where--' said Alice.

`Then it doesn't matter which way you go,' said the Cat.

`--so long as I get somewhere,' Alice added as an explanation.

`Oh, you're sure to do that,' said the Cat, `if you only walk
long enough.'

Alice felt that this could not be denied, so she tried another
question. `What sort of people live about here?'

`In that direction,' the Cat said, waving its right paw round,
`lives a Hatter: and in that direction,' waving the other paw,
`lives a March Hare. Visit either you like: they're both mad.'

`But I don't want to go among mad people,' Alice remarked.

`Oh, you can't help that,' said the Cat: `we're all mad here. I'm
mad. You're mad.'

`How do you know I'm mad?' said Alice.

`You must be,' said the Cat, `or you wouldn't have come here.'


'I wish you wouldn't keep
appearing and vanishing so suddenly: you make one quite giddy.'

`All right,' said the Cat; and this time it vanished quite
slowly, beginning with the end of the tail, and ending with the
grin, which remained some time after the rest of it had gone.

`Well! I've often seen a cat without a grin,' thought Alice; `but
a grin without a cat! It's the most curious thing I ever saw in
my life!'
So, beware the Cheshire Cat. That smile brings with it madness and claws.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Who is Ron Paul?

This is Ron Paul:

He had me at "Constitution".
What about you?

This video is professional and informative. It is a great introduction for those who would like to learn where Ron Paul stands. BTW, the CNN Situation Room segment shown at the beginning of this video is one of the better overall candidate bios that I have seen in awhile.

HT: Heather at Stepping Heavenward

Free Online Foreign Language Program - Mango

I have heard the benefits of the computer-based foreign language program, Rosetta Stone, touted on homeschool blogs, educational magazines, homeschool message boards, homeschool conferences, news stories, and now television and radio commercials. Many libraries have purchased it and have it available online for their patrons. (Or so I've heard. None of the library systems we've had access to provide it. Sigh.) I've looked at purchasing it, but it was far outside our budget. So was their online version. I've considered getting an out-of-area library card for a system that has it, but it was a hassle.

Now I need fret no more. I just learned of an online, FREE foreign language program called Mango that we are going to try. For native English speakers, they offer :

Brazilian Portuguese
Mandarin Chinese
Pig Latin (yes, you read that right... I mean, esyay, ouyay eadray atthay ightray)

I'm leaning toward French, Spanish or Mandarin Chinese for the kids. I really wanted to learn Swahili with Rosetta Stone. Maybe I can suggest it to the Mango people.

What language are you going to try?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A Heretical Thought?

Henry, over at Why Homeschool, has an insightful article speculating on when the decline in the quality of American education began.

October 4th was the 50th anniversary of Sputnik. In 1957 the Soviet Union was the first nation to put a satellite into orbit. This exciting event caught the rest of the world by surprise.

At the time many in the United States claimed there was a need to respond, that the United States needed to prove they could do better and thus sprang the beginning of the effort to put a man on the moon. Another response was greater state and federal government interference in education. Like chicken littles, they said the sky was falling and justified dramatic and increasing changes in education.

COH - Week 94

Saturday, October 13, 2007

An Open Letter and a Response

After hosting a GOP debate, CNBC thought it would be a good idea to put up an online poll to see how viewers responded. It didn't take them long to decide that their unscientific, online poll was resulting in an unscientific, unfavorable result and to take the poll down. You can follow the link below to read the letter by CNBC's Managing Editor, Allen Wastler explaining why they decided to remove the poll and his opinion on the matter:

An Open Letter to the Ron Paul Faithful

There was a very well-written response to Mr. Wastler's letter by Michael van der Galien of The Van Der Galien Gazette (my apologies to Mr. van der Galien for the absence of the required umlaut in his name, but I have no idea how to make that happen here):

CNBC to Ron Paul Supporters: Knock. It. Off.

However, I felt that a "letter" posted in a comment to Mr. van der Galien's response was intelligent and concise (I am printing it in it's entirety here as it is impossible for me to link to a specific comment):

Dear Allen,

I’m sure you’re getting plenty of emails attacking your character and judgment after your latest admission of tampering with the polls due to activism that favored Ron Paul. I apologize for my fellow Americans who have foolishly clung to the oddball notion that politics is a participatory process and that by getting active and supporting their candidate, they are exercising the democratic imperative. As we both know, real election-day polling doesn’t rely on the activism of a voting base. I, like everyone else, am required to hand over my voters’ registration card to Zogby and wait for my phone call.

As a Ron Paul supporter, it’s embarrassing to see my fellow Americans taking steps to organize themselves in order to make a good showing in these online polls for their candidate, when it’s clear that the voting bases of these other, more popular candidates are not willing to match the efforts with the same kind of activist enthusiasm. As the saying goes: the nail that sticks out gets hammered down. America is truly being serviced by your hammer.

In Sincere Apology,

*Note: The "(me)" above is not me, it's some other me.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

COH - Week 93

Carnival of Homeschooling ~ Week 93
The Real Life Edition

Well, this is my third time hosting the Carnival of Homeschooling, and it seems that each time I host, I am reminded that I am not in control. (Imagine that!) The first time, my blog was hosted on Homeschool Blogger and their servers went down seconds after I posted. So, I started this blog on Blogger as a temporary fix to keep the carnival up and running. Well, I really liked a lot of the features on Blogger, so I’m still here. The second time, a stomach bug was running through our family, but I seemed to have been blessedly spared… until the time came to finalize and post the carnival. I was up all night (I’ll spare you the details). I got the carnival up at 6am EST then went to bed… for the whole day. I was amazingly better when I woke up in time for supper. Since then, we have moved to the Deep South, which is in the midst of the worst drought in almost 100 years. So what happens when I go to put the Carnival together? It storms, storms, storms and rains, rains, rains. Don’t get me wrong, I am very thankful for the rain, but we are in an area where we can only get satellite internet so… lots of rain and heavy cloud-cover = no internet. Sigh.

But, isn’t that what life is all about? The unexpected popping up and us having to say, “Um, well, this is interesting.” And then we move on with life - just not exactly as we had planned. What else are we going to do? The children still need to be educated, work still needs to be done, laundry still needs to be washed, mouths still need to be fed, and carnivals still need to be posted. So, we grab the blanket and move on with the chapter book when a power outage keeps us from internet research. We pull out the grill and have hot dogs instead of the meatloaf we were planning. I pull up my Excel spreadsheet with all but the last-minute submissions and type up a carnival that wasn’t as creative as the one I was planning so that I can easily add those last few posts and cut and paste the carnival into place once I’m back online. Not what I planned, but not the end of the world either. I can live with that. I hope you can too, ‘cause here we go…

My friend, Aduladi’ (Aduladi’ & Co.), can sympathize with the feeling of frustration that arises when life derails school, but she also acknowledges that we shouldn’t let it if we take our commitment of homeschooling our children seriously. Kathy, at My Quiver’s Full, shares a day in the life at their homeschool showing that sometimes the life we are protecting is far from the idyllic one we imagined at the beginning of this journey. Elena reveals some of her tricks to balancing parenting, school and work over at My Domestic Church.

The Tea Party Girl shares that she and her children identify with hobbits in their love of tea, and, like hobbits, they are learning to love adventure as well.

Sometimes, getting the kids focused on their schoolwork is like pulling teeth, so you can imagine how Jennifer felt with her son’s insightful response to his history reading: “Lincoln – Same as always.” Please encourage her by letting her know that you have days like this, too. Just leave a comment at her blog, Tomorrow is Another Day. (Fitting title, eh?) The bad-attitude monster rears his ugly head in Chili’s household, too, and she shares all the gory details with her regular undefined readers… and you. Ann’Re (in Ann’Re @ Home) reminds us that sometimes we need to ask ourselves “Why did we choose to homeschool?” at those times when we need encouragement to forge ahead.

Terri, at Cricket’s Corner, wants to know where those grey hairs came from. (It’s a sign of wisdom, right?)

Ever wonder if what you teach goes in one ear and out the other? MamaArcher did until she overheard her son passing on knowledge to his sister.

Amy, In Pursuit of Proverbs 31, sings the praises of flexibility in the homeschooling life and reveals that what looks chaotic from the outside contains a skeleton of organization.

Christina, at Home Spun Juggling, compares teaching kindergarten then and now as she looks back to the early days of her family’s homeschooling journey.

Pretty much every homeschooler will tell you that their local library is one of their greatest resources. Shauna at Treasure Seekers shows us how to get the most out of our local libraries (and shares a tip about how to avoid those overdue fines).

Many of us use any resource at our disposal to help us in educating our children, but Summer reminds us that we need to be careful about letting the TV become the teacher of our children (especially our little ones) at her blog, appropriately named, Mom is Teaching.

Elisheva, at Ragamuffin Studies, finds some of the keys she needs to help her AS son by taking advantage of his tendency toward visual learning. Pop on over to Rain-Girl’s My Commonplace Book and learn why she educates herself (and why you should homeschool yourself while you homeschool your kids).

Stephanie shares how she educates by appealing to her kids’ senses through their trip to a wigwam (on her blog Adventures in the 100 Acre Wood) and by sharing her recipe for Civil War Fruit Cake (on her other blog Stop the Ride!). Busy lady. Amanda, at Hearts and Trees, has shared her suggestions on how to use fall leaves as part of a fall nature study. And while you’re outside collecting leaves, bring along some of the materials for a mini-unit on squirrels presented by Lynn at Eclectic Education. Speaking of squirrels, Mama Squirrel has turned Dewey’s Treehouse over to the turkeys in a new treehouse tradition… theme days.

Ever considered adding more students to your homeschool? The Headmistress of Riverfront Academy shares the nitty-gritty of hosting a foreign exchange student and enriching the educational experiences of your homeschool and a foreign student in one fell swoop.

Many of us like the side-effect that homeschooling has on our children’s self-esteem. They get to spend time developing their uniqueness rather than spending all day comparing themselves to others. But we are not immune to negative socialization. At Homeschool 2.0, Lynn shares resources from Dove that reveal the realities hidden in the beauty industry. Meanwhile, Marjorie at the Life Without School Community Blog points out a very important distinction: do we want to socialize our kids, or do we want to civilize them?

We all want our children to be well educated, but Timothy (who is the first to admit Sometimes I’m Actually Coherenthim not me, that’s what happens when I try to get creative), Timothy also wants his children to be good.

All homeschoolers know that just because it’s called “home”schooling doesn’t mean we’re always home. Just ask Tiffany of Life on the Road: Home Business, Homeschool, and Cats! She gives us the inside scoop on some great products to help us keep our kids safe while we’re out and about.

Jennifer, in Diary of 1, shows her family’s progress as they build their new home. (See, you don’t even have to have the house finished to homeschool!)

Denise at Let’s Play Math! always shares quotes with her co-op class, and she has decided to share the three most-recent quotes with us.

Toys, toys, toys… they’re everywhere. You love ‘em, you hate ‘em. You aren’t alone. So does Tonya at Domestic Entropy. Whether they play with toys or an empty box, Christine, the Thinking Mother, emphasizes the need for kids to have unstructured play time.

Books, books, books… they’re everywhere. You love ‘em. Here’s another one to add to your list: The Pushcart War. Read Kathy’s review at HomeschoolBuzz. And Loni, at Finding JOY in the Morning, knows that it’s hard to resist a free book; that’s why she’s giving one away. She also shares the results of recent research on homeschooling.

When we have books that you no longer need, many of us try to sell them (so that we can get money for books we do need). Melissa shares a new-found outlet for selling those books at her Idea Garden.

We all look forward to the day when our kids will be more independent in their studies. Kat at No Fighting, No Biting! shares the concerns she’s encountered while she searches for the balance between guiding her children and doing the work for them.

Accompanied by some humorous examples, Patti at All Info About Homeschooling stresses the importance of teaching our kids to proofread.

It is common knowledge that dads will do anything for their little girls, and Matthew has the video proof over at Play the Dad? No, Be the Dad!

Parent-teachers look forward to their children’s graduation since it reflects success for both our children and for us. Barbara reminds us that this time can be a difficult one for the younger siblings still at home.

Want to keep an eye on the thoughts and goings on of fellow blogging homeschoolers? Head on over to Principled Discovery where Dana shares information about a new homeschooling network.

Here in the US, we take the freedom to homeschool as a given, even if some states have tighter restrictions than others. Judy at Consent of the Governed wants us to make sure we hold tight to that right and shares a list of questions we should ask political candidates so we can learn and understand their positions on homeschooling.

What does Jacque do while Seeking Rest in Ancient Paths? She plans for school, of course! And while she’s planning, Dad is playing and learning with the kids.

NerdMom shares some great, frugal resources for math.

Two homeschooled teens shared posts this week. Jocelyn of Lothlorien shares a review of the movie Miss Potter. SuperAngel, at The Daily Planet, shares how she made history come alive through researching her own family’s place in it.

While Learning at Home, Rose tries to put the socialization question to rest once and for all.

Dawn reports how happy she is with their newest art curriculum at Day by Day Homeschooling.

New to homeschooling in California? Janine at Why Homeschool has helpful information for filing your affidavit.

Thanks for taking a break from your busy lives to visit the carnival this week and thanks to all the wonderful bloggers who shared their posts. As always, if you find any errors or dead links, they are mine. Please inform me so that I can fix them as soon as I am able.

A big thanks to the Cates at Why Homeschool who established the Carnival of Homeschooling in the first place and keep it running. Make sure to schedule time to visit next week’s carnival which will be hosted by Christine, The Thinking Mother.