Sunday, September 08, 2019

Why is there no law requiring paid medical leave for pregnancy?

Why is there no law requiring paid medical leave for pregnancy? 
The reason is that Americans believe in capitalism, and they at least one of the major parties is highly resistant to doing anything that exercises control over businesses. In the 1990s we actually had to pass a law to require businesses to provide UNPAID medical leave to employees, and most Republicans voted no on the Family and Medical Leave Act. But of course, they also want to discourage women from getting abortions. Go figure. 

189 comments:

Legion of Logic said...

A good example of why even though I'm largely conservative, I generally can't stand conservative politicians and advocacy groups.

Starhopper said...

You ask a very good question, Victor. I've never understood why pro life groups and politicians do not push for the maximum support for pregnancy, childbirth, and child care possible.* If even half the time spent lobbying for restrictive abortion laws and picketing facilities were directed towards assuring young mothers that they would not face financial ruin due to loss of salary and child care expenses, that would go far further toward reducing the rate of abortions than what they are wasting their time on now.

* If anything, they do the opposite, and do everything in their power to make life as miserable as possible for a young family.

bmiller said...

If paid maternity leave actually reduced the abortion rate, then Sweden, France, the UK, Hungary, Canada and Denmark would all have lower abortion rates than the US. Instead they all have higher rates. So, does paid maternity leave actually increase abortions?

Arguing that socialist policies reduce abortions is simply nonsense. We have too much publicly available historical data demonstrating that argument is false.

The best solution for family friendly government policies would be to encourage husbands and wives to stay married and only require a single income to support the family.

Starhopper said...

"only require a single income to support the family"

Is such a thing possible nowadays? In fact, if you look at the broad sweep of human history, it has only been possible for a single generation in a single country. At all other times, the entire family (including the children) labored in order to attain the most basic of needs (food, shelter, clothing).

bmiller said...

Starhopper,

Historically, wives rarely worked outside the home until recently and spent their time raising the children. That was not just here, but everywhere.

Do you disagree that this would be optimal?

bmiller said...

Regarding abortion. This company puts their hearts and their heads into their work. Ugh!

Starhopper said...

If you look closely, "raiding the children" was only one of a multitude of the economic responsibilities assigned to the woman. At no time waa the man supposed to provide the entire income for the family. Women worked the fields alongside the men in purely agricultural economies (they still do today), and it wasn't until the industrial revolution that there was any sort of division between the husband's and the wife's contribution to the family's economic well being.

bmiller said...

"raiding the children" Ha!

In some ways it's difficult to compare today's urban society to ancient agrarian societies. In other ways, not so much.

But "raising the children" has been primarily the wife's job. By that, I mean nurturing them day to day as small children. That's probably why courts award custody rights to women instead of men.

It's undeniable that children with both a mother and father in a family relationship prosper.

BTW, you didn't grow up on a farm did you? Do you know anyone who did?

bmiller said...

BTW, did you ever tell your wife that women in Vietnam gave birth in the rice fields and just continued to work? I'm wondering how she responded.

Starhopper said...

Ha! We both worked for the federal government, and for a large percentage of our careers, she outranked me. It wasn't until after her premature death from cancer that I finally managed to achieve a higher GS rating than she did.

One Brow said...

bmiller said...
Historically, wives rarely worked outside the home until recently and spent their time raising the children. That was not just here, but everywhere.

Do you disagree that this would be optimal?


It would be great if fathers could stay home and raise the kids while the mothers went out to work, but you are wrong about one-parent-earners being the norm in history. Mothers spent their time in the fields, washing clothes, running bakeries, managing pubs/inns/etc.

One Brow said...

bmiller said...
But "raising the children" has been primarily the wife's job. By that, I mean nurturing them day to day as small children. That's probably why courts award custody rights to women instead of men.

Mostly, it's been the job of grandparents or other senior community members, who can't engage in hard labor anymore.

bmiller said...

Starhopper,

So your wife went back to work the day she gave birth?

Starhopper said...

bmiller,

It is often so hard to follow your line of thinking in these discussions. Your question makes it look like I am arguing for such a thing to happen, when I fervently believe the exact opposite. I believe that, since it is in society's best interests that there be a next generation (for an object lesson, see Japan), society (i.e., government) ought to share in the expenses of raising that next generation... to include up to a full year of paid parental leave.

So why would you ever think I'd like to see mothers return to work immediately after giving birth?

What I was saying is that the single-income family is and has always been a historical anomaly. Therefore, it is appropriate for the state to step in and supply the missing link in a new family's income.

bmiller said...

Starhopper,

It is often so hard to follow your line of thinking in these discussions.

The problem is that you took the discussion in a different direction from what should be optimal government policy to what has historically been the division of labor between the 2 sexes.

I'm disputing your assertion that:
"and it wasn't until the industrial revolution that there was any sort of division between the husband's and the wife's contribution to the family's economic well being"

There has always been a division of labor between the 2 sexes with certain tasks that men did while women did other tasks.

Womens labor division in the Middle Ages"
"This information correlated with the activities and labours regarding the maintenance and responsibilities of working in a household. These include: food preparation, laundry, sewing, brewing, getting water, starting fires, tending to children, collecting produce, and working with domestic animals."

But even if you want to argue that those activities contributed equally to a family's economic well being, you've acknowledged that there was a division due to the industrial revolution. That was 200 years ago and it did allow for one wage earner to support a family. All while raising the standard of living for everyone. Now it's not possible? Why?

bmiller said...

Do you know any home schoolers?

Starhopper said...

Not at present.

bmiller said...

I used to think they were weird. But it's actually public schools (and even private schools) that have gotten weird.

You should get acquainted with some of them to get their perspective. There's a lot of myths about home schooling.

bmiller said...

The point is that home schoolers are generally one income families that value religious and moral values and wish to ensure, personally, that their children get a good education. They think that "the government" is failing their children and in fact it is.

You've just assumed that it is impossible for this to be done, when in fact it is actually being done in spite of "the government". No one has to worry about "the government" providing "maternity leave" because a parent is always at home.

What policies are Democrats advocating to assist these citizens rather than impeding them?

Starhopper said...

"What policies are Democrats advocating to assist these citizens rather than impeding them?"

I have no idea. I'm not really a Democrat, although I am registered as one. And the only reason for that is to be able to vote in the Maryland primaries, which require you to be registered with a party in order to participate. Neither of the 2 major parties aligns with my own views on most things. Here's the way I see it: the Democrats are wrong, but the Republicans are batshit crazy. I'll take "wrong" over "crazy" any day.

bmiller said...

I have no idea.

The answer is none.

My view is that the Democrats aren't just wrong. They're evil.

Legion of Logic said...

The Republican Party is stupid, self-defeating, hypocritical, and corrupt. Occasionally they get something right, as in not only are they correct on the substance of a matter but they also propose a policy that works (or oppose Democrat policies that do not).

The Democratic Party is stupid, completely insane, hypocritical, corrupt, and flat-out evil. Very, very, very occasionally they can be right on both substance and policy, but I can count the number of times I've seen that on one hand that's missing fingers.

Starhopper said...

Boy, it looks like nobody here really likes either of the two major parties!

Legion of Logic said...

I despise both. Within each party are individuals I am okay with (the only Democrat I could name is Jim Webb), but so long as they are tied to the parties, they are of very little use to me.

bmiller said...

Don't worry. Trump will fix everything.

bmiller said...

Even CNBC has to concede that Trump is a Very Stable Genius wrt his dealing with China!

One Brow said...

bmiller said...
I'm disputing your assertion that:
"and it wasn't until the industrial revolution that there was any sort of division between the husband's and the wife's contribution to the family's economic well being"

There has always been a division of labor between the 2 sexes with certain tasks that men did while women did other tasks.

Womens labor division in the Middle Ages"
"This information correlated with the activities and labours regarding the maintenance and responsibilities of working in a household. These include: food preparation, laundry, sewing, brewing, getting water, starting fires, tending to children, collecting produce, and working with domestic animals."


From the same article,
Some activities were restricted to either men or women; other activities were preferred to be performed by one gender over the other:" e.g. men ploughed, mowed, and threshed and women gleaned, cleared weeds, bound sheaves, made hay, and collected wood; and yet others were performed by both, such as harvesting.

So, you are correct that the jobs were not the same; Starhopper is correct that both men and women contributed to the household income, and were expected to do so.

That was 200 years ago and it did allow for one wage earner to support a family.

No, it didn't, except for a brief period right after WWII, when most of industrialized Europe had been leveled and US manufacturing had little competition. Outside of that, two-earner families have been the norm throughout the industrial era and into the technological era.

One Brow said...

bmiller said...
What policies are Democrats advocating to assist these citizens rather than impeding them?

Enforcing educational standards, encouraging more generous sick leave and family leave, and a stronger social safety net.

bmiller said...

Democrats routinely discriminate against homeschoolers.

They can't stand for people to have control over their own lives or the lives of their children. Time for them to be taken from power and never let back in.

Starhopper said...

"Time for [Democrats] to be taken from power"

Umm.. they're not in power.

bmiller said...

Nevertheless, not a single Democrat voted for Senator Cruz’s motion. Not one. The Democrats knowingly and proudly discriminated against homeschooled kids and kids with disabilities, in many cases destroying their access to quality education. Even by the Democrats’ woefully low standards, it was a shameful display.

No school for you!

One Brow said...

bmiller said...
Democrats routinely discriminate against homeschoolers.

Another take on the Student Opportunity Amendment:
https://news.utexas.edu/2017/12/18/tax-bill-offers-school-choice-to-those-who-already-have-it/

They can't stand for people to have control over their own lives or the lives of their children.

This coming from the person who supports the party of enforced school prayer and what is becoming the party of health endangerment via anti-vaccine nonsense. I'm not impressed by your bluster, nor your support for the wealthy over the poor.

Legion of Logic said...

party of enforced school prayer

I've seen Republicans support forcing schools to allow school prayer, but I've never seen a Republican support forcing school prayer. Do you have a source or example?

bmiller said...

You forgot Legion.

For lefties allowing people to do something is considered discrimination against the people who aren't doing it. What a hater you are.

Legion of Logic said...

I forgot school prayer was violence against atheists. My apologies.

bmiller said...

Although I have no idea what brought up the luny rant about vaccines (I don't know enough about it to have an opinion).

Here is someone who actually interviewed some of the protesters in California.

One Brow said...

Legion of Logic said...
I've seen Republicans support forcing schools to allow school prayer, but I've never seen a Republican support forcing school prayer. Do you have a source or example?

School prayer is allowed for every student in every public school across this country. When the occasional person tries to stop it, the ACLU and the ACLJ have stepped in to defend the student.

One Brow said...

bmiller said...
For lefties allowing people to do something is considered discrimination against the people who aren't doing it. What a hater you are.

I'm quite aware that Christians approve the singling out and exclusion of non-Christians in their midst using public prayer, regardless of Matthew 6:5-6.

Although I have no idea what brought up the luny rant about vaccines (I don't know enough about it to have an opinion).

Vaccine misinformation is personally meaningful to me, and you seem to have known enough to bring up California without assistance.

Here is someone who actually interviewed some of the protesters in California.

Yes, that's exactly the the type of anti-vaccine stupidity the right-wingers are aligning themselves with, and as a result endangering children therewith. Thank you for the example.

Legion of Logic said...

Reading up on SB276, the vaccine bill in question in the link, it doesn't appear to be what the author of the article is claiming, in particular:

school children who had received medical exemptions from vaccinations would be barred from attending public/private school.

That sentence is "true" but misleading. What the bill does appear to do is create oversight over doctors and school districts that appear to have an abnormally high rate of "medical exemptions" for students to not receive vaccines. Under SB276, such exemptions would be up for review to ensure they are valid, and the students are not barred from attending school until the following year at the very earliest, and only if the exemption turned out to be invalid. And it appears the governor wanted to grandfather in all existing exemptions.

bmiller said...

Sounds like there would be no controversy if California supported homeschooling for the concerned mothers.

One Brow said...

Legion of Logic said...
That sentence is "true" but misleading. What the bill does appear to do is create oversight over doctors and school districts that appear to have an abnormally high rate of "medical exemptions" for students to not receive vaccines. Under SB276, such exemptions would be up for review to ensure they are valid, and the students are not barred from attending school until the following year at the very earliest, and only if the exemption turned out to be invalid. And it appears the governor wanted to grandfather in all existing exemptions.

Not to mention that if the exemption is genuinely valid (such as the child having an auto-immune disease), they get get an exemption from a different physician, while the children without medically valid exemptions can just get the immunizations.

One Brow said...

bmiller said...
Sounds like there would be no controversy if California supported homeschooling for the concerned mothers.

It does.

https://www.time4learning.com/homeschooling/california/

How to Homeschool in California: Getting Started
According to homeschooling authorities, homeschoolers in California have five basic options for teaching their children at home:

How to Homeschool in California: Getting Started
According to homeschooling authorities, homeschoolers in California have five basic options for teaching their children at home:
1. File an affidavit to function as a private school.
2. Enroll in a private school satellite homeschool program.
3. Hire a certified private tutor (or become a credentialed tutor yourself).
4. Use a public school independent study option.
5. Enroll in a public charter school for homeschoolers.
Your very first step as a new homeschool family is to thoroughly research each of those options, decide which one is right for you, and then follow the homeschool laws pertaining to your choice.

bmiller said...

Taxpayers support the government. The government supports the public schools.

The government does not support private schools or home schooling.

Starhopper said...

"The government does not support private schools or home schooling."

Nor should it.

bmiller said...

Why?

Legion of Logic said...

One might argue if the government is paying for a thing, it has the right and even the responsibility to set the standards for that thing. And public education standards are one of the primary things homeschoolers are trying to avoid.

It only gets murky when the government offers money for some alternative forms of education but not others.

Starhopper said...

"Why?"

America has a tremendous investment in the public school system, and it is vitally important to our society that that system not only succeed, but excel. There should not be competing claims for governmental support. Any taxpayer dollar that goes to some alternative to public education means one less dollar toward the one system that belongs to all of us. It would be the equivalent of financing private armies at the expense of funding the US military.

There has been a woeful trend in recent decades toward doing that very thing in our prison system (for profit prisons), and the results have been horrific.

bmiller said...

Yes, I can see that perspective.

But I'm wondering what Starhopper's reasons are.

bmiller said...

Ahh. I was a bit too late.

bmiller said...

But it was a good question to show the basic instincts of people from the left and right.

bmiller said...

America has a tremendous investment in the public school system, and it is vitally important to our society that that system not only succeed, but excel. There should not be competing claims for governmental support. Any taxpayer dollar that goes to some alternative to public education means one less dollar toward the one system that belongs to all of us. It would be the equivalent of financing private armies at the expense of funding the US military.

But what if it turns out that home schooling is superior to the present public school system? The government could just re-structure the public school system to make home schooling "the one system that belongs to all of us".

Starhopper said...

As long as government funded (and regulated) home schooling were the only option available, then I would be in favor of it. But it must be a system that belongs to the whole people.

But as a practical matter, the idea of every American family voluntarily transitioning to home schooling is about as likely as every gun owner voluntarily surrendering his gun.

bmiller said...

Of course it would belong to the whole people. They would be intimately involved.

But as a practical matter, the idea of every American family voluntarily transitioning to home schooling is about as likely as every gun owner voluntarily surrendering his gun.

Why should we care that some wouldn't want to voluntarily transition to that clearly superior system? You don't care that some don't want to voluntarily surrendering their guns, yet you want to force them to by hook or crook even though there's that amendment thing. There's no such obstacle for changing public education.

bmiller said...

And BTW, what would the dissenters do about anyway?

Start large secret centralized, regimented indoctrination centers hidden from the government?

Starhopper said...

You're fantasizing, bmiller. The people opting out of home schooling would not be the "dissenters". They wouldn't be "some". They would be the overwhelming majority of the American people - at least 90 percent of them, and probably more than that.

bmiller said...

Most people will do what the government tells them to do. Socialism has shown us this. Except that this is actually beneficial.

So first of all, if the $12K per student government spends on public education were paid to home schoolers it would provide an incentive for a parent to stay home and home school. So it wouldn't only be the people who spend the $12K to educate other people's children on top of their own sacrifices, there would be a financial incentive to do it also. So not only a benefit to the children's safety (from violence, sexual assault, drugs etc), individual instruction (smaller class size), transportation expenses, etc. but a financial incentive.

Here's something for you to try.
Why don't you ask the women you know if they would rather stay at home and educate and care for their children rather than drop their children off to the care of strangers so they can pay the bills?

Starhopper said...

"Why don't you ask the women you know"

Ha! The women I know are nearly all in their 60s (or even older).

I actually know of no one - not a soul - who home schools their children. I know one (count 'em, one) woman who several decades ago homeschooled her 3 sons. Other than that, no one. This leads me to believe that either:

1. I lead a sheltered life, or
2. Homeschoolers are an insignificant minority in our society.

No one on my street home schools. There are about 10 children roughly the age of my 2 grandchildren who gather at the end of the cul-de-sac each afternoon to ride their bicycles and scooters together. They all go the the same local public elementary school, except one girl who attends a nearby Catholic elementary school. No homeschoolers, though. I know this, because I see them get on and off the bus each day.

bmiller said...

"Why don't you ask the women you know"

I actually know of no one - not a soul - who home schools their children. I know one (count 'em, one) woman who several decades ago homeschooled her 3 sons. Other than that, no one. This leads me to believe that either:

1. I lead a sheltered life, or
2. Homeschoolers are an insignificant minority in our society.

Well, here's my take.
No one your age questioned that there was anything wrong with the public school system (other than the Catholic Church for instance...did you attend Catholic school?). And perhaps there weren't the present problems at the time and place when you attended elementary and high school. Things have changed now. So yes, you live a sheltered life but also homeschoolers are minority. Not mutually exclusive.

It's been my experience that there is a sizable portion of women in the workplace that, given the choice that (once they actually have children), they would rather stay at home and nurture them. Guys, not so much.

One Brow said...

bmiller said...
Taxpayers support the government. The government supports the public schools.

The government does not support private schools or home schooling.


Options 4 and 5 explicitly support home schooling via the public school system.

One Brow said...

bmiller said...
But what if it turns out that home schooling is superior to the present public school system? The government could just re-structure the public school system to make home schooling "the one system that belongs to all of us".

For some children, home schooling is a great option. Growing up, some of my friends had parents who were emotionally troubled, uneducated, or uninterested in their child's mental learning. Such children would be poorly served by home schooling.

One Brow said...

bmiller said...
Why don't you ask the women you know if they would rather stay at home and educate and care for their children rather than drop their children off to the care of strangers so they can pay the bills?

My mother, my sister, and my wife all wanted to have their own careers, earn money, and gain recognition beyond being homemakers. It was one thing to care for kids all day when they were 2, another when they are 8 or 13.

One Brow said...

bmiller said...
No one your age questioned that there was anything wrong with the public school system ...

I'm in my fifties, and people were complaining about public schools when I was a kid.

So not only a benefit to the children's safety (from violence, sexual assault, drugs etc), individual instruction (smaller class size), transportation expenses, etc. but a financial incentive.

There are losses as well. Very few parents are trained in child development, they tend to repeat the behaviors, including the mistakes, of their parents. You meet not only more people, but also more kinds of people in public schools.

I'm not opposed to home schooling, but it is silly to pretend it is the better option for every child. For many children, public schools are better.

Starhopper said...

I just remembered another acquaintance of mine who homeschooled her son through elementary school and junior high. That was maybe 15 years ago.

Without having any data or personal experience to back me up, allow me to second what one brow wrote. (I am admittedly going with my gut here.) "Going to school" (outside the home) exposes the child to a broad swath of people, to a variety of upbringings, economic statuses (?stati?), and interests. It gives kids a chance to socialize, both with people they like and people they don't. They gain skills in dealing with unpleasant human interactions. They learn independence, and they learn how to compete (and occasionally fail).

And one brow brought up something I never thought of. Being exposed only to what your parent tells you about a subject could lead to ignorance being passed on generationally as well as knowledge. If the parent is a fervent climate change denier, do you honestly think the "student" is going to get an unbiased study of the subject? What if they're a Moon Landing hoaxer? Or a White Nationalist?

bmiller said...

Starhopper,

Homeschoolers have associations and they do interact with other homeschoolers, so no, they are not socially isolated. If you've done any reading you'll find homeschooled children are better prepared for college than public school children and are actually more tolerant. People homeschool because of the failure of public schools.

Elites (yes even Democrat elites) send their children to private schools, not public schools. Why do you think that is? Catholic schools started up in America due to the bias of public schools against Catholicism. They are normally considered so superior to public schools that parents of all faiths send their children there rather than public schools.

Being exposed only to what your parent tells you about a subject could lead to ignorance being passed on generationally as well as knowledge. If the parent is a fervent climate change denier, do you honestly think the "student" is going to get an unbiased study of the subject?

Being exposed to the immoral teachings of public school does far worse damage by undermining parental authority and responsibility. Certainly parents will talk to their children about controversial subjects, but I doubt it's possible for anyone in America not to have heard about climate change. It is far more likely that people could go through their entire lives without knowing the present state of knowledge wrt climate change.

Starhopper said...

"Why don't you ask the women you know if they would rather stay at home and educate and care for their children rather than drop their children off to the care of strangers so they can pay the bills?"

Well, I conducted an extremely unscientific survey of the women at the school bus stop this morning. I read them your question, and got the following responses. (Total sample size - 4 women and one man (not myself)) Multiple answers explain totals greater than five. My own opinions are not included in totals:

Wording of question was insulting - 4 respondents
Zero interest in homeschooling - 3
Would consider homeschooling only for kindergarten - 1
Homeschooling is bad for a child - 2
Respondent felt unqualified to homeschool - 3
The state should support homeschoolers - 1
The state should ban homeschooling - 1

Since the 5 persons questioned have already "voted with their feet" by sending their children to public schools (and thus their presence at the bus stop), the sample is skewed against homeschooling.

bmiller said...

Which answers where from the man?

Starhopper said...

"Which answers where from the man?"

He opined that homeschooling was bad for the child, and ought to be banned.

The "man", like myself, is a grandparent, not a parent.

Our morning crowd was 2 persons short today for some reason. Usually there are 5 parents and 3 grandparents accompanying the kids to the bus stop each morning. (I think - one "parent" might actually be an aunt.)

bmiller said...

I was guessing it was the man wanting it banned.

Next time be a little more artful in the question asking. Meaning don't quote me precisely ;-)

The gist of the question is
'would they rather be able to afford to stay at home with their children and attend to their education or have to prepare the children for school, drop them off go to work and pick them up after work?' This is assuming they realize that the children will receive a superior education with the first option.

Starhopper said...

Ha! Shows why I don't believe 90% of polls dealing with "issues". Too much depends on how the question is worded.

As to how I conducted my own extremely unscientific poll.. well, I simply followed your instructions! "Why don't you ask... ?" So are you saying that your original wording of the question was, shall we say, tendentious?

bmiller said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bmiller said...

I'd say my original wording could have been considered "provocative". :-)

Who was the only one that didn't think it was? The guy again?

Starhopper said...

Not sure whether he found the question offensive or not, since he offed no opinion on the subject. Keep in mind, I did not ask anyone what they thought of the wording. I just asked the question. The negative opinions were spontaneously offered. Also, there was no "secret ballot". This was all of us standing roughly in a circle with each hearing what everyone else had to say. One (female) respondent said something like "What a horrible question! It assumes people who send their kids to school are doing it for selfish reasons and don't care for their children," and there were head nods of agreement from all the other women, and a couple of emphatic expressions of agreement.

By the way, for what it's worth, my election precinct went narrowly (by 5 votes out of 1233 cast) for Trump in 2016, so the people here are not a bunch of "lefties".

bmiller said...

"What a horrible question! It assumes people who send their kids to school are doing it for selfish reasons and don't care for their children,"

Right. I can see where the original wording could be taken the wrong way, being rather blunt. But as I reread it, it doesn't seem that offensive to me as it stands. Do you think it is offensive?

I'm sure you added some context before asking the question. Maybe that contributed.

Starhopper said...

Nope, no context. In fact, it didn't seem particularly offensive to me before I heard the reactions. But now that I re-read it, I agree. The wording is predicated on there being a dichotomy between sending your kids to school and caring for them. You can do one or the other, but not both.

And the "so they can pay their bills" implies a motivation that likely isn't there. I just asked my own daughter, and she said that even if she were a "stay at home mom" she'd still send her children to school, because of the socialization aspect.

Starhopper said...

To the best of my recollection, here is the exact context in which I asked your question.

"A friend of mine and I have been having a discussion about home schooling over the internet. He suggested that I should ask any women that I knew the following question. Since you people here are the only mothers of school aged kids that I know, here goes: And then I read your question word for word from a printout."

I tried to conceal my own feelings on the subject, despite my awareness that this was a totally bogus survey due to the ludicrously small sample size and the non-representative nature of the participants. (We're standing at a school bus stop, for Pete's sake.)

bmiller said...

That context seems as neutral as you can get.

I think that most people think about homeschooling as isolating your children and you teaching them for 7 straight hours like a regular school. The guy I work with tells me it's not like that. The actual instruction time is way more condensed so more is done in less time and you, the teacher, are there to help with assignments in real-time. And your children aren't isolated other than during the instruction time.

There are co-ops you can join where multiple families of homeschoolers share teaching, cleaning, maintenance etc., so it ends up being sort of a mini private school. Even those that don't join co-ops meet with other families for recreation events.

I think a lot of women start out seeking a career, but their priorities change when they get married and start having children. For example, an up and coming woman manager where I work dropped off to part-time work when her oldest child started to get in trouble at school. Her husband was also a manager so she could afford it, but it was her that dropped to part-time and not him.

Starhopper said...

Oh, I agree with you on your last paragraph! When our 1st daughter was born, my wife took advantage of a fantastic arrangement her employer (the federal govt) offered of a "split billet", where two people (always young mothers) would share one job, each working every other day. I.e., in the first week one would work Mon Wed Fri, and in the second week on Tue Thu. The other person would do the opposite. That way, she never had to work two days in a row. I wish every employer would offer such an arrangement. (For our 2nd daughter, we were able to afford full time in house day care.)

Now that I am a grandparent, I am in charge of before and after school care. I get them off to the bus in the morning, and am here when they get home in the afternoon. Heaven!

bmiller said...

Woodstock?

What exactly goes on after school? 🤔

bmiller said...

SNL before Trump was president and became a hated Russian agent.

Starhopper said...

"Woodstock"

I've long been fascinated by the idea of prophetic utterances made by people who had no idea of what they were actually saying. I can think of two examples off the top of my head in the New Testament itself. The first is, of course, Caiaphas proclaiming that "it is expedient that one man should die for the people." The second is the passersby who mock Jesus on the Cross, "He saved others, himself he cannot save." A better one-line summary of Christianity would be difficult to find.

And when Wavy Gravy proclaimed to the 400,000 plus at Woodstock "We must be in Heaven!" he was speaking no less than the Gospel Truth. Look at the context in which he said these words. The immediate sentence before was "We're all feeding each other!" The very essence of the Kingdom of God. I doubt that Wavy Gravy was aware of the deep significance of his words that morning, but neither was Caiaphas, or the passersby at Golgotha.

The Holy Spirit is speaking to us all the time, every moment of every day. Sometimes it's through the Scriptures or the Liturgy, but just as often it is from totally unexpected sources. It would be our loss to overlook, or even reject, them.

One Brow said...

bmiller said...
Homeschoolers have associations and they do interact with other homeschoolers, so no, they are not socially isolated.

Neither Starhopper nor I said they were socially isolated.

If you've done any reading you'll find homeschooled children are better prepared for college than public school children and are actually more tolerant.

I would expect the college-bound home schoolees to be better prepared with that level of parental involvement, but if you look of the children of the parents who are involved in the public schools (PTA members, classroom volunteers, school board members, etc.), I think you will find about equal levels of readiness. I would love to hear how you measured "more tolerant".

People homeschool because of the failure of public schools.

Except public schools are a great success in the US, overall.

One Brow said...

bmiller said...
I think a lot of women start out seeking a career, but their priorities change when they get married and start having children. For example, an up and coming woman manager where I work dropped off to part-time work when her oldest child started to get in trouble at school. Her husband was also a manager so she could afford it, but it was her that dropped to part-time and not him.

On the other hand, when my brother and his wife needed some one to take some time off, it was always my brother.

bmiller said...

Wavy Gravy. What a clown!

Starhopper said...

You got that right!

bmiller said...

Thought you'd like that. :-)

bmiller said...

I guess when leftist elites do it it's called "Brown-face"

bmiller said...

What ever happened to Jubilee?
This article argues that Jesus, The Redeemer, was really talking about redemption from debt.

One Brow said...

bmiller said...
I guess when leftist elites do it it's called "Brown-face"

That's more about who you disrespect (Arab/Indian/Hispanic is "brownface", East Asian is "yellowface", etc.).

Starhopper said...

I'm in the middle of a book that I simply cannot put down: Planets in Peril by David C. Downing, a critical study of C.S. Lewis' Space Trilogy. Downing's thesis is that the novels are actually autobiographical, and (almost painstakingly) relates practically everything in the trilogy to various incidents and influences in the author's life.

I'm not sure that I totally buy into the thesis, but it really doesn't matter. I am learning a great deal about Lewis, and looking at the books in an entirely new manner.

(Did I mention that the 3 books of Lewis' Space Trilogy (Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, and That Hideous Strength) are amongst my very favorite books ever?)

bmiller said...

What's new with C.S.?

Starhopper said...

I just finished the above mentioned book (within the last hour). The author spends most of his time examining what he considers key events and "themes" of Lewis's life, and then showing how they formed the foundation upon which Lewis built the structure of his Space Trilogy.

Now of all of Lewis's books, the 3 volumes of the Space Trilogy (also called the Deep Heaven or even the Ransom Trilogy) have long been my favorite. I included them in my list of the 20 most influential Science Fiction works of all time. I have no idea how many (perhaps a dozen) times I have read them over the years. And reading this literary criticism of them tempts me to read them yet again! (But not right away. It will have to take its place in line.)

bmiller said...

What new autobiographical info did you learn about C.S. that you didn't already know?

Starhopper said...

That's hard to say. I haven't read Surprised by Joy for many, many years now, and have forgotten much of it. Some of what might have seemed to be new information to me could really have been stuff I knew a long time ago, but hadn't thought about since the 1970s. However, the rather detailed look at Lewis's attitudes towards science and space travel, to include many quotations, was nearly all new to me. Also, I did not know the details of Lewis's long feud with J.B.S. Haldane.

bmiller said...

What was he fighting Haldane about.
I've read some of Lewis' autobiographical writings, but never heard of this feud.

Starhopper said...

Haldane started it by writing a review skewering Out of the Silent Planet for supposedly misrepresenting science (and scientists). Lewis responded with an essay on scientism. Haldane then insisted that there was no such thing as scientism, and it went on from there - a battle of essays. Science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke got into the fight as well. Lewis and Clarke met in person (at a pub, I believe) to discuss the merits of space travel. Clarke later referred to the occasion as the most exhilarating debate of his life. Lewis said (with a smile, I am certain), "Mr. Clarke is surely a very evil person, but how dull the world would be were we all good!" That sounds like a terrible thing to say, but it was undoubtedly meant humorously as a compliment to Clarke's debating skills.

bmiller said...

Lewis was right.

Lot's of SciFi writers were/are actually evil.

bmiller said...

I see now that the quote was recalled by Clarke and in a different context.

Dear CSL

wherever you are….

I’ve just recalled a memory of our last (only?) meeting. It was with other Interplanetarians, and you commented on our hopes of space exploration–“I’m sure you’re very wicked people–but wouldn’t the world be dull if everyone was good?”

You had a friend with you whose name I discovered later was Tolkein or Tolkien. Wonder what happened to him?

Best Wishes
Arthur Clarke

17 July 03

Starhopper said...

Thanks very much to alerting me to the existence of the book From Narnia to A Space Odyssey. I just ordered it from Amazon, and looking forward to reading it.

bmiller said...

YW.

While I was searching for what exactly Lewis had to say to Haldane, I found this site which aggregates Lewis quotes regarding statism.

Quite a lot to agree with and very timely now that we all know Big Tech is almost Big Brother now.

Starhopper said...

Well, I'll have to concede at least one point here. The demonstrable evils of the Trump administration have demonstrated how advantageous it would be to have a decidedly less powerful central government in the USA. We've been lucky here in America, because bottom up power structures have always played a major, if not decisive, role in this nation's major political controversies. From abolition to the labor movements to purely local issues, the citizenry have always been at the forefront.

But perhaps this is now (and forever) impossible in our hypertechnical civilization. How can "mom and pop" compete with Walmart and Amazon? How can "Mr. Smith going to Washington" compete with the Koch brothers or Fox News? Our only defense against a dictatorial presidency appears to be a presidency which is no big deal to begin with.

I blame the Cold War for the situation we find ourselves in today. An all powerful appeared to be necessary in an age when life or death (for the entire nation) need to be made in seconds, before the H-bombs arrived.

But those days are over. Indeed, one wonders whether they ever really existed, other than in our fevered imaginations. Time to go back to the age of Calvin Coolidge, where the president could spend his summer vacation in Plymouth Notch, Vermont, which had but a single telephone line in the entire town (and that one was installed by the Secret Service - before Coolidge's presidency, there was no telephone connectivity to his home town whatsoever).

Starhopper said...

I left out the word "executive" in my sentence "An all powerful [executive] appeared to be necessary..."

Apologies.

bmiller said...

But those days are over. Indeed, one wonders whether they ever really existed, other than in our fevered imaginations.

Lincoln and FDR were president before the Cold War so extreme executive power has been around a long time.

Laws favoring local small businesses can still be passed but it may cost us the cheap toys from China.

It's so interesting to see NPR relentlessly repeating that tariffs ultimately cost the US consumer but ignore the fact that China has always had tariffs on US products. So why aren't they reporting on how miserable the average Chinese citizen has always been due to their government's restrictive tariffs. It's almost like they work for the CCP.

Legion of Logic said...

how advantageous it would be to have a decidedly less powerful central government in the USA

Welcome to where conservatives have been for decades!

Note I say conservatives and not Republicans...

Starhopper said...

"Welcome to ... "

Unlike almost everyone I see on the far right, I am still capable of learning and changing my mind. Now if only the members of the Trump cult...

bmiller said...

Far right in Baltimore means Joe Biden ;-)

Starhopper said...

Almost, but no cigar. Far right in Baltimore means Larry Hogan.

Now in the 2016 election, the Republicans gave me (in the primary season) several candidates that I could see myself supporting. But this year, they're not even holding any primaries. You have one choice with them - the wannabe Mussolini who currently squats in our White House. So, just as in Maryland politics, I am forced to choose amongst Democrats whether I like them or not. They are all, at least, sane. (I have not endorsed anyone yet.)

The last presidential election between 2 rational candidates was 1996 (Clinton v. Dole). Since then, the Republican Party has not presented us with an alternative worth considering. I would love to have a choice, but as long as the Republicans remain the party of Trump, that ain't gonna happen.

Legion of Logic said...

They are all, at least, sane

I worry about your own sanity if you actually think any one of those nutjobs is sane, let alone all. Far as I've seen, they are all lunatics, and I'm being utterly serious. As in they need professional help to regain a grasp of reality.

bmiller said...

Also, how can one agree that a weaker central government is good and then think voting for the socialist democrats will get us there?

Starhopper said...

"The demonstrable evils of the Trump administration have demonstrated how advantageous it would be to have a decidedly less powerful central government in the USA." (quoting myself)

I misspoke there. I should have written "a less powerful chief executive". I have no quarrel with a powerful central government. But the human beings who make it up need to be tightly constrained. It's why we have (or used to have) effective checks and balances.

Contemporary technological civilization requires that a government accountable to the people be more powerful than corporations which are not. For an example of a government not accountable to its people which is more powerful than its industry, look to China. Not good. The last 2 years have brought the United States perilously close to the Chinese model. Way not good.

Right now, it seems to me that, as long as Trump remains in power, the government most worthy of emulation by the rest of the world is Angela Merkel's Germany.

bmiller said...

You should read all of the article about C.S. Lewis' attitude regarding statism. Including the link to “Screwtape Proposes a Toast”.

The problem is not just that a single person wields power, the problem is that with a powerful central government of any kind the individual loses their freedom to that state.

Starhopper said...

I disagree with much of what Lewis writes, especially when it comes to politics. But you're missing my point. The absence of a powerful central government means the populace is at the mercy of an even more powerful consumerist-industrial complex (my apologies to Eisenhower), which is not at all answerable to the citizenry. (We do not vote them in, we cannot vote them out.)

Now if we could somehow magically return to the 17th Century, then I might agree with you. But since we're stuck in the 21st, our best bet is to have a representative democracy invested with power equal to that of the corporations. We need to maintain a "balance of power".

Starhopper said...

Lewis mercifully never lived to see the suffocating power that so-called "private enterprise" has today over a disenfranchised citizenry. We (rightfully) worry about ensuring that every person can vote in our elections, when all the while the back door to our liberty has been left wide open, allowing the corporate bosses to stream through and enslave us to their unelected rule.

For a frighteningly prophetic take on current events, I suggest reading The Space Merchants by Poul Anderson and Cyril Kornbluth. You might come away from it realizing that the faux controversy between "right" and "left" is exactly that - faux.

bmiller said...

Lewis mercifully never lived to see the suffocating power that so-called "private enterprise" has today over a disenfranchised citizenry.

Lewis was born during the time when large conglomerates were forming and anti-trust laws were being passed, so he certainly was aware of the dangers of monopolies.

And that is pretty much the point. Monopolies are bad whether it is by the government or corporations. Monopolies take away choices and so they take away freedom to choose and so enslave people.

A timely reason one should read what Lewis wrote was his point regarding statist tendencies to be worse than mere robbers.

a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be “cured” against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.[5]

Starhopper said...

Monopolies have nothing to do with what I am talking about. It is consumerist capitalism itself, regardless of how the pie is split up, that threatens our liberties, far more than any conceivable state power. It is not state power that is trashing our environment and despoiling our planet, but corporate greed. (State power, through "regulation", is the only thing that restrains it.)

bmiller said...
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bmiller said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bmiller said...

One more time :-(

It is consumerist capitalism itself, regardless of how the pie is split up, that threatens our liberties, far more than any conceivable state power.

I'm sure you'd agree that the Soviet Union's state power was not only conceivable but actual and restricted liberties far more than any "capitalist" countries. The result was not only a loss of individual liberty, but ecological destruction also.

The fact is that there are no capitalist countries that don't also regulate businesses. To pretend that we need an omnipotent central government to do that is incredible. People who favor this are indeed advocating "a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims".

One Brow said...

Lewis was born during the time when large conglomerates were forming and anti-trust laws were being passed, so he certainly was aware of the dangers of monopolies.

And that is pretty much the point. Monopolies are bad whether it is by the government or corporations. Monopolies take away choices and so they take away freedom to choose and so enslave people.

A timely reason one should read what Lewis wrote was his point regarding statist tendencies to be worse than mere robbers.

a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated;


I never realized Lewis was that naive. Should the robber baron's greed be sated, another robber baron steps up in their place and tries to show how they can get even more money by being more cruel.

The robber baron stage was something our civilization went through on the way to developing a social safety net. What's the advantage of going backward? To allow people to indebt themselves to the company store again, sans bankruptcy protections?

One Brow said...

bmiller said...
The fact is that there are no capitalist countries that don't also regulate businesses. To pretend that we need an omnipotent central government to do that is incredible. People who favor this are indeed advocating "a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims".

A weak government surrounded by powerful corporations becomes a government in service to those corporations. Look no further than Russia for that. Our problem with regulatory capture is already too large.

One Brow said...

Starhopper said...
I disagree with much of what Lewis writes, especially when it comes to politics. But you're missing my point. The absence of a powerful central government means the populace is at the mercy of an even more powerful consumerist-industrial complex (my apologies to Eisenhower), which is not at all answerable to the citizenry. (We do not vote them in, we cannot vote them out.)

Technically, we can vote with our dollars and our patronage. Google without customers has no power at all.

bmiller said...

Biden is done.

Starhopper said...

"Biden is done."

I (tentatively) agree. So are Trump and Sanders. Our next president will be Elizabeth Warren.

(And if Pence goes down with Trump, we may even have a few months of President Pelosi.)

Legion of Logic said...

Yay, our next president will be a complete nutjob!

Starhopper said...

"Yay, our next president will be a complete nutjob!"

Yay, our current president is a complete nutjob!

There, fixed it for you.

bmiller said...

Hillary will bring Warren down. Right before she enters the race.

Starhopper said...

To (almost) quote one bmiller: "Hillary is done."

She is so yesterday, has no "base", and wouldn't raise a dime in campaign funds.

bmiller said...

She'll make sure she's the last one standing.

Starhopper said...

Sorta like Trump, who'll take everyone down with him if he's forced out.

bmiller said...

Trump will go out willingly in January 2025.

Starhopper said...

You forgot the "B.C."

Starhopper said...

Sory, no more repartee until tomorrow. Off to a Veterans for Peace demonstration in Baltimore.

bmiller said...

Celebrating bringing the troops home from Syria I assume ;-)

Starhopper said...

I would not be honest if I didn't admit that I don't know what to think about that. But what I do know is that our president is not doing it in the national interest. He owns two skyscrapers in Istanbul, and needs to be on the "good" side of Erdogan to protect his personal interests. He is not the least bit concerned about peace in the Middle
east.

bmiller said...

Ha ha! Got to hand it to you.
He delivers what you want, but you still see it as evil.
TDS must be incurable.

Starhopper said...

"TDS must be incurable."

I'm beginning to believe that it is. How else explain how so many people, after seeing his criminality exposed for everyone to see, still somehow manage to support him? The only explanation is that they all suffer from TDS. (Translation, in case you didn't get it: His supporters are all deranged.)

bmiller said...

What crime did Congress accuse him of? DOJ didn't find any crime after 3 years of investigation.

Starhopper said...

"DOJ didn't find any crime"

Sure they did, oh drinker of the Kool Aid. The crime of obstruction of justice (which more than 1000 prosecutors signed a letter saying they would have charged him with that crime after the Mueller report. The crime of collusion with the Russians to pervert the 2016 election (of which Mueller himself said under oath that he did not exonerate the president of). And now of course, we have the crime of strong arming the Ukrainian government to mount a bogus investigation of the Biden family or else they would not receive desperately needed assistance against the Russians (which, by the way, had already been authorized by Congress).

And if that is not enough for you there are the literally uncountable instances of Trump enriching himself by means of his office, in direct contravention of the Constitution. The putridity of Trump's corruption stinks to High Heaven. How his supporters can continue to tolerate the stink is beyond me.

bmiller said...

DOJ said no crime. Mueller did not disagree. End of story.

Ukraine was already investigating Biden/Burisma well before the Trump call. Ukraine president merely acknowledged the fact.

Trump's "fortune" has remained nearly the same as when he entered office. Much different than Obama and Biden.

bmiller said...

It's not like no one knew about Biden corruption

Starhopper said...

"DOJ said no crime. Mueller did not disagree. End of story."

What part of no exoneration do you not understand?

One Brow said...

bmiller said...
DOJ said no crime. Mueller did not disagree. End of story.

Not the actual story. Mueller refused to charge someone in a venue where they could offer no official defense, but said to Congress that, were he not President, Trump could be charged based on his report.

One Brow said...

bmiller said...
It's not like no one knew about Biden corruption

Of course you bought into the Solomon lies, as re-spread by Malkin.

bmiller said...

What part of no exoneration do you not understand?

It doesn't matter that Mueller chose not to make a determination if or if not a crime was committed. His 2 bosses at the DOJ thought he should have and so they made that determination.

The Mueller report did not turn out the way the MSM promised you it would. Maybe it's time to stop believing everything they say.

Starhopper said...

In contemporary America, there is no more certain and reliable means of getting fair and accurate information about what is going on in the world than the MSM (excluding FOX, in case you regard them as part of the MSM).

Kindly name me a source that does a better job.

By the way, the Mueller Report was far more damning of the president than I myself had expected. So whatever I was "promised", after reading it (it's still on my bookshelf), I could no longer look at our president as anything but a criminal. I am still amazed that the entire congress, both Democrats and Republicans, did not conclude from what was in the report that Trump deserved to be immediately impeached, convicted, and removed from office - solely on the conclusions of the Mueller Report.

"The Mueller report did not turn out the way [...]"

For the record, did you even read the Report? I did - every word, to include the footnotes.

bmiller said...

If all you listen to is the MSM then you can't be aware of the bias.

I listen to all sides and especially independent journalists. That way I get to hear the stories that each side is trying to keep from the other as well as being able to recognize the spin put on the story.

I feel sorry for Dems following the MSM. They are programmed to be perpetually outraged even when good things are happening for them. It must be exhausting.

bmiller said...

Anti-MAGA hats are now available. Get your's now!

Starhopper said...

I dunno. Have you looked underneath a MAGA hat lately? I'm quite sure there's enough tinfoil under there to cover a Thanksgiving turkey in the oven!

Starhopper said...

"I feel sorry for Dems following the MSM. They are programmed to be [...]"

And thus speaks the mind of a conspiracy theorist. You cannot reason with such. Even ironclad evidence against their Weltanschauung is magically turned into further reason to believe in it. It's a vicious circle (or the eddy of water going down the drain).

bmiller said...

You're right. People who can't bear to hear both sides of a story are indeed conspiracy theorists.

Legion of Logic said...

It is an objective fact that CNN,NBC, NYT, WaPo, etc are heavily slanted to the left. Anyone with even a semblance of awareness can see that. Anyone who has been paying any attention at all can see that. Anyone who isn't a drinker of progressive kool-aid can see that.

The best bet is definitely to read from a variety of perspectives. Otherwise you're just in an echo chamber being fed confirmation to your bias.

Starhopper said...

Has it occurred to any of the right wingers here that a "leftward" slant may actually be a slant toward objectivity? That reality itself aligns with the worldview of the MSM? Is such a thing so hard to, if not believe, then at least recognize as a possibility?

Accusing a network (or, indeed, a network of networks) of being biased does not make them so - not if the "bias" is toward truthful reporting and a respect for the facts.

Funny how every time the MSM is guilty of broadcasting an untruth (as they occasionally are), they fall all over themselves apologizing for the error, often overcompensating by banishing into the wilderness good and honest reporters who have merely made a mistake (e.g., Dan Rather). If they were so dishonest, why would they act in this way?

bmiller said...

It used to be a journalistic standard to attempt to publish the facts of a news story, not shape opinion. That standard has long since been abandoned.

The only objective aspect of a news story are the facts. So no, when reporters only report the facts that support their particular narrative, fail to report facts that detract from that narrative or emphasize/de-emphasize certain aspects of a story to favor their narrative, they are demonstrating bias and "bias" is by definition not "a slant toward objectivity".

If the MSM routinely fired reporters for broadcasting untruth, it would be a race with sexual harassment claimants to get rid of them all.

Legion of Logic said...

Has it occurred to any of the right wingers here that a "leftward" slant may actually be a slant toward objectivity? That reality itself aligns with the worldview of the MSM? Is such a thing so hard to, if not believe, then at least recognize as a possibility?

Would you consider the possibility if I replace "MSM" with what is called conservative media?

And it isn't a simple matter of reporting things that are false. There are many ways to slant the reporting without saying a single false statement. For example, let's say a Democratic House of Representatives asked for a Trump official to testify and, from a few years ago, a Republican House asked for an Obama official to testify. So the situation is the same. But you can slant with using different connotations of the same words:

"Obama White House stands fast against hostile Republican demands for State Department testimony" vs "Belligerent Trump White House refuses to cooperate with Democratic request for information from State Department".

Very easy to shade the story without saying anything false. I've seen that trick used more times than I can count.

Or here's another. Compare what is being covered on blatantly leftwing sites and blatantly rightwing sights, and then see what is on the MSM. Guess which one it will align with?

And yes, you can attempt to say that maybe the left is magically right about everything (they aren't), but there is no objective guide that says which stories should be reported on. Stories that align with conservative viewpoints - the harms of abortion, crime by illegal immigrants, guns used defensively to stop criminals or mass shooters, benefits of homeschooling, positive stories of Christians, and on and on and on - are not reported by the MSM to any significant extent. Those are objectively true things that occur on a daily basis, but they don't report on them.

They will, however, report on attacks on abortion "rights", black people who are shot by police or a white person regardless of circumstance, mass shootings, Christians who refuse to participate in gay weddings, etc, because those things support the progressive narrative. That's just how it is. MSM has a leftward slant that caters to issues important to progressives. That doesn't make them bad people, but to deny they are biased is to deny reality.

One Brow said...

bmiller said...
It used to be a journalistic standard to attempt to publish the facts of a news story, not shape opinion. That standard has long since been abandoned.

That's a fairy tale. There was never a just-the-facts, story-free journalism. Anyone who tried to publish on those grounds would be out of business. Humans respond to stories, not litanies of facts.

bmiller said...

There are now 62 of them!

Legion of Logic said...

That's a fairy tale. There was never a just-the-facts, story-free journalism. Anyone who tried to publish on those grounds would be out of business. Humans respond to stories, not litanies of facts.

You're probably right. It's an ideal that has never truly been realized, though it's hard to imagine being any further from objectivity than we are now short of state-run media churning out lovely propaganda.

Best we can do is be skeptical enough to confirm stories from a variety of sources.

Legion of Logic said...

There are now 62 of them!

You will refer to me as the Emperor of the Ozarks or you are a bigot. My preferred pronoun is His Eminent Lordship. Any deviation from what I demand is violence against me.

bmiller said...

As you wish oh EOTO.

Starhopper said...

This comment is a propos absolutely nothing we've been discussing here, but I needed to say this somewhere, and my own blog is not the appropriate place.

I've been saying the Rosary daily for quite some years now (off and on, since the 1970s), mostly in the evenings. But 2 years ago, I moved in with my daughter and her family, and my evening rituals were totally upended. Suffice to say, my prayer life suffered a bit here and there, and hardest hit was my nightly recitation of the Rosary.

Well... about a month or so ago, I girded up my loins and once again set aside a firm time for evening prayer - no excuses allowed. And I am so glad that I did so. I just finished the Joyful Mysteries. I know of no better method of centering one's mind, heart, and soul on what matters most in life than the Rosary. I throw this out as unsolicited advice to any of you out there who might be Catholics. Give it a try, and stick with it for a coupla weeks. You will be amazed how much it helps.. with whatever you need help with.

bmiller said...

A good time is also during a pre-dawn walk. Exercise your body and soul at the same time.

Starhopper said...

Undoubtedly. But that, alas, is when my flesh is really weak.

bmiller said...

All the more reason to get that whipped into shape too!

One Brow said...

bmiller said...
There are now 62 of them!

When we learn conjugation, it was just third-person singular and they were all the same. So, no need to write out all 62 of them. Still, it's so refreshing to see the open mockery of different gender presentations, combined with the misogyny of having the female student be called the person of indeterminate gender. An intolerance triple!

One Brow said...

Starhopper said...
I know of no better method of centering one's mind, heart, and soul on what matters most in life than the Rosary.

Those of us with less religious beliefs find our own mantras.

Starhopper said...

"Those of us with less religious beliefs find our own mantras."

As I hope you would! But note that I wrote "I know of no better method" (thus making it personal) and "to any of you out there who might be Catholics" (thus saying it's not for everyone).

But I'd genuinely like to know. What is your "mantra"?

Legion of Logic said...

it's so refreshing to see the open mockery of different gender presentations

Yes it is. People need to stop all this gender nonsense. What matters is the sex you are. Male, you're a he. Female, you're a she. I couldn't care less what blend of masculine or feminine behaviors you choose to express as a "gender identity", that won't change how I refer to a man or a woman.

Starhopper said...

Legion,

That's actually the way I see it. If you've got a Y Chromosome, you're a man. If you don't, you're a woman. Full stop.

One Brow said...

Starhopper said...
But I'd genuinely like to know. What is your "mantra"?

For me, losing yourself in a puzzle or a board game clears the mind and refreshes the soul.

One Brow said...

Legion of Logic said...
Yes it is. People need to stop all this gender nonsense. What matters is the sex you are. Male, you're a he. Female, you're a she. I couldn't care less what blend of masculine or feminine behaviors you choose to express as a "gender identity", that won't change how I refer to a man or a woman.

What if you are neither male nor female, or if you have features of both?

What does it cost you to refer to someone born with male genitalia as "she"?

One Brow said...

Starhopper said...
That's actually the way I see it. If you've got a Y Chromosome, you're a man. If you don't, you're a woman. Full stop.

So, the XY people born with androgen insensitivity, who had female organs from birth, are men to you?

Starhopper said...

Yes, by definition. What we "feel" has no bearing on objective reality.

Also, language requires definitions to be of any use.

Legion of Logic said...

What does it cost you to refer to someone born with male genitalia as "she"?

What does it cost someone to have to deny objective reality? That is the actual question. By definition, a male is not a woman, thus is not referred to as "she". To refer to a male as "she" is like referring to a dog as a reptile. 'Tain't so, by definition.


One of my coworkers is red-green colorblind. There are a lot of people with varying degrees of colorblindness, far more than intersex people. Yet no one claims that these degrees of colorblindness are in fact normal and natural variations of human color perception. He doesn't go around advocating that society stop using colors he can't differentiate in order to make his life easier, and that anyone who disagrees is a bigoted hater of colorblind people.

People who are genuinely intersex are also not a perfectly normal variation that invalidates the male-female paradigm. Just because something went wrong in their development does not mean that the vast, vast, vast, vast, vast majority of people should not be defined as male or female, particularly since simply being intersex does not mean you aren't predominantly male or female.

And the tiny percentage of intersex people are not even the subject here, but rather those who are obviously male or female but try to say they aren't because of their "gender identity" not conforming to stereotypes. It's that group of people I am criticizing, not people with developmental problems.

Legion of Logic said...

Also, language requires definitions to be of any use.

I've always wondered what a woman is supposed to be if it isn't linked to being female. What precisely is the definition of a woman under such a belief system?

bmiller said...

What does it cost someone to have to deny objective reality?

It costs them their sanity.

It used to be considered merciful to help people with disorders and feeding the delusions of the disordered was discouraged. We've come a long way baby!

One Brow said...

Starhopper said...
Yes, by definition. What we "feel" has no bearing on objective reality.

You mean, some born with a vagina and uterus, who grows breasts and has periods starting with puberty, just "feels" female, but would really be a man since they have a Y chromosome. OK.

What about XXY?

Also, language requires definitions to be of any use.

Language should not be used to obscure truth. Ideally, it would help to uncover it.

One Brow said...

Legion of Logic said...
What does it cost someone to have to deny objective reality?

Male and female gender roles are not objective. They are created within societies and vary from one culture to another.

That is the actual question. By definition, a male is not a woman, thus is not referred to as "she".

Since "male" is biological and "woman" is social, there's no reason a male can not play a womanly role in society.

To refer to a male as "she" is like referring to a dog as a reptile. 'Tain't so, by definition.

Actually, all dogs (and all mammals) are lizards. However, that's a separate discussion.

One of my coworkers is red-green colorblind. There are a lot of people with varying degrees of colorblindness, far more than intersex people. Yet no one claims that these degrees of colorblindness are in fact normal and natural variations of human color perception. He doesn't go around advocating that society stop using colors he can't differentiate in order to make his life easier, and that anyone who disagrees is a bigoted hater of colorblind people.

If color-blindness is not normal, you means you think it is artificial? At any rate, males who are women don't you to stop differentiating men and women. They want you to recognize their womanness, which means men and women must be different things for them, as well.

People who are genuinely intersex are also not a perfectly normal variation that invalidates the male-female paradigm.

You think they are artificial as well?

Just because something went wrong in their development does not mean that the vast, vast, vast, vast, vast majority of people should not be defined as male or female, particularly since simply being intersex does not mean you aren't predominantly male or female.

So, it's just too painful for you to not lump every person into one of two little check boxes, to the degree that you have to call intersex people artificial?

And the tiny percentage of intersex people are not even the subject here, but rather those who are obviously male or female but try to say they aren't because of their "gender identity" not conforming to stereotypes. It's that group of people I am criticizing, not people with developmental problems.

That's an awfully long rant, where you still haven't identified what it costs you to refer to a male as "she", outside of some false appeal to things that are not truly objective.

One Brow said...

Legion of Logic said...
I've always wondered what a woman is supposed to be if it isn't linked to being female. What precisely is the definition of a woman under such a belief system?

You might have missed this, but men and women in the US dress differently, wear their hair differently, have different likelihoods of wearing make-up, have different types of small talk, etc. Do you really check inside others people's pants before you decide if the person you are talking to is a man or a woman?

One Brow said...

bmiller said...
It costs them their sanity.

It used to be considered merciful to help people with disorders and feeding the delusions of the disordered was discouraged. We've come a long way baby!


Are you the prototype of keeping one's sanity?

Legion of Logic said...

Male and female gender roles are not objective. They are created within societies and vary from one culture to another.

Right. Masculinity and femininity are defined by the local culture. That has nothing to do with whether someone is a man or a woman, but rather whether they are doing things considered masculine or feminine.

Since "male" is biological and "woman" is social

False. A woman is a human female. The terms are synonymous. That has nothing to do with gender roles, which is why a stay-at-home dad who likes pink clothes and hates sports is still a man.

If color-blindness is not normal, you means you think it is artificial?

"Artificial" isn't the opposite of "normal", so I'm assuming you meant to contrast it with "natural" as well. So I would not say "artificial", but rather "abnormal", as in "something went wrong". It's a defect, not something that redefines what is considered normal and healthy vision.

males who are women

Conceptual impossibility unless you try to alter word definitions, which I see no reason to do.

You think they are artificial as well?

Your word, not mine.

you have to call intersex people artificial?

Your word, not mine.

That's an awfully long rant, where you still haven't identified what it costs you to refer to a male as "she", outside of some false appeal to things that are not truly objective.

Says the guy who thinks a man can be a woman at the same time. I'm not too worried about your take on objective reality.

You might have missed this, but men and women in the US dress differently, wear their hair differently, have different likelihoods of wearing make-up, have different types of small talk, etc.

So you define women by the stereotypes they have been fighting against for decades?

Starhopper said...

I see no utility in repeating what has already been posted here, so I'll just say that on this issue, I agree with Legion and Bmiller.

And yes, I just checked. The Moon hasn't fallen out of the sky.

bmiller said...

It's not quite full though ;-)

Legion of Logic said...

Can we all agree that if the moon did fall out of the sky, hopefully it would land on Mar-a-Lago?

One Brow said...

Legion of Logic said...
False. A woman is a human female. The terms are synonymous. That has nothing to do with gender roles, which is why a stay-at-home dad who likes pink clothes and hates sports is still a man.

So, it's just the label you're hung up on? In Harris v. EEOC, you think Stephens should have been allowed to dress "in pink clothes" and other women's wear, as long as her employer could use male titles and pronouns?

By the way, were you aware the whole 'pink/blue' thing was the result of a marketing campaign a little over 100 years ago?

"Artificial" isn't the opposite of "normal", so I'm assuming you meant to contrast it with "natural" as well. So I would not say "artificial", but rather "abnormal", as in "something went wrong". It's a defect, not something that redefines what is considered normal and healthy vision.

Color blindness is unusual, but it also allows people to distinguish colors that look the same to us. Since we have some vision abilities that they don't, and they have some we don't, how can you arbitrarily decided which version is the defect?

Conceptual impossibility unless you try to alter word definitions, which I see no reason to do.

What's your word for the role that is traditionally performed by most adult females in a society, if not "woman"?

Your word, not mine.

Of course, it's your concept, choose your own word. I'd ask you to try not to insult people at the same time, but someone so determined to box people into categories can only do so much at once.

Says the guy who thinks a man can be a woman at the same time. I'm not too worried about your take on objective reality.

Your words, not mine. I said a male can be a woman, not that a man can be a woman.

So you define women by the stereotypes they have been fighting against for decades?

You think the stereotypes woman have been fighting against primarily have to do with clothing, dress, make-up, and small talk?

One Brow said...

Starhopper said...
I see no utility in repeating what has already been posted here, so I'll just say that on this issue, I agree with Legion and Bmiller.

Nobody's perfect.

And yes, I just checked. The Moon hasn't fallen out of the sky.

I occasionally agree with them as well. Usually, on those points, there is so much agreement I don't bother to chime in.

Legion of Logic said...

So, it's just the label you're hung up on?

It's not simply a label. It's the expectation that I publicly disavow reality in order to appease someone's feelings.

you think Stephens should have been allowed to dress "in pink clothes" and other women's wear

So long as they are decently covered and aren't wearing clothes with excessively vulgar words on it, I couldn't care less what people wear.

Color blindness is unusual, but it also allows people to distinguish colors that look the same to us. Since we have some vision abilities that they don't, and they have some we don't, how can you arbitrarily decided which version is the defect?

I'll admit I'm impressed by this stretch.

What's your word for the role that is traditionally performed by most adult females in a society, if not "woman"?

What's my word for the role that is traditionally performed by most women in a society? Feminine.

I said a male can be a woman, not that a man can be a woman.

Find me a dictionary that doesn't say a man is a male human. If you do, tell me how many you had to search through before you found it. The terms are synonymous, thus I will continue to use them as such.

You think the stereotypes woman have been fighting against primarily have to do with clothing, dress, make-up, and small talk?

I think it fascinating that these are the things you mentioned when defining a woman. I'm sure women who like guns, motorcycles, and sports, or women who don't wear makeup, or women who are police officers or firefighters, would like a word with you about what a woman is.

Point being, if being a woman has nothing to do with societal roles or stereotypes (a man who raises the kids at home is not a woman), then what is a woman?

One Brow said...

Legion of Logic said...
So long as they are decently covered and aren't wearing clothes with excessively vulgar words on it, I couldn't care less what people wear.

As long as she is wearing women's clothing appropriate to the position in question, you agree that Stephens employer should not be allowed to terminate her for so doing?

I'll admit I'm impressed by this stretch.

Seriously, do yo have a basis for deciding which is normal and which is defective, based on something other than popularity? Keep in mind, if 95% of the population had what we call red-green colorblindness, traffic lights might be showing different shades of khakis that we couldn't distinguish. Would that make us defective?

What's my word for the role that is traditionally performed by most women in a society? Feminine.

Got a noun for that?

Find me a dictionary that doesn't say a man is a male human. If you do, tell me how many you had to search through before you found it. The terms are synonymous, thus I will continue to use them as such.

More and more, the terminology and usage is changing.

I think it fascinating that these are the things you mentioned when defining a woman. I'm sure women who like guns, motorcycles, and sports, or women who don't wear makeup, or women who are police officers or firefighters, would like a word with you about what a woman is.

Perhaps. Among other things, TERFs exist.

Point being, if being a woman has nothing to do with societal roles or stereotypes (a man who raises the kids at home is not a woman), then what is a woman?

A gender, that is, "either of the two sexes (male and female), especially when considered with reference to social and cultural differences rather than biological ones. The term is also used more broadly to denote a range of identities that do not correspond to established ideas of male and female." Some cultures even have more than two genders.

Legion of Logic said...

As long as she is wearing women's clothing appropriate to the position in question, you agree that Stephens employer should not be allowed to terminate her for so doing?

I don't care what he was wearing personally, nor do I personally think an employer should be able to set a dress code beyond a company uniform or, in the case of a professional business, requiring "business attire". I'll let the courts handle conflicting rights. So no, personally I would not support the employer in firing him for the type of business attire he chose.

Keep in mind, if 95% of the population had what we call red-green colorblindness, traffic lights might be showing different shades of khakis that we couldn't distinguish. Would that make us defective?

No more than the inability to fly or echolocate makes us defective. But a bat who couldn't do those things? Yeah it has some issues.

The ability to distinguish red and green is to be expected in humans, though, and the only reason someone would be unable to distinguish those colors would be due to faulty cones in their eyes or a faulty neural pathway or something along those lines. Something...faulty.

Why do you have such opposition to admitting some people have problems because something went wrong genetically? That doesn't make them less human, it doesn't rob them of any dignity. It simply recognizes the obvious.

Got a noun for that?

Why do I need one?

More and more, the terminology and usage is changing.

I also will never use "shipping" to refer to the desire for two people to be a couple. Just because some people start using words in a ridiculous manner doesn't mean I'm going to join them.

Perhaps. Among other things, TERFs exist.

I don't know much about TERF beyond what the letters stand for, but I do know a bunch of women with a very wide array of behaviors, interests, careers, hobbies, dress styles, etc. They are all women. Behavior has absolutely nothing to do with whether one is a woman.

A gender, that is, "either of the two sexes"

You just conflated sex and gender. They aren't the same thing.

especially when considered with reference to social and cultural differences

Gender roles are based on the fact that men and women exist and are historically viewed differently. Men and women don't exist because of gender roles. Your thinking seems backward here.

The term is also used more broadly to denote a range of identities that do not correspond to established ideas of male and female.

You again conflated sex and gender. I have absolutely no problem with someone who does not want to conform to stereotypical gender behavior. I myself am a single dad who doesn't hunt, fish, watch sports, enjoy violence (though military technology is undeniably cool at times), chase after as many women as possible, belch in public, or anything else that "most" guys do. I've been mocked as being gay because of it, but who cares? I'm still a man.

One Brow said...

Legion of Logic said...
I don't care what he was wearing personally, nor do I personally think an employer should be able to set a dress code beyond a company uniform or, in the case of a professional business, requiring "business attire". I'll let the courts handle conflicting rights. So no, personally I would not support the employer in firing him for the type of business attire he chose.

Cool.

No more than the inability to fly or echolocate makes us defective. But a bat who couldn't do those things? Yeah it has some issues.

So, what method do you use to decide which form of vision is defective, and which is not?

The ability to distinguish red and green is to be expected in humans, though, and the only reason someone would be unable to distinguish those colors would be due to faulty cones in their eyes or a faulty neural pathway or something along those lines. Something...faulty.

If someone were to make the same arguments for khaki1 and khaki2, on what grounds would you dismiss them?

Why do you have such opposition to admitting some people have problems because something went wrong genetically? That doesn't make them less human, it doesn't rob them of any dignity. It simply recognizes the obvious.

I don't equate "have problems" to "defective" or "faulty". Sometimes people have problems simply by being different.

Why do I need one?

It's convenient. It seems odd to refer to Aimee Stephens as a feminine.

I also will never use "shipping" to refer to the desire for two people to be a couple. Just because some people start using words in a ridiculous manner doesn't mean I'm going to join them.

I don't think I will ever use that either. :) I nonetheless acknowledge the usefulness.

I don't know much about TERF beyond what the letters stand for, but I do know a bunch of women with a very wide array of behaviors, interests, careers, hobbies, dress styles, etc. They are all women. Behavior has absolutely nothing to do with whether one is a woman.

Again, I find it curious that the use of a word is the only place you feel the need to draw a line.

A gender, that is, "either of the two sexes"

You just conflated sex and gender. They aren't the same thing.

I agree completely. This is why we should not assume dictionaries are the ultimate authority in such matters.

Gender roles are based on the fact that men and women exist and are historically viewed differently. Men and women don't exist because of gender roles. Your thinking seems backward here.

Again, I agree the dictionary is insufficient. Curious that you acknowledge the distinction between gender roles and sex, but not the use of vocabulary to support said difference.

You again conflated sex and gender. I have absolutely no problem with someone who does not want to conform to stereotypical gender behavior. I myself am a single dad who doesn't hunt, fish, watch sports, enjoy violence (though military technology is undeniably cool at times), chase after as many women as possible, belch in public, or anything else that "most" guys do. I've been mocked as being gay because of it, but who cares? I'm still a man.

I'm sure in real life we'd be friends who argued a lot.

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