Wednesday, May 22

The Tory Leader, Iain Duncan Smith, (or as I heard some one call him recently - "Iain Duncan Thingy" - I spit coffee out my nose when I heard that), was interviewed on Radio 4 this morning and -- since I am not British -- I was able to listen to him without going apoplectic. (Is that a place you can go or am I mangling the language??)

Not to imply that he actually made a lot of sense. If there is one thing virtually every English politician has in common - dang, virtually every English mammal shares this characteristic - it is an overweaning yearning not to be perceived as actually possessing any opinions that someone somewhere might find objectionable. (I need to be careful not to go wandering off down every rabbit trail that presents itself to my undisciplined mind all at once - and let me tell you, when I start talking about English waffling, lots of opportunities present themselves unbidden!)

{Deep Breath}

As I was saying, Mr IDS was being grilled about the apparent conflict between his statement that every English child deserves an equal opportunity to a good education while he is sending his son to that crustiest of upper-crust education establishments, Eton. IDS had a great chance to score some major points with me - points that no doubt would have done him a world of good come the next election - but like a true 21st century English politician, he completely weenied out.

But I'm not English, and I'm not a politician, so I will respond to the interviewers questions as I can only wish some alleged Leader would do when asked such silly, stupid questions:

Interviewer: During a heated exchange on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, interviewer John Humphrys asked Mr Duncan Smith how a child at an inner-city school could have an equal chance to one who attended a private school.
Me: He can't, you ninny. People are not equal, therefore any set of organisations that involve people will inherently be unequal. That's life. Get used to it.

Interviewer: But you said you believe all children should have an equal opportunity.
Me: Nope, that was Mr Duncan Thingy. I think children and parents should quit complaining about what the government is not giving them and get busy doing something for themselves. If they don't like it, they should change it, not sit around whinging because the government isn't making everything equal. Equality exists in only two places - the grave and the ghetto. I don't believe people really want equality, they just want more of what somebody else has.

Interviewer: So are you prepared to say that your government would support raising taxes to get more money into the schools
Me: Absolutely not. I think the government schools should all be disbanded, the educational bureaucrats should be shot, the school buildings sold to the highest bidder, and the proceeds refunded to all non-government employee tax-payers. Parents should band together and form education co-ops; they could rent space for classes from the people who own the buildings using the refunded tax money to pay their way. They can hire the teachers who they believe are qualified and fire the teachers they hire if they don't do the job. All government administration buildings should be bull-dozed and turned into parks. Any educational administrator who doesn't actually work with children should given passage to the Palestinian West Bank where they can put to work their educational theories about self-esteem, whole language, outcome based education and especially multi-culturalism in an environment where they cannot possibly do any additional damage.

(I'm a little off message here, aren't I. Perhaps I'm giddy because I'm going home in less than two weeks.)

Anyway, Mr. Duncan Smith failed to point out that - by definition - government education is supported by taxes, that taxation is - by definition - legalised theft, and that government education, merely by existing, violates the 8th commandment. And we haven't even gotten around to talking about the law-breaking, anti-God, rebellious content of a government education.

Thursday, May 2

Dead Language Update
Here I am, entering my fifth decade of life and discovering that I know practically nothing. Nothing! Fortunately, I ain't dead yet. I was telling Karen this morning that I really want to learn Latin, partly to keep up with my children and partly so that I can read the classics in the original languages.

So this afternoon, while I was testing and waiting for the completion of a test cycle, I stumbled across this little jewel - Latin Online. Is that cool, or what?

When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.
Heavenly Thoughts
Amongst my favourite books of all time is CSLewis' The Great Divorce in which Lewis contemplates the nature of heaven and of heavenly natures. Today I discovered this gem in the same general vein-Captain Stormfield's Visit to Heaven by Mark Twain. Definitely worth a read.

Mark Twain!? Who'da thunk it?

Wednesday, May 1

Nathan Wilson has a killer column on the problem of evil in Credenda Agenda. Thunder rolls, lightning strikes, the earth quakes, the wind blows, skin itches, heads ache, legs cramp, men die. Can we assault a King and not expect to see His armies?

I'm going to read this to my kids tonight. We've been discussing the PoE lately around the dinner table, and I am both pleased and astonished that a young man, (Nathan is not much older than my oldest), can express the nature of the problem so succinctly and so fluently.
Harry Seabrook over at Little Geneva pointed out, in reference to my Human Scum post, that the scripture does not pronounce slavery a sin. He's right. Idolatry is a sin. Saying that God said something He didn't say is a sin. Failing to remember the Sabbath is a sin. Dishonouring your parents is a sin, as is murder, adultery, stealing, lying about your neighbour and coveting. Self-worship is sin. Lack of faith is a sin. That list should make it abundantly obvious to all of us that, unless God is a God who forgives sin and covers iniquity, we are all in deep yogurt.

So perhaps we should ponder these thoughts from the Old Testament:

Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the LORD does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit. Psalms 32:1

And the LORD passed before him, (Moses) and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.”Exodus 34:6-7

I believe I'll have some of that...