Homeschooling is not a Swiss Army Knife

It is, of course, treated as such by conservatives.  No matter what the family situation, homeschooling is presented as the cure to lack of money, lack of community, multicultural conflict, bad marriage, no marriage, the list goes on and on.

Homeschooling is increasingly used as another way to retreat into a private but not domestic sphere.  I used to be very “you do you” about homeschooling, but now when I hear about yet another friend or family member opting to homeschool, I just see another couple who won’t be bringing anyone meals, who won’t be volunteering, who won’t be sitting up with the sick old lady at church, who won’t be participating in local civic life.

It is understandable to protect what is nearest to you, but it’s not a movement.  Or an all-purpose fix-it solution for the loss of posterity and social life.

Home Alone with the kids: A Coronarant

One of the hardest parts of dealing with the global phenomenon known as Wuhan virus, corona-chan, and more scientific names like Sars-COV-2, is the unbearable smugness of antisocial right-wing homeschooling types on twitter. Due to mass quarantines, twitter is putting the pitiable scraps of social into social media, with thousands more people using it daily now. Anyway the upshot is that you have a handful of right-wing types who are smugging it up about all the parents whose kids are now home all day and who have to teach those same kids for several hours a pop when they previously didn’t have to. Much of the snottiness revolves around saying that those nasty, terrible (public school implied) parents just don’t lovelovelove their kids because it turns out to be really challenging to both teach and have them at home all day with nowhere to go and those parents beef some about the situation. But the smug crew just snidely grins and says “I don’t get it, it’s just such a joy to always be near my precious children, teaching and REARING THEM MYSELF ALONE AND NOT LETTING OTHER PEOPLE RAISE MUH KIDZ. It’s just nonstop joy over here. Only a coldhearted person wouldn’t want to spend all day every single day with their own children!”

The question of whether they’re lying or not is irrelevant, what matters is that they are being cruel and of the nastier sort of whited sepulchres. They’re sneering, not sympathizing. It’s not a good look, much less a good witness. And yet calling it out just gets you yelled at and told you must also hatehatehate your precious children. Whatever. The reality is that my kids, being relatively emotionally and socially healthy, need and desire to be around other kids and adults. We’ve also raised our children to respect and honor adult authority that is valid and properly ordered because we can’t and shouldn’t be the only adult authority they acknowledge. Because we’re sane, our kids had social outlets and *gasp* left the house frequently and *doublegasp* even went to school part-time.

It’s never been normal to be locked in a cabin with your kids and a tiny patch of yard and not even see or talk to other people except on a screen of magic aether. It’s a super bad ultra dumb idea for homeschooling, Christian and Christian homeschooling types to present it as not just fine, but superior and properly ordered. It is in fact deranged to present quarantine-schoolin’ as a-ok and better for your kids.

This isn’t to handwave public schools’ numerous problems at all. It’s just to say that it’s idiotic to crow about how unable you are to function around other people and how super keen it is that you’ve raised kids who can’t manage it either. It’s like parents who brag that nobody can babysit their kids, not even people they know well and who they have strong personal trust with. It reflects on you, and not necessarily for the better.

It’s rocky. They miss their friends, they miss their enrichment classes, they miss seeing other adults who love God like Mamma and Daddy do. This isn’t basically great and easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy. They miss libraries (wait, I thought libraries were approved of by the Karens of Homeschooling?), they miss playgrounds without caution tape (wait, I remember something about how Good Homeschool Moms always take their kids to parks a bunch? Guess I was dreaming it!), they miss many small things we have to keep explaining aren’t allowed or available due to “the virus”. All of this is ACTUALLY FOR REAL HARD. It absolutely isn’t like this if you’re “really” “full-time” homeschooling. If it is so barren and cloistered for you and your kids, well, you can search yourself and ask why you think such sparseness of exposure to life and other people is acceptable or reasonable in home education of children.

Or you know, continue snotting it up on twitter and other social media until the lockdowns end. As for me and mine, I’m done venting about and feel much less crabby about the gaslighting now.

The name is silly, but the concept is spot-on

“The 21st Century method of left wing tyranny now being implemented by American leftists cannot be described as communism or socialism any longer. Instead we have an emerging “authorigopoly” – authoritarianism exercised by an oligopoly/cartel of monopoly businesses, loyal to the agenda of the unelected permanent left wing government bureaucracy, and supported by virtually every non-governmental institution in the country. While it’s not technically accurate to label publically-traded for-profit businesses as “socialist”, there is no doubt that our monster tech companies are actively leftist, and not just in philosophy, they are active enforcers of left-wing ideology. What is so terrifying about the authorigopoly is that it has the power to silence speech and opinions in a manner the left has always dreamed of, without having to openly nullify the 1st Amendment and that pesky Bill of Rights. In effect, by aligning with monster tech, the left has outsourced its tyranny to a cartel of monopoly businesses who have the power to veto any individual’s participation in modern society.

One prominent fissure among “Trump conservatives” and “#NeverTrump conservatives” is that virtually all of the legacy conservative media supports the right of monster tech companies to use their monopoly powers to suppress speech and to punish dissenters via de-platforming. To those of us conservatives who used to read National Review and the Wall Street Journal, we are shocked to now read that those publications are actively hostile to liberty so long as the left-wing ruling class can outsource our subjugation to private entities. Monster tech is a cartel of monopolies, and they control the 21st century digital utilities. It would have been unthinkable in the 20th century for private telephone monopolies to listen to phone calls and suspend service to those engaged in wrongthink, but the American left – and legacy conservative media – have now actively embraced cancel culture. They support the tech monopolies’ right to ban access to modern digital utilities for any individual who dares to voice the wrong opinion.

So, can’t I just go start my own tech business if I don’t like being censored and de-platformed by existing companies? No, I can’t. When a Twitter competitor started to gain some traction, both Google and Apple banished it from their software and mobile devices, allegedly because it attracted some people with unsavory opinions. But remember, free speech isn’t necessary to protect popular or non-controversial opinions. And let’s be honest, Google and Apple were ultimately just protecting their cartel partner (Twitter) from competition. Further, any other digital company that does get traction and becomes successful (Instagram, You Tube, etc) will be acquired by one of the monster tech cartel members, and the authorigopoly’s speech code will be forced upon the acquired entity.”

There’s more, read it all at the link. It is communism or socialism, though, it’s just that as Dr. House says, “Everybody lies”, and making up a story about how this particular old thing isn’t exactly what it is helps keep the current oligarchs in power and makes the coming changes likely to be less smooth than one might prefer.

Quick notes on the value of a village and the value of a housewife.

The value of the village, of real community support where you can easily have someone come over is 100k per year.

The articles from years and years back about how a housewife’s labor is worth 250k a year missed the real implication, which is that the *husband* would need to make that much to cover all the value-adds this platonic-ideal housewife was providing.    But then, that is dangerously close to the actual situation with SAHMing in many married households.

Related to something else, instead of the poor choices of long commutes or telecommutopia or “no really if we keep spending billions on light rail everyone will take it to their green jobs”, we could have satellite offices for many desk-type jobs and make the 400k vice presidents actually earn that money making the rounds weekly or monthly to touch base.  It “splits the difference” with commuting by slashing it in many industries but also keeps local money more local because a lot of the “oh they’ll just buy everything with amazon” is from being exhausted from hours of driving. Cut that by 75% and you can have real stores and get better quality even without major price increase, since there’s been a race to the bottom with shipping costs and delivery of consumer goods.

Ultimately tens of millions of people are being shoved around by the whims of a few hundred thousand, and that is changeable.  Extremely so.


T.W.O.’s Dark Wizard rule of right wing rhetoric

“Everything was great in the past until the DARK WIZARD came along and ruined it all!”

It’s not an exact quote, but close enough.  One sees it over and over again on the right, the idea that there were no real problems in the past (any of them) and that things would have kept on keeping on if not for DARK WIZARDS running around casting spells on people to make them feel bad about the obvious great conditions they had.

This is a bit of an expansion of the Grain of Truth idea.  The right has a story about a dark wizard and they tell each other this story rather than admit that, say, feminism was a symptom of and response to specific bad conditions, not a cancerplaguedisease spread by, well, you get the drift.

Even the right wing people who kind of “get it” about technology and managerialism causing more expansion and complexity than people can manage without essentially going mad give in to this and start telling the story anyway rather than deal with the idea that things can sometimes get rolling beyond human control or scheming.

The left has, like, a zillion problems and issues and and and.  But they are talking about true things when they rehash past problems and poor conditions and unjust treatment that people received.  Even though all their solutions are ridiculous and most of them don’t work even in the short term, they are talking about real (bad) things that happened.  Where they stop doing that, they are in the same place as the right, telling a story about a DARK WIZARD instead of wrestling with grubby and sometimes multi-sided reality.

It’s just the right really loves that wizard story.