Friday, April 21, 2006

Go read. 

From Kevin Baker at the Smallest Minority.

This is why I want to home school, to not deal with this nonsense. Kevin Baker fisks a Slate.com article about a NYC / French liberal who ends up sending her son to a "red" school. The only reason my own RCOB didn't make me punch the computer was his scathing commentary. Read the whole thing.

My husband and I realized, though, that Narrowsburg did more than mold our boy into a patriot. He can, it turns out -- despite the warnings of other city parents -- read at a level twice that of his new peers.

Amazing how that "sit-down-in-your-seat brand of discipline" contributes to, you know, LEARNING.
Since we returned to the city, he has learned how to ride a bike, long for an Xbox, practiced a few new swear words and, somehow, learned the meaning of "sexy." He has pretty much stopped favoring red, white and blue.

The kid is what, six? And she considers learning "a few new swear words" and understanding the meaning of "sexy" to be positive. So too, no longer "favoring red, white, and blue."
But don't question her patriotism. She tears up at "American the Beautiful."
How soon childish national pride is shed, I sometimes think now, and not a little wistfully.

Ah, yes. National pride is childish. No country is better than any other, and we mustn't make judgments. (But America is always wrong)
Just don't question her patriotism.
Only once it was gone did I realize that, after our initial discomfort, my husband and I had begun to see our son's patriotism as a badge of innocence. His faith was a reminder to us that the reason we are devastated by the war in Iraq and the Bush presidency is that we too love America. We too want to believe in its potential for good and brotherhood.

Love America? You don't understand America. You denigrate America. You protest it, spit on it, defecate on it. It's a foreign fucking country to you.
You want it to be FRANCE, with its idyllic cheap medicine, generous welfare, short workweek, plentiful child care, and expansive socialism.

"You want it to be FRANCE, with its idyllic cheap medicine, generous welfare, short workweek, plentiful child care, and expansive socialism."

So, why is any of that bad, again? I think he completely misunderstood the point of that article (which I recall reading about a year ago). However, she did come across as sorta snooty, which bothered me. I dunno. I hate the idea that suggesting that America has done wrong is somehow equal to saying that America is always wrong, and I tend to think anyone who jumps to that kind of conclusion is a lunatic or a manipulative charlatan. But that's just me.
None of it is bad, per se, just the cost of it is anti-American and bad for America. Cheap medicine (enforced by price controls) means a less productive medical research industry and less successful medicines in the future, generous welfare comes at the expense of high taxes for those not on welfare, a short workweek (mandated by law) goes against the drive to produce and succeed that allows for successful entrepreneurship, plentiful childcare has to be paid for by the taxpayers and often proves to be more expensive than allowing a parent to stay home, and socialism is anti-capitalism and has, in all its incarnations to date, led to the self-destruction of all countries that have adopted it.

I think he was trying to say that the military and capitalism have made America great, despite what the original author would like to believe.

What do you think the original author was trying to say, snootiness aside?

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