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Lileks discusses the different shades of social conservatism in today's Bleat, in the context of being mau-maued by some local yokel who thinks JL is not a true social conservative because Gnat goes to a public school. Oh, the horror. Oh, the huge manatee. If that's the make-or-break bright line that divides the True Believers from the Godless Masses Sunk In Sin, that wing of the MN GOP is going to consist of about a dozen couples in Edina and Circle Pines, all of whom probably voted for Klobuchar last fall anyway the wealthy treacherous bastards.

The reality is that you can support the idea of giving parents educational options while subjecting your own offspring to the public schools. I did it. Mitch Berg does it. My father did it in his day, and all three of us would laugh in your face if you told us we were Cast Out from the conservative ranks for that one failure. There are plenty of reasons why you might send your child to the public schools. Poverty is one, which both Mitch and I are familiar with. You may not be happy with the private schools either, which was the case with my parents. (Dad was of the firm opinion that a Catholic school not 100% staffed with monks or nuns wasn't worthy of the name, but then he grew up in a different age.) Conversely, you may be happy with the local school, which seems to be the case with the Lileks family. It's not a matter of hypocrisy, it's a matter of exercising choice - which is something we'd like to see a lot more of in education.

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
huladavid
Feb. 9th, 2007 03:19 pm (UTC)
Speaking of Catholic schools not staffed by nuns or monks (alive, alive o), I find it rather funny that my atheist sister spent a year or so teaching in a Catholic shool.

Still give my sister giggles as well.
wombat_socho
Feb. 9th, 2007 05:06 pm (UTC)
Well, that was precisely the sort of thing my father wanted to avoid. Considering the way some of the Brothers and Sisters were acting in the 1960s and 70s, though, I can't help wondering whether I wouldn't have been better off with an atheist. Eh. I turned out kinda sorta okay as far as Dad was concerned, so it's all good.
qob
Feb. 9th, 2007 04:01 pm (UTC)
I always find it somewhat off-putting that in the math of left-right, my libertarian impulses push me to the left in the Political Compass. The idea that "It's nobodies gawddamned business" is a leftist trait seems shallow at best.

I also find it amusing that a parochial education is the innoculation against radicalism. I went to 12 years of Catholic school, including 4 years at a prep-seminary and ended up a Communist. I'm better now.
wombat_socho
Feb. 9th, 2007 05:11 pm (UTC)
The idea that "It's nobodies gawddamned business" is a leftist trait seems shallow at best.
It's a classically liberal position, but the Left hasn't been liberal since the McGovernites took over the Democratic Party in the 70s.

Is it the education or the upbringing? My education was relentlessly secular, but both my parents were fervent Catholics and conservative Republicans as of 1968 (maybe earlier; ISTR my father saying the last Democrat presidential candidate he'd voted for was JFK) and despite occasional wobbles into libertarianism I've been a staunch supporter of the Generalissimo of the GOP.
digex
Feb. 11th, 2007 04:22 am (UTC)
yeah, the school thing raises its ugly head - the J unit is
5 now, and Kindergarten looms. Being agnostic, it is
fun to see the various schools, secular, and god-fearing,
and trying to keep them straight.

I am from public schools, so I tend to say why not try them,
but some investigation yields mucho data that "these are not your
fathers public schools" meaning ME. I judged a science fair this
past weekend, 4th thru 6th grades, local Maryland public school
where I know several teachers so I and others get to come in and
do the judging - lots of fun, but I have to say that hands down
my 5 year old (in pre-K right now, and NOT an academic one, just
a play and do art and have fun one) can intellectually kick the ass
of every 4th grader there, every 5th grader with the exception of a
handful, and fully 50% of the 6th grade class. OK, maybe I got an
exceptionally weak string of players, lets say at least 25% of the
6th graders (and likely better than that - I think I am giving away
too many points there)

unfair, and not a real good measure I am sure. There seem to be a
lot of issues with the public schools.

private schools, even if you find one of the god-teams to underight
the costs (in return for a wee bit of god-team programming (uh, education)
for your kid) are like college tuitions of yore, over $10k a year now for full
time (and I have seen $20k quoted at a couple of high end places)

yowza! for kindergarten! oy! I want to hire one of those marine combat
chicks back from the war and maker her my kids bodyguard and send her
to public school - but likely I would have to throw for the metal-detector-
proof ceramet MP5K and if you average the cost of THAT little beauty into
the education costs it is an extra couple of grand a year - the ceramet ones
are so secret that you have to know someone who knows someone.... strangely
the BEST connection to get one is to have your kid in a school with one of those
guys kids.... wow, this does get circular.

yeah, this school thing it tough in many dimensions.

doug


wombat_socho
Feb. 11th, 2007 06:06 am (UTC)
In your case it might actually make sense to get your kids a governess and home-school. That way you can still have the ex-Marine on premises with the MP5 and not have to worry about the public school metal detectors.
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