Yard Sale of the Mind

The Price is Right

Seven. Throwin’ It Down.

Posted by Joseph Moore on June 28, 2013

1. 

Behold:

15 year old daughter made toasted coconut bread. Spread on top is pineapple curd, which is like lemon curd, only with pineapples. Totally yum!

2.

As long as I’m bragging on the kids:

as realized in plywood and spray paint

17 year old son built this thing for the end of the year party at school. Those of you conversant in Minecraft will recognize it as an Iron Golem. The little boys at school, one of whose breathless idea it was to have a Minecraft-themed end of the year party, gave it a ‘Wow’ and lined up to have their pictures taken.  Good experience all around.

3.

Had to have a small melanoma lesion removed from from my upper arm – caught early, very little danger – but its removal leaves an impressive wound, looks like a divot with stitches. So, told my kids about it so they wouldn’t freak if they noticed dad’s sudden resemblance to Frankenstein. 9 year old son, totally unfazed:   we should tell mama.

The funny part: couple days before, when I had told my wife about it prior to the surgery, I had admitted that I had considered not telling her until it was all over, so she wouldn’t worry unless there was something to worry about.

This did not go over well. Even my follow up remark, pointing out that, here I was, telling her, right now, because a moment’s reflection made it clear to me she’d murder me if I didn’t, did not sufficiently calm the waters. I got a lecture informing me in no uncertain terms that I was NEVER EVER to keep any such news from her EVER under ANY CONDITIONS.

So, yes, son, we should tell mama.

4. 

This summer’s Insane Vacation is going to be a 12 day drive from the Bay Area to Kansas and back, with stops along the way at Mono Lake, Death Valley, the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Durango in CO, Santa Fe (where my wife and I met 33 years ago), Benedictine College in Atchison (were daughter #1 attends school), Denver, Wyoming Catholic College, Yellowstone, Craters of the Moon, and Crated Lake OR.  4,680 mile, or an average of  390 miles and 6.5 hours of driving per day.

I did mention this is insane. In. Sane.

We are constrained to two weeks because daughter #1 is on the Crossroads Walk for Life this summer and won’t be back home until August 12th, and daughter #2 and a bunch of her friends bought tickets to a Taylor Swift concert on August 27, and have been planning this event for about a year.

The issue: we can do some combination of motels, camping, or even renting an RV for the trip. Problem: for some of the trip, we may have 8 people along, which would mean a GIGANTIC RV, with concomitant gigantic gas and mileage charges. If we go passenger van, we’re looking at a lot of nights in motels, which isn’t cheap, either. Much planning needs to be done.

In. Sane.

5. 

My mind keeps going back to this post at Waiting for Godot to Leave.  I’ve come at the issue Kevin O’Brien, with the help of Orestes Brownson,  tackles here – the origins of the almost universal nihilism among Americans today – from another angle entirely, namely, the history of education.

Lurking a shallow scratch beneath the surface of all proposed education methods and theories is a key question: is education for the passing on of the culture of the parents, or is it for the purposes of the state? And, as recent news and court decisions make clear, the idea that the state might have purposes other than the promotion and protection of the culture manifested in parents and families has been conclusively presumed to be answered: yes, it does.

Note that even Aristotle, who held that good government should protect and promote virtue, would have seen a virtuous Greek family as a clear manifestation of what civic virtue means and aspires to. The state exists to protect and promote exactly the family and personal virtues on display in a good family, because such virtue is threatened by barbarism at every turn – by invasion from without and rot from within.

It’s another game entirely to say ‘we, the government leaders, understand virtue far better than you, the parents and families of America, and so will use the government’s coercive power – law, and its enforcement – to compel you to virtue as we understand it.’

But where did the modern idea of the state as the measure of virtue come from? My attempts to track it down keep coming back to – Martin Luther. He was a big fan of the state taking over education to ensure that the little tykes get exactly the right Jesus – Luther’s Jesus – beat into them, something parents, in his experience, largely fail to do. Just look at all those people who, even after hearing On Christian Liberty and the Theses and the Solas didn’t fall in line, but rather clung to their benighted Papism! Those heretics kept reading Scripture and applying logic just as they had for the previous 15 centuries, instead of accepting Luther’s radical decontextualization of scripture and church. He concluded, just like every progressive idealist since, that the answer was to use the coercive power of the state to make sure everyone understood certain key moral issues *correctly*.  That makes the state the ultimate authority and measure of education. In Luther’s case, the state is to be wedded to the Church, but that nicety didn’t last past 1800 in most places.*

And thus, O’Brien,  Brownson and I converge: The important thing, for Luther and his philosophic children is that everyone be made to Get It. Luther set the bar (on the ground, it seems) for logical and intellectual dispute – you’re wrong to disagree – you don’t Get It – and so your arguments can be dismissed. which is what the Bownson, in the  quotations used by O’Brien, pointed out.

* Horace Mann pitched German-style education – the direct lineal descendant of Luther’s proposal – in Massachusetts for moral, not intellectual reasons. He wasn’t saying we needed new school because kids couldn’t read – he was saying we needed new schools because kids raised by their parents – most notably, Irish Catholic immigrant parents – were not being raised morally.

6. 

Lighter stuff: the mourning doves that  nested atop an 8′ ladder on the patio leaning against the house (see pic at bottom of linked post) succeeded! Two lovely little chicks survived for the 10 to 12 days after hatching they need in order to fly, and – flew away! Isn’t Nature sweet?  Now – gotta move that ladder before it happens again when I need to replace some light bulbs or something.

7. 

Dr. Boli slays me.

Here’s Conversion Diary and her Seven thingie.

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