Monday, June 10, 2013

stuff I've learned

A baseball tournament without a runs per inning rule is cruel and disheartening when a team can't pitch well.  I boycotted the concessions stand out of spite and bit my tongue when the umpire kept his skinny (and inconsistent) strike zone while Mr. B's team lost 20-0.  Seriously, dude?  SERIOUSLY?

I bit my tongue again that day at a party where a self-proclaimed home-schooler of her 5 children declared her outrage at having to pay taxes for public schools.  During her rant I learned how much I take exception to that extreme libertarian streak.  Frankly, I'd also love to opt out of taxes for stuff I don't use ...  For example, why should a cyclist have to pay for highways?  Why should a non-reader pay for public libraries (libraries I've no doubt this home-schooling mother of 5 uses on the communal dime)?  If I'm a pacifist, why should I have to contribute to a military (I noticed this woman's National Guard bumper sticker...yes, a tax-funded organization)?   Tax exemption's a slippery slope, no?  I studied my plate of potato salad and didn't chime in with my own perspectives about the cost of an uneducated populace or the benefits of that particular expenditure--like a literate society able to behave productively and responsibly and further contribute to the greater good.  I didn't point out the dreadful consequence of making education available only to those who can afford it or the questionable moral position of denying education to an entire community while only focusing on your own brood.  No, reader, I was a well-behaved party guest and excused myself from the table just as quickly as I could swallow my jello salad and push back my folding chair.

I learned that if you don't use a double-jointed thumb, over the years it becomes painful and difficult to slide back and forth.

I've never eaten mulberries.  This realization came upon me when reading In the Coop yesterday.   That got me to thinking about other berries I've never eaten--all I could come up with was huckleberries, but I'm sure there are more.

Spill it, reader.  What have you recently learned?


  1. Oh, I feel SO the same way about the Libertarian acquaintances I have. They seem to so conveniently forget all the things that are tax-funded that they use ALL THE TIME.

    Ouch on that thumb thing. The thought gives me the willies.

    And I have eaten mulberries, but I don't care for them. They have kind of a hard inside stem. If you ever want to try some, we have a million mulberry trees in our woods --they're rather invasive!

    I have learned that it is very hard for someone else to put a T.E.D. stocking on me.

  2. You did a great job keeping silent, though that woman deserved a talking to. You made the right decision that it shouldn't have been you, because that much ignorance isn't stamped out during one dinner sitting. She needs a good education. It's a shame she home schooling her children.

  3. Ah, the homeschoolers who do so because they are terrified their children will be exposed to the wicked ways of others and learn to think for themselves. I find that those who complain the most about having to pay taxes are the ones who as we say around here, 'suck the teat' the most. Pardon my french. Good for you for behaving.

    After packing up the dining room and moving it all out, I've learned exactly how much I use that room as an extension of my kitchen. And how much bigger it is with everything out of it. And how should we ever move out of this house, I'm paying someone else to come pack up every bit of it for me.

    1. I do take exception to your characterization of homeschoolers! There are all kinds of homeschoolers, just as there are people of all political/belief types among those families who use public schools. Personally, I would have spoken up and told that woman that I believed in contributing to the common good. People like that don't understand the meaning of a social contract.

      I've never used the fire department, but I will sure as heck pay taxes for it.

  4. I am usually pretty free flowing with my comments, but ignorance is bliss so save your breath with some people. Good job at keeping the party peace!

  5. I call Libertarians the Fuck You party. They want their rights and to hell with anyone else's - in other words, FUCK YOU.

    Sometime recently I say where libertarian politics had been applied in paying for Fire Services for a county. Two houses caught on fire. The non-paying libertarian owner watch that house burn. Heh.

    I have to bit my lip a LOT!

  6. There are plenty of ways tax money is wasted, and I can listen to people coming talking about them. However, schools? We shouldn't have to pay for schools? I don't know if I could have held my tongue on that one.
    Oh, that baseball game sounds awful. There should always be some sort of "mercy rule". Since it isn't easy for a baseball coach to back his players off when the team is clearly thumping another team (soccer, it's pretty easy) it should be written in the tourney rules. So sorry your little guy had to go through that.
    See, mulberry stems are a pain. But the fruit is so yummy. Why, oh why do they have to have such stems??

  7. for children that age there should still be a 10 run rule. everything after that doesn't count.
    as for berries, how about gooseberries, currants, elderberries, june berries,
    The home schooler wasn't thinking clearly, does she use community water? fire? emergency responders?

  8. OY. I hate that argument about shouldn't have to pay for public schools if I don't have kids in them. Anyway public schools offer services to homeschooled kids. In our town, home schooled kids can participate in the public school orchestra--and several homeschooling families take advantage of this. I part time home schooled one of my kids in English only and sent him to public school for his other classes. Things aren't so black and white.

    What have I learned lately? That the modern rowing machine is a VERY different animal from what we had when I did crew in college. We used to row on homemade contraptions made from old bicycle wheels. Now they're all sophisticated and computerized.

  9. I feel badly for Mr. B's team. :-(

    My week has been devoid of learning, except that I learned what a begonia is. Thanks!

    My neighbor The Widow Douglas has complained about having to pay school taxes even though it has been a long time since she had any children in school. And yet I know she will be grateful for our very good schools when she goes to sell her house and gets good value for her property.

    What gets me steamed is when people at the school board meetings made speeches questioning why the school budget dollars are largely devoted to teacher salaries. They think the kids will learn better without good teachers?

  10. Oh my ... 15 year homeschooler here. Please don't lump us all in one group.

  11. I have to say, the only problem I have with home schooling is that I think part of education for kids is getting used to getting along with others, as flawed as schools can be, we all need social interaction. And also, as you say, the people who seem to want to NOT pay taxes forget the bridge they drove over, the fire and police dept they might need and whoa! Who plowed the roads last winter?

  12. This post made me think of a book I just finished that I think you would enjoy: Homeward Bound: Why women are embracing the new domesticity.

    One of the things it talks about is how people are opting out of fighting for the broader good (public health care, food safety) and instead choosing to retreat home and focus just on their families (growing their own food).


Spill it, reader.