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Posts Tagged ‘freedom’

There not being bureaucrats overseeing wagon trains, however did the people manage?

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Americans, almost uniquely in the world, have had reason to consider themselves truly citizens rather than subjects, but that’s changing as the administrative state grows. Angelo M. Codevilla takes a look at the situation in a post at the Library of Law and Liberty.

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Government has a nasty tendency to overgrow its proper boundaries. (You might have noticed that?) That’s why showdowns between different branches of government, or between the Senate and the House, aren’t necessarily a bad situation overall. Thoughts on the Shut Down at Breakpoint helps explain why.

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1. I had this plan to set up a 7 Quick Takes Friday draft post every week, probably starting on Saturday, into which I would pile links and short observations. That way, I could just pick the seven best ones come Friday, and wouldn’t that be sweet? I still think it’s a good plan. But nothing even remotely like that has happened this week. Sigh.

What I’ve done instead is redo every ebook cover on every book over which I have the control of the cover and content. I also pulled a couple of the really short children’s books, to rewrite. And I edited a new novel, that should be out soon. And mowed the lawn, and watered the lawn, and chased kids around. It’s been a busy week.

2. For a while, we had a cow that routinely jumped over the neighbor’s fence and ate in our front pasture. Our front pasture is new, and not fenced yet, which made it handy for the cow. When he felt like it, he just hopped back in with the other cows, so I stopped worrying about him.

I haven’t seen him in days. I’m a bit afraid of asking the neighbors how they solved that problem. He was a bit young yet to take to the slaughterhouse, but sometimes it’s better to cut your losses if you have a cow that will not stay home. I think I won’t ask.

3. I usually take a five year old grandniece with me to a couple of weekly ‘Bible studies’ at assisted living centers. I put ‘Bible studies’ in quotes, because it’s not quite the right designation. It’s more like a short rendezvous of Christians in the facility, with a couple or three of us outsiders leading singing, reading a short Bible passage, leading corporate prayer, and leading singing again, for a total of a half hour at each place. (No, I can’t sing. Yes, they forgive me for that.) This week, the five year old was having a very busy day, with her first day of pre-kindergarten, plus birthday celebrations, so I took her three-year-old sister. She did really, really well at being my helper in handing out songbooks, and collecting songbooks, and she sang along nicely as well as she could, and she tried really, really hard to sit still the rest of the time. That’s not to say she sat still. She was, however, praised by numerous people for being such a cheerful, detail-oriented helper. That was fun.

Please, if you have kids under your wing, consider getting involved in visits to assisted living centers or nursing homes. I hate age ghettos, and those set up for old people are some of the most heartbreaking, because most of the people there dreadfully miss being around children. Some don’t, of course, but most do. You should see them light up when they’ve got a child to chat with. It’s also been fun watching the kids learn to deal with old people with various disabilities. Kids are naturals at adapting to stuff like that, in my experience, and I doubt it hurts them any to see people loving people who may not be able to do much.

4. Here’s some perspective from an immigrant who grew up where there was a national curriculum: A Tale of a Common Core. (hat tip: The Common Room)

5. Speaking of national education programs that don’t like to have people deviate from the state indoctrination project, this is scary. I can’t say it makes me want to visit Germany any time soon, either.

6. On a more cheerful note, I discovered a wonderful little book that would be good for read-aloud, or bedtime stories. I got the Kindle edition while it was on sale: In Grandma’s Attic. As of post time, it’s still on sale, at 99 cents.

7. Back to a less cheerful note, another book I’d recommend is Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944-1956. I don’t believe history ever repeats itself, per se, but it sure does rhyme frequently, and all too much of what Eastern Europe went through as it fell into totalitarian ruthlessness is all too similar to trends today. Not encouraging, that. But forewarned is forearmed, if you’ve got the stomach for it. It’s not as brutal a read as The Gulag Archipelago. But it’s scary enough, and I doubt our schools are likely to provide the info. On the contrary, they seem to be in a ‘oh, communism would be wonderful if only we ran it’ propaganda mode. Again. Or do I mean still? On the upside, the Iron Curtain didn’t stay up the way the central planners wanted it to, now did it?

For more 7 Quick Takes Friday posts, please visit Conversion Diary.

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1. I wonder how many people who die in fires these days are found near a smoke detector, with a ladder in one dead hand, and a battery in the other? Surely I’m not the only person who is, by now, trained to respond in Pavlovian fashion to beeps and screeches not with a run for the exits with the idea of escaping a still-young fire, but with an obsession with finding a fresh battery and some way of getting it into the beast as soon as possible, before I am driven to madness by the brain-ripping sound?

2. Have you heard? The Russians have been teaching Russian Orthodox chaplains to parachute, and have devised chapels that can be transported to troops along with the airdropped chaplains. Seriously. See Russian army introduces the flying Orthodox church-in-a-box. (Via Mere Comments.)

I can remember when Russia was death to Christians, per government policy; while the United States was the freest place in the world for the faithful. How things change. And how quickly. Yinga.

And yes, I did notice that the news comes to us via an architectural and design blog.

3. Cubans have reportedly been getting around government control of other media by distributing information hand to hand on thumb drives. So of course they’d be excited to hear that someone has been working on developing a flash drive on ordinary paper.

4. The two-year-old in the family has been obsessessed with switches and buttons for as long as I can remember. Until recently, she has pretty much confined herself to nearly wearing out the light switches, but recently she has become enamored of trying out nearly every button and switch that falls within her sight. So far, the older members of the family have been able to prevent out and out calamity, but she did manage to provide her grandparents with a private power outage that went on and on, until someone thought to check the circuit breakers. Yes, indeedy, she has discovered that there are switches there, too.

5. Shameless self promotion: I’m doing a book giveaway at Goodreads, for Why We Raise Belgian Horses. I know most of the giveaways are for new releases, or for pre-release copies. But they allow giveaways of older books. This was my first novel. Feel free to enter. The more the merrier.

6. Speaking of pre-release books, Eric Metaxas has a book coming out the end of this month that celebrates seven great men. In an age when many amongst us have been raised more or less without real heroes, or whose heroes were scrubbed of their faith in the history books (my generation had this problem, in spades), it’s nice to see Christian men held up as inspiration.

7. Speaking of heroes, I am delighted to find that many younger adults are showing both more sense and more backbone than some of their immediate ancestors. For example, look who’s helping lead the fight to defend – and restore – marriage to its proper definition and level of commitment. Having felt the damage from easy divorce and feminist experiments, they know firsthand what the ‘it’s-all-about-doing-what-feels-right-to-you’ mindset has done. And they want better. Good for them.

For more 7 Quick Takes Friday posts, pop on over to Conversion Diary.

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… was a nightmare, as Virginia Prodan explains in Socialism: Against Gold, Guns, and God at American Thinker.

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Here’s a link to a video of a Socrates in the City address by Os Guinness on the difficulties of sustaining freedom. (I can’t seem to get it to embed here. Sorry.)

hat tip: Eric Metaxas, via Twitter and Facebook. On his website he also links to the video, but there he mentions in passing that it is available free to the public for a limited time. I hadn’t seen that little qualification anywhere else. But if the video goes away, or becomes a pay-for-view, or goes behind a members-only wall, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

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