Black Shards Press – Electronic Gumbo is Our Specialty

No Right to Home School

06.03.2008 (2:32 pm) – Filed under: Education,Family Values,Parenting ::

Michelle Malkin has this story about a California court that has issued an outrageously harsh – and grotesquely incorrect – indictment against the practice of home-schooling.

From the LA Times:

"Parents do not have a constitutional right to home school their children," wrote Justice H. Walter Croskey in a Feb. 28 opinion signed by the two other members of the district court. "Parents who fail to [comply with school enrollment laws] may be subject to a criminal complaint against them, found guilty of an infraction, and subject to imposition of fines or an order to complete a parent education and counseling program."

"Parent education and counseling"??  Sounds suspiciously like a force-fed indoctrination into the state’s vision of PC multiculturalism.  Suppose a parent refuses to attend.  Is he or she looking at jail time as a result?

That’s unconstitutional, Judge Croskey, as is the very idea of penalizing parent for refusing to participate in a system that they find morally repugnant.

As Michelle says, there’s a rank smell about this ruling, coming as it does on the heels of a Christian rebellion in the state over SB 777, a new law signed by Gov. Schwarzenegger.

SB 777, or the California Student Civil Rights Act, requires "nondiscrimination" against sexual orientation, as well as other characteristics. Opponents take that to mean favorable teaching about homosexuality, bisexuality, gender identity and any and every other form of sexual expression for which there is an advocate.

It isn’t just the sexual re-programming. That’s symbolic of a larger problem. The government schools want to shape a child’s mind in ways that reflect a mostly liberal, humanistic worldview. This has implications for a child’s understanding of economics, foreign policy, American history and the size and purpose of government, in addition to what once were known as "traditional values."

This month the jack-booted thugs of liberalism came for civil rights in California.   

For all their hot-headed, anti-Bush rhetoric decrying the loss of freedoms due to the administration’s expansion of national security surveillance programs, so-called progressives are all for sweeping limitations on individual liberties when it suits their various agendas. 

But we already knew that. 

Some California parents will fight back, but here’s a good chance that no one in power will do anything to stop the curtailment of personal freedom in that state. 

The question is:  When the liberal fascists come to your state or country, what will you do? 

Brownback on Broken American Families

03.03.2008 (7:31 am) – Filed under: Family Values,Parenting ::

Via the NY Times, former Republican presidential candidate Sam Brownback writes, briefly and brilliantly about the plight of the American family and our youth two generations removed from the free love revolution.

Over the past five decades in the United States, the marriage rate has gone down and the divorce rate has gone up. In 1960, the out-of-wedlock birth rate was 5 percent. Now it is 37 percent. While you can valiantly raise a good child in another setting and we ought to celebrate it when it happens, the best way to rear a child is between a mom and dad bonded together for life.

Children brought up with a mom and dad bonded in marriage are, on average, far more likely to succeed in school, avoid crime and live happier and healthier lives. The best way to reduce poverty, fight crime and improve education is to rebuild the family.

Yes sir, that is correct.  My own mother was a single parent for a time before re-marrying my step-father.  Although it might make for a better story I won’t say that she was a failing parent during this period.  That wouldn’t be true.  But Brownback is correct in saying that 2 parents are better than 1. 

First, there’s something about having an engaged male in the house that makes discipline issues not happen.  Prevention is, after all, the best cure of all.  Second, 2 sets of eyes and ears make sure that budding problems get nipped early.  Parents of either gender need backup, especially when kids reach their teenage years.  Third, 2 parents are simply able to devote more time to their children than a single parent and this investment results in the successes that Brownback mentions.

The one thing that Brownback doesn’t mention in this short editorial is that a significant reason for the number of single mothers in America today is the self-indulgent behavior of young men in our society.

If you want to have a serious conversation about the failure of marriage as an institution you have to begin there, in my opinion. 

I am not a fan of Barack Obama’s social policies.  Frankly I believe that they are too expensive, too liberal, and too forgiving of those who refuse to accept responsibility for their own lives.

But nine months ago, before he lost me, Obama nailed the issue with young men’s lack of maturity and its effect on society dead to rights:

“There are a lot of men out there who need to stop acting like boys; who need to realize that responsibility does not end at conception; who need to know that what makes you a man is not the ability to have a child but the courage to raise a child”

Obama was speaking specifically about young black males in that statement.  But his words are more important than that and should not be bound by the race issue. 

Increasingly young men of all creeds, classes, and colors are coming of age without male role models in their lives and it shows in their childish behavioral patterns.

The way to combat this, it seems to me, is to re-inject men into the lives of boys.  Homes, churches, and schools all need intentionally put good men in the way of wayward boys so that they have the opportunity to learn what it means to be a man.

3 Years Ago…

08.09.2006 (1:49 pm) – Filed under: Family Values,Society ::

…I wrote this slam in response to a newspaper column by Ana Veciana-Suarez about child care.

Gay Marriage

09.06.2006 (10:39 am) – Filed under: Family Values,Society ::

My friend David Broussard just posted a lengthy discussion on the subject on which I left a comment.

My main point:

The issue ultimately comes down to exactly this point: should the government continue to encourage, to the extent that it has done so – a rather dubious claim in its own right – traditional nuclear families?

I believe that it should because:

  • it is the will of the “overwhelming majority” that homosexual relationships not be given the same legal protections as traditional marriages
  • homosexuality is, while hardly the worst character attribute to choose to indulge, something that American society ought to strive to minimize when possible
  • when properly implemented, the mother/father/child(ren) environment is the optimal one in which to rear and care for the next generation

Drivel…

07.09.2003 (5:00 pm) – Filed under: Child Care,Family Values,Society ::

Ana Veciana-Suarez’s column on child-care research is just that.

There’s so little that is sensible about this article that it’s hard to identify a point to pick on, but I’ll try.

“Yet, as a society we’ve failed miserably in keeping up with the times and providing better options for families, particularly those who can’t afford top care.”


Are we as families obligated to pay for someone else’s kids to have “top care”? No! If you have a child, you have assumed a virtual plethora of responsibliites. If you want your child to have top care, quit your job and provide it for him or her. Or prepare yourself for your responsibilities ahead of time by going to college and creating a successful career so you can afford to delegate your parental responsibilities to someone with the right stuff.

“…many working families with children younger than 13 put nearly 10 percent of monthly earnings toward the expense of child care.”


If the average day care runs about $500-600 per month, then we’re talking about people making $66,000 per year. If one is going to make a case for a handout, these are not the people who need it.

“And what do parents get for their money? Not always what they deserve.”


As Clint Eastwood once said, “Deserve’s got nothing to do with it. If you’re not happy with your child care situation, try taking care of your own children. For many people, the marginal income earned as a result of dumping one’s issue into the system is barely worth having.

If one is concerned about one’s ability to provide for a suitable lifestyle of one’s children, the time prior to conception is the opportune moment to consider one’s options, responsibilities, and capabilities.

“Instead of concentrating on the same old debate about whether to have your kid in child care, let’s face the fact that it’s a need, and turn our research and money to making it better…That’s the real child-care debate. “


Genius, sheer genius. Except for the little problem of reality, I could almost agree. Improving the situation as Maria suggests by dedicating ourselves “To lowering child-staff ratio. To providing a clean, stimulating environment. To training new teachers and keeping experienced ones.” will do one thing: raise the cost of child care. All of these worthy goals cost money. Lots of money.

The fact is that child care is considered a second or third tier problem by the consumers of these services – parents. A better approach to the child care problem would be for people to manage their finances in such a way that they can raise their own children. This may mean driving an older car, watching a smaller television, or using an older PC, but that’s life.

Of course, if we do the things that Maria suggests and day care costs sky-rocket, people at the low end of the income spectrum will naturally turn to quitting work and raising their own children. Maybe Maria’s smarter than I gave her credit for. But I’m guessing this is not what she meant.

Gay Marriage

18.07.2003 (3:31 pm) – Filed under: Family Values,Society ::

A (former?) friend of mine, who happens to be gay and will remain unnamed, sent me this link. Here’s the tag line: Join me in adding your voice to a million voices raised in support of civil marriage for gay couples.

Nope, I don’t think so.

In the immortal words of Jerry Seinfeld, “not that there’s anything wrong with that”, but there is a fundamental difference between normal and gay couples.

I’ll leave that to you, the savvy reader, to figure out.

Biology Means Very Little, Really

27.06.2003 (1:45 pm) – Filed under: Child Care,Family Values ::

Thom Marshall wrote about a girl who wants to live with her step-mother instead of her biological one, only to be stymied by the courts.

When will judges learn to keep their noses out of business like this? A 12-year old knows well enough what’s best. Far better, I might add, than a judge who’s too busy to even hear the cases in his jurisdiction.

Similarly, the courts need to uphold the rights of adoptive parents who have committed their hearts, lives, and wallets to the raising of their children and stop favoring biological parents who re-appear into the lives of these children.

Biology means very little, in the scheme of life and our legal system should concern itself with the stability and quality of a child’s upbringing rather than rewarding under-achieving sperm and egg donors.

Three’s Company

02.09.2002 (12:05 pm) – Filed under: Family Values,Texas ::

A man with 2 wives living in North Houston? Can it be true? It is. Read the Houston Chronicle article.

“Polygamy isn’t for everybody,” the husband says. Obviously that is true! One simply hopes these people aren’t persecuted as Tom Green and family were recently. Read a summary of his account.