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Wednesday, November 02, 2005

From the mouth of babes...and Katharine DeBrecht

Ahh...From the mouths of babes. After spending four days quizzing my oldest son about Niagara Falls and the Great Lakes, much to my chagrin, do I see my son plop himself in the back of my minivan in the middle of the carpool line to tell me “Mom, we studied the wrong chapter.”



“Wrong chapter?” I ask. In the middle of making chicken parmesan, changing diapers, and working on a spelling list with my first grader, not to mention a few interviews, I had spent a lot of time the night before discussing the difference between the Catskills and the Green Mountains with my nine-year-old. After a long day for my son, and an even longer day for me with a two-year-old with a major case of the sniffles and an utter demand for nothing on TV except “Diego” (Sorry, Son, call the cable company, because I have nothing to do with their programming), I decided to wait until he chose to discuss his test with me.

Later in the evening, after a few footballs nearly missed my pot of pasta, my son brings me the social studies test on “the wrong chapter.” He proceeds handing me the test with a “now, you know, we studied the wrong chapter.”

I glanced at the initial grade- 83. My son is a straight-A student. I ask him if he has learned his lesson to make sure he studies the right material. I also tell him, he has obviously been listening well in class to get the grade he got studying “the wrong chapter”. I go through the questions he missed. One question stood out: “What do people do if they don’t have any money to buy goods and services?” The correct answer: Barter. My son’s answer: “get a job.”

I couldn’t be more proud of him.

15 Comments:

Blogger juliep123 said...

Ha, very amusing. I guess it's never too early to start 'em young after all. Maybe after Katharine DeBrecht's next books come out your son will learn that "Hollywood" equals liberal entertainers who support borderline-socialist politicians and "Supreme Court" is the term given to judges who have nothing better to do than to pry on the personal affairs of others (never mind how all your so-called “activist judges” refused to hear the Schiavo case back in March). Of course, considering how all you Republicans must send your children to Christian schools, I can bet they’ve been learning some “interesting” (if you know what I mean) things for quite some time now!

12:59 PM  
Blogger yellowmoon said...

just cme across your site because googles adsense put an advert for your site on my website www.beingahuman.blogspot.com which is for brief world news and internet/pc advice mainly, i like your layout when ive had more time to look at your site i may add you to article 42 on my site which lists the best websites ive used

4:28 AM  
Blogger Katharine DeBrecht said...

No Julie, I don't know what you mean by "interesting." I do know my kids are being taught Shakespeare, writing, algebra, science, and American History instead of gay marriage, condom usage, and Haliburton - all at half the cost per pupil than government schools. We also don't have metal detectors.

9:31 AM  
Blogger Darwin Isn't Finished With Me Yet said...

This is a parody site, surely. "I support the NRA" in one breath and then "We also don't have metal detectors" in the next. Stop it, the irony is killing me.

Ayn Rand was right. I'm starting to think Ayn Rand was always right.

You: "Right?, what? I don't understand, huh, what's going on?"

10:14 PM  
Blogger yensid said...

I don't know if this is where I can voice my opinion or not, but I couldn't find an e-mail address for Ms. DeBrecht. I saw her interview on the Fred Honsberger show (in Pittsburgh) on 11/15. I am not going to (or at least try not to) turn this into some political statement since I know neither of us could possibly change the other's opinion. I was disturbed by your description of conservatives being "compassionate" (not that I am suggesting that liberals/Democrats are any more "compassionate"). You suggested allowing people to reach for their dreams (and I think everyone would agree with that assessment). However, what do you suggest happen to those who try but fail or never have a "dream" at all? I would suggest that true "compassion" would include giving EVERYONE equal access to all resources they might need to find and fulfill their dream.

You indicated in the interview a statistic that 96% of all "wealthy" Americans didn't inherit their money, they EARNED it. Not that I am discounting that statistic (although I am a little suspicious), I would like to know where you got that statistic. I don't mean to put words in your mouth, but your affinity for that statistic suggests you have the antiquated belief that a person can be completely "self-made." The inverse of this argument is that someone who doesn't have money isn't hard working. However, I believe looking only at this one statistic may lead to false conclusions (perhaps intentionally, you cannot possibly believe you are "objective"). My favorite quote about statistics is, "statistics are like bikinis, what they reveal is suggestive but what they hide is vital" (but don't tell your son that, he doesn't even think about sex/girls since you, and his school, don't tell him about condom use, right?) Another good one is, "statistics are like children, if you try hard enough you can get them to say anything."

I would appreciate if you could elaborate on the following questions about the "wealthy":

1) How many come from parents who graduate from high school/college?
2) What were their parents occupations (what "connections" did their parents have)?
3) How many came from single parent homes?
4) What were their family's income?
5) What role did mentor(s) play in their development?

I think these statistics will paint a more accurate picture about what goes in to making someone "wealthy." If someone doesn't inherit a large sum of money, they may still have significant advantages over others. Just one example is their father being able to get "a foot in the door" to help them achieve their dream. All ANYONE needs is an opportunity, some just get those easier (and no, it isn't always because of "hard work").

I tried to look up your background, but I was unable to find any data from your childhood/upbringing. I do know that two of your conservative buddies, George W. Bush (who is wealthy but hasn't INHERITED any wealth directly so maybe you are right, he is completely "self-made") and Ann Coulter grew up with significant advantages. In her online biography, Ms. Coulter lists her upbringing as "upper middle class." Her father was a lawyer (not surprising she went on to law school as well). I think maybe Ms. Coulter and I have different definitions of "upper middle class" (or maybe she is minimizing her "advantages").

In no way am I suggesting that the three of you do not deserve the things you have accomplished. However, I would prefer if you stopped pretending that you (and the rest of the "conservatives") are superior to the rest of us because you are "self made" (or wait, everything you have is because of you and Jesus Christ/God). Or at least stop citing a statistic and pretending that statistic (by itself) supports your distorted conclusions.

3:50 PM  
Anonymous frazzle said...

I don't really know what all the hating is about for my man Bill Clinton on this site. I mean, he was definetly the best president since Roosevelt, what with the way the economy was so stable and he actually managed a budget surplus. I think that conservatives should stand up and give this guy a hand, as he was such a good example of how to lead in a fiscally responsible way. Hopefully he will someday be given the recognition he deserves, instead of being painted as a villain by our overly conservative media.

3:30 AM  
Anonymous ajax said...

Good sir. I must commend you excellent taste in presidents. I, too, admire William Clinton as a shining beacon of pure liberal thought in these times of "compassionate conservativism."

1:28 AM  
Anonymous frazzle said...

Yup, President Clinton was pretty much a great guy. His vice-president, Al Gore, was also stellar. His environmentalist policies would have insured that we cherish the natural beauty of this country for many years to come. Also, his foresightedness virtually invented the internet, the very tool that so many conservatives now use to bash liberals like Mr. Gore. It's a damn shame that he lost the election in 2000, personally I think our country would be in much better shape with him as a leader, and I'm sure after these convincing arguments just about everyone else agrees with me.

11:03 AM  
Anonymous ajax said...

I am totally convinced. I use the internet every day, and I cannot thank you enough for illustrating to me the contributions of this wonderful human being. Every time I log on, I will recite a little prayer to Al, up there watching over my internet usage:

"I thank you Al, for the porn that is now before me. Amen."

I pity those poor souls that have not yet been brought into the light.

4:18 PM  
Anonymous Frazzle said...

You know, another good thing you can say about Clinton is at least he's not gay, right? He's pretty much proved that. Bush? I dunno. Have you ever seen him do anything "straight". At least Gore made out with Tipper. If Bush is really straight, why hasn't he tapped Condi?

9:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Boy, it's great to see propaganda that claims the other side is propagandists. Staight out of Hitler's Germany! Heil W! Merry Christmas!

A word to the dumb: Educate yourself; watch "The Daily Show". John will shoot you straight.

A word about the "wealthy":
I teach at a high caliber prep school in Pittsburgh. I see the wealthy children gain acceptance to Harvard, Yale, Princeton, etc.... First of all, many of them work hard, and the curriculum we supply is tough. However, they have great advantages over their peers in the public schools and the real middle class (forget about the poor who don't even exist in their minds). MOney talks and that's what gets them in to these great universities.

I also see the ones who have graduated and come back to the institution to work. It's funny how they don't pull down a great salary but live on sprawling estates. I wonder how "self made" they are. Not much I gather. I must be surrounded by that atypical 4%. Get real!

6:31 AM  
Blogger Poor Justin said...

Heavens...you have more patience than I do if you have to put up with this parade of losers (AKA commenters who feel like your blog is the place to jab at every part of your life that they like) on a daily basis. Me, I'm a nameless, faceless conservative blogger without easy things to target (and very few readers of any sort). You, you've got your personal blogging wrapped into this as well.

More power to ya, and don't let these naysaying know-nothings get you down. If I had children, I guarantee I'd have your book in their library ASAP!

7:36 PM  
Blogger woolf said...

gee...I worked at an afterschool program (for both public and private schools) in New York City and as far as I could tell from students' homework and talk they weren't being taught about "gay marriage, condom usage, and Haliburton," but the usual subjects of math, science, history, etc.

The one, perhaps controversial subject to some, that they were not officially taught was learning how to tolerate and embrace people of different races and religions. Because on the playground you learn pretty quickly that all kids want is to have fun and those other things aren't so important.

10:42 AM  
Anonymous american said...

HELP! MOM!
Rupert Murdoch is hiding in my TV
Rush Limbaugh is hiding in my medicine chest
Bill O'Reilly is hiding in my toilet
Ann Coulter is hiding behind my flagpole
Pat Robertson is hiding behind my bible
Tom DeLay is hiding behind my lawyer
Jack Abramoff is hiding in my boat
George Bush is hiding in a whiskey bottle behind an oil pump on a hill behind my house and...
They're all hiding from the truth behind my countries flag

In the non-fiction shelf of a bookstore near you

12:22 AM  
Blogger Ben Bursae said...

Just a quick comment for something that yensid mentioned. (I don't have the time to address the rest of the crap you fracking liberals spout out.)

To assert that something is true does not mean that you assert the inverse to be true. To say that 96% (and I'm not arguing for the validity of that stat) of the wealthy are self-made and thereby assert that "if one earns wealth, then they are (likely) working hard for it" does not mean that one believes that "those who are not earning wealth are not working hard."

When someone asserts a truth, they are only asserting that the contrapositive is true, which in this case would be: If one is not working hard, then they are not earning wealth. The "level of truth" or "likelihood" of these statements is related to how accurate you believe the statistics are.

Last thought: I love what Katharine's son wrote to answer that question. It is so true, and those who find fault with it are similar in my mind to any number of the societal leaches that Ayn Rand accurately portrays in "Atlas Shrugged."

8:14 AM  

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