Charity on September 24th, 2007

The podcast is up from my Channel 17 show last Friday.

I talk about inalienable (or unalienable, if you prefer) rights, as expressed in the Declaration of Independence and the philosophy of John Locke, compared to our current view of rights, or lack thereof, and the way that our rights have been eroded, listing several examples in different areas.

I conclude by appealing to people to stand up for everyone’s rights, not only the rights that pertain to them.

I also get into an impassioned discussion with a caller in the last minute (and in several minutes into off-air time, which is included in the podcast), who insists that government has the “right” to make sure that homeschoolers are doing a good job of educating their children.

Spoiler: Governments do not have rights.

He doesn’t seem to take issue with my assertion that the IRS does not have a “right” to access our financial records for a audit, though. That is exactly what I mean when I say that we need to protect even the rights that do not pertain to us.

If you get a spare 33 minutes, take a listen. Or throw it on your iPod to enjoy later.


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14 Responses to “She’s Right Podcast on Rights”

  1. How ’bout talking about your “responsibilities”? Cons always seem to forget that one especially when the “right” to make money is involved.

  2. Does society have any compelling interest in making sure a homeschooler isn’t creating moron? Just curious. I try to stay out of the homeschool debate, because I don’t have a problem with public education, flaws and all, nor do I have problem with homeshoolers (although the reilgious nut types are really setting thier kids up for a shock when they go out into the real world). But everytime I hear you mention it, the question pops up.

    You yourself have said…
    Is it me, or do I simplify the solution to every problem down to education?

    Well, if it’s so important, shouldn’t there be some way of verifying you’re actually educating your children? Or is that really nobody’s business but your own?

  3. “Does society have any compelling interest in making sure a homeschooler isn’t creating moron?”


    “shouldn’t there be some way of verifying you’re actually educating your children?”


    “Or is that really nobody’s business but your own?”

    Yes, that’s correct.

    I will be happy to elaborate on this when I have time. (You know, when I am not busy creating future morons. ;) )

  4. If society doesn’t have a compelling interest in the education of its children, it isn’t a society.

  5. If you look back, I never said that society has no interest in education. It is quite clear that as a whole our society does in fact have an interest in education.

    What I said was that it does not have any compelling interest in “making sure a homeschooler isn’t creating moron.”

    Let me put it another way, our society has an interest in arresting thieves.

    Does it then follow that there is a compelling reason to require you to prove that you are not a thief?

    We are supposed to be presumed innocent. However, homeschoolers are assumed to be doing something wrong just because they are doing something different.

    This year alone, I have spent at least ten hours (and that is an underestimate to be sure) gathering materials and filling out paperwork, not to mention over $30, excluding postage, in order to prove that my kids are being educated.

    I pay taxes to support the public schools. I pay for all of my own homeschooling materials. AND I spend time and money to prove to the state that I am not doing anything wrong, even though they have no reason to think that I am.

    I just took my 4-year-old son to a doctor for a checkup and she gave him the third degree (do you ride in a car seat, what kind of foods do you eat, do you wear a helmet, etc) and concluded that he is the most articulate four-year-old she has ever met, and she couldn’t believe his advanced sentence structure.

    Seems to me that there already is a system in place to catch neglected children.

    It’s not like homeschoolers live in caves.

    What I want to know is, when are the public schools going to stop churning out morons?

  6. I pay taxes to support the public schools


    Do you? Which taxes?

    Seems to me that there already is a system in place to catch neglected children.

    What system? Going to the doctor?

    I’m sure most teachers would play the world’s smallest violin for the 10 hours you spent documenting your children’s learning. When my mom was a teacher, she’s spend 2 hours a night doing that sort of thing (AND paid for a lot of her materials herself). 10 hours in a year is nothing, especially considering that homeschooling is what you do all day in lieu of working a regular job.

    I’m sorry it’s a pain to have to prove you are homeschooling, but that’s life. There’s got to be some system in place for that, or you would have parents letting their kids run the streets all day while claiming to be homeschooling. You know that’s true.

    Just out of curiosity, what are you going to do when the kids get to high school age? You can’t possibly have the level of knowledge about all the different subject areas taught in high school. Can you really teach high school Chemistry, English, Volley Ball, Trigonometry, etc.? And what are you going to do when a student walks out of class? Suspend him from home? What about sports or drama club? Things like that. Those things are valuable.

    I can see almost see homeschooling working at the elementary level, but I’d imagine it get trickier and trickier the older the kids get. And then what about college? One thing I know is that isn’t for me. I’ll be happy to send my kids to public school. Anything I have to teach them I can teach them in the evening and on weekends. And I want my kids to be with other kids and learn how to deal without their mother or me around. Luckily, my Commie Soviet wife feels the same as me about it.

  7. I try not to get personal with posts, but when people blog about their lives, the line gets blurry sometimes.

    I hope I wasn’t too harsh with the homeschooling questions in my last comment. Didn’t mean to be. Sorry if I was.

  8. I just saw this. I was at soccer practice with my son.

    “Do you? Which taxes?”

    Umm, property taxes. Isn’t that how education is paid for? We all pay for the schools.

    “What system?”

    The system of professionals who are obligated to report suspected abuse, including doctors, and the system of child protective services.

    “When my mom was a teacher…”

    I’m guessing teaching was her job. And she got paid for it, right? Yeah, I thought so.

    Reporting to the state isn’t my job. The almost $40 I spent on it won’t be reimbursed. (I have added in the postage, now that I have gone to the post office.) Teachers get a $250 income tax credit for out of pocket expenses related to teaching, also. (not homeschoolers, though)

    And I spend all year documenting the learning. I spend an additional 10+ hours preparing reports for the state.

    And since “homeschooling is what you do all day in lieu of working a regular job,” I should not have to take time away from my three children to comply with excessive regulations.

    This isn’t about it being too bad that I have to do all this. It is not the biggest deal in the world to comply with it.

    This is about rights. I have a right to privacy. I have a right to be secure from government intrusion without just cause.

    As for the high school questions, I will answer briefly. This is not a homeschool blog. In fact, this isn’t even a homeschool post. 23 minutes of the podcast are not even about homeshooling.

    Lots of people homeschool high school. There is an abundance of resources out there. I am not worried about any subject. I have a BA in Math, with a minor in political science. Plus, two years of advanced physics and chemistry with labs. Bob has a BA in English and studies computer stuff (that’s a technical term) in his spare time. If there is any area that we are not strong in, there are classes, co-operative, the option to take some classes at a school, and other options.

    We’ll be fine, thankyouverymuch.

  9. You pay property tax?

  10. Please tell me you are not one of those people who thinks that renters don’t pay property taxes.

  11. Forget that last question. This thing you said here is more important-

    This is about rights. I have a right to privacy. I have a right to be secure from government intrusion without just cause.

    Are you supporting Senator Leahy’s efforts to restore Habeas Corpus? Are you opposed to Bush openly breaking the FISA law and listening in on phone calls without a warrent?

    I should hope so. But in your case I’d have to argue the government has just cause to force you to do a little paperwork if you want to homeschool your kid. It is society’s business if your kid gets taught.

    Good luck.

  12. OK since I was too late to stop you…Renters don’t pay property tax. They pay rent. Landlords pay property tax.

  13. I think the only thing that’s presumed when it comes to a homeschooler is that he/she is not an actual licensed teacher, which is true. Does that automatcially mean that the person teaching the home schooled kids isn’t qualified to even attempt to educate them? No, the state I’m sure just wants to see that the home schooled kids are learning what they need to survive in life. I know this home schooling thing is a sore point with you though, and I don’t look down on you cuz you’re doing it.
    I also hate when people talk about how renters don’t pay property taxes…where do you think a small portion of our rent payments go?? To pay our landlord’s property taxes…sheesh…


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