Sunday, October 5, 2008

Know Very Little

I wanted to add this family picture - because well, so I could tell my family (Grandma)that they could go look at it. Well - and frankly because I think that my children are all so beautiful.

The other day I was in a store where a very nice lady commented about my almost 18 month old baby being my last one. She obviously missed the nicely rounded curve that is definately to the "showing" stage. After I pointed out to her the evidence of atleast one more, she looked at me aghast, "don't you know what causes that?"

My reply: "Absolutely, and isn't it wonderful that we are purposefully choosing to have all these blessings in our home."

What could she say? Something about: having a beautiful family, and me being a "beautiful" pregnant lady.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Electoral College

Within the last month, an article was written for the Lincoln County Journal that proposed abolishing the Electoral College. Remembering back to high school and American Civ., I found that frankly I knew little about the Electoral College. So I decided to do some research, and I have found it and its history to be a little more complex than I first imagined.

It seems that our Founding Father’s original intent was to allow only the most respected and intelligent voters to cast a vote in behalf of their states for the President-Elect. This was to avoid "cabal (intrigue and conspiracy) and influence from abroad." They believed that the masses were too easily swayed and manipulated. They wanted those who were honorable patriots to take the time and really study the issues, study the candidates, and then very carefully cast a vote for that person who would best honor the intent of the constitution. Their concern was not for who was going to build the best social program, but for who was least likely to usurp unconstitutional power. Sounds right to me. It’s so easy as a go-to-work-everday citizen to be swayed by the hype: the slogans, the rhetoric, the personalities. At the end of the day for the average citizen, this is the best that they can do, or will do. Frankly, it takes a long time and a lot of hard thinking to dig deep into the issues, to see the patterns and possibilites, and to understand the candidates true intents.

Personally, I think the original Electoral College arguments of the Founding Fathers have great merit. Nevertheless, it doesn’t seem to be what the present day system is about. The states now require their electors to vote the popular vote, hence the whole "wisdom factor" is negated. Every state but two is winner take all. Thus, in Idaho, it is most likely Democrats who object to the Electoral College. ( Being a minority conservative in this district and having three Democrats represent me at the State Capitol, I can understand their sentiments.)

In my research, I found the arguments "for and against" the present day system to be complex and debatable. The detailed argument is probably way more reading than you want to do currently, so I am just including the summary of each. (These are the bulleted points from Wikipedia.) The arguments "For" include: requires widespread popular support, maintains the federal character (state rights and individuality honored,) enhances minority groups, encourages stability through the two-party system, isolates election problems to the state (remember Florida in 2000?,) neutralizes turn-out disparities (if one state has a hot gubernatorial race, that state doesn’t necessarily get a larger say in the Presidential race,) and maintains separation of powers (the people can’t just vote for who offers to give them the largest check.) The arguments "Against" include: unequal weight of voters (people in littler states actually get more say,) winning the popular vote and losing the college (again 2000,) focuses the campaign in swing states, and disadvantage for third parties.

After all the arguments "for and against" there are also compromises and new plans with new rules to try to negate the disparities. It’s all a lot to consider and study. Like Bastiet: What is Seen and Not Seen is not always so easy to discern. Until I have more due diligence in the subject, I will continue to trust in the wisdom of the well-educated and thoughtful Founders. They did an amazing job putting this country together. Despite the problems and the quarrels that we citizens have with one another, the framework they created provides us with unprecedented homeland peace and prosperity. We should be very hesitant to rush into change where the outcome is ambiguous. When the French uneducated masses tried to create the same; well, you know the story.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The CommonPlace Book

I was introduced to the idea of the commonplace book in Susan Wise Bauer's The Well-Educated Mind. Here is a summary I did for a homeschooling group.

A commonplace book is simply a learning journal. You could use almost anything: a spiral notebook, a three-ring binder, an actual journal, I often buy the cheap composition books, and then cover them with beautiful scrapbook paper, and add a ribbon for a marker. The point is to write down or sketch ideas, thoughts, images that touch and inspire you as you go through your learning experience. You could record in your commonplace book while reading a book, watching a great movie, studying art, going a nature walk, etc. You could have different books for different things, or use the same one continually.We have commonplace books for our scriptures. These are just empty journals that I bought at B and N. Everyday we record a Passage to Ponder, A Blessing to Claim, An Example to Follow, and an Error to Avoid from our own personal readings. The little ones just do a Passage to Ponder. My older ones and I include all of them, and I also try to record some of my notes, in mathematical notation. This is my scripture commonplace book.I also keep a commonplace books for books that I read. In here are favorite passages and lines from the books, questions that I ask myself because of reading this book, basically the highlights or my "conversation" with the author. I am amassing a personal library of all the great reading, and hard thinking that I am doing. I am teaching my children to do this also. This is the way the great thinkers, and leaders have always done it.Joyful St

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Is he really enjoying all this LOVE?
Sometimes frustrating, Always a lot of hard work, Mostly - Eternally Significant: Mothering.