• About Farm School

    "There are obviously two educations. One should teach us how to make a living and the other how to live."
    James Adams, from his essay "To 'Be' or to 'Do': A Note on American Education", 1929

    We're a Canadian family of five, farming and home schooling. I'm nowhere near as regular a blogger as I used to be.

    The kids are 16/Grade 11, 14/Grade 9, and 13/Grade 8.

    Contact me at becky.farmschool@gmail.com

  • Notable Quotables

    "If you want a golden rule that will fit everybody, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."
    William Morris, from his lecture "The Beauty of Life"

    "The world of books is the most remarkable creation of man. Nothing else that he builds ever lasts. Monuments fall, nations perish, civilizations grow old and die out; and, after an era of darkness, new races build others. But in the world of books are volumes that have seen this happen again and again, and yet live on, still young, still as fresh as the day they were written, still telling men’s hearts of the hearts of men centuries dead."
    Clarence Day

    "Anyone who has a library and a garden wants for nothing."
    Cicero

    "Histories make men wise; poets, witty; the mathematics, subtile; natural philosophy, deep; moral, grave; logic and rhetoric, able to contend."
    Sir Francis Bacon, "Essays"

    "The chief aim of education is to show you, after you make a livelihood, how to enjoy living; and you can live longest and best and most rewardingly by attaining and preserving the happiness of learning."
    Gilbert Highet, "The Immortal Profession: The Joys of Teaching and Learning"

    "Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment."
    Walter Wriston

    "I'd like to give you a piece of my mind."
    "Oh, I couldn't take the last piece."
    Ginger Rogers to Frances Mercer in "Vivacious Lady" (1938)

    "No race can prosper till it learns that there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem."
    Booker T. Washington

    "Please accept my resignation. I don’t care to belong to any club that will have me as a member."
    Attributed to Groucho Marx in "The Groucho Letters" by Arthur Sheekman

    "If you can't say something good about someone, sit right here by me."
    Alice Roosevelt Longworth

    "If we bring a little joy into your humdrum lives, we feel all our hard work ain't been in vain for nothin'."
    Jean Hagen as "Lina Lamont" in "Singin' in the Rain" (1952)
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  • Copyright © 2005-2012 Please do not use any of my words or my personal photographs without my express permission.

Prescience

I was too untrusting and superstitious to post any of George Packer’s October 23 New Yorker piece, “End of an Era”, before tonight. Now that the results are in, here it is,

Step back a moment from the robocalls and the Biden gaffes and the Valentino jacket to take in the history being made as we watch. I don’t mean the likelihood of a black American President, though that’s mind-bending enough. I’m referring to the complete collapse of the four-decade project that brought conservatism to power in America. The conservative movement was driven by the single unifying idea that government is the problem, not the solution. It attained and kept power through the highly successful political strategy of dividing the country into the hard-working, America-loving, God-fearing majority and the minority of élitist liberals who wanted to tell the majority what to do. What’s happened to that idea and that strategy over the past few weeks? When Obama told an Ohio plumber on camera that his tax plan would take some money from the rich and give some back to the middle- and working-class, the McCain-Palin campaign got very excited — they finally had the key to turning the race around. Since then, the Republicans have been talking about Joe, socialism, and spreading the wealth around at every turn. Did Obama begin to sink in the polls, as pundits predicted? Was Dick Morris finally going to get something about this election right? No, Obama rose—and even on taxes he’s preferred over McCain. Like Democrats running against Herbert Hoover well into the 1970s, the Republican campaign still thinks it’s 1980. But it turns out that in 2008 voters can actually imagine worse things than tax rates on upper incomes returning to their Clinton-era level. What about Republican strategy, which still wakes Democrats up in the middle of the night — the devastating invocation of Bill Ayers, terrorists, real Americans, small-town values, Hollywood, and (on the fringes of the McCain-Palin campaign and Fox News) the spectre of a Muslim President destroying the country from within? Even right-wing commentators have been begging the campaign to drop this line of attack — not because they disapprove, but because it isn’t working. If anything, it’s dragging McCain’s numbers down and driving moderate Republicans and Independents toward Obama. A Republican congresswoman from Minnesota deployed the strategy at its most unvarnished on national television, and the Party has had to desert her. Who can blame Michele Bachmann for being dumbfounded? It was always O.K. when it was successful. As for Palin, the incarnation of red-meat, know-nothing Christian nationalism, she turns out to be McCain’s single biggest mistake. The Republican Party’s immediate post-election future will be a bloody struggle over Palinism. It’s already started at National Review online, where the growing hysteria of the posts signals that the roof is falling in on conservatism. Everything that worked for forty years has suddenly not just stopped working, it has become self-defeating. Republican candidates, strategists, and pundits are like witchdoctors who keep repeating the old incantations over and over, their voices rising in furious shock, to no effect. That’s the sound of an era ending.

One Response

  1. Wow. If he’s right that is even better news.

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