“Don’t Destroy This Family”

The Romeike family was granted asylum in the United States …The Obama administration, which in other notable areas of immigration law has enacted a policy of “discretion” regarding deportations, took the Romeike family to court to have its asylum protections revoked, and succeeded in doing so. The family has appealed to the Supreme Court, which has ordered the Obama administration to respond to the Romeikes’ petition, but the administration has so far refused to do so.

via National Review Online.

There are actually two separate arguments going on here.

The first is whether the state has the right to decide what to teach your children (more specifically, whether the state has the right to teach your children that your beliefs are wrong or even evil).

The second is whether families have the right to leave if they don’t like how a particular government is governing.

I would argue that the answers to both questions ought to be the same regardless of the beliefs being pushed – or the beliefs being suppressed. If you imagine yourself as the victim, and the state as holding the beliefs that you find abhorrent, then it would stand to reason that there is a fundamental right to teach your children your own values (especially religious values), and to leave if your beliefs are formally declared a crime.

That the men and women representing the state sincerely believe they have a monopoly on “the truth” does not substantively change the argument. Governments do not own people. We are not here as slaves or servants of an all-controlling state.

But, then, I am an American – a nation that has always held that it is the consent of the governed that gives a government its legitimacy.

Also, most of the homeschooled kids I’ve known were far and away better-educated than their public-school peers.


Today In History: the Munich Massacre (1972)

One of those days that changed the world.

Eleven Israelis and one German police officer died in the Munich massacre of 1972, when Palestinian terrorists took Israeli athletes hostage at the Olympics. Now, government documents suggest that Germany maintained secret contacts with the organizers of the attack for years afterward and appeased the Palestinians to prevent further bloodshed on German soil.


“I’m proud of what I did in Munich because it helped the Palestinian cause.”

– Jamal al Gashey

via CNN.com

He had been supportive in the past regarding our plea for a moment of silence during the Opening Ceremonies, so we arrived with high hopes. Gilady informed us that a moment of silence was not possible because if the IOC had a moment of silence for the Israeli athletes, they would also have to do the same for the Palestinians who died at the Olympics in 1972.

My mother said, “But no Palestinian athletes died.”

Gilady responded, “Well, there were Palestinians who died at the 1972 Olympics.”

I heard one of the widows say to Gilady, “Are you equating the murder of my husband to the terrorists that killed him?”


Then Ilana Romano burst out with a cry that has haunted me to this day. She screamed at Gilady, “How DARE you! You KNOW what they did to my husband! They let him lay there for hours, dying slowly, and then finished him off by castrating him and shoving it in his mouth, ALEX!”

I looked at Gilady’s face as he sat there, stone cold with no emotion. This man knew these athletes personally. This man led the Israeli media delegation at the 1972 Olympics and saw this atrocity first hand. This man saw my father’s dead, naked body thrown out front of the Olympic Village for all the world to see.

Without a hint of empathy, Gilady excused himself from our meeting.

That’s when I understood that the IOC wasn’t turning us down because of their resistance to “politics.” Rather, it was due to the specific politics the IOC apparently still embraces.

via Fox News

“The electrified brain: the power and promise of neural implants”

Psychiatrists are also finding uses for [implant] technology. At the University of Bonn in Germany, Dr. Thomas Schlaepfer is using the implant to treat severe depression. Instead of the movement centers, Schlaepfer’s treatment targets the brain’s reward centers, taking depression as a malfunction of the neurological reward mechanism. “I really think that brain stimulation in psychiatry is the biggest revolution in the last 50 years,” he says, “because it offers some hope for patients who had little or nothing to hope for.”

Schlaepfer makes a point of saying he’s trying to restore the brain to normal function, but it’s not the only place his research could go. He admits that a less ethical scientist could use the device to create a state of constant reward, something he calls “heroin in electrical form.” It wouldn’t be useful in treating depression, but it would be as simple as reprogramming the device, and it would take just half an hour in a doctor’s office.

via The electrified brain: the power and promise of neural implants | The Verge.