A column about history, culture, policy, and things in between.
I thought that California politics had lost its ability to surprise me. I was wrong.
Three weeks ago the State Supreme Court of California ruled that "parents do not have a Constitutionial right to home school their children", and if this already challenged ruling stands, parents in the Golden State won't be able to unless first receiving a certification from the State.
One year ago today the Virginia Tech. Massacre unfolded as a lone psychopath wrote his name into history with the blood of his victims.
I wrote a three-part series on the horrific event, which even now has all but receeded from our collective consciousness. The student-victims deserve to be remembered, as well as the lessons this event holds for us as a society. Below is the link to the first part of that series, which I entitled A Bed of Straw.
The four of us recently took a fabulous five-day Florida vacation at a bargain price. Some life-long friends let us stay at their townhouse, and I cashed in some frequent flyer miles. The result was a memorable family vacation for pennies on the dollar.
The ocean, beach, pool, and a football were our primary entertainment. As we watched our kids romp in the surf, their bodies tossed and jangled about like corks in a hot-tub and their laughter carried to us on the the salt-laden spray, I was reminded for the hundredth time that the best fun for kids comes when they are in nature and disconnected from technology. We managed to get in some activities of educational interest as well. We climbed a one-hundred foot high lighthouse that was built in 1860, one year before the Civil War began. We spent a half day hob-nobbing in the super-high rent district, walking down Worth Avenue and South Ocean Boulevard in Palm Beach, our mouths agape at the sheer accumulation of wealth. We window shopped a three million dollar necklace, and toured the old-world beauty of The Breakers Hotel. Built in the waning days of the nineteenth century, its original clients were the titans of America's industrial age. Today it is a playground and retreat for the world's wealthy; its art work and appointments alone worth tens of millions.
A big thumbs-up to Brookfield Now and Jessica Rasmussen for her article in this week's NOW on the musical group, Sacrifice of Praise. The three area women mentioned in the article are using their gifts of music and song to minister inside of and beyond their community. Through their examples of personal courage they offer hope, faith, and a tremendously positive example.
And another big thumbs-up for Jessica's article about the seminar conducted at St. John Vianney on the dangers of the Internet. The article serves as a sober reminder to all of us, but especially to parents on the dark side of this technology. And kudos to the parents interviewed for their courage in taking steps they deemed appropriate to safeguard their kids.