January 10, 2013

“I was told there’d be no homework”

Well, I lied. Go and listen to the first half-hour at least of Mark Levin’s show last evening. You can download it for free from his site, marklevinshow.com, or download the app.

Then, come back and let’s discuss.

Meantime, I’ma have some pancakes.

Posted by Jeff G. @ 8:56am

Comments (24)

  1. Mmmmmm, pancakes. Dammit, now I’ma have to go to Shoney’s.

  2. You can also get Levin’s show for free on iTunes.

  3. I just read sdferr’s list, and was thinking that if a history teacher (for instance) actually taught what was in those documents, and had his or her students read and discuss them, that teacher would likely be branded a subversive and either reprimanded or fired.

  4. Thanks, sdferr. Just copied and pasted into my reference list.

  5. Let’s throw in Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America while we’re at it.

  6. They owned slaves and didn’t let women vote.


  7. Speaking of pancakes, my favorite restaurant in the world serves the Snortin’ Norton: pancakes with bacon and sausage mixed in. If you ask nicely, the cook will put a fried egg inside the pancake for you.

  8. This pancake, of course, is decidely Not Good For You™, and is at least as dangerous as an icky assault bullet with a laser trigger guard.

  9. I had something like that in mind at Shoney’s, Darth — but without the egg.

    I didn’t go today though. Got sidetracked. So when I do go I’ll have to make mine a double.

  10. Pancakes with syrup are laden with carbs and sugars and starches and your insulin levels will shoot through the roof, making all the calories go to fat instead of muscles or organs.

    And then you’ll crave more carbs and sugars all day long. I’m finding this out.

    However, if your body doesn’t freak out in the presence of carbs and sugars (or if you’re cool with the consequences) go right on ahead. Because pancakes with syrup are the food of the gods.

  11. Cutting the carbs with protein — either by including it in the pancake or as a side dish — also helps. It’s been years since I craved a tall stack of pancakes because I try to treat them as dessert for the real breakfast, which includes eggs and meat.

  12. So ok, how should we discuss Levin’s ideas (as Levin’s ideas, as opposed to other underlying political fundamentals in distinction from those)? I’m willing (eager even), but haven’t done much to help in that direction.

    It may be accounted self-serving of my own particular hobby horse, but it does seem to me as though the primary thing Levin presents is our nation-wide (not national) need of education.

    A primary thing, I would say, but not primary effect, and at this late date — since this educational problem ought by right and utility to have been taken up seriously decades ago, when it was not — probably not the most pressing exigency thrust upon us. Yet, education will remain, whether in the foreground or the background, as a kind of sine qua non in any Republic worthy the name.

  13. I haven’t listened to the program (yet) but I suspect Levin’s point isn’t about education qua education, but about education in basic civics.

    If I had kids they would be conversant in the founding documents because they were living under my roof. There are various organizations out there that offer quick courses on these matters as well. In both cases the problem is that fewer and fewer of us (for values of “us” that largely exclude anyone in this room, obviously) “opt in” to such opportunities.

    As someone said recently, perhaps in a comment thread on PW, the best time to plant trees is 40 years ago, and the second best time is now. If my state doesn’t include these fundamentals in its K-12 requirements, I should lobby my legislators to make it so.

  14. To quote from Levin’s intro:

    ** ” . . . I’m going to fill in gaps that were left, if not created by our public school system, by our colleges and universtities, by our media, by our politicians, by the whole damn bunch of them. […] but we also do what’s essential if we mean to save this Republic, because we have no less responsibility than that. ” **

    So it is education in basic (and specific) political understanding he’s driving at, yet I think it possible, in fact possibly necessary, that the wider range of the meaning of education must be predicated prior to the mere possibility of education in basic civics as such.

    But further, that the so-called ‘system’ of education we receive — handed down to us from the likes of President Eliot of Harvard and John Dewey, just to name two critical participants in the construction of the thing — may be fundamentally incapable of transmitting the understanding required to grasp these political specifics; may — as Levin notes — be at the root of our failure to have handed decent education on to the people in the first instance.

  15. I don’t know about “fundamentally incapable.” In order to have effective communication you need an author who wants to be understood, and an auditor who wants to understand.

    Unionized schools place no value in either of these, because they exist only to provide jobs for people who belong to the union. That’s a malady, not a congenital defect. Now, granted, it’s pandemic — but not necessarily untreatable.

  16. sdferr, the list can get out of hand quickly, but I’d throw in Thucydides, and maybe the Old Testament and Shakespeare’s history plays. Everyone need to learn that human nature hasn’t changed much since we started writing things down about 6,000 years ago, and it won’t change much in the next 6,0000 years either despite attempts to pretend otherwise.

  17. It’s possible that fundamentally incapable is the case if the ‘system’ was designed with a view to denying the capacity: i.e, hey-hey-ho-ho, Western Civ. has got to go.

    But McG, can you e-mail me? (sdferr at comcast dot net) I’ll send a writing along to you if so, and if you want it.

  18. FWIW, I regard the system itself as fundamentally identical to the ones I went through — four years public (if you include kindergarten) and nine years Catholic. It works in the same way that a system for irrigating pasture works regardless of where you bought the right parts to operate it.

    If, however, you bought parts that are designed not to operate it but to prevent it from operating, that doesn’t mean the principle isn’t sound or that the system wouldn’t work if you installed the right parts.

  19. Likewise, I’m disinclined to believe that our Constitution is flawed, just because it’s not working right now.

  20. charlesaustin, indeed the list of highest need is quite large — however, the short list I composed was intended solely to get its arms around the matters on which Levin touches in his first half-hour. He’s quick, that one.

  21. “Likewise, I’m disinclined to believe that our Constitution is flawed, just because it’s not working right now.”

    Is the road flawed when you ignore or fail to notice the yellow lines?

  22. Cutting the carbs with protein wisdom — either by including it in the pancake or as a side dish — also helps.

    TFTFY, McGehee

    Bob ‘The Brown Noser’ Belvedere