Part the First: Our German Shepherd

The Pope looks good.  You would think that an 80 year old man with crushing responsibilities would be hobbled and drawn two years into his pontificate, but Pope Benedict looks surprisingly well.

A full head of hair, an unlined face, and a certain aura of serenity seem to suggest that Poping agrees with this man.

Ad Multos Annos!

Part the Second: Freedom

My friend Chris beamed me over a September 2003 article by [Farmer] Joel Salatin entitled, “Everything I Want to Do is Illegal”.  Salatin bemoans the fact that government now intrudes into every facet of his life.

In part, it reads:

Any power tool — including a cordless screwdriver — cannot be operated by people under the age of 18. We have lots of requests from folks wanting to come as interns, but what do we call them? The government has no category for interns or neighbor young people who just want to learn and help out.

We’d love to employ all the neighboring young people. To our child-awning and worshiping culture, the only appropriate child activity is recreation, sitting in a desk, or watching TV. That’s it. That’s the extent of what children are good for. Anything else is abusive and risky.

Then we wonder why these kids grow up unmotivated and bored with life. Our local newspaper is full of articles and letters to the editor lamenting the lack of things for young people to do. Let me suggest a few things: digging postholes and building a fence, weeding the garden, planting some tomatoes, splitting some wood, feeding the chickens, washing eggs, pruning grapevines, milking the cow, building a compost pile, growing some earthworms.

[snip]

The government has no pigeonhole for this: “I’m a 17-year-old home-schooler, and I want to learn how to farm. Could I come and have you mentor me for a year?”

What is this relationship? A student? An employee? If I pay a stipend, the government says he’s an employee. If I don’t pay, the Fair Labor Standards board says it’s slavery, which is illegal.

Read the rest here.

Part the Third: Apologies

Just before I went away, Vache Folle tagged me with a meme that went unnoticed until my return.   I extend my sincerest apologies for my breach of blog etiquette and promise to respond promptly to all future tags.

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