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    May 29, 2020 by Brandy Vencel

    :: 1 ::

    Our local schools are going to require children to wear masks when they go back in the fall. At least, that is what they say. I think we have all learned that an arbitrary government means things can change and change again at the whim of the Authorities.

    We decided we wanted to get to the bottom of something and set up a little homeschool science project where we ask people to wear masks and measure their oxygen saturation and then report their results. If you own an oximeter and would like to participate in our almost-scientific-but-not-quite study, click here.

    :: 2 ::

    I finished The Confession of St. Patrick and Sophie’s World this weekend, which made me feel better about not finishing anything in April. Here are my thoughts.

    The Confession of Saint Patrick

    This book was very inspiring and important correction for modern sensibilities. The depth of Patrick’s repentance from sin and his willingness to lay down his life for others, subjecting himself to terrible abuses, yes, but also standing for himself when accused by other Christians — it was all a wonderful example of virtue, I think.

    My perception of Patrick was definitely improved considering that all I knew before was based on March 17th mythology!

    Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder

    Some people (I’m not naming any names, but it’s possible I host a podcast with such a person) don’t approve of Sophie’s World. I am pleased to say I don’t approve of people like that. 😉

    I thoroughly enjoyed Gaarder’s playful romp through philosophical history and while, yes, the end was a bit unsettling, I think that is a good thing. If you’re not unsettled by the you-can-invent-your-own-reality mindset of postmodernism, the book isn’t doing it right.

    I needed a book that went well with Peter Kreeft’s Philosophy According to Tolkien and this really did the job for me.

    :: 3 ::

    The Summer 2020 Mother Culture Habit Tracker collection is now live! I’ll be doing my regular reading posts soon (hopefully next week) — I’ve been busily celebrating an 18th birthday and planning a graduation, so I’m a little behind my normal schedule. But I don’t want you guys to have to wait, so here’s a form you can fill out to get your updated summer trackers!

    :: 4 ::

    Today’s episode of Scholé Sisters is the final episode of Season 11!

    This was a little different from what we normally do; we discussed how scholé changes with the seasons of motherhood. ♥

    :: 5 ::

    This month in 2013:

    In this post, I compared a lot of quotes between Charlotte Mason’s volumes and Jane Healy’s book. It was fun. 😉

    :: 6 ::

    Podcast episode of the week:

    :: 7 ::

    This week’s links collection:

    • ‘Voter fraud’? California man finds dozens of ballots stacked outside home from Fox News
      • We know this happens here, but it’s so disturbing when we catch a glimpse of the magnitude of the problem: “The 83 ballots, each unused, were addressed to different people, all supposedly living in his elderly neighbor’s two-bedroom apartment.”
      • I repeat: EIGHTY-THREE.
      • It’s an old article, but illustrative of why we here in California are concerned by Governor Newsom’s push to mail ballots in the fall.
    • Former CBS Reporter One Of The First ‘To Identify Myself As A Target of Illegal Spying Under Obama Admin’ from Gregg Jarrett
      • “Mediate reports that Attkisson has ‘long asserted that the feds wrongfully surveilled her electronic devices from 2011-14, part of an operation tied to her reporting on the Justice Department’s botched “Fast and Furious” gun-running scheme.’ Then in 2012, she was targeted for her reporting on the attack on the American embassy in Benghazi, Libya.”
      • This spying stuff? Also disturbing.
    • Dan Bongino’s commentary on the death of George Floyd (I clipped just the pertinent part)
      • This shows some of the awful video, so if you don’t have the stomach for it, you might want to skip it. I didn’t watch the whole video. My husband did and narrated it to us at lunch and I’ve felt sick about it ever since.
      • With that said, I always appreciate Dan Bongino’s commentary when he gives the perspective of law enforcement. He said exactly what I expected him to say: this is unacceptable. What I think is particularly helpful is that explains why, from a law enforcement perspective.
      • Regardless of what Floyd did or didn’t do to draw police attention, we don’t judge and execute citizens in the streets. He deserved a fair trial. It is all just so sad.

    :: 8 ::

    Corona Reads:

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  • Reply A Cops Wife June 3, 2020 at 8:27 am

    PS I really don’t care if you approve my comment for posting or not. I’m sure you’ll get lots of hate mail if you do. I value your blog and podcast and was sad to see you jump on the persecute police bandwagon. Something I tell friends is remember what it’s like restraining an unruly toddler. Now imagine restraining a 200lb man on drugs. As for the continued restraint after unconsciousness can make sense to because often people on drugs pass out and then come to in an highly agitated state. My greatest fear as a police officers wife is that my husband will be “that guy on the video.” It is something that scares me even more than him being killed in the line of duty.

    • Reply Brandy Vencel June 3, 2020 at 8:50 am

      Of *course* I will approve your comment. What is that Scripture? The one about how the first to state his case seems right until another comes and examines him?

      With that said, my friend who is a cop agrees that Chauvin was wrong.

      I really, REALLY don’t want you to think I am jumping on an anti-cop band wagon! I am grateful for police and I support the police. I do NOT believe that one bad officer means that all cops are bad. Far from it. Our friend is currently policing in Los Angeles and it is SCARY and we cannot wait for him to come back to town.

      I thank you for sharing this, I really do. ♥

  • Reply A Cops Wife June 3, 2020 at 8:17 am

    I didn’t watch the video you linked to about the death of George Floyd but my husband is in law enforcement and he is not horrified by the video of Floyd’s death. The officers were subduing a suspect who refused to be put into the police car. Floyd had a heart attack, which happens when you have heart problems and are on drugs and are highly agitated. You are being manipulated by the media. And the police are being lynched, please stop supporting this left wing agenda to paint cops as murdering racists.

    From the arrest affidavit of the officer (who I believe is on suicide watch). Please note Floyd is complaining he can’t breathe before he is on the ground.

    “While standing outside the car, Mr. Floyd began saying and repeating that he could not breathe. The defendant went to the passenger side and tried to get Mr. Floyd into the car from that side and Lane and Kueng assisted.“

    “The Hennepin County Medical Examiner (ME) conducted Mr. Floyd’s autopsy on May 26, 2020. The full report of the ME is pending but the ME has made the following preliminary findings. The autopsy revealed no physical findings that support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation. Mr. Floyd had underlying health conditions including coronary artery disease and hypertensive heart disease. The combined effects of Mr. Floyd being restrained by the police, his underlying health conditions and any potential intoxicants in his system likely contributed to his death.”

    Also from the regulations for the Minneapolis police:

    “Neck Restraint: Non-deadly force option. Defined as compressing one or both sides of a person’s neck with an arm or leg, without applying direct pressure to the trachea or airway (front of the neck). Only sworn employees who have received training from the MPD Training Unit are authorized to use neck restraints. The MPD authorizes two types of neck restraints: Conscious Neck Restraint and Unconscious Neck Restraint. (04/16/12)“

    So the officer uses a technique that he had been trained to do.

    I am not a racist. I do not think every action the police do is good. But I do believe that Officer Chauvin is being treated unfairly. Certain groups have just been waiting to cause riots about the police. This is not about George Floyd, this is not about police brutality, this is about trying to consolidate police authority so the powers that be can “do it better.” We see how well that worked for schools…

    Over a hundred officers have been physically hurt (or murdered) during the riots. Please support the police not those who resist the police during a lawful arrest.

  • Reply Sandy May 30, 2020 at 12:54 pm

    I completely forgot about Sophie’s World! It was assigned summer reading in high school and I never actually finished it ?. Maybe it’s time. Thanks.

  • Reply Angela May 30, 2020 at 9:09 am

    Brandy, did you read Sophie’s World in tandem with Kreeft’s book?

    • Reply Brandy Vencel May 30, 2020 at 9:21 am

      Yes! I only have a chapter left of Kreeft so I’ll probably finish it this weekend.

      • Reply Angela May 30, 2020 at 9:55 am

        Did you put together a specific schedule for the readings, or just informally read both at the same time? I’m currently reading Sophie’s World, only about 5-6 chapters in, and have been eyeing Kreeft’s book so now I’m intrigued about reading them together!

        • Reply Brandy Vencel May 30, 2020 at 10:13 am

          I did! So here’s how I did it (since I don’t have a way to easily share the specifics):

          I decided how long I wanted to read them both for and then divided the page count by the number of weeks I wanted to spend. This allowed me to figure out approximately how much to read each week if I wanted to finish them at about the same time. I actually started Kreeft’s book first. In the front matter, he recommends reading it alongside a book that “ends in despair,” but I wasn’t in the mood for something that extreme so I chose Sophie’s World. Ending in nonsense is pretty close to ending in despair. 😉

          • Angela May 30, 2020 at 12:07 pm

            Thank you!

        • Reply Brandy Vencel May 30, 2020 at 12:26 pm

          You’re welcome! ♥

  • Reply tess May 29, 2020 at 3:34 pm

    Have you read anything else by Jostein Gaarder? I ask because while I think he tolerates ambiguity pretty well, I don’t really have the sense of him as being a committed post-modernist. Actually, I think he writes primarily as someone who loves the beauty inherent in philosophical endeavor, especially when it leads us into difficult places (like the death of a child, for instance, which he treats in his children’s book “Questions Asked” and “Through a Glass Darkly”).

    I think he’s too joyful to be a post-modernist! 😀

    • Reply Brandy Vencel May 29, 2020 at 3:53 pm

      I haven’t read enough of him to know this, but I’m intrigued! I actually wondered about his other books. The only other thing I’ve read from him is The Christmas Mystery, which I love and read aloud about every other year (he’s not quite Dickens 😉 ). I may have to grab Through a Glass Darkly and try it out!

      • Reply tess May 29, 2020 at 7:17 pm

        Through a Glass Darkly was thought-provoking, but not my favorite. My absolute favorite Gaarder book (and I love The Christmas Mystery, too!) is The Solitaire Mystery. It’s really all joy, I’ve read it nearly a half dozen times, and it’s on my reread list for this year. 🙂

        And “Questions Asked,” even though it’s a picture book, is really profound. It’s one of those we originally got from the library, but ended up ordering our own copy. 🙂 Not all picture books are for *small* children, you know?

        I’ve actually never had a strong yen to reread “Sophie’s World.” I read it as an older teen, and it was the right book at the right time to totally set me on fire for philosophy. But I’m getting old enough to realize that what was the right book for one era is not necessarily the right book for another, and if I have fond memories of an older read but no compelling reason to reread, I’m letting myself be content with the memory. 🙂 So I don’t know if a reread would make you like it any better, Mystie!

        • Reply Brandy Vencel May 30, 2020 at 9:22 am

          The Solitaire Mystery it is, then. I’m putting it on my list so I don’t forget. 🙂

  • Reply Mystie Winckler May 29, 2020 at 12:38 pm

    SOME people. Ugh. lol.

    So, ok. You were unsettled. I was unsettled. I don’t think the author’s point was that postmodernism is unsettling, though. I think postmodernism was the conclusion everything else was driving toward in the story. In the end, it is where we all are and what was presented as the actual finale and finality of the story. The conclusion of the story itself is that we don’t know what’s true or what’s real. The point was not to be unsettled by that, but that this was what we need to accept.

    On top of that, I don’t think the summaries of the philosophers and philosophies were well-written enough to warrant wading through the story. A story framework does not automatically make something better. A Short History of Philosophy and 100 Great Thinkers are all better written and more memorable in their summaries of philosophy at half the length. Now, that could be because it is, for us, a work in translation. But, still.

    I left the book – having already read several summaries and histories of philosophies and planning on reading more – feeling like it was a waste of time.

    • Reply Brandy Vencel May 29, 2020 at 1:43 pm

      You took the bait!!

      I agree with this, by the way: “A story framework does not automatically make something better.” I do, however, thoroughly enjoy his art and how he makes the fiction mirror what is happening in the history lessons. I thought it helped illustrate his point so much.

      • Reply Mystie Winckler May 29, 2020 at 3:23 pm

        You know I’m a sucker for your bait. 😉

        I thought it was a clever idea and construct, but it was also a pretty forced story.

        Let me ask you: Do you think the story would bear a rereading?

        • Reply Brandy Vencel May 29, 2020 at 3:54 pm

          I plan to reread it, so maybe I should answer this after I actually try it! That is, of course, the perfect question.

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