August 22, 2019

Rudyard Kipling’s “The Gods of the Copybook Headings”

Rudyard Kipling

I’d say I’m familiar with Rudyard Kipling as the average American my age. I grew up reading some of his short-stories and poems, the most famous of which was “The Jungle Book”. I was introduced to one of his other works today, which I had not heard of before now. Sadly, it paints a clear outlook on the world around him that was rapidly changing. A perspective that seems all-to-relevant to our current society as well.

AS I PASS through my incarnations in every age and race,
I make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market Place.
Peering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all.

We were living in trees when they met us. They showed us each in turn
That Water would certainly wet us, as Fire would certainly burn:
But we found them lacking in Uplift, Vision and Breadth of Mind,
So we left them to teach the Gorillas while we followed the March of Mankind.

We moved as the Spirit listed. They never altered their pace,
Being neither cloud nor wind-borne like the Gods of the Market Place,
But they always caught up with our progress, and presently word would come
That a tribe had been wiped off its icefield, or the lights had gone out in Rome.

With the Hopes that our World is built on they were utterly out of touch,
They denied that the Moon was Stilton; they denied she was even Dutch;
They denied that Wishes were Horses; they denied that a Pig had Wings;
So we worshipped the Gods of the Market Who promised these beautiful things.

When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace.
They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “Stick to the Devil you know.”

On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life
(Which started by loving our neighbour and ended by loving his wife)
Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “The Wages of Sin is Death.”

In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “If you don’t work you die.”

Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew
And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true
That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.

As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man
There are only four things certain since Social Progress began.
That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool’s bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;

And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!

Photo Source

Joseph Rudyard Kipling. (2014). The Biography.com website. Retrieved 09:12, Oct 11, 2014, from http://www.biography.com/people/rudyard-kipling-9365581.

Is This How to Fix Congress

U.S. Capitol BuildingTwo political posts in a row. Let me know if I’m running any of my readers off and I’ll try to stop! =)

I recently saw the following item posted online. Although according to Snopes.com it’s mostly accurate related to Warren Buffet having made the quote. He did not initiate the other items. Regardless though, I believe all of these items are steps that should be taken with our existing legislature to make sure the people that are supposed to be elected to represent us can actually recognize what it means to be part of the “us” and the “US” they were elected to represent.

Warren Buffett, in a recent interview with CNBC, offers one of the best quotes about the debt ceiling:

“I could end the deficit in 5 minutes,” he told CNBC. “You just pass a law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more than 3% of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election.

The 26th amendment (granting the right to vote for 18 year-olds) took only 3 months & 8 days to be ratified! Why? Simple! The people demanded it. That was in 1971 – before computers, e-mail, cell phones, etc.

Of the 27 amendments to the Constitution, seven (7) took one (1) year or less to become the law of the land – all because of public pressure.

Warren Buffet is asking (no he didn’t, the writer of the original email did) each addressee to forward this email to a minimum of twenty people on their address list; in turn ask each of those to do likewise.

In three days, most people in The United States of America will have the message. This is one idea that really should be passed around.

Congressional Reform Act of 2012

  1. No Tenure / No Pension. –  A Congressman/woman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they’re out of office.
  2. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security. – All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people. It may not be used for any other purpose. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.
  3. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. – Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.
  4. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.
  5. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.
  6. All contracts with past and present Congressmen/women are void effective 12/1/12.  – The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen/women. Congress made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.

Do you agree? There’s nothing stated here that I would disagree with right now. I’m sure there are details of it that might get complex at some point, but I say keep it simple and straight forward.

The Politics of Homeschooling

American FlagHaving a bit of a decision to make this evening on one of the positions on my local political ballot here in Indiana. It’s for the office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. The choices are:

Here’s the challenge this evening. I have a number of friends that are educators and a few them may have their positions eliminated if Bennett is elected because he has stated that one of his budget cutting measures would be to eliminate fine arts instruction from schools. Glenda Ritz on the other hand has stated that she is probably interested in implementing new, additional policies on homeschooling for the state of Indiana.

Honestly, I’m not necessarily opposed to Indiana increasing some of the oversight of homeschoolers in our state. As Ritz stated, I believe homeschooling probably is being abused by families in our state and I believe that that is a disservice to those children affected as well as society as a whole if these children are not educated appropriately. I’ll withhold the entire debate of what it means to be “educated” for another post. However, the more appropriate action in this case is probably not more or additional policies, but to just enforce those that are already in place in the state.

This statement was agreed on by the HSLDA in a recent article:

First, homeschooling is regulated in Indiana. There are several code provisions and Indiana case law that applies to anyone who want to teach their children at home. If, and I mean “if,” this situation Ms. Ritz mentioned is actually happening, these provisions of Indiana law can be applied to ensure that children are being educated.

For instance, local attendance officers can bring a case to enforce the compulsory school attendance provisions of Indiana law. They can also serve notice on any parent whose child is out of school illegally. Parents who are convicted of failure to send a child to school can be imprisoned up to 180 days and fined up to $1,000 dollars.

In Indiana a parent conducting a homeschool program is legally recognized as operating a nonpublic school. Among other things, they must maintain certain records to provide evidence that their child is legally attending their homeschool program and receiving instruction that is equivalent to that given in the public schools. Homeschoolers in Indiana don’t need any further regulation.

As with many of my other political arguments. In general, we don’t need MORE regulation. We need enforcement of EXISTING policies and regulations. It still astonishes me when people think a new law will somehow be the one a criminal (or someone not interested in obeying laws) will agree to not break.

But, does that mean I vote for Bennett? Not necessarily. I absolutely believe that fine arts programs are important in schools. I believe there are plenty of other areas to cut funding in, or perhaps the better solution is to change how resources are made available and established for schools and educators. I don’t want my friends to be out of jobs either. Where’s the balance?

In the end, there’s no guarantee that Ritz won’t cut programs that will impact the careers of my friends. And, no guarantee that Bennett won’t go along with initiating some additional regulations that will impact homeschooling families like myself as well.

I believe it’s important that the freedom to homeschool isn’t abused. I also believe that even though we’re homeschooling our children, it’s important that I’m aware and involved with what’s happening in public schools as well. I understand that homeschooling is not the best option for everyone just as public schools aren’t the best option for everyone. I know I haven’t talked to a single teacher friend yet that’s in support of Bennett. That’s got to say something.

Hmmm.