Utterly Meaningless » Blog Archive » AT LAST, AN ALLY!

    Filed at 11:10 am under by dcobranchi

    I was beginning to think that I was the only home education blogger who wasn’t rushing to condemn the Belgian officials and embrace the editor of Brussels Journal. Not anymore, thanks to Valerie Moon.

    Local politics can be a minefield for those who aren’t well-versed in the players and their goals, and the local ‘playbook.’ Even people ‘in the know’ can find themselves blindsided by aspects of situations of which they were unaware, so how much more foolhardy is it for those who are ignorant of anything to do with the situation to venture opinions?

    And this is where I see the English-speaking homeschool community’s position on the summoning of Mr. Belien to the police station. We are outsiders and we don’t know who, what, or why. If other Belgian homeschoolers who aren’t politically active are not in jeopardy, then this particular incident probably isn’t ’about’ homeschooling. There are probably other when and where aspects of which we are profoundly ignorant.

    …Butt out

    Given that most Americans couldn’t find Belgium on a map with both hands and a flashlight, and couldn’t even connect the words Flemish and Flanders, much less Flanders, and Wallonia (and what is the tapped-out industry in Wallonia, and the nationality of the guest-workers still living in Belgium; can you tell me as much as that* without doing a Google search?), we should probably keep our online mouths shut, while keeping our online eyes open.

    I think the folk wisdom on this is “we don’t have a dog in that fight.”

    8 Responses to “AT LAST, AN ALLY!”

    Comment by
    June 20th, 2006
    at 11:14 am

    Flanders? As in Ned Flanders, the evangelical neighbor on The Simpsons? 😉

    I’m on your side Daryl. I’m so on your side I didn’t even bother to post about the story.

    Comment by
    Daryl Cobranchi
    June 20th, 2006
    at 11:20 am

    Hi-diddle-do there, neighbor.

    I believe this is the same Flanders.

    Comment by
    Scott W. Somerville
    June 20th, 2006
    at 12:37 pm

    Well, “Darren,” I guess you and Valerie are on the same page here. My old friend DARYL would stand up for homeschoolers, whether they are politically incorrect or not.

    Comment by
    Daryl Cobranchi
    June 20th, 2006
    at 12:46 pm

    No, Scott, I wouldn’t. Check the archives and see how much I wrote about the German homeschoolers. Little or none. And it’s not because I don’t care about HE elsewhere but because I don’t know enough to even begin to pontificate.

    I know zero about Belgian politics (though I did kiss a Belgian girl once). The Belgian HE community doesn’t seem to be up in arms about this, so why should we be?

    Comment by
    June 20th, 2006
    at 12:51 pm

    That’s what I was thinking Scott. As far as not offering an opinion, Valerie has a point. But the fact that we may not understand all the politics isn’t sufficient reason not to blog about this. One of the best thing about blogging to me is how quickly truth will surface the more people who blog about things. If bloggers are completely silent, there wouldn’t be a place for the dynamics of this story to unfold. The two work together. I think that’s what is happening here. We’re all learning as more details are unfolding. So caution is good, but sometimes complete silence is not golden. Espcecially where governments are concerned.

    Comment by
    June 20th, 2006
    at 1:29 pm

    Scott, this isn’t about being fair weather homeschool friends, it’s about being IGNORANT of Belgian politics, E.U. politics, and all the players. We get into squabbles about how the ‘other side’ misunderstands American political positions and here we are inserting ourselves into a foreign political concern? The mind boggles at the possibilities for misperceptions.

    We lived in Belgium for two years, in a ‘mini-E.U. community’ (SHAPE headquarters by Casteau nato.i...shape/ )and there is no way I’d care to venture an opinion, one way or the other, about what this incident is all about.

    I loved
    — the Belgian food (both in Flanders and Wallonia amazon...283155 )
    — the summers (usually cool and rainy)

    … and the people who I met were nice (when not behind the wheel of a car!), but politics? Or social commentary? 100-meter pole. And kid gloves.

    We don’t know anything other than the merest surface details from one blog post. As Daryl pointed out, the reports on Kay’s list about indigenous indignation on behalf of Mr. Belien is that it’s (so far) not happening. An international knee-jerk response just makes us look like … jerks.

    Comment by
    June 21st, 2006
    at 12:03 am

    Actually, I wouldn’t be surprised if it doesn’t have a thing to do with homeschooling. It is just as likely to have something to with freedom of speech as it at least appears that journalists and politicians have long been calling for him to be prosecuted due to his libertarian-leaning economics and conservative-leaining moral values.

    My Dutch is a tad shaky, so I only get the gist of what Dutch news sources are saying…have to rely on outside media, so who knows, I guess.

    Comment by
    June 22nd, 2006
    at 3:15 am

    How interesting is it that I am in agreement with EVERYONE on this thread? Hmmm…