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  • THAT WAS FAST

    Filed at 6:37 pm under by dcobranchi

    HSLDA’s Scott Somerville has just announced he’s shutting down his barely month-old blog — and without even hinting why. No fair, Scott — is it a legal ethics thing, or what?

    13 Responses to “THAT WAS FAST”


    Comment by
    COD
    September 15th, 2005
    at 6:40 pm

    Prediction – and this is just a guess as I have no inside poop – HSLDA is starting its own blog.

    Further speculation, comments will not be allowed.


    Comment by
    Tim Haas
    September 15th, 2005
    at 6:55 pm

    Interesting thought, Chris. I’m guessing it has to do with Scott’s admirable tendency toward frankness, such as this post from Monday:

    “My second emergency of the day is just plain silly. Some school officials need to be sued.”

    It’s a shame, really — I think Scott, in his commenting elsewhere and in the short time on his blog, has given HSLDA skeptics (of which I am frequently one) a much more nuanced view of the organization and certainly of some of the people behind it.


    Comment by
    COD
    September 15th, 2005
    at 7:02 pm

    Yeah, that could be it too. I did click through on that post as it definitely grabbed my attention.

    And I agree – he has affected my opinion of the organization. I don’t think I’ve written anything particularly negative about them in weeks!


    Comment by
    Ron
    September 15th, 2005
    at 7:42 pm

    My guess would be a conflict of interest thing. I agree he’s given the organization a human face/voice.


    Comment by
    Lynda
    September 16th, 2005
    at 12:07 am

    Frankness? Or foot in mouth disease? I’m thinking it could be because of all that “frankness” (blabbing) about a member on lists, his blog and in the papers in Ohio.

    Plus, now the public, due to that “frankness” sees someone they preceive to be the “face” of that organization calling an accused child abuser a “hero.”

    Hmmm, me thinks that didn’t play too well and the real “face” of that organization reined him in and told him enough was enough and that a low profile is what he needs right now!


    Comment by
    Jeanne
    September 16th, 2005
    at 8:48 am

    As a former public relations professional, I’m reminded that organizations often PAY to have a human face/voice presented. It’s not automatically a bad thing, but it’s important to realize how this stuff works. You guys know this and aren’t taken in, right? And, occasionally, the human face becomes just a little too human for the comfort of the organization.

    Or maybe not. But, you know, nuance is not necessarily a suit everyone is comfortable playing in — and sudden departure from nuance may be even less comfortable.


    Comment by
    Tim Haas
    September 16th, 2005
    at 9:23 am

    You guys know this and aren’t taken in, right?

    No, we’re just standing around gawping while our turnip truck gets fixed. 🙂

    I’ve been reading Somerville on various lists, boards, and now blogs since 1998, and even if he started as a shill, he’s grown (or, if you must, appears to have grown) beyond just that.

    Ah, there goes my wax-string cell phone — the truck must be ready.


    Comment by
    Jeanne
    September 16th, 2005
    at 11:23 am

    Glad to know your turnip truck works well. Didn’t mean to sound patronizing, even if you all were sounding positively like a fan club.

    BUT, I think it’s important to keep in mind that the organization that Scott is a part of has not, to my knowledge, um, become more nuanced over the years, even if you feel Scott has or has appeared to. The fact that Scott is articulate, persuasive and personable may have softened the org’s image among some of its critics, but I continue to be concerned about the reality of HSLDA.

    Of course they’re entitled to operate as they see fit, but it doesn’t mean that a large contingent of homeschoolers and a large contingent of Christians won’t resent and criticize them for it.

    The fact that they’re smart enough to try to make the medicine go down better with a spoon full of sugar doesn’t make me any less suspicious, though I admit it’s good for business.

    Wolf in sheep’s clothing and all that.

    I concede what I’ve always conceded, that HSLDA does what it does very well, and that it has every right to do so.

    But I also think that their practices and policies often have (unintended, short-sighted or disregarded?) negative effects for homeschooling, and that just because they have folks who can talk nice and play well with others, doesn’t mean they are interested in any greater nuance in their practices and policies than they ever were.

    So, you’re not buying any swamp land on the Coast, but while we wax poetic about admirable tendencies and human faces — other people might be wading in. I’m just saying.

    I’m ringing that little bell next to my wax-string phone. Pick up, will ya?
    #
    writeh...t.html


    Comment by
    Daryl
    September 17th, 2005
    at 6:36 am

    I like Scott and consider him an email friend. He wrote on one of the listservs that the blog had been an experiment and that HSLDA might now sponsor one.

    And I’ll bet dollars to donuts that Chris is right on the comments.

    As for what the organization is doing, HONDA is back.


    Comment by
    Jeanne
    September 17th, 2005
    at 7:31 am

    Of COURSE HSLDA is starting a new blog. Who ISN’T starting a new blog? I mean, if I’VE got one…. (not that I can change the background color or anything)

    “As for what the organization is doing, HONDA is back.”

    Exactly.

    No matter how many of us have enjoyed an e-lationship with Scott over the years (I think I’ve participated in lists and boards with him from homes in three different states), HSLDA continues to do things that are bad for my homeschooling family, like promoting this HONDA bill.

    Many people find Scott to be friendly, smart, and articulate.

    Meanwhile, HONDA is dangerous, mis-guided, and bad for homeschoolers.

    As long as HSLDA continues with these negative policies, I don’t find Scott’s nuance and friendliness reflected by the organization that pays him to project nuance and friendliness.

    There’s a wide disparity between the messenger and the message here.

    In the novel version, Scott sees the light and makes his escape from HSLDA. He starts an organization that embodies his nuance and friendliness, and we all live happily ever after.

    Jeanne, waving to Scott 😉


    Comment by
    Andrea R
    September 17th, 2005
    at 12:36 pm

    “There’s a wide disparity between the messenger and the message here.”

    Which is probably closer as to the reason why he’s no longer blogging. 🙂

    (Need some help chaning that background color? 😉 )


    Comment by
    Daryl
    September 17th, 2005
    at 1:49 pm

    “My second emergency of the day is just plain silly. Some school officials need to be sued.”

    Is this post gone? I couldn’t find it (or anything on the sleeping cages).


    Comment by
    Tim Haas
    September 17th, 2005
    at 3:06 pm

    A-ha — must have been removed. It came between the post titled “Heartbreaking Call” and “WNYC Interviews …”.

    You can still see it on Google for now:

    tinyur.../axzj7