Conservapedia:Disappointed homeschoolers

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Andy Schlafly, probably due to a deep paranoia regarding liberals infiltrating Conservapedia, has a tendency to be extremely impolite and accusatory to some of his distance learning students. Here are some examples of how students can be expected to be treated when enrolled in his "courses".

AmandaP[edit]

On the 6th September 2009, jamesRP askedimg if it was too late for his daughter to enroll in the Economics course. Schlafly repliedimg saying it was fine for her to sign up. AmandaP (jamesRP's daughter) then signed up and thankedimg Schlafly.

Amanda posted her answers to the assignment questions[1]:


1) Tea is a good, which I saw on the news last night is rising in price Graphic Design is a service. It produces something that did not exist before, but something that cannot be traded directly. Although the designs that are created may be traded subsequently, it is a service that creates them.

2) If you go to eat out at a restaurant, you have to pay towards the cleaning and upkeep of that restaurant - more than just the food you eat. Also, you pay to give them a profit. If you eat at home, your mother must use her time to buy

ingredients and cook them. If your mother earns a lot of money the transaction cost of going to a restaurant may be less than staying at home. In my case, both my parents work long hours, and it is often our nanny that must cook the evening meal. Although this avoids the transaction costs of going out to eat or of my parents spending time on non-economic activity, the cost of the nanny is obvious an additional transacation cost in this case.

3) Scarcity is about some items being common and others only being rare. In earlier centuries, substances that are now common, like nutmeg and cinnamon, were worth more than gold. These days, they are fairly cheap and gold is still valuable. I think it is to do with transport as much as anything else. Now we can get to the East easily, and can even grow spices ourselves, they are less scarce than they were. Gold, in contrast, is still found only in a few places, and is difficult to extract.

4) "The Invisible Hand" is a metaphor for man's ability to help himself, and also for God helping those who help themselves. Whatever even the most expert thinkers suggest in the field of economics, it mayh be God's will that their schemes fail.

5) Luke 12:13-21 is an example of someone who treated an exceptional result as an ordinary one. The rich man in Jesus' parable spent his money on storing the excess from a "good crop". In economic terms, he was wasting his money because

it is unlikely that such a good result would recur regularly enough to justify the expense. In spiritual terms, the man showed a miserly and selfish outlook. In Biblical times there were many poor and hungry people. If he had donated his surplus to the poor, or sold it to them cheaply, he would have avoided the expense of storage while at the same time saving many of God's children.

6) Caveat Emptor has more and more applications in modern life. There are many reports of people sueing restaurants like KFC because they became obese through only eating one type of food. They claim that the restaurant has a duty to make clear what the nutritional contents of their products is. This is a typical liberal argument, and places the burden on hard-working businesses rather than the people who are not intelligent enough to buy more than one thing day after day.


Honors: 8 - "Money is a good servant, but a poor master." Please explain.

Money is a way of storing your labour and hard work over time. In the past, for instance, a cobbler would have to swap a pair of shoes for food once they were made, and would need to haggle to obtain value for his work. With the invention of money, the cobbler could sell his shoes for currency, meaning that the economic result of his labour was now stored in coin that he could spend at a later date.

The problem with this came because many people made the acquisition of wealth a goal in itself. Liberals such as Bill Gates and George Soros accumulated huge fortunes could have been deployed better in furthering Christian acts such as feeding the poor. Worse still, other liberals make their money from immorality. Pornographers, such as Richard Desmond in Britain, have no moral difficulty in selling pornography that makes them money that is then used to expand, in his case, into main-stream newspapers. Similarly, drug dealers sell their obscene products with no regard to the human misery they create, mainly because it lets them raise huge profits and live an affluent lifestyle that is the envy of others.

If you contrast the actions of philanthropists such as Mother Theresa to those of money-worshippers mentioned above there is a very clear difference. The Good Mother raised huge amounts of money, not because she was interested in it as an end, but because she wanted to use it to benefit the poor. The people of Calcutta benefitted from her good works, and people all over the world were touched by her charity and good works. She knew that money was a servant, enabling her to help those that needed it. Instead of taking pride in a sinful list like the various "Rich Lists" that stain our world, she knew that she could use money as a tool to ensure that her name was forever enshrined at the top of a moral list of those Christian people who have enriched mankind.


(Awaiting text / capture for insult) and the page was deleted[2]. jamesRP then posted on Schlafly's talk page demanding an explanation[3]:


Mr Schlafly, my daughter is upstairs in tears following your reply. Since you deleted her reply, I can't see it for myself but perhaps you can give some indication as to "why" you think her replies were so without substance? In your role

as a teacher, you have a duty to correct students when they fail instead of simply tossing their efforts out of the window. Please explain your actions. jamesRP 12:03, 6 September 2009 (EDT)

James, play your games somewhere. I know liberals love deceit, but you've outdone even liberals with this one. Run along now.-- Andy Schlafly 12:09, 6th September 2009 (EDT)


Schlafly then blocked jamesRP (but not AmandaP).

LydiaM[edit]

Lydia first appeared on the 10th September 2009 asking if it was too late to join the same Economics class [4]. Schlafly responded saying she was welcome to join late[5] and asked her to read up on the notes for lecture 1. Lydia answered the assignment questions thus:


'Economics Homework One Answers

LydiaM

1. An example of goods could be the Bernese Mountain dog puppies I raise to sell; an example of a service could be the care my siblings provide for the dog in exchange for compensation if I happen to be out of town.

2. The option of going to McDonalds definitely includes more transaction costs for my family which has thirteen members. One transaction cost would be the fuel needed to drive our fifteen passenger van twenty minutes into town

and back; another would be the effort required to tie the six youngest siblings' shoes, zip their coats, and oversee their hair combing and face washing!

Also, as many people eat much food, it is certainly cheaper for us to sup at home on burgers bought wholesale!

3. Scarcity can be defined as the state of any good or service that can be bought or bartered for-- something that does not exist in a naturally plentiful state. Again referring to analogy of my personal experience raising

Bernese Mountain dogs, because these dogs are quite "scarce" (the original breeding pair was not brought into the USA from Switzerland until 1950), they tend be more expensive than better well-known dog breeds.

People often exaggerate scarcity to themselves when the place high personal significance on something that, in reality, has very little monetarty value. For example, it is becoming not uncommon to hear of a pet owner suing someone

thousands of dollars for the accidental death or injury of his animal friend, even though he could generally easily purchase another pet for far less. Even more logical would be for him to adopt a shelter animal... But because he feels

that his stong emotional ties to the animal should be accounted for in the loss, he demands far more recompense than simply the monetary value of the animal. However, if a person's feelings can be "fixed" for the right price, can he be

said to have any feelings at all?

4. The "invisible hand" is a guiding force which directs people who are working for their own ends to better the state of others around them, whether it be physically, economically, or even spiritually. For example, Martin

Luther, a German monk who lived in the fifteen hundreds, searched the Scriptures ceaselessly in pursuit of spiritual truth-- something that was deemed heretical by the Roman Catholic Church during that time period, and worthy of serious

punishment. In seeking answers to his own personal questions and doubts, he helped to bring about the Reforamation, which produced religious tolerance and freedom as had not been previously known for hundreds of years atleast. Had Luther not begun

his own personal quest despite the threat to his life, who knows for how many more years men may have continued under the burden of stifled thought, speech, and religious belief?

5. Luke 12:13-21 relates the account of a man who desired for Jesus to settle an economic dipute dividing an inheritance between him and his brother. Considered from an economical standpoint, one could say that Jesus was warning

the man about placing too much significance on the security of wealth. Like a crash in the stock market that wipes away your wealth, so the man's death in the parable ended his love affair with gain. The more spiritual point Christ made

is that we should beware of selfish and greedy motives as nothing lasts except that which we give to others out of love.

extra credit: The Gospel of Matthew contains more economic parables than Mark does simply because Matthew himself had been a tax collector and was thus much more interested in monetary topics than Mark was.

6. Caveat emptor-- "let the buyer beware." We should act responsibly with the resources God has given us, whether they be money, time, or effort. This includes making wise financial decisions. We should always weigh the

significance of purchasing something. This is especially true as certain things such drugs and alcohol will not only destroy our physical lives, but reak havoc on the lives of those close to us, some of whom may require financial

support, not poverty.

HONORS

8.

"Money is a Good Servant but a Poor Master"

Christ once stated these words cautioning against the love of riches: "No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God

and Money"-- Matthew 6:24, NIV. While it is true that God created us with the ability to gain wealth and possessions, He did not purpose for us to make these things the focus of our lives. Also, if we try to serve both wealth and God, we

will end up doing neither very well, and certainly waste our lives in choosing the pursuit of gain.

Money can be a blessing, but also a curse; just as it can also be used both to serve God or also to obstruct our relationship with Him. When God created us, He gave us resources to use, originally our time and effort. Even in the Garden

of Eden at the beginning of time God commanded man to "subdue" the earth and to "tend" the garden. He knew that if we applied our energies to th utilization of what He had already begun, (i.e., life forms and the earth), we could become

a self-sustaining species. Eventually, though, as culture became more complex and varied, and work more specialized, it obviously became more convenient for man to develop coin and exchange it for his needs. Now not everyone had to plant

or tend animals to provide for his sustenance. Man could design things for the comfort of others, such as furniture; or create beauty, such as art or music, for other's enjoyment, all the while receiving compensation in the form of money

which he then used too provide for himslf and his family. And so the world has progressed for centuries until this present era in which material gain has become an all-consuming passion for many people. In our era, secularization has

replaced God both in the street and in the pulpit; and soon time will show, as it did in the days of Ancient Rome, that our nation has chosen a detrimental and debilitating substitute.

When the gain of wealth becomes the focus of one's life, dissatisfaction and unfulfillment is sure to follow. This is because God created in us hearts of worship that can only be truly filled when they are filled with the worship of Him.

When we fill our lives with greed and racing for fame and gain, we are left with possibly a heap of wealth at the end of our lives which we obviously cannot take with us. However, if we utilize the money God has given us to serve others,

especially those who cannot easily support themselves, we will reap rich blessings from Him, both in this life and also in the next. We know this to be true from Christ's own words: "Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure,

pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you"-- Luke 6:38, NIV.



This was graded by Schlafly in the following manner:


UNGRADED. ANSWERS SEEM IMPLAUSIBLE AND STEREOTYPICAL, SUCH AS THE "15-PERSON PASSENGER VAN." "REFORAMATION"??? SEEMS A LIKE A MISTAKE AN UNINFORMED PUBLIC SCHOOL PERSON WOULD MAKE.--Andy Schlafly 13:40, 13 September 2009 (EDT)


Obviously concerned with these comments, Lydia queried the grading on Schlafly's talk page, leading to this discussion:


Professor Schlafly,

I'm sorry about the quality of my homework this past week. I will try to do better in the future. I don't understand the grade, though. Would you like me to redo the homework? What about the essay?

Again, my apologies. LydiaM

"Lydia", try Essay:Quantifying Openmindedness and let me know how you do, with a detailed explanation of your answers.--Andy Schlafly 17:39, 13 September 2009 (EDT)

How and where would you like me to post my answers to the questions? And do I answer the first fourteen questions only, or the follow up questions for each topic as well? LydiaM

You can post them here. By the way, how many years have you been in public school?--Andy Schlafly 19:40, 13 September 2009 (EDT)

I just graduated this past spring from twelve years of homeschool. I'm taking this course because I'm trying to get CLEP credit before going to college in the fall of 2010. This year, however, I'm taking online courses from Liberty

College and Bryan College.

As I have a committment in a few minutes, I cannot answer the questions now. However, I'll try to post them tonight. LydiaM

No kidding, "Lydia"! Tell you what, after you learn how to spell "commitment", let me know which online course you're taking at Liberty University (not "college") and I'll put in a good word with the professor for you. I've sent

several real students there and am on good terms with the fine school. It's so wonderful to see someone who thinks "Reformation" is spelled as "Reforamation", and who is so easily amused by himself!--Andy Schlafly

21:56, 13 September 2009 (EDT)


Lydia reverted all of her comments and left the site for good.

Analysis[edit]

It's important to note that the above users could be parodists, although the evidence in their writing is insufficient to warrant such insults and abuse. A teacher acting in this fashion in the public school system would be severely disciplined, if not dismissed. On the other hand, CP admins make extensive use of a MediaWiki extension named CheckUser[6] which allows them to see the previous users who have used an IP address. It would therefore be more likely that the users would have been blocked immediately were they parodists.

References[edit]

  1. Economics Lecture One Assignment Questionsimg
  2. Deletion log for AmandaP's homework
  3. Screen capture of Schlafly's response
  4. LydiaM asking to join the economics classimg
  5. Schlafly responding to LydiaM's requestimg
  6. http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Extension:CheckUser