It's a Boy!

Isaac Asher vanHooydonk was born on Monday, March 26th at 10:57pm.
He weighed a mighty 9lbs 14oz and was 22inches long.
Despite my original plan to stay in the hospital, I ended up coming home right away. My recovery is going well and I feel pretty good.


The Budget

Canadians with kids will pocket an extra $310 for each child when they do their taxes next year, as families took the starring role in the federal budget's income-tax cut story...
This budget increases the basic personal tax credit for low-income spouses so that it is equal to what is afforded to the person working outside the home. This also applies to single people taking care of a dependent relative. That measure translates into a $209 tax break each year, regardless of the income level...
Combine that with a $310 credit per child under 18, and a family with one income earner and two children could see $829 more dollars in 2008...

Just under $1k isn't a lot, but quite frankly every little bit helps. It's not the government's money anyway. It's ours. To be honest, I think I can do a lot better job of spending it where it needs to go than they can. I am still hoping for income splitting to make an appearance one day.
A side note however. I found this article to be pretty biased. Who cares that middle class singles and couples with no dependents didn't get a break? No offense, I am sure you work hard for your money, but our current taxation system is so stacked against the single-income, multiple child family that we are the ones who finally deserve a break.


Nazi Throw-Backs

Did you know that homeschooling is illegal in Germany?
I did not.
Hitler banned it in 1938, and that decision has never been reversed. Education in Germany is, legally speaking, considered to be the sole responsibility of the state. Parents who educate their children at home can have their children taken away from them.
For example, take this story from the HSLDA:
15 year old German girl, Melissa, who was being homeschooled, how she was removed from her parent's home by 15 police officers and social workers, and placed into a psychiatric unit at the Nuremburg clinic for school-phobia.
We have now received even more shocking news from HSLDA United States. Last week the German authorities, without consulting or informing the parents, moved Melissa to an undisclosed location. Her contact with her family has been limited to a short conversation once per week. Last Friday the court met to determine further placement of Melissa. The court refused to change its decision but removed the first psychiatrist from the case (Melissa indicated that most of what the first psychiatrist reported was false and that she never said those things). The court is having two new psychiatrists examine Melissa.
Melissa has been moved--for a third time--to a foster home in the country. The first foster family didn't want Melissa anymore because she did not "fit." According to Melissa, the family was apparently bothered by her reading French and translating it into German.
Melissa's father, Hubert Busekros, said he and his lawyer were offered a compromise this week that they could not accept. The authorities wanted the Busekros's to give up custody of their other five children in order to resolve this situation. Hubert said the authorities are considering doing psychiatric exams on the other five children in order to implicate Hubert and his wife as unfit parents and thereby break up the family.

As far as I am concerned, this is a blatant violation of the rights of both the parents and the children. School-phobia? That's ridiculous. In one story that I found online, it was suggested that the German version of a SWAT team entered the family's home in order to remove the child. One wonders if the state employs such rigor in removing abused children from their homes.
Recently, Ernst Zundel was sentenced to five years in prison for denying the Holocaust. When I consider his sentence alongside the recent tragedy of the Busekros family, I am forced to conclude that there are some glaring inconsistencies in German law, not to mention a great deal of hypocrisy.
Holocaust denial is illegal in Germany because the country is ashamed of and fears a return to its past. This is fair. However, what good does such a law do if the country is not willing to correct all past wrongdoings? Hitler banned homeschooling because he felt the state should maintain excessively tight control over the education of its population. Germany has yet to relinquish that control merely because it is more convenient to maintain it.
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