NPR reacts to the new Beloit College "mindset list."
From the list:
1. Few in the class know how to write in cursive....
17. Trading Chocolate the Moose for Patti the Platypus helped build their Beanie Baby collection....
19. They never twisted the coiled handset wire aimlessly around their wrists while chatting on the phone.(Have they ever used a dial on a phone?)
42. Potato has always ended in an “e” in New Jersey per vice presidential edict.Okay. That one distracted me. (I'm distractable, and no, I wasn't the youngest in my class when I was a schoolkid. I was the oldest.) This gets me to something I wanted to talk about. Yesterday, I was reading the "Religion" chapter of Thomas Jefferson's "Notes on the State of Virginia," and I came across this:
The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.That's the famous quote I was looking for. But read on:
... Reason and free enquiry are the only effectual agents against error. Give a loose to them, they will support the true religion, by bringing every false one to their tribunal, to the test of their investigation. They are the natural enemies of error, and of error only. Had not the Roman government permitted free enquiry, Christianity could never have been introduced. Had not free enquiry been indulged, at the aera of the reformation, the corruptions of Christianity could not have been purged away. If it be restrained now, the present corruptions will be protected, and new ones encouraged. Was the government to prescribe to us our medicine and diet, our bodies would be in such keeping as our souls are now. Thus in France the emetic was once forbidden as a medicine, and the potatoe as an article of food.So Dan Quayle gets a boost from Thomas Jefferson. (And so does Tom Coburn, who recently pressed Elena Kagan with the question: "If I wanted to sponsor a bill and it said Americans, you have to eat three vegetables and three fruits every day and I got it through Congress and that’s now the law of the land, got to do it, does that violate the commerce clause?")
ADDED: I found the facsimile of the manuscript on line and determined that Jefferson did write "potatoe." See for yourself.