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The draft law was presented in June, and likely will go before Parliament in spring 2010, designed to take effect in 2011.

“How many of us think of Sweden as being a place where personal freedom doesnt exist?” asked conservative blogger Jason A. Clark at his self-named site. “Having complete control over the education of the youngest members of the state is always an integral part of controlling a population. The 20th century is littered with examples of state-run indoctrination of the youth.

“Believe it or not, this is exactly the sort of thing many people want to do here in the U.S.”

Even apart from that, an existing de facto home-schooling ban in Germany already has produced a high-profile refugee case.

“In Germany, parents face stiff penalties if they are caught illegally home-schooling their children. The Romeike family recently left Germany and is seeking asylum in the U.S. after facing stiff fines and the potential loss of custody rights for home-schooling their children. The Home School Legal Defense Association is offering them legal help,” reported Pete Chagnon of OneNewsNow.com

Retraction

In this space last week, I picked up an item about an American Civil Liberties Union statement to Fox News that “critics of the administration’s health care proposal should not fear that their names will end up in some government database.” My item cited conservative criticism of the ACLU for engaging in double standards for being calm about White House abuse of information under a Democratic administration.

I got a letter Friday from Rachel L. Myers, a media-relations associate with the ACLU, saying that Fox News had misreported the quote. The ACLU actually had said “critics of the administration’s health care proposal should not have to fear that their names will end up in some government database.”

“Should not fear” and “should not have to fear” mean totally different things — indeed, in this context, they have almost opposite meanings. Ms. Myers also noted that an ACLU lawyer had appeared Monday on Fox’s “America’s Newsroom” show “to express our concerns about the ‘fishy e-mail’ program.”

I apologize for the mistake and retract the entire item, as it was based on a false premise. An editor’s note has been appended to that item in last week’s column on The Times’ Web site.

Victor Morton may be reached at vmorton@washingtontimes.com