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educationvirtual children by Scott Warnock

Until we test them to death?: Standardized tests are destroying education, part 2 (of 874)

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What is it like being a kid in the standardized testing labyrinth of American education? I wonder if those of us who aren’t kids ask that question enough. I also wonder if kids themselves understand their own feelings about being tested, understand that it isn’t an inevitable aspect of being educated. [Read more →]

politics & governmenttrusted media & news

What Elizabeth Warren should have said about the social contract

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The president of the United States, Barack Obama, has been telling me, specifically, that I have to start paying my fair share. Actually, he has been telling you to start paying your fair share, as well. None of us is off the hook, in fact. He wants everyone to pay their fair share:

“It’s only right we ask everyone to pay their fair share,” Obama said, later adding, “If we’re going to meet our responsibilities, we have to do it together.”

The reason we all have to pay our fair share is because the government, which is run by members of the democrat and republican parties, is deep in debt. It is so in debt that it has actually forced the president to lecture me– me, of all people— about how I need to stop being so damned obstinate and start paying my fair share. [Read more →]

politics & governmentterror & war

The Functional Zionist

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The President addressed the UN yesterday to weak applause. None would publicly declare their love. If only I had been successful in getting my bathroom recognized as an Observer State years ago; I could have been present and, in Venezuelan-style, banged a pot with a wooden spoon drowning out the sarcastic-polite golf-clap that is the international kleptocrats’ gravest insult. The gunslingers and AM burpers who make daily claims to Zionism are unified in their disdain for the United Nations and the President. The endemic assumption is that international bodies, the President and the Democrats generally are pillars of a monolithic, Israel-bashing Left, and generally this is so. Yet we must recognize that in this instance Obama, with his pledge to veto Palestinian statehood, is squarely on the Zionist side of the field as his cool reception indicates. He may not like it, we cannot say, but he is there. Oh yes. [Read more →]

books & writing

Lisa reads: Roastbeef’s Promise by David Jerome

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What do you want your loved ones to do with your body when you die? I’ve actually had this conversation with my family; both my parents want to be cremated. I also want to be cremated, and though I’m not entirely certain what I want to do with my ashes, I hate the thought of them sitting in an urn on someone’s mantle.  So I liked the premise behind Roastbeef’s Promise: Roastbeef’s father has died and he wants his son to sprinkle his ashes in each of the contiguous 48 states. One helluva road trip, with Dad’s urn in tow.

The rest of the family is not entirely down with this idea, but Jim, aka Roastbeef, decides to drop out of college, take his beat-up car and hit the road. In theory, hilarity will ensue. [Read more →]

politics & government

Err, ah…about that Elders of Zion thing?…They don’t want you to see. Congress doesn’t know, governors don’t know, Red Cross, ACLU, National Geographic. Nobody knows, man.

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Hardison: Oh, no. All this construction is goin’ on underground. Under, beneath the eyes. The eyes of the world, man. They don’t want you to see. Congress doesn’t know, governors don’t know, Red Cross, ACLU, National Geographic. Nobody knows, man. Nobody, man. They’re puttin’ terrorists in your backyard. Terrorists under your backyard. “Hey, little Billy, go outside. Dig in the sandbox. Ooh, klang. What’d ya find, little Billy? What’d ya find? It’s a terrorist. It’s a bunker full of terrorists, man.” Bunker, man.

Monica: What other sources do you have besides tin foil hat over here?

Hardison: Hey, hey, hey, man. Bein’ a tin foil hat, that’s better than bein’ a lap dog for the four corporations that control the global media, man.

Leverage–Three Days of the Hunter Job

I get emails. I get comments. At times that the Tin Hat Brigade of both left and right wing nuts and assorted loonies are out to amuse me. There’s really no other way for an adult to respond to some of this stuff. There is no answer sufficient, no proof adequate. The best response, the most telling one I’ve seen that illustrates this paranoid function in America — and anywhere else — was a comment to the effect that the Protocols of the Elders of Zion were forgeries by the Czarist Secret Police doesn’t matter, because if the elders had written down their protocols, this would be what they’d say… So getting this email in one of my professional accounts was interesting, amusing and kinda, sorta sad. It sums up in some ways the very nature of our debate today — between ideology, superstition, and ignorance fighting for the main tent in the three ring circus of the downfall of western Culture and the United States as we know it. (And, don’t get me started on the right…heh, heh.) [Read more →]

travel & foreign lands

MartyDigs: Ireland Part Two

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Last week, I explained everything that led up to my first day in Ireland. To be honest, last week’s blog was pretty boring. This week I am going to tell you about everything that happened on my three week trip to Ireland where I volunteered at a camp for children. It involves beer, a scary Polish girl, car bombs, Austrian musicians, a dead bird, and Evander Holyfield’s chomped off ear. Sit back, and let me take you to the rolling green hills of Ireland! [Read more →]

environment & naturemoney

The long-range forecast: no sun, no wind

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How could ANYONE or indeed ANYTHING possibly go out of business just after a straight cash infusion of a half a billion dollars? Somehow Solyndra has managed it. This middle-sized firm with the maudlin name was never Too Big To Fail in its own right but it is exemplary. Solyndra is a “Green” business. You know that. And “Green” is the economic future. Green is clean. Green is keen. Green is nice, unlike those nasty cro-magnon energies like oil, gas and nukes. Even hydro power is in an infamous stink. That’s something of a puzzler, isn’t it? What could be cleaner than washing the whole landscape with cool, fresh creek water? As with so many of our current misapprehensions we suffer from Humpty-Dumpty-itis. Which is to say that the words you are hearing, Alice, do not mean what you presume they mean. Indeed, they are subject to revision or even flat inversion opportunistically by the eggshell sophists. In such an environment your most basic presumptions will fail you.

The bugaboo with this stuff is always CO2, carbon-dioxide. You are sitting in a vile cloud of it right now. Wait! Don’t go fleeing into the street. Out there is a dose of carbon-monoxide! Not an improvement and in any case the CO2 is everywhere on earth; a disgusting state of affairs. Most sadly its source, among others, is your two little nostrils. You breathe in 300-odd parts per million of this toxin and breathe out considerably more. This, the Green Advocates seek to stop. And so they should. A shocked humanity gazes in horror at its exhalations and wonders, what is this poison and how did it get inside my lungs? Was it Monsanto? Dow-Corning or Dow-Jones? Ah, it was Archer-Daniels, wasn’t it? Perhaps a blanket ban on hyphens would solve our crisis. [Read more →]

artistic unknowns by Chris Matarazzomusic

Pretty popular for a dead guy: Thoughts on running out of milestones

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I was watching Paul McCartney in concert on TV the other day. He was playing to a festival crowd — maybe eighty-thousand strong. (It was at the Isle of Wight or the Isle of Lucy or something like that.) As he got the end of “Hey Jude,” the crowd, many of whom had been years away from being born when “Hey Jude” was written, joined in, singing the “Na-naaa-na-nanana-naaaah,” part and it occurred to me that success is a bizarre thing. [Read more →]

race & culture

It really is all about who you know

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I was talking with a friend the other day about the nature of success and fame in America.    We were discussing a mutual friend who is a really talented musician and singer, and all during our childhood, everyone was sure that she’d be the one to make it big some day.  Of course, she’s now a 40 hour per week, 2.5 kids and a mortgage mom with a husband and a house somewhere out in BFE.  It’s almost stereotypically mundane, no?

[Read more →]

moneypolitics & government

Winning the future with the metric system!

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Warren Buffett has a complaint. He pays taxes at a lower rate than his secretary, or so he claims, and this is a scandal. One might counter that since he meticulously games his compensation taking only a cool $100k in “income”; and the balance in capital gains he complains against himself. The simplest thing might be to alter his affairs so he draws his lucre in straight salary plus bonuses, eschewing the dance of trust payments and carried interest his genius accountants set up for him long ago but simplicity is not Buffett’s bailiwick. He is more into snapping up distressed businesses that are distressed because of their tax bill; usually the estate tax bill, and flipping them for gorgeous profits. Hmm. Maybe that is simple. No, Buffett, contrary to well-honed opinions, is not the beating heart of capitalism. Rather he has crafted himself a nearly uniquely safe and prosperous niche in the fiscal ecosystem. He is a buzzard. Not only is he a buzzard but he is a lucky, lucky buzzard; luckier or craftier than other would-be buzzards as he has found a lumbering omnivore that stomps its way through field and street twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week and every damned day of the year. Buffett is a carrion crow with no need even to lazily glide about sniffing for the waft of rotten flesh. He sits on the shoulder of Leviathan; picking through the crushed bodies in its footsteps, nibbling at the gooey bits in its stool and when not feasting, whispers in its ear; This way. Not that. [Read more →]

religion & philosophy

What Makes Us Stupid

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This is not a question. It is the start of an answer. Simply a statement of the obvious made to reach beyond ‘what is the matter with us.’

The reason that we cannot easily overcome those things which make us stupid is that they are all qualities which might serve as well to make us happier, better, smarter, or more able. Importantly, they seldom involve rational choices. In some cases, never. They are all emotional in nature. They are the aspects of our individual being which combine to make us both unique and typically human. They are the source of everything we think of as good, and everything we believe to be bad. [Read more →]

moneyrace & culture

Ebonomics in Atlanta

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The Ebo or Igbo are a proud people, but then aren’t we all? They hail from modern Nigeria more or less, speaking a language you may have heard a time or two. You recognize it as if you try to duplicate its phonemes you will need a partner to perform helpful Heimlich maneuvers on you and manipulate your nostrils. Even then you will have a terrible accent. The Igbo are known as endemic traders. Yes, this included the slave trade which is about the only presentable explanation for their treatment by the Black Power Structure of Atlanta. [Read more →]

bad sports, good sports

Bad sports, good sports: Denver fans putting up billboard in support of Tim Tebow

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The football fans in the city of Denver have me baffled. Despite a miserable performance in training camp that was so bad it relegated him to third string, Tim Tebow continues to be the recipient of the adoration of many Broncos fans. This time, a group of fans are planning to put up some billboards with the intent of convincing head coach Jon Fox to start Tebow rather than Kyle Orton or Brady Quinn. [Read more →]

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingeducation

Top ten signs you’ve chosen the wrong college

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10. The “Registrar’s Office” is actually the back of a ’56 Buick

9. The school motto is “Truth, Justice, Tuition Hikes”

8. The school cafeteria is just a candy vending machine

7. You first heard about the college on the back of a pack of matches

6. The college asks that you pay your tuition up front, in cash, no large bills

5. The History professor teaches how the ‘Good Guys’ lost the Civil War

4. George W. is on the cover of the yearbook

3. All the professors are on some sort of work release program

2. There are no Asians anywhere

1. The school library has only three books, and two of them involve finding Waldo
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

politics & governmenttrusted media & news

Back off Barack!

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New York 9 is all over but the whining. Weprin delivers. He is not too hard on Obama personally but he makes the conventional assertions that shift culpability for losing Weiner and Schumer’s seat to the heretofore invisible Republicans. You see, Weprin tried to make the election about himself and/or Turner but Turner, events and the electorate colluded to make it a national referendum on the Obama Presidency which is lately in deep ordure. Weprin played his part by basically pretending that there was no such thing as an Obama or a President or even a Democratic Party.  It is easy to see the poll-dancers’ art and philosophy here. Obama’s numbers are not good, sir. No, not even here. The pukes and punks who counseled every mother’s son to hang on tight to the speeding Obama Train right up until the Great Shellacking was dry, suddenly whisper; just let go and be sure to bend your knees. In their biz, electoral theory runs on mere tropisms like an insect drawn to a light or repelled by a sound. When the numbers are UP, draw near. When the numbers are DOWN, flee! Why such predictable and cliched advice is so richly rewarded is mysterious. What is not mysterious is the fate of these gunslinging genii. They have left the crumpled hulk of the Weprin Express, dusted off their jackets and wiped off their fingerprints as they limp to their new gig. As remunerative as the last gig. [Read more →]

environment & naturemoney

Green jobs or pink slips?

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books & writing

Lisa reads: The Map of Time by Felix J. Palma

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This is going to be a tough review to write.

I can tell you how The Map of Time by Felix J. Palma begins. I could possibly even tell you what the Map of Time is. But most everything else I would want to tell you, I can’t tell you. It would spoil something. And this is the sort of book where you really don’t want the plot twists spoiled.

First thing I loved about this novel: the Narrator. This is not just any omniscient narrator — this one has a charming voice and a lovely way to tell a story.

“Assuming you stay until the end of this tale, some of you will no doubt think that I chose the wrong thread with which to begin spinning my yarn, and that for accuracy’s sake I should have respected chronological order and begun with Miss Haggerty’s story. It is possible, but there are stories that cannot begin at their beginning, and perhaps this is one of them.”

[Read more →]

politics & governmenttrusted media & news

The plague of swans

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Ten disasters were visited on Pharoah and not incidentally on Egypt. First was that which turned the Nile waters into Blood. This did not persuade Pharoah to free the Jews as he deemed this event a souped-up parlor trick or possibly an ugly coincidence. So then came the Plague of Frogs. Then of Lice. Then Flies, Pestilence, Boils, Hail, Locusts, three days of unbroken Darkness and finally the Death of the Firstborns; spared of the Jews who marked their doors with ram’s blood. Then Ramses let those people go though as we know, he soon reneged.

Pharoah had it easy. His opponent was nothing more than the nameless god of the Jews and he could tap out at any time. Greater sympathy is due Barack Obama. [Read more →]

advice

There are always too many sluts and hookers

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So it’s that time of year again.  The leaves on some of the smaller plants are beginning to change colors, the nights are getting longer, and the summer heat is finally dissipating.  Football is on TV and on the mind of every old man down at the local coffee shop in the morning talking about his grandson.  My pumpkin patch has already produced ripe fruit.  Fall is certainly right around the corner.

It’s time to start thinking about what you’re going to wear for Halloween.

[Read more →]

moneypolitics & government

V

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Supply and Demand collude or compete to produce Price. Any child fortunate enough to have run a lemonade stand before they were outlawed knows this. Since the Battle Royal between Reagan and Bush Sr we have heard Supply-side economics ever derided as “voodoo” since it was so denounced by W’s dad and that has proven the most durable of his utterances other than “Message: I care”. Supply-side’s competitor is often called Keynesian economics although since the sixties little has been proposed in the name of Keynes that the man would have supported. Tax-and-spend is probably the rough rhetorical equivalent of the disparaging “voodoo” but let’s keep things pleasant for all players and call it Demand-side. The divide between these two combatants is the divide between Right and Left. To a lesser extent it is the divide between Democrat and Republican so it should be well known. Basically the Keynesians assert not that a lack of Demand is the only problem in an economy but that most other problems can be swamped by goosing the economic call for goods and services and that this can be done by pouring greenbacks out the front window. On this premise is built all things called Stimulus. It would be a slander on John Maynard Keynes to say this was his opinion but his heirs have modified the doctrine to their own purposes. Like Keynes, the Voodoo Economists would ask, where does that money come from? Well, today it is printed, borrowed and taxed in descending order. Supply-siders will tell you that what ails the economy is that too much is taxed out of it. But tax rates are historically modest, you might say. [Read more →]

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