Utterly Meaningless » 2002 » December

    Filed on December 15, 2002 at 11:03 am under by dcobranchi

    ONE MORE REASON TO HOMESCHOOL The kids can wear pretty much whatever they (or more likely we) want. Check out this list of banned items in some Milwaukee schools:
    1. Hooded sweatshirts
    2. Clothes with the numbers 5, 6, or 13 on them
    3. Clothes with stars and crowns
    4. Head gear
    5. Do rags
    6. Hairnets
    7. Caps
    8. Belts with the number 13 on the buckle
    9. Any item of clothing that is either black or red.

    FLY, PETER Kindergartners are

    Filed on December 14, 2002 at 8:55 am under by dcobranchi

    FLY, PETER Kindergartners are being taught yoga.

    Lying on mats, children close their eyes and are asked to think of something that makes them happy…

    “Almost immediately, children can think of a happy thought,” Mrs. Teicher said. When asked to do the same thing, she said, “invariably we adults have trouble finding a thought that makes us happy.”

    Shades of Peter Pan.


    Filed on at 8:39 am under by dcobranchi

    OH, THAT’S WHAT TEACHING LICENSES ARE FOR They apparently prevent teachers from doing stupid things.

    About 2,500 student teachers are in Iowa classrooms each year. A small percentage of them provide alcohol to students, have sex with them, and violate other rules, Kruse said.

    Requiring licenses would not eliminate all gray areas, such as when a student instructor and a student of legal age have a sexual relationship, Haigh said.

    Gray areas?

    TOO FAR I can

    Filed on at 8:26 am under by dcobranchi

    TOO FAR I can understand colleges banning cigarettes from dorms. The buldings commonly share an HVAC system and smoke can drift from one room to another. There can also be a fire concern. That said, banishing smokers to designated smoking corrals (or off-campus altogether) seems excessive. These students are all over 18 and, last time I checked, allowed to purchase and smoke cigarettes in most states. In loco parentis should only go so far.


    Filed on at 5:25 am under by dcobranchi

    JUST THROW THEM IN JAIL It seems the Philly school system’s “get tough” policy may be going a bit far. In the first three months of school, 33 kindergartners have been suspended. Some of these kids have exhibited behavioral problems but “zero tolerance” can sometimes mean “zero sense.”

    Another student was suspended for violating the district’s zero-tolerance policy on weapons by bringing a toy cap gun to school.

    These are five-year-olds, for goodness’ sake. You can’t expect them to understand the consequences of their actions, much less prospectively comprehend the repercussions of bringing a toy gun to school.


    Filed on at 4:56 am under by dcobranchi

    MORE OT ON LOTT Fritz Schranck has a good bit on Lott’s newest unapologetic apology. I especially liked the pictures.


    Filed on at 4:32 am under by dcobranchi

    MAGIC WITH A MESSAGE This couple does 500 shows a year at schools and fairs. They mix in a little morality instruction:

    Madison, a young volunteer from the audience, went up on stage and was asked to hand over her shoe to Elf Robin, who then placed it in a magic box that was supposed to remove the shoe’s super stink. The box started smoking. When Robin opened it up, Madison’s new sneaker was charred black.

    “Is you’re Dad a lawyer?” joked Tim.

    Tim then asked Robin what went wrong.

    “I don’t know. It’s not my box. I found it in the elf workshop.” she replied.

    “If something doesn’t belong to you, you have to respect other people’s property and leave it alone,” said Tim.

    Oh, yeah- there’s also this:

    So far, said Robin, raising a child while living on the road seven months out of the year has worked out better than expected.

    “Soon we’ll start home-schooling him. Hopefully I’ll have the patience to teach my son,” she said


    Filed on December 13, 2002 at 1:25 pm under by dcobranchi

    SMALLPOX UPDATE Pres. Bush has decided not to call for a nation-wide smallpox immunization program, although 500,000 military personnel will receive the smallpox vaccine.


    Filed on at 6:53 am under by dcobranchi

    IT’S NOT OUR FAULT Here’s another letter to to editor– this time chiefly about charter schools. The following ‘graf caught my eye:

    It’s time to stop blaming the charter school, parochial schools and parents who home school for the school district’s problems. We have all made decisions to find alternative educational choices for our children because the school district did not provide what we wanted. Rather than criticize us, the School Board should consider making changes in the district schools.



    Filed on at 6:42 am under by dcobranchi

    ANOTHER OPTION Here’s a Letter to the Editor that appears in today’s Oregonian:

    Our family read Rene Denfeld’s Commentary article about struggling public schools, “Fading fast” (Dec. 1), with interest.

    We have felt similarly. We spent many hours volunteering and advocating, not to mention helping our children with schoolwork. We listened to our children’s complaints about overcrowding and other problems.

    Moving or private school were not options for us. In our frustration, we stumbled upon another option: home schooling. While our children were attending public school, we read every book we could find on the subject. We did a dry run over the summer to see if this would work for us.

    We now accomplish more daily in the home setting than was done at public school and have the freedom to explore subjects that there is no time or funding for in public school.

    Home schooling is a viable option that parents should at least consider.



    Filed on at 4:22 am under by dcobranchi

    NOT WHAT THEY WERE LOOKING FOR Bizarre hit again. Someone Googled “naked 1st grade teachers with huge breasts” and ended up here. Sorry to disappoint, guy.


    Filed on December 12, 2002 at 6:42 pm under by dcobranchi

    “GREAT” MINDS THINK ALIKE Compare our Big Brother poster (see below) with the British version. (via Samizdata)

    UPDATE: Steven Gallagher points out via comment that I missed perhaps the scariest logo of all- the “Office of Information Awareness.” Here it is.

    Is anyone else detecting a trend? I am not a conspiracy theorist. Yet, I have asked my wife to make all purchases with cash and not to use those “frequent shopper” cards. The internal spying on law-abiding Americans (and Britons) is only going to get worse.


    Filed on at 2:56 pm under by dcobranchi

    TO VACCINATE OR NOT President Bush is apparently going to announce a plan to (voluntarily) vaccinate everyone in the US against smallpox. Last night, 60 Minutes II had a segment detailing the potential hazards of the vaccine. The estimate is 1 death per million vaccinated. Lydia and I discussed this after the show and concluded that we will NOT vaccinate the kids unless there is a genuine outbreak. What do y’all think?

    UPDATE: Chris O’Donnell asks the same question.


    Filed on at 12:20 pm under by dcobranchi

    BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU This graphic is on a page at the US Patents and Trademarks Office. The government as peeping Tom- wonderful. (via Freeside)


    Filed on at 9:53 am under by dcobranchi

    THEY JUST DON’T GET IT An educrat pushing a virtual charter school:

    “The program is ideal for home-school families as it allows for maximum parent control of their child’s education while working toward an approved high school diploma.”

    No, it’s not ideal. Will they study the things the parents think they should study? Could they decide to spend a full year learning about the Civil War and visiting all of the major battlefields? Do they have to take accountability tests? I think y’all get the point.

    THIS ONE’S CUTE Here’s

    Filed on at 9:46 am under by dcobranchi

    THIS ONE’S CUTE Here’s a nice article by a young first-time mother about her airplane trip with an infant. The homeschooler in the story gets a nice mention.


    Filed on at 9:05 am under by dcobranchi

    A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS A 4-year-old girl gave her Head Start teacher a baggie full of pot for a Christmas present.

    NEWS TO ME Public

    Filed on at 8:58 am under by dcobranchi

    NEWS TO ME Public schools in several states routinely release their students’ personal information to anyone who asks.

    Fort Worth school district staff attorney Bertha Whatley said that the district provides the information to anyone who pays the applicable fee. In addition to addresses and telephone numbers, people can obtain names, dates and places of birth, honors and awards, and dates of attendance.


    Filed on at 8:49 am under by dcobranchi

    ALL OR NONE NYC schools are being sued because they allegedly allow the display of Menorahs and the Star and Crescent in honor of Judaism and Islam, respectively, but prohibit the display of Nativity scenes.

    The lawsuit is centered on a school policy set forth by the chancellor of New York City schools that prohibits the display of Nativity scenes in the city’s schools during the Christmas season, but expressly permits and encourages these schools to display during certain religious holidays and seasonal observances the Jewish Menorah and the Islamic Star and Crescent.

    I think Jews and Moslems will be surprised to learn that their symbols are secular.

    “That policy expressly allows the display of secular holiday symbol decorations such as Christmas trees, Menorahs and the Star and Crescent,” according to William Donohue, the president of the Catholic League.

    I’d just as soon see the educrats remove all of the symbols. Let the parents decide which symbols the kids will see on Friday afternoon, Friday evening, or Sunday morning.

    IMHO*, it’s not too

    Filed on at 6:37 am under by dcobranchi

    IMHO*, it’s not too hard to translate IM (Instant Messaging) shorthand into normal text. The abbreviations and emoticons are starting to show up in students’ more formal writing assignments, to the consternation of the teachers. I have been guilty of using these a time or two. 🙂

    *In case you’re wondering, IMHO = In My Humble Opinion, BTW = By The Way, and IIRC = If I Recall Correctly (both in the previous post).

    AND I’M BACK to

    Filed on at 2:48 am under by dcobranchi

    AND I’M BACK to just plain old “Daryl Cobranchi.” I don’t want to offend anyone or claim something to which I’m not entitled. Although the “Suarez” bit is true, I can’t claim to be Hispanic. My maternal grandfather’s family was from Spain and the only Spanish I ever heard growing up was what I learned in school. My (temporarily) hyphenated last name was just a tiny protest attempting to point out how wrong affirmative action policies based on something like a last name can be.

    BTW, Izzy is legit. IIRC, her family is from America del Sur and she grew up speaking Spanish.

    IZZY UPDATE I’ve been

    Filed on December 11, 2002 at 12:40 pm under by dcobranchi

    IZZY UPDATE I’ve been corrected– it’s “Isabel Azuola-Lyman” Mrs. Azuola-Lyman has reclaimed her Hispanic heritage in the hope of landing a Bakke-influenced column at the NYT. And all I was hoping for was some linky love. Maybe I need to dream bigger. And in case you’re wondering what all this hyphenating is about, start here and then follow the links.

    UPDATE: IZZY jokingly reports this morning from her newly re-christened blog that she’s already seeing dividends from her new Hispanic surname; she’s been called a “guru” on a conservative pundit-blog. Congrats but I doubt it has anything to do with the name. Now, if she had changed her name to Swami-Shivaramakrishnalyman, there might have been a connection.


    Filed on at 9:32 am under by dcobranchi

    BULLYING UPDATE Skip Oliva says it wasn’t bullying; it was socialization.

    HEAR! HEAR! Phil Luciano

    Filed on at 9:17 am under by dcobranchi

    HEAR! HEAR! Phil Luciano in IL takes the educrats to task for harassing homeschoolers. He wants the educrats to prove that they’re doing as well raising their kids as we are with ours. Touche’!

    UPDATE: Fox News has picked up the same story. An interesting factoid at the very end:

    Ironically, one of the earliest reasons for the public school system was to spread a Christianity-based morality. These days, many homeschool parents decide to keep their children at home to infuse their education with religious ideals.


    Filed on at 5:57 am under by dcobranchi

    EVOLUTION 1, INTELLIGENT DESIGN 0 The OH State Board of Education has ruled that students will not be required to learn about, nor will they be tested on, the “theory” of intelligent design.

    Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution will be subjected to critical analysis in the classroom, but Ohio’s students will not be required to learn or to take tests on an “intelligent design” of the universe after last-minute action Tuesday by the State Board of Education.

    Intelligent design — considered a code for creationism — is the idea that life is so complex that a supreme being or god formed the cosmos.

    I believe this is a proper decision. Intelligent design is just not science. Science works by looking at all of the evidence, proposing some mechanism that accounts for that evidence, and testing the mechanism (theory) against newly discovered evidence. For the hard sciences, this testing is called experimentation. Some sciences, like biology, do not lend themselves well to these types of experiments, which is why evolution is still referred to as a “theory.” If biologists could prove evolution, it would be a “law.” That said, evolution is the best scientific theory we currently have to explain the biodiversity that we can observe. The problem with creationism (as a pseudo-science) is that it doesn’t take us anywhere. There are no tests, no experiments we can perform. Knowledge is not advanced in the slightest. It is a scientific dead end.


    Filed on December 10, 2002 at 7:15 pm under by dcobranchi

    A GROUP FISKING! Isabel Lyman found an anti-homeschooling article that is so bad, it’s funny. If this is their best shot, I’d say “Advantage, Homeschoolers.” According to the educrats, homeschooling might:

    1. Deprive the child of important social experiences

    2. Isolate the student from other social/ethnic groups

    3. Deny students the full range of curriculum experiences and materials

    4. Provide education by non-certified and unqualified persons

    5. Create an additional burden on school administrators whose duties include the enforcement of compulsory school attendance laws

    6. Not permit effective assessment of academic standards of quality

    7. Violate health and safety standards

    8. Not provide accurate diagnosis and planning for meeting the needs of children of special talents, learning difficulties and other conditions requiring atypical educational programs

    But we get the last laugh. Homeschoolers fought back and gave much better than they got. Click here for a thorough fisking by a half-dozen homeschoolers.


    Filed on at 6:08 pm under by dcobranchi

    DEFINE “BULLYING” In an article decrying the increase in bullying in the public schools, we find this unbelievable claim:

    A survey last year by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that 10,000 children stayed home from school at least once a month because they feared bullies, and half the children surveyed said they were bullied once a week.

    Half the kids each week? I find this just a bit hard to swallow. I have not been able to find the CDC report but I’d love to see what their definition of bullying includes.


    Filed on at 6:44 am under by dcobranchi

    JUST A NICE ARTICLE Nothing really profound here- just a wife (and homeschooling Mom) bragging a bit on her husband. Definitely worth a click.

    LOOK OUT Educrats in

    Filed on December 9, 2002 at 10:33 am under by dcobranchi

    LOOK OUT Educrats in Baltimore are looking to grab hold of the little ones.

    To help raise pre-kindergarten skills, state and local government leaders, along with education advocacy and service organizations, have collaborated to form the Leadership in Action Program.

    In October, the organization unveiled a five-year agenda that will help ensure that all children up to age 5 have access to quality early childhood care and education programs, that the staffs in those programs are adequately trained, and that parents of young children are successful in being their child’s first teacher. The goal is that by the 2006-2007 school year, 75 percent of all kindergartners will be fully ready for school.

    Their aptly-named five year plan is not detailed in this article but you can bet there will be lots of things that will raise your homeschool hackles.

    SIGN ME UP Oh,

    Filed on at 10:07 am under by dcobranchi

    SIGN ME UP Oh, wait- we already did. Mary Krieske lists all the qualtities of her school.

    I am a teacher. I work teaching the most wonderful children on the planet. The classes are small, nearly all the teaching is one on one, and the students can follow their interests for as long as they want. Field trips are abundant and easily accessible. The students and teachers love each other immensely…

    The school is adamant about teaching morals and good judgment. This is done almost entirely through the actions of the teachers, but is discussed and explained at any point where a student has a question. We pride ourselves on the manners of our students, and their friendly compassionate ways. We have no gangs, drugs, sex, vandalism, weapons, or obscenity.

    There’s lots more. And, you know she’s describing her homeschool, of course.


    Filed on at 9:57 am under by dcobranchi

    NO FUNNY HEADLINE I just don’t even know what to say other than THIS GUY IS NOT A HOMESCHOOLER!

    The head of the Battle Ground School District’s home-school program will be arraigned Friday on child molestation charges unconnected with his position.

    The child abuse center began investigating Pierson early this year after the alleged victim, a family member, told her mother that Pierson had rubbed her breasts on several occasions when she was spending the night at the home Pierson shares with his wife.

    The incidents allegedly occurred between September 1999, when the girl was 11, and Aug. 31, 2001, when she was 13.

    Wait- I do know what to say. Keep your kids away from the educrats!


    Filed on at 6:33 am under by dcobranchi

    FASTER THAN THE SPEED OF LIGHT The Confidence Man on Saturday blogged a story out of the Sunday NYT on the controversy surrounding Rice University’s new affirmative action, er, admissions policy. The school is not permitted to base admissions on ethnic or racial background but it somehow manages to do so anyway. Hmm- my mother’s maiden name is Suarez. Think I’ll start hyphenating my last name; I wonder if Instapundit has an affirmative action linking policy.


    Filed on December 8, 2002 at 1:57 pm under by dcobranchi

    OT- LOTT MUST GO H&OES is not a pundit-blog but this one has been eating at me for several days. We South Carolinians had accepted Strom Thurmond’s racist Dixiecrat past as just that, the past. The new Senate Majority Leader apparently is still living in 1948 and regrets that the pro-lynching Dixiecrats lost.


    Filed on at 12:56 pm under by dcobranchi

    NO COMPETITION If this is the work of a typical public school teacher, we are worse off than I’d feared. Some select quotes:

    As a public schoolteacher, I look at the increase in charter schools as a threat to the future of public education. No committed teacher is afraid of competition.

    Of course, they are afraid of competition. This entire letter to the editor is evidence that the one thing teachers fear above all else is compeition for state tax dollars.

    Any method that affects learning, especially in at-risk students, is positive for society.

    I assume this teacher means any method that positively affects learning. There are all kinds of things that affect learning that are not positive for society.

    Public schools need standards and to be monitored to ensure that they are attempting to meet their students’ needs. Teachers should be expected to be well-trained and exposed to a variety of methods. The public should feel that its tax dollars aren’t being wasted.

    Notice the weasel words? Public schools should only have to attempt to meet the students needs. Teachers should be exposed to a variety of methods; they don’t have to master any of them. The public should feel its dollars weren’t being wasted, even if they truly are.

    Private schools get public money without the same evaluations and standards. Homeschooling runs the gamut of quality or lack of it.

    She apparently doesn’t realize that charters are public schools that have to meet the same accountability standards as the regular public schools. Her comment about homeschooling is, of course, a non sequitur as we don’t take tax dollars at all.

    America makes education accessible to more students at higher levels than any country in the world. When money is drained from public education, it can’t last for long.

    Lord, I hope the current system can’t last long.

    Children are our future. We should pour public money into educating them.

    I suppose we are expected to ignore the huge hole in the bottom of the bucket. Fix the hole first; if more money is needed, then we’ll pour it in.

    DANCE! This young man

    Filed on at 12:35 pm under by dcobranchi

    DANCE! This young man had to leave the regular schools and homeschool in order to take his ballet to the next level.


    Filed on at 7:20 am under by dcobranchi

    DON’T TELL THE NEA I love the headline that the NYT chose to introduce these letters to the editor.

    A School Can’t Do a Parent’s Job


    Filed on at 7:07 am under by dcobranchi

    FIRST HORSE THEN CART I understand the fear expressed here but, in my mind, it is a bit hyperbolic.

    Social studies never was one of the three R’s.

    Now teachers fear their students may lose the ability to become politically astute adults because of the emphasis Colorado and other states put on testing literacy and mathematics.

    OK, now combining math and social studies might be a bit of a challenge, but, last time I checked, social studies textbooks had lots of words in them. The kids could read about social studies as part of their literacy work, no?

    It’s not that simple, said Kim Ursetta, a fifth-grade teacher at Denver’s Newlon Elementary who still teaches social studies 45 minutes daily.

    “I’m not supposed to be, but I am,” she said.

    “You could say nonfiction research and writing could be part of literacy,” Ursetta said. But that excludes direct instruction – a teacher talking to students about history and current events, she said.

    The kids would be much better off with more reading and less lecturing.


    Filed on December 7, 2002 at 8:47 am under by dcobranchi

    SAY IT AIN’T SO! There has been an outbreak of common sense at this public school. Quick- we need to vaccinate the other teachers before this spreads.

    When Mack passes out a narrative assignment, she’ll establish separate expectations while maintaining the same lesson: One student might be required to write a series of complete sentences while another must add rich detail and dialogue to the story.

    So goes the flexibility and blending of 7- and 8-year-olds under Mack’s guidance. Hers is a multiage class at Centerpoint Elementary School in White Bear Lake. It’s a teaching philosophy based on the concept that children learn at varied paces.

    I was actually in one of these classes for 1st and 2nd grade, and then 3rd & 4th. I guess it was an early form of a gifted and talented program. It worked well for me in 1st and 3rd grades when I could work ahead but was terribly boring for the other two years as I was essentially repeating a grade.

    UNBELIEVABLE A Bronx first-grader

    Filed on at 8:39 am under by dcobranchi


    A Bronx first-grader went berserk and tore up his classroom yesterday, tossing a chair and sending two teachers and a social worker to the hospital, school officials said.

    The rampage began after the 6-year-old at Public School 18 in Mott Haven suddenly tried to throttle another student in his class, witnesses said…

    The 6-year-old already had attacked two students this year, sources in the school said.

    The student was sent for a psychiatric evaluation. He also faces a three-day suspension…

    The child has attacked three kids this year and sent three teachers to the hospital and he gets a three day suspension? I’m amazed that all the other parents are not pulling their kids out now!

    EARLY ED The following

    Filed on at 7:03 am under by dcobranchi

    EARLY ED The following appeared on HEM-Networking listserv. It is posted here in its entirety (with permission):

    Early Childhood Education is getting all kinds of discussion in the public schools. There is a move to begin requiring kids to attend public pre-schools. Many public schools now offer pre-school — sometimes free –sometimes for a fee. Many others push “learning readiness” activities on new parents, and kids are required to pass a “Kindergarten Readiness” test in order to start school. This all concerns me because most of it involves pushing kids to learn skills very early that most kids acquire later on their own if left alone. Many schools now require kids to know how to count, read and write the alphabet, know their colors and shapes — and be able to tie shoes and button and zip before they begin kindergarten. My oldest struggled with shoe tying so we bought him velcro shoes and waited until he was older — he was happy with this plan but his kindergarten teacher sent home a note telling us that he was required to wear tie shoes and required to learn to tie them in order to pass kindergarten. It seemed both silly and developmentally inappropriate to me. It seems to me that the public schools want more and more control over the lives of kids — and they seem less aware of developmental stages. Early stimulation is great for kids as long as it doesn’t involve pushing and as long as you are aware that some skill just need to wait a while.

    This trend is worrisome but, in a perverse way, may be “a good thing” because, one day, the educrats are going to push too far. On that day, parents will finally say “Enough!” and toss the whole rotten system. As long as homeschoolers are exempt, I’m not sure if we should oppose these moves toward earlier compulsory attendance or if we should just step back and let the whole system collapse. Because I’d hate to see a whole generation of babies abused by the system, I think the former but the latter is all too tempting.


    Filed on at 3:29 am under by dcobranchi

    IS SANTA A SNOWBIRD*? A cute post- David M. was fascinated by FedEx’s package tracking feature and wondered where a letter to Santa would end up. Evidently, Santa vacations in Snowmass, CO. Read the letter to Santa- especially the post script.

    *A snowbird is a person from the North who winters in warmer climes.

    WOW This Princeton paper

    Filed on December 6, 2002 at 3:00 pm under by dcobranchi

    WOW This Princeton paper has a long, positive article on homeschooling in NJ. Not a single snarky comment in the whole thing. Kudos to The Packet.

    CALL ME SEXIST, misogynistic,

    Filed on at 2:53 pm under by dcobranchi

    CALL ME SEXIST, misogynistic, or a troglodyte- I think this is good news.

    The decades-old trend of both parents working outside the home has not only slowed, but is reversing. In four years, the number of families with one stay-at-home parent has grown slightly…

    U.S. News and World Report recently reported that the percent of young families with one stay-at-home parent has grown from its low of 38.9 percent in 1997 to 41.3 percent in 2001.

    WWHS The lede says

    Filed on at 11:03 am under by dcobranchi

    WWHS The lede says it all:

    Liz Lackey, a 15-year-old from New Braunfels, has been in high school a mere four months, but already she’s solidified her place in the campus’ social hierarchy.


    Filed on at 10:55 am under by dcobranchi

    MEET THE NEW BOSS The Federal Department of Education issued new guidelines “forbidding school districts from denying children a transfer option because the better schools have no room.” Does this make sense to anyone? If the better schools have no room to accept students, what exactly are the school districts supposed to do? Kick students out of the good schools to open up a slot? I just don’t understand this one at all. Can anyone enlighten me?

    I’LL BE LATE I’m

    Filed on at 3:27 am under by dcobranchi

    I’LL BE LATE I’m travelling today and won’t be able to blog until late this afternoon. See y’all later.


    Filed on December 5, 2002 at 5:10 pm under by dcobranchi

    I SHOULD HAVE DONE THIS A LONG TIME AGO I like to check the site’s referral logs so I can return the favor when someone links here. For two days in a row, this blog showed up but as near as I can determine, they must have stumbled into H&OES via NextBlog. But, while wandering around there I found this post on the ACLU which inspired me to sign up here.


    Filed on at 4:43 pm under by dcobranchi

    WHAT 13TH AMENDMENT? I saw this TownHall.com column earlier and meant to blog it but Nicholas Provenzo beat me to it and does a fine job.

    Mackenzie issues a call for mandatory universal service for America’s youth. “Compulsory universal service—one year with an eight-week military component, men and women, no exceptions except for physical or mental incapacity—would work miracles for this beleaguered nation’s heart and soul.” Mackenzie quotes Ted Sorensen, John Kennedy’s former speechwriter, addressing young people: “For at least part of your life, part of the time, give something back to this country. Put service ahead of self. Try it. You’ll like it.”

    Oh, really? Put service ahead of self? Rather than save the nation’s heart and soul, I think compulsory universal service would destroy it.

    Compulsory Universal Service sounds an awful lot like the terrible mandatory volunteerism being foist on some students as a high school graduation requirement.

    LILEKS-LIKE This column by

    Filed on at 4:09 pm under by dcobranchi

    LILEKS-LIKE This column by “lawyer, comedian, public speaker” and homeschooling Dad, Sean Carter, is one of the funniest pieces I’ve read in quite a while. I’m not going to spoil it; you’ll have to click over for the full effect.

    LOOK QUICK Tam Newlin

    Filed on at 10:59 am under by dcobranchi

    LOOK QUICK Tam Newlin has posted a copy of a very positive homeschooling article from American Legion Magazine (not available online). A favorite quote:

    “Homeschooling can be difficult, and it’s not for everyone,” [homeschooling Mom Noreen McCann] continues. “But when the day goes really well, it’s a slice of heaven. I think it’s family life at its best.”

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