Utterly Meaningless » 2007 » December

    Filed on December 11, 2007 at 7:15 am under by dcobranchi

    out of Anderson, SC.

    A local home educator is a candidate to lead the State Board of Education. The paper is opposed:

    Would the citizens of South Carolina think it a good idea that the head of the state Education Board would be someone who doesn’t demonstrate a personal commitment to public education?

    …While members of the state board, and most particularly the chairman, must view education with a critical eye and must be able to see its flaws, those same individuals should be able to see and support its positive aspects. Anyone on the board, again, most especially its leader, should believe that while there is room for improvement, support of public education, for an equal opportunity for every child to attend a school of equal quality, is a vital part of our state’s future.

    …Ms. Maguire is a member of the advisory board of South Carolina Parents Involved in Education and is also affiliated with South Carolinians for Responsible Government. Both organizations support tax credits and “scholarships,” which can be translated to a state voucher system, a diversion of taxpayer funds from public schools to private education, also viewed favorably by Mr. Sanford.

    There is nothing wrong with a parent choosing private education, or, as Ms. Maguire has elected, to home school. But taxpayers should not have to pay for those private education decisions.


    Filed on December 9, 2007 at 8:05 am under by dcobranchi

    I still don’t think Huckabee wins the nomination, even with overwhelming support from the (other) homeschool community. He’s just too wacko– a fundamentalist Baptist (Young Earth?) Creationist preacher.


    Filed on at 6:49 am under by dcobranchi

    Home ed grad Tim Tebow won this year’s Heisman. He’s the first sophomore (true or redshirt) to win.


    Filed on December 8, 2007 at 6:14 am under by dcobranchi

    I’m opening up the space for a family friend (an HEK, of course). This was posted to our local list. I doubt Juli’s going to drive to Canada to pick up kitty litter. 🙂

    Hi, my name is Brett Hanna Beighley, I’m Juli’s daughter. I volunteer at The Haven, a no-kill animal shelter in Raeford. This time of year is hard on shelters, because with the holidays, donations tend to go down. I am organizing a food/fund drive for the shelter.

    If you would like to make a donation of cat or dog food (brand does not matter), kitty litter, or cash, please contact me. My phone number is 423-xxxx. My mom will be happy to pick things up.

    For more information on The Haven, go to their website:


    Thank you,
    Brett Hanna Beighley

    This really is timely. In today’s paper there’s this note:

    Merit, for the members of the Psi Chi psychology honor society at Methodist University, who began an education campaign Monday, calling attention to North Carolina’s horrifically high euthanasia rate at its animal shelters. Based on state statistics, the students say more than 250,000 dogs and cats are killed every year in this state’s shelters. About 10,000 of them are euthanized in Cumberland County’s Animal Control shelter. The group sees low-cost spay-neuter programs as one cure for the problem. Psi Chi chapter president Sarah Hammond says “We really want to prevent mass killings of thousands of pets who would make wonderful additions to our homes.”

    The Haven is the only no-kill shelter in the area. If you’d like to donate they accept PayPal. And if you do donate, please leave a comment (anonymously is fine) so that Brett can see that her efforts have been fruitful.


    Filed on December 7, 2007 at 7:30 am under by dcobranchi

    Go vote for a deserving blog (not HE&OS).


    Filed on at 7:05 am under by dcobranchi

    The General has a good post explaining why religion matters. For background, the General was raised Mormon and lives, I believe, in Utah still. He knows what he’s talking about.

    Money graf:

    This is why it is critical to discuss a candidates religious beliefs. It gives us the best insight we can get into how someone like Mitt would govern. He’s the type of leader who would believe that his actions are condoned by God and are not subject to Earthly laws like the Constitution.

    Sound familiar?


    Filed on December 6, 2007 at 9:08 pm under by dcobranchi

    It’s not often that homeschooling and presidenting intersect. Of course, with the current occupant of the White House it must be a screw up:

    WASHINGTON (CNN) — Harried homeowners seeking mortgage relief from a new Bush administration hotline Thursday had to contend with a bit of temporary misdirection from the president himself.

    As he announced his plan to ease the mortgage crisis for consumers, President Bush accidentally gave out the wrong phone number for the new “Hope Now Hotline” set up by his administration.

    Anyone who dialed 1-800-995-HOPE did not reach the mortgage hotline but instead contacted the Freedom Christian Academy — a Texas-based group that provides Christian education home schooling material.


    Filed on at 1:53 pm under by dcobranchi

    This quote should disqualify him from the presidency:

    “There are some who may feel that religion is not a matter to be seriously considered in the context of the weighty threats that face us. If so, they are at odds with the nation’s founders,” Romney said.

    “Freedom requires religion, just as religion requires freedom. Freedom opens the windows of the soul so that man can discover his most profound beliefs and commune with God. Freedom and religion endure together, or perish alone,” he said.

    Is any religion OK, or just some of them? Perhaps even just one?

    UPDATE: Kevin Drum has a good rant on this.


    Filed on at 6:53 am under by dcobranchi

    Not gays and lesbians, of course. The folks who attempt to use religion as a beard to hide their utter hatred. Sorry about the extended WND quote. Publicizing their twisted “theology” is the only way I know of to make sure the infection doesn’t spread.

    “With the passing of SB 777, a Christian parent cannot, in good conscience, send their child to a public school where their child will be taught or coerced into a lifestyle or belief system that is contrary to the faith they hold dear,” Kanter told WND.

    “Fortunately, SB 777 has caught the attention of many churches and pastors here in California, and as they should, they are calling on their congregants to take their children out. To help in this endeavor, our ministry has sent and will continue to send out free packages directly to churches containing information on how they can encourage their congregants to homeschool their children, as well as how to create in-church parent led schools,” she said.

    “We hope our resources will encourage Christians to focus on the importance of not leaving Christ out of a child’s education,” she said.

    WND columnist Olivia St. John reported California’s “raging ideological” battle prompted students to pack up their backpacks and stage a two-day boycott to protest the plan that has the state “force-feeding children perverse material and videos vile enough to garner an R-rating in the local multiplex.”

    “Evidently, some are beginning to wake up to the fact that their children are no longer receiving true education, but are being clandestinely recruited into sick social movements threatening to tear families apart at the seams,” she wrote.

    “When it comes to actively promoting sin to public school children, the homosexuals are light years ahead of adulterers, fornicators and substance abusers, who haven’t yet implemented student-run organizations to convince children that such lifestyle choices are normal,” she continued.

    *Just try and get the song out of your head. Can’t be done. 🙂

    UPDATE: This column by home educator Olivia St. John is a must read. They really are sick, aren’t they? I’d say that this flavor of Christianity is one reason that the percentage of Americans who self-identify as Christian is down 10 percent this decade. Who’d want to be lumped in with this?!


    Filed on December 4, 2007 at 6:48 pm under by dcobranchi

    My #1 fan “Soldier of Jesus Christ James Lancaster” has written me again! His largely illegible letter starts off “Hey! Traitor and infidel!” He goes on to set me straight that the Supreme Court declared in 1899 that the United States has a “national religion, Christianity, the only true religion!” He also tells me I’m going to “burn in Hell. Ha! Ha! Ha!”

    I guess he disagreed with my LttE.


    Filed on December 3, 2007 at 7:50 pm under by dcobranchi

    Chris has determined the winners of the FUCKME awards.


    Filed on at 4:08 am under by dcobranchi

    The idiotic LOTD:

    Expelling God has created turmoil

    Well, it is too bad, so sad, that Geri Weaver is furious about the Bible placed in the public school.

    Does she know that our country was founded on verses from the scripture; also our laws? Some so-called “smart” lawyer worded it so they had to expel God from all public places.

    Can Ms. Weaver see the turmoil in our country and schools since that happened? She’s furious; well, so am I: furious with the papers for giving her so much attention, and sorry for her and her little boy.

    Carolyn W. Kirby


    Filed on at 3:46 am under by dcobranchi

    When even the relatively conservative FO editorial page calls for the Congress to stand up to the President in support of the 4th Amendment… Well, I hope someone in DC is listening. If you have a Democratic Rep. or Senator, call them. (The GOP members are hopeless. They’ll drink Bush’s Kool-Aid until Jan. ’09.)


    Filed on December 2, 2007 at 3:36 pm under by dcobranchi

    A very local story. The dam in Point (not “Points”) East is right across the street. I mean literally within a few feet of our house.

    Residents around Points East Lake, off N.C. 87 near the Bladen County line, are in the same boat. In 2005, the state wanted the homeowners association to repair erosion around the emergency spillway.

    According to Derrick Martin, president of the association, a homeowner with earth-moving equipment fixed the dam himself. In 2006, the state demanded an engineering study for the work that was done.

    Martin said the association is broke and can’t afford the study. The dam’s rusted gates have been left open, he said, allowing the lake level to drop by half, because the association lacks the money to make repairs.

    Nobody from Points East Lake is asking Cumberland County for assistance.

    The county commissioners have intervened twice to save lakes: McFadyen Lake in the early 1990s before the city annexed it, and more recently Lake Upchurch, southwest of Hope Mills. Both times, the county paid for the projects up front and assessed the entire cost to lakefront homeowners.

    The Points East Lake is on the state’s list of unresolved deficient dams. State inspectors say they try to coax dam owners to fix the structures, especially if a breach could cause property damage and deaths downstream.


    Filed on at 12:44 pm under by dcobranchi


    Filed on at 9:36 am under by dcobranchi

    This Op/Ed about the Creation Museum is pretty good. I agree with just about everything Wilmot writes, except his belief that the state should be able to force home educators to teach “real science.” Parents have the right to teach their kids the anti-scientific, irrational lunacy that is creationism. (Yes, Mimi, lunacy.)

    One other change needs to occur to keep home-schooled children from being misled by creationists. The Kentucky home-school statutes are terribly vague. In fact, science education is not even mentioned in the regulations. If a student is never taught the scientific method and how science is the best method we humans have of collecting unbiased, factual information about the natural world, and instead taught that blind obedience to an ancient text is all that is needed to lead a happy, meaningful life, how can this child ever expect to make informed, science-based decisions as an adult? These statues should be changed so that science education, real science education, is a requirement in all home schools.

    I feel sorry for the kids who are instructed in YEC. They may never know what they’re missing. But we cannot go down the road of forced education. Not now. Not ever.


    Filed on at 7:22 am under by dcobranchi

    There are lots of great reads [/sarcasm] in today’s “Sunday Forum.” I’ve re-printed the most over-the-top one below. Sadly, it’s written by a home educator:

    The question: How should our public schools handle the teaching of religion? Is it appropriate for Christian Bibles to be distributed in nonsectarian elementary schools?

    Bibles better choice than ‘flawed humanity’

    I do not believe in religious indoctrination in public schools funded by taxpayer money.

    Having said that much and given the alternatives being offered by the American Civil Liberties Union, Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network and our “illustrious” — but fatally flawed — National Education Association, I would much rather students read a Bible and receive generic education to instill a belief in a power higher than that of our also flawed humanity.

    Better that than for students to be held a captive audience of these devious organizations hell-bent on recruiting our children to a homosexual and Godless lifestyle. These organizations are spending tens of millions, if not billions, of dollars to gain unrestricted access to every student in America. That is only one reason why the school-age children in my family are home-schooled.

    However, the proponents foster unfettered liberalism on this nation. They are permitted to teach from the Quran and explicit methods of homosexual lifestyle. But mere possession of a Bible in school is prohibited. They choose the low road out of fear to admit they might one day stand in judgment before the very power they curse and deny.

    Bottom line: If I had to make a choice of recruiting for God or recruiting for a homosexual lifestyle for students, I would rather make the only logical one — God.

    Sharon North

    I love how she doesn’t believe in “religious indoctrination” but also would mandate that kids be educated to believe in a higher power. My head hurts!

    I encourage you to click over and spend a few minutes learning what life in the Bible Belt is like. It’ll be a real eye-opener. And on the off chance 🙂 that you don’t make it through all of the LttE, here’s my answer:

    Law is clear regarding Bible distribution

    This is an easy one. They should not be teaching religion. First Amendment? Establishment Clause? Handing out Gideons’ New Testaments is a pretty blatant endorsement of one particular religion. And that’s something that neither the government nor its agents (i.e., the schools) are permitted to do under the U.S. Constitution.

    Schools should obey the law. Period. The law is that they cannot distribute Bibles. Even if the majority in Cumberland County want them to.

    The school district made the correct decision in halting distribution of the Bibles. The law is clear and the ACLU would have eaten their lunch in court.

    Daryl Cobranchi


    Filed on December 1, 2007 at 4:39 pm under by dcobranchi

    Two opposing views of the Gender Bender day WND has been flagging forever now. I wonder which one is closer to the truth, the educrat version or the wingnut version:

    First the wingnut:

    A mother whose children were taken out of the public schools because of the cross-dressing promotion didn’t want to be identified, but told WND she knows of probably 200 families who filled out state-required paperwork to withdraw their children from public schools.

    “What it is is we’re following the Bible,” she told WND. “There was a situation that took place, which was the gender bender day. Our children were to participate in the cross-dressing. When they refused they were told they would get a bad grade…”

    And now the educrat:

    Phil Roeder, a spokesman for the Des Moines schools, told WND that the event was nothing unusual.

    “There were a couple of calls at the office at the school from parents that were concerned,” he told WND. But he said the district itself had not seen any unusual activity regarding homeschooling.

    “Let’s just say the numbers you are hearing are greatly exaggerated,” Roeder told WND. “Events like this at a high school are part of homecoming week activities and certainly are not mandated events. They’re voluntary activities that the students put on.


    Filed on at 10:33 am under by dcobranchi

    No Gideons –> Gordon Gecko

    Removing Bibles promotes bad decisions

    It was very sad today to see the lead story in the paper about the decision to not allow copies of the Bible to be available to children in the schools (“Elementary school Bible distribution halted,” Nov. 20). If I read Sunday’s initial article correctly, the Bibles were not being forced on kids, they were just being made available to the kids if they wanted one. I fail to see how that is harmful. We offer sports to kids in schools and they are not forced to participate, we have libraries in our schools and kids are not forced to read those materials, we offer meals at lunch to kids and they are not forced to eat, so how is offering Bibles, if kids want to take one, any different?

    Unfortunately, this kind of action is another attempt to remove anything spiritual from the fabric of our society. All we have to do is look at the present situation in the mortgage and credit markets and the impact the housing situation is having on the stock market and the economy to see the damage that is done when greed and overspending dominate decisions people make — a world based only on money and the material things of life is headed for trouble. Doesn’t the present economic situation teach us that?

    Our schools are supposed to be places that encourage and improve the lives of our children. Decisions such as this one only deprive our children of the opportunity to have access to the one thing that really matters in life.

    Stuart Walters

    I wonder what that “particular faith” is.

    School children’s rights are being violated

    I cannot begin to tell you how saddened I was when I opened the newspaper and read the headline “Elementary school Bible distribution halted,” (Nov. 20)

    Let me begin by saying that I am of a particular faith, that I love the Lord with all my heart and that I have an elementary grade school child in the public school system.

    While I completely honor and respect Geri Weaver’s rights and opinions in this matter, I feel that my child’s and countless other children’s rights are being violated. I feel that any child in any public school should be able to receive a copy of the Bible if they so choose.

    As I see it, life is all about choices. Sometimes we make good ones; sometimes we make bad ones. God gives us free will to make decisions for ourselves. How wonderful is that! Let’s allow the children the choice when offered a copy of the Bible to receive or reject it.

    And parents, if you do not want your children to have this material and feel the need to make choices for them, then by all means take that stand and discard it.

    Can we please look at the other side of this situation? There are many children, mine included, who believe in God, who read His word and would love to have the gift of a Bible.

    Susan Adams Peoples

    No Gideons –> Sex, Drugs, and Roll & Roll

    Straying from values is wrong road

    I was not surprised, but still am saddened, by the recent ruling of the Cumberland County school system to cease allowing the distribution of Bibles to students.

    I fondly remember some gentlemen coming to our fifth-grade class and giving out Bibles. All I knew then was that the Bible was something good and that these men cared about me and my classmates and wanted us to read it. Now I know the author, His absolute truth and His amazing grace. When school officials consider God’s word to be the kind of material that is not appropriate, we might ask exactly what they allow these students to read.

    We all live in a world where our kids are bombarded by profanity, sex, violence and other harmful influences on TV, in movies and music, and even in some school books. While such immorality is constantly forced on us, anti-Christian groups tell us to ban the Bible.

    Unfortunately, as society continues to suppress the true values of life taught in the Bible, children will still choose to wander down wrong pathways. When we hear of another shooting at a school, or experience another young life ruined by drugs or alcohol, or see another teen pregnancy, we might be tempted to ask “why?” Perhaps then we’ll realize we knew the answer all along. For while many may treasure the freedom to make their own individual choices without Godly guidance, they are also prone to suffer its inevitable consequences.

    David Mintz

    How can so many people not only not understand the Establishment Clause but not see how someone who doesn’t share their “particular faith” would view a distribution of Bibles to young kids? Apparently that bit in Matt 5 about loving your enemies, about voluntarily doing more for them than they demand of you, had been omitted from the NTs that the Gideons handed out when these folks were in school.

    Or I guess one could say that it’s proof that handing out Bibles to kids doesn’t make a damn bit of difference in how they turn out.


    Filed on at 5:58 am under by dcobranchi

    Don has a good post up, here.

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