Utterly Meaningless » 2008 » March

WORST PRESIDENT IN HISTORY

Filed on March 30, 2008 at 7:14 pm under by dcobranchi

Read this NYT editorial and then tell me that Bush doesn’t deserve the label.

HEADS UP: NH

Filed on at 9:21 am under by dcobranchi

Bad sausage law in the making?

G. HOME SCHOOL PARENTS MUST PROVIDE CURRICULUM, NOTIFICATION: HB337 would require parents who home school their children to submit a one-time educational plan – fulfilling the state-required curriculum for an adequate education – when they first start home schooling, and to notify school districts each year before they start to home school, instead of up to 30 days afterwards, as allowed by current law. Supporters said they are worried that a minority of parents might be using the home schooling law to avoid compulsory education laws. Opponents said most parents who home school their kids are doing an excellent job, so why scare them away with excessive curriculum requirements?

The Senate PASSED the bill, 14-10, on March 13 onto the House. A YES vote FAVORED the requirements.

WHISTLING PAST THE GRAVEYARD

Filed on at 7:22 am under by dcobranchi

I don’t think I’ve read a more pollyannaish evaluation of the current state of the stock market.

I AM LOCUTUS

Filed on at 2:57 am under by dcobranchi

APOD reports that astronomers are afraid of the Borg.

GUEST POST BY HEATHER JOHNSON

Filed on at 2:41 am under by dcobranchi

5 Ways to Fit in With Your New Homeschooling Group

Homeschooling parents are independent people who are educating their children to also be independent and self-reliant. However, the benefits of a homeschooling group can’t be denied by even the shyest parent. If you and/or your children are having trouble relaxing at homeschool meetings, heed the following advice.

1. Arrive Punctually – You already feel lost when you walk into a group of strangers, so be sure you aren’t interrupting a meeting in progress. In fact, you should even show up early when you are new, so as to introduce yourself to the host.

2. Be Yourself – If you were a conformist, you wouldn’t be homeschooling your children. You can only assume that everyone else at this meeting is a character, so don’t feel obligated to comb your hair into a tight bun. (Unless, of course, you like rockin’ the schoolmarm look.) You can act appropriately without sacrificing your individuality.

3. Be Tolerant – Just as you should feel comfortable being yourself, so should you tolerate other people’s differences. There are groups aimed at certain types of parents, such as Christian-based groups, but that still encompasses many different personalities and beliefs.

4. Ask Questions – Prepare a list of questions for the people in the group who have been there longer. Not only do you need to know this information, it shows them you’re engaged and are a productive part of the group.

5. Attend Meetings Regularly – If you don’t show up to meetings very often, your group will never get to know you and your children. Also, it’s hard for them to deny you as a “regular” if you are there all the time.

While you should really try to give your new homeschooling group a fair chance, don’t feel obligated to make a bad situation work. If you absolutely can’t stand these people (hey, we’re only human) or if your child really doesn’t mesh with their children, you can always walk without obligation. That is the beauty of homeschooling- freedom and a wealth of options.

By-line:

Heather Johnson is a freelance writer, as well as a monthly contributor for OEDb, a site to help students select among accredited online schools. Heather invites your comments and freelancing job inquiries at her email address heatherjohnson2323@gmail.com .

SURVEY REALLY SAYS

Filed on March 29, 2008 at 7:43 am under by dcobranchi

Click here for the results.

The MoE for this highly scientific survey of HE&OS readers is 15%. :-)

OUR GOV’T AT WORK

Filed on at 7:16 am under by dcobranchi

A couple of stories in the local paper today prove, once again, that the government is not your friend. The first is an example of TSA idiocy:

LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) — The Transportation Security Administration said Friday its officers at a Texas airport appear to have properly followed procedures when they allegedly forced a woman to remove her nipple rings — one with pliers — but acknowledged the procedures should be changed.

Mandi Hamlin, at center with attorney Gloria Allred, demonstrates how she removed her nipple ring.

The woman involved — Mandi Hamlin — told reporters earlier Friday she was humiliated by last month’s incident, in which she was forced to painfully remove the piercings behind a curtain as she heard snickers from male TSA officers nearby. The incident occurred at the Lubbock, Texas, airport.

Is there a federal law that you have to be a fucking moron to write TSA regs?

The second story today in the Governmental Hall of Shame is an example of the police being pwned by a group of teens:

WAUSAU, Wis. (AP) — Cars lining the street. A house full of young people. A keg and drinking games inside. Police thought they had an underage boozing party on their hands.

But though they made dozens of teens take breath tests, none tested positive for alcohol. That’s because the keg contained root beer.

The party was held by a high school student who wanted to show that teens don’t always drink alcohol at their parties. It has gained fame on YouTube.com.

Dustin Zebro, 18, said he staged the party after friends at D.C. Everest High School got suspended from sports because of pictures showing them drinking from red cups.

The root-beer kegger was “to kind of make fun of the school,” he said. “They assumed there was beer in the cups. We just wanted to have some root beer in red cups and just make it look like a party, but there actually wasn’t any alcohol.”

Zebro purchased a quarter-barrel of 1919 Classic American Draft Root Beer, and by 10 p.m. Saturday, the scene outside his rural Wausau home had all the makings of a teen drinking party — cars, noise and kids.

Kronenwetter Police Chief Daniel Joling said an officer was dispatched to the home March 1 on a complaint of cars blocking the road.

Juveniles began coming out of the house after the officer used his squad car’s loudspeaker to warn that cars would soon be towed, Officer Jason Rasmussen wrote in his report.

Nearly 90 breath tests were done, and officers even searched locked rooms for hiding teens.

“It was a tremendous waste of time and manpower, but we still had a job to do, and our officers did it,” Joling said. “If one kid had come there, even hadn’t drank there, but had come there and had been drinking and had left and crashed and burned, then what would the sentiment be? Why didn’t the police check everybody out?”

Yeah, it was a huge waste of time and money, but it was worth every second and cent to cover the police chief’s ass.

A SURVEY

Filed on March 28, 2008 at 12:31 pm under by dcobranchi

Quick and dirty. One question.

IN 500 WORDS OR LESS

Filed on at 1:28 am under by dcobranchi

Chris asks:

Relative to the services that you receive from government, do you think you pay too much in taxes? Explain.

Since the Bush Maladministration is running huge budget deficits, by definition we are receiving more services than we are paying for. Of course, a couple hundred billion a year of those so-called services is a stupid unnecessary invasion and occupation that has managed to kill 4000 (and counting) American soldiers and tens of thousands (and counting) Iraqis (War without end. Amen!). All so George Bush can sleep soundly at night knowing that he has the Biggest Swinging DickCheney on the block. We need to end the occupation of Iraq. That will take real leadership from our elected officials in DC. I don’t think we’re getting what we pay for in that area. Lobbyists for the military/industrial complex, OTOH, are getting exactly what they pay for. Maybe they pay better?

Now, if you subtract the couple hundred billion wasted in the Middle East, I believe we’re not getting nearly the government we pay for (although we are probably getting the government we deserve). I for one would like to see the government tackle the issue of the 50 million or so Americans who have no health insurance. Single-payer that would cover every American could be accomplished by spending no more money on insurance than we’re spending today. To get there, though, would take real leadership from our elected officials in DC. I don’t think we’re getting what we pay for in that area, either. Lobbyists for the insurance industry, OTOH, are getting exactly what they pay for. Maybe they pay better?

Another area that is ripe for reform is the criminal justice system. We pay untold billions a year to run the so-called War on Drugs (War without end. Amen!) and to incarcerate the users of said drugs. These billions are wasted and waste the lives of the millions caught up in the criminal justice system for the victimless “crimes” of consuming psychoactive chemicals. Far better to decriminalize the behaviors, to free the political prisoners, and to close the unneeded prisons. Of course, that would take real leadership from our elected officials in DC. I don’t think we’re getting what we pay for in that area, either. Lobbyists for the corrections industry, OTOH, are getting exactly what they pay for. Maybe they pay better?

Hmmm. I detect a bit of a theme here. Perhaps the first service we ought to demand is to kill (figuratively) all the lobbyists.

OH! MY! GOD!

Filed on March 27, 2008 at 6:26 am under by dcobranchi

This is just what we need:

Szot says one of her top issues is education. She believes the way laws are changing, homeschooling parents eventually will be forced to invite homosexuals into their homes to teach “gender neutrality.” She also believes children are choosing suicide due to “death education” and “encrypted drawing.” She cites the Columbine High School tragedy as an example.

“[In the '80s] they [Columbine teachers] were teaching death classes,” she says. “And in these classes, the kids would go to morgues and touch dead bodies and stuff, and then they would have to go back and write their own obituaries. They would have to tell the class why they wanted to commit suicide.”

Similar claims have been made online, but never confirmed.

In another interesting, and unreported twist, Szot says she investigated the school further and uncovered evidence that high school boys were having sexual relationships with local cops. Szot says her evidence proves that Columbine happened due to a corrupt system and not “just a couple of kids that decided to go wacko.”

Szot also will talk about taxes and stormwater fees. She says the fees are keeping people from seeking needed medical care, adding, “People with families should not have to pay any tax at all.”

Szot, a mother of six, says she lived in Michigan until the mid-’90s, when she moved to Colorado Springs following an ugly divorce from an abusive husband, loss of custody of her three youngest children, and violent fallout after she busted a drug ring involving politicians and judges, with the help of gang informants.

CALIFORNIA COURT CAVES

Filed on at 6:18 am under by dcobranchi

How else to read this?

A state appeals court will reconsider last month’s controversial decision that said parents who home-school their children must have a teaching credential.

The 2nd District Court of Appeal in Los Angeles granted a rehearing Tuesday, essentially voiding the 3-0 decision until it rules again. The decision will now allow home-schooling organizations that had blasted the decision to weigh in.

I really have no opinion on this case. CA ed laws just confuse the hell out of me. My understanding was that the word “homeschooling” was legally undefined, so folks who wanted to homeschool completely separate from the g-school system filed an R-4 to register as a private school. That’s not what this case is about. This one is centered on the use of umbrella schools that provide “cover” for homeschoolers. The judges ruled that they’re illegal. So now there will be a do-over.

LIFE IN FAYETTEVILLE

Filed on at 6:09 am under by dcobranchi

Tell me this one doesn’t sound like an urban legend:

City police were swamped with phone calls Tuesday as word spread about a possible gang initiation ruse.

Word was that those wanting to join gangs would cause a rear-end collision with another car and then attack that driver, said Jamie Smith, Fayetteville police spokeswoman.

The rumor was spread by text messaging and e-mail, Smith said.

Lawmen investigated the claims but found nothing to substantiate them, Smith said.

Police believe it was an urban legend, Smith said.

There was no mention of the ruse at Snopes.com, a Web site that examines urban legends.

Yeah, Snopes didn’t have this exact UL, but it has several very similar ones. And now it has this exact one, too.

My home town, made forever to look ridiculous on Snopes. Wonderful.

As an aside, I am totally blown away by how up-to-date snopes.com is. The article quoted above is in today’s newspaper. And Snopes already has it.

CARNAC SAYS “YES!”

Filed on March 26, 2008 at 7:44 pm under by dcobranchi

“What we’re facing is a statistical Katrina on the part of the administration,” said Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-New York.

“Will they leave this mess for the next administration?” asked Maloney, a member of the House committee that oversees the census.

A “GREAT” MOVIE REVIEW

Filed on at 3:59 pm under by dcobranchi

This one, ostensibly of Paris Hilton’s latest, had me LOL.

NEVER FORGET…

Filed on at 11:00 am under by dcobranchi

That “schools are the safest place for students to be.” I guess they forgot to tell Billy’s bullies about that, though.

MY MAN BARRY

Filed on March 25, 2008 at 8:41 pm under by dcobranchi

Barack Obama polled a 21 point lead in NC this week.

I’m voting for the Democrat in the GE. I’ll be pulling the (electronic) lever for Obama on May 6th.

MADU*

Filed on March 24, 2008 at 6:37 pm under by dcobranchi

*Megan Against Driving Unvaccinated

Meagan McArdle calls parents who don’t vaccinate “parasites,” “sociopaths,” and “the moral equivalent of driving drunk.” And unvaccinated kids should be effectively subject to house arrest.

I’m not certain but I think she’s not too keen on the idea.

And in a related story, The Today Show this a.m. had a segment on the exact same subject. Their doctor/talking head basically said parents need to STFU and do exactly what the CDC says they should do.

UPDATE: And still more.

QOTD

Filed on at 5:52 am under by dcobranchi

“The defense policy of the United States is based on a simple premise: The United States does not start fights. We will never be an aggressor. We maintain our strength in order to deter and defend against aggression — to preserve freedom and peace.” — Ronald Reagan

Yeah, I’m feeling particularly morose about the state of our nation.

4,000

Filed on at 2:40 am under by dcobranchi

Can we please go home now? This Mission Accomplished is killing us. Literally.

A FUCKING WASTE OF TREES

Filed on March 23, 2008 at 8:44 pm under by dcobranchi

This tract is being promoted one of the NC homeschooling listservs I monitor. Five bucks for almost 1000 pages. Cheaper than toilet paper.

My response (which I’m sure won’t win me many friends):

Why would anyone spend good money on a tract that starts off like this (from their website)? “Science teachers present evolution as if it were a proven fact. This book, with its thorough index, makes it easy to find answers to those outrageous claims.”

Of course evolution is a fact. Anyone who claims that the Earth is only 6,000 years old or that there is not evidence of common descent is just being plain unscientific. You do your children no favor teaching them unscientific fairy tales while claiming to teach “truth.” Science is self-correcting. Faith? Not quite.

CRAZIEST DOG IN THE WORLD

Filed on at 6:41 pm under by dcobranchi

Anyone else have a dog that likes wasabi peas?

HAPPY COLD FUSION DAY!

Filed on at 5:08 pm under by dcobranchi

It’s the 19th anniversary of the announcement that didn’t change the world. True confession time. I was there. I mean I was really there. I worked in the lab next door to Pons’ lab in the basement of the Henry Eyring Chemistry Building at the University of Utah. In fact, for a very brief time, I worked for Pons. I was doing work on ultramicroelectrodes. After I left the group another grad student picked up the work. He was the unnamed third author on the original cold fusion paper.

Yeah, missed me by that much.

True story– Pons was really wacked out at the time. I was working late one afternoon when one of Pons’ grad students came down and told me that I had to go with her to Pons’ home immediately. Supposedly some of their work had drawn the interest of the CIA, and they wanted to talk to everyone who had access to the lab. Really. We sat around Pons’ home for a couple hours before concluding that the CIA was going to no show. Good beer, though.

AYN RAND???

Filed on at 3:49 pm under by dcobranchi

Why would BB&T (my local bank, BTW) be pushing “Atlas Shrugged” on college students? Is the CEO a secret Randian?

I’m pretty sure Rand would have been aghast at the bailouts that the big banks have been clamoring for. Be careful what you wish for…

BY REQUEST

Filed on at 5:47 am under by dcobranchi

p1060676.JPG
Heathen that I am, I’ll be doing the grout today.

THANK DICK!

Filed on at 5:12 am under by dcobranchi

On Millman’s article:

vanwahlgren wrote:
We in the midwest want to homeschool because the mainstream media pushes abortion and homosexuality. They are against Prayer, when ours is a christian nation and deride our vice president whom we have to thank for the bountifulness of the USA. That is why homeschooling exists!
3/21/2008 1:07:31 PM
Recommend (3)

I really want to know about the three people who rec’d it. Jokers? Or utter lunatics?

MOVE OVER, TIM ALLEN

Filed on March 22, 2008 at 8:17 pm under by dcobranchi

Home improvement weekend

My first attempt at laying tile. I learned two things. 1) With the right tools, it’s not really all that difficult. 2) Crawling around on the ground for two days is a young man’s game. Good Lord, my back is killing me!

LET ALLAH SORT ‘EM OUT

Filed on at 3:51 pm under by dcobranchi

Hearts and minds, Baby. Hearts and minds.

NOT BAD

Filed on at 3:33 pm under by dcobranchi

NJ home educator Greg Millman has a piece on homeschooling in today’s WaPo. Overall, it’s a pretty good summary, but I’m pretty sure he blew the CA ruling.

BTW, Millman will be hosting an online chat to discuss the article on Monday at 1300 EDT.

HAPPY EASTER

Filed on March 21, 2008 at 5:01 pm under by dcobranchi

Oh, the humanity!

UPDATE: Barber’s Adagio for Strings is probably my all-time favorite piece of music. The progression and resolution around 6:40 is simply phenomenal.

EXPELLED!

Filed on at 11:37 am under by dcobranchi

A must read for the non-believers among you. Make sure you read all the way down to the punchline. A huge hat tip to COD!

AND NOW THE “VOICE OF AMERICA”?

Filed on March 20, 2008 at 10:05 pm under by dcobranchi

What’s up with the sudden attention being paid to home education?

HSLDA AND THE GAGGLE

Filed on at 9:59 pm under by dcobranchi

Today at the WH:

Q Thank you, Dana. Two questions. An appeals court in California has delivered a ruling that is being interpreted as banning home-schooling, and one advocacy group has suggested an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to recognize such parental rights. And my question: Is this a concept the President would support?

MS. PERINO: Obviously we’ve supported home-schoolers in the past. I’m not familiar with that legal decision out of the appeals court in California, but I’m sure it will probably be appealed and then we’ll see how it goes from there.

LET’S SCARE THE CRAP OUT OF THE KIDS!

Filed on at 9:51 pm under by dcobranchi

Typical educrat overreaction.

PELHAM, N.H.—Police in Pelham, New Hampshire, say a school lockdown was sparked by a student’s mother who needed to use the bathroom.
more stories like this

Police said a woman dropped off her nephew at Pelham Elementary School on Thursday and went in to use the restroom. School officials didn’t know who the woman was and immediately went into lockdown and called police.

LOTD

Filed on at 9:45 pm under by dcobranchi

A g-school teacher who gets it:

Don’t knock homeschoolers

As a career educator with 35 years in U.S. schools, public and private, your March 10 editorial, “Parents have right to teach their kids,” caught my eye.

While I suspect many conservative strict-constructionist judges would argue that such is not a constitutional privilege, it is every parent’s obligation to provide their children with an education that will adequately prepare them to be a competitive adult in the 21st century.

No matter how appeals of this recent decision may play out, I’d go even further and recommend the repeal of all compulsory education laws. Instead, the Legislature should enact a new education code making all public schooling voluntary while at the same time permitting anyone of any age to pursue education at public expense. This would instantly end the discipline problems that result when students who do not want to learn are legally forced into a public school system that is ill-equipped to deal with angry adolescents, some of whom have gun fantasies.

Think of how encouraging the learning milieu would be if everyone in every class was present because they wanted to be there. Do I think this will happen? Not a chance. There are way too many monied interests committed to public ed as it currently exists.

But legally beating up on the homeschoolers won’t help anyone. Is home schooling perfect? Of course not, but a generation or more of home-schooled students who have excelled at America’s Ivy League universities is proof that many parents are doing something right. Give those parents a break. Don’t hit ‘em with certification requirements.

LARRY RETZACK
Colton

AN IMPORTANT POST

Filed on at 4:03 am under by dcobranchi

Here. I’d add a reform of the drug laws would go a long way towards fixing the problem. Sending simple users to jail, throwing them in with violent offenders, branding them felons for life– all these just set folks up to recidivate.

Anyway, please consider signing the petition.

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY

Filed on March 19, 2008 at 6:12 am under by dcobranchi

Famous lost words from 2003:

Feb. 7, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, to U.S. troops in Aviano, Italy: “It is unknowable how long that conflict will last. It could last six days, six weeks. I doubt six months.”

Five years ago today, the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq began.

LOTD

Filed on at 4:54 am under by dcobranchi

No comment:

Palestinian rocket attacks are unjustified

My sadness over the rockets being launched against Sederot and Ashkelon has led to lengthy discussions with some friends who see the launching as being justified.

My friends are Jews who claim that the Palestinians (Hamas) have no alternative but to send deadly missiles which destroy innocent humans and their property as well as their feelings of security.

My response has been, “Why have the Palestinians (Hamas) not developed the land given to them in exchange for peace, which was the understanding?” Instead of building their infrastructure, the Palestinians have used the money given to them to purchase weapons of destruction. And while they continue to deliver the rockets, Israel continues to supply the Palestinians with water, electricity, food and other necessities.

Mary Axelrod
Durham

GOOGLE SKY

Filed on March 18, 2008 at 9:12 pm under by dcobranchi

Very cool.

LOTD

Filed on at 3:21 am under by dcobranchi

My faith in the local citizenry is restored:

Too much protection offered to criminals

Stanton Moretti was out with his wife at a pizza parlor Feb. 22. In the parking lot, his wife was attacked by a knife-wielding robber. When she broke free, the attacker ran and Moretti chased him down in his truck and ran him over. Moretti defended his wife from a potentially deadly attack and made Fayetteville a safer place for everyone.

Evidently, the law doesn’t see it that way. Somewhere along the line, our lawmakers decided that violent criminals are an important part of our constituency in need of protection. Stanton Moretti, a true hero, is facing murder charges.

When a violent criminal attacks an innocent victim and then runs, he is not only a threat to the immediate victim, he is a threat to the entire community. I doubt the attacker was running to find help getting rehabilitated.

Like alligators in Florida, when you protect dangerous predators, they multiply and take over.

I have no problems with the police who are professionals just doing their jobs.

Those who represent our interests in Raleigh should pass a law which states, “when a violent criminal attacks an innocent victim with a deadly weapon, we have the right to stop them by any means necessary.”

Thank you, Mr. Moretti. May your jury be sympathetic.

Michael J. Todaro
Goldsboro

BEFORE AND AFTER

Filed on March 17, 2008 at 5:26 pm under by dcobranchi

dropping 10 large.

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And, yes, that’s an updated version of an old farmhouse-style galvanized roof. They’re somewhat popular down here as they last darn near forever and can save 1/4 on your summer months’ (May – September) electric bills. For us, that should mean over $400/yr savings. Good for the environment and for my wallet.

HAPPY (NOT) ST. PATRICK’S DAY

Filed on at 5:44 am under by dcobranchi

Some rule in the Catholic church says no feast days during holy week so St. Pat got booted. I’m neither Irish nor Catholic, so I’m just going to punt and wish you the title above.

PHONING IT IN

Filed on at 5:38 am under by dcobranchi

This has to be the worst editorial yet written on the CA homeschoolers. Not because of the paper’s editorial stance, though. They simply don’t have one. Here’s the editorial minus a couple of really long quotes:

Those of us who remember Jack O’Connell as a state legislator representing Ventura County value his good sense.

It was evidenced again last week in his response, as the state superintendent of public instruction, to the 2nd District Court of Appeal’s Feb, 28 ruling about a Lynwood couple who home-school their children.

The court opinion, which stated, “Parents do not have a constitutional right to home-school their children” and that parents who do home-school must have a teaching credential, inspired anxiety among the estimated tens of thousands of home-schooling families in California.

That anxiety lingers, as this case will be appealed.

However, Supt. O’Connell sought to allay fears when he asked for a legal review of the ruling by the California Department of Education.

[BIG HAIRY SNIP]

The case heard by the Court of Appeal, brought to light that there is little to no enforcement of the broad guidelines outlined by the California Department of Education regarding home schooling. It is allowed if parents enroll their children in independent-study programs run by public or private schools, hire a credentialed tutor or file paperwork that they are operating as a private school.

State officials say it is the school districts’ responsibility to enforce those rules, but many families home-school their children without informing anyone.

Although there are thousands of home-schooling success stories, such lax oversight means some children are denied any education at all.

Unfortunately, the Court of Appeal, instead of addressing this weakness in the system, would, if its ruling were enforced, make home schooling impractical for most families.

We look forward to a future court ruling or legislation that reflects Supt. O’Connell’s good sense.

HED OF THE DAY

Filed on March 15, 2008 at 3:29 pm under by dcobranchi

COD tipped me to this one.

DC Made Me Liberal?

Man, I’m good! :-)

The post, of course, really refers to Washington, DC. And it’s well worth a read. I’ve followed a similar political path (minus the overt religiosity).

OBAMA…

Filed on at 3:26 pm under by dcobranchi

A sort of almost former HEK?

She had high expectations for her children. In Indonesia, she would wake her son at 4 a.m. for correspondence courses in English before school; she brought home recordings of Mahalia Jackson, speeches by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. And when Mr. Obama asked to stay in Hawaii for high school rather than return to Asia, she accepted living apart — a decision her daughter says was one of the hardest in Ms. Soetoro’s life.

[snip]

As a mother, Ms. Soetoro was both idealistic and exacting. Friends describe her as variously informal and intense, humorous and hardheaded. She preached to her young son the importance of honesty, straight talk, independent judgment. When he balked at her early-morning home schooling, she retorted, “This is no picnic for me either, buster.”

Sounds like a pretty tough woman. [Tip credit: Jane]

UGH!

Filed on at 11:15 am under by dcobranchi

Demerit: The Fayetteville Observer editorial board:

Merit: For the Scotland County school system, which is the first in the state to require its graduating high school seniors to take Career Readiness Certificate tests. The assessment tests are used by many companies to assure they are getting a qualified work force. The tests are also a big lure in economic development — companies are often eager to locate in communities where workers’ training and readiness has been certified by an outside testing company. Readiness certificates were issued to 305 of Scotland County High School’s 360 graduating seniors Thursday. It’s a great milestone for the kids, and a leg up for Scotland County as it competes for new businesses.

THE REAL REASON THE MARKET TANKED YESTERDAY

Filed on at 5:59 am under by dcobranchi

Bush was on Wall Street giving his solution to the financial meltdown we’re in. It wasn’t pretty.

THE RIGHT’S WAR ON SCIENCE

Filed on at 5:34 am under by dcobranchi

An interesting post on why so many right-wing pundits and politicians (including John McCain) are anti-science. Via dKos.

ANOTHER ONE FOR ROB REICH

Filed on at 5:13 am under by dcobranchi

Jill emailed me this Op/Ed with the comment “This one is ugly.” She’s right:

It’s evident that the vast majority who teach their offspring in front of the television do so because they don’t want their children to be subjected to such dangerous doctrines as evolution, abortion, global warming, equal rights and other ideas abhorrent to the evangelical mantra…

There has always been something decidedly elitist and anti-democratic in home schooling. It smacks of a belief that privileged children should not have to associate with the other kids in the neighborhood and that by staying home, they would not be subjected to the leavening effect of democracy.

Moreover, it is apparent from the cries of the far right that there has been a specific policy in home schooling — to teach only the ideas acceptable to ideologues who fear the contaminating influence of what is commonly known as a liberal education.

Yes, we’re all elitist evolution-denying, anti-choice, global-warming skeptics who are against equal rights and democracy. And we all teach our kids to worship Bill O’Reilly. Pegged, they have us.

The piece would have been much more effective if they hadn’t out of whole cloth generated the factoid that the “vast majority” of homeschoolers are fundamentalist wackos. Yes, HSLDA has an agenda. But HSLDA and James Dobson are not the sum total of CA homeschoolers. I’d bet there are more than a few, perhaps even the majority, who are “evolved homeschoolers.”

I do have one final question. What happened to ethical servility? I was sure they’d throw that one in by the end of the piece. Perhaps it was too “academic” for the Times? Or has Callan lost his cachet?

THE BEST NON-DESSERT

Filed on March 13, 2008 at 7:33 pm under by dcobranchi

Lyida found this one on the intertubes somewhere. I’m going by memory, so the proportions might be off from the original. The cooking instructions are definitely different.

Super sweet acorn squash

Take 2 acorn squash and scoop out the seeds. Arrange pointy end in and cut side down on a dinner plate. Nuke @ 50% power for 20 minutes (or until squash is very tender). Turn cut side up and add ~2 T. brown sugar, ~2 T. butter, and ~1 T. maple syrup to the “cup.” Also, liberally douse the top edge with more maple syrup. Return to the microwave just long enough to melt the butter. Unbelievably good. And you can even pretend that you’re eating healthy. :-)

HED OF THE DAY

Filed on at 5:32 pm under by dcobranchi

One tiny victory at a time:

WA high court says random school drug testing unconstitutional

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