From a friend:

If anyone is on Twitter, set your location to Tehran and your time zone to GMT +3.30. Security forces are hunting for bloggers using location/timezone searches. The more people at this location, the more of a logjam it creates for forces trying to shut Iranians’ access to the internet down. Cut & paste & pass it on.

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Most of you have probably heard of Senator Boxers petulant, but minor, snittishness over a general calling her ‘Ma’am’ (which is proper protocol) instead of Senator (which is also proper protocol).

My take- she was ridiculous and petty, and demonstrated once again that the state of affairs Thomas Paine warned about low these many centuries ago has once more come to pass. That is, we now live once again in times when our ‘representative government ceased to be representative because the ELECTED did indeed

“form to themselves an interest separate from the ELECTORS

On the other hand, as silly as she was/is, it’s just about as silly to ‘demand’ an apology, and I think the General has shown himself to be the better man and it’s not really worth blogging about.

This, however, raises it from petty politicking to hilariously funny and well worth blogging about:


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Test Scores

I think it remains to be seen whether or not these tests actually measure education in a meaningful way, or whether we still have the same issues of a hundred years ago-

“Of the means we employ to hinder the growth of mind perhaps none is more subtle than the questionnaire. [tests] It is as though one required a child to produce for inspection at its various stages of assimilation the food he consumed for his dinner; we see at once how the digestive processes would be hindered, how, in a word, the child would cease to be fed. But the mind also requires its food and leave to carry on those quiet processes of digestion and assimilation which it must accomplish for itself. The child with capacity, which implies depth, is stupified by a long rigmarole on the lines of,––”If John’s father is Tom’s son, what relation is Tom to John?” The shallow child guesses the riddle and scores; and it is by the use of tests of this kind that we turn out young people sharp as needles but with no power of reflection, no intelligent interests, nothing but the aptness of the city gamin.” Towards a Philosophy of Education, page 86 (Charlotte Mason)

The textbook selection process needs some improvement, as well (see here– and it’s worth keeping in mind that 75 percent of all school textbooks are published by the same three publishers- which does produce a uniformity of the mind.

I would like to know who watches the test-makers, too, and what the connections are between textbook publishers and test creators.

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Books Along the Journey

As I type this, I am considering what books to take along with me for a weekend journey. I am trying really, really hard to be reasonable. I always overpack when it comes to books. So far I have only my Bible, Fire Star by D’Lacey (I don’t enjoy it that much, but I am a compulsive finisher of books), Children of a Greater God by Terry Glaspey, Lord I want to Know You, by Kay Arthur, The Cricket in Times Square and Swiss Family Robinson on CD to listen to in the van, and I’m deciding whether to continue reading Virgil or Cicero (I am SO behind on my worthwhile reading challenge). And a magnifying glass, because my eyes are not what they once were. I keep slapping my hands when they roam over another bookshelf.

Plus, of course, The Three Little Kittens, by Paul Galdone and The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter, as they are Blynken’s favorite picture books just now. And, um, another bag of picture books the FYG put together.

Which makes this seem like a good time for a repost from 2005:

We were packing for our trip to D.C. when a friend called. I was glad for her call as it temporarily distracted the Progeny from making fun of me for packing too much. As I spoke to my friend on the phone I directed some of the Offspring to continue packing. They renewed their mocking. At one point the Head Girl thought I was telling her to put a stack away when I wanted her to put the stack in the tote with the other stacks.
More?!” she squealed in disbelief, “You want to put more of this stuff in the tote? Mother, we do not need it all. This is too much.”

My friend overhead her, and asked me how long we were to be gone. “Eight days,” I said.

She was on my side- “Well, then, of course you need a lot of clothes. There are nine of you after all. Tell her that naturally you need plenty of changes of clothes.”

“Well, no,” I explained sheepishly. “We’re only packing three changes of clothes each, and those are already finished and in the van. It’s the books. I’ve got a huge plastic tote to fit between the two front seats, and I’ve filled it with books, some tapes to listen to, and a few things to do. But mostly books.”

Silence. Then my friend asked me carefully, “But… don’t the friends you are staying with own any books? Aren’t they homeschoolers?”

As a matter of fact, they are homeschoolers, and they do have plenty of books. We read some of them while we were there. But I wanted our books, too. Some of them are about D.C. or things we’d see there. Some of them are reference materials for a large project I’m working on. Some of them are like family members (Equuschick mentions having read Anne of Green Gables nine times. I believe this is more times than she has spoken to one of her uncles).

I’m not sure my friend here really quite saw the force of my argument.


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Governor Perry Vetoes SB 1440

Link Fixed

That’s the bill that would have made CPS immune from following the Bill of Rights and basically declared open season on families everywhere and placed all of our children at risk of the extreme (and they are extreme) dangers of the Texas foster care system.

More here.

See also Grits for Breakfast

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