Could you pass this test?

You Passed the US Citizenship Test

Congratulations – you got 10 out of 10 correct!

Because, to The Equuschick’s embarrassment, apparently a lot of her peers can’t. The Equuschick is embarrassed because she discovered this after she had sadly sighed and commented on how sad it was that such a very basic test now constituted an unofficial US Citizenship test. She sincerely meant no slight on those around her and no glory to herself, she was disappointed that she had not been more challenged.
Now, however, The Equuschick is worried. This test seemed very easy to her, yet quite difficult for people she knows are quite intelligent. Is she mistaken, or have our standards rather slipped? Where is there a respectable standard to strive for anymore? If she wishes to challenge herself, the Equuschick fears she will have to resort to studying Latin again, and she really isn’t very good at it. She thinks it a Sad Commentary that as poor a Latin scholar as she is there are those who admire her for even knowing so much as Hilarem Datorem Diligit Deus, when in reality her grasp of Latin would have utterly shamed a scholar of another, much more intelligent, time.

(Or perhaps she shall simply go study once again the proper use of the comma. That has always been a challenge for her.)

The DHM hastens to add that she also scored a perfect ten, assisted somewhat by the fact that the Equuschick and the HG had a bit of a discussion about the question the HG missed beforehand. She also would like to share that the Equuschick credits the DHM for the Equuschick’s score because the DHM assigned as required reading the book Miracle in Philadelphia and several biographies of our founding fathers.

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Harvest Time in America

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The google your name game

Pipsqueak hates onions.

Pipsqueak hates flowers and long walks on the beach.
Hey, I like flowers! And the beach!

Pipsqueak hates turbulence.
In airplanes, yes.

Pipsqueak hates pumpkins.
Why would I hate pumpkins?

Pipsqueak hates having all the books written about her
I may safely say I do not know what that feels like.

Pipsqueak hates rain.
I LOVE rain!

Pipsqueak needs enlightenment
Oh, I do, do I?

Pipsqueak needs vision therapy to increase her reading speed
I don’t think I need vision therapy for THAT.

Pipsqueak needs to make up her mind quickly.
About what?

Pipsqueak needs to update her database
Which one?

Pipsqueak needs professional help.
What sort of professional help?

Pipsqueak needs to be quiet.
Hmph. All right then. Good bye.

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38th Education Carnival at Eduwonks

Click on title to go visit.

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Rambling Disgruntlements

In no particular order:

The older I get the worse my spelling gets. It’s embarrassing.

The President’s oath of office includes a promise to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States to the best of his ability. The Constitution is far more important than his political party- at least to me. I wish I could be sure it was to him.

The dogs should stop shedding. Now.

Cranberry juice should taste much better than it does.

I loathe dishonesty in all forms, and I’m really, really unhappy that this feeling is not shared by certain people who not only do not know who they are, they don’t even know what I’m talking about.

Jane Austen died too young.

Fidel Castro has lived too long.

In a perfect universe psychopaths would never become parents. Okay, in a perfect universe there would be no psychopaths. In a universe only slightly less than perfect psychopaths would be born sterile and with a scarlet P on their foreheads so that we would all know.

I’d really like to be able to rely on a free press to spend more time reporting stuff like this:
“More than 4,500 companies took part in the United Nations oil-for-food program and more than half of them paid illegal surcharges and kickbacks to Saddam Hussein, according to investigators from the committee.

The country with the most companies involved in the program was Russia, followed by France, the committee investigating the program is to report Thursday. The inquiry was led by Paul A. Volcker, former chairman of the Federal Reserve board.” (From the NYT, via Drudge)

And the Iraqi vote for a new constitution, and the suffering in Zambia and the Sudan right now, but much, much less time on stories about pop singers, blonde beauties who are murdered, and Karl Rove’s garage.

Speaking of the Iraqi Constitution and reporting from the NYT, this All Things Conservative post was priceless:

Here is an excerpt from a front page article about the constitution’s adoption in today’s paper:

Iraqi electoral officials officially announced Tuesday that voters had passed a new constitution, paving the way for parliamentary elections in December. But the constitution narrowly escaped defeat, as Sunni Arabs turned out in large numbers to vote against it.

The electoral commission said that although 79 percent of voters approved the constitution in a referendum on Oct. 15, three provinces voted against it, two of them by a two-thirds majority.

Got that? It passed, but narrowly. In fact, two provinces voted against it, and as the Times boldly points out, if more people had voted “no” instead of “yes” the constitution would not have passed:

Two Sunni-dominated provinces, Anbar and Salahuddin, overwhelmingly rejected the constitution. If 83,283 of the 322,869 people who had voted “yes” in Nineveh had voted “no” instead, the constitution would have been defeated.

That’s hard-hitting analysis for you! Let me add my own on last night’s game: If the Astros had just scored more runs than the White Sox they would have won.

In an improved world, medical coverage for retired military families would cover chiropractic care and it would pay for a family doctor who actually lives in our county instead of making us drive 45 minutes one way for every single visit.

I wish all my friends lived closer. I’m not greedy. They don’t have to live in the same town- although that would be nice. Just the same state. Even the same country would be a nice change.

Wouldn’t it be nice if more people were optimistic? Pessimists can be such downers.

Have you ever heard that saying about it not being the size of the mountain you’re climbing that gets you down, it’s the pebble in your shoe? I really wish somebody would fix that cranberry juice thing.

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Discrediting the Un- Credible

Read the following links carefully and note certain details about the forged Niger/Iraq documents. When did they reach the administration? How did the administration know they were forged. What did Joe Wilson say about them? When did he claim to have seen them? What did he say when the discrepancy in dates was revealed (i.e. the date when the administration had them and the dates he was in Niger). Doesn’t he seem to have had access to some information through some unorthodox, unauthorized sources?Junkyard Blog:

Rocco Martino has admitted that the French paid him to make the fake Niger-Iraq uranium documents. If the Bush administration weren’t in a fog largely of its own making, it would take this story and run with it. It locks in several important Iraq-related threads and thoughts as facts: The French are our enemies, the UN is corrupt, and Joseph Wilson isn’t operating in good faith and never was.

You must read the whole thing and see if you think he supports his case (I think yes in most cases, but the question is still open on one or two points).


Weary as I may get, I will try to keep Spruiell’s admonition in mind. Because we can’t let them make falsehoods into truths by incessant repetition without challenge. We just can’t.

What falsehoods are being made into truths? Click on the link and read.

The Media Blog at National Review is keeping a dishonor roll of every MSM source that perpetuates uncorrected Joe Wilson’s lies:

Just to recap for people who are just joining us, we’ve been waging a campaign to get the media to tell the truth about Joseph Wilson. How many times have you been reading a story about the Valerie Plame leak investigation and come across the following stock description of Plame’s husband, Joseph Wilson:

The case involves Joseph Wilson, a former ambassador who became a critic of the Bush administration after he refuted the administration’s claims that Iraq had been seeking uranium from Niger.
followed by a paragraph like this:

Some say the administration tried to punish Wilson by outing his wife, covert CIA official Valerie Plame.
We now know, thanks to the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee Report on pre-war intelligence, that Wilson’s trip actually bolstered the administration’s claims that Iraq had been seeking uranium from Niger. In his New York Times op-ed of July 6, 2003, Wilson omitted this aspect of his trip, wrote that he had concluded that no “transaction” or sale of uranium had taken place, and said that this somehow refuted the administration’s claims that Iraq had sought to purchase the uranium.

As to the second stock paragraph, regardless of what “some” say, it is highly unlikely that anyone in the administration was trying to “punish” Joseph Wilson. Rather, by calling attention to the fact that his wife was a CIA officer and had recommended him for the trip (which he lied about), the administration was trying to point out that Wilson’s criticisms were the latest salvos in a dispute between the CIA and the White House over who was to blame for getting the WMD intelligence wrong. Leaks coming out of the CIA blamed the White House for “twisting” intelligence that the CIA had caveatted. White House officials said they were told the intelligence was solid.

Yet over and over again, the press continues to use the stock paragraphs that whitewash Joseph Wilson’s lies, ignore the findings of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and paint Wilson as a glorious truthteller who fell victim to a vicious smear campaign. This will not do.

More here, and here (this was a politician, nto the MSM, but it was very, very funny), and here. Ooh, and here. This one is also good. And this is well worth your time.

So who was leaking classified information to Joe Wilson? His wife, or the French, or both?

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The Miers Nomination

Hugh Hewitt asked some questions.

Answers submitted by:
Q and O
Jeff Goldstein (as ever, please, parents, use discernment here. It’s a thoughtful post and there is good stuff in the comments. But there is also ‘strong language-‘ you might prefer to just copy and paste the pertinent portions of post and comments to email your youngster if your youngster is tenderly and carefully reared. The Common Room Progeny of minor status are not to read the comments unsupervised- others procede at your own risk).

Whatever you think of the Miers nomination, even if what you think is that this is all a teapot tempest and you wish it would go away, I think there is something interesting to everybody in the responses.
Hugh’s most interesting question to me is interesting apart from the Miers nomination. He asked for dissenters to list which five legal precendents they thought were “in most pressing need of reversal?” That’s a very interesting question, and the answers are themselves a small lesson in constitutional issues.

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Coloured Dots and Public School

The Head Girl has had so many comments from people sharing similar stories (both here and on a homeschooled graduate message board) about her coloring in the lines experience that some of her friends wonder if she’s started a trend of some sort. One of them suggested a class action suit (it was a joke, of course).
I hate to be out of the loop, so I am sharing my own colouring tale.
See this picture? That is a reproduction of a regular assignment in my first grade class. The teacher would pass out papers with a single word reproduced at the top of the page. The word was large and it was, like this one, outlined with space in the middle. Then she would tell us what two colors to use- and I think that little authoritarian touch bothered me as much as everything else put together. We would take our assigned two crayons out of the box and put the other crayons back in our desk. We were never, ever permitted to choose our own colors (I asked, and learned that this demonstrated an uncooperative spirit). I don’t even remember liking the colors she chose, either. They all seemed to me to be uninspired and boring combinations.

Next we had to fill in the letters with small, carefully crayoned circles, circle by tedious circle, alternating colors. So around Christmas time we would get to make a small, painfully neat red dot, and then we’d put our crayon down and make a small, painfully neat green dot, and then we’d put our red crayon down and make a small, painfully neat…. don’t you want to scream just to break the monotony of reading that? Imagine a classroom of 6 year old children having to do that, day after day.

If you look closely at the letter ‘a’ in my little reproduction, you can see that somebody tried to work out a creative way to streamline the process. This is also a re-enactment of a true story. There came a day in school when I thought something like, “Teacher, this is stupid stuff,” and I tried to move things along by first coloring in all the circles in one color, leaving just enough space to go back and fill in the rest with the second color. No. That was also unacceptable because I wasn’t following directions. I had to start all over again, making neat and tiny circles, keeping them all in the lines, and slowly and inefficiently picking up one color and making a tiny, neat circle, and putting that one down and picking up the other color…

I didn’t much care for my first grade teacher, and she told my mother that I was excessively bright but would probably be a juvenile delinquint. It was in her classroom that I cut school for the first time. I distinctly remember sitting in her classroom being berated for something I had not done, then being berated for ‘tattling’ when I indignantly defended myself. I remember at one point the light just dawned on me and I thought, “I do not have to put up with this.” And so, during lunch, I just left. But that’s another story.

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The Versatility of a Cardboard Box

We buy our groceries at a discount grocery store. We have to bag our own. We can buy bags there, or we can use the cartons and boxes the groceries came in which are emptied and left at the front of the store for customers. I like the boxes. So does The Boy.

In the last hour a single cardboard box has been:
A dog kennel
A turtle shell
A bathtub (that leaks)
A chair
A desk for an artist who drew me a picture of Zilla, the snort hoggy-hoggy (it has 40 rows of teeth, but I am not to be frightened because it isn’t really real)
A target for bow-shooting

That’s an average of a shape shift every ten minutes.

The Boy has now taken a brief rest period to browse through the latest Hearthsong Catalog, looking for the toys he wants me to get him. Toys? Who needs toys when you have a boy?

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Some Intriguing Headlines

This morning on our way home from some errands, some of the Progeny and I listened to the Diane Rehm show on NPR. The discussion topic today was ostensibly the Plame/Miller/Wilson/Rove/Libby story. In reality, what Diane and her guests talked about was the poor, beleagured NYT, and how they have been beguiled by Judy Miller, and how this could happen, and why was she ever allowed to report on weapons of Mass Destruction when she obviously had some disturbing connections with the administration and had been so wrong. I remembered reading this last night:
From The Mudville Gazette:

“Robert Kagan writing in The Washington Post reminds us of some pre-war headlines on Iraq and WMD. His list includes:

“Flight Tests Show Iraq Has Resumed a Missile Program” (July)
“U.S. Says Iraq Aided Production of Chemical Weapons in Sudan” (August)
“Iraqi Work Toward A-Bomb Reported.” (September)
“Iraq Has Network of Outside Help on Arms, Experts Say” (November)
“Iraq Suspected of Secret Germ War Effort” (February)
“Signs of Iraqi Arms Buildup Bedevil U.S. Administration” (February)

From these one could make a compelling argument that the media willingly aided and abetted the Bush White House in building a case for invasion. But there’s one problem…”

What is that problem? That would be telling. You need to click on the link to find out.

Veddy Interesting.

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