Word of the Day:

Ludic: “Of or relating to play or playfulness…” (from dictionary.com)

is this where we get ludicrous, I wonder?

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Concerning A Pet Peeve

There is a system of education even more cruel than a system which mocks and humiliates the less gifted.

It is that system which hides the kind truth from the less gifted, and with gruesome lies fills them with unfair and cruel hopes for a future that they will be unable to achieve. Mankind’s current habit of telling everyone they have a gift, whether they do or not, ranks as one of the greatest examples of mankind’s inhumanity to man.

There is, you see, no more pitiable person than a person filled with false assumptions about their own talents. The grievances that cause others to laugh are to them very real indeed, the offended confusion that follows them through life as what they suppose to be their superior capacity for such and such is never recognized, is very real and very painful to them. It is not fair, it is not fair.

May fate be kind to those whose only end is disapointment, and may those who set them up for it be forgiven.

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The DHM Speaks of Grammar

Do not say “I, myself…” Unless you really think your readers will be confused by your use of the pronoun ‘I’ and will think you refer to somebody other than ‘you, yourself’ if you do not clarify for them. Your readers are highly unlikely to be that stupid, since ‘I’ is, after all, a one letter word and it is widely understood.

If you do not think your readers will fail to understand the meaning of the word ‘I’ then to say “I, myself” is ineptly pretentious. Stop it.

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Katrina and Homeschoolers

Homeschool Legal Defense Association needs to get the word out that there are Homes
and/or curriculum available. Local homeschool groups could help with this effort.

Local groups could make posters and contact shelters to ask that they be placed at the local shelters around the country and to also get the information out to the local media – radio and tv.
Posters should have the following information:

Attn: Homeschoolers

Home School Legal Defense Association Members & Non-Members
Homes and/or Curriculm Available
Please Call 540-338-5600
or Email hurricanehelprequest@ hslda.org

They have about 4000 offers of homes and/or curriculm but have had almost no homeschoolers request help.

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Let Them Touch Pretty Things- But No Cake- Celine Dion

“You know, some people are stealing and they’re making a big
deal out of it. Oh, they’re stealing 20 pair of jeans or they’re
stealing television sets. Who cares?… Maybe those people are
so poor, some of the people who do that they’re so poor they’ve
never touched anything in their lives. Let them touch those things
for once.” —Celine Dion

The mind boggles, spins in place, and spits sparks of snark. You should know that in this country we have more television sets per household than we have indoor toilets, Celine. And isn’t there something just gaggingly patronizing about this “let the poor touch those things for once…?” What on earth does Celine know about it? Isn’t twenty pairs of jeans for one person an awful lot of touching? The governor wasn’t letting food or water into the city, but you think the biggest need of poor was to ‘touch things?’ What is it like to live in such a stultifying silk pillow of materialism surrounding your whole mind and heart day after day after day? On second thought, I do not think I want to know (pause for hudder of revulsion)- let them touch those things? Let them touch those things?!

I appreciate the fact that Celine gave a million dollars to relief efforts. I hope it wasn’t to send silk slippers.

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Let’s Have that Inquisition Commission

Inevitably, in the Katrina after-action report, serious
errors at the local, state and national level of government
will be discovered, and emergency plans will be revised
accordingly. Indeed, Democrats may get their “inquisition
commission,” hoping for colorful headlines protesting “Republican
failures” in the upcoming election year, but they had best
take care what they ask for, lest they get it. Inquiring too
deeply into factual communication, material distribution and
evacuation failures after Katrina will likely yield answers that
sink Louisiana Democrats—from New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin (see
his evacuation plan) (http://FederalistPatriot.US/news/depot.asp)
to Governor Kathleen Blanco. Oh, and if Louisiana voters ever hold
Sen. Mary Landrieu accountable for diverting Corps of Engineer
funding from NOLA levees to her pet projects, well, she just
might need to pack her bags. In the end, if Mayor Giuliani set
the standard for local leadership in response to a catastrophe,
Louisiana’s leading Democrats were miserably ill-suited to the
challenge.

Federalist Patriot No. 05-36
Digest

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Famous in the Second Degree

My friend Donna-Jean, of Liberty and Lily blog, is famous in the first degree because she was interviewed by Cindy Swanson, who has a radio program with an Illinois radio station. Cindy also has a blog, Notes in the Key of Life, and there is a partial transcript there. I get to promote myself to second degree of fame status because I know Donna-Jean, have met her in real life, and have actually hugged her and been hugged by her, and been blessed and encouraged by her immense zest for everything. I defy anybody to spend twenty minutes in her presence and not laugh outloud with joy. I also get sdfs because the interview was about the Ambleside HELP project. Ambleside Online is a free Charlotte Mason curriculum, and AO HELP is a streamlined, gentle, comforting (we pray) version intended for those homeschooling in the midst of crisis, like Katrina. I mentioned it previously here.
Donna-Jean describes it as being our ‘little boy’s lunch.’ Go see what she means.

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Sublimation of Virtue, Increase of Crime

So, in public calamities and prolonged disturbances of any normal order, one always sees an increase, a sublimation of virtue. But, unhappily, with it always and without fail goes an increase, far more general in most cases of crime. And this happened now, too. Rogues whom the plague spared and did not frighten found new chances of activity, together with a new certainty of impunity, in the common confusion following the relaxation of every public authority; in fact the very exercise of public authority came to be very largely in the hands of the worst among them. The only men who generally took on the work of monatti and apparitori were those more attracted by rapine and license than terrified of contagion or sensible to natural repulsion. The strictest rules were laid down for these men, the severest penalties threatened them. Posts were assigned them by commissioners placed over them, as we have said. Above both were magistrates and nobles delegated for every quarter, with authority to punish summarily every breach of discipline. This organization kept going effectively for some time, but with the number of those dying, leaving, or losing their heads growing from day to day, the monatti and apparitori began to find there was almost no one to hold them back. They made themselves, particularly the monatti, the arbiters of everything. They entered houses as masters, as enemies, and (not to mention their thieving or treatment of the wretched creatures reduced by plague to passing through their hands) they would lay those foul and infected hands on healthy people, on children, parents, wives, or husbands, threatening to drag them off to the lazzaretto unless they ransomed themselves or got others to ransom them by money. At other times they set a price on their services, and refused for less than so many scudi to carry away bodies that were already putrefying. It was said (and the irresponsibility of one and the viciousness of the other make believe and disbelief equally uncertain)–it was said, and asserted also by Tadino, that monatti and apparitori let infected clothes drop from their carts on purpose, in order to propagate and foster the plague, for it had become a livelihood, a festival, a reign for them. Other shameless wretches, pretending to be monatti by wearing bells attached to their feet, as the latter were supposed to do for recognition and to warn others of their approach, would introduce themselves into houses and commit every sort of crime. Some houses, which were open and empty of inhabitants or occupied only by some feeble dying creature, were entered by robbers with impunity and sacked. Others were broken into and invaded by bailiffs who did the same and worse.

As crime grew, so did panic also. All the errors already more of less rampant gathered extraordinary strength from the general dismay and agitation, and produced even quicker and vaster results. They all served to reinforce and intensify that predominating terror about anointers*, the effects and expression of which were often, as we have seen, another crime in themselves. The idea of this imaginary danger beset and tortured people’s mind far more than the one that was real and present. “And while,” says Ripamonti, “the corpses always strewn about and lying heaps before our eyes and underfoot made the entire city seems like an immense charnel-house, there was something even more ghastly, even more appalling that mutual frenzy, that unbridled orgy of suspicion…not only was it a neighbour, a friend, or a guest distrusted; even those names that are the bonds of human love, husband and wife, father and son, brother and brother, became words of terror; and (horrible and infamous to tell) the family board and the nuptial bed were feared as hiding places for the lurking poisoner.”

ALESSANDRO MANZONI (1785-1873) THE BETROTHED (I PROMESSI SPOSI)

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Disaster preparation kit

Duct Tape- it has a billion and one uses. I have been surprised to read that quite a few lefty bloggers have spent a lot of time mocking the inclusion of duct tape in FEMA’s emergency kit list. Frankly, and I do not say this lightly, this is stupid behavior. Ask around any EMTs you know and see what they think about the practicality of duct tape. Google Duct Tape in an emergency. It can be used to close wounds (the five people who died of infection contracted in the water had open wounds). It can be used to seal windows and doors with a sheet or plastic. It can be used to cobble together a splint, a crutch, and even, I understand, a small raft. The astronauts take it into space.

Or go here to read all the medical uses (some silly, some deadly earnest) people have found for duct tape.

Print out the list, buy the duct tape ( or duck tape) and some electric tape while you’re at it, and add it to your kit.

Note: Previous posts on this topic are all listed here.

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FEMA’s Mike Brown Replaced

Coast Guard Vice Adm. Thad Allen will replace Brown as the on-site head of hurricane relief operations in the Gulf Coast. Currently Brown remains the head of FEMA, but since reporters found that he’s badly fudged on his resume (from PunditGuy, who I think makes too many excuses for Brown), he’ll probably be replaced sooner rather than later. Even without those charges, he needed to be replaced as he’s become a lightening rod for the media and Democratic attacks, distracting them from the point that the Mayor and Governor remained in charge through the entire crisis and the Mayor refused to allow food and water to be delivered to the Convention Center.

And now there’s this from Instapundit:

POLICE [that would be the local officials, the First Responders, not FEMA] TRAPPED THOUSANDS IN NEW ORLEANS: a UPI report:

Police from surrounding jurisdictions shut down several access points to one of the only ways out of New Orleans last week, effectively trapping victims of Hurricane Katrina in the flooded and devastated city. . . .

“We shut down the bridge,” Arthur Lawson, chief of the City of Gretna Police Department, confirmed to United Press International, adding that his jurisdiction had been “a closed and secure location” since before the storm hit.

“All our people had evacuated and we locked the city down,” he said. The bridge in question — the Crescent City Connection — is the major artery heading west out of New Orleans across the Mississippi River.

Lawson said that once the storm itself had passed Monday, police from Gretna City, Jefferson Parrish and the Louisiana State Crescent City Connection Police Department closed to foot traffic the three access points to the bridge closest to the West Bank of the river.

He added that the small town, which he called “a bedroom community” for the city of New Orleans, would have been overwhelmed by the influx.

“There was no food, water or shelter” in Gretna City, Lawson said. “We did not have the wherewithal to deal with these people.”

“If we had opened the bridge, our city would have looked like New Orleans does now: looted, burned and pillaged.”

But — in an example of the chaos that continued to beset survivors of the storm long after it had passed — even as Lawson’s men were closing the bridge, authorities in New Orleans were telling people that it was only way out of the city.”

As Glenn points out, local and state officials kept relief supplies out, and local police kept refugees in. Louisiana’s response to the hurricane continues to be a story of human tragedy, disgraceful behavior on the part of local and state officials, and a disgusting attempt to shift blame and attention anywhere but at their own behavior.

UPDATE: Junkyard Blog’s B. Preston points out that if NOLA police and local and state officials had not permitted lotting to go on unchecked in the first place, the police from surrounding jurisdictions might not have seen it as their duty to lock down their communities to people coming from NOLA’s direction. I think that’s a point, but I can’t see that as justification for turning away families with children, which presumably were among those trying to escape.

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