Archives for the month of: April, 2015

Yes, we pretend our schools work. Mostly teachers are pretty good, and children learn most of the time regardless.


The Education Land of Make Believe

We are deep inside another blogging challenge. And I have one from last week to make up. In fact, I’m way behind on my blogging. I’ll try to do some catching up the next few days. For now, Blue Cereal Education’s 1200 word challenge will have to wait. In the meantime, if you’ve ever thought of starting a blog, I suggest jumping in on one of these challenges. This is a great way to crowdsource our ideas – and we need more of them.

This time, the prompt comes from Iowa’s Scott McLeod. Somehow, I’ve never read his blog, Dangerously ! Irrelevant. That stops now. Sign me up.

Seriously, I wish I could go back three years and come up with…

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I need to be more optimistic, and I need to be ready to work with everybody willing to work, even if I think they are wrong.

Further proof the EPA is the most dangerous thing on earth. (And the CEQ.)

Regulation at all government levels is a cancer. It is eating our country and our society. We must reverse it and rid ourselves of the regulatory agencies now, or it will be too late before we can do anything about it. Regulation is the greatest threat to all of us.

Watts Up With That?

Using the EPA, CEQ and other federal agencies to fundamentally transform America

president_official_portrait_hiresGuest essay by Paul Driessen

ISIS terrorists continue to butcher people, while hacking into a French television network. Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons remains on track. In a nation of 320 million people, American businesses hired only 126,000 workers in March, amid a pathetic 62% labor participation rate. Wages and incomes are stagnant.

And yet President Obama remains fixated on one obsession: dangerous manmade climate change. He blames it for everything from global temperatures that have been stable for 18 years, to hurricanes that have not made US landfall for nearly 9.5 years, and even asthma and allergies. He is determined to use it to impose energy, environmental and economic policies that will “fundamentally transform” our nation.

He launched his war on coal with a promise that companies trying to build new coal-fired power plants would go bankrupt…

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The article I wrote about that pointed out half our teachers are leaving the profession within five years referenced an article about Finland from 2011.


The gist is the Finnish teachers are trusted and allowed to do whatever it takes to prepare kids to succeed in life. They only try to teach them how to learn. They never try to teach them how to test. Yet, the Finns do quite well on tests, including the international one. Read the rest of this entry »

As one who holds the bible to be the guide that we have, I agree with Pastor Bohanon.

I admit I have reservations about calling same-sex sexual relations sin, but the bible is clear. I also agree with the orthodox teachings and arguments from natural law.

What I see is that the nuclear family of a husband and wife and their natural children is key and essential to modern culture. Our world is good, and better than it could be otherwise, because of the traditional family. That observation gives weight to the assertion that a lifelong, committed, loving relationship between one man and one women is best. It is generally reasonable to define sin as that which is less than best.

I also see that there is room for a great deal of accommodation. Specifically, there are no threats to culture and society from any sin or deviation from tradition and what can be reasonably argued as best.

I’ll ask: Cannot those of us who hold up the ideal carry on in the face of indifference? Can we not hold to our ideals and live as examples even in adversity?

Yes, we can. We are not threatened. I think that is the key.

So many see any sin or opposition to tradition as threat. It is not. There are reasons for our moral standards and for our traditions. Paramount, these standards and traditions work. Keep working them. Hold up the standard, and good people will follow.

That is not to say there are not many good people who will find it necessary to do otherwise.

That is conscience.

People are free, and they are free because God made them that way. Free will is no illusion. It is the divine right of every soul. It is not mine to judge another soul. God alone, Jesus, is the judge, and until that last day, each of us must pursue the right, the good, as best we can. Each of us must allow for the freedom of the other, and not condemn, nor look askance. Each of us is wrong to some extent. Each of us must trust God to improve and move toward the good. Jesus promises us to finish the good work He began in us. Trust Him. We must trust him for ourselves and for every other soul.

The fact is, none of us is without sin. There are, of course, many sins we should all do better at. The one I see as most outwardly obvious is gluttony. I find it impossible to explain the acceptance of gluttony by so many in all walks of life and all faiths. It simply is not possible to justify any sin. We must hold to the highest standards and ideals, yet we all fall short. We all fail when it comes to sin.

Except for obvious rebellion, I don’t except the notion of “living in sin.”

No one intentionally lives short of the best, excepting intentional rebellion. We all try to live our lives best we know how, acknowledging good and trying. The old euphemism of “living in sin” used to say that a couple was living together for sexual relations without marriage; well, it really isn’t descriptive. I think we like to say things like that to help us feel better about the situation. The fact is, the couple may think they are meeting God’s requirements. They may believe they have fulfilled all moral requirements. They may have reasons for not getting a piece of paper or a ceremony. Maybe they are right. Maybe not. Regardless, it is not mine to judge. Restating my point here, they may be sinning (maybe not), but they are not living in sin. If they are not intentionally living in open rebellion, they certainly are not trying to live sinfully. We are all sinners. We must ever trust in Jesus’ grace and salvation. The power of the Holy Spirit helps us overcome sin, but it is continuous and ever renewing, because we are ever tempted and often fail.

Revisiting the sin of gluttony, is the 450-pound person living in sin such that redemption is not possible? Of course not.

I think it is important to accept all as sinners trying to make their way in grace. Obviously there are exceptions, but I am enjoined, under the command to love, to think the best, and, as much as in me is, to live peaceably with all. We must refuse to single out one sin over another. We must be careful not to consider some sin or other as threat. God’s grace is sufficient, and we always overcome in Him. The gates of hell cannot prevail. Thus, love. Never fear. It is much easier to accept a sinner when standing in love, perfect love that casts out fear. Never let fear motivate you. Trust God and walk in love.

Closing, I find it necessary to write. I often write just to see what I think. 😉

It is important to write. Pastor Bohanon is doing good work. This new blog of his is a worthwhile addition to the good work.

It is imperative to be correctable

Be ever eager to be corrected, headless of any cost or pain resulting from the correction.

Writing for Newsweek, , discusses the low morale of teachers in public education.

Like, no duh, huh?

He points out that the current problem started in the 1980s. It started even before the Civil War, but the problems today are largely the doings of Jimmy Carter and the Democrats of the early 1980s. Reagan tried to stop it. He said he would, but he failed. Tip O’Neill mattered in that. Most of our education problems today are mostly, originally, Tip O’Neill’s fault. (Bushes and Clintons share a lot of blame and responsibility in our education problems, too.)

Mr. Ward points out that 40-50% of our new teachers leave the profession within five years. Wow. There are no reforms we can do to the education system and hope to fix it while none of our teachers have significant experience in teaching. Nothing!

The first requirement to any fix in education is get rid of compulsory education. Repeal all truancy laws. All of them. Our education system will continue to worsen until we get rid of compulsory education laws. Compulsion, coercion, is always immoral. The only justification for any coercion is the clear and imminent threat of harm. There is no clear threat associated with lack of education for children. There certainly is no imminent threat.

Compulsory laws for education are evil. The history of it is sad.

Second requirement: Let the teachers teach!

Get out of their way. Get back to the principal and district superintendent running the school, trusting the teachers, proving them out one-on-one with the students and parents, and get out of the way.

Get the Fed out entirely. We need to amend the Constitution. Add the words “or education” to the First Amendment, like this, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or education, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press;…” Our Federal government should treat education the exact same way it treats religion, totally hands off.

Our states need to back it down to the counties. We need to acknowledge that there is no overriding interest of the state in our children. We, including our children, are citizens. We all need equal protection. We all need equal standing. Sure, minors must be specially defined until the age of majority, but 18 is really probably older than we need for most things.

Well, enough today. I found Ward’s article worthwhile, and it slapped me hard that it is impossible to fix the public education system when most of our teachers have less than five years experience. It is impossible. We have to figure out how to fix that first. We cannot fix it by meddling.

A couple of songs came to my mind:
Steve Taylor, Smug

And Petra’s Hollow Eyes

We Westerners have so many problems because we have no real problems.


poverty_2226036b (1) These boys get to ‘observe’ Earth Hour, 24 x 365,
and it’ll stay that way if “greens” get the chance.


The so-called “Greens”, that have sought to overtake and destroy sensible energy policy around the Globe, are not just delusional, they’re dangerous.

Part of their perverse, human-hating ideology centres around demonizing electricity; and the only meaningful generation sources capable of providing it; ie, coal, gas, nuclear and hydro – yes, hydro – even though it’s safe as houses and doesn’t produce CO2 emissions, they hate that too, as part of their ‘NO DAMS‘ mantra.

Much of what they “stand” for can be reduced to infantile symbolism – a ‘quasi-religious-fanaticism’: the mindless worship of “eco-crucifixes” as James Delingpole calls them, is only one of the more obvious examples.

hepburn Hepburn Wind Worshippers at the altar:
Let us give our thanks and praise (along with a non-refundable contribution – although…

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Freeman Dyson has proven to matter.

Big Picture News, Informed Analysis

The climate scare rests on predictions produced by mathematical modeling. One of the world’s finest scientific minds says prediction isn’t what those models do – and that the climate conversation is ignoring important facts.

In an era of Facebook and Twitter, we are as likely to hear about events from acquaintances, relatives, and colleagues as from the news media directly. That’s what happened yesterday. Soon after a 20-minute video interview with legendary physicist Freeman Dyson was posted on the Vancouver Sun website, I saw a reference to it in my Facebook feed. Then fellow Canadian blogger Hilary Ostrovtweeted about it and a post went up at the UK Bishop Hill blog. American blogger Tom Nelson posted transcriptions of many of Dyson’s remarks, and the video got mentioned over at  WattsUpWithThat. Word-of-mouth is amazing and powerful in the digital age.

The video in question is a project of

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Certainly one of the greatest minds of our time.

Watts Up With That?

Guest Post by Bob Tisdale

Freeman_Dyson_scrThe Vancouver Sun recently published a video interview with “Princeton University’s preeminent” theoretical physicist and mathematician Freeman Dyson, as part of their “Conversation that Matters” series hosted by Stuart McNish. (Correction: Freeman Dyson is a professor emeritus of the Institute for Advanced Study, which is not affiliated with Princeton University. Thanks, Phil.)  If you don’t know who Freeman Dyson is, see his condensed biography here and detailed biography here.  Freeman Dyson is also skeptical of catastrophic CO2-driven global warming/climate change.

McNish’s interview with Freeman Dyson is titled Conversations that matter – Earth is actually growing greener and can be found through that link. The written introduction begins:

This week’s Conversation that Matters features Princeton University’s preeminent physicist Freeman Dyson who says models do a good job of helping us understand climate but they do a very poor job of predicting it.

It is an excellent…

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It is important to speak up.

In general, all that is required for evil intentions to prevail is for good people to be passive. Calling for government action against people is almost always evil.

Watts Up With That?

They believe people should be punished for being climate skeptics They believe people should be punished for being climate skeptics.

Adam Weinstein, of the Gawker, has added his voice to the growing list of greens, who demand a brutal authoritarian response to the vexing problem of people who have a different opinion.

According to Weinstein;

Man-made climate change happens. Man-made climate change kills a lot of people. It’s going to kill a lot more. We have laws on the books to punish anyone whose lies contribute to people’s deaths. It’s time to punish the climate-change liars.

This is an argument that’s just being discussed seriously in some circles. It was laid out earlier this month, with all the appropriate caveats, by Lawrence Torcello, a philosophy professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Read More:

Weinstein bases his claim that man made climate change “kills a lot of people” on a WHO page, which estimates that 150,000 people…

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Reason looks at facts and accepts them. The facts are, CO2 is good for earth, and earth is not warming any differently than it has many times before humans might have been a small part of the causes.

Watts Up With That?

rolling-stone1Guest essay by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D. (reprinted with permission from his blog)

That tireless ecological zealot over at The Guardian, Dana Nuccitelli, took the opportunity of our 25th anniversary of satellite-based global temperature monitoring to rip us a new one.

Comparing John Christy and me to “scientists who disputed the links between smoking and cancer”, Dana once again demonstrates his dedication to the highest standards of journalism.

Well done, Grauniad.

I prefer to compare us to Barry Marshall and Robin Warren, who rejected the scientific consensus that peptic ulcers were due to too much stress or spicy food. While they eventually received the Nobel Prize after years of ridicule and scorn from the medical research community, we have no illusions that we will ever be credited for our long-standing position that global warming fears have been overblown. I’m sure the UN’s IPCC will…

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Worth noting. Also worth taking the time to do your homework and develop a good refutation. Otherwise, many people would rather be wrong than corrected. Just let it go.

Watts Up With That?

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

Over at “Digging in the Clay” Verity Jones has an excellent graphic summarizing the different levels of disagreement. The graphic deserves wider circulation. The types of disagreement range in a spectrum from the strongest, refuting the author’s central point, all the way down to the weakest, name-calling. Here’s the graphic:

grahams hierarchy of disagreement

The graphic is based on How to Disagree by Paul Graham, which is well worth reading.

One thing I’d like to highlight is that in the linked article the author says (emphasis mine):

DH5. Refutation.

The most convincing form of disagreement is refutation. It’s also the rarest, because it’s the most work. Indeed, the disagreement hierarchy forms a kind of pyramid, in the sense that the higher you go the fewer instances you find.

To refute someone you probably have to quote them. You have to find a “smoking gun,” a passage in whatever you…

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Musings on Science and Theology

Seriously_Dangerous_ReligionThe final chapter of Iain Provan’s book Seriously Dangerous Religion: What the Old Testament Really Says and Why It Mattersgives an answer to the question suggested by the title. Is Christianity, grounded as it is in the Old Testament Story with new dimensions from the New Testament, actually dangerous? Richard Dawkins (The God Delusion) and Christopher Hitchens (God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything) among others have suggested that religious belief in general and Christian belief in particular is downright dangerous.

I have argued in chapter 13 that the biblical story about how the world came to be, what the human place in it is, and how we should live here is plausible. Is it at the same time dangerous? As the biblical book of Proverbs observes, a prudent person will always want to avoid danger. Is there danger, then, in biblical faith, from…

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