Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Monday, July 26, 2010
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Friday, July 23, 2010
Gene Edward Veith posted a bit about the Huguenot cross on his website. On my grandmother DuPertuis' side we are descended from Hugenots who fled France and sheltered in Switzerland, or so says the family history I read. Cool symbol, I think I'll see if I can find one somewhere.
Since I'm on a roll here's one from John Taylor Gatto on Lew Rockwell yesterday.
9OYS WTK: blowing off school is illegal, right? Guess again. - KGUN 9 On Your Side, Tucson News, Weather & Sports
TUCSON (KGUN-9 TV) - Kids skip out on school. They're truants, little criminals right?
Not so fast.
There are some kids who never step foot in a school and don't follow home schooling guidelines either. It's a movement known as "unschooling." And in Arizona, it appears to be legal.
9 On Your Side wanted know more about it. One Tucson area family agreed to talk about their experience with it.
Lisa Cottrell-Bentley and her husband Greg are parents to Zoe, age 13 and Teagan, age 9. Lisa explained to 9 On Your Side anchor Jennifer Waddell how "unschooling" began for them. "It all came about because of Zoe. When Zoe was first born, she was a brilliant infant, but by the time she was a year old she could say 104 words and by the time she was three she was reading books all on her own."
The Bentley family is letting their children decide how, what and when they learn. Not *home*schooling - unschooling - as in none at all. They also wanted to avoid paying thousands of dollars for home schooling curriculum.
They are "radical" unschoolers, which means they take the unschooling principles, as established by John Holt, one step further.
Not only do Zoe and Teagan not go to school, they don't have strict bedtimes, strict eating schedules or chores.
But don't you dare call them uneducated.
Zoe, for instance, can tell you anything you want to know about rocks. She even has a website about them that she built. How did she learn to do such a thing? "Well my parents helped me figure out how website editing worked," she said. "And I made the background myself actually and the banner here."
Zoe is also a blogger for NASA and has already aced a class at Pima Community College -- all with no form education, no curriculum, no homework, and no tests.
Her 9 year old sister Teagan is not far behind. She's also a wiz on the web, and loves ballet.
Even so -- how is all this legal?
9 On Your Side put that question to the Pima County Superintendent's office. A spokesperson said parents just have to submit an affidavit, following the same rules as home schoolers. The office admits that it does not monitor what happens once it processes the paperwork.
What about college? Unschoolers have to provide a portfolio of their work plus SAT or ACT scores.
Sam Gubernick was an unschooler and he's now a senior at the University of Arizona.
Gubernick explained to Waddell how he got in. "Everything I needed to know I'd already learned. Going to college was pretty easy and high school isn't as necessary as it always sounds."
Back to the Bentley family: Waddell asked how the family would respond to critics of what they are doing. His response: "It works for us. It may not work for everybody but our kids learn all they need to know and it's a great joy to have them around."
The biggest critic of unschooling is State School Superintendent Tom Horne who does not in any way support the idea. But for now, the option remains on the table for Arizona parents who care to give it a try.
Great bit on unschooling... there is video of it on the kgun9.com site.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
America Via Erica
Fri, 25 Jun 2010 12:00 EDT
Comment: The full passage reads: "The aim of public education is not to spread enlightenment at all; it is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed and train a standardized citizenry, to down dissent and originality. That is its aim in the United States, whatever pretensions of politicians, pedagogues other such mountebanks, and that is its aim everywhere else."
To illustrate this idea, doesn't it perturb you to learn about the idea of "critical thinking." Is there really such a thing as "uncritically thinking?" To think is to process information in order to form an opinion. But if we are not critical when processing this information, are we really thinking? Or are we mindlessly accepting other opinions as truth? This was happening to me, and if it wasn't for the rare occurrence of an avant-garde tenth grade English teacher, Donna Bryan, who allowed me to open my mind and ask questions before accepting textbook doctrine, I would have been doomed. I am now enlightened, but my mind still feels disabled. I must retrain myself and constantly remember how insane this ostensibly sane place really is. And now here I am in a world guided by fear, a world suppressing the uniqueness that lies inside each of us, a world where we can either acquiesce to the inhuman nonsense of corporatism and materialism or insist on change. We are not enlivened by an educational system that clandestinely sets us up for jobs that could be automated, for work that need not be done, for enslavement without fervency for meaningful achievement. We have no choices in life when money is our motivational force. Our motivational force ought to be passion, but this is lost from the moment we step into a system that trains us, rather than inspires us. We are more than robotic bookshelves, conditioned to blurt out facts we were taught in school. We are all very special, every human on this planet is so special, so aren't we all deserving of something better, of using our minds for innovation, rather than memorization, for creativity, rather than futile activity, for rumination rather than stagnation? We are not here to get a degree, to then get a job, so we can consume industry-approved placation after placation. There is more, and more still. The saddest part is that the majority of students don't have the opportunity to reflect as I did. The majority of students are put through the same brainwashing techniques in order to create a complacent labor force working in the interests of large corporations and secretive government, and worst of all, they are completely unaware of it. I will never be able to turn back these 18 years. I can't run away to another country with an education system meant to enlighten rather than condition. This part of my life is over, and I want to make sure that no other child will have his or her potential suppressed by powers meant to exploit and control. We are human beings. We are thinkers, dreamers, explorers, artists, writers, engineers. We are anything we want to be - but only if we have an educational system that supports us rather than holds us down. A tree can grow, but only if its roots are given a healthy foundation. For those of you out there that must continue to sit in desks and yield to the authoritarian ideologies of instructors, do not be disheartened. You still have the opportunity to stand up, ask questions, be critical, and create your own perspective. Demand a setting that will provide you with intellectual capabilities that allow you to expand your mind instead of directing it. Demand that you be interested in class. Demand that the excuse, "You have to learn this for the test" is not good enough for you. Education is an excellent tool, if used properly, but focus more on learning rather than getting good grades. For those of you that work within the system that I am condemning, I do not mean to insult; I intend to motivate. You have the power to change the incompetencies of this system. I know that you did not become a teacher or administrator to see your students bored. You cannot accept the authority of the governing bodies that tell you what to teach, how to teach it, and that you will be punished if you do not comply. Our potential is at stake. For those of you that are now leaving this establishment, I say, do not forget what went on in these classrooms. Do not abandon those that come after you. We are the new future and we are not going to let tradition stand. We will break down the walls of corruption to let a garden of knowledge grow throughout America. Once educated properly, we will have the power to do anything, and best of all, we will only use that power for good, for we will be cultivated and wise. We will not accept anything at face value. We will ask questions, and we will demand truth. So, here I stand. I am not standing here as valedictorian by myself. I was molded by my environment, by all of my peers who are sitting here watching me. I couldn't have accomplished this without all of you. It was all of you who truly made me the person I am today. It was all of you who were my competition, yet my backbone. In that way, we are all valedictorians. I am now supposed to say farewell to this institution, those who maintain it, and those who stand with me and behind me, but I hope this farewell is more of a "see you later" when we are all working together to rear a pedagogic movement. But first, let's go get those pieces of paper that tell us that we're smart enough to do so!
-- Larry Devich http://larry-devich.blogspot.com/ It is more blessed to ask forgiveness than permission
Deputies kill man at South Bay marijuana farm
Thursday, July 22, 2010
(07-22) 09:11 PDT DEL VALLE RESERVOIR --
A man was shot and killed by Santa Clara County sheriff's deputies in a remote area where marijuana was being grown, authorities said today.
The man, whose name has not been released, was shot at about 10:25 a.m. Wednesday when he confronted deputies, said Sgt. Rick Sung, who did not elaborate. Three deputies shot the man, Sung said.
At least one other person fled the scene, Sung said. Both suspects were believed to be connected to the marijuana-growing operation.
The incident happened near Mines Road in an unincorporated area of Santa Clara County south of Del Valle Reservoir. Alameda County sheriff's deputies joined their counterparts from Santa Clara County in the anti-marijuana operation.
The deputies who shot the man were placed on paid administrative leave pending investigations by the sheriff and Santa Clara County district attorney's office.
E-mail Henry K. Lee at email@example.com.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Monday, July 19, 2010
Friday, July 16, 2010
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Monday, July 12, 2010
Polanski free, Swiss reject US extradition request
By BRADLEY S. KLAPPER and FRANK JORDANS, Associated Press Writers
Monday, July 12, 2010
(07-12) 06:38 PDT BERN, Switzerland (AP) --
The Swiss government declared renowned film director Roman Polanski a free man on Monday after rejecting a U.S. request to extradite him on a charge of having sex in 1977 with a 13-year-old girl. (Full story)
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Pupusas were created by the Pipiles, an indigenous people from El Salvador who spoke a dialect called Pipil. A pupusa (the Pipiles called it "pupusawa") is a thick, corn tortilla filled with any assortment of vegetables, pork, beef or seafood. Before hand-shaping a pupusa it is filled with the stuffing of your choice and cooked on a griddle - Not deep fried! A pupusa is equivalent to the pizza of Italy or the taco of Mexico, and the sky's the limit in selecting your favorite stuffing. Enjoy! I especially love them because you can get them vegetarian or even full on vegan if you want to, and they are so YUMMY! When Mike and Maryann came over to pick up Topanga last night Lora and the girls were sent by Maryann for more pupusas! Woo hoo. :-) Serenity went to spend last night at Mike and Maryann's so I have this nice quiet morning to myself right now, woo hoo again ;-) Later on yesterday, since it was a nice cozy 85 degrees, we enjoyed several hours of loafing at the pool...
Friday, July 9, 2010
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
If only teachers' ratings were used, the numbers would be even greater. In one study involving 16 different schools and more than three thousand children, teachers filled out the standard ADHD diagnostic checklist of behaviors and ratings for the students in their classrooms. In that study, where teachers' ratings were not averaged in with the ratings made by parents, 23% of elementary school boys and 20% of secondary school boys were diagnosed as having ADHD. What an amazing finding. By teachers' ratings, nearly one fourth of all elementary school boys and one fifth of all secondary school boys has the mental disorder, ADHD!
Study: Pot prices could plummet post-legalization
By LISA LEFF, Associated Press Writer
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
(07-07) 10:05 PDT San Francisco, CA (AP) --
A new study says legalizing the recreational use of marijuana in California could drive down prices and undercut the potential tax windfall that supporters have touted.
The study published Wednesday by the RAND Drug Policy Research Center says "considerable uncertainty" surrounds the state ballot initiative. It would allow adults, 21 and over, to possess an ounce of marijuana and cities and counties to license and tax commercial pot sales.
The authors predict that retail marijuana prices could drop from $375 an ounce under the state's current medical marijuana law to as low as $38 per ounce, in part because growers and sellers would be taking fewer legal risks.
According to the RAND analysis, consumers would pay more than that — about $91 an ounce — once taxes imposed by local governments are figured in.
Essentially they are saying there is no downside to this thing, VOTE to LEGALIZE!
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
- We reject the idea that parenting requires hard work
- We pledge to leave our children alone
- That should mean that they leave us alone, too
- We reject the rampant consumerism that invades children from the moment they are born
- We read them poetry and fantastic stories without morals
- We drink alcohol without guilt
- We reject the inner Puritan
- We fill the house with music and laughter
- We don't waste money on family days out and holidays
- We lie in bed for as long as possible
- We try not to interfere
- We push them into the garden and shut the door so that we can clean the house
- We both work as little as possible, particularly when the kids are small
- Time is more important than money
- Happy mess is better than miserable tidiness
- Down with school
- We fill the house with music and merriment