The study found that Japanese and Korean students excel in math despite their lack of confidence in their own abilities, while American kids feel great about their abilities but have much lower skills according to tests.
We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Sunday, October 22. 2006
In a piece titled The Paradox of Liberty, Brewton quotes Andre Maurois:
1200 pounds for hurt feelings? I'd be very rich about now. Gay and Right
More on Ted and the KGB: Ace
The Fjordman has The Eurabia Code at Gates of Vienna, in which he describes Europe's long romance with the Middle East. It is long, but it's all you need to know.
We try to give them away, but nobody wants them. The Gitmo prisoners. No Pasaran
Govt tries to give Amish their food stamps - Amish refuse, govt gets upset. Crazy. Moonbattery
Venture capitalist needed to protect plastic flamingoes from extinction.
I don't understand why Ohio isn't going big for Blackwell. Nor does Betsy
Re shooting, Kim says:
Saturday, October 21. 2006
No, I am not referring to Washington, DC. I am referring to one of the smallest North American birds, the Ruby-Crowned Kinglet.
Yesterday was classic New England weather - 50 degrees and clear in the morning, 70 degrees, drizzling and calm at noon, then branch-breaking wind gusts with a 25 degree temperature drop at 4 pm. By night-time, it felt like fall had truly arrived, and today it was clear and crisp, and the maples showed some red.
All day long, small flocks of Kinglets were fluttering around the shrubs, and poking into the sedum, outside my window. Close enough that you could occasionally get a slight glimpse of the red crown, if they tilted their heads in the right way. But, basically, you cannot count on that as an identifying feature.
These drab, tiny warbler-like guys - but smaller than warblers - weigh about a quarter of an ounce, lay clutches of 12 eggs (a clutch can easily weigh more than the mother), and winter wherever the temperatures stay above 25 degrees. The flocks outside my window are working their way south, but I hope they will hang around for a while.
They must have had a good breeding year up in the coniferous forests, because I have never seen so many.
Image borrowed from the excellent CLO site.
What a delight to know that he is still alive and kickin'.
Here's the Chuck Berry website.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 11:55 | Comment (1) | Trackbacks (0)
This is indeed jaw-dropping. First paragraph of piece by Rick Moran:
I knew there was a reason I can't watch CNN: they just aren't my kind of people. Whole thing here.
If this is true, it should be big trouble. The Ted Kennedy/KGB story. Junkyard, via Ace. More at Driscoll. As Gateway puts it, "Please don't question their patriotism." Yes, well, but this guy can get away with murder, can't he?
The annual flu shot hysteria. RTLC
I keep trying to get out, but they keep pulling me back in. Junior Gotti gets a pass, sort of. "He's a very nice boy."
Evil genius Karl Rove has been blamed for rising oil prices, falling oil prices, Katrina, 9-11, warm summers, the ozone hole, and for losing my socks in the dryer. Now he is blamed for the rising stock market. Rove must be God, disguised as a pudgy bald guy.
Autism gene identified. Finally. SDA
Young Republicans at Berkeley: Update at Volokh
Annie, Get your gun. We keep reading these sorts of stories. An un-armed, or pacifist person is called a "victim," in English. Listen: especially if you have kids: don't let a low-life scum take you away from them, because they need you.
On repealing the First Amendment. If the Left (with John McCain as a useful idiot ally) wants to undo the First, and many others wish to undo the Second, then why not all the rest of 'em? If political speech (advertising) costs money, then when you restrict money, you restrict speech. Simple. I even agree that George Soros is free to spend a billion dollars for Leftist, America-hating candidates if he wants to. It's supposed to be a free country, where you can debate one person's speech with more speech. Ten Napel on George Will.
Right Wing Howler gets a bit non-PC with the Koran. Shame on you, Vilmar. That is insensitive. Did you find these sights in your neighborhood? Very bad manners. BAD DOG!
Boston Chicken: Deval avoids debate. New England Repub
From a piece by LaShawn:
List of the earth's civil wars since 1940. A long list. Neo-neo
The NYT's remarkable Johnny Apple dies at 71. Obit here.
How do Dems define the Middle Class? Ankle-Biting
If this is hunting, I'm the King of Spain. Dust my Broom
Juan Williams attacked as "the black Ann Coulter." What? AlphaPatriot
It's James Baker time again! Baker plans the exits from Iraq. Reason
Martin Luther King Jr was a Republican. But you're not supposed to say that, are you? Lib Leanings
Foreigners who would like to see the Dems take over Congress: And Rightly So
From a piece by Friedman, via Best of the Web yesterday:
Who is rich? And who is complaining? A quote from a piece Australia's Policy, by Wilkinson, entitled Against the Politics of Relative Standing (h/t, A&L Daily):
Read the whole interesting thing.
Image: Nude surfing season is coming, in Australia. We hope the Imams can get comfortable with this Aussie habit. Hey Imam - quit staring and take a cold shower.
D'ye ken John Peel with his coat so gay,
D'ye ken John Peel at the break of day,
D'ye ken John Peel when he's far away,
With his hounds and his horn in the morning.
For the sound of his horn brought me from my bed
And the cry of his hounds which he oft times led,
Peel's 'view hullo' would awaken the dead
Or the fox from his lair in the morning.
Yes I ken John Peel and Ruby too
Ranter and Ringwood and Bellman and True,
From a find to a check, from a check to a view
From a view to a death in the morning.
Then here's to John Peel with my heart and soul
Let's drink to his health, let's finish the bowl,
We'll follow John Peel through fair and through foul
If we want a good hunt in the morning.
Friday, October 20. 2006
The blogworld, and the media, are preoccupied with the elections. 90% of regular folks, however, are not.
It's just as well. There is such thing as an unwholesome preoccupation with political issues, as there can be with anything else.
There is reason to believe that people are more motivated to vote against someone, than for someone. Anger and hatred are powerful human motivators, and everyone is cynical about politics and politicians except the youth - who don't know any better.
So it's smears and fears season. AKA "silly season." Everybody enjoys voting in national elections, but mid-term elections tend to bring out the most engaged, and the most emotional, which brings out the lowest human impulses - and in the political world, that is lower than whale poop.
Thus the theme for both parties is "crank up the emotion." In mid-terms, in which many registered voters do not even know the names of their Reps, or even their Senators, "Get out the vote" is the name of the game. Get warm bodies into the voting booth, and room-temperature bodies if that's all you can get.
Is this election more important than any other? Probably not, because I do not think it will have any effect on the war against Islamofascism (Americans will never put up with dhimmitude.). Every election is important, though.
Isn't it funny how, when your team wins - it's "The people have spoken," and when your team loses, it's "The people are brainwashed morons"?
May the best team win. Just do me one favor: before you pull that lever, make sure you know where Nancy Pelosi stands on the issues of the day -because that is who you are voting for or against, ultimately. The Speaker, the Whip, and other leadership run the show. The Reps are just little soldiers, and if they don't play ball, they won't be able to bring the pork home for their re-election.
The Who are going on tour, and bring forth first new record since 1982.
27 questions for Rupert Murdoch at Dem. Project
Looks like Minnesota will elect a Hamas supporter/sympathizer to Congress. Powerline. It's damn stupid, but it's a free country.
An evolution expert predicts an "upper class" and "lower class" of humans to diverge.
Mooooo. Are you tired of our cattle interest over the past couple of months?
Well, just a couple more cattle posts to go, then the final exam.
Today, wild cattle. There are 12 species of wild bovines left. We already learned that the mighty Auroch, the prized game animal of Polish kings and the ancestor of the domestic cow, has been extinct, alas, since the 1600s. We all know the American Bison and the Cape Buffalo - a member of the Big Five great game animals of Africa (image above), but you cannot name all twelve, and neither can I. Here they are.
Note that the Musk Ox is not among them. It's not a bovine, and it is more closely related to goats.
Image of a friendly Cape Buffalo from the very fine wild cattle site.
Thursday, October 19. 2006
Good lawyers can always find an argument. Here's one: Too fat to die. AOL news. Hanging is needle-free, I believe.
How many people think that this is a real disease? Sounds like a crock to me. An infrared detoxifier? I sure hope tax dollars didn't buy that joke of a gizmo. NYT Science
Bill Clinton endorses torture "for specific purposes". Where's the outrage? Ace
My precious...Where can I get me one of these slick rings? Polipundit. American medicine needs to break its chains from the big pharmaceuticals and do good simple stuff like these people do, don't you think? We sure have a lot to learn from Asian medicine.
And, speaking of Asians, may I ask why Euro journalists always refer to Moslems as "Asians"? "Hundreds of Asian youth shouted chants to Allah while bombarding Parisian police with rocks." Just wondering, because they don't look like, or act like, regular Asians to me. Can't they call them Semites, or youths of Middle-Eastern origin, or Moslems, or something a bit more descriptively-accurate?
Atlas VLOGS our hero, Paul Belien.
The elections. Damn, do I miss Reagan. Rick Moran sees some signs of hope.
Another climate change heretic. Tim Blair suggests warming him at the stake.
The Dem strategy: Ignore the economy. Nothing to talk about there. Driscoll. No, let's talk about important things like gays in congress. As Iowahawk has it, "It's the homos, stupid." Just don't think about the economy...and, by the way, it's terrible: Captain Ed
Remember Abdul Rahman?, asks Wizbang. Well, Jihad isn't done with him yet.
There is a simple moral to this sad story about limiting cod catches in the North Sea. Worstall
Wussy CT bans running up the score. How about banning running up the GPA, too? View from the Right
And speaking of GPAs:
Full story here, of course.
And lo and behold! More on GPAs. The "No child gets ahead" program. Classical Values
"After a while we took in the clothes,
The amusingly content-less "Clothesline Saga," off the Basement Tapes, recorded in 1967 but only officially released eight years later.
Jimmy Carter's reportedly anti-Israel book's release date abruptly moved from before the election, to after. Israpundit.
Masculinity is bad, says Mr. Jensen. Who? I am not sure that most women would agree with that. Moonbattery
Babbin at RCP: "Go for it, Mr. Pres":
What makes it tough to change the dynamic is that the "news dynamic" is little more than MSM bias, and the MSM acting as cheerleaders for the Left. The MSM deliberately created the "dynamic." Anyway, Babbin's whole piece with his advice, here.
The Left gone nuts - VDH. A quote:
Whole thing here.
Is "first to market" a failing strategy? Business Pundit
We did not give Columbia Pres. Lee Bollinger credit for these words:
However, I have heard nothing about punishment yet. Update at Inside Higher Ed
The dust band around the perimeter of the nucleus of the Black Eye galaxy (M64), from the Hubble site.
Wednesday, October 18. 2006
You know that you can left-click anything on our blogroll, but for links in text, you should right-click. But you all know that.
Membership on our blogroll on the left side of the column means that these are among the sites we find interesting - not that we agree with them! We are belatedly adding to our blogroll left-click list the following worthy sites this week:
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 20:46 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
From Basil's blog:
Whole thing is here.
Compare state taxes with revenue growth and employment growth. Willisms
There they go again. Moslems getting excited about condemning the new Apple building in NYC: Mudville
More on real estate in NYC: A very big deal. NYT
Wally can move big things easily, and could build Stonehenge with stones and sticks. A cool find at Never Yet Melted
Environmentalism as the new fascism: Tangled Web. One quote:
Why I want my kids to play with guns. Mr. Free market
Hahaha. For you hunters: Season Shot. Kill 'em, and season 'em, at the same time. I'm about ready to go shoot that chicken in my freezer with that stuff. Can you throw a frozen chicken with a trap machine?
Justice Scalia explains the Bill of Rights to the ACLU. YouTube
Richard Landes and the the France2 trial in a superb piece by SISU. Read it, or you will be beheaded.
Callable bonds, for beginners: Clayton Cramer
Climate change on Mars blamed on Bush and Big Oil: MarsDaily
How do you tell a Sunni from a Shiite? Sounds like the first line of a joke. Real answer at Singleton
My dinner with Ken Mehlman. Fineman at MSNBC
Observation in a piece by Melanie Phillips:
Image: Candidate for Wife of the Year. She's a workhorse.
Tuesday, October 17. 2006
Everybody should get some CPR training, with regular refreshers. You never know when someone is going to go down at the supermarket, in church, at the movies, in a parking lot, or at a baseball game. Be the person who knows what to do.
In the tension of the moment, it's hard to think straight unless you are in an ER with support and help. And people collapse all the time, usually for minor and relatively benign reasons. But sometimes it's an arrhythmia, or a heart attack-related arrhythmia, and, if so, it's your chance to try to save a life as long as you aren't too far from definitive help. In the wilderness, forget it. They're a goner if they quit breathing. CPR is a temporary thing.
Online CPR certification here. (with sound). It's best to practice it with a dummy, though. I have only had to perform this once in a non-medical setting. A rainy, cold, wet parking lot. She survived, but with mild brain damage from hypoxia (the cause of her collapse and subsequent respiratory failure was a ventricular arrhythmia of unknown cause). And I cracked a rib or two, but that hardly matters when someone is "trying to die," as docs call it.
300 million proud and happy Americans. Here are photos of some of us: Tim Blair
Frank Trainor wasn't too fond of Modern Times. Good comments. But is "Bob running away from himself"? Who is "himself," anyway? I do not know.
PJ O'Rourke (h/t, Dr. Sanity):
PJ should not be writing - he should be hunting grouse and woodcock in New Brunswick about now. Anyway, read the whole thing at the Weekly Standard.
What a story behind this treasure trove of Roman silver.
Story at Blue Crab. (He should write the book, or someone else will.)
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 12:50 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Shades of the New York Times! Taxpayer-supported BBC spending taxpayer money to cover-up report on itself. Just too funny - and too sad. Telegraph (h/t, Instap.) But what would you expect? They are better than you and me.
We don't need no education
You might be surprised to learn what the nation's preeminent college of education stands for.
As FIRE notes:
Somehow, they forgot to add intelligence, ability, energy, honor, determination, persistence, and character to their list of evil excuses for discrimination by The System, not doubt for the benefit of the "ruling class." (This is like entering a time machine to 1968.)
However, the point is that if you like the idea of merit, mobility, and individual responsibility, you are not cut out to be a graduate of Teacher's College. They actually assess their students on these political criteria. This is ridiculous politically-correct drivel worthy of the late 1960s - but if they really believe it, our kids are in trouble.
I am so grateful that I was taught "critical thinking" in school. I learned to see through this sort of nonsense.
It is surely time to donate a bit of cash to FIRE.
Added comment from Dr. Bliss, at the editor's request:
When they use the term "social justice," I get the creeps. It generally means quasi-totalitarian state control when people use it these days. But social justice can be seen in many different ways, depending on your reading of Plato, Montesquieu, Locke, Adam Smith, de Toqueville, etc; depending on your understanding of history and, perhaps most importantly, on your understanding of human nature. What is fascinating - if stereotypical - about the Teacher's College manifesto is that it is based on a vision of students - and people (except them, who get to make the rules) as victims of a "system," rather than free persons in the most free country in the world, with more abundant opportunity than has ever existed in history. Theirs is an oppressive message, designed to nurture blame, defeatism, dependency, resentment, and helplessness rather than to nurture optimistic, brave, energetic Americans with the can-do spirit.
Coment from The Barrister, of Maggie's Farm:
Ditto to the above. A couple of points: 1. This is warmed-over 60's stuff. I suspect the people who run the place are all in their 50s, and still fighting "the revolution" and seeing themselves as part of "the movement." Sheesh - you'd think they would have grown past that by now. 2. Who appointed teachers to be propagandizers? No-one would hire teachers to do that - that's the lowly, undignified job of politicians, journalists, and commentators! Don't they have to teach trig and calc and physics and chemistry and econ and music and all that? Isn't that enough to do? 3. The excuse-making angle: If kids don't learn much, it's not the teachers' fault or the schools' fault - it's the system. The system doesn't want them to succeed. Bad, bad system! The system should go sit in the corner for ten minutes. 4. But wait a minute - the public education system is already controlled by the Teacher's Unions. Woops. Oh, well, it must be the other system that wants the kids to be oppressed. Like, the kids' parents, who work and vote and pay the schools' bills and comprise the "American system"? This makes no sense. With these attitudes, it is no wonder that most Americans would quit the state schools if they had the choice to do so.
Is the Shadow Party getting behind Wesley Clark? Am Thinker
Harry Reid has lots of ideas about how all Americans can get rich. Teach us, Harry. $700,000 profit on land he didn't own. I want to know how to do that, too.
They can save a lot of $ on shipping: Walmart with giant expansion in China. NY Sun
Harvard Prof: Immigrants are the reason blacks are in jail. There's a new theory for ya. NY Sun. Personally, I am convinced it's Bush's fault.
What do butterflies do when it rains? NYT
No way out. Europeans seek "tax harmonization" to eliminate tax competition. They call tax competition "unfair." What are they thinking? TCS
The Battleground Poll is interesting. Dino has it