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
Monday, May 16. 2011
Death to high school English - My college students don't understand commas, far less how to write an essay. Is it time to rethink how we teach?
Do you care about how Tom Friedman feels?
Why Don't We Hear About Soros' Ties to Over 30 Major News Organizations? (h/t Linkiest)
More stamps: It's racist to discuss food stamps
Associating food stamps with blacks is racist, seems to me. Most American poor are white.
Ben Stein: "Arab Spring" is a fraud
A Banner Day for Media Bias: The NYT’s Friday the 13th On Global Warming
Samuelson: The Affluent Elderly
Government Schools: Antiques Preserved in Political Amber
The EU was a giant mistake, an attempt to create a bureaucratic empire like the European empires of old. There will be rebellion, destructive immigration, dissolution, etc. No wars. though.
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As much as I like to bash my English teachers for being arbitrary and capricious, I would say the single MOST IMPORTANT series of classes I had in school were English. I hated English classes, hated them.
I suppose I am lucky in some regards, I had a series of teachers in grade school, and parents, siblings, cousins all, who loved to read. (To the despair of the teachers I suppose, I loved science fiction and not those standard reading list 'classics' that would bore paint off the wall.) My 5th & 6th grade teacher (same one both years) used to take 15 to 30 minutes 3-4 days a week and read a chapter to the class from some book. She was OLD, most probably in her late 50's, a real grandmotherly type, who loved kids, loved to read, and the attitude was apparent to her students. Mrs. Reed God rest her soul.
This "love to read" attitude carried me forward.... to a point I suppose. The standard English classics of High School at the time, Scarlet Letter, Wuthering Heights, Adam Bede caused severe mental lockup, if not for the rescuing of Authur C Clarke, Isaac Asimov, etc. etc. etc. Mr Asimov's robot series rescued my young mind from the pits of despair over stilted earlier century english usage and phrasing. boooooorrrrrrriiiiinnnnngggg (we were too poor by some standards to afford the Cliff's Notes excerpting on the English Classics that the more affluent kids could buy. You think they read that stuff? Hah!)
But learning HOW_TO_READ was the important lesson. As I tried to teach my children, if you can read, you can do (almost) anything your heart desires. For once you know how to read, you can learn just about anything from books and other literature. The "reading comprehension" part comes with volume and practice.
Now late in my career, I see the failing of the children's lost ability to READ. I see it in casual business communication passed in endless "Forward", "Reply to all", and "CC'd" emails. I believe their inability and lack of love of reading is illustrated in their total lack of sentence structure and most all, ability to use and understand "spell check". (Spell check is no panacea either, but its a far sight better than NOT spell checking.) And proof reading? I occasionally fail at that myself, but come on! I know 5 year olds that have better sentence structure and word usage than some business writers.
Sheesh. I just am sounding old..........
Dana Loesch takes up the food stamp issue today and does a pretty good job laying out the liberal racism underlying the whole thing.
In Arizona (now part of Mexico) we can see by the actions of college students on campus the true feelings of the Mexican people about white men. You can see for yourself here in this video. The two guys bullying the white male are both on Arizona State's wrestling team.
It's a Flash player hang-up. I suspect it has something to do with the JC video you posted. Chrome works fine, but Safari is having issues as well.
Just thought I'd let you know. If I find anything else out will inform.
"Why Don't We Hear About Soros' Ties to Over 30 Major News Organizations?"
A headline that answers its own question.
I associate food stamps with the lazy, parasitic, irresponsible. Race has nothing to do with it. The fact that I'm paying for it does.
Jephnol: Try using Safari. It is wonderful here at this house. Typically what happens when we get "hung up" is when there are too many neighbors on the internet at the same time. Keep an eye on the fan shaped icon on the top that tells you how many and which networks are operating at the moment.
Were you able to open the video Faculty Wife posted?
The author of this rant about teaching college students remedial English, should buy a little book by an eccentric Englishwoman entitled 'Eats, Shoots, and Leaves.' This slim volume points out the hazards of not learning English grammar. and its author displays a plentiful helping of that wonderful English eccentricity by carrying around with her red pencils and chalks so that she can correct some of the worst offenses on public signage on the spot.
My problem with this rant is that I have little real sympathy with the young man who is trying to teach writing and English grammar to a bunch of idiots who should have learned these essentials before the age of twelve, when learning languages is much easier. If they missed the boat, so to speak, they can always take night school classes in English.
Many years ago, when this country controlled immigration, an editor of The New Yorker named Leonard Ross wrote a wonderful series of articles which became a book, entitled *The Education of Hyman Kaplan*. You can still find used copies through Amazon, and [take my word for it, please] it is well worth reading. Back in those dear dead days of the 1930s, immigrants who came to this country took night school classes to learn to write and speak English, so they could do their jobs better, and assimilate into this society which they admired so much.
Those were the days....
SS at the link writes: "Friedman acknowledges the depths of the Arab desire for dignity, and understands it as a desire to overcome the humiliation that derives from being treated like children by autocrats and from watching modernity pass them by. "
When Tom Friedman channels George Bush, he does it with less nuance and finesse. He has, after all, to consider the mindset and intellect of the NYT's liberal readership. Thus he writes mawkishly of feelings, while W spoke movingly of philosophy.
Anyone who introduces a composition about his personal teenage angst also lacks the ability to write a solid essay.
His disdain for actual studying was a useful admission to understanding this piece. It's garbage.
The problems in education aren't new to this generation.
And Benny is just figgering out Arab fraud?
"You heard it here first." Benny.
Benny is a fraud.
Regarding Richard Frieman's piece on the affluent elderly: yes, the elderly today tend to be much better off than was true thirty years ago. And yes, those of us who retire with some other assets to work with are probably going to have to accept reductions in our Social Security and our Medicare to keep them alive for others. It's still unfair .
My dad, for example, earned a high salary but hardly lived high on the hog until his late fifties -- raised a lot of kids. He paid into Social Security and got sliding scale benefits; he paid into Medicare and got the same benefits as someone who paid in a lot less than Dad did. Both programs have been means-tested against wealthier elderly from the beginning.
Yes, it probably has to be more so. But I feel irritated when I hear that it's somehow more "fair". Any insurance or pension fund in the private sector would see its leadership fired and imprisoned for operating like Social Security has done.