Sunday, January 28, 2007

Cure for Failing Schools

I think I'm right when I say number one first problem of failing schools is TRUANCY and suspension. Students get suspended for truancy --and for disruption. The combined days absent guarantee these students an automatic F --and that they will be behind those with better attendance. To hide their ignorance --and because they are inevitably getting an F at that point--there is no reason to pay attention or try --so they use the classroom as a platform for "ATTI-TOODE!" and their social objectives.

Students who are headed for F's come in late --the teacher has to stop and mark them tardy--they ask for passes out to look for lost item, to the rest room, to the locker --you name it --and argue because they don't get them--then they disrupt, fail to cooperate, act like drama queens and kings, and teacher has to take the time to write out a pass to the office with reasons why the student is being kicked out of class today --

SOLUTION: If they can figure out how to get whole neighborhoods to prioritize school attendance and bedtimes that make getting up possible, we'd be on our way to school improvement. But too many families are so dysfunctional that their kids don't have any clean clothes to wear in the morning--and the kids AND parents don't want to get up after watching TV all night. They can't find the shoes and the school bags in their upheaved homes.

My solution is radical: court-ordered faith-based or secular boarding schools designed for the children of the dysfunctional who fail to get their kids to school with any regularity. As for the home-schooled, all need to have measurements or affiliations that measure progress and be accountable to the state to indicate that their children indeed are getting an education. And finally, give vouchers to the students who WANT a good education –and let them attend wherever they want. If they fail to make good at the private schools, they lose the vouchers and go back to the public system.

Besides attendance, school discipline has been abysmal starting in the elementaries --because the principal cannot spank --and some students really are begging for someone to MAKE them mind. Some of them are WAAAAYYYY out of control--so they created special ed category for them.

It would take a little corporal punishment to regain control in some schools. Instead, they start the suspension cycle and some of these students would rather stay at home anyway. AREN'T WE BIG ENOUGH AS ADULTS TO MAKE KIDS GO TO SCHOOL AND MAKE THEM BEHAVE --without resorting to suspension? We would be if we could spank.

When I was a kid, the occasional student got a whack at the principal's office and came back thoroughly chastened, humbled, and no more "'TUDE!'"

But nowdays we wouldn't want to wilt their bloomin' self-esteem, would we?

And so the dysfuntional home produces dysfunctional student who contributes to dysfunctional classroom and slows down every class he's in --thus, even the better students are held back with a teacher who loses time trying to cope with and catch up the dysfunctionals.

Teacher quality may or may not be an issue --it's hard to tell until you have functional families behind the students and administrations that effectively discipline with the tool for discipline, i.e. the bd. of education to apply to the seat of the problem.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Responding to Politics in Mudville on NeoConservatives

I know this is way long --as my posts tend to be --but I have a lot to say on this one.

I have always wondered about the meaning of Neo-conservative --what and who they were. Do they label themselves? Do they know they are followers of the ideas of Strauss and Berns or is this a liberal's characterization?

You know, I never heard of these two profs nor read their books, but I'll bet I might agree with them --if YOU folks think they're awful. But I bet most of the nation's youth didn't need any "neo-cons" working on their motivations at all, in order to get them to sign up.

That patriotism and religious awakening with people flocking to church after 9/11 didn't emerge because of any professor or Bush speech --we all felt attacked --and we were pulling together for our national survival. Patriotism is part of that. The search to be close to God is part of that.

I just heard our Afghan military commander at the Pentagon today. He says we've helped the country get 500 new schools for over 5 million students (nearly half girls), and 500 health clinics. He talked about infrastructure improvements like a road going clear around the country to connect all the regions. He spoke of a prison being readied for the GITMO detainees -perhaps open now --I didn't hear all he said due to distractions --but he told how they are getting glasses, dental and health care for the first time (the detainees) and how they are disappointed and surprised that the glasses don't enable them to read --(since they've never learned that skill.)

The prisoners are being counseled on how to support and appreciate a peaceful Afghanistan, which has made great strides in 5 years with our help. I think he said they were doing some kind of paid work or getting some kind of training for work for when they are free.

He told how the Afghani people are gaining in confidence in their police and military and gov't --how much better the trained police and military are doing --how the locals encourage the Americans to stay in their villages --how they are still fighting a diminishing Taliban --whose "insurgent fighters" are FORCED to help the Taliban radicals when they do.

That route to progress in afghanistan is the same pattern we should stick to in Iraq.

I always said they should show the prisoners wholesome western entertainment while in prison and try to open their minds a bit to our loftiest ideals, like the value of all humans and the necessity for religious tolerance in order to live in peace, and the value of safety and peace for EVERYONE's children. and teach English. I recommended translated wholesome Am. movies --never heard back from my letter of advice on Gitmo.

You say shame on Prof. Berns for apparentlly strategizing to get our pampered youth from the cult of self-esteem to go to war for a cause of any sort. Not that he had anything to do with it. It's awful, though, isn't it, to think professors in higher education would be such change agents --for conservatism instead of progressive liberalism! For shame! Liberals only have 97 per cent of the faculty positions in academic areas that are crucial to the liberalization of our kids. You must rally to get that other 3 per cent!

For sure, the draft was universally dreaded. I thought we'd never get a generation to volunteer for war as they have since 9/11-- because of the war movies; this generation, like the 60's young people, knows from the movie screen that war IS blood and guts --horrible --dreadful --and that they MIGHT die. However, they've probably been more impressed by Star Wars and Tolkein.

Previous generations, a century and more ago, seemed to flock to war as young as they could, to go be heroes and help the country.

I've been surprised myself at how bravely the young people are going today--I'm afraid it might have more to do with girls in the military than with books on patriotism. The Army ain't what it used to be --and their separation from home is perhaps not quite as traumatic, with their greater access to communication. But we hear the military divorce rate is very high.

The world has shrunk --which is another reason why the so-called neo-cons are probably concerned that we raise generations who care about the nation, liberty, and the conditions in the rest of the world.

We can no longer let groups abroad fester in poverty, oppression, injustice --with jealousy and hatred toward the west without trying to do SOMETHING ABOUT IT! The stakes are too high. If there is not a world policeman, then the No. Korea's and Irans and China's will send their bombs our way someday because they haven't enough peace. prosperity and charity to stay home raising their children in peace.

Peace Corps and the student exchange program have not done enough to affect the tyrants and murderous thugs who rape and plunder their own, and now us, in order to get power.

Our military is better taken care of than ever before, I imagine --though they still endure great hardships with Iraq temperatures and great danger daily on the streets. The commander today told about our soldiers fighting in 2 feet of snow right now as they defeat the Taliban in a northern rural region. And we've heard of vulnerabilities in their vehicles and protective gear. WE are very high tech, I imagine, well-trained, and more capable than armies have ever been.

I am very impressed with much that I hear about the character of our troops and all the humanitarian work they are accomplishing. But of course, it shouldn't surprise us that there could be a my lai massacre in Viet Nam --or the scandal of Abu Graihb (?) prison. In every public school, there are the miscreants. And some of them join the military --and many of them mature. I believe they have great leadership on the field.

My nephew, a smart college grad, joined and said it is the best job in the world. He's a writer in military intelligence and he feels good about what his unit has done in ferreting out insurgent leaders. He, too, talked of schools and hospitals freely operating.

We know that there really IS a radical Islamic ideology behind the events of 9/11 --and I am very interested in how you think America should stop the terrorists who hold this ideology.

Democrats especially don't like the security measures imposed on everyone, nor profiling, nor the inter-continental invasions of internet and cellphone privacy, nor the surveillance of people who fit the terrorist profile in the U.S.

Consider, e.g., if you REALLY suspected me of plotting to kill liberals, you SHOULD get the FBI to eavesdrop on me --and since I'm not planning anything and would not, I have nothing to fear from their surveillance. The people who have something to fear from the invasion of their privacy, who are most likely to be monitored in a just society because they fit a profile, are the guilty ones who fear they'll be found out. Some of the innocent may get monitored but they'll have nothing to fear.

If we don't allow our intelligence organizations to do surveillance on suspected terrorists, we are really really stupid. Which is what it is when liberals holler about Bush taking away all our privacy rights.

Who are Today's Fascists? NOT ME!

The word Fascist is a favorite with liberals who use it to describe all on the right who disagree with them. It's a hate and hysteria-generating word.

Notice the title of the book by Chris Hedges, American Fascists --The Christian Right and The War on America. There is no possibility of civil discourse and national unity when you call the other side "fascists."

The most famous fascists of world history deserved to be assassinated as the murderers they were.

Note the definition of fascism:

"a political philosophy, movement or regime that exalts nation and race and stands for a centralized autocratic gov't headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition."

Conservatives do exalt our nation but that's where the resemblance to fascists ends. Racists exalt their own race and they can be either liberals or conserves. Liberals want big centralized (federal) govt; Conservatives want more local, grassroots control --though both sides want their pet concerns upheld by federal law.

Liberals want more economic regimentation as with socialism or communism and high taxes--

Conservatives want the people to enjoy the fruits of their labors without having to pay high taxes for a gazillion gov't employees hired to regulate our lives, whose cushy pensions and annual raises are endless, retirements early, and double-dipping profitable, and work hours minimal and easy. (That, of course, doesn't describe all gov't, employees--and it would also describe the desires and jobs of some conservative employees, I admit.)

As for suppression of opposing views, Liberals are moving congress now with a bill to suppress grass roots activism by red tape, as usual trying to use courts, IRS, and bureaucracy to stifle grass roots involvement and free speech.
Whereas conserves are accused of suppression for their desires to clean up the internet and TV to provide a more wholesome, moral adult community and culture for family health--for the kids' sake.

So who are the fascists anyway? Is it those who say morality should be encouraged by law since Law is always a TEACHER about right and wrong?

or those with loose lips who want to generate hatred for and fear of their ideological opponents by wrongly describing them as Fascists --who are also using propaganda to persuade people that there is little difference between an Islamic fundamentalist terrorist--and a Christian.

12:45 PM EST

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Evolution unlikely

Of course, scientists have historically been open to discovery and trial and error research --but now we have closed-minded evolutionists who don't want to hear the interpretations of their professional fellow scientists suggesting that life's basic components are too interdependent to have survived in an evolutionary sequence without each other co-existing --whereas evolution says the cells became more complex --when, in fact, the creationists say that's not possible. They started out complex and become more simple with natural selection. Creationists DO believe in natural selection --just don't believe it accounts for all species evolving from one celled amoeba.

Evolutionists defend with the equivalent of religious fervor the orthodox Darwininan interp of fossils, etc.

It was interesting to watch the history channel on Atlantis the other night and hear the researcher say that there probably WAS a great flood since it is mentioned in the oldest writings and mythologies of various groups around the globe. Of course, creationists attribute many of the geology findings to flood strata and other catastrophes rather than the great ages and years of erosion of Darwin's defenders.
e.g. Darwin concluded deep canyons were eroded for millions of years by rivers (he needed millions of years or more for his theory of atheistic origins)--whereas creationist geologists surmise that the canyons were formed quickly, more likely by floods and earthquakes, volcanoes, etc. and the waters were channeled into the resulting crevices. They claim mt. St. helens demonstrates their theory.

Here's the beginning of an article by a creationist on why evolutionary origin of life is impossible:

"It is said that DNA is the secret of life. DNA is not the secret of life. Life is the secret of DNA. EVolutionists persistently claim that the intial stage in the origin of life was the origin of a self-replicating DNA or RNA molecule. There is no such thing as a self-replicationg molecule, and no such molecule could ever exist. The formation of a molecule requires the input of a highly selected bype of energy and the steady input of the building blocks required to form it. To produce a protein, the building blocks are amino acids. For DNA and RNA these building blocks are nucleotides, which are composed of purines, pyrimidines sugars, and phosoporic acids. If amino acids are dissolved in water they do not spontaneously join together to make a protein. That would require an input of energy. If proteins are dissolved in water the chemical bonds between the amino acids slowly break apart, releasing energy (the protein is said to hydrolyze). The same is true of DNA and RNA . To form a protein in a lab the chemist, after dissolving the required amino acids in a solvent, adds a chemical that contains high energy bonds (referred to as a peptide reagent). the energy from this chemical is transferred to the amino acids. This provides the necessary energy to form the chemical bonds between the amino acids and releases H and OH to form H20. This only happens in a chem lab or in the cells of living organisms. It could never have taken place in a primitive ocean or anywhere on a primitive Earth. Who or what would be there to provide a steady input of the appropriate energy? Destructive raw energy would not work. Who or what would be there to provide a steady supply of the appropriate building blocks rather than just junk? In speaking of a self-replicating DNA molecule, evolutionists are reaching for a pie in the sky."
Another comment by me on Politics in Mudville that I wanted to save in MY writings. Sorry if it lacks anything without his blog where my post would not be as easy to find.

Up the Flag --I read The Closing of the American Mind by Prof. ALLAN BLOOM. I'm thinking you either didn't or didn't get it. He concluded the opposite of your interpretation--that kids came to college so value-neutral in the name of secular open-mindedness, that they actually didn't know how to discern or make any value judgments --thus, the closing of their minds. He said they came to college so convinced that moral neutrality was a supreme value that they weren't good at REASONING!

Just exactly what is it that you fear from the Religious Right? Really? Probably, it's the 4 things that we believe gov't should NOT encourage with tax money --and should NOT advocate or support by law --and should discourage by law-- for the common welfare-- abortion on demand (i.e. for any or no reason), gay marriage and adoption, and indecent entertainment media (particularly prime time media that say wrong is right to the nation's youth --creating a fad of both hetero & homosexual experimentation by teens--exploring their sexuality and putting themselves at risk for disease, pregnancy and other fall-out of pre-marital sex.) No. 4--Same concern for unrestrained porn manufacture and availability on the internet or elsewhere.

Porn becomes addictive like drugs -inflames the young, misdirects youth and addicts them, inflames the morally weak (morally challenged) like those seen in "To Catch a Predator," and it destroys marriages. The lives of porn stars aren't exactly drug or disease-free and happy, either. There really is no innate constitutional right to make or sell the stuff --certainly the crack-down on kiddie porn should be severe --as it was not under Clinton who prosecuted very few cases compared to Republican administrations. I don't think porn and sex chat, sex phone lines, etc. attract only the perverted --they MAKE people perverted. Yes, the sin nature is in our hearts to start with, but temptors do help the temptable fall. Porn's inroads into our American homes is like a cancer spreading with disastrous results. Toledo police have said that all the rapists have porn collections; all the pedophiles do.

Most in the Religious Right favor a voluntary restoration of decency in our culture --but also enforcement of laws for decency that are probably still on the books, such that some of the gay pride extremes would be outlawed as public indecency --as they should be --rather than encouraged as free speech.There's a balance for which to strive--there is common sense decency for the sake of the children and out of respect for the moral and religious sensitivities of others. you may think it's ok for gays to meet in park bathrooms for activities with strangers --as the gay singer Geo. Michael apparently believes --but the law should continue to say such activities are illegal and punishable.

Sexual libertarians don't seem to want ANY consequences or restrictions because nothing is immoral to them --not even infidelity in some cases. E.G.Oprah was aghast that George would go to the R.R. for sex when he had a partner --but his response to Oprah suggested they must have an open relationship. Perhaps our French Microdot might say, "What's wrong with that??"

A culture influences the choices and character of its children. Live and let live is good up to a point. but I don't want the choices of my grandchildren to be influenced by those loose livers with spiritual hepatitis in our culture! I wish there wasn't "so much culture to counter" as one pundit put it. You want the culture to be entirely secular in its values --but what are those values? up the flag once asked me for my values --I never saw her response when I gave her my long list.

The constitution and the Bill of Rights were never intended by its writers to give license to every inclination in the mind of man. The writers were believers in basic Biblical moral standards common to the religious folk who came here --no question not everyone was religious.

But the first school board of Washington D.C, with Thomas Jefferson on it, included as basic texts, The Isaac Watts Hymnal, the Common Book of Prayer, and the Bible. The early McGuffey Readers indicated that Christian values were something our fore fathers considered good for all the children in America. The Northwest Ordinance stated they should establish public schools for the religious and other education of the children. I'm not so reactionary as to say we need to be as religious in schools as our founding fathers made THEIR schools --but we shouldn't be so "progressive" as to say there were no elements to conserve from America's Biblically informed culture.

When you downgrade the posting of the Ten Commandments or the Ohio state motto in classrooms, or any public mention of God in public meetings --you are biting the hand that feeds this nation. Our faith roots are the REASON we are still the best nation in which to live --for human rights and generosity.Yes, I know that Europe's socialism exceeds our give-away gov't, but is it working out over there economically? I've heard not.

I haven't heard of any European country taking on Africa's or Israel's problems as much as the U.S. I don't hear of many liberal private organizations doing as much for the poverty stricken in less developed nations --as the Christian organizations are doing. Instead we hear of the UN's corruption in that regard, misusing funds intended for the world's needy. We heard of the Red Cross's leader ripping off that charity a few years back. We know that religious charities operate with the lowest overhead. So let's give credit where credit is due.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Time's article on brain structure/depression, etc.

Time magazine has a fascinating story about the brain's structural changes, adaptation ability, "neuroplasticism" I think they called it --and how everything in there is not "fixed." Previously they had told how addictive activities change brain structure.Now they think we can change our brains without drugs to combat depression and obsessive compulsive disorder. They explained how people with much of their brain removed or damaged can regain functions because other parts of the brain CHANGE to take over.

Implications: When the researchers in California, Lavay, said gays have a slightly enlarged bit of brain, they assumed it was congenital (from birth.) I said at the time it could be because of their extreme sexual activities that the brain had changed. The Bible would say God gave them up to their passions --I never liked the idea that God would give them up, but the point could be that the structural change is scientifically natural by God's design when we undertake certain activities that are forbidden--perhaps because of the design of our brains--forbidden, again, for our own protection.

Implication 2 --The Schiavo girl --her parents charged that she was neglected and allowed to go into decline --that there was a lot more to work with initially after her collapse. I know --hubby did try to do some things for her medically, we heard. But did they give up too soon?

Implication 3 --maybe there IS a better way than drugs for depression --and following God's prescriptions perhaps can change brain structure.

And no. 4 --the bible says, "Be ye transformed by the renewing of your minds." Now the researchers are saying that certain "self-talk" commands to the brain can affect its structure for the better.

"As a man thinks in his heart (mind), so is He."

There are some positive steps we can take toward mental health and freedom from addiction.

Maybe something to that old "power of positive thinking" that Peale promoted.

Pharisees are not equivalent with right wing Christians today.

Today's right wing Christians are not by definition today's Pharisees as Liberal Democrat suggests on his blog.

The Pharisees had pride in their righteousness --as though it made them better than more blatant sinners before God. The masses were fickle --and NO one in authority welcomed Jesus for fear of what the masses following Him would do to their power and security. Many in their day did not like His first preaching message, "Repent -for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand --nigh --[starts right here--with ME]" He said, "All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. There is none righteous, no not one." We all need a Savior's atonement with the Creator God.

The masses also opposed Him, shouting, "Crucify Him." The Bible doesn't say they were forced to show up and do this demonstration. Many were happy to mock and spit upon him, to see him whipped and tortured and crucified. There were places in Galilee where JEsus said He could not do miracles for the people's lack of faith.He said the pharisees were sinners, too,and they didn't think they were --but He tells story after story to demonstrate how self-righteous people lack love and compassion --and to demonstrate God's willingness to forgive sinners who admit that they need Him.

He stressed love and forgiveness instead of the exacting justice of "eye for an eye" fairness. But He said He did not come to take one jot or tittle away from the law --but to fulfill it. And one scholar says that means He didn't come to reinterpret the law --but to extend it to heart attitudes. to expand upon it. After all, He was the perfect revelation of God --the revelation fulfilled, the clearest picture of God we could have until heaven when we shall know more than we do now of the mysteries of our existance and HIS. God is love --like a tender shepherd for his sheep, but the goats are those who detest the shepherd and His fold. Jesus said He will be the judge who separates them for Eternity. The pattern for non-believers is to cast all Bible-believers into the role of Pharisees whom Jesus scorned and who scorned Jesus first. Jesus said we would be saved by our faith --not by our scorn for believers --and not by our righteousness.

Many say it doesn't matter what they believe; they will be saved if there IS a Heaven "because I live a good life --I try to do what's right --I'm don't think I'm so bad." That has nothing to do with being saved --it's our faith in the Savior's atonement and our repentance for sin that justify us. Not our claims of righteousness --not our good deeds --and certainly not any pride in our standing as Christians before a Holy God who says no one is sinless except the God-Man, Jesus Christ.

About people who say religious indoctrination is child abuse

For now, my blogging time is being spent on Politics in Mudville.blogspot --and this is my reply to liberal democrat who said religious indoctrination, as in Jesus Camp, is "child abuse." I haven't seen the movie but here is what I think about his statement that indoctrination (teaching children what to believe because YOU believe it, as their parents) is child abuse.

YOU, LD, are dangerous to religious liberty and parental civil rights when you make such a loose cannon statement and liken religious "indoctrination" to child abuse. I don't think I'd want you in the classroom or on a judge's bench in the family courts --or employed at the CSB.You would favor a religious education (if any) that puts the religions on a smorgasbord table of choices and say, "Now, Junior, you can hear about the various religions --and I, LD, will tell you none of them are worth a hill of beans --but you are free to choose and think as you wish --but you will have my everlasting disrespect (implied at least) if you choose to believe in the history and claims of Christianity --or any other faith for that matter--other than skeptical agnosticism or certain atheism--which of course have truth on their side."

Of course, that, TOO, is indoctrination.

If Christianity IS true, then to indoctrinate your kids in atheism is REALLY child abuse but I defend your right to raise your children as you see fit --barring physical and real emotional abuse. You give them no ultimate eternal rationale to be moral, to be comforted about death, to hope in prayer when frightened or insecure or ill, to feel that there is a loving creator who knows them by name--or to be unselfish. The atheist view says its a dog-eat-dog world and you gotta get all you can for you while you are here --and it doesn't ultimately or eternally matter how you do it. You are really not a "live and let live" kind of guy, apparently. Or maybe you'd like to retract your statement about child abuse.

Indoctrination is often used in a negative context as you use it, but it really just means to teach doctrines of one's religion.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

On "Indoctinating kids" as in "Jesus Camp"

We require teeth-brushing, school attendance, curfew, baths, dentist visits, shots, vitamins, drinking their milk, eating nutritious foods before sugar --but LD would have us leave the religious questions up to the child to research when he is older? right? or even try to liberate other people's children from their faith? If I really believe in my religion, don't I have every right and obligation before God to pass my beliefs to my children--since I really do believe that Christ came so that "whosover believeth in Him will not perish but have everlasting life" ? Now why would I consider tooth-brushing more important than religious inculcation that helps kids to make good choices, to feel loved by their Creator, to feel they have an advocate and friend in Jesus, to know that they can be forgiven if they sin, to know right from wrong so they can flee temptation, to know they can talk to the Lord as a friend any time and that HE does answer prayer.Granted, I would not want my children to be taught how to speak in tongues --since it is a spiritual gift --I don't believe you TEACH people how to do it --I don't believe in a negative faith that makes kids miserable growing up --and I don't believe in the right to teach children to kill people who won't convert --to "kill the infidel." When the charismatics would say, "Take back america for God" they don't mean by brute force --by the sword or the army, but by being righteous themselves, praying for the salvation of others, choosing righteousness over the sin that prevails as temptation in our culture, by witnessing the truths of the Gospel --the Good News that we have a reprieve from our mortal conditions and can live after death --because Jesus did --and promised that "Because I live, you shall live also!" I have always said, Christianity would not have gotten off the ground if it were not for Jesus's resurrection; the disciples were too afraid after the crucifixion. They might have recovered enough to teach His love and forgiveness path to peace --but they would not have preached "Christ crucified, risen, and coming again," if they had not seen him alive and heard His messages afterward.The Christian soldiers concept --taking America back for God --is partly a way of macho-izing Christianity for the boys --because too often Jesus is merely perceived as gentle, meek, and mild --when He was really bold, strong, and sure of what He said --and did. and Brave in the face of danger. Boys need to know this --that Jesus is in every way a good role model for them. It DOES take courage to be Christian in a culture that is hostile to Christians ---as evidenced in hostility expressed toward Christians in such forums as LD's blog. As evidenced in Jesus day when He and His followers were put to death.I say all this without seeing the film.

The Religious Right --not like the Taliban!

Liberal Democrat of the Politics in Mudville blog said I was like the Taliban in my views. To this I replied as follows:

So how are my ideas like the Taliban's? I don't believe in shooting adulterers, honor killings, or covering women from head to foot in burkas. I believe in equal rights for women without erasing the good differences between the sexes. I bare no resemblance to Osama and his followers and their views. I don't believe in forcing conversions by the sword or any other way. You seem to share with the Taliban an intolerance for friendship or discussion with people who disagree with you. To be in your life, people have to agree with you? I don't personally know of any Christians who are eagerly awaiting armageddon-or a last battle between Israel and the world --in order to see Christ's return. Not all Christians agree about end-times sequence, as the prophecies are not that easy to understand. We do find it noteworthy that the descendents of Jacob continue to be at war with the descendents of Ishmael --by both Christian and Islamic interpretation. All 3 peoples of the Book claim the Abraham heritage --Christians by their faith in Christ claim the Jewish heritage as their own --or rather as the heritage of the whole human race as regards the Creator-God, man's fall in sin and redemption through Christ. Christians see themselves as ingrafted members of the family tree --or as adoptees into the family of God by repentance for sin and faith in Jesus --chosen people as all are chosen who choose to believe in Christ and be His disciples.I won't tell you you have to agree with me or believe what I believe in order to be my neighbor/friend/ or to receive kindness from me. I won't tell you (as you did me) to go sit in the desert and see what happens to you when Christ returns before you believe and receive Him as your Savior. I'm not wishing any evil on you, nor do I resent you --although perhaps you are like the teachers I described whom I resented for trying to undermine my faith and values in my children in public school classrooms. More than resentment, I just wanted them to SEE that this was inappropriate to do to taxpayers' children. Methinks your protestations come from anger over the possibility that the Christian right just might be right. otherwise, why does it make you so mad?? You can go on enjoying and living your daily life. I didn't poke into your blog until a friend googled me to find my My Space and instead found you had written an irritated, erroneous article about me on Nov. 30 after my blade letter --your error was in the first paragraph. I didn't blame media for what you said I did.I don't think your blogs on the religious right should go unchallenged, do you? Yes, you probably do.As for religious zealots wanting their views to be the law of the land--the views of the religious right WERE the law of the land--generally accepted as common decency. There was a general respect for the Bible and its ten C's and Jesus by our forefathers whether or not they were merely Deists or Christians. Leftists, on the other hand, have succeeded in changes that are not good for the country. Consider the Blade article today about the homeless young adults who outgrow the foster care system and have no sense of family anywhere. Drugs and immorality are chiefly responsible for the destruction of the home --such that too many are raised in foster care --too many have parents who divorced and thus will be at over 90% risk of divorce themselves. Liberals believe that all lifestyles(except ones backed by Christian belief, i guess) are equally moral, as regards sex. I saw DeBoer's article in the Blade today, naming a gay friend who is going to carry a gun now to protect himself from people who would harrass him when he is dressed "in drag" he said. She didn't bat an eye at his interest in dressing in drag and carrying a gun to protect himself from teens who would harrass him. So that's what we have to look forward to --immature teens shot because they saw something bizarre and made fun of it. Our youth may be safer in Iraq.Functional families are still the best social service agency in the world. We are designed to go in male-female couples, to marry and then give birth to children, and when possible, to provide those children with male and female role models in a mother and father.Liberals think we can break the rules of centuries, not learning from the past --the fall of Rome and Sodom and every other family or institution that collapsed from moral rot within.There is hope...and it lies in the right --not the wrong.

Friday, January 19, 2007

In Self-Defense

This is a response to a blog about ME in response to a letter I wrote to the Toledo Blade--posted in November by ? I'm so new at this I can't navigate backward yet to find out who he/she was. Afraid my post will disappear.

Wow -to be so infamous!
First of all, I never attended St. Catherine's so my would-be neighbor is probably mistaken. For her info, I am also sane.

Secondly, I never assume all republican candidates are "creationists" or Intelligent Design theorists --or even Christians or pro-life conservatives. (E.G. there is Betty Montgomery with whom I would agree about little--it made little difference if a democrat beat her this year) so I would not have assumed any Rebublican candidate (candidates? ) for state board of education shared any of my views --except for preferring the Republican party over the Democratic one. If the republicans listed a state board of ed candidate as their own, I missed it. The ballot, of course, stated no parties on the bd. candidates.

On another point, I wasn't blaming the media for the fact that I didn't know the state board candidates' positions --I WAS DISAGREEING WITH A BLADE ARTICLE that said voters had rejected Creation and ID science by rejecting those candidates. Wrong conclusion. Voters, in general, never know ANYTHING about state board of ed candidates and judges --because there is so little clear info available --usually by the candidates' intention. The less we know about them, they all figure, the less polarized we'll be in our voting. Candidates hope to get votes on the basis of name recognition from both sides of the liberal to conservative spectrum by keeping a low profile about their polarizing views.

There are certainly moderate and socially liberal republicans who do not share my support of the national party platform on family values issues --nor my views on the interpretation of scientific evidence re: origin of life. One might say that almost all creationists and social conservatives are republicans (for the family values issues) but you can't say all republicans are creationists --or social conservatives.

As for the internet telling me who was who running for state board --I called a Christian radio station that often discusses origins from a creationist perspective, and they didn't know --I went on line for the former Christian Coalition --and they had nothing about the State Board candidates that I noticed. And nothing came in the mail. I was not blaming media for my ignorance on that topic but for their wrong conclusion about the results.

Moreover, I DO blame media for their suggestions that the Republicans deserved to lose for their corruption--as if the Democrats had ever been known for clean hands --from the top down. Dems DO keep most of their high profile sinners in office.

Finally-- I helped to choose and support the superintendent who presided over gains at A.W. Schools. I also was the initiating voice on the board for the new performing arts complex --it was not in the original plans with the architect --and I said we were very much in need and that the community would agree and that if they wanted to get financial support for their gymnasium, they had better provide the other as well. I was right and we got it.

Moreover, I served 8 years when our schools' state reputation was not at all shabby -- and in my 3rd term election I was announced a winner in 2nd place out of 3 of 5 winners --until they decided the printer pak print-outs were defective and ordered recounts by opening the machines --at which I had no representation for the non-partisan offices of school board. So a digit was changed and instead of winning by 100 votes I lost by 100 votes in a close race, going from 2nd to 4th place. One winner was a Democrat lady who had a lot of political inside support through a politically connected family of Waterville. For all I know they had Bd. of Election ties (the counters) who favored my defeat. Had I gotten a lawyer, we could've made a stink about the lack of openness in recount --but I decided to take my time and energies elsewhere. I also didn't want to pay a lawyer after paying for my campaign materials.

As for me wanting to impose my fundamentalist religious views on the school-- I heard there was an activist liberal community group who went door to door against me, saying just such things. The politics of personal destruction at work, conveying an inaccurate impression.
Actually, there were 3 of the 5 board members who shared views with me --a concern that our children not be exposed to liberal social agenda --which they were, when sometimes R-rated movies were shown to under-age kids --when a pro-gay movie was shown in health class to 9th graders (Early Frost)--when a soft-on-drugs movie (The Breakfast Club) was shown in 8th grade English --when The Invisible Man, a book starting out with father-daughter incest episode as humorous, was on the reading list for 9th grade Honors English.

There WERE and ARE educators who think it is their duty to undermine the beliefs and social views of conservative religious folks by liberalizing their children through education. That has never been my view of what public educators should be doing to the tax payers' children. At least 3 of the women on the board during my 2nd term were in agreement with me on that subject.

As for creation science, I occasionally shared articles with the board to show that maybe the evolutionists were mistaken --on scientific grounds --ahead of my time since the state board was not yet addressing that issue. I never asked the school to NOT teach evolution --but to teach it as theory, without deliberately using it to promote atheistic view of our existance. I never proposed a policy on that topic. I understand that most laymen are ignorant of the nature of creation and ID science --and ignorant of the problems with evolutionary interpretation of evidence --and also assume that evolution is proven theory --when it is not.

I also objected when the social studies teacher said at open house in my presence that he was not concerned that kids know what happened when, but why. We see the effects of such teaching when Jay Leno does a Jay Walk and asks questions about American history. The what and the when provide a framework for discussing the whys. Since then, the national push to teach CONTENT and TEST for proficiency has helped schools such as A.W. become even more excellent.

Our board also got bad publicity for opposing Project Charlie, a drug ed./life skills program, but we talked to the hired evaluator of the program (hired by Project Charlie) and he concluded that students were no better able to make good decisions after the program than before --and that some made poorer decisions --because of the values-neutrality of the program. They spent inordinate time educating junior high kids about the names and categories of different drugs, their effects, the duration of the high, etc. --and we figured such sophistication was not in their best interests. They also had 3rd graders whirl around to get dizzy to demonstrate highs and put their heads down at rest on their desks to demonstrate the meaning of "lows." Their decision making model was abysmal --how to say no without having to resist peer pressure or risk friendships. Whatever happened to teaching the courage to do right?
Well, you got me started.....