Godwin’s Law Shuts Down Homeschool Politics!

25 07 2008

So I guess the online homeschooler political conversation is over, and anyone who took this seriously, lost?

“Perhaps Obama doesn’t seek to exterminate anyone – but who is he really?”

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UCF Student Webster Cook Speaks Out on Radio

22 07 2008

Audio link via American Freethought, cool!

Before Cook’s live interview explaining what happened in his own words, the first part of the program compares his UCF religious service issue to senior centers across the country that are “local” and not public, but do receive federal dollars and are open to all seniors seeking food and social contact. The “good people that the senior centers approve of” — for praying before meals and not protesting it as impermissable or offensive — were being treated better, fed first and included in the group, whereas an elderly man who objected was told if he didn’t like the religious music and prayer, he could come late, sit alone and if there was any food left, he could have it.

UCF is of course entirely a public institution, not just a recipient of some public funding. Cook explains in detail that religious services are explicitly funded by UCF student government with about $40,000 per year, not simply allowed to use UCF buildings. He also explains that the Catholic woman (Michelle Ducker — LOL, some “woman”, I was picturing a middle-aged nun-type,what a story this is!) trying to force him to eat or return the wafer, was already angry with him before the communion rite began, for trying to sit in the back and for for not standing and kneeling at appropriate times, etc. SHE threatened HIM with a disruptive scene rather than the other way around, and then apparently made good on that threat when he wouldn’t follow her worship directives.

The boys’ conversation with Swallows in the hallway, about black magic, is pretty interesting to hear, too . . .

Finally, I was personally tickled by the jazz music interlude, “It Ain’t Necessarily So!”

UPDATE – About Michelle Ducker, still chuckling at the ironies:
“Last spring, she balanced her Project Smile activities with a part-time job at Waccadoo’s and her Interpersonal Communications major. This fall, she’s interning with UCF’s Catholic Campus Ministry in marketing and public relations. ., .”





Hope It’s Hereditary!

21 07 2008

From the Boston Red Sox Mailbag

If I recall, the Red Sox drafted at least one Papelbon, if not two of them. How are they doing and do either of them have a chance of playing with the Red Sox?
— Paul J., Brewer, Maine

Yes, the Red Sox drafted Josh Papelbon in the 2006 Draft. A submarine pitcher, Josh is pitching at Class A Lancaster this season and posted a 4.26 ERA over his first 27 outings.

The third Papelbon brother — left-hander Jeremy — was taken by the Cubs in that same draft. Jeremy is in Class A Daytona of the Florida State League, and has solid numbers this season. It’s hard to say at this early juncture if either of those Papelbons will join their big brother in the Majors.





“Respect the Jeez-Its” Is Sorry Sign of Our Educational Times

21 07 2008

UCF has an official student newspaper too, not just a student senate and a student union handy for religious services.

So you may well wonder (I do) if its student editors and reporters will receive threatening letters and risk removal from their campus responsibilities should their coverage or commentary upset powerful Catholics and/or the university administration — and I wonder if it’s occurred to THEM yet, that once even one student is thrown to the dogs by the system, anyone can be.

What do kids get taught by public universities these days, particularly political science, history, journalism (and religion?) majors, about how human power of story plays out in real life? Do they still study the view — whether attributed to Mencken, Dunne or Twain (would they know to care?) — that journalism’s responsibility is “to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable,” or that “the most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos?”

Do they study this cautionary tale? Do they think about meaning and human power of story at all, or just career competition and how to use rules against each other to get ahead? The history of their student newspaper since 1968, and its proud name, “Central Florida Future” suggests reason to hope, but the latter seems sharper and clearer and more real with every morning’s news.

Read the rest of this entry »





Six Stages of Moral Development, From Piaget to Kohlberg

18 07 2008

Kohlberg’s stages of moral development . . . explain the development of moral reasoning. . . inspired by the work of Jean Piaget and a fascination with children’s reactions to moral dilemmas.

. . .Expanding considerably upon [Piaget’s] groundwork, it was determined that the process of moral development was principally concerned with justice, and that its development continued throughout the lifespan, even spawning dialogue of philosophical implications of such research.

Kohlberg used stories about moral dilemmas in his studies, and was interested in how people would justify their actions if they were put in a similar moral crux. He would then categorize and classify evoked responses into one of six distinct stages.

Obedience to authority on pain of righteous punishment types will reject this, no doubt, but they are reasoning like little kids. As adults, the reasoning stage our majority politics seems obsessed with is the fourth, Authority and Social Order Maintenance.

School, State and Church too, all seem Very Authoritarian these days, as playing out in the UCF Catholic communion controversy, for example.

Level 1

1. Obedience and punishment orientation
(How can I avoid punishment?)

2. Self-interest orientation
(What’s in it for me?)

Level 2

3. Interpersonal accord and conformity
(The good boy/good girl attitude)

4. Authority and social-order maintaining orientation
(Law and order morality)

Level 3

5. Social contract orientation
6. Universal ethical principles
(Principled conscience)

Dana at Principled Discovery thinks through some high level reasoning imo, about the different moral arguments for homeschooling, in “Homeschooling is Not the Gospel:” Read the rest of this entry »





JJ’s Culture Kitchen Version of It’s a Frackin’ Cracker

17 07 2008

My thoughts on this as a FOCKER (Friend of Culture Kitchen) combined into some semblance of an overview rant here.
Feel free to add yours here, there or both.

Btw, this is one big wafer! I was raised with quarter-coin sized communion wafers and never imagined we were talking about a pancake-sized thing to swallow, maybe this is what started the “show to it my non-Catholic friend” chain of events in the first place.

UPDATE – Melanie Kroll, who worked from NY for 1-800-FLOWERS dot com, was fired when threats were sent from her computer to PZ Myers in MN. Turns out her husband did it, and his rambling online confession sums up why we all are in danger from the adamant ignorance that religious literalism feeds: Read the rest of this entry »





Student Star Chamber Convenes on Public U. Campus to Punish Catholic Protester

17 07 2008

Why public education is teaching all the wrong lessons with “respect the Jeezits”

Status of the case

UCF announced Wednesday that it had dismissed the complaint Cook filed against the Catholic Campus Ministry, which sponsors a weekly service in the Student Union. Cook had alleged personal abuse, hazing and alcohol-policy violations, claiming he was grabbed and that the sacramental wine offered during the service should not have been allowed. School officials didn’t find enough evidence to pursue his complaint.

Furbush said the Senate will have a special hearing to consider Cook’s impeachment.

Once upon a time, not so long ago in the sunny state of Florida, Catholic governor Jeb Bush was cheered and officially supported up to the US Congress rather than impeached, for using his secular state agency powers to interfere with the rule of law, up to and including his nearly-executed plan to literally kidnap Terri Schiavo and hold her life hostage in the name of religion.

(This is a scary story parents, don’t tell it to the kids at bedtime!)

The rationale was that his religion deemed her physically “alive” which trumped her own civil rights to her own body and her husband’s court-approved role as her Decider, thus all the usual secular constraints of state, federal and Constitutional law against such religious overreach, must be bent to serve the Governor’s Catholic-coached convictions.

The letter of the law was of no concern. Law enforcement typically loyal to its chain of command, obeyed the authority currently giving the orders, thus death threats to Michael Schiavo and to at least one judge upholding the Schiavos’ privacy rights, didn’t arouse much official concern.

And never mind the personal torment of all the innocent individuals with dying family members at that hospice with Schiavo, unable to be with them in peace due to the unconscionable, overtly political disruptions being orchestrated for the news cameras that spring. Their faith and family privacy rights weren’t worthy of the slightest note by either Church or State.

. . .the power of story that never-never leaves my own mind, is the cultural ravaging of Terri Schiavo, that eerily media-perfect symbol of helpless, infantalized girl-womanhood. [Catholic] men — her father and husband and some exceedingly creepy spokesmonk in a rope-belted robe and sandals — fought publicly and pretty coarsely against each other and the paternalistic courts (and Governor) to control her very life and death. . .

In the next chapter though, when the plot shifts to spiriting a wafer believed to be flesh OUT of church control, rather than kidnapping an unarguably flesh-and-blood person with full civil rights to get her INTO church control, the Church calls only the former a hate crime, and calls on secular government mechanisms to serve up a legalistic blood sacrifice or two. Read the rest of this entry »