School House Rock Smarter Than Tea Party?

6 01 2011

Cock of the snook to the brilliant Dr. Rachel Maddow and thank what’s left of the American people’s common sense for the common good, that we elected a constitutional scholar as president for these raving lunatic times:

So to quote Dr. Maddow, let’s get the Constitution-reading Party started!

Advertisements




What’s in the Name “Misotheist?” Power of Story, Literally

9 12 2010

“It is a rare cocktail of trauma, a sense of righteousness, rationalism, and a rebellious constitution,
combined with an indestructible belief in divinity,
that leads to misotheism. “

CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION
December 5, 2010
Hating God
By Bernard Schweizer

. . .Not merely taboo, misotheism is illegal in a few places. In some Islamic countries the death penalty awaits a person convicted as a mohareb, an enemy of God. Only in 2008 did Britain repeal a long-unenforced blasphemy law that made saying something like “I hate God” or “God is hateful” a punishable offense.

Ireland has moved in the other direction. Last year it strengthened prohibitions against blasphemy. To publicly spit at God in Ireland can now cost you 25,000 euros.

. . . Misotheists are a category-defying species:
They believe in God (hence they are not atheists), but they hate him
(hence they are not theists).

So who are these people? Obscure, cranky, immoral, unproductive, and
criminal loners? Not quite. Try William Blake, William Empson, Zora
Neale Hurston, Philip Pullman, Percy Shelley, Mark Twain, Rebecca West, and Elie Wiesel, among other writers who have enriched our literary and philosophical heritage over the last two centuries. . . .

Misotheists’ affinity for literature is partly due to its make-believe
quality, which has served as a defense against public prosecution of
authors from Flaubert to Joyce and Nabokov. But fiction has another
advantage over nonfiction when it comes to God-hatred: Read the rest of this entry »





“The Exorcist” Re-released to a Catholic Church Near You!

13 11 2010

Exorcism of our demons was not the hope and change America was expecting perhaps, but the Catholic Church is its own State even in America and it’s got time-tested solutions for people from all over, whose beliefs are all over.

(Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition, will that be next?)





Jailhouse Exclusive: Shooter Credits His “Schoolteacher”

13 10 2010

. . .for preparing him to storm the literal battlefield of ideas with “the truth” (and guns and explosives) aimed at “starting a revolution.”

What sort of lessons did his televised schoolteacher use?

“I think you’re about to witness a country burning down to the ground.”

“You might as well start calling our government Crime Inc.”

“All it takes is one insane leader . . .”

“Grab a torch.”

“I’m comin’ for ya, oh, I’m comin’ for ya . . .”

“I’m gonna find these big progressives and to the day I die, I’m gonna be a Progressive Hunter.”

“Drive a STAKE through the heart of the bloodsuckers.”

I offer today a study in contrasts as my argument that public education — not necessarily public school but education of the public, by the public, for the public — matters more than ever to every single one of us as individuals, even those of us who don’t have kids in school or have no children at all.

Cock of the snook for above video to Lynn at BMTT.

UPDATE: See Glenn Beck Drawing on 1950s Extremism?

Beck, who has emerged as a unifying figure and intellectual guide for the Tea Party movement, finds fodder for his Fox News Channel and syndicated radio shows in the ideas espoused by the John Birch Society, an ultraconservative political group founded in 1958 that, Wilentz writes, “became synonymous with right-wing extremism.”

“It’s a version of history that demonizes Read the rest of this entry »





Driving Out of Hell

27 09 2010

Three people came to Snook today, searching with that phrase. I give up — couldn’t find anything here Googling that.





Education Nation Thinking: School is a Social Network

27 09 2010

UPDATE: “Governing requires a humanism that we find largely absent in the business world of today. It calls for skills that the business world often overlooks or shuns. Governing requires the ability not to follow spreadsheets and marketing advice but to weigh all of the relevant information and decide what is best for all . . .”
******************
School is a social network but that’s not on the menu for this week’s Education Nation. I didn’t hear the phrase “liberal education” this morning either — but could that ideal be what we lost first, that led to America losing everything else?

What if, after a couple of generations of not really educating in the public schools, too busy exploiting them as captive consumers for our competing political causes and business opportunities instead, there’s no longer a critical mass of leaders and citizenry well-enough educated themselves to think productively about how to educate the next generation any better?

We’ve all heard the phrase “liberal education” and those of us of a certain (ahem) age, probably got a passably broad one somewhere along the way to this dystopic ruin of the House Our Liberally Educated Founders Built for us.

Folks with a liberal education, for example, are supposed to understand that “liberal” in this sense isn’t necessarily the opposite of conservative but it is the opposite of narrow, literal, training-and-conditioning-focused schooling, education drilled in to spec at the local mass-production public factory. Certainly liberal education is the opposite of for-profit Big Business and the cutthroat corporate mindset. Liberal education fosters intelligent, higher-order problem-solving and complex moral thought, humanist politics. And it’s not merely technical, not even at the MIT and NASA level. Math and science alone can’t put the liberal in a liberal education.

Devoutly Catholic William F. Buckley for example, had an extraordinarily liberal education as the debate-dominating wind in his arch-conservative sails. OTOH the Governor of Texas and his education makes one weep for education: Texas Governor Treats Colleges Like Businesses [as]
Regents promote his agenda, to faculty members’ chagrin

But Americans now get little education of any kind, much less a true liberal education. It’s all schooling and all to factory specs: tough, increasingly nationalized standards, radically mind-numbing regulations, authoritarian rewards and punishments for knowledge workers (both teachers and students) meted out by principal overseers in all school systems? More of that is hardly a new education idea nor a liberal one.

Anthony Seldon, Wellington College:

“good education should be the opportunity for each child to discover who they are, how they should relate to others, and what they love about life.”

Engaged liberal education vs. “Mass-Production Factories
of the Mind”
:

I’ve been anxiously following the news about the new National Governors Association initiative, Complete to Compete,  and the recent announcements about states competing for Race to the Top funding, and I continue to worry about reductionist models of education driving our reform agendas.  I think that many of our policy makers and government officials at both the state and federal levels actually do believe in the full promise of liberal education, but somehow forget what that really means in educational practice when they get down to developing actual policy proposals.

Here are my notes typed in as I watched all Monday morning. They’re in Maimi-Dade with Arne Duncan and student questions this afternoon. I’ll keep listening and thinking and be pulling from these notes for blogging later:

NBC Universal
EDUCATION NATION

Morning Joe and Today Show

Public survey on who’s to blame for what’s failing in schools, top two get more than half the public blaming them:
elected officials
parents

Then the very bottom group, teachers, gets only one-third of the public blaming them:
teacher unions
principals/admin
teachers

LA Unified Sch District has about one-third of all kids suffering from PTSD, biggest identified problem is violence

NJ Republican Gov Christie says it’s all about breaking the unions, forcing them to admit they’ve created the problem by making everything about their money and not caring about kids. Reward and punishment is his Read the rest of this entry »





What’s in the Name Lucifer — Nothing Good

23 09 2010

I learned something interesting today. I don’t worship Lucifer! Whew.

Nance doesn’t either btw, however much she may enjoy pretending or however often she’s accused of same. (Wanna know how I know? Glad you asked!)

Jerome Corsi wants the President of the United States to renounce Lucifer. So I went a-reading in Google Scholar.

This Baptist reverend doctor’s pdf on Lucifer for the UK Bible Society persuades me that Nance and I and the President too, renounce Lucifer every time we manage to do good for someone else rather than merely doing well for ourselves.

The good reverend doctor describes “Lucifer” as nothing more supernaturally evil than the absence of good:

Humans are now imprisoned within a power of darkness of their own making, but beyond their control. It takes actual form in a variety of unpredictable ways: in distortions of people’s mental and spiritual health, in the fracturing of their inner selves, in their imprisonment within addictions and compulsions, in the breakdown of wholesome relations, in institutional systems of power and domination, in the inequities between nations, in dehumanising ideologies and false religion.

The symptoms don’t fit the President. Corsi and his distorted, fractured, dehumanizing and falsely religious ilk OTOH, really might need to be asked whether they’re willing to renounce “the absence of good” in their own lives . . .

I once beat around Lucifer’s bush burning on John McCain’s porch: Read the rest of this entry »