Sunday, December 30, 2007

CT Online High School Classes - Good for Homeschoolers ? Or Not?


Connecticut education officials have just begun enrolling students for online high school classes, starting January 23rd. The pilot program is called Connecticut Virtual Learning Center and currently offers 21 courses. There are basic courses as well as electives.

I gave it a quick peek at the program and noticed that you have to be enrolled in public school to take these courses. I am not liking that idea at all. It should be open to anyone, whether they are enrolled in a government school or not. The program apparently requires a mentor, etc., for a student to participate through this program. I'd look into the specifics of this program first before recommending homeschoolers jump onto that bandwagon.

You can, I imagine, by-pass that and take any courses through CT Distance Learning Consortium directly, probably without being enrolled in public school and requiring a "mentor".

I know many homeschoolers already take courses online through a variety of resources.

Here is an article about on-line "E-schooling" and online education, that I penned a while ago:

The Internet has provided us with entertainment, news, goods and services and an incredibly diverse fountain of information. We can certainly use the many offerings of the Internet to homeschool our children. While there are online games to play, and worksheets or study guides to print out, online coursework can also be a very valuable tool to use when teens homeschool. Online coursework can be made part of your child's plan of study, even if you unschool, simply because it is so available, and covers so many topics of interest.

There are many different kinds of online coursework. Some are self-study type programs that you can work through at your own pace, and some are virtual courses where you can "attend" a class online, conversing with the instructor and other students. There are podcasts too, which make lessons portable on your kids' iPod or MP3 player. Somewhere in between there is a variation which may suit you best. Please note too that for some online courses you may need to download special programs to allow you to access the classes or participate in online lectures, or virtual classes. You might have to make sure that your computer has the capabilities to allow you to "take the class."

For example: My son did two online college level courses and received certificates of completion for them. The first one was an algebra course, and he had lessons to do and a book to follow along with. He had to submit assignments to the instructor online, and he later received the grading and comments back. He worked through the course according to a prescribed schedule. The units had to be finished and tests had to be submitted by specific dates. The second course, The History of Philosophic Thought was somewhat similar, and required that he read certain books, and download some lectures to listen to. He also had specific time frames to complete and submit coursework. When he later applied for college, these two courses were included in my son's transcript, along with certificates of completion and each course's syllabus.

These courses did not award "official and transferable credit", but the value was that the colleges he applied to saw that he accomplished the coursework.
There are online programs that do award you official credit, but often you have to pay for those courses. The courses that my son took were free, except for what we paid in books, which was minimal. The cost of an online course can be free or it can cost as much as a comparable college course. The credit you earn can be just for your own satisfaction or actual usable and transferable college or high school credits. There are a wide variety of opportunities out there.

The beauty of taking online coursework is that it is a good way to introduce your child to college level coursework, or do high school level coursework, in a very workable and flexible environment. Obviously it can save on gasoline and commute time. Students can pick classes they are really interested in, usually without the pressure of a real school environment. The kids have the freedom to study the material on their own time in order to prepare work to be submitted at a deadline, so they learn to budget their time. They can organize their days to get a big chunk of work done, or do it in small pieces. Sometimes they may even be able to do a class together with a friend and share the experience. If they need help, the instructor is an email away. It is fascinating too, because my son's instructors were in Austria, and Washington State. The process and organization of distance learning is in itself an interesting experience.

With regard umbrella schools, which people use for homeschooling high school, some offer all or part of their coursework online. Some of the schools do offer a class-by-class option as well as an entire curriculum. Some are aimed specifically at homeschoolers. The best thing to do is to find out more about the individual programs and courses and see if it is right for your child. Remember some web-based coursework is geared for high school and others are college level offerings. Please take that into consideration when you are looking for courses. You should also note that some high school programs are offered through college programs like Indiana University, and thus may be a terrific segue into admissions into their college programs.

The following will point you to a list of courses and/or full curriculums on-line:
World Wide Learn
Online Course Search

And here are some examples:

Peterson's Distance Learning


North Dakota Division of Independent Study

Distance Learning Online

Indiana University School of Continuing Studies
and here is the web information for their High School Programs

MIT - Fabulous Free Courseware programs online! Yes !! FREE!!!

and here is an example of an umbrella school online:
Laurel Springs
Their website says Laurel Springs School is an innovator in the field of online, or Web-based, education. They have nearly 80 online classes, including honors and special needs offerings approved by the University of California

So many resources are at our fingertips - literally.
The world is truly our classroom!


(H/T Coleen B.)

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Parody Music For For A Cold New England Saturday



Al Gore - On Global Warming of course!

Here is the original "Fire" by the Pointer Sisters (on American Bandstand) - Now that's music to keep us warm!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Benazir Bhutto Assasinated


This is horrific.

FORMER Pakistani leader Benazir Bhutto has been killed in a gun and bomb attack.

We will probably see civil war in Pakistan as a result.


from Wiki:
Pakistani politician. Bhutto was the first woman elected to lead a post-colonial Muslim state. She was twice elected Prime Minister of Pakistan. She was sworn in for the first time in 1988 but removed from office 20 months later under orders of then-president Ghulam Ishaq Khan on grounds of alleged corruption. In 1993 Bhutto was re-elected but was again removed in 1996 on similar charges, this time by President Farooq Leghari.

Bhutto went into self-imposed exile in Dubai in 1998, where she remained until she returned to Pakistan on October 18, 2007, after reaching an understanding with General Musharraf by which she was granted amnesty and all corruption charges were withdrawn.[1]

Is Rudy Giuliani Eligible To Run For President? Would He Have To Forfeit His Knighthood?


I found this amusing, as I had read somewhere recently that some people are actually making mention of this.

Consider this:

Rudy was Knighted by the Queen of England
February 13, 2002
from CNN: LONDON, England -- When Rudolph Giuliani received his honorary knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II on Wednesday, he joined an exclusive club with a membership dating back to ancient Rome.... Giuliani will, however, be awarded a medal making him a Knight of the British Empire -- an order dating back to 1917. He will also be able to use the letters KBE after his name.

Read Article 1, section 9 of the Constitution:
No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States: and no person holding any office of profit or trust under them, shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state.
Apparently, some say there is a missing thirteenth amendment - called the Titles of Nobility Amendment (TONA) - one which has yet to be ratified. With 50 states in the Union, it would take the approvals of legislators in a minimum of 38 states to achieve ratification. This still-pending proposed amendment is known to have been ratified by the legislatures of the following 12 states: Maryland in 1810, Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Vermont in 1811, as well as by Massachusetts on February 27, 1812, and by New Hampshire on December 9, 1812.

One website,with some interesting background information, says this:
Twelve states ratified the amendment, not enough to make it part of the Constitution under Article V of the Constitution, which requires ratification of "the legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress."

According to President James Monroe's Secretary of State, John Quincy Adams, in reports dated February 3, 1818 and February 27, 1818, the following actions transpired:

Ratifications:
Maryland December 25, 1810
Kentucky January 31, 1811
Ohio January 31, 1811
Delaware February 2, 1811
Pennsylvania February 6, 1811
New Jersey February 13, 1811
Vermont October 24, 1811
Tennessee November 21, 1811
Georgia December 31, 1811
North Carolina December 23, 1811
Massachusetts February 27, 1812
New Hampshire December 9, 1812

Rejections:
Connecticut May 13, 1813
New York March 12, 1812
Rhode Island September 15, 1814

No Action:
South Carolina

No Reply:
Virginia

(See CIS at 478, Conklin at 125) A secondary source further claims that the federal government recorded that no action was taken upon the amendment by Louisiana. (See Virginia Commission at 65)

Because the amendment was not submitted to the states with a time limitation, it could still could be made part of the Constitution, if it were to attract twenty-six additional ratifications. The prospects hardly seem likely, but much the same was once said about the now-27th amendment, which is generally credited to have been rescued from obscurity by Gregory Watson.

The TONA — if ever ratified — would modify the provision appearing in Article I, Section 9, of the original Constitution. (see above)
Here is what it would say:

Titles of Nobility:

"If any citizen of the United States shall accept, claim, receive,
or retain any title of nobility or honour, or shall without the
consent of Congress, accept and retain any present, pension,
office, or emolument of any kind whatever, from any emperor, king,
prince, or foreign power, such person shall cease to be a citizen
of the United States, and shall be incapable of holding any office
of trust or profit under them, or either of them."

In any case, TONA has not been ratified and is not part of the US Constitution. But we still have Article 1, Section 9.

Interesting, eh?
Some people think that TONA was proposed to prevent lawyers or judges with the title "Esquire" after their names to hold office....because that is some sort of English title. Apparently that has been refuted as a bogus claim. But amusing none the less. - Now how would that affect our government - LOL - Imagine government without lawyers in office. Actually, there are a few other reasons why this amendment was proposed. (here is an interesting law review article) Some people claim that the amendment was actually ratified. They say that for several years before the Civil War, a "Title of Nobility" Amendment was published in several Codes of the States and Territories. and then suddenly, it disappeared --- so there is controversy and mystery regarding this.

Oh Well, what can I say - I just found the whole thing regarding Rudy amusing.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Our Christmas Greeting To You



The Aron family wishes you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday Season! May you and yours be blessed with peace, good health, and happiness.

And here is something more ----> Merry Christmas!

"I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year." -- Charles Dickens (A Christmas Carol)

Sunday, December 23, 2007

FBI Prepares Vast Database Of Biometrics


Yikes! - now this is something that Britain has done - and they are having massive problems with keeping information confidential.

We had better not allow this to happen here in this country.
I can think of much better ways to spend our tax dollars than trying to catalog all of us like livestock.

Here are excerpts of the story in the Washington Post entitled : FBI Prepares Vast Database Of Biometrics - $1 Billion Project to Include Images of Irises and Faces, By Ellen Nakashima
The FBI is embarking on a $1 billion effort to build the world's largest computer database of peoples' physical characteristics, a project that would give the government unprecedented abilities to identify individuals in the United States and abroad.

Digital images of faces, fingerprints and palm patterns are already flowing into FBI systems in a climate-controlled, secure basement here. Next month, the FBI intends to award a 10-year contract that would significantly expand the amount and kinds of biometric information it receives. And in the coming years, law enforcement authorities around the world will be able to rely on iris patterns, face-shape data, scars and perhaps even the unique ways people walk and talk, to solve crimes and identify criminals and terrorists. The FBI will also retain, upon request by employers, the fingerprints of employees who have undergone criminal background checks so the employers can be notified if employees have brushes with the law.

"Bigger. Faster. Better. That's the bottom line," said Thomas E. Bush III, assistant director of the FBI's Criminal Justice Information Services Division, which operates the database from its headquarters in the Appalachian foothills.

The increasing use of biometrics for identification is raising questions about the ability of Americans to avoid unwanted scrutiny. It is drawing criticism from those who worry that people's bodies will become de facto national identification cards. Critics say that such government initiatives should not proceed without proof that the technology really can pick a criminal out of a crowd.

...snip...

The Department of Homeland Security has been using iris scans at some airports to verify the identity of travelers who have passed background checks and who want to move through lines quickly. The department is also looking to apply iris- and face-recognition techniques to other programs. The DHS already has a database of millions of sets of fingerprints, which includes records collected from U.S. and foreign travelers stopped at borders for criminal violations, from U.S. citizens adopting children overseas, and from visa applicants abroad. There could be multiple records of one person's prints.

"It's going to be an essential component of tracking," said Barry Steinhardt, director of the Technology and Liberty Project of the American Civil Liberties Union. "It's enabling the Always On Surveillance Society."

If successful, the system planned by the FBI, called Next Generation Identification, will collect a wide variety of biometric information in one place for identification and forensic purposes.

In an underground facility the size of two football fields, a request reaches an FBI server every second from somewhere in the United States or Canada, comparing a set of digital fingerprints against the FBI's database of 55 million sets of electronic fingerprints. A possible match is made -- or ruled out--as many as 100,000 times a day.

Soon, the server at CJIS headquarters will also compare palm prints and, eventually, iris images and face-shape data such as the shape of an earlobe. If all goes as planned, a police officer making a traffic stop or a border agent at an airport could run a 10-fingerprint check on a suspect and within seconds know if the person is on a database of the most wanted criminals and terrorists. An analyst could take palm prints lifted from a crime scene and run them against the expanded database. Intelligence agents could exchange biometric information worldwide.

...snip...

At the West Virginia University Center for Identification Technology Research (CITeR), 45 minutes north of the FBI's biometric facility in Clarksburg, researchers are working on capturing images of people's irises at distances of up to 15 feet, and of faces from as far away as 200 yards. Soon, those researchers will do biometric research for the FBI.

Covert iris- and face-image capture is several years away, but it is of great interest to government agencies.

...snip...

To safeguard privacy, audit trails are kept on everyone who has access to a record in the fingerprint database, Del Greco said. People may request copies of their records, and the FBI audits all agencies that have access to the database every three years, she said.

"We have very stringent laws that control who can go in there and to secure the data," [Thomas] Bush said.

Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, said the ability to share data across systems is problematic. "You're giving the federal government access to an extraordinary amount of information linked to biometric identifiers that is becoming increasingly inaccurate," he said.

...snip...

Privacy advocates worry about the ability of people to correct false information. "Unlike say, a credit card number, biometric data is forever," said Paul Saffo, a Silicon Valley technology forecaster. He said he feared that the FBI, whose computer technology record has been marred by expensive failures, could not guarantee the data's security. "If someone steals and spoofs your iris image, you can't just get a new eyeball," Saffo said.

In the future, said CITeR director Lawrence A. Hornak, devices will be able to "recognize us and adapt to us."

"The long-term goal," Hornak said, is "ubiquitous use" of biometrics. A traveler may walk down an airport corridor and allow his face and iris images to be captured without ever stepping up to a kiosk and looking into a camera, he said.

If you aren't concerned about this project - then you sure ought to be.
They will be taking your iris prints - your measurements and other bio-metric information without your permission, and without you knowing it.
Now there's a comforting thought.
Talk about identity theft!

This is outrageous! And downright un-American!

Consider the upcoming elections.
We need to vote people into office who will stop this insanity!


Saturday, December 22, 2007

Friday, December 21, 2007

Register Now For The New Hampshire Liberty Forum


Liberty lovers, and supporters of the Free State Project, in New Hampshire have a great line-up for The 2008 New Hampshire Liberty Forum - Moving Liberty Forward

Keynote Speakers include:
Bernard von NotHaus, currency architect and creator of the Liberty Dollar and
United States Senator John Sununu (Sometimes called "America's most Libertarian Senator") and
United States Congressman and Presidential candidate Ron Paul (who is scheduled to speak at Sunday's closing ceremony).

Also participating will be Deborah Stevenson of National Home Education Legal Defense (NHELD). There will be an education panel and NHELD will be there to speak about homeschooling and parental rights issues, as well as encroachment of the federal government into home education.

This is one Forum you won't want to miss!
Register Today!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Glenn Beck Interviews Presidential Candidate Ron Paul


Glenn Beck interviewed Ron Paul for an hour on 12/18/07 - looks like he agreed with a lot of what Dr. Paul says. Beck said he even wanted to Kiss him !! ... LOL ... "you had me with hello"...

Here is the transcript of the interview.

It's an interview you have to watch!
Take some time and listen to what was said.

It's in Six Parts:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6

"But, quite frankly, I`ve been talking to a lot of young people, and I believe that they are ready and welcome -- welcoming this message because they`re sick and tired of what they`re getting.

They`re getting a huge debt, a Social Security system that doesn`t work, a flawed foreign policy, and this endless debt. And I think that this country is really ready for some significant change.

I think the large majority of the American people are ready for changes, and that the -- the base of the Republican Party and the base of the Democratic Party is pretty small compared to the people who are disgruntled." - Ron Paul

I couldn't agree more.

Give Your Loved One A Surgical Procedure For Christmas!


Wow!
How's this for an innovative gift idea?
Nothing says "I Love You" more than Medical Gift Cards
When it comes to Christmas presents, Stacey Smith was stumped over what to give to her husband's grandmother.

"Especially an older person … they really have everything they need," Smith said.

But now she's found something that fits perfectly -- the "gift of health" through a medical gift card.

"She can use it towards her prescriptions and her medical bills or anything like that," Smith said.

This gift card can be used for doctors' visits or deductibles, prescription co-pays, contact lenses and even elective surgery.

"It's a first of its kind; no one has ever offered a gift card like this," said Kim Bellard of givewell.com.

The card is issued by Visa, so it can be used anywhere Visa is accepted for health-related services. They are not sold in stores and need to be purchased online or over the phone for up to $5,000.

So, if dad or grandma needs money for prescriptions, or a gym membership, or new dentures or if mom needs that tummy-tuck...this might be the perfect solution - and it's easier to wrap too!

Ahh ... capitalism ... and the free market
always finding and delivering innovative products.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

McLieberCain


If anything, the Joe Lieberman endorsement of John McCain should raise serious questions about the legitimacy of the two-party system in this nation. It is telling and somewhat suspicious that a former Democratic vice presidential nominee is now openly endorsing a Republican presidential candidate. Now, if McCain doesn't win the Republican nomination, then what Republican do you think Lieberman will throw his support behind? Could he in good conscience back a Democrat for president in the end? (But hey: the Bushes help the Clintons)

And yes, the Socialist wing of the Democrat party are stomping their feet and grousing about Joe's endorsement - but so what - Joe votes like a Socialist along with the rest of them anyway. Lieberman keeps his Democrat status in committees in Washington, and then parades around like he is some sort of Independent. It's laughable. Sometimes it is really difficult to distinguish Congressional Republicans and Democrats, as they seem to both be interested in growing government, spending more tax money, trashing our Constitutional rights, and insuring their own job security in Washington.

On another note, Ron Paul got very quiet press yesterday for his incredible $6.4 million dollar haul in fundraising. The Tea Party was an amazing success and I will wager that the media will not be able to ignore him for much longer.

When these major corporate networks conspire to silence, minimize, and even mock a serious presidential runner, this tells me that Ron Paul is saying something that's ruffling the feathers of those who benefit from controlling the public.

There seems to be a groundswell happening, and people are fed up with what they are seeing coming out of Washington DC, especially in the form of McLieberCain shenanigans and the ineffectiveness of our Congress on many issues.

People seem to be fed up with flip-floppers and two-faced candidates.

Liberty is brewing.


"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." -
-- Mahatma Gandhi

You Have To Read This Book!

I don't usually do product reviews or recommendations - but this book is one of the best books about the Principles of Freedom and the Founders that I have come across.
I am currently reading this.
It should be mandatory reading for every American; especially our kids.

The 5000 Year Leap - A Miracle That Changed The World - Principles Of Freedom 101
by W. Cleon Skousen and the
The National Center of Constitutional Studies



"Discover the 28 Principles of Freedom our Founding Fathers said must be understood and perpetuated by every people who desire peace, prosperity, and freedom. Learn how adherence to these beliefs during the past 200 years has brought about more progress than was made in the previous 5,000 years."

Jim Cramer Interviews Ron Paul



Interesting interview for sure!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Utah Homeschool Mom Threatened With Jail


Well, this sounds awful - but I believe some pertinent facts may have been left out of this story.
A homeschooling mom in Utah has been ordered by a judge to enroll her children in a public school district within 24 hours, and have them in class tomorrow, all because of a paperwork glitch that very well could be the fault of the district.

...snip...

It seems that an affidavit she faxed to the local school district for the 2006-2007 school year, documenting her homeschooling plans, was lost by the district. So when she went to court with her juvenile son to have the charges dismissed (under a case held in abeyance procedure) stemming from a clash among children, she suddenly was presented with four counts against her for failing to comply with the state's compulsory education requirement.

...snip...

She thought she was meeting the court's demands earlier when she enrolled her two youngest children in classes, and put her two older children in an online curriculum connected to the public school.

"Well everything fell apart in court today. I had to enroll my two oldest in public school. They start on Monday. If I didn't the judge said I would lose custody of my children. He threw out the plea and we go to trial on January 9th. I have NO CHANCE with this judge. He will find me guilty. He already has. So I will probably be spending some time in jail. Please pray for my children," she noted in an online forum connected to a "Five In A Row" homeschool curriculum she had used when her children were younger.

She said her public defender had reached a plea agreement she thought would be satisfied by her action, an agreement hammered out with the prosecutor. However, the judge rejected everything, she told WND.

Here are the lessons to be learned from this homeschool parent:

1.) If you file - save the paperwork - make sure you have proof !
"She said she had received a confirmation the fax to the school was received when she sent it, but likes to clean out her paperwork before the start of a new school year, and apparently had disposed of it."
This woman faxed her paperwork and disposed of the proof that she faxed it. She has no proof that she filed the paperwork to the school other than her own copies. If you cannot prove that you followed the law to a judge then you are out of luck.

2.) She apparently made some sort of plea deal with the prosecutor as well.
"She thought she was meeting the court's demands earlier when she enrolled her two youngest children in classes, and put her two older children in an online curriculum connected to the public school. "
If you have a plea deal then you have to adhere to it. You'd better be careful what you agree to do. Also, the plea has to be agreed to by the court which seems not to have been the case here. Plea deals have their own set of rules. It is not clear what the plea deal was or when it was made.

3.) Understand your state laws with regard to home education.

4.) Stay out of court if possible. Sometimes misunderstandings can be cleared up directly with the school, and other parties involved.

And yet, she has an exemption and seems to have been cleared to homeschool for 2007-08, so why does anything that happened on 2006-07 have any bearing on this school year? Why would the judge be ordering her to send her kids to school now if she already has an exemption for this school year?

There are missing facts here.

UPDATE: Dana over at Principled Discovery has more information on this story.

Tiggers Are Wonderful Things After All


A San Francisco school district has been ordered to pay $95,000 to five families after the families sued the school over the dress code.
The parents went to court after a student was disciplined for wearing socks with the "Winnie the Pooh" cartoon character Tigger on the first day of school last year
This was a suit brought on by the parents with help from the ACLU, and the story went down like this in March 2007:
The ACLU claims in the suit that the dress code imposed by Redwood Middle School and the Napa Valley Unified School District violates the limits of a California law that allows for schools to set reasonable dress code policies for safety reasons. The law allows for parents to exempt their children from any school uniform requirements.
According to an old UPI report:
Toni Kay Scott, 14, was sent to an in-school suspension program called Students With Attitude Problems last year for violating a dress code, according to a lawsuit against the Napa Valley Unified School District and Redwood Middle School.

She had donned socks with the Tigger character from the Winnie the Pooh cartoons on them, along with a denim skirt and a brown shirt with a pink border.

But the school’s policy requires students to wear clothes with solid colors in blue, white, green, yellow, khaki, gray, brown and black. Permitted fabrics are cotton twill, corduroy and chino. No denim is allowed.
So the school set out some dopey dress code, the kid violated it, the school made her go to some equally dopey school suspension program, and the parents sued and won (mostly because the school didn't know what the limits of California law allow with regard to dress codes).

Class - here are some questions to ponder:
Are schools losing the ability to make rules?
Do you think is it because they have been abusing their authority?
Are parents and their children getting fed up with this type of thing?
Do you think school administrators read any of the laws in their state before they set policies?

And yet - Don't parents and their children kids realize that they give up some of their freedom when they are enrolled in government or private schools? (However some Constitutional freedoms - like freedom of speech as in the Avery Doninger case are also being infringed upon and should not be). Some schools even require parents and students to sign "pledges" and other "agreements" about adhering to certain school policies. But what is really troubling is that slowly the public school system is usurping the authority of parents over every aspect of a child’s life. In Loco Parentis is being broadened. Think about it; We have even seen that they can "strongly recommend" medical treatments - which when parents do not comply for legitimate and very good reasons, even as they have the right to do so, they may get referred to Child and Family services for neglect. Then the real fun begins.

By the way - how much has your own school district spent on legal fees this year? Is it fair that school districts have an unlimited supply of money to go to court with (thanks to you, the taxpayer) and parents, of course, do not? (this is why parents ask for help from organizations like the ACLU). Schools definitely use this as a tool of coercion - they threaten a lawsuit if parents and students do not comply with certain demands.

What do you think about all of this?

Rest In Peace - Dan Fogelberg - Thanks For Your Music

Dan Fogelberg - Died of prostate cancer - he was 56



Leader Of The Band (4:17)

An only child
Alone and wild
A cabinet makers son
His hands were meant
For different work
And his heart was known
To none --
He left his home
And went his lone
And solitary way
And he gave to me
A gift I know I never
Can repay

A quiet man of music
Denied a simpler fate
He tried to be a soldier once
But his music wouldn't wait
He earned his love
Through discipline
A thundering, velvet hand
His gentle means of sculpting souls
Took me years to understand.

The leader of the band is tired
And his eyes are growing old
But his blood runs through
My instrument
And his song is in my soul --
My life has been a poor attempt
To imitate the man
Im just a living legacy
To the leader of the band.

My brothers lives were
Different
For they heard another call
One went to Chicago
And the other to St. Paul
And I'm in Colorado
When I'm not in some hotel
Living out this life I've chose
And come to know so well.

I thank you for the music
And your stories of the road
I thank you for the freedom
When it came my time to go --
I thank you for the kindness
And the times when you got tough
And, pap, I don't think I
Said I love you near enough --

The leader of the band is tired
And his eyes are growing old
But his blood runs through
My instrument
And his song is in my soul --
My life has been a poor attempt
To imitate the man
I'm just a living legacy
To the leader of the band
I am the living legacy
To the leader of the band.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Tea Party !!!!!


On December 16th, 1773, American colonists dumped tea
into Boston Harbor to protest an oppressive tax.

The Boston Tea Party was an act of direct action by the American colonists against Great Britain in which they destroyed many crates of tea bricks on ships in Boston Harbor. The incident, which took place on Thursday, December 16, 1773, has been seen as helping to spark the American Revolution.

That was then - this is now:



This December 16th 2007, American citizens will gather to express their support for ending the oppressive and unconstitutional inflation tax - which has enabled a flawed foreign policy, a costly war and the sacrificing of our liberties here at home.

You are invited to the Boston Tea Party Freedom Rally

1:00 pm - December 16, 2007

Boston, Massachusetts
RALLY ON STATE HOUSE STEPS at 1:00pm
DOORS OPEN-FANEUIL HALL at 2:15pm

With special guest speaker, Rand Paul, son of Ron Paul, candidate for president.

Come celebrate in the "cradle of liberty" on the 234th anniversary of the historic Boston Tea Party.

Revolution is in the air, as hundreds of freedom-lovers will come together to rally support for the Constitution and the leaders who will protect it.

If you can't attend and wish to let your voice for liberty be heard then you can go here to make history.

Look how much has been raised already today alone!


“…man is not free unless government is limited. There's a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: As government expands, liberty contracts.” - Ronald Reagan



UPDATE: News report - Ron Paul raises millions in today's Boston Tea Party event.

A day for the record books! $6.4 million dollars!!!

L.A. Times report

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Parody Music For Saturday - Holiday Style!



Malay Ride is a musical parody of the Anderson/Parish song "Sleigh Ride," about holiday shopping in the global economy. For more great political musical parodies, visit VERSUS -- where politics and culture do their time in rhyme.

Here's one version of the real song Sleigh Ride done by the Rhonettes, and another by Andy Williams. (God, I am old).

Friday, December 14, 2007

Why Single Payer Socialized Medicine Is Unhealthy Public Policy



Anyone promoting single payer socialized medicine as part of their presidential bid - or as part of their bid for a Congressional seat should be voted down. The video says it all.

Government run, Government managed, Government administered Socialized medicine for all is a failure.

People die from waiting.
We already provide the means to obtain health care for the poor and needy, especially children. We have Medicaid; we have Husky in CT. There is no need to expand programs that will bankrupt the taxpayer and provide substandard care to all.

If anything, we need more choices in health care, and that includes alternatives to the usual mainstream treatments as well! We need more nurses and doctors - who by the way, are either leaving the state in droves - or unavailable because of the lack of medical profession instructors. Let's fix the system that is broken - not by expanding it, but by addressing the issues that are crippling it.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Time Is Running Out! Homeschool Blog Awards Voting Ends Friday 15th


Voting in the Homeschool Blog Awards will continue through Dec 15th. Support your favorite blog today!

Consent of the Governed has been nominated for Two categories:
* Best Current Events, Opinions or Politics Blog
* Best Curriculum or Business Blog

A big thank you goes out to the organizers of the awards for all of the time and effort they have expended (and yes, I know there has been some controversy, but I'm not minding it much).

Doing Shots In New Jersey And A Very Interesting Challenge


You can read up on the recent NJ vaccine issue here at Vaccine Awakening - with a post entitled " NJ Health Council Votes Dec. 10 On New Vaccine Mandates " and also here at Principled Discovery - "NJ Considering Another Round Of Vaccines"


Better yet, here is a very interesting challenge:

Drink your medicine, make $115,000!
On January 29, 2001, Jock Doubleday of Natural Woman, Natural Man, Inc., offered $20,000 to the first U.S.-licensed medical doctor or pharmaceutical company CEO to publicly drink a mixture of standard vaccine additive ingredients:

The offer had no takers.

On August 1, 2006, Doubleday issued a press release announcing that the offer had been increased to $75,000

The new offer also had no takers.

Therefore . . . as of June 1, 2007, the $75,000 vaccine offer was increased to $80,000; as of July 1, 2007, the vaccine offer was increased to $85,000; as of August 1, 2007, the offer was increased to $90,000; as of September 1, 2007, the offer was increased to $95,000; as of October 1, 2007, the offer will increase to $100,000; as of November 1, 2007, the offer will increase to $105,000; as of December 1, 2007, the offer will increase to $110,000; as of January 1, 2008, the offer will increase to $115,000.

Doubleday has vowed to keep increasing the offer $5,000 per month, in perpetuity, until an M.D., pharmaceutical company CEO, or any of the 14 relevant members of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices agrees to drink a body-weight calibrated dose of the vaccine additives MDs routinely inject into children in the name of health.

This offer, dated April 25, 2007, has no expiration date unless and until superseded by a similar offer of higher remuneration.

We suggest that anytime an M.D. publicly advocates childhood vaccinations on the radio, TV, in print or in person that you mention Doubleday's offer.

The offer is available online HERE.

Some Additional Comments by Gordon Research:
Since mainstream medicine is very convinced about the BENEFITS of the vaccines given to all children today and pretends that there is little or no risk, it will be interesting to see how huge this generous offer of $100,000+ will grow.

Why is no one taking up this offer just for drinking approximately ten times the amount that is injected into every infant by law? At some point someone has to step up and take the vaccines orally just to prove that they are convinced the benefits far outweigh the risks.

This would appear to be a useful approach to use in any debate, as this amounts to put up or shut up, for the persons defending vaccine safety.

Garry F. Gordon MD,DO,MD(H)
President, Gordon Research Institute
www.gordonresearch.com

I think this offer should be expanded to all vaccine policy makers and legislators.

So - how about it those of you in the medical community pushing for more vaccines; care to do some shots?


(H/T Rick D.)

U.S. Forest Service Purchases 6,000 Tasers


What would be the real reason why the Forest Service has purchased and are warehousing Tasers?

Check out this press release by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER)(December 4, 2007):
Cash Starved Forest Service Spends $600,000 To Buy Tasers — Devices Remain in Boxes Because Rangers Lack Training
Washington, DC — The U.S. Forest Service has bought $600,000 worth of “Electronic Control Devices” without any training program, rules for use or even a written explanation as to why the devices are needed, according to agency records posted today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). The devices, known as Tasers, are sitting in storage and cannot be issued because the agency has yet to develop a training course.

Due to an intense fire season, the Forest Service is now staggering under a more than a quarter-billion dollar deficit, causing it to begin jettisoning core programs. For example, the agency lacks enough funds to draw up new timber sales. At the same time, the Forest Service law enforcement program is hobbled by more than 200 vacant positions, leaving only one officer to cover each 300,000 acres of National Forest and 750,000 annual million visitors.

In late September 2007, the Forest Service purchased 700 weapons and “related accessories” from Aardvark Tactical, Inc. of Azusa, California, a subsidiary of Taser International, at a cost to taxpayers of $600,001.52, according to agency records obtained by PEER under the Freedom of Information Act. This represents enough to equip every single Forest Service special agent and law enforcement officer with an Electronic Control system at a cost of $857 apiece.

The reason for this purchase is unknown since the Forest Service was unable to produce any document justifying the need for these weapons. John Twiss, the Director of Law Enforcement and Investigations and the official who made the decision to buy the Tasers, wrote PEER in a letter dated November 7, 2007:

“[I]n the interest of customer service, we can tell you that the Forest Service is currently developing the required training and law enforcement officers will be required to attend prior to the issuance of, or authorization to carry or use, an Electronic Control Device.”

“There must have been a fire sale on Tasers, otherwise why would an agency buy 700 of them without a program, protocol or need?” asked PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch, noting that the federal fiscal year ended September, around the time of the hurried single source purchase. “The Forest Service has many more pressing law enforcement priorities that should have received any end-of-fiscal-year surplus.”

In addition to the cost of training its entire law enforcement staff, the Forest Service may be assuming significant financial liability for injuries and deaths. In October, Amnesty International released a study estimating that 290 civilians have died from police use of Tasers since 2001.

Tasers are touted as a non-lethal alternative to the use of deadly force. Since Forest Service rarely is called upon to apply deadly force, the role of these electronic devices on national forest visitors is problematic. Nonetheless, Taser International now also equips the National Park Service.

The proliferation of Tasers within federal land management agencies has all the earmarks of a mindless arms race that has eluded any thoughtful public or congressional review,” Ruch added. “As a result, in addition to the howl of the coyote and the hoot of the owl, the plaintive cry of ‘Don’t tase me, bro’ may soon echo through the forest night.”

Here is the invoice
and The only documented Justification for this purchase

Yogi Bear and Boo-Boo better watch their backs when those rangers get trained.

It's another fine example of your hard earned tax dollars hard at work. But seriously, I'd like to know what they really have planned with regard for use of those weapons.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Standardized Testing Squelches School Fieldtrips - Yet Another Reason To Homeschool


Another casualty of public school high stakes testing is the class fieldtrip. What a terrible thing. Unfortunately, for public school kids the fieldtrip is going the way of the dinosaurs.

Yet another reason to homeschool.
Field trips are one of the key staples of homeschooling.
You study something, and take your child out into the real world and experience the museum, the factory, the artisan, the theater, the symphony, the beach, whatever.
The world is our classroom.
It really and truly is.

Not so for those shackled in the brick school buildings and enslaved by the dreaded "standardized tests". Here in CT, public school students are subjected to the Connecticut Mastery Tests (CMT) which are supposed to measure how well teachers are teaching the curriculum and how well the kids are learning. This past year the results were not at all stellar.


Everyone is also all agog over the "achievement gap" between urban and suburban kids. And yet, they are willing to deny kids the wonderful experience of exploration and learning off school grounds. This is particularly devastating, I think, to urban and "underprivileged kids" who otherwise have little or no opportunity to visit museums and other worthwhile places.

An article in the Hartford Courant,"Field Trips Fading Fast In An Age Of Testing" (by Daniela Altimari) has this to report:
For today's students, such experiences are increasingly elusive. Tight budgets and rising gas prices, concerns about safety and the sheer hassle of taking kids out into the world are leading some schools to reduce or eliminate field trips.

And now there's a powerful new force keeping students in their seats during the school day: the drive to boost performance on standardized tests. That has led principals to jettison "extras" such as field trips in their quest to wring every minute of instructional time from an already crammed school day.

In other words, an afternoon spent gazing at masterpieces in an art museum is getting harder to justify.

"We have a limited amount of time for instruction," said Karen List, an assistant superintendent in West Hartford. "Given all the demands that are placed upon us these days, we want to make sure every single moment is a valuable moment."

The pressure to improve student performance is especially intense in urban school systems struggling beneath the weight of the federal No Child Left Behind Act. James Thompson, the assistant superintendent in Hartford, said his district is reviewing its field trip policy to make sure every excursion connects to a classroom lesson.

"Schools are still taking field trips, but we want to make sure those trips are in line with the standards," he said.
What a terrible shame that in the name of "standards" public school kids do not have more opportunities to get out and see what many fine museums and other interesting places have to offer. And what an equal tragedy it is that our fine art and history museums are losing incredible amounts in terms of revenue and attendance.

I remember when I was on the board of a local history museum that we were told by many local schools that the kids would no longer be participating in the field trips they had done in the past, because the schools could not show how, "the field trip would significantly contribute to higher CMT scores". We struggled with how to get schools to continue to come. We even lowered admission prices because our only interest was really to have the kids learn from our exhibits. I see that things have not changed, and if anything it has gotten much worse.

According to the report in the Courant:
Despite that, some institutions that cater to schools say they are noticing a sharp drop in attendance. The number of students visiting the Wadsworth Atheneum dropped from 17,742 during the 2005-06 academic year to 12,221 last year. During that same span, the number of visitors from Hartford schools fell from about 5,000 to about 3,000.

Museum officials aren't sure why school attendance has slipped. "We've done nothing differently. Our programs continue to build," said Dawn Salerno, associate museum educator for school and family audiences. "It makes us wonder what's going on at the school level."

The dwindling number of school groups from Hartford is especially vexing. City students receive free admission; even the cost of transportation is covered.

Museum staff members plan to meet with educators from around the state. "We need to ask the question, 'Why aren't you sending students, and what more can we do?'" Salerno said, adding that she understand the enormous pressure facing schools these days. "They have too much to focus on."

It was with a somewhat heavy heart that Nancy DePalma, principal of Whiting Lane Elementary School in West Hartford, opted to eliminate a popular fourth-grade field trip to Ellis Island. Although the trip resonated strongly in a school with a sizable immigrant population, it was canceled because of spiraling costs, safety worries and the demands of an increasingly rich curriculum.

"It's hard for me. My dad came through Ellis Island," DePalma said. "But the reality is, can we find other ways for kids to get these experiences? When we pull kids out [during] the instructional day, are we getting the best bang for our buck?"

Institutions that depend on school groups are looking for new ways to make themselves relevant in an age when test scores trump all.

At the Talcott Mountain Science Center in Avon, the staff worked with educators in West Hartford to develop a program on the solar system that reflects the content of the Connecticut Mastery Test. "The standards are written specifically to say what the learning outcomes should be," said Jonathan Craig, the center's director. "It's making us rework some of the things we do and giving us new opportunities, too. ... It's a matter of adapting to the changing environment."

Even Old Sturbridge Village, a mainstay on the school field trip calendar for several generations, has begun offering enticements such as free admission to schools. The outdoor history museum also is developing programs that reinforce educational standards in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, the three states that provide Old Sturbridge Village with the bulk of its visitors.

"We're having to align what we do with what students are being assessed on," said Shawn Parker, head of the education division. "We're trying to make sure we can show teachers that we can be part of their toolbox for fulfilling what's expected of them."
The article quotes educators in my own town; West Hartford. That is really so sad for me to read. We spend so much money on education, and yet these kids will no longer be able to take advantage of the wonderful historical places in and around CT. This problem also seems to turn museums and other institutions on their heads to also begin "teaching to the test". Will museums now become a place that shares their archives and materials only in a predetermined way - one which also bows to the standards set by others, like the Department of Education?

Education standards micro managed by the state and federal government are choking education. They are eliminating some of the most enriching experiences that kids can have. It is truly pitiful. I guess kids will just have to stick their noses in a book if they want to see the Statute of Liberty, or paintings by Renoir, or learn about Mark Twain. They can hear recordings in class of musical works instead of experiencing a live performance of the local symphony. Somehow they will just have to settle for in house lessons, and what a terrible loss for them.

Meanwhile homeschoolers explore their world, do well on the SAT's/ACT's, and get into really good colleges.

Monday, December 10, 2007

What's Your Bid For The Birth Certificate Of Freedom?


Christmas is around the corner. What better way to show the ones you love how much you care for them then by puchasing this incredible artifact! Imagine the looks on their faces when they open up their wrapped package to find this little beauty: The Magna Carta, one of the 17 original copies that survive from 1297.

As reported by the Washington Times:
NEW YORK — In 1215, a group of English barons handed King John a document written on parchment and forever changed the relationship between the monarchy and those it governed.

The document was the Magna Carta. Now, nearly 800 years later, about 17 copies survive, and one of those, signed by King Edward I in 1297, will go up for bid Dec. 18 at Sotheby's auction house.

Although that original edict was initially ignored and John died the next year, its key ideas were included in other variations over the next few decades, most notably the right of habeas corpus, which protects citizens from unlawful imprisonment.

The document, which Sotheby's Vice Chairman David Redden calls "the most important document in the world," is expected to fetch a record $20 million to $30 million.

Although earlier versions of the royal edict were written and then ignored, Mr. Redden said, "The 1297 Magna Carta became the operative version, the one that was entered into English common law and became the law of the land," ultimately affecting democracies around the world.

Today, its impact is felt by perhaps a third of the world's people, he said. This includes all of North America, India, Pakistan, much of Africa, Australia and other areas that were included in the British Commonwealth.

"When it's something as enormously important as this, you try to get a handle on it," he said. "It is absolutely correct to say the Magna Carta is the birth certificate of freedom. It states the bedrock principle that no person is above the law — that is the essence of it."

Only two copies of the Magna Carta exist outside Britain: one in Australia and the one Sotheby's is auctioning off.
So if you have $20 or $30 million dollars laying around, you too can own this fine piece of history. You might even want to take it to Kinko's to have it laminated.

By the way, what was that bedrock principle again ? No one is above the law ?
Does that include some elected leaders, business executives, and illegal aliens? I guess not.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Ron Paul Blimp!




Look up in the sky! (but apparently not in CT)
It's a bird, it's a plane, it's Ron Paul!!!

The Ron Paul Blimp !

A blimp will be flying up the Northeast coast financed by a for profit publicity company with ad time sponsored by supporters of Ron Paul. Liberty Political Advertising is selling political advertisements that you can sponsor for as little as $10.00 for 1 minute of ad time. That, my friend, is known as Constitutionally protected political speech!

It is just wonderful to see Ron Paul supporters drive through the loop hole in the ridiculous campaign finance reform rules created under McCain-Feingold.

The Inaugural launch is scheduled for December 10th from Elizabeth City, NC and then to be in Boston, MA by December 15th! (where Ron Paul supporters will reenact the Boston Tea Party and hold a large rally at Faneuil Hall. His online supporters have a fundraising effort, which coincides with the anniversary of the Boston Tea Party.) Looks like Liberty is Brewing!

Other sites comment:
Politico
ABC News

CNN YouTube Video

Saturday, December 8, 2007

The Same Old Story.....

"The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers."
- Socrates (469–399 B.C.)


So I guess this just proves that the more things change, the more they stay the same....




ATTRIBUTION: Attributed to SOCRATES by Plato, according to William L. Patty and Louise S. Johnson, Personality and Adjustment,p. 277 (1953).


Parody Music For Saturday



My Cubicle - A Jym Britton parody on James Blunt's song "Beautiful". I suppose anyone working in corporate America can relate to this one.

Here is the original.

Friday, December 7, 2007

State Mandated Graduation Requirements Planned For Connecticut


What's the best way to close the so-called "achievement gap"? Just demand higher standards of course.

That's like telling a lame person to walk faster.

The Hartford Courant came out with this news item about the CT State Board of Education just endorsed plans to create graduation requirements statewide, which of course represent more state unfunded mandates and supersedes the traditionally practiced concept of "home rule". (I actually posted a piece about this already).

The article says this:
The State Board Of Education on Wednesday endorsed a proposal that would require high school students to pass end-of-course exams, complete an independent study, and take at least 24 credits in specific courses to earn a diploma.
And they are planning to obtain public comment about this throughout 2008 and submit a final proposal to the State Legislature by the end of 2008, in order to prepare for implementation in the 2011-2012 school year.

Of course this will not be without a plea for more funding from the taxpayer. This will most likely carry with it an astronomical price tag. State Commissioner of Education, Mark McQuillan, has already begun to seek funding from the state legislature to study the costs of the changes.

Here are some of the major points of this plan:
Under the proposal, many courses, such as algebra II, international studies and biology, would be required. At the moment, only a half-credit course in civics and American government are required.

An earlier proposal called for students to take one credit of U.S. history, 1860 to the present, with the intention of teaching pre-Civil War U.S. history in middle school, officials said. But word of the requirement generated concern that students would not learn about the Constitution, prompting board members to change the requirement name to "U.S. history."

The new requirements would also include two years of world languages — none are presently required — and three years of lab sciences, changes that would mean hiring more teachers and building more labs in many schools.
Heaven forbid they require kids to learn about the Constitution in high school! (Perhaps by 2011 we will not have one anyway, so no biggie). And of course we'll just have to spend more money on teachers and school construction. Why don't they just call this the "education employment guarantee bill"?

Apparently this move would insure that CT join the crowd of those states, like Massachusetts where Commissioner of Education, Mark McQuillan, has been imported from, which require end-of-course exams which one needs to pass in order to graduate. Of course they are considering some sort of "safety net" for students who are unable to pass the exams. (Maybe they can funnel them right into the army or instant hires for McDonalds). One Board member, Donald J. Coolican asked whether a safety net for students who cannot pass the end-of-course exams would undermine the exams. Well, Donald, you could always dumb down the exams if that happens. I mean, you can't have lots of kids failing because then what would you do with them all? On the other hand, those kids would probably drop out before that happens anyway. It has been reported in other states that minority students fail these exit exams at a higher rate. (Read here at "School Matters" and read this article by Stateline about lowering the bar.)

Monty Neill and Lisa Guisbond have this to say to CT:
The Connecticut State Board of Education is considering some form of exit exams as a graduation requirement from high school. The board is likely to make its recommendations to the Legislature by the end of the year.

Connecticut should think twice before going down this road. Evidence shows ''highstakes'' tests like exit exams that determine whether a student can graduate, are the wrong prescription for what ails public education.

The ills of many public schools are undeniable. Like other states, Connecticut has vast disparities in educational access, quality and outcomes. The record demonstrates, however, that exit exams are a false solution for these problems. Graduation tests that deny diplomas are simply another way to punish the victims of inadequately financed education. The victims are disproportionately low-income and minority students, some of them learning-disabled or immigrants for whom English is not the first language.

Proponents of graduation tests ignore the real consequences. Like snake-oil salesmen, they promise miracle cures. In reality, the harmful side effects of exit exams include a curriculum narrowed to a few subjects, teaching reduced to little more than test preparation, increased dropout rates and demoralized students.
...snip...

The choice is not between imposing graduation tests and doing nothing to improve education. Solving the problem of unequal schools and inadequate outcomes requires many actions, from ensuring financial equity for the Bridgeports and Hartfords to better K-12 programs to having expectations of a well-rounded education for all children.

Connecticut must reorder its priorities and pursue public policies that address the foundations of children's academic success: health care, nutrition and living wages for working parents, along with high-quality teachers, a strong curriculum and well-financed schools.

I couldn't agree more.
The fact of the matter is that we need to get the federal government and the State to stop micro-managing our schools, and handing us unfunded mandates and bogus requirements that are really meant to benefit everyone else but the kids.

The school model is what needs to be overhauled.
The addition of high stakes testing is not the answer.
Exit exams will not force improvements in CT's education system, and they will only serve to punish students who are receiving substandard schooling.

Let's find out why CT schools are graduating kids who need remedial training in college (and why do colleges accept them anyway?)
Let's find out why the teachers are not delivering appropriate curriculum effectively (especially since they are being so well compensated in CT).
Let's find out why schools are failing the kids.
Let's find out why (insert your own failing school problem here).

Why do homeschoolers, and private schools, and urban charter schools like Jumoke Academy do so well?

Ned Vare knows. Ask him.

One thing is for certain, more high stakes testing is not the answer, but it will sure add dollars to the education coffers!

"The sad truth is that public education has destroyed the American dream for countless numbers of young people by preventing them from acquiring those academic skills needed to achieve success." - Samuel Blumenfeld , Educator and Author

“The difficulty is not that children don’t learn to read, write and do arithmetic very well – it is that kids don’t learn at all the way schools insist on teaching.” – J. T. Gatto


Update: Great editorial piece in the Courant Today (Dec 8) by Stan Simpson
"Let's Focus On Early Grades".
These new standards sound reasonable, but the reality is that right now they would have a punitive effect on urban schools. .... Two state principals — one urban, one suburban — have grave concerns about the commissioner's proposed restructuring of the high schools.

Pearl Harbor Day - December 7, 1941


From Today In History:
At 7:55 a.m. Hawaii time, a Japanese dive bomber bearing the red symbol of the Rising Sun of Japan on its wings appears out of the clouds above the island of Oahu. A swarm of 360 Japanese warplanes followed, descending on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor in a ferocious assault. The surprise attack struck a critical blow against the U.S. Pacific fleet and drew the United States irrevocably into World War II.

The day after Pearl Harbor was bombed, President Roosevelt appeared before a joint session of Congress and declared, "Yesterday, December 7, 1941--a date which will live in infamy--the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan." After a brief and forceful speech, he asked Congress to approve a resolution recognizing the state of war between the United States and Japan. The Senate voted for war against Japan by 82 to 0, and the House of Representatives approved the resolution by a vote of 388 to 1. The sole dissenter was Representative Jeannette Rankin of Montana, a devout pacifist who had also cast a dissenting vote against the U.S. entrance into World War I. Three days later, Germany and Italy declared war against the United States, and the U.S. government responded in kind.
My father served in the army and was stationed in the Fiji Islands during WW2. He was one of the lucky guys that came home.

Let's take a moment today to remember those who fought for freedom and triumphed over tyranny.


Thursday, December 6, 2007

Andrew Napolitano at Future Freedom Foundation Conference



Andrew Napolitano, Fox News' Senior Judicial Analyst, gives a speech entitled "Civil Liberties in Wartime" at The Future Freedom Foundation's "Restoring the Republic: Foreign Policy & Civil Liberties" conference, June 3, 2007, at the Hyatt Regency Reston, in Reston, Virginia. Some folks don't like Fox News - but what the Judge has to say about civil liberties is important to hear.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Happy Hannukah!



The Jewish Festival of Hannukah begins at sundown tonight. Happy Hannukah to those of you who celebrate, and may this season bring you and your loved ones health, happiness, peace and prosperity.

You can always count on Elisheva at Ragamuffin Studies to have a holiday post that is wonderfully written.

You can also find the complete story of Hannukah here at the Chabad website.

The miracle of the Maccabees can be heard here.

I enjoy the kindling of the lights of the menorah. It is as if we are adding light to the world that grows brighter with each passing day of the festival. Adding light to the darkness in any aspect of our life can only be a good thing.

Vote For Your Favorite Homeschool Blogs!


Voting has begun in the Homeschool Blog Awards.
Here are the categories:

* Best Homeschool Mom Blog
* Best Homeschool Dad Blog
* Best Blog Design
* Best Artistic Content Blog
* Best Crafts, Plans & Projects Blog
* Best Family or Group Blog
* Best Encourager
* ‘Live-What-You-Believe’ Homeschool Blog
* Best Unschooling or Eclectic Homeschooling Blog
* Best Geographical Blog
* Best Current Events, Opinions or Politics Blog
* Best Homemaking or Recipes Blog
* Best Teen Guy Blog
* Best Teen Gal Blog
* Best Teen Group Blog
* Funniest Homeschool Blog
* Best Cyber-Buddy Blog
* Best Curriculum or Business Blog
* Best Thrifty Homeschooler Blog
* Best Super-Homeschooler
* Best Nitty-Gritty Homeschool Blog
* Best Variety
* Best NEW Homeschool Blog

Consent of the Governed has been nominated for Two categories:
* Best Current Events, Opinions or Politics Blog
* Best Curriculum or Business Blog

I sure hope you'll consider casting a vote for this blog. (Thanks!)

Monday, December 3, 2007

Happy Blogaversary!


Yes - Consent Of The Governed is One Year old today!!!

We'll have to pass out some cyber-cake and ice cream!

Here was my very first post

It's been an exciting and fun year for COTG and we hope to continue presenting "information you need to know before you consent".

Thanks to you all for being loyal readers!

Clothes That Clean Themselves - And More!

They call it futuristic fashion.
I think it is so intriguing.
It is also interesting that some of these things come out of research done for the military. These could certainly be ideas that you could make money on with investments placed in the right place. :)

Here's a great article from LiveScience, on some fashion technology from clothes that could charge your IPod to clothes that stay clean.

Here is an excerpt about the self-cleaning clothing:
The new technology attaches nanoparticles to clothing fibers using microwaves. Then, chemicals that can repel water, oil and bacteria are directly bound to the nanoparticles. These two elements combine to create a protective coating on the fibers of the material.

This coating both kills bacteria, and forces liquids to bead and run off.

The U.S. military spent more than $20 million to develop the fabric, deriving from research originally intended to protect soldiers from biological weapons.

Jeff Owens, one of the scientists who worked to develop the process, said, "During Desert Storm, most casualties were from bacterial infections—not accidents or friendly fire. We treated underwear for soldiers who tested them for several weeks and found they remained hygienic. They also helped clear up some skin complaints."
Now that is cool stuff! According to the article on Live science:
Scientific advances are also creating wool that doesn't itch or shrink. Researchers at the USDA developed a "bio-polishing" technique that bleaches and partially digests wool, smoothing out the fibers.

I am all for clothes that are comfortable and don't need cleaning. Now if they could hang themselves up or put themselves in the drawers wouldn't that be nice! (well, maybe that would be a little scary!!)