Monday, March 31, 2003

From Education Gadfly:

No Child Left Behind: One Community's Success Story
The Institute for Really Important Education Research
April 2003

This report, from the renowned Institute for Really Important Education Research, takes a close look at the remarkable success story unfolding in the small town of Lancaster, Wyoming. The local school system is striving to meet the ambitious goals set forth in the No Child Left Behind Act and appears to be making significant headway. Though children being left behind at the end of the school day are a problem in many schools, Lancaster Elementary has solved this problem. As the researchers report, the school now has an afternoon carpool pick-up process that is the envy of neighboring districts. This year, they have averaged just 1.6 children per week forgotten at school by their parents, down significantly from last year's average of 3.5 children per week. Furthermore, the average child now waits just 9.7 minutes for his or her parents to arrive, a significant improvement upon last year's 24.3 minutes. As a reason for success, they cite their weekly newsletter, which reminds parents that it's not sufficient to merely drop kids off in the morning-they must be picked up as well. Education Secretary Rod Paige recently visited the campus and declared, "This school is making Amazing Yearly Progress," and predicted that it will be in full compliance with NCLB in just a few years. Of course, school officials lament that they have received no federal funding for a new carpool lane, despite President Bush's promises. You can read all three hundred pages of the report on the web at -Susan Newperson

More progress on the obstructionist - the problem will never be solved but I have made sure that all my legal liabilities are covered. And that's all I can do. I have other things that need my energy and attention. The teacher ed director complimented me on how I handled a potentially sticky situation. That definitely made my day. I have also had a good frank discussion going with the chair over the last several days that have culminated into some great insights.

Had a great discussion with an advisee this morning. He is really on top of things. He was adding Spanish courses to be a better-prepared teacher and I told him about our new ESL (English as a Second Language) minor and so he was going to check that out. It's always great when you have a mature student who is thinking beyond the next assignment. And, my teaching students did really well -we discussed how to handle several controversial issues, including the war, and they are reasoned, well-thought-out arguments. They have in their hands their last two big assignments - a PowerPoint over an article from Kansas History and their US history lesson plan. They are learning about rubrics in middle and secondary reading so that is good to know.

Got a good walk in with Karen tonight. Parenting seems awfully difficult at times - especially when your child is one of the good-natured ones.

Tomorrow I meet with more students and go to a curriculum meeting. Then I take Shadow over to Carthage to stay while I go to Memphis. I need to finish up the paperwork for that trip but I will get it done. I'm looking forward to being in Memphis.

Sunday, March 30, 2003

From Joanne

Learning English in English
California students who are learning English are much more likely to achieve proficiency if they're taught in English rather than their native language. Duh, you say. But it's news in education circles. The San Francisco Chronicle reports:
Five years after voters approved English-only classrooms across California, the popular ballot measure seems to be working.

The number of students who speak English well despite having learned a different language at home tripled last year.

Thirty-two percent of California students learning English -- more than 862, 000 -- were able to speak it "proficiently" as measured by the California English Language Development test in the fall of 2002.

The rate was just 11 percent in fall 2001. About 1.8 million students took the test for the first time that year.
Despite Proposition 227, which called for students to learn in English, some children receive waivers to attend bilingual programs. English proficiency for bilingual students rose from 3 percent in 2001 to 16 percent in 2002. Students in one English-language program increased from 9 percent in 2001 to 30 percent a year later; in another English program, proficiency rose from 13 percent to 37 percent.


My friend's husband that is the cable/satellite expert came over yesterday to work on my satellite. We have modem lights back again. This morning I found a tool that would reads the signal strength since the computer isn't acknowledging that we're connected yet. But we're getting there. I found another way to get into the Starband training site where I don't have multitudes of files to figure out how to open and instead can do the training online so I can get the magic numbers from them. Will do it at the cable modem connection, however so it doesn't take forever. It was great to see Hunter and Fischer - Fischer's walking up a storm and Hunter remembers being here before. I was making a roast dinner anyway so I had someone to help me eat it. :}

Graded lesson plans this morning - some do just enough to fulfill the requirements and others go above and beyond - which is what it takes to get an A. But I'm ready to meet with this group tomorrow along with numerous student advisement appointments the next two days.

The department is going to eat dinner together at Thai Orchid (yes, we have a Thai place!) to celebrate a successulf North Central Accreditation visit.

I did get some fireplace time in and am trying to hurry up and finish before I head back to town to watch Six Feet Under.

Headed to Memphis on Wednesday.

Saturday, March 29, 2003

Another week that just flew by but a lot of issues have been resolved. :}

Went to read folios for teacher ed programs in Topeka Tuesday and Wednesday - worked with a great group of people and learned a great deal. Stopped by to see a recent graduate teach because I wanted to see how the students were dealing with the war.

Met with several students about enrollment and will continue with that Monday and Tuesday before I leave on Wednesday for the
OAH meeting in Memphis. The meeting I am organizing to discuss a possible Teaching American History grant is coming together quite nicely. I am excited to see how it goes - lots of good people sitting down together at a table to develop a plan of action. :}

We're having one more short spell of winter weather so I am headed to the farm to run the fireplace and cook one of my favorite meals - roast, potatoes, carrots, and gravy. It will be a "cuddle in" weekend to get recharged to go full speed ahead next week.

Sunday, March 23, 2003

From Scrappleface:

Sesame Street to Add Saddam Muppet
(2003-03-23) -- The Children's Television Workshop (CTW), producers of Sesame Street, announced today that the show will soon feature a muppet called Saddami. The new muppet will be used to educate children about tolerating diversity in human behavior.

The idea came to Sesame Street writers while watching a video of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein recorded after the so-called 'decapitation attack.'

"We saw Mr. Hussein on the video and he looked so life-like," said an unnamed writer. "His puffy round head, funny glasses, French beret and broom-like mustache just shouted out 'Muppet!'. Combined with the way he turned the pages on that steno pad, you could almost see the little rods controlling his arm movements."

In the first episode of the new season, Saddami will attack Ernie, Bert and Grover, turning them into "a pile of crumbled foam and rags". At first Big Bird will threaten to peck him to death. But the show's human cast members will persuade the residents of Sesame Street to leave Saddami alone, because "it takes all kinds of behavior to make up the circle of life, and we shouldn't punish Saddami just because his morals are different."

From Seb's Open Research:

Thomas Sowell. "Much of the social history of the Western world over the past three decades has involved replacing what worked with what sounded good."

From Jim Flowers blog, this is interesting:

Is the net a largely conservative experience?
Doc raises an interesting question concerning the seeming absence of liberalism in the blogging world. I concur with his opinion that the conservatives have mastered the "clues" and are using the net better than their ideological counterparts -- although the peace movement has grabbed the net as a tool for organizing events. But, the conservatives are using the net to drive their message through the grassroots and then back into the mainstream media thus reinforcing the message being driven by the organization -- and this application, this reinforcement is where liberalism is failing to grasp the true usefulness of the net.

Eszter's Blog pointed to an excellent resource:
Nick Denton's Mapping the War that illustrates the advance of our troops.

Went to the BK get together on Friday. Will have to lay low for awhile - they obviously have an opposite view of the war and need a place to vent since they are clearly in the minority in my small town. One relatively new member was quite surprised to find out I wasn't a liberal Democrat. She is Canadian and concerned about whether she should be working in a country that "promotes" war. It's very difficult to discuss because although they are "anti-war", I am not "pro-war." I also note that their freedoms are protected by a strong defense but they don't see the connection and my one man band won't convince them otherwise. This helps illustrate why it's so important to teach college students to think for themselves - so they don't simply parrot ANY professor's view.

The folks fixing my main computer took a day of spring break on Friday. The ultimate planner in me would have had someone pick it up Thursday if I had known. On the other hand, a disruption of plans is good. It only delayed one item I really wanted to get done but that one item won't really make or break the week. :} In fact, my whole Friday got turned around but it turned out to be a good thing.

I cleaned out a big section of the garage and found a spot where something (probably a mouse) got in and created a home so I will have to fix that opening. I need to find a way to filter stuff - if I'm going to keep getting new stuff I have to throw some of it out. That was less a problem when I seemed to be moving every two years - however I also threw out all my original quilting stuff ten years ago, too, that I wish I had now. Oh well.

Then I headed out here to the farm. It was a beautiful day and supposed to be even warmer today. Took a ride on the 4 wheeler and got out the blower to work on the porches. I shoveled a load of dirt to work on the spot near the house that needs some drain reworking. Today I will finish that and also work on weatherproofing the deck (or should I say hopefully squirrel-proofing) and the weeds in the landscaping - hopefully leaving the straw on will help. I talked to my landscaper and he said I shouldn't need to water until mid-May unless it gets unusually dry or warm so that means it should be okay when I take off for Italy in early May. :} yeah!

I also swam in my really warm pool and will do so again today. The water in the hot tub has gotten a little ucky so I will work on that some more today. I added in new water last time I was here and maybe it's finally settled in.

The turkeys were noisy this morning when I let Shadow out but it was a good sound. I haven't heard them that loud and close in awhile. I also loved sleeping with a window open last night. It worked out perfect because the sitting room window is just far enough away to let in some cold air but not get too cold.

Need to get my reviews ready for KSDE for sure today and hopefully
some HM stuff done. Of course, the list is much longer and some I can't really dig into until after the Organization of American Historians meeting week after next.

One of my mixed-up schedule items yesterday was that I had lunch with Judy. She reminded me not to apologize for things I don't need to apologize for................something that has already come in handy. I am too, too worried about what other people think and need to keep working on my internal dialogue aka Dr. Phil.

Also spent a lot of time yesterday working on the satellite modem. Thought of something new to try today so will give it one more try. The cable friend who was going to help has had a close friend lose his husband so that is delayed yet again.

Hopefully more later. Six Feet Under is on tonight!

Friday, March 21, 2003

That seems to have worked!

The train trip was great - especially the food - we topped it off with lobster the last night that was just wonderful. Met some very interesting people, including C. Kim Goodwin's mom - Goodwin is a head honcho at State Street and used to be at American Century in Kansas City. There were also some people in their forties on the trip that were very interesting - the average age is 60-85....

Deborah and Bob were a lot of fun. (oops - I don't see the URL feature here) - You can find them at and - she's a great artist and I lover her inclusion of trains but also her emphasis on reading and writing. She talked about how people who love their work live their work and that's a great insight for me. Bob has had lost of interesting experiences - especially working in the computer industry with its founders in the early days (Grove, Jobs, etc.) He's also been in the academic world so we had lots to talk about.

This group was very congenial - last year we had some snobs and that seems to seep through the whole group. The tour leaders were very energetic and I had fun getting to know the one my age from Tennessee. She's career-minded like me and facing the same challenges of singlehood.

The only concern we had on the trip was staying in Richmond VA on the train the night the war broke out - and we were flying out of Dulles the next day - but it all worked out fine.

Lots to do today. Had the computer guru update the home computer to XP and hope we haven't lost all our Netscape Mail - crucial to my existence because it's the record of my life! I c an go pick that up at 9. Later will spend some time at the office catching up.

Hope to go to the farm tomorrow and Sunday - should get to 70. Have some work to do and next week will be so busy I won't get time to get there.

Just back from the train trip. Am checking to see if I can blog from the iBook now that I've updated to Mac OSX.

Thursday, March 13, 2003

I was able to get quite a few things taken care of on campus on Monday and Tuesday before I left yesterday. My chair is great. We had good meetings with the director of teacher education and the dean of education both about our programs and about grant writing -- lots of the "insider knowledge" that's not in any manual. There was also some closure on the obstructionist so at least that isn't waiting for me when I get back!

Had an easy plane ride down here although apparently walking around on the farm leaves potentially problematic-residue on shoes - don't know what to do about that since I wear all but my dress shoes out there. Oh well. Ate at Bayona last night. Had a pistachio rice pudding for dessert and a great shrimp appetizer as well as their classic portabella mushroom crouton with madeira cream sauce. The salmon with an interesting saurkraut (although a much fancier name of course) was out of this world. Sam also picked out a good zinfandel to drink.

Today we ate lunch at Felix's - so I had some crawfish at a classic joint in town. :} In the morning I found a wonderful yarn shop - Mom will probably go back with me tomorrow. We also walked the entire Riverwalk and brought back a beignet for Mom. She went to the spa and had a great time.

We're getting ready for cocktail hour and dinner as our inaugural American Orient Express event. Tomorrow we tour more of New Orleans and spend the night on the train before we head out for Savannah the next morning. Am looking forward to the Savannah homes tour. Later........

Tuesday, March 11, 2003

From David Horowitz's The War Room:

The Issue: The University of Michigan Law School is being sued because its admissions policy favors designated racial groups. The President has filed a brief supporting the plaintiffs.

The Argument: A diverse population like ours must bind itself into a nation. It is especially important for us to be a nation united when we are under attack.

The only way a multi-ethnic, multi-racial people can share a sense of common ownership of their government, the only way the American government can actually be a government of all the people, is if it treats all citizens equally by establishing and enforcing a single standard of equity and justice. Only by observing a single standard for all Americans can we achieve justice, fairness and a sense of common identity and purpose. Racial privileges divide and weaken us.-


My home office is finally workable and has a floor once again. The piles are much neater and everything is on a shelf. I will tackle that next month. Obstructionists threw up some roadblocks again Sunday - wanting the control without having to do the work or investigation of what it all actually means - but by yesterday I have a new perspective and have reinforced "my troops" (just my own self-image). I'm trying to help students. The head of teacher ed paid me a nice compliment yesterday - she gets the most complaints from students about me when they're taking 479 (the methods course for history) but she also gets the most compliments about me the next semester when they student teach. I'll take that as a compliment. Universities still often coddle students way too much and I'm just trying to get them ready for the real world - and that includes the real world classroom. :} We also reviewed the online portfolio program (I served on the committee to choose the brand),
called FolioLive.

I saw student teachers in Fort Scott and Arma yesterday and that finishes them up for the semester - the rest of the work from them can be submitted online. CJ came back by to help me with relational databases and to get the right virus protection on my laptop. This will work out perfectly because you need a real live person to go to when you're trying to learn this programming stuff. mamamusings discussion of open source courseware fits in nicely here. Too bad I don't have the exercise log she's just added - getting sick in mid-winter threw off everything and it's starting to show! UGH!!! It should be bike-riding season when I get back. We paid yesterday for all our extremely seasonably warm days - it was 6 degrees wind chill outside. I felt sorry for the guys building the house next door but they did get the roof shingles on - just in time for the next rain to get here. :}

Today is office hours, a meeting about the program guide, a meeting about English as a second language and a meeting about
potential NCSS approval of our program. Then I need to pack for the train trip. Can't wait to eat at Bayona on Wednesday night. Time to do some grading for my online class before I have to get ready to go.

Sunday, March 09, 2003

Sometimes fun things happen in small towns. :} Hargrove played a 90-minute set and appeared to be capable of performing another one. It was a great show.

I saw Karen on my walk yesterday and so did my part for the Girl Scouts and helped get them lunch on their half hour break. Our Mall Deli is wonderful - always fresh and never had a bad meal there - which is hard to say about any restaurant - but if you're not there by 11:15, you're in line for lunch for awhile. I also reinforced my candle supply while I was out at a small store downtown on Broadway.

It turned cold mid-afternoon and so that fooled with some of my late afternoon plans. But that's okay....plenty to do inside. I had a much more restful sleep last night and so can get more done today and start getting ready for the train trip - we leave on Wednesday. I finally caught up on email with my Minnesota friend, Cathy.

Saturday, March 08, 2003

Good morning! It's supposed to be almost seventy today so I hope to get a bike ride in and some good walks with Shadow. Tomorrow, of course, the threat of winter weather returns. :} I've been awake since 3:45 so I have permission to take some naps today and just hang out. :}

Spent yesterday at the farm. I know have a shower door - just have to wait for all the caulk to set. They tried to help me with my satellite and we got the Starband up to 7.0 and then lost it. There's apparently some compromise between the best tv picture and the best internet picture. We have a few other places to check before we pay someone $100 to do something they should have done in the first place. But we're getting there.......

Am anxious to leave on the antebellum south tour on the American Orient Express next week. I need the vacation and this time I'm not taking any work with me.

I need to see if all the info is ready on the university web site for student advisement. No one's commented on the student-oriented web site. But I did get some great reinforcement from one our computer gurus when he was helping me a new database - just offer to let them do the web site when they do issue a complaint or "improvement" - especially since no one realizes that it's not like retyping a paper.

Re: Karen McComas's earlier blog comments about the people who cause trouble in your life. I can now say I've put forth my best effort to cooperate with this person and they still don't understand that it's just not proper to keep changing things that are quite simple requests because they think they know a better way when, in fact, they are contracting the Vice President for Academic Affairs. And this isn't from a fellow faculty member. :} I can go other places to get answers without announcing to them that they're, once again, causing a problem and they they can't issue their usual personal vendettas. At least I acknowledge when I don't understand something. I'll count that on my list of positives for the day. :} More later........

Thursday, March 06, 2003

This is pretty sad commentary on our political system - it is majority rule, after all...........The Democrats champion themselves as the defenders of the minority and yet they're willing to trample all over the majority. We'll see. Paybacks are &*(&. :}

The usual March and snow headed in late Tuesday - even some lightning - so off the computer for me. The builder didn't get there to put in the shower door because the roads were still too bad Wednesday morning but we've rearranged things to try for Friday. Keep your fingers crossed. I came back into town last night and just relaxed - why I was so wired Monday night I don't know but last night I slept like a baby. And, after the dog being all upset from the furnace the night before, it was catchup from Mon and Tues - the best kind of sleep. I am realizing I don't have to be on the computer every morning by 5 or 5:30 to have a full day. :} Back to the weather (tangents to the ultimate degree here...), tomorrow it may be 73 but back to winter storming on Sunday. But I enjoyed the last little bit of bad weather - I don't think I've walked through the woods since I built the house so Shadow and I had fun. I better located the old wagon - would still like to find a way to get it in front of the house but I'm afraid it will fall apart. The first tenant farmer insisted the owners had given it to him when I knew they clearly hadn't .......... just put that along with all the money he ended up stealing from me by claiming he only raised 4 bushels an acre soybeans when the rest of the county had 30-50.........And he's a banker.............Anyway, we had fun - there was still some light snow coming down which is amazing to watch as you're surrounded by 30 foot trees.

Today is bowling - the only time this month :( and then grab some lunch and then two meetings. Our computer tech, CJ, is great and has worked up a script to collect data on our graduates. So will learn some actual programming from a pro today. And then there's a Teacher Ed Council meeting at 3:30. Nothing too major to decide. I pretty much let other programs do what they want as long as it's not too lenient or too high in expectations in comparison to the other programs (changes, not the actual programs :} ). Some of the others are typical academics and try to micromanage .. I've got other things to do. At least the "colleague" who used to shake her finger at the rest of us like bad little children when we didn't understand something doesn't come very often any more. She's busy writing "the book."

There was a great article in the Chronicle this morning about a biology PhD candidate who was actually contemplating a career outside of academe. :}

* A PH.D. CANDIDATE in biology screws up her courage and
finally tells her advisers she doesn't want a career in
--> SEE

I need to finish reading Educative Assessment from the folks at Alverno College before it has to go back to ILL.

Wednesday, March 05, 2003

From Mean Mr. Mustard...........this whole Michael Jackson thing is just bizarre. I heard a newscaster this morning state that "we're going to find out why he's not like the rest of us............" What does she mean? Those of us in flyover country (and most of the US) already knew that. We don't really need to be informed that he's a nut. Someone estimated at least 50 plastic surgeries..............that I believe. :}

History's Greatest Monster!
You wanna know what really keeps me awake at night?


I've just spent two hours on the phone with Starband. Now that my dish is stabilized and I had some time I could spend on the phone, my computer is good to go. Had to reload Direct X in the process since the software update that earlier obliterated my computer only disabled the sound this time. I was talking to the right guy who knew both Starband, the Starband software, and the computer! It's always nice when it works out that way. But


The upload speed will be slower until I'm realigned. My signal strength is low 5s and it needs to be at least 7 but we're getting there...yeah! technology is great when it works. I am going to go check out their manuals regarding being certified and maybe I can help the builder when he's back out Friday - I can't do the physical part but maybe I can read the manual and pass the online test since you really have to work with Starband on the alignment issue. :} YEAHHHHH

I lie in bed fretting that an advanced and all-powerful alien civilization is going to descend upon our little blue ball and put humanity on trial for its crimes, with a guilty verdict meaning complete and utter destruction of Earth.

And you know what their chief exhibit would be?

Michael Jackson.

Yeah, we'd be toast for sure.

Tuesday, March 04, 2003

I'm still thinking about which ways I want this blog to go. I still want to find a way to implement one in a class setting. But only if students at least eventually find it useful. They still often have trouble grappling with Blackboard and so it's probably too soon to push forward on this ........ maybe see where it goes a little further down the road first.

Saw three of my deer today - of course, once they saw me I only saw their white tails across the field - but it was wonderous. The turkeys are probably hiding in the middle field.

Had a meeting of the advisory committee for the commision regarding the Kansas Territorial Sesquicentennial. Left Topeka just as the storm came in. When I left here, they were saying drizzle late tonight and as I headed north on 75, it was storm advisory for early afternoon, then noon, then late morning. My meeting started at 10........But I was done at 12 after some networking in addition to the meeting. They were closing schools to the north but about 40 miles south I ran out of rain and an hour into the trip home, it was in the 50s. But I note that the stark trees are starting to sway outside so something is headed our way - but I'm safely ensconced - including my nearby firewood supply.

Last night I was busy wanting to get the standards research done for the upcoming Project Mine workshop in June. I also want to do some of the prep paperwork to work through the state's new Professional Development program that will be implemented this summer and try to help teachers work through it to apply their Project Mine work. The people I talked to today all think it is something to still be figured out - so it's worth a try. I'm learning most education-related tasks are like jumping off a cliff - you never know what type of landing you'll have.

I took a minute to read the referenced site from mamamusings.........he's just bitter all the way around. I get disgusted with academia too, but it's hardly "terrible working conditions" when you compare it to something like, say, coal mining. He'll soon become disgruntled with his own self. Are politicians just as self-absorbed - they just act it out in public? :}

mamamusings' recent post points to some interesting topics. Like her, I talk to figure things out and, further more, I don't understand when people have the opportunity to tell you what they think and don't but use some sort of "covert" way of getting back. Now, if you dismissed them, you deserved whatever you get back...or at least most of the time. Liz talks about how her "quiet friend" perceives the talking as an already formed opinion you're trying to force on others versus our view that we're throwing it out there to see what comes back. I have realized recently, too, that sometimes my attempts at networking and human interaction are taken more as intrusion and being overbearing. Again, something I'd never intended. On the other hand, old friends tell me they enjoy my feistiness. Is it the human condition to always struggle with who you are? Isn't that constant reflection growth? Doesn't it mean you're still alive? I hope so! :}

Monday, March 03, 2003

Another great entry from Scrappleface:

Drag link onto Home button to make ScrappleFace your Home Page.
Top Headlines... :: Powell Continues 'Saber Rattling' in Pakistan Interview
:: Daschle Demands Release of Top Al Qaeda Operative
:: Blix Blames Plagiarized Document for His False Optimism
:: Clinton Jury Duty Campaign Gets Strong Start
:: 9th Circuit Court Solves 'Under God' Debacle
March 03, 2003
Powell Continues 'Saber Rattling' in Pakistan Interview

(2003-03-03) -- U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell continued his "bellicose, saber-rattling rhetoric" in an interview with Radio Pakistan this weekend, according to a spokesman for the organization of peace-loving intellectuals, Win Without War.

Here are some excerpts from Mr. Powell's interview, followed by the Win Without War (WOW) interpretations of what he meant:

-- What Powell said: "We believe that war should be avoided, and we have been trying to avoid a war."
What Powell meant: We are so thirsty for Iraqi blood I can't see straight. We must spill the blood of innocents, now!

-- What Powell said: "The United States does not want to go to war."
What Powell meant: It's all about oil. If we can just get the Iraqi oil we'll be satisfied...for a while, anyway. When that runs out, we invade Russia. It's so much easier to spend billions on a war to get oil than it is to just buy it from eager sellers.

--What Powell said:"...such conflict would be conducted in a way to minimize any damage or loss of life as much as possible, considering it is a conflict."
What Powell meant: We'll be targetting the hospitals and elementary schools first in order to inflict maximum damage on unarmed civilians. We learned this from Saddam himself, and since it seems to have earned him the respect of some on the Security Council, we thought we would try it.

-- What Powell said: "...we are committed to the integrity of Iraq. We do not want to see Iraq break up into pieces..."
What Powell meant: Our plan is to subdivide Iraq into 100-square-mile plots on which we'll build tract houses and shopping malls. Then we'll empty our crowded inner cities, shipping all their residents to our new 51 state, which we'll call Eerack.

-- What Powell said: "We come to help, we come to protect. We do not come to take life. We come to give better life to people of the nations that we have found it necessary to go and help."
What Powell meant: We are a warrior nation, bent on conquest. We dream of the day when the sun never sets on the American empire.
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March 02, 2003
Daschle Demands Release of Top Al Qaeda Operative

(2003-03-02) -- U.S. Sen. Tom Daschle, D-SD, today demanded the release of al Qaeda's top planner, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, who was captured yesterday in Pakistan. Sen. Daschle said if Mr. Mohammed were not released, the United States would have to attack Iraq.

"We Democrats have been saying that attacking Iraq is a bad idea since it distracts from the war on terror," said the Senator. "But if we continue to capture al Qaeda members, then Americans will think that we can do both at the same time. We must release this man immediately."

Sen. Daschle went on to talk about the horrifying results of any U.S. war on Iraq. When asked by a reporter if he meant that the U.S. would lose the war, he said "No, you fool, I mean we won't win back the White House in 2004."
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March 01, 2003
Blix Blames Plagiarized Document for His False Optimism

(2003-03-01) -- Chief United Nations weapons inspector Hans Blix retracted a statement he made last month that Iraq appears to be "making an effort" to comply with U.N. resolutions.

He blamed his error on a report from a subordinate that was apparently 'plagiarized' from an earlier work by a Jewish writer identified as Jonah ben Ammittai.

The report indicated that the Iraqi ruler had a change of heart and had ordered his people to do the right thing.

The information actually came from Mr. ben Amittai's eponymous Bible book of Jonah, and related to the King of Nineveh, a city in the land that is now Iraq.

The unnamed U.N. staffer who submitted the document to Mr. Blix said, "I just thought Hans would be intrigued by the similarities. Imagine my surprise when I heard his statement that Saddam was making an effort."
by Scott Ott | Permalink | Comments (12) | TrackBack (0) | AIM This | Email Story | Top
Clinton Jury Duty Campaign Gets Strong Start

(2003-03-01) -- A couple of years ago, he was the most powerful man in the world, now William Jefferson Clinton is just Prospective Juror No. 142 in a Manhattan federal court.

But that hasn't stopped Citizen Clinton from leaping into the opportunity with the zeal that has marked his political career.

Speaking at a fundraiser last night for his 'Jury Duty Campaign 2003,' the New York resident said, "I have a vision for this jury that's bigger than any one man's ambitions."

A Jury Duty Campaign spokesman said Mr. Clinton has already raised $1.3 million to compensate him for the time he'll spend carefully weighing the evidence, challenging the definitions of words and assuring that "justice rolls down like waters" for defendant Dushon Foster.

Mr. Foster stands accused of attempted murder in an alleged gang shooting.
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February 28, 2003
9th Circuit Court Solves 'Under God' Debacle

(2003-02-28) -- The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals announced a solution to the Pledge of Allegiance case which would not force atheists to recite the pledge, nor compel monotheists to forego the phrase "under God."

In a three-page decision, the Court ruled that "since the federal government cannot impose religious beliefs on citizens, and citizens have a perfect right to acknowledge their Divine Creator, the court rules that the Federal government must immediately and rapidly divest itself from the massive network of local schools."

The ruling calls on Congress to "disband the system of tax-funded, government-regulated schooling."

Atheist Michael Newdow filed the initial lawsuit to protect his avowedly-Christian daughter from having to say "under God" in school.

"I'm so excited," said Mr. Newdow. "This ruling is the answer to all of our prayers."
by Scott Ott | Permalink | Comments (45) | TrackBack (0) | AIM This | Email Story | Top
Dan Rather Was Donor for 1st Face Transplant

(2003-02-28) -- CBS News reporter Dan Rather, just back from his exclusive interview with Saddam Hussein, disclosed today that he was the donor for the world's first face transplant surgery.

"I really don't want to make a big deal about it," said Mr. Rather. "The patient needed the face. I had an extra one. End of story."

by Scott Ott | Permalink | Comments (17) | TrackBack (0) | AIM This | Email Story | Top
Maine Teacher Shock: Soldiers Went to Public School

(2003-02-28) -- Public school teachers in Maine were shocked to learn yesterday that most soldiers stationed near Iraq were educated in public schools. The startling revelation comes after some teachers allegedly told children that their military parents' service is unethical.

"We're baffled," said one unnamed teacher. "We spent years teaching them that all war is unethical, and then they go off and enlist in the Army."

A spokesman for the National Education Association blamed bad parenting for large numbers of public school graduates in the military.

"You can only do so much in seven hours per day, for 180 days per year for 12 years," she said. "Apparently we often can't overcome the influence of the parents' ignorance and immorality."

Letter to a European Friend:

You're entitled to ask what explains this dramatic split in public opinion, and the answer is simplicity itself:

September 11, that's what.

Folks on your side of the Atlantic can't imagine what an impact the attacks had on the American psyche. Perhaps your experience in Brooklyn can help you understand. Start with the nearby NASA photograph; you can see that the plume from the World Trade Center fires blew directly over the church where you preached and the neighborhood where your parishioners live. While the intensity waned, those fires burned for 99 days. The promenade where you walked was filled with memorial candles, bright on their first night, but over the months turning, somehow appropriately, into sorrowful lumps of wax.

Remember the fire station on Middagh Street, a couple of blocks behind the church? That houses Engine 205/Ladder 118, whose men raced over the Brooklyn Bridge to respond. Eight firefighters from the station were lost. One was fatally injured when he was hit by a jumper, someone driven to leap off the burning building. At Christmas, the junior and cherub choirs went to the station for caroling.

Engine 205/Ladder 118 was one of the hardest hit squads, but not the worst. Rescue 1 lost 11. The alarm sounded at the change of shifts, and three off-duty firefighters jumped on the truck to help evacuate the building. None returned.

Why Class Size Matters - even in college!

And, since I deal with history and social studies, I LOVE the coaching analogy:

No football coach in his right mind would try to teach 150 players one hour per day and hope to win the game on Friday night. No, the team is limited to 40 or 50 highly motivated players, and the coach has three or four assistants to work on the many skills needed to play the game. The ‘student-teacher’ ratio is maybe 15:1. But the English teacher—all alone—has 150 ‘players’ of the game of composition (not to mention literature, language, and the teaching of other matters dropped into the English curriculum by unthinking enthusiasts).
—John C. Maxwell

Peggy Noon has a thoughtful piece in the opinion journal today:

Stop taking such comfort in Bill Clinton's two wins. Move on. He was a great political talent, but he won by confusing the issues, not facing them. That's a trick that tends to work only at certain times and only with powerful charisma. And even with that his leadership will be remembered, is already being remembered, as "a holiday from history," in Charles Krauthammer's phrase. And he never hit 50% of the vote in either of his victories, even when he had peace and riotous prosperity on his side. He didn't have coattails. (See Gore, Albert Jr., life of.) And he rose in large measure because George H.W. Bush broke his pledge, raised taxes, and saw the economy plummet. That was calamitous for the Republicans. Your great hope now is more calamity. If George W. Bush suffers a post 9/11 disaster at home or abroad in the next few years it may--may--propel a Democrat into the White House. But who respects a party whose great hope is widespread pain?

So stop allowing Bill Clinton to present himself as Mr. Democrat. Ask him to stay home. He reminds people of embarrassment. He uses up all your oxygen. Love him or hate him, we all know he's the personification of slick, and slick isn't what you want as the face of a great party.

Stop the ideology. A lot of Democratic Party movers and intellectuals have created or inherited a leftist ideology that they try to impose on life. It doesn't spring from life; it's forced on life, and upon people. Stop doing that--it's what weirdos who are detached from reality do. Have a philosophy instead of an ideology, hold it high and dear, and attempt to apply it, not impose it.

Respect normal Americans again, even those who are not union members. We're all touched by grace, we all deserve a voice, and you could learn a few things if you'd listen to those who've had to struggle through life.
Six Feet Under was its usual eerie self last night. I really thought they had killed Nate but knew they wouldn't do that to me. Click here for a link
to the wake, available later today.

Where did the weekend go? The art show was a bust except for a few neat pieces of mission furniture. Many high school art students could do better - this seemed to coddle to the wanna be's who think because they have money they are artists. I'm all for self-expression but don't disappoint me like this. :{

Saturday, March 01, 2003

Six Feet Under will be back tomorrow night! I have friends who own a monument shop and so I knew a little about funeral homes and burials. ..... I had started subscribing to HBO because I heard so many historians (believe it or not) talking about how good a show the Sopranos was. Of course,
Sex and the City was another draw. The
theme music caught me right off the bat. The only thing I thought I wouldn't like is that Alan Ball produced it. His American Beauty was just weird and only useful as yet another demonstration of the residents of both coasts who think those of us living in the Midwest are either full of neuroses or repressed or both.............and we're not any more screwed up than anyone else. :}

Am going to the first local art auction with a wine tasting before. Should be a fun event in a small town.

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