Category Archives: Education

Hurricane grumbles and book chat…

While sitting here in southeast GA waiting for Hurricane Dorian to hopefully make a turn northeast, here goes with a blog post attempt about some scattershot ponderings of mine.

First pondering –  The  modern media, modern weather reporting and modern politicizing everything,  leaves a worrier like me totally exhausted  trying  to make it through day-after-day of  evacuation notices and constant updates with Hurricane Dorian.  The media escalation started before the end of last week and now it  seems likely to dog the US until the end of this week.  The warning overload has me to the point of yearning for this stupid storm to hit, so we can just get it over with.

Second pondering deals with reading and my self-education efforts, which brought to mind a comment by former Secretary of Defence, James Mattis, while discussing his new book in an interview.  Mattis said:

The Strategy Bridge
“If you haven’t read hundreds of books, you are functionally illiterate, and you will be incompetent, because your personal experiences alone aren’t broad enough to sustain you.” – James Mattis What are you reading this weekend? #TheBridgeReads #WeekendBridge


6:15 AM · Aug 31, 2019

As with just about everything in our culture today, this statement by Mattis evoked attacks against Mattis on Twitter, from partisans on both sides.  It seems like the extreme partisan voices want to tear down people more than they want to pause and look for some common ground.   

One of my favorite things to do when I visit the home of someone new for the first time is look around for reading material, to try figure out the people who live there. When I first learned of Mattis’ large book collection, the thought popped into my head that it would be very interesting to snoop around his book shelves. Even more interesting would be to have casual chats with him about books, especially find out what sparked his interest in reading.

I’ve read a lot of books over the years, but assuredly nowhere near as many as James Mattis has read. Even more than the sheer number of books though, Mattis is getting at something vastly more important than just reading.  He’s talking about reading leading to the development of critical thinking skills, which forms the core we need in principled leadership.

Several years ago, JK, a long-time commenter on my blog, recommended a helpful book, Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs To Know, written by E.D. Hirsh. which can set anyone  on the path toward becoming  a well-read person.  Recently I was reading this book again and decided to work through another book, purchased many years ago, except I couldn’t find it… after searching through my books in the living room, computer room, bedrooms and in my sewing and craft room.   It will show up again, because, trust me, books rarely leave my house.

Anyway, I find a lot of older books at and with a $10 order, shipping is free there.  I found that book there  for $4.79, so I bought it, along with two other books.  Here’s the list:

The Intellectual Devotional: Revive Your Mind,  Complete Your Education, and Roam Confidently with the Cultured Class by David S. Kidder & Noah D. Oppenheimer

The Intellectual Devotional, American History, Revive Your Mind, Complete Your Education, and Roam Confidently with the Cultured Class by David S. Kidder & Noah D. Oppenheimer

West With The Night by Beryl Markham

These intellectual devotional books are intended to be quick daily readings (a page or so) covering a broad range of topics and often there are additional facts at the end of each entry, which can point you toward other reading on the topic you might want to explore.  Despite all my good intentions to work my way through the classics and hoping to get through the entire “five foot shelf” of books, an early 20th century Harvard president, Dr. Charles W. Eliot, compiled in 1910, as a roadmap to acquiring a liberal education, often my reading veers toward popular fiction and even, way too many historical romance novels. Eliot believed that the average reader could acquire a sound liberal education by devoting just 15 minutes a day to reading through his list of classics.

Of course, that 15 minutes a day sounds easy, but just reading classics for a certain amount of time daily doesn’t work for me, especially when it comes to trying to absorb more complicated ideas and concepts.  Last week, when ordering another JK book recommendation, Between Two Worlds: How the English Became Americans, by Malcolm Gaskill, I ordered, The Well-Educated Mind: A Guide to the Classical Education You Never Had, by Susan Wise Bauer. 

If you love older books Thriftbooks works great.  I found the Bauer book in hardcover, like new condition for $6.39.  Wise offers an organized way to approach reading the classics and she has this book divided into chronologically-based lists, to help you build a base of knowledge to give you the tools to digest the other books, as you work through the lists.

In a few months, I’ll let you know how this approach works out… if I can only devote more time to studying the classics than to reading romance novels and popular fiction, lol.

My last pondering is whenever you think you’ve seen it all, something will come up on the internet, that leaves you wondering, “what the hell is she thinking?”  So, here goes with just such a Hurricane Dorian story: Florida woman wrapping home in plastic ahead of Hurricane Dorian.  I sent this news link to my daughter in TX and told her that I think the wind will likely rip that duct taped plastic off her house in minutes.  My daughter responded, “Yeah… you can’t fix stupid.”

Tomorrow is supposed to be our hurricane encounter, so the power will likely be out and I have a stack of books ready to read


Filed under Books, Education, General Interest

The real agenda

Kurt Schlichter Retweeted Ryan Nobles

Who thinks people so weak they sit in their cars and cry because they didn’t get their way in an election ought to be representing Americans to foreigners?🤔

Kurt Schlichter added,

In other blog posts I have taken a dim view of Kurt Schlichter’s no holds barred support of Trump and also his slash and burn tactics when it comes to attacking liberals.  However, yesterday he made a comment on a retweet, which goes to the heart of the an issue much larger than the one mentioned in this tweet and retweet exchange.

My youngest daughter, the baby of our family, is 30 years old.  Back when she was in middle school, she came home one day and informed me that her gifted teachers needed all of their parents to show up at some meeting at her middle school.  The topic was the school board had decided to move the middle school gifted program from my daughter’s school to another middle school less than 5 miles away and still right here in our same town.

When my daughter and I arrived, the gifted teachers had invited the local newspaper to cover this meeting and that infuriated me almost as much as these gifted teachers manipulating my daughter and other gifted students into a state of anxiety and anger about, what really was a piddly issue – moving the gifted program to another middle school, right here in our podunk GA town.  It wasn’t an earth-shattering move.   Most of the students, my daughter included, were Army brats, who had spent their lives moving all over the world, and they were seasoned movers.

The meeting began with the gifted teachers lamenting how terrible this move would be for “gifted students”, who are “special needs” students – read that as  “emotionally fragile and delicate snowflakes”, who can’t deal with a lot of changes.  Then the parents started raising their hands citing how delicate their gifted child was, in ever-increasing pathetic details.  I listened to this for a good 45 minutes to an hour and then I raised my hand.

What I said infuriated the gifted teachers and the gifted students’ parents.  It mortified my daughter too.  I expressed my outrage that gifted teachers were getting gifted students stirred up, because they didn’t want to move to the other middle school, which was the truth.  This whole charade was about those gifted teachers not wanting to move to the other school.  I also pointed out the school district was moving some truly disadvantaged special needs elementary students and busing them to another outlying school in the county, more than 10 miles away, yet no one was getting worked up about how those students will adjust.  Then I pointed out that these gifted students are America’s future leaders and if they are too delicate to handle riding a bus a few more minutes to another middle school, then our education and parenting are a total failure.

You could have heard a pin drop when I said my short piece – it was short too – just a few minutes, whereas many of the parents highlighting their snowflake kids’ sensitivities and “special needs” had gone on much longer.

My daughter was mortified and she whispered to me that I was supposed to be there to “support her gifted teachers”.   She was hanging her head in shame when the meeting ended, very soon after I spoke, and we headed to the car.  In the car, I told her that her teachers were wrong for manipulating their students into a frenzy about this move and that teachers should not play politics, using their students.   I also pointed out that if being “gifted” means being a total ninny, who can’t cope with a bus ride to a different school (a perfectly nice middle school in a nice building), then America is doomed.

It sounds like the U.S. State Department, like much of the U.S government, and academia, now have a sizable part of their workforce, which has been indoctrinated into this snowflake culture, my daughter’s gifted teachers were selling in the early 2000s.

It does not bode well for America, if those who are, supposedly, our best and brightest can’t cope with not getting their own way, working with others who hold different views, or even listening to people who hold different views.

Schlichter is right about these snowflakes not belonging at the State Department, but the problem goes much further than the State Department.  You can see it with the hysterical pink pussy hat crowd, you can see it with the hysterical college campus protests about “hate speech”, you can see it almost every time a liberal tries to stake a claim of moral superiority and silence other Americans from expressing a differing opinion.  You can also see it with the constant mainstream media stream, casting those who disagree with liberal orthodoxy as “racists”, “bigots”, “hate mongers” and tarring those with opposing views as people whom, we should not only not be listening to, but as people who must be silenced in America.

These snowflakes didn’t just become snowflakes when they got to college.  They have been cultivated in American public schools across America, for decades, where the liberal agenda controls every aspect of your child’s education.

Stella Morabito has written numerous articles about the cult-like indoctrination taking place in American schools and here are a couple of links:

Ask Not Who’s Running For President, Ask Who’s Running For School Board

13 Ways Public Schools Incubate Mental Instability In Kids

Morabito’s #6 explains what happened with my daughter’s gifted teachers stunt:

6. Public Schools Are Increasingly Politicized

Identity politics and leftist politicization in the schools is pervasive these days. It especially piles on young men the label of guilty oppressor. Schools are becoming hotbeds of all sorts of political activity instigated by administrators and teachers. Privilege theory is now morphing into a new stage in which students engage in tell-all criticism-and-self-criticism sessions disguised as exercises in empathy. The message is loud and clear: take part in this political activism, or your social and academic standing will suffer. It’s now commonplace to get students to take part in political marches and protests, getting them acclimated to acting in concert with a mob.

As I type, the news is blaring about the nationwide student school walkout…  What groups are behind the scenes organizing, promoting and funding this effort is the information reporters should be investigating, but expect only empathetic hand-holding and promotion from the mainstream media, as they help SELL this leftist anarchy.

Yes, they are fomenting anarchy – “tearing down the system”.  That is the real agenda at play.



Filed under Culture Wars, Education, General Interest, Politics

More Home Truths

G. Murphy Donovan penned a very thoughtful and thought-provoking essay, “Whence Wisdom?”, at the New English Review, prodded by a young man’s question at a dinner with friends:

“I had dinner the other day with a family that was about to launch their son towards college. As the evening drew to a close, their first born asked me if I had any words of wisdom about school to share as he left home for the first time.

Wisdom, thought I?  Now there’s an asset in short supply today, if not words, then surely the quality of wisdom. I believe I coughed up a few clichés, something about maturity being a journey “from me to thee.”

The written word is often the corrected and amended version of the spoken. A few days later, I sent the aspiring scholar what follows below, a personal appraisal of schools, education, and the pursuit of wisdom.”

Whence Wisdom? by G. Murphy Donovan

He ventured way beyond a few clichés, offering up some cold slab home truths, while cracking quite a few eggheads’ flighty theories and pieities.

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Filed under Culture Wars, Education, Food for Thought, General Interest

Aquamarine vs. turquoise [repost from May 2015]

With too much going on in the news to keep adequate track of,  I’m waiting to filter it into a coherent blog post.  So, with all the anger and hate swirling, until I have something original composed, here’s a repost of an old LB blog post from May 15, 2015:

Aquamarine vs. turquoise

Finally, here is a post on factions, that’s so simple even a 5 year-old can understand the problem. Adults might get stuck in their rigid ideological beliefs. All beliefs are not morally equal – some when carried to extremes have horrific consequences for millions of innocent people, while others can do remarkable good for the entire world. That is the TRUTH.

Let’s say you believe very strongly that a color is aquamarine and I believe equally as strongly that that color is turquoise. Being that we both believe a different thing, many avenues are there for us to choose. We could argue and get so angry that we end up hating each other and never speak to each other again. I could feel so strongly about my belief that I kill you. We might even kill each other fighting over who is right. I could even decide that it’s not enough to just kill you, but because you’ve convinced your whole town that the color is aquamarine, it’s necessary to kill all of them too.

Of course, on the less extreme side we might agree to consult an outside expert on color to settle the matter, perhaps, we could call the Crayola Company, after all they’ve been naming colors since 1885 in Easton, PA, near where I grew up.

We might argue, passionately and often, clinging to our beliefs (as President Obama accused those rural people in PA), but in the American tradition, we could agree to disagree and at some point, shake hands and say, “Let’s go have pizza!” Presented to most 5 year-olds, the vast majority will agree that it’s stupid to kill other people just because we disagree, on the other hand most adults refuse to even listen to differing opinions. Maya Angleou, renowned poet, expressed it exactly right:

“Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world, but has not solved one yet.” –

So, in America, being a country forged together by a people committed to INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM, we have The Declaration of Independence to ensure our God-given, unalienable rights are not infringed upon:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Sadly, in America our political partisanship swirls dangerously to extremes – where hate has swelled to such a level that many Americans choose to receive all of their news from sources that align with their political views. The hate and extremism goes so far that even the President of the United States works to divide Americans into hostile camps. Distrust turns Americans into furtive enemies, partisans avoiding those who hold an opposing view, with ideological walls being girded to lock out all who dare to disagree. Even codes are enacted in our universities to silence opposition.

We must tear down these partisan walls!  We must work to find common ground, or we can not face the threats beyond our borders.  President George Washington warned about the dangers of extreme partisanship in his Farewell Address:

“I have already intimated to you the danger of parties in the State, with particular reference to the founding of them on geographical discriminations. Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party generally.

This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind. It exists under different shapes in all governments, more or less stifled, controlled, or repressed; but, in those of the popular form, it is seen in its greatest rankness, and is truly their worst enemy.

The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty.

Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight), the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.

So, beyond my stating it is a parental duty in a civil society to train your children to respect the rule of law.  George Washington tells you that it’s a duty to discourage extremist politics – the duties are required to be a good citizen.  I wrote a post in 2013 titled, “The duty of a wise people”. on this subject.

There was a time, not so long ago, when American school children were routinely taught about this speech and  American principles.  Sadly, today I suspect many school children don’t even know who George Washington was. And mentioning The Constitution, too often and too loudly, will get your name on a Homeland Security watch list as a right-wing extremist…


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Filed under American Character, American History, Culture Wars, Education, General Interest, Politics, The Constitution, The Media

It’s about FREEDOM!

Here’s another important American Minute by Bill Federer, which I have linked under American Inspirations on my home page:

    Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin were born on the exact same day, FEBRUARY 12, 1809, but their lives had opposite effects.

Lincoln is best known for issuing the Emancipation Proclamation and freeing millions of slaves, claiming all men are created equal, as he stated in his Gettysburg Address, November 19, 1863:

“Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”

Darwin’s theory of evolution claims men were not created, instead they evolved, and men are not equal, as some are more evolved than others.

In 1859, Darwin published “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.”

Origin of Species was read and reread by Karl Marx, who used ‘survival of the fittest’ to formulate the ‘dialectical conflict’, where labor and community organizers would create social chaos enabling communist dictators to usurp power.

Karl Marx wrote to Lassalle, January 16, 1861:

“Darwin’s book is very important and serves me as a basis in natural selection for the class struggle in history.”

Karl Marx dedicated his book, Das Kapital, to Darwin, inscribing that he was a “sincere admirer” in Darwin’s personal copy.

Darwin also influenced Engels, Lenin, Hitler, Stalin, Mao Zedong, Pol Pot, and others whose totalitarian regimes killed and enslaved millions.

Lincoln’s last act in office was to put on all National Coin the motto, “In God We Trust.”

Darwin’s theory has been used to deny a Creator God.

A year and a half into the Civil War, Lincoln told his Cabinet, September 22, 1862, as reported Treasury Secretary Salmon Portland Chase:

“The time for the annunciation of the emancipation policy can no longer be delayed. Public sentiment will sustain it, many of my warmest friends and supporters demand it, and I have promised God that I will do it.”

When asked by Secretary Chase to explain, Lincoln replied:

“I made a solemn vow before God, that if General Lee were driven back from Pennsylvania, I would crown the result by the declaration of freedom to the slaves.”

Lincoln, the first Republican President, addressed the Indiana Regiment, March 17, 1865:

“Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.”

Abraham Lincoln stated August 14, 1862:

“It is difficult to make a man miserable while he feels he is worthy of himself and claims kindred to the great God who made him.”

Lincoln wrote to H.L. Pierce, April 6, 1859:

“This is a world of compensation; and he who would be no slave must consent to have no slave. Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves, and under a just God, cannot long retain it.”

Lincoln stated in his Second Inaugural, March 4, 1865, just 41 days before his assassination:

“If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God…He now wills to remove, and that He gives…this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came,

shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him?…’the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.'”

Lincoln stated in his Second Annual Message, December 1, 1862:

“In giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free… We shall nobly save – or meanly lose – the last, best hope of earth… The way is plain…which if followed the world will forever applaud and God must forever bless.”

In contrast, Darwin published his Origin of Species, 1859, and Descent of Man, 1871, in which he wrote:

“With savages, the weak in body or mind are soon eliminated…

We civilized men, on the other hand…build asylums for the imbecile, the maimed and the sick…

Thus the weak members propagate their kind. No one who had attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man…

Hardly anyone is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed…”

Darwin continued:

“Civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace the savage races throughout the world…

The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilized state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the negro or Australian and the gorilla.”

Social Darwinism was used to justify racism, such as the Supreme Court opinion in Dred Scott v Sanford, 1856, written by Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, who was appointed by Democrat President Jackson:

“Slaves had…been regarded as beings of an inferior order…so far inferior, that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect; and that the Negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit.”

Darwin’s theory influenced Margaret Sanger, who promoted “eugenics” and “forced sterilization” to eliminate inferior races. Sanger founded a 501(c)3 called Planned Parenthood.

Margaret Sanger wrote in her autobiography of addressing a Klu Klux Klan rally in Silver Lake, New Jersey in 1938. She wrote in her book Pivot of Civilization, 1922, calling for the:

“Elimination of ‘human weeds’…overrunning the human garden; for the cessation of ‘charity’ because it prolonged the lives of the unfit; for the segregation of ‘morons, misfits, and the maladjusted’; and for the sterilization of genetically inferior races.”

Margaret Sangers’ magazine The Birth Control Review published in April 1933. an article by Nazi Party member Ernst Rüdin, one of the ‘fathers of racial hygiene.’

Ernst Rüdin, advocated eliminating those with hereditary defects – ‘untermensch’- from the human gene pool, which led to millions dying in the holocaust.

Darwin influenced Joseph Stalin, as recounted in the book Landmarks in the Life of Stalin:

“At a very early age, while still a pupil in the ecclesiastical school, Comrade Stalin developed a critical mind and revolutionary sentiments. He began to read Darwin and became an atheist.”

Joseph Stalin stated of the Soviet state-controlled ‘common core’ type indoctrination:

“There are three things that we do to disabuse the minds of our seminary students. We had to teach them the age of the earth, the geologic origin, and Darwin’s teachings.”

Stalin used intentional famines, forced labor and executions to eliminate over 7 million Ukrainians.

Stalin’s notorious 1937 order No. 00447 called for the mass execution and exile of “socially harmful elements” as “enemies of the people.”

Estimates of deaths during the Stalinist period range from 8 to 61 million.

Darwin influenced Mao Zedong who stated:

“Chinese socialism is founded upon Darwin and the theory of evolution.”

Mao Zedong’s atheistic Communist Party policies resulted in an estimated 80 million deaths.

Pol Pot’s communist Khmer Rouge killed 2 million Cambodians in his ‘killing fields’ between 1975 and 1979.

With Darwinist-utilitarian logic, Pol Pot stated:

‘Keeping you is no gain. Losing you is no loss.’

In the article “Nationalism in the Slave States of Soviet Russia, Nazi Germany and now, China” (Dec. 23, 2010), Lev Navrozov, an immigrant from the U.S.S.R. who worked with the Center for the Survival of Western Democracies, stated:

“Once upon a time it was assumed that a slave should fulfill the slave-owners’ order as efficiently as a machine. But after Stalin, Hitler, and Mao…slaves must relive the order, and hence scream in their delight to kill and be killed.”

These genocides resulted from ascribing an unequal value to human life.

The statement in Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, “a new nation…dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal,” was echoed by other Presidents.

Franklin D. Roosevelt stated in his United Flag Day broadcast, June 14, 1942:

“The belief in man, created free, in the image of God – is the crucial difference between ourselves and the enemies we face.”

Harry S Truman stated in his Inaugural Address, January 20, 1949:

“We believe that all men are created equal because they are created in the image of God. From this faith we will not be moved.”

Ronald Reagan stated to the citizens of Hambach, Germany, May 6, 1985:

“Each of us…is made…in the image of God, the image of God the Creator.”

Woodrow Wilson stated in Denver, Colorado, on the 300th anniversary of King James Bible, May 7, 1911:

“The finger of God that moves upon the face of the nations is against every man that plots the nation’s downfall or the people’s deceit…

These men are…groping and staggering in their ignorance to a fearful day of judgment; and…the glad day…will come in which men will sing by the host of the coming of the Lord in His glory,

and all of those will be forgotten – those little, scheming, contemptible creatures that forgot the image of God and tried to frame men according to the image of the evil one.”

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Filed under American Character, American History, Culture Wars, Education, General Interest, The Constitution

A Cautionary Tale

James Clavell, author of many famous novels, like Shogun and King Rat, wrote “The Children’s Story” in 1964.  The story shows how quickly and easily our freedoms can be lost.  I feel now is a very appropriate time to watch all three parts and keep this cautionary tale in mind in the coming months:


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America’s future leaders

I read about this video at Malcolm’s blog, waka, waka, waka, so I clicked and watched Neil Cavuto tell Virginia, that sorry, there really is no Santa Claus.  Virginia (in this case college student, million-student march organizer, Keely Mullen) insists that the “1%” will pay for the free college tuition, absolution of student debt and a $15 an hour wage for all campus jobs, she is demanding.  Please note that stunned, deer-in-the-headlight moment at the 50 second mark, when Cavuto intrudes on her fairy tale visions.  Sadly, for America, Mullen just might be representative  of America’s  best and brightest college students…….. our future leaders:


Filed under Culture Wars, Education, General Interest, Politics