Friday, October 31, 2008

Trick or Treat

Vote for Obama and the treats are gonna flow. If you help him, he's gonna help you. Your gas tank will always full and you won't have to pay your mortgage.

No one, not even Obama, can meet the expectations he has set. Sadly, the fact that they've actually been tricked won't be obvious until after the election and they wake up with an empty gas tank. .

Thursday, October 30, 2008

What is a teacher?

Obama said,
"the single most important factor in determining a child's achievement is not the color of their skin or where they come from; it's not who their parents are or how much money they have. It's who their teacher is."
Since definitions matter, I thought I'd repost my definition of a teacher.

A teacher is somone who can...

--Give a hug without getting arrested.
--Bandage a knee without calling the school nurse.
--Change a lightbulb without calling the custodian.
--Make the children wash the bathrooms.
--Have a relationship with the principal without getting fired.
--Teach a child's mind while capturing their heart.
--Teach what they believe in and believe in what they teach.
--Meet the child's need and not worry about meeting the state guidelines.
--Commit to a lifetime of work without pay.
--Pray! in class, out loud, with the children and the ACLU can't say a word.

There is is only one that can fill that job description

A teacher is a mom.

"Hear, my son, your father's instruction, and do not forsake your mother's teaching." Proverbs 1:8

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Obama's cheesy infomercial

It rarely happens, but I actually agree with this LA Times opinion of Obama's stunt tonight,
"There's something cheesy about a 30-minute commercial. One half expects Obama to be introduced by a pitchman in a loud sweater: "But wait, there's more! If you act by Nov. 4, you also get the foreign policy expertise of Sen. Joe Biden!"
Exactly. What can Obama possibly say tonight that he hasn't already said in the last two years? That he was wrong about Iraq? That Bill Ayres was best man in his wedding? That he really wasn't born in the United States and this was all a bad dream? That if he's elected Joe the Plumber will be in charge of all the leaks in the White House?

But obviously we're not going to get any of that. We're going to get flags flown high, families in crisis desperate for a bailout, and Obama empathetically looking into the camera to tell us that he knows exactly how we all feel and that help is on the way.

Ironically, the blessings of America and voluntary contributions have allowed Obama to buy the air time. But isn't there something oddly unAmerican about having someone other than the President appear during prime-time on all the major networks in an address to the nation? He's paid for the right to be there, but he hasn't earned the right to be there. And that's why to me and the LA Times this whole thing seems manufactured.

If you plan on watching tonight, just remember the cardinal rule of infomericals...

If it seems to good to be true, it probably is.

Update: The Associated Press' didn't think Obama had his numbers quite right. "Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama was less than upfront in his half-hour commercial Wednesday night about the costs of his programs and the crushing pressures he would face in office."

The right to a "decent" education

I've been thinking quite a bit about this statement from Barack Obama to the American Federation of Teachers,
"Now, I don't believe that government can or should try to solve all our problems. I know you don't either. But I do believe that government should do that which we cannot do for ourselves - protect us from harm and provide a decent education for our children;...."(emphasis added)"
If America's parents accept Obama's premise that we cannot provide a decent education ourselves and therefore the government should provide it, we are left to the beliefs and legislative whims of those in authority to define a "decent education" for "our" children. That isn't a good thing for us, our children, or our freedom.

As parents charged with the responsibility of educating our children, our definition will become subordinate to their definition and will likely require some proof of compliance. Failure to conform to the standard of a "decent education" dictated by the state would likely result in lack of consideration for college or employment opportunities or worse, charges of educational neglect simply because our definition does not match theirs.

I readily acknowledge that this would not happen right away so some might be quick to dismiss this as a scare tactic against Obama. It's not.

The rule of debate is - he who defines wins. I am NOT willing to yield the definition of a "decent" to the state- no matter who is in the White House. Are you?

Don't misunderstand. The desire for a "decent education" for all is noble and laudable. But an equal education is a fallacy because as individuals we will never all have the same definition or goal. What one may call a success or a "decent education" another would call a complete failure. That is the great dilemma of the public schools. Equal education only works with a uniform goal. A goal which works well for the state but leaves the individual out in the cold.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Are you stressed out?

In that last couple of days, I've had a few phone calls from homeschool moms stressed out for various reasons and in desperate need of a bit of encouragement. Why they called me I'll never figure out! Talk about stressed out.

Homeschooling while trying to keep up with all the news this election season has been no picnic for me. (grin) Does recalculating the results of the electoral map count as both geography and math for the day? I didn't think so.

Oh well, if you're in need a a little encouragement or a distraction from the election, you might want to check out the Carnival of Homeschooling hosted by the Cate's at Why Homeschool.

If you need to get out of the house and away from the computer to really break the stress cycle, head on over to Barnes and Noble for a complimentary cappacino. Hurry, the offer ends Friday.

And while your at the bookstore, pick up the Fall issue of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. In this issue, I talked with Dr. Callahan about his college-prep high school video math program that covers Algebra 1, Geometry, PreCalculus, and Calculus. But if you're not quite at that point in your homeschool, there's plenty of other encouraging articles to keep you going.


Monday, October 27, 2008

Obama disses homeschoolers

This should end some of the earlier chatter about what Obama really thinks about homeschoolers. In a speech in Canton, Ohio, Barack Obama said:
"Now, I don't believe that government can or should try to solve all our problems. I know you don't either. But I do believe that government should do that which we cannot do for ourselves - protect us from harm and provide a decent education for our children;...."(emphasis added)
Thanks, but no thanks, Senator Obama. We don't need your help to solve the problem of providing a decent education for "our" children. As hard as it is for you to believe, over a million homeschool families are doing just fine without your help.

Obama's view of parents is also reflected in his remarks to the American Federation of Teachers that teachers are the most important factor in a child's life:
"Real change is finally giving our kids everything they need to have a fighting chance in today's world. That begins with recognizing that the single most important factor in determining a child's achievement is not the color of their skin or where they come from; it's not who their parents are or how much money they have. It's who their teacher is." (emphasis added)
Sherry at Semicolon has an excellent list of Obama "in his own words."

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Homeschooling after the election

While we continue to sort out what Obama really thinks about homeschooling, here's a question I received via email from a reader:
We are a home schooling family in Texas. I read your blog regularly and glean so much from you. I wanted to know your opinion on a matter. I am worried about the future of home schooling especially if Obama wins and the Democrats are in charge. I never finished college and am now wondering if I should go back and get my degree and get a teacher's certification. Do you think that home school moms will have to be certified to teach in the near future? This is something that has been on my mind these past few weeks. Thank you for your time and again I really appreciate your blog and all your insight.
Teacher certification or any added restrictions on homeschooling depends more on your own state legislature or state supreme court ruling than who is elected the next president. However, as long as there is a federal department of education there is always the possibility that something could be passed nationally - no matter who is elected. Republicans and Democrats are both eager to "fix" our schools. Quality teachers for a"all" children is always part of that fix.

Clinton had School-to-Work and Outcome Based Education (OBE) and Bush had No Child Left Behind (NCLB), both of which could have negatively impacted homeschoolers. Thankfullly, OBE was defeated and homeschoolers were exempted from the requirements of NCLB, so I wouldn't panic and drop homeschooling and enroll in a teachers college just yet. But at the same time don't become complacent in the (unlikely) event McCain/Palin gains the White House.

Something that might affect homeschoolers in a future administration would the passage of national testing and standards. In the past, homeschoolers have successfully fought and won exemption from such requirements, but with every new administration comes new uncertainties. Who the next president appoints as the the Secretary for the Department of Education will tell us quite a bit about their priorties and the adminstration's education agenda.

Both Obama and McCain currently oppose national standards. That doesn't mean that we're safe from national standards, the pressure on the next president to accept national standards is mounting. At a forum in Houston,
The Council of the Great City Schools released an open letter to the next president calling for such standards to raise expectations for students in every state.

"I don't believe we can have a federal accountability system without some kind of national standards," said Houston Independent School District Superintendent Abelardo Saavedra.

Whoever the next president is, credentialing and national standards are both issues to watch in the coming years.

Obama speaks on homeschooling

Since Barack Obama's website has said nothing in regards to homeschooling, I called the Obama campaign four times this week asking if Obama supports homeschooling. None of the volunteers I spoke with seemed to know because Obama has never said anything about homeschooling. However, Obama spokesman, Justin Hamilton, recently answered the question posed by Suburban Journals.
"Q. Do you support home schooling?

A. Barack Obama respects the decisions reached by some parents to home school their children, provided those parents are conforming to the laws and regulations set forward by their states governing home-based instruction."
I respect Obama too, but that doesn't mean I support him. This statement is absolutely meaningless.

For more information on Obama's education plan, check out Maggie's very informative post about his chief education advisor Linda Darling-Hammond.

Friday, October 24, 2008

White man's greed and Obama's salvation

(For those tired of my discussion of Barack Obama, take heart the election is only 10 days away.)

Via Gateway Pundit: In a 1995 interview, Barack Obama is critical of white executives" living out in the suburbs who do not want to pay taxes to inner city children for them to go to school" The video demonstrates that his past ideology is still reflected in his current rhetoric.

So if a white suburban executive rejects higher taxes for the purpose of government mandated wealth redistribution, he is a racist? I don't think so. I simply reject socialism. It is my job, not the governments, to help my neighbor - black or white.

Obama also said the following about his salvation,
"my individual salvation is not going to come about without a collective salvation for the country. Unfotunately, I think that recognition requires that we make sacrifices and this country is not always willing to make the sacrifices to bring about a new day and a new age."
Linking one's personal salvation to a "collective salvation" may seem like an odd comment until you understand Black Liberation Theology.

Watch this interview with Black Liberation Theology founder, James Cone as he explains how religion is never completely separated from power. It's worth watching the whole 20 minutes, but in a nutshell "If you are part of the dominant group in this society you are being violent." According to Cone, Clarence Thomas is considered "white" because he has become part of the powerful and not identified with the vicitms in America.

An authentic Christians identity is tied to the victims of lynching and a white Christian's salvation is tied to reparations. (It begins around 10:00)
Interviewer: (Quoting from Cone's book) "Most whites want mercy and forigiveness, but not justice and reparations." How does the cross inform the issue of justice and reparations.

Cone: Well, the cross as I said, is God taking the side of the victim. It is a symbol of that. God making ultimate identification with the powerless. Now, if the powerful in our society, the white people, if they want to become Christians they have to give up that power and become identified with the powerless; if you're gonna to be a Christian. You can't be identified with the powerful and also a Christian at the same time, that's a contradiction of terms. Now, how do I know if you're really identified with the vicitim? Well, if you're identified with the vicitm you not only want to feel good about that, you also have to pay back that which you took. You don't just say please forigive me now. The only way in which your repentance, your forgiveness, can be can be authentic, your reception of it can be authrentic, your repentance can be authentic is that you give back what you took. And white people took a lot from black people.
You can watch the video here.

It becomes easier to understand why Barack Obama, a black man, would seek wealth redistribution as a part of his agenda as President. If he doesn't, like Thomas the ninth "white" justice on the Supreme Court, he's at risk of becoming just another "white" man in the White House.

(Note: Black Liberation Theology is the prominent ideology of the church Obama attended for 20 years, Trinity United Church of Christ. I first read about James Cone and this theology through their website.)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Memo to Obama supporters

A month or so ago when Obama said,
"I need you to go out and talk to your friends and talk to your neighbors. I want you to talk to them whether they are independent or whether they are Republican. I want you to argue with them and get in their face."
I don't think he meant it literally.

So sad.

I wonder if the mainstream media will do to Amanda Todd what they did to Joe the Plumber? Anyone want to guess how long it will before we know if she her taxes are paid up, or somebody claims she made it all up, or worse that the perpetrator is actually a victim of "white man's greed that runs a world in need"?

Update: I didn't have to wait long, because the "B" is backwards Michelle Malkin thinks this woman's story may be hoax. But HotAir quickly updates to reaffirm the young woman's credibility in this story.

Now, I'm not sure at all what to think about people's state of mind in this election; that an Obama supporter would beat up a McCain supporter, or that a McCain supporter would fake an attack for publicity. I just don't live in this kind of world to understand it at all. I may be a "sheltered" homeschooler after all.

Update II: She made it all up. (HT: Nance in the comments)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Obama the Socialist

Tiffany wrote, "You have to laugh...people from TRUE socialist countries are laughing their behinds off about people calling Obama or any Democrat socialist. Me thinks some people have NO concept of what a socialist society is."

I definitely know what a socialist society is Tiffany and I'm not laughing. But I'm not here to debate the finer points of political philosophy. Barack Obama is a both a socialist and a Democrat hoping to bring a socialist society to America.

Me thinks that perhaps Tiffany (and maybe others) don't know or understand the "fusion" concept made popular by the socialist New Party to influence election outcomes in their favor. The New Party understood that as socialists aligned from this party alone they didn't stand a chance of being elected so they "fused" with existing parties.

Eric Erickson at Human Events explains the "fusion" concept,
"Fusion is a pretty simple concept. A candidate could run as both a Democrat and a New Party member to signal the candidate was, in fact, a left-leaning candidate, or at least not a center-left DLC type candidate. If the candidate -- let’s call him Barack Obama -- received only 500 votes in the Democratic Party against another candidate who received 1000 votes, Obama would clearly not be the nominee. But, if Obama also received 600 votes from the New Party, Obama’s New Party votes and Democratic votes would be fused. He would be the Democratic nominee with 1100 votes."
The Supreme Court later ruled the fusion concept was "not a protected constitutional right." However, the New Party and Obama were able to use fusion concept (along with challenging rival signatures) to win his race in 1996. A New Party News photo shows him celebrating victory with his fellow members.

New Party announced his victory to the Illinois Senate in an update.
"Secondly, the NP's '96 Political Program has been enormously successful with 3 of 4 endorsed candidates winning electoral primaries. All four candidates attended the NP membership meeting on April 11th to express their gratitude. Danny Davis, winner in the 7th Congressional District, invited NPers to join his Campaign Steering Committee. Patricia Martin, who won the race for Judge in 7th Subcircuit Court, explained that due to the NP she was able to network and get experienced advice from progressives like Davis. Barack Obama, victor in the 13th State Senate District, encouraged NPers to join in his task forces on Voter Education and Voter Registration.
In the event you missed it, the URL for the update was the New Ground archive hosted by the Chicago Democrat Socialist Party. The Chicago DSA endorsed him in his uncontested race for office.

You're known by the company you keep, Tiffany. Barack Obama is a socialist who has successfully employed the ideas first introduced by the New Party to convince American voters that he's just a Democrat for "change we can believe in."

New Zeal and Powerline provides quite a few details.

Libbie lives in the UK and provided this comment about Ameria...
"I live in the UK, which is in large part run on socialist principles, and I know many, many people that are quite proud of the fact, and have mocked Americans who have spoken out against it.

The socialists of Europe are not mocking you because the US is currently socialist. They're laughing their socks off because you ain't seen nothing yet.

Just wait until you get an NHS of your very own. And all the waiting lists, postcode lotteries and MRSA and C-Difficile that goes with it. (We don't complain, because we're English, and it's not really the done thing, but we're still effectively rationing drugs and staffing)

And a welfare state that means people are better off staying on income support handouts than getting a job. And once you're there, you won't be able to get out of it, because such a large voting contingent will be dependent upon socialism staying in place.

Socialism isn't tyranny overnight. But it will likely get there eventually."
Update: Stanley Kurtz has more on Obama and Socialism and wonders, Where's the Press?.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

"Socialist " is a code word

Did you know that using the term socialist is a code word for "black?" Neither did I.
The "socialist" label that Sen. John McCain and his GOP presidential running mate Sarah Palin are trying to attach to Sen. Barack Obama actually has long and very ugly historical roots.

J. Edgar Hoover, director of the FBI from 1924 to 1972, used the term liberally to describe African Americans who spent their lives fighting for equality.

Those freedom fighters included the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., who led the Civil Rights Movement; W.E.B. Du Bois, who in 1909 helped found the NAACP which is still the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization; Paul Robeson, a famous singer, actor and political activist who in the 1930s became involved in national and international movements for better labor relations, peace and racial justice; and A. Philip Randolph, who founded and was the longtime head of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters and a leading advocate for civil rights for African Americans.

McCain and Palin have simply reached back in history to use an old code word for black. It set whites apart from those deemed unAmerican and those who could not be trusted during the communism scare. Shame on McCain and Palin.

Obama's policies are socialist and I won't be intimidated by those who seek to redefine terms to further their agenda. I hope McCain and Palin won't be either.

Monday, October 20, 2008

We are "Joe the Plumber" (video)

Watch as an "army of Joes" take on the media at a McCain rally. (Tip: Endure the pro-Obama talking head in the beginning it's worth it.)

These guys get it. They understand that Obama's a socialist and his tax plan will put them out of a job.

The reporter asks if Obama somehow manages to win what do you think that means for America? We have to look no further than Obama's running mate, Joe Biden, for the very disturbing answer to that question.

Mark my words," the Democratic vice presidential nominee warned at the second of his two Seattle fundraisers Sunday. "It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking. We're about to elect a brilliant 47-year-old senator president of the United States of America. Remember I said it standing here if you don't remember anything else I said. Watch, we're gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy."

"I can give you at least four or five scenarios from where it might originate," Biden said to Emerald City supporters, mentioning the Middle East and Russia as possibilities. "And he's gonna need help. And the kind of help he's gonna need is, he's gonna need you - not financially to help him - we're gonna need you to use your influence, your influence within the community, to stand with him. Because it's not gonna be apparent initially, it's not gonna be apparent that we're right."

So we're no longer supposed to question authority when "The One" is in charge? I don't think so.

I vote to elect "Joe the Plumber" and send "Joe the Politician" back home to fix his own leaky bathroom.

Obama's New Education Ad

It's so warm and fuzzy. Isn't it? Who wouldn't vote for the guy?

Not surprising, Obama does not mention his failed work with the Annenburg Challenge Project in Chicago or that he shared both the same neighborhood and the same very small space with "education reformer" and "domestic terrorist" Bill Ayers. Obama directed nearly 2 million dollars to the Ayers Small Schools Workshop while they shared the same addresss. I guess we're just supposed to believe his rhetoric and not examine his record or his working relationships with admitted communists.

A previous commenter wanted to know how homeschooling might change under Barack Obama. The short answer is, no one knows. He rarely mentions homeschooling when he speaks about education.

However, despite his statement in the ad that "government can't do it all" and his exhortation for parents to turn off the TV and read to their children, I don't think his education policies will be good for parents who choose to home educate.

Barack Obama talks quite a bit about making sure that teachers are "qualified" to teach. That means that we're likely to see increased credentialing to bolster the teachers unions insure that only qualified people indoctrinate teach the next generation of Americans. The future of the United Socialists of America depends on it.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

What is your dream ticket?

I've been out and about, enjoying crisp fall walks and chats with many of my neighbors about the upcoming election. There are definite opinions here in the heart of the "rust belt" and more than a few passing questions have turned into lengthy conversations.

The most confounding opinion, so far, came today from my neighbor, a retired UAW factory worker, who told me that his dream ticket would be....wait for it....Obama/Palin. No kidding!

I couldn't help but laugh when he told me. But it was not a joke, he was serious! He said he wasn't happy with either ticket, but thought that, together, these two would be the best choice to take America forward. He wants to make a sign combining the two names and wondered where he can get a McCain/Palin sign to create his own yard sign.

I honestly don't think many people are happy with either ticket. I keep asking myself how with 300,000,000 people in this country did it come down to these? There is still a few weeks until the election, surely we can come up with something better.

What is your dream ticket to lead our country forward?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Passing the wealth along

Joe the Plumber has become an overnight sensation among people who are tired of the government taking their money and punishing success. Here's the video where Obama reveals to Joe his economic plan for the redistribution of wealth - socialism.

Forced benevolence through wealth redistribution is never charitable or the solution. It is we, not the state, who are told to love and serve our neighbor.

Obama said, " I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody."

When "I" spread my wealth around, it is good for others. In a free society, when the state takes my wealth and redistributes it for me, it is good for no one. It is stealing and our freedom is diminished.

La educacion es revolucion!

Under a previous post on Obama and Ayers, Stephanie stated that she does not believe that Ayers is "any kind of threat."

I disagree. Ayers interest in books instead of bombs will likely be just as damaging to America. Obama's work with him in education reform demonstrates his considerable influence in education; influence that is also having considerable impact on America's future educators. (Ayers is scheduled to give the keynote address at the University of Nebraska celebrating the100 year anniversary of their teachers college.)

Consider a speech by Ayers delivered at the World Education Forum to his "comrades" in Venezuela in 2006.

"I walked out of jail and into my first teaching position—and from that day until this I’ve thought of myself as a teacher, but I’ve also understood teaching as a project intimately connected with social justice. After all, the fundamental message of the teacher is this: you can change your life—whoever you are, wherever you’ve been, whatever you’ve done, another world is possible. As students and teachers begin to see themselves as linked to one another, as tied to history and capable of collective action, the fundamental message of teaching shifts slightly, and becomes broader, more generous: we must change ourselves as we come together to change the world. Teaching invites transformations, it urges revolutions small and large. La educacion es revolucion!

I taught at first in something like a Simoncito—called Head Start—and eventually taught at every level in barrios and prisons and insurgent projects across the United States. I learned then that education is never neutral. It always has a value, a position, a politics. Education either reinforces or challenges the existing social order, and school is always a contested space – what should be taught? In what way? Toward what end? By and for whom? At bottom, it involves a struggle over the essential questions: what does it mean to be a human being living in a human society?

Ayers and I share one common belief - education is not neutral - and both he and I have acted upon that fundamental belief. I turned my attention to educate my children in my belief that we are created in the image of God to serve Him and our neighbor; he turned his attention to the schools and education reform to educate the world's children about his beliefs in social justice, a disdain for America, and a hatred of capitalism. "Capitalism" Ayers said, "promotes racism and militarism – turning people into consumers, not citizens." He concluded the speech praising Hugo Chavez. And this is the man Obama considers an expert in education.

Not surprising to many of us, it isn't just Ayers who is attempting to use the "contested space" of our nation's schools to build his revolution. An eighth grade textbook in Racine, Wisconsin contains a 15 page essay by Barack Obama from Out of Many, One. A mother of one of the students is outgraged.
"Now I understand that many teachers are liberals, but does the school have the right to shove Obama down our kid's throats? All the kids grouped together and read the story. After that, they discussed it... I guess it appears that Obama is planning ahead. If he doesn't get his coveted Presidency, Obama is going to make sure, that the younger generations know all about him, and his "life of service".
Viva la educacion revolucion!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The softer side of socialism

Yesterday, while chatting with my staunch Democrat neighbor about the upcoming election he asked, "Are you afraid of what's to come?" His tone was a mixture of anger, frustration, and resignation. I didn't reply right away, instead I asked him what he is most afraid of?

Without any hesitation he said, "The government becoming too involved in every aspect of our lives - socialism. I feel powerless to do anything about it. " Despite, being on the opposite end of the political spectrum, my neighbor's thoughts and feelings echo those of a man at John McCain's town hall in Waukesha, Wisconsin who said,
"I'm mad, and I'm really mad...It's not the economy. It's the socialist taking over our country."
But I really do wonder how mad or fearful either one really is. Don't get me wrong, I see socialism as just as just as incidious as they do, but I question whether most in this nation are really afraid of government controlling their personal lives.

After all, most Americans still educate their children in govenrment controlled schools, transported in government controlled buses, and are fed government controlled lunches at noon. Isn't this just socialism in the worst form?

We get mad when the government take over our banks, but willingly hand over the minds of our children for the convenience of a free government education. Until Americans - democrat or republican - say, "I'm mad and I'm not going to send my children to government controlled schools anymore." I just don't think they're as angry as they want us to believe about socialism.

By the way, in advance of tonights debate where both McCain and Obama are likely to promise us relief from everything that ails us, you might consider reading the speech Davey Crocket gave to Congress after a farmer challenged him about Congress's constitutional authority to provide handouts - It's not yours to give. Read it to your children too.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Obama and Ayers

While Palin is eager to associate with homeschoolers, Obama is trying to distance himself from the past life of sixties radical Bill Ayers. It isn't going to be easy.

Ayers radical education agenda is just as troubling as his past attempts to bomb government buildings and civilian homes through Weather Undergound. Stanley Kurtz has done extensive reasearch and publicized his findings in the Wall Street Journal. It's worth reading to understand exactly why Ayers is still a problem despite Obama's new claim that Ayers had been "rehabilitated" from his 1960's crimes.

Obama is obviously a poor judge of character. On September 11, 2001 Ayers said, "'I don't regret setting bombs, I feel we didn't do enough.'' When asked if he would do it all again Ayers said, "'I don't want to discount the possibility,''

Andy McCarthy of NRO updates today with more info from an interview Ayers did in 2006 with "The Revolution" the voice of the Communist Party. Ayers actually believes that the "the right wing" control all three branches of government. You have to be pretty far left to think that Congress is "right wing." He laments, however, that the left does not have control of the schools and the economy. Ayers is now focusing on the schools.

Trading bombs for books, Professor Ayers has now entered the world of academia training the next generation of teachers in revolutionary politics. Ayers also helped launch the political career of Barack Obama from his Chicago home.

Here's a Fox interview with John Murtagh that explains in detail the relationship between Ayers and Obama. Murtagh's home was bombed by Bill Ayers and the Weather Underground in 1970. According to the video, the association between Ayers and Obama also extends to their wives. It turns out that before she was married to Barack, Michelle Obama, worked at the law firm of Sidley and Austin; coincidentally, so did Ayers radical wife Bernadine Dohrn. The law firm hired Dohrn despite being turned down by the Bar Association character committee for her criminal activity. Barack Obama joined the same law firm a year later. A bit too cozy for my comfort.

Voters beware. This may well be the topic that forces me, and I suspect a lot of others, to hold our noses and vote for McCain. In any case, it will likely make the next debate a lot more interesting than the last one.

How busy is Sarah Palin?

According to Palin, she's not as busy as a homeschool mom.

I know a lot of moms who are busier than I am. They're running all over also. And a lot of these home school moms, too, they're teaching their kids in addition to doing everything else. And no, I'm not unique in this at all.

We may be busier, but I'll be she has a computer that works and that she doesn't share it with five others! Mine is still in the shop, it wasn't a virus but a complete Windows meltdown due to exceeding memory capacity. It should be fully functioning again by next week. But it is definitely time to get another system in here.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Caught a virus

With sirens, bells, and warning flashes, I was notified on Saturday that my computer had a caught a virus. I wasn't doing anything out of the ordinary and we have installed several antivirus programs. But, in an instant, my computer went from a bright array of warnings to totally dead. We were having computer issues earlier in the week; I don't know if they are related to the virus Hopefully, this is just a temporary problem. But for now I'll be relying on the library and the few brief moments when my husband's or daughter's computers are available.

If anyone can recommend a cheap way to get a decent laptop, let me know.

It's sad when the crooks in Congress get bailouts, but law abiding citizens always get stuck with the bills.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Because of Obama

Because of Obama we will have the the largest civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well funded." (You Tube here)

Because of Obama every middle and high school student will "perform 50 hours of service a year, and for all college students to perform 100 hours of service a year. This means that by the time you graduate college, you'll have done 17 weeks of service." (Link)

Because of Obama we don't need God. Obama will take care of us all.

Friday, October 03, 2008

The power of persuasion

I am teaching a class on argumentation and informal logic to middle schoolers at our homeschool co-op on Friday mornings. Last week was the first session. I think every child left the class with a headache, mad at their parents for making them take this "dumb" class, and wondering whether I was crazy or just had too much caffieine to be so energetic at 8 o'clock in the morning. But being the good little homeschoolers that they are, they obeyed their parents and showed up again this week.

The goal of this week's class was to understand how propoganda and persuasion are used to make people think or act a certain way. My unspoken goal was also to persuade the children that they really do want to take this class for the next 27 weeks.

I gave a brief lecture on the difference between formal and informal logic, but it was going to take more than my rhetoric and charm to convince these kids. It was time to bring in the heavy artillery - food. I divided the class into two groups. One group had a bag of Dunkin' Donut Holes and the other Tim Horton Timbits. Their goal was to try and persuade the class that their donuts were the best purchase. After fifteen minutes of sampling and discussion each group presented their best arguments.

The exercise was everything I hoped for and more. The children were engaged and developed many good arguments, with a few fallacies and totally illogical statements thrown in the mix. 'We donate 99.9% of our profit to the poor." "Our box is yellow and bright just the thing to perk you up in the morning." "Everyone in Michigan eats them." "Our donuts are baked with love."

After both sides presented their best argument, they were allowed to challenge each others statements. It was hilariously informative to watch the children spar back and forth about which donuts were better and critically examine their competitiors illogical claims. They left the class with a full tummy and eager to return next week. Mission accomplished.

The power of persuasion, as they learned about the power of persuasion. The children never knew that they were being manipulated.

None of us really do, at least not right away.

I was reminded of this fact when I watched Palin debate Biden and witnessed a performance similar to her speech at the Republican National Convention. At the convention, Palin came across as likable, knowledgeable, and fresh. But then the media worked overtime to create a different perception of Palin and create doubt. It worked. At least until last night when viewers saw an unfiltered Sarah Palin which didn't match the media profile of the last few weeks. For many, last night exposed the power of the media and their ability to manipulate us; even when we don't think we're being manipulated.

But before you fire off an angry email to Couric or Gibson, remember Palin's a politician. With a wink and a smile she knows how to manipulate us to think or act a certain way. Many of Palin's answers in last nights debate sounded more moderate than conservative. So while Palin is convincing us that she's a conservative, McCain is persuading her to become a "maverick" moderate. I'm not sure that will affect the perception of most conservatives who are now voting for McCain because Palin is on the ticket.

The power of persuasion.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Quote of the day

Commenting on McCain's "yes" vote on the bailout, Julia said,

"What a waste of opportunity. McCain assured us in the first debate how he would cut the pork out of government spending...and then he turns around and votes for a pig farm! This new 'rescue' bill is a bigger grab than the first one.

Pray and pray.

If God can make a donkey speak like a man--then perhaps He can stop McCain from acting like a donkey!

Well said.

In advance of tonights debate, Victor David Hanson has a must read column Sarah Biden Vice-Presidential meltdown. He wonders in a very creative way what would happen if all of Biden's gaffes were spoken by Sarah Palin.

The Big Things

Homeschooling has many trials and, if one is patient, many rewards; some of which come at the the most unexpected times.

Yesterday, I took my sixteen year old son to a college fair. There were over 80 colleges and universities represented. We left with a pile of pamphlets, pens, and excellent advice about how best to pursue his interest in transportation design and build a portfolio of his work. It was two hours of time that saved us countless hours of research.

While driving home, my son said, "Mom, I can definitely see how homeschooling has been the best thing for me." I glanced over at hime a bit unbelieving. It was only a few weeks ago that he told me that he and his older brother were dismayed that homeschooling was "limiting" their opportunities in sports.

"Why do you say that?" I asked.

"Now that I'm taking my first college class, I can see that the best thing about homeschooling is that it teaches me to be a self-learner. I realize I can probably teach myself anything if I really want to learn it. "

He seemed to understand a large part of what homeschooling is all about. I wanted to reach over and hug him right there; but I was driving and he is sixteen.

Dana started off the Carnival of Homeschooling, with the quote by Robert Brault, "Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things. "

Yesterday was a day filled with a lot of little things, that were really big things. I'm learning to enjoy them all.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Debate Prep

The Palin/Biden debate is scheduled for tomorrow, but it's already surrounded in controversy and assertions of media bias. Gwen Ifill, the moderator, is writing a book due out on Inauguration Day about politics in the age of Obama and his rise to power. This fact has many voters requesting that Ifill recuse herself from the debate. I agree.

It is hard to understand how Ifill will be an impartial moderator, given she has a vested interest in an Obama victory. Since there is only one vice presidential debate, Ifill should gracefully bow out and leave the task to a less biased moderator; or at least someone who can fake it better than Ifill. Michelle Malkin has more details. Quite honestly, I find it very annoying when the people assigned to cover the news, become the news.

Reader and fellow blogger, Kristin, will be in St. Louis and was invited to be at a follow-up forum with Palin. She emailed me and asked,
"Spunky:I am so excited to be able to attend the "DEBATE WATCHING PARTY" this Thursday night here in St. Louis. I hope to live blog about it. Following the Biden/Palin debate, Gov. Palin will address the crowd (of which I will be a member) in a location adjacent to the debate locale. (I will not be able to be at the actual debate b/c only Washington University students/faculty are being issued tickets.) If you could ask Gov. Palin any question, what would it be?
I've been so busy I haven't even figured out what I will have for dinner tonight, let alone what to ask a candidate for vice president! Once I figure out dinner, I'm on my way out the door for a college fair with my children, so I'll be away until later tonight. But I know there are others who might also like to contribute a question or two for Palin. So I thought I'd open it up to my readers to add their questions.

If you could ask Governor Palin any question, what would it be? I know I have some Obama/Biden supporters who lurk here, feel free to add your questions too.