(No title)

This has been around for a bit but it’s still valid. Neo.

token[ˈtōkən]NOUN a thing serving as a visible or tangible representation of a fact, quality, feeling, etc..”I wanted to offer you a small token of my appreciation” · [more]synonyms: symbol · sign · emblem · badge · representation · indication · mark · index · [more]a voucher that can be exchanged for goods or services, typically one given as a gift or offered as part of a promotional offer.” redeem this token for a free dessert” synonyms: voucher · coupon · chit · docket · stamp · order · credit note · IOU · chitty linguistics an individual occurrence of a linguistic unit in speech or writing, as contrasted with the type or class of linguistic unit of which it is an instance. Contrasted with type. computing sequence of bits passed continuously between nodes in a fixed order and enabling a node to transmit information.ADJECTIVE done for the sake of appearances or as a symbolic gesture.” cases like these often bring just token fines from the courts” synonyms: symbolic · emblematic · indicative · peppercorn · perfunctory · slight · [more] (internet definition; unknown attribute)

It’s just a word, folks. One of … “It may be difficult to say exactly how many words we have in the English Language, but going by Harvard University and Google Research on English Language vocabularies, the English Language has between 1,022,000 and 1,200,000 Words.” (Quoro)

Just in case I have you totaled confused and scratching your heads, refer to this video

If you’re looking for insult and injury, you can even find it in your breakfast cereal. Or dust bunnies under the bed, or road signs along the highway.

Context. Intent. Those are words, too.

The Democrat used the word ‘token’ correctly with the intent of explaining his understanding of items in a bill and read within the context of his statement, it is used correctly.

The Republican CHOSE to misunderstand the use of the word. Sad when ‘my side’ gets it wrong.

Unless the words are along the lines of ‘I’m gunna kill you!’, words are simply how we convey thought, they are not, in and of themselves, violent or hateful or biased. The context and intent can be what makes them violent, hateful, or biased.

Oh. Why no title? Because I didn’t think Neo would allow me to entitle this piece ARE YOU F’ING KIDDING ME?

Critical Race Theory

We really shouldn’t go around criticizing and demanding that things should not be taught to our kids or forced on us without understanding what they are. That’s pretty much common sense. So what is Critical Race Theory that has led the President to uncompromisingly condemn it? The best explanation I have seen comes from Sargon, and it’s easily worth 20 minutes of your time.

 

I think he is spot on correct. The whole thing is not so much anti-white as it is anti English and American. Why? Because for the last 500 years the English and the Americans have led the world in freedom, in prosperity, in almost any measure that indicates a better life than any other, at any time in history.

The only place where I mildly disagree with him, and its a matter of degree, nothing more, is that all these characteristics are more emphasized in Americans than they are in the English.

There are several causes of this, one is that when our first founders came over they were the generation of English who most adored freedom, to the point that it wouldn’t be long before they fought a war against the King, and executed him. Many of those first and second generation proto-Americans returned to England to take their place in the Parliamentary ranks. The situation of the frontier from then until at least 1900 also shaped us to understand that these characteristics were the way, and the only way, we were going to survive, let alone thrive.

And his example towards the end is very illustrative. Do you know anybody who would want to associate let alone consider her (I guess) a friend? Sorry, I’m not even close to being egalitarian enough to have any interest in being equal to that individual in anything at all. I choose not to run around demeaning myself or any other person, as long as they are doing their best. The only equality I care to share with this person is equality under the law.

Another place where Sargon is correct is when he reminds us not to let the enemy define the terms we use.

Better late than …

I have come late to politics. Before my retirement, I pretty much accepted whatever the local network stated. I’d catch a live address if I wasn’t working, read some articles on lunch breaks. I’m not apologizing; I am what I am – a late bloomer.

I’m reminded of the Bible story about the vineyard owner who hired workers at the beginning of the day and then a few more at the near end of the day. When the workday was over, the men who worked the entire day were paid according to the agreement; so were the later ones paid the same amount. Without the religious meaning, this tells us that it may not matter how soon or how late you get there, the important thing is that you arrive.

I read Solzhenitsyn in high school. When I – and the rest of the world – discovered Jordan Peterson, I read several of the books he recommended, including The Whisperers. Horrifying reading but necessary and should be mandatory. I read Nick Adams’s “Retaking America” and “You Will be Made to Care” by Erickson and Blankshaen. I read Rod Dreher’s Benedict Option, which was almost as impactful as the other books. I found smart people in Ben Shapiro, an Englishman with a long, deep memory for politics and history, and an American of encyclopedic knowledge. I developed a deep and meaningful relationship with a bishop and have been able to reconcile my political thoughts with what I hope is the will of God. I’ve done some studying since the old local news.

When I make a choice, I feel that not only have I made an informed decision but also a right decision. I know why I voted a certain way and why I will vote a certain way. I’ve found how to research judges whose names come up on local ballots. I gather as much information as possible on Schoolboard elections and their candidates – the importance of this is equal to a presidential election; those ‘little’ elections have the weight of what your children will learn and how America will fail or succeed in the future.

It doesn’t matter if you’re 80 and voting for the first time; it doesn’t matter if you’re 18 and voting for the first time. Or, for that matter, any age in between. Today I would tell the working person, while you’re driving your car, making supper for the family, folding laundry, or mowing the lawn – cell phones go everywhere; you can get podcasts, videos, audiobooks all right there on the same instrument you use to take pictures and make phone calls. Use it for something enriching, informing, varied, and paradigm-shifting. The truth is out there; it’s not going to come running up to you and slap you in the face. You have to seek it out. You have to ‘work’ for it. But just like your mom and dad always told you; anything worth having is worth working for. Religion and politics are right at the top of that list.

 

A New Era in Education?

Hmmm, again I got my mind changed about what I was going to write about. Why? Because this while is no light topic it is a happier one for a Friday as we head into a holiday weekend.

So, I’ve been reading post after post from the UK about how screwed up their education system and especially the testing they do is. I don’t completely understand their system, I suspect sometimes, that’s planned so that their people don’t either. But it sounds like a right mess.

We’ve seen some of that, as we’ve seen just how powerful teachers unions are and how little regard they have for the children in their care. But as Jayme Metzgar tells us in The Federalist, there is a bright side as well.

Gallup released the results of a new poll on K-12 education last week, reflecting the post-COVID-19 landscape. Entitled “K-12 Parents’ Satisfaction with Child’s Education Slips,” the summary buried the lede in the bullet points: “[P]ercentage of K-12 parents homeschooling this year has doubled, to 10%.” You read that right. Gallup’s data suggests that, since last year, the home-school community in America has doubled in size. One in every 10 families with school-age children is now home-schooling.

The poll was careful not to conflate remote public-school instruction with true home-schooling. “Will your oldest child attend public, private, parochial, charter school — either in person or remotely — or will they home-school this year?” Gallup asked. “By ‘home-school,’ we mean not enrolled in a formal school, but taught at home.” […]

Given the fact that this poll measured families, not children, the percentage of home-schoolers among the overall student population could be even higher. Samantha Spitzer, a certified teacher and home-schooling parent, believes this to be the case.

That’s pretty spectacular, really, something up to a quarter of our kids being taught by their parents, instead of professional teachers, and mind no matter how good they are, and there are many in my family and even more amongst my friends, both US and UK, they will never care as much about your kids as you do.

One of the people she talked to said this,

“I’m seeing the one-room schoolhouse come back. I’m seeing parents who have the confidence to take the reins now, and who are making connections with their kids.”

Makes all the sense in the world to me, and there is something else ringing a bell in my head. School, especially public school, wasn’t that great when I was in it back in the 60s, and I strongly doubt it has improved, so our schools have been declining for at least 60 years, two full generations. If those parents choose a good curriculum and stick with it, I suspect they too are going to learn a fair amount, at least I’m sure I would. And I’ve learned something from every apprentice I’ve taught over the years, no reason this would be different.

Who knows, maybe they’ll even learn some real civics instead of the propaganda that Zinn and company have been spreading. One can hope, anyway.

Big Surprise.

There are many talented and intelligent people in the world. America has many of them. The ‘Blog World’ has many of them, too. I’m one of the people who was blessed with neither talent nor intelligence but I was granted the gift of recognizing both in others.

I don’t have the long memory that a lot of the people I admire possess. I’m the sort of person who tends to take things that are happening now as, well, something that is happening now. Sometimes I can see it, but mostly I miss how what is happening now is really the result of things that have happened before now; often long before now. Which probably explains why the news can still shock and amaze me. Welcome to my world.

Netflix has had quite an influence on my knowledge level. Naturally, I don’t watch anything if it has the slightest scent of ‘narrative’. Three series on Netflix have filled in my ‘information gap’. They are West Wing, The Crown (I am a hopeless Anglophile – I love my cousins across the sea), and Criminal Minds.

West Wing ran from 1999 to 2006. I’ve learned about political campaigns and how they are run and why it takes so much money to run a campaign; that the Democrats have always been Leftists – and quite frank about it in this program; and that it’s a good thing we don’t have 24/7/365 coverage of what goes on in the Oval Office. This series has also shown me what my father meant when he referred to Democrats as ‘bleeding heart liberals’.

The Crown, which began in 2016 and is still in production (of course heaven only knows when the fourth season will be dropped to Netflix – the ‘virus’, doncha know). What a gold mine of historic information. There are things that simply can’t be tampered with because they are historical and actually happened and are verifiable so that’s quite impactful. A UK site that is my home away from home has commenters (bless them one and all – except the troll everyone loves to hate) that harken back to previous governments and the leaders thereof and The Crown puts the ‘face’ to the names I’ve only rarely heard about but had such incredible impact on that country. I thought it ironic that they had John Lithgow portraying Churchill but that’s just me.

Criminal Minds, airing from 2005 to 2020, was a head’s up for me. Aside from the horrors and sometimes graphic nature of the episodes, there’s a heap of background in the dialogs of the characters that could be spoken right now, today, that is absolutely relevant. Such as Seattle having always been the ‘hotbed’ for Leftist protesting; that the FBI has always been in the pockets of the rich; that politics is something that law enforcement has always had to try to work around, and why local police forces frown on ‘interference’ from the FBI.

Oh, yes; I’ve learned quite a bit about the world and about right here at home, watching these series. Big wake-up. Big surprise.

 

The UK Report

In the Salisbury Review, Peter Mullen has some comments about the UK education establishment, they’re worth our time on either side of the pond.

For far too long our wonderful young people have been the victims of scandalous prejudice on the part of the educational establishment which inexplicably favours students who are intelligent, knowledgeable and industrious. This reactionary policy constantly discriminates against those of our wonderful young people who are ignorant, idle and thick. I have been gathering first-hand testimonies from some of these casualties: those vulnerable oiks and morons who, through no fault of their own, are being denied the opportunity to spend three years hanging around getting innocently pissed and stoned as a prelude to their achieving a pretty piece of parchment and years of debt. […]

But the rot starts even before our wonderful young people even leave school where they are obliged to do maths. Orion was hopping mad because he had been awarded a D. “So I mean like absolutely I said 7+ 5 = 41. An’ d’you know what they sed? They sed it’s 12. Well, it’s like it might be 12 for some people but uvvers cum from a community wot ‘as a different culture like and they ‘as their own like ideas dunt they?”

Orion’s teacher shared his disappointment: “The rigid system is class-based, sexist and racist. Underprivileged and vulnerable wonderful young people are being denied self-expression and their human right to say that 7 + 5 = whatever they say it is in their community and ethnic group. Cultural relativism. Know what I mean?” […]

Clotho was sitting next to her friend Vyella straight out of the RE [Religous Education, admin] exam: “It was horrible and my sister Ammonia was like well I’m gone, Clotho. I mean Ammonia’s a neo-vegan Zoroastrian with only slight cannibalistic tendencies. Then we got all this about God saying there’s stuff we shouldn’t do, commandments and that. Why is God so judgemental? And so up Himself with this like no other gods but me. Has He never like heard of diversity? He’s probably a She anyway. So Sexist. Incredible

STOP PRESS The Education Secretary has been put in detention.

Do read it all. If he hasn’t he certainly should have been. I was chatting recently with a friend who is the CEO of an English Educational Trust. She tells me that Boris’s girlfriend needs to get a grip on him. She says the phrase she and her colleagues are using “Omnishambles”. Not a very good look for a first world country. Meanwhile, the Universities are trying to make some sense of it all, and not have to lay people off. Omnishambles, indeed!

But then thanks to our teacher’s unions, we are not doing all that much better.

This is more of a coming attraction than an actual report, but Spiked Online UK has done an interview with Joseph Bottum the author of An Anxious Age: The Post-Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of America. It too speaks of both our countries and is fascinating. But it will take an article of its own, perhaps more than one to clarify what he seems to be saying to me. A hint is in his use of the word ‘Elect’ instead of ‘Elite’. I think he makes a fair amount of sense.

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