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Passions in Poetry

Morons

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Local Rebel
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0 posted 08-08-2012 03:47 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel


quote:

It sounds like a hoax, but it's apparently true: The Loch Ness Monster is on the science class syllabus for kids at Eternity Christian Academy in Westlake, Louisiana.
As reported by the Herald Scotland (which must track all Loch Ness-related news), a school that will receive tax-payer dollars, will teach kids that the mythological sea creature is real in order to debunk the theory of evolution. So pay attention: That will be on the test.
Eternity Christian Academy uses the  fundamentalist A.C.E. Curriculum to teach students "to see life from God's point of view."
According to the Herald, one textbook, Biology 1099, reads, "Are dinosaurs alive today? Scientists are becoming more convinced of their existence. Have you heard of the 'Loch Ness Monster' in Scotland? 'Nessie' for short has been recorded on sonar from a small submarine, described by eyewitnesses, and photographed by others. Nessie appears to be a plesiosaur."
Starting in the fall, thousands of schoolchildren will receive publicly funded vouchers to attend private schools, some of which are religious. Religious schools in Louisiana will receive public funding as part of a push from Louisiana's governor, Bobby Jindal, to move millions of tax dollars to cover tuition for private schools, including small bible-based church schools. Money will fund schools that have "bible-based math books" and biology texts that refute evolution.
http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/loch-ness-monster-used-debunk-evolution-state-funded-190816504.html



Ron
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1 posted 08-08-2012 05:56 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

The real question, Reb, seems to me to be the same as it's been for the past thousand years: Who decides what our children will be taught in school? Or, different side of the same coin, who decides what our children will NOT be taught in school?

Either way it's phrased, that's a whole lot of power to give to anyone.


Local Rebel
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2 posted 08-08-2012 06:24 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Provided they don't use tax dollars to peddle their religious beliefs, I don't care what they teach their kids.
Ron
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3 posted 08-08-2012 11:12 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Sorry, Reb, apparently I didn't make my point very clear.

There is a very long tradition in academia granting tenured educators a LOT of leeway in what and how they teach. Most, I think, believe that freedom to educate, even when what is being taught sometimes goes against public opinion, is every bit as important to democracy as freedom of press or freedom of speech. When you put a tether on the teacher you quite literally control what future generations are allowed to think.

I'm not trying to defend the Eternity Christian Academy. My point, rather, is that I'm not entirely sure where a line in the sand can be drawn. I'm quite sure you feel very confident in your condemnation of a Nessie curriculum in Louisiana, but I'm equally sure a lot of other people are just as confident of their opinions. Who gets to say what our children will (and won't) learn in school?

I don't have an answer.


Local Rebel
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4 posted 08-09-2012 06:18 AM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Is confidence a marker for validity Ron?  Many are confident the white race is superior.  Others that the earth is flat.  It's absolutely their constitutional right to teach their own children what they want.  But not with taxpayer dollars.  

There are also textbooks in Louisiana that say slavery wasn't that bad and the Klan was a force for good.  Do we need to have children taught this to protect democracy?
http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2012/07/photos-evangelical-curricula-louisiana-tax-dollars#
Ron
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5 posted 08-09-2012 11:29 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
There are also textbooks in Louisiana that say slavery wasn't that bad and the Klan was a force for good.  Do we need to have children taught this to protect democracy?

Actually, Reb, yea, I think those two particular points you decided to address directly should indeed be taught in school. The alternative is to demonize people for the evils they inflict on the world. Slavery was evil; those engaging in it most often were not. The founding premise of the KKK was evil; those who followed it were still capable of doing good. Recognizing the humanity of people shouldn't be seen as an excuse for their actions, but their actions should never be used to characterize the whole of the person.

All of which would be entirely beside the point if it didn't illustrate the very real potential for difference of opinions.

Reb, you keep coming back to the "taxpayer dollars." Isn't that something of a red herring? I mean, don't you think we could go to ANY public school curriculum and find something about which we could disagree? Surely, you don't believe that everything taught in the publicly funded school system is sacrosanct?

Again, Reb: Who gets to say what our children will and won't learn in school?


Local Rebel
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6 posted 08-09-2012 03:29 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

quote:


5. Slave masters were nice guys: "A few slave holders were undeniably cruel. Examples of slaves beaten to death were not common, neither were they unknown. The majority of slave holders treated their slaves well."—United States History for Christian Schools, 2nd ed., Bob Jones University Press, 1991



Taxpayer dollars are not a red herring, they are the main course.  Exactly how much beating of slaves does it take to cross the cruelty threshold?  Or, is just owning another person not bad enough on it's own?  It's in the Bible, after all. Must be good.   Right along with the four corners of the earth.

Bob Jones has as much right to teach this point of view as a Madrasah has to teach that America is the great Satan, 9/11 was an inside job perpetrated by the American government to make Islam look bad, and that Jews eat babies and the  Holocaust never happened, but not with tax dollars.

The problem of public school textbooks is open to discussion because it is public, and the influence the Texas Board of Education poses to the rest of the country on that front is a similar subject.  Private, religious schools, are not open to debate until my dollars are used to fund them.  And there is that sticky problem with the establishment clause.
Huan Yi
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7 posted 08-09-2012 05:02 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.

http://americancivilwar.com/authors/black_slaveowners.htm


.
Local Rebel
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8 posted 08-09-2012 05:21 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

The last person who missed the subject that badly John, was Dick Cheney shooting a lawyer in the face instead of a duck!
Huan Yi
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9 posted 08-09-2012 05:39 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


“Fogel's and Engerman's research led them to conclude that investments in slaves generated high rates of return, masters held slaves for profit motives rather than for prestige, and slavery thrived in cities and rural areas alike. They also found that antebellum Southern farms were 35 percent more efficient overall than Northern ones and that slave farms in the New South were 53 percent more efficient than free farms in either North or South. This would mean that a slave farm that is otherwise identical to a free farm (in terms of the amount of land, livestock, machinery and labor used) would produce output worth 53 percent more than the free. On the eve of the Civil War, slavery flourished in the South and generated a rate of economic growth comparable to that of many European countries, according to Fogel and Engerman. They also discovered that, because slaves constituted a considerable portion of individual wealth, masters fed and treated their slaves reasonably well. Although some evidence indicates that infant and young slaves suffered much worse conditions than their freeborn counterparts, teenaged and adult slaves lived in conditions similar to -- sometimes better than -- those enjoyed by many free laborers of the same period.”

http://eh.net/encyclopedia/article/wahl.slavery.us


More interesting tangents

.

Local Rebel
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10 posted 08-10-2012 03:40 AM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Ok John.  Noted.  You're on the record in the Lincoln was misguided camp.
Huan Yi
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11 posted 08-10-2012 08:21 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


My parents were slaves . . .


.
Ron
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12 posted 08-10-2012 09:16 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
The problem of public school textbooks is open to discussion because it is public, and the influence the Texas Board of Education poses to the rest of the country on that front is a similar subject.

And THAT exemplifies my point, Reb, which remains the same whether education is public or private. Should the "problem" be open to discussion? Discussion by whom? Should I grant you the power to decide what my children will learn?

Again and again: Who gets to say what our children will and won't learn in school?
Local Rebel
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13 posted 08-10-2012 09:47 AM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

If it's public school or receives taxpayer funding, we do.
http://www2.ed.gov/policy/fund/reg/fbci-reg.html#75532
Local Rebel
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14 posted 08-10-2012 10:12 AM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

quote:

Take the politics out and put the teachers back in – that was the message Rita Haecker, president of the Texas State Teachers Association, delivered to the Mexican American Legislative caucus in Austin on Wednesday. The caucus, 44 members of the Texas House of Representatives, held a day-long session to hear concerns about the new social studies standards written by the state board of education (SBOE).
The standards, preliminarily approved by the SBOE on March 12, sparked a controversy that has reached far beyond Texas borders. Led by a powerful bloc of conservative members, the board made a series of changes to the curriculum that critics deride as a right-wing ideological assault on the state’s public schools.
Specifically, they argue that the standards skimp on historical contributions by minorities, trumpet an overtly Christian perspective, and aggressively promote conservative political figures and “American exceptionalism.”
Because Texas is the largest purchasers of textbooks nationally, the changes, if approved, could be felt across the country.
With the standards due for final approval on May 21, the Mexican American Legislative caucus invited interested parties, including academics, educators, and publishing groups to testify about the changes. Although the committee cannot take any specific action to derail the revisions, members hoped that the profound concerns raised during the meeting will help build public opposition.
Throughout the process, TSTA President Haecker and others repeatedly spoke out against the SBOE’s enormous power in rewriting the standards and, by extension, social studies textbooks.
“The ultra-conservative members of the board have a narrow ideological view that not only ignores history but also ignores the changing world,” Haecker told the committee on Wednesday.
For example, Haecker said, these members “are constantly painting Hispanics in negative terms as foreigners and illegal immigrants, and they are discounting the roles of African Americans as well.”
Many historians agree. In a joint letter to the SBOE on April 13, a group of Texas history professors accused the board of  “distorting the historical record and the functioning of American society.”
Don McLeroy, outgoing board member and leader of the conservative bloc, believes the revisions are unpopular merely “because they challenge the ideology of the left … which is diametrically opposed to the our founding principles.”
With the final approval date looming, however, opponents of the standards are urging lawmakers to ask the board to start over and implement a more inclusive review process.
“We must develop a system,” Haecker said, “ that is based on the best thinking of our teachers and scholars, not the small political muscle of a small group of people.”


http://neatoday.org/2010/05/01/texas-educators-speak-out-against-new-social-studies-standards/
Ron
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15 posted 08-10-2012 11:38 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
If it's public school or receives taxpayer funding, we do.

We, Reb? You mean, you and I? Or is that a larger we? The public? The government? Can you, perhaps, be a little more specific about who it is you want to determine what my children and grandchildren will learn? What if "we" disagree?

Never mind. It's really just a rhetorical question. I don't mean to put you or anyone else on the spot. I just want to make it clear that I feel this is a very dangerous issue and I think everyone should be aware of the dangers.

Educators need to be protected from both politics and public opinion, each of which are fickle and frequently wrong. As I said before, I don't have the answers. But I feel strongly that instead of limiting what our children learn to just things we agree with, we should expand their curriculum widely enough to encourage free thinking. Mostly, though, we just need to be very, very careful.


Essorant
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16 posted 08-10-2012 02:08 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

I think it is a shame in many cases.  But no matter how much "freedom" they have to teach such things,  consequences will be dealt out.  If an institution doesn't listen to legitimate claims the world around it brings up, if it doesn't correct errors or things that people have strong evidence to show are misleading or false or unduly biased, then less and less people will trust it and it will earn a bad reputation for teaching such things.  People will choose to use better institutions, as they should.  
Essorant
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17 posted 08-10-2012 02:37 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

From the Creationism Museum:



A match made in heaven

Local Rebel
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18 posted 08-10-2012 02:56 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

You and me unless we disagree, in which case I get to cast the tie breaker

WE, on the other hand, do get to debate the matter and vote.  Whatever is public will always also be political, but as we do with our other public policies our selection, that is to say the public's, needs to be limited to which professionals we want to entrust in conjunction with local elected school boards, you might be familiar with it, it's our current system.

I'm not calling the system into question, only the NEW voucher plan  Jindhal put in place.  I don't think it's legal, or wise, to be investing in a generation of morons.  If their parents want to make that investment tis fine by moi.  And the flying spaghetti monster.
Huan Yi
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19 posted 08-10-2012 04:28 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


"People will choose to use better institutions, as they should"


Not if the NEA has anything to say about it.


.
Brad
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20 posted 08-14-2012 05:20 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

quote:
"Are dinosaurs alive today? Scientists are becoming more convinced of their existence. Have you heard of the 'Loch Ness Monster' in Scotland? 'Nessie' for short has been recorded on sonar from a small submarine, described by eyewitnesses, and photographed by others. Nessie appears to be a plesiosaur.


Really?  This is great news. Next step, we've got to get a copy of its DNA. How many are there?  What does it eat?  Mating habits?  What kind of ecology? Is it indigenous or did it come from somewhere else?  How could something so big be hidden for so long?  How does it get along in those murky depths?  What is the relationship between a live plesiosaur and the fossilized ones?  How many plesiosaur fossils do we have?

Most people of a Darwinian bent would be very excited by this, but people of the same stripe wouldn't be excited that it was a dinosaur.

We see dinosaurs all the time, we call them birds.

Who should say what children learn?  I don't know, kids tend to learn what they need and what they want.  Instead of learning, what about motivating students to question?
Brad
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21 posted 08-14-2012 05:47 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

I knew I forgot something.

A plesiosaur is not a dinosaur. Marine reptiles arose before the dinosaurs.  There are no marine dinosaurs (as far as we know).

Ooops, I stand corrected: penguins can be considered marine dinosaurs.
Grinch
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22 posted 08-14-2012 05:59 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


quote:
How many are there?

There’d need to be a fairly substantial number to maintain a viable breeding population, in the high hundreds at least – to maintain genetic diversity and long term survival there’d need to be a few thousand.

quote:
What does it eat?


If it’s a plesiosaur predominately fish, about 100 – 150lbs a day which means it would struggle to live in Loch Ness given the low fish stock. Of course it could have evolved vegetarian tendencies but Loch Ness is also a bit sparse in that department too.

quote:
Mating habits?


Anybody’s guess but they’d give birth to live young if they’re related to plesiosaurs.

quote:
Is it indigenous or did it come from somewhere else?


It had to come from somewhere else; Loch Ness was only formed 10,000 years ago at the end of the last ice age.

quote:
Who should say what children learn?


The children – just give them access to all the available facts and the tools to interpret them and they’ll sort it out for themselves.

Brad
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23 posted 08-15-2012 10:19 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Grinch,

Great stuff!

Let's find out.
Local Rebel
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24 posted 08-15-2012 04:23 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

quote:

It had to come from somewhere else; Loch Ness was only formed 10,000 years ago at the end of the last ice age.



Nonsensical, the world is only 6000 years old!

 
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