“What can the [Alexander] report be getting at?
I suspect that at the root of its objection to “formal”
education is a dislike of the government requirement
— much ignored — to teach all children phonics
from year 1; that is, from the age of five or so. Primaries
have been too focused on the three Rs, the report says,
to which one can only reply that if this is true, there
is something horribly wrong with their focus —
a clear case of aiming low and missing. One does not
have to be Thomas Gradgrind to believe that a primary
education that doesn’t teach all children to read,
quickly and well, within a year is a failed education.
A child who can’t decode words confidently at
seven is a child handicapped for life.
“That doesn’t mean all children must start
at four or five or six — many are not ready in
any way, although others may already be fluent readers
at three and four. But phonics itself — at the
right age — can, with a well-trained, charismatic,
fun-loving teacher, be good fun, as well as fast and
efficient. It is forbiddingly formal only in the hands
of poor teachers.”
is essential, but it isn’t always ‘fun’.
Iit can be hard work for many children, but getting used
to hard work is not a loss. Wrapping children in cotton
wool and pretending the world will always be kind, effortless
and ‘fun’ is another form of dereliction.
Nor, in present circumstances, can
teachers go untested by dropping SATs or whatever. There
is greater anathema to poorly trained ‘teachers’
and their disgusting unions than measurements
In scanning the article, I came across
the name Vicky Pollard. Who? I asked the beloved Google
and I found this☺.
What an icon of ‘new’ Labour
But those ain’t genuine chav
kids! Did she have ‘new’ Labour fertility/dole
Glenn Beck, in his very useful new
book Arguing with idiots - a compendium strewn
with useful factoids:
highest spender on ‘education’: New York,
grade 4 (10yo) reading 223, math 238
Little wonder Obama et al. don’t close
down the loons in Afghanistan.
Little wonder Brown the Clown hides under the bed every
time there’s a problem.
Darwin takes a holiday:
The mother did nothing wrong?
How about putting the brake on the pushchair?
How about placing the pushchair so it will not roll directly
into the line?
How about standing between the pushchair and the line?
How about, as in climbing, always keeping one point - one hand
always holding on, or a foot blocking a wheel?
How about dressing properly before leaving the house?
What fascinates me is the willingness
to believe lying politicians, years after it has become
obvious that not a word they say can be trusted.
Particularly in Britain with Brown
the Clown and Bliar, and increasingly in the USA with
Obama, it is blindingly obvious that they are serial liars,
and yet people still listen and believe.
There is something seriously wrong
with an education that encourages people to believe spoken
or written words against the daily evidence of their own
eyes and experiences.
As Abraham Lincoln noted, “Some
of the people can indeed be fooled all ofthe time.”
Written in 1941 by an ex priest (Joseph
McCabe) who became a tireless propagandist against Rome:
“But, while the concurrence and lead of the
Vatican is certain, the ground of its policy is not
clear. The key to it seems to be the extraordinary persistence
of Pacelli in trusting the promises of Hitler. He had
in 1932 made, in return for valuable service, a promise
of a very favorable agreement with the Vatican. He had
immediately dishonored the agreement, yet Pacelli and
the German bishops had continued to appeal to him. In
1936 he had opened the series of vice-trials of priests
and monks which had dealt the Church a heavier and more
ignominious blow than ever, yet the Vatican had, with
occasional mild complaints about persecution and paganism
-- never about crime and brutality until Catholic Poland
was threatened with extermination -- remained friendly.
We shall see that at the opening of the great war he
had made new promises to the Church, and we shall find
the German bishops in 1941 complaining, while they still
supported him, that he had not fulfilled his promises!
This persistence in looking to the man who had plainly
said years before in his book that he made his own moral
law -- "What is Necessary is Right" is the
title of a chapter of Mein Kampf -- is the key to this
strange development. I say strange because, even if
we admit that the annexation of Austria was inevitable,
we should expect the Austrian Church to have met it
with quiet dignity instead of waving Swastika flag's
and chanting "Hell Hitler" like the treacherous
scum of every country that Hitler invaded.
“Whatever Hitler promised Cardinal Innitzer in
their very cordial interview he cheated with his usual
fluency. At the moment of writing this it is confidently
reported -- and as confidently denied, of course --
that Myron Taylor has taken to Washington certain terms
of peace, or certain new promises, which the Pope is
transmitting on behalf of the arch-liar of modern history.
One would have thought that by 1941, when the Pope had
seen Hitler lie and cheat so brazenly for eight years,
he would have been ashamed to produce any proposals
from such a source. For within three months of his pleasant
and confiding talk with Hitler the cardinal was a prisoner
in his palace, and hundreds of his priests and monks
were in the hands of the police, generally on the usual
disgraceful charge. Swiss papers said that "50,000
Austrians have left the church this quarter, and a further
50,000 are expected to quit in the next quarter."
The Church in Austria was, as a result of its trust
in Hitler, disestablished and reduced to the same pitiful
condition as the Church in Germany. It had helped Hitler
to secure one of his bloodless victories. It now bled.”
“In one of his most important and most carefully
prepared speeches, a vast American as well as British
and French public listening on the radio or reading
the printed word next day (August 25, 1941), Churchill
deliberately described in these words the relation of
the French to the Czechs in 1938:
“A French government deserted their faithful
ally and broke a plighted word in that ally's hour of
“Note carefully that this was not an attack on
the miserable group of Catholic weaklings which was
called the Vichy government. If it were, we might allow
for strong feeling and over-emphasis. But it was a cold
and responsible Statement of what had happened in the
tragic days of Munich. At that time Britain and America
were cordial friends of France, and the betrayal was
softened with vague phrases or even, since the whole
world was still steeped in calumny against the great
Soviet civilization, excused on the ground that Russia
could not be trusted. In war, as in wine, the truth
comes out. France basely deserted its ally. Why?”
[Quoted from infidels.org]
No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise.
Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst
form of Government except all those other forms that
have been tried from time to time. [Winston Churchill, in the House
of Commons, 11 November 1947]
There is no way to stop crooks
and fools like Madoff, Enron and Gordon Brown the Clown.
All you can do is imprison the destroyers, or shoot them,
or vote them out of office and forget about them, and
hope it encourages the others. In the words of Voltaire
[1694 – 1778 ], “Le mieux est l’ennemi
du bien” - The best is the enemy of the good.
There is no perfection to be had, there
is only improvement. Vast amounts of energy are wasted
on worrying over some delusional perfectibility, while second-rate
minds labour over idealistic and shallow masterplans for
perfect societies, and third-rate minds follow those second-rate
minds to perdition and destruction.
The world would be a far better place
with more Churchills and Voltaires and less ignorant idealists.
Reality-based sanity, broken when
you believe you can fly off a high tower by flapping
your ears, and try it.
Socially-based sanity: when you
conform to the madness around you in order to survive.
Other people’s madness is your reality.
Here is Robert Bolt
putting words/attitude into the mouth of Thomas More:
“God made the angels to show Him splendor—as
He made animals for innocence and plants for their simplicity.
But man He made to serve Him wittily, in the tangle
of his mind.”
And here again on the rule of law:
“Margaret: “Father, the man is bad.”
More: “There’s no law against that.”
Roper: “There is a law against it. God’s
More: “Then God can arrest him.”
Roper: “Sophistication upon sophistication!”
More: “No. Sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the
law. I know what’s
legal, but I don't always know what’s right. And
I'm sticking with
Roper: “Then you set man’s law against God’s?”
More: “No. Far below. But let me draw your attention
to a fact. I am
not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong,
which you find
such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager.
But in the
thickets of the law, there I am a forester. I doubt
if there’s a man
alive who could follow me there, thank God.”
Of course, More got chopped into two.
And here again from the same source:
“When a man takes an oath, Meg, he’s holding
his ownself in his own hands. Like water. And if he
opens his fingers then – he needn’t hope
to find himself again.”
I think that any person who has no
point at which they will go to the wall, that person
is not seriously better/different than a dog in the street.
“SO FAR this year, about 4000 people have died
in Mexico's drugs war - a horrifying toll. If only a
good fairy could wave a magic wand and make all illegal
drugs disappear, the world would be a better place.”
“ The argument most often deployed in support
of the status quo is that keeping drugs illegal curbs
drug use among the law-abiding majority, thereby reducing
harm overall. But a closer look reveals that this really
doesn't stand up. In the UK, as in many countries, the
real clampdown on drugs started in the late 1960s, yet
government statistics show that the number of heroin
or cocaine addicts seen by the health service has grown
ever since - from around 1000 people per year then,
to 100,000 today. It is a pattern that has been repeated
the world over.
“A second approach to the question is to look
at whether fewer people use drugs in countries with
stricter drug laws. In 2008, the World Health Organization
looked at 17 countries and found no such correlation.
The US, despite its punitive drug policies, has one
of the highest levels of drug use in the world.”
“Mr Greenwald claims that the data show that
“decriminalisation has had no adverse effect on
drug usage rates in Portugal”, which “in
numerous categories are now among the lowest in the
European Union”. This came after some rises in
the 1990s, before decriminalisation. The figures reveal
little evidence of drug tourism: 95% of those cited
for drug misdemeanours since 2001 have been Portuguese.
The level of drug trafficking, measured by numbers convicted,
has also declined. And the incidence of other drug-related
problems, including sexually transmitted diseases and
deaths from drug overdoses, has “decreased dramatically”.”
“The share of heroin users who inject the drug
has also fallen, from 45% before decriminalisation to
17% now, he says, because the new law has facilitated
treatment and harm-reduction programmes. Drug addicts
now account for only 20% of Portugal’s HIV cases,
down from 56% before. “We no longer have to work
under the paradox that exists in many countries of providing
support and medical care to people the law considers