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behaviour and intelligence

who owns the child?

hampshire jobsworths seem to believe they do

“From our experience there is a lot of ignorance surrounding home education. People seem to think there is something strange about home educators. I sometimes think people expect us to have at least 2 heads. We have spoken with people who were under the impression that LEA's provide tutors, materials, financial assistance etc to home educators, whilst we cannot speak for other LEA's it is certainly not the case with Hampshire. I believe that this assistance should be available to home educators if they wish to make use of it. To date the only response we have had as to why they give no assistance is that's the way it is, yet there is no legal reason why they cannot offer assistance. For each pupil registered a state school receives in the region of £4500 per annum and in the case of special needs children the sum is in the region of £10,000 pa. What happens to this money for a home educated child? Answer: nothing. From this stance it is clear that Hampshire LEA do not believe home education is a suitable learning environment so how can they have the audacity to insist on inspecting the work, surely they would be basing their assessment on a biased opinion. The very people who profess to care so much about our children only do so if on their terms.”

Of course, this is the same situation for anyone who avoids the government ‘education’ consumer cartel in the UK. Every person who does not partake of the joys of the cartel must pay twice, through taxes and through individual provisions.

They must also expect interference and hassle if they act independently. Your government wants sheep, not independent citizens.However, keep in mind that a proportion of parents who go this route tend to a certain fanaticism.

In the USA, the numbers home schooling, rather than grasp with beholden gratitude the offerings of the state, are now reported at around 2 million. In Britain, home schooling has been in place for decades but, of recent years, discontent has been on an increasing curve. Figures are hard to obtain in the UK, due to the great inclination of jobsworths to intrude, but there arrre probably several tens of thousands educating their children at home.

related material
Education Otherwise in citizenship curriculum
franchise by examination, education and intelligence

Several relevant documents can be found at the Education Otherwise website.

There is even a recent (2004) document by Sean Gabb.

marker at

religious fanatics [long item]

“When Fannie found out about the CYS visit, she and Anna went with 13 other kids to the home of John Yoder, an Amish dentist who lived an hour and a half away in the town of Punxsutawney. Yoder's living room had a recliner with a tin pan and some needles next to it. Anna watched as the other kids each had one or two bad teeth pulled. When it was her turn, Yoder shot some novocaine into her upper gum. She shook her head and told him that two of her lower teeth had cavities. He shot the lower gum, and asked Fannie which teeth should go. Anna's mother answered, "Take them all," and Yoder pulled "along the upper gum, along the lower gum, until every tooth was gone. "After he had pulled the last tooth," Anna remembered, "my mom looked at me and said, 'I guess you won't be talking anymore.' "

“Anna bled for three days. Her family ignored her, except to periodically hand her a drink. She couldn't talk, but that didn't matter, because Anna had nothing left to say. At church, she looked away when other kids pointed at her mouth. Fannie Slabaugh told me that Anna had asked for her teeth to be pulled. But the detective who investigated the case, Trooper Michael Pisarchic, said that the other kids who went with Anna to see Yoder said that Anna was being punished.....”

the web address for the article above is




why are we here?

I don’t know what the blazes this place is about. I am content to accept that. No-one else knows that either, but it seems to cause many people grief.

I think this‘grief’ is liable to distract from putting up rockets, or other creative work, and so make humanity less productive.

The universe/god or whatever has dumped me here as I am, so I might as well get on with it and try to tidy the garden up a bit.

If some ‘it’ upstairs wants me to sit an exam, let it set out the parameters. I’ll then decide whether it interests me.

If ‘it’ doesn’t like the way I am - too bad, I have work to do. I have chosen (or known) that fact since forever.

The best answer I can see is get on with it and refuse to whine.

If an ‘it’ intrudes someday, I’ll just say “hi!” and take it from there.

the web address for the article above is

the shame of oldnewold labour - education, education, education reneges again

“The deal fits with Google's wide-reaching ambitions to drive as much information as possible on to the internet. Although there have been setbacks along the way - Downing Street this week jettisoned its 2006 e-government target, for example - many remain confident that the future for all data, new and old, lies on the web.”

While Google announces a major project to scan and make available books hidden in institional libraries, there is more utterly disgraceful behaviour by the UK Labour government as they back out of one of the most important educational programmes in the world, and renege on yet another commitment.

It is vital that the incredibly rich national library of Britain, accumulated over more than a century (and containing material going back for at least 1000 years) be digitised and saved for the future of the planet.

So, Labour back out of this vital national project and leave an American to attempt to pick up the pieces.

The British Library is one of the world’s great treasures and is naturally under considerable pressure. The paper deteriorates, even works are stolen, given the attitudes widespread today.

I have spent many months in total working in the British and the Bodleian Libraries, with archives virtually unobtainable elsewhere. There are runs of Victorian periodicals, and very much else that I would rather not bring to open attention. There is a real possibility that much of this treasure house could be lost, unless this collection is transferred to the much more robust and widespread archiving available on and through the net.

These planetary assets should be accessible to all, not just available to the few with the awareness of the treasure within. Above all, they should be safe-guarded by reproduction and dispersion.

the web address for the article above is

alicia markova, probably the greatest ballerina of all, is no longer with us

“Alicia Markova, born Alice Marks, prima ballerina assoluta, died on December 2nd [2004], aged 94.”

“Over the years, her personality and Giselle's became inseparable in the public mind. Her fans were certain that, when analysing Giselle in her book, "Giselle and I", she was describing herself:

She is quiet, yet inflexible in her loves and loyalties, sensitive, yet with an innate simplicity. Always she stands a little apart from her exotic colleagues, the great ladies of Ballet's fairyland, scarcely venturing into this regal Court of Stars, though in one sense she is Queen of them all.

“In reality, the simple village girl was on $1,000 a week, and able to negotiate such fees with merciless hard-headedness. Rather than favouring peasant skirts and wreaths of woodland flowers, her tastes ran to full-length mink coats and Ferragamo shoes. The onstage wraith would fall on steaks and chocolates as soon as the curtain had descended. But there was always a china-cool remoteness and independence about her—and absolutely no doubt, until Margot Fonteyn's star began to rise, that she was queen of them all.”

The Alicia Markova film of Giselle is recommended viewing, however has not yet tracked down copies. Her book, Giselle and I, is also out of print.

the web address for the article above is

little picture story with notes - being a geiko (geisha)

“I want to marry at least once as an experience. Everyone does it and I would like to check it out.

“ I'm not the type to have a successful marriage. I'm the type to serve men, not the type to tell them off.”

marker at

Three tourist geiko in Kyoto. Image credit: the auroran sunset
Three tourist geiko in Kyoto. For a full-size image (note photo is below the text)
Image credit:
the auroran sunset

“If you wander around Kyoto, you’ll see people looking like this. They’ve been made up at a shop to look like geiko. The real geiko [geisha] hardly ever go outside their quarter of Kyoto.”

the web address for the article above is

new oecd education standards assessment - britain: no figures submitted!
[5.8 Mb PDF - 470 pages]

What is this, the UK Socialist government can’t stand the daylight?

An annex in this PISA report suggests UK positions are slumping;

but the UK says it doesn’t count because they did not submit proper standards of returned information.

Here is a press release with links to the full report and other items.

This links to the tables of results.

the web address for the article above is

the fossil media is dying

“Young people just aren't interested in reading newspapers and print magazines. In fact, according to Washington City Paper, The Washington Post organized a series of six focus groups in September to determine why the paper was having so much trouble attracting younger readers. You see, daily circulation, which had been holding firm at 770,000 subscribers for the last few years, fell more than 6 percent to about 720,100 by June 2004, with the paper losing 4,000 paying subscribers every month.

“Imagine what higher-ups at the Post must have thought when focus-group participants declared they wouldn't accept a Washington Post subscription even if it were free. The main reason (and I'm not making this up): They didn't like the idea of old newspapers piling up in their houses.”

“ The Post experience merely mirrors the results of a September study (.pdf) by the Online Publishers Association, which found that 18- to 34-year-olds are far more apt to log on to the internet (46 percent) than watch TV (35 percent), read a book (7 percent), turn on a radio (3 percent), read a newspaper (also 3 percent) or flip through a magazine (less than 1 percent).”

the web address for the article above is

the open society: china's socialist dictators try desperately to keep the lid on pandora's box

“ [...] Today, it has more than 90 million, and most are hungry for information. The official China Internet Network Information Center in Beijing says 62% of internet users go online primarily to read news [...] ” "

“ "Asked whether he has a strategy to expand blogging under China’s censorship regime, his response is Taoist: "What is our strategy? We do not have a strategy. But the information flow in the blogosphere has its own Way. The Way is our strategy: personal, fast, connected and networked.”

[The article is approximately 2000 words.]

the web address for the article above is

uk government policy discussion - who owns the child?

It’s about time the politicians started being honest. Now the question of “who owns the child” can be debated; the 'right' or wrongs of state intrusion on the carers can be formalised and law may develop. That would be a change from the rank dishonesty and unaccountability of the present government behaviour regarding children in the UK.

“The government has the right to intervene in family life because there are social implications in the way parents bring up their children, one of Tony Blair's closest allies said yesterday.”

the web address for the article above is

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