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israel wayneMy good friend, Israel Wayne has put up a web site with profiles of some of the home school pioneers from the 1980s & 1990s. He’ll be adding more, but Cyndy & I are honored to be included among such an august company.

The other profiles on his site so far are of David & Shirley Quine, Chris Klicka, Sam Blumenfeld, Chris Davis, Michael McHugh, and the De Jonge family of MI.

I love history, but this is much more personal – and these are stories about the early days of homeschooling that you just won’t find anywhere else.

Chris Klicka and Sam have already passed on to glory. How great to see there stories preserved and promoted here.

I can’t wait to read more profiles as he adds them. I want to read YOUR story, Israel!

Check back often, or subscribe to the sites RSS feed in your reader.

Our profile is at http://homeschoolpioneers.com/2015/09/14/rob-cyndy-shearer-founders-of-greenleaf-press/

 

Here’s a photo published in their story today on the attack in Texas by American Muslims on the AFDI’s event awarding a $10,000 prize for the best caricature of Muhammed.

dailymail_texasattack

By blacking out the artwork, they show their obesiance to Islam. How brave.

In November of 2000, the voters had a choice between two candidates:

Al_Gore_vp_small GeorgeWBush_small

Here’s my question, gentle readers: Do you think Al Gore would have been a better president than George Bush?

Vote below.

[poll id=”2″]

The demand for action following the latest public horror by a mass murderer is understandable.

But a moment or two of reflection ought to slow the rush to take precipitate action.

No one seems to have spent much time on the notion of what might actually be effective in preventing the horror from being repeated.

A short perusal of the list of mass murderers and school massacres on the internet shows quickly that they occur and recur through history and across geography. They occur in countries with tough restrictions on firearm ownership and in countries with few restrictions on firearm ownership. Evil men do evil deeds. There is no evidence that human nature has changed over time at all.

If one could wave a magic wand and cause all nuclear weapons to disappear from the planet, I suppose that would be a good thing. But it wouldn’t stop war – or genocide.

If one could wave a magic wand and cause all guns to disappear from the planet, it might at first seem to be a good thing – but a few minutes continuing the thought experiment should give us pause. Thousands died at the hands of soldiers, brigands, & thieves long before the invention of the gun. Cain killed Abel with a rock.

It can be plausibly argued that the handgun as prevented far more violence (and murders) than it has caused.

Colt AdAs Samuel Colt said, “God made them all. Colt makes them equal.”

Be that as it may.

IF (and its a very big “if”) a large enough majority of US citizens are of the opinion that the ownership of handguns, or of semi-automatic rifles, or of all guns ought to be severely regulated, or even outlawed, then there is a mechanism for them to achieve their ends.

Those who drafted and ratified the US Constitution were aware that it is impossible to create a perfect charter of government. They recognized that there would be defects in the Constitution that might become apparent over time. They provided a mechanism to correct any perceived defect. The process to amend the constitution is relatively straight-forward, though it takes some time and political capital. Its been done five times in my lifetime.

Here’s what you need to do:

    1. Pass the proposed amendment in both houses of Congress by a 2/3 vote.
    2. Have 3/4 of the states ratify the amendment.

That’s it. It’s that simple.

What’s that you say? There’s no way to get 2/3 of both the Senate and the House to vote to repeal or alter the 2nd amendment? And no way to get 3/4 of the states to ratify?

Then perhaps there’s not the requisite consensus on what we should do about guns.

Feel free to continue to make your case and try to persuade the body politic that the constitution should be amended. The first amendment guarantees your right to do so. It also guarantees the right of those opposed to repealing or altering the 2nd amendment to present their case.

But until you have the requisite political capital to amend the constitution, please, let’s not have talk of executive orders or even new laws to infringe on the 2nd amendment.

Because abandoning the Constitution would put all of us in far greater peril that all the evil done by all the mass murderers in our history.

“It should be a felony for the people who run a school district to be this stupid:”

via AND NOW…IDIOTS | Midwest Conservative Journal.

Brilliant!

Joke of the week

*The Abbott and Costello Routine on Unemployment*

COSTELLO: I want to talk about the unemployment rate in America.
ABBOTT: Good subject. Terrible times. It’s about 9%.
COSTELLO: That many people are out of work?
ABBOTT: No, that’s 16%.
COSTELLO: You just said 9%.
ABBOTT: 9% unemployed.
COSTELLO: Right: 9% out of work.
ABBOTT: No, that’s 16%.
COSTELLO: Okay, so it’s 16% unemployed.
ABBOTT: No, that’s 9%.
COSTELLO: WAIT A MINUTE! Is it 9% or 16%?
ABBOTT: 9% are unemployed. 16% are out of work.
COSTELLO: If you’re out of work you’re unemployed.
ABBOTT: No, you can’t count the “Out of Work” as the unemployed. You have
to look for work to be unemployed.
COSTELLO: But … they’re out of work!
ABBOTT: No, you miss my point.
COSTELLO: What point?
ABBOTT: Someone who doesn’t look for work can’t be counted with those who
look for work. It wouldn’t be fair.
COSTELLO: To whom?
ABBOTT: The unemployed.
COSTELLO: But they’re ALL out of work.
ABBOTT: No, the unemployed are actively looking for work… Those who are
out of work stopped looking. They gave up. If you give up, you’re no
longer in the ranks of the unemployed.
COSTELLO: So if you’re off the unemployment roles, that would count as
less unemployment?
ABBOTT: Unemployment would go down. Absolutely!
COSTELLO: The unemployment goes down just because you don’t look for work?
ABBOTT: Absolutely it goes down. That’s how you get to 9%. Otherwise it
would be 16%. You don’t want to read about 16% unemployment do ya?
COSTELLO: That would be frightening.
ABBOTT: Absolutely.
COSTELLO: Wait, I got a question for you. That means there are two ways to
bring down the unemployment number?
ABBOTT: Two ways is correct.
COSTELLO: Unemployment can go down if someone gets a job?
ABBOTT: Correct.
COSTELLO: And unemployment can also go down if you stop looking for a job?
ABBOTT: Bingo.
COSTELLO: So there are two ways to bring unemployment down, and the easier
of the two is to just stop looking for work.
ABBOTT: Now you’re thinking like an economist.
COSTELLO: I don’t even know what I just said!

And now you know why President Obama’s unemployment figures are improving.

 

 

h/t to Camp4u: Joke of the week.

Wow! Newsflash!

The Background: On Saturday, an AP reporter wrote a story on the “outrage” of a secular homeschooling mom who thought her 10-year-old daughter was going to “have a coronary” when she encountered passages in her biology textbook which disputed Darwin’s theory of evolution. The mom had bought Apologia’s biology textbook on the recommendation of a friend.

I have two reactions to the first part of this story. One: The mom didn’t review the textbook before her 10-year-old began using it? Two: The underlying/implied premise of the story seems to be that these textbooks just shouldn’t be allowed. So should the government ban them? Censor them? Ah, tolerance – extended by the liberal main-stream media to every imaginable political, religious, or sexually deviant interest group, except conservative Christians. America, what a country!

But the story gets worse.

In part two of the AP story, they sent copies of the biology textbook by Apologia and one by Bob Jones University Press to Professor Jerry Coyne of the University of Chicago and to emeritus Professor Duncan Porter of Virginia Tech.

Professor Jerry Coyne also runs the blog WhyEvolutionIsTrue. Professor Porter is also the director of the Darwin Correspondence Project at Cambridge University.

And. . . SURPRISE! The two evolutionary biology professors don’t like the creationist biology textbooks from Apologia and Bob Jones. Wow. Did NOT see that one coming.

Porter said he would give the two texts an “F”. Coyne said they were both “full of lies.”

There is an encouraging close to the AP story, and really they should be complimented on at least the last two paragraphs. They found an intelligent, rational homeschool mom, who had used the Apologia biology text to teach her son, who plans to pursue a career in marine biology. The mom, Polly Brown, points out that her son is familiar with both sides of the argument. He has studied the theory of evolution AND the evidence for creation. Which is more than can be said for the students in the government schools.

As of this evening, the story shows signs of going wider. MSNBC has picked it up on their website. They are also running a poll with the provocative question, “Is it OK for home-school textbooks to dismiss the theory of evolution?” As of 9:15pm central time, 67% of the 13,000 who have responded, voted “NO.” This does not bode well for the homeschool community.

I predict this story will be followed in relatively short order by a call to force home-school biology texts to teach the theory of evolution. I also predict a call for colleges & universities to refuse to recognize high school science credits unless they taught the theory of evolution as a scientific fact.

How tolerant of them.

Is it OK for home-school textbooks to dismiss the theory of evolution?

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cs-lewis“I send no cards and give no presents except to children.” So C. S. Lewis wrote to his American correspondent on November 27, 1953. In an essay titled “What Christmas Means to Me” published in December several years later, Lewis again made it clear he deplored the endless shopping and card-sending which dominated the holiday, but at the same time insisted, “I much approve of merry-making.”

hat tip to Harper’s C.S. Lewis blog

Handwriting by George 4packRules of Civility & Decent Behaviour in Company & Conversation.

Greenleaf Press is very pleased to announce that all four volumes in this series are now in print and available!

When George Washington was sixteen years old, he began copying 110 maxims for polite behavior into his schoolbooks. These rules describe the behavior of a gentleman, and many claim that they greatly influenced Washington’s attitudes and standards for his own behavior.

One day, when we were all tired of the standard handwriting practice book copy material, we began using Washington’s Rules as copy work. While many of them have obvious application to the eighteenth century, they also have a lot to say to modern gentlemen and ladies.

We hadn’t expected to enjoy these sayings as much as we did. They rarely stayed merely copywork exercise but became the basis of other discussions. “Show nothing to your friend that might affright him,” had immediate application. Other rules addressed putting others first and self last – and other ways to show respect to those around us.

Something special happens when children write these rules out for themselves.

Each volume contains 27 or 28 rules, with space to copy and illustrate each one. Practice for children learning to write, and spark discussion about “civil and decent behavior.”

Each is a paperback, 64 pages and intended for use in grades 1-3

188251436XVolume 1 contains such intriguing rules as:
Rule 4: “In the presence of others sing not to yourself with a humming noise nor drum with your fingers or feet.

Volume 2 contains such intriguing rules as:
Rule 40: “Strive not with your superiors in argument, but always submit your argument to others with modesty.”

1882514394Volume 3 contains such intriguing rules as:
Rule 70: “Reprehend not the imperfections of others for that belongs to Parents, Masters, and Superiors.

Volume 4 contains such intriguing rules as:
Rule 89: “Speak not Evil of the absent for it is unjust.

You can order all four volumes for a discount package price of $32.95 (a 10% discount – $36.95 if purchased separately). Or, if you already have volume one and now want to get the other three, you can get a discount price of $26.50 for volumes 2, 3, & 4 (a 10% discount – $29.85 if purchased separately).

Two birds with one stone – handwriting practice and character building!

– Rob Shearer
Publisher, Greenleaf Press

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I will be the featured guest on the BlogTalkRadio show Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Conservatism tonight at 8:00pm Central Time (9pm Eastern, 6pm Pacific).  The show is hosted by Babe Huggett and Warner Todd Huston.

We’ll be talking about BOTH of Obama’s speeches this week, starting with the one to school-children on Tuesday.

Heard a great stand-up line yesterday.

Q: Why was Obama’s address to a Joint Session on Wednesday historic?

A: It’s the first time in US history that a President has give a speech two days in a row to an audience of children!

ba-da-boom!

Thank you, thank you! I’ll be here all week. Please remember to tip your waiter.

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