Monthly Archives: November 2005

Veteran's Day

Happy Veterans Day!

Last year, I linked to this post by Chris Lynch at A Large Regular. It’s worth a read again.

To all who have served and all who are now serving our country in America’s Armed Forces:

Thank you for your service.

LaShawn Barber has a great Roundup of Veteran’s Day Posts!

Jeff has a Canadian Remembrance Day post just above.

Here’s my Dad circa 1954:

Mandatory Spanish Classes for 5- to 7-year-olds?

Florida Senate Bill 522 (.pdf here) will mandate Spanish language instruction for all kindergartners through second graders. Let’s take a look at the bill:

Districtwide Spanish instruction in K through 2; requirements; funding.

The above sentence just describes what is to follow.

–By the 2007-2008 school year, each school district shall implement a districtwide foreign language program to provide students in kindergarten through grade 2 with instruction in the Spanish language which is designed to result in the student’s communicating competently in Spanish at his or her grade level.

Senator Miller does state this is a foreign language. He wants 5- to 7-year-olds to be communicating competently in Spanish at his or her grade level. What about requiring students to communicate competently in English?

Each student in the program must be provided with a minimum of 20 to 45 minutes of instruction, 5 days a week, from a certified Spanish-language specialist.

A minimum of 20 minutes and a maximum of 45 minutes? This isn’t really very clear. A minimum is the smallest acceptable. Senator Miller has specified a range. Also, this is a five day a week program. We need to mandate a five day a week program when subjects such as physical education (much more important to the physical well-being of a child) have been cut back to two or three days a week? Ah, here’s the real reason… Jobs. The bill calls for a certified Spanish-language instructor. Let’s just bloat the system fuller than it already is.

The Spanish instructor and the classroom teacher must collaborate during the periods of instruction.

Who will be “in charge”? The regular classroom teacher or the certified Spanish-language instructor? Will the regular lesson be incorporated into the Spanish lesson, or will the regular lesson just be shunted aside?

The school district may use grant funds or private funds, as well as state funding, to support the program.

In other words, you figure out how to fund this mandate.

I understand that there are quite a few Spanish speakers in Florida. I understand that some children have parents/others in their household who speak only Spanish or speak only minimal English. But how does teaching all children Spanish help this? What about immigrants from Japan, Germany, France, Romania, India, etc? Why should Spanish be the mandated language in a country where most people speak English?

This reminds me of the woman at Kindergarten screening who, when asked if she wanted a bilingual aide, said, “We speak English. We are from Romania.”

Amazing. I first learned of this from Lady Jane at A Lady’s Ruminations. She got it from Drudge. They both quote this from NBC-2. I found two more articles pertaining to this as well as the above quoted bill text.

Article one from the Tampa Tribune quotes Dorothy Carregal, superintendent of foreign languages for Hillsborough schools as saying, “And even if they give us the money, finding the teachers would be very difficult”.

An editorial in the Lakeland Ledger asks: “But where’s the money?”

Praise the Lord!

I decided to wash some down pillows today.

In the course of washing the pillows the washer went off balance, big time. The switch that gets pushed by the pin in the lid broke.

I called the repairman to come by. He was able to come tonight.

While he was here, I asked if he could look at the dryer, because I thought I had smelled that “burnt belt” kind of smell.

He tried to start the dryer, but it wouldn’t turn on. It had worked earlier in the day.

He looked around the back and this is what he found:
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here’s another shot:
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Praise the Lord that I decided to wash pillows today and the washer broke. If it hadn’t, I might not have called the repairman. If I hadn’t called the repairman, he wouldn’t have found that.

The circuit breaker did not trip. He removed the circuit breaker and capped the wires. He’ll be back on Saturday with a new switch for the washer, a new breaker, new wiring, a new plug and a new outlet.

Praise the Lord our house did not burn down as a result of this.

Praise the Lord!

Harry Channels Howie

Transcribed from Special Report with Brit Hume (Video) Harry Reid says:

The manipulation of intelligence to sell the war in Iraq, Vice President Cheney’s involved in that. The White House energy policy, that puts big oil ahead of the American consumer, Vice President Cheney is behind that. Leaking classified information, to discredit White House critics, the Vice President’s behind that.

Harry seems to be channeling Howard Dean, who said that Karl Rove was responsible for the Plame lead no less than three separate times during an interview with Alan Colmes of Hannity and Colmes. (see Howard Dean – Alito, Libby and Cheney)

  1. “Secondly, we still wonder when the President’s going to ask Karl Rove to resign since he’s now been identified by the special prosecutor as the person who leaked the name.”
  2. “Karl Rove has now been shown to have leaked, even though he wasn’t charged with a crime.”
  3. “Karl Rove has no business having a security clearance having now been established as a leaker by the special prosecutor.”

Then he went on to accuse Vice President Cheney of the exact same thing.

Alan Colmes: Are you calling for a broader investigation of the Vice President?

Howard Dean: Well, I’m not so sure about that although if there is such a thing, it’ll be in the Vice President’s office. And I do think there needs to be more investigation in the Vice President’s office. One of the things established by the special prosecutor in the indictment is that Vice President Cheney was the source of Scooter Libbity’s, Libby’s knowledge about who the CIA agent was.

Lewis Carroll once said, “What I tell you three times is true.” This is based on the old adage that “Once is an accident, twice is a coincidence, but three times makes it true.”

The dems seem to think that if they just repeat something often enough, it will be true. They are aided in this by the media, who give them camera time and lap it all up.

If the White House continues to let these assertations remain unchallenged, people will start to believe them. Fight back! Fight back on a daily basis!

Christmas Lights Too Uni-Cultural

Via DhimmiWatch comes a story from the Times Online edition:

Christmas lights fail to shine in equality zone

A COUNCIL is planning to scrap grants for festive lights because Christmas does not fit in with its “core values of equality and diversity”.

A report drawn up by the council in Suffolk concedes that the move could lead to officials being accused of “not supporting the spirit of Christmas”.

The move is the latest in a string of decisions by organisations to downplay the celebration of the birth of Christ — ostensibly to prevent offence being caused to non-Christian religions. Last week it emerged that Lambeth council in south London had insisted on renaming its Christmas lighting displays as “winter” or “celebrity” lights.

The latest is Conservative-controlled Waveney council in Lowestoft which provides grants totalling £10,000 for festive lights. Its report states that because Christmas focuses only on the Christian faith, continuing the funding would “not fit well with the council’s core values of equality and diversity”.

Officials are proposing to cut the lights grants to £5,000 next year and to stop them altogether by 2007. The report is due to go before councillors on Thursday.

Now, they say that it is an economic decision. The money usually granted for “festive” lights could be better used elsewhere. The chairman of the lights committee, Sue Allen, said: “It will just mean that we will have to work harder to raise funds for the Christmas lights in the future.”

I still would like to know how the celebration of the birth of Christ, by Christians, causes offense to those of non Christian religions. Eid, Channukah, and Diwali do not offend me.

Here’s another story I just found at BBC:

Row as Christmas lights renamed

A decision to call Christmas lights “Winter Lights” in south London has been condemned as showing a “total lack of respect” for Christians.

Advertisements for the switch-on of the lights in multi-cultural Lambeth have renamed them, apparently for fear of offending other faiths.

Tory councillor Bernard Gentry told the BBC: “Christmas appears to have been cancelled in our borough”.

A spokesman said it was an error by a junior official and not council policy.

In three of Lambeth’s main town centres, the lights were referred to as “Winter Lights”, while in a fourth they were called “Celebrity Lights”.

The council spokeswoman said an official was concerned about people from other religions.

She said: “It was a junior-level decision and it happened to go into print which was an error basically.

“I think it was certainly not a council policy that we should call the lights winter lights.”

But it has led to a series of headlines such as “Christmas is banned” and “The PC [politically correct] lights show” and led some members of other faiths to call it “ridiculous”.

And Mr Gentry, a Conservative member of the joint Lib Dem-Tory controlled borough, told the BBC it went against efforts to promote respect for all faiths.

“It just seems totally against everything that we as members of the council have said, when officers try to airbrush out one of the main festivals of what is still the biggest religion in Lambeth.”

“The idea that, in some way, the religious festival of Christmas is offensive to others is just daft – I have never heard a single person who’s said that.”

The advert appeared in Lambeth Life – a newspaper distributed by the council – and on posters.

I started to put my Christmas lights up last Friday, but they were broken so I had to buy new ones. I put them up yesterday. I’ll plug them in on Thanksgiving.

For me, Christmas lights make a silent Joyful Noise unto the Lord.

Some people Shout: (see UglyChristmasLights.com for more)

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Others are more subtle:

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Previous stories:
Free Piglet
Now It’s Piggy Banks
And Now The Three Little Pigs Too
Peppermint Pigs for Christmas!
“Holiday Tree” Too Inclusive

Welcome A Lady’s Ruminations and Anchoress readers!

Check your Christmas Lights

Today was a beautiful day. Sunny. 68 degrees.

I took down the lighted ghost and spider web that had been up since early October.

Since I already had the ladder out, I thought I’d get out the Christmas lights and put them up (not to light yet, just to get them up). Image hosted by Photobucket.com

After I had one string up, I decided to test it by plugging it in. Oh no! Half the string didn’t work! (Lesson learned: Check the lights before you climb the ladder!)

Check the other strings: One doesn’t work at all, the other was another half.

Well. These lights were used for the past few years, they’re old. Back down to the crawlspace to get the three strings that were only used one year, several years ago.

Two strings don’t work at all. One string works, but there is a broken bulb in the middle and I can’t get the broken bulb out.

So, it’s time to buy new Christmas lights!

JEFF ADDS: Thanks for the reminder. Every year, as I try to balance a ladder in two feet of snow with my hands freezing because I can’t wear my mitts while trying to adjust the bulbs, I promise myself that the next year I would have a little foresight to put the lights up earlier when the weather was better.

Alito Hearings

Per Senators Specter and Leahy:

3,700 opinions need to be digested.

Hearings to begin January 2, 2006 with expected floor vote January 13th.

The AP says the 9th with a committee vote on the 17th and floor vote on the 20th. I heard what I published above when I was listening to the presser, but perhaps I misheard.

UPDATE: OK. I was right and wrong. I heard what I heard about the 2nd and 13th, but Specter went on to add that after consultation with Leahy, the week would start at the beginning so hearings would be from the 9th to the 13th, with executive on the 17th, floor debate the 18th to the 20th and a vote on the 20th.

Political Teen has the video.

9th Circuit

According to the 9th Circuit :

…we hold that there is no free-standing fundamental right of parents “to control the upbringing of their children by introducing them to matters of and relating to sex in accordance with their personal and religious values and beliefs” and that the asserted right is not encompassed by any other fundamental right.

also:

We conclude only that the parents are possessed of no constitutional right to prevent the public schools from providing information on that subject to their students in any forum or manner they select.

This is from Flopping Aces who also has a link to the .pdf of the opinion.

Parents brought suit against the Palmdale school district over a survey that was taken of elementary students asking questions about the frequency of the childrens’ “thinking about sex” and “thinking about touching other people’s private parts”.

The court has said that what a parent thinks about sex education for their children doesn’t matter in the least and that the schools can provide information on that subject in any forum or manner that they select.

These are elementary school students. Elementary students are first grade through eighth grade. Elementary students are six to thirteen years old. Most are prepubescent.

Why is there a need for public school sex education for children in this age group?

Curt notes:

The only bright spot is that it’s from the 9th Circuit. The bench whose opinions get overturned regularly by the Supreme Court.

According to the ACLU and many on the bench it’s ok to take God out of the pledge, erase Christmas and Easter from the calenders, but it’s ok to teach a child about sex without the Parents consent. What a world we live in.

More at Confirm Them The children involved were between the ages of seven and ten. Definitely prepubescent. Schools should not be asking these types of questions, or discussing this subject, with children of that age. The parents were asked to sign a permission slip for a survey to be given to children in first, third and fifth grades.

While parents were informed that the survey would cover “baseline . . . exposure to early trauma (for example, violence),” it specifically did not mention sex. In fact, the survey asked seven year olds to “rate the following activities” among which were these:

8. Touching my private parts too much
17. Thinking about having sex
22. Thinking about touching other people’s private parts
23. Thinking about sex when I don’t want to
26. Washing myself because I feel dirty on the inside

34. Not trusting people because they might want sex
40. Getting scared or upset when I think about sex
44. Having sex feelings in my body
47. Can’t stop thinking about sex
54. Getting upset when people talk about sex

Parents found out about the questions when the children came home and told them.

Cross-posted at Oh How I Love Jesus

Welcome Anchoress and A Lady’s Ruminations readers!

mm-5
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