August 31, 2010

From Dove World: The Folks Bringing You “National Burn The Koran Day”

Category: Opinion — jerry @ 3:26 pm

The first gentleman is the Reverend we’ve all seen on television promoting his church’s sponsoring of the event. Now the congregation has made a loving, Christian tribute to the N-word:

http://www.doveworld.org

Freedom Of Religion In America

Category: Movies/TV — jerry @ 11:20 am

Featuring Pat Robertson:

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All this talk about the mosque reminds me of two things I heard growing up in Nebraska.

I had a 6th grade teacher who referred to American Indians as “sneaky redskins” and our enemies in the Pacific as “dirty Japs.” This abated somewhat after I asked one day in class, “Mrs. G., do you think our parents would like to know that you teach race prejudice?” She faded three shades.

The rest of that year was difficult….[Rest of article]

August 30, 2010

Trucks vs. Trestle

Category: Technology,Travel,Uncategorized — jerry @ 3:08 pm

It has not occurred to the roads department of Durham, North Carolina, to dig down and repave so that this kind of thing–happening since the 1950s–stops happening. Meanwhile, your tax dollars and insurance premiums at work:

Johnny Cash’s Anti-Protest Song

Category: Music — jerry @ 5:59 am

I love and miss Johnny, but I’m going to have to blame the amphetamines he was hooked on at the time for the sentiments of this song:

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He did go on to appreciate and perform a good protest song or two himself…

August 29, 2010

What You Missed In Church This Morning

Category: Uncategorized — jerry @ 5:28 am

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Preacher, leave them kids alone!

August 28, 2010

“A Day In The Life”–The 2009 Stereo Remaster

Category: Music — jerry @ 5:07 am

The latest issue of ROLLING STONE magazine lists the Top 100 Beatles’ songs of all time. This one is #1, and you can see the rest of the Top 10 here:

August 27, 2010

“Love The Way You Lie”–Eminem And Rihanna

Category: Music — jerry @ 11:38 am

Per usual–cuz I’m old–I’m late to this one, with this music video already getting 64 million (!) hits on YouTube already.

I like it.

It’s causing a lot of controversy, for obvious reasons, seeming, at first glance, to glorify domestic violence somehow. Naw. That’s Rihanna there, folks. She’s the poster girl for being against domestic violence.

So why is she the Greek Chorus for the Megan-Fox-Crazy-Bitch-Be-Askin’-For-It character?

Because she identifies.

I’m glad she didn’t get back with Chris Brown, like it almost looked might happen early on. (Thank you, Oprah, for pointing out that “He will hit you again”. Charlie Sheen, take note). I hope that singing this song was good therapy for her–acknowledging that these abusive relationships can be exciting and intense…but that this, girlfriend, ain’t love.

This song is why I’ve always liked Eminem: intelligent rap and his own kind of self-therapy, getting his dirty laundry “out there” to deal with. Nice job, Marshall:

Chinese Reenactment Video Of The Week–“Islamophobia”

Category: Movies/TV — jerry @ 5:43 am

I continue to love these:

August 26, 2010

OMAHA WORLD HERALD: “Nearly One-Third of Nebraska Students Fail To Meet the State’s First Proficiency Standards”

Category: Books — jerry @ 7:53 am

And then the WORLD HERALD goes on to headline the story “Low reading scores spur caution: Don’t overreact.”

I disagree. PANIC!!!!!!!!!!

And then buy this book.

I read it in college, during a brief flirtation with going into elementary education.

It is all about phonics. That’s the best (read “only”) way to teach kids to read, and I still have fond memories of my first days at school and having the teacher “unlock the code” to reading with her little phonics flashcards.

As I have written of before here (perhaps ad nauseum), I taught all 3 of my boys to read with this book. Soon after their 4th birthdays, each boy and I sat down alone together (that’s the key–and we enjoyed every minute of it, Mr. and Ms. Busy Parent) and went through the phonics word lists in the back of the book. We only spent 10 minutes or so at a time in sporadic sessions, but when we finally completed with the lists I started bringing home preschool “primers” from the public library and working through them.

End result: By the start of kindergarten, they were reading at 3rd grade level.

Interestingly, John Rosemond, who has a weekly column that runs in the WORLD HERALD and nationally–and who I generally agree with–maintains that this is harmful in this last week’s column. I have written him asking for his sources for his statement that “…[t]he research is clear that teaching reading before age six greatly increases the possibility of later learning problems and underachievement….”, but received nothing back. (I also ordered THE HURRIED CHILD, by David Elikind, which he references in his column).

I don’t necessarily disagree with the statement that the rest of the kids eventually catch up with the early readers. So why go through all of this?

First of all, it was fun–nice, quality one-on-one time with my kids. They all remember these sessions and appreciate the time spent with them and the headstart it gave them. They were able to begin kindergarten with 1) their teacher thinking they were one of the “smart kids”; 2) the other kids thinking they were one of the “smart kids”; and 3) they themselves thinking they were one of the “smart kids”.

Nothing wrong with all that.

So when you read that article in the WORLD HERALD this morning, fellow Nebraskans (assuming you can read it, heh-heh), do be concerned. Read WHY JOHNNY CAN’T READ and spend some time with your children and grandchildren.

And maybe someday your kids will be as terrific as mine are. Good luck with that!

From 1947: “What It Means To Be An American”

Category: Movies/TV — jerry @ 5:56 am