Clearing off the spindle, which creates an awesome series of links to cool stuff

I spent the morning going through the 800 or so emails I’d allowed to pile up in my inbox.  I deleted most of them, which were automatic emails from various lists to which I belong, but there were definitely gems hiding in that stack.  Now I get the chance to pass those gems on to you.  Here goes….

This isn’t new news, but it’s still the best post I’ve seen on Sebelius’ boast that ObamaCare hastened the private medical insurance “death spiral.”

On the education front, I’ve got an unusually high number of education links.  To begin with, I found an email introducing me to a site called Education News, which is an amazing resource for people interested in just about any educational issue.  Perhaps I’m deluding myself (which I have been known to do out of an excess of optimism), but it also seems to be very open to a conservative view of these same educational issues.  Very open.  If you care about education professionally or personally (either as a student or a parent), I think you’ll want to check it out.

Here’s a good example of Education News fare, with this one focusing on the virtues of old-fashioned approaches to math.  I didn’t learn math the old way, and I’m perfectly certain I wouldn’t learn it the new way either.  The old way relied too much on memorization for me (and I can’t remember things I don’t understand), while the new way relies way too much on theory without any basic facts or necessary memorization.  Give me Maria Montessori’s approach, which manages to ensure that students both understand and memorize.

I always hated the Norton Reader, a volume of turgid prose that caused me much mental anguish, and extreme boredom, while I was getting my undergraduate degree.  What’s really depressing is that it’s worse now, as are all the other pieces of Leftist indoctrination forced onto college freshman.

Did they really need a study to show that non-fiction reading is good for the brain?  I’d add a caveat, which is that, in the old days (my days), fiction reading was often very heavy on knowledge and facts.  If it was a little didactic, it was still good.  After all, how many American girls learned about the pioneer experience from reading Laura Ingalls Wilder’s book.  The problem nowadays is the fiction, which is all fantasy and feelings.  There is no knowledge involved.  Just fairies and navel gazing.

Although Patrick O’Hannigan wrote three weeks ago about the Catch-22 hampering the Republican candidates, a time period that is an eternity in the fast-moving blogosphere, the points he makes are as applicable three weeks on, and will continue to be applicable right up until November.

And just for your own amusement, you might want to see how many of the goals set out in The Naked Communist, a book written from the conservative perspective back in 1958, the Obama administration has already achieved.

As always, please feel free to chime in here.

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  • Ymarsakar

    The Left brings their ultimate plan to fruition closer and closer to Critical Point, whereas everybody else is slapping each other on the face arguing about inconsequential and non-essential matters. Evil couldn’t pay people to be more accommodating to their plans.

  • Ymarsakar

     The problem nowadays is the fiction, which is all fantasy and feelings.”

    Hey, the fiction I read from Japan is full of quantum mechanics and other stuff like that. Plus it qualifies as “multicultural” transfusion of knowledge… 

  • Ron19

    From Ymarsakar:

    Evil couldn’t pay people to be more accommodating to their plans.

    I used to be a Terry Pratchett fan, until his ideology and hidden agendas kept muscling further and further into the story lines.  His Discworld novels from his early writing were fun, but later became an assualt on what other people believed in and how they lived their lives.

    Just about the last one of his novels that I read, Good Omens, followed the recent days of two angels, one bumblingly good and one very,very seriously and competently evil.  They had long been friends, having met at the exit gate of the Garden of Eden, and towards the end of the book, the good angel asked the evil angel how he could think of so many bad things to encourage people to do, and so succesfully.  The bad angel replied something like, “After a while, the humans became so good at what we were teaching them to do, that they started to think up their own evil things to do.  We couldn’t keep up with them, so we just turned them loose to do what they wanted to do.”

    You’re  right, Ymarsakar, they don’t need to be paid to do evil, although it’s a good gateway incentive.

  • barryg99

    Traditional math can be done poorly or well. When done poorly there is memorization without any reasons for what you’re doing.  Taught properly, procedures and skills are put in context.  Traditional math is often mischaracterized as “rote memorization” and no understanding.  For more discussion of this, see

    Barry Garelick 

  • Karl

    A friend of mine went to a new restaurant, and when she went up to the counter to pay, the staff begged her indulgence.  It was their first day open, and they were having trouble with the cash register.
    She went behind the counter and spent half an hour teaching them how to count back change.
    It was a revelation to them — they had never been taught how.

  • Ymarsakar

    I’ve heard about Discworld but the parts of the books I read did not interest me, so I have no either bad or good views about Terry P.

     Winning wars is not about winning elections, just having the right priorities and the right timing. Do the right thing, at the right time. The Left could not usher in their New Utopia 60 years ago or even 100 years ago. That should tell people everything they need to know, to start learning more.