So, what’s been happening while I was on blog break during Warren’s visit to the AOW household and the D.C. area? All of us were having too much fun to be much concerned about politics!Please bring me up to date about what happened from July 14 throug…
(If you must have politics, please scroll down)I’ll never again complain about the price of bananas!Since his stroke of September 15, 2009, Mr. AOW is required by the doctor to eat at least one banana a day. Here’s why:Unfortunately, I cannot eat bana…
Real life, this time, pleasurable real life, supersedes virtual life!
Warren is coming for a visit — his first visit to Washington, D.C.!
There’s too much going on here to work on publishing blog posts. Former blogger TMW and I are readying the house, and Mr. AOW is tidying up his man cave.
Then, once Warren arrives, we’re off to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the National Air and Space Museum, the National Museum of Natural History, and whatever other attractions we can manage to squeeze into our schedule.
During this blog’s hiatus, enjoy Preludes For Piano Book One by Claude Debussy (1862-1918):
List of preludes:
1) Danseuses de Delphes (Dancers of Delphi)
2) Voiles (Veils or Sails) 3:46
3) Le vent dans la plaine (The wind in the plain) 7:47
4) Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l’air du soir (The sounds and fragrances swirl through the evening air) 9:48
5) Les collines d’Anacapri (The hills of Anacapri) 14:26
6) Des pas sur la neige (Footsteps in the snow) 17:44
7) Ce qu’a vu le vent d’Ouest (What the west wind has seen) 23:10
8) La fille aux cheveux de lin (The girl with the flaxen hair) 26:17
9) La sérénade interrompue (The interrupted serenade) 28:57
10) La Cathédrale engloutie (The engulfed cathedral) 31:23
11) La danse de Puck (Puck’s dance) 37:39
12) Minstrels 40:36
For detailed information about Debussy and these preludes, go to Musical Musings.
Today, here in the Washington, D.C., area, we should all be singing the praises of American capitalism!One of my Facebook finds:Read more about Willis Carrier HERE.Willis Carrier didn’t change the weather, but he gave us the means to cope with these ho…
…I’m glad that I am not, and never have been, a member of the GOP.
I’m referring to my disgust with the GOP’s failure to keep their long-standing promise to repeal (and replace?) ObamaCare — not to Donald J. Trump, Jr.’s emails and his meeting with the Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya.
Note: please read the second link above, GOP cave on Obamacare repeal is the biggest broken promise in political history, before commenting on the topic.
They did it to themselves. For example (click directly on the graphic to enlarge it):CNN has gone from the most trusted name in news to fake news. Therefore:[hat tip to Infidel Bloggers Alliance for the first graphic in this blog post]
|These are the cities Kim Jong-un CAN destroy with nuclear weapons|
From O’ say can you see, North Korea’s highest, longest ICBM test yet? (dated July 5, 2017):
While Americans shot off Roman candles for July 4th, North Korea launched an ICBM higher and farther than any of its other 10 missile tests this year.
…North Korea is also developing a submarine-launched missile, which would not need the range to cross the Pacific.
Ted Koppel of ABC News interviews Donald Gregg, the former U.S. Ambassador to South Korea from 1989-1993, and columnist Charles Krauthammer. The video is one longer than I like to post, but, in my view, is important to watch:
Excerpt therefrom (emphases mine):
I firmly believe a strike of any kind against North Korea would result in immediate warfare on the peninsula.
I believe they would attack, AT THE LEAST all our bases in Japan, and Guam, and might strike Japanese cities.
I believe the casualties would be in the tens of thousands in the first few days, and might be incalculable if the North reacts with nuclear weapons.
If we do nothing, this math only gets worse.
Since Bill Clinton, at a time the cold war was won and China was in the 3rd world column of nations. this stupidity has grown.
No diplomatic action has influenced the true course of this process.
No sanction has influenced the true course of this process.
Nothing has influenced the true course of this process….
Read the rest HERE.
Question: What steps should the United States now take — if any?
I caught the last ten minutes or so of President Trump’s speech today at Krasiński Square, the site of a monument commemorating the 1944 Warsaw Uprising against the Nazis in Warsaw, Poland.
What a statement of the importance of national borders and of limited government!
But it was the words I cited in the title of this blog post that jumped out at me:
We no longer have an apologist POTUS. Instead, we have a POTUS who stands strong for the West — and without any mealy-mouthed whimpering about colonialism-based guilt (Zinnism).
Below, I have, more or less, cued up the portion of the speech that made me want to stand up and cheer. Worth your time.
Yes, President Trump uttered the words “radical Islamic terrorism.”
Note: the full transcript of the speech is HERE.
From Prince George’s County, Maryland, comes this story of “earning” a high school diploma the wrong way – that is, making sure that student achievement looks good on paper but without improving the quality of education:
…One [teacher] said he did everything he could this year to help a senior headed toward failure — contacting parents, alerting a counselor and an administrator and referring him to a school intervention team. But little changed, so the teenager got an E — a failing grade — in an English course required for graduation.
A couple weeks later, he said, he spotted the student in a cap and gown, collecting a diploma. How that happened remains a mystery, he said. “It solidified what I’d heard about grades being changed and that administrators will do whatever it takes to make sure they meet their graduation rates,” he said.
At another school, a teacher said two of her seniors this year missed weeks of school, did not do assignments or make up work, and failed her course. But the principal encouraged students and their families to appeal, she said, and their course grades were revised to a C and a D. She was told both graduated.
At a third high school, an employee with firsthand knowledge said grade-change forms are often signed by the principal but not by teachers. The employee said the forms are often attached to academic “packets” designed to compensate for missed or failed work, but many of the packets are only partly complete.
“I think it’s all a numbers game,” the employee said, alleging that more than 100 students at the school graduated with the help of such changes during the past four years.
Four-year graduation rates in Prince George’s have jumped from 74.1 percent in 2013 to 81.4 percent in 2016…the largest gain for that period of any school system in Maryland….
Read the rest of Some employees in a large Maryland school system see signs of grade tampering, if the Washington Post‘s subscriber wall will allow you to do so.
By tampering with grades which are supposed to reflect students’ achievement, the Prince George’s County Public Schools System has denigrated and devalued the high school diplomas for all the students enrolled in the school system!
Of course, educational malpractice is not unique to the Prince George’s County Public School system. See Dozens of Atlanta educators falsified tests, state report confirms (2011) and Public school employees who falsify student data are making a mockery of reform efforts (2012) and When Teachers, Not Students, Do The Cheating (2014) – to cite just three articles on the topic.
Lest we think that only public schools engage in such unethical behaviors, I am here to tell you that private schools sometimes cheat.
In fact, at the last private school in which I taught, administrators often overrode teachers’ submitted grades so as to put higher grades on the report cards. The administration’s philosophy at the time was that parents shouldn’t see C‘s on their children’s report cards because, after all, the parents were paying hefty tuition rates. As a result of this grade cheating on the part of the administration, several other teachers and I resigned at the end of the school term.
There were plenty of applicants to fill the vacancies we created. Mammon triumphs, after all.
Sadly, for especially the last five years, I’ve been something similar occurring in the homeschooling movement. Most parents now are looking for good grades for their children so that their children look good on paper – never mind the erosion of learning itself.
Is it any wonder that we are seeing a decline in actual education (student learning), particularly in high school and beyond? Even worse, is it any wonder that we are seeing an overall decline in student interest in acquiring knowledge?
I am posting a few days early for Independence Day 2017 so that readers of this blog will have time enough to enjoy the soaring music of Symphony No. 9 In E Minor (aka “From The New World”) by Antonín Dvořák (1841 –1904) and the accompanying images:
For detailed information about the composer and the above piece, please see THIS POSTING at Musical Musings. Those of you familiar with the song “Goin’ Home” you may be surprised to learn the following:
[Dvořák] composed the Symphony No. 9 in 1893, and while American music inspired him, he did not use any American melodies in the work. He wrote in the American style of pentatonic scale use and did it so well that for a long time many put the cart before the horse, especially in regards to the melody from the 2nd movement. A song named “Goin’ Home” takes its melody from the symphony, not the other way around. The words were not set to the melody until many years after the symphony had been written.
A detailed discussion of the origins of “Goin’ Home,” is found HERE.
AND HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY 2017 TO ALL WHO STOP BY ALWAYS ON WATCH!
The Declaration of Independence was a statement adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, which announced that the thirteen American colonies, then at war with Great Britain, regarded themselves as independent states, and no longer a part of the British Empire. John Adams put forth a resolution earlier in the year which made a formal declaration inevitable. A committee was assembled to draft the formal declaration, to be ready when congress voted on independence. Adams persuaded the committee to select Thomas Jefferson to compose the original draft of the document, which congress would edit to produce the final version. The Declaration was ultimately a formal explanation of why Congress had voted on July 2 to declare independence from Great Britain, more than a year after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War. The Independence Day of the United States of America is celebrated on July 4, the day Congress approved the wording of the Declaration.
Quotes from signers:
“Believe me, dear Sir: there is not in the British empire a man who more cordially loves a union with Great Britain than I do. But, by the God that made me, I will cease to exist before I yield to a connection on such terms as the British Parliament propose; and in this, I think I speak the sentiments of America.”
“They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
“I always consider the settlement of America with reverence and wonder, as the opening of a grand scene and design in providence, for the illumination of the ignorant and the emancipation of the slavish part of mankind all over the earth.”
“There, I guess King George will be able to read that.”
“Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people, who have a right…and a desire to know; but besides this, they have a right, an indisputable, unalienable, indefeasible, divine right to that most dreaded and envied kind of knowledge, I mean of the characters and conduct of their rulers.”
“The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.”
“I am well aware of the toil and blood and treasure it will cost us to maintain this declaration, and support and defend these states. Yet through all the gloom I see the rays of ravishing light and glory. I can see that the end is worth all the means. This is our day of deliverance.”
“Equal and exact justice to all men…freedom of religion, freedom of the press, freedom of person under the protection of the habeas corpus; and trial by juries impartially selected,these principles form the bright constellation which has gone before us.”
“We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.”