• About Farm School

    "There are obviously two educations. One should teach us how to make a living and the other how to live."
    James Adams, from his essay "To 'Be' or to 'Do': A Note on American Education", 1929

    We're a Canadian family of five, farming and home schooling. I'm nowhere near as regular a blogger as I used to be.

    The kids are 16/Grade 11, 14/Grade 9, and 13/Grade 8.

    Contact me at becky.farmschool@gmail.com

  • Notable Quotables

    "If you want a golden rule that will fit everybody, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."
    William Morris, from his lecture "The Beauty of Life"

    "The world of books is the most remarkable creation of man. Nothing else that he builds ever lasts. Monuments fall, nations perish, civilizations grow old and die out; and, after an era of darkness, new races build others. But in the world of books are volumes that have seen this happen again and again, and yet live on, still young, still as fresh as the day they were written, still telling men’s hearts of the hearts of men centuries dead."
    Clarence Day

    "Anyone who has a library and a garden wants for nothing."
    Cicero

    "Histories make men wise; poets, witty; the mathematics, subtile; natural philosophy, deep; moral, grave; logic and rhetoric, able to contend."
    Sir Francis Bacon, "Essays"

    "The chief aim of education is to show you, after you make a livelihood, how to enjoy living; and you can live longest and best and most rewardingly by attaining and preserving the happiness of learning."
    Gilbert Highet, "The Immortal Profession: The Joys of Teaching and Learning"

    "Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment."
    Walter Wriston

    "I'd like to give you a piece of my mind."
    "Oh, I couldn't take the last piece."
    Ginger Rogers to Frances Mercer in "Vivacious Lady" (1938)

    "No race can prosper till it learns that there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem."
    Booker T. Washington

    "Please accept my resignation. I don’t care to belong to any club that will have me as a member."
    Attributed to Groucho Marx in "The Groucho Letters" by Arthur Sheekman

    "If you can't say something good about someone, sit right here by me."
    Alice Roosevelt Longworth

    "If we bring a little joy into your humdrum lives, we feel all our hard work ain't been in vain for nothin'."
    Jean Hagen as "Lina Lamont" in "Singin' in the Rain" (1952)
  • Categories

  • Archives

  • ChasDarwinHasAPosse
  • Farm School: A Twitter-Free Zone

    antitwit
  • Copyright © 2005-2012 Please do not use any of my words or my personal photographs without my express permission.

“You want to always strive to define standards up”

I don’t take much comfort from polls and maps and statistics, whether the subject is the World Series or the election. It ain’t over ’til it’s over.  In the meantime, I do take comfort from the following:

* Christopher Hitchens on “Sarah Palin’s War on Science”:

This is what the Republican Party has done to us this year: It has placed within reach of the Oval Office a woman who is a religious fanatic and a proud, boastful ignoramus. Those who despise science and learning are not anti-elitist. They are morally and intellectually slothful people who are secretly envious of the educated and the cultured. And those who prate of spiritual warfare and demons are not just “people of faith” but theocratic bullies. On Nov. 4, anyone who cares for the Constitution has a clear duty to repudiate this wickedness and stupidity

Read the entire Slate article here.

* Lilibet Hagel‘s husband, Rep. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) is profiled in the new issue of The New Yorker by Connie Bruck,

“I don’t believe she’s qualified to be President of the United States,” Hagel told me. “The first judgment a potential President makes is who their running mate is — and I don’t think John made a very good selection.” He scoffed at McCain’s attempts to portray her as an experienced politician. “To try to make the excuse that she looks out her window and sees Russia — and that she’s commander of the Alaska National Guard.” He added, “There is no question that this candidate is arguably the thinnest-résumé candidate for Vice-President in the history of America.” …

For Hagel, almost as disturbing as Palin’s lack of experience is her willingness — in disparaging remarks about Joe Biden’s long Senate career, for example — to belittle the notion that experience is important. “There’s no question, she knows her market,” Hagel said. “She knows her audience, and she’s going right after them. And I’ll tell you why that’s dangerous. It’s dangerous because you don’t want to define down the standards in any institution, ever, in life. You want to always strive to define standards up. If you start defining standards down — ‘Well, I don’t have a big education, I don’t have experience’ — yes, there’s a point to be made that not all the smartest people come out of Yale or Harvard. But to intentionally define down in some kind of wild populism, that those things don’t count in a complicated, dangerous world — that’s dangerous in itself.

“There was a political party in this country called the Know-Nothings,” he continued. “And we’re getting on the fringe of that, with these one-issue voters — pro-choice or pro-life. Important issue, I know that. But, my goodness. The world is blowing up everywhere, and I just don’t think that is a responsible way to see the world, on that one issue. And, interestingly enough, that is one issue that stopped John McCain from picking one of the people he really wanted, Joe Lieberman or Tom Ridge” — the Independent senator from Connecticut and the Republican former governor of Pennsylvania. (Both men are pro-choice.

Read the rest of the essay, including whether Rep. Hagel would accept a post in a McCain Administration, here. Rep. Hagel is a man and a Republican I’d be proud to vote to for.

* In between wrestling with pumpkins, I did hear brief mention that Gov. Palin might, just might release some medical information this week. Then again, she did tell NBC’s Brian Williams,

“So be it, if that will allow some curiousity seekers, perhaps, to have one more thing that they can either check the box off that they can find something to criticize, perhaps, or find something to rest them assured over. Fine. I’m healthy, I’m happy, had five kids. That is going to be in the medical records. Never been seriously ill or hurt. You will see that in the medical records if they’re released.”

Note the “if” in the last sentence, which means I’m not holding my breath. Disappointing too but not surprising is the sloughing off the transparency of democracy, denigrating American citizens concerned about experienced leadership as “curiosity seekers”.

About these ads

One Response

  1. I agree with your last microanalysis about the phrase “curiosity seekers”.

    More to the point, that ridiculous sentence structure has brought me a great deal of futile amusement for the last few months of reading Palin transcripts…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 62 other followers

%d bloggers like this: