Saturday, March 14, 2009

The ancient knowledge

It seems that many people (myself included, admittedly) have a deep-seeded notion that there is an "ancient knowledge" that has been lost. The idea that in many ways we used to be more than we now are.

We see this reflected in the Biblical creation story and others. Is that cause or effect? Who knows.

I sometimes wonder if there is not a grander Human intelligence that we can tap into only "through a glass, darkly", as in a powerful dream that is just beyond our waking reach.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Homework: Too Much Too Soon?

Homework: Too Much Too Soon? - MSN Health & Fitness - Health Topics
As anti-homework advocates love to point out—and by this we mean educational psychologists and educators, not kids who'd rather be playing Wii—100 years of research have failed to prove conclusively that homework administered prior to middle school increases academic performance, improves skill sets, or leads to higher levels of achievement.

I've known this instinctively since the day I realized that my young children were bringing homework home every night.
My 3rd grader has, in many cases, an hour of homework every night.
My middle school daughter, on the other hand, seldom has any homework at all and is on the 'A' honor role.

I'm as concerned that my middleschooler doesn't have homework as I am that my 3rd grader does. We are doing this exactly backwards, and I cannot seem to get anyone in the school district to heed my concerns. I'm sure this will slowly work itself out over time, but my kids are in these situations now. Very frustrating...

Republicans and Fiscal Responsibility, Raising Taxes During a Recession

On the face of it, I agree with the Republican mantra that you don't raise taxes on anybody during a recession.
Here's the problem: The practical reality is as follows:

1 - we're in a terrible mess (that the Republicans played a large part in bringing about, with plenty of help from Democrats)
2 - to get us through this, the Government is going to have to engage in a tremendous amount of spending.
3 - we're nearly to a point where we cannot borrow money. Even China just isn't wanting to buy our debt. The world has lost faith in us, our economy, and our markets because of many things, including the rampant fraud that was perpetrated as result of over-deregulation and a failure to enforce existing mandates for oversight.

So, SOMEBODY's got to pay this bill. Who has pockets that deep? The laid off construction workers who are now living in tents? The paycheck-to-paycheck programmer who will be moving his family in with his mother if he gets laid off? No, the only people right now with deep enough pockets to help out are the folks that BO is tapping to help carry the tax burden.

As a point of communictation, my hope is that BHO will clearly communicate this fact, and turn it into a patriotic duty for "successful earners" (a Kudlow-ism) to pay a larger share of taxes, and also to invest in start-ups and other business ventures in order to create jobs and bring us out of the this free-fall. This is a real test of his mettle; will BHO put aside his party's dispostion to consider the rich "the enemy", quit "bashing wall stree fat-cats", and engage with the segment of the population most empowered to help us through this adventure? This quesitonis made more interesting by the whole Nanci Pelosi dynamic.

I pray that the answer is "yes".

Obama to Restore ‘Science Integrity’ as Part of Stem-Cell Shift

Obama to Restore ‘Science Integrity’ as Part of Stem-Cell Shift
March 9 (Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama will reverse the U.S. government’s ban on funding stem-cell research today and pledge to “use sound, scientific practice and evidence, instead of dogma” to guide federal policy, an adviser said.

I don't say this often, but think I agree with Larry Kudlow on this one. Here's a link to Kudlow's site, which is not a direct comment on the stem cell issue, I believe.

Larry said, if I may quote him loosely, that he felt that this research should be funded by the private sector rather than by the government, because so many who pay the taxes that the government then redistributes have strong moral objection to the research.

While I don't know that I agree with their moral objection (or that I disagree, for that matter - haven't made up my mind), I do agree that they HAVE a strong objection, and that they should have a voice and their views should be respected when creating public policy.

This probably isn't my final word on this. As stated, I've not thought it through, but it was so odd that I agreed with Mr. Kudlow that I had to make a note of it ;-)>

the church as a catalyst for spiritual growth

Bruce Lee quotes
I Like this quote "A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer."

Those of you who know me know that I am not one who believes in the church as anything more than a mixed bag, often containing more sour than sweet. However, I've come to believe that when it's put in its correct place as a bunch of people reaching in their own flawed ways for something divine, I DO believe that it can be a powerful catalyst for spiritual growth.

I should take the time to state this more clearly, but essentially, I'm trying to say that even being outraged by church people and leaders teaches me things and exercise my heart-for-God:
1 - Am I tolerant of their foibles?
2 - Am I patient with them?
3 - Do I hold them in the love and respect properly bestowed on men and women created in the image of almighty God?
4 - Am I expanding my capability to gently correct flawed perspectives or nudge people to challenge themselves to see other views?
etc. etc. etc.
5 - Do I extend them the same grace and refusal to judge that I would extend a "sinner"?

Sorry - someday when it's not late and I'm not exhausted I'll come back to this and state it more clearly.

Scripting out existing database mail configuration

SQL Server Central Artical on Scripting out Existing database mail configuration I wanted to save this here so I can easily find it. Sorry ...