Monthly Archives December 2009

“The students will not tolerate the teacher having power in the classroom”

This is a reply to a comment kindly left by OldAndrew of Scenes from the Battleground blog, which was a reply to this blog entry. I originally just replied to OldAndrew’s comment in a comment, but my reply got too long for a comment. if students object to the very idea of the teacher being […]



Scenes from the Battleground responds

Image by Getty Images via Daylife OldAndrew, blogger of Scenes from the Battleground, took the trouble to comment on my earlier post (his comment is here, my original blog post is here). Thank you, OldAndrew. I’ve been reading more of his blog posts. At first,  it was horrified fascination that kept me reading his stuff, […]



WordPress blog tips

Image via Wikipedia Marko Saric has created a remarkably successful blog… about how to be a successful blogger! I just discovered his website and clicked on his free e-book (PDF),  on how to optimize WordPress for successful blogging. I’ve only just started reading it, but already I have implemented one of his suggestions: to change […]



Why I don’t read newspapers

Image via Wikipedia More specifically, I don’t read opinion pieces. Here’s an example of why I don’t. In the Dec. 24th edition of the Financial Times, Harry Eyres wrote in a piece called Human beings or human resources? … the Enlightenment project of raising human reason to god-like power has had disturbing results. These can […]



Brain Gym, or propaganda in schools

Image via Wikipedia Andrew Old, blogging on Scenes from the Battleground, wrote a piece on Brain Gym, a system of simple exercises promoted by Britain‘s Education Ministry and used in thousands of schools around the country. He includes a couple of video clips from a 2008 Newsnight program that suggest it’s not backed up by […]



Scenes from the Battleground – a secondary school teacher reveals the horrors of British classrooms

Image via Wikipedia I’ve just spent the last few hours reading the Scenes from the Battleground blog. Andrew Old is old-school: a believer in teaching facts and knowledge, in the importance of effective discipline, and he does not believe in progressive education. He writes well, with zest and humour. Here’s a good example: someone sent […]



Robin Hood of Las Vegas

Image via Wikipedia So reads the Telegraph headline, but it’s a little misleading (woah! says you – a newspaper that writes attention-grabbing headlines, even if they’re not quite accurate! That’s a new one!). The gambler is not actually stealing from the rich. Still, it’s an interesting story about a remarkable man who gambles for good […]



The beginning of the end of the airline industry in the US? Or “why I won’t fly to the US”

Image via Wikipedia Update: The Daily Kos has this comment:  Improvements in airport security have historically not worked. Yet, in response to a failed terrorism attempt, a struggling industry in a struggling economy, and the poor saps stuck as its customers, will have to deal with more restrictions imposed not because there’s any empirical support […]



Does a person belong to him/herself, to her parents, or to the State?

Image via Wikipedia In August, 2009, according to this article in the Guardian (UK), a court in the Netherlands awards child care bureau joint custody of 13-year-old Laura Dekker after fears for her safety were raised over her plan to sail solo around the world. Who raised the fears, one wonders, because her parents were […]



Changing a country’s population

Cover of All Must Have Prizes Back in October, 2009, British journalist Melanie Phillips (author of All Must Have Prizesthe Mail Online that the Labour government had plotted to transform the entire make-up of Britain by deliberately allowing a huge number of immigrants into Britain: Some 2.3million migrants have been added to the population since […]