Aid and comfort: Turkey creationism

September 6, 2007

Public Radio International’s daily news program, The World, reported today that a group called “Discovery” (the Discovery Institute?) and mathematician David Berlinsky are in league with Islamic fundamentalists in Turkey in their pushing of creationism over evolution theory. (Still can’t get a biologist to go along with them? Mathematician? What are the odds that he knows anything about biology?)

Update: Here’s the link to the creationism story, creationism in Turkey.

True stripes show, eventually: Creationism in Turkey is pushed by a bunch that uses threats of violence against teachers of science at all levels, and bullying tactics otherwise, to “persuade” others (so far as I can tell, this blog and all other WordPress blogs are still being blocked in Turkey due to bizarre legal maneuvers by the charlatan science commentator Adnan Oktar, who publishes under the pseudonym Harun Yahya some of the most inaccurate material and fantastic fabrications in their war on science).

The story is not up in the archives for The World, yet — archives generally run a day behind. The story was broadcast today, September 6, 2007. It featured wild track tape of Berlinsky lecturing in Turkey, if I heard correctly, and further interviews with him.

Stay tuned.


Create panic, herd the stampede

September 6, 2007

In old western movies, the bad guys would try to get their way by stampeding the cattle herd of the good guys, knowing that the least that would happen is a lot of destruction, even if they couldn’t exactly control the stampede. Destruction, even mindless destruction, is good for bad guys — in the movies.

I’m not sure why that image popped into my mind this morning. I was reading about the vouchers election campaign in Utah, and then I was looking around the Strong American Schools (SAS) website  (“ED in ’08”).

Strong American Schools is a project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, two of the largest philanthropic organizations in the world, have provided grant funding for Strong American Schools.
Roy Romer, the former governor of Colorado and most recently superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District, is our chairman and lead spokesman.

At the SAS site I found an interactive map of the U.S., you can roll your cursor on a state and see that state’s graduation rate. ED in '08, campaign from Rockefeller and Gates Foundations

What’s the most-often stated reason for vouchers in Utah? Somehow, the schools are failing.

Which state in the U.S. has the highest graduation rates? At 84% of students graduating from high school, Utah leads the nation in that category. New Jersey is #2 at 80%, and most other states lag 10 to 20 points behind.

What are the Utah voucher advocates using to show “failing schools” when the state leads the nation in graduation?

If Utah leads the nation in graduation, with per capita spending on students in schools ranking near the bottom of the states over the last decade or three, what factor is pulling students from least spending to best graduation? It’s probably the teachers.

Excuse me while I wonder: Why are Utah voters (and the rest of us) in this hand basket, and where are we going in such a damned hurry?


Carnival Catsup, back to school packet

September 6, 2007

No, the spell checker doesn’t do titles.

How long since we noted the Carnival of Education? Too long.

Education Carnival without a number at Dr. Homeslice
Education Carnival 131 at Education in Texas

Education Carnival 132 at Education Matters US!
Education Carnival 133 at The Red Pencil
Education Carnival 134 at MatthewTAbor.com
Education Carnival 135 at The Education Wonks

That’s about 200 blog posts whose titles you really ought to peruse, at least.

Welcome back to the chalkboard, eh?


Non-violence in action, today

September 6, 2007

Your kids don’t quite get the point of non-violent protest? The “Scarface” t-shirts outnumber “I Have A Dream” t-shirts on August 28? Do you wish you had some current examples of non-violent protest for classroom discussion?

Anti-Racist Action clown brigade hooting down a Nazi/KKK rally in Knoxville, TN

Nonviolent protest helped disrupt a rally of VNN Vanguard Nazi/KKK in Knoxville, Tennessee, last may — courtesy of the usual clowns. You know, the ARA (Anti-Racist Action) clown block. It’s a good example of using peace to combat violence and hate.

Ridicule and laughter proved tougher than hate. Cooler, too. From a story at Asheville Indymedia:

“White Power!” the Nazi’s shouted, “White Flour?” the clowns yelled back running in circles throwing flour in the air and raising separate letters which spelt “White Flour”.

“White Power!” the Nazi’s angrily shouted once more, “White flowers?” the clowns cheers and threw white flowers in the air and danced about merrily.

“White Power!” the Nazi’s tried once again in a doomed and somewhat funny attempt to clarify their message, “ohhhhhh!” the clowns yelled “Tight Shower!” and held a solar shower in the air and all tried to crowd under to get clean as per the Klan’s directions.

At this point several of the Nazi’s and Klan members began clutching their hearts as if they were about to have a heart attack. Their beady eyes bulged, and the veins in their tiny narrow foreheads beat in rage. One last time they screamed “White Power!”

The clown women thought they finally understood what the Klan was trying to say. “Ohhhhh…” the women clowns said. “Now we understand…”, “WIFE POWER!” they lifted the letters up in the air, grabbed the nearest male clowns and lifted them in their arms and ran about merrily chanting “WIFE POWER! WIFE POWER! WIFE POWER!”

Tip of the old scrub brush to Bug Girl’s Blog, and Neat-o-rama.


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