Under the Maple Canopy

Singing Union Songs Since 2009


Bill Maher takes apart Reagan

Why Evolution Is True

Since Ronald Reagan died nine years ago, I’ve watched him transmogrified into something of a saint. Even Democrats like Obama don’t dare say a bad word about this bigoted right-wing, demagogue. All he had going for him was a faux affability, which was a thin veneer on deeply dangerous ideas.

Two weeks ago Bob Dole, in a critique of the Republican Party on Fox News Sunday, argued that the GOP had moved so far right that Reagan couldn’t even make it as a Republican candidate were he to run today.

While it’s good that Dole points out how crazily conservative the GOP has become, I didn’t buy for a second his view that Reagan wouldn’t be a comfortable fit with today’s Republicans. Reagan was a right wing-nut, and his beatification is mystifying.

I see that Bill Maher agrees with me. Here’s a clip from a recent show in which he…

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I guess I still like writing after all…

Back in April, Jerimi over at My Antidepressant Life wrote about her pen-pal through the Letter Writer’s Alliance.  First off, Jerimi has a great blog if you’re looking for something to read.  Secondly, letter writing?  An entire group of folks devoted to writing letters and absolutely yummy paper related items?

I joined right away even though I had a backlog of thank you cards waiting to go out and am spotty at best when it comes to sending out holiday cards be they for anniversaries, birthdays, or other appropriate occasions.  In my defense, cards are freaking expensive for what you get and signing a card really never feels like “enough.”

But….letters?  I love letters.  Even better?  While writing my very first penpal letter, I discovered that I still like writing after all.  Just not blogging.

So.

Here’s the deal, if you’re a regular here and you’d still like to keep in touch, I’d love to hear from you.  Want a handwritten letter in return?  Drop me an email with your snail mail address (maplecanopy [at] gmail [dot] com) and I’ll send one your way!  :0)


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Finished Since Last Time…

We’ve finished three books in the last two weeks and are very close to finishing a fourth. Books #8, 9, and 10 were “Stuart Little” by EB White, “Bartleby of the Mighty Mississippi” by Phyllis Shalan,t and “A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Bad Beginning” by Lemony Snicket. Book #10 is E.L. Konigsburg’s “From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler” which has been equally as delicious to read as #s 9 and 10.

From there, we’ll be on to #12, “The Son of Neptune” by Rick Riordan.

Another thing that I have settled on declaring finished lately is this here blog. I’m not done writing (seeing as writing is a lifelong process), but my writing ambitions are definitely finished. My apologies to those who have commented within the last month or so. I really did mean to get back to you, but the reality is that I won’t. I do feel the tiniest bit sorry about that. Only the tiniest bit, though. Much as I meant to get back to writing here, as time went on I found that what seemed so urgent or necessary before didn’t any longer.

The short version? I still have plenty to say, but I have no desire to say it here.

So, dear reader, my deepest appreciation to all of you for reading along with me. You are certainly welcome to continue, but know that I’m going to be shifting focus and what will follow in this space will primarily be a personal record of next year’s homeschooling. In other words, less blog, more record keeping. Read alouds, units I have created myself, resource lists, etc.

I won’t begrudge you if a litany of lists and records does not thrill you. :0) You have my permission to go therefore and read someone else.


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Book #7 is Finished!

lostheroIn what feels a bit like a whirlwind of reading, tonight we finished book #7 for the year, Rick Riordan’s “The Lost Hero.”  The kids loved this book to pieces and can’t wait for the next one in the series.  We’d actually start the next one right away…except that I discovered that we don’t actually own it.  Oops!

So…rather than try and wait for it to arrive from inter-library loan or buy it at Target for full price (perish the thought!), the kids are just going to have to wait.  In the meantime, book #8 is E.B. White’s “Stuart Little.”

A quick read with a movie on the other side?  Yup, they’ll get over it.


David Berliner on “A Nation at Risk”: Three Decades of Lies

Diane Ravitch's blog

Three Decades of Lies

We have endured 30 years of lies, half-truths, and myths. Bruce Biddle and I debunked many of these untruths in our book, The Manufactured Crisis, in 1995. But more falsehoods continue to surface all the time. The most recent nonsense was “U. S. Education Reform and National Security,” a report presented to us last year by Joel Klein and Condoleezza Rice. A Nation at Riskhad us losing the political and economic races to the Soviet Union and Japan. Did we? No. Our economy took off, the Soviet political system collapsed, and Japan’s economy has retreated for two decades. So much for the predictions of A Nation at Risk.
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David C. Berliner

The newest version of this genre by Klein/Rice has us losing the military and economic races to China and others. But this odd couple seems to forget that militarily we spend…

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Five-tenths is the same as one-half

So, the kid is in second grade. Yesterday he was working on a practice math test and turned it in today. When I asked him about it this afternoon he said he got six wrong because he has a hard time with fractions.

I asked him to give me an example. He said one problem had two rows of five for a total of ten. Five of them were shaded in. He wrote 1/2 as the answer and it was marked wrong.

Reader, they wanted him to write 5/10.

Say it with me now, “5/10 is the same as 1/2.”

*sigh*

The kid is not having problems with fractions.