Monday, July 30, 2007

The Expanding Universe, Foretold in the Koran

So I was clicking around in YouTube, looking for some good bite-sized science documentaries. I searched "expansion of the universe", and got back a list of clips, every third or fourth of which was Koranic propaganda. And it's not a campaign or a conspiracy. Like believers in creationism, there is apparently a critical mass of dopes who believe this stuff, and spread the tidings as the spirit moves. Scary, since we know that Islamic evangelism doesn't stop at only this...

Charter school

I'm not able to afford private school, of any quality. In order to get into a good public school district, I'd have to move, and then go back to paying a mortgage so huge that it would have a Schwarzchild radius. I don't want to go back to the knee-knockers' current public school. For three reasons. One, first grade was essentially a repeat of my oldest's church kindergarten, academics-wise. She was tops in everything, but she didn't have to try, and I was afraid she'd lose interest and become easily discouraged at anything that took an effort.

The second, third and fourth reasons were a little touchier. The school has been trending black for years, and is now about 80% African-American. That by itself is not troubling, especially in the innocent early years. I myself grew up in 50-50 racial environments. But tell me: in an 80% black school, why is the turnout at the monthly PTA meeting 60% white? Second, I was at Field Day last year, and there was a dj, pumpin' up the rap for the elementary school kids. Ugh! The dirty stuff was edited out, as you could tell by catching the silences in the rappers' cadences. I think that turned my stomach just as much as uncut rap would have. "See? We care about our kids. We're playing 'muthaBLEEPuh-muthaBLEEPuh-muthaBLEEPuh', so everything's cool." Ugh, again.

The deal breaker was one day when I was doing some volunteer work for P.E. Day. But first, tell me: what does an over 60% out of wedlock birth rate mean to you? Poverty? Unemployment? STDs? Crime? What it meant to me on that day was this: I found myself amid a group of curious first-graders, explaining what my wedding ring was. I resolved very shortly thereafter that "diversity" like that could wait until my kids' formative years were a little further along. Yes, they have their own minds and wills and personalities, but they will inevitably soak up as much if not more from their peers than they will from their parents. (I have some sad examples from my own relatives to that effect, which I will not share here.)

So, on to charter school, and its baccalaureate program, its uniforms, its year-round school term, and its horrendous traffic flow (It's in temporary digs for now). The racial makeup is close to 50-50, with a smattering of Indians and other Asians, many of whom are friends from my youngest's kindergarten last year. I hope to contribute something to the success of the school by getting involved, as all the parents are required to do. Since all the parents at least wish for better things for their kids, rather than seeing the school as free day care, I'm looking forward to creating relationships with them. It starts a week from today.

Sunday, July 29, 2007


I'm afraid I must report near-total failure. We're still here. Fortunately, we got our children into charter school, more on which in a later post. Plus, we've had this present place paid off for a few years now, so it's not like we're in any kind of financial bind. And knuckling down to real world concerns paid off in other ways, for a while. More on that in a still later post. But, I find myself easing back into the blogs, though I don't intend to plunge in so deeply as before.

I still have the keys to Jeff Goldstein's blog, many thanks to him for which. Here's something about the Michael Vick thing I wrote over there.