Friday, August 29, 2014

The Joys Of Summer

(If you must have politics, please scroll down to the open thread, the blog post just below this one)

Ah!  The joyful memories of summer! (with thanks to Duck, who took the photo and emailed me the jpeg):

Fountain (July 24, 2014)

See more of Duck's photographic art at Duck's Flickr page.

"End of Summer" by Stanley Kunitz

Open Thread

Yes, I'm back — not that I was ever really absent from this blog, but rather spending a great deal of time preparing for the start of the 2014-2015 school term.

So, what's on your mind?

Here is your chance to vent, but please observe the guidelines listed below:

We welcome civil dialogue at Always on Watch. We will delete comments that include any of the following:
1. Any use of profanity or abusive language
2. Off topic comments and spam
3. Use of personal invective
4. We do not respond to anonymous comments

One infuriating story that recently came to my attention:

Christian children...Islamic songs [at Rejoice Lutheran Church in Omaha, Nebraska, on the evening of 9/22/13]

Even more infuriating — and dangerous:

Obama confesses: ‘We don’t have a strategy yet’ for Islamic State

Thursday, August 28, 2014

A few days early.

All the tasks needing to be completed are now done.

I will have two posts early tomorrow: an open thread and an end-of-summer post

During this blog break, I've done my best to keep up with developments in the news. What an avalanche!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Blog Break (With Addendum)

It's time for R&R (rest and relaxation)!

Until August 31, this blog is on summer break.  Please return for new posts on that date, for which I already have two posts queued up. 

During this blog break, I might or might not be making blog rounds. Intense blogging makes R&R impossible and blights life.

Comment moderation is intermittently enabled during this R&R break. I rarely use comment moderation, but I'm determined to enjoy a period of respite.

ADDENDUM: If you wish to post comments about current events, go to this open thread. Otherwise, your comment will not be published.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

In Honor Of Robin Williams

(If you must have politics, please scroll down)

Last photo, posted by Robin Williams to Instagram: "Happy Birthday to me! A visit from one of my favorite leading ladies, Crystal."

First, read about Awakenings, my favorite Robin Williams film.

Then, watch the short video below particularly poignant now that this brilliant performer is gone — apparently by his own hand:

Robin Williams the performer always gave 110%.  He could make me smile and cry, sometimes at the same time.

RIP, Robin. I miss you already.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Open Thread

So, what's on your mind?

Here is your chance to vent, but please observe the guidelines listed below:

We welcome civil dialogue at Always on Watch. We will delete comments that include any of the following:
1. Any use of profanity or abusive language
2. Off topic comments and spam
3. Use of personal invective
4. We do not respond to anonymous comments

One recent story that made me sigh in frustration:

Salon Attempts to Paint Avowed Communist Lee Harvey Oswald as a “Right-Winger”.

Here's another:  

FAA Issues Flight Restrictions Over Ferguson After Rioters Shoot At Police Helicopter.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Bob Schieffer: "A World Gone Mad"

Please watch this short video published on July 24, 2014 (hat tip to Reliapundit of THE ASTUTE BLOGGERS):

Your thoughts on the above?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Howard Zinn's Long, Influential Arm (With Addendum)

This blog post will remain here for several days so that readers of this blog can explore the information in manageable segments.

Please avail yourself of the opportunity to learn about the anti-American views of the man who has in recent years probably most influenced Americans' interpretation of our own history and heritage. Even conservatives have bought into many of Howard Zinn's ideas — and the disparagement of America.

In fact, his materials, including portions of and materials derived from A People's History of the United States, are used in classrooms all over the United States.

During the interview, Dennis Prager asked Zinn if the world would be a better or worse place if America had never existed. Zinn said that the world would be a better place if America had never existed.

The interview in four parts:

For further study:

The Zinn Education Project web site

The Zinn Education Facebook page

Questions for discussion:

1.  How much of Howard Zinn's influence impacted your education?

2.  How much of Howard Zinn's influence impacts your children's (or other younger relatives' education) today?

3.  Besides education, do you see other ways in which Howard Zinn's influence has impacted the way the people think today?


Since I queued up this blog post, the following information about the new AP American History Course has come along (August 7, 2014):
Historic fail? Greatest Americans missing from proposed curriculum

New history curriculum standards proposed for top high school students leave out such American icons as Benjamin Franklin and Martin Luther King, Jr., paint colonists as bigots and gloss over the Greatest Generation's fight to save the world from Nazi Germany, according to conservative education activists who want the framework delayed — and perhaps scrapped altogether.

An open letter circulated by conservative education activists is calling on The College Board to delay implementing new Advanced Placement U.S. History guidelines, saying a “rising tide of opposition” believes the curriculum will take the nation’s classrooms in a bad direction.

The Aug. 4 letter, which is addressed to David Coleman, president/CEO of the New York-based nonprofit, claims the new 98-page curriculum is a “dramatic departure” from the five-page outline previously used by teachers and students and offers a consistently negative view of Americans as oppressors and exploiters.

“The framework ignores the rise of democratic institutions such as the House of Burgesses and New England town meetings,” the letter reads. “It also omits the colonists’ growing commitment to religious freedom and the emergence of a pluralistic society that lacked an entrenched aristocracy.”

What’s missing from the curriculum, according to a former public school teacher and author of two Advanced Placement prep guides, is mention of John Winthrop and his “city upon a hill” sermon as one of the key early instances of American exceptionalism and references to Roger Williams and the birth of religious toleration.


“And you’re not going to find Thomas Jefferson and the House of Burgesses and the cradle of democracy either,” said Larry Krieger, who retired in 2005 after more than three decades in the classroom. “And finally, you’re not going to find Benjamin Franklin and the birth of American entrepreneurialism.”

Instead, students exposed to the curriculum — roughly 500,000 annually nationwide, many of whom will take the class as sophomores and juniors — will find a narrative laden with tyranny and subjugation....
More at the above link.

Also see New War Over High School U.S. History.

Howard Zinn has won!

Monday, August 11, 2014

August 8, 2014, On The Gathering Storm

I rarely post the audio of a particular edition of The Gathering Storm Radio Show, broadcast live and via podcast by Blog Talk Radio every Friday. The last edition of the show, however, is worthy of its own separate blog post.

Last Friday, Iraqi exile IQ al Rassoli and I discussed the recent bombing of ISIS ordered by Barack Hussein Obama. Please listen to the first 8 minutes of the show:

Popular Politics Internet Radio with WC Always On Watch on BlogTalkRadio

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Music And The Brain

(If you must have politics, please scroll down)

From Plato:
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.
Scientific evidence supports Plato's statement:

As Plato asserted, the benefits of music go beyond measurable neurological findings.   Music does indeed feed the soul (extensive list of quotes on that topic).

Friday, August 8, 2014

Race-Based Grading Policy?

Please forward to the 7:58 mark, and watch through the 10:43 mark:

The University of Wisconsin Madison denies that such a policy is in force. But take a look at the babble in this truncated version of the official policy of the University of Wisconsin [Ludicrous babble alert!]:

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Book Review: The Housekeeper and the Professor

(If you must have politics, please scroll down)

I've read several interesting novels this summer.  One of the gems I discovered is The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa. The story, possibly suggested by the case of H.M.,  is both poignant and uplifting — with just the right touch of sentimentality. 

In fact, this book is pure enchantment.  A book to read over and over again!

Monday, August 4, 2014

FEATURED QUESTION: Constitutional Roles

(This blog post will remain here for a few days)

In several ways, my sister-in-law is a nice person. She is also financially prosperous. As the executive president and CFO of her own private business and living in a very exclusive area of Southern California, she is clearly a member of "the 1%."

When it comes to politics, however, she and I are at complete odds over on Facebook, where I'm actually quite restrained in any political posts that I make. Indeed, I rarely post about politics at Facebook; rather, I typically reserve that venue for contacting friends, family, and former students.

I'm sure that my sister-in-law would have a meltdown if she saw this blog! I have carefully kept secret from her my Always On Watch identity.

One day, my sister-in-law revealed an important part of her political belief system: "President Obama is the man with a vision. It is the job of Congress to smooth the waters!" I was dumbfounded. My sister-in-law is an anomaly in our family, and I didn't expect that salvo from her. Furthermore, she launches an attack every time I post anything the slightest bit political — the one exception being anything about Islam. She hates all religions with a passion.

FEATURED QUESTION: How does one reason with those who believe as my sister-in-law does? 

When Progressives are members of one's own family, it is well nigh impossible to avoid them completely — or to be oneself around them, for that matter.