Friday, July 08, 2011

Islam Treading on London

At Gates of Vienna, signs London is being tread on by Islam.  London is a Shariah-Controlled Zone

Linked via Vlad Tepes.

Posted by John Venlet on 07/08 at 02:51 PM
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Happiness Question of the Day

If the Pursuit of Happiness Is an Inalienable Right, Why Is There No Department of Happy?

Are you happy, now?  If not, it’s because you have to continually pursue happiness.  Continue your pursuit by reading Aristotle’s Ethics: The Theory of Happiness (pdf of 7 pgs), and then pursue happiness some more.

Linked via Otto Odecker.

Posted by John Venlet on 07/08 at 11:13 AM
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The Moral of the Story

You can’t legislate morality, but new research suggests that telling certain stories can promote virtuous moral choices.

Mary Helen Immordino-Yang of the USC Brain and Creativity Institute and the USC Rossier School of Education found that individuals who were told stories designed to evoke compassion and admiration for virtue sometimes reported that they felt a physical sensation in response. These psycho-physical “pangs” of emotion are very real—they’re detectable with brain scans—and may be evidence that pro-social behavior is part of human survival.

Immordino-Yang’s hypothesis, borne out thus far by her research, is that the feeling or emotional reactions in the body may sometimes prompt introspection, and can ultimately promote moral choices and motivation to help or emulate others.

Brain Co-Opts the Body to Promote Moral Behavior, Study Finds

Linked via Fred Lapides (SFW).

UPDATE:  Ed Rasimus’ Every Picture Tells a Story.

Posted by John Venlet on 07/08 at 10:11 AM
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Something Beautiful By Rote

I’m not certain when rote learning fell out of favor with the “intellectual” crowd, but allegedly rote learning has been discredited and other more “innovative” learning methods are now all the fashion, and, because fashions change like the weather, educational costs continue to mount as school districts thoroughout America attempt to keep up with the most current fashions.

When I attended grade school in the 1960s rote learning was the norm, so it’s fortunate that I have any understanding at all, I guess, or maybe I’m just regurgitating over myself and don’t know it.

Anyway, I was spurred to think on rote learning after reading a post by Jewel at the blog Jaded Haven titled Beautiful Girl, wherein I read the following.

She was dogged throughout her school years with many learning disabilities that preemies often have. She suffered from short term memory losses, couldn’t write a coherent thought to save her life, and by the time she was in fifth grade, even after repeating the third grade, her teachers had all but given up on her and suggested that she be put on a regimen of miracle drugs that promised instant A’s.  And by suggested, I mean that they said ‘or else’.

So when we moved from Virginia,  I took my kids out of the loving clutches of the Educrats and home schooled them illegally, for one year.

We only did four things: Reading, writing, arithmetic and drawing.

So many things were not taught to this child, in spite of the schools’ reputations for excellence. She’d gone to four different schools by fifth grade, and the last one seemed to be little more than a cuckoo’s nest with Nurse Ratchet handing out kiddie meds to keep the boys all sedated.

Emily loved being home schooled. We took our time on everything. I simplified everything and repeated, repeated, repeated, until I thought she finally got it.

You’ll have to go and read the rest of Jewel’s post for the results of her rote learning experiment with her daughter.  She has enthroned the child, by rote.

UPDATE:  For some reason, when I link to the link provided by Jewel in comment #31, my place becomes skewed.  So, scroll down the comments to Jewel’s post and click on the link provided in comment #31 and view a comparison between a photo of Jewel’s daughter, and a painting titled The Child Enthroned.  It’s worth it.

Posted by John Venlet on 07/08 at 09:01 AM
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Graphic Warning Labels and Unwed Mothers

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has decreed that by the Fall of 2012, cigarette manufacturers will have to plaster graphic warning labels on all cigarette packages.  Labels such as this, and this, which are not particularly graphic, in my opinion.

I have my doubts in regards to how effective this will be in the “war” on smoking, and see that the FDA doubts the effectiveness of graphic warning labels themselves.  But, in the spirit of utilizing graphic warning labels in attempts to control individuals’ behavior, may I suggest that graphic warning labels be utilized in attempts to control the problem of unwed mothers, rather than incentivizing unwed mothers via family support services, support for Medicaid, access to family planning, all which cost money which can only be obtained by further tapping the pockets of taxpaying Americans, which is exactly what is currently being proposed by one Jane Zehnder-Merrell of the Michigan League for Human Services.

I was made aware of Zehnder-Merrell’s plea for more money for unwed mothers via a Grand Rapids Press article scare headlined Michigan’s sharp rise in births to unwed moms means ‘a lot more children growing up in poverty’.  Though Zehnder-Merrell recognizes that a much more effective means of keeping children from growing up in poverty is to encourage unwed women and teen girls to not have babies, that’s more of an afterthought, and besides, in today’s age we can’t be so fuddy duddy as to tell teens and unmarried women to not have sex, I mean it feels so good and its just a normal behavior.  Even bonobos and dolphins have sex just for the fun of it.

Some suggestions for graphic warning labels to discourage teen girls and unwed women from getting pregnant, you know to prevent kids growing up in poverty, would include photos of a dirt poor young girl in rags, living in a shack with a scraggly baby sucking at an empty breast, or, some dirt poor young woman giving birth under a bridge with a cardboard box close at hand with the word cradle scrawled on the side of it.  I could come up with a few other suggestions, but you get the idea.

Posted by John Venlet on 07/08 at 08:07 AM
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