Sunday, February 22, 2015

Sunday Sermon: Perilous Times

This know also, that in the last days
perilous times shall come.

For men shall be lovers of their own selves,

covetous, boasters,



disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

without natural affection,

truce breakers, false accusers,

incontinent, fierce,

despisers of those that are good, traitors,

heady, high minded,
lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

having a form of godliness,
but denying the power thereof:

from such turn away.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Jobs for Jihadists

This was too good to pass up....

Why Is Obama's Approval Rating So High?

Looking over the presidential approval polls over the past few weeks (Gallup, Rasmussen), President Obama's job approval rating has risen from around 42 percent to 48 percent. There are some theories about why his rating went up, but the numbers don't really make a lick of sense.

The rise in his job approval doesn't really track with last year's election, or with the new Congress that opened this year. It doesn't even track with his executive action to extend amnesty to illegal migrants.

I have some hypotheses, however, that are yet to be proven, yet may just explain why Obama's popularity is on the rise:
  1. Republicans note that he only has a couple of years left in the White House and are happy to see him go.
  2. There are a lot of golf fans out there who appreciate Obama's dedication to the game.
  3. The staff at Gallup and Rasmussen were replaced by zombies.
  4. The staff at Gallup and Rasmussen were replaced by "jihadi militants."
  5. Mexican immigrants took over the polling system.
  6. ISIS immigrants took over the polling system.
  7. Anti-Christian atheists are no longer a minority in the US.
  8. Polling only takes place in certain areas of Washington DC and Chicago.
  9. The educational system has finally and completely failed in teaching its citizens basic civics.
  10. By the accounts of the numbers of people who went to see 50 Shades of Grey, Americans are heavy into bondage and abuse.
  11. Millions of Americans are suddenly not racist.
  12. Obama's handing out free phones again.
What do you think? Why did the Divider-in-Chief suddenly become so popular?

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Paper: Emotional Problems among Children with Same-Sex Parents: Difference by Definition

A friend of mine pointed out a new sociological study that indicates that children raised by same sex parents don't fare as well emotionally as children raised by opposite sex parents, especially by biological parents.

You can find the study here.

The study is based on some solid sociological methodologies and has something to say about the effects of same sex parenting.

However, the study will, inevitably, be excoriated by the PC crowd of progressives, especially those who will allow no dissent against the new sacred cow of same sex marriage. Not only will the study be trashed, the author will be publicly flogged, the school where he resides will be protested, and the journal in which his paper appears will be slammed until it retracts the article.

Same sex marriage advocates have become the latest in a long line of progressive attack dogs. In the name of "equality" and "fairness," they have created a dogma that is so closed minded, so intolerant, and so radically immoral, that most other progressive ideals seem tame and civil by comparison.

There is a great divide within the US, as well as within the West. It is led by zealots who seek to supplant the great ideals of the West with new, "progressive" ones. The destruction of the institution of marriage and the inculcation of children into its priesthood is the latest manifestation of America transformed.

Monday, February 16, 2015

College Freshman Read at 7th Grade Level

While this is hardly news, I came across an article the other day which argued that the average college freshman reads at a seventh grade level (source). Having taught at the university level now for some (mumble mumble mumble) years I've personally seen the decline in reading ability of our college students. From the article:
"We are spending billions of dollars trying to send students to college and maintain them there when, on average, they read at about the grade 6 or 7 level, according to Renaissance Learning’s latest report on what American students in grades 9-12 read, whether assigned or chosen," education expert Dr. Sandra Stotsky [said].... "The average reading level for five of the top seven books assigned as summer reading by 341 colleges using Renaissance Learning’s readability formula was rated 7.56 [meaning halfway through seventh grade]."
I teach political science and history classes and have used the same (or similar) primary source texts for many years. Since the past five or even ten years, I now receive complaints from students about how difficult the readings are. Today's students simply cannot process the readings anymore. Those who do process them, filter them through some progressive-laden filter and miss the plain meaning.

Here is an example of student complaints from just one of the assignments - a reading of the Mayflower Compact (a basic document in US history):
I had a hard time writing on these topics, the Compact in particular. 
I did not like this assignment. The wording on these documents was hard to understand.
A strong indicator over recent years of student inability to read is a decline in overall grades. As I mentioned, I've used the same readings and the same grading rubric for many years, but the overall average grades have declined from an average of around 90% to an average of around 78%.

This drop in reading ability and grades should concern us all. It's too early in the game to blame Common Core on declining student reading, but we can lay the decline squarely at the feet of progressive education doctrine which is based on the false philosophies of standardized assessments and teacher (not student) accountability.

It's time we return to the fundamentals of teaching, not where student progress is measured by incessant and stressful standardized testing, but where student progress is measured by such intangibles as, say, the ability to read.