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 Post subject: Show 172 Texas SBOE Destroys Education
PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2010 10:03 pm 
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Just got done listening to Common Sense 172.I generally agree with Dan on a lot of things.This is one time I think there's more threat here than he's willing to admit to.

As an example, here's a quote from show Number 8:

Quote:
"I'm not an intelligent design guy, I'm just an open-minded guy. I don't mind a whole bunch of theories being thrown out there. I think we've really forgotten in this whole evolution thing is that the name of this whole name evolution thing is the theory of evolution."


Gravitational theory is only a theory too.But I wouldn't suggest you jump off a building and expect to float.There is every bit as much science backing evolution as there is gravitation.Perhaps more.Dan has gone on the attack against science in the past.And yet the scientific method is the only way that we can determine what truth is.Science is under attack here in Texas, more than history is.

The SBOE has specifically gone on the attack against the scientific method itself, attempting to undercut the basis for our technological society.The stories coming out about the history textbooks just highlight what kind of mental neanderthals are serving on the SBOE, and what their real goals are.Here's a quote from the story in the NY Times:

Quote:
In recent years, board members have been locked in an ideological battlebetween a bloc of conservatives who question Darwin’s theory ofevolution and believe the Founding Fathers were guided by Christianprinciples, and a handful of Democrats and moderate Republicans who havefought to preserve the teaching of Darwinism and the separation ofchurch and state.

Since January, Republicans on the board have passed more than 100amendments to the 120-page curriculum standards affecting history,sociology and economics courses from elementary to high school. Thestandards were proposed by a panel of teachers.

“We are adding balance,” said Dr. Don McLeroy, the leader of the conservative faction onthe board, after the vote. “History has already been skewed. Academiais skewed too far to the left.”


Excuse me if I don't buy McLeroy's arguments on the subject of the skewing of academia.His past support for inclusion of the teaching of creationism in science classrooms (which is distinctly NOT science) and his boards attempts to manipulate the definition of the scientific method so that Intelligent Design would meet the criteria, have shown that he is no friend of education, or our technologically based society either (which only exists because of the scientific method) which makes me question the justification for his chairing the board that dictates what Texas children will be taught in coming years.

The one thing I do agree with Dan on, on this subject, is the legitimacy of the existence of these types of boards in the first place.There isn't any.They should all be disbanded, and the controls for what is taught should be handed back to the teachers and parents.The people directly involved in educating the children.

Because, trust me, education begins at home.No matter what the government schools set out to teach my children, they get an education in critical thinking from me.

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"I'm rather reluctant to call myself an atheist...it hardly seems worthwhile to have a name for something that scarcely enters my thoughts at all" -- Jonathan Miller
"Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind." --George Orwell
"I've endeavored to follow the path the experience suggested, to see where it leads." --Edgar Mitchell


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 Post subject: Re: Show 172 Texas SBOE Destroys Education
PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 5:38 am 
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Quote:
The one thing I do agree with Dan on, on this subject, is the legitimacy of the existence of these types of boards in the first place.There isn't any.They should all be disbanded, and the controls for what is taught should be handed back to the teachers and parents.The people directly involved in educating the children.


Sure. The parents and teachers should all get together and decide how the children should be educated. Except there's too many of them to be effective, so they should elect people to represent their views, and those people can form a committee, and THEY can decide on educational standards. Much better than what's happening now. :proud:

Seriously, I think the biggest problem is that the elected body is accurately representing their constituents. I think they reflect the values of the people who elected them.

In today's world, I think liberals should be at the forefront of gun rights and homeschooling.

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 Post subject: Re: Show 172 Texas SBOE Destroys Education
PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 6:16 am 
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I'd like to see teachers electing their own representatives to the board. Maybe double its size and allow teachers to elect the other half, so they have representatives there, as well.

Remember, -none- of these people have pedagogical training, or training relevant to any subject being discussed (except, vaguely, tangentially, economics and US government). Not a one of them. Again, I'm not for inward-looking, out-of-touch scholar domination of things, but dear god let 'em have at least a couple of seats.

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 Post subject: Re: Show 172 Texas SBOE Destroys Education
PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 6:40 am 
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Hollowgolem wrote:
I'd like to see teachers electing their own representatives to the board. Maybe double its size and allow teachers to elect the other half, so they have representatives there, as well.

Remember, -none- of these people have pedagogical training, or training relevant to any subject being discussed (except, vaguely, tangentially, economics and US government). Not a one of them. Again, I'm not for inward-looking, out-of-touch scholar domination of things, but dear god let 'em have at least a couple of seats.

But neither do the parents have training in those areas (at least not in enough numbers to steer the board).

I'd LOVE for the teachers to have more voice. But I still think the parents' (pardon the sweeping generalization) ignorance and superstition, and their desire to pass those values on to their children, are the biggest problems. If the parents had their heads on straight, the board would reflect that.

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 Post subject: Re: Show 172 Texas SBOE Destroys Education
PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 6:56 am 
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That's why the teachers' reps should counter that. Think about it: only about 7 of the members on the board are super-extreme. The more moderate Republicans went along on this one because it's more innocuous, but they opposed the Creationism bit, so when it comes to really direct craziness, the board isn't that bad overall.

Parents still deserve some say. Teachers are public servants, and the people to whom they owe their service are their students -and- those students' parents. It's an unfortunate fact, but it is their parents whose property taxes pay our salaries, and we do havea duty to them.

Now, will I bend over for a parent that I know is flat-out wrong? No. I will teach the truth as I am aware, and, more importantly, encourage students to question and seek the truth as best they can on their own, despite what their parents may want, because, frankly, that's best for the student. But, I have a duty to listen to parents and consider their concerns, as does the entire education system.

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(Until at last we have arrived at this time, during which we are able to endure neither our sins nor their cure.)
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corruptisima re publica plurimae leges
(In the most corrupt republic are the most laws.)
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 Post subject: Re: Show 172 Texas SBOE Destroys Education
PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 7:39 am 
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RAnthony wrote:
Just got done listening to Common Sense 172.I generally agree with Dan on a lot of things.This is one time I think there's more threat here than he's willing to admit to.

As an example, here's a quote from show Number 8:

Quote:
"I'm not an intelligent design guy, I'm just an open-minded guy. I don't mind a whole bunch of theories being thrown out there. I think we've really forgotten in this whole evolution thing is that the name of this whole name evolution thing is the theory of evolution."


Gravitational theory is only a theory too.But I wouldn't suggest you jump off a building and expect to float.There is every bit as much science backing evolution as there is gravitation.Perhaps more.Dan has gone on the attack against science in the past.And yet the scientific method is the only way that we can determine what truth is.Science is under attack here in Texas, more than history is.


Let's be careful about using quotes that sound different out of context than if you hear the whole show :wink:

My point in that show (if I recall) was that I am open to all sorts of theories. I am not afraid of other views being taught in a comparative sense. "The Theory of Evolution" is always being enhanced, updated, clarified, etc. (as all good theories are as more and more new info is built into them). I have never been a "creationist" (I have never understood why the creationists just can't accept that "God" created this system...and decide that it is all good because of that...I mean...evolution and a God-centered personal philosophy are not mutually exclusive at all).

Why people feel the need to buy into that whole "6,000 year old Earth" idea is beyond me...the Bible never said that...that's a stupid human's calculation! Then people latch onto it as though it is a Biblical pronouncement. :roll:

As I believe I said in that show...let's not be afraid to teach kids a bunch of theories on how the Earth was created. Keep the scientific one in the science class, and the others for a comparative religion course. But, truthfully, I think if the people in Texas want to teach this crap in their schools, the people of Texas will be the losers in the long run. This is why so many parents are seeking out private schools (have you seen how much the tuition to those places has skyrocketed? That's a sign of the demand that is out there...) as real education declines, parents who can, often seek a way out of the public system. Depends on where you live of course...there are still wonderful public schools...but more and more it is looking like a real crap shoot for parents seeking a quality education for their kids.

And crap like this Texas example is a good reason explaining why.

It would be interesting to have a human experiment where we taught one set of kids the way the radical school board members in Texas want them taught, and then the way their opponents want kids taught, and then compare the results.

And then see who gets into college...


And as far as me "going on the attack against science in the past" Uh...no. That is YOUR interpretation I guess. Science I never have had problems with. Human Beings, (be they scientists or not) I sometimes have problems with. :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Show 172 Texas SBOE Destroys Education
PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 7:50 am 
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Quote:
It would be interesting to have a human experiment where we taught one set of kids the way the radical school board members in Texas want them taught, and then the way their opponents want kids taught, and then compare the results.

And then see who gets into college...

They're working on the colleges too. I believe I've seen pushing for colleges offering "creation science" degrees demanding accreditation.

So it comes down to tailoring the definition of success to match the results.

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 Post subject: Re: Show 172 Texas SBOE Destroys Education
PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 8:44 am 
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Did I just see Dan called a Creationist sympathizer for being diplomatic and non-confrontational?

Can't please everyone, I guess. :P

As for colleges encouraging this kind of stuff, one can hope that these people who deny the function of evolution by natural selection as a viable scientific phenomenon, they can forgo medical treatment or drugs, and especially gene therapy. After all, these are all results of biological science, with which these folks seem to have such a virulent issue. Seems fair to me. They shouldn't be forced to use those detestable products of a sham science, after all.

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(Until at last we have arrived at this time, during which we are able to endure neither our sins nor their cure.)
-T. Livius, Ab Urbe Condita

corruptisima re publica plurimae leges
(In the most corrupt republic are the most laws.)
-P. Cornelius Tacitus


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 Post subject: Re: Show 172 Texas SBOE Destroys Education
PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 11:13 am 
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Dan wrote:
...And as far as me "going on the attack against science in the past" Uh...no. That is YOUR interpretation I guess. Science I never have had problems with. Human Beings, (be they scientists or not) I sometimes have problems with. :wink:


I've listened to most of your shows (I think I haven't heard 16 through about 35, but I have them on the playlist as I type; yes, I bought the dvd) and I've only found this one bone of contention so far (this and your inexplicable reverence for Pat Buchanan) You do say we'll all hate you in the end Dan. :P

Show number 5. Very critical of science. Admittedly, it is the scientists you are criticizing but you are painting with a VERY broad brush in that one.

Quote:
You just can't trust the scientific studies out there... ...There's a lot reasons why people might falsify research, look the other way at evidence that conflicts with their views, etc.


No one study represents the scientific method, or science itself. Pop science, is what you are referring to. Global warming is the latest example of pop science. There's no real scientific conclusions to be drawn from the data on global warming, yet. Scientists will do so, when pressed by funders or the media; and some of them are pop scientists, willing to sell the latest version of snake oil in order to make a quick buck, or gain fame. But when pressed, all of them will admit that the data needs more work, that the conclusions are preliminary.

The problem isn't science; the problem is the media, and their never ending need for the next story. The problem is human nature, and peoples willingness to believe the silliest things based on the flimsiest of say-so's, much less evidence.

Wanted to touch on your parting shot, first. I'll get to the rest of your reply here in a minute.

-RAnthony

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"I'm rather reluctant to call myself an atheist...it hardly seems worthwhile to have a name for something that scarcely enters my thoughts at all" -- Jonathan Miller
"Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind." --George Orwell
"I've endeavored to follow the path the experience suggested, to see where it leads." --Edgar Mitchell


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 Post subject: Re: Show 172 Texas SBOE Destroys Education
PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 12:24 pm 
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Dan wrote:
Let's be careful about using quotes that sound different out of context than if you hear the whole show :wink:


If the readers are confused about the context, perhaps they should all go buy the dvd, and get the context from the source. (you're welcome, for the shameless plug)

Dan wrote:
My point in that show (if I recall) was that I am open to all sorts of theories. I am not afraid of other views being taught in a comparative sense. "The Theory of Evolution" is always being enhanced, updated, clarified, etc. (as all good theories are as more and more new info is built into them). I have never been a "creationist"


You're right. You did disclaim creationism. And you explained yourself much better here than you did in the show. thank you.

But you went on to make some joke about aliens starting life on the planet being just as possible (heard that idea being proposed, seriously, on Coast to Coast last night. Takes all kinds, apparently) when the truth is that evolution is a documented scientific fact. Your dog is an evolved creature. It wasn't planted here by god or aliens. It's possible that life forming materials are floating out among the stars, and that life starts wherever the environment is hospitable to it. But there is no intelligence behind the design of the life forms on this planet. I can't begin to name the number of authorities on the subject that can point out, ad infinitum, the evidence found in our own bodies that traces back to common ancestors with every other creature on the planet. Evolution is a fact.

But these imbeciles that run the State governments down here cater to the ignorant masses; or like the majority of the SBOE appears, are part of the ignorant masses. And in the process they are threatening the future of our children. No compromise is possible, when it comes to subjects like this.

I know I'm beating a dead horse here. Sorry. But I live in Texas. Oklahoma is just to the North, and they're 75 percent evangelical. It's a bit scary to be surrounded by this much willful ignorance. And that is why this latest show bugs me, just a bit.

Dan wrote:
But, truthfully, I think if the people in Texas want to teach this crap in their schools, the people of Texas will be the losers in the long run. This is why so many parents are seeking out private schools (have you seen how much the tuition to those places has skyrocketed? That's a sign of the demand that is out there...) as real education declines, parents who can, often seek a way out of the public system. Depends on where you live of course...there are still wonderful public schools...but more and more it is looking like a real crap shoot for parents seeking a quality education for their kids.

And crap like this Texas example is a good reason explaining why.

It would be interesting to have a human experiment where we taught one set of kids the way the radical school board members in Texas want them taught, and then the way their opponents want kids taught, and then compare the results.

And then see who gets into college...


Texas isn't the most radical, as I noted above. They're just the largest in the region, so they get more attention. Kansas and Oklahoma, do a little research on those states. You'll be appalled.

The problem is, I'm not willing to let them experiment with my children. With my tax dollars. If the SBOE is going to exist, they need to stop being political, period. Stick to reviewing teaching methods, and recommending the one with the best results. Weeding out real errors in textbooks (something that goes seriously unreported) let the teachers and parents figure out what actually occurs in the classroom. Because they will anyway.

My children have never attended 'vanilla' government schools. They've either been in private school, or charter schools, or magnate schools (the difference between them is hard to explain) but my tax dollars still go to fund these idiots and they're stupid ideas. I've given up hope that that will ever change, myself.

-RAnthony

_________________
"No Gods and No Masters" -- Margaret Sanger
"I'm rather reluctant to call myself an atheist...it hardly seems worthwhile to have a name for something that scarcely enters my thoughts at all" -- Jonathan Miller
"Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind." --George Orwell
"I've endeavored to follow the path the experience suggested, to see where it leads." --Edgar Mitchell


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 Post subject: Re: Show 172 Texas SBOE Destroys Education
PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 9:50 am 
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drtrech wrote:
Sure. The parents and teachers should all get together and decide how the children should be educated. Except there's too many of them to be effective, so they should elect people to represent their views, and those people can form a committee, and THEY can decide on educational standards. Much better than what's happening now. :proud:

Seriously, I think the biggest problem is that the elected body is accurately representing their constituents. I think they reflect the values of the people who elected them.

In today's world, I think liberals should be at the forefront of gun rights and homeschooling.


You have a valid point. One that should not be dismissed. Perhaps the problem is the outmoded idea that one must 'go to school' in order to be educated in the first place. That in itself undermines parental control over the children.

Google is a better teacher than I ever had in school (sorry Miss Turner) you can get a laptop capable of the kinds of functions necessary to 'teach' for about a thousand bucks. Hmmm....

However, my point was that the consolidation of power in representatives removes minority views from the picture, the smallest minority being the individual parent. The SBOE was formed as a COST SAVING measure, to consolidate the cost of textbook purchase. Look where they are now...

-RAnthony

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"No Gods and No Masters" -- Margaret Sanger
"I'm rather reluctant to call myself an atheist...it hardly seems worthwhile to have a name for something that scarcely enters my thoughts at all" -- Jonathan Miller
"Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind." --George Orwell
"I've endeavored to follow the path the experience suggested, to see where it leads." --Edgar Mitchell


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 Post subject: Re: Show 172 Texas SBOE Destroys Education
PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 9:57 am 
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Hollowgolem wrote:
I'd like to see teachers electing their own representatives to the board. Maybe double its size and allow teachers to elect the other half, so they have representatives there, as well.

Remember, -none- of these people have pedagogical training, or training relevant to any subject being discussed (except, vaguely, tangentially, economics and US government). Not a one of them. Again, I'm not for inward-looking, out-of-touch scholar domination of things, but dear god let 'em have at least a couple of seats.


It would have been nice if the board had been formed, by appointment, of people knowledgeable in the different fields of education. Election is where this whole 'grand experiment' went off the rails. Popularity contests have nothing to do with ability to lead effectively (just look at our presidents of late) so teachers reps would be manipulated by politics in the same way the other members are.

As someone else pointed out somewhere else "who needs textbooks?" and you don't, anymore. The SBOE is worse than irrelevant, they are an embarrassment. They need to go.

-RAnthony

_________________
"No Gods and No Masters" -- Margaret Sanger
"I'm rather reluctant to call myself an atheist...it hardly seems worthwhile to have a name for something that scarcely enters my thoughts at all" -- Jonathan Miller
"Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind." --George Orwell
"I've endeavored to follow the path the experience suggested, to see where it leads." --Edgar Mitchell


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 Post subject: Re: Show 172 Texas SBOE Destroys Education
PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 10:15 am 
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Hollowgolem wrote:
Did I just see Dan called a Creationist sympathizer for being diplomatic and non-confrontational?


It's funny, I didn't see that post that way. But it's clear it comes off that way. I'll have to do some editing on the blog. Or maybe not. Makes for controversy.

Anyway, no. I think Dan has a soft spot for christian wackiness because he is one (christian or wacky, you decide) And isn't willing to call a spade a spade because of it. These wacko's that think that the world is 6000 years old, that the bible is literally true, these people are dictating policy in the 'red' states. They form the core of the SBOE.

...and that's more than frightening, it's threatening.

I've been told, by my governor, that people like me aren't American. My elected representatives have also stated that I must have a god to worship. I generally make sure I'm in 'good company' before I acknowledge my true views on religion. You never know who's going to go off on you, and who needs that, when your just out buying groceries, and someone wants to talk about their god?

I have been following this SBOE for awhile now http://ranthonysteele.blogspot.com/search/label/SBOE they are the number one threat to my children's future, in the state of Texas. Seriously, it has to end.

-RAnthony

_________________
"No Gods and No Masters" -- Margaret Sanger
"I'm rather reluctant to call myself an atheist...it hardly seems worthwhile to have a name for something that scarcely enters my thoughts at all" -- Jonathan Miller
"Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind." --George Orwell
"I've endeavored to follow the path the experience suggested, to see where it leads." --Edgar Mitchell


Last edited by RAnthony on Fri Mar 19, 2010 10:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Show 172 Texas SBOE Destroys Education
PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 10:18 am 
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Is the real problem here too much reliance on the education system? Isn't "school" suppose to supplement education from the home? What I mean is that if the parents are unhappy with the level or concentration of the public schools, the solution would be for the parents to work a little harder to supplement their kids education. The kids then bring those ideas into the classroom and spark critical thinking and debate.

I think the most important aspect of school is not the actual education, but rather the social interaction, exchanging of ideas. There's a quote that goes something like "no man is an island" (???).

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 Post subject: Re: Show 172 Texas SBOE Destroys Education
PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 10:37 am 
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ThomasJ wrote:
Is the real problem here too much reliance on the education system? Isn't "school" suppose to supplement education from the home? What I mean is that if the parents are unhappy with the level or concentration of the public schools, the solution would be for the parents to work a little harder to supplement their kids education. The kids then bring those ideas into the classroom and spark critical thinking and debate.

I think the most important aspect of school is not the actual education, but rather the social interaction, exchanging of ideas. There's a quote that goes something like "no man is an island" (???).


If they aren't going to educate, I don't see the purpose of school. Never have understood the supposed benefits of locking up the children in rooms together for most of the day. Take 'em to the park, they can be social there.

-RAnthony

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"No Gods and No Masters" -- Margaret Sanger
"I'm rather reluctant to call myself an atheist...it hardly seems worthwhile to have a name for something that scarcely enters my thoughts at all" -- Jonathan Miller
"Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind." --George Orwell
"I've endeavored to follow the path the experience suggested, to see where it leads." --Edgar Mitchell


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