March 19, 2017
Eastern philosophy is a rather intricate subject that has many different viewpoints. This particular book couples well into that philosophy.
Everyday Tao – Living With Balance & Harmony by Deng Min-Dao is a very insightful book.
Split up into 15 different sections, Everyday Tao covers a variety of ways into which individuals are able to get in tune with the Tao. The 15 sections are: nature, silence, books, strategy, movement, skill, craft, conduct, moderation, devotion, perseverance, teaching, self, simplifying and union.
Using Chinese ideograms, which contain inherent stories therein, the author brings about much meaning showing the reader what each ideogram breaks into and what insights can be had.
The way the book is set up, each individual insight covering no more than a page, makes this the type of book that can be read straight through, or on a day-by-day basis. For me, the latter offered much enjoyment and meaning because I was able to digest and discern much of what the book provided and ponder it deeply therein without rushing.
Through and through, the book offers a no-nonsense approach into Taoist insights. As someone who’s relatively new to Eastern Philosophy and am open minded about it, there was much to appreciate, regardless if one is locked within a particular paradigm or not. This volume offers much value, and if you’re seeking more to read on Tao or Eastern Philosophy, do not hesitate – get this book.
Dr. Joseph P. Farrell
August 24, 2016
It has been a long time since I ranted about Amairikun egdykayshun and the nitwit busybody billionaires that, since progressive education was a gleam in John D. Rockefailure’s and Andrew Smarmygie’s eyes, have made such a hash of it. Well, I have to rant again after reading this article shared by Mr. V.T.:
Yes, it’s confession time for Bill and Melinda Gates, and for that matter, even the Los Angeles Pravda-Times:
Sue Desmond-Hellmann, foundation chief executive officer, wrote this in a newly released annual letter:
We are firm believers that education is a bridge to opportunity in America. My colleague, Allan Golston, spoke passionately about this at a gathering of education experts last year. However, we’re facing the fact that it is a real struggle to make system-wide change.
And she wrote this about the foundation’s investment in creating, implementing and promoting the Common Core State Standards:
Unfortunately, our foundation underestimated the level of resources and support required for our public education systems to be well-equipped to implement the standards. We missed an early opportunity to sufficiently engage educators – particularly teachers – but also parents and communities so that the benefits of the standards could take flight from the beginning.
This has been a challenging lesson for us to absorb, but we take it to heart. The mission of improving education in America is both vast and complicated, and the Gates Foundation doesn’t have all the answers.
That may be news only to the Gates Foundation. As this new biting editorial in the Los Angeles Times — with the headline, “Gates Foundation failures show philanthropists shouldn’t be setting America’s public school agenda” — says:
It was a remarkable admission for a foundation that had often acted as though it did have all the answers. Today, the Gates Foundation is clearly rethinking its bust-the-walls-down strategy on education — as it should. And so should the politicians and policymakers, from the federal level to the local, who have given the educational wishes of Bill and Melinda Gates and other well-meaning philanthropists and foundations too much sway in recent years over how schools are run.
Now, stay with me here, because here’s where it gets really interesting, for I have made mention of Andrew Smarmygie and John D. Rockefailure in my litany of miserific millionaires and billionaire bysyboddies who’ve so screwed things up over the past century. But at least with Smarmygie and Rockefailure, we were dealing with people who were willing to swallow the pill they were insisting that others swallow. As my co-author Gary Lawrence and I pointed out in our book Rotten to the (Common) Core, at least Rockefailure insisted that his sons attend the progressivist schools of Abraham Flexner, where they learned to not enjoy reading and to find books tedious and unenjoyable. These patrons of Progress (Nelson Aldrich and Laurence Rockefailure) then went on to other philanthropic causes, becoming presidential advisors and and vice-presidents and what-not. In the case of Andrew Smarmygie, at least he funded actual libraries around the country that had actual books in them that one could actually read, and even learn to disagree with the progressivist nonsense he was promoting.
But Gates? What’s he done? I submit the proof is in the pudding: nothing. No libraries, no actual books, no musical instruments. The bottom line here is if these billionaire busybodies really want to make a difference, then they should simply donate money and physical equipment, and demonstrate their genuineness by sponsoring schools and equipment string-free, no agenda or political agreement required, They might even consider making huge donations to independent minded colleges like Hillsdale, St. John’s College, and so on.
But of course, they won’t do that, because this isn’t really about education at all for these people. It’s about controlling information and the “narrative”(usually if not always, of a progressivist sort); it’s about the furtherance of their own personal power and profits, and telling everyone else what to think and believe, and to demonstrate their loyalty to that agenda via their standardized tests.
The real bottom line here is about these billionaire busybodies themselves, who hide behind their foundations, which reveal themselves to be nothing but racketeering organizations, organized and legally-sanctioned gangs, using their money, power, and influence to press their political and ultimately anti-cultural and anti-western civilization agenda. Remember, it’s not about improving education, it’s about widening their power, influence, and building out the surveillance state. Remember what Dr. Lawrence and I wrote in Rotten to the Common Core: Nikola Tesla, J.S. Bach, Albert Einstein, Clara Schumann, Ayn Rand, Fanny Mendelssohn, Percy Shelley, Diego Velasquez, Alexander Hamilton, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, John Locke, and a whole list of geniuses who have contributed to our art, our music, our science, our law, jurisprudence, and political institutions, our civilization, were not billionaire busybodies nor the products of standardized tests or progressivist education.
You really want to improve education, Mr. Gates? Then build libraries, fill them with books of Plato, Aristotle, literature and science books (I’ll be happy to provide a list), buy the musical instruments, spend your billions on getting RID of teacher certification and making sure teachers spend more time learning the disciplines they’re required to teach, and allow them to assess their students away from the prying eye of standardized tests, than they do spending time on edublihter and methodological claptrap in “education” courses. In other words, rethink your whole paradigm, and for heaven’s sakes, get out of the way. Let students learn that not all information is on the internet, that some of it, most of it in fact, that is important to our civilization is in books, that genuine research knows how to look for them and read them and genuine education teachers teach students how to do so, teaches them to listen intelligently to a piece of music or to appreciate art and literature with the intelligence and enjoyment. But you’re about none of that. You think…[Bold Emphasis Added Throughout]
Continue Reading At: GizaDeathStar.com
July 13, 2016
Atop a hill at the center of our outdoor classroom at the Fiddleheads Forest School in Seattle, Washington, is a sprawling fairy village. Scramble up a looping pathway past a few western red cedars and a bed of native Mahonia and evergreen elderberry and you’re there. It’s a little metropolis, complete with gardens, a town circle (much better than a square, according to the students), a movie theater/restaurant (depending on who’s giving the tour), and even a towering “Space Needle” in honor of our city’s most prominent landmark. The place grows and changes with each passing week. Children collect items from the surrounding area and put them carefully and purposefully around the village. The fairy village has been central to the life of our classroom since it came into existence, and the educational opportunities it affords the children make it worth exploring.
Imaginative Play and Possibility
There is an air of enormous possibility that surrounds the fairy village at our school. According to Tracy Kane, the author of a number of wonderful fairy house books including the laminated, weatherproof one we keep in our classroom, it is the “allure of nature’s enchantment” that can “spark our creativity and nourish our imaginations.” Students comb the grounds looking for signs that the fairies have been there; a displaced shell or a previously undiscovered stone is often enough to send them into a frenzy of discussion and activity: “The fairies came! The fairies came!” reverberates throughout the classroom until the students are all drawn up to the village. They gather together, positively vibrating with excitement, and get right to work assigning tasks: “Okay, Colin and I are going to make more things for the fairies. Charley, do you want to write the letter to them? Who can help Mason dig the hole for the ocean? Let’s see, oh look—that’s a great stick to use! It’s a great stick, the fairies will love it.
I believe the simple joy derived from magical experiences can be traced to the idea that anything is possible. From the perspective of the children, there is a sense that if tiny creatures might arrive and use their magic to effect change on the world, then who knows what other surprises each day has in store? Children want to believe because the act of believing itself is exciting; it offers enormous opportunity for learning and play.
But whether or not the children believe in fairies is often unimportant. Once they have encountered something that is potentially magical, the role the students embody in their imaginative play becomes that of an individual who believes in fairies and is attending to their happiness. Discussions about the existence of fairies can wait for another time, because the game is afoot.
The Child’s Domain: Self-Directed Skill Building
So much of the world is off-limits to children, but the fairy village is their domain. Annie Quest, a social pragmatics teacher who spent years running fairy camps in the green mountains of Vermont, explained the attraction for her as a child: “I felt small, [and] fairies are small, but they’re very powerful. They’re much tinier than people, but they can turn anything in nature into things that are useful for themselves.” In some ways, the most magical element of the fairy village is its ability to give children the sort of control over a whole world that they so often struggle to achieve in their own lives. In the land of fairies, only the children decide when it is bedtime.
Embedded in the act of creation is consideration of the needs and wants of others. The children practice empathy through experiencing caring for this imagined other; it gives substance and purposefulness to their work. “Here, these shells can be a table so they will have a place to eat, and okay, now there is a table so it needs plates, and here these little hemlock cones will be the food—now how are we going to build chairs for them to sit on?” The number and variety of things that need attending to stretches infinitely into the imagination: tiny cradles for baby fairies need blankets to keep the infants warm, roofs are required to protect the inhabitants from wind and rain, new fairies must be built from sticks and cloth so that the others will have friends, even the problem of electricity must be addressed!
The precision required to build these little homes encourages concentration and fine motor development. Because the work is creative and self-directed, the children are likely to engage far longer than they might with a traditional fine motor work. The author Tracy Kane echoed this in her own experience, remembering how “One boy brushed his dog for a week to create a soft floor for the fairies.” Activities such as scooping, pinching, threading, weaving, and tying are inherently a part of construction, and as the children’s skills are refined, so are the finished products that they create.
Over the past two years, the fairy village at our school has mirrored the development of the children around it, transforming from a pile of objects that the children gathered from around the classroom into a true “village” in which the residents are constructed from twigs, twine, and small bits of cloth. For the 3-year-old child, a finished product may look more like a pile of sticks to the untrained eye, whereas an older student of 4 or 5 will regularly take on a more elaborate design, knotting twine and weaving bark through posts for walls. Often the older students will support the younger ones, perhaps by demonstrating how to twist a stick like a drill to get it into the ground properly or helping to dig around a particularly difficult rock.
Dr. Joseph P. Farrell
April 6, 2016
It’s been a while since I’ve ranted and raved about the deplorable state of education in the USSA and its subservient allies, so I am going to have to do so today, thanks to an article shared by Ms. D.O. In this case, my rant is really someone else’s rant, and his rant came from Australia, which like many other countries in the west, as been suffering the American disease: standardized tests without end, corporate favoritism for the corporations providing the tests and “texts”, and a war on the student-teacher-parent relationship, i.e., a war on the human element.
Here’s the core of the argument, and I’m conflating several paragraphs together so that you can see that the same in is happening in Australia as is happening in the USSA, for those lucky enough to be able to afford sending their children to such schools:
The headmaster of Sydney Grammar School, John Vallance, yesterday described the billions of dollars spent on computers in Australian schools over the past seven years as a “scandalous waste of money’’.
“I’ve seen so many schools with limited budgets spending a disproportionate amount of their money on technology that doesn’t really bring any measurable, or non-measurable, benefits,’’ he said.