Hidden Ourselves
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In the Garden, the serpent taught us to fear who we really are.
Since then we have hidden ourselves in that liar’s light.

Hidden Ourselves
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Pastor in New York

Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German Lutheran theologian who stood against Hitler and was executed by the Nazis at Flossenbürg concentration camp two weeks before it was liberated by the Allies, had this to say:
Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer


“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”


I recommend the following article as a reflection on the pastor’s words on facing evil and corruption. I wonder what he would think of us.

Why Corruption is so Rampant in New York Government
By Bob McManus, New York Post, February 2, 2016

Bonhoeffer was probably executed by hanging and re-hanging over a 6 hour period. Yet today we willingly hang ourselves and our futures for a handful of Silver.

Ah. What would Bonhoeffer think of us? I suppose he would fall to his knees and pray for our salvation.

Tomorrow, February 4, 2016,
will mark the 110th anniversary of Bonhoeffer’s birth.


Pastor in New York
Dispensed : Canon 976
February 3, 2016

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A Reminder List For Ever

Be joyful.
Don’t complain.
Think of others first.
Bear suffering with dignity.


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All and Nothing

Many who have everything in this world will have nothing in the next.
Many who go everywhere will go nowhere.

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Crusaders Chants of the Middle Ages (link)

Crusaders! Something great from BeautySoAncient.com —

A lot of 21st Century Catholic young dudes fantasize about being crusaders and fighting all things anti-Christian, especially Isis.

Imagine this: You’re riding a horse on your way to battle after being blessed by the Pope. You’re excited, but a bit afraid as to what awaits you. Will you ride back home in victory or will you die in glory? You’re ready for any outcome, as long as the Blessed Virgin accompanies you. You and your fellow soldiers might chant the songs below…

Source: Three Chants You Might Have Chanted As a Knight Templar Crusader in the Middle Ages – BeautySoAncient.com

Chants for Crusaders

Salve Regina

De Pacem Domine

Crucem Sanctam Subiit



All Things New

All Things New

One day, the sweet child in the manger will look down at his mother from his cross, through their tears, and tell her, smiling, “See! I make all things new!”

May He make all things new for you on this Merry Christmas!

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The Manger


The Creator of All Things slept in a manger. The Bread of Life by which All Things are sustained and filled was laid in a trough from which animals eat. Never could there be so noble a bed; never could there be so worthy a Throne!

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My Last Word on Education


I have been a teacher for almost 23 years. During that time, I learned a lot about teaching from awesome colleagues and students with a talent for the unexpected. For the past bunch of years I’ve plunged into all the issues of education reform. I’ve spent countless hours on the subject on social media. More recently, I’ve come to realize that the results amount to countless hours lost. But we’ve all been fooled that way, hmm?

In this world, there’s so much to be aggravated about. But maybe, as I near my 55th year, I’m finally growing up to realize that there’s so much more in this world at which to be amazed. I assume that the tears that so often come with my stupid smile lately are evidence that this time it’s for real. I certainly hope so.

In any case, this is going to be the last time I have anything to say about education policy and reform. A survey* I took about 30 minutes ago provided the opportunity that my fingers were already unwilling to seek for themselves. My answer are in boldface, my response in italics.

So this is it.


If you graduated from a traditional college of education, do you believe your teacher training/coursework adequately prepared you for the classroom?



Not applicable

Other (please specify)

I am unaware of any teacher training program that does not spend an inordinate amount of time and energy on subjects that, in the end, have little to do to support classroom teachers teaching in the classroom. On the other hand, they do support a plethora of political and special interest agendae. In my experience, the success of a new teacher is directly related to his or her ability to forget these things, and to seek out the professional experiential advice of  colleagues.


Recently, both education reform advocates and even high-ranking union officials, have suggested that a bar examination for teachers is necessary to improve the quality and status of American teachers.

The idea is that just as lawyers must pass state bar exams to practice law, teachers would need to pass a test that proves their knowledge and critical thinking skills to be effective. That would, theoretically, dispel the public’s perception that teachers are the college graduates who can’t get a job doing anything else. Further, the practice would force colleges of education to better prepare students for the classroom.

Do you agree with a policy that would require new teachers to pass a bar-like examination to teach?


Tend to agree

Tend to disagree


Other (please specify)

What exactly is the public’s perception of lawyers, even if they have passed a bar examination? The independently-thinking public’s perception of the expertise of teachers is already far greater than that of education bureaucrats, politicians, the media, teacher union leaders and, yes, many education reform advocates.


If your state has implemented the Common Core State Standards, do you believe they have improved the quality of education in your community, decreased the quality of education in your community, or they have had no effect?

Improved the quality of education

Decreased the quality of education

Had no effect

Other (please specify)

The CCSS has numerous errors that require additional work to uncover and correct during implementation. As they stand, they function as a draft, rather than a final product. This in itself is embarrassing, if not criminal. In addition, since there seems to be no one in charge with the fortitude to implement such a monumental change beginning with an incoming Kindergarten and working to advance it year to year, older students are being crushed by academic roofs built on incomplete foundations.


U.S. Department of Education officials have proposed capping standardized testing at 2% of classroom time.

Do you support this proposal?


Tend to support

Tend not to support

Do not support

Other (please specify)

However, the USDOEd habitually says one thing while doing the opposite.


Standardized testing preparation should take how much total classroom time in a given school year?





Other (please specify)

None. These assessments are supposed to measure learning, not test preparation.


Do you feel prepared to utilize the Common Core State Standards/ new standards in your classroom?

Well prepared

Somewhat prepared

Somewhat not prepared

Not prepared

Other (please specify)

“Prepared” in the sense that a teacher does what is best for her or his students. Not in the sense that I have been re-educated in order to better meet teacher compliance standards.


No Child Left Behind (NCLB) required annual testing of children in grades 3 through 8 and once in high school. The November 2015 congressional compromise measure to reauthorize NCLB would continue that testing requirement.

Do you support this element of the compromise?


Tend to support

Tend not to support

Do not support

Other (please specify)

To me, the testing matters only in that it takes time away from learning. Since it is done as early as 3 months before the end of the year, it is inaccurate. Since the results are available three months after my students have moved on, it is irrelevant.


In North Carolina, lawmakers proposed giving teachers an 11 percent raise—roughly $5,200 a year for each teacher—if he or she elected to give up tenure.

Would you support such a law in your state?

Support, and I would elect to forfeit tenure.

Support, but I wouldn’t forfeit tenure.

Tend to support

Tend not to support

Do not support

Other (please describe)

My first observation is that, at those salaries, all teachers in North Carolina should leave the state. As for the question: under normal conditions, I would elect to forfeit tenure. We are not living under normal conditions. I believe that the hostility to teachers in general will get far worse before all this is over, and removing tenure will have, as its goal, the removal of those with unwanted opinions, as well as those deemed “too expensive” to continue to employ.


How should presidential candidates share their ideas on public education and education policy? (Check all that apply.)

Candidates should release a policy document

Candidates should hold a town hall meeting on their views on education

Candidates should host a social media event where they respond to questions

Candidates should visit a school and present their ideas to teachers

Candidates should share their views on education during presidential debates

(Note: This question gave no opportunity to explain your choice. If it had done so, I would have written this: A policy document spells out exactly what a candidate believes. There is no need for interpretation. Plus, as a grumpy old man, I must add that the other choices give candidates too much of an opportunity to treat people like — or to reveal that they actually are — drooling idiots.)


If you could ask the presidential candidates one question related to education, what would it be?

Before you decided to seek the office of the President, did you ever really think much about education, other than that of your own kids?


How would you rate your job satisfaction as a teacher?

Very satisfied


Not satisfied

Not at all satisfied

Other (please specify)

I am as passionate about my students as I am of my own children. I once loved teaching. Now it makes me almost unendurably sad. I have found myself in a system which promotes the educational abuse of children, and any ability I once had to stand between my kids and the system has been taken away from me. I want to save them from drowning, but Leviathan has them by their feet.


*I chose not to identify the organization behind the survey. It’s made of good people who care about children. I wish to preserve their privacy.



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My Race is #FABC99

I’ve decided to try to find a solution to this stupid race “problem” of color labelling people as if we’re some kind of decorative accessory. Since it would be horrifying to see someone who was really white or black like paper and ink (and they’re not colors, anyway), I thought I would try to ID skin tones like they do at the paint shop.

I found an app that uses your iPad camera to photograph anything to determine its color in a number of the systems that are offered. You aim at a part of you that stays about the same tone all year (no tanning) — I used the inside of my wrist.

My result is below. So please don’t call me white. I am peach-orange or, as I prefer, #FABC99.

My race is peach-orange.