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Dan Savage blogs his reading of Sarah Palin's new Xmas book

Palin is a grifter par excellance and this book is just the newest part of her grift. Good Grief and Great Tits by Dan Savage - Seattle Features - The Stranger, Seattle's Only Newspaper
Okay... I'm diving into the actual book. God help me. Hey, it turns out that Sarah Palin and I have something in common: Sarah bakes for her family at Christmas. Me too! Sarah bakes cinnamon rolls on Christmas Day; I bake apple cakes. That's nice. Humanizing even. I have to say that, here on page 2, Palin is coming across as very nearly warm-blooded. That didn't last. Page 5: Here I learn something I didn't know and, if I were Sarah Palin, something I wouldn't want anyone to know. But Sarah hustles this fact to the front of the book because she sure as hell wants us to know it: Sarah surprised Todd with a "nice, needed, powerful gun" for Christmas in 2012. It was a "small act of civil disobedience," Palin writes, prompted by "the anti-gun chatter coming from Washington." What was inspiring that anti-gun chatter in Washington in December of 2012? Oh, right: Twenty children and six teachers were shot dead in their classrooms by a deranged asshole with a "powerful gun." And before the grieving mothers and fathers of Newtown, Connecticut, could put their dead children in the ground, Sarah Palin ran out gun shopping. Buying Todd a gun in the wake of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary was "fun," Palin writes—and, again, an act of "civil disobedience." Because gun nuts are a persecuted minority. This paragraph about gun shopping in December of 2012—one first grader at Sandy Hook was shot 11 times—ends with Palin bragging about her tits. I'm not kidding. Okay, I have to put the book down. I'm five pages into Good Tidings and Great Joy and... Jesus Fucking Christ... I have got to put down this toxic little shitstain of a book. I'm going to go wash my eyes out with hydrogen peroxide. Be right back. . . .

December 16, 2013

The problem with our schools isn't a problem with the schools

M. Night Shyamalan wrote a book about education reform. In a surprise third act twist, it's revealed he has no idea how to improve under-performing schools. Seriously. You Can't Fix Schools by Fixing Schools | SPLICETODAY.com
Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly, educational reformers have to recommend educational reforms. Even when they know reform is not going to work, and won't even address the problems at hand, they still have to do it. It's in their nature. Kevin Drum provides a striking example of this in a post from last week. Drum is discussing M. Night Shyamalan's recent book on education, I Got Schooled: The Unlikely Story of How a Moonlighting Movie Maker Learned the Five Keys to Closing America's Education Gap. As Shyamalan discovered (and as Drum reiterates), the startling truth about the problem with our school system is that there isn't any problem with our school system. Or, at least, there's nothing wrong with our school system for white kids. As Drum says, "If you compare American white kids to, say, Finnish or Polish or German white kids, we do just as well." Shyamalan goes further, and says, "Our white kids are getting taught the best public-school education on the planet." The entire reason we score low on national comparisons is because we do such a horrible job of educating inner city minority kids. The issue is not that we don't know how to provide good schooling, or that we have bad teachers, or that our system isn't rigorous enough. Rather, it’s that we practice what Shyamalan calls "educational apartheid." For some people, we provide schooling as good as anywhere in the world. And then, for some people, we don't. So, what’s the solution? How can we start to give the best education in the world not just to the privileged few, but to everyone? . . .

December 12, 2013

Accelerated Christian Education is why we need to keep the church out of our education system

"This is what happens when you leave education to people for whom religious conversion is everything and learning is a distant afterthought." I'm pretty sure all my students would get As, too, if my multiple choice questions had three nonsense answers and one legit one. This is a joke, but not a funny one. In schools all over the world--including America and the UK--this is considered top shelf work. 6,000 schools use this to make their charges dumb and unready for the world. 33 jaw-droppingly bad multiple-choice questions from Accelerated Christian Education | Leaving Fundamentalism

November 27, 2013

Miss America, the Craft of Showing Up, and Doing THE JOB

(This is yet another repost from my Snip, Burn, Solder...

November 26, 2013

Kick In to Support THE MAGAZINE Kickstarter!

(This is reposted from my Snip, Burn, Solder Blog--'cause I...