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Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Santorum Ends Campaign; this blog supported him and publishes his letter from his office

Thank you. For your support, for your encouragement, and for your prayers for our family, especially Bella. You may have heard that we were able to bring her home from the hospital last night.
She has pneumonia, but like her Dad, she's a fighter. It's in the blood.
Today I announced that I am suspending my campaign for the President of the United States. This has been one of the hardest decisions Karen and I have ever had to face together. And it has been hard in large measure because of you. I know that my candidacy has offered you a way to fight for your convictions, and I do not want to let you down.
Since I first ran for Congress in a Democrat-majority district in Pittsburgh, I have fought for struggling families. I have fought for the unborn. I have fought for those losing hope in the American Dream.
And during this Presidential race we have fought hard. Together. You have been with me every step of the way. Every volunteer, donor, friend and family has given sacrificially of their time and their treasure. We are humbled and thankful.
We literally started this campaign in our kitchen with family and a few friends. The way that you make decisions. We believe America is the land of opportunity, and decided to do what we can to protect the hope that our forefathers sacrificed to give us a future for our children. A future of freedom secured through our sacrifices today.
Over 160,000 of you contributed to the campaign. Like you have for your children, we have sacrificed almost everything we have to ensure that this hope and dream is not lost with another four years under Barack Obama. Our average donation has been only $73.10. Few races in history have so many people give so modestly to preserve liberty.
We have been outspent in most states 5-1 or even 10-1. And we still won, or we've come incredibly close. Iowa and the three-state sweep. An over 20-point win in Louisiana. Only a few votes short of victory in Michigan and Ohio. We have made history. There has been no other Presidential comeback race like ours.
Our good friends in Texas have been working non-stop to make sure that they have a say in the choice of our nominee, but without the state changing its delegate allocation to winner-take-all, I do not see a path forward that does not risk our shared objective of defeating Barack Obama in November. I want to thank them for their valiant efforts.
I am planning to do everything in my power to bring a change about in the White House. But our campaign has debt, and I cannot be free to focus on helping defeat him with this burden. I am asking you to consider one more contribution of $25, $50 or even $73.10.
From the start of this race I have offered a unique voice in the debate. One that the party and the country needs to hear. I have been your voice. I have been positive. I have been willing to stand for issues that some believe are controversial and would prefer to sweep under the rug.
We have carried the torch. High. Together we have fought for the principles that this country was founded on; that made this country great. Without fighting for them, this country cannot continue to be great.
And we have fought fair. I am proud of the race we have run. We talked issues. We avoided character attacks. We have run almost entirely positive ads.
I want to continue to be your voice. Please CLICK HERE to contribute $25, $50 or even $73.10. We have had miraculous days of almost $1 million from supporters like you that allowed us to be competitive and win key states. We need you to step up again.
When I ran for the Senate in 1994 and defeated a sitting incumbent Senator, I asked the people of Pennsylvania to Join the Fight. They did.
I know you will. God bless you, and please keep us in your prayers. And know that we keep you in ours.
Working hard for America,

Rick Santorum

Stained Glass Windows for Sale in Paris

Check out this blog, which I have on my blog list.

The Western Crisis in Education Reflects the Decay of Parental Involvement and the Agendas of the Politically Correct

There is and has been a crisis in education in Europe, which is increasing because of political correctness. Those of us who have been educators for years in America, especially those of us involved in higher education, have seen the rot set in since the 1990s, a logical decline owing to Deweyesque social engineering in the class room.

Returning to England last year, after a hiatus of 15 years, I was shocked, and the word is not too strong, at the level of ignorance among youth and even 40 somethings in the general populace. This ignorance applies to general skills, to the point where I help young people in stores make change, even when it is shown to them on the screens of their tills. The level of speech is blatantly lower and the giving up of the use of a standard English has created a society wherein people simply do not communicate.

Now, the teacher's unions are against entrance testing for phonics. Now, I do not agree with heavy central government interference with schooling. But the schools have failed the students and are failing still here in Britain. Few youth and 40 somethings read outside of those in education or academia. Few can speak "good English" and few can write well. I am not one who blames the computer for all of these ills, as an excellent teacher can use the computer after skills are taught for greater skill building.

However, something must be done. As I have explained to my seminary friends in the States, the level of their "theology" at the graduate level is what I had in high school-no kidding-and the level of reading and writing in Britain for the school leaver is low. Even after primary education, a spokeswoman for Education has statistics which caused her to state yesterday that, Standards of reading need to rise - at the moment around one in six children leaves primary school unable to read to the level we expect”

The fact that excellence has not been encouraged and that teachers usually teach to the lowest common denominator in classrooms are well-established facts in Great Britain, Ireland, America and even France. Trades have not been taught since the 1970s, as the politically correct version of education cannot bear to be honest about various gifts and talents among the students which should lead to tracking and the training of those who have such skills. Oh no, we cannot possibly have classes which teach practical skills, or, even IT, as in Ireland, where the level of IT skills resembles that of 1990 in the States.

Too many young parents tell me that they do not have time to read to their children or to encourage gifts. Why? Education helps the parents, who are the primary educators of their children, but the socialist and communist agendas have brainwashed three generations of parents or more into believing that it is the duty of the State to educate primarily. 

All state governments are based on a political philosophy and an idea of the individual. In 2012, the rule of the mob, clearly prophesied by de Tocqueville, has created this crisis in education. We need tests, we need different levels of skills to be taught, we need higher standards, despite the cries of those who hate Western Civilization and wish for its fall. We need an educated people to withstand tyranny. We need adults who can think. 

Sadly, the big governments seem to have to interfere as the teachers are so liberal, nay, radically leftist, that they do not want anything but the lie of the classless society. That this has happened in the countries mentioned here as well as in America does not bode well for the future of the West.

And, one reason why there is so much unemployment in Ireland and England is that the students have not been taught the skills necessary for the jobs which are available. There are many, many jobs and not the skilled labor force to fill them. Duh....who is too blame for this but the education systems.

When I brought up the excellence of Finnish schools in a conversation with French and English teachers, my points were not considered seriously. Why there is a blindness as to how to create success and an insistence on pursuing policies and teacher training in England which has obviously failed is a mystery to me. Every real teacher wants the best for his or her students. I want my students to love to learn, to want to learn and be self-motivated. I want them to learn how to think.

The present systems are not interested in any of those goals and have lost the tools of learning-a la Dorothy Sayers great article I have used for twenty years in parent meetings and at the university level. Here is sample from her famous article, written long ago and never more true than today:

The modern boy and girl are certainly taught more subjects--but does that always mean that they actually know more? Has it ever struck you as odd, or unfortunate, that today, when the proportion of literacy throughout Western Europe is higher than it has ever been, people should have become susceptible to the influence of advertisement and mass propaganda to an extent hitherto unheard of and unimagined? Do you put this down to the mere mechanical fact that the press and the radio and so on have made propaganda much easier to distribute over a wide area? Or do you sometimes have an uneasy suspicion that the 
product of modern educational methods is less good than he or she might be at disentangling fact 
from opinion and the proven from the plausible? Have you ever, in listening to a debate among 
adult and presumably responsible people, been fretted by the extraordinary inability of the 
average debater to speak to the question, or to meet and refute the arguments of speakers on the 
other side? Or have you ever pondered upon the extremely high incidence of irrelevant matter 
which crops up at committee meetings, and upon the very great rarity of persons capable of acting as chairmen of committees? And when you think of this, and think that most of our public affairs 
are settled by debates and committees, have you ever felt a certain sinking of the heart? Have you 
ever followed a discussion in the newspapers or elsewhere and noticed how frequently writers fail 
to define the terms they use? Or how often, if one man does define his terms, another will assume 

in his reply that he was using the terms in precisely the opposite sense to that in which he has 
already defined them? Have you ever been faintly troubled by the amount of slipshod syntax 

going about? And, if so, are you troubled because it is inelegant or because it may lead to 
dangerous misunderstanding? Do you ever find that young people, when they have left school, 

not only forget most of what they have learnt (that is only to be expected), but forget also, or 
betray that they have never really known, how to tackle a new subject for themselves? Are you 

often bothered by coming across grown-up men and women who seem unable to distinguish 
between a book that is sound, scholarly, and properly documented, and one that is, to any trained 

eye, very conspicuously none of these things? 

I blame parents, who chose a certain lifestyle rather than the priority of educating their children. A house and mortgage with both parents working becomes more important than education. A vacation or two becomes more important than discipline in the home. Things, gadgets, whatever, become more important than learning and the love of learning.

If every parent in England, France, Ireland just had the classics on the shelves of the homes, like I did growing up in a semi-rural area, the children would be encourage to read.

If every parent discussed ideas and current events with their children, which would mean that they would have to read and become discerning, the level of rational discourse would naturally rise. I know many families which never discuss anything. These are the families which no longer eat together or walk together or have time for each other's growth.

Thanks to Wiki for photo
The death of the family is the death of an educated populace and the government cannot take over the role of the parent without the subsequent destruction of freedom, of democracies or even benevolent monarchies (a myth of my monarchical friends). Even a monarch needs an educated people. Even the great Popes knew this fact, and the encyclicals of our present Pope reflect this need, not only of catechesis, but the teaching and learning of reason.

Department for Education spokeswoman

Visiting Britain in the Rain

As a visitor to England, I am aware that I have been spoiled by excellent weather elsewhere and coming back to the rain and gloom is a bit of a shock. However, when I was in Ireland a while ago, it really did rain everyday, and that is not the case in England. In fact, there has been a hosepipe ban in many parts of the eastern and southern parts of England. After the rain of today, I wonder if it is still "on".  Many people love the temperate climate, which is changing back to the more continental climate England saw in the Middle Ages, before the Atlantic Drift, (North Atlantic Current), shifted closer to the coastal lands. It is moving out farther again and the summers are hotter and the winters colder here.

Temperate climates are the most popular for many people, especially those who hate the cold, like myself. However, I must admit the rain today literally dampened my spirits and I was wishing I was back in sunny Malta, which I visited last year. Sigh. At least Summer is on the way. On the positive side, the flowers and trees are blooming, creating a gorgeous Spring in the "green and pleasant land" of England.