Archive for January 12th, 2012

On the value of teachers

| January 12, 2012 | Reply
On the value of teachers

Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times tells us that it is a big deal if your child’s excellent fourth grade teacher quit–more than you might imagine:

[A] landmark new research paper underscores that the difference between a strong teacher and a weak teacher lasts a lifetime. Having a good fourth-grade teacher makes a student 1.25 percent more likely to go to college, the research suggests, and 1.25 percent less likely to get pregnant as a teenager. Each of the students will go on as an adult to earn, on average, $25,000 more over a lifetime — or about $700,000 in gains for an average size class — all attributable to that ace teacher back in the fourth grade. That’s right: A great teacher is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to each year’s students, just in the extra income they will earn. . . . Conversely, a very poor teacher has the same effect as a pupil missing 40 percent of the school year.

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Iraq redux

| January 12, 2012 | Reply
Iraq redux

Ralph Nader sees the “danger” of Iran for what it is:

The same neocons who persuaded George W. Bush and crew to, in Ron Paul’s inimitable words, “lie their way into invading Iraq” in 2003, are beating the drums of war more loudly these days to attack Iran. It is remarkable how many of these war-mongers are former draft dodgers who wanted other Americans to fight the war in Vietnam.

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Blemished, blind, lame, flat-nosed deformed preachers need not apply for work.

| January 12, 2012 | 1 Reply
Blemished, blind, lame, flat-nosed deformed preachers need not apply for work.

In a post titled “Discrimination is Divine,” at  a new website called Funmentionables, Michael G. Morris points out if one reads the bible literally, God is stunningly discriminatory.

Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to Aaron, saying, ‘Whoever he be of your seed throughout their generations that has a blemish, let him not approach to offer the bread of his God. For whatever man he be that has a blemish, he shall not approach: a blind man, or a lame, or he that has a flat nose, or any deformity, or a man that is broken-footed, or broken-handed, or crook-backed, or a dwarf, or that has a blemish in his eye, or is scurvy, or scabbed, or has his stones broken. No man of the seed of Aaron the priest, that has a blemish, shall come near to offer the offerings of Yahweh made by fire. He has a blemish. He shall not come near to offer the bread of his God.’”

—Leviticus 21:16-21

The above post combines this bible quote with a brand new decision by the United State Supreme Court that invites blatant discrimination by churches, Hosanna-Tabor Church v. EEOC.  The above post by Michael Morris squarely fits the formula announced by Funmentionables:

Whereas a religious authority may try to explain away difficult passages, Morris’ refreshing man-in-the-pew perspective allows the Bible’s authority to speak for itself, as he complements each passage with his own humorous and thought-provoking commentary.

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