Friday, September 24, 2004

And this Guy Runs the World's Most Powerful Nation???

Below are some quotes from George W. Bush that made me guffaw my face off.

"The ambassador and the general were briefing me on the—the vast majority of Iraqis want to live in a peaceful, free world. And we will find these people and we will bring them to justice."—Washington, D.C., Oct. 27, 2003

"I think the American people—I hope the American–I don't think, let me—I hope the American people trust me."—Washington, D.C., Dec. 18, 2002

"Our country puts $1 billion a year up to help feed the hungry. And we're by far the most generous nation in the world when it comes to that, and I'm proud to report that. This isn't a contest of who's the most generous. I'm just telling you as an aside. We're generous. We shouldn't be bragging about it. But we are. We're very generous."—Washington, D.C., July 16, 2003

"I'm honored to shake the hand of a brave Iraqi citizen who had his hand cut off by Saddam Hussein."—Washington, D.C., May 25, 2004

"One of the most meaningful things that's happened to me since I've been the governor—the president—governor—president. Oops. Ex-governor. I went to Bethesda Naval Hospital to give a fellow a Purple Heart, and at the same moment I watched him—get a Purple Heart for action in Iraq—and at that same—right after I gave him the Purple Heart, he was sworn in as a citizen of the United States—a Mexican citizen, now a United States citizen."—Washington, D.C., Jan. 9, 2004

"There's an old saying in Tennessee—I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee—that says, fool me once, shame on—shame on you. Fool me—you can't get fooled again."—Nashville, Tenn., Sept. 17, 2002

"We must all hear the universal call to like your neighbor just like you like to be liked yourself."—ibid.

and my personal favorite:
"Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Problems with Public Schools

John Taylor Gatto has recently published an article called Against School: How Public Education Cripples our Kids and Why. It is an article well worth reading. Having said that, I would like to offer a bit of hope for the public school system.

It doesn't have to be that way.

It is not necessary for schools to be rigid boring places. And not all of them are. Technically, I am not homeschooling. The program that I am in calls what I am doing "distance education." On a practical level though it works out that I am homeschooling, but doing so with the assistance of trained and experienced professional educators. It is early days yet, and I am experiencing frustration, but the frustration is NOT coming from the system. It is coming from my struggles to get organized and figure out what I am doing. There is light at the end of this tunnel, and I am close enough to the end to see that it isn't merely a headlight but the end of the tunnel. Things are coming together for us.

One of the things I have noticed about the teachers I am working with is their enthusiasm. They don't sound bored and they sound genuinely happy to be working in this system. Not only that, they are more than willing to help adapt a program to the children, rather than force the children into a lock-step program. They also encourage innovative learning and life experience counts. Going to the gym, walking the paper route, flying a kite, etc., are all counted as physical education. It isn't just going to a class to learn the rules governing soccer. Fine arts means taking piano lessons or art lessons from the local gallery. My son Ben, who is in Grade 10, instead of just doing a textbook on history/social studies, has taken on the project of writing his own book complete with illustrations and maps, based on his research into a particular period of time in Canada. This book will be hardbound when he is finished and will become a keepsake of his year in Canadian history.

It is possible to find a creative way of delivering education in an efficient manner than most schools are doing.

Another thought I had while reading Mr. Gatto's article is that he tends to make public school as it is presently constituted sound as though the system is completely responsible for the way that children turn out and that it is completely wrong. Below I quote some of his article followed by my own comments.

1) The adjustive or adaptive function. Schools are to establish fixed habits of reaction to authority. This, of course, precludes critical judgment completely. It also pretty much destroys the idea that useful or interesting material should be taught, because you can't test for reflexive obedience until you know whether you can make kids learn, and do, foolish and boring things.

Is it wrong to inculcate fixed habits of reaction? One of the things that we Christians talk about are "habitual sins." As Christians, one of the things that we need to develop as part of our sanctification is the "habitual righteousness" that the Puritans often mentioned in their sermons and writings. This does not preclude critical judgement. We don't want knee-jerk obedience to tyrranical governance, but a reasoned and steady judgement. At the same time, we also don't want the natural rebellion to authority that arises when children are left untrained and to themselves. Reflexive obedience is good as long as it is not a slavish obedience to wrong. We need to train our minds to discernment and train our wills to obeying that which is right on a habitual basis.

2) The integrating function. This might well be called "the conformity function," because its intention is to make children as alike as possible. People who conform are predictable, and this is of great use to those who wish to harness and manipulate a large labor force.

Schools are behind the times if they are still trying to train people for a stable labor force. Jobs where you have financial stability because of long term employment are now few and far between, mostly because of disruptive technologies. We need to develop students who can adapt to rapid change and who have an ongoing ability to learn.

3) The diagnostic and directive function. School is meant to determine each student's proper social role. This is done by logging evidence mathematically and anecdotally on cumulative records. As in "your permanent record." Yes, you do have one.

What I am about to say will likely be viewed as heresy by those with egalitarian notions, but I don't believe all men and women are created equal. In the natural realm, some men are bigger risk takers than others and more likely to become entrepreneurs. Other men are risk averse and are more likely to settle into jobs that provide stability, like the military or civil service bureacracy. In ancient Israel, if you liked job security and didn't want to be responsible for yourself, you could become a lifetime slave by having your ear pierced with an awl, thus signifying your status. People find their status by what they do. People are also somewhat "plastic." Your status in society is not set in stone if you want to change it. Neither is it inevitable that if you were tagged as a drop out no-mind in school that you are fated to remain that way the rest of your life.

4) The differentiating function. Once their social role has been "diagnosed," children are to be sorted by role and trained only so far as their destination in the social machine merits - and not one step further. So much for making kids their personal best.

I would like to know how it is possible to escape doing this? Social roles of children are usually formed by their family anyhow. Families have their own culture which includes social standing, and it is difficult for children to escape it. That doesn't mean that one can't improve upon it. Our goal is not only for greater sanctification, but for greater improvement. The reason for doing this will differ from that of the school system. We ought to improve our standing in order to have more resources and tools available for fulfilling our calling to the best of our ability, which is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. The more resources we have available, the more good we are able to do provided we are governed internally by the desire to do all to the glory of God.

5) The selective function. This refers not to human choice at all but to Darwin's theory of natural selection as applied to what he called "the favored races." In short, the idea is to help things along by consciously attempting to improve the breeding stock. Schools are meant to tag the unfit - with poor grades, remedial placement, and other punishments - clearly enough that their peers will accept them as inferior and effectively bar them from the reproductive sweepstakes. That's what all those little humiliations from first grade onward were intended to do: wash the dirt down the drain.

This seems to be extremely cynical to me. If this is explicitly taught to hopeful teacher trainees, then I would be extremely surprised. What I have observed from my own years in school was that many of my teachers liked seeing their pupils succeed and that remedial placement was not a punishment but an attempt to help students who were struggling. The fact that their peers used this as an opportunity for ostracizing them is a testimony to the corruption of human nature rather than the natural function of remedial classes. In addition, if we surveyed those who ended up in remedial classes, I would also be highly surprised to find that they were unsuccessful in obtaining mates and reproducing.

Now lest you think I am becoming an apologist for the public system as it is presently constituted let me reassure you. I am not. There is much that needs reform in the system. The problem that I see with articles like this one is that it has a tendency to induce hopelessness in those who read it. The task of reformation appears to be too large and too unwieldy. It also has the tendency to cause people to condemn the idea of educational institutions altogether. I have been around homeschooling circles long enough to have seen this phenomena. The truth is that a large proportion of children do end up in some form of mass public education at some point if they go beyond high school and want specialized career training. So it isn't public education or formal schools that we are against. It is the religious bias (and never doubt that "secularism" isn't rooted in a propositional faith) that we object to. However, history has demonstrated that when the Spirit of God begins to move, reformation can happen quickly and in all segments of society simultaneously. How else does one account for the widespread reformation that crossed national boundaries almost simultaneously in the 17th centure without the benefit of the internet and modern communication technology?

What am I trying to accomplish with this piece? I want us homeschooling Christians to stop thinking of the concept of formal schooling with classes as an invention of the devil and the Prussian school system. Instead I want us to think of it in terms of reformation. Division of labor is GOOD. Not all parents are naturally talented teachers capable of producing child prodigies. The future I envision is one where homeschools and covenant community schools flourish side by side rather than in opposition to one another. We want not only high quality doctors, lawyers, and businessmen, but ditch diggers, dish washers, homemakers, and mechanics who glorify God and enjoy Him in their callings.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Force Field
(G. Camp)

Today's escape will consist of a mask
I found it in a bargain bin
Why do you ask?
Rosy cheeks and a smile
There's no shame in my game of denial
Don't you touch, move along
Keep your hands inside
Ask enough from afar
Enjoy the ride
It don't get much better than this
There's the riff, here's the hook, Where's the myth ?
Manning my stations
Taking control of the situation
Say hello to my force field
Beaten down on all fours
And they'll stare as they pass
Please don't feed or provoke
Or tap on the glass
Bet you never felt quite like that
You could say, don't complain where I'm at
Manning my stations
Taking control of the situation
Say hello to my force field
You won't see me cry (you won't you won't)
You won't see me die
The escapade still exists of the task
Of pullin' off a miracle out of my [edited for crass language]
It don't get much better than that
A savvy fox, a loyal dog, a sunny cat
Manning my stations
Taking control of the situation
Say hello to my force field ...
I was listening to this song by Smashmouth on my CD player tonight as I was getting my clicks in going round the track at the city's stadium. As I was listening to it, I thought ,"Boy, this song sort of describes how I feel about my life right now.
Today was a better day than earlier days this week. Probably because I didn't homeschool due to having to drive kids to doctor's appointments. Dr. Bell made my day early on. He walked into the examining room where he had Trahern stripped to the ankles in order to deal with a recalcitrant ingrown toenail, and when he saw me he gave a huge smile and evidenced delight. Then he said, "I don't know how you do it! You look younger every time I see you!" I think I love that man.
Got home, did a few things, rounded up the kids again and drove in for yet another doctor's appointment. Then did the groceries and some retail therapy. I now have some more cool earrings that were being cleared out at dirt cheap prices and an ear cuff. Tomorrow, I am scheduled for minor surgery on my ears in which two new holes will be drilled to make way for more ornaments above the initial ornament orifice.
I drove back into town after bringing all the kids and groceries back and went to log some clicks on my pedometer. I did almost 10 000 steps today. Not bad. My goal is over 9 000 clicks so I got a few extra in. Don't know how much longer I can keep that up though. I have this burning pain in the bottom of my foot that I suspect is a Morton's neuroma after talking to the podiatrist today. [sighs] It is like there is some kind of conspiracy to keep me from exercising. If the sole inserts I bought today don't help, then it looks like I might have to have the minor surgery done to take care of it. [sighs again]
Thus endeth my day...

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Volume 16, Issue 3: Childer
Parents or Social Engineers?

Douglas Wilson

Americans love fads, and when it comes to ideological fads we are no different. Of course, fads involve changing—first this way, and then that. While it does not follow from this that all change is the necessary result of faddishness, we should remember that fads do introduce change, often in the form of the sudden, impulsive lurch.

If a man wanted to plant a vegetable garden using the latest fad fertilizer, he is risking nothing more than next year's supply of cabbages. But if he wants to try the latest thing in ecology-friendly house-building, and forgoes the concrete in building his foundation, then his house will fall down in the storm, and great will be the fall of it (Matt. 7: 27). Moving upward, an even greater risk with fad-dabbling occurs when a man's children are involved. And yet many parents will try any new thing with their children, as though they were just so many cabbages.
But children are not at all like cabbages. If something does not work out, it is not possible to try something else next spring, starting the whole thing over. Of course it is possible to change whatever it is you are doing with them, but what you did is forever part of that child's story.
The first five years of a child's life are foundational. And if a child doesn't learn to read properly at the appropriate age, he will likely struggle with that problem for the rest of his life. The elementary years of a child's education are crucial—a host of prerequisites are established, without which a child will spend a good deal of the rest of his education in a state of bewilderment.

This is often granted in principle. "Yes, of course, prerequisites are necessary. Yes, of course, the early years are important." And so on. But then the means selected by many parents to impart what everyone acknowledges as necessary are often nothing more than some bright ideas cooked up by some fad-monger the day before yesterday. Lord Falklands once articulated the heart of conservatism when he said that when it is not necessary to change, it is necessary not to change. This principle is a wise one when it comes to bringing up children. If we are resolved to do something "different" with our kids, then we should have well-grounded reasons for doing so. And that ground is the ground of Scripture.

When Christian parents en masse began pulling their children out of the secular, government schools, they were certainly doing something "different." That was not how they had been brought up. Many times the difference was so stark that other members of the family thought they had lost their minds. The public schools were the American way, and so on. But given what Scripture teaches about the necessity of Christian education, this was a necessary change. It was often the same with home schooling as a choice. There were no godly schools available, or there were other pressing reasons that made home schooling a necessary choice.

But fads intrude wherever we go. Home schooling is not a necessary choice because schools as an institution are somehow "a Prussian invention from the nineteenth century designed to lead children into atheism." Rather, institutional schools have been used as an instrument of nurture by covenant parents since Ezra came back with the rest of the Jews from Babylon, and they have been used this way down to the present. That is approximately two thousand five hundred years of covenant history, and leave it to American Christians to not know anything about it. We drink grape juice in communion services too. Schools are no fad; they are not some recent innovation. It is in the highest degree likely that Jesus, and all His apostles, went to such covenant schools.

Nevertheless, in periods of decline and deformation in a culture, schools necessarily participate in this decline. And it is in such situations that godly parents will educate their children at home rather than turn them over to someone else (who wants the corruption to be accomplished with greater ease at some central location). But the problem in this scenario is the corruption, not the fact that the corruption was being adminstered by a hired teacher at a school. [Emphasis added. CG] If we found out that the au pair was poisoning the children's breakfast porridge, we should remonstrate with her over the poison, not over the fact that she had been hired to help with the kids.

Home schooling is often a godly choice, and in our day it is frequently the only godly choice. But homeschooling when pursued as an ideological fad is nevertheless extremely dangerous. Whenever there is a commitment to any ideological fad, the scriptural, historical, and educational facts do not matter anymore. The modern experiment on the children must continue, and all in the name of what seemed like a good idea at the time.

The tragedy is that the results of what happens whenever unteachable people set themselves up as teachers is entirely predictable, and can plainly be seen twenty years later as their former pupils struggle with the simplest of tasks. And few things are more offensive than to see the old and proud rob the young and helpless.

Cheryl adds:

Homeschooling has been on my mind a lot of late, mostly because I am still trying to organize and sort through what I am doing this year. Yesterday was a horrible day full of stress and high drama as I coped with laundry from the weekend, 7 kids coming at me from all directions with various problems, a 2 year old who insists on being in the middle of the table and coloring on everything the moment your back is turned, and trying to prepare for a business meeting in the evening. I also had to nip into town to bring a hawk with a broken wing to an animal shelter, pick up a Beta called Alpha for Hannah, buy a rabbit for Ben for his 4-H project, and take two kids to the chiropracter. I no sooner got home then I had to get ready for the evening and then left, not to return until around 11:00. I am tired and it is only Tuesday.

But I digress...

I was cheered to find the above article on homeschooling in the recent on-line version of Credenda Agenda. Why? Because it recognizes that schools are not bad per se [ per se -- Etymology: Latin, by, of, or in itself1 : inherently, strictly, or by operation of statute, constitutional provision or doctrine, or case law].

What this means is that when the millenium hits and reformation abounds, the public schools will likely be places that we can send our children without fear of moral indoctrination of anti-scriptural notions. This means that multitudes of mothers who have no aptitude for teaching academics will no longer spend the better part of their children's lives in guilt and fear that they are not doing a good enough job at teaching them.

As it is now, if a family tosses in the towel on homeschooling after giving it a go for a few years and sends her children to any school (even a private Christian school), it is generally considered to be a moral failing on the part of the mother. Dad's are generally excused from the blame because they work. Mothers, on the other hand, are expected to not only cope with the bodily weaknesses of pregnancy, childbearing, nursing and dealing with infants and toddlers, but do this while teaching several olders grades, preparing homecooked meals frugally from scratch, and keeping the house in order and the laundry caught up. In effect, she ends up doing two full time jobs at the same time and is expected to do a good job of both of them simultaneously. While responsibility for education rightly belongs to both parents, in practical terms this usually means that the weight of it falls on the mother's shoulders. If men won't do 50% of the housework, is it any surprise that they don't do much or any of the schooling?

Many women do an admirable job of dealing with having a large family, running a home, homeschooling and even having a business on the side. Such women are worthy of emulation. But not all women are so gifted and we need to remember that and bear with one another's weaknesses. If a family ends up sending their kids back to school, it is usually a cry for help or the result of cries for help going unheeded by any but the statists.

Independance in the homeschool can be a bad thing. It is a heavy and weighty responsibility to determine the educational direction of a home and see that it is carried out. One of the things that is usually lacking is feedback. Kids who don't get feedback on their schoolwork tend to become unmotivated because no one seems to care if the work is right or wrong. Likewise, mothers who have no feedback can become unmotivated. Accountability is a good thing. And if Dad isn't able to provide it, maybe the Church ought to look at doing so.

Ummm..... Correction.

That is NOT my 4H pig below. It belongs to my son, Trahern. We just set him up in his own blog the other day and he inadvertantly sent the picture of the late Penelope to my blog instead. For a scarey look inside my home, you can read of life in the Grenon household from his and my daughter, Hannah's perspective.

Monday, September 20, 2004

My 4-H pig, Penelop Posted by Hello

Friday, September 17, 2004

I Won

I have been receiving notices from all kinds of people lately, notifying me that I had won in a lottery which I have no rememberance of taking part in. People in Japan, Nigeria, and obscure African nations have been contacting me in droves because my reputation for honesty and astute financial judgement has spread around the globe. They want my help to move hundreds of thousands of dollars for the poor relations of fabulously wealthy people who have been dropping like flies before putting their money safely in Swiss bank accounts. (I think Interpol should be contacted and an investigation launched into the suspicious deaths of all these rich people.)

Yesterday when I came home for lunch, I got a phone call from someone informing me I had won yet another contest. Yikes! Now they are phoning me ? Turns out, this time it was a bonafide call. Last spring I entered some recipes in a contest for low glycemic eating in various categories, and I won first prize in two of the categories. I can't decide. Should I replace the couch that is disintegrating after 40 years of hard service and many children bouncing on it, or the washing machine that has to be run twice on the spin cycle to get the water out of the clothing? Decisions, decisions.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Best of Both Worlds

I spent the better part of today at a parents' seminar put on by the E Bus teachers who will be assisting me in educating my children. I know it isn't PC to say this about public school educators in homeschool circles, but these teachers reminded me of what a blessing it can be to have a talented and dedicated teacher to help you with learning.

One teacher in particular, Mr. Nussbaumer, very kindly did the verbal equivalent of patting my hand and telling me it would be alright. I was on the verge of having a complete meltdown over managing the course work for everyone. They were able to reassure me that everyone would learn what they needed to learn in a way that wouldn't burden me and would allow the kids to enjoy learning.

For those who are wondering, this isn't the same program that I mentioned earlier. I learned about E Bus about 5 weeks ago and decided to enroll all the children, not just the older kids. That means that everyone will be accountable to a teacher, a teacher will do the grading and give out report cards, but the kids can still work at their own pace and use many of the same resources that I would have been using anyhow.

I think this program is going to be a good fit. The work is flexible and it takes into account real life experience for credit. It also provides a means for allowing the kids to do some extra curricular things like taking music or art lessons ~ things we could never do before. Most importantly, it provides me with someone to hold my hand and reassure me that the children really are learning and that they are not going to grow up as little ignoramuses.

I think the hardest thing about homeschooling for me has been the oppressive weight of responsibility that has rested on my shoulders. That weight has stolen all the joy because if I don't do a good job, then my kids suffer. It is hard enough being responsible for their moral training without adding everything else on top. If not every man is suited to teach in the church, why do we assume that every mother is suited to teach her kids a classical and rigorous academic program? Good teaching requires talent and gifting. Not every mother is so gifted. Least of all, me.

So thank you to all you wonderful E Bus teachers! You have saved my sanity. And once I figure out how it all works, I suspect I might actually start to enjoy teaching at home again.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

'Flu Season Hysteria Begins

By Dr. Sherri Tenpenny, DO

The following article is an article in the Online Vaccine Conference at This important online conference on vaccines will play a significant role in stimulating public discussion on this vital public health issue. You can also view other essential articles on vaccines at the Online Vaccine Conference.

As predictable as the return of yellow school buses and Monday Night Football, the arrival of fall also brings the first fearful chatter about the approaching flu season. But this year, there is a twist: The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has devised a portentous new blueprint to ensure the economic success of this season's flu vaccine.

Concerned over data documenting that almost 65 percent of the people surveyed in 2003 did not receive the flu shot -- including nearly 47 percent with chronic illnesses and 78 percent of children ranging in age from 6-23 months -- a new strategy has been devised. The plan was fully disclosed in the 51-slide communiqué, "Planning for the 2004-05 Influenza Vaccination Season: A Communication Situation Analysis," prepared by Glen Nowak, Ph.D., associate director for communications at the National Immunization Program.

The most important part of the program, "The Seven-Step Recipe for Generating Interest in, and Demand for, Flu (or any other) Vaccination," is designed to methodically manipulate the general public.

Language within the presentation reveals the intent of the government and their drug company "partners" to use major news media (newswires, TV) to send scheduled, fear-based messages in an attempt to convince the unsuspecting public that not only is the flu shot necessary, but to motivate them to demand it. This will amount to millions of dollars of free advertising for flu vaccine manufacturers.

A Synopsis of the CDC plan
Step 1: Start discussing the flu at the beginning of the "immunization season."
Posters, fliers and media campaign materials are generally mailed to public health departments and healthcare provider offices in mid-August, "planting the seeds" in the minds of patients so that they request the flu vaccine when it arrives.

Step 2: The media will begin to make pronouncements that the "new" influenza strains anticipated this year "will be associated with severe illness and serious outcomes."
Right on cue, the government announced on Aug. 25, that it is "preparing for world's next big flu outbreak." A report released to the Associated Press suggests that a bad flu season could kill up to 207,000 Americans. To fuel the hysteria, the CDC and Department of Human Services announced that they are issuing a joint "Pandemic Influenza Response and Preparedness Plan" which will stress "ways to speed up vaccine production, limit the spread of a super-flu, and care for the ill."

Step 3: The buildup will continue through the early fall, as local and national "medical experts and public health authorities publicly (e.g., via media) state concern and alarm (by predicting dire outcomes) -- and urge influenza vaccination."

Here's one example: "We know we're going to have a pandemic because, historically, we're overdue for one," said Neil Pascoe, epidemiologist in the infectious disease division of the Texas Department of Health. "When it happens, it's going to be huge. It will be global, and everyone is going to be affected ... it could be terribly fatal. Imagine 4 million Texans [becoming] infected, and 20 percent of them die."

Be prepared for many similar statements in major newspapers and on national TV stations as the weeks progress.

Step 4: Reports from medical experts will be used to "frame the flu season in terms [that will] motivate behavior." Language to be used will include "very severe," "more severe than last or past years" and "deadly."

Last year, there were 1,026 messages sent via the media between September 21-28. Some of the phrases the media used included, "This could be the worst flu season ever," "The flu kills 36,000 people per year" and "The flu shot is the best way to prevent the flu." Even though less than 175 people actually died from influenza in 2003, anticipate exponentially more messages regarding the "deadly flu" will be pushed through the news media this year.

Step 5: Continue to release reports from health officials through the media that influenza is causing severe illness and/or affecting lots of people "helping to foster the perception that many people are susceptible to a bad case of influenza."

Step 6: Give visible, tangible examples of the seriousness of influenza by showing pictures of ill children and affected families who are willing to come forward with their stories. "Show pictures of people being vaccinated, the first to motivate, the latter to reinforce."

Step 7: List references to, and have discussions regarding, the influenza pandemic. "Make continued reference to the importance of vaccination."

The language used to describe Steps 5, 6, and 7 was taken directly from Nowak's presentation. This should leave little doubt the government intends to use the media to create hysteria that will increase the demand for a pharmaceutical product.

Vaccine manufacturers often cry the blues about revenues lost by producing vaccines. However, last year, Chiron, one of the two largest vaccine manufacturers, made 38 million flu shots, accounting for nearly $230 million in revenue. And even though sales of FluMist, the intranasal flu vaccine, reportedly "failed miserably," the company still marked $33 million in revenues from sales of the product. Not exactly the stellar returns MedImmune had hoped for, but clearly revenues were made.

Health officials are expecting that, through the publicity generated by last year's flu hype, coupled with a carefully planned and implemented new strategy, record numbers will seek vaccination this year. Perhaps, understanding the tactical maneuvers of the "CDC-Big Pharma-Media" partnership will result in another "bust" year for the flu vaccines.

Many thanks to Mrs. Lujene Clark, president of for her research and bringing this to my attention.

Sherri J. Tenpenny, D.O. is a nationally renowned and respected vaccine expert.

Cheryl notes that the best defense against the 'flu is a strong immune system. Eat whole foods, exercise and use glyconutrients and other supplements to build your immune system.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Covenant Mercies Out Live Us

Yesterday I was thinking about Moses, and specifically, Moses' mother. This brave lady likely did what she could to hide the fact that she was pregnant in order to hide the subsequent birth and to protect her baby boy's life for as long as possible. By the time he reached the age of 3 months, he could no longer be hidden in the home. How her mother's heart must have ached as she wove the basket she was planning to place him in. How in the world could her baby survive in a basket? He would cry and she couldn't go to him. If he wet or soiled himself, she couldn't be there to change him. If he hungered, she couldn't nurse him except as she was able to sneak away. I am sure the thoughts of crocodiles lurking in the reeds and other hazards troubled her mind as she worked. By the miraculous intervention of God's directing providence, Moses is picked up out of the river and taken in by Pharoah's daughter.

We don't know now long Jochabed lived after turning Moses over to Pharoah's daughter. Did she live to see him a man grown in Egypt? Was her heart wrung by the knowledge that he had become a murderer who ran away to escape the penalty of his sin? We never read of Jochabed beyond the early childhood of Moses. Presumably she didn't live long enough to see her son become the meekest man on earth. Nor did she live to see the deliverance of Israel by God. For me, this story is a potent reminder that God's covenant promises don't need to be seen by us to be fulfilled through us.

Why are you cast down my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help of my countenance. ~ Psalm 42:5

Now They Want to Euthanize Children In the Netherlands,

31 percent of pediatricians have killed infants. A fifth of these killings were done without the "consent" of parents. Going Dutch has never been so horrible. by Wesley J. Smith 09/13/2004 12:00:00 AM

FIRST, Dutch euthanasia advocates said that patient killing will be limited to the competent, terminally ill who ask for it. Then, when doctors began euthanizing patients who clearly were not terminally ill, sweat not, they soothed: medicalized killing will be limited to competent people with incurable illnesses or disabilities. Then, when doctors began killing patients who were depressed but not physically ill, not to worry, they told us: only competent depressed people whose desire to commit suicide is "rational" will have their deaths facilitated. Then, when doctors began killing incompetent people, such as those with Alzheimer's, it's all under control, they crooned: non-voluntary killing will be limited to patients who would have asked for it if they were competent.

And now they want to euthanize children.

In the Netherlands, Groningen University Hospital has decided its doctors will euthanize children under the age of 12, if doctors believe their suffering is intolerable or if they have an incurable illness. But what does that mean? In many cases, as occurs now with adults, it will become an excuse not to provide proper pain control for children who are dying of potentially agonizing maladies such as cancer, and doing away with them instead. As for those deemed "incurable"--this term is merely a euphemism for killing babies and children who are seriously disabled.

For anyone paying attention to the continuing collapse of medical ethics in the Netherlands, this isn't at all shocking. Dutch doctors have been surreptitiously engaging in eugenic euthanasia of disabled babies for years, although it technically is illegal, since infants can't consent to be killed. Indeed, a disturbing 1997 study published in the British medical journal, the Lancet, revealed how deeply pediatric euthanasia has already metastasized into Dutch neo natal medical practice: According to the report, doctors were killing approximately 8 percent of all infants who died each year in the Netherlands. That amounts to approximately 80-90 per year. Of these, one-third would have lived more than a month. At least 10-15 of these killings involved infants who did not require life-sustaining treatment to stay alive. The study found that a shocking 45 percent of neo-natologists and 31 percent of pediatricians who responded to questionnaires had killed infants.

It took the Dutch almost 30 years for their medical practices to fall to the point that Dutch doctors are able to engage in the kind of euthanasia activities that got some German doctors hanged after Nuremberg. For those who object to this assertion by claiming that German doctors killed disabled babies during World War II without consent of parents, so too do many Dutch doctors: Approximately 21 percent of the infant euthanasia deaths occurred without request or consent of parents. Moreover, since when did parents attain the moral right to have their children killed? Euthanasia consciousness is catching. The Netherlands' neighbor Belgium decided to jump off the same cliff as the Dutch only two years ago. But already, they have caught up with the Dutch in their freefall into the moral abyss. The very first Belgian euthanasia of a person with multiple sclerosis violated the law; and just as occurs routinely in the Netherlands, the doctor involved faced no consequences. Now Belgium is set to legalize neo-pediatric euthanasia. Two Belgian legislators justify their plan to permit children to ask for their own mercy killing on the basis that young people "have as much right to choose" euthanasia as anyone else. Yet, these same children who are supposedly mature enough to decide to die would be ineligible to obtain a driver's license.

Why does accepting euthanasia as a remedy for suffering in very limited circumstances inevitably lead to never-ending expansion of the killing license? Blame the radically altered mindset that results when killing is redefined from a moral wrong into a beneficent and legal act. If killing is right for, say the adult cancer patient, why shouldn't it be just as right for the disabled quadriplegic, the suicidal mother whose children have been killed in an accident, or the infant born with profound mental retardation? At that point, laws and regulations erected to protect the vulnerable against abuse come to be seen as obstructions that must be surmounted. From there, it is only a hop, skip, and a jump to deciding that killing is the preferable option.

Wesley J. Smith is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute, an attorney for the International Task Force on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide, and a special consultant to the Center for Bioethics and Culture. His next book, Consumer's Guide to a Brave New World will be released in October.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Musical Interlude

Despite the assertions of a friend of mine, I don't have a good singing voice. It cracks at times and it isn't very strong. The best that can be said for it is that I am able to keep it on key. Nevertheless, I enjoy excercising my vocal cords by singing along with some favorite music.

I don't know how my friend does it. She listens to music on headphones while she composes letters, blog posts, emails, and other writings. My kids also have the ability (so they say) to do schoolwork with music blaring loudly beside them. I can't. Anything that requires my full attention means I can't pay attention to music and singing or whatever it is that I am working on. Instead, I use music to accompany me when I am working in the kitchen or doing tedious chores like ironing shirts. I also use it when I am driving places because it makes the time pass more quickly.

Today I was making lasagne's in the kitchen. One is for tonight's festivities. We are celebrating my son Nathanael's 18th birthday. He actually turned 18 last Lord's Day, but his dad and I were away and his second eldest sister just came down for the weekend, so we thought we would wait til today to perform the birthday rites. While I was working away, I had on some music that I used to listen to long ago -- The Electric Light Orchestra. Man, just hearing that stuff transported me right back to my teen years.

You know, on the one hand you couldn't pay me enough to go back and relive those years over. And at the same time I miss them. I had some good times while I was a youngster, even when I was dating. The summer I was 16 was probably one of my best summers. That was the year I worked at a truck stop not far from my home as a waitress, and it was also the summer I spent dating Jimmy Hughes. Jimmy was the son of a gal my dad knew growing up. I know my parents didn't really approve of Jimmy, but we never did anything bad or questionable. He used to pick me up and drive me to work and come back around midnight to drive me home. During the times we weren't working, we would bomb around the backroads of Westmoreland county in his little Toyota and listen to music and yak. I was broken hearted when he wanted to stop dating me, but obviously, I recovered enough to take up with Marc and get married. Jimmy still lives in Moncton, as far as I know, and no doubt knows about me and my brood of 11. He's probably congratulating himself on his narrow escape. heheh

Another lad who escaped my clutches was "Q". His name was actually Robbie Cusack, but we all called him "Q" for short. I "dated" him for all of one summer. We didn't actually spend a lot of time together because I was at summer camp either as a camper or working as a counselor. I saw him from a distance a few years ago when I was back home visiting my parents. He became a DJ at a Christian radio station and introduced Steve Green at a concert my mom and I went to. I wanted to say hi to him, but he got away before I could. He was bald.

Yesterday I was at the store and picked up a People magazine and glanced through it. There was a picture of Brooke Shields with her new baby. Cute baby, but man... Brooke, who is slightly younger than me, has huge crow's feet and wrinkles on her face -- more than I do. I have yet to get crow's feet. Of course, my hips are more generous than hers, but I can lose the hips.

Well I'm babbling now and haven't anything astounding to say. Thus ends the interlude. Back to work.

What I'm Listening to: Default

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Three Things....

Thanks to Jerry for this.

Three Things

Created by andy and taken 8468 times on bzoink!

Three things that scare me:
1Driving in a blinding snow storm
2My kids going too close to the edge of a drop
3Getting a phone call from the elders. :o
Three people who make me laugh:
1Marc, my husband
2Nick S.
3Dawn M.
Three Things I love:
1Ice Cream
2Long, hot baths
3Being massaged
Three Things I hate:
1Having cold feet
2A messy house
3Malfunctioning equipment
Three things I don't understand:
Three things on my desk:
2Tub of Ambrotose
3Empty ice cream dish
Three things I'm doing right now:
1Indulging in mindless amusement
2Getting ready for bed
3Wondering which book I should read tonight
Three things I want to do before I die:
1Have lots and lots of grandchildren
2Travel around the UK
3Have a vacation home in New Brunswick
Three things I can do:
1Help other people feel better
2Cook for and entertain large crowds
3Have fun at the drop of a hat
Three ways to describe my personality:
Three things I can't do:
1Father a child
2Keep track of my car and house keys
3Sit still for very long

Create a Survey Search Surveys Go to bzoink!

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

This and That

It is amazing how quickly I can fall behind with things when I take a few days away from home. Laundry Mountain has switched places. Instead of a mountain of dirty laundry, I now have a mountain of clean laundry awaiting folding and sorting before being dispersed to the appropriate person. I could ask one of my kids to do the folding, but I'm rather anal about how the laundry gets folded and since it is my single obsession, it will have to wait until I get to it.

I spent today sorting out and packing away my summer clothing and digging out my winter clothing. Farewell light summery things; hello warm winter woolies. I am a bit sad about the loss of summer sun and warmth, but every season has its joys and I'll recover to enjoy the autumn weather soon.

Which reminds me of something... I have come to realize what a blessing it is to possess a generally happy frame of mind. I have my trials and tribulations that serve to remind me that life is sober; life is cruel. However, if I can distract myself for even a few minutes, it usually restores me to a more optimistic frame of mind. I was lamenting to myself over one of the kids today and doing some writing on a totally unrelated subject helped to restore my equilibrium and perspective. I remember suffering from depression as a teen, and I developed a great distaste for it. Consequently, I have endeavored to do all I can to preserve a more cheerful frame of mind where possible. Perspective is everything. I could keep myself down by constantly reminding myself of my own sinful nature and its results and that of those around me. Joy, however, always sneaks back in. I can't help it. I find too many things to rejoice in and be grateful for. No matter how grey things look to me, I know I can always find someone worse off than I am. And besides, given what my sins deserve, I am grateful that the trials I experience in this life are the worst it will ever be for me. This life is the closest to hell I shall ever get. Now if that isn't cause for gratitude over the lightness of affliction I suffer now, I don't know what is.

Things are slowly starting to come together as far as school goes. I heard from several of Ben's teachers today and his lessons will be sent out soon. I also heard from the teacher who will be overseeing the younger children. For once, I am actually looking forward to getting started. That, of course, could change as soon as I am actually doing something. Alas, homeschooling is one area that does challenge my ability to remain cheerful. However, I shall endeavor to do this as unto the Lord with a minimum of grumbling and belly aching about it.

Sorry I don't have anything more exciting to write about.

What I am listening to: Smashmouth

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Back to a New Grind

I'm being bad in posting on here right now but if I don't do it now, I don't know when it will get done.

I had a jam-packed couple of days. At the last minute, I decided to go to Portland, Oregon with Marc on a business trip. A couple of courses for health professionals were offered at a good price and it was too good an opportunity to miss when one of my older daughters was available to babysit. We left on Wednesday morning around 8:30 and arrived in Portland around 12:30 that night. We jumped into bed and then next morning I was up early to take in a class on "Glycosciences in Fundamentals of Health and Disease," a technical medical course that is worth four hours of continuing education for MD's and other health care professionals. It was very technical, immensely interesting, and extremely encouraging. One of the presenters was Dr. Robert Murray, the editor of Harper's Biochemistry, a text book used in medical schools.

In the afternoon I met up with Dee Dee S., a fellow Covenanter in the RPNA, as well as a business partner. I sat with her and Kelly K through another 4 credit hour course on living at goal weight by Dr. Gil Kaats, the head of the Health and Medical Research Foundation. I now have all the credit hours I need with the addition of some other courses I took prior to this to qualify for certification as a weight loss consultant. My education is not ending there though. I have also signed up for a diploma course that will certify me as a nutritional consultant and charter member of the American International Association of Nutritional Education through the University of Miami's School of Medicine. Who says homeschooling doesn't work?

I'm afraid I am a bad girl. I sometimes think that one of the negative side effects of glyconutrients is that it causes people to run off at the mouth with cliches. In some of the later presentations I attended I had Dee Dee and another gal on my other side laughing their heads off and telling me to shut up and behave because my running commentary on what was happening was distracting them.

There are some truly astounding studies that are coming out. These are bona fide medical studies being done and not merely the result of anecdote and placebo induced results. For instance, I have in front of me Volume 3, No.2 of the Proceedings of the Fisher Institute for Medical Research. In a study involving 91 subjects afflicted with Cystic Fibrosis, 72.5 % reported an improvement in their lung symptoms while 81.1% reported an improvement in their digestive symptoms. Some of the children no longer present with CF clinical symptoms. This sort of thing is unheard of using the standard allopathic care. What is interesting is that this is not merely a bunch of "quacks" from the alternative medical field doing these studies, but bona fide medical experts in the allopathic field. Other conditions that are reversing are things like peripheral neuropathy and various forms of cancer. When you are looking at any form of autoimmune disorder, you are basically looking at a glycosylation problem, which can be corrected by the supplementation of the glyco part of the equation, for proper glycoprotein synthesis.

Another interesting lecture I attended was presented by Dr. Marcia Smith on Nutrigenomic Modulation. Nutrigenomics is the study of how naturally occuring chemicals in foods alter molecular expression of genetic information in each individual. Food molecules enter the human body and act as hormone-like messengers that regulate pivotal body functions at the cellular level. They literally turn on some genes and shut off others. These functions include the division of cells in the human body that have implications for cancer as well as heart disease inflammation processes. In addition, some mental imbalances can be aggravated by the consumption of particular foods that contribute to mood and learning disorders. An example of this would be ADDHD, schizophrenia, and dyslexia. It is likely that a fatty acid imbalance is aggravated by the consumption of foods high in the Omega 6 fatty acids, like those found in deep fried foods. What is ironic, is that people who are diagnosed with severe mental disorders are often institutionalized in places where they are fed fatty foods and a nutritionally poor diet, thus making the condition worse.

Most of the hormone-like food molecules are synthesized by plants and can't be manufactured by the human body. Age-related diseases like heart failure, diabetes, and many types of cancer have increased significantly in the Western world due to a dramatic decrease in the consumption of plant-based food such as veggies, fruit, herbs, and spices. Food molecules enter our body and modulate our genes. Your diet is more powerful than drugs are, and many disease processes are the result of food deficiencies, not drug deficiencies. IOW, you don't get cancer cuz mom forgot to sprinkle chemotherapy drugs on your cornflakes when you were a child. It is more likely that a person develops cancer because key elements of nutrition are missing from the diet on an on-going basis.

If that doesn't make the parents reading this feel a bit guilty about all the processed food and sugar that you feed your kids, it should. It does for me. If you want to see how food choices play out over generations, read this article on Pottenger's Cats.

By Saturday night, I was suffering from information overload. Poor Marc. It was a good thing that I came down with him because he had a bit of a relapse of his intestinal problems. Our main fear was that he would end up in hospital in the US with their exorbitant rates. But thankfully, putting him to bed early, restricting his diet, and making him take it easy meant that he was able to get by with bedrest, fluids, and a few glyconutrients.

Sunday morning we left Portland and I drove us through insane traffic (where were all these people going on a Sunday morning?) by-passing Seattle, and we made it to Everson, Washington, where I was able to attend worship with some more Society People while Marc crashed in the spare room they had allotted to us. It was great finally getting to meet all the Tarons en masse and amusing to watch Paul Roberts and Bob Suden engage in verbal sparring on immigration.

Monday morning saw us leaving the Tarons and heading back over the border into Canada. I love Canada! I love the mountains, the valleys, the lush green overgrowth of the Lower Mainland, the sage brush and sand of the desert-like Fraser Canyon, and the beauty of the mountains and rolling hills of the central interior. Yeah, we may need to wait in line for medical care, but at least we don't have to worry about it bankrupting us if we do need it. Yeah, we are afflicted with social and practial atheists who run this country, but the land itself is a testimony to me of the greatness of the God who created it and is able to remove the morons or convert them when He deems the time right.

I managed to sneak into the house without anyone seeing me because my "water tank" was full and in danger of overflowing. When I came out of the powder room, there was Elodie in my husband's arms. As soon as she saw me she gasped and said "Mama!" and held out her arms to me. Her next words were a command to sit down so she could nurse. So much for thinking this trip would mean she would wean! I was then smothered in a multitude of hugs and kisses from children who realized that grumpy as mama bear can be, they still need her and miss her when she is gone.

So here I am back at home, facing Laundry Mountain once again, trying to organize for school, figure out scheduling, and preparing to re-stock the pantry as well as do some business stuff. At least I am not bored. Oh, and Marc is recovering well.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Gone for a Bit

My husband is going to a business convention and taking his secretary with him [ME! :oP]. Postings will resume, Lord willing, if and when I return on Monday. Prayers that our children will not be left orphans will be greatly appreciated.