Bernie Sanders Is Ron Paul For Lefties

You’re going to have to excuse me if I pass up a trip on the Bernie Sanders Is Our New Trvth Telling Prophet Bandwagon. Bernie Sanders is Leftie Ron Paul: a nutty uncle who sometimes blurts out a piece of common sense, such as this:


…but most of the time sounds about one step away from a contrail conspiracy theorist. He’s just another tedious class warrior. If I want Crazy Truth Teller, I’ll take the original, not his mirror image.

And if he knew jackall about economics, he wouldn’t call himself a socialist. “Left-wing Economics” is one of those oxymoron things.

“The eraser is an instrument of the devil” Sez Credentialed Moron

They give degrees out to just anyone these days:

The eraser is an instrument of the devil because it perpetuates a culture of shame about error. It’s a way of lying to the world, which says ‘I didn’t make a mistake. I got it right first time.’ That’s what happens when you can rub it out and replace it.

Instead, we need a culture where children are not afraid to make mistakes, they look at their mistakes and they learn from them, where they are continuously reflecting and improving on what they’ve done, not being enthralled to getting the right answer quickly and looking smart.

They need to be interested in the process of getting the right answer because that’s what it is like in the big wide world.

That’s cognitive scientist Guy Claxton of King’s College.

Would you like to take odds on whether or not Guy uses his backspace key?



Here’s the thing, Guy: an eraser isn’t a tool of deception. It says, “I made a mistake, caught the mistake, and corrected it when I checked my work, the way my teacher taught me to do.” It says, “I’m not going cross out something and leave a confusing mess on the page so my poor teacher can tear her hair out trying to figure out what the deuce I’m saying.”

I’ve been brought in to lower and middle school classes to teach students how to revise their writing. The teachers can’t get kids to proof their work. They think if a “real writer” goes over his process and teaches the benefits of checking and correcting, maybe it will sink in better. I call an eraser and backspace key their best friends. I say something isn’t written until it’s rewritten. I point out that revision isn’t something extra: it’s part of the process of writing and problem solving.

Of course mistakes are part of the learning process. So is fixing mistakes!

Guy has a solution that’s not at all insane:

Ban the eraser, get a big road sign with an eraser and put a big, red bar across it and get kids to say you don’t scrub out your mistakes, highlight them because mistakes are your friends, they are your teachers.

Yes, and erasing them says, “I have caught my mistake, and corrected it.”


Who Is That Priest in the “Pawn Sacrifice” Trailer?

Pawn Sacrifice is a new film from Edward Zwick about the brilliant, disturbed chess prodigy Bobby Fischer. Tobey Maguire plays Fischer and Liev Schrieber plays his nemesis, Boris Spassky. Here’s the trailer:

Some viewers may be puzzled by the prominence of a Catholic priest in the trailer.

The IMDB entry doesn’t list the character’s name, but I can’t imagine it being anyone other than Fr. Bill Lombardy.pawn

Lombardy was an International Grandmaster who finished second to Fischer in the 1961 US Championship. Rather than taking his well-earned place in the international qualifiers, he retired and entered the priesthood. He left ministry to marry in the 1980s.

He began coaching Fischer as a child, and when Fischer found himself in the spotlight in his legendary 1972 match against Spasky, he called Lombardy for help. Lombardy got permission to take a break from his priestly duties and flew to Reykjavik to help stabilize the troubled genius. He acted as Fischer’s “second” and is credited with getting Fischer through the match. He was coach, analyst, and friend, and it’s unlikely Fischer would have completed the competition without him.

Fischer’s religious beliefs were notoriously erratic. Born Jewish, he later became a raving anti-Semite, joined the Worldwide Church of God, left it in a huff, and may (or may not: stories vary) have been a Catholic at his death.

ISIS Is Destroying Ancient Palmyra

This is the Lion of Al-Lat:


It stood at the entrance the Temple of Bel in Palmyra, Syria, and dated to the First or Second Century. It was a product of the great Palmyran civilization, which had a brief but prosperous glory while the Roman Empire was beginning its decline. It was built in honor of  Al-Lat, a pre-Islamic goddess.

It no longer exists.

ISIS has taken over Palmyra, which has a rich cultural heritage, and begun a systematic destruction of all “idols.” Eyewitnesses have described the destruction of the lion with construction equipment, as well as the smashing of cultural treasures in the museum.

The ISIS forces have promised locals that they will not destroy mere ruins, only “idols.” No one believes them.

The Great Colonnade, Palmyra

The Great Colonnade, Palmyra