Remember my brief note on 22 September when I mentioned The Millenium Matrix by M Rex Miller? Well, Rex Miller has left a comment there: “Interesting tie to racism. I’d like to see you elaborate more. I do agree that in a state of vertigo people and groups will withdraw into narrower circles of self-reinforcement. There will be a select group of ‘ins’ and then those who are a threat…” Read the rest of this entry »
Monthly Archives: September 2005
Think about it. Can you see any problems with this? Take the word “equity” for starters… Are all communities well placed to fulfil this particular fantasy? By all means continue what is happening, and involve parents and the community even more than we do now, but really, really think this through.
Kim Beazley, on the other hand, must have read a letter I wrote to The Sydney Morning Herald in 1968 or 1969, where I advocated pretty much what he is advocating now. And the Australian Capital Territory has been actually doing this for thirty years!
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Have you ever thought that racism has proven far more lethal in the past century than terrorism has? Explore Anup Shah’s site for an overview and links.
I constantly wonder why, for want of a better term, mental illnesses like racism and extreme fundamentalism are on the rise, and why so many are turning to one kind of simplistic authoritarianism or another. There are some clues in a book which is itself somewhat breathlessly simplistic: The Millennium Matrix (2004) by M Rex Miller. He speaks of “vertigo” in the postmodern world we inhabit, whether we choose to or not. There’s a lot in that. Vertigo can do weird things to the perception.
I had to steel myself to watch this on Thursday nights on ABC. But it is I think a must see. If you doubt my assertion a that racism has been even more lethal than terrorism, watch this series. As the Sydney Morning Herald reviewer points out, it is the first time that a thorough documentary has appeared which includes those who actually carried out the “Final Solution”; the disturbing thing is that many of these people are “just folks”, that the policy was much more ad hoc than some earlier accounts have led us to believe, and that the engine driving it really was racism. Ordinary folks’ racism, not just the crazy ideology of Hitler and his entourage. Read the rest of this entry »
My coachee drew my attention to this story. Let him do the honours:
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I heard this morning’s expat on Julie McCrossin’s ABC 702 Breakfast this morning. Leading an idyllic life in many ways, the expat was a young teacher in a Cotswold village, but she did make an interesting point. The primary school classes there have as many as sixty students, and the literacy level is way behind what she would expect in a NSW school at similar level.
Yesterday I responded rather grumpily to a suggestion, silly but really quite innocuous, on another blog. The writer was advocating the privatisation of education, which really is, I suspect, the ultimate trend in the direction the diminutive Federal Education Minister is going. It is the trend also to play up all the problems in state schools, to rubbish curricula, and yatta yatta yatta. You know what I mean. I just wish people would recognise a simple fact: that these days the stuff about education that emanates from the Quadrant writers and those close to the Australian government is as ideologically driven as anything that ever emerged from the far Left in the old days. There is no disinterestedness apparent at all.
I would rate myself centre to conservative in the “ideological” stakes, but it really is annoying to read so many off-the-cuff, or carefully crafted, ideological sprays these days from politicians and others.
STATES will have their Year 12 English, maths, physics and chemistry courses ranked in order of excellence in an attempt to stop “dumbed down” curriculums short-changing Australian students.
Federal Education Minister Brendan Nelson has confirmed plans to introduce a national report card for key subjects after being warned students in Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia were being left behind in maths.
The benchmarks means parents will be able to compare results from state to state.
The state’s leading Catholic authority on school curriculum, Brian Croke, disagrees with his spiritual leader, Cardinal George Pell, that high school English is promoting “moral and social disorder”.
Rather than leaving children “rudderless”, Dr Croke said the NSW high school English syllabus encouraged students to adopt a more thoughtful consideration of values than in the past. “[Teachers] teach a higher standard than they used to,” said Dr Croke, the executive director of the NSW Catholic Education Commission. “Language changes and the way you teach it has to change … We’ve got a much better range of texts now – more diverse – but the classics are still there.”
Right on, Georgie babe! Cool guy, love the dress!
OK, let’s really get into those good books and get rid of this 21st century crap, eh! For laughs, we should start with Chaucer’s Miller’s Tale, for the fart jokes and the hilarious red-hot poker up the bum scene. Always goes well, that does. And the General Prologue before that, of course:
For if a preest be foul, on whom we truste,
No wonder is a lewed man to ruste;
And shame it is, if a prest take keep,
A shiten shepherde and a clene sheep.
Shakespeare, of course. Othello to see the corrupting effects of racism and distrust. And why not a gobbet or two from Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, eh? Cool stuff that. And the preface to the 1611 Bible.
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That rather Orwellian title hides a great deal of inhumanity. Take a scenario I heard yesterday. You have a serious chronic illness, and despite surviving things that would kill most people, you, because you really are a person who rejects “bludging”, have worked on in an area under state government control which deals with health issues not dissimilar to your own. You work hard, and achieve much of value. This in fact assists in your survival and prevents your being a drain on the public purse. But the time comes when the state government agency you work for deems the time has come for you to severely cut back, or stop working, as there are health and safety issues to be considered. So you go to the federal government’s Department of Human Services Centrelink, explain the situation, expecting some assistance as you are far from well and have not chosen to be unemployed.