Molly Ivins

January 31, 2007

Molly Ivins died tonight. It’s really quite unbelievable, to me.

Here’s the Austin American-Statesman story, “Molly Ivins, queen of liberal commentary, dies.”

Here’s a tribute from Editor & Publisher.  And a recent interview with E&P.

Molly Ivins graphic, copyright Tim Porter 2001

Graphic by Tim Porter, copyright 2001

Carnival of Education #104

January 31, 2007

Gate to Boston Latin school

Median Sib hosts the 104th Carnival of Education. If you’re not reading these regularly, you’re missing a lot in education. Even more useful is checking out the blogs the selected posts come from. This week’s posts include pieces on science education in Florida, the misfiring of the intended incentive pay to Houston Independent School District teachers, standards under NCLB, and more.

And, as EduWonks suggests, one might learn more by perusing the 57th Carnival of Homeschooling at PalmTree Pundit — a couple of good geography teaching posts there.

It’s like this internet thingy is some information highway or something.

Image: Gateway to Boston Latin School, probably the oldest operating public school in America. Ben Franklin’s schooling was obtained at this school (probably in an earlier building!)

31st Carnival of the Liberals

January 31, 2007

Blue Steel’s hosts the 31st Carnival of the Liberals. Not nearly so stuffy as the conservatives, and certainly much less well represented in the blogosphere, the posts carry a better information-to-rant ratio than most blog carnivals.

Carnival of the Liberals #31

The Gospel about Millard Fillmore

January 31, 2007

Great title for a sermon, yes?

Does the sermon live up to the title?  The Rev. John Robinson preached the sermon on September 18, 2005, at the First Unitarian Universalist Society of San Francisco — at least, that’s what it looks like from the sermon archives where I stumbled on the thing. Fillmore was a Unitarian, so that sect might take a bit of pride in his accomplishments.

One historian said of Fillmore: “He came to the Presidency by the only road available to a man of limited ability, the death of his predecessor.” He was accused of being both pro-slavery and abolitionist. It was said he did “not have courage” “but was just inflexible.” They accused him of having “no position except equivocation,” that he was “without personal earnest conviction, personal force, or capacity for strong personal leadership.” His general rating as a president has been, until recently, below average, way below. He is judged bad or poor in his religiousness by those who judge such things. He was rejected by the religious community of which he was a member. He was a Unitarian.

There are three reasons to tell the story of Millard Fillmore: First, he illustrates the on-going tension in our free religious community, between the prophetic and the practical – the privilege of moral purity and the necessity to make real world decisions. Second, he illustrates well how difficult it is to judge our contemporaries. And third, to help restore Millard Fillmore to his rightful place in history.

I wish the good Rev. Robinson had included footnotes with the sermon.

Nixon’s dead, but dirty tricks live on

January 31, 2007

Do I correctly recall that President Bush suggested Republicans and Democrats can work together?

How long ago was that?

Already the right-wing hoax machine is out in force (Swift Boat Veterans again?). A couple of people sent me the latest hoax against Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, claiming she was advocating a 100% tax on incomes of the rich. To be really fair and accurate, we need to note the hoax has been circulating since at least October.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi in her office

Pelosi didn’t say she favors a 100% tax. The e-mail circulating is a hoax., that grand internet ally for getting the story straight, has a debunking post up.

Here are a few of the victims of the hoax:

It’s almost painful to watch how quickly some people succumb to hoaxes like these. One hopes the perpetrators of the hoaxes get the same twinge of regret that Mencken got from the Fillmore bathtub hoax — but one may be hoping against experience.

So far as I can tell, no one who posted the hoax has yet corrected the post, or noted the error (in a few places, others have written in to note the hoax).

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