Nelson Mandela has died and it’s wall to wall coverage time and there is something important to say about him.

Mandela was a revolutionary he set bombs and in his younger days had no problem with violence to achieve ends and was a friend of Fidel Castro.

What made Mandela different, what made him great was not his acts of revolution or even his imprisonment but what he did afterwards.

It would have been so easy for him to like the Castros to keep power as a dictator for decades.

It would have been so easy to become Robert Mugabe and rig elections and give spoils to his political allies.

It would have been so easy to rape the country of South Africa and make himself rich beyond the dreams of avarice

It would have been easy for him to set up a dummy democracy where he would rule behind the scenes with a puppet president.

It would have been so easy to decide to take revenge not only for himself but for every black African who had been mistreated and murdered under apartheid.

He did not.

The world is full of examples of the former, of Castros of Putins of Mugabes, of men who started as revolutionizes against oppressors and became oppressors itself. Even here in America how many people were attacked in the name of “Justice for Trayvon?”

Because he did not, because he eschewed violence when he had the power to wreak it, because he instead restrained himself he also restrained an entire people who could have called for blood.

This made him great.

That example is the single greatest gift he gave to the world and is rightly admired for it and will be for centuries to come.

If only the Castros , Putins and Mugabes followed it.

Update: It’s been pointed out that later in life he never rejected the revolutionaries/tyrants who had supported him in the early days to give themselves a veneer of respectability. That’s a fair point but I think that would have been a been a lot to expect of him given:

A: What he owed them

B:  How he knew them

C: How easy it would have been for them to open up their files on him to the world

If he had managed to speak out against those guys it would have made him The greatest man of the 20th century rather than just a great man.  Given his past what he became was amazing enough, to expect that would have been miraculous.

Update 2: Stacy provides a bit more history for those who have ignored it:

Nelson Mandela was at all times a man of the Left — anti-Western, anti-American and anti-Israel — as attested by the fact that as late as 2003, he could say, “All Bush wants is Iraqi oil,” make a sneering reference to Israel, accuse the U.S. of “unspeakable atrocities,” and even play the race card over the Iraq War:

Bush is now undermining the United Nations. . . . Both Bush, as well as Tony Blair, are undermining an idea which was sponsored by their predecessors. They do not care. Is it because the secretary-general of the United Nations is now a black man? . . . They never did that when secretary-generals were white.

Mandela’s tenure as president of South Africa was, thank God, not the nightmare that Mugabe inflicted on neighboring Zimbabwe, but we ought not be fooled by liberal myth-makers who wish to reinvent Mandela as a secular saint whom all are obligated to revere.

He points out that it was only when the Soviet Threat was over that things could change:

It was in this difficult context, then, that the U.S. was obligated to support the friendly (and staunchly anti-communist) government in South Africa, not because of apartheid, but despite apartheid.

and that was the real point.  If South Africa had played ball with the Soviets in the 60’s-80’s and join their side you would have seen the left turn on a time and defend both South Africa & Apartheid just as they defended Hitler right up until the day he turned on the Soviets.


Olimometer 2.52

It’s Thursday and the first week of December remains lean.

We are a full $254 shy of this week’s goal with under three days left. This means that to make a full paycheck that pays the mortgage and the Magnificent Seven like AP above we have to pull a full 75% of the goal in the last three days.

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Anxiety attacks. Bursting into tears. Vomiting. Headaches. Self-mutilation.

Sounds like someone suffering from any of a few mental disorders, but this list of symptoms is coming from a clinical social worker and psychologist in New York state. These symptoms are being displayed by children and the cause is Common Core.  Here is the testimony from Mary Calamia at a Suffolk, NY forum:



Read the text of Calamia’s testimony.  One excerpt worth highlighting:

A recent Cornell University study revealed that students who were overly stressed while preparing for high stakes exams performed worse than students who experienced less stress during the test preparation period. Their prefrontal cortexes—the same parts of the brain that we are prematurely trying to engage in our youngsters—were under-performing.

We are dealing with real people’s lives here. Allow me introduce you to some of them:

…an entire third grade class that spent the rest of the day sobbing after just one testing session,

…a 2nd grader who witnessed this and is now refusing to attend the 3rd grade—this 7-year-old is now being evaluated for psychotropic medication just to go to school,

…two 8-year-olds who opted out of the ELA exam and were publicly denied cookies when the teacher gave them to the rest of her third grade class,

…the teacher who, under duress, felt compelled to do such a thing,

…a sixth grader who once aspired to be a writer but now hates it because they “do it all day long—even in math,”

…a mother who has to leave work because her child is hysterical over his math homework and his CPA grandfather doesn’t even understand it,

…and countless other children who dread going to school, feel “stupid” and “like failures,” and are now completely turned off to education.

The early portions of the Common Core (K-3) have been protested the strongest in part because they are the most destructive.  The standards set in these years are age inappropriate and are asking kids to jump through hoops they have no hope of reaching even with a ladder. It’s breaking the spirits of the best and the brightest. The standards do not even remotely line up with the documented cognitive and developmental stages for children. A quick refresher of Piaget’s stages in relation to a First grader of an age range of 6 to 7:

Second cognitive development stage: The preoperational period (two to seven years)Preoperational Phase (two to four years)

Increased use of verbal representation, but speech is egocentric. The beginnings of symbolic rather than simple motor play. Transductive reasoning. Can think about something without the object being in front of them by using language to describe it.

Intuitive Phase (four to seven years)

Speech becomes more social, less egocentric. The child has an intuitive grasp of logical concepts but these are crude and irreversible. At this stage, kids believe in magical increases and decreases – their sense of reality is not firm and it is their perceptions of the world that dominate their judgments. In moral-ethical realm, the child is not able to show principles underlying best behaviour. For example, they can’t understand the reasoning behind the rules of a game, but can understand simple do’s and don’ts imposed by authority.

Third cognitive development stage: Concrete operations (seven to 12 years)

There is now evidence for organised, logical thought. There is the ability to classify many tasks, order objects in a logical sequence, and comprehend the principle of conservation. Thinking becomes less egocentric. The child is capable of concrete problem-solving.


Now, consider these standards (below) for First grade, remembering you are talking about 6 and 7-year-old children:

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.1.1 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.1.1a Print all upper- and lowercase letters.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.1.1b Use common, proper, and possessive nouns.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.1.1c Use singular and plural nouns with matching verbs in basic sentences (e.g., He hops; We hop).
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.1.1d Use personal, possessive, and indefinite pronouns (e.g., I, me, my; they, them, their, anyone, everything).
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.1.1e Use verbs to convey a sense of past, present, and future (e.g., Yesterday I walked home; Today I walk home; Tomorrow I will walk home).
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.1.1f Use frequently occurring adjectives.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.1.1g Use frequently occurring conjunctions (e.g., and, but, or, so, because).
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.1.1h Use determiners (e.g., articles, demonstratives).
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.1.1i Use frequently occurring prepositions (e.g., during, beyond, toward).
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.1.1j Produce and expand complete simple and compound declarative, interrogative, imperative, and exclamatory sentences in response to prompts.

The list starts out o.k. then turns into a set of skills these kids won’t be able to grasp, much less master, until much later. These kids are just learning to be proficient readers, they are building vocabulary and this should be a time for increasing their confidence, not tearing it down. They are concrete thinkers, not abstract thinkers.  As Piaget outlines, much of their language acquisition, writing and reading skills are founded in concrete terms and have trouble with deductive logic. Kids in First grade arguably are still in the pre-operational stage.

Consider also that there are comprehension components and writing components to the ELA (English Language Arts) portion of Common Core as on top of this list. Part of the writing component involves getting kids to write persuasion pieces requiring abstract thought and inference creation. That is something that kids won’t have until Piaget’s 4th stage of cognitive development… at 12 years old. Small wonder kids are melting down right and left. These standards are not just asking a kid to swim before they can walk, they are throwing them in the deep end of the pool and marking them down when they drown. This is child abuse. We now have COMMON CORE SYNDROME.


How In The World Did This Happen?

How did this happen? That’s what I asked myself as I became more familiar with the early ed portion of Common Core. Well, would you believe that no early education professionals or teachers were part of the 135 person “committee” that assembled the standards? That’s exactly what happened. When the standards reached light of day, it was too late. States had already adopted them.Early education professionals “shocked” by what they saw.

Recent critiques of the Common Core Standards by Marion Brady and John T. Spencer have noted that the process for creating the new K-12 standards involved too little research, public dialogue, or input from educators. The Washington Post reprinted part of an article by Edward Miller and Nancy Carlsson-Paige, which lays bare the lack of input by early educators in the creation of the standards:

Nowhere was this more startlingly true than in the case of the early childhood standards—those imposed on kindergarten through grade 3. We reviewed the makeup of the committees that wrote and reviewed the Common Core Standards. In all, there were 135 people on those panels. Not a single one of them was a K-3 classroom teacher or early childhood professional.

It appears that early childhood teachers and child development experts were excluded from the K-3 standards-writing process.

When the standards were first revealed in March 2010, many early childhood educators and researchers were shocked. “The people who wrote these standards do not appear to have any background in child development or early childhood education,” wrote Stephanie Feeney of the University of Hawaii, chair of the Advocacy Committee of the National Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators.

In 2010, 500 early education professionals penned a joint statement outlining some of the major flaws in the K-3 Standards and calling on the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) to suspend said portion of the standards. To date, they have refused.

Quick Related Comment

The NC General Assembly’s Common Core Study Committee is meeting next week for the first time. We’ve heard rumblings that Common Core loving Jeb Bush’s crew are just going to happen to be in Raleigh for it. Convenient. Parents are organizing to show up and be seen even if we will not be heard until the next meeting sometime in early January. If you know someone in North Carolina who has a child grappling with Common Core, please consider passing this article on to them.

The meeting is happening Tuesday, December 17 at 1:00 PM, 643 LOB. More details in the link below or stop by


Olimometer 2.52

It’s Thursday and the first week of December remains lean.

We are a full $254 shy of this week’s goal with under three days left. This means that to make a full paycheck that pays the mortgage and the Magnificent Seven like AP above we have to pull a full 75% of the goal in the last three days.

We can do it but only if you hit DaTipJar below.

We are 63 subscribers at $20 a month to make mortgage and payroll without shaking the tip jar daily, please consider being a subscriber by hitting DaTipJar below:

“But still,” persisted the Duchess, “you recommend supine acquiescence milord?”

Hornblower felt like a man on a scaffold taking one last look at the sunlit world before being thrust off. The grim realities of war were all round him.

“No,” he said, “I recommend resistance.”

The somber faces round him brightened, and he knew now that peace or war had lain in his choice. Had he continues to argue against rebellion he would have persuaded them against it.

C.S Forester Lord Hornblower 1946 (p204)

As a promotional extra this week’s subscription commentary: Adara in Lunenburg is being made available to the general public:

an except:

This has been done over and over again and it’s all about generating the requite fear, One of the things I’ve said many times is the first virtue, the virtue that has to come before all other virtues is courage, because if you don’t have courage you don’t have anything else. None of the other virtues will work.

The need for courage is the theme btw of Bill Whittle’s latest Shards:

the decision to be Ranger or King is one I have to make every day. And so do you. That anonymous Warrior Angel may be anyone. Maybe it’s you. Who knows? It could even be me.

And Anduril reminds me that there is no Greatest Generation. There is no sword broken; there is no Golden Age lost and locked in the past. There are only shards lying before us, waiting for us to gather the will to reforge and wield them. It’s a decision, not a doom or a destiny, and we have to make it every day.

It takes courage to fight the left that wants to define you as a racist or a bigot for daring to oppose them but the price is much higher for you and for those who follow if you don’t fight.

Two things:

In the commentary I mention a live broadcast from the Pottery Paintin’ place. Unfortunately I visited there directly after recording and found that a member of the family had suffered a stroke and it has affected the owner’s availability so we are postponing that appearance till after the new year so I’m asking for prayers for the family at this time.

Secondly this commentary is normally sent to subscribers and tip jar hitters only (along with the subscriber call) To get it every week and to help support this site please consider subscribing below:

Remember if you hit DaTipJar on any given week you will get the commentary and qualify for the subscriber call in that week.

Finally Yes I used a Star Trek TNG reference instead of Dr. Who one for this commentary.   Just because I’m a who fan doesn’t mean I can’t watch a different franchise.

Update: speaking of courage and or the lack thereof:

Pamela Geller notices how the British government has tied itself in knots trying to distinguish Islam (good) from extremism (bad). Perhaps she and her colleague Robert Spencer could explain this problem to the British, if they weren’t banned from entering the country because of their “pro-Israel views”:

If only the British had the courage they had 70 years past.

The latest in my series of how when this administration speaks and/or acts, it brings to mind Monty Python’s Flying Circus.

As Obamacare continues to crash and burn with costs accelerating to the public and with security for the user being at best an afterthought and at worst ignored the Administration is desperate to change the direction of the conversation from its failure.

So (Debbie Wasserman Schultz not withstanding) they have a new argument when confronted with Obamacare’s problems and their own lies:  “What is the GOP alternative?”  This tweet is typical:

and we even get this argument from our friends on the right


All of this brings to mind the Python skit: Kamikaze Scotsman


The key bit come right near the front as the Captain discovers that forming a crack Kamikaze squad as a solution to the problem of choosing men for dangerous missions doesn’t work if they can’t survive the training.

Captain:Now this mission’s going to be dangerous, and it’s going to be tough, and we’re going to need every lad of yours to pull his weight.

(scream as Scotsman jumps off battlements to his death)

Captain:Now, which… er… which four are they?

Sgt. Major:These three here, sir. OK. Off you go, Smith..

Smith:Right! (Marches to the battlements)

Captain:  er, sergeant major!

Sgt. Major:Yes, sir?

Captain:You don’t think it might be a good idea to stop the training programme for a little bit?

Sgt. Major:They got to be trained, sir. It’s a dangerous job.

Smith:  Arrugh (jumping to his death)

And that’s Obamacare in a nutshell, the Administration insists America jumps off the battlements because there is no GOP alternative when the alternative to jumping off the battlements is self evident….

…Not jumping off the battlements!

Now I like Sara Marie Brenner and I have no problems with offering solutions for problems concerning healthcare (I’m offered one way back in 2009 that still holds up) but putting out this stuff gives the Media the chance to shift debate from the reality of the Obamacare debacle to the theoretical issues with any replacement the GOP might offer.

Meanwhile Americans losing their healthcare plans keep being pushed off the battlements.

I submit and suggest that the alternative of not jumping off a cliff losing your health insurance & paying more is not only more than adequate, it’s an easy sell to make to the public.

It’s so crazy it just might work!


Olimometer 2.52

It’s Thursday and the first week of December remains lean.

We are a full $254 shy of this week’s goal with under three days left. This means that to make a full paycheck we have to pull a full 75% of the goal in the last three days.

We can do it but only if you hit DaTipJar below.

We are 63 subscribers at $20 a month to make mortgage and payroll without shaking the tip jar daily, please consider being a subscriber by hitting DaTipJar below: