Don’t Want Lies

Okay, another Rides song, because this one is even better, and has Stephen Stills on vocals. Oh, and did anyone else know Stills was from Ruston, LA? And if you are from the Shreveport area, you may recognize a few scenes from the video.

Okay, I can’t get the video to embed, so go here for the video and the story at WSJ.

Comets!

From Universe Today, four comets at once:

No fewer than four bright-ish comets greet skywatchers an hour before the start of dawn. From upper left counterclockwise: C/2013 R1 Lovejoy, 2P/Encke, C/2012 X1 and ISON. Credits: Gerald Rhemann, Damian Peach, Gianluca Masi and Gerald Rhemann

No fewer than four bright-ish comets greet skywatchers an hour before the start of dawn. From upper left counterclockwise: C/2013 R1 Lovejoy, 2P/Encke, C/2012 X1 and ISON. Credits: Gerald Rhemann, Damian Peach, Gianluca Masi and Gerald Rhemann

And here is how to find them:

Rarely are four comets this bright in the same quadrant of sky. This map shows the sky facing east about two hours before sunrise on Oct. 31.

Rarely are four comets this bright in the same quadrant of sky. This map shows the sky facing east about two hours before sunrise on Oct. 31.

Lies and more lies

I would like to write about something beside Obamacare, but the news is full of new discoveries and revelations about this horrid law. The blogosphere is packed with outrage over or defense of the Affordable Care Act and its ramifications. I am bemused that some are finding that many conservatives were right in their predictions, and that the original lies are begetting more lies.

The most amazing comments today have been in defense of the lie that “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan” (there are many other mistruths concerning this law). The new spin is that it was not a lie, because if you lose your current plan, you will get a new and “better” plan.

At National Review, Jonah Goldberg illustrates how this deception works:

A better deal according to whom? Say I like my current car. The government says under some new policy I will be able to keep it and maybe even lower my car payments. But once the policy is imposed, I’m told my car now isn’t street-legal. Worse, I will have to buy a much more expensive car or be fined by the IRS. But, hey, it’ll be a much better car! Why, even though you live in Death Valley, your new car will have great snow tires and heated seats.

President Obama doubled down with his mischaracterization (I am running out of synonyms for “lie”) of who is paying for all of this, in his speech in Boston today. He said that only those making more than $250,000 “will be asked to pay a little more.” Not true–those who make more than $48,000 will have much higher premiums and higher deductibles, and will not qualify for subsidies. There are new taxes on insurance companies, which will be passed on to the policy holders. The medical device tax has been unpopular since it was “discovered” once the law was passed.

This law was “only” supposed to add about a trillion dollars in new taxes. Is the president about to propose new taxes to pay for this disaster?

Helping boys succeed in school

I see children brought by their parents, often sent by their schools, for evaluation for attention deficit with hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The overwhelming majority are boys who will not sit still in class, who are disruptive, and are doing poorly academically. While a few of them have ADHD, many others are poorly disciplined at home, or they have learning style differences that do not fit into the classroom mold.

Christina Hoff Sommers has some ideas about improving boys’ experiences in school:

1. Bring back recess
2. Turn boys into readers
3. Work with young male imagination

I am not trying to beat up on teachers here, coming from a family of teachers, but I believe Mrs. Cole, my first grade teacher, would have handled this situation differently:

Peg Tyre’s The Trouble With Boys illustrates the point. She tells the story of a third-grader in Southern California named Justin who loved Star Wars, pirates, wars and weapons. An alarmed teacher summoned his parents to school to discuss a picture the 8-year-old had drawn of a sword fight — which included several decapitated heads. The teacher expressed “concern” about Justin’s “values.” The father, astonished by the teacher’s repugnance for a typical boy drawing, wondered if his son could ever win the approval of someone who had so little sympathy for the child’s imagination.

Boys are not defective girls. And it is time we stopped treating them that way.