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Minnesota sends a Homeschooler to D.C as Well


After correctly spelling “pickelhaube,” “idiopathic” and “pharmacology,” Elise Stahl of Greenfield won the seven-county metro-area regional spelling bee Saturday on the word “remand.”

In the 16th round, Elise, 12, outlasted Eva Beeman Trelstad, 10, of St. Paul and Benjamin Pults, 13, of Maplewood to represent Minnesota at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., in May.

Elise, who is home-schooled and in the seventh grade, won in front of a capacity crowd at the 3M Auditorium at the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul.

That’s two States down, 48 to go!

(hat tip: Vox Day)

It’s Spelling Bee Season – and the Home Schoolers are Representing in Oklahoma

Oklahoma is sending a Stillwater Home Schooled student to the Scripps Spelling Bee this May.


From the Oklahoman:

A Stillwater seventh-grader won the Central Oklahoma Spelling Bee on Saturday afternoon at the University of Oklahoma.

Noah Cassidy, 13, is a member of the Stillwater Christian Home Educators group.

“He was born into it. We have seven children, and they’ve all participated in spelling bees over the years,” said Noah’s mother, Bobbi Jo Cassidy.

“He started competing as a kindergartner. It’s his eighth year at competition,” she said.

Noah’s sister, Hannah, won the bee in 2008 and 2009, and brother, Caleb, took home top prize in 2003’s competition, Cassidy said.

I’m looking forward to see who else makes it there.  It’s been a while since a homeschooler won the Scripps, so we’re about due.


Yep, Some Days it Feels EXACTLY Like This

State of the Union – Why Homeschoolers Should be Wary

President Obama gave his State of the Union address today. While there is plenty to be written about here, I’m sure others will cover most of it adequately.  However, one part struck a very ominous chord for me as a homeschooler.

This is the paragraph that has me worried:

“We also know that when students aren’t allowed to walk away from their education, more of them walk the stage to get their diploma.  So tonight, I call on every State to require that all students stay in high school until they graduate or turn eighteen.”

It seems to me this can be used to require homeschoolers to be registered and/or tracked.  After all, how else can you be sure they are really “in” school.

This is especially worrying for any homeschoolers in Illinois – lawmakers tried to enact a bill requiring exactly this less than a year ago. It was tabled after homeschoolers showed up in force to defeat it.  However, that may not be enough if lawmakers feel they have a mandate from the Federal government requiring it.  If they simply have to say “hey my hands are tied – we don’t have a choice” we could march a million people to the  capital and it still wouldn’t make a difference.

Of course, a call to states to take an action is not binding, so nothing may come of it.  However, if it is something the State Politicians want anyways and all they are looking for is an excuse to do it, Obama just handed it to them.

Kim Jong Il is Dead

No word yet on how Obama killed him though. Stay tuned!

Did Isaac Newton Use Mind Maps?

Mind Maps are a note taking method popularized by Tony Buzan.  They involve putting a main idea in the center of your note paper, attaching secondary ideas as branches, and tertiary ideas as branches from the branches, focusing on key words rather than word for word reproduction and reinforcing the impact of the ideas and key words with extensive use of images and color.

He claims to be the inventor, but recent evidence suggests that at least some form of mind map was used before Buzan’s time – WELL before then…

George Takei Brokers Star Peace

And he thinks Twilight is gay.

I’ve always enjoyed both star wars and star trek.  They both have their good points and bad points (which was worse – the voyager finale or episode 2?) and I just took the good with the bad and felt better for it.  Of course, I enjoyed the William Shatner/Carrie Fisher rivalry as being all in good fun.  So I kind of regret the fact that George Takei is trying to make nice between the two.

However, he is right.  When it comes to the greater good, we all need to join together and defeat the nemesis that is Twilight.

Which, by the way, is now officially gayer than George Takei.

Newt and Mitt are Interchangeable – with Barack!

Vox Day helpfully pointed out that not only are Newt and Mitt essentially interchangeable, they are also interchangeable with their erstwhile opponent in the major areas!

from WND:

Both Newt Romney and Barack Obama supported the banking bailouts and will not hesitate to bail out any financial institutions that fail in the future. Both Newt Romney and Barack Obama believe government is the solution to the global economic crisis and support intervention in the global economy through the International Monetary Fund and the various European organizations. Both Newt Romney and Barack Obama favor permitting more foreigners to enter and remain in the United States. Both Newt Romney and Barack Obama favor continuing the various military operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Uganda and now Iran. And neither Newt Romney nor Barack Obama has any intention in taking control of the rogue Federal Reserve, which is funneling billions of dollars to European banks without any oversight from anyone.

Moreover, they are WORSE than Obama in one important area – they would get MORE done.

Mr. Hope and Change has turned out to be the most lazy, supine and disengaged president since Calvin Coolidge, which is an excellent quality, indeed. If we must have an activist committed to an insane ideology as president, by all means, let him be a lazy one. Newt Romney, on the other hand, will be either excessively enthusiastic or excessively efficient in driving the nation into the economic abyss. As more than one Republican has commented, about the only thing worse than Obama’s election would have been President John McCain. As bad as Obama has been, it is readily apparent that McCain would have bombed Pakistan, invaded Iran and bailed out Greece had he won in 2008.

Mr. Day’s proposed alternative is the same as mine – its time to consider Ron Paul for President!

Newt and Mitt are Interchangeable

Okay, so Newt Gingrich is a credible threat to Mitt Romney.  Though I still find that incredible, I have to acknowledge what has become an obvious fact.

In the long run, politically, it changes nothing.

Should Newt get the nomination, the republican odds of defeating Obama in 2012 don’t change one bit.  Gingrich is exactly as electable as Romney – no more and no less. Sure, Gingrich has more dirt on him, but it’s pretty well already dug through and, simply stated, he’s a more experienced politician and can overcome more than Romney can.

Should he win the election, policy under Newt would be pretty much the same thing as policy under Mitt.  Currently, their stated values are virtually identical.  And hey! If there ARE any differences that you find significant, just wait a week or two – they’ll change!

Finally, they are both bad for the US in general for the same reasons.  They put the entire political framework under the rule of one party and eliminate checks and balances completely and they both have the same misapprehensions about the economy.  The only republican this does NOT apply to is Ron Paul.  Every other potential nominee values party over principles.

In other “two sides of the same coin” news, Obama refused to relax “Plan B” restrictions and continues to fight for preventing tax increases in 2012.  Liberals who previously voted for him are cringing.