Wednesday, February 17, 2021



I am sure this reflection is caused by the death of my Joe. For 51 years purpose in life was in prayer for his salvation and doing as God commanded. "It's your job to love him, it's my job to lead him." And lead us both he did toward Joe's salvation on August 2, 2020 and then on to his death November 20th, 2020.

So, after 51 years what was I to do?

Two dear friends involved themselves in my life. Betty Peters and Barbara Moore. Anyone acquainted with them know that they are first and foremost devout, patriotic, Christian women. They are now widows, fearless in their beliefs, devoted to children, and their country. They were not about to let me idle about without purpose for whatever years God has for me.

And so, once again I find myself drawn to the Eagle Forum, an organization that researches issues and lobbies for faith, family and freedom by being aware of what is happening on every level of government, in our schools, and the culture about us. But, I am not alone here in Dothan. Barbara, Betty and I hope those of you who share our concern and love for our children and our country will join us in this endeavor. 

Joe encouraged me to be a part of this wonderful organization before he died. He also admired these dedicated women.

Today this poem landed in my brain and would not leave.

Only One Life
C.T. Studd
Two little lines I heard one day, Traveling along life’s busy way;
Bringing conviction to my heart, And from my mind would not depart;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, yes only one, Soon will its fleeting hours be done;
Then, in ‘that day’ my Lord to meet, And stand before His Judgment seat;
Only one life,’ twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.

And then I recalled a post I made on Facebook a while ago when Joe and I lived in Panama City after his retirement -- before health and a hurricane brought us back home to Dothan. I will relate it to you because there are still those involved in education who have been brainwashed by those who have caused the problems in the first place. This event typifies much of what we are up against They are the experts with the clean shirt and brief case speaking educrat and pretending to have research to back up their curriculum. The research they have usually turns out to be anecdotal rather than empirical. But there must be those who challenge rather than joining in circling the wagons.


Had an interesting experience today at a church group meeting. I am a member of that group and I wanted to invite this group of Christian women to the Panhandle Eagle Forum meeting. I said, "I would like to invite you to the Panhandle Eagle Forum meeting a week from Thursday at noon at the Bay County Library. Eunie Smith, President of the Eagle Forum, will be there to speak on the Eagle Forum, Common Core and more. If you don't know about Common Core, please watch the video with Dr. Duke Pesta Common Core --Six Years Later. Common Core is here in our schools."
I started telling them about the graphic sex in the American Experience Literature 11th grade specifically the recommendation for Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eyes and how graphic it was. I have a granddaughter in the 9th who may eventually be affected by this. I also expressed my concerns about the Common Core inclusion of teaching Kindergarten children how to know if they were transgender, gay, or lesbian introducing pre-schoolers to age inappropriate sex education being required to be INTEGRATED into the curriculum. (I have grandsons this age.)
Suddenly one of the attendees interrupted saying, "I have LET you speak before."

I couldn't help but say, "Thank you for LETTING me speak."

"But I cannot sit here and listen to this propaganda," she continued.

I persisted, "Christian women ought to be concerned."

She said, "I was a principal." (As if that meant she was an expert on Common Core and what works in education.)

"But, Common Core is new," I responded.

She said, "No, it isn't."

As if that made it better? Really? That was a sad admission. So, now what failed before has been canonized in Common Core?

Then another former music teacher spoke up and said, "You just don't know about what the Black children live in. Toni Morrison's story is just the kind of thing those children experience!"
Well, first of all, who gave the former principal the authority to LET me to speak? That is freedom of speech, isn't it? Or is that another example of the Left attempting to silence the Right. Where did the Left ever come up with the idea that they have the RIGHT TO SILENCE others.

Secondly, she was a principal? I wanted to say, "Oh, then, we have you to blame for the continued failure of our schools. Isn't that why Race to the Top and then Common Core got into our schools in the first place? Everyone felt they "had to do SOMETHING" because things were so bad?"
But I didn't. I did not persist because that would have been bad manners. So I took a deep breath and the program ended. I left.


And then to the woman who defended the use of pornography in the classroom, I wanted to say, "Don't those children who might have experienced rape and incest have the right to NOT to be mentally raped again? You really consider that (what I think they justify calling it authentic texts) worthy of 11th grade literature. Couldn't you expose them to tried and true classics? What is the REAL AGENDA FOR THIS?

How dare our schools allow curriculum that will Rape the Minds of those innocents who have NOT experienced incest and rape?

And...isn't assuming that Rape is a Normal part of the Black experience CONDESCENDING?
Why don't ALL CHILDREN have the right to an education that will prepare them academically for whatever the world might send them opening windows of opportunity with quality instruction for reading, Math, History, etc. rather than the condescension of assuming we should lower the standards of academics, civility AND COMMON DECENCY in effect giving that pornography the endorsement of the education establishment!

Needless to say, I came home with my tail tucked between my legs. Discouraged. I admit to feeling as if I had been struck by a woman prominent in the organization of the church.

Joe said, "Sharman what did you expect? If you stand up for something you truly believe there are those who will try to silence you or intimidate you into backing down."

I've been there before. I will do it again. It would be easier if God had called me to Uganda to build missions. It is quite difficult when going to "the ends of the earth" happens to be your own town.
This was indeed a wake-up call. The LEFT has an agenda. They blame us for challenging that agenda and want to silence us. They promote this agenda under the guise of social justice-- a term that sounds so righteous. And yet, the purpose is not social justice, but the undermining of the values that founded our country and seeks to establish an atheist globalist, one world order--though those individual teachers did realize this!

It is our wonderful culture that has produced the greatest Social Justice the world has ever seen. Their version would create a nation of slaves because the uneducated are gullible and defenseless.

Too many have "drunk the Kool Aid" and simply circle the wagons defending whatever comes down from the central office.

These two ladies are lovely people. But, we have a serious difference of opinion (as Christians, fellow educators, and citizens) on what the purpose is for sending our children to school where we entrust them to those who assume en loco parentis position when we walk them to those school house doors. That is an awesome responsibility and not one teachers or parents should take lightly.
Ironically, I spent an hour yesterday with a young mother bemoaning how the new Math was creating a very, very sad and emotionally drained fourth grader. She was herself quite frustrated because she did not have a clue how to help her daughter with it! I could relate. My own granddaughter here in Panama City did the same thing. And that was when I started digging deeper into what once more was happening in my profession.

"As a man thinketh, so is he."

Our God is an awesome God. 2nd Timothy 1:7. For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

Wednesday, December 2, 2020





Serious things going on at our house. Something called life and death. I told you all about Joe's 3 surgeries for Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus, including a bout with pseudomonas and staph that nearly killed him in 2018. Then came the Hurricane that we dealt with. 2019 brought the necessity of another hip replacement for me. That was when we decided it was time to return to Dothan, my sister, Dr. Sylvia Rushing (cardiologist), our Dothan daughter Brooke, and the hospitals and doctors here. In October we closed on our new home in Grove Park across 84 from Flowers Hospital and just down the highway from my sister. Brooke, husband Mike, and daughters were building a house and sold their old one bringing them to live in our upstairs with 3 bedrooms, a bonus room/living room, and only one bathroom. They have been with us for 8 months. 

During that time Joe has experienced a precipitous decline. We first had Home health care. and then, I had to go into the hospital for ischemic colitis for several days triggering an even further decline for Joe. During that time, our children, Cecily, Drew and Brooke were told by the nurses that they recommended Hospice. We are blessed with such wonderful help. After further decline we have decided to "allow the natural process" as my sister calls it, with only palliative care for Joe who seems to already be living in another world. 

I called his brothers a couple of months ago when Joe was more lucid and they all came to visit. For a long time, Joe recited "My name is Joel Wardlaw Ramsey, My brothers are Phillip Hart Ramsey, Edward Lawrence Ramsey, and William Allen Ramsey." They told jokes and I took videos of them interacting as they always had. I called again and told them of his precipitous decline in just the 2 month space of time. When Ed, Linda, Bill, Joyce, Elizabeth came this time they were shocked at the difference. 

"Where are Dick, Doug and Jan?" he asks about his Mosley Cousins with whom he was so close.""Already in Heaven" I answer. "It's time to play ball. Where is my ball and glove? Who will call the Signals?"" It's time for me to go home. My Mother and Daddy will be looking for me." "Where's Tommy?" ((Spann, his best friend in childhood and forever. "Who am I?" I ask. He thinks. "Princess Grace." He responded. But most of the time he knows me or asks, "Are you Sharman?" 

He wakes up and says "It is time for us to go." "Where Joe?" "It is time to go home." I know this house is new. I guess sometimes he thinks we are in a motel and need to get up to go home. Or maybe he is thinking of Heaven and those loved ones already there.

I am so grateful that God saw fit to save my Joe on August 2, 2020 when he woke up and said, "I need to make a public profession of faith in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior." We were then able to go to Dr. Wayne Hannah's Sunday School class at First Baptist. He stood up and made his profession of faith to all assembled. Soon after, he woke up during the night and told me, "I need to be baptized." Go to sleep, Joe. I'll call the preacher tomorrow." He settled for awhile and then turned over telling me, "I need to be immersed. I need to be baptized." "OK, then get out of bed and go get into the bathtub. He did. I baptized him in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Go forth," I told him. "You are forgiven and are now alive in Christ." That will be the epitaph on both his and my stones. "Forgiven and Alive in Christ."

This is a hard time. But that gift of the knowledge of his Salvation was the greatest gift he has ever given me. November 8th was our 51st anniversary. We've been together for a long time. But Heaven's call seems imminent. And we will have Eternity together before the throne of God with all those loved ones who have gone on before us. 

Your prayers are appreciated. We both cherish our friends. God is good. We are so blessed. His mercy is everlasting.


Friday morning was like others since the hospice nurse told us three (or four) days prior that that horrible sound that he was drowning and gasping for breath meant that he was not long for this world. Cecily and Brooke sat vigil (along with Malissa, our sitter) taking turns going upstairs for a brief rest. I remained as close as possible napping on my bed next to his. Earlier he had told me that he wanted to die next to me in bed. That is where I remained either snuggled next to him in the hospital bed or right next to him in my bed pulled tightly to his. Cecily had just gone upstairs. I was awakened suddenly from my sleep --to silence. I leapt up and crawled over to --and caught his last whispered breath. I told him for the 10 millionth time how very much I loved him but to go on to heaven where his mother and daddy waited. Take that beam of light in Jesus' arms to those already in heaven where I would meet him again in the twinkling of an eye. 

A couple of weeks earlier he had started singing "I've grown accustomed to your face, you almost make the day begin, I'd been extremely independent and content before we met, surely I could always be that way again and yet, I've grown accustomed to your face, accustomed to your smile, accustomed to your face." When he could not speak I would see his mouth framing those words. I sang to him. 

And then it was over. The hospice nurse and I cleaned him and dressed him. Hospice came and took all the supplies they had provided. The hospital bed he hated calling it in lucid moments "the baby bed." "Get me out of here," he would say when lucid. "This is the living dead." 

And yes, that is what Alzheimers is. 

"I told him, I cannot hold you, my darling, you will fall." After my hospital confinement it was not long before he could not hold himself up on his feet, or maneuvered into the wheel chair, and would have to be in the hospice hospital bed pulled tight up next to mine. For awhile he could roll from that bed onto my bed where I would hold onto him so he would not roll out. But the time came when he could no longer roll onto the bed. And had to stay in that hospital bed. Though he ate very little, one night he asked, "What's for breakfast?" "What do you want?" I asked. "Banana pudding." So at 4 AM the next morning I made banana pudding. The first day he really enjoyed all of it. Days passed and all he could eat was a taste One day all he wanted was apple jelly. Just apple jelly. So, I gave him apple jelly-- with no toast by then though I would have gladly fixed it.

I questioned myself. What more could I have done? I had gotten CAT scans, blood tests, XRAYs and doctors offered no options. Would a facility offer better care? They could lift him out of bed into a wheelchair. But, at Extendicare they only let you see your loved one 15 minutes a day--and that is if they can get into a wheelchair which by then Joe could not. The others were about the same. 

I had promised to be with him. I promised I would be beside him in bed when he died, if possible. 

When I was in the hospital a month ago with Cecily taking care of me and antibiotics flowing into my veins so I could get well enough to come home, Brooke cared for Joe. Drew and Brittany were there also helping with the immense job. They found him in a fetal position in front of the locked front door where he had tried desperately to get out and go find me. He slipped out the back door to "go walk Gigi" and escaped out the back gate. Brooke and Mike followed him down the street where he walked then but gave out. Mike went and got the car while Brooke held him. 

"I can take care of Sharman. Let me go. Why does Cecily get to stay with her." With Covid he could not even come to the hospital. On the few times he could not remember my name he called me "Princess Beautiful." Who couldn't adore a man like that?

When I entered the front door, I didn't think he would ever let go. "Don't ever leave me again. I love you so much!" The decline was precipitous from that moment. I could not get him into the wheelchair he had become dead weight. While I was gone, the Home Health specialists who had been coming recommended Hospice. All of the nurses were a blessing. Alzheimers had been his greatest fear. "I will kill myself first," he used to say. But, praise God, he found Jesus (or Jesus found him) on August 2, when he rolled over from a sound sleep and told me, "I need to make my public profession of faith in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior." He was able to make that public profession in our Sunday School class that Sunday. He called it his "road to Damascus" experience. 

That salvation was confirmed a day later when he once again rolled over from a deep sleep to say, "I need to be Baptized." "Okay, I'lll call the preacher tomorrow, I said." He went back to sleep and then rolled over again and said, No, I need to be Immersed. I need to be baptized." "Okay, get out of bed and get into the bathtub." And I baptized him. I called the preacher the next day and he confirmed that family members can baptize their loved ones.

His conversion then took the form of apologies to those he might have hurt in someway or the other. Always followed with I love you. A healing occurred that only God in his infinite wisdom foresaw all those years I prayed. God told me in earlier years "It is your job to love him; it is my job to lead him." He took the burden of placing the right book, the right show, etc. away from me. Not my problem. That wasn't my job. My job was to love him.

Friends all over prayed for him without ceasing. God instructed me when I was so angry ,"Let me love him through you." Ever feel like the love isn't there? Well it returned when I followed God's instructions. "What would you do if you loved him?" "Give him a kiss at the door and fix his favorite supper." Then do it," God said.

I don't think a woman could have loved a man any more than I loved my Joe. 

And now he is gone. I feel like a zombie walking through the motions, with daughters Brooke and Cecily taking me by the hand and saying, this is what we must do now. Sister Sylvia did perhaps the best thing anyone could do. My cardiologist sister redecorated my bedroom, moving the bed from the position where it was with the hospital bed right next to it. We found a different carpet in the garage still there from our move. She cleaned out the bathroom leaving it sparkling and with a total new look, all the old medicine gone and a fresh, different bedspread on the bed. It is perfectly beautiful and done with her loving hands. (Fortunately my helpers, Jeannie Jacobs and her daughter Jodie were there at the perfect time.)

Friends have delivered food and love. Those far away have called. My church and Sunday school class step in to feed us. 

But, yesterday, Sunday, I woke up thinking of how Joe enjoyed going to Sunday School. So I dressed and texted Brooke (who was able to close and move from the 2nd floor upstairs where she had been for 8 months awaiting the completion of the beautiful home she was able to gain possession of on the exact day her daddy died into her beautiful new home) that I was going to Sunday School. And they wrapped me in their love. In my text I told Brooke I was going to church and would sit where Joe's mother and father always sat on the right side of First Baptist sanctuary and if anyone wanted to join me, I would love for them to come. Megan, my ten year old granddaughter met me at 10:15 and sat with me. 

The songs of the choir washed over me healing my soul. Megan's precious little body cuddled and warmed the chill from me. She held my hands that felt like ice in her tiny ones. She whispered her love for me over and over. Her precious presence helped more than that dear little one could ever know.

Many friends came to greet me. I was home in my church and that decision to put one foot in front of the other and go to church was very definitely the right one. 

I meant to take Megan by herself to Zacks for lunch, but they were full. So we went to the KFC on the circle and got lunch for everyone, taking it back to Brooke's new home. We enjoyed that so much, looks like that may become a new tradition. KFC for Sunday lunch.

Life goes on. Every kindness is a building block toward a new future. God is good. His mercy is everlasting. 

My Joe is in Heaven. With my heart. He is no longer wracked with pain or the ignominy of decline that Alzheimers brings. 

But he told me, you have to stay and take care of the babies. And so I will until God in his timing calls me home as well. One foot in front of the other, blessed with my wonderful family and dear, dear friends. 

Obituary for Joel Wardlaw Ramsey
Joel Wardlaw Ramsey, beloved husband of 51 years to Sharman Jean Burson Ramsey, went home to be with the Lord on November 20, 2020., the anniversary of his father’s death. He was at home surrounded by his family. Born on May 3, 1947 to Joseph Robert Ramsey and Hilda Pearl Hawkins Ramsey, he was the fourth of their five sons. He was the grandson of Richard Hawthorne Ramsey and Cora Dowling Ramsey and Walter Jerome Hawkins and Alice Lindsey Hawkins.
Joel attended Dothan City Schools graduating from Dothan High School in 1965. He then attended The Citadel and the University of Alabama where he was a member of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity, also his father’s fraternity and that of his son, Drew. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in History from the University of Alabama in 1969. In 1972, he earned his law degree at the University of Alabama where he was a member of Phi Alpha Delta legal fraternity. He served in the United States Army Reserve and returned to Dothan to practice law with his father and Wade Baxley in the firm of Ramsey and Baxley that later became Ramsey, Baxley and McDougle. He retired in 2013 to become “of Counsel” with partners Charles McDougle and Hamp Baxley. He then settled in Panama City, Florida.
He served as President of the Houston County Bar Association (1984-85). He was a member of the Alabama State Bar and Alabama Defense Lawyers Association. Her served on the Haven Board of Directors the Girls Club Board of Directors, and as Boy Scout leader, He enjoyed playing tennis at Azalea Swim and Tennis Club. Joel was an avid military historian with the War Between the States being his specialty. He held multiple offices in the William C. Oates (an ancillary relative) Camp of the SCV. He was an avid war-gamer.

He and his brothers donated land they had inherited from their parents for the city to develop Ramsey Park in Dothan.
He returned to Dothan in 2019 where he was a member of the First Baptist Church of Dothan and the Dr. Wayne Hannah Sunday School Class.
In Panama City, he enjoyed all the activities at the St. Andrews Bay Yacht Club where he was the club historian. His coffee group in Panama City, consisting of Gary Harrington, Gerry Clemons, John Robert Middlemas, Jim Moody, Rayford Lloyd, John Mallory and Joe Tannehill gave him great pleasure.
He is survived by his loving wife, Sharman Jean Burson Ramsey, his children, Cecily Cathryn Ramsey, Andrew (Drew) Allen Ramsey (Brittany) and Bethany Brooke Ramsey Evans (Mike). He is also survived by his grandchildren, Lily Clare Butterworth, George Montgomery Ramsey, Samuel Robert Ramsey, Megan Lindsey Evans and Molly Katherine Evans; his brothers, Phillip Hart Ramsey, Edward Lawrence (Linda) Ramsey, and William Allen Ramsey (Joyce), close cousin, Catherine Ford Fancher, cousins Richard, Joy Ramsey Daggart and Jon Ramsey; niece, Elizabeth Hawkins Ramsey, and nephew Matthew Edward Ramsey and dear lifelong friends, Charles Thomas Spann (since fifth grade) and Robert Grimes (college roommate) .
He is preceded in death by his parents, Robert and Hilda Ramsey, an older brother, Joseph Robert Ramsey, Jr., and his dear cousins, Jimmy, Clark, Dick and Doug Moseley and Jan Moseley Bentley, children of his favorite aunt, Janis Hawkins Moseley; uncle Jerome Hawkins, cousins Linda Hawkins Woodruff and David Hawkins, uncle Richard Heywood Ramsey, cousin Sonny Ramsey, aunts Cassie Ramsey and Frances Ramsey Ford.
Reverend Brad Williams, Senior Pastor at The Chapel, Gainesville, Florida, longtime friend of the family, will conduct a service for immediate family only (due to Covid) at Glover Funeral Home at 10 AM on Monday, November 30.
The family would like to thank Covenant Hospice, Melissa Cole and Kelly Wilson for their loving care. Joel’s favorite charity was the Salvation Army.

Joe's favorite verse:  

He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?

Micah 6:8

Friday, July 3, 2020

Our WOKE World and Prophetic George Orwell's 1984

Our WOKE World and 

Prophetic George Orwell's 1984


    Woke A word currently used to describe " consciousness " and being aware of the truth behind things "the man" doesn't want you to know i.e. classism, racism, and any other social injustices. The term comes from a genuine place but is becoming overused. People mainly use it to sound like deep thinkers when they are really just following a trend. 

I have been re-reading George Orwell's 1984 (published in 1949) and find it almost prophetic. For example:

1. The voice came from an oblong metal plaque like a dulled mirror which formed part of the surface of the right-hand wall. Winston turned a switch and the voice sank somewhat though the words were stilled distinguishable. The instrument (the tele screen, it was called) could be dimmed but there was no way of turning it off completely. 

(Watch the movie SNOWDEN and learn of how televisions not only broadcasts in but broadcasts out as well).

2. Only the THOUGHT POLICE mattered. p. 2


4. It was always the women, and above all the young ones, who were the most bigoted adherents of the party, the swallowers of slogans, the amateur spies and the losers out of unorthodoxy.
p. 10

Goldstein was depicted as the greatest enemy of Big Brother. 

He abused Big Brother, denouncing the dictatorship of the Party, he was demanding the immediate conclusion of peace with Eurasia, he was advocating freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, freedom of thought, he was crying hysterically that the Revolution had been betrayed.

"Before the Hate had preceded for thirty seconds, uncontrollable exclamations of rage were breaking out from half the people in the room."

(Today's major media Nightly news now CNN10 broadcast into classrooms across America. Remember that "technology" you raised money for?)

p. 14 Within thirty seconds any pretense was always unnecessary. A hideous ecstasy of fear and vindictiveness, a desire to kill, to torture, to smash faces in wit a sledge hammer seemed to flow through the whole group like an electric current, turning one even against one's will into a grimacing, screaming lunatic.

Ask your children/grandchildren if CNN 10 is broadcasting into their classrooms. Enlightened children have told their parents/grandparents that it is "brainwashing", but one Middle School student told his grandmother that he did not like Trump any longer because he was a "bad" person. "Where did you hear that?" his grandmother asked. That was when he told her about the 10 minutes of CNN being broadcast into his classroom. CNN10 has taken the place of the old voice of indoctrination Channel One.

Aren't you glad you raised money for "technology in the classroom"?

p. 16. It was an act of self-hypnosis, a deliberate drowning of consciousness by means of rhythmic noise.

6. The sacred principles of Ingsoc, Newspeak, doublethink, the mutability of the past p. 27
Thoughtcrime does not entail death: thoughtcrime IS death. (Ingsoc is English Socialism)

7. p. 34. If the Party could thrust its hand into the past and say of this or that event, it never happened--that surely, was more terrifying than mere torture and death.
.... "Who controls the past", ran the Party slogan, "controls the future; who controls the present controls the past."
...Reality control they called it; in Newspeak, "doublethink."

8. p. 35. His mind slid away into the labyrinthine world of doublethink. To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy, to forget whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again, and above all, to apply the same process to the process itself--that was the ultimate subtlety; consciously to induce unconsciousness, and then, once again to become unconscious of the act of hypnosis you had just performed. Even to understand the word "doublethink" involved in the use of doublethink.

8. Winston's job was to rectify the original figures by making them agree with later ones.
...p. 40 Day by day and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date. In this way every prediction made by the Party could be shown by documentary evidence to have been correct, nor was any item of news or any expression of opinion which conflicted with the needs of the moment ever be allowed to remain on record. All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and rein scribed exactly as often as was necessary.

for example: Biden actually criticized the travel ban implemented against China early on to slow the virus arrival to U.S. shores as “xenophobic.”
“This is no time for Donald Trump’s record of hysteria and xenophobia,” Biden said at an Iowa campaign stop leading up to the first-in-the-nation contest.
But he rewrites history ...

Does the Major Media correct him or continue the lie? 

9. p. 50. "How's the dictionary getting on?" said Winston, raising his voice to overcome the noise."
"Slowly," said Syme. "I'm on the adjectives. It's fascinating."
He had brightened up immediately at the mention of Newspeak. ...The Eleventh Edition is the definitive edition." he said. "We're getting the language into its final shape--the shape it's going to have when nobody speaks anything else. When we've finished with it, people like you will have to learn it all again. You think, I dare say that our chief job is inventing new words. But not a bit of it! We're destroying words--scores of them, hundreds of them, every day. We're cutting the language down to the bone.
...It's a beautiful thing, the destruction of words.
...Don't you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought?" In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it. Every concept that can ever be needed will be expressed exactly one word with its meaning rigidly defined and all its subsidiary meanings rubbed out and forgotten.

...Every year fewer and fewer words and the range of consciousness always a little smaller.

...How could you have a slogan like 'freedom is slavery' when the concept of freedom has been abolished? The whole concept of thought will be different. Inf act there will be no thought as we understand it now. Orthodoxy means not thinking,not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.

One of these days, thought Winston with sudden deep conviction, some will be vaporized. He is too intelligent. He sees too clearly and speaks too plainly. The Party does not like such people. One day he will disappear. "
This is what I saw in WHOLE LANGUAGE where a rolodex of sight words were doled out by the fifth grade and in middle school the children could not sound out unfamiliar words. Or read books with those unfamiliar words. And by so limiting their ability to read those liberation pedagogists had limited their ability to think of anything except the doled out words they were allotted.

10. All over Oceania this morning there were irrepressible spontaneous demonstrations where workers marched out of the factories and offices and parted through the streets with banners voicing their gratitude to Big Brother for the new, happy life which his wise leadership had bestowed upon us.
Does this sound to you a lot like the Mayor of Seattle calling riots "mostly peaceful" predicting "A summer of Love".

p. 62. "That's a first-rate training they give them in the Spies nowadays--better than in my day even. What d-you think the latest thing they've served them out with? Ear trumpets for listening through keyholes.

11. p. 70. Until they be one conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious.

Hillary Clinton: “Attempting to define reality is a core feature of authoritarianism. This is what the Soviets did when they erased political dissidents from historical photos,” declared Clinton in What Happened. “This is what happens in George Orwell’s classic novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, when a torturer holds up four fingers and delivers electric shocks until his prisoner sees five fingers as ordered.”
“The goal is to make you question logic and reason and to sow mistrust toward exactly the people we need to rely on: our leaders, the press, experts who seek to guide public policy based on evidence, ourselves,” she continued, seemingly misinterpreting Orwell’s message.
Doublespeak? I ask.
What about the mistrust the Left sows about the Police? Homeland Security? Our President. What is their purpose?

12. p. 80. "In the end the Party would announce that two and two made five, and you would have to believe it. (COMMON CORE MATH)
...For after all, how do we know that two and two make four? Or that the force of gravity works? Or that the past is unchangeable? If both the past and the external. world exist only in the mind, and if the mind itself is controllable--what then?
...Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted all else follows."

12. p. 154. "Who cares?" she said impatiently. "It's always one bloody war after another, and one knows the news is all lies anyway."

Sometimes he talked to her of the Records Department and the impudent forgeries that he committed there. Such things did not appear to horrify her. She did not feel the abyss opening beneath her feet at the thought of lies becoming truths."

p. 153. "Do you realize that the past, starting from yesterday, has been actually abolished.

...History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the party is always right. "

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

A Commentary on Education in Dothan with a Lifetime Perspectiv

A Commentary on Education in Dothan 
with a Lifetime Perspective

by Sharman Burson Ramsey

I graduated from Dothan City Schools during the Golden Age of Education (or so said Nell Brown, one of Dothan’s premier teachers). At that time, it meant something to have attended Dothan City Schools. Then, according to Lois Baker, another of Dothan’s stellar teachers, with the close of the sixties we acquired a new batch of administrators who advocated the new and improved methods taught in the colleges of education. I graduated from the University of Alabama about that time and know personally what she was talking about. I also graduated thinking that what I was taught was “research based” and the best of current knowledge.

I was wrong. The older traditional teachers had it right.

In the meantime, Dothan threw away money on buildings with pods that had to be divided up because of the noise and confusion.  Then came the 90s and Goals 2000. The community was “Delphied” into acceptance of Whole Language /Progressive Education.

What is the Delphi technique?

 The gist of it is that the technique is used to reach a predetermined conclusion. In other words,to manipulate the group. It has evidently become popular within politics to give the impression that public input is actually having an impact on decisions when in reality, the decision has been made already, and the group is being guided, unknowingly, toward that end."

That does sound unethical, and to be sure maybe we should look at the definition of 'ethical'. I think we all know and understand what is and isn't ethical behavior. It's doing the right thing for the right reasons. However, the actual definition of the word places it in the context of the standards of the profession. 

There is an old axiom that the only difference between motivation and manipulation is intent, and I think that is the issue here. There are ethical ways to employ the Delphi Technique and there are unethical ways to use it to manipulate data and people.

Consider the difference between motivation and manipulation. But, of course, the ends justify the means.

The first time I remember getting Delphied was when Auburn’s Dean Kunkel came to Dothan to speak at Northview in support of Goals 2000. I cornered him there and asked for research supporting the effectiveness of Whole Language. He said and I quote, “I can’t give you any. It’s current wisdom.”

Obviously not good enough or we would not still be battling continuing illiteracy in our schools.

It was the early 90s. Goals 2000 won. Drill and kill--what the “current wisdom” labeled Phonics --lost. Except in sports where coaches always knew that drill developed skill. 
That matters because winning teams on sports fields brought money into the coffers of the schools. Unlike Reading and Math. Failure there brings in more money.

Those who sold Kentucky its education reform also sold Alabama its “reform” plan incorporating the Progressive methodology that dominated the colleges of education. Dothan City Schools paid a consultant to rewrite their Bylaws.  SEQUENTIAL  (skill upon skill) learning was replaced by THEMATIC (take a whole and break it into parts) learning. GROUP LEARNING and PEER TUTORING made the teacher the GUIDE ON THE SIDE as students became “independent," “”hands on” learners recreating the wheel rather than “standing on the shoulders of giants,” being taught what others had already discovered. 

Psychologically the group became Alpha. Blooms Taxonomy taught that children should be taken to the point of moral development where they “challenge the fixed beliefs of their parents.”  They were successful. 

The Dare program taught young children where drugs were sold and how people used them. Marijuana and alcohol, gateway drugs, became more prevalent. New Age Techniques such as role-playing opened doors that should have remained shut. 

Conflict Resolution also brought New Age techniques into the classroom encouraging children to mentally withdraw into their happy place.  Words of non-violence conflicted with the images the Southern Poverty Law Center thought necessary for small children see in the films that came with the curriculum our administration thought necessary. Topics like Bullying and Death Education guided by untrained teachers in the "therapeutic" classroom led some children to commit acts they would not otherwise commit due to the depression of those topics and the images they evoked. Cognitive dissonance.

Education did not improve. Then came another drive to “fix” our schools that wound up with the Chamber of Commerce “Delphi-ing” the community into accepting Common Core. Bill Gates of “Pirates of Silcon Valley” fame sold the community on  
"21st-century skills” generally referring to certain core “competencies” such as “collaboration, digital literacy, critical thinking, and problem-solving that advocates believe schools need to teach to help students thrive in today's world.”

"The idea that the richest man in the U.S. can purchase and --working closely with 
the U.S.Department of Education--impose new and untested academic standards 
on the nation's public schools is a national scandal,” wrote one skeptic. 

The funding of the NGA (National Governor's Association) and CCSSO (Council
of Chief State School Officers) suggests where their accountability lies. Since 2007, NGA and CCSSO have accepted approximately $100 million from the Gates Foundation alone to advance the standards and the connected data-collection and assessments. These organizations do not answer to the people, they answer to an enormously powerful funder with a definite agenda. NGA and CCCSO also get substantial funding from the federal government for CCSSO, about half its operating funds). The Gates foundation spread money across the political spectrum to entities including various teachers organizations, the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association and business organizations such as the Chambers of Commerce. Money flowed to policy groups on the Left and the Right funding research to scholars who supported the idea of common standards.   

Surely sales opportunities/filthy lucre would have nothing to do with Gates in partnership with UNESCO. Microsoft joined Pearson, the world's largest educational publisher to load Pearson's Common Core classroom materials on Microsoft's tablet, the Surface. That product allows Microsoft to compete for school district spending with Apple, whose iPad is the dominant tablet in classrooms. 

And how about the sales of that data on your child collected through those computers? 

What proof did they have of Common Core improving education? Other than as in the Alinsky Rules for Radicals No. 11, “If you push a negative hard enough it will push through and become a positive.” 

Sentiments prevalent in the World Core Curriculum of UNESCO permeates Common Core aligned texts. Concepts found in grade school children’s textbooks such as justice and equality are given politically biased meanings. Justice is newly defined to mean the redistribution of wealth and resources. Equality is used to dismantle preference for one’s own culture, religion and social customs. “Predictive information,” data ostensibly gathered on each student to improve performance, is in truth a measurement of a student’s adjusted attitude and behavior—a Soviet style “managed outcome” as Crisis Magazine explains. 

"Skills based" learning rather than “knowledge based” ranks right up there with one of those negatives pushed hard enough to convince the public it was a positive. And they succeeded. 

You must believe that “21st century learners” “balk at rote learning and memorizing…” Throw away direct instruction, phonics in reading instruction, memorizing math facts … and allow the political activists like defrocked priest, guru of Whole Language and Harvard saint, Paolo Freire to revolutionize Math and Reading with his “liberation pedagogy.” Planned Parenthood develops the Sex Education curriculum integrated into curriculum on every grade level. 

And now Dothan’s newest Superintendent has “innovated” the system to do away with the old Dothan High School to bring all Dothan Middle Schoolers under one roof at the old Dothan High School building calling it Dothan Preparatory School. An elite sounding name for recycled Progressive concepts. And Northview is now Dothan High School …with a different mascot.

During the late nineties Dothan Director of Instruction Susan Lockwood got the Board to back the “four period day.” They paid for teachers to fly to Frederick, Maryland to “see” a school that had used that method for a couple of months and then come home enthused enough for the system to print glossy brochures and a video on the “method” …and then send our own teachers out to sell the method. Lockwood used AP Geometry and Algebra students in our system as guinea pigs for her dissertation. Their scores on the Advanced Placement Test showed they scored poorly and eventually the method (which gave Band and Sports students 1/4th of their school year to their extracurricular “subject”) was replaced. ONLY TO RETURN WITH THIS NEW SUPERINTENDENT. 

Since our child would be affected when this “innovation” was first proposed, we got the principal of the Frederick, Maryland high school to cite to us a study on block scheduling. We called Dr. David Bateson, author of a study on Block Scheduling of over 20 years, who was then on vacation on an island off the coast of British Columbia. He sent us his study. His conclusions? "The four period day is detrimental to academic achievement."

 Lockwood saw scores drop six points for minority students from 42 to 36.White student's scores dropped 2 points. Although Lockwood drew the conclusion that this was not statistically significant thereby enabling her to recommend block scheduling. Yet, before long, Block Scheduling was dropped. 

By the way, Lockwood, then became Dr. Lockwood with a PH.D. (She used our daughter as a guinea pig for her dissertation WITHOUT OUR PERMISSION and went on to become superintendent of Eufaula City Schools in Alabama.

They say we are no longer Common Core schools. Yet, the laptops still utilize Pearson curriculum and the same Progressive methods. Point being there has been no improvement on the curriculum of our schools. It is still based on “current wisdom” (Progressive Education) as Dean Kunkel explained thirty years ago. Only now it is on steroids as a consequence of Common Core. The current Superintendent appears to be a Master of that philosophy.

So be it…as long as the community understands what their tax dollars support. Though it appears to some of us that the chairs on this Titanic continue to be rearranged for the benefit of administrators making points with their fellow educrats, getting degrees, promotions, and recognition from their colleagues. Not for the benefit of our children.

We took a wrong turn in the late 60s and have only gone further off course. Like sheep our School Boards have followed the dictates of the automatons in administration who no longer look to the children they serve as proof of their success but for promotion to the next pay raise to elevate retirement pay. 

Now, we must rethink our schools as a consequence of Covid 19. Does a crowded single high school and middle school make sense? Should those abandoned schools be reopened to alleviate crowding? In the process, how about actually revolutionizing the schools by using methods proven to actually educate children in the manner expected by the public that funds those schools. Like those traditional methods used in private schools. Fortunately, the private school my grandchildren attend does not buy into that foolishness. They use Orton-Gillingham for Phonics/Reading and Saxon Math. But through our taxes, we are all forced to support the “current wisdom” and sad individual and societal consequences of Progressive Education. 

Be prepared--the demand for more money to use another gimmick to “fix” education will be coming soon.