The Old Lie

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Please, in the name of the victims of the most recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida, let us begin to do something to change the national insanity of gun deaths.

Stop with the old lie — “guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” It is illogical, fallacious, wrong, and stupid. Guns are weapons and are designed to expel bullets that are intended to kill. That is their purpose. That is why they exist.

Guns kill people.

Guns are not used to make paintings; they are not used to drive screws into wood; they are not made to make omelets; they are not created to write letters; and they are not aimed at making sculptures.

Guns are made to kill. That is their purpose.

The United States has a history of gun ownership based on the 2nd Amendment. As  I would say to my students, please do a close reading, parse the language, and understate what it says. If you do, then the phrase “A well-regulated militia” is crucial to understand. The militia of today is the National Guard–that is the militia of the United States of America. If you believe in the 2nd Amendment, then you should enlist in the National Guard.

Guns do kill people. Let us never forget that. And let us stop accepting the old lie.

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Quotations on Political Courage and Political Cowardice

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Given the circumstances of the horror of the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, the hypocrisy of politicians in bed with the NRA and gun-makers, and their inaction about even considering reasonable gun legislation, I wanted to offer three quotations to consider:

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“There comes a time when silence becomes betrayal.”

                                                        Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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“The ballot is stronger than the bullet.”

                                                       President Abraham Lincoln

 

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“The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.”

                                                      Albert Einstein

Quotations on Reading

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“And reading itself is an amazing activity: You glance at a thin, flat object made from a tree…and the voice of the author begins to speak inside your head. (Hello!)”

                                                              Carl Sagan

 

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“I kept always two books in my pocket, one to read, one to write in.”

                                                              Robert Louis Stevenson

 

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“Reading is the sole means by which we slip, involuntarily, often helplessly, into another’s skin, another’s voice, another’s soul.”

                                                               Joyce Carol Oates

Let Us Celebrate Thomas Paine Day!

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January 29 is Thomas Paine Day, which is a time to remember one of the most important, but often forgotten, writers of the American Revolution. His pamphlet Common Sense was one of the main reasons that the majority of colonists came to support the revolution against England and for independence.

He was born and raised in Britain, and he became embroiled in legal problems for advocating the abolition of royalty. Afterwards, he would support the French Revolution, and he also ran into problems there, only to be imprisoned. He was later released because of influence by the American government.

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He was a revolutionary thinker and a representative of the Romantic movement, in which individual rights and revolution in all aspects of life and society were encouraged.

Paine went on to write several other important works, including Rights Of Man and The Age of Reason. If you have not read these works, I recommend all of them!

Like many of the other intellectuals of this time, Paine was a Deist and let his ideas be known. As a result of his forthcoming, he suffered being ostracized by many of those whom he  had helped.

He should be remembered, however, for his contributions to the United States of America, to human rights, and to literature.

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Quotations on Teaching

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“Those who know, do. Those that understand, teach.”

                                                                             Aristotle

 

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“One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.”

                                                                            Malala Yousafzai

 

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“Share your knowledge. It is a way to achieve immortality.”

                                                                            Dalai Lama XIV

Quotations on Questioning

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I participated in a meeting for the faculty of the Wescoe School of Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA this morning, and it was one of the best, most productive meetings I have had the privilege of attending. Everyone was open to both discussion and learning from each other. It was refreshing! Among the points of discussion was the importance of questions and questioning. I, therefore, thought a post of quotations on questioning was appropriate today!

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“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.”                                                                                                       Albert Einstein

 

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“Don’t just teach your children to read…
Teach them to question what they read.
Teach them to question everything.”                                                             George Carlin

 

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“Original thought, original artistic expression is by its very nature questioning, irreverent, iconoclastic.”                                                     Salman Rushdie

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“Always ask questions.”                                                                                 Charles F. French

 

 

 

Quotations on Character

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“Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.”

                                                                     Maya Angelou

 

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“All men make mistakes, but a good man yields when he knows his course is wrong, and repairs the evil. The only crime is pride.”

                                                                          Sophocles

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“Knowledge will give you power, but character respect.”

                                                                          Bruce Lee