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Blair Henderson tells the story of Old Ephraim

At a family gathering in the summer of 2009, Blair Henderson (my father-in-law) recounted the story of a giant grizzly bear that inhabited Logan canyon years ago. I finally got around to posting it for family and friends to enjoy. Total running time is about 45 minutes.

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My lengthy absense

Well, for having a blog, I’ve been posting pretty slow here, eh? Actually, I’ve not been lazy, just busy. A LOT of my time is being spent at in exposing the lack of constitution oriented education our children are receiving in the school system. Please go take a look and sign onto the petition.

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Utah’s Republic Project on Air

Last Saturday I was on Red Meat Radio talking about the Utah’s Republic project ( which has a goal of restoring constitutional education in Utah. Rather than repeat everything I’ve posted on that site, here’s an audio link if you’d like to hear the radio segment (14 minutes) and then a link to the post on that site. If you’re in Utah, please sign the petition to get on the email list and help effect meaningful changes in the social studies standards of the state.


Red-Meat-Radio-Republic Segment-1-9-2010


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2″ Minnow Shuts Down CA Food Production

In an unbelievable move, tens of thousands of California farm jobs are being forced out since an endangered 2″ minnow was found stuck in a pump. Vast orchards are withering, compliments of our federal government. Why the governor is putting up with this is beyond me.  It must not be an election year.

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“No Common Denominator”

Two reports by the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) do a fantastic job of showing just where education colleges are failing students who want to become teachers, and then our children who are taught by these teachers.  One report was released in June 2008 for mathematics preparation of teachers entitled “No Common Denominator–The Preparation of Elementary Teachers in Mathematics by America’s Education Schools.” The second, released in May 2006, is on reading and is titled “What Educations Schools Aren’t Teaching About Reading and What Elementary Teachers Aren’t Learning.”

The math report examined 77 schools around the country and Utah State University was the only college in Utah that was examined, and also received a failing mark for teacher preparation.

This August, thanks to a grant by a generous donor, a report will be revealed that examines all 8 major colleges in Utah. I understand that only 1 college has received a passing mark, while 3 would pass if they required more courses of elementary education students, and 4 fail completely.

The links below will take you to the math and reading reports, but the gist of them was to give a few standards for teachers and development of a proper education base before they go off to teach impressionable minds.  The math report details 5 standards as follows:

1) Teachers must acquire a deep conceptual knowledge of math focused on

1. numbers and operations,
2. algebra,
3. geometry and measurement, and — to a lesser degree —
4. data analysis and probability.

2) Higher entry standards into the program with teachers demonstrating mastery of geometry and algebra 2 at the high school level

3) Must demonstrate a deeper understanding of math than what they must teach to children

4) Elementary content courses must emphasize numbers and operations and student teaching must focus on delivery of math content

5) Math content delivered to teachers should be done within the purview of a MATH DEPARTMENT

The entire math report is 28 pages and contains some other interesting things should any of you wish to look over it.  I am eager for the report in August and can’t wait to see how <cough>BYU</cough> fares.  I’m not expecting it will be the lone passing school in the state.

Link to math report

The reading report is also great and tells us what we already knew, that phonics and explicit instruction work best.  Sorry whole language constructivism.  You lose again.

Link to reading report

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Global Warming Fight Like Math Wars

This is simply an amazing debate.  Chris Matthews has Rep. Jim Moran(D) on the show to help beat up on Rep. Dana Rohrbacher(R) over the “settled science” of global warming.  This so reminds me of the math wars and how district administrators and teachers declare “all the studies show this is it” and yet they can’t hold up a candle to actual evidence.  Rep. Rohrbacher tosses a few facts in their faces and they switch to name calling and try to change the subject of the debate to evolution without answering any of Dana’s questions.  Hilarious.

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American Revolution Sacrifices

What a great short video about the sacrifices of our patriot fathers.  David McCullough has a great storytelling voice doesn’t he?  If you want to read some additional really cool stories about little known patriots of the Revolution, pick up a copy of Unlikely Heroes by Ron Carter from Amazon.  It’s an amazing book about people who rose to the challenges they faced at the peril of their lives and risked it all to help win our freedom.