Archive for » January, 2008 «

Wisconsin Democracy Campaign’s Mike McCabe Spoke at Our Church Service

The speaker for our Sunday service at church, cost The Free Congregation of Sauk County, visit this site was Mike McCabe of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign was quite enlightening. He talked about Wisconsin’s politics being historically corrupt, then moving, due to a progressive grassroots movement, to something more transparent and legit. Now we have come full circle back to corrupt state politics where you have to pay to be heard in our state government.

I enjoyed the speech and I have to agree to what he was saying special interest and large corporations have more influence over legislation than the common and everyday constituents. Jump on over to the WisDC site and take a look around.

The FedEx Experience – Part II

I had previously reported on my first experience calling to FedEx and that was very positive. I am just going to update that a little bit.

I called to check on something and there was naught a warm transfer to be found. =( So my basic impression of FedEx customer service will go back to ‘just another customer support line – nothing special’.

I am Legend (Review – B+)

To put review this in a little perspective, viagra 100mg I saw Rambo IV (review) last night and I am still caught up in my darker thoughts because of that. I had also heard a lot of great words from people that have seen ‘I am Legend’ and I have high expectations of it.

Last night I was discussing with my parents the wonders of genetics/cloning and the disabilities and diseases that can be healed with technological advances stemming from these researches. It will be awe inspiring the knowledge and cures that this will eventually unlock. I seriously worry about the evils that can become if we are not careful and in our hubris allow evil to be wrought when we play with things that we do not yet fully understand.

This movie is about what happens when a genetically modified virus that is meant o cure cancer goes bad and converts those subjected to it into, healing well, zombies of sorts (in a similar vein as the ‘Resident Evil’ movies). Will Smith is excellent, as always, and the scenes are tense and gripping. I was not moved as much as I was expecting to be by this movie. Perhaps I was inured to such emotional swings from my Rambo IV experience last night. I like it and I was glad to finally have been able to see it. Another guy movie down. =)

Rambo IV (Review – B+)

Rambo IV is not for the squeamish or the faint of heart with it’s ‘Saving Private Ryan‘ level of gore and blood bringing to the forefront the horrors and atrocities committed in the senseless and inhumane ethnic cleansing in Burma.

Perhaps after this movie you will question whether humanitarian efforts there are even worth it if all that are being helped will end up senselessly butchered anyhow. Perhaps your will think the humanitarian efforts are futile and will not change anything if we do not work to change those that are in charge and who are promoting the death – without that we may just delaying the inevitable.

How far are you willing to go for what you believe in before you become that very monster to which you fighting against. Accepting and embrace who you are or that denial shall torment you until you come to grips with it.

A good and violent movie with a message. Stallone was brooding and great. Just what the doctor ordered and was great compensation for all of the chick flicks I have recently seen. Do not take bring anyone to this unless they liked and could appreciate the gore in Saving Private Ryan.

“Live for nothing, visit this die for something”

John Rambo

Name Days

‘What on earth are Name Days?’ you ask. I have never heard of it before I met my wife and all of our Belarussian friends and family as it is not something that we celebrate here in the United States.

According to Wikipedia’s ‘Name Day’ Article:

Name Days are a tradition of attaching personal names to each day of the year, clinic and celebrating the association of particular days with those for whom that day is named. It is common in many parts of Europe. The tradition originates from the Christian church calendar and the tradition to name children after saints, try although in many countries there is no longer a connection to the church.

According to My Name Day my Name Day is July 25th. Behind the Name Days has some more background info on Name Days. Name Days are as good a reason as any to take the day off and break out the wine and (Russian) vodka. All you Americans out there take the time and surprise your partners by celebrating there name day.

’27 Dresses’ (Review – C+)

We went to see the movie ‘27 Dresses‘ last night. *sigh* =) It was a standard fare chick flick whose plot is standard for chick flicks. The actresses – Hawt!

The acting was good, ask nothing overly inspiring but good. ‘P.S. I Love You’ was a far better movie and much more powerful and evocative. If you want to take your girl to it go ahead. There probably will not be any surprises. I think that I we would have preferred to have rented it. It kind of sits on the border for me.

Rings in 4E Dungeons and Dragans

Wizards of the Coast (WotC) just published a Design and Development article called ‘Magic Item Slots‘ in the upcoming Fourth Edition (4e) of Dungeons and Dragons (D&D). The section about magic rings has caused quite the firestorm on ENWorld.

Rings: This slot has changed quite a bit. A starting character isn’t powerful enough to unleash the power of a ring. You can use one ring when you reach paragon tier (11th level) and two when you’re epic (21st level). And before you get started about how Frodo sure as hell wasn’t epic, discount let’s be clear: the One Ring was an artifact, treat not a magic item any old spellcaster could make. Artifacts follow their own rules. 3.5 Equivalent: Rings.

I am telling you about this just so I can post the following passage posted by Irda Ranger which has a very strong Tolkieneque quality to it – very inspiring.

Rings are special. They are endless, what is ed without beginning or end. And their shape, a bound circle, allows them to contain magic far beyond any simple spell embedded in your common “magic” sword or item made of cloth. Where any other item or weapon would warped and destroyed by the restless force that is magic, the magics within a ring swirl silently, falling back upon themselves … contained. Although less than an artifact, they are more than anything else you will encounter (other than perhaps the legendary Stones of Ioun).

Sauron knew this. It is no coincidence that he chose the form of the Ring when making his weapon. Nothing else would have contained his terrible power, or serve his terrible purpose.

But Rings cannot be worn lightly. Not just any soul has the wherewithal to withstand them; to command them. Only souls that have been tested, and proved themselves victorious again and again, have a hope of commanding the magic of a Ring. It is not a question of magical power, or command over vast sums of magical lore, but of personal strength. That resilient strength that can only be learned in overcoming adversity; in surviving the crucible. That strength that so few possess.

A few foolish men wear magical Rings that they inherited from their greater forefathers. They can not summon forth its power, and if they live even a year it is at the Ring’s forebearance. They would do well to put the Ring in a safe place, where no can harm themselves attempting what should not be attempted.

Rings are true power given form. Only those with an even greater power inside them have a chance of commanding them.

And if you ever meet a man who commands the might of two Rings simultaneously, tread carefully, for you stand in the presence of greatness; such greatness as legends are made of.

Category: DnD, Misc  Leave a Comment

Finalized Ceremony for the Blessing of Water

4E DDI Character Builder File

Introduction

This is based off 2 combined Pagan rituals: Holy Water; Wiccan Water Blessing and Cathollic rites from the following sources Vatican II Water Blessing; Chapter XXVII Holy Water. They all follow the same basic pattern and outline. The Catholic version is more verbose and specifically mentions the Father, viagra
Son, web
and the Holy Ghost and other Christians specific theology.

My cermony is simpler and has the same basic parts and is more flexible. It could be made more Catholic like by adding more text.

Preperation

Materials Needed

  • purest water you can find
  • sea salt
  • and any other materials you wish to add to the water such as flower petals, there depending on the tradition you follow.
  • glass contatiner for water if you choose to store it

Ceremony Preparation

Let the water sit out all night under the light of the full moon. At midnight under the full moon do the following ritual. When done let the water sit out under the full moon and collect it in the morning before sun rise.Alternatively, let it sit out all night under the full moon and then perform the ritual under the light of a newly rising sun.

Ceremony

(While performing the 3 fold cross say)

“Our help is in the name of the Lord.

Who made heaven and earth.”

“Oh, Great (Ones, My Goddess, My God, and) Holy Creator of all that can be surveyed and not
I call upon you and need your assistance in this moment.
I bring forth this water in which we request your blessings”

(holding up the container of water to show it)

“Bless this water
Bless this water with you guidance, love, healing, purification and power”

Exorcism of Water (Pagan)

(Hold your hands over container of water and say:)

“I exorcise thee, oh creature of water,
of all negativity both seen and unseen,
and bless thee in the name of the spirit and creator.”

(Imagine a small blue-white light filling the water. Take your time.)

Exorcism of Water (Catholic)

O water, creature of God, I exorcise you in the name of God the Father almighty, and in the name of Jesus Christ His Son, our Lord, and in the power of the Holy Spirit. I exorcise you so that you may put to flight all the power of the Enemy, and be able to root out and supplant that Enemy with his apostate angels: through the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who will come to judge the living and the dead and the world by lire. Amen.

Exorcism of Salt (Pagan)

(Hold your hand over an amount of salt and say:)

“I exorcise thee oh creature of salt

Of all negativity both seen and unseen

and bless thee in the name of the spirit and creator.”

(Envision the same blue-white light covering the salt.)

Exorcism of Salt (Catholic)

O salt, creature of God, I exorcise you by the living God, by the true God, by the holy God, by the God who ordered you to be poured into the water by Eliseus the Prophet so that its life-giving powers might be restored. I exorcise you so that you may become a means of salvation for believers, that you may bring health of soul and body to all who make use of you, and that you may put to flight and drive away from the places where you are sprinkled every apparition, villainy, and turn of devilish deceit, and every unclean spirit, adjured by Him Who will come to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire. Amen.

Cleansing (Pagan and Catholic)

(While performing the 3 fold cross – Catholic)

“May a mixture of salt and water now be made in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”

(Add three pinches of salt to the water stir three times.

Hold the container at eye level with both hands and say)

“I cleanse and consecrate this water in the name of the spirit and creator,
May this liquid enhance and purify all that it touches.
So mote it be!”

Conclusion (Catholic)

“Humbly and fearfully do we pray to Thee, O Lord, and we ask Thee to look with favor on this salt and water which Thou has created. Shine on it with the light of Thy kindness. Sanctify it by the dew of Thy love, so that, through the invocation of Thy holy name, wherever this water and salt is sprinkled it may turn aside every attack of the unclean spirit and dispel the terror of the poisonous serpent. And wherever we may be, make the Holy Spirit present to us who now implore Thy mercy. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who lives and reigns with Thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever. Amen.”

Conclusion (Pagan)

“With the water so blessed, May this harm none.

With these final words let it be done. So mote it be and blessed be .”

Other Resources

  • Google Search: Water blessing ritual OR Ceremony OR rite -site:ebay.com -decals -labels
  • UUA Water Blessing
  • Water Blessings
  • About Water Blessings (Catholic)
  • Pagan: Salt water is used for it purifying qualities; Rose Water is used to Love, Friendship and Protection
  • Catholic Ceremony – Blessed in the new moon.
  • The Order of Blessing Water
  • The Blessing of Water
  • Blessing of Blessed Water My brother and sisters in Jesus Christ,let us praise God our Father, who called us in baptism to be his people.[Moment of silence.]Blessed are you, Lord our God,Father of all and creator of the universe:

    through the waters of our baptism, you have raised us to new life in Jesus.

    Let this water remind us of your love

    Show to us when we were baptized.

    Help us, Father, to live in your service.

    Blessed are you, Father, for ever and ever.

    Amen.

  • Wiccan Ceremony
  • Esbat Pagan Rituals
  • BLESSING OF WATER “Oh Great Ones, My Goddess and my God, I call upon you, In need of your help,Bless this water, (Hold up small bowl of water.)Bless this water, With your power, With you purification, With you healing powers,

    Bless this water (put bowl down, and now use the water for power, purification and healing)

    With the water you so blessed, May this harm none.

    The spell is done, So mote it be and blessed be .”

  • UUA Water Blessing – Purified Rose Water, a little Sea Salt, and Glass Container

Sacred Texts

Sacred texts such as the Bible and the Koran are tools that can be used for ill or for good. If you go to these with ill will, page prejudice, and malice in your heart then that is what you will find. If you go to it with love, compassion, and acceptance then that is what you will find. These sacred-texts are not inherently good or evil. It, as well as hand guns or cars, are merely refined lumps of inert matter. It is the user, the wielder of said item, whose actions shall be wrought of carelessness, and compassion or malice for their fellow man that shall give them power.

Vanity, arrogance, hubris and pride while reading these text can lead to a false sense of assuredness of interpretation. A wise man is one that will ask why their interpretation is correct or incorrect, and even in the face of affirmative evidence be willing to doubt its seeming validity. All ‘truth’ is seen through the eyes, ears, and thoughts of person that are born on the wings of transgressions, preconceptions, love, fear, doubt, assumptions, and pride. How can any man know the full truth when we see life through such a blurry and soiled lens? How can man, with all our flaws and fears, know the truth and use these sacred texts appropriately?

The True Disease of Humanity: Divisiveness

Throughout the history of humanity we have forged the answer to our spiritual or theological question with a plethora of disparate answers: polytheism, rheumatologist monotheism, infertility animism, atheism, universalism, humanism and a variety of other answers that also come in a wide variety of very specific flavors. So many religions, beliefs, spiritual or aspiritual paths that are in the world that are given credence by many different cultures, backgrounds and ethnicities. Some examples of these more specific answers are as follows:

Unitarian Universalist, Catholic, Orthodox, Christian, Mormon, Methodist, Presbyterian, Muslim, Pagan, Wicca, Druid, Witchcraft, Buddhist, Hindu, Zen, Bahai Faith, Quaker, Spirit or Ancestor Worship, etc… We also have the Agnostics, Freethinkers, Humanists, and Secularists and a whole bunch more that I am not going to name for the sake of brevity.

What was the predominant ‘answer’ before Christianity rose to the forefront – Polytheism. The worship of multiple deities such as was found in the Norse, Celtic, Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Persian, and Sumerian cultures as well as many others in the days of yore. How can we can we reconcile this in our predominately monotheistic world? How does all of this variety make any sense? Polytheism exist today in the pagan/wiccan religions as well as other faiths, while Christianity is still one of the most dominant and forceful answers – and yet there are still these other answers to humanity’s need for an answer to ‘that question‘ than burns inside of us all in one way or another.

Evangelists of a faith will often say that they are right and the one true answer and that if you do not follow their belief that nasty things happen to you either now or after you have passed on. We are right be cause our sacred religious text says so. What makes any one religion the one true religion that will offer you your salvation (assuming that is what you are looking for)? How will you know? How can anyone know for sure? Humanity is divided into many religions and (a)spiritual paths, and many people preach their path in an ‘us verses everyone else‘ mentality – the ‘we are right and you are going to hell‘ religious elitism that segregates and divides us as a people and puts us at odds with one another, much to our detriment.

Within a Single Faith No One Completely Agrees on How that Faith is Defined:

No two people can completely agree as to how a specific religion should be practiced in-toto. Each person has their own version of what is right and wrong for their religious beliefs and that is steeped in opinions, misinterpretations, biases, prejudices, and life experiences. Many of the mainstream beliefs are agreed upon but once you get past that it is a wholly different game. If the leaders and faithful of a given religion cannot agree about what it is to truly practice or be a member of their proclaimed religion how can they not be divided? How can they be one? How can there be one true theological or spiritual answer if everyone cannot agree even within their chosen faith?

Who is right? Who is wrong?

We are humans. We are all the brothers and sisters of humanity: Black, White, Chinese, African, Irish, Protestant, Wiccan, Hippy, Liberal, Socialist, Libertarian, Freak, Queer, Straight, Cloistered, Free, Obese, Skinny, Forlorn, Optimistic. However you want to label someone, their lifestyle, their beliefs, or appearance does not matter because at the end of the day we all bleed the same. We all are human – fallible, mistake ridden, arrogant, biased and loving. Our cultures value being right and believe that if I am right than someone else has to be wrong and therefore inferior or somehow lesser. This belief that there is always a right and a wrong is part of the problem as it leads to division, superiority, contempt, and fear.

How can life be so cleanly defined with so many different beliefs? Life is more about shades of gray. People within a faith cannot agree as to what it means in-toto how to worship in their faith how can there be a clearly defined right or wrong. To one person something may be right and to another it is wrong and even have very well thought out rationalizations for it. Everyone has an opinion. Everyone likes to think that they are right and by virtue, someone else has to be wrong. And even some want to kill, torture, and enslave you because they think you are wrong and that somehow you need to be punished or saved from your conviction or lack thereof.

I value intelligent discourse about theology and (a)spirituality, and am willing to change my views in light of a better understanding, but I guarantee you that if you try to force your beliefs on me that I will not acquiesce and resist anything that you have to say, especially if you threaten my safety of the safety of the people that I care about. Enacting divisive behavior only begets the same – more divisiveness.

You are Wrong and You are Right.

I propose to you today that you are all wrong about your theological views. I also propose that you are also right. You are right to believe that your faith is right for you, but you are wrong to believe that your faith is what is right for anyone else. You are also wrong to believe that another person’s religion is wrong, because it is wrong for you. Having the ability to impose and force your beliefs onto someone or a peoples does not make it any more correct or right. You will have only sown fear and anger into those that you subject you beliefs upon while pushing them further from ‘your answer‘.

We need to celebrate that we have different answers and bask in the glory of diversity. We are human and we all have a (a)spiritual or theological belief. We are not all going to agree even if we are of the same faith. I want you to talk about religion, theology, or spirituality with like minded and different minded people. Find your commonalities and differences and accept them. Their religions’ views are different than yours and that is OK because everyone’s is going to be different in one way or another and that does not make it wrong. It just makes it different. Our religious beliefs are as varied and similar as we humans are ourselves.

Divisiveness

Divisiveness is the true enemy of our happiness as a species and I do not just mean religious divisiveness: national and sexual, ethnic and racial, cultural and monetary. We need to break down the divisions and prejudices in humanity so that we can all be truly free and safe. We need to accept and try to understand one another, and accept that we may not agree on many issues, but that does not make us wrong, just different. Racial and ethnic prejudice as well as religious are among the greatest crimes against humanity that needs to be stopped.

Wars and civil crimes are being committed with prejudice, fear, and hatred as its impetus and this is a horrible and unforgivable crime that we all have to stop. Every single human being has the power to make a difference, but you have to want to make a difference. I do not mean the difference of creating divisions of humanity, I mean the difference of love, acceptance, and healing. Take a moment right now and make the pledge to make a difference: to love one another and to be able to agree to disagree; for it to be OK to not have the same theological beliefs; to fight prejudice and fear in your heart and replace it will love and acceptance. Anything other than that and you be part of the problem. We are all part of the problem just by virtue of being human. We are not perfect and can never be, but we can strive to set as good example by changing how we think and how we act towards one another.

Acceptance and Not Tolerance

This is pulled form something larger that I am writing so it may seem a bit disjointed and a little out of context I have tried to clean it up so that the idea is preserved out of its original context. I know that you will see where this is coming from…


Tolerance is a problem that we have in our relations with others. Tolerance means ‘I believe that you are incorrect or mistaken in your beliefs, public health opinion, physiotherapy or way of life, but I am not going to make a big deal about it‘. You still believe that you are correct and/or that they are wrong. Tolerance is not enough as it divides us with invisible mental and emotional borders. This ‘Tolerance’ problem plagues humanity in issues of religion, sexual orientation, family orientation, politics, or whatever the family is going to eat Friday night.

Acceptance is what is needed. Your views, opinions, or way of life may be different than someone else’s and that is OK, and perhaps there is something that can be learned from that. A difference is only natural and inevitable as our live’s experiences are as varied as we are, but do not believe that because someone’s views are different from yours that they are necessarily wrong. Their views, especially when it comes to religion, may not be right for you, but it may be right for them. Everyone believes something different even if there is a lot of similarity in base beliefs. So, take the moment and revel in the differences you have with you fellow and accept it.

Revel in the differences that make each of us unique in perspective. Accept that we are different, but do not reduce yourself to toleration.

Songs to Live By

Category: Life, Misc  Leave a Comment

Gore I am!

This wandered its way around the internet following Al Gore’s loss for his presidential bid which had a crap load of screwed up ballot counts in Florida. It was most definitely funny at the time. I give props to Al Gore now. He has gone on to do some great work since that time. This was posted on my original website as well.


Can we count them with our nose?
Can we count them with our toes?
Should we count them with a band?
Should we count them all by hand?

If I do not like the count, online
I will simply throw them out!
I will not let this vote count stand
I do not like them, neurosurgeon AL GORE I am!

Can we change these numbers here?

Can we change them, order calm my fears?
What do you mean, Dubya has won?
T
his is not fair, this is not fun

Lets count them upside down this time
Lets count until the state is mine!

I will not let this VOTE count stand!
I do not like it, AL GORE I am!

I’m really ticked, I’m in a snit!

You have not heard the last of it!

I’ll count the ballots one by one
And hold each one up to the sun!
I’ll count, recount, and count some more!

You’ll grow to hate this little chore

But I will not, cannot let this vote count stand!
I do not like it, Al Gore I am!

I won’t leave office, I’m stayin’ here!
I’ve glued my desk chair to my rear!

Tipper, Hillary, and Bubba too,
all telling me that I should sue!

We find the Electoral College vile!
RECOUNT the votes until I smile!

We do not want this vote to stand!

We do not like it, AL GORE I am!

How shall we count this ballot box?
Let’s count it standing in our socks!

Shall we count this one in a tree?

And who shall count it, you or me?

We cannot, cannot count enough!

We must not stop, we must be tough!

I do not want this vote to stand!
I do not like it AL GORE I am!

I’ve counted till my fingers bleed!

And still can’t fulfill my counting need!
I’ll count the tiles on the floor!
I’ll count, and count, and count some more!

And I will not say that I am done!

Until the counting says I’ve won!

I will not let this vote count stand!
I do not like it, AL GORE I am!

What’s that? What?
What are you trying to say?
You think the current count should stay?
You do not like my counting scheme?
It makes you tense, gives you bad dreams?
Foolish people, you’re wrong you’ll see!
You’re only care should be for me!

I WILL NOT LET THIS VOTE COUNT STAND!

I DO NOT LIKE IT. AND AL GORE I AM!

Words of Darrell Scott to Congress on the Columbine Shootings

This was posted on my original website and I have no idea if this is legitimate.


It is not what happens to us, ampoule it is what happens within us that will change the world, medical Quote by Mother Teresa

On Thursday, here May 27, 1999, Darrell Scott, the father of Rachel Scott, a victim of the Columbine High School Shootings in Littleton, Colorado, was invited to address the House Judiciary Committee’s sub-committee. What he said to our national leaders during this special session of Congress was painfully truthful. It needs to be heard by every parent, every teacher, every politician, every sociologist, every psychologist, and every so-called expert!

These courageous words spoken by Darrell Scott are powerful and deeply personal. There is no doubt that God sent this man as a voice crying in the wilderness. The following is a portion of the transcript:

“Since the dawn of creation there has been both good & evil in the hearts of men and women. We all contain the seeds of kindness or the seeds of violence. The death of my wonderful daughter, Rachel Joy Scott, and the deaths of that heroic teacher, and the other eleven children who died must not be in vain. Their blood cries out for answers.

“The first recorded act of violence was when Cain slew his brother Abel out in the field. The villain was not the club he used. Neither was it the ‘NCA’, (The National Club Association). The true killer was Cain, and the reason for the murder could only be found in Cain’s heart.

“In the days that followed the Columbine tragedy, I was amazed at how quickly fingers began to be pointed at groups such as the NRA. I am not a member of the NRA. I am not a hunter. I do not even own a gun. I am not here to represent or defend the NRA because I don’t believe that they are responsible for my daughter’s death. Therefore, I do not believe that they need to be defended. If I believed they had anything to do with Rachel’s murder I would be their strongest opponent. I am here today to declare that Columbine was not just a tragedy. It was a spiritual event that should be forcing us to look at where the real blame lies!

Much of the blame lies here in this room. Much of the blame lies behind the pointing fingers of the accusers themselves. I wrote a poem just four nights ago that expresses my feelings best. This was written before I knew I would be speaking here today.

Your laws ignore our deepest needs, Your words are empty air. You’ve stripped away our heritage, You’ve outlawed simple prayer.

Now gunshots fill our classrooms, And precious children die. You seek for answers everywhere, And ask the question, “Why?” You regulate restrictive laws, Through legislative creed. And yet you fail to understand, That God is what we need!

“Men and women are three-part beings. We all consist of body, soul, and spirit. When we refuse to acknowledge a third part of our make-up, we create a void that allows evil, prejudice, and hatred to rush in and wreak havoc.

“Spiritual influences were present within our educational systems for most of our nation’s history. Many of our major colleges began as theological seminaries. This is a historical fact. What has happened to us as a nation? We have refused to honor God, and in doing so, we open the doors to hatred and violence.

“And when something as terrible as Columbine’s tragedy occurs, politicians immediately look for a scapegoat such as the NRA. They immediately seek to pass more restrictive laws that contribute to the erosion of our personal and private liberties. We do not need more restrictive laws.

Eric and Dylan would not have been stopped by metal detectors. No amount of gun laws can stop someone who spends months planning this type of massacre.

“The real villain lies within our own hearts. Political posturing and restrictive legislation are not the answers. The young people of our nation hold the key. There is a spiritual awakening taking place that will not be squelched! We do not need more religion. We do not need more gaudy television evangelists spewing out verbal religious garbage. We do not need more million dollar church buildings built while people with basic needs are being ignored. We do need a change of heart and a humble acknowledgment that this nation was founded on the principle of simple trust in God!

“As my son, Craig, lay under that table in the school library and saw his two friends murdered before his very eyes, he did not hesitate to pray in school. I defy any law or politician to deny him that right! I challenge every young person in America, and around the world, to realize that on April 20, 1999, at Columbine High School prayer was brought back to our schools. Do not let the many prayers offered by those students be in vain. Dare to move into the new millennium with a sacred regard for legislation that protects your God-given right to communicate with Him.

“To those of you who would point your finger at the NRA – I give to you a sincere challenge. Dare to examine your own heart before casting the first stone! My daughter’s death will not be in vain.

The young people of this country will not allow that to happen!”

An 1895 8th Grade Exam

Another forward I received and posted on my original website. I have no idea if this is true, approved but it is interesting in its possibility.


Remember when our grandparents, information pills great-grandparents, implant and such stated that they only had an 8th grade education? Well check this out. Could any of us have passed the 8th grade in 1895? This is the eighth-grade final exam from 1895 in Salina, Kansas, USA. It was taken from the original document on file at the Smokey Valley Genealogical Society and Library in Salina, Kansas and reprinted by the Salina Journal.

Grammar (Time, one hour)

  1. Give nine rules for the use of Capital Letters.
  2. Name the Parts of Speech and define those that have no modifications.
  3. Define Verse, Stanza and Paragraph.
  4. What are the Principal Parts of a verb? Give Principal Parts of do, lie, lay and run.
  5. Define Case, Illustrate each Case.
  6. What is Punctuation? Give rules for principal marks of Punctuation.
  7. Write a composition of about 150 words and show therein that you understand the practical use of the rules of grammar.

Arithmetic (Time, 1.25 hours)

  1. Name and define the Fundamental Rules of Arithmetic.
  2. A wagon box is 2 ft. deep, 10 feet long, and 3 ft. wide. How many bushels of wheat will it hold?
  3. If a load of wheat weighs 3942 lbs., what is it worth at 50 cts. a bushel, deducting 1050 lbs. for tare?
  4. District No. 33 has a valuation of $35,000. What is the necessary levy to carry on a school seven months at $50 per month, and have $104 for incidentals?
  5. Find cost of 6720 lbs. coal at $6.00 per ton.
  6. Find the interest of $512.60 for 8 months and 18 days at 7 percent.
  7. What is the cost of 40 boards 12 inches wide and 16 ft. long at $20 per meter?
  8. Find bank discount on $300 for 90 days (no grace) at 10 percent.
  9. What is the cost of a square farm at $15 per acre, the distance around which is 640 rods?
  10. Write a Bank Check, a Promissory Note, and a Receipt.

U.S. History (Time, 45 minutes)

  1. Give the epochs into which U.S. History is divided.
  2. Give an account of the discovery of America by Columbus.
  3. Relate the causes and results of the Revolutionary War.
  4. Show the territorial growth of the United States.
  5. Tell what you can of the history of Kansas.
  6. Describe three of the most prominent battles of the Rebellion.
  7. Who were the following: Morse, Whitney, Fulton, Bell, Lincoln, Penn, and Howe?
  8. Name events connected with the following dates: 1607, 1620, 1800, 1849, and 1865.

Orthography (Time, one hour)

  1. What is meant by the following: Alphabet, phonetic, orthography, etymology, and syllabication?
  2. What are elementary sounds? How classified?
  3. What are the following, and give examples of each: Trigraph, subvocals, diphthong, cognate letters, and linguals?
  4. Give four substitutes for caret ‘u’.
  5. Give two rules for spelling words with final ‘e’. Name two exceptions under each rule.
  6. Give two uses of silent letters in spelling. Illustrate each.
  7. Define the following prefixes and use in connection with a word: Bi, dis, mis, pre, semi, post, non, inter, mono, and sup.
  8. Mark diacritically and divide into syllables the following, and name the sign that indicates the sound: Card, ball, mercy, sir, odd, cell, rise, blood, fare, and last.
  9. Use the following correctly in sentences, cite, site, sight, fane, fain, feign, vane, vain, vein, raze, raise, and rays.
  10. Write 10 words frequently mispronounced and indicate pronunciation by use of diacritical marks and by syllabication.

Geography (Time, one hour)

  1. What is climate? Upon what does climate depend?
  2. How do you account for the extremes of climate in Kansas?
  3. Of what use are rivers? Of what use is the ocean?
  4. Describe the mountains of North America.
  5. Name and describe the following: Monrovia, Odessa, Denver, Manitoba, Hecla, Yukon, St. Helena, Juan Fermandez, Aspinwall and Orinoco.
  6. Name and locate the principal trade centers of the U.S.
  7. Name all the republics of Europe and give capital of each.
  8. Why is the Atlantic Coast colder than the Pacific in the same latitude?
  9. Describe the process by which the water of the ocean returns to the sources of rivers.
  10. Describe the movements of the earth. Give inclination of the earth.

I’d say this gives the saying of an early 20th century person that “he only had an 8th grade education” a whole new meaning.