Tony Woodlief | Author

Month: February 2010

Own it

Jim Taylor on instilling self-esteem in children: “Parents were told to love and praise and reinforce and reward and encourage their children no matter what they did. Unfortunately, this approach created children who were selfish, spoiled, and entitled. . . without [a] sense of ownership, children are thoroughly unprepared for the adulthood because in the …

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“Isaiah,” I ask him, “what color is your balloon?” “Green,” he says. This makes me happy, because we were beginning to think the boy is color blind. “What color are your pants?” I ask. They are yellow. He bends at his ample waist to look at them. He looks at me. He looks at his …

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The new Conservatism

Mickey Edwards explains why he didn’t go to CPAC, the annual Conservative self-lovefest, arguing that the traditional conservatism of America has been supplanted by a state-aggrandizing European-style conservatism. I’m not sure if the shift is even that intellectual, or if it’s simply that Conservatives — like members of any tribe facing an enemy tribe — …

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“Conversion is a return to nature, from what is contrary to nature to what is proper to it.”  (St. John Damascene)

The going rate

“Four M&M’s if I poop,” Isaiah explained. This is how we finally got him potty-trained, you see. With bribery. He was getting M&M’s for peeing as well, but then he started doling it out in little dribs and drabs in order to optimize his candy intake. And people think economics is hard to understand.

Hospital, not courtroom

“Did you commit sin? Enter the Church, repent for your sin, for here is the physician, not the judge. Here, one is not investigated; one receives remission of sins.”  (St. John Chrysostom)

Christian America?

Maybe instead of pouring all this energy into haggling over claims in watered-down, non-primary source, lowest-common-denominator, utterly de-contextualized, ponderous textbooks, we ought to try harder to get kids to read more, and read more of what matters. Does anyone really think that one sentence about Cesar Chavez or Samuel Gompers is going to be the clincher between …

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We was never much for yer books n such . . .

Writer and teacher Nancie Atwell on the distressing need to convince government education officials of the benefits of literature: “. . . giving corporate interests a role in setting education policy is like letting foxes supervise the henhouse. These foxes are not vested in children’s reading books. They are interested in profitmaking—in selling prefab curricula, …

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Book it

I’m pretty sure that somewhere in the unofficial New Yorker film critic handbook there’s a rule that goes something like this: If Christian faith is central to a film, don’t be afraid to stoop to name-calling and character assassination. Thus it wasn’t surprising to see in what manner David Denby unleashes his ire on The …

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On the one hand, I can appreciate the fear that nefarious people will spirit away Haitian children for wicked ends. On the other hand, I doubt this class of people includes Baptists from Idaho. And there is the sticky question of what constitutes an orphan in Haiti, where parents and other relatives routinely hand over …

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