- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 30, 2003

Trivium pursuit

“One thing that is never studied in modern, progressive schools of education is the classical-medieval organization of studies known as the trivium. Since classical education regards human beings foremost as thinking creatures, at every level of education youth must be invited to think about the great problems of the physical and moral worlds. …

“At the first stage of education, students must master the basics, or the ‘grammar,’ of every subject. They must learn to read, using the parts of words, or phonemes, in order to master the words themselves. …

“Once students have gained a pretty good handle on the grammar of various subjects, they move into the ‘logic’ stage of education. … Logic, or argumentation, is applicable to all subjects. …

“High school should be considered the third part of the trivium, the ‘rhetorical’ stage. … They will learn to make coherent literary, historical, mathematical, and scientific arguments. …

“How otherwise should we prepare them for the world they will face and the positions of responsibility they will inherit?”

Terrence Moore, principal of Ridgeview Classical Schools in Fort Collins, Colo., writing on “The Classical Trivium Remains the Best Course of Learning,” for the Ashbrook Center at www.ashbrook.org

Aging disgracefully

“Within two weeks, Madonna can appear on the MTV Video Music Awards dressed in black leather as Vampira, Queen of the Night, and in her persona of polygamous dominatrix smooch Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera on the lips, then suddenly turn up in a matronly flowered dress in London kicking off her new children’s book, pushing Kaballah as the future of mankind, and saying oh, pooh, it was just an innocent kiss between friends. …

“Great stars have to learn to age gracefully. I loved it when Stevie Nicks — who’s a true artist — zinged Madonna for ‘kissing girls half her age.’ She was right. …

“It’s crucial for the great stars to find a persona that allows them to mature with their fan base. Look at Cher. Just when Madonna’s latest film and album were flopping, there’s Cher on the charts for a year with her song collection. Cher has a natural warmth and rapport with the audience. But Madonna feels like she has to pound everyone into the ground like a steam hammer.”

Feminist author Camille Paglia, interviewed by Kerry Lauerman, Wednesday in Salon at www.salon.com

Religion of what?

“In a mere 45 minutes on Monday, Oct. 27, suicide bombers drove carloads of explosives into five buildings around the capital of Iraq. … More than 200 were wounded, and 45 died in the attacks. …

“Yet while people die, the charade continues. Liberals, lunatics and liars are still attempting to sell an American public, still in shock over [September 11], that Islam is a peaceful religion. …

“Peacefulness did not come to mind when 68 Islamic heads of state gave a standing ovation to the prime minister of Malaysia at the Islamic World Summit when he said, ‘The Europeans killed 6 million Jews out of 12 million, but today the Jews rule the world by proxy.’ …

“The popular concept of trying to convince the American people that Islam is a religion of peace — as if this will shut down the engine of terror — is the theater of the absurd and a festival of hypocrisy.”

Mike Evans, writing on “It’s about, Islam, stupid,” Wednesday in WorldNetDaily at www.worldnetdaily.com

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