Education History Book Review – Downs: Henry Barnard

The book on the left

Robert B. Downs short 1977 biography of Henry Barnard is a hagiography. Barnard is a saint of American state schooling, second only, if at all, to Horace Mann. As such, the dogmas of the compulsory state education church are simply assumed, and any dissent is simply heresy or unenlightened ignorance. No ink is wasted examining the possibility Barnard’s opponents might have had a point. How could they? Public schooling is assumed to be a total good with no downside whatsoever.

Downs himself was a librarian and author, with biographies of Mann and Pestalozzi and pile of other books to his name. His life in some ways parallels Barnard’s, as he travelled around the world consulting on various library projects, collecting honors and honorary degrees along the way. Barnard was the mid-19th century’s go-to education expert in America, and as such also got in a lot of travel and honors.

In the longer, more recent biography of Barnard by Edith Nye MacMillun lightly reviewed here, Barnard doesn’t quite come off as the hero portrayed by Downs. Here’s one reviewer’s take on MacMullen’s book:

Barnard represented an important social type: the nineteenth-century gentleman reformer. The type was international, as common in Victorian Britain or among the Continental bourgeoisie as among the American Whigs. Barnard’s merits and defects were those of the amateur: He mustered enthusiasm and eloquence, but flitted from job to job too readily instead of persevering with a given problem. Barnard was influenced by the ideas of the Swiss Pestalozzi, the Frenchman Guizot, and the British utilitarians, but most of all by the example of Prussian educational reformers. His biographer recognizes this transatlantic frame of reference but tells us little about the European ideas and practices that appealed to Barnard, or how applicable they were to American conditions.

Daniel W Howe, Teacher’s College Record

MacMullen allows herself to wonder why Barnard’s name was removed from a building at Yale, his alma mater, while Mann still has dozens if not hundreds of schools and facilities named after him. Mann’s legend remains intact; Barnard has simply become one more overrated or at least unknown 19th century dude who got a building named after him but is otherwise forgettable and forgotten. I don’t know if anything has changed in this regard over the decades since MacMullen’s book.

Barnard is that ‘gentleman reformer’ coming out of a Puritan world, where there is one right way to do anything, and our self-appointed betters will tell us little people what that is. At least Barnard truly was well educated, although he failed to take the lesson from *how* he came to be well-educated: at Yale, he joined societies and volunteered for position that gave him access to libraries. He read extensively in Greek, Latin, and English – outside of school. Yet he proposes rules for other people that are completely at odds with how he, himself, got educated. He wants graded classroom, compulsory attendance, ‘normal’ teachers – the products of normal schools, meant to produce standardize teachers.

The elitism is bracing. Barnard of course assumes he is special, and that of course he can tell the little people how to do it. For their own good and all. Lest we imagine this is just the appropriate response of a recognized expert, and that we should simply do what he says as we would follow the instructions of an auto mechanic or engineer, Barnard, in the same manner as all other educationists, asserts as obvious that education is a moral issue with moral goals. He, like Fichte, Mann, and our modern ‘educators’ are not concerned (much) with the three R’s – they want to improve us morally. My auto mechanic wants to make my car run, not improve my character. And he really does make my car run better; modern education has no such practical track record.

Finally, one observation about Barnard’s career made by both biographers: whenever he obtained a position where he needed to satisfy the reasonable expectations other people – teacher, college president, head of the US Department of Education – he didn’t last long, nor make much of a lasting impression. Downs, to be sure, credits him with more achievement than MacMullen, but even he does so with apologies – if only Barnard’s health had been better! If only he’d gotten more cooperation. MacMullen points out that a young Barnard knew how to charm people and navigate political situations, a skill he seemed less and less inclined to use as he aged. Thus, after his brief stint as US Commissioner of Education, where such skills were essential, he ‘retired’ as a still fairly young man to editing journals. A journal editor is not answerable to anyone except insofar as he needs their money as subscribers and patrons. Barnard largely failed there as well – he never made enough money from selling his publications to cover what it cost him to produce them. He burned through his substantial inheritance subsidizing his publishing career, and had to beg friends and supporters to keep it going for the last few years. He never took any responsibility for his failure to make ends meet, nor changed his approach in response to what potential subscribers might want to read. He knew what they should want to read!

Puritans of whatever religious beliefs, millennialists awaiting the glorious perfection of man here and now, seem, then as now, to be frustrated and baffled when the world doesn’t conform to their plans for it.

Now For Something Completely Different

A mountain is a strange and awful thing. In old times, without knowing so much of their strangeness and awfulness as we do, people were yet more afraid of mountains. But then somehow they had not come to see how beautiful they are as well as awful, and they hated them—and what people hate they must fear. Now that we have learned to look at them with admiration, perhaps we do not feel quite awe enough of them. To me they are beautiful terrors.

I will try to tell you what they are. They are portions of the heart of the earth that have escaped from the dungeon down below, and rushed up and out. For the heart of the earth is a great wallowing mass, not of blood, as in the hearts of men and animals, but of glowing hot, melted metals and stones. And as our hearts keep us alive, so that great lump of heat keeps the earth alive: it is a huge power of buried sunlight—that is what it is.

Now think: out of that cauldron, where all the bubbles would be as big as the Alps if it could get room for its boiling, certain bubbles have bubbled out and escaped—up and away, and there they stand in the cool, cold sky—mountains. Think of the change, and you will no more wonder that there should be something awful about the very look of a mountain: from the darkness—for where the light has nothing to shine upon, much the same as darkness—from the heat, from the endless tumult of boiling unrest—up, with a sudden heavenward shoot, into the wind, and the cold, and the starshine, and a cloak of snow that lies like ermine above the blue-green mail of the glaciers; and the great sun, their grandfather, up there in the sky; and their little old cold aunt, the moon, that comes wandering about the house at night; and everlasting stillness, except for the wind that turns the rocks and caverns into a roaring organ for the young archangels that are studying how to let out the pent-up praises of their hearts, and the molten music of the streams, rushing ever from the bosoms of the glaciers fresh born.

Think, too, of the change in their own substance—no longer molten and soft, heaving and glowing, but hard and shining and cold. Think of the creatures scampering over and burrowing in it, and the birds building their nests upon it, and the trees growing out of its sides, like hair to clothe it, and the lovely grass in the valleys, and the gracious flowers even at the very edge of its armour of ice, like the rich embroidery of the garment below, and the rivers galloping down the valleys in a tumult of white and green! And along with all these, think of the terrible precipices down which the traveller may fall and be lost, and the frightful gulfs of blue air cracked in the glaciers, and the dark profound lakes, covered like little arctic oceans with floating lumps of ice.

All this outside the mountain! But the inside, who shall tell what lies there? Caverns of awfullest solitude, their walls miles thick, sparkling with ores of gold or silver, copper or iron, tin or mercury, studded perhaps with precious stones—perhaps a brook, with eyeless fish in it, running, running ceaselessly, cold and babbling, through banks crusted with carbuncles and golden topazes, or over a gravel of which some of the stones arc rubies and emeralds, perhaps diamonds and sapphires—who can tell?—and whoever can’t tell is free to think—all waiting to flash, waiting for millions of ages—ever since the earth flew off from the sun, a great blot of fire, and began to cool.

Then there are caverns full of water, numbingly cold, fiercely hot—hotter than any boiling water. From some of these the water cannot get out, and from others it runs in channels as the blood in the body: little veins bring it down from the ice above into the great caverns of the mountain’s heart, whence the arteries let it out again, gushing in pipes and clefts and ducts of all shapes and kinds, through and through its bulk, until it springs newborn to the light, and rushes down the Mountainside in torrents, and down the valleys in rivers—down, down, rejoicing, to the mighty lungs of the world, that is the sea, where it is tossed in storms and cyclones, heaved up in billows, twisted in waterspouts, dashed to mist upon rocks, beaten by millions of tails, and breathed by millions of gills, whence at last, melted into vapour by the sun, it is lifted up pure into the air, and borne by the servant winds back to the mountaintops and the snow, the solid ice, and the molten stream.

Well, when the heart of the earth has thus come rushing up among her children, bringing with it gifts of all that she possesses, then straightway into it rush her children to see what they can find there. With pickaxe and spade and crowbar, with boring chisel and blasting powder, they force their way back: is it to search for what toys they may have left in their long-forgotten nurseries? Hence the mountains that lift their heads into the clear air, and are dotted over with the dwellings of men, are tunnelled and bored in the darkness of their bosoms by the dwellers in the houses which they hold up to the sun and air.

The Princess and Curdie, George MacDonald, CH 1

The list of writer who admired MacDonald is nearly coextensive with the (non-sci fi) writers of English since 1900 that I admire. The Oracle Wikipedia lists, among others, Lewis Carroll, Mark Twain, Robert E. Howard, L. Frank Baum, T.H. White, Hilaire Belloc, G.K. Chesterton, C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, and Madeleine L’Engle. Who am I to argue with that?

Yes, I’m still among the living. Both a nasty flu and the Coof have blown through my family and circle of friends over the last three weeks – some of the sicker people testing negativo on the Kung Flu, and, of course, once anyone tests positive they stop looking for anything else, so who knows? One, the other, or both, or something else? Nevertheless, while almost everybody was over whatever it was inside a week, a couple of the older or less healthy people did get hit pretty hard. So we’ve been busy, and doing the only thing among all the demanded steps and measures that makes any sense: staying away from other people when you’re not feeling well. We’re mostly OK, but it lingers.

And I’m supposed to be packing up to move. Sheesh.

Did take this opportunity to read few books. Will review as time permits.


Let’s do this like good poetry: start with the immediate, move to the universal, then bring it back home.

For the first time in several years, I seem to have caught a cold or maybe the flu. Or maybe the Dreaded Coof. Since I don’t have either of the only two distinguishing symptoms – no sudden acute respiratory issues, and sense of taste is as good as it’s ever been – I’m sticking with ‘flu’ on the ancient principle that distinctions that make no difference should be ignored.

My wife and son are also under the weather, although my wife has long been bulletproof as far as minor illnesses go, and so she’s acting as if she’s fine. If she ever really looked and acted sick, I’d be taking her to the emergency room. The son has a bit of asthma, which amplifies the effects of any sort of cold or flu, so he’s a little more out of it.

(Aside: could you imagine anything more tedious than people typing up and detailing their flu symptoms on a blog? For crying out loud, in the distant past of 2 whole years ago, such a one would be regaling anyone he could button hole over by the water cooler, and be avoided if at all possible. Now? It’s an art form. There will probably end up being a Pulitzer category for most epic description of a minor illness. The competition will be stiff.)

Day 3 – today – woke up at the usual time, took the traditional (for me) acetaminophen/ibuprofen + vitamin C and cough drops cocktail, and went back to bed. Now, a few hours later, I’m doing OK, much better than yesterday. Went from ‘eh’ on Monday morning to bouts of shivering in the evening (30 minutes in a hot bathtub works wonders on that). Slept half the day on Tuesday. I’m betting on ‘feeling tired’ as the outcome on Thursday.

Big whoop. I’ve now had two of my 4 living kids get the Coof with about this level of symptoms or less, and dozens of friends and acquaintances. A total of zero deaths and one hospitalization – an 87 year old who made a quick recovery.

I have sympathy for anyone who lost a loved one over the last two years. I don’t know anyone who has lost a reasonably healthy loved one to the Coof – anyone, that is, that they were emotionally and geographically close enough to to know first hand how healthy they were. (This long disclaimer is occasioned by friends who lost a relative living 10,000 miles away. Just no way to tell much of anything about such a situation.) What I don’t have too much sympathy for is people who put mom in a nursing home who then are sure the Coof killed her, who then try to guilt me for not caring. No, nursing homes are where people are warehoused until they die, mostly within 6 to 9 months. At worst, the Coof sped it up a little; more likely, the Coof showed up on the death cert because that way the nursing home gets government money for caring for a Kung Flu patient.

We had a wedding and reception last weekend. Under the soon to be tightened up rules from our self-appointed betters, such gatherings will be forbidden. Cost and benefits are not being weighed here.

(Now for the real TMI.) It should go without saying that such weddings and receptions are the stuff upon which any civilization worth having is built. My wife and I were married in 1987. We raised 5 kids with, essentially, no help from either of our families. I can make excuses for them, but the base reality is that neither family cared enough to make it happen. Both our families of origin are torn apart in various ways – geography, goals, beliefs – and by various hurts both petty and profound.

My wife and I were very aware of this, and decided to do whatever we can to not let it happen to our kids. First, we work together, and stay together. For reasons that I can’t say I understand, our kids have all become best friends for each other. One cute example: younger daughter drove older daughter to her wedding in my convertible, so older daughter insisted on driving younger daughter to her wedding in my car as well. It just seemed like the thing to do to them.

The kids stay in touch with each other constantly; they have made trips, sometimes cross country trips, to visit each other while they were in school. Now, 2 live close to each other, a third is talking about moving closer once he’s done with grad school, and the youngest is with us. And we’re planning to move much closer to both daughters ASAP.

This should be no big deal, it should be something anybody with kids would be hoping to do, anybody with beloved siblings would want. But is it? Instead, a marriage as traditionally understood, where the whole goal is 1) for the spouses to support and sustain each other; and 2) produce and raise children, is laughed off stage, replaced with ‘fulfillment’ or some other seductive ephemera. Over the last 30 years, marriage was first mocked (my wife and I, living in San Francisco, were personally so mocked by gay men) as something only stupid ‘breeders’ did. Then marriage was invaded, then destroyed.

Our little experience of non-support from our families is now the norm. Kids (if any) are expected to leave the nest – and never look back. Not that it would matter – people my age and maybe 10 to 20 years younger seem to be far too self-absorbed to even consider making changes, let alone sacrifices, for kids who probably hardly know them and don’t really like them.

Which brings us back to weddings and receptions, celebrations of exactly those family ties most hated by our current cockroach overlords. Such events held in the cold of winter (even here in California it gets cold-ish) are really good places to catch a cold, the flu, or even – gasp! – the Coof! So – do we stop doing it? Do refuse to live well so that we can ‘live’ wrapped in bubble wrap and terror?

So, I sincerely hope all the other guests are OK, if, indeed, the wedding festivities are where we picked this bug up. (Probably not, right? 2-day incubation seems pretty quick. More likely picked it up earlier in the week? But what do I know?). I, for one, would not have traded the wedding gatherings for any mere safety from a cold or flu – “It’s a dangerous business, walking out one’s front door”.

How to Lie with Data

It was Chesterton, I think, who said: No lie is more dangerous than when it is very nearly true. Propaganda is much more about very nearly telling the truth than about out and out lies. The big lies, the ones repeated over and over until they have beaten down the weak, are usually built upon small half truths. But even the most dedicated propagandist tells the truth much of the time – just not the whole truth.

So we hear that, finally, CDC officials have acknowledged that 43% Covid hospitalizations are *with* not *for* Covid; and that in 75% of Covid deaths the deceased had 4 or more ‘comorbidities’.

Statements such as these should cause a sane person not to trust anything the CDC says. Why is this being mentioned now, when those of us capable of looking at the data could have told- and did tell! – you the same thing back in March of 2020? So one is left playing Kremlinology, trying to suss out why we are being told this now, when one was labelled a terrorist for mentioning it a month ago?

Tedious but necessary background. Looking at any old actuarial mortality table for the US, we see the following pattern: almost everybody lives to be at least 50, then, between ages 50 and 100, almost everybody dies. Before about age 80, most Americans are dead. Between 50 and 80, a little less than half of all Americans die; the other little less than half die between 80 and 100. (Or so – only a comparatively tiny number make it past 100.)

From age 1 to 50, comparatively few people die. Leading causes of death in this age range are accidents, murders, suicides, plus some number of people who just drew a bad hand, and were sickly or caught some nasty disease. But taken all together, less than 8% of men and 4.5% of women don’t make it to 50. By comparison, a mere 15 years later, at age 65, 20% of all American males are dead – it took 50 years to kill off the first 8%, and only 15 to kill off the next 12%. The death rate accelerates from there. A 50 year old man runs only about a .5% chance of death that year; a 90 year old man has a 16% chance of death that year.

This should be common sense. Certainly, we are much more surprised and saddened when somebody under 50 dies; when somebody over 80 dies, it is, or should be, no shock at all.

Keeping this all in mind, let’s talk about ‘comorbidities’. I have 2 comorbidities – I’m fat, and have high blood pressure. Eventually – sooner rather than later, as I’m 63 years old – these health problems are likely to catch up with me and could even kill me. But short term, like over the next 5 to 10 years, probably not, but there’s certainly no guarantee. So my comorbidities are a cause for concern (and action! working on it!), but they are not, so far, interfering with my day to day life.

Now let’s talk about the population where most of the attributed Coved deaths take place: those in nursing homes and hospitals. Such people also have comorbidities, usually a lot of them. But here’s the difference, what is being lied about through omission: the comorbidities of nursing home prisoners HAS destroyed their ability to function. Their health is so poor that they are put in special places where others can care for their most basic needs.

Comorbidities among nursing home incarcerees typically include such things as cancer, renal failure, heart problems, severe respiratory problems. The CDC rules don’t allow ‘old age’ as a cause of death, so, when an old person whose body is failing in a hundred ways finally passes on, the doctor is forced to put something, or some short list of somethings, as the cause of death. Prior to the Covid panic, heart failure and pneumonia were top causes.

In this environment, where a large number of people are awaiting death, and where any old cold or flu is likely to push them over the edge, we add Covid. AND we put in very loose guidelines for a Covid diagnosis, AND we financially incent people to care for Covid patients, AND we remove all independent oversight (visitors) – well, it turns out an awful lot of people, with comorbiditeis like lung cancer and congestive heart failure are all the sudden showing up as Covid deaths.

While it is refreshing to see the CDC talking about comorbidities at all, it would be much more honest (yeah, like that’s gonna happen) to talk about where these people are dying – namely, nursing homes and hospitals. In a nursing home? You’re not long for this world,* Covid or not; not in a nursing home or otherwise very ill? Covid is no worry at all, no more than a cold or flu.

*with the usual caveat that those in dementia care sometimes live years until the decay of their bodies catches up with the decay of their minds. But those in for basic bodily sickness are unlikely to last for more than a year or so, usually much less.

Three Quotations and a Link and an UPDATE

Off in a bit to begin the ceremonies – rehearsal, rehearsal dinner today, then wedding and reception tomorrow – demarking the handing off of Younger Daughter to her husband.

UPDATE: Logistics are a bit – interesting for this wedding. The church is a little over an hour away, near where Younger Daughter lives; the hall where the reception will be is about 20 minutes from there. BUT: the team doing the catering is my middle son (bride’s older brother) and his lovely wife of all of 6 months. They both have years of experience in food service, so it’s not as crazy as it seems. Issue: our nice kitchen has been volunteered for all the food prep – an hour and a half away from the hall. The hall also has a nice kitchen. The proprietors of the hall generously allowed us access starting at 3:00 today for a reception that start around noon tomorrow. But (almost) everybody involved is in the wedding itself, so we need to do as much set up between 3:00 and 4:40 (5:00 start of the rehearsal, a 20 minute drive away). Then, morning of, do the final cooking of the hot stuff so that it comes out warm around noon.

Future son-in-law knows a big Catholic family, the patriarch of which also knows my middle son and his wife – two of his daughters worked with them in the kitchens at Thomas Aquinas College. So, as we’re prepping here like mad, son gets a call from the matriarch of the above large family asking: how many of my kids do you want me to send over to help? So three daughters, two of whom have worked with and for my son, will be meeting the posse at the reception hall at 3:00 to help with set up and prep. Pretty darn cool. One friend of a friend also volunteered to get the cooking started morning of the wedding.

So, it’s working out. I rented a house for tonight in the neighborhood of the church, so we all can crash after the rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, and the finishing touches on the reception hall, and mom can support the bride without a 1:30 (at least – there’s snow on the mountains, skiers will be jamming the road Saturday morning) drive. Again, we are grateful and blessed.

So, quotations – first up: Eddie Burke, because why not?

Where trade and manufactures are wanting to a people, an the spirit of nobility and religion remains, sentiment supplies, and not always ill supplies their place; but if commerce and the arts should be lost in an experiment to try how well a state may stand without these old fundamental principles, what sort of a thing must be a nation of gross, stupid, ferocious, and at the same time, poor and sordid barbarians, destitute of religion, honor, or manly pride, possessing nothing at present, and hoping for nothing hereafter? I wish you may not be going fast, and by the shortest cut, to that horrible and disgustful situation. Already there appears a poverty of conception, a coarseness and vulgarity in all the proceedings of the assembly and of all their instructors. Their liberty is not liberal. Their science is presumptuous ignorance. Their humanity is savage and brutal.

Reflections on the Revolution in France


All circumstances taken together, the French revolution is the most astonishing that has hitherto happened in the world. The most wonderful things are brought about in many instances by means the most absurd and ridiculous; in the most ridiculous modes; and apparently, by the most contemptible instruments. Every thing seems out of nature in this strange chaos of levity and ferocity, and of all sorts of crimes jumbled together with all sorts of follies.
In viewing this tragi-comic scene, the most opposite passions necessarily succeed, and sometimes mix with each other in the mind; alternate contempt and indignation; alternate laughter and tears; alternate scorn and horror.

Ready, Eddy?

The consistently incisive and depressingly accurate analysis of Clarissa, who grew up under the Soviet Union and teaches at Woke State someplace, commenting on the thought processes of the Supreme Court considered as a bunch of aging Boomers:

Sotomayor has already asked how “a human spewing virus is different from a machine spewing sparks.” As one’s brain ossifies with age, one begins to perceive the world through analogy. Everything gets referred back to one’s past experience. Everything is “just like.” Accepting that anything can be genuinely new means facing that one is outdated, possibly even mortal. And no, not every old person is like that. There are rare but important exceptions. For the most part, though, this is exactly how it works. If you don’t subject your brain to rigorous daily training in processing new information from new sources, you will become that sad old fart who “justlikes” every conversation into the ground.

And her further thoughts. Sigh. I’m so sick of her being right.

Finally, a slightly more amusing quotation:

“Let no one wear a mask, otherwise he will do ill; and if he has one, let him burn it.”

St. Philip Neri

Probably check in again next week. Until then, party hardy.

Old Guy’s Books

This is how it always works for me:

  1. Son and lovely daughter-in-law are in from Denver for little sis’s wedding, and, heroically, have offered to do all the reception food (they both have much experience in the food service industry; we have a nice, big kitchen). So the kitchen has been taken over;
  2. I have my computer and books for the history class I’m teaching on the kitchen table. So I need to put them back on my bedroom office desk.
  3. The bedroom office desk and the floor around it were filled with books and papers – I’m using it as the staging area for packing up the bedroom. And, frankly, I’ve just been piling up all the education history and some of the sci-fi I’m supposed to be reading. The idea is to pack up the books I’m unlikely to need for at least the next 3-4 months and stick them in the front of the garage until we get the Pods to stick them in.
  4. The front of the garage is full of largely undifferentiated ‘stuff’ the largest single component of which is – books. 20+ boxes of books that we’ve never unpacked since (at least) 16 years ago when we had to pack up for the remodel.
  5. These boxes have been rifled through repeatedly as kids went to school, looking for copies of the Classics, of which we have at least 2 copies, one from my collection and one from the spousal unit’s collection from when we both studied Great Books.
  6. These boxes of rifled through books were no longer tape sealed and, having had some books pulled from many of them, had sort of collapsed, the upper ones crushing the empty space out of the lower ones. So I can’t just throw more boxes of book on top, without risking further collapse and damage.
  7. Rats. Yep, they’re enough space under the door for rats to have gotten into the front part of the garage. Nothing too recent-looking, but – rats, and the messes and shredding that entails. Icky.

Sooooo – in order to clear my desk so that I can work, I needed, as the essential beginning of a series of steps, to clean up and repack 20+ largish boxes of books so that they were sturdy enough to stack yet MORE boxes of books on top, THEN pack up some books and papers in my bedroom and move them into the garage.

Now, I’m a piker as a reader – I read, but every since we’ve had kids, if I get more than 2 books read in a month, that’s a lot for me. But that adds up over time, and, when I was younger, I read more. Wife is the same. And then there’s the dozens of books I’ve bought that I’ve yet to read for my education history obsession… Inside the house, just counting the ground floor, there are at least a dozen full size bookcases packed with the books we have unpacked. Every one of 4 bedroom upstairs has at least a bookcase full. So, those 20 or so boxes in the garage represent a minority of our books.

AND and – of course, I’ve got to look at some of the books and papers… I found, for example, a collection of letters to the editors I wrote from 1989; funny (at least to me) memos and projects from work from the same period. Evidently, I would draft up what I wanted to say, file it, then do the boring actual writing the bosses wanted. You work in Insurance, you do what must.

On the plus side, found a couple books I’d been missing, in the sense that I couldn’t lay my hands on them when last I looked in the amount of time I was willing to devote to the task:

The Barnard bio is the short one I was looking for when I found the much longer one I did read; the Lafferty I wanted for some quotations for my students. Both were right where they were supposed to be, but somehow I didn’t see them until I started pulling and reorganizing books…

The Great Pack Up and Move has now begun in earnest. This New Year, I also need to crack a book when i get up in the morning, rather than wasting an hour or two surfing the net. Otherwise, I really won’t live long enough to read all this stuff.

Predictions from Last Year, and for This Year

William Briggs, Statistician to the Stars, asks every year for his readers to make predictions, then, early the next year, scores those predictions. I play along and then promptly forget them until reminded the following year when Briggs publishes the results.

His rules:

  1. Number your predictions, using numbers, like this.
  2. Limit your predictions to 5, a number less than 6 or more.
  3. No sports.
  4. Be specific and provide a way to verify your projections.
  5. Attach a probability word if you are less than certain.
  6. Verified predictions of our coming Doom will receive very little weight unless they are quite specific.

Here are mine for 2021, with Brigg’s comments after the quotation, and my comments in bold italics after that:

My 2021 predictions:

1. “By year end, the state will begin to take away the children of those who fail to comply with ‘public health’ orders, for the kids protection.” This indeed happened, but in isolated cases, usually divorces. Will pick up this year.

2. “A cold war will grow between the schools and those parents who (finally) see what the schools teach.” This happened, you terrorists. Will get worse.

3. “The lockdown it simply too intoxicating to ever end. A new strain will be ‘discovered’, CHILDREN ARE DYING!!!” Yes, twice over. Bingo.

4. “Websites such as this will either be simply eliminated, or, if small enough, shadow-banned.” We are shadow-banned in at least several universities, as anons have written to say.

5. “The election fraud stands, but something else – the inevitable power struggle among the victors, the sudden, unexpected collapse of China, somebody key breaking ranks, enough people starting to actively resist…” Not quite. I don’t remember exactly what I was predicting here – more chaos than we got, something like that. Maybe this year.

Here are mine for 2022:

  1. 2022 is the year the Branch Covidians are phased out and the Greta Fan Club takes over: more and more controls are enforced and less and less freedoms allowed, but the alleged cause gradually switches from fauxvid to Climate Change ™.
  2. Similarly, our all but mandated social scores, currently based on ‘vax’ status, will come to include some sort of carbon score or suchlike.
  3. “The rich” discover that they are not homogenous. The unending power struggles among our betters increase as saner heads try to reign things in. The Soroses and Buffetts of the world may have enough wealth in enough areas to ride out almost anything, but some people who imagine they are wealthy are going to discover they aren’t. Some rich people, for example, have much of their wealth in shipping or airlines. They are not as happy with the direction of things as are the more satanic vermin like Soros, whose fortune is based on currency manipulation. This one is likely complicated to verify, but can be read between the lines when certain industries push back against the control mechanisms.
  4. Public school attendance falls sharply. Private schools boom even as laws and regulations are enforced against them. Conflicts move from school board meetings into the actual schools. (Again, could be hard to verify, as the only reporting will frame the parents as ‘terrorists’ if it gets reported at all.)
  5. Prayers that the pope speedily comes to enjoy his eternal reward will increase in frequency and fervor, but he will hang on for another year.

You heard it here first! Maybe.