Fanax: the Mycenaean term for "king"; pronounced "wanax". The funny initial letter, "F", is called digamma and shows up in Archaic Greek epigraphy (papyrus and tablet writings). The sound, if not the letter form, and its linguistic equivalent initially show up in the heiroglyphic writings (Linear B) of Bronze Age Greece both at Pylos, in the far west of Greece (Peloponnese), and at Knossos in north central Crete, the funny "F". Specifically, digamma shows up in the Greek of Homer's Iliad with the word "F"anax, but there it's a "rough breathing" in the form "(h)anax", where the term is linked to an important individual at Pylos. In Classical and Hellenistic Greek, the F continues in this aspirant, or "h" sound, form at the beginning of many Greek words.

Entries for month: March 2009

I am so done

March 30, 2009 ·

Sue's email to the Dean of Students at Deer Park Junior / Senior High this afternoon, following another situation of utter insanity after Andrew missed 3 days last week, due to vomiting (you'll get the reference at the end).

Hi Mr. Klasmeier,

I hope you're having a good week!

I have two concerns I wanted to bring to your attention.  The first is that Andrew's lock (the actual combination lock) is broken and is taking 10 or 12 times to open each time, thus making him late for classes.  He said that we can't just purchase a different lock because it has to be a school-approved lock.  Can we therefore get a new lock for him? And in the interim can he be at least spared his teachers' wrath for being late?

Secondly, I want to raise my frustration over the process of make-up work.  At Howard, Holmes, and Amity all you need to do is call in the morning and they have work to send home that afternoon.  Very often the child can get a bunch of the work done prior to returning to school.  If the work isn't all finished, or if there is more that has not been sent/picked up, the teachers have it ready to roll when the child returns.  In fact, my younger son missed two weeks at the beginning of the year and walked in on week three and wasn't behind AT ALL.  From what I have learned in the first three quarters of this year, at the Jr. High a two-week absence would involve at least six weeks of Progress Book monitoring, countless emails to teachers, and daily grilling of a stressed-out child to make sure that everything was known about, completed, and ENTERED on Progress Book.  This is asinine.  Likewise, I have not gone one quarter yet where I haven't had to hound a faculty member over work that Andrew finished, but was then deemed missing or that took weeks to get updated.  He has started asking for receipts when he hands in assignments.

Now I understand that as kids get older it should become their responsibility to ask for what they have missed.  I totally agree. However, when a student is making a full attempt at completing his work, the process should support rather than hinder him.  Having wasted another hour of my life emailing faculty, it would appear that, given the Jr. High's abysmal process, it might be more pleasant for everyone involved if I just sent my son to school vomiting.

Thanks for your attention to these matters.


Sue Fisher

Tags: family

Irish environmentalism

March 17, 2009 ·

From a blog called The Powers That Be:

"Let me get this straight… We’re supposed to drink home brew, wallow in our own garbage and eat cabbage in the dark and then wake up in somebody else’s clothes before calling in to work hung-over? My people have been doing these things on this day for hundreds of years, and now some twirpy enviro-weenie comes along and actually thinks he thought of something new?"

That's hysterical.

Tags: politics

Personal Responsibility

March 13, 2009 ·

Will and Ariel Durant spent a lifetime (two lifetimes, I guess, more accurately) compiling and writing the history of the world in 11 volumes.  One of the conclusions they came to, as a product of a deep, deep knowledge of the flow of human events bears review:

"The experience of the past leaves little doubt that every economic system must sooner or later rely upon some form of the profit motive to stir individuals and groups to productivity. Substitutes like slavery, police supervision or ideological enthusiasm prove too unproductive, too expensive or too transient." (The Lessons of History, 1968, p. 54-55)

As Andrew Coulson notes in his blog entry on the failure of centralized planning vis a vis education:

"The automatic process by which useful innovations are encouraged, identified, disseminated, perpetuated, and finally superseded relies on innovators being free to do whatever they think is best for their customers, and having powerful incentives to constantly improve on the state of the art."

Tags: politics

Even Europe gets it

March 12, 2009 ·

"Recent American appeals insisting that the European make an additional budgetary effort to combat the effects of the crisis were not to our liking".
-- Jean-Claude Juncker, Luxembourg's finance minister

As the WSJ notes,
"The U.S. has run up $1 trillion in publicly held debt in the past six months alone -- that's 7% of GDP right there. Calling on Europe to follow this example is like dangling a bottle of grappa in front of a recovering alcoholic."

Tags: politics

Revolution v John Galt

March 09, 2009 ·

From Bob Krumm in today's PajamasTV.  This is in the larger context of saying that as Americans we don't necessarily lend ourselves to the drop out mentality that Rand envisioned:

"Americans don’t go John Galt. We go postal."

This whole question of 'when does violent revolution arise' is a fascinating study.  Think the French Revolution ... or our own ... both in the late 18th century.  Clearly, there does come that point where we turn our backs on both a government and a social structure and Krumm has some interesting views on areas where we Americans differ from Bolshevik Russians (Rand's study group).  Krumm also makes the astute observation that voters are not necessarily going to roll back to the GOP once they're sick of the Democrats this time.

Then there are the specifics of the current administration's phenomenal lack of clue:

"We are only a few thousand points and runaway inflation away from a potential societal explosion, and how is the president responding? He is attacking the man he believes is America’s greatest enemy:  Rush Limbaugh. It is a pathetic spectacle of leadership.  And foolish too, as nothing propels rebellion faster than an attempt to silence rebel leaders. Just ask Polish Communists or the apparatchiks of South African Apartheid."

God willing we won't ever see the logical outcome of these factors, whether because Krumm is wrong or because We the People get this ship turned about, but the potential bears consideration.

Tags: politics

Tea Party!!

March 02, 2009 ·

Yay, someone's had the gumption to organize a local event!  Mark the calendars for March 15, Sunday afternoon from 3:00 to 5:00 pm on Fountain Square (5th and Vine).

Stay in touch with the website at Cincinnati Tea Party.  Sign up on the site's Contact Page to let the organizers know that we're coming!

Tags: politics

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