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EDUCATION: New Doesn’t Mean Better

By NORMAN M. COVERT

(FREDERICK, Md.)—I returned this week from a wonderful reunion with my high school class of 1961 in Newport News, Va.  A common theme was the quality and integrity of teachers and administrators in our school system, which handed us diplomas having value. We were ready for work or college!

Consider that many students attempting to enter Frederick (Md.) Community College must take remedial English and math classes just to start their quest for a bachelor of arts/science degree.  This prompts the question: What has happened to education here?

Several weeks ago local teachers began protesting rejection of a significant pay raise in the 2013 county budget  by “working to contract.” That means they clock in and clock out; no more, no less than is required in their job descriptions.… Read More

GRAMMAR: “OMG”

By PATRICK COVERT

(Buffalo, N.Y.)–I am a member of the “Internet Generation” so it probably comes as no surprise that I use internet resources for everything from news to shopping, education and entertainment.

I was there when “AOL-speak” took root in the youth of America. I faintly recall a time before “lolz” and “omg” “pwned” us all (for an explanation ask someone mid-twenties and younger.)

Many conversations with my coworker Dave start with, “Since when did THIS language become acceptable?”

Typically our next action is to peruse wikipedia.com® or reference.com® to find the answer. Usually entries have listings for its proper usage, or proper spelling, with a side note concerning “slang” or “common usage.”

The modern world’s lack of concern for basic rules of the English language is a constant irritation.… Read More

WHAT’S IN HIS NAME?

By NORMAN M. COVERT
 
Pardon, but it is clear the name Jesus Christ scares the hell out of a lot of folks! Amen!

A concerted effort is underway here and abroad to silence the message of hope and salvation preached by the acknowledged Prophet Jesus of Nazareth and recorded in the No. 1 bestseller “The Bible.” For the record, He is “My Guy.”

Some ideologues tremble at the historical record of His birth more than 2,000 years ago; His ministry; His arrest and torture by Roman soldiers and Jewish San Hedrin; His crucifixion at Golgotha; or His witnessed resurrection from the dead.… Read More

THE HOUSE: SOCKING IT TO ME

By PATRICK M. COVERT

Ladies and Gentlemen, I happened upon an interview last month in a National Public Radio (NPR) program as I drove to the local mecca of capitalism to buy socks.  The interview was with Brian Lamb, who is stepping down as the chief executive officer of C-SPAN.

 As I got home, new socks in hand, I was inspired to watch C-SPAN’s live coverage of the U. S. House of Representatives. The general debate was related to repeal of provisions of the Protecting Access to Health Care (P.A.T.H.) act, or H.R. 5 of session 112.

I have never watched such debate before, but it definitely held my attention. … Read More

CYBER DISCOURSE: IMAGINING & ENLIGHTENING?

By PATRICK M. COVERT

Trending on Twitter @twitter right now: “Is the digital world killing creativity?”  Thank you Pete Cashmore @mashable for this enlightened statement.  Adobe Systems Incorporated @adobe commissioned the survey which spawned this question.  Of course Adobe likely intended this, because their latest product, “Creative Suite 6,” just hit the shelves. 

This simple survey has people thinking about creativity.  Is this an innocent trend survey or brilliant marketing strategy?

Mashable.com displays the info-graphic results of this survey.  In a nutshell, more than half of Americans surveyed believe themselves creative, yet one in four doubts that he/she is achieving their creative potential. … Read More

OCCUPIERS’ IDEAS POOR GAMBLE

By PATRICK M. COVERT

(BUFFALO, N.Y.)–Ever since the “Occupy” movement started my reaction has been one eye roll after another.  The concept, I suppose, is that 99 percent of the world’s wealth is controlled by one percent of the population, and these protestors say “no fair.” 

I guess no one told “Occupiers” life is not fair.  These people say they have a right to happiness.  I would remind them that they have a right to the “pursuit of happiness.”

Our Nation is a meritocracy, built around capitalism.  Our best and brightest are able to keep the big wheel spinning because of the promise of compensation. … Read More

JERUSALEM DISPATCH — VI

TOMB IS EMPTY DESPITE SENTRIES;
WITNESSES TESTIFY JESUS IS RISEN
JERUSALEM (April 7) – The Roman Praetorian Guard issued conflicting reports today trying to explain how the virtually impregnable tomb of Jesus of Nazareth is empty. His followers proclaim he is risen, claiming sightings that verify his prediction of returning on the third day.

He was said to have been identified in several locations, the first as the Passover Shabat ended at sunrise. Local followers proclaimed themselves “Christians” and defied Sanhedrin discipline to share their news that Jesus “The Christ” has risen from the dead.

Guards at the scene were reportedly stunned at the sight of two men occupying the rock-hewn sepulcher in which Jesus’ body was sealed Friday before sunset.… Read More

JERUSALEM DISPATCHES — V

 JESUS OF NAZARETH DEAD ON CROSS; MOTHER LEADS VIGIL AT TOMB
 
Special to The Covert Letter
Jerusalem (April6) – Jesus of Nazareth, who captivated the city’s religious faithful with soaring rhetoric and solemn proclamations, is dead. Confirmation came from the office of Gov. Pontius Pilot.

Jesus was convicted this morning on charges of blasphemy and heresy at the behest of High Priest Joseph Caiaphas of the Sanhedrin. With Jesus a citizen of Galilee, Tetrarch Herod Antipas was requested to determine proper jurisdiction. He returned Jesus to Governor Pilot, who pronounced judgment.

An unexplained twilight covered the city from noon until mid-afternoon when an earthquake rocked the region causing widespread damage.… Read More

JERUSALEM DISPATCHES – PART IV

JESUS CLAIMS TO BE ‘THE CHRIST’;
CAIAPHAS PONDERS DEATH PENALTY 
 
Special to The Covert Letter
JERUSALEM (April 5) – Avant garde Rabbi Jesus of Nazareth is almost certain now to be facing the death penalty after claiming to be “The Christ,” according to legal analysts in this Judean capital city.

Jesus’ admission came during hearings held today by the powerful Sanhedrin. It has jurisdiction over the Jewish population, which has been wildly receptive of Jesus’ evangelistic crusade.

High Priest Joseph Caiaphas withheld comment on the unofficial guilty verdict shouted at the proceeding and was mum about public accusations that Jesus suffered vicious beatings at the hands of his captors.… Read More

JERUSALEM DISPATCHES PART III

 

Jesus arrested by Sanhedrin;

Disciple Judas identified as betrayer

Special to The Covert Letter
JERUSALEM (April 4) –Jesus of Nazareth, in a stunning turn of events, was arrested late yesterday in the Garden of Gethsemane. One of his closest companions identified him to an enforcement unit representing the Sanhedrin, according to witnesses. 

A source said Judas Iscariot unexpectedly met the delegation, then embraced Jesus kissing his cheek in greeting. Jesus was immediately seized.

Judas, from Kerioth, South Judea, was identified as one of “The Twelve,” accompanying Jesus on his ministerial journey. No explanation was provided for his betrayal and other disciples refused to condemn him.… Read More