Posts Tagged ‘CIA’

I was perusing my ClustR Map and the bottom country, along with many other countries with one viewer each, was Macedonia. I was never a whiz at Geography. I think it had something to do with teachers whose sole function was to point to the next student in the row and say, you read the next three paragraphs.

I did have a history/geography teacher who did this. I think he was reading spy novels behind his copy of the text, because no sane human being could just sit there, day after day, for twenty years and listen to the same bored students taking turns reading from the same history/geography book text day after day after day. I barely got through one year of it. So, he had to be going stir crazy.

Digression over!  So, not knowing right off where Macedonia was, I googled “Macedonia,”  and, right there, two finds under Wikipedia, was CIA – The World Factbook — Macedonia.  I was going to copy the flag and country graphic, but there is something that makes me uncomfortable about copying off a CIA site. 

Did I ever tell you about the time, I was attending University of Illinois, Chicago-Circle and I needed research facts for a paper I was writing and I sent a letter to a Marijuana organization (Yes, there are things like that.)  and I received the letter returned to me, all ripped open, obviously read and badly taped back together.  ‘THEY’ might as well have written on the outside, “We know who you are.  We know where you live.  We are watching you.”   So, I do not copy off a CIA site

Second digression over!  (I wonder what the record is for digressions?)  SO, this site tells you everything you could ever imagine wanting to know about a country, including: political pressure groups, International organization participation, sex disbursement, HIV, birth statistics, national holidays,  (By the way,  Happy Ilinden Uprising Day, on 2 August (1903); note – also known as Saint Elijah’s Day, just in case I forget in August.), their electricity consumption and oil production, how many cellular phones they have and how much in reserve of foreign exchange.

There is absolutely no point in me telling you this.  I just thought you should know.  What a great resource if a student has a paper to do.  And, they have 685,000 internet users and I’m hoping for one more of them to read this blog.

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Mom likes to add her own touch to the world, where there is no villain and the wolf isn’t trying to eat Little Red Riding Hood, he just wants to play a game of cards with her. Mom used to purchase Little Golden books for my girls and edit them before the girls ever read them. Some of those books, came to us looking like the CIA had gotten their hot little markers on them, with black bands where most the words had been. They were so fully edited that they were a new story. 

I love picture books and I love reading them to children. I am a huge fan of Audrey and Don Woods and think that books like King Bidgood’s in the BathtubMatthew’s Dragonby Susan Cooper and Jos. A. Smith, The Monster at the End of this Book by Jon Stone and Michael Smolin , and Hand, Hand, Finger, Thumb by Al Perkins and Eric Gurney are loved by kids, and adults, everywhere.

What is not so loved, is a book like Barbie’s Picnic, when it has to be read and reread by an adult twelve times. So, when you go to buy a Picture book, read it through at the store and then ask yourself, “Can I enjoy reading this over and over and over.” Because if they like it, they will ask you to.

Oldest boy fell in love with Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile by Bernard Waber and we read that book to death. I’m sure it didn’t hurt that, “The house on East 88th Street…” was where “Mr. and Mrs. Primm and their son Joshua live…”. Oldest boy’s name is Joshua. It wasn’t as rhythmic as some of the books that are easy to re-read, but it was a good read, even the third time in afternoon.

Which brings me, albiet through a long round-a-bout way, to http://boondockramblings.com/ Blog about a Curious George book she picked up for her son, that had a man smoking a cigarette in it. Mom would have simply drawn over that cigarette so he has actually holding a sucker or something in his hand and she would have colored all the monkeys, so monkeys were not imprisoned just because of their color.

I am more of the mind that children cannot be protected from smokers any more than they can be protected from evil. They are going to run into it and our job, as parents, is to give them the tools to make an informed decision so they know right from wrong.

I do believe it was thoroughly irresponsible of the publisher to republish this type of propaganda that pervaded books such as Little Black Sambo, in the 60s, but there it is and, if you find yourself reading a book with things in it that are wrong, I would suggest using it as an opportunity to talk about how unfair it is that the blue monkeys have to be in a cage, when the brown monkey, Curious George, gets to roam free. 

It’s better than him wondering what all those black marks are covering up in his book.

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