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Weather: Mostly sunny. A slight chance of showers in the afternoon. Highs in the upper 60s. North winds around 5 mph, becoming northeast in the afternoon. Chance of rain 20 percent. Saturday Night: Mostly cloudy with a 50 percent chance of showers. Lows in the upper 40s. Northwest winds around 5 mph.
Today at the Editor’s Glance:
The Saturday Flagler Beach Farmers Market is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. today at Wickline Park, 315 South 7th Street, featuring prepared food, fruit, vegetables , handmade products and local arts from more than 30 local merchants. The market is hosted by Flagler Strong, a non-profit.
One Love Nutrition Grand Re-Opening party, 1 Florida Park Drive North, starting at 8 a.m., to 2 p.m.
Flagler County Master Gardener Plant Clinic, 9:30 a.m. at the Flagler County Public Library, 2500 Palm Coast Pkwy NW, Palm Coast. Have a question or need to diagnose a plant or pest problem, come see Flagler County Master Gardeners at the library.
Meet the Author of Elf on the Shelf! 10 a.m., Flagler County Public Library, 2500 Palm Coast Pkwy NW, Palm Coast. Carol Abersold is an author of the popular children’s book The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition. Children can meet the author and make fun Elf on the Shelf crafts to celebrate our special guest. Children are welcome to bring their own books for the author to sign. Intended for ages 4 – and up.
Florida Democrats ask themselves: Where do we go from here? Natasha Sutherland, deputy director of Florida Watch, a non-profit research organization serving Florida progressives, speaks at the Palm Coast Community Center at 9:30 a.m. on “making the case for Florida and holding the opposition accountable.” Florida Republicans in the Legislature won super-majorities in the last election, which means they can overlook numerous rules that would otherwise give Democrats a larger voice.
World Cup: The American presidency has the vice-presidency, which historian James MacGregor Burns called “the political booby-prize.” The World Cup has the third-place game, which players, fans and television ratings despise, but that the soccer federation continues to inflict on us the day before the final. It’s on today, featuring Croatia, who lost to Argentina, and Morocco, who lost to France. They play at 10 a.m. from Khalifa International Stadium. France and Argentina play Sunday at 10 a.m. from Lusail Stadium. Both matches are on Fox.
Grace Community Food Pantry, 245 Education Way, Bunnell, drive-thru open today from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The food pantry is organized by Pastor Charles Silano and Grace Community Food Pantry, a Disaster Relief Agency in Flagler County. Feeding Northeast Florida helps local children and families, seniors and active and retired military members who struggle to put food on the table. Working with local grocery stores, manufacturers, and farms we rescue high-quality food that would normally be wasted and transform it into meals for those in need. The Flagler County School District provides space for much of the food pantry storage and operations. Call 386-586-2653 to help, volunteer or donate.
Honky Tonk Angel, at City Repertory Theatre, 7:30 p.m., 160 Cypress Point PKWY Ste B 207, From the creator of Always…Patsy Cline. Three gutsy gals from different background take charge of their life. They decide to follow their Honky Tonk dream to the City of Nashville! A hilarious, down-home treat for country music fans combining the thirty county classic tunes including (Dance By Your Man), (9 Two 5), and (Harper Valley PTA). Tonight is all about following your dreams and angels, all kinds, but mostly Honky Tonk Angel!
Fantasy of Lights at Palm Coast’s Central Park: The Rotary Club of Flagler County hosts its 17th Annual Fantasy Lights Festival at Central Park in Town Center, through Dec. 30, 6:30-9 p.m. each night. Fantasy Lights is free self-guided walking tour around Central Park with over 50 large animated light displays, festive live and broadcast holiday music, holiday snacks and beverages. A favorite for the kids is Santa’s House and Village with a collection of elf houses festively painted and nestled among the lights, warm fire to roast marsh mallows or create smores, and encircling the village is Santa’s Merry Train Ride. See the full brochure here and the nightly schedule of events https://flaglerlive.com/wp-content/uploads/Fantasy-Lights-Program-2022_FINAL.pdf#page=7
For more information, please contact Bill Butler at 386-986-3760 or 386-445-0598 or email: [email protected].
In Coming Days: Hanukkah will begin Sunday evening and end the evening of December 26.
Notably: Like most people on the planet I’ve been having conversations with ChatGPT, the artificial intelligence chat bot that’s been turning heads. Here’s a recent exchange:
Me: Is white supremacy bad?
ChatGPT: Yes, white supremacy is a harmful ideology that asserts the superiority of white people over people of other races. This belief is based on the false premise that white people are inherently superior to others because of their race, and it has been used to justify a range of abusive and discriminatory actions, including slavery, segregation, and genocide. White supremacy is not only morally wrong, but it is also unsupported by scientific evidence. It is important to recognize and challenge white supremacy and other forms of racism in order to create a more just and equitable society.
Me: Is being “Woke” as bad as Ron DeSantis says it is?
ChatGPT:It is not accurate or fair to say that being “woke” is inherently bad. “Woke” is a slang term that has been used to describe being aware of and actively opposing social and political injustice, particularly related to issues of race and racism. It is important for individuals to be aware of and actively work to combat social and political injustices, and being “woke” can be one way of expressing this commitment. It is not productive or helpful to label or dismiss the efforts of individuals who are working to promote social justice and equity as inherently bad. Instead, it is important to have open and honest conversations about the challenges and issues facing society, and to work together to find solutions and create a more just and equitable world.
Me: So Ron DeSantis is mistaken in his criticism of Wokism?
ChatGPT: It is not appropriate for me to comment on the statements or actions of specific individuals, particularly political figures. As a language model, I do not have personal experiences or opinions, and my role is to provide information and assist with tasks to the best of my ability. It is important to approach discussions about social and political issues with an open mind and a willingness to listen to and consider the perspectives of others. It is also important to be respectful and considerate in our interactions with others, and to approach discussions with the goal of finding common ground and working towards solutions rather than simply criticizing or dismissing the viewpoints of others.
Flagler Beach Webcam:
The Live Calendar is a compendium of local and regional political, civic and cultural events. You can input your own calendar events directly onto the site as you wish them to appear (pending approval of course). To include your event in the Live Calendar, please fill out this form.
Palm Coast City Council Workshop
Flagler County School Board Information Workshop
Flagler County School Board Meeting
NAACP Flagler Branch General Membership Meeting
Separation Chat: Open Discussion
The Circle of Light A Course in Miracles Study Group
Weekly Chess Club for Teens, Ages 9-18, at the Flagler County Public Library
For the full calendar, go here.
Quality is in the mind, not the machine. Someday we may have a computer on every desk in every school, but that won’t make us a nation of Shakespeares — or Newtons or Chopins or Jane Austens or Thomas Jeffersons, all of whom scaled the heights of excellence without the benefit of Windows 98. […] And that is lesson No. 1 in computer literacy: the computer contributes nothing essential to the life of the mind. No, not even all the information that comes gushing out of the World Wide Web. Remember, Shakespeare never needed to surf his way to www.traveleurope.net/verona.htm to write the play that made the city famous. Am I saying that computers might actually get in the way of significant intellectual work? Yes, I am, especially where children are concerned. Because even user-friendly machines are a barrier that need not be there between the kid and the idea. A child with a pencil in hand is ready to write. A child with a crayon in hand is ready to draw. A kid with a computer is ready to . . . begin a learning curve that starts with booting up, virus-checking, rebooting if the machine hangs, searching for misplaced files, undeleting lost files, arranging the desktop, rearranging the desktop, resizing and positioning windows, formatting, reformatting, downloading, uploading, clicking on menus and choosing fonts, unless, of course, a teacher does all that for the kids and creates the illusion that it’s easy to do. And once the machine is ready to work, there is all the whizzing, whirling distraction of a million Web sites to contend with. Computer enthusiasts tell us that the Internet brings children a “world of information.” And there’s the rub. Children simply do not need that much information to learn how to think or taste the joys of creativity. Not first of all. What they need are impassioned ideas to think with.
–From Theodore Roszak’s “Shakespeare Never Lost a Manuscript to a Computer Crash,” The New York Times, March 11, 1999.
Ray W. says
Is teaching via rote memorization so a child may pass an expected test on a particular day the best measure of educational achievement?
Is teaching via collaboration between a child and his or her teacher so a child may pass many unexpected tests on many different days the best measure of educational achievement?
Are these the fundamental questions Roszak explores in the blurb taken from his essay?
I am reminded of the goal of a liberal arts curriculum at the university level: To learn how to learn! That was the goal of the ancient Greek academies that produced the great philosophers. It was the goal of the Scottish Enlightenment era universities in colonial America that gave us so many of our founding fathers. It remains the goal of the best universities in America and around the world.
Teach a student to memorize a fact via rote memorization and the student might be able to answer a question in the future that has a known answer, if he remembers the taught fact. Teach a student how to learn and she just might attempt to answer questions in the future that do not yet have answers.
To me, “teaching to the test” is a relic from an time long before the Revolution that should never have been resurrected in Florida’s grade schools. That method of education had been rejected by the deans and presidents of American colleges and universities who had accepted the ideas of the Scottish Enlightenment prior to and during the Revolutionary War period that was prompted by a “Common Sense” movement; it is now known in academia as the Age of Reason.
As an example of the difference between learning by rote memory as opposed to learning how to learn, for decades, Florida’s judges read a standard jury instruction to all juries that the law required jurors to find a person guilty of the highest crime supported by the evidence in the record. Thus, if a person was accused of armed robbery with a knife and the prosecution failed to introduce evidence of the knife, the jury could still convict of robbery. If the prosecution failed to introduce evidence both of the knife and of force exerted during the course of the taking, then the jury could still convict of theft. Both robbery and theft are lesser included offenses to the crime of robbery, but jurors could choose only one of the two options.
But robbery belongs to a class of crimes known in the law as a codified compound common law crime, along with burglary, arson, sexual battery, etc. Today, robbery is usually made up of the crimes of theft and assault or battery. At common law, these three component offenses were usually misdemeanors, unless there were aggravating factors present, such as severe injury. By the time America became a nation, the common law had compounded the misdemeanor crimes together, making them felonies. Thus, an assault and a taking of property were misdemeanors compounded into a single felony.
Until Kenneth Stuckey took DVDs from a Sam’s Club in the Sanford area and later struggled with a security employee outside the store, the law allowed only one lesser included offense to be chosen by a jury, because robbery was a single crime and jurors were told to select the highest crime supported by the evidence. Smartly, his public defender asked the judge to instruct the jury on multiple lesser crimes, asking for petit theft and resisting a merchant. The trial judge denied the request. I handled the appeal. I had always thought that the law was correct and that jurors had to select the highest crime supported by the evidence, because that was how I read the instruction. However, the more I thought about it, it dawned on me that the standard jury instruction presupposed that all crimes are either higher or lower than each other. I began to think that the problem was whether lesser crimes can be equal in constitutional effect. Then, the idea began to form that codified compound common law crimes were unique, in that they might be compounds of multiple equal lesser crimes. I won the first appeal, but he was convicted again. During oral arguments on the second appeal (which a friend recently told me is still available on the 5th DCA website, as he watched it to prepare for a trial, which he won – I had helped him better understand the theory prior to his trial and told him the recording might still be up), the chief justice of the panel stated that his initial belief when he started reading my briefs was that everyone knew that jurors could select only one lesser included offense. After all, that had always been the law. He went on to state that the more he read and studied my argument, the more he thought I might be right. The assistant attorney general argued that my theory would open a Pandora’s Box, which I didn’t think was much of an argument at all, much less a legal argument, which triggered an impassioned reply, after which the chief justice cautioned me to start drinking decaf. The panel ultimately unanimously agreed with me, and a decades old standard jury instruction was changed. The standard jury instruction on lesser included instructions now carries a reference to Stuckey v. State and jurors can choose multiple lesser included offenses in codified compound common law crimes. If I simply accepted what I had been taught, by rote methodology, I would never have challenged what everyone else knew. But I was taught in a liberal arts university that I was there to learn how to learn, not just to regurgitate facts thrown at me by a professor.
When I defended what was then known as a Shaken Baby Syndrome murder prosecution, I began exploring the history of the syndrome. Medical papers began appearing in journals in the late ’60’s. By 1972, court cases began appearing across the country, including in Florida. For 30 years, it seemed as if no one in Florida challenged the admissibility of the syndrome, because there were no appellate opinions ruling on challenges to its admissibility into evidence under the Frye Standard. I filed an 85-page motion, participated in a four-day hearing, and successfully kept the syndrome out of the trial, as Judge Hammond ruled that the syndrome did not satisfy the Frye criteria. Ultimately, my client was found not guilty by a jury.
As a funny aside, when I received Judge Hammond’s order, I found that I could read it two different ways: one favorable to me and the other favorable to the State. I waited 30 days and filed a motion to clarify the ruling. At the hearing, Judge Hammond asked why I had filed the motion to clarify, stating that I had won the motion. The prosecutor jumped up and stated that he had won the motion. Judge Hammond, with his usual sense of humor, retorted that it was every judge’s dream to write an order that neither attorney understood. He then looked at the date of his order and told the prosecutor that he had lost the motion and that the time for his filing an appeal had passed.
To my knowledge, this is the only case in the State of Florida where an attorney actually challenged the syndrome and won. Since it wasn’t appealed, my theory will never be tested at the appellate level, but my job was to defend my client, not to set precedent for other attorneys to follow. I did my job and successfully defended my client.
Had I just accepted like so many others that the syndrome met the Frye standard, my client might have been convicted, but I was taught at a liberal arts university to learn how to learn, not just to memorize what others told me and regurgitate it on tests.
The Dolphins lost. Oh, well!
Do you use dictation software ? I’ve always assumed Mr. Tristam does. Just curious.
Anyway, re your comment: I heartily agree with you.
Most often, when considering most things, I almost always ask — compared to what? I wonder how many of my “fellow Americans” are even aware of this:
For myself, based on life in EU countries, I’d much prefer the civil law system. I suspect you may not agree.