The Neverending Story

Title: “Reading Mastery – Level 2 Storybook 1”

Authors: Siegfried Engelmann and Elaine C. Bruner

Rank: 63,614

Blurb: “The book is part of the 31 volume Reading Mastery series published by the SRA Macmillan early-childhood education division of McGraw-Hill. It uses the Direct Instruction (DI) teaching method, which was originally developed by Engelmann and Wesley C. Becker.”

Review: “This is the stuff that makes great men so great. Should be required reading for leaders of men. Presidential material. I found it so rich and powerful that I had to take seven minutes to reflect and decide what to do next.”

Customers Also Bought: “The Great Derangement: A Terrifying True Story of War, Politics, and Religion”, by Matt Taibbi

Footnote: It’s the only 9/11 book you’ll ever need.

Reading Mastery [Fuck Amazon]

After seven minutes “for reflection,” what’s your bet on what the review author did next? Yes, I thought so.

@ManchuCandidate: It’s a story in this book, I think.

“The Pet Goat” (often erroneously called “My Pet Goat”) is a children’s story from the book Reading Mastery II: Storybook 1 by Siegfried Engelmann and Elaine C. Bruner. The book is part of the 31 volume Reading Mastery series published by the SRA Macmillan early-childhood education division of McGraw-Hill. It uses the Direct Instruction (DI) teaching method, which was originally developed by Engelmann and Wesley C. Becker. The story gained notoriety in 2001 after U.S. President George W. Bush continued reading the book with an elementary school class for seven minutes after being informed of the September 11 attacks.

Just watched the tail-end of Fareed Zhakaria’s interview with Donald Rumsfeld. Pretty astonishing. The two takeaways on Rumsfeld’s views:

1) The US is not spending enough on defense. We can spend a lot more, as evidenced by the fact that at one point in our history we were devoting 10% of GDP to defense spending.

2) Rumsfeld’s one regret is that post-9/11 we weren’t vocal enough about the treat of radical Islamic extremism.

The first claim is astonishing enough: sure US military spending as a % of GDP is lower than it was at the height of the Korean and Vietnam wars. But to point to those years as sustainable limits is absolutely absurd. Furthermore, while military spending as a % of GDP may have been higher then, in real, adjusted dollars, we are spending much more than we were even at the height of the Vietnam war graph and source. Furthermore, in recent decades, Federal receipts as a % of GDP have run about 18% of GDP source. So a 10% upper limit means spending up to 55% or so of Federal revenues on defense!

The second claim is just a joke. The notion that over the past 10 years the American people haven’t been subjected to a steady enough barrage of hysterical Phillipics warning us of the threat of “radical Islamic extremism” can only be held by: (1) an idiot (2) a liar (3) a full-time resident of Pluto’s moon Charon.

@JNOV: Takes away the fun of discovery if I’m too obvious about it.

@Serolf Divad: Truth is the first casualty of war memorials.

@Serolf Divad:

“a full-time resident of Pluto’s moon Charon.”

Can we send Cheney to join him? I would add Shrub, but I enjoy booing him during Texas Rangers games on TV.

@nojo: True

Can Pluto have a moon if it’s not a planet?

@JNOV: I think Saturn’s moon Titan has a satellite – whether it is properly called a moon I don’t know.

All these years, I thought My/The Pet Goat was a stand-alone classic of first-grade literature, and not part of an anthology. You learn something every day, I guess.

BTW: I’ve never figured out what happened to the goat. Anybody know?

Meanwhile: reading my dead-tree copy of The Nation, I find an ad for their cruise. The idea of going on a cruise is, oddly, appealing. But I’d never go because, if I wanted to be surrounded by old people, I’d go to church.

Still, the connection to The Nation might make it interesting enough. Talking politics on the Lido Deck with some —

No. Wait. “This year, The Nation welcomes members of Code Pink.” That’s members. Plural. I’d take odds on Medea (i.e., SUSAN) Benjamin (who has in fact confirmed) painting her hands and holding them up just as I walk up to the prime rib station.

No cruise. Sorry, Katrina. See you next decade.

How have I changed in the last 10 years? My patience for dirty fucking hippies has been totally exhausted. I mean, consciousness raising and guerilla theater are fine — but could you do something useful, please?

@chicago bureau: My/The

The Recovering Journalist in me wants to use The, but my gut screams My. Print the Legend, as a faux journalist says.

Hey Lefty, I’m going to the Tejas vs UCLA game next Saturday. I’ll take the Bruins if you’ll spot me 100 points.

@Walking Still: Ah.

bangbangshootemup at a bus stop on the way home. Bus driver freaked, and I missed my stop.

@chicago bureau: Did you read A Supposedly Fun Thing…/Shipping Out? Scroll down to Shipping Out, and you’ll see the pdf version that ran in Harper’s.

@chicago bureau: “but could you do something useful, please?”

Perhaps like not shut down a bridge? Fucking Medea/Susan Benjamin and the Code Pinkers were trying to shut down Golden Gate Bridge today by marching in the walkway/bikeway with ginormous peace signs and throwing big pink ribbons and pink shit on the windshields of those of us driving north on the bridge. People! I’ve got a lunch appointment in Sonoma! Outta my fucking way!

@Dodgerblue: I’m not going to be cocky. If ever the Longhorns could choke, it could be at Uklah.

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