Category Archives: American History

Loyalty Test: You Fail!

“NeverTrumpers are appealing to their conservative friends based on emotional claims that I recognize as false, deluded, and selfish.  One friend said, ‘Who wins the election does not matter as much as the need to vote one’s conscience.’  This statement is stunningly prideful and childish.  The voting booth is not a ride at Six Flags, and elections are not part of a consumer experiences.  The White House is not Burger King, where you get things your way.

Of course who wins the election is more important than your precious conscience or how you feel about voting.  Your country matters more than you do.”

Normally, this base-level attempt at manipulation would piss me off. But the thing is, I know that my life experiences are not typical. I know that most civilians don’t even think about veterans and service members when they throw insults around like “of course who wins the election is more important than you.”

Wait . . . what? Something bigger than me is more important?!  I never!  Well, except for that time I raised my right hand and solemnly swore: “I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same.”

So, yeah. Folks can throw insults about how “your refusal to ___insert loyalty test here         ” means you are deluded, selfish, proud and childish.

But if you’ve actually already signed on to the ultimate loyalty test, by having once taken the Oath of Office, well.  Attempts to guilt-trip you fall pretty flat.

Slight edits for compulsive need to polish style. Sorry bout that.


An Article Full of Fail

How so?  You may ask.

Let’s start with the title.

Obama: Romney would take health care back to 1950s

Even though I have no actual experience with the 1950s, my first thought is:  would that be bad?

Let’s assume that Obama is not claiming Romney would outlaw all medical breakthroughs discovered since 1959.  To assume otherwise wouldn’t be reasonable.  (Or would it?)

Also, to be fair, I am ignorant of the Bad Stuff (other than the Korean War) that happened in the 1950s.  So I may not be a good judge.  If, for example, the President had said, “Romney would take energy back to the 1970s,” well if taken at face value I would say, yikes.  That Romney fellow is no good!

But the 1950s?  Weren’t those the post-WWII boom years?  What’s wrong with going back to that?  In the ideal world, maybe we could go back to the pre-WWII era of health insurance.  (P.S. I can’t believe I just linked to an article co-authored by Ezekiel Emanuel.)

Let’s move on from the title, and look at the first sentence of this article.  “. . . Republicans would seek to strip away health care benefits for [women] and cut funding for contraceptive services.”

Surely this sentence suffers from a typo.  In order to be accurate, it should read like this:  “Republicans would seek to strip away health care benefits for [women] by cutting funding for contraceptive services.”

Ah, those slippery collectivists nowadays feel no embarrassment when their one concrete–albeit ridiculous–example is the only evidence available of a long list of alleged wrongdoing.  By the way, who is supposed to fund the contraceptives, and thus be responsible cutting the funding?  I thought those evil Catholic churches were supposed to do it.  How would Romney be in control of them in this wonderful nation which separates Church and State?

Nevermind.  On to sentence number two:  “Obama sought to draw a stark contrast with presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney, saying his rival intended to take his health care law and ‘kill it dead’ on the first day of his presidency and ‘get rid’ of Planned Parenthood.”

Ooh, looks like a case of projection here.  Perhaps the Left’s feelings on unborn children (“kill it dead,” “get rid”) are to blame?

Sentence number three is a doozy:  “They want to take us back to the policies more suited to the 1950s than the 21st century,’ Obama said, arguing that the decisions affecting a woman’s health are ‘not up to politicians, they’re not up to insurance companies, they’re up to you.’

Ugh.  I’m sorry.  Did Mr. Single-Payer-Universal-Healthcare-Coverage just try to say that a woman’s healthcare decision is up to her?  And not up to the provider?  Because when a government-mandated monopoly provides the service, well it won’t have any opinion on what must be provided . . . will it?


Okay, at this point I have to skip a few sentences so fluffy and boring that they don’t even warrant fisking.

Here’s the next quote screaming for clarification:  “Obama said women’s issues resonated with him because of his wife, first lady Michelle Obama, and his late mother.  The president said he wanted to ensure that Mrs. Obama ‘has control over her health care choices’ and noted that his mother would have been 70 this year had she not died from cancer nearly two decades ago.”

Clearly his wife and mother make women’s issues “resonate” with Obama.  Because his wife and mother are women.

How exactly does empathy with females make you a better candidate?

Oh yeah.  It doesn’t.  Especially when spouses have expensive habits.  That’s why Obama must rely on the debunked claim that his mother’s death was caused by the failure of an insurance company.

(P.S.  Debunked = Fail.)

Now we get to the really meaty part of the article’s failure:  “The president was introduced by Sandra Fluke . . . . Fluke gained notoriety after conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh called her a slut because she supports the Obama health care law’s requirement that insurance companies cover contraception.”

I love this particular bit of journalistic fail because it admits the larger failure of the leftist powers-that-be:  without conservative attention, darlings of the left like Fluke would remain unnoticed.

Seriously. Look at the quote.  The article is AP, and it plainly doesn’t state that Fluke gained notoriety by being an advocate of reproductive justice.  Or that she gained notoriety by speaking in Congress.  She gained notoriety by getting called a slut by Rush Limbaugh.  Still, the dunces of the left actually thought this transgression would shut Limbaugh down.

Whew.  No more fisking.  The hour has grown late.  Here’s the article if you’d like to deconstruct the rest.  Greg Gutfeld artfully concludes this post, by juxtapositioning Sandra Fluke with Rachel of the viral Chick-fil-A video featuring that chucklehead who got himself fired.

Totally worth your precious viewing minutes.  And if that’s not enough Leftist Failure to satisfy your appetite, try the offerings at Twitchy:  #Obedience!


Very Interesting Time Capsule

Did you know about the big budget anti-federal debt commercial directed by Ridley Scott?

I certainly missed it.  The lovely Roxy discovered it recently.  (Please go see her to view the video; she has lots more info on the group behind it.)

Do you know what is so striking about the ad?  It was made in 1986.

Watching it now is rather nostalgic.  Two trillion dollars of debt.  Peanuts!  Ha ha ha, uh . . . hmm.  Yeah, it’s maybe not so funny.

Even more interesting is this old news clip about how the networks refused to air it:

It’s a powerful reminder that things may not be so bad as we fear today.  Sure, 14 trillion, yeah, scary.


At least it’s not 1986.  There was no Rush.  No AM Conservative Talk Radio.  No FOX.  No internet.  No YouToobz.  No blogosphere.  No Tea Party.

The Big Three Networks had total control of the message.  The ad was “too controversial.”  Bwa ha ha!  They just didn’t agree with the message.  So the message didn’t get out.

No wonder the MSM has been going into apoplectic convulsions over “right-wing extremists.”  My goodness, it sucks to lose power.

So I’ll take the $14 trillion debt today over the $2 trillion in 1986, given this changing power dynamic.

I think.  Ask me again in a few months, will you?

Digital Existential Angst

Via The Looking Spoon is the Bill Whittle video, “The End of The Beginning.”  This video is the best I’ve seen from Mr. Whittle since Iconography.

Basically, he argues that only been three meta-changes have occurred in civilization’s entire history.  He says that we are witnessing the third meta-change right now, and that’s why everything seems so crazy.

I needed to hear that today.  Lemme tell you why, and then I’ll get back to the meta-change thing. 

I am a stress monkey. 

Virtually anything, and sometimes even nothing at all, can provoke anxiety.  No posting for a few days:  stress.  Being unable to get everything done in a day:  stress.  I’ll stress over the way I stress if I think about it much longer.  Is it rational?  No.  But I’m old enough to recognize that it’s not magically going away just because we declare it silly.

Today, reading Da Tech Guy’s “Wonkette Incident” slightly horrified me.  The awful, awful comments.  What is wrong with people?   Then, I immediately walked into yet another awkward Facebook situation.

Facebook can be a minefield.  Frequent moving creates many long-distance friendships. Most of these people never heard boo from me on politics when we interacted face-to-face.  While no one has come out and said it, some of them probably think a body-snatcher now inhabits my body.  After all, one day–without explanation–I began vomiting political links and opinions onto the news feed.  Two years later, still vomiting.

The majority say nothing.  A few folks appreciate the links.  A few unfriended me.  Sometimes, there is sarcasm.  Worst of all:  the vague statements.  Was that sarcasm?  Do I respond?

I’m not trying to annoy all the people I’ve befriended over the course of my life.  I don’t want to upset anyone.   And I certainly don’t want digital swarms of angry leftists buzzing all over the ‘net about me and my blog, like they just did to Da Tech Guy.

What the hell am I doing this for?

Well, the video embedded below reminded me.  Oh, yeah.  This nation went totally crazy town while me and my family were overseas.  We get back home, turn on the radio, and I’m like, what?  The government owns GM?  Bailing out financial institutions?  Passing humongous bills without reading them?  Even crazier was the way no one seemed to notice.  They need to notice.  All the blogging, all the FB vomiting, started because no matter how much I hate the fray, I feel obliged to elbow my way into it. 

Thank goodness for the local Tea Party.  I am not the only one noticing the crazy train chugging to crazy town!  Whew! 

Back to Bill Whittle’s meta-change:

“We are now going from being ‘company men,’ to becoming dispersed, decentralized, independent, interconnected, free agents, because the industrial age is coming to a close, as the information age takes its place.  And all of our economic structure is once again going back to being horizontal, independent, light, fast, agile, decentralized, local, smaller, cheaper.  The old dinosaurs may totter for a while, but they will eventually fall.”

I sure hope he’s right.  If you’ve got the nine minutes, the whole thing is well worth it:

Thanks, Mr. Whittle.  I feel much better.  Now I remember the other reason to blog.  Essay writing is terrible fun.

He produces these videos over at Declaration Entertainment.  Support ’em if ya can.

Reality Checks

Ever catch yourself assuming that someone will have roughly the same perspective or knowledge as you? 

I do. 

Here are recent examples for your enjoyment.

Case #1:  We bloggers love to beat up on The New York Times.  After all, shooting fish in a barrel is both easy and fun.

The other day provided a reminder, however, of the way many folks view stuff like The New York Times.

While I was checking-out at the Walgreens, a lady breezes in and asks my cashier, “Do you sell the New York Times here?”

“No, I’m sorry but we don’t.”

The lady looked mildly annoyed and breezed on past us.

What does she want with the New York Times anyway? I scoffed to the cashier.

“I know,” she agreed.  “What is that anyway, some kind of a magazine?”


Case #2:  My older (now nine!) son is preparing a speech for school, about a historical black person.  He chose Lee Archer, a name I would not know without my son’s influence. 

His practice version had very little background but loads of details, something like this: 

LT Archer was one of the Tuskegee Airmen, and the only ace, and once he was in a major dogfight between the 332nd Redtails and a swarm of ME-109s over Lake Balaton, and he and his leader were known as the Gruesome Twosome because they were so deadly, and they had six successful downs that day . . . .

Wait a minute, kid.  Do you think anybody in your class has heard of the Tuskegee Airmen, or ME-109s, or Lee Archer?

No, he responded.

You have to explain some of the basics first, kid.  It’s not like your speech is about someone everybody knows, like President Obama or Oprah Winfrey (two of many choices offered on a helpful list his teacher provided).

He wrinkled his brow and looked puzzled.  Who is Oprah Winfrey?

Hah.  Nevermind son.  She ain’t important.  And neither is the New York Times.

Maybe The Stuff In That Third Grade Textbook Isn’t So Interesting, After All

This post is fourth in a series that started with “Interesting Stuff In Third Grade Textbook.”  In that post, I describe my concern over a social studies book the teacher sent home for make-up work.

My second post contains some online information about the first seven persons listed as authors:  “The Authors of The Interesting Stuff In My Third-Grader’s Textbook.”

Then, my kind readers educated me on the whole textbook authoring process.  Turns out, the word “author” doesn’t mean they actually wrote the thing.  I mean, as if.

So I had to write “Textbook Post #3.”

Over the holidays, I took the next natural step in this little book investigation.  I tried to read it.

What a total Lunesta-fest.

I digested over one-third of the book, and I gotta call it quits.  The holiday is over, and the textbook has gotta go back to school.

Out of the roughly 170 pages I read, the six-page assignment that started this whole affair is among the most controversial.

The rest is mostly boring.  Look up the word “banal” in your dictionary, and you’ll see a picture of this textbook.  The definition says it all:  “something so lacking in originality as to be obvious and boring.”

Yep.  That about sums it up.

They use this book regularly in class.  I asked my son whether he could remember anything, absolutely anything at all, from this book.

“I remember about Jane Addams, and I learned that we are not a nation of immigrants, we are descended from immigrants.”

What else?

Nothing.  He couldn’t remember anything but the stuff I critiqued.

A lot of the information is rudimentary to the extreme.  For example, one page is devoted to answering the question:  what is a globe?  Another page is a critical look at why islands communities are different from other communities.  (Can you guess why?  Huh?  Can ya?)  The book thoroughly addresses that complex process of separating things into different groups. 

To be fair, sometimes it is the more basic questions which stump us:

One positive thing I can say is, the textbook is aptly named (“Communities”).  That term was repeated over and over and over.  The pages are chock-a-block with comically obvious or empty statements like:

A community is a place where people live, work, and have fun together.

People make communities special places to live.

There are many kinds of communities in the United States.

Communities are located in special places.

There are communities all over the world.

Communities around the world are alike and different.

Communities are alike in some ways and different in other ways.

When you compare communities, you can understand more about the people who live in them.

Suburban communities have grown and changed over the years.

People form communities because they want to be safe and comfortable.

Each community has its own special culture.

Each community is special in its own way.

People in a community may come from different places.

Celebrations are important to every culture.

Communities have celebrations.

A community’s location, climate, and natural resources affect the people who live there.

Have I tortured you enough?  No?  Then let me share my personal favorite:

Children are very important in Africa.  Children are the future of the continent.

Well, yeah.  Okay.  Hopefully, children are the future of all the continents, though.  Except maybe for Antarctica.

Some of the more objectionable tidbits were located in Chapter Three:  People Move From Place To Place, A Progressive Primer For Training Children To Accept Illegal Immigration When They Grow Up.

Like this one:

Laws help make a community a good place to live.

Because all laws are helpful, dontcha know.

The idea of private property gets an interesting treatment in Chapter Seven:  Communities and Their Histories, Like The European Community That Believes In Ownership, and The Native American Community That Believes In Sharing Just Like John Lennon’s Beautiful Song Imagine.

I can’t write much more.  I tried to muster up a little more alarm, but the tedious verbiage has hoovered all concern right out.  I’ll conclude with a confession:  I did learn something.  I had never heard of William Levitt before encountering his biography in Chapter Two.

The Authors of the Interesting Stuff in my Third Grader’s Textbook

A company called Pearson publishes the Scott Foresman textbook used in my third-grader’s class, “Communities.”

I posted about this textbook recently, and I mentioned research on the authors of this book.  Here are the results of this research:

Valerie Ooka Pang has written a book about the unmet needs of Asian Pacific American children.  She teach courses in multicultural education, social studies methods, curriculum & instruction, and social foundations.  She is interested in culturally meaningful teaching.

Rita Geiger is currently a trainer for lessons on the First Amendment.  She recently spoke at an event entitled, “Mean Speech:  Emotion + Words and the First Amendment.”  At this event, attendees discussed whether a lack of civility in our political discourse is eroding our First Amendment values.

(Huh.  What does civility have to do with freedom of speech?)

Sara Miranda Sanchez is a specialist in early childhood education.  She is recognized as a national leader in multicultural education teacher training.

Dr. James B. Kracht serves as Director of the Texas Social Studies Center for Educator Development.  He has recently written about educators moving in a new direction, towards “authentic assessment,” as an addition to traditional testing.

No, I do not know what “authentic assessment” is, even after reading the article.  Follow the link and see if you can suss it out.

Candy Boyd is an educator, activist, and novelist.  Educating people about their positive potential is her priority. As a high school student, she tried to stop blockbusting in her native Chicago by convincing an African American, a Jew, and a Protestant to join her in personal visits to two hundred white families.  She worked as an organizer for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. When she earned her degree she became known, in her own words, as a “militant teacher.”

C. Frederick Risinger is a Director of the School of Education at Indiana University.  One of his publications is entitled, “Women’s Issues in an Era of Inclusion.”

Finally, Geneva Gay is a Professor of Education at the University of Washington, where she teaches multicultural education and general curriculum theory.

(What’s General Curriculum Theory?  A degree that proves you have spent considerable time and money to demonstrate you know how to teach and you understand current educational theory.  What’s Current Educational Theory?  Oh, I dunno, I give up.)

Geneva Gay has some very interesting quotes on the webz.  Unfortunately, these quotes are not backed up by verifiable sources.  Flippin’ hearsay. 

With that caveat in mind, here is the first statement:

In 1996, Geneva Gay of the University of Washington said at a National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME) conference workshop that multiculturalist education demands the destruction of the American political and economic system.  She urged educators to be cautious about revealing their goals to the public, however.

Finally, Geneva Gay is claimed to have said:

“That a core problem is we don’t have a language to critique the social structures that bind us.  ‘English,’ she continued, ‘is the enemy of social justice and equality.’

Wow.  Makes me feel like Glenn Beck, finding statements like these.  Remember, however, that these quotes are unconfirmed hearsay.


A crack team of multiculturalists, aren’t they?  No wonder my kid is learning about the immigrant who painted a depiction of Washington crossing the Delaware, instead of actually learning about Washington crossing the Delaware.

UPDATE:  The heavens have parted, and the sun’s rays have shone down on my little bitty blog while an angel chorus sings softly, “Innn-staaah-laaaaaaaaache . . . .”

Thank you, Glenn Reynolds.

Gosh, do Instalanches make anyone else nervous?

UPDATE #2:  A personal defense of one author has served as a reminder that I do not know these people personally, and thus I should keep snark to a minimum.  Consequently, I have removed a joke about the name “Texas Social Studies Center for Educator Development.”