Saturday, February 27, 2010

Historical Revisionism - US History As It Never Happened

The other week-end I conned my son and a buddy of his into driving up to Carmel with me to help my sister and her family move. On the Saturday night we were all hanging out together in the new house and I happened to pick up a textbook on US history that was lying around. My son's friend had brought it along to get some studying done - at least that was probably the idea.

As I started flipping through the pages, I noticed that I had never heard of many of the people who had been given prominent and significant real estate on the pages of each chapter. Not only that, but it appeared that American history had happened almost entirely without the involvement of the white male, and that any historical figure worthy of admiration had been a democrat. On the front cover, out of about 20 portraits of America's past, Ronald Reagan was the lone republican and his picture was down toward the lower left-hand corner of the page - probably squeezed in as an afterthought

I was particularly horrified by the chapter on World War II. Stalin, the guy who managed to kill around 24 million of his own citizens was practically glorified for 2 of the 3 paragraphs dedicated to him, discussing how he set about turning the Soviet Union into a model communist utopia, before it mentioned his brutal stranglehold over Russian society. Then there was an entire chapter on the Holocaust, which is a major event in history, to be sure - but it is not US history.

What I found most offensive, however, were the pictures chosen to represent the American GIs. There were two pictures of GIs in the book and in both pictures every single man was black. Even Rosie the Riveter was depicted as a black woman. Now there is nothing wrong with including pictures of black GIs per se - they were there too, they existed, fought and died right along with the rest of our boys - an accurate portrayal of our history would be incomplete without them. But I can imagine a reasonable person coming away with the impression that there were no whites in America at the time, or that America had sent black people to fight WWII for them.

Then there were the countless portrayals of insignificant women and minorities who were there simply because they were women and minorities and not because they had much to do with the shaping of events at the time. The book dedicates more material to Some Black Guy I've never heard of than to George Washington - you know, the "Father Of Our Country" and first president of the United States of America. In fact, Some Black Guy kicks off the chapter and it is not for 5 or 6 pages that we meet George - who shares a sidebar column with some other guy.

This book is not a history book, it is propaganda and it has no business being used around children. It is an insidious assault on the foundations of our society. Check your kids' history books - look at what they are teaching your children because what they are trying to do is to destroy love of country - thereby ultimately weakening the resolve to defend it.


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Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Case Of Aggressive Panhandling

What is the proper way to deal with aggressive panhandlers? If somebody asks you for money, are you obligated to fork it over? What if that somebody is demanding $50 from you, to pay for something that you have already given money to pay for?

Does one just smile and write out a check, figuring that $50 is a small price to pay to keep the peace and harmony in one's life? This is the situation a friend of mine is facing at the moment. In the end, she pulled out her checkbook and paid up, because she wanted to protect her son who has to spend his days with the panhandlers.

No, she doesn't send him out on the street to beg for money, his elementary school is demanding the money in the form of a pledge drive in which 100% participation is mandatory. A parent has taken it upon himself to harass all the other parents of the children in the class until they too, pledge money.

First there were multiple emails, then the phone calls started. One message informed her that a certain member of the office staff was waiting for her to bring the envelope by containing her pledge. She finally gave in when her son came home and told her that his parents were one out of three sets of parents that had not yet paid up. Don't think for a moment that he learned this in any sort of private setting - all of his classmates are wise to this bit of information as well.

Am I wrong to think that this is a few steps over the line? Especially these days, $50 can be a substantial amount of money - it can mean having water or electricity for the next month, or being able to pay that little bit extra on a high interest credit card to finally start to attack the principle. There were a few months there where all our bills were turning red and I didn't have $50 extra dollars. Not to mention the fact that my friend and her husband pay boom market property taxes which are supposed to pay for the schools.

My daughter went to private school and the administration there looked over our shoulders the entire time when we started fund raising for the senior prom to make sure we didn't put pressure on anyone or put them in a tight spot (Just call me Guido...).

I dunno, is this normal now in elementary school? Has anyone else had this kind of experience at a public school? I am interested to hear what people think, so by all means say your piece!


PS... More "Diary" later today, after I get some sleep.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I Oppose Harvey Milk Day

This is a Bill about to be voted on in California:

SB 572, as amended, Leno. Harvey Milk Day: official designation. Existing law requires the Governor to proclaim certain days each year for specified reasons. Existing law also designates particular days each year as having special significance in public schools and educational institutions and encourages those entities to conduct suitable commemorative exercises on those dates.

This bill would provide that the Governor proclaim May 22 of each year as Harvey Milk Day, and would designate that date as having special significance in public schools and educational institutions and would encourage those entities to conduct suitable commemorative exercises on that date.
The sole purpose of this bill seems to be to get access to kids in the public school system for furthering the political goals of the GLBT. Perhaps if there were a Harvey Milk Day, teachers will recommend that students read up on Harvey Milk, for example in this Biography: The Mayor of Castro Street: The Life and Times of Harvey Milk (Stonewall Inn Editions)The Mayor of Castro Street: The Life and Times of Harvey Milk.

Here is a page from this book:
"It is the intent of the Legislature that the exercises encouraged in this section be integrated into the regular school program, and be conducted by the school or institution within the amount otherwise budgeted for educational programs."
Maybe they can even have a guest speaker from NAMBLA.

This is what I think. Read the bill, the book, and then make up your own mind about whether this guy should be singled out and lauded every year in your kids' schools.


Update October 12, 2009: Well, we now officially have a Harvey Milk Day. I wouldn't give a hoot but for the real intent of this bill, which is to get at the kids in public schools so as to have a direct line for propaganda. I don't understand why people aren't up in arms about this. It's a wonder they aren't trying for a Polanski day, then they could just make it a day to honor pedophiles.

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