Jan 232012
 

Proud patriots! All of them. And none owned slaves*

January 23, 2012

I am not part of American history. My ancestors fought and toiled and help build this country into the superpower it is today. Two hundred years ago, slaves built this country on orders of men who claimed everyone was equal. The vast expanse of our nation was cleared of the indigenous populations to make room for a newly born democracy. The thousands who died so colonists would have free land are now remembered with shame. While America has many great qualities, its history is filled with blood and hypocrisy. It’s not that we can’t be better, but to ignore the past is to live a lie.

That lie, it seems, is preferred for the Tea Party. Go figure.


FRANKLIN by *INFPartist on deviantART

In Tennessee, the Tea Party is trying to remove all mentions of slavery and genocide from American history. Why? To make the Founding Fathers look good. According to the so-called patriots:

The material calls for lawmakers to amend state laws governing school curriculums, and for textbook selection criteria to say that “No portrayal of minority experience in the history which actually occurred shall obscure the experience or contributions of the Founding Fathers, or the majority of citizens, including those who reached positions of leadership.”

Fayette County attorney Hal Rounds, the group’s lead spokesman during the news conference, said the group wants to address “an awful lot of made-up criticism about, for instance, the founders intruding on the Indians or having slaves or being hypocrites in one way or another.

“The thing we need to focus on about the founders is that, given the social structure of their time, they were revolutionaries who brought liberty into a world where it hadn’t existed, to everybody — not all equally instantly — and it was their progress that we need to look at,” said Rounds, whose website identifies him as a Vietnam War veteran of the Air Force and FedEx retiree who became a lawyer in 1995.

Let that sink in. We want to tell the truth about our country’s history. But the truth is only whatever these clowns want to tell. “Truth,” then, is a purposely distorted view of history that leaves out parts the Tea Party doesn’t even contest are false. In the same breath where they whine about distortions, they want to leave out key facts they acknowledge to be true. I have written about this before, and I’m glad Tennessee is continuing the grand tradition Texas began of dumbing down education for the sake of politics and ideology.


WW2 – The Golden Age of Propaganda – No. 8 by ~violinmerchant on deviantART

There is, of course, a difference between “facts” and “truth.” A fact is a universally accepted piece of evidence. Was JFK shot? Yes. Did the Founding Fathers have slaves while they wrote “all men are created equal”? Yes. Do Michael Bay movies almost universally suck? That’s a given.

“Truth” is what you make out of the facts, and the more facts you have, the better the “truth” becomes. It was once truth that the sun revolved around the Earth. We worked with the fact that sun moved through the sky and we didn’t feel we were moving. Eventually, we learned more facts and the truth become more complex, culminating with our current cosmological models.

If we cut enough facts for convenience, we can make any argument.

Jeffrey Dahmer was a great cook persecuted for his unorthodox lifestyle.

Bush developed a strategy that good troops into the Middle East and secured much-needed oil, helping American businesses.

Stephanie Meyer wrote a series of books praised by millions.

Newt Gingrich would be a great president because he is charismatic and women love him.

That last one, by the way, has also been argued.

I wish I could stop being surprised at crap like this. I wish I could say I wasn’t shocked to hear that someone wanted to stifle actual education and replace it with a political agenda. The sheer blatant lie, the fact that the Tea Party wants to lie about history and is up-front about it because they don’t like what actually happened, shouldn’t shock me like this.

I guess that’s what I get for still having faith in my countrymen.

Let’s wash all that bad mojo with Liam Neeson fighting wolves. He truly can make anything ten times more awesome.

Dec 072011
 

Exposure to Net Gingrich may cause child endangerment and loss of progressive ideals.

December 7, 2011

Newt Gingrich has the kind of idealism and drive we really need to take us into the 19th century, doesn’t he?

In the last few days, he’s pretty much gone and said that the problem with America, the thing holding down the economy, is the lack of children working. Seriously. He’d like to fire all union janitors (you know, people with jobs) and replace them with children. Not only that, but those pesky child-labor laws prevent low-income children from working and helping their parents in a dire situation. For the cherry on the Sunday, his latest claim is that poor teens don’t have a work ethic. Poor people, in general, have no work ethic either, which is why they’re poor.

If you found yourself agreeing with anything Da Newt said, please leave right now. I may make you explode with my liberal rage.

Let me speak as someone who is at the bottom of the economic ladder.


Hundred percent,99Percent by ~M3ran on deviantART

I have a part-time job. It’s the only work I can find. We are expected to do full-time work on a part-time schedule and everyone I work with is over-worked and underpaid. But we do our job and we do it WELL. On occasion, when the work is available, I teach college courses and run workshops for students. I do freelance work when I can find it, but it’s nowhere near a steady income. I get up at six, sometimes five in the morning, to work on said freelance work. I get maybe $25 per article, and I write three to five articles a week. I also maintain this blog, another three to five articles a week there, work on my own writing in the hopes of getting published, and try to read as much as I can to better my skills.

I work a full day. I have a work ethic. Others in my economic bracket have a work ethic. Speaking on behalf of the Hispanic population at least, we have a damned good work ethic. The problem, and this is key, is that there ARE NO JOBS. Even though the private sector’s been getting better the last two years, the economy still has a long way to go.

This is kind of like blaming famine victims for dying because they just don’t have proper table manners. If only they knew how to properly sear a tuna steak and garnish a salad!


Famine by ~cloudminedesign on deviantART

If you are conservative, you should be appalled that this man is leading the running for the Republican Party. The GOP thinks that people who make a million dollars don’t have enough money, but people who make $20,000 a year and get by on government assistance have it TOO easy.

I’ll admit that we’ve gotten lazy as a country in many ways. Television, for the most part, sucks. We don’t read nearly as much as other people around the world. Fast food is preferred to actually cooking. If we can’t Google it, we probably won’t even bothering looking for a book to get it.

But we like money. We like having enough to survive and a little extra to go shopping, catch a movie, or save up for a big trip. When I worked in DC, I had to get up at 5:30 AM so I could be in the office by 7:30 AM. We clocked out at 6 PM most days, but if there was important legislation going through or other urgent matters came up, we stayed an extra hour or two, sometimes three. This was NORMAL even when Congress was NOT in session. And we weren’t paid much. In fact, we were paid peanuts compared to private sector jobs. I actually make more per hour working as a part-time tutor than I did working as a Congressional assistant.


Work ethic by ~ScottFalco on deviantART

Don’t tell me poor people don’t have a work ethic.

I have a damn good work ethic. Nearly everyone I know in my situation has a good work ethic. Five back-to-back tutoring sessions, a presentation, and on-the-job training? All in five hours? Sure thing.

It’s just that pricks like Gingrich and the rest of the GOP seem to think having money must mean you worked for every dollar. Did Gingrich somehow work a thousand times harder than I did last year? No?

Will all respect to Burt Gummer, is his head up his own ass for the warmth?

Let’s watch something less scary than the thought of Gingrich as President, shall we?