I wasn't about to waste an egg on this. I like eggs.
February 3, 2012
You know that stereotype that you have to be really dumb to be racist in a world as connected as ours? That it takes a really thick skull to not accept that we are all more alike than different? Even better, there’s my theory that you have to be purposefully ignorant to vote Republican when the entire party’s mission is to give more money to rich.
We now have proof that not only are conservatives dumb, but racists are also dumb. And we did science!
It seems a new study shows that low IQs are linked to racism and conservatism. Let’s make one thing clear, though: IQ tests are very controversial. They don’t account for cultural or socioeconomic background. That being the case, I should also point out that it’s almost impossible to completely account for every variable in a study dealing with people over such a long stretch of time.
However, it looks as though the researchers did a pretty good job, and they’re not claiming that all conservatives and racists have low IQs. I think this gentleman here put it best. Correlation is not causation. It’s too early to tell if a low IQ really does link to conservatism and racism, but for me, I’ll take it.
What? I’m ignoring the scientific method in order to broadcast my own beliefs about someone? Have I gone over to the dark side?!
No. I’ve lived. I’m basing this on my own first-hand experiences.
One of the early articles on this site explained that most liberals had a college degree. This, conservatives claimed (and still claim) meant that universities were indoctrinating students into a liberal mindset. Another likely explanation, though, is that an education and being forced to live and work with people of varied backgrounds help people to be more open-minded. Exposure to new ideas allows us to see that there are more than just simple answers to complex problems. From my experience, such an environment can change a conservative into a liberal, or at least make a conservative more centered.
The crux of the explanation is that a low IQ can translate into low critical thinking skills. Lacking such skills, someone tends to gravitate towards simple solutions and simple worldviews. Conservatism and racism both offer the easy view that things are the way they are or entire groups of people can be classified by a few simple stereotypes.
We need to defund Planned Parenthood because they do abortions (even though abortions are a tiny percentage of the health care Planned Parenthood provides to women who can’t afford that healthcare otherwise).
Lack of critical thinking is a terrible thing, but the Right’s actually turned it into a positive trait to have. Don’t go to college. Don’t read liberal websites. Don’t think about it too much. Be as the children. Also, don’t expose the children to any new information or else they’ll start question the beliefs we’ve forced on them.
Does a low IQ mean you’ll be conservative or racist? Not necessarily. But it helps.
See you all on Monday, and don’t forget to visit the Youtube channel, share those videos, and keep sharing links!
Let’s all now share some Jason Statham playing the same character he’s played in 95% of his movies.
I’ve fought the good fight here on Randomology. I’ve battled the nitwits and the stupid, the racist and the close-minded. I’ve pushed back against those who would hijack education, the Constitution, and twist the idea of progress into something awful. I’ve ranted against those who likewise hijack religion in the name of ratings or fame.
But when you go after Sesame Street, you better believe I will FUCK YOU UP. I grew up with Sesame Street. Sesame Street helped me learn English. I loved the Muppets growing up, and if you grow balls big enough to go after Jim Henson and this pure, fun, educational part of my childhood, I will personally rip your spleen out through your knee.
Behold the wisdom of going after puppets. No, really. Just watch the video and see how these guys can see the Mongol-like invasion of progressivism in… Elmo teaching kids letters.
Now, maybe you watched the video, but maybe you didn’t. That’s fine. Let me go over a few of the more… interesting points they try to make regarding Sesame Street and the media in general.
0:36-0:51 Sesame Street was created to cater to poor black and Hispanic children who didn’t have reading material at home.
…And? What’s wrong with originally catering to sections of the population that traditionally lag behind in education? I would think this is a good thing. Blacks and Hispanics usually lag behind in education, and this isn’t a stereotype. Research throughout the years have shown this. This is due to a number of reasons, everything from inadequate resources to troubled home life.
And yes, I myself am Hispanic, and while I didn’t have these kinds of problems, the show helped me.
0:51-1:26 Sesame Street’s website tells parents to use gender-neutral nouns, give dolls to boys and trucks to girls, and just this year, an openly gay boy was crowned prom queen in a school in Virginia, so this is a “direct assault on this country’s moral foundation.”
Okay, this string of accusations has three parts, so let’s go through each individually.
First of all, using gender-neutral pronouns isn’t some subversion of morality. It’s the inevitable result of both genders being equal. Do these two clowns have something against equality? Even MLA and APA handbooks say you should use gender-neutral nouns. However, this being Fox, I doubt they’d know the standards of journalism.
Second of all, could someone please tell me where on the Sesame Street website these evolutionary throwbacks found that little piece of information?
And third of all, this thing with a gay man being voted prom queen? How exactly does Sesame Street link back to this? This is really the point of the clip where the discussion goes into generalities and strawmen, but let’s pretend that this has nothing to do with Sesame Street. Let’s say they’re just outraged that the media in general is saying that a gay man can be prom queen.
I guess these are the kinds of people who would also be upset over two lesbians going to prom. The school voted and the kid won. Fair and square. And it was an affirmation that the student body embraced this young man’s decision. Just watching him and how proud he was of his friends and family speaks volumes.
1:37-2:14 “The values of young people today scare me because we’re robbing them at earlier and earlier ages of their childhood. They know more. They do more.” Our shows used to be more wholesome, and parents aren’t monitoring what their kids are watching.
The children! They invoked the children!
And if you too would like to know how you can tell people to stop using children as a shield for their own ignorance, just click here.
So many things wrong here… What, exactly, is Sesame Street taking from our children? Just read that quote again. The panel is actually mad that children are LEARNING. That’s right. They don’t want children learning things like reading and math or about other cultures. God forbid little Timmy learns that in Mexico, they use a lot of spices and have different kinds of limes.
As for the whole “wholesome” shows thing… as much as I loved I Love Lucy and similar programming… Lucy smoked while she was pregnant. Everyone smoked. Aside from Ricky, name another visible, independent minority. Please. Show me the episodes where they addressed things like racism, inequality, and the rights of women. Show me when the Cleavers had to deal with an unwanted pregnancy.
And don’t even get me started on The Honeymooners.
Yeah, the shows were “wholesome,” and I’ll admit they were funnier than half the crap on TV right now, but don’t hold them up as ethical and moral beacons.
2:15-2:26- Artists are liberal, and artists make these shows, so…
Now, our former Miss America got cut off, but if you listen carefully, it sounded like she was going to make a case for “Artists make and write these shows, artists are liberal, and therefore, since we know liberals are evil, these shows are evil.”
I got news for you, Spray Tan. Artists made those shows you and the Right-Wing Brigade were pushing up a few minutes ago. Yeah, artists tend to be more liberal and open minded. We have to be.
But the politics or personality of the artist have no merit on the aesthetics of the art itself. Let me put it another way.
I hate Michael Bay. The guy is a diva who is full of himself and can’t take the blame for his own mistakes. On the other hand, The Rock happens to be one of my favorite 90’s action movies. Not surprising, since Bay made it before he apparently replaced his blood with pure testosterone and diesel fuel. Likewise, H. P. Lovecraft created tales of morbid and alien terror, yet he was an unapologetic racist. On their own, though, the stories created an entire sub-genre: Lovecraftian horror.
Oh, and may I just say that, when you want in-depth commentary on the state of the media, education, and child psychology, your first choice for a panelist should ALWAYS be a former Miss America, right?
2:27-2:54 If you look at tyrannies, the first thing they do is go after the family and religion. Then, government can become the family and religion.
Again, this has nothing to do with Sesame Street, but let’s ignore that.
How is the media going after family and religion? Can we get examples? Specific shows and incidents? No. All we get are generalizations. The fact is that if you want to make the case for the media destroying families and religion, it’s not because television is preaching against it. It’s more likely that parents aren’t paying attention or being involved with their kids. Religion does not address the issues it needs to address.
I would never raise a child just on Sesame Street, or any other show or book. That’s called bad parenting, so stop blaming the television for parents not doing their job.
2:54-3:15 Liberals think they’re so great, that their morality is so good, and they want to spread their message. They don’t even teach the basics in school like reading, writing, and math! They don’t even use their own money to get their message out.
Yeah, we like to think we’re right. We want to get our message out. So does the right. This is really just Hannity mad that liberals have the balls to say what they believe. I’m serious. He’s just ranting that the Left has the gall to try and spread its message as though it’s some instant thought-converter.
And Hannity, how much of YOUR money do you spend to get your message out? How much does Beck spend? Beck was crying about this Israel trip of his costing a few million dollars even though he is worth $80 million. Even if he spent only 10 million dollars, he could fly more than 2,000 people there for free.
The rest of the video is just ranting against how liberals supposedly don’t have their own charities, how there’s apparently between rich liberals and the American elite that involves some weird word-play on Hannity’s part, and Sesame Street is never mentioned again.
There are legitimate concerns about children’s programming. I know this, but at least make a substantial argument. I’m very protective of Sesame Street because it really did play a big part in my childhood, although seeing the raging liberal that I am today, I may have proven the panel’s point.
Sesame Street is one of the best educational tools for young children. Combine it with good parenting, and kids get a lesson at home they might not otherwise get. It’s a great tool for learning English for foreign-born kids, and it’s evolved throughout the years to show a more multi-cultural, open society.
And if anyone goes after Sesame Street, Oscar, Gonzo, or any of the Muppets without some actual justification, I will go after them with extreme violence. Napalm may be involved.
Remember: The Ministry of Truth is watching you to make sure you learn only party-approved facts.
April 12, 2010
The article regarding Texas’ change in history and social studies books got a lot of attention from regular readers and others who only read that one article after it was forwarded to friends of friends and others in the educational field. Recently, though, I got into a bit of a debate on Facebook about some of the points in the article.
The mighty battle raged across the internet. Entire forums fell before the apocalyptic clash of ideas. Fields of code burned while we fought an intellectual battle with every weapon at our disposal. A valkyrie flew over us and waited to take the fallen to the glory of Valhalla…
At least, that’s how I want to remember a spat over several Facebook posts that I actually got so involved in that I kept waiting for this guy’s responses. Sometimes I swear the internet is like cocaine-laced chocolate served by Salma Hayek.
Anyway, my opponent raised several points, but he failed to convince me, and for good reason. They’re some of the same points I’ve heard throughout college and in many debates over what to teach students. On the surface, some of these arguments made me pause… except that I quickly remembered why they were wrong.
Keep in mind that these are paraphrased from the original discussion.
1) If you don’t like the school, just send your kid to another school.
Sorry, but no dice. This assumes that every family can afford private school or home-schooling. Even if you moved a student to another district, this won’t change the curriculum since ALL public schools must follow the same rules and teach the same things the state mandates. Even if, somehow, you have the option and the will to just move to another state with better standards, these changes in the Texas textbooks will leak into other states in the next few years anyway.
It’s like trying to escape a zombie plague by moving to another town. Eventually, the brain-eating aberrations are going to come after you.
2) People are smarter than you give them credit for. When faced with lies and propaganda, people can think critically and make their own informed decisions.
Propaganda is dangerous because it mixes lies with truth and half-truths. When you appeal to a person’s emotions first, then back it up with facts, you’ve already led that person to a predetermined decision. Thinking critically is useless if you don’t have the right information. It’s as simple as that. If you were to raise a generation of students on the fertilizer-worthy material in the new Texas curriculum, you could have the wisest of the wise, real Doogie Howser/ Einstein clones, but if they’re cooking with urinal cakes, you can’t make much.
Learning the “truth” later becomes a struggle. People who fervently believe Obama was born outside the United States, for example, hold on to that belief so much that even after it’s been proven by third parties that he was born in this country, they refuse to believe it. Their reality is different, so anything that conflicts with that reality must be fake.
3) People like you are just as bad as the Texas Board of Education. You believe you know how others should raise their children. The other side probably thinks your kids are just as brainwashed.
I’m going to award half a point for this one. I do, in fact, believe I know how others should raise their children. Parents need to raise children that can function within society and can grow into productive adults. The purpose of school is to teach a broad group of students something they can use in the real world. It is not to promote agendas or teach people what to think, but how to think.
As for brainwashing, the term specifically applies to mind control, the unethical coercion of a person in order to make him or her believe something. Essentially, the person has lost the choice. Whether it’s parents or teachers, no one has the right to force a belief on anyone else. If we present a broad, accurate depiction of events, we can analyze, debate, and argue the point.
We cannot argue, for example, whether or not the United States actually dropped a nuke on Japan. Willfully denying information and misleading a child is evil.
Yes, I said it.
It’s evil. By taking away the ability to choose by using false information, you have taken away the most basic freedom. Without choice, everything else falls apart. So, yes, I do believe I know how people should raise their kids. Be honest with them. If you have to lie to make them believe something you believe in, look at your own beliefs first.
4) Fighting for federal standards like this is just like fighting for Big Brother’s Ministry of Truth. It’s ALL propaganda.
Again, I’m not advocating liberal OR conservative teaching of history. I’m advocating a free forum where someone with an education imparts facts onto students, then teaches students how to analyze those facts and come to their own conclusions. Going back to the example above, I once took a class whose sole purpose was the debate of whether the United States was justified in dropping two nukes on Japan.
No one in the class debated the facts. Some were contested facts, such as reports before the attack that said nuking Japan was unnecessary. After the war, other reports came out claiming the nukes were necessary to save millions of American lives. These reports are real. What we had to figure out, as historians and students, was whether there was any racial bias against the Japanese. Did the second reports come out after the fact as justification? Where they simply adjusted figures based on new intelligence?
A bad class would have been one in which we were simply told we had to drop the bomb. End of story. A good class is one where the act is mentioned.
Christopher Columbus discovered the Americas after the Vikings beat him to it. This act also led to the genocide of the natives. All facts, all relevant. No mention of Columbus’ intents. If there are records from the man himself on what he wanted to do, a teacher could use these, but facts are facts.
I do, however, want to point something out. This mentality that schools indoctrinate students into certain ways of thinking is much more prevalent in the social and art programs. Science courses such as physics, biology, chemistry, and such don’t have this because their disciplines must, by their very natures, change with new information and emotion has no bearing on scientific observations. English and philosophy, for example, can be highly subjective. Even if one person believes the Earth is a few billion years old and another thinks it was made in six days, both scientists will agree that water is composed of hydrogen and oxygen.
As an aside, bringing up the Ministry of Truth when I want schools to show facts is akin to saying I’m like Ghengis Khan because I give to the Salvation Army. The Ministry of Truth was involved with the willful alteration of records to present political ideology in a positive light. It changes facts and presents a narrative that paints the world a certain way.
5) You can’t present ALL the ideas. Do you devote 50% of the time to the religious ideology and 50% to the secular? How much time do you devote to Buddhism, Druidism, or Islam?
Once again, I am not saying that we need to teach students everything. No university would make the claim its English department covers all possible aspects of literature. No Physics department would claim to cover every specialization from particle physics to quantum theory.
It’s not a question of devoting time to every argument and ideology because, quite frankly, not every ideology is equal in its impact on American society. Christianity, for example, should be heavily discussed because it has had a profound impact on many aspects of American society and is a driving force in modern politics. I doubt a history class, though, would spend too much time covering things like Shintoism or Druidism. While these may be mentioned and briefly explained, in the context of American history, they have not been as prominent as other movements.
Again, you can study these once you reach an academic level where you specialize in such groups, but a public school cannot go over everything. No one is advocating such a thing. What I want is a comprehensive overview, and the ideas that do get presented are presented because of the tangible effect they have on society. It’s not a popularity contest.
6) Debating what the government should teach children does very little to actually educate children, but it does line the pockets of politicians and unions.
Wrong. Debating what public schools teach children is at the CORE of educating children. We have a system in place that says that all children must attend school. Why? Because we believe school, education, the learning facts and the knowledge to apply said facts and think critically are important traits. What and how these kids get taught is the FIRST thing we need to decide. Still think it’s a waste of time?
I think we should stop voting for representatives in Congress because those elections don’t pass laws. I also think we shouldn’t go the doctor because that consult doesn’t instantly cure my headache.
7) It’s indoctrination, no matter how way you shape it. You just want to indoctrinate them to what you want to do.
Actually… I do. I want to indoctrinate them into the Church of Use Critical Thinking to Analyze Reality in an Unbiased Manner Before Making Knee-Jerk Reactions, or CUCTARUMBMKJR.
We’re still working on the name.
This kind of argument assumes that everything has a political point of view, but science isn’t about philosophies and who you vote for. It seeks to describe. That’s it. When Darwin proposed the theory of evolution, he didn’t do it from some radical anti-religion agenda. The observations he made in the Galapagos Islands led to a new branch of science that explains speciation, adaptation, and provides a history of life on this planet that excludes the Garden of Eden.
I’ve said it a dozen times now, but a school is not a place for political indoctrination. There are, however, several unavoidable facts. The Catholic Church engaged in crusades against unbelievers. Democrats failed to successfully use their majority in Congress over the last few years to pass significant reform. Radical Islam uses terror tactics both in the Middle East and here at home.
All facts… and they must be discussed in context and with an appropriate respect for academic discussion. A good educator cannot presume to give his or her take on the ideologies involved. I’ve been asked for my take on certain topics during class, and if I decide it would serve a purpose such as providing a particular perspective for an essay, I share my point of view with the very clear understanding that it is an opinion and they are in no way obligated to agree with me.
When I say that I am against the changes in the Texas curriculum, it’s not because I want a liberal view of history. That would be equally terrible. I want students to have enough information and the right training to critically think about the issues. If they change their minds and become liberal, fine. If they think on all the facts and remain where they are, at least they were given the choice to look at as many ideas as possible.
Basically you can tell me that Jesus was betrayed by one of his apostles. Like Dylan once said, though “You’ll have to decide whether Judas Iscariot had God on his side.”
Observant readers will note a recurring joke of mine is to mock anyone who brings up the innocence of children as an argument for censorship or any other type of control over ideas. The children are blank slates, these people say. We must protect their innocence, their big, cartoon-shaped eyes, and little ruffled heads from the harsh truths and evil of the world lest they sodomize the family dog.
First of all, what do these people mean by “innocent?” The dictionary.com definition states that innocence is:
1) the quality or state of being innocent; freedom from sin or moral wrong.
2) freedom from legal or specific wrong; guiltlessness: The prisoner proved his innocence.
3) simplicity; absence of guile or cunning; naiveté.
4) lack of knowledge or understanding.
5) harmlessness; innocuousness.
7) an innocent person or thing.
8 ) bluet.
9) blue-eyed Mary.
Definitions #6 through #9 are useless for this debate since no one is forcing children to have sex, #7 refers back to the original word, and #8 and #9 are about flowers. #1 talks about the freedom from sin or moral wrong, but if you haven’t made mistakes, you haven’t lived. The second refers to criminal cases, but it’s #3 and #4 that really interest me.
The absence of guile and cunning implies a lack of subtlety. Guile and cunning though, are not necessarily bad things. People need to be subtle, to act with precision in situations that require it. For example, reading someone’s body language and facial expressions to see if you’re making progress with him or her isn’t bad. It’s good diplomacy. However, #4 is the real kicker. It basically makes “innocent” a synonym of “ignorant.” In other words, innocence is really lack of knowledge. This, most would agree, is a bad thing. We want knowledge. It’s what makes civilization possible.
Even so, Texas has just decided to keep the “innocence” of its children by rewriting social studies books to such a degree that the next generation will know little to no truth about the world. This is dangerous not just for Texas, but for the rest of the country. The Lone Star State’s educational budget is well over $20 BILLION dollars. Books that get bought here eventually find their way into other states.
Among the noted changes are Thomas Jefferson’s deletion from early American history, talking about McCarthyism in a more positive light, and showing the Founding Fathers’ religious reasons and logic for the American Revolution and the founding of our country.
Were you as light-headed as I was after reading this?
This SCARED me. George Orwell wrote, “He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.” Human civilization, modern civilization at least, is based on the idea that accumulated knowledge passes on to the next generation. We continue to grow. Think of it this way. Before we had a way to accurately record information, it had to be passed from master to apprentice. When someone died, the information they knew died within them unless someone else remembered it. With the advent of writing, we now have a way for future generations to access the sum total of human knowledge.
Control what gets said or what doesn’t get said, control the record, and you have control over the future.
Some will argue that the Education Board has this authority. We did, after all, elect them to their positions. The problem is that NONE of the people on the Board are historians, sociologists, or experts in any field relevant to the changes they’ve proposed. They didn’t consult with said experts, either. In fact, many of them are vocal creationists.
In an effort to be as thorough as possible, let’s go through some of these changes just so we can all agree on why they’re wrong. It’s not enough to say they’re wrong. It’s important to understand WHY.
Removing mention of Thomas Jefferson and his work on the Declaration of Independence
While no one on the Board has explained this one, people in the blogosphere and all over the intrawebs have their theories. The best one is that Jefferson was a deist, which rubs the religious conservatives on the Board the wrong way. That is, he believed in some supreme being, but it wasn’t tied to a particular religion. He was more of a humanist than a religious man and is famous among advocates for humanism for his creation of the Jefferson Bible.
He essentially rewrote the New Testament to remove religious dogma and the supernatural and focus instead on Christ’s messages. It’s essentially a humanist version of Christianity.
In fact, most of the Founding Fathers were deists. While they used the words “Creator” and “God,” many like Jefferson were critical of religion and the regulation thereof. Anyone who claims the Founders were Christian and intended for the country to follow Christian ideals has never really read Jefferson’s work.
We’ll bring this up later…
Oh, and if you want to read the Jefferson Bible, it’s located here.
Discussing the violence of the Black Panthers alongside discussions on Doctor King in the Civil Rights movement while also mentioning the votes Republicans put forth for equality since, as one member on the Board said, “Republicans need a little credit for that [and] I think it’s going to surprise some students.”
Well gosh-darn, if it wasn’t for those brave Republicans, the Civil Rights Movement would have died in its infancy. I guess all those protestors who were beaten, attacked by dogs, had the hoses turned on them, were arrested, or otherwise suffered for their rights should be damn grateful for those Republicans.
Sarcasm aside, what is gained by mentioning one of the more militant and socialist groups alongside Doctor King’s message of non-violence and equality for all human beings? It tells students with little concept of the scientific method or historical analysis that certain groups got their rights not just through protest, but through violence and intimidation. While it is important to know that there were several groups involved in the struggle, it is the kind of thing that needs to be explained in context, and given the shortage of decent, honest teachers in this state willing to go against the curriculum, I wonder how many will actually do that.
The Black Panthers had many viewpoints and many agendas. Yes, they should be studied, but they should be studied in context.
Calling into question the existence of the Separation of Church and State and not having students learn that the Constitution prevents the government from favoring a single religion
Article 11 of the Treaty of Tripoli, ratified by President John Adams in 1797, states:
As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,—as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen,—and as the said States never entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.
There. We signed a treaty stating we were not a Christian nation or a nation based or biased on ANY religious beliefs. The fact that we have leaders that frame the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq in a religious, Christian context should frighten all of us. Not only are we in a situation where rational conversation and diplomacy could save us, but we are fanning the flames we thought we’d put out more than two hundred years ago.
Nothing like the ol’ Crusades mentality to diffuse tensions in the Middle East, huh? I mean, these problems have been going on for 6,000 years… They can’t go on forever, right?
Also, Thomas Jefferson is the one who coined the term “separation of church and state” in a letter written in 1802 to Danbury Baptists in which Tommy said:
Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between church and State.
That slave-bangin’ Nazi communist! No wonder they took him out of the books!
Discussing the NRA, the Moral Majority, the Contract with America, and the Heritage Foundation in talks about the rise of conservatism in our country while also leaving out mention of minority groups and individuals like César Chávez
The one thing the Board kept saying throughout these debates is that history books had become too liberal. These changes were designed to correct that mistake and show the conservative side of things.
Wow. Pot to kettle. Pot to kettle. You’re black.
Given how long and hard so many conservatives rail against affirmative action, that’s what this is, but it’s even worse because instead of adding conservative ideology to the textbooks, they’ve taken out liberal, progressive achievements. They took out Hispanic achievements in Texas history, which is weird considering that Hispanics make up such a large section of the population. Basically, the new books show the last thirty years not as the overall history of our nation or state, but as a history of conservatism.
Even if you buy the argument that this is just to balance out the history and show both sides of things, you can’t have a debate if the book only has one side. This is also why you don’t “teach the argument” in middle and high school. It’s the same argument made for Intelligent Design and Creationism in science classrooms. You need a solid background in the scientific method, the tools to do research, and the maturity and wisdom to argue and make logical observations. Public schools rarely if ever do this, so how can you expect kids to make an informed decision if a) you present both sides as legitimate and b) the people debating (students) don’t know enough to understand the concepts by themselves?
According to Board member Don McLeroy, McCarthy has been vindicated since the good senator was asked, in a moment forever burned into the national consciousness, if he had any sense of decency in his witch-hunt for communists within the United States. The argument from the Board is that McCarthy was eventually proven right by the transcripts of the Verona intercepts from the former Soviet Union. These show, some Board members say, that McCarthy was dead-on in his suspicions that communists had infiltrated the government.
Even if he was right, utterly correct in every assumption, he used anti-communism as a weapon, not to destroy communism, but for political gain. The normal discourse that could have occurred between the parties was not about policy, but about the fear that anyone could be an enemy of the state, and by the time McCarthy came into the spotlight, he turned what could have been an investigation on a legitimate threat into public theater. Even worse, this paranoia ruined lives. Suspicion was enough to get people into real trouble, get them blacklisted, etc. While there may have been communists in Washington and elsewhere, and evidence has shown there were spies on US soil, he was and forever will be the 1950’s version of Glenn Beck.
Paranoid, self-righteous, and so utterly convinced in his world-view that the real issues became lost.
Referring to capitalism as “free market enterprise”
When I worked as a speechwriter in Congress, I had a meeting with my boss and his chief of staff. The purpose of the meeting? To find out what my formal title would be. Apparently, “speechwriter” wasn’t the kind of term they wanted on their business cards. Eventually, we settled on “Congressional Researcher.” Research was, after all, one of the things I had to do to write speeches.
I still called myself a speechwriter when someone asked me what I did.
Board members say the word “capitalism” has too many negative connotations, hence the name change. Well, yes, it has negative connotations because of the recent Wall Street fiascos and the economic meltdown caused by the banks. Capitalism is good in that it allows people to work and receive payment based on their input, at least in theory, but when you live in a country where a small percentage control over 90% of the wealth and corporations now have the same rights as people, people are going to question it. Changing the name is a cheap attempt at diverting criticism.
After all, who would argue against freedom in a free market enterprise?
Requiring students learn about personal choices because, said another member, “sociology tends to blame society for everything”
Maybe because sociology is the study of SOCIETIES?! A psychologist would look at individuals. Sweet and sour baby Jesus, I want to find these people’s elementary school teachers so I can smack them for letting these wastes of genetic material graduate.
Hip hop is not considered a social movement, but country and rock and roll are
Not a legitimate social movement? It started in the Bronx in the late 1970’s and has spread to every corner of the world, including the Middle East. National Geographic called it “the world’s favorite youth culture.” It’s become a rallying cry, and whatever you might think of its merits as an art form, it’s been part of struggles here and abroad.
Besides, are you telling me artists like THIS haven’t impacted society?
Please. I don’t listen to hip hop on a regular basis and have a lot of derision for the stuff that shows up on the pop charts and calls itself hip hop, but even I can appreciate the contributions of people like Run-DMC, Jay-Z, NWA, and 2Pac to music and society.
Oh, and to anyone who still says this isn’t a significant movement, do a Google search for “hip hop.” I turned the filters all the way up and still got 146 million hits. That means anything with “objectionable” material got left out.
I then looked up, without ANY filters, “conservatism” (7.88 million), “conservative” (55.5 million), “Glenn Beck” (13.7 million), “Sarah Palin” (24.6 million), “Rush Limbaugh” (4.47 million), and “George W. Bush” (30.9 million). These six search terms totaled 137.05 million hits.
For the three or so of you that are still reading, I went into this much detail because the actions of the Texas Board of Education are going to hurt this country for the next ten years unless their actions are countered. When I was attending public school, I excelled in spite of my education. I learned outside the classroom because I knew I wasn’t being taught properly. I had the very good fortune of having teachers who took time away from their schedule and gave extra attention to the students who wanted to learn more.
But they are the exception.
The children aren’t innocent. Never have been. They’re ignorant. Ignorant little ragamuffins who really don’t know anything about the world except what we teach them. Knowledge is the currency of academia. It shapes our world view. The problem with these changes in the textbooks is that some are half-truths and others are outright lies. If a child is brought up a certain way, that child will likely stay on that path until something drastic happens to change its world view.
History is science. In science, theories are subject to brutal, adamantine-edged razors that will shred anything without proper proof. These changes are propaganda. The Board has stated it has an agenda. These are lies!
And children will believe them.
Children believe their adults. They have faith. But faith is blind. Faith is trust without evidence. Kind of like how the Board has faith in this interpretation of history. They can’t prove it. Seven lies multiplied by seven, multiplied by seven again.
Am I being too unreasonable if I write that I want to napalm these people, then shove a bunker-buster down their throats?
Lewis Black once said that the difference between a Democrat and a Republican is that a Democrat blows and a Republican sucks. More broadly, I think he may have been referring to the idea of liberals and conservatives. Both words carry a lot of hatred for the other side. They’re loaded words, and each side has spent years trying to reach out to people in the middle. The truth is that most of us are conservative in some issues and liberal in others. Very few people are only on one side.
However, it looks like some book-learnin’ will turn you into a damn dirty hippy:
Alright kids, pull up to the counter. It’s time for another installment of “How to Make a Bad Argument.”
Wait, did we even have a first?
Anyway, if you skipped the video, here’s the back of the DVD cover. A study conducted by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute shows that people with a college degree are more likely to be liberal in their political and social stances, but are not receiving a proper civics education. In other words, they don’t learn the kinds of things you should learn in a middle school social studies class. Fox News is telling me that this is bad, because if you go to college and become a liberal, what’s the point?
Let’s back up. The video clip actually has three main problems with it.
1) We don’t know who was interviewed.
2) Because A follows B, B is not caused by A.
3) Fox News sucks
The first problem is not as clear as it sounds. While the anchor does ask whether or not there are problems with the study, a legitimate concern any good scientist might ask, Tucker Carlson says he doesn’t have any specifics but the results look legitimate.
…He doesn’t know how the study was conducted, but it looks good.
Let me put this another way. A guy on the street hands you a paper plate with some cooked meat. He says it’s your favorite. You don’t know what it is, but you trust him because it’s your favorite dish.
Then you die of salmonella.
Fox News is biased towards a single narrative that states that liberals are all these elitists, heartless un-Americans who want to abort babies and feed them to communists. Or something like that. We just saw… we SAW them find a report that backed up that narrative and they went with it without going into background. They saw the synopsis and are now praising the study for confirming their beliefs. I think the clip stops before they start drooling.
In the real world, you have to do a slightly more thorough job. What age group did the study target? If it was a study of college graduates from across the country and across all age groups, that’s one thing. If it only asked questions to people who graduated from college in the last five or six years, that’s another. Education in this country needs a serious overhaul, so more current graduates are more likely to fail basic civics. Our Fox News buddies make a big deal, for example, about the statistic that 18% of the participants could only name one branch of the federal government. That’s terrible, they say.
This brings us to the second part of the argument. When I get up in the morning, I go to the bathroom. However, I’m sure no one would say waking up causes me to go to the bathroom. It’s a logical fallacy called “Post hoc ergo propter hoc” which translates as “After, therefore, because of it” when you take a course in Latin.
…Or you look it up.
Basically, one thing occurs after another, which some people will see as being cause and effect. It might be true if it the world was a perfectly closed system. In science, you try to isolate variables and make sure you have as few unknown factors as possible. The same thing happens in crime scenes. When was the last time you watched CSI and someone walked into a crime scene, smoked, threw the butt away, then popped open a can of soda to drink while he or she collected evidence? It’s all based on the scientific method, one of the most important things to come out of the last several hundred years. It is, however, the basis for superstition and magical thought.
And yet, somehow, that little tidbit of analytical application is lost on our boys here.
To say that “College makes you liberal” ignores many, many, MANY factors. Without having read the report, I wonder if it makes this statement or something else Fox has taken to mean what they want. I mean, these are pretty bad numbers for people who went to college, but…
I wonder what the statistics are for people who never even went to college.
Even so, there is one more piece of information this video clip, and perhaps people who use this article for their Luddite campaigns (hey, look it up if you don’t know) will not think about or will shy away from. Is it possible, not that college makes liberals, but that liberals go to college?
It seems just as possible. Like I said, you have to factor in all variables or somehow eliminate them. Since people aren’t blank slates when they get to college, they must already have had certain world-views before arriving. They’re adults when they start, and Fox and Friends echoes the popular concern that these are innocent children, clean surfaces on which liberal professors take a squat to desecrate minds.
Oh, the children. Is there anything they don’t get into?
By the time you’re eighteen, you do have a point of view. Is it likely to change? Of course. Mine changed quite drastically between 2000 and 2002. There’s nothing wrong with sticking to your guns, but what if you’re sticking up for the wrong thing? If you’re racist, nothing gets rid of that mindset better than having to live with these people, hear them talk on everything from religion, politics, and family. Had something that irked you about gays? Hey, you gotta live in the same building as them. Turns out they’re just guys and gals like you.
Education helps you grow, usually for the better. You find out uncomfortable truths, and sometimes you change based on these experiences. If you do change… so what? You know better. You’ve grown as a person. You don’t have to be as the little children. Be an adult. Knowledge is not a sin, and the more you ignore it, the more likely you are to blow a vein in your head as reality conflicts in there.
By the way, the study interviewed 2,500 people, not 14,000 as the clip states. Whoops. Silly facts… If you want to take the quiz yourself, just click here, then check out the rundown of results.