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Ear to the Ground

American Students Don’t Know Much About History

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Posted on Jun 14, 2011
Flickr / quinn.anya

The Roman god Janus, facing both the future and the past, is an exemplar of the meaningful study of history.

American students in elementary, middle and high schools are bombing their history lessons, with only 12 percent of high school seniors performing at a satisfactory level on a nationwide test and 2 percent being able to correctly answer a question regarding Brown v. Board of Education.

Critics say the poor test results are a product of inadequately designed state and federal education policy, especially the 2002 No Child Left Behind Act, which gave teachers incentives to devote time to subjects such as math and reading and neglect history. —ARK

The New York Times:

American students are less proficient in their nation’s history than in any other subject, according to results of a nationwide test released on Tuesday, with most fourth graders unable to say why Abraham Lincoln was an important figure and few high school seniors able to identify China as the North Korean ally that fought American troops during the Korean War.

Over all, 20 percent of fourth graders, 17 percent of eighth graders and 12 percent of high school seniors demonstrated proficiency on the exam, the National Assessment of Educational Progress. Federal officials said they were encouraged by a slight increase in eighth-grade scores since the last administration of the history test, in 2006. But even those gains offered little to celebrate, because, for example, fewer than a third of eighth graders could answer even a “seemingly easy question” asking them to identify an important advantage American forces had over the British during the Revolution, the government’s statement on the results said.

Diane Ravitch, an education historian who was invited by the national assessment’s governing board to review the results, said she was particularly disturbed by the fact that only 2 percent of 12th graders correctly answered a question concerning Brown v. Board of Education, which she called “very likely the most important decision” of the United States Supreme Court in the past seven decades.

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Paul_GA's avatar

By Paul_GA, June 18, 2011 at 6:18 pm Link to this comment

Thank’ee kindly, Mr. Lew; I appreciate that. I remind myself constantly that all is in God’s hands.

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By Lew Ciefer, June 18, 2011 at 5:48 pm Link to this comment

@ Paul_GA

I forgot to say…

With all sincerity, take care of yourself. My mother had diabetes and it’s a horrible disease. Don’t worry too much about things that are much bigger than us and totally out of our hands.

I really enjoyed the back and forth with you. Again, take care. smile

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Paul_GA's avatar

By Paul_GA, June 18, 2011 at 2:13 pm Link to this comment

Perhaps you will receive Josiah’s Boon, as I call it, Mr. Lew; perhaps I won’t.

(“Josiah’s Boon” is what I call God’s promise to King Josiah of Judah that he would not live to see the downfall of Judah and all the pain and travail God would bring upon Judah for its sins; II Kings 22:16-20.)

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By Lew Ciefer, June 18, 2011 at 11:59 am Link to this comment

@ Paul_GA, June 17 at 7:16 pm:

I understand your sentiments Mr. Paul but that is life in this universe. We have to play the hand dealt to us.

I agree with you that the more likely than not future will be very painful for the citizens. But it’s a long-overdue culling. There is a treacherous element in the nation that is in bed with a viper and the day is coming when that viper is going to shed the sheep’s costume and bite that treacherous element on its deleterious derrière. That is something I regret that I’ll probably not live to see.

Enjoyed it. smile

”Don’t overestimate the decency of the human race.” H.L. Mencken

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By Paul_GA, June 17, 2011 at 7:16 pm Link to this comment

@ Lew Ciefer

I wouldn’t exactly mind seeing the end of the American Empire myself, sir. But I would want this country to bring the shameful edifice down itself, gradually and in as painless and controlled a way as possible. But the way things are going, I fully expect the Empire’s end to be uncontrolled, messy and quite painful for our people.

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By Lew Ciefer, June 17, 2011 at 3:35 pm Link to this comment


@ peace, June 17 at 9:52 am

I couldn’t help but notice that all of the aforementioned poor nations are Islamic. You think there might be a connection between poverty, Islam, oil, corrupt theocratic/autocratic governments, and medieval religious beliefs? Just asking.

re poison our and others topsoil with chemical fertilizers in a hope to increase production:

You’ve lost me here. Are you saying that chemical fertilizers do not increase production? If they do not then why would the owners—probably all fat, white, greedy corporate swine, right?—continue an unprofitable practice? If they do increase production and they stop using said fertilizers then production will decrease and aggravate the hunger problem which would mean a higher death toll among the world’s poorest peoples. (It’s a supply and demand thing.)

If the practice does not increase production and they continue using said fertilizers it could be that the owners continue the practice for malevolent reasons ... they wish to kill the consumers of their products. That’s it! The evil fat white men corporatist swine! What makes better business sense than to kill off your clientele?

re consumed beans or grains modified with frog genes:

I honestly don’t know. If I notice a new fondness for lilies and ponds I’ll let you know.

re 300 cows already producing human milk:

The thought of milk makes me nauseas.

Have you considered action? You know ... getting off your superior virtued arse, rowing to China, and demanding of the Red Chinese commie leadership—while in China—that they cease and desist with said experiments? I understand that they’re a very understanding and compassionate lot and love the poor ... they must because there sure are a hell of a lot of them there. Wear a lapel ribbon or two I’m sure that’ll help.

re you will buy stock in that company

I can’t afford to buy time, much less stock in a Red Chinese corporation; only fools and insiders deal in stocks.

Life is a dead end street. We are all going to die, deal with it. Life in this universe is unfair and almost all attempts by apes to make life more equal ends in tragic results. This planet will be here long after homo sapiens sapiens are long extinct.

Please don’t think that it has gone unnoticed that you’ve not presented your plan to right all the world’s wrongs. I’m especially interested in the arbitrator who’ll make all things nice and cozy and fuzzy feel good.

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By Lew Ciefer, June 17, 2011 at 3:32 pm Link to this comment


@ peace, June 17 at 9:52 am

re talking about something important:

Huh… the topic is about Americans’ lack of knowledge with respect to history. That is an important concern to many in the U.S. and a desperately needed façade by the commie/socialist Enlightened as part of their campaign to keep the populace in a constant state of consternation in order to advance their ideology of death—especially death of the poor.

re Cornell:

Wow! Lot’s of stats. Impressive.

re Ill bet you eat alot of meat and like it:

You lose ... kinda. I don’t eat a lot of meat but I do enjoy eating meat when I do. And I have no plans to quit for you are your beloved poor. Not because I don’t care about being perceived as caring about the poor but because I know that my eating habits aren’t going to do diddlysquat for the ‘poor.’

You might want to consider asking America’s ‘poor’ to stop eating like slobs because in the U.S. the ‘poor’ are obese; makes one wonder. I, on the other hand, control what I eat to maintain my weight. It’s called discipline and at my age it gets harder every day.

As of today I will wear my ‘Eat more veggies’ t-shirt during my afternoon strolls. Is there a lapel empathy ribbon for eating more veggies?

I believe that there must also be a quality to life, so when I add the enjoyment factor of getting together and eating bar-b-qued pork ribs or a goat, drinking wine, beer, and/or whiskey with friends your ratio dies. I’d rather not live in Orwell’s 1984 eating and drinking Victory products, thank you very much.

More importantly, your world requires an unbiased arbitrator to determine what is each person’s fair share consumption; and I know that no such entity exists. I’ve seen more than enough of the unintended consequences of moralists.

I also drink an imported coffee from South America and Juan Valdez had to purchase several more donkeys just to haul enough coffee to keep up with my personal consumption alone.

Oh FYI, I’m poor. Very poor! And as a member of the poor I wish you of the hypocritical moralist class would stop insulting us thinking that we can’t take care of ourselves. We’re poor, not helpless! As Carlin said: ‘Stop nailing your soles to the natives’ feet!’ Besides, every time you moralists try to improve our lives we end up poorer and worse off than before you tried to ‘help.’ You couldn’t live a week like I have to live and survive it. You’d either run back to your Ivory Tower or kill yourself.

Which makes me wonder…

Has Cornell run stats on processing obese Americans into Soylent Green? Might be a solution to the hunger problem; I’d be willing to bet that Soylent crackers made from the Enlightened class would cause a heartburn heretofore unknown to the human race and the farts ... Holy poop!

re your government:

I’m not sure what government you’re talking about but if you mean the U.S. government I don’t know of any U.S. government oil harvesting agency. In the West it’s Big Oil that harvests crude.

We could stop harvesting crude and return to coal…no that won’t work. Okay, we’ll return to wood as a source of energy to meet humanity’s power needs. Of course then we’ll have to return to slaughtering whales for the oil lamps. How are you on killing whales for oil and cutting down trees? Returning to wood would help the current unemployment problem as we return to horses as a main power source for travel ... we’ll need millions of scoopers keeping the excrementitious streets clean and hopefully helping to fight all those infections from horse apple contamination… the flies, the flies.

What benefit to humanity does the crude render in the ground?

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By Lew Ciefer, June 17, 2011 at 3:30 pm Link to this comment


@ peace, June 17 at 10:02 am

Amazing how much you think you know about others from one single post.  do you underestimate everyone in this way?
If I were to fill my comments with the level of academic rigor needed to pop you and your ilk out of your trances, I could finish my 2nd phd.

Well Mr/Ms Peace any time you feel froggy ... start hopping! Pop me!

Have you actually considered what you with your first Phd have written? You have complimented me saying that the academic rigor required to pop me—a high school dropout—out of my trance would be at a level sufficient to earn a second Phd.

I can’t help but ask ... when did Wal Mart start selling Phds?

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By Lew Ciefer, June 17, 2011 at 3:29 pm Link to this comment

@ Paul_GA

No Mr. Paul it is you who does not understand. I thought that I made it clear that Empires come and go. It’s called history. If the American Empire and the so-called Pax Americana are ending so be it. Who cares? I don’t, because I know that life will go on. The strong will adapt and the weak will continue to whine and piss and moan and be carried by the strong.

I don’t see the demise of the American Empire or the culling of the planet’s human herd as a necessarily bad thing.

You cannot know with any real certainty what would have happened IF any circumstance would have turned out differently any more than you can predict with any accuracy what will happen in the future. One can only surmise what may have happened or what might happen based on varying input data. And depending on the values, biases, and manipulations anyone can arrive at her preferred conclusion.

“It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”—Yogi Berra

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By peace, June 17, 2011 at 10:02 am Link to this comment


“The problem with you” and those of your ilk is that you prefer ‘gesture over thought and intuition over reason’.

Amazing how much you think you know about others from one single post.  do you underestimate everyone in this way?

If I were to fill my comments with the level of academic rigor needed to pop you and your ilk out of your trances, I could finish my 2nd phd.


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By johnnyfarout, June 17, 2011 at 9:58 am Link to this comment

Lew Ciefer is a pretty humorous guy.

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By peace, June 17, 2011 at 9:52 am Link to this comment

Lew Ciefer,

Im glad I got you talking about something important:

“With a world population approaching 9 billion just how the hell do you propose to produce enough vegetables to feed everyone? It is reported that about 35,000 humans, 25,000 of them children, die daily due to starvation or malnutrition related causes every day. If we can’t produce enough to feed the world today what are we going to do tomorrow?”

According to a respected ecologist at Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, “Each year an estimated 41 million tons of plant protein is fed to U.S. livestock to produce an estimated 7 million tons of animal protein for human consumption. About 26 million tons of the livestock feed comes from grains and 15 million tons from forage crops. For every kilogram of high-quality animal protein produced, livestock are fed nearly 6 kg of plant protein.”
So even considering only the grain crops, the animals were fed more than 3 times the human-edible grain than what their bodies produced in meat.

University sources generalize that chickens need to eat 2 pounds of plant foods, to produce 1 pound of muscle (meat)..a 2:1 ratio.
Pork (pigs’ muscle) has a 3:1 ratio, and beef (cattle and cows’ muscle) has a 6:1 ratio… (see the link for their original sources).

Ill bet you eat alot of meat and like it, even though you could be 3 to 6 times more efficient in your food/protein stream to help out those in need.  you would rather gobble up mass quantities of beef in your home, while your government harvests the oil out of the ground from Algeria, Iraq, Sudan, Libya (I removed the third world term to avoid your lengthy definitions) and uses this oil to poison our and others topsoil with chemical fertilizers in a hope to increase production.

Now the same corps that brought us agent orange, and chemical fertilizers deliver the next big craze, Genetically Modified “Foods”.  Ill bet you and your family have already consumed beans or grains modified with frog genes.  In china they are about to allow the injection of human genes into cows, so the cows now will squirt human milk from their utters. (there are 300 cows already producing human milk) ill bet you will buy stock in that company and make sure all your neices and nephews get some.  If you dont, I am sure many mindless consumers will.


Cancer definition-a malignant and invasive growth or tumor…I dont see how my previous use of this word was too far off, when referring to the very large group of overconsumers on the planet that are sucking our earth dry of its resources, while wiping out the biodiversity…look up the current species extinction due to HUMAN actions.

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By Paul_GA, June 17, 2011 at 9:17 am Link to this comment

@ Lew Ciefer

You misunderstand. IF the USA had accepted the failure of Vietnam and realized that this country is not under some special mission from God, and IF the USA had recogized that the Cold War had ended not with an American victory but with a Soviet/Russian defeat, then perhaps we would not be a declining empire today. But the Elites in Mordor-on-the-Potomac thought, in 1991 and afterwards, that a “golden opportunity” was at hand to accomplish “the end of history” (said end being a permanent Pax Americana), and so we’re where we are today.

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By Lew Ciefer, June 17, 2011 at 8:39 am Link to this comment

@ peace, June 16 at 11:32 pm

Specious slogans strung together incoherently does not a definition make!

You couldn’t purchase a two-dollar pocket dictionary and looked up the definition of cancer? You don’t even have a clue as to what first and third world—as well as second—indicate do you?

First, second, and third world are terms coined to indicate that part of the world that were allied, respectively, with the U.S., the democratic nations of the world, the former U.S.S.R., the Eastern Block commie loser nations most of whom bolted as soon as the Evil Empire fell, and those not allied to either. There was even a ‘fourth world’ term coined to indicate relatively unknown indigenous nations scattered throughout the world. Much like another term used to indicate which side of an assembly hall political factions were seated in France, right and left, the terms first and third world are, more often than not, misused by clueless myrmidons of one idiotic ideological bent or another to indicate wealthy and poor nations.

Eating a vegetable that one grows is consumption! The act of eating is consumption of said vegetable –not to mention the energy consumed to produce the tools necessary to plant and care for the vegetable during the growing and harvesting process. Only an idiot would grow a vegetable. Usually one grows many vegetables for personal consumption and a surplus so that one can sell or barter the surplus for supplementary items that one will need such as fruit, fish, meat, bread, whiskey or even toilet paper to wipe one’s derriere clean after the bowel movement that is sure to come after having CONSUMED one’s vegetable. Especially if said vegetable is broccoli.

You claim that defining the line for mindless consumption is irrelevant because you are unable to do so. If the line is undefined then anyone is able to arbitrarily define it to one’s advantage. Thus you’ll have all those evil, fat, white male corporatists defining five 10,000 sq. ft. mansions, four massive yachts, two private jets, ten swimming pools, 2,000 pairs of shoes, and 46 pair of silk drawers as not being mindless consumption. And we don’t want to forget all the vain females of the world mindless consumption of silicon to make all those fake boobs that defy gravity and don’t bounce, cosmetics to conceal their many facial flaws, material for clothes that they mistakenly believe make their fat arses look smaller, and whatever material that is used to make their lips look like aroused vulva or blowfish.

As for that nonsense about GMOs and pillaging the countryside ... there is no real evidence for it but it’s a scientific fact. Bwaaaa!

With a world population approaching 9 billion just how the hell do you propose to produce enough vegetables to feed everyone? It is reported that about 35,000 humans, 25,000 of them children, die daily due to starvation or malnutrition related causes every day. If we can’t produce enough to feed the world today what are we going to do tomorrow?

re my consumption:  I consume whatever I damn well please and can afford and I do it without guilt. I’m also happy to be white and blue-eyed!

The problem with you and those of your ilk is that you prefer ‘gesture over thought and intuition over reason.’ It’s intellectually fashionable today to reject progress and feel good about being perceived as one who cares. The motive is not caring about those in need but rather being perceived by your peers as caring. At the crux of it, it’s all about YOU wanting to be loved and admired. It’s known as hypocrisy.

”Alas, where in the world have there been greater follies than with the compassionate? And what in the world has caused more suffering than the follies of the compassionate?”—Friedrich Nietzsche, ‘Thus Spoke Zarathustra’

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By Lew Ciefer, June 17, 2011 at 8:36 am Link to this comment

@ PatrickHenry, June 16 at 2:26 pm

I’m aware of who we were fighting Mr. Henry. I wasn’t implying that we fought Russians soldiers. The war was an ideological war and the U.S.S.R. was the principle supplier of the North Vietnamese. Normally, the U.S.S.R. and the U.S.A. fought each other through proxy agents, except in Vietnam and Afghanistan where the principles decided to enter into the fray directly.

There was not enough weaponry left from the French years to last the number of years we fought. Geez Mr. Henry!

Tell me that you’re not just realizing that the Gulf of Tonkin incident was a trumped up incident to get us directly involved?

Should the U.S. military return to the Nam it will be a great victory and one of the most sought after duty stations once word gets around about how hot the chicks are.

I have never been able to figure out the West’s thinking on some issues. I don’t have an inherent aversion for Russians or Chinese and would much rather have them as allies against those whom I do have an inherent aversion ... those in the Middle East, parts of Africa, the People’s Republic of Berkeley, New York, Washington D.C., etc. (before anal retentives start crying foul and feeling offended and looking for another lapel empathy ribbon to show how much they care ... that last part is meant as satire.)

“Politics: A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage.”—Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary

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By Lew Ciefer, June 17, 2011 at 8:34 am Link to this comment

Paul_GA, June 16 at 1:15 pm:

Okay, let’s see if I understand your tripe comments ... when the U.S. loses, it loses, but when it wins, it loses because the other guy didn’t win. I believe I understand. Isn’t that what fans of the Falcons were saying after losing in the playoffs to G.B., that G.B. didn’t win as much as Atlanta lost? That’s the losers’ national anthem. Bwaaaaa!

It doesn’t matter what flag flies or what name is old Saigon, communism and centrally planned economies all fail. Communism is tyranny and people flee it every time they are able. It’s mainly only intellectual fools in the West—living in relative freedom and protected and isolated Ivory Towers—who still look upon communism/socialism romantically through their feces colored glasses; intellectual fools in the West and murderous tyrants and autocrats the world over. Like the old adage goes; birds of a feather idiot together.

How long is the official post cold war period supposed to last anyway? What authority determines that?

I’ve been hearing all my life that America is over, the empire is fallen, the dollar is doomed, the economy is doomed, the world is ending, mankind has had it, we’re all going to die, the Japanese are buying all of California, coffee is bad for you, coffee is good for you, jogging is good for your heart, jogging is bad for your knees, anti-Christ is here, Jesus is coming, blah, blah, blah. So what?

Did you see a single placard in the recent Egyptian fiasco asking the supposed new world super-power Red China for help? No! Did you read a placard written in British English? No! Russian? No! Americans can’t see the forest for the trees.

Rome’s elite replaced almost the entire population with immigrants and continued on for many, many years. Empires, nations, states, civilizations, societies, and peoples come and go continuously, it’s called history. Where’s the British Empire? Yet the English, Scots, and Welsh continue, do they not? Where’s the French Empire? The Spanish? The Mayan? The Aztec? The Inca? They’re all gone, yet the people continue. Even the Greek and the Egyptian and the Persian peoples continue on. Remarkable isn’t it?

You feed your ego by thinking yourself a revolutionary, a minuteman, a Thomas Paine, whatever; just what the country needs, another self-appointed savior who wants Jesus’ place on the cross as long as he doesn’t actually have to sacrifice anything. You’re in for a big disappointment. There’re more than enough self-appointed, wanna-be saviors (supply far exceeds demand), but the demos isn’t really ready to risk anything more than the trouble it takes to pin an empathy lapel ribbon or sign a stupid letter saying that they’re against war if it’s a Republican president or aids or capitalism or diarrhea, before running to the nearest Starbuck’s for an organic iced chocolate decaffeinated carrot coffee crapsalotta—$6.95—, and spend hours patting themselves on the back for having cared enough to have been seen pretending to care about things that are humanly impossible to care that much about.

Relax! Enjoy what time you have left, because I understand that the world is ending next year, 21-Dec-2012.

“Fighting does no good.  Armed revolution is doomed to failure.  The only way forward is to start setting the example by living the life you want, not the life you are forced to live by those so-called legitimate politicians.”—Sgt. Jarhead

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By peace, June 16, 2011 at 11:32 pm Link to this comment

@Lew Ciefer-
“Please define ‘mindless consumers.”

cancer - consumption and growth without care for ones host. 

when the people of the first world consume so much resource, taken by force from the third world (ie empire in your own words) until both the first and the third experience resource depletion to the point of world economic collapse. 

eating a vegetable you grow is not a consumer

pillaging a countryside for its oil to create chemical fertilizer to raise the genetically engineered crops to feed to the antibiotic ridden cloned cows while using the same oil to make pharmacuticals to give the elites children when they get sick off the milk….that sir is mindless consumer.  arguing about where the line is less helpful than simply describing which side you stand on.

where do you stand in your consumption?

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By PatrickHenry, June 16, 2011 at 2:26 pm Link to this comment


The U.S. didn’t lose the war, the people got together and ended it by demonstration and reelecting new representatives to vote their will.  We quit.

The USSR may have had a few advisors in there but nothing to match the millions of Americans who came and went. 

We fought the North and South Vietnamese, those who could not be turned by the militarists massive corruption.  The USSR provided the major weapon systems, however many of the small arms were there since the French got whooped.  They didn’t get beaten either, they quit.

The history channel has an interesting series of shows which interview the battlefield commanders down to the privates on both sides on location in Vietnam. 

The truth is slow in comming out but it does come out.  The gulf of Tonkin attack was a pre-meditated lie which the history books still promote, there are many others.

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By Paul_GA, June 16, 2011 at 1:15 pm Link to this comment

@ Lew Ciefer

With all due respect, lost wars don’t always end with ceremonies like at Appomattox or on the deck of a battleship like the USS Missouri. The facts are—Saigon is now called Ho Chi Minh City, and the flag flying over it is the red flag with a yellow star centered on it. The USA could not force North Vietnam to do its will; so, the USA lost. Nuff said.

And another thing—the USA didn’t so much win the Cold War as the Soviet Union lost it. As I see it, this country is on decline and is on the verge of losing the post-Cold-War era, because its Elites didn’t know when to quit.

As you say—life is a quirky thing.

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By Lew Ciefer, June 16, 2011 at 11:28 am Link to this comment

@ Paul_GA and Patrick Henry:

re Vietnam

As a veteran of that so-called war all I can say is that I vehemently disagree with your statements. We didn’t lose the war. The South Vietnamese are the losers of that war because they have had to live for decades under communist tyranny.

The war in the Nam was not against Viet Nam as much as it was against the U.S.S.R. and communist aggression and expansion. Where is the U.S.S.R. today? As I type Vietnam is soliciting the aid of the U.S. It needs the U.S.‘s help against its traditional enemy China.

Imagine the so-called winner is soliciting the aid of the supposed loser. Who is going to look like winners and losers should the U.S. once again have a military presence in Vietnam protecting the people of Vietnam against a communist aggressor?

Life is a quirky thing, gentlemen!

“The beginning of wisdom in politics is attention to signs of change. As a theatre of illusion, politics does not reveal its meanings to the careless eye. “—Kenneth Minogue (Politics: A Very Short History)

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By Lew Ciefer, June 16, 2011 at 11:26 am Link to this comment

Paul_GA, June 16 at 5:30 am

Mencken being one of my favorite authors, I’m very familiar with that quote. The difference is that Mencken was highly visible and knew when it was time to back off.

Another of my favorites is Bertrand Russell who in writing about a world after which there was a winner between the U.S.S.R. and the U.S.A. wrote:

“In either case, it will be a world in which successful rebellion will be impossible.

I happen to agree with Russell, that we are now in a world where successful revolt against the winner—the U.S.A.—is impossible. (The key word being ‘successful.’)

In times past Mr. Paul the weaponry and technology between combatants were somewhat equal. That has changed today. Unless the population can count on large parts of the military and paramilitary—police forces—to side with them they will be quickly slaughtered.

Playing revolutionary from behind a monitor—IMO—is not smart Mr. Paul. What if you ignite the ‘discontentment’ in some young fool and she goes out and gets herself, as well as others, killed because of your prodding? Are you prepared to deal with the consequences?

Don’t get me wrong Mr. Paul, I’m not a peacenik. I liked war. I liked the exhilaration and the anarchy. In some ways there is no greater freedom known to man.

Americans aren’t willing to mount an armed revolt because 1. Despite the rhetoric life here is damn good, and 2. What has mankind dreamed up that is any better? Socialism? Communism? Theocracy? No, Mr. Paul, all those are proven failures. What we have is far from perfect but it is a hell of a lot better than what anyone else is offering. At least anything that is viable.

Americanus Boobus won’t revolt Mr. Paul because Americanus Boobus is too fat, dumb, and happy pretending she cares about all the world’s ills which puffs up her ego even more. Her true concern is her appearing to care before others which makes her feel loved and accepted. That which is hidden behind Americanus Boobus’ façade of altruism is really that which Jesus hated; PHARISAISM!

Revolution is dangerous business Mr. Paul and once ignited there’s no way of guaranteeing what you’ll end up with. In the immortal words of Yogi Berra:

“If you don’t know where you’re going, you might wind up someplace else.”

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By Lew Ciefer, June 16, 2011 at 11:23 am Link to this comment

@ By basho, June 16 at 12:33 am

carlin said it all and we just laughed.
still laughing?

Yes! Because apes acting like monkeys is hilarious.

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By Lew Ciefer, June 16, 2011 at 11:22 am Link to this comment

gerard, June 15 at 6:14 pm

Which only proves that “history” like everything else is a point of view. 

History is NOT a point of view. History is fact; interpretation of history is a point of view for those who refuse to accept the facts and prefer to revise it to meet their political aims.

There are more than enough ills that need to be righted in our society without having to invent specious arguments designed to build up the ego of the presenter because of her conspicuous and hollow empathy for whatever group of inferiors she happens to find is in vogue today.

I didn’t ‘tell you off’, I corrected your errors and tried to help you grow a pair understand that you are buying into excrementitious lefty lies revisionist history by those who would have you believe that all the world’s ills are due to European whites when the facts are that the entire world owes much to the West and its accomplishments.

Is that to say that the West has been perfect in all of its endeavors? No! Not in any way. But until the world’s losers can put down their beggar’s cups and offer the world something better they should STFU!

There is a reason why Western nations are suffering a flood of immigrants—especially from Middle and Far Eastern despotisms—Mr. Gerard. The reason is they see what you and those of your ilk chose to ignore.

Every day you have a choice Mr. Gerard. You can open your eyes and thank the gods that you are fortunate enough to have been born in this time and this place and get on with your life or you can continue to wallow in self-pity and flagellate yourself for that over which you had no control nor can change. In the words of Don Corleone Mr. Gerard ... You can be a man!

“Political reality is indeed rather mysterious stuff, but the quickest way to discover the lie of the land is to look at where the refugees are coming from, and where they are going to.”—Kenneth Minogue

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By Lew Ciefer, June 16, 2011 at 11:19 am Link to this comment

@ grokker, June 15 at 6:53 pm

Our objectivist friend Lew Ciefer(AKA John Galt) has not a shred of self-hatred; in his sociopathy he lacks the deeper quality of introspection, probably buried in an avalanche of self absorption.

First, I’m not your friend.

Second, I’m no objectivist, if you insist on a label I’m a pragmatist.

Third, you’ve demonstrated the validity of my comments by resorting to ad hominem rather than contesting what I said. You are unable to contest it because it is based on truth rather than leftist, self-loathing, America-hating, revisionist history from poltroonish myrmidons who sit behind a monitor rather than grab a weapon and put their arse where their mouth is.

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By Paul_GA, June 16, 2011 at 5:30 am Link to this comment

@ Lew Ciefer

I’m 55, almost totally deaf, obese, afflicted with sleep apnea and diabetes ... all I can do is create a lot of discontent in those who can “do something”. As Mencken once wrote: “The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane and intolerable, and so, if he is romantic, he tries to change it. And even if he is not romantic personally he is very apt to spread discontent among those who are.”

@ PatrickHenry

Most books about the Vietnam War were/are written by the losers, i.e., the Americans. About the only book by one of the winners that I’ve read is Gen. Van Tien Dung’s Our Great Spring Victory (about the fall of Saigon and the end of the war).

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By PatrickHenry, June 16, 2011 at 4:00 am Link to this comment

Capt Suave,

What does it mean to be on “the receiving end” of history? You’re normally pretty coherent, as truthdiggers go, but that one puzzles me.

There is an old saying that history is written by the victors.  It treats the losers badly whether true or not.

Sort of like 9/11 and the arabs.

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By basho, June 16, 2011 at 12:33 am Link to this comment

carlin said it all and we just laughed.

still laughing?

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By grokker, June 15, 2011 at 6:53 pm Link to this comment

Our objectivist friend Lew Ciefer(AKA John Galt) has not a shred of self-hatred; in his sociopathy he lacks the deeper quality of introspection, probably buried in an avalanche of self absorption.

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By gerard, June 15, 2011 at 6:14 pm Link to this comment

Lou Ciefer:  Nothing like telling somebody off for kicks.  Anyway, you are welcome to your rosy interpretation.  it takes all kinds.  Which only proves that “history” like everything else is a point of view.  Your ignorant, self-hating friend, gerard.

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By Lew Ciefer, June 15, 2011 at 4:43 pm Link to this comment

@ gerard, June 15 at 2:37 pm:

I’ll have to admit to tearing up Mr. Gerard at reading your account of history. The tears were split between those of laughter and those of sorrow by your proving the article correct. Judging by your comments Americans don’t know history!

re force to struggle

Gerard all humans struggle to stay alive. Life is a struggle. It’s not a political thing it’s called ‘life in the Universe.’

re Most “whites” came in order to escape from history…

Let’s ignore the fact that one cannot ‘escape’ history and get on to the other point, that being the fact that MOST whites—Europeans mainly from Great Britain and France (in today’s Canada and U.S.A.), Spain and Portugal (in Latin America)—remained at home.

re no civil rights, incessant European wars, feudal slavery and religious persecution.

You should be happy Mr. Gerard, not sad. Those very conditions were the motivations of great thinkers—White ones!—from that very part of the world who promoted enlightenment philosophy. You’re living in a much more enlightened world thanks to their suffering. Try to show a little appreciation.

The religious persecution was Catholic on Protestant. We have a perfect example of it today in the Middle East between Sunni and Shiites. 

re Most “blacks” were put in chains and dragged here

No Mr. Gerard, MOST blacks remained in Africa and the higher numbers of African slaves were sent East. The descendents of those slaves sent to the English Colonies now have one of their own as president while those of the slaves sent to the despotic East are still living not much better than their ancestors and looking on those here in the U.S. with envy.

re the “red” people were robbed of their history—deliberately and brutally.

The indigenous peoples of the Americas were conquered by Europeans much in the same way that all peoples of all times have conquered each other throughout all of history. ‘Conquest’ was NOT—much to the dismay of you and your self-loathing ilk—an invention of White Europeans. You might want to think Mochica, Inca, Maya, Aztec, Assyrian, Egyptian, Babylonian, Persian, Greek, Roman, Chinese, etc. empires. Empire is the key word.

re Abe Lincoln

Old Abe didn’t kill a single Johnny Reb, Mr. Gerard.

And have you ever thought that had Old Abe allowed the Southern states to secede peacefully that most—if not all—may have requested reentry to the Union within a few years without all the bloodshed? Slavery was on the road to extinction all around the world—except in that area where it still goes on today and you know what part of the world that is—the South would not have been long behind.

re The net result is the emergence of a rootless, meaningless, mindless people floating

Oh sweet Jesus help us! You have to stop projecting your nothing life on the rest of us. Have you considered purchasing a cat-o’-nine tails and flagellating yourself as a daily penance?

re We still enslave ourselves to ignorance by choice

Mr. Gerard, we are NOT enslaved, not to ignorance or anything else. We make choices. And in the U.S. one can easily ‘liberate’ herself from ignorance at any time at little or no cost other than initiative. Slaves have no choice!

I know Obuma being such an historic failure and inept jackanapes is depressing to you Dems but geez ... get over it! Slavery? Good god!

You live in a country where the poor are obese. Think about that. Go get a life and watch your outlook change!

Mr. Gerard, this will be disappointing but deal with it: There’s no room on the cross; that’s Jesus’ gig.

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By Lew Ciefer, June 15, 2011 at 4:39 pm Link to this comment

@ Paul_GA, June 15 at 1:45 pm Link to this comment
@ Dinan:
I don’t think Boobus Americanus will rise in revolt—rather, I think events will continue on their merry way until everything collapses, and folks pick themselves up out of the rubble, look around in shock, and say stupidly, “What happened?!?”

Why aren’t you leading the way?

Shouldn’t you be in the street, weapon in hand, and leading the revolt? Perhaps you’re a general, with a chest full of gimcrack salad dressing, and plan to lead the revolution from your desk as far away from the front lines as possible?

What is it about you that makes you superior to Boobus Americanus? Aren’t you doing pretty much what Boobus Americanus is doing ... sitting at your desk typing trash talk?

Perhaps all that is missing for Boobus Americanus to rise up in revolt is for a modern day Patrick Henry—you for example—to sacrifice his life for his country.

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By gerard, June 15, 2011 at 2:37 pm Link to this comment

One deep-rooted problem we have with history is that when “we” came over in the Mayflower (or in the slave ships) we “left all that behind” (and were forced to struggle to stay alive).  Most “whites” came in order to escape from history—meaning, no civil rights, incessant European wars, feudal slavery and religious persecution. We were told we were coming for “a new life” - opportunity.

Most “blacks” were put in chains and dragged here to work in fields until (with the help of Abe Lincoln) they finally managed to escape to low-pay jobs in the north. They were robbed of their African history in much the same way the “red” people were robbed of their history—deliberately and brutally.

That’s what “the New World” meant—in belief and intention.  We still enslave ourselves to ignorance by choice, to “the newest thing”.  What else is new?  What’s the news?

The net result is the emergence of a rootless, meaningless, mindless people floating on a sea of
inventions and conventons—and noble intentions.
We are people who “make history”—not study it.
If the history we are making is a disaster, what then?  Can we study the present and manage to understand what we are doing well enough to stop doing bad things and start doing good things? 

What a relief that would be!

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By Paul_GA, June 15, 2011 at 1:45 pm Link to this comment

@ Dinan:

I don’t think Boobus Americanus will rise in revolt—rather, I think events will continue on their merry way until everything collapses, and folks pick themselves up out of the rubble, look around in shock, and say stupidly, “What happened?!?”

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By Lew Ciefer, June 15, 2011 at 11:49 am Link to this comment

@ By diman, June 15 at 5:25 am Link to this comment

Who cares anyway? Mindless consumers are not required to have a profound knowledge of history.

Please define ‘mindless consumers.’

Is there a mindful consumer and if so please define.

Can you explain how any life form can exist without consuming?

Please tell me what authority determines the point at which a consuming entity crosses a line and enters the realm of ‘mindless consumer.’

What separates you from all those ‘mindless consumers’ and how does that make you a person of superior virtue?

Is there a lapel empathy ribbon that one can purchase that says to all who see that one is not a mindless consumer? A bumper sticker perhaps?

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By Big B, June 15, 2011 at 11:42 am Link to this comment

It has been said that it is the Victorious that write the history books. Every child in the USA from 1st thru 11th grades is taught the European conquerers version of history, a history that, by and large has benefitted the White american ruling class. Anyone who thinks that a comprehensive american or world history is being presented in our schools is fucking kidding themselves.

I will share with you a recent conversation I had with my niece, an honors grad from her high school and current college sophomore. I was watching the film “13 days in october” when I blurted out that the movie had an unduly positive portrayal of Robert McNamara. She asked if it was based on a real event. My jaw was slack and agape. After I took nearly half an hour to explain everything from the Cuban revolution to the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban missle crisis (including our placement of atlas missiles in Turkey) to the Kennedy assassination, and eventually Vietnam, my honor student niece said these things were never mentioned in any history class that she ever had. What can one say to a young person who has never studied the cause and effect of the major points in 20th century history that still effect everything we do today from politics to socio-economics?

Civil war, reconstruction, Teddy Roosevelt, WWI, great depression, WWII, leave your books on the teachers desk, have a nice life. That is how history is taught in america. And with budget cuts and southern morons teaching their children that the american revolution was about religious freedom, and that slavery was an idea that just wasn’t marketed properly, well, what can be said for our future? These children will be managing our businesses, doing our taxes and checking our prostates. And just imagine how dim and unsophisticated their children will be.

Hunter Thompson said it best, america has become “the new Dumb”.

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By MarthaA, June 15, 2011 at 10:48 am Link to this comment

When a people don’t know history, they are bound
to relive history.

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By mrfreeze, June 15, 2011 at 10:17 am Link to this comment

FRTothus - Thanks for that classic George Carlin rant. If he were only alive today to actually see how incisive and prophetic he was.

johnnyfarout - Thanks for your rico comments. His “run on sentence” is nothing more than a bloated, worn-out talking point used against the schools for years. I grew up in UT where all the teachers (the crypto-fascist Mormon pukes) were exactly the OPPOSITE of what rico thinks of educators. They were all anti-government, anti-regulation, free-market types who preached the (now-defunct) “American Dream.”

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By johnnyfarout, June 15, 2011 at 9:46 am Link to this comment

rico, suave usually is annoying and he achieves once again his intention to ruffle every feather with this outburst of laughable confusions. Sounding like a petulant pupil who didn’t understand anything that was said, he lashes out with spittle flecked half gibberish and wide eyed flailings. Seems even he’s disturbed by the truthiness of his run-on sentence. He was never taught any of that in high school, you betchya’. He learned it by hanging out at truthdig, but he didn’t understand what he read here through the postings of people digging for some truth… perhaps he doth protest too much and he gets it but can’t face it. ‘Can’t handle the truth’, eh? Reducing complex perspectives about the past to simple-ologisms, is propaganda and sloganeering. Ridding oneself of the simplistic explanations and the wrong headedness of reactionary thinking is what education is all about. Soothing the fist in America’s heart so it can open as a gesture of peace to the world is what we need to be about, and yes this means not being a stupid stool pigeon here in the Empire of War. But there is an enjoyment in reading rico,suave’s reactionary perspective because he tries for that jolt in the guts, and he does get some counterpunching going.

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By diman, June 15, 2011 at 8:59 am Link to this comment

To Paul_GA:

So far I don’t see a massive awakening of the masses to the fact that they have been reduced to mindless consumers, so until this happens the empire will still be here. Although when I think of it Peak Oil will finish this empire off faster than the masses awaken.

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By thecrow, June 15, 2011 at 6:50 am Link to this comment

“To a large extent, the fate of our country and the future of the planet continue to be controlled by the shadowy forces of what Douglass calls “the Unspeakable.” Only by unmasking these forces and confronting the truth about our history can we restore the promise of democracy and lay claim to Kennedy’s vision of peace.”

- Oliver Stone

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By question, June 15, 2011 at 6:14 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I think it’s the disintegration of the idea that there is, in fact, one America for ALL.  There’s Conservative America, Liberal America, citizen America, immigrant America, GOP America, Dem America, Tea Bagger America, Corporate America, working-class America, top 1% America… 

The integrated ideal of the American experiment began unraveling under St. Reagan & was completely shredded under Bush/Cheney/Goldman-Sachs. 

And it’s a downward spiral.  If we don’t have to teach a cohesive, accepted history to our children simply because we disagree with the circumstances, we fertilize more historical ignorance. 

Combine this with the 24/7 fascination with money - budgets, debt ceilings, military expenses, deficits - and the willingness to eviscerate EDUCATION & cripple our children’s futures for the sake of bombs…

Our American history has become a quaint bedtime story anyway, apparently.

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By Paul_GA, June 15, 2011 at 5:46 am Link to this comment

I can’t understand this because, even now, history and geography are my favorite things. Perhaps cause of my deafness, I gravitated towards books. Give me a library of history books and maps (with an occasional volume of fiction), and I’ll be content.

Diman, this country’s future as an empire of “mindless consumers” may be more abbreviated than you think. Nothing lasts forever, y’know.

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By diman, June 15, 2011 at 5:25 am Link to this comment

Who cares anyway? Mindless consumers are not required to have a profound knowledge of history.

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By Barry Wilson, June 15, 2011 at 5:20 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Most adults in America don’t know or value history or how our own “official” history has been revised to magnify the notion that America is favored by God, is democratic, and does no evil.  Our conservative Christian Taliban have a lot of stake in maintaining these illusions.

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By kerryrose, June 15, 2011 at 4:10 am Link to this comment


I don’t know what district you are choosing to represent the entire education system, but in my district (and all the NY State districts) a teacher has to be certified in the subject that they teach.  Athletic teachers can teach Health if they have dual certification but that is it.

What you speak of is definitely happening in Charter schools where teachers do not even have to be certified and can teach a subject with absolutely no previous experience/education in that field.

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By Awi, June 15, 2011 at 3:24 am Link to this comment

The reason for poor history education is obvious to anyone who has ever taught high school.  The answer is obvious yet no one “chooses” to see it.  For some reason “coaches” are sacrosanct in the American psyche; yet, they are the primary teachers of middle school and high school history.  The athletic department dominates both the history department and administration.  The culture of the school is replete with coaches teaching history.  There is a pathway to control of schools by the athletic department.  It begins by placing coaches in the history department.  They are officially considered multi-skilled; however, their interest and skills are in athletics not history.  They are horrible history teachers.  They carry on in their coach/history teacher tradition while training for the position of assistant principal.  From assistant principal they move upward to principal, and then ultimately to superintendent.  In public schools assistant principals, principals, and superintendents are almost exclusively chosen from the athletic departments.  That is why our society produces such outstanding football teams yet suffers from poor academic skills, especially history.  Academic failure is built into the system.  For those skeptics who think that this is too simplistic an explanation, I would caution you to think again.  Private schools almost “never” have coaches as principals.  Principals there are chosen from the ranks of academia; therefore, the emphasis in Private Schools is on academics not athletics and their test scores reflect that fact.  I would posit that until the administration of Public Schools is wrestled from the grip of athletes, and replaced by academics, Public Schools will continue to suffer.  It is “THE” predominant factor in correcting the ills of Public Education; yet, in the mind of the public coaches are right up there with god.  Strange.

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By kerryrose, June 15, 2011 at 2:26 am Link to this comment


I’m not sure what education system you are speaking of, but I have two children in school and they are taught nothing that is USA or capitalism adverse. Not a mention of any other economic theory.  They are taught nothing contraversial about US policy.  Everything is Okey Dokey.  In most of the South Creationism is taught as Science.  (And they wonder why Americans lag behind in the Sciences)

In fact, in 5th grade they are asked to discuss the pros and cons of slavery!  Now that is a history curriculum written in Texas.

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By Samson, June 14, 2011 at 9:47 pm Link to this comment

A public that doesn’t know history is easier to lie

After all, if they really taught history, they’d have
to tell every generation that the founders of this
country viewed standing armies and big corporations
and banks as the biggest threats to the liberty they
had just fought for and won.

Don’t count on the government to teach history. 
Teach it yourself.  Learn it yourself.  There are
libraries and bookstores every where, and some
historians are actually decent storytellers and fun
to read.  smile  Then teach your children.  Teach your
parents if you have to.  Teach your neighbors.

If you know history, then you know you’ve been lied
to in the past and how they are lying to you know.

Gee, I wonder why they don’t want to teach history?

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By rico, suave, June 14, 2011 at 8:09 pm Link to this comment


What does it mean to be on “the receiving end” of history? You’re normally pretty coherent, as truthdiggers go, but that one puzzles me.

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By mrfreeze, June 14, 2011 at 7:34 pm Link to this comment

In response to the criticism some of you have levied against the schools (teachers, etc.) I would like to point out that the “new-new” educational priority talked-about lately is “vocational/job training” style learning. Forget the history, forget the literature, forget the philosophy, forget the arts, anthropology….just forget about all that “soft” stuff. Now we have a justification for shifting all learning to math and the sciences (unfortunately, we can’t even do that right). It’s all about JOB TRAINING. After all, isn’t the purpose of EVERYTHING and EVERYBODY to serve the corporate gods?

Now the population can become even more idiotic, vapid and ridiculous than it already is (as is clearly demonstrated by the stupid rico post).

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By mrfreeze, June 14, 2011 at 7:09 pm Link to this comment

christian96 - E) Jerk-weed

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By Lew Ciefer, June 14, 2011 at 4:48 pm Link to this comment

It’s not advantageous for the querulous lumpenproletariat to know anything but Party revised history and only that which is absolutely necessary to hornswoggle the canaille into fulfilling the Quisling commissars’ tomfoolery and elect into the highest office of the land a deleterious, vacuous, Marxist, grand panjandrum.

And in order for students to learn it’s necessary that pedagogues are armed with a higher IQ than middle-school 10 year olds and that students are provided an environment conducive to learning rather than felonious assault.

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By FRTothus, June 14, 2011 at 4:46 pm Link to this comment

There’s a reason education sucks, and it’s the same
reason that will never,ever, ever, be fixed…
It’s never gonna get any better!
Don’t look for it! Be happy with what you’ve got!
I’m talking about the real owners now, the big… the
The real owners are the big wealthy business
interests that control things and make all the
important decisions.
Forget the politicians, they’re an irrelevancy.
The politicians are put there to give you the idea
that you have freedom of choice.
You don’t. You have no choice. You have owners. They
own you. They own everything.
They own all the important land. They own and control
the corporations.
They’ve long since bought and paid for the Senate,
the Congress, the statehouses, the city halls.
They’ve got the judges in their back pockets,
and they own all the big media companies, so that
they control just about all of the news and
information you get to hear.
They’ve got you by the balls. 
They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying –
lobbying to get what they want. 
Well, we know what they want; they want more for
themselves and less for everybody else.
But I’ll tell you what they don’t want
They don’t want a population of citizens capable of
critical thinking.
They don’t want well-informed, well-educated people
capable of critical thinking.
They’re not interested in that! That doesn’t help
them. That’s against their interests.
They don’t want people who are smart enough to sit
around the kitchen table and figure out how badly
they’re getting fucked by a system that threw them
overboard 30 fucking years ago. 
You know what they want? Obedient workers – Obedient
People who are just smart enough to run the machines
and do the paperwork but just dumb enough to
passively accept
all these increasingly shittier jobs with the lower
pay, the longer hours, reduced benefits, the end of
and the vanishing pension that disappears the minute
you go to collect it. 
And, now, they’re coming for your Social Security.
They want your fucking retirement money.
They want it back, so they can give it to their
criminal friends on Wall Street.
And you know something? They’ll get it. 
They’ll get it all, sooner or later, because they own
this fucking place. It’s a big club, and you ain’t in
You and I are not in the big club.
By the way, it’s the same big club that used to beat
you over the head with all day long and they tell you
what to believe…
All day long, beating you over the head in the media,
what to believe, what to think and what to buy… 
The table is tilted, folks! The game is rigged!
And nobody seems to notice, and nobody seems to care! 
Good honest, hard-working people! White collar, blue
collar… Doesn’t matter what color shirt you have
Good honest, hard-working people continue…These are
people of modest means!
...continue to elect these rich cocksuckers who don’t
give a fuck about them! 
They don’t give a fuck about you!
They don’t care about you! At all! At all! At all!
(George Carlin)

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By Wildeye, June 14, 2011 at 4:17 pm Link to this comment

There is a difference between not knowing history and interpreting the history that you know. By all means, debate the meaning of Brown v. Board of Education as long as you know that it happened.  Tyrants erase history, democracies debate history.

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By DaveZx3, June 14, 2011 at 4:00 pm Link to this comment

Some possible exaggerations aside, capt suave is absolutely correct.  History has become nothing but another political tool which the NEA uses in their overall assault on traditional American educational values.

The true nature of the war regarding education (and probably most everything else) is “God vs No God” and we just see the results of all the battles, such as a failure to teach history for fear of what students may learn. 

In my extremely liberal community, most of the conservatives send their young kids to Non-Denominational Christian Schools.  The performance of the public school kids compared to the Christian school kids is like night and day.  My 10 year old granddaughter goes to a Christian school, and knows more history than I do. 

So, who is it that is not teaching history, I ask?

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By christian96, June 14, 2011 at 4:00 pm Link to this comment

Are you smarter than a 5th grader? Question: Which of the following best describes Rep. Weiner? (A) Jerk up (B) Jerk down (C) Jerk on or (D) Jerk off.

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By PatrickHenry, June 14, 2011 at 3:04 pm Link to this comment

Capt Suave,

History is all a matter of perspective whether you are on the recieving end of it or not.

What are celebrated as great feats or victories by some are mourned by others as losses.

That is why all views should be studied and with the advent of the internet in lieu of printed press, are.

9/11 is a prime example.  TPTB would love to sell the official pablum, the only problem with that is there are smarter more observant people outside of the government than in it.

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By thethirdman, June 14, 2011 at 3:00 pm Link to this comment

While I hesitate to defend the likes of Capt. Suave, I must admit he has a point. 
Just finished my Master’s in History and I was about to pull my hair out from
the drivel that passed as classroom discussion.  My fellow classmates, mind you
at this point they actually chose to be there, had absolutely no basis in
historical reality.  When asked a question, a nice thick glaze set over their
vacant eyes as they repeated the mantra of race, class, gender, race, class,
gender.  Didn’t matter what the topic was, white man bad, brown man good. 
White man corrupt, brown woman pure.  Forget about reading for context.  I
would hesitate to say they even read their assignments.  But when it came time
to pass out those shiny gold stars, everyone felt good and patted themselves on
the back for their own brilliance.  Sadly, Rico, it is possible to obtain a Master’s
degree without knowing single fact about Mr. Brown or his gripe with the Board
of Education.  It took a full tour of our enlightened system for me to come to
terms with our present reality.  I started hard left, and simply left disgusted.

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By Wildeye, June 14, 2011 at 1:51 pm Link to this comment

Ignorance is the first tool of the oppressor and the best friend of the liar.

Typically, Republicans ruin the public education system with NCLB and than point to a ruined public education system as reason to privatize education.

Sound familiar? (Hint: Economy/Deficit > Medicare/Social Security)

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By John Sullivan, June 14, 2011 at 12:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Uh, to reply to your typical ideological fantasy about what is “taught” in America regarding history, I make the following reply:
1) Columbus’ visit was only the beginning of genocide and plunder
2)Native Americans were victims of what is now called “eminent domain”
3)The Founders were not genocidal plunderers. No one is saying that except the voices in your head (they were, however, slave owners)
4)Human trafficking is as big a problem in the U.S. as it is everywhere else in the world
5)The Jews are NOT to blame for every evil since WWII, only the degenerate and deranged American Conservative Movement
6)The CIA, along with the rest of the federal government under the conservatives, allowed 9/11 to happen by not doing jack-shit to stop it, despite more intelligence than they apparently knew what to do with
7)Poverty is caused by a rigged tax code
8)Capitalism is the source of human misery when it is practiced by thieves, pirates, mafiosi, defense contractors, and the investor class, which people like you defend like a concubine
9)America is only one of the worst perpetrators of terrorism and genocidal plunder on the planet. There are others, too.
10)Chomsky ain’t your bitch
Wow! Just replying to your spittle-flecked right-wing tirade took a lot out of my day. Don’t forget to take your meds!

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By ribbie149, June 14, 2011 at 12:18 pm Link to this comment

Why don’t they just watch the History Channel…Oh,
that’s right- there’s no history ON the history
channel.  Maybe they feel they should wait to learn
history until the Republican’ts are finished rewriting
it to suit their purposes.

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By rico, suave, June 14, 2011 at 11:59 am Link to this comment

How can they be expected to do well in history when today the “history” that is taught is- Columbus was a genocidal plunderer, native Americans were as Adam and Eve before the fall, the Founders were genocidal plunderers, the US invented slavery and it is practiced here to this day, the Jews are to blame for every evil since the end of WWII, the CIA did 9/11, poverty is caused by wealth, capitalism is the source of all human misery, America is the worst perpetrator of terrorism and genocidal plunder on the planet, where there are no “facts,” only Chomskyite “interpretations”?

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By FranktheMc, June 14, 2011 at 11:33 am Link to this comment
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I think what’s more of a concern today isn’t what’s true or false, but what’s true and what one wants to be true.

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