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Texas Schools Board Rewriting US History 1238

suraj.sun picked up a Guardian (UK) piece on the Texas school board and their quest to remake US education in a pro-American, Christian, free enterprise mode. We've been keeping an eye on this story for some time, as it will have an impact far beyond Texas. From the Guardian: "The board is to vote on a sweeping purge of alleged liberal bias in Texas school textbooks in favor of what Dunbar says really matters: a belief in America as a nation chosen by God as a beacon to the world, and free enterprise as the cornerstone of liberty and democracy. ... Those corrections have prompted a blizzard of accusations of rewriting history and indoctrinating children by promoting right-wing views on religion, economics, and guns while diminishing the science of evolution, the civil rights movement, and the horrors of slavery. ... Several changes include sidelining Thomas Jefferson, who favored separation of church and state, while introducing a new focus on the 'significant contributions' of pro-slavery Confederate leaders during the Civil War. ... Study of Sir Isaac Newton is dropped in favor of examining scientific advances through military technology."
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Texas Schools Board Rewriting US History

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  • 1984 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by emperortux ( 1503859 ) on Sunday May 16, 2010 @05:25PM (#32230166)
    "He who controls the present, controls the past. He who controls the past, controls the future."
  • WTF (Score:5, Interesting)

    by wisnoskij ( 1206448 ) on Sunday May 16, 2010 @05:32PM (#32230226) Homepage

    They can do that?
    They are not even trying to cover up that they are trying to indoctrinate everyone: "Dunbar says really matters: a belief in America as a nation chosen by God as a beacon to the world, and free enterprise as the cornerstone of liberty and democracy."

  • by Inbred_Weasel ( 1007819 ) on Sunday May 16, 2010 @05:33PM (#32230236)

    Of course it is absurd that the Texas school board is even considering such changes, but it really is up to the people of Texas to fix their school board.

    On the other hand, if an education in Texas gets bad enough, universities and employers might start to pass over applicants from Texas because they are under qualified. This seems like a good thing as it is basically the free market sorting out the educated from the ignorant.

  • by KTheorem ( 999253 ) on Sunday May 16, 2010 @05:40PM (#32230282)
    I think the problem is the free market in this case. Texas is such a huge market for textbooks that the changes made to accommodate the their standards will make it very hard for smaller, more sane markets to obtain decent textbooks at a reasonable price.
  • FrostPeas (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 16, 2010 @05:41PM (#32230294)

    Zero comments after most of a day? Really?

    Okay, I'll throw one down. Probably a bit OT, but WTF.

    I live in Arizona, ground zero for this crap. I had an interesting conversation about Our State Issues this week.

    And I left there thinking:

    The problem is not the 25% hardcore dipshits who will always lean this way. Nothing can be done to help them.

    The problem is the 30% of otherwise kind, intelligent, educated people who because of some flaw in their heads find themselves thinking things like: "Hmmm, that Glenn Beck fella makes some good points."

    I wish there were more I could do to reach them, beyond conversing with them delicately and providing an alternative example by what I say and how I live my life. It will never be enough to turn the tide in the nation, or this state. Maybe not even enough to turn it in this town. But it's what I have. And hoping against hope, I'll keep going with it, and just pray to a god who doesn't exist that power ends up in the hands of better people.

  • by EriDay ( 679359 ) on Sunday May 16, 2010 @06:00PM (#32230468)
    Texas is living in the past. Responsible educators are no longer required to accept the dogma according to Texas. With print on demand, states or school districts can make their own textbooks.

    If I was a state governor, I'd pay the faculty of my state universities create textbooks for my k-12 curriculum. Instead of paying royalties to large publishers, my faculty would be better paid.
  • by izomiac ( 815208 ) on Sunday May 16, 2010 @06:13PM (#32230576) Homepage

    while introducing a new focus on the 'significant contributions' of pro-slavery Confederate leaders during the civil war

    I'm a little concerned about the way that is worded... Putting a pair of words in quotes generally means that the author doesn't share that opinion. So does someone really believe that slave owners contributed nothing of value to society? George Washington was a slave owner (albeit a progressive one), and he most certainly contributed greatly to American society. It's rather disturbing to me that someone might want to blackwash something like slavery as all bad and only practiced by vile, useless people.

    OTOH, slavery is the antithesis of America. Slaves are neither free, nor can they improve their situation through hard work. I'm frankly worried that history is getting to be more focused on "good guys" and "bad guys" than an actual understanding of what lead the "bad guys" to do what they did, and why we see it as "wrong" given a modern perspective. If you just attribute evil acts to "evil" people then you lose sight of what caused those people to become "evil", and insight into how to prevent similar things from happening again. The only thing you can do with "evil people" that you don't understand is kill them, which hardly solves the long-term problem since it's very difficult to kill *all* of them.

    That said, I have no idea how the Texas School Board is presenting the concept. They could easily paint slavery as the result of cultural sensitivity, since slavery was the traditional practice in Africa. (So many people seem to think slavery was about white guys going to African and throwing nets over random black villagers.) Or they could state that the Africans were less developed and imply that it wasn't so bad to use them for Western goals since most Americans descended from slaves are better off then their modern-day African counterparts. Presenting perspectives such as these would be very dangerous, since they're half-truths that ignore the bigger picture. Furthermore, they have a very obvious connection to modern politics.

  • MOD PARENT UP UP UP (Score:3, Interesting)

    by wurp ( 51446 ) on Sunday May 16, 2010 @06:18PM (#32230634) Homepage

    If I was a state governor, I'd pay the faculty of my state universities create textbooks for my k-12 curriculum. Instead of paying royalties to large publishers, my faculty would be better paid.

    *That* is a brilliant fucking idea.

  • by six11 ( 579 ) <johnsogg&cmu,edu> on Sunday May 16, 2010 @07:21PM (#32231124) Homepage

    No slashdot discussion of the stupidity of textbooks would be complete without a reference to Richard Feynman's little thing on the horribleness of how textbooks get approved [textbookleague.org]. Spoilers: it involves sex, lies, bribery, political cronyism, plagiarism, and other delicious things.

  • by drfireman ( 101623 ) <dan&kimberg,com> on Sunday May 16, 2010 @07:22PM (#32231140) Homepage

    Is there an easy way to find schools with curricula that are less dependent on what happens in Texas? I mean, without having to read hundreds of textbooks and do lots of gruesomely painful research on my own (I get enough of that in my day job).

  • World War 3?

    Really, if you look at how everything began, that led to WW2... it looks like this: The start of a reality distortion gaining power, and taking over. A mass-schizophrenia.

    It may take another 10 years, but this already looks like a mind-virus of the level of the Nazis or the inquisitions.

    I just hope we can quickly cure people.
    (The cure to delusions is to give reality a greater appeal, and make the delusions look really bad. And I mean in the minds of the infected. They must have an excuse to keep their self-respect, and get back into a better reality. So we must first and foremost stop all the “threats”. Like the “economic crisis”, the growing poverty, and especially the easy-to-kill fake ones like the way overblown “terrorist threat”, or the whole Obama fear. I say, the primary target should be to shoot Glenn Beck and close down FOX News ASAP. BUT: Let give them a reason, so THEY do it, or it will only get worse. And then go for the “churches”. They are THE professionals since thousands of years, and the feed on it like no other. )

  • Re:Two words ... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Sunday May 16, 2010 @10:20PM (#32232270) Journal
    "Whatever happens, we have got the Gatling gun and they have not..."
  • by Darkness404 ( 1287218 ) on Sunday May 16, 2010 @10:23PM (#32232288)
    Um, from your post you seem to be as indoctrinated as those "right wingers" you seem to hold in contempt.

    like the "economic crisis"

    Yep, no crisis at all right. Easy to find jobs. We didn't waste billions of taxpayer dollars "bailing out" businesses. Not sure if that was your primary point that it didn't exist, but putting "economic crisis" in quotes seem to indicate it...

    or the whole Obama fear.

    Because we should all be just happy that we have a president who has wasted billions of taxpayer dollars, supports a supreme court nominee vowed against true freedom of speech and supports unsustainable programs. Right?

    I say, the primary target should be to shoot Glenn Beck and close down FOX News ASAP.

    News flash. News sources are biased. It isn't new. Look at MSNBC, heck, look at the Guardian which TFA is taken from. The Guardian doesn't even make any claims to be balanced or fair.

    Oh and is the new tactic to eliminate anyone with views who you don't agree with now?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 16, 2010 @10:23PM (#32232292)

    I just hope we can quickly cure people.

    I seriously doubt that - these people are still waving the FUCKING CONFEDERATE FLAG. They lost the war, going on 150 years ago, and they still haven't given up. They've lost every battle in their self-proclaimed "culture war", and they still believe that one day America will return to the "good ol' days", where wimmins stayed in the kitchen, faggots stayed in the closet, niggers stayed in the ghetto and "White America" was some sort of tax-free libertarian redneck version of Leave It To Beaver.

    The fact that such a time never existed (look up the marginal rates during the Eisenhower era, for instance) or that 99% of the Social Security collecting teabaggers who worship it would have been dirt poor sharecroppers without shoes, electricity or running water doesn't enter into the equation.

  • Good, let them (Score:4, Interesting)

    by grasshoppa ( 657393 ) <skennedy@COLAtpno-co.org minus caffeine> on Sunday May 16, 2010 @10:25PM (#32232306) Homepage

    I'm all for this. If they want to diminish science and taint history, let 'em.

    That'll give my child that much bigger of an advantage in about 15 years when she's applying for jobs. She'll understand the scientific method. She'll know her history. She'll be well educated, while the children from texas will believe that there is no USSR/soviet union.

    This works for me.

  • by PPH ( 736903 ) on Sunday May 16, 2010 @10:36PM (#32232416)

    You know, back when it was the US and Mexico?

    There. Fixed it for you.

  • by Cidolfas ( 1358603 ) on Sunday May 16, 2010 @10:38PM (#32232438)
    We did fix the school board. But, for some reason, we let the outgoing board have a textbook curriculum meeting in a revision year before chucking them away. Most of that board lost their elections, and will not be there the next time it meets. But that's after the new books have been made and bought.
  • Re:FrostPeas (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 16, 2010 @10:55PM (#32232624)

    I see, so it's okay for them to try to enact and enforce laws that force their religiously-based ideas of where life begins on me? Last I checked, our legal system is based on philosophy (which requires logic) and precedence (until a logical corner case where precedence doesn't account for something).

    In other words, our legal system is based on logic, and they are trying to force their baseless and illogically held beliefs on me in the form of laws regarding what I can and cannot do to myself, and I'm not supposed to think that I'm better than they are?

    Their right to practice their beliefs ends where they start to force me - legally or physically - to do something, or prevent me from doing something that doesn't encroach on anybody else's rights. This is the opinion of the Supreme Court; if you don't like it, tough luck. But, don't tell me that I'm not better than them when I will allow them to practice their beliefs so long as they don't encroach on my rights - a level of respect they do not have for me. I am better than them, simply because I grant them rights that they legally should grant me but do not.

    Disclaimer 1: I am a different poster than the previous poster, and I do not pretend to be "open minded". I do respect the rights of others, even if I don't respect their beliefs.
    Disclaimer 2: There are religious people who do not try to restrict my rights, and they are as "good" as I am, in terms of giving other people respect. These people, however, are not the subject of this discussion, as they have no interest in one-sided education.
    Disclaimer 3: The Supreme Court reference is to Roe v. Wade, and while I am a male, the point still stands. The question of "when does life begin" does not seem have an answer in logic, and therefore people must establish their own moral criteria regard abortion. Some people do not follow a religion, and their personal philosophy does not include unformed, unborn fetuses in the definition of "alive". Other people follow a religion that tells them that abortions are wrong, and therefore decide that they themselves will not have an abortion; the issue is that some of these people feel that it is their right and moral duty to force other people to follow their religious views on this matter, which amounts to establishing a state religion through a religiously-based law. On the point of the beginning of life, there is really no useful discussion to be had (I have tried), because the answer that people choose to follow is not universalizable.

    PS: I will call you a troll if you don't give a reasoned response. Your move.

  • Re:Good, let them (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Bueller_007 ( 535588 ) on Sunday May 16, 2010 @11:00PM (#32232668)

    "That'll give my child that much bigger of an advantage in about 15 years when she's applying for jobs."

    Not if she's an American child, it won't. Texas is far and away the largest orderer of textbooks in America, so textbook makers cater to their standards. If Texas doesn't want it in the textbooks, it will largely be cut out of textbooks nationwide.

  • Re:Two words ... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by value_added ( 719364 ) on Sunday May 16, 2010 @11:00PM (#32232674)

    Manifest Destiny ... look it up.

    You almost had it. I think you're referring to American Exceptionalism [wikipedia.org].

  • I live in Texas (Score:0, Interesting)

    by Sam36 ( 1065410 ) on Sunday May 16, 2010 @11:22PM (#32232858)
    And it was actually the liberals that toyed with the books first; removing all references to "patriotism" and God in the text books. I guess this is just a retaliation.
  • Re:FrostPeas (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Wyatt Earp ( 1029 ) on Sunday May 16, 2010 @11:23PM (#32232868)

    Well as a life long Jew who has lived in South Dakota, Florida, Colorado, Oregon, Washington and Alaska, rural conservative states and urban liberal areas, theres never been a problem being non-Christian in the US.

    Heck, the only problems I've ever had were with Atheists.

  • Re:1984 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Capsaicin ( 412918 ) on Sunday May 16, 2010 @11:33PM (#32232954)

    Choosing which facts make it to print and which do not is necessarily a judgment call. Which of these facts are the most significant developments in American history? There's no "objective" way to answer this, since importance is itself a value judgment.

    Yes that was my point. However deliberately airbrushing Comrade Jefferson out of the picture, for instance, is going a little further than simply making a "value judgment."

    My solution is rather than teach the kids "facts," to teach them History. Selecting which viewpoints are represented to illustrate the variety of historiographical approaches towards particular events is of course itself a judgment call. It is, however, inherently less susceptible to propagandistic abuse and one more likely to illustrate that in matters of history (or politics), in contradistinction to the physical sciences or math, there is no such thing as the one correct position.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 16, 2010 @11:52PM (#32233114)

    jeff... you are incredibly blind. did you read John's message at all? The guardian isn't a messenger; it's Wormtongue. A hyped up, out of context, article isn't a message, it's propaganda.

    What makes any of you think you know the "Real" history anyway? Who was your history book written by? What were their biases?

    When you've lived outside of your parents' basement for a few years, you might find that the "facts of the world" have changed.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 16, 2010 @11:53PM (#32233130)

    Clearly you have no understanding of politics in Texas.

    Do not let the liberalism in Austin, and the election of a lesbian mayor in Houston fool you. This state is more red than some of those in the deep south. And sadly, those are the people vote at every opportunity.

    That said, members of the Texas Board of Education are appointees by the Governor. Perry (current TX gov.), is part of 'the good ole boys' network, and as such knows very well how to pool its use now that he is in power. Sadly, the majority of the 'good ole boys' network have Right-wing and Conservative affiliations, so if Perry wants to keep his power as long as possible, he knows who to yield to. The other scary thing is he fully believes in the majority of bullshit that is turning Texas and the US down dangerous paths.... see Palin support, tea-party supporting, ignoring border security, TX succession joking (MOSTLY a publicity stunt....) etc....

  • Re:1984 (Score:2, Interesting)

    by thrawn_aj ( 1073100 ) on Monday May 17, 2010 @12:02AM (#32233210)
    How ironic then that these simians forget their usual credo of "think of the children" when it comes to whoring their kids out (intellectually) to reinforce their own fairy tales. When they can't measure up to their adult opponents, their only weapon becomes the school curriculum. I could hope that the internet would frustrate their efforts but it can only do so much against the relentless flow of propaganda streaming from these douchebags. Besides, they probably already censor heavily in their homes and schools under the guise of protecting kids from "teh ebul porno-debils".

    They appear to have finally wised up to the fact that you can't propagandize by vehemently negating manifestly obvious truths, especially when it comes to children, who can smell bullshit from a mile away (until that quality's beaten out of them). But you can sweep the uncomfortable truths under the carpet if you (and most of the people around the kids) ignore the facts long enough for the intended program to be embedded in the kid.

    Can we request their secession already? (With apologies to the many thousands of sensible folk living in TX - at least part of this post has been a litany of woes, not to be taken literally =p). Besides, at /. we appear to be arguing into silence - not too many of these cretins to be found on these hallowed pages =p
  • Re:1984 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sqrt(2) ( 786011 ) on Monday May 17, 2010 @12:09AM (#32233264) Journal

    Only when you let the crooks make their own regulation. The working class cannot trust their so called "representatives" to promote their interest. Those in congress all come from the upper class, the elite segments of society and that is who they really represent. Only direct action can secure a better future for the average American. So yes, I want less government intervention too, I want MORE populist intervention.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 17, 2010 @12:28AM (#32233398)

    OP poster here. Looks like I now have to invest some time to school you. Sorry to have to do this, but ah well.

    If you actually read all of the wikipedia information you would have seen this too.

    Of course I did. The idea that this is a treaty between sovereign nations in now way detracts from the very clear statement that the US is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion. It as if the treaty said "2 + 2 = 4" and you are waving around "ah, but does not 2 + 3 = 5?!!" Uh, yeah. So going back to the point, the US is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.

    If you actually were taught your history correctly all our founding fathers were religious men.

    Notwithstanding your distinction between "religious men" and "deeply religious men", the extent to which our founders were "religious" is dependent on what you mean by "religious". They were certainly not, with few exceptions, religious in the sense that fundamentalist Christian right-wingers wish they were. The majority were deists, who did not believe that any "Creator" played a personal or interested role in the day to day activities or events of humankind. I will discuss this further below.

    But they believed all religions should be allowed to be practiced without persecution.

    I agree with that. Again, 2+3 = 5. It has nothing to do with the understanding that the United States was in no way founded on the Christian religion.

    Thomas Jefferson was not religious but he did believe in a Creator. He is the writer of the Declaration of Independence.

    No shit. He was also an author of the Constitution, the IMPORTANT document that put down the groundwork for our country, not the statement that explained why we were separating from England. The Dec of Independence is a beautifully written document, but has NO LEGAL import.

    As for TJ-- you clearly know very little of the man. He was probably a deist, but certainly not a Christian. While he was an admirer of Jesus' message, he did NOT believe in the claims that Jesus performed miracles or did anything supernatural. In fact, he famously rewrote the bible, taking out all the magic bits. Feel free to enjoy the religion-free [angelfire.com] "Jeffersonian Bible". The best feature of this bible is perhaps how you will shut your pie hole as you digest it and realize how wrong you are.

    But Jefferson's version "omitting the question of [Jesus's] diety" isn't enough to convince you of TJ's disbelief in Christianity, why don't you take in his general beliefs about religion and government. I could direct you to the famous "wall of separation of church and state" stuff, but how's this to start:

    Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because if there be one he must approve of the homage of reason more than that of blindfolded fear.
    -Thomas Jefferson, letter to Peter Carr, August 10, 1787

    Where the preamble declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed by inserting "Jesus Christ," so that it would read "A departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion;" the insertion was rejected by the great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mohammedan, the Hindoo and Infidel of every denomination.
    -Thomas Jefferson, Autobiography, in reference to the Virginia Act for Religious Freedom

    I concur with you strictly in your opinion of the comparative merits of atheism and demonism, and really see nothing but the latter in the being worshipped by many who think themselves Christians.
    -Thomas Jefferson, letter to Richard Price, Jan. 8, 1789

    Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law.
    -Thomas Jefferson, letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, February 10, 1814

    You say you are a Calvinist. I am not. I am of a sect by myself

  • Re:1984 (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Wyatt Earp ( 1029 ) on Monday May 17, 2010 @12:29AM (#32233410)

    Well, I'm a Republican and really everything there is what I believe in and vote for.

    Liberal representative democracy.
    Regulated market economy
    Private property rights
    Gun ownership rights
    Limits on the welfare state
    Opposition to socialism and communism
    Pro-birth control
    Civil unions
    Anti-gay marriage

  • Re:FrostPeas (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Fulminata ( 999320 ) on Monday May 17, 2010 @12:48AM (#32233538)
    Sadly, this is so true.

    Not long ago I was involved in a discussion that included a 'birther.' When presented with the overwhelming evidence that his position was false, his response was that he "believed" that Obama wasn't an American citizen, and that no amount of evidence to the contrary would ever change that.

    What can you say to that kind of irrational response?
  • Re:1984 (Score:2, Interesting)

    by rmushkatblat ( 1690080 ) on Monday May 17, 2010 @12:49AM (#32233546)
    I don't understand... liberals in America today want pretty much exactly that, except that it would be political suicide to come right out and say it (unless your name is Kennedy).
  • Re:1984 (Score:4, Interesting)

    by sqrt(2) ( 786011 ) on Monday May 17, 2010 @12:55AM (#32233572) Journal

    Yes, liberals want that. The Democrats in office don't, which is why they are not very liberal. Saying they just don't come out and say that's what they support is unverifiable to the point of meaninglessness. When they actually get the chance to implement real liberal policies they don't, and that's what matters.

  • by jeko ( 179919 ) on Monday May 17, 2010 @01:02AM (#32233610)

    Maybe Texas did, but they were wrong.

    When Geordi LaForge is taking Advanced Warp Field Theory at Starfleet Academy, when the Narn and the Centauri are running student exchange programs, it will still be "Newton's time."

    When we get the Grand Unification Theory and we're about to Ascend beyond the Stargates we've planted all over, we're still going to teach Newton as a rough-and-ready method for most mundane physics and as a precursor for what came next.

    Have you heard about this newfangled math called calculus?

    BTW, I'm a Christian too, and excuse me as I go repent of the anger in my heart toward this comment, and beg your forgiveness for the snark in this reply.

  • Re:1984 (Score:2, Interesting)

    by oceanicicefloe ( 1122533 ) on Monday May 17, 2010 @01:10AM (#32233662)
    Here's another disturbing example of 'judgment call': I spent my last year of high school in Paraguay, and in history we studied World War 2. There was no mention whatsoever of the Holocaust; I don't think it's any co-incidence that a lot of ex-Nazis fled to that part of South America after the war.
  • Re:1984 (Score:2, Interesting)

    by VulpesFoxnik ( 1493687 ) on Monday May 17, 2010 @01:25AM (#32233726)

    I don't know about the rest of my state, but there is a large amount of Texans I know that are also upset over this. He's already been voting out, but it's too late. He's still in office till his term ends, which is enough to allow him enough time to do it.

  • Re:1984 (Score:5, Interesting)

    I live in TX, only because I married a texan (And he has liberal ideas). I'm from Chile. Chile, as many other south american countries, was founded with the roman catholic religion in mind, and only until recently church and state have been really close together, although the church doesn't get to make laws. In a country like mine, I can almost, ALMOST justify something like what's happening here. But when I got my education back in school, from 1st to 12th grade, we had SCIENCE and we had RELIGION classes. They never mixed up things. Science is science and religion is religion. And I was is a frigging catholic school. I never heard about this BS called creationism. Yes, the Bible says things about how this planet was created, but they never told us that's how it actually happened. They only said that's how they though it happened BACK THEN.

    It surprises me that a country called sub-developed like Chile has way, WAY more common sense that a so called developed country. All I know is that if I have kids, I won't put them on public schools here.
  • Re:1984 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sqrt(2) ( 786011 ) on Monday May 17, 2010 @02:25AM (#32234040) Journal

    I have an understanding of the issue at hand, probably a broader understanding than you. All capitalist systems are built on predation and exploitation and that has been true for all time, in all capitalist economies even when the currency was backed by precious metals. Maybe you should investigate some of the criticisms of capitalism instead of just believing what you were told about it - by people who never seriously consider any alternatives.

  • Re:1984 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sqrt(2) ( 786011 ) on Monday May 17, 2010 @02:53AM (#32234174) Journal

    Yes, yes I do. You are the one who lacks a depth of experience and education to see just how ignorant you are.

    Of course capitalism creates a lot of material goods and increases the standard of living of many, I'm not saying that hasn't happened. But it comes at a huge price of inequality, not just within one country but globally. We afford ourselves a high standard of living by exploiting the labor of areas struggling under poverty - poverty we create and maintain. When capital can move freely anywhere in the world but labor cannot, you will always have exploitation.

    Two people will work together to achieve something neither could by themselves, which is the entire point; replacing the current system of exploitation with one based on cooperation. There is no reason why a group of workers should give their labor away for less than its worth (this is capitalism) when they could keep it all, own the business themselves, and live better.

    And it would not require fraud because the basics of Wall Street and banks would be the same. Would stocks be fraud? Would trading in derivatives? Would bankers perpetuating debt-slavery be fraud? All of these things are not only permitted in a capitalist system (even one without a fiat currency) they are fundamental features of it. It doesn't have to be that way.

  • Re:1984 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by interkin3tic ( 1469267 ) on Monday May 17, 2010 @03:31AM (#32234344)

    I agree. "Socialist" and "Communist" are what the GOP is using now because people started realizing the "Washington insider politician" label was absurd coming from other Washington politicians. Not because the republican party actually believes it's opponents are in favor of anything resembling communism.

  • Re:1984 (Score:1, Interesting)

    by CarbonShell ( 1313583 ) on Monday May 17, 2010 @04:16AM (#32234572)

    Remember, it is a question of perspective. If you are so far right, even Regan would look left to you!
    So if you are a hair shy of the KKK, anyone approaching the middle is already a IslamoFacistJewishNaziCommunistTerrist.

    And the teabaggers are the worst of them. They are the brainless zombie masses that simply hate and fear everything.
    Though sadly, they show the ugly, though not the complete, face of the US. They kinda destroy any credibility the US had left and only reinforce the 'American Taliban' (I don't mean Walker) perception.

    A few days ago I even read the typical racist dimwit talking about the 'fascist left'. WTF?

  • by jeko ( 179919 ) on Monday May 17, 2010 @04:26AM (#32234606)

    My grandfather and my wife's grandfather were on opposite sides of WWII. We have radically different interpretations of the events of that conflict. You should hear some of the conflicting explanations my wife and I offer our kids when we travel to some places around the Pacific Rim.

    But, to borrow from Lewis Black, we "agree on what the fuck reality is." We agree that you can't talk about Truman without Hirohito, you have to include both Tojo and MacArthur, the A6M and the Corsair.

    Only telling part of the truth is a famous method of deception. In fact, the Devil is famous for telling the worst lies by speaking only part of the truth.

    The Texas Board of Education isn't even trying to look like they're working in good faith.

  • by Darinbob ( 1142669 ) on Monday May 17, 2010 @05:01AM (#32234744)
    Except the US didn't take Texas from Mexico in the first place. Texas revolted; mostly by a lot of whites immigrants who slowly become a majority, then deciding they wanted to join the country next door. No wonder modern Texans are worried about immigrants, they may suspect history could repeat itself.
  • Re:1984 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by silentcoder ( 1241496 ) on Monday May 17, 2010 @06:57AM (#32235228)

    > In the 1950s, the crusades were considered a just war...
    > In honesty, the first is closer to the truth,

    Does that include the children's crusade ? Yeah, let's send an army of prepubescent soldiers against an organized military and assume that God will protect them... worked out great too - most of those kids ended up slave laborers.

    I was raised in one of the most conservative churches in the world - where the debate on whether women should be allowed to be elders, deacons or ministers has been raging for 20 years and making no major progress.
    Even in THAT church's "church history lessons" as part of Sunday school the crusades were called "the single biggest collective sin in the history of all Christianity".
    I don't think there has been anybody who deemed them a "just war" since the Enlightenment. That they were largely unsuccessful, that there was military and political factors involved are asides here.
    They were not "just" wars (frankly - I don't believe there can EVER be a case where the INVADERS get to claim 'just war' - the invaded sometimes can), not even the deeprouted religious views of those who fought them make them just. The descendents of the crusaders pretty much all decided that what they were doing would NOT be deemed just by God, and thus they stopped DOING it.

    In what whacked out place did you go to school that taught any different ?

  • Look at your source (Score:3, Interesting)

    by gravis777 ( 123605 ) on Monday May 17, 2010 @08:03AM (#32235558)

    From the Guardian:

    You really think the Guardian, one of the most liberal news organizations in the world, is going to give a non-biased opinion on this story?

    Those corrections have prompted a blizzard of accusations of rewriting history and indoctrinating children by promoting rightwing views on religion, economics and guns,

    As opposed to what, indoctoring them with left wing views? Didn't the summery state that they were trying to get rid of liberal bias? So, it sounds like you are replacing one form of biased history with another. I would love to see history that is truely purged of any bias, but have yet to see it. Historical accounts are generally recorded by survivors or by the victors, and so you have to take some things with a grain of salt.

    As to science, stuff that is proven, that shouldn't be messed with. If Texas wants to teach religion in ADDITION to science, that's one thing, teaching it in place of science is another. Living in Texas, I can tell you that the thought is NOT to throw out science.

    Lastly, they used the words "accusations" - that does not mean there is necessaraly any truth to it.

    And finally (this really is lastly), it looks that while it is an ongoing newsstory, in my skiming of the article, it does not look like the Guardian is introducing any new information. It sounds like an editorial of an ongoing newsstory.

  • Re:1984 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) * on Monday May 17, 2010 @08:06AM (#32235572) Journal

    Ever notice that all societies founded by the British, say Canada, the US and Australia, are all successful, and not a single African country is?


    And are you saying that the US was "founded by the British"? I think the French, Dutch and Spanish would have something to say about that. Do you know why Florida is called "Florida"? Do you know why there's an Amsterdam, New York? Do you know why there are so many places with French names?

    No, the British were just better at saying "This is ours. We've got dibs on this."

    And if the British are so good a building societies, why can't they figure out basic dental care?

  • Re:1984 (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jedidiah ( 1196 ) on Monday May 17, 2010 @08:30AM (#32235668) Homepage

    Even your revision if this particular bit of history has it's own bias.

    Whatever else the Crusades were or were supposed to be, they were also a counter-attack. The entire Mediterranean started out Christian and was itself invaded. This includes Egypt, Turkey and Israel. There was also Spain in this mix as well as the Balkans. There's a reason for the whole "Balkanization" thing.

    Even the modern PC version of the Crusades is a bit one sided, just in the other direction.

    Isabella didn't just send Columbus on his merry way. She also helped push the Moors back into North Africa.

    History is a long and twisted thing. Thus the problem with trying to water it down.

  • Re:1984 (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 17, 2010 @08:43AM (#32235788)

    You don't learn about real history is school.
    1st they say Columbus found America, then they change it to vikings, then they say Indians.
    1st they say the civil war was over freeing slaves, then they say saving the US, then they final tell you it was about jobs (Look at all the black people taking jobs that a good god fearing White man should be paid to do).

  • Re:1984 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by BVis ( 267028 ) on Monday May 17, 2010 @09:15AM (#32236072)

    You forgot the part where people give a shit about their fellow countrymen, and realize that helping other people (yes, even the ones who don't "deserve" the help, in your opinion) is in your own interest.

    Everyone focuses on the 'welfare queen'. Nobody focuses on the 999 other cases where someone legitimately needs the help.

  • Yes... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by cartman ( 18204 ) on Monday May 17, 2010 @10:21AM (#32236724)

    What do you propose? What exactly do you think we should compromise here? The planet is at stake. Should we compromise the planet?

    Don't talk to me in that petulant tone. You know perfectly well I'm not suggesting that we compromise the planet.

    No; I'm suggesting we compromise on the means to achieve our goals. What we want is to reduce c02 emissions; how we get there is not the important thing.

    We must compromise the means, because we don't want to compromise the ends, and if we don't compromise anything, then we won't get anything. Then the planet is endangered.

    What I suggest is that the environmental movement become rabidly pro-nuclear, and that they strongly favor nuclear big business. They should also suggest reducing safety requirements at nuclear reactors. Yes, I said it. The environmental movement should favor reducing safety requirements at nuclear reactors. That would make nuclear reactors cheaper than burning coal and would be politically possible, unlike the everyone-grow-your-own-food-and-stop-using-electricity scenario. If the environmental movement did as I'm suggesting, then they could conceivably have the effect of reducing c02 emissions rather than increasing them.

  • by dkleinsc ( 563838 ) on Monday May 17, 2010 @10:32AM (#32236856) Homepage

    Jews and Muslims are easily elected.

    Well, Jews are. In 2005-6, there were 11 Jewish senators and 26 Jewish representatives, for a total of about 7% of all seats in Congress, a much higher proportion than the ~2% of the US population that is Jewish.

    Muslims, on the other hand, have a much tougher time of it. There have been only 2 Muslims in Congress (both currently in office), for a total of 0.4% of all seats in Congress, and a much lower proportion than the ~1% of the US population that is Muslim. In both the campaigns of Muslim candidates, their religious faith was used against them. You can also judge whether being Muslim helps when you consider the people who were in hysterics because they thought (contrary to all evidence) that Barack Obama was Muslim.

Nothing ever becomes real till it is experienced -- even a proverb is no proverb to you till your life has illustrated it. -- John Keats