Forward to the past 11

What does a conservative in the US most want to conserve? We would say: A commitment to liberty, the founding principle of his country. American conservatives may differ from each other on questions of religion, foreign affairs, entitlements and the economic “safety-net”, homosexual marriage and abortion, even on defense, but if they are not loyal to the Constitution and the idea of individual freedom that it enshrines, they are not true conservatives.

In Britain too, conservatives are dedicated to the defense of the traditional and hard-won liberties of the people.

In Russia, being a conservative means something different. The very opposite. What Russian conservatives want to conserve is their long and almost completely unbroken tradition of tyranny. The quarrel within their ranks would now, in post-Soviet times, be chiefly over whether they want a return to the Red Tyranny of Bolshevism, or the older tradition of Tsarist oppression, where cause for national pride may more confidently be found.

Owen Matthews, author of  Stalin’s Children, writes in the Spectator (UK) about a conservative Russian military leader:

Strange times throw up strange heroes — and in Russia’s proxy war with Ukraine, none is more enigmatic than the Donetsk rebel leader Igor Girkin, better known by his nom de guerre of Igor Strelkov.

In a few short months, Strelkov has gone from being an obscure military re-enactor to the highest-profile rebel leader in eastern Ukraine. But at the same time Strelkov’s fame and outspoken criticism of Vladimir Putin for failing to sufficiently support the rebels has earned him the enmity of the Kremlin. Moreover, Strelkov’s brand of sentimental ultra-nationalism, extreme Orthodoxy and Russian Imperial nostalgia offer a frightening glimpse into one of Russia’s possible futures.

In the West, we are used to seeing Putin cast as a dangerous adventurer and nationalist. But to Strelkov, and to the millions of Russians who have come to admire him, Putin isn’t nearly nationalist enough.

Within weeks of his arrival in eastern Ukraine in May this year, apparently on his own initiative, Strelkov quickly became the highest-profile rebel leader thanks to his discipline and military bearing. A veteran of wars in Bosnia, Transnistria and Chechnya, Strelkov is a reserve colonel in the Russian army and a former (and possibly current) officer in Russia’s military intelligence service, the GRU. With his clipped moustache, pressed fatigues and careful charm, Strelkov styles himself on a pre–revolutionary Tsarist officer. In May he mustered a 2,000-strong local defence force in Slavyansk, banned his troops from swearing and ordered two of his own men to be summarily executed for looting.

He wrote a manifesto calling his troops “an Orthodox army who are proud that we serve not the golden calf but our Lord Jesus Christ” and declared that “swearing is blasphemy, and a Russian warrior cannot use the language of the enemy. It demeans us spiritually, and will lead the army to defeat”.

Russian state television built Strelkov up as a hero. The nationalist writer Egor Prosvirnin praised him as the “Russian God of War” who “rinks the blood of foreign mercenaries to the last drop, and then asks for more”. …

And then, in mid-August, Strelkov mysteriously resigned his post as “defence minister” of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic — along with two other Russian citizens who had been the civilian heads of the rebel Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics. All three rebel leaders were replaced by Ukrainian citizens.

The most obvious explanation for the reshuffle is that Moscow is preparing a negotiated settlement where the Russian-speaking eastern Ukraine — or Novo-Rossiya, “New Russia”, in Russian nationalist parlance — will be given some degree of autonomy within Ukraine. Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary — from young soldiers’ Instagram selfies tagged to locations inside Ukraine to the Russian regular soldiers taken prisoners of war on Monday by Kiev’s troops — Moscow has also continued to insist that it is not a combatant in Ukraine. Clearly, having Russian citizens at the helm of supposedly autonomous rebel republics and their armed forces was a diplomatic inconvenience to the Kremlin which needed to be fixed — and pressure was put on Strelkov and his cronies to quit.

But there’s another, deeper meaning to Strelkov’s fall from favour. Though he’s often portrayed as a stooge of Moscow, Strelkov has in fact been consistently critical of the Kremlin’s failure to act decisively to annex eastern Ukraine as it annexed Crimea in spring. “Having taken Crimea, Putin began a revolution from the top,” Strelkov wrote in June. “But if we do not support [this revolution] now, its failure will sweep aside both him and the country.”

Strelkov’s close associate Igor Ivanov, the head of the rebel army’s political department, has also furiously denounced the “Chekist-oligarchic regime” of Vladimir Putin and has also predicted that Putin will soon fall, leaving only the army and the church to save Russia from chaos.

This mix of militarism, religion and a mystical faith in Holy Russia’s imperial destiny to rule over lesser nations has deep roots. Ivanov was until recently head of the Russian All-Military Union, or ROVS, an organisation originally founded by the White Russian General Baron Pyotr Wrangel in 1924 after the victory of the Bolsheviks in the civil war. Its guiding motive was to preserve the Tsarist ideals of God, Tsar and Fatherland. For much of the 20th century, ROVS was the preserve of elderly emigré fantasists — before a new generation of post-Soviet nationalists like Ivanov breathed new life into the organisation as a home for Russian ultra-nationalists who hate Putin’s brand of crony capitalism.

A similar outfit is the Narodny Sobor, or People’s Assembly, which describes itself as an “Orthodox-Patriotic organisation devoted to fighting ‘liberasts’ and western values, to promoting Orthodoxy, and to preserving the traditional family”, according to a recent study by Professor Paul Robinson of the University of Ottawa. In Russia, the Narodny Sobor has, along with the Russian Orthodox church, successfully campaigned for a tsunami of conservative legislation to be passed by the Duma, from banning swearing on television and in films to prohibiting the spreading of “homosexual propaganda”. The head of the Narodny Sobor’s Ukrainian branch is Igor Druz — a senior political advisor to Strelkov who has denounced the Kiev government as “pederasts and drug addicts”.

On the face of it, Strelkov and his ilk and Putin should be on the same side. They share a nostalgia for a lost Russian greatness — indeed Strelkov has a degree in history and was until recently an enthusiastic military re-enactor, playing White Guard and second world war officers. And this year, in the wake of the Ukrainian crisis, Putin has abandoned years of hard-edged pragmatism and economic prudence and moved towards the kind of mystical, Orthodox nationalism so beloved of the ROVS and Narodny Sobor crowd.

Yet as Putin prepares to sign off on some kind of compromise peace deal with the Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko, there will be millions of Russians brainwashed by months of state television’s patriotic propaganda who will agree with Strelkov that Moscow is selling the rebels down the river.

Strelkov himself has little chance of becoming a serious opposition figure to Putin; he is too stiff and too weird for public politics. But Putin’s main challenger, when he comes, will be someone of Strelkov’s stamp.

We tend to think of Vladimir Putin as being most politically vulnerable from the left — from the liberal, western-orientated professionals who came out in their hundreds of thousands on the streets of Moscow and St Petersburg three years ago to protest at Putin’s third term. But in truth Putin’s real vulnerability is from the right — from the racist football fans who rioted unchecked through central Moscow in 2010; from prophets of a Russian-led Eurasian empire such as Alexander Dugin, who was in the radical nationalist opposition to Putin before falling temporarily into step with the Kremlin in the wake of the Crimea campaign; and from militaristic ultra-conservatives on the Russian religious right.

So for the countries of Eastern Europe emancipated from Russian servitude barely a quarter of a century ago, there is not only the growing threat of re-subjugation, but the probability that it will be applied according to the whims of a madman, a religious fanatic living out fantasies of Tsardom and limitless imperial expansion by military means.

Obama’s solemn judgment 2

Again we pinch a neat cartoon from PowerLine:

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Obama, ISIS, and the big question 3

Let’s interpret what Obama said yesterday about dealing with the Islamic State (IS, ISIS, ISIL), now waging war in Iraq and Syria and threatening to bring terror and destruction to the United States. Dig out what he really meant. It’s not difficult. We’ll also comment on what his spokesman said in a hopeless effort at damage control.

We take the text for our comments from the report of the speech at Time online, which – interestingly for a left-leaning organ – takes a dim view of it:

President Barack Obama seemed to commit the worst of Washington gaffes Thursday when he updated the American people about the ongoing threat from Islamist militants wreaking havoc in Iraq and Syria. “I don’t want to put the cart before the horse: we don’t have a strategy yet,” Obama said of the effort to combat the militant group Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) in its safe haven in Syria. “I think what I’ve seen in some of the news reports suggest that folks are getting a little further ahead of what we’re at than what we currently are.”

Meaning: “I have no idea what to do. I’d rather not do anything. Don’t urge me to do something. I’m not ready to do anything. I really don’t want to make a decision. I really don’t want to act. Don’t bully me.”

Obama’s comment that “we don’t have a strategy,” delivered to reporters at the White House before the Labor Day holiday weekend, prompted immediate mockery from Republicans — not to mention quick damage control from the White House. “In his remarks today, [Obama] was explicit — as he has been in the past — about the comprehensive strategy we’ll use to confront [ISIS] threat,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said in a series of Twitter posts. “He was referring to military options for striking [ISIS] in Syria,” Earnest added in a hastily scheduled CNN appearance.

Obama was not explicit. That is the whole point of all the criticism. The minions of the Left typically mis-describe their statements and actions as the opposite of what they actually are. “I/he made it clear” is the regular cover for being muddled and foggy and evasive.

Obama was set to meet with the National Security Council on Thursday evening, and he said his Administration is working hard to develop a plan for stemming ISIS’s spread from Iraq to Syria.

He is not working at all to develop a plan for anything. He has no wish to stem ISIS’s spread.

“We need to make sure that we’ve got clear plans, that we’re developing them,” he said.

Big giveaway there. He needs to make sure he’s got plans. Clear plans, mark you, comrade. Or he needs to make sure that he’s developing them. Will he actually make plans, or develop them, so that he can make sure that that’s what he’s doing? What has he, Lord of the Planet Earth, done already?

Obama said he’s ordered Secretary of State John Kerry to begin …

“Ordered John Kerry.” John Kerry the Chief Bungler. So we know that whatever it is that must be begun will be a failure.

… assembling a coalition to strike back at ISIS …

Meaning: Won’t do it on my own. Like Bush did (even though he didn’t). I’m not going to be held responsible for going to war. If lots of other countries do it then maybe okay. And no, I’m not resigning leadership. As always, I’ll be leading from behind, while they follow in front. So be still, My Base, I’m doing the least I can.

… while he has tasked Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and the Joint Chiefs of Staff to present him with military options.

Lots of options. So many that it will be impossible to choose one. Unless there’s one that is “unbelievably small”, to use John Kerry’s terrifyingly belligerent expression.

“We’re gonna cobble together …

“Cobble together”. Stitch up a ramshackle kinda co-operational thing. Nothing so decisive and leader-like as “organize a coalition”. And incidentally, wasn’t NATO created for the common defense of the West? Well maybe, but it was frightfully anti-Russian. And – I mean – it’s armed and everything, and it might really do damage, you know.

… the kind of coalition that we need for a long-term strategy as soon as we are able to fit together the military, political and economic components of that strategy,” Obama said. “There will be a military aspect to that.”

It’s sooo complicated. Like a jigsaw puzzle. There’s the political aspect. We haven’t even begun to think about that. And there’s the economic aspect. I mean, how much is it going to cost ISIS if we – our cobbled-together coalition – were to go to war against ISIS? Think of the reparations we’ll have to pay afterwards! And then okay there’s also – did I say “military”? Well, yes.  There would be a military aspect to that. Not something to be undertaken lightly, a military aspect.

Yes, in a way, you could say that military strikes, from the air, have already been made. You absolutely have to understand that those were only done to protect Americans in Erbil. I mean, it was urgent and essential. I acted decisively, you see. Urgently. Americans were under immediate threat. The only way to protect  them was by bombing some munition sites in the territory held by the Islamic State. It was so urgent, I was being so decisive, I didn’t want to waste time asking Congress to authorize the attacks. (The Constitution says? What Constitution? ) Besides, you know, that wasn’t making war. Not really. You see, folks, I was protecting our folks.

The President defended his decision not to seek authorization from Congress before beginning strikes on ISIS targets in Iraq three weeks ago, saying the urgency of the threat to the U.S. consulate in Erbil required immediate action. “I can’t afford to wait in order to make sure that those folks are protected,” Obama said.

Since Aug. 8, the military has conducted 106 air strikes in Iraq, according to U.S. Central Command.

It will all be different, you see,  when plans have been developed, and when he’s made sure that plans have been developed. Doing anything before that would be putting the cart before the horse. When the time comes that the horse can be put before the cart, then I may go to Congress – for the funds. It’s a suggestion I may consider. Because Congress must not be totally ignored. After all, those are the representatives of the American people, so I intend to allow them some buy-in in this enterprise, whatever it may turn out to be.

Obama suggested that once he has a strategy for tackling ISIS, he would seek authorization from Congress, particularly since it may require additional funding. “It is my intention that Congress has to have some buy-in as representatives of the American people,” he said.

First the plans and the cobbled-together coalition, then the strategy, then going to Congress for the money … With any luck ISIS will have won the war by then, conquered the whole of the Middle East, and John Kerry can be despatched to start talks with President Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on exchanging American land for peace.

Next comes the supremely important task of separating ISIS from Islam.

“This should be a wake-up call to Sunni, to [Shi‘ite], to everybody, that a group like ISIS is beyond the pale; that they have no vision or ideology beyond violence and chaos and the slaughter of innocent people,” Obama said. “And as a consequence, we’ve got to all join together — even if we have differences on a range of political issues — to make sure that they’re rooted out.”

If I can get enough Muslim forces into the cobbled-together coalition, and let them do the fighting, I can make it seem as if the Islamic State is not Islamic at all.

Oh why am I burdened with all this! I’d much rather talk about a Big Question, like the meaning of life. My own view is that Muhammad found the right answer. I only hope there are splendid golf courses in paradise.

Posted under Arab States, Commentary, Iraq, Islam, jihad, middle east, Muslims, Syria, Terrorism, United States, US Constitution, War by Jillian Becker on Friday, August 29, 2014

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Reason as the source of order and morality 11

This video is one of a series – a pleasure to watch in its entirety – in which Charles R. Kesler of the Claremont Institute interviews Heather Mac Donald. She thinks clearly and speaks plainly. Her ideas are genuinely profound.

Very rare, that. Most intellectuals are not very intelligent, and seem to hold to the precept: “I cannot be profound so I’ll be unintelligible – and trust that few who hear me can tell the difference.”

Heather Mac Donald is an atheist and a conservative. We expect most of our readers will be in agreement with what she says here:

The Golden Rule: Treat others as you want them to treat you.

Or (better): Don’t treat others as you’d hate to be treated yourself.

It is worth noting that belief in the Golden Rule is not common to all religions. Not even to all the “moral religions”.  There is nothing in the teaching of Islam that approximates to it, even with the most liberal interpretation of Muhammad’s less offensive doctrines.

The Golden Rule is, however, reasonable. Sensible human beings don’t need a message from a mystical sphere to see that it makes good sense.

Posted under Miscellaneous, Philosophy by Jillian Becker on Thursday, August 28, 2014

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A Muslim child does her homework 0

Posted under Islam, jihad, Muslims, Videos by Jillian Becker on Thursday, August 28, 2014

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Britain: a police-protected pedophile brothel 14

From the Telegraph:

More than 1,400 children were sexually abused over a 16 year period by gangs of paedophiles after police and council bosses turned a blind eye for fear of being labelled racist, a damning report has concluded.

Details of the appalling depravity in the town and the systemic failures that allowed it to continue were laid out in a report published by Professor Alexis Jay, the former chief inspector of social work in Scotland.

Victims were gang raped, while others were groomed and trafficked across northern England by groups of mainly Asian men.

“Asian men” were they? The very fact that the Telegraph is reluctant to use the word “Muslim” – though they were in fact Muslim gangs of paedophiles – goes a long way to explaining the prevailing mind-set in Britain which made the prolonged abuse possible.

Senior officials were responsible for “blatant” failures that saw victims, some as young as 11, being treated with contempt and categorised as being “out of control” or simply ignored when they asked for help.

In some cases, parents who tried to rescue their children from abusers were themselves arrested.

So the authorities were in league with the criminals. The police colluded with the Muslim rapists, pimps, and enslavers of children.

Police officers even dismissed the rape of children by saying that sex had been consensual.

In the UK, if an adult has sex with a child under 16, he has committed the crime of rape whether the child “gives consent” or not.

So now what has happened as a result of the report being published?

[The Prime Minister’s office] described the failure to halt the abuse in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, as “appalling”.

Following the publication of the report, the leader of Rotherham council, Roger Stone, resigned, but no other council employees will face disciplinary proceedings after it was claimed [by whom? – ed] that there was not enough evidence to take action.

Fourteen thousand children abused over a 16 year period, and there is “not enough evidence”?

There were calls for Shaun Wright, the Police and Crime Commissioner for South Yorkshire to step down after it emerged that he was the councillor with responsibility for children’s services in Rotherham for part of the period covered by the report. …

Professor Jay wrote: “No one knows the true scale of child sexual exploitation in Rotherham over the years. Our conservative estimate is that approximately 1,400 children were sexually exploited over the full inquiry period, from 1997 to 2013. … It is hard to describe the appalling nature of the abuse that child victims suffered. They were raped by multiple perpetrators, trafficked to other towns and cities in the north of England, abducted, beaten, and intimidated … [Some] had been doused in petrol and threatened with being set alight, threatened with guns, made to witness brutally violent rapes and threatened they would be next if they told anyone.”

The report pinned the blame squarely on failings within the leadership of South Yorkshire Police and Rotherham council.

Prof Jay said: “Within social care, the scale and seriousness of the problem was underplayed by senior managers. At an operational level, the police gave no priority to child sex exploitation, regarding many child victims with contempt and failing to act on their abuse as a crime.”

It emerged that there had been three previous reports into the problem which had been suppressed or ignored by officials, either because they did not like or did not believe the findings.

“Did not like” the findings is obviously the truth. It was the duty of the police to find out if they were true. They could only “not believe” them as long as they didn’t investigate them. Wouldn’t it be nice if police could simply say that they didn’t believe any reported crime and so save save themselves all further trouble!  (And there was a time when the British “bobby” was held in the highest esteem! How “multiculturalism” has corrupted them and undermined the rule of law, while changing Britain from a decent country into a paedophile brothel.)

The report stated: “Some councillors seemed to think it was a one-off problem, which they hoped would go away.

There’s another great new technique for effective policing – hoping the problem will go away.

Several staff described their nervousness about identifying the ethnic origins of perpetrators for fear of being thought racist; others remembered clear direction from their managers not to do so.

There is only one “ethnic identity” which anyone in Europe is afraid to identify, and it is not an ethnic identity at all: it is a religious affiliation. And the fear is not of “being thought racist”, but of being killed by vengeful adherents of that religion: Islam.

For years, the police failed to get a grip of the problem, dismissing many of the victims as “out of control” or as “undesirables” who were not worthy of police protection.

So the British police now get to decide who is “worthy” of their protection and who is not. Even if that were not in itself destructive of the rule of law, wouldn’t convention and common sense tell them that children always needing protection?

Responding to the criticism levelled at the police, Chief Superintendent Jason Harwin, the district commander for Rotherham, issued an unreserved apology to all the victims of child sexual exploitation.

And that makes it all right, does it – a healing redeeming apology? Makes it as if no crime has been committed. Saves the courts and the prisons a load of work.

What if the perpetrators had been white Britons? Would they have been investigated, stopped, arrested, tried and punished? The answer is “probably yes”. Only Muslims can break the law in Britain, even commit extreme crimes, and have a very good chance of getting away with it.

Had no one looked into all this before Professor Jay?

Sure, there had been those three earlier reports – which “were not acted upon and were left to gather dust while the abuse continued”.

Posted under Britain, Islam, jihad, Muslims, United Kingdom by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, August 27, 2014

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Against “Judeo-Christian values” 11

Daily one hears and reads American conservatives insisting that America, our civilization, our might, our freedom, our prosperity, are owing to “our Judeo-Christian values”. (For one of today’s examples, see here.)

There are no such things as “Judeo-Christian values”.

Unless you count a few of the “10 commandments” – that it’s wrong to kill, to steal, to bear false witness (which realization in any case long pre-dates Mosaic law) – the two religions diverge sharply on the question of values. In fact what each holds as its highest value is in direct contradiction to the other. The highest value in Jewish teaching was Justice. For Christianity as invented by St. Paul, it was Love.

Christianity preaches that a person can be separated from his deeds: “Hate the sin but love the sinner”. There is no place for justice where a wrong-doer is not to be held responsible for what he does. The Christian gospels stress that evil should not be resisted. (“Resist not evil” the putative Christ is reported as preaching in his “Sermon on the Mount”.) The Christian message also stressed unconditional forgiveness. It all adds up to a morality that excludes justice: an unjust morality.

What Judaism and Christianity could be said to have in common – which the parrots of “Judeo-Christian values” would not care to admit – is a devaluing of reason. Neither respects reason above faith.

The values we ideally live by were not the product of Judaism or Christianity, but of the Enlightenment. It was only when, in the 18th century, Reason usurped the power of the Churches, that individual freedom became a supreme value. Only then, for the first time since the glory days of classical Greece, people were encouraged to think for themselves, to obey no orthodoxy. Freedom of conscience and freedom of speech began for us then – in an intellectual revolution against religious dogma.

The greatness of the West, and especially of the United States of America, is the result of the revolution which is rightly called the Enlightenment. Freedom to doubt, to leave room for all ideas to be expressed and heard, and so to learn and discover and experiment, has brought us prosperity and power. The world-dominating success of our civilization began with the triumph of reason over religion.

A return to theocracy would be a return to darkness.

*

Afterword. Reason triumphs yet again.

From the Washington Post:

[An] experimental drug pressed into emergency use in the West African Ebola epidemic cured a group of 18 monkeys of the deadly disease, including some who didn’t receive the treatment until five days after they were injected with the virus, researchers reported Friday.

The finding raises new hope for use of the cocktail of monoclonal antibodies, called ZMapp, against Ebola, which has no known cure or vaccine. It has been fatal to more than half the people who have contracted the virus in Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.

During the current outbreak, more than 1,500 people have died and 3,069 people have become infected in five countries, the latest of them Senegal, according to the World Health Organization. The current epidemic is worse than all previous Ebola outbreaks combined. A small number of cases, believed to be a separate outbreak, have surfaced in the Democratic Republic of Congo. …

The fact that ZMapp has worked on monkeys “strongly supports” the possibility that it will work on people, “but it’s not proven” – as yet.

It soon will be.

Posted under Commentary, Ethics, Law, liberty, United States, US Constitution by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, August 26, 2014

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A good answer to a stupid question 7

A selection of video-recorded statements by Christopher Hitchens on religion.

He is blunt and accurate, and entertaining as he always was (which we appreciated, even when – on political issues – we disagreed with him).

 

(Hat-tip to our reader Marnee)

 

Posted under Christianity, Commentary, Judaism, Religion general by Jillian Becker on Monday, August 25, 2014

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Undermining the West: left-slanted revisionist history teaching 8

APUSH stands for Advanced Placement United States History. Members of the College Board’s APUSH Curriculum Development and Assessment Committee have identified themselves as the authors of the APUSH Curriculum Framework.

This “Framework” lays down the history that students must be taught.

We quote criticism of its prescriptions from the excellent Heartland Institute:

The Framework omits Benjamin Franklin, Dwight Eisenhower, Martin Luther King Jr, and many other key figures in American history. [The authors] accuse critics of “misunderstanding our document”. Unfortunately, we have not misunderstood anything; the document is clear. The Framework devotes pages 28 to 80 to a detailed outline of the “required knowledge” students are expected to learn in their AP U.S. History course. The Framework unequivocally states, “Beginning with the May 2015 AP U.S. History Exams, no AP U.S. History Exam questions will require students to know historical content that falls outside this concept outline” (emphasis added).

The Framework is a lengthy document that provides more than enough space to include key figures and seminal documents from American history. The College Board [has not] … explained why the Framework does have space to include Chief Little Turtle, the Students for a Democratic Society, and the Black Panthers, but does not have space to include Dwight Eisenhower, Jonas Salk, and Martin Luther King Jr. The omissions have been widely criticized. …

The authors invite critics to examine the just-released AP Practice Exam. They contend that reviewers will find “a rich and inclusive body of historic knowledge”.  In reality, reviewers will find an exam that tests a surprisingly limited range of topics. …

President Ronald Reagan is the only historic figure who actually generates specific questions. In one question, Reagan’s famous “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” quote is used to reflect “increased assertiveness and bellicosity.” …

[The authors] insist that the Framework strikes “a careful balance between teaching factual knowledge and critical analysis.” We believe the APUSH Framework fails to meet the test of providing a balanced curriculum that acknowledges both the nation’s founding principles and its continuing struggles to be faithful to those principles.

Heartland then provides “a list of biased statements taken verbatim from the Framework” (all page references given).

Here is our abridged version of its most important points, with our own emphasis in bold on the most egregious examples of where leftist intention to indoctrinate is plain, and our comments added to the Heartland comments:

“Teachers can explore the roots of the modern environmental movement in the Progressive Era and New Deal, as well as debate the underlying and proximate causes of environmental catastrophes arising from pesticide use and offshore oil drilling.”

Interpretation: “You can debate it all you like, but we’re telling you what the causes are anyway.”

“Many Europeans developed a belief in white superiority to justify their subjugation of Africans and American Indians, using several different rationales.”

Which Europeans would those be? Whoever they were, the British – they claim – were the worst in this respect:

“Unlike Spanish, French, and Dutch colonies, which accepted intermarriage and cross-racial sexual unions with native peoples (and, in Spain’s case, with enslaved Africans), English colonies attracted both males and females who rarely intermarried with either native peoples or Africans, leading to the development of a rigid racial hierarchy. Reinforced by a strong belief in British racial and cultural superiority, the British system enslaved black people in perpetuity, altered African gender and kinship relationships in the colonies and was one factor that led the British colonists into violent confrontations with native peoples.”

Nothing about the British being the first nation ever in the history of the world to put a stop to slavery and the slave trade within its jurisdiction? Seems not.

The sole statement about the New England colonies is that “founded primarily by Puritans seeking to establish a community of like-minded religious believers, [they] developed a close-knit, homogeneous society and – aided by favorable environmental conditions – a thriving mixed economy of agriculture and commerce”. Omitted are the Pilgrims, Mayflower Compact, Winthrop’s “City Upon a Hill,” Roger Williams and religious toleration, New England town meetings and the birth of democratic institutions, and much more [of this period].

The sole statement about the Middle Colonies is: “The demographically, religiously, and ethnically diverse middle colonies supported a flourishing export economy based on cereal crops.” Omitted are William Penn, the Quakers, Pennsylvania policy of religious toleration, and the fact that their economic prosperity attracted a diverse mix of ethnic and religious groups. The Framework’s dominant theme is that American history is really the story of identity groups and conflicts.

The sole reference to George Washington is that his Farewell Address “warned about the dangers of divisive political parties and permanent foreign alliances”.

The sole reference to the Declaration of Independence is: “The colonists’ belief in the superiority of republican self-government based on the natural rights of the people found its clearest American expression in Thomas Paine’s Common Sense and in the Declaration of Independence.”

The Framework omits both Jeffersonian and Jacksonian democracy. This sort of biased statement reinforces the Framework’s consistently negative portrayal of the American experience: “Many white Americans in the South asserted their regional identity through pride in the institution of slavery, insisting that the federal government should defend their institution.” And: “Resistance to initiatives for democracy and inclusion included proslavery arguments, rising xenophobia, anti-black sentiments in political and popular culture, and restrictive anti-Indian policies.” 

This is how the Framework describes the Monroe Doctrine and the annexation of Texas: ” The U.S. sought dominance over the North American continent through a variety of means, including military actions, judicial decisions, and diplomatic efforts.”  And: ” The idea of Manifest Destiny, which asserted U.S. power in the Western Hemisphere and supported U.S. expansion westward, was built on a belief in white racial superiority and a sense of American cultural superiority, and helped to shape the era’s political debates.” In fact, Manifest Destiny expressed America’s mission to spread its democratic institutions and technology across the continent. This revisionist definition clearly expresses the Framework’s negative biases.

The sole references to President Lincoln are to “Lincoln’s election on a free soil platform [and] Lincoln’s decision to issue the Emancipation Proclamation”.  The Framework omits the Gettysburg Address.

There is plain anti-business bias. “Business interests battled conservationists as the latter sought to protect sections of unspoiled wilderness through the establishment of national parks and other conservationist and preservationist measures.” And capitalism is consistently portrayed negatively. “A number of critics challenged the dominant corporate ethic in the United States and sometimes capitalism itself, offering alternate visions of the good society through utopianism and the Social Gospel.”

The construction of the transcontinental railroads was a major American achievement, but is portrayed in an entirely negative light, thus: “As transcontinental railroads were completed, bringing more settlers west, U.S. military actions, the destruction of the buffalo, the confinement of American Indians to reservations, and assimilationist policies reduced the number of American Indians and threatened native culture and identity.”

America’s contribution to the Allied cause in World War 1 is described thus: “Although the American Expeditionary Force played a relatively limited role in the war… ” And: “The mass mobilization of American society to supply troops for the war effort and a workforce on the home front ended the Great Depression [factually incorrect as the depression bottomed out in 1933 – ed] and provided opportunities for women and minorities to improve their socioeconomic positions.” And: ” Wartime experiences, such as the internment of Japanese Americans, challenges to civil liberties, debates over race and segregation, and the decision to drop the atomic bomb raised questions about American values.” The Framework’s complete coverage of World War II is contained in those sentences. It omits all mention of American military commanders, battles, and the valor of our servicemen and women who ended the long night of Nazi oppression.

Also note that the Framework completely omits the Holocaust.

The Korean War and the Vietnam War are dealt with in one sentence  “The United States sought to ‘contain’ Soviet-dominated communism through a variety of measures, including military engagements in Korea and Vietnam.”

Then an issue is raised that the authors clearly regard as far more important than wars and genocide:

“Activists began to question society’s assumptions about gender and to call for social and economic equality for women and for gays and lesbians.” 

Though the Framework omits Rosa Parks and Dr. King, it does have room for the SDS and the Black Panthers: “Teachers have the flexibility to [ie they really should] use examples such as the following: Students for a Democratic Society, Black Panthers.”

And here is how they want the final victory of the US over the evil empire of the USSR taught:

This is the Framework’s simplistic explanation for how and why the Cold War ended: “President Ronald Reagan, who initially rejected détente with increased defense spending, military action, and bellicose rhetoric, later developed a friendly relationship with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, leading to significant arms reductions by both countries.”

No “debate’ about the victims of the Communist regimes is prescribed. By implication, the history of the USSR, China, Cambodia, is proscribed. To mention the millions killed, imprisoned, enslaved, starved, or worked to death by Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot might distract students from building their disgust with the Framework’s garbled, misleading, and thoroughly evil version of their own country’s history.

The concluding statement is that: “Demographic changes intensified debates about gender roles, family structures, and racial and national identity. ”  And the authors recommend (“teachers have the flexibility to use”) examples such as the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” debate.

From the framework document alone it would be easy to draw up the American Communist Manifesto. Simply assemble: Environmentalism … anti-fossil fuel …  victimization of women and homosexuals … down with white men … one (Left) party rule … anti-NATO (“foreign alliances”) … anti-US military strength … RACE … Marxist utopianism …

The main point of the document is that the United States has been an oppressive, murderous, cruel, racist, destructive, genocidal, polluting, avaricious, inhumane power. Implied is that it must change into a collectivist egalitarian utopia under  Communist one-party rule.

And that is how the history of America is to be taught to its own rising generations.

Islamic K-grade5 lesson: Beheading 0

From Answering Muslims:

Islamic State (IS, ISIS, ISIL] Uses Dolls to Train Children How to Behead Infidels

 

ISIS Children Beheading

 

Posted under Arab States, Civil war, Iraq, Islam, jihad, middle east, Muslims, Syria, Terrorism by Jillian Becker on Saturday, August 23, 2014

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