(Hat tip to Marmoe who alerted me to the Congressional report.)
The Obama administration has pushed its intelligence agencies into purging their training materials of “anything that might be offensive to anyone, particularly anyone of Islamic faith” (a quote from the purge order).
So what, exactly, would that amount to? Apparently, any reference to Islam at all in connection with terrorists. Even calling jihadists “terrorists is” offensive to them.
A celebration gone wrong
One odd incident from the New Year celebrations: A woman in Phoenix, AZ poses for a picture with a handgun against the head of her brother. She pulls the trigger. Of course, the gun was loaded, otherwise the incident would not be in the news. But there is a bigger story here, I think:
In the discussion on Ayn Rand’s works, the Lady Rowyn sagely suggests:
There are a lot of authors worth reading whether or not you agree with their conclusions. And whether or not people make fun of them.
Indeed. I’ve read much of Karl Marx, and am amazed that he has any followers at all. Especially women, but really anyone who thinks the notions through.
Marx is worshiped today in academia; Rand is reasonable, which lets her out of that club. I’ve got a college textbook next to me called The Critical Experience (edited by David L. Cowles), an analysis of techniques of literary criticism. The great majority of them are Marxist, or spin-offs of Marxist techniques. (Amusingly, Google Books helpfully suggests that a “related work” to this textbook is The Communist Manifesto. No surprise.)
By one page into the Introduction, the textbook is complaining that literary criticism was dominated by “white, male, American, Protestant, upper-middle-class, and highly educated.” They have been successful in reducing each one of these, I think, especially the highly educated part.
The writers of this college book are effusive in their praise of Karl Marx, granting only the possibility of Charles Darwin having greater influence upon “history and thought.” This was written (or at least published) in 1992, after the fall of the Soviet Union:
Marx’s contributions to the political philosophy that bears his name are well known, but his writings have also influenced such diverse disciplines as history, economics, sociology, anthropology, psychology, theology, and literary criticism. The proliferation of Marxist theorists in in dozens of academic fields has given rise to a number of diverse scholarly traditions…”
Feminist Theory, Reader Response Criticism, New Historicism, Cultural Materialism, Pluralism and others all are described as having Marxist roots, so that everything can be read in terms of the class struggle, substituting gender or whatever for the oppressed class. (In Feminist criticism, we are cautioned to avoid “rigid phallogocentric” ideas, an odd sort of double meaning under the circumstances.)
But the glow when Marx is mentioned practically radiates from the page. They like him, they really like him.
I do not.
===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle
From my article here. Wikipedia’s article about A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court gets details of the plot rather wrong. But this bit is interesting: these are stories written about people transported to the past with modern knowledge, but who didn’t succeed it putting it to use:
I am reading, once again, a book from about 130 years ago accessible here: A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain. Among many remarkable aspects of the book is protagonist Hank Morgan’s self-description from Chapter 3:
I am an American. I was born and reared in Hartford, in the State of Connecticut—anyway, just over the river, in the country. So I am a Yankee of the Yankees—and practical; yes, and nearly barren of sentiment, I suppose—or poetry, in other words. My father was a blacksmith, my uncle was a horse doctor, and I was both, along at first. Then I went over to the great arms factory and learned my real trade; learned all there was to it; learned to make everything: guns, revolvers, cannon, boilers, engines, all sorts of labor-saving machinery. Why, I could make anything a body wanted—anything in the world, it didn’t make any difference what; and if there wasn’t any quick new-fangled way to make a thing, I could invent one—and do it as easy as rolling off a log. I became head superintendent; had a couple of thousand men under me.
I mentioned this yesterday (actually early this morning), but did not get the link in correctly.
Texas and Wisconsin education rankings have been compared, with the Wisconsin union teachers blasting Texas for not having union teachers. Wisconsin’s rank on the National Report Card is #2, they noted, compared to #47 for Texas.
But in fact, Texas students are doing better in almost every single regard than Wisconsin students, as Iowahawk notes. In scores in the different subjects at several grade levels, 18 scores in all, Texas beats Wisconsin in 17 of them and it’s about a draw for the last one.
A few weeks ago, the “Nation’s Report Card” was released. It is embarrassing, and disappointing, and probably would be much more so had the administration not completely changed the methodology so that no comparisons can be made to previous periods.