Monday, May 9, 2011

Teabag Territory

Not the first time it's been said, I suppose; but that doesn't make it any less depressing:

Failing Grades on Civics Exam Called a ‘Crisis’

Fewer than half of American eighth graders knew the purpose of the Bill of Rights on the most recent national civics examination, and only one in 10 demonstrated acceptable knowledge of the checks and balances among the legislative, executive and judicial branches, according to test results released on Wednesday.

At the same time, three-quarters of high school seniors who took the test, the National Assessment of Educational Progress, were unable to demonstrate skills like identifying the effect of United States foreign policy on other nations or naming a power granted to Congress by the Constitution.

“Today’s NAEP results confirm that we have a crisis on our hands when it comes to civics education,” said Sandra Day O’Connor, the former Supreme Court justice, who last year founded, a nonprofit group that teaches students civics through Web-based games and other tools.

This is exactly the desired result of the long game enacted originally by such hatriots as Karl Rove and Tom Delay: you win by turning minds to mush. And you do that with a multi-faceted and entirely cynical approach, one that makes Machiavelli seem like the Mahatma: degrade or destroy public education, corner the market on credulity by roping in the religious, and discredit legitimate media while single-mindedly replacing it with an Orwellian propaganda empire (so there's no mistake about the Orwellian part, and as a little knee-slapper for those in on it, label it "Fair and Balanced.")

And maybe the most important part, the glue that holds it together, the prestidigitation that makes it nearly unnoticed: stoking fear and hate, non-stop, using whatever scapegoat is most handy in a given age. Homosexuals, immigrants, non-Christians, liberals, intellectuals. Scientists. Lately, teachers.

Things in the night that go bump in the polls.

In a positive feedback loop that makes one question the impossibility of perpetual motion, these pieces reinforce one another exponentially; there's now a perfect substrate of ill-informed people, anxious for their perceived aggrievement to be redressed, entirely lacking in the tools of critical thinking that might cause them to question what they're being told, and to where they're being led.

And if you think I've joined the left-wing version of RWS™ wackos and conspiracists, read this. It'll chill your bones (assuming you believe in America, that is). Among the many, many and very scary revelations:

Gary North explains why getting students out of public schools is key to the Christian dominionist camp. “So let us be blunt about it: we must use the doctrine of religious liberty to gain independence for Christian schools until we train up a generation of people who know that there is no religious neutrality, no neutral law, no neutral education, and no neutral civil government. Then they will get busy in constructing a Bible-based social, political, and religious order which finally denies the religious liberty of the enemies of God.

And the Christian Right has been busy enacting this vision. One of the first goals of the Christian Coalition was to take control of 500 local public school boards, and it's a strategy the Religious Right has continued. ...

... In addition to getting Trojan horses on school boards, the Religious Right has played a significant role in disseminating anti-public school propaganda and forming alliances to support vouchers for private schools.

A nation of the deceived. By design. And working like a charm.

[Update: The most crazed among them aren't even trying to be subtle any more. A mere couple of hours after posting, I read this.]


  1. Thanks Sid, for cleanly delineating what the Christofacist "Christian Right" has been up to for years now.

    It isn't just the schools either, they are deep in the military, with their forced "Services" by right wing chaplins in all branches - for years now, they have been deeply entrenched in the Air Force Academy.

    Pure and simple, they want a theocracy in America, but it won't end in America.

    Remember "Today Germany, Tomorrow the World?"

    That's the plan. As Colbert says:

    ..."And though I am a committed Christian, I believe that everyone has the right to their own religion, be you Hindu, Jewish or Muslim. I believe there are infinite paths to accepting Jesus Christ as your personal savior."


  2. I am not familiar with this topic. Our sons went to public school and I've never had a problem with that. They were in a good school system and have done well. I don't see how everyone could possibly afford to go to private schools.

    I do wonder how it is that in the inner cities can graduate without knowing how to read? Obviously pushed forward, but how did the teachers get away with that? I am not for tenure when it means lousy teachers can keep their jobs no matter what. Students are there to learn and the teachers should teach. Sorry track a bit. But, regardless is the teacher who should hold students accountable. We were expected to pay attention, study and learn ands ..ifs or buts about it. I know you are pointing to Christians as the culprits or the agenda of some ...but isn't it really the educational system that just passes students through or that does not have a quality student curriculum? Dumb it down to help students achieve higher scores?

    Eugene - I respectfully point out that Jesus said "I am the way, the truth and the life and no one comes to the father but through me." John 14:6

    Perhaps I am not understanding what you are saying with that statement. ?

    I do agree with you that *everyone has the right* to believe in whatever faith or no faith ..etc.

    But ...the Christian faith is "Christ". It revolves around his salvation message. That is the whole point ..the cross. If Jesus and the father felt anyone could get to the Father any other way ...he would not have had to come down in human form as the son of God to sacrifice his life so that whoever believed in him would have eternal life. His life with us and teaching on earth pointed the way, so that we could choose to accept him as savior.

    If God were on a mountain top and one's goal was to get to God, then there could be many ways to reach God at the top of the mountain ...arriving from all directions, i.e., all faiths ... but all to the one mountain top God.

    But for a *Christian - following Christ* he is the ONLY way. And I know that is divisive ...offensive and he said it would be. It is clearly spoken throughout the new Testament scriptures.

    I am not telling anyone what to believe. Not at all. Just clarifying Christ's purpose and what differentiates him from all the others.

    Obviously others can have a different interpretation and so only explaining from my understanding.

  3. Eugene, if that really is your name...
    and if I was a betting man, I'd bet you have less military experience than Bill Clinton, Barak (Born in the USA) Osama, George HW Bush, "W", and AlGore combined...
    and you left out the biggest nugget about military chaplains...
    100% Homos!!!!
    OK 99.9999999999999%, and thats based purely on my 8 years of military service and a "N" of 3.
    Course all the ones I ran into were Catholic Priests, might skew the numbers a bit...
    "Jesus Christ"? which I thought was my name until I was 9 or 10, cause everytime I did something stupid my Dad would say "JESUS CHRIST!"
    Seriously, whens he comin back?
    JC I mean, Jesus, its been almost 2000 years...


  4. Blame Obama FirstMay 10, 2011 at 9:25 AM

    I think you've caught them dead to rights, Sid! The really evil part is how they managed to get the union teachers to do such a bad job at teaching. Their evil reach is amazing!

  5. I can't express how much I appreciate you, BOF, for never failing to demonstrate the idiocy of the opposition. Whatever you do, don't stop.


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