If recent elections have taught us anything, it’s that young Americans have taken a decided turn to the left. Young voters delivered Obama the election: the under-44 set voted Obama and the over-45 set broke for Romney. The youngest voters, age 18-29, gave Obama a whopping 60 percent of their vote.
Now Republicans have a plan to try to recapture the youngest voters out there: Take over the curriculum in public schools, replace education with a bunch of conservative propaganda, and reap the benefits of having a new generation that can’t tell reality from right-wing fantasy.
How well this plan will work is debatable, but in the meantime, these shenanigans present the very real possibility that public school students will graduate without a proper education. To make it worse, many of these attempts to rewrite school curriculum are happening in Texas, which can set the textbook standards for the entire country by simply wielding its power as one of the biggest school textbook markets there is. With that in mind, here’s a list of 11 lies your kid may be in danger of learning in school.
Lie No. 1: Racism has barely been an issue in U.S. history and slavery wasn’t that big a deal.
The Thomas B. Fordham Institute reviewed the new social studies standards laid down by the right-wing-dominated Texas State School Board and found them to be a deplorable example of conservative wishful thinking replacing fact. At the top of list? Downplaying the role that slavery had in starting the Civil War, and instead focusing on “sectionalism” and “states’ rights,” even though the sectionalism and states’ rights arguments directly stemmed from Southern states wanting to keep slavery. There’s also a chance your kid might be misled to think post-Civil War racism was no big deal, as the standards excise any mention of the KKK, the phrase “Jim Crow” or the Black Codes. Mention is made of the Southern Democratic opposition to civil rights, but mysteriously, the mass defection of Southern Democrats to the Republican Party to punish the rest of the Democrats for supporting civil rights goes unmentioned.
Lie No. 2: Joe McCarthy was right.
The red-baiting of the mid-20th century has gone down in history, correctly, as a witch hunt that stemmed from irrational paranoia that gripped the U.S. after WWII. But now, according to the Thomas B. Fordham report, your kid might learn that the red baiters had a point: “It is disingenuously suggested that the House Un-American Activities Committee—and, by extension, McCarthyism—have been vindicated by the Venona decrypts of Soviet espionage activities (which had, in reality, no link to McCarthy’s targets).” Critical lessons about being skeptical of those who attack fellow Americans while wrapping themselves in the flag will be lost for students whose textbooks adhere to these standards.
Lie No. 3: Climate change is a massive hoax scientists have perpetuated on the public.
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has been hard at work pushing for laws requiring that climate change denialism be taught in schools as a legitimate scientific theory. Unfortunately, as Neela Banerjee of the L.A. Times reports, they’ve already had some serious success: “Texas and Louisiana have introduced education standards that require educators to teach climate change denial as a valid scientific position. South Dakota and Utah passed resolutions denying climate change.” Other states are taking the “teach the controversy” strategy that helped get creationism into biology classrooms, asking teachers to treat climate change like it’s a matter of political debate instead of a scientifically established fact.
The reality is that climate change is a fact that has overwhelming scientific consensus. In 2004, Science reviewed the 928 relevant studies on climate change published between 1993 and 2003 and found that exactly zero of them denied that climate change was a reality, and most found it had man-made causes. To claim that climate change is a “controversy” requires one to believe that there’s a massive conspiracy involving nearly all the scientists in the world. So, your kids are not only not learning the realities of climate change, they are also learning, if indirectly, to give credence to conspiracy theory paranoia.
This clip is primarily about a former Fox “News” host Eric Burns, who ironically hosted a media criticism show on the network until 2008, who identified it as a “cult,” and said that Keith Olbermann was mostly right in his accusations of lying against O’Reilly while he was a host on MSNBC. But the clip also features nuns from the order in which two of the nuns murdered in El Salvador in 1980 - which O’Reilly claimed to have witnessed in person - speaking out against him.
As for Olbermann, I had my troubles with him, and often found him to be difficult to take seriously at times, sometimes even unwatchable. But his takedowns of O’Reilly were epic, and important, because he was the only one doing it.
Back to Eric Burns, who also mentioned a report that O’Reilly’s ratings have increased as this controversy has unfolded, and his money quote:
I think the way to understand this is to make a distinction between the words “culture” and “cult…I’m saying that the people who watch Fox News are cultish. Because for many years conservatives have been extremely upset in this country because the only newscasts they had to watch were liberal - you people at CNN and how liberal you are, and NBC and ABC and CBS, and they never had - the extreme right - they never had their own television station. When they got one, their appreciation - their audience loyalty - and I know what the audience loyalty was like when I was there - their audience loyalty soared. And so O’Reilly as the head of the cult is not held to the same standards as Brian Williams, who was part of the media culture - the larger culture. Every time, it seems, Brian, that O’Reilly lies - and he’s lied so many times - Keith Olbermann used to be on opposite him with his show “Countdown,” he later wrote a book of all the segments in his show called “The Worst Person in the World…and every time he (O’Reilly) was named (Worst Person in the World), a charge was made by Olbermann about something O’Reilly had said or done that was a complete fabrication…and it was completely substantiated. I mean Olbermann had all the evidence possible.
…yet the cult…to the Fox News cult, this kind of thing doesn’t matter. It’s a lie from the liberal media, it’s…who cares what it is, the point is, it doesn’t matter.
Jimmah’s earlier page on Bobby Jindal going in for Fox News’ lie about ‘no go zones’ in Paris moved me to page an article I’d earlier link to here on LGF, because I think that like the current issue of Charlie Hebdo it needs as wide a circulation as possible. It is wonderful in its smacking down FNC. Here’s some choice excerpts:
Apart from the usual delinquency found in any poor part of any urban center on the planet, the tableau portrayed by Fox News and “Warzone expert” Nolan Peterson, and the deceiving name the network has coined for the occasion (“No-Go Zones”) seems like a complete fabrication of what’s really going on there.
Those red circled parts of the city contain the districts of Porte Saint-Denis, Porte Saint-Martin, Belleville, Ménilmontant and La Goutte d’Or, among others. Many of those are supposed to be (and I’m quoting) “governed by Islamic Sharia law”, and “off-limits to non-Muslims”.
I lived and worked in all of those districts. All of them.
Take Porte Saint-Denis and the Rue Du Faubourg Saint-Denis that leads to it. This street and its surroundings are home to much of Paris’s new culinary scene. There you’ll find Richer, L’Office and 52 Faubourg, the three restaurants run by Charles Compagnon’s team, Vivant and Vivant Cave formerly of Pierre Jancou fame. You can find all these eateries’ adresses in any up do date guide to Paris. Lonely Planet doesn’t usually send its reader to lawless islamist-ridden parts of the world, but hey, maybe Fox News knows better. A block away, on the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Martin, sits the headquarters of BETC, one of the world’s leading ad agencies. In the vicinity, you can also find Turkish soup parlors, Kebab spots, Indian restaurants and eco-friendly coffee shops not unlike the ones you’d find on every street of Williamsburg or Brooklyn: it’s one of the most cosmopolitan parts of Paris. On any day or evening of the week, thousands of Parisians walk these streets, dine at these restaurants, drink at the incredible array of bars and shop at the dozens of stores in the area, including Julhes, one of the city’s most ancient wine sellers. Doesn’t sound much like downtown Mosul, does it?
And the king hit:
The Syndicat National du Journalisme, the highest authority for self-regulation of the news industry in France, states, as the third rule of its Ethics Charter, that a journalist should always “Hold a critical mind, truthfulness, exactitude, integrity, equity, and fairness as the pillars of journalistic work.” Fox News and Nolan Peterson, with these segments, betrayed every single one of those words.
Read the whole piece, because its a very good look at what Paris is really like and its got what look like some good places to eat if you are going there in the near future.
The political ad posted below is from the campaign of Illinois Governor Pat Quinn. See if you can find what’s wrong with it:
Here’s my own list:
1. The 30-second ad states that “In the time it takes to watch this ad assault weapon with a high capacity ammunition clip can spray a room with over 350 deadly bullets.” The term “high capacity ammunition clip” (‘magazine’ should properly be used in place of ‘clip’ in this case) implies that the weapon in question is magazine fed. 350 rounds fired in 30 seconds with a magazine fed rifle is a practical impossibility. The largest magazines made for AR-15 type rifles are 120 round drums, and you would need three of them to fire that many rounds. 350 rounds in 30 seconds is a practical impossibility given the need to change magazines.
Thus the ad proposes a scenario that is as a practical matter impossible.
2. ‘Assault weapon’ is a term that is only applied in law to semi-automatic firearms (for the most part rifles). 350 rounds in 30 seconds is only possible with a full-automatic firearm. Fully automatic firearms are NOT legal for civilian ownership in Illinois and Bruce Rauner has never proposed changing that legal situation. What Rauner did do was oppose an ‘Assault Weapons ban’ proposed by Pat Quinn.
The ad therefore faults Rauner for opposing a ban on a class of firearm that are NOT capable of putting out the rate of fire its attributes to them. The conflation of semi-auto ‘Assault Weapons’ with full-auto ‘Assault Rifles’ has been called out too many times (including here on LGF) for those making said conflation in a campaign ad to be given the benefit of the doubt. One can only conclude the conflation is an excercise in deliberate dishonesty.
3. The ad states that ‘Assault Weapons’ have only one purpose: To kill people.” Given the use of many rifles and shotguns that are called ‘Assault Weapons’ in target shooting and hunting, this contention is clearly false and can only be considered a flat-out lie.
4. While Chicago has a far-too-high murder rate (which the ad hints at when it says “lives are being lost”), the vast majority of such murders involving guns are committed with handguns. ‘Assault Weapons’ are very rarely used in crimes in this state. The ad implies otherwise and is therefore guilty of dishonesty by omission.
Regardless of what you think of guns or Republicans, dishonest ads like this one poison American politics. Pat Quinn should be ashamed of the lies told on his behalf.
Comments are welcome but no “What Republicans do is worse.” stuff. This kind of severe dishonesty cannot be justified by the bad actions of others.
Conservative blogger Erick Erickson joined the ranks of the Koch Brothers in saying on Thursday that people making minimum wage are “mostly people who failed at life.”
So what we have learned here, is that if you want to be a winner, then either inherit your wealth, or sell your soul to the devil, for money and fame, by becoming a well paid talking head, that propagates lies, half truths, and smears.
I retired my blog, Barackryphal, at the end of 2013 because I was burnt out on Birtherism. After five years, it’s simply become a rehashing of the same tropes, and there’s little new to address.
However, after WorldNetDaily all but gave up on its Birther interests in the fall of 2012, WND President Joseph Farah has recently raised its spectre again, and in doing so yet again demonstrated some abject dishonesty that I felt compelled to address. Others have called him out for his supposed hypocrisy over his reactions to Barack Obama and Ted Cruz.
But I’m not here to call him a hypocrite. I’m here to document that he’s a liar. To wit, in his column of April 23, 2011, Joseph Farah wrote:
“WND never reported that Obama had spent $2 million hiding his birth certificate.”
Whereas five months earlier, on December 9, 2010, Farah said:
“Obama has spent at least $2 million fighting efforts to release his birth certificate.”
Even though the governments in question have all denied it, even though Evo Morales is known for exaggeration, animosity to the U.S., and many lies, several media outlets have yet to retract the construction that he was detained due to rumors of Edward Snowden. Few have printed updates or retractions of the fictional story they printed last week without verifying facts.
Even this story continues the notion that he was denied permission to travel through some countries airspace, when that Morales claim has been denied by all of the countries in question.
Austrian officials did not search Bolivia’s presidential jet for fugitive U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, Austria’s president said, seeking to defuse a diplomatic tussle over the incident.
One airport officer did board the aircraft on Tuesday to find out why it had landed in Vienna reporting technical problems, but “there was no formal inspection”, Austrian President Heinz Fischer told Kurier newspaper.
Fischer’s comments, published on Sunday, appeared aimed at untangling contradictory accounts of how Bolivian President Evo Morales was treated as he flew home from a conference in Moscow last week.
Bolivia protested after several European countries refused to allow the aircraft to pass through their airspace, amid speculation Morales was taking Snowden to Latin America.
Diplomatic tensions heightened after the plane landed in Vienna and Austrian officials initially said they got official permission to inspect the aircraft for Snowden, who is wanted for leaking details of U.S. surveillance programs. Bolivia insisted no such inspection took place.
Only days after “Friends of Hamas” went the way of ACORN and Shirley Sherrod (no correction, no retraction, and definitely no apology from breitbart.com), Ben Shapiro was invited to appear on Megyn Kelly’s America Live on Fox “News” to discuss Bob Woodward’s comments on the sequester…as if he had some sort of gravitas:
A couple more appearances like this (I bet the next one will be on Sean Hannity’s “Great American Panel”) and the whole “Friends of Hamas” affair will be scrubbed from the memory of the American Right.
Kind of like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind if you think about it.