May 22, 2010

If you're going to criticize the new social studies curriculum adopted by the Texas Board of Education, you'd better quote it.

Or at least link to the text. And if you choose to paraphrase and not even link, and I have to look up the text myself, and your paraphrase is not accurate, it is my job to embarrass you by pointing that out.

Let me embarrass the Washington Post. Below, the material from the WaPo article, written by Michael Birnbaum, is indented. After the indented part, I've located the relevant quote from the Board of Education text, found here. (I'm searching 3 PDF documents: Economics with Emphasis on the Free Enterprise System and Its Benefits Subchapter A. High School; Social Studies Subchapter B. Middle School; Social Studies Subchapter C. High School.)

The Washington Post writes:
The Texas state school board gave final approval Friday to controversial social studies standards....

The new standards say that the McCarthyism of the 1950s was later vindicated -- something most historians deny --...
The students are required to "describe how McCarthyism, the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), the arms race, and the space race increased Cold War tensions and how the later release of the Venona Papers confirmed suspicions of communist infiltration in U.S. government..." The word "vindicated" is inflammatory and unfair. What is the Washington Post saying historians deny? One can be informed of the reality of what the Venona Papers revealed about communist infiltration into the U.S. government and still understand and deplore the excesses of "McCarthyism."
...draw an equivalency between Jefferson Davis's and Abraham Lincoln's inaugural addresses...
Students are required to "analyze the ideas contained in Jefferson Davis' inaugural address and Abraham Lincoln's ideas about liberty, equality, union, and government as contained in his first and second inaugural addresses and the Gettysburg Address." The word "equivalency" is uncalled for. The requirement is to analyze, not to be indoctrinated that the ideas are the same.
... say that international institutions such as the United Nations imperil American sovereignty...
What I'm seeing is "explain the significance of the League of Nations and the United Nations" and "analyze the human and physical factors that influence the power to control territory, create conflict/war, and impact international political relations such as the United Nations (UN), the European Union (EU), or the control of resources." Where is the language that can be paraphrased "imperil American sovereignty"?
.... and include a long list of Confederate officials about whom students must learn.
Students are required to "explain the roles played by significant individuals and heroes during the Civil War, including Jefferson Davis, Ulysses S. Grant, Robert E. Lee, Abraham Lincoln, and congressional Medal of Honor recipients William Carney and Philip Bazaar." Only Davis and Lee were Confederate officials! There is also this: "describe the role of individuals such as governors George Wallace, Orval Faubus, and Lester Maddox and groups, including the Congressional bloc of southern Democrats, that sought to maintain the status quo [in the Civil Rights Era]." That's obviously not from the Civil War, but I can see why it's annoying to Democrats.
They also removed references to capitalism and replaced them with the term "free-enterprise system."
The document on economics does use the term "free enterprise system" throughout, but students are required to "understand that the terms free enterprise, free market, and capitalism are synonymous terms to describe the U.S. economic system," so what is the problem?

Virtually everything cited in the article to make the curriculum seem controversial is misstated! Appalling!

ADDED: Birnbaum had an article in the previous day's Washington Post that does contain quotes, and these have to do with changes that went through on Thursday (and which do not — but should! — appear in the documents that are available at the Board of Education website):
Students will now study "efforts by global organizations to undermine U.S. sovereignty," an addition late Thursday evening encouraged by board member Don McLeroy (R), who has put forward many of the most contentious changes....

Another one of the seven conservative board members, David Bradley (R), added a list of Confederate generals and officials to the list of topics that students must study. ...
This provides support for Birnbaum's statement that the standards "include a long list of Confederate officials about whom students must learn." And it answers my question "Where is the language that can be paraphrased 'imperil American sovereignty'?" My criticisms about "vindicating" McCarthyism, "the equivalency between Jefferson Davis's and Abraham Lincoln's inaugural addresses," and the term "free-enterprise system" remain.

I have not been defending the Texas standards, only attacking the quality of the journalism that fails to quote or link to a text that is referred to. Birnbaum's Friday article contains some useful quotes (though still not a link to the whole text). The Saturday article was unanchored to text and forced me to look for what I could find on line. I'm also criticizing inaccurate paraphrasing, like the use of the words "vindicating" and "equivalency." Birnbaum's take on the standards might be true, but in an article that refers to a text, I do need to see the text. Paraphrasing, without the text, raises suspicions, and I don't apologize for having those suspicions.

ALSO: I'm critical of the Board of Education for not posting all the relevant text on its website. And — as should be obvious — I'm not endorsing the standards themselves. The complexity and detail alone tends to show that the Board did not have the best interests of children at the center of their project. And it didn't seem to care much about the capacity of teachers. The material on law, for example, would be difficult for a law professor to teach to law students.

313 comments:

«Oldest   ‹Older   201 – 313 of 313
H said...

Superb work

gatorguy20092008 said...

Sorry, but Ann is DEAD WRONG in this case and should post a retraction. The ones she linked to are clearly marked from MARCH of this year, and not from the contentious meetings over these last few days.

reader_iam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Big Mike said...

@Alpha, one cannot understand the motivations of people like Robert E. Lee, son of a Revolutionary War hero and himself a hero of the Mexican War, without understanding that in the middle of the 19th century loyalty to one's state transcended loyalty to the United States.

As historian Shelby Foote perceptively put it, before the Civil War one spoke of these United States, afterward one spoke of the United States.

But such subtleties are beyond you.

At any rate, we get that, left to you the Texas schoolbooks would continue to emphasize the role of liberal Democrats in achieving the Civil Right Act of 1964, continue to downplay the role of conservative Democrats in fighting the legislation, and continue to downplay the role of Republicans in achieving the legislation. For the record the final roll call votes on the final version of the Act were:

Senate
Democrats 46 for, 21 against
Republicans 27 for, 6 against

House
Democrats 153 for, 91 against
Republicans 136 for, 35 against

But I comprehend that you want history taught as propaganda, not as it actually happened.

Final thought: For each of us, living in our time as we are, there are things that we deeply believe in and take as absolute truth, but fifty or a hundred years from now people will look back and ask how anybody could believe such obvious drivel. All of us, without exception.

AlphaLiberal said...

Also, the Venona Papers are by no means consensus history. Not in the slightest. You could have checked for other views, Ann. (Or Wikipedia)

It's also amusing that Republicans pretend not to have Confederate sympathies.

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell's had his Confederate History Month (which also omitted slavery). Alabama Governor Haley Barbour defended it.

Culturally, they are rooted in the neoConfederate South. There is no end of examples and ties from the top of the Republican leadership.

That's the context for this re-education decree from the Texas BOE.

A.G. said...

I congratulate Althouse for her good work, and I'm heartened that no one here has reached my level of cynicism. I'm of the opinion that high school students have more pressing concerns than a balanced understanding of our nation's history. All history becomes the Smoot Hawley Tariff: some chunky fact that is swallowed whole for the exam and then passes undigested out of the alimentary system.

I'm cynical about this response. If nothing is done, the default is distorted leftists textbooks.

And does teaching Hawley-Smoot have to be done in a dry Ferris Bueller classroom-esque manner? I think there could be engaging discussions tying it to concerns over protectionism in today's world... especially since the high school kids will be the ones paying for our spending orgies.

mr said...

I'm relatively new around here, so could someone answer a few questions for me? Is AlphaLiberal for real, or is she some sort of parody? In the past, has AlphaLiberal shown a tendency to cogent argument, or is the current obtuseness normal? Is Jefferson Davis the only Democrat that AlphaLiberal has ever described as a traitor, or have there been others?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Hagar said...

History, and particularly recent history, is about "politics," and there is no such thing as an objective opinion about it.

Public school textbooks should stay slim and rather dry to give the pupils names, dates, and bare facts to peg their own understanding of the material onto, but should as much as possible avoid instilling this, that, or the other ideological view.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Hey Mike, I'm all for trying to use the party breakdown of votes on Civil Rights as some kind of a teachable moment, just so long as we go ahead and include the Republican Southern Strategy that picked up those constituencies after Wallace disappeared from the scene. Ok?

But seriously, I love how you use that as a way to decry "history taught as propaganda". I mean, I learned a great deal of non-partisan, non-propagandistic history in that little tidbit of yours of which I was never, ever aware. Thanks!

I also learned that it had nothing to do with regional differences in the Democratic party that had anything to do with the persistence of certain problems primarily in the South.

DANEgerus said...

The NYTimes isn't losing readership fast enough for the WaPo not to wish to follow their example.

AllenS said...

mr,

I can tell you this about Alpha, if a post is about "up", he/she will argue "down". If a commenter says "over", you can count on him/her to say "under".

bonnpa said...

Thanks, Ann, for your critique of the Post article! As a once full-time and now part-time newspaper copyeditor who does a few wire pages a week, let me add that it is particularly painful to have to work a shift. There is only so much a copyeditor can do with wire copy out here in the hinterlands. I try to catch blatant misrepresentations, but truthfully, by the time it gets to us, we can't change a whole lot, other than to edit a few words here and there. I've also worked as a copyeditor on middle school and high school textbooks---a job every bit as painful as newspaper copyediting! The tragedy is that very few of my coworkers know or care about the distortions.

Flexo said...

Col. Lee believed in the Union. And he opposed seccession. And he wasn't particularly fond of slavery. Having married into the family of George Washington, Lee loved the United States. To be sure, President Lincoln wanted him to take command of the U.S. Army.

But Lee understood that if there was going to be fighting, much of it was going to be on the ground in Virginia, his home. If there was going to be fighting, much of it would be against his neighbors. There was no way that he was going to fight and kill his fellow Virginians.

And he wasn't too fond of the fact that the President would raise up an army to march against his fellow countrymen.

Gen. Lee was one of the more tragic figures of the War.

Jefferson Davis, on the other hand, was Mississippi scum.

mr said...

Flexo,

You show a disturbing interest in these people. Haven't you heard? Their private stories don't matter one whit and are of no interest, so they should be expunged from the history books. All complexity must be removed, so that no students will be confused as to whether or not slavery was a bad thing.

Kohath said...

So it was consumer preference for poisoned dog food that prodded Chinese manufacturers to put toxic melamine in their wheat gluten?

By the same token, socialism is a complete failure because someone in government once did something corrupt. All governments should therefore immediately be disbanded because something once went wrong.

What economic structure do you propose that will prevent anything from ever going wrong and will ensure all dogs live forever? Please post it here in the comments.

Flexo said...

Continuing on the line by Big Mike --

How many of the folks who voted for seccession were Democrats and how many were Republicans?

How many of the slave owners were Democrats and how many were Republicans?

How many of the abolitionists were Republican and how many were Democrats?

How many of the folks who passed the Reconstruction-era Amendments and Civil Rights Acts were Republicans and how many were Democrats?

How many of the people who wrote and enacted the Jim Crow laws were Democrats and how many were Republicans?

Which was the Party of Slavery, Seccession, and Segregation? And which was the Party of Abolition, Union, Desegregation?

Gadfly said...

So, then, you're supporting the SBOE, Ann, under guise of playing "gotcha" with the WaPost.

To play critic back to YOU on 2 obvious mistakes ...

1. LBJ was a Southern/Texas Democratic president who pushed for civil rights. A leading defender of civil rights on SCOTUS was Southern Democrat Hugo Black. It's not just that this issue makes today's Dems mad, it's that it's designed to do so, via obfuscation

2. The correctness of Venona transcripts in no way vindicates McCarthy or McCarthyist tactics. That's such an illogical "fail," even for you ...

mr said...

I think that history shows that the Civil Rights Act was a bipartisan effort to overthrow the last vestiges of post-Civil War legalized racism. Am I wrong about that?

I think that opposition was bi-partisan as well.

Are these facts we should ignore? Only if we are more interested in the hagiography than in history.

Kathy said...

You can't get a thorough grasp of history if you start in high school. There just isn't time, as several commenters have already pointed out. Homeschoolers typically follow either a 4 year cycle or a 6 year cycle for history--they start at the beginning historically (although what is defined as "the beginning" varies) and cover it all either 3 times or 2 times. As it turns out, it doesn't require academically gifted students to handle texts like "The Guns of August"--but it does require kids not to be fed a steady diet of pablum prior to facing that book or others like it.

Tenth Grade History
Eleventh Grade History

LAN3 said...

I can't locate the entry now, but I had read another rebuttal to the NYTimes' claims (which appear no different than the WAPost's herein), which countered the claim about excluding Thomas Jefferson from the curriculum. I recall the writer claimed that Jefferson was the second-most-mentioned person inthe history book, the first being George Washington, and that Jefferson was removed from a list of European intellectuals because he wasn't a European (despite his efforts, in a way).

Swede said...

The WaPo didn't lie.

They misspoke.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

I see your point, Flexo. The Democrats are always on the wrong side of everything and anyone belonging to a party that calls itself "Republican" is always part of a righteous and incorruptible effort to advance the never-ending moral perfection of humanity.

There is only one obvious solution: Call enough liberals stupid and evil (and don't spare John Locke!) until they disband all efforts at political organization and join their colleagues in a One-Party State. Under a unitary chief executive. Sign-off on a break-in of opposition party headquarters and organize a cover-up. Purge dissent at all levels, starting with states attorneys general. Declare the criticism of the president in wartime tantamount to treason. Lie about the administration of torture and invent some supposed right to declare anyone, American citizen or not, an enemy combatant undeserving of due process protections. Blame the press, the media, the universities, the culture for everything that you don't like about your country.

Wash, rinse, repeat.

Lucius Septimius said...

Well done -- a good piece of investigative reporting.

Journalists are lazy and prone to assume the worst. In the meantime they have accomplished their goal -- their unstudied misrepresentations of the curriculum have know become "conventional wisdom."

Meanwhile, as someone who has home-schooled for the past three years, I've found that the old Landmark series of biographies as well as the venerable American Heritage Illustrated History of the United States make for a good foundation for an American history curriculum. Although both have obvious biases, they are factually sound, unlike much of what is being foisted on students nowadays.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Oh, and I love Flexo's reinvention of slavery, secession, Jim Crow and segregation as a Democrat vs. Republican thing rather than as a Southern U.S. versus the North thing.

It was almost as good as the other oversimplifications he spewed before The SGT took him to task.

showbiz111 said...

Great work Ms. Althouse. I doubt that ever before have we seen such cynical misquoting and/or willful indifference to actual legislative language than is happening under the reign of Obama I and his courtiers Reid and Pelosi, together with his ideological propagandists 'reporting' in the lamestream media. No conservative has done as much damage to the credibility and integrity of the media and a certain political party that starts with the fourth letter of the alphabet, than have the democrats themselves.
Just as the democrats failed to read mammoth bills before enacting them, just as they have criticized and mischaracterized state legislation (by republicans) without reading them, just as they have criticized and mischaracterized the tea partiers, just as they are seeking to pass UN Resolutions against Iran without reading them, so they have criticized and mischaracterized the Texas Board of Education policies. The democrats are shameless and their lust for power is way out of control.

William said...

I only started reading history later in life. For many years, money, sex and sports laid claim to most of my attention. Only now, later in life, have I read history with any seriousness. Previously, my understanding of the past came through the zeitgeist, i.e. movies, popular novels, magazine articles etc. The zeitgeist gets a lot of things wrong..... If, like Paul Simon, you think you learned a lot of crap in high school, you should reflect also on all the crap you learn in Paul Simon's songs. I have read that Howard Zinn's polemic is the most assigned book in high school. The teachers who assign it no doubt concurred with Paul Simon and are now in a position to pass on their own inappropriate lessons. Perhaps as they rebelled against the narratives of their parents, a new generation will rebel against the narratives of liberalism.

former law student said...

The goal of capitalism is to earn a return on investors' capital. If capitalists can earn this return by "satisfying consumer tastes," fine. If they can earn a bigger return by killing off their customers, that's fine, too. Tobacco companies are owned and run by capitalists, I do believe, even though cigarette smoking was linked to lung cancer and premature death in the 1940s.

Summarizing the posts of many: When will liberals admit that today's GOP is identical to the Party of Lincoln, and today's Democrats are identical to the Party of Orval Faubus? (To make matters worse, Faubus learned Socialism at his daddy's knee.)

gatorguy20092008 said...

The only question now is if and when Althouse will retract her post and admit that she based it on old, outdated documents that were issued months before the changes referenced in the WaPo.

Will she be guilty of even more appalling misrepresentation than she accuses the WaPo of making?

GMay said...

BetaLib stumbles: "You choose the most charitable view of this. Well, you're welcome to your view."

A view that happens to be supported by a most basic understanding of the English language. AA worded it most carefully to ward off all but the dumbest of dumbasses. And you barged right through that wall like a big red kool-aid guy full of fail.

"I look at their overall actions, the way they minimize slavery and seek a partisan lesson plan for the Civil Rights Act, and our overall presence of neoConfederates at the top levels of the modern conservative movement and I do not grant the same benefit of the doubt.

The only thing you're looking at are the warped fantasies of your drug-addled brain. Re-adjust your tinfoil hat and come up with something better than this bullshit.

God you're dumb.

Adam said...

William (@ 11:46 am) posted:

"12:13 – Ken Mercer: I think capitalism is a good word, but academics don’t. Really? And where does he get that? This is a classic example of how some board members attack and smear without any facts."

He would learn how someone like Mr. Mercer gets such notions by reading this very thread, in which Kevin T. Keith (@ 8:50 am) posted:

Well, one of those terms refers to a general economic practice (enterprise), one refers to a commercial environment or trading system (market), and one is the name of the overall economic system that incorporates the previous two, and its underlying ideology (capitalism). So they are not synonymous, although they are related. It does not surprise me that the members of the Texas Board of Education do not know what "synonymous" means - it surprises me that they know the word "synonymous" - but that hardly makes them right.

This is precisely why it is useful to know that the term "capitalism" originated with the critics of free markets rather than its supporters. While it has certainly been embraced by those, most notably Milton Friedman, who support free markets, it is nonetheless true that the term held ideological significance for those who sought to displace laissez-faire with assorted degrees of state control over economic life.

The fact is that "capitalism" isn't an ideology at all in the way that "socialism" or "utopianism" or "syndicalism" are. It is the "system" that emerges when people are free to decide on their own what they will create and offer to exchange for the output of others.

I think that's the point that those Texans are trying to make. It's telling that, in response, they get ridiculed both for thinking that the distinction between "free enterprise" and "capitalism" is significant (by William) and for thinking that they are in some sense closely substitutable for one another (by Kevin Keith). The only apparent constant in liberal commentary is its unwarranted smugness.

GMay said...

gatorguy20092008,

Do you have a link to something more current that we might be able to cross reference?

AC245 said...

gatorguy20082009, please post a link to the final, actual source documents that you're claiming vindicate the Washington Post.

This way we can all compare them to both what Althouse said and what the Washington Post said, and see whose characterizations were more accurate.

Sammy Finkelman said...

@jason Liberals lie about everything, all the time

Even when they are right on the merits, they have to use bad arguments.

This lying has been going on very strongly, since the time of Jimmy

@New Hussein ham:

>> I mean, who do these people think they're fooling.

Some of the people, all of the time.

>> that they do so with complete f*** disregard for whether they're caught lying or not.

The only person I think who was like that was Bill Clinton. He used to get caught lying twice a week, but the only thing that mattered to him was whether a story "had legs".

>> We can no longer trust these people. That's the real point of this post is it not?

I think Spiro Agnew brought out that point back in 1969. (William safire helped write his speeches)

And Rush Limbaugh has been making a good living at pointing out things like this since 1988. (which is why they have to try so hard to prevent people from listening to him. Not that everything he says is right of course and he misses a great deal.)

GMay said...

Looks like California has another state they wanna boycott.

SoCalOilMan said...

The word I believe WaPo and the teachers union fear the most here is analyze. Requiring students to read both side of an issue and form an opinion on their own...What's the world coming to?

Cedarford said...

"I agree with Flexo. It is certainly fitting and appropriate that the Congress -- the people's branch -- extend the highest military honor. The president doing it smacks of imperialism -- Caesar and all that."

Not at all. If one award is supposedly alone worth given out "in the name of the People's Branch" - why not all the awards? Even though Congress has nothing to do with the process unless they are meddling for a special interest group. We could have the Congressional Bronze Star, the Congressional Sharpshooter ribbon, the Congressional Gulf War Service Medal, the Senate Purple Heart, etc.

(PS, when Congress meddles, you end up with Sen Inouye and Congressman "Spark" Matsanuga able to upgrade themselves to Medals of Honor and pressure Bill Clinton to deliver a wheelbarrow of new medals and upgraded ones to their special interest, the 224th Jap-American group, 50 years after the fact.)

====================
Allowing connected Congresscritters to dictate to the chain-of-command who gets awards perverts the process. IT is also how LBJ got the Silver Star for one plane ride on a Congressional junket he made.

former law student said...

Just as the democrats failed to read mammoth bills before enacting them

Does that mean that Republicans read all of the mammoth bills that they enacted?

Thus the GOP is responsible for the credit default swap meltdown, because Phil Gramm slipped the act that insured that CDSs would not be regulated, into the 11,000 page page conference report for the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2001 (H.R. 4577)

So if the crash of AIG puzzles anyone, blame can be laid at the door of the GOP majority 106th Congress. Because they read the entire bill, unlike those flakey Democrats

Adam said...

@fls, Yes, it's too bad that provision slipped through. Otherwise the vigilance of a regulatory agency like the SEC would have saved us from disaster.

Cedarford said...

"AlphaLiberal said...
Also, the Venona Papers are by no means consensus history. Not in the slightest. You could have checked for other views, Ann. (Or Wikipedia)"

The Venona Papers are not historical writing, Alpha, they are transcripts of intercepts between the Soviets and their spies in NYC and other places..The only ones who dispute the intercepts are the same ones still arguing Alger Hiss was innocent and innocent Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were executed in an act of Anti-Semitism.

====================
Gadfly - "The correctness of Venona transcripts in no way vindicates McCarthy or McCarthyist tactics. That's such an illogical "fail," even for you."

Of course they do. When the crux of the progressive Jewish and Leftist and NYTimes argument is that all the people McCarthy and HUAC and Evil Nixon and slimey Roy Cohn and Sainted RFK went after were innocent, "so called communists"?
Well it significantly undermines the argument when the Rosenbergs and the whole cell of NYC Jews loyal to the Soviet Union were established as true Soviet agents. When arrested parties admitted to such. When the people Nixon bagged were shown to be guilty as charged when the Venona cables were declassified. And when parties on the "paranoid blacklisting of Hollywood" later wrote that yes, indeed, there was a whole pack of hardcore Stalinists in Hollywood that regularly met in cells, elected CP Leaders, and were instructed to write material that would advance the cause of Communism, Stalin, the oppressed N Koreans, and Red China in whatever US media product they could subvert. Dalton Trumbull, Lillian Hellman, etc.
Reagan, Elia Kazan and so on appear to have been right - and the Leftists never lost their hatred of the people who testified about communist cell activities in Hollywood.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

"AlphaLiberal, you're flailing. It's not a good look on you."

But it's a look we're seeing more and more of as he increasingly feels the need to defend every attack on liberals.

He's unwilling to admit that his own president, for example, has illegally ordered the United States military to assassinate American citizens who have received no due process.

AlphaLiberal supports Barack Obama no matter what Barack Obama does. No matter who Barack Obama orders murdered.

AlphaLiberal has no conscience. And it is very ugly.

Quayle said...

Chase, why does there have to be a formal requirement that students study the philosophy and words of the Confederate leader?

What good is know the answer if you don't know the question?

Lincoln answered what the Confederates argued. You can't fully understand one without the other.

Unless, of course, you are an American lefty, in the which case you already have the answer to everything, without the trouble of knowing any question.

Ann Althouse said...

Alpha: "But Ann Althouse is putting her seal of approval on the ideological sanitizing of childrens' curriculum."

No, I'm not. I'm checking Birnbaum's assertions. If there is a case to be made for "ideological sanitizing" or any other bad thing, please quote material from the document. I'm just upholding standards of proof. Your throwing assertions at me is just doing the same thing Birnbaum did, the thing I'm suspicious of.

My working hypothesis is that the conservatives went for more accuracy and inclusion, and it was a very effective strategy. Their opponents "know" what's really going on, but they can't prove it and they are relying on liberal MSM to just tell people what happened.

Very similar to the Arizona immigration law, which is being portrayed in MSM in a way that doesn't match the text of the law, and there is no on-point response to anything anyone says based on the *text* of the law.

Thinkitover said...

Fox News has reported some of the same content as the Washington Post. Example is United Nations imperil[ing] American sovereignty.

See:
http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/05/21/state-board-education-adopts-new-social-studies-history-guidelines-texas-high/

Assuming, that Fox does not have the same motives as the Washington Post, whether true or not, I would believe that they got their info from the same source.

Although the final approved language may not have had the reported language, my conclusion in regards to the UN is that at some point the words were published in early versions or verbally suggested at one of the meetings.

Of course bottom line - as I have read the final pdfs - I have not seen the level of controversy implied in the Fox or Washington Post stories.

gatorguy20092008 said...

Of course bottom line - as I have read the final pdfs - I have not seen the level of controversy implied in the Fox or Washington Post stories.

None of us have read the final pdfs. The ones Ann linked to were earlier drafts from two months ago. The WaPo article is about changes made in the last few days.

amba said...

This whole thing strikes me as a huge argument for homeschooling.

Good work, Ann.

John Guild said...

Ann, you are absolutely incorrect on this and have embarrassed yourself in the process. You are relying on the watered down version. The most recent amendments address the particular concerns raised by the Post.

For example, you ask "Where is the language that can be paraphrased 'imperil American sovereignty'?" Here is a video record of the May 20, 2010 vote to add the language you say doesn't exist. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOVMYhupV78&feature=player_embedded

gatorguy20092008 said...

No, I'm not. I'm checking Birnbaum's assertions.

Ann -- you are checking Birnbaum's assertions about what happened in the last few days using earlier drafts from two months ago. Do you really not see any problem with this? You've accused Birnbaum of misrepresentation of fraud when you have no evidence to refute any of his claims as to what happened last week.

I hope you know that your post is being held as "proof" by conservatives all over the net that Birnbaum fabricated his story. You are OK with that?

amba said...

Here's the Fox News quote; it too is a paraphrase, not a quote from the documents:

In final edits leading up to the vote, conservatives rejected language to modernize the classification of historic periods to B.C.E. and C.E. from the traditional B.C. and A.D. They also required that public school students in Texas evaluate efforts by global organizations such as the United Nations to undermine U.S. sovereignty.

You'll probably need to take a second look when the final changes are published.

As for B.C.E., it's a nonissue. I work for a science magazine that uses B.C. and A.D. simply because they are traditional and more familiar. It also still uses Greenwich Mean Time instead of "Universal Time." And while science journals universally use metric measurements, my employer translates into inches, feet, and pounds.

MrBuddwing said...

I've thought for a long time it would be a pretty good idea to teach kids the names (and faces) of all the American presidents, in chronological order. That way, they'd have a chronological "clothesline" from which very relevant eras of history could be hung - Washington would bring with him the beginnings of the federal government; Madison, the War of 1812; Lincoln, the Civil War, Harding, the Spanish-American War; Wilson, World War I; FDR, World War II; Truman and Eisenhower, wars both Korean and Cold; LBJ, Vietnam and civil rights; Nixon, Watergate - you get the idea.

This brilliant, innovative approach would avoid horrible "Jaywalking" moments like people admitting they don't know which century the Civil War or World War II took place in. And it would lead pupils in a straight line to the present day.

How clever of me! How groundbreaking! OK, so what's wrong with my great idea?

Word verification: fratoks.

Thinkitover said...

gatorguy - thank you for your correction. The pdf i was reading was: "(As approved by the SBOE for first reading and filing authorization in March 2010 and filed with the Texas Register on April 5, 2010"

I found it posted to the May 21 meeting and did not read far ehough down -
http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index4.aspx?id=2147483739

Fen said...

Tyrone: If slavery wasn't the states' right in question, which one was?

There were several. But I agree that slavery was the primary. I'm just trying to get you to see that it wasn't the only one.

But ask yourself why they bothered to create a Confederacy instead of another Republic in the first place. Because if slavery was the only thing in question, they certainly didn't need to fear "federal" interference from the other slave states in their new nation.

Put another way, if slavery were somehow removed from the question, is there any conceivable reason the Civil War would have happened anyway?

I don't know. You don't either. I don't think there is a right answer. But I think its a good essay question for students - write a paper and make your case.

AJ Lynch said...

Althouse- has the Wapo invited you to debate their reporter about his fact-checking? They could do a podcast. It'd be fun [for you not the reporter].

Paco Wové said...

"In the past, has AlphaLiberal shown a tendency to cogent argument, or is the current obtuseness normal?"

In the same fashion that some benighted souls are racial bigots, or religious bigots, or nationalist bigots, AlphaLiberal can best be described as a political bigot --- a person with a stereotyped and irrational dislike of people with different political opinions than himself. As with all bigots, this leads to very poor thinking with regards to the object of his prejudices.

gatorguy20092008 said...

Thank you, Ann, for the modified post. The only thing I think you should have said is that the documents you used on the Texas State site are from March and therefore could not possibly be used to evaluate the WaPo piece.

In an ideal world, things should be posted instantaneously to the internet, but we do not live in an ideal world. The votes at the BOE did not end until late Friday, and real people have to then type everything up in the final version and then post it. That takes time, especially when those same people go home to their families for the weekend.

former law student said...

As for B.C.E., it's a nonissue. I work for a science magazine that uses B.C. and A.D.

It's a big deal if you're a Jewish parent who resents the state making their kid write "In the year of Our Lord," even in Latin. 'Cause the big JC ain't Their Lord.

Angelo said...

"Chase, why does there have to be a formal requirement that students study the philosophy and words of the Confederate leader? "

That they can properly identify a neo-Confederate is as good as any reason rather than assuming the moral high ground and assigning labels to others which evoke negative emotions.

AHLondon said...

I don't know how to do a trackback, but I've been following this and posted the following today (I hope the links work):
Back in March there was a flurry of news, most notably in the NYT and on Fox, regarding the Texas Social Studies curriculum. In case you don't know, pretty much everyone in the States cares about the TEA standards because those standards will influence what is included in textbooks that the state buys, and, since TX buys more textbooks than almost any other state, the TEA standards have an influence across the board. The March reports had many inaccuracies.
I read through some of the strikethrough versions of the standards
(they weren't final yet). For instance, the standards cover all grades so reporters would spin, writing things about, say, George Washington being removed from the curriculum, when perhaps GW was removed from the 8th grade standards because he is already covered in K, 1st, and 5th. Reporters also tried simple tricks like blurring the distinction between "including", things that must be taught, and "such as", illustrative examples of what might be taught.
Here is a link to the TEA's statement regarding a Fox broadcast.
I've been watching to see how this all plays out. Now some more action.
Here is Althouse on the Washington Post's treatment on the lastest round.
She is of not only critical of the WaPo for failing to quote the text he refers to, but also of the TEA for not posting complete information. Frankly, I agree.
The strikethroughs were very enlightening for showing the progress from the previous standards
, enacted when liberals controlled the board incidentally, but I didn't find a full text of the standards that have already passed; they aren't in the Register much less the Texas Adminstrative Code yet, and you can only see the parts that were pending at the last meeting, on May 21. Granted, the standards will be in the Texas Register this week. But since the board knows there is a bit of attention for these standards, they'd be better served posting the complete standards as soon as possible.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

@Fen

See Declaration of the Immediate Causes Which Induce and Justify the Secession of South Carolina from the Federal Union

http://www.sonofthesouth.net/leefoundation/secession_causes.htm

South Carolina, as instigator of the secession, cites slavery as the exclusive reason for their secession from the U.S.A. The declaration makes the case that the Constitution explicitly provides for the ownership of slaves, and in that they may have an argument, but the abrogation of the Constitution with regard to slavery is the only justification they give for secession. Keep in mind that no legislative attempt had yet been made by non-slave states to abolish slavery in states where it existed. South Carolina objected to northern states enforcing their own policies vis-a-vis slavery on their own territory. This, in fact, is an argument for the authority of the federal government over the states, not an argument for the sovereignty of the individual states.

Neil B said...

Ann, I don't know if he's right - but you simply must address the challenge from gatorguy20092008 that you used out of date curriculum proposals. Just about the whole defense turns on that point, and it has to be right.

And re Rachel Maddow "lying": like, what? Are you talking about cowardly prevaricator and muddle-head Rand Paul dancing around the CRA issues? He got his head served on a plate just like he deserved, and she was doing the job journalists are supposed to do (and usually don't.)

gatorguy20092008 said...

NeilB,

I took Ann's statement:
"these have to do with changes that went through on Thursday (and which do not — but should! — appear in the documents that are available at the Board of Education website)

to be a way of saying "I used versions from March" without having to say "I used versions from March." Anyone who wants to verify when the pdfs were posted can check the Texas state website:
http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/rules/home/sboeprop.html

(First reading and filing authorization - March 2010 SBOE meeting)
(Publication in the April 16, 2010, issue of the Texas Register)


Additional confirmation is in the urls of the .pdfs, which all begin
ritter.tea.state.tx.us/rules/board/proposed/0310/

I thank Ann for her updates, but think she should have been a bit more explicit about when these versions dated from.

Jeremy said...

What a hoot.

A pack of tea baggers, who live for Fox News and their talking wing nuts, consider it the ultimate news source on the planet...whining (WOW...that's something new), about mistakes bad reporting in the Washington Post (as if there isn't poor reporting in every newspaper in America...every day of the week.).

Say...ANN, after taking your bows...why not take as close a look at Fox and fire up some headlines and threads relating to their reporting?

patrick said...

"Are you the first to crack this case? "

No, but Ann Althouse has done a good public service. This is becoming a tiresome and frightening trend among liberal Democrats - vote on bills they don't read, criticize other bills they lie about, and now distort and defame curriculum standards they haven't read.

Conservatives and impartial observers know that the liberals are completely distorting the standards. Infamous example - Jefferson is cited more than any other historical figure save for George Washington in the standards, but because a minor change to remove him in one place - the liberals, all the way up to Democrat Gov candidate Bill White, huffed about "removing Jefferson from our history books". It was and is balderdash - a lie.

Why are liberals lying? They tried in Texas to get a liberal REWRITE of the history standards, getting rid of Christmas, 'free enterprise', the liberty bell, Albert Einstein, and a host of 'diversity' and other changes.
(Google Texas Insider and Bill Ames reports on the liberal panels who made the proposals) ... and the elected SBOE, with more conservatives than liberals, said "NO".

HELL HATH NO FURY LIKE A LEFTIST SCORNED.

... and they will stoop to lying to get their way.

gatorguy20092008 said...

Patrick,

Way to not read anything but the title of Ann's post!

patrick said...

"Also, the Venona Papers are by no means consensus history. "

ROFLMAO.IT SEEMS LIKE LIBERALS WANT TO HIDE THE TRUTH FROM STUDENTS. They want to exclude that panoply of history that goes outside their narrow world view.

That is the real concern - a world where all their 'good guys' and bogeyman dont line up neatly with their own propaganda.

"It's also amusing that Republicans pretend not to have Confederate sympathies. "

Are you as stupid in real life as you sound right here? For 100 years, the Republican party was (and still is) the party of civil rights, equal opportunity, and the Union, against a confederate/segregationist view that was much of the Democrat party from 1860 to the 1960s.

your views are so warped, if you actually were to be a history teacher, it would be child abuse.

patrick said...

"Way to not read anything but the title of Ann's post!"

Gatorguy, I read here whole post. Did YOU read the actual Texas SBOE curriculum standards?!? Doubt it. Do you know what has been going on in the SBOE hearings?!? Certainly not, or you wouldn't spout off about the changes of concern only being last few days.

That is completely wrong view of the controversy. The liberals have been screaming since March over this because it was in January and March when the standards were worked on. The liberals had a set of standards, they wanted back in October 2009 to THROW OUT the previous standards and completely replace them, with very left-leaning standards. The SBOE said "NO" and the caterwauling since then has been all about leftists not getting their way, and wanting to lie to get their way.

The changes these past few days were very minor.

The MSM has been blatantly lying about what's in them, distorting the record. I cited the specific "jefferson" lie, and there are many more lies, like claiming the standards are somehow neglecting democracy because the more precise 'constitutional Republic' term was used.

The fact that you don't know what has really gone on in Texas over these standards makes your criticism of Ann misleading and wrong.

Jeremy said...

Patrick - "Why are liberals lying? They tried in Texas to get a liberal REWRITE of the history standards, getting rid of Christmas, 'free enterprise', the liberty bell, Albert Einstein, and a host of 'diversity' and other changes."

Thanks for beating down the overall average I.Q. of the posters here by about 30 points.

Good lord...d-u-m-b.

amba said...

"Dalton Trumbull" = Dalton Trumbo

Jeremy said...

Since the discussion relates to poor reporting...here are a few examples of flat out falsehoods reported by FOX:

1. Kagan Banned Military Recruiters From Harvard

2. Kagan's Thesis Shows She's A Socialist

3. Kagan Is Anti-Second Amendment

4. Kagan Is Anti-Free Speech ...

5. Kagan Is Avoiding "Traditional Interviews" With The Press

Flexo said...

Number one -- South Carolina did not speak for every state in the South. And the South Carolina legislature (filled with the landed elite) hardly spoke for all South Carolinians.

Number two -- South Carolina had been threatening secession for about 40-50 years, citing any number of reasons for wanting to leave the Union, including things like tariffs.

former law student said...

Flexo brings up a good point regarding tariffs. The North wanted to protect its infant industries while the agricultural, exporting South wanted free trade with Britain (in particular), both to prevent retaliatory tariffs, and get manufactured goods in exchange for the cotton and tobacco it produced. Considering that England was the home of the Industrial Revolution, this made sense.

patrick said...

" But you left out the worst part, which is AFAICT authentic:
replace "slave trade" with "Atlantic triangular trade." That sure does look like "whitewashing" the meaning of it, so to speak."

NOPE. yet ANOTHER semantic nitpick distorted to sound like a whitewash, when in fact the curriculum FULLY covers aspects of slavery in detail - the plantation system, slavery and trading of slaves. It uses the word "slavery" in the same sentence with "triangular trade" so how can that be a whitewash?!? In fact, *I* was taught (and if you remember the "Slaves, Molasses, Rum" in musical 1776, maybe you were as well) to call the trade the triangular trade. And we were/are taught what was traded in it - slaves.

More distortions.

patrick said...

"I think that's the point that those Texans are trying to make. It's telling that, in response, they get ridiculed both for thinking that the distinction between "free enterprise" and "capitalism" is significant (by William) and for thinking that they are in some sense closely substitutable for one another (by Kevin Keith). The only apparent constant in liberal commentary is its unwarranted smugness."

A 5 star comment!!

patrick said...

I am called dumb for actually injecting facts about what really happened in Texas. More liberal smugmess. If you want to know more, read this fact sheet - the SBOE actually CORRECTED some egregious errors and biases of (liberal-stacked) review boards:

http://texaslegislativeupdate.files.wordpress.com/2010/05/sboe-social-studies-fact-sheet1.doc

FACT: The Social Studies TEKS review committees and some history experts made outrageous revisions that were unsupportable, and the State Board of Education had to direct changes or vote to return to the original content.
Christmas, Neil Armstrong, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, religious heritage language, Independence Day, Veterans Day and Christopher Columbus were either removed completely or partially from several grade levels by the review committees. The State Board of Education members have assured concerned members of the public that these historical figures and important concepts were placed back in the standards where they had been taught for the previous 10 years. This action was based on the urging and feedback from numerous educators, experts and concerned members of the public. One “historian” even suggested Alexander Graham Bell and the Texas Rangers should be removed from Texas social studies standards. This recommendation was not adopted.

patrick said...

"As for B.C.E., it's a nonissue. I work for a science magazine that uses B.C. and A.D."

It's a big deal if you're a Jewish parent who resents the state making their kid write "In the year of Our Lord," even in Latin. 'Cause the big JC ain't Their Lord."

OY VEY! So It's OK to have a
Is that same Jewish parent upset over the fact that most of our months and days are named after pagan Gods?
If not, they have not place or reason to complain about AD, a far superior name to a muddled CE "Christian Era" or "Common Era" (well, it cant be 'common' if Islam is on a different calendar, can it now). The anti-AD attacks are just secularist attempts to eliminate traces of Christianity from culture, akin to ... wait for it .. the leftists in Texas trying to get Christmas out of the history standards.

http://www.stoprewritinghistory.com/

Guy said...

I'm of the opinion that we stopped referring to the Medal of Honor as the Congressional Medal of Honor at approximately the same time that the member's of Congress stopped seeing honor in it's eligible recipients.

In any event, it was commonly referred to as the CMoH and the organization of it's recipients is known as the CMoH Society, incorporating the prior Medal of Honor Legion and Medal of Honor Society under that name.

If history is boring, the stories surrounding these men, and one woman, certainly are not. They and the history of the CMoH can be found here:
http://www.cmohs.org/

patrick said...

The live-blogging of what happened last week doesn't back up those defending the WashPost and critiquing Althouse:

http://texaslegislativeupdate.wordpress.com/2010/05/20/live-blogging-from-state-board-of-education-resumes-today/

one case in point is the to-and-fro on Davis and Lincoln. Davis was out then in, but it NEVER was about equating the two.

reader_iam said...

Not that of necessity it should matter--of necessity, far from it (as I think Annie would agree)--but Amba is Jewish, as a matter of fact.

Fen said...

Tyrone: South Carolina, as instigator of the secession, cites slavery as the exclusive reason for their secession

Thats a good point, but as flexo points out, not so much when you consider the entire timeline in context:

"South Carolina had been threatening secession for about 40-50 years, citing any number of reasons for wanting to leave the Union, including things like tariffs."

Also, I wish you would revisit Lincoln's two Emancipation Proclamations. If, as you maintain, the Union was fighting the war to end slavery, please explain this:

"The proclamation did not name the slave-holding border states of Kentucky, Missouri, Maryland, or Delaware, which had never declared a secession, and so it did not free any slaves there. The state of Tennessee had already mostly returned to Union control, so it also was not named and was exempted. Virginia was named, but exemptions were specified for the 48 counties that were in the process of forming West Virginia, as well as seven other named counties and two cities. Also specifically exempted were New Orleans and thirteen named parishes of Louisiana, all of which were also already mostly under Federal control at the time of the Proclamation. The Emancipation Proclamation was criticized at the time for freeing only the slaves over which the Union had no power"

Now, thats just a quick cite from Wiki. If you have a better source that contests it, I would like to see it.

Also, I wish you would address the logic of the south choosing a Confederacy over a Republic for their new nation. I'm open to other explanations, but I don't see why they would do this if slavery was the only reason for their secession. Why not go with the stronger government model of a Republic that kept slavery? So, I think their were other motivations for secession than just slavery. I believe it was more about creating indepedent nation-states free from any federal interference than maintaining slavery.

Regardless, thanks for the honest and civil discussion. Its a rare thing with all the libtard trolls we have here.

Bruce said...

Tyrone, I was going to say something about education--and I will in a moment--but, first, I want to address your claim that the motivation for the South's rebellion was to preserve slavery: if that is true (and I don't contest it), what do you think was the North's motivation for opposing their secession so adamantly? Do you actually think that preservation of government "of, by and for the people" was the North's reason for going to war? No, the reasons were purely economic--or geopolitical, as in the wish to prevent the South from slipping into the orbit of the British Empire. Most Yankee politicians--including Lincoln--didn't give a damn about the slaves, as is proved by their abandonment of their interests ten years after Appomatax.

Bruce said...

Apparently there are very few--if any--teachers commenting on this thread. What's really wrong with these ridiculous Texas standards is not all of the "content" they're trying to dictate, i.e. throwing in the names of a lot of dead Confederates, etc., but the fact that they don't emphasize the METHODS of "analysis," of "comparison/contrast," etc. for the poor teachers; it's not so important that they have the poor little buggers' heads crammed with a bunch of useless FACTOIDS about, say, Jefferson Davis and Lincoln, but, instead, that they know how to ANALYZE, say, the different diplomatic priorities of the two leaders, or their different theories of government, etc. It's the METHODS and the RESEARCH TECHNIQUES for a lifetime of learning that have to be inculcated, and then you've got to assess whether the student is able to use these skills on his own--on ANY damned set of FACTOIDS! It's so obvious that these "standards" weren't written by educators--but, rather, by politicians. I don't care whether the politicians writing them be of the "left" or the "right," but I DO care that they don't bother to consult educators.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

@Fen, Bruce, et al.

I have not made the argument that the North prosecuted the Civil War in order to abolish slavery. The North, by which I actually mean Lincoln, fought to preserve the Union. Lincoln was really the first president to think of the United States as singular rather than plural. The thesis I am defending is that slavery was the proximate cause of the Civil War, and all arguments about tariffs, etc., are ancillary to that one question.

In any event, South Carolina's Declaration makes this an open-and-shut case. Since they began the hostilities, and since they unequivocally cite slavery as the reason for it, I cannot fathom the perceived necessity for hair-splitting.

Bruce, I believe that you think that since the North had economic motivations for prosecuting the war, the moral and political motivations are somehow invalid. They are of a piece, like all great movements in history. By the same token, the argument that the South defended slavery not as a moral question but as an economic one is circular and ultimately irrelevant.

Fen, your argument of Confederacy vs. Republic is a fair one, but I don't see any way that this lets slavery out of the question. They formed a Confederacy to strengthen the sovereignty of the individual states, but they did it in order to protect slavery.

I will return to my hypothetical question, if slavery had not existed would the Civil War have occurred? I may not "know" the answer, but that does not invalidate the thought experiment. Let's just say that my best guess is that it would have been impossible.

Michael McNeil said...

If, as you maintain, the Union was fighting the war to end slavery, please explain this: “The proclamation did not name the slave-holding border states of Kentucky, Missouri, Maryland, or Delaware, which had never declared a secession, and so it did not free any slaves there. The state of Tennessee had already mostly returned to Union control, so it also was not named and was exempted. Virginia was named, but exemptions were specified for the 48 counties that were in the process of forming West Virginia, as well as seven other named counties and two cities. Also specifically exempted were New Orleans and thirteen named parishes of Louisiana, all of which were also already mostly under Federal control at the time of the Proclamation. The Emancipation Proclamation was criticized at the time for freeing only the slaves over which the Union had no power.”

One hears this objection all the time but it's so stupid. Please think! Lincoln was no absolute monarch who could simply decree whatever he wanted (outside of the war zone). As a Constitutional President, he had no power to end slavery within the United States proper — it required a Constitutional Amendment after the war to accomplish that. Thus Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation necessarily dealt only with those areas then outside the nation and under his control as Commander in Chief: the Southern states which had seceded and still lay outside the Union.

Michael McNeil said...

Do you actually think that preservation of government “of, by and for the people” was the North's reason for going to war? No, the reasons were purely economic--or geopolitical, as in the wish to prevent the South from slipping into the orbit of the British Empire.

Actually the reason that the North entered the war and ultimately crushed the South was because the latter attacked it. Lincoln had promised that he would not be the one to commence hostilities, but the southern assault on Fort Sumter sent a lightning bolt through public opinion in the North — and the rest (as they say) is history.

Had the South in its militaristic arrogance not attacked the far more powerful North, it's not unlikely that the Confederate States would be an independent nation today; but many southerners felt that if the Confederacy did not win its sovereignty in blood and battle that the seceding states would drift back into the Union (reference provided on request).

Michael McNeil said...

Also, I wish you would address the logic of the south choosing a Confederacy over a Republic for their new nation. I'm open to other explanations, but I don't see why they would do this if slavery was the only reason for their secession. Why not go with the stronger government model of a Republic that kept slavery?

Yes, the seceding states wished to further limit the power of the Confederacy's federal government, and so they established a constitutional government so weak that it lacked the power to institute a military draft, enlist blacks in the military, or indeed offer to abolish slavery in its desperate final hours — oh, wait….

As a practical matter, outside of the name of the “Confederate” versus “United” States, there was little difference in the powers of the two constitutional regimes.

former law student said...

it lacked the power to institute a military draft

Would a draft have helped? As I recall the US didn't start a draft until late in the war, because so many people had volunteered, formed volunteer companies, etc. Were there a lot of able-bodied Sooutherners who had simply chosen to stay out of it?

former law student said...

never mind, my irony detector is in the shop this week.

gscaggsyyz said...

Alt...thanks for shedding the light of day on the MSM sham.

I've been involved in this battle in Austin, have provided testimony to the SBOE, particpated in press conferences, been on the inside, etc.

The MSM and the left-wing blogosphere are being fed misinformation that fits their false narrative. I believe I know the primary source of it.

Wanna talk?

gscaggsyyz said...

AlphaLib...McDonnell removed slavery, really? Not what I see on the website.

You might be watching too much Bill Maher.

Arne Langsetmo said...

Chase:

"by significant individuals and heroes

"The conjunction 'and' here means they could be either significant individuals OR heroes, or they could be both."

Strictly speaking, you're wrong. "[A]nd" most emphatically does not mean "or".

The conjunction "or" logically implies "A, or B, or A and B".

The conjunction "and" logically implies that both A and B are true.

See "Boolean Logic 101".

It is true that in common and informal parlance, the conjunction "and" might be a sloppy way of describing sets which are a conjunction of two sets, rather than the intersection, but this could more accurately have been described by the proper conjunction "or" (and should have been, seeing as this alternative was readily available).

Cheers,

Anne said...

Hey Ann,

Appreciate the walk-thru with respect to pointing out inaccuracies in the WaPo article. I think ALL media would be well-served by fact-checking before publishing but as you are no doubt aware. sometimes the appeal to emotion (and clicks to get viewers to websites) is more improtant than the facts. Many of your commenters pointing out the distortions of "liberal-left-media" would do well to look and apply the same criticism to what's disseminated by the right-leaning journals/periodicals/newslcast/pundits.

Fen said...

Micheal One hears this objection all the time but it's so stupid. Please think! Lincoln was no absolute monarch who could simply decree whatever he wanted (outside of the war zone). As a Constitutional President, he had no power to end slavery within the United States proper

Okay. Here's what the US Congress did:

"the U.S. Congress passed the Crittenden-Johnson Resolution on July 25 of that year, which stated the war was fought not for "overthrowing or interfering with the rights or established institutions of those States," but to "defend and maintain the supremacy of the Constitution and to preserve the Union."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crittenden-Johnson_Resolution

So, those that insist the North fought the war to end slavery have disqualified: the sitting US President, the US Congress, and most of the civillians (who opted out for $300). Who is left to credit the North?

One is left with the impression that those pesky Republican abolitionists must have numbered in the millions.... because they appear to be the only ones fighting against slavery.

Micheal: Actually the reason that the North entered the war and ultimately crushed the South was because the latter attacked it.

Wrong. And really, you've demonstrated why our children need to study the Confederacy. You don't have the first clue why the South "attacked" first. And I doubt you have ever even asked why.

Here's a clue: Assume the state of Vermont declares its secession from the British Empire. British troops flee Vermont and hold up in Fort Ticonderoga. They refuse several warnings to vacate. England sends ships to reinforce Fort Ticonderoga, Vermont fires on those ships.

Are you really going to maintain that Vermont is responsible for starting hostilties?

Had the South in its militaristic arrogance not attacked the far more powerful North

More ignorance. See: First Bull Run. The war was almost over before it had begun.

And that pattern is repeated throughout the war: union troops of low morale fleeing every battle line. If not for the leadership of a few midwestern officers (who, on several occassions, had to mount up to reverse several routs that would have been fatal to the North) the "powerful" North would have lost the war.

outside of the name of the “Confederate” versus “United” States, there was little difference in the powers of the two constitutional regimes.

Wrong again. You need to compare both Constitutions. We did that in junior high school...

BTW, one of the primary reasons the South lost the war was because of their decentralized defenses "encouraged by the states' distrust of a strong central government".

Fen said...

FLS: Would a draft have helped? As I recall the US didn't start a draft until late in the war, because so many people had volunteered, formed volunteer companies, etc.

One of the reasons the Union Army suffered so many setbacks is because of "bounty jumpers" (I forget Catton's more precise term atm).

In short, you could pay someone to take your place. This led to the worst kind of enlistee: men who would enlist for a fee, desert their unit at first opportunity, then enlist for a fee in another unit, then desert again, etc.

This severely undermined the morale of the veteran troops. They remarked that having bounty troops on their flank was worse than nothing, because not only should you expect them to desert at first contact, they would stab you in the back for your boots on their way out.

http://books.google.com/books?id=tu8GWqFxQhwC&pg=PA134&lpg=PA134&dq=catton+bounty+jumpers&source=bl&ots=VIgizOSZrJ&sig=uxEwGMWBQZexBxUlBPEK97zillc&hl=en&ei=P9_6S-KMJoKC8garsvTcCg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=5&ved=0CCYQ6AEwBDgK#v=onepage&q=catton%20bounty%20jumpers&f=false

Fen said...

Tyrone: They formed a Confederacy to strengthen the sovereignty of the individual states, but they did it in order to protect slavery.

Protect it from who?

Their central government could not ban slavery, but each individual state could. They even defeated a proposal that would have prevented "free" states from entering the Confederacy.

BTW, their own constitution banned the international slave trade:

"(Sect 9.1) The importation of negroes of the African race from any foreign country other than the slaveholding States or Territories of the United States of America, is hereby forbidden; and Congress is required to pass such laws as shall effectually prevent the same.

(Sect 9.2) Congress shall also have power to prohibit the introduction of slaves from any State not a member of, or Territory not belonging to, this Confederacy"

Fen said...

Tyrone: I will return to my hypothetical question, if slavery had not existed would the Civil War have occurred? I may not "know" the answer, but that does not invalidate the thought experiment.

If slavery had not existed would the Civil War would not have occurred. Butterfly effect: No slavery -> no America -> no war

We would prob would have become part of Canada. At least until Third Reich invaded and took over.

;)

Fen said...

Tyrone: I will return to my hypothetical question, if slavery had not existed would the Civil War have occurred? I may not "know" the answer, but that does not invalidate the thought experiment.

If slavery had not existed, the Civil War would not have occurred. Butterfly effect: no slavery -> no America -> no war

We would prob would have become part of Canada. At least until Third Reich invaded and took over.

;)

Neil B said...

McDonnell: it has been extensively reported by local press, many of them moderately sympathetic to Repubs in this area (e.g., in newspaper that endorsed Bush once or twice) that the original version of the history proclamation didn't cover slavery. McDonnell waffled and then changed it. Really, you people should know not to look at latest web site and run with that. Try www.archive.org (don't confuse with ArXiv which is pronounced the same AFAICT) to find prior versions of websites.

BTW, did we finally straighten out the issue of how up to date Ann's pulls of the TX stuff were? If she pulled from the latest, it's a good scoop and worth talking about; otherwise it's inconclusive.

Bruce said...

I am a descendant of "Copperhead Democrats" who had lived in New York City for two generations before the Civil War began. My ancestors of that period had fled Britain before the passage of Catholic Emancipation; otherwise they never would have come to this country. They opposed the Civil War because, among other reasons, they watched the dictator Lincoln press Irish immigrants off ships in New York Harbour into his "War of Northern Aggression."

My ancestors were CORRECT about the illegitimacy of that "War of Northern Aggression" and my experience of over four decades of living in the American South confirmed my view of the moral and intellectual rectitude of their position: the American republic would have been BETTER culturally, socially and politically, had the South been allowed to secede, and to take their heirarchic, class-bound, racist and militarist social mores with them. The African-Americans of that region would also, eventually, have been better served by the absence from American history of the genocidal American Civil War. The reign of "Jim Crow" after Reconstruction in the South was, in very many ways, WORSE than chattel slavery had been.

I estimate--and I think it's a solidly reasonable estimation--that the South would have fallen into the economic and political orbit of the mercantile system of the British Empire, and been exploited rapaciously by that system, as India was. In a few decadeds, she would have come crawling, on her knees, begging to be re-admitted.

It probably would have necessitated a third war against the British Empire to secure her re-admission, but such a war would have precluded America's disastrous and unjustifiable participation in the First World War--which would have prevented Versailles, and, thus, the Second World War.

The South would have come crawling, on her hands and knees, begging for re-admission, and cured of her vicious militarist, classist and hierarchy-loving instincts. (Anyone who has ever lived in the American South knows that her "original sin" is NOT racism--she is no more racist than the North--but, rather, love of hierarchy and land-ownership-based social stratification. She is the least egalitarian, the least "democratic" of all the regions of America; the ethos of Walt Whitman is anathema to her. In the minds of Southerners, this attitude toward society is supported by the "salvation-by-faith-alone" heresy that most of her Protestant religionists are intellectually and theologically victimized by.)

America would have become an egalitarian and progressive social democracy, if the toxic intellectual, theological and literary culture of the American South had been excised from her bloodstream for about forty years.

All of this only goes to show that resorting to such genocidal tactics as both the North and the South DID resort to, in order to fight the Civil War, is ALWAYS a Karmaic disaster--it ALWAYS has diabolic repurcussions in history; it is ALWAYS pernicious and socially disastrous. NO "ends justify" such a "means"--EVER.

gscaggsyyz said...

Well, I read excerpts from the standards in January, then in March, then in May. I was there during some of the debate and some of the votes. I was there twice last week.

Ann is dead on here. The WaPo is regurgitating misinformation, some from March, some more recently.

Gee, the WaPo could have just read the damned standards like Ann actually bothered to do rather than simply lift false talking points from the left-wing blogosphere and then run with it.

I stand corrected if I'm wrong on McDonnell, though my point of reference was looking at the site about three weeks ago.

Neil B said...

Bruce, aside from other issues: don't forget about the attack on Ft. Sumter.

Bruce said...

I think that Fen (above) has sufficiently addressed the issue of Fort Sumter.

My point, to make a long story short, is that the American Civil War, like all wars that have been called "necessary" (World Wars I & II, etc.) WASN'T.

Neil B said...

No, Fen is presuming that the South had the right to demand the Union soldiers leave, but that is appropriate only if you grant two things:
1. The southern States had the right to secede, the very point of contention, and
2. Ft. Sumter wasn't still Federal Property - but it was, like any other base or fort in a State today. IMHO even the right to secede wouldn't automatically give the new independent State the right to control them anyway, even if they had a case. The "State land" is the State's, and that already designated as Federal is Federal still. What if Cuba tried to take over Gitmo?

I don't buy comparisons to the American Revolution, since we were "colonies" but the seceding States had signed agreements to be admitted to the Union, literally as full members. And BTW, all this sympathy for Southern secession just amplifies the impression that many conservatives are too neoconfederate and cozy with the old slavery institution after all.

Fen said...

all this sympathy for Southern secession just amplifies the impression that many conservatives are too neoconfederate and cozy with the old slavery institution after all

Oh Bullshit. I'm trying to get you to see their side of it.

If you think that means I support them and slavery, then you are a foolish idiot.

Someone points out the conditions that led to Hitler coming to power; you would assume that means they are sympathetic to the Nazi. Please stay 100 yards away from our classrooms.

Its also pretty obvious that you have no interest in the actual history. You're so afraid that the "monsters" you've come to hate will be revealed as real people with complex reasons for what they did.

But thank you bringing the thread full circle to demonstate WHY the curriculum needs to be put back on the tracks.

Fen said...

don't buy comparisons to the American Revolution, since we were "colonies" but the seceding States had signed agreements to be admitted to the Union

The "colonies" likewise signed agreements with England. There's a reason the Brits considered us their subjects....

For just a few examples, see:
several Colonial Charters,
the New England Confederation (1643),
the Dominion of New England in America (1686–89).

So try again.

Neil B said...

Fen, you're not a careful reader. Note I said, "all this [ie in general] ... just amplifies the impression that many conservatives are too neoconfederate and cozy with the old slavery institution after all ..." which is not the same as putting my own enthusiasm into that to any notable degree. "Impression", get it, not "my opinion" etc. And maybe I'm not a foolish idiot, since my saying that in general doesn't have to apply to little 'ol you in particular. An exculpatory-sounding riff on Ft. Sumter comes across as more sympathetic than just analysis (more like, how bad the French treated the Germans after WW I, which BTW they did. I don't consider that an excuse.) I do have an interest in actual history and know fully well these people weren't all monsters, etc. I do teach (mostly science) and hell no I am not standing away from our classrooms because you are too stuck up on your personal peeves.

Yet I am OK with people saying it is e.g. debatable (in principle) whether the So. States had legal right to secede, etc. Sure, from an outsider point of view it is debatable whether the American colonies really had a proper cause to leave or did we just win and interpret it comfortably as the home team. But normally we'd consider, as "patriotic" Americans, an attack on a US base something rather treasonous unless agencies, even a State, had rather compelling reason beyond "we want to quit."

BTW I love Ann's little riff in comment rules about encouraging funny and concise digressions, as many OPs are stuff about OT stuff.

Michael McNeil said...

So, those that insist the North fought the war to end slavery have disqualified: the sitting US President, the US Congress, and most of the civillians (who opted out for $300). Who is left to credit the North?

Since Fen's replying to me, he must think I've argued that the North entered the war “to end slavery” — yet nowhere did I assert this. What I said was that the North fought and ultimately conquered the South because the South attacked it — and of course they did attack the Union.

Indeed, one doesn't need to appeal to some obscure resolution passed by Congress months after the war was ongoing — simply look to Lincoln's own words, where he declared that preserving the Union was his principal principle, not overturning then-constitutional institutions in the South such as slavery. All that the Republicans sought at the time of the preceding election — which so freaked out the South that they abruptly quit the Union — was to promise an attempt to restrict slavery in the Federal territories. Horror of horrors!

It's so funny arguing with Confederate apologists. They're rather like Japanese fascists: even after the disaster for Japan of World War II, it supposedly was entirely the right thing to do for them to attack Pearl Harbor, and thereby “awaken a sleeping giant” — because after all the U.S. had so “provoked” them — and only if Pearl Harbor had been an even more smashing victory, or if Japan had won the Battle of Midway (which they almost did), or even had occupied all the Hawaiian Islands, then those cowardly Americans would have fled back to North America with their tails between their legs.

One see the same kind of obliviousness to reality with apologists for the Confederacy. As Fen asserts: See: First Bull Run. The war was almost over before it had begun.

I've got news for him: even if the South had won an even more smashing victory in Bull Run I, even if the green Federal troops had kept on running, even if the Confederacy had occupied Washington or even all of Maryland, the war would have been “over” only if the North (those “cowardly shop-keepers” as the South liked to see them) had acquiesced in the deal. Otherwise — just as with Japan in WWII; and though war is inherently uncertain — the likelihood is great that the same results would have ensued, and for the same reasons: a) the North wasn't a nation of cowards, and b) the South, like Japan, was materially enormously outclassed.

Beyond the historical course of the actual war, where by no means did “union troops of low morale flee[] every battle line,” there's the legal and practical. Considering legalities, Fort Sumter (and the other remaining Federal installations in the South) were neither South Carolinian nor Confederate territory, but rather United States federal property, legally acquired in the particular case of Fort Sumter by purchase agreement between South Carolina and the U.S. government, according to the provision for same in the U.S. Constitution which South Carolina and the other Southern states had agreed to. Even if South Carolina could legally secede (which I do not believe or grant, but assuming so for the sake of argument), that gives the South no right to unilaterally usurp another sovereign government's property, much less attack it with deadly force. The latter is known as war, and inevitably leads to unpredictable consequences, in this case the total destruction of the South.

Michael McNeil said...

Continuing….

Here's a clue: Assume the state of Vermont declares its secession from the British Empire. British troops flee Vermont and hold up in Fort Ticonderoga. They refuse several warnings to vacate. England sends ships to reinforce Fort Ticonderoga, Vermont fires on those ships.

Fen's supposedly conclusive analogy is especially funny, because it's very nearly what actually happened (minus “Vermont”'s attack) after the Revolutionary War. The British situation was legally much less defensible than the U.S. position vis-a-vis Fort Sumter (which was indeed legal U.S. federal property), because the Brits were specifically required by the terms of the Treaty of Paris ending that war to vacate all American territory — and yet they did not.

On the contrary, British troops remained in occupation of a number of forts — not Ticonderoga, but in the Old Northwest — and despite U.S. protests, remained there for decades. Did President Washington peremptorily attack those forts, thereby re-starting the Revolutionary War and very possibly ultimately destroying the infant United States? He did not. Washington carefully avoided any serious provocations, depending on diplomacy (which took a very long time to produce results) to see the Brits evacuate those forts — which they eventually did, but not until after the turn of the 19th century.

No, the proper recourse for the fledgling Confederacy was not to attack Fort Sumter, but to treat it (and the others of its ilk) as enclaves of U.S. property (as indeed they were) — in the case of Sumter perhaps isolate the fort insofar as could be done without resorting to military attack, and wait for the U.S. Congress to tire of the expense of fruitlessly and endlessly resupplying it over great distances — which probably wouldn't have taken more than a few years or perhaps a new Administration before the Feds pulled out.

As I noted before, had the Confederates behaved in any halfway cautious and sensible manner such as the foregoing — instead of launching into unpredictable military adventurism — the Confederacy would likely be an independent and sovereign nation today. But, of course, the Southerners were not sensible, but rather arrogant militaristic slavers.

As perceptive visitor to the infant United States, Alexis de Tocqueville noted decades earlier about the mentality of the slave-owning South, during his journey during the 1830's to all corners of the young nation:

“The American [of the South] scorns not only work itself but also enterprises in which work is necessary to success; living in idle ease, he has the tastes of idle men; money has lost some of its value in his eyes; he is less interested in wealth than in excitement and pleasure and expends in that direction the energy which his neighbor [in the North] puts to other use [i.e. productive work]; he is passionately fond of hunting and war; he enjoys all the most strenuous forms of bodily exercise; he is accustomed to the use of weapons and from childhood has been ready to risk his life in single combat. Slavery therefore not only prevents the white men from making their fortunes but even diverts them from wishing to do so.”

As I say, the rest is history.

Bruce said...

Having had my own experience of living in the South, I firmly agree with much of what you (and Tocqueville) write above. However, I think you're absolutely incorrect in your speculation that the South would be an independent nation today. She would not be; she'd be a formerly very troubled appanage of the British Empire and now a Commonwealth member--IF she hadn't begged for re-admission, as I suggested above. And, although I agree that your suggestion of her ill-wisdom in attacking the North's remaining assets is correct, as far as it goes, I also believe that the North was equally foolish not to have just LET HER SECEDE.

Michael McNeil said...

Bruce: You've lived in the South, and I have not. Still, from what I understand a great many things have changed there in the almost 150 years since slavery held sway. And though I expect that some lingering cultural residue continues, I doubt that Tocqueville's analysis remains particularly relevant there today.

As for a seceding South joining the British Empire, the Brits would never have accepted it so long as it remained slave-holding, and if it didn't then why leave the Union?

dog888k said...

Ah, Carrie Chapman Catt. Several years ago she was honored at Iowa State U, and then someone discovered that she was quite strong on getting voting rights for white women in return for not demanding the same rights for the "Coloreds." And shouldn't high school kids learn about Victoria Woodhull and her campaign for Free Love.

Callen said...

Care to explain why they are taking focus off Thomas Jefferson, and Adding John Calvin as revolutionary action thinkers?

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