EnduringSense

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Posts Tagged ‘History’

American History no Longer Required for History Majors

Posted by Steve Markowitz on December 26, 2016

Independent Journal Review reports on yet another sign of the disintegration and political tampering in education by the higher-education industry.  According to the report, George Washington University has changed its requirements for history majors, no longer requiring a course in US History to earn the degree.

GW joins approximately one third of the top US universities in omitting the American history requirement, accordunceding to the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA).  ACTA President-elect Michael Poliakoff correctly says of this radical direction:

Historical illiteracy is the inevitable consequence of lax college requirements, and that ignorance leads to civic disempowerment.  A democratic republic cannot thrive without well-informed citizens and leaders.  Elite colleges and universities in particular let the nation down when the examples they set devalue the study of United States history.”

It would be bad enough if universities the US history requirement to make way for courses they felt were more important for students, irrespective of how ludicrous that conclusion would be.  No, instead their motivation is far more sinister.  Progressives at universities understand that history teaches lessons that affect graduates’ conclusions and then ultimately future policy decisions that could inhibit the radical Left’s political agenda.

Besides irresponsible curriculums, the cost of services universities offer, i.e. education, are out of control.  While in a free market consumers would ultimately demand improvement and more efficiency, governmental intervention through financing and funding programs has allowed consumers to be pillaged.  This is another example of damage to society as a result of crony capitalism

Posted in Education, Radical Left | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Pres. Barack Obama; The Self Anointed One

Posted by Steve Markowitz on May 18, 2012

Barack Obama has shown a special talent for self-promotion, even by today’s narcissistic standards.  The narcissism exhibited itself long before coming to national prominence when Obama was in his mid-30s and wrote two rather-serving books including one titled, Dreams From My Father, referring to a father he never knew.

FoxNews has reported on more recent Obama narcissism that includes the following additions to online presidents’ of the past 100 years biographies:

Ronald Reagan addition – “In a June 28, 1985, speech, Reagan called for a fairer tax code, one where a multimillionaire did not have a lower tax rate than his secretary.  Today, President Obama is calling for the same with the Buffett Rule.”

Franklin D. Roosevelt addition – “On August 14, 1935, President Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act.  Today the Obama administration continues to protect seniors and ensure Social Security will be there for future generations.”

Harry Truman addition – this past president is linked to Obama administration’s push to repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

Lyndon Johnson addition – “President Lyndon Johnson signed Medicare into law in 1965 – providing millions of elderly health care stability.  President Obama’s historic health care reform law, the Affordable Care Act, strengthens Medicare, offers eligible seniors a range of preventive services with no cost-sharing, and provides discounts on drugs when in the coverage gap known as the ‘donut hole.'”

Jimmy Carter’s addition – Links the Carter created Department of Energy to Obama’s current energy strategy.

When questioned about the unusual rewriting of history, White House official told Fox News that “No biographies have been altered.  We simply added links at the bottom of each page to related whitehouse.gov content, which is a commonly used best practice to encourage people to browse more pages on a site.”  It is remarkable how politicians and their operatives can make such outrageous statements with a straight face.

Sean Hannity has in the past referred to Pres. Obama as the “anointed one”.  A more appropriate representation could well be “the self–anointed one”.  Narcissism runs strongly through his veins.

Posted in President Obama | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Department of Education Report Card Shows American Students Ignorant of History

Posted by Steve Markowitz on July 3, 2011

Jeff Jacoby of the Boston Globe published a depressing piece concerning America’s educational system and its values.  According to the Department of Education’s National Report Card, American students are not being taught even a rudimentary history of the United States.  Here are some of the findings:

  • Only 20% of 6th graders, 17% of 8th graders, and 12% of 12th graders had a solid understanding of American history.
  • American students are weaker in history than in any other subject tested by the Department of Education.
  • A majority of 4th-graders students didn’t even know why Abraham Lincoln was important.
  • 80% of 12th-graders didn’t know whether Soviet Union, Japan, China, or Vietnam was North Korea’s ally fighting the US during the Korean War.

These are sad examples of how poorly American students are being educated their country’s rich history.  If this was merely the result of a poor educational system, it would be a tragedy. However, it is far worse.  Progressives have taken over America’s educational system.  To them, the exceptionalism that is America’s history is an impediment to implementing their Progressive world order.  Their solution is to eliminate the history from America’s education.  Then from a blank slate can they re-write it.  Scary stuff!  Scarier still; we elected a President who is a product of this system.

Posted in Education | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Obama’s Memorial Day Snub

Posted by Steve Markowitz on May 31, 2010

Since entering the national political scene just a few years ago, Barack Obama has shown an unusual characteristic for one seeking the Presidency of the United States.  It has become evident that Obama feels little connection to the history and heritage that made the United States what it is.  To the contrary the evidence indicates that he views much of America’s past with the disdain typically found in Progressives from outside the United States.

There many examples of Obama’s negative view of America’s past.  Listed below are just a few:

American Flag Lapel Pin – During the campaign in October, 2007, a flap developed over the fact that Obama was the only candidate who did not where the American flag on this lapel.  When questioned, his reasons for not wearing the flag were not credible.

Shortly after 9/11, particularly because as we’re talking about the Iraq war, that became a substitute for I think true patriotism, which is speaking out on issues that are of importance to our national security.”

Bunk!  Showing the flag does not indicate ones agreement with any governmental policy or public official.  This is Progressive dribble was meant to obfuscate the real answer to the question.

I decided I won’t wear that pin on my chest.  Instead, I’m going to try to tell the American people what I believe will make this country great, and hopefully that will be a testament to my patriotism.”

What a telling statement; what arrogance.  America was great long before Obama came along.  Hopefully it will be great after he is gone.

Refusal to Salute the American Flag – In October 1, 2007 “Time” had a photo that showed Obama, Clinton and Richardson on September 17 in Iowa.  During the National Anthem. Richardson and Clinton had their hands on their heart as a show of respect. Obama felt no such need.

Forgetting ones view of how to conduct oneself during the playing of our National Anthem, the US Code, Title 36, Chapter 10, Section 171 is instructive reading: “During rendition of the national anthem when the flag is displayed, all present except those in uniform should stand at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart.  Men not in uniform should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart.

Obama clearly feels no need to respect what has come before him.  It is probable that his narcissistic views place the individual, himself, above the prestige of the office that he was running for.

Apologizing to Europe – Shortly after his elections, Obama made a speech to Europeans that included:

In America, there is a failure to appreciate Europe’s leading role in the world. Instead of celebrating your dynamic union and seeking to partner with you to meet common challenges, there have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive.”

The president skipped the part about listing how Europe has led in the past 100 years.  But facts have never gotten in the way of an Obama oratory.  And as far as “celebrating your dynamic union”, given what is now occurring in Europe, such celebration was clearly premature.

Bowing to the Saudi King– In April 2009, President Obama bowed to the Saudi King, as shown throughout the world in a photograph.  To show such reverence to a man who is not elected by his people and to the leader of a regime that has nothing in common with Western values is denigration to the office of our Presidency.  Once again, with Obama’s narcissism the office he holds takes a backseat to the individual holding it.  It is ironic that the same man that has disdain for any showing patriotism to his own country would show such respect to a foreign totalitarian leader.

Skipping a Memorial Day Visit to Arlington National Cemetery– It is customary for Presidents to pay a visit to Arrington National Crematory to honor our fallen soldiers.  However, customs won’t get in the way of President Obama’s vacation to Chicago.  It is curious that the President in recent weeks found time to make two campaign visits to California to help raise money for Barbara Boxer’s reelection.  But not to worry; the President has indicated that he’ll return to Washington in time to for a White House tribute to Paul McCartney on Wednesday evening.  One would think that given the fact that this country is currently art war that its Commander-In-Chief would find time to honor those that perished preserving our freedoms.

*****

Any one of the above incidents could be forgiven as merely bad judgment or a miscue.  However, when considered in aggregate, it paints a picture of a man that shows little respect for this Country’s great achievements and heritage.

In October 2007, Obama’s campaign issued a statement that is relevant today: “We all revere the flag, but Senator Obama believes that being a patriot is about more than a symbol. It’s about fighting for our veterans when they get home and speaking honestly with the American people about this disastrous war.” Nearly three years later Obama doesn’t have the time to honor those that fell in service to this Country.  And yes, that includes many who have perished under Obama’s watch in his “disastrous war” in Afghanistan.

Posted in Liberals, Memorial Day, President Obama, Progressives | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Baby Boomers – The Generation of Narcissists

Posted by Steve Markowitz on May 3, 2010

Tom Brokaw wrote a book titled The Greatest Generation referring to the exploits of the generation that survived the Great Depression, won World War II, and gave their children a country with many financially assets and few liabilities.  They also raised the generation of what became known as the Baby Boomers, of which I am a member.  Boy, have we blown it!  Historians will write volumes as to how the Boomers squandered their parent’s legacy.

Below is another Boomer’s take on our generation.  Written some time ago by Jim Mahoney who has been a guest author on this Blog, it offers great insight on how we traveled down the wrong path.  It was written in response to an op-ed in our local newspaper by one of those narcissistic Boomers spouting Progressive dribble.  I have posted the dribble after Jim’s response for any who feel the need to read it.

Hopefully our children will learn from our mistakes.  They could start by reading Jim’s editorial.

The Baby Boomers, By Jim Mahoney

In a recent Another View column, David Vaida lamented the current state of voter apathy and lack of volunteerism.  Using the lyrics of Cream as a backdrop, his solution was to bring back the activism of the 1960s.  As a Baby Boomer myself I feel that this is the wrong approach since many of the problems we are experiencing today can be directly traced back to the 60s revolution.

We Baby Boomers were the product of our parents’ well meaning intentions.  Having lived through the Great Depression and World War II, their greatest hope was to give us lives free from the struggles they had faced.  The majority of 60s radicals came not from poverty, but from a level of middle class privilege provided by their parents’ hard work.  We recklessly decided to reject everything about our parents’ generation without ever thinking they had something to teach us.  Almost overnight, the Greatest Generation’s culture of optimism was replaced by the Boomer’s culture of cynicism.  Let’s take another musical journey to examine the lasting impression the Baby Boomer generation has made on our society.

Our first selection is Pink Floyd’s “Money”.  Baby Boomers saw the standard of living our parents spent a lifetime to achieve and decided we wanted the same thing without having to wait until we could afford it.  Boomers used credit to acquire more and more possessions and racked up unprecedented levels of personal debt.  To support our lavish lifestyles we have saved virtually nothing for our retirement, leaving a future burden for our children.  The 60s radicals who rejected the materialism of their parents ended up becoming the most materialistic generation in history.  Even an idealist like Mr. Vaida admits spending more for 2 concert tickets to the Cream reunion than I paid for my first car.

Our next hit comes from Crosby, Stills and Nash with “Teach Your Children”.  Perhaps the biggest failure of the Baby Boomer generation is what we have done to our children.  Ignoring thousands of years of accumulated parenting knowledge, we became the first generation of parents who wanted to be friends to our children instead of providing them with moral authority and boundaries of behavior.  In the mistaken belief that giving children everything they want is synonymous with giving them everything they need; we have created a self indulgent generation of young people with an overdeveloped sense of entitlement and little concern for anything beyond their immediate needs.

The Boomers’ contribution to education brings to mind Alice Cooper’s “School’s Out”.  As Baby Boomers moved into positions of authority in our public schools and universities we decided that the basic curriculum was no longer relevant and threw out the traditional methods of teaching.  Our schools now teach students about everything America did wrong while emphasizing none of the things that made us great.  Every student knows that Thomas Jefferson owned slaves, but none of them have learned about the brilliance of the Constitution our founding fathers created.  Students receive little or no basic education in History, Civics or Economics.  They have no historical context of what it means to be an American.  If anything they have learned that Americans have no reason to be proud of anything about ourselves.

The Boomers promoted the idea of moral relativism with no absolutes of right and wrong, only differences of opinion.  Anything that pokes a finger in the eye of American culture is celebrated while values-based organizations like the Boy Scouts are vilified.  Our movies and television programs glorify the most negative aspects of our society and thanks to a Baby Boomer ex president; our young people now believe that oral sex isn’t really sex.

The Baby Boomers, one of the most self absorbed generations in history, have raised a generation of self absorbed children with little sense of history, civic responsibility or duty to others. Why is Mr. Vaida surprised that they aren’t voting or volunteering for non profit organizations?  The problems of this country cannot be simplistically solved by the wisdom contained in Cream lyrics or some gassy counterculture rhetoric.  I think The Eagles best express my advice to Mr. Vaida and other Baby Boomers who wistfully long for the resurrection of radical 60s activism – “Get over it.”

How nostalgia can foster passion and citizenship, by David Vaida

Nostalgia is my least favorite emotion. I think it’s because I have absorbed the American idea of always looking forward. As a child, my father told me that the good old days are right now, so I grew up in a household where the past barely existed. George Santayana’s dictum that ”those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it” was an irrelevant saying by a vaguely known philosopher.

Until last week, I experienced nostalgia only once in my half century of life on this planet. It was Jan. 13, 1993, the day after Cream was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I was on the New Jersey Turnpike to see my in-laws when a 1968 bootleg version of Jimi Hendrix playing ”Sunshine of Your Love” at San Francisco’s Winterland came on the radio. For some reason, hearing Hendrix brought over me that terrible feeling that ultimately engulfed an entire generation — the loss of innocence.

It is true that the 1960s were doomed to failure if success was to be measured by total social revolution. It is also true that icons of the youth movement — John F. Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. — were murdered, showing anyone who doubted it at the time that resistance to change would be violent. But the changes that ultimately came were breathtaking and have become part of the culture we live in today. The liberation of women, gays and minorities was based on equal treatment under the law, and this political argument was carried on by those politically involved.

By 1970, however, the Summer of Love had been replaced by the Summer of Rage, Altamont followed Woodstock, and peaceful change by violent protests. While disillusionment was understandable, it led to the political crisis we are in, where interest groups and zealots maneuver democracy because the electorate can’t be bothered to vote.

It is bad enough that in a hotly contested presidential race we can barely get 60 percent of voters to the polls, but what are we to make of what happens in local elections? Primaries, the key event to put forward new candidates, in Lehigh and Northampton counties average 15 percent of the registered voters. When we finally get to a head-to-head contest, if 40 percent of all eligible voters come out it is seen as stupendous.

The same problem exists with membership in civic organizations. Boards of non-profits are constantly looking for new members. Fundraising is a struggle and, even though charitable giving is up, there is a malaise in the entire system shown by the fact that a small group of people does all the work.

This public expression of a private desire to be left alone must be turned around; otherwise, others will run our lives and make decisions we will come to profoundly regret, as can be seen with the war in Iraq. We must go back to the days of activism, marches, protests and every other lawful engagement with our government to make change. It is a time for the ’60s generation to give another listen to the old Cream albums and recapture the energy that made them bold.

I finally did get to see Cream the last day of their reunion gig at Madison Square Garden on Oct. 26. It was a chance to experience the original supergroup — the fountainhead of a rock sound that dominated for almost 15 years. I took my 25-year-old son, who graciously agreed to come and share my enthusiasm for what I described to him as a once-in-a-lifetime event. I must confess that the average age at the concert was at least 50 and the snide remark by some critics that this was ”geezer rock” is not entirely unfounded. But what a show.

Just seeing Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker alive together was moving. Then, being regaled with two hours of electric blues, a musical form I predict will one day come back because, unlike rap and hip-hop it has the power to last, was like dipping into the fountain of youth. It was all there by a band that only lasted from 1966 to 1968: ”White Room,” ”Crossroads,” ”Badge” and the other great cuts.

For some reason, ”Strange Brew” was left out, but ”Tales of Brave Ulysses” alone was worth the price of admission, which, incidentally, was so high that American Express sent me an e-mail asking if someone had stolen my credit card.

It was a great and memorable evening. As I left with my son, who still says he wants to be a lawyer, enter politics and repair the world, all I could do was hum the one song Cream didn’t play but captured the spirit of their time — ”I Feel Free.”

Posted in Baby Boomers, Progressives, Radical Left | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments »

Thomas Jefferson: a Tea Partier or Liberal Elitist?

Posted by Steve Markowitz on January 13, 2010

Man is an eternal optimist.  For as many times as history has been our wonderful teacher, each generation continues to believe that they can buck reality with either logic or force of will.  Given the millenniums that have passed with history’s continued perseverance, you would think that we would head great source.

Posted below are the words of one of this country’s great mentors, Thomas Jefferson.  If you believe what you hear from the lame-stream media and their intelligencia friends on the Left, you would be forced to call Jefferson either a tea Partier or some Right-wing nut.  He was neither; just a patriot that was trying to create something without the corruption of old Europe.

We would do well to learn from our mentors, history and Thomas Jefferson.  We would do well to demand adherence to these teachings from any that want to serve us, the people, in our government.

Thoms Jefferson:

When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe.

The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.

It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world.

I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.

My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.

No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.

The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.

To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.

I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered..

Posted in Governmental Intervention, Privacy Rights, Thomas Jefferson | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »