Sep 18 2008

What your history teacher or professor didn’t tell you

Category: education,higher education,USAharmonicminer @ 9:31 am 48 Liberal Lies About American History: (That You Probably Learned in School): Larry Schweikart: Books Here is the publisher’s weekly short review.

Textbooks have long served as a main battlefield in the culture wars and the latest salvo comes from Schweikart, a history professor at the University of Dayton (A Patriot’s History of the United States), who examines leading American history texts and other books that he sees as purveying a distinctly slanted view of American history—one that portrays the United States as oppressive, imperialistic, and evil. Each lie is deliberated in a brief essay. A chapter on the notion that FDR knew in advance that the Japanese would attack Pearl Harbor focuses largely on countering Robert Stinnett’s Day of Deceit. The belief that Columbus was responsible for killing millions of Indians (drivel) is, he says, based on faulty statistics. In examining the belief that Richard Nixon sent burglars into the Watergate office complex, the author accepts G. Gordon Liddy’s account of events over John Dean’s. Regarding the Rosenbergs, Schweikart cites Soviet documents proving they were indeed spies. Schweikart marshals an arsenal of statistics and scholarly studies, and while his own biases will limit his reach, he offers an object lesson in the need for scrupulous balance in the writing of history textbooks.

That line, “his own biases will limit his reach”, is standard boilerplate that is true of every book ever written (including the review I just quoted), and trotted out whenever the reviewer isn’t really friendly with the thrust of a book, but can’t find something specific to criticize.

UPDATE:  I am in mind boggle.  I am about to praise yet another LATimes editorial, which happens to quote Larry Schweikart approvingly on the matter of the guilt of the Rosenbergs in spying for the Soviet Union (which is established beyond shadow of doubt, despite the nay-saying of the Left).  If you’re a regular reader, you know how rarely I approve of major media reportage and opinion, but this is spot on.

I haven’t read this new book yet, but if it’s up to the author’s usual standards, it will be excellent. I’ll let you know.

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Sep 18 2008

I Still Don’t Get It

Category: healthcareamuzikman @ 8:00 am

I have health insurance – great health insurance! Probably one of the best group insurance policies that can be found. It was difficult to get and it’s difficult to retain. I have to re-qualify every 6 months to remain eligible and I make sure I do because it is worth it to me.

It was not easy to qualify for this plan. I had to learn new skills. I had to work for years improving those skills. I had to network and build relationships in order to meet the “right” people – people who would hire me for the kind of work that would get me qualified for this particular health plan. I had to make tough choices. I had to make occupational and vocational sacrifices. I had to work long, hard hours but it was worth it because I was raising a family and needed insurance for my kids. I did what I had to do.

But never even once did I think it was the job of my government to provide me with health insurance. (I am no legal scholar but I do know there is absolutely NO mention whatsoever of a right to health insurance in the U.S. Constitution). Quality health care was something I desired and I needed. It was also excellent incentive for me to work hard and do what I had to do to get it. I didn’t wait for anybody to give it to me, I went out and earned it.

Where was it we decided “universal health care” was a right? And who decided it was the job of our government to provide health care? Other than the U.S. military, can you name something our government is good at running? (BTW – this is probably NOT a good time to answer, “Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac”). Have you ever gone to a DMV office? Now imagine you are going there to schedule a heart bypass surgery instead of a driver’s test!

Do I want folks to be sick? No. Do I want to be sick? No. But I took care of ensuring I’ll get care if I do get sick. So why can’t others take care of ensuring the same for themselves? Many can. A few can’t. Let’s all get together and help those who really need help. But instead of waiting around for someone to give you something because you decided it was your “right”, why don’t you get up off your chair and go figure out how to get what you need by earning it? I did. And I’m not particularly smart or lucky or well-connected. I just worked hard to attain a goal. Or do we not expect anyone to do that sort of thing anymore?

I just don’t get it….