Month: July 2018

Educators reject censorship, encourage student exploration of ‘problematic’ literature of the past

From Confederate memorials to “problematic” literature in schools, communities across the country are wrestling with how to acknowledge the past and its imperfections without offending the sensibilities of modern schoolchildren and their teachers, with most solutions employing one of the three R’s: remove, rename, revise. But some educators are encouraging another way. They are engaging with children in an exploration of values and culture to better understand the mores of the past and the present. “Why is Ma so scared of Native Americans? Where does prejudice come from in pioneers? What prejudices do we still have today?” Melissa Scholes Young, an associate professor in the writing studies program at American University, offers as questions to explore the cultural landscape and significance of the “Little House on the Prairie” series of children’s books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. The Association for Library Service to Children last month voted unanimously to remove Wilder’s name from its children’s book award because the “Little House” series “includes expressions of stereotypical attitudes inconsistent with ALSC’s core values.” The association said specifically that her writing displays “anti-Native and anti-Black sentiments,” and it renamed the award as the Children’s Literature Legacy Award. Wilder, who won the group’s first award in 1954, is still read widely, but her complex legacy is “not universally embraced,” the association said. Wilder was born in 1867 and died in 1957 at age 90. Ms. Scholes Young said she often pairs classic literature with work from more modern authors as a way to compare and contrast how cultural issues are reflected in the stories. Not every parent has the wisdom and training professors possess, she said, but that shouldn’t stop parents from pursuing this angle. “It’s perfectly fine as a parent to say, ‘Sometimes I don’t know. … Let’s look for it together,’” she said. “It’s not hard to pair a historical text with almost anything happening in our world today.” The tack is supported by Deborah Gilboa, a Pittsburgh-based family physician who, using the pseudonym “Dr. G,” has written a number of books about teaching children social and cultural standards such as respect and responsibility. Dr. Gilboa said it’s wrong to censor authors for “accurately reflecting their time and history” even when their prose clashes with the ideals of the modern enlightened age. A far better response, she said, is to talk directly to children about the issues in question with the proper values and context. “Our own pivot is to say, ‘Oh, that author held a really warm place in my heart. … I associate them with positive memories.’ Now, I have to go back and make sure they don’t shape my ideas toward something I don’t think is ethical,” said Dr. Gilboa, a blogger and author of “Get the Behavior You Want … Without Being the Parent You Hate.” Of course, Laura Ingalls Wilder is only the latest target for cultural or historical scrubbing for modern audiences. Mark Twain’s “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” sporadically comes under fire and scrutiny for its liberal use of a racial slur, even though Twain portrays the escaped adult slave Jim as the story’s most noble and sensible figure. Meanwhile, Theodor Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss, now is considered a peddler of racist imagery in some circles. Early in his career, Geisel worked as an illustrator of corporate ad campaigns, drawing caricatures of blacks and Asians that have been deemed offensive and stereotypical by those who uphold today’s standards. Across the country, officials are moving with deliberate speed to remove Confederate memorials from public places and rename schools bearing the monikers of famed Confederates…

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National Guard deployment led to more than 10,000 arrests of illegal immigrants, says CBP

The National Guard’s deployment to the southwest border in mid-April has led to 10,805 “deportable alien arrests” of people who illegally entered the United States from Mexico, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokeswoman said Monday. Because guardsmen are military personnel and not law enforcement officers, they cannot apprehend illegal immigrants. But CBP officers and Border Patrol agents apprehended thousands of people that guardsmen helped point out. The National Guard’s presence also helped lead to the interception of more than 3,300 others who were turned back before they crossed into the U.S., CBP press secretary Corry Schiermeyer said in an email to the Washington Examiner. The Guard’s deployment has also led to an additional 11,686 pounds of marijuana being seized as a result of their work. There are 1,601 National Guard troops at the border assisting with various surveillance, maintenance, and related operations. That number could tick up considerably if the 4,000 National Guard troops President Trump approved on April 4 are called on in a future request from CBP. Troops are providing support from the air, surveillance backup, and assistance with infrastructure projects like vegetation clearing and road maintenance, not including border wall construction. Another task is to specifically free up agents to leave their desks and get back out to the field. The troops monitoring remote video surveillance systems have then been able to report sightings to a greater field of agents, and thus the number of apprehensions has increased, officials said. The deployment is funded through the end of fiscal 2018, Sept. 30. Ronald Vitiello, then-acting CBP deputy commissioner, said in April the intent of the mission is for CBP to regain operational control of the border.

Terror Expert Compares Reaction to Trump’s Russia Efforts to Obama’s: ‘It’s Glaring Hypocrisy’

Former U.S. Army Special Forces member Jim Hanson said that the criticism President Trump is facing for meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin is hypocritical to what the Obama administration faced in 2012. Hanson, during an appearance on “Fox & Friends,” specifically called out former President Barack Obama’s hot mic incident with then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and the lax media reaction to it. Obama told Medvedev that after the 2012 election, he’d “have more flexibility.” The former U.S. president and Medvedev were talking about missile defense, Hanson added, saying that the world’s security was actually being put at risk. “The media at that point in time had nothing to say,” he said. “Now, President Trump wants to make a less-antagonistic relationship with the Russians … and all of a sudden it’s the worst thing that ever happened. It’s glaring hypocrisy.” Trump is set to meet with Putin on Monday in Helsinki, Finland. Hanson said that the entire stature of Obama’s foreign policy was “cringing capitulation.” “It was ‘America last,’” he said. “It ended up making the world a much more dangerous place.” Hanson also recalled the 2009 meeting between then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, during which Clinton presented Lavrov with a physical “reset” button to signify resetting relations with Russia. “Hillary walks into that meeting asking for nothing … she’s telling them ‘OK, you can have whatever you want from us,’” Hanson said.

The hypocrisy is indeed, breathtaking.  Thanks to former U.S. Army Special Forces member Jim Hanson for calling out the dominantly liberal mainstream media, and Democrat politicians, who are using today’s summit between President Trump and President Putin as an excuse to have another beat-up Trump session.  The rhetoric has been SO over the top, that it isn’t worth even paying attention to.

Opinion/Analysis: Just how much federal waste, duplication and weird or unnecessary spending are your tax dollars funding?

The ever-rising federal debt just surpassed $21 trillion last month – at least $65,000 for every person in the U.S. Just how much federal waste, duplication, and weird or unnecessary spending are your tax dollars funding? It’s hard to know where to begin, but here are some starters. Delving into the trillions of dollars in annual spending, our government transparency organization, OpenTheBooks.com, recently examined Washington’s discretionary grants system – beyond such big-ticket items as health, welfare and defense. We found that the feds doled out 560,771 grants totaling $583 billion during fiscal year 2016, the most recent year on record. This means, on average, each grant exceeded $1 million. Not every federal grant is wasteful, but there are plenty that are highly questionable. Consider these outlandish examples from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in the final year of the Obama Administration. (We’ve included the names of the congressional representatives for the zip codes where the grant was received.). Click here to see the list..

Wow..  You really need to see this.  And no, you’re not reading The Onion..

CNN’s Mudd: Trump Is a White, Rich Guy Saying ‘I Don’t Like People Coming In Who Don’t Look Like Us’

Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union,” network counterterrorism analyst Philip Mudd reacted to President Donald Trump criticizing Europe’s immigration policies. During an interview with British tabloid The Sun, Trump said, “I think what’s happened to Europe is a shame. I think the immigration allowing the immigration to take place in Europe is a shame. I think it changed the fabric of Europe. And unless you act very quickly, it’s never going to be what it was, and I don’t mean that in a positive way. I think you’re losing your culture.” Mudd answered, “This is not about culture. This is about race. I guess if we don’t want immigration in the united states we get rid of little Italy and Irish out of Boston, Mexicans out of the Southwest and rid of Asian americans out of the west coast and my hometown which was revitalized by Cubans, they’ve got to go home too.” He continued, “The difference he’s talking about, and I see this as a white guy, it’s brown people and black people going into Europe, people from embattled states in Africa and people form the Syria conflict. If we want to talk about this straight, we shouldn’t talk about culture. We ought to talk about race. It’s a white guy who is a rich guy from Manhattan saying I don’t like people coming in who don’t look like us.”

No, you stupid tool..  That’s NOT what he said at all, you race-baiting, agenda-driven, liberal hypocrite!  He said Europe has a certain culture.  That’s true!  And, when you import in vast numbers people from other cultures, it changes that culture.  That’s simply a FACT.  Ask the poor women and young girls who were preyed upon, and raped, on New Year’s eve in Germany (Berlin, Munich, etc) by Muslim males who came from Syria and elsewhere.  Germany is the poster child of what has happened to Europe when Muslims from northern Africa and the Middle East (who aren’t even vetted) suddenly show up in large numbers.  Look at the 44% rise in homicides in London in 2017 thanks, in large part, to the same.  Trump is 100% correct in saying that mass immigration to Europe from these predominantly Muslim nations is changing the culture of Europe.  He just doesn’t give a damn about political correctness, and is the only one honest to just say it…probably knowing that self-righteous, tools like Philip will use the opportunity to play the race card.  Nice try.  Your name is Mudd.  How appropriate..  And people still wonder why Trump calls CNN, MSNBC, NBC, and others “fake news.”..

The Bible remains a ‘powerful, transformative tool’ in American culture

The Bible remains a fixture in American culture and lifestyle according to the “State of the Bible” report, an annual poll conducted by the Barna Group, a California-based research organization, and the American Bible Society. “The results show that, despite shifting cultural trends, Americans still read the Word, and it remains a powerful, transformative tool in their life. These and other snapshots are included in our list of top seven findings from this year’s State of the Bible report,” the survey said. Overall, half of Americans are “Bible users” — they read it, pray with it or consider biblical content through online or recorded forms. The survey found that Bible use has remained relatively consistent since 2011. “Two-thirds of Americans express at least some curiosity to know more about what the Bible says. A similar number of adults (63 percent) are interested in knowing more about who Jesus Christ is,” the survey said. “Just over half of adults who used the Bible in the past week (53 percent) say they give a lot of thought to how it might apply to their lives.” Similar numbers say that reading the Bible boosts their own spiritual growth, as well as their inclination to “show more loving behaviors to others.’ Overall, six in 10 U.S. adults (58 percent) believe that the message of the Bible has “transformed their life,” with majorities of Bible users saying their time with the holy texts increases their sense of connection with God and their curiosity about God. City dwellers (53 percent) and small town or rural (49 percent) residents report higher use of the Bible than suburbanites. In the South, 55 percent report regular use; the numbers are 42 percent in the Northeast and 44 percent in the West. Baby Boomers (51 percent) are most likely to consult the Bible, followed by senior citizens (48 percent) and Millennials (47 percent). The traditional printed word of the Bible remains the favorite, the survey found. “The appeal of a print version of the Bible remains high at almost nine in 10 who prefer it (89 percent). Little has changed in the preference for a physical copy of the scriptures in the last eight years since tracking began,” the research said. Technology is a factor, however. “More than half of users now search for Bible content on the internet (57 percent) or a smartphone , and another 42 percent use a Bible app on their phones. More than one-third listen via podcast or audio version of the Bible,” the survey said. The Barna/American Bible Society poll of 2,040 U.S. adults was conducted Jan. 4-18, and released Wednesday.

Archaeologists in Egypt discover mummification workshop

Archaeologists in Egypt stumbled upon a new discovery dating back to more than 2,500 years ago near Egypt’s famed pyramids at an ancient necropolis south of Cairo. The discovery which includes a mummification workshop and a shaft, used as a communal burial place, is located at the Saqqara necropolis of Memphis, the first capital of ancient Egypt. Memphis, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and its vast necropolis are home to a wide range of temples and tombs as well as the three renowned Giza pyramids. The latest find, announced at a press conference Saturday, belongs to the Saite-Persian Period, from 664-404 B.C. The site, which lies south of the Unas pyramid, was last excavated more than 100 years ago, in 1900. In the mummification workshop, an embalmer’s cachette holding a large collection of pottery vessels, bowels and measuring cups were found. Archaeologists believe the findings will reveal more about the oils used in the mummification process in the 26th Dynasty. “We are in front of a goldmine of information about the chemical composition of these oils,” said Ramadan Hussein, the head of the German-Egyptian mission, at the press conference. Among the artifacts found were fragments of mummy cartonnages, canopic cylindrical jars and marl clay and faience cups. Many will be displayed in the under-construction Grand Egyptian Museum, the first phase of which is expected to be inaugurated later this year. Archaeologists also found a gilded silver mask on the face of a mummy in a badly-damaged wooden coffin. The mask, the first to be discovered since 1939, belongs to a priest. “The finding of this mask could be called a sensation,” Hussein said. “Very few masks of precious metals have been preserved to the present day, because the tombs of most Ancient Egyptian dignitaries were looted in ancient times.” Down the 30-meter-deep shaft is a host of burial chambers carved into the bedrock lining the sides of two hallways. There lie several mummies, wooden coffins and sarcophagi. “It’s only the beginning,” added Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Anani. He told reporters that the sites will likely yield more discoveries after further excavation. Egypt has gone to great length to revive its vital tourism industry, still reeling from the political turmoil that followed a 2011 popular uprising. The Antiquities Ministry has boosted discoveries in recent years in the hopes of bolstering tourism, a major pillar of foreign currency.

Very cool!!    🙂