The History of History

I am not the only one who noticed that there was much stench from the story about the attempted rescue of the hostages in Syria. Not that such an attempt was made, but why release that story at all, let alone moments after the Presidential motorcade stopped for the President to make a few comments about pretending to care about what happened to James Foley and then move on to the Tee Time? Seems like the strategy of releasing the story in order to make it look like the President is looking like he is trying to look like he’s doing something, when in fact he is just pretending to look like he looks like he is looking like he is doing something IS BACKFIRING ON THE WHITE HOUSE, as it should have. In essence what the release of that story said is that we have no plans or even idea to even try again. It s the mark of rank amateurism in the Administration.

Why is it that the White District Attorney needs to recuse himself from the Brown case, but the Attorney General, WHO IS ALSO A BLACK MAN (his words, not mine) gets free reign? As an aside, how come my spell check doesn’t know the word “recuse?”

One of the positive fallouts from Ferguson is the widening interest in body camera’s for Police. In some communities here in California, complaints, valid and invalid, have fallen significantly after the local Departments began wearing the cameras. In Stockton, Chief Eric Jones WANTS TO ADD THE CAMERAS to his Officers standard equipment.

It finally happened… any news about the night in Ferguson (WHICH WAS CALM) has been moved down the NY Times webpage “below the fold,” as they say. Soon the media will be looking for the next blood in the water story that they can make about themselves.

A superb example of a local Government pretending to solve a problem in the most publically visible and yet least effective manner. The famed MODESTO ABANDONED SHOPPING CART HOT LINE still exists. So do the abandoned shopping carts.

Some years ago I read a paper that stated that the average annual useable flow of the Delta was something like (and don’t quote me on the number) 80 million acre feet, but that the contracts for water from the Delta exceeded that by some 40-50 Million acre feet. In other words, back in 2008 we knew that the water contracts were selling more water than actually existed. Now a study out of UC-Merced has looked at it and concluded that the contracts are PROMISING WATER THAT SIMPLY NEVER EXISTED in the first place, let alone more than we have.

The debate of the education of our children in this country predates Common Core by decades and has seen the latest in arguments of the day over COLLEGE AP HISTORY PLACEMENT EXAMS, which in the words of the GOP, paint a “consistently negative view of American History.” Obviously the left mocks this new position as an example of the “extreme” rights desire to put a “deliberately patriotic spin on history,” while the GOP claims that kids are learning Anti-American history. The truth is that history is – and always has been – subject to interpretation of the winners, and one would have to conclude that in the arena of who decides the education curriculum, the left has already won. So, the best way to deal with things is to teach your kids to think critically and decide for themselves. History is not math. Every event and occurrence has underlying causes and rationales that go beyond the simple “what happened on this day?” version of history. My own family is a great example of this. One can argue that the Civil War was caused by and fought over slavery. In fact, I would bet lunch that the current text books and curriculum teach this as an absolute, just as they teach that Lincoln “freed the slaves.” How then did so many Southerners end up fighting for the North? My own great-grandfather walked in the summer of 1862, from Ashdown County, Arkansas, to Rolla, MO to enlist in the Union Army. Does any curriculum exam the motivations and desires of the people who were there? Why was McClellan such a poor Commander? Why was Jackson so successful. Not in the military tactics and strategy view of things, but do kids learn these lessons? No, they don’t. For what it’s worth, I didn’t either in school. And the one time I challenged a High School Basketball Coach (girls) who was wrong on his history, I got told that if I ever did that again it would not go as easy for me as it did this time. What I conclude, more than thirty years later, is that schools and teachers can only open the door to history, it’s up to me and to you and to students to go through it. The less history is left in the hands of the Teachers and School Boards, the happier I will be.


Posted on August 21, 2014, in News & Notes and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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