Shredding books with Lynne Cheney

An opinion piece from University of Southern California History Dept. chair Steven J. Ross:

In 1933, Nazi sympathizers in Berlin burned 20,000 "degenerate" books, many of them written by Jews and anti-fascists such as Albert Einstein, Bertolt Brecht and Franz Kafka. Here at home, slaveholders were so frightened by the power of the word that throughout the antebellum South legislatures made it a crime to teach slaves to read and write.

Now, Lynne Cheney, Vice President Dick Cheney's wife and the former head of the National Endowment for the Humanities, has placed herself in the company of dictators and slaveholders. At her urging, the Education Department destroyed more than 300,000 copies of a booklet designed to help parents and children learn more about America's past

Cheney objected to the booklet's reference to the National Standards for History, guidelines for teaching history in secondary schools that were developed at UCLA in the 1990s and that suggest that American history should be taught with an eye not only to America's successes but to its struggles and dark moments as well ...

Complete article (registration required). A bit histrionic, obviously, but the whole episode is more evidence of Cheney's distaste for academic freedom.

Comments

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Re:Let's hope Teresa

yeah, she's an undercurrent all right...

Re:Do we really want to go down this road....again

First, you can take your two-bit bullshit slave reference and shove it up your holier than thou Kanadian arse. You don't know me or my mind but I suggest you try getting acquainted with yours before popping off with your pie hole. You've got the time, it shouldn't take long.

. It was suborned by fundamentalists, ultra-conservatives, and white supremacists.

But before you predictably lace up your red shoes and begin your unicycle backpedal, suppose this clown explain to the good folks at LISNews why the one and only former Klansman in the US Senate doesn't happen to be a (R)republican. You know, the one that likes to call folks "white nigger".

Can you do it Fang or are you looking for your red nose?

Re:Do we really want to go down this road....again

Do you really believe for even one glimmering moment that Tomeboy would own slaves?

It's all a matter of mindset, and Tomeboy has exhibited that mindset.

What makes someone a free person is that they have sole authority over and responsibility for their own selves. Anyone who accords to themselves authority over and responsibility for someone else, whether by deciding what they can read or how they can use their reproductive faculties, necessarily reduces that person to the status of a chattel.

(Always from the highest of motives, of course, just like . . . you know, that paper-hanger with the Charlie Chaplin moustache? Or Uncle Joe?)

That is what Republicanism is all about in the U.S. today. Conservatives and (R)republicans can't or won't see that the party and its agenda got hijacked along about the 1970s or so. It was suborned by fundamentalists, ultra-conservatives, and white supremacists. The result is that too many supporters think they are supporting what the party stood for thirty odd years ago, and the control freaks promote this delusion. I'd like to say it is so they can continue manipulating the suckers, but the reality is more likely that they actually believe the delusion themselves.

Re:Let's hope Teresa

I'm glad you're just kidding! We NEED the likes of Ann Coulter on the political landscape. She opens up the civic discourse so we can actually see the future of American "conservatism" (as well as some of the truly interesting undercurrents). If she didn't exist, we'd have to invent her. Who knows? Maybe we did.

Re:Let's hope Teresa

Well as long as there is beer involved we can program Moore to visit for fundraising possibilities. However if your community doesn't swing that way we can arrange to send O'Reilly, though you'll have to wait a bit on that. Some serious software glitches need to be scoped out. That's what we get for ordering inflatables from Passions & Pleasures.

Re:Let's hope Teresa

By all means! Be aware this is a "swing state" with enough "undecideds" that you'll have to arrange both Moore and O'Reilly. The idea of the two of them together could leave anyone breathless, especially if you graciously provide some of those vibrating rubber ducks for them to pummel each other with. YOU provide the ducks, I'LL provide the beer. Name your brew.

Re:What A Comparison

There are always two sides to the issue.
That is precisely why the children need to see both sides so that as they grow, they also learn to think and judge. That way, as adults, they can make informed decisions. This is not a skill that magically comes with adulthood.

Re:Do we really want to go down this road....again

First, you can take your two-bit bullshit slave reference and shove it up your holier than thou Kanadian arse.

Ah yes, the standard response by someone who has no answering argument. Tell me, Tomeboy, do you have any well reasoned, properly formulated arguments to refute my statement?

While the range of ideological beliefs of individuals within the party might express a fairly wide range, the Republican party promotes a retrogressive movement toward slavery. And you, pal, have a mindset of someone who would keep slaves. If you want to argue that you don't, then I suggest you start by refuting my statement that what makes someone a free person is that they have sole authority over and responsibility for their own selves. Or try proving how censorship and authoritarianism does not violate that principle.

You try explaining that to the good folks at LISNews, instead of just rattling off a priori bullshit for the ultra-right wing echo chamber.

Re:Let's hope Teresa

I was suspicious about Fang, but the Moore business really surprises me, Greg. Do you get royalties?? Our library is in economic difficulties and any help you can give will be appreciated. I'll even write a personal thank-you note. I may even buy you a beer.

Re:he's right

[I am not American, btw]

I'm a liberal, and I did feel the same way about Hillary. I always thought it was plain-out bizarre that she had such status within her husband's administration, when she hadn't been elected to anything. Ditto Tipper Gore (though if I understand correctly she was working with lobby groups outside government, not actually within government?).

Re:Let's hope Teresa

"I'm glad you're just kidding! We NEED the likes of Ann Coulter on the political landscape. She opens up the civic discourse so we can actually see the future of American "conservatism" (as well as some of the truly interesting undercurrents). If she didn't exist, we'd have to invent her. Who knows? Maybe we did. "

Well I hate to break it to you but we invented Fang. He's actually a software program running on a very advanced computer at Area 51. The program is called 'Kool-Aid Drinkers' and it places KADs under various names on various listservs as well as mailing 1,000s of emails to conservative websites giving them quotes to post and talk about.

Since I'm spilling the beans here I should let you know that Moore is actually an automated inflatable doll, people haven't figured it out yet because we gave him such bad BO people won't get close enough to check.

Re:Do we really want to go down this road....again

If you want to argue that you don't, then I suggest you start by refuting my statement that what makes someone a free person is that they have sole authority over and responsibility for their own selves…And you, pal, have a mindset of someone who would keep slaves..

In other words, tomeboy is a racist, wannabe slave monger until he can prove otherwise? This pecked from the mitts of our resident Patriot Act crusader and self-anointed Gauntanomo Bay pinup boy. Impeccable.

Fang your m.o.is old. Tough guy “ad hominems� (I think you introduced us all to this term) only to be predicatably followed by copy/paste reasoning from an online Latin dictionary. Shuffling, while regurgitating the same old spiel about “reasoned arguments� and “logical fallacies� when folks like me use research rather than rubbish to make a case. I would suspect your ass is as tan as those slaves you say I want from my routine public undressings of your alternetted reasoning.

The truth here is there is nothing logical or reasoned about you at all Fang. Hollow. You’re an angry guy who would do better to use his hand for holding a mirror than to wag a finger at those knee-jerk reactionaries that fill his noggin.

Keep the following note next to your treasured squirting flower and Harpo horn.

It will be a cold day in hell before I give you the pleasure of “refuting� a bullshit accusation just to play a part in one of your philosophical shticks.

One clown is enough.

registration

gotta love Lucianne...

login:joebftzpk2
password:lilabner

he's right

"As someone who has taught, written about and studied history for more than 25 years, I would suggest that good historical writing tries to help us understand the full contours of the past, paying equal attention to our triumphs and tragedies. Historians should not be afraid to hail the heroic figures of the past, but those should also include the less-than-famous men and women who struggled on behalf of democracy."

If your going to spend 25 years studying history then yes you should do all those things. However 300,000 individual books were not destroyed, 300,000 copies of a book were destroyed because if you are going to have one book, a singular opportunity, to promote American history (funded by the American people) it should first and foremost highlight the best that this nation has accomplished.

Re:he's right

Yep. Sweep those pesky little things that aren't the "best" under the big carpet. Kinda Orwellian, but what the heck. Shred away.

What A Comparison

The suggestion to remove one book in a curricula situation leaps to a comparison to Nazi censorship. Did I miss something? Every country that teaches its own history does so with he intention to understand accomplishments and have pride. The curriculum is for children. Once again people believe that choices reserved for adults should be given to the immature mind. An adult can choose to find the dark side of American history, they have a mature mind to make such a decision. A child who is in the process of working out authority issues will use the dark side of history to feed such issues. If America does bad things then the angry 16 year old can do damage because he/she represents a just cause. The child is not always expressing a well thought out opinion but often gets a thrill as a protester and a chance to be defiant with permission. Opposing opinions are valid and reasonable with adults, they are highly influenced when it comes to children. Teaching the good about America makes a child a good citizen. Once one is an intelligent respectful, law abiding citizen then opposition is a difference of minds. The Nazis wanted to destroy anything that did not represent them as the superior race or was written by races that they held were inferior. That is a demented national pride. I don't believe anyone, liberal or conservative feels that teaching American pride is comparable. We live in a great nation that has done great things for refugees, oppressed people, and victims of natural disasters. What is wrong with teaching that. Dark sides need to be evaluated intellectually. There are always two sides to the issue.

Re:registration

The LA Times is a huge pain! I first used my own registration, then used yours (thanks Greg), and still only got as far as the "free abstract", and this was an article from TODAY'S paper. They wanted me to buy the whole article.

Does anyone else think this sucks?

Re:he's right

I am reminded of this quote from Al Franken everytime I see you guys defending things that are clearly wrong, but done by someone on your side, or attacking something insignificant on the other side."We just love America in a different way. You love America like a 4-year-old loves his mommy. Liberals love America like grown-ups. To a 4-year-old, everything Mommy does is wonderful and anyone who criticizes Mommy is bad. Grown-up love means actually understanding what you love, taking the good with the bad and helping your loved one grow. Love takes attention and work and is the best thing in the world. That's why we liberals want America to do the right thing. We know America is the hope of the world, and we love it and want it to do well. We also want it to do good."

Re:What A Comparison

"The suggestion to remove one book in a curricula situation leaps to a comparison to Nazi censorship. Did I miss something?"Yes, Godwin's Law."We live in a great nation that has done great things for refugees, oppressed people, and victims of natural disasters. What is wrong with teaching that."Nothing.We also live in a nation that has done horrible things to people. There's nothing wrong with telling the kids about that side as well.As to how Nazis fit into this, no idea, people need to get a new poster child for evil.

Re:he's right

So when you go in for a job interview you put all your faults on your resume right?

I love it when people throw 'Orwellian' around. Orwellian implies a totalitarian society, here's dictionary.com's definition of totalitarian:

"Of, relating to, being, or imposing a form of government in which the political authority exercises absolute and centralized control over all aspects of life, the individual is subordinated to the state, and opposing political and cultural expression is suppressed: “A totalitarian regime crushes all autonomous institutions in its drive to seize the human soul� (Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.)"

The only thing we have even close to that is our tax code. The idea that we as a country should constantly whip ourselves for absolution is worse then Orwellian, its sadistic.

Re:registration

I got a in-between screen after I logged on that when I closed and clicked on the link again let me right in.

Re:he's right

yes but Blake, its not "clearly wrong" and simply saying it doesn't make it so

Re:he's right

Maybe I need to explain why it's wrong?The Vice President's wife is now making policy decisions. This seems like a good idea?Because you agree with her doesn't make it right. Whether or not you agree with her, it's just wrong. I really shouldn't have to explain this at all.She wasn't elected, she answers to no one, she should have no say in anything that matters. It's not her job, it's not her place, it's none of her business to force this on a government agency.

Overstated.

From the article:
has placed herself in the company of dictators and slaveholders.

Well here are some additional people and groups that have placed themselves in the company of dictators and slaveholders.

Christmas Book Banned in Ithaca

Kerry: TIME FOR BOOK-BANNING!

Re:he's right

Golly! You sure got in a tizzy! And all just because I don't happen to think history should be swept under that big rug. I'll try not to use "Orwellian" anymore since it seems to really upset some folks. Good thing you didn't shred your dictionary!

Do we really want to go down this road....again?

Blake - "We guys" are "you guys" too.

Re:he's right

Did you feel the same about Hillary?

Re:he's right

Sure. I always thought of Hillary in comparison to Eva Peron. Lynne? More like Lucretica Borgia. Either way, they should have no more authority than the peasantry unless elected or appointed. Right now Mrs. Cheney doesn't have that "qualification".

Re:he's right

"Lynne Cheney served as head of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) for seven years under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush while facing several highly public and controversial issues, not the least of which was the debate surrounding the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) support of a controversial exhibit by artist Robert Mapplethorpe. Her background as an avid champion of education at all levels led the NEH, however, to expand its mission beyond that of supporting scholarly research to include supporting excellence in both elementary and secondary schools. Several annual reports generated by the NEH during Cheney's tenure focused on the place of humanities in education." From the Biography Resource Center via Infotrac

She's hardly just the Vice President's wife, and this is hardly the equivalent of heading up a task force on a national healthcare system. The removal of the book was at her 'urging' not her orders.

The idea of First Lady and Vice Lady as advocates seem at this point to be a given.

So in effect your right, I don't have a problem with it because I agree with it. *You* have a problem with it not because of the hoopla you said but simply because you disagree with it.

Re:he's right

I always thought of Hillary in comparison to Eva Peron. Lynne? More like Lucretica Borgia. Scathing.

Any chance the Madonna could acquire thick ankles?

(flame away)

Re:Overstated...

or "spun" to one's liking?

Kerry didn't recommend book banning, the blog author, a "Steve H." (whoever the heck he is)gave his blog that title (Kerry: Time for Book Banning).

The fact of the matter is that Kerry disagreed with the people at Renergy Publishing, authors of "Unfit for Command."

He NEVER said their book should be banned. If you want to read libelous lies, dig in!

Re:he's right

I suppose there is the possibility. I just hadn't considered it, with Hillary and Lynne in the forefront of events. A special affection for one or the other? You seem nervous today.

Re:he's right

She is just the Vice President's wife. I know what she was that doesn't give her any power now. This is hardly the equivalent of heading up a task force on a national healthcare system, but to answer tomeboy, yes, of couse I had a problem with that as well.The idea of First Lady and Vice Lady as advocates is just fine, they both went above and beyond. You and I are advocates, if we tell a govt. agency to jump they can just laugh, if the Vice Lady says to jump and they say how high, that's not advocacy.I disagree with what she did, it doesn't matter if I agree or disagree with why she did it.

Re:he's right

Orwellian - Nazi, its all the same flame

Re:Do we really want to go down this road....again

I don't get it? Because I think you guys are wrong that means I think those guys are right? Because I am more likely to disagree with you I would agree with those examples?Try again, not even close.

No Registration at This Site

If you want to avoid registering with the LA Times, read it here: http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/observer/news/98754 10.htm?1c.

Re:No Registration at This Site

Okay nevermind--I'm an idiot. :-)

Re:Do we really want to go down this road....again

"We guys" are "you guys" too.

Only in your schizophrenic, double-think fevered dreams, pal.

We would not keep slaves; given the opportunity, you would.

Almost every slur leveled at liberals and democracs by conservatives and republicans -- your own claptrap, for instance -- is a projection of shadow; you accuse those you fear are better than you of your own depravities.

While there are censorial liberals, I have no doubt that the proportion of such is roughly equal to the proportion of non-censorial conservatives; and the intent behind the two types of censorsip is also in diametric opposition. Conservative censorship is all about control, and liberal censorship is a misguided effort to protect civil liberties.

Liberals and Democrats might not always get it right, but conservatives and republicans almost invariably get it wrong.

I could go on, but I know that you'd rather live in denial than in reality.

Re:No Registration at This Site

LA Times, Mercury News, it's all Californ-i-a to me.
I did manage to get on anyway, thanks.

Re:he's right

"The idea of First Lady and Vice Lady as advocates is just fine, they both went above and beyond. You and I are advocates, if we tell a govt. agency to jump they can just laugh, if the Vice Lady says to jump and they say how high, that's not advocacy."

You and I are opinionated, an advocate is likely ot have more influence because they are ongoing on a specific topic and regularly contacting the players involved. This is not a new topic for her and whether she does it out in the open or within the Cheney living room shouldn't matter. Well, actually it does matter, its more honest out in the open.

Funny but your first comment with the Franken quote seemed to speak to the 'why' of it more.

Re:he's right

Orwellian - Nazi, its all the same flame

Only to the unsophisticated thinker. You know -- those who won't learn how to think?

Re:he's right

So educate me Fang, what's the difference between an Orwellian totalitarian regime and a Nazi totalitarian regime?

Re:he's right

So when you go in for a job interview you put all your faults on your resume right?But the point of a resume is to convince people that you are the best for the job. The point of histroy education is to develop an understanding of where we came from, who we are, and why things are the way they are. And yes, also to inspire us to greatness and (equally important) help us avoid the same traps as before.But you are very correct in pointing out the difference between destroying one book (all 300,000 copies) and 300,000 books.Heck, otherwise everytime a publisher decided to cancel a book they would be Orwellian Nazis.

Re:he's right

You seem nervous today.

Yes, well remember some of us are burdened by shame to incessantly paste insightful retorts such as this.

Re:he's right

I'm stunned. I thought you were merely nervous as usual. Why on earth are you ashamed?

Re:Do we really want to go down this road....again

I could go on, but I know that you'd rather live in denial than in reality

Oh, please don't stop on account of this schizophrenic, double-thunked, slur sayin', puritan pushin', hog slappin', Bible thumpin' yellow belly, son of tricky dicky, knee-jerk reactionary tightassed, red-necked Merican.

Go ahead free thinker. Stopping now only serves to prove my point.

Pal.

Re:Do we really want to go down this road....again

Blake- You're waffling here.

You chose Franken's quote to support your point. Not me. A quote that diagnosed "we"(right wing censors) as having some sort of Oedipus Complex with the mother country.

Now I'm to understand that I shouldn't take Franken's quote as partisan?

Forget it.

Re:Do we really want to go down this road....again

We would not keep slaves; given the opportunity, you would.

Fang, this comment is truly over the top. Do you really believe for even one glimmering moment that Tomeboy would own slaves?

I really don't even think your comment deserves any response at all but I think that someone has to stand up when you go so overboard. I really have a hard time taking any of your comments seriously after wack job comments like the one above.

Let's hope Teresa

shreds every one of Anne Coulter's books when JFK takes over. ;)
(kidding! I'm a kidder)

Re:Do we really want to go down this road....again

It will be a cold day in hell before I give you the pleasure of "refuting" a bullshit accusation just to play a part in one of your philosophical shticks.

Which is just a chickenshit, bullshit way of ducking the issue. You will not answer because you cannot answer.

In other words, tomeboy is a racist, wannabe slave monger until he can prove otherwise?

Tomeboy has the mindset of a slave owner until he stops demonstrating such attitudes and learns to keep his grubby paws off of other people's lives and minds.

It's all about a little thing called FREEDOM. A concept you have trouble dealing with.

Syndicate content