Archive for the ‘Propaganda’Category

Controlling America’s Narrative 2011 (x2)

In 2011, the fight for the narrative continues in the United States. In 2010, we saw a battle over textbooks in Texas that had a goal of diminishing the roles of some important historical players while highlighting some awfully strange players (1). What can be accomplished by throwing out Thomas Jefferson–writer of the Declaration of Independence and the third president of the United States responsible for the Louisiana Purchase–in favor of the Confederacy’s secessionist heroes?

In the 2006 documentary Jesus Camp, an evangelical children’s ministry leader showed that the religious right knows that making some people a hero is bad for their goals:

As funny and quotable as it is, they are serious: “You don’t make heroes out of warlocks,” and you certainly don’t make heroes out of gays, atheists, liberals, Mexicans, socialists, or Muslims.

Read the rest of this entry →

29

08 2011

Religio-Political Venn Diagrams: 2012 Republicans

While I had my circle cap on, I decided to go ahead and try to figure out our current state of politics:

 

And I thought George Carlin might agree with the next one (Michele Bachmann is all three):

Read the rest of this entry →

20

08 2011

Stress in our Schools

As American children line up for the bus stop to start the 2011-12 school year, students and school faculty are already being met with this year’s new round of education reforms and testing mandates. While the plight of teachers in Wisconsin made national news as citizens stood by to help keep schools from becoming hostile and cold towards teachers and students, reforms affecting teacher evaluation, tenure law, and benefits were passed quietly with little, if any, major objection by citizens of primarily Republican states.

Last year’s anti-teacher documentary Waiting for Superman and this year’s Bad Teacher seemed to reinforce the ideas of the Bush era’s failing No Child Left Behind. In both films, the problems are education are not linked to societal problems or the ever-changing technological structure of our country; instead, the blame is laid squarely and only on teachers–those overpaid, freeloading government employees who have won job security and don’t care about children. The teachers who, with just some extra motivation, could move mountains.

To “force” teachers to do a better job and “fix” the educational problem in the United States–and this is, of course, not a discussion over whether a problem actually exists in all or even most schools–and to appear to be “fixing” the budget, legislators have turned toward education budgets and, in many cases, led an assault against teachers and schools. The trend is MORE with LESS. MORE evaluation. MORE hours at work. MORE responsibility. MORE accountability for test scores. All of this MORE with LESS. LESS job security. LESS supply money. LESS state support. LESS say from the people who educate.

We all know what happens when people try to do MORE, MORE, and MORE with LESS, less, and less.

Read the rest of this entry →

10

08 2011

Internet Censorship – Agree or Starve (UPDATED 8/1/11)

Are we free to speak what we want? To congregate? To question? To think?

A Facebook friend who speaks freely about atheism and politics online recently documented how his employer, Wal-Mart, fired him after someone complained about his posts on Facebok  and claimed to be “afraid to walk into the store.”

Whatever his views–raging Republican or liberal extremist–this man is an individual who has every right to speak his mind outside of his job.  However, Wal-Mart apparently took the complaint against him seriously and suspended him while deciding whether or not to fire.

While they toyed with the idea of firing him, they banned him from the store, then, ultimately, terminated his employment. What a sad world! This man was harassed by his employer and had his job taken away because someone online was upset over his free speech online. The message appears to be that, while the Civil Rights Act protects your right to believe and practice whatever you want, it does not protect your right to say what you believe and practice on the Internet.

Yes. Be who you are. Think what you think. Just don’t tell anyone about it on your own time.

As heartbreaking as it is, this sort of incident is not uncommon.

Read the rest of this entry →

29

07 2011

Our “Christian” Nation No. 1: A Christian Founding?

With the lies some tell about the founding, they may as well have had lightsabers.

The religious right is laying claims to America’s founding and founding principles with increasing fervor. Some are using these claims to describe what is or is not “American” today, in an attempt to hold more claim to America’s freedoms than other groups.

For instance, a patriotic Christian conservative might suggest that “secularism” is a bad idea or that gays should not be allowed to marry–or even have sex–because that’s just not what Jesus–and, thereby, the “Christian” founders–would want.

Despite their best efforts, there simply is not a link between the Bible and the founding of the United States, and, in fact, the two stand very much opposed.

Issue One: The Founding Fathers and their Revolution

Religious Right says: The founding fathers did “God’s work” to set up a “Christian nation” by starting a violent revolution against the crown and forming a republic.

The Bible says: DO NOT REBEL AGAINST YOUR RULERS.

Romans 13:1-2 Read the rest of this entry →

29

07 2011