Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Another Ally in Academia

My European Literature teacher created a sensation in the class today by coming out as a Republican. We were discussing John Milton's Paradise Lost and digressed onto the topic of rejection from college. That was when he seized the moment to criticize the mis-emphases of modern learning theory.

As far as I could tell, he seemed to have a major beef with self-esteem. He never stated that it's over-emphasized in public school, but all of his quotes point to it. "[This school] has the worst quirks. All you guys think 'MY LIFE IS OVER IF I DON'T GET INTO HARVARD.' You know what I think? I think society shelters the youth a little too much. I've taught at many different schools and I would have to say that students in this one handle rejection the worst. When I was in school we faced rejection all the time, so when I applied to Harvard and I didn't get in, it came as no shocker to me." The reaction of the class was rather hilarious. The students were pretty much stunned, especially this extremely liberal girl (I just found out she was in charge of the "Casulties in Iraq" map), who, while normally talkative, didn't speak for the rest of the class. When I commented, "welcome to the self-esteem generation," he responded with, "exactly."

This teacher already had conservative inclinations. Over the past 3 months, he's dropped a few subtle hints that he disagrees with the way kids are currently being taught. His teaching style is also rather rigorous and classical. By that I mean he opens up the class to a moderated symposium and teaches us in a very Socratic manner. Even when we say something that he agrees with, or if we say something that hits close to the target, he always plays devil's advocate until we hit the bullseye.

Later on during the Paradise Lost discussion, we were discussing the stance of Humanists vs. the stance of Catholics. I asked him about his stance on issues, and that was when he dropped the bombshell: "I'm not as conservative as I make myself out to be, but I'm a Republican." When I asked him if he was a RINO (a term most real Republicans should be familiar with) he responded with "definitely not." I wish I could have probed him a bit more, but by then, the class had ended. Still, it's nice to know that someone within the higher powers shares my views and would support me in a debate. Yet another Republican English teacher. Brilliant.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Anti-Military

An Army recruiter came in today for lunch. He had no place to set up, so the administration put him in front of the current events board. Seems like a pretty good move, considering the current events board featured an article talking about Army recruiters scouting NASCAR tracks. However, immediately after he had finished setting up, the man responsible for the current events board removed the recruiter article and posted 2 anti-military articles. One did coverage on the nation's growing opposition to military recruiters. The other was an opinion piece titled "Anti-war Activists, Where are you?", a piece targetting young America to "throw down your iPods and take up the peace sign." What's worse is that the writer thinks that we should protest Iraq the same way we should protest Vietnam. My interpretation is that the author intends for young America to spit at our soldiers as well.

The administration originally established that the only articles featured on the current events board are should to be factual articles detailing current events. However, recently, I've been seeing more and more op-ed pieces on there. That I can easily forgive, and probably encourage. However, posting two blatantly anti-military articles in the presence of a military recruiter is completely inappropriate, if not disrespectful. In addition, it's also a dirty form of subliminal messaging, and I won't stand for it. I will try to find out the man's intentions for doing this. He better have a good excuse.

As if that weren't enough, some of our school's druggies organized a mini-chant, "don't kill babies" (note the hypocrisy), and started parading around the building, chanting faster when they pass the recruiter. The vice principal caught wind of this and spoke to them about it. The VP is aware Tinker vs. Des Moines would allow the students to do a chant like that, so she spoke to them about their ethics, and the principals respect. Normally I would fight for the students, but for once, I think I agree with this authoritarian b*tch.

The recruiter then had a little break from the activism, 10 minutes or so. Then 2 flamboyant women (presumably lesbians, judging by their holding hands and groping each other) started asking the recruiter about info on gays in the military. This put him in an uncomfortable position, but he explained anyway. Just before he brought up the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, a dude came up, saluted the recruiter, and then started making comments about how good he (the recruiter) looked, and proceeded to ask him questions about how soldiers "entertain" themselves while at war. Sexual harassment anyone?

As a person who takes a genuine interest in joining one of the branches of the Armed Forces (undecided as of yet), I chimed in and started making conversation with the recruiter. I saw the look of relief in his eyes. A few seconds pass by, and the lesbians and the dude leave, high-fiving each other.

Those were all the happenings I witnessed today. Our school has 3 lunches, and I was only there for one of them, so who knows? I honestly feel bad for the recruiter, taking all that shit from a school community that prides itself on openess and respect.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Where to Begin?

Teaching Americans to Hate America

Apparently my activism is making more waves than I expected. About a week ago, I showed Dr. Thomas Woods's book The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History to one of the AP US History Teachers. She was rather delighted, and proceeded to order a copy for herself. Clearly she was a centrist, because after all the squeals of happiness, she immediately said, "you gotta examine history from all sides. I have to make sure some of the stuff I'm saying is irrefutably true." I was happy that someone was sensible enough to at least investigate into the "underground" scholarship of history. That happiness faded fast.

I was walking homeroom this morning and I couldn't help but notice that there were multiple copies of A People's History of the United States and Lies My Teachers Told Me circulating. I myself have used the first book. It's not bad, but it's pretty much accepted that Howard Zinn is extremely liberal revisionist and anti-American. Normally I wouldn't object to the teaching of his book, but teaching it in coordination with Lies My Teacher Told Me (DON'T BE FOOLED BY THE TITLE; IT'S AN EXTREMELY ANTI-AMERICAN BOOK) puts our US History curriculum in question. If this wasn't in response to my presentation of P.I.G, it makes me even more suspicious of what the history teachers may be doing. This type of stuff should really be subject to a good amount of scrutiny.

Anecdote of the Day

During a group discussion in Medieval Literature, I pointed out that the Jews are the most oppressed people in the world. Immediately, a prominent liberal tries to nail me for my anti-Semitism. He backed down because 1) Someone else in another group (a liberal) was saying the exact same thing and 2) I interrupted his ad hominem and finished my statement: the prized Ivy League Schools, the American government, and the U.N. are only making the world worse for them, and that this kind of treatment should end.

Bulletin Board

The Cindy Sheehan column is still making reverberations. This morning, I noticed that one of our giant bulletin boards was covered with a giant map of the United States. I didn't know the purpose of this map, so I ignored it. Later today, a few kids were placing pins on the map. Guess what they represent? Give me a silent nod if you catch my drift. There was a handwritten title describing the map as "US Casualties in Iraq" and a sheet of paper on the site saying "Each pin represents one body that will be returning home inside a flag-draped coffin." Technically the bulletin board is free use, so I can't do anything about it, but damn. It's on. I've been on the defensive for a while now, but it's time to start taking the offensive. Now that I'm writing for the school newspaper, I have a very useful tool to make my attacks.

More on the school newspaper

Many of the letters I read actually agree with my view. Naturally a few people called me an extremist obnoxious jerk, but in a school where Political Correctness is a mentality, I was suprised that more people agreed with me than not. It turns out that even the anti-war crowd is sensible enough to realize that Sheehan had an underlying motive and was being an extremely annoying presence. Not to mention, her conduct and her speech were absolutely flippant for a "grieving mother." I guess I have a lot of work to do this year when converting people to neoconservatism. No word yet on whether or not I should respond to some of the letters in the next issue of the school newspaper.

School Newspaper coverage is ongoing. Keep on tuning in.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Smiley, Alito, and the News

There's too much to fit in this post. Here goes...

"Someone Buy This Kid a Dictionary Part II"

It's old news now that Thomas "Smiley" Delay has been indicted. Apparently it's something new to one of the kids in my school. Upon reading the headline of last week's Globe, he started high-fiving his friends. When he noticed me, he regained his composure and I asked him why he was so happy. He knew I was conservative, so the first thing that comes out of his mouth is "I'm not a liberal, but I'm definitely not a fascist." Clearly he didn't look up the term "Fascist" in the political dictionary, nor did he look it up in the Standard English dictionary. The next half an hour resulted in a pretty heated political debate, but he knew he had no chance after I defined the term "fascist" and listed the actual beliefs associated with it. Being his proud self, he kept going, but he showed some pretty obvious signs of waning confidence and desperation. The bell rang after that, so the debate couldn't close, but I think what he heard from me might make him go home and re-examine some of his misconceived terms.

Racism and Alito

It became immediately obvious to me how much Miers sucked as a candidate for the SCOTUS. Well, Bush is on a rebound, at least within the conservative community. With that said, thank God for Alito. Naturally the liberals feel the need to bring up the subject of his race. Can't have another "fascist white man" on the court right? Any levelheaded person would notice the racism of certain attacks against Alito. Some of it is subtle, like the supposed Democrats' document circulating that claims Alito failed to prosecute Mafia members because he was Italian-American. While the Democrats might have intended this to be a nepotism attack, it's pretty obvious that this attack is ethnically charged. Democrats in all their integrity and "tolerance" shouldn't even think of this strategy. Oh well. I guess one part of them hasn't changed since the 1960's: their underlying racism. According to MSNBC's Chris Matthews, "This is either a very bad coincidence or very bad politics. Either way it's going to hurt them. … Not abortion rights, not civil rights but that he failed to nail some mobsters in 1988 – this is the top of their list of what they've got against this guy. Amazingly bad politics."

School Newspaper

Coverage of the school newspaper continues, but before that, I'd like to refer you to a CNN "article" on what Bush keeps in his pockets. This wasn't filed under Opinion, and CNN presented this attack as... NEWS. Bias? I think so. http://www.cnn.com/2005/POLITICS/11/02/bush.pockets.ap/index.html

As for the newspaper, I spoke with the freshman writing an opinion about America's bungled disaster relief system. He's ambivalent on which liberal approach he wants to take to present the issue. As far as I see, if he wants to make disaster response about race, he can either pull a Kanye West (GEORGE BUSH DOESN'T CARE ABOUT BLACK PEOPLE) or an Anti-American (ALL AMERICANS HATE ARABS). I think the Kanye West argument would be easier for him to make, especially since he can mention that we responded extremely fast to Wilma (which struck where all the rich old white people live). I would also expect him to tie in Iraq. He's not politics-savvy, so he'lll probably use "how is it that we were so fast to get to Iraq, but so slow to get to New Orleans?" Whatever argument he uses, I will nail him in a counterpoint. Point-counterpoint is the only section of the newspaper with a lenient word limit, so I really look forward to his writing his piece and my fisking of it.

In addition to that, I will no doubt try to defend -- to the best of my ability -- all these indictments and charges against the Bush Administration and the Republican Party. While I object to certain actions done by certain members, I believe the media *coughcoughNewYorkTimescoughcough* is making much bigger an issue of this than it's supposed to be. My hypothesis is that they want to shift the public's attention from their own guilt, because even if info was leaked by the administration, the media is equally as guilty for making it available to the public (and then refusing to reveal the source from which it got the info).

More on this later. Coverage will be ongoing.