Monday, August 31, 2015

Dear Students - Modern History Tells You What to Think, Not How to Think

More radical ideas about interpreting texts from a dangerous-thinking teacher.

Dear Students:

Many of your analyses of the texts for this assignment were off track. So many of you merely jump to conclusions about the writing without really analyzing it, or coming to grips with what the texts actually say.
As you read historical documents keep in mind that our interpretation of such documents is skewed through the lens of our modern interpretations and sensibilities. It is not good historical practice to filter all history through the lens of one particular philosophy of social structure.
All of you have grown up in a world where postmodernism has affected our interpretations of history. Postmodernism was a reaction against the idea that there can be absolutes, and introduced the concept of relativism. (See What this created for today's historians is a philosophy of history that basically says one interpretation of history is as good as another.
This presents a double standard which has imposed all sorts of conflicting interpretations on original documents, many of which have nothing to do with the writer's intent. In the present day, much of history is now filtered through the lens of oppression ideology, meaning most interpretation of history sees events and people as mere oppressors, rather than as events and people. The problem with this trend in history is that it tells you, as students, what to think, rather than teaching you how to think.
Your textbook is a modest example of the trend to interpret history through the eyes of a postmodernist philosophy. More and more textbooks interpret history as a laundry list of oppression. Over the years, I've watched the authors of the textbook revise the text to replace basic concepts and ideals expressed by the people of the time, only to interpret them through the lens that all history revolves around the abuse of power and oppression ideology. Your textbook is one of the few left that sometimes writes the story of what happened instead of trying to convince you, as students, how "bad things were in the olden days."

I want you to be aware of the influence of historical trends in your own interpretations of history so that you can begin to read and understand historical documents in their own context, rather than reacting to documents because you are influenced by a philosophy of history that pervades academics in today's world.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

A Letter to My Class As We Start US History

As we begin another fall semester, once again it's time to remind students of a few things which directly reflects their ability to think for themselves. In our postmodern world, I frequently have to warn students with a bullhorn to step away from from postmodernism before they hurt themselves.

Since most of the students who enter my classes have absolutely no idea what postmodernism is, nor the influence it has on their thinking, I try to point out the basic flaws with the interpretive garbage they've been fed in high school and in college.

Here's part of the announcements that we start with in my class:
In high school and in some college courses, when writing essays, you may have been taught to offer claims (opinions) and then justify your opinions with examples from the text. This is not a good means of coming to an understanding of historical texts. This method is, unfortunately, taught in many high school history books and in the newer high school curriculum. Unfortunately as well, most college textbooks (including our own) fall into the trap of forcing poor interpretations onto the texts without trying to understand the plain meaning. 
This is a very poor way of understanding history. By trying to form opinions, without first understanding the texts, you bring biases to the text which have been taught to you by people who despise history.
Please make an honest effort to understand the meaning of the additional readings texts without bringing your own opinions into their interpretation. You'll find a whole new way of thinking that will open up your mind to what history can actually teach us. I'd much rather you just summarize a text than tell me your opinions about whether you believe it or not. You'll learn more about history if you form opinions about the texts after you've read them, rather than before you read them.
The problem with postmodernism is that its arguments are entirely circular. Students are indoctrinated in its Mysteries at an early age, and so never see the double standards. Postmodernist circular reasoning creates students who have little or no ability to recognize the fallacies of the arguments. It prevents students from understanding sound arguments as well.

So students, as we start another new year, I urge you all to step away from postmodernism before you hurt yourselves.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Death of We the People

More than 150 years ago, Abraham Lincoln gave his most famous speech, The Gettysburg Address, where he reiterated the American ideal of a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. With the recent spate of US Supreme Court rulings, the oligarchy of elite progressives have become firmly entrenched as the ruling body of the United States. Rather than a country ruled by the people, we have turned all control over to a small group of individuals who flaunt the Constitution to create law where none existed and to erase law where it was plainly written.

In King v. Burwell, Chief Justice Roberts argued that what the law said, and what the law meant were not the same things. Deciding in favor of keeping Obamacare intact with regard to federal funding of states which did not create their own exchanges, the majority court basically acted as Congress and rewrote the law to suit its progressive ideology.

In Obergefell v. Hodges, Justice Kennedy created a right to same-sex marriage out of thin air, redefined the term marriage, denied the complementary nature of men and women, put the 1st Amendment at risk, and negated the ability of voters to create law not in sync with progressive dogmas.

In Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, Justice Ginsburg let an earlier federal court ruling stand,  preventing states from requiring an ID in order to vote. This opens voting to a whole, new level of abuse.

The basic, and most dangerous, problem with these court rulings is the assumption of power of the Supreme Court over the people and the people's elected representatives. It takes power away from the people and puts it squarely in the hands of an elite oligarchy. The oligarchy extends beyond the benches of the court and reaches into the White House, as well as reaching out to a select few who are rich and powerful enough to turn the gears of the current government.

The question remains. Why did we, as a people, allow the oligarchy to take over control of the US? Some would argue that the oligarchy has always had control. That may well be true. But never in the history of the US has the central government had such control over the daily lives of its citizens as we endure today. Except for rare occasions in the past, the rule of law has been held sacred, now thrown out with the whim of the ruling liberal progressive class.

Why did we give up our self rule? Part of the answer lies in the exploitation of our general laziness and disinterest in the most basic operations of government. Part of the answer lies in our general trend toward the immoral, where we extoll the virtues of the sexual revolution above the virtues of marriage, fidelity, family, and honor. Part of the answer lies in an educational system that no longer teaches the hard lessons of history. Part of the answer lies in selfish human nature.

Only when we the people regain our moral standing will we once again deserve a government that responds to liberty and the rule of law, rather than bowing to the dictates of the corrupted elite.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Paul Revere Rides Again

I am honored and thrilled to receive the 2015 Paul Revere Award from Curmudgeon at Political Clown Parade and my peers. It warms my heart to know that there are patriots with common sense left in a world turned upside-down with the lust for power and the lull of seductive ideologies.

The dangers that we face as a nation have come to a full boil. Those of us who still see the better path must continue as Paul Revere did, lending our warning voice to the world.

So thank you for the honor to be counted among the shining sentinels who stand in the light against the encroaching darkness of ignorance.