Animated map/timeline of the territorial evolu...
Animated map/timeline of the territorial evolution of the Confederate States of America, from first secession to end of Reconstruction. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

Are kids being taught history in school any more? 

http://totalfratmove.com/texas-tech-students-completely-incapable-of-answering-basic-history-and-current-event-questions/

I must give credit to our own Kesmarn for the above link.  When I watched the clip I was astounded that these college kids were so ignorant about American history. What the heck are they learning in school?

America has a long history of wars and we have ignored the lessons from those of the past and jumped into more of the same type wars. We never seem to learn! We invaded Vietnam and got our asses handed to us by the gorilla type warriors of Vietnam.So then we invade Iraq without having learned from our history in Vietnam or the history of the USSR in Afghanistan! The USSR got kicked hard enough in Afghanistan that it was the downfall of them as a power. Now there is Russia and several other former Soviet countries. All of this history was ignored and we jumped into WARS in Afghanistan and Iraq!

It is not only the college students who don’t know history but many of our Congressmen/women and Governors (former half term  comes to mind, you know she could see Russia from her back porch.).

Another thing is civics classes. I had a civics class that explained how government works and how Americans have the right to vote. Not only the right but the responsibility and duty to vote!

I worked at a couple High Schools as a discipline guy and substitute teacher for six years after retiring from climbing telephone poles. Neither of the schools had a civics class. When subbing , I did lots of history classes. The lesson plans were quite good and easy for me to follow. However there was not a lot of emphasis on our history that is something we could equate to today. I think History teachers need to make the kids aware that history repeats itself if the lesson is not absorbed . Our leaders that put us into Afghanistan and Iraq were ignoring the lessons of Vietnam and the USSR in Afghanistan.

So how can we get both history and civics reinstated as compulsory classes for high school and college kids?

 

 

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EXFANOFARIANA
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EXFANOFARIANA

I completely agree with you and MA. But guess what? They know all about the latest Kartrashian fake butt and are delighted on Honey Bobo’s – or whatever the f* is her name, having contact with sex offenders.
Great job on spreading the veteran letter,AdLib, from AATTP.

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Misterbadexample
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It’s fun to blame the kids here for inattentiveness. However, the State of Texas looked at their academic records, SAT scores, and other ephemera and said they qualified as high school graduates and as college freshmen. And Reality check–Because Texas buys huge quantities of textbooks in single purchases for the state, Texas enjoys de-facto control of school textbook content for all fifty states. If you are an educational publisher, you HAVE to make the approved list for Texas because the market is make-or-break for profitable publishing. So whatever these kids learned in Texas public schools is very close to identical to what kids learned in the other 49 states.
If it makes anybody feel better, I’ve been interacting with college students as part of the Brooklyn radio station gig I’m doing lately. Many of the ones I’ve dealt with are as dumb as the folks at Texas Tech, and these are the high-achievers. This is not a problem exclusive to Texas.

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monicaangela
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The problem can be summed up easily…A FOR PROFIT EDUCATION SYSTEM. At the university level you definitely pay through the nose, and now with many wanting to extract students from public school and send them along with our tax dollars to private and charter schools, I feel it won’t be long before all education in the U.S. will only get worse.

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naxos
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naxos

Kalima:
Your point is inarguable, my post was taken the same way by everyone you cite.

Please read the comment again yourself, without (literally) prejudice.

In brief: I responded to a post that expressed dismay with the part of the populace that is unread in civics and history. I did not disagree with this assessment. To the contrary, I expressed my own doubts about the basis of democracy for just this reason. (How does it work when, for the last 250 years, the general level of education has been even lower than it is today?) I then described a study that found that a large cross-section of people not schooled agriculture were able, armed only with common sense, to make sensible observations on a subject not part of their knowledge. The point is that the votes of large numbers of people derived from common sense but no learning appear to preserve the goals of a democratic system. And thus to the conclusion that suppression of votes is destructive.

This was interpreted as a suggestion that the first writer was FOR voter suppression. You have read the rest.

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Kalima
Admin

Naxos, below is the first comment you left on The Planet and I have read all the rest on other posts. They come off as sneering and demeaning towards Dems, Liberals and Progressives. Not a very good introduction on a Progressive site. You continue this through most if not all of your 31 comments so far, and then wonder why members react the way they do.

In all honesty, I have read your comment below again and it bears a mocking tone for Nirek’s post and pov that the education of young Americans is lacking. When the majority of them can’t even find most European countries on a map, or have no idea who your VP is, then I have to agree that something is wrong.

Here at The Planet we try to deal in actual facts and produce links to support those facts. When we give our own pov, we also have to support it and expect that others will disagree with us until we can prove our point. Sneering at our members without actually stating how you arrive at your own differing conclusion does not work here, and if you are here just to insult Dems and Progressives, you have come to the wrong place.

You asked for my opinion and I gave it, and suggest that instead of asking others to reread your comments on this site, you reread your own comments so that you understand why members have reacted the way they have.

naxos says:
11/06/2014 at 7:36 AM (Edit)
Self-serving and self-congratulatory “our tribe smart; other tribe dumb” themes make for really weak pieces. This one is also naive. ALL news outlets serve a chosen demographic because MOST people like to be agreed with; it makes them feel warm and smart. “Opinion” over the airwaves is a parlor game. Whether Matthews, O’Reilly, Maddow, et al, actually believe what they say is irrelevant. All that matters is that their viewers believe in their sincerity.

Further, the surveys cannot detect a central, key element in your we-are-like-so-smart! proposition. Example: All of the currently proposed solutions for climate change coincide with well-known Progressive authoritarian goals; expanded government control, expanded regulation, stronger, larger bureaucracy. A coincidence? So anyone center or right with a spark of brainpoqwer will assume the people forming the climate models are in bed, politically, with the Left. It’s all too convienient. So the attitudes and opinions of Fox viewers regarding climate change have almost nothing to do with science, and everything to do with politics.

Want to test this? Easy. Propose solutions to climate change that couincide with goals of the Right, smaller government, less regulation, reduction of taxes, and see how many Deniers become Believers, overnight.

You should raise the bar back up where you usually have it.

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http://planetpov.com/2014/10/24/the-science-of-fox-news-why-its-viewers-are-the-most-misinformed/

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naxos
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naxos

Read through much of it, including the responses. I do not find sneering on anyone’s part. Sneering implies mockery. There is some anger and prickliness, but no disrespect.

– In the example you cite above, I suggest the writer is “naive”- hardly fighting words. My suggestion that Deniers object to what they perceive as Progressive goals, rather than the science, is hardly controversial.

– Me and my “Progressive” friends, in quotations because none of us accepts broad labels, debate constantly. We are products of a place that is famous for its Progressivism. BFD Bullet-point ideologies are for the intellectually lazy. A confrontation of ideas is exactly, precisely the point. No matter. The real goal is intellectual stimulation, to bring out the best in each other. That debate should resemble a support group conversation is an alien notion to me. No surprise.

– In all of the posts I read over the last day, from everyone, I find scant disagreement and lots of mutual congratulation. Excepting me of course. I am a bit the unwelcome guest, which is of absolutely no interest to any of us.

– Thanks again for your measured response. I am just going outside. I may be some time. Peace, and all the very best to you.

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Kalima
Admin

Well that is your decision to make but let me clear a few things up. The writer of that post is not “naive” and I don’t understand how you could say this without having read other posts and comments from them on serious issues.

To label honest appreciation of another member that you have known for years as “mutual congratulations” is all shades of strange and can hardly be summed up as such. It’s actually known as being respectful, socialising and playful banter, so frowning on the friendships formed here is disrespectful, and to say we never disagree is untrue. Obviously you have not read too many articles here. Btw, over the last few days you have read and assumed this about us, there have been no in-depth discussions on this site. If you are referring to our Time Out post, then you should have read the introduction which clearly states that it’s a post for off topic comments about anything a member might find interesting. Yes we are a Progressive site, but where does it say that we have to be serious for 24/7?

Boasting about your level of intelligence and that of your “Progressive” friends won’t win you any party favours because someone can have a fairly high IQ and still fail miserably in the common sense and logical thinking process, so saying that is not in the least bit impressive here where many members actually roll up their sleeves to work on making life better for many Americans instead of just talking about it on a blog while criticising.

Hope that you find what you are looking for somewhere else, and sorry that you missed the whole point and concept of The Planet.

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naxos
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naxos

You seem determined to mischaracterize my comments. Why, only you know. If the writer is not naive, fine and so what. I explained clearly why I used this word. Is he not capable of replying to explain where and why I err? To have ones point of view labeled naive is not disrespectful; it says one has missed something.
Boasting about IQ? Where? This is nonsense. I said we butt heads. We push each other. We resist labels. That we are not thin-skinned. If you equate my statement that I come from a “Progressive” environment with having a high IQ, you should look inward. The equation is yours, not mine. Anyone who thinks they are “smart”, probably isn’t.
Your scolding may work on kids, if they are a bit dim and the sanctimonious bit about rolling up sleeves is indulgent. Self-congratulations are always suspect and should be avoided, like criticizing one’s Ex.
I offered peace and good wishes. You responded with a defensive lecture. Sort it out yourself.

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naxos
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naxos

Kalima: Many thoughtful observations. I will re-read my posts as you suggest. My first reaction to the observation that I sneer is discomforting. As I read, I will hope to find something else, impatience, maybe, but if it’s there, I have no intention of dodging it. Everyone needs to have their chain tugged from time to time. Meanwhile, I accept your comments as sincere and constructive. You went to some trouble in writing this reply; thank you. Best, Naxos

– I think the post you attached was not my reply to Nierk, the comment we were discussing, but rather to another comment by Murph. I’ll check.

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Kalima
Admin

I wrote this:

“Naxos, below is the first comment you left on The Planet and I have read all the rest on other posts”, so yes it was an observation of all your comments since you joined here, and why members who read them reacted the way they did. This is a site where people are free to state their opinions but not a place to compete for supremacy. There is no pecking order here, we share ideas, then agree or disagree politely. We have the most enlightened, caring and compassionate people of anywhere on the internet, and if they think you are mocking them on home ground for their political beliefs, they will naturally react and challenge you for yours.

The rest is up to you. Now if you will excuse me, I have work to do.

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naxos
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naxos

Civics: The notion that the masses, whose level of knowledge you describe here, should determine our future by vote seems absurd. But I read an experiment done by a statistician in the 19th century, who also doubted the idea of democracy. He attended a country fair where everyone could take a chance on the weight of a cow. Hundreds entered; few were actual farmers. Afterwards he asked if he could analyze the guesses. The average was incredibly close to the truth. Democracy works when great numbers of diverse people participate. Suppressing votes, any votes (even those who disagree with you or who have zero knowledge) is anti-democratic.

On US involvement overseas: Foreign affiars are complicated. We try, we are human, we make mistakes. Like it or not, someone has to keep order, be the good guys, the cops. This is us. We just have to do it better.

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kesmarn
Admin

Is the right actually arguing now that teaching history in schools is not a good idea?

The masses in Germany enthusiastically supported Hitler too (yes, I did go there because it actually is relevant) — for a while. The masses aren’t inevitably going to choose the best person — especially when they’re ill-informed. There’s no automatically magical wisdom in a herd of people. Lynch mobs being a prime example. Guessing the weight of cows and deciding on the leadership of the most powerful country in the world are hardly equivalent. In the case of the US, the better educated the electorate, the better off the country is. For many reasons — not just for the purposes of voting.

And when people are being systematically fed lies — as on FOX “News” — it’s even more important that they get facts while they’re in school.

As for the US policing the world… Maybe folks who own a lot of stock in Halliburton, Lockheed Martin, Academi, or Boeing believe that. The rest of us think it’s time for the world to grow up. Are countries like Saudi Arabia too poor — both in terms of money and humans willing to die — to defend themselves? Or it is just a lot easier to outsource that unpleasant task to a nation that in their view craves violence and the profits it creates anyway?

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naxos
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naxos

I did not advocate an ignorant electorate, nor a particular media outlet.

I doubt your scolding of the world to “grow up” constitutes an effective foreign policy. Countries like Saudi Arabia and Sweden do not police the world, no. If you want to know their motives you can ask them, but I doubt you will receive an acceptable response.

For now, the world needs a force capable of imposing rule of law. This is us. Hopefully this will not be the case always.

– follow none of your post.

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KillgoreTrout
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The rule of who’s law? Do not kid yourself that America is or should be the world’s police force. We do not act anywhere when there isn’t an American interest behind our actions.

Sure, we blather on about about justice, and helping people in other nations overcome oppression and tyranny, and I believe to some extent that this is part of our goals. For the larger part though, our actions are motivated by self interest.

There are many, many places around the world where oppression and tyranny happen every day and we do nothing for the people of these countries.

We didn’t invade and destroy most of Iraq to help the people living there. We didn’t invade and occupy Afghanistan to help it’s people. We went to those nations out of self interest, and other nations before those.

The war mongers on the right NEVER have any altruism in mind when we act militarily. They favor war because it is big business and reminds the rest of the world that we are the most powerful nation in the world.

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kesmarn
Admin

So well-said, KT! If Dubya and his cronies had really been all about being the world force for justice, why were Kim Jong-il and Kim Jong-un left in place in N. Korea? Was “Sad-damn” (as Dubya and Company always pronounced it) the only tyrant who needed to be toppled? World police? Only when it fits the RW agenda.

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naxos
Member
naxos

I agree with much of this, but not all. Kissinger, as others before him, advocated the rule of American self-interest as a determinant of where and when we should intercede politically and militarily. I find this to be abhorrent. I think we should have rescued the girls kidnapped by Boko Haram several months ago (we did not), and saved the Yazikis in Iraq, as we did. Because these things were the right thing to do. We go in, do good, and get out, taking no credit and expecting no thanks. That this is regrettably not how we conduct foreign policy is where we agree. Our disagreement lies in the notion of world police. I believe the strong have an obligation to assist the weak. That is us.

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monicaangela
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Exactly Nirek. I believe the people, everyday people like you an me have learned, but the leaders of government who have a much different agenda than we do are not interested in learning the same lesson we did.

They, those leaders that are vying to control government and the courts are for the most part first interested in profit and power, then maybe the thought might come to them of the blood and treasure that will be lost…even still, they figure the same ones fighting and dying and those like them will be where the treasure and blood comes from.

They, mostly republicans are constantly trying to find a way to cut the losses of treasure for the ones who cause these wars by lowering taxes on the wealthy and corporations. It is sad what is happening in this nation and around the world.

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monicaangela
Member

Hear, hear!!!!!

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monicaangela
Member

Wouldn’t it be easier for the United States to stop selling more than 60% of the weapons the world uses to cause the problems in the first place? Maybe if we did that, we wouldn’t need to police up after the effects of such a horrendous effort on the part of our corporations to promote and supply war throughout the world. Much of the foreign aid we, the U.S. provides to the world is provided in weapons, especially to countries in the middle east. And, if that isn’t bad enough, we are now providing weapons to police forces in the U.S. What is the objective here, continue to provide weapons for war and then claim to be the savior of the world when people use those weapons? We don’t need to be the world’s police. The job of the police is supposed to be to protect and serve, not instigate. For obvious reasons, we don’t qualify.

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kesmarn
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Excellent point, monica. Needless to say, the only entities who benefit from those weapons sales are their manufacturers and the politicians they’ve bought. And we all know that those manufacturers have very strong ties to the political right in America.

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kesmarn
Admin

So the point of your touching cow-judging anecdote was what, then? If not to make the point that ignorance is no obstacle to getting it right? (A point I happen to disagree with, except in the case of stopped clocks twice a day.) As Sue mentioned earlier, it’s odd to say something and then immediately deny that you meant anything of the kind.

Nobody said you were advocating FOX, although I doubt you’d admit that they promote a number of falsehoods on an almost daily basis. Putting words in my mouth is a bit weak.

Which was also the case with the Saudi Arabia and Sweden comment, and the implication that I said they should/do police the world. Never said that. Never would.

“Hopefully this will not be the case always.” Well, it’s going to be difficult for anyone else to assume the job of policing the world as long as the US refuses to give it up — largely because it’s so incredibly profitable.

As for the “not following” I’m very sorry you weren’t able to comprehend what I said.

But — to cut to the chase — I think the real reason for your presence here is much less a desire for honest dialogue than it is an attempt to indulge in endless and meaningless sophistry and — more importantly — to waste people’s time. We’ve had quite a number of visitors here who’ve wanted to play that game. It gets tedious. So excuse me if I decline to play along any further.

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naxos
Member
naxos

Plain, uneducated, uninformed common sense. A quality present in many voters regardless of their political leanings. The intent of my post was hardly obscure. To suggest I advocated for ignorance is ridiculous.

I’ll take “falsehoods” from any news source on one by one.

You have no hesitation about putting words in my mouth, claiming I “implied” this or that. Bristling when it happens to you is humorous.

If you have honest dialogue to offer, I am all ears. So far you have suggested: – I do not want to teach history in schools
– That the masses can be inspired wrongly (a truism observed often since biblical times)
– I support an ignorant electorate
– I would defend (or at least not condemn) “lies” offered by a news outlet
– It interests me to waste time
– The tired quip that clocks are correct twice a day

You hold the cynical belief that the US polices the world for the profit in it, the baseless belief that the UN could do so, that Americans “crave” violence, that disagreement with any of these notions is “sophistry”, and that confronting disagreement is a waste of time.

You are being disagreed with. So what? Two choices: a) defend your cynicism, b) lash out.

The rest is obvious and I’m no longer interested.

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Kalima
Admin

Just one question please, naxos?

Can you please explain why at least 5 different members, living in different states, arriving at different times on different days, who have no contact with each other outside of The Planet, all reacted to your previous comments on other posts, obviously drawing their own conclusions, in exactly the same manner as kesmarn and Nirek did?

http://planetpov.com/2014/11/07/an-open-letter-to-president-obama-let-republicans-play-with-their-own-boehner/

http://planetpov.com/2014/11/06/why-tuesday-went-so-badly-for-dems/

http://planetpov.com/2014/11/05/the-gop-wave-pool-money-lies-ignorance-and-democratic-apathy/

http://planetpov.com/2014/11/03/why-the-gop-will-have-a-good-night-tomorrow/

http://planetpov.com/2014/11/05/2010-and-2014-the-election-sequel-of-dumb-and-dumber/

http://planetpov.com/2014/10/24/the-science-of-fox-news-why-its-viewers-are-the-most-misinformed/

As for your statement about your “scientific background” being a factor in your thought process and how you write your comments, a co-founder, friend and admin member was a scientist, and he never once had the slightest problem with stating his pov clearly so that he was understood by everyone here on any and every issue we discussed.

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jjgravitas
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jjgravitas

Nirek, you make an excellent point. I’ve been wondering for some time now whether civics and history classes were being taught in school. Both subjects were something we used to groan about when I was a student in the 70s but the information in those classes was invaluable. Our kids today graduate from school, even college, seemingly having no clue how the world actually works. That informational void gets filled with fantasy versions by the religious right and Fox News and other BS from the GOP. I don’t see how we can do anything in the short term about making history and civics compulsory, as the GOP has control of both Congress and SCOTUS, and they would fight him tooth and nail over this. The GOP functions best when the voting public remains ignorant. And if I’m not mistaken, school curriculum is established at the state level.
[img]http://src2.politicususa.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Stupid.jpg[/img]

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monicaangela
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We need to revamp the books used to teach history in our schools. Years ago, when people my age were in school, we had to dig high and low to find the truth and refute the information we were being taught by our teachers. Today, we have the Web, information technology makes it difficult to continue to tell the lies that have been taught to past generations. I suppose it’s easier to stop teaching History than it is to face the truth and teach the facts. 🙂

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kesmarn
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Nirek, thanks so much for the kind attribution to me for that Texas Tech video. I’d seen similar things before, but this one was a real eye-opener because these were college kids, not random folks on the street. I think all of us would have hoped for a little bit better from them.

Recently a number of us here on the Planet have been talking about how to revive the Democratic Party. People have mentioned the need to get involved on the most basic, local levels — Boards of Elections, City Councils, School Boards. Well, that School Board part seems to be especially important now.

People who are not religious or political extremists need to get control of curricula. They need to be the ones deciding which text books are used. And we really don’t need to teach revisionist history cranked out by Texas text book publishers under pressure from RW fundamentalists.

And then, as Sabreen noted on another thread, we as parents have to step up to fill the gap. It’s actually pretty fun to take younger kids with you when you go to vote. I did, and I even used to let the kids hit the button I pointed to on the touch screen so they’d have the feeling that they’d voted too. They loved it. And then when they got to be of voting age, voting wasn’t at all intimidating to them.

We also “talked politics” as a family — even debated at times (without getting personal or yelling). So they got the impression that being informed and studying the issues was nothing out of the ordinary — just what any citizen was expected to do. We took them to museums and historical sites, so they had a sense of connection with the past. And they were lucky enough to have had a grandfather who’s now 92 and could actually tell them what the Depression and FDR were like firsthand. Nothing like living, walking talking history!

When Dubya was initially trying to drum up support for the Iraq war, I remember talking with a group of friends. Decades before in college, I had taken a two semester course called “Islamic Civilizations.” I recall mentioning to my friends that the Sunni-Shi’a split was going to be a major factor in this war, that it had been in existence for hundreds of years, and that Dubya was not going to “fix” it over night.

In retrospect, I sure wish Dubya had bothered to take a course in Islamic history.

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KillgoreTrout
Member

Hey Homie. You have to remember, God told W to invade Iraq. Who can argue with that? 😯

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kesmarn
Admin

Dang, Homie!! How could I have forgotten that! Dubya’s transcript of God’s words in the private chat room that they share trumps book larnin’ every time.

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