Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Story of Your Stuff

If you aren't the parent of an elementary school child or an elementary school teacher, then you probably haven't heard of Annie Leonard's video, "The Story of Stuff."
The Story of Stuff is a teaching tool - distributed throughout public grade schools - designed to bring environmental and Marxist ideas into children's classrooms disguised as a discussion on economics and ethics. No, that's not hyperbole.
Today being Earth Day, many schools will be airing this video to their students, and many of the concepts Leonard preaches will be blasted throughout all forms of media today to their parents (and the rest of us, as well).
The problem with Leonard's video isn't only that it attacks Americanism, innovation and industry. The problem is that it does so through lies and misinformation. Again, that's not hyperbole. Many of Leonard's claims regarding the environment, the government, capitalism and consumerism are easily disproven, and yet are still presented to students as truth.
Below I have embedded the first part of a critique of her video and these falsehoods, such as:
  • Over 50% of US tax dollars go towards the military (which is why we're all rich, right?)
  • Only 4% of American forests still exist
  • 99% of products are trashed within 6 months
  • Indigenous peoples in third world countries are better off in native poverty than they are in having foreign investors come and provide job opportunities
  • The government, corporations and media have all been working together for the last 50 years in a conspiracy to train us to hate ourselves and find comfort in materialism.
Yes, all those topics and more are explicitly stated in the video.
And are being fed to our schoolchildren. It is absolutely unacceptable that provable falsehoods be taught in the classroom.
There are four parts in total. This is just the first.
I promise, you want to watch the following 3 parts as well. And after you've watched, be sure and share this video.
If you repeat a lie loud enough and often enough, the people will believe it" ~ Joseph Goebbels

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Sometimes the truth hurts

The Conservative talking heads are buzzing that apparently Tom Coburn is now bedfellows with Nancy Pelosi. The headlines all say "Coburn defends Pelosi," obviously trying to imply that he is siding with Pelosi politically. And many have fallen for it.
This was the most complete article on the conversation in question that I found. You can read it for yourself, but in summary, what happened was this:
Some "questioner" (though we never really got what the question was) started ranting about "all the evil people in Washington" and Coburn said there are a lot of good people in Washington "whose biggest problem is that they don't know what they don't know." And went on to say that Nancy Pelosi is a "nice lady."
And that's it.
No defense of policy or politics. Just that she's a nice person. And people are lapping it up as though it's a proclamation of reregistration.
All he said was that Nancy Pelosi is nice, but wrong - and then went on to detail what she was wrong about. Okay, that may be uncomfortable for us to hear, we like to think of our enemies as soulless baby eaters. But he said what I could say about many liberal Democrats I know - they're nice people, just wrong. And this is supposed to mean he's crossed over to the dark side? Does your back hurt from jumping to those conclusions?
When you are right on the issues, you don't need to go off on personal attacks. That's why the left's biggest defensive position on Obamacare is that people who oppose it are rich, cold-hearted racists who don't "care about people." The left's primary strategy is to demonize their opponents personally, not politically. Hello, Sarah Palin? And that's what Coburn's larger point was.
As far as Coburn's remarks regarding Fox News, I'm inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt and saying that was made in the heat of the moment. Then again, when Fox News now employs Glenn Beck - who to this day has yet to take back his erroneous statements saying there is no difference between Republicans (who stood in solidarity against Obamacare and nearly every major policy Obama and Pelosi have proposed over the last year) and Democrats - can you really blame him?