Erasing U. S. History

Texas It has been a concern for years and I have tried to spread the warning in earlier posts, but here we go again.

Texas represents two major themes in this controversy. First, being the second most populist state in the union, Texas commands a major role in the content and publication of learning materials, not just in Texas, but throughout the country: after all, publishers don’t want to lose profits by printing one textbook for Texas and another for the rest of the United States.

I didn't read in my history textbook about the Japanese
internment until I was about to graduate from college (and even
then the book we used was banned from the public High Schools).
The irony here is that my father enjoyed dividing his time between
his lounge chair and taking long drives all over the southwest.
I had seen the remains of the internment camps and was aware of
the fact that my country wasn't always exceptional .. or even
admirable.

Continue reading

The Bush Legacy

If you know me, I tend to prefer listening to the radio rather than sitting like an idiot in front of the television. Yes, I put a good classical music station while I am reading, not because I am a snob, but because classic music is generally without words and is less distracting. However, my main radio life is involved with those stations that fill my room with talk … mostly old-time radio series but also progressive talk radio. All day today I have been listening to discussions of the problem with Syria and whether or not Obama (actually the corporations that see huge profits from yet another war) will send in the missiles, bombs, Pizza Huts, whatever.

BushIt’s all very complicated but it’s clear to me that the legacy of the Bush presidency is that the public no longer has any faith in the veracity of the government. The government lies; the corporations lie; American democracy is a lie. Thank you Dubya.

Then again, I’ve seen those cute kitten paintings George does; maybe a good clown painting will be the Bush legacy.

The Gun Protection Act

We are reminded by Media Maters:

As major media outlets report on gun violence prevention strategies in the wake of the Newtown tragedy, they have ignored a controversial law that shields the firearms industry from being held accountable.

NRAIn 2005, former President George W. Bush signed into law the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act – the “No. 1 legislative priority of the National Rifle Association” – which immunized gun makers and dealers from civil lawsuits for the crimes committed with the products they sell, a significant barrier to a comprehensive gun violence prevention strategy. Despite recent reporting on proposed efforts to prevent another tragedy like the one in Newtown, a Media Matters search of Nexis revealed major newspapers and evening television news have not explained this significant legal immunity.

Faced with an increasing number of successful lawsuits over reckless business practices that funneled guns into the hands of criminals, the 2005 immunity law was a victory for the NRA, which “lobbied lawmakers intensely” to shield gun makers and dealers from personal injury law. As described by Erwin Chemerinsky, a leading constitutional scholar and the Dean of the University of California-Irvine School of Law, by eliminating this route for victims to hold the gun industry accountable in court, the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act was a complete deviation from basic “principles of products liability“:

Continue reading