Friday, June 5, 2009

What Wouldn't Brandon Dutcher Do?

June 5 Commentary

I have discussed this chap Brandon Dutcher a few times in previous blogs. He is a nice fellow who works at the local Heritage Foundation spin-off "The Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs". He is always ranting and raving about school's here being overly-funded and teachers being paid too much, all the while for drawing a $82,500 salary (more than Amy Goodman makes at DemocracyNow!) for doing little more than "tweeting" and attending a few elegant dinner parties.

The Oklahoman turns to him frequently, when they need to prove that schools here need to be handed over to Wal-Mart and Jerry Falwell, as every opinion he gives is so fantastic and while not backed by facts, well, we all know what his hero said about those things... "Facts are stupid....I mean...stubborn things.."

I have been known to rant and rave about the "Paid to think by the makers of tanks" 501c(3) crowd, and to be honest I probably am a bit jealous of them . It must be nice to get paid to get paid big bucks to do this stuff that really is about 1/100th as hard as working at the store, fixing cars, waiting tables and so on, positions that are paid a fraction and with no benefits. And although the not for profit industrial complex (critiuqed quite nicely in the book "The Revolution Will Not Be Funded") is way too large and in many ways is there to preserve the status-quo, some good things are being done.

I would like to point out this article in Ha'aretz today, and encourage you to read some of the responses from Israeli's and American Jews, which are almost all positive. I post this because The Oklahoman Editorial staff pretends to know things about Israel, yet I am quite convinced that is was people like them who led Israel into it's first defeat in a couple thousand years in '06 (read about the massive lobbies from radical-right "Christian groups" who demanded their reps support an Israeli attack on Lebanon...stuff from Hagee et al if you like).

The piece "Are teachers introducing Nakba to students against state's wishes?" By Or Kashti discusses the good work of "... Zochrot, a non-government organization, and is meant to serve the Jewish educational system for pupils aged 15 and above, and includes history plus literary and personal views on the Nakba, as well as discussion of the ways the issue has been sidelined in public discourse."

This is very important stuff. You might have heard of a bill proposed by the radical Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman that bans commemorating the Nakba, and will jail those who participate in events commemorating it up to three years. It has passed the initial stages and will be decided quite soon, luckily though good people like Zochrot are fighting the good fight.

I don't think anyone here would argue that The Trail of Tears should not be discussed in American schools, and this is no different. These are the things a good paper should occasionally discuss. And these are the things monied, influential people like Dutcher should look into if they really care about Israel, and if they really care about good education. We need a good paper. Maybe some day we will have one.

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