Wednesday, May 10, 2006

What is this blog really "About" anyway?

Update: Sean capitulated to my demands and has changed the About section of the blog. Never mind for now that it just has a random picture there--I'll deal with that later. Of course, that means this article is now completely nonsensical. Thus, here is what the section used to read:

"Jay Bennish, who teaches 10th grade world geography, is being investigated for making biased, anti-President Bush comments in class during a discussion of the State of the Union speech last month." In what context does this sound non-threatening to our future for free-thinking?


The About section of the blog has bothered me for quite some time, and I'm not sure that I can let it go anymore (I think the MySpace post that Sean made pushed me over the top).

Check out Michelle Malkin's site for the full transcript of what was said in the class. Let's see for ourselves if Bennish deserves the support of this blog. you see how this economic system is at odds with humanity? At odds with caring and compassion? It's at odds with human rights...anytime you have a system that is designed to procure profit, when profit is the bottom motive -- money -- that means money is going to become more important potentially than what? Safety, human lives, etc.

Okay, I don't mind him taking a "provocative" approach towards capitalism, but where is his critique of other economic systems? Last time I checked, capitalism has been the most successful in producing both economic wealth and human rights. Socialism and Communism haven't exactly had the best track record. If Bennish wants to rant against some of the general fallacies of human nature, that's fine, but not economic system is perfect. I guess that I just find it a little disturbing that he presents such a one-sided argument.

Now, I'm not saying that Bush and Hitler are exactly the same. Obviously, they are not. Ok. But there are some eerie similarities to the tones that they use. Very, very "ethnocentric." We're right. You're all wrong.

Is it appropriate to make that comparison, especially of a standing president? Probably not. Here's the real question: is Bennish trying to make a point or make his students think? If he was trying to make a point, congratulations--you got your 15-minutes of fame and idol-worship from bloggers like Sean. However, if you are trying to make your students think, why would you make a comment that many of your students would find offensive? You risk losing credibility and the opportunity to make an impact on those offended students. Is the comparison fair? Perhaps, but he could have found a better way if his true intent is teaching his students.

Student: But we did not have the intention of killing innocent people. We had the intention of killing an al Qaeda terrorist.
Bennish: Do you know that?
Student: So, you're saying the United States has intentions to kill innocent people?
Bennish: I don't know the answer to that question.

Wow...what a crap answer. I'm sorry, but can we agree that Bennish is an extremist? Who else can legitimately profess to not know whether or not our government intends to kill innocent people? Does he have the right to have that opinion? Yes. Can he also believe in socialism? Yes. But should someone with extreme viewpoints (that cannot express them in a healthy manner) be allowed to teach children?

Other archeologists say the Hebrews didn't really come from Egypt. They were actually a group of Canaanites [Palestinians] who decided they didn't like the other Canaanites and developed this story afterward to justify how they killed all their neighbors and took over the land.

Wow, that sounds substantiated. I think a discussion of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is an excellent idea for class, but those type of statements are clearly meant to belittle one side of the debate.

Overall, Bennish seems like a prick. Not because of what he believes in, but because he seems extremely narrow-minded. Should he be investigated? Not by the feds, but the education board should make sure he's producing open-minded students and not just using his class room as a bully pulpit.

Threatening to our future for free-thinking? Yes, Bennish certainly could be to the students in his class. Can we please change the About section of the blog now?

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