This week's test from the Lester & Charlie Institute of Forward Thinking!
So much talk lately about who or what is patriotic. Mostly because "America's Mayor" Rudy Giuliani had the nerve this week to say Barack Obama lacked love for America in general and for Giuliani in particular.
(As "creepy vs. offensive" stand-offs go, we're declaring this one a draw.)
Giuliani's statement was at an event run by GOP presidential wannabe Scott Walker. Walker got his own share of unwanted attention for declining to disagree with Rudy, and that created a "dissonance" with Walker's self-declared "courage to act" on "big, bold ideas."
There are numerous examples of when self-proclaimed Captains America insist that they alone have a monopoly on the definition of "patriotism." And their declarations seep into all levels of society, from AARP members to kids on the playground.
The kids probably don't understand what's going on because they are increasingly exposed to preposterous forms of education that keeps the real workings of the world out of their grasp. Texas makes up its own version of history for the little tykes and shields them from satanic notions like critical thinking. Louisiana teaches Bible-based-math.
This debate over a "patriotic curriculum" in schools has been going on since even before Lynne Cheney, way back in 1994, announced to the world that teaching our kids about the KKK and McCarthyism was simply "grim and gloomy" political correctness gone mad.
So, while it's not new, it's still heated.
Stepping up to the plate this week was Oklahoma, where the patriotic debate has been raging recently over revisions to the Advanced Placement US History courses -- revisions that conservatives worry are focused too much on "what is bad about America," when it should be focused on all the stuff that is awesome and exceptional. Oklahoma conservatives, in pushing State House Bill 1380, threatened to cut all state funding of the AP courses as a way of expressing their collective horror over these AP test revisions. House Bill 1380 very nearly made it into law before a backlash forced its GOP sponsor to pull it for further consideration.
"The critics are unhappy, perhaps," wrote James R. Grossman, the executive director of the American Historical Association, in a New York Times op-ed, "that a once comforting story has become, in the hands of scholars, more complex, unsettling, provocative and compelling."
We gotta ask: Why all the conservative fuss? While we admit that it's been a long time since we've taken any tests other than a breathalyzer, we took one of the "sample" AP tests online to see for ourselves. Liberal bias? Really? We've included the test here so you can make your own decision: Is this curriculum too unpatriotic?
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