Archive for November, 2010


This isn’t breaking news or anything, but I’m trying to get my head around this one:

            The longer I’m a member of the National Education Association, the more disturbed and concerned I become with some of its practices and leadership.  It has now been brought to my attention that the NEA’s Deputy Executive Director John Stocks is also on the Democracy Alliances’s Board of Directors.  Why is this a concern?  Because, according to its website, the Democracy Alliance is an organization that “was created to build progressive infrastructure that could help counter the well-funded and sophisticated conservative apparatus in the areas of civic engagement, leadership, media, and ideas.”

            The website describes Stocks as a “national leader in the fight to transform America’s public schools and progressive social change.” It is no longer a secret that the progressive goal is big government with largely secular ideology.  Of course, each educator is entitled to possess his/her own political views, and one should not be condemned for that.  Perhaps Mr. Stocks is able to keep his Progressive goals for America separate from his goals for the educational system, but it’s doubtful considering that, as NEA’s Deputy Executive Director, Stocks has worked toward “transforming its political organization.”  There is no doubt that Stocks is trying to get the NEA on board with his Progressive agenda.  The question in my mind now is how will this trickle into the classroom and influence what our children are being taught. 

 For more on the Democracy Alliance, visit its website at http://www.democracyalliance.org/home

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A recent letter I wrote to the editor of my local newspaper:

As a teacher and union member, one can imagine the shock I felt when I discovered that the National Education Association (a.k.a. teachers union) had posted on its website Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals for recommended reading.  The recommendation is made primarily to those involved in grassroots organizing, particularly local association representatives. 

The NEA website provides a brief synopsis of the book, and I was alarmed to see several troubling excerpts and other Alinsky quotes listed on the site.  The following is an example:  “Society has good reason to fear the radical…he hits, he hurts, he is dangerous.  Conservative interests know that while liberals are most adept at breaking their own necks with their tongues, radicals are most adept at breaking the necks of conservatives.” 

Not being one to criticize a book without first reading it, I obtained a copy to see firsthand what Alinsky’s teachings are all about, and my findings disturb me.  Alinsky teaches that “the labor organizer simultaneously breeds conflict and builds a power structure” (118).  Alinsky also implies that organizers must abandon their consciences and create conflict for the sake of change through such tactics as manipulation (92), and that morals and values are simply relative to each individual situation and can therefore change (79).  This is a dangerous way of thinking because it insinuates that anything goes.  Perhaps this is why “the organizer must become schizoid, politically, in order not to slip into becoming a true believer” (78).  In other words, the organizer has no conviction other than the belief that “the only certain fact of life is uncertainty…the relativity of values and the uncertainty of life fuse into the kind of person whose greatest joy is creation” (79-80).  Just pages earlier, Alinksy states, “The organizer is driven by the desire to create, to be a ‘great creator,’ to play God” (61).  And what is it the organizer creates?  Conflict. 

Perhaps the most troubling—and most recognized—part is the inscription at the book’s beginning:  “Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgement to the very first radical: from all our legends, mythology and history…the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom—Lucifer.” 

This is what my association representatives and your children’s teachers are supposed to be reading?  Why?  When did teachers become radicals?  What educational issue could possibly be so critical that one must resort to such unscrupulous tactics and acknowledge Satan for inspiration? 

To view the NEA’s recommendation, visit http://www.nea.org/tools/17231.htm

Saturday, I was listening to patriotic nursery rhymes with my children through Comcast/Xfinity Select On Demand, and “America the Beautiful” came on.  Naturally, I was excited for my children to learn this song, as it so eloquently describes our country’s beauty, history, and ideology.  To my disappointment, I noticed that the lyrics had been changed from “God shed his grace on thee” to “He shed his grace on thee.”  I assume this change has been made to keep from “offending” anyone.  Well, guess what.  I’m offended!  I’m offended that this is the version being played for small children who are left to wonder who “he” is.  Regardless of one’s faith or belief, our country was founded on godly principles, and the songwriter was obviously inspired by God when she wrote it in 1893.  As an American, I’m offended that there are those who are desperate to remove such a vital part of our nation’s history.  And, if Katharine Lee Bates were still alive, I’m sure she would be offended that what is arguably the most important line of her song has been altered.  This alteration is one small maneuver in a lager, progressive attack—not an attack on believers, but an attack on America.  I encourage all Comcast/Xfinity subscribers to contact the corporation and, as paying customers, ask them to either replace this version with one that contains the correct lyrics, or at least offer a second version with the correct lyrics so that children may learn the song the way it was intended to—and should—be sung.  Contacting them is simple.  Just click on the link below and submit your message.  To make it easier for you, you may wish to copy and paste the following:

Dear Comcast/Xfinity

Your Baby Boost section of Select On Demand is a great learning tool for young children, and I appreciate the patriotic nursery rhymes you offer.  However, the lyrics to “America the Beautiful” have been changed from “God shed his grace on thee” to “He shed his grace on thee.”  As a paying customer, I encourage you to either replace this version with one that contains the correct lyrics, or at least offer a second version with the correct lyrics so that my children may learn the song the way it was intended to—and should—be sung. 

Thank you.

 Here’s the link: http://www.selectondemand.com/contact.php