Rants and Raves

Opinion, commentary, reviews of books, movies, cultural trends, and raising kids in this day and age.

Monday, October 09, 2006

We meet PC

Well it finally happened, we met PC in the preschool.

My five-year-old son's preschool teacher asked us, very nicely, to tell him that he's not allowed to make pistol-shaped objects with Leggo blocks and play guns.

I'd heard of this when I was living in Eastern Europe, kids getting suspended in grade school for pointing sticks, or even fingers and going "bang". This wasn't that bad, but then it was only preschool. She did seem a bit embarrassed by it though, as who wouldn't be who knows anything about boys?

In spite of all attemtpts to the contrary, boys go for toy cars, trucks, planes - and guns. When are the PC police going to get over this? And why do they hate human nature so much?


  • At 3:40 PM, Blogger greer rants said…

    Read your council winner and thought of you - from LGF

    How about we raise $170,000 to send archaeologist Laurie Rush to a Jihadi
    camp of her choice? They truly need some of that "sensitivity".

    Just get the loon out of Fort Drum.


    A More Sensitive Way of War
    I doubt that World War II pilots sent to bomb the historic capitals of Europe and Japan received sensitivity training from archaeologists: Archaeologist Aids Army on Sensitivity.

    FORT DRUM, N.Y. (AP) - Col. Rick Mitchell did three tours of duty in Iraq, flying dozens of patrols and bombing missions over the desert landscape.

    Even so, the veteran Air National Guard pilot did a double-take the first time he saw what appeared to be a Muslim cemetery and a mound of ruins on Range 48 at the U.S. Army’s Fort Drum in upstate New York. “It looked just like way it looked over there. It’s going to give our pilots some firsthand experience in recognizing and identifying these kinds of sites from the air under fairly realistic conditions,” said Mitchell, of Merrimac, N.H., who flies with the 118th Fighter Wing out of Connecticut.

    “You don’t want to be dropping bombs on cemeteries and mosques, or blow up some important historical site that’s been there for thousands of years,” said Mitchell. “That’s certainly not going to make us any friends.”

    That’s the thinking of archaeologist Laurie Rush, Fort Drum’s cultural resources manager. So with $165,000 in funding from the Department of Defense Legacy Program, Rush and the post’s Integrated Training Area Management unit has begun to heighten the cultural sensitivity of the soldiers and pilots who train at Fort Drum, including building mock cemeteries and archaeological ruins and developing a field guide.

    “We need to get them trained before the fact, not after the damage is done. This should be part of deployment training for anywhere in the world - becoming familiar with the region’s cultural heritage,” said Rush.

    Rush, who’s been at Fort Drum eight years, said she felt compelled to develop an awareness program after the British Museum last year reported the defiling of the ancient city of Babylon in 2003 by invading U.S. Marines, who damaged and contaminated artifacts dating back thousands of years. Transgressions included building a helicopter pad on the city’s ruins, destroying a 2,600-year-old brick road and filling sandbags with archaeological fragments.

    “Museum professionals around the world were horrified. I was so angry, too, because it was just needless,” Rush said.

    02:28 PM PDT | link: 82 comments | link only
    last comment: spanishpete 3:13:16 pm 10/9/06
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  • At 4:56 PM, Blogger JC Skinner said…

    In fairness, Greer, most people are sick to their back teeth of PC fascism.
    And the incident in the kindergarten is a classic example of what infuriates us.
    But you're well off the mark if you try to conflate that with advising the US military to cease blowing the shit out of the cradle of civilisation.
    Why? Well, if you can take off the camouflage make-up and GI shades for a minute, try reversing the scenario.
    A big country from far away overthrows your unpopular leader (and boy, is he) and plonks their army on your oilfields. They then go on to steal your prime and only asset, while citizens like you and me Greer, end up getting shot, blown up, stabbed, mutilated and raped by either the practitioners of those resisting the occupation of their land, or by the big war machine itself.
    That's bad, and that's Iraq right now.
    Some people - most of them - are still trying to live a normal life there - keep the head down, dodge the bullets, try to raise your kids without having them murdered by one force or another.
    But it's a bit much when the big military machine starts blowing up grandpa's grave, your local church and the Statue of Liberty.
    So Ms Rush is not wrong to point out that blowing up a country's cultural heritage and the places that matter to them will not win you friends in your unpopular occupation.
    Nor is she wrong to spend that teeny fraction of the multi-trillion US defense budget on training the jarheads not to drop their $20 million a pop missiles on grandpa's grave or the local mosque if they don't want to catch a bullet in the head next time they're in the same neighbourhood.

  • At 5:50 PM, Blogger Mollie said…

    Reality was - and is - that the US invaded Iraq very rapidly because it wanted to avoid a full out chemical/biological war with resulting millions of refugees. Hey! It succeeded.

    The Big Museum Kerfuffle resulted from misinformation, or disinformation, if you will. Most of the items 'lost' from that collection had disappeared well before the Yanks arrived; either because of Baathist light fingers, or because the Museum workers had hidden said items in their own homes for safekeeping.

    No archaeology organization warned anyone in the US Army about this collection, mainly because all of them are anti war idiots. They did what they do best: complain after the fact.

    Iraqi soldiers set up sniping nests INSIDE the museum, and therefore the Yanks shot back. Gee. big surprise.

    Laurie Rush is obviously a twit. I really would like to ask her what she was doing during the Invasion of Iraq. Given her bustling urgency, I would expect she was right on the front lines, protecting the Cradle of Civilization from all those gunmen. Right???

  • At 6:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I'm not here to re-open a debate on America's spurious reasons for re-invading Iraq.
    I'm pointing out that it is fair enough to train soldiers NOT to blow up cultural landmarks, graveyards and places of worship, otherwise they'll leave some very unhappy people behind who may wish retribution.
    I seem to recall that the people of New York were rather upset after someone blew up the World Trade Center. It's human nature to take offense at those sort of activities.
    I dunno about your side of the pond, but curators here were screaming for weeks about the Baghdad museum before the fact - and were ignored in the bloodlust to invade.
    I've no idea what Laurie Rush was doing at the time. Perhaps she was there, being an employee of the US forces and all?

  • At 7:48 PM, Blogger Steve Browne said…

    A little off topic guys. I'm really enjoying the feedback and the arguments in these comment sections, but please, stay in spitting distance of the topic for the sake of my filing system.

  • At 6:39 AM, Blogger tvoh said…

    Mr. Browne,

    It is not going to get any better. Private and parochial schools are as PC as public schools.

    Homeschooling is a burden, but we ended up feeling we had no choice.

    We are almost done and I'd do it again, but I'm glad it is you facing the choice instead of me now.

  • At 8:57 AM, Blogger DirtCrashr said…

    PC doctrine is an expression of Leftist social-control sentiment as much as any slogan-chanting Che-shirt wearing demonstrator. The urge to resist totalitarianism is difficult when you believe in social-engineering as a means to achieving a perfect world of fluffy-bunny cloudscapes and rainbow colored skies.

    In the closing days of WWII U.S. Artillery and a planned air-attack did *not* flatten the old German city of Rothenburg, despite die-hard Nazi troops dug in behind it's huge fortifications, because an American Colonel recognized it's historical significance along the "Romantische Strasse" and negotiated a successful surrender.
    We recently did not bomb a large meeting of Taliban because they were conducting their group-hug in a graveyard, and an air-strike on that was deemed culturally insensitive.
    However the Taliban gleefuly destroyed centuries-old Buddhist statues and a world-renown historical site, and recently Muslims in Jakarta tried to destroy a century-old TREEE because of their rigidly doctrinaire religious ideology.
    The World Trade Center was not a cultural icon (except maybe to New Yorkers), but it was a hugely successful commercial center full of thousands of ordinary people, from cleaning-ladies to CEO's, secretaries to sandwich-makers, it was a slice of American life and many innocent people were killed by a bunch of religiously motivated suicidal Islamic air-assassins - that's what got people "upset."
    If you want to win a war you need good intelligence which is sifted through for value and graded in importance by objectives - it's likely that archaeologial value is not a priority in certain combat suituations where lives are at stake
    Perhaps some of those volunteer "Human Shields" who were eager to spare Saddam Hussein and his psychopathic sons could have chained themselves to the Museum instead and demonstrated a true regard for things cultural...


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