Friday, September 29, 2006

Cal Berkeley Students Doomed by Ignorance

"Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat its mistakes."

One sure way to not know history or understand government is to go to an elite university, for instance the University of California at Berkeley. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, in an article “Top-flight colleges fail civics, study says Cal and Stanford seniors test poorly,” by Tanya Schevitz, Chronicle Staff Writer, Wednesday, September 27, 2006:

“Seniors at UC Berkeley, the nation's premier public university, got an F in their basic knowledge of American history, government and politics in a new national survey, and students at Stanford University didn't do much better, getting a D.’

“Out of 50 schools surveyed, Cal ranked 49th and Stanford 31st in how well they are increasing student knowledge about American history and civics between the freshman and senior years. And they're not alone among major universities in being fitted for a civics dunce cap.”

When I read this article it was as if a brilliant flash of insight and understanding blazed in my head. This explains so much.

It explains why “educated” Democratic leaders (and some Republicans, like John McCain), can spout foolishness such as, “If we don’t give terrorists the protections of the Geneva Conventions, our own soldiers won’t be protected.”

Reporters, of course, are equally history challenged, or they would trip and stumble all over themselves to ask the question, “In what war were our soldiers ever protected by the Geneva Conventions?”

When the Democratic leaders (and McCain) are finally forced to admit that the Geneva Conventions (GC) have never protected American soldiers in war, the obvious follow-on question would be: “Isn’t everything terrorists do a violation of the Geneva Conventions?”

For examples, terrorists hide among civilians – a violation of the Geneva Conventions. Terrorists kill civilians – a GC violation. Terrorists torture and murder both captured enemy soldiers and innocent civilians – this is not in accordance with GC. Terrorists broadcast their atrocities to intimidate and demoralize civilians – not allowed by the GC.

Then the Democratic leaders (and of course John McCain), will say “if we don’t follow the Geneva Conventions, how can we try terrorists for violating them?”

To which the non-UC Berkeley graduate reporter would ask: “Why can’t you try the terrorists for breaking the law, such as laws prohibiting murder?” The fact the terrorists are not signatories to the Geneva Conventions means we can't try them for violating it anyway.

Of course, the Berkeley graduates display much more ignorance than of just the events surrounding the Geneva Conventions. They continue to be appallingly, even willfully ignorant, of the history of societies under socialism and under capitalism. They continually press the point that the United States needs more socialism, as socialist governments struggle and fail all over the world. When reminded that socialist states, such as the Soviet Union, North Korea, Cuba, former Iron Curtain countries East Germany, Poland, and Albania, and most of the socialist nations of Africa, have all failed or are failing, the supporters of socialism say it hasn’t been done right yet. They fail to recognize that, given human nature, it can never “be done right.”

As the economy of the United States continues its long, strong upward climb, and the economies of Germany, France, Japan, and other European socialist states strangle themselves on their burgeoning social welfare programs, the academics still point to the failures as examples the United States should follow. The National Health System of the United Kingdom is falling apart. “We need a health system like the UK,” say the Democrats. The Canadian health system is on life support. “We need a Canadian-style health system!” the left’s leaders shout.

You can’t learn from the mistakes of others if you’re too ignorant of history to know they messed up.

So many examples from the history-challenged leadership of the Democratic Party come to mind, it’s hard to pick the next example. Supporters maintain that no Democratic leaders would ever trample on individual rights as President Bush and Republicans are doing in detaining suspected terrorists. So soon they forget that President Franklin Roosevelt and an overwhelmingly Democratic Congress were responsible for interning over 100,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry. No charges, no trials, no safeguarding their property.

Former Vice-President Gore claims it is hotter now than during any period in one thousand, two thousand, a hundred thousand, over a million years. The astute reporter would ask, “Mr. Gore, aren’t you overlooking the Medieval Warm Period, lasting from the 10th to about the 14th Century?” The inconvenient truth is that Mr. Gore hopes you will overlook the Medieval Warm Period too. There is significant evidence it was warmer then than now, given there were vineyards in England and farms on the Greenland coast.

News to Blacks! The Democratic Party was the party of your oppression in the South, and is now the party that takes you for granted and sells you out every chance they get. Example needed? Look no farther than the pathetic education Blacks receive from public schools, dooming them to a life of failure, thanks to the Democratic Party being a fully-owned subsidiary of the teachers’ unions.

Need another example? Democratic leaders say that Blacks wouldn’t have suffered from Katrina if the Democrats were in charge. Guess what? From the governor of Louisiana on down, the Democrats were in charge. The historically challenged should get out their unopened history book, and there they will find that the Democrats have always been in charge in Louisiana. Perhaps now with the remake of “All the King’s Men,” you will learn something about the corrupt Democratic leadership of Louisiana without having to crack open a book.

These examples could go on and on, but I suspect the history no-nothings that populate our elite universities will continue to revel in their ignorance, and think they are wise beyond their years. I’ve already heard one apologist for their ignorance, saying it is important to learn how to think, and not just learn the test. Spoken like a true dues paying member of the teacher’s union. My response to that is it is good to think, but it is also good to have a solid foundation for thought. The study of history can give you that.

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