Patterico's Pontifications

3/6/2006

Nutty Teacher Discussed in L.A. Times

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 7:35 am



The L.A. Times has a story about that nutty teacher who indoctrinated his students with all sorts of anti-American leftist claptrap. The paper’s story is titled Issues of Free Speech Arise After Teacher Criticizes Bush.

It’s too bad that the paper’s web site doesn’t provide a link to the audio and transcript of the teacher’s rant. You can access them here. Having those materials on hand helps provide the full context for the snippets that the paper chooses to quote and characterize. For example:

The L.A. Times says:

“Sounds a lot like the things that Adolf Hitler used to say,” Bennish told students at the suburban high school Feb. 2. ” ‘We’re the only ones who are right, everyone else is backward and our job is to conquer the world.’ ”

The teacher quickly made clear that he wasn’t equating Bush with Hitler, but the damage was done.

Here’s how he made clear that he wasn’t equating Hitler with Bush:

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.

According to The Times:

The teacher said in the recording that American troops had spent 30 years fighting the drug war in Colombia and using chemical weapons to eradicate coca fields.

Yes, and the teacher then argued that under the same logic, the Chinese and Iranians and Peruvians have the right to invade the U.S. and bomb tobacco fields.

The teacher gave these apologetics for Osama, which are not quoted in the story:

[Y]ou have to understand something, that when al Qaeda attacked America on September 11, in their view, they’re not attacking innocent people. Ok. The CIA has an office at the World Trade Center. The Pentagon is a military target. The White House was a military target. Congress is a military target. The World Trade Center is the economic center of our entire economy.

The FBI, who tracks down terrorists and so on and so forth around the world, has offices in the World Trade Center. Some of the companies that work in the World Trade Center are these huge multinational corporations that are directly involved in the military-industrial complex in supporting corrupt dictatorships in the Middle East.

And so in the minds of al Qaeda, they’re not attacking innocent people. They’re attacking legitimate targets. People who have blood on their hands as far as they’re concerned!

We portray them as innocent because they’re our friends and neighbors, family, loved ones.

Other nuggets:

He called capitalism “at odds with humanity . . . [a]t odds with caring and compassion [and] at odds with human rights.”

He suggested that the U.S. may deliberately be targeting innocent civilians:

Bennish: And when you shoot a missile into Pakistan to quote-unquote kill a known terrorist, and we just killed 75 people that have nothing to do with al Qaeda, as far as they’re concerned, we’re the terrorists. We’ve attacked them on their soil with the intention of killing their innocent people.

Allen [a 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?

Allen: So, you’re saying the United States has intentions to kill innocent people?

Bennish: I don’t know the answer to that question.

. . . .

Now, do I think President Bush says ‘I’d like to go kill some innocent Palestianians?’ I don’t think he thinks like that. But I also know that he’s not the only one making decisions.

Gives you a fuller picture of his comments, no?

Why can’t the paper provide these links?

58 Responses to “Nutty Teacher Discussed in L.A. Times”

  1. Serious question (that’s bound to get me jumped on): When Mr. Bennish said:

    [Y]ou have to understand something, that when al Qaeda attacked America on September 11, in their view, they’re not attacking innocent people. Ok. The CIA has an office at the World Trade Center. The Pentagon is a military target. The White House was a military target. Congress is a military target. The World Trade Center is the economic center of our entire economy.

    The FBI, who tracks down terrorists and so on and so forth around the world, has offices in the World Trade Center. Some of the companies that work in the World Trade Center are these huge multinational corporations that are directly involved in the military-industrial complex in supporting corrupt dictatorships in the Middle East.

    And so in the minds of al Qaeda, they’re not attacking innocent people. They’re attacking legitimate targets. People who have blood on their hands as far as they’re concerned!

    was he wrong about how Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda justify their actions?

    Dana (3e4784)

  2. God forbid that a public school teacher would dare teach the notion that Evolutionary Theory does not fully explain the vast complexity of life, but apparently if you claim that the U.S. Military, under orders from the Administration, targets and kills civilians in other lands you can count on the Dog Trainer to support your right to indoctrinate your students free speech.

    Remember folks, we can’t have a private school voucher program. We might end up having our tax dollars supporting controversial content being taught to our impressionalbe youth.

    JVW (54c318)

  3. Teacher criticizing Bush = Free speech.

    People criticizing teacher = Censorship.

    perfectsense (024110)

  4. was he wrong about how Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda justify their actions?

    No.

    The recording of Bennish’s “lesson” that I heard gave the POV of our enemies but was not balanced by showing contradictions in the enemy position, e.g. Muslim ban on killing women and children or by giving the American defense of our policies.

    There is also the question of the appropriate age for the kind of material presented.

    Stu707 (18fdc8)

  5. In my view, one problem with Mr. Bennish is that he only gives one viewpoint. I’m not happy with his teaching methods but they would be less objectionable if he followed the al Queda/bin Laden perspective with an equally lengthy and passionate statement of the Bush Administration’s position. Students were the only ones trying to offer the Administration’s perspective and, while I think they did well, it’s difficult for a student to respond in that situation.

    DRJ (3c8cd6)

  6. Perfect sense:
    What a pathetic attempt on your part to mischaracterize the case. You might better have written:
    Teacher criticizing Bush = Free Speech.
    School removing teacher from classroom = censorship.

    That make it a little clearer to you?

    mikekoshi (f85090)

  7. Mikekoshi:

    If Mr. Bennish were a far-right fundamental Christian teaching that homosexuality was immoral, feminism was a form of witchcraft, and the Democratic Party sought to impose communism, would you be just as concerned about his right to free speech in the classroom?

    JVW (54c318)

  8. Mikekoshi: carve it up any way you want, it’s a bogus argument anyway. Teachers don’t have a First Amendment right to make up their own curriculum.

    Xr1q (f52b4f)

  9. Excellent point, Xr1q, I should have put the word “right” in quotes in my own comment. Imagine if free speech meant that a science teacher could teach astrology or a language teacher could teach Pig Latin, and they would still be protected by free speech and ridiculous tenure rules.

    JVW (54c318)

  10. What seems to be being forgotten is the simple question – “During this 20 minutes of a Geography lesson, what actually was taught related even tenuously to Geography ?”

    Listen to the audio recording … make up your own mind …

    This teacher owes the kids in this class 20 minutes of Geography-related instruction !

    Alasdair (0c1945)

  11. Maybe his idea of a geography lesson is: “Here is Bolivia. It’s a nation where the CIA grows cocaine which they then synthesize into crack to sell in the inner cities, the profits of which go towards supporting right-wing capitalist thugs in Nicaragua. Now if we move from Bolivia to the northwest we come to Peru, where the imperialist U.S. works with the fascist dictatorship to supress the uprising of the indigenous peoples. . .”

    JVW (54c318)

  12. Seems to me that the teacher was expressing that Al Queda had a particular viewpoint. He did NOT express that it was his viewpoint. That is just a factual assessment of what THEIR view was. I don’t believe he said 911 was an okay thing and they had a right to bomb us.

    It is a fact though that folks around the world despise us. No, it is not because of our freedom.
    It is because we are known for doing the same kind of rotten violent actions as Al Queda, and we call it democratization. Is our democratizing Iraq and killing over a hundred thousand Iraqis through bombing appreciated? No. Through sanctions prior to the war, we killed between half to a million children. Apparently, it was the United Nations that made that the case, but we could have done something for them (I digress).
    Killing people is wrong, whether us or Al Queda. That is not complicated. I’m sure those kids understand he was not rubberstamping Al Queda’s actions.

    If you use the old line about Sadaam being an evil dictator, then why didn’t we “democratize” Uzbekistan, or Saudi Arabia, or a dozen other countries? Instead, those dictators’ evil ways are okay with us, since we can transport SUSPECTED terrorists into their country’s system and use torture on them. Hmmmm, sounds like hypocrisy, if we don’t like that Sadaam did horrid things like torture. It is so simple really.

    blubonnet (428193)

  13. Blubonnet,

    I’m with you, buddy. It’s the Haliburton-SPECTRE cartel ploting the takeover of the world from its secret headquarters in the Himalayas.

    nk (50d578)

  14. Blubonnet:

    I’ll save our esteemed host the trouble of imploring you to read a transcript of the audiotape located here rather than just focus on the excerpt from the oh-so-fair-and-principled Los Angeles Times. Bennish clearly has a problem with the Bush Administration, capitalism, the military, the foreign policy of most Western nations, etc. He is a ranting lunatic, despite the reporter’s efforts to make him sound like a Socratic seeker of truth.

    JVW (54c318)

  15. Ah… blu-bot is autogenerating again..

    this is always a hoot

    Killing people is wrong

    Left cult members are incapable of serious moral decisions.

    Darleen (f20213)

  16. “Killing people is wrong”

    Unless they are infants suffering painful illnesses or old people who are inconvenient or people on life support.

    sharon (e51965)

  17. sharon, excellent point.

    blu, If you use the old line about Sadaam being an evil dictator, then why didn’t we “democratize” Uzbekistan, or Saudi Arabia, or a dozen other countries?

    We’re working on it. These things take time, there are only so many hours in a day. I’d add Iran and Syria to the list ahead of the two you cited. So is it your point now that we didn’t attack enough countries?

    Harry Arthur (b318a5)

  18. Harry – I think his point is that the selection of Iraq, instead of some other country, suggests the presence of ulterior motives.

    That’s a pretty common belief on the left. (Of course, a variant of that argument could be made regardless of which countries were selected, no?)

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  19. Blubonnet: it’s quite clear if you listen to what those on the right are saying why we didn’t oust the governments of Uzbekistan or Myanmar, and it’s also quite clear on pragmatic-realist grounds why ousting the government of Saudi Arabia is not an option.

    The point of democratizing Iraq is not to democratize Iraq per se, but to establish a democratic government in an Arab society as a beacon of hope and as an example for the others. Neither Uzbekistan nor Myanmar would help achieve that goal in any way.

    Saudi Arabia is not an option because of the anger it would trigger in the rest of the Islamic world if a non-muslim state were in effect in control of Mecca. As bad as the insurgency in Iraq is, it would be significantly, significantly worse had we tried to take on Saudi Arabia.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  20. Darleen – what’s wrong with the observation that killing people is wrong? I have argued in the past, in comments on this site, that killing people is always wrong, but sometimes you find yourself in a situation in which all of the other options are worse.

    My moral understanding of the universe encompasses the possibility that sometimes i’ll find myself in a situation in which there is no rightpath to follow, and that I will have to pay for the consequences of making a wrong choice no matter what I do; and that the problem in that case is to find the least bad choice, and to make it knowing it to be the least bad choice, not to claim that it was somehow right.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  21. And so in the minds of al Qaeda, they’re not attacking innocent people. They’re attacking legitimate targets. People who have blood on their hands as far as they’re concerned!

    We portray them as innocent because they’re our friends and neighbors, family, loved ones.

    I find that to be a decently insightful remark, and actually a higher level of analysis than I would expect in a high school. It’s quite clear that al Qaeda has different underlying assumptions about the people in the WTC than we do, and discussing what those underlying assumptions are and why those underlying assumptions exist seems to be a perfectly reasonable thing.

    The fact that I believe someone to be innocent doesn’t mean that that person is, any more than the fact that Patterico believes someone to be guilty means the person is guilty; and much can be gained by looking at why I believe them to be innocent, and why he believes them to be guilty.

    The bottom line statement is true: I believe the people in the WTC to have been innocent, despite my not knowing anything about them, because they are part of the tribe, and because I believe the overwhelming majority of people to be innocent (it therefore surpasses belief that there could have been no innocent people there). But the people who attacked, and the people who support those who attacked, seem to think the people were by and large not innocent … and that difference in belief is ultimately one of the things that the fight is over.

    So shouldn’t we try to understand the argument on the other side? At least enough that we can refute it?

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  22. aph, The point of democratizing Iraq is not to democratize Iraq per se, but to establish a democratic government in an Arab society as a beacon of hope and as an example for the others. I’d add a few more reasons. For instance, look at Iraq’s strategic position in the region. Iraq along with Afghanistan bound Iran to the west and east. Add Iraq’s position opposit to Syria and Saudia Arabia and the strategic position is very clear. Additionally, one might suggest that there has been more than a little influence on Libya and even Pakistan courtesy of our actions in Iraq.

    Iraq, of course, was also a fairly easy target in that Sadam refused to abide by the cease fire agreement from the first Gulf war and thumbed his nose repeatedly at the UN resolutions and sanctions. Not to mention that he was a giant trouble-maker and that we truly viewed him as a threat to hand over some fairly sophisticated weapons to terrorists, of whatever name. He was also constantly stirring the pot with Israel.

    We don’t have time to argue the point that “killing people is always wrong”. Perhaps in another thread. I certainly understand your nuanced view in the context of your statement but I disagree at some level. I suspect our differences might lie in the difference between “killing” and “murdering”.

    Harry Arthur (b318a5)

  23. Have we forgotten the victims on the planes? Children, mothers, husbands. Not innocent because they were part of the tribe. Just plain innocent. Even if you accept the FBI/CIA branch office spin and attribute the deaths of the civilians at the Towers to collateral damage (which is still pretty way flimsy in my opinion) you cannot, by the longest reach of reason, draw the same conclusions about the airplane passengers.

    I remember being twelve and having a substitute teacher try to start a discussion with my class about our invasion of Mexico to chase down Pancho Villa. I surmised later that he had gotten into teaching to avoid the Vietnam draft. Do we know how old this guy is?

    nk (4cd0c2)

  24. OT, but interesting NY Post article by Ralph Peters about the “civil war” not raging in Iraq, though asserted by the NYT.

    Harry Arthur (b318a5)

  25. NK – point, I was ignoring the people on the planes and addressing simply the question of target legitimacy, and the innocence of the people targeted.

    aphrael (e7c761)

  26. Aphrael:

    My moral understanding of the universe encompasses the possibility that sometimes i’ll find myself in a situation in which there is no rightpath to follow, and that I will have to pay for the consequences of making a wrong choice no matter what I do; and that the problem in that case is to find the least bad choice, and to make it knowing it to be the least bad choice, not to claim that it was somehow right.

    That definition of rightness and wrongness strikes me as unnecessarily … um … special? When faced between unpleasant alternatives, isn’t the least unpleasant one the “right” one, by definition? Calling any option the “wrong” course of action implies that there was at least one option available that would have been better.

    Xrlq (36afc1)

  27. aphreal

    killing people is always wrong,

    Again, you are positing an absolutism that cannot stand moral scrutiny. Any singular incident or behavior is morally neutral until context is examined. For instance, sexual intercourse. We cannot say sexual intercourse is always wrong or always right because the context in which it occurs demands we make a moral judgment and substantiate that judgment with a lucide explanation of our values and how we arrived at that determination.

    IE – sexual intercourse as love making (consenting committed adults) = moral good
    sexual intercourse as rape = moral evil

    In the same way, one person dieing at the hands of another can range from a moral evil to a moral good.

    Some people fall into absolutism through moral flabbiness…just too much trouble to actually define one’s values and defend them. Yet others hold up absolutism as a tool by which they want to tie their ideological enemies (who take the absolute’s argument in “good faith”) into moral knots. Thus if we say Hamas suicide terrorists bombing school buses and discos are the moral equivilant of Israeli soldiers targeting Hamas suicide bombers, do we harm Hamas or Israel? If we say al Qaeda terrorists flying jets into the WTC are the moral equivalent of American soldiers deposing the Taliban, do we harm al Qaeda or America? If we say the Nazis believed what they were doing was right just as the Jews in Warsaw killing Nazis believed they were right, are we harming the Nazis or the Jews?

    From the Midrash: He who is merciful to the cruel will become cruel to the merciful.

    This teacher was wrong on many levels, not the least of which engaging in a moral equivalency argument without revealing to his students just what he was doing.

    Educational malpractice.

    Vouchers, please.

    Darleen (f20213)

  28. Darleen,
    well said.

    niterunr (464e99)

  29. Globalization is achieved by gunpoint, and called democratizing, but most people don’t know this because the same folks that keep the networks afloat are the ones doing it. Oil companies mostly. A fellow by the name of Jonathan Perkins wrote a book called “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man” claiming to be just that. We go into these remote areas, and all hell breaks loose. Often times when the native folks resist, we just shoot them. Like I mention, most people don’t realize this, since our media don’t want to cut off the hand that feeds them. They are often the same way with the government, lightly touching on the corruption until it is such common knowledge, through blogs or sources that don’t rely on the big money from oil, etc. Those publications that are considered far left are the ones that can afford to tell the truth (like the NATION magazine) because they are not cutting off their financing. However, they struggle, and need donations.

    I know I will be accused of not being a patriotic person or that I “hate my country” which I will vehemently deny, and in fact I do love our people and land, but the sad truth is that our government is in line with the huge corporate agenda. Lives are dispensible. It’s happened over and over.

    Okay, let the verbaly flogging begin.

    blubonnet (dc52ec)

  30. I’d say if he graded based on students’ political leanings – apart from the cogency of their argument – he’s gone. Period.

    The best teachers I had were argumentative, opinionated and brash.

    They took sides opposing convention, mocked authority – and one day a week forced everyone to advocate a position they found repugnant.

    Are all partisans propagandists?

    steve (ab55e3)

  31. On the other hand, I’m not convinced a diatribe as lengthy as his falls within the rubric of a high school geography class.

    Both Allen and Bennish say they’ve received email “threats,” which may be why Allen – the student – told TV stations he hopes the teacher is NOT fired.

    steve (ab55e3)

  32. Hold on here. this is the same problem we have with hollywood types who think I paid to hear their political viewpoints during a performance.
    You pay the Barber to cut your hair not bake a cake. You pay this guy to teach kids where things are in the world. If he wants to challenge the kids, teach freakin’ philosophy or political science. It’s like a health teacher taking sides on the birth control debate. You don’t believe in it, don’t teach the course. It’s a classroom not a soap box.

    niterunr (464e99)

  33. #27, Darleen, Very well said.

    #29,Blubonnet,if I disagree with you that does not mean I question your patriotism.

    The issue here is whether a high school teacher’s one sided rant consitutes education. Parents send their children to school for education not to be indoctinated in either left or rightwing ideology.

    Stu707 (18fdc8)

  34. Parents send their children to school for education not to be indoctinated in either left or rightwing ideology.

    But the football coach who leads team prayers asking Jesus’s intervention is no biggie?

    steve (ab55e3)

  35. nk, More comedy. Well, actually, have you done much study on the Project for the New American Century (PNAC)? Taking over the world, that is pretty much their agenda. Google it up and read several sources to decide what you think. They at PNAC polish it up nicely. Military defense contractor funded, promoting war. Again, we were warned profusely about the influence of th emilitary industrial complex from many, Dwight Eisenhower comes to mind, but now PNAC is the present doctrine. More and more we are being considered a rogue nation of aggression.

    blubonnet (428193)

  36. Those of you defending the teacher on the grounds that he was just “challenging” the students: this would be more convincing if there were evidence (or even a claim) that he has challenged the students in a direction that doesn’t follow the usual Bush-derangement syndrome. Has he ever challenged them by arguing for Creationism? Has he ever challenged them by arguing against gays in the military? Has he ever challenged them by arguing that the federal government should go back to the federalist ideal?

    Why do I doubt that any such challenges will come to light?

    Doc Rampage (f06a6e)

  37. #10 Alasdair

    points at the underlying problem, the larger issue.

    We’re told how unfair it is to teachers to test kids to see if they are being taught the basic curriculum. Teachers have huge classes and they just don’t have the time and the needed resources, doncha know. We’re blaming them for our lack of parenting and our kid’s laziness and stupidity.

    But of course you see how the school day is being spent. And this isn’t any isolated case, just any extreme one, make no mistake about that. This is a tiny example albeit an extreme one. It is much more important for these guys to indoctrinate than to teach basic skills – to do their jobs.

    Why does this guy thinks its ok for him to engage in this sort of behavior? What sort of institutional culture resides in the public schools that would make this guy think this was no big deal, that he’d get away with it?

    There is plenty of time to teach geography (or pick any other subject) in school. There just isn’t time to teach geography and leftist anti-US philosophy too.

    People like Bennish are the education system’s equivalent of the guy that joins the police force because the gun is a phalic symbol for him and he likes to beat the living crap out of people.

    So don’t test kids on geography just because they spent a year in geography class. That isn’t what they were there for. If you thought they were you haven’t been paying attention or you don’t have kids in public school.

    Public education is for indoctrination on gay rights, the environment, anti-Americanism, and a whole host of other liberal/left agenda items. If they can squeeze in a little math and reading fine, if not there are more important items on the agenda. Just look at your kid’s homework or spend some time talking to their teachers and/or school administrators.

    Dwilkers (a1687a)

  38. I question whether Mr. Benish is accurately portraying al Qaeda’s rationale for the attack on 9/11. There was a CIA office located nearby at 7 WTC, but UBL did not expect the attack to cause damage to this building. http://archives.cnn.com/2001/US/11/04/inv.newyork.cia.office/
    There is not any evidence they even knew the CIA was there. The text of Bin Laden’s tape in late 2001 does not suggest al Qaeda targeted any specific individuals or organizations, but instead, as one participant deems it, they targeted a “tall building”.
    http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Dec2001/d20011213ubl.pdf
    As with much else in his screed, he is factually incorrect,and in a manner that attempts to reduce the moral depravity of al Qaeda in service of his larger anti-Western, anti-U.S. approach to shaping the minds of the youngins.

    weffie (1774ef)

  39. Both Allen and Bennish say they’ve received email “threats,” which may be why Allen – the student – told TV stations he hopes the teacher is NOT fired.

    I’ve heard Allen backpedaling from that position a bit. It sounds like his original position was that Bennish should not be fired for a first offense, but that he later learned that this wasn’t the first time parents had complained about his antics.

    Xrlq (f52b4f)

  40. steve

    does the word “extracurricular” mean anything to you?

    BTW… I do not want “value-neutral” American education. I do not want American students told they are “citizens of the world” and that all nations and cultures are “the same.”

    As in the moral equivalency tactic, that schtick is about destroying a sense of American citizenship, not promoting “tolerance.”

    If you want your child in a school that denigrates individualism in favor of groupism, in favor of rule of the elite rather than rule of law, send ’em to a madrassa but don’t have that as the curriculum of American public “education.”

    Darleen (f20213)

  41. But the football coach who leads team prayers asking Jesus’s intervention is no biggie?

    No, Steve, it isn’t and I am Jewish. There is a difference between a football team and a classroom.

    I recall an inststance in high school when the coach did invoke Jesus in a pregame prayer. I asked if I could say a prayer in Hebrew. He said, “Yes.” After the game (we lost) there was lot’s of good natured banter about the effectiveness of prayer.

    Stu707 (18fdc8)

  42. blu,

    I asked you before if you’ve seen anyone about that multiple personality paranoia problem. Did you finish the search of your electronics like I suggested? You might want to see if there are any surveillance bugs in your phone and lamps too.

    Specter (466680)

  43. Blubonnet,

    Your comment # 35 re my comment #13. I was teasing, not mocking. There is a difference. The case in point is a teacher imposing his political views on a young and vulnerable audience. I have no “My President Right or Wrong” philosophy. We elect them for four years and not allow them to serve more than eight for a reason: We do not trust that much power in any one human being for more than that. But I think you are going way outside the scope of the thread. You know, it’s very easy to go to Blogger and start your own blog for free. (Honest, Patterico, I am not spamming for Blogger). If you do that, and start a thread, we can yell at each other about our foreign policy all you want.

    nk (d9d685)

  44. Sorry. I meant to say “no more than eight”.

    nk (835d39)

  45. I finally got around to listening to the recording rather than just reading transcripts. If you have not listened to it, do so here – it is very enlightening.

    On the Today Show, Bennish was interviewed by Lauer and this is a part of that conversation:

    Lauer: “They basically shopped it around to conservative media outlets and when they finally released it to one it created an uproar and on the tape you can hear Sean Allen asking you questions that seem to be egging you on a little bit. Do you feel you were set up?”

    Bennish: “Well you know the lecture initially was an introduction to world geography and we were covering very, you know stereotypical terms like mental mapping and cultural landscapes. And I was receiving questions from Sean as well as from other students trying to get me to respond to the State of the Union address that was the night before and I explained to the students that in the case of the State of the Union this is applicable to a world geography class because for many people around the world this speech might impact their lives more so than the speeches that their own, own leaders give.”

    In the recording there are no questions from the students about SOTU address. In fact, there are very few questions at all. The class is silent while Bennish rants on and on.

    I’ve talked to some lawyers and they are wondering if someone should ask if Bennish was on drugs. (note the sarcasm…..)

    Specter (466680)

  46. I too have listened to the whole recording.

    Bennish’s rant is riddled with factual errors, as noted.

    Students could have asked him about SOTU the day before, or minutes before – not all that important.

    Seems clear Allen and Bennish had had an ongoing ideological dialectic, though Bennish treated the 16-year-old with respect. You can hear Sean Allen’s classmate in the background twice siding with the teacher’s points of view. Bennish also thought Clinton’s use of military force was bullying and inappropriate.

    The most striking thing to me was that Bennish portrays America as primarily a force for evil in the world, manifesting policies at once malignant, self-centered and unilateral. He could possibly have been playing devil’s advocate – which may have been the reason 150 students took up his cause last week.

    All in all, I’d say a reprimand is in order. Bennish seems immature and especially ill-informed on historical milestones. I had an eighth-grade teacher just like him.

    steve (ab55e3)

  47. Specter, seems you haven’t followed the story well on the surveillance. Peace protesters actually were of the major targets for the surviellance. The administion just wriggled out of an investigation by their lil soldier Frist. You should follow up on it. The administration is scared to death to expose the operation to anyone. Of course they would be embarrassed, because like all else, their political strategizing for the right wing is always in play, and no doubt, well at least I believe, they abused the spying operation for their own deviant purposes. There ongoing disregard for law and the secretiveness (Is that a word?) is quite disturbing. The Nixon administration wasn’t even this secret. It shows something unsavory if you ask me. (Yeah, I know you didn’t ask me) This war merely serves his globalization, war profiteering billionaire club. I know you guys don’t believe that, but there’s millions that do. Look into the Carlyle Group. It is quite unsettling. Sorry if I’ve repeated myself. It applies again in the context of this conversation though.

    blubonnet (dc52ec)

  48. “I know you guys don’t believe that, but there’s millions that do.”

    And I guess if millions believe something, it’s gotta be true.

    “This administration is too secretive” seems to be the new hand-wringing buzz phrase of the left. I wonder if they were as concerned when the Clintons confiscated FBI files of Republicans?

    sharon (fecb65)

  49. Peace protesters actually were of the major targets for the surviellance.

    And we know this how? I mean if it’s secret … then it’s kind of hard to know the details?

    Look into the Carlyle Group.

    Any real evidence of illegal or unethical activity? Just wondering, or is it really OK to just smear horse hockey all over the place and then use that as “proof” that some secret cabal is really running everything from behind the scenes, including all the MSM and the government. And of course we attacked ourselves on 9/11 also. Let’s not forget that not-so-secret “secret”.

    I can’t help but wonder, blu, what you would think if someone made so many unsubstantiated, “evidenceless” claims about you on a daily basis. Do you think it would be fair? Perhaps you could even be psychoanalyzed, from a distance of course. No need to actually talk to you or anything. Who knows, maybe there could be a book in it for someone. A book would make it all true of course. Perhaps a web site.

    Harry Arthur (40c0a6)

  50. blu,

    been there done that. Of course you are referring to the group that held a protest outside a military base. I read the “reports” of the “spying”. Let me see if I can recap without actually going into my archives. The information that the group said was spying was available on their PUBLIC WEBSITE. The big document that they claimed proved spying was how the law enforcement organizations planned to handle the security during the event – i.e. officer A will be positioned at point 1 until 2PM when he will be replaced by officer B. Some scandal….

    Specter (466680)

  51. blu,

    had to do it. Here is the story to which your refer. Did you take your talking points from the actual report which is here, or from some blogger that told you, “You know what they did now?”. Try studying the material – you might actually find some TRUTH.

    Did you take apart that computer yet? Still a lot of bugs in there….MUAHAHAHAHAHA

    Specter (466680)

  52. “I know you guys don’t believe that, but there’s millions that do.”

    And I guess if millions believe something, it’s gotta be true.

    As I recall, millions believed Hitler, Mussolini and our friend Joe Stalin.

    There are approximately an equal number of “millions” of people who do not believe that “… this war merely serves his globalization, war profiteering billionaire club …”. I guess we could flip a coin …?

    Harry Arthur (b318a5)

  53. I’m sorry you guys are unaware of what is going on in this country. That piece was only the tip of the iceberg. I know you think I’m foolish, but you folks are in the minority if you still are believing Bush.

    I will repeat your phrase, Harry. Millions believed Hitler. Yeah, I agree with that. When people started to realize what was going on, it was too late. You’d think that when innocent people were being incarcerated, and torture was taking place, and then spying on citizens, and acknowledging the Riechstagg fire as done by him and his regime, that somewhere sooner than that, Germany would have realized he was dangerous. He was a proud Christian though. Maybe that was one of his saving graces that kept people supporting him. It was too inconcievable though to believe for the Germans that he could not just be protecting them.

    I wonder at what point George W Bush’s grandfather who worked for Hitler realized he was a tyrant. That is how the Bush family became wealthy, you know! Hitler contract with Prescott Bush! Yeah, look it up if you doubt it.

    Hitler got everyone behind him to start the illegal wars of aggression with the Riechstagg fire.

    Here is an interesting quote from Herman Goering, second in command to Adolf Hitler in the Nuremberg trials: “The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and ‘exposing the country to danger’. It works the same in any country.

    Hitler hated liberals too. Here is a quote from Hitler: “The main plank in the National Socialistic program is to abolish the liberalistic concept of the individual and the Marxist concept of humanity and to substitute for them the folk community, rooted i the soil and bound together by the bond of its common blood”.

    Here’s some interesting points from James Madison, another quote: “If tyranny and oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy”.

    Here is something out of the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg: “To initiate a war of aggression is not only an international crime, it is the supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes, in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole”.

    This is from the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs 1965, Arthur Sylvester: “Look, if you think any American official is going to tell you the truth, then you’re stupid. Did you hear that? Stupid”

    Here is something interesting from Huey Long: “If fascism ever came to the United States, it would be wrapped in an American flag”.

    I have posted this before, but it is valuable to post again. This was written by a Phd. of political science, Britt is his name. This is a fascinating and fairly short piece of information that all should see:

    http//www.peace-justice.com/fascism.html

    blubonnet (8ba69f)

  54. Obviously my sarcasm didn’t translate very well.

    sharon (fecb65)

  55. Obviously, I’ve come late to the discussion, so nobody will ever probably read this, but still, I think that an important point is missing here:

    The teacher is the government.

    The government doesn’t have “free speech” rights; free speech rights are meant ONLY for the CITIZENS ruled by the government.

    Mr. Bennish isn’t just an ordinary citizen with an (stinky) opinion. He is a government employee.

    I’m glad that the trend is moving more toward exposing these folks. Sunshine, they say, is the best disinfectant.

    RightNumberOne (11dd90)

  56. I hope that nobody is surprised by the presence of Mr. Bennish. Elite Institutions of learning have always seemed to side with the obverse view of hte ‘common wisdom’ [The acceptance of the Taliban spokesman is a contemporary example].
    Now, I don’t think that all College campuses are “Dens of Liberial Iniquity” but you have to admit a large percentage of them are pretty close.

    paul (3370f7)

  57. sharon, I was just trying to say “me too”, I was a bit too subtle. The comment was directed elsewhere and meant only as an amplification, and agreement with, your point. I generally find very little of what you write with which I can disagree.

    Harry Arthur (40c0a6)

  58. He thanked them for asking questions.

    .

    Oh, then it’s okay. :)

    Patricia (2cc180)


Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.4987 secs.