Monday, May 11, 2009

You can't make this stuff up.

The New York Times loves this video:

Ms. Leonard put the video on the Internet in December 2007. Word quickly spread among teachers, who recommended it to one another as a brief, provocative way of drawing students into a dialogue about how buying a cellphone or jeans could contribute to environmental devastation.
More than 7,000 schools, churches and others have ordered a DVD version, and hundreds of teachers have written Ms. Leonard to say they have assigned students to view it on the Web.

It has also won support from independent groups that advise teachers on curriculum choices. Facing the Future, a curriculum developer for schools in all 50 states, is drafting lesson plans based on the video.

So your kids might be getting to see this propaganda in school.

I'll just address a few things as I watch the video.

She claims the US military takes up 50% of our budget. That's either misleading or "a lie" depending on how generous you want to be. DOD is 50% of the budget only if you don't count social security, medicare, medicaid, welfare and interest on our debt -- the so-called "mandatory" budget items. If you do count those, it's about 16% (social security is 21%).

Almost a breath later:
"It's the government's job to watch out for us, to take care of us; that's their JOB."

I don't think Ben Franklin or Jefferson would have quite agreed with that. But that's the modern day liberal viewpoint, isn't it? (Or as Mark Levin calls them, "Statists" instead of "liberals" -- people who seek the growth of the state rather than individual independence from the state.)

"The corporation is bigger than the government."
She says it like it's a bad thing. The animation is of the government shining the shoes of the corporation. Although if it comes down to it, is there any corporation in America who makes more money per year than the government? From Wikipedia:
"Estimated [tax] receipts for fiscal year 2008 were $2.66 trillion."

Does any corporation bring in $2.66 trillion? If I'm reading it right, the #1 corporation in the world is Wal-Mart, which brought in about $379 billion in revenue.

So no, the government appears to be much, much, MUCH bigger than Wal-Mart, and Wal-Mart is the #1 corporation. (Exxon-Mobile is #2 at about $373 billion.)

"[America has] 5% of the world's population but we use 30% of the resources."
Yeah, being technologically advanced sure is a bitch. If only we could go back to living in grass huts and hunting fish with a spear, we'd be in line with a lot of the rest of the world.

"We mix toxic materials in with the natural materials to make toxic, contaminated products."

Okay, I'm not even 5 minutes in and I give up on this video.

I would be pretty furious if my kid was shown this propaganda video in school without some serious discussion about the truth of the "facts" given and whether it's a fair assessment and what parts of the video have merit and what parts are a fine example of liberal extremism gone awry. I would use it as an educational video to show the kids how emotions can sometimes cause adults to lie to children, and that they should always be on guard against this.

Although this does remind me of some of the crap we were shown as kids when I was in school: oversimplified, inaccurate garbage meant to drive your opinion in a particular direction.

1 comment:

Matt said...

Very well put. There is no need to make up lies to scare people, there is enough that is based on facts, but I guess that would be too boring to get peoples attention.