Alarming News: I like Morgan Freeberg. A lot.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: We were following a trackback and thinking "hmmm... this is a bloody excellent post!", and then we realized that it was just part III of, well, three...Damn. I wish I'd written those.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: ...I just remembered that I found a new blog a short while ago, House of Eratosthenes, that I really like. I like his common sense approach and his curiosity when it comes to why people believe what they believe rather than just what they believe.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is an intriguing guy...[he] asks great questions and answers others with style, flair, reason and wit. On the blogroll he goes. Make him a part of your regular blogospheric reading. I certainly will.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is brilliant.
Common Sense Junction: Misha @ Anti-Idiotarian never ceases to amaze me. He keeps finding other good blogs. I went over to A.I. this morning for my daily Misha fix and he had found this guy named Morgan Freeberg in Fair Oaks, California, that has a blog, House of Eratosthenes. Freeberg says its "The Blog That Nobody Reads" but it may now become the blog that everybody reads.
Jaded Haven: Good God, Morgan, you cover a topic from front to back with a screwy thoroughness I find mind boggling. I'm in awe of your thought proccesses, my friend, you're an exceptional talent. You start by throwing in the kitchen sink, tie in someone's syphilitic uncle, bend around a rip tide of brilliance and bring it all home in a neat, diamond dripping package of an exceptionally readable moment of damn fine wordsmithing. I love reading you.
Mein Blogovault: Make "the Blog that No One Reads" one of your daily reads.
Philmon: When Morgan meanders, stick with him - he's got a point and it'll be worth it in the end. He's not a hit-and-run snarky quip kind of guy. The pieces all fall into place like tumblers in a lock and bang! He's opened a cognative door for you.
Rightlinx: Morgan at House of Eratosthenes is one of the best writers out there. I read him nearly every day because he manages to provide an interesting perspective, even though I don't always agree.
Poetic Justice: Cletus! Ah gots a laiv one fer yew...
Well, I do think this is kind of cool because I’m much more supportive of “environment” stuff — as in, don’t leave the trial to go scampering down a hillside thereby causing heap-big erosion that doesn’t have to happen — than I am of the phony science of ManBearPig.
But it’s still a bunch of public-school indoctrination. And I can’t help but wonder if the message is being lost. What does a trip to Disneyland have to do with the environment? How about…a three day hike out in the wilderness, away from Mom and Dad, sleeping under the stars? Wouldn’t the enterprising, environmentally-conscious fifth-grader find that so much more rewarding?
Students at Phoebe Hearst Elementary in Sacramento got a fast lesson on how learning can be fun and pay off. A fifth-grade class at the school won the grand prize in a statewide environmental education competition.
During an assembly Thursday, Mickey Mouse delivered the surprise announcement to teacher Sylvia Rodriguez and her students, who snatched the top award – beating 45 other entries – for their project to preserve and protect the American River watershed.
Rodriguez and students jubilantly gave each other high-fives, jumped up and down and cried.
The 2008 Disney’s Environmentality Challenge asked students to design and carry out a classroom project that would spur environmental stewardship.
Accepting a plaque, Rodriguez said, “I’m all choked up.”
Well, hey. Maybe I should just simmer down. It’s not so much indoctrination, it’s creating a new generation of people who are going to think twice before chucking that cigarette butt out the window of whatever they’re going to be driving twenty years from now. Right?
“After we did all this work, we learned how Native Americans cared for (the river),” she said. “No way is it ours. No way do we have the right to pollute it and change it. It belongs to the earth, Mother Earth and to itself.”
Eww, that doesn’t sound ideologically-neutral at all. Mother Earth? In a public school? I’ve half a mind to sue for separation of church and state. And a healthy anti-capitalist rant tossed in, for no good reason, on top of it. From an adorable crumb-cruncher on her way to DISNEYLAND!!! Yay!
I wonder what she learned about Native Americans. Was it the overly-simplistic, red-always-good white-always-bad crap I was taught when I was in the fifth grade?
The impression that American Indians were guided by a unique environmental ethic often can be traced to the speech widely attributed to Chief Seattle in 1854. But Chief Seattle never said those oft-quoted words: They were written by Ted Perry, a scriptwriter, who acknowledged paraphrasing a translation of the speech for a movie about pollution. According to historian Paul Wilson, Perry’s version added “a good deal more, particularly modern ecological imagery.” For example, Perry, not Chief Seattle, wrote that “every part of the Earth is sacred to my people.” (Perry, by the way, has tried unsuccessfully to get the truth out.)
The speech reflects what many environmentalists want to hear, not what Chief Seattle said. The poignant and romantic image created by the speech obscures the fact, fully acknowledged by historians, that American Indians transformed the North American landscape. Sometimes these changes were beneficial, at other times harmful. But they were almost always a rational response to abundance or scarcity.
Generally the demand for meat, hides, and furs by relatively small, dispersed populations of Indians put little pressure on wildlife. But in some cases game populations were overharvested or even driven to extinction. Anthropologist Paul Martin believes that the extinction of the mammoth, mastodon, ground sloth, and the saber-toothed cat directly or indirectly resulted from the “prehistoric overkill” by exceptionally competent hunters.
Historian Louis S. Warren drives the final nail in the coffin of the “living in harmony with nature” myth: “[T]o claim that Indians lived without affecting nature is akin to saying that they lived without touching anything, that they were a people without history. Indians often manipulated their local environments, and while they usually had far less impact on their environments than European colonists would, the idea of ‘preserving’ land in some kind of wilderness state would have struck them as impractical and absurd. More often than not, Indians profoundly shaped the ecosystems around them.”
Of course, shaping doesn’t have to mean despoiling. Whether this shaping encouraged conservation depended, for Indians as for humans everywhere, on the incentives created by the extant system of property rights. The historical American Indians did not practice a sort of environmental communism in tune with the Earth; yesterday, as today, they recognized property rights.
Today we refer to “Indian nations,” but this term mostly reflects the U.S. government’s desire to have another government with which to negotiate. In fact, Indian tribes were mainly language groups made up of relatively independent bands with little centralized control except at specific times when they might gather for ceremonies, hunts, or wars. And after the horse allowed small bands to efficiently hunt buffalo, even that level of centralization diminished.
The anchor reported on the insipid morning koffee-klatch “news” program a few minutes ago, that the excited fifth graders will be taking a bus to Southern California to go to Disneyland. Heh…diesel buses, I wonder? How long will they sit idling while our newest generation of environmentalists climb aboard?
Now, I really hesitate to badmouth a good thing. But how many things could be done to lower my red flags here. They could stick a microphone in the face of an excited fifth-grader who does not sound like a typical goth new-age hippie. Mother Earth…feh. They could couple this drive to learn about and protect the environment with…a companion drive to learn about and protect the Boy Scouts. I mean hey, let’s face it. After the giant diesel bus comes lumbering back from Disneyland and drops these kids off at home, they’re going to be going back to playing with the PlayStation 3…probably producing mountains of empty soda bottles and candy wrappers to fill up some landfill somewhere for the next ten centuries. By sixth or seventh grade, of course, they’ll all stop being cute, and the spotlight will shift to the next generation of fourth- and fifth-graders. But the Boy Scouts will learn about and protect the environment this year, next year, and the year after…whether they’re being watched or not.
How come so few friends of the “environment,” are friends of the Boy Scouts? Are we talking about the same environment here?
But the trip to Disneyland is the real hitch in the giddy-up. I know that’s how the checks got signed, I understand that…I just can’t get behind this. They could go on a trip to Yosemite instead, you know. Nowadays when you go camping you can be quite pampered, they tell me. My pup-tent sleeping-bag arrangement is supposed to be going out of style. They have wood cabins…bunks…running water inside…even cable TV, some of ‘em. Not only could that be a whole lot of fun to the pre-teen class, but it could inspire a whole lifetime of enthusiasm for living in, and therefore caring about, the outdoors.
And I won’t even get started on the delta between camping, and Disneyland, vis a vis carbon emissions.
A trip to Disneyland as a reward for environmental accomplishment. My my…what’ll they think of next. That’s kind of like a meat-lover’s pizza as a reward for vegetarianism.
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