Howard Zinn and the Book That Poisoned a Generation

One book and one author changed how American history is taught.

Because of this book, many Americans no longer believe we are the good guy but rather the cause of the world’s problems.

 

Why has it become so popular?

See what Mary Grabar, Resident Fellow at Alexander Hamilton Institute, has to share on the subject.

Script:

The writer of the most popular and influential history book of the last quarter-century was a radical, leftist professor who despised his subject.

The writer’s name is Howard Zinn.

And his subject is America.

Zinn died in 2010, but his toxic theme lives on: America is and has always been a cesspool of racism, imperialism, and capitalist exploitation.

You may never have heard of Zinn, but I assure you a history teacher at your local high school or college has. And probably teaches his text or ideas.

The book Zinn wrote is entitled A People’s History of the United States.

If you’re trying to understand why so many young people lack patriotism—or worse, regard America with contempt—you don’t have to look much further than Zinn.

Columbus was evil?

Lincoln wasn’t really interested in freeing the slaves?

The Allies weren’t any better than the Nazis and the Japanese in World War II?

The Vietnam War was not about stopping the spread of communism, but about promoting American imperialism?

Zinn.

How do you take an essentially decent country and turn it into the source of much of the world’s evil?

You just have to lie, distort, and falsify.

Zinn did all three.

A life-long and passionate leftist, everything he ever said or wrote was in service of the Marxist dogma that life is a class struggle. Distilled to its essence this simply means that those who have power are bad and those who don’t are good.

Therefore the downtrodden working class, the proletariat, are a heroic, but faceless mass. The villains—the capitalist ruling class—in contrast all have names and faces. They are the heroes of the nation—Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Kennedy, and others.

Zinn, as any Marxist true believer would, saw his task to tear down the latter and promote the former.

But is such a simplistic approach really history? Noted liberal historian Arthur Schlesinger didn’t think so. Zinn, Schlesinger wrote, was “a polemicist, not a historian.”

As a polemicist, a propagandist, however, Zinn had few peers.

Columbus turned out to be a perfect target. Before Zinn, Columbus was widely extolled for his foresight and bravery. Now, thanks to Zinn, he’s considered a genocidal maniac.

Zinn takes the explorer’s ship logs and twists them to say the opposite of what Columbus clearly intended. In Zinn’s dishonest rendering, Columbus had contempt for the natives and wanted to enslave them.

Read the explorer’s observations in context and in full, and their true meaning emerges. Columbus had deep respect for the Taino (Zinn calls them the Arawaks) and insisted that his men treat them well. Furthermore, he chronicled how terrified the Taino were of the neighboring tribe, the Caribs. For good reason. The Caribs not only enslaved the Taino (immediately and decisively refuting the idea that Europeans introduced slavery to the New World) but ate them. Yes, they were cannibals.

Much excellent scholarship on Columbus had already been done before Zinn turned the explorer into evil incarnate. Not surprisingly, the picture painted by respected historians like Samuel Eliot Morison was complex. Columbus was not faultless, but neither was the world he discovered a new Eden.

But if you’re preoccupied with propaganda rather than truth, what does it matter? It didn’t for Zinn. His monsters change, but never their motive: more power for the capitalist ruling elite.

Nowhere is this view more clearly expressed than in his discourse, the longest section of the book, on the Vietnam War.

In Zinn’s view, it was just this simple: mighty, imperialist America bad; the North Vietnamese, the fearless peasants, good. That the Communist North Vietnamese slaughtered and tortured tens of thousands of South Vietnamese is not allowed to upset the equation.

20 Stupid Grammar Mistakes

For my Grammar Nazi friends out there, Knowingly recently launched Correctica, a tool that scans websites looking for errors that spell checkers miss.

Correctica recently scanned a handful of prominent websites and you might be surprised at how many errors it found. Here’s a list of the some of the most commonly misused words on the web.

1. Prostrate cancer

It’s an easy misspelling to make, just add an extra “r” and prostate cancer becomes “prostrate” cancer which would translate to “cancer of lying face down on the ground.” Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Mayo Clinic websites include this misspelling.

2. First-come, first-serve

This would suggest that the first person to arrive has to serve all of the others. The actual phrase is “first-come, first-served” to indicate that the participants will be served in the order in which they arrived. Both Harvard and Yale got this one wrong.

3. Sneak peak

A “peak” is a mountain top. A “peek” is a quick look. The correct expression is “sneak peek” which would mean to have a secret or early look at something. This error appeared on Oxford University’s site as well as the National Park Service website.

4. Deep-seeded

This should actually be “deep-seated” to indicate that it is firmly established. Though “deep-seeded” could theoretically make sense, indicating something is planted deep in the ground, this is not the correct expression. Correctica found this error on the Washington Post as well as the White House site.

5. Extract revenge

To extract something is to remove it, like a tooth. The correct expression is “exact revenge” which means to demand revenge. The New York Times as well as the BBC made this error.

6. I could care less

“I couldn’t care less” is what you would say in order to express maximum apathy toward a situation. Basically you’re saying, “It’s impossible for me to care less about this because I have no more cares to give. I’ve run out of cares.” Using the incorrect expression “I could care less” indicates “I still have a few cares left to give, would you like some?”

7. Shoe-in

“Shoo-in” is a common idiom which means a sure winner. To “shoo” something is to urge it in a direction. As you would “shoo” a fly out of your house, you could also “shoo” someone toward victory. The expression started in the early 20th century, relating to horse racing and broadened to politics soon after.

It’s easy to see why the “shoe-in” version is so common, perhaps derived from the door-to-door sales practice of moving a foot into the doorway to make it more difficult for a prospective client to close the door. But “foot in the door” is an entirely different idiom.

8. Emigrated to

With this one there is no debate. The verb “emigrate” is always used with the preposition “from,” whereas immigrate is always used with the preposition “to.” To emigrate is to come from somewhere, and to immigrate is to go to somewhere. “Jimmy emigrated from Ireland to the United States” means the same thing as “Jimmy immigrated to the United States from Ireland.” It’s just a matter of what you’re emphasizing — the coming or the going.

9. Slight of hand

“Sleight of hand” is a common phrase in the world of magic and illusion, because “sleight” means the use of dexterity or cunning, usually to deceive. On the other hand, the noun “slight” means an insult.

10. Honed in

First, it’s important to note that this particular expression is hotly debated. Many references now consider “hone in” an alteration of “home in.” That said, it is still generally accepted that “home in” is the more correct phrase. To home in on something means to move toward a goal, such as “The missile homed in on its target.”

To “hone” means to sharpen. You would say, “I honed my resume writing skills.” But you would likely not say, “The missile honed in on its target.” When followed by the preposition “in,” the word “hone” just doesn’t make sense.

11. Baited breath

The term “bated” is an adjective meaning suspense. It originated from the verb “abate,” meaning to stop or lessen. Therefore, “to wait with bated breath” essentially means to hold your breath with anticipation. The verb “bait,” on the other hand, means to taunt, often to taunt a predator with its prey.

A fisherman baits his line in hopes of a big catch. Considering the meaning of the two words, it’s clear which is correct, but the word “bated” is mostly obsolete today, leading to the ever-increasing misuse of this expression.

12. Piece of mind

This should be “peace” of mind, meaning calmness and tranquility. The expression “piece of mind,” actually would suggest doling out sections of brain.

13. Wet your appetite

This expression is more often used incorrectly than it is used correctly — 56% of the time it appears online, it’s wrong. The correct idiom is “whet your appetite.” Whet means to sharpen or stimulate, so to whet your appetite would mean to awaken your desire for something.

14. For all intensive purposes

The correct phrase should be “for all intents and purposes.” It originates from English law in the 1500s that stated “to all intents, constructions and purposes,” which basically means “officially” or “effectively.”

15. One in the same

One in the same would literally translate that the “one” is inside of the same thing as itself, which makes no sense at all. The proper phrase is “one and the same,” meaning the same thing or the same person. For example, “When Melissa was home-schooled, her teacher and her mother were one and the same.”

16. Make due

When something is due, it is owed. To make due would mean to make owed, but the phrase to “make do” is short for “to make something do well” or “to make something sufficient.” When life gives you lemons, you make do and make lemonade!

17. By in large

The phrase “by and large” was first used in 1706 to mean “in general.” It was a nautical phrase derived from sailing terms “by” and “large.” While it doesn’t have a literal meaning that makes sense, “by and large” is the correct version of this phrase.

18. Do diligence

While it may be easy to surmise that “do diligence” translates to doing something diligently, it does not. “Due diligence” is a business and legal term that means you will investigate a person or business before signing a contract with them, or before formally engaging in a business deal together. You should do your due diligence and investigate business deals fully before committing to them.

19. Peaked my interest

To “pique” means to arouse, so the correct phrase here should be “piqued my interest,” meaning that your interest was awoken. To say that something “peaked my interest” would mean that it looked at my interest.

20. Case and point

The correct phrase in this case is “case in point” which derives its meaning from a dialect of Old French. While it may not make any logical sense today, it is a fixed idiom.

Worried that poorly functioning spell check will make you look bad? Run things like your resume, blog posts and the content of important emails through Correctica’s “Proof it Free” tool.

Read the original article on Inc.. Copyright 2016.

College Made Me a Conservative

I graduated from college in the 60s but didn’t get indoctrinated by liberal professors because I worked my way through and focused on business-oriented classes that would help me get a decent job. However, I do remember various sit-ins conducted by Liberal professors and students that obstructed my path to classes a couple of times. I don’t think professors did that much proselytizing back then, at least mine didn’t.

Jay Stephens went into her elite liberal arts college a social justice warrior….and graduated as a get-off-my-lawn conservative.

How did that happen? Watch Jay’s story below.