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Michael Vey and Glenn Beck

  • Posted on July 5, 2014 at 8:02 pm

Michael VeyAs a middle school teacher, I am interested in my students.  Our school has devoted the first 15 minutes of the day to reading in an effort to get more students devoted to reading.  I often ask the students what they are reading to see what interests them.  A couple years ago, I decided to read what some of them seemed to like reading.  I’ve read many different books such as all of the Harry Potter, Hunger Games, and Divergent series.  Recently, many of the students were telling me they were reading “Michael Vey”.  Since it seemed to be popular, I decided to read it.  It actually “Michael Vey:  The Prisoner of Cell 25”.  As I was nearing the end of the book, I discovered something that shocked me.  There is a connection between Michael Vey and Glenn Beck.

I went online shortly before I finished the book to see if it had been made into a video.  It seemed like the logical progression for the book.  Many times, I have read a book and then watched the movie.  It was natural for me to investigate this.  Imagine my surprise when I discovered one, that Glenn Beck has a publishing company and two, that his company, Mercury Ink, published Michael Vey.  Mercury Ink’s partner is Simon and Schuster.

The Michael Vey series is about good, evil, and making right choices.  I actually enjoyed reading the book and could see why students like it.  I am not going to say much about the book, as I don’t want to spoil anything for someone that might like to read it.  I will say it is about teenagers that have a special connection with electricity.  Something happened to them when they were born and now as they are coming into their teen years they have unusual abilities.  Michal Vey seems to have the most powerful ability.  The book takes the reader on an adventure from combating bullying to building friendships and developing an understanding of what makes people good and bad.  The underlying theme is good triumphs over evil and that sometimes-good people do bad things to help.  There is much more to it than the simplistic ideas I am mentioning here.  However, listening to Glenn Beck tell the story should create caution in all of us.

 

Is there an underlying agenda from the far right to infiltrate the minds of our youth?  Glenn is trying to find ways to reach the youth and he thinks these books might do it.  I know many students like the Michael Vey series.  Whether these books will have any dramatic impact on their worldview remains to be seen.  My concern is the effort that has been put into public education by the far right in the last many years.  It seems to me that there is a far-reaching goal to control public education and perhaps this is just one more puzzle piece that is being put in place for the greater good of the right’s influence on education.

I always say, “I learn something new every day.”  Today I learned about Glenn Beck’s goals.  I never would have connected him to the Michael Vey series unless I researched it.  I am sharing this because I think we all need to keep one eye open for understanding the manipulations that the media does to our children and to ourselves.  As an educator, I would be remiss if I didn’t investigate and share these things when I learn about them.  It certainly has made me wonder what else have I been reading that has an interesting back-story.

 

Republican Right Wing…..You Don’t Need No Education!

  • Posted on February 22, 2011 at 2:49 pm

Just let Pink Floyd play while you read my post!

Those right wing pundits must not have been coddled enough by their school teachers.  Let’s take Rush Limbaugh who couldn’t seemingly tackle college and dropped out after two semesters.  Glenn Beck’s post high school education consisted of taking a theology class at Yale that he ended up dropping.  Were they worried about mind control or were they just not that good at schooling?  Why am I bothering with this?  I’m bothering with this because these are the two big guys that push the right wing media agenda.  I even have family members that listen to their bullshit and truthfully these two guys don’t know much about anything!

Even Wisconsin’s Governor Scott Walker couldn’t quite “cut” getting that little old college degree.  He dropped out!  My sister loves the statement, “To know something is to know nothing, and to know nothing is to know something.”  It really says a lot.  These guys don’t know much about anything, but they all know how to manipulate their audiences and make tons of money doing it.  These guys have nothing in common with the average working “Joe” but many of those average working “Joes” think these guys know what’s going on with everything from politics to religion.  I include Governor Walker in on all of this because he is so over the top with the right wing agenda, that he supports pharmacist not filling prescriptions for contraceptives because of religious or moral grounds.

Well, Rush and Glenn both have come from troubled personal lives.  They both wrap themselves in religious metaphors and both have been married more than once, Rush too many times to bother counting!

In my opinion, Glenn Beck is simply dishonest as this video shows:

Rush always tends to add “fuel to the fire” with his outrageous “OxyCotin” laced tirades.  Here is Rush saying teachers feel entitled to be “freeloaders”.

Here again is Glenn Beck feeding his special form of “hatred” to his fellow countrymen.

From my point of view, there are bad guys all around that have done much to destroy private sector unions and the right for people to belong to any union.  Now the right ring of the Republican Party is going after the public sector unions.  Even President Obama has done much damage to the teacher’s unions.  Here in Michigan we have signed onto legislation that ties evaluations to student test scores that really is rather senseless.  This opinion piece is well worth reading and basically says what I’ve been thinking about.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/answer-sheet/race-to-the-top/the-irony-of-obamas-help-for-w.html

So what can you do?  I think everyone needs to get educated about the subject matter as eventually the bargaining rights of all Americans could be in jeopardy.  We, the working people of America, need to stand together or everyone will lose all bargaining rights.

So, stand together or FALL together!

If you do nothing else today, read this bit and definitely watch the Jon Stewart video placed here from last night!  By the way the “liberal’ pundit, Jon Stewart, has a college degree!  Imagine that!

http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2011/02/22/jon_stewart_wisconsin_scott_walker

I will leave you with this last bit from Paul Krugman:

You don’t have to love unions, you don’t have to believe that their policy positions are always right, to recognize that they’re among the few influential players in our political system representing the interests of middle- and working-class Americans, as opposed to the wealthy. Indeed, if America has become more oligarchic and less democratic over the last 30 years — which it has — that’s to an important extent due to the decline of private-sector unions.

And now Mr. Walker and his backers are trying to get rid of public-sector unions, too.

There’s a bitter irony here. The fiscal crisis in Wisconsin, as in other states, was largely caused by the increasing power of America’s oligarchy. After all, it was superwealthy players, not the general public, who pushed for financial deregulation and thereby set the stage for the economic crisis of 2008-9, a crisis whose aftermath is the main reason for the current budget crunch. And now the political right is trying to exploit that very crisis, using it to remove one of the few remaining checks on oligarchic influence.

So will the attack on unions succeed? I don’t know. But anyone who cares about retaining government of the people by the people should hope that it doesn’t.

I just had to come back in here and post Rachel Maddow’s video.  It is long but so thorough.  It is a “must see” video! You must watch the whole thing and by the way Rachel is a Standford grad.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y7e4bj5rrd8

Wisconsin, the Koch Brothers and Luscious the Cat

  • Posted on February 21, 2011 at 7:50 pm


The Citizen United decision has changed and corrupted the election process.  Most of us thought the election process was bad before this ruling.  However, what is bad can obviously get worse.  We should all be alarmed to discover the close ties of Justice Clarence Thomas, his wife, and Justice Antonin Scalia have with the Koch brothers.  If you’ve been hiding under a rock, you might not know who these powerful brothers are and why their relationship with these justices on the Supreme Court should cause alarm and concern for normal American citizens.  From the archives here is the case:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/22/us/politics/22scotus.html

The Supreme Court may have been bitterly divided on this case at the time but we didn’t know how close the two above justices are to the Koch brothers.  The Koch brothers have benefited greatly from this ruling.  http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/15/us/politics/15thomas.html?_r=1&ref=clarencethomas

You all should remember Glenn Beck’s rally in Washington D.C. or the Tea Party movement.  Well, the Koch brothers, in the words of Frank Rich are the “Sugar Daddies” that help fund these “noble” causes.  So, how does this all matter this past week in Wisconsin?  The Koch brothers are funding, once again, the efforts to destroy and take down public unions.   http://blogs.forbes.com/rickungar/2011/02/18/koch-brothers-behind-wisconsin-effort-to-kill-public-unions/

Not only that, but within the legislation that the governor wants pass is some writing that allows for “no bid” contracts.  Many believe this is set up to pay back people like the Koch brothers that have been funding the campaigns of people like Governor Walker.

http://motherjones.com/mojo/2011/02/wisconsin-scott-walker-koch-brothers

This all gets more and more interesting as the days go by.  Governor Walker, trying to appear all noble, is just looking out for payback for his buddies.  That payback is about killing unions, not just public sector unions but private as well.

I found this hilarious video that pretty much says it all.  It’s created by some person named Luscious the Cat on Youtube.  It seems that Luscious is trying to educate the American public in what I think is a very creative manner!  I figured why should I keep writing when Luscious can dramatically educate the public for me.  Thanks Luscious!

The Holy War of Oil

  • Posted on August 28, 2010 at 1:05 pm

My brother told me we are in a “Holy War”.  He was quite serious and took great offense to my position about the Muslim Mosque/cultural center controversy in New York City.  Personally I never thought any war could really be considered “holy”.  You know, “My God is better than your God!” stuff.  For me it’s always come down to the God of “OIL”, who has it and who wants it.  It really could be any mineral or something of value that everyone wants for that matter but in the Middle East is a vast amount of oil.

During the first gulf war Saddam Hussein went into Kuwait and it was also about oil.  Saddam claimed Kuwait was drilling at an angle into Iraq for oil.  Saddam decided to put a stop to that and we decided to stop Saddam.

I was surprised to discover this piece online:

http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/us-military-weapons-inscribed-secret-jesus-bible-codes/story?id=9575794

A supplier for military rifle sights puts biblical coding on the guns sights.  Here is one of the citations:

One of the citations on the gun sights, 2COR4:6, is an apparent reference to Second Corinthians 4:6 of the New Testament, which reads: “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”

This is also from the article:

U.S. military rules specifically prohibit the proselytizing of any religion in Iraq or Afghanistan and were drawn up in order to prevent criticism that the U.S. was embarked on a religious “Crusade” in its war against al Qaeda and Iraqi insurgents.

To me it is such an oxymoron to consider war to be part of any religious beliefs as most religions teach us to “love one another”.  However, we know that through out history religion has started many wars!  So I ask myself, “Is my brother right?”  Are we secretly involved in a “Holy War” for the religious right?  As a people we believe in the freedom of religion.  You can even be an “Atheist” if you choose.  You don’t have to be Christian; and you don’t have to be Christian to fight for the military as well.  So why must so many people think we are fighting a “Holy War” and how did this get started?

This weekend there is a Glenn Beck rally in Washington D.C. on the Mall.  It’s called the “Restoring Honor Rally” and I am watching it on C-Span as I finish this piece on “Holy War”.  The rally is huge, filled with a number of people that appear to be pretty white and by the make up of the speakers, “Christians”. Sarah Palin was asked to speak as a mother of a soldier, not a politician.  She introduced three war heroes, two from the recent wars and one from Vietnam.

Glenn Beck spoke and kept referring back to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  I found this rather appalling.  Glenn’s rally seemed to me to be more about a “Holy War” and pushing “Christianity” on the world than anything Dr. King ever spoke about.  However, he appeared to have the backing of all the usage of the “King” words and philosophy as Kings’ Niece, Alveda King, was a part of the rally.  She is an anti- abortion activist that had two abortions in her youth that she now regrets.  She acts as a voice for the “Silent No More Awareness Campaign.” Glenn Beck stealing the words of Martin Luther King Jr. is frightening to me.  Just this last week Glenn made a very anti-Catholic statement about social justice.  I talk on here about being raised Catholic with the ideals of social justice often.  Glenn Beck wants people to leave any church that speaks about social or economic justice, saying they were code words for Communism and Nazism.

For me Glenn Beck follows a narrow form of Christianity that probably does indeed believe we are in a “Holy War”.

Glenn talked about the origination of the “Purple Heart” and decided to take a cue from it and give out three special medals based on faith, hope and charity.  “Faith” went to a black minister who talked about sitting next to Martin Luther King Jr.  Unfortunately, I don’t remember his name.  “Hope” went to Albert Pujos who came from the Dominican Republic, scored a 100% on his citizenship test and has a foundation organized for “Down’s syndrome” and finally “Charity” went to John Huntman, Sr. from Salt Lake City, Utah.  He is a rich philanthropist that wrote “Winners Never Cheat: Everyday Values We Learned as Children (But May Have Forgotten)” in 2005.  He is worth about 2 billion and is dedicated to giving away the majority of it.  He was not there to receive the award as he was at the marriage of his granddaughter.

They began this  rally talking about the Mayflower and Native Americans, Indians and it was all about basically saying that America was founded on religion, Christianity.  I feel the underlying implication of this entire rally is that President Obama and maybe the Democrats have some how taken away our “Honor”.  They don’t mention his name but you know it’s there.  .  The rally is about heroes and God, fighting wars and religion.  I dare say it might be about a “Holy War” after all.

After watching this rally I know my brother isn’t alone with his thinking.  For me it’s such a waste of human life and resources in these never ending wars that we seem to be involved in.  Who would have thought that students that I taught in middle school classes many years ago are now preparing to go off to fight these same stupid wars?  We seem to be embattled in endless war.

While our cities, economy, and way of life are being destroyed at home, we continue to battle on in these two wars overseas.  Bush said, “We fight them overseas so we don’t have to fight them here.”  Yes, I know we have had a draw down of sorts recently in Iraq but many more soldiers have just been shifted over to Afghanistan.  At this time it appears that many oil companies are hopeful for their profits in the years to come in Iraq.  Imagine that!

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704125604575449001388136336.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

Isn’t it comforting to know that this is the end result of our efforts in Iraq?

I cannot think of a good reason for constant war let alone a “Holy War”.  My favorite song in my youth was the Universal Soldier by Buffy Ste. Marie.  It may have been written in my youth but it is as important of a statement today as it was then.  I used to sing this song all the time.  Here Buffy tells how she wrote the song and then sings it.  Listen to it and you will know that we are the product of war and we continue to be the pawn of war.  It doesn’t matter what religion you are as you know you aren’t supposed to kill, but you will kill.  You will kill for whatever your government tells you is worth killing for!  And if you think this will put an end to war, think again!

Finally here is “Holy War” by Thin Lizzy.

Below are the words to Holy War:

If you will adore me
Bow before me and praise my name
If you place no God before me
Then all I have is yours to claim

And if God is in the heavens
Why did God let children die
If you don’t ask these questions
There is no reasons why

We are chosen
We are one
We are frightened of no one
And no one will win this war
This is the way
This is the law

All the visions shown before you
All the kingdoms and the thrones
All are yours if you bow before me and adore me
All this you can own

There are those that will go to heaven
There are those that will never win
No one knows what will happen
There are those that turn to sin

We are chosen
We are one
We are frightened of no one
And no one will win this war
This is the way
This is the law

(solo)

We are chosen
We are one
We are frightened of no one
And no one will win this war
This is the way
This is the law

We are chosen

The devil is in hell with the demons
This is the holy war

They lead us to our temptation
Lead us, take our souls
There is no evil in salvation
There is evil in us all

Just as Satan tempted Jesus
And Jesus slips and falls
He is a station on the cross now
He is dying to save us all

We are chosen
We are one
We are frightened of no one
And no one will win this war
This is the way
This is the law

We are chosen
We are one
We are frightened of no one
And no one will win this war
This is the way
This is the law

We are chosen
We are one
We are frightened of no one
And no one will win this war
This is the way
This is the law

We are chosen
We are one
We are frightened of no one
And no one will win this war
This is the way
This is the law

If God is in heaven, won’t you save me now
Oh lord forgive them for what they’ve done
Lost children of Babylon
Oh Allah oh no oh no (? )

This is the holy war

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