NATIONAL Education Association (nea)

Under the heading: Know Your Enemy

NATIONAL EDUCATION ASSOCIATION (NEA)

1201 16th Street, NW
Washington, DC
20036-3290
Phone :202-833-4000
Fax :202-822-7974
URL: http://www.nea.org/index.html

 


    • America's largest labor union
    • Advocates leftist positions on a host of issues, including abortion, sex education, teen pregnancy, school prayer, socialized medicine, affordable housing, drug testing, prisoner rights, bilingual education, global warming, and health care
    • Opposes merit pay for teachers
    • Opposes school vouchers
    • Ranks among the leading funders of the Democratic Party
    • Has contributed vast sums to many leftwing organizations
       


Based in Washington, DC, the 3.1 million-member National Education Association (NEA) is the largest labor union in the United States. It represents public school teachers and support personnel; faculty and staffers in colleges and universities; retired educators; and college students preparing to become teachers. The NEA’s mission is “to advocate for education professionals and to unite our members and the nation to fulfill the promise of public education to prepare every student to succeed in a diverse and interdependent world.”

The NEA pursues these goals through its 14,000+ local affiliate organizations (which are active in fundraising, conducting professional workshops, and negotiating teacher contracts); its 51 state affiliates (which “lobby legislators for the resources schools need”); and its Washington, DC-based national headquarters (which “lobbies Congress and federal agencies on behalf of its members and public schools, supports and coordinates innovative projects, works with other education organizations and friends of public education, [and] provides training and assistance to its affiliates”).

The NEA was founded in 1850 as the National Teachers Association, and adopted its present name in 1857. Promoting government-owned public schools and “modern” pedagogical ideas, this union permitted no private school teachers to join its ranks. These government-owned-and-run schools were modeled on statist European education in Prussia, and attracted socialist activist teachers who saw public school students as perfect subjects for re-engineering society. That remolding began with the anti-Catholic objectives of Horace Mann (1796-1859) and expanded to the anti-religious humanism of John Dewey (1859-1952).

In a 1935 report presented at the 72nd  annual NEA convention, the union's future Executive Secretary Willard Givens wrote: “A dying laissez-faire must be completely destroyed and all of us … must be subjected to a large degree of social control…. The major function of the school is the social orientation of the individual. It must seek to give him understanding of the transition to a new social order.”

In a 2003 article titled “NEA Hastens Death of American Education,” veteran journalist Ralph de Toledano wrote that in 1938 “the Institute for Social Research, founded by the Comintern, appeared on the Columbia University campus, taking over the Teachers College, the country’s most influential school of education.” “Better known as the Frankfurt School,” de Toledano continued, “… [the Institute] eschewed the economic aspects of Marxism and promulgated a substitute based on Marx’s 1843 preachments. Later labeled neo-Marxism, the program called for the destruction of religion, the family, education and all moral values, along with the capture of the intellectuals and the instruments of mass communication such as the press, radio and films. To this it appended a new Freudianism, which reduced human relationships to rampant sexuality and the grossest pleasure principles -- a program its secret founder boasted ‘will make America stink.’”

Added de Tolenado: “The Frankfurt School’s program, implemented by the NEA, made the goal of education not to educate the young but to give them an anarchic ‘self-esteem’ and deprive them of any sense of what’s wrong or right ... [a]nd it preached the alienation of children from parental guidance, urging them to ‘inform’ on their families, as in Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany.”

The NEA’s explicitly stated quest to “foster positive self-esteem” in schoolchildren continues to this day. In his book Inside American Education, Thomas Sowell observes: “Perhaps nothing so captures what is wrong with American schools as the results of an international study of 13-year-olds which found that Koreans ranked first in mathematics and Americans last. When asked if they thought they were ‘good at mathematics,’ only 23 percent of Korean youngsters said ‘yes’ -- compared to 68 percent of American 13-year-olds. The American educational dogma that students should ‘feel good about themselves’ was a success in its own terms -- though not in any other terms.”

As of 1957, the NEA had more than 700,000 members. (By way of comparison, in 1907 the union's membership had stood at 5,044; in 1917 it was fewer than 9,000; and by the World War II era it was just over 200,000.)

In 1966 the NEA merged with the historically black American Teachers Association (ATA), which was originally founded as the National Association of Colored Teachers. The NEA and ATA had long enjoyed a close working relationship prior to the merger.

In the 1960s and 1970s, teachers were becoming unionized at a faster pace than ever before. Precisely at this time, student SAT scores, a popular and objective achievement barometer, deteriorated dramatically. Confronted by this embarrassing fact, the NEA responded by calling for the abolition of standardized testing of students.

In recent decades the NEA has been outspoken about its positions vis a vis a host of social and political topics, including abortion, sex education, teen pregnancy, school prayer, socialized medicine, affordable housing, drug testing, prisoner rights, and bilingual education. In July 1997 the union formally adopted a series of resolutions that called for: 

    • “making available all methods of [taxpayer-funded] family planning to women and men unable to take advantage of private facilities,” and “the implementation of community-operated, school-based family planning clinics that will provide intensive counseling by trained personnel”
    • “sex education programs, including information on ... birth control and family planning ... [and] diversity of sexual orientation”
    • “programs for [teen parents] that include flexible scheduling and attendance policies, development of self-esteem, on-site child care services ...”
    • opposition to “any federal legislation or mandate that would require school districts to schedule a moment of silence”
    • a rejection of “efforts to legislate English as the official language, [which] disregard cultural pluralism [and] deprive those in need of education, social services, and employment”
    • “programs [that] increase acceptance of, and sensitivity to, gays and lesbians”
    • increases in Social Security funding
    • the prohibition of “mandatory and/or random drug and alcohol testing of employees and job applicants,” on grounds that it “is an unwarranted and unconstitutional invasion of privacy”

The NEA also specifically advocated:

    • statehood for the District of Columbia
    • the reparation of American Indian remains
    • a nuclear freeze by the United States military (Notably, the NEA currently endorses the anti-military-recruitment organization Leave My Child Alone, which is a project of Working Assets, ACORN, and Mainstreet Moms Operation Blue.)
    • “affordable, comprehensive health care [as] the right of every [U.S.] resident”
    • the notion that “all members of our society have the right to adequate housing”
    • the idea that “incarcerated persons … are entitled to equal access to educational, recreational, and rehabilitative programs within all correctional systems”

Nine years later, at its 2006 national convention, the NEA proposed that all public schools should unequivocally support homosexual marriage and other forms of marriage (polygamy, etc.). In the NEA’s view, this perspective should be transmitted -- via classroom instruction and textbooks alike -- to all children at all age levels, without any requirement for the permission or knowledge of parents.

At its 2007 national convention in Philadelphia, the NEA passed a number of additional resolutions -- some founded on the axiom that American society is inherently discriminatory and unjust, and others advocating massive increases in taxpayer funding of school programs and extra-curricular activities. For example, the NEA stated that:

    • “funds must be provided … to eliminate portrayal of race, gender, sexual orientation and gender identification stereotypes in the public schools”
    • “full-day, every day kindergarten programs should be fully funded”
    • “federal, state, and ... local governments should provide funds sufficient to make pre-kindergarten available for all three- and four-year-old children”
    • tax dollars should “suppor[t] early childhood education programs in the public schools for children from birth through age eight”
    • early childhood education programs should "be available to all children on an equal basis"; "should include mandatory kindergarten with compulsory attendance"; and "should include a full continuum of services ... including child care, child development, ... diversity-based curricula, special education, and appropriate bias-free screening devices"
    • “excellence in the classroom can best be attained by small class size … an optimum class size of fifteen students in regular programs and a proportionately lower number in programs for students with exceptional needs”
    • “to achieve or maintain racial diversity, it may be necessary for elementary/secondary schools, colleges, and universities to take race into account in making decisions as to student admissions, assignments, and/or transfers” (i.e., the NEA supports busing and similar measures to micro-manage racial balance)
    • “all members of the educational community [should] examine assumptions and prejudices, including, but not limited to, racism, sexism, and homophobia, that might limit the opportunities and growth of students and education employees”
    • "any immigration policy that denies educational opportunities to immigrants and their children regardless of their immigration status" should be rejected
    • “financial aid and in-state tuition to state colleges and universities” should be accessible for students who are illegal aliens
    • “[illegal] students who have resided in the United States for at least five years at the time of high school graduation should be granted amnesty by the Immigration and Naturalization Service, granted legal residency status, and allowed to apply for U.S. citizenship”
    • “[non-English-speaking] students should be placed in bilingual education programs to receive instruction in their native language from qualified teachers until such time as English proficiency is achieved”
    • “[m]ulti-cultural education should promote the recognition of individual and group differences and similarities in order to reduce racism, homophobia, ethnic and all other forms of prejudice, and discrimination and to develop self-esteem as well as respect for others”
    • educational programs should promote: "an awareness of the effects of past, present, and future population growth patterns on world civilization, human survival, and the environment; solutions to environmental problems such as nonrenewable resource depletion, pollution, global warming, ozone depletion, and acid precipitation and deposition; [and] the recognition of and participation in such activities as Earth Day"
    • “global warming causes significant measureable damage to the earth and its inhabitants,” and “humans must take steps to change activities that contribute to global warming”
    • “educational strategies for teaching peace and justice issues should include … activities dealing with the effects of ... weapons of mass destruction, strategies for disarmament, [and] methods to achieve peace"
    • "curricular materials should ... cover major contributing factors to conflict, such as economic disparity, demographic variables, unequal political power and resource distribution, and the indebtedness of the developing world”
    • “proven conflict-resolution strategies, materials, and activities” should be utilized "at all educational levels"
    • “home schooling programs based on parental choice cannot provide the student with a comprehensive education experience"
    • "home-schooled students should not participate in any extracurricular activities in the public schools”
    • “every child should have direct and confidential access to comprehensive health, social, and psychological programs and services” which include “comprehensive school-based, community-funded student health care clinics” and, “if deemed appropriate by local choice, family-planning counseling and access to birth control methods with instruction in their use”
    • “hiring policies and practices must be nondiscriminatory and include provisions for the recruitment of a diverse teaching staff”
    • “affirmative action plans and procedures ... should be developed and implemented”
    • “affordable, comprehensive health care, including prescription drug coverage, is the right of every [U.S.] resident”
    • “the United Nations furthers world peace and promotes the rights of all people by preventing war, racism, and genocide”
    • “the United States should ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and recognize and support its authority and jurisdiction”
    • “the governments of all nations must respect and protect the basic human and civil rights of every individual, including equal access to education as embodied in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights”
    • “efforts to legislate English as the official language disregard cultural pluralism [and] deprive those in need of education, social services, and employment”

In addition to the foregoing resolutions, the NEA supports “the movement toward self-determination by American Indians/Alaska natives” and believes that these groups should control their own education. It further holds that all schools should designate separate months to celebrate Black History, Hispanic Heritage, Native American Indian Heritage, Asian/Pacific Heritage, Women’s History, Lesbian and Gay History. This proposal is founded on the premise that members of these demographics are victimized by persistent, widespread discrimination.

In the NEA's estimation, America's alleged inequities are by no means limited to the domestic sphere but extend also to U.S. foreign policy. After 9/11, for instance, the union's position was that America had long mistreated and exploited the peoples of other nations, and thus essentially had sown the seeds of the rage that ultimately found its expression in the 9/11 attacks.

Immediately after 9/11, the NEA issued guidelines on how teachers should discuss the topic with their students. These guidelines stressed the need for children to be tolerant and respectful of all cultures -- and said virtually nothing about the fact that the U.S. was at war with an enemy that was aiming to annihilate it. The NEA came so close to blaming America for having provoked the 9/11 attacks, that a public outcry ensued and the union was forced to remove the teacher guidelines from its website.

In the summer of 2002, as the first anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks neared, the NEA again posted guidelines on its national website stating that classroom teachers should not “suggest any group [was] responsible” for the previous year's atrocities. Rather, the union advised teachers to have their students “discuss historical instances of American intolerance.”

The NEA directed special praise to a 9/11 curriculum designed by Milwaukee fifth-grade teacher Robert Peterson, who explained the importance of helping students to: (a) “understand that they live in a global village”; (b) ask “why” the attacks may have been aimed against America; and (c) develop empathy for people elsewhere in the world. The NEA summarized what it considered to be one of Peterson's exemplary lesson plans:

“[Peterson] leads the children in a study of world population and distribution of income, and then takes them outdoors to illustrate their research on a large world map drawn on the playground blacktop. With each child representing 240 million people, the kids spread out—15 students in Asia, three in Europe, three in Africa, one in North America, two in South America, none in Australia. Chocolate cookies are then distributed according to each continent's gross domestic product. Six cookies are shared by the 15 people in Asia. Nine are shared by three Europeans, one cookie for South America, just half a cookie for Africa, eight for the lone North American.  Most students have strong reactions and many questions. Why are there so many people in Asia? Why are the Europeans and Americans so rich? Some try negotiating with other ‘nations,’ while others even suggest war to even the odds. Peterson says his students begin to glimpse how the world's enormous inequalities could lead to animosity.”

Of course the NEA concerns itself not only with social and political issues in the U.S. and abroad, but it also is actively involved in negotiating the terms under which its member teachers work. For example, the union adamantly opposes merit pay (or "performance contracting") for public school teachers -- characterizing such a system as “detrimental to public education." Delegates to the summer 2000 NEA convention openly declared their categorical opposition to “any … system of compensation based on an evaluation of an education employee’s performance.” In 2007 the union elaborated, “competency testing must not be used as a condition of employment, license retention, evaluation, placement, ranking, or promotion of licensed teachers”

Not only is the NEA opposed to merit pay, but for decades it has manifested a marked hostility toward outstanding teachers. The example of world-famous math teacher Jaime Escalante is instructive. According to Escalante (the subject of the 1988 Hollywood movie Stand and Deliver), who developed the most successful inner-city math program in America, teacher union officials chastised him for attracting “too many” students to his calculus classes. When Escalante finally resigned from the high school which he and his students had made famous, local teacher union officials circulated a celebratory note that read: “We got him out!”

The NEA is similarly opposed to vouchers which would permit parents to divert a portion of their tax dollars away from the public school system, and to use those funds instead to help cover the tuition costs for private schools to which they might prefer to send their children. In the NEA's calculus, such voucher programs "compromise the Association's commitment to free, equitable, universal, and quality public education for every student.” (Helping the NEA to lobby against vouchers and parental choice have been such organizations as People for the American Way, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the NAACP.)

The NEA ranks among the most influential entities in modern American politics. Wrote journalist Ralph de Toledano in 2003: “The NEA’s openly avowed goal today: ‘To tap the legal, political and economic powers of the U.S. Congress. [It wants] … sufficient clout [to] roam the halls of Congress and collect votes to reorder the priorities of the United States of America.’”

Specifically, the NEA's closest political ties are with the Democratic Party. In 1976 the union used its financial resources and manpower to help elect Jimmy Carter to the U.S. presidency. After the election, Carter in turn thanked the union by creating the Department of Education in 1979, prompting one NEA executive to boast that this was the only union in the United States with its own cabinet department. At recent Democratic National Conventions, up to a quarter of the delegates have been members of teachers unions.

Today the NEA is a member organization of the America Votes coalition of get-out-the-vote organizations. America Votes is itself a member of the so-called Shadow Party, a nationwide network of activist groups whose agendas are ideologically Left, and which are engaged in campaigning for the Democrats. NEA’s fellow America Votes coalition members include: ACORN, America Coming Together, the AFL-CIO (American Federation of Labor – Congress of Industrial Organizations); AFSCME (American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees); the American Federation of Teachers; the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (renamed the American Association for Justice); the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund; Democracy For America; EMILY's List; the League of Conservation Voters; the Media Fund; the MoveOn.org Voter Fund; the NAACP National Voter Fund; NARAL Pro-Choice America; People for the American Way; the Planned Parenthood Action Fund; the Service Employees International Union; the Sierra Club; USAction; and 21st Century Democrats.

Of the $341 million the NEA received from September 2004 to August 2005, some $295 million came from member dues. In turn, many of those revenues were used to promote political agendas and candidates -- almost all of them Democrats. For several decades the NEA has been among the largest contributors of money and personnel to the Democratic Party and its candidates. Between 1990 and 2008, 93 percent of the union's political donations went to Democrats. (And virtually all of the rest went to the most liberal Republicans running in primaries, not in general elections, to tilt the political playing field even farther left).

As reporter Lowell Ponte puts it,  “The astronomical amount of political money thus coerced from workers is the lifeblood of [the] Democratic Party.... The NEA functions as a giant money-laundering machine for the Democrats. Democrats impose laws that let the union take a big piece of every employee’s paycheck, which in public schools comes from the taxpayers. And the unions pay for this power and privilege by splitting this taxpayer money with partisan Democrat politicians to keep the machine operating. Public schools are an ultimate example of this synergy, not only because they are government monopolies but also because already-taxed parents are required by law to school their children, to offer their offspring as hostages to this money-extorting government-union machine.” Because the NEA works so closely with the Democratic Party, it promotes the leftist ideologies and worldviews reflected in its aforementioned resolutions.

Studies have shown that as few as 40 percent of NEA members are Democrats, the remaining 60 percent splitting evenly between Republicans and independents. According to the NEA’s own internal polling, half of the union's members identify themselves as conservative. Yet the NEA, like other unions, claims an absolute right to spend dues as it sees fit, regardless of the viewpoints of the teachers it nominally represents.

The NEA has a permanent, paid, full-time staff of at least 1,800 United Service (UniServ) employees who function as political operatives -- more than the Republican and Democratic Parties combined. In a presidential election year, this army of union foot soldiers is tantamount to a political donation of more than $100 million to Democrats. They are trained at radical boot camps, paid and typically given graduate school credit for attending. One NEA handbook is titled Alinsky for Teacher Organizers and teaches activists how to use the confrontation and pressure tactics of the late radical leftist Saul Alinsky.

As Joel Mowbray reports in a Capital Research Center study, the Virginia-based Landmark Legal Foundation (LLF) in recent years has investigated the NEA for possible illegal use of tax-exempt funds. According to LLF President Mark Levin, the NEA has “kept information from its dues-paying members and the general public that clearly shows improper use of tax-exempt money to influence elections.”

LLF’s investigation traces its path back to the 1996 presidential election, when the NEA was a key constituent of a “National Coordinated Campaign Steering Committee” (NCCSC) whose function was to help Democrats win as many national, state, and local elections as possible; to determine campaign strategy for Democratic candidates at all levels of government; and to coordinate spending on their behalf. Joining the NEA on this Committee were the AFL-CIO, the Democratic National Committee (DNC), the 1996 Clinton-Gore Campaign, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the Democratic Leadership Campaign Committee, the Democratic Governors Association, and EMILY's List.

Because the NEA is a tax-exempt organization, the federal government places certain restrictions on how the union may use its immense revenues. Specifically, the government requires that whatever funds a union earmarks for political activities designed to influence an election, must be disclosed on IRS Forms 990 and 1120-POL. The latter of these must be filed by any tax-exempt group whose political expenditures exceed $100 in a single calendar year, and requires some disclosure about the details of those donations.

Yet from 1994-96 the NEA reported that it spent no money at all on politics. This is because an honest disclosure of its political expenditures would have entitled union members, if they objected to having their mandatory dues used to finance Democrat causes, to recover the portion of those dues that had been so earmarked. Also, union revenues used for partisan political purposes were taxable in certain cases.

Contrary to its claim that its political expenditures were nonexistent, the NEA not only spent millions of dollars on issue ads and get-out-the-vote drives for Democrats, but it also coordinated its campaign strategies with the Democratic National Committee (DNC). Confirming this was a key piece of evidence acquired by the Federal Election Commission (FEC) -- an unsigned Coordinated Campaign memo from Democratic Rep. Bob Etheridge. This memo stated: “When the DNC and its national Partners including … the AFL-CIO and the NEA … agree on the contents of a plan, each national partner will give their funding commitment to the state.”

In other words, if the NEA disapproved of a particular state strategy, it could prevent its "partners" -- the DNC and AFL-CIO -- from funding it, and the measure could effectively be stopped. This was akin to a veto power over Democratic Party political action plans. In other words, the NEA dictated terms to the DNC, not vice versa.

“Those of us who have long dismissed the National Education Association as a tool of the Democratic Party have been badly mistaken,” wrote columnist William McGurn in 2001 in the Wall Street Journal. “Apparently it’s just the opposite ... it’s the Democratic Party that is the tool of the NEA.”

Beginning in 2005, new federal rules required large labor unions like the NEA to report in greater detail (to the U.S. Department of Labor) how they spent their money. Under these new disclosure regulations, it was confirmed that an immense amount of NEA money was being spent for purposes having nothing to do with the union's purported priorities (i.e., better wages, benefits, and working conditions for teachers and school staff). For example, the NEA reported that during the 2004-05 fiscal year, it had spent $56.8 million on "union administration," $25 million on "political activities and lobbying," and $65.5 million on "contributions, gifts, and grants." In other words, it is possible that up to $90.5 million (the sum of the latter two categories of expenditures) was earmarked for leftist political candidates, organizations, and causes. Among these expenditures were the following:

    • $5,070,192 to various Democratic political consultants and strategists
    • $500,000 to Protect our Public Schools, to campaign against public charter schools in Washington state
    • $300,000 to Citizens United to Protect Our Public Safety, to oppose property tax limits in Maine
    • $25,000 to the National Coalition on Health Care, which supports a taxpayer-funded system of socialized medicine
    • $5,000 to the National Conference of Black Mayors, a group representing the ideals of its overwhelmingly leftwing members
    • $75,000 to the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center, which seeks to help leftwing organizations “more effectively to fight for social, environmental, and economic justice”
    • $45,000 to the League of United Latin American Citizens
    • $25,000 to the North Carolina Democratic Party Building Fund
    • $400,000 to the Fund to Protect Social Security, which seeks to defeat personal investment accounts
    • $10,000 to the Rock the Vote Education Fund, which aims to register new young voters who will support leftwing causes and candidates
    • $14,000 to the Missouri Progressive Vote Coalition
    • $249,000 to the Floridians for All Committee, which supports "the construction of a permanent progressive infrastructure that will help redirect Florida politics in a more progressive, Democratic direction”
    • $250,000 to Alliance for Nevada's Working Families, "to support [a] ballot measure to increase minimum wage"
    • $600,000 to Communities for Quality Education, a political advocacy group created by the NEA
    • $5,000 to the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), a 1.4-million member union that is the Democratic Party’s top donor
    • $5,000 to Amnesty International
    • $5,000 to the Center For Women's Policy Studies
    • $39,940 to the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation
    • $35,000 to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute
    • $45,000 to the Economic Policy Institute, a leftwing think tank that which regularly issues reports claiming that education is underfunded and teachers are underpaid
    • $10,000 to the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, which makes policy recommendations to counter what it views as America’s inherently racist, discriminatory society
    • $5,000 to the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund
    • $5,000 to the National Association for Bilingual Education
    • $7,900 to the National Council of La Raza
    • $5,000 to the National Women's Law Center
    • $5,000 to the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation Media Awards
    • $13,000 to the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, which views affirmative action as a policy necessary to help offset America's allegedly rampant bigotry
    • $15,000 to the Human Rights Campaign, America’s largest gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization
    • $5,000 to Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow / PUSH Coalition
    • $5,000 to United South and Eastern Tribes, dedicated to “protecting Indian rights and natural resources on tribal lands”
    • $5,000 to the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, which views the U.S. as a nation that discriminates heavily against homosexuals
    • $20,000 to Rebuild America's Schools, which seeks to expand taxpayer funding of school construction and repairs
    • $25,750 to the Democratic Leadership Council
    • $10,648 to the Children's Defense Fund
    • $51,200 to People for the American Way
    • $6,000 to USAction
    • $6,000 to the Council on Foreign Relations
    • $40,148 to Brazile & Associates, a firm headed by longtime Democratic Party consultant and campaign manager Donna Brazile, which provides diversity training for American businesses, and all types of training for political activists.

"What wasn't clear before is how much of a part the teachers unions play in the wider liberal movement and the Democratic Party," said Michael Antonucci of the Education Intelligence Agency, a California-based watchdog group. "They're like some philanthropic organization that passes out grant money to interest groups."

As of 2006, the NEA's $58 million payroll included over 600 employees and officers, more than half of whom earned salaries exceeding $100,000 per year. NEA President Reg Weaver's salary was $439,000.  As of 2004-05, NEA Vice President Dennis Van Roekel earned $273,000, and Secretary-Treasurer Lily Eskelsen earned $272,000. By contrast, the average classroom teacher earned $48,000.

Though the NEA consistently complains that education in the U.S. is underfunded, government spending on education has in fact outpaced overall economic growth by more than 50 percent since the early 1900s. As of 2004-05, the government was spending an average of $8,701 per year per public-school student.

According to its 2007 financial report, the NEA’s total assets were $188,710,730. Its total receipts for the year were $352,958,087. Moreover, the NEA's aggressive lobbying of Congress has enabled it to benefit from an archaic law freeing it from having to pay its $1.6 million in annual property taxes. No other labor union in America has been able to negotiate such an arrangement.

An analysis of the NEA's financial disclosure report for the 2007-08 fiscal year revealed that the union contributed $11.7 million to a wide variety of leftwing advocacy groups, including: ACORN, the AFL-CIO, Campaign for America's Future, the Center for Community Change, the Children's Defense Fund, the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Democracy Alliance, the Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network, the League of United Latin American Citizens, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the National Urban League, the National Women's Law Center, People for the American Way, Planned Parenthood, the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, the Service Employees International Union, USAction, and the WAND Education Fund.

 

 

from http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/groupProfile.asp?grpid=7428

Josie06 Josie06
56-60, F
43 Responses Mar 4, 2009

Obviously, teacher unions receive their money from teachers.

Guys say what u wish as long as Labor is spelt labour

You're right, Nora. And as for the part that shocked you, don't worry, Keith and I were only agreeing that Islam is bad and should get more blame for acts of terrorism. We'll start disagreeing again once he sees me go back to being a critic of all religions, including the good "American" one - Christianity.

"insurgents" are Iraqis. Or do you imagine that all the people that our soldiers are fighting come from outside Iraq, from someplace that produces Al-Qaeda terrorists? Al-Qaeda actually represents a very small % of the people we're fighting. Depending on what source you consider valid, the actual percentage of attacks in Iraq that Al-qaeda can claim credit for is between 5% and 15% of all attacks. Any quick google search can validate this claim, just look for "percentage of al-qaeda in iraq". <br />
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So where is the rest of the violence coming from? It is coming from the hatred and warfare due to the civil war between Sunni and Shia. All of them are Iraqis, and our soldiers are stuck in the middle trying to be peacekeepers. It's a horrible position, especially when over 60% of Iraqis feel attacking US military is not only justified but desired. Again, any quick google search can confirm this. <br />
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I don't really see the need to provide you with links, articles, or vids myself since you refuse to even read them or watch them. What's the point? <br />
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I don't think you are the devil incarnate. I don't believe in devils or spirits. <br />
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I never said the USA is an insurgent, I said that if our country was invaded by a foreign army and occupied by that force, and that this force toppled the USA's government, that any American would feel justified in fighting this invading force, but that American would be classified as an insurgent from the viewpoint of that occupying force. I'm trying to make this clear, but you don't seem to be following the logic. <br />
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If our soldiers aren't occupiers and peacekeepers, then what are they? I'm sorry if the term occupiers offends you, but it's a factual statement to say that our forces are occupying and supervising Iraq, and trying to install a government that we like.

hmm...Well.. I guess I should check it out. Thanks Josie.

Mother2009 ... you're right. In the US if you look closely at many of the actions of former President George Bush you will see he was not a conservative, but rather a moderate and even more so a liberal.<br />
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VendettA12 ... Was it only those three? Those are the only three that have been talked about or printed about. What sources do you have that says there were more? What actual proof, or are you just working on a conspiracy theory or some sort? Proof is what is needed not innuendo.<br />
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Are 'insurgents' terrorists? Or are they people fighting against an invading force that is occupying their land? They have no country, no Nation-State they for which they are fighting. They represent no one but themselves and their ideal of radical Islam. The Iraqis were not fighting us and they did have a right too do so. They didn't?<br />
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i nor the USA is an insurgent. It is a vulgar comment that you would impugn me or our country's soldiers calling them that. They are not occupiers either. That is pure BS. Even Saddam's forces didn't fight and gave up. The people have seen rewards from that.<br />
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You keep ascribing all these actions to me and not really discussing the facts and providing sourced references. i guess i, like former President Bush, must be the Devil Incarnate in your mind.<br />
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i guess that's your opinion, so be it.

Now we have a conservative goverment.. I don't know about now...our economy is in recession. Bank of Canada is asking for help now. Seem to me that the government is slow to boost up the economy.

You're not obligated to agree with me. We're all entitled to our opinions, I've never hinted otherwise. <br />
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That is a very dignified response and approach. Perhaps even justified if you only look at it that narrowly, and convince yourself that it was only those three that were waterboarded, and that all cases of rendition ended in useful intel. <br />
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It's too bad your post ignores the abuses which I tried to point out in the videos (that you refused to watch because you "lived it".)<br />
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Are 'insurgents' terrorists? Or are they people fighting against an invading force that is occupying their land? We are admittedly trying to 'help' Iraqis, but that doesn't change the fact that if a foreign army invaded and occupied our land and toppled our government and tried to instill a government more to their liking, that you would feel differently. You migh feel justified in grabbing a gun or an IED and blowing some of them up. You would feel patriotic for being such an "insurgent".

Well.. We had a Liberal Government from 1993 to 2003.It was okay.

NO! That is not what i said. And you are entitled to your opinion. But does your right to your opinion oblige me to agree with you?<br />
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Waterboarding does not met the definition of torture in my opinion. Torture is normally defined as the infliction of severe pain. Waterboarding simulates drowning, it does not inflict pain. No one, that i know of has ever been maimed or died from waterboarding. Unlike torture, evidenced in the way the Japanese handed it out in WWII or the North Vietnamese during the Viet Nam War. There is a world of difference between the two.<br />
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The three terrorists who were subjected too waterboarding are Abu Zubaydah, Osama bin Laden’s chief of operations; Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, the mastermind of the bombing of the USS Cole; and Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks. In these cases waterboarding and other coercive techniques (such as forcing prisoners to stand for hours) succeeded in extracting intelligence that led to the capture of key al-Qaida operative planning terrorist attack against Americans. No maiming disfigurement and sore muscles from standing for hours.<br />
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This method, waterboarding, justifies the end being sought ... gaining information of intelligence value.<br />
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I carried a Geneva conventions ID card for decades, AQ terrorists and other terrorist groups do not. They are not soldiers, they are not even criminals, rather they are terrorist. A classification the Geneva Accords has not been updated to handle. <br />
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Terrorist not affiliated with any Nation-State. On the battlefield they have no rights. In bygone days they would have been executed on the battlefield ... after gaining or attempting to gain any intelligence they might possess.

No. I am opposed to torture as a matter of principle. I don't care what race or country or religion is backing it. You hate that people torture our soldiers, so you think that gives us the right to torture them, whether we have solid evidence of their guilt or not. It's your opinion that you're entitled to, but it is not an admirable system of justice. How many innocents is it ok to torture, if it means we get useful info in the end? In your mind, do the ends always justify the means? <br />
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Your nationalism exceeds your humanity. <br />
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That is my opinion that I am entitled to.

And it's mine. If it saves even one life of one US soldier i am for it.<br><br />
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Not shameful ... factual!<br><br />
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And the beheading of American citizens and soldiers is alright in your opinion. i see that clearly from your style.

You said that waterboarding (drowning someone and bringing them back repeatedly) is the same as having swimming pools. You don't consider waterboarding torture, unlike the rest of the world. That is a shameful opinion.

Now, you have proved to be an *ss to me Vendetta.<br />
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The accusations, finger pointing, yelling, ranting, name calling ... anything but sticking to facts. Straight from the liberal playbook.

You were wrongfully detained in Gitmo for 7 years? Sorry to hear that. <br />
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Also sorry to hear that you were an innocent taxi driver that was apprehended and labeled as a terrorist and tortured until you died.

Lived it ... don't have to watch no movies.

Bush has earned every ounce of the contempt he receives, it's sad to see so many dismiss his mistakes as overblown 'liberal media' bashing. <br />
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President Clinton lied. President Obama has lied and will lie in the future. If he were to be totally honest about the economy he would create a panic and a bank run that would collapse our economy overnight. <br />
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Bush's deeds are much worse than lying about a blowj0b or a liberal moving towards the center. I won't even go into the blame he deserves for the Federal response to Katrina, but under his administration our government abandoned international law and we became a nation that tortures people, despite the obvious fact that torture doesn't work. Ask John McCain, under torture you'll say anything that you think will make it stop. We operate Gitmo and other black sites where we hold people captive without credible evidence indefinitely. We never have to present evidence because we refuse to give them trials. Why do you think the world despised Bush so much? Because he favors tax cuts for the rich? The world could care less about Bush's politics, they collectively hate him for making the world's lone superpower a country that is willing to round up many people (many of which we know are innocent) and torture them until they tell us info that we deem credible, and use that compromised intelligence to justify occupations of countries. It is an insane mindset which denies the notion of innocent until proven guilty. It is a mindset that is willing to lock up twenty people even if we know that only 1 or 2 are guilty of crimes, just to get those 1 or 2 people that we consider dangerous and guilty. <br />
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You endorse torture, you must come from the Jack Bauer school of thought. <br />
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Watch the documentary Taxi to the Dark Side if you think our torture policy is justified.<br />
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Or watch this clip and respond:<br />
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6kAhiPAy8K8&feature=channel_page

Why would he ship them over the border? Why wouldn't he. Give his pall the weapons to use at some point. Iraqi national art treasures wound up there too. Why were they shipped over the border?<br />
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Psycho Saddam? Read history, you don't have to look for a Republican. Or you could look to what Democrats said in the past, when there was a Democrat President ... then it was okay too.<br />
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Why wouldn't he use weapons if he actually had them? Maybe he was scared sh*tless and knew he pushed the world and many of his neighbors (Saudi Arabia for one) too far. Now you're asking me to be a clairvoyant. <br />
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Former President Bush didn't need anyone to help him look bad. His campaign was at odds with his action upon being elected. President Obama is proving the same.<br />
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It is true that all, all politicians lie to get elected. Just look at former President Bush and current President Obama. Look at their words and their actions.<br />
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On the recent election trail now President Obama, then candidate Obama, went from the farthest leaning liberal in the Democrat pack to a centrist after he was nominated.<br />
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After eight years of hate for the former President it continues. Folks can not let it go. After all it detracts quite well and creates a smoke screen so as not to scrutinize any current President's actions.<br />
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Why do people still call the former president 'Bush', while jumping up and down demanding the current office holder be called 'President Obama'? The title must be use. And it is also used for former President Clinton. Respect is a two way street.

Ya, Armitage on his own came up with the idea of exposing Plame's identity in order to get back at Wilson for his op-eds...Cheney had nothing to do with it...lol. You're familiar with the term fall guy, right?<br />
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What about the rest of my post? Thoughts?

Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage outed Valerie Plame and Scooter Libby lied for his boss (Armitage) and was convicted (as he should have been).<br />
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Rove didn't out the Plame. Rove and CIA spokesman Bill Harlow were subsequent confirmations according to Robert Novak the author of the column that started everything. (Interestin side reading on this subject: http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2007/07/19/278430.aspx. "He says he “learned much later” she had already been outed by a Soviet spy, “which had ended her career as a covert agent long before I wrote about her.”")<br />
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Richard Armitage the former second-in-command to Colin Powell.<br />
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Please get your facts right. It is hard and wrong to blame someone for doing something when someone else did it.<br />
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Novak outing a former covert agent (spy) of the CIA is a civil suit. FORMER means she is not involved in covert activities as the act under which she claimed immunity states. She was not an undercover agent and had not been for quite a period of time ... she was a desk jockey.<br />
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The Senators gave away classified government information to the Press and foreign leaders ... to me that is treason.

Guess it was just lucky that the timing to invade happened to come up right after 9/11? Serendipity. <br><br />
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Proving there were no WMDs is impossible, like you said. It's like trying to prove an undetectable god is not there. Maybe they were there and he moved them. It makes no sense, but technically it is possible. Why would such a maniac in possession of WMD's not use them once his country was invaded? Why would he ship them over the border? We get to hear all the time about what a psycho Saddam was, ask any Republican. He gassed his own people, I'm sure you've heard that talking point. Why wouldn't he use weapons if he actually had them? <br><br />
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Would that ALSO be to make Bush look bad? Was he in on the liberal media conspiracy too? Man, that Saddam was both fiendish and beguiling. <br><br />
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The senators you named and the deeds you refer to... in your mind, are they almost as bad as outing an undercover CIA agent, like Rove and Cheney did? Just curious.

In the US almost everything and anything that could be done and said to make former President Bush look bad ... was. done.<br />
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Why, if this was bad did so many Dems vote for the War Powers. i know they were all duped ... even though they get the same briefings. And Congress (Rockefeller and Kerry and Leheay) to name a few are good enough to tell foreign leaders and the press all about classified secrets and claim immunity. But i forgot, they are the good guys in white hats.<br />
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Since no stockpiles of WMD were found in Iraq ... that means they never existed. Wrong, they were moved (satellite imagery on Syrian border if you want to Google it).<br />
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Intelligence is as good as it's producers and all countries have varying abilities and access. Subsequent UN reports have not found CW or WMD but have noted that the ability to produce was there. If you have the ability you do not let it go unused. Not finding something doesn't mean it didn't exist. Proving a negative is hard.<br />
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As director of the IAEA he claimed Iraq had no nuclear program, only he was proved wrong after the first Gulf War. Blix was myopic and incompetent (http://128.121.186.47/ISSA/reports/Iraq/Mar1104.htm). Also see the Duelfer Report. Saddam's own General Georges Sada makes the claim in his book that the WMD went to Syria.<br />
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i believe sufficient intel was available to justify the action based on years of experience with Saddam and knowing his desires and megalomania.

So you're saying that the rest of the world had it wrong? That Bush and his administration and Great Britain were the only ones smart enough to know the truth? That the 911 commission had it completely wrong? That Blix was wrong? <br />
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Are you saying it was all a big conspiracy to make Bush look bad?

So for you planned in two days means no intelligence existed before.<br />
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That is false as i was involved in intelligence career field for over 20 years.<br />
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You continue to believe the lie that Saddam and AQ had no ties. Seems no amount of evidence would ever convince anyone that Bush did right.<br />
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However if President Obama or Clinton did it ... it would be okay with all. That is a sign of the times.

Case closed? Nuf said? Really? Does the following link bother you?<br />
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http://www.utne.com/2003-08-01/Wolfowitz-Admits-Iraq-War-Planned-Two-Days-After-9-11.aspx<br />
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How about this one? <br />
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http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0406/p99s01-duts.html<br />
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some highlights from that last link:<br />
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"The Los Angeles Times reports that in excerpts of the report released in February, Mr. Gimble called Feith's alternative intelligence "improper," but that it wasn't illegal or unauthorized because then-Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz assigned the work. The Times also reports that a prewar memo from Mr. Wolfowitz to Feith requesting that an Al Qaeda-Iraq connection be identified was among the newly released documents.<br />
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"We don't seem to be making much progress pulling together intelligence on links between Iraq and Al Qaeda," Wolfowitz wrote in the Jan. 22, 2002, memo to Douglas J. Feith, the department's No. 3 official.<br />
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Using Pentagon jargon for the secretary of Defense, Donald H. Rumsfeld, he added: "We owe SecDef some analysis of this subject. Please give me a recommendation on how best to proceed. Appreciate the short turn-around."<br />
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The Times reports that the memo "marked the beginnings of what would become a controversial yearlong Pentagon project" to convince White House officials of a link between Iraq and Al Qaeda, a connection "that was hotly disputed by U.S. intelligence agencies at the time and has been discredited in the years since." ....."<br />
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Further:<br />
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"....Despite the release of Gimble's report, the Associated Press reports that Vice President **** Cheney on Thursday appeared on a conservative radio show and reiterated his stance that Al Qaeda had links to Iraq before the US invasion in 2003.<br />
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"[Abu Musab al-Zarqawi] took up residence there before we ever launched into Iraq, organized the al-Qaeda operations inside Iraq before we even arrived on the scene and then, of course, led the charge for Iraq until we killed him last June," Cheney told radio host Rush Limbaugh during an interview. "As I say, they were present before we invaded Iraq."<br />
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The Washington Post, however, reports that Mr. Zarqawi only publicly allied himself with Al Qaeda after the US invasion, and until then "was not then an al-Qaeda member but was the leader of an unaffiliated terrorist group who occasionally associated with al-Qaeda adherents, according to several intelligence analysts." <br />
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If there were any links between Iraq/Al-Qaeda, Saddam/Osama... they are more than suspect and weak at best. Roundly dismissed as desperate revisionism by an administration set on invading Iraq and seeing 9/11 as their opportunity. <br />
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If we're going to invade and conquer nations which have ties to Al-Qaeda, then why aren't we occupying Pakistan, a nation with nuclear weapons and where everyone concedes houses mobile bases for terrorists? Don't nuclear weapons count as WMDs? <br />
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Oh, that's right... because the Iraq invasion had less to do with "national security" and ties to terrorism, it had to do more with the oil and no bid contracts provided by Halliburton (Cheney's company). Or do you consider that a conspiracy theory?

Pardon!<br />
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A postwar interview with one of Saddam Hussein's henchmen. As the memo details:<br />
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4. According to a May 2003 debriefing of a senior Iraqi intelligence officer, Iraqi intelligence established a highly secretive relationship with Egyptian Islamic Jihad, and later with al Qaeda. The first meeting in 1992 between the Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS) and al Qaeda was brokered by al-Turabi. Former IIS deputy director Faruq Hijazi and senior al Qaeda leader [Ayman al] Zawahiri were at the meeting--the first of several between 1992 and 1995 in Sudan. Additional meetings between Iraqi intelligence and al Qaeda were held in Pakistan. Members of al Qaeda would sometimes visit Baghdad where they would meet the Iraqi intelligence chief in a safe house. The report claimed that Saddam insisted the relationship with al Qaeda be kept secret. After 9-11, the source said Saddam made a personnel change in the IIS for fear the relationship would come under scrutiny from foreign probes.<br />
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Case Closed - From the November 24, 2003 issue: The U.S. government's secret memo detailing cooperation between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden.<br />
by Stephen F. Hayes (http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/003/378fmxyz.asp?pg=2)<br />
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The Fedayeen, under the command of Saddam's late son Uday, directly supervised 100 al-Qaida fighters who were split into two groups, reported Al-Yawm Al-Aakher, citing an Iraqi officer identified by the initial L.<br />
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One group went to Al-Nahrawan and the second to Salman Pak, near Baghdad, where they were trained to hijack airplanes, the officer said in an article translated by the Washington, D.C.-based Middle East Media Research Institute (http://www.memri.org/).<br />
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According to the testimony of Iraqi military defector Sabah Khalifa Khodada Alami (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/gunning/interviews/khodada.html), Iraqi intelligence had a Boeing 707 fuselage at Salman Pak used to train groups how to hijack planes without weapons. His claims were consistent with commercial satellite photos showing the fuselage. Saddam's regime insisted to U.N. inspectors Salman Pak was an anti-terror training camp for Iraqi special forces. <br />
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Iraq and Saddam gave support! Nuf said.

Oh, and by the way Josie, Al-Qaida wasn't in Iraq before we set up shop there, so the argument about taking the fight to Al-Qaida is a meaningless one.

9/11 was an act of terrorism, it wasn't a war, like the other ones you mentioned. It was a news event, and as such, all the different causes of it should be on the table. <br />
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We are not currently at war. The "war on terror" isn't a war at all. You can't declare war on a tactic. We are occupying a country that didn't attack us, after we toppled a dictator, and we are trying to install a government more to our liking. <br />
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These things don't necessarily make us good or evil. The world isn't that black and white. These facts aren't "anti" or "pro" America, they just are. <br />
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We should absolutely include relevant facts, such as religious hatred or acts against perceived occupation or tyranny. These things don't excuse acts of terrorism, but they do give the acts context. Not excuses, but explanations. <br />
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I never said our foreign policy is 'based in religion'. I said it was based on a model of empire. How many countries around the world do we have a military presence in? Hundreds. Not all countries like our military presence in their borders. America doesn't tolerate the military forces of other countries to set up shop in our borders, yet we expect the world to make an exception for us. In some cases the country requests our presence, others not so much.

Do we teach faith in other wars? Civil War (War Between the States), Spanish American, WWI, WWII or Korea and Viet Nam.<br />
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Radical Islamists did fly the planes on 9/11 and that must be stated. Why they are radical need not get into the duck weed and teach the Koran to explain. For them Islam is more an 'Imperialistic political/religious system' (my words) and not a religion the way it is for the majority of it's followers. Suffice to say they are determined to conquer the world and make it Islamic. Much the way we taught about fascist Germany and imperialist Japan with their aims.<br />
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You seem to want to indoctrinate children to a point of overload. Much of this should actually be taught in specialized classes such as at a college or university, if someone wants to take it.<br />
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Nationalism is a sense of identity with the nation ... like tribalism and family and kinship on a national basis. Our basis is Judeo-Christian, which isn't taught in the schools. Why teach other religions in the schools?<br />
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The reason for 9/11 was not religious hatred of America. Personally, i don't know if i want schools teaching religious faith matters or doctrine. That is better left to the various religions.<br />
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Our foreign policy is not based in religion. It is based in our security and how other nations can helps us secure that. How other nations or groups of individuals (AQ for instance) are threats to it. Bombing of Embassies, beheading of American citizens (civilians, diplomats and military members). Yes, killing our citizens. <br />
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It is hard to fight an enemy who is not a nation-state, we are learning this. Therefore we must fight them where they are and not wait for them to come to our soil. Thus Iraq, with the side benefit of assisting their people to be free (as the French assisted us).

vendetta not to start another argument but josie makes a very valid point about the military bases in saudi arabia. we were invited by the ruling authorities in Saudi Arabia if bin Laden doesn't like us being there he should be attacking them not us. he has no power over who the royal family there invites in whether that be America or Swaziland if they should so choose LOL Bin Laden didn't seem to have a problem with America when he came here to get his college education either. he is a power hungry psychotic hypocrite in all honesty and he uses the hatred taught in most arab schools to make money for himself

Not sure why the importance is put on Osama. He is the son of a wealthy businessman with close ties to the Saudi royal family. His demands are irrelevant in regards to military bases in Saudi Arabia. The royal family made that decision of military bases. As an extremist, his views should be discussed but in that context...as an extremist. He didn’t speak for the royal family or the people of Saudi Arabia.<br />
WMD...please look at papers prior to 9/11 and review the numerous UN actions (33 I believe) that called for action to be taken against Iraq. I am always amazed at how people forget actions that were taken. Again, I am not defending the war but there is more than no WMD were found so it was bad. Leading Democrats (Levin and Clinton) were in favor of the action to be taken. I believe those two individuals have far greater intel then any of us do.

This is your thread, Josie, so you can direct it whichever way you want. I also feel very passionately about torture, so perhaps we should talk about it in a torture thread. <br />
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My point that I'm trying to make is that 9/11 is a historical event now, and it will be taught as history. How would you want that history to be taught? Wouldn't it make sense to include all the relevant details, such as the role that the Islamic faith and Muslim culture played, as well as the role that our foreign policy of empire played? Or would you rather that kids just learn that 19 insane people flew planes into buildings and killed 3,000 people for no reason whatsoever. Don't mention religion, don't mention why certain groups and countries despised our policies... don't mention anything inconvenient or that might dull the sheen of our nationalism.

Well, Josie. I was going to comment on your article, I was going to point out how very common an anti labor anti union stance is inside the republican movement, I was that is, until I realized it was plagiarized.<br />
This piece, every word of it is what Ann Coulter screams when she *******.

VendettA..we better be careful here...we are almost in agreement with some things. I don't know about you but I'm afraid now...lol.

Iraq provide support (financial and moral) not to mention an are to practice the operation.<br><br />
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Personally, UBL's request have very very little to do with teaching US history on this subject. They have everything to do with teaching Saudi history.<br><br />
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As far as cherry picking ... every Administration does it. Watch this one. Water boarding is not torture, otherwise swimming pools would have been closed in the US what our children got water up their nose. <br><br />
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If i could save an member of my squad or unit by torturing a enemy to get intelligence ... i would do it! In a heart beat. Sorry to offend anyone.<br><br />
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Black sites, warrantless wiretapping have been going on for ages. The wiretaps had one end of the call outside the US ... personally i see no problem. Listen to my calls all you want, i don't have anything to hide. <br><br />
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Americans lost little freedom, other that an ACLU and liberal attempts to protect terrorists. You must fight terrorism differently that fighting criminal. No one had a prob;em with Bill Clinton's warrantless searches on national security ... only with George Bush.<br><br />
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i am sorry as you have touched a very sore point with me on radical Islamic terrorism. Been there .. done that! The majority of my military career.<br><br />
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i never said criticizing the government made you a traitor. It seems the last eight years will be for many that way, as they will forever refuse to see facts on the WOT. Bad name maybe but that is it's name. Facts that have been proven correct afterward and not a Dem Congress hype can smother it. Several UN commissions have validated many of them. It is a shame we didn't get the WMD but someone has them now ... to use against their enemies.<br><br />
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i had many problems with former President Bush's decisions in off, just as i do with President Obama.<br><br />
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Criticize all you want, but don't give away tactics and secrets in the process. Ala Congress and politicians.<br />
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Sorry, i digress from the NEA.

I have no problem bringing up the role that the Islamic faith played on 9/11. To me, I can't stand how people won't discuss it, out of politeness and "respect" for their religion. I am the world's biggest critic of religion, all flavors. So by all means, bring up the role that their blind faith played, the promise of their 72 virgins in paradise... <br />
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It is not my position that was our fault... don't be silly. It is my position that the information about Islam and about Osama's demands and about our military bases are NOT EVEN MENTIONED. Like I said, how many Americans even know about the demands and our bases? <br />
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How many Americans simply think that they hate us for our freedom?

VendettA..did it ever cross your mind that maybe the school system should not be teaching morals and values? I know that is a tough concept for liberals but I teach my kids what I want them to believe in and not what the school attempts to force down their throats. The amazing thing is that both my kids pull down straight A's, they help the other kids in their classes and the teachers and administration have commended both of their behaviors in the schools. Imagine that...a whacked out conservative teaching positive things. Makes you wonder, doesn't it.

VendettA...how about looking at all aspects of 9/11 and not just how “terrible” the US is around the world. How about providing the view that the Islamic faith in some parts of the world has focused on the hatred of the US for a very long time and not only because we, “constitute an occupying force of infidels”. From your standpoint the US is completely to blame for the attack. No other factors played a role in this. Correct? <br />
I will agree with one point you made, “If you want to be a patriot, you should love your country for its strengths AND weaknesses, and you should strive to correct wrongs and fix its faults”. However, you already know the trap that you walk into with that statement.<br />
Josie is correct in that we should not be a second bit country because a union wants it so.

Like I said in my post, there are valid points made in this story, and like I said in my post, I picked out a few of those examples and asked you to address them. I didn't even bother bringing up the obvious slant it has in regards to sex ed. Gosh, do you think this article supports abstinence only Christian approved sex ed? lol<br />
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What really sent us to Iraq? None of the hijackers were from Iraq. Iraq didn't fund Al-Qaida or the Taliban. There was no connection between Saddam and Osama. There was no credible evidence of WMD's. <br />
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The rest of the world knew all these things, but the Bush administration ignored huge swaths of this information and cherry picked intel to try to justify an invasion of Iraq. Why do you think that Britain was our only major ally when we invaded? <br />
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After 9/11 the world was on our side, every country said "we are all Americans"... we lost that support when we pre-emptively and illegally invaded a country that did not attack us, and adopted policies of torture (oops, sorry- rendition), black sites, and warrantless wiretapping. <br />
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How much of America even knows about Osama's requests for us to close our military bases in Saudi Arabia? Isn't this worthy info? Or should we just teach our kids that "they hate us for our freedom?" <br />
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No, I don't want the US to fail, I want the US to see the US the way that the rest of the world sees us. We are still the envy of the world, but take off the rose colored glasses. Criticizing your government doesn't make you a traitor, it makes you a citizen that wants its government to fulfill its highest ideals.

The NEA would not know the truth if it bit them in the *ss.<br />
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As far as hatred you must teach true history ... not the remanufactured rewritten history we have foisted on us today. We are raising stupid kids now, as you said it above ... your words.<br />
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Hatred did not send us to Iraq, a search for AQ did. Believe it or not. Hatred was evidenced in the US by radical Muslim terrorists killing or attempting to kill Americans ... for decades. Yes decades. What about the Marine peacekeepers in Beirut. Are you saying it was their fault for being there that they died, they deserved to die? <br />
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Is that what my ears are hearing? It's America's fault?<br />
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America didn't go to the Middle East to kill Arabs, regardless of what you believe VendettA12. Bin Laden was not the ruler of Saudi Arabia he can call for all he wants ... he can't legally enforce it. Only the ruling family can.<br />
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This country consumes because it has the money to buy. <br />
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Do you want the US to be just another 3rd world country? Or do you propose sending US citizens money they earned to 3rd world country's as a donation to make up for what you are saying is our 'bad stewardship'? <br />
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That dog don't hunt!<br />
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This article brings up the wrongs of the NEA and is not biased in the way you are trying to slant it. i don't wrap myself in blind patriotism and consider that a slur you have just made against me. <br />
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The NEA should concern itself with teaching the children, not peddling influence.

There are valid criticisms of the NEA buried in this long long article, but I must say that I'm honestly shocked by some of the things that the article points to as if they are outrageous. <br />
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How would you prefer kids be taught about the tragedy on 9/11? Do you not want them to know some of the roots of the hatred that sprouted that day? Or would you prefer to just teach them that America is good, America is righteous, we have the 'best' religion and culture, and that the attack was completely unprovoked and we could not have seen it coming? What is wrong with teaching kids some of the reasons which led to the hatred of the US? Bin Laden repeatedly called for the US to close its military bases in Saudi Arabia, since that is holy land to Muslims and our presence there constitutes an occupying force of infidels. Shouldn't kids be made aware of these facts? Or would you rather that we just raise a bunch of stupid patriotic robots that think America can do no wrong and doesn't deserve any criticism. <br />
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It seems that some Americans that like to drape themselves in the flag don't realize what patriotism is. It is not patriotic to support your country no matter what, it is not patriotic to blindly assert that America can do no wrong... It IS patriotic to question and challenge our leaders and to protest unnecessary brutality done in our names. If you want to be a patriot, you should love your country for its strengths AND weaknesses, and you should strive to correct wrongs and fix its faults, not just ignore them and be a blind cheerleader. It seems some want Americans to have blind patriotic faith in their country NO MATTER WHAT, like people have blind faith in their chosen religion. <br />
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Another example is the kid with the cookies. What is wrong with teaching our kids that Americans consume a disproportionate amount of the resources of the planet, and that our this consumption lifestyle has real consequences of envy and resentment, as well as terrible cost to the planet? Or again do you want kids to not think about such unpleasant things, and just go back to thinking everything about America is right because it's America? <br />
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If you love your country you do it a disservice by not pointing out and trying to correct its flaws. Blind faith and blind patriotism do nothing to improve our country.

just think what they could do with all that money if they put it back into the basics of teaching the three R's and not the liberal brainwashing. Someone on another story made the statement that people just sit and take certain radio personalities words as the news and don't question what they are being told. But is this not what the schools want to come out of the schools? They just do not like who they are listening to.

When do they take care of the students instead of the politicians?