"Trying to end revisionist history and setting the record straight!" ...
HISTORYTEACHER historyteacher

Thursday, March 31, 2005

More news!

Ok, just when I thought I was going to have more time life throws a few more curveballs.

I was accepted into a masters program and I received an assistantship. Then two days later my wife and I put an offer down for a house and it was accepted. Then my car had some problems and had to go to the shop. And on top of all that I am supposedly on Springbreak and all I really want to do is hit some of the historical sites in Chicago that I have not been to yet. Well, maybe tomorrow.

Anyway, I am slowly getting some time to answer people and ceate some new posts. There has been so much news lately and I have had some time to read and I really want to share some of my thoughts.

Thank you all for bearing with me. I really appreciate Joy and Scriptor for continuing to check out my blog. Please continue to bear with me. I REALLY enjoy the thoughts that you two share with me. Thank you for your patience.


Friday, March 25, 2005

Kyrgyzstan overthrows government!

I realize that I am only about 30 years old - however, I cannot recall a period in history where so many countries in such a short time have decided to protest their governments of tyranny and opted for what hopefully will be freedom. Kyrgyzstan is the latest government to be overthrown. A country in the middle of Asia.

I cannot help but believe that as people look around and see that the citizens of Afghanistan and Iraq get to vote, to choose their own government leaders, these other countries say hey, why don't we get to do that. Afghanistan was not nearly as literate a country as Kyrgyzstan or other countries in that same region. Yet, the people of Afghanistan now have the ability to vote. How many other countries will choose freedom? Only time will tell.

A great article that gives details of what happened in Kyrgyzstan.

As always, enjoy!



Wow, what a crazy week. First family in town, then a last minute project at work came up and then I had to prepare for an audition for acceptance into a masters program for next year. All in all very busy. I am VERY excited to get back to work here. So much is happening in the world even though the media seems focused on one story.

I'm sorry it took so long to get back here. I do not forsee another hiatus happening again, unless I am out of town for an extended period of time. Please continue to read and post comments here. Lets have some more fun together.


Monday, March 14, 2005

Life is busy!

I am so sorry for not posting here since Saturday. I have been very busy and I promise I will be back soon. I have taken on a few new projects and have had to invest a lot of time with them. I should be back tomorrow. I do have company comingthis week so my time will be rather limited but I do want to answer Joy and Scriptor.

Please accept my apologies!


Friday, March 11, 2005

Timelines on the Web!

Someone collects timelines. Here is his collection so far. It is VERY interesting. They cover history from the beginning of history to the present.



Problems with Blogger?

I am having a problem leaving comments on blogger blogs. When I hit leave a comment a message pops up that says "Return to Dashboard. " When I do that I just end up logging back into my blog. I never get the opportunity to post a comment. Is anyone else having this problem? If you are I imagine you cannot leave a post here. If that is true PLEASE leave meassage in my tagboard soI know I am not crazy.

Thank you!!!!


Rethinking FDR

I know I have approched this subject before but I am still amazed how poor a job history textbooks teach the true legacy of FDR. It is almost as if criticizing the New Deal is un-American. Apparently FDR not only ended the depression but provided hope to all americans.

Well, here is a website that really sets the record straight. I have not fully explored the entire site but here is a very interesting article. Some very interesting comments about Joseph McCarthy are made. One which blames McCarthy for a lot of Roosevelt's success. - Interesting



Thursday, March 10, 2005

Joy is Back!!!

First of all, I need to issue an apology to Joy. It turns out Joy is not a female as I incorrectly assumed. Joy is the name given to him by his students because they cannot pronouce his first name. Joy, I hope you accept my apologies.

Second of all, I really hope people take a look at our current conversation. It has been a lot of fun. I hope people will contribute to it. This is truly what blogging is all about!



Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Recent Updates to HISTORYTEACHER

I have not posted nearly as often lately as I would like to, however, I have spent some time trying to make my blog as interactive as possible with as many tools as possible. Here are some recent updates:

1. I added an online dictionary and thesaurus on my side bar. I know I will need to use this.
2. I have added another dicussion topic down below on my sidebar. I do want to utilize this option much more often.
3. I have added a button to firefox. If you have not yet started to use firefox, I HIGHLY recommend it. I have spent a lot of time recently trying to customize my new web browser. Firefox is not only easier to use but it has some really cool options. It has made surfing the internet so much fun.
4. I had to find a new tagboard. My old one just stopped working. If anyone knows what happened to tag-board.com please let me know. I really enjoyed their product and prefer it to my current tagboard but hey, it is still free.

I am always looking to add more. Please inform me if you see something that I need.

I have a lot more time after school now that the basketball season is over. I hope to continue to provide more discussions in the very near future!

As always, Enjoy!!!!


Tuesday, March 08, 2005

What is the History Bloggers Guild?

Scriptor - who has a great blog - has come up with a great idea: The History Bloggers Guild. (HBG)

His concept is slowly coming to fruition. At the top of the pyramid is 5 leaders. Beneath the leaders are chapters. Each blog will belong to a chapter.

Benefits of the HBG would be increased traffic, larger impact, quicker dissemination of information, help from current bloggers, and a social atmosphere among bloggers with similar interets.

What the HBG is NOT. No one will lose control of their blog. Each blog will continue to operate as an individual entity.

This would be a society of bloggers seeking to increase traffic and possibly create some new forums to debate and to have fun. Please consider joining.


Monday, March 07, 2005

How to use a blog in the classroom?

This weekI decided to create a blog focusing on current events for my 8th grade history classes. I was just wondering what suggestions people have for this idea of mine.

I am trying to keep this private for the safety of my students but I would love to know if anyone has any suggestions. Please let me know.


Minimum Wage Raise?

I was rather disappointed in this article. Not because of the news. Instead I do not like the analogy they try to draw.

"Fact One: For the last nine years, the minimum wage has been set at $5.15 an hour."

"Fact Two: During those same nine years, members of Congress have seen their wages grow by $28,500. House and Senate members are now paid $162,000 annually for their public service jobs."

The free market is supposed to set wages - not the government. By contrast congress can only receive pay raises from congress as the constitution clearly states. I do not want to start a discussion on whether or not congress is overpaid. However, I do want to point out that no where in the constitution does it give congress the right to set wages between an employee and employer.

Minimum wage only leads employers to seek ways to lower there number of employees. If someone is raising a family on minimum wgae than I would argue that the person probably has made more than one poor choice during his or her lifetime.

I was encouraged that the senate killed a minimum wage increase. Maybe now it is time to kill minimum wages period!

Where is Joy?

I had quite a busy weekend. However, when I got a chance to check my email I discovered (with great pleasure) that Joy had discovered my blog. She left a couple of comments that I have responded to.

Joy you left no email and you are not a registered blogger so I have no way of contacting you. However, I do hope you check back and respond. I had quite a bit of fun responding to yours.

By the way Joy. I love Britain. The city of Bath may be my favorite city in the world outside of Chicago!

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Calling out Senator Byrd

I was absolutely disgusted by Senator Byrd (Democrat from West Virginia) and his remarks made on the Senate Floor.

"We, unlike Nazi Germany or Mussolini's Italy, have never stopped being a nation of laws, not of men," Byrd said. "But witness how men with motives and a majority can manipulate law to cruel and unjust ends."

Byrd then quoted historian Alan Bullock, saying Hitler "turned the law inside out and made illegality legal."

Byrd added, "That is what the nuclear option seeks to do."

Now, lets put all of this in context.

First of all, the Senate is not trying to get rid of the filibuster. The Senate Republicans are trying to follow the Constitution. The role of the Senate according to Article II Section 2 is as follows:

He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.

Now, Let me clarify what this means. It is the Senates job to advise and give consent. How does the Senate do this? By voting on the nominations. If the Senate votes nay then the nomination does not pass. If the Senate votes Yay then the nomination passes. IF THERE IS NO VOTE THE SENATE IS NOT PERFORMING ITS DUTIES AS ORDERED BY THE CONSTITUTION.

Now, what are the republicans doing? They are simply trying to force a vote, thats all. They are trying to do their job. They are not trying to get rid of the filibuster. The Republicans know that someday they will be in the minority again. However, the President has a right to have his nominations put to a vote. NO JUDICIAL NOMINATION HAS EVER BEEN FILIBUSTERED UNTIL 2 YEARS AGO.

Now, I believe Senator Byrd was WAY out of line. Anyone who uses Hitler, in my opinion, strengthen there side of a case really needs to look at how strong there case is. No American politician, nomatter how much you disagree with them should ever have to be compared to Hitler. Senator Byrd deserves to lose all credibility.

Monday, February 28, 2005

Freedom of the Press in Russia?

This was quite a story that I wish would have received more scrutiny in the press here in the United States.

For those of you who missed it Putin the pm of Russia told President Bush that Russia never criticized Bush for the firing of Dan Rather. Can you believe that. After how many years since the fall of the "Iron Curtain" and the leader of Russia still does not understand what freedom of the press means in the United States. I was just shocked. Even though I feel that there is some truth to a left wing bias in the MSM, the freedom of the press is such a fundamental right in our Bill of Rights you would think the leader of such a powerful country would understand. This leads me to some questions.

1. Can the current Russian government ever continue the professed goal of democracy (I hate that word but that's what we will use here) if the government doesn't even understand what those freedoms mean?
2. Is Putin's current roll back of certain democratic principles due to his lack of understanding of what freedom actually means?
3. Have we failed in our as country in sharing with the Russians the true purpose of these freedoms?

If you have not read this article I hope you will. I am sure there are better ones that cover this event more thoroughly but this one explains what happened.




Scriptor at the Historium has a fascinating idea. He is trying to create a guild of bloggers who focus on history. I am not exactly certain what his overall goal is but I think the end result would be more traffic for all of the blogs involved. At any rate it is a very interesting idea and I have asked to be involved.

If you have a blog that you feel would be a great addition please click here and leave a comment on scriptor's blog. I am excited to get in on the ground floor. I hope more of you will take part in this!


Sunday, February 27, 2005

More on Public Housing

Here is a story in todays Chicago Tribune.

A few thoughts about Public Housing.

1. Anytime you place many people in a large building with no incentive to keep up the place, you are going to have many problems.
2. Section 8, which is what most people that were displaced by the CHA (Chicago Housing Authority) use to get housing has many problems, the largest problem being that it is overseen by the CHA.

Here is a scenario. You buy a 3 unit house in Chicago to rent out to section 8 people. The people that are renting from you are not living up to expectations that one would expect from renters. However, to avoid being kicked out of the unit the offenders are living in they accuse the landlord of not keeping the house up to code. Quite possibly, the reason it is not up to code is because of the people living there and they damage they have inflicted on the building. However, since they made a complaint the CHA now must come and inspect the building and see if it is up to code.

Now, think about this. Who is the CHA competing with? Section 8. The CHA wants people to fill its units. They do not want people to using section 8 if they have vacancies.

Also, if the CHA says that something must be fixed, they can withold payment of the section 8 voucher from a landlord until they fix the unit. Again, what is the lesson we have learned here. If a tenant is about to get evicted they can just trash the place and claim the landlord is not a suitable landlord. The tenant can keep living there and the landlord makes no money.

Here are a couple statements from the story above:

"A lot of people fell apart when they left the projects because all they know is those buildings," Stone said. "It's psychologically traumatic for some people and they probably need counseling. Me, I got my act together."

Has anyone ever driven through Cabrini Green before they started to tear down the projects? To me that would be much more traumatic than being moved out of there. Yes, I have been to Englewood. I have worked there and visited with people on their porch. Sorry, I don't care what anyone says, Englewood is paradise compared to the old Cabrini Green.


Thursday, February 24, 2005

Chicago in 1955

One of my favorite things to read every weekend is the Chicago Tribune Magazine. Every now and then they focus on a particular year. This past weekend the year 1955 was the focus of the entire issue.

One particular aspect I would like to point out is the mention of public housing. Here is the entire passage:

Public housing is seen by some as the best way to deal with such problems, intending it as a way station on the American Dream train.

Most of the Chicago Housing Authority buildings are predominantly low-rise complexes, no more than four stories, and as late as 1945, whites constituted 70 percent of CHA's tenants. But that has been changing. By 1950, the majority of CHA residents were black. And future housing projects will rise up and not out, to silence complaints in white neighborhoods. Plans are to build dozens of high-rise buildings at the Robert Taylor Homes on the South Side, Cabrini-Green on the Near North Side and in other areas.

Will this, as boosters claim, alleviate the housing shortage and eradicate the slum buildings that dot the city? Or will this, as some critics believe, further segregate blacks and create vertical ghettos?

I think we all know the answer as to what the outcome of public housing was in Chicago and the rest of the country. I find it interesting that the first Mayor Daley was the one who advocated the huge project of building so many large housing complexes. The second Mayor Daley is the one who is tearing them down.

There are so many facts listed in this weeks issue. One interetsing fact was how little the price of milk has gone up since 1955 coompared to things like a men's suit from Marshall Fields.


Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Hey! Someone noticed us!

After thinking to myself that no one outside of a few family members ever read HISTORYTEACHER, I received a very nice note on my tagboard from Dorothy Gray who has a WONDERFUL Blog!

a : frustrated : artist is just a very enjoyable blog about everything from art to politics. I assume Dorothy is an artist. Take a look a painting that she did.

Thank you so much for your support!


Trying to open the eyes of Europe

I found a great website today and I will place a link to it in my favorite links section.

One particular article that I would like to point out is this "Open Letter to Europe."

This letter is pretty harsh on Europe but some eye popping facts are quite startling. Especially this paragraph:

"Your rate of marriage is at an all-time low, and the number of abortions in Europe is at an all-time high. Indeed, your birth rates are so far below replacement levels that in 30 years or so there will be 70 million fewer Europeans alive than are alive today. Europe is literally dying. And of the children you do manage to produce, all too few will be raised in stable, two-parent households. "

I continue to wish that our government leaders would reference the European model of economics, social security, and society more oftem when they make arguments to oppose the Democrat proposals. Europe has already tested so many of the ideas that the Democrats push and they DO NOT WORK.


Monday, February 21, 2005

Best President Ever?

Which President was the best President ever is always a fun topic. Here on Presidents day this is a question that was posed by two different polls. I must say that I tend to agree with the people that chose the winner in each.


Bush and Clinton

I thought this was a rather heart-warming story for everyone. With all of the partisan bickering that has started over social security, the war, the Kyoto treaty, etc. This story is about two former Presidents who have been spending a lot of time together recently. The surprising part is they seem to enjoy each other's company.

There are a couple rather amusing stories in this article. One I will quote. Here it is:

"President Bush likes to say, 'I'm 80, for God's sake,' " Becker said. "And President Clinton says, 'Well, you're the one jumping out of airplanes.' "


Friday, February 18, 2005

FDR wanted private accounts?

Here is a very interesting point made by Brit Hume of Foxnews. FDR originally planned private accounts as part of social security.

Here is the text of his report.



Every year I use the movie based on the broadway musical 1776 to show to my 7th grade history class. I think it is a great tool to learn about a number of things.

1. They get to see what Philadelphia was like at the time of the Revolutionary War.
2. They see the different sides of the argument - especially the differences between the New England Colonies, the Middle Colonies, and the Southern Colonies.
3. They get to see the process of revising and amending the Declaration of Independence that the 2nd Continental Congress went through.
4. They get to see the original criticisms of slavery that were included in the original draft of the declaration.

This website has some great comments about the movie and some historical inaccuracies that are contained in the movie as well as historical accuracies. I hope everyone who has not ever watched this movie will take the time to view it. After you see it visit this link. You will enjoy reading more aboutthe movie.


Thursday, February 17, 2005

What really ended slavery

Here is a great argument for capitalism. Every person who criticizes capitalism needs to read this. Where was slavery first abolished? In industrialized countries - thats where.

This argument is very interesting.


Sunday, February 13, 2005

Recent Updates

I have tried to make this blog as interactive as possible. I just added a discussion forum and I will try to add new questions frequently. I also added a place where you can subscribe by leaving your email address and you will be sent updates.

I hope you will tell others about my site or place a link to it from yours.

Thank you!

Saturday, February 12, 2005

McCarthyism and Arthur Miller

Here is a topic that I am afraid to touch. Every history book that I have read, every video that I have watched, every news report I have seen, has ALWAYS considered Joseph McCarthy a nut. I have never seen any mainstream source consider him anything else. Then a year or so ago in a book High Crimes and Misdemeanors by Ann Coulter I, for the first time, heard someone defend McCarthy. I believe she even went so far as to say not only was he not a nut but that he was actually right!

Here is an article that gives credence to what Ann Coulter was talking about as well as talk about the late Arthur Miller who just passed away this weekend.

This is a great read.


Wednesday, February 09, 2005

The truth about the Great Depression

I am continually amazed at how history textbooks misrepresent what really happened during the great depression and the new deal. FDR is almost always considered a savior while Hoover is considered the most inept President ever.

Here is a wonderful article that really breaks down the numbers. I think you will see that FDR had a horrendous economic policy and that Hoover maybe knew what he was doing. At the very least it is a good read.


Wow what a hectic week it has been

We had 6 basketball games in 5 days and then my basement flooded when the sump pump died. Here is a picture of the final score of our game last Friday. (We were the home team.)

I will get back to posting this week. It has just been REALLY busy.

Fridays Game Posted by Hello

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Why welfare and social security do not work

Why don't we look at Europe and learn what NOT to do. European countries keep raising taxes and increasing welfare. How does that affect the employment rate? Take a look.

We need to decrease taxes and encourage a business climate. If I were the President, I would just point to Europe. I also encourage everyone to go to the econopundit on my link field. It breaks down the numbers in this article.

Please read this and tell me that I am wrong. I don't think you can.


State of the Union Address

Can anyone remember the last time such an ambitious agenda was presented in a State of the Union Speech?

Here are some highlights:

1. President Bush introduced the idea of private retirement accounts replacing part of social security and then ended with a little dig aimed at congress. "Personal retirement accounts should be familiar to federal employees, because you already have something similar, called the Thrift Savings Plan, which lets workers deposit a portion of their paychecks into any of five different broadly based investment funds. It is time to extend the same security, and choice, and ownership to young Americans. "

2. President Bush stressed the importance of tax reform. It will be interesting to see exactly what he means. I personally think he will push for a national sales tax.

3. The need to create free countries throughout the world and the following quote I think sums up why we need to stand behind this agenda. "
And because democracies respect their own people and their neighbors, the advance of freedom will lead to peace."

This speech was quite good and surpassed all of the expectations I had. If you missed it please read by clicking on the link above.


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