The Michigan Militia Corps'

Weekly Update
Internet Edition

Volume 4, Issue 28

Week of August 4, 1997

Clinton Launches 'Greenhouse Gas' Education Drive

By Bill Nichols

President Clinton kicked off an extensive campaign Thursday to educate the public about "greenhouse gasses" that many scientists believe contribute to global warming.

A White House roundtable hosted by Clinton and Vice President Gore, along with a group of prominent scientists, may have seemed to be mostly scientific jargon. Three of the scientists are Nobel laureates. But the administration, before year's end, wants to prepare the country for a proposal that would set limits on emissions of greenhouse gasses. The proposal would be binding under an international agreement. The limits could be costly for industry and mean higher fuel prices for the public. And other scientists argue that the potential effects of global warming are being greatly exaggerated.

But Clinton said the challenge for the White House is to make what he believes is overwhelming scientific evidence that global warming stems from manmade causes understandable to ordinary people. "We have evidence. We see the train coming. But most ordinary Americans in their day-to-day lives can't hear the whistle blowing." Clinton said. He said he is asking the American people "to listen to the evidence, to measure it against their own experience, but not to discount the weight of scientific authority if their own experience does not yet confirm what the overwhelming percentage of scientists believe to be fact today." In a speech last month at the United Nations, Clinton promised to propose a U.S. commitment to "realistic and binding limits" on greenhouse gases in time for an international summit on the issue in December in Kyoto, Japan.

That new policy, which in effect would tighten curbs on carbon dioxide produced by factories and automobiles, will mark Clinton's second controversial environmental policy of the year.

The president, also last month, announced tight restrictions on smog and tiny soot particles. The limits are the subject of an industry lawsuit filed last week and may be challenged in Congress. To ease the way for the greenhouse gas proposal, aides say, Clinton will hold a series of events meant to demonstrate the potential real-life effects of global warming. In October, the White House will host a one-day conference on the issue.

Thursday's event was designed to lay the scientific groundwork. The scientific panel outlined potential effects of global warming. The scientists say the effect could raise the planet's temperature by 2 to 6 degrees during the next century. This year's severe Midwest and San Joaquine Valley floods were an omen, Stanford University professor Stephen Schneider said. "The increasing frequency and magnitude of these could very well be the first signs that the canary in the cage is starting to quiver," he said.

The European Union has proposed cutting greenhouse gasses 15% below 1990 levels by 2010, a goal the administration says is too ambitious and unrealistic. Clinton believes that "you can do these things dumb or you can do them smart," said Katie McGinty, chair of the White House Council of Environmental Quality. "He is determined that we will pursue this issue as we have all of the environmental challenges we have addressed, and that is in a way that shows the interlinkages between environmental progress and economic progress." What should or shouldn't be done about global warming, and whether it's even happening, is subject to debate.

Opponents of measures being urged by some environmentalists and scientists argue that:

Research is incomplete on whether global warming is fact or fiction.

Costly anti-pollution devices could force businesses to cut jobs.

Any taxes or new fuel efficiency rules would force consumers to pay more for gasoline and automobiles.

Proponents argue:

Many scientists say global warming could lead to heat waves, rising seas, and the extinction of many plant and animal species.

People's lives won't change significantly because of any regulations. An American Deception.

By William F. Jasper, The New American

May 17, 1954 marked a major milestone in the long campaign to nationalize American education. On that date, the radical Warren Supreme Court, in its landmark decision Brown v. Topeka Board of Education, cited a book written by communists and socialists as authority for its decision to put the federal government in charge of the nation's schools. Ostensibly aimed at ending racial segregation in the schools, the decision soon was used as justification for massive social engineering by judicial edict, as federal judges ordered forced busing, redrew schools districts, and established themselves as virtual commissars.

The book that launched the revolution was An American Dilemma, supposedly written by prominent Swedish socialist Gunnar Myrdal. Actually, it was written by a pack of revolutionaries from the Social Science Research Council, the Carnegie Corporation, and the Russel Sage Foundation, Myrdal merely served as prestigious window dressing.

In this celebrated tome, Myrdal and company attacked the U.S. Constitution and its limited governmental design as "a plot against the common people," and said it "was dominated by property consciousness and designed as a defense against the democratic spirit let loose during the Revolution." The authors described those who upheld constitutional protections against total government usurpation as "a nearly fetishistic cult." Carnegie Corporation Vice President David Z. Robinson, in a June 1976 interview, offered that Myrdal's work "has probably been the most important study, most important single thing we ever did as a foundation." And certainly one of the most deceitful and destructive as well.

MFN & Corporate Welfare

By William Norman Grigg
The New American
July 7, '97

In the debate over renewal of most favored nation (MFN) trading status for Communist China, a regime that runs over its citizens with tanks and requires mothers to abort their babies, one crucial fact has been ignored altogether. MFN for China is not about "free trade" between nations, or a policy of "engagement" that will eventually liberalize the regime's human rights policies. It is the key component of a system of transnational corporate welfare that leeches off the U.S. taxpayer and enhances the infrastructure and industrial base of a potential adversary.

The term "most favored nation" is somewhat misleading: most nations of the world enjoy MFN status, which simply means that they qualify for the lowest tariff rate on the products they export to the United States. However, under the Trade Act of 1974, revocation of MFN status would choke off access to "programs of credits, credit guarantees, [and] investment guarantees" for "nonmarket economy countries" such as Communist China, and for the U.S.-based transnational corporations seeking to undertake subsidized ventures in such countries. The major artery of such taxpayer subsidies is the Export-Import Bank (Ex- Im). The list of Ex-Im's customers for China ventures could serve as a roster of the U.S.-based transnationals who compose the Red China Lobby.

According to an Ex-Im fact sheet, the institution "exists to support U.S. exporters in making sales to foreign buyers. It does this by filling the gap where private sector export financing is inadequate or unavailable." That is, Ex-Im conscripts the wealth of U.S. taxpayers to underwrite business ventures that private financial institutions subject to the discipline of the free market simply wouldn't touch. Congress appropriated $726 million in taxpayer funds for Ex-Im for fiscal 1997, not a penny of which was authorized by the Constitution. A large portion of that money was used to finance corporate deals in China, which Ex-Im describes as its "largest market in Asia." From June 1996 to April 1997, Ex-Im provided more than $2 billion in subsidies for corporate ventures in China -- subsidies that would not have been possible had MFN not been renewed last summer.

Among the most lucrative Ex-Im subsidies during that period were "direct loans" of $408.8 million for New Jersey's Foster Wheeler Energy Corporation and $383.1 million to underwrite purchases from Overseas Bechtel Inc./China Bechtel Inc. Other direct loans included $260.1 million to General Electric, $55.8 million for Voith Hydro, Inc., $47.5 million for Siemens corporation, and $36.3 million to Westinghouse. Those loans were sent to state-run Chinese banks to purchase goods and services from the American transnationals.

Ex-Im also provided loan guarantees of $100 million and $332.7 million to McDonnel-Douglas and Boeing, respectively, for the sale of aircraft. By extending those guarantees Ex-Im assumes "all of the political and commercial risks of non-payment" -- by extorting the necessary funds from the U.S. taxpayer should the loans go bad. In such arrangements, the profits are private, the investments are subsidized, and the losses are socialized; it is international corporatism, not free trade.

Several of the largest beneficiaries of Ex-Im subsidies are identifiable members of the Red China Lobby. Foster Wheeler Energy Corporation is a member of the U.S.-China Business Council, as are McDonnel-Douglas, General Electric, Texaco ($20 million in Ex-Im subsidies), and Westinghouse ($36.3 million). General Electric also belongs to the U.S.-China Educational Foundation, and Westinghouse participates in the Business Coalition for U.S.-China Trade. Bechtel is a member of USA- ENGAGE, which describes MFN renewal for China as "a means of encouraging positive change in China and ensuring freedom for Hong Kong." Boeing is arguably the corporate "Friend of China" nonpareil. The Seattle-based aerospace firm is the leader of the Business Coalition for U.S.-China trade, and a member of the U.S.-China Educational Foundation, the Business Coalition for U.S.-China Trade, and the U.S.-China Business Council.

There is certainly nothing novel about taxpayer- subsidized sales of technology to communist powers. Indeed, today's contemporary Red China Lobby in many ways is an institutional continuation of yesterday's Soviet lobby. For example, Donald Staheli, outgoing chairman of the U.S.-China Business Council (which represents over 300 firms) and a former director of both the National Committee on United States-China Relations and the America-China Society, is also a former director of the U.S.- Russia Trade Council. Staheli was also CEO of the New York City- based Continental Grain Company, which for decades was a leader in subsidized grain sales to the Soviet Union.

Curiously, this continuity is lost on some conservative congressmen who had been outspoken opponents of subsidized trade with the Soviet bloc. In an April 12, 1984 letter, one such congressman wrote that "we can no longer finance the inhuman and reprehensible activities of .... communist countries with aid and loans from our lending institutions and governmental agencies." "It is my belief that our government must not permit trade with a regime actively participating in the genocide of its own people," he stated in a February 11, 1988 letter. On December 7, 1988, he informed yet another correspondent that "I have introduced legislation which would prohibit all extensions of credit, credit guarantees, investment guarantees, or grants by any agency of the U.S. government to any communist country." The author of that sound and commendable legislation was Illinois Republican Phil Crane -- who has supported China's MFN status in every vote since 1990. As it happens, Motorola, the transnational which is the largest employer in Crane's district, has $1.2 billion invested to several Red China Lobby groups, and Garth Milne, Motorola's senior vice president and treasurer, sits on the Ex-Im Bank's Advisory Committee.

The Whole-Language Hoax

By Samuel L. Blumenfeld
The New American

It has been more than 40 years since Rudolf Flesch descended on the American education scene with his blockbuster Why Johnny Can't Read. The book created a sensation in 1955, explaining to a nation of puzzled parents why their children were having such a difficult time learning to read. After all, the parents had all learned to read in the same schools without any great trouble.

Flesch revealed how the professors of education changed the way reading is taught in American schools, throwing out the alphabetic phonics method -- the proper, time-tested way to teach children to read an alphabetic writing system -- and replacing it with a new whole-word -- or sight-word method -- which teaches children to read English as if it were an ideographic writing system like Chinese, Japanese, or ancient hieroglyphics.

Somewhere around 2000 BC someone made a remarkable discovery: All of human language is composed of a small number of irreducible speech sounds. And that person decided that instead of using a writing system composed of many thousands of symbols (which linguists call ideographs), none of which looked like the things they represented and took years to learn and were easily forgotten, it would be better to create a set of symbols to represent only the irreducible speech sounds of language. The result was the world's first alphabetic system, which greatly simplified writing and required memorizing a very small number of symbols that stood for sounds.

The advantages of an alphabetic system over a pictographic or ideographic one are obvious. It's easy enough to draw a picture of a tree or an animal, but an individual's artistic limitations and the vast variations between different types of trees and animals make this a highly imprecise means of communication. But how do you even begin to draw pictures of abstract ideas? How do you draw pictures of good and evil, right and wrong, never and forever, guilt and innocence? You can't. The beauty of this new alphabetic system was that it permitted the writer to convey his thoughts with precision and accuracy because the written words were a direct representation of spoken language.

In learning to read English by intensive, systematic phonics (as opposed to the phony "incidental" phonics which has been added as window dressing to some look-say and whole-language methods), the child first learns to recognize the 26 letters of the alphabet, and then learns the 44 sounds the letters stand for. The child is then drilled in consonant-vowel combinations in order to develop an automatic association between letters and sounds and syllables and sounds. By developing this phonetic reflex, the child is then able to become an accurate, proficient reader of written English.

This is the way reading in alphabetic languages was taught for thousands of years, and, indeed, this is the only sensible way of teaching it. This is the method by which America's Founding Fathers and the generations of literate forebears preceding them learned to read and to write with such eloquence and erudition. Because of intensive phonics instruction, John Adams could remark, "[A] native of America who cannot read or write is as rare in appearance ... as a comet or an earthquake." Attempting to teach children to read by memorizing printed words as whole configurations rather than by developing an automatic association between letters and sounds is to defeat the whole purpose of having an alphabet. The assertion by whole language "experts" that "reading and writing are learned through really reading and writing," and "not through reading and writing exercises," is absurd on its face. It is tantamount to believing that concert pianists don't learn to play piano by learning the notes and exercising the scales but merely by playing the piano.

A child cannot learn to read English well using a holistic formula because in such an effort he typically will develop a holistic reflex which creates a block against his seeing words phonetically. Since an alphabet system is by nature a phonetic (sound-symbol) system, a block against seeing the printed word phonetically produces what is termed "dyslexia." To become a proficient reader, a child must develop a phonetic reflex, not a holistic one. This has been unequivocally documented in dozens of major studies and conclusively argued and demonstrated by Dr. Jeanne S. Chall, director of the Reading Laboratory at Harvard University, in her definitive work on the subject, Learning to Read: The Great Debate.

Unfortunately, the battle between phonics and the whole- word approach is not merely over reading instruction methods. It is a battle over worldviews and political agendas. A defining point of this conflict was John Dewey's attack on the traditional primary school curriculum in his essay written in 1898, "The Primary Education Fetish." Dewey wrote: There is ... a false educational god whose idolaters are legion, and whose cult influences the entire educational system. This is language study -- the study not of foreign language, but of English; not in higher, but in primary education. It is almost an unquestioned assumption, of educational theory and practice both, that the first three years of a child's school life shall be mainly taken up with learning to read and write his own language. If we add to this the learning of a certain amount of numerical combinations, we have the pivot about which primary education swings...

It does not follow, however, that because this course was once wise it is so any longer.... My proposition is, that conditions -- social, industrial, and intellectual -- have undergone such a radical change, that the time has come for a thoroughgoing examination of the emphasis put upon linguistic work in elementary instruction ....

The plea for the predominance of learning to read in early school life because of the great importance attaching to literature seems to me a perversion.

Dewey, the father of progressive education, argued that it is important for the child to experience life through classroom activities, projects, and social interaction before learning to read about them. This kind of education would prepare the child for a socialist society, for the aim of Dewey and his colleagues was to change America from a capitalist, individualistic society into a socialist, collectivist one. Dewey the master strategist then set forth what must be done: Change must come gradually. To force it unduly would compromise its final success by favoring a violent reaction. What is needed in the first place is that there should be a full and frank statement of conviction with regard to the matter from physiologists and psychologists and from those school administrators who are conscious of the evils of the present regime..... There are already in existence a considerable number of education "experimental stations," which represent the outposts of educational progress. If these schools can be adequately supported for a number of years they will perform a great vicarious service. After such schools have worked out carefully and definitely the subject-matter of a new curriculum, ---finding the right place for language-studies and placing them in their right perspective, -- the problem of the more general educational reform will be immensely simplified and facilitated.

Here it was, indeed, a master plan, involving the entire progressive education community, to create a new socialist curriculum for the schools of America -- a plan, based on the new psychology, that was indeed carried out and implemented. For example, the first "authoritative" book on the new way to teach reading, The Psychology and Pedagogy of Reading, was written by psychologist Edmund Burke Huey and published in 1908. In it Huey wrote: It is not indeed necessary that the child should be able to pronounce correctly or pronounce at all, at first, the new words that appear in his reading, any more than that he should spell or write all the new words that he hears spoken. If he grasps, approximately, the total meaning of the sentence in which the new word stands, he has read the sentence. Usually this total meaning will suggest what to call the new word, and the word's current articulation will usually have been learned in conversation, if the proper amount of oral practice shall have preceded reading. And even if the child substitutes words of his own for some that are on the page, provided that these express the meaning, it is an encouraging sign that the reading has been real, and recognition of details will come as it is needed. The shock that such a statement will give to many a practical teacher of reading is but an accurate measure of the hold that a false ideal has taken of us, viz., that to read is to say just what is upon the page, instead of to think, each in his own way, the meaning that the page suggests.

...Until the insidious thought of reading as word- pronouncing is well worked out of our heads, it is well to place the emphasis strongly where it belongs, on reading as thought- getting independently of expression.

So there you have the genesis of the look-say method. Indeed, many look-say primers were published and used experimentally in both private and public schools. But it wasn't until the publication of the "Dick and Jane" reading program in 1930 that entire school systems began to adopt the methodology. Of course, many of the older teachers continued to teach phonics in conjunction with "Dick and Jane," but eventually they were replaced by younger teachers not sullied by phonics methodology.

The educators who engineered all of this knew, of course, that the Dewey-inspired method of teaching reading would in time lower the literacy skills of the nation. If they didn't know it from the reading difficulties children were having in America, they certainly knew it in 1932 when the Communist Party of the Soviet Union threw out the Dewey methods, which had been in use in Soviet schools since the revolution, and went back to an intensive phonics method of teaching reading.

Today's whole-language advocates have gone well beyond Edmund Burke Huey, seeing reading as "creating Meaning," not decoding accurately the message of the writer. This is the definition of reading now used in Kentucky's outcome-based education program: constructing meaning. One might say that this "new" view of reading is a product of the deconstructionist view of text.

What the public doesn't realize is that this is more of a war over ideologies than one over teaching methods. It is a war by the educational elite to impose its rule over the American people. Destroying resistance to their collectivist plans by dumbing down Americans is an essential part of their strategy. To do this, they must convince the American people that "traditional literacy" is no longer desirable. In fact, Professor Anthony Oettinger of Harvard University told an audience of corporate executives in 1988: "The present 'traditional' concept of literacy has to do with the ability to read and write. But the real question that confronts us today is: How do we help citizens function well in their society? Do we, for example, really want to teach people to do a lot of sums or write in 'a fine round hand' when they have a five-dollar hand-held calculator or a word processor to work with? Or do we really have to have everybody literate -- writing and reading in the traditional sense -- when we have the means through our technology to achieve a new flowering of oral communication?" The traditional concept of literacy means teaching children to read by intensive, systematic phonics so that they can read with accuracy and fluency. It is easier and less costly to teach than whole language, so that even from a practical standpoint it makes more sense to teach reading using phonics than to use faulty methods that permanently deprive millions of children of the ability to master the written word.

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