In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 22, 2006 / 24 Iyar, 5766

One for the textbooks

By Debra J. Saunders

Debra J. Saunders
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The more irrelevant a bill is, the more likely it is to pass in the California state Senate. This month the Senate passed by a 22-15 vote SB1437, sponsored by Sen. Sheila Kuehl, D-Santa Monica, that would require that California textbooks contain "age appropriate" information about the contributions of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in California and American history.

For those of you unfamiliar with Kuehl, she is the child actress who played Zelda in "The Many Lives of Dobie Gillis," as well as the first openly lesbian state legislator. Ergo, if passed in the Assembly and signed by the governor, her bill likely would place Kuehl in California textbooks.

That's nice for Kuehl, but I cannot believe it is good for California students. When close to 11 percent of seniors have flunked the high-school exit exam — thanks to a Superior Court judge, they now can flunk the test and still graduate — it is clear that California students need more education, not more political indoctrination.

There is every reason to believe this legislation would dumb down history. Kuehl points out that in the past the Legislature has required textbooks that note the contributions of women, blacks, Native Americans, Mexicans, Asians and Pacific Islanders. The result can be academic tokenism — inflating, for example, the role of women in American history when women lacked the power to change the course of events.

A more intellectually honest — and scholarly — approach would be to require history texts to explore the everyday lives of ordinary people. That moves history class away from the old white guys and onto the lives of women, blacks, Indians, Mexicans, Asians and Pacific Islanders, as well as homosexuals — without telling textbook publishers what they have to say and how to say it.

Yo. Since homosexuality has been taboo in America, most gay public figures were in the closet. In a sense, then, SB1437 sends this message to historians: Guess.

It is scary to ponder which historic figures pandering publishers might decide to "out" — gay or not. Abe Lincoln? He shared a bed with a man, didn't he? Eleanor Roosevelt? She had a close friendship with a female reporter. J. Edgar Hoover? Sorry, he was just reputed to wear dresses, so he doesn't qualify for the chapter on important contributions by transgenders.

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Arguments in favor of the bill have hardly been academic. Sen. Jackie Speier, D-Hillsborough, told her son that if the British hadn't jailed Oscar Wilde for homosexuality "he could have been as great as Shakespeare." Talk about your tangled web.

Then there's that old standby that if California doesn't pass laws that essentially promote homosexuality, children will die. Kuehl argued, "Silence and biased messages about lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people only promotes negative stereotypes and this, in turn, can lead to discrimination, harassment and violence." A Senate analysis suggested the bill could prevent teen suicides.

All hail, as New York University professor Jonathan Zimmerman wrote in The Chronicle, "history as therapy."

Or call it history as propaganda. I have no desire to gay-bash, as I recognize the trauma gay men and lesbians endure growing up in America. But there are plenty of other kids who struggle and suffer through their teens. Fat kids. Nerds. Devoutly religious kids who think homosexuality is a sin. You can't create a curriculum for all those roots of angst.

What bothers me the most is the left's — be it noted, all those who voted for the bill were Democrats — apparent scorn for knowledge as a jewel in and of itself. This bill threatens to rewrite history as gay advocates want it to have been, not as it really happened.

SB1437 highlights the intolerance of the gay lobby. Kuehl may think she is pushing tolerance, when in fact she is forcing her ideology onto other people's children — whether they like it or not.

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© 2006, Creators Syndicate