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Sunday, March 05, 2006

Jay Bennish

--posted by Tony Garcia on 3/05/2006

I did not hear about this story until Friday when I spoke with Marty about today's show. "Where are they talking about this?" Marty responded with "everywhere". Well, I then decided to go into a media black hole and do my own research.

The first job was to hunt down the audio. (Listen here or read the transcript here.)

I watched some of the local newscasts as well and decided that Bennish should be fired.

I am certain that much of the Right Wing thinks he should be fired for "content". Comparing Bush to Hitler...standard from academia. Inappropriate, you are damn right. Terminable? Depends on the context and a few other things. Comparing Bush to Hitler from anyone shows absolute ignorance of historical perspective but is no different in opinion than comparing Clinton to Roosevelt or Reagan to Lincoln.

What I think should be the terminable offense is the absence of teaching. The ranting was absent of fact. Teaching requires fact. Even with the "teaching how to see other viewpoints" concept the teacher still must present facts so students can learn the different ways of analyzing facts.

What Bennish did was rant about his ideological viewpoints. This is problematic since he has (1) a captive audience and (2) an audience that, according to the law, is not able to think critically enough to sort out fact from opinion. This latter problem is demonstrated in the audio by the comments from other classmates.

Teach, don't preach.

How did Israel come into being? According to Bennish (who is "teaching") it was given to the Jews by the Americans. This was after the Israelis were engaged in, among other things, car bombings. Yep, car bombings prior to WWII. This is NOT teaching.

Learning to think critically includes eliminating double-standards in the argumentation. Bennish thinks that, according to the "enemy" the innocents killed as collateral damage are sufficient for them to be upset about while also excusing the "enemy" for killing people within legitmate "military targets" such as the World Trade Centers. Bennish went on to list military offices that he claimed were housed in the WTC. I willing to bet that if you asked him for his sources he would not come up with any because his list of military groups housed in the WTC were fabrications of his imagination.

It seems that between 1960 and 1962 the U.S. committed "7,000 terrorist sabotage attacks" against Cuba. According to Bennish these were done against "just one little country called Cuba." Now, during those 3 years there would have to be more than 6 "terrorist sabotage attacks" per day for Bennish to be correct. And what is his sourcing for this information? The bottom line on this tidbit is it is (1) suspect information at best, (2) omits the President's name from this timeframe unlike when pointing out negatives between 2001-present, and (3) omits the necessary historical context required to understand the Cuban-American relations at that time. These show very serious deficiencies in "teaching" abilities.

Examples from just the 20 minute audio go on and on and on and on...and I still end up in the same place. I conclude that Bennish should be fired and I come closer to the conclusion that this is typical of college, high school and probably junior high school classes as well.


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