Commentary From the Mile High City

"Star of the conservative blogosphere" Denver Post

"The Rocky Mountain Alliance offers the best of what the blogosphere has to offer." -David Harsanyi, Denver Post
Joshua Sharf

 notify list
to receive email when this site is updated, enter your email address:
 recent posts
24 (2 entries)
Anglosphere (1 entries)
Biking (1 entries)
Blogging (35 entries)
Business (173 entries)
CFA (3 entries)
China (5 entries)
Climate Change (3 entries)
Colorado (20 entries)
Denver (12 entries)
Design (4 entries)
Economics (39 entries)
Education (6 entries)
Electoral College (1 entries)
Environmentalism (3 entries)
Europe (0 entries)
Flying (2 entries)
Foreign Affairs (1 entries)
General (89 entries)
Gun Control (2 entries)
Health Care (7 entries)
Higher Ed (7 entries)
History (8 entries)
Home Improvement (1 entries)
Illegal Immigration (35 entries)
Internet (4 entries)
Israel (57 entries)
Jewish (49 entries)
Judicial Nominations (12 entries)
Katrina (0 entries)
Literature (1 entries)
Media (37 entries)
Music (3 entries)
Photoblogging (32 entries)
Politics (152 entries)
Porkbusters (5 entries)
Radio (16 entries)
Religion (1 entries)
Reviews (8 entries)
Robed Masters (4 entries)
Science (1 entries)
Sports (9 entries)
Taxes (2 entries)
Transportation (6 entries)
Unions (1 entries)
War on Terror (180 entries)
my other blogs
Three-Letter Monte

Rocky Mtn. Alliance
Best Destiny
Daily Blogster
Geezerville USA
Mount Virtus
Night Twister
Rocky Mountain Right
Slapstick Politics
The New Conservative
Thinking Right
View from a Height

other blogs
One Big Swede
American Thinker
Meryl Yourish
NRO Corner
Little Green Footballs
No Left Turns
A Constrained Vision

business blogs
Accidental Verbosity
Assymetrical Information
Carnival of the Capitalists
Cold Springs Shops
Commodity Trader
Coyote Blog
Different River
Everyone's Illusion
Fast Company Blog
Financial Rounds
Freakonomics Blog
Management Craft
Trader Mike
Carnival of the Capitalists Submission

business data
Inst. Supply Mgmt.
St. Louis Fed Economic Data
Nat'l Bureau of Economic Research
Economic Calendar
Stock Charts

colorado blogs
Pirate Ballerina
Pagan Capitalist
Boker Tov, Boulder
Colorado Pols
Jeff Sherman

<-?Colorado BlogRing#->

sites, not blogs
Thinking Rock Press
 help israel
Israel Travel Ministry
Friends of the IDF
Volunteers for Israel
Magen David Adom
 1939 World's Fair
1939: The Lost World of the Fair
The New York World's Fair: 1939-1940
The Last Great Fair by Jeffrey Hart
Iconography of Hope (U.Va.)
Images From the '39 Fair
Tour the 1939 New York Fair
Powered by
Movable Type 3.2

« Lileks on Tech | Main | Marginal Morningstar »

A Few Maps Short Of An Atlas

By now, you've heard about Jay Bennish, the geography teacher who's a few maps short of an atlas. Apparently his own personal compass has been deviating from true north for a while now, but only now has a student caught his, um, lectures, on MP3. This is a bit Ward Churchillian, in that it's one of public education's many dirty little secrets; teachers do this sort of thing all the time, and it doesn't make them any less popular or any less tenured.

(Just for fun, though, Bennish on the doctrine of pre-emption:

Why doesn't North Korea invade South Korea, because they're afraid of being attacked.

Uh, been there, done that. I suppose it's too much to expect a public school geography teacher to find the letters "DMZ" on a map, but maybe he could hit his older brother up for a few bucks to rent some old M*A*S*H DVDs.)

But keep your eye on the ball here - not the teacher, but the administration:

Superintendent Monte Moses, who received a copy of the recording on Monday from 850 KOA-AM radio show host Mike Rosen, said it appears "a breach of district policy" occurred.

"Our policy calls for both sides to be present ... in the interest of intellectual discourse," Moses said. Bennish's presentation appeared to be unbalanced, he said.

The district is looking into whether the incident was an isolated one and will ensure that a balanced viewpoint of the president's State of the Union address is provided to students, Moses said.

Something's certainly unbalanced here, and it's not just that Bennish's Triptik leans a little to the East, if you know what I mean. It'd be generous even to suggest that an "intellectual discourse" is possible with someone who buys into the whole Bushitler meme. But what goes for universities - where academic freedom is valued for the research it produces - is completely and utterly irrelevant for a high school geography class.

What on earth is the "other side" of saying that President Bush is like Hitler. That President Bush isn't Hitler? If those are the terms of the debate, even winning it doesn't get you very far, and even agreeing to debate the point legitimizes it.

If you actually listen to Bennish's ravings, you find them to be as fact-depleted as any comment posting over at DailyKos. What, exactly, would constitute equal time for "capitalism is at odds with humanity?" For equation of Hamas with Israel? For claiming we want a strategy of "divide and conquer?" Or that the Twin Towers were "military targets," taken out to equalize the loss of a Sudanese aspirin factory?

If these assertions aren't immediately ridiculous - and it certainly sounds like a fair number of students are willing to go along with them - then they're the product of a radical worldview that hates this country. (Yes, for the record, I am questioning Bennish's patriotism.) A 20-minute editorial from the other side, especially now that Bennish himself has become a cause, would be worse than pointless.

No, the only "balance" available is what used to be called, "an education."


Looks like his students are split - 3.2 out of 5 (average)

Did you notice that Bennish claimed the Jews also killed a British Prime Minister. When? Who? His rant is so deeply flawed as to facts that he should be a creative (fiction) writing instructor.
A lawyer might say he is in material breach of contract for veering so far off subject.

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)


Power, Faith, and Fantasy

Six Days of War

An Army of Davids

Learning to Read Midrash

Size Matters

Deals From Hell

A War Like No Other


A Civil War

Supreme Command

The (Mis)Behavior of Markets

The Wisdom of Crowds

Inventing Money

When Genius Failed

Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

Back in Action : An American Soldier's Story of Courage, Faith and Fortitude

How Would You Move Mt. Fuji?

Good to Great

Built to Last

Financial Fine Print

The Day the Universe Changed


The Multiple Identities of the Middle-East

The Case for Democracy

A Better War: The Unexamined Victories and Final Tragedy of America's Last Years in Vietnam

The Italians

Zakhor: Jewish History and Jewish Memory

Beyond the Verse: Talmudic Readings and Lectures

Reading Levinas/Reading Talmud