Art Should Reveal Uncomfortable Truths

To Kill a Mockingbird book cover

by Oletta Branstiter Should art be created to make us feel comfortable? The school district in Biloxi, Mississippi recently decided to eliminate To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, from the 8th-grade reading list. The reason? “Language in the book makes some people uncomfortable.” Was the complaint based on the historical and contextual use of the word “nigger”? Or was it more insidious? Do the objections reflect the same lack of understanding that led to the banning of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, by Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain?…

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Revolution Through Education – Trading the Institution of Schooling for the Inspiration of Learning

School Bus

by Oletta Branstiter A New Secretary of Education The nomination of Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education caught many by surprise. Candidate Donald Trump had included the Department of Education in his wish list of cuts during his efforts to prove his Republican bona fides. Some Conservatives, who were otherwise turned off by his personality and lack of Constitutional knowledge were encouraged by his promises to reduce the role of government in their daily lives. Instead of dismantling the extra-Constitutional tax-funded money pits, former Democrat President Trump opted to nominate…

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History is Racist! It Must Be Rewritten!

by Oletta Branstiter The Confederate flag was retired from the South Carolina Capitol following the murder of prayer group attendees at a black church in Charleston, South Carolina by Dylan Roof in June 2015. Not to be outdone in knee-jerk reactions, the New Orleans, Louisiana city council voted later that year to “take down statues of Gens. Robert E. Lee, P.G.T. Beauregard and Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy. An obelisk dedicated to the Battle of Liberty Place will also go.” What began with vehement protests on both sides of…

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Climate Change Hype – A Failure of Perspective

by Oletta Branstiter Conversations about the theory of Climate Change often become contentious. Emotional responses are fueled by a cult-like adherence to worst-case scenarios and the political power they provide, or a sad lack of imagination and adaptation.   While the data used for speculation relies on an extremely limited timeline, many scientists claim that the Earth has risen in temperature 1.3 degrees Fahrenheit since 1880. NASA’s Global Climate Change website features a meme that discourages argument. For the purposes of activism, wealth redistribution and general panic that facilitates government…

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Out of Sight, Out of Mind – Whitewashing the Confederacy

by Oletta Branstiter “New Orleans Begins Removing Confederate Monuments, Under Police Guard” This. This is why bibliophiles and history buffs collect books. Because history can and is being rewritten. While statues and other artifacts are disappearing, hidden away from the overly-sensitive eyes of the squeamish, all Americans should lament the blatant moves of revisionists to whitewash the Confederacy. Why do some want to cleanse our history of the dramatic evidence of our Confederate era? Have we become like other tyrannical nations that humiliate the losers of their civil wars by…

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