RUSH: I got an interesting note here from Mr. William Polen, Sr.
I fear that you have just jumped up on your horse and ridden off in all four directions simultaneously. If properly taught the course in Human Geography should be a blend of cultural anthropology and world economic geography. For example: Why do the farmers in Afghanistan grow so many heroin poppies instead of what the civilized world considers more appropriate crops? The answer is bound up in their natural geography that limits the number and type of crops they can grow, and the tribal culture of the region.
The same thing is true of many Latin American countries that grow heroin poppies and coca leaf. The economics are hard to beat. Given what they CAN grow these crops give the best economic return for THEIR effort. The local tribal culture adds to the problem because their culture does not assign the huge negatives to the products of these plants that the supposedly more civilized nations do.
Why did Japan and England develop cultures and economic systems based on sea travel, ships, and fishing[?] Could it be they were surrounded by oceans? I do think that our young skulls full of mush as you refer to them, could benefit from having a better understanding of the cross influences of economic geography, and cultural anthropology. They might even make better political decisions, God Forbid!
Wm. Michael Polen, Sr.
Now, this is well written and well said, but I have to tell you: I learned in the second grade in a geography class… Well, I wouldn’t call it “geography class.” There weren’t classes in the second grade. We were all in the same class. We’d study different subjects, and I learned in the second grade why cities were located near rivers and bodies of water. It was economics. It was trade. All this stuff was taught. It’s already been taught. The rest of this stuff is simply economics. Now, if you want to get into, “All right, the Afghans obviously there’s no problem growing heroin poppies, and the Colombians? They have no problem growing cocaine. They don’t have the cultural biases against it as, quote, unquote, the more civilized nations do.”
Well, that opens up far other questions that are not covered in a mental mapping course or human geography, where if I were… Well, just off the top of my head, let’s take cocaine. Let’s take the coca leaf that’s grown down there. Is it natural? God made it, right? If you believe in creation, God made it. God made the poppy, right? So somewhere along the line, we, as human beings, have decided, that’s bad, and that’s good. Corn good, soybeans good, tofu good. Cocaine bad. Yet, it’s natural. Who are we to say what’s right or wrong? Who are we to say that’s bad or good? In a country, in a world of total freedom, if you want to go destroy your life using something natural, then do it.
You could take this into so many areas that have nothing to do with what the purported purpose of this class is. Economics is economics, whether you attach geography to it or not. You can’t separate geography from economics. You know, one of the questions I’ve always had when I travel to Europe: How can it be that we, a country of less than 250 years’ age, are so far ahead technologically and in terms of infrastructure than some of these countries that have been around thousands of years? And economic geography would be the answer. Without getting into all this gobbledygook. We are the United States. Imagine if our 48 contiguous states were 48 different countries with 48 different cultures and ideals and militaries and we didn’t trade and we didn’t share.
I mean, economics is the answer to everything. I think economics is woefully ineptly taught, but as I read this course and the way it’s taught and so forth, based on where do you want to live and why, why do you don’t want to live in and why? It’s obvious what’s going on here. They’re not teaching economics. They’re not teaching things; they are getting into multicultural psychobabble — and the economic geography to me is just economics. The two are inseparable. If you’re going to teach geography, teach it, and the two go together. But human mapping based on where do you want to live and why and why not to try to get this. Call this a geography course is a bit of a trick. At any rate, Mr. Polen, I appreciate the e-mail. These are e-mails and calls make the host look good. That’s why I relish them. Oh, we have a guy who teaches mental mapping. Craig in Ocala, Florida. Welcome, sir, to the program. Nice to have you with us.
CALLER: Thank you, Rush. I have to point out that there is — there is no concept in any discipline that is so valid that somebody can’t abuse it, and that’s the case that we have here. I happen to have taught cultural and political geography at the Military Academy at West Point. I live just down the street from your cousin as a matter of fact, and while I was there, we did exercises in mental mapping with cadets. They’re very useful exercises, because the way you see the world is a perception based on your prior learning.
CALLER: If we’re going to try to help educate them we have to know how they see the world today. Very few people actually see with complete clarity and accuracy. Let me give you an example in migration theory. Asking people where they might choose to live could be very helpful if you’re in the real estate business. It could help you plan political strategy if you think the reapportionment is going to change representation in a particular area based on those perceptions.
RUSH: But that’s political science.
CALLER: It is political science taught with a spatial context. Most people see three different ways. They see phenomenon, and that’s very easy. We can talk about economics, political science. People see historically, and nobody disputes that historians have a particular way of teaching about the world. Well, the third way to see is spatially, how man organizes his space. Some people have a very good ability to think spatially, others do not. Just the same as some people are very good with numbers and others are not. You can teach that, and you can make people more accurate perceivers of the world by teaching them a spatial perspective.
RUSH: So that I can get my arms around this, can you give me a specific example of a student that you may have taught or are teaching who gave you his perceptions of any geographical location you want to give me, and then take me from there. What happened? Let’s say you asked some people about… Do you ask them about foreign countries most, or do you ask them about the United States?
CALLER: Well, to begin with you might do an exercise where you ask somebody at the microscale to sketch their perception. We could have done it asking cadets their perception of the reservation at West Point. We might ask them to draw a map of the United States. Depending on where they come from in the US, certain states would be larger or smaller on their sketched map. They would be closer or farther away. It’s a function of how much you’ve traveled, whether you come —
RUSH: Wait. If you’re going to judge it that way, aren’t you judging artistic talent? I mean, everybody, I would assume, has seen a map of the United States. I couldn’t draw one that looks just like it because I don’t have the artistic talent unless I traced it.
CALLER: I understand that. But in looking at distances, which are terribly important in geography, we could at least pull together the results from a group and say, “Okay, you have an inaccurate perception about how far it is from the east to the west coast, about how big Texas is compared to surrounding states.” Now, take that same lesson and put a captain or a major over in Iraq, and hand him — let’s say he works in the S2 shop in a battalion, and they’re interviewing people who come from an area controlled by the Kurds and trying to find out their perceptions of what is, quote, “their land” or where “the bad guys” are, and you put that together, and you get a more accurate portrayal about the problem you might face in trying to revolve issues around Kurds, Sunnis and Shi’ites.
RUSH: But aren’t the answers to those questions ascertainable in sort of an ultimate — there is a factual historical data line of what’s true. So what people “think about it” is, screw that! Just teach them the truth.
CALLER: They are absolutely verifiable. I can give you imagery today to show you exactly what the situation is. But the problem is what that go thinks conditions what he’s going to do and therefore it’s important in knowing. It’s an important of the intelligence collection effort.
RUSH: Okay. I appreciate it. I think I’m starting to get… (interruption) No, no, no. Mr. Snerdley is panicked that I’m going to say something that he doesn’t think I’m going to say. I appreciate the call, Craig, thanks.
RUSH: We got another teacher of this stuff on the phone from Pittsburgh. Phil, I’m glad you called. Welcome to the program.
CALLER: Yeah, hi, Rush. This is Phil. Hey, one thing that’s really important with the mental mapping is what I challenge my students to do is to analyze, you know, what their perceptions of the world and, you know, what their preconceived notions are and to learn from that. Now, they may learn from that. They may think they know what certain areas are, but it just maybe — it just maybe isn’t so, so I use that to — they need to analyze that information, and then support and defend why they think that, so that’s ok.
RUSH: I want to actually participate in this. You are a teacher, and I want to be your student, and I want you to give me an assignment that we can verbally do here.
RUSH: I want you to ask me something you would ask your students about this mental mapping of geography, whatever. Let me tell you what my honest answer to your question is, and you tell me what we would do after that to get my mind right.
CALLER: Okay. So let’s say they… They may point the state of Texas —
CALLER: — as a wall because they have a certain perception that Texas is all full of, you know, cowboys and Indians and it’s the lone prairie and deserts and everything, and they want to state that. Well, how did you come up with that information? Why do you have that perception? And so use that in the discussions in the classroom to maybe change or facilitate change or what they know —
RUSH: See, this is my problem. What does it matter why they think of it, when you can tell them if they’re wrong? You’ve got evidence. You’ve got verifiable data that if somebody thinks Texas is full of nothing but cowboys and Indians and Lone Star longnecks and barbecue, you can tell them, “No. Texas does this. It does this. It does this.” People may have an opinion of California that it’s nothing but a bunch of left-wing radical hippies hanging around there, that there may be a lot of homosexuals out there, and you say, “No, no, no, no. California feeds the world. The Central Valley of California grows more crops.” You go down the list of crops. I learned all this in school. What does it matter? That’s why I think that what’s going on here is a course — and this is not a bad thing, but to call this something other than what it is. It seems like we’re trying to identify biases that the teacher already thinks are going to be there, and that we’re going to — you know, then you start saying, “Where did you come up with these biases? Where did you learn them?”
“Well, I watch movies. I watch television. I watched Captain Planet when I was a kid. My dad hates California because he doesn’t believe in immigration.”
I mean, you get all these different kinds of answers but the facts are still the facts.
CALLER: And I that’s where —
RUSH: But you’re not teaching the facts. You’re now getting into analysis: “Well, why do you think this? Why do you feel this? And what can you learn from how you feel?” It’s gobbledygook.
CALLER: It’s what they know, Rush. It’s what they know. So that’s what the learning happens is where the discussion in the classroom, somebody may have a preconceived notion of what Texas or California —
RUSH: Wait a minute. It’s what they know? What do you mean it’s “what they know”?
CALLER: What they think they know about a certain area and that’s when you start talking about —
RUSH: If you think you know something and you’re wrong you don’t know it, so they don’t know it.
CALLER: — and then they know it afterward.
RUSH: Yeah, but it’s going to take a long time to get there because you’re going to examine why they’re wrong and why they think it.
RUSH: And where the focus ought to be no. “No, no. I’m sorry you feel that way…” I understand, you know, why certain people want to get into these biases and thought processes. Part of me says that’s okay to get in, but some of this? I’m very suspicious. I’ve got a lot of red flags about this because I know the people that are going to be teaching this, present company excluded.
CALLER: That’s how I use it. I use it as analysis tool, they have to support and defend what they think they know, and that’s where learning happens, and then all of a sudden a light comes on and they realize what they thought about Texas and California isn’t so, and that’s where they learn that it’s not exactly the way they may have been taught by their parents or the TV or whatever, and they need to think for themselves and come up with their own conclusions.
RUSH: Okay, so, given all this and what do you, what did you think of this teacher out in Colorado and what he was doing with his class?
CALLER: Well, it — from what I, you know, obviously any teacher can slant things in the only way, but like I said, when I use it, I use it to — to influence their —
RUSH: What did you think? You teach this course. What did you think of what this guy said? It didn’t sound to me like the students were doing too much talking. It didn’t sound like the students were doing too much analysis.
CALLER: Yeah, that’s not good.
RUSH: It sounded to me like they were being preached to and indoctrinated.
CALLER: Yeah, that’s not a good thing Rush. It’s not how we should use it.
RUSH: Well, I agree with that. All right. Well, look, Craig, I appreciate the call. Thank you so much. I’m going to continue to think. You know, I don’t have a kid in school — thankfully — and as such, I’m learning what all is going on in there, and I’m telling you, all of this stuff that is being taught under this new name, I learned it before I got to junior high and I didn’t need this! You know, try this in law school. You remember that show, The Paper Chase, the TV show with John Houseman as the professor? They wouldn’t put up with this. They had moot court and this sort of thing, but they’re not going to waste time on analyzing why somebody is wrong and why somebody thinks this. “You have an argument to make, make your case. If you’re right, you’re right. If you’re wrong, you’re wrong, and that’s where it ends and the object here is to get it right. The object is to get out of here learning something,” and, you know, touchy-feely and learn about ourselves and so forth is… You know, there’s a time and place for that. It’s generally the back seat of a car. Let’s see. No, no. Give me Laurie in Tampa, Florida. Laurie, welcome to the program.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. It’s really great to talk to you. This is just one more excuse for teachers not to teach facts.
RUSH: That’s it.
CALLER: I mean, the facts are there, that the mileage is there. It’s all there to be taught. But they won’t teach that.
RUSH: It sure sounds like this to me! It sounds like the facts are irrelevant. It sounds like what’s more important is, “What color did some kid paint the state of Texas?” and how you’ve got a map of the United States, and if a kid can’t draw it exactly to scale, then it’s supposed to “tell us something.”
CALLER: Which —
RUSH: I was telling Snerdley, this is not even new. I can’t remember when I first saw it — it has to be 30 years ago — this giant poster or a poster that was representative of the average New Yorker’s view of the country, and there was no country. Everything was Manhattan. Manhattan and the skyscrapers and the skyline. That’s all the world was, and then there was a little bridge, and you could see a speck of New Jersey, and then you kept going further, then there was the Transamerica pyramid in San Francisco, you could barely see that, the rest of the country didn’t exist. This was a joke. Now, this guy, if they got hold of him in human mapping, they would think they have a real problem on their hands because all he was doing was illustrating with humor the fact that New Yorkers think they’re the center of the universe. But now we’re teaching a course that is attempting to identify a real problem here.
CALLER: Human mapping, what is that? I mean, come on. A map is a map. It’s not what you perceive; it’s what you know to be true.
RUSH: Yes, but that’s not what we’re learning. What we’re learning are the perceptions are indications of people. We learn how they got their perceptions, where they came from. For some reason it would be easier to teach them the truth if we can understand where they got the information that’s wrong.
CALLER: Everybody is different. They perceive things differently. Facts are facts. You can’t get away from facts, and to listen to everybody’s perceptions is ridiculous — and to try to put it all together and have it make sense, and to base where people are going to go, based on their perceptions? That’s ridiculous.
RUSH: Well, thanks for the call. Sounds to me like this student out in Colorado was going nuts listening to all, this and said, “What am I doing in here? This makes no sense to me,” and started taping this guy, the other. I guess he teaches this other — or tapes his other — teachers as well as a means of taking notes, but as I say it’s an eye-opening experience to learn what’s going on in our skrools out there.
RUSH: Okay, so a question. Based on what we’ve heard here about human geology and mental mapping, what does “Bush = Hitler” have to do with the course? Well, we discussed that amongst ourselves here, and Mr. Snerdley came in and said, “It makes perfect sense. People think, these libs think that Texas is like Germany, and Germany was where Hitler was, and Texas is where Bush is, and voila! Plus there’s a built-in bias against Texas because that’s where big oil has offices, and that’s why we’re in Iraq.” I have an idea. This Mohammed whatever his name is up at Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina admits — he’s going to defend himself in a court, he admits — trying to mow down nine students to avenge the “death of Muslims” around the world. To hell with the trial. Let’s just send him into a human mapping, human geology mental mapping human geology course and try to understand why he felt the way he did or feels the way he does. Wouldn’t that be far more informative and educational for us? Actually this is really what’s important, is it not? What are his mental maps, and where did they come from? Now, maybe to the extent that he was doing geography, he was trying to alter the human geography at the pit by killing nine of the students there. Here is Ryan in Mishawaka, Indiana. Nice to have you, sir, on the program.
CALLER: Hey, Rush. Great show.
RUSH: Thank you.
CALLER: Um, I go to Ball State University in Indiana, and these classes, these cultural geography classes? I’m in one right now and they’re nothing more than a course to make you feel bias about other people, other people’s culture, to make you feel bad about how you feel about the world.
RUSH: I knew it. I knew it. They’re going to take you in there and they’re going to make you explore your reasons for thinking what you think, and then they’re going to dump on you, and ultimately make you think you’re a racist or a bigot.
CALLER: Yeah, for being in America, they make you think that you are using, you know, all the world’s oil and stripping the landscape, the natural resources.
RUSH: So it’s just a very lofty, circuitous way of teaching hate America?
CALLER: Yeah, it’s exactly like a multicultural education class. I took a multicultural education class, and that’s no different. It’s all the same stuff.
RUSH: Yeah. Well, what are you doing? Is it an elective course or is it required?
CALLER: Well, they’re sort of required. You can’t really get around them because all the elective courses are like this. So you can choose from a pool but basically this is what you end up with.
CALLER: You have to take some social classes, you know, they call them “science.” They call them science but they’re not really science.
RUSH: That’s right. That’s exactly right. Exactly. So you have the foundation and the will to resist this, and recognize and understand it. I would assume that there are a lot of kids, students in the class who get totally caught up in this and think it’s the coolest thing ever?
CALLER: Yeah, you know, it scares me a little bit being around so many kids that don’t have a foundation and don’t know, don’t know the truth, because they don’t really present the truth in these classes.
RUSH: Well, there isn’t a truth. To the left there is no absolute truth except — I could name a couple, but, no, there is no absolute truth. Everything is a relative thing. There’s moral relativism —
RUSH: — factual relativism, excuses for everybody but Americans.
CALLER: Yes, exactly. Exactly! That’s exactly how the classes go. So I just want to let you know that that’s what the real truth is.
RUSH: I appreciate it, Ryan, thanks so much. To Staten Island! Jerry, you’re next. Welcome to the program, sir. I’m glad you waited.
CALLER: How you doing? All (unintelligible) degree in geography, by the way. Anyway, you see all these pundits defending this guy on his “First Amendment rights,” but you could time the speed on a sundial if they were to defend a teacher who preached say intelligent design or abstinence or any other item.
RUSH: That’s already been dealt with. Well, you gotta problem there because that’s separation of church and state, you know, church ought to be over there, and, you know, teach this stuff. The problem with it is that all these other alternatives to religion are being taught as science, and that’s used to discredit the others. By the way, this guy in Colorado is not getting away with it. He may get away with it, but he called on it, and Ward Churchill’s been called on it. I mean, this is cutting both ways now. So that’s why this is ultimately all a positive. It’s not a one-way street.
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