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Couple weeks ago I was in a used book store and for some reason this book called Hap caught my eye. It's a biography about General Hap Arnold, who's considered the Father of the modern U.S. Air Force. It was only $1.00 (original price $19.95, according to the jacket) and I thought my Dad might like to read it, so I bought it, and gave it to him.

He read it and loved it! Couldn't stop talking about it. Dropped by to see the folks yesterday and Dad must have spent 30 minutes telling me cool stuff from this book. I hadn't thought it would be that interesting but Dad sure sold it. I brought it home and started it today. I'm 35 pages into it and it looks to be as good as Dad says.

Now here's the "what a shame" part. The book has a nice plastic cover on it. The pages are stamped on the edges with the name of a local high school library. The book was published in 1982 and in the back there's one of those old-school library pocket and card dealies (remember those?) with a code number indicating that the book went into the school's library in 1985. The pocket and card look like some librarian pasted them in there this morning. There's not one date stamping or return date hand-written in. There are no dog-eared pages, no pencil marks, no dirty finger marks on the edges of the pages. It does have a big DISCARD stamp on the page edges, so we know it wasn't stolen shortly after it went into the library.

The unusually clean, pristine condition means that this wonderful book sat completely unused, unread, and unappreciated in some school library for Lord knows how many years until it was withdrawn. No one read it. No one learned anything from it. No one was inspired by this amazing and fascinating story. At least, not until my Dad. And now me.

Pretty amazing. And what a shame!
 

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Their loss = Your gain! :thumbsup:
 

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No. The issue Snake brings up is a failure of education: history that was not discussed because of the Political Incorrectness of war.
The book went unread because nobody taught WW2, its origins, its prosecution, and the aftermath of its end.

What was it that George Santayana said...
 

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Steve M1911A1 said:
No. The issue Snake brings up is a failure of education: history that was not discussed because of the Political Incorrectness of war.
The book went unread because nobody taught WW2, its origins, its prosecution, and the aftermath of its end.

What was it that George Santayana said...
:ek: Because one book in a library went unread, we conclude the entire school didn't learn anything about World War Two? :shock:

What would Mr. Spock do? :help: :ehsmile: :poke: :poke:

George Santayana: "Those who fail to learn from history are forever doomed to repeat it's mistakes."
 
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Steve M1911A1 said:
No. The issue Snake brings up is a failure of education: history that was not discussed because of the Political Incorrectness of war.
The book went unread because nobody taught WW2, its origins, its prosecution, and the aftermath of its end.
The education majors who dominate the faculty in the public schools these day didn't study history either. They studied indoctrination disguised as education. It would be interesting to learn how many copies of "A Peoples History of the United States" by Howard Zinn are in that high school library and if they have been checked out.
 

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TommyGunn said:
...Because one book in a library went unread, we conclude the entire school didn't learn anything about World War Two?...
No. The unread book is merely symptomatic. I conclude that it's very likely that the whole school didn't learn much about WW2 because, as a volunteer in our local school, I see that it is very sketchily covered in textbooks, due to PC concerns.

Further, young adults with whom I have come into contact, both here and in L.A., evidenced very little knowledge of both WW1 and WW2, particularly their origins and their political outcomes.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well, somebody--presumably the school librarian--procured the book and put it in the system. But from that point it appears to have been completely ignored. Heck, I almost passed it up myself. If it had been priced at $5 instead of $1, it would still be sitting in the used book store.

I'm up to page 106 now, and it is indeed an engaging read. Hap Arnold's story is comparable in some ways to Patton's.

If anyone's interested, the book is called HAP: The Story of the U.S. Air Force and the Man Who Built It, General Henry H. "Hap" Arnold. Author is Thomas M. Coffey. ISBN 0-670-36069-4. Your own public library might have it.
 

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Frequently, such books are donated by alumni, rather than purchased.
 

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Steve M1911A1 said:
TommyGunn said:
...Because one book in a library went unread, we conclude the entire school didn't learn anything about World War Two?...
No. The unread book is merely symptomatic. I conclude that it's very likely that the whole school didn't learn much about WW2 because, as a volunteer in our local school, I see that it is very sketchily covered in textbooks, due to PC concerns.

Further, young adults with whom I have come into contact, both here and in L.A., evidenced very little knowledge of both WW1 and WW2, particularly their origins and their political outcomes.
You're probably right considering the overall state of education in this country, but I still think it's a tad of a stretch to draw that conclusion based upon the condition of a single book.

Although ... Sherlock Holmes did once state you could deduce the existance of a waterfall from the fact of there being one drop of water ...... :ek: :bigidea:
 
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The other problem with school libraries is that they are open for brief hours, perhaps half an hour before and after school and not at all on weekends. In high school, my civics, history and English classes might meet in the library perhaps one or two weeks out of the entire school year. Such libraries are not a good place to browse for books.
 

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Steve M1911A1 said:
Frequently, such books are donated by alumni, rather than purchased.
On reflection, I suspect there is at least a 50-50 chance that the book was donated by an alumni, parent, or faculty member (the history teacher, perhaps?), possibly after that person had read it.

Or maybe a book store had donated it as a group of unsold books as a charitable (and deductible) contribution.

However it got into the school library, it's quite apparent that it was never checked out by any student. :(
 

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Snake45, this thread has brought back some memories for me. I knew a lot about planes and aviation in general when I was a kid. I knew a lot about WWI and WWII. So did all the other kids I went to school with. Uh, oh, Bloof stepped in to the thread, and here we go again. Pull up a chair, Jade East and Lentilmen, 'cause this'll be a LONG one.

Hmmmmm, not really. But I certainly shared the same thoughts as Snake about the condition of the book and what it reflected about at least the segment of American society where that library was. And I see TommyGunn, who really agrees with everything that was said after Snake's initial post, is being his typical wise guy self, and I love it, hee, hee, heee!!! Tommy knows full well that "it's sick out there and getting sicker," and that as Gil Scott-Heron said in 1974, it is indeed "Winter In America." And it is winter in America because of all the things that were said by the wise ideological brothers of mine who replied to Snake's initial post. It is all too painfully true. But why?

Well, to answer that question, here we go again, The Cultural Pancake Flip of 1964-1969. When JFK was shot on November 22, 1963, a day I remember well, I began to take much more notice of the world around me. The newspaper and the radio soon became daily fare for me after my mother and I returned from Gulfport, MS in April, 1964. I was headed toward eight years old, and beginning to be a little more than a kid. Life in the ghetto with a mother and a newborn little sister was tough. There were things that were expected of people in society, certain character traits and knowledge of certain things. In 1964, the memories of WWII and the horrible period of the 30's was firmly etched in the minds of adults all around me. Certain attitudes and values were taught. But something very interesting happened in 1964, besides the sudden changes in the music on the radio and certain cultural standards, particularly sexual. The demonization of a man (Barry Goldwater) and a political party, by people in association with media figures and another political party, to flip the nation over, hijack its values, and change it fundamentally forever.

And it was. When this 13 year old kid awoke in the ghetto on the 1st day of 1970, it was a radically transformed nation. War was not to be fought anymore, war was always wrong when fought by the United States, any kind of life style was okay, criminals had to be understood and excused, blah, blah, blahhhh, ad nauseaum, you all know the rest even better than I, because you've all said your piece here, all of which I heartily agree with. So here we are, 40 years removed from The Cultural Pancake Flip, feeling its by now very profound effects on our culture. And the leaders of our nation, and that means those in our schools, my word, we had 60's radicals creeping in to our classrooms in the 60's to teach us!!! I had two old battle axe type ladies who were my teachers in fifth and sixth grade. Very, very good teachers, nice ladies, got us through the three R's, penmanship, etc., the old fashioned curriculum in fine fashion. But what else did they try to feed us? Why, what a wonderful thing communism was, that it was really based on the principle that all men are created equal, and that if the whole world really was fair, and followed communism in its true fashion, we'd all be living in this great paradise of busy little human bees, no one having too much, no one having too little, everybody happy, etc.

Snake's post reminded me that 40-45 years ago, I read books about guys like Hap Arnold, and folks like Eddie Rickenbacker were still considered cultural icons. And here we are, with a book decades after the effects of that cultural pancake flip, in a totally changed nation, in its casket, long since pushed off the plank, in to the water, but for some reason, not having sunk in to the depths yet, still bobbing around in the water.

Yes Snake, I agree, what a shame, as I prepare to reach a birthday that will make me 90% of a senior citizen at the end of next month. But for those born on or after approximately 1/1/1960, or those who turned 50 or less this year, ahhhhhh, they grew up in a pancake that had already flipped, only one side's version of history, attitudes and values being taught. And what values they are!!! Indeed. What a shame.
 

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Finished the book. It's a great story.

Arnold was as much responsible for us winning WWII (as quickly as we did) as anyone you can name--Eisenhower, Marshall, Churchill, Nimitz, Roosevelt, Patton, Montgomery, Bradley, MacArthur, Puller, anybody. And actually, probably more responsible than many of those. I'll bet not one American in 500 knows his name. Maybe more like one in 1000.

Truly sad.
 

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Amen. I have been following the story about changes to textbooks in Texas. Although I firmly believe that "this once great republic" is truly dead, and that the casket will sink soon, the Bible says "never tire of doing what is right." And perhaps something that can be done, maybe Snake45 has friends in the Tea Party, or knows folks who publish textbooks, who can do something about correcting this educational void we've had since the 70's. Everyone I know who is under the age of 50 suffers from the same void that we all have lamented here. Some who were properly influenced by older siblings, absorbed some of the history, education and values of us now 52+ Baby Boomers,* but most are Zombies. Maybe we can change that. Maybe there's still time for a little daylight in America.

*I see the dividing line between the Automatic Zombies as being born on or around 1/1/60. Those who seem to come almost wholeheartedly from the old style applications of education, history and values were born on or before 12/31/57.
 

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I was a projectionist in high school (graduated '65) and our history classes showed the film "Rise and Fall of the Third Reich". It was newsreel footage narrated by William H. Shirer who wrote the book. It took time, it was long, but we got a real feeling for how Hitler came to power and what happened. I was taking German as a foreign language and saw it enough that I started to understand some of Hitler's speeches that Shirer was talking over. It's a tragedy that a translation wasn't on the bottom of the screen and that watching it, and passing a comprehension exam afterward, isn't required for graduation now.

They don't do stuff like that anymore. Heck, they don't even spend enough time teaching what our elected representatives are supposed to do, much less cover other things. Hits too close to home?
 

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Bloof;
Your term, "Cultural Pancake Flip," is pure genius: the perfect metaphor.
(I was there too, but was somewhat older than you.)
Anyway, I'd like to borrow your metaphor for future use, with proper attribution of course.
Permission, please...
 

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By all means, Steve, as someone who sees things as though he were living in my own mind, permission not needed, not at all. It is actually, a phrase that I have used often in observing the changes in our society. In the process of coming to certain conclusions, first from my transformation from being the ignorant liberal I was from ages about 15-30, into being the staunch Christian Conservative Neo-Vaudevillian that I am now, I have to have labels for things I see. And certainly, though I appreciate very much the compliment, we all see what's going on, see it for what it is, sometimes someone comes up with a catchy name. So, thank you for the compliment, and by all means, use away. And don't forget that once we hit the 21st Century, the old American traveling road show called a carnival, had finally come full circle in to a full blown Carnival Culture with Clockwork Orange youth base. And look around. Has it not been that way during this millennium?

With regard to catchy names, or phrases that describe what a bunch of people all see simultaneously going on in a culture, people can occasionally wind up calling things by the same name, even not knowing each other. One such reference is "Demmicans and Republicrats," a phrase I've been using since 1996. I first heard of Mike Savage in 2003. In 2004, while listening to his show one evening, he used the same exact phrase and claimed he'd been saying it for years. I have no reason to doubt that. So, no patents or trademarks here, and as someone whose thought processes seem to be that of a big brother to me, use away, use away!!! And is it not indeed true? As someone who was an observer, albeit a rather young one, of that cultural pancake flip, I was not so young or stupid that I didn't realize that on January 1, 1970, this was already a vastly different nation than it had been on November 22, 1963. When what is right suddenly becomes wrong, and what is wrong suddenly becomes right changes overnight, you know something's up.

Snake's45 lament by starting this thread is one such indication. I'm not saying the nation should head en masse back to shining John Wayne's shoes and kissing his royal tuchus, but we need to get back to real education, and not the revisionist crap that has ruined the minds of so many in the under 50 crowd to date, as well many in the 52-70 crowd. We REALLY need to reverse what the revisionists have done with regard to how we look at the Founding Fathers and what they said.
 

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William R. Moore said:
I was a projectionist in high school (graduated '65) and our history classes showed the film "Rise and Fall of the Third Reich". It was newsreel footage narrated by William H. Shirer who wrote the book.......
Man .... I'd love to get a hold of that on DVD somewhere ... even VHS.
 
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