No ‘terrorists’ at NEA

Education Secretary Rod Paige has apologized for calling the National Education Association a “terrorist” group. He was joking, apparently. Not a rollicking sense of humor there.

I fear that “terrorist” is joining “Nazi” as an all-purpose word meaning “someone of whom I disapprove.” There are real terrorists out there.

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  1. Although he apologized, I don’t think he was joking. Even his apology is a bit back-handed.

  2. Paige can expect some biting feedback from the NEA and other union/democratic organizations soon.

    I can’t wait.

  3. “I fear that ‘terrorist’ is joining ‘Nazi’ as an all-purpose word meaning ‘someone of whom I disapprove.'”

    You’re right about this, of course… I believe that the first such comments (that I recall) were some Dems making similar comments about Bush… They were stupid comments then, and this is a stupid comment now…

    Using a word like this in situations where its literal meaning doesn’t apply really lessens its impact…

  4. Nazi should be known as the other ‘N’ word .. and used very carefully.

  5. That was truly outragious behavior. Now, if he had called them “despicable slime……..”

  6. Perhaps he meant to say, “If NCLB fails, the NEA will have won.”

    At the beginning of the year, our principal tried to get us all to say “Nickleby” as we discussed setting school goals for the year.

    Last week a murmur of warm approval rippled through the crowd as she repeated news of the Utah Rebellion.

  7. What Paige said was wrong but the reaction to it has been overwrought.

  8. Roy W. Wright says:

    He was right, in spirit.

  9. Eric Holcombe says:

    “Paige can expect some biting feedback from the NEA and other union/democratic organizations soon”

    I’m sorry…I hadn’t noticed it ever stopped.

    Maybe they can explain hiding pot in lockers too while they’re at it.

  10. Drudge notes that as outrage builds over Paige’s use of the word, a Drudge search reveals that presidential hopeful John Kerry called Republicans “terrorists” in 1996.

    Of course, that was before September 11th (and before George Bush), so perhaps the term was more casually flung around then. Still, what’s sauce for the goose should be sauce for the gander.

  11. Uh, Eric? Administrators aren’t part of the teacher’s union.

  12. Yeah, administrators USED to be part of the teacher’s union. Perhaps I could be forgiven if I assumed they still buy what the NEA is selling.

    Their current relationship to the union and union members is quite mysterious, except that I never, ever hear of an administrator in a classroom evaluating how a teacher teaches. Administrators do summon expensive consultants to present teaching workshops to teachers, which requires that expensive substitutes be summoned to mind the children. Perhaps I could be forgiven if I thought that administrators were complicit in promoting the NEA agenda. There is no teaching defect that an expensive workshop won’t solve, or at least demonstrate that an administrator’s heart is in the right place… All teachers are everywhere equal in potential, they just haven’t attended the same number of expensive workshops… And we need to hire more of them to reduce class size…

  13. Dave Dahlke says:

    Doesn’t everyone realize that there is a war going on with our education system? And if it doesn’t bring terror into the hearts of today’s and tomorrow’s childrens parents they are sadly not seeing the big picture.

    The definition of a terrorist in the New World Dictionary, “a member of any of certain extreme revolutionary societies in czarist Russia”.

    You be the judge as to whether the NEA has extremely revolutionized the way our children are taught. These children will be the source of future society. Think about that for a moment.

  14. Rebecca, you never ever hear of an administrator in the classroom evaluating how a teacher teaches? It happens all the time, and in nearly every school district in the nation. It’s normally part of a principal’s job description.

  15. Andy Freeman says:

    Why does the NEA object?

    One man’s terrorist is another’s freedom-fighter. Besides, we’ve been told that the folks that Bush calls terrorists are not so bad/better than Bush.

  16. I’m just as upset that Terry McAuliffe called his remarks “hate speech.” Talk about hyperbole. You’d think the guy was leading a Nazi rally.

  17. Wacky Hermit says:

    Let’s not forget that wonderful literary device, a metaphor. A metaphor is not a statement of fact. Saying “love is a battlefield” or “war is hell” doesn’t in any way imply that people in love are getting killed by bullets or that combatants are in the midst of some Dante-inspired eternal fate, only that there are some seriously good analogies to be made between the two things. Like all analogies, they eventually have to break down somewhere, else the things being compared would be identical, and instead of a metaphor, we’d have a statement of fact.

  18. Bill Leonard says:

    I am not surprised at all that Terry McAuliffe called Paige’s remarks hate speech. The NEA dumps millions of dollars into candidate war chests every year, and about 98 percent of that goes to Democrats.

    In the best spin tradition, the NEA slyly equates any criticism of it with an attack on classroom teachers. “We are the teachers; there is no distinction,” was the pronunciamento this week from NEA President Reg Murphy. According to the Wall Street Journal, good ol’ Reg made $334,000 last year. Did any of you classroom teachers reading this make anything close to that?

  19. Actually, Paige is right, though I was sworn not to admit it.

    I’m a member of the NEA, but after a hard day’s work in the classroom and an evening correcting papers, I’m just don’t have the time or energy to jihad.

  20. That’s ok, just introduce the kids to Noam Chomsky and you’ll have done your part for the Holy War.

  21. truthteller says:

    “He was joking, apparently.”

    Eh? That’s not apparent at all. It’s a sign of the dismal failure of education that one would take a person’s *claim* that they were joking as *evidence* that they were joking, expecially in these circumstances. He most certainly was not joking, and his sin is compounded by that lie, as well his lie of respecting teachers, whom he previously referred to as a “coalition of the whining”. The most serious element of failure in education is that we allow such ethically corrupt people to hold posititions of authority in the first place, and once they do, that we don’t all cry out about it every single day. And I don’t just mean Paige, I include the entire Bush administration. In fact, the entire Republican Party leadership. And the folks on K Street. And a large fraction of the population of corporate executives. How many teachers inform their students that the framers of the Constitution didn’t include an Amendment expressly banning corporations only because they thought it unnecessary, corporations being widely reviled and their threat to democracy being widely understood at the time?

    As for Zach’s comment that “some Dems making similar comments about Bush… They were stupid comments then” — that’s mistaken, considering Zach’s further comment about “Using a word like this in situations where its literal meaning doesn’t apply”. As Noam Chomsky has pointed out, Bush (and Clinton, for that matter) *is*, *literally*, a terrorist according to the standard definition employed by our own government and military: “Terrorism is the calculated use of violence, or the threat of violence, to produce toals that are political or ideological in nature”. In fact, every American is now complicit in terrorism. Americans tend to get extremely angry at such suggestions, regardless of their factual content, because they’ve been indoctrinated/brainwashed into thinking that the U.S. nation is somehow inherently good — an attribute that can’t even attach to such impersonal things as nations. The U.S. has a lot of bad people in it, and a lot of them seem to be posting here.

  22. My administrators are in my room all the time. Sometimes they just observe, but four or five times a year they’re doing a formal evaluation of my teaching. Just about everyday they pop in to get one of my students for something (I tend to teach a lot of troubled kids). Believe me, my administrative team has a very thorough idea of what goes on in my room.

    Hmm, and I had a student last year who just loved Noam Chomsky and thought it was just the coolest thing in the world that I had heard him speak a few times.