Being a historian, I often find journalists have a warped sense of history, and what’s worse, they spread it around for all to read.
The July 3 column (“Iconoclasts and the Fourth” Sierra Sun) by Jay Ambrose was filled with all the rhetoric of an extreme rightwing journalist with little historical background. Besides numerous other flaws, I was especially offended by his insistence that Howard Zinn has no credibility as a historian.
History is about perspectives, not right or wrong, black or white. Zinn writes from the people’s perspective, usually including various groups that have been excluded from the master narrative that is U.S. history. He gives voice to those who have been shut out and his work is highly respected by historians throughout the nation. For Ambrose to paint him out as someone whose work should be discarded because it is “outrageously subjectivist, unsubstantiated” shows Ambrose’s own naive and underdeveloped intellect as a historian.
For Ambrose to tell readers that to teach Zinn’s history is to “dispense the virus of anti-American, leftist propaganda” shows little understanding of what U.S. history entails and how complex it really is. Howard Zinn is a true patriot, very similar in fact, to Sam and John Adams, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and Abe Lincoln.
It is hard to imagine that a small newspaper journalist like Ambrose knows more about history than a professional, life-long PhD historian like Zinn. There is a reason that Zinn’s work is read throughout the academic world and a reason that he is so well-respected among historians today. I just wanted to set the record straight. Historian vs. journalist? No contest.
On Sunday, July 2, the CHP issued traffic warning tickets to the cars parked along Pine Street in Tahoma to those attending church services at the local park for blocking traffic. These church services have been held at this location for over 20 years during the summer season and are used by approximately 200 locals and visitors alike.
I did not receive a ticket as I can walk to these services. But needless to say, many of these people were upset by this ticketing for presumably blocking traffic. At no time was the road blocked, and the on-street parking was only for an hour between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. As I mentioned, these services have been held for at least the past 20 years and I hope someone can talk to the leadership of CHP to avoid a recurrence of ticketing next Sunday. Otherwise you could see a dwindling of those attending church services in Tahoma and additional traffic into Tahoe City each Sunday adding to the already congestion there. Each Saturday evening during the summer the parks department shows movies at this same park. Does the CHP intend to also ticket these movie-goers?
After church services I attended the Meeks Bay Fire Department annual July 4th pancake breakfast and there was much more traffic interference on Highway 89 from this event than on Pine Street. I hope the CHP doesn’t plan on doing ticketing to those attending the breakfast. Hopefully the CHP can refer this Tahoma Sunday parking matter to the El Dorado Sheriff’s Department, who are aware of the situation and have used discretion in this regard.
I am a student of history and the law. I took the test on “Reflect on History, Test the Past” (Sierra Sun, July 3, 2006). I passed the test, but I should have done better. It’s time to crack the books again.
I am very proud to be an American. I did serve my country in 1961 to 1964 in the Air Force. I did not go overseas because I was stationed at Mill Valley Air Force Station near San Francisco. No one every requested a transfer from Mill Valley.
I was part of a dedicated group of service men and one women that watched our crowded skies from a sneak attack. Remember the Cold War? In some small way I was part of that.
I am very proud to be an American for another reason. If you shake my family tree, John Dickinson will fall out. He was there for the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. He didn’t sign the Declaration because he thought that it would be in the best interest of the colonies to reconcile with the British. He wasn’t well liked because he took a stand for what he thought was right.
Later he fought in the Revolutionary War. He was on the field for Brandywine. He was back in Philadelphia for the Constitution. He didn’t sign that document because he was sick, but had a friend sign for him.
John Dickinson wrote the “Letters from a Farmer” in Pennsylvania before the Declaration of Independence and a series of nine letters under the name “Fabius” defending the new Construction.
George Washington, John Adams, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and many more are all great men. They didn’t do it all. It would be nice to have an article about some of the men who put their lives on the line to make America what is today.
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