Little Green Footballs provides a link to a recording, made by a student, of a lecture by Colorado geography teacher Jay Bennish. Michelle Malkin has taken the trouble to transcribe the lecture, parts of which I have reproduced below. But to get the real flavor of Bennish's disquisition you must listen to him speak: without a gap between his words, at the top of his lungs and about 50 percent too fast, like a lecture at the chipmunk academy. The first part of the recording is reproduced verbatim below. It's a small sample because it goes on and on longer than one would think possible.
Why do we have troops in Colombia fighting in their civil war for over 30 years. Most Americans don't even know this. For over 30 years, America has had soldiers fighting in Colombia in a civil war. Why are we fumigating coca crops in Bolivia and Peru if we're not trying to control other parts of the world. Who buys cocaine? Not Bolivians. Not Peruvians. Americans! Ok. Why are we destroying the farmers' lives when we're the ones that consume that good.
Can you imagine? What is the world's number one single cause of death by a drug? What drug is responsible for the most deaths in the world? Cigarettes! Who is the world's largest producer of cigarettes and tobacco? The United States!
What part of our country grows all our tobacco? Anyone know what states in particular? Mostly what's called North Carolina. Alright. That's where all the cigarette capitals are. That's where a lot of them are located from. Now if we have the right to fly to Bolivia or Peru and drop chemical weapons on top of farmers' fields because we're afraid they might be growing coca and that could be turned into cocaine and sold to us, well then don't the Peruvians and the Iranians and the Chinese have the right to invade America and drop chemical weapons over North Carolina to destroy the tobacco plants that are killing millions and millions of people in their countries every year and causing them billions of dollars in health care costs?
Make sure you get these definitions down.
Capitalism: If you don't understand the economic system of capitalism, you don't understand the world in which we live. Ok. Economic system in which all or most of the means of production, etc., are owned privately and operated in a somewhat competitive environment for the purpose of producing PROFIT! Of course, you can shorten these definitions down. Make sure you get the gist of it. Do you see how when, you know, when you're looking at this definition, where does it say anything about capitalism is an economic system that will provide everyone in the world with the basic needs that they need? Is that a part of this system? Do you see how this economic system is at odds with humanity? At odds with caring and compassion? It's at odds with human rights.
Anytime you have a system that is designed to procure profit, when profit is the bottom motive -- money -- that means money is going to become more important potentially than what? Safety, human lives, etc.
Why did we invade Iraq?! How do we know that the invasion of Iraq for weapons of mass destruction-- even if weapons had been found, how would you have known, how could you prove--that that was not a real reason for us to go there.
screen cap of Bennish
The legal blog Volokh Conspiracy notes that Bennish has been suspended from his job at the Colorado public high school where he worked and examines the question of whether Bennish could be suspended for his lecture in class.
Can Bennish constitutionally be penalized for presenting one-sided political rants to his class? Yes, I believe he can, and, to the extent he was departing from the assigned curriculum, or violating school policy in presenting only one side of an issue, likely should. ... I go on to argue that so long as we live in a second-best world with public schools, government authorities have the right to dictate to teachers what to teach, and to punish those teachers who refuse to comply. I conclude, however, that teachers should only be excluded or punished based on what they actually say in class, not based on their background belief ... In short, a public school teacher shouldn't be punished for his background beliefs, though arugably it's constitutional to deny someone a teaching job based on those beliefs (no Klan members teaching a race relations course). But a teacher can be punished for what he says in class.
It was interesting to see three of the most visited blogs on the Internet get all exercised about this issue, on a day when the President made a nuclear energy deal with India, the Patriot Act extended and a few car bombs had gone off in Iraq, so I figured Bennish had touched a nerve. But exactly which nerve was it? Horror at the quality of "geography" instruction in public secondary education? At a teacher jumping the bounds of a curriculum? Or the sinking feeling at being dragged, against our will, into a school activity like this one:
President Bush is being tried for "crimes against civilian populations" and "inhumane treatment of prisoners" at Parsippany High School, with students arguing both sides before a five-teacher "international court of justice." The panel's verdict could come as soon as Friday. Teacher Joseph Kyle said the "hearing"-- he preferred that term to trial -- opened on Monday in a senior advanced placement government class. The school's principal said he signed off in advance on the subject matter.
The Parsippany exercise has the merit of actually being relevant to the course (advanced placement government class) being taught and of allowing both sides of the argument to be presented. However that mock trial turns out, it seems less objectionable than the geography lecture that wasn't.