Don’t Know Much About History

Students and teachers in Jefferson County, Colorado, are all riled up about changes to the AP history curriculum endorsed by the school board’s recently-elected conservative majority. The board has proposed that the new standards emphasize a positive and patriotic vision of American history.

I’m all for that. We’ve had quite enough of bad-mouthing this great country lately. Leave that negative stuff to Islamic terrorists. Here’s a sample history test they might want to use.

1. The pilgrims first came to North America because:
A. God told them to found a great nation here
B. They wanted to play football and baseball, not soccer
C. Europeans are so smug and irritating and many of them don’t
speak English
E. All of the above

2. Slavery was no big deal because
A. The slaves were better off here
B. They were happy having other people take care of them
C. The Founding Fathers had slaves
C. Hey, we ended it, didn’t we? So, what’s the big fuss?

3. Displacing Native Americans  was okay because
A. They were Godless heathens
B. They’re so much better off on reservations
C. They made lousy slaves
D. God wanted us to have the land

4. The Civil War was
A. Kind of a bummer
B. Just a little family squabble that got out of hand
C. Not really about slavery. That’s just an excuse liberals use
D. Let’s talk about something more positive, okay?

5. Women weren’t allowed to vote until
A. A bunch of them got uppity
B. Liberals whined about it so much
D. We freed the slaves and that gave women ideas
C. We made a huge mistake and have regretted it ever since.

6. What societal forces caused segregation to end?
A. We made the mistake of ending slavery
B. Negroes got uppity
C. Too many liberals were appointed to the Supreme Court
D. We got soft as a nation

7. The three branches of government are
A. Executive, legislative, judicial
B. Conservative, liberal, independent
C. Democrat, Republican, Libertarian
D. The Koch brothers, unions, lobbyists

8. Our economy works best when have
A. Unfettered capitalism
B. The rich running things
C. Low taxes and no government regulation
D. Huge wealth and income disparity
E. All of the above

9. Restrictive voter ID laws are necessary to prevent
A. Voter fraud
B. Republicans losing elections
C. Minorities and the poor being heard
D. “Those people” being elected
E. All of the above

10. Our greatest president was
A. Ronald Reagan
B. Ronald Reagan
C. Ronald Reagan
D. Ronald Reagan





I am outraged! No, more than that. I am livid! I am furious!

Actually, I’m not, but it’s election season and every ad I see wants me to be mad as a hatter at somebody running for office, and I’m just trying to stay current.

Let’s start with Obama’s”latte salute.” How DARE he show such disrespect to our men in uniform when they are fighting and dying for this country!

And then there’s Fox News. I’m so irritated with their relentless assault on the president I could scream! Hello? There actually are other things going on in the world. IS 24-7 coverage of the latte salute really the most important thing on your plate?

And I can barely restrain my fury at Cory Gardner. The guy who relentlessly pushed the personhood amendment, which would have jailed women who sought legal abortions, now wants the pill available over the counter. Can you spell hypocrite?

And that weasel Mark Udall, who is trampling–yes, TRAMPLING! on hunter’s rights by supporting people not killing each other with guns. Get him outta there before we lose all our freedoms!

I’m so angry with Governor Hickenlooper the spittle flies from my mouth when I utter his name! The wuss can’t even bring himself to pull the switch on a convicted murderer like Nathan Dunlap. What will he be unable to do when he has to make a REAL decision?

Not that I’m not just as incensed by Bob Beauprez, whose bank was at the heart of the sleazy loan business that damn nearly bankrupted the country.

And don’t get me started on the morons, miscreants, numbskulls, sleazes, and windbags currently running for or hanging on to their seats in Congress.

More than anything, I’m angry with myself, because I’ve been rendered so completely and hopelessly cynical by the relentless attempts of the political/lobbying/electioneering establishment and the moneyed interests behind them to stoke my anger.

What I should be doing is taking to the streets to demand an end to the sham we’ve made of our democracy, but that would take a belief that we can still actually take back the country, that it’s not already way too late. It would take REAL anger, not the simulated rage the campaigns whip up.

I’m working on it.








I admit it: I’m a football junkie. I refuse to miss a Broncos game. Yes, I know it’s a ridiculous emotional investment in a team that doesn’t care a thing about me and in players who are devoted to the city and the franchise only as long as their paychecks are signed by Mr. Elway. As the late Steve Pearlman once reminded me, I root for the laundry, as irrational as that may be. But come Sunday, I bleed orange and blue.

9/11 Revisited

STEIN 9_12

The morning of 9/11, thirteen years ago today, my then 12-year-old son Gabe came running into the bedroom and told us to turn on the TV. He’d just heard on the radio that something had happened in New York. When the second plane hit minutes later, it was clear that America was under attack, by whom and for what reason as yet unknown. I got the idea for this cartoon, which ran the next morning, in the car on the way into work.

Just Do Stuff

Senators from both parties today expressed relief that President Obama  has finally decided to take action against Islamic State militants. Republican critics of the president were quick to pounce on his admission last week that he didn’t yet have a strategy for dealing with ISIS. Even some Democrats, worried about the upcoming election, grumbled that Mr. Obama was being too cautious in his foreign policy.

“Don’t do stupid stuff is not a strategy,” said Sen. John McCain, referring to Mr. Obama’s explanation for his cautious approach to dealing with crises. “Sometimes you just have to do something, even if it’s really stupid. That’s what George W. Bush did, and I challenge this president to act as blindly.”

Added ranking Republican Senate Armed Forces Committee member Lindsey Graham, “Doing stupid stuff is the way we’ve handled foreign policy ever since Vietnam. Every President since Lyndon Johnson has done stupid stuff. Why stop now?”

The president’s announcement that he would soon launch a bombing campaign against ISIS in Syria has muted much of the criticism, at least for now. In announcing his decision, Mr. Obama said that his advisors and the Pentagon were planning a careful mix of stupid and not stupid stuff.

Responding to the threat posed by the militant group is complicated by a number of factors, including the realignment of Sunni and Shia power in the region as a result of the instability of governments in Syria and Iraq, and the conflicting interests of other states in the region.

“This is a hugely complicated problem.” Mr. Obama noted, “We’re dealing with unpredictable enemies and unreliable allies and the real possibility of tragic unforeseen consequences. I still believe that not doing stupid stuff is the best policy, but sometimes events dictate a change of course. ”

“I hope he means what he says,” responded Sen. James Inhofe. “Personally, I doubt he has what it takes to do enough stupid stuff, but we’ll withhold judgement until we see if his actions match his words.”

Replied Mr. Obama, “I promise that in confronting the threat posed by ISIS we’ll do enough stupid stuff to guarantee that our military will be mired in the region for years to come, and that we’ll be even more vulnerable to terrorism than ever. You can count on it.”




Nine-Year-Olds With Uzis

What the Hell is wrong with us?

How did we get to the point in this country where this was possible?

By now you’ve seen the video of that nine-year-old girl accidentally killing her firing range instructor with an Uzi.

I’m sure we all agree that this tragic accident totally preventable, if any of the parties involved had had an ounce of common sense. Understand, I’m not blaming the girl. Clearly, it wasn’t HER fault. She’s only nine, and she was unfamiliar with a weapon that powerful, a gun designed by the Israeli military for its soldiers to use in combat.

I know what you’re thinking, but you’re wrong. I don’t blame her parents. In fact, I applaud their courage. They were just doing their constitutional duty to make sure that their daughter was properly armed and ready to defend herself and her family against our government when it decides to take away our freedoms, which could be any day now if Obama gets his way.

So who’s fault was it? The instructor’s, of course. If you saw the video, you couldn’t help noticing that he was unarmed! Standing right next to a little girl with a powerful automatic weapon that can fire 100 rounds a minute! What was he thinking? What the Hell was he thinking?

Had he been properly equipped, as he should have been,  with superior firepower, and in the correct defensive position, as soon as that Uzi started to get away from the kid, he’d have been able to take her down before she could shoot him. Yes, it would have been sad if the kid had died instead of him, but in a dangerous world that’s the price we have to pay for our liberty.

Because only when each and every American has a gun aimed at all times at every other American will we truly achieve the freedom our Founding Fathers envisioned when they so wisely crafted the Second Amendment.

Freshly Squeezed 8/27/2014


My kids are out of school now, but I well remember those first school days at the end of summer when the classrooms were baking and the little darlings returned home quite well done. I’m guessing that Denver wasn’t so warm in the summer when the schools were built, before global warming made summers here more like the ones I grew up with in Texas.

To follow the entire series, go to

The online home of editorial cartoonist, writer and analyst Ed Stein.