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Revisionists Rewriting U.S. History - For The Worse

HOT POTATOES COLUMN CORRECTION: The Associated Press incorrectly reported that the National Education Association contributed $1.7 million to a goofy history curriculum. A Hot Potaot Tuesday used the information in a dig at the NEA. Correction published on Thursday, March 16, 1995 in the Hot Potatoes column.

Apparently, history isn’t what we think it was.

First, the Smithsonian Institution tried to lay a guilt trip on all the Pacific theater vets who still cheer the dropping of the Big One on Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II.

Now, the National Standards for United States History is reworking the past, too - courtesy of a National Education Association grant. Curriculum prepared by a group of UCLA revisionists, for example, emphasizes Japanese-American internment over Pearl Harbor. The text, paid for by a $1.7 million NEA grant (your teachers union dues in action), also “teaches” kids about Soviet space advances but fails to mention American landings on the moon. No wonder the U.S. Senate rejected this guide. The curriculum gives new meaning to the phrase “lost in space.”

Beattie sees light after woodshed experience

The times, they are a-changin’: How often have you seen the feds admit a mistake? Seldom? Never?

Well, director Mollie Beattie of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said her agents erred during an investigation of a central Idaho wolf killing. They shouldn’t have bypassed the local sheriff, nor should they have scared the bejabbers out of an old rancher whose only fault was to provide free veal cutlets for Br’er Wolf. Beattie’s admission could defuse tension in an area rubbed raw by the Endangered Species Act.

Apparently, Beattie saw the error of her agency’s ways during a trip to the woodshed … er, discussion Friday with the Idaho congressional delegation, four neo-majority Republicans who no longer are voices crying in the wilderness.

Chenoweth batting .500 on recent controversies

U.S. Rep. Helen “I’m Your Worst Nightmare” Chenoweth, R-Idaho, was right to lambaste the Fish and Wildlife Service for its heavy-handed wolf protection.

But she is dead wrong in siding with a New Jersey congressman who wants to strip the Coeur d’Alene Indian Tribe of its national lottery. The Coeur d’Alenes, her constituents, simply are following the rules of the game, which in Idaho say that tribes can offer any gambling provided by the state. And Idaho is involved in a multistate lottery.

It’s a shame that economic freedom depends on an industry so loathsome as gambling. But state governments have embraced this vice without following through on promises to help Indian reservations develop economically. Indian tribes, as sovereign nations, have a right to their cut.

MEMO: “Hot Potatoes” is a feature of the Tuesday and Thursday Opinion pages.

“Hot Potatoes” is a feature of the Tuesday and Thursday Opinion pages.