Friday, November 6, 2015

Pyramids, Founding Fathers & West Point, oh my!

Image result for pyramids ben carson

How many parents, teachers, student advisors will be giving Gifted Hands to young folks?  After the past few days, ya gotta wonder.

His disavowal of evolution is piddly next to believing the pyramids were engineered by Joseph (as in Jacob's 11th son) to store the grain during the years of plenty that preceded Egypt's years of famine.  
Or his statement that the signers of the Declaration of Independence were gifted amateurs like himself, with only Divine inspiration to guide them.  His claim that none had "elected office experience" was swiftly shot down, causing Dr. Carson to revised the statement "federally elected office experience" (itself more than a tad loopy - there wasn't any federal government in 1776).  

Image result for signers of the declaration of independence  ben carson

Or his walk-back of his oft publicized claim that he was offered a full scholarship to West Point.  Okay, so right off the bat - all cadets receive full scholarship to the US Military Academy.  Every blessed one of them.  Second, there's no record of his applying, no representative or senator stepping up to take credit for recommending him, no senior officer doing the same.  Seems the claim is central to his story, at least as told in Gifted Hands, where he recalls dining with no less than General Westmoreland, who - so the story goes - followed up on their meeting by offering the 17-year old a "full scholarship" to the Military Academy.  

It's the last story I find the most interesting.  The Daily Wire lambasts the "lamestream media" for making it look like Dr. Carson intentionally gave an incorrect impression in his best-selling biography.  To prove the point, they quote the relevant passage:
Afterward, Sgt. Hunt introduced me to General Westmoreland, and I had dinner with him and the Congressional Medal winners. Later I was offered a full scholarship to West Point. I didn’t refuse the scholarship outright, but I let them know that a military career wasn’t where I saw myself going

Image result for gifted hands book

To quote the great Steve Martin - well excuuuuuuuuuse me.  I misread where he writes that he was later offered a full scholarship to West Point to be a claim that he had been offered an appointment.  Wait - that IS what it implies.  

Not to the Daily Wire.  Hell, no - as they see it, "If someone told you that you could go to college for free, you might reasonably conclude that you had been offered a full scholarship to attend that university. But Politico would call you a liar if you used such language to describe the exchange."

Yes, and if Ben Carson had written that section when he was a 17-year old, I would accept the explanation without pause.  But wait - the top ROTC student in the city of Detroit didn't know that??  In any case, by the time he was a 40 years old, you'd think he'd have heard that all cadets receive a free ride. 

  Image result for gifted hands book      Image result for gifted hands book

It's of interest to me because it is soooooooo conservative  - he didn't say what you said he said, even though he actually did say it, but he didn't mean it the way you twisted it, even though there isn't any other reason to include in the book other than the corrupted interpretation you put on it.  

Puts me in mind of what his fellow candidate, Carly Fiorina, said - "Politics is a fact-free zone. People just say things."  

 Image result for carly ben carson

Take Ben Carson at his word, but do so at some peril. He:
  • believes the pyramids were built to be ancient Egyptian grain silos;
  • doesn't know that over half the signers of the Declaration of Independence had served in some form of elected office ~ and ~ each attended the Continental Congress AS an elected official representing his colony;
  • didn't intend his readers to think that when he said he was offered a "full scholarship" to West Point that he'd only meant high government officials expressed their hope he'd apply.  

Oh my!

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