It’s the Thought that Miscounts

Posted on a local wine shop's website, I found this a curious way to celebrate Veteran's Day...

Posted on a local wine shop‘s website, I found this a curious way to celebrate Veteran’s Day…that and the fact that “english” is a proper noun and ought to be capitalized…

I know it’s not my friend S.’s fault…he’s a fellow Cal grad and should know better, right?

S. is re-posting warmed-over Bill Gates platitudes (which are actually an urban legend) from the King Glock website. (The text is also accompanied by a disconcerting photoshopped picture of Gates holding a weapon while pointing to an iPod.)  There you find this sentiment posted underneath the purported speech:

If you agree, pass it on

If you can read this – Thank a teacher!

If you are reading it in English – Thank a soldier!!

Wow.  So many things to consider here…

For starters, why just a soldier, why not a sailor, marine, or airman?

Separated from the bulk of the world by 2 major oceans, the United States needs to rely on its Navy and Air Force just as much as its Army.  Especially if the Army needs to get anywhere, it’d need the other services to help it get transported where it has to go.  Of course, I don’t know where the military comment even comes from anyway, since the military exists to defend the country, not a specific language.  Members of the military take an oath to defend the President and the U.S. Constitution, and the last time I checked the U.S. Constitution, there was nothing in the founding document which determined that the United States had an official language.

Perhaps though, the author of the above “Thankful Thoughts” was referring to invasions of U.S. territory?

Well, one immediately thinks of the Second World War and the 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, but the December 7th attack was not accompanied by an invasion force.  The American territories of Wake Island, Guam, and the Philippines, were all attacked and subsequently invaded at around the same time though, so I suppose this technically counts as invasion of American territorial considerations, even if these areas weren’t a part of the contiguous 48 states.  Japanese soldiers did land upon and occupy the Aleutian islands of Attu and Kiska for a time in 1942-43, but again, Alaska was US territory at that time, and not a state.  Japanese master plans for conducting military campaigns though, show a country that meant to keep the Americans at bay on the Eastern side of the Pacific, during which time the Japanese military sought to consolidate its gains in China, the rest of eastern Asia, and the Pacific Island rim.  They were never foolhardy enough to honestly believe they could carry out and occupy huge swaths of land either in Hawaii, or on the mainland.  It was simply too far and not part of their overall strategy of a Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.

Perhaps the “Thought” author meant the Mexican War?  Honestly, it was the Americans who invaded Mexico and its territory, not the other way around.

American forces in Mexico during the Battle of Veracruz in 1847, the first large-scale amphibious invasion ever conducted by the American military.

American forces in Mexico during the Battle of Veracruz in 1847, the first large-scale amphibious invasion ever conducted by the American military.

Maybe the War of 1812?  The United States mainland was invaded by British forces, who managed to do this to Washington DC:

The War of 1812:  still influential in America today because it gave us our National Anthem, thanks to a British drinking song!

The War of 1812: still influential in America today because it gave us our National Anthem, thanks to a British drinking song!

When you think about that war’s outcome however, you begin to wonder how a British victory in the War of 1812 would have affected the choice of our country’s language, since, after all, the British do, in fact, speak English.

And I’m very sorry, but if the “Thought” author was thinking about the Cuban and North Korean invasions of the United States, that’s only occurred in movies.

As much as I am supposed to be proud that someone is recognizing teacher efforts to educate students on a daily basis, whoever specifically taught the “Thought” author their historical foundation for the above sentiment, ought to really have their teaching credential revoked.  And quickly.

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