“Globo Gabbles on Communist Indoctrination Textbook Plague!”

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Kamel: master of filibustering while changing the subject, and other radical forms of insulting the basic intelligence of the reality-based community. Let me see if I can find the gabbling infographics that some of the weeklies put out on this story …

In the selection of passages from the textbook that he published, Kamel mentions what he considers to be singing the praises of communist regimes. But he purposely refrained from citing passages from the same textbook that explicitly criticize Marxism, Stalin and Mao.

Luis Nassif (Brazil) clarifies a dispute that has consumed virtually every news daily and newsweekly in Brazil this week: a supposed pro-Communist ideological bias in Brazilian history textbooks!

Aside from the publications Mr. Nassif mentions, for example, the story was given prominent play in IstoÉ magazine, the Grupo Abril’s new Revista da Semana, and many others.

Conclusion: Ali Kamel, director of Globo’s Journalism Center, is a purveyor of viciously slanted, intellectually disreputable and nonsensical, confabulating agitprop.

And why, after the José Messias Xavier incident, does this man still have a job, you ask?

After all, the New York Times fired some excellent, highly reputable senior professionals over the Jayson Blair confabulation incident. Which was incredibly painful. Those guys probably did not really deserve the blame for the incident. But the buck has to stop somewhere. And those guys were, after all, getting the big bucks to man the desk representing that somewhere.

So: A fair question.

Because look: Globo apparently does business with the bicheiros of Rio. Intimate business: One of its reporters was arrested on charges he got a monthly stipend in exchange for spying for the gambling mafia. Covered as a Globo reporter. Inovking the standard source-reporter confidentiality pledge.

So where does the Brazilian greenback, with its portrait of a hummingbird, stop in that case, I wonder?

A guerra ideológica continua produzindo uma vítima recorrente: a notícia. Digo isso a propósito do artigo de Ali Kamel em “O Globo”, reproduzido no “Estadão”, desancando o livro “Nova História Crítica, 8ª série” – acusado por ele de doutrinação comunista – , e denunciando o MEC (Ministério da Educação) de distribuí-lo gratuitamente.

Ideological warfare continued to produce a recurring victim: The news. I say this with respect to Ali Kamel’s article for the O Globo daily, reprinted in the Estado de S. Paulo, assailing the public school textbook “New Critical History, 8th Grade — accused by him of being a vehicle of Communist indoctrination — and denouncing the ministry of Education for having distributed it widely.

A denúncia repercutiu na imprensa mundial, de “El Pais”, na Espanha, ao “Miami Herald”, nos Estados Unidos.

The charges were repeated in the global press, from El Pais in Spain to the Miami Herald.

I scan El Pais every day and almost never find anything of interest there.

Na verdade o livro foi adotado pelo MEC em 2002, gestão Fernando Henrique Cardoso, e deixou de ser adotado em abril deste ano, gestão Luiz Ignácio Lula da Silva. E Kamel sabia disso.

In point of fact, the texbook was adopted by the Ministry of Education (MEC) in 2002, under the Cardoso administration, and was deauthorized in April of this year, under the Lula administration. And Kamel knew it, too.

Nem a indicação foi culpa de FHC (se é que se pode falar em culpa), nem a desclassificação foi obra de Lula.

The authorization of the book in the first place was not Cardoso’s fault (if the issue here is one of finding someone to blame), nor was the deauthorization the work of Lula.

Kamel sabia que o processo de seleção de livros, pelo MEC, virou uma política de estado, ainda na gestão FHC, e não houve nenhuma modificação que sinalizasse para sua politização.

Kamel knew that the process of selecting textbooks used by the MEC had become state policy during the Cardoso era, and that there were no modifications to that policy that might indicate a politicization of the process.

By “state policy,” he means the responsibility of the permanent bureaucracy. As in, “governments may come and go, but the State bureaucracy (for good or ill) abideth forever.”

O sistema de seleção criado virou padrão para muitos países. O papel do MEC é definir um conjunto de universidades que sejam centros de excelência. Depois, cada qual indica professores para analisar as obras. O MEC avalia apenas se há conflito de interesses, se o professor eventualmente tem ligação com alguma editora.

This system of selecting textbooks has been adopted as a standard by a number of other nations. The MEC’s role is to define a list of universities that qualify as “centers of excellence.” Then, each of these centers nominates professors to analyze the candidate texts. The MEC only looks to see whether conflicts of interest exist, such as whether the professors nominated have ties with publishing houses.

Em seguida, todos são chamados a Brasília e lhes são entregues os livros sem identificação de editora ou autor. As obras recomendadas entram em uma lista do MEC e são apresentadas às escolas, para escolha dos professores.

Then, everyone goes to Brasília and looks at copies of the candidate texts, minus any information about their author or publisher. The recommended textbooks are then put on an MEC list that is presented to schools, for teachers to select from.

Antes, havia um problema. Grandes editoras faziam um trabalho de marketing, enviando vendedores para convencer os professores. O MEC corrigiu o que considerava uma distorção. Passou a editar um Guia de Leitura e a remeter para as escolas. E os professores passaram a fazer escolhas pela Internet. Esse modelo reduziu o poder de fogo das grandes editoras, gerou muita pressão, mas abriu a possibilidades para pequenas e médias editoras entrarem no mercado.

Previously, there was a problem. Big publishing houses were doing a big marketing push, sending out salespersons to persuade schoolteachers. The MEC acted to correct what it considered a distortion in that process. It started publishing a Reading Guide and sending it to schools. And schoolteachers started making their choices via the Internet. This model reduced the firepower of the big publishing houses, generating a lot of pressure, but also opening opportunities for small and midsize publishers to enter the market.

O livro em questão entrou para a lista em 2002, devido à avaliação positiva de um professor da UNESP (Universidade Estadual Júlio de Mesquita Neto), ainda na gestão Paulo Renato de Souza.

The book in question got on the list in 2002, based on a positive evaluation by a professor from the Júlio de Mesquite Neto State University, headed at the time by Paulo Renato de Souza.

Quem retirou de pauta, na última avaliação, em abril passado, foi a Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, pois os novos avaliadores entenderam que as ressalvas eram fortes demais para que permanecessem. Nem o MEC interferiu no primeiro movimento, nem interferiu no segundo.

It was removed from the list during the last round of evaluations by the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, where new reviewers had a lot of reservations about it. The MEC did not intervene in the first recommendation, and it did not intervene in the second.

A única mudança que fez foi ampliar o número de universidades de quatro para oito. O livro acabou vetado por um avaliador de uma nova universidade incluída na seleção.

The only change made was to increase the number of participating universities from four to eight. The textbook in question wound up being vetoed by a reviewer from one of the new universities added to the selection.

Repito, Kamel sabia disso. Mais. Na seleção de trechos que colocou, do livro, menciona o que considera loas aos regimes comunistas. Mas deixou de fora trechos do livro em que há críticas explícitas ao marxismo, a Stalin e a Mao.

I repeat, Kamel knew this. And more. In the selection of passages from the textbook that he published, he highlights what he considers to be cases of singing the praises of communist regimes. But he leaves out passages from the book that explicitly criticize Marxism, Stalin and Mao.

The fancy term for this being ignoratio elenchi: “Overlooking (or feigning ignorance of) the existence of a counterargument.”

One which see also

Pior: homem que domina as estatísticas, deixou as ferramentas de lado na hora de analisar as obras colocadas à disposição dos professores. Existem 400 livros didáticos apenas na 4ª e 5ª séries. Não se valeu sequer de amostragem estatística, como, por exemplo, avaliar 20 livros e constatar problemas em parte deles.

Worse than that: A man who understands statistics, he left that knowledge at home when it came time to analyze the texts submitted to reviewers. There are 400 textbooks for the 4th and 5th grades alone. He did not use any statistical sampling, such as, for example, selecting 20 books at random and noting whether they had problems.

It’s what I like to call — unnecesarily, since there is already a perfectly good term for this — “the one-sparrow Spring” fallacy.

Globo Journalism Central gabbles.

Viciously and shamelessly.

What’s worse, it seems to engage in anachronistic red-baiting merely in the interest of maintaining its brain cell-killing culture-industrial monopoly.

What’s more, the culture-industrial production Globo promotes is a culture of logic-chopping stupidity. A vivid example:

And Ali Kamel is its messenger.

As for me, my belief is in Nassif.

The man clearly knows how to read a spreadsheet correctly and process a proposition properly through modus ponens.

You might not — and need not — agree with everything he says, but at least reading the guy makes you smarter, not stupider. Which is the main thing, you ask me.

I mean, I know I’m an idiot, but for God sake’s, don’t try to convince me that’s a good thing and that I ought to wallow in it.

I’m a freaking New Yorker. There’s nothing I hate more than being played for a sucker.

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