Another “indecipherable screed from George Rebane” Gee, do you think?

Editor’s note: A reader writes to The Union about another indecipherable screed from George Rebane, whose influence in our towns — for whatever reason — has expanded to being a commentator on the KVRM News Hour, a “Tech Test”administrator for our youth, and a board member of Music in the Mountains. Is anyone listening?

“On Dec. 1 there appeared yet another indecipherable screed from George Rebane, where in his attempt to appear erudite and complex, he manages only to obfuscate his message.

“Rebane tells us about ‘ … power issues from relatively miniscule metropolises where the powerful and their well fed acolytes gather.’ Does he mean Sacramento? Los Angeles? Miniscule? Really?

“And, ‘ … we are human chattel to be monitored, managed, and moved as called for by their grand plan to depopulate the hinterlands and stack/pack their inhabitants into more concentrated and controllable collections.’ Does he mean the ‘hinterland’ inhabitants will be stacked/packed? (‘Their’ is possessive for people, not hinterlands, which are inanimate, so I was confused). Why not say ‘they want to move rural population to the cities’? And who are ‘they’?

“I mean no disrespect for Mr. Rebane, who clearly is passionate about his views. But if he wants to communicate them, I suggest simple, direct, clear English, which, many believe, is the most beautiful English of all (see Shakespeare).

“I urge The Union to maintain a certain level of English clarity in the ‘Other Voices’ section, out of respect for their readers.

“David Heinen

“North San Juan”

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for years, was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News, and was Editor of The Union, a 145-year-old newspaper in Grass Valley. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing and trout fishing.

19 thoughts on “Another “indecipherable screed from George Rebane” Gee, do you think?”

  1. In his KVMR News Hour commentary, Rebane writes: “This corroborates the findings that our under-30 generation in the workforce, the so-called Millennials, are the most narrow-minded, self-absorbed, and ignorant our country has produced in the modern era. For additional data and details that underpin this finding, please read the critically acclaimed national bestseller by Professor Mark Bauerlein of Emory University titled The Dumbest Generation.”

    With that perspective, he is unfit to lead the local effort to give a “Test Test” to our local students via local schools. Who would want a clown like that around our community’s “best and brightest” kids. Are you listening Louise Johnson? Are you listening Holly Hermansen?

    1. Didn’t I tell you to get off my grass? Get the hell off my grass!…Did you hear me you whippersnapper….get off my grass!

  2. They never read it. On his blog or in The Union. That’s because his blog and The Union cater to the aging, declining population — not them. And our local millennials don’t get their news from the KVMR News Hour either. In catering to the past instead of the future, The Union, KVMR, KNCO, etc., all miss out on building businesses for the future. The millennials enjoy Moonshine Ink in Truckee, which is growing.

    1. “whose influence in our towns — for whatever reason”

      Well, don’t we actually now know “the reason”? He bought access (and didn’t you mention a little brass name plate) at KVMR with his donation. It certainly can’t be because of his humanity or intelligence.

  3. Instead of complaining about KVMR’s lack of oversight, why not do something about it?
    Perhaps, issuing a respectful legal challenge to KVMR’s Public Broadcasting priveledges and perhaps even its FCC licensing, might get more results for redress of grievances than blogging alone.

    1. You certainly know how everyone else should better their lives and their approaches to things. Judith. You certainly think alot of yourself and your usually vain and self-focused opinions. As you would say “Perhaps when it comes to other people’s opinions, or their own blogs, you “would do better” to mind your own busniness.

      1. How is working to help protecting this county’s indigenous people from harm self-serving?
        And yes Bruce, I do think enough of myself not to be bothered by the uneducated opinions of bitter little men like you.
        BTW, Trump won, neener neener neener!

  4. Rebane cares not about communicating when he is pontificating. English is his second language and he never has, or ever, will acquired the skills of a native speaker. Any one of those “self absorbed Millennials” has better communication skills than Rebane. As a cover for his inadequacy he uses the biggest words he can glean from a thesaurus when simple every day verbiage would better communicate his thoughts. He is a buffoon.

    1. Our son, an enterprising and accelerated STEM student, just earned an “A” in his college algebra class at Sierra College during his first semester as a high-school freshman. He has read Rebane’s blog and won’t get near the “Tech Test” that George uses to lord over the millennials.

      1. BTW, Gregory “independent software engineer at my place” Goodknight is woefully out of date with math curriculum. Memo to Gregory: The curriculum is on a computer and in lectures nowadays, not a textbook, stupid! A Rhetoric major has a deeper understanding of the current curriculum that he does. roflol.

  5. Interesting to note that The Union has now softened the headline on this letter to “David Heinen: Submission needs editing.” Why?

  6. ” In the case of Common Core, *because* they mandate discovery methods for how the material is delivered, algebra is delayed until the 9th grade because the pace is so plodding.”

    Greg, algebra also is taught in the 8th grade.

  7. While I haven’t read the cited Rebane piece I own and have read sections of “The Dumbest Generation,” in addition of having read all or parts of several other books discussing the same or very similar topics. In fact, I believe I quoted from Professor Bauerlein’s “The Dumbest Generation” in one of my posts on this blog. I don’t know how Rebane used/misused the content (or the plethora of unnecessary, more obscure words) in this rumination, but, uncomfortably, I must agree with much of what Bauerlein professes. The professor does not mean to include every millennial living in the class of the Dumbest, merely a rather significant percentage. My personal observations from my high school teaching years and employment of twenty-something yutes (think My Cousin Vinny) that ignorance of civics, history and other of the liberal arts is commonplace. Bauerlein’s worry is that such ignorance of these subjects — created in great part by the elevation of math, science and related disciplines to the only valuable subjects for study — is a direct threat to our Democracy.

    My own recent experience supports the dismay and fear engendered by lack of knowledge needed by citizens in our Democracy. Just a week or so prior to the recent election, for some forgotten reason, I activated my dormant Facebook account. I read a few posts then felt compelled to write a response to someone’s abysmally constructed and conceived argument, if I can elevate the comments to an actual argument. I can’t recall exactly what I wrote, but as I did teach both Civics and American History before I became a correctional educator, mostly of Mexican-American, Vietnamese-American and Skinheads, I was privy to the general abilities of many of the so-called millennials. So too with many of our generational contemporaries, un-informed by higher education and without developed critical thinking skills, a discerning, directed curiosity has not flourished.

    While many of these millenials with narrowly focused abilities can embarrass me with proficiency in higher tech skills, too often their skill set flounders when needing a liberal arts awareness, coming up empty. And even with wealthy and educated-beyond-12th-grade, contemporaries demonstrate knowledge only aligned with their vocation. Combined, with a false equivalency and formulaic endorsing media which we have, a demonstrably unfit candidate becomes our President-elect. Even with the latest revelations regarding the efforts to skew our elections, many adults remain stubbornly resistant to accepting knowledge and inconvenient facts highlighting Trumps’ unfitness. They are complicit in the Trump-calamity and the victory of ignorance now facing our democracy. (A few months ago, I think it was here, I wrote briefly about Trump’s possible role as a Russian mole. Those comments don’t seem to be too far off and are still repugnant to the far right.)

    Perhaps McConnell — since he was caught with his hand in the cookie jar — who put a lid on the hacking intelligence but now acts indignant with outrage, will finally put partisanship aside and elevate the Nation’s needs above the dysfunctional Republican party.

    1. (Forgot this . . . At our collective peril do we discount Bauerlein contention that a serious threat confronts our Democracy from the demonstrably less informed generation’s neglect of civic expertise.

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