Sunday, March 14, 2010

Texas -"It's Gonna Be A Whole Other Country"

Warning: Wiki links ahead. Wikipedia has it's flaws and hiccups, but most of the articles on their own have a bigger list of related links than I can post here without making Kitteh scared.

Texas' tourism motto may be prophetic given the growing pile up of shenanigans, from Repent Amarillo's branching out to a boycott of the entire city of Houston to the Board of Education's vote to remove Thomas Jefferson from high school teachings on the Enlightenment. They replaced him with John Calvin and Thomas Aquinas, and also voted in favor of a standard that wants to put Jefferson Davis in the same moral box as Abraham Lincoln, and effectively rewrite the last several decades of race relations and civil rights. It's a gear up from an ongoing overhaul that has previously removed such figures as Thurgood Marshall, Anne Hutchinson, and César Chávez from the material as people who didn't do anything significant or effective enough to deserve mention.

Texas Freedom Network has running details of their coverage of the meeting, including a pesky little problem of the Second Amendment being more appropriate to cover the First Amendment rather than just letting the First speak for itself. While the personal stance of the reporter is seriously obvious, I have a hard time thinking it out of line or completely uncalled-for:
11:21 – Board member Barbara Cargill wants to insert a discussion of the right to bear arms in a standard that focuses on First Amendment rights and the expression of various points of view. This is absurd. If they want students to study the right to bear arms, at least try to find an appropriate place in the standards for it. This is yet another example of politicians destroying the coherence of a curriculum document for no reason other than promoting ideological pet causes. Republican board member Bob Craig of Lubbock is suggesting a better place for such a standard. But the amendment passes anyway. The board’s far-right faction is simply impervious to logic.
11:30 – Board member Pat Hardy notes that elsewhere the standards already require students to study each of the freedoms and rights guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. No one seems to care.
11:33 – Bob Craig tries, once again, to talk some sense into these folks. Board member Cynthia Dunbar argues that the original standard’s focus on the rights of “petition, assembly, speech, and press in a democratic society” unfairly emphasizes the First Amendment over others. She suggests taking that out altogether if the Second Amendment isn’t included. Board member Ken Mercer argues that the right to bear arms is too important not to include here. But it IS included in the standards. The purpose of the original standard is to have students understand the rights to free expression in a democratic society. The right to bear arms is not relevant to that purpose.
11:40 – We wonder why they wouldn’t include the freedom of religious expression in this amendment instead of the right to bear arms.

Also on today's list of Things That Make Me Go "Are you high?" is this statement from board member David Bradley:

“I reject the notion by the left of a constitutional separation of church and state,” said David Bradley, a conservative from Beaumont who works in real estate. “I have $1,000 for the charity of your choice if you can find it in the Constitution.”

I've got $20.00 for the charity of your choice (unless it really sucks) that puts Texas' secession and re-formation as the Theocratic Republic of Texas within the next 10-20 years, unless the sane Texans all gang up and vote some of these guys in.


  1. And *they* were accusing Barack Obama of going in and indoctrinating kids when he gave his speech about staying in school? Whatever!

    This ultimately has nothing to do with children, or their education. What it has to do with is getting people riled up for upcoming elections, in the most insidious way possible. Every point that they've brought up in these "revisions" is a talking point off of FOX News in general, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, the whole Tea Party mess, etc. It's the standard party line of the (new) right to a "T". This move on the part of the Texas Board of Shitheads (sorry, I won't defile "education" by using it in the title) is nothing but pure politics, and they're putting kids in the crosshairs of their political snipefest.

    That - if nothing else - should be what motivates everybody with a brain to speak out, even if they don't have kids themselves. Even if they're not living in TX, people should speak up because this has the ability to impact schoolkids across the entire country.

    Even worse, it's crap like this that could conceivably lead to a generation of kids not being motivated to speak out against any kind of theocracy because it will have been drilled into their heads that it's OK. Which, IMNSHO, is partly what these buttwipes are shooting for.

    The implications of this are far too numerous to address in one comment box. Needless to say, it cheeses me off.

  2. @Jess:

    Agreed - and maybe the scariest implication is the influence you noted that Texas standards have on the publishing industry: