Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Messing with Texas

One must appreciate the fervency with which the Texas right wing has attempted to dumb down kids and fill textbooks with conservative fantasies and nonsense. It takes some stones to de-emphasize Thomas Jefferson so you can get in some claptrap about Phyllis Schlafly and the Moral Majority, pretend Latinos all just jumped the border and started contributing to America about six months ago, go on about how Japanese internment was just peachy, and make sure you've sufficiently provided enough information to the kids about how violent the philosophies of the Black Panthers were in case they got too nice of an idea about black people from MLK.

But, to the credit of Texas, they did finally get rid of Don McElroy, the man spearheading the changes.... except he still has time left on his term to do damage. And he is using every second of that time to its full stupid effect. What more can he have on tap for the Texas textbook standards that will likely affect dozens of additional states? Is another one of the founding fathers going to have to take a back seat so kids can understand how important Rush Limbaugh was to the rise of conservative talk radio? Do we have too favorable an opinion of Frederick Douglass? Are there still no Latinos of any historical note? Let's find out.
The new amendment (.pdf), which is expected to get a vote on Thursday, would require high school history students to "discuss alternatives regarding long term entitlements such as Social Security and Medicare, given the decreasing worker to retiree ratio" and also "evaluate efforts by global organizations to undermine U. S. sovereignty."
As justification for that second item, McLeroy writes: "Threats of global government to individual freedom and liberty include the votes of the U. N. General Assembly, the International Criminal Court, the U. N. Gun Ban proposal, forced redistribution of American wealth to third world countries, and global environmental initiatives."
Oh Jesus, not only do kids have to learn about the evils of socialism and entitlements, they apparently need to bone up on their UN conspiracy theories. And who can disagree? I mean it is important to learn that the UN is secretly marshaling armies to come and steal everyone's guns as a precursor to robbing us and giving all our money to Africa. Plus they want governments to deal with the environment. *shudders* The horror....

One wonders if staging a junior high Model UN gets you imprisoned now or shot outright. After all, Texas must protect itself from the black helicopters, both real and those ordered by a security council of 14 year-olds in Mr. Carruthers 3rd period Social Studies class. And what of proposals for science classes to analyze the use of tinfoil headgear to block the UN's mind reading satellites? That vote is scheduled for next week.

So congratulations to Texas. Just when I thought your textbook rewriting attempts couldn't get any more weird you fire back with some things that would raise an eyebrow or two at a Teabagger vs. Ron Paul-ite competitive bake-off. Good luck with that. The first sign of a vibrant ideology is ramming through low-rent textbook changes in an attempt to indoctrinate kids. My only consolation is that when I have children they won't have to learn any of this nonsense... they'll have to learn how to dismantle the neural net of a robot before it can get its grabber claw on you and drag you back to the hive mind for "purification of the flesh".

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