But it could always be worse: Maine Republicans trash classroom for teaching the Constitution

May 15, 2010

You couldn’t get fiction like this published.

Republicans in Maine voted to scrap the Republican platform and write a new one — not enough unholy discrimination in the old one, too much Eisenhower, too much Lincoln, or something like that.  The convention spilled out into a local middle school for some of the platform writing shenanigans.

In one 8th grade classroom, the Maine Republicans found something they objected to, something they don’t want taught to 8th graders:  The U.S. Constitution.

Pharyngula has the story and comments here.  ThinkProgress has more gory details here. Portland (Maine) Press-Herald story here. Bangor Daily News story here.

The Republicans were particularly incensed by a poster showing a collage used to open a project assigned to the Portland 8th graders.  The 8th graders make poster collages elaborating on the Four Freedoms speech of Franklin Roosevelt, and the accompanying posters by Norman Rockwell.  Norman Rockwell.  You know.  The guy who started his professional career as art director for the Boy Scouts of America . . .

“Brainwashing” the Republicans called U.S. history.  Brainwashing.

Speaking of the children, they got into the act Tuesday after a note from “a Republican” was found in Clifford’s classroom. “A Republican was here,” it read. “What gives you the right to propagandize impressionable kids?”

Responded eighth-grader Lilly O’Leary, one of several students who sent e-mails to this newspaper decrying the behavior of their weekend guests, “I am not being brainwashed in his class under any circumstances. I am being told that I have the right to my own opinion.”

She added, “These people were adults and they were acting very immaturely.”

Remember when Republicans used to complain that we can’t jail flag-burning protesters?  When did those guys get kicked out of the party, and who are these new thugs?

When did it become the Re-Poe-blican Party?  When did they take up the Blackshirt tactics?

C’mon, Republicans.  Come back to America.  Repent now.

And — as for us Texans?  This is the stuff Don McLeroy wants to see happen in Texas social studies standards — vandalism of the U.S. Constitution and American law and tradition.

As a Scouter, as a teacher, as a fan of the U.S. Constitution, I’m concerned.  Should I be scared?

“I saw nothing in the room — and nobody pointed out anything in the room — that appeared to give a more balanced view,” [Knox County Republican Party Chairman William] Chapman said.

[Teacher Paul] Clifford and the school’s principal, Mike McCarthy, pointed out in media accounts that the posters were part of projects on freedom and free expression. [Bangor Daily News]

Maybe everyone should be scared.


Hmmmmm.  Ken County, Maine, Republicans offer rewards to people who rat out others who vandalize campaign signs.  How about they extend that to rat out the Republicans who vandalized Paul Clifford’s classroom?  You know, in the interest of free speech and all . . .


Norman Rockwell, poster of his paintings on the Four Freedoms (Library of Congress image)

Norman Rockwell, poster of his paintings on the Four Freedoms (Library of Congress image). This is part of what the Maine Tea Party Republicans objected to.

Exercise your right to stand up for freedom and educationspread the word:

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Fly your flag today to honor Americans protecting our freedoms

May 15, 2010

Armed Forces Day honors those Americans who are, today, protecting our freedom, under arms, in the U.S. military services.

Veterans Day honors those who protected us in the past.  Memorial Day honors those who died in our nation’s service, and those veterans who have passed on.  Armed Forces Day honors and celebrates living Americans, to whom we owe immediate thanks.

Fly your flag today in their honor.  Today is Armed Forces Day.

Armed Forces Day Poster, 2010

Armed Forces Day Poster, 2010

Historians: ‘Stop the Texas SBOE evisceration of history and social studies’

May 15, 2010

Keith Tucker, WhatNowToons.com, via Tennessee Guerrilla Women

Keith Tucker, WhatNowToons.com, via Tennessee Guerrilla Women

In a series of articles at George Mason University’s History News Network, historians from Texas and across the nation make a powerful case against the changes in social studies standards proposed by the politicians at the Texas State Board of Education.

Together, this is a powerful indictment of the actions of the SBOE, and strong repudiation of the raw political purposes and tactics employed in the War on Education by the “conservative” faction, including especially lame duck, anti-education crusader/jihadist Don McLeroy.

Texas scholars

Scholars outside of Texas

Historians can sign a petition set up for the purpose at a site that offers links to the essays, too, An Open Letter from Historians to the Texas State Board of Education.

SBOE will take up the issue again in meetings in Austin this coming week.

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