Insanity at Texas state school board – economics, geography and history

May 27, 2009

Tim Ritz cartoon, for Americans United

Tim Ritz cartoon, for Americans United

Texas Freedom Network’s Insider blog reports that embattled chairman Don McLeroy is working to create a panel of experts to review studies curricula.  The experts he has proposed so far are all well-known cranks in academia, people who bring their axes to grind on the minds of innocent children.

This panel is a bold insult to Texas’s community of economists, historians, and other practitioners of fields of social studies, not to mention educators.  A more qualified panel of experts could be assembled in the coffee break rooms of the history departments at most of Texas’s lesser known state colleges and universities.

Why does Don McLeroy hate Texas so?

I’ve been buried in teaching, grading, planning and the other affairs of the life of a teacher, and had not paid much attention to the movement on this issue (“movement” because I cannot call it “progress”).  My students passed the state tests by comfortable margins, more than 90% of them; this news from SBOE makes me despair even  in the face of the news that our achievements are substantial in all categories.

The panel lacks knowledge and experience in economics, geography and history.  The panel is grotesquely unbalanced — at least two of the panel members remind me of Ezra Taft Benson, who was Secretary of Agriculture for Dwight Eisenhower.  When he resigned from that post, he complained that Eisenhower was too cozy with communism.  Barton and Quist lean well to the right  of Ezra Taft Benson.  Quist has complained of socialist and Marxist leanings of Reagan administration education policy and policy makers.

Samuel Morse sent the first telegraphic message on May 24, 1844:  “What hath God wrought?”

Sitting here on the morning of May 27, 2009, I wonder what rot hath Don.

No, the U.S. is not a “Christian nation”

April 9, 2009

Why is this an issue again?

Here’s the encore post of the original 2006 post quoting Jefferson on the topic of religious freedom, and what it means.

Can we lay off Obama now?  It’s no slam on America that he knows U.S. history better than most of us.  It’s encouraging.

Christian nation trap ensnares John McCain

October 5, 2007

Let’s put an end to the silly “Christian nation” notion once and for all. Can we?

I am a hopeful person. Of course, I realize that it is highly unlikely we would ever be able to disabuse people of the Christian nation myth.

Okay — then let’s at least lay some facts on the table.

John McCain, perhaps as Popeye

First, some background. John McCain, U.S. Senator from Arizona and candidate for U.S. president, granted an exclusive interview to a reporter from Read excerpts here.

In the interview McCain falls into the Christian nation trap:

Q: A recent poll found that 55 percent of Americans believe the U.S. Constitution establishes a Christian nation. What do you think?
A: I would probably have to say yes, that the Constitution established the United States of America as a Christian nation. But I say that in the broadest sense. The lady that holds her lamp beside the golden door doesn’t say, “I only welcome Christians.” We welcome the poor, the tired, the huddled masses. But when they come here they know that they are in a nation founded on Christian principles.

Second, David Kuo properly, but gingerly, takes on McCain′s argument (hooray for

Then, third, Rod Dreher (the Crunchy Con from the Dallas Morning News) agrees with McCain, mostly.

McCain’s blithe endorsement of this myth, based in error and continued as a political drive to shutting down democratic processes. McCain may be starting to understand some of the difficulties with this issue. His remarks are a week old, at least, and there’s been a wire story a day since then. Will it make him lean more toward taking my advice?

Below the fold, I post a few observations on why we should just forget the entire, foolish claim. Read the rest of this entry »

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