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Education Republicans United States News Politics Science

Conservative Textbook Curriculum Passes Final Vote In Texas 895

Posted by Soulskill
from the maximum-truthiness dept.
suraj.sun sends in a followup to a story we've been following about the Texas Board of Education's efforts to put a more political spin on some of their state's textbooks. From the Dallas Morning News: "In a landmark move that will shape the future education of millions of Texas schoolchildren, the State Board of Education on Friday approved new curriculum standards for US history and other social studies courses that reflect a more conservative tone than in the past. Split along party lines, the board delivered a pair of 9-5 votes to adopt the new standards, which will dictate what is taught in all Texas schools and provide the basis for future textbooks and student achievement tests over the next decade. Texas standards often wind up being taught in other states because national publishers typically tailor their materials to Texas, one of the biggest textbook purchasers in the country. Approval came after the GOP-dominated board approved a new curriculum standard that would encourage high school students to question the legal doctrine of church-state separation — a sore point for social conservative groups who disagree with court decisions that have affirmed the doctrine, including the ban on school-sponsored prayer."
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Conservative Textbook Curriculum Passes Final Vote In Texas

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  • by Improv (2467) <> on Saturday May 22, 2010 @01:24PM (#32306542) Homepage Journal

    We either need the DOE to take control of this kind of thing, or we need the other states to be willing to go through this process for themselves.

  • I for one (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Herkum01 (592704) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @01:25PM (#32306554)

    Welcome to the new American Taliban.

    Finally they are no longer pretending to be like the rest of us.

  • Re:Trite, I know (Score:2, Insightful)

    by gyrogeerloose (849181) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @01:26PM (#32306564) Journal

    God, these are idiots.

    Idiots? Why are you being so polite to those dunderheaded inbred fucking morons?

  • by roman_mir (125474) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @01:27PM (#32306582) Homepage Journal

    Those who control the present, control the past. Those who control the past, control the future.

  • by DarkOx (621550) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @01:31PM (#32306618) Journal

    No I think letting the Federal DOE become the ministry of information would have far worse consequences than this decision in Texas.

    I have read lots of history and while I think the church-and-state arguments the Texas board makes are a little week, I can tell you that if you pickup the typical High School Civics book today there IS a progressive bias. I don't think its out of line to insists that books at least cover major political events like the Contract with America, the Goldwater movement in the 60s and not leaving kids with the impression Nixon started Vietnam, is out of line at all.

  • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @01:33PM (#32306632)

    encourage high school students to question the legal doctrine of church-state separation -- a sore point for social conservative groups who disagree with court decisions that have affirmed the doctrine, including the ban on school-sponsored prayer.

    While there are numerous problems with the curriculum, isn't teaching students to be skeptical of government a good thing? If you blindly follow what the government says, democracy in a free society falls apart.

    A free thinking individual should be skeptical of all things the government has done, question the motives for various laws and if they believe they are unjust, vote against them or otherwise try to get them repealed.

    There are some good examples in this particular case. It just comes down to interpretation.

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    Is the actual text, it says nowhere about "separation of church and state" it comes down to interpretation if school prayer is a violation of establishing a national religion.

    Really, out of all the things wrong in the Texas curriculum why does TFS point out something that could very well be a benefit. Teaching students to question government.

  • by Calydor (739835) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @01:37PM (#32306684)

    Because this isn't about questioning government per se.

    It's about questioning why America doesn't allow the church to create laws.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 22, 2010 @01:40PM (#32306710)

    It is not teaching the students to question government, it is teaching students to see a problem with not living in a theocracy. Seperation of Church and State is one of the very cores of this nation, and it is an issue that revolves around the issues that religion can cause. God does not belong in government, assuming he exists he has his domain and we have ours. (I assume he doesn't but hey)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 22, 2010 @01:43PM (#32306750)

    The conservatives often complain that we spend too much money on education costs. But yet they then want to rewrite all the textbooks to meet their own versions of history. In the end, aren't they just increasing the costs of education, by forcing schools to buy new textbooks that meet the new standards? This seems counter to the "free market", "don't tread on me" idealism that they were pushing not too long ago...

    While what is going in Texas is absolutely disgusting, it will not increases costs. Textbooks are bought (adopted) on a cycle. I don't know how it is Texas but every 7 years new textbooks are purchased to replace all the current textbooks that are at a school.

    What this does basically, is limit what textbook choices a district can consider when purchasing for a new adoption. It will not force districts to have to replace their current books until the district's/school's next adoption period.

  • Re:Texas (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ArsonSmith (13997) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @01:43PM (#32306754) Journal

    the desire to centralize government always comes in the guise of a hero on a white horse. The fight to keep or free slaves was not fought because of the slaves it was due to power grabs from the federal government. You could say that the Democrats really liked having their slaves and the Republicans were trying to free them, but in reality, the Republicans were just grabbing for power, like usual, while the Democrats where trying to keep their right to chose, slavery.

  • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @01:47PM (#32306780)
    Look at the constitution.

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    It is entirely up to interpretation if allowing prayer in schools constitutes an "establishment of religion" or whether it is "prohibiting the free exercise thereof".

    Nowhere in the constitution does it say that there is "separation of church and state" all that the constitution says it that congress can't pass any laws forbidding you from practicing your religion and from establishing a national religion. Such claims are, as rightfully stated, matters of interpretation.

    That isn't to say that I don't agree with the interpretation, but it is just that: an interpretation.

  • Re:I for one (Score:2, Insightful)

    by the_leander (759904) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @01:47PM (#32306782) Journal

    Hardly, these local people deciding to rewrite history will have an effect on everyone else's children as practically all textbooks are produced by only a handful of companies. Other states may well having to adopt this revisionism.

    If they continue to rewrite history in a way that suits their political and religious sensibilities they may well end up being unable to export workers outside of the state or even the US.

  • by SlowGenius (231663) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @01:48PM (#32306790) Homepage

    Speaking as a generally liberal person, I'd have to agree with this. While I believe there should continue to be a strong separation of church and state, I don't think see anything at all wrong with students being encouraged to examine the question of whether or not there should be. After all, the whole point of a "liberal" education (in the classical sense) is to encourage dogma-free thinking (including the freedom to examine the pros and cons of dogma-free thinking).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 22, 2010 @01:49PM (#32306802)

    Reality has a progressive bias.

  • by j0nb0y (107699) <> on Saturday May 22, 2010 @01:51PM (#32306822) Homepage

    I'm a conservative. My real problem with this is that a strong central government (Texas) is making decisions that should be made at the local level.

    As such, having the DOE take control of educational standards is not a good solution. There's currently a Democrat in the White House, but how would you feel if a Republican took control and shoved Texas style standards through the DOE, having nation wide effect?

    These are decisions that should be made by communities and teachers, not bureaucrats.

  • by starseeker (141897) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @01:53PM (#32306836) Homepage

    I've wondered about this for a while now - couldn't universities ban together and commit some resources (a small contribution from a large number of schools) to create a K-12 series of texts on major subjects, that is designed by the best available experts and freely available for all districts to use? Creative Commons licensing (oddly enough, CC has a link right now to Virginia's Department of Education and some work they are doing) and (insofar as is humanly possible) a focus on just the facts of history and their documentable consequences. To enforce some objective standard of what constitutes a fact, require documented citations to primary historical sources for all parts of the book asserting facts - preferably citations with links to the source material. The final form of the textbook delivered to students wouldn't necessarily include those references, but they would be present online and mandatory for anything that reached the "final" version. Let the broader college professor community decide on the acceptability of/validity of any particular cited source.

    Not only would this provide a mechanism for creation and distribution of textbooks that wouldn't be easily influenced by political agendas (tenured professors are about as pressure-proof as we're likely to get and still have sufficient domain knowledge to do useful work) but it would make good quality teaching materials universally and cheaply available. If school districts didn't have to pony up so much money for textbooks, what else could they do with the money?

  • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @01:53PM (#32306838)

    encourage high school students to question the legal doctrine of church-state separation -- a sore point for social conservative groups who disagree with court decisions that have affirmed the doctrine, including the ban on school-sponsored prayer.

    While there are numerous problems with the curriculum, isn't teaching students to be skeptical of government a good thing?

    No. Teaching them to be skeptical of the government in general is a good thing. Teaching them to be skeptical about certain, well established, historical occurrences is not a good thing. They are not teaching kids to be skeptical of the government, but to question the history researched by many,many historians in favor of history as these politicians would like it to be.

    Is[sic] the actual text, it says nowhere about "separation of church and state" it comes down to interpretation if school prayer is a violation of establishing a national religion.

    No, which is why we have to read all the letters and essays written by the people who wrote that portion of the constitution. Clearly it was written by Locke who made his views on the matter very clear. You can go read them yourself. Jefferson coined the phrase "separation of church and state" but it was just a catchier phrasing of Locke's idea.

    As for "interpretation of school prayer" that's a vague term. It's perfectly legal to pray in schools or other public institutions. It's not legal to promote any particular religion when acting as an agent of the government and public schools are government institutions. I don't see that this is open to much interpretation at all.

    Teaching students to question government.

    Because you're overgeneralizing. Teaching students to be skeptical of a well established principal of founding fathers is not teaching them to be skeptical of the government. It's teaching them to be skeptical of history as supported by the facts. It's analogous to teaching kids to be skeptical of the fact that George Washington was a man. Sure that's what the government wants you to think, but while we don't have any fancy facts or historical records, you have to be skeptical. Washington may have been a woman, probably was, just dressed as a man so she could get things done in a male chauvinist dominated society.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 22, 2010 @01:54PM (#32306850)

    If you believe that text books anywhere are unbiased you've got mental blinders on the size of Texas.

    And I suppose that makes striving for the least bias possible somehow less noble.

  • by Dhalka226 (559740) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @01:55PM (#32306860)

    "What we have is the history profession, the experts, seem to have a left-wing tilt, so what we were doing is trying to restore some balance to the standards," board member Don McLeroy said in March [].

    In other words: "Despite being a two-bit politician on a school board, I'm going to ignore what even I call the experts' views and bend curriculum to support my political whims because I am a fucking retard."

  • Re:Dear Texas (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DAldredge (2353) <SlashdotEmail@GMail.Com> on Saturday May 22, 2010 @01:56PM (#32306876) Journal
    Thank you for grouping everyone in an entire state into one neat little category.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 22, 2010 @01:57PM (#32306896)

    This is not political disagreement. This is a backlash to an attempt of a small group of vocal minority to slowly rewrite history. In another generation or two, children will be taught the civil rights act is an unfortunate and unnecessary federal encroachment on state right, that the free market would have right all wrongs, that Christianity is an inseparable element of government because all the founding fathers are Christians, the evolution is just one of hundreds of remote possibilities of explaining the way lifeforms are on Earth and every theory is just as valid and plausible, that human rights are relative and flexible according to the situation and not a firm belief that we should uphold.

    It is not a different opinion. It is subversion of facts. The manifestation of the 'truthiness' movement the conservative has been advocating to bend reality to their satisfaction. And you thought only Steve Jobs have a RDF. LOL

    And it is not prejudices, because these are all facts that we know. There can be no prejudices when there are no judgment involved.

    So by your definition, it is not bigotry.

  • by davester666 (731373) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @02:05PM (#32306962) Journal

    IMHO, it's less important that Texas decided to do this to their 'own' children.

    The more important thing is that for the rest of the nation, they would rather just accept it for slightly cheaper textbooks, rather than paying more for the ones they want.

  • by mcgrew (92797) * on Saturday May 22, 2010 @02:06PM (#32306970) Homepage Journal

    They don't sound so "conservative" to me. Lies are conservative?

    Environmentalism=conservation, "conservatives"=anti-environmentalism.

    Constitution: separation of church and state (what could be more conservative than the basis of all US law?). "Conservatives": church in state=sponsored schools.

    The list goes on. The only thing they want to conserve is the rich's wealth. "Antiprogress" is a better label than "conservative".

    These "conservatives" are anti-American.

  • Re:I for one (Score:4, Insightful)

    by the_leander (759904) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @02:10PM (#32306992) Journal

    But by the same token neither do these people.

    With respect, writing out people who are inconvenient to your religious leanings and omitting large chunks of well established and documented history is a very dangerous path to go down.

  • social conservatism is all about a simplistic model of human behavior: teenagers, just don't have sex, homosexuals, just stop being homosexual, just say no to drugs, etc.

    ironically, social conservatives always wind up breaking their own principles. just examine the folly of anti-homosexual activists found in homosexual situations form throughout history, especially recent, for examples. and you can bet the daughters of politicians who rail against abortion are secretly flown to canada when a "problem" happens

    social conservatism is always "do as i say, not as i do". and there isn't really any malice in their simple-mindedness. most of them sincerely believe their own dunderheaded takes on human nature, and then wind up paying the price for their simpleminded edicts on human behavior

    human nature is complex, and when forced into simplistic models, you just wind up causing more suffering than you are attempting to stop. this isn't an attempt to excuse lack of responsibility or criminal activity, its a simple obvious statement that the real world is more complex than very simpleminded teachings

    social conservatives are not evil, they're just stupid

  • by clarkkent09 (1104833) * on Saturday May 22, 2010 @02:10PM (#32306996)
    I'd like someone to point me to the list of actual inaccuracies in there? I have read the first 10-15 most recent articles google turned up that seemed from the tile to be very critical of the new curriculum and hardly a single bit of information on what exactly is wrong with it. Newsweek has a list of 10 "silliest changes" [] and they don't seem particularly silly or factually inaccurate. If that's the worse there is then I don't understand what the fuss is about.
  • by Draek (916851) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @02:10PM (#32306998)

    Also, "I think we've corrected the imbalance we've had in the past and now have our curriculum headed straight down the middle." I don't know if what they have is "straight down the middle", but to me, any correction the other way is a good thing after 140 years of liberal guidance.

    Not really. Thing is, you're assuming these "liberals" that "injected their view" previously were far-left extremists. They weren't even close. In fact, by most of the world's recognition they were at best "mild conservatives" so a correction the other way would've been to push a true liberal agenda, this turn towards hardcore fundamentalism only exacerbates the problem that already existed beforehand.

    In most of the world I'm categorized as a right-wing conservative, yet in the US I'd likely be labeled a "capitalism-hating socialist" for my political views. You there have Mussolini in one side and Hitler on the other, the middle ground between them is still fascism. What you need to look for is a middle ground on a *global* scale, but that lies to the left of your left, not to your right.

  • by krupan (1816340) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @02:13PM (#32307026)
    Regardless of what decisions they make, does it bother anyone else that a board or 15 people apparently decides the curriculum for the whole country? Seems like that would be the first thing to fix.
  • by Aurin Wildfire (231048) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @02:14PM (#32307034)

    Don't we have a responsibility to protect those children from what their community wants to teach them?


  • by adamchou (993073) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @02:14PM (#32307038)
    Your ideas are fine and all but the real issue here isn't the fact that decisions were made at the wrong level. The problem here is that decisions are being made by a group of people with an agenda to pass that completely goes against our countries constitution. Even worse, they're trying to educate our future children concepts that are polar opposites of what our country was founded upon.
  • by Tassach (137772) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @02:17PM (#32307074)
    When Teddy Roosevelt and the rest of the sane people left the Republican party in 1912.
  • Re:I for one (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @02:18PM (#32307084)

    "rewriting history" is just accusation against someone that doesn't believe your incorrect version of history.

    "Rewriting history" means just that. The objection is they are changing what is taught as history to be something other than what the documents and supporting evidence that we have shows it to be, in favor of what non-experts who haven't done any research but do have a political agenda want it to be.

    The federal government doesn't get to say what history is, neither do you.

    Both the federal and state governments are forbidden from promoting any specific religion and with very good reason. If you bothered to read the writings of the founding fathers you'd see some excellent explanations as to why this is the case. Now you have a state government trying to convince the citizenry that is not the case, using tax dollars; which is likely illegal under the exact provision they're trying to convince people does not exist... all this while admitting they are not "experts" and haven't done any "research" on the topic.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 22, 2010 @02:19PM (#32307086)

    But that just means you agree with things that are silly or factually doesn't mean that those things *aren't* silly or factually inaccurate.

  • Re:Texas (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bugi (8479) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @02:27PM (#32307170)

    Still fighting the crusades in 2010. They made a full frontal attack on 1st amendment. They only knocked the 13th amendment around a little. Don't worry though, you can be sure that's next.

    Note: I'm perfectly fine with teaching about the religious fundamentalism that was part of our early history. It's erasing the parts about how and why we have slowly overcome our collective bigotry to become the largely pluralistic society we are today that bugs me.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 22, 2010 @02:29PM (#32307184)

    What you call 'bigotry', (ie. the harsh animosity towards people who are plainly illustrating how they are going to lie to our children and strip history of truth and lessons in order to fit a terribly mislead political agenda) can hardly be viewed as entirely unjustified.

    This is not a difference of opinion. This is an angry outlash at those who would take their obstinate or intolerant devotion to his or her own opinions and prejudices, look at it and say "Hm...well, I could just poison my OWN children with these lies, but I think I am going to have laws pushed through that can spread the deception to every single child in the state."

    Setting up situations where your academic record has the potential to be coloured by your belief in a god is disgusting. It deserves to be railed with the foulest language available. It's the same thing as teaching creationism in science class. You're lying because it's not science, it's hocus pocus. If you want to believe in giants at the top of beanstalks or whatever, fine. Live your fantasy. But you can't take your made up lah-dee-dahs and force the general public to believe them through indoctrination.

  • by the eric conspiracy (20178) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @02:30PM (#32307198)

    Sorry, but prayer led by state paid employees in a state-funded institution i.e. public school is obviously establishment of a state religion.

  • by Suzuran (163234) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @02:35PM (#32307240)

    This is not "Conservative"! Using "Conservative" to describe this is like using "Hacker" to describe script kiddies, or "Canadian Goose" to instead of "Canada Goose". It's popular, but it's still wrong!

    Conservative means a limited government with limited power to interfere in the lives of individual citizens; That is, the government has no jurisdiction over (and therefore cannot interfere in) gay marriage, abortion, individual educational materials, etc. These "Conservatives" want a large oppressive government to force their social and religious agendas on the citizenry; That is not conservative! It's the opposite! Stop calling it that!

  • by clarkkent09 (1104833) * on Saturday May 22, 2010 @02:39PM (#32307288)
    You are right. Whether they realize it or not, the "progressives" in the US tend more towards fascism [] than socialism i.e. they don't want to nationalize private property they simply want the state to control it.
  • by bosef1 (208943) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @02:40PM (#32307298)

    That Newsweek article is poorly written and just... bad; don't use it as evidence on either side of the debate. Many people have legitimate and well-reasoned arguments against the various changes proposed and implenmented by the Texas Board of Education, but that article does not reflect them. Unfortunately, I since I haven't been following the situation closely, I can't direct you to better information.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 22, 2010 @02:40PM (#32307302)

    If stupidity lends itself to acts of evil, then isn't stupidity evil?

  • by sstamps (39313) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @02:42PM (#32307320) Homepage

    It is entirely up to interpretation if allowing prayer in schools constitutes an "establishment of religion" or whether it is "prohibiting the free exercise thereof".

    Disallowing prayer in schools *IS* "prohibiting the free exercise thereof". REQUIRING prayer, or even LEADING prayer constitutes an "establishment of religion". Both are similarly odious, and both must be denied / stopped / prevented under the law.

    Simply put, if the kids want to pray, let them pray, and to whomever and about whatever they please. However, the teachers, administrators, counselors, etc, should not be leading said prayer, nor should the school policies require it in any way, shape, or form.

    Besides, to whom, for whom, or for what reason are the kids going to be required to pray / led to pray? That's where this gets sticky. Muslims and Jews aren't going to pray to Jesus. Atheists aren't going to pray to anyone. Buddhists and Hindus are going to be looking at each other going "wtf?".

    That's why the whole notion of challenging the foundational concept of the separation of church and state is, to put it very mildly, so wrong.

    We've been going at this for over two centuries, and we're still debating this? It's settled. It's done. It is just and correct. Leave it the hell alone. (I know I am mostly preaching to the choir here; it is just a mini-rant directed at the "conservatives" in Texas rehashing this stupidity).

  • by cryfreedomlove (929828) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @02:43PM (#32307340)
    The civil war was about slavery. Viewed from the perspective of 2010, it was good (abolitionist) vs. evil (slavery). Why, then, do outspoken Christians seem to always be stretching to push the confederacy as a just cause? Jesus preached 'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you'. Doesn't that golden rule clearly lay down an opposition to slavery?
  • Don't touch Thomas (Score:2, Insightful)

    by LostInTaiwan (837924) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @02:46PM (#32307354)

    Reducing the role of Thomas Jefferson? Why? He's one of my favorite founding father. The person who writes so eloquently about freedom and dares to question the validity of God by cutting and pasting his own version of the bible. Yet, he still chooses to keep slave and may have even father children with slaves. To me, Thomas Jefferson personifies the constant struggle we all have between liberty and financial reality.

    Our society is best served when we base our laws and actions on our collective logic and reason. What ever flaws DOE or any other government bureaucracy has is infinitely better than having our laws decided base on a illogical text supposedly written by God but in reality is written by men masquerading as God. The social conservative can't win their arguments base on science or logic so now they are trying to subvert our nation with politics staring with our children. I am ashamed to be a registered Republican. Damn, when they said small fiscally responsible government I didn't know the plan was to save money by moving city hall to the local christian churches and hand everyone a bible as an all purpose first aid kit, universal text book, and life's decision maker. . . . .

  • by TopSpin (753) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @02:49PM (#32307372) Journal

    We either need the DOE to take control of this kind of thing, or we need the other states to be willing to go through this process for themselves.

    California is much larger than Texas in terms of education spending. Florida isn't far behind. You'll be surprised to learn that both of these states have school boards of their own that are highly unlikely to capitulate to the demands or agendas of Texas. Publishers are not so foolish as to believe they are going to sell whatever material TX comes up with in CA or elsewhere just because TX says so. In fact they will, in all likelihood, delight in the opportunity to reject and ridicule it. You may rest assured the balance of the nation is going to have exactly zero difficulty obtaining all the NEA approved material they can afford to overspend on.

    The above should be completely self-evident to all of you. The next time you encounter this twaddle that Texas is going to corrupt the NEA blessed curricula of the nation, dock whomever is making that claim some credibility points; they're playing you for a hysterical fool. Take a breath, think about it and please, stop demanding the Feds rush in and make it all better. The Dept of Ed. was formed in 1979; has public education (actual education, as opposed to spending) in the US improved since then or not?

  • by ClosedSource (238333) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @03:00PM (#32307444)

    The problem is that some people want their brand of Christianity to become the "Church of the United States". You can't protect religion from the government without keeping religion out of it.

  • by Miseph (979059) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @03:06PM (#32307496) Journal

    So because some other schools, most of which we have no control over what so ever, engage in blatant and destructive propaganda... we should let these schools over which we DO have control engage in blatant and destructive propaganda as well?

    In any event, that's not the issue being discussed, making it irrelevant information, making your entire point a meaningless digression.

    I'll bet you're one of those people who says "well if a terrorist captures an American, they'll torture and brutally execute them, so that makes it morally justified for us to torture them to gather intelligence". It turns out that, in fact, two wrongs DON'T make a right. It's rationalization, plain and simple, and it has no place in a society that purports itself to be the defender of civilization and human progress.

  • by unity100 (970058) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @03:06PM (#32307498) Homepage Journal
    it should be 'medieval' or 'brain dead'. as an example, observe the below post how a registered poster unhesitatingly describes the founder of his nation being sidelined in text books as 'facts returning to textbooks' :

    The entire education system in U.S. has a very left bias. Our kids are being indoctrinated, not taught. This is good because these textbooks return facts to the books. The left wing bias of most posters here is disconcerting. You all post as if your minority view is the correct one. America is a Center-Right Country. Always has been. Our kids need to be taught facts, not leftist ideology and indoctrinated with lies and bias. So, any movement to put facts into textbooks is a good one.

  • by mwvdlee (775178) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @03:11PM (#32307524) Homepage

    It might interest you to know that from a standpoint of pretty much every other democratic country in the world, the USA's main parties are either right wing or extreme right wing. Progressives are merely moderate right wing.

    USA fear of anything "social" causes few americans to understand there is a very wide gap between fascism/communism and what americans consider normal.

    Most of the world has watched with puzzlement as many american's protested (and continue to protest) against a medical healthcare system even less social than what most democratic countries have been running succesfully for decades.

    In my own experience, many Americans seem to blackout when the word "social" is mentioned, immediately jumping to the conclusion that it means "oppressive communist dictatorship" instead of merely "less anti-social". When the USA and it's citizens do so many things right and have so much to offer the rest of the world, I just find it sad to know most Americans simply don't care about anybody but themselves.

  • by RazorSharp (1418697) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @03:12PM (#32307540)

    "Reality has a liberal bias." - Stephen Colbert

    Show me a textbook that even slightly implies that Nixon started Vietnam. Please. Perhaps you meant ended.

    Goldwater is barely worth studying (much more important things occurred during that era, like civil rights) and the Contract with America, while important, has yet to be a part of history long enough to be properly evaluated. Detailed modern history is usually reserved for higher education.

    Your argument that we have less reason to trust the federal government than the state of Texas with our educational criteria is absurd. How ironic that you used Orwell, a socialist, to defend this absurd claim. Perhaps if the state of Texas wasn't making it mandatory for their textbooks to print lies then you would have a point, but there has never been any indication that the federal government, if they did control academic curriculum, would utilize it to for propaganda. You trust the Texas Board of Education more than the federal government because you fear the feds might do what the TBE is doing?

    Orwell is probably rolling in his grave over how grossly misunderstood 1984 is. The guy wasn't a libertarian, he wasn't anti-federal government. If anything, he'd be critical of the double-speak the TBE is trying to implement into their textbooks. To say this nation was founded as a theocracy is a lie. To deny the intentional boundary our founding fathers formed between church and state is to lie. This crazy brand of Christianity these evangelicals practice didn't even exist when this country was founded and when Thomas Jefferson used the word "God" he never meant "the Judeo-Christian God."

  • by iamhassi (659463) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @03:12PM (#32307546) Journal
    "someone that grew up with Texas' new curriculum invented time travel."

    Again, no one "invents" anything, we're given God's Divine Inspiration and only through His Will do we have the power to create anything. The same inspiration that makes the grass grow, babies born, and blesses the Great State of Texas everyday.

    At least that's what my Texas history book sent to me from the future told me.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 22, 2010 @03:13PM (#32307554)

    No... reality, as you see it, being a product of the public education system has a progressive bias. Those who haven't been brainwashed see it differently.

    Even though I don't live in the south and I'm not religious is the slightest, I applaud this if it gives an alternative to federal indoctrination. I say get rid of the DOE entirely. Let local communities decide what to teach.

  • by Omestes (471991) <> on Saturday May 22, 2010 @03:13PM (#32307560) Homepage Journal

    Yes and no. You are right about the pure Constitutional wording, but you ignore the actual writing of many of the founders who were aiming for a pure secular government. Many of our founders wouldn't even be considered Christian by many of the strange-fundamentalists of today (but then again Jesus probably would be rather confused and sickened by them, C'est la vie). You also ignore our legal tradition, and the fact that our government was made to change with the times. SCOTUS pretty much made the current view of the Establishment Clause, which also is completely legal and Constitutional.

    Also having the State endorse a single religion, and rule from its principles at the exclusion of others, is pretty much making a de facto state religion, which is unconstitutional in a pretty conservative sense. I find it hard to find common ideological ground with people who think our government should be anything but areligious.

      Try reading "George Washington's Sacred Fire" by Peter A. Lillback for a historically correct look at what the founders intended.

    By this you of course mean "an interpretation of facts that happens to align with my ideologies". The founding fathers were anything but unified on anything. They had a very diverse range of views that were often contradictory. The Constitution is a political document, meaning it is mainly compromises and concessions. It is the best document we could have, mind, but it is pretty much divorced from the personal philosophy of any single founder. Their individual thoughts on any given topic really doesn't matter one bit from a legalistic stand-point.

  • by tsm_sf (545316) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @03:19PM (#32307598) Journal
    You are right. Whether they realize it or not, the "progressives" in the US tend more towards fascism than socialism

    I'd hardly call our current crop of Dems "progressive" by any means, and it seems to me that both the Democrats and Republicans are getting a little too friendly with fascism these days. Both the right and the left are getting fed up with their parties.

    The obvious solution is proportional representation, but we're too lazy to implement it. We've got the politicians we deserve.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 22, 2010 @03:23PM (#32307634)

    Progress is always a bad word when it's progressing toward a negative outcome. Progress is just a motion toward something. Motion toward what?

    The rise of the third Reich was progressive, and so was the American Revolution. They were just progressing toward opposite end goals. What is considered 'progressive' these days is usually a progression toward an eco-fascist politically correct tyranny disguised as a friendly humanitarian democracy. It's a similar tyranny to Communism. They'll love you to death. In fact, the more they love you, the more you seem to be impoverished. Neato. Progressives are not champions of anything other than state power and authoritarian government that would make Adolf Hitler jealous. They are just as bad as Republicans. They don't even care when their own "messiahs" are bombing countries around the world for the profit of the armaments industry and Wall Street banks, just so long as it's done by their man.

    Progress is a means, not an end. The political trickery is to make you believe progress is an end in itself, so that you won't pay attention to just what this progression is leading us toward.

  • There is a huge difference in the state of Texas spending their own money to educate their children with a curriculum they choose and the United States government taxing every tax paying American to educate all children with a one sided, politically correct/motivated curriculum.

    How is this different from the state of Texas taxing every tax paying Texan to educate all children with a one sided, politically (and factually) incorrect/motivated curriculum and the United States spending their (collective) money to educate their children with a curriculum they (collectively) choose?

    Honestly, apart from the fact you (presumably) like the choices the Texas School Board is making, I can't see the difference.

  • by Nidi62 (1525137) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @03:28PM (#32307670)

    The civil war was about slavery.

    No, it wasn't. Saying the Civil War was about slavery is like saying WWII was about killing Jews. Slavery was a factor of the underlying causes of the Civil War, namely 2 countries trying to exist in the same area. The North and the South had different economic systems, different beliefs on government, different social beliefs, different cultures. Slavery might have been the reason for a Northern politician, but for the average Northern soldier, it was to keep his country together. For the average Southern soldier, it was about protecting his home, his family, his state from what he saw as aggression from a foreigner trying to dictate to him. Many soldiers in the Northern AND Southern armies had never even seen slaves, or black men in general. Many of the wealthiest Southerners still could only afford 1-2 slaves. Many of those slaves were treated very well, because they were considered an investment. Many slaves lived better than "free" men living in northern industrial cities. But hey, what do I know, I only have a degree in History and have worked in a Civil War museum.

  • Real Motives (Score:3, Insightful)

    by quantaman (517394) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @03:32PM (#32307710)

    There's a lot of conservatives who hate the idea of state education and want all the schools to be private with no government standards. Cynthia Dunbar, one of the bigger whackjobs on the board, isn't a fan of public schools according to her book where She calls public education a "subtly deceptive tool of perversion." The establishment of public schools is unconstitutional and even "tyrannical" [].

    I wonder if that motivation isn't at play here, try to politicize the education standards so much that people lose faith in a state run education system.

  • by paper tape (724398) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @03:35PM (#32307752)
    I've yet to see an unbiased point-by-point comparison between the new and old standards. Everyone reporting on the issue seems to have an axe to grind, and most often with the aim of inflaming as many of those who agree with their view as possible. Most of what we've seen reported hasn't even been actual text from the books - but rather paraphrased 'goals' written by those with an agenda, or out-of-context quotes.

    Until we see that sort of comparison, I would suggest that most of the hyperbole and histrionics are premature.
  • by 10101001 10101001 (732688) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @03:37PM (#32307766) Journal

    Well, consider that "history class" in the US focuses incredibly heavily on US history and a lot of the US's major changes (or even it's founding) are the result of progressive movements and/or strong thinkers/leaders--and political opportunism, which should be mentioned. Of course, as a byproduct it'd show that while government itself tends not to push radical and/or necessary change on its own, movements, especially helped by a strong leader, have repeatedly reformed government in radical ways which have greatly benefited people. But, that'd also show progressivism too.

    In short, the problem is US history has a significant progressive bias.

  • by Trailwalker (648636) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @03:38PM (#32307774)
    The students who actually study the issues will see the differences of opinion and fact, and draw their own conclusions.Those who just accept the printed information usually do not care one way or the other.

    As the students raise through the educational system, they will be exposed to other viewpoints, and can decide for themselves.

    There is an assumption in these posts that all students in Texas are no more than blank screens waiting for the bigots of this view or that to propagandize them into mindless conformity. When the hell have teens been in conformity to anything adults value?

    I believe that the Texas School Board is doing nothing but posturing for future political purposes.
  • by N1EY (817702) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @03:41PM (#32307812) Homepage
    Roosevelt's son should have run against FDR. We might not had 20 years of economic hell. Does anyone realize that FDR ran against the "socialistic" Irish in NY, then completed a 180 after the election? He took all of those "socialistic" ideals that he abhorred.
  • Re:Dear Texas (Score:3, Insightful)

    by repetty (260322) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @03:52PM (#32307930) Homepage

    [Disclaimer: I'm a Texan]

    > Remember when you wanted independence from Mexico? You went and had
    > that little revolution. Now you brag about how you're the only state
    > to have ever been its own republic, yada, yada.
    > Tell you what, you can have your independence back. The rest of us
    > never really liked you; we kinda think you're douchebags. So, go
    > raise that Lone Star flag and tattoo "In God We Trust" on all of your
    > children.
    > Sincerely,
    > The Rest of Us

    A very common auto bumper sticker in Texas reads, "I wasn't born in Texas but I got here as fast as I could."

    It's a cliche that Texans think they're better than everyone else; their food is better, their girls are prettier, their weather is better, and so on. This has been fodder for jokes for a hundred years. In fact, we play along with it.

    I developed a social theory ten years ago that you nailed:

    Texas is the United States of the United States. Just as the U.S. is widely despised around the world for its arrogance and self-serving behavior, Texas is like-wise despised by the other U.S. states for its arrogance and self-serving behavior.

    Pot, meet kettle.

  • by IndustrialComplex (975015) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @03:52PM (#32307944)

    Progress toward what though?
    All I've seen from self defined progressives is a progressive trend to authoritarianism. The same is true for religious conservatives.

    It is a shame that people don't see that both want what they feel is best for you. And it's a damned shame that neither want to give you a choice in the matter.

    When the progression is toward authority. It isn't surprising when people treat it as a dirty word.

  • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @03:56PM (#32307974)

    "Under God" was not originally in the Pledge of Allegiance. Francis Bellamy wrote the pledge in 1892. The phrase "Under God" was added in 1954.

    You realize that you are supporting the sentiment of the person you are replying to, right?
    Maybe that was your intent, but it sure sounds like you think you are rebutting him.

  • by IdahoEv (195056) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @04:01PM (#32308014) Homepage

    Conservative means a limited government with limited power to interfere in the lives of individual citizens

    Sorry, the meanings of words change with time. "Conservative" in the US hasn't meant that for twenty years, at least not in the minds of the vast majority of people.

    Today, it is defined more than anything by its opposition to anything perceived as "liberal" - a word which itself has changed quite drastically in the last few decades.

  • by coaxial (28297) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @04:06PM (#32308070) Homepage

    It is entirely up to interpretation if allowing prayer in schools constitutes an "establishment of religion" or whether it is "prohibiting the free exercise thereof".

    Except no prevents anyone from praying in school. What is prevented is leading a prayer in school. Think about out it? Why would any organization whose express purpose is irrelevant to religion, engage in religion? What prayer would be led? I bet that if someone stood up in front of those that advocate for government sponsored prayer and started "Oh Dark Lord ..." or even "Lord Alllah..." they'd be outraged. The fact is that institutionalized prayer is coercive. Everyone wants to fit in and not feel like a freak, especially children.

    Not only is institutionalized prayer and endorsement of a specific religion, its an endorsement of religion itself. That's not the government's role, and I find it insulting. You might find this view "extreme," but keep in mind, that not only was having an opening prayer voted down during the constitutional convention, but the presidential oath of office pointedly does not say "so help me god" in it.

    I suggest you look up Billy Graham and the growth of the religious right in the mid 50s and how it dovetailed into the anticommunist fanatism of the day.

  • by IndustrialComplex (975015) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @04:10PM (#32308104)

    Don't we have a responsibility to protect those children from what their community wants to teach them?

    I'll tell you what I told my ultra-religious grandmother. Don't set a precedent that you wouldn't want to follow when you aren't in power. Think having Christian laws is a good idea? What happens when you lose the majority and Muslims get a chance to write their own.

    As much as you might believe that what you know is best for everyone, you would be wrong. Who are you to decide what is best for a community? Who are they to decide what is best for your community? The best laws are those that allow the most local form of governance possible and ensure that those communities coexist peacefully and equitably.

    So in short, no.

  • by sumdumass (711423) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @04:14PM (#32308132) Journal

    You sort of missed the point and got the problem without realizing it altogether.

    The US is right learning compared to the rest of the civilized world- however, when you look at the strengths of the US, you will find that position is mostly why we have so much to offer the rest of the world. Take Europe for instance, the more left they run, the less productive the seem to be. By productive, I mean in areas like innovation and such. They socialized medical care and have largely been playing catchup in innovation and technology ever since. Now don't get me wrong, they still innovate, they still come up with great accomplishments, but it's not as much as in more free areas where profit is a stronger motivator.

    Then you have issues like defense. If the US hadn't paid for most of Europe's defense in the last century or so, they wouldn't have had the social programs they see today. In the last election in the UK, the expected new prime ministers were asked questions about relations with the US and something that illustrates this point is a response (I forget which one said it) that boils down to "close ties with the US allows the UK to overextend it's weight around the world which allows a great benefit to the UK". But more importantly, without the US's military investment in Europe, you would have large armies instead of large social programs and history has showed us more then once what happens when Europe has large armies controlled by separate entities sitting around.

    In my own experience, many Americans seem to blackout when the word "social" is mentioned, immediately jumping to the conclusion that it means "oppressive communist dictatorship" instead of merely "less anti-social". When the USA and it's citizens do so many things right and have so much to offer the rest of the world, I just find it sad to know most Americans simply don't care about anybody but themselves.

    Most Americans are raise with the concept that you take care of yourself and your family. This is one reason why Gangs are such problems, they recruit in the style of extending the family (thereby extending the strength and stability of the family) which attracts very loyal people bordering on zealotry. The concept of social dependency is taboo when people have grown up always having to provide for themselves and make things happen on their own. This is changing as schools have made it more common to expect dependency on others with school lunch programs and so on.

    There is also a sort of separation seen by some/most of the American people where they see the community as there people they know and live with, not the governments imposing restrictions on them. Combine this with traditional christian values of taking care of the people around you in need, and it seems to be sort of an insult to take from one to give to another when people are supposed to pull together and do it themselves. The Amish communities in America get out of paying social security taxes and unemployment/workers compensation taxes because of this religious interpretation. they also will never collect from any of those sources as they see relying on insurance as a failing of the church and community. I'm not even sure the Amish could live and practice in other countries because of that core belief.

    The "Americans protested (and continue to protest) against a medical health care system", if I may add some insight to why they protest it, is multi based. Part of it is the providing for yourself, even if that means purchasing insurance from some company, part of it is the loss of freedoms where healthy individuals in their prime don't really need more then catastrophic coverage and now they will be forced to purchase a more comprehensive package, and then there are some who simply can't stand the retarded closed system of government that rammed the health care bill through without the slightest bit of what most would consider to be due diligence.

    I'm sure many foreigners might jump on in disagreement i

  • Re:Real Motives (Score:3, Insightful)

    by RazorSharp (1418697) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @04:14PM (#32308138)

    It's sad that someone on a public board of education doesn't believe in public education. Perhaps Texas should follow this model and hire police officers who don't believe in serving/protecting and firefighters who don't believe in putting out fires. Kind of sounds like Fahrenheit 451.

  • by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @04:16PM (#32308152)

    As much as I hate saying this or looking like I'm coming off as defending these changes, in my experience it's true that the experts in history have a left wing (progressive, more accurately) tilt,

    Number one, if you can actually define a difference between a progressive person and a left wing one, and have one more person agree with your definition, I'll be impressed.

    Number two, could it maybe just be that your coloration of history is the one that's too far right, and that the experts are the ones that are neutral/center? Because right now, this argumentation is not going to lead anywhere but a general pissing match. Either discuss history, or shut up. Dismissing positions because of what the person presenting that position might or might not think is, guess what, an ad hominem.

  • and i would respond by saying that a society lorded over by social conservatives is better than a society without any standards

    in other words, i understand your point, but you don't understand mine

    yes, you need standards. but what i am asking for are standards that take in actual truth of human nature. for example: "teenagers: use protection when you have sex." that's a standard, and it recognizes teenagers will have sex no matter what you do. and when they do have sex, they won't get stds and get pregnant

    but a social conservative will say: "teenagers: just don't have sex." but then they do anyway, that's what teenagers do. and because you haven't prepared for it, you get teenagers with clamydia and babies. in fact, in traditionally social conservative areas of the united states, teenage birthrates are higher than more liberal areas. what does that tell you? just look at sarah palin's daughter: my point is right up there for all to see about the failure of social conservative teachings: it doesn't stop teenagers from having sex. the desire for teenagers to explore their budding sexuality is a hardwired biological desire that no morality will ever overcome, or ever should try to overcome. if sarah palin had liberal leanings, she would have given her daughter a condom, and there would be no teenage mother up on stage with sarah palin screaming as a symbol for anyone with a true moral compass: "HYPOCRISY"

    the point is NOT to have no standards. lack of responsibility, accountability, and outright evil trangressive criminality are horrible, and yes, are worse than social conservativism, i agree with that. a society with horrible crude abusive social conservative standards IS better than no standards at all

    what i am asking is not to excuse the inexcusable, to have no standards, what i am asking is to have the RIGHT standards, which are often more complex, involve recognizing certain aspects of human nature you don't want to admit, and incorporate those realizations into your principles

    for example: it is not lack of responsibility, lack of accountability, or criminal transgressive behavior when two men or two women have sex. so why prosecute people who do so? why tell teenagers sex is bad? homosexuality or teenagers having sex IS NOT WRONG. but social conservatism tells us they ARE bad. that is homosexuality is criminal. that teenagers having sex is irresponsible. but the genuine truth is that homosexuality is COMPLETELY NORMAL AND OK and that teenagers having sex IS COMPLETELY NORMAL AND OK

    you look at me and see someone who is trying to destroy morality. no: i am making morality BETTER. we NEED morality. what we don't need is simpleminded social conservative morality, we NEED BETTER MORE INTELLIGENT MORALITY

  • by tgibbs (83782) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @04:30PM (#32308312)

    I took Texas history back in the 60's, and once I had the chance to read some real history, I was shocked to discover how dishonest and misleading the curriculum had been, mostly in ways that seemed designed to promote racism.

  • by burnin1965 (535071) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @04:41PM (#32308408) Homepage

    Progressivism has constantly encouraged us treat our laws as "living documents" from top to bottom which is basically a soft anarchy.

    Which explains why Christian Conservatives would prefer to diminish the role of Thomas Jefferson as he seems to support this so called "soft anarchy".

    "I am certainly not an advocate for frequent and untried changes in laws and constitutions. I think moderate imperfections had better be borne with; because, when once known, we accommodate ourselves to them, and find practical means of correcting their ill effects. But I know also, that laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths disclosed, and manners and opinions change with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also, and keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the same coat which fitted him when a boy, as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors."
    -- Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Kercheval, July 12, 1810 []

  • by jmorris42 (1458) * <jmorris&beau,org> on Saturday May 22, 2010 @04:57PM (#32308548)

    > (5) Joseph McCarthy's crusade via the H.U.A.C. is generally acknowledged as a bad thing, even by
    > the most right-wing people. But it's also correct to acknowledge that it was reactionary, and
    > didn't originate from one man's mental instability.

    Anyone who even passes this one on without correcting it loses all right to speak about 20th Century history.

    1. McCarthy had exactly zero involvement with the HUAC. Think for a few milliseconds. --HOUSE-- UnAmerican Affairs Committee. --SENATOR-- Joseph McCarthy. Right.

    2. While the Progressives won the first round, mostly because Sen. McCarthy totally failed to realize just how far the rabbit hole went, History has vindicated pretty much every accusation he made. The records were ordered kept under Senate seal for fifty years but that has expired and the truth is out there. I'd recommend _Blacklisted by History: The Untold Story of Senator Joe McCarthy and His Fight Against America's Enemies_ by M. Stanton Evans. Lots of primary sources, photocopies of formerly classified documents, etc. Or if you want a fun lighter read of the same material you could just grab Ann Coulter's _Treason_, which is probably more available in brick & morter stores.

  • by interkin3tic (1469267) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @05:23PM (#32308728)

    The progressive side of the argument says: look at what happens in Kansas. Don't we have a responsibility to protect those children from what their community wants to teach them? Their community is going to render them unemployable and dirt poor.

    As a scientist who went to a Kansas high school during the controversy you're probably referring to, I have to say the biggest effect is other scientists asking if they taught me evolution in high school (they did, but that's beside the point). For most scientists, high school did nothing to encourage and interest in science regardless of a liberal/conservative bias.

    If the idiots on the school board decide not to require the teaching of evolution, your teacher in the classroom is probably going to teach it anyway. If you have a shitty high school science teacher who doesn't mention anything about evolution, you probably learned about evolution on your own when you were interested in dinosaurs as a kid. If not, you'll learn it in your introductory biology classes in undergrad. You'll come across it at some point. It's not like high school is the only place learning goes on.

    I'm not saying we should give up and let the creationists win, nor should we let these nuts rewrite history. The truth should be taught in schools or else it's a complete waste of time. Still, it's helpful to realize that these idiots aren't going to effectively brainwash the masses by putting lies into education, because it doesn't work like that. Education is not just what is taught by the text book and teacher in a classroom.

  • by jmorris42 (1458) * <jmorris&beau,org> on Saturday May 22, 2010 @05:31PM (#32308796)

    > How is this different from the state of Texas taxing every tax paying Texan to educate all
    > children with a one sided, politically (and factually) incorrect/motivated curriculum and
    > the United States spending their (collective) money to educate their children with a
    > curriculum they (collectively) choose?

    Allow me to translate what you wrote from NewSpeak to English:

    How is this different from Texas using their citizens tax dollars to switch from one politically correct (and factually incorrect) motivated curriculum to one that is also politically motivated, yet politically incorrect (while more factually correct) and the United States spending every Citizens tax dollars to enforce a curriculum chosen by Bill Ayers and other politically correct educrats.

    Stated this way, the answer becomes obvious.

  • by jmorris42 (1458) * <jmorris&beau,org> on Saturday May 22, 2010 @05:41PM (#32308894)

    > I'd like someone to point me to the list of actual inaccuracies in there?

    You will grow old and feeble waiting. Progressives don't operate in the fact based world, they FEEL. And in this case all they needed to learn was their team lost the votes to know the result has to be a horror of Jesus freakery so why bother to read any of the primary documents and report on them? This is part of a pattern where they 'KNOW' (read feel) the AZ immigration law is racist without needing to read it. And the Constitition only says what they need it to say if they don't actually read it.

    These tactics worked a lot better for them when they controlled the "Commanding Heights of the Culture", back when _Newsweek_ wasn't the poster child for a failing legacy media. Which is why they feel the Internet must be brought under government control because, with no facts to back it, they just 'know' evil reactionary forces are working to control it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 22, 2010 @05:57PM (#32309058)

    You lost all credibility as soon as you said Ann Coulter.

  • by Xyrus (755017) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @05:59PM (#32309074) Journal

    Thomas Jefferson was ALMOST EXCLUDED. That's not conservative. That's fucking nuts.

    Anyone who followed this sad tale from beginning to end would have their jaws dropping about the ludicrous shit that went on. Not only were the people involved incredibly biased, but they WERE NOT EVEN EXPERTS IN THE MATERIAL THEY WERE REVIEWING. Contract with America vs. Civil Rights Movement? Really?

    This had nothing to do with proper education and everything to do with trying to push an agenda. Politics at its most revolting.

    Now when people ask me why I'm homeschooling I have a prominent example why public schools are failing. Thanks Texas.

  • by dave420 (699308) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @06:07PM (#32309144)

    What the fuck have you been smoking? If you are in France you get 30 days of holiday per year, free healthcare, a longer life-expectancy, and a better quality of living. You are also less likely to be shot, less likely to have to shoot someone, and more likely to drive a much better car to a much better job.

    But please - keep jerking yourself off over your flag. It'll definitely work.

  • by Some Bitch (645438) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @06:12PM (#32309196)

    Praying in school and teachers leading prayers and the pledge of allegiance was standard from the days of the founders until unelected judges disagreed with them ideologically and changed them

    As the pledge of allegiance wasn't written until over 100 years after the formation of the union I call bullshit.

  • by dave420 (699308) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @06:58PM (#32309536)
    You really don't understand the word "social" do you? I think you'll find most people around the world are generous, and most western countries have volunteer armies that get dropped into hell-hole nations around the world. The amount of ignorance dripping from your post is staggering.
  • by jeff4747 (256583) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @07:26PM (#32309702)

    In my own experience, many Americans seem to blackout when the word "social" is mentioned

    This is why the right in the US screams "socialism" when they don't like something. It also causes sufficient cognitive dissonance that you can convince these people that someone can be both a socialist and a fascist.

  • Seriously? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bmo (77928) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @07:46PM (#32309816)

    Question the separation of church and state?

    If you want the church in your state, you deserve the state in your church.

    You might want to rethink your cunning plan, cowboy.


  • by thrawn_aj (1073100) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @07:56PM (#32309894)
    It doesn't matter what the Tea party "stands for" if you consistently pick as your public face, the dumbest (and otherwise worst) people this decade has seen. Until that changes, don't be surprised if no one takes your platform seriously. As laudable as it may be in the abstract - it is obvious what your leaders stand for and no one doubts that in the end, abstract manifestos will be prostituted to the whims of those leaders.
  • by Organic Brain Damage (863655) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @08:08PM (#32309982)
    Where's any actual data that supports your assertion that the USA innovates more because it's more right-leaning?
  • Re:Texas (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jeff4747 (256583) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @09:06PM (#32310374)

    The American Civil war was more of an economic war than a war on Slavery.

    The economy of the South was based on slavery. An economic war against an economy based on slavery is a war on slavery.

  • by jeff4747 (256583) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @09:48PM (#32310674)

    Sorry, but prayer led by state paid chaplain in a state-funded institution i.e. state penitentiary is obviously establishment of a state religion.

    Sorry, but prayer led by military chaplain in a military-funded institution i.e. chapel is obviously establishment of a state religion.

    In both of these cases, neither the prayer or the entire service is required. In addition, the people involved are adults, and thus far more able to say "no".

    When school prayer was common, teachers and administrators made it absolutely clear to the students that prayer was required. And since the students are kids, they're not likely to say "no" when pressed - if the students even have the right to say "no". After all, the school is acting in loco parentis.

    Think of it this way: Would you be comfortable if teachers told your kids they had to pray to Allah? If you are not happy with that plan, then you should not be happy with forcing others to pray to your god.

  • by PPH (736903) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @09:55PM (#32310728)

    Sadly there is a large segment of the population that believe the United States is a Christian nation because of things like "One nation under God" and "In God We Trust" but they never actually studied any real history and don't realize those statements are in our government because they put them there not the people who formed this nation.

    So lets fix our Pledge of Allegiance and money. Remove these phrases that were never intended by the founding fathers.

    I want my country back!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 22, 2010 @10:47PM (#32310920)

    For one, a lot of the best scientists in Europe fled WWII, and established their academic traditions in America. That kind of kick in the nuts to one's educational system is very hard to recover from, and the problem was amplified by the subsequent ease of travel that allowed smart people from everywhere to follow the smart teachers (who were in the USA). There is no substitute for good people.

    For another, the USA didn't have to spend so much time recovering from massive total warfare being practiced over a large percentage of the country. Instead, it had an intact, functional infrastructure that was geared up for the war effort and a huge ex-GI workforce who were trained by the military in basics and discipline. That paved the way for a lot of self-starting innovators, who went on to build up much of America's current wealth. America was a good place to live from material standpoint as well as a personal freedoms standpoint, another magnet for the best and brightest.

    Whether these trends are sustainable going forward is an interesting question. The USA is much less friendly to foreign visitors after 9-11, and that means more incentives for people to come here, train, and then leave to establish academic traditions back home. Not just Europe, either - India and China too.

    America had a HUGE advantage after WWII, and used it well, but more than sixty years after the end of WWII it's not clear how much longer that differentiation will continue to allow for American technological and scientific supremacy. Particularly with decisions like that of this School Board helping to make the climate more hostile/strange to foreign observers.

  • by Dausha (546002) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @11:44PM (#32311166) Homepage

    "...In fact, by most of the world's recognition they were at best 'mild conservatives'..."

    Sorry, most of the world subjected to some form of totalitarian or otherwise non-representative government. By world, you meant "educated Europeans," right?

  • by mqduck (232646) <.ten.kcudqm. .ta. .kcudqm.> on Saturday May 22, 2010 @11:57PM (#32311212)

    If I recall correctly, the pre-Cold War version is:

    "I pledge allegiance to the flag and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

    I'm still not a fan of making children repeat loyalty oaths as a kind of mantra to begin every (school) day, no matter what the words are.

  • by NonSequor (230139) on Sunday May 23, 2010 @12:12AM (#32311278) Journal

    The real wisdom they had was in recognizing that if you have two sides debating over something that are unwilling to give in on an issue, then you need to work out some sort of compromise between the two.

    Some of those compromises didn't look so wise in the late 1860's. The trouble with compromises is that sometimes the stress of maintaining them is too great for civil society, and maintaining them is more unworkable than finding decisively in one side's favor.

    I've been playing out what-if scenarios in my head and I don't think the Civil War could have been avoided. I'm guessing the choices were either to come up with something to maintain the status quo on slavery or have the slave states walk out and form their own union. Under the latter option, any attempts at freeing slaves from border states would probably be interpreted as international incidents. And as the two unions expanded westward they would be competing for new territory (essentially the same as actually happened).

    Basically, I think that once American slavery had become an entrenched practice, it was guaranteed to end in blows.

  • by PsiPsiStar (95676) on Sunday May 23, 2010 @01:56AM (#32311858)

    Folks on the left are rarely fair about the issue of intelligence. Kerry's grades were as bad as Bush's and Gore did pretty awful in school as well. But this is all swept under the rug. Gore can mistakenly call CO2 as a leading indicator rather than a lagging indicator in his movie (or maybe it was deliberate dishonesty?) and noone calls him on it. I'm certainly not a big fan of Palin, But I am sick of people asserting; "we don't have to address conservative's economic arguments, because we (or our leaders) are THAT SMART!"

  • I agree, on the condition that the nation as a whole doesn't have to help ameliorate the consequences of Kansas's and Texas's self-imposed ignorance, such as unemployment, infrastructure failures, and out-migration of educated and productive citizens.

    If the consequences will become our problem, we've got a right to impose some standards in the name of prevention.

  • by AK Marc (707885) on Sunday May 23, 2010 @07:08AM (#32313006)
    There is no such thing as free healthcare!

    There is no such thing as "free" anything. Everything has a price. If you are to diminish "free" so that no one anywhere paid anything for it, then "free" has no meaning at all. Since there's no point in having a word with no meaning, I have to believe you to be incorrect. It is "free" in the sense that you don't pay for it when you get it.

    in France they pay for it as well as for other social services through taxes.

    I pay more in the US to cover a few people as they pay in France to cover everyone. It may not be your "free" but it is cheaper and with better cover than the US. By far.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 23, 2010 @09:22AM (#32313600)

    Further to this, most of the really obvious USA innovations - i.e. everything that came out of NASA, or the Internet (DARPA), for example, were entirely government funded and nothing to do with private enterprise. Of course much of the money comes from defence spending, which people on the right for some reason don't see as socialist, but it remains taxpayer money.

    True some private companies have been known to innovate, but this has usually only been monopolies with money to burn (AT&T/Bell Labs in its prime is a good example, more recently Google is perhaps comparable).

  • by mcgrew (92797) * on Monday May 24, 2010 @09:11AM (#32322244) Homepage Journal

    Just because you think they shouldn't have something you want for yourself or others doesn't make it yours to give away.

    Your straw man is on fire, but let me add a little gasoline to him. George is a roofer, risking his life to put roofs on houses. Phil is a stockbroker; in essense, a riverboat gambler without the boat. But Phil pays capital gains tax while Grorge pays income tax, and Phil pays a lower rate than George. This is unfair and plain wrong; progress is fixing that inequality.

    Phil does not creat wealth, but George does. We are encouraging the lazy-ass gambler while penalizing the hard working wealth creator for his work. Progress is doing away with the CGT and replacing it with income tax; GRADUATED income tax. Government is necessary, and has to be funded, and the rich benefit from overnment far more than the lower classes. It only makes sense that those who get the most benefit pay the most.

    You talk of the "the product of ones [sic] labor", but the rich do no labor; they direct the labor. Trading stocks is NOT labor, running a corporation is NOT labor.

    Asking the government to do it for you is just theft via mob mentality.

    When your house catches fire, don't call the government-run fire department, put the damned thing out yourself. When you get mugged, don't call the government run police department. And stay the hell off my government-built roads, hypocrite.

    If you are so anti-wealth

    I have no idea where you think I'm "anti-wealth", except as a knee-jerk Rush Limbaugh reactionary who reads into statements things that aren't there. Compared to what a McDonalds' fry cook makes I'm wealthy, and compared to what my friend who owns a bar and construction company earns I'm poor, and I'm fine with both. But I'm NOT fine with IBM and Kodak paying no taxes. I'm not fine with a CEO who nearly bankrupts the company getting million dollar bonuses, plus tax breaks. I'm not fine with the fact that the only way a rich powerful man goes to prison is if a richer, more powerful man puts hum there. I'm not fine with offshore tax havens that allow the rich to legally dodge paying taxes. I'm not fine with someone from another state (or even foreign country) having greater access to "my" elected representatives than I do.

    I'm not fine with McDonald's and WalMart benefitting from their workers getting food stamps as a way to not have to pay them a living wage. Note that for the poor (but not the rich) to get any kind of government help, they have to be employed or disabled, so "helping the poor" actually benefits the rich.

    Progress is fixing what's wrong with America, true conservatives want to protect what's right with her. Neocons want neither.

365 Days of drinking Lo-Cal beer. = 1 Lite-year