Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Expertise = ‘Pre-Holocaust Germany’?

June 25, 2010

Now Texas State Board of Education member Cynthia Dunbar says giving precedence to teachers and scholars when revising curriculum standards for public schools would be like what the Nazis did in Germany during the 1930s. Really? Seriously?

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Check Out TFN’s New Website!

June 3, 2010

If you haven’t had a chance yet, mosey on over to the Texas Freedom Network’s new website. We’ll be making tweaks over the next few weeks, but we hope you find the new site more visually appealing and easier to navigate. Please let us know what you think.

Join the Texas Freedom Network This Week

May 24, 2010

Last week’s battle over social studies curriculum standards highlighted the need to change how Texas decides what nearly 5 million students will learn in their public schools. Texas Freedom Network staff members are regrouping for the next phase in our campaign to do just that — and we need your help.

This is Membership Week at the Texas Freedom Network. By joining TFN, you help support our work at the state board, the Legislature and in local communities on issues ranging from supporting responsible sex education to opposing textbook censorship and far-right efforts to undermine science in education and the medicine.

Please take a minute to join more than 45,000 other members and supporters working for mainstream values — religious freedom, civil liberties and strong public education — for all Texans.

Talking Points

April 14, 2010

From today’s TFN News Clips:

“This is who they are — the proud and ignorant. If you believe that if we still had segregation we wouldn’t ‘have had all these problems,’ this is the movement for you. If you believe that your president is a Muslim sleeper agent, this is the movement for you. If you honor a flag raised explicitly to destroy this country then this is the movement for you. If you flirt with secession, even now, then this movement is for you. If you are a ‘Real American’ with no demonstrable interest in ‘Real America’ then, by God, this movement of alchemists and creationists, of anti-science and hair tonic, is for you.”

— The Atlantic writer Ta-Nehisi Coates, commenting on the explosion of far-right nuttiness and extremism in America today.

Stay informed with TFN News Clips, a daily digest of news about politics and the religious right. Subscribe here.

Talking Points

April 12, 2010

From today’s TFN News Clips:

“The proposed changes have attracted national attention because they challenge the powerful ideology of the left and highlight the great political divide of our country. The left’s principles are diametrically opposed to our founding principles. The left believes in big, not limited, government; they empower the state, not the individual; they focus on differences, not unity. This divide was clearly exposed on March 23, 2010, as the left celebrated health reform that Vice President Biden said ‘charts a fundamentally different course for the country’ — an unmistakable rejection of Jefferson’s original course.”

— Texas State Board of Education member Don McLeroy, R-College Station, writing in a USA Today op-ed about the revision of social studies curriculum standards and demonstrating how the board is following through on his long-stated desire to politicize education in Texas public schools.

Stay informed with TFN News Clips, a daily digest of news about politics and the religious right. Subscribe here.

Talking Points

April 9, 2010

From today’s TFN News Clips:

“If we do not do something, we will not have any Protestants in government.”

— Oklahoma state Rep. Todd Russ, R-Cordell, sponsor of a bill on Bible classes in the state’s public schools. Cordell’s statement came after it was pointed out that only one member of the current U.S. Supreme Court is a Protestant Christian — the others are Roman Catholic and Jewish.

Stay informed with TFN News Clips, a daily digest of news about politics and the religious right. Subscribe here.

Talking Points

March 24, 2010

From today’s TFN News Clips:

“They are ridiculed and criticized, not only by Democrats, but also by Republicans. It’s not a Democrat or Republican issue. It’s an issue of what’s best for our educational system.”

— State Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen, discussing legislation he plans to file to get rid of the Texas State Board of Education.

Stay informed with TFN News Clips, a daily digest of news about politics and the religious right. Subscribe here.

Talking Points

March 23, 2010

From today’s TFN News Clips:

“What [the Texas State Board of Education] accomplished isn’t conservative. It’s not pro-family, pro-life, pro-freedom or patriotic. It’s idiotic. ‘If a nation expects to be ignorant and free,’ Jefferson wrote, ‘it expects what never was and never will be’ — a lesson the board of education’s simple-minded majority could stand to learn.”

— Jonathan Gurwitz, a conservative columnist for the San Antonio Express-News, on the State Board of Education’s removal of Thomas Jefferson and the Enlightenment from a portion of Texas social studies standards.

Stay informed with TFN News Clips, a daily digest of news about politics and the religious right. Subscribe here.

Talking Points

March 22, 2010

From today’s TFN News Clips:

“So you go ahead and you continue to do your little protest thing, and that’s great. I love it. But just know — the hammer is coming. We’ve been compiling information on you, your cute little organization, and all the other cute little people that are with you. And when the hammer comes, it’s going to be hammering hard and all through the night.”

— FOX News host Glenn Beck, in a stunning (but revealing) response to an offer by Sojourners’ Jim Wallis to sit down and discuss the Gospel and social justice, the latter of which Beck had earlier linked to Nazis and Marxists.

Stay informed with TFN News Clips, a daily digest of news about politics and the religious right. Subscribe here.

Talking Points

March 17, 2010

From today’s TFN News Clips:

“I believe that all dinosaurs were born of Satanic angel who has sex with woman and the animal kingdom that created ungodly reptilian creatures none of these were on the Ark.”

— Stephen Johnson, a veteran Dallas County jail guard, discussing his beliefs about the origin of dinosaurs. Johnson has been fired for making offensive comments about his religious beliefs to co-workers. Johnson says he believes gay people “should be put to death” but that his beliefs don’t lead him to treat gay people any differently than he does other folks.

Stay informed with TFN News Clips, a daily digest of news about politics and the religious right. Subscribe here.

Talking Points

March 15, 2010

From today’s TFN News Clips:

“Let’s face it, capitalism does have a negative connotation. You know, ‘capitalist pig!’”

— State Board of Education member Terri Leo, R-Spring, arguing for a requirement (which the board approved) that Texas social studies students learn that the economic system in the United States is the free enterprise system, not capitalism. Leo argued that “capitalism” is a word used by “liberal professors in academia.”

“I reject the notion by the left of a constitutional separation of church and state. I have $1,000 for the charity of your choice if you can find it in the Constitution.”

— State Board of Education member David Bradley, R-Beamont (Buna, really), expressing his satisfaction that the board rejected a curriculum standard requiring students to learn that the Constitution bars government from promoting one religion over all others in America.

“Most reporters are lazy, and they don’t do their homework.”

— Texas State Board of Education member Terri Leo, R-Spring, explaining newspapers’ alleged spreading of misinformation about the board. Pot, meet kettle.

Stay informed with TFN News Clips, a daily digest of news about politics and the religious right. Subscribe here.

Talking Points

March 9, 2010

From today’s TFN News Clips:

“Well, if you grab the minds of the young people you grab the minds of the next generation.”

— Jay Sekulow, chief counsel for the far-right American Center for Law and Justice, discussing efforts by far-right pressure groups to control textbook content in Texas public schools.

Stay informed with TFN News Clips, a daily digest of news about politics and the religious right. Subscribe here.

Talking Points

February 23, 2010

From today’s TFN News Clips:

“The number of children who are born subsequent to a first abortion with handicaps has increased dramatically. Why? Because when you abort the first born of any, nature takes its vengeance on the subsequent children. In the Old Testament, the first born of every being, animal and man, was dedicated to the Lord. There’s a special punishment Christians would suggest.”

— Virginia state Delegate Bob Marshall, R-Manassas, suggesting that disabled children are punishment for women who have aborted their first pregnancy.

Stay informed with TFN News Clips, a daily digest of news about politics and the religious right. Subscribe here.

Staying Classy (Not)

February 20, 2010

The fringe right-wingers who descended on the big Conservative Political Action Committee confab in Washington, D.C., this week seem to think Thursday’s suicide-attack on an IRS building in Austin is good for a laugh.

Talking Points Memo quotes one CPAC speaker joking that he was worried notorious anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist might have flown that plane into the building. Yeah, so funny. The attack appears to have killed at least two people and severely burned another.

Check out TPM’s report here.

Censoring the Presidential Jewels (sort of)

February 15, 2010

The New York Times Magazine cover story on Sunday focused on efforts by far-right members of the Texas State Board of Education to rewrite history in public school social studies textbooks. We found the magazine’s creative cover illustation to be especially ironic.

The painting of George Washington crossing the Delaware is perhaps one of the most famous depictions of an event from the American Revolution. But you would have a hard time finding an image of the painting — or one that hasn’t been digitally altered — in an American history book used in public schools today.

And why’s that? Publishers during the last adoption of social studies textbooks in Texas were worried about the location of Washington’s watch fob — which makes it appear (to some people, anyway) as though the man who became the nation’s first president crossed the Delaware River with his gonads hanging out. So editors, anxious about a heavily politicized State Board of Education always searching for a reason to reject their textbooks, pulled the image from their pages.

Click on the magazine’s cover image below for a larger version.