Saturday, September 5, 2009

Stay in School, Soar Like an Eagle, The Lies of Texas Are Upon You

Chuck Hagel
Elizabeth Warren
James Moore

"Too often in Washington we tend to see foreign policy as an abstraction, with little understanding of what we are committing our country to..." - Chuck Hagel

"The Democratic Party has become like the Republican Party, deeply influenced by corporate money," - Bill Moyers

"Life in Lubbock, Texas, taught me two things: One is that God loves you and you're going to burn in hell. The other is that sex is the most awful, filthy thing on earth and you should save it for someone you love." - Butch Hancock

The links above are very diverse, Chuck Hagel's opinion set me to rethinking my attitudes on Iraq and Afghanistan. I love Elizabeth Warren, and I'm glad I found something written by her, as she always is informative and explains well. James Moore has a funnier piece about Texans and the upcoming school speech by Obama...

Kids, stay in school...
The right wing agenda is to protest and villify everything that Obama will try to do. There will be four years of ugly accusations in the hope that if repeated enough, more people will come to believe them, and we can elect more kooky people to Congress. Politico reports that: "School districts from Maryland to Texas are fielding angry complaints from parents opposed to President Barack Obama’s back-to-school address Tuesday – forcing districts to find ways to shield students from the speech as conservative opposition to Obama spills into the nation’s classrooms.

The White House says Obama’s address is a sort of pep talk for the nation’s schoolchildren. But conservative commentators have criticized Obama for trying to “indoctrinate” students to his liberal beliefs, and some parents call it an improper mix of politics and education.

“The gist is, ‘I want to see what the president has to say before you expose it to my child.’ Another said, ‘This is Marxist propaganda.’ They are very hostile,” said Patricia O’Neill, a Democrat who is vice president of the Montgomery County School Board, in a district that borders Washington, D.C. “I think it’s disturbing that people don’t want to hear the president, but we live in a diverse society.”

My local Queen of Mean, Michelle Malkin, tries that already discredited argument linking Obama with Bill Ayers again, so we can deduct that all of his policies must be left wing radical and he is going to impress those ideas magically onto the children who watch his speech.

Our local school districts are going to leave it up to the principal of each school whether to let the kids watch: "District 11 will not require nor prohibit schools to broadcast the president’s address on Tuesday, September 8th. School principals will decide when or whether to air the address and to which students. As with every other classroom subject or lesson, parents will have the option of having their child excused from participation. Alternative school work will be provided. Parents who do not want their child to participate should contact the school principal and make the request." When I went to Russell Middle School's website, the last time it had been updated was last May. Our schools lag behind a bit on technology.

Soar like an eagle, get sued over illegal detentions after 9/11...
If you were a member of the Bush administration like John Ashcroft, it looks like the karma of your stupid decisions is coming back to bite you, or you are the subject of a left wing witch hunt. The NY Times: "Former Attorney General John Ashcroft may face personal liability for the decisions that led to the detention of an American citizen as a material witness after the Sept. 11 attacks, a federal appeals court panel ruled on Friday.

In the decision, a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco, was sharply critical of the Bush administration’s practice of holding people it suspected of terrorism without charges, as material witnesses.

“We find this to be repugnant to the Constitution, and a painful reminder of some of the most ignominious chapters of our national history,” said the opinion, written by Judge Milan D. Smith Jr." This probably explains why so many in the Bush administration who were there during the first four years left so quickly at the end of the first term. Now they are being brought back into the spotlight for an encore performance. Maybe we can get them to give a speech to our kids... although the one by Roberto Gonzales would consist entirely of "I don't recall..."

Those "minority lunatics" own and operate the Texas Republican Party - richardx...
I'm sorry, my Texan friends, but the weirdest and creepiest story is about the state trying to inject right wing craziness into school textbooks. From TPM: "The GOP-controlled State Board of Education is working on a new set of statewide textbook standards for, among other subjects, U.S. History Studies Since Reconstruction. And it turns out what the board decides may end up having implications far beyond the Lone Star State.

The first draft of the standards, released at the end of July, is a doozy. It lays out a kind of Human Events version of U.S. history.

Approved textbooks, the standards say, must teach the Texan student to "identify significant conservative advocacy organizations and individuals, such as Newt Gingrich, Phyllis Schlafly, and the Moral Majority." 

The reason some folks are getting a bit worried is because big states like Texas order the largest amount of textbooks from publishers. The publishers will often switch out the name of the state and then send copies of that textbook to other states, so they would receive whatever indoctrination that gets put into the books. Ideally, we want textbooks to remain as neutral and balanced as possible, so children can make up their own minds. Parents can already ruin them emotionally and intellectually at home enough so they become ADD misfits, and then complain when their child has problems learning at school. Better keep them home and teach them ourselves... I knew one woman who's idea of home-schooling consisted of having her son read a chapter from the Bible twice a week. They watched movies the rest of the time...

It's bad enough that Texas schools routinely ignore Federal laws and teach Bible classes in school, while harassing anyone who does not enroll, My sister encountered all kinds of prejudice, harassment by alcoholic cops and school officials, and real trouble with the good-ol-boy mafia network while trying to raise three boys in San Marcos, Texas. And now my sister's grandkids are back living in Texas and would have to read that crap. It's bad enough that their other grandmother was a Jehovah's Witness who threw her own kids out of the house when they turned 15 to fend for themselves...

late night jokes:

"In 2012, the Republicans are now talking about the presidential ticket, Dick Cheney and running as vice president Sarah Palin. Talk about your dream ticket. Oh buddy, the comedy recession is over. I mean, come on, talk about your shotgun marriage." --David Letterman

"There was an article in Vanity Fair that says Sarah Palin -- listen to this, this borders on the creepy -- that what she was trying to do … was adopt her daughter Bristol's baby. … Oh yeah, like I'm going to make a joke about this. None of my business. Whatever you want. Live and let live, that's my motto." --David Letterman

"But this article is quite an expose. The article claims that Sarah Palin really couldn't see Russia from her house. The article also says that Sarah Palin was not much of a hunter. And I was thinking, I don't know, she killed John McCain's chances." --David Letterman

"Sarah Palin is making some dough. She's going around the world speaking. She's got a gig over in China. She's very excited because she thinks that China is a red state." --David Letterman

"Remember the two Asian-American journalists who were held captive in North Korea and rescued by President Clinton. Well, they have finally written about their ordeal. The two of them said they were frightened, mistreated, and violated, and then someone told Clinton to leave them alone." --Conan O'Brien

"The healthcare debate is getting crazily intense. Yesterday during a healthcare protest, a fight broke out and a man got his finger bitten off. That's true. No one knows who started, but there's been an awful lot of stub pointing." --Conan O'Brien

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