U.S. History Through Political Lenses

UPDATE: Saturday May 22

The Texas Board approved the new education standards for the children of the state.  Perhaps the best summary of the new standards was given by one of the Republican members of the board during an opening prayer when she said, “This is a Christian Land Governed by Christian Principles.”

What else is there to say except, sorry Texas.

Texas again, as if you didn’t know. Have they seceded yet? That victory ‘prize ‘ we won from Mexico reminds me of the Grecian Trojan Horse.

The infamous Texas Board of Education votes today.  This would be quite mundane and irrelevant for the other 49 states except for the fact that often Texas is the model for school text book companies. Why that is beats me, but the social studies curriculum vote today is a major concern for historians here in The States.

Just yesterday a Republican member of the board wanted President Obama’s name to be listed as Barack Hussein Obama.  Quick, what was Jefferson’s middle name? The board member was asked to drop that request under protest from an African American board member. “To stop the whining, I’ll withdraw my motion,” said the member.  Whining, eh?

Additionally, the proposed new standards had referred to the 2008 election of the first black president, but Obama was not named.  Apparently, if his name wasn’t mentioned, perhaps it wasn’t true?

Some on the board objected to language for an eighth-grade history course that would analyze President Abraham Lincoln’s “ideas about liberty, equality, union and government” in his two inaugural addresses and the Gettysburg Address and require students to contrast them with ideas in Confederate President Jefferson Davis’ inaugural address. Contrast?  Oh, puleeze!  What is there to compare between Davis and Lincoln??

The Star Telegram said of the board:

The skirmishing started last year, when a pair of religious conservatives appointed by board members as “expert reviewers” dissed the historical significance of the late Justice Thurgood Marshall, the U.S. Supreme Court’s first African-American, and labor leader Cesar Chavez.

The Miami Herald notes:

Ninety years after women finally won the right to vote in America — and 104 years after Anthony’s death — exiting board member Don McLeroy is arguing that Anthony’s progressive-era-reformer “tone” needs to be “balanced” against other more optimistic and less critical voices of her time.


I guess nobody back then should have been complaining about America.

When Anthony grew up, slaves were private property and women had no right to vote, assemble or speak freely.

Yet McLeroy, a Bryan dentist and a Gov. Rick Perry appointee as chairman who also thinks the world is only 6,000 years old, has included Anthony with other critical “muckrakers and reform leaders” who should be studied only in contrast with contemporaries who worshipped the status quo and glorified what was then a very limited American dream.

In a long list of suggested changes for Texas social studies lessons — many going before the board for a vote this week in Austin — McLeroy also wants to uphold the honor of Commie-hunting Sen. Joseph McCarthy, add lessons about the “threats of global government” and have students discuss whether the Founders really meant what Thomas Jefferson wrote about a “wall of separation” between religion and government.


Well, that’s the World of Delusion going on today in Texas.  That is, of course, much more dangerous that the usual World of Delusion in which all Fundamentalist Christians live day-to-day because the Texas decisions will impact the lessons of American history taught to Ohio kids as well.

There’s that odd bumper sticker that shows up occasionally on cars driving through Ohio:  Don’t Mess With Texas! I’d rearrange that a bit for clarity: Texas- Don’t Mess With History!


10 thoughts on “U.S. History Through Political Lenses

  1. The only way to stop this meddling with the facts is to prevent state and local boards of education from making these decisions. As stated in previous posts and comments, United States education must be centralized at the Federal level as to finances, subject matter, and content. We are still basing education on practices established in 1620 for the 21st century. NONSENSE!

  2. True, UtF, but those damned fundamentalists want control of local boards so that they can instill their Christian beliefs and values into the curriculum.

    How are we going to stop their input?

  3. Well, we need to develop an opposite organized group. We need to find like thinkers…I don’t mean intellectuals, just people with some common sense. Maybe the antithesis of the philosophical Rand Paul? Get a group together and do that exercise that was common in the ’70s, brain storming? An independent contract for America? Need to refute, Gingrich book that we have a secular, socialist state and that all our rights were divinely given to the Founding Fathers. Hmmm?

  4. philosophical Rand Paul? Whaaa? Philosophical whaaaa?The very concept makes me woozy. This is the antithesis of philosophy, but I am sure you know that and the irony of your comment was not lost, UTF.
    The reality is a movement, it’s not really a movement, but a reaction to reality in America and the rest of the world to reality.
    It’s a convulsive systemic reaction to the evolution of conciousness…
    Sure, there are teabaggers clinging to an antidiluvian prehistoric system of racial repression, social egalitarism and the idea that we can still live on this planet without interacting or being a part of a society that has a responsiblity to all of the people who encompass the population.
    We slowly are realizing that by caring for and participating in the education and uplifting of the poorest and the most downtrodden among us, we only make our selves more noble.

    That said, I feel that the Texas Text Book Boondoggle is part of this evolutionary convulsive reaction…they are going to get their textbooks printed, a small group of reactionary conservatives have bulldozed this through, but they are going to have to pay for these useless books.
    Maybe some schools in Oklahoma or Kansas will buy them, but they have put together a useless text that will be discredited and and ignored by most of the intelligent people of this country.

  5. Here’s an interesting comment that was snagged by my Spam Folder yesterday:

    They {Educational Research Analysts, a Chrisitan group in Texas} pointed out the liberal bias of some publishers and have had great influence for good in putting all publishers on alert –that we aren’t going to stand for left-wing propaganda and factual errors (like wrong names and dates and other details) sneaking into the schools via the texts.

    The author of this statement lives her life day-to-day in the World of Religious Delusion as do the other wingnuts who see anything to the left of center as ‘dangerous conspiracy’ and ‘ungodly.’

    It must be literal Hell for these types of people with their narrow, skewed vision of life to live here in ‘secular humanist’ America. As a result, they are doing their damnest to try to change history and skew it into something that it never was.

    Those kids in Texas are the real losers; kids always are. For the next ten years at least, children in Texas schools will have to endure the revisionist history lessons in their classrooms that were fashioned for them by 8 Christofascist Board members .

  6. Evil Poet- no, not at all. My Spam Filter often ‘catches’ a comment and holds it for my approval. Steve is also often ‘caught’ in this web too.

    I usually try to get to the comments section several times a day, but Saturday i was at my son’s house helping him with a construction project.

    The Word Press filter apparently has a list of ‘suspicious words’ and/or email domains which sends a comment into the ‘approval’ folder. Usually my folder snags Viagra, Pay Day Loans, ‘hot deals’ and other such stuff.

    If I have time today, I’ll attempt to look into why/how the filter is screening the comments.Please be assured, Poet, that I enjoy and welcome your comments here. Always.

  7. No worries – glad it is that and not something else like something I said. I won’t worry if it happens again. It reminds me of the old adage: “To err is human, but to really mess things up it takes a computer.”

  8. “To err is human, but to really mess things up it takes a computer.”


    WordPress uses a spam filter called, Akismet. I just looked into mine for some details:

    116 spams caught, 1,402 legitimate comments, and an overall accuracy rate of 96.838%.

    “Spam- most people know as the unwanted commercial comments on their blog, its counterpart we call ham to indicate legitimate comments. On the Akismet mistakes side, missed spam is pretty self-explanatory, but a false positive is what it’s called when we incorrectly identify a legitimate comment as spam. (Which hopefully happens exceedingly rarely.)

    So, Poet and Steve, apparently you fall into that 3.162 ‘error’ rate. My apologies.

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