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Monday, March 29, 2010

Textbook cases - As Texas shows, school book content must not be left to interest groups. California, take note.

Oh, those disingenuous Texans. Pretending to bring ideological balance to history textbooks when what they're really doing is weighting the books so heavily with conservative mores, you'd expect the state's backpack-laden school children to list to the right.

If the revisions proposed by the conservative faction of the Texas Board of Education are adopted in May, the state's textbooks will raise the study of the inaugural speech of Confederate President Jefferson Davis to the same level as that of Abraham Lincoln. They will downplay the role of Thomas Jefferson, in part because he coined the phrase "separation of church and state," and will imply that the Founding Fathers were Christian even though historians have found evidence that not all of them held Christian beliefs. The internment of a relatively small number of people of German and Italian heritage during World War II would be emphasized to make it appear as though there wasn't a racial component to interning more than 100,000 Japanese Americans. This amounts to just plain disinformation.

Anti-abortion bills may be challenged

Anti-abortion members of the Oklahoma legislature and rewriting legislation that has been struck down by the courts.  Below is the chart included with this article, outlining recent anti-abortion measures by the State of Oklahoma.

According to State Representative Benge of Tulsa, "Our motivation is the respect and sanctity of life in the womb,” said Benge, R-Tulsa. "We’ve been very vocal and out front about how important we think that is."

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Justice's wife launches 'tea party' group

The nonprofit run by Virginia Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, is likely to test notions of political impartiality for the court.

As Virginia Thomas tells it in her soft-spoken, Midwestern cadence, the story of her involvement in the "tea party" movement is the tale of an average citizen in action.

"I am an ordinary citizen from Omaha, Neb., who just may have the chance to preserve liberty along with you and other people like you," she said at a recent panel discussion with tea party leaders in Washington. Thomas went on to count herself among those energized into action by President Obama's "hard-left agenda."

U.S. history textbooks could soon be flavored heavily with Texas conservatism

The nation’s public school curriculum may be in for a Texas-sized overhaul, if the Lone Star state’s influential recommendations for changes to social studies, economics and history textbooks are fully ratified later this spring. Last Friday, in a 10-to-5 vote split right down party lines, the Texas State Board of Education approved some controversial right-leaning alterations to what most students in the state—and by extension, in much of the rest of the country—will be studying as received historical and social-scientific wisdom. After a public comment period, the board will vote on final recommendations in May.

The Extremist Nature of Israel Apartheid Week

Israel Apartheid Week just ended, and we wanted to take a look at exactly what it is and why.  This is a very concise explanation of its history and purpose, and why it is "absurd."

So it’s that time of year again (March 1st – 14th), when our institutions of higher learning take a week out of their busy schedules to promote and celebrate anti-Semitism week. Oh, I know it’s officially called Israel Apartheid Week, and this year they have expanded to a two week celebration, but really, whatever you choose to call it, it’s nothing short of absurd. Originally started in 2005, by the Arab Student Collective at the University of Toronto, a number of Canadian and American academic institutions have chosen to blindly follow along.

Settlement Snafu

The embarrassment over Israel's announcement of 1,600 new housing units during U.S. Vice President Joe Biden's visit has been elevated to an outright controversy with the public rebuke issues by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.  On Thursday, Biden affirmed that the U.S.-Israel relationship is in"impervious to any shifts in either country," and that"[n]o matter what challenges we face, this bond will endure."