The so called free market seems to be driving the fundamentalist push in Texas to revise the histories of the state, the country, the world, and now Islam to reflect the views and protect the sensibilities of Baptists, evangelicals and deep south fundamentalists in general.
Should you find that your kids are coming home spouting a lot of junk history and religious claptrap filtered through some deep fried fundamentalist lens, blame the Texas State Board of Education and the text book publishers who pee their pants when the board snaps their fingers or passes a resolution.
“The sheer size of Texas’ textbook market means that the state’s requirements and sensitivities have considerable influence on what publishers produce.” Texas school board debates ‘pro-Islamic’ bias in textbooks ” Kari Huus
Texas buys enormous quantities of textbooks. The market says that the biggest most profitable customers get what they want. Texas wants to decide what is, or is not, historical truth. The market decides who will write history. (more…)
I’m not a big fan of symbolism, religious or political; the flag waving at the Olympics, hands held over hearts at ball games and auto races, fingers pointed at the sky or genuflection in the end zone strikes me as empty, meaningless, affected behavior. I prefer more tangible substance, facts and deeds over these public “going through the motions” displays of piety and patriotism. But that’s just me.
If I did care for symbolism this would be the week that I opted for the great symbolic slam dunk, the turducken of religious and nationalistic display. I would get a bunch of “holy books” all the usual stuff “the majors” and all the other “holy” tomes I could find and wrap them in an Israeli flag, then an Iraqi flag, followed by the flag of Iran and the US Stars and Stripes. I would tie the package up in a prayer rug of the kind advertised by late night TV evangelists in exchange for a “love offering” and set fire to the whole silly mess in the nearest place that allows bonfires, sit down, pop open a beer and call the media.
I’d likely become as famous as a rock star in 24 hours.
They call him “pastor,” they call him reverend, they say he is “godly,” a holy man, beloved of and by “god.” “They” as close as I can determine, are the approximately 50 people who are members of his Florida “church,” the Dove World Outreach Center… honest, that’s what they call it and it earns them a federal tax exemption. I’ve seen him. (more…)
Illustration: Kollwitz, The Propeller
Having shown over the last seven months, since taking control of the legislative branch that they are at least equal to the Republicans when it comes to avarice, the Democrats set out this past weekend to demonstrate that, when it comes to cowardice, to blatant, unmitigated, ass covering politics they are every bit a match for Republicans.
Who impeaches the Congress? What in our Constitution protects the citizens of this country from a completely rogue government? When all three branches have abrogated their constitutional obligations, who will stand up for, who will represent the people of the United States?
Where must we search, to whom do we go for protection from the power of the wealthy corporate classes who are stealing our wealth, our livelihoods, and our future, who are spitting on our laws and our history as they sacrifice our Children and Grandchildren on the profane altar of their greed, in their eternal wars for profit and power?
Where is the opposition? Where do we go for redress of grievances when every institution of government is in the hands of the enemies of the people?
After suffering through five long years of watching a rogue executive blow it’s nose on the American Constitution and wipe it’s feet on our laws and bill of rights, it was with some relief and a glimmer of hope that I watched the election results last November as the Democratic party was returned to control of the legislative branch of the federal government. The pendulum is returning to the center I told myself, surely it will soon move to the left and show benefits to the working people of this country again.