Friday, April 30, 2010


Very few of us would employ a person in our business or for personal services for our family knowing as little about them as most of us know about people we choose to run our government.  Poor or uninformed choices for those we select for important positions inevitably lead to extremely poor results for our government.  The greatest enemy of an efficient government in a democracy is not corruption, but ignorance.  

Poor choices based on flawed beliefs without a factual basis cost taxpayers far more than anything stolen or siphoned illegally.  A case in point for the price to be paid for poor voter choice in Texas is our State Board of Education.

Our State Board of Education has ultimately made Texas the laughing stock of the country.  Even Comedy Central has chosen to feature recent actions by our Board in attempting to modify history a centerpiece of its routine.  And the Colbert Report is merciless. 

Oscar Romero is a martyr in the history of the fight for free government in El Salvador.  Right-wing death squads proceeded to summarily execute anyone who disagreed with the right-wing, oppressive government of the time.  Oscar Romero was an Archbishop in the Catholic Church murdered by the El Salvador death squads.  He had been mentioned in several history books as a significant political figure, as well as moral leader.  He has been erased from Texas textbooks on the grounds one of the female members of the Board had never heard of him.  It is such a shame to let such limited knowledge on the part of an officeholder shape the future educational opportunities of our children for generations to come.  

David Bradley, who represents Jefferson County and several other counties is a perfect example of what happens when our public servants have a flawed ability to reason.  Mr. Bradley recently reported he wanted education brought back to the rote method where simple memorization is the keystone of public education.  Most experts agree critical thinking is more important than memorization.  Apparently, Mr. Bradley wants to have future students of Texas emulate his ability to figure things out.  Mr. Bradley offered $1,000 donation to anyone’s favorite charity, if they could prove the words “separation of church and state” are in the United States Constitution. 

 A government professor attempted to claim the $1,000 donation by pointing out the provision in the constitution which states government in the United States should not establish a religion.  Mr. Bradley reneged on his offer due to the fact he cannot figure out such a prohibition in the United States Constitution mandates against the establishment of religion by the government or any attempt to do so.

Over 1,200 historians and professors have signed a letter complaining history revisions undermine the study of social sciences in our public schools.  Our Republican members of the State Board of Education cannot fathom that accurate history is more important than trying to weave into the textbooks a certain bias for their chosen religion.

During the Communist domination of Russia and its satellites, public education was grossly diminished by the fact that everything needed to have an underlying theme promoting Communism.   

Some of the radical terrorism in the world today exists because religion and religious zealots control the government of several nations.  We should think about this before we turn a blind eye to the fact some people would try to have the United States turned into a theocracy instead of a free democratic society.

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