Monday, January 04, 2010

Happy New Year!

It's my first post of the new year and here is what's on my mind:

Good article in the Washington Monthly on the Texas Board of Education's continuing crusade to indoctrinate our schoolchildren with their far-rightwing ideology.

Don McLeroy is a balding, paunchy man with a thick broom-handle mustache who lives in a rambling two-story brick home in a suburb near Bryan, Texas. When he greeted me at the door one evening last October, he was clutching a thin paperback with the skeleton of a seahorse on its cover, a primer on natural selection penned by famed evolutionary biologist Ernst Mayr. We sat down at his dining table, which was piled high with three-ring binders, and his wife, Nancy, brought us ice water in cut-crystal glasses with matching coasters. Then McLeroy cracked the book open. The margins were littered with stars, exclamation points, and hundreds of yellow Post-its that were brimming with notes scrawled in a microscopic hand. With childlike glee, McLeroy flipped through the pages and explained what he saw as the gaping holes in Darwin’s theory. “I don’t care what the educational political lobby and their allies on the left say,” he declared at one point. “Evolution is hooey.” This bled into a rant about American history. “The secular humanists may argue that we are a secular nation,” McLeroy said, jabbing his finger in the air for emphasis. “But we are a Christian nation founded on Christian principals. The way I evaluate history textbooks is first I see how they cover Christianity and Israel. Then I see how they treat Ronald Reagan—he needs to get credit for saving the world from communism and for the good economy over the last twenty years because he lowered taxes.”

Sigh. I so with that my fellow Texans would quit electing these insane people to serve on our state school board.

Meanwhile, Andy Sullivan shows how Rasmussen Polling veers far off from every other polling outfit in the nation making it the favorite of Faux News and the NRC.

I hope everyone saw this article in the WaPo last week.

The past decade was the worst for the U.S. economy in modern times, a sharp reversal from a long period of prosperity that is leading economists and policymakers to fundamentally rethink the underpinnings of the nation's growth.

And finally a great in-depth article in Chemical & Engineering News about the whole climate change controversy.

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