Saturday, January 16, 2010

Defining "Tea Partiers"

This is about as good a definition of the "Tea Party" movement as I've seen yet...

"...a well-intentioned, passionate, and deeply confused group of people -- the folks who believe Democrats are "fascists," the president is Hitler, and programs like Social Security and Medicare are socialist, unconstitutional boondoggles that need to be abolished -- who are now intent on dragging an already far-right party over the cliff."

Thursday, January 14, 2010

SBOE hearings on Social Studies standards

The Texas Freedom Network has been liveblogging the Texas State Board of Education hearings on setting new standards for social studies textbooks.

Testifying were a mix of academics urging the board to not politicize the social studies textbooks, a number of people representing Latino groups urging more inclusion of Hispanic culture and history in the textbooks, and a bunch of ignorant teabaggers ranting about "socialism" and failing to provide any specific examples of their criticisms.

The part I found most interesting was at the end when the board closed promptly at 6 p.m. leaving many people who had waited all day to testify hanging...

6:10 – The board is closing today’s testimony. SBOE Chair Gail Lowe notes that Gov. Rick Perry today made an announcement on federal Race to the Top funding. In fact, Gov. Perry said Texas will not seek the $700 million that would be available through that funding stream.

6:13 – The board is getting angry comments from people who waited all day to testify. They’re demanding that the board continue hearing testimony. (We sympathize. After all, the board isn’t often asked to listen to their constituents on these issues.) A motion to extend the hearing fails on a tie vote. In the chaos, it’s hard to tell how all of the board members voted. But most of the “no” votes appear to have come from the board’s far-right faction. Surprised?

6:18 – Now would-be testifiers are shouting in anger. More chaos. The chair, Gail Lowe, has to break a tie on a motion to adjourn the meeting. Could there be a clearer representation of the indifference some board members have for the concerns of their constituents?

UPDATE: After adjournment, the state board’s five Democrats remained to continue listening to testimony from those who were unable to speak before the hearing ended. Many of the remaining testifiers were Latinos, some of whom had traveled from across the state to the hearing.

Monday, January 11, 2010

2010 = Twenty Ten

I hope that people will start calling this year Twenty-Ten rather than Two Thousand and Ten.
Otherwise, you better get used to using the construction "Two Thousand and ..." for the rest of your life.
Seriously. Nobody today says "I was born in One Thousand Nine Hundred and blah-blah." That would be weird. We say Nineteen-whatever. Much simpler.
So why, then, would we want to go away from that for the next hundred (thousand!!) years?
I understand that you had to say the year Two Thousand at the turn of the Century. And then it just became ingrained to say Two Thousand and One and so forth. But now is the last obvious chance we have to switch over to the simpler construction.
So please! For the sake of your children and your grandchildren and your great-great grandchildren, stop saying Two Thousand and Ten.
It's Twenty Ten.