Texas GOP Opposes Teaching Critical Thinking Skills?

The Republican Party of Texas put the following into its 2012 platform:

We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.


Contacted by TPM on Thursday, Republican Party of Texas (RPT) Communications Director Chris Elam said the “critical thinking skills” language made it into the platform by mistake.

“[The chairman of the Education Subcommittee] indicated that it was an oversight of the committee, that the plank should not have included ‘critical thinking skills’ after ‘values clarification,’” Elam said. “And it was not the intent of the subcommittee to present a plank that would have indicated that the RPT in any way opposed the development of critical thinking skills.”

Elam said the members of the subcommittee “regret” the oversight, but because the mistake was part of the platform approved by the convention, “it cannot be corrected until the next state convention in 2014.”

Full Story: Texas GOP’s 2012 Platform Opposes Teaching Of ‘Critical Thinking Skills’

(hat tip: Trevor)

Texas re-writing history books for the entire country

Greatest Texan Ever
Art by Matthew Clay-Robison

“We are fighting for our children’s education and our nation’s future,” Dunbar said. “In Texas we have certain statutory obligations to promote patriotism and to promote the free enterprise system. There seems to have been a move away from a patriotic ideology. There seems to be a denial that this was a nation founded under God. We had to go back and make some corrections.”

Those corrections have prompted a blizzard of accusations of rewriting history and indoctrinating children by promoting rightwing views on religion, economics and guns while diminishing the science of evolution, the civil rights movement and the horrors of slavery.

Several changes include sidelining Thomas Jefferson, who favoured separation of church and state, while introducing a new focus on the “significant contributions” of pro-slavery Confederate leaders during the civil war.

How does the effect the rest of the country?

The curriculum has alarmed liberals across the country in part because Texas buys millions of text books every year, giving it considerable sway over what publishers print. By some estimates, all but a handful of American states rely on text books written to meet the Texas curriculum. The California legislature is considering a bill that would bar them from being used in the state’s schools.

Guardian: Texas schools board rewrites US history with lessons promoting God and guns

(Thanks Katie Monster!)

Update: Some doubts about Texas’s national influence on textbooks from the Texas Tribune (via Jon Lebkowsky)

Turning Kids into Sex Offenders

Imagine how DeMarcus Blackwell felt when he was told that his son Chris had engaged in “sexual contact and/or sexual harassment” at school. School officials in Waco, Texas, said Chris rubbed his face in the chest of a female teachers’ aide.

Well, before you can imagine this father’s reaction, you need to know one other fact: His son was 4 years old when the “sexual” incident occurred.

What got Chris into trouble was giving the aide a hug. Only after DeMarcus strenuously complained did the school change the boy’s record from “sexual harassment” to “inappropriate physical contact.”

At least Chris wasn’t sent to jail, as were 13-year-old Cory Mashburn and 12-year-old Ryan Cornelison of McMinnville, Ore. The boys were charged with five counts of felony sex abuse in the first degree because of their conduct toward some 13-year-old girls at their middle school.

Full Story: Town Hall.

(via ifeminists.com).

See also: Classically Liberal’s coverage of the Matthew Brady case.

Private space travel news

Amazon boss shows off spacecraft:

The billionaire founder of Amazon.com has released the first images of the launch of a private spacecraft that could bring space travel to the masses.

A video of the cone-shaped Goddard vehicle shows it climbing to about 85m (285ft) before returning back to Earth.

The test launch took place in November 2006 in a remote part of Texas, but details have only now been released.

(reminded by Nerdshit).

Stephen Hawking plans to go into space in 2009:

World renowned British astrophysicist Stephen Hawking wants to go to a place he has only theorized about in his long career: space.

“This year I’m planning a zero-gravity flight and to go into space in 2009,” he was quoted as saying in the Daily Telegraph newspaper.

Hawking, 65, has said he hopes to travel on British businessman Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic service, which is scheduled to launch in 2009. The service will charge space tourists about $200,000 US for a two-hour, suborbital trip some 140 kilometres above the Earth.

(via Monkey Filter).

Frequency 23 podcast: Bart Black

Frequency 23’s new podcast is up. This month:

This audio footage comes from a very special field agent, currently stationed somewhere in Texas. Our agent somehow managed to contact Bart Black, a contemporary of Alex Jones among others, for an interview regarding Bart’s own TV show based in Houston, “Frequency Clear”. “Frequency Clear” is a source for alternative news geared towards fighting the information war, guerilla media activism, and advocating for the First Amendment. Bart was gracious enough to accept our correspondent as a personal guest in his office and workspace, and the resulting interview touches upon the pending police state, the mother of all conspiracy theories, and life on the frontline of the information war.

Download at Frequency 23.

Praise “Bob”, slack off, lose custody of your child

Praise “Bob”, slack off, lose custody of your child. A Texas woman has lost custody of her son, not even being allowed to write to him, because she was involved in activities of the Church of the Subgenius. Although her son never attended any of the events, which involved fun, nudity, and good old-fashioned blasphemy, a New York judge, James P. Punch, allegedly a “strict catholic”, has denied custody of the child Kohl out of anger after seeing videos of the church’s devivals and X-days.

Full Story: MetaFilter .

(via Post Atomic )

The Turner Diaries e-book

This book has become sort of an obsession among my local circal of friends (not that they’re nazis, just curious). The rumor was: buy a copy, and you get added to a government watch list. The copies been around for months, but we’ve been seeing a lot more helicopters lately.

I haven’t read it yet, and I may never get around to it. But I have to confess a certain curiousity after reading this from Wikipedia:

At the time of his arrest, Timothy McVeigh, the man convicted for the Oklahoma City bombing, had a copy of The Turner Diaries in his possession. McVeigh’s bombing was similar to the event described in the book where the fictional terrorist group blows up FBI Headquarters.

The Order, an early 1980s white supremacist group involved in murder, robberies and counterfeiting, was named after the group in the book and motivated by the book’s scenarios for a race war. The group murdered Alan Berg, a controversial and outspoken Jewish talk show host, and engaged in other acts of violence in order to hasten the race war described in the book. The Order’s efforts later inspired another group, The New Order, which planned to commit similar crimes in an effort to start a race war that would lead to a violent revolution.

John William King was convicted for dragging James Byrd, an African-American, to his death in Jasper, Texas. As King shackled Byrd’s legs to the back of his truck he was reported to have said, “We’re going to start the Turner Diaries early.”

The suicide mission to bomb the Pentagon at the end of the book is eerily similar in some people’s minds to the suicide bombing of the Pentagon on September 11, 2001 by members of Muslim extremist group Al Qaeda. It has been suggested by some that the book only serves as a model of how a local grass-roots movement can overthrow a powerful and tyrannical central government, and that this has led to some groups that do not even agree with the white separatist/supremacist movement using it as a model or blueprint for revolution.

Wikipedia entry on the Turner Diaries.

Turner Diaries e-book.

School distributes satanic sex calendar

Way to go Officer Barbrady!

Local school officials in a suburb of Houston, Texas, are investigating how it was possible that a school police officer handed out calendars to students that featured explicit details on satanic and sexual rituals for every day of the month.

Link (via Wu).

Hunter S. Thompson endorses Kerry

Thompson proves he’s still the hardest writer out there:

This year’s first presidential debate was such a disaster for George Bush that his handlers had to be crazy to let him get in the ring with John Kerry again. Yet Karl Rove let it happen, and we can only wonder why. But there is no doubt that the president has lost his nerve, and his career in the White House is finished. NO MAS.


Every GOP administration since 1952 has let the Military-Industrial Complex loot the Treasury and plunge the nation into debt on the excuse of a wartime economic emergency. Richard Nixon comes quickly to mind, along with Ronald Reagan and his ridiculous “trickle-down” theory of U.S. economic policy. If the Rich get Richer, the theory goes, before long their pots will overflow and somehow “trickle down” to the poor, who would rather eat scraps off the Bush family plates than eat nothing at all. Republicans have never approved of democracy, and they never will. It goes back to preindustrial America, when only white male property owners could vote.

Things haven’t changed all that much where George W. Bush comes from. Houston is a cruel and crazy town on a filthy river in East Texas with no zoning laws and a culture of sex, money and violence. It’s a shabby sprawling metropolis ruled by brazen women, crooked cops and super-rich pansexual cowboys who live by the code of the West — which can mean just about anything you need it to mean, in a pinch.


The question this year is not whether President Bush is acting more and more like the head of a fascist government but if the American people want it that way. That is what this election is all about. We are down to nut-cutting time, and millions of people are angry. They want a Regime Change.


Of course I will vote for John Kerry. I have known him for thirty years as a good man with a brave heart — which is more than even the president’s friends will tell you about George W. Bush, who is also an old acquaintance from the white-knuckle days of yesteryear. He is hated all over the world, including large parts of Texas, and he is taking us all down with him.

Madghoul interviews Richard Metzger

Another Technoccult pal and former guest editor Michael the Mad Ghoul interviews Disinfo figurehead Richard Metzger

He [Paul Laffoley] is becoming better known. There’s not really a short answer to that question. He should be hailed as one of our greatest geniuses, I think. It takes a long time for Paul to do a painting, and they’re really quite big. They’re six by six. They might take him about a year to finish, and by the time you’d have enough collected paintings for a one man gallery exhibit, you’re talking about ten years worth of work, so very often the paintings are sold as part of like a group show. He has had several solo shows and there have been books published on Paul, two of them. You know… because of things like my show, because of the [Disinformation] Interviews book, his own books, the big museum show he had in Texas, and most importantly, the Kent Gallery in NYC and its owner Douglas Walla being so completely behind Paul, his profile has been rising in recent years


© 2015 Technoccult

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑