Texas Schools Ban…Everything

I’m a big states-rights fan. Little democratic laboratories where the will of the people can be heard. Fortunately, we have a federal system that can step in to fix massacres like this.

The Texas Board of Education has removed the following from Texas school books and could impact a decade of Texas public school children.

  1. References to Thomas Jefferson have been removed.
  2. There is no church/state separation.
  3. The U.S. is now a “constitutional republic”, not “democratic”.
  4. Hip-Hop is not an official cultural movement (can’t say I disagree with this. I can get behind early stuff like Run D.M.C. and the like.)
  5. Texas will no longer teach students that religions are protected under the U.S. constitution and can’t be “favored”.
  6. McCarthyism is protected and favored.
  7. Texas will teach students the emergence of the Republican platform in the 80’s and 90’s.
  8. No more sociological discussion of “transsexuals and who knows what else”.
  9. “Capitalism” is now the “Free Enterprise System”.
  10. The late Sen. Edward Kennedy and Justice Sotomayor have no coverage in Texas textbooks. Reagan ranks pretty high up, though.
  11. In an odd move considering Texas’ location, no Hispanics died at the Alamo.

I suspect this will get overturned very, very quickly. I’m sure the ACLU is descending on Texas in swarms not seen since the days of the carrier pigeon.

Why State Budgets Matter

Following up on California’s status as an economic disaster-hole, it begs the question of “why do state budgets matter?” Frankly, the long and short of it is if your state is broke, then by law they’re required to not be broke. The result is higher taxes and cuts. Because most governments are incapable of thinking rationally, they usually start cutting education, police, healthcare, etc. You know, the things people use and actually hired the government to deal with.

When they raise taxes, that lowers demand for services as people have less money, businesses have less funds for payroll and supplies and they cut wages and staff and, voila, you have a deeper recession. Not to mention that states cut contracts with outside vendors, thereby deepening matters more.

Again, I’m going to re-iterate that this governing things isn’t necessarily hard. Mitch Daniels saved money by buying floor mats for heaven’s sake:

[Daniels ended] bottled water for employees of the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (annual savings, $35,000). Ending notification of drivers that their licenses are expiring; letting them be responsible for noticing (saving $200,000). Buying rather than renting floor mats for BMV offices (saving $267,000 this year). Initiating the sale of 2,096 surplus state vehicles (so far, $1.95 million in revenue from 1,514 sales). Changing the state lottery’s newsletter from semimonthly and in color to a monthly and black-and-white (annual savings, $21,670).

Note, this was in 2005 after 1 year in office. I’d also mention that I’d go as far as to eliminate newsletters, period. Who reads newsletters!? Get a website!

And, the BMV now reminds people about expiration notices electronically, for practically nothing, via email for Hoosiers enrolled in MyBMV.

States have money to burn and money that can be saved and refunded to taxpayers. They just need to step up and deal with it. Don’t tell me the Feds don’t have a few newsletters that can be chucked.