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California Moves To Block Texas' Textbook Changes

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the wurds-our-hard dept.

Books 857

eldavojohn writes "Yesterday the Texas textbook controversy was reported internationally but the news today heats up the debate as California, a state on the other side of the political spectrum, introduces legislation that would block these textbook changes inside California. Democrat Senator Leland Yee (you may know him as a senator often tackling ESRB ratings on video games) introduced SB1451, which would require California's school board to review books for any of Texas' changes and block the material if any such are found. The bill's text alleges that said changes would be 'a sharp departure from widely accepted historical teachings' and 'a threat to the apolitical nature of public school governance and academic content standards in California.'"

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Fight them (5, Insightful)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236780)

If you can't fight them... Put a fence around and let them devolve in peace.

Re:Fight them (4, Funny)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236902)

If I were the POTUS I would offer them back to Mexico. Mind you if I were the Mexican president I'd turn the offer down.

Re:Fight them (5, Informative)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 4 years ago | (#32237082)

If I were the POTUS I would offer them back to Mexico. Mind you if I were the Mexican president I'd turn the offer down.

The US did not acquire Texas from Mexico. Texas won its independence from Mexico and then joined the US many years later as an independent nation.

Re:Fight them (4, Interesting)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#32237164)

...another fine bit of "historical spin".

It was American settlers that were doing the original settling and subsequent rebelling.

Re:Fight them (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32237232)

So?

Was there or was there not an independent nation called Texas from 1836 to 1846?

Louisiana Territory was full of Americans. That doesn't mean we didn't get it from France.

Re:Fight them (3, Informative)

DesScorp (410532) | more than 4 years ago | (#32237332)

...another fine bit of "historical spin".

It was American settlers that were doing the original settling and subsequent rebelling.

If you're arguing against the facts, then the spin is yours. There was a Republic of Texas before there was a State of Texas.

Re:Fight them (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32237416)

I'm having trouble seeing how this is spin - you forgot to mention that there were several native Mexicans who were also settled in Texas.

Calling the War for Southern Independence a civil war is an example of historical spin. That would be the equivalent of calling the war for Texas' independence a civil war in Mexico.

Learn your history.

Re:Fight them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32237264)

Yeah, right. No influence of USA in that at all. Remember the Alamo!

Re:Fight them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32237238)

The Texas Governor, other officials and Texas spokespeople (Chuck Norris) have recently suggested that Texas secede from the U.S. I wouldn't mind if they did. They are trying to re-write history in school textbooks and their political ideology differs from that of most Americans.

Re:Fight them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32236918)

SMBC [smbc-comics.com] said it best: Why fight creationism? Evolution fights for itself! [imgur.com]

Re:Fight them (1)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 4 years ago | (#32237162)

Your point, unless I seriously misunderstand it, is that because pro-evolutionists are racists (discriminate against creationists) they will get an evolutionary advantage ? I think you're in for a rude awakening ... especially as to which of those 2 groups will get the evolutionary advantage over time (as non-discrimination gives access to more genetic material, chances are that the non-discriminatory group will get better genes over time).

And in reality :

How does a group get an evolutionary advantage ?
1) more children ... that will do it.
2) more people dying as a result of their actions (as opposed to getting old and depedant) (in short : more selection)

Now let's see who's winning :
1) creationists ... no doubt about it (by a factor 2 or 3 at least)
2) creationists ... no doubt about it (again by a factor)

Furthermore, given how the world looks today and how will look tomorrow as to population (ie. 3rd world and mexican immigration), I'd say that all major population growth in the US is going to be creationist population growth.

I'm against creationism, but with arguments like yours chances are we'll lose.

Re:Fight them (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#32237226)

This entire premise is flawed. Evolutionists are not anti-christian. At least I'm not. What I am is anti-tyranny, meaning I don't want you to force your beliefs upon me.

Re: Fight them (5, Interesting)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 4 years ago | (#32237000)

If you can't fight them... Put a fence around and let them devolve in peace.

Or just invoke Mohnihan's Law: they're entitled to their own opinions, but not to their own facts.

Ooops! (4, Funny)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 4 years ago | (#32237100)

Hopefully he doesn't have another law for dealing with people who misspell his name.

Re:Fight them (5, Insightful)

P0ltergeist333 (1473899) | more than 4 years ago | (#32237014)

That's the problem. Texas buys the most textbooks, and thus has undue influence on the industry. Thanks to scorched earth capitalism, making money is more important than making sure that textbooks are accurate. Anyone who does 10 minutes of research will find that the whole notion of the "Cristian Nation" is laughable. If anything our nation's ideals came from John Locke and his "The Two Treatises Of Government" through Thomas Jefferson.

Re:Fight them (4, Funny)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#32237098)

That's the problem. Texas buys the most textbooks, and thus has undue influence on the industry.

I didn't say it'd be a cheap fence.

Re:Fight them (0, Troll)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#32237156)

A Christian foundation is laughable? How so? One of the prime leaders of the revolution was Samuel Adams, a christian preacher. The writings of George Washington contain frequent references to "God" and "our Creator". Thomas Jefferson, as president, signed his documents: "on this date 180x, in the year of our lord, Jesus Christ". He even created his own bible called the Jesus Bible which focused on quoting Jesus of Nazareth.

That doesn't mean everyone should be forced to be a Christian. Be whatever you want (I am atheist). BUT at the same time to deny the reality that the founders of this country were Christians who devoutly beloved in God and a Christ/Messiah is ALSO a bias, and that bias has perverted our textbooks for decades.

Why is THAT bias any better? The answer: It isn't.

History is about facts, and getting as close to the truth as possible. To pretend the Founders were not Christians is anti-truth and makes you no better than the Texan book-writers.

Re:Fight them (1)

Altus (1034) | more than 4 years ago | (#32237310)

I remember learning about the christian background of the founding fathers. Simplified a bit to be sure. I also remember learning about the pilgrims coming here to avoid religious persecution.

Its not like religion wasn't mentioned in the text books I read as a kid but it wasn't the focus either.

Re:Fight them (5, Informative)

russotto (537200) | more than 4 years ago | (#32237336)

Thomas Jefferson, as president, signed his documents: "on this date 180x, in the year of our lord, Jesus Christ".

I love this one. Shows one of two things -- either the speaker is an idiot parroting others, or the speaker is trying to put one over us. A.D. 1776 = Anno Domini 1776 = The year of our lord 1776. The "lord" meant was indeed Jesus Christ, the one old Pope Gregory XIII (of Gregorian Calendar fame) would have recognized. It's just traditional formula.

Re:Fight them (5, Informative)

lwsimon (724555) | more than 4 years ago | (#32237186)

To deny Christianity's role in the founding of America would be an outright lie. Likewise, to say that America is founded solely on the Christian religion would be untrue.

America was founded on the concepts of individual rights, self-governance, and the idea that man has certain rights that the government as no authority to interject themselves into. While, to my knowledge, all of the Founders themselves were monotheistic or Agnostic, it would be one hell of a stretch to say they shared a common religion.

Truth be told, a Christian of just about any sort would be at home in early America. Pagans and Athiests, less so, but they would probably be at little risk. Luciferians, Wiccans (who call themselves witches), etc? Ha!

Re:Fight them (1)

ravenshrike (808508) | more than 4 years ago | (#32237224)

Which is why the textbooks in question sideline TJ in FAVOR of Locke and others. Quite honestly apart from his participation in the formation of the country and the fact that he was smart enough to crib his material from some really kick ass sources, TJ wasn't exactly a good guy. As a president he was rather abysmal.

Re:Fight them (1)

anagama (611277) | more than 4 years ago | (#32237272)

TX might be the one state which buys the most books, but put together enough other states who are interested in accuracy and Texas' market share begins to lose relevance.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_and_territories_by_population [wikipedia.org]

Texas is only 2nd in population so coordination between some of the other populous states would crush the market share issue. For example, CA, NY, IL, and PA amount to a quarter of the US population (compared to TX's 7.81%). Even with differences in birth rates, that would blow TX out of the water market share wise.

Re:Fight them (3, Funny)

McGruber (1417641) | more than 4 years ago | (#32237392)

Texas buys the most textbooks, and thus has undue influence on the industry.

That's because Chuck Norris can judge a textbook by its cover.

Re:Fight them (1)

M8e (1008767) | more than 4 years ago | (#32237026)

Devolution is a lie! Nothing advanced can(on its own) devolve to somethinge more primitive!

There must be an intelligent designer.

Is anything not political? (5, Insightful)

karcirate (1685354) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236782)

"apolitical nature of public school governance"

Say what?

Re:Is anything not political? (4, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236904)

Say what?

Even better, in TFA he follows it up with:

"The alterations and fallacies made by these extremist conservatives are offensive to our communities and inaccurate of our nation's diverse history."

Gotta love the evil conservative hyperbole there. I really wish people would vote for people with less of a flair for the dramatic.

Re:Is anything not political? (3, Insightful)

TheMeuge (645043) | more than 4 years ago | (#32237170)

Wish I had mod points.

The Texas revisionism is a reactionary policy, brought about by the resurgence of the "us-vs-them" mentality. Whether justified or not, they are scared, and are lashing out in reprisal. And the reaction that this evokes, is further vilification of anyone who dares call themselves conservative by the representative of the left.

How can any voice of reason expect to be heard, when they will be labeled a "bleeding heart liberal" by the right, and "extremist right-winger" by the left?

This isn't meant to justify the changes Texas plans to its curriculum - they are atrocious to be sure. But Mr. Lee's response to it simply reeks. He'd like to protect against the conservative revisionism by ensuring the leftist revisionism.

It's not about a "flair for the dramatic", it's about getting votes by creating an enemy against which you can unite the masses. For the Democrats, it's the Republicans. Likewise, for the Republicans, it's the "eastern elites" and "liberals". We can't run the country this way anymore, as it's clear that we're running it into the ground.

Re:Is anything not political? (5, Insightful)

Altus (1034) | more than 4 years ago | (#32237402)

My understanding was that this bill was intended to prevent the specific changes proposed by Texas from making it into California textbooks. That is not leftist revisionism. Mr. Lee might be a bit heavy on the rhetoric but unless his bill specifically includes proposed changes to the existing curriculum (which, to the best of my knowledge) I don't think its fair to call him revisionist.

It seems to me that you are engaging in exactly the behavior you are calling out.

Re:Is anything not political? (0, Offtopic)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#32237366)

>>>Gotta love the evil conservative hyperbole there.

It's also a mistake to think "conservative" means old fuddy-duddy. Building a nation upon the idea that PEOPLE should rule, not Lords, is anything but conservative. It was so radical an idea that it embroiled America and Europe in revolution for 2 centuries (from the UK revolutions of 1600s through the Napoleonic Wars of the 1800s). I also support the idea of gay marriage or multi-partner marriage. I support doing whatever you want to your own body, including shooting-up drugs and selling your body for sex or temporary indentured servitude. And yet I'm Republican.

Me? Conservative? Hardly. I only call myself "conservative" because you took-away the word "liberal" and used it to describe communism, corporatism, and other top-down tyrannies/monarchies/oligarchies. I am as liberal in my thoughts as Jefferson was, and he was faaar from being an old fuddy-duddy, but I can no longer use that word as Jefferson used it, because it's been redefined. (Think 1984.)

Good (1, Interesting)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236784)

It's nice to see some politicians actually are looking out for the best interests of their society. I'm sure he's corrupt in other ways but, in this regard at least, he's doing the right thing. I hope more follow suit.

Apolitical? (4, Insightful)

cbs4385 (929248) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236800)

Is he seriously implying that current curricula was set with political blinders on. Not that I agree with the slant Texas has put on history, but to imply that the current histories taught do not have one is disingenuous.

Re:Apolitical? (4, Insightful)

Millennium (2451) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236934)

Yes, and this is a serious problem. There is no such thing as an apolitical view of history, as among other things, every viewpoint has its own judgments of the same events. There is no way to teach history independently of those judgments; the best you can do is point out where the judgments are and hope that the students will figure out what to take with a grain of salt and what not to.

To block "deviating from the accepted teachings" is really nothing more than an attempt to cement one's own judgments into the curriculum. I'm no fan of what Texas is doing here, but this particular solution is not an acceptable way of blocking it. Go back to the drawing board.

Heck; I'll give you a new hook. Go after the bit about the US being "chosen by God as a beacon" as a flagrant violation of the First Amendment, because if it's not a case of a government entity (the school board) establishing a civic religion, I don't know what is.

Re:Apolitical? (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#32237420)

At least California's actions (banning texas books) only affects California. Over here on the other side of the continent, my person, my property, and my rights remain untrampled. Let Californians be Californians and run their own affairs. It matters not to me.

But vice-versa, neither should Californians interfere with the politics of Utah (as they tried to do ~2 years ago). It is NONE of their business.

"apolitical"? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32236802)

"a threat to the apolitical nature of public school governance and academic content standards in California."

"apolitical"? Huh?

There's no such thing in an organization that exist solely via government, aka "public schools".

TxSBOE vs SCOTUS (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32236814)

Bring it! Nothing I would love better than to see our SBOE knocked down a couple of notches. Next stop: SCOTUS!

Interesting idea (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236820)

Interesting idea, but it seems to put the onus and cost on California's school board. I'm not American but I was under the impression that they are not currently awash with money. Would it be better to put the onus on publishers tending for California's schools? Maybe also they should be required to publish an addendum if any of this revisionist history fond its way into the books.

Re:Interesting idea (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32236894)

"I'm not American" That's not very patriotic of you. Our founding fathers are rolling over in their graves right now!

Re:Interesting idea (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236960)

True. Page two of my Texas international politics manual says that if you are not with us you are against us. Therefore everyone who is not American is anti-American.

Re:Interesting idea (1)

AndersOSU (873247) | more than 4 years ago | (#32237158)

No. More often than not the outsourcing of essential government functions to private industries results in conflicts of interest and disaster. Educational standards should not be next.

Re:Interesting idea (1)

Deadstick (535032) | more than 4 years ago | (#32237378)

Yes, it will cost California some money. But the root problem is that Texas is a big state with a lot of pupils, and its textbook orders are a significant part of a publisher's revenue. The publishers would rather publish one edition acceptable to all the states than customize them, so Texas has been dictating textbook content to much of the country.

But California is a big state too, and if it shows the balls to refuse to be dictated to by Texas, the publishers are going to have to do something about it -- especially if a couple of other big states come on board. It shouldn't cost the publishers that much more to release a standard edition and a Texas teabagger edition.

And the fallout from that might embarrass Texas enough to join the 21st century. Well, maybe the 20th.

rj

Sarcastic summary (4, Insightful)

codeButcher (223668) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236846)

said changes would be "a sharp departure from widely accepted historical teachings"

Because something that is widely accepted is always true.

Re: Sarcastic summary (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236922)

aid changes would be "a sharp departure from widely accepted historical teachings"

Because something that is widely accepted is always true.

I wonder what kind of batting average you could get by always going with widely accepted vs. widely rejected.

(n.b. - Not a rhetorical questions.)

Re: Sarcastic summary (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#32237256)

I wonder what kind of batting average you could get by always going with widely accepted vs. widely rejected.

(n.b. - Not a rhetorical questions.)

Ok, let's start by physics. Which part of what was widely accepted as true two thousand years ago ended up being true?

We can then go to biology.

etc.

(For the sake of discussion, you may consider we agree on math)

Re:Sarcastic summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32237070)

No, because if he had said "a sharp departure from truthful historical teachings", you would have complained that most historical facts aren't 100% sure, asshole.

Get rid of textbooks already (-1, Flamebait)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236862)

Why don't we simply get rid of textbooks? With the internet primary source material is -very- easy to find and would teach children how to think rather than how to be brainwashed by the Right/Left. A teacher would guide discussions and offer hints about what primary material would be on tests, but really, textbooks by nature are not "apolitical" they have human editors with human biases. Perhaps 20 years ago the argument could be made that it was too hard to find primary sources, but today? One look at Google Books shows thousands of relevant, historical material for free.

Re:Get rid of textbooks already (4, Insightful)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 4 years ago | (#32237040)

Yes, textbooks are dangerously biased so lets set the elementary aged kids loose to learn everything from the internet. Seriously? There's so much noise that gets thrown around the web that most adults have trouble identifying what is and isn't real (if I had a dollar for every email I get telling me that cleaner X is going to kill my pets and babies I wouldn't have to worry about the mortgage). Letting someone run free to learn on the internet is like saying "go find information that you agree with", that's all that 99% of people are ever going to do.

I realize you specifically call out primary sources, but do you really think that such sources aren't just as politically bent as modern sources. I guarantee you that you can find primary sources that describe the Kent State incident as everything from a horrible accident, to an violent demonstration, to murder of innocent college students. There's no way that a young kid is going to be able to sift through it and find the facts of the situation, that's why we pay professional historians to gather the facts in the first place.

Re:Get rid of textbooks already (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 4 years ago | (#32237080)

Why don't we simply get rid of textbooks? With the internet primary source material is -very- easy to find and would teach children how to think rather than how to be brainwashed by the Right/Left. A teacher would guide discussions and offer hints about what primary material would be on tests, but really, textbooks by nature are not "apolitical" they have human editors with human biases. Perhaps 20 years ago the argument could be made that it was too hard to find primary sources, but today? One look at Google Books shows thousands of relevant, historical material for free.

I thought at first you were advocating getting rid of textbooks in physical form, but then I realized you meant paper, online, audiobook, everything. I don't think we should go that far.

Although it can be useful to examine primary sources, it may not always be practical. For instance, you might expect to be able to teach a subject to a child even though the primary material is beyond their reading or comprehension level. For that matter, it might not be written in a child's native language or even one he/she could be expected to study.

I'm also not certain that primary information is as available as you suggest. Not all subjects are equally well documented on the internets in primary form. And some that are are behind paywalls. Plenty of science and medical journals require a subscription or per-article fee to access them. Probably others as well. Maybe you could overcome this by making sure that your school has a subscription to just about everything a student might be expected to need. But then you're back in the filter business like you were before with the textbooks.

I think we'll continue to need textbooks in one form or another.

Re:Get rid of textbooks already (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#32237132)

With the internet primary source material is -very- easy to find and would teach children how to think rather than how to be brainwashed by the Right/Left.

Yeah, there's no way to get brainwashed by the left [dailykos.com] or the right [redstate.com] on the internet.... ;)

Re:Get rid of textbooks already (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 4 years ago | (#32237182)

Because what primary source material you get directed to has a lot to do with what secondary or tertiary sources you go through to get to them... and the internet is full of second, third, and fourth-hand sources with agendas who selectively filter information. If you don't already know how to think before you come to the internet, you're pretty much doomed.

These days, a person can spend their whole life on the internet and never have to come across information that they don't want to accept. The ability to pop up and expand the echo chamber is limitless, and a lot of people want that, which is the problem.

Sure, the internet can help get straight information directly to people, but they still have to know where to look and know why they want to go there. But even if people got info directly from LOC, National Archives, and the NSF, there's still going to be "people" who think it's doctored info from the government trying to scam us. And, who knows? From time to time, they may be right. The problem as I see it is that there really aren't any pure sources of straight facts, and that truth in a philosophical and practical sense isn't and can't be the sum of the facts. Peer-reviewed textbooks that have a bit of curatorship from experts are supposed to be trusted sources of information. Then the politicians get into it, and they ruin everything.

I have no real ideas on how to fix it though. I'm not sure it can be fixed, just made differently broken. I suppose we have to aim for 'good enough,' but one thing is for sure, screw Texas.

Note to the President (0, Flamebait)

tekrat (242117) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236864)

The next time a southern state wants to secede from the union.... LET THEM!!!!!!!!

Seriously, the country is better off without them.

They take all our tax money and return nothing. They dumb down the rest of the nation, and they are also probably largely responsible for most of the failed mortgages.

Re:Note to the President (4, Insightful)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236996)

Thats a really freaking ignorant statement.

You think everyone should see it your way. Unfortunatly you are a minority of one because no one else sees it exactly your way. Everyone has their own views and opinions.

If Texans have a way they want to do something, LET THEM, and don't live there if you don't like it.

They take all our tax money and return nothing. They dumb down the rest of the nation, and they are also probably largely responsible for most of the failed mortgages.

Wow ... just fucking WOW ... there is absolutely nothing correct about any part of that entire statement. Get a clue.

Re:Note to the President (2, Funny)

aardwolf64 (160070) | more than 4 years ago | (#32237058)

Well, technically the part about him being dumbed down is still correct. :-)

Re:Note to the President (0, Troll)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 4 years ago | (#32237010)

The next time a southern state wants to secede from the union.... LET THEM!!!!!!!!

Seriously, the country is better off without them.

They take all our tax money and return nothing. They dumb down the rest of the nation, and they are also probably largely responsible for most of the failed mortgages.

Yeah! Because Detroit is kicking some serious ass right now.

Re:Note to the President (2, Funny)

nomadic (141991) | more than 4 years ago | (#32237276)

Yeah! Because Detroit is kicking some serious ass right now.

Detroit's a state now?

Re:Note to the President (1, Troll)

Jhon (241832) | more than 4 years ago | (#32237050)

They dumb down the rest of the nation, and they are also probably largely responsible for most of the failed mortgages.

I would suggest that those "probably largely responsible for most of the failed mortgages" would be the US Government. By forcing banks and lenders to loan money to people without the ability to pay it back or face stiff penalties.

(sarcasm) YAY trying to legislation equal results! (/sarcasm)

Re:Note to the President (2, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#32237330)

> By forcing banks and lenders to loan money to people without the ability to pay it back or face stiff penalties.

That's just stupid racist nonsense.

All the feds did was to outlaw redlining. Banks were simply forced to use the same standards regardless of the skin color of the applicant.

The fact that banks chose to throw out well established standards is another matter. No penalty is going to force a bank to write bad paper. The only thing that will encourage a bank to write bad paper is if they can sell it to some other sucker.

Banks that did not resell loans did not make bad loans.

Re:Note to the President (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 4 years ago | (#32237340)

By forcing banks and lenders to loan money to people without the ability to pay it back or face stiff penalties.

Libertarian urban myth. Banks and lenders were not forced and there were no "stiff penalties."

Re:Note to the President (4, Insightful)

gtall (79522) | more than 4 years ago | (#32237400)

Nonsense, the primary responsibility for the irresponsibility in home loans is...the American people. They signed papers they didn't understand and reveled in being ignorant, they bought houses they could not afford, they bought second houses, they took out the equity in their current dwelling, they did everything they could think of to make a buck before the game of economic musical chairs stopped. Now that they got caught holding the bag, they are looking for scapegoats.

That doesn't mean they were not enabled by the federal gov. and by Wall Street securitizing loans and thus removing the connection between risk and collateral. They were ill-served by builders, realtors, local banks, mortgage companies, rating agencies, etc. All that, yet no one put a gun to the American dolt's head and said sign here or else. They did that all by themselves and I (being one myself) do not believe we should let us off the hook for cleaning up the mess.

Re:Note to the President (1, Informative)

ThePlague (30616) | more than 4 years ago | (#32237054)

Texas pays more to the feds than it gets back (http://www.taxfoundation.org/research/show/266.html).

Re:Note to the President (1)

Tekfactory (937086) | more than 4 years ago | (#32237184)

Yep, people hate when you point that out to them.

Re:Note to the President (1)

gtall (79522) | more than 4 years ago | (#32237418)

So what? If this the United States or the Union of States Interested in Only Themselves? Texas wouldn't have the economy it does if it were not for the rest of the U.S. regardless of whether when they count their pennies they give and get from the feds that it comes out equal.

Re: Note to the President (4, Insightful)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 4 years ago | (#32237060)

The next time a southern state wants to secede from the union.... LET THEM!!!!!!!!

'Cause we always wanted a third world country comprised of gun-toting Rednecks led by religious whackjobs right on our border.

Re: Note to the President (1)

Tekfactory (937086) | more than 4 years ago | (#32237278)

I resent the notion that certain of the southern states would be a third world country if left to their own devices.

Texas has a computer industry (TI, Dell, NCSoft, iD), universities with good computer programs (U-Texas), good technical programs (Rice, A&M), leading medical research universities (Baylor).

The Bubbas don't speak for everyone down there, they just seem to get the most coverage.

Re: Note to the President (5, Funny)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#32237290)

'Cause we always wanted a third world country comprised of gun-toting Rednecks led by religious whackjobs right on our border.

"Now you know how we feel." -Random Canadian dude

Re:Note to the President (1)

GreatAntibob (1549139) | more than 4 years ago | (#32237078)

Texas has some insane textbook rules, but do you actually know what you're talking about?

Texas gets back $0.98 for every $1 of tax money collected. In other words, the state is giving tax money to poorer states. It also had one of the lowest failed mortgage rates in the country. That was due to a strange case of strong regulation of the industry within the state (one of the very few cases of any sort of effective industry regulation in Texas, which doesn't stop most of the ass-clowns in the state from railing against regulation in other industries).

seriously (3, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#32237194)

that joke map showing canada absorbing the west coast and the east coat down to maryland, calling the south and the middle "jesusland" was a funny internet meme at one time, but as of late, is looking more like a serious cause

i admire canada's healthcare, it's sober banking rules, it's pragmatic international policies. and meanwhile i am stuck in this country with these fucking morons in the south ruining this country with neocon presidents, religious fundamentalism and ignorant libertarian wish fulfillment fantasies of the market just taking care of itself with unicorns and rainbows

give the south and the plains their assault guns and their abstinence education leading to lots more pregnant teens and their creationism denying leading to ignorance of basic science, and let them sink into the third world hellhole they so fervently desire to be

canada: give them alberta for the northeast usa, pretty please?

i honestly feel more affinity with canadians, in terms of morality and values, then i do with faux news zombified morons in the lower regions of my own country

i seriously, seriously have a major problem with some of my own countrymen who live in some sort of medieval parallel universe of prideful ignorance

Re:seriously (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32237338)

I wish you would relocate to your Wonderland, then we would both be happy!

Re:Note to the President (1)

lwsimon (724555) | more than 4 years ago | (#32237218)

Good idea. Let's start in Arizona and go east until we hit ocean.

I'm in Arkansas :)

Re:Note to the President (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#32237252)

and they are also probably largely responsible for most of the failed mortgages.

Next time look up the facts [realtytrac.com] before spouting your bullshit. Florida is the only Southern state in the top 5 for foreclosures, isn't typically regarded as part of the South in any event. The worst of the meltdown happened out west -- California, Nevada and Arizona.

Re:Note to the President (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32237374)

California and the rest of the southwestern states were the epicenter of the mortgage crisis. Texas happens to be one of the states least affected by those problems. Just food for thought

In retaliation, Obama should (5, Funny)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236910)

recall our ambassador to Texas.

Re:In retaliation, Obama should (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#32237356)

We are going to need that ambassador's help when we go to war with Cheyenne.....

Good, let CA and TX fight it out. (4, Interesting)

NevarMore (248971) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236926)

If the liberals that are ruining the USA are fighting the conservatives that are ruining the USA then the rest of us can have some peace and quiet for a while.

Re:Good, let CA and TX fight it out. (-1, Troll)

tak amalak (55584) | more than 4 years ago | (#32237020)

Oh, the noble moderate! To chicken-shit to take one side over the other.

Re:Good, let CA and TX fight it out. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32237062)

Mod this guy down. Hey r-tard, why choose a side when both are wrong? Fighting for what you believe in is great and all, but when what you believe in is fucking stupid, then you're just an asshole.

Re:Good, let CA and TX fight it out. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32237168)

Oh, the noble moderate! To chicken-shit to take one side over the other.

Now THAT is a true American. He realised that there can always only be two sides, two parties and two opinions.

You are either with us or against us!

Re:Good, let CA and TX fight it out. (4, Interesting)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 4 years ago | (#32237236)

You reminded me of something...

I recently found a book that belonged to my grandmother, titled "The strange tactics of extremism" (H&B Overstreet), written in the early 60s.

It basically deals with the John Birch Society and Communism of the era and their tactics, but reading it, you see the EXACT same tactics being used by the extreme liberals and extreme conservatives in this country today.

I thought it was an interesting read, anyway.

Is it too late ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32236928)

To give Texas back to Mexico? It could be a major win/win by getting rid of a major pain in the ass and giving the illegal immigrants a "legal" place to go.

Apolitical my Aunt Fannie (3, Insightful)

RogueWarrior65 (678876) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236954)

Brrring...hello Texas? This is California...umm...you're black. I offer into evidence the California teacher spouting off a few days ago about how California is "stolen occupied Mexico". Guess that guy never heard about the Mexican American War (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mexican%E2%80%93American_War) which Mexico lost. Apolitical? How about historically accurate? Try that for once.

Re:Apolitical my Aunt Fannie (4, Insightful)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 4 years ago | (#32237262)

the California teacher spouting off a few days ago

You really don't understand the difference between one teacher's opinion and a standard textbook distributed nationwide?

Thats the way its supposed to work. (2, Insightful)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236962)

Texans seem to want it one particular way. Thats fine, they can vote and agree to have it that way.

California doesn't want it that way. THATS FINE, they can vote and agree to have it THEIR way.

Thats the advantage of having state laws rather than federal laws for things like this. People can dictate how THEIR community is ran and thats perfectly fine within reason. While you and I may not agree with it, the majority of Texans do so let them do what they want and stop trying to push your agenda on to them.

If you don't like it, live somewhere else or get enough Texans to agree with you to change the law.

One of America's biggest problems is everyone in it thinking their way is the only way and that everyone else in America should do and act the same way.

Re:Thats the way its supposed to work. (5, Insightful)

GreatAntibob (1549139) | more than 4 years ago | (#32237176)

This post misses the point of the entire debate.

Texas is such a large market for textbooks that publishers bend over backwards to produce texts catering to Texas' standards. Other, less populous states don't have the population to force publishers to make any sort of changes. They are mostly stuck with textbook standards set by big states like Texas or California. You can say "live somewhere else", but that's precisely the problem - short of states like New York, California, or Texas, you can't live anywhere else that has an effective say on textbooks. These states are the ones that, through sheer size, drag everybody else along. So, heaven forbid you decide you want to live in state with low population density where you're not surrounded by insufferable right wing nut-jobs or by liberal hippies.

Re:Thats the way its supposed to work. (1)

lwsimon (724555) | more than 4 years ago | (#32237234)

Wait... you mean that *diversity* amongst our state governments is a good thing!?

Who decides where political neutrality is? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32236968)

Textbooks should assumedly be 'politically neutral'. Who decides what is neutral? Isn't that an incredibly powerful position politically, because all deviations from neutrality will be erased by default unless enormous prestige in the face of strong opposition to partisanship is faced down?

One of the changes that was found non-neutral is that the textbooks will include a 'suggestion' that the McCarthy anti-communist policies 'may' have been justified. Should textbooks similarly not include what may be interpreted as a 'suggestion' that the French Revolution 'may' have been justified (e.g. "lots of people were poor and poor people tend to get upset when others are extremely rich" - a pure bona fide justification for the bloodbath)? Or what may be seen as 'suggestions' that the Soviet or Maoist uprisings 'may' have been justified? If there are _existing_ suggestions of this kind, is it OK for Texas to remove them?

Should they include a 'suggestion' that hatred against the US and violence against US citizens in the Middle East 'may' be justified? Or is this banned already?

History has a lot of opinon in it. (4, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 4 years ago | (#32236990)

History education as a whole is terrible and really all too often is used to teach an agenda.

A great example is the Atomic bombing of Japan. A good friend of mine went to a very good college. When she told me about what she was taught about WWII was was shocked.
It seems that the the US was racist and that is why we nuked Japan and that we treated the Germans with much more respect.

When I asked her about the Batan death march she had never heard of it.
When I asked her about the rape of Nanking. She had never heard of such a thing.
When I asked her about the threats to kill all the POWs in Japan if the US invaded she never heard of that.
But she did tell me that they told here Japan was willing to surrender before we dropped the bomb if we would have promised them that they could keep their emperor. "BTW that is a myth. The goal of negotiations was to prevent the occupation of Japan and not to just preserve the status of the Emperor".
It doesn't matter it is all slanted.
The teacher brought in a old woman that was a child when the bomb was dropped... That will help bring balance.

Truth is that with the exception of Japan and Germany in WWII the villains tended to not be as bad as history teaches and the heroes then to not be as pure. Notice that I left Italy out. Frankly they where just your average tin pot dictatorship and not really all that evil. The just fell in with a bad crowd. Oh and yes Stalin was just as bad as history says. Heck the only reason that Germany really lost on the Russian front was because Hitler was the on person on the planet that treated the Russians worse that Stalin did!

I get the feeling that all too often History is taught as a way to make use feel superior to those that went before us. Frankly that is a dangerous and stupid thing to do.
I would love to see a history class about the atomic bombing where they actually tried to teach the students to understand why Truman thought dropping the bomb was a good idea. What information he had and what was going on at the time.
Maybe then we could actually start learning form history instead twisting it to make us feel so much more enlightened than the historical figures from that past.

you'll never have an unbiased history or media (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#32237360)

but there's a major difference between recognizing that bias is a permanent aspect of media and history no matter how hard we scrub it... and purposefully going out of your way to stick truly outrageous bias into your history/ media with no shame at all

it's also a form of dangerous idealism to equate the inevitable shades of bias in history with an outright propaganda whitewash of history

an analogy: there will always be crime in society. you can bust your ass fighting crime as hard as you can, but there still will be some crime. you'd have to magically remove human free will to prevent absolutely everyone from making bad choices that lead to a life of crime. but is that the same as completely stopping the fight against crime? to just let it go unimpeded?

obviously not. in the same way, accepting the inevitable slight bias in all of history and media is NOT the same as accepting complete propagandistic whitewashing. to equate them is idealism

that you cannot have the impossible (crime free society, unbiased history/ media) is no reason to accept the truly terrible (run away crime/ outright propaganda)

somethings in life you can never achieve. but stopping to work hard to get as close as possible to the impossible to achieve, is simply worse

Re:History has a lot of opinon in it. (2, Informative)

sribe (304414) | more than 4 years ago | (#32237372)

What information he had and what was going on at the time.

And what we now know was going on in the Japanese dictatorship at the time, which completely contradicts the notion that Japan was ready to surrender. They were not. Not even after the first bomb. After the second bomb, leadership was divided on the issue of surrender. What pushed Hirohito over the edge, was Stalin's threat of invasion from the north being added to the US threat of invasion.

Slashdot Should Move To Block The Stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32237128)

Microsoft "Cloud Services" ad on the right side of the Slashdot page. Expecting "services" from Microslop is analogous to expecting "health care reform" from Newt Gingrich.

Yours In Astrakhan,
Kilgore Trout, C.E.O.

a sharp departure from widely accepted.... (0)

whoda (569082) | more than 4 years ago | (#32237140)

"a sharp departure from widely accepted historical teachings"

So was teaching that the earth revolved around the sun.

Waste (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32237160)

None of this would matter if the government didn't control education. What a waste of money.

Exactly what CA is known for (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32237180)

a threat to the apolitical nature of public school governance and academic content standards in California.

Yeah, that's why that San Francisco school sent home the students for wearing American Flags on Cinco De Mayo. Completely apolitical.

Wait, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32237210)

"a threat to the apolitical nature of public school governance and academic content standards in California."

I lol'd. Hard.

the guardian trolls /. (0, Troll)

steak (145650) | more than 4 years ago | (#32237212)

i think the guardian has successfully trolled /., this story happened almost a year ago. i can't think of another reason in this day and age that a newspaper would report a year old story as a new story unless it was a troll.

if it is as bad as all the hippies have said then california is doing the right thing in choosing the textbooks they want, just as we have chosen the textbooks we want. in the end the cream will rise; the stupid kids will dig ditches and smart kids will be engineers, lawyers, etc.

Umm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32237284)

So Texan programs like this,

http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/bestoftv/2010/05/13/ricks.teacher.fired.beating.cnn?hpt=T2

are going to expand to the rest of the US?

I was hoping California would weigh in on this ... (1)

JoeGee (85189) | more than 4 years ago | (#32237292)

As the most populous state in the union vis à vis the largest textbook market, it seemed odd to me that California would lose out to Texas in deciding what content textbooks should contain. How about giving the rest of the US a choice between Texas-styled and California-styled editions of textbooks? Although one version is obviously most cost effective for publishers, two versions isn't as bad as fifty separate editions. -Joe

Nothing will happen. RTFA. (4, Informative)

MRe_nl (306212) | more than 4 years ago | (#32237300)

"It's an urban myth, especially in this digital age we live in, when content can be tailored and customized for individual states and school districts," said Jay Diskey, executive director of the schools division of the Association of American Publishers.
--
Three companies are responsible for about 75 percent of the country's K-12 textbooks, Diskey estimated. Representatives for two of them--Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and McGraw-Hill--on Friday referred inquiries from The Associated Press to Diskey. The third, Pearson Education Inc., did not respond to a request for comment.
--
For now, California's curriculum will not be subject to any modifications, Texas-influenced or otherwise. Last July, the Legislature suspended until 2013 the statewide adoption of new educational materials to give cash-strapped districts a break from buying new textbooks.

Obligatory Mythbusters quote (1, Offtopic)

Timex (11710) | more than 4 years ago | (#32237314)

"I reject your reality and substitute my own." -- Adam Savage

Texas a lot like Peru in the 80s (5, Interesting)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | more than 4 years ago | (#32237384)

In Peru, in the 80s, there was a group of maoist nutjobs called the "Shining Path," who vowed, among other things, to surround the cities from the countryside. What they were and are is a rural terrorist organization.

I've traveled in rural Texas recently. What you have there are a lot of poor, uneducated, disenfranchised white people sporting racist tatoos buying knives and swords at stands by the side of the road. The gun trade is a bit more private but still quite active. The textbook changes just reflect a wider change in worldview in the rural south. What they are poised to do are to become the next generation of terrorist nutjobs fobbing bombs at wealthier people, mostly in cities. They're just waiting for the next corn-pone Hitler, which the networks that gave us the Becks and Palins of the world will be all too happy to provide.

To suggest that hatred of the US may be justified (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32237388)

Is a textbook allowed to give a suggestion that hatred of the US or the western world might be justified?
Why, then, is it not allowed to suggest that hatred against communists might be justified?

Is it because the US is bad and people in the middle east ARE to a large extent justified, so the former is a valid point to make, while communists were good or at least not very bad at all, so the latter is under all circumstances false to suggest?

Please post alternative hypotheses for the observed fact.

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