O Texas, My Texas! Where Did You Go Wrong?

This is from a document entitled “2012 REPUBLICAN PARTY OF TEXAS / Report of Platform Committee
and Rules Committee.”

Assuming I’m doing this right, you can download a PDF of the thing here:  2012-Platform-Final

Believe THIS shit:

Knowledge-Based Education – 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.

Get it? They oppose the teaching of higher-order thinking skills.

WTF?? No way.

Yes way. They oppose the teaching of higher-order thinking skills. And they’re willing to say it out loud.

They don’t want to challenge the “fixed beliefs” of, say, 15-year-olds. Presumably because life is so easy to understand that you can, at some point,  just stop trying. Mind-wise, you can crystallize into your permanent adult form about the time you hit puberty and just stop all that bothersome critical thinking and questioning.

Or if you do it, you’ll do it on your own goddam time, Sunny Jim, and not take up the valuable time of public school teachers and administrators.

I admit I’m deliberately hopscotching and cherry-picking through the document, but … dayyum. Look at some of this stuff:

Education Spending – Since data is clear that additional money does not translate into educational achievement, and higher education costs are out of control, we support reducing taxpayer funding to all levels of education institutions.

Religious Symbols – We oppose any governmental action to restrict, prohibit, or remove public display of the Decalogue or other religious symbols.

Judeo-Christian Nation – As America is a nation under God founded on Judeo-Christian principles, we affirm the constitutional right of all individuals to worship in the religion of their choice.

Religious Freedom in Public Schools – We urge school administrators and officials to inform Texas school students specifically of their First Amendment rights to pray and engage in religious speech, individually or in groups, on school property without government interference. We urge the Legislature to end censorship of discussion of religion in our founding documents and encourage discussing those documents.

Controversial Theories – We support objective teaching and equal treatment of all sides of scientific theories. We believe theories such as life origins and environmental change should be taught as challengeable scientific theories subject to change as new data is produced. Teachers and students should be able to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of these theories openly and without fear of retribution or discrimination of any kind.

Family and Defense of Marriage ― We support the definition of marriage as a God-ordained, legal and moral commitment only between a natural man and a natural woman …

Enforcement of the Defense of Marriage Act ― We support the enforcement of the State and Federal Defense of Marriage Act by state and federal officials respectively, and oppose creation, recognition and benefits for partnerships outside of marriage that are being provided by some political subdivisions.

Homosexuality ― We affirm that the practice of homosexuality tears at the fabric of society and contributes to the breakdown of the family unit. Homosexual behavior is contrary to the fundamental, unchanging truths that have been ordained by God, recognized by our country’s founders, and shared by the majority of Texans.

Homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable “alternative” lifestyle, in public policy, nor should “family” be redefined to include homosexual “couples.” We believe there should be no granting of special legal entitlements or creation of special status for homosexual behavior, regardless of state of origin. Additionally, we oppose any criminal or civil penalties against those who oppose homosexuality out of faith, conviction or belief in traditional values.

Safeguarding Our Religious Liberties – We affirm that the public acknowledgement of God is undeniable in our history and is vital to our freedom, prosperity and strength. We pledge our influence toward a return to the original intent of the First Amendment and toward dispelling the myth of separation of church and state.

Minimum Wage – We believe the Minimum Wage Law should be repealed.

In a section labeled “Israel,” which maunders on for a bit in a pro-Israel way, there’s this:

… Our policy is based on God’s biblical promise to bless those who bless Israel and curse those who curse Israel and we further invite other nations and organizations to enjoy the benefits of that promise.

The tough thing for anyone attempting to conclude that the entire Texas GOP hierarchy is batshit crazy is that there are diamonds of sanity sprinkled among the loony:

Human Trafficking ― The Republican Party of Texas adamantly opposes any form of human trafficking.

Government Intrusion into the Internet – We oppose the government’s ability to shut down websites either directly or through intimidation without a warrant or judicial hearing.

Jury Reform – We support the right to privacy and security of prospective jurors during jury selection. Courts must show relevance of questions asked of jurors and perform a balancing test between the prospective juror’s right to privacy and lawyers’ need to know. Either party in a criminal trial should have a right to inform jurors of their right to determine facts and render a verdict.

Conflicts of Interest – We support legislation prohibiting influencing or voting of any elected official or appointee where a conflict of interest exists. No such official should represent paying clients before a state agency.

Lobbying Limitation – We support legislation to prohibit former officials and government employees from lobbying for a foreign government and/or any business for five years after leaving public service. We support legislation to prevent lobbying by any organization receiving federal grants except that relating to its tax status.

Gambling ― We oppose the expansion of legalized gambling and encourage the repeal of the Texas State lottery. We oppose dedicating any government revenue from gambling to create or expand any government program.

NASA – We strongly encourage the federal government and NASA to work with American citizens and American businesses to research and develop a new vehicle to continue human space flight and maintain American’s leadership in space exploration.

I don’t know what to make of it. I do know that if I still lived there, I’d be angry a considerable amount of the time.

 

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