Sunday, March 21, 2010

Unintended Consequences aren't confined to the "liberal agenda"

District 5 member of the State Board of Education, Ken Mercer, wants students in Texas schools to learn about the unintended consequences of the “Great Society” legislation passed during the Lyndon Johnson administration. Since neither he nor the rest of his cabal listed any I wonder what those unintended consequences were.

I also wonder why Mr. Mercer’s cabal aren’t concerned that Texas students aren’t required to learn of the unintended consequences of repealing many of the provisions of the Glass-Stegall Act which prevented the collapse of our banking system for nearly fifty years until politicians from both parties dismantled it. Since then we’ve had a string of financial debacles, first the Savings & Loan crisis then the hedge fund collapse and now the Great Recession of 2008.

What of the unintended consequences of deregulating other industries? After the collapse of Enron which destroyed the finances of many Texans you’d think the conservative mantra of deregulation would be worthy of discussion. Even Alan Greenspan, the former chairman of the Federal Reserve, now admits that the market isn’t as good at self correction as he thought it was.

Ken Mercer and his cabal claim that they need to make such adjustments to correct for the liberal bias of the volunteer teachers who give their time to write our curriculum standards and the “expert” reviewers. Oddly, most of those reviewers were in fact appointed by none other than the ultra-conservatives; except of course Ken Mercer, who couldn’t be bothered to make any appointments.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Thomas Jefferson wasn't much of a political thinker according to Ken Mercer

I frequently hear from folks on the right that they admire the Founding Fathers but this only seems to apply when they agree with the particular founder. Ken Mercer, member of the State Board of Education for District 5, voted last week to remove one of the greatest of America's Founding Fathers from the World History standard regarding the influence of great political philosophers on revolutions from 1750 to today. Thomas Jefferson, a man who played a key role in the two most prominent revolutions in the history of the Western world, was removed. Thomas Jefferson, the primary author of the Declaration of Independence, is acknowledged around the world as an important political thinker but Ken Mercer doesn’t think he’s important enough for our high school students to study.

Mr. Mercer and his extremist cabal also rejected a proposed standard requiring students to “examine the reasons the Founding Fathers protected religious freedom in America by barring government from promoting or disfavoring any particular religion over all others.” The First Amendment specifically states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...” what else does Ken Mercer think it means?

Replacing the extremist Mr. Mercer who insists on politicizing the public school curriculum should be a very high priority with voters in District 5. Electing Dr. Rebecca Bell-Metereau would bring a breath of fresh air to a body whose reputation Ken Mercer has helped sully.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Using Mercenaries is Un-American

The United States now employs over 22,000 mercenaries through corporations like Xe, formerly known as Blackwater. The atrocities committed against civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan in our name by these uncontrollable and unaccountable mercenaries have made the task of getting the cooperation of locals more difficult.

Our nation is paying billions of dollars to corporations for the services of these mercenaries enriching stockholders at the expense of our own service members. We should stop using mercenaries immediately and spend the savings on improving the pay and conditions of our troops who sacrifice so much for us. Those savings could be used to improve and expand the VA hospitals that so many of our brave service members must come home to and will continue to use for the rest of their lives.

Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky and Senator Bernie Sanders have introduced bills in their respective houses of Congress named the “Stop Outsourcing Our Security Act” and our legislators should sign on as co-sponsors of this non-partisan legislation. If we really need an extra 22,000 troops to fight these wars we should recruit within the U.S. or if necessary implement a draft. Using mercenaries will take us down the same path as Rome which was finally overrun by their own German mercenaries.