A Duncedom of Confederates

Texas GOP Will Literally And Non-Metaphorically Ban Critical Thinking In Schools

Now available for downloadHooray! The Texas GOP has published its 2012 platform! It’s a bonanza for list-makers, from Think Progress to Comedy Central, because it’s just THAT FULL of crazy. It’s a veritable Boffo’s Joke Emporium Grab-Bag of lunacy: we’ve got pledges to repeal the 1965 Voter [sic] Rights Act, to stop the womenfolk from doing ungodly things with their sinful ladyparts, and to keep the UN from tainting the water supply with homosexual Kenyan-born Day-After Pills.

But the awesomest part of the platform is to be found in the section on Edumacation. No, it’s not the ringing endorsement of corporal punishment, nor is it the predictable support for promoting freedom by forcing children to pledge allegiance to both the US and Texas flags. Heck, it’s not even the subtle shift from an open “Cdesign proponentsist” agenda to a pseudo-neutral call for students to be able to answer “God Did It” on a biology test “without fear of retribution or discrimination,” or even the plan to base all US History lessons on the art of John McNaughton.

Nope, the real zinger of the 2012 GOP platform is what appears to be a declaration of war on rational thought itself:

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.

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Now, despite the ample circumstantial evidence found throughout Texas politics, this plank does not really represent an all-out assault on logic. Rather, it’s an enthusiastic reacharound to the paranoid anti-secularism wing of the Christian Right, which has a long history of paranoid freakouts over the thought that children might be encouraged to question anything said by a parent, pastor, or other legitimate authority figure (a category which does not include foreign-born Preznits, of course). So the paranoid anti-secularism wing of the Religious Right doesn’t oppose ALL “critical thinking”; in fact, it’s very much in favor of critical thinking as long as such thinking leads to the correct conclusions.

Take, for example, Your Correspondent’s experiences in grad school, around 1985, during the early, heady days of the Moral Majority’s first surge in popularity. Your Correspondent spent some time observing a small Christian school using the “Accelerated Christian Education” (ACE) curriculum (those are the nice folks whose recent biology texts suggest that the Loch Ness Monster disproves evolution). As we noted in the comments on that Nessie story, a fifth-grade Language Arts lesson on “Fact and Opinion” explained the critical thinking task something like this:

A fact is an observable reality, something that can be quantified or measured, or God’s Inerrant Truth as revealed through the Bible.

Examples:

* The table is made of wood.
* Washington DC is the capital of the USA.
* Water freezes at 32 degrees F.
* Jesus died to take away all our sins.
* God created the world and all life in seven 24-hour days, less than 10 thousand years ago.

An opinion is a matter of taste, a view or judgement about which people might reasonably disagree, or a “scientific” claim that contradicts Biblical truth.

Examples:

* Blue is prettier than yellow.
* My mom bakes the best chocolate chip cookies in town.
* Mr. Jones is a better candidate for Mayor than Mr. Smith.
* The Universe is several billion years old.
* Humans evolved from apes.

Giganto Disclaimer: We wish we had made a photocopy of the exact text, because it was a doozy and we have not been able to find it online — this is a reconstructed paraphrase of the gist of the lesson, not a direct quote. Anyone citing this as the actual content of the ACE text would be a dirty liar.

So, yes, think critically, kids, but don’t think so critically that you ask any inconvenient questions, like “wouldn’t two of every animal species on Earth produce so much shit that the Ark would be full to the top within a matter of days?” (Beyond the obvious Biblical nonsense, there’s also some empirical evidence that the particular methods in ACE’s curriculum leaves students less well prepared for college entrance exams than conventional high schools.)

Let us be clear about this: Texas is only against the wrong kind of critical thinking — the dirty librul kind, which isn’t even really thinking at all, but indoctrination, you see. As college-degree owner Rick Santorum knows, too much education will only turn you into a commie and an atheist. Texas Republicans promise they’ll nip that thinky-learny shit right in the bud.

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About the author

Doktor Zoom Is the pseudonym of Marty Kelley, who lives in Boise, Idaho. He acquired his nym from a fan of Silver-Age comics after being differently punctual to too many meetings. He is not a medical doctor, although he has a real PhD (in Rhetoric and Composition).

View all articles by Doktor Zoom

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255 comments

  1. Pragmatist2

    Lighten up, Wonkette! There is absolutely no basis for believing that anyone in Texas is currently applying critical thinking skills. So, no harm, no foul (or is that "fowl"?)

    1. HogeyeGrex

      Well, if you ask me, the whole State is fucking pretty foul.

      Or is that "fucking pretty fowl?"

  2. ElPinche

    The ideal primary education for Texas is leaving the kids at a McDonalds playplace for a few hours.

    1. Guppy

      No, that might encourage physical exercise. The only allowable exercise in Texas is football.

  3. coolhandnuke

    Heck, it’s not even the subtle shift from an open “Cdesign proponentsist” agenda to a pseudo-neutral call for students to be able to answer “God Did It” on a biology test “without fear of retribution or discrimination,”

    Can a dyslexic student answer "Dog did it" and pass biology?

    1. Dashboard_Jesus

      hah, reminds me of a favorite old joke…what do you call an agnostic dyslexic insomniac? someone who lies awake at night wondering if their really IS a Dog!

  4. nounverb911

    "* The table is made of wood."
    So you're telling me that my marble and plastic Saarinen table is not made of marble and plastic?

    1. Blueb4sunrise

      All I remember is "The cat is on the mat" is true, if and only if, the cat is, indeed, on the mat. Never heard about any tables.

      1. LibertyLover

        Texans believe science is evil. It took an intelligent designer scientist to create plastic.Therefore, plastic is from the devil.

  5. BigSkullF*ckingDog

    OT: It seems like we haven't had a good republican gay sex scandal in a long time. What's up with that?

  6. Crank_Tango

    The real question is, what is morning wood made of? And was it made by the Babby Jebus? Also, is our children learning?

  7. Hera Sent Me

    Fact: Jesus died for your sins.

    Opinion: If Jesus was God, and God can do anything, then Jesus didn't need to bother.

    Fact: Nessie is real, despite no evidence.

    Opinion: Wouldn't being the one sea serpent in a really cold lake get boring after a while? Plus wouldn't it eventually die?

    1. scvirginia

      "Wouldn't being the one sea serpent in a really cold lake get boring after a while? Plus wouldn't it eventually die?"

      Didn't you ever see 'Water Horse'?

      1. HogeyeGrex

        I think that was the Paultard Epistles.

        Also, does the Second Amendment apply to Epistles?

  8. Shypixel

    Why don't they just cut to the chase and outlaw liberal ideas (what we would call facts) directly?

    1. MittBorg

      I thought they were doing that on a state-by-state basis. Didn't one of the Carolinas kick it off with a law against mentioning sea-level rise? Or was it TN, with a law against speaking about Teh Ghey?

        1. MittBorg

          Of course, over here, politicians find that NOT participating in Pridefest is pretty much a career-ending move … but yeah, she does.

  9. Ducksworthy

    What I have trouble understanding is how fundamentalist Xians would support a fundamentalist (i mean, he is a bishop for crissakes) who believes a whole other set of weird notions, including that Jeebus came to Amerikka and that black peoples' skin color resulted from being cursed by Gawd but that the Indians are really jews so they could be saved. Is there something in the fundamentalist mind that makes all absurd notions equally acceptable? Sort of like how you know not to freak out at hallucinations on acid cause you know they're hallucinations?

    1. Cato56

      Well, yes, to both questions. While those of deep faith feel that God is inerrant, the true follower of Jeebus teachings knows that the Bible is several dozen people's interpretations, re-written under the political dogma that existed in Christianity during the first few centuries. The dumb ones seem to have forgotten that a parable is like an allegorical tale, not the "God's honest truth."

    2. ChapterUndVerse

      I gotta say that if I'm not on acid, then these aren't hallucinations, and that's just not a good place to be. But I could play the Perception is Reality card, and then claim that a Faith-Based Reality is just another option. And then take hallucinogens.

  10. johnnymeatworth

    And, going forward, only animatronic mice that serve pizza will be awarded teaching certificates.

  11. Chichikovovich

    So, yes, think critically, kids, but don’t think so critically that you ask any inconvenient questions, like “wouldn’t two of every animal species on Earth produce so much shit that the Ark would be full to the top within a matter of days?”

    My favorite of these shooting-fish-in-a-barrel objections to the Noah's Ark story was pointed out (I believe) by Philip Kitcher. There are hundreds of intestinal and other parasites known to biology (some of them quite nasty indeed) that can only survive for significant lengths of time in human hosts. If they were all carried in the ark, they would have had to be in the bodies of Noah's clan, which would have made it a horrific trip with many fatalities.

    1. MacRaith

      And the fundies will reply that this obviously disproves evolution, in ways that they can't clearly articulate but which they insist are obvious to all right-thinking people.

      1. MosesInvests

        Ok, so much for the unicorns, but from now on, carnivores are confined to C deck.

        1. unclejeems

          Last episode of Star Trek, there was an atmosphere breach on C deck. They nearly lost a couple of hands fixing the damned ting.

    2. Jerri

      "known to biology"

      See that's your problem right there. This "biology" you speak of is science and therefore an opinion, so those bugs don't exist and the Ark journey was real and wonderful and full of cute zebras and monkeys and kittens after all.

    3. SayItWithWookies

      I want to know whether Noah dropped the flightless kiwi off in New Zealand before the Ark landed on Mount Ararat or if The LORD sent it there afterwards.

  12. Steverino247

    Fucking Baptists and their fellow travellers like the Assembly of God, etc. The only places fit to live in in Texas are those few towns along the border between Roman Catholism and hard-shell Baptists. Austin is just one example, but there are others. Draw a line between El Paso and Austin on your map of Texas and don't live too far from either side of that line.

    1. HarryButtle

      I'd prefer to live a couple thousand miles northeast of your line, thank you very much. Unfortunately, I find myself only a few hundred miles directly west…yes, in Arizona.

      1. Steverino247

        There are some nice places in Arizona. Some nice people, too, but you have to look a lot harder than you used to.

        1. HarryButtle

          Oh, man, there are some fantastic fucking PLACES in Arizona, that's the only reason I'm still here. As far as the people go…well, what can I possibly say at this point?

    2. unclejeems

      I support you geographically. But I would like to point out that hard-shell (or Primitive) Baptists are generally not the crazy kind. Those are the Southern Baptists. Hard-shell Baptists are two seed in the spirit Calvinists–either you are or you aren't, and if you aren't, tough shit. They're not into influencing public policy on any scale at all. Bu the Southern Baptists have titled wacko since the crazies took over their seminaries in the 80s.

  13. BlueStateLibel

    Fact: Brawndo has electrolytes.
    Fact: Plants crave electrolytes.
    Fact: Ergo, plants crave Brawndo!

  14. JustPixelz

    Nee how wonketteers. Our only hope is learn Chinese so when they decide to give a pull on the choke chain made from our IOUs, I'll have a shot by saying "nee hen paou leong" which means either "How high?" or "You are a pretty girl".

    1. calliecallie

      "gay daw cheen" The poorly displayed phonetic translation of my poorly accented Chinese. It means "kiss me" or at least that's what I was told in college.

  15. SorosBot

    It's refreshing for the wingnuts to admit they want to overthrow the Enlightenment and even the Renaissance and go back to the dark ages.

    1. fuflans

      here's a thing i just read:

      afghanistan has (surprisingly) successfully reduced the fertility rate by introducing a package of basic health care – including family planning.

      in rural areas.

      of afghanistan.

    1. GemlikeFlame

      Actually, in Texas as in the other southern states, Big Brother is an accrediting agency named the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, commonly referred to as SACS. For more information, see http://www.sacs.org/

      SACS is chartered by the DOE to maintain and enforce education standards. Not meeting SACS requirements is a fast track to losing your accreditation, and thus the ability to confer degrees and loss of federal funds and scholarships. Essentially, SACS can and will shut you down if they don't like what you're doing.

      Jesus only wishes he was SACS.

      Due to circumstances too protracted to go into here, I happen to be intimately familiar with SACS requirements. The academic standards all demand provable documentation of progressive outcome based learning, though behavioral modification isn't mentioned.

      If this turns into law and passes, every single affected school and college in Texas, public or private, immediately loses accreditation. No argument, no question, done.

        1. GemlikeFlame

          Well, true, but there's the little problem that no sane educator or anyone who'd ever been remotely connected with education in the South would not see a potential accreditation time bomb waiting to go off with that statement. That says that either the GOP has no sane education professionals at a level able to influence policies like this, or the Texas GOP doesn't believe their own platform and has no intention of putting it into effect.

          I really do try to never attribute to malice that which is explained by stupidity, but malice is way out ahead on this one.

  16. viennawoods13

    Sigh… there goes most of my lesson plans for September. They probably would really dislike my Civics curriculum which encourages the kids to form their own opinion on political issues and contact elected officials. Scary how many of them would prefer to just parrot their parents' opinions.

    1. Chichikovovich

      Well, that is one [the only?] advantage of having a separate provincially funded Catholic school system in Ontario. At least one population of religious meddlers is someone else's problem.

      1. viennawoods13

        Don't get me going on a publically funded religious school system. When there was an outbreak of sexting at high schools in our area, which one appeared to be doing most of it? Yep, those good Catholics.

        1. MittBorg

          I went to Catholic school. It was a standing joke in all the public schools that the Catholic school kids were the most likely to get pregnant, get someone else pregnant, get busted for gay sex, put out, and do all the kinky shit that the public school kids would never do.

          1. Doktor Zoom

            Catholic girls
            With a tiny little mustache
            Catholic girls
            Do you know how they go?
            Catholic girls
            In the rectory basement
            Father Riley's a fairy
            But it don't bother Mary

    2. HistoriCat

      New lesson plan – encourage kids to denounce their parents when they have incorrect views. Uncle Joe Stalin approves.

      1. viennawoods13

        I expect that directive straight from Ottawa in the near future, the way things are going.

        1. MittBorg

          Aw, no, keep playing, I was enjoying it.

          So? Are you now Dashboard Buddha-(insertSpousesName) yet, or is that why you've been feeling so stabby?

          1. Dashboard Buddha

            I'm feeling stabby because I have three nice jobs on the hook and I'm waiting and waiting for someone to make a decision. I would like to perform an operation where we remove their thumb from the ass. A Thumbectomy, if you will.

  17. Estproph

    Where's the plank in the platform about annexing the Sudetenland and reopening the Krupp Gun Works?

  18. Beowoof

    If they teach them to think then they will tell their parents that they and their friends at Fox News are full of shit and we just cannot have that.

  19. Baconzgood

    *sigh*….Well I read that Sam Houston wasn't a stupid man…So one person in the history of Tex-ASS wasn't a total fuck.

    1. Blueb4sunrise

      Sam Houston is NOT in the Bible!!!!!!!!!!!!

      QQQQQQQQQQQQQ
      EEEEEEEEEEEEEEE
      DDDDDDDDDDDDD

    2. MittBorg

      Oh, hey, there's Baldar CrabASS, and Texan Bulldog, and Chas, and goodness knows how MANY fine Wonketteers here who might, you know, resemble that.

  20. Baconzgood

    Hey that link is from the University of Pittsburgh or what I call "the high school after community college".

  21. SorosBot

    "challenging the student’s fixed beliefs"

    Anyone whose beliefs are fixed has failed at life. This is what they want, to make all the peons failures who will toil for the corporate feudal lords without complaint, while smoking the Jesus and American Idol opium that keeps them compliant.

  22. Come here a minute

    We were taught that "critical thinking" was the skill you got from learning stuff you didn't give a shit about. Now how will Texas get the kids to pay attention in _______ class. [Insert your least favorite subject.]

  23. Lascauxcaveman

    If you outlaw critical thinking, only critics will think.

    Or something like that.

    1. Chichikovovich

      … only outlaws will think critically!

      That's us! We're born to rebel baby! What are we rebelling against? Whaddya got?

  24. Billmatic

    I was going to send this to the editrix when I had a chance so I'm glad that you guys thought this was as fundamentally insane as I did.

  25. Dashboard Buddha

    I took a gander at the pdf of the platform. They don't want a medical database kept except for diseases "dangerous to the public health", but they also want to make childhood vaccines a "matter of parental conscience".

    1. Guppy

      They mean they want to force HIV-positive Texans to wear a scarlet A.

      Also: they probably include homosexuality among the list of such dangerous diseases.

      1. Stabby McBobblehead

        Yeah, I bet they'd love to keep a database of the names of homosexuals…sick or not. Damn, they'd probably spin it that there were only doing this to “protect the health” of these poor afflicted sinners.—

    2. SorosBot

      So besides supporting child beatings and enforced ignorance, they also want to join Jenny McCarthy and the Huffington Post's child-killing crusade; lovely.

      And in similar anti-medicine/HuffPo-supporting nuttiness, they also want to make sure there's no regulation of alternative "medicine".

      1. CivicHoliday

        so basically we need to send in child protective services to airlift out the entire under-7 year old population of Tejas, right?

      2. Dashboard Buddha

        I didn't know who Jenny was so I looked her up. Ahhhh, she's one of the reasons there are a number of parents who are against vaccination. Yeah…we're going to use aroma therapy and rub spoons on the kid's body, but immunization? That's just crazy.—

  26. SheriffRoscoe

    Well, the Noah's Ark story is an easy one. Let me explain. The shit that accumulated on the ark was cleaned up by God himself, right after He fed all the animals Himself with his own special manna from Heaven. God is magickal, and so literally anything that boggles the mind or defies reason can be easily explained.

    Now, as to the larger question of why God couldn't dispose of the wicked world that He grieved for having created in the first place, with a simple snap — *poof* all gone! — of His omnipotent fingers, sparing all of the innocent human babies puppies and kittens from drowning, well that's a SHUT UP ROSCOE IT'S IN THE BIBLE OK?

    1. Guppy

      right after He fed all the animals Himself with his own special manna from Heaven

      Actually, I believe the Jewish (if not Christian) line of thought went that, since manna was perfect, it was perfectly digestible and therefore there was no shit during the Exodus.

    2. Tyrannically_Joe

      You haven't even gotten to the part where the rain fell at a rate of 12.5 inches a minute (which is one giant waterfall, not "rain"), if you use math, assuming geometry hasn't been banned in Texas yet, and involved more water than could possibly exist on the earth, and the conditions which would have allowed it to exist would have made the atmosphere superheated and toxic.

      Of course, we can chalk it all up to the idea that the magical space wizard used his space magic to violate the laws of physics and create matter out of nothing whilst ignoring the thermodynamic and chemical consequences of the same, but one wonders why He chose this particularly difficult method to commit mass genocide. Why not just turn the atmosphere into pure chlorine gas, or delete it entrely? Why not turn off gravity, or make the whole planet explode?

      1. jodyleek

        There ya go with yer hotsy-totsy critical thinkin' skillz. What are you, a liberal er somethin'?

      2. MittBorg

        Why not just make the people vanish into thin air? Wish them into the heart of the sun? Or into a cornfield? No mess, no fuss, no suffering, or shit, or evolution to worry about. Poof! Suddenly, no people.

        No, it had to happen in a way that would be perfectly explained by a tsunami or other perfectly normal (in an abnormal sorta non-magick way) weather event that then required millions of people for centuries to work out little details like whatever happened to the massive tons of shit generated by a boatload of beasts, and how come there is absolutely no sign of a worldwide flood.

    1. bibliotequetress

      Huh. Is that what your uncle from Abileen teaches you the summer you turn twelve?

  27. calliecallie

    Noah just shoveled the shit overboard into the flood. That's why God created the EPA.

  28. sullivanst

    What will they have to do to reach they point where "not leaving Texas as soon as you discover you're pregnant" will count as child neglect?

    Have they done it already?

    1. Sheesko

      Aha. But you see (thinking critically here, so there's that), it would only be child neglect if you stayed in Taxas, but in Texas it wouldn't be child neglect. See how that works? I need a drink.

  29. Jerri

    The thing that scares me the most about this is these children may grow up to be the adults in charge of giving me my pain medication in the old folks home.

    The thing that gives me solace is that I will never be able to retire or afford the pain meds I may need, and will probably die starving and alone well before these little scamps have a chance to kill me with incompetence. POSITIVITY!

    1. Sheesko

      Too late to worry about that, Wonketeers. Generation R, or whatever they're called who started getting burped out of college in the late 70s, already established the groundwork for that outcome.

    2. extreme_left

      .. there is also a chance that one could be blowed up by one of their tanks in a random breath test or some such alleviating any chance of old folks home discomfort..moar positivity!

  30. Tyrannically_Joe

    have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.

    Yeah, is there anything that is less important in education, than teaching teenagers to think for themselves and act like adults?

  31. pinkocommi

    The upside of critical thinking skills being banned would be that I would be free to believe that Texas is not a real place and Republitards are small brained lizards and not really people. After all, the Bible does not say anything to contradict these beliefs.

  32. MissTaken

    Critical thinking be stupid. I mean, I read the critics reviews of that Twilight movie and they were not good. But gosh darnit did I not think it was just so adorable when that nice Edward fellow would watch the pretty little Bella while she slept! Those mean critics just don't know nothing!

    1. SorosBot

      And the critics told me that Tree of Life was great, but it was actually dull, pretentious (but beautifully shot) crap; and the same is true of the rest of Terrence Mallick's movies.

      1. MittBorg

        Jesus! How did you know?

        I just spent this past week discussing Terrence Malik's films with my partner. I've been trying to watch one of them for the past three days. It's not just beautifully shot. The sound is perfect, the lighting is perfect, the actors are (overall) pretty damn good. But it's an unwatchable film. So what's the difference between Malik and, say, Kurosawa, who shot incredibly beautiful films?

        Also too, STOP CHANNELING MEEEE!

        1. Lionel[redacted]Esq

          Try The Thin Red Line which may be his most approachable work. It plays out like a Hemingway rumination on war.

          However, the difference with Malik and Kurosawa is that a) Kurosawa could be short and to the point when he wanted to and b) he never (with exceptions), let the beauty get in the way of his story telling.

          1. MittBorg

            Thank you, I'll move that up my list.

            According to various critics, Malik shot that film for a whole damn year without a script. IIRC from my readings on Kurosawa, he scripted EVERYthing. He even took pains to have the cloth hangings in Rashomon soaked in tea to give them an authentic look. I can't imagine Kurosawa shooting without a script.

            And yes, I do believe you've put your finger on it. Beauty is not, the image is not, the story. And an editor must be ruthless.

  33. Lionel[redacted]Esq

    1965 Voter [sic] Rights Act,

    And let's face it, that one guy they gave rights to has fucked everything up for the rest of us.

  34. Dildeaux

    Yeah, Texas is pretty fucked up. But if you head straight east till you drop into the Atlantic, you dont hit a single state thats any better. Add in OK, IN, OH, WV NV, UT, ID, and you start to realise just how fucked this country is. Sadding.

  35. Terry

    Texas has swung just about as far right as it's possible to go. Time to start swinging back the other way.

    If you feel like you're losing all hope for the State, remember that Texas produced:

    Molly Ivins, an amazing columnist and political commentator whom I hope is currently debating St Peter and the both of them are enjoying it and laughing.

    Ann Richards, the governor of Texas among other things, and a heck of a person with a strong interest in the arts and a conviction that all kids deserved a good education and that civil rights are not optional.

    LBJ. Yeah, say that he was coarse. Bring up the thing about picking his dog up by his ears. Fine. I'm going to counter with the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Immigration Act of 1965, the Great Society, Head Start, Medicaid and Medicare, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Gun Control Act of 1968, the Elementary and Secondary Ed Act of 1965, and the Higher Ed Act of 1965. He was a complex man. He did a lot of good.

    Lady Bird Johnson. Flowers, goddamn it. DC is gorgeous in the spring because of her. Our highways have flower filled medians (where possible) because of her.

    Babe Didrikson Zaharias, from the damn hell hole of Port Arthur, TX, was one of the best athletes of the 20th century. Janis Joplin was also from Port Arthur. How could that nasty little town produce two such talented women?

    Willie Nelson, great voice and a genuine soul.

    Just a few off the top of my head. Texas has produced talented and good people. They still ARE, it's just that they're overshadowed by the the damn fundies and head cases at the moment. The pendulum WILL swing back.

    1. randcoolcatdaddy

      Texas produces great people … who are smart enough to get the hell out of the state and move on to better things…

    2. Eve8Apples

      I agree. I've always had a love/hate relationship with the state. It has produced some of my favorite Americans and some of the most despicable son of a bitches that have ever walked the face of the earth.
      Congresswoman Barbara Jordan is one of my favorite Texans.

    3. not that Radio

      So, like a couple dozen people out of 25 million? That's almost homeopathically dilute.

      1. MittBorg

        Dude, if I could afford it, I would gather up all my Wonketteers and buy them an island to live on, and I would even build them little private hidey holes with networking capability so they would never have to go outside or meet anyone. Oh, yeah, and beer piped in.

        ETA: So now you know: I'm not Larry Ellison.

  36. Redhead

    Texas would have been struck by lightning and burned to the ground a long time ago if there were a God – proof that he doesn't exist. Bazinga!

  37. Naked_Bunny

    Next time a conservative accuses you of beating a strawman when discussing outrageous GOP policies, remind him that he isn't allowed to invoke critical-thinking concepts like "strawmen".

  38. mavenmaven

    In 2016 they will support the use of the rack and the use of torture for the investigation of heresy.

  39. Bezoar

    Wacky idea, but maybe the Chinese are going to continue pulling ahead because of the 'one baby' policy; it retards (can I say that?) the growth of the idiocracy.

  40. emmelemm

    Hey, I missed that Doktor Zoom has his own byline! Congrats, good sir.

    On topic: Wow. I'm just glad I live awfully far away from Texas and don't have children.

  41. HeadsIWin

    Texas is full to the top with shit and it hasn't sunk yet so BOOM! There goes your theory
    of evolution (again), libtards!!

  42. SorosBot

    In accordance with Texas' proposed educational standards, I demand that they teach the following as one theory of the origin of the universe, on equal footing with the Big Bang Theory:

    Perhaps only one being truly knows the origins of the universe, preciesly because he was there previous to its existence. Prior to the creation what has become the Universe, there was another universe which was collapsing in on itself. The being known as Galen set out into space in order to find a way to save his world. Unable to find a way from stopping the destruction of the universe, Galen and his shipmates decided to plunge their ship into the Cosmic Egg, the focal point which the universe was collapsing. The Cosmic Egg exploded into what is known as the Big Bang. The Marvel Universe was created in a massive explosion and mass and energy condensed to form the universe.
    Galen emerged from the Big Bang as Galactus and shortly after other cosmic beings (Eternity and Death) came into existence. Numerous intelligent races would eventually evolve but most became extinct while few left behind a single survivor. These survivors formed a brotherhood known as the Elders of the Universe.
    The mysterious cosmic beings known as the Celestials began experiments on evolution of intelligent races across the universe, which created races like the Kree and Skrulls. Continuing their experiments, the Celestials landed on Earth and experimented on the ancestors of the human race. This in turn lead to the creation of the Eternals, Deviants and gave some humans the ability to develop super powers.

      1. SorosBot

        Pah, I will not abide the teaching of the DC heresy! Besides, as the DCists hold that the Universe has been rebooted twice, during the Crisis on Infinite Earths and the Flashpoint, with significant changes during the Zero Hour and the Infinite Crisis, their beliefs are just too confusing now to teach.

    1. Tyrannically_Joe

      And I demand that, in order not to exclude individuals Of Faith, we teach, on equal footing with the heliocentric theory and also plate tectonics, that the world is a flat disk being supported by four elephants who are in turn supported by a giant space turtle.

    2. RalphCrown

      Maybe we could convince Galactus to take Texas as an appetizer before he eats another planet.

  43. krazyvladimir

    What would they say to "There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger"…… fact or opinion ?

  44. iburl

    Noah's ark math:
    Suppositions:
    2 daily feeding/poop scoop sessions per animal.
    10 family members in Noah's family.
    15000 known Mammal species on the planet, two of each, that's 30,000
    Let's ignore the millions of insect, fish, amphibian, reptiles, dinosaur, and other species for the sake of Satan's math.
    Let's also ignore the fact that they would have to prepare the food (in some cases very specialized vegetables and meats).
    10 people feeding 30,000 mammals twice a day = 6000 feeding/poop scoop times per person per day. That means each person would be awake 24 hours a day, feeding and cleaning up after an animal every 15 seconds.
    THIS PROVES MIRACLES ARE TRUE!!!
    The End.

  45. qwerty42

    Sullivan provided this link yesterday, from LGF. It is about the Louisiana education plan. It does not mention the Loch Ness Monster, but does helpfully add that

    …Notice that the books are even hostile to modern mathematics, singling out “set theory” for some reason. Who knew that every time I used a regular expression in the LGF Blog code, I was walking hand in hand with the forces of Satan?

    I suspect this is caused by that atheist, Bertrand Russell, and his paradox. Or are they agin' Georg Cantor? I'd put an Aleph null here, but can't find a good one.

  46. RalphCrown

    This is the point at which the flat-out ignorance of Texas reaches critical mass and creates a black hole that sucks all the Republicans into oblivion. Right?

    Is it possible to reverse secede Texas? That is, all the other states throw it out of the Union? Maybe they could take Arizona with them.

    What happens if you develop these "outcome-based education" skills all on your own? Do you have to turn yourself in and get a lobotomy?

    1. Estproph

      They keep "threatening" (promising) to secede. They're like the guy that threatens to leave the party when he gets mad because that'll sure show us! What the fuck is taking them so long?

    2. unclejeems

      Well, there are still many Texans who remain true to the memory of Sam Houston. He was governor of Texas in 1861, and when the state (with a 33% voting "no") decided to secede, Houston wouldn't have any of it. He was later impeached and thrown out of office–died a couple of years later.

      This guy was the real deal, and he does have spiritual, so to speak, descendants today in the Lone Star State. Too bad that the place is now run by a bunch of mealy-mouth, drug-store cowboys with more hats than brains and more boots than sense.

  47. randcoolcatdaddy

    They also wanted to come out against nap time in Kindergarten, but the manufacturers of nap mats nixed that.

  48. natoslug

    Read my lips: No New Texans. Seriously, if you're going to outlaw critical reasoning, you should have your breeder permits revoked.

  49. Eve8Apples

    Texas and Louisiana are locked in a neck and neck race to produce the stupidest children in the United States and take the title from reigning champion, Mississippi.

  50. Eve8Apples

    If we teach Texas kids critical thinking they may wake-up and move far away from Texas.

  51. docterry6973

    Ban critical thinking? I wish someone would tell me if that is a good idea or not.

  52. LibertyLover

    Why don't they just come out and insist on homeschooling all Texan children? That way they can pretty much fill their heads with whatever mush they want?

    Boy, Texas Education sure has changed.

  53. LibertyLover

    If the table is made of wood, but it is pressed wood, then is it really wood or is it memorex or pink slime?

  54. extreme_left

    The Wonkette is just revealling it's ignorance on this issue and just how far it has strayed from the path of truth. Texas is just operating on a higher Zen plane which may appear illogical to the simple mind. If something is not discussed or thought about then it does not exist, true Zen mastery, now if the rest of the country would accept Texian Zen mastery the path to Utopia would be clear.

  55. Schmegeg

    Facts: Texas was once part of Mexico.
    White people came to Texas with Slaves, then revolted when Mexico banned slavery.
    Ans then there was Freedom ™.

    Opinion: let's give it back.

    1. not that Radio

      Texas is unique among the states for having quit two different countries over wanting to own humans as slaves. Woo hoo!

  56. not that Radio

    The miseducation of one child is a tragedy. The miseducation of 7 million children is a statistic.

  57. ttommyunger

    Texas has always excelled in producing morons; yet they strive for absolute perfection in this endeavor… Admirable, in a twisted, fucked-in-the-head kind of way.

  58. Rayn_And

    Can we make a rule that unless you can prove you escaped from the Texas or Louisiana educational system, you can't go to college anywhere except Texas or Louisiana?

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