Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Texas Text Asses

The Texas Board of “Education” has been in the news recently. In a 10 to 5 vote, the board has decided to introduce new ultra-conservative history textbooks to the state's schools. Sweeping changes to recorded history will undoubtedly help produce an entire generation of misguided and misinformed Texans.

Among the changes will be to promote conservative heroes like Ronald Reagan and Newt Gingrich. On the other hand, the new books will see a reduced scope for Latino history and culture, so historic figures like César Chávez will likely go unmentioned. Another change is to no longer include Thomas Jefferson among the individuals who influenced the nation’s intellectual origins.

This I can understand since everyone knows that Jefferson was just an ordinary Joe who had no influence whatsoever on American history. Who cares if he was a philosopher, horticulturist, architect, archaeologist, paleontologist, inventor, founder of a University, third U.S. president, and primary author of the Declaration of Independence? Just because someone thought he was deserving of having his image carved into the face of a mountain doesn't mean the rest of us should accord the man any praise.

However, the rest of this type of revisionism is complete and total Texas Longhorn Bullcrap! As long as there are websites like Snow Shoveling In Canada around, you can be sure that the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth will be available. We are your lantern in the darkness of nescience, illiteracy and general goofy dumbness.

American history is rife with important historical individuals and colorful characters — people like Eli Whitney, an inventor and moonshiner who made gin out of cotton (yech!). Canada as well has had its share of important innovators and inventors like... well... I can't think of anyone right now, but we've been known to be quite productive when we weren't slugging back a few ounces of Eli Whitney's Olde Tyme Cotton Gin ®.

Canada can however crow about Sir Sandford Fleming; kind of a Canadian Benjamin Franklin. Americans of course had their own Benjamin Franklin in one Benjamin Franklin.

But Texas, bloated with bluster and braggadocio, boasts the biggest names.

Therefore, I’d like to present some little-known “facts” regarding some famous Texans.

Stephen F. Austin
Austin was a bionic man and an impresario who organized many concerts and operas just north of the Mexican border in the early 1800’s. For some reason, his efforts in this regard were enough for him to be credited with the title “The Father of Texas”. The capital city of Texas and the Austin Motor Company are named after him.

Sam Houston
Houston was a statesman and soldier who really had it in for a Mexican named Santa. He participated in several tiffs with Santa and the Mexican army, including the battle of the Alamo. This skirmish was notable for its participants which included Jim “Big Blade” Bowie and Davey Crockett (or maybe it was Daniel Boone. Well, it was one of those Fess Parker-like frontiersman).

Jett Rink
Mr. Rink was a good-for-nothing ranch hand who inherited a worthless piece of Texas scrubland from a woman by the name of Luz Benedict. Determined to get something from this hardscrabble real estate, Jett doggedly drilled holes into the dirt until one day when he finally struck oil. His land yielded more “Texas Tea” than he could have imagined. Rink eventually became the most famous, wealthy, and admired man the state has ever produced.

Jordan 'Bick' Benedict Jr.
Another industrial giant.

Lyndon B. Johnson
A true Texan, Johnson was the 36th President of the United States. He is perhaps most famous for his incredible demonstrations of strength where he would pick up an entire beagle by the ears.

So there you have it. All you ever wanted to know (I’m sure) about the Lone Star (out of four) State.

And just to get it out of my system, here are some links about Thomas Jefferson, Darwinism, and César Chávez. Take that Texas Board of Ed!!!

A note to you Texas tykes out there: feel free to use this blog as a source to further your knowledge about Texas and the world in general.

It certainly won’t hurt any more than your proposed new texts.

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