Monday, May 17, 2010

Victoreen Versus the Texas State Board of Education

All quotes from the Texas Freedom Network blog.

Once upon a time there was company called Victoreen, on the edge of a great lake, but also on a hill. This company made instruments designed to measure the kinds radiation we don't know. Things made to tell you when something wasn't safe, when you should put it away. They were a fairly successful company, and they shipped their product across the nation. The employees were proud of their work, knowing without the proper scientific way to test for danger, a culture was exposed and vulnerable.

And once upon a time there was manufacturer of televisions in Texas. They bought instrumentation from Victoreen, to test the amount of mental poison predicted to come from their product. Unfortunately a batch of sets was scheduled to be tested by a certain inspector who just that morning had discovered he was going to arrested for tax evasion. His wife, upon hearing the news, packed up their 2.5 children and went to stay with her mother in Oklahoma city. Thus 50 state of the art television sets were sent to stores without the proper safety spells in place, and one was bought by a housewife in College Station, who let her son watch it non-stop on weekends as long as it was the religious channel.

And this little boy, a serious thoughtful boy, watched men in cheap suits preach to the world a ministry of righteousness despite moral sacrifice. A vision of a nation where God's way was the only way, and God's way was their way.

He later became a dentist. And later still, a pillar of the community, was elected to the Texas State Board of Education. He knew this was his moment, his time to make a difference for what he believed was the only way to save his country. This was his chance to strike a blow for every man who knew that their country was under imminent attack from a syndicate of wealthy intellectuals, who had mutated the public education system in order to undermine the national spirit and thereby our manifest destiny.

Back on the edge of the great lake, a rusty meter in the now abandoned meter factory, went wild. But no one was there to notice. No one was there to alert the managers. The managers were all retired or dead. Bells and whistles could go off continuously, only heard by panicked doves that flew in through the broken windows.

"The board removed the concepts of “justice” and “responsibility for the common good” from a list of characteristics of good citizenship for Grades 1-3. (The proposal to remove “equality” failed.)"

"The board stripped Dolores Huerta, cofounder of United Farm Workers of America, from a Grade 3 list of “historical and contemporary figures who have exemplified good citizenship.” Conservative board members said Huerta is not a good role model for third-graders because she’s a socialist."

"far-right board members succeeded in adding a requirement that students learn about “communist infiltration in U.S. government” during the Cold War. (Board member Don McLeroy has even claimed outright that Joseph McCarthy has been “vindicated,” a contention not supported by mainstream scholarship.) "

"Religious conservatives stripped from the high school sociology course a standard having students “differentiate between sex and gender as social constructs and determine how gender and socialization interact.” Board member Barbara Cargill argued that the standard would lead students to learn about “transexuals, transvestites and who knows what else.” She told board members she had conducted a “Google search” to support her argument. Board member Ken Mercer complained that the amendment was about “sex.”'

"The board removed Oscar Romero, a prominent Roman Catholic archbishop who was assassinated in 1980 (as he was celebrating Mass) by rightists in El Salvador, from a world history standard about leaders who led resistance to political oppression. Romero, they argued, wasn’t of the same stature as others listed in the standards: Nelson Mandela and Mohandas Gandhi. One board member argued that “he didn’t have his own movie like the others.”'

And on and on, chip by chip, the curriculum was changed. The education of young children became once again a plaything of competing religions, and their minion corporations. Textbook companies, faced with losing their largest market, changed the books they sold to every state. Colleges, forced to keep their budgets and recruitment numbers, had to accept the state of their incoming freshman education and change their admissions process to accommodate.

And Oscar Romero, the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, Cesar Chavez, the Enlightenment, Little Steel, the Korean War, the Progressive Party, Carl Sagan, Wounded Knee, Lucretia Mott ,and Love Canal all leaked out between the pages. The ink puddled around our feet, as we stood in our factories, making instruments designed to measure only the kinds of radiation we want to admit exists.

more photos can be seen here.


  1. I really enjoyed this entry ma'am. Great photos, as always. I think I tend to be a bit more towards center politically than you are, but I still am left gasping when I read about things that are going on in TX and AZ. Its very troubling indeed.

  2. I think there's a huge difference between being conservatively minded and being an extreme religious fascist. Which I feel fairly certain you are not, because then you would think my pictures were an ugly suckfest of what's wrong with America.

  3. This morning I read that the Gov. of TN vetoed a bill that would allow hand guns in bars, but that the TN legislature will likely override the veto! Unbelievable.

    I keep wondering, or hoping that all of the rank and file voters who elected all of these zany officials in these states might pause and say to themselves "Hey, I voted for because he/she espoused the same conservative values that I do, such as no bestiality on Sundays, etc...but this hand gun/history book wipe/immigration thing is going way too far so I'm going to speak up." Doesn't look like it's happening though. Bummer.


Who wants to fuck the Editors?