Skip navigation

Category Archives: My Opinion


October 16, 2021Heather Cox Richardson

On October 8, the executive director of curriculum and instruction for the Carroll Independent School District in Southlake, Texas, told a teacher to make sure to follow Texas’s new law requiring teachers to present opposing views on controversial subjects. The Carroll school board had recently reprimanded a fourth-grade teacher who had kept an anti-racism book in her classroom, and teachers wanted to know what books they could keep in their own classrooms. “Just try to remember the concepts of [House Bill] 3979,” the curriculum director said. “And make sure that if you have a book on the Holocaust,” the director continued, “that you have one that has an opposing, that has other perspectives.”The Holocaust was Nazi Germany’s systematic murder of about two thirds of Europe’s Jewish population—about six million people—during World War II. “How do you oppose the Holocaust?” one teacher said. “Believe me,” the director said. “That’s come up.”The Texas legislature passed another law that is going into effect in December. S.B. 3, known as the Critical Race Theory bill. It specifies what, exactly, social studies courses should teach to students. Those guidelines present a vision of how American citizens should perceive their nation. They should have “an understanding of the fundamental moral, political, and intellectual foundations of the American experiment in self-government; the history, qualities, traditions, and features of civic engagement in the United States; the structure, function, and processes of government institutions at the federal, state, and local levels.” But they should get that information in a specific way: through the Declaration of Independence; the United States Constitution; the Federalist Papers, including Essays 10 and 51; excerpts from Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America; the transcript of the first Lincoln-Douglas debate; and the writings of the founding fathers of the United States; the history and importance of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964; and the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Nineteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution.While they managed to add in de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America—and I would be shocked if more than a handful of people have ever read that account of early America—there are some pointed omissions from this list. The Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which guarantees Black voting, didn’t make it, although the Nineteenth Amendment, which grants women the right to vote, did. Also missing is the Voting Rights Act of 1965, although the Civil Rights Act of the previous year is there. Topics explicitly eliminated from the teaching standard are also instructive. Those things cut from the standards include: “the history of Native Americans,” and “[founding] mothers and other founding persons.” Under “commitment to free speech and civil discourse,” topics struck from the standards include  “the writings of…George Washington; Ona Judge (a woman Washington enslaved and who ran away); Thomas Jefferson, Sally Hemings (the enslaved woman Jefferson took as a sexual companion after the death of his wife, her half-sister),” and “any other founding persons of the United States.” The standards lost Frederick Douglass’s writings, the Fugitive Slave Acts of 1793 and 1850, the Indian Removal Act of 1830 that forced Indigenous Americans off their southeastern lands, and Thomas Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptists defending the separation of church and state. The standards lost “historical documents related to the civic accomplishments of marginalized populations” including documents related to the Chicano movement, women’s suffrage and equal rights, the civil rights movement, Indigenous rights, and the American labor movement.The standards also lost “the history of white supremacy, including but not limited to the institution of slavery, the eugenics movement, and the Ku Klux Klan, and the ways in which it is morally wrong” and “the history and importance of the civil rights movement.” The legislature took three pages to outline all the things that teachers may not teach, including all the systemic biases the right associates with Critical Race Theory (although that legal theory is not taught in K–12 schools), and anything having to do with the 1619 Project.Teachers cannot be forced to teach current events or controversial issues, but if they choose to do so, they must “strive to explore that topic from diverse and contending perspectives without giving deference to any one perspective.” Supporters of the measure said that teachers should teach facts and not “choose sides.” The lawmakers who wrote the new standards said they had been crafted to eliminate redundancy. In 2019, the state wrote standards to teach character traits—courage, integrity and honesty—and instructions to include particular people or events could simply duplicate those concepts. “If you want to talk about courage, talk about George Washington crossing the Delaware, or William Barret Travis defending the Alamo,” a member of the state board of education said. Editing from our history Dolores Huerta, who co-founded the National Farmworkers’ Association—she was eliminated by name—as well as Abigail Adams and Frederick Douglass and the 1924 Snyder Act (by which the nation recognized Indigenous citizenship) does more than whitewash our history. That editing warps what it means to be an American. Our history is not about individual feats of courage or honesty in a vacuum. It is about the efforts of people in this country to determine their own fate and to elect a government that will enable them to do that. A curriculum that talks about individual courage and integrity while erasing the majority of us, as well as the rules that enable us to have a say in our government by voting, is deliberately untethered from national democratic principles.It gives us a school that does not dare take a position on the Holocaust.—Notes:https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/southlake-texas-holocaust-books-schools-rcna2965https://capitol.texas.gov/tlodocs/871/billtext/pdf/SB00003I.pdfhttps://www.kvue.com/article/news/politics/texas-legislature/critical-race-theory-senate-texas-legislature/269-9e40d158-a700-437b-8bf0-8d8a2aaeec92
Kevin Kallaugher Comic Strip for October 17, 2021
btn_donateCC_LG

Please Donate


With the midterms coming poLIticians are all looking to gain control of Congress, one one side it may not be so bad, on another side we may descend into the type of chaos that preceded the “war Between the States”. The recent machinations of Botch and Kevin along with others are a warning sign of what could be. A historic lookback: Germany 1933 where revolt was based on what particular people of color and ethnicity were “reported” to do, had done and will do. This is the “Trump effect”, using bias as fact to achieve a goal. The GOP unfortunately has hitched their wagon to this horse in the hope of gaining control of the government from top to bottom. If we as voters do not pay attention any progress made so far (even with the missteps) will be gone. we should remember that the GOP raised the debt ceiling several times to accommodate the prior administration with no movement on physical infrastructure and added approx. 7Bn dollars to the national debt due to the “tax Reform” which benefitted the top earners and increased the tax burden on the rest of us. Add to that the stream of lies about the upsurge of Covid and unproven or vetted cures as opposed to the eventual vaccines we currently use. With all of last years anti vax rhetoric we lost 700,000 citizens due to misinformation that’s more lives lost than in the Civil War. It is unfortunate that poLIticians have become so callous in their actions as to deny the basic needs of ALL American Taxpayers no matter the race, religion or ethnicity. Our option is the vote where we can attempt to install better representation.

btn_donateCC_LG

Please Donate


The GOP who raised debt ceiling 8 times to finance the touted “tax cuts” and other misbegotten laws and executive orders are pushing the idea that the proposed spending will saddle future generations with debt. The facts are these funds will be spent over 10 plus years not 1 year as hinted by the GOP. It is well known that many of us do not (with good reason) trust politicians no matter the party however the misdeeds on either side bear remembering when elections roll around again. Bear in mind the two letters in the middle of poLItican is “LI(e)”! To cite a movie line: What we have here is a failure to communicate”, with those words we sum up the relationship between our elected representatives and us, the taxpayers. The daily sucking up to the words of the former president and adherence to the voluminous lies he is spewing daily is the GOP line now. Since our elected officials are following this line of thought for their own gain, it is time that we look seriously at who we vote for and consider some legislation that will limit terms and several of the perks associated with the Congressional offices. If there is no incentive to stay in office for 20 years and retire in ease, perhaps we can get proper legislation and governance. We should be aware that Congress has over the years made rules that benefit them and their personal well being. Now as a group they are telling us (taxpayers) don’t believe the facts and what you see, believe the lies we are telling you and keep us in office or as the former liar said” Only I can save you” while pouring water on you and saying it’s just a little shower! If you are paying attention you will see that the stopping or otherwise affecting the spending needed for infrastructure that is long overdue is not in our best interests. The previous administration did nothing even after raising the debt ceiling and putting us more in debt with “tax reform” which benefitted “them” not “us”! To be blunt the GOP wants to regain control to cover their own immoral acts and commit more much like they did in the 1800’s prior to the war between the states.

btn_donateCC_LG

Please Donate


Mike Luckovich Comic Strip for October 07, 2021
Congress doubling down since the 1800’s
btn_donateCC_LG

Please Donate


The GOP is balking against the proposed spending by the DEMS (who are divided themselves). yet they have gone along with an idiot while using his blustering as a cover for their own budgetary acts. These are the actions of self serving politicians, not leaders. The primary job (supposedly) of elected officials is to administer the government in the best interests of the voters and taxpayers not their party and it’s overall agenda. No matter who you affiliate with politically, it should be noted that weight placed on some is also placed on all in someway or another. The party line is not necessarily what the party leaders do for us or to us. We as taxpayers are left to read between the lines and we need to read carefully. The current fight over budgets and funding is purely political and should not even be happening as the Congress has known for years that our infrastructure and manufacturing has been relegated to unimportant because it costs money. Of course it costs money and that money is why we pay taxes (except for the top 1%). Now the GOP is standing in the way of funding for needed infrastructure. Which they could have and should have done when they were in the majority. The uproar or false information about the burden on future generations neglects the fact that the plan is to cover about 5 to 10 years not one year. The current chip shortage possibly could have been a non issue if the US chip makers were not allowed to put the manufacturing in a foreign country that is our biggest rival in manufacturing and world presence. Thank you Congress for doing the Washington 2 step while whistling Dixie!

btn_donateCC_LG

Please Donate


Many of us have come to believe that our votes do not count, wrong. Our votes do count and the electeds know it. The recent voting law changes are evidence of that. Historically the current GOP has switched sides several times in order to do as little as possible for the voters and that has not changed to this day. As Democrats they did not want social programs put forth by then President Roosevelt, they then became Republicans and evolved to be who they are now but still the anti public good office holders. The writing has never been off of the wall but many of us have just painted over it in the hope of not looking at it but no amount of primer will cover the facts that the current GOP is a culmination of years of misdeeds on behalf of big money against the people who put them in office. there is no greater sin than ignoring the machinations of the current anti voter GOP. TOTUS has allowed and indeed legitimized lying to get in office and lying to stay there. While politicians are prone to hyperbole and disinformation while actively coloring the truth, there are some who still work for the public good. We as taxpayers and voters need to pay attention to the person we vote for rather than the party they work under. There is no greater error than following a party that works against us while pushing the “we work for the people” line. The current political system is about self service with the end game of retiring with a handsome pension after doing 20 plus years of nominal work. This is America, once a poster child of how a country should work but now the real truth emerges in disastrous ways. Thank you TOTUS for making these facts public though you didn’t know you were doing it.

btn_donateCC_LG

Please Donate


Many voters have consistently voted against our own interests because we have a love hate relationship with the government. This rational and irrational relationship has allowed the worst of the political class to assume power and relegate the good things done for us to be coopted and corrupted in their favor while telling us that what they do against us is good for us- we still elect them time after time. In our voting we are as “third world” as any third world country. Solution: investigate and pay attention to all who run for office no matter how long they have been there. Once we do that we will begin to experience the promise of the Constitution. It is never too late to re evaluate your political viewpoint. Remember two letters in the middle tell the story- poLIticians!

btn_donateCC_LG

Please Donate


Combined conservative salary for Congress is 94,161,000.00 annually. Taxpayers get little value from 535 talking heads whose sole objective is to stay in office until retirement while doing as little as possible and making idiotic statements and playing politics. Our task is to stop retaining them time after time. Many of us (voters) fail to realize that we can get rid of them anytime by voting for someone else. In these times we are too divided to see the power we have to achieve better representation. This divide is what the politicians want and need to continue their nefarious ways. You can be sure that when confronted these tongue waggers will almost never answer a direct question, their main defense is deflection with a smile. There are a few members who can and most of the time tell the truth or their truth but most follow party lines in order to remain in office with the support of the party. When we (voters) stop buying into the established Racial stereotypes and understand that we (the voters) have the power to get and demand proper government no matter the race, religion or gender is when we will begin to get the government we deserve and is insured by the constitution (which is only 4 pages long, amendments add 19 more pages) long a under read and understood document. The past four years of a wannabe dictator should be enough to unite us all to consider who we vote for and which group is really working for us no matter their errant ways.

btn_donateCC_LG

Please Donate


There is no denying the facts of the past 4 years and the “antics” of the former guy. What is incredible and still ongoing are the actions of the GOP in general and by extension less moderate members. The ongoing lawsuits over voting rights, abortion and specifically the reinstitution of the “wild west” in Texas are just a few of the recent news making issues. There are the denial of Covid masking mandates in spite of rising Covid infections and deaths. The attempts to gloss over January 6th (another day of infamy) by attacking the facts of live TV coverage seen by millions. The GOP is moving in a direction that at once appalls and shames their party yet not enough moderates are speaking out. Instead the radicals are all over the airwaves with wild and false statements. This reminiscent of actions and talking points that have occurred anytime the elites and politicians want to maintain “their status quo” on the backs of the poor and people of color. The latest volley (beginning 20 years ago) was the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan which cost the taxpayers Trillions of dollars but the Congress and the former guy gave tax breaks to the top 1% while explaining to the 99% that this was good for them! Taxpayers are in the grips of 535 sleight of hand artists whose sole purpose appears to be remaining in office for 20 years and retire comfortably. Of course there are some reasonable enactions that arise but too many others remain and affect us all

btn_donateCC_LG

Please Donate




It is apparent the the GOP has continued to push for re civil war and 50’s and 60’s policies that benefit their agenda while keeping a foot on the necks of anyone of color and more directly now women and their health. These so called religious rightists have emerged and reemerged several times with the backing of political types whose sole objective is control of the government at any cost. MA
September 3, 2021Heather Cox RichardsonSep 4The new anti-abortion law in Texas is not just about abortion; it is about undermining civil rights decisions made by the Supreme Court during the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. The Supreme Court declined to stop a state law that violates a constitutional right.Since World War II, the Supreme Court has defended civil rights from state laws that threaten them. During the Great Depression, Democrats under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt began to use the government to regulate business, provide a basic social safety net—this is when we got Social Security—and promote infrastructure. But racist Democrats from the South balked at racial equality under this new government.After World War II, under Chief Justice Earl Warren, a Republican appointed by President Dwight Eisenhower, and Chief Justice Warren Burger, a Republican appointed by Richard Nixon, the Supreme Court set out to make all Americans equal before the law. They tried to end segregation through the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, decision prohibiting racial segregation in public schools. They protected the right of married couples to use contraception in 1965. They legalized interracial marriage in 1967. In 1973, with the Roe v. Wade decision, they tried to give women control over their own reproduction by legalizing abortion.They based their decisions on the due process and the equal protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment, passed by Congress in 1866 and ratified in 1868 in the wake of the Civil War. Congress developed this amendment after legislatures in former Confederate states passed “Black Codes” that severely limited the rights and protections for formerly enslaved people. Congress intended for the powers in the Fourteenth to enable the federal government to guarantee that African Americans had the same rights as white Americans, even in states whose legislatures intended to keep them in a form of quasi-slavery.Justices in the Warren and Burger courts argued that the Fourteenth Amendment required that the Bill of Rights apply to state governments as well as to the federal government. This is known as the “incorporation doctrine,” but the name matters less than the concept: states cannot abridge an individual’s rights, any more than the federal government can. This doctrine dramatically expanded civil rights.From the beginning, there was a backlash against the New Deal government by businessmen who objected to the idea of federal regulation and the bureaucracy it would require. As early as 1937, they were demanding an end to the active government and a return to the world of the 1920s, where businessmen could do as they wished, families and churches managed social welfare, and private interests profited from infrastructure projects. They gained little traction. The vast majority of Americans liked the new system.But the expansion of civil rights under the Warren Court was a whole new kettle of fish. Opponents of the new decisions insisted that the court was engaging in “judicial activism,” taking away from voters the right to make their own decisions about how society should work. That said that justices were “legislating from the bench.” They insisted that the Constitution is limited by the views of its framers and that the government can do nothing that is not explicitly written in that 1787 document.This is the foundation for today’s “originalists” on the court. They are trying to erase the era of legislation and legal decisions that constructed our modern nation. If the government is as limited as they say, it cannot regulate business. It cannot provide a social safety net or promote infrastructure, both things that cost tax dollars and, in the case of infrastructure, take lucrative opportunities from private businesses.It cannot protect the rights of minorities or women.Their doctrine would send authority for civil rights back to the states to wither or thrive as different legislatures see fit. But it has, in the past, run into the problem that Supreme Court precedent has led the court to overturn unconstitutional state laws that deprive people of their rights (although the recent conservative courts have chipped away at those precedents).The new Texas law gets around this problem with a trick. It does not put state officers in charge of enforcing it. Instead, it turns enforcement over to individual citizens. So, when opponents sued to stop the measure from going into effect, state officials argued that they could not be stopped from enforcing the law because they don’t enforce it in the first place. With this workaround, Texas lawmakers have, as Justice Stephen Breyer noted in his dissent, “delegate[d] to private individuals the power to prevent a woman from…[exercising]…a federal constitutional right.”Justice Sonia Sotomayor was more forceful, calling the measure “a flagrantly unconstitutional law engineered to prohibit women from exercising their constitutional rights and evade judicial scrutiny.” And yet, the Supreme Court permitted that state law to stand simply by refusing to do anything to stop it. As Sotomayor wrote in her dissent: “Last night, the Court silently acquiesced in a State’s enactment of a law that flouts nearly 50 years of federal precedents.”A state has undermined the power of the federal government to protect civil rights. It has given individuals who disagree with one particular right the power to take it away from their neighbors. But make no mistake: there is no reason that this mechanism couldn’t be used to undermine much of the civil rights legislation of the post–World War II years.On September 4, 1957, three years after the Brown v. Board of Education decision, a crowd of angry white people barred nine Black students from entering Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. The white protesters chanted: “Two, four, six, eight, we ain’t gonna integrate.”In 1957, Republican President Dwight Eisenhower used the federal government to protect the constitutional rights of the Little Rock Nine from the white vigilantes who wanted to keep them second-class citizens. In 2021, the Supreme Court has handed power back to the vigilantes.—-
btn_donateCC_LG

Please Donate

%d bloggers like this: