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May 17, 2010

Texas textbooks may have to include arguments for gutting social security and examples of how the United Nations is destroying America

TX Textbooks Proposal: Students Must Discuss Gutting Social Security, Explain How U.N. Undermines U.S. | TPMMuckraker
With the long-running Texas history textbooks standards fight scheduled to end with a final vote by the State Board of Education Friday, arch-conservative board member Don McLeroy is proposing a new set of changes that read like a tea party manifesto. The new amendment (.pdf), which is expected to get a vote on Thursday, would require high school history students to "discuss alternatives regarding long term entitlements such as Social Security and Medicare, given the decreasing worker to retiree ratio" and also "evaluate efforts by global organizations to undermine U. S. sovereignty." . . . As justification for that second item, McLeroy writes: "Threats of global government to individual freedom and liberty include the votes of the U. N. General Assembly, the International Criminal Court, the U. N. Gun Ban proposal, forced redistribution of American wealth to third world countries, and global environmental initiatives."

May 16, 2010

Traditional values are impoverishing fecund Red Staters, who take it out on successful Blue Staters

National Journal Magazine - Do 'Family Values' Weaken Families? The standard "Red State" formula of early marriage due to failed/no birth control used to make blue-collar man and women out of boys an girls. But in the global economy and education-driven information age, it's a recipe for tragedy. The future is made for family-planning, late-marrying Blue Staters; meanwhile, angry and frustrated Red Staters stare across the chasm between their beliefs and real life.
Cahn and Carbone's important new book, Red Families v. Blue Families: Legal Polarization and the Creation of Culture, from Oxford University Press, is too rich with nuance to be encompassed in a short space. But here is the gist. For generations, American family life was premised on two facts. First, sex makes babies. Second, low-skilled men, if they apply themselves, can expect to get a job, make a living, and support a family. Fact 1 gave rise to a strong linkage between sexual activity, marriage, and procreation. It was (and still is) difficult for teenagers and young adults to abstain from sex, so one important norm was not to have sex before marriage. If you did have premarital sex and conceived a child, you had to marry.... Even a flawed marriage was likely to be a stable one. Over time, the spouses would grow into their responsibilities. That is what "families form adults" means. ... But then along come two game-changers: the global information economy and the birth-control revolution. The postindustrial economy puts a premium on skill and cognitive ability. A high school education or less no longer offers very good prospects. Blue-collar wages fall, so a factory job no longer cuts it -- if, that is, you can even find a factory job. Meanwhile, birth control separates decisions about sex from decisions about parenthood, and the advent of effective female contraception lets men shift the moral responsibility for pregnancy to women, eroding the shotgun marriage. Divorce becomes easy to obtain and sheds its stigma. Women stream into the workforce and become more economically independent -- a good thing, but with the side effect of contributing to a much higher divorce rate. In this very different world, early family formation is often a calamity. ... he new paradigm prizes responsible childbearing and child-rearing far above the traditional linkage of sex, marriage, and procreation. Instead of emphasizing abstinence until marriage, it enjoins: Don't form a family until after you have finished your education and are equipped for responsibility. In other words, adults form families.
I was raised by a blue-collar young-marrying couple, and this paradigm shift was only blindingly obvious to me during my teens. I'm not sure why nearly half the country remains attached to an outmoded belief system. Because Jesus said so? Wait, he didn't.

May 13, 2010

22-year-old man arrested for pretending to be 16, playing high school basketball

Police say star Permian High School basketball player is really 22 | News for Dallas, Texas | Dallas Morning News | Latest News Permian high school in Odessa is the real life inspiration for Friday Night Lights. I look forward to a future plotline involving 22-year-olds smuggles onto the team.
ODESSA, Texas – A West Texas student who led his high school basketball team to the state playoffs last season was actually a 22-year-old man, police said Tuesday. Police say the basketball star was really Guerdwich Montimere, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Haiti who school officials say was recognized last month by Florida coaches as having been a star high school player in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., a few years ago. Ector County school district officials said the man posed as 16-year-old Jerry Joseph and enrolled at Permian High School in Odessa for the 2009-2010 academic year. He also presented himself as homeless to the school's basketball coach, Danny Wright, who took the boy in last summer, the coach said. Montimere was arrested at Permian High on Tuesday and booked into Ector County jail on a charge of presenting false identification to a peace officer.