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Texas Republicans setting a bad example

You really must read the temporary Texas Republican Party platform for 2014. They have a clear vision for the future of America, and it is a hellhole. I skimmed through it this morning and there was much to fill me with dismay and amusement, all at the same time.

Socialism breeds mediocrity. America is exceptional. Therefore, the Republican Party of Texas opposes socialism, in all of its forms.

We are special. Don’t you forget it.

Inasmuch as the Civil Rights Movement argued against using race as a factor in American life, affirmative action reintroduces race as a divisive force in American life. The Republican Party of Texas believes in equal opportunity for all citizens without regard to race or gender. Affirmative action casts doubt on minority achievement making such achievement as seemingly unearned. We believe that true minority advancement will come from a demand for personal responsibility, accountability and competitive excellence.

Racism is over.

While we all strive to be good stewards of the earth, “climate change” is a political agenda which attempts to control every aspect of our lives. We urge government at all levels to ignore any plea for money to fund global climate change or “climate justice” initiatives.

Texans prefer ideology over data, and the way to manage that is to declare all scientific evidence ideological.

We believe we are to be good stewards of our planet and thus manage the resources it provides. We believe that the changes in climate that we have observed are simply part of the ongoing natural planetary cycle; we reject the use of this natural process to promote more government regulation of the private economy. Furthermore we reject the idea of “climate justice” and the accompanying redistribution of wealth that comes with accepting it.

“Climate Justice”…it’s bad. This reminds me of the kooks who belittle social justice — apparently, just as adding the word “family” to anything makes it praiseworthy, “justice” is a dirty word to the regressive right.

We urge amendment of the Internal Revenue Code to allow a religious organization to address issues without fear of losing its tax-exempt status. We call for repeal of requirements that religious organizations send the government any personal information about their contributors.

This is the “protect religious privilege harder” platform.

We oppose calling welfare and other income and product redistribution schemes “rights” or “entitlements”. We know that fundamental human rights are inherent to individuals and are granted by God and are protected by the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution. They are not products of others labor. Unalienable rights, such as life, liberty, pursuit of happiness, property rights, free speech, religious freedom, self-defense, etc. do not impose on others rights whereas income and product redistribution invariably do so.

Any kind of social safety net is unconstitutional — suffer and die, losers, I got mine and you don’t get any of it.

We oppose any governmental action to restrict, prohibit, or remove public display of the Ten Commandments or other religious symbols.

Satanic statues are therefore OK. I’m fine with that.

We support the definition of marriage as a God-ordained, legal and moral commitment only between a natural man and a natural woman.

Texas must be suffering from a plague of unnatural people right now.

Homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable alternative lifestyle, in public policy, nor should family be redefined to include homosexual couples. We believe there should be no granting of special legal entitlements or creation of special status for homosexual behavior, regardless of state of origin. Additionally, we oppose any criminal or civil penalties against those who oppose homosexuality out of faith, conviction, or belief in traditional values. We recognize the legitimacy and value of counseling which offers reparative therapy and treatment to patients who are seeking escape from the homosexual lifestyle. No laws or executive orders shall be imposed to limit or restrict access to this type of therapy.

Shame the gays.

You have to read the next two together:

We revere the sanctity of human life and therefore oppose genocide, euthanasia, and assisted suicide.

Properly applied capital punishment is legitimate, is an effective deterrent, and should be swift and unencumbered.

Only some life has sanctity, I guess.

All adult citizens should have the legal right to conscientiously choose which vaccines are administered to themselves, or their minor children, without penalty for refusing a vaccine. We oppose any effort by any authority to mandate such vaccines or any medical database that would contain personal records of citizens without their consent.

Yay! They’re going anti-vax!

We favor strengthening our common American identity and loyalty, which includes the contribution and assimilation of different racial and ethnic groups. Students should pledge allegiance to the US and Texas flags daily to instill patriotism. Students have the right to display patriotic items on school property

Because forcing people to recite a loyalty oath automatically makes them loyal.

We support objective teaching and equal treatment of all sides of scientific theories. We believe theories such as life origins and environmental change should be taught as challengeable scientific theories subject to change as new data is produced. Teachers and students should be able to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of these theories openly and without fear of retribution or discrimination of any kind.

The usual creationist boilerplate. “Strengths and weaknesses” is the give-away phrase.

America’s founding fathers wrote the 2nd amendment with clear intent – no level of government shall regulate either the ownership or possession of firearms. Therefore we strongly oppose all laws that infringe on the right to bear arms. We oppose the monitoring of gun ownership, the taxation and regulation of guns, ammunition, and gun magazines. We collectively urge the legislature to pass “constitutional carry” legislation whereby law-abiding citizens that possess firearms can legally exercise their God-given right to carry that firearm as well. Until such time we urge the state to re-introduce and pass legislation easing current restrictions on firearms such as open carry and campus carry. Stiff penalties shall be imposed for frivolous litigation against legitimate firearm manufacturers. All federal acts, laws, executive orders, and court orders which restrict or infringe on the people’s right to keep and bear arms shall be invalid in Texas, not be recognized by Texas, shall be specifically rejected by Texas, and shall be considered null and void and of no effect in Texas. We urge the Texas Legislature to enact legislation to protect law-abiding firearms owners from having their right to bear arms infringed by federal agencies due to such minor mental health diagnoses as non-severe PTS (post-traumatic stress), seeking counseling for minor depression or other minor mental health diagnoses.

There’s a lot of gun stuff in here. Texans want to carry their guns with them everywhere they go.

We affirm that the public acknowledgement of God is undeniable in our history and is vital to our freedom, prosperity and strength. We pledge our influence toward a return to the original intent of the First Amendment and toward dispelling the myth of separation of church and state. We urge the Legislature to increase the ability of faith-based institutions and other organizations to assist the needy and to reduce regulation of such organizations.

God magic!

Since data is clear that additional money does not translate into educational achievement, and higher education costs are out of control, we support reducing taxpayer funding to all levels of education institutions.

Wait…higher ed costs are out of control because state legislatures constantly whittle away all local support, so Texas will bring those costs under control by whittling harder?

We support the freedom to continue to use and manufacture incandescent light bulbs.

Fire good.

We believe the Minimum Wage Law should be repealed

That only benefits poor people.

Our Founding Fathers warned us of the dangers of allowing central bankers to control our currency because inflation equals taxation without representation. We support the return to the time-tested precious metal standard for the U.S. dollar

This is why all the wacky grandpas who watch Glenn Beck get slammed with commercials about gold. Because they’re idiots.

This one is titled “Bilingual education”.

We encourage non-English speaking students to transition to English within
three years.

Shouldn’t that be renamed “Monolingual education”?

It’s only 40 pages of far right, Fox News-style, Libertarian bullshit (which makes it a little bit ironic that another of their points demands that bills shall be less than 30 pages). Read it and see where these loons want to take our country.

Comments

  1. Trebuchet says

    Socialism breeds mediocrity. America is exceptional. Therefore, the Republican Party of Texas opposes socialism, in all of its forms.

    So they’re going to cancel Social Security, upon which there most loyal supporters depend, right?

  2. Trebuchet says

    ARGHH! “There” should be “there”, of course. What’s worse is I actually corrected “there” to “they’re” before posting! Why do I type homophones?

  3. says

    We urge the Legislature to increase the ability of faith-based institutions and other organizations to assist the needy and to reduce regulation of such organizations.

    Reduce their regulations? How is that supposed to make them work better? At least they are being even handed it seems, they say “other organizations to assist the needy” but I still don’t see how a blanket decision to “reduce regulation” is some kind of good thing…

  4. busterggi says

    Cancel all federally funds going to anything in Texas immediately – we must stop persecuting them with free money.

  5. says

    Programmer currently employed in the DFW metropox [sic] seeks employment anywhere away from those shit-faced lumps of excrement.
     
     PLEASE….

  6. Reginald Selkirk says

    Properly applied capital punishment… is an effective deterrent

    That’s not a statement of belief, it is a statement of fact. And I suspect it is a counter-factual one. I’d like to see their data on that. Since Texas executes so many people, the murder rate in Texas must be going down faster than in other states.

  7. Trebuchet says

    Since Texas executes so many people, the murder rate in Texas must be going down faster than in other states.

    Nah, all of their murders are committed by black and brown people, who make up a majority of the population, so they’ve got to have capital punishment to protect the decent folks. Not to mention the right to carry AR-15′s into Chili’s.

  8. twas brillig (stevem) says

    We support the definition of marriage as a God-ordained, legal and moral commitment only between a natural man and a natural woman.

    [snark] That’s why all those trans want to be womenz, so they can marry their boyfriends and sneak past all the rightful anti-gay marriage laws, That’s why they pretend to be trans, to sneak around the rightful laws that protect all the real people from have to get a homo marriage. /snark
    But seriously, putting “natural”, as qualifiers for “man” and “woman”, seems to be their sneaky way of being trans*phobic, without being explicit about it. Orrrr, they could be saying that gays are UNnatural; wouldn’t put it past them to imply so….

  9. anachronistes says

    Wow – towards the end, it’s like their developing their party platform based on viral e-mails.
    And the part about the “clear intent” of the Second Amendment – the skipped the part of 2A about a well-regulated militia. Oh, wait, no they didn’t; only seven words into they reject the notion of regulating any firearms, presumably including militias…
    I don’t think I ever want to go to Texas – sorry, Austin.

  10. thelifeofbrine says

    Anachronistes please do move here. We need people to help vote against these assholes.

  11. What a Maroon, el papa ateo says

    While we all strive to be good stewards of the earth, “climate change” is a political agenda which attempts to control every aspect of our lives.

    So climate change is an attempt by the producers of carbon-based fuels to control our lives? I always knew that ExxonMobil was evil, but I never realized to what extent.

    We know that fundamental human rights are inherent to individuals and are granted by God and are protected by the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution.

    I guess I missed the part in the Bible where god grants us freedom of speech and religion and due process and all. Must be in between the parts where he’s ordering his people to genocide their enemies and stone their sinners.

    Homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable alternative lifestyle

    OK, how about this: Being homosexual is no more a lifestyle than, say, having an outie.

    We collectively urge the legislature to pass “constitutional carry” legislation whereby law-abiding citizens that possess firearms can legally exercise their God-given right to carry that firearm as well.

    There were AK-47s in the garden of Eden? I love these biblical literalists.

    We support the freedom to continue to use and manufacture incandescent light bulbs.

    Is that another god-given freedom? Must be in the Book of General Electric.

    We encourage non-English speaking students to transition to English within
    three years.

    Oh, after all these years of trying to help English language learners succeed, turns out that all we need to do is encourage them to learn. Wait’ll I tell the people at work–I’m sure there’ll be a lot of head slapping and rueful laughing.

    Wait, will this put me out of a job? Shut those people up!

  12. What a Maroon, el papa ateo says

    @me, 15

    There were AK-47s in the garden of Eden?

    Silly me. AK-47s are one of those godless commie guns. Adam and Eve were packing a good, god-fearing Colt .45.

  13. thelifeofbrine says

    Reginald I may have misread your statement. If you ware calling out the Texas republicans on making a statement of fact without supporting evidence then I apologize for the hostility in my response.

  14. twas brillig (stevem) says

    affirmative action reintroduces race as a divisive force in American life. The Republican Party of Texas believes in equal opportunity for all citizens without regard to race or gender.

    I’d really like to slap them in the face… Affirmative action IS racism, yes, but it is just the first step to try to get the racist “job creators” to notice their racism and try to get some evidence that job performance is an individual’s performance not based on his racial origins. It’s nice to know you TexRepubs “believe” something, but show us, not by saying it, but by DOING SOMETHING about it. There is also a Reason for allowing slightly lower requirements for one race vs. another; to compensate for all the other racial hindrances they had to overcome to even ask you for a position. All I can read your opposition to “Affirmative Action” as, is a desire to return to explicit racism. EG. schools: all teachers, white (math teachers, asian; home ec, women; etc); janitors, all black.
    Prove me wrong TexRepubs, show me how wrong I am! Double dare ya!

  15. Chris J says

    I have to keep reminding myself as I read through this that this is a real document put together by real politicians who actually wish every single one of these points were law. I have to keep reminding myself because every time I remember, my brain blocks the thought out of sheer horror. This is ludicrous.

  16. rossthompson says

    Students have the right to display patriotic items on school property

    A million Internet points to the first Texas schoolchild to proudly pace a stars-and-striped dildo on their desk.

  17. eeyore says

    A congressman once showed me a post card he got from a constituent who said she was “very much against the gays, because they don’t reproduce in the natural way.” Apparently, she has since found a job writing copy for the Texas Republican Party.

  18. scienceavenger says

    Since data is clear that additional money does not translate into educational achievement…

    Then why do they always squeel like pigs when it is suggested to redistribute some of the funds their kids’ schools get to other, poorer schools? For something that you say doesn’t matter, you sure are willing to fight hard for it.

    affirmative action reintroduces race as a divisive force in American life

    Note the verb. Race is no longer a divisive force in America! I guess all those posters of Obama with a bone through his nose, or references to him as the N*gg*r in Chief were just figments of my imagination.

  19. Chris J says

    We favor strengthening our common American identity and loyalty, which includes the contribution and assimilation of different racial and ethnic groups. Students should pledge allegiance to the US and Texas flags daily to instill patriotism. Students have the right to display patriotic items on school property

    Why can’t them Texans learn to assimilate. This is ‘MERIKA, damn it. When you’re in ‘MERIKA, you pledge allegiance to the ‘MERIKAN flag! If you don’t like it, you can giiit out.

  20. nich says

    Trebuchet@9:

    Not to mention the right to carry AR-15′s into Chili’s.

    Ed had a post up for maybe 1/10th of one second about how the NRA issued a press release saying something that was ALMOST sane! Something about how showing up en masse at a Chili’s armed to the teeth was a stupid way of securing gun rights and only served to make innocent patrons shit themselves and more fearful of guns.

    It was up for all of ten heartbeats before thousands of flying pigs crashed back to earth when Ed added an update saying the NRA had issued a retraction apologizing to the gun-nuts.

  21. Sastrei says

    I swear San Antonio is actually a wonderful city. We even managed to pass our non-discrimination act! Single most important thing for a Texan to do this year is vote for the Democrats, if only because they are markedly less insane than the Republicans. I need to find some voter-mobilization programs and join up.

  22. Alverant says

    If they are pro-religious freedom why are they talking about enforcing laws of just one god?

  23. Sven says

    40 pages of … Libertarian bullshit

    * Ban abortion
    * Ban same-sex marriage
    * Ban those single gays from even obtaining spousal legal rights (remind me to bring this up next time SSM opponents say you can obtain these rights without marrying)
    * Christian-supremacy across the board
    * Crack down on porn

    Where’s the libertarianism? I just see lots of huge-government conservatism.

  24. Howard Bannister says

    because inflation equals taxation without representation.

    I just…

    I…

    Um…

    Okay, see, even Republicans…

    No…

    Okay…

    But…

    I can’t even begin. I just can’t.

  25. Pteryxx says

    For emphasis:

    We recognize the legitimacy and value of counseling which offers reparative therapy and treatment to patients who are seeking escape from the homosexual lifestyle. No laws or executive orders shall be imposed to limit or restrict access to this type of therapy.

    That’s intended to legalize anti-gay teen brainwashing camps by fiat.

    More from Thinkprogress

    The inclusion of ex-gay therapy is likely a response to laws passed in California and New Jersey and proposed in several other states banning the harmful treatment for minors. A consensus of social scientists have rejected efforts to try to manipulate a person’s sexual orientation, having found no legitimacy to its effectiveness. Survivors of the treatment have overwhelmingly described it as harmful, having caused them shame, emotional harm, self-hate, suicidal ideation, and nervous breakdowns. Of those who said they experienced harm, 84 percent said they are still affected by their past experiences with ex-gay therapy today.

  26. crookedshoes says

    One phrase stands out to me. “we are against the redistribution of wealth…” when they are vomiting on about global warming….

    This is what drives and underlies the whole shit show (IMO). They are scared to death that homosexuals and people of color will get some money and power and be equal.

    In a related note, i saw a funny picture where all the open carry nutjobs had their faces photoshopped and replaced with faces of minorities and the question was something along the order of….”would THIS be ok in your Texas?”

  27. zenlike says

    27 Sven

    Where’s the libertarianism? I just see lots of huge-government conservatism.

    You have missed the first five or so points brought up in the OP.

  28. Sili says

    I’m surprised they don’t hit the “Secession” button more.

    Amusing how they appeal to the 2nd Amendment while ignoring the 1st. But that’s hardy a first, of course.

  29. Pteryxx says

    re Sastrei @25:

    Single most important thing for a Texan to do this year is vote for the Democrats, if only because they are markedly less insane than the Republicans. I need to find some voter-mobilization programs and join up.

    Texas voter-suppression law takes effect

    Texas voter ID law discriminates against women, students, and minorities

    Getting a valid photo ID in Texas can be far more difficult than one assumes. To obtain one of the government-issued IDs now needed to vote, voters must first pay for underlying documents to confirm their identity, the cheapest option being a birth certificate for $22 (otherwise known as a “poll tax”); there are no DMV offices in eighty-one of 254 counties in the state, with some voters needing to travel up to 250 miles to the closest location. Counties with a significant Hispanic population are less likely to have a DMV office, while Hispanic residents in such counties are twice as likely as whites to not have the new voter ID (Hispanics in Texas are also twice as likely as whites to not have a car). “A law that forces poorer citizens to choose between their wages and their franchise unquestionably denies or abridges their right to vote,” a federal court wrote last year when it blocked the law.

    Texas has set up mobile voter ID units in twenty counties to help people obtain an ID, but has issued new IDs to only twenty voters at the sites so far.

    If you can, contact voter registration groups and see if you can help people navigate the system.

  30. marcmagus says

    “While we all strive to be good stewards of the earth,” we mean strive in the “pray for good outcomes” sense, not in the sense of actually making changes which might inconvenience us in any way.

  31. David Marjanović says

    We believe that the changes in climate that we have observed are simply part of the ongoing natural planetary cycle;

    “Believe” is the right word. It’s exactly the right word here.

    Texas must be suffering from a plague of unnatural people right now.

    Or of preternatural people, the kind whose image isn’t reflected by a mirror.

    Yay! They’re going anti-vax!

    Freude, schöner Götterfunken!

    Students should pledge allegiance to the US and Texas flags daily to instill patriotism.

    Familiarity breeds contempt…?

    We support objective teaching and equal treatment of all sides of scientific theories.

    Wow – “all sides”? I thought there were only two? :-)

    This is actually progress, sad as that is.

    We support the freedom to continue to use and manufacture incandescent light bulbs.

    Fire good.

    Thread won.

    It’s only 40 pages [...] (which makes it a little bit ironic that another of their points demands that bills shall be less than 30 pages

    Wonderful! *applause*

    Vermont had an absurdly low execution rate

    “Absurdly”?

    It was up for all of ten heartbeats before thousands of flying pigs crashed back to earth when Ed added an update saying the NRA had issued a retraction apologizing to the gun-nuts.

    If only I could stop laughing!

    Where’s the libertarianism? I just see lots of huge-government conservatism.

    Do you know what Ron Paul thinks about abortion? He’s the type of libertarian that wants a government so small it fits in your vagina.

  32. Trebuchet says

    @24: Yeah. The retraction actually happened a couple of days ago but Ed’s typically about that far behind on his RWW reposts.

  33. Randomfactor says

    Looks like the National Laboratory for Bad Government got its grants fully funded for another year…

  34. rabbitscribe says

    “All federal acts, laws, executive orders, and court orders which restrict or infringe on the people’s right to keep and bear arms shall be invalid in Texas, not be recognized by Texas, shall be specifically rejected by Texas, and shall be considered null and void and of no effect in Texas.”

    Oh snap, now they’ve gone and done it. The First Amendment “… restricts and infringes on right to keep and bear arms…” No right is without limitation. I could cite dozens of examples of case law interpreting the Amendment that limit gun rights. We could sweep in and leave Texans with nothing deadlier than plastic sporks, if only the federal judiciary gave a shit whether anybody considered the law “null and void.”

  35. thelifeofbrine says

    @36 Yeah I realized that “Absurdly low” was poor word choice after I had already submitted the comment. I was thinking that the proportional difference between the number of executions in the South and North east was so big given the relatively flat national and regional murder rate made the deterrent argument absurd.

  36. A. R says

    Since data is clear that additional money does not translate into educational achievement, and higher education costs are out of control, we support reducing taxpayer funding to all levels of education institutions.

    This bit particularly concerns me, as I’ve recently signed a contract with a major Texas biomedical research university.

  37. thelifeofbrine says

    ugh just read that comment after hitting send. I fail at words today.

  38. Uncle Ebeneezer says

    @Zven: How about here-

    Socialism breeds mediocrity. America is exceptional. Therefore, the Republican Party of Texas opposes socialism, in all of its forms. (Libertarian First Commandment: All praise Capitalism!)

    And Here-

    Inasmuch as the Civil Rights Movement argued against using race as a factor in American life, affirmative action reintroduces race as a divisive force in American life. The Republican Party of Texas believes in equal opportunity for all citizens without regard to race or gender. Affirmative action casts doubt on minority achievement making such achievement as seemingly unearned. We believe that true minority advancement will come from a demand for personal responsibility, accountability and competitive excellence. (AA is the real racism. Let the invisible hand take care of racism.)

    And here-

    we reject the use of this natural process to promote more government regulation of the private economy. Furthermore we reject the idea of “climate justice” and the accompanying redistribution of wealth that comes with accepting it. (Carbon tax is still a tax and all taxes are evil…)

    And here-

    We oppose calling welfare and other income and product redistribution schemes “rights” or “entitlements”. We know that fundamental human rights are inherent to individuals and are granted by God and are protected by the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution. They are not products of others labor. Unalienable rights, such as life, liberty, pursuit of happiness, property rights, free speech, religious freedom, self-defense, etc. do not impose on others rights whereas income and product redistribution invariably do so. (Freeloaders!!!)

    And here-

    All adult citizens should have the legal right to conscientiously choose which vaccines are administered to themselves, or their minor children, without penalty for refusing a vaccine. We oppose any effort by any authority to mandate such vaccines or any medical database that would contain personal records of citizens without their consent. (People should be FREE to jeopardize their children’s lives. Property rights!!)

    And here-

    America’s founding fathers wrote the 2nd amendment with clear intent – no level of government shall regulate either the ownership or possession of firearms. Therefore we strongly oppose all laws that infringe on the right to bear arms. We oppose the monitoring of gun ownership, the taxation and regulation of guns, ammunition, and gun magazines… (Property rights!!! Freedom!!! Constitutional originalism!!!)

    And here-

    Since data is clear that additional money does not translate into educational achievement, and higher education costs are out of control, we support reducing taxpayer funding to all levels of education institutions. (Moocher kids are still moochers. Wealthy children EARNED the right to better education.)

    And here-

    We support the freedom to continue to use and manufacture incandescent light bulbs. (Renewable Energy is the real Slavemaster)

    And here-

    Our Founding Fathers warned us of the dangers of allowing central bankers to control our currency because inflation equals taxation without representation. We support the return to the time-tested precious metal standard for the U.S. dollar. (Gold bug)

  39. says

    We know that fundamental human rights are inherent to individuals and are granted by God and are protected by the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution. They are not products of others labor.

    good to know for the next time one of these teahadis invokes against me “the sacrifices of all those who fought and died for” my right to criticize them.

  40. latsot says

    People must be free to manufacture whatever kind of light bulb they wish, but not to marry whoever they wish. This is an extraordinary display of skewed priorities.

  41. Menyambal says

    That “money doesn’t equal education” bit is directly opposed to the premise of the No Child Left Behind program, which was signed into law by George W Bush, and which teachers dislike. Still wrong, but kinda funny.

    And all the other contradictions. My right to self defense may interfere with your right to life.

  42. urbanwitch says

    It never seems to occur to people that no punishment is going to act as a deterrent, for the simple reason that criminals do not expect to get caught.

  43. HolyPinkUnicorn says


    We support the freedom to continue to use and manufacture incandescent light bulbs.

    Ah, the light bulb libertarians. I can’t believe there are conservatives who still get this upset about the efficiency standards of light bulbs, despite them being federally mandated by a bill that was signed by President Bush (though maybe it’s really Obama’s fault, since he hasn’t tried to repeal it?).

    Also, one little thing here; there is no law against the use of incandescents. How the hell would that even be enforceable? “Please step outside, sir. We have reason to believe there are incandescent light bulbs being used on this property.”

    But I shouldn’t really be that surprised; there are still reactionary holdouts who feel much the same about the bans on DDT, leaded gasoline, and phosphate detergents–all things that somehow made us more “free.” (So I guess The Road to Serfdom is lit with CFLs and LEDs.)

    Also, I just love how they are simultaneously anti genocide/euthanasia/assisted suicide, pro death penalty, and anti-vax. It sounds like some kind of dystopian novel where all pregnancies are forced to full term so we can make bets on which babies will survive the longest (hey, tax-free ammo, that’s like a head start right there!).

  44. twas brillig (stevem) says

    more anti-ant-vax ranting. Vaccines are Good for your body, directly; but do consider the indirect benefit of vaccinating your personal space. Some people, who receive vaccines, do not achieve effective immunity. As a result, they could be victimized by a non-vaccinated person who carries the virus. This is what “herd-immunity” means. If enough % of the population rejects/kills the virus, the virus will become extinct and thus, not infect those who cannot be be vaccinated. But don’t depend on herd-immunity to protect you, making vax optional. The herd-immunity depends on the %ge being high enough, so participate, increase the %ge by participating. And don’t consider, “1 out of a million makes such a small difference, it don’t matter if I don’t…” Remember, “To walk a mile needs even small steps to get there.”

  45. Menyambal says

    So you should be free to use any kind of lightbulb, but your penis can only go in an approved socket?

  46. HolyPinkUnicorn says

    Also,

    We support the definition of marriage as a God-ordained, legal and moral commitment only between a natural man and a natural woman.

    So, no human-cyborg marriages then? Take that, Cyberdyne! Or they’ve just watched Lars and the Real Girl too many times and worry Texans are going to take it a step further.

  47. says

    I think the first two quotes from the platform are good, as are the ones relating to entitlements, central banking, lightbulbs, monolingual education, and the minimum wage, but the platform goes severely downhill from the first two quotes. No funding of climate change initiatives? Misinformed consent? Against assisted suicide, but pro-death penalty? Having students recite mindless claptrap at the beginning of school? Increasing tax-exempt status of religious institutions? Decreasing funding for higher education? Allowing a state religion? Thanks, but no thanks, Texas Republican party. You can have your backwardness to yourselves.

  48. Menyambal says

    ” … a natural woman.”

    So no implants?

    Hair dye?

    Hair spray?

    Hair removal?

    Damn hippies.

  49. magistramarla says

    Many, many more reasons to support Wendy Davis and every Democrat on the ballot while we are stuck living in this hell hole of a state.
    I can’t wait to move to a more reasonable blue state.

  50. theoreticalgrrrl says

    Is that why I couldn’t find a stupid 60 watt incandescent light bulb anywhere? My stockpile ran out, I thought I had more time before it started.

    (“it” = Armageddon)

  51. Pierce R. Butler says

    Poor Trebuchet @ # 2 – another sad victim of the homo-everything agenda…

  52. moarscienceplz says

    Texas must be suffering from a plague of unnatural people right now.

    Truer words were never blogged.

  53. moarscienceplz says

    …exercise their God-given right to carry that firearm as well.

    I forget, which Bible verse was it where God told us how to make gunpowder?

  54. says

    More details on the depth of Whackadoodle that grows in Texas:

    Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz spoke at an anti-gay marriage rally on Thursday hosted by Steven Hotze, a controversial doctor who has told women that birth control would make them unappealing to men and has warned that equality for gays would be a stepping stone to child molestation. Hotze, who runs an alternative medicine practice in suburban Houston and is suing the Obama administration over the Affordable Care Act, organized the event through his political action committee, Conservative Republicans of Texas. […]

    Hotze told a local newspaper reporter that he cased out restaurants before making reservations to make sure they didn’t have any gay employees and became such a divisive figure in local politics that for a brief period the Harris County Republican Party cleaved in two. […]

    http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/06/ted-cruz-steven-hotze-birth-control

    Lot’s of other Texas politicians and infamous whackadoodles lined up to appear at the same event. Ted Cruz was not the only one. More details here: http://www.crtpac.com/defense-of-texas-marriage-amendment-rally/

  55. coffeehound says

    Of course once they secede they’ll have to replace their state motto with a national motto;
    “Welcome to little Somalia, y’all”

  56. John Horstman says

    So I guess the Texas GOP decided that “laboratory of democracy” was just too sissy, and has now gone all-out for “laboratory of nightmarish neo-feudal caste system.” Granted, my local Sconnie Right-wingers aren’t that much better.

  57. alwayscurious says

    We oppose any effort by any authority to mandate such vaccines or any medical database that would contain personal records of citizens without their consent.

    I’m confused: Are they against medical databases in general? Or against only medical databases that contain vaccination records? Or against medical databases mandating vaccines?

    Are they advocating that patients can pick & choose what is included in their medical records? –>Because that’s not a recipe for disaster.

  58. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @twas brillig (stevem)

    re: trans* folk marrying.

    That is, in fact, a consciously anti-trans plank.

    I’ll say more later, I don’t want to forget, but I have to leave. In short: the texas state supreme court won’t take on a case involving a trans* person where validity of marriage is at issue. Why? Because they have 2 different appeals courts saying 2 opposite things: the first is that trans* folk cannot marry people of the legal sex assigned to the trans* person at birth, the second that trans* folk cannot marry people of the legal sex to which the trans* person currently belongs. They are afraid of setting up a precedent that might undermine one or both.

    in the meantime, trans* folk have been deliberately testing their ability to get marriage licenses in various gender configs. The state has resisted any and all attempts, effectively taking the position that no trans* person can be legally married in Tx. It’s no surprise that the republican party would support this. The republican AG has been publicly involved in helping to intimidate counties to reject trans* applicants for marriage licenses.

  59. snorkild says

    Since data is clear that additional money does not translate into educational achievement, and higher education costs are out of control, we support reducing taxpayer funding to all levels of education institutions.

    Supporting better education is bad for business if your voter base is badly educated.

  60. fmitchell says

    The “anti-vax” language, I suspect, is aimed directly at the HPV vaccine, which Rick Parry in a rare display of sanity — or not-so-rare display of helping big business — tried to mandate for all sixth grade girls. The political fight quickly killed the bill, and there are people still pissed about it.

    HPV is one o’ them sexually transmitted diseases, you see, and giving it to teenage girls will make them go out whoring like New Yorkers. We all know the teenage girls of Texas are naturally pure and chaste and would never consider having sex until their daddies picked their husbands for them. They’ve got promise rings, y’all. (Except for the sluts, but there’s no helping some people.) By protecting our girls from cancer that they’d get through SEX, we’d be letting them down. Sure, Texas has the 5th highest teenage pregnancy rate, but they just need more abstinence education and Jesus.

  61. says

    What, no proposal to outlaw foreign languages? The day when you can longer shoot somebody for speaking Not-English is the day Jesus weeps and the Republic dies. Shame on you, Texas, GOP. Bunch of lily-livered commies.

  62. David Marjanović says

    So you should be free to use any kind of lightbulb, but your penis can only go in an approved socket?

    + 1

    I think the first two quotes from the platform are good, as are the ones relating to entitlements, central banking, lightbulbs, monolingual education, and the minimum wage

    That’s a whole Gish gallop… I’m curious why you are against bilingual education, though. Please elaborate!

    Of course once they secede they’ll have to replace their state motto with a national motto;
    “Welcome to little Somalia, y’all”

    Texas: 696,241 km²
    Somalia (in the officially recognized, largely fictitious borders): 637,657 km²

  63. David Marjanović says

    What, no proposal to outlaw foreign languages?

    “Only” an ultimatum of 3 years. From the bottom of the OP:

    This one is titled “Bilingual education”.

    We encourage non-English speaking students to transition to English within three years.

    Shouldn’t that be renamed “Monolingual education”?

  64. says

    Since data is clear that additional money does not translate into educational achievement, and higher education costs are out of control, we support reducing taxpayer funding to all levels of education institutions.

    “An uneducated populace is easier to govern,” the late Turkmen-Bashi once said to a Western Journalist.

    The Daddy of All Turkmen invoked the same argument of high costs to eliminate all education above the eighth grade in his country. Universities were dissolved and libraries shuttered. Private schools and study groups were banned. Education UP to the eighth grade was cleansed of math, science, and all humanities not related to the Quran or Turkmen-Bashi’s own writings, so as not to overburden students with irrelevancies. As a crowning achievement of his program to ease the cost of education by eliminating education, Turkmen-Bashi forbade his subjects to travel outside of Turkmenistan for the purpose of study. Not a single doctor has graduated in Turkmenistan in the past twenty years, and Turkmen are not allowed to attain medical degrees — or any other education — abroad.

    Clearly, all that the Texas GOP has to do is follow the well-drawn roadmap.

  65. says

    @David Marjanovic:

    Not explicit enough. What does it mean “transition to English”? Make speaking Mexican a felony, I say.

  66. says

    coffeehound#63
    Texas is actually a bigger than Somalia, by area and population. Also, it looks like Somalia’s starting to get its shit together, so it’s less fair to compare them to Libertarians now.

    Enoleptus Harding#66
    Why do you assume that coffeehound was referring to Somaliland rather than Somalia? You are aware that there is a place called Somalia, right? And that it’s currently still the official government even of the part of the country that calls itself Somaliland? Of course you aren’t, because you’re an ignorant libertarian twerp.

  67. jeffreylewis says

    “The “anti-vax” language, I suspect, is aimed directly at the HPV vaccine,”

    Probably not. They’ve also got language saying, “We oppose any efforts to mandate that vitamins and other natural supplements be on a prescription–only basis, and we oppose any efforts to remove vitamins and other nutritional supplements from public sale. We support the rights of all adults to their choice of nutritional products and alternative health care choices.”

    And right after that, they’ve got a section with this gem, “We oppose any laws regarding the production, distribution, or consumption of food.”

    It’s just general wooishness.

  68. David Marjanović says

    Not a single doctor has graduated in Turkmenistan in the past twenty years, and Turkmen are not allowed to attain medical degrees — or any other education — abroad.

    :-o I had no idea!

    Why do you assume that coffeehound was referring to Somaliland rather than Somalia?

    Uh, he wasn’t. That’s what the “even” part is about.

    Also, he’s Enopoletus, not Enoleptus.

    We oppose any laws regarding the production, distribution, or consumption of food.

    That’s even better than when… was it Arizona that briefly outlawed all marriage altogether?

  69. Jerry says

    It looks like the Texas GOP slightly changed the wording of their 2012 platform to remove explicitly being against the teaching of critical thinking skills (section 3-16). Maybe they didn’t like getting mocked so much? Now they *say* they are for critical thinking skills, but oppose anything that could endanger “fixed beliefs” (presumably religion) or anything taught by parents. Their idea of education seems to be rote memorization, preferably without paying the teachers for it. Basically, they’re against education that could let a person think for him/herself, making the point about being in favor of critical thinking a lie. Considering the rest of the idiocy that PZ highlighted above, it’s not a shocker. Disgusting, yes, but not surprising.

  70. mikeyb says

    I feel genuinely sorry for people living in the few sane areas of Texas like Austin and San Antonio. This truly is a platform for the dark ages. Shame on Texas voters for endorsing this barbarism time and time again. Until Texas turns blue, I would stay the hell away from Texas unless absolutely necessary.

  71. mikeyb says

    I see what is next on the social agenda. Texas virtually eliminated access to abortions by restricting where they could be located so they are so far away that many more people will be unable to access them and added to it the bogus 20 week idea. I fear for any woman who has complications after 20 weeks to try to do anything about it.

    Next will be the initiative to gut public education and funnel it into gay reparative therapy, perhaps Marcus Bachmann can head it up. Perhaps some of the money can also go into rewriting creationism into textbooks and commissioning Christian art exhibits for public buildings. Maybe they can display Jesus with an AK-47 chasing immigrants across the border, perhaps combine some of the values together.

  72. annie55 says

    There are no words, except possibly for the ones that came out of the mouth of my snarky 13 year old:

    Re: “We encourage non-English speaking students to transition to English within
    three years.”

    “Fine, but only if they make 3 years of foreign language a graduation requirement for everyone.”

  73. hexidecima says

    time to refuse any disaster funds from going to Texas. Indeed, kick them out of the US. Sorry, those few of you who are intelligent and still live there. Move. Let these twits rot in their own stupidity. There is nothing more to be done here.

  74. twas brillig (stevem) says

    jeffreylewis@76:

    HPV is one o’ them sexually transmitted diseases, you see, and giving it to teenage girls will make them go out whoring like New Yorkers.

    uhhmm, did you have to go all Yorker-shaming like that? Why not just end after “… go out whoring.” [full stop]? tsk, tsk.

    I feel genuinely sorry for people living in the few sane areas of Texas like Austin and San Antonio.

    Good to know that Austin ain’t alone in Tex. Did not know San Antonio was also sane in the land of Big Everything. Is Antonio sane because of; Sainthood or Alamo? ^_^

  75. caesar says

    @18:

    There is also a Reason for allowing slightly lower requirements for one race vs. another; to compensate for all the other racial hindrances they had to overcome to even ask you for a position

    Requirements should not be lowered for anyone. The whole point of affirmative action is to ensure that qualified candidates have the same chance of getting hired as anyone else, race notwithstanding. Lowering requirements for certain groups is condescending towards those groups in addition to creating resentment. Having diversity in the workforce should not mean that employers have to give unqualified candidates a leg up in the process just because they’re part of certain minority groups.

  76. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Having diversity in the workforce should not mean that employers have to give unqualified candidates a leg up in the process just because they’re part of certain minority groups.

    I’ve found only racists make this claim. There are always qualified candidates out there. Some of the get rejected due to their skin color, accent, or other fuckwitted reason. Unless there is pressure to even interview said candidates, companies can and dismiss anybody not “white” enough.

  77. inflection says

    I’m on the platform-writing committee for my County Democratic Party. It’s a bit of a slog, though it’s worth it. We have diverse viewpoints to consider and want to make sure the policies we support are data-supported and fair in the costs they would impose.

    This makes things so easy! All we have to do is print this out and add a big “NOT THIS” stamp on the cover!

  78. says

    lynna @ 3:09pm:

    Hotze told a local newspaper reporter that he cased out restaurants before making reservations to make sure they didn’t have any gay employees …

    that sounds like a whole lotta blow jobs but like most self-loathers i’m sure hotze was up to the task.

  79. bortedwards says

    As an Australian and native english speaker, I’d challenge many of the people who propose this bill to speak english properly, I sure as hell can’t understand them.

    Ps, as an Australian and native sane person, is this for real? THIS is genuinely the platform of one of the two main political parties in this country? Wow. Im sorry….

  80. ambassadorfromverdammt says

    As a Canadian, I am curious: Is it possible for a party’s entire platform to be declared unconstitutional? On the grounds of, well, the constitution and it’s amendments?

  81. chigau (your display name can be anything you want) says

    aarrgghh #88
    FYI
    Trotting out the trope of ‘homophobes are closeted fags’ is a very bad idea.

  82. says

    Students have the right to display patriotic items on school property

    Why should students get all the fun, and only on school property? What about my right hang patriotic items* from my front porch?

    *Stars-and-stripes patterned dildoes.

  83. What a Maroon, el papa ateo says

    I’m all for monolingual education.

    But only if I get to pick the language.

    Нэгдүгээр ангид миний бяцхан Texan тавтай морилно уу.

  84. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I haven’t seen such a pile of presuppostitional fuckwittery since Hovind’s students presented their “arguments” for their imaginary deity.

  85. What a Maroon, el papa ateo says

    chigau,

    ಸ್ವಲ್ಪ ಕಿಡಿಗೇಡಿಗಳೊಂದಿಗೆ ತಯಾರಾಗಿದ್ದೀರಿ ಬಂದ

  86. chigau (your display name can be anything you want) says

    What a Maroon
    No one expects the little bastards!

  87. says

    @annie55 #81

    “Fine, but only if they make 3 years of foreign language a graduation requirement for everyone.”

    -Making any class a requirement for everyone is a recipe for the relevant class being filled with unmotivated and school-selected (rather than self-selected) students, a dumbing down of the curriculum, and a general deterioration of the class environment. Besides, it isn’t like the vast majority of students are going to continue learning the languages which they began learning in school. For all children who happen to be U.S. permanent residents, learning English is almost always worth it. Signing up for foreign language classes is typically not.

  88. chigau (your display name can be anything you want) says

    -Making any class a requirement for everyone is a recipe for the relevant class being filled with unmotivated and school-selected (rather than self-selected) students, a dumbing down of the curriculum, and a general deterioration of the class environment.
    [citations needed]

  89. says

    @ 99
    -Personal experience and conversations with teachers. Specifically, what kind of references were you looking for? I think my statements are self-evident.

  90. coffeehound says

    Texas: 696,241 km²
    Somalia (in the officially recognized, largely fictitious borders): 637,657 km²

    Yes, I figured someone would mention that, but Little Somalia sounds better than Somalia II, or any other reference to a second Somalia. Artistic license and all that; If the point that Texas is becoming a libertarian paradise ( swing and a miss, Enopoletus)was understood then the statement served its purpose regardless changing status, but thank you, I should read a bit more about present day politicsand advances in Somalia.
    David @ 77,

    That’s even better than when… was it Arizona that briefly outlawed all marriage altogether?

    I think it was Oklahoma.

  91. chigau (your display name can be anything you want) says

    —–Enopoletus Harding
    ——Your statements are assuredly self-evident.

  92. Menyambal says

    It may be that the document is a compilation of all the possible things that anybody could possibly want in the final platform, and they are going to winnow it down in committee. That’s how I would have set it up, but then I would not have included such raving shite.

  93. chigau (your display name can be anything you want) says

    Menyambal
    If you include raving shite, it give The Them something obvious to cut.

  94. inflection says

    ambassador@90:

    If that’s a serious question, well, it’s only laws that are declared unconstitutional. It’s just a wish list.

  95. opposablethumbs says

    “-Making any class a requirement for everyone is a recipe for the relevant class being filled with unmotivated and school-selected (rather than self-selected) students, a dumbing down of the curriculum, and a general deterioration of the class environment.”

    You don’t have minimum required classes in English and mathematics in USAlienstan????

  96. wirebash says

    aarrgghh @44:

    What you quoted from the article

    We know that fundamental human rights are inherent to individuals and are granted by God and are protected by the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution. They are not products of others labor

    This struck me as well, in a different way. Human rights are not formulated because they are things everyone has, and because god gave rights to everyone we don’t need to care.

    Rights are things every person should have. In practice, not everyone has equal rights, and it requires work to fix that. Simply stating that god gave us rights is shifting your responsibility to someone else. And even if it is true that our rights actually come from god, that has the implication that his holiness screwed up his job and should be held responsible. Why would they even want that to be true?

    I see this attitude all the time. “We don’t need to take responsibility because Thine is the power, to hell with people that dare to complain. Also thank you for our daily bread.”

    Oh yes, but we do have to work for a fetus rights. Because what the feck.
    It requires so much mental strain to be able to justify your inaction because ‘In god we trust’ while at the same time engaging in charity because ‘god appointed us as stewards.’ Is that really how christians live? Really? It seems absurd to the highest degree, yet experience tells me that that’s how some christians actually live.

  97. twas brillig (stevem) says

    “-Making any class a requirement for everyone is a recipe for the relevant class being filled with unmotivated and school-selected (rather than self-selected) students, a dumbing down of the curriculum, and a general deterioration of the class environment.”

    You don’t have minimum required classes in English and mathematics in USAlienstan????

    Only in Grade School are English and Maths _required_. High Schools have languages as an Optional course (self-selected options), to make them required would put All those pesky, rebellious teens in language class whether they want to or not. And you know a teen in a class he doesn’t want to be in. They’ll be totally disruptive and deteriorate the environment. You know, everybody knows, how pesky teens are and how disruptive they can be when attempting to learn them things they don’t want. [how many cliches can I throw around, in this screed???]

  98. marcmagus says

    @opposablethumbs #106

    You don’t have minimum required classes in English and mathematics in USAlienstan????

    I don’t know about Texas, but New York requires 4 years “English” (mostly literature), 2 years mathematics, and 3 years foreign language at the high school level (and plenty of other stuff, of course). Or at least it did mumble years ago.

    I don’t know how much the ever-hated Common Core has done to change the state-by-state nature of the issue.

  99. opposablethumbs says

    :-) twas brillig.
    (btw, what ages are we talking about when you use terms like Grade School and High School? Here in UKlandia, English and Maths are obligatory up to age 16)

  100. opposablethumbs says

    Thank you marcmagus (that reminds me that I should really have put that a bit differently, considering how much things can vary between states. But I was mostly taking the mickey out of Enopoletus Harding :-) )

  101. twas brillig (stevem) says

    re @110:

    for the UKanians: Grade School is the equiv of your Primary, we call grades 1-8; about ages 5-13yo. USanian HighSchool, I think UKanians call Secondary; is typically for 14-18yo (grades 9-12).
    “Here in UKlandia, English and Maths are obligatory up to age 16)”. Caught me there, technically, yes English and Math(s) are mandatory in High School. And High School is also mandatory up to age 16 (when ‘dropouts’ are tolerated, and only frowned upon). High School does not mean all classes are optional. They do have a mandatory list for that sheepskin at the end, but Languages are definitely optional only, not on the mandatory list at all. But to get back to my cliches; the rowdy teens in those mandatory classes prove that mandatory language classes will also be dominated by rowdies. And look how all those mandatories are dumbed-down to teach-to-the-test only and get the politicoes nonsense in there as well. *cough* Seriously, mandating ESL is the WRONG solution to a non-existent problem. TexGOP delusions are non-productive. What is wrong with letting people stumble over English (aka Americish)? Have they never listened to the “real Texans” speak what they call “Texan”? Is what they speak English, or is that exactly why they want English mandatory? To get all the Muricans to speak English? [gee, reading what I wrote, I'm running off the rails again...oops reading the GOP platform set me over the edge...] ^_^

  102. opposablethumbs says

    reading the GOP platform set me over the edge…] ^_^

    As it would any decent human being. This Texan GOP platform is so far over the edge they can’t even see the edge from here … it’s the kind of thing it would be wonderful to be able to just laugh at – if only it weren’t being espoused by people with the power to actually fuck up other people’s lives.

  103. What a Maroon, el papa ateo says

    opposablethumbs,

    This Texan GOP platform is so far over the edge they can’t even see the edge from here …

    They’re in that suspended animation state where they’ve run off the cliff but haven’t yet looked down and started falling.

  104. David Marjanović says

    I’ve found only racists make this claim. There are always qualified candidates out there. Some of the get rejected due to their skin color, accent, or other fuckwitted reason. Unless there is pressure to even interview said candidates, companies can and dismiss anybody not “white” enough.

    Similarly: “The idea isn’t to introduce quotas for women; it’s to abolish quotas for men.”

    David Marjanović #77
    -Exactly.

    Thank you. Now, would you be so nice as to answer my question about what you have against bilingual education? I’m genuinely curious!

    I’m all for monolingual education.

    But only if I get to pick the language.

    Yay, Mongolian! ^_^

    Yes, I figured someone would mention that, but Little Somalia sounds better than Somalia II, or any other reference to a second Somalia.

    Greater Somalia. Everything is bigger in Texas! :-)

  105. says

    @ opposablethumbs #106

    You don’t have minimum required classes in English and mathematics in USAlienstan????

    -We do. The benefits (e.g., improved English and mathematics literacy) outweigh the costs, which include those costs that I’ve mentioned.

    @115

    In the fall of 2001, I asked several former bilingual-education teachers who were now teaching in sheltered English-immersion classrooms whether they would ever go back to bilingual education. Not a single teacher said yes. All preferred sheltered English immersion, even though they thought it was harder work for them as teachers. A recurring theme was that “bilingual education was a good theory, but in practice it just didn’t work very well.”

    - http://educationnext.org/the-near-end-of-bilingual-education/

    @ twas brillig (stevem) #112
    -The fact they’re cliches doesn’t mean they’re somehow inaccurate.

  106. cattleya1 says

    English only – after 3 years? I live in Naples, FL – what I think of as the richer-than-you outpost of Teabagistan. During the winter, I can walk through the grocery and hear people speaking German, French, Spanish, Haitian Creole, Portuguese, and (incidentally) English. The wealthy Germans and French ( and upper-crust teabaggers) go home when it gets too hot for their taste. I’ll just bet it would be a different world it somehow someone sneaked in and taught all of their children a ‘foreign’ language. [Personally, I find it kind of perverse that so many of the people at the grocery just assume that a fifty-something white American doesn't have a clue what they might be saying to each other about me, us...]

  107. ck says

    You know, I’ve heard this line often, and there’s always one thing I want to say about it:

    America is exceptional.

    Then prove it. You don’t get to be exceptional just by asserting it. Many of the things that are exceptional about the United States these days aren’t things you’d really want to be proud of (things like the percentage of the population that is incarcerated), and the country is looking downright mediocre by many other metrics.

  108. says

    ck:
    I’ve heard that phrase thrown around many times (more often than not by conservatives), but I still don’t understand it either. I *think* it has something to do with democracy and constitutional freedoms, but it’s not like the US has the market cornered on either.
    What’s funny is that AFAIK, people in the US are the ones throwing the phrase around. I don’t recall people in other countries saying it (well, not in a positive light).

  109. dawkinsjr says

    Hey Texas, have you considered the fact that your state is drying up and lakes are disappearing might indicate god doesn’t like you so much?

  110. inquiringlaurence says

    An “objective education” does not teach a particular religious doctrine along with a scientific fact accepted by about 999 out of 1,000 scientists who have expertise in the field. We do not need Republicans to establish the standards for science education, we need scientists to establish the standards for science education.

  111. carlie says

    And right after that, they’ve got a section with this gem, “We oppose any laws regarding the production, distribution, or consumption of food.”

    They don’t want people to have safe food.

    They don’t want people to have safe food.

    They don’t want people to have safe food.

    Think they’d hold onto that position publicly the first time that a bunch of nice white babies got sick from adulterated formula?

    uhhmm, did you have to go all Yorker-shaming like that? Why not just end after “… go out whoring.” [full stop]? tsk, tsk.

    He was pretending to be a stereotypcial Texan, and part of the stereotype is that they hate New Yorkers.
    Of course, New York isn’t as far from Texas as people would like to think – we have a Democratic governor who hates unions and whose biggest initiative is handing over land publicly owned for education to private corporations as fast as he can.

  112. twas brillig (stevem) says

    re @120:

    Hey Texas, have you considered the fact that your state is drying up and lakes are disappearing might indicate god doesn’t like you so much?

    I think Gov. Perry HAS thought of that. He even had a statewide Prayer Day for Rain. Didn’t end the drought so that didn’t appease God’s apathy of Texas. But the Texas dryness is only His apathy, if He didn’t like Texas, just look at Oklahoma. Tornadoes all the time, big ones. So why are those Oklahomans ticking off God so much? Cuz of all those whorin New Yorkers. That’s why they want National laws against everything, cuz God gots such lousy aim. Anybody pisses him off, he’ll just lash out and hit whatever.
    [oh my, today is Sunday; so I'm going off da railz, to attack God, for whadeva slim reazon I canz]

  113. says

    Please send your Constitutional Experts and Judges to the UK. I know a fair number of trade union activists who would take them to pieces over their inability to read. They would also be all over at the incompetence of the writers of the 2nd Amendment.

    2nd Amendment
    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. –
    2008 court ruling here
    http://constitution.findlaw.com/amendment2/amendment.html

    If you take the (unusual) step of saying ‘The People’ means each individual citizen you CAN NOT have any form of gun control mandated by the Federal State or its constituents(States, counties etc).

    Those last 14 words are unambiguous. You can not pass any law that restricts weapon ownership: You can NOT stop ex-criminals from bearing arms. The moment you say people=citizen you include all those who are currently banned from owning a weapon, because no distinction is made in the wording.

    You can also not be stopped from carrying a weapon on any publicly owned/Federal land – the moment the White House security guards stop you carrying a weapon into the White House tour the agents of the Government are infringing on your right.

    Note I’ve used ‘Weapon’ and ‘Arms’ – the loop hole is you say that ‘Yes,Mr Lunatic, you can carry a weapon – a spear’ (still deadly, but easier to avoid). Of course the argument is that that is the ONLY weapon anyone can carry – if person A can not carry the range of weapons person B is then his right is infringed compared to a fellow citizen.

    However, within the LETTER of the 2nd you can ban all weapons except (say) a dagger – you are still free to bear arms.

    Yes America is exceptional. But then, as noted above, so is Turkmenistan.

    PS
    Re 3 years to learn – Until you put the ‘U’s back in and take the ‘zeds’ (not zee) out IT ISN’T ENGLISH ;)

  114. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    However, within the LETTER of the 2nd you can ban all weapons except (say) a dagger – you are still free to bear arms.

    Nope, only in the context of a WELL REGULATED MILITIA, which ceased to exist many moons ago. Learn to read. No militia, no right to arms.

  115. says

    Ian:

    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. –

    While you’re paying attention to the last 14 words, how about the first 4? That’s directly related to the right to bear arms.

  116. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The Supreme Court has already determined in McDonald v. Chicago that Nerd is wrong.

    And constitutional scholars said the SCOTUS was idiotlogical, not legal, in their decision.

  117. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    For example, from Cornell:

    On the other hand, some scholars point to the prefatory language “a well regulated Militia” to argue that the Framers intended only to restrict Congress from legislating away a state’s right to self-defense. Scholars have come to call this theory “the collective rights theory.” A collective rights theory of the Second Amendment asserts that citizens do not have an individual right to possess guns and that local, state, and federal legislative bodies therefore possess the authority to regulate firearms without implicating a constitutional right.

    When Scalia and Thomas are gone from the court, rationality might come back on the issue.

  118. Ichthyic says

    The Supreme Court has already determined in McDonald v. Chicago that Nerd is wrong

    no, they determined their own, rather unique, viewpoint on the issue.

    wrong/right don’t fucking come into it, otherwise, we can go back and review all the times that SCOTUS decided that women and minorities didn’t actually have equal rights, which was in blatant violation of the constitution, and nobody did fuck all about it for decades. I wouldn’t say that people who wanted civil rights for ALL americans were wrong, would you? I wouldn’t say that SCOTUS said they were wrong, either.

    sorry, but the day the Supreme Court does not decide what is right and wrong. not their purview.

  119. Ichthyic says

    They would also be all over at the incompetence of the writers of the 2nd Amendment.

    timing is key.

    how many laws are still on the books in the UK that are absolutely ridiculous in modern times, and still based on their original wording from at least a hundred years prior?

    dozens?

    hundreds?

    why, it must be because lawyers in the UK aren’t worth their salt.

    or is that too old of an insult to even have relevance any more?

  120. Menyambal says

    The Second Amendment is an afterthought, a followup. The body of the Constitution makes it clear that the militia was supplied arms by the government, it was not private citizens with their own weapons. The 2nd was to make clear that citizens could serve in the militia, and could practice the needed arms drills, which required they have access to the government-supplied arms for practice. This was distinct from mercenary armies, and from the arms being issued only in time of war. (Muskets and maneuvers took a damn lot of practice. )

    Anybody who reads only the 2nd, and who ignores the 1st part of it, is not getting the whole picture, and is likely to be led by their ideology. The gun nuts are wrong.

  121. opposablethumbs says

    Even if the literal, nit-pickingly parsed meaning of that oh-so-sacred text is that anybody can wander about with a grenade-launcher under each arm and a machine-gun between their teeth, it’s blindingly obvious that anyone who takes it to this conclusion in actual practice (or sincerely argues same) is a dangerous person who is incapable of being “responsible” and has no regard for their fellow-humans. I know the old chestnut about English law still having statutes on the books that make it a legal obligation for men to practise archery every weekend is a myth, but these gun-fondler interpretations make about as much sense in today’s circumstances.

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