Marion Brothers

Marion Brothers

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20500


Attn: President Barack Obama



Wednesday, November 21, 2012


RE: Texans Petition to Secede

United We Stand: Divided We Fall



Dear Mr. President:


There have been recent published reports about some Texans desiring to secede from the Union. The most recent includes today’s Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s editorial. At last count per this writing, there are now 116,070 signatures on a petition for such purpose.


Though this number hardly represents the majority of Texans, we recognize that all citizens are entitled by the First Amendment of the Constitution the Right to Petition the Government for Redress of Grievances.


Seeing that you have obligated yourself to a response on a petition with more than 25,000 signatures, I would like to weigh in on your deliberation on this issue, and advise you not to make the same mistake made by President Abraham Lincoln. Instead, you should learn from history, because this secessionist movement in Texas is not unprecedented.


When Texas seceded from the Union in 1861, only one-in-four Texans owned slaves. This minority usurped the authority of Governor Sam Houston, the revered father of Texas, who opposed the secessionist movement. Lincoln even offered Houston military help to suppress this uprising. But, for the sake of peace within the state, the governor acquiesced to the rebellious minority who subsequently evicted him from office by force on March 16, 1861. He was replaced by Lieutenant Governor Edward Clark.


It is no wonder that this portion of Texas history hardly appears in the history books. Otherwise, it would reveal the illegitimacy of the Confederate government in Texas. The Ordinance of Secession was never put before the majority of the citizens of the state, lest they would have opposed it like the governor.


A little known fact is that Texas held large pockets of abolitionists, prior to and during the Civil War. And though that state was separated from the Union, it was divided against itself within. There were pro-Union Texans actively fighting against the Confederacy throughout the war.


In the end, African-Americans survived, with the help of their abolitionist allies, and not necessarily by the grace of Abraham Lincoln. Likewise, we believe Texans of abolitionist heritage will survive this secession movement also, despite economic cuts and scale backs by the state to our community.


We wish no part in these hostilities, nor do we concur with this petition for secession. When we pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and ourselves to be One Nation, under God, Indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for All, we express our true patriotic colors. Those who pledge allegiance and wave their flags at every public event, and then turn against the United States, are hypocrites, because you cannot cling to two masters: Old Glory and the Confederate southern tradition.


I do not believe most Texans hold the same sentiments of Peter Morrison, treasurer of the Hardin County, who says, “Why should Vermont and Texas live under the same government? Let each go her own way.” What is at issue is this: If the rest of the United States cannot concur with Texas, then the rest of the states can go their merry out. Texas is big enough to take care of itself. So says the petition:


Given that the state of Texas maintains a balanced budget and is the 15th largest economy in the world, it is practically feasible for Texas to withdraw from the union.


Please note also that the petition requests “peaceful” separation. Otherwise, suggesting the violent overthrow of the U.S. would be as seditious and criminal as an Al Qaeda plot. Therefore, so far, the petitioners are within their rights. But the minority does not have right over majority rule as the usurpation of power in 1861. Whereas the Texas Ordinance of Secession was never put before the citizens of the state, no such petition to secede should ever be enacted with the concurrence of the will of the majority living in the state.


Therefore, Mr. President, my advisement would be to let Texas vote its way out of the Union. If there are counties that still cleave to the Union, they should be allowed to. El Paso and Houston are already drafting petitions to secede from the state of Texas. So also is Austin.


The mistake made by President Lincoln was trying to forcefully hold the Union together. Texas is already separated from the Union by continued resistance to federal authority and policies. The basis of the petitioners’ grievance is this: The US continues to suffer economic difficulties stemming from the federal government's neglect to reform domestic and foreign spending.


But when a Texan, George W. Bush, was in the White House, turning a surplus economy into a deficit, there was not a peep in Texas about secession. The petitioners’ desires to separate themselves from continuing economic “difficulties” ignores the true origin of our economic woes.


How can these petitioners gripe about economic conditions, on the one hand, and boast about the state’s economic solvency, on the other. If Texas is doing so good economically as they boast in their petition, then on whose behalf are they complaining? Do they assume guardianship of the rest of the United States to speak on their behalf? And how can 116,070 petitioners speak for the entire state of Texas and the entire American people?


If Texas truly wants to secede, then let it be by democratic referendum. If passed, the state of Texas should then be regarded as a foreign government. Abolitionists should not be forced to pledge allegiance thereto, nor have their freedoms by armed forces or treats of lynching, as in the past. Instead, pro-Unionists living in the state should be treated as patriots abroad.


We would support the federal government closing its facilities and moving to other states. Federal contracts to the defense industries should be cancelled. Federal construction should cease. And, federal grants and aid should be cut off or doled out on an as-needs basis, as to a foreign government.


It is not necessary to be overly concerned about pro-Union citizens in the state, as Abe Lincoln did in 1861. We will survive, though divided we fall.


Respectfully Submitted,
Eddie Griffin

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Obama Wins: Texas Talk Secession

By Eddie Griffin
Tuesday, November 13, 2012


We can understand some angry temperament after the election of President Barack Obama over Mitt Romney. But all this ranting about Texas seceding from the union is nonsensical. It is akin to a spoiled child who, when he cannot get his way, pitches a temper tantrum. Such a child, we recognize, needs a time-out to cool off and come to their senses.


Texas needs some time for self-reflection and soul-searching, lest we make ourselves a bigger laughing stock than our governor has made us. We, Texans, are more than just a crop of 25,000 signatures on a petition to secede from the union. This minority of dissenters cannot usurp the voice of the majority unless we let it. This is what happened with the writing of Ordinance of Secession in 1861 and the annulment of the Texas allegiance to the Union. The change in the state’s constitution was never being put before the populous for approval.


At the time secession, only one-fourth of the property holders in Texas owed slaves. This minority of pro-slavery advocates usurped state power and forcefully evicted Governor Sam Houston from office for his refusal to take an oath to the Confederacy.


Thus, Texas became a Confederate state through secession, not by popular consent, but by minority usurpation. Lest history repeats itself, someone must speak for the majority and set the records straight.


The United States of America came to the rescue of Texas during the Republic’s War for independence against Mexico. The nation absorbed the state’s $10 million debt and made it a part of the Union in 1845. And, even after Texas broke away to join the ill-fated Confederacy, the state was allowed to return to the Union fold on March 30, 1870, on nothing more than a promise to preserve the Union and write a new constitution that recognized the rights of African-American freedmen.


When we pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, we proclaim that we are One Nation, under God, Indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for All. But there are some who would send a mixed message to our children after losing an election for the presidency in 2012:


Why should Vermont and Texas live under the same government? Let each go her own way,” says Peter Morrison, treasurer of the Hardin County Republican Party.


Even more, a judge from Lubbock predicted over the summer that the president's reelection could even lead to a civil war. The Cincinnati Tea Party proclaimed the nation dead after the election.


Were these not the same sentiments of the slave states when Abraham Lincoln won the election of 1860?


The irony in all this is the fact that Governor Sam Houston opposed secession, wherein Governor Rick Perry talks out of both sides of his mouth. He was the first to raise the specter of secession. Now he is opposed to it… maybe. Nobody knows what Perry will do. If he opts for peace and reconciliation, then he has must realize that he has already kindled a fire in 20 states which will be hard to quench by only a few peacemakers.


What will become of all the defense industry contractors in the state of Texas? What will become of all the federal employees in the state? What will become of the federal highways passing through the state? What will become of all the federal dollars to colleges and universities in the state for research? What will become of federal Title 1 funds to public schools? If Texas expulsed everything associated with the United State of America, it will become another Mexico, begging for trade and commerce from the other 49 states.


Friday, October 5, 2012

Unemployment Dips to 7.8%: Sour Grapes for GOP

What to say when the doomsday scenario doesn’t pan out: UPDATE "This is not what a real recovery looks like," Romney said.


Like a flip-flopping, fast talking used car salesman, Mitt Romney may have outscored Barack Obama in verbiage in the recent debate. But his doomsday scenario about the economy is becoming unraveled. For the longest, his campaign tagline has been: Unemployment has been above 8% since President Obama took office. The economy is getting worse, not better.


However, today’s report shows that the economy added 114,000 jobs in September, sending the unemployment rate down to 7.8%. What will Mitt Romney say now? Will he continue to say the economy is failing, when “the economy has now added jobs for 24 straight months”?


What will the prophets of doom, like Rush Limbaugh, say? As we all recall, from the time Limbaugh professed that he “hopes Obama fails”, there has been of chorus of audio suggestions of the president’s failing. Like sorcery and witchcraft that repeatedly suggest to a healthy man that he is sick, some people were convinced that our economy is dying. What now? A new false prophecy?


The usual recourse to the evident improvement has been this “sour grapes” assertion: But fewer people are looking for jobs because millions are dropping out of the job market. So the employment numbers do not tell the whole story. People are hurting.


This is what we can expect to hear from the partisan naysayers who prefer to paint a dismal economic picture, in order to recapture the White House. Bad news is good news to them, because it enhances their cry for change. But if it ain’t broke, why fix it?


That the economy is improving, despite every attempt by Republicans to make Obama a one-term president, they conveniently forget from whence we come, though Romney himself acknowledges the bad situation the president inherited. But, according to him, “things have gotten no better”. Proof: Above 8% unemployment.


By now, we all know that a falling economy does not reverse course just because of a new presidency. Economic laws dictate that an economy must bottom out first. And, by the time Obama took office, the economy was still in free fall.


Maybe with a little more cooperation from the Republicans in Congress, the bleeding might have been abated before unemployment soared above 10%. Enough said: This administration helped break the fall by implementing a stimulus program that included a government bailout of the auto industry and Wall Street. Workers went back to work. The world financial markets were stabilized.


For the sake of peace between parties, the administration forewent taking punitive criminal action against those who caused the crisis. And, Wall Street took a reprieve to resume doing business as usual, using government money to pay high salaries and bonuses. This, no doubt, will cease, if Obama is given a second term.


On the other hand, the GOP wants to go back to business as usual, back to old policies and strategies that caused the previous collapse, mainly by giving tax breaks to the rich, in the hopes to induce more investment in the private sector and create new jobs.


This prescription was once called “Trickle Down Economics”. The misdiagnosis comes in when Finance Capital seeks profit wherever it may be found in the global market. It does not necessarily go out create jobs for a patriotic reason. The slogan Made in America was created to boost domestic productivity, and hence induce Capital to stay inside the United States.


The Obama administration removed the financial incentives for shipping jobs overseas by raising taxes on those who export jobs. This goes contrary to Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital approach. If Bain were patriotic to the U.S. in job creation motive, it would not have offices in London, Luxembourg, Munich, Mumbai, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tokyo.


Keeping jobs at home has been a priority of the Obama administration. And, through federal support for education, the administration is trying to enhance the domestic jobs market with more skilled workers, in higher payer fields, rather than having to recruit from overseas. And, through innovations, it has opened up new markets and new employment opportunities.


Now that the unemployment rate has dipped below Romney’s baseline benchmark, the only thing the prophets of doom can say is: “Sour grapes”.

 Eddie G. Griffin




Saturday, September 22, 2012

Addressing Rape Kit Backlog


“A good idea is a good idea”, says the Star-Telegram. Especially when it comes to the health and well-being of women, some good ideas are better. To this end, almost everybody agrees, almost.


Creating a Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence Registry that will help eliminate the horrible backlog of 400,000 untested rape kits is a good idea, because it would expedite bringing sexual predators to justice.


Justice delayed is justice denied for victims of sex crimes. The delay means having to live with a nightmare every day of their lives, fearing their assailant is still on the prowl.


Texas State Senator Wendy Davis came to the rescue of these victims when she championed SB 1636, which imposes a time limit on processing these rape kits, some of which date back 20 years or more.


Women want Justice. Victims need closure.


U.S. Senator John Cornyn agreed and drafted a similar bill in the Congress. And amid great fanfare over the bill’s passage out the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, Davis joined hands with Cornyn in celebration. A Democrat one hand and a Republican on the other, some issues are greater than both.


The vast backlog of unprocessed rape kits in Texas is currently being slowly aided along by federal grants, because most localities cannot afford the $1000 processing cost. This means, however, that as the backlog grows, sexual predators will be walking the streets.


Davis drafted SB1636 in order to force law enforcement agencies to give account of these unsolved rape cases and the backlog of DNA evidence. But some critics complained that it created an “unfunded mandate” upon local governments. Therefore, instead of forcing these agencies to bear a cost beyond their means, Davis softened the bill with the insertion “as funding became available”. As a result, SB1636 passed unanimously.

Where Davis’ SB 1636 leaves off, John Cornyn’s SAFER Act (S.3250) in the U.S. Congress picks up. It amends the DNA Analysis Backlog Elimination Act of 2000 and goes beyond the Debbie Smith grants to expedite auditing sexual assault evidence backlogs and to establish a Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence Registry.

NOTE: Society should spare no expense when it comes to Public Safety. And, though the wheels of Justice grind slowly, this state and federal legislation would help bring some closure to an old wound of unresolved cold cases.


Everybody believes this is good idea, right? Wrong.


State Representative Dr. Mark Shelton, R-Fort Worth, voted against SB 1636. Considering all opposition removed, why would he, of all people, vote against it? Doesn’t he care about the health and well-being of women? After all, he is a pediatrician. Surely, he must have treated child rape victims.


Or, was it personal politics, a vindictive vote against Sen. Wendy Davis, who has become a champion of women’s causes in the state legislature, and whose senate seat he covets? If so, it appears that women’s health and well-being have taken a back seat to Shelton’s political aspiration. And, it would be a fair speculation to assume that he never laid eyes on the bill, nor seriously considered its discussion. So, how much more could he care for rape victims?


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Texas Loses another Round in Redistrict Gerrymandering Case

As soon as we captured Senate District 10 in 2008 with the candidacy of Wendy Davis, the Republican-dominated legislature set a course to cut out the minority precincts which supported and boosted Davis, a Democrat, into office. The Texas legislature’s redistricting plan redrew the boundaries for Congress and the state House and Senate districts, at our exclusion and without our input, and in contradiction to the Voting Rights Act.


Wendy Davis took Texas to court over Senate District 10, while at the same time Marc Veasey took the state to court over defining the boundaries of the new Congressional District 33. The case was heard first in the federal court in the Western District of Texas.


Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott defended the redistricting plan, and also put forth the same plan before a three-judge panel in Washington, D.C., in order to gain “preclearance” approval.


As it turned out, the federal court in Texas threw out the Texas legislature’s redistricting map, and drew up a new map. Attorney General Abbott and Governor Rick Perry immediately appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. But the High Court refused to endorse Texas' plan, but claimed that the lower court had overstepped its bounds. The case was sent back to the federal court in Texas, where the redistricting map boundaries would again undergo the slow process of being redrawn.


In the process, and as the Republican primary season in Texas lingered unsettled pending litigation, a compromise between parties was reached. Wendy Davis was awarded her original senate district back, and Congressional District 33 would be drawn as a minority-majority district.


NOW, the verdict is in on the other case, where Texas’s attempted and end-run around the Obama Justice Department to gain preclearance through the D.C. court.



The gamble by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and Republican lawmakers to bypass the Obama Justice Department with redistricting maps backfired big time when a federal court on Tuesday rejected all the plans, even one that U.S. officials hadn't found objectionable.


The three-judge panel, which held a trial in January, concluded that the Republican-dominated Legislature's redrawing of districts for Congress and the state House and Senate did not comply with the federal Voting Rights Act.


What's more, the court said lawmakers acted with discriminatory intent in crafting boundaries for congressional districts and Fort Worth's Senate District 10, represented by Democrat Wendy Davis.


Even though the Justice Department had not objected to the Texas Senate map, the court was persuaded by arguments from Davis and others that SD 10 was improperly reconfigured in a way that "cracked" African-American and Hispanic voters who had coalesced to elect her in 2008.


“That Texas did not, and now fails to respond sufficiently to the parties' evidence of discriminatory intent, compels us to conclude that the Senate Plan was enacted with discriminatory purpose as to SD 10,” wrote Judge Thomas Griffith, U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C.


The court cited several factors pointing to discriminatory purpose in developing the congressional map: The Legislature “removed the economic guts” from the three districts represented by African Americans, while “no such surgery was performed on the districts of Anglo incumbents”.



Abbott tweeted that he would appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, and he issued a statement saying the appellate judges' decision "extends the Voting Rights Act beyond the limits intended by Congress and beyond the boundaries imposed by the Constitution."



This is the question that Texas wants to present before the High Court: The Constitutionality of the Voting Rights Acts, as currently administered and enforced. In its fight for state’s rights sovereignty, Texas does not want to be compelled to pre-clear electoral changes through the federal Department of Justice.


In the previous Supreme Court’s ruling in (Governor Rick) Perry v. (State Senator Wendy) Davis, some members of the Court hinted at taking on the 1965 Voting Rights Act, as if sections of the old Civil Rights law may have outlived its purpose, because the era of racial discrimination is over.


It might be noted that other states are also taking aim at the Act on the same grounds, and the Republican Party itself is advocating the law's complete abolition. But the gerrymandering of SD 10 is proof, in and of itself, of the need for continued federal Civil Rights protection for minority voting districts.


Without such protection, it would be legal for a Texas GOP-dominated legislature to remove “the economic guts from the three districts represented by African Americans, while no such surgery (would be) performed on the districts of Anglo incumbents”, as stated by the U.S. Appeal Court.




Thursday, August 2, 2012

Election Results: The Called and Chosen Protégés

Many are called, but few are chosen-

In the July 31 runoff election, we elected Marc Veasey for Democrat U.S. Congress District 33, and Nicole Collier, Democrat, for Veasey’s vacated Texas House District 95 seat. In the wings await incumbent Texas Senator Wendy Davis, District 10.

These are our chosen, from the ranks of the Democratic Party, trained and mentored, to go out and do battle against the Republican opposition. The stars are aligned, from here (DFW) to Congress and to the White House.

While people are complaining about things which have no immediate solution, and vie for debate, we, on our end, are training up the next generation of leadership who has the courage and smarts to tackle the problems.

Marc Veasey, Wendy Davis, and Nicole Collier have each been thoroughly mentored by Eddie Griffin, international human rights advocate.

These are not isolated individuals. They are part of a team on a mission. And, it will take a kick-butt attitude to get it done. Eddie Griffin, once a leader in the 1960s revolution, is now a human rights advocate, with a dialectic perspective on government.

I believe that we have the power to solve our own problems with new and bold leadership. It is better to change government from within, rather than keep banging on the outside door. A power alignment intensifies the power of a few against the many.

God gives leaders wisdom and guidance by His Word. We, the people, give them power.

Congratulation again- Marc Veasey and Nicole Collier


Eddie Griffin (BASG)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Millionaire Doctors and Poor Patients

A Report By Eddie G. Griffin, International Child Rights advocate

I find it interesting that the federal government thinks Medicaid expansion is the answer when the number of doctors who accept Medicaid has decreased as the following numbers show.

2000 – 67%
2010 – 42%
2012 – 31%

Source: Dr. Mark Shelton, Facebook Post

Dr. Michael Burgess, U.S. House District 26 of Texas, explains why doctors are abandoning their practices, or refusing Medicaid patients. (See C-SPAN). In essence, the Medicaid reimbursement rates are too small. And with the anticipated expansion of Medicaid rolls under the Affordable Healthcare Act, they fear the medical care market would be flooded with poor patients, and fewer doctors willing to see them.

In 2009, in a one-on-one over coffee, Michael Burgess and Eddie Griffin debated the healthcare bill which was being drafted and reviewed at that time. Eddie Griffin was the first to point out typos and other flaws in the original 1400-page bill, before it was rushed through the Congress and enacted as a 2700-page tome, known as “Obamacare” (socialized medicine, as some would say)

In the exchange, Griffin pleaded the case of The Unborn at risk of being born with a “pre-existing condition” like the Blue Baby. In his C-SPAN interview on yesterday, Michael Burgess discusses his ideas about babies being born with pre-existing conditions. And still he has no solution for the Blue Baby, except a high-risk insurance pool, regulated by the state.

But there is irony in what Burgess says about healthcare access. Just because people have a healthcare plan, it does not mean that they have access to healthcare coverage. Having Medicaid did not guarantee that patients would receive medical attention, as there will be fewer and fewer doctors willing to take new patients, as more and more patients come into the healthcare system under the Affordable Health Care Act.

Millionaire doctors are in revolt, some threatening to shut down their offices, some threatening to leave the country and practice elsewhere.

Dr. Burgess asked: “Why vilify the doctors? These are the very people that you need.” Good doctors? Yes. Bad, greedy doctors? No.

With over 650,000 doctors now in the Top 1% of the income bracket, and 20% of doctors now in the Top 2%, how can anybody ask why healthcare cost has gone through the roof?

Millionaire Doctors are getting rich off their practices in a number of exploitative ways, from pushing pills for the pharmaceutical companies, to worthless treatments and unnecessary surgeries, to plugging the plug on terminal patients when coverage runs out, limiting their own medical tort liability, while forcing some patients to mortgage their homes to pay their medical bills, these doctors maximize profit over care.

They vilify themselves when the take the Hypocrisy Oath instead of the Hippocratic Oath.

We have all had family members bled by the system for premiums and later dropped, for some technical excuse of other, written in a policy nobody could read and understand in the first place.

Simplification and streamlining the system is necessary. Maybe that might mean that some of these millionaire doctors need to shut down their operations for the betterment of the overall healthcare system, if they refuse care to the “poorest of the poor” just because it does not pay enough.

We have often disputed whether healthcare was a right or a privilege, whereby Burgess believes the latter. And, since introducing him to the plight of the helpless unborn and uncovered, he has worked diligently to provide a fix, without having to rewrite another 2700-page Republican alternative.

And just when he puts the final touches on his alternative to introduce to the Republican-dominated House of Representative, and in anticipation of, at least, a partial victory from the Supreme Court, the Roberts’ ruling was “not exactly” as he wished. Translated, Justice Roberts threw a monkey wrench into his alternatives.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act is the law of the land. That meant Burgess’ Republican alternative plan has to be altered.

Therefore, at a nexus in time, when the Republican proposed to outright kill “Obamacare”, there is no alternative on the table, only a promise from Burgess that one will be ready before the month is out.


The law is in effect. And, it will be defended. And, not until the Blue Baby is provided affordable health care coverage, pregnant mothers, elderly, and terminally ill, without caps of coverage, and patients without denial due to poverty, will we rest in the defense of this Act.

Eddie G. Griffin (BASG)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Intrusion into Texas State Sovereignty?

Governor Rick Perry
State Capitol
P.O. Box 12428
Austin, TX 78711-2428
Telephone: 512-463-2000
Fax: (512) 463-1849

Dear Gov Rick Perry,

Excuse me and beg your pardon. You say:

… the expansion of Medicaid as provided in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the creation of a so-called "state" insurance exchange... both represent brazen intrusions into the sovereignty of our state.

And you describe this intrusion upon state rights as a “power grab”.

May I ask: A power grab from what to what?

The 10th Amendment says: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

Note where these Reserved Power go in the Texas Constitution:

"All political power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority, and instituted for their benefit. The faith of the people of Texas stands pledged to the preservation of a republican form of government, and, subject to this limitation only, they have at all times the inalienable right to alter, reform or abolish their government in such manner as they may think expedient."

(Texas Constitution, Article 1, Section 2)

Note: All political power is inherent in The People.

One of our Founding Fathers John Adams defined a Republic as “a government of laws, and not of men.” In other words, Texas has no czars or oligarchy.

We, therefore, call upon the people of Texas to compel the Governor Rick Perry to recognize Texas as a Republic Government of Laws, and not simply a government of laws to our own likings.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Texas GOP Platform or Articles of Secession

When the Texas Republican Party army came to Fort Worth last month for its state convention, someone should have warned them not to drink the water from the Trinity River. Without warning, however, a case of mass insanity broke out in the ranks like Mad Cow Disease. How else could they come up with such as poppycock political platform? And worse, how could all these Republican officeholders and candidates mindlessly bind themselves to this covenant by blind oath of party loyalty?

Just when we thought idiocy had reached its all-time high-water mark, here comes the 2012 Republican Party of Texas political platform. [excerpts italicized]

We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority. (p.12)

Did the Texas Republicans just say that they oppose “critical thinking skills”? Is the Party so devoid of critical thinking skills that it would oppose teaching such skills to school children for fear that it would dislodge their little fixed beliefs?

Oops! It was a mistake says Republican Party of Texas (RPT) Communications Director Chris Elam.

“[The chairman of the Education Subcommittee] indicated that it was an oversight of the committee, that the plank should not have included ‘critical thinking skills’ after ‘values clarification,’” Elam said. “And it was not the intent of the subcommittee to present a plank that would have indicated that the RPT in any way opposed the development of critical thinking skills.”

The Texas Republicans are stuck with the plank until the next state convention in 2014. Accident or not, ignorance is bliss for the state GOP.

·        We support reducing taxpayer funding to all levels of education institutions. (p.17)

This plank makes it clear that the GOP-dominated state legislature last session cuts in school funding was not due to fiscal constraints, but a purposeful act of undermining the education system throughout the state, except for private and charter schools.

·        We urge Congress to repeal government-sponsored programs that deal with early childhood development. (p.12)

·        We believe the Department of Education (DOE) should be abolished (p.13)

Footnote: Texas is 49th in verbal SAT scores in the nation, 46th in average math SAT scores, and 36th in high school graduation rates (68%). It ranks 44th in average per pupil expenditures and dead last (51st) in the percentage of adults with high school diplomas. Maybe this bespeaks the fact that Texas is now a minority-majority state.

·        We encourage legislation that prohibits enrollment in free public schools of non-citizens unlawfully present in the United States. (p.12)

·        We encourage non-English speaking students to transition to English within three years. (p.11)

·        We support adoption of American English as the official language of Texas and of the United States (p.7)

We call on the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial branches of the United States to clarify Section 1 of the 14th amendment to limit citizenship by birth to those born to a citizen of the United States with no exceptions. (p.21)

·        Applicants (for citizenship) must waive any and all rights to apply for financial assistance from any public entitlement programs;

·        Applicant must show a proficiency in the English language and complete an American civic class;

Under the Republican Platform, it would no longer be enough to simply be born in the United States to become a U.S. citizen. A child born to an undocumented immigrant would not be allowed to receive an education in the public school system. And though their parents would be obligated to pay income and sales taxes, they would not be entitled to any of public benefits or social services of a regular taxpayer.

·        We believe the current teaching of a multicultural curriculum is divisive. We favor strengthening our common American identity and loyalty instead of political correctness that nurtures alienation among racial and ethnic groups. (p.11)

·        We support school subjects with emphasis on the Judeo-Christian principles upon which America was founded and which form the basis of America’s legal, political and economic systems. We support curricula that are heavily weighted on original founding documents, including the Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution, and Founders’ writings. (p.13)

What is “a multicultural curriculum”? And, how would it be “divisive”? There is enough ambiguity here for plausible denial. But using the GOP “Judeo-Christian” principle, all other cultural inclusions are negated by implication. In other words, if the curriculum does not fall within the guidelines of Judeo-Christian principles, then it is part of the multicultural curriculum; and, therefore, divisive.

Does that mean teaching a Black History Month lesson in the classroom is divisive? If so, then from who’s perspective? Note: political correctness that nurtures alienation among racial and ethnic groups. If it fosters alienation among racial and ethnic groups, it is NOT politically correct. If it were politically correct, it would be unbiased and inclusive.

Education is not a Judeo-Christian monopoly. In a globalized society, multiculturalism is an asset.

·        We believe the Minimum Wage Law should be repealed. (p.19)

·        We urge the Legislature to resist making Workers’ Compensation mandatory for all Texas employers (p.19)

·        We urge the Congress to repeal the Prevailing Wage Law and the Davis Bacon Act. (p.19)

·        We oppose affirmative action. (p.3)

·        We urge that the Voter Rights Act of 1965 codified and updated in 1973 be repealed and not reauthorized. (p.5)

The Texas Republican agenda creates a servile class, with no minimum wage guarantees and protections. There must be, however, protection for the worker against illegal exploitation.

Every worker is entitled to, at least, livable wages. Without affirmative action, equal opportunity through hiring and promotion would not exist. The proof is in the courts. As long as there is discriminatory hiring and promotion, there will be a need for affirmative action.

Selective hiring is reflected in the disparity in unemployment rates. Were it not for affirmative action EEOC, the defense industry would still be Lilly White.

Killing affirmative action would be like killing a baby before it is born.

·        We support the repeal of the Community Reinvestment Act. (p.20)

The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) was enacted because of the discriminatory practice of “redlining”. When bank deposits come out of a community, instead of lending back to the businesses in that community, the banks would take minority funds and lend to Lilly White developers in another part of town. One side of town flourish, while the other side languish.

The CRA has since been almost amended out of its existence. Then also, there was a turn for the worse in housing lending by banks on over-inflated priced housing. Therefore, instead of abolishing CRA, the Act needs to be strengthened.

We support a favorable business climate of low taxes and deregulation to encourage capital investment, ensuring retention and creation of American jobs. (p.19)

·        We recommend repeal of the Sixteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, with the goal of abolishing the I.R.S and replacing it with a national sales tax collected by the States (p.17)

·        We urge repeal of the Texas business tax.

·        Abolishing property taxes

·        Shifting the tax burden to a consumption-based tax

·        We urge outright repeal of property taxes on inventory.

·        Oppose all professional licensing fees and real estate and similar transaction fees or taxes

·        Oppose Creation of a state income tax or state property tax

·        We urge the income tax, capital gains tax, estate tax, and all other tax reductions be made permanent. The death tax is immoral and should be abolished forever.

·        We believe Congress should repeal the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 (p.19)

The aim here is clearly to abolish the federal government by strangulation on taxes. The Texas Republicans have been gradually eliminating, not only legitimate sources of federal tax revenue, but undermining federal taxing authority itself. This proposal to eliminate the IRS and impose a sales tax upon all consumers is merely another shifting of the tax burden more upon the backs of the middle-income and poor consumers.

Eliminating the monetary system and returning to the gold standard, as alluded to in this document, is a regressive step backwards. Doing away with the Federal Reserve System would cut off the circulation of government IOUs, known as Federal Reserve notes or simply greenback dollars.

What would we have in its place? Gold bonds? And, how would money circulate, from bank to bank, without the Federal Reserve central banking system. The economy needs an arbiter of value and a pipeline for liquidity.

We support abolishing all federal agencies whose activities are not specifically enumerated in the Constitution; including the Departments of Education and Energy. (p.16)

·        We believe the Environmental Protection Agency should be abolished. (p.3)

·        We call for the disbanding of the TSA and place airport security into the more accountable and capable hands of the state and local law enforcement. (p.14)

·        We demand the immediate repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which we believe to be unconstitutional. (p.11)

Environmental pollution almost brought us to our knees before conceded the need for air and water quality monitoring. EPA came into being as a long-range survival agency for a short-sighted generation.

On the other hand, airport security, with its Interstate Commerce range and regulations, cannot be overseen and managed by any single state or through local law enforcement. State and local governments do not have the intelligence capacity.

·        We support the withdrawal of the United States from the United Nations and the removal of U.N. headquarters from U.S. soil. (p.20)

·        We unequivocally oppose the United States Senate’s ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. (p.10)

·        We support U.S. withdrawal from the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organization and the World Bank. (p.22)

·        We oppose the influence, promotion and implementation of nongovernmental organizations, metropolitan and/or regional planning organizations, Councils of Government, and International Council for Local Environmental initiatives and the use of American (Texas) citizen’s taxes to promote these programs. (p.20)

The Texas Republicans take an isolationist perspective on the global community. It would disassociate itself from every world body. It would refuse to ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which rights would also be protected in the United States.

The universal acceptance of Children’s Rights leaves the United States as one of only two countries who have not ratified it. This shows how alienated our country is from the rest of the world.

Note also that the GOP lists of disassociations would also include Councils of Government, such as the North Central Texas Council of Governments. This notion goes against regional planning and collaboration on the local, state, national, and global scale.

This myopic perception impedes our broader view of our relative place in the global community.

We oppose the abusive use of class action lawsuits. (p.19)

Parties who pay greater fines, penalties, and awards are the greater culprit. Lawsuits are a necessary arrest to illegal and harmful practices. It is the check in Checks-and-Balances.

The size of the award should not be an incentive to continue violating. It must be a deterrent.

We call for truckers working within the state of Texas to enjoy the full benefits of the Texas Concealed Handgun License law irrespective of unreasonable and intrusive federal regulations. (p.14)

Only in Texas.

We reaffirm Texas’ state sovereignty, as reserved under the 10th Amendment. Texas retains its sovereignty, freedoms, independence, power, jurisdiction and rights which are not delegated to the federal government by the U. S. Constitution. (p.20)

·        We oppose all unfunded mandates by the federal and state governments. (p.16)

Every Republican is responsible for implementing this platform. Party candidates should indicate their positions on platform planks before their acceptance on the ticket and such information should be available on the Party website. (p.6)