Paranoia at the Texas Board of Education

This is the kind of anti-Muslim paranoia we heard on Friday, when the Texas State Board of Education passed a resolution attacking Islam, claiming textbooks have an anti-Christian/pro-Islamic bias and charging that wealthy Muslims want to buy publishing companies so they can control the minds of American schoolchildren. From TFN TV:


22 thoughts on “Paranoia at the Texas Board of Education

  1. They used to complain about the international Jewish conspiracy controlling American publishing and media. Now it’s the Muslims.

  2. David, that’s true but it’s true just for now. So I’m not resting easy. They’ll get back ’round to us eventually. There are two very famous and historic antisemitic diatribes I expect they’ll want added to textbooks. Mark my words, it will come up. They’re so paranoid I don’t put anything past them.

  3. From Ralph Peters latest book “When Devils Walk the Earth” on the subject of Islam

    “Chapter III. Fighting Terror: Do’s and Don’ts for a Superpower:

    1. Be feared!

    2. Identify the type of terrorists you face, and know your enemy as well as you possibly can. Although tactics may be similar, strategies for dealing with practical vs. apocalyptic terrorists can differ widely. Practical terrorists may have legitimate grievances that deserve consideration, although their methods cannot be tolerated. Apocalyptic terrorists, no matter their rhetoric, seek your destruction and must be killed to the last man. The apt metaphor is cancer: you cannot hope for success if you only cut out part of the tumor. For the apocalyptic terrorist, evading your efforts can easily be turned into a public triumph. Our bloodiest successes will create far fewer terrorists and sympathizers than our failures.

    3. Do not be afraid to be powerful. Cold War-era gambits of proportionate response and dialog may have some utility in dealing with practical terrorists, but they are counter-productive in dealing with apocalyptic terrorists. Our great strengths are wealth and raw power. When we fail to bring those strengths to bear, we contribute to our own defeat. For a superpower to think small, which has been our habit across the last decade, at least, is self-defeating folly. Our responses to terrorist acts should make the world gasp!

    4. Speak bluntly. Euphemisms are interpreted as weakness by our enemies and mislead the American people. Speak of killing terrorists and destroying their organizations. Timid speech leads to timid actions. Explain when necessary, but do not apologize. Expressions of regret are never seen as a mark of decency by terrorists or their supporters, but only as a sign that our will is faltering. Blame the terrorists as the root cause whenever operations have unintended negative consequences. Never go on the rhetorical defensive.

    5. Concentrate on winning the propaganda war where it is winnable. Focus on keeping or enhancing the support from allies and well-disposed clients, but do not waste an inordinate amount of effort trying to win unwinnable hearts and minds. Convince hostile populations through victory.

    6. Do not be drawn into a public dialog with terrorists, especially not with apocalyptic terrorists. You cannot win. You legitimize the terrorists by addressing them even through a third medium, and their extravagant claims will resound more successfully on their own home ground than anything you can say. Ignore absurd accusations, and never let the enemy’s claims slow or sidetrack you. The terrorist wants you to react, and your best means of unbalancing him and his plan is to ignore his accusations.

    7. Avoid planning creep. Within our vast bureaucratic system, too many voices compete for attention and innumerable agendas, often selfish and personal – intrude on any attempt to act decisively. Focus on the basic mission: the destruction of the terrorists with all the moral, intellectual and practical rigor you can bring to bear. All other issues, from future nation building, to alliance consensus, to humanitarian concerns are secondary.

    8. Maintain resolve. Especially in the Middle East and Central Asia, experts and diplomats will always present you with a multitude of good reasons for doing nothing, or for doing too little (or for doing exactly the wrong thing). Fight as hard as you can within the system to prevent diplomats from gaining influence over the strategic campaign. Although their intentions are often good, our diplomats and their obsolete strategic views are the terrorist’s unwitting allies and diplomats are extremely jealous of military success and military authority in their region (where their expertise is never as deep or subtle as they believe it to be). Beyond the problem with our diplomats, the broader forces of bureaucratic entropy are an internal threat. The counter-terrorist campaign must be not only resolute, but constantly self-rejuvenating in ideas, techniques, military and inter-agency combinations, and sheer energy. Old hands must be stimulated constantly by new ideas.

    9. When in doubt, hit harder than you think necessary. Success will be forgiven. Even the best-intentioned failure will not. When military force is used against terrorist networks, it should be used with such power that it stuns even our allies. We must get over our cowardice in means. While small-scale raids and other knifepoint operations are useful against individual targets, broader operations should be overwhelming. Of course, targeting limitations may inhibit some efforts but whenever possible, maximum force should be used in simultaneous operations at the very beginning of a campaign. Do not hesitate to supplement initial target lists with extensive bombing attacks on nothing if they can increase the initial psychological impact. Demonstrate power whenever you can. Show; don’t tell!

    10. Whenever legal conditions permit, kill terrorists on the spot (do not give them a chance to surrender, if you can help it). Contrary to academic wisdom, the surest way to make a martyr of a terrorist is to capture, convict and imprison him, leading to endless efforts by sympathizers to stage kidnappings, hijacking and other events intended to liberate the imprisoned terrorist(s). This is war, not law enforcement.

    11. Never listen to those who warn that ferocity on our part reduces us to the level of the terrorists. That is the argument of the campus, not of the battlefield, and it insults America’s service members and the American people. Historically, we have proven, time after time, that we can do a tough, dirty job for our country without any damage to our nation’s moral fabric (Hiroshima and Nagasaki did not interfere with American democracy, values or behavior).

    12. Spare and protect innocent civilians whenever possible, but: do not let the prospect of civilian casualties interfere with ultimate mission accomplishment. This is a fight to protect the American people, and we must do so whatever the cost, or the price in American lives may be devastating. In a choice between them, and us the choice is always us.

    13. Do not allow the terrorists to hide behind religion. Apocalyptic terrorists cite religion as a justification for attacking us; in turn, we cannot let them hide behind religious holidays, taboos, strictures or even sacred terrain. We must establish a consistent reputation for relentless pursuit and destruction of those who kill our citizens. Until we do this, our hesitation will continue to strengthen our enemy’s ranks and his resolve.

    14. Do not allow third parties to broker a peace, a truce, or any pause in operations. One of the most difficult challenges in fighting terrorism on a global scale is the drag produced by nervous allies. We must be single-minded. The best thing we can do for our allies in the long-term is to be so resolute and so strong that they value their alliance with us all the more. We must recognize the innate strength of our position and stop allowing regional leaders with counterproductive local agendas to subdue or dilute our efforts.

    15. Don’t flinch. If an operation goes awry and friendly casualties are unexpectedly high, immediately bolster morale and the military’s image by striking back swiftly in a manner that inflicts the maximum possible number of casualties on the enemy and his supporters. Hit back as graphically as possible, to impress upon the local and regional players that you weren’t badly hurt or deterred in the least.

    16. Do not worry about alienating already-hostile populations.

    17. Whenever possible, humiliate your enemy in the eyes of his own people. Do not try to use reasonable arguments against him. Shame him publicly, in any way you can. Create doubt where you cannot excite support. Most apocalyptic terrorists, especially, come from cultures of male vanity. Disgrace them at every opportunity. Done successfully, this both degrades them in the eyes of their followers and supporters, and provokes the terrorist to respond, increasing his vulnerability.

    18. If the terrorists hide, strike what they hold dear, using clandestine means and, whenever possible, foreign agents to provoke them to break cover and react. Do not be squeamish. Your enemy is not. Subtlety is not superpower strength but the raw power to do that, which is necessary, is our great advantage. We forget that, while the world may happily chide or accuse us-or complain of our inhumanity-no one can stop us if we maintain our strength of will. Much of the world will complain no matter what we do. Hatred of America is the default position of failed individuals and failing states around the world, in every civilization, and there is nothing we can do to change their minds. We refuse to understand how much of humanity will find excuses for evil, so long as the evil strikes those who are more successful than the apologists themselves. This is as true of American academics, whose eagerness to declare our military efforts a failure is unflagging, or European clerics, who still cannot forgive America’s magnanimity at the end of World War II, as it is of unemployed Egyptians or Pakistanis. The psychologically marginalized are at least as dangerous as the physically deprived.

    19. Do not allow the terrorists sanctuary in any country, at any time, under any circumstances. Counter-terrorist operations must, above all, be relentless. This does not necessarily mean that military operations will be constantly underway sometimes it will be surveillance efforts, or deception plans, or operations by other agencies. But the overall effort must never pause for breath. We must be faster, more resolute, more resourceful and, ultimately, even more uncompromising than our enemies.

    20. Never declare victory. Announce successes and milestones. But never give the terrorists a chance to embarrass you after a public pronouncement that the war is over.

    21. Impress upon the minds of terrorists and potential terrorists everywhere, and upon the populations and governments inclined to support them, that American retaliation will be powerful and uncompromising. You will never deter fanatics, but you can frighten those who might support, harbor or attempt to use terrorists for their own ends. Our basic task in the world today is to restore a sense of American power, capabilities and resolve. We must be hard, or we will be struck wherever we are soft. It is folly for charity to precede victory. First win, then unclench your fist.

    22. Do everything possible to make terrorists and their active supporters live in terror themselves. Turn the tide psychologically and practically. While this will not deter hard-core apocalyptic terrorists, it will dissipate their energies as they try to defend themselves and fear will deter many less-committed supporters of terror. Do not be distracted by the baggage of the term assassination. This is a war. The enemy, whether a hijacker or a financier, violates the laws of war by his refusal to wear a uniform and by purposely targeting civilians. He is by definition a war criminal. On our soil, he is either a spy or a saboteur, and not entitled to the protections of the U.S. Constitution. Those who abet terrorists must grow afraid to turn out the lights to go to sleep.

    23. Never accept the consensus of the Washington intelligentsia, which looks backward to past failures, not forward to future successes.

    24. In dealing with Islamic apocalyptic terrorists, remember that their most cherished symbols are fewer and far more vulnerable than are the West’s. Ultimately, no potential target can be regarded as off-limits when the United States is threatened with mass casualties. Worry less about offending foreign sensibilities and more about protecting Americans.

    25. Do not look for answers in recent history, which is still unclear and subject to personal emotion. Begin with the study of the classical world, specifically Rome, which is the nearest model to the present-day United States. Mild with subject peoples, to whom they brought the rule of ethical law, the Romans in their rise and at their apogee were implacable with their enemies. The utter destruction of Carthage brought centuries of local peace, while the later empire’s attempts to appease barbarians consistently failed!

  4. Luckily Ralph Peters is a crackpot commentator on Fox and not a seriously regarded strategist at the Pentagon, (or anywhere else, for that matter).
    Tonight PBS is broadcasting “When Worlds Collide”, which is an absolutely top-notch must-see documentary of the Spanish Empire and the effect of the Old World on the New World, and vice-versa.
    When I say “must-see”, I mean it.

  5. Good one, Charles.

    How ironic to have just come from an interfaith Sukkot celebration tonight. (It is the Jewish holiday of Sukkot right now). An interfaith “Sukkah of Peace” (Sukkat Shalom) celebration in the outdoor sukkah at Temple Beth-El. It included refreshments, “schmoozing” (as we Jews say, meaning conversation), and song-singing. Present were Jews, of course, as well as several Muslims and Christians of several different denominations. I brought a Baptist guest, a woman with whom I work. One of the Muslim women chanted a portion of Quran and translated to English for us. The portion was talking about how we owe everything to God, that everything we have comes from Him, etc.

    There was much discussion, much camaraderie, and much laughing and festivity as is appropriate for Sukkot.

    How in the world did we get out of there alive??

  6. Hey David, Ralph also appears on PBS and CNN as a commentator; is a considered a crackpot when he appears on their shows?
    or only when he is on FOX? If you are going to comment on a person’s crackpotablilty lets give all the information or none at all.

  7. I believe the lady is being honest, she admits to her bias but ones like Kathy Miller, David, Gordon,
    and Cytocop CT(ASCP) hid behind their elitism. The lady is simply asking or the publishers to be
    honest as to where they are coming from. Apparently the publishers as the ones names above feel
    they are above honesty….

  8. Janalou, if Peters appears on PBS or CNN, it’s when they’re looking for a representative of the paranoid right wing.
    He’s a crackpot even when he isn’t on tv.
    I don’t know where you get “elitism” out of my comments. (Oh, yeah, that’s what they say on Fox about everyone who disagrees with them. I think Hannity uses that term more than anyone.)

    There are some of us who remember when Christianity was a personal faith and not a fascist political movement. We mourn its decline.

  9. “Hiding behind my elitisim?” What the hell, pray tell, is THAT supposed to mean? 😉

    Methinks it is Janalou that is “hiding behind” something.

  10. Additional stats from the Pew survey cited above:

    “Jews and Mormons were close behind atheists and agnostics as the group who did best overall on the religion questions, and white evangelical Protestants also tended to get more than half right.

    White Catholics averaged exactly half right, followed by mainline Protestants and people who said they were “nothing in particular,” both of whom got just under half right.

    Black Protestants got just over a third of the questions right, and Hispanic Catholics just under a third, the Pew Forum found.”

    For the fun of it, I took the 10 question quiz and got them all correct. (Of course, they were pretty easy, and I don’t expect anyone here will believe me when I say I got them correct anyway). :<)

  11. So back to this “elitism” thing, I’m curious to know in what way am I elite? I am a cubicle monkey, and I live in a mobile home. If that’s “elite,” I am upwardly mobile and didn’t even know it. Ha ha ha! ROTFLOL.

  12. Long time no comment but…my blood is boiling and my blood pressure has gone to stroke level. Between the insanity of the so-called SBOE and the MORONS who are attempting to shame this country by not understanding that we have TOTAL FREEDOM OF RELIGION by blocking the Muslim’s Community Center in New York for one excuse or another. “It’s sacred ground,” or “The dust contained human parts,” etc. ad nauseam. I hate to mention to those bigoted morons but there was a full-fledged mosque on the 17th floor of Tower Two and another makeshift mosque in Tower One. Yet the ignorant bigots say, “This is holy ground, no mosque should be built near Ground Zero.”

    HUNDREDS of Muslims died when the terrorists destroyed the towers, I guess their bodies don’t count. Sure, I’m Jewish, but there was a time when my people were denied building a synagogue in New York when it was New Amsterdam.

    Now the so-called “board of edjukation” wants to shove their beliefs in just about every text book that our children should read. Texas is ranked with such bastions of liberal countries such as Iran, Iraq, North Korea and…TEXAS!

  13. One dictionary defines the term “elitist” as:

    “The belief that certain persons or members of certain classes or groups deserve favored treatment by virtue of their perceived superiority, as in intellect, social status, or financial resources. The sense of entitlement enjoyed by such a group or class. Control, rule, or domination by such a group or class.

    Depending on your criteria sets, that could be nearly every person in the United States. My dad was an elite carpenter, cabinet maker, and backyard gardener. He never made much money at it, but he was much more skilled than his peers in all of that.

    In my humble opinion, this term “elitist,” as defined above, perfectly describes the conservative faction on the Texas SBOE. They believe they deserve special favorable treatment because they are Christian Neo-Fundamentalists and are thus very special children of God. (Talk about being a legend in your own mind) Their far right extremist credentials render an air of superiority over their fellow citizens—even going so far as to transcend the knowledge and capabilities of true experts. They feel entitled to do just about any fruitcake thing they wish in their political positions. As a group, they control, rule, and dominate Texas secondary school education.

    Anyone disagree?

  14. Ooops, hit the wrong key. What is wrong with that picture? What is wrong with this country? What is tearing us apart? Well, yeah, there is the “T” party and the Republicanots. It wouldn’t be so bad that they are using dirty commercials, but when they resort to LYING about their competition, it’s too low.

    If the Republicanots win, we will return to the inglorious days of the Bush administration. Why the Democans aren’t using Boehner’s screaming “THE HELL YOU CAN’T,” I don’t know, but if they want to win…

    Now I’ve got to take another pill…my BP is too high.

    BTW, where have I been? I fell. Neither my hands nor my feet would work so I fell like a marionette’s strings were cut. I cracked three ribs and broke my back again, outside of that… Don’t tell me I don’t know how to have fun!

  15. Beverly, calm down…
    I agree with Charles.
    I do have to admit that I’m a connoisseur of quick oatmeal, so I guess that makes me an elitist.
    The Dems are going to do alright, in fact, Boehner may lose his seat. He has a good candidate running against him.
    Rebecca Bell Metereau and Judy Jennings are the two competitors against the kooks, as far as I know. I think they’ll win.

  16. Thank you, Charles, for another one of your well-thought explanations. And, to answer your question, I agree.

    David, (j/k) I doubt your preference for quick oatmeal qualifies you as an elitist. It would seem to me that the opposite would be true: one is elitist if they only eat slow-cooked traditional oatmeal. Consider the line from the movie My Cousin Vinny: “No self-respecting Southerner eats instant grits. I take pride in my cooking.”

  17. This video is DISGUSTING. This is NOT what our country was built upon. Textbooks are meant to present facts and the idea of change (history, duh). NOT to push an agenda. I cannot believe people like her are making these decisions and the intolerance is disturbing! How could someone want to transfer that to our students in today’s diverse society? So ignorant.