District 15 for the Texas State Board of Education covers 77 counties in Texas’s northern Panhandle. It’s oil (Midland), cotton, Texas prairie and small towns, and lots of schools, and some surprisingly good colleges and universities.
It’s a district where science plays a big role, and should play a bigger one. The 15th includes those lands in Texas where the Dust Bowl got started, where unwise plowing based on inaccurate readings of climate contributed to one of the greatest man-made natural resources disasters in all of history. It’s the home of Texas Tech University, where members of the chemistry faculty created a wine industry based on the chemistry of grape selection and fermentation, and where geologists learn how to find oil.
This area leads Texas in wind power generation, a considerable factor in the state that leads the nation in wind power generation.
In short, science, engineering and other technical disciplines keep this area economically alive, and vital at times.
Of the two candidates, Democrat Steve Schafersman is a scientist, and a long-time, staunch defender of science education (what we now cutely call “STEM” subjects: Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). If the race were decided by a test in STEM subjects, Schafersman would be the winner. Schafersman lives in Midland.
The GOP candidate in the race is religiously anti-science, Marty Rowley of Amarillo. As a good-ol’-boy, former pastor, he’s got a lot of support from the usual suspects. Rowley’s views on science, technology, engineering and mathematics run contrary to the business and farming interests of his entire district. Do his supporters look to the future?
Do you vote in Midland, Lubbock, Amarillo, Dalhart, Abilene, San Angelo, Dallam County, Tom Greene County, Cooke County or Montague County? You need to vote for Steve Shafersman. Do your children a favor, do your schools a favor, and do your region of Texas a favor, and vote for the guy who works to make education good.
Shafersman is the better-qualified candidate, and probably among the top two or three people with experience making the SBOE work well, in the nation. He deserves the seat, and Texas needs him.
- Texas SBOE 2012 Election: Schafersman v. Rowley (sensuouscurmudgeon.wordpress.com)
- Texas Freedom Network Insider, “Texas Ed Board candidate advocates teaching creationism in science classrooms”
- Texas GOP candidates support creationism, posting of Ten Commandments in school rooms, contrary to law, science, and reality
- Shake-up possible for state board (mywesttexas.com)
- Evolution tops State Board of Education debate topics (amarillo.com)
- Providing accurate science, history information top priority for state education candidate (mywesttexas.com)
- Potential new faces on the Texas education board (star-telegram.com)
- Ideas for school vouchers are up in the air (gosanangelo.com)
- Democratic candidates Sadler, Schafersman in Abilene today (reporternews.com)
- Views vary for State Board of Education candidates (mywesttexas.com)
Steve Schafersman campaign flier:
Do you get the newsletter from the Academy of American Poets?
Monday’s newsletter included this list:
Poems of American Experience
- I Hear America Singing by Walt Whitman
- I, Too, Sing America by Langston Hughes
- Praise Song for the Day by Elizabeth Alexander
- America by Robert Creeley
- America by Claude McKay
- On Being Brought from Africa to America by Phillis Wheatley
- A Nation’s Strength by Ralph Waldo Emerson
- Election Year by Donald Revell
- In a Country by Larry Levis
- A Supermarket in California by Allen Ginsberg
People in some states complain that the liquor stores and bars won’t open on election day. So, try the next best thing, or the better thing, and read some poetry.
What works of poetry, or literature, or visual arts, strike you as appropriate for the U.S. election day? Which works would be most useful in school classrooms, to teach our young people about voting, how to vote, and why it’s important?
- Walt Whitman Poems: Election Day November 1884. Poetry Corner (newgrandmas.com)
- The Presidency, in Verse (theparisreview.org)
Another great episode of “Mr. Deity.” (Yeah, I’m several episodes behind. Don’t even get me started on catching up on “The Wire.”)
Every parent will empathize with the problem here, letting the kids do things on their own so they can grow up, and then seeing again just what it is they actually want to do . . .
Watch all the way through. The best stuff is in the fund raising plea at the end.
Tip of the old scrub brush to Pharyngula at FTB, for reminding me of this wonderful series. Do you ever wonder what the producers of this thing could do if they turned their attention to on-line videos on history, or economics, or molecular biology?
- Mr. Deity on Why Creationism is Appropriate for Children (patheos.com)
Woody Guthrie wrote of freedom . . . when was this written? 1930-something? [1941, it turns out.]
[That one disappeared? Try this one; click through if you have to:]
[Maybe this one will work:]
This film must be at least ten years old, maybe more. The song is more than 60 years old [71 years — from 1941].
It’s still a powerful indictment of corporate greed, heartless and oppressive immigration policies, and it’s a case for a strong labor movement.
Be sure you vote in the November 6 elections. Sing this song on the way to the polls.
- Woody Guthrie’s 100th birth anniversary came earlier in 2012
- The post in which the comments got me thinking about this song, about the farm disaster in apples in 2012 (oddly, a bumper crop in a few places cannot stave off higher prices and disaster elsewhere); see comments with two Woody Guthrie songs
- Bragging rights for the poor (theage.com.au)
- Woody Guthrie Was No Dumb Okie (andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com)
- Jackson Browne to celebrate Woody Guthrie’s 100th birthday on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (troubadourtribune.com)
- Photos: A tribute to Woody Guthrie (wvgazette.com)
- Ron Radosh on the Woody Guthrie Tribute Concert (maverickphilosopher.typepad.com)
- Folk hero Woody Guthrie and the lost Clyde tribute (scotsman.com)
- “A song for our times: Pete and Arlo sing Woody (Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub)
- “We remember: Reuben James sunk October 31, 1941” (Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub)
- Kingston Trio’s 1961 version
Former President Bill Clinton campaigned in Iowa’s 4th Congressional District for Christie Vilsack a few days ago — this ad puts his tour in 30 seconds.
It’s extraordinary to consider with just three weeks until Election Day, but Mitt Romney’s central argument to voters has been exposed as a total fraud.
Greg Sargent added, “Let’s recap what Kessler has discovered here. The plan that is central to Romney’s candidacy on the most important issue of this election — jobs — is a complete sham. This is every bit as bad — or worse — than Romney’s claim to have created 100,000 jobs at Bain, or his vow to cut spending by eliminating whole agencies without saying which ones, or his refusal to say how he’ll pay for his tax cuts.”
Obama’s budget NOW creates 12 million jobs in the next four years, according to projections. Romney? He stretches it out to ten years, but reduces the job creation, so it’s 2.5 times as long to get the same number of jobs. Say what? Romney’s plan reduces the number of jobs created by cutting the rate at which they are created.
Read more at Rachel Maddow’s blog, with links to the actual studies. Maddow links to Greg Sargent’s blog, The Plum Line, at The Washington Post. 12 million jobs, Mitt Romney, economy, Bain Capital
- Four Pinocchios for Romney’s jobs plan claims
- Mitt Romney’s jobs plan math is as bogus as his tax plan math (dailykos.com)
- New ad won’t let Ohio and Virginia voters forget Romney’s 47% comments (dailykos.com)
- This debate is about the real track record (newstatesman.com)
- Abbreviated Pundit Roundup: What every voter needs to know about Mitt Romney’s super-secret tax plan (dailykos.com)
- Romney Loses His Advantage on the Economy (politicalwire.com)
- Greg Sargent: Mitt Romney’s Bush conundrum (washingtonpost.com)