First the bad (ridiculous) news:
Texas has the third highest rate of HIV infections in the country, but that didn’t stop lawmakers from passing an amendment that defunds HIV/STD prevention programs Tuesday.
The amendment to the House budget proposal—offered by Rep. Stuart Spitzer (R-Kaufman)—diverts $3 million over the next biennium to abstinence-only sexual education programs. House Democrats fought against the amendment in a debate that rapidly devolved into awkward farce, with Rep. Spitzer revealing details of his own sexual history as proof of the effectiveness of abstinence.
For those keeping tabs at home, he was a virgin until marrying his wife at age 29, although he declined to answer a question from Rep. Harold Dutton (D-Houston) on whether she was the first person he propositioned.
“Decorum,” shouted state Rep. Jason Isaac (R-Dripping Springs). Rep. Sylvester Turner (D-Houston) asked Spitzer just how much money is needed for abstinence education in Texas, which receives more federal funding than any other state.
Spitzer responded that additional funds are needed as long as people are still having sex before marriage. His goal, he said, was for everyone to know that “abstinence is the best way to prevent HIV.”
NOTE: Rep. Spitzer believes "abstinence only" prevents HIV? Half-term, half-wit governor Sarah Palin of Alaska also believes in "abstinence only" as a way to prevent pregnancy, as do many far right wingers.
Just ask Bristol Palin how that worked out.
Colorado swing county ousts 3 conservative school board members in recall vote
Controversy swirled around Williams, Witt and Newkirk almost as soon as they were elected in 2013. The county's well-regarded, longtime superintendent resigned, saying she could not work for the conservative majority.
The conflict that drew national attention to the growing disputes came last fall, when Newkirk, Witt and Williams indicated that they wanted to "review" the content of the AP U.S. history course taught in county high schools because it failed to promote patriotism.
There were teacher "sickouts" that shut down two schools, walkouts by thousands of students and a massive community protest. All five seats on the school board were in play; while the three conservatives faced a recall, the two other seats were being vacated. A
Amanda Stevens, who won one of the two vacated seats, said she expects the new school board to make some immediate changes, including ending the contract of an attorney that the previous majority had hired to advise it.
NOTE: The purpose of teaching history is to learn facts -- facts that may be difficult to acknowledge about America's past. History is not about promoting only the "patriotic" pretty parts of our past, but about teaching all of it: the good, the bad, and the ugly. Apparently the board members who were ousted wanted only the pretty parts taught and the parts that told the ugly truth were considered, by those who were ousted, to be "unpatriotic."
It does a country no harm to understand and accept what really happened in its past. To pretty it up and pretend nothing terrible was committed by its government or its people is to teach lies and to give future American citizens a skewed and jingoistic view of who they are. People who believe we're the best country in the world should be brave enough to face the uncomfortable facts on how we achieved that "best country in the world" status.