Texas passes law requiring moment of silence, Pledge recital.

The folks down in Texas don’t want President Bush hogging all of the religious fundamental spotlight so they’ve taken it upon themselves to pass legislation that forces kids to pause for a moment of silence and then recite both the Texas and U.S. Pledges of Allegiance.

AUSTIN—In less than 60 seconds, the Texas Senate voted Tuesday to require the state’s 4.1 million public school students to pause for a daily minute of silent prayer, meditation or reflection.

By voice vote, senators gave preliminary approval to Senate Bill 83, with final approval expected soon.

The measure, by Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio, also mandates that school districts require students to recite the Texas and U.S. pledges of allegiance before the minute of silence.

Students could be excused from the pledge recitals upon written notice from a parent or guardian, but they wouldn’t be able to opt out of a minute of silence.

Naturally some folks are already decrying the bill as a transparent attempt to insert prayers back into school.  Will Harrell of the ACLU of Texas is predicting the Texas House will modify the bill to protect the rights of students to roll out prayer rugs or speak in tongues according to their particular religious beliefs. Wait a second, would speaking in tongues be violating the moment of silence?

When challenged, the Senator who wrote the bill and Governor both were able to recite the Texas Pledge though Gov. Dewhurst did manage to slip up and reveal his true intentions behind supporting the law:

Upon request, Dewhurst and Wentworth also proved able to recite the Texas pledge: “Honor the Texas flag; I pledge allegiance to thee, Texas, one and indivisible.”

Dewhurst didn’t answer when asked if the Senate, which like the House opens each day with a prayer, should begin each daily session with flag pledges.

“I can’t imagine anyone that would be opposed in these very tough times to let our youngsters take a moment of silence in school and have silent prayer,” Dewhurst said.

Fortunately for the good Governor the Senator was able to cover for him:

“Or reflection or meditation,” Wentworth said. “So we’re not insisting that they pray, just so long as they’re quiet for a minute. That’s all we’re asking.”

I wonder why these two gentlemen feel that special time needs to be set aside for folks to use as they see fit, be it prayer or self-reflection or navel contemplation, what have you. Do they think that unless they provide 60 seconds each day some of the kids might forget to pray? And why the forced Pledge recitals? Do they really think forcing kids to go through the motions will make them any more patriotic?

Welcome to America, land of the free, except for at the beginning of the school day when you MUST pray and you MUST recite a pledge of affiliation otherwise we’ll call you a commie pinko and give you violent wedgies in the hallway.

87 thoughts on “Texas passes law requiring moment of silence, Pledge recital.

  1. A law compelling your allegiance and forcing you to observe a moment of silence… what will they force us to do next? What whim of the government will we be forced to comply with tomorrow? When did the people give up all of their rights so we could have such a wonderfully parental ruling body?

  2. I unfortunately moved to Texas almost eleven months ago.  I have fought this bill and similar bills since they were announced in November 2002.  I have testified at public hearings, written countless letters, lobbied elected officials in person and written letters-to-the-editor.  I have been quoted in at least two major Texas newspapers and was briefly on TV the evening of the Senate hearing.

    I have a 5th grader in the public schools and under no circumstances will she participate in any religious exercise that masquerades as a moment of silence.  Nor will she pledge allegiance to the state of Texas, which has done its utmost to violate her first amendment rights. The thought of my child declaring any kind of loyalty to a state tyranny is ludicrous and I won’t allow it.

    As for the mandatory national pledge: she isn’t doing that one either, thanks to two little words that force the reciting child to swear an oath to monotheism.  My own protest long predates the 9th Circuit decision.  I haven’t said the pledge on those grounds since 1971 and my daughter doesn’t say it either.

    As for that “parental permission” clause.  That’s a load of crap too.  The 1943 SCOTUS West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette decision unequivocably ruled that no one can be forced to say the pledge, including children.  States are using the permission clause to circumvent that 1943 landmark decision and I think it should be challenged.  If a high school junior, for instance, feels that he cannot in all honesty say that pledge, but his parents don’t agree and won’t write a note, he will be forced to recite it or will be disciplined if he doesn’t.  That is wrong.   

    Also, I have already informed my elected officials that my daughter will not observe a moment of silence either.  That simply will not happen and if the school tries to impose discipline, I will take decisive action.

    That one is tricky.  The only way that a student can’t participate in a moment of silence is to stand outside the school building during the ceremony.  Moving to another room won’t do it, because the kid is still technically observing the minute.  If the ritual is performed at the beginning of the day, I will have to keep my child outside the school walls until it’s over.  She will no doubt be listed as tardy.  She is a straight-A Gifted and Talented student without a disciplinary blemish on record in any of the four states she has lived in so far, but I cannot in conscience comply with a law that is hostile to religious freedom and expression.

    If the damn thing is signed into law before this school year is up, it could be in force immediately, in which case I will have to begin my civil disobedience campaign.  Otherwise it will be implemented at the beginning of the next year.  My child will not attend a Texas public school next year.  I have had all I can take of Texas.

    This bill isn’t the only legislative attempt to trash church/state separation in Texas and impose un-American intrusions upon personal and private conscience.  There are many other bills that have been approved by the originating chamber and will no doubt become law in this dispicable state.  The religious extremists, or the “Texas Taliban,” as they are called here, run Texas now.

  3. So how will your daughter not participate in a moment of silence? I mean, if she chooses not to participate surely that cannot mean she will interrupt others?

    I’m glad you’ve had all you want of Texas, sorry though that that isn’t a positive statement.
    Although I admire your rich political feelings I cannot help but to point out the the Constitution does says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…” it does not specify that Congress must adopt an atheist’s point of view.

    The amendment in concern does not respect or establish a religion.  Any religion, belief system, or even lack there of can make use of the “moment of silence.”

    By the way, of course I’m from Texas, so excuse my curiousity. But have you ever asked your daughter what she believes?

  4. Well… it seems to me that it doesn’t really take a rocket scientist to figure out that a moment of silence is not any sort of imposition of religious beliefs on anyone.  Is it a way to allow prayer to get into schools?  Probably.  But if you don’t want your daughter to pray, she can spend the minute thinking about something else, like what she’s going to eat for lunch or whatever.  The real problem for people like you seems to be that she just might spend that minute thinking for herself whether she wants to pray or wants to say the pledge, and since it is pretty clear you’ve already decided she should be a simple clone of your beliefs, that would be a real shame for you.

    The forced pledge is stupid though.  People in Texas never cease to amaze me.  Piss-poor education record, budget in the dump, but hey instead of fixing those problems let’s all pass a bill forcing kids to pledge allegiance to our poorly run state government.

    Makes sense to me.

  5. My wife and I live in Texas. This morning our first-grader had her first Monday assembly at her elementary school. As Monday morning starts with the entire school in assembly, the pledges and moment of silent prayer are performed by all the children of the school together rather than in the classroom. While I was not in attendance, my wife was and she noted that the teachers leading this moment of silence folded their hands or arms and bowed as if in church. The children dutifully followed suit, and many mouthed prayers as they are accustomed to such behavior in Sunday School.

    I am ashamed of our state leaders for this insepid intrusion into the private beliefs of our family. A comment above mentions asking the children what they believe. Children inherently believe what they are told at such a young and impressionable age. Mine believe that people of all religions should be treated with tolerance and respect; not just those ascribing to the Bible Belt version of Protestant Christianity deserve basic respect and the right to privacy. Of course, that comes from the belief system in our home.

    When you have an institutionally led prayer (my apologies, silent prayer) my daughters understand that the feelings and values of the Jewish child or the Hindu Child or the Muslim child or the non-believer will be almost certainly overlooked and likely openly disrespected. 

    Adding insult to injury, while the State of Texas retains the constitutional right to separate into as many as five states as part of its acceptance into the Union, the legislators that added the “State Pledge” to aid this new silent prayer law included the “One and Indivisable” phrase in reference to the Texas flag. I do not know for sure, but I have been told there was no pledge until this matter of the moment of silent prayer. I could be incorrect and this constitutional inconsistency regarding indivisiblity may have existed prior.

    Regardless, I wonder how many of these carpet-bagging conservatives populating our expanding suburbs and changing our state’s politics actually grew up here. I had the distinct pleasure of attending Texas History classes in Middle School. These state representatives obviously came from somewhere else or slept through the seventh grade…

  6. yeah all this forced pledge crap is BULL FUCKING SHIT!!!! I live in Texas and have to read about all these bullshit laws being passed by the texas-taliban mother fuckers. too bad i only stand up… oops that would be breaking the law.. oohhh im soooooo bad!!!!!! (sarcasm)

  7. As a 18 year old senior at kempner high school ( i am even posting this form a computer at my school) i believe this is complete crap. and since at least in my district the attentence is taken for 2nd period the pledge and moment of silence said in the first 10 min of 2nd. Therefore, even if i use my right not to participate i am indirectly participating for the moment of silence because what else am i going to be intrusted to do? Talk if I want? Then i probably get written up for disrespecting others. I live in SW Houston and that is how conservative this area is. In the care os Wallace vs. Jeffree is indirectly says that you can’t for anyone to do anyhting like this? So i am wondering how did this get pasted? I am challenging this law everyday in class though. I am starting to be ignored tough. This is somehthing that should be thrown out right now.

  8. Mrs. Weatherford-
    Mam I do “Honor the Texas flag; I pledge allegiance to thee, Texas, one and indivisible.” If everyone worries about what every one else says then every one would go crazy. If your raising your children this way then you raise them that way- but don’t throw it in other people’s faces—especially if you have only been in the state of Texas for a mere year. I think maybe you should realize that you are so wrapped up in something that you yourself have misconstrued so badly, that you are taking away from the most important thing you can give YOUR daughter- and that is her education. You are letting something that only takes a mere 60 seconds out of a 24 hour day above and beyond what its intentions were. I am just wondering if you have done this in every state that you have lived in, found something- anything- to fight the government about. If you don’t like the way things are ran in your “unfortunate moving” to our state- then maybe you should just get the hell out. It seems to me that the importance of fighting this is worth more than what ever reason you moved here for. If this is the way you want to talk about the GREAT state of Texas, a state that is apart of the United States of America- the same United States of America that grants you the “freedom” to express anything you want—Mam I will not have THAT. Maybe you should realize that while the first amendment does allow you this right- I feel it is the only amendment you pay any respect to, excuse me- part of it. The man was right about the constitution saying that no religious prefernce is stated. PEOPLE- mam- people who choose the goverment by voting- are free to choose what ever they believe in, and mam-this country was founded on the notion that people were seeking freedom from religious prosecution. I further believe that you have no idea what you are talking about in this little tangent of yours because my mother is a 5th grade teacher mam—in the Texas Public school system and in no way, shape, or form does she stand there and tell the kids that they must do any type of religious act in that minute of silence. The kids are told they may do anything they wish to in that minute like the law passed states- they may sit and read a book if they so choose. The law that was passed says no where that it was directly intended for prayer. In fact my mother has several students of many particular religions that do pledge to either of the flags and they have no parental writen intenion of doing so and are further NOT- and I REPEAT- NOT PUNISHED because of their religious preferences and not pledging, nor are they picked on by any of the other students for their choices. Your daughter does not have to be taken outside while this occurs. She can sit there and color a pretty picture for you to stick on your refrigerator at home if she wants. I would also like to know if this is your choice for your daughter, or if she has been presented all the facts and has made a decision for herself? Are you really fighting for a just cause or for a choice YOU made for yourself 32 years ago. Mam- coming to this state of all states and stepping on the toes of those of us who bleed American AND Texan red, white, and blue is not a matter to be taken lightly. While some may agree with you- “because they have a freedom to say what ever they want”- you my friend must realize this is also going to piss alot of proud Texans right off. The next time you drive around town- look around and count the number of American and Texan flags you see. Have any of the other states you haved lived in shown their loyalty to their country and state like we do? It sounds to me that all the people who disagree with this law are just trying to pick a fight based on the first amendment. Go read it again. It sounds to me that you would like the pledge to read:
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right fo the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
    Actually they way I see it- maybe it should just read:
    “or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press”-
    because that is the only part you people seem to refer to. I recently moved to a northern state for EDUCATIONAL purposes and I have so far counted one state flag (seen on campus) and that is it. Mam I brought my Texan state flag with me, I have a floor mat and a waste basket with the Texan flag on it, and I have a clock made out of Texan limestone in the shape of Texas because I AM PROUD OF MY STATE and WHAT IT STANDS FOR. Mam I will tell you that I wake up everyday in a different state and I recite both the American and the Texan pledge because that is MY choice. If you have religious problems, then YOU have problems individually like the constituaiton states. The conatitution was not written around you and if you drive to any church you will find that no Church parking lot is empty on Wednesdays and Sundays. Just as much as something as botheres you, YOU have bothered those who have a religious preference and they mam- HAVE THE RIGHT BASED ON THE FIRST AMENDMENT TO CHOSE A RELIGION. So what if some other kid chooses to pray during this time because they can. It makes them feel better in their beliefs. They are not standing in your living room or whispering their thoughts into your kid’s ear. No one is forcing your kid to do anything but you with the choice you think is right. Let your daughter decide for herself. If she has problems then you let her stand up and let her write letters and let her say what she thinks. Do not put these words into her mouth. She is a 10 year old child and can realize what is happening in the world at this point in time. On a more relevent note mam, do not call my state dispicable, you obviously know nothing about the loyalty and pride real Texans give to our state. Texas is not just a state- it is a state of mind. And mam- DO NOT ever refer to our government as the Texas Taliban ever again. I WILL NOT tolerate this disrespect. You can fight the government all you want based on YOUR beliefs- but do not under any circumstance come here and bash OUR state. There are those of us who will not stand for that. The government is one thing to mess with mam- but the pride of a true blooded and loyal Texan is not. Mrs. Weatherford I will be a Texan until the day I die and in case you “forgot” our state motto mam- it happens to be:
    DON’T MESS WITH TEXAS.
    You can directly translate that into:
    GET THE HELL OUT
    (If that bothers you- you can imagine how you bothered millions of Texans with your comments)

  9. You know, it is rediculous that there is so much crap about the moment of silence. I may not agree with being forced to say a pledge, but some of you are getting way out of control about the moment issue. Get real people… Dont forget what it is like to be young. These kids can use a moment to clear their heads or think about chicks or wonder what they will do on the week-end. I mean that is at least one minute a day they wont have a pencil in their hand or an assignment to work on. Holy cow people it is one friggin minute. Thats barely enough time to get in a good yawn complete with a stretch! My main issue however is the bashing that my great state has been taking….you will never have 100% of the people happy with their government. Thats not humanly possible….But reguardless of who our officials are, we still have a great and proud state! I went on a long trip with my kids 2 summers ago. We went through 9 different states. Not 1 of those states did I see the state flag flying hardly anywhere. Maybe at the state line and a bank or 2, But in Texas, you see that flag everywhere you go…EVERYWHERE….on cars, windows, mailboxes, clothes, I could go on forever. That, my friends, is what you call pride. And that has absolutely nothing to do with the government or the laws. If you have moved here and you dont like it here, the road that you came in on goes right back out smile With most Texans you get what you give….We may be known for our hospitality, but that does not mean that we will put up with your shit. Have a GREAT day. And to quote my fabulous friend…Don’t Mess With TEXAS!! :o)

  10. See, this is interesting.  The amendment that restricts government from establishing an official religion is “flexible.”  Those of us who think it’s important should just “get over it” or “work with it.”

    But if you try to take away their guns. . .

    in TEXAS?

    LOL—Why then it’s vi-uh-layshun of their Rahts!

  11. Why do we always seem to hear about “states rights” when it comes time for the majority to force it’s will on the minority?

  12. Well, if nothing else, CMC certainly spells things like he’s from Texas. OK, that was a cheap shot and I’ll admit it.

    I’m curious why Texans consider it such a big deal that so many people chose to fly the state flag on their homes and businesses. Overall I’m pretty happy with my state (Michigan) other than a couple of boneheaded attempts at legislation recently, but not only do I not own an American flag at this point I also don’t own a State flag. This has little to do with my pride for either America or Michigan as much as it does the fact that I live in an apartment. I have plenty of pride in both, but I don’t feel the need to show it off in some braggart fashion as seems to be the trend in Texas based on the accounts given above. I don’t know why, but Texas always struck me as being overly testosterone orientated what with all this “don’t mess with Texas” slogan tossing they do. I’ll betcha the residents of New York city alone could whip all of Texas with one hand tied behind their backs.

    I’m also curious why, if Texans feel the moment of silence is no big deal, they feel it’s so important to put the force of law behind it. Yes, the law doesn’t say anything about it being used for prayer, but the comments from your lawmakers and several other people who support it make it clear that was the intent. I wonder if they’d been as keen on an arbitrary law that forces school-kids to stand on one-foot for a minute each day before class starts. Not for any particular reason, mind you, but because most kids don’t stand on one foot for a minute very often so perhaps it should be mandated by law.

  13. Don’t mess with the Sunshine State! Sounds like a good plan to me. Disney could always use the extra real estate for an expansion of their “It’s A Small World” ride.

  14. I’m a 18 y/o student at a Texas school.  This moment of silence is total bullshit. Maybe 1 out of every 10 students even does it.  It really just wastes time, because the minute turns into a 10 minute lecture over what we are supose to do during this minute.  I feel so uncomfortable because I do not wish to pray and it makes me feel like I’m doing something wrong.  I mean if it was 5 minutes of silence at least I could get a bit of a nap in. raspberry

  15. If you don’t like our country then please leave.
    P.S you look really scary, you should think about shaving and maybe a toupee

  16. You forget, Katie, that this is my country as well and I have every legal right to work toward changing the laws I disagree with. If you don’t like the fact that I have this right then perhaps you should seek out a country where the Dictatorship you seem to think is appropriate holds power.

    And I’m happy to hear I look really scary. I already shave regularly, just not my beard. If I stopped shaving then I wouldn’t need a toupee. Ironically, part of the reason I shave my head is so I won’t need a toupee.

  17. Here we go….Katie’s another “America: love it or leave it” type.

    How about “America: change it or lose it”.
    The world needs people who question authority, otherwise we get people like Bush in the White House, and people like you, Katie can sit back and not think about things too deeply.

    I see we’re also into body fascism too. Actually, Les…a ginger mullett toupee might suit you :devil:

  18. Oh wow, why did you make me envision Les with a ginger mullet, Tish. There goes all the respect I’ve developed for him. Actually could you Photoshop a mullet on your pic for us Les. I would probably pay to see it.

    Careful Katie, to keep some of that love you’re spreading around for yourself. Then again, maybe there’s no good reason to.

  19. As a German agnostic living in Austin, TX, please let me add some international perspective.

    There is but a single pledge in Germany that I’m aware of. At the end of basic training, conscripts pledge loyal service to the Federal Republic of Germany and to defend the right and liberty of the German people. By the way, the wording suggests that the lessons of the Weimar Republic have been learned. Conscripts are not asked to swear an oath, as the service is compelled by the constitution; the pledge is delayed until the end of basic training to allow time to educate the conscripts about what they are asked to pledge and why. To the best of my knowledge, even this pledge can be refused.

    This pledge is given in a public and solemn event, voluntarily and in full knowledge of its substance and nature. It is not cheapened by coercion or rote recitation.

    Interestingly enough, the German constitution proscribes religion as a normal part of the curriculum except for non-confessional public schools. No teacher can be compelled to teach religion and parents can excuse their children from religious classes. Even though this would seem like a dream come true to the Religious Right, Germany is about as secular a society as it can possibly be. A high-ranking bishop conceded in an interview given a year or so ago that the churches have become powerless.

    Regarding the Texan law, I am very conflicted. If it weren’t for the religious indoctrination, I would simply consider the law silly and self-defeating. As it stands, my wife and I will almost certainly excuse our daughter. However, since she is a dual citizen it is important to me that she receives equal exposure (to the extent possible) to both nations that make up her heritage, which is a tall order considering that patriotism is not acceptable in post-war Germany.

  20. Les, I don’t know why Texas seems to be concentrating all the most conservative, ham-handed and jingoistic parts of the Amurrican psyche into one state, with a dash of entertainment value and hard partyin’ thrown in for good measure.  Who knows why certain states develop the personality that they do? 

    But I believe I can say this much without fear of being contradicted:  anyone who parrots the inane “love it or leave it” party line has never actually lived outside of the US, and so has the education and perspective of a small fruit bat.

  21. Correction: “…the German constitution proscribes religion as a normal part of the curriculum except for non-confessional public schools.” is in error; it should read as “allows religion”. Sorry, English is not my native language.

    I might as well add that I believe confessional public schools to be rare outside of Bavaria. Texas, by the way, is an ultra-liberal version of Bavaria…

  22. gwaaawwwleee, if iz aint the gol darndest set of post i ever did reed.

    judgemental and delusional post by les (chortle, chortle,)

    I don

  23. Considering what a piss-poor President he is I wouldn’t be bragging too much about him being from Texas if I were you.

    As for being jealous? Heh, I’ve been to Texas several times and have yet to see much of anything to be jealous about. Though it doesn’t surprise me at all to find you you’re a Texan. Explains a lot.

  24. Did you know that the citizens of the state of Alaska got SO tired of hearing the Texan’s whine about how they “used to be” (and should be) the biggest state that they just voted to split Alaska into two equal states?

    So that Texas can be the third biggest state?

    😀

  25. I’ve driven thru Texas a couple times, and from what I could tell, they were consistently about 20 years behind Chicago (a pretty conservative city, by anyone’s account.)  Oh, plus they have some of the deadliest air & water pollution in the nation.  Thanks to a certain former governor… Overall, not the state I would want to be the most ‘representative’ of our country.

  26. Just in case your point, randall, is that I’m a hypocrite because I’m judgmental

    I never claimed I wasn’t— judgment is a fine thing, it’s what separates us from the kind of idiots that walk into walls

    over and over and over again.

    But I do try to base my judgments on something other than—well, I’ve got this “feeling”

    Or, “eeww,  that makes me feel all, you know, yicky inside.”

    And I try not to assert that my judgments are the “right” ones for everyone, as I’m very much aware that my world view is as narrow as my experience and education have allowed it to be.

    And as a side note, I could make you “appear” to be saying almost anything, if I selectively cut and pasted your quotes from other threads.  My point, in context, was that it is ironic that the same people who are so dead-set against any restrictions of the second amendment are so quick to dismiss the protections granted by the first.

    So randall, as a side note, what’s more morally reprehensible—making judgments about a person’s/state’s/nation’s character by observing its actions, or ripping someone else’s words out of context in an attempt to distort their character?

  27. les, what do you mean it does not surprise you that i’m a texan.  the only thing wrong with texas would be,,,the dallas cowboys and texas rangers (baseball, not law enforcement).

    as far as alaska do they really count as a state? they are big and all but alaskans just dont carry the clout as us texicans do.

    the name texas is synonomous with honor, bravery, and freedom.  you guys are welcome here anytime.  i would be abliged to give you a tour of crawford the home of the presidents ranch.

    and maryh, did you actually drive through texas?  if you did it must have taken you a while.  did you happen to see any “guest workers” on your way through?

    and les, i know that you think i am pro-bush because i am christian.  i am actually not pro-bush, and i am not so sure of his christian values either.  but he is from texas!!  yeehaww!

    good nite

  28. Well, yeah Randall.  The first time I “drove thru” I was staying with a friend in Galveston for 3 weeks.  We took some road trips around the state, but mostly stayed around Houston and its environs.  I was really young at the time- 13 or so- and this was during the early Reagan era.  I saw lots of ‘guest workers”.  I had the impression, even then, that Houston had a huge divide between rich and poor. 
    You grew up in Texas, so you must’ve seen all the Mary Kay stuff?  At the time, the Mary Kay thing seemed kind of scammy to me—I mean, I just flew in from Chicago, I’m a pre-teen, and within the first 2 days I’m in Galveston I’ve already been unsuccessfully inducted into the MK pyramid scheme twice. If I’m sounding a bit overly critical of Mary Kay, I ask you to consider the kind of thinking that went into Enron, etc.  Houston seems to be the center of the universe for Ponzi schemes.
    Overall, not a bad trip for a horse crazy pre-teen, tho’.
    Second time thru was in 1993, on my way from Chicago to LA.  Non-stop cop harassment, and I can only conclude it was because of my IL plates. Okay, this is all very subjective, but I got a much different buzz off of TX than I have from any other state.
    Just my observations.

  29. I think randall would be happier in Mississippi.  They were still doing prayer in at least one school (illegally) in the mid 90’s. 

    The town where it was going on was north of where I was living at the time.  They were calling themselves the “Buckle of the Bible Belt” on tv.  I figured it put me right in the “Zipper of the Bible Belt.”

  30. Whoa, hang on there, Les, I’m a Texan too.  Grew up here, and I’m trying to turn the tide, but it’s hard work (especially when they keep gerrymandering districts out from under you).

    I did spend ten years in Chicago, too.  Great place.  (You DO know how Chicago as a city was founded, right?  The folks in NYC said, “Well, we like the poverty and the crime, but it’s just not cold enough.”  *rim shot*)  I do miss Chicago from time to time.  Especially Giordano’s.

    I’ve been all over the world, and Texas is indeed a Whole ‘Nother Country.  Which is both good and bad.  Right now it’s election day and I’m depressed.

    (Yeah, sorry, we sent Bush to Washington.  PLEASE don’t make us take him back.  Let him join Aristide in exile; they’d probably have a lot to talk about.)

  31. Randall, what I mean is that you seem to be representative of the mindset of a lot of the folks I’ve met from Texas. Your comment about Alaska not carrying the “clout” of Texas is a prime example, though I suspect you meant it in jest.

    As a bit of geography I have no issues with Texas. It’s interesting enough and there’s plenty of natural beauty to take in. It’s the attitude of some of the residents that Texas is somehow only a part of the union because it wants to be and if the rest of us aren’t careful you guy’s will pack up your goodies and leave the union that tends to bug me. It’s the same insufferably superior attitude the French tend to have from time to time and they bug the hell out of me (in general) as well. Texans tend to annoy me only slightly less than Frenchmen, though the French tend to have more tolerable accents. Is my viewpoint judgmental? Absolutely, but not baseless by a long shot.

    GeekMom, just as there are Christians (and Frenchmen) who I think “get it” there are Texans who I think “get it” and you’d fall into that camp quite easily. Though I’d probably still poke fun at your accent a little. grin

  32. Les, one might argue that the French tend to be more arrogant because they ARE better.  I mean, when you compare them to Texans, come on, there’s no challenge there.  wink

    No, but seriously, I have actually met some very nice French people.  They were, however, all outside of Paris.

    I have yet to meet an accent I couldn’t mangle.  Would a John-Wayne-meets-Yves-Montand flip your nonexistent toupee, Les?

    I used to have fun making French speakers listen to zydeco music.  I would explain to them:  “This is what happens to French people when they stay in the U.S. too long.”  Woo-eee!

    Just as an aside, Les, for some strange reason the state of Bavaria in Germany is very similar to Texas.  They’re both in the south, they think they’re their own country, they’re conservative as all get-out, you can’t understand a word the natives say, and they’re a hell of a lot of fun to have at parties.

  33. My sudden reversal of morals? That’s pretty fuckin’ funny, David. This entry has been up here for almost a year now and you’re describing my “change” as “sudden?” And since when have I ever said that it wasn’t OK to make generalizations about gay people? I generalize a lot and when I do I try to make it clear that I am doing just that at the time.

    I always thought that all went together: supreme arrogance and a liberal attitude that is. Seems to work that way with all the people I encounter.

    You seem hell bent on proving it doesn’t take a liberal attitude to have supreme arrogance. Doin’ a mighty fine job of it too!

    Of course, I find your attitude all the more humorous because I was actually born in the great state of Texas. I applaud any state that takes the attitude “That’s the way we’re doing things here, if you don’t like it, move”.

    Yeah, wouldn’t want that pesky Bill of Rights to have anything to say on the matter down there in Texas! Nosiree! It’s Mob Rul… er.. I mean Majority Rule all the way in the Lone Star State!

    Considering your expressed admiration for that attitude I find it pretty funny you call Michigan a backwater state.

    I know, I’m a bigot, and you’re just misunderstood. You’re liberal, you couldn’t possibly a racist. *sigh*

    That’s your preconception, not mine. I’ve known racists liberals in my time as well as racist conservatives. I’ve even been accused of being racist myself.

    You really need to stop trying to speak for me. It makes you look less intelligent than you’d like us to think you are.

  34. David, I just can’t wait to fix things around here in the great state o’ Texas, and then if YOU don’t like it, you can move.  And move, and move, and keep moving … because obviously changing things for the better isn’t an option, right?

    Why, you may end up having to leave the Liberal States of America altogether.  Although you’ll probably have a hard time finding another country that doesn’t qualify in your eyes as being Third World (that is, they don’t have pickup trucks and seven kinds of Cheez Whiz).

  35. Either you guys are just too easy, or too thin skinned. I can’t decide, but I’m still laughing.

    There are seven kinds of cheese whiz? WOW! I’m off to the store!

    BTW, geekmom, on a more serious note, you come off as even more arrogant when you’re mad. Maybe you should work on that, or not, your choice. I think it had more to do with dogs roaming the streets in packs, animals allowed inside markets, lack of suitable phone service, poor sewage service, their Ph.D.s not being able to solve problems the lab techs working for her can do in their sleep, that kind of thing. But it’s true, not that I own a truck, but they can’t build a decent car, either.

    Have a nice day, and try to get over yourselves…:)

  36. I, personally, deeply dig Geekmom.  So bite my pasty white middle-aged ass, David.

  37. Ragman, armed liberals are the bestest kind!  Who says you can’t shoot back?  grin

    David, I’m so sorry your wife wasn’t able to figure out how to use the phone in France, and that someone’s poodle in a supermarket scared her.  And I’m real sorry her folks in the US built such a counterintuitive, messed-up system that only THEY understand it well enough to fix it …

    But hell yeah, you’re right.  The best country is the one that builds the best cars.  Meet you in Tokyo, babe?

    Geek(PULL!)Mom

  38. Now that is really offensive. Let’s meet in Stuttgart or Munich instead. Wolfsburg in a pinch.

    Oh, wait. You’re just baiting me, aren’t you? wink

  39. Guilty as charged, El baby.  Besides, the phone system there is too hard to figure out how to use.

    Geek(Fahrvergn

  40. I live in texas and I can safely say we don’t do this we instead have the moment of silence around 11 am rather than the morning. also some people have been sickened and are fighting this at my school while others couldn’t care less that some people are wanting to stand up. I choose to continue sitting thinking about getting the hell out of texas.

  41. Well, geekmom would actually have to be able to READ to know that I wrote that I was born in TX, and in other posts I have mentioned I live in PA. I also wrote suitable, as in poor quality connections and lack of availability making internet usage difficult, not mentally challenging. Generally, my wife doesn’t bother figuring out how to use a phone system, that’s what secretaries are for, dear. Someday, if you decide to become a useful member of society, perhaps you’ll be able to help her out in that capacity. Oh, I forgot, the reading thing might present a barrier to that endeavor. But I’d be glad to send you a primer, never let it be said that I wasn’t willing to give the uneducated a leg up. And I think it was more the poodle’s puddle while she was shopping in a food store that offended her, not the animal itself. But then, considering your cultural standing I’m sure you’re far more comfortable eating among animals than she is, you win.

    I have to ditto everything elwedriddsche wrote. Except I’d go to Ingolstadt before Munich.

    But bait would be the operative word in all these posts. You guys really are too easy. If we’re going to continue to trade slams, can’t you come up with anything better?

    Irony… lol… you’re funnier than you think, Les.

  42. David, I did read that you said you were born in TX (you were probably referring to the quote from Ragman, not from me), and I’m just pointing out that saying that something isn’t “suitable” may very well mean that it’s not suitable for YOU. Comments like that usually say more about you than they do about the thing you’re criticizing.

    But at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter WHERE you’re from; your ethnocentricity clearly marks you as someone who doesn’t know very much about anything outside of your comfort zone.

    Secretaries?  Been one, had some.  It wouldn’t occur to me to try to win an argument by bragging about having people work for me, though. Do you often try to impress people by telling them that your wife has a secretary?  Do you really think that’s the Big Time?  Woo, woo!

    (I am, however, very glad to see that in this enlightened day and age, men can feel comfortable claiming status points by what their wives do or earn.  Why should women be the only ones to ride on their spouse’s coattails?)

  43. OK, you got me. What’s in Passau?

    Yeah, geekmom, having 3 secretaries is not as common as it used to be. But I’m far more impressed by the number of PhDs that work for her. And it took me awhile to figure out what your one comment meant, I think I get it now. But I don’t think the Americans invented chemistry or biology. In fact, if anyone, the French might be able to lay claim. But neither designed it. There was a designer? Who said that?

    And it’s not me I was defending, you took a swipe at her. But yeah, I think that there is a coattail effect. I always thought that’s what the Bible taught: I lift her up, she lifts me up. But again I suppose you’d disagree. It must be another complete accident that womens rights are far better in Christian cultures than non-Christian cultures.

    Impress you? Why would I want to do that? You’re the one claiming to be cultured, I’m just a cheezwiz eating, turck driving, ethnocentric, married to a women too stupid to operate a phone. Heck, I’m surprised I could find the on button on this here computer.

    Now, if I get caught laghing out loud again at my PC, someone is going to call the in the nice men with the big butterfly net and the nice needle. So I’m going to have to leave this alone for awhile. ttfn.

  44. It must be another complete accident that womens rights are far better in Christian cultures than non-Christian cultures.

    Oh, David, you’re such a card.  Are you really purposely trying to make all Christians look this ignorant?  I’d resent it, if I were they.  (Even the ones who are busy submitting to their husbands.  Bwahaha.) 

    Yeah, go hose your chair down and amuse yourself some more with your wife’s org chart.  Take a break. But please do try to come up with some logical arguments next time to support your absurd assertions, other than “my wife is too important to use her own phone.”  Those of us who can manage a staff AND dial a phone at the same time will be out here waiting for some sign of reasoned debate to issue forth.

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