Voices Empower
 

Texas Freedom Network Trying To Stir up Trouble

By Donna Garner

DONNA GARNER - Educator for 33 years, appointed by President Reagan, Now Activist Writer

TFN is up to its usual tricks (link to 7.18.11 article in Houston Chronicle posted below), but the good news is that more and more Texans know who and what TFN really is. America-loving Texans are no longer listening to the junk that TFN puts out there through their liberal mouthpieces.

TFN, Bob Craig, and Thomas Ratliff have chosen to castigate new Texas State Board of Education Chair Barbara Cargill for having spoken at a friendly meeting in which she stated that she believes the SBOE needs more conservative Christians on it.

Never mind that the term “conservative Christians” (and far worse) is used as a derogatory term by the liberal leftists to describe anyone and everyone with whom their ruinous agenda does not agree.

The truth is that the voters of Texas do need to elect more conservative “Christians” to the SBOE because it is they who have led out in the efforts to produce the new-and-much-improved English, Science, and Social Studies standards (Math coming soon) for our public schools to follow. [Are we to assume that the Left wants voters to elect conservative “atheists”?]

We Texans want our children to be able to discuss and ask questions in their classes about the strengths and weaknesses of leading scientific theories, including evolution and also the contradictions between various evolutionary trees of life.

We Texans expect the publishers in their new Science instructional materials to follow the new Science TEKS that were carefully worded and passed by a majority of our elected SBOE members after extensive public hearings.

Nowhere in the new Science standards (TEKS) does it mention the words “intelligent design” or anything faintly religious.  It is TFN that loves to whip up “fears” that the SBOE members are miraculously going to wave their magic wands and thrust “intelligent design” onto each page in the new Science instructional materials!  Ridiculous!  The battle over the new Science TEKS was fought two years ago, and the standards were finalized then.  Nothing has changed.  Interestingly enough, the ACLU knows Texas’ Science TEKS are Constitutional and has never challenged them.

WHO AND WHAT TFN REALLY IS

Please take a look at the organizations that support Texas Freedom Network, and this should tell you everything you need to know about their true intent:

Planned Parenthood; the Human Rights Campaign (largest homosexual organization in the U. S.); the ACLU Texas; Alliance for Clean Texas; People for the American Way; Center for Public Policy Priorities; Equality Texas; NARAL Pro-Choice; Sierra Club; Freedom From Religion Foundation; Stand Down Texas; Texas Association of Planned Parenthood Affiliates (TAPPA); Texas Impact; The Texas Observer; MECha (who wants to eliminate the border with Mexico entirely and honor Mexican revolutionary war hero Ernesto Zapata and Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara); the Center for Inquiry (CFI) who fought to make the Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional.

Do we want Texas Freedom Network to influence Texas’ education standards, textbooks, and curriculum?

Let’s consider the answer to that question:

Dan Quinn is the Communications Director for Texas Freedom Network (TFN).  Dan “outed” himself in an article in the Austin American-Statesman (6.3.01 – The Voices of Gay Austin – 

Photo Courtesy of Huffington Post

Cecile Richards founded Texas Freedom Network in 1995.  She is now the president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. When Cecile left for Washington, D. C., Samantha Smoot took Cecile’s place.

When Samantha left for Washington, D. C. in 2005, she went to work for the Human Rights Campaign, the largest homosexual organization in the country.

Another far, leftwing organization has recently been added to the TFN alliance: MEChA.

Now we have Texas Freedom Network, Planned Parenthood, Human Rights Campaign (largest homosexual organization in the country), and MEChA (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan) all speaking as one voice.  Who is MEChA?

On 3.25.10, The Daily Texan reported:  A UT-based group called Save Our History, an alliance between University Democrats, a Chicano civil rights group called MEChA and the Texas Freedom Network, a nonprofit that works to combat the radical right voice in education, staged a march and press conference on March 10. Garrett Mize, a member of the Texas Freedom Network and the coalition, said the group plans to continue its activism and hopes to expand its membership in preparation for the May meetings.

MEChA wants to eliminate the border with Mexico entirely. They honor Mexican revolutionary war hero Ernesto Zapata and Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara.

MEChA has held rallies to pressure the University of Texas not to celebrate Texas Independence Day on campus, and they advocate for  “La Reconquista” or the retaking of the Southwestern states (Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, and Utah) to form an independent nation called “Aztlan.” (http://97.74.65.51/readArticle.aspx?ARTID=16439)

What parent in his right mind would want the TFN alliance to have any influence whatsover over what impressionable and vulnerable public school students are taught?

Photo Courtsey of Texas Tribune

BOB CRAIG

I find it ironic that Bob Craig had the nerve to rail against Barbara Cargill as indicated in the 7.18.11 article in the Houston Chronicle.  Back in March 2009 when the Science TEKS were being finalized and Barbara and the other conservative SBOE members were working tirelessly to make them the best in the United States, it was Bob Craig and others who mucked up the clarity of the standards.

It was Bob Craig who insisted on a language insertion into conservative SBOE Member Cynthia Dunbar’s amendment.  It was Craig who insisted on the wording “all sides” of leading scientific theories instead of saying “supportive or non-supportive” or “scientific strengths and weaknesses.”

The 13 SBOE members were finally able to come together and pass the amendment.  However, as a lawyer, Bob Craig certainly should have known that saying “all sides” is ambiguous and sets up a frustrating situation for classroom teachers. When a person says a teacher is to present “all sides,” then this wording technically means every opinion/report ever written.  How could a teacher realistically teach “all sides” of any issue?

The social conservatives were forced to compromise in order to get the amendment passed, but we still need to hold Bob Craig accountable for creating havoc and implementing lack of clarity into the standards.

At the bottom of this article, I have posted a chart showing Bob Craig’s voting record.  It shows that he has clearly obstructed the hard work of the conservatives on the Board who have produced three of the finest standards documents in the entire United States.  It is the conservatives on the SBOE who have led the way for our Texas public school students to follow the path to authentic education reform.

THOMAS RATLIFF

Then there is Thomas Ratliff who always manages to get himself quoted in the left-leaning newspapers.  He also rails against Barbara Cargill and just as Bob Craig did, Ratliff touts his church membership as if that is what proves a person is a Christian.  [I may attend a professional football game, but that does not mean I am a professional football player.]

For Thomas Ratliff to use the term “divisiveness” really takes gall.  Just by his presence on the SBOE, he has created divisiveness.

Please read my 4.3.11 article entitled “Thomas Ratliff’s Brazen Gall” —

In this article I explain that Thomas Ratliff is currently under investigation by the Texas Attorney General’s office because Ratliff was elected to the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) even though the Texas Education Code says clearly that a person who is a registered lobbyist is not eligible to serve on the SBOE.

Thomas Ratliff has been a registered lobbyist with the Texas Ethics Commission since 1998.  One of his most lucrative clients is Microsoft earning him between $25,000 – $50,000 each year since 1998.  The SBOE is the caretaker of the Permanent School Fund (PSF), and Thomas Ratliff managed to get himself appointed to the PSF committee.  On May 30, 2010, Microsoft was one of the PSF’s top five stocks at $157.16 million. If this is not a direct conflict of interest, I do not know what is!

YE SHALL KNOW THEM BY THEIR FRUITS

Since it is Bob Craig and Thomas Ratliff who are self-righteously touting their Christianity in today’s Houston Chronicle article, I guess it is safe for me to make mention of the Biblical scripture, “You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. (New Living Translation)”  I will leave it to the reader to see if this applies to Bob Craig and Thomas Ratliff.   The truth is that no man can serve two masters, and we know in whose camp these two men really are.

CONGRATULATIONS TO BARBARA CARGILL

I congratulate Barbara Cargill for being the new chair of the SBOE; and I have full confidence that with her magnificent teaching background, particularly in math and science, she will lead the Board with wisdom and dexterity. To read more about Barbara’s background, please go to this link: http://www.barbaracargill.com/bio.htm

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To read the 7.18.11 article written by Gary Scharrer in the Houston Chronicle entitled “State Education Board Chair Already in Hot Seat,” please go to the following link:

===============================

BOB CRAIG — OBSTRUCTIONIST VOTING RECORD

*Provided by unnamed person on 2.12.10: This individual tabulated what happened during a single hour of voting at the Texas State Board of Education meeting on the Science standards, January 2009.  He said he did not cherry-pick the votes but tabulated all of them during a one-hour period.  In EVERY single vote below (which were ten consecutive ones…no omissions), Craig voted against the 7 conservatives, and in EVERY case where their motion failed, Craig switching his vote would have made it pass.  Note that some motions DID PASS, but without Craig’s vote.

This is indicative of what Bob Craig has repeatedly done for years to obstruct the conservatives on the Board.

Item

Vote

Pass Fail

7 Conserv-atives

Rino-Bob Craig

Voted With Conservatives

Date

Video

Dunbar “supportive and not supportive”, “analyze, evaluate, & critique”  (Hardy refers to “Mrs. Dunbar’s Amendment”)

7-8-0

FAIL

FOR

AGAINST

none

Jan 22 2009

20090122142523.m2ts

Cargill:  ESS to make origin of universe more tentative rather than dogmatic

8-7-0

PASS

FOR

AGAINST

Pat Hardy

Jan 22 2009

20090122142523.m2ts

Cargill:  ESS replace dogmatic language with that of College Readiness Standards for consistency

7-7-1

FAIL

FOR

AGAINST

none

Jan 22 2009

20090122142523.m2ts

Cargill:  ESS insert “is thought to” rather than dogmatic statement of supernovas formation

7-7-1

FAIL

FOR

AGAINST

none

Jan 22 2009

20090122142523.m2ts

Cargill:  ESS “Understand” instead of “know” (solar model)

8-6-1

PASS

FOR

AGAINST

Pat Hardy

Jan 22 2009

20090122142523.m2ts

Cargill:  ESS “thought to” instead of “can”–less dogmatic

7-8-0

FAIL

FOR

AGAINST

none

Jan 22 2009

20090122142523.m2ts

Cargill:  ESS softened planet formation language — less dogmatic

8-7-0

PASS

FOR

AGAINST

Pat Hardy

Jan 22 2009

20090122142523.m2ts

Cargill:  ESS softened language regarding creation of earth’s atmosphere

7-7-1

FAIL

FOR

AGAINST

Hardy abstain

Jan 22 2009

20090122142523.m2ts

Cargill:  ESS Volcanic out gassing — soften dogmatic language

7-7-1

FAIL

FOR

AGAINST

Hardy abstain

Jan 22 2009

20090122142523.m2ts

Cargill:  ESS Earth’s cooling-> Tectonics…focus on evidence (rather than model/possible explanation)

8-6-1

PASS

FOR

AGAINST

Miller abstain

Jan 22 2009

20090122142523.m2ts

 

 

 

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