Vigilante California Moves Against Right-Wing Texas TextbooksS

First California boycotted Arizona over its stupid immigration law. Now its lawmakers are fighting back against the Texas Board of Education's changes to history textbooks — to defend McCarthy-ism, minimise Thomas Jefferson and twist the separation of church and state.

The problem is that the measures of the crackpot conservative Texas Board, headed by Rick Perry appointee Gail Lowe, pictured above, affect other states too — they're such a big market for schoolbooks that the changes they want made will creep into the books other, smaller states have to use to teach their kids. The Washington Post explain what that means kids in Texas, and elsewhere, will now be taught. In school. As history:

What it wanted, for example, was to minimize the legitimate role of the brilliant Thomas Jefferson; improperly explain the meaning and importance to the country's development of the phrase "separation of church and state"; incorrectly say that the McCarthyism of the 1950s was vindicated; require that that the United States be referred to as a "constitutional republic" rather than "democratic," (I'm betting because "democratic" sounds too much like "democrat" to these conservative Republicans); and much more.

One change that was initially approved but then rescinded, apparently because it was simply too embarrassing even for these people, was to require that the system known as the "slave trade" be known instead as the "Atlantic triangular trade." The fact that it was first approved is more than disturbing.

California, actually, is such a big textbook market itself that it's not really in danger of having such idiocy rammed down the throats of its children. But State Senator Leland Yee has introduced a bill to ensure there can be no overlap anyway. It may be purely symbolic (like the Arizona boycott). But it's better than the face-palm and sigh that most of us resort to when reading about such antics.