September 15, 2017

TGIF 9/15/17

Finally! It's time for a random thought or two to end the work week.

We've talked before about Texas and how everything there is, simply, bigger. Bigger conservatism, bigger interference in the doctor-patient relationship, bigger everything.

And now, we have another example of 'bigger', one that I am not sure how exactly to characterize.

Apparently, in the Lone Star state, you can have a sign put up along the highway to memorialize someone killed in a motorcycle accident. You pay your $350, and you  provide the victim's name and some other info, and up goes a blue sign with a red cross on it, along with the information you provide. The sign stays up for a year, and it must have the cross, regardless of the victim's religion.  Why? Because a law passed in 2011 says so.

The symbol was suggested by the motorcycle community, which worked with legislators on the bill. The bikers don't consider it a religious symbol; to them, it's a 'motorcycle' symbol.

And the legislators who worked on the bill? They either didn't care that the motorcycle folks wanted a cross on the signs, or they took advantage of it as a way to advance a cause, and now, here it is.

I have to admit, my first reaction upon seeing one of the signs would be that the cross denoted the Christian faith of the victim, and I'd expect at some point to see one with a red Star of David or other religious symbol.

But, that's not going to happen. Because this is Texas, and everything is bigger there. Or something.

Speaking of things that go 'or something' in the night, let's go to Florida for our next random story.

It's now legal for a parent, or any resident, to challenge the instructional material used in schools. The law was pushed by the Florida Citizens Alliance, which objected to a number of things they've seen in textbooks or on reading lists, including such things as:

  • political indoctrination
  • religious indoctrination
  • revisionist history
  • distortion of our founding values and principles
  • pornography
  • downplaying of individual liberties, and
  • promoting reliance on the federal government

And that's before they even get to evolution and climate change. Guidance is being developed by the Florida Department of Education to help school districts deal with the inevitable challenges. It should make things interesting, that's for sure. 

Finally, speaking of making things interesting, the long-awaited book from Hillary Clinton has arrived; I suspect conservatives in Texas, Florida and elsewhere are not as enamored of her multiple explanations on What Happened as some others. (The book has been fact-checked for what's it worth.)

She's starting a book tour next week, and on all the shows that matter ahead of that - but I think I'll wait a bit before pulling the trigger on Amazon Prime.

I can't help thinking that the book and the tour and the interviews will serve to somehow overshadow the people who are working to get things done, and that focusing attention on what didn't happen is much less important than focusing on what will.


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