Daily Archives: August 11, 2014

So Much Ignorance….Yo, Texas!

So Much Ignorance….Yo, Texas!

I lived in Texas for 18 years and while I am still close to the majority of my friends there, I am still astounded by the amount of ignorance that exists in Texas.  Just plain stupidity.   Take creationism, for instance.  Republicans on the Texas State Board of Education have been fighting a desperate last ditch battle to shoehorn their superstitious creationism and climate change denial into public school science textbooks, but in the good news of the day, the board voted this morning to adopt the textbooks without compromising the science.


No Compromise on Science Instruction about Evolution or Climate Change in Textbooks, TFN President Says.

Despite last-minute efforts by some board members and political activists to derail the adoption of two textbooks, the State Board of Education today voted to adopt all of the proposed instructional materials up for adoption for high school biology and environmental science. Throughout the adoption process, publishers refused to make concessions that would have compromised science instruction on evolution and climate change in their textbooks, said Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller.

“It’s hard to overstate the importance of today’s vote, which is a huge win for science education and public school students in Texas,” Miller said. “Four years ago this board passed controversial curriculum standards some members hoped would force textbooks to water down instruction on evolution and climate change. But that strategy has failed because publishers refused to lie to students and parents demanded that their children get a 21st-century education based on established, mainstream science.”

The board voted to adopt all textbooks and instructional materials submitted by 14 publishers for high school biology and high school environmental science. None of those textbooks call into question the overwhelming evidence supporting evolution and climate change science.

The adoption of the Pearson biology textbook is contingent on the review by a panel of three science experts of factual “errors” alleged by an anti-evolution activist who served on the official state review team this summer. The publisher has insisted that the alleged errors are, in fact, accurate representations of established, mainstream science.

The board adopted the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt environmental science textbook after the publisher submitted a document agreeing to revise material that might be outdated. Scientists who have reviewed the publisher’s proposed revisions were satisfied that none of the revisions would compromise the integrity of the science in the textbook, Miller said.

There’s a reason why the Republican Party fought so bitterly to insert their junk science into these textbooks: book purchases made by the state of Texas are so large that they have a strong influence on which books are published and used by the rest of the nation. If the religious right had succeeded in Texas, the effects would have been felt far beyond the Lone Star State.

They lost. And science won, this time. But don’t kid yourself — the anti-science right will be back. They always come back….because ignorance is rampant in the state of Texas….people choose to believe what they want to believe and proof of the contrary has absolutely nothing to do with it.  If someone can make the rest of the world believe that things are hunky-dorey, that’s all they need….never mind reality.  Oh, well….I love you anyway, Texas…or, at least, I love certain people that live there….and thank goodness they still love me, too.

stacy orange

Express Yourself Poetically

Express Yourself Poetically

“It is difficult to get the news from poems, yet men die miserably every day for lack of what is found there.”  –William Carlos Williams

Have you ever wanted to write poetry, but just couldn’t find the words?  Are you currently a poet that would like to take your work to the next level?  Fear not.  The answer is here.

writing poetry

Join Jen Lightly  Sept. 1, 2014, for The 30 Day Poetry Challenge where students will reinvigorate their relationships to their mother tongue through the exquisite art of poetry. If you are an accomplished poet, you are welcome. If you are a novice, you are welcome, too. If you have never written a poem in your life, you are most welcome. And if you just want to read poems and engage with creative and passionate minds and hearts, you are also welcome.

REGISTER HERE.  <—-click


During The 30 Day Poetry Challenge Jen will send you a poem and a writing prompt inspired by the poem every day. You will have the opportunity to engage with words in fresh, exciting ways while learning “the art of the line,” the nuts and bolts of what makes a poem into something as solid and beautiful as a Grecian urn, to paraphrase one of the all-time poetry greats, John Keats.

“Jen Lighty doesn’t only walk the Medicine Wheel– she lives it. A guide, a priestess, a mythologist, a story-teller and a scholar, Jen has spent her life preparing for her work helping others achieve transformation into their own beauty–that is, she re-introduces people to themselves and their own sacred journeys. I never understood the concept of ‘finding one’s teacher’ until I began to walk the path with Jen toward clarity, toward compassion, toward the light.


Jen has published two chapbooks, Siren and Bluebell: The Apocalypse Diary, and many of her poems, essays and stories have been shared through The Beloit Poetry Journal, Earthlines, The Island Review, The Providence Journal, Poet Lore, Prairie Schooner, Bamboo Ridge, Thrush Poetry Journal, Seneca Review, Water-Stone, and The North American Review. Jen recently received a grant from the Rhode Island State Council on The Arts, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and for the Best New Poets Anthology, and was awarded an Honorable Mention by Cutthroat Magazine in the Joy Harjo Poetry Prize.   Additionally, she has a taught an innovative series of workshops combining poetry, movement, meditation, and ceremony for 7 years at The Block Island Poetry Project. http://www.bipoetryproject.com

Daymoon Over Point Reyes

Daymoon Over Point Reyes

We went to Point Reyes yesterday and I managed to get some great shots of the area.  One of the places we went was the Pt. Reyes lighthouse.  Walking down, and then back up, the equivalent of a 30-story building was worth the walk just to see the magnificent rock formations and the interior of the lighthouse itself.  There was a low fog and a cool breeze, making it a very enjoyable day.