2010 Turkeys of the Year

Metro chief Frank Wilson is our biggest gobbler.

d) Trick question: They all protested

2. Instead of referring to "America's slave trade," what term did SBOE conservatives prefer?

a) The "Atlantic Triangular Trade"

b) "An immigration policy that was actually effective"

c) "The awful beginning of the road to 'rap'"

d) "The 'Land o' Opportunity Program'"

3. What did the conservatives hope students would learn about affirmative action?

a) How it helped kids from the lower socioeconomic rungs of society achieve success in college

b) How it helped people like George W. Bush get into Yale as a "legacy"

c) Its "unintended consequences"

d) That it may sound all well and good, but next thing you know you've got a radical Marxist Muslim as president

4. The conservatives wanted to de-emphasize Thomas Jefferson and emphasize Phyllis Schlafly. Why?

a) Just for shits and gigs, to see if anyone was paying attention

b) Because really, what did Thomas Jefferson ever do when compared with Phyllis Schlafly?

c) Because ol' TJ coined the phrase "separation of church and state," forever displeasing God

d) To fight the hegemony of the Dead White Guy in history in favor of women and minorities

5. In addition to the nonviolent philosophy of Martin Luther King Jr., Texas students studying the Civil Rights Era will now also have to study:

a) The pro-violence philosophy of the Black Panthers, in case they get the wrong idea from MLK about blacks and how uppity they can get

b) The pro-violence philosophy of the Black Panthers, because the Black Panthers have proven to be so much more influential in history than Martin Luther King

c) The Mau Mau Uprising in Africa in the 1950s

d) The degree to which blacks were ungrateful for the "Land o' Opportunity Program"

6. When conservatives wanted to take out any mention of César Chávez, a Hispanic state representative protested that "We're in the 21st Century, and we're writing textbooks like it's ____." Fill in the blank.

a) " the 1950s."

b) "the 21st Century — in Texas."

c) "a time when some elected officials actually think Glenn Beck makes sense. Oh, never mind."

d) "1999" (with Prince blasting in the background)

7. Textbooks on the Civil Rights Era will mention that Republicans supported the law. Why?

a) Because "Republicans need a little credit for that," a board member said

b) Because today's Republican conservatives would ABSOLUTELY be on the side of civil-rights protests if they were happening today

c) Because any Republican who supported the Civil Rights Act would not be denounced as a "RINO" (Republican In Name Only; i.e., communist) if the vote happened today

d) Because the section will also include the sentence "Of course, kids, back then there was actually such a thing as a moderate Republican."

8. The conservatives wanted to replace the word "capitalism" with "free enterprise system." Why?

a) God said to

b) Because capitalism ends with the same three letters as communism, socialism and fascism

c) "Capitalism" has gotten a bad connotation

d) Because "free enterprise system" also means freedom from government overregulation that would try to tell a business owner just how much he could pollute the air

9. Which of these were pushed by conservative SBOE members?

a) Noting that Germans and Italians were interred in World War II just as Japanese were, so that America would not seem racist

b) Noting that several white people lost their property in one way or another in the 19th Century, so that shoving Native Americans off their land would not seem racist

c) Noting that white people who couldn't pass a quiz asking who Millard Fillmore's vice-president was also would not have been allowed to vote in Alabama in the 1960s, if that test had been given to white people, so that the Jim Crow South would not seem racist

d) Noting that Real "Build the Dang Fence" Americans don't want any French, Belgians or Lithuanians crossing the Rio Grande illegally, so that Real "Build the Dang Fence" Americans don't seem racist

10. The conservatives pushed for students to "evaluate efforts by global organizations such as the United Nations to undermine U.S. sovereignty." This will include studying

a) All those black helicopters

b) The FEMA concentration camps Glenn Beck exposed

c) Those bastards at UNICEF

d) Delusional paranoia on the part of right-wing extremists

(Answers: 1-d, 2-a, 3-c, 4-a, 5-a, 6-a, 7-a, 8-c, 9-a, 10-d)
_____________________

Educational Turkey of the Year:
Rice President David Leebron

You run a prestigious school where many people on all levels take themselves very, very seriously. Your school's not exactly strapped for cash, but like every college president, you say it is.

Ah-ha! You have in your control a valuable asset, worth millions. It's a 50,000-watt radio station that everyone pretends to listen to but no one does. The public university across town wants to buy it.

Now all you have to do is make sure you and your administration pull off the deal in the worst way possible, so you look bad, your students and alumni are pissed, and everyone involved, including the city's main newspaper, looks bad.

Success!!

Rice President David Leebron might not have gotten himself involved in every last little nitty-gritty detail of the sale of KTRU-FM to the University of Houston, but his administration did. And if there was a wrong move to make along the way, they jumped at it with both hands, turning what could have been a win for everyone into a public-relations disaster.

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