Wednesday, May 04, 2005
Hey Hey / You get out of our way / Today is the day / We will put you away!
The Texas legislature is tackling the real issues. After an alternately comic and fiery debate — punctuated by several lawmakers waving pompons — the state House on Tuesday approved a bill to restrict “overtly sexually suggestive” cheerleading to more ladylike performances.
Texas is the 2nd largest state (over 20 Million people) in the United States and has it share of problems. Here is just a small example:
Texas ranks 49th on percentage of the population aged 25 or older who have completed high school
Texas ranks 30th in median household income by state.
Texas ranks 32nd in employment rates in the United States.
Texas ranks 42nd in percentage of occupied housing units that are owner-occupied. A pretty good proxy for access to liquidity.
Texas ranks 6th in percentage of people below poverty level in the Past 12 Months at the state level. Texas is 9th for child poverty and 8th for senior's poverty using the same measure.
Texas has the 8th highest total Crime Index among the states.
Texas ranked 13th for highest occurrence for Violent Crime among the states.
Texas ranked 10th highest for property crimes. ________________________________________________________
Yet with all of these issues known, lawmakers target cheerleading for their attention. The proposed bill would give the state education commissioner authority to request that school districts review high school performances.
Democratic Representative Al Edwards, who filed the legislation, said this “Girls can get out and do all of these overly sexually performances and we applaud them and that's not right.” Edwards argued bawdy performances are a distraction for students resulting in pregnancies, dropouts and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.
Hey Edwards, there is a difference between correlation, causation and desperation. If every suggested link were true all men would have hairy palms and children would be cross-eyed.
FYI - This is not Edward's first moral crusade. He has suggested cutting off the fingers of drug dealers and railed about lewd musical lyrics.
Thankfully there is a lone voice of reason - Democratic Representative Senfronia Thompson. Thompson questioned the legislation's priorities saying “Have we done anything about stem cell research to help people who are dying and are sick advance their health? No,” She then added “Have we done anything about the mentally ill, school finance or ethics?”
The bill passed on a 65-56 vote. It still must be approved by the Senate and signed by Republican Governor Rick Perry. Here is hoping that somewhere in that mix is a good check and balance.