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More anti-Muslim Censoring in Textbooks After 9/11
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More anti-Muslim Censoring in Textbooks After 9/11

BY Lance Gay

The war on terrorism is giving fresh ammunition to groups protesting what they perceive as anti-Christian and anti-American propaganda in school textbooks. Watchdog groups contend publishers are so concerned about lucrative schoolbook contracts that during the recently completed book selection process in the Texas school system, publishers have opted just to delete some of the challenged portions of texts involving Islam, rather than fight to keep them in, or offer alternative wording. Steve Driesler, spokesman for the American Association of Publishers, said disputes over references to Islam in texts used in U.S. schools have become more controversial since the 9/11 attacks. He noted history and social science schoolbooks were re-written over the last two decades, under instructions that often came from school boards to come up with texts that weren't so concentrated on western European cultures, and views that gave a fuller coverage to other cultures represented in American schools today. "They have intentionally gone back and given a better understanding of other cultures and religion," Driesler said, contending the 9/11 attacks made the changes in the text more conspicuous and brought attacks on publishers' motives. Ashley McIlvain of the Texas Freedom Network, an organization battling what it sees as an effort by conservative Christian religious groups to push a religious agenda on schools, said positive characterizations of Islam and Islamic history are coming under increasing attack. "I think this is a direct result of 9/11," she said. Rather than fighting the groups, McIlvain said publishers are often deleting paragraphs and sentences involving Islam that conservative critics find objectionable. She said the outcome of the Texas fights over textbook language isn't just an issue involving the $600 million a year Texas spends on schoolbooks, but affects schools in other states as well because publishers want to produce books accepted by all states. Among changes made this year, textbook publisher Prentice Hall agreed to delete the sentence: "Many other teachings in the Quran, such as the importance of honesty, honor, giving to others and having love and respect for their families, govern their daily lives." Critics objected to the sentence as being "more propaganda" for Islam. Prentice Hall spokeswoman Wendy Spiegel said the book's editors found issues raised by the objectionable sentence were addressed partially in other parts of the text, and so agreed with critics to excise the sentence. In an other instance, publisher Glencoe, a division of McGraw-Hill, deleted the words: "Al Qeada's leader, Osama bin Laden told his followers that it was a Muslim's duty to kill Americans. No idea could be farther from Muslim teachings. The Quran, Islam's holiest book, tells soldiers to 'show (civilians) kindness and to deal with them justly.' " Critics objected to the passage, saying "this is going to great length to put a positive light on Muslim teachings considering other passages in the Quran." A Glencoe spokeswoman did not return a reporter's phone call. Peggy Venable of Texas Citizens for a Sound Economy, an organization whose volunteers filed many of the textbook complaints, said texts that don't emphasize American values and champion multi-cultural ideas should not be endorsed for use in the schools. "We want to see tolerance taught and to encourage students to see our government in a positive light," she said. "We saw in these texts a tone that de-exceptionalized the United States. To say all cultures are equal is absurd." Venable rejected charges that her group was censoring school texts. "We are parents and taxpayers," she said. Publishers agreed to more than 40 percent of the text changes members of her group made, she said, and "if you look at the texts, most of the changes strengthened the text books." Jen Schroeder, a self-described "soccer Mom" in San Luis Obispo, Calif., said it's not just the texts she finds objectionable, but role-playing activities the books promote in classrooms that her children are asked to play. Schroeder has launched her own Web site attacking the sixth grade social studies text, "Across the Centuries" published by Houghton-Mifflin because it asks students to imagine they are Muslim soldiers, or participate in building a mosque. "Asking children to participate in other religions is a huge violation of our religious rights," Schroeder said. "The propaganda is unreal." Houghton Mifflin spokesman Collin Earnst said Schroeder's complaints aren't founded, and the text has been used in schools for 11 years. He said that only 10 percent of the book concerns Islam, and that all other religions are included to expose students to a variety of other beliefs and cultures. Houghton-Mifflin, which is keeping the provisions in the text, said the classroom activities the books encourage are intended only to give students a deeper understanding of other cultures and religions. Andrew Riggsby, an assistant professor of classics at the University of Texas, said he sees the end results of school text battles in his classroom. He said he notices this in discussing how the Roman Empire expanded when students aren't aware of how European expansion into North America slaughtered the Indians because interest groups persuaded school text publishers to scrub those negative views of colonialists.

11/20/2002
Consumers, Credit, and Choice
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Press Release

Consumers, Credit, and Choice

Summary consumer position on credit scoring… Consumers can benefit from credit scoring and cost effective ways insurance companies and can lower the price of premiums or facilitate the inclusion of consumers who otherwise would be too expensive to underwrite.

11/19/2002
November Minutemen of the Month
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Press Release

November Minutemen of the Month

After a busy election season, CSE has selected three outstanding activists as the Minutemen of the Month: Lil Banks of Merritt Island, Florida; and Ed and Mary Copeland of Mebane, North Carolina.

11/19/2002
Corr To Perry: Need To Stand Up For Kids
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Corr To Perry: Need To Stand Up For Kids

We are disappointed that one of Texas Governor Rick Perry's first acts after his re-election was the appointment of former tobacco industry lobbyist Mike Toomey as chief of staff in his administration. We hope the Governor will not let the past employment of his top aide cloud his judgment on important issues facing the state. These issues include raising the tax on tobacco products to help reduce both the state's budget deficit and its smoking rate, increasing funding for tobacco prevention programs, and resisting calls to sell the state's tobacco settlement revenues to Wall Street for a fraction of their value. Governor Perry and other Texas leaders should reject the special interests of the tobacco industry and act to protect Texas' kids and health instead. It is unfortunate that Governor Perry has chosen as his top aide a former lobbyist for Philip Morris, the world's largest tobacco company and the manufacturer of Marlboro, the most popular brand among youth smokers. In fact, more kids -- 55.2 percent of all smokers ages 12 to 17 -- smoke Philip Morris's Marlboro than all other brands combined, according to the 2001 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse. Big Tobacco has consistently opposed higher tobacco taxes. Last June, public health advocates welcomed a proposal by state Senators Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, and Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, to increase Texas' cigarette tax by $1.00 from 41 cents to $1.41. The proposed cigarette tax increase is a win-win-win solution for Texas. It's a health win that will reduce smoking among both kids and adults and save lives by reducing tobacco-caused disease. It's a financial win that will raise much-needed revenue to help balance the state budget. And, it's a political win for Texas legislators because 70 percent of Texas voters supported a $1.00 increase of the tax in a poll earlier this year. In short, increasing the cigarette tax is one of the most important public health measures Texas' leaders can enact. Despite this, the tobacco industry-supported group Citizens For a Sound Economy has actively fought the proposal. Governor Perry should act to reduce tobacco's toll in Texas by increasing funding for tobacco prevention. 28.1 percent of Texas youth currently smoke, and 59,600 more kids become regular, daily smokers every year, one-third of whom will die prematurely. Smoking-caused health care expenses and productivity losses cost Texas $10 billion a year. By fully funding a tobacco prevention program in line with the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Texas can reduce this terrible toll and save up to $3 in health care costs related to tobacco-caused disease for every dollar it spends on tobacco prevention. Governor Perry should also reject the Texas Business Association's proposal to securitize all of the state's tobacco settlement. Selling 25 years worth of settlement payments for a smaller up-front payment is a raw deal for kids and taxpayers. This proposal would make it virtually impossible for the state to adequately fund a comprehensive tobacco prevention program in the future. It is a nearsighted approach to the state's budget crunch that will cost taxpayers more in the end. To fix the state's budget gap, Texas leaders should instead enact a higher cigarette tax.

11/19/2002
Textbook Review Process is Fair and Open
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Press Release

Textbook Review Process is Fair and Open

Today’s vote of the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) proved to be a win for Texas schoolchildren. The process, which provided citizen input in three public hearings and several months in which written testimony was accepted, brought comments from citizens from around the state.

11/15/2002
Citizens for a Sound Economy’s comments on the Notice of Proposed IRS Rulemaking
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Press Release

Citizens for a Sound Economy’s comments on the Notice of Proposed IRS Rulemaking

Citizens for a Sound Economy Foundation (“CSE Foundation”), is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with approximately 280,000 members. Its mission is to educate citizens on, and to promote the adoption of, free-market policies, which it believes inure to the benefit of consumers and citizens generally. CSE Foundation welcomes the opportunity to submit comments on the Internal Revenue Service’s proposed rulemaking, “Guidance on Reporting of Deposit Interest Paid to Nonresident Aliens,” (REG-133254-02). We have a number of concerns about the proposed rule and its adverse impact on the U.S. economy. Consequently, we request that the IRS withdraw the proposed rule.

11/14/2002
Defend schoolchildren from board's `revisions'
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Press Release

Defend schoolchildren from board's `revisions'

Where are academics in the debate over textbooks for public schools? A "citizens" group is bullying textbook publishers into exorcising facts from history, government and social studies books slated for Texas students while most scholars and institutions of higher learning warm the bench.

11/14/2002
Letter to the IRS on Proposed Rulemaking
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Press Release

Letter to the IRS on Proposed Rulemaking

11/14/2002
Nancy Pelosi Earns a Zero on CSE Economic Scorecard
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Press Release

Nancy Pelosi Earns a Zero on CSE Economic Scorecard

Representative Nancy Pelosi, the new House Democrat Minority Leader, scored a worst-possible 0 percent on the CSE Economic Scorecard for the 107th Congress. Analysts at Citizens for a Sound Economy track all legislation in Congress, and identify the votes most critical to maintaining and expanding America’s economy. The result is compiled into the CSE Economic Scorecard, which rated 20 key House votes on key economic issues in the 107th Congress. Members scoring above 80% receive recognition and the prestigious CSE Jefferson Award.

11/14/2002
Washington Agenda-General
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Washington Agenda-General

UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL For content questions, call 202-898-8291 To fax additions or changes, 202-898-8064 For the UPI News Desk call, 202-898-8111 EVENTS ON THURSDAY, MARCH 6, 2003 TIME: All Day EVENT: CHAMBER OF COMMERCE holds a conference to discuss Modernizing Medicare for the Next Generation. AGENDA: Highlights: 8:30 a.m. - Welcoming Remarks Thomas J. Donohue, President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce 8:30 a.m. - The Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare: Lessons Learned and Next Steps Sen. John Breaux (D-LA), Former Co-chair, National Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare Rep. Nancy L. Johnson (R-CT), Chairwoman, Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Robert Kerrey, Former Senator (D-NE), Former Member, National Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare, and President, New School University Thomas J. Donohue, President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce 9:30 a.m. - Medicare Outlook Dan L. Crippen, Former Director, Congressional Budget Office David Wessel, Deputy Washington Bureau Chief, The Wall Street Journal 10 a.m. - Networking Break 10:15 a.m.- The Medicare Crisis: Implications for Business Andy B. Bressler, Managing Director, Bank of America Nancy-Ann DeParle, Senior Advisor, JP Morgan Partners, LLC Rita Metras, Director, Benefits, Eastman Kodak Kate Sullivan, Director, Health Policy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce 11:15 a.m. - Building a Medicare System that Works Today and Meets the Needs of Tomorrow Craig L. Fuller, President and CEO, National Association of Chain Drug Stores Thomas R. Saving, Director, Private Enterprise Research Center, Texas A&M University, Senior Fellow, National Center for Policy Analysis and Public Trustee, Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds Karen Ignagni, President and CEO, American Association of Health Plan Nancy E. Taylor, Co-chair, National Health Practice, Greenberg Traurig, LLP 12:30 p.m. - Luncheon Keynote Address Doug Badger, Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy Thomas J. Donohue, President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce DATE: March 6, 2003 LOCATION: 1615 H Street NW, Washington, DC CONTACT: 202-463-5682 WEB ADDRESS: uschamber.com TIME: All Day EVENT: NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF STATE LEGISLATURES holds its "Leader to Leader" meeting. AGENDA: Highlights: Breakfast Plenary Session with Congressional Leaders Rep. Dennis Hastert Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Sen. Joe Lieberman, Senate Democratic Policy Committee 10 a.m. - State-Federal Issue Summit: Special Education Sen. Chuck Hagel, Nebraska (confirmed) 12 noon - Leaders Plenary Luncheon: Economic Stimulus Sen. Olympia Snowe, Maine Sen. Charles Schumer, New York DATE: March 6, 2003 LOCATION: Grand Hyatt, 1000 H Street NW, Washington, D.C. CONTACT: 202-624-5400 WEB ADDRESS: ncsl.org TIME: All Day EVENT: INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL holds its Economic Development Summit, "An Agenda for Change." DATE: March 6, 2003 LOCATION: Washington Hilton, 1919 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. CONTACT: 202-223-7800 TIME: All Day EVENT: POPULATION RESEARCH INSTITUTE holds its third annual China Human Rights conference. AGENDA: Highlight: 1:15 p.m. - News conference on An American Held Hostage in China, and the Persecution of Chinese Families of Americans: Falun Gong" DATE: March 6, 2003 LOCATION: Concerned Women for America, 1015 15th Street N.W., Suite 1100, Washington, D.C. CONTACT: 540-622-5240 ext 209 WEB ADDRESS: pop.org TIME: 8:45 a.m. EVENT: AMERICAN ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE holds a program on Russian Oil and U.S. Energy Security. Over the past four years, Russian oil production has grown by 25 percent. In February of 2002, Russia surpassed Saudi Arabia to become the world's top oil producer-pumping 7 million barrels per day against the Saudis' 6.9 million. WHO: The speakers are: Leon Aron, AEI Fiona Hill, Brookings Institution James Richard, Firebird Management DATE: March 6, 2003 LOCATION: 1150 17th Street NW, Washington, DC CONTACT: 202-862-5933 WEB ADDRESS: aei.org TIME: 9:30 a.m. EVENT: GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY presents a Congressional briefing on "Improving Identification: Enhancing Security, Guarding Privacy." WHO: The speakers are: Rob Atkinson, vice president, Progressive Policy Institute Eileen Doherty, committee director, National Council of State Legislatures Tom Wolfson, senior vice president for government affairs and communications, American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators Mike Swetnam, CEO, Potomac Institute for Policy Studies Richard Norton, executive director, International Biometric Industry Association Mark Kirkorian, executive director, Center for Immigration Studies DATE: March 6, 2003 LOCATION: 188 Russell Office Building, Washington, DC CONTACT: 202-994-3087 WEB ADDRESS: gwnewscenter.org TIME: 9:30 a.m. EVENT: CENTER FOR RESPONSIVE LAW holds a program to discuss troop readiness for Bio-Chem Attacks. WHO: The speakers are: Rep. John Conyers, D-MI Consumer Activist, Ralph Nader Stephen Robinson, National Gulf War resource Center DATE: March 6, 2003 LOCATION: National Press Club, 14th and F Streets NW, Washington, DC CONTACT: Jason Kafoury, 202-387-8030 or 202-232-9887 TIME: 10 a.m. EVENT: BROOKINGS INSTITUTION holds "Iraq Series" briefing on Iraq: Debating War, Preparing for Reconstruction. WHO: The speakers are: James B. Steinberg, Vice President and Director, Foreign Policy Studies, Brookings Bathsheba N. Crocker, Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow, International Security Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies Philip H. Gordon, Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy Studies, and Director, Center on the United States and France, Brookings Martin S. Indyk, Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy Studies, and Director, Saban Center for Middle East Policy, Brookings Michael E. O'hanlon, Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy Studies, Brookings Kenneth M. Pollack, Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy Studies, and Director of Research, Saban Center for Middle East Policy, Brookings DATE: March 6, 2003 LOCATION: Falk Auditorium, 1775 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC CONTACT: 202-797-6105 WEB ADDRESS: brookings.edu TIME: 11 a.m. EVENT: NATURAL TRAILS AND WATERS COALITION, REP. RUSH HOLT, D-NJ, REP. CHRISTOPHER SHAYS, R-CT, REP. NICK RAHALL, D-WV, SEN. HARRY REID, D-NV, SEN. LINCOLN CHAFEE, R-RI, hold the Protect Yellowstone news conference DATE: March 6, 2003 LOCATION: U.S. Capitol, Room HC-9, Washington, D.C. CONTACT: Kristen Brengel, 202-429-2694 TIME: 11:30 a.m. EVENT: SENATORS DIANNE FEINSTEIN, D-CA, JUDD GREGG, R-NH, JON CORZINE, D-NJ, PATRICK LEAHY, D-VT AND VISA CEO CARL PASCARELLA hold a news conference to unveil new Visa regulations prohibiting the display of all but the last four digits of credit card numbers on consumer receipts-- effectively setting a new industry standard for the protection of credit card information. DATE: March 6, 2003 LOCATION: 410 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C. CONTACT: Howard Gantman, Sen. Feinstein, 202-224-9629 WEB ADDRESS: sen.gov TIME: 11:30 a.m. EVENT: JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY PAUL H. NITZE SCHOOL OF ADVANCED INTERNATIONAL STUDIES Center for Transatlantic Relations at holds a program on "The Czech Republic's View on Current Transatlantic Challenges," with Cyril Svoboda, deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs of the Czech Republic. DATE: March 6, 2003 LOCATION: 1619 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, Dc CONTACT: 202-663-5626 WEB ADDRESS: sais-jhu.org TIME: 12 noon EVENT: NATIONAL ECONOMIST CLUB holds its luncheon program featuring Alice Rivlin, Brookings Institution. DATE: March 6, 2003 LOCATION: Chinatown Garden, 618 H St., NW, Washington, DC CONTACT: 703-739-9404 WEB ADDRESS: national-economists.org TIME: 12:30 p.m. EVENT: WOMAN'S NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC CLUB presents Kurt Schmoke, Mayor of Baltimore from 1987 to 1999, now Dean of the Howard University School of Law on the first day of January 2003. DATE: March 6, 2003 LOCATION: 1526 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC CONTACT: 202-232-7363 WEB ADDRESS: democraticwomen.org TIME: 12:30 p.m. EVENT: NATIONAL PRESS CLUB holds its "Luncheon Newsmaker" news program featuring Dr. Elias Zerhouni director National Institutes of Health discussing Is This The Biomedical Century? Challenges for a New Age." DATE: March 6, 2003 LOCATION: National Press Club, 14th and F Streets NW, Washington, DC CONTACT: 202-662-7500 WEB ADDRESS: npc.press.org TIME: 1 p.m. EVENT: CITIZENS AGAINST GOVERNMENT WASTE, NATIONAL TAXPAYERS UNION, CITIZENS FOR A SOUND ECONOMY, AMERICANS FOR TAX REFORM, CLUB FOR GROWTH, AND 60 PLUS AND REP. JEFF FLAKE, R-AZ, hold a news conference to discuss the introduction of legislation that will transfer the money that Congress appropriated on pork projects in the recent omnibus appropriations bill to a reserve fund for defense and homeland security. DATE: March 6, 2003 LOCATION: 2237 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C. CONTACT: Matthew Specht, 202-225-2635 TIME: 1 p.m. EVENT: FOOD & AGRICULTURE POLICY RESEARCH INSTITUTE holds a news conference on agricultural outlook DATE: March 6, 2003 LOCATION: National Press Club, 14th and F Streets NW, Washington, DC CONTACT: Vicki Trower, 573-882-9710 WEB ADDRESS: fapri.Missouri.edu TIME: 2 p.m. EVENT: INSTITUTE FOR HEALTH FREEDOM holds a panel discussion about the Federal Medical Privacy Rule, which takes effect on April 14, 2003 WHO: The speakers are: Sue Blevins, Institute for Health Freedom Kent Snyder, The Liberty Committee Barbara Fisher, National Vaccine Information Center Robin Kaigh, Esquire DATE: March 6, 2003 LOCATION: National Press Club, 14th and F Streets NW, Washington, DC CONTACT: 202-429-6610 WEB ADDRESS: forhealthfreedom.org TIME: 5 p.m. EVENT: NATIONAL PRESS CLUB presents The 2003 William E. Colby Military Writers Symposium entitled Journalists At War featuring a panel discussion with Rick Atkinson, Joseph Galloway and Sean Naylor moderated by Lewis Sorley. DATE: March 6, 2003 LOCATION: National Press Club, 14th and F Streets NW, Washington, DC CONTACT: 202-662-7500 WEB ADDRESS: npc.press.org TIME: 5:30 p.m. EVENT: JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY PAUL H. NITZE SCHOOL OF ADVANCED INTERNATIONAL STUDIES holds the annual Rostov Lecture on International Affairs with Thomas Friedman, New York Times columnist and best-selling author. DATE: March 6, 2003 LOCATION: 1740 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC CONTACT: 202-663-5626 WEB ADDRESS: sais-jhu.org TIME: 6 p.m. EVENT: GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY presents Miguel Rodriguez, The George Washington University J.B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Professor of International Affairs and former president of Costa Rica (1998-2002) will deliver his annual Shapiro Lecture on the advantages of an academic perspective for a world leader DATE: March 6, 2003 LOCATION: 800 21st Street NW, Washington, DC CONTACT: 202-994-3087 WEB ADDRESS: gwnewscenter.org TIME: 6 p.m. EVENT: KENNEDY CENTER MILLENIUM STAGE presents The US Naval Academy Band Brass Ensemble blending tradition and change into a wide variety of styles thanks to the unmatched versatility of its members. DATE: March 6, 2003 LOCATION: 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC CONTACT: 202-416-8000 WEB ADDRESS: kennedy-center.org TIME: 7 p.m. EVENT: POLITICS & PROSE BOOKSTORE presents Eric Alterman discussing and signing copies of What Liberal Media: The Truth About Bias and the News. Alterman presents an overview of the powerful and moneyed institutions whose interests effectively shape reporting and opinion in a decidedly conservative and even reactionary direction. DATE: March 6, 2003 LOCATION: 5015 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC CONTACT: 202-364-1919 WEB ADDRESS: politics-prose.com

11/14/2002

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