Christmas isn't even here, much less New Year's Day, so don't get mad at me for bring up the 2014 General Assembly. I do so only because a reader sent me a story about how a handful of Christian homeschoolers out maneuvered progressives in the Texas legislature and in the social services bureaucracy. Not only was it a great policy victory, it was a deja vu moment: so much of what is described in this blog post at Cahnman's Musings happens almost verbatim at Virginia's General Assembly. While some of the parliamentary tools in Texas differ than the procedures here, one could easily substitute the names of the legislators and the bills and the story would be nearly the same as some of our epic winning legislative battles on life, school choice and property rights, to name a few. The scene is virtually the same: long hours, committee shenanigans, negotiations with groups that would just as soon wish you had been hit by a bus, powerful and expedient legislators as well as principled and courage ones, bills that seemingly rise from the dead when no one is watching and the like.
It's the story of SB 768, which would bring Texas into compliance with foreign family law. It's a fairly long post, but the play-by-play account is gripping.
Of the many similarities to Virginia, the one that is the most striking is that the bureaucracy — who are paid by the taxpayers — actively lobbied against the taxpayers' interests. Instead of carrying out the policy the legislature decides upon, these Texas bureaucrats, as in Virginia, actively lobbied to create new policy. In this case, forcing courts to imprison immigrants who homsechool their children in Texas if homseschooling was illegal in their country of origin. Not only was this episode similar to some of the twists and turns here, it even featured a Patrick Henry College student.
From Cahnman's Musings blog: How 6 Christian Home-Schoolers Outwitted Texas' "Social Services" Bureaucracy:
We marked SB 768 down as a success on our hit list and then moved on for the rest of the day with other bills that vied for attention. The nextdeadline on our calendar was just a couple of days away: Wednesday, the last day for all Senate bills to pass the House.
On Tuesday night a curious thing happened. We had finally wrapped up work for the day around 9 p.m. and were taking a much-needed respite. One of our Watchmen, Ben Snodgrass, is also a student at Patrick Henry College and was working on a report for his school that night. At 10 p.m. he took a break from his report and naturally did what someone who lived and breathed the Texas Legislature would do: he started reading bills — for fun.
Even though Ben and the rest of us knew that SB 768 had died the previous day, Ben decided to pull it up anyway. To his astonishment he discovered that not everything was as it seemed.
In this case, a scene from the Twilight Zone. Things are never as they seem there or in a legislature as our counterparts in Texas learned. Read rest of the story to see how it all turned out and the possible Divine Intervention that took place. Then, be ready the first week of January as our own two-month Twilight Zone begins. With a new regime in place, promising a new direction, and an emboldened left wing, will need your to help to reel the General Assembly back to reality.
Whether in Virginia or Texas . . . "There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call
The Twilight Zone The Virginia General Assembly. "