Guest Post: Texas Schools Teaching Boston Tea Party As "Terrorist Act"

Tyler Durden's picture

Via Mike Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

Absolutely remarkable... and in Texas to boot!  As I have said for years, pretty soon anyone that disagrees with Washington D.C., Federal Reserve policies and rule by TBTF Wall Street criminal banks will be labeled a “terrorist.”  That is where all this is headed.

From CBS Houston:

HOUSTON (CBS Houston) – The most historical instance of protesting against taxation without representation is now being taught in Texas schools as a terrorist act.


As recently as January of this year, the Texas Education Service Center Curriculum Collaborative included a lesson plan that depicted the Boston Tea Party, an event that helped ignite the American Revolution, as an act of terrorism.


“A local militia, believed to be a terrorist organization, attacked the property of private citizens today at our nation’s busiest port,” wrote the teachers in charge of organizing the curriculum about the Boston Tea Party. “Although no one was injured in the attack, a large quantity of merchandise, considered to be valuable to its owners and loathsome to the perpetrators, was destroyed. The terrorists, dressed in disguise and apparently intoxicated, were able to escape into the night with the help of local citizens who harbor these fugitives and conceal their identities from the authorities.

1984 has arrived folks.

Full article here.

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goodrich4bk's picture

Only half true.  Under the Townshend Act, EIC paid tax to London when the tea was sold to wholesaleers.  Presumably at least some of this revenue was used to finance the British Navy, which protected the EIC from inventory losses to sea piracy.  The Tea Act allowed direct importation, yes, but also shifted the point of taxation to the coloniies.  So although the price of tea dropped, the colonists taxes increased, and many could not see the connection between the crown's tax and the price of the tea they were drinking.  Smugglers, who had unsold inventory of previously taxed tea, took advantage of these colonists' ignorance to get local support for the destruction of the lower-priced EIC imports.

I'd say the original Tea Partiers were very much like some of today's Tea Partiers. They want to exploit the benefits of a military umbrella at the expense of ordinary Americans by using the 15% payroll tax revenue to fund the defense department and then claiming there is not enough to fund Social Security or Medicare, the very programs the payroll tax was intended to fund.

Aurora Ex Machina's picture

I've not studied this period, so thanks. Something that I spotted (given that all but the tea tax were repealed by 1770):

In 1764, Parliament passed a new act that revised the old Sugar Act of 1733. The new Sugar Act of 1764 actually cut in half the amount of the old tax. Now the tax was low enough that it was no longer cost-effective for New England merchants to pay bribes to customs officers. By paying the lowered tax, though, Americans would be conceding the right of Parliament to raise revenue at the expense of their fortunes...American traders guilty of evading the sugar duty would not only be fined, but have their cargo and even their ships confiscated by the Crown as contraband. Customs officers who failed to do their duty or who accepted bribes would be summarily dismissed. But, since customs officers got a cut of the proceeds of the wealth they confiscated, the Sugar Act gave them great incentive to enforce the law zealously, indeed to frame innocent traders for smuggling, or haul them into court over legal technicalities.[source]


There's an interesting parallel with the "War on Drugs" property seizures laws and State level policing of cash / dollar-on-person laws, nominally enacted to combat drugs money being shipped into Mexico, but held up by Libertarians & Tea Party alike as abusive in certain cases, leading to dissent with the Government.  Conclusion: US State officials need to learn more history.


(Side note: Children should be being taught how to use the internet effectively, and more importantly, how to judge sources for veracity / bias; I deliberately chose a neo-liberal / Libertarian biased source, as benefitting the ideology of ZH ~ we've not reached any objective analysis of whether the above quotation is factually correct yet!)

woggie's picture

the beast is on the gobble
and all that matters is we're all headed for it's belly

goodrich4bk's picture

Anybody bothering to read the actual story will understand the following:

1.  The "lesson" being taught was not that the Boston Tea Party was a terrorist act and that the British government was benign.  To the ocntrary, the lesson challenged the students to view the Boston Tea Party AS IF the government's definition of terrorism applied.  When presented this way, most thinking people begin to question government propaganda, not swallow it.

2.  This lesson hasn't been taught since 2010, and hasn't even been in the curriculum for almost a year.

3.  As many comments to the story proved, it was an excellent thought-provoking excercise.  Some point out that the Boston Tea Pzrty "terrorists" were often smugglers protesting the direct tax of tea for which they had already paid an indirect tax through importation by the East India Company.  By throwing the newly imported tea into Boston Harbor, they reduced supply and were able to sell their previously taxed tea for a profit.  Others point out that the north was more concerned about the monompoly of the East India Company because they had less use for British goods than did Southerners, who had little manufacturing but lots of raw materials to sell to Britain. 

In short, what better lesson to get people questioning the role of government than to point out that our revolution was a local effort by self-interested individuals to protect their families' livelihood from the decisions of a distand government?

swmnguy's picture

+1.  This is actually a very good lesson.  We should have more of this sort of thing in our schools.  I'm proud to say, living in Minneapolis and sending my kids to the public schools here, that they do a lot of critical thinking exercises like this one in our local schools.  In 7th grade, my son had to read the whole "Dred Scott" decision, and then in front of the class, he had to debate in favor of the decision, against a black kid (who is his best pal).  That was a bit...awkward...but it taught both of them, and the whole class, an awful lot about the way people think.

As you point out, this excerpt is quite obviously what Colonial Action News would have reported in 1773.  I'm sure any kid who had that lesson thinks about TV news in a new way today, which can only be a good thing.

And if something like the Boston Tea Party were to happen today, how do we think it would be reported in the media?  Do our elastic definitions of the word "Terrorism" begin to chafe and bind a bit?

Leave it to Glenn Beck to denigrate critical thinking skills in the name of "patriotism."

Bob's picture

This is standard stuff in public schools nationwide . . . which is one reason why people threatened by change hate them so much (and corporate educational interests exploit them so well.) 

Why people threatened by change?  Because students who learn to comfortably and competently question assumptions are always rocking the boat . . . not what the simple minded and "conservative" sorts tend to value.

swmnguy's picture

You're quite right.  My son is now in High School here in Minneapolis.  In the first few weeks, he brought home lots of syllabi and other such material.  I read it all through and exclaimed, "You're being taught by a bunch of Anarchist Hippies!!"  Of course, I heartily approve.  He can get unthinking corporatist cheerleading anywhere he looks, or kneejerk jingo "patriotism," or free market fundamentalism, or welfare-dependancy rationalization.  That's cheap and easy to come by.  Far better for him to be taught by people who at least used to be idealists.  The real world can rough him up later, and he'll be inoculated to bullshit.  Once he's old and jaded and in his late 40s like me, he can see the holes in idealistic assumptions, take the truths from those he otherwise disagrees with, and actually think for himself.

Any kid who isn't taught to consider that the English and Loyalists probably considered the Tea Party participants to be "Terrorists," or at least violent drunkards, isn't going to do very well in the world we're really living in.  Which makes me question Glenn Beck's true patriotism, as opposed to his cynical opportunism which is beyond dispute.

PGR88's picture

The Federal Gov't needs a bankruptcy - a full-on, shut-it-all-down bankruptcy.  It will either give us back states rights, limited Gov't, and more individual freedom, or it will result in a martial-law dictatorship of some kind.  But I still ilke the chances

Rather, what we WILL get is a slow, tortuous dissolution of economic and personal freedom, from a Government that manage to muddle-through by printing, taxing, inflating, stealing and pandering to voters.

Look only to Argentina and Venezuela to know what I mean.

ImNotARobot's picture

This was not a terrorist act.  The Tea Partiers were upset at a Youtube video (that nobody saw) that was highly offensive to the Lipton company. 

americanspirit's picture

No doubt these terrorist spotters are some of the same folks who can 'prove' that god made the world, oh, seven thousand years ago, or so. It just takes my breath away to know that somewhere out there in the dark such people are actually living, eating, and - please say it isn't so - reproducing.

Skateboarder's picture

Three young gubbamint-loving whippersnappers just came into being as you typed that. And they sure don't smoke American Spirit... they're manly Marlboro men... with 500 odd digusting chemicals permeating their bloodstream with every puff.

Bob's picture

Interesting personal experience I had with Spirits.  Once my local source ran out of the regular Spirit Lights I was used to, so I tried their "Organic" Lights.  No, turns out the regular Spirit line is not organic.  So who cares?  I went through acute withdrawal from the regular Spirits for the entire first week I smoked the Organic Spirits. 

If they aren't adding anything to the harvested tobacco, then the shit they're applying to it while in the fields is stunningly addictive. 

Who woulda thought you couldn't trust even a healthy Merchant of Death?

Skateboarder's picture

Yeah man, only the organic ones are grown organic. That's what smoking leaf is all about though - just leaf, nothing else. Use flax/rice/hemp papers without additives - the cigarette stops burning at the point where you stopped smoking it - doesn't smoke itself...

If you buy in box form, I'd highly suggest switching to roll your own. The box ones are apparently additive-free in tobacco but the papers they use are the same as that of additive-rich smokes. Light a box spirit, watch it smoke itself.

By the way, Santa Fe is owned by Reynolds, which is owned by British American Tobacco. No one wins, my friend, but at least you have the option of buying organic tobacco instead of none at all. :)

wagthetails's picture

Unless you are a pure pacifist, we are all terrorists at some point. All those Greeks burning and destroying shops are also terrorists. Rodney King riots, terrorist as well. I guess anytime you destroy people or property not directly associated with your enemy, you are a terrorist.

I guess terrorism is like pornography.

Cathartes Aura's picture

while I might just agree with your notion that "terrorism is like pornography" based on a simple definition,

anytime you destroy people or property not directly associated with your enemy

I' be curious as to how you'd define "your enemy" in the argument. . .

Mark Noonan's picture

A big part of our problem is that we don't define our terms - mostly because we don't like to define our terms because, once defined, they can be clearly understood and thus easily attacked or defended, which requires courage in either case.

I define terrorism as the deliberate targeting of the lives non-combatants in an attempt to secure a change in government policy.  So, Johnny Jihad attacking a US military post in Afghanistan is not acting in a terrorist fashion because he's attacking combatants.  But that same Johnny Jihad becomes a terrorist when he sets a bomb in a marketplace in Kabul because he's targeting non-combatants.

On and on:

Hamas firing rockets randomly in to Israel (and they are random as their targeting mechanisms are pretty much non-existent) is terrorism - the deliberate targeting of non-combatants (what Hamas is doing is firing a shotgun in to a crowd - even if some in the crowd are soldiers the fact that you are firing a shotgun indicates you don't care what you hit and so you are de-facto targeting everyone, incluind the non-combatants) in an attempt to change Israeli government policy.

The IDF targeting Hamas rocket sites is not terrorism - this is the targeting of combatant forces and any deaths to non-combatants are not intended but are the result of combatants placing their combat forces in close proximity to non-combatants.

The Boston Tea Party was not terrorism - no lives were targeted; the Boston Tea Party was a riot...of which, at times, we can use more of.

Catullus's picture

The Maryland state social studies Curriculum is a real howler. It's like the opposite of sound economics.

AldoHux_IV's picture

Says something about the state of our schools and how to be ever vigilant about how one is "educated" in this country otherwise you get self proclaimed well educated liberals exclaiming how better they are than the other party and (conversely conservatives-- doesn't really matter these days) telling you the world is better off with the continuance and dominance of the global elite because they know better and have our interests at heart, that liberty is over rated if it means the state shall provide and terms like debt slavery are for the conspiracy theorists kooks.

the not so mighty maximiza's picture

what a fukken waste, they should be teaching kids how to count and save and balance check books.

Tombstone's picture

See how Communism breeds the truth?

Bear's picture

Nidal Malik Hasan a true Texas Terrorist, killing 13 and wounding 29, is still not labeled as one .... but the Boston Tea Party which caused no 'terror' and caused the wounding of no one is called terror.

We should all feel terror who's source is the Government. 

blunderdog's picture

Obviously you don't support the troops!  Freedom ain't free!

onelight's picture

I can see how it sound that way, but I think Bear might be saying something else: there's a good case that Malek was a terrorist, since he was in contact with such and for unfortunate neasons, but that is how it played out, and then for political reasons they went and called it some kind of domestic disturbance, something like that, so they did not have to acknowledge the fact of another incident of islamic terrorism on US soil. 

And then, not so long afterward, in that same state of TX, they so easily experiment with critical theory (my old academic focus) when it comes to founding narratives of the country. Ironic.

Growing up, I had the privilege of being taught to question everything so as to make my own what I could really defend (lifelong learning process, that one, with occasional flubs), but I also had well-represented and in the same environment, compelling notions of freedom (which ain't free, you're quite right) and free enterprise and personal responsibility, and the rest of the heroic if mythical American narrative. 

I was on a site with photos of that TX massacre by the Malek guy the other day, and with the images of those left behind sorting it out, it kind of hit me just now what Bear may be getting at. Life and the world and the US role in it is complicated in a death-laden way, but do we make it better by mis-labeling what happened there in TX, for short-term political rationales? 

blunderdog's picture

Or maybe it was a false-flag.

strayaway's picture

“A local militia, believed to be a terrorist organization, attacked the property of private citizens today at our nation's busiest port,” 

Insofar as Boston was the capitol of a British colony and not part of our nation at the time, perhaps the authors of this nonsense are Tory loyalists.  


Uncle Remus's picture

Wait - the DAR is a terrorist organization now?

mkhs's picture

A subversive's subversive.

gnomon's picture

Indoctrinated rabble have become a majority in this nation, ergo, the nation only exists in name.  What we now have is The United Dumbed-Down Grifters of America.

Our Founders would turn their faces in disgust and say that it is over.  Turn out the lights.

Seasmoke's picture

this would have been the history books IF England won the war



Bastiat009's picture

Of course it is terrorism. Of course, Americans didn't go to London to kill random people claiming to do it for God.

Uncle Remus's picture

Perhaps, but the apple didn't fall far from the tree. After all, we were at one time part of British empire...

WTFx10's picture

Wake up we still are part of the British Empire and the British Empire is run by the same Private Jewish bankers that run us. I could say just "Bankers" but I think considering Israel can do no wrong no matter how much they disregard the UN and kill as many Palestinians as they have for the last 68 yrs. I think Jewish Bankers are the cause.

It is just one BIG fucking Private Corporation that some how managed to get almost all the countries on the planet to sell out for money they create. They call the shots on the whole fucking planet with the ultimate terrorist threat. If we do anything else except what they want all financial transactions will stop and we will all die because we stopped letting them control us.

They are terrorists holding the threat of economic destruction over the heads of the sovereign Nations. Since they are the ultimate terrorist and a private corporation it should be quite simple to destroy them?

smiler03's picture

As a Brit this always makes me laugh. What survives of our country is pretty pathetic and as for our "Queen", who "rules the world", that makes me laugh even more.

The UK has had it's tongue up the American anus for decades. Any President who wants can ask the UK to wiggle it's tongue a bit harder. Not a pretty image but neither is the UK. We have one saving grace, we do occasionally tell the EU to "stop it", which is more than the rest of the EU does.

PWD Lover's picture

The linked story failed to emphasize that lesson plan (in addition to not having been taught since 2010) was a thought-exercise to get the kids to understand how "spin" can be used to alter one's understanding of an event, in this case the Boston Tea Party.  Just as the superficial news article and the "Liberty Blitzkrieg" blog have spun this lesson as some sort of radical left indoctrination.

Seriously, when did ZH become a mindless right-wing zoo?

mkhs's picture

I guess you haven't been paying attention  much.

Uncle Remus's picture

"The linked story failed to emphasize that lesson plan (in addition to not having been taught since 2010) was a thought-exercise to get the kids to understand how "spin" can be used to alter one's understanding of an event, in this case the Boston Tea Party."

Of course it was...

Zymurguy's picture

Not terrorists... "anti-tyrannyists"

There Texas, fixed it for ya.

Jim in MN's picture

I dunno, this sounds like a role-playing script. 

One doesn't write, 'today our evil, bad empire was symbolically upended by a brave band of intrepid colonial freedom fighters.  They threw our ill-gotten, over-taxed, sub-standard tea in the harbor. 


if one is playing the Redcoat side.


Maybe cool out a little?  Context?  (yes some previous commenters also noticed this)

Schmuck Raker's picture


I thought those idiots seceded.

Jim in MN's picture

We did, after the Boston Tea Party.

Crassus's picture

Perhaps Texas has a keen eye for useful terrorism. Using the revolt in the colonies, Great Britain was able to drag France into a world war (which Britain won) and wrest the world banking capitol away from Paris after the French Revolution. The fledgling nation of the U.S.A. has yet to achieve banking independence from The City of London.

Sandmann's picture

Britain drag France, Spain, Dutch into a war ? You are mad.....Try the Seven Years War

ThisIsBob's picture

Of course they were fucking terrorists.  They took up arms, banded together, trespassed on another's property and blew up somebody's stuff. 

Oh...  they didn't blow it up?  Just splashed it?  OK, I take it back..  Just civil disobedience then. Carry on.

monad's picture

"It seems at first glance that authority could not exist at all if all men were cowards or if no men were cowards, but flourishes as it does because most men are cowards and some men are thieves. Actually, the inner dynamics of cowardice and submission on the one hand and of heroism and rebellion on the other are seldom consciously realized either by the ruling class or the servile class. Submission is identified not with cowardice but with virtue, rebellion not with heroism but with evil. To the Roman slave-owners, Spartacus was not a hero and the obedient slaves were not cowards; Spartacus was a villain and the obedient slaves were virtuous. The obedient slaves believed this also. The obedient always think of themselves as virtuous rather than cowardly." - Bob

roadhazard's picture

I think giving the Indians infected blankets was a terrorist act. Wounded Knee was a terrorist act. You can about name anything that is murder and call it a terrorist act. If God is on your side though everything is justified.

Cathartes Aura's picture

which is no doubt why there are so many gods, and so many teams competing globally. . .

in whose image?

Westcoastliberal's picture

All part of TPTB's attempt at revisionist history.  Disgusting!

taketheredpill's picture

This is perfect! 

Any reports yet on how many people had their heads explode?

Terrorism is the war of the poor, and war is the terrorism of the rich (Peter Ustinov).