Kindergarten Creates Criminals, Says New Hampshire Republican
July 4, 2012

No, really, it’s true. The story’s in the Huffington Post. Read the interview.  Bob Kingsbury is a representative in the New Hampshire legislature.

But here’s the interesting part:

Kingsbury’s comments, which came during a meeting of the county’s state lawmakers, have caused a stir, leading both Democratic gubernatorial candidates to say they believe in kindergarten. The Republican candidate for governor, Ovide Lamontagne, declined to address Kingsbury’s comments during a radio interview last week.

No one called this jackass out on his ludicrous comments. Candidates for governor ‘believe in kindergarten’. That’s the best they can come up with. Not ‘Kingsbury’s a loon’. Not ‘Children in those towns drink milk. Therefore milk turns them into criminals.’ Not ‘Kingsbury needs to be removed from office and replaced with someone whose brain still works’.

This assumption that people who make these incredibly stupid remarks shouldn’t be criticized is one of the things that underlies the resurgence of the right wing lunatic fringe that has infested and rotted American politics.

Kingsbury, 86, did acknowledge that other factors can contribute to higher rates of crime and kindergarten classes are just one of them. But he mentioned having read an article showing the impact of moving young children out of London during World War I. "In World War I, London was being bombed by the Germans and they sent the children out of the city," Kingsbury said. "That was a disaster for England."

Right. Better the children should have stayed in London and been blown to bits or exposed to the sight of people being blown to bits. Or spent the whole time cowering in fear of being blown to bits. Of course that would have been better for their development.

"Children go to kindergarten at the point of a gun," Kingsbury said. "Children go to day care and it’s not the same; there is no point of a gun." Kingsbury said he believes that teachers are partially to blame but the rise in crime is not the fault of teachers. Instead he blamed attorneys and the courts for what he called a lack of discipline and rules in schools and for prohibiting teachers from disciplining students as in previous decades.

Awww, all those poor little kids being marched off to school by gun-toting educators. Poor babies.

So state law mandating that children go to school is apparently evil. Perhaps Kingsbury is just pissed because the little tots aren’t available to work in factories?

The old loon may have a point in that discipline is weaker in schools than in the past, but that hardly points to kindergarten as being a breeding ground for rapists and hit men. Or hit tots. But to proclaim that kindergarten causes crime, that’s more than a reach – that’s probably about to become Tea Party dogma.

All this guy has is a possible correlation, not a proven cause and effect. He’s given no consideration to other possible causes, and in fact can’t even state that there is any legitimate cause for the crime rates. He hasn’t asked if crime rate reporting is consistent from county to county, from town to town. He hasn’t asked qualified statisticians to look at the data. He hasn’t examined any other data. He didn’t look for other research. All he’s done is collect some numbers and proclaimed that kindergarten creates criminals. His conclusion is ridiculous on its face and remains ridiculous the more you think about it.

And yet he remains a member of the New Hampshire legislature, giving the Southern loon legislators of places like Tennessee, Alabama, and Texas a run for their money.

Kingsbury represents the kind of shallow, illogical, thoughtless, careless blithering that passes for thinking among todays Republican Tea Party. They don’t believe in science or logic or evidence. They believe what they want to believe, or what they are told to believe by loudmouth ignoramuses like Limbaugh and Hannity and Ingraham et al.

That’s criminal.

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Texas Republicans Choose To Make Texas Children Stupid
July 1, 2012

 

From Common Dreams:

Here is the actual language from a position statement in the 2012 Texas Republican Party Platform:

Knowledge-Based Education – We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.

The heart of Republicanism:

1) Fear intelligence

2) Fear intelligent people

3) Promote and praise stupidity

4) Keep people ignorant and uninformed

5) Eschew thinking and reason

6) Cripple schools and education

7) Keep our boots on the necks of the peons by denying them a decent education – that would be the niggers, the spics, the slants, the gooks, the redskins, and all the mud races

8) Get that damned nigger out of our White House

That about sums it up. Or as another famous Southerner said, “Stupid is as stupid does.”

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Christians Teaching Bigotry, Hatred, and Murder To Children in Public Schools–Your Children
June 2, 2012

In after-school ‘religious clubs’ Christian evangelists are teaching children how to be good little killers of unbelievers.

Literally. No metaphor, no figurative intent.

From an article in Daily Kos:

Paraphrasing the Old Testament scripture I Samuel 15:2-3, the Child Evangelism Fellowship’s new lesson plan teaches, "You are to go and completely destroy the Amalekites (AM-uh-leck-ites) – people, animals, every living thing. Nothing shall be left." The manual then instructs the teacher to tell students, "That was pretty clear, wasn’t it?" Stewart continues,

"Even more important, the Good News Club wants the children to know, the Amalakites were targeted for destruction on account of their religion, or lack of it. The instruction manual reads:

"The Amalekites had heard about Israel’s true and living God many years before, but they refused to believe in him. The Amalekites refused to believe in God and God had promised punishment."

The instruction manual goes on to champion obedience in all things. In fact, pretty much every lesson that the Good News Club gives involves reminding children that they must, at all costs, obey. If God tells you to kill nonbelievers, he really wants you to kill them all. No questions asked, no exceptions allowed."

Stewart emphasizes, it doesn’t stop there. As I Samuel describes, Saul was not fully compliant with God’s orders to kill every last one of the Amalekites and their livestock – he let the king and some of the animals live. The lesson repeatedly hammers the point to students that Saul did not pass the "test" of obedience to God’s word.

The Kos article takes off from the work of Katharine Stewart, writing in The Guardian, quoted above. (Interesting we have to hear this from a British newspaper.)

These are the people who will tell you about the peace and love of their religion, and if you don’t believe them they will beat you until you do or just flat out kill you. Or have one of their children do it. Or have your child do it.

There is no moral distance between what Christians are doing and what warlords in Africa are doing when they kidnap and indoctrinate children to murder, to hack off limbs, to kill indiscriminately.

There is no moral distance between what Christians are doing and what the Taliban is doing, what Islamic fundamentalists are doing, what murderous thugs around the world are doing.

And if these perverts gain political power in this country, they will create a hell on earth that makes Hitler and his legions look like saints. Lest you forget, Hitler and his legions were Christians to the core.

Christianity is a moral sewer of lies and hypocrisy and willful delusion. Any religion that breeds the psychotic sickness that Stewart writes about is a moral sewer, and all religions breed this foulness, this moral stench, this bloody, putrid stain on the heart.

And when some Christian says that it’s just a small minority, that they don’t really represent Christianity, ask them what they are doing to stop their brethren from indoctrinating children into murder and hatred. And when they mumble some defensive bullcrap, which they will, spit right in their face.

The disgusting perverts of the Child Evangelism Fellowship and the New Apostolic Reformation represent the logical outcome of Christian doctrines. (Sarah Palin is one of these cretins.) They have one goal and that is to bring this country down into their moral sewer, to turn the United States into a mindless, murderous, hate-filled theocracy. Pol Pot and his ideological killers had their torture prisons and death camps, and the Christians will create the same in the United States, and wherever else they spread their stench.

And right now they are spreading their moral stink, their emotional evil, their mental sickness in your public schools, among your children, with the blessing of the United States Supreme Court, and the blessing of every Christian who does not act against these hell-filled teachings of their brethren.

Are they active in your schools? Do you want to find out?

Or maybe you should wait until your child comes into your bedroom spouting Biblestink and wielding a machete.

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Mothers, don’t let your children grow up to be Tennesseans… ‘cause they’ll grow up stupid
April 20, 2012

No, this isn’t about the law down in Tennessee that will sneak religious fairy tales into science classes. Not directly anyway.

NPR’s Takeaway program this morning featured a discussion on the Tennessee law. On one side they had a representative from a national science organization. In the middle they had the usual not-too-competent interlocutor, John Hockenberry. And representing Tennessee they had a seventh grade science teacher.

Okay.

And then Hockenberry says the science teacher doesn’t believe evolution is true.

Think about that for a second. A certified science teacher, teaching seventh graders, who believes one of the most fundamental theories of science isn’t true.

The State of Tennessee certified this guy to teach science. To children. A guy who doesn’t accept the Biblical flood of evidence, of fact, of research, that support evolution.

This same State of Tennessee wants to make it okay to teach Biblical fairy tales in science classrooms. Or rather to protect teachers who want to do so. It’s all a little ambiguous, no doubt designed that way to cover its sins.

And during this little colloquy did Hockenberry ask the teacher to explain why he didn’t believe evolution is true? Barely in passing, and getting the answer, “There’s some problems with it,” which Hockenberry just brushed past. I should note that Hockenberry has had a distinguished career in journalism, but on this show he inserts his opinion too often, asks questions that roll on forever, and ignores key items, i.e., why was this guy certified to teach in Tennessee, and what the hell was Tennessee thinking when it certified him.

There’s about a dozen states trying to pull this off. It’s a little fluid, but the states where this is going on or has gone on (it never goes away) include Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Indiana. And that’s likely not an exhaustive list.

What we’ve got here is a case of severe stupidity being enshrined in law and education, and in children’s minds, by the state, where citizens have chosen to elect incredibly narrow-minded, ignorant religious fundogelical freaks to their legislatures and state offices.

Never mind ‘America the Beautiful’. A more accurate song would be titled ‘America the Backward’.

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Good versus evil, a thought…
April 18, 2012

This morning I went through some negativity regarding the United States, its culture, its politics, and so on. Nothing unusual about that.

But then I got to thinking that when anyone points out the negatives, which are indeed massive, some pollyanna will come along and say that it’s not that bad, that there are plenty of good things, and so on and so forth. I generally regard those sorts of comments as coming from our ostrich brain.

To a certain extent they’re right. There are some good things one can point to. They are apparently different to everyone, either in kind or degree.

But here’s the problem:

Good is hard.

Evil is easy.

And most humans, the great preponderance of humans, will usually opt for the easy way. That explains the anti-intellectual, the anti-science, the anti-immigrant tenor of the culture. Evil would have us teach religious mythology as science in our schools. Evil would have us bomb into the Stone Age cultures we don’t understand. Evil would have us eliminate most of government because it’s complex and costs money and is not easy to understand, except for the parts about bombing back to the Stone Age cultures that require us to use intelligence to understand. All of that is the easy way. That’s the way much of the country is going, wants to go.

And of course the politicians feed off of that, regurgitate it to their masses of constituents, who then accept the lies and distortions as truths and demand more, which the politicians give them, aided by a journalism establishment that too often goes for the easy way.

We seem to have decided, as a nation, that ignorance is acceptable, that science and intellect are crimes, and that killing is better than smiling and shaking hands and sitting down to talk. Life is just easier that way.

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Jessica Ahlquist Unprays Prayer Banner: Christians Come Unglued
February 8, 2012

Jessica Ahlquist is a Cranston, Rhode Island teenager who objected to the display of a large Christian prayer banner on the auditorium wall of Cranston High School West.

The display was illegal, according to the courts and laws of the United States.

The Cranston school authorities refused to remove the banner, and Ahlquist, with the aid of the ACLU, sued. Ahlquist is an atheist.

She won the suit and the banner was ordered removed.

Throughout the process Ahlquist was subjected to the vilest verbal and written abuse imaginable, including death threats, from… wait for it… Christians. Apparently no suffering is too great to inflict on a teenage girl who insisted that her school obey the law of the land. Ahlquist required police protection in and out of school.

The school system, in addition to the costs of defending the suit, is also being asked to pay $173,000 to the ACLU to cover their costs.

The vileness of the Christian reaction beggars belief. Samples of the sort of threats and abuse can be found at various places on the Web, including the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, as well as many other places. Christians are not shy about threatening to kill people who disagree with them, who don’t believe as they do, who laugh at them. They are usually quite shy about identifying themselves when they make their threats. A sampling from the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s newspaper is enough to make decent people puke.

But here’s what started the whole deal. Here’s the prayer.

school-prayer-ahlquist

The prayer was written by a student in 1960, and was hung, as an eight-foot-tall banner, in the auditorium in 1963.

Here’s the text of the prayer in case it’s not clear in the image.

School Prayer
Our Heavenly Father

Grant us each day the desire to do our best. To grow mentally and morally as well as physically. To be kind and helpful to our classmates and teachers. To be honest with ourselves as well as with others. Help us to be good sports and smile when we lose as well as when we win. Teach us the value of true friendship. Help us always to conduct ourselves so as to bring credit to Cranston High School West.

Amen

Obviously a prayer. Undoubtedly Christian, given the Christianism of the community. There are no accompanying prayers from Hindus, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, animists, et al. Just this one.

The judge, a Reagan appointee, a Christian, and a conservative, found that it violated the law and ordered it removed.

But here’s the thing. The sentiments in the prayer are reasonable, the sorts of things students, and adults, might well aspire to.

But the context, the frame, weakens the sentiments, as well as making the whole thing run afoul of established law. “School Prayer”. “Our Heavenly Father”.  “Amen”.

The whole problem could have been avoided. Something like this perhaps:

Cranston West Students…

Desire to do our best. Seek to grow mentally and morally as well as physically. Work to be kind and helpful to our classmates and teachers. Desire to be honest with ourselves as well as with others. Want to be good in sports and smile when we lose as well as when we win. Seek the value of true friendship. Conduct ourselves so as to bring credit to Cranston High School West.

That’s all they needed. No need to get on their knees and beg the invisible sky god for something that was already within their power as human beings. No need to insult people of non-Christian faiths. No need to cough up a couple of hundred grand in legal fees.

But nope. Gotta dirty up their knees. Gotta act like weak little pussies who can’t handle the simplest things in life without begging the invisible hoo-ha to run their lives for them. Can’t think for themselves or make a decision about morals or values without bowing and scraping and begging the supernatural for help.

Apparently Ahlquist is the only one of the whole crowd who has any balls and a mind of her own.

And the upshot of it all? Vile attacks on the girl who pointed out the obvious and sought to correct a wrong. In fact, so disgusting and widespread were the perverted reactions of Rhode Islanders that a state Representative named Peter Palumbo, on radio station WPRO, called Ahlquist an “evil little thing”, and a pawn “being coerced by evil people…” A State Representative. A legislator. An upholder of the law. But oops, apparently also a Christian, and Christian perversion and bigotry and hatred trumps American law, doesn’t it?

If their Christ ever existed, he’d be spinning in his tomb and puking up his guts over the actions of his followers these days.

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Alabama Sinks Deeper Into The Sea Of Stupid
February 2, 2012

Alabama Republican State Senator Shadrack McGill is doing his godawful best to make the State of Alabama the dumbest place in America.

His clever two-pronged attack involves using the Bible to justify keeping the pay of teachers low, while using bogus logic absent fact to justify raising his own pay.

The  world stares in silent, stunned wonder at the  brilliance of the American political system that continually fills its legislatures with these great minds of absolute genius.

McGill said that by paying legislators more, they’re less susceptible to taking bribes.

"He needs to make enough that he can say no, in regards to temptation. … Teachers need to make the money that they need to make. There needs to be a balance there. If you double what you’re paying education, you know what’s going to happen? I’ve heard the comment many times, ‘Well, the quality of education’s going to go up.’ That’s never proven to happen, guys.

"It’s a Biblical principle. If you double a teacher’s pay scale, you’ll attract people who aren’t called to teach.

And perhaps at the next prayer breakfast or prayer lunch or prayer dinner Mr. McGill, obviously a product of Alabama’s school system, can explain how raising legislators’ pay makes them less likely to take bribes, since he hasn’t got a set of facts out there to prove that point, but apparently that must be in the Bible too, no doubt somewhere near the verse that says you should impoverish teachers in order to make your kids as stupid as you are, thus reducing intergenerational discord.

Yessiree, bubba, these Southern religious geniuses is just the best and brightest.

Like one of  their own said, ‘You can’t fix stupid.’ The  country needs a border fence alright – right around  the Southern Bible belt states.

Maybe old Abe should have just let the idiots go in 1861.

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[The Lion recognizes that picking on an entire region of the country just because it seems constantly to produce dumbassery is not really fair. But really, they manage to come up with so much of it that it just beggars belief. Of course we have our clowns in the North too, but we just can’t compete on the numbers as well as the utter depth to which the Southern legislators manage to reach when they pull up the gobs of stupidity they use to smear their states. But perhaps it’s not fair to be so hard on the legislators. After all, they usually don’t vote themselves into office, do they? Or is that a Southern custom I missed?]

Arizona Bans Shakespeare From Schools; Join Next Week’s Book Burning In Phoenix
January 13, 2012

And that’s not the worst of it.

From Salon:

Another notable text removed from Tucson’s classrooms is Shakespeare’s play “The Tempest.” In a meeting this week, administrators informed Mexican-American studies teachers to stay away from any units where “race, ethnicity and oppression are central themes,” including the teaching of Shakespeare’s classic in Mexican-American literature courses.

Read all about it at Salon. Learn how Arizona, in its quest for racial purity, steps into the New Dark Ages mandated by Republican Tea Party paranoia, ignorance, fear, and sheer stupidity. If you want a preview of a Republican America, take a look.

Next Friday there’ll be a public book burning on the steps of the Capitol building on West Washington Street in Phoenix. Bring your favorite book to throw on the funeral pyre of freedom – better do it before they come knocking on your door at 4 a.m.

(Amused? Don’t be. This is how it starts.)

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An Impolitic Proposal…
October 11, 2011

    It’s become obvious over the past couple of decades that American governance has fallen down the rabbit hole, but not into the cartoon universe of illogic envisioned by the Disney studio. The American rabbit hole is dark, and it is dangerous, and it is becoming more so by the day. American society is being riven and shredded, broken into battling pieces playing a game deadlier than the Red Queen’s chess ever conceived of being. The forces of ignorance, ideology, hatred, and lust for power have taken center stage and now drive policy.

    In the short term, which may last decades, or be done relatively quickly, these forces and conflicts will work themselves out. The country may be better for that, or it may be worse, which may be the more likely result.

    In the long term, the country requires fundamental change if it is to continue to exist as a free representative republic.

    What follows is a possible path, an ideal, if you will, to be pursued.

    The primary consideration, the one thing that underlies any sort of reform in the long term, is education. Education on at least two levels, the general education of the public, and the professional education of anyone aspiring to work in government in either the bureaucracy or in elective office or offices appointed by elected officials.

    First, consider general education. Currently the mantra in general education from the early elementary grades through high school is testing. Standardized testing. The MCAS is an example of the sorts of high stakes testing the education bureaucracy wants to rely on to make decisions about education. High stakes testing has been developed for, I believe, the convenience of the bureaucrats, not for the education and edification of the students. Using a set of standardized numbers lets the bureaucrats make neat and clean decisions about educational policy without having to deal with the messiness of all those individual students.

    Students are learning how to pass the tests, but it would appear they’re not learning much else that would be of value. Colleges routinely complain that entering students aren’t prepared to do college level work. They can’t write, can’t do numbers, can’t read effectively, can’t think critically.

    On top of that, teachers are regularly excoriated by the political classes, parents, and ideologues of all stripes. The  schools are underfunded. Teachers apparently often find themselves having to spend part of their salary buying supplies for the classroom. Books are often out of date, too often by decades, and their content is too often decided by people with political agendas immured in dogma and ignorance and blind ideology.

    In a word, the public schools are failing their students and they are failing the country. Education should not be a political football, arranged and rearranged by whatever ideologues manage to get themselves elected locally and nationally.

    For elementary and high school grades I propose a different path, a different standard.

    First, high stakes standardized testing would be abolished. Children are individuals. They have differing abilities, capacities, and interests. They are not a mass of clones, nor a mass of equals, and should not be stuffed into a mass system.

    What’s needed is a professional teaching corps of highly trained, highly motivated teachers. A teaching degree should be as difficult to attain as a doctorate, but not as expensive. The successful teacher should be relieved of any debt incurred.

    Second, the communities must support their schools and their teachers. That means professional level salaries. That means no interference from politicians or from parents. That means increasing the tax base and the taxes to support modern schools and sufficient numbers of teachers to provide small class sizes. That means allowing teachers to use their own judgment and creativity in managing their classrooms. The Finnish model is an excellent example of effective modern education. That,  or something as effective, should be instituted nationwide.

    As for content, the usual reading, writing, and arithmetic, but taught in various manners to fit the individual students in any given classroom. But beyond that, there must be an emphasis on logic and critical thinking and scientific thinking, and these should start in the first grade and be rigorously pursued all the way through high school graduation and into college. Rather than hoping that students will absorb the principles through coursework in standard subjects, critical thinking skills must be taught in their own right. They are the absolute foundations of effective learning and education.

    That is the general basis of general public education. Everyone in the country would be educated in  such a system.

    The second level to consider is how to educate the people who choose government service, either in the bureaucracy or through elective or appointive office. An effective education for these people is absolutely critical to the continued success, even the continued existence, of the nation.
 
    Consider that the population of the United States is approaching four hundred million people, and that those people live in a complex world. There are no simplicities in the world anymore, not in politics, not in international relations, not in our relationship to our biological environment.

    Governance involves fifty states, hundreds of cities, thousands of towns, vast infrastructure, complex financial arrangements, understanding complicated interrelationships among those elements and the environment, and understanding a variety of world cultures and our relationships and interactions with the rest of the world .

    We can no longer afford to have simple-minded men and women operating from a narrow perspective governing the country. We can no longer afford to have ideologues, untutored in critical thinking, untutored in simple facts, running the nation. We must no longer allow just anyone who wants to run for office to run for office.

    We need instead to create a highly educated political class. Not an exclusive class, not a privileged class, not an authoritarian class. Membership, if you will, would be open to anyone who can qualify, and one of the hallmarks would be that the government would provide serious aid and assistance to those who want to commit to public service.

    Here’s a suggestion on how to accomplish this.

    First off, implement the general education system proposed above.

    Second, the first two years of college would be exploratory for all students, giving them time to sample various disciplines and possibly come to a decision about their future. The country might also institute a required public service stint of two years as a mandatory prerequisite for entering college: it could encompass military service or community service of some sort. Two years of working in the community could well give most students a leg up on the maturity they need to make  serious decisions about their education and their life. The current system of rushing from high school directly into college seems to end up with two years of college wasted.

    But the meat of the matter for the politically inclined would be the professional coursework required.

    To begin with, students will already have a solid grounding in logic, critical thinking, and scientific thinking, gained through general education. But they will continue to study in those areas as well as be expected to apply those principles to all their other courses.

    And those other courses would be broad ranging. World history, American history, political philosophy, political science, at least one language (they should have picked up fluency in at least one during general education), general philosophy, science, economics, statistics, law and ethics. The latter is not a vision of lawyers in government, but people knowledgeable about the principles and history and applications of law in the United States. Along with law there must be study of the institutions of government, their history and evolution, and the details of their functioning. And serious study of ethics.

    In addition, once a student makes a commitment to public service, or before he makes a final commitment, he must undergo rigid and thorough psychological testing, and, if deemed necessary, psychological or psychiatric counseling. The country has had more than enough of rigid, delusional, and blindly authoritarian people in office.

    It should be noted that a political career would not gain a person any special perks or positions. He gets a salary and a pension, and his salary and pension must be in line with average or normal salary expectations of the citizenry.

    Further, the question of money in politics must be resolved. Donations to politicians, to their organizations, to political parties, would no longer be legal. Campaign finance would be government funded, through taxes: if citizens are not willing to finance excellent governance, then they will have to settle for mediocre, or as the case is today, bad, governance.

    Campaigns would be severely limited in time. For example, Presidential campaigns might be limited to three months prior to the election. Senatorial and House campaigns to relatively less time. Similar restrictions would apply to local and state elections.

    Advertising on television and radio would be free. Radio and television corporations use broadcast frequencies that belong to the public. Corporations should not be charging money for fulfilling civic obligations.

    Additionally, the revolving door between bureaucrats, politicians, and corporations must be permanently closed. No member of the government may leave the government and take a private sector job lobbying the government. For example, a member of the Senate Banking Committee could not leave government to work for a bank in any capacity that would require him to interact officially with the government. He might get a job as a bank officer, but contact with government on any issue affecting the bank would be forbidden. And there must be a period of time after he leaves government when he could not work in banking at all. Nor could he work for any other business which would require contact with government officials to further the corporation’s issues.

    On the other side, the chairman of, say, Goldman Sachs could not serve the government in any capacity having to do with finance or banking. And for him to serve in government at all he must have completed the professional education and training required of all public servants, and never mind his work at Goldman Sachs.

    Furthermore, the insidious and irrational legality stating that corporations are persons and have the rights of persons must be wiped off the books. That bit of delusional legalism devalues human beings and corrupts government. And it is patently false. Were corporations persons, then the tobacco companies would have been put to death decades ago. Corporations are legal entities, paper existences: they have no human rights.

    Some will say that this program will create an elitist ruling class, that it makes it impossible for anyone who wants to run for Congress to do so, that it eliminates the common man from aspiring to public service.

    To the contrary. Public service would still be open to anyone. There would be no bar to any citizen willing to undertake the education required – there would be scholarships and so forth readily available. If you are poor and want to go to college, you will be able to do so.

    As for the common man, it is to be hoped that an enlightened and rigorous educational system will see to it that there are no common men, but that all are well educated.

    There would be no elitist ruling class. Governance would come from educated men and women who would receive no special favors from society, and who would not be allowed to turn their government service to benefit themselves. No one would, in fact, be allowed to enrich themselves or their families through government service. You would get your government pay, which would be reasonable and in line with the pay of the populace at large, and that would be all. No speaking fees, no outside income, no deals, no special favors. You would pay for your own haircuts, your own health insurance and medical bills, your own parking tickets, and so on. If you are rich to begin with, you would forego your riches for as long as you serve in government: you must live on your government salary and derive no benefit from whatever fortune you may have earned or inherited, nor can you undertake any action in government that would increase your fortune.

    Good governance requires committed, ethical, honest, highly educated people, and that’s just for starters. The United States does not have either good governance nor people in office who can provide good governance. American government, as currently existing, is corrupt, destructive to democracy, detrimental to the people governed, and internally violent. It is wasteful and inefficient. It falls all over itself as it seeks to undo its principled good and replace the good with the cruel and the exploitative. It is falling rapidly into that dark place where governance is done by the ignorant, the thoughtless, the delusional, the arrogant, and the greedy.

    It’s time for change. Not hope: hope is not a plan. Change requires action. Change requires planning. Change requires intelligence and long-term commitment.  And change must go deep into the structure of society. We need to start clawing our way back out of the rabbit hole and turn our backs on the Red Queens of ignorance and ideology.

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Rick Perry’s Dream World: The Hypocrisy of Wealth and Religion
August 9, 2011

Want to see what a Rick Perry regime looks like, what a Rick Perry presidency would look like? It’s a wealthy theocrat’s dream, and a nightmare for sane people who have to live in the real world that Crazy Rick wants to create.

The world got a look at 30,000 delusional Christians bowing before Rick Perry and John Hagee’s creepy bullcrap last Saturday, but not at the 90,000 people lining up a few miles away hoping to get free school supplies and food because good ol’ boy Christian Rick Perry cut four billion dollars from the education budget. Apparently Perry considered it more important to fund sonograms for women seeking abortions than in providing quality education to all the living, breathing children.

Another sick puppy crawls out of Texas to seek the White House to house his vast ego, tiny heart, and cracked brain.

Take a look here at Common Dreams and read the links.

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