The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Monday, January 23, 2006

Ohio Dispatch: In spite of corruption charges, business as usual

Thanks to OD1 for keeping me abreast of events in Ohio, home of the most noxious cauldron of neo-fascist politics in the nation today.

Item One: When it came time for the public to comment at the end of last week’s state Board of Education meeting on controversial science standards, it wasn’t the board that got grilled — it was the public.

The badgering and berating of witnesses by some board members on Jan. 10 came after the panel narrowly rejected an effort to delete portions of the curriculum guidelines — and after reporters and television crews had left.

It sounds like the way the GOP runs the show on Capitol Hill. Make nicey-nice for the cameras, but as soon as they're turned off it's time to break out the shivs. The issue at hand here? Creationism. Yes, in the face of a history of unanimous court rulings against the teaching of religion in the nation's science courses, they're still carrying on the fight. Not that any of us thought the Dover, PA, decision would stop them. But the board members fighting for religious control of school curriculum are all appointees of corrupt Ohio politicians. Let's hope that more and more evangelicals wake up to the reality that they're being used as disposable pawns by the corporatist right.

Item Two: Ken Blackwell (the secretary of state who would be governor), at the center of the Ohio scandal of vote suppression, gleefully plans his "Today Ohio, tomorrow the world" strategy of politics. It's suspiciously similar to Dubya's unpopular reign. (OD1 mentions that Blackwell's approval rating is also at about 35%.)

There are times when I think that the tonality of rhetoric [from religious right organizations] is overly harsh or strong, and it creates a perception that there is an intolerance that does not really exist. And so what I tell people on many occasions when I have the occasion to talk about faith and politics is that I'm pretty clear that where I draw the line in the sand is against those political, cultural and social forces that try to run faith, God and religion out of the public square. I think that's inconsistent with our political and cultural heritage, and I think that we put our culture on a path of slow decline if in fact we don't realize that what really gives us the possibility of community and civility is a shared moral universe, where we respect the human dignity of all people.

This statement is filled with more holes than Spongebob's square pants. Straw men, false dichotomies, and outright lies. All present and accounted for.

Item Three: I'll let OD1 speak for himself here: Smoke and mirrors shell game to remove legislative control of school funding. Remember that in the last 13 years, an entire K to 12 period for kindergartners entering school in 1993, the Ohio Supreme Court (Republican dominated) has four times declared the Ohio School Funding Formula to be unconstitutional, and four times the Republican legislature and Governor have colluded to create unconstitutional formulas. This is a failure of education for an entire generation of Ohio children. Fact: 40% of students entering Ohio State-supported colleges and universities must take remedial courses in math or English or both. I estimate that this costs each student for which the Ohio educational system has failed, at least $50,000 in lost wages because they will need 5 years to graduate instead of 4, and they will have to spend another year on tuition, books, dormatories, meals etc. to graduate because the Ohio public education system is inadequate, and fails to properly educate because if great measure, they do not fund education properly. Blackwell attempts to intimidate the legislature to do his bidding first, and then his fundy right wing political machine gathers enought signatures to put the measure on the ballot, and, Voila!, wedge issue on the ballot.

I see much the same method of governance in Missouri. Governor Matt Blunt is an inexperienced and incompetent boob whose entire platform has been to re-create the Bush agenda on a state level.

The policies of the Bush Republicans are wreaking havoc with the future of the nation. Education is suffering, jobs are being lost, and the environment is being destroyed-- all in the name of a specious 'free market.' The GOP will gladly regulate the market if it means more profits for CEO's. Remember the airline bailout after 2001?

Somehow we've wound up with a Republican party that has nothing to do with conservatism and everything to do with money and power. A political outlook which irritated a significant number of American colonists in the 18th century.

Thanks again to OD1 for watching my back.