17 May 2010


G.O.P. NYTimes columnist Paul Krugman writes about the ascendancy of the extreme right wing of the Republican party, and the resulting descent into Wonderland. Krugman is trained in economics and international affairs, and has a keen eye for inconsistency. His take on the personalities and policies which affect our lives is no-nonsense and to the point. Here's where right-wing politics leads --

POLICE STING. "Are you a parolee who has become a fugitive? Come turn yourself in, and we'll not only grant you amnesty, we'll give you a $200 reward." Now what criminal on the run wouldn't jump at the chance to start over, no harm, no foul? Apparently quite a few did, during a sting operation in California. The criminal mind is not the brightest bulb in the pack -- variations on this sting have been televised for years. Yet miscreants still fall for it, walk in, are handcuffed and taken to jail. Do not pass Go, do NOT collect $200. There is a certain troubling paradox in seeing law enforcement committing fraud to nab criminals, though. I know that you have to think like a criminal to catch a criminal. Still, I wonder if a good Constitutional attorney might find loopholes in a practice which borders on entrapment. There's no black and white, it seems, just shades of gray.

TEXAS SCHOOLS. "Texas school board rewrites U.S. history with lessons promoting God and guns. U.S. Christian conservatives drop references to slave trade and sideline Thomas Jefferson, who backed church-state separation." The revision of history to suit the writer is nothing new. James Loewen's eye-opening book Lies My Teacher Told Me documents how generations of students have been misled and brainwashed by history books which gloss over the ugly side of the American experiment (racism, greed, scandal, hegemony), and highlight the American myth (our country right or wrong). History is written not only by the winners, but also is selected by local school boards, however ignorant or venal they may be. That's why we need a national standard for textbooks, with oversight by specialists in the field (history, biology, literature, et al.), not by either politicians or by redneck fundamentalists. Separation of church and state? Damn right !! (click on fundamentalist US map to enlarge)

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