The reasons liberals hate the Al Qaida/Taliban as well as the American Taliban are the same reasons we hate fundamentalists of all stripes -- they seek to impose their own moral code on the rest of society, and do so with the zeal and moral absolutism possible only from those who believe they are doing God's work"."
Kudos to my friend for this gem about the Gem State. As we're both natives, it pains us to acknowledge this.
On March 19, 2012, the Idaho Senate passed SB 1387, mandating a medically unnecessary ultrasound procedure for anyone contemplating an abortion in Idaho. In debating the legislation he authored, Idaho State Senator Chuck Winder (R-Chauvinistan) argued:
“Rape and incest was used as a reason to oppose this. I would hope that when a woman goes in to a physician with a rape issue, that physician will indeed ask her about perhaps her marriage, was this pregnancy caused by normal relations in a marriage or was it truly caused by a rape. I assume that's part of the counseling that goes on.”
Winder said, “I believe the state does have an interest in the life of the unborn. That's what the debate's about. Does it add cost? Yes, it does. I would just ask you to consider the pricelessness of the unborn.” He noted the Senate's recent commemoration of military members killed in Iraq and Afghanistan in the past year. “Each person has a life story,” Winder said. “Those were cut short. Let's not choose to cut others short.”
The inherent assumptions underlying the Senator's comments are currently making national news here on HuffPo and here on Addicting Info. John Miller further inquired of Senator Winder in a piece published in the Washington Post. The article contains some outraged responses to Winder's argument from State Representative Cheri Buckner Webb (D-Boise).
After a rape, Buckner-Webb said, a doctor should be performing medical procedures to ensure a woman’s health, gathering evidence of a crime and taking measures to assure that she has the necessary support.
“Those are the things they should be checking — not the context. That’s an affront,” Buckner-Webb said. “Let me tell you, a comment like that is very painful. A comment like that is what keeps women from coming forward” when they’ve been victimized by a violent attack.
Senator Winder's campaign Facebook page is replete with commentary from detractors on the matter. Butch Otter is a self described libertarian and its anybody's guess whether those credentials will present themselves to veto the ultrasound legislation. read more »
Nearing the close of the candidate deadline for this year's races, many political observers expressed surprise to see a locally infamous, yet politically unknown, name pop up as a candidate in the hope to challenge incumbent Raul Labrador for congress in Idaho's first congressional district. Cynthia Clinkingbeard is a doctor who lost her license to practice in Idaho in 2005, reportedly for mental health issues. Approximately a week after filing she was arrested on three counts of aggravated battery for brandishing a weapon at a Boise area Staples store. She was arraigned on the felony counts Monday with her attorney seeking to get her hospitalized.
Clinkingbeard’s attorney, Bret Shoufler, told the judge his client was likely in a “hypo-manic state” when she went into the store and felt that a better place for her would be in a secure medical setting, like a hospital, instead of a jail cell.
Fourth District Magistrate Michael Oths decided to set bond at $100,000, but also told Shoufler he would be willing to approve a furlough from the jail for Clinkingbeard when arrangements could be made for a secure room in a medical facility.
Her candidacy was/is dubious and filing for the position may have been one of the erratic events the College of Western Idaho cited as a reason to suspend her employment last week.
Dr. Clinkingbeard's arrest emphasizes the limited and shrinking resources available to the mentally ill in Idaho. Last year Idaho Republicans slashed Medicaid funding by over $100 million and at the cost of 4000 Idaho jobs. Moreover the cuts were pound foolish merely shifting the burden to other budgets like Corrections and the CAT Fund. This year, Chief Justice Burdick noted that since 2006 there has been a 151% increase in mental health court filings. Ignoring the warning signs of this growing problem will not make it go away. read more »
Idaho State Senator Wants to Manipulate and Control Reproductive Organs of Complete Strangers Against Their WillSubmitted by Serephin on Mon, 03/19/2012 - 9:31pm.
Idaho GOP State Sen. Chuck Winder has decreed that the Gem State's government is now small enough to fit inside a woman's uterus, and he damn well intends to establish a beachhead. Chuck Winder is a dangerous asshole.
TVA has a terrific write-up about this travesty on his uber-blog-of-all-Idaho-blogs, Ft. Boise. Here's an excerpt:
Senator Michelle Stennett, the Minority Caucus chair gave the longest, and most detailed debate against the bill, at the beginning of the debate, identifying five specific reasons why it would be bad law.
• Ultrasounds are not free. None of the providers prepared to offer "free" services are abortion providers.
• In spite of it not being made explicit, in the case of early pregnancy, the bill would effectively require transvaginal ultrasound.
• The medical emergency provision as written does not apply to the new sections; it lacks a provision for "reasonable, medical judgment."
• It conflicts with the Medical Consent Act, giving adult persons in this state the fundamental right to make their own decisions for their health care.
• It is likely to violate the privacy of patients, in that they would have to sign a statement which will become a public record.
Next time you see Senator "State Rape is good" Winder, be sure to salute him for all the fine work he's done for the women in Idaho.
Prior to removing their children from public schools to receive a religious-themed homeschooling, Idaho parents would be required to submit their children to a trans-metaphysical "soulogram" probe by a licensed atheist to include a recording of the actual absence of a soul. Parents would have the right to refuse to listen to the silence from a sentient human body devoid of any essence, spirit or other magical construction of "soul."
Prior to entering Idaho to live or temporarily work in a community with less than 20% minority population per the most current US Census, all Caucasian non-residents are required to submit to a trans-chromosomal "colorogram" to determine if they have any non-white genetic material. Individuals would have the right to refuse to listen to the automated voice stating their racial subtypes. Individuals lacking any racial diversity would not be allowed to reside in communities with less than 20% minority populations.
Prior to receiving purchase scripts for the following foodstuffs and spices often used in the preparation of squirrel meat, to include but not be limited to ketchup, tomato sauces, salt and pepper, salsa, flour, white and brown sugar, onion, potatoes, cabbage, teriyaki sauce, applesauce, chicken broth and beef bouillon, Idaho residents must submit to a trans-deliverance"rubeogram" to discern the sounds of banjos, washboards, pickup trucks idling, chainsaws, wolf hybrids howling, meth lab explosions. Individuals may not refuse to listen to the sounds of their internal hills and hollers if they intend to ingest Idaho's squirrels.
DFO: I'm cure-hee!-((us)) why you pick so man-he fights?
Me: I totally don't get the "cure-hee!-((us)) for "curious"
DFO: How about an ap-hollow-gee once in awhile?
Me: That's your fkn favorite isn't it? You gotta re-TIRE it, man.
DFO: re-TIRE is great! The seasoned citizens will love that!
Me: Seasoned citizens sounds like some depraved cannibalistic act involving spices and meat tenderizer. Dave, are you a cannibal?
DFO: You are itch-ZING for a trip to the cooler, sport
Me: WTF is the zing about? You're forcing it all the time.
DFO: That's it, buddy.
Me: You can't cooler me, I'm sitting in your fkn cubicle.
Me: I taught you that one.
DFO: Hat Tip to you!
Me: Yeah. You're well-cum.
Me: I have a thing for swarth.
Me: Thought I should let you no.
I am filled with a molten outrage over the banning of Sisyphus from a mid-sized city newspaper blog representing and pandering to the Homo Neanderthalenus-Drosophila Melanogaster hybrids of North Idaho.
It isn't because I actually read the grinding scroll of that hideous newspaper forum, although Sisyphus certainly cracks open their rickety outhouse door of pungent, gaseous diatribes and echo chambering with his reality-based commentary and gentle nudging of the resident Lord of the Outhouse People, but I have many more important endeavors to engage in during the day, e.g. memorizing the entire Joe Jackson catalog for "New Wave Brit Invasion Karaoke Night" down at the Dew Drop Wagon Wheel Inn.
But it just flaps my forward gunwales to imagine an America where the free exchange of ideas, even if they contradict or are too logical and humane for the Outhouse People to absorb or even allow to rattle around in their severely sloped and carbuncle covered heads like ball bearings in a gumball machine in the back of an 86 Subaru Brat (the official Car-Truck of North Idaho), is stifled by a tinpot internet Dictator presiding over his swampy banana republic of morons, jethros, hillbillies, wingnuts, assholes, teabaggers, snowballers, pukes, birthers, bible slapping Jesus monkeys, bikers, hellions, scofflaws, and rubes.
Seriously, compare Boise to Coeur D'Alene? My God, that is like comparing a fish with lungs learning to motate on muddy land with an intestinal flatworm clinging with a gaping starving maw for bits of semi-digested squirrel and beans.
Be that as it may, since I don't read it anyway and have been myself banned for over a year I don't suspect a boycott by me will be of any import.
HOWEVER I CAN STILL POST ANGRY PROTESTY YOUTUBES. GO TO HELL HBO
A teacher is always a Utopian - Victor Villanueva
In this video, Victor Villanueva discusses structural racism and its implications for language education. I love his work, ideas, and approach, and how they weave seamlessly into the third edition of Cross-Talk in Comp Theory.
I first met Victor while teaching and doing research at Washington State University in 1997. I became enamored of his classic, Bootstraps, a work which helped broaden my vision and eventually reshape my paradigm as an academic of color. The memorable conversations include his mention of the many scholars he knew who considered themselves experts in Marx -- but who'd never had a cup of coffee in a working-class home -- as well as other insights.
That is why I was delighted when he published the third edition of Cross-Talk. The book maintains the historical perspective of previous editions while continuing to provide insights on the relatively new discipline of composition studies. Villanueva recruited the expertise of Kristin L. Arola to flesh out the discussion on composition and technology. According to the scholars, "the quick movement of the paradigm--from the personal computer to local-area networks to the rise of social networking--suggests the need to recall the talk and the cross-talk concerning computers and their products for composition."
The challenges of dealing with basic writers can sometimes seem overwhelming. English faculty meetings can be mind-numbing, and departmental administrative toil can leave little time or energy for sharing a vibrant intellectual life with colleagues. So the concept and practice of Cross-Talk gives me access to an empowering social dialogue. There is strength in numbers, and with the book in hand and ideas in mind, I am no longer alone in front of that classroom, or when grading papers. Instead, I am part of a larger, dynamic conversation with the brightest minds in the field (past and present), as well as students and scores of other instructors.
The joy of continually returning to this text brings me close to colleagues from around the world in this discourse community. The landmark articles in the book, by major figures such as Donald Murray, Janet Emig, Walter Ong, Sondra Perl, Mike Rose, and Patricia Bizzell have been a great influence on my teaching, as well as on the field itself. They are joined by the works of other trailblazing scholars such as Peter Elbow and Richard Ohmann. Villanueva also incorporates texts by key names within comp's conversations on technology, including Adam Banks, Cynthia Selfe, and Kathleen Blake Yancey.
Villanueva, now chair of the English Department at Auburn University, writes.
In a very real sense, Cross-Talk is intended as a historical artifact, a way of tracking theoretical discussions in a field that continues to find itself forming its theoretical foundations. Even the givens of comp—writing as process—are contending with cross-talk, like post-process theory. It’s hard to track the history we’re in.
Finally, another trend speaks to my soul:
The other big change in composition studies—at least in our journals—has been the increased presence of writers of color and the greater acceptance of critical pedagogy. As I point out in the final essay to this volume, writers of color are still not present in this profession in the kinds of numbers that would affect our discussions on racism in truly meaningful ways, but something did happen in the second half of the 1990s: the beginnings of rich discussion on racism clearly centered on the concerns of this profession (a somewhat different set of discussions on racism from those which took place in journals like College English at the beginning of the second half of the twentieth century).
Cross-Talk is a collection that continues to provide new and experienced teachers and scholars with avenues for problem solving. It has been a core text in my library as I face the challenges, controversies, and ever-shifting currents within this rich and ever-evolving field: the teaching and learning of composition.
I am new to this forum so I hope I don't violate established etiquette. If I do, just let me know!I wrote this blog entry originally for my group GMO Free Idaho. But, because of the content, I thought it would be good to share here as well. Please bear with me in the length. Who knew Senator Crapo could be so long winded? LOL
I would appreciate feedback you might have! read more »
Politically I am very disappointed that no one has taken up the cause of CD2 in the Democratic Party. We do not know what the future holds. With closed primaries Congressman Simpson could fall. Plus fate is strange look at Phil Hart. If we had a candidate in the race we might hold his seat in the statehouse. Plus I truly feel that no federal candidate should run unopposed. If no one is running on my side I feel that there is no hope for a brighter future. By running the race our views our spoken. Our opinions sought. There is no news in an uncontested race. read more »
UPDATED 8:50 a.m. 12/24/12
At about 3:00 p.m. I received a note from an offical at the statehouse with the words above.
He told me that a press conference was coming shortly.
Dustin Hurst of the Idaho Reporter is "reporting that Senator JOHN McGEE is resigning." A Press Conference was called at 3:30 p.m.
I had written blogs including Is the Media Drinking the Party Line on John McGee? last July.
And Boise's Channel 2 confirmed that the sexual harrassment allegations were by a female staffer.
Here is the story on KTVB.
BOISE -- Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter says Senator John McGee has submitted a letter to resign from the Idaho Legislature. Otter told The Associated Press that McGee, a four-term senator from Caldwell, submitted the letter Wednesday morning.
McGee had been the caucus chairman, the fourth ranking post in the Senate.
The resignation caps a difficult year for McGee. He was arrested in June and a month later pleaded guilty to drunken driving in a deal that erased accompanying auto theft charges. He served jail time and paid restitution for damaging the vehicle. At the start of the 2012 session, McGee apologized to his colleagues for his actions and survived efforts calling for him to step down from his leadership post.
McGee resigned Wednesday after allegations of sexual harassment involving a Senate attache who is not a minor, Senate President Pro-Tem Brent Hill said. The attorney general is reviewing the case, Hill said.
On Saturday, Hill said he received a confidential allegation of sexual harassment from a female Senate employee. He said he asked the Senate secretary to investigate the allegation. The employee is on paid leave. Hill did not say what the alleged harassment was or when it occurred.
Hill said his first priority is providing, “a safe, secure and professional environment for Senate employees.”
Since the Idaho GOP chose to "Stand by Their Man" after he got drunk, stole a car, and wrecked it -- the story now reads like a tragic comedy. And it was a woman, after all, who finally took him out! read more »
Just last night I was discussing the Greenwald story with a friend and colleague, making the connection to the Citizens United decision and the corrupting power of money in politics. My friend didn't really get the connection. Lo and behold a few hours later, as Serephin notes below, Rachel Maddow makes the case for me.
The iconic ice cream company, Ben & Jerry’s sure is not. The founders of Ben & Jerry’s, Ben Cohen & Jerry Greenfield launched their “Get the Dough Out of Politics” campaign on February 13 on the MSNBC show, the Dylan Ratigan Show.
Ben & Jerry’s is using its considerable clout as a beloved ice cream company to raise awareness about the Citizen’s United decision, a Supreme Court decision that, in my opinion, guts democracy. While appearing on the Dylan Ratigan Show, Greenfield said, “We have to get massive grass roots activation.”
The campaign is definitely doing what it can to get massive grassroots activation. The campaign has a website, GetTheDoughOut.org, which asks people to sign up to campaign against Citizen’s United. Information about the campaign appears on the Ben & Jerry’s website. The campaign will have Scoop Trucks this summer at the Bonaroo Music Festival, which in addition to serving ice cream, will ask people to sign postcards.
Glenn Greenwald reports that, contrary to my earlier speculation, they have received no contact from legal representatives for Frank Vandersloot and/or Melaleuca, Inc. All's quiet on the Idaho Agenda front as well, and further notes that the story is underscores the need for Idaho to Add the Words. Recall that Idaho Agenda author James Tidmarsh was scolded for referring to Frank Vandersloot for being anti-gay. I think Frank's record of being "anti-gay" might be overblown. After the jump is a video of Frank Vandersloot and Mitt Romney with Idaho's "I'm Not Gay" Senator Larry Craig at Melaleuca Field in Idaho Falls a few years ago. read more »
Salon author Glenn Greenwald exposes Frank Vandersloot's pattern of using his wealth to insinuate himself politically and to hire lawyers for purposes of intimidation of anyone daring to criticize him, his company, or his practices. If you don't know Glenn:
Glenn Greenwald  is a former Constitutional and civil rights litigator and is the author of two New York Times Bestselling books on the Bush administration’s executive power and foreign policy abuses. His just-released book, With Liberty and Justice for Some, is an indictment of America’s two-tiered system of justice, which vests political and financial elites with immunity even for egregious crimes while subjecting ordinary Americans to the world’s largest and most merciless penal state. Greenwald was named by The Atlantic as one of the 25 most influential political commentators in the nation. He is the recipient of the first annual I.F. Stone Award for Independent Journalism, and is the winner of the 2010 Online Journalism Association Award for his investigative work on the arrest and oppressive detention of Bradley Manning.
Of course, publishing such an article will be inviting the very thing he's exposing, legal confrontation with Frank Vandersloot, and his company Melaleuca, Inc. As a result, one can safely assume that this has been already carefully scrutinized for accuracy by Salon's legal department, in addition to Greenwald's own experience as an attorney. As a national publication, Salon has the resources necessary to take on such threats, and be insulated from such intimidation. I expect communication among attorneys has already commenced.
The entire article is a must read for any observer of Idaho politics, but this section is no small amount of vindication for us here at 43sb.com.
These national magazines are encountering what small local journalists and bloggers in Idaho have confronted for years. The website 43rdStateBlues is written by a collection of Idaho Democrats and they all write under pseudonyms. In 2007, one of them (“TomPaine”) wrote a critical post about VanderSloot, and then quickly received a letter from Melaleuca’s in-house General Counsel at the time, Ken Sheppard, threatening a lawsuit if the post was not removed within 24 hours. The website complied by removing the post, but wanted their readers to know why the post was removed. So another poster (“d2″) explained that they had received a letter from Melaleuca’s lawyers demanding its removal, and then posted the lawyer’s letter. read more »
On Friday, February 10, 2012 the Idaho Senate State Affairs Committee refused to even print legislation which would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Dan Popkey wrote a observant column documenting the drama and the emotional plea of Senator Edgar Malapeai begging the committee to have the bill printed.
Midway through his pitch, the Pocatello Democrat stopped speaking for 25 seconds to collect himself, to the discomfort of the seven committee Republicans. Custom holds that lawmakers’ bills, especially those brought by members of leadership like Malepeai, are printed as a courtesy. This was an exception, in significant part because Republicans fear right-wing reprisals.
What Malepeai finally finished saying was this: “In my opinion, it would be profoundly disrespectful not to afford those tens of thousands of families affected by this legislation to give at least — at least — a printing of the bill ... (and) allow them to speak of the harm that’s been done.”
Five minutes later, the bill was dead on a party line vote. After the hearing, recently retained Senate Republican Caucus Chairman John McGee addressed reporters.
“This is not a new issue,” McGee said. “Nobody here believes in discrimination or discriminating against anybody.” But, he said, “I don't think we want to continue to create separate groups and separate categories for this.” He said, “I don't think that the piece of legislation that was brought before us today … changes whether or not somebody is going to discriminate. … The fact is we don't think that bill is the right thing to do.”
Idaho's existing Human Rights Act bans employment and housing discrimination on the basis of race, religion or disability. The “Add The Words” bill would have added sexual orientation and gender identity. “There's lots of groups who don't have that ability as well, so the issue becomes, where does it stop? Where do those special categories end?” McGee asked.
Ironically Senator McGee received ignoble attention last June when he got piss drunk at a Hillcrest Country Club Golf Tournament, wandered six miles barefoot, commandeered a stranger's truck, and jackknifed the truck and trailer in a neighboring driveway. read more »
::Crucial update below 2/10::
So this happened.
Boise Weekly was there.
The Idaho State Senate leadership today pulled a dozen members of Occupy Boise out of the Senate Gallery to discuss cloth, dollar-store American flags pinned to each individual's shirt. In the Minority Caucus room on the fourth floor of the Capitol, Idaho Falls Sen. Bart Davis asked them to remove the flags.
"We have asked many people over the years, people I have agreed with and I have disagreed with," said Sen. Davis. "To not wear buttons, and to not wear hats, and we're asking you please to be similarly sympathetic to allow us to do our business in that fashion."
Ten minutes prior to the meeting of the full Senate, a dozen members of Occupy Boise entered the public gallery, checking in with security to comply with increased security proceedings related to bags. At the desk outside the doors, they safety-pinned American flags to their chests, a protest against the proposed amendments to House Bill 404, which sits on the 14th order awaiting consideration.
What was that Senator Davis? You've consistently applied this rule to friend and foe alike? Well certainly the House hasn't. A large group of hostile hot headed nullification advocates, interested in fighting the Civil War all over again, entered the House hearing room wearing "yellow stickers to show their support of the "nullification bill." There's even video depicting lots of protesters wearing badges. read more »
UPDATED 2/16 BELOW
Several days ago I received reports of a flap brewing on the University of Idaho College of Law campus about conservative students outraged at the mandatory attendance requirement for a diversity training seminar. Diversity training is often required by employers and schools to help avoid liability in discrimination litigation, such as happened to the law school in George v. University of Idaho. Thereafter I received a copy of a letter dated February 3, 2012 addressed to Dean Burnett, a former Idaho appellate judge, signed by 21 Idaho lawmakers, including, Speaker of the House Lawerence Denney, House Education Chairman Bob Nonini, and House Majority Leader Mike Moyle. The scolding letter acknowledges the importance of diversity training but takes issue with the mandatory attendance requirement and the consequences of failing to attend, a memo noting lack of attendance to be placed in the student's permanent file. The letter is silent with regard to the the underlying reasons for the training or the attendance requirement, only that the consequence of failure implies that the student might be characterized as a bigot which is "unacceptable".
On February 6, Dean Burnett responded acknowledging that the legislators lacked the underlying information regarding the necessity of the training. Burnett cited to the rules applicable to law schools one of which requires, through "concrete action", that the school provide an opportunity for education for all, particularly for those underrepresented. For accreditation, the law school must promote a diverse legal profession representative of the population. Moreover the rules of professional conduct preclude attorneys from manifesting through words and conduct bias or prejudice towards people on the basis of race, sex, religion and the classes of people historically disadvantaged and protected by law. Then Burnett proceeds to diplomatically inform the legislators that these rules were violated.
In October, 2011, a joint team from the ABA and AALS visited the UI College of Law as part of a review process that occurs every seven years. The team included lawyers as well as academics; three of its members were or had been law school deans. Several of them had conducted site review visits at up to ten or more law schools. During a four-day visit to Moscow and Boise, they had many scheduled and casual interactions with students, staff, and faculty. During their exit briefings with me and with University administrators, the team referred to these interactions and stated emphatically that the College of Law needed to focus additional attention upon professionalism and diversity.
Emphasis mine. I've conversed with two students who confirm that the "interactions with students" included one who expressed the opinion that women should not be enrolled in law school. At one of the meetings, when the suggestion of diversity training came up, several 'conservative' students objected to having that "diversity shit" shoved down their throats.
Dean Burnett continued his schooling of the legislators with information about the "training" he had scheduled: read more »
Crossposted on Topix.com
Travis Manning, author of the article below Why do Idaho charter schools have 10% fewer Brown students than White? announced his candidacy for the open legislative seat in District 10, Canyon County. Speaking last night at a gathering of Democrats at the Caldwell Public Library, he detailed his reasons for stepping into the fray, including the fact that "absolute power corrupts absolutely," referring to the antics of the Idaho GOP.
Travis Manning is currently an English teacher at Vallivue High School. He is executive director of The Common Sense Democracy Foundation, an Idaho grassroots think tank formed in June 2011 in response to radical education reform measures in Idaho. He is a member of the Idaho Council of Teachers of English and active participant with the Boise State Writing Project. Travis is active in his local teacher’s union where he has led and been engaged in numerous committees. In 2011 he spoke out at the Idaho House and Senate Education Committee hearings in support of Idaho public schools, and has since published a number of editorials across the great state of Idaho supporting the voices of all Idaho citizens. He supports the needs of all learners in public schools and works hard in his teaching to reach out to help struggling students. He is an advocate for parents and teachers, believing that they are critical stakeholders in the success of Idaho’s children, despite being largely ignored by the Idaho legislature in 2011. Travis has taught high school English and Journalism for seven years in Caldwell, Idaho, and two years of middle school before that in Salt Lake City. Most recently, Travis gave up coaching high school wrestling, one of his great loves, in order to advocate for parents, teachers and students in Idaho governmental affairs. read more »
On February 5, John Miller had an interesting article published in the Idaho Statesman that led with fact that Representative Bob Nonini, chairman of the House Education Committee, is the last 'open' tobacco smoker in the legislature, a fact he tries to conceal. The article examines the juxtaposition of lawmakers who have incorporated the message that tobacco is a dangerous product, yet have such an ideologically entrenched aversion to raising taxes, they won't consider it as a method to discourage people from smoking.
Most Idaho conservatives have a stronger aversion to government overreach and tax hikes than they have to cigarettes, even ex-smokers such as Challis Republican Rep. Lenore Barrett.
"What we're doing is whipping on folks who are making stupid choices," Barrett says. "They have a right to make those stupid choices."
Highlighting how deeply those sentiments run, Democrats last year failed to win even a hearing when they proposed raising cigarette taxes from 57 cents to $1.25 per pack.
This sentiment was echoed in a recent debate in Boise when it passed additional restrictions on areas where smoking is allowed than the state restrictions already in place. Opponents of the ban bleated that such restrictions were an encroachment on their freedom to using a "legal" product, while utilizing the lofty, yet ignorance based, terminology reminiscent of the the Tea Party movement. This isn't about freedom. Its a defense of a toxic product heavily marketed by a powerful industry. read more »
On Monday, January 16, our nation celebrated the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a charismatic albeit imperfect human being.
Born on January 15, 1929, on the eve of the Great Depression, King was a man vested in freedom for all Americans, especially Blacks: freedom from segregation, freedom from bigotry, freedom from racism.
In 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court declared, in Brown v. the Board of Education, that establishing separate public schools for Black and White students was unconstitutional. This historic, unanimous decision (9 – 0), declared that “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.”
Brown overturned the Plessy v. Ferguson decision of 1896 which allowed for state-sponsored segregation, a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution.
In 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama, bus to a white woman. King, a Baptist minister and growing force in the South, led the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955, sparked by Parks. In 1957 he became the first president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, a powerful, grassroots force that fought for Black freedom and civil rights.
In the 1960’s, the term “colored” still had an entirely different meaning from now. If you were “colored,” it meant you drank from a different water fountain, ate in a different part of the restaurant, and watched a picture show from the nosebleed section of the theater.
Today, surprisingly, there is a movement afoot to allow for “separate educational facilities” in our schools. And it’s important that Idaho citizens are reminded, more than 50 years after Brown, of the potential ramifications of “separate educational facilities.”
King understood the importance of freedom and desegregated schools and the value of communities and ethnicities assimilated into one, beautiful melting pot.
Idaho does not have many Blacks, only .6 percent of the state’s population – but, Idaho does have many Brown. The 2010 Census reports the Hispanic population in Canyon County, for example, is 23.9 percent.
One component of “separate educational facilities” could be charter schools. Inadvertently, charter schools could undo gains made for minorities, if charters are not totally, operationally transparent.
The Idaho State Department of Education cites that in 2007 state charter public schools had 3.78% Hispanic students and 92.82% White students. Whereas, their public school counterparts had 13.78% Hispanic students and 81.9% White students.
Why do Idaho charter schools have 10% fewer Brown students than White?
Is this “White flight” from Idaho’s public schools?
Couched in the option of so called “school choice,” there is potential to regress into a political and cultural status once held decades ago.
Segregation was once legal, a conviction that celebrated oneness and sameness in the name of so called freedom and opportunity.
Segregation was, however, choice gone awry.
So what is really meant by “school choice”?
Are our Brown brothers and sisters as aware of the same “school choice” options as our White brothers and sisters?
What would Dr. King say about so called “school choice”?
Travis Manning is Executive Director of The Common Sense Democracy Foundation, an Idaho citizen think tank, and can be reached at Manning_Travis@hotmail.com.