Tag Archives: Ron DeSantis

Education and indoctrination

According to Ron DeSantis’ educational policies, discussions and lessons on race that make students uncomfortable are bad. Schools are rapidly adjusting to avoid any mention of race that might bring DeStalinist’s heavy hand down on them. However a Florida teacher showing a pro-confederacy video isn’t “cause for discipline” according to the school board; instead the teacher’s complaining about how it’s the board’s investigation that makes students uncomfortable around him and his fee-fees are hurt.

So apparently DeSantis’ fight against “indoctrination” in schools doesn’t extend to indoctrinating students with lies about the Confederacy. Heck it doesn’t extend to fighting indoctrination as long as it’s right-wing indoctrination. As Paul Campos says, you’re going to indoctrinate them in something, whether it’s “seceding to preserve the right to treat human beings as property is justifiable” or “equality is good, racism is bad.”

Over in Texas, Sen. Mayes Middleton sponsored a bill to let schools hire chaplains as mental-health counselors instead of professional counselors or social workers. And there’s no certification or other requirements the chaplains be qualified to counsel students. Middleton trotted out the usual cliches in a WaPo interview: we took god out of schools, everything went to pot!

Of course we didn’t take God out. Students can pray, form religious clubs, etc. so God’s still there. Efforts to revive school prayer are much more about showing non-Christian kids who’s in charge, just as school prayer and Bible readings in the 19th century were all about teaching Catholics and Jews this was a Protestant country (this was openly touted as a good thing, as covered in the book The Fourth R). As for making them godly, it didn’t stop good Christians from supporting Jim Crow or lynching black Americans.

Middleton tells the interviewer that separation of church and state is not a thing (it is). And while he insists chaplains are not going to proselytize, but the religious group backing the effort is all about proselytizing. And Middleton shot down an amendment to ban it. If counseling was the real concern, wouldn’t he put some effort into seeing the chaplains were qualified? Instead he approved an amendment to require certification, then it got stripped from the bill. Go figure.

I suspect that at a minimum Middleton wants to show the students his religion trumps theirs; if the chaplains indoctrinate the students, that’s gravy.

Likewise, Jim Jordan pretending him investigating academics for identifying Republican falsehoods is a win-win: no matter that he won’t find a smoking gun (or any gun) he’s already getting researchers to back off (“The fear of being targeted is profound enough that several researchers spoke on the condition that they not be named, and one prominent professor asked to be removed from the story entirely, citing concerns about his family’s safety.”)

I’ll wrap up with, first, a more positive (sort-of) story about Christian parents who’ve rejected homeschooling and no longer think the public schools are full of groomers and monsters. And second, two longer quotes:

“I’ve seen established academics—including the dean of a professional school at a university I worked for—explicitly defend the notion that humanities education should be stripped out of college degree requirements as a “social justice” measure. It’s wrong, they argued, to make less affluent students pay for “unnecessary” humanities courses. ” — from a discussion of how colleges are wrecking college education.

“the idea that the fundamental function of the university is to preserve, extend, and transmit cultural knowledge while teaching young people to think critically is itself a contested political position. Plenty of people in American culture and politics, mainly on the right but some on the left as well, don’t support this, because they believe that independent critical thinking is either bad in itself — this belief is the essence of reactionary politics of all stripes — or should give way to more pressing priorities” — Paul Campos in commentary about the previous link.

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Book bans, Elvis, AI writing and more: links!

White House hopeful (more likely hopeless) Ron DeStalinist insists that a school has not banned a famous poem. The federal government says book removals in Georgia may have violated federal law. There’s another free-speech lawsuit against a Florida school-district book ban. A bill in Connecticut would create sanctuary libraries to hold challenged books.

Scholastic picked up Maggie Takuda-Hall’s children’s book but asked her to remove references to racism. She refused. On Twitter, she restates the truth: The Japanese American internment was racist.

Since the current book-ban wave began, people have joked about how the Bible has scenes in it that should be banned. Now it’s happened.

In Florida, a high-school yearbook included a couple of pages for the schools LGBTQ groups. Moms for Fascism complained. The school is providing parents or kids who complain (four complaints so far) with reprints with the material deleted.

The messiness of the Elvis Presley estate. The messiness of how the media treated actor/model Brooke Shields.

AI writing is not writing. Which doesn’t mean film studios won’t embrace AI scripts. The Mary Sue adds more.

AI not only scrapes published, copyrighted works, it rips off fan fiction.

Disney’s not using screen villains much in its cartoons. Is that a good thing?

What happened to hit comedy films? Although as Louis CK is back in business, that part of the article hasn’t aged well.

“We have written music in our hands from 3500 years ago called Hurrian songs from a Canaanite city called Ugarit in what is now northern Syria. It survived because it was carved into clay tablets. But even though they are clearly music symbols, we don’t know what they signify in terms of pitch and rhythm.” — from an article on the challenges of preserving ideas, writing and art.

The messy, toxic culture behind the scenes at Lost.

A high school canceled a school play because of its LGBTQ content. The students staged it off-campus.

Another digital-media pioneer goes down.

Alex Haley’s interview with Martin Luther King may include made-up quotes criticizing Malcolm X.

What goes on behind the scenes at the Guinness Book of World Records.


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Florida Man, Texas Man (and other state and local atrocities)

Florida Republican Rep. Randy Fine is cool with erasing gay and trans people to supposedly protect children.

Unsurprisingly Ron DeSantis is cool with singling out Disney for higher taxes to punish them for not hating gays enough. Republican Nick DeCeglie has slipped an amendment into a bill that would target Disney for monorail inspections.

Some Florida legislators say they’re fed up with DeSantis using state policy to build his presidential cred. One sign is that DeSantis’ bill on suing media outlets more easily is DOA. Too bad that’s not the case for a bill that might let doctors refuse patients based on moral objections — and possibly let insurers refuse coverage too (Republicans deny that last part, but they lie a lot). But don’t worry for DeSantis, the Republicans in the legislature are all in on abortion bans, mother’s health be damned.

The next Florida health emergency might require legislative approval before health officials do anything.

“If someone wants to come to a public space and say, ‘We should reinstitute slavery,’ why are we afraid?” — Fla. Republican Spencer Roach on a bill he sponsored forcing colleges to host right-wing speakers in the name of Free Speech. Roach is also sponsoring a bill that would override local historic preservation rules to make it easier to build high rises.

Florida college students are not fond of DeSantis’ efforts to make state schools conform to party doctrine.

One Florida school district is currently dealing with fallout after a teacher showed a Confederate pride video celebrating the glorious CSA. Hmm, do you suppose DeStalinist will denounce it for possibly causing some students discomfort? Probably the teacher will do better than the anti-DeSantis superintendent whose license may be revoked for his defiance.

Don’t think it’s all about hating LGBTQ, Jews and uppity women and POC, though: there’s money in it: “The plan—which was proposed in March by board chair Bridget Ziegler, a co-founder of the right-wing book-banning group Moms for Liberty and wife of the state GOP chair—would have cost the school district $28,000 and given Vermilion the job of reviewing and recommending teacher lesson plans, textbooks, and library books. The initial proposal would have also had the newfound consultancy agency sit in on teacher interviews and review district policies and procedures, costing the school district $4,820 a month.”

Wouldn’t you know, Florida birthed Moms for Liberty, which masks their hate by pretending to protect children. And if you’re wondering about all those Republican states weakening child labor laws, they also trace back to one Florida right-wing group.

The Texas Senate has banned tenure for new professors, though the bill may have a tougher time in the house. The Senate also passed a bill requiring posting the Ten Commandments in schools., which Lt. Governor Dan Patrick brags will bring prayer back to schools (spoiler: it never left). They’re also busy restricting library books. Oh, and restricting which precincts you can vote in. Oh and here’s a goody: by increasing medical liability for any problems with trans care, even if the doctor’s not at fault, a new bill would leave doctors on the hook if anything goes wrong. What a vicious, sneaky way to discourage doctors providing care.

In my state, North Carolina, Tricia Cotham — the representative who recently switched from Dem to Republican — is a perfect example of Murc’s law. It’s not because there’s any personal gain to her from siding with the dominant party, it’s that her evil Democratic colleagues forced her to switch. She’s apparently gotten rid of her support for gay rights; too bad as NC Republicans are joining in on the criminalize-drag-show trend.

Montana tells NC trans legislators to hold my beer. Trans legislator Zooey Zephyr stood up to the powers that be on this issue. So did her supporters. The powers that be, as you can see, were not happy (she’s now having to vote remotely, having been banned from the floor).

Given right-to-lifers’ use of the Comstock laws and other old anti-abortion laws, it’s good Michigan Democrats are repealing the state’s ban on couples living together. Republicans oppose repeal. Michigan’s also repealed the state’s old abortion ban. North Dakota, however, has banned it almost completely — and there are no abortion clinics left in the state.

Alabama forced a state official out for writing the wrong sort of book.

In Georgia, Chatam County Republicans want to ban LGBTQ from the Republican Party.

Tennessee State Rep. Scotty Campbell was all in favor of expelling the two black reps who took an anti-gun stance. Turns out he’s resigning over sexual harassment.

An Ohio anti-trans activist told the legislature that non-Christian elected officials are possessed by demons.

A New Mexico state law guarantees access to abortion. A forced-birth city is suing against it.

Right-wing fascists took over a California town. Now one journalist covering them faces death threats. In Michigan’s quietly Republican Ottawa County, things have also gone crazy.

Who knows what’s ahead? Right-wing twit Ben Shapiro thinks local communities should be able to ban men from wearing traditional female clothes in public. Love that right-wing fondness for limited government.


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Republicans doing whatever it takes

Llano County, Texas’ county commission replaced its library board in 2021 and began removing books from the shelves (dealing with race and LGBTQ stuff, are you surprised?). They’ve been sued and the judge has issued a ruling the books go back on the shelf for now. The commission’s solution: shut down the library.

House Republicans have proposed a bill that would shield future presidents from state prosecutions, shifting them to the Republican dominated federal courts.

Missouri State Senator and Republican Mike Moon opposes gender-affirming care for trans minors, but he’s fine with 12-year-olds being able to marry.

Jared Woodfill is an anti-gay Texas Republican attorney … who not only knew and covered up that his law partner was a pedophile, he hired young men to work for his partner, some of whom claim they were assaulted.

A new bill in Florida would exempt travel records for state leaders from the state’s strong public records law, as well as hiding the names of visitors to the governor’s mansion. Hmm, could it be Ron DeStalinist has something to hide? Still, to give DeSantis his credit, he’s been very successful at crushing black political power in the state.

When Republicans approved mifepristone-banning judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, they knew he was a strong forced-birther. Now that right-to-life has proven a loser at the voting booth, they’re not celebrating the ban. Go figure.

Iowa will no longer provide free emergency contraception for rape victims.

If you’re wondering how bad, legally, Kacsmaryk’s ruling on mifepristone was, here’s a deep dive. Spoiler: it’s very bad.

So is Gov. Gregg Abbott’s argument that the guy who shot a BLM protester should be pardoned because he had fear for his life: “At Perry’s trial, a defense expert testified that Foster could have raised his rifle and shot Perry in well less than a second. This is irrelevant. Texas is an open carry state. Anyone openly carrying a rifle could, in theory, point, aim, and kill someone in a fraction of a second. If what Foster did justifies lethal self-defense, you could plausibly argue the same about anyone carrying a rifle in public, particularly at a protest, or at any tense situation where there’s the possibility of conflict.”

Speaking of Texas, a new bill that would allow the Texas Secretary of State to invalidate county election results is very precise in effect: “What makes this proposal so egregious is that the bill’s very own text says it only applies to counties with a population of 2.7 million or more. Why such an oddly specific number? Texas’ second-biggest county, Dallas, has a population of 2.6 million, according to the most recent Census Bureau estimates. The law would therefore cover Harris County and only Harris County.”

Abbott and Texas Republicans are also pushing for legislation that blocks local government from enacting labor, environmental, anti-discrimination and other rules that go beyond state regulations — like requiring water breaks for construction workers.

Looking for a state board gig in Arkansas? The application includes a 500-word essay requirement saying what you admire about Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders (she subsequently dropped this).

While Republicans’ relentless hunt for election-related fraud has never produced any fraud, it’s driving honest election officials out.

Kansas Republicans narrowly failed to push through a bill that, among other things, would ban covid-vaccine requirements for schools and make it easier to claim a vaccine exemption for kids even without a religious reason.

Remember the guy who attacked Paul Pelosi while hunting for Rep. Nancy Pelosi? Sen. Ted Cruz shared tweets claiming the story of the attack was bogus — and he won’t apologize.

For Republican Jim Banks, opposing wokeness means opposing diversity in federal agencies.

Along with coming for our birth control, Republicans are coming for Social Security.

“I always knew they had drugs. They all had pot. If I needed a kid removed, I would just ask the question and 90 percent of the time, they’d say something stupid and that was enough to remove them from my classroom.” — from a profile of a particularly loathsome member of the right-wing Moms for Liberty. Her actions allegedly include using a dead woman’s online accounts to harass other people.

Equally charming, the officials in McCurtain County OK wax nostalgic on tape about the days when you could get away with lynching blacks.

Ron DeSantis remains a tinpot dictator.

I’ll wrap up by saying something I rarely get to say: good for the Republican National Committee for condemning anti-Semitism in a resolution. It won’t stop elected officials screaming about George Soros, the International Jewish Banker (nope, nothing anti-Semitic there!) but I’ll take every bit of decency I can find.

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I imagine Ron DeSantis does not want people reading this book

Because Philip Dray’s AT THE HANDS OF PERSONS UNKNOWN: The Lynching of Black America (edited to get title right) probably would make some students uncomfortable with its story of how brutally many whites have treated several thousand blacks (and some whites too) and how other whites turned a blind eye.

I thought I knew how horrifying lynching was but this book was an eye-opener. People taking home knucklebones from a corpse as souvenirs. Children posing next to a hanged black man for a photo (many post-lynching photographs would become postcards). A black WW II veteran having his eyes burned out with a blow torch. All of it done without benefit of trial, frequently to innocent men (and sometimes women), on the bullshit rationalization that supporters of “Judge Lynch’s law” were protecting white women from being defiled by lecherous black men (in some states, sex between a black man and a white woman was automatically classed as rape). All of it originally done as a community public spectacle; criticism in the 1930s made racists take most such incidents private rather than attract attention from Yankees and others who just didn’t understand the South was it’s own special place (sarcasm font). Often lynching’s aftermath included rampages through black business districts, reminding me of kristalnacht and other European porgroms.

While some historians argue if it isn’t public, it isn’t a lynching, Dray follows the pattern of violence on into the 1950s and 1960s as it slowly fades in the face of increasing opposition. The deathblow came when the feds successfully prosecuted the killers in the Meridian murder of three civil rights workers — not everybody, but enough to show you couldn’t be sure of getting away with it. Dray acknowledges that the legal system is still biased against black men but writing in 2002 he’s optimistic we’ve come a long way. I wonder if he’s still so optimistic (back then, I was too) in a world where police defend their right to shoot black people and whites have called the cops because a black person was standing there. Or where a Tennessee lawmaker can get nostalgic for hanging people from trees — yeah, I’m sure no racial subtext there. Nor in Texas’ scumbag governor Gregg Abbott vowing to pardon a driver convicted for running over a BLM protester

I’m also reminded of the shocked reactions so much of America had to 1960s protests and 1970s urban terrorism and the fantasy that before Kids These Days got out of hand (irrationally angry blacks, irrationally angry gays, kids raised too permissive) everything had been civilized and orderly and peaceful. No, it wasn’t. But lynchings didn’t have the same impact on white America that black or anti-war protests did; lynching enforced the status quo, 1960s protests challenged it.

Dray does a good job profiling the people who fought against Jude Lynch’s Law, such as black activists Ida Wells and Walter White, the NAACP and the Communist Party. Many of them labored for years to end lynching without seeing their work bear fruit. Others were simply self-interested: as lynching finally began to offend the rest of the nation, Southern leaders pushed back against it for fear lynching was bad for business and bad for their image. At the local level, the murderers kept right on lynching for far too long.

Like I said, it’s understandable if, even cleaned of the worst details, lynching upsets students. Contrary to DeStalinist, even if it does that’s no reason not to teach it.

Cover from Allen-Littlefield collection at Emory University, all rights remain with current holder.


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Equality and diversity destroy conservative safe spaces

About five years back I wrote that “many conservatives think having to co-exist, having to acknowledge the Other’s rights, is a violation of conservative safe space principles.” This hasn’t changed. Conservatives don’t have the moral fiber to co-exist with people who aren’t them. Denying co-existence and equal rights to the Other is their idea of a moral crusade. Or as Michelle Goldberg puts it, “How long can conservatives tolerate a political system that victimizes them by allowing Drag Queen Story Hour to exist?” Or where Miley Cyrus sings songs that celebrate being inclusive.

There’s an old saying that when you have privilege, equality feels like oppression, but this isn’t even that. Simply co-existing with drag queens doesn’t take away anyone’s privileges, unless it’s the privilege to discriminate, pronounce judgement and feel holier than thou. But that appears to be the hill many conservatives want to die on: tolerating people they disapprove of is oppression. Or as Ron DeStalinist puts it, “we’re creating a model for what a free society should be. Yes: freedom for you to not be constrained by government—all conservatives have always believed that—but also, freedom for you to live your life without having the pathologies of the Left imposed upon you from all the other institutions in society.”

When DeSantis says “you” he means conservative Republicans. He does not mean drag queens, gays, corporations that oppose him (points to Disney for pushing back some) or anyone who challenges party doctrine. By “pathologies of the left” he means support for diversity, support for gays or parents exercising their rights — something DeSantis pretends to be passionate about — to support trans kids or take their children to drag shows.

Likewise Fla. State Senator and Republican Clay Yarborough wants to ban schools from using kids’ preferred pronouns even if their parents approve because “you might have 19, 20 or 24 other kids in a classroom whose parents may not be OK with them being introduced to that.” One parent protesting that a film about Ruby Bridges tells kids “white people hate black people” was enough to trigger a school-district review.

Oh, and according to a Utah politician, considering social and environmental impacts when investing money is not only a pathology of the left, it’s Satanic.

Or consider the ongoing war against “wokeness.” Just as right-wing hack Chris Rufo turned CRT into a euphemism for anything he dislikes, woke, like cancel culture and PC before it, is a catch-all term for any criticism or actions that run counter to conservative desires. If this means lying about it, fine; Nikki Haley, for example, says CRT means “a little girl goes into kindergarten, if she’s white, you’re telling her she’s bad.” Some definitions of woke I’ve seen online resemble DeSantis in ranting about how the left is imposing it on conservatives; George W. Bush’s press secretary, Dana Perino, says “it could be a feeling, it could be a sense” so they don’t have to define it precisely.

Thus we end up with screams about how SVB went belly up because it was too woke, or how wokeness directly leads to persecuting Christians and white people, as in the Haley quote (the right-wing persecution complex has been around a few decades too). Or an argument by Florida Republican Blaise Ingoglia that as liberals cancel people, he wants to cancel the entire Democratic Party so Floridians can’t vote for it (hmm, is it possible he has ulterior motives?).

Right-wingers don’t want to share the country. They don’t want to tolerate people. They don’t consider The Other to be equal citizens. They’re a minority of Americans but they can do a hell of a lot of harm, even so.


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Right-wing thought policing

A prosecutor in Lapeer County, Michigan, is threatening to sue the library for having Gender Queer, book he doesn’t approve of, on the shelves, equating it to adults preying upon kids sexually. As noted at the link, he says the book’s illustrations are dangerous but the library has heterosexual illustrated books he’s not complaining about. And I salute the head librarian whose unflinching response amounted to “Sue and be damned, sir.”

An NYT columnist argues that sure, maybe DeSantis is crossing some lines with his anti-woke policies but it’s a necessary pushback against all those woke radicals causing “racial and ethnic divisiveness.” Yeah, nothing divisive about Ron DeSantis’ policies, it’s the other side’s fault (only Democrats have agency).

Here’s a good example of how the “kids should not feel guilty about their race” works in practice: “Last school year, when the North Carolina teacher tried to give this lesson to her sophomore honors world history class, a parent wrote an email complaining that her White son had been made to feel guilty. The teacher recalled replying by asking, “Why would your child feel guilty about what Columbus did to the Arawak?” The parents of the student escalated the issue to human resources, the teacher said, spurring an administrator to warn that she needed to stop “pushing my agenda — telling me that having my children learn the truth about Columbus was biased.” Soon after, she said, New Hanover County Schools placed an admonitory letter in the teacher’s file and ordered her to halt the lesson on Columbus.” Another teacher in the same article was warned she shouldn’t teach that slavery was wrong — both examples of pre-emptive compliance.

Another example: A textbook publisher rewrote a section on Rosa Parks to avoid mentioning race.

A Jodi Picoult book about the Holocaust got banned in Florida but she’s pushing back. Oh, wait, DeStalinist claims all the stories his administration bans books are a lie. Guess that settles it! Here’s another author weighing in. In Wisconsin a school dropped the Miley Cyrus/Dolly Parton duet “Rainbowland” from a concert: “It was determined that ‘Rainbowland’ could be perceived as controversial.”

Oklahoma also wants their book bans to cover public libraries. Kentucky’s sticking with a statewide ban applying to school libraries (so far).

As in Lapeer County, the focus of these “no sex in schools” bans is gayness. One lawmaker struggles to say whether if you can’t discuss gender and sex, you could mention Martha Washington in schools.

DeSantis’ ongoing attack on higher education includes banning any school support for diversity and inclusion, which some legislators worry would ban black fraternities and sororities. Yet right-wingers in Florida are very concerned about diversity when it comes to forcing right-wing representation in campus speakers.

And, of course they don’t want any equality when it comes to protecting Confederate monuments. While they talk about importance to history, the bill would require state approval for any signs or plaques providing context to monuments. I suspect that means “Fighting to preserve slavery, Robert E. Lee became responsible for the deaths of more American soldiers than any foreign general we ever fought” is off the table.

Anti-trans campaigns are thought-policing of a sort — trans people aren’t real! Gender realignment surgery is child abuse! — and they’re being turned into laws.

To end on an up note, Nikole Hannah-Jones of the 1619 Project isn’t giving up.

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Conform to Party doctrine or you become non-citizen, comrade!

Several years back, someone described the 21st century right-wing as the radical left of the 1960s: better to burn it all down than live in a world that doesn’t conform to their ideals! While I think there’s truth to that, I also think they’re very close to our old enemy, the USSR. Back during the Cold War, the Soviet Union expected everyone to tie the line and accept Communist Party doctrine. Businesses. Schools. Parents, who must bring up their children to conform. That sums up the modern right-wing.

In Texas, for example, if your bar hosts a drag show — politically incorrect under current party doctrine — you’ll pay higher taxes.

The Georgia state government wants tighter control over prosecutors, such as the one investigating Trump.

Florida isn’t the only state trying to stamp out non-Republican thought in schools.

Florida Man also wants to block removing Confederate monuments because history! Given the bill requires the state sign off on any placques or signs providing historical context, I suspect statements like “The Confederate Army killed more American soldiers than any foreign foe in our nation’s history” will not conform to party orthodoxy.

While Florida’s current leadership talks about how they want to give power to parents, that doesn’t apply to parents who support their trans kids. Even if the custodial parent doesn’t live in Florida. Small wonder: right-wing misogynist Matt Walsh says having a trans kid is a fate worse than death — though as you’ll see at the link, he claims there’s no such thing as trans kids so obviously he didn’t mean what he said! Of course this just shows how the right is recycling old anti-gay propaganda (one Christian book described its author losing one kid to a fatal drunk-driving incident, another to the “homosexual lifestyle”) now that they’ve lost the fight for public opinion on that one.

Texas Rep. Bryan Slaton wants to give a tax break to families — provided they’re not gay, neither partner has ever been divorced, and they didn’t have the kids before tying the knot. Slaton also wants a referendum on secession. At least that would get rid of Ted Cruz as a senator …

Missouri wants to ban any sort of LGBTQ education in K-12.

The FBI and Justice Department have investigated Trump, the right wing Messiah — so Matt Gaetz wants to defund law enforcement at the federal level.

Utah will probably ban abortion clinics, forcing all abortions to take place in hospitals.

Republican Iowa State Rep. Brad Sherman (no relation as far as I know) insists banning gay marriage doesn’t take away anyone’s rights — gays can still call their disgusting abomination a marriage if they want, so what’s the problem?

As Paul Campos says, a basic assumption of right-wing ideology is that their beliefs are not ideology: “Right wingers are against indoctrinating children, but they are very much in favor of forcing schools to teach children that America is God’s extra special favorite country, because that’s not indoctrination, that’s just a plain Biblical truth … A more general point here is that anybody who complains about indoctrinating children is talking nonsense, because up to a certain age educating children and indoctrinating them is simply the same thing. So arguing, for example, that schools shouldn’t indoctrinate children is oxymoronic. The question is always and everywhere which doctrines they will be taught, and again the key right wing belief is that authoritarian ethno-nationalism, with an infusion of balsamic Christianity, isn’t a set of doctrines, but rather an unquestionable collection of shared truths, that together make America the Greatest Country in the World.”

See also Vaclav Havel on the power of dissent.


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Florida man …

As John Scalzi might say, a lot of what follows is performative with little chance of becoming law or withstanding legal challenges. But not all of it, and it says a lot about what DeSantos and Co. think is a winning performance for their Republican fans.

According to Florida Republican Joe Sansone, if you get the covid vaccine “go home and hug your pregnant wife—she can have a miscarriage through skin contact …The injections meet the legal definition in the state of Florida as a bioweapon.” Based on this bullshit argument with zero evidence, he wants Florida to ban the vaccine. Funny how quickly they moved on from vaccines being a matter of personal freedom (except to get sick).

And Florida Governor Ron DeStalinist’s new bill would ban women’s studies and gender studies at state colleges and ban spending money on anything “espousing diversity, equity, and inclusion.”

A professor was fired after one phone call saying he teaches racial justice in class. Unfortunately the media are still focusing more on Liberal Campus Cancel Culture than right-wing repression.

DeSantis’ control of higher ed is also quite profitable for those he favors.

A new Florida bill would make it easy to sue news media that use anonymous sources, and accusing someone of sexism or racism is automatically defamatory. Screaming “groomers” at people as DeSantis and PR flak Christina Pushaw like to do? Not automatically defamatory. Go figure.

Even with fetal abnormalities that justify an exemption under Florida’s abortion ban, women can’t get abortions.

Despite DeSantis and Pushaw pointing fingers and screaming groomer at anyone who challenges DeSantis’ Don’t Say Gay policies, Republicans are shocked — shocked — that Trump accuses DeSantis of being one: “These faux tough guys decided that literally anyone in America can be smeared as a groomer: teachers, drag performers, children’s hospital employees, anyone. And that’s fair game. But the moment Trump suggests DeSantis might have done something untoward, they flop on the ground like French soccer players begging for a red card. ”

I’m glad I don’t live there any more, though NC Republicans would love to follow in his footsteps.

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Let’s look at some people of dubious moral integrity, shall we?

While it’s not the worst lie Rep.-elect George Santos has told, I find myself particularly disgusted he lied about his mother dying on 9/11 when she died in 2016.

Anti-gay activist Brian Brown insists that until the woke mob ruined America marriage was always one man and one woman. King Solomon and his thousand wives on line one, Mr. Brown. But seriously, shouldn’t a supposedly devout Christian know that ancient Israel, among many other cultures, was polygamous?

“If you want to know at the end, we’ll let you know, but we’re not telling people where funding is coming from right now,” — shady Trump lawyer Stefan Passantino explaining to Cassidy Hutchinson that he’d protect her at no cost if she lied to the 1/6 Committee.

Florida shipping migrants out of state and lying to them about where they were going is highly immoral. A DeSantis aide steering the transportation contract to a former client is more conventionally unethical.

The Republican majority on the Supreme Court has repeatedly struck down covid-related restrictions they said infringed on religious freedom. However they’re refusing to let Biden strike down a Trump policy that restricts immigration to supposedly fight covid.

Likewise, right-wing claims that fetuses are people can be abandoned when convenient.

Here’s some election fraud for you, by a Republican election official.

There are those who do evil and those who enable them.

Nixon had no moral integrity and deserved to lose his office over Watergate. Nevertheless conservatives are still pissed about it.

Trump in 2015 said he’d give his entire presidential salary to charity, “but in 2020, his last full year in office, the documents show that Mr. Trump reported $0 in charitable giving.” At the same link, Trump and other Republicans are threatening retaliation (“The Radical Left Democrats have weaponized everything, but remember, that is a dangerous two-way street!”) but I think Democrats know by now that Repubs will fight dirty regardless of what Dems do.

While Elon Musk’s ethics are dubious, his intelligence is too — because only an idiot gets rid of their janitors.

Oklahoma State Sen. Dan Bullard says he’s banning gender-transition surgery until age 26 because he cares so much about trans people and wants to protect them from bad decisions.

Now for an upbeat note: bankruptcy does not shield slimeball Alex Jones’ assets from Sandy Hook lawsuits. Oh, and much as Arizona’s Kari Lake still pretends she won the governorship, her lies are going nowhere.

On the other hand, it turns out supporting Trump’s insurrection is no bar to becoming a North Carolina law school dean.


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