Monday, July 09, 2012

Pass the Schools initiative

   The  Sacramento Bee in both its editorial position on Sunday, July 8,  and its news reporting name  the fall initiative tax measure  to preserve  funding for  our schools  Governor Brown's Tax proposal.   This naming, this framing, is selected to defeat the proposal.  It is not Governor Brown's proposal- it is a proposal from all of us who worked on the Millionaires Tax, from teachers, union members,  the majority in the California legislature and all of those who wish to save our schools from further devastation.
 The legal  title  is  the  Schools and Local Public Safety Act and it will be on the November ballot.  We should insist that the press use the proper title for this tax initiative.   If passed it would prevent  $4.8 billion in cuts from our  k-12 schools and $1.3 billion in cuts from our colleges and universities. 
 California voters  are faced with a choice.  Shall we raise taxes and fund the schools, or shall we continue the current practice of cut, cut, cut ?  In the fall election we will be faced with at least three choices.  Continue the present austerity program  or choose between two tax proposals.  If the anti tax forces have their way and we do not pass new taxes the effects on the schools will be devastating – as will be effects on public safety, health clinics and local services.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Texas Republicans seek to criminalize thinking

Criminalizing Thinking
Dumb, Ignorant, Mean or Greedy
Rodolfo F. Acuña

I am having trouble getting into this essay on the war on critical thinking. I cannot figure out whether it is dumb or ignorant.  My mother would say that the people conducting the war are malditos, mean.  The reality is that the criminalization of rational thought goes beyond being dumb, ignorant or just plain mean.   

Because the consequences are so calculated and far reaching, it is important to break it down so everyone can understand it and where we are headed.

Fascism did not start on February 27, 1933 with the burning of the Reichstag building in Berlin; it did not begin with the building of concentration camps after the fire. It was all planned and a strategy of division, doubt, and fear simply bore fruit at this point.

Hitler summed up his strategy; he sowed the seeds of “mental confusion, contradiction of feelings, indecision, [and] panic.”

Were the German people dumb, ignorant or just plain malditos?  Some were all of the above.

Hitler and his gang set out to stamp out all vestiges of freedom and decency in German society. It is a story goes back to the early 1920’s and was formed after great forethought. 

It used symbols such as the black swastika within the white circle, triggering images of hate toward Jews.  Similarly, the Tea Party movement uses the flag with the circle of stars, the border and the tea kettle to nurture fear and hate.