User-Supported News Commentary Hosted by Craig Crawford
Attribution: George Orwell’s Book 1984 by Bruce Plante, PoliticalCartoons.com
last year but still and maybe even more relevant now
Trevor takes a look at the latest culture war tearing apart America’s schools: book bans. #DailyShow
Attribution: STRIKE UP THE BANNED by Randall Enos, Easton, CT
If the ultra rich people are just going to use all that money waging war against democracy and generally trying to fuck things up for the poorer people, maybe it’s time to begin to consider pitchforks and torches (politically speaking).
I know that libraries aren’t what they used to be and that this issue is not so much what books can be on library shelves but instead is about what books and what versions of books can be taught in red states. In short it’s about controlling what kids can learn and what they can be taught and whether politicians can decide that for parents and their kids. They right should call in Tipper Gore – she knows all about trying to control what can and can’t be heard by kids. Those stickers worked out well, didn’t they?
Here’s the thing……….nazis are entitled to free speech. They are not entitled to free actions.
as of last month More Than 350 Books Banned in Florida Schools Since Last July | Miami New Times
After more than 200 books were banned in various school districts across Florida between the summer of 2021 and 2022, districts continued the crackdown, banning 357 books between July and December 2022, according to the nonprofit organization PEN America. The organization reports that Florida had the second-highest number of book-banning incidents in the nation during that period, trailing only Texas.
Fear of tempting the wrath of parents or the Florida Department of Education has left many educators walking on eggshells. The state currently mandates that librarians undergo training to avoid selecting books that violate Florida regulations and to “err on the side of caution” when selecting materials.Florida has argued in court that the “Don’t Say Gay” bill applies only to classroom materials. But in practice, some county officials have been readily restricting access to school library books based on challenges mirroring the bill. Meanwhile, Florida is requiring local librarians to ensure “alignment to state academic standards” and to weed out school books that subject children to “indoctrination,” a term used by the governor and his supporters to justify passing restrictions on LGBTQ-related content.
PEN America’s chief executive Suzanne Nossel responded in a statement, saying the “approaches and methods being legislated statewide go far beyond any conceivable effort in service” of the governor’s stated goal of removing sexualized texts.“Have some schools been overly cautious? Quite possibly,” Nossel continued. “But that is how censorship works — it sweeps up not just material directly banned but also exerts a well-documented ‘chilling effect’ whereby a wider circle of books and ideas are off limits to avoid risk of punishment.”Picking up where we left off, here’s a list of books banned in Florida’s school districts since July 2022, according to PEN America. Among them, you’ll find titles by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Toni Morrison, satirical novelist Kurt Vonnegut, and prominent author and poet Margaret Atwood.
[continues with list of books county by county]
won’t be long until somebody’s gonna be arrested for privately sharing or loaning out forbidden books. not hard to envision state taking kids away from parents known to have extensive home libraries based on child abuse complaints from radical RW neighbors.
“The Senate’s version of HB 100 would give parents who opt out of the public school system up to $8,000 in taxpayer money per student each year through these accounts. The funds could be used to pay for a child’s private schooling and other educational expenses, such as textbooks or tutoring.”
“Unlike the bill that died in the House committee, the Senate’s version of the voucher-like program would be open to most of Texas’ 5.5 million students — including those already in private schools…”
“Some Republicans have tried to pass voucher-like programs for decades with no success, historically hitting the same wall: the Texas House. But the bill’s supporters felt they had a shot this time around as they thought some parents’ frustration with health restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic and the way race and gender identity are taught in schools — something Republicans have seized on in the last couple of years — would give them the swell of support needed to get vouchers over the hump.”
“In the House, Democrats and rural Republicans have formed a coalition to defeat such programs, fearing they would siphon funds away from public schools, which serve as important job engines and community hubs across the state.”
“The Senate’s latest play is seen by some as an effort to hold school funding hostage, essentially telling the House that if members want more school funding, the lower chamber has to agree to pass vouchers.”
“But trading vouchers for funding is a bargain some schools are not willing to make.”
“So you want me to make a deal with the devil? Absolutely not. I’m not making that deal,” said Stephanie Elizalde, superintendent of the Dallas Independent School District.
As if book banning wasn’t enough, Texas Republicans want to kill the public school system.
“The owner of Hamburger Mary’s Orlando says their First Amendment rights were violated when DeSantis last week signed a bill, SB 1438, restricting the attendance of children at certain performances, according to the lawsuit. The restaurant is asking the court to block the implementation of the law.”
“Anytime our legislators want to demonize a group, they say they are coming for your children. In this case, creating a false narrative that drag queens are grooming and recruiting your children with no factual basis or history to back up these accusations AT ALL!” the Hamburger Mary’s Orlando statement reads.”
I actually had a poli-sci prof tell the class to watch out for anyone who tries to hide their agenda behind children.
“We are going to remain a refuge of sanity and a citadel of normalcy, and kids should have an upbringing that reflects that,” DeSantis has said.
Hmmm, so refusing to do anything about guns is the “refuge of sanity” of which RonDuh speaks? Thanks, but most Americans would prefer a new normal.
It may be time to start memorizing your favorite book. Fahrenheit 451 doesn’t seem that far off.
Which book would you choose to memorize that is likely to be banned currently.
…pretty sure we’re smack-dab in the middle of a fascist takeover, folks
Shutting down automatic Medicaid renewals (end of covid policy as of May 11th) means an elderly family member may be thrown out of their assisted-living facility…notice as of today and must be handled before the end of May. Clearly, nobody thought his through. Notices should’ve gone out at least two months ago to give families time to respond. I’ve not been involved before, so this should be interesting.
BiD, I am pretty sure SOMEBODY thought that through and knew exactly that ceasing automatic Medicaid renewals would kick old folks out of senior living facilities – someone in Abbott’s office I’d wager.
I don’t think Republicans like Clarence I think he is a useful idiot for them and fulfills a certain
affirmative action requirement
I want to like Tim Scott but there is something -besides his being a gooper- that keeps me from being anything but meh
Republican plan for our schools:
More Guns, Less Books
LBJ nailed Republicans a long time ago:
“If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you”.
what FL tourism industry is hearing at news like this is a whole lot of money gurgling down the drain.
Pride Organizers Are Canceling Florida Events Over ‘Climate of Fear’ (businessinsider.com)
Organizers in Florida have already canceled several pride events, saying the state’s targeting of LGBTQ people has created a “climate of fear and hostility.”
In St. Cloud, which is just outside of Orlando, organizers canceled a June 10 event — which would have included a food market and a drag queen show — because they said circumstances made it “unsafe” to proceed.
“Florida has recently passed a number of laws that target the LGBTQIA+ community. These laws have created a climate of fear and hostility for LGBTQIA+ people in Florida. We believe that holding an LGBTQIA+ event in this environment would put our community at risk,” the organizers said on Facebook.
… last week, someone managed to hack an electronic road sign, writing the words “kill all gays.” Bozanich called the news “very alarming.”
“We did not have the funds to be able to provide that high level of security to ensure safety if there were some sort of extreme act,” Bozanich said.
Pride organizers in Florida have also canceled events in Tampa, Port St. Lucie, and Lake County, local news station Click Orlando reported.
“It’s dehumanizing the people that we work with, that we live with, that are part of our community,” Torres told WESH. “It’s a very sad moment when these unfortunate things happen because we’re just creating more room for hate.”
So, a self-proclaimed nazi seems I have tried to crash into the WH gate. One more idiot felon who’ll be off of the voter roles.
Pogo – This is nationwide; the relative is in a different state. This is going to be a mess for a lot of folks.
“Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen reaffirmed June 1 as the hard deadline to raise the debt ceiling on Monday, saying she expects the United States will be unable to pay all of its bills in a little over a week.”
“Some Department of Defense workers may see their paychecks delayed — that includes more than 2 million federal civilian workers and around 1.4 million active-duty military members. Federal government contractors could also see a lag in payments, which could affect their ability to compensate their workers…”
“The average payment for one of the 66 million people who receive Social Security benefits is $1,827 a month in 2023. These payments could be delayed in a debt default, but Shai Akabas, director of economic policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center, said it’s possible the Treasury could continue making on-time payments because of the entitlement program’s trust fund.”
Republicans hate our military; Republicans hate the elderly.
It will be the Republicans who are responsible for ranking the economy.
The campaign ads will write themselves if Kevin allows the government to default.
“Special counsel Jack Smith has issued a subpoena for records of business deals that former President Trump’s company made with seven countries since he took office in 2017…”
“Smith requested information on real estate and development deals that the Trump Organization had with China, France, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Oman…”
“Trump is only known to have made one deal with a company from any of those seven countries since he took office — licensing its name for a golf resort in Oman with a Saudi developer. The deal was announced just as Trump announced his 2024 presidential campaign.”
“…Smith’s inquiry into the business records was part of a subpoena to the Trump Organization seeking records on Trump’s dealings with the Saudi-backed LIV Golf tour, which has held some tournaments at clubs owned by the former president.”
“Smith has been investigating the classified and sensitive documents that were taken out of the White House during Trump’s presidency and brought to his Mar-a-Lago property in Palm Beach, Fla.”
“The inquiries appear to indicate Smith’s investigation is taking on a wider scope; The Times and Post reported that the subpoena seems designed to uncover any potential financial motive for Trump to keep the documents at Mar-a-Lago.”
“Smith is also investigating Trump’s role in the buildup to and during the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection on the Capitol.”
it’s beginning to hit them in the pocket book when folks like these (meeting planners & event managers) put out statements declaring:
New Florida Laws Are Bad for Meetings Business (skift.com)
Fascists are more than happy to break this society to build the one they want, look at what Putin is doing to Ukraine, as an example. He “liberated” a literal pile of rubble he is responsible for creating by destroying a once-thriving city and calls it a “victory”.
The Presidency is a small prize for liberals when conservatives control everything else
Gun-control over, reproductive-freedom gone, free-speech stifled by statute, y’all already lost
RIP the Dream, all hail $$$ ✌️
“Russian opposition group posts video of what appears to be an antiwar flag above Moscow following purported cross-border raid.”
“The blue-and-white flag adopted by Russia’s antiwar opposition could be seen in the heart of Moscow on Monday, according to videos posted by an armed group that earlier in the day claimed credit for an attack on a Russian village near the border with Ukraine.”
“The Liberty of Russia Legion is ostensibly comprised of Russian dissidents who oppose their country’s war in Ukraine. In recent weeks it has claimed to have carried out a number of cross-border raids in the southwestern Russian region of Belgorod, with the group on Monday even asserting that it had carried out the “liberation” of several villages in the area.”
“While Ukraine hosts the group, an advisor to the government in Kyiv described its members as Russian nationals. Its civilian leader is Ilya Ponomarev, a former Russian lawmaker who opposed Moscow’s 2022 full-scale invasion and now lives in Ukraine.”
“While we are fighting liberation battles in the border area, our flag is flying in the center of Moscow,” the group said in a post on Telegram. “Russia will be free!”
Red lights a’flashin’ in a hot New Jersey night.
“Super Typhoon Mawar is barreling toward Guam on Tuesday, threatening to slam into the US territory as the strongest storm there in more than 60 years.”
BB – What happens to FEMA if Republicans shut us down? I know what happened to clients in Guam when the payments due to them from the the US government stopped many years ago. My company, and others, had to work with them…but the pain rolled to the companies working with them until things were resolved. I have zero confidence in Kevin; he’s a weak SOTH. It only takes one GQP-er to shut him down. Republicans aren’t going to make any points with their base, once the MAGAts figure out it will hurt them, too, and the Republicans are actually just protecting tRUMPsky’s tax cuts for the wealthy.
“A Texas House committee revealed Tuesday it was investigating the office of Attorney General Ken Paxton over his push for $3.3 million in taxpayer dollars to settle a whistleblower lawsuit from former deputies who had accused Paxton of misconduct.”
“The news came hours after Paxton called on the House speaker, Dade Phelan, to resign over alleged drunkenness while leading the House, a remarkable moment of acrimony between two of Texas’ top Republicans. Phelan’s office fired back, noting the investigation has been going on since March.”
“The motives for and timing behind Paxton’s statement today couldn’t be more evident,” Phelan spokesperson Cait Wittman said in a statement. “Mr. Paxton’s statement today amounts to little more than a last ditch effort to save face.”
“The committee also issued a letter to Paxton’s office asking it to preserve all evidence related to the investigation. That letter told Paxton the committee “has been conducting an investigation related to your request for $3.3 million dollars of public money to pay a settlement resolving litigation between your agency and terminated whistleblowers.”
“In a brief public meeting Tuesday afternoon, the House General Investigating Committee unanimously voted to issue subpoenas in “Matter A,” which it has been investigating for weeks. One of the subpoenas was for a “John Doe No. 6” and the other was for Paxton’s office.”
“Paxton’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the news of the investigation. But about two hours before Murr’s announcement of the subpoenas, Paxton took to Twitter to abruptly call for Phelan’s resignation, accusing him of presiding over his chamber “in a state of apparent debilitating intoxication.”
“In his statement calling for Phelan’s resignation, Paxton also criticized the House for failing to “pass critical conservative priorities including protecting the integrity of our elections and preventing Chinese spies from controlling Texas land.”
“The House ousted Slaton after an investigation by the General Investigating Committee found he engaged in sexual misconduct with a 19-year-old aide.”
“Paxton shares political ties with Slaton, the ousted lawmaker. A top campaign contributor to both has been Defend Texas Liberty PAC, the Stickland-run group that is mostly financed by conservative megadonors Tim Dunn and the Wilks family.”
“Paxton has battled his own ethical problems for years. Months after taking office in 2015, he was indicted for securities fraud linked to private business deals in 2011. More recently, he came under FBI investigation after top deputies accused him of abusing his office to help a wealthy donor. He has denied wrongdoing in both cases.”
“In addition, the State Bar of Texas’ Commission on Lawyer Discipline sued Paxton in 2022, accusing him of engaging in professional misconduct by making dishonest claims when he asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Democrat Joe Biden’s 2020 election victories in four swing states. Paxton’s bid to dismiss the lawsuit is before the Dallas-based 5th Court of Appeals.”
Back to today’s topic.
“A Florida school has banned elementary students from reading several works in its library, including The Hills We Climb, the poem written and read by Amanda Gorman at Joe Biden’s inauguration as president.”
“So they ban my book from young readers, confuse me with @oprah , fail to specify what parts of my poetry they object to, refuse to read any reviews, and offer no alternatives…Unnecessary #bookbans like these are on the rise…”
“Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis will share the virtual stage Wednesday night with Twitter owner Elon Musk when he kicks off his Republican presidential primary campaign, a spokesperson for the governor told CNN.”
“The decision to make the announcement on the site’s audio platform, Twitter Spaces, in a discussion with Musk, who has a dedicated fanbase of his own, underscores DeSantis’ desire to win the loyalty of right-wing influencers as part of a larger bid to overtake former President Donald Trump for the 2024 GOP nomination.”
MAGAts + Twits = The ruins of the GOP
Tomorrow marks the one-year anniversary of the Uvalde massacre.
Republicans like Greg Abbott and Dan Patrick are not pro-life. They do not care about families. They refuse to protect kids from bullets.
NEW THREAD by Fearless Leader
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