How the Rot Spreads
And I think a lot of Americans laughed out loud the first time they heard anyone suggest that there should more guns in schools. The idea is absurd, idiotic, and malevolent. Who suggests these things?
There was a time when the word "torture" was a tee-hee thing that evoked a big-nosed cartoon character from the Inquisition with his whip in his hand and a poor, barefoot, bearded heathen chained to his dungeon wall. And then it became an actual topic for public discussion, should America torture people? And, actually, torture won the argument.
How do these things happen? How does somebody come to the conclusion that there is something sinister about women using birth control, about gay people falling in love, who decides what random tiny country we are going to declare war on next? Who is pro-pollution?
The Guardian had an important article yesterday, following the paper trail connecting far-right conservative groups who are literally writing legislation and handing it to their puppets in state legislatures to be passed into law.
Conservative groups across the US are planning a co-ordinated assault against public sector rights and services in the key areas of education, healthcare, income tax, workers' compensation and the environment, documents obtained by the Guardian reveal.The Guardian has documents you can link to and read. Many of these groups are trying to pass themselves off as nonpolitical nonprofit, tax-exempt charities but they commit a great proportion of their resources to lobbying.
The strategy for the state-level organisations, which describe themselves as "free-market thinktanks", includes proposals from six different states for cuts in public sector pensions, campaigns to reduce the wages of government workers and eliminate income taxes, school voucher schemes to counter public education, opposition to Medicaid, and a campaign against regional efforts to combat greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change.
The policy goals are contained in a set of funding proposals obtained by the Guardian. The proposals were co-ordinated by the State Policy Network, an alliance of groups that act as incubators of conservative strategy at state level.
The documents contain 40 funding proposals from 34 states, providing a blueprint for the conservative agenda in 2014. In partnership with the Texas Observer and the Portland Press Herald in Maine, the Guardian is publishing SPN's summary of all the proposals to give readers and news outlets full and fair access to state-by-state conservative plans that could have significant impact throughout the US, and to allow the public to reach its own conclusions about whether these activities comply with the spirit of non-profit tax-exempt charities. State conservative groups plan US-wide assault on education, health and tax
Sure, they want lower taxes and free enterprise. And freedom. Don't forget to mention freedom. Here's what it comes down to:
The proposals in the grant bids contained in the Guardian documents go beyond a commitment to free enterprise, however. They include:They want the poor to get poorer and the rich to get richer. You might think it is an obvious fact that education is a good thing, a way for people to rise above a disadvantaged beginning, but not to these guys -- they want to keep the population uneducated, they want pliant workers who won't complain about their constantly decreasing share of the pie. They don't want more workers, they want cheaper workers. They don't want better medical care, they want medicine to be something you have to pay an arm and a leg for, so poor people won't get it.
- "reforms" to public employee pensions raised by SPN thinktanks in Arizona, Colorado, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey and Pennsylvania;
- tax elimination or reduction schemes in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Maryland, Nebraska and New York;
- an education voucher system to promote private and home schooling in Florida;
- campaigns against worker and union rights in Delaware and Nevada;
- opposition to Medicaid in Georgia, North Carolina and Utah.
There is no philosophy or science that says it is good to screw the little guy and give more, always more, to the people at the top. This is evil.