Class Warfare Blog

December 20, 2016

Mandate? You Talkin’ to Me? … About a Mandate?

A John Nichols piece in The Nation had the screaming subtitle “Trump may be the president-elect. But he has no mandate.” If one overlooks the fractured syntax and capitalization, one is left puzzled. A mandate? A mandate from the people to “rule?” Hello?

Since the federal government has ceased listening to the people who vote, why would this even be a subject of discussion? This is us wanting a President and Congress who listens to us before they ignore us and do what they want, instead of ignoring what we say in the first place?

How is lacking “a mandate” a deterrent to any new President? Bill Clinton had no mandate. George W. Bush had no mandate. Did you notice how timid those two were in trying to get their agendas across? No? Neither did I.

President Obama, now he had a mandate in 2008. Man, that mandate kept those Republicans from digging in their heels and saying “No way!” Right? No? I’m shocked; shocked, I tell you!

What President-elect gives a flying fuck about whether or not they have a mandate from the people, especially when they care not a fig for what we think? From day one, they are the President and the rest of you can go suck eggs. The President ain’t gonna defer to nobody, see. So shutupabouta a mandate or, well there could be an accident and it would be a shame that you coon’t use them kneecaps no more. (Presidents used to sic the IRS or the FBI on people they didn’t like. I expect President Trump to be more … direct.)

December 18, 2016

Theists are Right … But For the Wrong Reason

We all know that the greatest determinant of which religion you will profess is where you are born. For example, if you wanted to find a Hindu, where would you look? India? That would be my first choice. How about finding a Hindu in the U.S.? New York and its environs is a good place to look, as well as San Jose, California and a county out in Colorado that has over 5% of its population comprised of Hindus. The rest of the country? Well, the odds are not good.

Is this a manifestation of “birds of a feather flock together”? Let’s look at this.

I have been reading the book Sapiens recently, which I recommend to you highly, and the author reminded me that gossip may have played a significant role in the development of human culture. The argument goes like this: Homo sapiens, aka modern humans, shared the planet by as many as five or even six other Homo species for tens of thousands of years, then about 70,000 years ago, Homo sapiens took off like a rocket and, well, see any other Homos around (no, not those homos!)?sapiens-cover

The springboard for this rapid growth of human (sapiens, not just Homo) culture has been assumed to have been the development of language, but as this idea has been explored, it cannot have been just language that caused this cognitive explosion. Other hominids had language and modern apes and other animals do as well, so what was it? One idea worth exploring was that it was gossip (yes, that gossip). Small family groups are cohesive because all members of the troop interact frequently. All members are known to all other members and whether they do their fair share of the labor involved is also known. As groups grow and expand to numbers in the 50-100 range, it gets very much harder to keep track of all the members of the troop, especially with regard to trustworthiness, so when bands got to this size, they often split into smaller, more manageable groups. Then some sort of beneficial mutation in Homo sapiens allowed more sophisticated communication via language and gossip was born. Gossip is how a larger community keeps track of the trustworthiness of larger numbers of members.

Interesting, no? It turns out that there are limits to gossip fueling growth in group sizes, though, the common estimate of that limit being about 150 members in a group. Past that point, something else is needed, and that turned about to be fiction. We made up all kinds of ideas that were at best abstract, but were sufficient to keep people working together. Ideas like collective safety, gods, the superiority of the Green Bay Packers, American Exceptionalism, patriotism, etc. These are all at best pure fictions that people repeat to one another until they are accepted as “gospel.”

This is the role gods play in our societies and cultures. When people say they “believe in god,” they are not saying “I believe in a bunch of foolish nonsense” but are saying “I am a useful, moral member of my community.” When people, like me, go to someplace that is god infused like the Ozarks and say “I do not believe in god,” I am basically saying “I am dangerous and not to be trusted.”

This is why religious folk tend to be found clustered together. Their code for “I am to be trusted” doesn’t work if you are the sole Hindu in a Baptist community. The Hindu pass code only works with other Hindus and the Baptist’s code words only work with other Baptists. Actually most Christian sects will give you a pass if you are a Christian, but this has many, many exceptions. Being a Muslim gets you into almost any Muslim community around the globe, one of the strengths of that religion and, I think, a reason it is growing faster than other religions in numbers of adherents.

This “god pass” is a stage away from gossip. One has to live in a community and interact with a fair number of people before there is a body of gossip that indicates that you are a trustworthy member of the community. Even that is fallible, for example, every mass murderer had a neighbor who characterized him (why aren’t more women mass murders, feminists aren’t working hard enough, I guess), who characterize him as a “quiet boy, who seemed polite,” or some other similar characterization.

The “god pass” can get you into a community or keep you out of one. Look at how Muslims are looking for acceptance and often not finding it here in the U.S., even though they profess to worship the same god as most Americans (but apparently not in the right way).

In the absence of such “passes” most people are treated as “others,” that is with suspicion and caution which can expand into hatred and even violence.

The biggest problem with the “god pass” though, is that it has so much baggage with it. There are some here in the U.S. who seem to worship the Bible more than the god it describes and they have definite rules and ideas of how people should behave (that are often not supported by Bible texts, but that’s irrelevant in that their fiction is just supplanting a Bible fiction). If “I believe in god” were just a simple claim of basic trustworthiness and morality, we could find another fiction that could replace it (I believe in the American flag?) fairly easily, preferably one that doesn’t contradict reality so often. But because of the baggage and the links of extraneous things to that baggage, it will be quite difficult.

The only thing I could come up with is I could start selling identity cards that contain a statement that “The Bearer of this card doesn’t not believe in God (or Santa Claus, the tooth fairy, or any other supernatural being) but is basically a good person who wouldn’t hurt a fly unless attacked and just wants to get along with one and all so we can all live good lives.”

We could call it the Good Samaritan Card. Don’t leave home without your God Pass™!

Our Jobs are Going South Because …

For example, 300 United Steelworkers jobs are moving from Indianapolis to Mexico because…? The standard “cause” proffered over and over (and over …) for job loss in the manufacturing area is that these jobs are lost because of “automation” and “technology.” But does that interpretation hold up?

The first thing we might ask is if there is new technology that is available in Mexico that is not available here or is available cheaper there. Is this the case? No, actually, the equipment those 300 workers worked on is being shipped to Mexico, too. Do the workers have skills superior to those here in the U.S. No one claims this and it doesn’t seem reasonable. We might also ask whether the numbers of jobs added in Mexico is fewer than lost in the U.S. (If automation is a cause of job loss, you would need fewer workers.) I suspect, but cannot prove, that the number of jobs added in Mexico is actually greater than lost here.

Clearly the reasons are two fold: in Mexico wages are lower, much lower than here. And, secondly, that old equipment won’t be needed to be upgraded for environmental concerns any time soon. So, the purpose of moving those jobs, and I argue, many, many others, is to access cheap labor and weak environmental laws that allow further value to be extracted from older operating equipment.

Compare this “attitude” of American businesses with that of Germany. (It is an attitude and a strategy; it is not being forced upon U.S. executives because of circumstances. Gosh what else can they do?) Germany uses the most advanced (aka expensive) technologies in the world and manufacturing workers in Germany earn much more than their U.S. counterparts. But manufacturing jobs make up 22% of the German workforce and account for 21% of Germany’s GDP. U.S. manufacturing jobs make up only 11% of our workforce and only 13% of our GDP.

Germans spend more making their products and keep their jobs in country with a strategy that if the quality of the products is high enough, people will pay enough extra to cover those costs and, well, they don’t seem to allow greedy executives to make changes in companies that benefit only the greedy executives.

How do you think that is working for Germany and its manufactured goods (Mercedes-Benz, Audi, BMW, Siemens, BASF, SIG Sauer, surgical instruments, musical instruments, kitchen appliances, etc.)? Would you say that “Made in America” compares favorably with “Made in Germany” at this point?

Why do we let U.S. business executives export quality jobs to other countries to extract short-term profits that benefit the executives but leave the companies they are “leading” in less competitive shape? Why do the companies? (Hint: the CEOs pack their Boards of Trustees of these corporations with cronies who will rubber-stamp their plans.)

December 17, 2016

The Economy Illusion

Filed under: Economics,Education,Politics — Steve Ruis @ 11:06 am
Tags: , , ,

I am a regular reader of the Naked Capitalism blog and I read very provocative things there. Recently there was an interview with Cahal Moran who is a co-author, with Joe Earle and Zach Ward-Perkins, of the book “The Econocracy: The Perils of Leaving Economics to the Experts.” The quotation below addressed the education of economists.

Economics is definitely a law unto itself. In natural sciences, the culture is very much focused on the empirics: theory has empirical motivations, and you always come back to falsifiable predictions before too long. In other social sciences, the culture is instead focused on debate and the contested nature of knowledge. You learn not to take any of your beliefs for granted. But entering an economics degree feels a bit like being transported to another universe. Students are introduced to a fixed body of knowledge that is presented as if – in the words of one student – it “fell from heaven in an ever-true form”. The focus is very much on learning this body of knowledge by rote, building up the neoclassical world from abstract axioms and solving mathematical problems with at best vague and stylised references to the real world they are supposed to represent. The commonly used phrase ‘thinking like an economist’ really captures the effort to indoctrinate students into this framework.

We did a curriculum review of the final exams and course outlines of 174 modules at 7 Russell Group universities (considered the ‘elite’ of the UK) to look systematically into how economics students are educated. Our main aim was to look for evidence of critical thinking, pluralism and real world application, all of which we would consider vital to educating the experts of the future. The results were deeply worrying: 76% of final exam questions showed no evidence of critical thinking – that is, formulating an independent, reasoned argument. When only compulsory modules (namely micro and macroeconomics) were included, this figure increased to a staggering 92%. Instead, the majority of marks are given for what we call ‘operate a model’ questions: working through a model mathematically without asking questions about its applicability. Of those questions which ask students to operate a model, only 3% even attempted a link to the real world. The remainder of the marks were given for simple description questions (‘what is the Friedman k% rule?’) or multiple choice questions, again neither of which require any critical thinking. All of this is very worrying when you consider the place economic expertise has in society.”

This interview lead me to the following train of thought: stock brokers and others of their ilk refer to the stock market as “The Market” as if it were a real thing, a singular organism that one could study and therefore learn its patterns and behaviors. The stock market is clearly no such thing; it is an organized activity in which some patterns exist for reasons both known and unknown, but it is not a thing in itself. Studies have shown that when it comes to investors in stocks, the more one knows, the less well one does, which hardly supports the idea being pitched to those contracting services to purchase and trade stocks. Those stock market workers have a vested interest in selling their expertise, even if it is hypothetical at best, so they naturally project onto “The Market” the kinds of behavior they wish it possessed and their language betrays that.

“When I was young, people talked about ‘Progress’ and ‘Better Living.’ Such terms are no longer used because ‘The Economy’ has displaced them.”

I believe the same phenomenon exists for “The Economy.” We treat it as if it were a real thing. An article right along side the interview containing the above quote was titled “Investment in Early Childhood Education Yields Substantial Gains for the Economy.” “The Economy” is a construct designed by the plutocrats and oligarchs to displace other terms that might “mislead” the proletariat into thinking that it had something to do with them. When I was young, people talked about “Progress” and “Better Living.” Such terms are no longer used because “The Economy” has displaced them. And apparently what is good for General Motors “The Economy” is good for the U.S./us. In actuality, what is good for “The Economy” is good for the plutocrats. It is no surprise that the financial institution that recovered the fastest after the Great Recession was “The Market” as often “The Market” is used as a prime indicator of the state of “The Economy.” So, the plutocrats could say “See, things are getting better.” In this most recent case, though, the Federal Government, a wholly owned subsidiary of Goldman-Sachs, gave billions and billions of dollars to “failing banks” at 0% interest in the “hope” (there were no actual strings attached, of course) that those banks would loan money to folks and businesses who could use it. The banks, though, looked at billions and billions of dollars at 0% interest and logically concluded that they could make much more by investing in stocks than investing in loans that were going to have quite low interest rates. (Besides, the starved Middle Class didn’t have disposable income to generate any demand, so businesses weren’t expanding and “consumers” weren’t buying like it was 1995.) So, the prices of stocks, mostly owned by plutocrats, were bid up quite nicely as the banks “bought in” and so while the people were mired in a paycheck-to-paycheck existence, “The Market” rose to record highs very rapidly.

You know they really should trademark their definitions of “The Market™” and “The Economy™” so we would know we were talking and reading about their financial scams and nothing actually real.

 

 

And, the Difference Is … ?

Does Russia have hackers?

Yes.

Does the U.S. have hackers?

Yes.

Does the Russian government employ hackers?

Yes.

Does the U.S. government employ hackers?

Yes.

Does Russia safeguard it’s national interests?

Yes.

Does the U.S. safeguard it’s national interests?

Yes.

And, the difference is … ?

Oh, I get it. we are the “good guys!” And they, they must therefore be the “bad guys.” It isn’t enough that we have real problems: environmentally, economically, etc. we also need to have a political enemies list, like President Nixon, to fuel efforts to … to …

 

 

 

December 16, 2016

The Wrong Way

We are clearly going the wrong way in our collective efforts.

The plutocrats running this country, for example, have seemingly convinced us that the only reason for a corporation to exist is to make more and more money. This is a bogus idea in the first place and valueless in the second. This only makes sense if you believe that when a company makes more and more money, that means more and better jobs for its employees, more and better service to its community, more and better effects on the planet, etc. If you actually believe this idea, I have some tooth fairy stock you might be interested in.

Do we really expect our corporations to be so shallow? What about in recent times when corporations listed “being a good corporate citizen” in their glossy brochures? What about existing to provide quality jobs for citizens as some Japanese corporations did? What about a stated ethos similar to that of backpackers: “to leave the world a better place than we found it.”

If all we expect of corporations is to make more and more money as their sole goal, we will end up with corporate executives using how much money they make as the sole criterion to establish their merit and worth to society … oh. So, instead of pissing contests and “my dick is bigger than yours,” today’s plutocrats establish their dominance by how much money they or their corporation makes. The money is just a symbolic stand it for a businessman’s dick. This is how we get Bill Gates meeting with President-elect Donald Trump and then likening him to JFK. (Bill Gates was 6 years old when Kennedy was elected president and, hence, has no direct memories of that time. So, he really knows neither Mr. Trump nor Mr. Kennedy all that well, but they were both rich, so they both must have big dicks, just like Mr. Gates.)

In another arena, the religious right in this country is burning the midnight oil to transform the public education of our children. They want all schools to teach the core concepts of their religion: the existence of God, creationism, etc. and having failed that, they are trying to make sure that their local schools do. So, they are “all in” for school vouchers and charter schools with no state control over curriculum, funding, etc. The state, the representative of all of the people, is just supposed to supply the public funds for their religious schools and then go away and shut up. Where these policies have been implemented, corruption has soon followed, but ignoring that for the moment, consider what the consequences of this “movement” are. If vouchers and charter schools become common then every community will have their own version of religious schools. We have always had religious schools, but they were “private” and not funded by the state. Since they were separate and not publicly funded, they were not regulated at all like secular public schools. Once we have public religious schools, all Hell will break loose. In any sizeable community, if the religious right have their way and if, say, a large middle school is serving their religious needs, then we will have problems. If the curriculum is Protestant, then Catholic parents are not going to want their kids going to that school, so they will open their own school (or if they already have a private Catholic school, it will “re-open” as a charter school and be supported by public funds. And then Muslim parents will not want their children to go to either of those schools, etc. And will Seventh Day Adventist parents want their kids going to a Baptist school? And those Mormon parents, will … I think you see the problem. This “movement” toward school vouchers and unregulated charter schools is not one that brings people together, and by sharing their thoughts leads to better understandings between and among people. This is a movement that leads to separation, a separation that doesn’t cause interactions that lead to more understand between people. Imagine if kids going to religious schools never have to go to a school in which other students accept the Theory of Evolution as being valid, or that the Earth actually revolves around the Sun, or that the planet is over four billion years old.

“Once we have public religious schools, all Hell will break loose.”

This “movement” is inherently anti-democratic. I grew up in a world in which the public schools taught a secular curriculum and parents were in charge of the religious instruction of their children. Their churches provided Sunday Schools and other education opportunities, supported by subscription of the membership. In this “separation of church and state” fashion, significant economies of scale are available because all of the kids in the neighborhood can go to the same secular school to learn secular things. In the “new world” of vouchers and charters, those economies of scale will no longer exist and we will all be the poorer for it.

Please notice that this “movement” was not caused by science making war on religion. It was more a matter of reality making war on religion. When people were more isolated in relatively small populations, the messages to children were more controllable. Now with TV, the Internet, and more than half of U.S. citizens living in cities, the message can no longer be controlled all that easily. And some religions have noticed that if the Theory of Evolution is accepted, then all fundamentalist literalist Christian denominations are wrong and if they are wrong about one thing, they may be wrong about others.

So, the religious right has started an existentialist war in the realm of public education. If they win, we all lose. We lose democracy. We lose the United States.

December 13, 2016

Can We Ever Trust Our Institutions/Agencies Again … Even a Little Bit

This gets curiouser and curiouser. I recent blogged about the “Russian conspiracy” regarding manipulations of our elections (by leaking DNC emails to Wikileaks) and in part I said “I do not accept these assertions at face value as the sources are untrustworthy, but if more details were provided there might be something here.” and “The whole purpose of Wikileaks is to provide a place to “leak” information that cannot be traced back to you, even by Wikileaks itself, so it will be interesting to find out how we learned that the Russian government was responsible for things being leaked to Wikileaks.”

I then learned from my partner’s tech-savvy son, that all of the “protections” Wikileaks was supposed to offer leakers just never got implemented, so it is relatively easy to find out who sent what to whom, so my criticism of the report on that account is unsupported.

But, then … The Guardian (U.K.) reports that: “… WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange directly denies that he received the Democratic leaked emails from the Russian government and one of his associates, former British Ambassador Craig Murray, told the U.K. Guardian that he knows who “leaked” the Democratic emails and that there never was a “hack,” i.e. an outside electronic penetration of an email account.”

So, a presumably reliable ex-British ambassador claims to know that the docs were not hacked but leaked from the inside. Plus a group of former U.S. intelligence experts is backing up this claim “All signs point to leaking, not hacking. If hacking were involved, the National Security Agency would know it – and know both sender and recipient.” The CIA only points to “circumstantial evidence,” not any hard identifications. So, the CIA is claiming “the Russians did it” for what purpose?

I do not know whether we have ever had reliable news organizations. If we did, they certainly were not immune to lies and misconceptions. It just seems now that there are just lies and misconceptions being reported. It also seems that government agencies, like the CIA, have so many narratives they wouldn’t know the truth if it bit them in the ass.

December 11, 2016

CIA Concludes Russian Interference Aimed To Elect Trump

The above is the exact title of an NPR report. According to that report the substance of the “Russian interference” is that the Russians hacked both the GOP and Democratic National Committee websites and that people “associated” with the Russian government released hacked emails of the DNC to Wikileaks.

I do not accept these assertions at face value as the sources are untrustworthy, but if more details were provided there might be something here. One claim was that nothing from the GOP website was released by “the Russians.”

The whole purpose of Wikileaks is to provide a place to “leak” information that cannot be traced back to you, even by Wikileaks itself, so it will be interesting to find out how we learned that the Russian government was responsible for things being leaked to Wikileaks.

Plus, how much actual sensitive, aka non-gossipy, information would any national committee put up on its website or associated emails when everyone knows that most sites are eminently hackable. My guess is most of the “sensitive” emails include “he said, she said” gossip that might prove embarrassing to the gossiper, but could hardly be substantive.

And, I have yet to hear anyone claim that they voted for Trump because of those “damning DNC emails.” Any quantitative assessment of the effect of the “Russian tampering” would have to be incredible small, unless, gee, they aren’t telling us everything or, just maybe, they are making this shit up.

December 9, 2016

The Russian Slur Returns!

When I was young, the most common slur used to brand those one disdained was to call them a communist. (You dirty commie!) Now it seems we are again using Russia as a pejorative.

The most overt such case occurred last month when the Washington Post gave a glowing front-page shout out to an anonymous online blacklist of hundreds of American websites, from marginal conspiracy sites to flagship libertarian and progressive publications. That anonymous website argued that all of them should be investigated by the federal government and potentially prosecuted under the Espionage Act as Russian spies, for wittingly or unwittingly spreading Russian propaganda.

Once again, the Russians/Commies are the bad guys.

Interestingly, as I learn more of history, our tendency to use Russia as a whipping boy has a long history. Take, for example, the aftermath of World War II. Without heroic efforts on the part of communist Russia, half the world would be speaking German now. Russia suffered horrifically from the German invasion. Tens of millions of Russians died from combat-related events and tens of millions more died from deprivation. President Roosevelt and Josef Stalin had an agreement that the U.S. would help Russia recover after the war. But then Roosevelt up and dies and then Truman is President. (Truman replaced Wallace as VP because Wallace was too progressive for the likes of the conservative wing of the Democratic Party. Remember the Dixiecrats and all them other conservative Dems?) Truman blew off Roosevelt’s promise and told Russia to go fend for itself even though we ponied up big time to rebuild Europe. The reason? Russia was spying on us because we had the atomic bomb. They felt that if the U.S. were the only country to have “the Bomb” then it would become a de facto global dictator (as we had “the Big Stick”). Plus our refusal to honor our promise of post-war help proved our untrustworthiness. But, guess what? The Russians weren’t the only country spying on us for atomic secrets. They were just one of many. (Also remember that communism and socialism were considered “threats to democracy” and were anathema to all conservatives then (as now). And, I have to wonder if any of that would have played out had Wallace succeeded Roosevelt.)

By and large the post-war “red Scare” was trumped up from real and imagined material and turned Russia from an ally into an enemy.

And now we are doing it again. Most of the anti-Russian propaganda currently being stated is just that, propaganda. And, it turns out that the website WaPo heralded, as mentioned above, apparently has links to the CIA and Ukrainian fascists. Plus the website author admits he just made up the list of “treasonous, fake news” websites. Sheesh!

Don’t we ever learn?

Fear is now the most common tool used to sway electorates. Real fears, such as the fear of the effects of Climate Change are pooh-poohed because the plutocrats do not want that particular fear motivating folks. And when no real source of useful fear can be had, made-up fears are entirely adequate. (The Mexican rapists are coming, the rapists are coming! The Russians are trying to fix our elections!) So, Republican attempts to fix our elections are swept under the rug, but the Russians, the Russians … !

I just realized that this blog is probably going to be added to the list of treasonous websites! Oh well, in for a penny….

December 6, 2016

The Demolishing of Public Schools for Fun and Profit

Well, not for fun, and I have been wrong about it being only for profit. I have argued that since the plutocrats/oligarchs who really run this country have captured almost all of the major wealth producing activities in the U.S., that they have been more and more attracted to the billions of dollars of public funds spent annually on public education, that the “privatization” efforts going on (Charter Schools! Vouchers! Yay!) were fueled by greed for a share of that pile of money. I still believe that is true but that there is another source of fuel for the fire in the bellies of the current crop of education “reformers.” And, no it is not fun, but religion. And, as usual, it was right there, hiding in plain sight, ignored by the “usual news media suspects.”

“Well, not for fun, and I have been wrong
about it being only for profit.”

There is a long history in this country of fundamentalist religiosity, typically Protestant in nature. Currently, in parts of the country you can see extreme pushback at public schools for teaching mainstream science in the form of the theory of evolution and the phenomenon of climate change. This is understandable. If the theory of evolution is right, then the fundamentalist, “young earth” Christian worldview (and hence the promoting religion promoting that view) is wrong. If they lose the fight over evolution, they will lose the grip their religion has over a large segment of the U.S. population.

In surveys of Americans on the topic of evolution, a significant fraction of U.S. citizens do not believe in it, believing in magic instead, and that disbelief is securely linked to certain religious affiliations. You do not observe anything like it anywhere else in the developed world. The folly of “belief” in evolution is actually preached in their churches, not surprisingly as those pastors preaching it will be out of jobs if evolution is accepted.

The religious right in this country wants control over their school systems to be able to teach what they know is true, and it ain’t evolution. This is the other major force in the current education “reform” efforts. Consider the following:

The religious right has long had the goal of eliminating public education. Candidates don’t need to be closet Reconstructionists to be influenced by the work of Reconstructionists, but it’s worth noting that when R.J. Rushdoony wrote the Messianic Character of American Education in 1963 he argued that education is not a proper function of government. ‘Government schools’ were the vehicle for promoting the anti-Christian religion of humanism and should ultimately be abolished. Few outside his small circle took him seriously.” (“The Republican ‘No Schools Left’ Program” by Julie Ingersoll, August 8, 2012)

Few took Rushdoony seriously in 1963 because we had communists to fight, but now that we done whipped the commies, we have turned to fight the real enemy, the atheists that supported commies all of those years, which when they weren’t eatin’ babies, they was promoting God-less, atheist science in the form of evolution. (“We ain’t no kin to no monkeys!”)

While I poke fun at these folks as being untutored, etc. it really is not that anymore. Their attitudes are not due to a lack of schooling but from the general tendency of us to surround ourselves with other people who think and act as we do. The religious right live in communities dominated by the presence of other religious right people. In their churches they reinforce each other’s beliefs. In their schools, they teach the right way (pun intended), schools in which biology teachers are cowed into teaching something other than the theory of evolution, telling themselves they “ran out of time” to cover it. It is immensely fascinating to me that the religious right has gone all in for the GOP which, while they pay lip service to the religious rights “needs” and “family values,” in general worships only the God of Mammon. But, if a horse is going in your direction, you don’t check its worthiness, you just saddle up.

So, charter schools, vouchers, they are all good as far as the religious right is concerned. They can then set up schools that teach the Real Truth™ and use their own tax monies to pay for it. No need to invoke the Constitution or nuthin’ like that.

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