27 June 2002

Supreme Court OKs School Vouchers

States may give parents money to send their children to religious schools, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Thursday in a decision that could transform the nature of education in America. The 5-4 ruling represents a significant lowering of the wall between church and state. It is likely to ignite debates among school boards across the nation over "voucher" tuition programs that some see as glimmers of hope for low-income students in troubled school systems, but that others see as threats to America's public school tradition because they divert taxpayer money to private institutions.

A big blow to the children of poor and working class parents - the SCOTUS ruling now sanctions the use of monies that should be earmarked for public schools into religous institutions or privatized for-profit schools. Another wedge of inequality inserted into the fabric of society and another harmful hit to the hallowed concept of separation of church and state.
» read more

25 June 2002

Burning tree-huggers at the stake

I've been listening to all of the talk show hucksters and politicos blather on about how these wildfires are all the fault of the "wacko" environmentalists who've impeded US Forest Service fire prevention efforts and it has raised my ire -- at the boneheaded numbskull gibberish of the Arizona AM talkers and outrage at prattling politicans who are using natural disaster to propagandize and point fingers, playing the blame game instead of seeking an honest plan of resolution for the future. Over the weekend, KTAR Michael Hagerty waxed on and on in regards to "wacko environmentalists", yesterday KXAM John Dayl soliloquize on how he's chuckling over the environmentalists causing this predicament, and this morning I heard KFYI Barry Young continuously castigate some environmental group referenced in today's EJ Montini column. The problem with these clod-pated pontificators is that while they're full of mythical conjecture and speculative jingoism, they're short on factual evidence.

Take for instance, KFYI Barely Young's repeated references to the Southwest Forest Alliance, making light of their statement that there were "only two or three instances" of where Forest Service fire prevention efforts were challenged. What Young didn't mention was the meat of the column that listed these facts:

Last year, Sen. Larry Craig of Idaho asked the General Accounting Office to identify all of the Forest Service's fuel-reduction projects in the nation and tell him how many have been challenged. The report states that there were 1,671 such projects in fiscal year 2001. "Of these projects," the report reads, "20 (about 1 percent) had been appealed and none had been litigated." In other words, no lawsuits.

» read more