Quick food for thought:
According to The New York Times (“Union Urges Bush to Replace Education Chief Over Remark“), the N.E.A. (educators, not artists) wants Secretary of Education Rod Paige to resign because he called them and other No Child Left Behind Opponents “a coalition of the whining” and “In a White House meeting with governors on Monday, Dr. Paige ‘said he considered the N.E.A. to be a terrorist organization.'” according to his spokewoman. The defense is that he has an often sharply sarcastic sense of humor. I have a sharply sarcastic sense of humor, but I think a) I might know better than to make that particular joke in a public forum and b) there’s a pattern of Paige using war-on-terror metaphors to stir up anger over opposition to NCLB, which is a terrible, terrible plan. As the venerable Times says, “The union sees the law as a barely concealed effort to weaken public education and build support for vouchers.” My sister, who is preparing for a life of elementary school teaching, hates this bill and can’t seem to find anyone in the education department here that likes it; of course, we’re all liberals out in KANSAS so what would we know?
Second on my morning reading list of REALLY SCARY SHIT was this article (“U.S. Scientist Tells of Pressure to Lift Bans on Food Imports“), which is buried instead of on the front page, I’d guess, because the source is anonymous and no one has died. Still, not a big fan of governmental meddling with scientific reports such as this. Glad to know political pressure has something to do with whether the food we import is (agriculturally)safe or not.
Also in the Times was this little story (“Senators Threaten to Delay Action on Medicare Nominee“) in which the Bush administration is pushing hard for a ban on medication sent in from Canada. Interesting to note that two Democrat Senators and one Republican, a Senator John McCain, have serious reservations about the bill. Also intersting to note: I think this will piss my dad off. Yay.
And of course, I enjoyed the NY Times editorials today, including the one calling Rod Paige’s statement “staggeringly stupid” (“Another Mistake by Rod Paige“), mostly because you don’t get to see stupid written on the Times editorial page every day, particularly by the board. My favorite was the lead editorial blasting Bush for playing politics with the constitution (“Putting Bias in the Constitution“), which points out that this amendment “wouldbe the first adopted to stigmatize and exclude a group of Americans.” Of course I object on levels other than the states rights issue – I’m not sure I put more trust in states than I do in the federal government in areas of social policy – but I’m in favor of anyone who’s opposed to the amendment. The enemy of my enemy, etc.
I’m feeling uninformed, now. I want to memorize the governors or something. Hm.