The tea partiers’ alternate reality
Reported by David Daley, Executive Director of Salon
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal wants Republicans to stop being the stupid party — but apparently the memo hasn’t gotten out to state legislatures around the country.
February has been a banner month for truly silly and anti-intellectual bills in state capitals. Some of these bills are based on the idea that birth control is poison, and that students should not be corrected for arguing in biology class that dinosaurs and humans coexisted. Others would stop gun control efforts by making it a felony to try to enact gun control.
This is not the Onion: Here are some of the actual proposals.
1. Let corporations vote!
Think Progress reports that under the proposal, “if a firm, partnership, company, or corporation owns real property within the municipality, the president, vice president, secretary, or other designee of the entity is eligible to vote.”
2. Criminalize gun control!
In Missouri, state Rep. Mike Leara believes even proposing gun control should be illegal. So he has proposed legislation that would make it a felony for “any member of the general assembly who proposes a piece of legislation that further restricts the right of an individual to bear arms, as set forth under the second amendment of the Constitution of the United States.”
“I filed HB 633 as a matter of principle and as a statement in defense of the Second Amendment rights of all Missourians,” Leara told Buzzfeed. “I want it to be clear that the Missouri House will stand in defense of the people’s Constitutional right to keep and bear arms.”
3. Birth control is poison
“Part of (women’s) identity is the potential to be a mother,” says a state senator from Oklahoma. “They are being asked to suppress and radically contradict part of their own identity, and if that wasn’t bad enough, they are being asked to poison their bodies.”
The full state Senate in Oklahoma will take up a measure to allow companies to strip birth control and abortion coverage from employer healthcare plans under a bill that unanimously cleared the committee level last week. This puts the law in conflict with the Obamacare provision that mandates contraception coverage in employee group insurance plans, unless the company in question meets the religious organization that qualifies for an exemption.
4. Read Ayn Rand or don't graduate
The chairman of the education committee in Idaho’s Senate introduced a bill earlier this month that would make students read — and pass a test — on “Atlas Shrugged” as a requirement for a high school diploma. He says that book “made my son a Republican,” then added, “well, he’s not a practicing Republican. But it certainly made him conservative.”
The senator, John Goedde, told the Idaho Spokesman-Review he was “sending a message to the State Board of Education, because he’s unhappy with its recent move to repeal a rule requiring two online courses to graduate from high school, and with its decision to back off on another planned rule regarding principal evaluations.”
In Kansas, the state Board of Education will vote on new science standards this year, so the legislative jockeying has begun. A bill before the House Education Committee would make schools include evidence against climate change in science classes.
According to the bill, science teachers would be required to “provide information to students of scientific evidence which both supports and counters a scientific theory or hypothesis.”
There is no specific sponsor on the bill, which carries the committee’s name. The committee is controlled by Republicans, most of whom have made anti-science statements, including one who believes that “evolution is a lie from Satan.”
In Oklahoma, however, go right ahead and argue that humans and dinosaurs roamed the earth at the same time. On a 9-8 vote last week, the Oklahoma Common Education committee approved the so-called Scientific Education and Academic Freedom Act.
If the bill becomes law, it would make it illegal for biology teachers to fail students who write papers against evolution, climate change and other theories with near 100 percent approval in the scientific community.
“I proposed this bill because there are teachers and students who may be afraid of going against what they see in their textbooks,” said state Rep. Gus Blackwell.
You wanna see something worse? Go to http://stuffthatmattersblog.com/2013/02/28/this-weeks-bloomberg-poll-less-than-10-of-americans-know-the-truth/