Why we need to go to a part time legislature.
Let me take a step back quick and set this up. I recently came across tthis article about why the religious right does not like public schools.
Right-wing fundamentalists such as Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum hate public schools, which he suggests are government schools wedded to doing the work of Satan, dressed up in the garb of the Enlightenment. Santorum, true to his love affair with the very secular ideology of privatization, prefers home schooling, which is code for people taking responsibility for whatever social issues or problems they may face, whether it be finding the best education for their children or securing decent health care.
But wait there is more(I recommend the whole read):
As the anti-public politicians and administrative incompetents in Arizona made clear in their banning ethnic studies and censoring books critical of a conflict-free version of American history, critical pedagogy is especially dangerous. Not only does it offer students a way of connecting education to social change, it also invokes those subordinated histories, narratives and modes of knowledge in an attempt to give students often rendered voiceless the capacities to both read the word and the world critically. But the religious fanatics and privatizing fundamentalists do more than censor critical thought; they also substitute a pedagogy of punishment for a pedagogy of critical learning.
This is all just worst case scenario and could never happen in WI right? WRONG!
The University of Wisconsin’s School for Workers was planning on hosting an “Art in Protest” festival on campus next month.
Now it’s been canceled.
One Republican lawmaker in Wisconsin, Representative Steve Nass, who has been a longtime thorn in the university’s side, was unhappy about the exhibit, and his chief of staff, Mike Mikalsen, gave an earful to the director of the School for Workers last week, suggesting that the exhibit could imperil the school’s funding.
So lets look at this a little more closely. we need the money to pay for the republican lawyers and their redistricting fiasco.
Mikalsen says he also told Olson that some of the protests against Gov. Walker and the Republicans had gotten out of hand, and if something like that happened at the exhibit, “the consequences of that kind of activity would fall on the extension. They would have to own it.”
Does anyone see the irony of Mikalsen trying to stir up emotions and anger against the people who oppose Scott Walker while playing innocent bystander? I know that, he knows that, republican thugs have been causing a majority of the violence. Also, when is the last time a republican lawmaker “owned” anything?
Mikalsen denies(As bullies often do) that he out-and-out threatened to defund the School of Workers, though he says he told Olson that this is a “very tense time,” and that an exhibit likes this “makes it very difficult” to cooperate with the university.
Mikalsen approached the school with threats and bullying while letting them know that they will get along just as fine as long as the school does exactly what he(Mikalsen – who is unelected) tells them to do.
One gets the sense that right-wing pundits, politicians and religious bigots believe that there is no place in the classroom for politics, worldly concerns, social issues and questions about how to lessen human suffering. In this discourse, the classroom becomes an unworldly counterpart to the gated community, a space for conformity and punishment as a tool for perpetuating dominant market-driven values and white Christian religious values. This is not education; it is a flight from self and society. As Eric Fromm has pointed out, this type of education embodies a flight from freedom, produces authoritarian personalities and punishes those who refuse to live in a society modeled as a fundamentalist theocracy. The outcome of this type of anti-enlightenment education is not a student who feels a responsibility to others and who feels that her/his presence in the world matters, but one who feels the presence of difference, if not thinking itself, as an unbearable burden to be contained or expelled.
Yes the right wing extremists who have taken over our country believe that college is definitely NOT a place for critical thinking. That needs to be brought under control at the first flyer you see, before it gets out of hand and people start backing their unions.
If everyone who disagrees with him is wrong, then art that might highlight those disagreements(even though the display would not only be relevant it would also be historic) would obviously not be art.
The “Art in Protest” event had already lined up a range of songwriters, poets, photographers, cinematographers and many others, says Olson. Festival organizers also planned to display a collection of signs and other arts memorabilia from the protests. The idea of this local labor arts exchange was to recognize the creativity and artistic expression that resulted from the 2011 Wisconsin protests in and around the Capitol.
“I kept saying to (Mikalsen), it’s about art, it’s about people’s creativity,” says Olson.
Mike Konopacki, a labor cartoonist who was working on the “Art in Protest” event, is not happy about this outcome, though he sympathizes with Olson’s situation.
“I’m getting e-mails from artists who are saying, ‘What the hell is going on?’ This is a direct attack on freedom of speech, on freedom of expression, on academic freedom, and on labor education,” says Konopacki. “We were celebrating all the art and creativity that people come up with at these protests. It’s beautiful stuff. We’ve had the largest outpouring of protests in the state’s history, and the School for Workers is not allowed to display this?”
What does Mikalsen and his fellow extremists think of the arts?
The exhibit, he said, could be “a festering sore” for the state-funded university.
I guess according to Mikalsen this appears to be the only "art" thats acceptable.
When you stand for nothing, in a losing cause you have to spend more time stifling any opposing views than pushing your own unpopular extreme views.
By the way what is the school for workers?
UW-Extension’s School for Workers dates to 1925 and is the oldest university-based labor education program in the country. The school has long brought teaching, research and outreach to thousands of workers, unions and employers throughout Wisconsin and the nation.
They obviously though need to reach more people because there is still some incredible misinformation out there about workers and unions!
“Unions are strictly about compensation.” Mike Mikalsen
The one take-away from all of this comes from Mike Konopacki :
“The School of Workers survived McCarthyism,” he says. “It may not survive Walker.”
Think about that! And RECALL!
It is easy to criticize things that you do not understand. This little episode shows us two truths about WI:
1. We need to switch to a part-time legislature. They obviously have too much time on thier hands and are wasting our taxpayer money on silly witch hunts.
2. It is imperative that we have a democratically controlled legislature.