"Karolina Dean...Where the HELL is my monkey?" <email@example.com>: Dec 21 02:12PM -0800
RED STATE Education...USA! USA!
Public high school students in North Carolina will be taught from a lesson plans and worksheets prepared by a organization closely tied to the billionaire Koch brothers, if the state's Department of Public Instruction gets its way. According to the Raleigh News and Observer, the Virginia-based Bill of Rights Institute received a "$100,000, sole-source contract with [North Carolina] to help develop materials for teachers to use in a course on founding principles that the state requires students to take." The N&O also notes that the organization receives funding directly from David Koch and from two Koch family foundations, although, if anything, this description understates the Institute's ties to the conservative billionaires. Two of the Institutes four board members are employed by Koch entities -- one is a senior vice president at Koch Industries and another is director of higher education programs at the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation -- and many of the Institute's other top leaders also appear likely to push a political agenda in line with the Koch brothers' anti-government views. Board member Todd Zywicki, is a George Mason law professor and a leading opponent of Wall Street reforms such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The Institute's president, David J. Bobb, founded two centers at Hillsdale College, a conservative institution of higher education that proclaims its opposition to "the dehumanizing, discriminatory trend of so called 'social justice' and 'multicultural diversity.'"
A Teacher's Best Friend The Department of Public Instruction "highly recommend[s]" that North Carolina school districts use the Institute's instruction materials to teach the state's students about America's founding principles and the Constitution itself -- and, on the surface, the materials look quite impressive. They consist of 391 pages of lesson plans, worksheets, student activities and answer keys for teachers, organized into "ten instructional modules" and a "final project" designed to cover and entire semester of coursework. The lesson plans tie each module to particular objectives laid out in the state's curriculum. And many of the lessons taught by the materials are unobjectionable, or even quite important. A unit on the rights of the accused, for example, emphasizes the principle that "it was better for guilty people to go free than for the judicial system to condemn even one innocent person." "One might say the Founders were not only concerned with property rights," a unit on that subject proclaims, "they were passionate about them." Students are taught that "property rights secure freedom" and that James Madison "criticized excessive taxes." The Bill of Rights Institute staffer in charge of developing its "curriculum resources" is a former schoolteacher who taught in North Carolina schools. It shows. The Institute was clearly aware of the demands teachers face to submit lesson plans that comply with state standards, to break lessons down into manageable chunks, and to teach higher level reasoning skills beyond memorization and basic comprehension. Many teachers, confronted with the task of planning to teach a new subject matter, will no doubt be grateful that the Institute's materials exist. Yet the materials also push a very clear agenda in subtle -- and often not-so-subtle -- ways. "One might say the Founders were not only concerned with property rights," a unit on that subject proclaims, "they were passionate about them." Students are taught that "property rights secure freedom" and that James Madison "criticized excessive taxes." Much of the materials focus on matters of particular concern to well-moneyed groups such as land developers. The Supreme Court case upholding Obamacare is painted as the culmination of a grand expansion of federal power, even though it actually reduced Congress' ability to legislate.
The Constitution as Climate Change Parts of the Institute's materials rely on a tactic that will be familiar to anyone who has debated a climate change denier, teaching students that a controversy exists over a question that has largely been resolved. The Seventeenth Amendment, for example, is put up for debate. The Seventeenth Amendment provides that U.S. senators will be selected by voters and not by state lawmakers. Prior to its enactment, state legislatures were frequently deadlocked over who to send to the Senate, and corruption was widespread as moneyed interests sought to influence who would become a senator. Today, this amendment is almost entirely uncontroversial. A 2013 poll found that only 16 percent of American adults believe that it should be repealed. One member of the 16 percent, however, is Professor Zywicki, the Bill of Rights Institute board member. The materials make a point of presenting Zywicki's argument that the amendment "resulted in more federal laws that infringe on the powers of states or that carry mandates with no funding attached." Similarly, the materials present another important constitutional change that has largely been accepted by liberals and conservatives alike as a catalyst for federal encroachment. In the early days of the Republic, the Bill of Rights was understood to place limits on the federal government, but states remained free to ignore these rights so long as they complied with their own constitution. After the Civil War, however, the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified, and it fundamentally shifted the balance of power between people and the states. According to Ohio Congressman John Bingham, the primary author of this amendment, one of its purposes was to require states to comply with "the first eight amendments to the Constitution of the United States." States would be free to ignore the Bill of Rights no longer. Yet the Supreme Court initially read the Fourteenth Amendment very differently, and they did so for many years. It wasn't until the mid-to-late twentieth century that the justices began systematically applying most of the Bill of Rights against the states through a process known as "incorporation." Though justices and scholars still disagree on the margins about how far incorporation should go -- the Supreme Court split 5-4 in 2010 on whether the Second Amendment applies to the states -- the view that the bulk of the Bill of Rights apply to the states and the federal government alike is now largely uncontroversial. The Institute's materials argue that "[i]ncorporation increased the role of the federal government in citizens' lives" and that "[m]any people now expect that the federal government--not the states--will be the main protector of individual rights." Though they acknowledge that "[s]ome legal scholars support incorporation," they warn that "[o]ther scholars" believe that, by subjecting states to constitutional suits in federal court, incorporation gives the federal government a "veto power over state law." The materials, in other words, present an increased federal role as a cost that must be weighed against the benefits of incorporation. It is unlikely, however, that many students would consider this cost to be very significant at all if the materials presented them with a more comprehensive history of the debate over incorporation. The justices who decided Cruikshank and similar cases may not have been the fathers of Jim Crow, but they were at the very least its midwives. And that is the history that the Institute's materials leave out when they ask high school students to weigh the costs of an increased federal role against its benefits. The materials' claim that incorporation would lead to the federal government and not the states becoming "the main protector of individual rights" closely maps the Supreme Court's holding in United States v. Cruikshank that "the people must look to the States" to vindicate many of their rights. Yet, as I explain in my book Injustices, the Cruikshank decision and its aftermath do far more to discredit this view of federal and state power than it does to support it. In 1872, less than a decade after General Robert E. Lee surrendered his army at Appomattox Courthouse, Louisiana's Republican Governor Henry Warmoth struck a Faustian bargain with white supremacist Democrats: Warmoth agreed to throw his full support behind the Democratic candidate to succeed him as governor, if Democratic lawmakers agreed to send him to the United States Senate (this was, after all, before the Seventeenth Amendment was ratified). As it turned out, Warmoth's support included installing Democrats as voter registrars who engaged in widespread voter suppression. Elderly former slaves were denied the right to vote because they had no birth certificate proving they were over the age of 21. Voter registration sites were relocated, but only white voters were informed of the new location. The result was a contested election where Democratic and Republican candidates both claimed they were legitimately elected to various offices. In Colfax, Louisiana, black Republicans occupied a courthouse in an effort to cement their control over the local government. Less than three weeks later, a white supremacist mob armed with rifles and a small cannon marched on the courthouse. A monument that now marks the site of this massacre claims that "three white men and 150 negroes were slain" in the ensuing slaughter. The Cruikshank case was a federal prosecution charging several of the white supremacists who participated in this act of mass murder with criminal violations of their black victims' civil rights. So when the Supreme Court held that freed slaves must "look to the States" to vindicate many of their civil rights, it effectively denied the federal government its power to halt massacres such as what happened in Colfax, and it left black civil rights almost entirely in the hands of state governments that were quickly captured by white supremacists. The justices who decided Cruikshank and similar cases may not have been the fathers of Jim Crow, but they were at the very least its midwives. And that is the history that the Institute's materials leave out when they ask high school students to weigh the costs of an increased federal role against its benefits. In a separate module, the materials acknowledge that "[o]ne major criticism of strong state power comes from the legacy of slavery," but the materials do not tie this criticism to incorporation. This separate module also presents the argument that "[t]he federal government did not effectively protect citizens' rights over centuries of slavery and segregation" as part of the case against a robust federal government. Yet while this argument is superficially true it ignores the fact that the federal government was hobbled in its ability to act in large part due to Supreme Court decisions such as Cruikshank (as well as the fact that Southern senators were empowered to block civil rights legislation through tactics such as the filibuster).
Selective History Elsewhere, the materials selectively emphasize historical events that paint liberals in a poor light or that imply that important shifts in constitutional doctrine occurred for illegitimate reasons -- and this tactic is also deployed in a way that is likely to foster skepticism of the federal government's power to enact progressive legislation. A unit on the Constitution's Commerce Clause (the provision enabling Congress to "regulate commerce . . . among the several states"), for example, emphasizes President Franklin Roosevelt's plan to pack the Supreme Court with additional justices as part of a "political plan" to rescue legislation that a conservative majority on the Court was inclined to strike down. After this plan was unveiled, the materials explain, "[s]ome of the political conflict eased when one justice began voting to support the New Deal," and, as a result, "[f]ederal power expanded dramatically for the next fifty years." While it is true that Roosevelt did announce a Court packing plan, and it is also true that Justice Owen Roberts became the key fifth vote to uphold New Deal programs shortly thereafter, it is unlikely, at best, that the plan actually caused Roberts to change his votes. After the White House dispatched a messenger to liberal Justice Louis Brandeis to warn the justice about Roosevelt's plan, Brandeis told the messenger to "tell your president he has made a great mistake. All he had to do was wait a little while." Roberts had already decided in one of the justices' secret conferences to break with the Court's conservative bloc weeks before Roosevelt announced his plan, though the Court did not announce the decision where Roberts broke with his conservative brethren until several weeks later. More than simply presenting a selective history of Roosevelt's struggle with the Supreme Court, however, materials' essay on the Commerce Clause does not even present the view, now widely accepted by most judges and legal scholars, that the Depression-era justices who tried to strike down much of the New Deal were simply wrong about the Constitution. Indeed, the essay strongly suggests that the opposite is true, claiming that "[m]idway through the twentieth century, Congress started using the Commerce Clause as the grounds for the enactment of many new types of laws to regulate not merely commerce, but the conditions of economic and social life." In 1941, however, in a unanimous opinion joined by Justice Roberts, the Supreme Court explained that the interpretation of the Commerce Clause that conservative justices used to thwart liberal legislation in the early-to-mid twentieth century rested on "a distinction which was novel when made and unsupported by any provision of the Constitution." They added that it also conflicted with the very first Supreme Court decision interpreting that clause. Elsewhere in the module on the Commerce Clause, the Institute's materials hide a subtle inaccuracy in an answer key that presumably will only be read by teachers. A worksheet asks students to chart several Supreme Court decisions based on whether they embraced a broad or narrow vision of federal power, one of which is the NFIB v. Sebelius decision upholding most of the Affordable Care Act. In the process of upholding Obamacare, the Supreme Court actually rolled back the scope of federal power and transformed the law's Medicaid expansion into something that conservative states could more easily opt out of. Yet the answer key depicts NFIB as the high water mark of federal power over the last century. This interpretation of NFIB closely maps the conservative view that the Affordable Care Act was somehow "unprecedented" and any court decision upholding was necessarily expanding federal power beyond its previous bounds. A segment from the materials' answer key presenting the Supreme Court's decision striking down part of the Affordable Care Act (#8 on the chart) as a high water mark of federal power A segment from the materials' answer key presenting the Supreme Court's decision striking down part of the Affordable Care Act (#8 on the chart) as a high water mark of federal power The answer key also instructs teachers to "accept reasoned answers" from students who interpret NFIB differently, even if those students' answers depart from the key's suggested answer. Few teachers are lawyers, however, and even fewer of them are likely to be familiar with the nuances of the last three generations of Commerce Clause jurisprudence. Many teachers are likely to teach the viewpoint advanced by this answer key without critically examining whether it actually comports with the Court's decisions, potentially implying that Obamacare is a stretch beyond Congress' legitimate authority in the process.
A Question of Emphasis There are, of course, some areas of the law where the Koch brothers' libertarian outlook is more popular with the public at large than
Trijcomm <firstname.lastname@example.org>: Dec 21 05:46PM -0800
Ha ha ha ha! What a joke! Koch conspiracy theory again! Place that right up there with the "It's Bush's Fault!" we got hit by Katrina! These leftists are a hoot! Make sure your tinfoil hats are on straight, lefties! Ha ha ha!
euphemism <email@example.com>: Dec 21 06:45PM -0600
> A 1.19% chance!!!
> mr dude (so there is still hope)
Well asswipe... it's all over for the Dolphins and the Bills. All-in-all, that loss to the Raiders is an uglier pill to swallow than anything the Dolphin fans had to choke down. High point was beating the Pack... the low point would be right now.
J Lunis <firstname.lastname@example.org>: Dec 21 04:53PM -0800
Hey Dude, With all your football wisdom, explain how the Bills lost to FistPump's team? Hello? Dude?
Dan the Man <email@example.com>: Dec 21 04:56PM -0800
> All-in-all, that loss to the Raiders is an uglier pill to swallow than > anything the Dolphin fans had to choke down. High point was beating the > Pack... the low point would be right now.
One thing about MIA - they lost to good teams and beat bad ones pretty consistently. What was up with the Jills? Did they really find a way to lose to our old pal Tony Asparagus? LOL!
You gotta teach them through your wallet. I've been doing my part (I should say haven't lol) and will continue until real change is made and I feel we have the right personnel for a good team.
After all we are the customers, right?
rt <firstname.lastname@example.org>: Dec 21 03:47PM -0800
> This year it is MHO that Coyle MUST go.
This much is obvious. Therefore, it probably won't happen....
> Lazor has earned a chance to build.
Agreed. Moreno and Albert stay healthy and we may be in the playoffs this year. Wouda', coulda', shoulda', perhaps?
> Coyle has allowed his unit to regress and it is NOT traceable to the > GM giving him poor personnel.
Partial agreement. Ireland fucked the D by allowing a good LB to get away while saddling us with two underperfomring LB contract nightmares (both of whom are hopefully only "dead money" to the Dolphins in 2015).
> We know that Philbin will defend Coyle and will have to be forced to > replace him. Just like the Sherman firing was at gunpoint.
> I hope Ross can muster the 'nads to make that happen.
I hope Ross realizes that owning an NFL team while living 1,000 miles away from operations is a stupid idea, and there is no number of fucking consultants or advisors he can hire to mitigate the situation. I also hope Ross encourages Dawn Aponte to take a job with NFL in NYC, as this is a no-brainer for Goodell & Co. She's part of our problems.
He should sell this train wreck before the next US economic collapse squeezes the pockets of well-heeled potential investors... Thank God the stadium is part and parcel to the deal else we'd be headed west.
I salute any non-corporate season ticket holder who will continue their subscription in 2015. That is serious faith.
BAH <email@example.com>: Dec 21 07:21PM -0500
>kick our asses...
>This is the abyss- never have I had less hope for the future as a Dolphin fan. >I may actually bail.
Good god! 7-9, 8-8, and at very best 9-7 this year. What happened to coaches being held accountable for the results?
I didn't expect 13-3 this season, but godamn, you've gotta show progress! Getting 1 game a year better don't cut it.
I guess for Ross that .500 is good enough. No hope for this franchise.
rt <firstname.lastname@example.org>: Dec 21 04:39PM -0800
On 2014-12-22 00:21:09 +0000, BAH said:
> progress! Getting 1 game a year better don't cut it.
> I guess for Ross that .500 is good enough. No hope for this > franchise.
Kinda' seems that way, doesn't it... I guess when one is a billionaire, there aren't folks willing to speak truth to power. The emperor wears no clothes...
euphemism <email@example.com>: Dec 21 12:50PM -0600
On 12/21/2014 12:46 PM, J Lunis wrote: > Ugly, ugly
That's if you're being nice.
This is a total surrender.
firstname.lastname@example.org: Dec 21 02:01PM -0500
On Sun, 21 Dec 2014 10:46:13 -0800 (PST), J Lunis <email@example.com> wrote:
>Ugly, ugly Defence is a no show.
euphemism <firstname.lastname@example.org>: Dec 21 01:36PM -0600
>> Ugly, ugly > Defence is a no show.
A lot of no-shows and walking dead everywhere.
I about lost it when they had Teddy for a sack and just stopped... so Teddy darted out for a 1 yard gain. These guys look like they haven't seen some of this shit before.
Rich <Richierich0520@yahoo.com>: Dec 21 11:50AM -0800
they have become unwatchable.
euphemism <email@example.com>: Dec 21 02:15PM -0600
On 12/21/2014 1:50 PM, Rich wrote: > they have become unwatchable.
They have some mojo now, but it is minimal. They look like they could stiffen or collapse, take your pick.
firstname.lastname@example.org: Dec 21 03:52PM -0500
On Sun, 21 Dec 2014 14:15:49 -0600, euphemism >> they have become unwatchable.
>They have some mojo now, but it is minimal. They look like they could >stiffen or collapse, take your pick.
What was with that short kick off, they only needed 60 yards.
J Lunis <email@example.com>: Dec 21 12:56PM -0800
A brilliant strategic call we don't understand
Rich <Richierich0520@yahoo.com>: Dec 21 12:58PM -0800
> >They have some mojo now, but it is minimal. They look like they could > >stiffen or collapse, take your pick.
> What was with that short kick off, they only needed 60 yards.
I can't understand the reason for that short kick...yet Minnesota marches 55 yards down field to tie the game. Kevin Coyle is another one that needs to pack his bags.
euphemism <firstname.lastname@example.org>: Dec 21 04:07PM -0600
On 12/21/2014 2:58 PM, Rich wrote: >>> stiffen or collapse, take your pick.
>> What was with that short kick off, they only needed 60 yards.
> I can't understand the reason for that short kick...yet Minnesota marches 55 yards down field to tie the game. Kevin Coyle is another one that needs to pack his bags.
Coyle is the A-number-ONE person that needs to depart. There are just too many instances where the defense is out of position or out of gas. This team has given up 156 points over the last 5 games. That's over 30 points per game. While that's not all on the defense, most of it is... and the long drives that have been mounted by every team they've faced is part of the problem. The collapse in stopping the opponent's ground game has been sickening.
Was it just me, or did anyone else hope the Vikes would prevail?
I'm againt anything that potentially extends the Philbin era. We could be stuck with yet another year of frustrating mediocrity if they manage a 9-7 record.
Rich <Richierich0520@yahoo.com>: Dec 21 02:00PM -0800
On Sunday, December 21, 2014 4:47:39 PM UTC-5, rt wrote:
> I'm againt anything that potentially extends the Philbin era. We could > be stuck with yet another year of frustrating mediocrity if they manage > a 9-7 record.
Being that Miami was out of the playoffs by 4pm, I still think Philbin is a goner no matter what they did the rest of the game or next weeks game. You can not bring him and Coyle back for any reason. If they did, the empty seats will just increase.
euphemism <email@example.com>: Dec 21 04:00PM -0600
On 12/21/2014 3:47 PM, rt wrote:
> I'm againt anything that potentially extends the Philbin era. We could > be stuck with yet another year of frustrating mediocrity if they manage > a 9-7 record.
Can't say I was rooting for the Vikings. I am glad all the bullshit about "keeping playoff hopes alive" is now officially over.
The Dolphins are playing in low gear most of the time. They show some bursts when their manhood is in question - it won't be enough next week if they maintain that setting - I'll the Jets want to send Rexie out with a win - all the stops will be out.
I think Philbin is done... but where Ross is concerned I concede that there's no certainty. Ross has to see that keeping Philbin and his staff intact means they win one more game in 2015 and probably still finish behind the Bills. The Bills are fielding an excellent defense and, if they manage to find an upgrade at QB, Watkins will be a holy terror.
I have to suppose that Tannenbaum and Marino, et al, are going to advise Ross to punt and make some serious changes. I sure hope that means bringing in someone who can get this team to play at full speed every week.