Saturday, April 22, 2017

March for Science-Milwaukee 2017

My wife and I were among the massive numbers of people around the world who marched for Science on April 22. We took part in the Milwaukee event, which started at 2:00PM downtown in Red Arrow Park. Speakers went for about an hour, followed by a two-mile march to the County Museum and back again. The crowd was estimated by the organizers to be more than 3,000 people (I think it was more).

Because the march coincided with Earth Day, many of the attendees came with the environment as their main focus. Others were concerned about the current administration's outright rejection of science, scientists, and adequate science funding. My own reasons are outlined in my entry of March 30, "Why I Will March for Science."

Unlike most recent protests, there wasn't a great deal of anger expressed by the participants. The mood was more of frustration and resignation at the stupidity of current national and state decision-makers.

The chants were a little lame. (Give me a H...a I...a S... What's that spell?). The skies were a beautiful blue and the temperature a comfortable 52 degrees. The standard marching gear was science-themed T-shirts, light jackets, and a smattering of lab coats (I dug-out my own for the occasion).

During the event, I kept wondering how we have arrived at this low point in our nation's history. How did we get to the point where we feel that we must defend science from our political leaders? Why is a March for Science even necessary? How did we elect a President that makes his decisions based on the mandates of big oil and coal rather than on facts? How did we elect a Vice President that rejects the foundation of modern Biology? Are we headed towards a new Dark Age?

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Well, You Know, We Don't Want to See It Changed

The US Constitution describes two ways that amendments can be made. The first way- the route by which all 27 existing amendments have been enacted- requires a 2/3 approval by Congress, followed by ratification by 3/4 (38) of the states. The state approvals are granted by state legislatures.

The second, untested way to amend the Constitution is to have the legislatures of 2/3 (34) of the states call for a Constitutional Convention that would propose amendments. Any amendments coming out of such a Convention must then be approved by 3/4 of the states. This unproven method is currently advocated by Tea Party groups and the right-wing ALEC organization, in an attempt to bypass the US Congress in implementing a Federal Balanced Budget Amendment.

In late March, a set of bills passed through a joint committee in the Wisconsin legislature that would add our state to the list of 29 calling for a new Constitutional Convention. After Wisconsin, only four more states would be needed to initiate the radical step that would open-up our US Constitution to a frightening and potentially disastrous re-write.

I have two problems with this development. First, I do not believe that we should have an amendment mandating a balanced budget at all. Second, if we must have such an amendment, a Constitutional Convention is a dangerous way to do it.

I don't know anyone who believes that our country should run budget deficits in perpetuity. We should and must get our fiscal house in order. We know how to do it. We did it within recent memory. We had our last balanced budgets in 1998-2001, under President Clinton. However, I question the wisdom of doing it through a Constitutional Amendment.

Unless we resort to bookkeeping tricks, a balanced budget Constitutional Amendment will be catastrophic to our economy. Instead of gradually and wisely growing out of our debt problem, (as we have been doing the last eight years), it would impose immediate and drastic financial shocks to the nation. It would be a Sequester on steroids. Austerity did not work in Europe and it won't work here.

In addition to the self-imposed financial shocks, a Balanced Budget Amendment would remove the flexibility that government has to even-out the economic cycle. We should run surpluses during good times and stimulate the economy during bad times. A Balanced Budget Amendment would force government to raise taxes and slash government at the worst possible time, during a recession.

An amendment would cause problems when we are faced with war or major calamity. We should not be forced to starve children to pay for clean-up of a new, New Madrid earthquake or a war with Belgium.

OK, so you are not convinced. You still believe that we must have a Balanced Budget Amendment to force our government into fiscal sanity. If we really have to enact such an amendment, let's do it the old fashioned way, the careful and deliberate way that has worked for all 27 of our current amendments. Let's do it by involving our elected representatives in Congress.

A new Constitutional Convention runs the risk of a "run-away" situation, in which the unelected delegates go way beyond the original intent of the meeting. While the delegates are convened, why not propose a bunch of other amendments? How about a "person-hood" amendment? Or a rewrite of that pesky First Amendment? Or a repeal of the Second? And Congressional term limits? Why not simply start from scratch?

Barry Goldwater opposed such a Convention, saying, "[I am] totally opposed [to a Constitutional Convention]…We may wind up with a Constitution so far different from that we have lived under for two hundred years that the Republic might not be able to continue.” Anton Scalia put it a little less eloquently, "I certainly would not want a Constitutional Convention. I mean whoa! Who knows what would come out of that?"

The Wisconsin GOP-sponsored bills would have the delegates to this important Convention be unelected political appointees. Three would be named by the State Senate President, three by the Assembly Speaker, and one by the Governor. If formed today, the seven-member Wisconsin delegation would be 100% Republican. So much for representative government.

A Constitutional Amendment for a balanced budget is a well-meaning and naive dream, with likely dire consequences for our economy. Instead of allowing us to gradually grow out of the deficit problem, it would impose an austerity death spiral. And convening a Constitutional Convention to get us there is another dangerous proposition. 

Rather than adding a new amendment to impose a balanced budget, we should re-evaluate the policies that got us here in the first place. We should elect politicians who will increase revenues, trim the bloated military budget, and promote wise economic growth policies. The current GOP Congress and the Trump administration are going in exactly the opposite direction.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

W.O.W. Counties Regain Scarlet Rankings

Washington, Waukesha, and Ozaukee counties have long been the three most Republican counties in Wisconsin. For example, in 2008, John McCain won the counties with 64.1, 62.3, and 60.3% of the vote, respectively. Similarly, Mitt Romney won the counties in 2012 with 70.0, 66.8, and 64.6% of the vote.

This trend held true in off-years, too. In the 2014 gubernatorial election, Walker carried Washington, Waukesha, and Ozaukee counties by 75.9, 72.5, and 70.0%. As usual, the three counties ranked as the first, second, and third most Republican counties in the state.

However, last year's presidential election was unusual in many ways. The GOP's highly-flawed candidate was not as popular in the three-county region as in many other parts of the state. Trump received 28,893 fewer W.O.W. votes than Mitt Romney. This huge drop-off by the GOP candidate at least temporarily unseated the W.O.W. counties as the reddest in Wisconsin.

My own Washington County, I am ashamed to say, was the 3rd most Trump-loving county in Wisconsin, giving Trump 67.4% of our vote. We trailed only low-population Florence (71.5% Trump) and Taylor (69.5% Trump). Still, Washington was dethroned from being the top Republican vote percentage county. We could hold our heads at least a little higher.

Waukesha County was certainly not a citadel of Trumpism. Giving Trump 60.0% of its vote, Waukesha was only the 22nd trumpiest county in the state. And at least for the 2016 presidential election, Ozaukee County was downright purple. At 55.8%, they were only the 40th most Trump-loving county.

The question remained, were the 2016 presidential results a mere aberration, or are they indicative of a trend? Could W.O.W. county residents have finally wised up? Could the voters of the Milwaukee suburbs be starting to become less overwhelmingly red? The answer came this week, in the vote for State Superintendent.

Although the election for State Superintendent is supposed to be non-partisan, it was anything but. Moderate incumbent, Tony Evers ran against a Republican-backed challenger, Lowell Holtz. Holtz was clearly a wing-nut candidate. He wanted to abandon state curriculum standards. He was in the pocket of the school profitization industry. He even celebrated the confirmation of the uniquely unqualified Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education.

Holtz was endorsed by a raft of county Republican parties. He was endorsed by the far right Wisconsin Family Action PAC. He was endorsed by some of the looniest politicians in Madison, including Representatives Andre Jacque, Bob "Gunnin'"Gannon, Ozaukee Patriot member Dan Knodl, and Janel Brandtjen. He was endorsed by former Representative, one-time State Superintendent candidate, and frequent national embarrassment, Don Pridemore.

So despite the race being non-partisan in name, it was clearly a proxy Democrat vs Republican contest. The moderate Evers won handily, with 70 percent of the vote. Despite the common wisdom of progressives doing poorly in low-turnout elections, Evers carried the day. Evers remains a voice of reason to defend our public schools against the worst intentions of the extremist Governor and wacko Legislators.

But how did the W.O.W. counties vote? They regressed to their former behavior. In this highly partisan, formally non-partisan election, the three counties once again were the reddest in the state. In fact Washington County (which voted 53.6% Holtz) and Waukesha County (which voted 51.3% Holtz) were the only two counties in which the GOP-backed candidate won. They thereby returned to being the #1 and #2 reddest counties. Ozaukee, in which Holtz received 46.6% of the vote, is again the #3 most Republican county.

So despite a temporary bout of sanity, a presidential election in which Washington, Waukesha, and Ozaukee Counties were not the three reddest counties in Wisconsin, we relapsed. Tuesday's election once again bestowed on the Milwaukee suburbs the disgrace of being the most Republican region of the state. 

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Why I Will March for Science

On April 22, people across America will take to the streets in support of science. I will be one of them. (I already designed my geeky sign, shown above !) Milwaukee is one of the cities to host a march, with details on the local event to be found here and here.

During most of my life, there has been little reason to hold a march in support of science. Being anti-science would have been like being against motherhood and the flag. Politicians of all ideologies knew the importance of science to our county's well-being, and they supported it accordingly. However, the current regime in Washington has changed all that. Never before has there been such a concerted effort by know-nothing politicians to cut science funding and to erode American scientific leadership.

For example:

  • Global warming deniers now hold power in Congress, the White House, and all Cabinet departments. Anti-science politicians are putting gag orders on scientific results related to climate change. They are defunding world-class research related to global warming in department after department. 
  • Our Secretary of Education and Vice President want to spend taxpayer money on the teaching of religion, in the guise of so-called "Creation Science". If successful, this effort will create a nation of scientific illiterates.
  • America draws the best scientific brains from all over the world to study in our universities, to work in our research facilities, and to start high tech companies. Current xenophobic policies by this administration are causing bright people to reconsider coming here, harming US scientific leadership. 
  •  Our President believes wild pseudo-science conspiracy theories and will base national policy on those beliefs. He has already set-up a commission on vaccine safety, headed by a well-known anti-vaxxer. What is next, a commission on Chem-Trails? On astrology? On Bigfoot? 
  •  The administration plans to woefully defund science. In addition to defunding climate research, the recent budget takes an axe to medical research, earth science, and energy programs. The cuts will have a catastrophic and long-lasting effect on US efforts in these important fields.

But why does our government need to fund a strong scientific effort? If we are to remain a great country, America must maintain our leadership in science and spin-off technologies. Technical leadership is just as important to our international power and prestige as more tanks and cruise missiles.

Science and spin-off technologies provide lots of good, high-paying jobs. Where would America be without strong research-intensive industries like automotive, chemical, aerospace, and petroleum? Where would we be without robust scientific and industrial efforts in electronics, biotech, and robotics?

Science provides us with a better quality of life. Technology derived from scientific research betters the human condition. Without wise investment in research, America would be functioning at a third-world level. Without modern medicine, agriculture, and transportation, life in the United States would best be described by the Hobbsian "poor, nasty, brutish, and short."

And finally, science is important for it's own sake. We have a responsibility to our civilization to keep advancing human knowledge. To constantly push back the frontiers of darkness. To know more things about more things. Even if there is never a practical pay-off, we must satisfy the basic human need to know how the universe started, how it works, and our role in it.

So, that is why I am marching next month. I love my country and want to keep it great through governmental investment in scientific research. I want to see us continue to benefit economically from the spin-offs of science. I want the quality of human life to continue to improve through science. I want to see us continue to advance the frontiers of scientific knowledge. I hope you agree and I hope to see you at the march!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Trump's Plummeting Poll Numbers

I grew up in one of the most Republican parts of one of the most Republican states in the country. I was a small-town Hoosier. Local Democratic office holders there are rarer than sasquatches . My home county is so deeply red that it went 74% for Trump to 21% for Clinton.

However, even in a county that is redder than every single county in Wisconsin, redder than any US state, there are a few progressives. After all, one-in-five people voted for Hillary. One of my Facebook friends, a former high school classmate, is one of those progressives. Last weekend, he had had enough. He posted:

"Sorry about the rant, but I am tired of Donald Trump and his lies. How much longer do we have to put-up with this clown? His new budget cuts money for Meals on Wheels. Meals on Wheels! This group does a lot of good feeding the hungry. Although you wouldn't know it by looking at me, I have missed a few meals in my life due to various circumstances. This country is the wealthiest on earth and we can afford to feed everyone. Maybe we can spend a little less on Trump's security in Florida and New York, and more on the important programs that help needy people. End of rant. Thank you."

The surprise is not that my friend posted this tirade against Trump. After all, he has always been on the liberal side. The shocking thing was the overwhelming response to his post. Despite living in the ultimate Trump country, despite having most of his FB friends from the same area, he received tons of "likes". Almost every one of the many comments to his post were supportive of his anti-Trump viewpoint.

It appears that even in the reddest parts of Trump country, many people are getting fed-up. The rosy vision that candidate Trump sold these people is not the reality that they are seeing. Instead of draining the swamp, Trump is stocking it with billionaire gators and Goldman-Sachs piranhas.

To be fair, there is at least one pro-Trump hold-out in my hometown. There is at least one person who would probably follow Trump even after he "shot someone in the middle of 5th avenue". The sole negative comment to my friend's post went, "Don't care. Hilary is a nasty bitch and should be shot in front of a firing squad. I don't know how stupid you people are, thinking Russia changed our mind. Hillary did the shit she did. If Russia uncovered it, that's great." Every village needs an idiot.

I know that this is anecdotal evidence. However, the growing anti-Trump sentiment in the reddest parts of Indiana echos the recent opinion polls that show Trump's popularity falling off a cliff. He has horrible numbers, bouncing around in the upper 30's. Trump is setting new presidential unpopularity records, at a time that he should still be in his honeymoon period.

There are plenty of reasons that Trump's popularity is lower than hemorrhoids and bee stings. He alienates our closest allies. The train-wreck of Trumpcare is good for no one. The ham-handed implementation of his Muslim ban shows the gross incompetence of his team. Seemingly, everyone in his campaign is linked to shady Russian operatives. A constant stream of easily-disproved lies rolls out of his mouth.

However, the thing that hits home the hardest is probably Trump's mean-spirited budget. In order to get big sums to spend on the senseless Wall and a few more cruise missiles, Trump's budget guts research, environmental protection, and arts funding.

But most damning cut of all, the cut that typifies Republican philosophy, the cut that drove my friend to rant on Facebook, is the cut to Meals on Wheels. Even in the reddest parts of the country, the well-being of old people is important. Videos of starving seniors will hurt Trump's plummeting poll numbers more than anything.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Activism Around the W.O.W. Counties-II

Sensenbrenner Town Hall-Germantown, March 11, 2017

Activism Around the W.O.W. Counties-I

Day Without Women March-West Bend, March 8, 2017

Sensenbrenner Would Rather Build Trump's Wall Than Feed Hungry Children

The infamous "baby parts" videos of 2015 claimed that Planned Parenthood was profiting from aborted fetuses. Despite being clearly bogus, many in the anti-choice movement saw this as an opportunity to deal a death-blow to Planned Parenthood. The sharks started circling. One of the many fruitless investigations into this non-existent scandal was a series of House Judiciary Committee hearings.

The highlight of the Judiciary hearings was an exchange between our own Congressman, James Sensenbrenner and Priscilla Smith, the director of the Program for the Study of Reproductive Justice at Yale Law School.

Sensenbrenner: "When Congress sets budgeting priorities, you know, we have to decide on ... which has a higher priority and should be funded, and which has a lower priority and should not be funded, in the age of a nineteen trillion dollar deficit. Could you please tell us why Planned Parenthood has to get a half a billion dollars of federal funding every year, when there are other pressing needs, such as feeding hungry children that we should put that money into?"

Smith: "Let's be clear, that Planned Parenthood is not getting any public money for abortions..."

Sensenbrenner: "Well, money is fungible, Miss Smith. ...The question is whether, you know, Congress should appropriate another half billion dollars plus to Planned Parenthood when we could be spending that money feeding hungry children. This is a question of priorities. I would like to know what your priority is, Planned Parenthood, or feeding hungry children."

Sensenbrenner's questions were silly. He knows that only a comparatively small amount of money goes to reimburse Planned Parenthood for important health services provided at their clinics. I hope he knows that every Title X dollar spent for preventive services at PP clinics saves taxpayers an estimated $5.68.

However, Jim was absolutely right on two counts. There is not an infinite supply of money. Congress does need to set budgeting priorities. What is spent on one item cannot be spent on another. He is also right that money is fungible. Money is money, no matter how it is spent.

Last month, Rep. Sensenbrenner introduced a bill in Congress that he imagines will generate enough cash to pay for Trump's Wall. Jim's HR 1067 proposes to use assets seized from Mexican drug lords to pay for the futile, ugly, and expensive Wall.

Sensenbrenner was boasting of his idea at a town hall in Germantown last Saturday, "It will be built...Whether or not we have a Wall is not on the table.  It's how to pay for it, and I think I have a better idea how to pay for it than everybody else. "

I have no sympathy for Mexican drug lords. When caught, they should go to prison and all of their assets confiscated. However, as Mr. Sensenbrenner stated, money is fungible. Drug lord money is fungible, too. Money that comes into the government can be spent on anything-veterans, drug rehab, roads, or schools. So by insisting that this windfall drug money be spent on Trump's useless Wall, Sensenbrenner precludes it from being spent on more important things, like feeding hungry children.

And Sensenbrenner's choice between The Wall and starving children is not a theoretical one. While proudly publicly supporting Trump's extravagant Wall (a monstrosity that is estimated to cost us as much as $40 billion) he has actually voted to cut money from feeding hungry children. In 2013 Sensenbrenner, along with 216 of his GOP colleagues, voted to ax an unconscionable $40 billion from SNAP over a decade.

Jim Sensenbrenner has made clear his own response to the question he asked Priscilla Smith during the 2015 House hearings. He has made clear his own priorities. He voted to cut food for hungry children by about $40 billion dollars. He proudly supports building a senseless Wall that will cost us a similar amount of money. He evidently would rather build the Wall than feed hungry American children. Are those also the priorities of his constituents? 

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Big Government Interference With Universities- Part II

Last week, we looked at an alarming trend. Conservative politicians are trying to mold public universities to reflect their own extreme social and political viewpoints. We continue exploring that important topic this week.

Conservatives have long whined about "them damned librul universities". Many on the right believe that poor, impressionable students are indoctrinated with socialist and progressive propaganda when they go off to college. In our last blog, we pointed to examples of politicians trying to legislate-away this imaginary problem by micromanaging courses, dictating ideological balance on faculties, and pushing for taxpayer funding of more far-right lecturers.

These attempts of big government to interfere with our world-class universities are not just a few isolated occurrences. It is an organized and orchestrated movement. For example, the national Republican platform states: "Their (universities') excellence is undermined by an ideological bias deeply entrenched within the current university system. ... in state schools the trustees have a responsibility to the taxpayers to ensure that their enormous investment is not abused for political indoctrination."

Most party platform resolutions are meaningless. They usually reflect the most extreme positions of a party's fringe. However, when a country (or state) is totally controlled by one party, the craziest platform ideas often become law.

No less ominous is a 2015 Wisconsin State GOP platform resolution, which "Supports academic efforts that ensure that the presentation of our history, founding principles and religious heritage in our educational institutions, including those of higher learning, is objective, truthful and complete."

It appears that conservative state politicians are determined to impose a curriculum on Wisconsin universities that reflect their own versions of the truth in history, politics, and religion. What could go wrong with that? Can you imagine a UW history course written by Bob Gannon, Mary Lazich, and Dan Knodl? A comparative religion course approved by Scott Walker and Rebecca Kleefisch?

I am not being paranoid. It has already started. In last week's blog, we pointed-out several real cases of meddling in university curricula by right-wing Wisconsin politicos.

The nation's new Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, is certainly on board with conservative attempts to take-over higher education. At last month's CPAC meeting, she spoke of a paranoid ideological fight against the "education establishment": "How many of you are college students? The fight against the education establishment extends to you too. The faculty, from adjunct professors to deans, tell you what to do, what to say, and more ominously, what to think. They say that if you voted for Donald Trump, you’re a threat to the university community."

It is not just politicians. Several well-funded political organizations are also trying to shape college campuses into far-right Fantasylands. The group, Campus Reform, a project of the Leadership Institute, calls itself a "watchdog" to expose liberal "bias and abuse on the nation's college campuses." It aims "to report on the conduct and misconduct of university administrators, faculty, and students."

In the worst traditions of Joe McCarthy, Campus Reform's website offers a mechanism for disgruntled conservatives to report "leftist abuse". Among a lengthy list of examples of such reportable liberal sins are:

"Exams that assume a leftist agenda to be correct."

"Large numbers of courses presented that explicitly in their catalog descriptions push leftist ideology, but no balance of conservative principles offered in the curriculum."  and

"Mandatory seminars for students on how to have “safe sex” with little or no mention of the possibility or merits of abstinence or marriage."

Another similar group that is trying to remake universities into conservative havens is Turning Point USA . This group's mission is to "identify, educate, train, and organize students to promote the principles of freedom, free markets, and limited government."

Among TP USA's projects is the McCarthyite Professor Watch List which outs educators deemed to be insufficiently conservative. The list, which includes instructors from UW-Whitewater, Milwaukee, and Madison, is meant to provide "the specific incidents and names of professors that advance a radical agenda in lecture halls."

A well-organized movement is working to mold public college campuses into centers of far-right ideology. GOP politicians at both the state and national levels have bought-in. Well-funded conservative organizations exist to train, support, and grow right- wing campus groups. Several of these outfits are using McCarthyite tactics to lib-shame faculty and administrators deemed to be ideologically impure. 

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Big Government Interference With Universities

picture from

Conservatives across America have long whined about "them damned librul universities". Many on the right feel that poor, impressionable students are indoctrinated with socialist and progressive propaganda when they go off to college.

Perennial presidential candidate (and famed eponym) Rich Santorum spoke for many when he said in 2012, "Understand that we have some real problems at our college campuses with political correctness, with an ideology that is forced upon people who...may not agree with the politically correct left doctrine. And one of the things that I’ve spoken out on ... is to make sure that conservative and more mainstream, common-sense conservative and principles that have made this country great are reflected in our college courses and with college professors."

They are right on one thing. Professors do lean heavily left. Data compiled by Verdent Labs shows that Democratic-leaning professors outnumber Republican ones about 9 to 1. It appears that smart people who devote their careers to scholarship, education, and a search for truth do tend to be more liberal.

And voters? The more education you have, the more likely you are to cast your ballot for Democrats. In 2016, Trump won 52% of the the non-college educated population, but only 34% of those with a college degree. (He loves the poorly educated). Is this huge education gap the result of a conspiracy of mass indoctrination by socialist professors, or due to more benign factors?

Could it be that voters exposed to university science courses simply reject the anti-science party? Could it be that people exposed to other cultures, languages, and a diverse student population reject a xenophobic party message? Could it be that citizens with a diploma, and resultant lucrative careers, failed to identify with the GOP leader's "America is terrible" tirades?

Whatever the reason for the correlation of education with progressive leanings, GOP politicians are determined to legislate it away. Last month, an Iowa State Senator introduced a bill that would force a political litmus test on professors at that state's universities. If it becomes law, the rule would dictate that the gap between number of Democratic and Republican professors be no more than 10%.

It is not just in other states. Wisconsin politicians also feel it necessary to interfere with state universities and to legislate them into being more conservative. Last year, State Rep. Dave Murphy and State Sen. Steve nASS had a snit over a UW course on race relations that conflicted with their far- right sensitivities. nASS previously went into a tizzy over a sociology course assignment on sexual identity.

But it is not just a few weirdo politicos trying to micromanage state schools. Speaker of the House, Robin Vos, wrote an opinion piece in White Right Wisconsin in which he advocated spending tax money to bring more conservative speakers to campuses, "...what could be most worrisome about going to college these days is the plague of political correctness that creates an environment that ends up stifling free speech and potentially damaging the minds of tomorrow." (underline mine)

The 2016 Assembly Republican agenda, Forward, further pushes this idea: "Assembly Republicans will challenge the UW system to embrace ideological diversity on campus and ensure diverse perspectives are present and protected in our classrooms and faculty lounges."

To aid this Assembly effort, Scott Walker hid a provision in the new 2017-19 biennial budget that will protect campus alt-right hate speakers such as (former) Breitbart editor Milo Ylannopolos. (this man is so disgusting that he was banned from a recent CPAC meeting for advocating child molestation)

So far, the interference by conservative politicians with Wisconsin universities has only been in humanities courses. However, it is only a matter of time before meddling with science and medical courses starts. Can you imagine forcing Climate Science departments to teach that the jury is still out on global warming? Or requiring Biology departments to teach creationism alongside evolution? Or banning medical schools from teaching abortion procedures?

What if a powerful state politician is an anti-vaxxer ? Or believes in phlogiston or chem-trails or astrology? Will those be required to be taught in public university science departments, alongside actual science? What if politicians start insisting on re-writing history classes? And political science classes? Where will this big government interference with higher education stop?

Conservatives are increasingly blaming public universities for "brainwashing" students into progressive viewpoints. They are trying to legislate-away this imagined problem by micromanaging courses, legislating ideological balance on faculties, and pushing for taxpayer funding of more far-right lecturers. GOP politicians are attempting to mold public colleges and universities to reflect their own extreme social and political biases. This governmental interference must end.