Category Archives: Education

Organizers in Prescott considering a recall drive to oust David Stringer

LD 1 Republican State Representative David Stringer

The outcry against Legislative District One Republican Representative David Stringer has grown since the publication of his racist remarks. This condemnation includes a group of local activists in LD 1 who will meet this weekend to discuss launching a recall drive of Mr. Stringer if he does not immediately resign from his elected office.

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Face It: Republican Leaders do not believe in Democracy

It should be apparent to most political observers that the Party of Lincoln is dead at the local. state, and federal levels. It has been replaced by a Party (called Trumpist) that rejects everything democracy and republics profess to be about.

This did not start with Donald Trump. This evolution has been proceeding since 1965 when ex Dixiecrats in the Democratic Party forged ties in corporate interests in the Republican and foreign policy hawks that produced the Reagan Presidency, the Gingrich House, and the George W. Bush Administration.

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Wealth Redistributed

Noliwe M. Rooks, director of American studies at Cornell University

Noliwe M. Rooks, director of American studies at Cornell University

Cross-posted from RestoreReason.com.

I was recently in a public forum on education when a school board member asked me whether my call to address inequities in our schools was a call for the “redistribution of wealth.” I told him local control dictates that our Governing Boards, representing the communities in which they live, are best positioned to decide how to allocate district resources for the maximum benefit of all their students.  I hoped, I said, they would do that.

His question though, caused me to think about this term, and why it seems to be a lightning rod for conservatives. Social scientist researcher Brené Brown believes it is because of the “scarcity” worldview held by Republicans/conservatives. “The opposite of scarcity is not abundance” she writes, “It’s enough.” Basically, “they believe that the more people they exclude from “having”, the more is available to them.” And, in this binary way of thinking, the world is very black and white (pun sort of intended), e.g., if you aren’t a success, you’re a failure, and should be excluded. Of course, this sort of mindset is a gold mine for those who fear-monger to garner support for their exclusionary agendas. “We’ve got to stop the illegal hoards from coming across the border” the narrative goes, or “they’ll be stealing our jobs and elections.” Continue reading

The Real Recycling 101

After the city’s falsely named “Recycling 101” event turned out to be more of a budget meeting than a presentation on how to recycle, Sustainable Tucson hosted our own program, “Recycling and Beyond.” We stressed to Sherri Ludlam, Environmental Scientist in the Department of Environmental and General Services, that this time we wanted her to concentrate on the rules for recycling. Her chosen topic was “old and new challenges to Tucson’s recycling program.” One of the new challenges was that China wouldn’t be accepting all of our dirty recycling anymore because of the contamination. Contamination is all the trash that doesn’t belong in recycling – including plastic bags that jam up the machines. That same contamination is costing the company contracted to do our recycling truck loads of money. Our bad. Tucsonans put everything from dirty diapers to dead cats to Saguaros in our recycling cans. Sherri reminded us that there are actual people who sort through all that yucky trash. So don’t throw in anything that you wouldn’t want to find in your own recycling can.
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Climate Change Deniers Must heed the Lessons of Noah and the Ark

In the telling of the later versions of the Genesis tale of Noah and the Ark (those not in the original Biblical accounts), the people are shown mocking Noah and his family for wasting a century in constructing the large vessel that would sustain them and the selected animals during the flood. In other versions, they ignore Noah’s warnings to build arks of their own so they avoid the cataclysm that God intended for Earth. Today, with a significant portion of the Trump (formerly Republican) Party denying the existence of human-made climate change, it is easy now to see the Genesis Flood story as one of climate change with Noah as the protagonist warning people of the natural catastrophe that was about to be unleashed and the rest of the populace denying and ridiculing him until it was too late. Today, it is the scientists warning of the consequences of our actions and inactions on climate change and it is the Trump Administration, in denying its own far-reaching report, that are not heeding the lessons of history and pursuing policies to combat the problem while it still can be.

We need to pay heed to the environmental lessons of Noah and the Ark.

It is ironic that the now Trump Party in its former Republican Party form once embraced and championed science, land conservation, and environmental protection. It was a Republican President Theodore Roosevelt that helped develop the United States Forest and Park Services. It was a Republican President Dwight Eisenhower, following the launch of Sputnik, who oversaw the creation of N.A.S.A. and the start of the space race. It was a Republican President Richard Nixon that signed the legislation that created the Environmental Protection Agency (E.P.A.) and Clean Air Act.

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