Friday, April 15, 2011

Give Them Raises!

Ed Brayton has the this post about a Texas state legislator who said the following,
"It's being done in Dearborn, Mich., because of a large population of Middle Easterners," Berman said, "and the judges in Dearborn are using and allowing to be used Sharia law." He mentioned the city six times throughout his testimony.
But when asked for evidence for that ridiculous claim:
"I heard it on a radio station here on my way in to the Capitol one day," Berman said Monday in an interview. "I don't know Dearborn, Michigan but I heard it (Sharia is accepted law here) on the radio. Isn't that true?"
Yes, he heard it on the radio station.  Rep. Leo Berman proposed legislation in the Texas legislature to ban Sharia law based on what he heard on the radio while driving into work.  I wonder if he was listening to Rush or Hannity?

A search of Ed's blog would show dozens more examples.  Here is a post from PZ Myers blog today, as said by Republican Frank Nicely of Tennessee,
"I think that if there's one thing that everyone in this room could agree on, that would be that Albert Einstein was a critical thinker. He was a scientist. I think that we probably could agree that Albert Einstein was smarter than any of our science teachers in our high schools or colleges. And Albert Einstein said that a little knowledge would turn your head toward atheism, while a broader knowledge would turn your head toward Christianity."
That is a very interesting mis-quote or non-quote, especially when you consider that Einstein was a Secular Jew.

Basically, the state legislatures across the country and filled with a bunch of dumb, dim-witted, right-wing, Christian idiots.  It has often been asked why more intelligent, literate, and reasonably minded people don't run for office?  One simple answer is that it doesn't pay well enough.  However, as a society, we take vote down any possible pay raise for our state legislators because we feel that, for the most part, they don't deserve it.  And, that is true, for most of the ones currently in office.  But, you will never get enough of highly qualified legislators to run for office if you don't give the idiots in there now a raise.  Not to mention, it may reduce some of the under the table lobby money that gets thrown their way, or in the case of Arizona, Fiesta Bowl money.

I have voted for every pay raise on the state ballot for as long as I have been eligible to vote for this very reason.  By the way, the exact same argument can be made for why we don't have more excellent, highly qualified school teachers.  Not that we don't have some now, but there are nowhere near enough.

Unfortunately, the Republicans know this.  They know their only hope of maintaining majorities in the state legislatures is to be sure to dumb down the electorate so that their demagoguery will work.

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