Monday, May 2, 2011

Texas Republicans Aspire to the Good Old Days of Medieval Europe

The New Know-Nothings

Texas, the extreme right’s political mushroom factory, is at it again. (See photo, right: a mushroom called a “dunce cap.”) Americans had better look out, especially if they still care about knowledge, truth, curiosity, the exploration of new frontiers, the power of literature, art, and, especially, real science.

Gov. Rick Perry’s allies are now attacking state-supported colleges and universities, insisting that research is a waste of time. They want to tie professor compensation to some kind of “how-much-money-do-you-make-us” evaluation. And on and on.

This new Know-Nothing movement is born of the unholy coupling of a home-schooling mentality with the ethics of a pyramid schemer. At bottom most of the recommendations are simply stupid. How stupid?

Consider that one of the reforms would remove the University of Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech and other state-supported schools from the national accreditation process. Well guess what? Withdraw from that process and you can’t play NCAA sports. Period. It’s in the rules.