A few things I need to get off my chest before the red-hot Arizona Republican presidential primary grabs our full attention:
• Is it just me, or did the long-awaited Arizona Centennial have all the emotional payoff of Halley's Comet circa 1986? I know budgets were tight and all, but gee whiz. It was a centennial.
• One of the things I really liked was the Arizona Daily Star's series of reprinted articles from the 1911-12 papers. The writing was flowery, and the topics were rather quaint, but it was almost always enjoyable. The other day, however, there was this troubling article about how the Legislature had been considering firing teachers who said anything that could be considered "partisan" in the classroom.
I know that the airplane had been around for eight years by then, and autos were all over the country, but Arizona was still rather backward if they were allowing something that stupid to be brought up in the Legislature.
Actually, and quite embarrassingly, that ridiculous bill is being pushed right now ... in the 21st century ... in the United States. State Sen. Lori Klein, a Republican from Anthem who is wrong more often than Nicki Minaj's fashion designer, introduced the bill, claiming that she has received complaints about "political indoctrination in the classroom." She didn't go into detail as to where these "complaints" originated, or what form the indoctrination took.
The next thing you know, some teacher will be saying something nice about the Civil Rights Act (yet another subversive plot by the Democrats).
Making the case before the Legislature was educational and political-indoctrination expert Gabriela Saucedo Mercer. Just kidding; she's not really an expert on that stuff. What she is, is somebody the Republican Party found to run against Congressman Raúl Grijalva in the fall. In the eyes of the GOP, she's central-casting perfect. She's better-looking than Grijalva. Even though she's married to a gabacho, she's careful to keep the Saucedo in her name. And she's got a thicker accent than Grijalva has ever had, which, in the eyes of Republicans, means than she's even more Hispanic than Grijalva.
Anyway, there she was, before the Legislature, saying that she knows firsthand that students are receiving indoctrination rather than instruction. She didn't say how she knows, but when dealing with a proposal this insane, it doesn't really matter who's making the case or how.
The funniest thing of all is that Republican Sen. Frank Antenori of Tucson got some of the kookier parts of the bill removed. When Frank Antenori emerges as the relative voice of reason, you know stupidity is running wild.
• Just to show you nobody can be wrong all of the time, the aforementioned Klein wants to clean up foul language in Arizona's classrooms. Shockingly, I have to agree. I think that parents have the right to expect their kids will get an education without being subjected to foul language.
However, Klein wants to use the sledgehammer approach of having teachers comply with Federal Communications Commission standards that are set for broadcast radio and television. That's funny for two reasons: First, I'm sure that Klein is one of those "conservatives" who hate everything about the federal government, especially regulatory agencies. Second, on TV these days, the standards for language decency are definitely on a slippery slope.
I have to admit that I've been bummed out since male teachers stopped wearing ties to work. I'm not sure when that started, but it was definitely a step in the wrong direction. If you want to be treated as a professional, you should dress and act like a professional.
(And it's not just guys, either. I had to meet with a school administrator once. I walked into her office, and she was wearing a too-short skirt with a slit up the side—and was very-obviously braless. I thought to myself, "You gotta' be freakin' kidding me!" Since I was in a school setting, I used FCC standards on myself.)
• I want to thank emailer Luke Knipe for pointing out that I shouldn't be upset with Pima County Democratic Party Chairman Jeff Rogers because the party endorsed Regina Romero in the Democratic primary last fall. Apparently, the decision was made by a committee, which means I should be mad at them and Mr. Rogers.
Knipe says local Republicans, who weren't savvy enough to run somebody against Romero in the general election, tried to sneak somebody into the primary against Romero. Knipe almost had me going along with him, but then he finished with: "In fact, this week, the California Democratic Party announced their primary endorsements for their State Assembly, State Senate and U.S. congressional races."
Dude, trying to make your point by citing what's going on in California is never, ever, ever a good idea.