Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Recapping

Baker Wetlands flowers
Welcome Pitch readers!

Here's some additional background for you.

As noted in the Pitch Weekly's article (which relies heavily on work that Red State Rabble and I did), in 1999, a bunch of conservatives got elected to the Kansas Board of Education, and voted to remove requirements that students learn about evolution. Not long after that, they got really unpopular and the next election returned the status quo of good science standards.

Time passed, and people got sloppy. In 2004, a conservative majority returned to the Board. On taking office, they took an interest in the ongoing process of revising and updating science standards. The Intelligent Design Network, run by John Calvert and Bill Harris, offered a new proposal, which redefined science in ways that are wrong, but open the door to a form of creationism known as Intelligent Design.

When the Board saw that the science standards committee was rejecting the unscientific minority report, they decided to circumvent established procedure. They created a special subcommittee of three creationists to hold "hearings" or a "trial" or an essay contest, depending what day you ask them. The pattern of rule changes suggests that they are less interested in the process than the pre-determined result.

In addition, the conservatives met with the Attorney General and discussed putting warning labels on textbooks. It turns out the meetings violated the Kansas Open Meeting Act, and AG Phill Kline has admitted that he wishes he hadn't done it. The Shawnee County prosecutor is investigating the matter.

Phill Kline is a self-described "right-wing wacko." After getting narrowly elected Attorney General, he's used his office to impose his own moral views on Kansans.

Regular watchers of Kansas news know about his recent attempts to get access to private medical records of a host of women who had a legal medical procedure.

Interestingly, he has received substantial contributions from several conservative Board members. Whose interest is he acting in?

In addition, John Calvert and Bill Harris are substantial contributors to the conservative part of the Board. Calvert sits at the table with and participates as an equal member of the special subcommittee now writing politically correct science standards.

Please use the search box at the top of the page to find some more of the background on this.

I Got The Papers” by Freedy Johnston from the album The Way I Were (2004, 2:10).