Trivia 1Q

Some further echoes of the Littleton tragedy continue to reverberate all across the nation. Schools in Port Huron, Michigan endured the discovery of a bomb at Holland Woods Middle School and, in what is being described as a separate incident, four students were arrested after a 14 year old girl overheard them discussing a shooting spree and the detonation of a bomb at a gym assembly.

Schools in Allen, Texas reopened after repeated bomb threats closed the schools last week. The schools will operate on a staggered schedule so that no more than a third of the school's pupils will be at school at any time.

In Hartford, Wisconsin, students found 19 police officers stationed at their schools in reaction to a rash of threats of violence last week. (1)

Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R - Miss) threatened to pull the so-called "Violent and Repeat Juvenile Offender Act of 1999", a title that doesn't clearly expose the truly nasty and punitive nature of this bill. Nearly all groups that advocate for children, like the Children's Defense Fund, have called repeatedly for the rejection of this bill, which would reverse decades of successful rehabilitation of juvenile offenders and replace the system with one that holds out only punishment for young lawbreakers and removes most funds aimed at rehabilitation. Lott's complaint was that the Democrats were loading up the bill with too many new restrictions on gun sales and registration and that the Democrats were doing so to sink the bill which would give them an effective issue to use against the GOP in the next election. Personally, after reading a synopsis of this mean spirited and completely backward looking bill, any action that will push Lott into taking it out of consideration would be the best thing that we could all do for our children and their children. Why the GOP is so determined to drag America as far back into the Dark Ages as they can is such a strange and nauseating agenda. (2)

The Republican Congress is up to their old tricks and trying to slip another unconstitutional bill allowing the separation of church and state to be slammed together. This time, they have learned their lesson and accept that they can't take the funds directly from the public schools and give the gift to religious schools that will have no government controls. Instead, they want to give families tax credits equal to the costs of send their children to the religious schools or to teach them at home. Apparently, the GOP thinks that they can buy off the teachers unions and the huge majority of Americans who prefer that parents who send their children to schools outside of the public system just pay for it themselves and not steal it from the rest of the children and undermine the public school system by offering money for construction and repairs at public schools. In a statement notable only for its insanity, Senate Finance Chairman William Roth (R - Del.) claimed it will be "a first but important step" in making quality education more affordable for all. Why does that sound like only the fanatical Christian Right and the very wealthy will be the only groups who will stand to benefit from just another Republican gift to their owners? (3)

Well, this may be short but it makes a couple of very important points so I wanted to include it in this issue of articles. We have to very aware of the many attacks on our liberties and on the Constitution that the Republican Party has become so very adept at concealing. Of course, when the owners of nearly every media outlets are also Right Wing fanatics, it isn't all that surprising that we don't often hear the truth.

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