Ohio Higher Ed Bill Requires Equal Time For Climate Change Deniers, Racists

There's an oil barge winding through the Ohio Legislature.

The Ohio state Legislature is taking its own shot at eliminating all the liberal indoctrination Republicans are certain is running amok in universities, with a bill that not only prohibits most diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives and "implicit bias" training, but also requires that instructors not promote any particular view on any "controversial topic" like climate change, diversity, abortion, or foreign policy, among others. The bill has already passed in the state Senate, and is now being considered in the state House, which has a Republican supermajority. The official title of Senate Bill 83 is the "Higher Education Enhancement Act," but I'm just going to call it the Flat Earth Equal Time Act if you don't mind.

For all "controversial "topics, instructors would be required to "allow and encourage students to reach their own conclusions" and "shall not seek to inculcate any social, political, or religious point of view." Should be fun when a student sues to have openly white supremacist materials included in a syllabus. Or an oil company sues over climate science being taught accurately.

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Pro-Confederacy Florida Teacher Traumatized By People Thinking He's Racist

He is suing over 'emotional turmoil.'

Last month, you may or may not know, was Confederate History Month in Florida. Manatee Middle School social studies teacher Jonathan Papanikolaou thought he would celebrate the occasion by imposing a bizarre homemade pro-Confederacy video on his students during the morning announcements.

“Good morning, Hurricanes. This is Mr. Papanikolaou. If you didn’t know, April is an officially celebrated month here in the state of Florida named Confederate History Month,” the teacher explained in the video first obtained by ABC7. “Every year our state celebrates and memorializes that valiant, brave fight and the countless sacrifices by our men and women during that known as the Civil War, but may be more correctly titled the War To Prevent Southern Independence.”

I assume the "our" comes from his mother's side, given that there were only about six Greek guys in the entire Confederate Army. Either that or, like most Greeks, his family didn't even emigrate here until at least 25 years after the Civil War ended and he's just the kind of guy who is really pro-Confederacy without having any kind of ancestral dog in that hunt.

But wait, it gets worse! He also explained that the war was fought over “slaves and property rights, over taxation and a variety of violations of state’s rights and sovereignty.”

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Parents, Authors, Publisher Make Florida Book Censorship A Federal Case​

What we need now is a drag queen named 'Sue Florida.'

Americans are getting pretty sick and tired of rightwing scolds trying to turn the country into a year-round Jesus Camp. Now the resistance to the last couple years of moral panics is spreading beyond the awesome kids forming banned book clubs and the civil rights groups suing to throw out unconstitutional laws. In Florida, Big Bidniss is throwing its money into the fight, too, as Judd Legum writes in his Popular Information newsletter.

In response to the Escambia County School Board's removals and restrictions on school library books, the board is being sued in federal court by some very big guns: publisher Penguin (heh) Random House, five authors, two parents of children in the school district, and the freedom to read nonprofit PEN America, alleging that the school board is violating the First Amendment rights of all the plaintiffs.

The lawsuit alleges that the school board banned and restricted books "based on their disagreement with the ideas expressed in those books." In so doing, the school board has "prescribed an orthodoxy of opinion that violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments."

“In Escambia County, state censors are spiriting books off shelves in a deliberate attempt to suppress diverse voices. In a nation built on free speech, this cannot stand,” Suzanne Nossel, the CEO of PEN America, said. “The law demands that the Escambia County School District put removed or restricted books back on library shelves where they belong.”

If "Escambia County" and "censorship" ring a bell, that would be because Escambia County is home to Moms for Liberty And Censorship activist Vicki Baggett, a high school English teacher and self-appointed Fahrenheit 451 fire crew who has filed over 150 book challenges.

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Ron DeSantis Achieves New Dickishness Personal Worst

Signs a boatload of bad bills, is bad.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has had a busy week, signing several bills that will further encrappen the state and make life miserable for LGBTQ folks, all in the hope that he'll prove himself authoritarian enough to appeal to Republican primary voters next year. He's been traveling across America's Dangling Appendage signing bills restricting people's freedom while claiming that Florida is the home of freedom, as long as you're a rightwing evangelical. (We think we'll just stop at "evangelical" from here on, since adding "Christian" to it just makes baby Jesus sad.)

Monday, DeSantis went to New College of Florida in Sarasota, the nice little liberal arts school he's ruining to turn into a rightwing indoctrination center, to sign several bills aimed at purifying Florida colleges and universities of "wokeness." It was his way of twisting the knife a bit, to remind the Liberal Elites who's in charge. Your fascists love that kind of symbolic humiliation shit, like how a former German corporal insisted in 1940 that France surrender in the same railroad car where the 1919 Armistice was signed.

But sometimes the vanquished just won't cooperate and admit they've been crushed, darn them. As Yr Wonkette noted Saturday, the official graduation speaker for New College's commencement was Dr. Scott Atlas, Donald Trump's Infect Everyone and Let God Sort 'Em Out COVID adviser, which was supposed to be a sick burn on the libs. Instead of going along, New College students scheduled their own commencement for tonight, and civil rights attorney Maya Wiley will deliver the keynote speech. It's as if those libs don't even know they've been owned. Sad!

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