Favorite
A longtime observer of George W. Bush noted the other day that under Bush, the government has moved away from basing policy on science, expertise and professionalism, in favor of policies based on ideology and religion. This can be painful for the people affected by the policies, such as school children subjected to sex education programs that teach only abstinence, not mentioning the ways that students who don’t abstain — and there are some — can protect themselves from pregnancy and disease. If they’re going to fool around, they deserve to get knocked up and/or die, seems to be the idea, and it is advanced with public tax dollars. Three states — Maine, California and Pennsylvania — have turned down federal money for abstinence-only sex education programs. Others are being asked to do so by the American Civil Liberties Union. Since 1980, the Maine Department of Education has taken a comprehensive approach to sex education, including teaching about contraception. Acceptance of the federal money would have required Maine schools to refrain from such teaching. Dr. Dora Ann Mills, Maine’s public health director, said, “This money is more harmful than it is good.” The ACLU of Arkansas is sending letters to Arkansas school officials asking them to carefully examine their federally funded abstinence-only programs for inaccuracy and bias. Suppressing information that could save children’s lives is, as Rita Sklar of the Arkansas ACLU says, “unforgivable.” One’s freedom to pursue his religion does not include the right to sacrifice his neighbor’s child. Those looters shown in the flooded streets of New Orleans were small potatoes compared to the corporate looters who followed. Is there any disaster, natural or man-made, that the Halliburton Co. doesn’t descend on like a fly on dung and start collecting millions of dollars for itself? Is the vice president’s former employer ever required to bid on a government contract, or are they all just handed over by accommodating bureaucrats? Still awfully busy in Iraq, Halliburton found time to grab a piece of the action precipitated by Hurricane Katrina on the Gulf Coast, where federal agencies are awarding billions of dollars worth of contracts for cleanup and reconstruction. A Halliburton subsidiary, Kellogg Brown & Root, is represented by President Bush’s former campaign manager, who is also a former head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Good hire. According to the New York Times, more than 80 percent of the $1.5 billion worth of contracts awarded by FEMA alone were awarded without bidding or with only limited competition. We’re betting that Kellogg Brown got its share. When this administration isn’t making decisions based on religion and ideology, it bases them on rewarding its friends.
Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

More by Arkansas Times Staff

  • New episode of Rock the Culture: "Validated, Validators, and Accidentally Viral"

    In this week’s episode, Charles and Antwan provide conversation and perspective on the Little Rock Fraternal Order of Police Facebook post about the Little Rock Mayoral Race, Representative Blake’s proposed legislation that would require automatic voter registration, and Forbes 30 Under 30 list recognizing a student at Little Rock Central High School.
    • Nov 21, 2018
  • New episode of Rock the Culture: "People's Police"

    In this week’s episode, Antwan and Charles provide perspective and conversation on the ongoing contract negotiations between Little Rock Education Association and Little Rock School District regarding Fair Teacher Dismissal Act, the Little Rock Mayoral Runoff Election, and lack of coverage of white nationalist’s rally. In addition, they interview Sgt. Willie Davis of the Little Rock Police Department regarding importance of community policing and his involvement in the O.K. Program, a mentoring program for teenage black males.
    • Nov 13, 2018
  • New episode of Rock the Culture: "Vote for a Change"

    In this week’s episode, Antwan and Charles provide perspective and conversation on the 2018 local elections in Little Rock and Central Arkansas.
    • Nov 8, 2018
  • More »

Latest in Editorials

  • The end of an era

    We're sad to report that Doug Smith has decided to retire. Though he's been listed as an associate editor on our masthead for the last 22 years, he has in fact been the conscience of the Arkansas Times. He has written all but a handful of our unsigned editorials since we introduced an opinion page in 1992.
    • May 8, 2014
  • A stand for equality

    Last week, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel became the first elected statewide official to express support for same-sex marriage. His announcement came days before Circuit Judge Chris Piazza is expected to rule on a challenge to the state's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Soon after, a federal challenge of the law is expected to move forward. McDaniel has pledged to "zealously" defend the Arkansas Constitution but said he wanted the public to know where he stood.
    • May 8, 2014
  • Same old, same old

    Remarking as we were on the dreariness of this year's election campaigns, we failed to pay sufficient tribute to the NRA, one of the most unsavory and, in its predictability, dullest of the biennial participants in the passing political parade.
    • May 1, 2014
  • More »

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: On to 2020

    • My heart is with yours, Autumn. Joyce Elliott is my choice to run against Cotton…

    • on November 20, 2018
  • Re: On to 2020

    • I think Joyce Elliot would be an excellent candidate to run against Cotton in 2020…

    • on November 20, 2018
  • Re: On to 2020

    • Senator Joyce Elliot once spoke to one of my classes at UAMS and I was…

    • on November 20, 2018
 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation