Liveblog: Haley vetoes in the house

The house is voting today on the Haley vetoes.  The senate will vote tomorrow.  You can watch here: http://www.scstatehouse.gov/video/videopage.php?chamber=H

List of vetoes here: http://www.thestate.com/2012/07/07/2344499/haley-issues-budget-vetoes.html#storylink=misearch

Veto 1: Destroy the Arts Commission – Override 110-5 (FUCK YEAH)

Veto 2: Destroy EPSCOR Funding (Research at Universities) – Sustain 70-45

Veto 3: Destroy Sea Grant Consortium (Research at Universities) – Override 110-10

Veto 4: Remove Funding Writing Improvement Network (Education Funding) – Override 93-22

Veto 5: Remove Funding SC Geographic Alliance at USC – Override 87-24

Veto 6: Remove Certificate of Need (Healthcare program) – Override 106-6

Veto 7: Don’t Increase Teacher Salary – Override 113-1

Veto 8: Remove Funding Governor’s School for Math & Science - Override 109-3

Veto 9: Remove Mental Health Maintenance Funding – Sustain 34-76 (the department actually requested they sustain this)

Veto 10: Remove Fund Senate Committee on Children – Sustain 58-53

Veto 11: Remove Fund Education Oversight Committee – Override 80-34

Veto 12: Remove Funding to Electronically File Judicial Department stuff – Override 108-6

Veto 13: Prevent stimulus funding spending – Sustain 9-105 (All the money’s been spent anyway lol)

Veto 14: Something about ETC that was meant to be deleted anyway – Sustain 0-109

Veto 15: Something already taken care of – Sustain 105-0

Veto 16: Prevent competitive bidding for school bus repair - Sustain 60-54

Veto 17: Remove funding from two bus maintenance facilities – Sustain 61-51

Veto 18: Prevent Expanded Education Committee Power – Sustain 74-39

Veto 19: Prevent Admissions Taxes Funds to go to State Museum – Sustain 54-57

Veto 20: Prevent Spreading of Unemployment over Previous Employers – Sustain 32-75

Veto 21: Prevent Funding New Arts Commission Grants – Override 89-25

Veto 22: Prevent Funding of County Vital Records – Override 88-26

Veto 23: Prevent Change in Lake Authority (?) – Sustain 0-102 (it’s already in law or something)

Veto 24: Prevent Funding Equipment – Sustain 0-111 (Department says they don’t need it)

Veto 25: Prevent Funding DMV Training – Sustain 8-93 (Department says they don’t need it)

Veto 26: Prevent Funding Irmo Veteran Park – Sustain 26-74

Veto 27: Prevent Funding Patriot Park – Sustain 43-68

Veto 28: Prevent Funding Advertising Southeastern Wildlife Expo – Override 89-23

Veto 29: Prevent Local DoT Funding – Sustain  0-109 (Found different source of funding)

Veto 30: Fund Anderson Firestation – Sustain 45-67

Veto 31: Prevent Funding North Myrtle Beach Museum – Sustain 34-77

Veto 32: Prevent Funding Charleston African-American Historical Sites Preservation – Sustain 63-50

Veto 33: Prevent Hilton Head Land Buying Funding – Sustain 49-62

Veto 34: Prevent Funding Watershed Project (Flooding in Darlington) – Override 79-32

Veto 35: Prevent Funding Lake Maintenance on State Lake – Override 78-32

Veto 36: Prevent Funding Center for Fathers and Families (Program prevents sending men to prison over child support, saves massive money for the state, Nikki Haley is an idiot) – Sustain 64-50 (Everyone is an idiot)

Veto 37: Prevent Funding Department of Disabilities – Override 105-0

Veto 38: Prevent Funding Housing for Humanity – Sustain (Don’t have count)

Veto 39: Prevent Funding DSS Women in Unity – Override 70-34

Veto 40: Prevent Funding DSS Tri-City Outreach – Sustain 52-52

Veto 41: Prevent Funding DSS Center for Children – Sustain 45-55

Veto 42: Prevent Funding DSS Center for Community Care – Sustain 33-74

Veto 43: Prevent Funding DSS After School Care – Sustain 37-72

Veto 44: Prevent Funding for Tech Colleges – Override 81-24

Veto 45: Prevent Funding for University of Greenville Technology Center – Sustain 20-89 (Univ said it was fine to sustain)

Veto 46: Prevent Funding Clemson Plant Tech Lab – Override 96-11

Veto 47: Prevent Funding Clemson Operating – Override 89-14

Veto 48: Prevent Funding University of Charleston Tech Project – Override 77-28

Veto 49: Prevent Funding Increase SC Manufacturers Extension Program – Sustain 45-64

Veto 50: Prevent Funding AIDS Drug Assistance – Override 88-22

Veto 51: Prevent Funding SC Coalition against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault – Override 111-0 (FUCK YOU NIKKI HALEY)

Veto 52: Prevent Funding Kidney Evacuation Program – Override 92-13

Veto 53: Prevent Funding Hemophilia Assistance – Override 107-1

Veto 54: Prevent Funding Rural Benefit Bank – Sustain 41-67

Veto 55: Prevent Funding Sickle Cell Foundation – Override 107-0

Veto 56: Prevent Funding Head Lice Program – Sustain 28-78 (Apparently DHEC wants it sustained)

Veto 57: Prevent Funding Secretary of State Tech Update – Sustain 42-66

Veto 58: Prevent Funding Dept of Natural Resources Tech Updates – Override 93-16

Veto 59: Prevent Funding Indigent Defense Tech Updates – Override 77-29

Veto 60: Prevent Funding School Tech Updates – Override 82-24

Veto 61: Prevent Funding Rural Infrastructure – Sustain 70-37 (this is apparently a surprise)

Veto 62: Prevent Funding Vocational Rehab – Override 108-0

Veto 63: Prevent Funding Window Replacement – Override 86-24

Veto 64: Prevent Funding Audit – Override 78-32

Veto 65: Prevent Funding Dept of Agriculture Marketing – Override 93-17

Veto 66: Prevent Funding Dept of Agriculture Marketing – Override 76-33

Veto 67: Prevent National Mortgage Settlement  – Override 75-34 (spent like 9 million years arguing about this UGH)

Veto 68: Prevent School Improvement Council – Override 93-12

Veto 69: Prevent Funding School Improvement Council – Sustain 66-46

Veto 70: Prevent Funding Governor’s School of Arts & Humanities – Override 97-8

Veto 71: Prevent EOC Efficiency Review – Override 76-33

Veto 72: Prevent Review of Pilot Project – Override 77-32

Veto 73: Something about ports that Haley thinks will hurt Jasper – Override 110-0

Veto 74: Something about ports that Haley thinks will hurt Jasper – Override 110-1

Watch me argue with a bunch of punks: with drinking game

FtB did another video podcast, if that’s what they’re called, in which we talked about education.  If you’d like to see me all huffy about education being a social justice issue (WHICH IT IS) feel free to skip forward to 1:04:45.

Drink every time Chris Rodda says David Barton
Drink every time PZ mocks JT for video games
Drink every time JT and I start laughing apparently unrelated to anything happening in the conversation
Drink every time Nikki Haley is a horrible person

PS: EDUCATION IS A SOCIAL JUSTICE ISSUE

Help me save South Carolina, the arts, and my mom

Over the weekend, the governor, Nikki Haley, destroyed the South Carolina Commission for the Arts — the cut was such that the 20 people who work there cannot show up to work today, can’t even go into their building, because of liability issues.  The arts in South Carolina brings in $9.2 billion and creates 78,000 jobs at a cost of 1.9 million to the Arts Commission.  It’s a phenomenally stupid cut — our state has one of the two best arts in education programs in the country!  We don’t do a lot well in South Carolina, but this is one of the few we really do.  And now we’re about to be the only state in the country without a public arts agency.

This is political, but I have to let you know it’s deeply personal as well.  I have worked for the Commission, I know everyone who works there, the arts and arts education are extremely important to me, and my mother is the president of the foundation board.  My mother has worked with them for over half of my life — for 15 years she has been on their board and this is her third year as president. Nikki Haley is messing with my mother — that is NOT COOL.

There is good news!  The SC legislature is returning next week to vote on it — the problem is that it is summer vacation and they may not all show.  They also may not get the 2/3rds majority needed to overturn the vetoes.  I need your help.  My mom needs your help.  My state, which is run by idiots but full of wonderful people, needs your help.

Please contact the SC Representatives and Senators and urge them to vote to override Vetoes #1 and #21 – to keep the doors open at the Arts Commission!  Also, let them know that the rest of the vetoes are pretty crappy too — taking money from teachers, schools, important scientific research, and programs to help victims of sexual violence.

Here’s a single contact form to get in touch with:

All the Senators: http://www.scstatehouse.gov/email.php?T=M&C=SMEMBERS

All the House Members: http://www.scstatehouse.gov/email.php?T=M&C=HMEMBERS

I know many of you aren’t from my state, but I think FtB has the power and this movement has the power to put some pressure on these people, and if you’re from South Carolina, you must do this!  Tell them to show up!  Tell them to override the vetoes!  Help my mom!

Ken May, Executive Director, “The state can’t wrest my cellphone from my grip”

EDIT: Passing the need on and sharing is something that you can do to help even if you don’t contact the politicians, please share. And it is on reddit.http://www.reddit.com/r/atheism/comments/w9og0/help_me_save_south_carolina_the_arts_and_my_mom/

Richard Dawkins Welcomes Ratzinger

Joseph Ratzinger is an enemy of humanity.

He’s an enemy of children, whose bodies he’s allowed to be raped and whose minds he’s encouraged to be infected with guilt. It’s embarrassingly clear that the church is less concerned with saving child bodies from rapists than with saving priestly souls from hell. And most concerned with saving the longterm reputation of the church itself.

He’s an enemy of gay people. Bestowing on them the sort of bigotry that his church used to reserve for Jews before 1962.

He’s an enemy of women, barring them from the priesthood as though a penis were an essential tool for pastoral duties.

He’s an enemy of truth, promoting barefaced lies about condoms not protecting against AIDS, especially in Africa.

He’s an enemy of the poorest people on the planet, condemning them to inflated families they cannot feed and so keeping them in the bondage of perpetual poverty. A poverty which sits ill beside the obscene wealth of the Vatican.

He’s an enemy of science. Obstructing vital stem cell research on grounds, not of true morality, but on pre-scientific superstition.

Ratzinger is even an enemy of the Queen’s own church, arrogantly dissing Anglican orders as “absolutely null and utterly void,” while at the same time shamelessly trying to poach Anglican vicars to shore up his own pitifully declining priesthood.

Finally, perhaps of most personal concern to me, Ratzinger is an enemy of education. Quite apart from the lifelong psychological damage caused by the guilt and fear that have made Catholic education infamous throughout the world, he and his church foster the educationally pernicious doctrine that evidence is a less reliable basis for belief than faith, tradition, revelation, and authority. His authority.

On being number 11

I’m working from my phone, just got to South Carolina, haven’t got internet, so forgive any wonky formatting.

I just read a piece by Thomas L. Friedman about a “Newsweek” article that ranks the US as the eleventh best country to live. I wonder sometimes if the rest of the world gets bored of us always trying to be first. Some people would say something like well done america for being so high on the list or that’s impressive considering some of the great other countries in the world.

He argues that the reason america sucks (being eleventh would probably lead us to kill ourselves if we had japan’s sense of honor) is because our students aren’t motivated and everyone wants to get rich quick – he seems to think this is an american problem not a human one, for some reason. And he argues that the greatest generation was better, and they were better because they had a better attitude and wanted to make sacrifices.  Obsession with being the greatest and number one in everything doesn’t make his ranking of things americans do that are bloody stupid for some reason.

According to Newsweek, it looks like we lag further behind on health and quality of life than we do on education, in absolute terms if not in ranking. Five years difference in average healthy life span isn’t small potatoes. And I call bullshit that the greatest generation had better attitudes. They had a very specific set of circumstances to deal with, and we have a much different one, but anyone arguing that they had better quality of life, healthcare, lifespan, or education is just being ridiculous.

Look at the other top countries and tell me how a country that values independence, freedom, diversity and size can compete with little, rich, homogenous countries? I think we should be amazed that a country with so many immigrants from countries that are much lower on the list is even competing at all.

I’m not saying that there aren’t things, particularly within education and healthcare, that need to be fixed, but I think blaming it on the wrong attitude is a completely shallow and curmugeonly way of looking at what is in fact a very complicated problem because of economy, scale, and a varied population. If he’s got a problem with selfish attitudes destroying america, I’d love to see any evidence that that is true.

Atheists United: Barbara Forrest

Power Corrupts, PowerPoint Corrupts Absolutely — Edward Tufte

I went this morning to something I found on meetup.com, which was an event hosted by Atheists United.  I’m not a dues paying member of Atheists United, but they function as sort of a community for Atheists that’s analogous to a church.  The event was a speech and lunch function, and the speaker was Barbara Forrest, who was instrumental in the Dover case against Intelligent Design.

She was very interesting and knowledgeable, and I feel immediate kinship to smart, rational, public school educated Southern women.  She had a powerpoint (keynote) presentation, and I really hate those, but other than that it was fascinating in a somewhat horrific way.  In Louisiana they’ve passed a law (SB 733) that basically says that a science teacher can supplement the science curriculum with whatever they want, the intention being that science teachers can teach Creationism if they so choose.

It’s so bad that, even though they’ve tried to pass it in several other states including Texas, the only place it’s actually passed is Louisiana.  It is a point of embarrassment that it’s still under consideration in South Carolina.  But apparently Louisiana, in addition to being ridiculously religious and conservative like the rest of the south, suffers from having an incredibly strong Executive Branch with an extremely right-wing religioso and politically vindictive governor, Bobby Jindal.  You’ll remember him from his embarrassingly bad response to Obama’s State of the Union.

I was shocked that I hadn’t heard about this at all.  I mean, you can teach creationism in public school biology classes in Louisiana.  It’s really icky.  Being a SC native, I’m hoping that the particularly weak governorship in SC will prevent this legislation from being pushed through there.

So, she was interesting.  But the event as a whole was a bit… geriatric.  I mean, I would guess the average age in the room was over 60.  They need to start a youth outreach or something because I felt very awkward being one of 2 people there under the age of 50.  Nothing wrong with older people, of course, it was just a bit weird.  I mean, people were impressed by the powerpoint presentation…