fresh voices from the front lines of change







Thursday night’s tenth GOP presidential debate was, ironically, best summed up by CNN’s closed captioner for the hearing impaired.

Last night’s Republican presidential debate was many things, but you only need to watch about 30 seconds to get the gist of it.


That was the moment that drove CNN’s closed captioner over the edge. Here’s a screenshot of the closed captioning for that moment in the debate.


That pretty much says it all.

Hired to caption the debate for the hearing impaired, this anonymous individual instead spoke for all of us who watched the debacle, and were appalled and a little frightened at how far the GOP has devolved.

Shooting Down Political Discourse

Texas’ new law allowing licensed gun owners to carry handguns on public university campuses goes into effect on August 1, but it’s already having an impact. Under the law, private universities may still ban guns from their campuses, and none in Texas has allowed guns in their classrooms or dormitories. However, the Texas attorney general’s office has issued an opinion that no limits may be placed on students carrying guns in classrooms and dormitories at public universities.

Faculty members at the University of Houston expressed concern that guns in the classroom could chill debate. They didn’t have to wait long to be proven right. Jonathan Snow, president of the faculty senate, told the university regents, “Academics know the intrusion of gun culture into campus inevitably harms academic culture.”

For professors, this means that before discussing controversial topics they now have to wonder just which students are packing heat. To that end, at a meeting to discuss the law, the University of Houston played a slideshow that warned faculty to “avoid sensitive topics” and “provocative statements.”

[slideshare id=58769997&doc=campuscarryfacultyforum–2016–0–160226182457]

At least one Texas professor is leaving for relatively saner climes. Frederick Steiner, the dean of the University of Texas’ architecture program announced that he’s leaving the school, partly due to the state’s insane law allowing guns on college campuses. Steiner said the new policies around the law “don’t make any logical sense at all.” Steiner added, “How do you criticize someone when you know or suspect that they have a firearm? Having been in those situations, people can lose their tempers. That’s not a situation where a firearm would enhance the experience.”

Four months ago, an economics professor at UT Austin quit over the “campus carry” law, and moved all the way to Australia. After 15 years at UT, Steiner will leave to head the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Design.

I’ll say it again. This is how the right-wing shoots down political discourse.


Here’s the rest of the best of wingnuttery this week:


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