The anti-science gang of dolts running the state legislature, with their constant attacks on public education in the Badger state, need to be spanked and put to bed without supper. From their transparent, ALEC-driven mission to dismantle K-12 public education and turn it over to their cronies in “the private sector”, to their attempt to meddle with the mission statement of our great state university, to their petty attacks on the ranks of DNR scientists, these guys – and gals – in the clown car need to be given directions to the nearest cliff.
The popcorn-peddler (he really is) who runs the State Assembly and actually graduated from UW-Whitewater, Robin Vos, and Lt. Col. Scott Fitzgerald (US Army – retired), the guy who runs the State Senate and actually graduated from UW-Oshkosh, have a contempt for education and science that belies their baccalaureate degree.
It’s about time the people of this state woke the hell up and sent these two men the same kind of message they sent to Governor Walker when he tried to change the mission statement of the UW. The message, by the way, was essentially “HEY – that mission statement is not yours to change, doofus.”
This group of dolts, reinforced by positive feedback from some of the state’s choicest collection of tea drinking morons, now wants to make the UW System the only institution of higher learning on the planet that won’t give academics the protection of tenure, babbling ill-informed platitudes like “those high-paid professors ought to spend more time actually teaching, rather than doing research that’s really partisan garbage”.
Perhaps it is as simple as these guys – and gals, like Bert Darling – are really so ignorant that they don’t understand tenure. Take this case, boys and girls: brilliant recent Ph.D. grad seeks position with institution of higher learning to pursue further research and share it with colleagues. Institution of Higher Learning UW no longer offers tenure-track positions. Institution of Higher Learning XX does. To which Institution of Higher Learning does our brilliant young Ph.D. grad apply?
Let me make it more simple.
As a former chancellor of the UW recently wrote, generations ago the people who settled Wisconsin and founded our state’s institutions scraped together their pennies and nickels to build a land-grant university which has become the fourth-leading research university in the nation – ranked ABOVE Harvard, Yale, Cal Tech, MIT, and on and on. The Wisconsin Idea – the name by which we know the mission statement of the UW – the one Mr. Walker tried to f with – says, among other things, that the knowledge generated by the UW must be shared with all the people of the state.
Perhaps one of Mr. Vos’s constituents is a dairy farmer, who has a problem. His fields don’t yield as much as his neighbors. His cows don’t give as much milk as the farmer down the road. Yet he follows the same practices as his neighbors. To whom does our farmer turn for help? The UW Extension Ag Agent. That person brings to bear the brainpower of all his colleagues to help Mr. Farmer figure out why his yields are down and his milk production is down. That’s the Wisconsin idea in action. That’s why those immigrants and settlers sacrificed to support this institution with that plaque on Bascom Hall about sifting and winnowing and so on.
Perhaps one of Lt. Col. Fitzgerald’s constituents – or, God forbid, the Senator himself – suffers some sort of debilitating ailment that none of the local doctors can figure out. What happens next? The local docs say “we’re going to send you to Madison to UW Hospital to see if those docs can figure out what’s going on here.” Odds are those doctors – and all their researchers and scientists, just like the dairy experts and soil scientists of the UW Extension – will put their heads together and come up with what’s wrong, and how to fix it.
It just seems so shallow and narrow-minded to bash this great institution that the people of Wisconsin have created and supported for generations.
Today, facts aren’t facts any more. It used to be that we accepted facts and agreed on them. Now, the constant ass-braying we hear is “everyone is entitled to their opinion”- as if opinions were the same as facts.
In practical terms, the UW-Madison has a 15 billion dollar impact on Wisconsin’s economy. It represents 193,310 Wisconsin jobs. The five billion dollars spent by UW-Madison and its faculty, staff, students, and visitors generates an additional seven billion dollars in economic activity. For every dollar of state funds invested in the UW, $24.14 in economic activity is generated in Wisconsin.
Those are facts. They’re not my opinion, and they’re not someone else’s opinion. The source of these facts is not the UW-Madison, but rather the PRIVATE SECTOR company known as NorthStar Consulting Group. One would think these tea-drinking politicians running the show under the big top now would be able to understand FACTS like these.
But they’re busy cutting the ranks of scientists at the DNR, because, well, science.
And undercutting K-12 public education, by slashing funds for school districts and even going so far as to try and make Wisconsin the only state in the union which would do away with licensing standards for classroom teachers and to allow anyone – high school dropouts included – to become a teacher.
What’s happened to us? Why are we allowing these dweebs to do things like this? Are enough of us ‘sconnies so jealous of teachers and scientists and professors that we think it’s right for our politicians to get away with crap like this? Has politics really become hate-sport, rather than the art of compromise?
I keep hoping that some day the people of this great state will wake up, take a good look around, and say it’s time for us to take control again, to throw the bums out, and start fresh with citizen-legislators who respect government and want to help it work better, rather than the majority in the legislature now, who apparently hate government and are there to dismantle our long-revered institutions.
It’s well past time to get rid of the clowns.