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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Kansas Anti-Art and Anti-Science: What is Left? Superstition and Ignorance?


The governor in Kansas recently eliminated state funding for its arts programs, putting all of those employees in the state arts programs on the unemployment rolls and losing federal funding in greater amount than what was saved -- the governor of course ran on a platform of local job creation, but now also plans to seek an end to public broadcasting in Kansas.

Name one thing in the arts that the State of Kansas is known for -- I was stumped except for Judy Garland in the Wizard of Oz -- so that dropping State funding for the arts is -- shall we say stupid, as an understatement.

The great leaders of history were often great art patrons and INCREASED their support for the arts.

If you elect the exact opposite types of people, however, do not wonder that you grow up in area without culture and if you find that is the way much of the US Midwest is viewed elsewhere.

Read the Los Angeles Times story at Culture Monster on the end of State arts funding in Kansas: Kansas governor eliminates state's arts funding.

We hope that neighboring Nebraska does not follow Kansas in that backward State's muddled footsteps.

The politicians in Kansas explain that no one should be compelled by taxes to pay for arts -- we are talking here about minimal amounts, but -- we add the comment -- that it seems as if these same politicians greatly approve giving massive tax subsidies to religion and religious sects, which is seen as OK because it conforms to THEIR belief system.

But why should people who do not believe in those religions have to pay more taxes to pick up the slack because those religions pay no taxes?

This discrepancy in being anti-art and anti-science but pro-religion shows that exemptions for religion are nothing but scams favoring one group of people over another and one group of ideas over another group of ideas.

That is the kind of blinded and misguided sophistry that makes for a brainwashed public and for a religion-mesmerized and uncultured citizenry who are then hardly to be distinguished from the third-world countries that are allegedly America's enemies.

The main comment that we hear from Europeans who visit for the first time in America, and especially the Midwest, is that much of the country consists of ignorant, culturally backward citizens. Well, no wonder.

Perhaps it is no surprise that Kansas has also been at the fore of the movement for dark age anti-science teaching in the schools: see here.

To counterbalance this ominous development in Kansas, it is of interest to look at the National Endowment For The Arts Forming Interagency Research Taskforce On The Arts And Human Development — a task force of 13 federal agencies being developed to foster more research on how the arts affect human development at all stages of life.

However, we share Paul Krugman's legitimate worry in a recent article at the New York Times about "Republicans Against Science":
"Now, we don’t know who will win next year’s presidential election. But the odds are that one of these years the world’s greatest nation will find itself ruled by a party that is aggressively anti-science, indeed anti-knowledge. And, in a time of severe challenges — environmental, economic, and more — that’s a terrifying prospect."
It is also a terrifying prospect to nations other than the United States.

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