Editors’ picks: News that didn’t fit

• DeSantis World will not tolerate deviation from the party line
by Diane Roberts | Florida  Phoenix | May 8 | tinyurl.com/Iguana1602
“Knowledge is so dangerous it must be regulated and monitored.”New College students — like all students in Florida — are now hostages to the governor’s monomaniacal crusade against free intellectual inquiry. New College faculty — along with every other teacher in Florida — now know that their government will retaliate against them for bucking the party line. “Knowledge is so dangerous it must be regulated and monitored.” Also see “‘The point is intimidation’: Florida teachers besieged by draconian laws” in the May 13 The Guardian at tinyurl.com/Iguana1614

• End the Citizens United ruling with a ‘Democracy for All Amendment’
by F. Douglas Stephenson | Informed Comment | March 1 | tinyurl.com/Iguana1597
The Supreme Court’s ‘Citizen’s United’ decision opened the floodgates for big money in politics, allowing giant corporations and a handful of the wealthiest families to spend obscene amounts of money in our elections. Yep, our government is up for sale and being auctioned off to the highest campaign contributors. 

• Florida legislators OK bill likely to lead to higher water and sewer rates
by Craig Pittman | Florida Phoenix | May 4 | tinyurl.com/Iguana1600
Will our public water and wastewater systems be corporatized? The state legislature has just flung open the doors for that. In other states, similar bills have led to big corporate takeovers and much higher rates.

• Florida Senate vote on higher ed bill reveals what undergrads might face in GE courses
by Diane Rado  | Florida Phoenix | April 28 | tinyurl.com/Iguana1598
SB 266 says “General education core courses may not distort significant historical events or include a curriculum that teaches identity politics, violates s. 1000.05, or is based on theories that systemic racism, sexism, oppression, and privilege are inherent in the institutions of the United States and were created to maintain social, political, and economic inequities.”

• ‘Freedom’ is little more than a hollow DeSantis campaign slogan
by Brandon J. Wolf | Los Angeles Blade | May 8 | tinyurl.com/Iguana1604 
Transgender Floridians will pay the steepest price for their Governor’s craven pandering to the most extreme faction of his base. In DeSantis’ desperation to outflank Trump to the far right and bolster his 2024 resumé, DeSantis led an unprecedented legislative assault on freedom, in the most virulently anti-LGBTQ session in Florida’s history. 

• In the post-Roe era, letting pregnant patients get sicker – by design
Stephania Taladrid | The New Yorker | May 6 | tinyurl.com/Iguana1603
The strict new Texas laws prohibiting abortions are “deliberately confusing,” which poses profound ethical tests for doctors and inferior care (or even death) for patients.

• North Carolina singer-songwriter Rhiannon Giddens wins Pulitzer Prize for music
by Martha Quillin and Jessica Banov | The News & Observer | May 11 | tinyurl.com/Iguana1601
Rhiannon Giddens, along with Michael Abels, won the Pulitzer Prize for Music on May 8 for co-writing Omar, an opera about the journey of an enslaved man in the South. Rhiannon thanked the Pulitzer Prizes committee for “giving the remarkable story of Omar ibn Said more light.” The opera was first staged in Charleston, S.C., less than a mile from where Omar was first sold into slavery after being captured during fighting in what is modern-day Senegal, around 1807.

• Revived push for Equal Rights Amendment blocked by U.S. Senate Republicans
by Ashley Murray | Florida Phoenix | April 27 | tinyurl.com/Iguana1599
The U.S. Senate failed to advance a symbolic measure to enshrine in the Constitution equal protection on the basis of sex, a century after the idea began circulating among lawmakers. “Women are a majority of the U.S. population but continue to be under-represented in elected office, in the courts, in the business world and in so many other areas,” said Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, a sponsor of the bill, and one of only two Republican senators to vote for it.

• Surprise! Florida leads the nation in lead pipes carrying water supply
by Craig Pittman | Florida Phoenix | April 13 | tinyurl.com/Iguana1595
Florida has more lead pipes delivering water to households than any other state, per the Environmental Protection Agency. Lead is a toxic metal that can be harmful to human health, even at low exposure levels. Lead pipes can poison the water, leading (ba-dum-bum!) to higher blood pressure, decreased kidney function, and brain damage. …  All over the nation, people read this news item, slapped their foreheads, and said, “Brain damage?! THAT explains why Florida’s so dang weird.”

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