Next goal for reactionaries – mandate funding for religious schools

Conservatives have spent the past decade warning of the evils of government mandates, how they reduce freedom and damage liberty. But the conservative majority on the Supreme Court is poised to take the cues of far-right legal interests and mandate that states send thousands of taxpayer dollars per pupil to religious schools…

The case, Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, seeks to overturn a Montana Supreme Court ruling that prohibited money from a voucher program to be put toward private religious schools, consistent with the state’s nearly five-decade ban on state aid for religious purposes. Thirty-seven other states have similar “no aid” provisions. But the plaintiffs, bankrolled by a right-wing organization called the Institute of Justice, are not simply trying to allow public voucher funding for religious institutions; they want to require it.

The case will be heard on Wednesday, January 22.

Keep your eyes and ears open, folks. With the short-focus attention span of American media we’re not likely to hear about anything other than the pantywaist impeachment trial of our Fake President – for the next couple of months. Regardless of the likely rigged verdict promised by Mitch McConnell and the Republican Party.

Palau National Marine Sanctuary became law New Year’s Day

A huge marine protected area surrounding much of the Pacific Island nation of Palau went into effect Jan. 1, 2020, after years of planning by local officials and advocates. Within the sanctuary, which covers 80 percent of Palau’s national waters, all extractive activities such as fishing and mining are now prohibited

Palau, an archipelago made up of more than 500 islands, became a global leader in efforts to establish fully protected marine areas when its Congress voted in October 2015 to establish the Palau National Marine Sanctuary…Only about 7 percent of the world’s ocean is protected today, according to the United Nations, although a global consensus is building that at least 30 percent must be safeguarded by 2030 to protect ecosystems, preserve the livelihoods of coastal communities that depend on fishing, and increase resilience to a changing climate.

At 475,077 square kilometers (183,000 square miles) the fully protected area is one of the biggest in the world. The area is larger than the U.S. state of California and home to thriving marine life. Palau’s waters host more than 1,300 species of fish and more than 400 species of hard coral…

Bravo! A nation with an understanding of thoughtful economics, modern ethics and the courage to implement both.