Making Ayn Rand Required Reading And Other Odd State Bills

From Idaho to Indiana, here are some of the more unusual bills that state lawmakers currently have on their dockets.

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Atlas Shrugged

And now, the latest rundown of some of the more unusual bills that state lawmakers currently have on their dockets.

Idaho: Making Ayn Rand required reading

Republican State Sen. John Goedde has introduced a bill that would require students to read “and comprehend” super-libertarian Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged before they could graduate from public high schools. Comprehension would be gauged by a state-approved test. Goedde told the Idaho Spokesman-Review that his bill is more symbolic than serious, however, designed to show the State Board of Education that lawmakers have power over what happens in schools. “It was a shot over their bow,” he said, “just to let them know that there’s another way to adopt high school graduation requirements.”

Indiana: Cursive or keyboards? 

In July 2011, a directive from the Indiana Department of Education made teaching cursive optional for public schools. Students were only required to learn printing and typing. But that edict has thrown some traditionalists for a loop, and Republican Sen. Jean Leising has proposed a bill that would make cursive mandatory in elementary schools, public and private. The measure passed in the Senate on Tuesday, 36-13.

Ohio: It’s a bird, it’s a plane

A bill flown by Democratic state Representative Bill Patmon would authorize the creation of a Superman-themed license plate. He is especially anxious to see the bill pass this session, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports, because 2013 is the 75th anniversary of the Man of Steel’s first appearance. The plate would display Superman’s signature shield and the slogan “Truth, Justice & the American Way,” celebrating the two Ohioans who created the character in the Buckeye State during the 1930s.

Utah: Where vomiting is a crime, potentially

A Utah committee approved a measure this week that would make it a felony to vomit on a law enforcement officer. Technically, a prisoner or detained individual would have to “propel” the vomit at the officer’s face. It is already a felony to propel fecal matter, urine or blood at an officer’s face. A separate measure, the Salt Lake City Tribune reports, would make it a misdemeanor to propel such substances at a person who is not a law enforcement officer.

Kansas: Keeping passwords private

Two Democratic legislators want to bar employers from demanding usernames and passwords from applicants, with the intention of sifting through their social media accounts for red flags. Some legal experts and fellow lawmakers have said that the bill “is overkill,” fixing a problem that is far from prevalent. The Kansas City Star reports that the proposal comes after journalists uncovered examples of such snooping in five states.

Montana: Making lashing an option

A Montana lawmaker has drafted a bill that would allow criminals to opt for corporal punishment instead of jail time. Speaking with the Huffington Post, Republican State Rep. Jerry O’Neil provided an example to make his point. “For me, I’d rather by whipped 20 lashes than spend 10 years in prison,” he said. “Would you rather spend 10 years in prison or be whipped 20 lashes?” The bill does not specifically mention lashes, but would leave it to the court and convict to “the exact nature of the corporal punishment.”

36 comments
bobcn
bobcn

Potential future Idaho state-approved high school test question:

1)  In the following quote from Atlas Shrugged, what is Ayn Rand telling us about religion?   "...if devotion to truth is the hallmark of morality, then there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.... the alleged short-cut to knowledge, which is faith, is only a short-circuit destroying the mind." 


BobJan
BobJan

Seems as if the republicans are bringing back "Nazism".

YngwieFM
YngwieFM

College admissions take note, just put all applications from Red states on the bottom of the stack. I'm guessing we have another 2 decades of the Great White Temper Tantrum in store.

ThirstyBarbarian
ThirstyBarbarian

Doesn't the whole idea of Required Reading sound like something that the Central Planners would come up with? What would Ayn Rand think of Required Reading? 

Hollywooddeed
Hollywooddeed

Making a book required reading to high school students is a pretty good way to ensure that they won't read it.  CliffsNotes, baby!

And Senator Goedde is lying when he says it was symbolic.  He was deadly serious when he made the proposal, but backed off when he realized he had become a laughing stock.

Tero
Tero

BTW Superman was created by a Canadian.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

Idaho: So passing High School will be determined by whether you're Republican or not?

Utah: Can't we just agree that if you're intentionally spewing anything at an officer's face, you're probably "assaulting" a police officer?

Kansas: Really?  This is actually happening?  I don't think it's overkill - that sort of thing should be illegal.  My privacy is my privacy - you can't have my house keys to see if there's anything offensive in my house and you can't have my password to see if my Facebook is offensive.

Montana: The problem I have is that if they did a crime serious enough to warrant 10 years in prison, no number of lashes would make me feel they received their just punishment.  Too many people overestimate the value of pain.

ThirstyBarbarian
ThirstyBarbarian

In addition to cursive, children should be taught how to make cuneiform tablets. 

BruceS78
BruceS78

Read should be fun, not punishment.  Its bad enough that politicians punish adult voters.  Why do they want to punish teenagers too?  Read Ayn Rand is close to cruel and unusual punishment.

Irony
Irony

How much do you want to bet that this Ayn Rand politician is also a bible-thumping Christian, and doesn't realize how incompatible those two things are?

notsacredh
notsacredh

"It is already a felony to propel fecal matter, urine or blood at an officer’s face."

Even if the officer requests it?



 

notsacredh
notsacredh

Montana: Making lashing an option

.

This is great. I suggest making men read the whole Twilight series and then have to watch the movies in a marathon showing.

notsacredh
notsacredh

"Montana: Making lashing an option"

.

This wouldn't violate "cruel and unusual punishment"? If they really want cruel and unusual punishment, make them read Ayn Rand.

MrObvious
MrObvious

 Idaho: Making Ayn Rand required reading

This is the reason why I can't take rightwingers seriously. They all bleat about how totalitarian liberals are but they want to force feed our kids with political ideas.

Indiana: Cursive or keyboards? 

We don't need cursive anymore. It's just a matter of streamlining our resources with our needs. I rather keep PE then cursive writing.

Kansas: Keeping passwords private

Good law. 

Some legal experts and fellow lawmakers have said that the bill ”is overkill,” fixing a problem that is far from prevalent

Why the heck should ANYONE have the authority to check through your private stuff? You're not much of a 'legal expert' if you think this is an acceptable practice.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

 Republican State Sen. John Goedde has introduced a bill that would require students to read “and comprehend” super-libertarian Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged before they could graduate from public high schools.

Well maybe the students can comprehend that it's a load of garbage written by a woman that actually lived under the care of the state in her later years.

rabbitwocky
rabbitwocky

Why stop at Atlas Shrugged? I hear Dianetics is a good read, too. Heck, maybe we need a whole list. Then we'll need enforcement officers, to make sure teachers are explaining these books in The Right Way. And we'll need to monitor the parents, so they don't try to go against the State and indoctrinate their kids with any progressive ideas.  (Memo to Sen. Goedde: probably want to keep 1984 off the list.)

deconstructiva
deconstructiva

I'd like to see a bill making cursing mandatory in schools. The kids are going to learn anyway (likely by imitating their parents when they're not paying attention: kids will mirror anything parents do) so learn it right with proper spelling, meanings, and pronunciation. Indiana might as well be a testing ground for that.

gysgt213
gysgt213

Republican Sen. Jean Leising has proposed a bill that would make cursive mandatory in elementary schools, public and private."


Good for Sen Leising.



deconstructiva
deconstructiva

Thanks, Katy. Please make this a regular feature. I read Ayn Rand in high school, and so did many I knew. I think The Fountainhead is much more readable that Atlas Shrugged (and its poor writing and nonexistent character development). Probably the clearest book of her philosophy is Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal. Still, of course once we were out in the real world, we learned Objectivism does not work outside of Galt's Gulch ...and yes, she often stressed she wrote about the world as it ought to be (by her standards), not as it is, but the inaccessible void between her world and the real world is too much for any sane person to ignore.

MrObvious
MrObvious

@ThirstyBarbarian 

If it put more money in her pocket it would be A-Okay. Totalitarianism is just the perspective on who profits. After all her book is nothing but an excuse to justify egotistic, psychotic greed.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@Tero My first reaction to but then I checked and it was an American (the writer) and a Canadian (the artist) who were both living in Ohio at the time.  Canada just likes to point out its connection to the artist.

bobell
bobell

Yeah. And engrave tombstones.

bobell
bobell

Even Silas Marner is better.

shepherdwong
shepherdwong

@Irony My choice for “high school graduation requirements,” would include, rhetoric, logic, macro-economics, the scientific method and social-psychology so that graduates would understand that people like Republican State Sen. John Goedde were psychopathic morons unfit for public office.



ThirstyBarbarian
ThirstyBarbarian

@Irony The bill would require students to read “and comprehend” Atlas Shrugged. You get the impression that maybe this guy himself does not comprehend the book.



notsacredh
notsacredh

That's what I think too. Ayn had all of the compassion of a shark in a feeding frenzy.

ThirstyBarbarian
ThirstyBarbarian

@sacredh Maybe Idaho schoolchildren will be able to opt for lashing instead of reading Ayn Rand. 

ARTRaveler
ARTRaveler

With this change to eliminate cursice, there won't be any research historians in two generations.  It is hard enough to read old English spelling without not even knowing what some of the letter might mean.  Might as well give them a Russian essay!

ThirstyBarbarian
ThirstyBarbarian

@deconstructiva Today's assignment: Write an essay using at least 10 curse words to describe how you feel about being forced to read Ayn Rand. Essay must be in cursive. (Extra credit for each curse word used to describe having to write in cursive instead of type.) 

BobJan
BobJan

@gysgt213 Maybe she should also make mandatory "psychological testing" for the Congress. And if found to be a psycho, they're gone. In fact, we've got the "best Congress money can buy".