Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Who The Hell is Dennis Hedke?

I am going to link you to a PDF file of Kansas state House Bill 2366. The reason why I do this should be apparent very quickly; if not, it's only two pages and the second page doesn't have very much to it.

Actually, you know what, screw it. I won't even make you click. It's a relatively small chunk of text. I'll just copy/paste the whole thing.
Session of 2013
By Committee on Energy and Environment
AN ACT concerning the use of public funds to promote or implement
sustainable development.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Kansas:
Section 1. (a) No public funds may be used, either directly or
indirectly, to promote, support, mandate, require, order, incentivize,
advocate, plan for, participate in or implement sustainable development.
This prohibition on the use of public funds shall apply to: (1) Any activity
by any state governmental entity or municipality;
(2) the payment of membership dues to any association;
(3) employing or contracting for the service of any person or entity;
(4) the preparation, distribution or use of any kit, pamphlet, booklet,
publication, electronic communication, radio, television or video
(5) any materials prepared or presented as part of a class, course,
curriculum or instructional material;
(6) any current, proposed or pending law, rule, regulation, code,
administrative action or order issued by any federal or international
agency; and
(7) any federal or private grant, program or initiative.
(b) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the use of
public funds outside the context of sustainable development: (1) For
planning the use, development or extension of public services or resources;
(2) to support, promote, advocate for, plan for, enforce, use, teach,
participate in or implement the ideas, principles or practices of planning,
conservation, conservationism, fiscal responsibility, free market
capitalism, limited government, federalism, national and state sovereignty,
individual freedom and liberty, individual responsibility or the protection
of personal property rights; and
(3) to advocate against or inform the public about any past, present or
future governmental action that is violative of this act.
(c) For the purposes of this section: (1) "Municipality" shall have the
meaning ascribed to it in K.S.A. 75-6102, and amendments thereto; and
(2) "sustainable development" means a mode of human development
in which resource use aims to meet human needs while preserving the
environment so that these needs can be met not only in the present, but
also for generations to come, but not to include the idea, principle or
practice of conservation or conservationism.
Sec. 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its
publication in the statute book.

Yes. A bill in Kansas' pipeline to make sustainable development illegal. Straight-up illegal. If you're asking yourself right now, 'who the hell would want to make such a thing illegal', it really should not surprise you-- depress, sure; surprise, no-- that the legislator that introduced it, Dennis Hedke (R-Wichita), is a geophysicist with extensive ties to the oil and gas industry. The Kansas legislative session's already closed shop for the year without it hitting the floor, though there's still next year's session.

If you'd like to learn more about Hedke, he put a book out back in 2011, with a Google Books preview here. To answer your question, yes, of course he named it something like "The Audacity of Freedom". Pretty much the very first passage I randomly scrolled to in the preview, on page 129, has him calling for opening up Montana and North Dakota to fracking (something that has since happened). Subsequent random scrolls led to anti-Muslim sentiment (on page 65, he claims some sort of tipping point to be reached when the Muslim population of a country crests 10%), the midst of an other-countries-won't-reduce-carbon-emissions-along-with-us-so-what's-the-point argument, itself in the midst of a larger climate-change-denial argument (I scrolled to page 110), a "corrected" graph showing rising global temperatures to be not a big deal (page 155), and on page 32, the actual quote- this book was completed shortly after the death of Osama bin Laden, mind you- "If the Muslim religion (Islam) did not exist, would we be having a War on Terror?" These were just random haphazard scrolls up and down the preview pages. That all came without any real hardcore digging.

Just so you have a primer on this guy. Something tells me you've already heard quite enough.

No comments: