Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Steve Rose Has an Opinion on the OP Statue Controversy


Surprisingly, Steve Rose finds himself in agreement with most conservative and liberal parents over the appropriateness of a statue glorifying sexting that has been located in the Overland Park Aboretum and Botanical Gardens:

The question is not whether Overland Park has the right to display a headless statue of a bare-breasted woman photographing herself. Clearly, it does have that right.
The question, as I said, is not whether the city has the right. But, rather, whether the city is right?
My personal opinion is no. The city is not right.
This is a dandy sculpture with lots of hidden messages, depending on who is doing the interpreting. But it does not belong in an arboretum where families bring their children for peaceful walks, which should be controversy-free. Even with caution signs, warning families that they may want to skip that particular path, such a sculpture is misplaced in this public outdoor venue.
As others before me have written or said, the sculpture belongs in a museum, not an arboretum.
That is not to say I think it is obscene. I just think it is inappropriate.
Not surprisingly, Rose uses the issue to once again criticize opponents of his radical views:

How could I not comment on the biggest story to hit Johnson County in modern times?
Let's take a moment to dissect his false and deceptive allegations:
I don’t mean the mass closings of schools in Shawnee Mission or the enlarged classrooms throughout the county, due to cutbacks in state funding. 
First, Rose refers to an event that accord more than two and a half years ago, when the Shawnee-Mission School District closed 5 schools because declining attendance was forcing the district to spend tax payer dollars in a highly inefficient manner.  The result of the closers have balanced attendance across all the schools in the district and not surprisingly, the sky didn't fall and Shawnee-Mission kids are still getting the high quality education they always have.

The second false implication Rose makes is to imply that recent cut backs in state funding for schools will result in larger class sizes.  This might be true if schools were actually ending up with less money, but thanks to increases in local and federal funding, school districts across Kansas actually have more funding, not less.  Needless to say, class sizes have not increased.

The crust of Rose's entire school spending argument has also been debunked numerous times in the past.  You'd think someone who lives in the same metro area as one of the largest experiments in education spending in history would remember its colossal failure.  Of course admitting that would allow Rose and his "moderate" Republican buddies to loot the school districts' treasuries through lucrative construction contracts and questionable land use deals.
I don’t mean the most massive tax cuts in history, recently passed, that will have negative budget impacts estimated to be in the billions.
Here again we see Rose embracing liberal ideology because any cuts in the tax rates Kansas' residents must pay takes away the opportunity of moderate cronies like KS Sen. Tim Owens, Vratil, KS Rep. Colloton, and JCCC Board members Stewart, Musil and Sharp to divert tax dollars to their buddies.  Well, rest assurd Rose and crew, as has been proven time and again, when governments cut income taxes, business grows and tax revenues actually go up, so there will still be plenty of tax payer dollars for you to misuse.
I don’t mean the swing to the far right in our state government, including a Johnson County delegation that is now comprised of a vast majority with ultra-conservative agendas.
We've been through this before, that "ultra-conservative" far right in Kansas is anything but.  In fact, virtually everyone of the policy positions they take is the most popular and supported positions by Americans.
No, the big story is none of those things.
Rather, it is a semi-nude sculpture at the Overland Park Arboretum.

What we hear from Rose in his latest opinion piece is not the sage advise of a political insider.  No, it is the last cries out for attention from a man whose influence over Johnson County and Kansas at large has all bout extinguished.  Kansans are no longer willing to sit idly by while an elite group of wealthy businessmen continue to try and manipulate public opinion through their liberal media backers for the purposes of garnering themselves more largess.

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