Monday, August 14, 2006

Iacovelli Loses It

Not Very Bright has the scoop on an op-ed written by Karen Iacovelli, a woman previously appointed by SC governor Mark Sanford to be on the Educational Oversight Committee. She has since resigned under rather curious circumstances. Iacovelli was, among other things, an ardent supporter of the pro-creationist campaign led by fellow EOC member Mike Fair. And she is also, rather disturbingly for someone appointed to a committee charged with improving public education, an avowed enemy of public education.

Gervais of Barbecue and Politics wrote an op-ed in The State newspaper about his (now sadly ended) career as a blogger, and recounted the tale of Iacovelli and how she coincidentally resigned just after it was made public that she is a signatory to a list of people who "“proclaim publicly that (they) favor ending government involvement in education."” Now Iacovelli has written a response, also published in The State. And as might be expected by people of her type, the response is petulant, hypocritical, and of course, dishonest.

To cut to the chase, the primary issue here is that Iacovelli denies ever having signed the statement proclaiming that she's against public education. But NVB and Laurin have both shown that while her name has since mysteriously disappeared from that list, Google cache has it right there in living color. Sorry Karen, but the internets make covering your tracks just a little bit harder than it used to be. And even if we get real charitable and assume that her name originally ended up on that list by mistake, or perhaps was put there by some prankster (for what reason I have no idea), the fact is that Iacovelli has expressed similar sentiments on other occasions.

What's most notable about Iacovelli's current piece is what she doesn't say. She doesn't defend herself from the general charge of hating public schools. Why is that? How hard would it be for her to say, either implicitly or explicitly, that she's against ending government involvement in education and privatizing all of the schools? I'd think that would be an important point to get across, given that this is what the entire dust-up was based on in the first place. But instead she gives us platitudes about how much she cares about kids (unlike the rest of us, I suppose) and heaps disdain on the National Education Association. Nary a word about her views vis-à-vis privatizing education.

There are a couple of other things in the article that I thought I might highlight, given that they tweak my amusement glands. This one is my fave:

I sit on the Board of Dispoz-o Products Inc., a major manufacturer of plastic disposable products that has done great good for humankind...

Yes, Iacovelli makes her living as the co-owner or whatever of a company that makes disposable plastic cutlery. I guess there's no shame in earning an honest living however you can, but really, great good for humankind? Does she really believe that? I think I can safely state that had disposable flatware never been invented, we wouldn't be measurably worse off than we are now, and we'd probably have a lot less litter to contend with. Sure, plastic forks and spoons are quite convenient when you're on a picnic or having a party, but convenience is not equivalent to great good. Afterall, dumping raw sewage into a nearby river is also convenient.

And this part, right at the beginning, was eminently predictable:

Ross Shealy (On barbecue, politics and what defies parody,” Aug. 1) exemplifies the ignorance and vitriol of the fanatical left.

You see, Iacovelli doesn't know Ross Shealy (aka Gervais Bridges), almost certainly has never read his blog, but she's knows that he's a member of the "fanatical left", whatever that is. In an article in which she complains about Shealy being unkind to her and unfamiliar with her as a person, this is not a promising way to start out. It reveals a tendency to deal with criticism by labeling all critics as fanatical leftist, communist, Pol Pot-worshiping baby eaters. All that does is exemplify her own extremism.