Way back in Season 6 of The Simpsons (19 February of 1995, to be exact), there was a classic episode entitled “Bart vs. Australia”.
Bart gets curious about the Coriolis effect, and decides to call a random number in Australia to see which direction their drains drain. He calls collect to a young boy, and the phone bill runs up to nine hundred Australian dollarydoos. This creates an international incident, and Bart is compelled to travel to Australia to apologize. He stands before the Parliament and Prime Minister of Australia and apologizes, only to learn that the State Department had lied to him … in addition to his apology, he is required to submit to Australian corporal punishment, which is to get a swift kick in the butt by a man wearing a very large boot. Homer, rightfully upset, questions what kind of country would kick someone with a giant boot. The American attache silences him, informing him that “disparaging the boot is a bootable offense!”
I can never do this justice .. so if you want … here is a link (forward to 12:55 to get to the part at the Parliament of Austr(al)ia).
It is classic Simpsons comedy with a healthy mix of surrealism. Who would use a giant boot as punishment in the modern world? Who would say that it is a high crime to disparage anything (aside from like North Korea and their leader or places like ISIS controlled territory and Muhammed).
According to this entry over at the Washington Post, which in turn cites a link to the New Mexico school Administrative code (Title 6, Chapter 10, Part 7.7) school administrators and teachers in New Mexico are now forbidden from “disparaging or diminishing the significance, importance or use of standardized tests”
Now you might think “yeah, its not a good idea for teachers to say bad things about standardized tests in front of kids”. Please note: this is not restricted to being around kids. This is a complete shackling of any dissent, anywhere, at any time.
It is not directly clear from the document, but the article implies that punishment could result in a teacher or administrator forfeiting their license.
I’m getting quickly to the point where maybe everything needs to completely fall apart before their is any hope of seeing sanity restored.