May 312006

Colleges and universities in Florida now are banned from using state money to travel to such countries as Cuba under a law Gov. Jeb Bush signed Tuesday. The Travel to Terrorist States Act also prohibits a state-paid school from spending any money — public or private — on any aspect of organizing a trip to any of the five nations listed by the U.S. State Department as a state sponsor of terror.Miami Republican Rep. David Rivera, who has sponsored a number of Cuba-crackdown bills, said the law was designed to stop his constituents’ tax money from underwriting Fidel Castro’s regime.

So, let’s be sure we don’t do any study or analysis of countries we believe might be out to sponsor terrorists bent on doing us harm. Another example of stupid legislators pandering to a vocal constituency and invoking the law of unintended consequences. Cearly this Rivera guy is playing to the Cubans in his Miami district, but just to try to hide that fact, it’s a “terrorists crack-down” bill.

I would want our academicians studing countries that might have an interest in inflicting pain on us. If we learn more about them, we learn better how to deal with them, and better how to predict what they might do. Makes sense to me, but then I don’t have to pander to a constituency.

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