27 February 2005

moved, touched and inspired...

Had class all day yesterday - 10 am to 10 pm - at Landmark. I'm taking the Self Expression and Leadership Program. It's a powerful class dealing with the possibilities of being moved, touched and inspired in the area of community participation and leadership. As a part of the class we are creating a community project that in some way helps a target community.

There are projects dealing with Alhzheimer's, MS, breast cancer to planning a girl's softball all-star tournament to teaching girls how to do nails in order to volunteer at nursing homes to do elderly ladies' nails. No matter what the project, its scope or size each one is significant because it all deals with giving back to the community in some way.

What is inspiring about the projects and the class is that none of the b.s. that spins around the media now-a-days gets in the way. There are African-Americans, Arabs, Caucasians, Latinos, Native Americans, Gays, Lesbians, Fundamentalist, ministers you name it, in the class. There is only one difference between everybody there: our external appearance. Everyone of us is exactly the same inside. Oh, our experiences are different but in effect they all lead to the same thing - the human experience. The wonder of our difference, to paraphrase, lies in our differences and the way that we combine them to make truth and beauty.

On the news, on websites, on blogs, in conversations, and with gossip we hear more about what is not the truth and what is not beauty. It seems as if the world is nothing but lies and ugliness. Yes, it's a cliche to say that the news only reports what's bad, but that is what people listen to the most. They are enamored by the risque, the dangerous, the gritty things of living when they relish in their comfortable homes, jobs and lives. Well, not everybody.

What are we learning from Iraq? What do the Imams in Iran want to tell us? What do the people of Colombia think about all the drugs Americans use that the Cartels hang over their heads? Why do gays & lesbians have to hide their lives for fear of reprisal? Why does the veteran have to worry about medical benefits? Why does a child have to be hungry in the richest countries in the world? Questions? Questions? Questions?

just asking...

24 February 2005

thank you, Andrew...

I really like reading Andrew Sullivan and his daily dish, and even though he said he "retired" from blogging he's still blogging but a lot less. A lot of the time I want to rant and rave at what he writes, but at least he provokes a response and gets debate going and questions to be asked on the front burner.

The following is from andrewsullivan.com today:

THOUGHTS ON SAGER/PONNURU: I've been following the Sager-Ponnuru debate over the balance within today's conservatism between social conservatives, big government conservatives and freedom-lovers. Latest installment here. I'm with Ryan, purely on the grounds that I think Bush conservatism has relied far too much on sectarian religious support and on expanding the power, reach and expense of the federal government. I don't buy the notion that Newt Gingirch killed off small-government conservatism and so Bush has no choice. Gingrich is and was one of the least appealing figures in American politics. His tactics were crude and dumb. To abandon every small government principle because he screwed up a decade ago strikes me as silly defeatism. Ponnuru argues further that he and others at National Review have indeed opposed Bush's big government nanny-state tendencies. (The massive exception is the anti-gay federal amendment, but let's leave that aside for the moment.) Fair enough - to a point. But try this counter-factual: If Al Gore, say, had, turned a surplus into years of mounting debt, if he'd added a huge new federal entitlement to Medicare, if he'd over-ridden the rights of states to set their own laws with regard, say, to education, if he'd put tariffs on steel, if he'd increased government spending faster than anyone since LBJ, if he'd said that government's job was to heal hurt wherever it exists, if he'd ramped up agricultural subsidies, poured money into the Labour and Education Departments, thrown public dollars at corporate America, spent gobs of money on helping individuals in bad marriages, used the Constitution as an instrument of social policy, given government the right to detain people without trial and subject them to torture, and on and on, I don't think National Review would have been content merely to nitpick. Do you? I think they would have mounted a ferocious attempt to remove the guy from office. The duplicitous, budget-busting Medicare entitlement alone should have caused an insurrection. It didn't. I think that tells you a lot about where some conservative thinkers are really coming from.

This time I couldn't agree more and have to again say, "Thank you, Andrew."

What the Bushies are doing makes LBJ's "Great Society" look like a socialistic program! On top of this, the billions going overseas and the time, money and energy being spent on social/religious issues could be used to solve a lot of the big issues much easier, for example the NCLB education fiasco & social security.

The Republicans have gone from the party of less government to big brother having his thumb on everyone. The Democrats are not even coming close to using this argument clearly. It's one of the reasons I couldn't get actively behind Kerry.

McCain, Dean and John Edwards tried to say these things in the beginning of their campaigns but were shouted down by unimportant people with inflated egos who told us what we should be worried about [read Rove et al, here] and political strategists who told them it wouldn't fly.

Where do we go from here?

just think about it...

23 February 2005

nothing amazing happening...

...right now.

The news is all the same and nothing exciting has been happening.

Bush in Europe. I wonder if they found a translator for "Cowboy?" The French referred to him a couple of years ago as "le cowboy" when I was there. As one elderly Parisan man said to me, "Votre président. Notre président. Ils font le même chose. Vous et moi, nous sommes amis. Ils sont culs, les deux!" A loose translation: "Your president. Our president. They are alike. You and I, we are friends. They're assholes, the both of them!"

cul.. I like that word... has a nice ring to it than asshole...

21 February 2005

nothing better to do...? part V

Now comes word that Prince Charles and his fiance will not be welcomed to the White House while on a trade mission that has been in the plans for the last three years because Camilla is divorced and the Bushies want to be seen to only support traditional marriage with no divorce! The visit was to happen after the two are married in April.

But, wait, isn't Charles divorced also? He divorced Diana, Princess of Wales. Oh, no, she's dead. So, the divorce must not count, while Camilla's ex is still alive. Camilla looks like death warmed over. Won't that count?

Oh, and what about the millions of people in the US who are not married but live in committed relationships and have children - Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell come immediately to mind. They've been together since 1982. What about the 50%+ of Americans who are divorced? Can they be barred from taking the White House tour?

Or, better yet! What about the fact that

"George Barna, president and founder of Barna Research Group, commented: 'While it may be alarming to discover that born again Christians are more likely than others to experience a divorce, that pattern has been in place for quite some time.'" Religious Tolerance.org

The article goes on to say, "Divorce rates among conservative Christians were much higher than for other faith groups, and for Atheists and Agnostics."


"The data showed that the highest divorce rates were found in the Bible Belt. 'Tennessee, Arkansas, Alabama and Oklahoma round out the Top Five in frequency of divorce...the divorce rates in these conservative states are roughly 50 percent above the national average' of 4.2/1000 people."

Yes, a great reason behind it is that couples in the south get married at a much younger age than other parts of the country, but where is the help to either control it or help them out?

Oh, boy, we've got trouble...

"Right here in River City.
Trouble with a capital "T"
And that rhymes with "D" and that stands for divorce!"

But here is the worst part of the problem as cited at Religious Tolerance.org:

"Even more disturbing, perhaps, is that when those individuals experience a divorce many of them feel their community of faith provides rejection rather than support and healing. But the research also raises questions regarding the effectiveness of how churches minister to families. The ultimate responsibility for a marriage belongs to the husband and wife, but the high incidence of divorce within the Christian community challenges the idea that churches provide truly practical and life-changing support for marriages."

The majority of couples who find themselves in the position have no where to turn. They are lost in a sea of confusion with no one explaining possibilities that will keep them present to their circumstances.

365Gay.com has a slant that also needs to be taken seriously by the right:

"The Administration's new push could result in non-traditional straight families supporting gays in fighting a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage."

This is could open up a can of gummi worms, since the right and Mr. Bush have

nothing better to do...


First, Hunter S. Thompson died by his own hand last night which is not all that surprising because he had a tendency to be self-destructive not only in his writing but in his life as well. Second, by a vote of 389-38 the US House of Representatives passed the Broadcast Decency Act that can levy fines of up to $500,000 for a single incident of foul language or salacious material making its way onto the public airwaves. The government wants to thwart free speech under the guise of protecting our youth. A youth that watches cable t.v. with every imaginable word and scene you can think of with little or no guidance from responsible adults.

Hunter Thompson was the leader in gonzo news reporting that came about in the '60's. It placed the reporter in the first person narrative inserting him/herself into the story as both the reporter of what was going on and his/her own personal reaction to it. He also prided himself as writing about the "underbelly" of America. His best known work was Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas that was made into a movie with Johnnie Depp. It was purported to be autobiographical and probably was.

Friends and I went to Aspen, where Thompson lived, for a number of summers to vacation. There were always stories about Hunter Thompson in the air when we were there. Once, while we were in Aspen, he "accidently" shot his wife or girl-friend. There were always reports of shots being fired at his home. His favorite hang-out was a place called "Woody's." We ate there a couple of times. [Great food] though I never saw him. I believe one of my friends did. He was controversial at all times not only in his writing but in his personal life as well. That's the point of gonzo reporting.

The Broadcast Decency Act would place restrictions on the types of things people can say or show on the "public airwaves," the free stations, and not only the station but the individual who says it: We're talking about a single incident of someone making potty jokes or saying a naughty word on the radio, or flashing a bit too much skin on television.... Richard Roeper in the February 21, 2005 Chicago Sun-Times reports.

Is this the first step? What about saying something on the train? At the airport? In your home? Where will it end? Though the tapes of Bush reveal that he is at least partially human, his supporters have an agenda that they are putting into place step-by-step, freedom-by-freedom, and right-by-right. These supporters believe that they have the ultimate privilege because they put Bush into office.

They are definitely a minority. It was just the numbers that put Mr. Bush into office not an overwhelming majority. This is a reverse case of "majority rules, minority rights." The minority is not just ruling; it is pushing a fascist-type agenda to control every aspect of the American way.

What would Hunter Thompson have to say about this development?

just asking...

20 February 2005


Seems that Mr. Bush didn't only do a lot of drinking when he was younger. Unlike some others, he inhaled! Not only that but he didn't want to "kick gays" and lesbians for fear of losing the mainstream but chose (I wonder under whose aegis?) to go with the backing of the religious right to get elected.

This is the worst kind of politics. While others will focus on the pot smoking, the real story lies in the unscrupulousness of the elite to use any means to get into power and force their own agendas on the people. A New York Times article about a series of tapes made by Doug Wead, without the alledged knowledge of Mr. Bush, reports a number of conversations between the two while Mr. Bush was deciding to run for the presidency.

There is a lot of insight into not only Mr. Bush but also Wead, a former aide to Bush's father, who says he made the tapes because, "I believe that, like him or not, he is going to be a huge historical figure," Mr. Wead said. "If I was on the telephone with Churchill or Gandhi, I would tape record them too." This is almost like a comparison of Bush to Churchill or Ghandi. Quite a stretch.

Regarding Bush's willingness to do anything to win the presidency the tapes reveal someone who is not afraid to do what has to be done. Mr. Bush could hardly contain his disdain for Mr. Gore, his Democratic opponent, at one point calling him "pathologically a liar." His confidence in the moral purpose of his campaign to usher in "a responsibility era" never wavered, but he acknowledged that winning might require hard jabs. "I may have to get a little rough for a while," he told Mr. Wead, "but that is what the old man had to do with Dukakis, remember?" Strength in a leader? Maybe. But earlier in the tapes he takes umbrage with the "liberal media" trying to dig up dirt on him:

He complained repeatedly about the press scrutiny, accusing the news media of a "campaign" against him. While he talked of certain reporters as "pro-Bush" and commented favorably on some publications (U.S. News & World Report is "halfway decent," but Time magazine is "awful"), he vented frequently to Mr. Wead about what he considered the liberal bias and invasiveness of the news media in general.

What is the difference between the two comments? Willingness to do whatever it takes? Self-rightiousness and self-importance?

Why are the tapes being made public at this time? Why disclose the tapes? "I just felt that the historical point I was making trumped a personal relationship," Mr. Wead said. Could it be part of an unwritten agenda? Is the role of history being taken into consideration? Or, rather, that a revisionist slant on the history to be written is starting to be put into play?

no telling what could have happened if Mr. Clinton had only inhaled...

19 February 2005

catching up...

Sorry, I've been so busy this week everything got in the way of everythings else, so I haven't had a chance to do any writing. I've been spending the evening, so far, trying to catch up on a week's worth of eMails, news and blog reading. It's been, uh, bizarre. It ranges from Gannon-gate to Woman to sue over gorilla breast fetish ! Huh?

The second one first...

Seems that two women who were the caretakers of Koko, the sign-language speaking gorilla were fired because they wouldn't bare their breasts in order to bond with the gorilla. The one really bizarre thing is that Koko is female! Does that mean that Koko is a lesbian?

just asking...


I haven't read anyone use this term yet, but it is probably just a matter of time. Maybe it should be called Queergate, no, wait, that sounds like someplace in England.

Militarystud.com? I've never been into uniforms and it seems that neither has Mr. Gannon - mostly out of them! So far, the Gay press hasn't really made a big, big deal out of it. Probably, they're just relishing in the "I told you so!" mode - for the moment - until the attacks start that it really is all part of the "homosexual agenda."

I've only seen one copy of the agenda, and I'm not sure I've been following it to the letter:

The Homosexual Agenda

6:00 am Gym

8:00 am Breakfast (oatmeal, egg whites and mimosas)

9:00 am Hair appointment

10:00 am Shopping (preferably at Field's, Neimans or Saks)

12:00 pm Brunch with friends (something simple with foie gras and sauterne)

2:00 pm (1) assume complete control of the U.S. Federal, state, and local governments, as well as all other forms of world government;
(2) destroy all healthy marriages;

(3) replace all school counselors in grades K-12 with agents from Colombian and Jamaican drug cartels; 

(4) bulldoze all houses of worship;

(5) secure total control of the INTERNET and all mass media;

(6) be fabulous;

2:45 pm Mud mask and forty winks of beauty rest to prevent facial wrinkles from the stress of world conquest (I just don't know how Laura does it)

4:00 pm Cocktails - Grey Goose Orange Cosmos with a twist instead of lime and an extra dash of cranberry

6:00 pm Light Dinner (soup, salad with romaine, radicchio, arugula, and a balsamic vinaigrette dressing with a 1998 Pouilly Fuisse)

8:00 pm Theatre - something musical would be nice

10:30 pm "Do a little dance, make a little love, get down tonight!"

That reminds me, Saturday night is my night for a mud mask.

I'm too old for "get down tonight..."

Blonde Joke of the Week

Brian, a blonde in his fourth year as a UCLA freshman, sat in his US government class. The professor asked Brian if he knew what Roe vs. Wade was about. Brian pondered the question then finally said, "That was the decision George Washington had to make before he crossed the Delaware."


Gannongate It Is!

Finally saw it on GayPatriot: "GP On Gannongate"

what can I say...

13 February 2005

in the face of dashed hopes there are unknown possibilities...

From an email I received tonight from the Point Foundation:

The Point Foundation has awarded a scholarship to Maya Keyes, daughter of Politician Alan Keyes. Maya was disowned by her father and mother when they learned recently that she is lesbian.

The family has also withdrawn all support for Maya's college education. Alan Keyes received much attention when he labeled Mary Cheney a "selfish hedonist."

As announced in The Washington Post today (see full article below), with the help of The Point Foundation Maya will begin her studies at Brown University this fall as planned.

Maya's story is especially poignant because of her father's prominence, but countless young gay people find themselves in the same position everyday.

Please support us in helping Maya, and other young people like her, pursue her dreams with a college education.

100% of your donation directly supports Point Scholars.

Click on the link to make a contribution to The Point Foundation.

Click Here To Donate: The Point Foundation

As a 501(c)(3) publicly supported scholarship foundation, your contribution is tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

Thank you for your support.  Look for more news about The Point Foundation in the coming months.

Very truly yours,

Vance Lancaster
Executive Director
The Point Foundation

(866) 33-POINT (76468)

Email The Point Foundation!

The Point Foundation

You can find the complete article fromt the Washington Post here: "When Sexuality Undercuts A Family's Ties," Washinton Post, 13 February 2005

I fully believe in the goals of the Point Foundation. The waste of a good mind must be avoided at all costs.

no matter what...

I need a paris fix...

Originally uploaded by jmichaeli.

Though I have trips scheduled in March to South Beach, New York and Las Vegas, I really feel a need to go to my favorite place - Paris. It's the one place where I feel totally at home.

I become one with the place. Where ever I go in Paris, it becomes a piece of me. Yeah, I know, after this past week it's probably a need to run away, but everyone needs to be in a place to be re-energized from time to time. Paris does this for me.

I would like nothing better than to live in Paris, at least for a year or so, not only to see if I can do it but to be in a space that is filled with possibilities that I can't even imagine at this time.

the metro is not just a train...

12 February 2005

it ended great though...

After all of the b.s. yesterday, the day ended on a great note. I went to dinner with a friend to an Afghani restaurant that was incredible! I had never had this kind of food before, so I didn't know what to expect. We had an appetizer that was steamed dumplings filled with grean onion in a meat sauce. It was delicious. I then had the chicken kabob that was spiced perfectly and on a bed of rice that was so unusual it wasn't to be believed. It had a sweetness to it with raisins and sliced carrots on top. It was great.

But the best part was the iced tea. It was the most delicious spiced tea I've ever had. We didn't get a chance to ask what was in it, but our bet was that it was flavored with cardomam and natural sweeteners. I defintely will go back.

Afterward, we went to see a production of Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard. It was a unique experience at Steppenwolf's upstairs theatre. I have only been in the main auditorium. This is an intimate setting with no stage but a space that is part of the audience. There may be 200 seats in the space and no seat more than 10-15 feet from where the actors are performing. The u shape of the seating allows for everyone to feel part of the action. We were even luckier being in the 2nd row.

Contemporary dramas are what most people go to see. When you see a performance of a classic piece, you realize how the contemporary and modern came from the work of the masters like Chekov, Shakespeare, Ibsen, etc. They made the present state of theatre possible.

I have seen most of Chekhov's major works - Uncle Vanya, The Three Sisters, The Seagull - and have always been amazed at the work he does on the characterization. You feel as if you know these people. You can sense their hopelessness or hopefulness, tragedy and happiness, hopes and fears. You sense the changes they are going through. You can identify personally with what they are going through.

In Chekhov's own words:

"All I wanted was to say honestly to people: 'Have a look at yourselves and see how bad and dreary your lives are!' The important thing is that people should realize that, for when they do, they will most certainly create another and better life for themselves. I will not live to see it, but I know that it will be quite different, quite unlike our present life. And so long as this different life does not exist, I shall go on saying to people again and again: 'Please, understand that your life is bad and dreary!'"

His works were all written during the pre-revolutionary period of Russian history [he died the year before the first revolution of 1905] and as such reflect the maelstrom that was about to happen with the 1917 revolution and the creation of the Marxist, Leninist & Stalinist Soviet Union. He saw what was happening and tried in his own way to understand the future consequences of all that was bad and dreary, with a foreboding, but not a depressing frame of reference.

The production we saw last night was extrememly well done. The ensemble cast was well matched and put together a more than believable portrait of the times of turn of the century Russians: the inflexible aristocracy, the up and coming doomed middle class, the intelligensia making the argument that the masses were the future, and the poor downtrodden who were to take control violently.

I was especially impressed with the use of Russian songs in the production as a means of lending extra meaning. The final song as everyone leaves the estate that has been sold was one of the most famous poems by Pushkin.

Я вас любил: любовь еще, быть может,
В душе моей угасла не совсем;
Но пусть она вас больше не тревожит;
Я не хочу печалить вас ничем.
Я вас любил безмолвно, безнадежно,
То робостью, то ревностью томим;
Я вас любил так искренно, так нежно,
Как дай вам бог любимой быть другим.

The translation:

I loved you once: this love has not yet faded,
Not perished altogether from my soul;
But let it not disturb you any longer;
I do not wish to trouble you at all.
I loved you hopelessly, entirely in silence,
First shyness and then envy tortured me;
I loved you so sincerely and so gently,
As may God grant another’s love you’ll be.

and life still goes on...

11 February 2005

and it only got worse...

...and worse and worse.

Thought that the busy week would end well today. Was I wrong. Just when you think things couldn't get worse - they can. The problem comes in when you realize that you have no control over it. What you do have is the possibility of understanding that you need to get your past out of the future in the way you behave to what is happening in the present.

I don't want to go into the specifics of what happened, suffice it to say that when you work with people who are untrustworthy, have no scruples and act pathologically, you question your integrity. My integrity was completely clouded today.

I was angry to the point of tears - literally! It was a complete breakdown for me. Breakdowns can be very powerful in creating breakthroughs. The breakthrough that I had is that I can no longer work where I am. The kids are great and most of the staff are phenomenal, but it is time to move on when I realize that my making a difference is thwarted by people who have only their own agenda in mind, and it is made worse when they have no self-control.

I understand that it is a cowardly decision, but when I have tried over and over for years, in many different ways, and keep hitting a cement wall, the pain starts to become meaningless and numbing.

I work for a person who lies about everything to make life all about them, can't take a stand on things that are obviously wrong, and thinks that everyone believes everything that is said. It's sad. Sad because the ones ultimately being hurt are the kids. Sad because no change can happen for the better. Sad because when you're clueless you can't make any progress, no matter how many people tell you what is happening, you don't believe that there is a problem.

I'm actually ashamed to say that I have chosen all these past years to work and live like this, but I wanted to help make a difference for my kids. I have a sense of powerlessness. I've tried to keep things together and I can no longer do it. It is my entire "act" coming to an ultimate conclusion: I'm a failure because I don't think anyone listens to me, so why bother. When in fact I am trying to be the possibility of power, cooperation and creativity.

I know that I have enough information on the person to have them fired, but I don't want to work that way - again. I had to do it once in the past, and I felt fine about it, but I don't want to do it again. That makes the integrity issue even more prominent. I have the choice of making a decision that affects many people one way or another: doing something or doing nothing is still going to have the same outcome. So, what is the difference if I act or not?

I don't have the energy any more to work negatively. I want to be someplace else. I don't want to be constantly fighting. In other words, "I'm getting too old for this shit!"

...and shit always happens.

10 February 2005

one hell of a week...

...so far.

This week has been a bit too much. With classes on Monday and Tuesday nights until 10 pm after working from 7 am to 6 pm each day, I haven't had any time to myself, let alone time to write. The days at work have been hectic also. I don't stop from the minute I get into school until I leave.

I realized a while ago that I can't go into work with a plan of what I have to do because it never happens. I have a three hour workshop to do next Tuesday and I had to plan and get everything ready for it today. But what happened was a copier tech came in to work on the color copier machine. I had to spend the time with him. Then the security guard in the primary building called and said she had to be late, so I had to spend time in the building until she got there. [At least I got to catch up on the new budget material/figures.] Then the staff that covers lunch periods got caught in situations and I had to spend two hours in lunchroom hell. Then there were kids that were having problems so I had to deal with them. Finally, there was no one to do security for the 7th-8th grade basketball game, so I had to do it. This is very typical of my days, and, yes, I did get the workshop planned before I left work tonight.

I realize the importance of "plan your work and work your plan" but it doesn't often happen that way. At least, with this mode of operation in your head, you have an idea of what you need to do, but you also have to realize that everyone else is going to change at least the timing of your plan.

Thank goodness I'm an abstract-random when it comes to learning and working. The more abstract and the greater the randomness of the data, the better I can put it together to make sense. It's probably why I had such a problem with regular old math. It is too concrete and way too sequential. When it came time for geomety, trigonometry, solid geometry, etc. I had a much easier time. Though it's sequential, it's very abstract. So, when days like this happen [almost every day] I can end up pulling it all together by the time it has to be done.

You have to understand that though it seems like I might be complaining, I actually love what I do because I'm doing it for the kids. The actual thing I have to keep myself present to is that it's the adults who drive me nuts. I can laugh with and at the kids; the adults take everything too seriously.

no matter what...

07 February 2005

it ain't over yet...

...or is it still beginning?

Cuts, cuts, cuts in the budget for anything for the people of the US, but "Millions for Defense...?"

How does sending millions and millions to Iraq and Afghanistan defend me? Keeping the terrorists away? Stopping construction of WMD's? Spreading democracy? What about Darfur?

What if other people don't want democracy? If we are a country that believes in freedom of choice, how can we put our standards on others? Especially, if they are not ready for it? More of the "missionary position" mentioned in a previous post?

How can we demand that others believe in what we do? Or, impose our values on others? What if they are not ready for it yet? What if they have other things they believe to be more important? What has given us the right to be the big daddy of everyone? Our WMD's? Because we say so?

Why is no one in this country asking questions? Why is everyone so afraid of the prevailing winds in this country? Why can't anyone have a dissenting voice? Where are the marches, the protests, the loud voices? Is everyone just afraid to say anything that they believe might upset the powers that be? Are we headed for a new revolution? Peaceful change? Violence?

just asking...

05 February 2005

this will never end...

PlanetOut has reported that Secretary Spellings has taken the Buster bruhaha to another level by uninviting the producer of Postcards from Buster from a conference being sponsored by PBS & the Department of Education.

The Department of Education has canceled an invitation to Carol Greenwald, executive producer of "Postcards from Buster," to speak at a children's television conference in Baltimore on Friday, according to a PBS official. All because of lesbians who milk maple trees for syrup!

They are trying to come to some agreement that Greenwald will be able to speak at the PBS section of the conference, but Spellings has made her feelings clear - it is okay to discriminate against people if they are LGBT.

Spellings defended her stance in an interview Tuesday with the Dallas Morning News, saying issues of sexuality and lifestyle should be introduced by parents.

I agree, but here are the problems: 1) if the parents don't have adequate knowledge and understanding of the topic or have slanted feelings about a topic, the children will not be given an accurate picture and 2) most parents don't deal with conversations about sexuality & lifestyles and kids get incomplete and mistaken information from the street. PBS and others are trying to give a balanced and faithful view of many things in the world with no bias but a reporting of facts.

While Spellings talks about the responsibility of the DOE of monitoring spending according to what Congress has ordered, she is focusing on something that is a lot less important than what the federal government is doing to education in general. It has placed unrealistic limits on children and schools through NCLB by demanding that 100% of all students must meet the standards by 2014.

IMPOSSIBLE! There will always be people who cannot reach that goal because of disability and other circumstances. A child who cannot speak due to having a stroke with half of her brain destroyed is in no way going to understand algabraic equations. Come on. When was the last time, if you were not an engineer or mathematician, that you used ∏? Why would a child who is autistic or TMH need it?

this will never end...

04 February 2005

missionary position...

"I don't think anybody thinks that the unelected mullahs who run that regime are a good thing for the Iranian people or for the region," Ms. Rice said to reporters on her plane to London. "I think our European allies agree that the Iranian regime's human rights behavior and its behavior toward its own population is something to be loathed."

The Bush administration's push, push, push for democracy is somewhat akin to the early missionaries traipsing all across North America, Africa and Asia during the 17th-19th centuries. Spreading the "word" was the goal of all religious missions, but it hid an agenda of "conquering the people."

Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, North Korea seems like nothing more than submission to a "higher power." What exactly is the "higher power?" In the end will the entire world be "christian" because of the missionary position the Bushies have taken. Doesn't Islam push the same agenda: the spreading of the Koran?

Seems that we have the battle of Armageddon brewing that Revelations talks about and evangelicals wait for with immense enthusiasm and rapture. Or, maybe, are they creating it to make certain that it happens?

just wondering...

03 February 2005

nothing better to do...? part IV

Do male nipples prove evolution? Not at all, according to a Web site for a planned Creation Museum devoted to showing that the Bible is literally true.

Inherit the Windbags, Published: February 3, 2005, New York Times Maureen Dowd
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I never thought about it that way. What about the fetus not having a sex until a certain amount of growth has occurred in utero? Do the nipple come first, before sex is determined? If they do, then wouldn't that mean that nipples are part of an evolutionary plan?

No, no. I don't know what I'm talking about. The Bible explains everything.

Nipples may be biologically de trop for men, an "expert" on the site notes, but that doesn't mean they resulted from natural selection. They could just as well be a decorating feature of the Creator's (like a hood ornament). Who are we to question His designs, since we cannot presume to comprehend His mind?

Hood ornaments? Then why are they excitable? If my nipples get pinched, it sends a "chill" all the way to my groin! Enough about nipples. [Well, for now.] There are other more important things to consider. Like, dinasaurs!

The virtual tour of the museum, to be built in rural Kentucky, says its exhibits will explain many such mysteries, like the claim that T. rex lurked around Adam and Eve - "That's the terror that Adam's sin unleashed!"

Eating an apple caused the start of dinasaurs? Actually, I heard once that it wasn't an apple but that they discovered sex. Wait, then they had kids. Their kids had kids too. Wait, who did they have kids with?

If, according to Genesis, they were the first people (literal reading of the Bible), doesn't that mean that their kids had to have sex with each other? That's incest!!!

I think I better get to that museum before it's too late. After all, I have

nothing better to do...

stupidity, ignorance and idiocy...

I have always told kids that I teach that there is a big difference between being ignorant and being stupid.

Being ignorant is okay, because it only means you don't know any better. You can always find something by researching, asking adults, or whatever. Then when you know about it you're no longer ignorant.

Being stupid, on the other hand, is knowing better and doing it anyway. That is not okay. Kids have always understood when I put it that way.

Within this past year I have added a third part to this by realizing that being an idiot is someone who is too stupid to know that they are ignorant!

The SpongeBob and Buster Bunny stories along with others prove what idiocy is. These people should know that kids don't even think in adult ways about things, but as soon as the adults bring it up the kids are all nosey about what's going on and have to find out.

A perfect example was an interview with a 9-10 year old about the Postcards' Buster Bunny. The child was asked about the show and gave perfectly acceptable answers that showed she watched the program. When the interviewer made mention about the "lesbian" characters, the child's response was, "What's a lesbian?" Duh! Why open a can of worms when you don't need to.

This is something that the parents should be dealing with, not the federal or even state governments. Parents should also be honest with everything the kids ask. I'm not saying that they should tell the child everything. Just the opposite. They should tell them what they want their child to know and also how much they believe that their child can handle. At no time, though, should anyone be denied the right to find out about things.

I've dealt with young children that asked very personal questions and when you answer them they go "Oh" and move on from there not even remembering that they asked. When the adults perseverate on a topic the kids become annoying to find out as much as possible.

The other thing that I've discovered in working with kids is that they are extremely accepting. They don't naturally discriminate against people, ideas, or concepts. They are working to put together their own ethic and they need guidance but most of all support. In doing this they allow all kinds of ideas to come to them and work them out in their heads.

The problems begin when adults tell them all the "shoulds," "should nots," and "don'ts" that they have developed and then the confusion begins for the child. "I believe my daddy but I have a friend at school that's black. My friend is nice, but my daddy says that all black people are lazy and do drugs." Quite a confusing thing for a kid.

Every adult needs to realize that they have a tremendous influence on children. If you treat them like cattle, they will act like cattle. If you treat them like human beings, they will act like human beings.

no matter what...

been busy...

The last couple of days have been hectic. I had class both Monday & Tuesday nights until 10 pm and work has been more than hectic. I sat down a couple of times to write and fell asleep in the recliner - that's one problem with using a laptop. You sit in a comfortable place and position and fall asleep with it on your lap. It's warm so it adds to the comfort.

I'm going to try to write something every night through the weekend.

Yeah, right, with opera tomorrow night - Puccini's Tosca at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Sam Ramey is singing his first Scarpia. He's so good at playing the bad guy. He's the number one devil in operas around the world having sung the devil in Gounod's Faust, Boitano's Mephistopheles and Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress among others.

the devil made him do it...

01 February 2005

duh... duh...

President Bush was asked by a reporter in an interview if, "The longer you're in the White House, with all those that have gone before you, do you see ghosts of past presidents?"

Bushed answered, "Well, I quit drinking in '86."

Maybe, it's time to start again - for clarity and understanding, mind you.

and the beat goes on...