Friday, February 12, 2010

Texas: Conservatives Strong-Arm Textbook Curriculum Advisory Panel

Via Joe My God:

Texas: Conservatives Strong-Arm Textbook Curriculum Advisory Panel: "The Texas State Board of Education is easily the most influential group in the nation when it comes to the subjects studied in public schools. Their recommendations directly affect the make-up of the textbooks sold to school systems all over the country. Naturally, therefore, Christianists and assorted wingnuts fiercely lobby the TSBOE, including from within, to ensure that American kids are taught that ours is a purely (and exclusively) Christian nation. Here's what board member Don McLeroy brought to last month's meeting.
McLeroy moved that Margaret Sanger, the birth-control pioneer, be included because she “and her followers promoted eugenics,” that language be inserted about Ronald Reagan’s “leadership in restoring national confidence” following Jimmy Carter’s presidency and that students be instructed to “describe the causes and key organizations and individuals of the conservative resurgence of the 1980s and 1990s, including Phyllis Schlafly, the Contract With America, the Heritage Foundation, the Moral Majority and the National Rifle Association.” The injection of partisan politics into education went so far that at one point another Republican board member burst out in seemingly embarrassed exasperation, “Guys, you’re rewriting history now!” Nevertheless, most of McLeroy’s proposed amendments passed by a show of hands. Finally, the board considered an amendment to require students to evaluate the contributions of significant Americans. The names proposed included Thurgood Marshall, Billy Graham, Newt Gingrich, William F. Buckley Jr., Hillary Rodham Clinton and Edward Kennedy. All passed muster except Kennedy, who was voted down.
Got that? The lives of Newt Gingrich and Billy Graham will be studied by high schoolers all over the nation. But not Ted Kennedy, one of the longest serving and arguably the most influential and successful legislator in American history. He was a dirty librul, that's why!

Seven members of the TSBOE are 'quite open about their intent to advance the Christian agenda' in the nation's textbooks. Read the extensive article in this weekend's New York Times Magazine which tracks the campaign to rewrite history and train the students of the United States about the 'Christian truth' of our nation's founding. Prepare to be depressed.
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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Demand Question Time

Via Pam's House Blend:

Tired of seeing your elected officials spinning the issues? Demand Question Time: "I think this is a brilliant idea, since our current relationship with our elected officials about the issues has devolved into a lack of accountability, with spinning and posturing and sound bites the norm. Constituent services has turned into a PR form letter generator.

It's time that these elected officials let the people see them answering questions about policy and legislation without all of the hired guns behind the curtain -- aides, consultants and pollsters ready to coach them on dodging a direct answer. We'll be able to see who the empty suits are on the Hill, and perhaps break through some of these legislative logjams.

We live in a world that increasingly demands more dialogue than monologue. President Obama's January 29th question-and-answer session with Republican leaders gave the public a remarkable window into the state of our union and governing process. It was riveting and educational. The exchanges were substantive, civil and candid. And in a rare break from our modern politics, sharp differences between elected leaders were on full public display without rancor or ridicule.

This was one of the best national political debates in many years. Citizens who watched the event were impressed, by many accounts. Journalists and commentators immediately responded by continuing the conversation of the ideas put forward by the president and his opponents - even the cable news cycle was disrupted for a day.

America could use more of this - an unfettered and public airing of political differences by our elected representatives. So we call on President Barack Obama and House Minority Leader John Boehner to hold these sessions regularly - and allow them to be broadcast and webcast live and without commercial interruption, sponsorship or intermediaries. We also urge the President and the Republican Senate caucus to follow suit. And we ask the President and the House and Senate caucuses of his own party to consider mounting similar direct question-and-answer sessions. We will ask future Presidents and Congresses to do the same.

It is time to make Question Time a regular feature of our democracy.

Please join us by signing the Demand Question Time petition.

And this is not just progressives calling for QT. Leading this effort are folks like David Corn, Nate Silver of 538, Markos Moulitsas of DKos and on the other side of the fence -- Grover Norquist, Glenn Reynolds, and Brent Bozell III.

You can follow Question Time on Twitter (#QuestionTime)



Largest NJ Gay Advocacy Group to Stop Donating to Political Parties, Asks Members to Do the Same

Via Garden State Equality:

The Board of Directors of Garden State Equality has voted to end the organization's giving to political parties, it reports:

Sending a bold signal that no political party should take the support of the LGBT community and its allies for granted, Garden State Equality’s Board of Directors has unanimously approved a new provision for the organization’s bylaws that immediately precludes Garden State Equality from giving financial contributions to political parties and their affiliated committees. Under the new policy, Garden State Equality will make financial contributions only to individual candidates and to non-party organizations that further equality for the LGBT community.

The bylaws provision asks Garden State Equality members, who make their own decisions as to individual political contributions, to refrain from contributing to parties and their affiliated committees.

“No political party has a record good enough on LGBT civil rights that it can rightfully claim to be entitled to our money on a party-wide basis,” said Steven Goldstein, chair of Garden State Equality. “No longer will we let any political party take our money and volunteers with one hand, and slap us in the face with the other when we seek full equality.”

"Our Board of Directors felt so strongly about adopting this new policy," Goldstein said, "that it unanimously decided to include it in the organization's bylaws."

Hat tip to Andy @ Towleroad and John @ AmericaBlogGay



Via MadPriest from Of Course, I could be Wrong


Oh, that is disgusting. It's bad enough when Christians don't
do anything to help those sleeping on the streets of their
cities in these terrible winter conditions. But to go and steal
the shoes off the homeless and make them sleep out
barefooted is abominable behaviour. Something should be
done about it.


Friday, February 5, 2010

Happy Birthday, Philip, My Love!

Forty-one years ago today, the world was given a special gift.  He has been a blessing in my life and my best friend.  I have been privileged to spend the last year with him, and I hope and plan to spend many more.  Philip is my lover, my partner, my husbear.  He has shown me ways to be a better person, and writes about the spiritual struggles LGBT Christians have.  Check out his blog at Philip's Many Thoughts.

Happy birthday, Philip.  I love you!