Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Anti Bullying Curriculum = The Gay Agenda

Don't you see the rest of the country looks upon New York like we're left-wing, communist, Jewish, homosexual pornographers? I think of us that way sometimes and I live here.

So much so for the uncontrovesial nature of programs with anti-bullying curriculum.

As kids head back to school, conservative Christian media ministry Focus on the Family perceives a bully on the playground: national gay-advocacy groups.

School officials allow these outside groups to introduce policies, curriculum and library books under the guise of diversity, safety or bullying-prevention initiatives, said Focus on the Family education expert Candi Cushman.

"We feel more and more that activists are being deceptive in using anti-bullying rhetoric to introduce their viewpoints, while the viewpoint of Christian students and parents are increasingly belittled," Cushman said.

Public schools increasingly convey that homosexuality is normal and should be accepted, Cushman said, while opposing viewpoints by conservative Christians are portrayed as bigotry.

About 30 percent of American sixth-to- 10th-graders report being involved in bullying —either as a victim or bully, according to a 2008 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

It's three times more common if you're gay, Byard said. GLSEN's 2007 National School Climate Survey found that almost nine out of 10 lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender students experienced harassment. Almost 61 percent felt unsafe in school. And 22 percent reported being physically assaulted in schools.

"The word 'faggot' is not part of any religious creed," Byard said.

Focus supports bullying prevention, Cushman said. "But this issue is being hijacked by activists. They shouldn't be politicizing or sexualizing the issue of bully prevention."

Cushman founded TrueTolerance.org, which says it helps Christian parents "confront the gay agenda," which she said includes homosexual-themed curricula, books with sexually graphic content and anti-religion stereotypes, assemblies and celebrations.

What is the definition of someone who is anti-(anti-bullying)? It is astonishing that these people who say they believe in this jesus guy can verbalize this stuff with a straight face. Of course it will be more amazing if these groups can actually have an effect on any school boards curriculum. Maybe they can slightly tweak the message.

Dont bully anyone -- except if they are gay. Just as good no?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

An evening with a primary challenger.

Last night, I went to a community conversation at the 14th street Y held by NYC 14th district congressional primary challenger Reshma Saujani.

I grew up in the east village and moved back here ten years ago after grad school. Between my neighborhood and my folks, I think it would have been hard to lose my way, although at that time I did look like Alex P Keaton.

When I was in high school my father got into a lively discussion with my elective history teacher (I took a class called prejudice and persecution) during a parent teacher conference. The next day, when i asked my teacher about the conversation, he said they discussed (inappropriately) how liberal i was -- my teacher tried to reassure my dad, but my dad appeared unconvinced. My teacher's impression was that short of organizing the homeless in tompkins square park, or threatening to go to the catskills and start a commune, my dad would be left unconvinced of my politics. Twenty years later, I am pretty far left but i dont wear che t-shirts.

Carolyn Maloney our representative for 18 years hasn't really had to campaign. She holds a solid democratic voting record, in a very safe district, but she isn't a democratic superstar. Given the demographics of this district you really should be a superstar. Being a progressive, i admire people who challenge incumbents, but i also want somebody who I think will be better from both a policy and a performance perspective. (Of course at this point, I have given up the whole judging the character of the candidate after that whole John Edwards fiasco).

Going into this town hall style meeting I was inclined to think Saujani is not the right candidate for NY-14. I saw some equivocation on tv about being to hard on financial industry.

There was also a bunch of news article about her very middle of political spectrum support ( and I hadnt read this article yet). Either way i wanted to give it a chance, and see what a rising star looks like.

It is very impressive meeting a candidate (there were maybe 50 in attendance) even if, like me, you have misgivings. Female, south asian, ivy educated, accomplished and articulate; a great face for future of the democratic party. It was a ten minute speech and then a Q & A period lasting an hour.

The speech was alot of boilerplate stuff. Subjects included a discussion about maloney not debating her, maloney taking pac money, general special interests control of washington, general ethics reform in washington, greater transparency in washington, silence of maloney on the burlington coat factory (ground zero) mosque, silence of maloney on immigration reform. All these things confirm to me that, like me she is socially liberal, but for this district these things are a distraction. My major concern was how she was on an economic policies.

In terms of jobs and the economy she mentioned some of the plans in her campaign literature; increasing the employer tax credit from $5000 to $1000, eliminating capital gains taxes on investments in micro-enterprises to empower entrepeneurs with innovative business ideas, doubling the money awarded to entrepeneurs through the small business innovation research programs, awarding green cards to immigrants who complete science and engineering education. Now, unlike my dad, I dont hate these ideas, they just aren't the economic priorities I see of someone representing this district.

A major point in her presentation was about how the biggest problem with the economy was the dysfunction in D.C. and the correlation that things will not get better until washington is fixed. ~ Now, I would consider myself a pessimist regarding the state of the economy but if I believed I had to wait for washington to be fixed before the economy turns around I might become downright apocalyptical.

She supports a comprehensive immigration reform bill. Even when questioned by an unemployed constituent she reaffirmed her support of a "pathway" to citizenship (admitting aloud that noone likes the term amnesty). A mid 30's caucasion male asked about NAFTA and Saujani said she supports free trade. He followed up with a question about how fair the free trade was with all the subsidies countries provide. He gave an example agricultural products in america destroying the mexican farming industry. The conversation sort of ended there.

Specifics about what aspects of the current congress's legislative output that she would have fought to change, were lacking. The message concentrated on an idealism zeitgeist. At one point she said that her and maloney are both democrats and will vote the same on most legislation what really differentiate her is that she is running a campaign on reform ideas not legislation." Unfortunately for me, I wanted to more about the legislation.

I asked the last question. I dont know if it was fortuitous or I just timed it right. It came after a heated exchange with a fellow who questioned her political financing; a bunch of back and forth about who gived her money. Their kerfluffle, really set the tone for me, in contrast, to phrase the question more friendly way.

I grew up in this neighborhood and I am all for gettting fresh blood in
washington, but I haven't heard how you would have changed the legislation that was passed in a more progressive manner. In terms of healthcare legislation, I wanted single payer, in terms of financial regulation i wanted a volcker rule with teeth, as part of housing relief i wanted a real cramdown . I am sure you are a good democrat but i dont know if you are my type of democrat.

She closed the evening by saying she wants to change things in washington, that she is in this race to help people, not to make money. She said she was for single payer and that we probably have alot else in common. It was a really nice response and it made me feel good to hear it. No matter what happens in this race, she is going to go far in politics (democratic or other). Unfortunately for me I dont know if is acceptable for me to be is closer to harold ford than you are to Bella abzug.

As I was leaving, A man in his 60's came up to me and asked me if I knew the candidate before and what was my impression of her. I said no I didnt know her and, in fact, going into the townhall I was inclined against her from the stuff i had read. I had a discussion with him in the hallway where I went on about political hotpoints, societal problems caused by income inequality, reinstating the "death" tax, increasing the capital gains tax rate. All these things which i didnt have the guts to say in my question to the candidate, i was confessing to this guy. I said, "I have a hard time supporting someone for this district who thinks the banks/bankers are being treated too tough. The rich in this country should get in back of the ne if they want be pitied." He replied;

"I am not into political events or politics. I have been in this neighborhood a long time. My kids grew up here but I know very little about Maloney. You don't really take notice until things really start to fall apart around you. That is what happened to me. That is why I am here."
He said he had a good impression of Saujani.

A carribean woman who used to work at beth israel came into our conversation and added "I am going to support her because I like the young people." She mentioned that she was empathetic to my hallway preaching," Thirty years ago i realized that the rich have been taking it all, and I realized that i was going to have to work extra hard to take care of me and my family."

so there you go..

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

If you pack pooy, I will kill you

Blue and green shorts, kaki pants, jeans, keen sandals, flip flops, 2 hoody, rain jacket, blue short sleeve button down, orange short sleeve button down, blue plaid or other long sleeve button down, underwear, socks, atleast 5 tshirts, beach towel, hat, sunglasses.

Do NOT bring-
Orange t-shirts (too small!), plaid shorts (too tattered),crazy cargo pants .
I bought you an extra tan pair of shorts and I have your swim trunks (though you should still bring your grey ones)

If you pack pooy, I will kill you.