aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Monday, May 02, 2005
Kiss and Tell (or Get Told On)
Guest post by Jen.
My friend teaches at a magnet science high school elsewhere in the semi-rural south (though within the home delivery area of The Washington Post). Last week, his campus, which shares a building with elementary school students, was rocked by scandal.
A second grader wandered (unsupervised) into the computer room, where he saw two students kissing/fondling each other. He promptly reported this to the administration who, upon investigation, recommended suspension for the offenders. After protracted discussion among teachers and administrators, the students were lectured, their parents were called, and the matter was dropped.
My friend tells me that this (making out) happens all the time and is largely ignored. The difference this time was that the kissing students were both female.
I wish that my friend could read this entry. However, his only internet access is through work, and his school district’s filtering software blocks sites with the word “gay.”
On a more positive note, the school district did allow the girls to attend prom together.
Pat Robertson on This Week
Pat Robertson was on This Week yesterday. I saw it. Crooks and Liars has it so you can see it too. Everyone’s commenting. With good reason.
Here’s What’s Left has the transcript, sans comment; Joe Gandelman smells a skunk. The Carpetbagger Report has a concise roundup and suggests we beg to make Pat a permanent guest. Think Progress comments on Pat’s view of Hindu or Muslim judges, “I’m not sure...” (John at AMERICAblog comments too) and the judiciary is worse than Al Queda. Both Atrios and Kos comment on that one too.
But I guess my favorite is Media Matters quoting Pat that God won’t stop a tsunami—but he might respond to Gay Days with an earthquake:
Responding to a question from ABC host George Stephanopoulos about why a God “so involved in our daily life” would allow a tsunami to kill hundreds of thousands of people, Rev. Pat Robertson, founder of the Christian Coalition of America, replied: “I don’t think He reverses the laws of nature.” That statement, on the May 1 edition of ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos, conflicts with other meteorological comments by Robertson, who has repeatedly linked natural disasters to the will of God.
After Orlando, Florida, city officials voted in 1998 to fly rainbow flags from city lampposts during the annual Gay Days event at Disney World, Robertson issued the city a warning: “I don’t think I’d be waving those flags in God’s face if I were you. ... [A] condition like this will bring about the destruction of your nation. It’ll bring about terrorist bombs, it’ll bring earthquakes, tornadoes and possibly a meteor.”
The Carpetbagger, “Robertson may be stark raving mad, but his influence within his party is still strong, which makes yesterday’s televised lunacy all the more significant.”
PC v Mac
This morning a colleague wrote “Wow!” and sent me this link:
AppleÃ‚Â® today announced that the Cobb County [Georgia] School District has selected Apple as its supplier in the largest ever one-to-one computer learning initiative. The district’s program, named “Power To Learn,” plans for Apple to provide iBookÃ‚Â® G4s to every student and teacher in the district, starting with deployment this fall of more than 17,000 iBooks for teachers district-wide and students at four high schools designated as demonstration sites. Pending school board approval, the second and third phases of the program will equip all Cobb County high school and middle school students with iBooks beginning in 2006, resulting in a total deployment of 63,000 iBooks.
Later CNET had a decidedly less positive spin. They point out that “Apple still needs school board approval to enter the second and third phases of the district’s program” and note that school districts act unpredictably:
Last week in Richmond, Va., for example, the school board of Henrico County Public Schools voted to buy from Dell and drop its Apple one-to-one laptop program, which allows schools to buy a laptop for every student in a particular grade. The school board cited “maintenance, technical support, software and price” as the factors behind its decision.
The story ends with what I believe is the real reason more people aren’t switching to Macs:
“We wrote into our (bid requirements) more rigorous support and training provisions,” said Jay Dillion, a spokesman for the Cobb County school district. ”We also required Apple to pre-load Office on all our iBooks. That was one problem Henrico faced. They didn’t have Office and wanted it.”
It’s a sign
Renee Jenkins of Elkins, West Virginia had anti-Bush/Cheney signs in her yard:
“I was actually taking a nap, and there was a knock on my door, there was a West Virginia State Trooper and a Secret Service agent,” she says, identifying them as Trooper R. J. Boggs and Agent James Lanham. “They asked to come in. And I let them. And they started interviewing me.”
Jensen, who at the time was running for city council, asked why they were there.
“Apparently someone had made a statement that I’d been canvassing door to door and had said I wanted to cut President Bush’s head off,” she says. “I told Agent Lanham that I was running for city council, but I hadn’t started my door-to-door campaign yet and I never had said anything like that.”
This didn’t satisfy them, though.
“They conducted an extensive interview about my background, my family, and any political organizations I belonged to,” she says. “I told them I belong to the ACLU and that’s about it.”
They continued to pry, she says.
Agent Lanham “asked me several times to sign a form about releasing my medical records, and I refused,” she says. “That was kind of annoying. And he asked to search my house. He didn’t have a search warrant, but I said go ahead. And they took some pictures of me and some pictures of my signs.”
Before they left, she says, “I had to sign a statement that I never threatened the PresidentÃƒÂs life.”
Republican pressure at CPB
The Republican chairman of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting is aggressively pressing public television to correct what he and other conservatives consider liberal bias, prompting some public broadcasting leaders - including the chief executive of PBS - to object that his actions pose a threat to editorial independence.
Without the knowledge of his board, the chairman, Kenneth Y. Tomlinson, contracted last year with an outside consultant to keep track of the guests’ political leanings on one program, “Now With Bill Moyers.”
In late March, on the recommendation of administration officials, Mr. Tomlinson hired the director of the White House Office of Global Communications as a senior staff member, corporation officials said. While she was still on the White House staff, she helped draft guidelines governing the work of two ombudsmen whom the corporation recently appointed to review the content of public radio and television broadcasts.