Vivid imagination at the Anti-Defamation League

March 21, 2013

Students of history will notice inaccuracies in this video right away.

They are dreams, an imagining of the great “if only.”

Santayana’s Ghost looks on, hoping we’ll get the message, remember history, and act accordingly.

“Imagine a World Without Hate,” from the ADL.

Join ADL in our Centennial Year as we Imagine a World Without Hate™, one where the hate crimes against Martin Luther King, Anne Frank, Matthew Shepard and others did not take place. Support us in the fight against bigotry and extremism by sharing this inspirational video and taking the pledge to create a world without hate at http://www.adl.org/imagine.

Imagine a World Without Hate™. We Do. Join Us.

Tip of the old scrub brush to Pat Carrithers and Upworthy.  Pat writes in to remind us of the great John Greenleaf Whittier poem, “Maud Muller”:

“For of all sad words of tongue or pen,
The saddest are these: “It might have been!”

More:

English: Photo of American poet John Greenleaf...

American poet John Greenleaf Whittier’s study at his home in Amesbury, Massachusetts. Scanned from The Works of John Greenleaf Whittier: illustrated with steel portraits and photogravures by John Greenleaf Whittier, edited by Elizabeth Hussey Whittier. Published by Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1892. Item notes: v. 7 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Watch this now; practice playing nice in the comments

March 1, 2013

Tip of the old scrub brush to Ms. Christine Pelosi, Tweeting as @sfpelosi.

Notes from the film’s maker and the poet:

Shane Koyczan “To This Day” http://www.tothisdayproject.com Help this message have a far reaching and long lasting effect in confronting bullying. Please share generously.

Find Shane on Facebook – http://on.fb.me/Vwdi65
or on Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/koyczan

I send out one new poem each month via email. You might like to join us. http://www.shanekoyczan.com

“My experiences with violence in schools still echo throughout my life but standing to face the problem has helped me in immeasurable ways.  Schools and families are in desperate need of proper tools to confront this problem. This piece is a starting point.” – Shane

Find anti-bullying resources at http://www.bullying.org

Dozens of collaborators from around the world helped to bring this piece to life. Learn more about them and the project at http://www.tothisdayproject.com

Buy “To This Day” on BandCamp http://bit.ly/VKGjgU

or iTunes http://bit.ly/W47QK2

More:

Poet Shane Koyczan

Poet Shane Koyczan


Irony: Celebrate Solzhenitsyn, not his ideas

August 5, 2008

In the old, old movie, from the H. G. Wells story, “Things to Come,” the forces of scientific good (led by Raymond Massey) use a gas to knock out warring parties, to stop the shooting, and to give the good guys a chance to disarm disputants and set things right.

1936 movie poster for Things to Come - WikiMedia image

1936 movie poster for "Things to Come" - WikiMedia image

That was fictional. The “Gas of Peace” doesn’t exist.

The sniping will continue about P. Z. Myers’ complaint that some Catholics grossly over reacted when they threatened death to a fellow who didn’t swallow his wafer at communion, and then kept the wafer (not a hostage — the wafer has been returned), and a lot of the sniping will come from Rod Dreher at the Dallas Morning News.

Did anyone else note the irony of Dreher’s comments commending the ideas of the late Alexander Solzhenitsyn, who campaigned his entire life against authoritative oppression of freedom and enforcement of ideas against all good and common sense, while at the same time railing against Myers’ similar campaign?

Santayana’s Ghost needs to do more active haunting. We can’t excuse tyranny from a church, nor tyranny from any government in the United States of America, either. Freedom typically works better when the freedom to offend is greater than the privilege of being free from being offended. Why doesn’t Dreher see that?

More resources:


The inaccuracy and spin go all the way to 11

April 22, 2008

There’s a guy who doesn’t like my comments on his blog, so he’s banned me. Every once in a while I find a headline or link to something, and it takes me over there — and I remember why he doesn’t like my comments.

Rationality and accuracy are barriers to be overcome for some bloggers, and this guy often falls into that category. Today he’s bummed that gay students and their friends and relatives protest bullying of gays with a Day of Silence. Neil Simpson wrote:

The Day of Silence (where schools encourage kids to be completely silent for a day to protest alleged discrimination against gays) is back, and students’ rights are being violated left and right. It is bad enough that they disrupt the learning process for a whole day, but now some schools aren’t permitting students to miss school that day or instituting other requirements.

Okay, that’s enough. I gotta stop the quoting and make corrections. “Where schools encourage kids to be completely silent for a day?” There is no such place. This is a fabrication of someone. Who?

The link in the quoted paragraph goes to Kevin Bussey’s blog; from there we get a link to a story in WorldNet Daily, perhaps the single greatest source of information pollution on the internet.

But read the story — even WND doesn’t claim that schools are supporting the event. WND only decries the fact that schools won’t bully kids into not supporting the anti-bullying campaign (irony drips from every serif of this story . . .).

Gay clubs and the “Day of Silence” have no purpose in schools. The GLBTX propoganda machine just uses the Trojan Horse of being anti-bullying to get them in. It is all part of the drive not just for tolerance, not just for affirmation, but to silence all critics.

But why have sex clubs and school-sponsored protest days just for that? All you need is a simple and thoroughly enforced anti-bullying policy:

If you physically or verbally harass other students on or off school grounds you will have swift and serious consequences. It doesn’t matter if you are bullying because they are gay / straight / fat / thin / smart / dumb / pretty / ugly / etc., or if it is just because you are a mean jerk. Zero tolerance. Training over. Now go to class and learn something.

Bullying is wrong. I would always protect gays if they were being bullied, but that isn’t what this issue is really about. If it was, then the kids who are picked on for all those other reasons should get a special day as well, and schools wouldn’t persecute students who wanted to opt out of this special day.

Just a stand against bullying? Maybe Simpson will take a stand against bullying, you think? Maybe Simpson would urge his friends at the Texas State Board of Education to rejoin the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE). Texas pulled out a few months back, protesting the anti-bullying curriculum NASB had put together. The Texas officials — speaking for themselves, not necessarily the people of Texas, let me assure you — said they didn’t like the part that said “don’t bully gays.”

When stuff like that happens, people will on occasion use their First Amendment right to petition and right to assemble and freedom of speech to protest the stupidity. In the immediate case, the protest takes the form of remaining silent.

When gays and the friends of gays don’t speak, it makes the hardcore fundies crazy. The voices in their heads seem so much louder.

Nuts.


Crazies promise to abandon California public schools?

October 21, 2007

No, the news is not that good, really. It’s not really news, either. WorldNet Daily, an on-line publication of borderline sanity, may have left the border.

If only it were a promise, instead of a “call to abandon the schools.”

“We’re calling upon every California parent to pull their child out of California’s public school system,” Randy Thomasson, president of Campaign for Children and Families, told WND.

“The so-called ‘public schools’ are no longer a safe emotional environment for children. Under the new law, schoolchildren as young as kindergarten will be sexually indoctrinated and introduced to homosexuality, bisexuality, and transsexuality, over the protests of parents, teachers and even school districts,” he said.

The law at issue went through the California legislature as SB 777, and now bans in school texts and activities any discriminatory bias against those who have chosen alternative sexual lifestyles, Meredith Turney, legislative liaison for Capitol Resource Institute, said.

There are no similar protections for students with traditional or conservative lifestyles and beliefs, however. Offenders will face the wrath of the state Department of Education, up to and including lawsuits.

“So-called ‘public schools?'”

Below the fold, the full text of the law. You’ll note, Dear Reader, that the law includes protections for “students with traditional or conservative lifestyles and beliefs,” under the prohibition of discrimination on the bases of religion or sexual orientation, “or any other characteristic contained in the definition of hate crimes that is contained in the Penal Code.”

The new law will make it a crime to bully homosexual kids. Is that the real reason WND is worried about the bill, that it makes bullying a crime?

Why would anyone want to defend a right to bully kids? The purpose of the law is clear, from its purpose clause:

Existing law states that it is the policy of the state to afford equal rights and opportunities to all persons in the public or private elementary and secondary schools and postsecondary educational institutions of the state regardless of their sex, ethnic group identification, race, national origin, religion, or mental or physical disability and prohibits a person from being subjected to discrimination on those bases and contains various provisions to implement that policy.

Existing law prohibits a teacher from giving instruction, and a school district from sponsoring any activity, that reflects adversely upon persons because of their race, sex, color, creed, handicap, national origin, or ancestry.

This bill would revise the list of prohibited bases of discrimination and the kinds of prohibited instruction and activities and, instead, would refer to disability, gender, nationality, race or ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or any other characteristic contained in the definition of hate crimes that is contained in the Penal Code. The bill would define disability, gender, nationality, race or ethnicity, religion, and sexual orientation for this purpose.

Would you pull your kid out of a public school because she doesn’t have a right to bully anybody?

Critics of the bill object even to correcting English usage on forms asking information about students; forms may now ask “gender” rather than the more gauche “sex.” California’s Catholics for the Common Good found that correction a threat, somehow:

“Who knows what the consequences would be of deleting the definition of ‘sex’ of a child as a biological fact and replace it with ‘gender,’ a subjective term to be determined by the student. The legislature never investigated the cost of accommodating student preferences for lavatory and locker room facilities.” Read the rest of this entry »


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