Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

School Daze

Via ThinkProgress:

An elementary school student was suspended from school last week for making a ‘terroristic threat’ against another student — he told the student that he had a magic ring that would make the boy disappear.

Kermit Elementary School suspended 9-year-old Aiden Steward after he allegedly threatened to make a classmate disappear by placing a ring on top of his head. The weekend prior to the incident, Steward’s family watched the third and final installment of Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy, in which Bilbo Baggins wears a ring to become invisible.

[…]

According to the American Civil Liberties Union, schools in Texas also bans numerous books about magical creatures, including wizards, witches, and vampires.

But they want children be taught about two naked people and a talking snake, virgin births, and zombie Jesus.

Sheesh.  I think it’s time for a pint at the Green Dragon.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

GOP Censorship

From the folks who want someone else’s kid to die for their freedoms…

The official website for House Republicans has posted on YouTube a version of President Obama’s State of the Union address which cuts out comments where the President was critical of Republican rhetoric on climate change, ThinkProgress has learned.

In the website’s “enhanced webcast” of the State of the Union speech, President Obama’s comments criticizing Republicans for saying they are “not scientists” when it comes to climate change are erased.

At the 43:25 minute mark, President Obama is supposed to say “I’ve heard some folks try to dodge the evidence by saying they’re not scientists; that we don’t have enough information to act. Well, I’m not a scientist, either. But you know what — I know a lot of really good scientists at NASA, and NOAA, and at our major universities. The best scientists in the world are all telling us that our activities are changing the climate, and if we do not act forcefully, we’ll continue to see rising oceans, longer, hotter heat waves, dangerous droughts and floods, and massive disruptions that can trigger greater migration, conflict, and hunger around the globe.”

Instead, the entire section is skipped. Obama’s comments resume with “The Pentagon says that climate change poses immediate risks to our national security. We should act like it.”

They can’t handle the truth.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Going Dark — Ctd

Apparently yesterday’s message from the internet got through to some people.

More than 4.5 million people signed their names to the Google petition and 300,000 people emailed or called their lawmakers, according to the protest organizers. In New York, San Francisco and Las Vegas, protesters held rallies to draw attention to the bills. The Library of Congress said late Wednesday that it had been hit with a denial of service attack by “a group opposed to the online piracy legislation.”

By the evening, a number of lawmakers had done an about-face on the legislation.

The Senate version of the bill lost four of its co-sponsors, including Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah).

“It is simply not ready for prime time and both sides must continue working together to find a better path forward,” Hatch said in a statement about the Protect Intellectual Property Act.

Sens. John Boozman (R-Ark.), Mark Rubio (R-Fla.) and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) also released statements Wednesday saying that they had reservations and would not vote for the bill if it came up for a floor vote.

Way to go, people. Good job.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Going Dark

A lot of prominent internet sites such as Wikipedia and Google — along with a number of blogs as well — are going dark or changing their home page today in protest of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) that are under consideration by the Senate.

“Like many businesses, entrepreneurs and web users, we oppose these bills because there are smart, targeted ways to shut down foreign rogue websites without asking American companies to censor the Internet,” a Google spokesperson told TPM in an emailed statement. “So tomorrow we will be joining many other tech companies to highlight this issue on our US home page.”

If you like, you can lend your voice to the protest here, and if you’re in the U.S., you can contact your representative.

Bark Bark Woof Woof will observe the blackout today from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM. See you tonight.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Short Takes

Day 2 for Elena Kagan in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The financial overhaul bill gets an overhaul.

Gen. David Petraeus was confirmed by the Senate Armed Services Committee as the new head of the Afghanistan operation.

Google caves to China’s demands.

Good grades: Miami-Dade school students did well on the FCAT, the state’s standardized tests.

Bill McCollum is going after Rick Scott in more ways than one.

Tropical update: It’s now Hurricane Alex and heading west into Mexico.

Fun while it lasted; the Tigers lost in Minnesota, giving up their lead in the division that they held for about 24 hours.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Christian Taliban

Having just spent five days celebrating theatre and artistic expression, it’s really disheartening to read this:

A Fort Worth theater that had agreed to show a student-directed play with a gay Jesus character has withdrawn its offer. The board of directors of Artes de la Rosa, which runs The Rose Marine Theater on North Main Street, decided Thursday against offering the venue for the production of Corpus Christi, just one day after saying it would. A March performance set for a directing class at Tarleton State University in Stephenville was abruptly canceled after the school received threatening emails.

That’s from a larger article by Glenn Greenwald in which he counters Ross Douthat’s argument that it is only Muslims who get outraged over the depiction of their holy figures in a satirical or unflattering light.

The various forms of religious-based, intimidation-driven censorship and taboo ideas in the U.S. — what Douthat claims are non-existent except when it involves Muslims — are too numerous to chronicle. One has to be deeply ignorant, deeply dishonest or consumed with petulant self-victimization and anti-Muslim bigotry to pretend they don’t exist. I opt (primarily) for the latter explanation in Douthat’s case.

As Balloon-Juice’s DougJ notes, everyone from Phil Donahue and Ashliegh Banfield to Bill Maher and Sinead O’Connor can tell you about that first-hand. As can the cable television news reporters who were banned by their corporate executives from running stories that reflected negatively on Bush and the war. When he was Mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani was fixated on using the power of his office to censor art that offended his Catholic sensibilities. The Bush administration banned mainstream Muslim scholars even from entering the U.S. to teach. The Dixie Chicks were deluged with death threats for daring to criticize the Leader, forcing them to apologize out of fear for their lives. Campaigns to deny tenure to academicians, or appointments to politicial [sic] officials, who deviate from Israel orthodoxy are common and effective. Responding to religious outrage, a Congressional investigation was formally launched and huge fines issued all because Janet Jackson’s breast was displayed for a couple of seconds on television.

This is par for the course and part of the Culture of Victimhood that has been perfected largely by the bullies of the majority: anyone who criticizes them or mocks them is treating them horribly unfairly and they demand that they stop it at once. Hence the cries of “anti-Christian bigotry!” when a court rules against a city paying for a nativity scene in a public park to the exclusion of other faiths. It also informs the mentality of some of the Tea Party people who are basically saying this was a much nicer country before all those other people started to vote.

Perhaps if the defenders of the faith weren’t such reactionary horses asses, people might not come away with the impression that they’re just a bunch of sniveling bigots in the first place.