Tag Archives: technology

Bill would make LGBT individuals visible in California public schools

The California state Legislature has passed a bill that requires the state’s public schools to teach about the contributions that non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming Americans have made to the nation — and the wingnuts, predictably, are agog.

Funny, though, how it’s perfectly OK for the Repugnican-Tea-Party-majority members of the Texas Board of Education to dictate that state’s public school curricula — among many other things, the Texas board last year voted to replace all references to “capitalism” with “free-enterprise system” (since capitalism, in which the rich grow richer and the poor grow poorer, is growing more and more unpopular these days) and to rewrite history to reflect that the alcoholic, self-aggrandizing witch hunter Joseph McCarthy wasn’t such a bad guy after all — but it’s “socialist” “tyranny” or the like (indeed, the McCarthy-loving Ann Cunter would call it downright “demonic”) for the Democratic majority in the California Legislature to dictate California’s public school curricula.

It’s only “brainwashing” when the Democrats do it, you see.

One Repugnican Tea Party California Assemblyman said of the pro-LGBT education legislation, “As a Christian, I am deeply offended” that the “homosexual agenda” would be taught in the state’s public schools.

As a non-Christian, I am offended that the so-called “Christians” — the “Christo”fascists — believe that it’s appropriate for our public schools to be conducted like “Christian” schools. What if the Muslims or the Jews wanted Islam or Judaism pushed in our public schools? How would the so-called “Christians” like that?

And the “homosexual agenda”? First of all, we don’t call ourselves “homosexuals” — only the homo-haters call us “homosexuals” — and secondly, our agenda is that of equal human and civil rights. (The “homosexual agenda” to the right-wing fascists, I do believe, is that we “homosexuals” have the goal of “making” everyone homosexual. [Of course, the actual heterosexual agenda is to “make” everyone heterosexual, but I digress…])

Gay Democratic California Assemblyman Tom Ammiano of San Francisco stated of the pro-LGBT education legislation, “I don’t want to be invisible in a textbook,” echoing the words of a (wise) Latina Texas Board of Education member who reportedly last year stormed out of a board meeting after the white-majority board refused to include more Latinos in the curricula, even though Texas is second only to California in the number of Latinos who live there: “They can just pretend this is a white America and Hispanics don’t exist.”  

The Democratic view of public education is that public education should reflect our nation’s diversity. Our children, after all, need to be taught how their world is, not how some wingnutty ideologues believe the world should be.

On that note, the Repugnican Tea Party view of public education is that public education should perpetuate, as long as is possible, the unjust, oppressive domination of the entire nation by the minority of those who are right wing, white, (presumably) heterosexual and gender-conforming, and “Christian.”

Determining what should and what should not be taught in our public schools inherently is a politically charged process, but if I had children, I sure the hell wouldn’t cripple them, possibly for life, by sending them to schools that don’t teach how the world is, but that teach how some ignorant and bigoted, white supremacist, patriarchal and misogynist, heterosexist “Christo”fascists — who, thankfully, are a dying breed — would like the world to be.

I hope that California’s Democratic governor, Jerry Brown, signs the bill to require that the contributions of us non-heterosexual and non-gender-conforming Americans are taught in our public schools. It’s the right thing to do.

P.S. For more context, this is from The Associated Press:

California law already requires [public] schools to teach about women, African Americans, Mexican Americans, entrepreneurs, Asian Americans, European Americans, American Indians and labor. The Legislature over the years also has prescribed specific lessons about the Irish potato famine and the Holocaust, among other topics.

SB48 [the LGBT education bill] would require, as soon as the 2013-2014 school year, the California Board of Education and local school districts to adopt textbooks and other teaching materials that cover the contributions and roles of sexual minorities.

The legislation leaves it to local school boards to decide how to implement the requirement. It does not specify a grade level for the instruction to begin.

So all that the LGBT education legislation does is add LGBT individuals to a curricula of diversity that already is mandated by state law.

I love living in California, where diversity is honored, not shit and pissed upon.

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iHate the iPad (and the iPhone and the…)

“Don’t be too proud of this technological terror that you’ve constructed. The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of the Force.”

 — Darth Vader, Dark Lord of the Sith

President Barack Obama has taken some heat from tech-lovers for recently having told graduates at a graduation ceremony:

“You’re coming of age in a 24/7 media environment that bombards us with all kinds of content and exposes us to all kinds of arguments, some of which don’t always rank all that high on the truth meter.

“With iPods and iPads and Xboxes and PlayStations — none of which I know how to work — information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment, rather than the means of emancipation.”

In his speech to the graduates, Obama mentioned Thomas Jefferson, who, Obama said, recognized “that in the long run, [the] improbable experiment called America wouldn’t work if its citizens were uninformed, if its citizens were apathetic, if its citizens checked out and left democracy to those who didn’t have the best interests of all the people at heart.”

Yup. I wholeheartedly agree with the president on this one. While you’re wasting your time with your latest gadget and are not participating in the political process, others are — and they’re probably not looking out for you.

I am surrounded by people with all kinds of technological wizardry — iPhones, iPads, laptops, etc. — who have the means to say just about anything to just about anyone just about anywhere in the world. But they don’t seem to have much that is very important or very meaningful to say.

Americans seem to mistake technology for good content, but content is king.

Plenty of good content is available online, but let’s be honest — is that what most Americans are accessing with this technology? Are they accessing the best that our culture has to offer?

I don’t think so…

Most of all, I think, iHate the iPad.

The iPad is little more than a fucking status symbol.

Recently my boyfriend and I were at a mall (where I pretty much go only for shoes) and we saw a temporary Apple store set up. The place was packed as though it were the second coming of Christ. Apparently the sheeple were covering their bases — if they weren’t saved by Christ, then the iPad and/or the iPhone would save them.

It was my first opportunity to see an iPad up close. I was unimpressed. So the screen adjusts its landscape or portrait orientation as you move the iPad. Oooo! Yeah, that’s worth the hundreds of dollars.

I found the iPad to be too heavy and all of the display iPads were covered with smudges, since you have to touch the screen to work it. Might as well coat it with Vaseline and get it over with.

I have access to desktop computers at home, at work and at my boyfriend’s apartment. I don’t even like laptops because I like to be able to use a real keyboard, not a squished keyboard. I like to be able to spread out and relax when I’m at the computer.

Since I have no use for even a laptop, I certainly have no use for an iPad, which doesn’t even have a keyboard. iPass on the iPad. And on the iPhone, too, since I don’t have use for even a simple cell phone. I have plenty of access to land lines, and I prefer e-mail anyway.

But back to what Obama said — again, I’m with him. We Americans are too entranced with our gadgets, and in our obsession with our gadgets that we don’t even need, we are losing meaning and purpose and depth. And we’re becoming even more isolated from each other because increasingly, we prefer to socialize via gadgets rather than in person. We don’t even want to talk to each other on the telephone anymore — we want to text or instant-message instead, even though it’s less efficient and more time-consuming to have a conversation that way.

And I’ll never understand how it makes one cool to purchase what everyone else is purchasing, most notably today, the iPad.

I have the impression that on some level, Americans really do believe that their technological gadgets are going to save them.

Meh. Your iPhone won’t even work when Armageddon comes.

Better find something on the inside to save your soul.

Learn the ways of the Force.  

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