Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Some Brave Middle School Kids Express Themselves

See what you think about this one, which was posted to the TeachTheFacts listserve today. It looks like there are some really brave and cool kids at Eastern Middle School, on University in Silver Spring.

From The Gazette:
Eastern Middle School seventh-grader Kaz Felix-Hawver says he does not shy away from self-expression. The outspoken student has worn make-up to school and frequently speaks up for the rights of homosexuals and minorities.

But none of Felix-Hawver's past actions have drawn the reaction of his latest statement, which launched an investigation by school administrators, led to teasing from some students and started a mini gay rights movement among others.

On four occasions since Sept. 15, Felix-Hawver has worn shirts with "Gay Pride" written in black marker on the front. One of the shirts, a pink button-down, has "Homosexuals, lesbians, bisexuals, gays, transgenders: All are cool with me," written on the back.

"I have a lot of friends with gay mothers or fathers and I'm sort of the expressive one," Felix-Hawver said Thursday at his Kensington home. "… This is the new way to express things."

Felix-Hawver, who said he is bisexual, didn't unveil the first shirt until his lunch period Sept. 15, at which time he said some students "went in an uproar," saying things like, "God didn't create Adam and Adam," and telling him he would go to hell. Some even asked if he was gay, Felix-Hawver said.

After the students' reaction and a quizzical response from a cafeteria worker, Felix-Hawver said a security guard escorted him to a guidance counselor.

He was given a sweater to wear over the shirt and returned to class.

Principal Charlotte Boucher was out of the school that day but said Monday that because the shirt caused a disruption in the lunch room, it violated dress code.

"I don't have any objection to positive statements referring to civil liberties being worn in school," Boucher said. "Our concern is the academic day not be disturbed."

‘Gay Pride' shirts: Free speech or costly academic disturbance?

So -- this t-shirt is against the rules when and only when the bigots catcall and raise an uproar. Isn't that something? If you don't like something, just make enough noise and it will go away. The Citizens for Responsible T-Shirts have been operating that way, under various names, for years.

Sounds like there was a faculty memo on the subject.
The following day, Felix-Hawver wore a "Gay Pride" T-shirt again, this time with support from three friends who wore shirts with similar messages. Seventh-grader Elena Burger wore one that read: "Gays will not be silenced." Seventh-grader Marisa Clery wore one with "Equal Rights" on the front and a plea to stop persecuting gays on the back.

"… I wanted to get in trouble for wearing the same shirt just so it would bring more attention to the issue," said Burger, who lives in Somerset.

But that day the students said they received no reaction from administrators, although they were subject to continual teasing from fellow students.

So now the bigots were still raising an uproar, but the school administration refused to go along with the mob rule.
Felix-Hawver donned the shirts again twice last week. The only reaction came from teachers who asked him to cover the shirt. He refused and declined to meet with Boucher.

Boucher said Felix-Hawver didn't have to cover his shirt on those days because there were no disruptions.

"I don't think they have accepted it; I think they are grudgingly ignoring it," Felix-Hawver said.

I don't see where it says how old this kid is. Middle school, what's that, sixth through eighth grade, somewhere between ten and thirteen years old? This guy is incredible.
As part of a "full investigation," guidance counselors met with students individually to discuss the situation, and Boucher said she interviewed about a dozen staff members to review school policy. She said staff did not violate policy or show intolerance in handling the situation.

Felix-Hawver's father, David Hawver, said he applauded his son's courage but was also pleased that the administration did not continue opposing the shirts.

"I'm really glad the administration changed their minds about the acceptability of it," Hawver said Thursday to immediate protest from his son, who stood up in the family's living room and began a strong, reserved argument with his father about the administration's actions.

His mother Deb Felix wrote a letter to Boucher asking for employees in the school to undergo sensitivity training but since then, the ordeal has been handled "moderately well," she said.

Boucher said bullying and teasing are common throughout society but she takes such behavior seriously at her school.

One thing here, it sounds like this principal showed a lot of leadership in handling this situation. It's nothing really, some kids in t-shirts, but she could have let it get out of hand by sending the kids home or by letting teachers figure out how to handle the situation on their own. I say we give her credit for letting this noncontroversial situation run itself out.

Another thing, it's a circular rule. A disruptive piece of clothing is one that causes a disruption. That means the rule is defined by the behavior of people other than the one who receives the consequences. This makes it essentially impossible for a student to obey the rule, because he or she can't control how people will react to something. Oh, you can obey by being as bland and boring as possible, that's not the world I want to live in!

Last thing, these kids seem to really have their heads on straight. Kaz had the nerve to go ahead and express himself -- and you notice his parents are standing there ready to fight for him -- even when he knows other kids will give him a hard time. And then his friends, knowing they were going to be teased by the ignorant kids at school and possibly punished by the school, went and put on their expressive t-shirts.

Good story, this sort of thing has to happen every day. You can't let the ignorant ones determine how everybody else is going to live and what opinions are acceptable.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once upon a time, if you were a different skin color and walked into a certain restroom, a school, a cafeteria, a bus ride, or other shared public space, it would cause "disruptions", and punishments handed out accordingly for the "offending" parties (those of a different color skin). Somehow, the very worst of this (KKK for example) was also based on some sort of theological basis that gave people of beige skin color authority to judge those of brown skin color as less than deserving of the selfsame human rights that everyone else was entitled to -

I'll even betcha apples to blueberries that Jesus himself would have approved vociferously at such an interpretation of his words of unconditional love and acceptance for all peoples -

This was based on the very same principle that Jim already stated here - how can someone be held responsible for others' reactions to an external stimulus such as exhibited in the above example.

Good call, Jim.
Thanks for sharing this.

October 08, 2008 9:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can't let the gender confused people determine how everyone else is going to live and what opinions are acceptable. Afterall, they are confused!

October 08, 2008 9:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry to break your bubble, but i have never been confused since i knew myself at age 4 as the girl i am now. I am about to prove one of your lies right here and right now in front of the world.

Thanks for the perfect example of untruth and falsehood.

Here's the distortion:
You used the term "confused". This, in all of the the CRG's anti-trans and anti-gay propaganda, has originated from the clinical term "disordered". This term of "disorder" has originated from the DISM IV clinical manual which listed gender dysphoria as such.

Here's the lie:
While referring to people like myself as "mentally confused" and "disordered" repeatedly in every forum from here on this blog to press releases and newspaper articles and TV interviews - it's extremely interesting to note that while you use these terms to sow further fear and misunderstanding within the general public about people like me, by validating the same clinical language that you use to define it, yet you never once mention that the only primary recommended course of resolution for this "disorder" or "confuison" is to actually transition or change gender.

This is the lie of hypocrisy you keep trying to sell over and over again.

Not only that, but since the exhaustive batteries of testing required by any conscientious clinical therapist, psychiatrist, or psychologist, must

A): find no almost no evidence of any other mental illnesses or psychoses known to exist by any clinical standard...

and B): Find substantial and undeniable evidence that there is a natural preponderance of INNATE characteristics of the opposite gender to such a high degree mentally, emotionally, and often physically, that there will be no question of the positive benefit to that person to make such a vast and frequently immensely dangerous change. Often meaning extreme discrimination, humiliation, loss of home, loss of job, loss of professional standing, loss of all male privilege in society, and often loss of friends and family as well.

In other words, those of us that do take this course to be completely true to ourselves against all the odds and all the disgust and all the outcry of theological "theory", must be more sure of our gender, clinically and psychologically speaking, than almost anyone else of that gender to begin with, and are willing to risk everything including our very lives to make this truth a living reality.

Interesting that you continually use words like "disordered" and "mentally confused" to scare people which means you actually give creedence to what is the recommended course of resolution, yet NEVER, EVER, publicly validate the rest of the thesis by the same clinical standards you are attempting to use to scare and confuse others with.

This is truly sick, disgustingly incomplete, frighteningly shallow and very dishonest.

Since you feel so strongly about your convictions, then you should also have the guts to claim your own name in the process of publicly stating them, otherwise you are flatly a coward and a liar to the utmost degree for cowering behind the name "anonymous" while making such false assertions.

Most Sincerely and respectfully,

Maryanne A. Arnoe

October 08, 2008 10:03 PM  
Blogger Maddie H said...

I've never been confused about my sex or gender, but other people seem to want to make me the scapegoat for their confusion.

In other words,

You can't let the gender confused people determine how everyone else is going to live and what opinions are acceptable. Afterall, they are confused!

I agree with this if by "gender confused people" you mean people like those in CRG who think that trans women are really men and trans men are really women.

Real gender confusion is believing that everything you need to know begins and ends with the genitals.

October 08, 2008 10:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

California's Prop. 8, which would amend the state constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman, is gaining support.

In a poll of likely voters conducted for CBS 5 in San Francisco, Californians favored the marriage amendment 47 percent to 42 percent. The strongest support came from voters ages 18 to 34, a group that has supported same-sex "marriage" in previous polls.

October 09, 2008 1:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps it wouldn't be too much to require that kids not wear shirts that define people by their sexual desires.

How about that?

October 09, 2008 1:21 AM  
Blogger Maddie H said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

October 09, 2008 3:00 AM  
Blogger Maddie H said...

Apparently, freedom of speech only counts as long as it's your kind of speech, Anon?

October 09, 2008 3:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lisa, do you believe students in high school should be free to say absolutely whatever they want and wear absolutely whatever they want?

Don't get nervous. Type in slowly and think before you push the "publish" button.

October 09, 2008 4:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this may change later today but in the realpolitics poll of polls this morning, of the last ten polls, half have Joebama leading by four or less:

reuters 2
hotline 1
corps 3

Sounds like America is tiring of the lack of specificity in Obama's message coupled with concerns about his radical connections. I wouldn't be surprised to find he even has ties to groups like TTF.

Indeed, the realpolitics average of the polls is 5.1% down from 5.3% yesterday morning and 5.5% the morning before that. And 8% across the board Sunday. Actually, if take out the ridiculously high Gallup 11%, which seems a little outlandish, the average is 4.4%.

They gotta be getting queasy at Joebama HQ.

Something's happening out there. A wildfire of discontent with the congressional Democrats like Obama and Biden who allowed our economy to disintegrate by interferring in mortgage markets to push bad loans on financial institution.

The times they are-a changin'!

October 09, 2008 5:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most liberals think FOXnews slants to the right and polls of the viewers would seem to indicate their viewership is more conservative.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, MSNBC is so blatantly acting as cheerleaders for Obama that it is criminal that they don't get a fee for their efforts from the Obama campaign. They have been roundly criticized for their bias which has been the subject of a mocking skit on SNL.

So which channel do Americans prefer?

The debate coverage on FOXnews drew 8.8 million viewers Tuesday night.

MSNBC? 3.8 million.

America has spoken!

October 09, 2008 6:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

AH's favorite poll in September, the Gallup poll, has some intereting headlines this month:

October 1, 2008
Gallup Daily: Obama 48%, McCain 44%
Slightly closer race now than two days ago

October 2, 2008 (Vice Presidential Debate)
Gallup Daily: Obama Leads McCain by 5 Points
Obama has led McCain by significant margin for last six days

October 3, 2008
Gallup Daily: Obama Leading by 7 Points
Today marks full week of Obama leading by significant margin

October 4, 2008
Gallup Daily: Obama Maintains Significant Margin
Lead is eight points, 50% to 42%

October 5, 2008
Gallup Daily: Obama Leads for Ninth Straight Day, 50%-43%
Poll includes two interviewing days following vice presidential debate

October 6, 2008
Gallup Daily: Obama Leads 50% to 42%
Obama remains statistically ahead for 10th straight day

October 7, 2008 (Second Presidential Debate)
Gallup Daily: 9-Point Obama Lead Ties Campaign High
Voters prefer Obama to McCain by 51% to 42%

October 8, 2008
Gallup Daily: Obama’s Lead Over McCain Expands to 11
52% share of the vote is Obama’s highest to date

October 9, 2008
Obama’s Race May Be as Much a Plus as a Minus NEW
While 6% of voters say they are less likely to vote for Barack Obama because of his race, 9% say they are more likely to vote for him, making the impact of his race a neutral to slightly positive factor when all voters’ self-reported attitudes are taken into account.

October 09, 2008 7:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

M. Arnow (refuse to use Maryanne), you wouldn't remember back to age 4 and be able to identify yourself as different. A bunch of hog wash. Your anger stems from your battle against your real gender.
You are angry at yourself. A psychiatrist should have seen that. But, a degree doesn't give them all the best answers. Especially if they too have an agenda.

October 09, 2008 8:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

New George Washington University poll out this morning showing Obama's lead dropping from 4 points yesterday to 3 points today.

Astonishing Gallup poll showing 11 point lead for Obama remains unreplicated. New poll being conducted to protect Gallup's reputation.

Meanwhile Obama HQ nervously awaits new revelations from Tony Rezko who has plea bargained a lighter sentence in exchange for testimony about Obama's involvement with corruption in Chicago.

McCain in an interview last night called for some straight talk about when Obama learned about his terrorist friend's, Bill Ayers', activities and what was the nature of their relationship after he learned about it. He said people have a right to know so they can make up their mind about his judgment in associates.

McCain said, "How can you trust someone to conduct a war on terrorism when he is friends with a terrorist?"

October 09, 2008 8:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I suppose as much as I can trust an adulterer and a partner in a disastrous scheme to defraud the government or somebody who supported Bush 90% of the time with his precious votes (that is, when he had the time to grace the Senate with his presence).

October 09, 2008 9:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Guess it would be cool for a kid to wear a t-shirt that says, Exgay is OK. Would he be treated the same?

October 09, 2008 9:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course that would be okay, Anon. Why don't you put a shirt like that on your kid and send them to school tomorrow and see what happens.

Ah, yes, that would be the problem -- you can wear an "ex-gay" t-shirt to school, but nobody would.

October 09, 2008 10:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the prestigious ramussen poll is out

dropped from 7 yesterday to 5 today

the Joebama descent picks up speed

October 09, 2008 10:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A bunch of hog wash.

That's too good a term for what Anon and his GOP friends are peddling these days. AOL news reports:

Taunting Prospects

As Tommy Christopher has been chronicling this week, a trend has emerged on the campaign trail. Specifically, it has been in evidence most frequently--but not exclusively-- at the rallies of Sarah Palin and John McCain. The pattern springs forth in the form of a taunt, usually shouted and received with cheers or a sly wink. In the past week alone, McCain/Palin supporters have released their pent-up anger at Barack Obama with cries of "terrorist!" "treason!" "kill him!" and "off with his head!" -- among others.

Truly, the basest of instincts seems to have been unleashed (like a pack of pit bulls) at these events. The question before us is whether McCain himself bears any responsibility for the uptick in the impassioned outbursts. If he does not, as some will argue, then they can be put down to the excitement of the pep rally. Words are not deeds, after all. And, let's face it, we can all get a little carried away when it comes to politics.

On the other hand, some might counter that the timing of this sudden flurry of verbal assaults is no coincidence. Indeed, it comes at the very moment when the McCain's campaign itself promised more negativity. This view holds that McCain and Palin are playing more of a call-and-response game with their audience.

Whatever the cause, this issue is now front and center in the campaign. There's no doubt that hotter rhetoric excites the partisan base. In fact, the hotter it is, the more excited they get. Such taunts infuriate and worry the opposition, and they positively disgust independent voters. Still, the controversy remains. Do we have a simple case of lax crowd control? Or is the pattern reflective of a mob following marching orders?

ABC News weighs in today with, "Is Negative Rhetoric a License to Taunt?":

As the rhetoric at Palin rallies has ratcheted up, so too has the language of supporters in the crowds coming to see her.

The Washington Post's Dana Milbank described a recent Palin rally in Florida:

Palin's routine attacks on the media have begun to spill into ugliness. In Clearwater, arriving reporters were greeted with shouts and taunts by the crowd of about 3,000. Palin then went on to blame Katie Couric's questions for her "less-than-successful interview with kinda mainstream media." At that, Palin supporters turned on reporters in the press area, waving their thunder sticks and shouting abuse. Others hurled obscenities at a cameraa crew. One Palin supporter shouted a racial epithet at an African American sound man for a network and told him to "Sit down, boy."

The LA Times contemplates which anger came first, the crowd's or McCain's, in with "McCain campaign ratchets up the rhetoric":

Egged on by a surly crowd, John McCain and Sarah Palin delivered a stark condemnation of Barack Obama's policies and character Wednesday, casting him as an unreliable choice for president.

The edgy tone of the rally here [in Bethlehem, PA.] was set before the duo arrived onstage, when local Republican official William Platt warmed up the audience by twice referring to the Democratic nominee as "Barack Hussein Obama."

On "The Early Show" yesterday, Joe Biden called the McCain campaign's repeated invocation of William Ayers, "mildly dangerous."

Some see a direct correlation between flagging poll numbers and the surge of negativity, such as Salon's Alex Koppleman:

As it's become increasingly clear that the McCain campaign is in serious trouble, they've been shifting from the issues and trying to stoke voters' fears and prejudices about Barack Obama. This turn toward the negative has been ugly, but the invective the attacks are whipping up among the faithful at Republican rallies is far uglier.

Patrick Ruffini, on the other hand, thinks that McCain's only real mistake in all of this was not going this negative earlier:

The Ayers stuff will be useful in solidifying the base and getting Obama's unfavorables to 40. But it's not a game changer. A casualty of McCain's months-long delay in going on offense is that he's had to debut his harshest material in October rather than road-testing it over the summer. In this sense, throwing the kitchen sink now looks desperate and reactive, even thought it was probably inevitable. Still, it would have been far better had McCain given his campaign license to launch these attacks at a time and place of its choosing, rather than having events force his hand.

Cindy McCain has also gotten into the act of warming up the crowd, and recently called Obama's effort, "the dirtiest campaign in American history."

So, we'd like to hear what you think. Clearly, no politician can control what his or her supporters blurt out during a campaign rally. But should John McCain stop and acknowledge these instances in an attempt to restore civility? Or is he, in part, the main instigator in their proliferation this month?

Here's some footage taken recently at a Sarah Palin campaign rally in Ohio."

Well, at least our hate-ranting AH hasn't suggested killing anyone, yet.

October 09, 2008 11:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"At that, Palin supporters turned on reporters in the press area, waving their thunder sticks and shouting abuse. Others hurled obscenities at a cameraa crew."

Liberal crowds do this kind of thing to anyone who is not politically correct. You don't hear the press make anything of it. It sounds like typical demonstration activity except it is directed at the media.

Let's face it. In this election, most of the media has dropped all pretense of objectivity and is aggressively pushing the candidacy of Barack Obama. They've become a participant rather than an observer.

"One Palin supporter shouted a racial epithet at an African American sound man for a network and told him to "Sit down, boy.""

From the number of times this has been repeated in the last few days and considering no other instance has been brought up, I think we can safely say that the racial comment was an isolated incident.

We may be about to make history by electing the first black president. I'm proud of the progress the country has made. I personally don't feel this is the right but still we all rejoice that an important corner has been turned. It's remarkable how little race has been a factor in this campaign.

Sad that the media, egged on by the radical fringe, wants to find any incident they can to stoke renewed racial animosity. They must think they gain something by encouraging this.

Wall Street Journal columnist, Dorothy Rabinowitz:


Both time and events have dimmed those defining moments that early on revealed the difference between the two presidential aspirants. Not only did the financial crisis arrive but so, in her uproarious way, did Sarah Palin. Tuesday's debate between two candidates paralyzed by caution altered nothing. It was a relief, of course, not to hear about Sen. McCain's record as a "maverick" -- a word that would, in a merciful world, be banned from public discourse for the next decade. It was too much to expect Barack Obama to spare us further recitals of the McCain-Bush connection.

The single constant in the eternal election remains the media, whose activist role no one will seriously dispute. To point out the prevailing (with honorable exceptions) double standard of reporting so favorable to Mr. Obama by now feels superfluous -- much like talking about the weather. The same holds true for all those reports pointing to Mr. Obama's heroic status outside the United States -- not to mention the cascade of press analyses warning that if he fails to win election, the cause will surely be racism.

None of this means that the media's role will go unremembered -- who will forget MSNBC news, voice of the Obama campaign? Never has a presidential election produced more fodder for the making and breaking -- or tainting -- of reputations.

The same is true of news sources making far greater claims to fairness. So it was only slightly startling to read a New York Times forecast (Sept. 22) about the presidential debate to come in which reporter Katharine Q. Seelye declared, " . . . Mr. Obama should expect Mr. McCain to question his credentials for the job at every turn -- and to distort his views, as Mr. Romney insisted he did."

That first debate brought the usual legions of commentators -- among them CNN foreign correspondent Christiane Amanpour. John McCain, she pointed out, had stumbled over Ahmadinejad's name, and as he was supposed to be the expert on foreign policy, it made her giggle.

"That's not fair -- people make mistakes all the time," Anderson Cooper shot back. But Ms. Amanpour, whose capacity for sustained levels of bombast is one of the wonders of the world, was having none of it.

She would go on to raise the theme so central to the Obama campaign, and held, as revealed truth, by the politically progressive everywhere -- that the U.S., fallen low in the eyes of the world, is now in dire need of moral salvation. Everywhere she went in America, Ms. Amanpour declared, she found "desperate Americans" -- desperate, that is, about the low esteem in which the country was held, desperate to have a president who would lift America up.

Mr. Obama could not have said it better himself. He is the leading exponent of the idea that our lost nation requires rehabilitation in the eyes of the world -- and it is the most telling difference between him and Mr. McCain. When asked, in one of the earliest debates of the primary, his first priority should he become president, his answer was clear. He would go abroad immediately to make amends, and assure allies and others in the world America had alienated, that we were prepared to do all necessary to gain back their respect.

It is impossible to imagine those words coming from Mr. McCain. Mr. Obama has uttered them repeatedly one way or another and no wonder. They are in his bones, this impossible-to-conceal belief that we've lost face among the nations of the world -- presumably our moral superiors. He is here to reform the fallen America and make us worthy again of respect. It is not in him, this thoughtful, civilized academic, to grasp the identification with country that Mr. McCain has in his bones -- his knowledge that we are far from perfect, but not ready, never ready, to take up the vision of us advanced by our enemies. That identification, the understanding of its importance and of the dangers in its absence -- is the magnet that has above all else drawn voters to Mr. McCain.

Sen. Obama is not responsible for the political culture, but he is in good part its product. Which is perhaps how it happened that in his 20 years in the church of Rev. Jeremiah Wright -- passionate proponent of the view of America as the world's leading agent of evil and injustice -- he found nothing strange or alienating. To the contrary, when Rev. Wright's screeds began rolling out on televisions all over the country, Mr. Obama's first response was to mount a militant defense and charge that Rev. Wright had been taken out of context, "cut into snippets." This he continued to do until it became untenable. Then came the subject-changing speech on race. Such defining moments tell more than all the talk of Sen. Obama's association with the bomb-planting humanist, William Ayers.

These sharp differences between the candidates as to who we are as a nation may not seem, now, as potent an issue for voters as the economy, but they should not be underestimated. This clash -- not the ones on abortion or gay marriage -- are the root of the real culture war to play out in November."

Can America just fire the whole press and start over again?

October 09, 2008 12:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous Troll: We are sooooo tired of your attempts to pirate this site. You act as if anyone here is interested in your copious horse-pucky.
btw....have you contacted a Realtor who has some property for sale in Alaska so that you can move there after the election? That should be Nirvanna for you! And who knows? Maybe you could even assume the leadership of the Alaska Independence Party with all of your "lower-48" smarts!

October 09, 2008 2:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well golly gee AH. You think it's a NEWS FLASH when a conservative columnist, who has "written approvingly of Republican presidential candidate John McCain in both the 2000 and 2008 U.S. presidential elections," knocks those in her own profession who don't write approvingly of him too?

That's no news flash, that's to be expected. She just doesn't like the facts -- Obama is going to win because the former straight talker has been veering from one campaign stunt to the next until finally arriving at the bottom of the barrel where all he can do is fling poo and hope some sticks.

Here's more of a NEWS FLASH for Vigilance readers. In today's Washington Post a different conservative columnist wrote:

McCain in a Bear Market

By George F. Will
Thursday, October 9, 2008; A21

Time was, the Baltimore Orioles' manager was Earl Weaver, a short, irascible, Napoleonic figure who, when cranky, as he frequently was, would shout at an umpire, "Are you going to get any better or is this it?" With, mercifully, only one debate to go, that is the question about John McCain's campaign.

In the closing days of his 10-year quest for the presidency, McCain finds it galling that Barack Obama is winning the first serious campaign he has ever run against a Republican. Before Tuesday night's uneventful event, gall was fueling what might be the McCain-Palin campaign's closing argument. It is less that Obama has bad ideas than that Obama is a bad person.

This, McCain and his female Sancho Panza say, is demonstrated by bad associations Obama had in Chicago, such as with William Ayers, the unrepentant terrorist. But the McCain-Palin charges have come just as the Obama campaign is benefiting from a mass mailing it is not paying for. Many millions of American households are gingerly opening envelopes containing reports of the third-quarter losses in their 401(k) and other retirement accounts -- telling each household its portion of the nearly $2 trillion that Americans' accounts have recently shed. In this context, the McCain-Palin campaign's attempt to get Americans to focus on Obama's Chicago associations seems surreal -- or, as a British politician once said about criticism he was receiving, "like being savaged by a dead sheep."

Recently Obama noted -- perhaps to torment and provoke conservatives -- that McCain's rhetoric about Wall Street's "greed" and "casino culture" amounted to "talking like Jesse Jackson." What fun: one African American Chicago politician distancing himself from another African American Chicago politician by associating McCain with him.

After their enjoyable 2006 congressional elections, Democrats eagerly anticipated that 2008 would provide a second election in which a chaotic Iraq would be at the center of voters' minds. Today they are glad that has not happened. The success of the surge in Iraq, for which McCain justly claims much credit, is one reason why foreign policy has receded to the margins of the electorate's mind, thereby diminishing the subject with which McCain is most comfortable and which is Obama's largest vulnerability.

Tuesday night, McCain, seeking traction in inhospitable economic terrain, said that the $700 billion -- perhaps it is $800 billion, or more; one loses track of this fast-moving target -- bailout plan is too small. He proposes several hundred billions more for his American Homeownership Resurgence -- you cannot have too many surges -- Plan. Under it, the government would buy mortgages that homeowners cannot -- or perhaps would just rather not -- pay, and replace them with cheaper ones. When he proposed this, conservatives participating in MSNBC's "dial group" wrenched their dials in a wrist-spraining spasm of disapproval.

Still, it may be politically prudent for McCain to throw caution, and billions, to the wind. Obama is competitive in so many states that President Bush carried in 2004 -- including Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Iowa, Colorado and New Mexico -- it is not eccentric to think he could win at least 350 of the 538 electoral votes.

If that seems startling, that is only because the 2000 and 2004 elections were won with 271 and 286, respectively. In the 25 elections from 1900 to 1996, the winners averaged 402.6. This, even though the 1900 and 1904 elections -- before Arizona, New Mexico and Oklahoma attained statehood, and before the size of the House was fixed at 435 members in 1911 -- allocated only 447 and 476 electoral votes, respectively. The 12 elections from 1912 through 1956, before Hawaiian and Alaskan statehood, allocated only 531.

In the 25 20th-century elections, only three candidates won with fewer than 300 -- McKinley with 292 in 1900, Wilson with 277 in 1916 and Carter with 297 in 1976. President Harry Truman won 303 in 1948 even though Strom Thurmond's Dixiecrat candidacy won 39 that otherwise would have gone to Truman. After John Kennedy won in 1960 with just 303, the average winning total in the next nine elections, up to the 2000 cliffhanger, was 421.4.

In 1987, on the eve of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's third victory, the head of her Conservative Party told a visiting columnist: "Someday, Labour will win an election. Our job is to hold on until they are sane." Republicans, winners of seven of the past 10 presidential elections, had better hope they have held on long enough.

Sounds like George Will is expecting Obama is going to win because McShame's campaign exemplifies "Are you going to get any better or is this it?"

October 09, 2008 2:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Obama wins, life will be great around here.

Can you imagine the backlash when everyone when everyone sees what he really represents?

October 09, 2008 2:18 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Red Baron said "this may change later today but in the realpolitics poll of polls this morning, of the last ten polls, half have Joebama leading by four or less...the Joebama descent picks up speed".

LOL, you really are pathetic, ignoring the polls with Obama's lead expanding to focus solely on those few which have his lead dropping. Its a classic illustration of just how messed up your mind is - you're living in a delusion world.

In the real world rational people look at ALL the polls and the Realpolitics polls YOU mentioned on average have Obama's lead EXPANDING to 5.6% from 5.3%. Its exactly what I told you would happen yesterday and exactly the opposite of what you desperately fantasized was going to happen.

If I relied on your type of distortions to make claims about Obama's lead I'd say "in the realpolitics poll of polls this morning, of the last ten polls, half have Obama leading by up to 11 points - Mccain has already lost and lost badly". That statement would be just as accurate, no in fact, more accurate, than yours given that on the whole Obama's lead actually HAS grown.

Get used to it loser, Obama's going to be president. Mccain's poo flinging is only furthering his descent into disgrace. Your ignoring the facts won't change that.

October 09, 2008 3:14 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Red Baron said "You can't let the gender confused people determine how everyone else is going to live and what opinions are acceptable. ".

We're not confused about our gender. Living our lives as we choose doesn't affect you in the slightest. It is you who is tryint to determine how we live rather than vice versa. The general public will determine which opinions are acceptable and the trend is clear. The majority will soon, if it hasn't already, reject your anti-lgbt opinions as the same sort of bigotry as racism. Become a pariah or change.

October 09, 2008 3:17 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Red Baron said "M. Arnow (refuse to use Maryanne), you wouldn't remember back to age 4 and be able to identify yourself as different. A bunch of hog wash.".

Not true I was 4 when we visited Yellowstone park and I have vivid memories of that. I have vivid memories of feeling I was a girl when I was a similarly young age although I'm not clear on exactly how old I was at the time. I was young enough that my mother thought it was no big deal to bath me in the same tub as my sisters, I certainly could have been 3 or 4, I doubt 5. Another woman was present at the time and criticized my mother for bathing a boy with two girls - I was shocked that she thought of me as a boy.

Red Baron said "Your anger stems from your battle against your real gender. You are angry at yourself.".

Nonsense. We accept ourselves as we are. If I may speak for others, we are angry at bigots like you for trying to dictate our lives when they affect you not at all and for trying to suppress who we are. You're like the schoolyard bully, beating up others and then when the victim gets upset claiming that their distress is due to their own flaws. You are the problem. You are the one causing whatever distress we might feel. You are a shameful evil bully.

October 09, 2008 3:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Until the troll learns how to interpret polling data, nobody should listen to him.

Here's a few sites to look at:, Five Thirty Eight, run by the incomparable Nate Silver, and Electoral Vote.

Don't just look at the data. Plus one or two points in a give day or several days is often statistical noise. Moreover, after a two-week stretch of Obama picking up virtually all of the undecided vote and moving the polls en masse by 6-10 points, he really has nowhere to go but down.

So don't just look at the data. Look at the analysis of the trends, look at the state-level polling, because that's where it gets decided.

On the Obama maxing out idea, see two very good posts. One, by Nate Silver, is here. The other is by Chris Bowers at Open Left.

Not that I think that our own Troll Boy is going to listen to this -- anything with "Left" in it is tainted with entirely too many big words, I'm sure. But for those of you who are worried or concerned about this kind of "Look! Rasmussen moved two points! Obama is F@#!$%^@#%ed! Bwahahaha!" analysis, read Silver and Bowers and see how to do this kind of analysis RIGHT.

Obama remains an 85-90% statistical likelihood of winning this election. Not 100%, but pretty close. Don't listen to me, but to professionals like Mark Blumenthal at Pollster, Nate Silver at Five Thirty Eight, and Chris Bowers at Open Left.

Oh, and whoever called me "Good Anonymous" the other day (for my data on abortion polling), many thanks. A moniker has been coined, and I think I'll keep it.


October 09, 2008 3:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"In the real world rational people look at ALL the polls and the Realpolitics polls YOU mentioned on average have Obama's lead EXPANDING to 5.6% from 5.3%."

That's because Gallup came in again with another 11 point lead this afternoon. I don't know what somebody's puttin' in the kool-aid over there but nobody has replicated this finding.

"If I relied on your type of distortions to make claims about Obama's lead I'd say "in the realpolitics poll of polls this morning, of the last ten polls, half have Obama leading by up to 11 points - Mccain has already lost and lost badly". That statement would be just as accurate, no in fact, more accurate, than yours given that on the whole Obama's lead actually HAS grown."

Sorry, Preya, you don't know how to think. For you to duplicate my statement, you'd say half have had it higher than 4.

Except for the bizarre Gallup finding, no poll has increased Obama's lead since Sunday.

"Get used to it loser, Obama's going to be president."

I'm not worried about it either way. But go ahead and indulge your fantasies.

"Mccain's poo flinging is only furthering his descent"

I'm convinced gays are turned on by excrement. They bring it up whenever they're worried about losing an argument. They seem to take comfort in the thought of it. Maybe, similar to the idea of comfort food.

October 09, 2008 3:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On October 9th, Anonymous said...

"M. Arnow (refuse to use Maryanne)",

WHY do you refuse to use my legal name, Miss Volz ? My wife recognizes this. The State and all the agencies that provide for YOUR economic comforts as a fellow citizen that you live in recognizes this. The Federal Government you pay taxes to recognizes this. My regular medical doctor at Family Health recognizes this, as do lawyers, legislators, and even some Christian Clergy that i have become familiar and friendly with locally also recognize this - but you - and you alone...

So - based on whatever interpretation of whatever morals and so-called ethcal values you espouse to have, YOU - you and you alone - above and beyond all else, reserve the right to not address me by my legal name while living in a civil society with me ?

THIS is an example of BIGOTRY and social discrimination.

NEXT: Further Example and Illustration of LIES that these people try to sell all of you out there:

YOU SAID: "you wouldn't remember back to age 4 and be able to identify yourself as different. A bunch of hog wash. Your anger stems from your battle against your real gender.
You are angry at yourself. A psychiatrist should have seen that. But, a degree doesn't give them all the best answers. Especially if they too have an agenda."

I'll work backwards on this one -
If i am angry at all with myself it's for not havng the courage to begin this process ealier in my life. But since i was persecuted and beaten and rejected to no end for being smaller, weaker, not sports oriented, more sensitive, highly emotionally expressive (all the things that little boys are not supposed to be in this culture, back then), and superintelligent as a child amongst all of my peers, i hid what i had to, in order to survive the ongoing torment for the first 10 to 12 years of my life in local schools and neighborhoods.

A good psychiatrst did see that, but it clinically has nothing to do with my self-awareness of gender, nor did i need his clinical validation to know what i had already known in every single fibre of my being since age 4.
Being an extremely strict and conscientious professional that is more prone to reject someone that wishes to change their gender, i am glad i found such a strict "gatekeeper" to deal with.

Since all testing standards known to exist in modern psychology found no other mental illness or psychoses or disorder in my mental or emotional makeup, you are wrong about that too.

So - stating clinical facts of my own personal life that you have not EVER witnessed yourself is a LIE - got that part clearly ? Everyone get it ? She is a - L-I-A-R because she gives false witness.

Next - you PRESUME to know, that no one of Six Billion people are able to have clear memory, or self awareness back to age 4 - you said it yourself, and used the term "hogwash" -

Again - you are a LIAR. You cannot give witness to billions of peoples minds and hearts that you have never personally met nor lived diorectly in our heasrts and minds and emotions - LIAR. Distortionist tactic LIAR LIAR LIAR.

Your religion asks you not to judge - I gave actual and honest witness to my own personal experiences from my earliest and VERY CLEAR awarenesses as a girl, and you SUMMARILY judged it by calling ME a liar without ANY single piece of evidence to back up your statement whatsoever -


Please prove right here and right now that you were standing witness in my heart and mind in my life at that age - go ahead - prove it.

You cant. Noen of you can. Unless you are a powerful psychic, then YOU ARE LYING to the general public by stating your unverifiable assertions as truth.

Not only this, but in the form of rudeness and personal attacks, which were - just as you did on the Tribune Blog - unprovoked and uncivil and completely unladylike.

Next - you still use "anonymous" - and once again - as i have said - if your faith in convictions gives you the strength to stand up for what you belive in - then stand up and claim it instead of hiding behind a keyboard under a NON-name.

Otherwise this makes you not only a liar, but a hypocrite and a coward that dosent actaully have enough courage in your own beliefs to stand and be recognized for what you say you believe in.

You are mean, spiteful, pathetic, and rude, You are a liar and a coward and a bigot. Grow up.

Most Respectfully,


October 09, 2008 4:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't hold back, Maryanne.

Let us know what you really think.

October 09, 2008 5:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Did you ever stop to think that Anon says those kinds of things just to torque your nipples, then sits back and laughs sadistically when you take it personally?

I know you personally well enough to know that later on, when you calm down, you'll regret saying those kinds of things about anyone, even if they are accurate, and even if it is an Annoying Anonymous.
I do find it ironic though that someone who hides behind a gender neutral “Anonymous” moniker, intentionally obfuscating their own gender, will assert that other people are gender confused.



October 09, 2008 5:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

M. Arnow, you are living a lie and hanging with people who also live a lie. You carry alot of anger inside of you and you just confirmed it. Give up the gender switch game and be what you were supposed to be. . . a husband to your wife.

That will be the start to your journey of healing and peace in your life.

October 09, 2008 10:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous wrote:

“M. Arnow, you are living a lie and hanging with people who also live a lie.”

I have had the distinct pleasure of meeting and spending a bit of time with some of Maryanne’s friends and family. They are some of the kindest and most compassionate people I have ever met. Some of them have led very difficult lives and suffered years of abuse at the hands of others. Their lives are far too painfully real to support a lie for any extended period of time. If you ever had the privilege of spending a day with her and her friends and family, you would slowly come to realize just how baseless and crass your above statement was. Who knows, if you are a person of character, you might even apologize for it.

“You carry alot (sic) of anger inside of you and you just confirmed it.”

What surprises me is how well Maryanne continues trudging through life given all the crap that has been piled upon her. I’ve seen all sorts of people suffer far less and come out far worse. I don’t know if the compassion that I have now would still be in place if I had to go half the s$%^ that she has. Frankly I can’t blame her if once in a while she vents her frustration with some of those who caused it.

“Give up the gender switch game”

Changing one’s gender is never a game. It is a difficult, expensive, grueling, life-altering process. It is not uncommon for a person to lose many or all of their family, friends, income, possessions, and even jobs during the process.

You already knew that though, but that didn’t stop you from dismissing and trivializing it. Most of my T friends say they would never wish GID on their worst enemy. I can not honestly claim to be so magnanimous. I’ve met several people in my life that could benefit from the life-threatening inner-turmoil and public abuse that usually comes with GID. I’m sure it would slowly, painfully carve them into a far kinder and compassionate person.

“and be what you were supposed to be. . . a husband to your wife.”

I’ve met Maryanne’s wife. Couples all over the world would be far better off if there was half the love and commitment between them that Maryanne and her wife are blessed with and nurture. If this love could somehow be spread to other couples, the divorce rate would plummet over night.

“That will be the start to your journey of healing and peace in your life.”

Maryanne has come a long way to finding peace in her life, and so have I. I have found an inner peace that I never even dreamed was possible before transition. While I was going through transition there was no way I could have ever known what was on “the other side.” At the time, transition was a reluctant alternative to suicide. If I had known what I do now, I probably would have transitioned decades ago and spared myself years of wasted survival I came to know as “life.”

I somehow got to this wonderful place without the advice of people like you about how I should start my “journey of healing and peace.” I respectfully recommend you concentrate on your own journey, and not worry about where other people are going. You just might enjoy your own life better.



October 10, 2008 12:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heckler's Veto

The principal's action in censoring the student for fear of disruption is what is known as a Heckler's Veto, in which the government silences speech because of the disruptive action or fear of the action of the opponents. This is what Douglass has to say on the matter:

Terminiello v. City of Chicago, 337 U.S. 1 (1949) (speaker was arrested to prevent disturbance by crowd of approximately 1000 protesters).
Justice Douglas, one of the strongest supporters of the First Amendment ever to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court, wrote
Accordingly a function of free speech under our system of government is to invite dispute. It may indeed best serve its high purpose when it induces a condition of unrest, creates dissatisfaction with conditions as they are, or even stirs people to anger. Speech is often provocative and challenging. It may strike at prejudices and preconceptions and have profound unsettling effects as it presses for acceptance of an idea. That is why freedom of speech, though not absolute, is nevertheless protected against censorship or punishment, unless shown likely to produce a clear and present danger of a serious substantive evil that rises far above public inconvenience, annoyance, or unrest. There is no room under our Constitution for a more restrictive view. For the alternative would lead to standardization of ideas either by legislatures, courts, or dominant political or community groups.

Note: the govenment may use this only in the case of clear and present danger of a substantive evil. I doubt the teasing in the lunchroom rises to that level.

School administrators often use this basis for silencing speech the consequences of which they would rather not confront. They are almost invariably mistaken in that explication of their action.

Do we know that the school has taken a stand in no longer opposing the students' t-shirts, or has no one noticed the past few days? I know teachers are often lax in enforcing our dress code, mostly due to not really noticing what students wear (e.g. one of my students word a Guiness beer ad all day long without anyone commenting).

As for the ex-gay t-shirts Anonymoid brings up: shirts that are positive about "x-gay" people are clearly protected under the first amendment. Shirts that are pejorative of lgbt people are less clearly protected. In fact, groups such as ADF (Where do they get their funding) are testing the limits of this.


October 10, 2008 8:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"In fact, groups such as ADF (Where do they get their funding)"

They get their support from the mainstream rational members of the public who are concerned about government interference in religion.

"are testing the limits of this"

They are testing no limit. They are opposing a clearly unconstitutional law.

It's not even close to being a close call.

October 10, 2008 8:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said:

"They are testing no limit. They are opposing a clearly unconstitutional law."

What are you talking about? That doesn't even follow sensibly as a response to what I wrote. Is your comprehension impaired in some way? There is no law in question. What I was discussing was schools' interventions in order to provide a reasonably safe environment for their students, and how this interacts with the first amendment.

Are you OK?


October 10, 2008 12:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


You have all our support against the scurrilous jibes of the idiotic anon. I suspect Jim did not delete them because he was busy with other things. I think such comments are grounds for be banned from this blog (not to mention the rest of polite society).


October 10, 2008 12:39 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Red Baron said "Except for the bizarre Gallup finding, no poll has increased Obama's lead since Sunday".

LOL, hiding your head in the sand from reality again, eh? Fact is that in addition to Gallup Hotline, GSW, and Zogby have increases for Obam ranging from an additional 3 to an additional 7 points. That's not including several polls which I was unable to check. Once again in the poll of polls Obama's lead has INCREASED from 5.6% to 6.2% and anything over 5% is going to be a landslide for Obama and anything over 2% is almost certainly going to be an obama win.

You've been desperately filtering the polls to try to convince yourself over the last couple of days Obama's been sliding but the reality is that his lead has continued to increase. Sucks to be you.

October 10, 2008 1:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm confused.

What scurrilous jibes has the erudite Robert been a victim of?

I definitely think all jibes should be banned and deleted.

That would make the blog so much more interesting!

October 10, 2008 1:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"You've been desperately filtering the polls to try to convince yourself over the last couple of days Obama's been sliding but the reality is that his lead has continued to increase."

Convince myself. Did you ever think I just like to see you get all apoplectic?

I actually win either way.

McCain wins and Sarah will probably take over in 2012 when McCain retires.

McCain loses and Sarah is the odds-on favorite in 2012 after the country has suffered four years of Obamery.

win-win for pro-family forces

btw, you seem to have a lot of opinions about what the leadership of the greater nation to your south

would you elect a leader in Canada who was friends with a terrorist?

if you did, would the Parliament in London approve him or would the Queen make you pick someone else?

October 10, 2008 1:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon said

"Convince myself. Did you ever think I just like to see you get all apoplectic?"

This is clearly your purpose, as has been noted.

Were you the one who made the comments to Maryanne? They were far, far over the line. The author of those statements should be should have his IP address blocked, without doubt. It isn't interesting, it's embarrasing and shameful.


October 10, 2008 3:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

C'mon Robert. You should be more tolerant of all the anons. Set a true example of tolerance.

October 10, 2008 4:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Were you the one who made the comments to Maryanne?"

I don't think so but you've have to be more specific for me to give a definitive answer.

October 11, 2008 12:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was addressing Robert and who is Maryanne?

October 11, 2008 11:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's confusing when people don't pick a name for themselves. It makes it seem as though there were this person named "Anonymous" who has all these different personalities that don't remember what the other personae have said.

The word "I" has no meaning if no one can recognize you.


October 12, 2008 7:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"C'mon Robert. You should be more tolerant of all the anons. Set a true example of tolerance."

I myself am tolerant of most anti-lgbt people, as long as they are even reasonably polite. There are limits, though.


October 12, 2008 7:08 AM  

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