Thursday, December 11, 2008

MCPS to Close for Inauguration

Last week we talked (HERE) about the Montgomery County schools' debate over whether to shut school down for the inauguration. Superintendent Jerry Weast wanted to stay open for this and that reason, and board member Christopher Barclay offered arguments for closing down that day.

I posted that one because I wanted to see how partisan people would be in the comments and in conversations on the topic. It turned out, for one thing, a lot of people disagreed with me and thought that kids should go to school that day, and also some of the most liberal commenters and acquaintances were opposed to taking a day off for a Democratic President when we didn't for a Republican one.

The fact is, a lot of people are coming to town for this one. No matter what party's ideology you favor, you have to know that this is a Big Deal, lots bigger than Bush's inaugurals. History is being made, if only in terms of race relations in the US, never mind the reversal of public opinion following eight years of Bush leadership. Whether you like it or not, a huge number of people will want to celebrate the change of leadership.

The most important point is that the President represents the entire country, not just those who voted for him. You might think Obama's birth certificate is fake, he's a Muslim terrorist, he's going to take our guns away, he killed Vince Foster, whatever, come January 20th he's going to be your President. The past eight years have seen the Office of the President, who is sworn to execute the law as legislated by the Congress in accordance with the Constitution, reduced to a political operation whose every decision was intended to keep Republicans in office. Luckily for the rest of us, the President and his staff were incompetent in that as in other things. But we came to see it that way, the divisive strategy succeeded, we have come to see ourselves as a divided people.

We need to re-educate ourselves now, to stop seeing the President as a political figure representing his party, and see him as a leader, good or bad, for the entire country. Let the new guy show us what he's made of, maybe he'll do a good job. It was a fair fight and one guy won, one guy lost.

The school board decided against the Superintendent's recommendation:
The Montgomery County school board voted yesterday to declare a holiday on Inauguration Day, the latest in a wave of actions that will close most of the region's public schools Jan. 20.

School systems in Charles, Loudoun, Prince George's, Prince William and St. Mary's counties and elsewhere have altered their calendars since Election Day so that students -- and, in some cases, employees -- can attend the inauguration of the country's first African American president, Barack Obama. Other systems, including those in Fairfax County and the District, had already planned to close.

A few school systems, including those in Anne Arundel and Howard counties, will remain open but are taking care to allow students and staff excused absences.

Montgomery School Superintendent Jerry D. Weast recommended against closure. But more than 5,000 people signed a student petition on the online networking site Facebook in support of an Inauguration Day holiday, and board members were deluged with requests from parents and staff. A resolution from board member Christopher S. Barclay (Silver Spring) passed unanimously.

"It is clear that our community would like to participate in all kinds of ways in this inauguration," Barclay said before the vote. School Board Votes Unanimously To Give Kids Inaugural Holiday

It's not a big deal, but I am personally pleased to see that school board voted in favor of this. There will probably be a lot of kids who don't pay any attention to the inauguration, and I'm sure they do need their school time, and if they had class that day it wouldn't have been any big deal. But I thought it was good to acknowledge the regime change, at least, and if they did want to watch on television or go to DC they should be able to.

Mainly I am interested to see if America can get over the partisanship -- that doesn't mean our leaders compromise on principles, it means that decisions are made with the common good in mind. We have gotten used to wedge issues, things like abortion and marriage equality and climate change, being used to divide us as people for someone's political advantage. I know there will always be some of that, but I prefer to live in a country where we all feel like Americans, created equal and treated with equal fairness. I hope this spirit will guide us, from Inauguration Day forward, maybe that's what the school board was thinking when they voted unanimously to take this day of new beginnings as a holiday from schoolwork.

37 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The past eight years have seen the Office of the President, who is sworn to execute the law as legislated by the Congress in accordance with the Constitution, reduced to a political operation whose every decision was intended to keep Republicans in office."

There can be some legitimate criticism of Bush in this regard but it's fallacious to think Democrats are generally different. Bill Clinton was hardly statesmanlike when his own interests were at stake. Obama has shown some indication he may be a different type of politician. We all wish him well, assuming he hasn't hidden anything about his place of birth.

His nominee for the State Dept is more in the partisan category however. Look for her to stab Obama in the back at the first opportunity and, without a doubt, she will run against him in 2012.

She has to. She'll be too old in 2016.

Her only mistake this time is she didn't want it enough!

December 11, 2008 11:02 AM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Bad anonymous said "I've answered that questions several times in this thread.

No you didn't, you evaded the question with the lame "I have not always done the right things in my life so I am not capable of answering your question.". Then you claimed CS Lewis answered it, but you haven't proven that and if that were the case and you accepted his belief then you wouldn't be afraid to repeat it. You haven't so you haven't answered the question. Answer the question:

Does your god tell you to do things because they are moral, or are things moral because your god says so?

December 11, 2008 11:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have no objection to Barak Obama. I even voted for him. However, the whole exam schedule is now going to be messed up and as the parent of 2 special needs kids who need the review day and would already have problems if there is a snow day, they had better come up with a very good plan. Many of the PTA's did not want this day off because of the exam schedule. I believe there may even be some HSAs around that time also. I usually do not agree with much of anything Jerry Weast says but this time he is right.

December 11, 2008 1:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"No you didn't, you evaded the question with the lame "I have not always done the right things in my life so I am not capable of answering your question."."

I didn't say that. I think another anon did but I'm not sure.

"Then you claimed CS Lewis answered it, but you haven't proven that"

I said he discussed it. Not sure why you think I need to prove it. I told you the name of the book. It's pretty short and easy reading so you should be able to handle it.

"and if that were the case and you accepted his belief then you wouldn't be afraid to repeat it."

Not afraid to repeat it at all.

"You haven't so you haven't answered the question."

I'm not answering anything until we get a lucid response from Alvin.

The bottom line here, the reason you're going ballistic and apoplectic, is you know I'm right.

Gays have higher rates of AIDS infections because of their behavior.

December 11, 2008 1:29 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Bad anonymous said "I didn't say that. I think another anon did but I'm not sure.".

Spare us the lies, you said it and now you're dishonestly hiding behind anonymity to pretend you didn't.

Bad anonymous said "Not sure why you think I need to prove it.".

The onus is on the person making an assertion to prove it. You assert he answered it, so prove it.

Bad anonymous said "Not afraid to repeat it at all.".

Then why make the following excuse?
I'm not answering anything until we get a lucid response from Alvin.".

You're afraid of the implications so you make up pathetic and invalid excuses not to answer while falsely claiming you have.

The question remains:

Does your god tell you to do things because they are moral, or are things moral because your god says so?

Be a man and answer the question.

Bad anonymous said "you know I'm right. Gays have higher rates of AIDS infections because of their behavior."

And by the same token blacks have higher rates of AIDS infections because of their behavior. You wouldn't falsely claim this is because its dangerous to be black so you have no reason to falsely assert higher rates of AIDS in gays is because they are gay.

The fact is the answer is in one of your own beliefs:

You said " Having broken societal taboos against sexual activity with those of their own gender, it's hard for [gays] to think of any compelling reason to follow any of society's other little rules[against promiscuity]."



Assuming that's true, wouldn't it be better to avoid placing unreasonable restrictions on people, restrictions they're likely to break (such as no sex, be it gay or otherwise) to avoid the situation where they feel they have nothing to lose by further breaking, this time valid, taboos?

You're afraid to discuss this because you can see that the reason both blacks and gays have higher rates of AIDS is the same - opressed groups suffer from higher levels of social dysfunction.

December 11, 2008 1:41 PM  
Anonymous Robert said...

I wonder if anonymous lurks under other bridges, or just ours?

I emphasize, he is not interested in a discussion of differential HIV infection rates among various demographic groups.

He simply wants ammunition to put down lgbt people.

I think he stays up nights thinking of ways to not like queers.

Anon, do you know David Benkoff? He wrote your playbook.

December 11, 2008 2:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I emphasize, he is not interested in a discussion of differential HIV infection rates among various demographic groups.

He simply wants ammunition to put down lgbt people."

What I don't understand, Robert, is why you think these two are mutually exclusive?

btw, do you know any gays who engage in dangerous behavior?

December 11, 2008 2:17 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

December 11, 2008 2:23 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Robert said "I emphasize, he is not interested in a discussion of differential HIV infection rates among various demographic groups.

He simply wants ammunition to put down lgbt people."

Bad anonymous said "What I don't understand, Robert, is why you think these two are mutually exclusive?".

They obviously are because you are hiding from the questions most relevant to such a discussion:

You said " Having broken societal taboos against sexual activity with those of their own gender, it's hard for [gays] to think of any compelling reason to follow any of society's other little rules[against promiscuity]."



Assuming that's true, wouldn't it be better to avoid placing unreasonable restrictions on people, restrictions they're likely to break (such as no sex, be it gay or otherwise) to avoid the situation where they feel they have nothing to lose by further breaking, this time valid, taboos?

What makes you think there is any difference between the reasons blacks have higher AIDS rates and gays have higher AIDS rates? Other than your own bigotry, of course.

December 11, 2008 2:27 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Bad anonymous, does your god tell you to do things because they are moral, or are things moral because your god says so?

December 11, 2008 2:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry all of you TTF supporters allowed "Anonymous" to get you off subject ("MCPS to Close for Inauguration"). Recognizing and responding to him/her only gives a smidgeon of credence to his/her quixotic and often infantile postings. Let's keep our topics of discussion focused on the subject at hand.

December 11, 2008 3:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

actually, the despicable Priya was the one who first turned from the subject of the post

see 11:25am

December 11, 2008 10:24 PM  
Blogger BlackTsunami said...

Actually anonymous, you started it again by throwing my name out there.

That's three different threads you continue to play this game.

I have to agree with the commentator who said:

"I'm sorry all of you TTF supporters allowed "Anonymous" to get you off subject ("MCPS to Close for Inauguration"). Recognizing and responding to him/her only gives a smidgeon of credence to his/her quixotic and often infantile postings. Let's keep our topics of discussion focused on the subject at hand."

The problem is if you ignore him when he goes off topic, then he will continue to talk about how you are ignoring him because he is right.

It's a tricky conundrum but we will master it.

But back on topic - I think the school board should make it a holiday. My guess is that your area is going to be full of visitors. I know several caravans from my state who are going.

December 11, 2008 11:13 PM  
Anonymous old-anon said...

"Actually anonymous, you started it again by throwing my name out there."

No, Priya did at 11:25am Dec 11.

The evidence is there for all to see.

"The problem is if you ignore him when he goes off topic, then he will continue to talk about how you are ignoring him because he is right."

When you respond you actually have the same problem because everyone reading knows I'm right.

The amount of blubbering bluster you and Priya have expended to obscure a simple fact is truly amazing!

AIDS entered and established a presence in the U.S. because of random promiscuity among multiple partners in the gay community, among those engaging in regular anal sex with a random pool of partners. It first surfaced in gay-friendly places like SF where, in the late 70s, it was common for guys to mate up with a different partner every night at the bathhouses and even in public parks out in the open.

It persists at high levels despite massive public education campaigns directed at the gay community by both the government and private groups. The bathhouses have been closed and public decency is now enforced in the parks but the random promiscuity persists as part of the gay culture.

The behavior seems impervious to persuasion. The best that can be hoped for is to restrain the behavior by general societal disapproval and intolerance.

December 12, 2008 12:37 AM  
Blogger BlackTsunami said...

Anonymous,

enough already. You go on almost every thread with the same thing. You get shot down and then you repeat the comments on a different thread.

So forgive me if I don't get drawn into another conversation about how "nasty gay men are" with you.

I wonder if you are intentionally trying to turn people off from this site. If so, it's a sad commentary on you, not anyone else.

But again back on topic, I have been invited to go to DC for the inaguration. I probably won't go cause I HATE gigantic crowds.

December 12, 2008 8:03 AM  
Anonymous Robert said...

My sister and her friend want to come stay with me during the inauguration and go downtown. I may let them go by themselves. 1 to 4 million people seems to me to be beyond the capacity of DCs metro and streets to handle. I think I'll let them go and watch it from home on TV.

I think it's an awesome coincidence, though, that the inauguration is the day after MLK day.

rrjr

December 12, 2008 8:13 AM  
Blogger BlackTsunami said...

Which means we are probably going to hear people linking Obama to the "I Have A Dream" speech.

Not that anything is wrong with that (completely) but can the media get more original than that?

December 12, 2008 8:17 AM  
Anonymous Robert said...

Our commenter brings up a good question: why do we allow anon to engage us when we're all aware of the futility of the activity?

I know I do it for the same reason that I listen to Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, but I'm not real clear on what that reason is.

Maybe because we have a need to engage in the good fight, even if it just means typing on the keyboard.

Or maybe because it, in a strange way, is kind of fun.

rrjr

December 12, 2008 8:22 AM  
Anonymous old-anon said...

"You go on almost every thread with the same thing. You get shot down and then you repeat the comments on a different thread."

Shot down?

Pleeeeze.

You and Priya and Robert have basically conceded my point. The behavior is the cause.

What you're reduced to now is trying to find the cause of the behavior as some crime by the normal community.

But all kinds of people have similar burdens.

They don't all engage in dangerous.

That gays can't restrain themsleves, it's no one's fault but their own.

Take responsibility.

"Or maybe because it, in a strange way, is kind of fun."

See.

I deserve an award for entertainer of the year!

December 12, 2008 8:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"old-anon"...you deserve the award for being the fullest of horse-puckey! You aren't humerous or entertaining to the least degree. You are nothing more than a royal pain in the...neck and we tolerate you here out of pity for you.

December 12, 2008 9:33 AM  
Anonymous old-anon said...

Your opinion.

Robert and Priya and Alvin think I'm a lot of fun.

December 12, 2008 9:57 AM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Bad anonymous said "Robert and Priya and Alvin think I'm a lot of fun.".

No, we think you're a hateful troll who gets a cheap thrill out of annoying and attempting to harm innocent people. You've repeatedly been shot down and you're hiding from the implications of your own beliefs because you know you're wrong:

You said " Having broken societal taboos against sexual activity with those of their own gender, it's hard for [gays] to think of any compelling reason to follow any of society's other little rules[against promiscuity]."

Assuming that's true, wouldn't it be better to avoid placing unreasonable restrictions on people, restrictions they're likely to break (such as no sex, be it gay or otherwise) to avoid the situation where they feel they have nothing to lose by further breaking, this time valid, taboos?

What makes you think there is any difference between the reasons blacks have higher AIDS rates and gays have higher AIDS rates? Other than your own bigotry, of course.

December 12, 2008 10:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrea- not anon
Wasn't this about getting the day off for inauguration? This week I took Metro twice and drove twice- I am sure neither Metro nor DC is ready for the inauguration. Metro had problems both days that I rode(fire today at Friendship heights and some unnamed problem on Wednesday at Ny Ave) and it took me 2 hours to get home driving last night- I guess there were accidents because of the rain-otherwise I am not sure what was holding up traffic. I've volunteered with the inaugural committee- if they do use me, I am starting to hope it will be far away from downtown. I can watch the events on Tv- and unlike the many out of town visitors- I will have opportunities to see the President and his family later on in his administration.

I think with every school system in the area closing, MC couldn't hold out.

December 12, 2008 10:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrea-not anon
Sorry- hahahahha, - MN anon with the birth place again- you are one funny thing. Yeah, Obama is a Martian.

December 12, 2008 10:25 AM  
Anonymous old-anon said...

"You've repeatedly been shot down"

Priya, if I'd been shot down, I wouldn't generate such anger.

The AIDS epidemic in America is a direct result of the behavior of the gay community and, despite attempts to reason with them, our society hasn't succeeded in convincing them to change their behavior patterns.

That this is undeniable is what's angering you so much.

Andrea's right about the Metro. When I have meetings downtown, I never take it. It's a close walk to my office but it's unreliable.

Obama may have been born in Hawaii but his grandmother and some other witnesses seemed to recall the stork arriving in Kenya. I hope he actually was born on American soil (because the opposite would be a disaster) but his staff has handled the whole matter in a suspicious manner that makes you wonder.

Believe me, if he's lied, it will come out.

December 12, 2008 10:43 AM  
Anonymous Robert said...

South Carolia has a higher incidence of HIV infections than California.

I vote with Dr. Weast, for the idea that schools should have students watch the inauguration in class and do lessons on it.

Anon is like a terrible car wreck. You know it's going to be terrible, but you just can't help looking.

December 12, 2008 12:05 PM  
Anonymous Robert said...

The 'dream' speech was just after I was born. The year was also known for the assassination of John Kennedy, and a heating up of anti-occupation agitation in Vietnam.

December 12, 2008 12:11 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Bad anonymous said "Priya, if I'd been shot down, I wouldn't generate such anger".

You're imagining that I'm angry. I've shot you down repeatedly, that's why you've hidden from the questions I've posed to you again and again.

Bad anonymous said "The AIDS epidemic in America is a direct result of the behavior of the gay community and, despite attempts to reason with them, our society hasn't succeeded in convincing them to change their behavior patterns.".

The majority of people who have AIDS in the states are straight, not gay. The idea that it is a result of the behavior of the gay community is no more valid than the idea that it is the result of the black community. Society obviously hasn't convinced the black community to change its behavior patterns either and yet you want to claim the aids rate in the gay community is due to their behing something wrong with being gay but deny that the aids rate in the black community is due to their being something wrong with being black.

You can't have it both ways. Either blacks and gays have higher aids rates because there is something inherently wrong with both, or its because there is nothing inherently wrong with either, it is due to social oppression.

You know the answer to that and you're hiding from it like the hateful coward you are.

You said " Having broken societal taboos against sexual activity with those of their own gender, it's hard for [gays] to think of any compelling reason to follow any of society's other little rules[against promiscuity]."


Whether you're black, or gay, when society rejects you for being that way, calls you a bad guy there is no further social cost to breaking the rule against promiscuity. If you think promiscuity is a feature of gayness then it also must be a feature of being black. You dishonestly try to have it both ways.

December 12, 2008 12:11 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Robert said "South Carolia has a higher incidence of HIV infections than California.".

Once again bad anonymous is shot down. So much for his unsupported theory that oppressing gays reduces AIDS.

December 12, 2008 12:38 PM  
Anonymous old-anon said...

Robert, Prince of the Dunces, shot nothing down. We were contrasting the Bay area to South Carolina.

Robert incorrectly references the entire state of California, an area as long as the distance from Jacksonville, FL to Manhattan and as wide as South Carolina. 10% of Americans live there.

Try comparing SF with Columbia, SC, and see how you do.

December 12, 2008 6:42 PM  
Anonymous Robert said...

I of course couldn't find data for individual cities online.

I do have data for Northern Virginia. North Arlington and the R-B corrider, and Delray in Alexandria (the 'queerest' parts of our area), have a much lower incidence of HIV infection than, for example, South Arlington, western Alexandria, the Rte. 1 corridor and Culmore.

Our governments don't gather incidence statistics based on income, but from what I can tell from the incidence maps I've seen, there is a large correlation between poverty and HIV infection rates. The poorest areas have the highest rates of infection.

Priya, my point wasn't to shoot anon down. He does that all by himself, with his made-up data and bizarre conclusions. As I've said before, he isn't interested in discussing the epidemic, except to the degree that it reinforces his dislike of queer people. Talking to him is like talking to an ostrich.

December 13, 2008 6:59 PM  
Anonymous old-anon said...

Well, you gave it the old college try, Robert. I couldn't find the data either.

Let's just say, right now, proof doesn't exist either way.

I'm taking off for the holidays.

Have a good one.

December 13, 2008 8:51 PM  
Anonymous Robert said...

My vacation doesn't start for a week and a half. Lucky you.

For anyone who cares, here are the data: of American cities, in 2004, Columbia SC had the 11th highest HIV incidence, while San Francisco was 21st (DC was 3rd). Worth noting that the incidence in SF was slightly higher than the average of US Metropolitan areas >500,000, but there may be a factor of comparing apples and organges there.

HIV Incidence in US Cities in 2004


rrjr

December 14, 2008 6:57 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Good sleuthing Robert! Now Anon has some facts to debunk his theory about HIV/AIDS incidence comparing SF with Columbia, SC and his belief that Let's just say, right now, proof doesn't exist either way.

Proof does indeed exist that the per capita incidence of HIV/AIDS in 2004 was higher in Columbia SC than in San Francisco.

December 14, 2008 3:32 PM  
Anonymous Robert said...

Although the HIV/AIDS epidemic in San Francisco is mostly a phenomenon of men who have sex with men (the CDC's term: MSM), unlike Maryland, DC and Virginia, the epi profile for SF reported that the incidence of new infections among gay men was @1% in SF, as opposed to, for example 8% in Baltimore. An interesting fact, and worth exploring for our own communities.

Where being gay is more accepted, gay people are less likely to contract HIV. Mmmm.

December 15, 2008 11:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

also, it'd be interesting to get the breakdown between races and ages

the old gays get worn out but the young ones are out of control

race, as we've discussed, is another factor

December 15, 2008 4:35 PM  
Anonymous Robert said...

Silly anonymous thinks we're talking to him.

December 16, 2008 5:57 PM  

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