Thursday, August 27, 2009

PFOX Loses, Announces Great Victory

PFOX issued a press release this week that made it sound like there had been a gigantic legal breakthrough in rights for "former homosexuals," when the fact is -- they lost the case.

PFOX -- Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays -- is an anti-gay organization that tries to assert that people can stop being gay. They refer to such chimeric individuals as "ex-gays" and complain constantly that "ex-gays" or "former homosexuals" are discriminated against. In 2002, PFOX wanted to set up a booth at the NEA's annual convention -- the NEA being the teachers' union -- and NEA said no. They first told them there wasn't any room, but it came out they didn't want them there because they did not approve of their anti-gay propagandizing.

The PFOX press release starts like this:
WASHINGTON, Aug. 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In a precedent setting case, the Superior Court of the District of Columbia has ruled that former homosexuals are a protected class that must be recognized under sexual orientation non-discrimination laws. The Court held that, under the D.C. Human Rights Act, sexual orientation does not require immutable characteristics. Court Rules That 'Sexual Orientation' Laws Include Former Homosexuals

This ruling applies to the District of Columbia only. Its Human Rights Act defines sexual orientation in terms of preference and practice, and there is nothing suggesting that the antidiscrimination law applies only to "immutable" characteristics. So this judge reversed a previous ruling by saying that it is illegal in DC to discriminate against "former homosexuals" as well as current ones.

But so what? The NEA never said that PFOX couldn't set up a booth because of their sexual orientation, they said they couldn't set up a booth because NEA doesn't approve of their bigoted message. Anyway, I don't even know if there are any "ex-gays" at PFOX. Mainly they're just sad people who wish the world was different from how it is.

PFOX continues:
"We are gratified that the ex-gay community in Washington D.C. now has the same civil rights that gays enjoy," said Regina Griggs, executive director of Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX), which had filed the lawsuit against the District of Columbia government for failing to protect former homosexuals in the Nation's Capital.

And you know how often people discriminate against someone because they used to be gay.

They also said ...
"All sexual orientation laws and programs nationwide should now provide true diversity and equality by including former homosexuals," said Greg Quinlan, a director of PFOX. "I have experienced more personal assaults as a former homosexual than I ever did as a gay man."

Let me guess: he's more obnoxious now than when he was a gay man. Am I right?

Please tell me it is still legal to discriminate against obnoxious people. Please.

The judge's opinion can be read HERE, at PFOX's web site. It is often informative to go back to the original.

DC Superior Court Judge Maurice Ross said:
The Court affirms OHR's [Office of Human Rights] ultimate determination that PFOX's application was denied legally. In NEA’s judgment, PFOX is a conversion group hostile toward gays and lesbians. Thus, even though PFOX vehemently disagrees with NEA’s characterization, it is within NEA’s right to exclude PFOX’s presence at NEA’s conventions...

Furthermore, NEA persuasively argues that its rejection of PFOX's application was proper in light of the facts and Hurley. Indeed, the HRA [Human Rights Act] would not require NEA to accept an application from the Ku Klux Klan or a group viewed by the NEA as anti-labor union or racist... Similarly, military organizations and the Boy Scotts of America are excluded from renting exhibit space at the NEA Annual Meetings because of the positions those organizations take with regard to gay and lesbian rights. The analogy is persuasive because NEA rejected PFOX’s application not based on their personal traits, but rather because of PFOX’s mission and message. Certainly, other exhibitors at EXPO 2002 were homosexuals or heterosexuals, like the members of PFOX, but they were distinguishable from PFOX because the other exhibitors presented exhibits the NEA deemed to be agreement with its policies. Thus, PFOX’s arguments miss the point. The NEA did not reject its application because PFOX’s members include exgays, homosexuals, heterosexuals, or members of any other sexual orientation. Rather, NEA rejected PFOX’s application because PFOX’s message and policies were, in NEA’s opinion, contrary to NEA’s policies regarding sexual orientation.

I wish somebody at Montgomery County Public Schools would apply this logic. It is tragic that our public schools send this reprehensible group's literature home with students. They agreed to do this in a legal settlement agreement but that does not make it any less objectionable. PFOX's message is contrary to MCPS's policies regarding sexual orientation, too, and contrary to what is taught in the health curriculum, yet still the schools hand out their material.

I suppose PFOX is making lemonade out of lemons here. They lost their case but got a judge to agree that a law that bans discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation should include someone whose sexual orientation has changed. I have never heard of a straight person being discriminated against because of their past, but I don't think that would be a very nice thing to do.


Anonymous Robert said...

PFOX is perpetually arguing that nondiscrimination laws which include 'sexual orientation' as a category should also include 'sexual reorientation' in order to protect 'former homosexuals.' Given what they take from this court case, I would assume they would cease making that proposal in DC and elsewhere, since they seem to think that the court has ruled that 'ex-gay' is an actual sexual orientation, and is thus covered under current laws.

You know, I've always heard that there's no such thing as an 'ex-marine,' one should refer to such individuals as 'former marines.' I wonder if PFOX distinguishes between the terms 'ex-gays' and 'former homosexuals.'

August 27, 2009 2:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like orange sherbert.

Anyone who tries to pretend that people can receive counseling to reduce their desire to eat orange sherbert is reprehensible.

August 27, 2009 3:09 PM  
Anonymous Robert said...

I think people who like orange sherbert are sinful and they shouldn't be allowed to purchase orange sherbert. It's un-American.

August 27, 2009 3:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

do you think it's OK to think the same about ham, cheeseburgers or oysters?

August 27, 2009 3:50 PM  
Anonymous Robert said...

I think there's a 12-step program: Oyster-eaters Anonymous.

August 27, 2009 4:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

so, if someone decides they don't want to have this same gender attraction, what's so dastardly about it?

August 27, 2009 5:07 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Anon, there would be nothing dastardly about it at all. They can go ahead and try to be straight, why would anybody object to that?


August 27, 2009 5:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

so what's wrong with someone giving them advice on how to do it?

August 27, 2009 5:33 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

What's wrong is that you can't give advice because nobody knows how to do it. There is no evidence that a person can change their sexual orientation at will, and tons of evidence suggesting you can't. Never mind how you'd do it.

That's what's wrong with giving someone advice on how to do it.

But if somebody wants to try to change their sexual orientation, nobody would object.


August 27, 2009 6:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well, as reprehensible as it sounds, some believe they have done it

anyway, you're fine with someone trying to change but you draw the line at their receiving any support or encouragement

if their motivation is religious, the APA now officially supports that

of course, that begs the question:

why is that the only acceptable motivation?

August 27, 2009 8:12 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Religion is not an acceptable motivation (and you are distorting the APA's position, but we don't have to go there). A religion whose god is ashamed of his own creation has a petty and weak god. An organized group of bigots can call themselves a "religion," that grants them special privileges in our country but it doesn't make them good people.

There are some people who believe they have changed, it's true, we even have people in this blogging community who used to believe that about themselves. Ask them again in five years. Ex-ex-gays, Dos Equis, outnumber ex-gays many times over.

Still, a guy is free to try, and anyone can tell him their ideas about how it might be done. But anyone who says it can be done is speaking without evidence.


August 27, 2009 8:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

so is anyone who says it can't

can't prove there's no gold in them thar hills

no one is harmed by PFOX is any way and many think they are helped

live and let live

August 27, 2009 10:41 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Rickman: “so, if someone decides they don't want to have this same gender attraction, what's so dastardly about it?”

JimK: “if somebody wants to try to change their sexual orientation, nobody would object”

Rickman: “well, as reprehensible as it sounds, some believe they have done it”

In the past several years on the internet, I can recall only two examples of people claiming to have gone from homosexual to complete heterosexuality. One of them was an anecdote given by Mellissa Fryrear of Exodus international, but she’s been caught lying on several occasions, so that’s out. And the other one, I believe, was from virulently anti-gay activist James Hartline.

Professional ex-gays, and many ex-gay ministries meticulously parse their words, especially to the press, to give the impression that they have changed their orientation, but are careful to use ambiguous language to avoid actually saying so.

For instance, “Change is possible” can mean changing one’s same-sex attraction, or it can mean changing one’s sexual behavior.

The former is meant for the press, the latter is meant for their constituents. The same applies to the ambiguous term “leaving homosexuality.”

From Alan Chambers’ [president of Exodus International] new book, “Leaving Homosexuality.”
Alan Chambers: “…change has come…but not quite in the way I expected. I have not “arrived by any means…

…The biggest change that has occurred is mostly related to how I view God and His grace.” [p20, emp in original]
Which matches with their oft repeated mantra “The opposite of homosexuality isn’t heterosexuality, it’s holiness.” Which loses all charm when you consider that it can be applied to virtually any situation: The opposite left-handedness isn’t right-handedness, it’s holiness, etc.

“Temptation” is another such term they use. It implies that in between “temptations,” one is completely heterosexual. When, in fact, it’s mostly denial.

Under the heading “Three Reasonable Expectations”:

Alan Chambers: “First is a life of obedience, which includes the Biblical concept of self-denial.” [p23]

Under the heading “Expectations About Sexual Orientation”:

“Are you wondering to what extent you can expect sexual attractions to change? Everyone’s experience is different, but if you mean, Will I become a stark raving heterosexual lust machine? The answer is no.” [p26-27]
Even if it were true that in between bouts of “temptation” they were a “stark raving heterosexual,” at best it would mean that ex-gay = bisexuality.

This kind of political double-speak is wholly dishonest, but Chambers denies this by calling it “nuance.”

PFOX describes “former homosexuals” as those who’ve “decided to fulfill their heterosexual potential.” And out of the other side of their collective mouth say “Ex-gays prove that homosexuals can and do change to a heterosexual orientation.”

Rickman: “some believe they have done it”

Until you have statistics based on legitimate science-based studies, then your usage of the word “some,” is meaningless.

However, there is plenty of evidence that those (ex-gays) who say it can be done, are double-speaking frauds. Which means that even ex-gays are saying, albeit surreptitiously, that it can’t be done.

August 28, 2009 3:18 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

no one is harmed by PFOX

That's a lie. Patrick McAlvey reports here that he was harmed by ex-gay counseling that sounds like the man-hugging treatment espoused by Richard Cohen, the ex-President of PFOX and expelled ex-member of the American Counseling Association.

August 28, 2009 8:14 AM  
Anonymous Robert said...

The major thrust of the Ex-Gay Movement isn't that people can change their affinity for orange sherbert; it is a not-so-subtle effort to show that eating sherbert is unnatural, changeable, and that sherbert-eaters should be denied the same rights as others.

That's why the NEA denied PFOX's booth at their convention: not because their pro-ex-gay, but because they are anti-lgbt. You make the specious argument that they have a right to help people who want to change do so. If that were what they were up to, no one would have any objections, but you know as well as the rest of us do that that is not their real purpose.

If you don't believe me, just go to their website and read all the material they have online about how awful queer people are.

Silly anonymous, tricks are for kids.

August 28, 2009 8:18 AM  
Anonymous kids first said...

Fascinatin', improv

Whether it's possible or not, it's really not your place to interfere in someone else's personal decisions and no one is "reprehensible" for providing support

In other news, Barack Obama should soon be doing something uncharacteristically brave and defying teacher unions by supporting school vouchers


He promised to support "what works" and we know, from here on out, he's going to keep his word.

In the new issue of Education Next, Patrick J. Wolf, a professor of education reform at the University of Arkansas and the principal investigator of the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program says "The D.C. voucher program has proven to be the most effective education policy evaluated by the federal government's official education research arm so far. On average, participating low-income students are performing better in reading because the federal government decided to launch an experimental school choice program in our nation's capital."

Furthermore, a new report by the Heritage Foundation, in conjunction with the Lexington Institute, on violence and criminal activity in D.C. schools pays particular attention to the plight of the 216 students who had planned to attend private school before the administration rescinded their scholarship offers while Congress debates the future of the program. The study looks at the 70 public schools to which these students have now been assigned and finds there were 2,379 crime-related incidents, including 666 violent incidents (one of which was a homicide), for the 2007-08 school year.

Who can blame their parents for wanting to keep their kids out of these dangerous and failing hell-holes?

We can blame liberals for blocking the rescue of these children. They need to stop supporting this evil for political gain. Maybe Obama can lead them to a morally correct position. Kind of like how only Nixon could go to China, maybe only Obama can stare down the nefarious teachers' unions.

On another education front, it is also intersting to note the deterioration of MCPS since the factually inaccurate sex ed curriculum was implemented. Average SAT scores, reported ealrier this week, fell 10 points in MC last year while going up 1 in Fairfax and 6 in Howard. Perhaps the descent in gay advocacy that the curriculum represents is corrupting the entire acadmeic culture in MCPS.

We'll keep an eye on this.

Thankfully, Peter Spriggs will continue his lonely and valiant effort to correct this. I'm in favor of an award to help him out.

August 28, 2009 8:19 AM  
Anonymous Robert said...

BTW, it's very nice when the thread stays on the same topic. Thank you.

August 28, 2009 8:22 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

On another education front, it is also intersting to note the deterioration of MCPS since the factually inaccurate sex ed curriculum was implemented. Average SAT scores, reported ealrier this week, fell 10 points in MC last year while going up 1 in Fairfax and 6 in Howard. Perhaps the descent in gay advocacy that the curriculum represents is corrupting the entire acadmeic culture in MCPS.

Or maybe it's because it took so long for MCPS to catch up to Howard and Fairfax County Public School Systems, which have included "instruction about sexual orientation in their curriculum" since before November, 2004. After another year or two with our revised sex education curriculum in place, MCPS should catch up to these leaders in honest discussions of human sexuality, which in addition to Fairfax and Howard Counties also include Prince George's County, District of Columbia, and Baltimore City.

August 28, 2009 9:40 AM  
Anonymous pal franken said...

"it's very nice when the thread stays on the same topic"

you don't see the connection between PFOX, NEA, school choice and the MCPS curriculum?

it's all inter-related, Robbie

and you're a great guy

keep up the comments

August 28, 2009 9:43 AM  
Anonymous marsell marso said...

"Or maybe it's because it took so long for MCPS to catch up to Howard and Fairfax County Public School Systems, which have included "instruction about sexual orientation in their curriculum" since before November, 2004."

the devil is in the details, Anon-B

Fairfax and Howard don't push the gay agenda envelope

"After another year or two with our revised sex education curriculum in place, MCPS should catch up to these leaders in honest discussions of human sexuality, which in addition to Fairfax and Howard Counties also include Prince George's County, District of Columbia, and Baltimore City."

it's hard to catch up when you're going backwards

MCPS doesn't include "honest discussion" but instead promotes a fairy tale

August 28, 2009 9:49 AM  
Anonymous super liberal and proud of it said...

this is very upsetting, from the LA Times this morning:

"Reporting from Washington - President Obama, who won the White House with an electoral college landslide and enjoyed soaring public approval in the weeks after his inauguration, has fallen to a 50% job approval rating in the newest daily tracking of the Gallup Poll released Thursday.

The new low for Obama compares with his peak public job approval rating of 69% after his inauguration in January.

The president's sliding approval ratings in the Gallup and other national polls this summer have paralleled growing unrest about his healthcare plans.

Polls also show that Obama has lost support for his handling of the economy.

The loss of support for the president on domestic issues has made it more difficult for the White House to rally support in Congress for his healthcare initiative, with lawmakers looking at midterm elections a little over a year away.

Obama has reached his new low more quickly than most of his predecessors did, Gallup said. The percentage of people voicing disapproval for Obama's job performance stands at a near-high of 43%.

Slipping below 50% before November of the first year in office would represent the third-fastest drop since World War II, Gallup reports.

President Ford slipped below 50% in his third month; President Clinton hit the mark in his fourth month.

It took President Eisenhower five years to fall below 50%, Gallup said. It took Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush each about three years. It took Presidents Johnson and Nixon more than two years."

August 28, 2009 10:44 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

MCPS doesn't include "honest discussion" but instead promotes a fairy tale

Which part of the scripted curriculum reads like a fairy tale to you?

August 28, 2009 10:58 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Are you still checking the script?

While you're doing that, maybe you could tell us exactly how Howard and Fairfax County's sex ed curricula differ from MCPS's regarding "the gay agenda envelope."

The devil is in the details, you know.

August 28, 2009 11:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not checking anything.

Don't need to.

August 28, 2009 12:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are so full of it, "Anonymous"....back to your addiction to trolling I see.

August 28, 2009 12:41 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Bad anonymous said "I'm not checking anything. Don't need to.".

Yes, people who like to lie don't need to check anything.

August 28, 2009 3:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh, please

your disinformation is routine and infamous

Anon-B claims that the curriculum in Fairfax is equally supportive of the gay agenda with MC

let her prove it

August 28, 2009 3:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While vacationing in Martha's Vineyard yesterday, Barry Hussein Obama was photographed several times riding a bicycle without a helmet.

The White House did say that the President supports helmet-wearing, but offered no explanation for his reckless ride.

The answer is obvious: Barry Obama is a bad seed.

August 28, 2009 4:06 PM  
Anonymous Robert said...

I know the curriculum in Fairfax.

For the past decade, more or less, FCPS has shown a movie to 10th-graders called "What if I'm Gay?" It was an afterschool special on one of the networks, back when we all had big hair. FCPS allows no commentary or discussion of this video.

Bea, I will say that MCPS has more progressive policies than FCPS. My question is more specific: do they have targeted specific training for staff on combatting anti-lgbt harassment and bullying (or anti-trans bullying). FCPS I thinks mentions harassment as a subset of sexual harssment in their trainings for new teachers, but it's just a mention, not county-wide, and not followed up. Does anyone know what MCPS does?

Anonymous my friend, challenging people to "prove it" is a hallmark of trollishness. Is sophistical and argumentative without adding to the discussion (and very 3rd-grade). Be careful that you don't just expend electrons, since they're Jim's electrons, not really yours.

August 28, 2009 4:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you guys see Top Chef on Wed night?

These there are sixteen contestants: eight male, eight female. Three are gay, standard quota for reality shows in the 21st century.

The other night the challenge was to prepare appetizers to complement three types of shooters at a certain bachelor party. (I never heard of pairing food with shooters but it must be the new wine)

One of the lesbians went ballistic. How could the show be so insensitive to have a challenge like this when she's not allowed to get married? She just wouldn't shut up about it.

Top Chef is a top-rated show. This gal set the whole gay agenda back years.

Anyway, they then carted the whole crew off for shopping and where did they go?

Why, Whole Foods in Vegas, Of course.


A couple of unions have now joined the boycott of Whole Foods and are giving liberals a similarly bad image:

"By withholding patronage, Whole Foods' detractors convey the message that they require strict adherence to a hard liberal line. Never mind that Whole Foods does more for the environment, the needy, and its own employees than any other supermarket chain: its CEO has dared to utter heresy and must be clipped from the herd.

Beyond this, CtW and UFCW's decision to jump on the boycott bandwagon seems more than a little disingenuous. As Mackey has made very clear in the past, he is firmly anti-union; although Whole Foods reached a compromise with organized labor back in March, it is fair to say that relations between the two sides are probably strained. In this context, it seems likely that the union boycott has little to do with health care and everything to do with Mackey's anti-union policies.

If Whole Foods' customers are really liberal, then they will, perhaps, remember that true liberalism endorses the free flow of information, ideas, and perspectives. While they may not agree with Mackey's statements, their eagerness to censor him has effectively transformed righteous anger into bald-faced hypocrisy and bad business into bad politics."

btw, great profile in the Post today of Brian Brown, the executive director of the National Organization for Marriage who has now moved to Washington. He led the movement to stop gay marriage in California and he is here to do the same at the national level.

He's got the White House on his side already.

That's like starting on second base, huh?

August 28, 2009 4:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Anonymous my friend, challenging people to "prove it" is a hallmark of trollishness."

Wasn't that what Anon-B did to me?

Do you you think she's a troll?

August 28, 2009 4:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you guys are having such a bad summer, I feel bad

tell you what, here's one you'll like:

"'Efforts to change sexual orientation are unlikely to be successful and involve some risk of harm." So says a new American Psychological Association report affirmed by its governing body in a 125-to-4 vote. No surprise there, given the past advice of the APA—and of other mental-health associations—against sexual-reorientation therapies.

What has raised some eyebrows was the APA's olive branch to religious conservatives. Reaffirming "individuals' right to their own religious beliefs," the report provides guidance to counselors whose religious clients feel distressed about their same-sex attractions. It encourages them to remind their clients that gay people can live happy lives and that there is no evidence to support the belief that sexual orientation can change. But if clients reject a gay identity anyway, declared the APA, then it would be ethical to help them reconcile their religious and sexual identities and to assist them in managing their behavior, including refraining from sexual activity.

Applause for the APA's sensitivity to religious diversity has come from previously opposing sides within evangelicalism. Psychotherapist Ralph Blair, the founder of Evangelicals Concerned, the gay-supporting "national network of gay and lesbian evangelical Christians and friends," welcomes APA's "clear rejection of 'reparative therapy.' " But he also welcomes its openness to supporting homosexual people "who nonetheless think that it's wrong for them to act on their same-sex desires." Grove City College psychologist-blogger Warren Throckmorton, who supports those who want to control same-sex attractions and reject a gay identity, sees hope for "a larger middle and smaller numbers of people at the opinion extremes. People on both sides, he says, "can agree that erotic responsiveness is extremely durable."

August 28, 2009 4:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This emerging professional consensus—that one's sexual orientation is a natural, enduring disposition—has gained strength from scientists who have, in recent years, discovered gay-straight differences in brain centers, fingerprint patterns and, it appears, the womb: The more biological older brothers a man has, the greater the likelihood of same-sex orientation.

Even conservative Focus on the Family now agrees with the APA on this much: "We do not believe anyone chooses his or her same-sex attractions." Focus adds that, for men and women who struggle with the issue, the aim is "to steward their impulses in a way that aligns with their faith convictions." Focus on the Family has not reversed its encouragement of sexual-reorientation efforts, but it is passing off sponsorship of its money-losing "Love Won Out" seminars on "leaving homosexuality."

Some of the conflict about same-sex attractions stems from disagreements about biblical texts. On one side are those who assume the literal meaning of seven proscriptive passages, especially in Leviticus and Romans. On the other are those who say that these few texts are slim pickings among the Bible's 31,103 verses and that such texts usually also condemn other actions (such as child exploitation, promiscuity or idolatry) and never a natural orientation. But biblical scholars are working to resolve the differences, as they did with earlier debates over slavery, race and gender.

Anecdotes of ex-gays continue to be heard, but they are offset by a growing list of ex-ex-gays, including more than a dozen former ex-gay group leaders. The British evangelical organization Courage once aimed to assist those struggling with "the clear biblical prohibition of homosexual practice." But no longer. Acknowledging the harm done by its fruitless sexual-reorientation efforts, Courage has become a place for "gay and lesbian Christians who are seeking a safe place of friendship in which to reconcile their faith and sexuality."

Perhaps one day we will see traditionalists asking themselves whether the world would be a happier and healthier place if, for all people, love, sex and, yes, marriage went together. In the meantime, the increasing common ground between social scientists and religious conservatives is a small miracle in itself.

Mr. Myers, a social psychologist, is co-author, with Letha Dawson Scanzoni, of "What God Has Joined Together: The Christian Case for Gay Marriage""

August 28, 2009 5:00 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Anon-B claims that the curriculum in Fairfax is equally supportive of the gay agenda with MC

You just can't keep yourself from putting words in my mouth, can you, Wyatt?

I never said any such thing.

I said:

Or maybe it's because it took so long for MCPS to catch up to Howard and Fairfax County Public School Systems, which have included "instruction about sexual orientation in their curriculum" since before November, 2004. After another year or two with our revised sex education curriculum in place, MCPS should catch up to these leaders in honest discussions of human sexuality, which in addition to Fairfax and Howard Counties also include Prince George's County, District of Columbia, and Baltimore City.

Apparently reading comprehension, fact checking, and link clicking are more than Anon's simple mind can handle.

Have a nice weekend! :)

August 28, 2009 6:43 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Hey Robert,

Thanks for providing more detail about the limitations of the Fairfax program. Sounds like it's time for them to revise and update their curriculum too. Next week I'll be meeting with some MCPS sex educators and will inquire about "targeted specific training for staff on combatting anti-lgbt harassment" and let you know what I learn.

And Robert, thanks for all you do. Teachers Rock!

August 28, 2009 6:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What proof do you have that there is any "anti-lgbt harassment"among teachers?

August 28, 2009 10:38 PM  
Anonymous Robert said...

It is time for Fairfax to update, there were some efforts a few years ago but they were frightened off by the threats of political action by PFOX and Concerned Women for America.

Speaking of teaching: I dreamed on Thursday night that I was writing a vocabulary quiz, and when I woke up I realized there were some pretty good questions in there, so I wrote them down. Too scary.

Anonymous, dear friend, there are reports of bullying by a few staff, but I was actually referring to harassment among students. The proof I have is that I see it every week, and hear reports of it from my students nearly every day. Bullying and harassment are pervasive problems in our schools. Would you like me to look up and link to the research for you, or are you just going to make some sort of snide comment anyway? I have to protect my keyboard from unnecessary use, you understand.


August 29, 2009 9:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Apparently reading comprehension, fact checking, and link clicking are more than Anon's simple mind can handle."

There you go, Robert.

Anon-B is saying "prove it" again.

Is she a troll under your definition or not?

"Would you like me to look up and link to the research for you, or are you just going to make some sort of snide comment anyway?"

That was some other anon, not the "snide" one but this whole "bullying" thing is so widely defined as to make any statistic meaningless.

For example, calling someone "gay"
is usually considered by these statistic collectors as lbgt harassment whether the person is actually gay or not.

The fact that most people consider calling someone gay to be an insult is none of the school's business.

"Thanks for providing more detail about the limitations of the Fairfax program. Sounds like it's time for them to revise and update their curriculum too."

Yes, thanks for exposing Anon-B's deception.

Back to the original point, MCPS gay agenda pushing sex ed may have corrupted their academic integrity in a way that is pervasive and causing major deterioriation in the quality of the schools, as evidenced by the major move backward in SAT scores while other counties with similar demographics but more limited endorsement of the gay agenda move forward.


August 29, 2009 2:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Emproph, is was not me quoting at the beginning of this thread when you said "Rickman".

I have an off-subject quick question for the committed liberals on this site.

Do you really believe that the health care plan is not socialized medicine OR do you understand that it is socialized medicine and are in favor of socialized medicine in the US ?

Just curious.


August 29, 2009 3:50 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Theresa, I am not a very political person, and so I might step on a landmine now and then, but the phrase "socialized medicine" fails to set off any emotional reaction for me. Am I supposed to picture our government turning into some Stalinist dictatorship if we have a public option for health insurance?

It only sounds to me like you and I won't be paying for emergency-room freeloaders, and the costs of our health care will be driven down when our private insurers have to compete with the deals the government can get. Is that "socialized medicine?" Or is "socialized medicine" a phrase like "death panels" that is supposed to evoke a reaction?


August 29, 2009 4:25 PM  
Anonymous Robert said...

In answer to your question, Theresa.


Socialized medicine, as I understand it, is a National Health Program such as the British have.

I am in fact in favor of that, so yes, I think we should have socialized medicine.

That is not what is being proposed in this country. What Congress is debating now is some health care reform and universal health insurance. Not socialized medicine.

The opponents of universal health insurance have, I think, glommed onto the phrase "socialized medicine" because they think "socialism" will scare off a certain percentage of people right off the bat.

But "socialized medicine" is not even on the table. I repeat, we are as a nation discussing universal health insurance.

August 29, 2009 5:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Jim.

I am just finishing up cooking for this weeks meals (something us dual income families usually do in advance... too difficult to accomplish during the week ... to Bea's point or whomever was being nasty)...

Socialized medicine does evoke for me anyway, thoughts of the UK's medicine and Oregon's health plan. There are plenty of horror stories coming out these countries about what the govt will and will not pay for... and of rationing, ie, judging how much someone's life is worth by how old they are.

That troubles me. It troubles me because I have an 83 year old mother who went parasailing with me on her 80th birthday, and is a vibrant lady. I don't think the govt has the right to say to my mom "you are too old to get the heart by pass surgery you received 3 years ago at 80 years old...".

There are way too many stories of rationing overseas.

Way too many stories.

And in Canada, there are even stories of where even if you are willing to pay for the service (outside of the insurance) you can't get it.

Medicare has taken an enormous amount of my paycheck over the years. By the time I retire, I will have contributed well over enough to pay for several bypass surgeries. So when one says that Medicare is socialized medicine, well I disagree. You are simply paying for your insurance plan for you retirement before you retire. Do they need to up the premiums or the co-pays ? Maybe.

What makes me extremely uncomfortable is taking the decisions about health care from the doctors and patients and putting them in the hands of a govt oversight board who instead of looking at keeping the patient alive is looking at costs and "value of the patient to society". That makes me really, really nervous. Doesn't it make you nervous ?
That is getting pretty darn personal. It is easier to think about it, at least for me, not about if I were sick and the cost I would have on society to stay well, but the amount I would be willing to spend to keep my child or my parent alive. Money becomes simply no object, not even a factor in the discussion. That I guess is why end of life costs are so high.

Though I agree that folks should be encouraged to think about end of life issues, and have a living will, I don't think the govt has ANY place mandating such a thing... it is way too much of an intrusion.

I don't understand how the folks on this blog who were so upset with the Patriot act (which basically enabled wireless companies to turn over communications records for suspected terrorists) can be perfectly okay with a bill that requires the IRS to turn over all the tax records of every individual to this new agency that will monitor the health of every individual. For me, it is way too big government and shades of Soylent Green.

I would have thought that even the most extreme liberals, who seem to be all about privacy, would be offended by that. I would have thought that the older folks on this blog (and there are lots over 50) would have been somewhat frightened by the new rationing rules.

This healthcare plan is absolutely rationing. It will absolutely force you onto an health insurance exchange plan... so for anyone who can't afford to pay for two plans (one to avoid the penalty and another real plan that will still cover you when you are old)... well it means you are going to follow the govt rules about when you should live and die.

So think about the govt telling you your spouse's life is not worth a bone marrow transplant.....

Or your 3 year old childs life is not worth a bone marrow transplant... and then add to that the fact that health care will be so scarce with this plan that even if you were willing to sacrifice everything to save that child, you couldn't even do it here. You would have to go to Mexico.

August 30, 2009 1:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am willing to pay a bit more for my insurance to cover everyone whose child might have cancer. The cost of that child having cancer gets averaged and put in all of our insurances.

But with this plan, if Razieckl Emmanual has his way, the govt will just say, your child is not worth saving...

Think about your own kids, or your grandkids (I am not having anymore)...

How would you feel if one of those kids came down with something, you couldn't afford 200K to pay for the treatment, and since it is baby, the govt says the investment isn't worth it....

wouldn't you give everything to save that grandkid ? but what if it wasn't enough.. if you sold everything and still couldn't pay the bills...

I can't have that on my conscience.

I have never said that I am not in favor of covering the uninsured, or of trying to figure out something to do about the pre-existing conditions. An insurance lady who called into on the talk shows said that if you are insured when the condition happens, and you pay to stay insured, they can't deny you.. COBRA (thank you teddy kennedy).... so the govt should subsidize COBRA, clearly.

does it mandate insurance ? yes, maybe. there are lots of youth who should have it. I knew a lawyer at my kids montessori (where his daughter was enrolled) who didn't have insurance for her. Crazy.

But does it ration care ? I think that makes govt God. And if govt is your God, well maybe that is okay for you.

It is surely not for me.


August 30, 2009 1:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

one of the three Republicans on the gang of six:

"WASHINGTON (Aug. 29) - A leading GOP negotiator on health care struck a further blow to fading chances of a bipartisan compromise by saying Democratic proposals would restrict medical choices and make the country's "finances sicker without saving you money."

The criticism from Sen. Michael Enzi, R-Wyo., echoed that of many opponents of the Democratic plans under consideration in Congress.

But Enzi's judgment was especially noteworthy because he is one of only three Republicans who have been willing to consider a bipartisan bill in the Senate

On Saturday, Enzi said any health care legislation must lower medical costs for Americans without increasing deficits and the national debt.

"The bills introduced by congressional Democrats fail to meet these standards," he said.

Enzi, together with Republican Sens. Charles Grassley of Iowa and Olympia Snowe of Maine, has held talks with Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont.

But the chance of a bipartisan breakthrough has diminished in the face of an effective public mobilization by opponents of Democratic proposals.

"I heard a lot of frustration and anger as I traveled across my home state this last few weeks," said Enzi, who has been targeted by critics for seeking to negotiate on legislation. "People in Wyoming and across the country are anxious about what Washington has in mind. This is big. This is personal. This is one of the most important debates of our lifetime."

Enzi called for more competition among health insurers, for the ability of small businesses to band together across state lines to negotiate for lower-cost insurance plans, for tax breaks to help people buy insurance and for reducing malpractice lawsuits.

The debate over health care will resume in Washington after Labor Day, just two weeks after White House budget officials projected that deficits would total a staggering $9 trillion over the next 10 years, without the health care bill.

Though President Obama has said he wants the total health care bill paid for without adding to the deficit, congressional budget officials have estimated that House health care proposals would cost the government more.

"The Democrats are trying to rush a bill through the process that will actually make our nation's finances sicker without saving you money," Enzi said.

Democrats also are calling for cuts in Medicare spending, using some of the savings to help uninsured workers.

A House bill would result in a net reduction in Medicare of about $200 billion.

Enzi said: "This will result in cutting hundreds of billions of dollars from the elderly to create new government programs."

He said that the Democrats' plans would result in less access to certain medical treatments, citing a proposed government board that would research the most effective medical practices.

"We're a nation of people who want the ability to choose what will best fit our families' needs and it should be that way with health care, too," Enzi said."

August 30, 2009 6:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Majority Rule on Health Care Reform

The talk in Washington is that Senate Democrats are preparing to push through health care reforms using parliamentary procedures that will allow a simple majority to prevail in their chamber, as it does in the House, instead of the 60 votes needed to overcome the filibuster that Senate Republicans are sure to mount.

With the death of Senator Edward Kennedy, the Democrats do not have the votes just among their 57 members (and the two independents) to break a filibuster, and not all of these can be counted on to vote in lock step. If the Democrats want to enact health care reform this year, they appear to have little choice but to adopt a high-risk, go-it-alone, majority-rules strategy.

We say this with considerable regret because a bipartisan compromise would be the surest way to achieve comprehensive reforms with broad public support. But the ideological split between the parties is too wide — and the animosities too deep — for that to be possible.

In recent weeks, it has become inescapably clear that Republicans are unlikely to vote for substantial reform this year. Many seem bent on scuttling President Obama’s signature domestic issue no matter the cost. As Senator Jim DeMint, Republican of South Carolina, so infamously put it: “If we’re able to stop Obama on this, it will be his Waterloo. It will break him.”

Superficially seductive calls to scale down the effort until the recession ends or to take time for further deliberations should be ignored. There has been more than enough debate and the recession will almost certainly be over before the major features of reform kick in several years from now. Those who fear that a trillion-dollar reform will add to the nation’s deficit burden should remember that these changes are intended to be deficit-neutral over the next decade.

Delay would be foolish politically. The Democrats have substantial majorities in the House and the Senate this year. Next year, as the midterm elections approach, it will be even harder for legislators to take controversial stands. After the elections, if history is any guide, the Democratic majorities could be smaller.

Mr. Obama should know from sad experience the pitfalls of seeking bipartisan cooperation from a Republican Party that has sloughed off most of its moderates and is dominated by its right wing. His stimulus package was supported by no Republicans in the House and only three Republicans in the Senate, so-called moderates whose support was won by shrinking the package below the size at which it would have done the most good.

Now the same sort of damaging retreat may be happening in the Senate Finance Committee. Three committees in the House and one in the Senate have used their Democratic majorities to approve liberal health reform bills. The only bipartisan negotiations are between a rump group of three Democrats and three Republicans on the Finance Committee who hail from largely rural states with small populations, namely Iowa, Maine, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota and Wyoming. Somehow this small, unrepresentative group has emerged as the focal point for bipartisan health care reform.

The six have been working hard to reach agreement, but the concessions demanded by Republicans will most likely make the reform effort weaker and smaller. They could, for example, reduce the scale of the program and the subsidies for low-income people; drop the idea of a government-run insurance plan to compete with private insurers; and eliminate a requirement that employers offer coverage to their workers or pay a penalty.

August 30, 2009 2:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even if the group reaches an agreement, which is by no means certain, its compromise is unlikely to win support from a Republican Party that seems bent on delay. Leading Senate Republicans have seen little in the emerging compromise that they are willing to support.

Two of the Republicans working on the compromise — Charles Grassley of Iowa and Michael Enzi of Wyoming — have said they would not vote for a bill that could not win broad support, which Mr. Enzi defined as 75 to 80 senators, implying that roughly half of the Senate’s Republicans must sign on. That is unlikely — no matter how good or bipartisan or middle-of-the-road any bill may be.

The Democrats are thus well advised to start preparing to use an arcane parliamentary tactic known as “budget reconciliation” that would let them sidestep a Republican filibuster and approve reform proposals by a simple majority.

The approach is risky. Reconciliation bills are primarily intended to deal with budget items that affect the deficit, not with substantive legislation like health care reform. Senators could challenge as “extraneous” any provisions that do not change spending or revenues over the next five years, or would have a budget impact that is “merely incidental” to some broader policy purpose, or would increase the deficit in Year 6 and beyond.

So how much of the proposed health care reforms could plausibly fit into a reconciliation bill? The answer seems to be: quite a lot, though nobody knows for sure.

Knowledgeable analysts from both parties believe that these important elements of reform will probably pass muster because of their budgetary impact: expansion of Medicaid for the poor; subsidies to help low-income people buy insurance; new taxes to pay for the trillion-dollar program; Medicare cuts to help finance the program; mandates on individuals to buy insurance and on employers to offer coverage; and tax credits to help small businesses provide insurance.

Even the public plan so reviled by Republicans could probably qualify, especially if it is given greater power than currently planned to dictate the prices it will pay to hospitals, doctors, drug companies and other providers, thus saving the government lots of money in subsidies.

Greater uncertainty surrounds two other critical elements: new rules requiring insurance companies to accept all applicants and charge them the same premiums without regard to medical condition, and the creation of new exchanges in which people forced to buy their own insurance could find cheaper policies than are currently available.

Republicans claim that they want to make medical insurance and care cheaper and give ordinary Americans more choices. But given their drive to kill health reform at any cost, they might well argue that these are programmatic changes whose budgetary impact is “merely incidental.” Democrats would very likely counter that they are so intertwined with other reforms that they are “a necessary term or condition” for other provisions that do affect spending or revenues, which could allow them to be kept in the bill.

Nobody knows how the Senate parliamentarian, an obscure official who advises the presiding officer, would rule on any of these complicated issues. But if he were to take a narrow view and eliminate important features, it could leave the reform package riddled with holes — perhaps providing subsidies to buy insurance on exchanges that do not exist, for example. Thus there are plans afoot to use a second bill to pass whatever reforms will not fit under the rubric of reconciliation, but those would be subject to filibuster and would have to depend on their general popularity (insurance reforms are enormously popular) to win 60 votes for passage.

August 30, 2009 2:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another hurdle is that the reconciliation legislation covers only the next five years, while the Democratic plans are devised to be deficit-neutral over 10 years. The practical effect is that the Democrats will almost surely need to find added revenues or budget cuts within the first five years.

Another Senate rule, which applies whether reconciliation is used or not, requires that the reforms enacted now not cause an increase in the deficit for decades to come, a difficult but probably not impossible hurdle to surmount.

Clearly the reconciliation approach is a risky and less desirable way to enact comprehensive health care reforms. The only worse approach would be to retreat to modest gestures in an effort to win Republican acquiescence. It is barely possible that the Senate Finance Committee might pull off a miracle and devise a comprehensive solution that could win broad support, or get one or more Republicans to vote to break a filibuster. If not, the Democrats need to push for as much reform as possible through majority vote.

August 30, 2009 2:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this would be great for Republicans

would give them a chance to show the country why they need to vote Democrats out

"Those who fear that a trillion-dollar reform will add to the nation’s deficit burden should remember that these changes are intended to be deficit-neutral over the next decade."

Remember, no one believes this.

The public doesn't support the bill and the partisans who do favor it are lukewarm in their support.

You may not have 51 votes because conservative Democrats don't favor it unless it's watered down in the manner suggested by Republicans and liberal Democrats say they won't support it unless the socialistic public option is included.

It's all lose-lose for Democrats.

August 30, 2009 5:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not even a week has passed and "Anonymous" exhibits his troll-like behaviours, despite Jim's reasoned request that you NOT dominate this site and attempt to pirate it for your own ends.
Once more you make efforts to steer the discussion of this thread "PFOX Loses..." to this: Anonymous said...
"While vacationing in Martha's Vineyard yesterday, Barry Hussein Obama was photographed several times riding a bicycle without a helmet.

The White House did say that the President supports helmet-wearing, but offered no explanation for his reckless ride.

The answer is obvious: Barry Obama is a bad seed." (followed by thousands of words of unrelated blather...)

Looks like another appeal to the moderator has to be made...stop this incessent desire to make this blog site your own!

August 30, 2009 5:41 PM  
Anonymous you know a bad seed when.. said...

Breaking the law by not putting on a helmet is not the only way Barry O is a bad seed. Consider:

-he was also photographed riding one-handed

-he sneaks out of the Oval Office into the garden to smoke

-he gambled on March Madness

-he skips church every week since he got to Washington

-he drinks beer on the White House lawn with "Bad Joe" Biden

-he calls cops "stupid"

reckless riding, smoking, gambling, skipping church, drinking, disrespectin' the law

if Washington were on the Mississippi, we'd be calling him "Huck"

right, Dio?

August 30, 2009 9:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OMG, "Bad Seed" are really grasping at straws on that last one (as usual,totally irrelevant to the topic of this thread, I might add).
I would suggest that you read "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" before you use it as an attack vehicle against President Obama.
I dare say that Huck Finn probably had more integrity and sense of justice than you will ever experience in your lifetime.

Incidentally, your reference to me as "Dio", while very flattering, is not at all accurate, so perhaps you might find something of a more perjorative nature when you refer to me.

August 31, 2009 9:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you take yourself way too seriously, Dio.

Ask the doctor is he knows anyone you can see.

August 31, 2009 11:17 AM  

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