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Posts Tagged ‘censorship’

This week, we ate lunch inside a coffee shop! The Frothy Monkey is a Nashville staple, so I went big and ordered a rosemary latte to go with my avo toast. We were surrounded by 20-somethings on laptops, all socially distanced under a soaring ceiling. All mask-less. We felt like we were living on the edge – this was only the second time we tried eating within a restaurant, not just taking-out or dining en plein air, in 20 months.

It’s been 10 days since we received the Moderna booster. Although I was a bit achy, Bob felt fine, except for the thrashing the Democrats took on Tuesday. Our two beloved states, New Jersey and Virginia. NJ, the place where we fell in love, and VA the place where we built our first home and I started this blog looking out at the Blue Ridge. I couldn’t watch the returns, but we called Cousin Anita in Richmond to get the inside scoop.

It would seem McAuliffe misspoke, or maybe he just told the truth, and that’s what tanked him. He basically said that parents don’t write the curriculum, schools do…. which is true. Have you ever written a semester course on biosynthesis? But the spin from his opponent was all about parental control.

During an appearance on Meet the Press Sunday morning, Democratic Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe claimed that his statement at a recent debate against Republican opponent Glenn Youngkin that parents shouldn’t be involved in their children’s school curriculum received applause and support. When host Chuck Todd steered the discussion to parents objecting to inappropriate and politicized assigned books and materials, McAuliffe defended his comment at the debate, in which he said, “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.”

https://www.yahoo.com/now/mcauliffe-claims-everybody-clapped-argued-172127281.html

He doubled down.

When I first attended a school board meeting in NJ, I made the mistake of raising my hand. Little did I know that when you raise your hand, you get the job. I had something to say about their health classes, and it wasn’t good. If you know me, you know I didn’t mind them teaching my kids about birth control; the problem was what they weren’t teaching. They’d had no instruction on substance abuse and addiction. And I remember the look of bewilderment on the school board members’ faces, you know they had paid for some “Say No to Drugs” suitcase right, filled with materials…. and I said that may be true but my kids haven’t heard one iota…

until the board president said,”Oh, so you mean you want parents to be partners with us?”

I get where Terry McAuliffe was coming from, I really do. You don’t want parents to dictate a course on the Christian Bible in a public school, or to demand that their kids NOT wear a mask in the middle of a global pandemic. You don’t want parents threatening school board members. Thirty years ago, if a parent objected to a health class section dealing with birth control, they could opt their kids out. That little paper was among the hundreds of “first day of school papers,’ like the one giving the school permission to take their children on field trips.

But what the Republicans did in this last election is unconscionable. They want to ban a book by Toni Morrison. They took a college-level class about Critical Race Theory (CRT), and whipped up racist sentiment. They’d like to keep the Confederate Myth alive. The GOP would not want schools to write their own history curriculum – the party of ‘states rights’ promised parents that they were in control, that learning about slavery isn’t age-appropriate. Although every middle school curriculum includes a Holocaust segment

CRT is a non-existent, non-starter, Trojan horse of a curriculum that doesn’t even exist in elementary schools. Surprise, they made it up. The party that lies together under their orange leader, may just take back some power.

It’s time for that Blue Wave to get smart and start fighting. Voting rights and our entire planet are on the line; enough about so-called social issues and sports and bathrooms. This is an old playbook, distract and defend. We need a hero or a shero right about now, before our slide into authoritarianism is complete.

These wild and crazy days deserve discipline and courage! Bob and I are planning to go to our first movie next week in almost two years! Probably a matinee, but still. And in better breaking news, the Grands will get their first Covid vaccine this weekend. Are they too young to see the new Bond “No Time to Die” film in surround sound and technicolor?

Baby Yoda

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Another pundit bites the dust. Jeffrey Lord, a Mr T defender on many CNN shows, has had his contract with the network terminated. I would usually turn the channel whenever his smugly leering mug appeared because he always seemed to me insincere. Nothing worse than a reluctant ideologue. And guess what he said – in a Twitter tirade no less – to Angelo Carusone, the President of Media Matters for America?

“Sieg Heil!” 

“Nazi salutes are indefensible,” a CNN spokesperson said in a statement. “Jeffrey Lord is no longer with the network.” https://www.washingtonpost.com

This particular German phrase is banned in Germany. You can’t put air quotes around these two words and pretend you don’t know what they mean. In English the phrase means “Hail Victory;” in reality, it goes along with the Holocaust and an arm in the air and black shirts.

Kayleigh McEnany, another Mr T media consultant left CNN recently. She is now the RNC’s spokesperson, working for Mr T’s very own network. You can’t make this stuff up, in fact I wish I was making it all up.

Let’s skip over to Google shall we. James Damore, an engineer wrote some of his thoughts in a company memo on the reason we see nearly 75% more men in the tech industry and in leadership positions, and then he got sacked. His words of choice were “Biological Differences,”  which seems pretty tame on the surface. After all, we women are the ones giving birth and nursing if we so choose. That can sometimes put a dent in a woman’s career.

But we are not back in the 60s when women could be asked if they planned on having children in a job interview. On a deeper level, Damore was implying we’re not FIT for such complicated, intellectually stimulating and challenging work. Remember, initially we didn’t have women astronauts because of that little “time of the month” problem. No, it’s actually 2017 and young girls are encouraged to pursue Stem careers (science, technology, engineering and maths) – just ask my niece Lynn!

But I have to admit that censorship of any kind scares me. In fact, the ACLU is taking up the case of Milo Yiannopoulos’s free speech rights. He is that ex-Brietbart editor who was drummed out of speaking at a California campus, a British citizen who is ‘dedicated to the destruction of political correctness,’ an alt-right agitator extraordinaire. The Washington, DC Metro removed Yiannopoulos’s ads on their trains for his new book…now a train system is a utility and I guess they don’t have the right to discriminate. Right?

And believe it or not, I’m glad the ACLU is doing what it’s supposed to be doing – protecting our rights! When “Hate Speech” collides with “Free Speech” we have a fundamental question that speaks directly to our democracy and may end up at the feet of the Supreme Court. This is an essential thing that differentiates us among many nations, we don’t ban words or burn books, our only admonition is not to yell “Fire” in a big, crowded public room.

Yesterday I spent much of my time pointing out to a certain two year old, who loves his new Superman cape, we need to use our “inside voices.” We teach our children about tone and decibel levels effortlessly, we want them to grow up in a civilized world. Unfortunately, we have a President who needs someone to manage his Twitter speech, to explain to him it’s like yelling “FIRE” at North Korea, in an “OUTSIDE” voice.

This was my view yesterday morning on my way to the Zoo. Nashville has sent out the Bat Signal because we need a hero!

IMG_1063

 

 

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While surfing the worldwide web this morning, I clicked on a Rolling Stone’s article about the best live bands, “50 Greatest Live Acts Right Now.” I think I found this via Facebook. http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/50-greatest-live-acts-right-now-20130731

Naturally, one of the best was the Parlor Mob. http://www.disarraymagazine.com/2012/03/live-review-parlor-mob-rocks-house-of.html Alright so I’m prejudiced. Since they parted ways, I hear from my Lovely Leo birthday boy what each band member is up to; who they are playing with, flying off to Sweden with, getting married to…  Aside from scoring films, the Rocker is currently playing with 2 bands:

Sikamor Rooney http://sikamorrooney.bigcartel.com/products and

the Black Jesuses http://blackjesuses.com – http://www.surfingmagazine.com/sounds/sounds-the-black-jesus/

Because music is a part of his DNA. But he is also a writer, writing all of the lyrics to his music today. And I thought back to a time in middle school, when he wrote an exceptional essay on censorship. We were proud that at such a young age, he could feel so passionately about artistic freedom.

So with some sense of danger, I sought out the latest edition of Rolling Stone magazine. Because it’s not OK with me when drugstores try to limit my access to a magazine. I found it surreptitiously bundled in front of the very last cashier at our local Barnes and Noble, not in its usual spot among all the other magazine racks. And somehow the cashier gave off a sinister vibe, or maybe it was me, like I was purchasing contraband. photo

And the article about the Boston Bomber was compelling and answered many questions we’ve all been asking, like how can such a normal looking kid, a kid who was in college and became a citizen last year, become a monster? I know in today’s world that magazine article was a click away, but in a small way, I was making a point. And now we hear that the magazine doubled their news stand sales this month…so you see censors, some things have unintended consequences.

You may not agree with me, but lucky for us we live in a country where writers can speak the truth not only to power, but to the world.

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