Thursday, January 25, 2007

Run, Al, Run. We need you.

Here is the latest Rolling Stone Cover story.

We did it!! The Federal Way School Board lifted the ban on Gore's film

Thanks for all your emails to the Federal Way School Board. Now the students will get the facts. Here is the story.

Board lifts ban on Gore's film
The Associated Press

FEDERAL WAY - The Federal Way School Board has lifted its two-week moratorium on the global-warming documentary "An Inconvenient Truth," and members of a Yakima high school after-school club await a decision from school officials on whether they can show the film.

The film scored two Oscar nominations this week - for best documentary feature and best original song.

Dozens of people showed up at a Tuesday night school board meeting here, many disapproving and others supporting the district's temporary moratorium that began Jan. 9.

Many people said they were concerned about the board's view that the film was controversial and thus subject to district policy on such films.

"One concern I have is, 'What is considered controversial?' " said Tisa Kosbab, a parent.

Paul Levy, a Federal Way resident, told the board there was nothing controversial about the film.

"There is no scientific controversy," Levy said about the idea that humans cause global warming. It was "a controversy created by nonprofessionals creating a smoke screen."

The discussion soon grew into a broader debate about fact and fiction and politics in the classroom.

"We're looking for education, not indoctrination," said Bill Pirkle, a Federal Way resident.

School board members had imposed the temporary moratorium on showings of the film as they awaited a report from the district superintendent on whether teachers were following district policies that require them to get films approved by their principals and, in the case of controversial materials, point out bias and present an opposing view.

Teachers at three high schools had shown parts of the film with other points of view, but did not get written approval from principals beforehand, district Superintendent Tom Murphy told the board Tuesday night.

The controversy began after the district distributed a newsletter that notified teachers about free copies of the film for use in classrooms. Some parents complained.

In Yakima, members of Eisenhower High School's Environmental Club had planned last week to show the film after school, but the school's principal put the brakes on the screening when she heard about the plans.

"This is not how we handle supplemental materials," Principal Stacey Locke said.

School board policy requires that the instructional materials committee - made up of school administrators, teachers and parents - review the film, "and if there is another side, have that presented," said Jack Irion, deputy superintendent of Yakima Public Schools.

After the committee makes its recommendation, Locke will make the final decision.

The story is from the 1/25/07 issue of the Olympian.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Sleaziest person of the year award for 2007

The year is young but here are some candidates so far: Ted Nugent, George Bush, Dick Cheney, "Condasleeza" Rice, Rick Perry, Britney Spears, Alberto Gonzalez, Rick Santorum.

This is just a start, as the year progresses the list will get longer.

Express your opinion!

Friday, January 12, 2007

Email Campaign opposing Federal Way Board of Education's decision regarding Al Gore's, "An Inconvenient Truth"

Email the board and let the know what you think.

All of their addresses can be found here

Federal Way Board of Education denies students of a quality education.

Gore's 'Truth' restricted at schools
The Associated Press
FEDERAL WAY - The school board in this suburb south of Seattle has restricted showings of Al Gore's movie on global warming, including requiring that it be balanced with an adequate opposing viewpoint.

The board also required Superintendent Tom Murphy to approve when the former vice president's film, "An Inconvenient Truth," can be presented.
The decision was sparked by complaints from parents who said their child was taking the film as fact after viewing it at school.
"Condoms don't belong in school, and neither does Al Gore. He's not a schoolteacher," said Frosty Hardison, a parent of seven who doesn't want the film shown at all.
"The information that's being presented is a very cockeyed view of what the truth is," Hardison told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. "The Bible says that in the end times everything will burn up, but that perspective isn't in the DVD."
Board President Ed Barney told The News Tribune of Tacoma on Wednesday that he'd received about a half-dozen complaints from parents.
"We have to ensure that our schools are not being used to politically indoctrinate anyone," said board member Dave Larson, who with Barney and board member Charlie Hoff voted Tuesday for the requirements.
None has seen the movie. District policy, however, requires that an opposing view be aired whenever a controversial issue is examined in school.
"I am shocked that a school district would come to this decision," the movie's co-producer, Laurie David, said in a prepared statement. "There is no opposing view to science, which is fact, and the facts are clear that global warming is here, now."
Gore's documentary has received approval from some of the nation's top climate scientists for its accuracy.
In it, he presents scientists' findings on the catastrophic dangers of climate change.
Federal researchers with the National Academy of Sciences have said the planet's temperature has climbed to levels not seen in thousands of years, and has begun to affect plants and animals.
But Larson offered two opposing articles, including one by author John Stossel that said many scientists discredit global warming predictions. He also cited NASA and NOAA Web sites referring to debate and disagreement over climate change.
The film also has been denied a showing at Tacoma's Remann Hall, a high school for juvenile offenders, where Principal Rue Palmer denied a teacher's request.
The film hasn't been approved by the Tacoma district's curriculum committee. The school also focuses on core subjects and doesn't generally show films, explained Patti Holmgren, Tacoma School District spokeswoman.
The National Science Teachers Association turned down an offer from the film's producers for 50,000 free DVDs for classroom use. The association said it didn't want to be seen as politically endorsing the film or open itself to requests from other special interests.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Can you believe this s#!t?

Robin Hayes says we will win in Iraq by "spreading the message of Jesus Christ" there.
Submitted by LiberalNC on Wed, 12/20/2006 - 8:27pm. ::
Robin Hayes has the solution to the Iraq war: have our soldiers convert all Muslims to Christianity.Having won the election by only a hair’s width and almost getting himself kicked out of Congress seems to have had some profound psychological effects on poor Mr. Hayes. A speech that flip-floppin’ Robin gave last week at the Concord Rotary Club seems to prove he has finally gone off the deep end.
Our local weekly newspaper the “Concord Standard and Mount Pleasant Times” reported on Mr. Hayes speech in his hometown:
First there’s the usual talk of how we’re “winning” over there:“The war in Iraq has got to be won; it’s being won”(A couple of months ago Hayes said that the rise in violence in Iraq was an indication that we’re winning.)
Then comes the real kicker:“Stability in Iraq ultimately depends on spreading the message of Jesus Christ, the message of peace on earth, good will towards men. Everything depends on everyone learning about the birth of the Savior.”So if we just turn our soldiers into missionaries everything will be okay, Mr. Hayes?First we sent our men over there to take out the WMD’s, then it was to “spread democracy”, now you want them there to “spread the message of Jesus Christ”?It so happens that people in Iraq already have a savior but unfortunately for Mr. Hayes it’s Muhammed, not Jesus.If we can’t keep Muslims from killing each other over there, I don’t think that trying to make them all Christian is going to be any easier.
With this kind of talk Hayes just plays into the hands of Al-Qaeda by confirming what their leaders have always been saying: those American soldiers are just modern Crusaders. He is thereby strengthening the beliefs of terrorists that want to kill every American soldier they come across.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Here is a great editorial from our local paper

Religious Right is acting like the Roman Empire
WASHINGTON - Only America's Religious Right is able to find controversy where it does not exist. There is nothing more anti-Christmas than forcing American businesses and employees to say Merry Christmas. And only in consumerism-run-amok America is it important to force retail workers who make minimum wage to wish every shopper, "Merry Christmas."

Humbug to those phony Christians who think Christmas is all about minimum-wage employees uttering vapid niceties to gluttonous shoppers in mega-store foyers and checkout lanes!
If the Religious Righteous wants to demonstrate their commitment to the Christmas spirit, let them start by boycotting the big-box retailers who refuse to pay their workers a living wage and family-sustainable benefits. The Religious Right, in its zeal to make every American conform to a specified form of speech during Christmas, is not much different than the Roman Empire requiring its citizens to say "Hail Caesar!" or the Third Reich requiring Germans to greet one another by uttering "Heil Hitler!"
Grinch-like conservatives take the meaning and spirit of "merry" and "Christmas" out of "Merry Christmas" by making its use mandatory and branding those who refuse to conform as "anti-American" and "anti-Christian."
But hang a wreath on your home in the shape of a peace symbol as one woman recently did in Loma Linda, Colo., and the Christmas zeal soon disappears among the Religious Right. The Colorado subdivision resident was threatened with a huge fine by her homeowners association for displaying what they considered to be an "anti-American" and "Satanic" wreath. After the case was reported around the world, the crusaders for Christian subdivision covenants backed down.
Much of the phony debate about the phony "War on Christmas" is led by broadcasting right-wing inciters like Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck. Last year, the Catholic League, the heirs of Father Charles Coughlin, the suburban Detroit radio-ranter in the 1930s, threatened boycotts of Target, Wal-Mart, Macy's and other stores unless they put up "Merry Christmas" banners.
It is all part of the neo-conservative Newspeak.
Confused? Of course you are; that is part of the right wing's program of dividing and conquering our nation. The Religious Right is combining its own jaded brand of Christianity with a perverted notion of American patriotism to create a dangerous religious-political mutation that transforms the U.S. flag, a unitary presidency, Jesus and Christmas into right-wing political symbols.
When America's founders created the United States of America two and a half centuries ago, Christmas was not a major holiday. Only rampant commercialization turned it into the consumerist monstrosity it is today.
Like the Pledge of Allegiance and American flag lapel pins, Christmas has been co-opted by the right for their own nefarious purposes. Companies should allow their employees the latitude to say "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Hannukah" or "Allahu Akbar" or "Happy Kwanzaa."
We are after all - and always have been - "a nation of nations" rather than a religious state.
Meanwhile, for those who celebrate Christmas, they should have a very merry Yuletide without the pressure to have one from a nasty group of political opportunists and rabble rousers who know nothing about the true meaning of Christmas. Allowing a movement that does not believe in free speech to censor the rest of us in the name of their own religion is not what America is all about.
The Founding Fathers would have been appalled. And they certainly would have agreed with William Shakespeare's observation in "The Tempest": "Oh, brave new world that has such people in it."
Wayne Madsen is a contributing writer for the liberal Online Journal ( ). Readers can write to him c/o National Press Club, Front Desk, 529 14th St. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20045.