Updates, with details.

Here are some update pictures, complete with two detail pictures. Click on the images for a larger view. I still have a lot of work to do!

The Art of Politics

It is safe to say that art and politics have made for comfortable bedfellows throughout the history of both. It is much harder to say whether artists are inherently political. Or whether they become political, or if the very nature of art - that is to say the expression of one's perception of the very surroundings they live in - has been and will always be inextricably linked to, and inspired by politics.

I am reminded of just how political art can get, as I work on the portrait of the King's son by Goya. As a royal painter for the King and court, Goya had to carefully cater to the King's wishes, and yet Goya also found the room to display his discontent with Spanish policy through his personal artwork.

Of course, there is also political play within the art world, as it were. Of course in a world of inventors, creators, and massive egos there will always be power plays, and boycotts, blacklisting and fast tracked success dependent on who you know, rather than skill level and what style you adhere to.

And of course, who swims to the top, and who sinks into oblivion is also highly dependent on the actual politics of the time. Dissenting artists, until recently have been shunned by the art world and political world throughout history for the very reason speech is impeded for those who speak out. Art is a very powerful tool in creating waves of action - the visual aspect is the fastest way to ignite emotional reactions.

At the very bottom of this blog I have posted a copy of Picasso's Guernica, a specific reaction to the wars in Spain, during his lifetime. It is undoubtedly a hugely disturbing piece, once deciphered that sticks in one's mind and slowly chips away at one's moral sensibilities.

Goya had several paintings of which he used to show his concern, discontent and blatant outrage of the current political climate he was in.

So too, did many artists I went to school with, myself included. It leads one to wonder however, would art be the same without politics? Would politics suffer without art? Just how much political sway does art actually have?

It is food for thought, at the very least.


Changing Pace, Take Two

Once again, I am blogging about art, and not politics. Tonight I will show just how little progress I have made! Here is a photo of the copy I am working from:

And here is what I have accomplished thus far:

Obviously the face needs a great deal of work. While I adore sculpting portraits, painting them makes me want to lock myself in an Iron Maiden, or pour gasoline over myself and strike a match. Perhaps both. The face in this portrait is done so finely, and the sfumato technique is so very delicate and minute that I am pulling my hair out. As are the color changes in the clothing, and background.

I have begun working up the kitties in the bottom left hand corner, as well as blocking out the bird. I have much work to do!


Changing Pace

Normally this blog is all politics, all the time. However, for a limited time I will be blogging about the progress I am making (or not making, as the case may be) with the painting I have been commissioned to do. Just for a little while, to help me maintain some modicum of progress on it. So, without further ado I am still in the second phase of the painting, a reproduction of a Goya, Don Manuel Osorio Manrique de Zunica.

The original looks like:

And I am at this point:

Aside from some coloration differences and glare problems with the camera - you'll notice some other differences as well. I have to work on a 20" by 24" canvas, to fit a specific frame as requested by my customer. So my image is cropped, quite a bit. There are also some color differences right now, as I am working from a print, and not the original - although no digitally reproduced work accurately represents the color scheme, I will work faithfully from the example that was designated for my use.

I am also very much in the color blocking stage, you can even still see some of the underpainting in the areas of the animals, and belt. For anyone who does not paint, or has not followed the traditions of painting, when one works in oil it is common to use an underpainting, or a thin layer of oil paint underneath the actual painting to change the overall tone of the painting.

Oil paints are somewhat transparent, or translucent - as light is allowed to go through the paint, and will reflect off of the oil primed white canvas beneath, reflected back through the oil colors on top. Compared to acrylic paints, and acrylic gessoed canvases, which do not reflect the light back through the paint because of the elastic nature of the paint. (When the paint settles into the crevices of the canvas, it absorbs the light, rather than reflecting it as the hardened smoother texture of oil paints do).

I chose a rather cool tone for an underpainting, a mixture of Prussian blue, white and a little bit of burnt sienna. The print, up close has an over all cool tone to it, so I used my best judgment and went cool. It seems to be working well for the moment.

Issues that I will be addressing tonight are the animals, the child's head, and some basic proportion problems that arose once the paint was laid down. Once that has been worked up appropriately, I will return to the background and foreground (giving the paint enough time to harden at least a little) and start working in some brighter colors, get the dappled effect that occurs all over the darn thing, and try to get the best coloration that I can.

Tomorrow, I might just post another picture, hopefully it will be more successful than tonights!


On Hiatus

I will be on hiatus for a little while, as spring is here, the holidays and birthdays are abound, and I have a commission that I really need to work on. I may, however put up some opinion pieces, time permitting and may even post pictures of my progress on my commission. Just so you know I'm alive!

In the meanwhile...what are everyone's thoughts and opinions about China's strangle hold on Tibet? Word on the street is that the "crackdown" is far more violent than is being reported.

Discuss amongst yourselves!


Revolution, It's The Patriotic Thing To Do.

In my previous post, The Art of Sedition I mentioned that sedition is only sedition if it is used against lawful Authority. What then, is lawful authority? When our Founding Fathers decided to break free and create a nation all their own, they set up a system that they considered to be lawful authority, or a governmental system that abided by the laws of humanity by ascertaining certain unalienable rights for the citizens of this new found country. Well, for most of the citizens in the highly unenlightened time period, anyway. What they did, aside from setting up a basic set of rules and governmental checks and balances also known as the Constitution, was list a rather long, and detailed set of grievances against the King of Great Britain, also known as the Declaration of Independence you might have heard of it, I'm sure.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

Our current government has gone through just such a test, approximately two hundred times during the Bush presidency. With threats of vetoes well into the one hundreds, and a slew of rapid vetoes in the last year or so, our president has seen fit to either coerce our legislature into dropping bills that are important to the well being of their constituents, or outright vetoing the bills. Such bills include Veto of the Anti-Torture Act, the UAE Port Deal, the Water Resources Development Act, the Earmark Reform Bill, the Children's Health Bill, and the US Troop Withdrawal.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

One bill that comes to mind with regards to this grievance is the D.C. Voting Rights Act, which can also be read about a little more here. This one is of great import because it directly relates the constitutional rights of citizens who are going without proper representation, and have no right to vote properly. The Protect America Act, and a few websites outlining the veto frenzy the Bush administration has gotten itself into, here, here, and here. Just for fun, see what our Biker Lawyers have to say about this very subject, here.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

While our government does comfortably sit in the halls of congress, I do firmly believe that our government has made it almost impossible for the average citizen to truly partake in the democratic process. It is uncomfortable, expensive, and beyond voting almost completely isolated from the general public. In fact, in the past few years our government has succeeded in restricting the rights of US citizens to take part in the process more so than any recent administration.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

I'll give the administration this much, for this grievance, they haven't gone much beyond arbitrarily removing archivists to cover their tracks, and of course, those pesky attorney firings that sparked the "I don't recall" Guinness record. Then again, since our representatives have been rendered impotent for the most part, who needs to dissolve them?

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

With a withering congress and senate, they might as well come back to the people at large.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

I have already written extensively on the problems with our immigration policies, here.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

This time around, the administration has loaded the bases with Judiciary powerhouses that support, rather than oppose the administration's policies, legal or otherwise. Either way, Bush strong armed our representatives into appointing Mukasey, a man who supported Bush's will to use torture. These two grievances are part in parcel now.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

Yes, with the Patriot Act, the Protect America Act, the John Warner Defense Authorization Act, the Military Act and other interesting, and wholly unconstitutional laws supported by the Department of Homeland Security, and Blackwater among other new, National Security positions, I'd say that our citizens are enduring and beginning to face worse harassment and spying by our own government.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

What times of peace?

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

Our military has taken on a life of it's own, with horrendous reports and accusations of torture, harassment, inhumane treatment and overall illegal activities with no reasonable legal jurisdiction and almost no one being held responsible, paired with attacks on civilians, as well as female members of the military being raped and harassed, and in at least one case, murdered. The actions of both the military and the out of control mercenaries have gone above the long arm of the law, and intends to stay there, at the behest of our president.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

Among many things occurring that are foreign to our constitution, the large bodies of armed troops among us include, the Globalized Private Military, the Lockheed sponsered British Military, the Canadian Troops assisting the US in teh event of Martial Law, and the reports of US military soldiers being asked if the would fire on US citizens which you can read here, and here.

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

Two words, Abu Girhab.

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

Not with all parts of the world, we haven't come to that point yet.

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

When was the last time we, the constituents actually approved a tax? Furthermore, the president plans on making his tax adjustments permanent, no matter how badly they will affect this economy, or the people who must live in it.

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

The loss of Habeas Corpus, and the impending Martial Law, which would remove every citizen's right to a trail by jury.

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

Not us per se, but others from a far away country who may or may not be part of a terrorist operation, and who may or may not confess under torture, and who may or may not ever get a day in court, no matter how much this behavior flies in the face of the Geneva Convention.

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

Did someone mention the enlarging of boundaries by less than ethical means? By golly, we've been doing that for centuries now!

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

These two grievances also go together as the Bush administration has shown more disregard for our constitution and laws than any other administration in our history, including Nixon's term. Furthermore this administration has usurped more power thus undoing the delicate balance of power that our Founding Fathers so carefully set up for our protection.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

It hasn't happened yet, and hopefully we can get a new president in office before this one goes all out on the citizens of the US.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

Not our coasts, but certainly we have ravaged, plundered, burned, bombed and otherwise destroyed other coasts.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

We have not yet seen this type of destruction on our own soil, but make it known that our government has seen fit, as mentioned above, to train foreign armies to control the US population, should the administration see fit to declare Martial Law, and or own military refuses to open fire on us.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

In the links above, our administration has seen fit to begin conditioning our own soldiers to open fire on US citizens, should the need arise.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

Domestic and foreign insurrections. In fact our international reputation is in such a shambles, I'm surprised we haven't undergone more attacks.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Our government has turned a deaf ear to our pleas. In fact, it is working to silence us further.

It would seem to me that our government's authority is no longer lawful, if we are to go by the very grievances that inspired the birth of this country to begin with. Ergo, sedition is no longer possible, not that our government woudl ever admit to that.

Our government has conducted itself in a manner that would disgust our forefathers, in fact it did disgust them so much that they started a revolution, to change it. To quote the Declaration of independence once again,

"That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."


The Profitability of War.

As the propaganda machine chugs along, our government has seemingly set itself up quite lovely for future years to come. Mind you, that it is our government, and it's few powerful benefactors and not the American public, that will reap the rewards of our current policy of perpetual warfare.

Let's take a look at a few headlines from the past several days, and apply them to the bigger picture.

General Fallon has officially resigned from his position as Chief of US Forces, and both Defense Secretary Gates, and President Bush accepted it quite willingly, and without haste. Although General Fallon dismisses and outright repudiates any accusations that he was at odds with the US government policies and intended actions against Iran, as covered in Esquire magazine it does seem rather strange that he would resign from the pressure of a men's article.

"[...]citing what he called an inaccurate perception that he is at odds with the Bush administration over Iran.[...]"We have tried between us to put this misperception behind us over a period of months and, frankly, just have not been successful in doing so.""

A resignation over an article and misrepresentation? I think not. It is also reported that he disagreed with the financial aspect of the cost to go to war with Iran, and sought more peaceful dialog based solutions. This is, of course, not what the Bush administration wants.

Next on the list of "things to take note of " was Bush's address to the National Religious Broadcasters in Texas. Among a variety of horrid statements made, this one caught my attention:

"And as a return on our success -- in other words, as we get more successful, troops are able to come home. They're not coming home based upon defeat, or based upon opinion polls, or based upon focus groups, or based upon politics. They're coming home because we're successful. (Applause.) And the pace of that withdrawal has been determined, and then the commanders will take a further assessment. But I want to assure you, just like I assure military families and the troops: The politics of 2008 is not going to enter into my calculation. It is the peace of the years to come that will enter into my calculation. (Applause.)"

What caught my weary little ear wasn't so much what he said (aside from the very obvious intention of disregarding the will of his constituents) but rather how he said it.

"My Criteria" As if he has already mapped out the future wars of America indefinitely and that he has done so with such success that future presidents cannot undo it. To make matters worse Bush has sealed the fate and reputation for Americans as being the country that allows torture that originated in the Spanish Inquisition, and has been banned in all respectable countries for centuries, as well as the Geneva Convention, by vetoing the Anti-Torture Bill pushed through by congress, who, by the way failed to overturn the veto. Fantastic!

Meanwhile the debate about the surge wages on between a fellow at the New York University Center on Law and Security, and a former professor at West Point. The argument of course, lies within the debate of whether or not the surge has accomplished its stated goals. Without getting into too much detail, as you can read teh transcript for yourself, I will say that the sectarian violence has decreased down to levels that it was at before the dramatic spike in violence, and without working real tangible reconciliation, Rosen is right, the violence will be much much worse when we do leave - no matter when that is. Kagan, of course, pulled teh party line, trying to state that everything we have done is legal and on the up and up and is somehow wildly successful.

Last but not least, audits in Iraq show that they not have a Budget Surplus due to oil revenue from higher oil prices, and are capable of paying for their own reconstruction. Iraq charges more for oil (to the latest tune of $110 per barrel), gains enough of a surplus to pay the US for the millions of dollars we have put into Iraq so far in reconstruction. So wait, let me get this straight, we are being charged more for oil, so that the Iraqi government can pay millions of dollars for the reconstruction which is contracted out to such private companies as, oh, Haliburton and Lockheed Martin, who are run by VP Dick Cheney. The government is essentially squeezing it's own citizens, in the midst of a recession so that their pet contractor projects can make millions, and thus make the top management filthy rich...right.

Now what do we have when we put it all together?

The Bush administration has now successfully set up a humanitarian and violence based disaster ensuring that future presidents must continue in the same path of destruction, as well as eliminating any dissenters and voices of opposition in top military positions removing that pesky obstacle into Iran, while allowing our country to terrorize other countries with the threat and use of torture so we can artificially inflate our dying economy with buy investing in the military, as well as privately own companies who need plenty of destruction before they can charge hefty fees for reconstruction, and it's all basically out of the pockets of people who are being slammed with low wages, high unemployment, debt fiascoes, and very high cost of living situations in virtually every way possible.

Is that sentence long enough to make you dizzy, or should I write it again, just to be sure to drive the point home?

We are destroying countries and lives, forcing ourselves to pay for into straight into a Great Depression sized recession, so we can charge to rebuild to filter the money to the rich, and all for the sake of a greasy buck.

Thats dumb.


The Art of Sedition

What's this you say? Sedition? Isn't that some old law that was kind of like treason, but only used against Commies and then dropped by our country?

Emphatically no! It was "some old law" that was turned into or rolled into some new laws, not only used against Commies, and certainly not dropped by our country. In fact, it is still being enforced as we speak. Let's, for one moment, set the record straight.

What it is:

Sedition is a term of law which refers to covert conduct, such as speech and organization, that is deemed by the legal authority as tending toward insurrection against the established order. Sedition often includes subversion of a constitution and incitement of discontent (or resistance) to lawful authority. Sedition may include any commotion, though not aimed at direct and open violence against the laws. Seditious words in writing are seditious libel.
The Sedition Act of 1798 generated so much opposition (see Alien and Sedition Acts) that similar statutes were not enacted until the 20th cent. During World War I the Espionage Act (1917) and the Sedition Act (1918) punished speeches and writings that interfered with the war effort or caused contempt for the government.

How it was used.

Sedition is still very much on the books today, and during this time of war and period of national discontent the government has sought to remove it from it's hiding place, dust it off, and make it useful once again. It is (supposedly) harder now for our government to convict persons of acts of sedition in modern day courts, due to the changes the crime of sedition has gone through in our history. For example, forcing sedition charges to be proven to have a real and immediate threat to the nation, otherwise known as the clear-and-present-danger test.[1] Of course, our judiciary committee often times chose to circumvent or outright ignore this requirement in their pursuit of subversive citizens, but that is a topic for later discussion. The rolling of the sedition act into the espionage act of 1918 had some interesting results in our country, actually suppressing the first amendment rights of workers even more so by stipulating the criminal behavior to include
'"[...]utter, print, or publish disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language about the form of government, the Constitution, soldiers and sailors, [the] flag, or uniform of the armed forces[...]' with intent to bring scorn, contempt, and disrepute upon them."[1]

It would seem that my entire blog is an act of sedition, and I have it down to an art form at that. Of course it was widely labeled as being unconstitutional, not that it stopped our government from persecuting prosecuting approximately two thousand American citizens for simply having an opinion. Cases such as Schenck v. United states (249 U.S. 47, 1919) brought about that aforementioned clear-and-present-danger test, to supposedly protect American citizens from being unfairly, and unconstitutionally singled out for simply exercising their first amendment rights. This, of course, didn't work.Frohwerk v. United States (249 U.S. 204, 1919) maintained that even just printing a pamphlet would still land you a sedition and espionage conviction. Case after case and trial after trial, appeal denials after appeal denials, the unconstitutionally obtained power took hold and rooted quickly with not just the Judiciaries of the US, but also the people. It came full swing to bite us in the collective rears during the Red Scare of the cold war, where the nasty little sedition and espionage crime wave came back in full force.

Where is it today?

Fast forward for just a moment to present day issues. The vast majority of the population opposes not only the war waging on in Iraq, the movement towards Iran and other Middle Eastern countries, but a variety of domestic policies that have started a wave of analytical opposition by groups and individuals alike. In previous posts I have referenced new and old legislation pertaining to the organization of groups in the US who oppose the government, as well as bills such as HR 1955 and violations of our first amendment rights which not only include free speech, but also the right to petition our government for a redress of our grievances.

What's all the hubub, Bub?

Today, the government having been slapped with mild restrictions on who they can and can't lock away for speaking out against the government has found a new and improved way to use the old sedition act. Who says our country doesn't reuse and recycle? They have tied the act to our financial and economic dependency. Much like the Red Scare where people were often screened for Communist, Anarchist, Syndicalist and other subversive ties in their positions, particularly those of a sensitive nature, our government has saw fit to require the government's version of screening 4.0 of individuals in particular skills and trades on the basis of "Homeland Security". Most notably is the TWIC or Transportation Workers Identification Credentials. Any person who works in a port or transportation industry who may have unescorted access into secure or sensitive areas will be required to obtain additional dual interface integrated circuit chip encoded identification cards, at the bargain basement price of $132.50 a pop. No big deal, right? Wrong. The government has finally legalized the unconstitutional practice of employers asking employees if they've been to ant-war, anti- bush rallies, or if they are aligned with "subversive" political ideologies. Well, sort of.

Actually the government has seen fit to simply use the threat of financial loss to try and keep people from speaking out against their government. Here, See for yourself:

"What are the permanent disqualifying criminal offenses?

Per 1572.103(a):
(1) Espionage or conspiracy to commit espionage
(2) Sedition or conspiracy to commit sedition
(3) Treason or conspiracy to commit treason
(4) A federal crime of terrorism (18 U.S.C. 2332(g)) or comparable State law

Look at the first four reasons for disqualification and denial of the identity card. Sedition is number two. This is a blatant attempt to frighten people who's lives and families depend on the very income they will be denied if the government so much as whiffs seditious acts or subversive behavior. While most people certainly wouldn't be successfully tried right here, right now for sedition, the mere threat of losing one's ability to fully perform their duties at work, thus lose their job is typically enough to keep them from doing it in the first place. Also note that it say "conspiracy to commit sedition" meaning if that employees spouse, such oh, yours truly were to need one of these cards my blog could be enough to disqualify my husband's eligibility. All in the name of "safety". Even though most employees who have access now already undergo background checks and screening.

Of course, there is a rub to this, the loophole as it were. Sedition, as it is currently worded is to take action or encourage the abolition of, or oppose, obstruct etc.. a lawful authority. Who and what are lawful authorities? That is for the next post, I'm afraid.

Hat tip to Chelle from Offended Blogger for bringing this to my attention.


[1] Civil Liberties and the Constitution Cases and Commentaries Barker, Lucius and Barker, Twiley Jr. Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, N.J. 1970 (pg178-193)

and citations in text.


This is Ridiculous

In the grand scheme of things this little pet project of mine called "equality" isn't the biggest political news item this year, in fact it hasn't even been the hottest hot button issue in some time. That fact not withstanding, there is still the ability for certain political and social positions to get under my skin, and irritate me to no end, so, I rant. This is a fair waring, this is a rant of the first order...

Today, much to my dismay at reading something so propagandist and spiteful before consuming my first cup of coffee, I came across an op-ed piece by Cal Thomas; there are two versions which you can read here and here.

Oh, the horror of teaching humanist based lessons in our schools! Thomas bats around the term humanist as if it's a dirty word, right alongside the word liberal.

"The government schools want to shape a child's mind in ways that reflect a mostly liberal, humanistic worldview."

For those of you who may not be sure (although I doubt Mr Thomas is actually reading this, but who knows, the group he is promoting might be) "humanist" means

1. a person having a strong interest in or concern for human welfare, values, and dignity.
2. a person devoted to or versed in the humanities.
3. a student of human nature or affairs.
4. a classical scholar.

Yes, this is something we should outright ban in schools! The blasphemy of teaching such horrifically immoral ethics! Oh, wait, isn't that what Jesus taught? Perhaps this brand of Christian missed that lesson.

And all of this, in part, to the amendment to Senate bill 777, the anti-discrimination bill that states people, adults, children, students, or employees can not be discriminated against because of race, gender, creed, disability etc.. It was amended to add "sexual orientation". What an abomination! Who wants to see all of this equality and tolerance crap in our schools anyway? Lets abolish this bill altogether and get back to the business of education, complete with discrimination against multiple groups of people, and while we're at it, lets bring back corporal punishment.

In all seriousness though, the bill Cal Thomas and friends are crowing about simply states this:

SB 777, as amended, Kuehl. Discrimination.
(1) Existing law states that it is the policy of the state to
afford equal rights and opportunities to all persons in the public or
private elementary and secondary schools and postsecondary
educational institutions of the state regardless of their sex, ethnic
group identification, race, national origin, religion, or mental or
physical disability and prohibits a person from being subjected to
discrimination on those bases and contains various provisions to
implement that policy.
Existing law prohibits a teacher from giving instruction, and a
school district from sponsoring any activity, that reflects adversely
upon persons because of their race, sex, color, creed, handicap,
national origin, or ancestry.
Existing law prohibits the State Board of Education and the
governing board of a school district from adopting for use in the
public schools any instructional materials that reflect adversely
upon persons because of their race, sex, color, creed, handicap,
national origin, or ancestry.
This bill would revise the list of prohibited bases of
discrimination and the kinds of prohibited instruction, activities,
and instructional materials and instead, would refer to disability,
gender, nationality, race or ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation,
or any other characteristic contained in the definition of hate
crimes that is contained in the Penal Code. The bill would define
disability, gender, nationality, race or ethnicity, religion, and
sexual orientation for this purpose.

Oh, well since the government put it that way, perhaps we should all leave the public school systems, we can't have our children learn properly when these gosh darned homos aren't being discriminated against!

The real problem with this whole issue is that, I partially agree with this group Exodus Mandate Project with regards to the quality of our public school systems. Of course, my problem has nothing to do with "humanist world views" but rather a lack of solid foundations, poor teachers, and revisionist history being fed to our children. Oh, but they take issue with what is being taught as well:

The government schools want to shape a child's mind in ways that reflect a mostly liberal, humanistic worldview. This has implications for a child's understanding of economics, foreign policy, American history and the size and purpose of government, in addition to what once were known as “traditional values.” It is about reflecting the worldview of the teachers unions, who are in the pocket of the Demo-cratic Party. In other words, the Left uses public schools to produce the next generation of Democrats.

Ah yes, there it is, that's the rub. If our school systems begin to teach about homosexuality that will lead to lessons about economy, globalization, foreign policy, perhaps we will see the overthrow of revisionist history, the purpose and track record of a poorly functioning government...no, we can't have our children learn our dirty little secrets, no sir. That would make them Democrats, and to be a humanist Democrat in a democracy is certainly treason!

Of course, we all know this is pure ridiculousness. The slippery slope argument using homosexuals, and/or the devaluing of "traditional values" as a way of indoctrinating our youth into the constraints of the conservative Big Business "do as I say or my God will smite thee" American caste system.

It is pure propaganda, and yet it still annoyed me to no end. It also, for the record, reinforced my opinion that neo-cons and the Conservative Christian Reich Right has absolutely no plans for peace, no plans for improvement, and positively no intention of making this world one of equality, and tolerance.

Their words and actions have betrayed them once again. What is sad to me, however, is that it is the upcoming group of children who will pay for their ignorant indignations of what is and isn't properly righteous, not us.