A lot going on these days, no? Sometimes I think I’ve lived too long.
Twenty years ago many of my students carried various Stephen King books along with the history book I required them to bring into my class. I told them I stopped reading horror stories because real life is often scary enough. Truth is much stranger than fiction and actual events, past or present, interest me much more than any fiction.
A week later I’d just finished “The Hot Zone” by Richard Preston. On the back was a comment by Stephen King: “The first chapter of The Hot Zone is one of the most horrifying things I've read in my whole life--and then it gets worse. That's what I keep marveling over: it keeps getting worse. What a remarkable piece of work.” So I brought it to class and read them King’s comment. At their insistence I read some of chapter one, but stopped after the first twenty pages. The following week, I noticed a few students carrying Preston’s book.
|Ebola in West Africa|
Last month, President Obama tried to calm Americans worried about a new outbreak of Ebola in Africa. He told us it was highly unlikely there would be an outbreak in the US. Two weeks later, though, it happened. This week, there were two more cases reported in Dallas, Texas. Hopefully things won’t, as King said back then, “keep getting worse.” Hopefully the CDC will do as it promised and stop the spread of this disease in its tracks.
However, the confidence expressed by Dr. Thomas Friedman in his first press conference was not evident after the nurse in Dallas became infected. He said we need to “re-think” hospital methods to prevent the spread of this very scary disease. As the federal government takes over more and more aspects of our lives, from health care to education, public confidence in its ability to administer them all competently is waning.
It’s been more than three years since I left the public schools. My thirty-four year career in them witnessed ever-increasing federal and state control over what was to be taught and how, from arithmetic to sex education to what can be eaten at lunch. Countless screwball ideas came down from unions and universities as well. Last week, I read a piece by Katherine Timpf in National Review Online in which she writes: “A Nebraska school district has instructed its teachers to stop referring to students by “gendered expressions” such as “boys and girls,” and use “gender inclusive” ones such as “purple penguins” instead.
Gender-bending programs like this have been trickling in for years and I’ve written about some in this space several times. If I were still in public education and instructed to say: “Good morning Purple Penquins” instead of “Good morning boys and girls,” I believe I would have refused. Are there objections out there in Nebraska? None I have heard. What is it going to take before people push back against relentless LGBT propaganda paid for by their own tax money and foisted on their children?
The “Gender Spectrum” curriculum, mandated in the Nebraska district, “…instructs teachers to interfere and interrupt if they ever hear a student talking about gender in terms of ‘boys and girls’ so the student can learn that this is wrong.”
Wrong, mind you. Students are not being told just to tolerate other students who are confused about whether they’re boys or girls. Now it’s “wrong” to refer to the sexes in a “binary manner.” Nebraska public school teachers must now: “Provide counter-narratives that challenge students to think more expansively about their notions of gender.”
Two months ago, my wife and I attended my niece’s wedding in Massachusetts. When she and her husband filled out their marriage license, there were no categories for “husband” and “wife.” No-no. Not in politically correct Massachusetts. It was “Spouse A” and “Spouse B.” How did this happen?
Several years ago, Massachusetts passed a so-called “gay rights” law which slipped in language about “gender expression.” Then came a Massachusetts Supreme Court ruling that it was then illegal to prevent homosexuals from “marrying” one another. Leftist bureaucrats took over and changed official language pertaining to marriage - for everyone in the state, getting rid of “husband” and “wife” because those terms are wrong, I guess. They’re too “binary,” exclusive of those who claim they’re neither male nor female.
Will Houston pastors meekly comply? Will the ACLU step in on their behalf? Be interesting to see.
Labels: CDC, ebola, gender spectrum, History, homosexual activists, Obama, politics, teaching